Star Trek The Motion Picture


I read the 40th anniversary edition which was originally written in 1979.

Gene Roddenberry may have created Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation. He may have been the driving force behind almost every incarnation of Star Trek. But he had no idea what should, and shouldn’t go into a book. He should of stuck to writing teleplays and scripts.

I didn’t get the opportunity to see the wide screen version of Star Trek The Motion Picture until a few years ago. Prior to that I had to tolerate the VHS “Special Edition”. I wasn’t overly impressed with with it, and I knew I wasn’t alone. So, when I got the book I foolishly thought it might be better.

Oh my god...its Spock

Paramount studios had no-end of trouble with the film and Roddenberry. Roddenberry was constantly submitting ideas for the film that were very poor. Enter Harold Livingston and Alan Dean Foster. They were employed by Paramount to try and improve Roddenberry’s ideas. In the end few people associated with the film enjoyed the experience. Roddenberry’s script was tossed out, and the screenplay was written by Harold Livingston. The story was written by Alan Dean Foster who already had a few Star Trek novels to his name. All Roddenberry could do now was complain by writing a mountain of memos each day which were pretty well ignored. Part of the merchandizing of the film was the “novelization” of the film. Roddenberry took that job because nobody else wanted to do it, and it would be his last chance to make money off the film he wanted to see released.

Close to the beginning of the book an Admiral dies. This character was never in the script or any version of the released film. The book takes dialogue from a specific character and assigns it to a different character. As you read on you see area were he could have inserted dialogue. He wasted every chance and even re-wrote what is the released film. The book is supposed to be the written version of the released film. The books strays so far that I think the book and the theatrical version of the film that was initially released are two different stories. Close but slightly different.  It’s a book that had I had hoped would be a lot better, and would fill in a lot of gaps from the poorly edited film. Well, the only thing the book did was make me regret I purchased it. I suppose it’s a piece of Star Trek history, but I wouldn’t recommend it to a blind man. 

Today’s Pictures: 15 Apr 21

Stuart Aken

‘One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk.’
Crazy Horse (Ta-Sunko-Witko)

Daily shots from our walks in the local forest will continue here for a little while longer. And I’m adding another from my collection of pictures to show more of the world and its wonders. I may replace this series with a series of single pictures from my files, once it has run its course.
If shared on social media, more people will be able to enjoy the natural beauty of our world, so please do that if you can. Thank you. We might also restore a bit of love and respect for nature and help slow the damage we’ve inflicted on our world.

All photographs here are my own, unless otherwise credited. More of my pictures can be found here. And a small sample of my work…

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little life update + my favorite Easter song

coffee, classics, and craziness

Hey, all! What’s up? How’s life been going?

Mine hasn’t been too bad lately. There’s work of course, and then I also went to the mountains with a couple friends last weekend. Banff is gorgeous!!! I fell in love with the mountains themselves pretty much at once (even though my first close glimpses of them were in the dark). They are awe-inspiring, tranquil guardians. ❤ I was able to pick up some gifts for the fam in Banff’s maaaaaany gift shops, which was very fun.

I read Uncle Tom’s Cabin and watched The Light Between Oceans. My reactions to both are mixed (though I’m more positive about Uncle Tom’s Cabin). I’m also HUGELY excited for The Chosen Season 2 (episode one premiers this Sunday!).

There’s not actually too much to say in regards to life updates–work takes up quite a bit of my time (including on my days…

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Balance Out Your Writing


I just finished writing a review for an author who published her first book. I was far from thrilled with it. You don’t need to know the name of the book or the name of the author. Chances are you’ve come across a book where the writing is uneven. In this book she described every scene in almost painful detail, but there was precious little dialog. In my review, which she called “strangely detailed”, I tried to get across the idea that a book, short story, etc. is like a layer cake. One layer is called description while others are called setting, pace, dialog,  etc.  A good book will have equal portions of all these components.


A good story will enthrall you. You will want to turn the page to see what happens to the main character. You’ll become emotionally invested in the story and you’ll care about what happens to the main character. Chapter 1 was great. It took me back to the time when I was a boy at my parents cottage. I loved it. However, Chapter 2 was a complete change in direction. It was cold, dark and foreboding. There was nothing, absolutely nothing that made any connection to chapter 1. A woman was on a train at night and there seemed to be a number of persons who wished her ill. All that chapter did was remind me of how much I dislike train travel in Canada. Chapter 1 had only had thirteen words of dialog while it had hundreds of words of description . Chapter 2 had considerably more dialog, however, the sentences were rather short bordering on microscopic such as “I don’t know”. But again it was heavily outweighed by the the level of description of the train car, the conductor, guns, and shadows. This could have been a wonderful opportunity to write what this character was thinking. But the opportunity was squandered. The second chapter could have provided a link of some kind to the first chapter. It didn’t. I told the author I got the feeling chapter 1 and chapter 2 could have come from two different books. I suspect that comment wasn’t  terribly well received, but the author asked for my thoughts. It wasn’t until chapter 9 that the woman on the train and the main character met up. It was at this point I gave up on this book. I wanted to complete it, and I tried three separate times to read this book. If some of the writing doesn’t move the story along edit it out. Think of the reader. If what you’ve written isn’t essential to the story, and doesn’t move it along, edit it out. Your readers will thank you. I know one personally, me.



coffee, classics, and craziness

Rachel was recently awarded the Sunshine Blogger Award over at Hamlette’s Soliliquy and her questions were so fun that I’m answering them (even though she didn’t tag me). Since I’m not an official participant, I’m not going to bother creating my own questions, tagging fellow bloggers, etc. I’ll just be answering the questions.

Oh, and that Guardians thing? We’ll get to that. But first, the tag!

Fantasy or sci-fi?

This is difficult for me because I don’t think I love pure fantasy or pure sci-fi (at least not in the way I understand the genre). I prefer stories that mesh the two, and right now I’m thinking specifically of Agents of Shield. There’s a lot of sciencey stuff in that show, but there’s also some things that can’t be explained by science. Fantastical elements. (Though I think AoS would be considered sci-fi.) I guess sci-fi would win out over…

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scattered thoughts on ‘the moon-spinners’ (1964).

coffee, classics, and craziness

The Moon-Spinners & Others Lot (Buena Vista, 1964). Trimmed Poster | Lot  #50322 | Heritage Auctions

For the life of me, I can’t remember the book I read where the main character mentions going to see this movie. (I think it was set in the sixties and he/she went to see it in the movie theatre.) I wish I could remember, because that bit in the book made me watch the movie on Disney Plus. And what a movie it was! Not perfect, not an absolute favorite, but very good for a live-action sixties Disney movie nonetheless. (I know that’s a very specific criteria, lol.)

As I share some of my ‘scattered thoughts’, let’s start with the fact that the theme song SLAPS.

The basic plot is as follows: Nikky (Hayley Mills), a tourist who’s come to Greece, stumbles upon a plot to sell stolen emeralds (and a desperate attempt to thwart that sale) that involves three or four menacing villains, a cute British guy…

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Today’s Pictures: 17 Dec 20

Today is really special. I’ve been clear of cancer for fives years! I won, Cancer lost. No more hospital appointments! I’m free!

Stuart Aken

From the shadows into the light.

Share this post widely on social media and it will let those who are stuck indoors, due to Covid 19, enjoy it. It’ll also reach more people and, hopefully, show them the wonderful place our world is. With luck, between us, we’ll restore some love and respect for nature and slow down the damage to our environment. Thank you.

On a summer evening, people gather on the harbour wall on the island of Crete to watch the sunset. Taken August 2008

Late afternoon sun in December in a grove of oaks in the Forest of Dean

If you like my pictures, why not have a look at my gallery? You can find it here or through the ‘Gallery’ tab at the top of the page.

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Today’s Pictures: 13 Dec 20

Stuart Aken

December sun casts shadows across a forest path.

Sharing this post widely on social media will allow those who are stuck indoors, due to Covid 19, to enjoy it. It will also reach more people and, hopefully, illustrate what a wonderful place our world is. With luck, between us, we might restore love and respect for nature and slow down the destructive urge to ruin our environment. Thank you.

And, in contrast, a rocky path clings to a steep hill on the Greek island of Santorini. Taken September 2013.

And another slope in the Forest of Dean on the shaded side of the valley.

If you enjoy my pictures, you may be interested in my gallery, which you can find here or through the ‘Gallery’ tab at the top of the page.

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twenty-five reasons Christmas time is the best time

coffee, classics, and craziness

1. The Christmas season feels like hope and light and everything good in the world. It lightens your heart and shakes up your life–and in a good way, not like a certain stupid virus.

2. The mall is Christmas-themed. In fact, everything is Christmas-themed. AWESOME.

3. It’s time to break out all those movies you only watch in December.Home Alone! How the Grinch Stole Christmas! It’s a Wonderful Life! Nobody’s going to blame you for doing a little bingeing, so go for it.

4. And you’ll probably have a bunch of new Christmas flicks to enjoy as well. Each Christmas season, streaming services, film companies, and even TV channels (Hallmark!) put out fresh Christmas content for their consumers. Sure, most of them won’t become hugely popular classics, but they’re fun for an afternoon or evening.

5. You can listen to your favorite Christmas carol in a…

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Today’s Pictures: 4 Dec 20

Stuart Aken

A footbridge across the overflow of Cannop Ponds in the Forest of Dean.

Thanks for visiting this blog. Please be generous to those imprisoned by the Covid crisis by sharing this post widely with them on social media, so they can also enjoy it. It will then also reach more people and, hopefully, remind them what a wonderful place our world is. That might help restore some love and respect for nature and slow down our destructive urge to ruin the environment. Thank you.

View from the entrance to the historical site of the old leper colony on Spinalonga, Crete. Taken July 2008.

If you enjoy my pictures, you may be interested in my gallery, which you can find here or through the ‘Gallery’ tab at the top of the page.

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