(1) CROUCHING TIGER CAPTAIN. Actress Michelle Yeoh has been cast as a Starfleet captain, but there are conservative and radical interpretations of what that means.
Deadline reports it this way:
EXCLUSIVE: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon‘s Michelle Yeoh is heading into the final frontier with Star Trek: Discovery. Sources confirm to Deadline that the upcoming CBS All Access iteration of the fabled franchise will see Yeoh playing a Starfleet Captain.
However, before you start mapping out the deck of the Discovery, sources close to the production tell us exclusively that Yeoh actually will be the leader of another ship. We hear that Yeoh has been cast as Han Bo and her ship is the Shenzhou. The Yeoh-run spacecraft is set to play a big role in Discovery‘s first season.
Asked for comment, Star Trek: Discovery producer CBS TV Studios declined to confirm Yeoh’s casting,
BBC America is more suggestive:
Forget Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, and Archer: A new Star Trek TV series is in the works at CBS, with a captain in the form of Michelle Yeoh.
Deadline reports that the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star will play Starfleet Captain Han Bo in Star Trek: Discovery, which is due on our screens in May….
So what do we know about her character? Well, apart from her name and rank, not very much. Details about the new series are being kept under wraps, though we do know it’s set ten years before the original one featuring Captain Kirk, and will bridge the gap between 2005 series Enterprise and the Kirk years by following the crew of the USS Discovery as they discover new worlds and civilizations.
(2) ENGLISH AS A FIRST LANGUAGE. I took the BBC quiz “English phrases: Test your knowledge”, linked by Chip Hitchcock in comments, and laid an egg. And don’t ask me where that phrase originated, because it’s clear I wouldn’t know!
There are many peculiar English phrases whose origins and meaning can appear obscure. For instance, where does “dead as a doornail” come from? When might one say: “I’ll go to the foot of our stairs?”
A recent BBC News article unearthing the stories behind some phrases drew a huge response from readers, who sent in examples of their own.
But how much do you know about the English language and its sayings?
(3) CHABON’S LATEST. Michael Chabon’s Moonglow is another work readers can simply enjoy, while critics are preoccupied defining its form.
Michael Chabon’s new book is described on the title page as “a novel,” in an author’s note as a “memoir” and in the acknowledgments as a “pack of lies.” This is neither as confusing nor as devious as it might sound, since “Moonglow” is less a self-conscious postmodern high-wire act than an easygoing hybrid of forms. Chabon has what sounds like a mostly true story to tell — about characters whose only names are “my grandmother” and “my grandfather,” and also about mental illness, snake hunting, the Holocaust and rocket science — and he may not have wanted to be bound too tightly by the constraints of literal accuracy in telling it.
The LA Times has more coverage of Chabon which, if you haven’t already exhausted your 10 free articles for the month as I have, you can check out.
Michael Chabon’s new novel “Moonglow” was inspired by a story his grandfather told on his deathbed. The novel is about families — their lies, loves and the stories they tell about themselves. Kate Tuttle talks to Chabon about fatherhood and fiction; …
(4) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOYS
- Born November 27, 1907 – L. Sprague de Camp
- Born November 27, 1926 — Rusty Hevelin
(5) SCI-FI AIR SHOW. A gallery of photos shows these old warbirds parked on the museum runway — makes you think you could reach out and touch them.
The SCI-FI AIR SHOW’s purpose is to preserve and promote the rich and varied history of Sci-Fi/Fantasy vehicles. Through display and education we seek to celebrate the classic design and beauty of these ships and the rich imaginations that created them. When the cameras stopped rolling, many of these proud old ships were lost and forgotten. Please join us in working to keep these rare and beautiful birds soaring!
(6) RIM OF THE ANCIENT MARINER. A Star Wars actor is busy keeping another franchise afloat. ScreenRant posted “Pacific Rim 2 Set Photos: John Boyega Heads to The Drift”
Having spent a good chunk of the past few years in development limbo, Pacific Rim: Maelstrom – the sequel to writer/director Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 film – has finally begun filming. Contrary to the initial plans, however, del Toro is not directing the sequel and is instead handing the reigns over to former Daredevil showrunner, Steven S. DeKnight; who after spending multiple years establishing himself in the television world, is set to make his feature directorial debut with the blockbuster project. Much to DeKnight’s credit as well, he’s managed to wrangle quite an impressive cast together for the anticipated sequel.
John Boyega is set to lead the cast, as well as executive produce the film, and will be playing the son of Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost, following his breakout role in last year’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. Now, we’ve finally gotten our first look at Boyega in the character from the film too.
(7) DEATH WARMED OVER. When Will R. was still among us, he sent a commentary along with the link to this Aliens news item: “Looks Like Neill Blomkamp Really Is Planning To Bring ALIENS’ Newt Back To Life”
“When you say ‘worst deaths,’ do you mean ‘most horrible’ deaths? (I’ve always thought bringing Ripley back, cloned together with the aliens, was about the most horrible thing ever done to a character. John Hurt, though…that’s an all-time classic death.)
“Or do you mean worst deaths narratively speaking? That one would be fun. The first one would be…interesting, but I’d hate to call it fun.”
(8) FOR THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE. I’m sure there’s someone on your list who’d be cheered to receive a copy of The Krampus and the Old Dark Christmas.
Once the mythic bogeyman of European Catholic childhoods and long presented as the opposite of Santa Claus, Krampus is a growing presence in American culture. With the appearance of the demonic Christmas character Krampus in contemporary Hollywood movies, television shows, advertisements, and greeting cards, medieval folklore Krampus-related events and parades in North America and Europe, Krampus is a growing phenomenon.
Though the Krampus figure is now familiar, not much can be found about its history and meaning, thus calling for a book like Al Ridenour’s The Krampus: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil. With Krampus’s wild, graphic history, Feral House has hired the awarded designer Sean Tejaratchi to take on Ridenour’s book about this ever-so-curious figure.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Will R., and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kurt Busiek.]