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Book Reviews: The Black Room Manuscripts Volume One, part 3 + Ex Machina + The Widow Of Ratchets

The Black Room Manuscripts Volume One, part 3

A couple set up a flower ship in a van. The husband turns into a creepy perv as a result. This was a screaming tirade of sexual violence and terrible intentions.

Conductive Salts
Metal detectorists find something. This was incapable of original thought.

A girl is bitten by a spider and changes. Misguided inferences are made and this was nonsense.

Needs Must
A monster comes out of a well. This was incapable.

The Octagonal Cabinet
I’ve no idea what this was about. It doesn’t work very well.

Happy Anniversary
A man tries to please his wife and it goes awry. This had no brooding intensity.

And In The Endless Pauses, There Came The Sound Of Bees
Sexist trash.


Best Line:
“This time, something whispered back.”

Star Trek The Original Series: Ex Machina by Christopher L. Bennett
This 2005 novel is set just after the events of ‘Star Trek: The Motion(less) Picture’. After the encounter with V’Ger, the core trio have to deal with the sporadically melodramatic consequences of their actions in the ep ‘For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky’. There are also a lot of continuity references.

Kirk gets negative attention from some new crewmembers for taking command of the ship away from Decker. McCoy has forced sentiment for a woman he left behind while also yelling cathartically, desperately and impotently. A new character, Reiko, is ageist toward McCoy while being really really annoying. Spock has a psychologically intense mid life crisis and had existentially troubling thoughts. This was a charming and spirited impressively cohesive tale of a under thought through movie.

This doesn’t really do subtlety as nutters have unpredictable rage, Kirk leers creepily and joyless new characters have no respect and struggle to establish any sort of personality. This could have been terrifyingly cloying but isn’t, it’s actually rather good.

Best Lines:
“And the triad of Kirk, McCoy, and Spock will have their role to play.”

“A running monologue of complaints about his current situation and, apparently the entire lifelong string of decisions and circumstances which had led up to it.”

“I’m oddly untroubled by that,”

The Widow Of Ratchets by Owen Brookes
This 1979 novel reprinted in 1994 was written by someone with only a hazy understanding of writing, plot, character and the horror genre. A dumb woman is widowed and ends up among psycho pagan in-laws. This fails to realise its own irrelevance. This was laughable nonsense.
Tags: 2nd hand book store find, book review, star trek

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