Tag Archives: Star Trek

Cartological Literature

4 Apr

I’ve written before of my love of books with maps. During March, while I was madly writing for the Slice of Life Challenge, I read two books were maps were not only included to support the reader, they played significant roles in each story.

The Golden Specific by S. E. Grove, is the sequel to The Glass Sentence,  which I wrote about in July 2014. 


Goodreads Summary: It is the summer of 1892, one year since Sophia Tims and her friend Theo embarked upon the dangerous adventure that rewrote the map of the world. Since their return home to Boston, she has continued searching for clues to her parents’ disappearance, combing archives and libraries, grasping at even the most slender leads. Theo has apprenticed himself to an explorer in order to follow those leads across the country—but one after another proves to be a dead end.

Then Sophia discovers that a crucial piece of the puzzle exists in a foreign Age. At the same time, Theo discovers that his old life outside the law threatens to destroy the new one he has built with Sophia and her uncle Shadrack. What he and Sophia do not know is that their separate discoveries are intertwined, and that one remarkable person is part of both.

There is a city that holds all of the answers—but it cannot be found on any map. Surrounded by plague, it can only be reached by a journey through darkness and chaos, which is at the same time the plague’s cure: The Golden Specific.

The third and final book, The Crimson Skew, is due to be published July 12, 2016 and that is not so far off that I will forget what happened in this one.

I also read The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig.


Goodreads Summary: Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.

As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix.

But the end to it all looms closer every day.

Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix’s mother. Even though getting it—and going there—could erase Nix’s very existence.

For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters.

She could find herself, find her family, find her own fantastical ability, her own epic love.

Or she could disappear.

This one was interesting and got me thinking again about Captain Janeway of the of the Starfleet starship USS Voyager, who, when faced with time travel, said, “Time travel. Since my first day on the job as a Starfleet captain I swore I’d never let myself get caught in one of these godforsaken paradoxes – the future is the past, the past is the future, it all gives me a headache.”

Captain Janeway  and all other Star Trek characters were subject to the  Temporal Prime Directive. All Starfleet personnel were strictly forbidden from directly interfering with historical events and are required to maintain the timeline and prevent history from being altered. It also restricts people from telling too much about the future, so as not to cause paradoxes or alter the timeline. But Nix’s father is not a Starfleet Captain and answers to no one but himself. Book two is expected sometime in 2017, so, you have a lot of time to read this. Unless you have access to a map that will take youth the future.

He Lived Long and Prospered

27 Feb


Leonard Nimoy died today at age 83. I was a fan of the original series, which I watched as reruns on weekends once we moved to a town that had more than one TV station. As Spock, he inspired the part of me that thirsted for knowledge. He was a man of many talents who, in addition to acting also wrote prose and poetry. But, he will be remembered as the incarnation of Mr. Spock.

Mt Spock said many things that got me thinking, such as “Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the en.”

One of my favorite Spock quotes is from The Wrath of Kahn:

Perhaps the low point of Nimoy’s career was The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins. It is good for a giggle.

In the end, I prefer to think of Leonard Nimoy wise man who learned a lot about lite and was willing to share what he had learned.






Whale Song

21 Apr

In my favorite Star Trek movie,  Star Trek IV The Voyage Home,  Mr Spock swims with whales.

And now, just to be funny, check out this Partridge family clip  Whale Song  and notice the similarity between Admiral Kirk’s uniform and the Partridge family’s outfits.

I posted these two clips because I have whale song on my mind after reading two books about whales.



Ice Whale is Jean Craighead George’s last book. It was nearly complete when she died in 2012, so her children collaborated with the publisher to finish editing and have it published.

Here is the Goodreads summary: In 1848 in Barrow, Alaska, a young Eskimo boy witnesses a rare sight—the birth of a bowhead, or ice whale, that he calls Siku. But when he unwittingly guides Yankee whalers to a pod of bowhead whales, all the whales are killed. For this act, the boy receives a curse of banishment. Through the generations, this curse is handed down. Siku, the ice whale, returns year after year, in reality and dreams, to haunt each descendant. The curse is finally broken when a daughter recognizes and saves the whale, and he in turn saves her. Told in alternating voices, both human and whale, Jean Craighead George’s last novel is an ambitious and touching take on the interconnectedness of humans, animals, and the earth they depend on.

The novel shows how both whale and native American communities have changed over time. It would be a great book to read aloud when studying the Arctic or looking at environmental and cultural changes.

For younger readers, Following Papa’s Song by Gianna Marino might be more appropriate.


This book is based in science but tells a story of a relationship between after & son. The illustrations re gorgeous reflecting the changing colors of the ocean as the whales dive deep. I also like the metaphor of calming down when we are lost and listening for papa’s voice to guide us back home. This book would be a great jumping off point for whale study.



Of cats, a hero’s quest and temporal paradoxes

6 Aug

A young girl with an idyllic life, no school, a loving aunt and lots of freedom. A story that feels epic and reads well. Beautiful illustrations. These are a few of the things I liked about The Cats of Tanglewood Forest  by Charles de Lint.


Lillian Kindred is a sweet-natured girl who is kind to animals and receives kindness from animals when she is bitten by a snake and on the verge of death. She is turned into a cat and embarks on a journey to become a girl again.

But there was one thing that irritated me, and no, it wasn’t the cats that irritated this dog person.


In an episode of Star Trek: Voyager ( Future’s End, 1996) Captain Janeway says “Time travel. Since my first day on the job as a Starfleet captain I swore I’d never let myself get caught in one of these godforsaken paradoxes – the future is the past, the past is the future, it all gives me a headache.” And that’s what bothered me about this story. One of the mythic characters in The Cats of Tanglewood Forest alters time and it gave me a headache. It seems an easy out after all that  Lillian has to go through. 

Having gotten that off my chest, I think a lot of kids will like this book. It feels like an old tale and has just the right blend of suffering and redemption. I was satisfied with how things ended up, even though I didn’t like all the ways De Lint got us there.

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