the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘television’ Category


Space 1999 is a Science Fiction TV show that ran for 2 seasons from 1975 to 1977, and starred Martin Landau and Barbara Bain of Mission Impossible fame, and English-Canadian stage actor Barry Morse.


From a science point of view, the premise of the show is absolutely ridiculous, but from a social science point of view I found a lot of things to be fascinated by.  Moonbase Alpha is a research station on the Moon, whose technicians also periodically check on nuclear waste storage facilities on the far side of the moon.  Radiation has built up, and there is a massive explosion, causing the Moon to get knocked out of orbit and go shooting off through the galaxy.  Ok, that’s the ridiculous. The fascinating is that none of these people are astronauts or explorers.  They are scientists, astronomers,  field technicians, nuclear waste specialists, a handful of shuttle pilots, and the necessary physicians, accountants and bureaucrats needed to support the staff of a science station. They were all expecting to go back to Earth after their however-many-months stint at the station was over, and now they are involuntarily hurtling through the galaxy.  Instantly, we’ve got some interesting psychology going on.

The staff of Moonbase Alpha

The staff of Moonbase Alpha

As the runaway Moon whizzes past planets, they have time to observe and send down shuttles to explore. (offering unlimited opportunity for an adventure of the week/monster of the week television show!) Realizing they may never get back to Earth, they hope to find a planet to settle on. Yes, it is patently ridiculous that the runaway Moon’s random path would take it right past a new planet every few episodes, but just go with it. If you can’t swallow that plot device, you’re not going to make it very far into the series.


If you can get past the silly parts of the show, you’ll find Space 1999 has a Star Trek: Voyager meets Firefly vibe.  You’ll find yourself saying “this is so ridiculous!”, and then really enjoying the show.

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Radio. . .   television . . .   next year, the world!

I was recently a guest on a local tv show called Monday Night Live, hosted by the gracious Keith Roe.

Put up your feet, grab a drink, and click here to watch the show.  John and I discuss how and why we got into science fiction, how and where to find trustworthy book reviews, some new releases we’re excited about, we talk a bit about the industry, blogging, authors, happy birthday to Douglas Adams and what happens when a boy robot and a girl robot meet in outer space.

Authors mentioned by name include Robert Jackson Bennett, Guy Hasson, John Scalzi, Cory Doctorow, and  John Love, apologies if I mispronounced anyone’s name.  Authors not mentioned by name, but referred to, you can probably figure out who you are.   I didn’t give up all my secrets!

A question that came up unexpectedly in the show, what was books to recommend to high school students to get them turned on about math and science? I recommended Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, which isn’t exactly about math or science, but I still felt it was important for high schoolers to read.

What books would you recommend for teens, to get them interested in careers in math and science?


If Keith ever invites me back, I promise to talk louder.

note to self: live TV is way, WAY different from pre-recording a radio segment.  epically different.

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FTC Stuff

some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.