Tuesday, August 2, 2016

THE EIGHTH DAY, republished

Howdy All

After an enjoyable run, I have bid fair winds and a following sea to Bluewater Press. My contract was up and I chose not to renew it. I sincerely wish them all the best in their future endeavors. 

I am excited to announce that my first novel, THE EIGHTH DAY, is now available from Amber Cove Publishing. Amber Cove is the imprint of scifi author Jim Bernheimer, and if you haven’t read any of his books I highly recommend them (for my previously unbiased reviews of his Dead Eye series, see here and here). Already read THE EIGHTH DAY? Please share this post with your friends! (Please. Running a sanctuary for misfit dogs is not a cheap proposition. Your contribution is appreciated :)

Also, a special thanks to Levi K. Banker for his help designing the new cover. Check out his portfolio at http://www.levikbanker.com

Anyway, the Kindle version is live now on Amazon, the paperback should be available within two weeks. And as always, the audiobook is still available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. Happy Reading!

-Mike, out. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Marvel's Black Widow: Forever Red

Howdy folks

Well, after the heart-wrenching true story of Ashley's War, I felt like I needed a palate cleanser. I thought I'd get back to the roots of the blog, reviewing YA action-adventure, and no one serves up action or adventure better than Marvel. Add to that Margaret Stohl's Black Widow: Forever Red has garnered some buzz on some of the other blogs I visit, and services a character that is criminally underused in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (how did we get Ant-Man before a Black Widow standalone movie?) and I though it might be the cure for what ailed me.

I have to say, it was not.

A brief plot summary: Eight years ago, during a mission to cross off the Russian madman who turned her from a regular preteen to one of the worlds most deadly assassins, SHIELD Agent Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow) rescues a young girl named Ava Orlova, then promptly dumps her in SHIELD custody and disappears from her life. Ava runs away and ends up living in the basement of a YMCA in Brooklyn, a big chip on her shoulder with regards to both SHIELD and the mysterious woman who rescued and then abandoned her. But the mad Russian scientist behind the infamous Red Room isn't is dead as Natasha thought, and she soon reappears in Ava's life...as does the mysterious boy Ava sees on her dreams.

I'm not saying it's a bad book. It's deeply flawed, to be sure. I'll get to that in a moment. But I think a lot of my disappointment may have been due to my expectations. First off, my view of the Marvel Universe is shaped overwhelmingly by the movie and TV side of it. I've read a few of the comics, but follow the MCU religiously. And some of the other Marvel characters in the book are good approximations of their MCU counterparts. Stohl's Tony Stark is the same wisecracking rogue we've come to know and love, and she especially captures Phil Coulson's deadpan wit. (Side note: Actor Clark Gregg does not get enough credit for turning a bit character in a small independent studio movie into a lynchpin of one of the biggest movie franchises in history).

The one character I found off was Natasha herself. In the movies she's not just an ass-kicking badass, but often has a breezy, sassy air to her and she is perhaps the most empathetic of the Avengers. I found Forever Red's Natasha to be a cold, unfeeling robot for much of the book, and if she feels any emotion it's usually brooding. This might be more true to the comics, I can't say for sure.

The book's fatal flaw, however, is how it handles foreshadowing. There are, in my humble opinion, right ways and wrong ways to handle the foreshadowing of a major character death. Ashley's War did an outstanding job of that, making the foreshadowing so imperceptible at first that you couldn't even put your finger on why you starting feeling this sense of dread. Even within the MCU, there's a good recent example, where the promos for the last few episodes of Season 3 of Agents of SHIELD blared that someone would die, and a flash-forward scene revealed that a necklace would be part of that death. Then in the last two episodes the necklace went from character to character among the show's large cast, always keeping you guessing who it would be. Forever Red goes about this the completely wrong way, telegraphing a death at the end of the book from the very begining (this is done by starting every chapter with excerpts from a SHIELD Line of Duty Death inquiry). As there are only three main characters, and one of them is Black Widow, you have a 50/50 chance of guessing who it will be, and it's not really hard to tell which one of them will bite it in the end. In doing this, the book effectively neuters itself, removing any tension or drama that might otherwise have been present.

The other problem, and this is inherent to all the other standalone MCU movies, is why, if you have a large roster of super-powered friends to call upon in times of need, would you not do that? The book makes the flimsiest of excuses for that, and at one point near the finale, Natasha is even on the phone with Tony Stark, and you can't help but wonder if she's willing to call him for tech support, why wouldn't she just ask him to come over in his invincible flying suit and help her make short work of the Russian and his goons, without needlessly endangering the life of two teenage kids. It's understandable in the movies, they have limited budgets. But in a book, it threatens the suspension of disbelief, even in a universe populated with living Norse gods and giant green rage monsters.

So overall, it kept me entertained, but it failed to meet my high expectations.

-Mike, Out

Friday, July 1, 2016

Ashley's War

Howdy Folks!

Today I am breaking radio silence to bring you a story every American should know, but very few do. Perhaps it is very fitting that I do so over Independence Day weekend. 

I've been on a non-fiction kick for most of the year, listening to memiors from naval commanders past and present, and an inside look at the Military Working Dog program. Then I came across a book by journalist Gayle Tzemach Lemmon about a group of remarkable soldiers that almost no one in this country knows about. 

If it wasn't already clear, I'm a bit of a military history buff. I can name virtually every variant of aircraft employed by all five branches of the military, and know the name and hull number of half the ships in the Navy. But until I read a news article about this book, I had never heard of the Cultural Support Teams, a group of all-female soldiers who deploy to Afghanistan attached to Special Operations units, typically Army Ranger strike teams but they also work with Green Berets and Navy SEALs. I won't go into a great deal about them, I think you should let Lemmon tell you about them first hand, with all of the thousands of hours of travel and interviews she did to bring their stories to life. 

The Ashley the book's title refers to is Ashley White, a fresh-faced young 2nd Lieutenant in the North Carolina National Guard who, along with a hundred other women, answered the call for a new secret program being set up by Special Operations Command at the behest of no less that Admiral William McRaven himself (McRaven oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, and had the CST's been operational at that time I have little doubt one would have accomanied the SEALs on that fateful mission). They are to accompany Spec Ops forces on raids into the lawless border regions of Afghanistan and fulfill a mission requirement only they, as women, can do: search and interrogate the women and children of rural Afghanistan, who are forbidden to speak to men not related to them. Only half of the women complete the grueling selection process at Fort Bragg, then they are rushed through an abbreviated training program and quickly deployed to some of the hottest spots in Afghanistan, where the information they could provide is desperately needed to combat a resurgent Taliban and their associated Al-Qaeda fighters.

We meet many remarkable women in this book, but the story centers on Ashley, who becomes a much beloved figure by her fellow CSTs, her  Afghan-American interpreter, and eventually the Rangers she fought alongside, not only for her extraordinary physical strength but her quiet professionalism and compassion. 

At first the book almost reads like a puff piece, an overly inspirational, hoo-rah tale of the underdogs who overcame prejudice and proved themselves worthy. But Lemmon is a skilled writer, and halfway through she infects the story with a very subtle, almost imperceptible sense of foreboding, and you ever so slowly get a feeling that this story may not have a happy ending. It slowly builds and builds, the tension in the narrative ratcheting up, churning your stomach as it leads up to an inevitable climax you can tell by then is coming and you'd give anything to avoid. But this is not a novel. These are real people and real events and the past cannot be changed.   

When the CST's were first deployed in 2011, the ban on women serving in direct combat operations was still in effect, but it was by then, especially for the CSTs, an exercise in semantics. That, more than anything else, is what led to the ban being dropped and all military occupations were opened to women. It was not out of political correctness or a social experiment, as so many detractors have said. The experiment was already conducted in the mountains of one of the most hostile and unforgiving places on Earth, and by all accounts it was a resounding success. These women proved once and for all they could integrate successfully with America's most elite male soldiers and fight along side them shoulder to shoulder. The weapons caches, insurgents, and booby-trapped IEDs they were able to find, with their unique capabilities, no doubt saved the lives of countless Coalition forces and innocent civilians. 

"I brought my daughter with me to show her women can be heroes too", says a stranger to a grieving mother at the funeral of her daughter. The mother's first inkling of what her daughter was really doing overseas did not come until it was an elite Army Ranger who met them at Dover Air Force Base as the first fallen CST made her long, final journey home, to tell them she would be afforded the same honors as the male Rangers who died alongside her. There are now several women's names inscribed on the Special Operations memorial wall at Fort Bragg, a testament to their sacrifice and a reminder to whoever the first female Special Operators end up being, that their new opportunities were paid for in blood.  

The fact that their story is almost wholly unknown probably doesn't bother the women of the Cultural Support Teams, as they embody the "Quiet Professional" that is the standard among Special Forces. But I think it's something every American should know. So check out Ashley's War, and learn all about this remarkable note in American history. 

-Mike, out. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Star Wars: Lost Stars Reviewed

Howdy folks

Well, in honor of Star Wars Episode VII, I've decided to take us all to that galaxy far far away....

First off, how cool is that cover? It really sells the book, its themes of divided loyalties, and the promise of some pretty kick-ass action.

Anyway, Claudia Gray's Lost Stars is a YA book set during before and during the Galactic Civil War. It opens on the outer rim planet of Jelucan as the planet is peacefully annexed into the Galactic Empire. There we meet young Thane Kyrell and Ciena Ree, who bond over their shared dream of one day flying the cool spaceships they see during the Imperial Ceremony in the service of the Empire that promises to bring new opportunities and a better tomorrow for their backwater world. Thane is part of a second wave of immigrants to Jelucan who shun Ciena's poor valley Kindred, but their different worlds matter little to them as they swoop and dive through the skies of Jelucan together. Their different upbringings, however, will have serious consequences for them later in life. Thane's abusive family makes him cynical and distrustful of powerful people, with a strong sense of justice. Ciena's people value honor and loyalty above all else, and her oath, once given, must never be broken.

Propelling each other, they both make it into the prestigious Imperial Academy on Coruscant. Here the book turns into a mini-Harry Potter novel, if Hogwarts was preparing kids to be evil. Still, none of them see the darkness in the Empire until they graduate. They make new friends, end up having a falling out, but reconcile when they find out their disagreement was manufactured by the Academy staff in a concentrated effort to drive them apart, to strip them of ties to their old world and make them loyal only to the Empire. They even realize there might be more between them than just friendship...and then the Death Star shows up and ruins everything.

It's a credit to Gray that she can make something you know is coming so nauseatingly tense. The obliteration of Alderaan and resulting destruction of the first Death Star are a watershed moment in their lives. From then on, it's as if someone looked at this popular meme...

...and treated it as a serious statement. Thane, Ciena, and their friends are all decent people, watching them struggle with trying to justify what the Empire did to Alderaan is genuinely heartbreaking, though the loss of so many friends and colleagues on board the Death Star leaves no one with any warm fuzzies towards the Rebel Alliance. Ultimately though, the evidence of the Empire's cruelty is too much for Thane and he deserts. Ciena tracks him down, but neither will back down from their position, even as they finally act on their feelings for one another. United in the heart but divided by their ideals, they go their separate ways. It's not until months later, seeing injustice after injustice piled on by the Empire, that on a mission of mercy Thane meets one of the great heroes of the Rebel Alliance (I won't spoil which one but it's my favorite character from the original trilogy so yay!) and is finally convinced that it's not enough to not participate in the Empire's crimes, he must actively oppose them. Yet he's torn apart inside, knowing with every TIE fighter he shoots down, he might be killing the his best friend and woman he now loves. Having spent so much time flying together, Ciena recognizes his flying style during the battle of Hoth and is crushed by the same realization, and furious at his utter betrayal of the oath they both swore. Yet nothing can seem to break the bond between them...
Can these two crazy kids make it work?

Yeah yeah. There's a lot of teen/new adult angst, but it feels pretty earned, especially during the engagements when they know for certain that the other is in their crosshairs. Plus it's fun the way the book weaves through the events of the original trilogy. Thane and Ciena are like Forest Gump, always accidentally crossing paths with the famous (at least in the Star Wars universe). But far and away what I loved most about this book is the way it humanizes the faceless enemy. The original trilogy is a classic tale of good versus evil, but many within the Empire are not evil. Ciena is as much the protagonist in the book as Thane is, and while her disillusionment with the Empire grows and grows, she will not break her oath of loyalty, or break faith with the men and women under her command. It's a common refrain you hear from soldiers the world over. "It's not about politics, it's about the person next to you."

 One of the acolytes given to The Force Awakens is showing us the man behind the stormtrooper mask, Finn. But Finn defects as soon as the movie starts, so he's immediately "one of the good guys". Imagine if, even though he's a good person, his strong sense of loyalty prevented him from leaving. It's not just Ciena, either. Ciena's roommate at the Academy, Jude, is a kind, bookish nerd who perishes on the Death Star. Thane's roommate Nash is a carefree spirit with an infectious laugh, and devastated by the destruction of his homeworld (though oddly it only increases his dedication to the Empire)

One of my all time favorite war movies is The Enemy Below, staring Robert Mitchum as a destroyer skipper and Curt Jurgens as a U-Boat commander. Jurgens' character is disillusioned with the Nazi regime but still fights for his country to the best of his ability, and both captains come to respect and admire each other, with neither being made out to be the "good" or "bad" guy, and Lost Stars ratchets up this dynamic by making the two opposing characters not respected enemies but friends and lovers.

I listened to the audiobook version, and I highly recommend it. Sound effects and music are tricky things for audiobooks, they can add or detract from the story in equal measure so their use must be judicious. This one uses both far more heavily than most, but to great effect. It helps that the sound effects are so iconic (the screech of TIE fighters, the roar of Wookies) and the swells of music underneath are from one of the most memorable and beloved scores in movie history, and they give the production a very cinematic feel.

So check out Lost Stars, and may the Force be with you!

-Mike, out.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Rules of Supervilliany, Reviewed

Up next is my review for C.T. Phipp's The Rules of Supervillainy. Gary Karkofsky is an ordinary guy living in a world where supervillains, zombie uprisings and kaiju attacks are deemed to be mundane annoyances, though his own life will change dramatically after the Night Walker, Falcon Crest City's longtime protector, dies and Gary finds his magical, sentient cloak. Imbued with superpowers, Gary decides to embark on his life-long dream of becoming a supervillain...if he can get his wife to agree to it.

This book is a fun, funny read (or listen, I got a review copy of the audiobook). It's an ode to geek culture, and the nerd references come fast and furious. Buffy, Star Wars, Alien, and bunch of others I probably missed, not to mention superheros large and small referenced or parodied. The jokes hit more than they miss, with some genuine laugh out loud moments. The casual inclusion of several LGBT characters is also a nice touch.

My one issue with the book is it struggles to find a consistent tone. Gary, AKA Merciless, the Supervillain without Mercy, almost defies categorization. He's not evil enough to be a supervillain, and not good-natured enough to be a superhero, or even a true anti-hero. The way he flip flops from helping the heroes to hurting them and back makes him almost seem bipolar at times. The book is too funny to be serious but too violent and nihilistic to be a straight up comedy. Didn't turn me off to the book, just bugged me a bit.

The audiobook is narrated by the ever-dependable Jeffery Kafer, who is a perfect fit for the sardonic superhero genre, and he does good work here. So if you like superheros (and who doesn't in this day and age), check it out!

-Mike, out

Saturday, November 28, 2015

SNEAK PEAK: The World I Woke Up To

Hi boys and girls!

It's National Novel Writing Month. and in honor of that I have a special preview of my next novel, The World I Woke Up To. It's still very much a work in progress, I'm just over halfway through the first draft. I hope to have it done and published by this time next year.

Here's a brief description:

Kaylee Crawford has always been more comfortable in the company of animals than people, and when neglectful owners dump a big black dog named Beast at the shelter where she volunteers, she feels a special connection to the remarkable animal...one that will come in very handy when, in a horrifying instant, it's not the animals she has to worry about biting her...

As the world collapses around her, she must fight to survive and keep her younger brother safe. As they and new companions both two and four legged embark on an perilous journey to escape the carnage and find sanctuary, Kaylee is forced to wonder: is anywhere truly safe in this brave new world?

Elizabeth City, NC

“What’s going on?” Danny called out behind her.

“Tammy says there’s a marina on the other side of this bridge, if we can get the bridge down we might be able to secure a boat and get the hell out of this place. We have most definitely overstayed our welcome.”

“How are we going to get the cages on the boat?” Danny asked, skeptical of this new plan.

Kaylee sighed. “Cross that bridge when we come to it.” She gestured to the open bridge span. “So to speak.”

They walked up to the door to the bridge control station. Beast walked up first, sniffing. He didn’t seem to be alarmed, and that gave Kaylee some confidence that the coast was clear. She twisted the knob and the door creaked open on rusty hinges. Both trained their guns out in front of them as Kaylee used the flashlight app on her phone to scan the area. The room was clear, so they made their way to the control panel. To their shared dismay, neither saw anything resembling a mechanical backup to the electrical system used to raise and lower the bridge.

Suddenly she heard barking. “The dogs on the trailer,” she thought out loud. A shot of panic ran through her veins. They’d left the vehicles and the two people least able to defend themselves with only a pistol and a sword. Forgetting about the bridge, she ran back out the door onto the road, looking for signs of danger. She stopped to get a better look, but the world around her was pitch dark and the light from her flashlight had impaired her natural night vision.

Danny quickly caught up to her. “See anything?”

“I can’t see shit. Too damn dark.” She switched on the the NVG’s and held them up. She gasped. In the glowing green light she could see figures standing on the roofs of the buildings across the street. All perfectly still, all watching them intently.

“They’re on the roof,” Kaylee said quietly, fighting the fear rising up in her.

“What are they doing?”

“They’re...they’re just standing there. Watching us.”

“Well, if they’re playing it cool we will too. Walk slowly to the truck, start it up, and get a move on. We’ll cover your exit, and be right behind you.”

“Why are they..why aren’t they attacking? There’s at least a dozen of them up there.”

“Don’t know, don’t care. I just want to get the hell away from them.”

They made their way back to the cars, trying not to look up at the roofs too much. Kaylee climbed into the cab and started the engine.

“What’s going on? What’s got the dogs all worked up?”

“The rooftops of the buildings immediately behind us are crawling with infected,” Kaylee said as calmly as she could manage.

“So they don’t see us yet?”

“Oh, they see us all right.”

“Then why aren’t they attacking?”

“That’s the sixty-four thousand dollar question now, isn’t it?” She backed the truck and trailer up, or tried to at least. It took her several frustrating tries to get into a position to continue straight on Water Street. She saw the 4-Runner start to follow along as she picked up speed, then watched in fascinated horror as figures began falling from the sky. They jumped from the two story rooftops and landed in crouching stances, then got to their feet and started after the two vehicles. Why now!? Why did they wait til we left to attack? This made no sense…

Well, that's all for now. Stay tuned for more updates, and look for my next book review, The Rules of Supervilliany, coming up in the next few weeks.

-Mike, out.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Last Ship, reviewed.

And now for something completely different...

Today rounds out my literary tour of the apocalypse. We've seen the improbable alien invasions and the laughable army of mantis men, and now we take a sharp detour into the terrifying specter of a nuclear war, a prospect perhaps more pressing now than any time since the end of the Cold War, with US and Russian combat aircraft now operating on opposing sides in the war-torn clusterf**k that is the Middle East. So with that happy thought, welcome aboard The Last Ship, by William Brinkley.

I usually save my reviews for young adult fiction, though I read plenty of adult fiction too. Can't honestly say why I've decided to add this book in here. I suppose it is a book that will make you want to talk about it. Regardless, this book is very far from being YA, both in difficulty and subject matter. 

In the closing years of the 20th century, the nuclear-powered destroyer USS Nathan James is on patrol in the Barents Sea when something both unthinkable, and yet, felt by many of her crew as inevitable, happens: they receive orders to launch some of their nuclear-tipped Tomahawk missiles at their target city of Orel in Russia. This they do, and then proceed out of the Barents Sea to find the world in ashes. Their war lasted four hours, and that was the easy part. They will now embark on a nearly year long voyage around a world they no longer recognize, where deadly radiation has turned the land to poisonous wasteland, and turned the few survivors they find there, both human and animal, into the walking dead, already decomposing even though they will live on for a few more days or weeks. With their homeland presumed lost, their mission now becomes finding some bit of uncontaminated land that will support them before their nuclear fuel runs out and they become a ghost ship, forever lost at sea. 

The book's narrative is told from the perspective of her captain, Tom (given the last name Chandler on the TNT series, here never named), and he is a vividly sketched character. We see him whole, his decisive outward demeanor and inward neuroses and vanity, his strengths and weakness, hopes and fears. We see him growl at a mutinous subordinate, "Get off my ship." We see him cry after sex (which, fair warning, we see in graphic and rather crude detail. I'm not opposed to depictions of sex in fiction, but I've noticed that male authors, as a general rule, seem to have a lot of trouble writing it well.) 

In fact many of the characters in this book are rich and well drawn, as is the world they inhabit. It's a very immersive book. At first you may have some questions about Captain Tom, given the admiring, almost leering way he describes the physiques of his male crewmembers, and how he "knows nothing of women" and was initially horrified when he learned he would be commanding one of the first mixed crews (the book was written in 1988, shortly after the Navy first opened sea-going billets to women). Tom changes his tune fairly quickly once they are aboard and quickly prove themselves equal to their male peers. One in particular will become especially important. More on her later. 

Captain Tom is also very long winded and has apparently decided to preserve every single word in the English language. If you know me IRL, you know I have made a fairly lucrative career of making myself seem smarter than I really am with the use of a very large vocabulary, so it's been a very long time since I've read a book that sent me reaching for a dictionary so often. One reviewer said that Brinkley never uses a fifty cent word when a two dollar word can be found, so if you're not a fan of big words, or small, difficult words, steer clear. It's also strange, the manner in which he narrates and how everyone speaks. Captain Tom in particular sounds like an 18th century sea captain, more than a digital age Navy man, like a Patrick O'Brien book that swapped sailing frigates for guided missile destroyers. The book is also over 600 pages, the audiobook version weighing in at a crushing 30 hours. None the less, I found myself not being particularly anxious for it to be over, so engrossing the was the story. 

The book is often very poignant, this mostly due to the interaction between the James and the Russian missile submarine Pushkin, which they first encounter off the coast of France. The ease at which the two crews, from nations that just destroyed each other, integrate and come together to eventually form a single community, a single crew, highlights how pointless and unnecessary the war was. You keep expecting tension or outright conflict, but it never comes. We never find out what started the war or who fired first, and both captains seem to agree it doesn't matter. Everyone lost. 

Tom's chief concern, sometimes it would seem more than nuclear fallout or diminishing fuel and supplies or mutinous crew members or violent storms or even a serial killer among ship's company, is the rather lopsided ratio of men to women, and the fact the surviving crew of these two ships may very well constitute the only hope for perpetuating the human race. The book spends an inordinate amount of time working out the logistics of what the crew comes to term "the arrangement", and it's a little off-putting. 

A slight detour into rant territory: At one point during the voyage a female crew member is subject to a violent assault, sadly not that uncommon in real life among women in the military, nor, rather shockingly, even among men. The captain's reaction, however, is diametrically opposed to what typically happens in the real world. In real life these incidents are often squashed, swept under the rug, the perpetrator going free or perhaps a slap on the wrist. They are never marooned on a highly radioactive island, left to die a slow horrible death of radiation sickness or avail themselves to the .45 service pistol the captain so thoughtfully left him. In fiction you often see these violent revenge fantasies towards rapists, yet in real life this is almost never the case. I find this dichotomy puzzling, though I have no explanation for it. I was also put off by the fact the offending sailor is never named, though it makes sense from the Captain's perspective, not want to attribute humanity to a person he has condemned to such a fate. 

One other rant. As I mentioned, many of the characters are well drawn, and perhaps none more so (besides Captain Tom) than Lieutenant Gerrard, the ship's supply officer and highest-ranking female officer aboard (and while we get to know her, ahem, intimately, I don't recall ever hearing her first name. Regardless she is one of the most compelling, best-written supporting female characters I've ever read in fiction...right until the end when Brinkley completely throws her under the bus, in a shocking act so out of character and so inexplicable it nearly ruins the whole book. I got to the finale and wanted to flip a table.  

But while I can't quite forgive that, and for all its other flaws, I still really enjoyed this book. I can't say I truly enjoyed my time at sea, but it surely had its moments, and this book often made me nostalgic for having a steel deck under my feet, watching the sunset over the water from the bridge wing. 

Like the other two books in my apocalyptic book tour, this one has also been been adapted to the screen, though as a TV show and not a movie. While I have come to enjoy the TV show in its own right, if you have come to the book by way of the show, understand they are nothing alike, and the show took only the title and the name of the ship, and the first name of the captain.

-Mike, out.