Movie Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

4 out of 5

Solo: A Star Wars Story is the comfort food of the scifi world. Meaning that its fans are fussy and demanding. People don’t appreciate the skill shown when you deliver a pleasing product yet will be quick to tell you when you’re off. There is some room for seasonings and flavorings but it’s very narrow. I was worried after I saw the Last Jedi but I liked this movie.

Alden Ehrenreich does a credible job despite the fears of the fans. People are quick to call anyone who is cast as a character as iconic as Han Solo and follows after a star as charismatic as Harrison Ford “cocky.” However, that’s what’s called for in the character. I am a fan of the OT myself but does anyone want to see Han Solo’s antics in an old age home?

It’s almost too bad Han didn’t wear a mask. Masked Star Wars characters are allowed to have multiple actors in the role without irritating the fans. Darth Vader has had different physical and voice actors. The Chewie suit is now worn by a younger man.

I’m a fan of comfort food, so I give this movie 4 out of 5. It’s a credible addition to the Star Wars cannon and I’m a Star Wars fan. Some people may prefer a more cutting edge production but there’re newer franchises for that.

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Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov


4 out of 5

The mule is defeated by a decoy “Second Foundation”, and the main Foundation is established. I liked this part of the Foundation Trilogy the most because it came closest to a space opera. The other books struck me as mere backstory rather than proper installments until now. I know they were meant to showcase the struggles creating the Foundation, but the scientists’ contention they were apolitical when they’re trying to establish a foundation makes them come across as socially dense or hypocrites.

Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asmiov

3 out of 5

The remnants of the Empire resents the Foundation’s expansionism. They encounter a mutant with mind control powers, and I found myself cheering for the mutant. I should say I’m a Mohawk, and I know what it’s like to have a colonial power convinced of its own
superiority imposing paternalistic policies on your people. Dr. Sheldon’s followers are trying to impose social programming on society even as they claim they are apolitical. It’s little wonder they are resented by the society that rejects their rule.

A New Privacy Policy Page on Khiatons

The GDPR deadline made me aware of the need for a privacy policy for this site.

This is a free website with free content on WordPress.com with an RSS feed. It follows the automattic.com privacy policy by default. Which is here.

Some of this content mentions my own releases but there is no store on this site. There are master links to sales pages for my releases at third party vendors with their own privacy policies. This website doesn’t host an online store.

I use Mailchimp for my newsletter and have a link to its sign up page on this website. I have activated GDPR forms, and they operate under GDPR formatted data policies.

There are links to my social media platforms. I do not use any tracking add-ons from these sites but you will be under their privacy policies once you click any social media link.

I don’t share or export any of my visitors’ data from this site.

To date I have never paid for targeted advertising on any social media platform. I will wait until new best practices are developed for online marketing under GDPR before I ever do so, if I ever do so.

The Privacy Policy is available on its own page. I will update this privacy policy without notice on an as needed basis if and when I change my business practices.

You can use the contact form on this site to contact Cathy Smith if you have any questions or concerns.

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

3 out of 5

This feels like a nerd’s wish fulfillment that science can make humanity mathematically predictable. The Encyclopediests use social engineering to further their goals for intergalactic society, and are able to meet their goals. I get the impression real science has setbacks, which you’d expect from psychohistory which hasn’t been perfected by the time Dr. Seldon puts it into place. It might’ve been better if Sheldon had to prove his theory first before he got permission to set up a scientific outpost when he got his commission rather than having it granted so easily.

Flash Fiction: Narcissus’s Defense Statement


The tribunals went on without rest in Hades. There were three judges Minos, Rhadamanthys and Aecus. All the souls in the Underworld were judged and assigned their spots in the Netherworld by them. There was a theater-sized gallery filled with souls awaiting their turn instead of a lineup. The defendants came down into the stage area when their name was called. In the meantime they watched the judgment of those who passed before them in the theater’s seats.

The gallery was speechless when Narcissus was called. “Narcissus of Thespiae you are responsible for the deaths of your admirers who pined away for you. Most notable among your victims was the nymph Echo. What do you have to say for yourself?”

Many people in the courtroom smirked at this. Narcissus may have had admirers, but he had also had haters in his life. Some were angry over being scorned by him. Others were jealous because someone they wanted had preferred him instead.

Narcissist lifted his chin. If only to better show off his chiseled profile. “The nymph Clytia pined away for Apollo too yet it was never laid to his charge.”

Minos’s brows came together. “Apollo is the God of the Sun. You were a hunter. There is no comparison.”

“Is the right to say ‘no’ a divine prerogative?” Narcissus asked with an arched brow.

People in the courtroom muttered. They hadn’t expected Narcissus to come up with a quick answer to this charge.

“Gods outrank nymphs. Nymphs outrank mortals.” Aecus mused.

“Yes, but Echo was a nymph cursed by Hera. She was unable to speak for herself but could only repeat what she heard. This was her punishment after she distracted Hera with gossip while Zeus dallied. Surely this makes her of a lower order than a mortal?”

The judges exchanged glances with each other.

He continued,” I heard you were ordered to continue Echo’s curse even after her death. Even a mortal may refuse to associate with her out of loyalty to the Gods?”

Aecus’s brows rose.”You make a compelling argument.”

Minos sighed. “We assign you to be a greeter of new arrivals in the Elysian Fields. You’ll also drink from the River Lethe to wipe your slate clean.”

Boos and hisses came from the gallery. This time Narcissus was the one smirking.

At least the waters of Lethe would help him forget about this. He’d find it hard to forgive them otherwise.

That was probably the secret to peaceful coexistence in the Elysian Fields. Animosity was overcome by ridding all memories of past histories.

The judges ignored the gallery’s response to their judgment. Any objectors would get sent to Tartarus or have their memories purged with Lethe waters. This was the secret to order within their court.

You can check out more takes on Greek hubris in my release A Heart for Hubris.

Hubris and Haters in the Ancient World


The Greek concept of hubris serves as a poetic metaphor for the ” crabs in the bucket” syndrome.

Anyone who is “too-successful” gets envied and slandered by the less fortunate. There are famous people who get over-arrogant. However, it’s hard to know whether their critics should be believed or not. Taylor Swift even wrote the song “Shake It Off” based on this phenomenon.

The Olympians used to send Nemesis against anyone they deemed too proud of their success. However, I’ve come across stories where mortals called upon Nemesis themselves. This happens in most retellings of the Narcissus myth. His admirers cry out to her when they are scorned. At the very least petitioners called on the Gods in general to smite their enemies. Either way it was Nemesis’s job to humble the one the petitioners complained about.

Narcissus crime of hubris was to reject his admirers. Most notably the nymph Echo who was cursed by Hera but favored by Zeus. She pined away for Narcissus until there was nothing left but her voice.

Yet Apollo, God of the Sun, rejected a nymph. Clitae was turned into a sunflower so she could follow the sun’s progress in the sky during the day. Does this mean that the right to say “no” is a divine prerogative? Invoking Nemesis when you’re rejected would give too much power to stalkers. Perhaps Nemesis would make a better goddess of envy than an avenger of hubris.

Not everyone may deserve their success but not everyone deserves a nemesis either. At least Nemesis is a more elegant metaphor for haters than the modern “crabs in the bucket” cliche. Her archetype shows that haters have existed among humanity since ancient times.

My thoughts on hubris inspired my release A Heart for Hubris . The “Narcissus’s Defense Statement” flash fiction goes live here tomorrow.