‘Tek Secret’ & ‘Tek War’ The Movie/Series

I am not going to justify myself here. I really can’t, except for a sort of pact with the devil and a deep love of William Shatner. Also, a memory of it being on the sort of revolving wire book rack you used to see in drugstores in the Dunedin Library, near the card catalog.

I am reading another one of Shatner’s (sort of) Tek novels and I am watching a YouTube copy of the first movie (which I remember being on the USA network, but which the internet is telling me showed on the SciFI channel [side note: changing the name to SyFy was absolutely stupid]). Both are better than the you would expect and have their charms, but I neither is better than re-reading Neuromancer or continuing my rewatch of Farscape (which I actually never finished, but I’m chugging through season three right now).

Also, can I say that Neuromancer has some of the best scene setting descriptions ever?

The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

I never ceased to be amazed by the brilliance of that line, which also ranks as one of the finest opening lines of any novel. The second one that also always gets me is still in the beginning section, but not the first page, if I recall. It talks about a bar being decorated in ‘pale Milanese plastics.’ Now, this is not a real decor. To my knowledge, there is no interior design school in Milan whose plastics are easily identifiable. But… isn’t it evocative? Your brain fills in the details.

The Tek novels aren’t that good. They are, safe to say, workmanlike. As is the TV movie. Workmanlike with a touch of invention that overcomes (some of) the constraints of budgets and mid-nineties CGI.

This particular novel, the fifth, feels more workmanlike the usual; less invested in the ongoing narrative threads of the series. But, I will say that, unlike the series or movies, the books do, at least give a sense that the Cosmos Detective Agency has real clients and real work and is less of a crude narrative device for the hero to continue his vendetta against the Tek cartels of future drug dealing.