Those of you who follow my antics, the shenanigans of my writing partner, Kevin Dilmore, and the mischief we unleash whenever we’re together in public know that on occasion, he and I get an opportunity to address other members of our species. These interactions often take the form of Q&A sessions or “discussion panels” at conventions, along with the occasional signing at an area book store or library.
The bar for these sorts of things got upped a bit a few years ago when I and a small group of my fellow Star Trek scribes got to participate in a symposium at the Johnson Space Center down in Houston, Texas. Yep, the NASA place. That actually happened. There’s photographic and video proof, and everything. We talked to people who work at sending other people and various objects into space, about Star Trek‘s influence on the space program and vice versa. So far as being cool while writing Star Trek novels goes, I’m fairly confident when I say we peaked with that little shin-dig. The only thing that might outdo it is if Hef invites us all out to the Playboy Mansion, or something.
While it might not be NASA, our next public engagement is still setting up to be very cool. Kevin and I have been invited by the Linda Hall Library here in Kansas City to come and speak to an audience for one of the library’s “Second Saturday Lectures.” On Saturday, May 14th, we’ll be talking to (and with) this assembled group of curious onlookers about Star Trek‘s influence on science and technology, and its continuing resonance in pop culture as we approach the original series’ 50th anniversary.
From their program guide:
Of Tribbles and Technology: Star Trek at 50
(Saturday, May 14th, 11:00am-12:00pm)
Since 1966, Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the 23rd Century (and beyond) has inspired uncounted people to explore ideas and pursue careers in the creative arts as well as in fields of science and technology. Join Kansas City-area Star Trek novelists Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore in a discussion on how the imaginings of Star Trek’s creators have shaped our world of today—and given optimism to what lies ahead for us all. They also will share their insights and experiences with the creative process of Star Trek storytelling beyond movies and television. Audience participation will be encouraged.
For those of you in the KC area, admission to the Q&A is free, but you will need a ticket/reservation. You can read more about the program and the library itself by following this handy dandy link I’m providing right here.
This is probably as good a time as any to state for the record that I’m a bit nervous about addressing this particular crowd. As was the case with the NASA folks, I feel somewhat (read: “tremendously”) out of my depth in these types of situations. The Linda Hall Library is not home to a bunch of slouches, by any stretch. As an independent research library, it’s one of the most important institutions of its type in the world, with a focus on science, technology, and engineering. Smart people work there, or go there to avail themselves of its resources.
And yet, they invited me into their realm. However, I know I can outrun Kevin once they figure out what’s going on and chase us out of there with torches and pitchforks.
Our Q&A session promises to be somewhat less formal than the lectures the library typically hosts, and we always do our part to (hopefully) make sure things are fun as well as informative. So, if you’re in the area with nothing to do on Saturday, May 14th around lunch time, come find me and Kevin at the Linda Hall Library.
What could possibly go wrong?
(Photo by Janice Sanborn.)