StarFest, here we come!

Thanks to the wonder that is scheduled posting here on the blog thing, by the time you read this my hetero life mate Kevin and I will be on our way to Denver for the annual StarFest Convention!

(Be sure to click on the link and check out the guest line-up. Terry Farrel. Michelle Hurd. Brent Spiner. Nick Creegan. Eddie McClintock. Zach McGowan. Dr. Erin MacDonald and Dr. Ken Carpenter along with a big ol’ gang of science speakers. Rick Sternbach! Authors! Artists! Me and Kevin! And many more! Not to mention, StarFest is also something of an “umbrella con,” with separate tracks/”mini-cons” for ArtFest, ComicFest, GameFest, HorrorFest, KlingonFest, ModelFest, and ScienceFest!)

COVID-19 saw to it the 2020 and 2021 cons were cancelled, so while this will be our 18th trip to Denver, 2022 marks our 20th anniversary of hanging out with the StarFest family as guests of the con. Regular readers know that this show and Shore Leave are my two favorite conventions to attend, and the two I make every effort not to miss. Indeed, I make sure to lock in my availability for these shows before committing to anything else. It will be wonderful to see all the faces we’ve missed since the 2019 show, while also being bittersweet. In addition to toasting absent friends, we’ll also be commemorating this, the final StarFest. It’s gonna get blubbery, y’all.

BUT! Not before we have a full weekend of great fun.

What’ll we be up to this weekend? The usual sorts of convention shenanigans. We’ll have our tables in the author/artists alley, of course. A curated selection from our backlist (a fancy way of saying, “Whatever we can cram into Kevin’s car) will be on hand, all ready for the autographing and such. Naturally, we’re also up for signing whatever you bring with you at no charge.

We’ll also be participating in programming, including the guest meet-n-greet on Friday night, followed by introducing for the HorrorFest crowd that absolute 1985 classic, The Return of the Living Dead! We normally help out with judging the big costume contest on Saturday evening, but this year the con has asked us to emcee the event. While we cannot possibly replace our dear friend Kevin Atkins, who sadly left us last year, we will do our very best to make him proud.

Beyond that? I’m sure we’ll find some kind of trouble to get into.

If you’re reading this and planning to attend the con, be sure to swing by and say hello!

Tuesday Trekkin’: “The Ages of Trek.”

Well, here I go…trying to resurrect yet another “irregularly recurring” blog feature that fell by the wayside while I was working on Other Things.

For those who’ve missed previous installments, “Tuesday Trekkin’” is pretty much just another excuse for me to babble about some aspect of Star Trek fandom. These evolutions often involve me yammering on about a fondly remembered bit of funky merchandise, anniversaries, “milestones,” or important dates in franchise history, convention memories, or whatever else tickles my fancy on any given day.

The “Tuesday Trekkin’” moniker is something of a salute to a pair of friends, Dan Davidson and Bill Smith aka “The Hosts of the TrekGeeks Podcast.” Over on Facebook, they have a fan group, Camp Khitomer, devoted to all things Trek where all are welcome to join in their positive vibes and community. They also like to push a #TrekTuesday hashtag over there, inviting members to share updates, links, and/or pictures celebrating their fandom, so this feature is definitely offered in that same spirit.

What’s up this time around? I can’t honestly call what follows “deep thinking,” but it is something to which I’ve given more than a few brain cells. In the beginning, it was an exercise in helping understand and bridge the gap that seems to grip different segments of Star Trek fandom from time to time. I’m old enough that I was born while the original series was still in production, but I didn’t actually watch the show until it was in reruns in the early 1970s. Despite this being my absolute favorite of the bunch, I consider myself a fan of the entire franchise. I may not love every incarnation or show or film on equal terms, but I can honestly say I’ve found something in each of them I enjoy and have no problem recommending to others.

Continue reading “Tuesday Trekkin’: “The Ages of Trek.””

Planet Comicon 2022 is here!

Today’s the big day, y’all! The largest pop culture convention in the Kansas City region is launching today, promising three epic days of comics, games, cosplay, creators and stars from TV and film, authors and artists, and just about anything you can think of that’s geeky and cool. For more than 20 years, Planet Comicon has been the place to be.

As it has for the past several years, the convention is at Bartle Hall in downtown KC, just up the street from the city’s popular Power & Light District. There will be activitites and events on and off site all through the weekend, so for those of you planning to attend? Be sure to stretch, hydrate, wear comfortable shoes, and pace yourselves.

Kevin and I are thrilled and honored to once again be invited back to the con as author guests. You’ll be able to find us all throughout the con’s three days of shenanigans at tables/booths 1639 and 1641 on the main exhibitor floor. We’ll have copies of various titles from our backlists for purchase and signing, but please do bring anything you might already have with you, and we’ll happily sign such items free of charge. New for this year’s show? I’ll have on hand a limited number of copies of Star Trek: Coda, Book I – Moments Asunder and (I hope!) Jurassic World: The Official Cookbook.

We’ll also be participating in programming during the weekend. You can find both of us at the following panels:

What Makes A Great Science Fiction Book? – Room 2505A – Friday, 2:30pm – 3:20pm

Galactic wars in a galaxy far far away, dystopian machine futures, space exploration? Planet Comicon special guest authors Claudia Gray (Star Wars: The High Republic), Kevin Dilmore (Star Trek), Dayton Ward (Star Trek) and Stephanie Hansen (Altered Helix) as they discuss the genre and give advice for aspiring writers.

Star Trek: Page and Screen – Room 2505B – Saturday, 1:00pm – 1:50pm

Hosted by Best Selling Star Trek authors Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore and moderated by former Star Trek: Deep Space Nine TV series writer Robert J. Bolivar. Star Trek has transitioned from screen to printed page and back again many times. Each iteration of the franchise is unique unto itself. What works in a script or teleplay may not cut it as a novel, and vice-versa. Hear how the the dynamics differ from the folks who have penned Star Trek across multiple mediums, and find out how these stories were approached.

In addition to all of that, there’s rarely one of these shows that goes down where we’re not pulled into something extra on an ad hoc basis, so who knows what this weekend will bring? Kevin and I will both be posting to Twitter and Facebook throughout the con as circumstances warrant or even if we just feel like screwing with people or the lines for the food trucks are too long. Stay tuned, and we hope to see you there!

Tuesday Trekkin’: Old-school Star Trek computer games!

Okay, so here we go again, attempting to get back to something resembling “irregularly recurring.”

For those new to these parts, “Tuesday Trekkin’” is essentially an excuse for me to yammer on a bit about some facet of Star Trek fandom. These exercises usually involve some fondly remembered bit of funky merchandise, anniversaries or other “milestones” of important dates in franchise history, convention memories, or whatever else tickles my fancy on any given day. The “Tuesday Trekkin’” moniker is a tip of the hat to a pair of friends, Dan Davidson and Bill Smith aka “The Hosts of the TrekGeeks Podcast.” Over on Facebook, they have a fan group, Camp Khitomer, devoted to all things Trek where all are welcome to join in their positive vibes and community. They also like to push a #TrekTuesday hashtag over there where they invite members to share updates, links, and/or pictures celebrating their fandom, so this feature is definitely offered in that same spirit.

So, what’s on the docket for today? It’s time to get our Star Trek game on, old-school style.

Continue reading “Tuesday Trekkin’: Old-school Star Trek computer games!”

Tied Up With Tie-Ins: Man from Atlantis!

Hey! Been a while since I traveled this road, huh?

For those of you who’ve joined our program already in progress, one of the “irregularly recurring features” I like to play around with here in the confines of this blog-type thing is something I like to call, “Tied Up With Tie-ins.” Basically, it’s when I decide to take a fond look back at a favorite series of movie or TV tie-in books. Given my penchant for nostalgia and collecting old books, I figure this is a nice intersection for those two interests, which often means I’m revisiting something older, such as the many different tie-ins which were all over the place during my childhood and early adulthood. That said, I’m certainly not above babbling about something newer if it tickles my fancy.

This time around, we’re heading back to the 1970s and taking a (not too) deep dive to pay a visit to Patrick Duffy, who before he was Bobby Ewing and the dad from Step By Step and Bobby Ewing again, was Mark Harris, the Man from Atlantis.

Continue reading “Tied Up With Tie-Ins: Man from Atlantis!”

It’s Jupiter 2 Launch Day!

October 16th, 1997:

“This is the beginning. This is the day. You are watching the unfolding of one of history’s greatest adventures–man’s colonization of space beyond the stars. The first of what may be as many as ten million families per year is setting out on its epic voyage into man’s newest frontier, deep space. Reaching out into other worlds from our desperately overcrowded planet, a series of deep thrust telescopic probes have conclusively established a planet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri as the only one within range of our technology able to furnish ideal conditions for human existence.

Even now the family chosen for this incredible journey into space is preparing to take their final pre lift off physical tests. The Robinson family was selected from more than two million volunteers for its unique balance of scientific achievement, emotional stability, and pioneer resourcefulness. They will spend the next five and a half years of their voyage frozen in a state of suspended animation which will terminate automatically as the spacecraft enters the atmosphere of the new planet.”

Lost In Space, “The Reluctant Stowaway”

jupiter2-missionpatch

Tied Up With Tie-Ins: Dark Skies!

Yep. Feelin’ the need to babble about some tie-ins.

For those new to this “irregularly recurring blog feature, “Tied Up With Tie-ins” happens when I get the itch to take a (usually) fond look back at a favorite series of movie or TV tie-in books. This often means something older, such as the many different tie-ins which were all over the place during my childhood and early adulthood, though I’m certainly not snobby about checking out something newer.

For this latest installment, though? We’re turning back the clock a bit…not too far, but just far enough to be reminded that “History as we know it is a lie” thanks to a little TV show called Dark Skies.

Continue reading “Tied Up With Tie-Ins: Dark Skies!”

70 years ago was The Day the Earth Stood Still.

“I came here to give you these facts. It is no concern of ours how you run your own planet, but if you threaten to extend your violence, this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burned-out cinder. Your choice is simple: Join us and live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration. We shall be waiting for your answer; the decision rests with you.”

Klaatu, taking “F*ck Around and Find Out” interstellar.

Today, September 18th, 2021 (if you’re counting its New York City premiere; September 20th if you mean opening across the U.S.), marks the 70th anniversary of one of my all-time favorite films, The Day the Earth Stood Still from 1951. I’ve loved it for as long as I can remember. Though I’m of course too young to have seen it in theaters, I watched it numerous times when I was a kid, whenever it ran on my local TV station’s Saturday afternoon SF/horror movie double feature. When home video became accessible even to poor bastards like me, TDTESS was one of the first films I acquired on VHS, and later LaserDisc and eventually DVD and (finally?) Blu-ray. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve watched it, and thanks to a local theater owner here in Kansas City, I was finally able to watch a pristine print of the film on a big theater screen several years ago.

(We pause to recall fangasms…..everybody good? Okay. Moving on….)

Continue reading “70 years ago was The Day the Earth Stood Still.”