We are one week away from Star Trek: Las Vegas, the biggest Trek celebration in the country (probably the planet), and about one month away from the brand-new Star Trek Missions: New York convention that is taking place at the Javits Center in NYC over Labor Day weekend. In between those two, I am also attending the Philadelphia-area Star Trek convention in Cherry Hill, NJ from August 26 to 28. Three Trek cons in four weeks! Can you handle the nerding?
This year marks my fifth journey to “planet Rio in the Vegas system” as some of my STLV peeps refer to it, and I could not be more excited. Not only am I going to see my awesome con friends that I’ve made over the past five years, I am going to be on two amazing panels. Are you ready for this announcement? I’ll be onstage with KATE MULGREW with the ladies of the Women in Trek panel – Jarrah Hodge, Dr. Kayla Iacovino, and Mary Czerwinski! We’ll be taking the Main Stage in the 5,000-seat auditorium at 10:50am on Saturday, August 6. Also known as the day I might expire from sheer joy.
Is that photo big enough? NEVER! You may recall our awesome panel from last year – same ladies but with one immense, towering edition! I cannot wait to hear Kate Mulgrew discuss her thoughts on feminism and Star Trek, and the impact Trek has had on female fans. I am sure there will be many warm fuzzies and inspirational words dispensed! I better see all of my STLV homies there, cheering us on! And don’t think that because this is a women-centric panel that there isn’t anything for the guys in the audience. I guarantee that fun times and thoughtful exchanges will be enjoyed by all.
My other panel at STLV, Shakespeare and Star Trek, will be at noon on Sunday, August 7 in the secondary theater (which they normally call the DeForest Kelley Memorial Theater). I have no idea who I am up against on the main stage, but my awesome friend Brooke Wilkins and I will be dispensing the wisdom of the Bard and what could be cooler than that?? Come ye geeks, and thou shalt have a marvelous time! You might recall Brooke from STLVs gone by, due to her absolutely uncanny resemblance to Nana Visitor/Major Kira. Brooke is a top-notch cosplayer and will also be helping out at the Garak’s Tailor booth in the dealer’s room. She not only knows her Shakespeare, but she can sew you a whole costume! Since I can barely sew a button, this is highly impressive. Here’s a badass shot of Brooke, as Kira of course, from last year, courtesy of photographer and fellow Trekkie Christian Bobak.
I am going to be doing these two panels – Women in Trek and Shakespeare & Star Trek -at Creation’s Cherry Hill convention the last weekend in August as well. The con will be at the Cherry Hill Crowne Plaza hotel from August 26 to 28, and it is a much smaller, more manageable convention for those of you who can’t make it to Vegas or simply enjoy a more intimate con experience. There is only one stage there, and I will be joined by Sue Kisenwether of the Women at Warp podcast for Women in Trek, and by Anika Dane, a blogger, actress and Shakespeare expert, for the literary side of things. Hooray for Sue and Anika!
Topping off the Star Trek birthday celebrations will be the brand-new, CBS-run Star Trek Mission: New York!
I will be doing not one, not two, but THREE panels at this sure-to-be-excellent convention! I am so excited to be partnering with ReedPop for the first time, and hopefully we will enjoy a long, happy relationship. My panels, which I will post about again on social media as we get closer to the event, are as follows:
An Examination of Literature and Star Trek – Friday, September 2 at 3pm
A Feminist Fandom: Fan Experts Talk Trek – Saturday, September 3 at 4:45pm
The Women of Star Trek Reflect on 50 Years – Sunday, September 4 at 12pm
That last panel? It is going to be especially epic, as I am hosting four incredible women of Star Trek! Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi of Star Trek: The Next Generation), Nana Visitor (Major Kira Nerys of Deep Space Nine), Terry Farrell (Jadzia Dax of Deep Space Nine) and Robin Curtis (Lt Saavik of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home) will be on hand to discuss the impact of Star Trek on the cultural landscape and, yes, talk about their feminism and how Star Trek helped shaped their outlooks and careers. I CANNOT WAIT. See, I have to live through my Kate Mulgrew experience if only to host these four awesome ladies.
For now, I want to wish everyone who is celebrating Star Trek, whether at a convention or at home by watching favorite episode, all my love. This fandom is a varied, wonderful, intense, and inspirational one, but sometimes fraught with stressful moments and negativity, especially surrounding the release of both the new movie, Star Trek Beyond, and the just-announced Star Trek: Discovery, which will launch in January 2017 with Bryan Fuller (hi Bryan!!!) at the helm. Whenever new footage is released, along with rejoicing there is also deep criticism. Honestly, I try to avoid the negativity as much as I can, and perhaps that can be seen from my less-frequent tweeting as of late or my silence on particular topics.
In a cultural and worldwide climate of so much sadness and hate, it can be hard to find the positive. Not to mention that the ebb and flow of the internet fosters a barrage of often unpleasant interactions. I will be writing more about this in a future post, but for now, my Trekkies, go boldly. Cherish the joy you find in Star Trek. Remember the inspirational example of Leonard Nimoy, and hold the joy of the late Anton Yelchin in your hearts. And as Trek author, online friend, and generally lovely and amusing person Dayton Ward often says, IDIC does not stand for I, Dick. BE NICE or BE QUIET, I say! Celebrate our diversity as fans. I can’t wait to see you all next week in the Vegas system, at Planet Rio. LLAP!