Friday, September 18, 2015

Salt Lake ComicCon: What a line-up for Trekland!

They say that Salt Lake ComicCon is now the #3 geek/genre convention in the country now—after granddaddy San Diego and still-young New York CC. I guess I'm about to be two for three!

Yes, I'm SLCC-bound next weekend with a very full dance card, taking PORTAL 47 out for its first spin in public,  and well aware of the huge Trek turnout from the Utah/Idaho region at this otherwise multi-genre comic-con. I'll be at Booth 2254 at posted hours with a drawing for some rad real prizes —and gifts for PORTAL 47 on-site sign-ups.

I'm going to be doing everything from hosting Walter Koenig on stage to remembering Leonard Nimoy … and looking at the State of Trek was we barrell down into the big 5-0 anniversary.

Not to mention helping out with the WORLD PREMIERE of Star Trek Continues' Episode 5 and the panel afterward with Vic, Chris, Wyatt and Steve—and Lisa, and Daniel

And, of course, what's a convention on my guesting itinerary without a Dr. Trek crowdfunder night for The Con of Wrath—now into our wrap-up shooting year?

Doubly excited, as this will be the largest convention where PORTAL 47 is out in the open!  Thus, I'll have "On Speaker" CDs, my photos, and a drawing for three prizes at my table— two months of Portal 47 power, a TNG-era artifact from the Trekland Trunk, and a one-time Portal guest telebriefing jump-in, too (need not be present to win!). 

So if you are in SLC, be sure to come visit me at dear ol' Booth 2254 at the Salt Palace! Who knows—I may even do something radical and have an assistant this weekend.

The con sked for me is here … 

2 pm, Rm 355 — All about the for-real Enterprise in 4 pm, Grand Ballroom — Moderating for the great Walter!

5 pm, RM 255E — "Leonard Nimoy: A Retrospective"
6-7:30 pm, RM 355 — Star Trek Continues WORLD PREMIERE Ep. 5 screening/ panel
9-11 pm, Rm 151A: "Dr. Trek Show" crowdfunder event for The Con of Wrath

3 pm , RM 255E — "The State of Trek: Looking Ahead to Star Trek at 50" —Not my usual fan forum, but a panel leading and with Chris Doohan, John Eaves, Jonathan Croup

And there's a chance we will get to add one more for Thursday or Saturday.. stay tuned.

I was blown away by the depth of Trek fandom in Utah during the small but intense CONduit sci-fi con last spring… so this 

Friday, September 11, 2015

PORTAL 47 by Tuesday: BONUSES fixed and a new clear look

I've been hearing from more folks who were unable to sign in on the inaugural PORTAL 47 pilot session / sample "telebriefing" Tuesday night… or unwilling, given the new tech.  Or maybe, even this is your first notice.

See, you can now go right to the *regular* website, and get what you missed Wednesday.

And if you did miss it, you missed a bit of history.  We had some glitches, but I can't wait to mature that tool among the rest of the PORTAL package I've put together ….in my long hunt for unique ways to use my own 20+ years of archives, memories and Trek contacts… in a way fans have never seen before: a deep-dive mini-con right to your own "center seat."

Even though that was a sample call meshing two of our formats, I must share a big thanks to VGR/ENT 1st assistant director Mike DeMeritt  for just scratching the surface of what we'll get to with real and often under-heard Trek creators… and also the surprise commuting call-in from Trek fan>Producer Dave Rossi that kicked us off, even before the P47 members came in for a quick Roundtable.  In fact, I've got a blog coming about a point Dave posed. Hmmm!

The only bugaboo of the night was from me… FORGETTING to mention the three bonus gifts I had lined up for new Portallers to come aboard here in the Founding Time:
—a free Vol. 2 or 3 "On Speaker" CD of your choice
—an actual VGR/DS9/ENT call sheet
—and a free "13th month" of the PORTAL…. Which by next fall will have who knows how much more awesome than even now.

I just want to make sure everybody has a fair shot, and a clear shot, to see just what PORTAL 47 is al about, after these weeks of teasing:
So—I've extended the THREE inaugural sign-in bonuses a week—until midnight local time this Tuesday, Sept. 15. 

You're welcome—and here's the *regular* website link again.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

So, 49 years ago …

… THIS happened:

Happy birthday (formally), Star Trek! We'd party more today, but we are already too busy planning the blowout for the big 5-0…. NEXT YEAR.

PORTAL 47: Finally, my all-new deep-dive fan experience is ready

UPDATE: The sample "telebriefing" is done, and the whole program and two ways to get there are now online—plus some quick bonus goodies. Come be a Founding 47'er!


I almost forgot to post about it myself! 

But, yes, that all-new, boutique deep-dive fan experience I've been trying to develop …. to get you backstage in the 24th century using the best of the 21st century … it's finally here: PORTAL 47

Actually, it's not quite—not til tomorrow, Wednesday night, Sept. 9, anyway. A few early-birds already jumped in as Portallers, after seeing my sneak-peeks at San Diego and Vegas Trek. But for most of fandom, I finally draw back the virtual curtain tomorrow night—Wednesday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m. Pacific/ 10 pm Eastern. (NOTE: The session is done, but see the UPDATE above, and permanent link!).

I'm so excited. It's like opening night!

That's when I invite everyone to listen in on our very first "telebriefing" for those first members —online or by phone. But it's also doubling as a sampler mashup for everyone still new to the package—so after "halftime" I'll briefly go over the features as well as a couple ways to take it—and I'll have all that, plus more one-time surprises for everyone actually with us that night.

If you're at the "shut up and tell me how" stage, then just go here and sign in for ongoing info! 

The truth is, I've been blessed and gratified to have had a front-row seat in many things Trekland for years now…as all you readers and listeners so kindly tell me you enjoy. I not only enjoy that, but feel compelled to keep connecting the dots for fans, and connecting them with voices they might never have heard from! For me, it's all about preserving and archiving as much as pundits and analysis. 

But so many of the conventional streams of "content" are either slow… or not very dynamic … or ignorant of current tech capabilities …  or not even a good business model for putting food on the table (mine!).  PORTAL 47 may yet evolve and get tweaked past what we launch with, but  that idea of a new kind of "deep dive" into insider insight … is exactly what I'm been trying to put together for several years now.

So! It's show time!  The PORTAL 47 public Facebook is up now (yes— Like!), and the webpage will be up in a couple days—but I'd much, much rather tell you directly than write you remotely. If you are not already on my news list (?!) and need the "coordinates," then please: 

Just sign in at this link here and get the details on how to listen in on the telebriefing…and decide for yourself. It's an hour call, no extra cost to you….and I still have a few goodies in my crew gift bag.   

Hope you can make it! 

"It's not for everyone.  But if you’re a new fan … a bored fan… or a fan who’s starting to realize just how much you don’t know … then my pioneering PORTAL 47 is for you!"

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Happy 94th, Gene: Would you have been @trekmaker?

Gene Roddenberry would have been 94 today. I could just leave you here with this simple, backyard LA Times photo I came across (at right, with the now-missing three-foot 1964 Big E).... or reiterate some thoughts I had a few years back about "GR" and me and us ...

We've had so much fill in in recent years for rank-and-file fans on the full story of the "godhood" versus all the man's human's foibles.... much less the workhorses who also brought the Star Trek vision about: Bob Justman, Dorothy Fontana, Gene Coon, Matt Jefferies, and more ... then Harve Bennett and Nick Meyer who popped up the movies so that Rick Berman and Michael Piller could come along and restart the sequel machine...and many more with them all.

But I've been thinking lately about Gene, and what he would have been like living in a 24/7 social media world. I think he would have loved the chaos and messiness, but most of all loved the empowerment of fans, the increased communication and the increasing channels of fan creativity—even as the holders of the copyright deal with it as a monster of popularity and thoughtfulness and try to let that leashed beast run as freely as possibly.

He may have been a visionary, but he did know how to access and wield some pretty powerful hands-on tools. He saw a paradigm or two come along in his own life as media monopoly power broke up for TV content and delivery, and would be delighted that even so many more options exist now for producers and their ideas.

Most of all, I believe the vibrant, sprawling geek-is-mainstream sensibility he helped ignite would just tickle him. I'm betting.

What about you? How do you see Gene Roddenberry today, after all we now know and measure since the early days?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

New 'On Speaker': The '95 VGR voices of 'Caretaker'!

If it's August and Vegas Khhaaann is past, that can only mean one thing: 

The latest TREKLAND: On Speaker remastered audio collection from my archives... is now out!  Fresh from its annual STLV debut,  I'm very proud of my latest deep-dive Trek interviews on collectible CD.

For our fourth annual volume, we continue marking anniversaries—and for 2015 that means the 20th birthday of Voyager's premiere, and thus the title: "Taking Care of 'Caretaker'."

On this disk you'll get the On Speaker debuts of the one and only Jeri Taylor (lower right), the co-creator, exec producer and mentor-creator of the Kathryn Janeway character... as well as Trek's other production designer and leader of 13 seasons of Trek art departments—the Emmy-winning Richard James (top right), who got to do this one from scratch. There's also segments from  VFX producer Dan Curry (lower left) and the late, great TV Trek director Rick Kolbe, who reveals why he got exec producer Rick Berman's hiring call for "Caretaker" in the middle of the night… in a Georgia swamp.

As always, you get the three-panel liner notes, my original photography, an audio introduction and intros to each segment, a maxed-out 1:20 of actual voices …and the option of an autograph on the cover panel.  

And, as always, it's all graced by the audio and art design talents of my friend and podcast network founder-czar Chris Jones (or @cbryanjones for all you Tweetsters).

Check out the page, and even get a deal on prior-volume CDs in multiples—all of which I'll likewise be happy to sign.  Vol. 1 is sold out, but it's still on my to-do list to get up as an iTunes download and get started that library. Each CD after Vol. 1 will be limited to 100 disks, then kept up for digital downloading as well. 

I hope you enjoy our latest in this series of incredible e audio snapshots in time—fresh in the day, and yet fresh today too! 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Five years since Barrow: Will Rogers, and Trekland

I can't believe it's been FIVE YEARS since we were in Barrow, Alaska, on the 75th anniversary of the death of my hero and fellow Okie-turned-Callie,  Will Rogers… and an incredible trip of a lifetime, a real bucket-list event, that I realized later had a Trek connection of sorts.

Very proud of those reflections!

Now, we are hip deep in 80th anniversary events at Will's state park ranch in the Palisades, and I invite all SoCal'ers over to see: Friday night was the annual Movies in Will's Backyard, where instead o a 1930s classic we saw the 1987 HBO special doc Will Rogers: Look Back in Laughter... and a wonderful panel of its production team, plus host Robin Williams' insane outtakes as various tourist guises—a rarity to be sure. The Dog Iron Polo Match, which benefits the WR Ranch Foundation, is today with a memorial flyover for aviation booster Will, as we had at several key cities to his life story in 2010.

What does all this have to do with Trekland? I fleshed out my thoughts on this five years ago, when I realized that both entities struck a chord in me—the ol' "better future" expectation, and one with a sense of humor—especially when viewed through the prism of Leonard McCoy,  on Star Trek's side of the ledger.

It all makes sense to me—whether spoken in 1935, 1965, 2015 or 2065. RIght?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Vegas Khaaann! Here's my stuff and MY NEWS!

UPDATE: The room site (Masque Rm 4020) and Facebook Event page for Saturday's "Dr. Trek Show" for The Con of Wrath are now posted (more below).

The big Creation Star Trek #STLV Las Vegas KHHAAANN! faces the same challenge as Star Trek itself: How do you do the same fun thing year after year, but have something new as well?

Everyone from Creation, CBS and all the actors, crew and fans on down face that challenge and meet it swimmingly each year.  For so many folks it's just a big reunion  There's already more of the new photo op and stop-in features around the con site you saw last year ... but for ME here in Trekland, this year is fresh on two counts:

FIRST, we'll have the WORLD DEBUT of the fourth entry in our TREKLAND: ON SPEAKER themed and remastered archival CDs—this year for the 20th anniversary of Voyager's launch, and it;s titled "Taking Care of 'Caretaker' " with the 1994-95 voices of Jeri Taylor, Dan Curry, Richard James and Rick Kolbe. At the table, and available for signing! Plus, some Vol. 2s and 3s.

And SECOND—the all-new debut of my PORTAL 47 backstage beam-in pass, the all-new Star Trek insider "savvy fan" home experience I've been talking about developing for years. You can hear about it and get the info sheet at any of my events this long weekend —or the table. (Stay tuned for more here soon, too).

Best of all, the new On Speaker edition and/or a three-month pass through PORTAL 47 will be among the prizes at several of my events this weekend! 

So what's the TREKLAND DAY BY DAY?

First up: This year I'll be returning to posted TABLE HOURS at my booth, which will not be a 24/7 affair!  So check the table for final hours posted by Day 1.

Just know I will be there 4-5 hours a day at least… especially with both my brand-new offerings as well as the latest breaking news about ENTERPRISE IN SPACE,  the Con of Wrath, Star Trek Continues, 

Look for a few "live" TREKLAND TRUNK items with me on-site, for those interested, who'd like to save postage or even freight. (Watch for updates at table and at the Trekland Trunk Facebook list.) We are already planning a "T-Trunk Regulars" meetup, with about a dozen or so of them on hand.

I"m sure we'll also try for a LA2Vegas tour alumni photo as well!

But my big agenda of course begins before the actual con starts:


7 am sharp, Rio front doors: We'll be loading up the SUVs for our second annual "Kirk Memorial" Valley of Fire adventure (and lunch) with Geek Nation Tours—check to see if we still have any of our 20 spots left. This is the "off year" for the big week-long tour, but for the Big 5-0 in 2016 we already have the "LA2Vegas" planned to feature some all-new sights AND also include our first-ever "SFx2" option —location sites and stops around SAN FRANSISCO! Teras of GNT will be at his booth all weekend for more info … But on Wednesday, we'll be back by mid-afternoon for plenty of time to rest up, cool off and get ready for ….

9-Midnight?, Masquerade Bar/Rio: The FIFTH ANNUAL LANDING PARTY co-sponsored by Trekland along with the Roddenberry MIssion Log podcast, Glue Guns and Phasers,—Games, trivia, prizes … and my first real public unveiling of PORTAL 47. At the Rio's Masquerade Bar, of course—since the Rio's  Irish pub space is STILL closed. But everyone will be there! 

For the first time in ages—aside from table hours, I'll have no scheduled events this day…aside from meetups  and gladhanding. Which means after all these years I might finally make it to karaoke!

—9:55 AM, Secondary Stage: The STLV debut of CAPTIONS LOGGED, where I preside over a goofy blooper image caption contest based on part of my official Trek magazine column. Compete against your fellow fans, winners by audience choice! Prizes and fun, for 35 minutes. so don't be tardy.

NOON, Main Stage: Leonard Nimoy Memorial:  Not sure the exact time yet, but one of the emotional highlights this year has to be Adam Nimoy's appearance and update on his documentary about his father. Creation's Adam Malin asked me to join him and Richard Arnold to reminisce during a slide show, either before or after his interview with Adam.

11:30 pm,  AMC Town Square 18 off-site6587 La Vegas Blvd.: A special FREE screening of Star Trek Continues' Ep. 4, The White Iris, with much of the cast and some fellow crew (see the link)—just like last year. This actually follows a 9-11 pm screening and panel of Star Trek Renegades, with specialty Trek drink-drinks in-between.  FREE tickets will be distributed by  AT THE SCREENING SITE to the first 250 people in line!

9-11 pm, Rio Masquerade Tower RM 4020: Yes, of  course it's another DR. TREK SHOW crowdfunder party for THE CON OF WRATH—you now the drill: Kick in $20 or more for your screen credit (or add to past gifts), and live we'll have trivia, prizes, rare Trek video AND doc clips—including this year's latest from Laura Banks and Nichelle Nichols!  This may overlap some other nightlife still not announced, but hey—having 15 or 20 is just fine. Of all the live cons where I gratefully host this event, there's none like STLV! 

Again, a day I'll be "off the grid" aside from tabling.

So, tell me again what's so big about a five-day Khaaaann is in 2016?

Well, that's my end of it. Lighter this year on hard-core talks, so more for me to focus on of "mine"—and to just enjoy seeing everyone. Aside from the official Creation schedule, check out these boards on Facebook — like Unofficial STLV and STLV After Hours.