Sunday, June 14, 2015

Headed home to SoonerCon—my how you've grown!

Hey, we know all Trek/sci-fi/comic-con conventions and shows are unique ... but the one that's most unlike any other, to me, is the one that has me back each year, much appreciably, as a guest of my homies in OKC at SoonerCon, this year back at the Reed Center in suburban Midwest City June 26-27-28—with guests including fellow STC'er Chuck Huber and my friend from Voyager and other realms, Bob Picardo. It looks to be another boom year with turnout closing in on 3,000.

Sinec SCon rebooted in 2007, I've been invited to all but that first tentative year—and I always make sure to catch up with friends and family alike that week. A few years back I realized that SoonerCon should be a lot more than "old home week"—with the vibrant multiple fandoms, and new breed of indie filmmaking ... and then, even the coming of the USS Ajax fanfilm and the Starbase Studios that is now home to many productions and one-time users.

Kudos to my old bud Leonard (who sang at our wedding) and "new" friends Aislinn and Matt for the big economic-impact press coverage on SoonerCon in OKC's Journal-Record—for, as with practically every other pop culture convention, the times they are a-boomin': SoonerCon was lured from downtown OKC by Midwest City (home to Tinker Air Force Base), where a recent study estimated the weekend's economic impact at $1.9 million! To a battle-hardened veteran of the fandom "respect" wars of the 80s and 90s, I would have died to have data like that on my side—much less the PR. Now, everybody just reads about San Diego, and The Big Bang Theory, and gets it. Or IS it already.

The other thing that comes back to me each year is that there's plenty of Okie fans today who have no clue about the generation prior to our move out to L.A. in '94—which is great. That means the regional fanbase is fresh, and growing ... but with the red dirt in all our veins, it's like meeting a whole new batch of "old" family each year at the reunion. It's also a bastion of mostly progressive thought, arts boosting and diversity respect in a famously "red state" —and kudos to the new Tulsa-bound "OKPOP" state arts/pop culture historical museum being signed into law with funding.

Looking forward to staring to mesh out outreach for Enterprise in Space with the first NSS chapter folks I was familiar with, the 46th state's own Oklahoma Space Alliance.

It's also a shoot trip for more survivors of The Con of Wrath—four Okies, plus three down in Dallas— as well as a homecoming for my DP Neal Halford's festical-winning horror short, The Case of Evil, for one of his other "hometowns"—showing at 3:30 pm Saturday in the Theatre.

Oh—and I STILL kudos to Bernina of OKC for sponsoring the bulk of the costuming/cosplay segment of the weekend and the masquerade prizes. I think it's doubly awesome that SoonerCon has cosplay out the wazoo but still sticks with the old-school term of "hall costumes" for all-day, non-contest entrants.

All in all, for those of you in the region, I hope you can make it by one or more days. Here's the entire program schedule... and here's the whole gamut for me—plus tabling TBA:

5 pm, Ballroom D/Main:
The SoonerCon edition of our patented "Trekland: Between the Cracks"—2015's Trek losses, anniversaries, rumors, all from my archives, injokes and blooper. Plus--forum cross-talk time for the audience.

Table times:  2-5 pm
(Opening Ceremonies is at 6 pm)

SATURDAY:Table times: 12 noon-3:30 pm

11 am, Ballroom A: "Podcasting"—a first for SCon, on a panel on the basics of content and production, with several local podcasters writers/artist guests. You can bet there will be lots of Other Side of the Room knowledge divulged, even if it isn't specifically from trekfm.

4-6 pm, Ballroom D/Main: "The White Iris" latest (Ep. 4) Star Trek Continues on big-screen, with Q&A following with me & Chuck (McCoy) afterward—proud again to have the history, plus ongoing as Creative Consultant. PLUS: Chuck and I will judge a "McCoy-off"—come ready to grouse and toe-rise!

10 pm-12 midnight, Parlor Room (Sheraton 101): Yes, it's a "Dr. Trek Show" crowdfunder for The Con of Wrath, and the opportunity to support the doc with a $20 or more gift for screen credit, awesome video rariites and sneak-peeks and maybe grabbing a prize for trivia. AND you are out in time for the decent room parties—the ones still going strong.

If you are coming, please Join the Facebook event page and help give me a head's up.

Table times: 1-3:30 pm 

11 am, Theatre: "Enterprise In Space: 2019, For Real": The latest video and clips about this non-profit I'm the spokesman and outreach chief for, hopefully with some local Oklahoma Space Alliance folk on hand for a bit of the hour, whose parent National Space Society is the EIS sponsor.

Noon, Ballroom D: 20 Years of Voyager—This is really Bob P's Q&A but I'll be on hand to throw in some context and help close out the weekend.

(and Closing ceremonies at 4 pm)


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