Sunday, September 23, 2007

Star Trek - TOS returns

New episodes from the universe of the original Star Trek series have hit the web waves. Star Trek New Voyages currently has three new stories available for viewing at their website: The Cawley Entertainment Company with the Magic Time Company is currently working on a two- parter written by veteran Star Trek writer David Gerrold.
I came in on the third web episode: "World Enough And Time", which was written by Michael Reaves and Marc Scott Zicree, directed by Marc Scott Zicree, and starring George Takei. Grace Lee Whitney as Commander Janice Rand and Jacqueline Kim as Ensign Demora Sulu put in cameo appearances.
I was impressed by the technical accomplishments, it was like watching the old 1960's series complete with the kaleidoscopic computer screen and non-detailed model of the NCC-1701. The cast did an excellant job of mimicry acting, what else can you say when you have to recreate a role someone originated. And there was actually a plot with decent dialogue for the actors to say. It was like stepping back forty years and watching the cancelled series carrying on for the rest of its five year mission. While I was amazed at the recreation done with the sets and props used in this production, one thing I really care about is the writing that goes into something I watch, which is why I like the old episodes of Doctor Who despite their lack of a special effects budget. "Worlds Enough And Time" had a strong plot, tying in characters we had grown up with in the Star Trek universe together and sketching out a period in Lt. Sulu's life that woudl only have been possible in science fiction. The writer even dropped hints about where his story was taking us by the names he used for the shuttle craft and the planet where Dr. Lisa Chandris (the weekly new crew member) boarded the Enterprise. It was little things like this that endeared fans to Babylon 5, so watch for them.
I look forward to viewing the first two web-episodes and hope they keep getting whatever funding they have and making many more adventures of that first crew boldly going where no man has gone before.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The votes have been counted and...

...the 2009 World Science Fiction convention (Worldcon) will be held in Montreal, Canada. Anticipation (, the 67th WorldCon will be held August 6-10, 2009 at Palais des congrès de Montréal . This continues the trend of major SF conventions being more family friendly. This year's NASFIC, aka Tuckercon was August 2-5, 2007. Denvention 3 will be the 66th Worldcon August 6-10, 2008 ( With these earlier dates families don't have to worry about pulling their children out of school if the family wants to attend these annual conventions. The traditional Labor Day weekend dates for the convention had been established before schools moved their starting dates into the middle of August. So maybe its time that the Worldcons moved back too.
Montreal is a 1305 mile drive from Omaha or a 6 hour flight (that is shorter than their flight back from Nippon, which explains why they have not updated their website with convention information yet). Today's problem, of course, is that we will need a passport to return home after visiting Canada. So if you are thinking of attending - and a Worldcon is a unique experience everytime it is held - I would encourage you to begin planning now. They are having a problem processing all the passport applications they currently have. Besides the memberships, once they go on sale, will be close to $200 and tht is the cheapest they will ever be.