Zaphod Speaks! Galactic Hitchhikers Interview Mark Wing-Davey

Zaphod Speaks! Galactic Hitchhikers Interview Mark Wing-Davey
by Anthony S Burdge

Greetings Hoopy Froods!

It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you all our faithful froods the 1st in a new Galactic Hitchhiker’s feature: Hoopy Frood Interviews!
The idea for this feature began in March 2016 as I was formulating content ideas for You and 42: A Douglas Adams Fan Anthology. I felt it would be great to get something in the book direct from folks involved in HG2G productions. I wrote to Mark Wing-Davey aka Zaphod Beeblebrox and received a very nice reply from him and his assistant. For those who may or may not know Mark Wing-Davey is the Chairperson, and Arts Professor, of Graduate Acting at NYU Tisch School of the Arts (Read up on his career here) In 2015 I wrote to him to see if we could meet up for Towel Day and to buy him a pint, but our schedules didn’t allow it. Since then Mark and his assistant have been kind enough to write with concern to new productions such as “The Double Man.”  I wrote of The Double Man on a past incarnation of the Galactic Hitchhikers website, but unfortunately the article was lost due to the server switch.
In correspondence with Mark we arranged an interview with him, which I would then transcribe into a cohesive narrative for You and 42. We met with Mark via Skype where the interview was recorded. It is just about an hour long and has lots of great material about Mark’s career, time working on the Hg2g radio and television series, thoughts on Douglas Adams and much more!

CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON BELOW to hear the interview in its entirety. Unfortunately Jared had a few microphone issues on his end so he had to ask Mark his questions via Skype text chat. This means you will hear a bit of dead air and then Mark answering the question, or Zaxley and I asking the question for Jared.

Mark Wing-Davey CHAIRPERSON; ARTS PROFESSOR NYU TISCH SCHOOL OF THE ARTS


Interview Conducted July 2016 with GH Founder Zaxley Nash, Audio Engineer Jared McLaughlin, and GH Writer/Field Researcher Anthony S Burdge

We had such as great time chatting with Mark and are humbled, honored, and grateful to have had the opportunity to do so. The discussion was alot of fun, full of laughs and very informative.
Thank you Mark for your time and the chance to speak with you!

In discussion with Galactic Hitchhiker’s Founder Zaxley Nash, our Sub-Etha Channel 42 Engineer Jared McLaughlin and myself, we felt this was something we wanted to continue and be a GH feature. Our next interview to be posted soon was with Kevin Jon Davies who has had a long fan and professional career associated with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Davies worked on graphics for the television series, interviewed Douglas Adams on numerous occasions, is a highly regarded documentarian, for example “The Making of ‘The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ which used archive footage and new specially shot material. The forthcoming interview with Kevin, we speak with him about his career, which shall also be transcribed for You and 42.
We are honored to have Kevin as a part of our Galactic Hitchhikers Facebook Community, which can be found here
Click here to read more of Kevin’s career from his bio on the website for Lazlar Lyricon 3  Plus I reviewed his book The Illustrated Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Additionally we interviewed author Keith DeCandido, which shall be added to our featured interview section soon!

We now have 3 interviews in the can and are currently working toward additional shows.  We hope you enjoy these interviews and look forward to your thoughts.

Friends and Fans Remember Douglas Adams in You and 42

Photo Credit:
Christina Franco (Courtesy of William Todd-Jones)
(given to Douglas Adams mum)
Many thanks to James Thrift (Douglas’s brother) and to the family of Douglas Adams.

Friends and Fans Remember Douglas Adams in You and 42
by Anthony S Burdge

On this date the first of Froods, Douglas Adams, was born.  Our Douglas Adams fan community here at Galactic Hitchhikers are noting the occasion of his 65th birthday with our own special Thumb Toast to the Frood.  Whether you are a member here, or a part of another fan community, we are all brought together by our shared love in the life and work of Douglas Adams.  I am truly humbled to be a part of the global fan community celebrating the life and work of one of my literary and intellectual heroes. In addition, my wife and I have been entrusted by Watching Books to compile and edit You and 42: A Douglas Adams Fan Anthology.  It is about this project I wish to update you with news of new authors I am incredibly happy to have aboard.

For several years now my wife and I have contributed to a few volumes in the “You and Who,” line from Watching Books.  What I have enjoyed in reading the finished work is the personal nature of each essay. The format of each volume is a series of essays each focusing on a particular area or production, through which the authors can talk about their personal experiences. In the case of previous works the topic has been Doctor Who, sci-fi, Blakes 7, Target Books or the forthcoming David Bowie collection Me and the Starman. The content are not reviews, but rather  essays that take a more autobiographical or anecdotal slant.  This is the case for You and 42, which I have been quite emotionally moved by each piece submitted.  There are a few authors who have contributed more than one essay and for that I am incredibly grateful.  There are a few who had the chance to meet Douglas Adams at an event such as a convention or book signing who relay how that experience positively affected them.  There are other authors who were so inspired by various works by Douglas Adams that it affected their career choices and creativity.

Max Landis (left) and Arvind Ethan David on the set of Dirk Gently. Photo credit, Drama Quarterly

In recent weeks I received contributions by two authors who were friends with Adams and write of events, moments and memories with Douglas Adams.  It has been an incredible pleasure corresponding with these gentlemen about their essays.  The essays submitted cover periods in their life with Douglas Adams, which have been a joy and humbling read. It is my hope that you have watched and enjoyed the recent BBC America “Dirk Gently,” series and/or read the IDW Dirk Gently comic.  The Writer/Executive Producer of BBC America’s Dirk Gently and Writer of the comicbook, Arvind Ethan David, has joined our growing list of authors for You and 42.  In addition we have William Todd-Jones aboard who is a  Creature FX Consultant, British puppet designer, performer, director, movement consultant and writer for film, television and theatre in the UK and abroad.
In 1994 William Todd-Jones joined Douglas Adams and several other friends, who took up the challenge to trek from the coast at Mombassa to the top of Kilimanjaro to raise money for rhino conservation.  If this wasn’t enough of a challenge, they decided to do it in rhino costume!

Photo Courtesy of W.T. Jones, photo credit Christina Franco

“Douglas was determined to share the difficulty and spent hours taking a turn in the costume – which he suggests, had him looking like a giant prawn tempura – but it was easier than completing the manuscript he was meant to be writing, he said.”

In Walking with Douglas/How Doug helped the 1994 African Rhino Climb to save endangered species, William Todd-Jones discusses how he and Douglas Adams got involved in the now infamous Rhino Climb.  Additionally, William has contributed Waking with Douglas, which discusses the passing of Douglas Adams.
We are also quite grateful to William’s daughter Lillian who has contributed her own essay entitled “The Four Ages of Douglas.”  Lillian met Douglas a couple of times when she was quite young, his influence has coloured her life and I felt that further words for You & 42 could best be offered by the next generation. (William Todd-Jones)

Photo Courtesy of WIlliam Todd Jones, Daddy Rhino and Daughter Lillian photo credit Christina Franco

“When I was 5, my dad left. He didn’t leave with another woman, or to have a crisis with a bald patch and BMW. No, he left – temporarily- to dress up as a rhino, and walk up Africa’s highest mountain. In other words, to wear a herbivore suit and travel to a continent crawling with lions, which was impossibly far away, for an unacceptable amount of time, with a bunch of other grown-ups; including someone called Douglas Adams.
I wasn’t very happy about it.”

Around this time Arvind Ethan David was in his second term at Oxford and had adapted for stage Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency with James Goss.

Everything is Connected.

The adaptation began at their British boarding school, and was revised for their adaption as undergraduates at Oxford.   In 1995 Arvind Ethan David had dinner with Douglas Adams to discuss the play, which Adams had attended. “We talked about the show – with ridiculous generosity he decided that in changing it, we had in fact “fixed” his plot. He also said we had now got him thinking about Dirk as a TV series or movie…”  The play went on to win Best Adaptation for Dirk at the 28th LA Weekly Theater Awards (2007).  In Me and 42…Or how Douglas Adams taught me that the meaning of life can be found in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things, Arvind Ethan David discusses The Story of How Douglas Adams Changed My Life.  Arvind’s very moving essay highlights his education, the beginning of his career, and how Douglas Adams mentored him and their lives becoming intertwined.  Bringing Dirk Gently to the world has been a 20 year singular dream for Arvind Ethan David.  

“He decided to make our version the “official” version and gave us perpetual rights in it. We came to an arrangement whereby a proportion of the royalties would always go to charity – in fact to his beloved Rhinoceros (he was a founding patron of Save the Rhino International, and famously once climbed part way up Kilimanjaro in a rhino suit for the charity).”

EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED

As a big Dirk Gently fan, whether book, audio dramatization, now television and comic, I have quite enjoyed Arvind’s brilliant vision and am very humbled and grateful that Arvind has shared his story with us.

We cannot thank these two gentleman, and lady, enough for their contributions to You and 42.  It is our hope to have the content wrapped up and begin editing the manuscript before the summer.  With luck on our side You and 42 will be available for purchase before the end of the summer.  As is the case with varied titles offered at Watching Books, the proceeds from You and 42 will be donated to charity.

If you would like to contribute to You and 42, there is still time before we hear any whooshing sounds, please visit the following page for all the details.

Click here for the You and 42 Project Page

Click here to send me an inquiry via email

 

The 1st Annual Thumb Toast to The Frood: No fire or bread heater required.

hqdefaultOn Saturday, March 11th in honor of the birthday of Douglas Adams Thumb Toast to The Frood will be the annual Douglas Adams Birthday Tribute event hosted by Galactic Hitchhikers. A pre-cursor to the Towel Day festivities if you will.

STORY SO FAR…
A few of our inter-dimensional members thought it would be a pretty neat idea, something in league with digital watches, to honor the first of Froods, Douglas Adams, on his birthday.  There are a number of authors who have their birthday honored by fans via a Toast or visit to a location associated with said author. For example J.R.R Tolkien has had an annual birthday toast for decades hosted by The Tolkien Society and fans around the globe.  In addition H.P. Lovecraft fans visit his grave and read from his work. Therefore, Galactic Hitchhikers would like to honor Douglas Adams in a similar fashion, but on a more Galactic scale.

imagesTHE TOAST 
We encourage everyone to gather at their home, favorite pub, restaurant or venue of their choice to raise a thumb, and glass to Douglas Adams.
When everyone is gathered, at 8 PM local time stand, raise your thumb in salute and state together: “TO THE FROOD!” and afterward take a glass of your choice of beverage (not necessarily alcoholic), take a swig, sit and enjoy the rest of your drink.
GH2016 RD join us“TO THE FROOD!”

We highly encourage everyone to gather for local events, bring your towel and copies of your favorite Douglas Adams book, read selections from them and have fun. Please take pictures and post them here in the comments section or submit them to the Galactic Hitchhikers page.

LASTLY,
Please check out our official Galactic Hitchhiker’s Page to add your toasting location and libation of choice. This is a global event, more galactic actually, and we would like to add everyone to the page who have participated. Additionally you can click here to visit our facebook event page.

Be Excellent (and Charitable) To Each Other

Howdy Hoopy Froods!
It should not matter the day, time, season, or holiday, we should all be excellent to each other, and help those in need. The climate of our current world situation looks grim each and every day, whether war, politics, human rights violations, hunger, or children in need, being excellent to each other should be of great importance. The fall holidays are upon us and we all seek that one great gift for a friend and/or loved one.  In the following I shall cite some great books that may appeal to you or said loved one, which will help out a charity at the same time. In addition I draw a few quotes below from our Galactic Hitchhiker’s Constitution to illustrate a point or two.

As a Fellowship of the Frood we are always excellent to each other, and continue to “…see the Guide as a filter to see the universe through, it reminds us that life is far too ridiculous to be taken too seriously…”  I am of the opinion we should also strive to help those in need as we are best able, whether through kindness, an uplifting word or comment, actions (i.e. helping the disabled and elderly) or donating to a charitable organization.

With this said I would like to appeal to our community as “…science and science-fiction fanatics, social activists, and hopeful futurists. We are space-hippies and dreamers, gamers and geeks, self-professed professional slackers, forward thinkers and generally good folk….”  If you would like to help out a charity and get some excellent books written by science fiction fans, then keep reading.

watchingbooksAs some of our GH Readers may know my wife and I are writers,editors and publishers.  In recent years we have had the opportunity to write for Watching Books and their line of books where all proceeds are donated to charity. Watching Books is located in the UK and you can click here to read “A Note on Our Charitable Donations,” which describes how their “rolling charity payments” system works.  The current charity they are providing donations toward is the Terrence Higgins Trust.
My wife and I first got involved with Watching Books by contacting J.R. Southall when they announced their YOU and WHO project.  Southall is a Starburst Magazine columnist, host of the Blue Box Podcast, and creator of the You and Who series of books.  With You and Who, Southall started a series of books adapting the title to varied themed books, such as You and Who Else, You and Who: Contact Has Been Made, the forthcoming You on Target and our own title we are working on for them: You and 42: A Douglas Adams Fan Anthology. I shall speak of You and 42 a bit more below, but offer below descriptions about a few of their titles you may consider as fans of Doctor Who and science fiction.
However, please visit the Watching Books page for a full listing of all their available titles

youandwhoABOUT YOU AND WHO (respectively borrowed from Watching Books)
After almost 50 years of television serials, original novels, comic strips, audio dramas, short stories, radio plays, cartoons, graphic novels, cinema films and just about anything else you could possibly imagine, after almost 50 years of a series which has change as its most fundamental conceit, there’s only one thing most Doctor Who fans can agree upon: how special it is.

In December 2010, Starburst writer J.R. Southall embarked upon a project that would demonstrate just how much variety there was among fans of the show, and that would conversely show just how much they all had in common, too.

You and Who is the result of that project. It’s an anthology of stories, written by fans, in which those fans attempt to reveal just how and why they became fans of Doctor Who in the first place. There’s humour, there’s horror, and there’s heartbreak. Just as there is in the series itself.

But what You and Who mostly goes to show, is not how much we share in common with the series we all love, but how much we share in common with one another. For the essays contained herein aren’t just the stories of those who’ve written them and Doctor Who, they’re the same story we have all lived.

They’re the story of You and Who.
This title is available at AMAZON.CO.UK and AMAZON.COM

youwhoelseABOUT YOU AND WHO ELSE
Television is the route by which we map our lives. From the day we are old enough to understand words and pictures it is a constant companion, educating and entertaining us, helping us to understand the world around us – and firing our imaginations off into the far reaches of an infinitely varied universe. From Ace of Wands to Worzel Gummidge, from Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) to Red Dwarf, from the moment Professor Quatermass’ rocket ship returned to Earth, to the moment Ian and Barbara entered the Doctor’s Ship, fantasy television has had an extraordinary effect on our emotions and our intellect. Whether it be exploring space or travelling through time, surviving the aftermath of some Earthbound disaster or creating new worlds in uncharted territories, the writers and producers of speculative television have used the format to reflect and inform the world in which we live. And whether it be through horror, science fiction or imaginative fantasy – or a combination of all three – we have all been touched in some way by the creativity and insight provided by such visionaries as Gerry Anderson, Nigel Kneale and Douglas Adams. You and Who Else is a unique history of sixty years of British fantasy television, and a definitive record of its place in our lives – as told by the people who saw it: the viewers.
You and Who Else is available in a variety of formats found on the Watching Books page but we encourage you to get this chunky volume from either AMAZON.COM or AMAZON.CO.UK

contactABOUT YOU AND WHO CONTACT HAS BEEN MADE
Very few television programmes make it to their fiftieth birthday. But then, Doctor Who is just a little bit special. From its humble beginnings being recorded in a tiny studio on 405-line black and white video cameras with a minuscule budget, to its latest incarnation on HD as one of the BBC’s flagship dramas, Doctor Who has always moved with the times, and often reflected them. For the last five decades, the series has inspired and engaged audiences in a way that no other television programme has ever managed. For more than 26 years, the original series delighted children of all ages with its unique blend of sci-fi and horror, excitement and scares, cliffhanger storytelling and, above all, monsters. As the programme grew, so we grew with it, absorbing its pleasures in diverse and changing ways. As it enters its anniversary year, Doctor Who is more popular than ever before. This wholly original blend of science fiction concepts and magical storytelling, updated for the 21st century, is delighting a whole new generation of fans, alongside those of us who waited patiently for the inevitable regeneration. You and Who: Contact Has Been Made is a record of how that relationship began, how it continues, and of how we have experienced those fifty years, as written by the show’s own fans. This combined edition of You and Who: Contact Has Been Made features a reduced print size necessary to include both volumes in one book, and includes two brand new replacement essays not featured in the first edition of Volume One, as well as several brand new essays bringing the book up to date with Doctor Who’s fiftieth anniversary programming. 100% of the royalties from You and Who will be donated to charity.
You can acquire You and Who Contact Has Been Made as a single combined editions, from two volumes, or purchase the two volume sets.
Please Click here to see Watching Books for varied formats and purchasing options

youn42imgEarlier this year it was announced that my wife and I are compiling and editing a Douglas Adams Fan Anthology for Watching Books entitled: You and 42. A topic quite applicable to our community here, which you can read more about in my GH article here. We have been taking contributions all year long, and are still open to submissions. As lifelong fans of The Frood, my wife and I are very honored that Watching Books accepted our proposal  for this book. You and 42 is dedicated to all things Douglas Adams and will illustrate how much he is loved and missed through our adoration of his work.  We already have contributions from a number of members here at Galactic Hitchhikers, like our founder Zaxley Nash, Jared McLaughlin our audio/web engineer, the fabulous writer Demetria Blacksmith, Kevin Jon Davies (who did the Guide animations for the Hg2g TV series, and The Illustrated Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy), and Jay Rainha who has provided Guide styled entries that will appear throughout the book. If you would like to write for You and 42, please visit the project page here, to get all the details.

My wife and I have a fair list of publication credits but it is our work for charity projects that mean the most to us. In the end, when these books sell the money is going toward services our fellow human beings need the most. It is our hope that as part of this community, and beyond, you will consider purchasing the aforementioned titles, or others listed on the Watching Books website, and help out a charity.  Have a wonderful, blessed and geek filled holiday season.

Hyper-Hysterical & Glorious: The Illustrated Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

20161031_162314For a number of years now I have read about, had in my hands, albeit briefly flipped through, yet never owned, the mammoth sized Illustrated Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that was published 22 years ago this month (10/1994) Well, that changed today when a 1st edition copy was delivered after finding it relatively cheap on eBay from a reliable seller.
I arrived home after dropping my wife off at work and saw the oversized package at my doorstep, smiles, smiles,smiles as I knew what it was. The packaging was carefully removed and in my hands, the shiny dust jacket glistening in the sun was The Illustrated Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
The inside dust jacket flap describes The Illustrated Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy thusly:

 

61qjevzmvfl-_sx258_bo1204203200_“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is at last published in panoramic, earth-shattering, hyper-hysterical format, illustrated in glorious Technicolor, bringing alive horridly quivering Vogon monster flesh and vividly throbbing space craft by means of revolutionary digital graphic “paintbox” technology. All this, and other examples of humanoid wizardry, ensure no insane earthling will resist this new incarnation of a cult classic.”

It is that last bit that I love, no insane earthling will resist this new incarnation of a cult classic. No I could not resist a new incarnation, especially one so colorful, bright, brilliantly illustrated edition. As we know each incarnation of Hg2G is slightly different in its respective version, and media it is presented in. I have yet to read this version, as it only just arrived, but I do not believe the actual text has changed, but the way it is illustrated was entirely new at the time, and still is.

20161031_155445

Kevin Davies as the bulldozer driver in the book

So who is responsible for this new incarnation? The Concept Art Director is Kevin Davies who has had a long fan and professional career associated with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Davies worked on graphics for the television series, interviewed Douglas Adams on numerous occasions, is a highly regarded documentarian, for example “The Making of ‘The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ which used archive footage and new specially shot material. In a forthcoming interview with Kevin, I speak with him about his career, which was conducted with Galactic Hitchhiker Founder Zaxley Nash and our Sub-Etha 42 Engineer Jared McLaughlin.  Click here to read more of Kevin’s career from his bio on the website for Lazlar Lyricon 3

20161031_145111I am super excited to re-read Hg2g with the abundant “live-action,” shots of new faces in the roles of our heroes, Arthur, Ford, Zaphod, and Trillian.  In addition I love how the new version of Marvin captures his “spirit,” very effectively in his facial expressions and body language.

ANNNNNDDDDD! It has Douglas Adams appearing as the cop who writes!!

20161031_145350

The guide held by Arthur is entirely new to me and very effective. In reading passages alongside the illustrations I suspend my own minds-eye visual of the story and find the work done by Davies quite engaging, which keeps me absorbed in the material. Perhaps it is my own love for the story and fun new incarnations that engages me, but I do believe it will be just as effective for others.

20161031_145444

Without Dust Jacket

The Illustrated Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy can be found online in a variety of booksellers, I got mine on eBay, and at a reasonably affordable cost.
Lastly, it is this version that Kevin Jon  Davies will be writing about for the forthcoming Douglas Adams Fan Anthology: You and 42, which I cannot wait to read and add to the book, which my wife and I are editing for Watching Books.
If you have not done so already please check out Kevin’s Youtube Channel, where you will find plenty of Douglas Adams and Hg2g gems, such as this earlier review of the same book found below.

You and 42: A Douglas Adams Fan Anthology

Greetings from the outer reaches of the Western Spiral Arm,

youn42imgHowdy Hoopy Froods! Anthony here, with a few thoughts on You and 42: A Douglas Adams Fan Anthology.  It was prior to the summer, and a previous incarnation of this website that I announced You and 42, which will be published by Watching Books and proceeds donated to charity.  Since that time I have received a great number of contributions and have added those authors to the project website found by clicking here. There are a few authors that are members of the Galactic Hitchhikers community who have contributed essays, three that come to mind are Demetria Blacksmith and Jared McLaughlin. In addition our own GH Founder and President of the Galaxy Zaxley Nash will be contributing an essay concerning our Galactic Hitchhiker community and of the HG2G Television series.  I am extraordinarily grateful for their brilliant contributions and to the others who have done so as well.

However, in recent weeks and months I had to focus on a few others projects, one of them being my health, and that of my wife as we have had a few ailments to deal with. Due to this You and 42 was on a bit of a break, but we continued to receive wonderful emails and contributions for the project. As of today the project page is up to date for accepted essays thus far.
Additionally in the time I have noticed that our Galactic Hitchhikers community has grown considerably so there may be a few of you who are not aware of this book project.

What is YOU and 42 about? Here is a bit of details from the project webpage:

Do you know where your towel is? Do you often ask if there is tea aboard a spaceship? Do you find difficulty with your lifestyle or can’t get the hang of Thursdays? Or, rather than consulting a map, do you find someone who looks like they know where they’re going and follow them? It very rarely gets you where you wanted to go but always where you needed to be.

hqdefaultIf you hadn’t guessed it, YOU AND 42 is going to be a volume of essays about the life and work of Douglas Adams. The format, as per usual, will be a series of essays each focusing on a particular area or production, through which the authors can talk about their personal experiences of Adams and his work. We are not looking for reviews, rather the kind of essays we prefer are those that take a more autobiographical or anecdotal slant; this book is about the “YOU” as much as it is the “42”. Having said that, we appreciate that Adams is a popular and complex author, and this time we’ll be happy to mix it up a bit, by including essays of all kinds as long as they encompass the theme of Douglas Adams touching our lives in some way.

For the full list of details on how to contribute please click to visit the project page

There is no deadline at the moment, and you do not have to be a professional writer to contribute. This is a fan anthology where fans can tell their stories of how Douglas Adams has touched their life in some way. Please refer to the above page link to see a list of topics, and if you would like to pitch an idea you can send all queries to Anthony at Youandfortytwo@gmail.com

Have Towel, Will Travel: Star Trek Mission NY

STARDATE 2016.8.26.09
In just one week New York City will be the epicenter of Star Trek fandom with the major 50th Anniversary celebration event: Star Trek Mission New York.  It has been sometime since I have written here, due to varied health issues and publishing obligations over the summer, and wish to offer some info on the event my wife and I are attending.
As you may recall on the 4th of July I re-published my article, from the last incarnation of this website, For the Love of Star Trek, which unfortunately was my last article for GH. However, just around the same time I wrote For the Love of Star Trek my wife and I attended a screening of For the Love of Spock, from which my article title was inspired, a documentary by Leonard Nimoy’s son Adam. I shall be writing of that film very soon. In addition my colleagues Zaxley and Jared here at GH, interviewed Star Trek Author Keith DeCandido, which can be found here:

So there has not been an entire lack in Trek material here at GH from me, but I am very excited to attend my first Star Trek convention in many years. On September 2nd, through the 4th, at the Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, Star Trek Mission New York star-trek-mission-new-york-logo-hiis the ultimate destination for Star Trek fans, filled with interactive exhibits, exclusive merchandise, celebrity guests, panels, screenings and will be an immersive experience featuring props and replicas from the TV shows and films, exclusive screenings, celebrity guests, panels featuring creators and film stars and much more.
My wife and I purchased our 3 Day Pass earlier this year and have been very excited about three days of Star Trek right here in our hometown.
ASB_LLAPWith an event as large as this every attendee has their own focus as to how they wish to enjoy the Con. My wife and I want to meet the television and film celebrities, but also are aiming to attend the literary oriented panels, such as the One on One with David Gerrald (writer of the TOS episode The Trouble with Tribbles), and the History and Future of Trek Novels with David Mack, Michael Jan Friedman and more.  The literary panels are not limited to just the two but are simply examples. There are of course the DS9, TNG and Enterprise cast reunion programs that are a must see, and anything with cast from TOS.
Click here to visit the full program list
As a collector of autographed photos I would love to get as many as possible, but with a limited budget I am only seeking ultimately one, and that is from William Shatner. If I can financially swing a few more then I would love to get a one from each Trek series. Unfortunately the last two events I attended and was in the same room as William Shatner he was whisked away and was not able to “meet” him.
Star-Trek-BridgeOutside of programs,panels and meeting Trek alum, I want to visit the TOS Enterprise Bridge created by Star Trek New Voyages/Phase 2 Creator James Cawley.  This replica of the bridge set is a labor of love for Cawley and has been painstakingly created from exact notes, documents, blueprints and other media related to the construction of the actual set used in the show. This recreation has been a part of the New Voyages filming in Ticonderoga NY and more recently open to tours as part of the Trekonderoga events.
A few friends here at GH may recall in recent years my wife and I were accepted to write for the Trek fan series, Star Trek Anthology, which was supposed to film originally in Ticonderoga, then switched to another TOS era studio, Starbase Studios in Oklahoma. However with the recent CBS fan film guidelines Anthology, and a number of other fan productions switched from being a Trek based show to a unique and whole new creation.  Unfortunately due to other writing commitments and health issues my wife and I left the Anthology team to focus on our projects.
With that said, I have always wanted to visit the sets built by Cawley and now is my chance. Click here to read more from the Star Trek Mission NY Site
On one of the 3 events days I shall be wearing my official Galactic Hitchhiker gear obtained from Zaxley Nash’s redbubble store and taking notes for an entry in the Guide. I posted in our facebook group a few times about meeting up with other GH members but did not see many comments, so either we do not have many NY GH members, or the event conflicts with your schedule or another reason entirely.  If you wish to meet up then comment upon this article, or find me in the group, message me, email etc. I shall post updates of pictures and notes via the group each day of the event.
Live Long and Prosper

For the Love of Star Trek

EDITOR/AUTHOR NOTE:
This article was posted in early June as a prelude to seeing the For the Love of Spock documentary on the previous version of the GH website. My wife and I have since seen the film and a review forthcoming.  This article is the beginning of a series concerning the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek.  Following this article in June I conducted an interview with Star Trek author Keith DeCandido alongside my fellow slouchers Zaxley and Jared. That interview is available on our Sub-Etha Channel 42 waveband but I shall be writing an article to supplement the interview very soon.

At the age of 44, I have been a Star Trek fan for the last 38 or so years of my life. I first grew up with the adventures of Bilbo, Frodo, Gandalf, Hobbits, Dwarves and more from the work of JRR Tolkien. In 1977 at the age of 5 my father took me to see Star Wars: A New Hope in the theater, and have been a lifelong fan of both Tolkien and Star Wars ever since. Both have been influential in my life to this day, as a person and as a writer. However, Star Trek is greatly embedded in my heart, mind and creativity. Trek inspires me in different, and sometimes greater, ways than Tolkien or Star Wars. In this article I will talk a bit about my own personal Star Trek fandom, the passing of Leonard Nimoy, the film For the Love of Spock by his son Adam, and the Star Trek 50th Anniversary here at Galactic Hitchhikers.

I have watched and re-watched all of TOS, TNG and other spin-off shows, such as Enterprise, which my wife and I are currently nearing the end of its 4 season run in our re-watch. I fondly recall at the age of 6 or so being in the living room of our Brooklyn apartment on the floor playing with Spock and Kirk dolls, 1978 or thereabout, with my younger brother. We would re-enact the adventures we saw on television with those Trek dolls and rather than using our thumb and forefingers as guns, like in a game of cops and robbers, our pretend pistols would be phasers shooting Klingons or some other bad alien encountered by Kirk and Spock.
In 1979, at the age of 7, my father took me to the Woodhaven theatre to see Star Trek The Motion Picture. I was in awe to see Trek on the big screen, to this day TMP holds a very special place in my heart and very grateful to have seen it in the theatre at the time.  My younger brother was too young at the time to go see the movie with us,and sit still for the whole thing. But he saw it when he was older with my parents and I on VHS. It was in 1982 when I first “met,” an actor from Star Trek.  My father took me to Queensboro Community College for an event hosted by William Shatner.  I clearly recall filing into the small auditorium (at least I recall it being small) and seeing Captain Kirk up at the podium, William Shatner himself. He spoke a bit of his role and then the episode “Shore Leave” was screened. To this day because of that event, I love that episode even more! It’s fantastical elements, being a fan of fantasy, it humor and funny bits, drama of the situation all resonate positively with me. As a child, adolescent and teen I was writing a bit, thanks to my parents who allowed me to read anything I wanted and encouraged the creativity.  I still have Star Trek short stories, and even an attempt at a script for an episode, which one as a TNG attempt at bringing the Gorn into the TNG universe.

The Shatner Queensboro Community College event was the beginning of a taste for conventions for me, celebrating Trek with other fans. While in high school, 1986-1990, my best friend Brian and I were inseparable friends and big Star Trek fans.  We watched, at either of our homes, TNG, DS9, and Voyager. Whenever I watch an episode from those series, I cannot help but to reminisce about those beloved moments of my life with him. Unfortunately, Brian was bound to a wheelchair due to Muscular Dystrophy.  After high school, I joined the US Navy and Brian went on to college; we drifted apart a bit but when I was discharged we got together again and would explore Trek a bit more. It was not often Brian went out to events by himself as it would require public transportation, which was at times a hardship. His parents had a special van with a lift that would take him place to place. However we did convince his parents to allow us to travel on public transportation to a convention, which I shall never forget.  In 1995 my best friend fell ill and passed away from complications of Muscular Dystrophy. I did not watch the entire run of Enterprise when it first aired due to a few personal reasons and complications in my life– one being it would have been the 1st series I did not watch with Brian.

However, it was not until the 1990’s that I first attended a Trek convention, and one with my friend Brian as cited above.  The NYC Penn Hotel, as it was called at the time hosted numerous conventions where I met many actors/actresses from not only TOS, but TNG, DS9 etc. I fondly recall asking George Takei a question about fencing, meeting James Doohan and discussing Star Trek VI, and riding the escalator with Jonathan Frakes. I also joined a small Trek fan group here on Staten Island (the often forgotten borough of NYC), where we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the 1st moon walk.

Since that time conventions have become hugely popular, but became less and less prominent in NYC. But I have consistently maintained my fandom reading the novels, meeting authors who I admire like Keith DeCandido and corresponding with and Friending a few others on Facebook like Dayton Ward, Michael Jan Friedman, Peter David, and David Mack. Additionally, I have my ever growing collection of Star Trek items, at times having to shuffle bookshelves and other areas with which to accommodate costumes, props, toys, and models.

With the passing of Trek related stars, James Doohan, DeForest Kelley and others I found myself very emotional,  having a cry at hearing the news. The Trek greats that have left us are hard as they portrayed characters we all know and love. As fans we may have met them, had a personal moment to share at a con, and admired their non-Trek work and life events. Each Trek character has skills and expertise we admired, and perhaps related to in someway, equally so with their life events, such as James Doohan and Leonard Nimoy’s military service for example.

On February 27th 2015 the world lost another Star Trek persona, Leonard Nimoy, who as we all know portrayed the iconic character of Spock.  This loss was absolutely devastating to fans: the emotion and the shock.  I saw the news and cried, that deep well within our chest that boils up and vibrates our soul just poured out.  My wife and I wept while watching news reports, reading online stories and picking up the local newspapers, some of which I saved in our library. It was not that Spock was just a character on a TV show; it was that as I grew older, certain aspects of that character became a part of me. From looking at situations logically, approaching decisions rationally, collecting data, and research playing prominently in my career as an Independent Scholar and Writer.  Whether it was from memories of reading I AM SPOCK,  listening to “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins,” or collecting the Spock doll from my childhood, the Enterprise’s resident Vulcan was as much a part of my character make-up as that of the work of Tolkien.

On June 3rd 2015 the son of Leonard Nimoy, Adam Nimoy, launched a project on Kickstarter to honor his father’s legacy, a documentary film entitled For the Love of Spock. This was a project I immediately felt absolutely needed to be made.  Of all the fan films being made (some I enjoy more than the others) and Trek-related projects, this was this one I have felt the strongest for.  When this project was launched, my wife and I had a bit more room in our budget than we do currently so we pledged alongside 9,439 others. We donated toward a package that included 2 tickets to the For the Love of Spock NYC Screening and Reception.  Within the last few days I sent in the survey for the backer screening of our choice and we chose June 24th at the  The Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater

I will be posting pictures in the Galactic Hitchhiker’s Facebook group, my personal pages, and right here in an event report for this website.

This will be the 2nd major event I am attending during the year long festivities surrounding Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary. What better way that to honor Trek, a beloved actor and character than being a part of a film and event than one celebrating the life and legacy of Leonard Nimoy as told by his son in For the Love of Spock. The idea of donating was not just the cool package of a screening and reception, but to be a part of something special, a film that would be an essential part of our collective fandom.

I cite this event being the 2nd major event my wife and I will be attending. On March 5th 2016, Star Trek the Ultimate Voyage Symphony Concert came to Madison Square Garden, right across the street from where I first attended a Star Trek Convention.  We had bought tickets when they first went on sale, but there was a Facebook contest for free tickets. A part of the rules was you had to write a review of the event for the Ultimate Voyage website if you won the tickets.  I said what the heck,  entered into the contest, and noted, as per the rules, about being a writer.  A few weeks later I was notified I had won!!! So I made all the arrangements with the crew from Ultimate Voyage, and attended the concert with 2 friends, which I had given our bought tickets to.  I spent the entire weekend writing, with my wife, the review, which you can read here

For me, celebrating 50 years of Star Trek is a monumental occasion.  Of course I was 6 years away from being born when Star Trek first aired, but to be a fan of something that has endured for 50 years in popular appeal, has integrated into pop culture, and has been a part of cultural consciousness is mindblowing. I am without words at times as how much Star Trek means to me and millions of other fans.


It is with this I shall close by saying that this article will serve as an introduction into the Galactic Hitchhiker’s celebration of Star Trek’s 50th. I encourage all of you to post your own personal Star Trek stories, reviews, events and pictures.
If you are in NYC and wish to join fellow Galactic Hitchhikers at 2 upcoming events: The Starfleet Academy Experience at the Intrepid Museum (Opening July 9th)

And/or Star Trek Missions NYC at the Javitts Center September 2-4, then please join our facebook group, and watch this space for an announcement.

We are working on a few other things behind the scenes but stay tuned for announcements via this website, Facebook community and Sub-Etha Channel 42.