Archive for the ‘Fandom’ Category

Who’s in charge?

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

Thanks to my NetFlix subscription, I’m finally caught up with Battlestar Galatactica though the end of Season Four. Starbuck has seemingly returned from the dead, Baltar’s trial has ended and four of the “Final Five” cylon models have been revealed. That last is particularly interesting since it seems as though they’ve all decided to stand with their human friends.

I’ve already had the misfortune of overhearing someone talking about the identity of model 12 and seeing as how this is the show’s final season anyhow, it’s going to be difficult to avoid hearing any more details, so I think I’ll be following this final season via SciFi’s episode streams.

One thing I find interesting though (and if you haven’t watched Season Four yet, this would be a good time to visit another part of the site) is the identity of the fleet’s president.

At the time of the Exodus from New Caprica, Baltar was the legal President, but was presumed dead or captured. Tom Zarek assumed the presidency, named Laura Roslin as his Vice President, and then stepped down in order that she could be President in return for being named as her Vice President.

When Baltar was captured along with the model 6 known as Caprica, he was charged with treason and put on trial. But (and here’s the part where if you haven’t seen the end of Season Four, you really might want to consider visiting another part of the site) thanks to Apollo’s moving speech, Baltar was acquitted. He’s now a free man.

So here’s the thing, Baltar was acquitted. The tribunal found him not guilty. Tom Zarek was only made President because of Baltar’s assumed death/capture. So Baltar’s not dead, he’s “escaped” from captivity, and he’s been cleared of all charges.

So shouldn’t Baltar be returned to the Presidency? (Acting President Roslin would then be returned to the Vice Presidental role she took over from Tom Zarek.)

Did Zarek’s accession to the presidency mean he was replacing Baltar? Or was he only an acting President? Sounds like an opening for more intrigue. 🙂

Batman to Relocate?

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Fresh on the heels of his new movie, The Dark Knight is considering a move to Southern California.

(Somebody at the LA Times, plus a few public officials, has a good sense of humor.)

Sci-Fi Chase Scene

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

I’ve been watching the new Doctor Who series over the past few weeks. It’s been a marked change from what’s gone before, but I like it. Billie Piper as Rose Tyler was an interesting change from the companions of the past, not just traveling with The Doctor, but actually being his equal in many ways. (When he sent her away at the end of the first season, I knew she had to somehow come back and save him. But the Bad Wolf took me completely by surprise — though I’m quite far from complaining.)

Tonight I watched the first episode of the third season (“The Runaway Bride”) and saw something I’d never expected.

The T.A.R.D.I.S. in flight.
In a chase scene.
Pursuing a car down an English motorway….

The Tenth Doctor is quite unlike any of the predecessors I’ve ever seen. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.


Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Conventioning, verb: A term used to describe any activity related to conventions, be it attending, organizing, or otherwise participating.

Fandom already has several gazillion blogs (including this one), and several gazillion more pages on various social networks. But so far, with all the various social network sites (MySpace, Facebook, etc), there don’t seem to be any social networking sites specifically for fans. (Or if there are, nobody’s invited me!)

So I’ve created the Conventio.ning network. Although the main focus is on the world of conventions, all are welcome.

It’s very small right now, but I’m hoping it will grow over time. Please stop by, check it out, and be sure to invite your friends!

The Conventio.ning web site can be found at:

Scout Con

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

It’s not unusual for a convention to cross multiple genres — most SF conventions book a few Fantasy guests and there’s certainly no rule which says gamerooms are the sole provence of gaming cons. But every so often I still run across an event which manages to combine things I hadn’t previously considered.

A few weeks I was contacted by the organizers of Scout Con. It’s a one-day Science Fiction event in Tampa being run by the local Boy Scout council.

Science Fiction and the Boy Scouts? Well why not? A good number of SF heroes seem to live by the motto “Be Prepared.” That aside, I think it’s kind of neat that a mainstream civic group such as the Scouts would think outside the box and hold a con. When I was in scouts, anyone who watched Star Trek or read anything by Isaac Asimov or Douglas Adams was regarded as somewhat unusual; so this sounds like a promising sign for the future.

Now if only I could get the Jaycees interested in doing something like that.

Petrelli for Congress

Friday, February 15th, 2008

This being an election year, we’re going to spend the next nine months being bombarded with campaign ads. This morning it occurred to me that in convention dealers rooms, we’re probably going to see an abundance of T-shirts and stickers promoting various fictional Presidential tickets (e.g. “Picard/Riker 2008: The Team for the Future” or “Spock/Data 2008: The Logical Choice.”)

Those gags go back 10 or 20 years. Wouldn’t it be great to have a candidate from a more recent show? Then it hit me. We already do. One of the main threads in the first season of Heroes had to do with Nathan Petrelli’s Congressional campaign.

I didn’t have a lot of time this morning, but I’ve put together a few quick items on CafĂ©Press. Check out the Fanboy’s Convention List online store. Based on feedback, I’ll decide how much more to do with that.

Updated 2-17-08: Apparently CafĂ©Press considers “Petrelli for Congress” merchandise to infringe on NBC’s intellectual property. I had hoped this would be a permitted use, but so be it. It’s not the end of the world.

In the meantime, I’ve discovered what I’m guessing is an NBC-owned “Nathan Petrelli for Congress” site at The current status of the site seems to reflect the show’s story line. And who knows? Perhaps NBC is selling some “Petrelli for Congress” merchandise.

The Next Big Damn Movie

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

Joss Whedon has pretty much ruled out another Serenity movie, much less a revival of the Firefly TV series. The audience just isn’t large enough for such a movie to be the kind of blockbuster the studios want and he’s moved on to other projects.

Randall Munroe at however has come up with an idea for a really killer Serenity sequel, featuring a member of the Firefly cast.

Survey for Costumers

Monday, August 27th, 2007

Karen, a student at the Academic Magnet High School (reportedly the number 10 High School in the US) is writing a senior thesis on the topic of why people like to wear costumes. The student running the survey is herself a costumer.

If you’d like to participate, an online version of the survey appears at

The Creation of a Toy

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

It’s not unusual for fans to build replicas of props in a favorite movie or TV show. You see that sort of stuff pretty much anytime fen gather. The really popular stuff – phasers, communicators, and the like – ends up being made available at the local toy store.

A more unusual event is when fans create something new that’s based on a movie and the toy companies decide to make that available too. Not because it was in a movie, not because there’s an established market for it, but because it’s just so right.

Take for instance the case of R2-KT.

Back in 2004, Katie Johnson was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Her father, Albin Johnson, was the founder of the 501st Legion Star Wars Costuming Club and when word got out, fans world wide started doing everything they could to support Katie and her family.

In April of 2005, Katie’s sister said she wanted R2-D2 to watch over her Katie the way he’d watched over Amidala in Episode II. The R2 Builder’s Club (a group that builds remote controlled R2-units) got involved and set out to build one, to be named R2-KT in Katie’s honor. When it became apparent that the droid wasn’t going to be ready soon enough, Andy Schwarz, one of the club’s members, repainted his own R2-D2 and dispatched him to watch over Katie until R2-KT could take over.

Katie passed away in November of 2005, but R2-KT has been accompanying members of the 501st as they visit kids in the hospital.

At San Diego Comic Con this week, Hasbro and Lucasfilms have released a limited edition R2-KT toy in conjunction with a $100,000 donation to Make-A-Wish. At a glance, it’s just a pink R2-D2 toy. But when you know the story behind the toy – it’s a lot more.

Links of Interest:

Gardening through Time and Space

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

Cmdr Z recently passed along a link to a UK web site where participants can send in photos of their garden sheds. The site’s readers can then vote for the prestigious “Shed of the Year” award. A number of the sheds bear a striking resemblance to Doctor Who’s TARDIS.

This should come as no surprise to those of us who have gardens. Whether it’s a huge vegetable garden, or the tiniest postage stamp of a flowerbed, it’s a very familiar problem.

The sheer multitude of tools, stakes, fertilizer, pots, and so on needed to maintain even the smallest garden is so overwhelming that using a spare TARDIS is the only way to avoid having the shed occupy more square footage than the actual garden.