Friday, May 29, 2009

Nerdy Enough Fer Ya?

This, my second Best of Trek article, is the epitome of the old English class assignment, "Compare and Contrast."

That is, you take two things and assess similarities and differences.

My pride in American Lit class was to compare Rev Dimsdale in The Scarlet Letter with John Lennon's song "Crippled Inside," from Imagine.

Anyway, this is about the various video and TV versions of STTMP and STII.

Back in the Day, that is in 1983 or so, there weren't any of these fancy DVD thingies (or even freeze-frames you could see very well).

So these articles were researched by having two VCRs hooked up to the same TV and playing two videotapes of the same thing and switching a "video switcher" back and forth a few million times.

And these were the old 50-pound VCRs with "piano key" buttons.

If you actually take the time to READ this whole article, congratulations to you.

If you think it was worth reading, then let me know, and congratulations to ME!

I wanted an alliterative title, and "Variations and Vexations" was the best I could come up with at the time. Got a better one? "Visions and Versions"? "Differences and Distractions"?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Got Paid!

When I read the first few Best of TREK paperback anthologies, I wrote them a letter asking if they would like an article on how to customize a couple of AMT Enterprise models, combining them into a Dreadnought class.

That never happened, but later on I sent them an article on the hoopla surrounding Spock's death in STII, before STII in fact came out.

Any chance to use the phrase "He's Dead, Jim" in print, eh?

Oh, yeah. With the $35 I was paid for the article, I was able to buy a new cassette boombox to listen to while working the overnight shift at Coastal Mart.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Welcome back, Campers!

I had to spend last night finishing up the SoonerCon 2009 Program Book, but we're back to share some rip-offs of Star Trek images.

Galaxy 666, by Pel Toro, is so forgettable I've forgotten about it. But I did read it, in another lifetime. This treasure was so wonderful that the art director at the publisher decided he had to cheat to sell the book.

It looks to me like he basically took a piece from an Erector set kit and glued it across the warp nacelles of an AMT Enterprise model kit, along with some orange bubbles on the ends of the nacelles and atop the saucer.

Now, the second tome, The Love Bomb, actually was written with Star Trek in mind. As with Galaxy 666, time has mercifully blotted most of the story from my mind.

But I do recall that the alien in question (the grinning Spock lookalike in the cover art) has come to Earth in search of a little , umm, lady companionship, whilst spreading the sex-is-good philosophy with the same urgency as the real Spock used to preach logic.

The rear cover shows the art a little larger.

Next up, some of my *actual* publications.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tulsa Star Trek '83

Guess what! it was in 1983.

I had a dealer's table, and took my VCR and a little TV to play my blooper tapes to draw some attention.

Friday night I slept in my car in the parking garage of the hotel. My big beast, a 1968 Ford Galaxy, had room on its vinyl back seat for me to curl up on.

During the day Saturday, I met a nice guy and his aunt, and I was able to crash on their couch that night. In return, I was kept semi-awake by duping VHS copies of Raiders of the Lost Ark and E.T.

Yes, these were bootleg of unreleased-to-video films. As the Japanese-Jewish lawyer said, "SoSuMe."

Among the guests at Tulsa Star Trek '83 were Jimmy Doohan and George Takei. I was able to crash Doohan's table and get someone to take my picture with him. The photo is a good illustration of how a guy looks when he is holding a pen in his right hand but he has no middle finger. As you should know, Doohan's middle finger was shot off on D-Day.

George Takei, the fitness guy, had invited/challenged any and all comers to jog with him. So on Saturday morning, about twenty people headed out onto the streets. When I stopped at a Git-N-Go about 500 feet into the jog to wait for them to pass on the return trip back to the hotel, I was joined by a couple of other smart fellas.

After I loaded up my leftover merchandise Sunday afternoon, I headed back toward OKC. I got about twenty feet when the car cronked out. Thank heavens my big brother and his wife live in Tulsa, and gave me a place to sleep, and a lift to a garage, where I had to spend all but a pittance of the $400 I had made, to replace the harmonic balancer on my car.

So overall I'd say that this convention was a washout, except for these photos, which prove that I was once lanky.
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© by Mark Alfred