Shore Leave Report

I most certainly did not plan on letting an entire week slide by but life really can get in the way. Last week, before heading out to Shore Leave, I completed the first drafts of my two After Earth short stories and sent them to my colleagues for feedback.

Shore Leave is like visiting with 1500 friends as I see so many year after year. It amazes me to watch some age gracefully and others suddenly spawning, adding a new generation to the proceedings. One of the media guests, LeVar Burton, was noting backstage just how different the vibe is at a fan-run show, and how relaxed everyone was. He and Kate Mulgrew both seemed to be having a great time.

For me, it was a busier than usual show since I was manning two different tables, on more panel discussions than usual and still running back and forth to emcee and introduce the major guests (I get to introduce myself). The panels were fun and for the most part were very well attended, starting with the Friday night discussion about Star Trek: The Complete Unauthorized History. We had several mounted spreads from the book to show off and had a table dedicated to the book plus the inside cover ad in the program book which was cool.

I sold books. I usually never bring books, not wanting to compete with the new book retailer, the fabulous Constellation Books, on hand. However, now that the vast majority of my output is out-of-print, I feel fine brining excess author copies with me. I make some cash, I empty some shelves, and the readers fill in gaps in their collections so I figure everyone wins. Sure enough, all of the above happened.

We also debuted ReDeus: Divine Tales, as promised. Shore Leave was great, arranging the Meet the Pros tables so all nine of us present were lined up. Our name plates had the book logo on them which was a cool touch. Those at the head of the line sold the most copies, of course, but all of us sold copies throughout the weekend which was very cool. Our Sunday panel about the book got people interested and some already read stories and were highly complementary, making us all very happy.

Crazy 8 Press also celebrated its first anniversary and we had a fine panel talking about what we’ve learned and what’s coming next.

Being the 20th Anniversary of Mystery Trekkie Theater, Peter David decided he, Mike Friedman, and I should do something big. So we skewered “The Cage”, which is a great story but so ponderously told in places it was begging for us to fill in the gaps. The opening skit had us as older versions of ourselves complaining about the kids today until we were magically transformed to our normal selves and went about the episode. It was far from our smoothest opening skit thanks to a blown cameo appearance that had us covering. Still, the audience seemed to have a good time.

I didn’t chat with everyone I wanted to, I didn’t see the panels I wanted to, but managed to come home from the show feeling very good about it all.

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