Kevin Shirley

Master of His Craft

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The Trek Track began the final day of Dragon Con by welcoming David R. George III to the Hilton Galleria. George is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has written eighteen Star Trek novels to date. As to the session’s title, “Rewriting the Rules,” George was a bit uncomfortable, as he wasn’t sure that he was “rewriting” anything. Upon reflection, he did note that his novels tend to be considerably longer than the traditional Star Trek titles. When he began writing, the average length of a
 
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The Build: Making Your Own Droid

The Build: Making Your Own Droid

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If you roam around the Marriott at any time during Dragon Con, you’ll invariably run into at least one R2-D2, BB-8, and/or mouse droid. They are amazing feats of construction, virtually indistinguishable from what we’ve seen on the screen. The men and women who build them assembled Sunday evening in Marriott to discuss the process. Christina Cato, David Ferreira, Matt Hobbs, Mike Cummins, and Randy Nothdorf talked about everything from materials and reverse engineering to cost and the need to
 
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Beowulf and High Fantasy

Beowulf and High Fantasy

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The High Fantasy track welcomed Constance G.J. Wagner and Alicia Fox-Lenz to the Marriott for the second of two considerations of Beowulf, the Anglo-Saxon poem that had such a profound impact upon JRR Tolkien, and by extension contemporary fantasy. Wagner began the hour by trying to place the poem into a larger mythic context. Using the episode “Darmok” from Star Trek: The Next Generation as a reference, Wagner argued that Beowulf belongs in that category of metaphoric text that reflects
 
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A Most Remarkable Hour: Heroes of Middle-earth

A Most Remarkable Hour: Heroes of Middle-earth

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Kristen Cairns welcomed the fans to the Marriott Imperial Ballroom to spend an hour with the “Heroes of Middle-earth.” John Noble, Craig Parker, Dean O’Gorman and Graham McTavish settled into their seats to, once again, enthrall a Dragon Con crowd. All are veterans of Dragon Con and Craig Parker declared it the “craziest” gathering of people. To him, Dragon Con is: “wall to wall bizarre…I love it!” John Noble appeared for the first time in 2005 and likes it a
 
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Star Trek: Discovery—Born Out of Its Day and Time

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The Hilton Grand Salon hosted a Star Trek: Discovery panel on Saturday that included Jayne Brook (Admiral Cornwell), Mary Chieffo (L’Rell), Jason Isaacs (Captain Gabriel Lorca), Kenneth Mitchell (Kol), and Trek Track director/moderator Garrett Wang. The audience lined up for the Q&A, and in an early question, guests were asked to gauge where their series stood in comparison to its predecessors. Specifically, they were asked to reflect upon the series’ darker tone. Chieffo pointed out that the first season was
 
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Following Every Thread: A Discussion of the White Album

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles, or as it is more commonly known, The White Album. Released in November 1968, the band’s ninth studio album regularly ranks near the top of many best rock albums of all time lists. The Brit Track convened a panel in the Hilton’s Galleria 5 on Saturday to examine the White Album along with Yellow Submarine. J.M. Tuffley, R. Alan Siler, and Angela Hartley led the group through a consideration of these
 
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Complicated and Oh-So-Human: Reflections with Jason Isaacs

Complicated and Oh-So-Human: Reflections with Jason Isaacs

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Jason Isaacs is drawn to complex characters. This idea came to the fore time and again during his Friday morning session in the Marriott Atrium Ballroom. This notion of being drawn to complex fascinating characters appeared very early on in the session. A lifelong fan of comics, a lover of fantasy, Isaacs sees in stories, especially those we know as fantasy, as continuing the key to the answers we seek. For him, these stories offer solutions, a “way forward.” This
 
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“Zorro and Jiminy Cricket”: Remembering Harlan Ellison

“Zorro and Jiminy Cricket”: Remembering Harlan Ellison

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This summer saw the passing of a giant in the world of science fiction. Harlan Ellison (1934–2018) was an extraordinarily prolific writer, with more than 1,700 published works ranging from short stories and novellas to screenplays, collections, and anthologies. Dragon Con welcomed Peter David, Kathleen O’Shea David (moderator), James Palmer, and Bill Ritch to the Hyatt International North Saturday to remember their friend and colleague. Those in attendance spoke warmly of an author known as much for his temperament and
 
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