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Friday, November 8, 2013

Joe Haldeman LoneStarCon 3

Sherman – set the Wayback Machine to 1979…

Sure thing Mr Peabody!

This was before DVDs and VHS.  This was before 12 (I may have lost count) movies and 4 spin offs.  This was before Vegas had an attraction and people started getting married in Klingon.  This was before the actors traveled to dozens of conventions a year to meet fans.  This was before: Oh MY!

This is when Star Trek was shown on static-y UHF channels and commercials were inserted willy-nilly.  This is when episodes was pre-empted for a baseball game or even roller derby.  This is when you might go weeks or months without a pop culture reference to Trek.  This is when if you were jones-ing for a Trek fix; you had to read a book.   

And Kids, it ain’t like today with over 500 novels set in the various Trek universes.   There was no Amazon to click on to get the latest installment.  The used books stores didn’t have shelves of worn paperbacks with broken spines.  Back in the day, there was Blish (and if you don’t know Blish, you can’t call yourself a Trekkie) and a handful of other books.  If a new Trek book was released and you didn’t happen to catch it quickly, it was gone.

One of those handfuls of authors was Joe Haldeman. Yes, he’s the guy that wrote Forever War and Mindbridge and All My Sins Remembered.  He also wrote two Star Trek books.  So while I was looking over my bookshelf and deciding what books to bring to WorldCon, I saw these 2 very old books.  I have read them each several times and have carried them around the country with me for the last 35 years.

 I have gotten Joe Haldemen’s signature before.  I debated about pursuing him this convention.  But when I saw these books on my book shelf, I knew I had to do it.

After standing in line for about 30 minutes, I got to place my gently used copies of World Without End and Planet of Judgment in front of Joe.  He paused and showed them to Gay (his wife).  I think he was impressed and pleasantly surprised.  He signed.  I told him something silly: whenever I heard music from the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, I think of these books. I had played that album in the background ad nausea when I read and reread them. 

Joe sagely nodded, not really knowing what to do with that factoid. Gay laughed and said what a great association to have.  I picked up my books. They are my connection to my childhood and of Trek fandom past. I left.  I have to admit I had a huge silly smile on my face.


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