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axacon_notebook [2018/11/26 11:50]
Carlos Pedraza
axacon_notebook [2018/12/08 18:25] (current)
Carlos Pedraza
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-/* <fs small>November 17, 2018</​fs>​+/* <fs small>December 9, 2018</​fs>​
  
 ====== The Unexpected Tale of Axacon ====== ====== The Unexpected Tale of Axacon ======
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 {{TOC}} {{TOC}}
  
-//This isn't a typical //​**AxaMonitor** //article. Instead, it's a personal reflection on my trip to cover [[axacon_schedule|Axacon,​]] the Axanar fan convention in Atlanta in November — or whatever reporting I could manage since I was summarily disinvited after purchasing a ticket. That wasn't going to stop me; in the words of Captain Kirk in //Star Trek III//, "The word is no. I am therefore going anyway."​ I didn't know how it all would turn out, but I was determined to write about my experience no matter what. This is what happened, and why.//+//This isn't a typical //​**AxaMonitor** //article. Instead, it's a personal reflection on my trip to cover [[axacon_schedule|Axacon,​]] the Axanar fan convention in Atlanta in November ​2018 — or whatever reporting I could manage since I was summarily disinvited after purchasing a ticket. That wasn't going to stop me; in the words of Captain Kirk in //Star Trek III//, "The word is no. I am therefore going anyway."​ I didn't know how it all would turn out, but I was determined to write about my experience no matter what. This is what happened, and why.//
 ---- ----
  
 ATLANTA —  **2018'​S WORD** of the Year is "​toxic,"​ according to the folks at the Oxford Dictionary, who choose a word that sums up the zeitgeist of the past 12 months. It certainly describes a lot of what passes for conversation among Star Trek in warring camps over such things as canon, //Star Trek: Discovery// and Axanar. ATLANTA —  **2018'​S WORD** of the Year is "​toxic,"​ according to the folks at the Oxford Dictionary, who choose a word that sums up the zeitgeist of the past 12 months. It certainly describes a lot of what passes for conversation among Star Trek in warring camps over such things as canon, //Star Trek: Discovery// and Axanar.
  
-We have the opportunity ​to do something about it.+Axacon was planned as a means to rally the troops ahead of the long-awaited //Axanar//, reduced from a feature film to a total 30-minute short film. The face-to-face gathering was to feature the nearly completed bridge set of the U.S.S. Ares, panels with some of the Trek alumni who appeared in the film's predecessor,​ //[[Prelude to Axanar]]// and social time for the Axanar faithful.
  
-Rancor and hurt feelings and sundered friendships.+<WRAP right box 320px> 
 +{{youtube>​VjOFIWO5fPg?​medium|U.S.S. Ares Bridge}} <fs smaller>​**VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE** As of this posting, this low-resolution video of the Ares bridge posted on Axanar'​s YouTube channel has garnered more than 27,000 views.</​fs>​ 
 +</​WRAP>​
  
-That beleaguered production still appeals ​to many Star Trek fans+The actual physical turnout for Axacon appeared ​to be no more than a couple dozen over the course of the weekend, but that may have not mattered. The optics of the lit-up bridge set, with both fans and professional actors inspecting it, and their gatherings at restaurant tables celebrating Axanar, energized people halfway around the globe.
  
-In what some describe as war between Axanar supporters and critics, there'​s even [[http://monitoringthetrekmonitors.wordpress.com|a blog]] that keeps almost-daily track of the volleys between ​the "​Axanards" ​and the "​detractors":​+But that energy has dark side: If you take a tour of the [[yout>​https://www.youtube.com/​watch?​v=VjOFIWO5fPg|comments section]] below the YouTube video featuring ​the Ares bridge you'll find that support for Axanar is closely associated with hatred for CBS (which sued Axanar) ​and its new Star Trek series, //​Discovery//,​ viewed as a betrayal of traditional Trek.
  
-> So is it war? A war to win hearts ​and mindsor is it just simply two sides to a debate that can get over the top when they decide to get personal instead of just being factual.(([[https://​monitoringthetrekmonitors.wordpress.com/​2018/​11/​16/​war-or-just-differing-opinion/​|"War or just differing opinion?"​ Monitoring the Trek Monitors]] blog11/16/18.))+Axanar has become ​flashpoint for deep-seated rancor among Trek fandom. CBS/​Paramount'​s copyright infringement [[lawsuit]] ​and its aftermathincluding ​the [[cbs_guidelines|fan film guidelines]], have left a long trail of hurt feelings and sundered friendships.
  
-The anonymous Australian who writes the [[https://​monitoringthetrekmonitors.wordpress.com|Monitoring the Trek Monitors]] blog even posted a glossary [[https://​monitoringthetrekmonitors.wordpress.com/​what-do-they-call-each-other/​|describing the epithets]] used by people on various sides of the Axanar controversy. ​They ain't nice.+In what some describe as an ongoing war between Axanar supporters and critics, there'​s even [[http://​monitoringthetrekmonitors.wordpress.com|a blog]] that keeps almost-daily track of the volleys between the "​Axanards"​ and the "​detractors":​ 
 + 
 +> So is it a war? A war to win hearts and minds, or is it just simply two sides to a debate that can get over the top when they decide to get personal instead of just being factual?​(([[https://​monitoringthetrekmonitors.wordpress.com/​2018/​11/​16/​war-or-just-differing-opinion/​|"​War or just differing opinion?"​ Monitoring the Trek Monitors]] blog, 11/​16/​18.)) 
 + 
 +The anonymous Australian who writes the [[https://​monitoringthetrekmonitors.wordpress.com|Monitoring the Trek Monitors]] blog even posted a glossary [[https://​monitoringthetrekmonitors.wordpress.com/​what-do-they-call-each-other/​|describing the epithets]] used by people on various sides of the Axanar controversy. ​Not to put too fine a point on it, they ain't nice
 + 
 +But I really hoped Axacon might provide an opportunity to do something about it.
  
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 </​WRAP>​ </​WRAP>​
  
-Among the Axanar faithful I'm Public Enemy No. 1, and the subject of quite a few personal attacks. While observers ​have often drawn equivalence between the warring factions about personal attacks ​(they'​re not wrong), I myself have avoided responding in kind. I've striven to have my work speak for itself.+Among the Axanar faithful I'm Public Enemy No. 1, and the subject of quite a few personal attacks. While observers often draw equivalence between the warring factions about personal attacks ​— they'​re not wrong — I myself have avoided responding in kind, hoping ​my work speaks ​for itself.
  
-So it was in this context that I had decided to attend Axacon, feeling a duty to report on this important effort to rally the beleaguered fan film's fans ahead of the hoped-for production of the two 15-minute //Axanar// short films allowed under terms of the [[axanar_settles|settlement]] in the [[copyright_infringement|copyright]] [[lawsuit-primer|lawsuit]] brought against Axanar by Star Trek's owners[[CBS]] and [[paramount_pictures|Paramount Pictures]].+It was in this context that I had decided to attend Axacon, feeling a duty to report on this important effort to rally the beleaguered fan film's fans. After all, the Axanar short films are project to cost as much as $200,000, a budget fans are going to have to pay for.
  
-I set about buying a ticket to attend, including a weekend pass to [[https://​sphinx-con.org|SphinxCon]],​ the convention hosting Axacon under its aegis. After securing the tickets, I booked a flight and hotel room. A few hours later I was unceremoniously booted from Axacon, informed by Axanar producer Alec Peters it was an event only for supporters of the production.+So I set about buying a ticket to attend, including a weekend pass to [[https://​sphinx-con.org|SphinxCon]],​ the convention hosting Axacon under its aegis. After securing the tickets, I booked a flight and hotel room. A few hours later I was unceremoniously booted from Axacon, informed by Axanar producer Alec Peters it was an event only for supporters of the production.
  
 I asked him to reconsider, particularly since I had already spent more than $400 on non-refundable airfare. If I wasn't going to be allowed to attend I thought it only fair to ask for my airfare to be reimbursed. I asked him to reconsider, particularly since I had already spent more than $400 on non-refundable airfare. If I wasn't going to be allowed to attend I thought it only fair to ask for my airfare to be reimbursed.
  
-Foolish? Arrogant? Perhaps. At least that's how it was [[https://​fanfilmfactor.com/​2018/​10/​16/​carlos-pedraza-wants-money-from-alec-peters-editorial/​|portrayed]], but I leave the interpretation up to the reader; ​nonetheless ​felt an obligation to try to recover the funds contributors had given for me to attend.+Foolish? Arrogant? Perhaps. At least that's how was [[https://​fanfilmfactor.com/​2018/​10/​16/​carlos-pedraza-wants-money-from-alec-peters-editorial/​|portrayed]]nevertheless ​felt an obligation to try to recover the funds contributors had paid for me to attend.
  
-I was told in no uncertain terms I was unwelcome, and that all sorts of security precautions were put in place to prevent any "​detractors"​ (the term preferred by the cooler heads among the Axanar faithful ​to the often-used "​haters"​) from disrupting the event.+I was told in no uncertain terms I was unwelcome, and that all sorts of security precautions were put in place to prevent any "​detractors"​ (the term preferred by the cooler heads among the Axanar faithful ​over the often-used "​haters"​) from disrupting the event.
  
-Fortunately,​ in a series of tense but cordial DMs, David Weiner, SphinxCon'​s organizer, clarified for me that I was not disinvited from SphinxCon itself, merely barred from Axacon sessions. So I was welcome but I had better behave myself.+Fortunately,​ in a series of tense but cordial DMs, David Weiner, SphinxCon'​s organizer, clarified for me that I was not disinvited from SphinxCon itself, merely barred from Axacon sessions. So I was welcome but told I had better behave myself.
  
-[{{ ::​crowne_plaza_bar.jpg?​direct&​350|**NEUTRAL ZONE** In the long history of diplomacy, a bar has often offered common ground for opponents to speak informally.}}]+[{{ ::​crowne_plaza_bar.jpg?​direct&​350|**NEUTRAL ZONE** In the long history of diplomacy, a bar has often offered ​a casual ​common ground for opponents to meet.}}]
  
 I arrived Friday afternoon while Axacon attendees were visiting the now nearly completed //Axanar// bridge set during an open house at Peters'​ OWC Studios, about 42 miles away from the con hotel. I arrived Friday afternoon while Axacon attendees were visiting the now nearly completed //Axanar// bridge set during an open house at Peters'​ OWC Studios, about 42 miles away from the con hotel.
  
-While the Axanar meeting room was off limits the hotel bar was neutral territory. If I was going to get a chance to talk to Axacon attendees, that and the hotel restaurant were the most likely places for any communication ​to happen.+While the Axanar meeting room was off limits the hotel bar was neutral territory. If I was going to get a chance to talk to Axacon attendees, that and the hotel restaurant were the most likely places for any face-to-face encounters.
  
 Friday night was uneventful, I saw only scifi writer and Axanar advocate [[david_gerrold|David Gerrold]] dining with someone; David (whom I've known for more than a decade and with whom I collaborated writing "Blood and Fire" for //Star Trek: New Voyages//) was there as a SphinxCon guest. He was also slated to join a couple of Axanar panel discussions. I don't think he saw me in the restaurant. Friday night was uneventful, I saw only scifi writer and Axanar advocate [[david_gerrold|David Gerrold]] dining with someone; David (whom I've known for more than a decade and with whom I collaborated writing "Blood and Fire" for //Star Trek: New Voyages//) was there as a SphinxCon guest. He was also slated to join a couple of Axanar panel discussions. I don't think he saw me in the restaurant.
  
-<WRAP right round tip 50%>+<WRAP right round tip 320px>
 [{{ ::​rosario_dawson.jpg?​direct&​100|**Rosario Dawson**}}] [{{ ::​rosario_dawson.jpg?​direct&​100|**Rosario Dawson**}}]
 <fs smaller><​wrap em>​**Tangent**:</​wrap>​ Seated at the table next to me, however, was actor [[imdb>​name/​nm0206257/​|Rosario Dawson]] (Marvel'​s //​Daredevil//​ and //Luke Cage//). I'm not sure why she was there (certainly not to attend the con), but I was pretty excited anyway. Now back to your regularly scheduled post…</​fs>​ <fs smaller><​wrap em>​**Tangent**:</​wrap>​ Seated at the table next to me, however, was actor [[imdb>​name/​nm0206257/​|Rosario Dawson]] (Marvel'​s //​Daredevil//​ and //Luke Cage//). I'm not sure why she was there (certainly not to attend the con), but I was pretty excited anyway. Now back to your regularly scheduled post…</​fs>​
 </​WRAP>​ </​WRAP>​
  
-The next morning I stationed myself down the hall from Axacon'​s meeting room, counting how many people were attending each panel. With that chore discharged I decided to sample SphinxCon'​s offerings. The con is for fans of Honor Harrington, a military scifi book series of some note.+Saturday ​morning I stationed myself down the hall from Axacon'​s meeting room, counting how many people were attending each panel (around a dozen). With that chore discharged I decided to sample SphinxCon'​s offerings. The con is for fans of [[wp>Honor Harrington]], a military scifi book series of some note.
  
 ===== Meeting Alec Peters ===== ===== Meeting Alec Peters =====
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 I had already seen Peters in the distance throughout the morning but I wasn't sure when or if we'd actually speak. As I had assured SphinxCon'​s organizer, I would keep my distance so as to not disrupt anything. I had already seen Peters in the distance throughout the morning but I wasn't sure when or if we'd actually speak. As I had assured SphinxCon'​s organizer, I would keep my distance so as to not disrupt anything.
  
-Later Saturday morning, Peters approached me where I was standing counting attendees ​at the latest Axacon panel. We shook hands but it was a decidedly frosty meeting+Later Saturday morning, Peters approached me where I was standing ​down the hall counting attendees ​entering ​the latest Axacon panel. We shook hands but it was a decidedly frosty meeting.
  
 +<WRAP round right box 320px>
 +<fs medium>​**David Gerrold**</​fs>​
  
-===== David Gerrold ===== +<fs smaller>​Stuff.</​fs>​ 
 +</​WRAP>​
  
 Much has been said … but I leave it to others to weigh in on that. Much has been said … but I leave it to others to weigh in on that.
  
-"The Oxford word of the year is a word or expression that is judged to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year, and have lasting potential as a term of cultural significance,"​ Oxford Dictionary said.(([[https://​www.upi.com/​Top_News/​US/​2018/​11/​15/​Oxford-Dictionary-picks-toxic-as-2018-word-of-year/​7461542314917/​|"​Oxford Dictionary picks '​toxic'​ as 2018 word of year," UPI]], 11/15/18.)) */+"The Oxford word of the year is a word or expression that is judged to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year, and have lasting potential as a term of cultural significance,"​ Oxford Dictionary said.(([[https://​www.upi.com/​Top_News/​US/​2018/​11/​15/​Oxford-Dictionary-picks-toxic-as-2018-word-of-year/​7461542314917/​|"​Oxford Dictionary picks '​toxic'​ as 2018 word of year," UPI]], 11/15/18.)) 
 + 
 +And in a victory of human nature, we may have created something of a fragile peace. {{page>​footer}} ​*/