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SoonerCon Spotlight: Larry Nemecek

Author, Oklahoma native, and well-known "Star Trek" expert Larry Nemecek will return to his home state to appear at SoonerCon this weekend at the Reed Conference Center, 5800 Will Rogers Rd, in Midwest City.  Memberships at the door are $25 for one day and $50 for three days.  The show runs 10 a.m. to midnight June 24-25 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. June 26.

I asked Larry for some thoughts about SoonerCon and the notable anniversaries of the year, and I'll let him take it away from there:

LARRY NEMECEK: I’ve been excited all year to not just be here for SoonerCon 25, but to realize that was actually three anniversaries for OKC fandom: It is the 25th SoonerCon, but it is the 30th anniversary of SoonerCon 1 in 1986… where I was the very first publicity chair …. AND it’s also the 25th anniversary of its separate but sister all-media con ThunderCon that I founded in 1991 (and long before any NBA team graced our hardwoods). So when I come back home for SoonerCon I’ve always made it a point to see old friends, lately it’s exciting to keep up with all the new faces and energy, especially in indie film and fan films, what with Dead Center,  and with the Starbase Studios’ set hosting so many Trek projects.

And the fact that SoonerCon still has such a great group of volunteers, all local and with a local charity… and is growing at about, what, 15% a year? It’s a “Big Bang Theory” world, everything is a nerddom and everyone’s out of the closet, so to speak! There was a time when you kept it close to the vest, we had to beg for publicity … or, people wanted to come but thought they needed a costume to come to a con.  So, good on Leonard and Aislinn and the whole crew: bringing grass-roots fandom and pop culture fun in all stripes without folks having to travel…more and more each year? That’s just awesome.  And this year they have me hosting a couple of crazy events, I can’t wait.

But this year is also Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, of course, with a new film AND a return to the small screen AND more new fans than ever … so the con season has been crazy. Alongside the artists and gamers and anime fans we’ll have our fill of Trek at SoonerCon, too… It’s given me a chance to really launch PORTAL 47 from my Trekland brand: a unique, online and live “backstage pass” to Star Trek every month based on my 20+ insider years in the Trek family—sharing my archives, memories and many crew friends whose stories and insights have yet to be heard from all 50 years of Trek … where no savvy fan has gone before! 

We’re also in the final year of our relaxed approach to my documentary “The Con of Wrath,” about the infamous true story of Trek’s most glorious failure in 1982 Houston, and I’m only just beginning to evangelize about  Enterprise in Space, the non-profit program to orbit students’ projects worldwide on the first real Enterprise in Space.

And of course, first thing getting out of Will Rogers:  my first Braums’ chocolate-chip shake in ages. That’s a ritual.

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Matthew Price

Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s... Read more ›