The Appeal of the Star Trek Convention

Everybody at the Las Vegas Star Trek convention stays at the Masquerade Bar, a dingy casino-side drinking spot at the Rio Hotel. It’s Masquerade since the area is supposed to be Carnivale-themed, but the smoky, ratty place has for years given up any charade of being festive.

It’s at the bar where you meet folks, folks dressed like Vulcan ambassadors and people

Maitland Ward hosts a cosplay party

with big Borg tattoos. Folks who write official Star Trek tie-in novels. I’m impressed by this, because the tie-in novels are still being crafted and are still set in the original, pre-Abrams realm. They sell quite well too. There’s a side universe where the reboot never occurred.

I’m speaking to this writer and I’m wondering about what the rules are now that the reboot has happened. It isn’t like the tie-in games, comics, and novels were truly ever huge, but now they’re living in a pocket world all their own. Does the fact that the mainstream Trek moved away from them bring them more freedom? What can they do in a Trek tie-in novel these days?

“They allow us to do pretty much whatever we like, as long as we don’t do something like blow up Vulcan,” the writer says. “However, what kind of dipshit would blow up Vulcan?”

Karaoke was supposed to have started a half hour ago already. It’s Thursday night at the big Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas and the entire convention center at the Rio Hotel and Casino has been taken over by uniformed Starfleet officers and a huge assembly of aliens. Also, there’s a jerk in a Han Solo from Star Wars costume. Nonetheless, there’s always going to be a person like that at these events. On Saturdays, drunks walk the halls of the convention center singing the Star Wars theme at people passing by dressed in Star Trek gear.

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