September 28, 2012

Galaxy Ranger Fandays September 29th & 30th 2012

galaxyrangerfandays_SMALL[1]If you’re bored and looking to do a little travel, head out to Abilene for the first annual Galaxy Ranger Fandays. Galaxy Ranger, Inc. is based in Ranger, Texas and was formed as a non-profit. The Fandays is the first in their attempts to raise money for Ben Richey Boys Ranch and The Veteran’s Support Organization. For their first outing, it looks to be a promising event. Guest speaker is UFOlogist, Dennis Balthaser who has quite an impressive resume. Anne Lockhart, Bobby Clark, and Tim Taylor of the Hunger Games will be in attendance as well as a few Dallas Favorites.

If you head out that way, take pictures and send me links to share!

September 27, 2012

North Texas Can’t Stop the Serenity 2012

CSTS2012_Logo_OvalSunday September 30, 2012 will find the center of the ‘Verse at 2404 Airport Freeway! Central Park Movie Tavern will be hosting this year’s North Texas Can’t Stop the Serenity event. The event started six years ago to help support Equality Now in their work to protect the rights of women around the world. By screening the Joss Whedon films SERENITY and DR. HORRIBLE’S SING-A-LONG BLOG, proceeds will be raised to help benefit this organization.

A lot has changed for this year’s event, so you’ll want to check out the website to make sure that you don’t miss anything. Firsties, the location has changed.  The event is being held at the Central Park Movie Tavern. It’s located in Bedford which is actually pretty good, because it’s a halfway point for folks from both sides of the Metroplex. Unfortunately, there is a lot of highway construction in the area, so you’ll want to check out the maps to make sure you don’t miss the Tavern.

Second, thanks to the fine folks at Central Park Movie Tavern, there will be another theater which makes it harder to sell out. Meaning, that all you Browncoats will have a spot to watch the show. Each theater will run the same events as the other theater, so you don’t have to worry on missing out on some cool swag!

And last, but not least. After all that has happened in Aurora, Co. this past summer, a lot of thought has been put into safety measures at theaters. That being said, there will be no costume contest and guests are asked to NOT show up in costume. If you do show up in costume, understand that you MAY BE DENIED ENTRANCE. But, there is good news to follow that. Just head over to the North Texas Browncoats website for more.

Be sure and check out these cool photos from the North Texas Can't Stop The Serenity 2009. And if you get the chance to go, take pictures and shoot me a link so that we can all see!

September 25, 2012

WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines

Wonder Women American Superheroines 001

WONDER WOMEN!  is a feature documentary that looks at the heroic woman through modern history. Using Wonder Woman as an example, it documents the strong female from the early 1940’s to modern popular culture of today. The film will be screened at the Dallas Museum of Art’s Horchow Theater on September 29th at 8:45 PM. It is being shown in conjunction with Videofest 25 which runs September 27th through the 30th at the DMA.




Tickets for WONDER WOMEN!


September 20, 2012

Last Call For Registration for Dallas–Fort Worth Brain Tumor Walk

2011-11-05_09-20-32_398-bThis will be the last post for the year for this. I hate having to put it on my hobby blog, but you are my largest audience and thus the biggest (word of) mouth that I have. You will have to register by Wednesday, September 26th, to be able to walk in the event. That doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to donate to the cause.

Tuesday was a day for more MRIs and more let downs, though we still remain optimistic. If you are unfamiliar with my wife’s condition, you can read more here and here. In a nutshell, she has a stage IV brain tumor that is slowly taking up more and more space in her brain. This is what will eventually kill her, although it should have taken her from us two years ago. As of Tuesday, we found that the tumor has grown some more and we now are trying a new chemo and going back on Avastin (sp?). The only problem with Avastin is that it can cause a brain hemorrhage. She has already had a small brain bleed before, but was taken off of Avastin. This time it will be monitored closely, but the benefits seem to outweigh the other options.

So, again, with high hopes, we are on to a new chemo treatment and look forward to the walk on the September 29th. If you can donate, please do. If you cannot, could you please pass this on to others who might. Thank you.

Link: The Dallas-Fort Worth Brain Tumor Walk Page for Carroll Pickering

If you would like to send a donation by check:

Carroll Pickering


National Brain Tumor Society

Dallas-Fort Worth Brain Tumor Walk

124 Watertown Street, Suite 2D

Watertown, MA  02472

September 17, 2012

FenCon IX September 21st–23rd 2012

FenCon IX Dallas Fort Worth Science Fiction Fantasy Literary Filk
FenCon is billed as “a fan-operated science fiction and fantasy literary and filk convention in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.” I’ve had the pleasure of visiting for the past three years and have enjoyed it immensely every time. I’ve even made a few friends there.

Literary guest of honor is C. J. Cherryh (just like cherry) along with a host of other great guests, including astronaut Dr. Stanley G. Love. There will be an art show, dealers’ room, workshops, panels, a masquerade, and probably some gaming. Check out the website and make plans to join us!

FenCon IX

Whose got plans to attend and who are you looking forward to seeing?

Movie Review: Resident Evil: Retribution


I must have lower standards than most movie-goers. I read other reviews and think “oh, man! This is gonna be a stinker,” and then wonder what happened when I’m not near as upset about losing my money as other movie patrons. It probably helps that I’ve watched the other Resident Evil movies, but do not remember much about them, and I have never played any of the video games. That may, also, explain my lack of knowledge with some of the characters.

Upon an invite from my friend Tom, I joined up with him and some of his friends to check the movie out a the local Studio Movie Grill. Everyone in the group agrees that the quality of the movies have been going downhill since the first one with number four, “Resident Evil: Afterlife,” being the worst out of all of them. Seeing as how I haven’t really followed the franchise that much, I thought myself at an advantage, so was looking forward to the movie.

Story Synopsis:

The Umbrella Corporation's deadly T-virus continues to ravage the Earth, transforming the global population into legions of the flesh eating Undead. The human race's last and only hope, Alice, awakens in the heart of Umbrella's most clandestine operations facility and unveils more of her mysterious past as she delves further into the complex.


We get a “what’s happened so far” from Alice as the movie starts. The plot is pretty much straightforward with Alice having to escape from the bad guys with the help of some good guys. We see a lot of old faces, not necessarily the same character, from previous films and some characters from the video games. If you don’t know any of these people, it will not hamper the story any.

At spots, the dialogue can be a little ham-fisted. Think “Star Wars Prequels” bad. There are scenes where you question Alice’s faculties as she makes certain decisions. As they are escaping, they are given a time-table. Be out of the complex in two hours or boom! Yet, she’s strolling along like she’s at the park. Really?

The fight scenes are over the top and some are just plain stupid, but stupid in the since that it’s a movie about people who have special abilities, so get over it and enjoy the movie!

All in all, I found it enjoyable. I spent money for the 3D and would have still liked it without the 3D. The few times a weapon or bullet came at me wasn’t worth the extra money. Could I have waited for the DVD or Netflix. Yeah. But, to be able to hang out with a few of my friends, it was well worth it.

Remember, I never tell anyone to NOT go and see a movie. Make your own choices. But, if it’s a real stinker, I’ll let you know. This one? I think that most people who like these types of movies will like this one.

If you go and see it, let me know what you think?

September 14, 2012

William Ledbetter To Sign At Barnes & Noble

William Ledbetter L Ron Hubbard Award WinnerLocal author, William Ledbetter, will signing copies of Writers of the Future Volume 28 (L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future) (Affiliate Link) Saturday, September 15th, 2012 at Barnes & Noble in Plano at 3:00 PM. Mr. Ledbetter is very prominent in the Dallas writing scene being a member of the North Texas Speculative Fiction Workshop, head of the Future Classics writers’ group, the editor of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, and running the Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest. He is also active in the National Space Society of North Texas and the Science Track coordinator for FenCon. It helps that he’s a mechanical designer in the aerospace/defense industry!

Saturday September 15, 2012 3:00 PM
Plano/Creekwalk Village
Creekwalk Village, 801 West 15th St Suite E, Plano, TX 75075

Writers of the Future Winner

North Texas Speculative Fiction Workshop

Heroic Fantasy Quarterly

Prosper Writer Wins L. Ron Hubbard Award

Future Classics


Do you know of any authors that have book signings coming up?

September 13, 2012

DFW Brain Tumor Walk September 29, 2012

2011-11-05_09-20-32_398Brain tumors aren’t science fiction, but I sure do wish they were. My wife was hit with a stage IV brain tumor in July of 2010. My wife has faired pretty well, considering the tumor should have killed her within six weeks. That doesn’t mean that it’s been a picnic for her, though. Surgery, chemo, and radiation which have all led to aphasia, vertigo, memory loss, loss of cognitive functions, and now the inability to perform her job.


We’ve maintained high spirits due to the responsiveness of her tumor to the regimens that she’s been subjected to. We take that spirit and put into something that keeps us hopeful for a brighter future and that is the DFW Brain Tumor Walk. Every year we walk for awareness and research and we ask everyone that we meet to help out in any way possible. Whether it be through your pocketbook or through your connections on the web, please help. A donation, no matter how small, or the passing on of this link is all that we ask. Thank you!

Link: The DFW Brain Tumor Walk Page for Carroll Pickering

If you would like to send a check:

Carroll Pickering


National Brain Tumor Society

Dallas-Ft. Worth Brain Tumor Walk

124 Watertown Street, Suite 2D

Watertown, MA 02472

September 12, 2012

Diving In To Comics

Amazing_Spider-Man_Vol_1_252This is something that I haven’t really touched on since I started ‘A Galaxy Called Dallas,’ but there was a long time that I didn’t read comics. I used to read them when I was in junior high and high school. Early to mid 80’s had me reading “Secret Wars,” “Watchmen,” and “Amazing Spiderman” #252 when he got his new suit. I joined the Navy and left everything in the care of my parents in 1986. Little did I know that they were not hip to the future value of said comics. Of course, I wasn’t either, but I would have taken better care of my own stuff. I’m not bitter at my parents. Much.

During the next 23 years, I didn’t not read comics. I don’t know why, I just didn’t. It wasn’t until a little over 3 years ago, that I started writing this blog and getting back in to geek life. I started hitting the comic book shops. I was lost.

Death of Superman DC ComicsBatman RIP Deluxe Edition DC ComicsWhat? They killed Superman! Can they do that? What do you mean Batman’s dead too? No, way! Let’s sue’em!

Comics had changed. Superheroes had become human. I blame Alan Moore. That’s where it started. I’m kidding. I don’t know where it started, but what I found was that the comic universe had been evolving while I was away and now I was faced with a lot of changes. Not only had the superheroes changed, but the industry. Prices had gone up, now you had digital comics, and there were independents!

This article was inspired by Kaitlyn D’s article “Sucks To Be A Noob: Comics.” One thing that I definitely agreed with in this article is that if you are new to comics, you need too have a mentor. Befriend the guy behind the counter down at ye ole comic book shop or maybe one of your friends is a master of the paneled art. I was in luck! The guy who interviewed at one of my jobs is now one of my best friends and he lives for comics. So, if I have any questions then I can ask him. And for that, thank you, Tom! By knowing what’s going on in the stories, I can be more informed when it comes to picking out which ones I want to read, thus saving me money in the long run.

Kaitlyn also has a list that she has compiled of things that she has read with commentary or owns and will eventually read that is included in the article, so check it out.

The question of the day for you is this: I’m a noob. In whatever line of comics that YOU like to read, what would be the starting place for me to get a feel for the story? What is the perfect gateway comic issue or trade to the character that you read?

September 11, 2012

The Vinyl Thoughts Art Show #3

Vinyl Thoughts Art Show 09-13-2012 Dallas TexasThe premiere custom vinyl toy show in the south is what the website says and I’m intrigued! I’m hoping that I can get back into town in time to make it, because this seems like a really cool art show. From what I can tell, artists take blank vinyl toys and paint them in different ways to make something totally new. Again, I’m intrigued and really want to see this. It’s for one night only, Thursday September 13th, 2012 from 7 PM to 11 PM. Toys will be for sale and there will also be raffles and surprises! So, go to Vinyl Thoughts Art Show to get all the details.

THE JANUS AFFAIR by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris To Be Discussed At Lewisville Science Fiction Book Club

Louis Barber and the crew discussed the “Phoenix Rising” which is the first in the ‘Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences’ series many months ago and it was very well liked by all. It was so well received that they’ve decided to discuss the follow-up, '”The Janus Affair.”

(Affiliate Link)
You can join the group on Friday September 14th, 2012 at the IHOP in Lewisville at 7:30 PM.
Previous Posts Mentioning “Phoenix Rising”
Have any of you read “Phoenix Rising?” What was your take on it? Have any of you read any of Ballantine or Morris’ previous works? Do tell!

September 10, 2012

AMC Shows Indiana Jones’ Complete Adventures to Usher in the Blu-Ray Release

Indiana_Jones_The_Complete_AdventuresTo get crowds ready for the Blu-ray release of ‘Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures,’ AMC theaters is bringing back the complete collection to the big screen! First, you can experience “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in IMAX all this week until September 13th. Then, ONE DAY ONLY, you can enjoy a marathon of all four at an AMC theater on September 15th, 2012. That’s right! “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Temple of Doom,” “The Last Crusade,” and “The Crystal Skull.”

By going to the AMC theaters website, you can buy a $25 ticket that will get you into all four movies, a limited edition poster, and lanyard. Plus, if you are an AMC Stubs member, you get $5 in AMC Stubs Bucks for the event.

This all leads up to the Blu-ray release of ‘Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures’ on September 18th. You can pre-order your copy of Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures [Blu-ray] (Affiliate Link) here.

Will you be lining up for the IMAX? Braving the theater for the complete run on the 15th? Whose picking up a copy of the Blu-ray?

September 6, 2012

Steampunk Style: Autumn Masquerade Ball At Frontiers of Flight Museum

sky_commodore_ball-web_flyerThe Sky Commodore’s Autumn Masquerade Ball on Saturday September 15th, 2012 at the Frontiers of Flight Museum beginning at 8 PM has been announced by the Sky Commodore himself! Over at Skybourne, Sky Commodore Arron von Blackwolf has assembled a cast to entertain the local gentry. Everyone is asked to at least wear a mask, though there is no indication of being turned away if you do not have one. I’ve also inquired as to a local shop that might sell proper masks and I will update this upon finding one.


The evenings entertainment will be provided by Marquis of Vaudeville, Steam Powered Giraffe, and Circus Freaks! Enjoy the videos!

Steam Powered Giraffe–Honeybee


Marquis of Vaudeville–Utopian Playland


Check out A Galaxy Called Dallas Youtube Channel and see what I other videos I like!

September 5, 2012

Timetravelers Toy and Comic Expo Saturday September 8, 2012

There’s a great little side-venture for all you collectors out there this weekend. Timetraveler Toys and Comics have put together a nice showing of local and not-so-local dealers in collectible toys and comics. The event will be held at the Knights Inn banquet hall at 3601 US Highway 80 East in Mesquite, Texas 75150. Admission is only $1 with kids 12 and under free. With that price, you can’t afford not to bring out the kids and share your childhood with them! The show is from 10 AM to 5 PM.


A J Moore of Gud Fit EntertainmentAlso, in attendance, will be San Antonio-based artist A J Moore of Gud Fit Entertainment. He will be showing some of his original artwork with latest creations and if you haven’t seen his work, then you definitely need to come out.


Shogun Warrior Raydeen from Marvel UniverseI’m especially looking forward to the event because I’m on the prowl for an original Raydeen from the 70’s Shogun Warrior collection and I think these folks may have one amongst them.








Related post: Treasure at the Bookstore