(Image: Sending a Wave)
On March 31, the UK Firefly and Serenity podcast Sending a Wave announced that it was coming to an end after twelve years of keeping Browncoats around the world up-to-date on all the latest conjurings in the Firefly fandom throughout the ‘verse. Sending a Wave will always be very special to all of us here at Take Back the Sky, because the podcast was the first media outlet to interview Jeff and me (way back in the 2012) about our efforts to convince Elon Musk and SpaceX to name their first Crew Dragon Serenity. Not only did our interview on Sending a Wave spread the news of what we were doing to a worldwide audience, it also gave our campaign a level of legitimacy in the Browncoat community that it hadn’t had previously. This was especially crucial to the success of our first online petition to SpaceX, which ended up with thousands of signatures from every continent except Antarctica, accompanied by comments in multiple languages.
About a year later we had the pleasure of meeting Wendy Scott, co-creator and host of Sending a Wave, in person at Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con in June of 2013. At the con that weekend, Wendy interviewed me again about my work as the event coordinator of Pittsburgh’s Can’t Stop the Serenity charity screenings, and together we attended the Firefly panel that featured Adam Baldwin, Summer Glau, Jewel Staite and Gina Torres. Wendy is a lovely woman who is tremendously knowledgeable about science-fiction and the film industry and an absolutely fascinating person to talk to. One of my favorite things about Wendy, both as a podcast host and as a friend, is that her “BS-meter” is finely-tuned, and she’s not afraid to call anyone out if their story has the odor of a fabrication or a retcon. (If you don’t believe me, you can hear her give me a much-needed history lesson upon our first meeting in Sending a Wave Episode 93: The One with Dragons!)
When I heard about the end of Sending a Wave, I contacted Wendy to ask her if it would be okay if I achieved some closure of sorts by bringing things full circle and interviewing her about what had been great run of a groundbreaking Firefly and Serenity podcast. She graciously agreed, and on April 28 we spent nearly three hours on Skype talking about everything from the podcast itself to geek culture, science-fiction of all kinds, Joss Whedon, CSTS, the current state of the film industry and even American and European politics. As you can guess, that conversation meandered in many different directions. The following is a transcript of questions Wendy answered that were specific to Sending a Wave:
Since 2012, we at Take Back the Sky have been leading a grassroots effort to convince SpaceX to name the first of its manned space capsules after Serenity, the fictional spaceship from Joss Whedon’s science-fiction television series Firefly and feature film Serenity. Despite the fact that we’ve devoted a lot of space as of late (yes, the pun is intended) to covering the many launches that SpaceX has completed so far this year, we still think it’s important that we not lose sight of our raison d’être. To that end, here are ten good reasons why we believe the first manned SpaceX Dragon should be named Serenity…
We are pleased to announce that Take Back the Sky will appear at the inaugural Wizard World Pittsburgh Comic Con at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh on Friday, September 11.
Pittsburgh native and Take Back the Sky co-founder Christopher Tobias will present a panel entitled “Browncoats in Space: the New Space Age and a Real-Life Spacecraft Named Serenity” at 5pm in Room 304. At the panel, Chris will discuss some of the exciting new developments in the world of private spaceflight as part of NASA’s current Commercial Crew Project, as well as a plan for how Browncoats the world over can band together to get SpaceX to name their first manned spacecraft after Joss Whedon’s Serenity.
And if Browncoats need any additional incentive to attend, Firefly/Serenity cast members Adam Baldwin (Jayne Cobb) and Jewel Staite (Kaylee Frye) are scheduled to appear at the con that weekend as well.
More information about Wizard World Pittsburgh’s guests and programming is available here.
See you in the Steel City!
It’s hard to believe Jeff and I will be appearing at Dragon Con in less than a week!
In case you haven’t heard (or read our blog entry from July 24), we’ll be participating in a panel called “Fan Support: How Our Faves Survive” on Friday, September 4 at 2:30pm in the Chastain Ballroom (F-G) at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel as part of this year’s Dragon Con. The panel, which is part of Dragon Con’s “Whedon Track,” will be hosted by Anna Puerta, and will also feature Michael Dougherty and Heather Fagan of the Firefly fan film Browncoats: Redemption.
Usually, it’d be easy to tell you what you could expect from one of our panels at a con, but this time it’s not our panel. We’re just guests who represent one aspect of a much larger ‘verse that’s filled with fans of Joss Whedon’s work, all of whom have their own unique ways of celebrating their favorite Whedon stories and characters and making sure they not only don’t fade away, but in some cases that they move forward and even evolve.
Pictured: My pick for best costume(s) of MegaCon 2015. You have to be old enough to have owned an SNES as a child to even grasp how stupendously awesome these people are.
MegaCon began not long ago as a minor anime convention in Orlando, Florida. In recent years, however, it’s grown much larger with added panels and more prestigious guests to become the annual sci-fi and general fandom con in Florida.
Having recently returned to my dear home and old stomping grounds, I was looking forward to seeing how the con has changed in the years since I’d last seen it, and I was proud that it would be Take Back the Sky’s first con outing in the southeastern United States. Even better, the supremely awesome people at D&B Comics offered to partner with us at the event, without which our participation simply wouldn’t have been possible.
Today was the kind of day that gets us excited about space travel.
SpaceX successfully launched their Falcon 9 rocket and deployed the Dragon capsule, which is currently on its way to the International Space Station with supplies, provisions, experiments and even an espresso machine!
And to top it all off, they darn near pulled off a historic landing and recovery of the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket booster aboard their robot barge Just Read the Instructions. The rocket hit the bullseye, but came in too hard for a that landing “like a downy feather” that SpaceX was hoping for.
The weather at the launch site was beautiful today, but less than ten miles away dark clouds were looming… (Photo credit: Look in the upper right-hand corner!)
River Tam: Storm’s getting worse.
Mal Reynolds: We’ll pass through it soon enough.
Today’s attempt by SpaceX to launch a Falcon 9 carrying a Dragon capsule to the International Space Station on the sixth commercial resupply mission to the ISS had to be scrubbed just a few minutes before liftoff because of weather concerns.
Those who watched the launch attempt live online probably scratched their heads at the announcement, given the beautiful blue sky and white, fluffy clouds that served as the backdrop for the rocket as it sat on the launch pad. The real danger, however, was a front of dark, well-developed cumulonimbus “anvil” clouds that were within ten miles of the launch site. There were also some reports of distant lightning strikes within the ten-mile limit in the run-up to the launch window, and it is standard procedure to scrub a launch under such conditions.
The next launch attempt will be tomorrow, Tuesday, April 14, just after 4:10pm EDT. In all fairness, though, tomorrow’s weather currently only looks to be 50% go for launch, whereas today’s was 60% just a short time before the scrub had to be called.
And yet, the way we see it, there was a lot to feel positive about today.