High Strangeness: The 19 Year-Old T-Shirt

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The 19 Year-Old T-Shirt

I recently saved a favorite old t-shirt from the trash heap and the donation bin, and I'm glad I did, because it marks a unique anniversary for me... Exactly 19 years ago today, what was then quaintly called "The Sci-Fi Channel" hosted what it billed as the first-ever online science fiction convention. Because I was writing for Star Trek at he time, I was invited to be a "guest expert," and my payment was... the t-shirt!

All in all, it still looks pretty good for a 19 year-old t-shirt that has gone for some verrrrrrrrry long stretches stashed away in a dark dresser drawer.

The online science fiction convention took place in a thing called "cyberspace," which was at the time a pretty alien place that William Gibson wrote about. I honestly don't remember a whole lot about the experience, except that I spent a few hours in a chat room talking with a few dozen hyper Trekkies, and it was pretty fun. Goofy, but fun. Not like the time I appeared live at GenCon in Milwaukee and sat next to actor John DeLancie, who played the omnipotent superbeing "Q" in Star Trek: The Next Generation, on the celebrity Q&A panel; but that's another story...

And then there's the shirt... It still looks pretty cool, although I can't for the life of me remember what that big "D" in the middle of the logo was supposed to stand for...

It's fitting that I've just rediscovered this shirt, as my new publisher is talking about sending me to Comic-Con to publicize my Hynek bio. If I can keep the shirt in good shape until next year, maybe I'll wear it to the Con!

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