Convention Spotlight: Starbase Indy


I don’t attend many SciFi conventions, but Starbase Indy is one near and dear to my heart. It was one of the very first I ever attended. And it’s local and still keeps the smaller, fan-run feel that makes for a more intimate con-going experience.

More about Starbase Indy:
“The Voyage Home” for Starbase Indy returns the fan-run science fiction
convention to the place where it began back in 1988 – the Wyndham
Indianapolis West
, 2544 Executive Drive. During the extended Thanksgiving
weekend, Nov. 27-29, look for a stellar lineup of guests from Star Trek,
Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Alien Nation,
and Once Upon a Time.

However, seeing stars isn’t the only option at Starbase Indy;
convention-goers can delve into the hard sciences with panels and workshops
on astronomy, forensics and other topics. New to the convention world?
Newcomers can check out the “Conventions for Newbies” panel, while other
sessions will explore popular culture such as DC movies and the TV series
Game of Thrones.

Bring the children along as well. While adults attend panels or browse the
Dealers’ Room, Starbase Indy will feature “CSI for Kids” and other special
family programming.

Other weekend festivities will include a Star Trek-based musical group (Five
Year Mission) and a screening of the 2014 hit movie, Guardians of theGalaxy. Back again will be Artemis, the popular multi-player networked game
that puts players aboard a starship. As for the Dealers’ Room, it contains
out-of-this world merchandise that provides a great alternative to Black
Friday shopping.

Guest stars at Starbase Indy 2015 will be Jeffrey Combs (Shran the Andorian,
Enterprise), Natalija Nogulich (Adm. Nechayev, Star Trek: The Next
Generation), Beverley Elliott (Granny, Once Upon a Time), Lee Arenberg
(Grumpy, Once Upon a Time), Jay Acovone (Maj. Kawalsky, Stargate SG-1), Eric
Pierpoint (Det. Francisco, Alien Nation), Ona Grauer (Emily Young, SGU
Stargate Universe), and Chris Nowland (Partner, Arrow).

They will dine with attendees at the Dinner for the Stars – special
registration required – and some stars will perform during the event.
During the weekend, convention-goers also can unwind at the con suite, where
they can chat with fellow fans and enjoy some munchies.

If Project Runway holds a certain fascination, Starbase Indy has its own
variation with a masquerade where attendees strut their stuff across the
stage in science fiction gear. Attendees are encouraged, but not required,
to dress as their favorite characters during the weekend. One note about the
stage – it’s not your typical backdrop. It looks like the bridge of the
U.S.S. Enterprise, complete with sliding doors for entry onto the bridge.

Starbase Indy supports three charities: Cats Haven, a no-kill shelter;
LUNGevity Foundation, which funds lung cancer research and provides an
online support community; and the Jason Foundation, an educational
foundation dedicated to the awareness and prevention of youth suicide.

Registration is $50 for the entire weekend; at-the-door registration for the
full three days will be $55. Children under 12 are free. Daily rates are
available at the door: $30 for Friday, $45 for Saturday and $35 for Sunday.
For more information or to register, go to It’s a
convention run by fans, for fans.

SciFi Book Review: The Ark

The Ark by Patrick S Tomlinson

Humankind has escaped a dying Earth and set out to find a new home among the stars aboard an immense generation spaceship, affectionately named the Ark. Bryan Benson is the Ark’s greatest living sports hero, enjoying retirement working as a detective in Avalon, his home module. The hours are good, the work is easy, and the perks can’t be beat.

But when a crew member goes missing, Benson is thrust into the centre of an ever-expanding web of deception, secrets, and violence that overturns everything he knows about living on the Ark and threatens everyone aboard. As the last remnants of humanity hurtle towards their salvation, Benson finds himself in a desperate race to unravel the conspiracy before a madman turns mankind’s home into its tomb.

Bryan Benson is a detective on a ship with very few violent crimes. So when a man goes missing, Benson is one of the few who believes he was murdered. And as the colony ship nears their new home planet, a group of separatists have their own agenda.

The Ark blends two of my favorite genres – science fiction and mystery. The story is well-paced and exciting. The mystery is unpredictable and complex. There are plenty of twists and turns that keep readings guessing. And the setting is like a character all its own. I love “wagon train to the stars” stories, and this is no exception. Mystery and scifi fans alike will enjoy this exciting novel.

Supply Pod Spoiler and Coupon!

supply pod

Coupon Code for 10% off: Chick10

Press Release info: Following on from the success of our The Martian-themed Supply Pod, our Holiday edition comes packed with more Star Wars goodies than you could shake a Lightsaber at. While we can’t reveal everything that will come in the pod (the surprise is half the fun), we can tell you that every box will comes complete with a copy of the brilliant Star Wars Psychology, signed by Editor, Travis Langley. The rest is for you to discover when the Supply Pod arrives at your door, packed with over $80-worth of the best Star Wars merchandise in the galaxy. If you want to celebrate your love of Star Wars before The Force Awakens hits the theaters, there’s no better way to do it than with this Star Wars Supply Pod.

Because this edition of Supply Pod will arrive just in time for the Holidays, it also makes the perfect gift for all the Star Wars geeks in your life. But if you’re looking to really impress your loved ones, you can now enroll them on a Supply Pod subscription, which means they’ll get a new Supply Pod delivered to their door every other month.

Single Pod are also available for purchase. Order now and receive by December 18th. $39.99 + $7.99 s/h

December Pod SPOILER: A partnership with author Travis Langley, the renowned psychologist who edited a collection of short essays about “The Dark Side of the Mind: Star Wars Psychology.”

Every Star Wars Supply Pod will have include an autographed paperback copy!

Want to know what else to expect? Check out my review of the last box here.

Mystery Box Review: SciFi Block – October 2015

SciFi Block

Sci-Fi Block contains licensed merchandise and collectibles hand-picked by our team of uber nerds representing the very best in science fiction entertainment. Each item is carefully selected and put through a series of in-house testing based on quality, brand association, collectability, and most importantly – the fun factor.” The price starts at $19.99 plus shipping per month.

COUPON CODE: Use MSA10 to get 10% off your first month!

SciFi Block

The first-ever SciFi Block!


Dr Who Eleventh Doctor Funko POP Keychain (Retail $6.30) – Not a Dr Who fan, but this will be easy to re-gift.

BB-8 Funko POP! (Retail $8.99) – I know the Smuggler’s Bounty mystery box is starting up soon, but I was very excited to score BB-8, as there were several Star Wars POPs that could have been included. And I didn’t have BB-8 yet. The movie hasn’t even come out yet, and I’m already a BB-8 fan!

SciFi Block

Star Wars Mad Libs (Retail $3.61) – Guess what I’m bringing to the opening of The Force Awakens to kill time before it starts?

Star Wars Can Cooler (Retail $8.95) – This is another item that was just one of several designs. I scored the Dark Side version. This will also make a great stocking stuffer!

Claudia Wells Official, Authenticated Autograph – No retail price, just awesome. I have quite the little-but-growing Back to the Future collection.

SciFi Block

Biff’s Pit Bull Hoverboards Tshirt (Retail $10?) – Speaking of Back to the Future, this shirt design is pretty cool too. Not thrilled with my millionth black shirt, but happy with the design and theme at least.

Summary: The SciFi Block exceeded my expectations with this first box. This may replace Nerd Block for me, even though that has been a solid box as well. It will be interesting to see how they differ.

Next month’s spoilers:

SciFi Block
SciFi Block

Three of my favorite series in one box… yes, please!

Exclusive Author Interview: Sarah Beth Durst


Author Sarah Beth Durst joins today to talk about her latest book, The Girl Who Could Not Dream!

  • Tell us a bit about THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM in your own words.

It’s about a girl whose family owns a secret dream shop where they buy, bottle, and sell dreams, and the adventures that she and her best friend — a loyal and cupcake-loving monster named Monster — go on when someone starts kidnapping dreamers.

  • Who is Sophie, and why are dreams so important to her?

Sophie is a twelve year old girl who can’t dream. When she does dream — which she can only do by drinking someone else’s bottled dream — the creatures in her dreams come to life. (Hence her best friend, Monster. He was from a classic monster-in-the-closet dream.)

Because her parents own a dream shop, she is surrounded by other people’s dreams — a constant reminder of what she can’t have. Not having her own dreams makes her feel different and lonely and like she’s missing out on something magical, beautiful, and vital.

I love dreams. I always try to think about something awesome right before I fall asleep, in hopes I’ll dream about that instead of a boring missed-the-train or can’t-find-the-bathroom dream.

  • Each of your novels seem to have a vastly feel, despite all being in the fantasy genre. Do you read a variety of different books? Does this influence your writing style?

Um… no. ducks head in embarrassment I know every writing teacher will tell you it’s important to read a wide variety of books. But honestly? Life is short. I read what I love. And what I love is fantasy. My favorite kind of book is one that takes you on an adventure, one that introduces you to new friends, and one that makes you feel as if the world is just a bit larger and more magical than you thought it was before.

And yes, this absolutely influences my writing style, because I try to write the kind of book that I would want to read. Really, that’s my primary criteria for every idea, for every character, for every scene: Would I want to read this?

  • What are you working on next?

Next, I’m working on an epic fantasy trilogy for adults about bloodthirsty nature spirits and the women who can control them. The first book, THE QUEEN OF BLOOD, will be coming out in fall 2016 from Harper Voyager. I’m really, really excited about it!

  • What’s your strangest dream that you remember?

I was Cindy Brady’s invisible best friend. I lived in the corner of the square between Cindy and Alice. I was there when the football hit Marsha’s nose. I was there when the boys put itching powder in the sleeping bags. And I flew for help when Bobby and Greg get trapped in the meat locker — but no one could see me because I was invisible.

Absolutely no idea why I had this dream, but for days afterward, I couldn’t get the Brady Bunch theme song out of my head.

Fantasy Book Review: The Girl Who Could Not Dream

The Girl Who Could Not Dream by Sarah Beth Durst

Sophie loves the hidden shop below her parents’ bookstore, where dreams are secretly bought and sold. When the dream shop is robbed and her parents go missing, Sophie must unravel the truth to save them. Together with her best friend—a wisecracking and fanatically loyal monster named Monster—she must decide whom to trust with her family’s carefully guarded secrets. Who will help them, and who will betray them?

Sophie is a lonely girl with a unique talent. She can bring other people’s dreams into reality. Which is how she ended up with a pet Monster, who is as loyal as a dog – and can speak. Sophie helps her parents by collecting dreams from her fellow classmates. But when her parents disappear, Sophie, Monster, and a new friend try to track down the culprit.

The Girl Who Could Not Dream is a fun and exciting fantasy for middle readers on up. With fun and colorful characters, and plenty of mystery and suspense – this book was hard to put down. Durst’s novels are always a must-read for me. And this was another one to love – as it was a fun, light-hearted (yet with some dark imagery at times), and unique story.

Box Review: Comic Bento – October 2015


Comic Bento is a subscription Graphic Novel Box – A surprise selection of fantastic Graphic Novels with at least $60 worth of comics in every box and mailed right to your door!

Pricing starts at $20/month plus shipping.

Comic Bento

The box comes with a nice card that gives details on each of the selections.
This month’s theme was MASKS and was guest-curated by comics writer Gail Simone!

Comic Bento

Captain Marvel Volume 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More (Retail $17.99 or $14.21 on Amazon) – I bought the Kindle edition of this when it was on sale and loved it. So happy to have a hardcopy to start collecting the series!

Comic Bento

Green Hornet Volume 1: Bully Pulpit (Retail $19.99 or $13.37 on Amazon) – I’m excited to get a Green Hornet graphic novel that I don’t have yet. I’m definitely looking forward to this one by Mark Waid.

Comic Bento

Orchid Volume 1 (Retail $17.99 or $12.88 on Amazon) – This is a title that’s new to me. The premise doesn’t appeal, but I’ll reserve judgment until I read it.

Comic Bento

Harbinger Volume 1: Omega Rising (Retail $9.99 or $9.65 on Amazon) – This is another unfamiliar title/series. This one looks really promising, with great reviews. I’m looking forward to this one as well.

Summary: Comic Bento remains one of my top two favorite sub boxes (Marvel Collector Corps being the other). The value is always good, and I enjoy reading almost everything I’ve gotten. Even the one title I had already read in this box – I was happy to get a hardcopy for my collection.

Box Review:

monthly funko pop vinyls

Pop In A Box is now available in the US! Americans can now subscribe to the one-of-a-kind mystery POP box. The site has a very extensive list of Funko products. Once you open a free account, you can track your Funko POP and vinyl collection – this is extremely helpful for collectors like me. I love that you can have a free account just to manage your collection. I had already started a free account to track my collection, and it does copy over to the US site. However, to manage an actual paid subscription, you have to be in the US site.

You are guaranteed to never get a duplicate POP, if you keep your collection up-to-date! And you can sometimes score exclusives. The higher number of POPs you subscribe for, the greater your chances of getting something extra. Subscriptions start at $9.99 plus $4.99 shipping and handling, and you can save more by buying more. See below for a coupon link.

Another great feature is that you can make sure that you only get POPs that you want by going through their extensive list and giving a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to as much as you can. A thumbs-down and selecting something as a part of your collection guarantees you will not receive it.

Pop In A Box US

I added all my Funko POPs that I currently had, “Liked” a bunch of POPs I didn’t have, and scored these surprises from Pop In A Box:

Dr. Raymond Stantz Funko POP!

Black Widow Funko POP!

Sure, you may be able to get some of these a bit cheaper on Amazon, but part of the fun is the mystery… And I do love my mystery boxes!

Get 5% off now by using this link:

*Pop In A Box sent a sampler to for review purposes.

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