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Galacticon off to good start with Star Trek, cybergoths

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Garrett Wang, center, is looking forward to meeting his fans and friends at Galacticon and the UFO Festival. Wang played the role of Ensign Harris Kim on “Star Trek: Voyager.” (Christina Stock Photo)

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This year’s special guest is Garrett Wang from the TV Show “Star Trek: Voyager,” who played Ensign Harry Kim.

Wang was welcomed like an old friend by the locals who previously met him when he first visited the convention as special guest in 2014. Asked what brought him back, he said, “It’s pretty much Elaine (Mayfield, the organizer of Galacticon) and all the friends I have made and have been working with; also the UFO Festival — just how nice they were. I am a big sci-fi fan. I have always enjoyed how well I was treated when I was here the first time.”

Mayfield had asked him to return for the festival, but Wang had too many prior commitments. “This year, I remembered the convention, so I just sent her a message,” he said. “She said, ‘Oh my gosh, will you come?’ I said, of course.”

Wang is no longer in Hollywood or in the movie business. “I am just having fun, taking my time to really stay away from Hollywood,” Wang said. “I haven’t done anything major. I have 13 years off — a lot of traveling. I fly over 100,000 miles a year with American Airlines; I go to Asia; I travel a lot. Some of it for relatives and for fun, some is for conventions. I just did one in New Zealand. That was fun. But really, just taking life easy right now.”

With the new Star Trek movies, another generation is finding the old TV shows on Netflix. “It doesn’t matter how you start watching Star Trek, once you start becoming a fan of Star Trek, then you get curious about all the other Star Trek shows you haven’t seen,” Wang said. “You can see it on your phone, computer, TV. It is very accessible. The newer generation loves it.

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“If you watch ‘Voyager’ it transcends time,” Wang said. “If you watch it now — it was filmed in 1996/1997 — it doesn’t feel that way. It still feels very current. Unlike ‘The Next Generation,’ that was in the ‘80s — it’s not so good. With ‘Voyager’ or ‘Deep Space 9,’ it still looks current.”

Every show in the Star Trek universe has a message. It’s either humanitarian, environmental or political. “That’s why Star Trek is so important,” Wang said. “It teaches you about how to live life better as a human being.”

Wang is looking forward to meeting his fans and friends today and Sunday. “Come on down and say hi. I am at both the UFO Festival (downtown) and the Galacticon (Roswell Mall),” he said.

Arhythmia Hart and Trixie Hart are back this year with a table at Galacticon. Both consider themselves cybergoths and travel every year from Austin, Texas, to Roswell.

The cyberpunk style is very difficult to pin down as a genre. It belongs in the science-fiction realm, but there are different threads — such as cybergoth — and backdrops that are always evolving. It is best explained with movies or virtual games. One of the first movies in the genre is the original “Blade Runner,” and “Mad Max” — and in games, it is “Deus Ex,” and “Shadowrun Returns.”

Cyberpunk has a dark backdrop that reminds one of the film noir movies whose unlikely heroes were often broken men and women in a corrupt world. The art in the cyberpunk genre includes gothic aspects, but — unlike film noir movies — is infused with neon hi-tech in a dystopian world. It is no small wonder that it attracts artists that are a little different.

Arythmia Hart and Trixie Hart can be found on Etsy under their label Darkest Candy Designs. A large part of jewelry they brought to the Galacticon includes bone necklaces and earrings from small mammals and deer.

Asked where they find the bones, Arythmia Hart said, “Most of them are from roadkill” — and from parks that have to manage their wildlife.

“We never use bones from hunters or fur farms. Ethics are very important to us,” Arythmia Hart said.

Next to Arythmia Hart and Trixie Hart, visitors can find unusual steampunk jewelry and leather work, science-fiction authors, comic artists and gaming. Visitors can also test their science-fiction knowledge at Comic-Topia and win prizes.

Another special guest is the award-winning cosplay artist Jessi Arntz, who is going to be a judge at the Human Alien Costume Con-Test at Pearson Auditorium, North Main Street at the New Mexico Military Institute. Fans of science-fiction and history get to meet special guests such as award-winning author John LeMay (”Tall Tales and Half Truths of Billy the Kid”), USA TODAY and The New York Times best-selling author S.E. Smith (she brought not only books, but dragon swag from her award-winning series, “The Dragon Lords of Valdier”) and E.J. Wilson (author of “Star Trek: Exploring The Original Series”).

Today is the last day of Galacticon and Sci-Fi Film Fest. The vendor booths will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Roswell Mall. For more information, visit roswellfilmcon.com.

For more photos of Galacticon and the UFO Festival, see Page A5, or click here.

Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at vision@rdrnews.com.

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