My introspective piece on attending a convention in the tail end of the pandemic was published in the October issue of Locus magazine.
THIS ESTONIAN SUMMER would have been right at home at the Locus office in California: Sunny days under brilliant blue skies with just a slight breeze to keep the heat from becoming stifling. Perfect for the annual outdoor science fiction convention held at Udu Farm in central Estonia. The event wasn’t confirmed until just a few weeks before, but the vaccination program had reached full throttle and infection rates remained low, dwindling almost to zero in June and July.Estcon is remarkable in that the event is always held outdoors, come rain or shine, which means it is the only convention that has been able to convene safely during COVID times. Precautions are taken. So far, not a single COVID infection has been connected to the event.
Guests were encouraged to bring tents in order to allow the existing accommodation to be parcelled out per household. I filled my hot-pink backpack with food and clothes, slung my tent and sleeping bag into a crocheted carrier, and took the train south. This was my third outing with my tent, so I considered myself an old hand. I set up in a shady spot by a stream with only minimal cursing and swearing and very little bloodshed (I accidentally stepped on a small frog).
You can read the whole thing on the Locus website.
I launched a Substack newsletter over the summer in order to better share my creative nonfiction. This month, the featured essay is Six Words of Russian, telling the story of camping on Aegna and blackmarket beer.
As this was now my fourth time camping, I figured I was an old hand. A forest commuter. A modern-day mountaineer. A middle-aged, overweight, trailblazing adventurer …or at least well on the way to becoming one. I knew exactly what I needed for my trip to Aegna.
My lumpy crochet bag held a tent, an air mattress, a battery-operated pump, a sleeping bag, a small pillow, a kilo of charcoal, and a large metal tea kettle.
My hot-pink backpack, picked up half price at Sports Direct, held a change of clothes, bathing suit, large towel, a flat water bucket, a lantern, a small portable video camera, 600g sliced pork, two types of cheese, 200 grams of flour, salt and yeast so that I could make bread, ground coffee, cream, the espresso hand pump that my daughter gave me, a liter of Coke Zero, half a head of lettuce, two bananas and an apple.
I had everything I needed for an overnight stay. I also couldn’t move.
You can read the whole thing on my newsletter, Accidents and Incidents. While there, please subscribe (it’s free!) to receive monthly essays and mishaps.
My essay The Train Station Ateljee: Stumbling Across Estonia’s Distant History was featured in Deep Baltic magazine.
This is one of my favourite essays that I’ve written about Estonia and I’m thrilled to have it shared with a new audience.
My photograph taken and submitted while I was camping on Aegna was shortlisted for the photo competition as a part of the Baltic Island Days featuring Aegna. The photograph was displayed on the Pirita promenade for the event. There were over 80 works submitted of which 20 were selected to be exhibited in the pedestrian underpass leading to Freedom Square for the month of October.
I’m thrilled to be a part of the Gender and Age/Aging in Popular Culture taking place this week at the University of Graz. As with many conferences these days, this is a virtual event.
I am speaking on Thursday about Old Age and Aging as Represented in Star Trek as a part of the panel on Representations of Gender and Aging in Speculaive Fiction. It looks set to be a fascinating collection of subjects and I’m very much looking forward to it.
The author of this piece, Jack Williams, asked if he could have five minutes of my time to talk about Flying Tiger Line flight 739. We ended up talking for over an hour, because no way could I tell him all about this flight in less. The interview was used in this feature on a new memorial being placed to commemorate those lost in this military flight.
New Memorial In Maine to Commemorate Missing Military Flight, Nebraskan
Realm has re-released The Triangle, a fun action thriller developed by Dan Koboldt and written by Dan Koboldt, Mindy McGinness and me, has been released as a podcast available to everyone. You can listen to all ten episodes narrated by Neil Hellegers for free on Apple, Spotify and other podcast sysytems.
The mysticism and intrigue of the Bermuda Triangle has just turned personal for Admiral David Segarra: his former ship, the USS Wasp, has gone missing in the area without a trace.
I had great fun taking part in this collaboration and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I think this is a great story and I’m really glad it is getting a bigger audience.
My talk on representations of age and ageing in Star Trek has been translated into Estonian for Reaktor magazine!
I’m very proud to have been invited to present at Estcon and even more so that the talk was translated for me.
I’m excited to share that the documentary Mythos has released their intriguing special on the Bermuda Triangle, which includes me trying to recreate the circumstances of Flight 19 in an Airbus A320 simulator; probably the closest I’ll ever get to flying an airliner.
Probably a good thing too, as I crashed.
For some reason I’m referred to as Riley instead of Wrigley but I swear it is me. The episode aired on the 13th of January but will be repeated on the 9th and 17th of February on ZDFInfo. However, you can watch the entire thing (me in English, dubbed into German!) on their website here:
Mythos: Das Bermudadreieck (43 minutes)
I was asked to take part in an interview for ABC’s The History Listen
, which was used for a mash-up documentary on one of my favourite Australian characters, Diamond Jack.
It’s a fantastic format, which my mother described as natural storytelling, like we are all telling the story over drinks.
You can listen to the full podcast here: Diamond Jack, Smirnov and the Pelikaan