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Iím selling some of my personal collection -
including some RARE Star Trek items!
Please check here and here on Ebay!

Star Trek has had a long history - which Iíll write about here! For me, itís a very personal thing as I got hooked on science fiction when I first saw the original Star Trek series when I was 12 (in re-runs - Iím not that old!). So you could say if it wasnít for Star Trek, there wouldnít be a Scifispace.com website!

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Iíve been thinking about exactly what I wanted to write here...personally I feel if you donít know something about Star Trek, you must have been in a black hole somewhere. So instead of rehashing a lot of things that have been printed in numerous books and on the web, I thought Iíd take a bit more of a personal note and relay some anecdotes and reflections about the various Star Trek series and fandom through the years. Iíve been fortunate over the years to have met many of the actors of the show through my involvement in running conventions. I thought Iíd relay to you some of my thoughts and memories as I recall them. I donít really know where this section will lead...but invite you to share the journey with me. Iíd love to hear your thoughts, comments or musings as well! Please email me. This section will be growing as my ramblings increase, so be sure to check back.

Back in the days...

When I first became a Star Trek fan (around 1974), it was very hard to find any information about the show. This was before the days when Star Wars made scifi a big deal and well before talks of a new series or movie. The internet didnít exist yet - home computers werenít even thought of much yet. And finding any kind of Star Trek merchandise was just about impossible. The only way to discuss Star Trek then were through penpals or fan-produced The original Enterprisenewsletters or magazines (fanzines). There were also networks of clubs and small groups - Starfleet was the largest and most widespread at the time, though I wouldnít hear about it for another 6 years.

There werenít many conventions yet either - the first was held in New York in 1976 (detailed in The Making of the Trek Conventions) and it took a few years for them to spread across the country.

In 1976, some merchandise trickled to stores along with the animated series appearing on TV - including the Mego toy line that I was stupid enough not to buy at the time since I hadnít started collecting anything but books yet. But until after Star Wars in 1977 and the resurgence in sci-fi interest it caused, very little could be found.

Then came 1977, Star Wars and the talk of a new Star Trek series...no, a Star Trek movie....no, a new series...no.... Paramount kept us (and producer/creator Gene Roddenberry) guessing for months what new Trek would appear until finally Star Trek: The Motion Picture was released in 1979 spawning the much better series of films throughout the years. Which led back to the television revival, additional films, lots of merchandise, and a banaza for Star Trek fans.

Truthfully though...I sort of miss the early days. Before Star Trek became a mass franchise and when the hunt for that rare Star Trek item was part of the fun and it was wonderful to find someone else who shared your (rare) passion for the somewhat obscure show.  I still remain primarily a fan of the Original Series...and only collect itís  items unless something is really, really cool. Iíve enjoyed all the series and films (to various degrees), and am looking forward to Enterprise, but there will always be a soft spot in my heart for Kirk, Spock, Bones and the rest.


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Why Star Trek?

Iíve had lots of people over the years ask me why Iím a Star Trek fan and iíve always found it hard to answer. Star Trek seems to have captured more fans and more peopleís imagination than any show before or since. Why? What is it about a rather cheesy series from the 1960s that struck a cord and found so many loyal (and often fanatic) fans?

For me, I think it was the fact that everyone seemed to get along - even with aliens and loners like Spock. Having grown up more than a bit of a loner myself (and teased and ridiculed about everything from my height [Iím 5í11Ē now - was 5í7Ē in 6th grade] to taking dance lessons to getting straight Aís), I think the idea that so many diverse people could live and work together without ridicule (except friendly teasing) was very appealing. Plus the whole spirit of adventure and exploration...ĒTo boldy go where no one has gone beforeĒ...that was fascinating to me as well.

Whatever it was for me or others, Star Trek fandom has certainly grown beyond anything anyone could have ever imagined. Yes there are shows with intense fan interest, conventions, and other aspects of Star Trek fandom, but nothing to rival the sheer volume, creativity, or passion Star Trek fans seem to exhibit. In my mind, Star Trek really launched fan interest in general - would there have been any sort of TV series fan clubs if the Star Trek clubs hadnít led the way? Would media science fiction conventions have grown to the level they are now without the influence of Star Trek?

Weíd need The Guardian or other time travel method to really find out, but somehow, I donít think so.

Favorite Moments with the Cast

Iíve been fortunate enough to have met almost all the original & TNG cast members as well as The Great Bird himself, Gene Roddenberry. Some I had a chance to spend a bit of time with in my capacity of working with conventions. I thought Iíd pass on some of my favorite moments here...

  • Jimmy Doohan (Scotty) - A wonderful man who took the time to come up to my Starfleet room party at Magnum Opus Con in Georgia though he wasnít feeling well. He was totally charming and gracious.
  • George Takei (Sulu) - Spent hours in the same room party above...I only knew he was there when I heard his very distinctive laugh. He was wonderful and had a great deal of fun talking people into running with him very early the next morning.
  • Mark Leonard (Sarek) - At a convention in Miami in 1985, he mentioned onstage he hadnít seen the episode of Otherworld he had guest starred in...since my friend Sherri had it on tape, we arranged to show it to him during a special luncheon at the convention and had the opportunity to sit at his table all afternoon. A wondefully charming man.
  • Walter Koenig (Chekov) - I had him as a guest at a convention I ran in 1999 and had a wonderful time chatting with him on the phone and at the show. Heís very witty and greatly enjoyed meeting fans and shopping in the dealers room...in fact, my staff had some problems keeping up with him, though the consumate professional, he was always onstage on time.
  • Gene Roddenberry - A very quiet man I had an opportunity to meet during the 1989 Star Trek cruise to the Bahamas. He was very laid back and gracious and, while Iím sure was tired of hearing the same questions and comments over and over again, never seemed tired of talking to fans.
  • Majel Barret Roddenberry (Christine Chapel) - I had the opportunity to meet her several times including spending a great deal of time during setup and pack up when we were both dealers at Omnicon in Miami. She has a great sense of humor and has tons of wonderful stories about Trek and Gene she loves to tell.
  • Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) - Like most Trek fans, I really found the character of Wesley annoying on TNG, but Wil is a wonderful man I met during the 1989 Star Trek cruise. During dinner the final night at sea, an air conditioning vent fell into the middle of my (thankfully empty) dinner plate. Wil was sitting at the next table and first made sure I was okay, then commented about it ďbeing the ghost of ElvisĒ since we were passing through the Burmuda triangle at the time and ďyou know he lives here nowĒ. He then proceeded to do a very funny imitation of Elvis making us all laugh.

To be continued....

Iím selling some of my personal collection -
including some RARE Star Trek items!
Please check here and here on Ebay!

For More Information...
I recommend these
books about the history of Trek or Star Trek in general! Unfortunately, many are out of print - see bottom of this column for a link to search for out of print books for sale.

Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future

 

The Star Trek Concordance by Bjo Trimble is the definitive guide to everything about TOS, the animated series, and the 6 TOS films.

The Making of Star Trek by Stephen Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry

The Making of the Trek Conventions by Joan Winston

Get a Life! Shatner's history of Star Trek conventions and fandom.

 

The Star Trek Encyclopedia: A Reference Guide to the Future

 

The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers

 

These Are the Voyages...: A Three-Dimensional Star Trek Album - 1966-1996

 

Spaceships at the Final Frontier

 

 

Search for Out of Print Books Here  

 

 

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