A Trekker Fan and Zine History, 1967-1987
by Joan Marie Verba
When Star Trek began in 1966, it instantly captured the attention of science fiction fans, and gained an attentive audience. When NBC threatened to cancel the show after the second season, the fans wrote in, demanding that it be returned to the air. After the third season, Paramount, NBC, and industry experts felt Star Trek was past. But the fans did not. They started clubs, organized conventions, published newsletters, and kept writing to Paramount to ask that Star Trek be revived. Through these actions, they kept interest in the show alive and flourishing. At last, fan efforts resulted in the Star Trek movies, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Currently, Star Trek lives on in five series–and the adventure continues.
Boldly Writing chronicles all of these fan efforts, and recognizes the most valuable resource of Star Trek: its fans. The trends, obstacles, hard work, and success of the revival efforts are detailed through the first 20 years of fan publications. Author Joan Marie Verba has been an active fan since the very beginning of Star Trek, and a zine reader, writer, publisher, and collector since 1969.
“Joan Marie Verba brings back to life the heady days of Star Trek fandom, chronicling the fight to revive the original series and detailing the controversy and the gossip that fueled the first twenty years and gave birth to generations of wonderful poets and writers. I couldn’t stop myself from dipping into this fascinating history.” –Siddig El Fadil/Alexander Siddig, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
“Thank you for your Boldly Writing. I found it most informative, especially in light of where [the] Star Trek fanzine is now. It’s come a long way. Congratulations and continued success.” –Andrew J. Robinson, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
“Yesterday … the galley proofs to Boldly Writing by Joan Marie Verba arrived in the mail …. I had no idea her fanzine history was such an ambitious work. I advise any Star Trek fan who wasn’t around in 1969 to order a copy …. She has taken the amorphous welter of material that came off the fan presses and revealed a sharp, clear, and most of all, documented, print. She has shown us how Star Trek fandom was a force that gathered in, energized, trained, and produced people who have since then racked up an astounding list of achievements….” –Jacqueline Lichtenberg, review
“I have nothing but praise for this monumental work!” — Jacqueline Lichtenberg, co-author, Star Trek Lives!
“Little did I know on September 8, 1966 that watching a new television show would profoundly change my life. Star Trek has been inextricably woven into my existence ever since. In Boldly Writing, Joan Marie Verba chronicles the height of the fanzine phenomenon …. Joan’s book is an amazing reminder of all those stories we shared, those dreams we dreamed, as we went where no fandom had gone before.” –Jean Lorrah, author of The Vulcan Academy Murders, The IDIC Epidemic, Metamorphosis, and Survivors.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Joan Marie Verba earned a bachelor of physics degree from the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology and attended the graduate school of astronomy at Indiana University, where she was an associate instructor of astronomy for one year. Her first career, as a computer programmer, lasted ten years. After being laid off twice from computer programming jobs, she retrained as an editor and currently works as one. An experienced writer, she is the author ofVoyager: Exploring the Outer Planets(Lerner Books, 1991), as well as numerous short stories and articles. She is one of the authors of the novel, Autumn World(Stone Dragon Press, 2000), which she wrote in collaboration with Tess Meara, Deborah K. Jones, Margaret Howes, and Ruth Berman. She is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
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