From the beginning of the Star Trek franchise, fans wanting to continue their own Star Trek voyages wrote stories and submitted art to fanzines for the benefit of their fellow fans.
Some of today’s Star Trek authors and artists got started in fanzines, which lead some to professional careers.
In the latest Star Trek Magazine, issue #25, available now, the history of fanzines is detailed, and some familiar names of today were contributors to those eagerly awaited publications. “Although fans probably know her best as the co-writer of many Star Trek non-fiction titles and co-editor of Pocket Book’s Strange New Worlds, Paula M. Block was at one time a contributor to Warped Space, a fanzine that lasted an impressive ten years with more than fifty issues.”
Another famous Star Trek fan name is that of Bjo Trimble. “The famous Star Trek Concordance (1976) written by superfan Bjo Trimble began life as a fanzine publication by Dorothy Jones Heydt in 1968.”
One of Star Trek Magazine‘s own wrote regularly to a popular fanzine. “Larry Nemecek (author of The Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion and co-writer of the story for the Voyager episode Prophecy) was known to write letters during the 1970s to TREK: The Magazine for Star Trek Fans. In fact, his TNG guidebook began as a fanzine concordance and was read by the writers and producers of the television show (the shuttle Nenebek from TNG’s Final Duty was named for Larry by Jeri Taylor).”
The quality of fanzines varied, from ones that looked like they came from the mimeograph machine in the teacher’s lounge at school, to slick professional-looking magazines. “Sometimes fanzines became so professional in editing and design that they were difficult to distinguish from licensed publications. TREK was edited by Walter Irwin and G.B. Love, and is arguably one of the most successful and professional Star Trek fanzines.
“Beginning in 1975 and running for nearly 20 years, TREK produced consistently impressive art, parodies, poems, interviews, behind-the-scene treatises, academic articles, and fan fiction. The most popular articles were eventually collected into 18 The Best of TREK books published from 1978 to 1996. Some of the features of TREK, such as ‘Reader’s Mysteries’ where fans would write in to ask about inconsistencies between episodes or just nitpick were so popular that modern and official Star Trek publications continue to have similar columns.”