Dan Madsen, known to long-time Trek fans as the man behind the Star Trek Communicator magazine as well as the Official Star Trek fan club, reflected upon the changes in fandom brought about by today’s instant communication.
The Internet has changed how fandom interacts, and that is both good and bad according to Madsen. “Fandom is, in some ways, different today than when I ran the fan club,” he said. “The Internet allows fans to find out information in a heartbeat, so the thrill of waiting for the magazine and hearing the latest news is gone.”
“The Internet certainly allows fans the opportunity to communicate with each other better and stay on top of the latest Trek happenings,” said Madsen, who then lamented about the bad side to the Internet as far as fandom was concerned. “The only thing that bothers me is I also see a lot of negativity on the Internet. So it is both good and bad.”
Madsen has also been involved with Star Wars fandom and his latest work concerns a new company, “Her Universe,” founded by Ashley Eckstein (voice of Ahsoka Tano on Star Wars: The Clone Wars.) As one might expect from the title, this company is focusing on female fans, often overlooked in both Star Trek and Star Wars fandom. “‘Her Universe’ is the first company to develop apparel and products just for female fans,” explained Madsen. “Star Wars is our first license, but we’ll be adding more sci-fi/fantasy licenses and, hopefully, Trek is not too far down the line. For years, female fans have been overlooked and certainly from a merchandising standpoint, it has mostly been a male-dominated world. This is true for Star Wars and Trek. ‘Her Universe’ is addressing this need and looking to be the voice for female sci-fi fans everywhere. It’s not just about merchandise; it is also about starting a fangirl revolution to recognize female fans and their interests and contributions to the worlds of science fiction and fantasy. There are a lot of exciting things coming. You can visit our website at Her Universe and shop at our online store, too. We’ll also be at many of the largest conventions.”
In addition, Madsen is working on a romantic comedy. “I have a screenplay I’ve been developing with a writing team in Oregon,” he said. “It’s a romantic comedy about a ‘little person’ like myself.”