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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Old style Trek fiction

Last weekend I started having a browse around to see if any of the classic works of Star Trek fan fiction I loved reading had been published on-line. I actually found a fabulous web site which was dedicated to preserving these and had a number of my favourites. And I contacted Jean Lorrah, who used to teach mediaeval literature and write stories about Spock's parents, Sarek and Amanda.She did sell a number of novels way back when, but now, in her retirement, has gone for the e-books for children and is having a go at screenplays. I wish her all the best in this area.

I haven't written fan fiction in years. It's not just that people started handing me money to write, but that suddenly, after about 150 stories - literally! - I had run out of things to say. I think I stopped in the middle of a Robin of Sherwood story where someone from our time goes back into the past from the modern Nottingham Goose Fair and deiscovers that Robin and his men are speaking early Middle English and can't understand a word he says (and vice versa!). I'd just been to the Nottingham Goose Fair myself.

However, I still love reading the stuff, and have hundreds of fanzines with which I don't intend to part.

I discovered fan fiction existed when I read Star Trek Lives! and thought I'd have a go myself. But I also wanted to find those stories. Some of them, I did find, because they werre re-printed in the New Voyages anthologies. Some were borrowed from friends who had been in fandom a lot longer than I had.

I have been re-reading some of the fanzines under my bed and on my study book cases and some still stand up, while others I can't believe I paid for.

One of the zines I borrowed was Spock Enslaved, which everyone was desperate to read.

Even then, I found it the funniest thing I had ever read. It had a cover with a half-nude Spock chained to a pillar. When I got into Blake's 7 fiction, I wrote a story in which Avon is chained to a pillar on a matriarchal world and has to be rescued by teleport, still chained to the pillar. It was published in Susan Batho's "naughty" fanzine and that wonderful writer-illustrator Lana Brown did a delightful Svon chained to a pillar which not only made it to the cover but was re-used in following issues.

Out of curiosity, I Googled "Spock Enslaved" - no text publication as far as I can see, but lots of discussion, including whether or not it was slash fiction. Not that I can recall. It was, in fact, Mary Sue - ultra-Mary Sue of the Sweet Young Thing Dies Pregnant With His Child variety. Which, incidentally, makes its way into original Trek on TV, only "The Paradise Syndrome" was a lovely episode, Mary Sue or not.

I admit that stories like "Spock Enslaved" are guilty pleasures for me, however I laughed at the time.

I remember all the ones we wrote for "Spock", the Austrek fanzine, back before Paramount walked in and closed down Aussie zines. Probably I'd wince if I saw some of the stories I wrote back then, some with friends. I remember how we all followed a series about Spock and Chapel by an anonymous writer who turned out to be Diane Marchant and continued writing them after she lost interest. Of course, that series was finished off by "Morva Shepley", wasn't it, Morva? :-) As I recall, Chapel ended up leaving Spock and running off with the greengrocer - yes? It's been a while. It certainly gave us a sense of perspective.

And those were the days when we had to type them up on manual typewriters and so think about them before we submitted.

I know that you only have to do a Google to get as much up-to-date fan fiction as you like now, but for me, the originals are the best. I am going to print out and curl up with some of the stories I've actually found at that web site and maybe have a binge of my fanzine collection during the term holidays.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comment! I'l lalways remember The Great Raven, my first positive online review :)

How's life?

UrbanDragon said...


I thought I left a comment on this post, but it seems to have disappeared. The comment had something to do with those fan stories you referred to, and Chris Chapel running off with someone who bore a strong resemblance to Tom Sellick in "Magnum PI". Spock went off with Kirk and Vulcan fell into some rabbit holes.

I enjoyed reading the reviews you've written since this post. I may even read that historical novel if I come across it in the library.


Sue Bursztynski said...

Hi, Morva! No, I never did get a comment before this one. Tom Selleck, eh? We did mix up universes in those days. I have, somewhere, a fanzine with a series of stories by British writer Margaret Draper, about a young Romulan captain. I loved the stories and really loved the illustrations. It was not till many years later that I took a look at the illustration I loved best and realised that it was Paul Darrow (Avon in Blake's 7) with pointed ears!

William Kostakis, you got s positive review because the book was special. You deserved it!