Devra at Devra at
Sat Jun 29 16:06:50 EDT 2002

Speaking from a time when rocks were soft...

I published quite a lot of fanfic(Trekfic actually) in the early days when there Was NOTHING Else--no pro novels, no summary-of-episode pro books, no reruns, no movies, no VCRs.... A person could easily go crazy waiting for the rerun season to catch an episode missed in first run (and no, they didn't repeat each episode the same week--if you missed it, you missed.) Some episodes weren't rerun; I didn't get to see the first 2 Trek episodes, and didn't see them until they went into syndication.

Under these conditions, people were desperate for new material, more story, other ideas.  You wrote because you HAD to, and you shared it with your friends, because everyone else thought that you were crazy.  And we had our own exciting ideas about things--

We started publishing fanzines--I did SPOCKANALIA and MASIFORM D--fairly soon, because we wanted to share our stories with more people.  At one time there were several hundred zines in circulation.  

I didn't print things just as they were sent to me; I edited them, and tried to help people make their stories the best they could be.  Did pretty well, I think--but some people said that I was too harsh. 

Anyway, some very fine stories were not only fanfic, but were even written off other authors' stories--a couple of great stories were responses to Jacqueline Lichtenberg's KRAITH series.  And they probably wouldn't make much sense if you hadn't read the originals, either.

But it wasn't a waste; it gave people great pleasure, and it gave a lot of people a place to practice and learn their craft, in a way they might not have had in the Real World.  And some people 'filed the serial numbers off' their fan stories and did sell them...Doyle and MacDonald's STARPILOT'S GRAVE is (under a lot of ribbon) an old STAR WARS cycle...pieces of 'Lost Entibor' for sale in schlock shops, and the giant saurian sidekick of the pilot/smuggler father of the heroine...

Anyway, this argument has gone the rounds for many many years

Devra (extremely ancient fan fogey)
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