David Gerrold

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Name: David Gerrold
Fandoms: Star Trek: TOS
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David Gerrold is a Star Trek writer and fan.

from 1973: The Trouble with Tribbles -- "David Gerrold before Tribbles and after..."


David Gerrold... recieved his B.A. from San Fernando Valley State College in 1967, and has worked in a toy store, in a 'dirty book store,' and as a television producer. He got his star in televsion with the sale of his script, 'The Trouble with Tribbles.' Since that time, he has written and co-written several other scripts for Star Trek... He has written two books on the series, The Trouble with Tribbles and The World of Star Trek, the latter of which is being re-released in connection with Star Trek III as this fanzine goes to press. [1]

Gerrold and Fandom

Gerrold is known as the writer of the Star Trek: TOS extremely popular episode 'The Trouble with Tribbles," for his frequent convention appearances, for his marketing of toy tribbles, for his "dulcet voice selling original xeroxed scripts boom over the whining PA system" [at cons] [2], for what many fans felt to be controversial and offensive remarks during interviews,[3] and for his behavior at conventions.[4]

He was a contributor to several fanzines, both as an interviewee and as a non-fiction writer. Gerrold was also the subject of a con panel at SeKWester*Con called "What is David Gerrold and Why?"

In 1985, he caused a major flap in fandom with the Open Letter to K/S Fandom by David Gerrold. Later in the year, he commented on K/S fandom's reaction in an interview conducted by Randall Landers and Tim Farley, during which he referred to either all K/S fans or just the ones who argued with him about it as "fat ladies with a sexual dysfunction." He shared his position on K/S again in 2013, though, it seems, only in response to somebody asking him about it again.

Gerrold as a Gateway to K/S

Some fans credit Gerrold with their introduction to K/S, citing his comments in the revised edition of The World of Star Trek.

A fan writes:
I first read about K/S in a rude comment in a David Gerrold book (thank you, Mr. Gerrold!) and then in fan literature. It sounded a little weird, but okay. When I actually saw some, I was hooked immediately. Now it's the only Trek I buy." [5]
Another fan writes:
My involvement with K/S began in early '86. I'd been thinking/fantasizing about Kirk and Spock "like that" for ages... when I finally chanced upon Gerrold's famously funny remarks about the "K/S ladies'; - and practically jumped for joy! I wasn't alone!! The first zine I ever ordered was AS I DO THEE 2, and it was even more wonderful than I'd imagined K/S would be.[6]
And another says:
Fascinating how many of us owe knowledge of fandom of K/S to David Gerrold. Haybe we should get up a petition of thanks, or something. [7]

Blood and Fire

ad from David Gerrold, in which he sells a unused script for Star Trek: TNG and donates the money to the "AIDS Project Los Angeles."
From the ad: "'Blood and Fire' was written for Star Trek: The Next Generation in May of 1987. It's about the fear of AIDS and what it does to people. (Yes, this is the one with the two gay characters in it.) A few weeks after it was turned in, 'Blood and Fire' was shelved. No explanation was ever given why the script was set aside." According to a Trexperts published around 2008, this script was to have been filmed by a fan-run group for a show called "New Voyages."

In 1987, Gerrold wrote a script for Star Trek: TNG which included two gay characters and touched upon the topic of homosexuality and AIDS. It was called Blood and Fire, which was later adapted for the fan-created web series Star Trek: Phase II.[8] The script was turned down, and Gerrold left his job at Star Trek shortly after.

In 1989, Gerrold sold copies of the script to raise money for AIDS-related charity.


cover of Otherwords #1
In 1969, the David Gerrold Fan Club published a series of zines about him called Otherwords. From the introduction to the first issue:
Otherworlds (to be quite honest about it) is published for the edification of David Gerrold's ego. (And if you've ever seen his ego, you know it needs a lot of edifying.) Subject matter willl primarily consist of articles by, for and about David. Some will be original, some will be reprinted. Material will include various fan work, unsold professional work, and sometimes letters (and missives) pertaining to both. Should this exercise in narcissism be more than your stomach can stand, we will occasionally attempt to relieve the tedium. Somehow.

A Piece of the Action and a Retraction

In 1974, A Piece of the Action referred to him as "his usual obnoxious but likable self." They printed a retraction in the next issue:

In the March issue of A Piece of the Action, we printed a sentence which requires retraction, or at least explanation, we said, "David Gerrold was his usual obnoxious but likable self." This was partially the fault of the writer, and partially my fault, as editor, for allowing such a statement to be printed. David Gerrold, perhaps more than any other celebrity, has made himself a part of fandom, and perhaps this has something to do with it. Most of us look at him as though he were one of us, and jokes like "obnoxious" get through about him, where they might not with other celebrities. Those of us who have met him and spoken with him know that he is not obnoxious—in fact, it is so obvious that the very statement "obnoxious" is obviously sarcastic. But nonetheless, such a statement needs to be retracted, in order that those who have not met him will realize that it is definitely not true. [9]



External Sources


  1. from Sensor Readings #1 (1984)
  2. from a fan's memorial for the Commodore Hotel, The Hole in the Deck Gang Newsletter #12
  3. two interviews: one in Sensor Readings #1 and for the convention DraftTrek, see those pages
  4. see the personal statement by [R W] in Universal Translator #23
  5. from The LOC Connection #22
  6. from The LOC Connection #22
  7. from The LOC Connection #24
  8. Episode 4x4: Blood and Fire, part 1. (Accessed 20 June 2012).
  9. from A Piece of the Action #14
Related Concepts, Fandoms, Terms, Fanworks
See also Maureen Garrett, Richard Arnold, David Gerrold, Susan Sackett
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