Roberta Rogow

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Name: Roberta Rogow
Type: Fan Writer, Fanzine Editor, Filk Writer
Fandoms: Star Trek, Blake's 7, Darkover, multimedia
URL: Rogow's Filks WayBack Link, Roberta Rogow's Bibliography on Fantastic Fiction, Roberta Rogow Wiki Bio
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Alive and Filking (2006)

Roberta Rogow is a fan writer, filker, poet, and fanzine editor in several different fandoms. She became involved in science fiction and media fandom in 1973, and was active for many years.

Her stories were published in a number of fanzines, including Academy Chronicles, Laff Trek II: The Wrath of Dijon, Beyond Orion, Happy Tails, The Compleat Dirtie Nellie and many others. She edited the multimedia fanzine Grip and did some indexing of early Star Trek fanzines.

Her filk lyrics were published in zines such as Rec-Room Rhymes and Sing a Song of Trekkin'. As a filker, she was often partnered with Gregory Baker; for instance, she sang his filk, Zaphod Beeblebrox and Me (mp3 of Rogow singing.) She also published the Filkindex, a filk resource zine.

She is also a children's librarian, and a professionally published writer with several mystery novels, short stories, and a non-fiction book Futurespeak: A Fan's Guide to the Language of Science Fiction.

Rogow briefly explained zines, fanfic, and slash in a 1988 article in "The New Yorker." She is quoted as saying that slash "is threatening the whole zine universe" and was a "girlish romantic fantasy." [1]

Her Beginning in Fandom

I got involved in this madness in 1973,I had watched STAR TREK since its first season, but I hadn't known about Fandom, or Conventions, or fanzines until I ran into a fellow-librarian at a Library Conference, who was also involved in one of the first convention committees. She told me about conventions. I went, I saw, and I was hooked on fanzines... and when I saw a flyer from someone soliciting stories, I sat down and wrote one. Here, at last, was an outlet for something that I had been doing all my life (ever since I picked up a crayon at age 5 and scrawled my name). I found a whole new world of friends Out There; they read my stories and wrote to me telling me what they liked and what they didn't, and how to make things better. The next step, of course, was to edit my own fanzine. Even as far back as 1978, there seemed to be a higher and higher standard for writers of fanzines to shoot for. Where could a beginner begin? Grip was my answer to that question, and it still is, seven years and twenty issues later. [2]

Filk Tapes/CDs

Filks (as writer)

Lyrics of one of her early filk songs from SWIL Filkbook issue #1: [1]

An Exile's Lament
Fandom: Darkover
Music: "Hard, Ain't It Hard?"
Words: Roberta Rogow

They asked me when I joined the Spaceforce,
The planet where I'd like to be sent;
I said "Any planet but Cottman Four,"
I'll give you three guesses where I went.

CHORUS: Oh it's hard, ain't it hard, yes it's hard
To be where you never want to be;
And it's hard, yes it's hard, for a Spaceforce Guard
To be where you can never get free.

The winter winds on this planet
Blow snow six feet against the door;
One day a year the snow melts off,
And that's when it's spring on Cottman Four.

The people that live on this planet
Are mean and superstitious as they come.
They don't read or write, they just want to fight --
It's not that they're ignorant, they're dumb!

The Darkover men love to argue,
Each carries a wicked-looking knife;
You'd better watch your mouth and you'd better watch your face,
A word or a look can cost your life.

Now you take a Darkover woman -- please!
She's either a virgin or a hen,
Unless she's a bloomin' Free Amazon,
And they're more ferocious than the men!

One day my tour will be over,
I'll see the Bloody Sun never more;
I'll find me a nice warm spot in Hell,
And say "Kiss off!" to Cottman Four!


  1. "Editor," New Yorker, December 12, 1988, pages 37-38
  2. from the editorial to Enterprise Reprise, published in 1985
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