Alpha Log Interview with Shirley Maiewski
|Interviews by Fans|
|Title:||Alpha Log Interview with Shirley Maiewski|
|Fandom(s):||Star Trek, Space:1999|
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A similar interview is Alpha Log Interview with Allan Asherman.
I watched Space:1999 whenever it was on. Unfortunately, in our area, they pre-empted it so many times that I never did see the entire series. I have kind of mixed feelings about it. As science fiction, I thought it was pretty good. I was disturbed a few times with some of the story concepts, but we all have our opinions about that. I thought the production was very good, I knew they had problems with one thing or another, we all know that. I had great hopes for it. I was hoping that it was going to be more successful than it was, because good science fiction only helps other science fiction.
[Why is Star Trek so popular?] If I knew the answer to that, I'd make a million dollars. Ha-ha. It's very, very hard to say. There's so many aspects to it. The most important one is that it was good science fiction. It was done well. It had good stories up to a point, I mean it kind of ran down toward the end. It was a very deep show, it was popular at many different levels. The young children like the Klingons and the spaceships and the phasers, but as you get older you see some of the story concepts and some of the stories behind the stories. It might not just be visible to someone watching it very casually. They told a great many deep things in there, and that was part of it. The reason it's continued to be so popular, I believe, is because it's so available. I think Space:1999 has had one or two conventions, but not many. The Star Trek convention is the thing that has kept Star Trek going so long, plus all the books and everything else. But it's because it is available. It has been shown in reruns all this time.
[My favorite science fiction authors?] That's very hard to say. I do like Isaac Asimov, of course, as much as we all do. I admire and enjoy Hal Clements' writing. But basically, I read just about everybody. I like Harlan Ellison's books. Anne McCaffrey, right now, is my great favorite. I'm very fond of her, and Marion Zimmer Bradley.
That goes back to the first Star Trek convention in New York City, in January of 1972. I went down with my daughter, who was also a science fiction fan. At that convention, I met three wonderful women. I met Joanie Winston, everyone knows of Joanie and her writing. I met Bjo Trimble, who we all owe a great deal for starting the letter writing campaign and so forth and working so hard for Star Trek all these years. And I also met Jacqueline Lichtenberg. Jacqueline Lichtenberg, at that time, was just forming the Welcommittee. The term "Welcommittee" is an old science fiction term, I just found recently. There have been Welcommittees in science fiction for quite some time. And she was starting one to help her to answer her mail. People had found out that she was interested in Star Trek and they were writing and asking her questions. So she set up the Welcommittee, it was just a few people in those days, to help her answer the mail. And that's what it all grew out of. Even that day, she asked me if I would join the Welcommittee. At first I was a little timid about it because I didn't think I knew the answers, but she said I did know the answers when she asked me a few. So that was when I got into it and I've been in it ever since.
Oh yes, I think it will, unless it's done to death. But with the general public, right now, science fiction is very popular because of the great success of Star Wars and Close Encounters (Sic). And of course, everything we see now is going to be science fiction. You notice it's in our commercials on television. They're all being done in the science fiction way. You see cars floating against the stars and so forth. That's to cash in on the science fiction wave now. And when that's all over and done, and it will be in time, say three or four years, they may come up with something else in the media. The hard-core science fiction fans are still going to be here. The Star Trek fans will still be here and we will continue, I'm sure.