Atavachron's Spotlight on Fandom: Featuring Gerry Downes

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Atavachron's Spotlight on Fandom: Featuring Gerry Downes
Interviewee: Gerry Downes
Date(s): July 1978
Medium: print
Fandom(s): Star Trek: TOS
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Atavachron's Spotlight on Fandom: Featuring Gerry Downes was an interview with Gerry Downes printed in Atavachron #2.

Other Interviews in this Series

Some Topics Discussed


What are your best known contribution to Star Trek fandom?

I've written some stories end drawn a few pictures. It's hard to say what's beet known. Stardate: Unknown has the widest readership, but there's more notoriety I suspect with Alternative.

What is your favorite book and your favorite kind of music?

My favorite book -- a very worn and old little paperback called "The Flute Across the Pond" by Frederic Wakeman. It was the first book I ever cams across that showed what love really is. I like to think I grew up a little when I read that book.

Music -- I may be a case of arrested development here. All the Moody Blues albums. The Sargent Pepper Beatles. Harry Nilson's Jump into the Fire. Jimi Hendrix's Foxy Lady and The Star Spangled Banner (as done at Woodstock). Crosby, Stills, Nash end Young. The Kink's Lola. The original version of House of the Rising Sun. Time in a Bottle. And the Unchained Melody.

What are your future plans?

What I would like to do is make some small contribution to the sum of human knowledge. In other words, have an idea that has not been thought of before, or perhaps one that has never been thought of in quite the same way as I think it. It can be a little thing, but it should be something new, something that matters, so that even though people may not recall my name, they will have been touched by it somehow inside. And we will have evolved a little further because of it. What is more likely to happen is that I will live out my life in this little corner of space, having a solid local relationship with my immediate family -- no small accomplishment, I realize -- but if it were possible, I would also like to do this other, larger thing.

If you had the whole universe to pick from, where would you go?

To the nearest star...the farthest star... the heart of the galaxy...above it, to look down and See it someplace where the perspective is such that I could, perhaps, see it ALL -- if only I knew how to look. And if my choice was narrowed down to reality and this one planet, then I would have to say where I am now. Maybe I say that because spring is here [in Alaska], and that means summer. Summer in the arctic is a thing not to be missed. But if you had asked me in the dull pert of winter, like February, I would have said Tahiti or some other paradise place, with warm water surf and white sandy beaches, and sunshine all day long. But for now, here is fine.

Do you have any personal comments about Star Trek or fandom?

Star Trek is really an odd thing. I wonder if there has ever been anything quite like it in human history before. Maybe the founding of the world's religions is similar, or Socrates' life in Athens. Even though it is very much a reflection of 1960's America, with all the limitations and flaws that this entails, there is the grain of truth in it. It is a very clear message or the worthiness of intelligent life, any and all intelligent life. Even the most ordinary of the episodes have that hidden somewhere inside. And it's a message we probably needed to hear at this stage of our evolution, because we stand now at the door of a new age, or a dark age -- and our choice will be a final and for life on this little planet. There's no one to point out the lady or the tiger for us, but Trek may have helped insure that we at least have the courage to choose. And it has reinforced the dream worth choosing.

So, I guess that's why I'm a fan. (And all this time you thought it was only Shatner's body...)