Atavachron's Spotlight on Fandom: Featuring Nancy Kippax

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Atavachron's Spotlight on Fandom: Featuring Nancy Kippax
Interviewee: Nancy Kippax
Date(s): 1979
Medium: print
Fandom(s): Star Trek: TOS
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Atavachron's Spotlight on Fandom: Featuring Nancy Kippax was an interview with Nancy Kippax printed in Atavachron #3.

Other Interviews in this Series

Some Topics Discussed

  • the good that Star Trek has done
  • the possibilities for fandom with the upcoming movie, Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  • Star Trek as a religion, a cult, but for good!
  • fans and fandom are one big happy family with little strife


Do you have any personal philosophy or belief that you live by?

I've always felt that people are more important than material possessions. I enjoy looking into people, understanding what makes them tick. At one time in my life, I wanted to be a social worker. I am fascinated by the idea of helping people, forming friendships. And I don't mean superficially, I mean, people mean a lot to me, and I've been fortunate in having some very good friends. I think that people relating to other people is very important.

Another belief that I've tried to instill in my children (because have two sons) is that men don't have to be stereotype-macho male. It's not wrong to cry or to say "I don't want to fight: To me, this is good. Don't raise your children to strike back just because the other person strikes you. It's kind of like the passage in Star Trek Lives about the Aunt Rosalies of the world. Aunt Rosalie said, "That can't be done ~ and the kid grows up believing that, okay, that can't be done.' But damn it, it can be done if you want it to be done. Change the course and do the impossible. Don't live by stereotypes. Don't categorize people. Don't put people in neat little packets because everybody is an individual.

What are your feelings about Star Trek fandom?

I think it's great! I think it's marvelous! The changes that it's wrought in people, in lifestyles that have been changed, people that have found new friendships and new goals in life, people that had given up on life and found a place. There's room for everybody and no matter what your background, no matter what kind of personal problems you have, you can belong. It's one large family and I know that sounds cliche, but it really is one big family. We tend to herd together in times of trouble. You find very little malice or jealousy or backbiting. This is especially unusual in a large group of women who have a tendency to be catty -- but I think most Trek people are not this way because of the goals and ideas of ST. Fans are very open and encouraging and enthusiastic about everything.

Why do you think Star Trek is important to today's society?

I don't know that it is important to today's society right now. I think that it is important to society as a whole at any time. It was important in 1966 when the Vietnam war was going on and people needed a new set of ideals to live by... ST said that man was going to have a future and that it's going to be better than what we have today. I think this still holds true today to a large extent, and I think a need for this kind of optimism is always in society no matter what the circumstances because it is a "Camelot" dream. It's almost a fantasy element, that mankind is going to reach out to the stars and that we're going to be better people, that the human race is going to survive and improve. I think that's very important.

What does the Star Trek movie mean to you?

I think that it is a phenomenon that has never been equaled, that a group of fans could bring this about, and make no mistake that we did, that we have the power to bring about the revival with the entire cast, to get the studio to meet our demands. I think the IDEA that the movie is coming in the way we want it is more fantastic to me than actually seeing the movie. The triumph is great. I think the movie is going to mean a tremendous upswing in the world of fandom, and though it may completely change some areas, it's not going to destroy it. I think that it will have a positive effect, maybe not on every individual - there may be some people who will be discontented with the movie and will draw away - but I think that on fandom in general, the movie is going to have a definitely positive effect. I believe that it is going to be the biggest thing that Hollywood ever saw, and there's going to be no denying the power of the movie.

How do you think Star Trek will affect the future? Is it going to change our future? Is it going to give us a new future?

I have very mixed emotions about it. There are times when I think that the cult is so strong that yes, it will have an influence. I think that it already is influencing the future in many, many small ways. People who have become interested in the space program, for example, who never would have been had it not been for Trek. And who's to say that one of these young people isn't going to go on and make a significant contribution to the space program, say ten or fifteen years from now?

It could make a significant impact in many ways, involving individuals, in the way people relate to each other. For instance, parents teaching their children tolerance and acceptance, to look at other people with more wide-opened eyes. This is coming about in our society through other influences but I think Trek is one way of making people look at things a bit differently.

Now whether or not it will have a significant influence on history, I don't know. Possibly it will.

ST has been compared to a religion, and that's a frightening concept. It is a religion as much as it's a belief and a goal and an ideal. It's not a religion of God because you can worship God the way you want to and still adapt the philosophies and beliefs of ST because they fit in with all the major religions, and that's the beauty of it.

So, do you think that 200 or 300 years from now, people will be visiting other worlds?

Oh yes, definitely. If we survive that long. (That's the cynic in me speaking).

Do you think that ST fans or ST ideals may help the world to survive s little longer?

I'd like to hope so.