|Type:||fan writer, fanzine editor and publisher, fan writer, convention organizer|
|URL:||"We Are One – We Reach'" ~ Bev Volker|
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Bev Volker was a well known member of Star Trek fandom for over twenty-five years. She died in the early 2000s. Along with her sister Nancy Kippax, Bev edited fanzines, ran conventions and was an integral part of early Star trek fandom.
How It All Began
Bev's sister, Nancy Kippax, described how she and Bev entered entered fandom:
- "My sister, Bev Volker, and I slid into Star Trek fandom, like so many fans of the day, on the coattails of "Star Trek Lives!" Previously, David Gerrold had written two illuminating non-fiction paperbacks on the budding Star Trek phenomenon – "The World of Star Trek" and "The Making of Star Trek". Many isolated fans found these books in their local stores and suddenly realized that they were not alone. Nor were they crazy, as some of their family members and friends thought. But yes, there was still a stigma attached to being a "Trekkie".....Our personal involvement in Star Trek fandom followed a rather circuitous route. Bev was a suburban housewife and mother of three who discovered Trek in local re-runs in 1973. As a single working girl, I had faithfully watched the show in its first run and now, with Bev catching up, I watched again, this time in glorious color.....But the difference with our Trek obsession was that, thanks to that ubiquitous "Star Trek Lives" and its chapter on fan fiction, we were actually writing down our made-up stories. We figured we would be able to write as well as those other people. We completed two stories, with a third well on the way to being finished, plus the first chapter of our very long soap opera, and decided that we might as well print them ourselves."
Where It Went From There
Bev began editing and publishing fanzines, including Contact (with her sister, Nancy, from 1975 to 1987) and the letterzine Stylus (1979). In 1982, she and Nancy were given Interstat's TrekStar Award as Best Editors for Contact. She also won the Surak Award for "Best Short Story" and 'Best Poet" in 1987.
She was the Founding Chairman of Farpoint an early Star Trek convention and also served on the ClipperCon and OktoberTrek convention committees. After she passed, a scholarship award (Volker/McChesney Award) was set up in her honor to recognize individual fan and group contributions to the community.
In addition, she, her sister Nancy and April Valentine wrote anonymously one of the early Responsefic stories in the 1970s. In The Rack, Starfleet Command suspects Kirk and Spock of having an affair, and court-martials them. At the end of the story, Kirk attempts suicide. The authors wrote the story to show what, in their opinion, would "really" happen if Starfleet suspected, even erroneously, that Kirk and Spock were having an affair. It was intended as a
- "cautionary tale to anonymously respond to the growing acceptance of the original "slash" relationship between Kirk and Spock....[We] were more concerned with what this runaway concept was doing to the Star Trek fandom than to making a social or political statement. Whispers of K/S had been around from the time that we arrived in fandom, and by 1977 the furtive whispers had bloomed into a bold shout of acceptance all over the country. And that shout was causing repercussions that was alienating people in groups from Maine to California. Some felt you were either for it or against it, period."
In 2003, a fan, Mary R, wrote:
I do have a question for those who attended Shore Leave. Normally when Lynn and I went to the cons at Baltimore, we stayed with our friend Bev Volker after the con for a few days. I know there was supposed to be a tribute to her at Shore Leave. Any news on this? She is sorely missed by Lynn and me. When we visited, she would take us up to a dam in Maryland several hours away which was called "Pretty Boy Dam". She said she always thought of it as Kirk's dam. I have a picture of the surrounding landscape, hills, river and beautiful fall colors on the trees up in my office. When I need to, I can escape to Pretty Boy Dam and no one has a clue where I am. I shall miss Bev.