Devra Langsam

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Name: Devra Langsam
Type: zine editor and publisher, con organizer
Fandoms: Star Trek: The Original Series, Darkover
Other: Poison Pen Press/Garlic Press/Amanita Publications
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Devra Langsam is a one of the first media fandom fans, publisher of Spockanalia and other zines, and a con organizer. She is also the originator of Langsam's Law.

At the 2006 WorldCon in Los Angeles, Devra penned her own brief bio (also see the 1978 interview Brooklyn Fanfare: Devra Langsam):

I discovered both Star Trek and Fandom through the good offices of Sherna Comerford. In 1966 she took me to an Open ESFA, a small NJ con, where we met the late Brian Burley, who took us to Lunarians' meetings, and introduced us to Juanita Coulson, fanzine fan extraordinaire. Juanita in turn introduced us to Ruth Berman and Eleanor Arnason, and suggested that we could produce a Star Trek fanzine. She would help us with the production. So, in September 1967, we premiered Spockanalia, the first ST zine, at Worldcon. At Worldcon, I met Elyse (Pines) Rosenstein, who mistook me for my Siamese cousin Debbie. (She was the one who picketed NBC during the "Save Star Trek" campaign.) It was Elyse who got the idea, in 1971, for a little Star Trek con, just for Trekfen, modeled on Lunacon. Sherna had run a miniscule ST con in Newark, and that's what we thought we'd have. Instead, we ended up with 3400 attendees, an exhibit from NASA, and guests Gene Roddenberry and several cast members. Amazing. After the five ST cons, I began publishing Masiform D, a mixed media zine. Somewhere during this time, I was twice con chair for Lunacon, a member of the NY in '77 and NY in '86 Worldcon bids, and ran innumerable dealers' rooms. After the 18th issue of Masiform, I gave up publishing and devoted myself to bookselling, concentrating on historic cookbooks, costume books, juvenile fantasy, and historical mysteries. I'm now retired from being a librarian, and loving it. [1]

In 1982, she was nominated for a FanQ award and submitted the following bio to The Annual Fan Q Awards Nominations Booklet:

Entered fandom with NYCon III, 1967, with publication of SPOCKANALIA #1 (Sherna Comerford, Co-editor). Published five issues, then parted with company with Sherna and began Amanita Publications with my cousin Debbie Langsam. Published MD with Debbie until September 1973 (issue #3), after which she went away to grad school, and I began my own press, Poison Pen Press. Since then, I have published MDs up to #12 (the latest) and 3 Special Issues: THRESHOLD (Marder & Wa1ske), ONE WAY MIRROR (Wenk), and the latest-at the printer--KNIGHT OF SHADOWS (Osman) . Helped run NYSTcons from 1972-1976, ran MosEastly Con w/Joyce Yasner, I have had a few stories published, mostly in my own 'zines, but "A Little More Than Kin" was published in ERIDANI TRIAD III (Brownlee, etc.). Sept. 1982 will be my 15th anniversary as a publisher."


About Spockanalia, The New Voyages, and Paramount

In 1981, Devra comments on copyright:

Not only has Paramount known about ST fanzines, but there is published evidence. I have in my possession a newspaper clipping showing Roddenberry holding a copy of Spockanalia. You can see the title of the zine fairly clearly in the photo. Further, the article speaks of fanzines. Also, I have letters of thanks from Roddenberry for copies of Spockanalia which I sent to him while the show was still in production. When New Voyages first came out, they neglected to indicate on the copyright page that Ruth Berman's story was a reprint. I had warned Joan Winston (friend of Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath [editor's of New Voyages]) that I expected to have my original copyright acknowledged. I did not at any time object to the author's sale, or ask for any money — I just wanted my original copyright listed (the way they do in the reprints of sf collections.) When it was not done, I got my lawyer after them and, in due course — after many months, the copyright was included. When they then printed New Voyages #2, and again did not include an acknowledgement of prior publication, I got really irritated. This time my lawyer asked them for money to cover my expenses, and a letter of assurance that they would not neglect to include copyright in the future. (I considered the second publication without notice to be malicious and intentional the first could have been an accident.) Bantam Inserted the notice, paid the expenses, and sent me a letter of assurance. I know that the major copyright in this case belongs to Gene and Paramount, but it is interesting that Bantam was willing to insert the notices, send me the letter, and pay my lawyer's expenses — they didn't want to go to court over it. Maybe I would have lost, and maybe not — after all, I was basically asking for due acknowledgement of my great editing. Anyway... In any case, the copyrights I took out on Spockanalia are now more than ten years old, and they might have some trouble contesting them in court... that's a long time to wait, especially when we have evidence that they were a-ware of the material years ago. [2]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ from a letter in Alderaan #11