Poison Pen Press

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Zine Publisher
Name: Poison Pen Press
Contact: Devra Langsam
Fandoms: Star Trek
Status: defunct
Other: fanzine publisher
Poison pen press logocropped.jpg
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

See Poison Pen Press/Numbered Zines.

Devra Langsam of Poison Pen Press published Star Trek fanzines in the 1970s-1980s. In 1976, Devra changed the name of her small press to Poison Pen Press after the departure co-editor Deborah Langsam from fanzine activity. Prior to founding Poison Pen Press, Devra helped publish one of the first Star Trek zines Spockanalia in 1967 with her co-editor Sherna Comerford. In 1970, the editors of Spockanalia split into two fanzines: Masiform D, with Devra and Debbie Langsam as editors, and Nevertrodden Worlds with Sherna Comerford as editor.

Masiform D #5 in 1976 was the first publication under the name of Poison Pen Press. The issue ran 98 pages, was mimeographed, with Devra as the sole editor. It became the longest-running Star Trek fanzine, spanning over twenty years. The zine won a FanQ award in 1983. The last Masiform D was published in 1998.

From the editorial in "Masiform D #5": "...I'm making myself over (why not, you say) into a small business. It was last year's income tax that did it. As a small business, I can deduct con expenses, postage, some rent, professional literature (for which, read sf and fanzines) and a host of other things I'd have bought anyway. So, I got my self certified. (No personal comments, please.)"

Poison Pen Press also mimeographed fanzines for other editors: In 1976, they published a fanzine index called Trekindex 2/3, which ran 105 pages and cataloged 159 fanzines from the years 1966 to 1976 by author and subject, listing stories and articles only.

In 1980, Poison Pen Press stopped using mimeographs to publish fanzines and switched to perfect binding. That year they also co-sponsored MediaWest's Star Trek Fan Fund, which was designed to assist a fan in attending a convention of their choice, that they would otherwise be unable to attend.

Poison Pen Press has also been recognized by professional writers as being instrumental to their early writing development: "I'd managed to make every single Beginning Prose Writer error. Twice. But I had also fallen among small press editors--notably Poison Pen Press' Devra Langsam, who gave unstintingly of her time and energy to point them out." [1]

The First Catalog: 1976


Among the fanzines published under the name Poison Pen Press:

See Poison Pen Press/Numbered Zines.