Gaylen Reiss

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Name: Gaylen Reiss
Type: fan writer, zine editor, fan artist, cosplayer
Fandoms: Star Trek: TOS, Starsky & Hutch, Airwolf, Miami Vice, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, others
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Photo of Gaylen Reiss as her character "Ambassador Utayzik", accompanying a Sime~Gen story in A Companion in Zeor #1 (1978). See "On Being in Costume". Photo by Karen MacLeod.

Gaylen Reiss is a multifandom fan who was active in zine fandom from the 1970s to 1990s.

She was the editor of Mach-1 Plus, an Airwolf focused zine, from 1986 to 1992, as well as the Airwolf Episode Guide (1986) and Miami Vice Picture Album (1990). She also planned to publish a 1994 Raven zine called Black Dragon.

Notable Fanfiction


Gaylen's wrote the nonfiction article "On Being in Costume" for A Companion in Zeor #1 in 1978, which also included a photo of Gaylen in costume as a Star Trek-inspired original character. She wrote in part:

For about two years, I've invented and worn costumes in various Star Trek gatherings: worn some as "daily wear" and others in contests. So when I agreed to have a picture of myself in costume printed in this fanzine, I also asked if I could have the opportunity to write an article about how it feels to appear in costume. I've discovered that there is an intense curiosity among the large numbers of non-costumers as to what kind of person would do such a thing, and about what it's like to go through such an experience.

The most popular question by far is: "Where did you get the idea for that costume?"

Well, that's both easy and hard to answer. The easy answer is, "Everywhere." The hard part is trying to be specific. I get ideas while browsing through stores, jogging around a field, at work (!), and in bed asleep. Since I have a relatively unchecked imagination, and since I'm not trying to copy any known character, my only limits involved how much of my convention savings I wanted to dip into, how sure I was that a thing would hold together until the end of the contest, and what wouldn't totally convince my family and friends that I had finally gone off the deep end.