John Ordover

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Name: John Ordover
Also Known As: J*hn *rd*v*r at P*ck*t B**ks, and variations thereof
Occupation: editor
Medium: print
Official Website(s):
Fan Website(s):
On Fanlore: Related pages

John Ordover is a science fiction editor who managed a series of Star Trek tie-in novels in the late 1990s for Pocket Books until August 2003.

He discovered USENET in 1998 or 1999, and visited several fan fiction newsgroups to express his disdain for amateur versions of what he edited professionally.

On, this developed into a long-running series of flamewars, known as the Ordover Wars .[1] For many participants, this constituted their first flamewar, their first encounter with a professional editor, and possibly their first direct exposure to disapproval of fanfic as not worthwhile.

He did the same on alt.startrek.creative, where he also trumpeted his plan to get fans to write 'real', published work, by publishing an anthology of Star Trek short fiction. Several ASC fans were, in fact, published in the resultant anthology, Strange New Worlds.

Ordover's posts generally caused ire and fannish solidarity, and despite its flameyness many old X-Philes recall the Ordover Wars with great fondness.

An Ordover Pattern

Many fans on the Usenet sites refused to use his given name, referring to him as "O," or "the man they dare not say his name," or "J*hn *rd*v*r at P*ck*t B**ks" or "Ensign Or[censored]." This was done in attempts to keep Ordover from coming to the discussion groups, as many fans believed he searched his name and showed up after his name was mentioned on the list. [2] [3]

This was confirmed by Ordover himself in December 1998:

I don't lurk here :) . While I do post here about Strange New Worlds and related topics (and will of course check that thread from time to time, to answer any questions), what I do on a regular basis is run an AltaVista search on keywords that include "Star Trek" "books" "novels" and "Ordover." So when my name is used, I'll know it, and can show up. Many fans are aware of this, and will "shout out" for me on various topics. So, for instance, when "John Ordover" was used as the subject of this thread, it was flagged on my netsearch and brought me here.:) [4] [Other examples: [5] [6]]

. While many fans disliked what they perceived to be Ordover arrogant intrusion, other fans found it appealing, and enjoyed having the attention of someone in the industry:

You know, I don't think there are many sr editors that would check threads on a newsgroup for any reason. Give John some credit for taking time out of his schedule (Remember that backlog! :)) and posting thoughtful responses like the one he did to JWinter. [7]

Irregardless of the reception to Ordover's participation, there was often a pattern: Ordover's name would come up in a Usenet post, or at least in one instance, as the topic of the satiric story The Bridges of Ordover County. Ordover, searching his name, would then insert himself and respond in these discussions. Some of those discussions included Ordover's socks and almost always became quite heated.

Ordover and Sockpuppets

Ordover sockpuppeted himself (perhaps unintentionally, signing in from different accounts at work vs. at home). These puppets may also have been intentional. See In support of Ordover.

"Clothing Optional", and a Prankster

Mr. Ordover is no stranger to controversy, or to media attention, and likes to stir things up. [8]

Ordover is the founder of "Clothing Optional Dinners," which was a monthly gathering of nudists or naturists at various restaurants around Manhattan, New York. [9] He was also an organizer for nude dinner cruises. [10]

Usenet Post Examples




  1. ^ The Woodwards. The Ordover Files, 01 January 1999. (Accessed 30 October 2010)
  2. ^ "shhhhh! When you mention his name, he has a way of just turning up." -- ASC (2000)
  3. ^ An example of other creative fannish spelling for the similar reasons are those for Will Shetterly.
  4. ^ ORDOVER, Archived version (December 3, 1998)
  5. ^ "John Ordover here (I occassionally check usenet for my name, so fans can ask me questions, and I found this thread). -- Use of pseudonyms, Archived version (March 21, 1999)
  6. ^ "... a certain professional publisher on ASC (and please don't mention him by name--like Betelgeuse, he'll show up)" -- Writers on Writing (January 1, 2000)
  7. ^ ORDOVER, Archived version (December 3, 1998)
  8. ^ Please Don’t Marry Our Daughters, Archived version, by Brad Stone, September 11, 2007
  9. ^ Naked Dining in Manhattan, August 13, 2005
  10. ^ CODINNERS - Clothing-Optional Dinners - No hot soup..., 2007, accessed March 15, 2017