Mary Lou Dodge

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Fan
Name: Mary Lou Dodge
Alias(es):
Type: writer, artist, member of Star Trek Welcommittee
Fandoms: Star Trek: TOS
Communities:
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URL:
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Mary Lou Dodge is a Star Trek: TOS fanwriter and artist. She was also a member of the Star Trek Welcommittee where she was instrumental in running the mail room.

Mary Lou wrote the novel The Castaways, and has had work published in Delta Triad, T-Negative, Interphase, Engage!, Sol Plus, and Kirk.

Mary Lou Dodge passed away in the fall of 1997.

A 1977 Bio

An excerpt:

Star Trek changed everything. Suddenly she learned there were hundreds of others to talk to about Star Trek, about all the subjects that she liked. There were others who admired the philosophy and believed in an optimistic future for the human race. The experience is almost universal among Trek fans, but it changed MaryLou's whole outlook on life.

She found herself in the Welcommittee, first as a crewmember in Diana Watson's area #10, then as Area Captain #1, DC #2, and recently she has added the Welcommittee Central Mail Room to her duties. Only constant rushing around has prevented a slow sinking into the ground under the weight of her titles.

In 1969, disgusted with the quality of the mysteries she had been reading, she decided that the literary efforts she had done for her own amusement were better than those on the shelves, submitted a manuscript to Paperback Library, and sold it to be issued as"Tamara". ("But when I got my next book ready, dire times had fallen on the publishing business, and my publisher was only issuing reprints. Applications to other publishers got only 'We are not reading any unsolicited manuscripts' replies.") When there seemed to be no point in rushing to finish manuscripts, Mary Lou yielded to the pleas from young relatives to write them some new Star Trek episodes. In time the stories began to circulate among fans, appearing in zines, and a whole new writing career opened up. ("It's nice to make money from something you love as much as writing, but nothing can compare with the attention you get from zine people. Your work is handled with such love, illustrated with such care you just can't buy that kind of satisfaction.") Her articles and stories have appeared in T'Negative, Delta Triad, and Sol Plus; her letters in Halkan Council. [1]

Controversy

Mary Lou is also known for an extremely sharp and and angry letter of comment in Menagerie #12. In this Open Letter by Mary Lou Regarding Explicit Fanworks, she took issue with the explicit art, panels, zines at SeKWesterCon, Too. Her letter, and the subsequent discussion it sparked, was one of the things that led to age statements.

One fan, Joan Verba, remembers: "She was a prolific writer of both fan fiction and fan commentary, and appeared frequently in letterzines and letter columns. She was highly opinionated and often controversial. I remember that I contacted her before publishing Boldly Writing to ask if she minded if I included her strongly-worded commentary, and I received a letter back saying, that in summary, that I was welcome to print anything she said because she stood by every word she had ever written!" [2]

A fan in 1978 took Mary Lou to task for her advocation of "a little censorship": "I am deeply distress at the implication in [Mary Lou D's] letter (I#7) that she become the guardian of all of our ST morals. The trouble with people who advocate "a little censorship" is that they never know where to stop. [Ms. D] took it upon herself to personally try to stop publication of the Diamonds and Rust series of stories last year (written by Mandi Schultz and Cheryl Rice and published in various zines); not content with expressing her disapproval of certain elements of the tale, she sought to have the zines who carried it make apologies to their readers for doing so. The upshot of these activities was to drive Schultz and Rice completely out of ST fandom, wounded by the vituperation visited on them, and presently represented only by the recent publication of the D & R Collected, Volume I, Kzinti Press. (Every fan who approved/hated D & R owes it to him/herself to read the whole first third of this novel, to see the individual stories in perspective, without the background of warring LOCs.) Now this year [Ms. D], elated over last year's victory, has taken on the writers and publishers of the K/S relationship stories in a further effort to scourge us back into line with the subject matter she thinks is suitable for ST fen. I say to hell with it—the free speech of the First Amendment applies equally well to ST fanfic as pro publishing. I have a great and abiding respect and admiration for Mary Lou's own good writing style and smoothly told stories—but I would never dream of telling her what she could or couldn't write. I suggest a sprightly dose of the Golden Rule is applicable here." [3]

References

  1. from The Castaways
  2. from a LoC by Joan Verba in Trexperts #66 (1999)
  3. from Dixie O in Interstat #9