Timeline of Star Trek Fandom

From Fanlore
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Fandom: Star Trek, Star Trek: The Original Series
Dates: 1967 - present
See also: Star Trek, Star Trek: The Original Series, Kirk/Spock (TOS), Kirk-Spock, List of Star Trek: The Original Series Fanzines, History of Slash Fandom, List of Star Trek TOS Zines Published While the Show Was Still On the Air

Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Below is a timeline of Star Trek fandom, with a focus on Star Trek: The Original Series, from 1967 to present.

For a similar timeline, see Timeline of Star Trek Meta and Timeline of K/S Fandom.



  • A Fan Campaign succeeds in getting Star Trek renewed for a third season. And though it is cancelled after the third, it then had enough episodes to qualify it for broadcast syndication (individual stations buy programs outside of the network system), helping it gain popularity through the 1970s.
  • ST-Phile issues 1 and 2 published.


In February, fans who subscribed to Inside Star Trek received the first Star Trek Enterprises catalog, along with an announcement that Star Trek had been cancelled for the 1969-70 season. Fans were requested to participate in another letter campaign. A.G. Probert, who later worked on the special effects for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, wrote a flyer asking fans to organize protest rallies at local NBC affiliates.







cover of April 1975 issue of the Welcommitte flyer
  • First fan-only (No actor guests) ST con: August Party, chaired by Rich Kolker. The con runs annually until 1979, once more in 1981 and a final edition is held in 1985.
  • Star Trek Lives! is published; its chapter on fanfiction introduces the idea of fan fiction to huge numbers of fans who'd never heard of it before, piquing interest and spreading the activity.




  • The lettercols of some of the leading zines were filled with dire predictions. "Fandom is dying, everybody is gafiating; Star Wars fandom is taking over."
  • The K&S vs K/S debate was prominent. Fans began complaining about the debate itself.


  • The Sensuous Vulcan (adult) by D. T. Steiner, The Displaced (adult) by Lois Welling and Thrust (K/S by Carole Frisbie published.
  • Editors of the fanzine Contact published a complaint that someone had written an unauthorized sequel to their story, The Rack.
  • Complaints about fan artists making money while fan writers are strongly discouraged from doing the same. [1]
  • Jean Lorrah's NTM Collected published; sold over 1000 copies the first year.
  • In December, Star Trek: The Motion Picture is released, rejuvenating ST and K/S fandom. From Boldly Writing: The movie "captured the imagination (or disdain) of many fans, revived the waning interest of some old-timers, brought new fans into the fold, and gave everyone something new and different to discuss and write stories about. It was the beginning of a new era of Star Trek fandom and fanzines -- the movie era."


  • Mos'EastlyCon held in New York, May 23-26. First Fan Q given to a Star Wars story.
  • Increasing numbers of fandoms start showing up in zines, leading to increasing numbers of crossover stories.
  • Forum (later Datazine)and Universal Translator adzines start publishing.
  • "Mary Sue: A Short Compendium," a discussion of the Mary Sue story, published in Archive #5. (a reprint from Menagerie)
  • Zines increasingly xeroxed, rather than offset printed.
  • One Way Mirror by Barbara Wenk, regarded by some fans as the best Mary Sue ST novel ever, published.
  • Roberta Rogow brought out the Trexindex Second Supplement.
  • Forum #12 started the tradition of identifying fanzines by a code telling what the contents were. "ST" meant a (non-K/S) Star Trek fanzine, "K/S" for K/S, "SW" meant a Star Wars fanzine, etc.


  • MediaWestCon I held in Lansing, MI, Memorial Day weekend. As of 2009, the con is still ongoing.
  • A rumor that Spock would be killed in the 2nd ST movie led to an ad being placed in the Hollywood Reporter highlighting the tremendous financial losses to Paramount should Spock be killed in the new Star Trek movie. The ad resulted in a front page story in the Wall Street Journal on October 9, 1981."[2]
  • Mindy Glazer publishes Tales of Feldman, which goes into an almost immediate 2nd printing.
  • Ruth Berman, editor of T-Negative, published zine of all of her fiction collected, called And Starry Skies.



  • The Star Trek Welcommittee received 817 letters in '83.
  • MediaWestCon III was fully a MM con: There were some Trek panels, but those were few in number. Most panels were generic or devoted to other "media" fandoms. This year the Fan Qs were divided into the interest categories Star Trek, Star Wars, Starsky and Hutch, Doctor Who, and Other.
  • The continual rumors and Hollywood gossip about Star Trek III drove some fans to ask for spoiler warnings, for the first time known in fandom.
  • DeForest Kelley was asked at a con if he read fanzines and replied, "Some of them I do. It's impossible to read them all.... There's some very good writing, you know. Some of the stories are better than the stories we did in the series."


  • Jean Lorrah put The Star Trek Welcommittee's mailing address in her Star Trek tie-in novel, The Vulcan Academy Murders. STW received 1155 letters from fans in 1984.
  • Roberta Rogow put out Trexindex Third Supplement, listing 126 new zines. In her introduction, she said, "Three years ago, after contemplating the Second Supplement of this Trexindex, I decided not to do another one. The Star Trek Phenomenon was wearing thin, I thought. The Old Guard was moving to other things. The people who had started writing for Star Trek fanzines were now doing Star Wars, or 'going pro,' or just GAFIATING—leaving fandom forever. But...STAR TREK LIVES!"
  • The Star Trek Welcommittee meeting at Worldcon drew 200+ people.
  • In June, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is released in the United States.
  • Harlan Ellison reviews The Search for Spock in Asimov's Science Fiction, a prozine which appears on newsstands nationwide. He mentions the fact that Star Trek has a fandom which has developed a culture of its own, with amateur publications, conventions, and "Kirk-shtups-Spock soft-core porn stories." That same year, Ellison wrote a scathing review of The Search for Spock, which was published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. In this review, he mentioned "a flourishing underground of soft-core Kirk-shtups-Spock pornzines." [6]



  • A Camille Bacon-Smith article titled "Spock Among the Women" comes out in The New York Times Book Review on November 16, 1986. Article explains what Star Trek fanzines are, but doesn't give contact information. Kraith and The Night of the Twin Moons are mentioned.
  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home comes out.
  • ST:TNG is announced. Gene Roddenberry states, "Eventually Picard and Riker will have a closer relationship than Kirk and Spock."[7]
  • As part of the Great Usenet Renaming, net.startrek becomes rec.arts.startrek.



  • In June, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is released in North America. Star Trek V is generally considered the worst original series Star Trek film.






  • The series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation airs in May.
  • Star Trek: Generations is released in November. It is the first TNG film, but features three original series characters -- Kirk, Scotty, and Chekov. Kirk dies.



  • Star Trek: First Contact, the second TNG film, is released.



  • Star Trek: Insurrection, the third TNG film, is released.


  • In June the series finale of DS9 airs.




  • In December Star Trek: Nemesis is released in North America. It is the last film produced with the TNG cast, and it flops. Also features Tom Hardy.








  • Star Trek (2009) is released on May 8, 2009. The film reboots the Star Trek: The Original Series by introducing an alternative reality caused by a time-space anomaly from the actions of Ambassador Spock (TOS). This brings in many new fans to the fandom. However, due to the changes to canon (as compared to TOS), character personalities and relationship dynamics between characters change, resulting in a wide range of fan reactions, including immature wank and kerfuffles.
  • Star Trek Big Bang is founded by daybreak25 and molokomolotov.[8]





  • Star Trek Into Darkness is released. It is the second alternate original series (AOS) reboot film.
  • The T'hy'la Bang is founded by thesecretmichan and museaway


  • Star Trek Beyond, the third AOS film, is released.



  1. ^ In August, Michelle Arvizu noted that Star Trek fan artists were getting high prices—even in the hundreds of dollars—from the sale of their original illustrations to Star Trek fanzine stories at conventions. Michelle's reaction was that it seemed to her "unfair and frankly quite discouraging that a good fan artist can make excellent money for his efforts and an equally good fan writer who sweats just as hard and long over a story gets nothing."Verba, Joan. Boldly Writing. F T L Pubns, March 26, 2003, pg 45
  2. ^ Verba, Joan. Boldly Writing. F T L Pubns, March 26, 2003, pg 56
  3. ^ Verba, Joan. Boldly Writing. F T L Pubns, March 26, 2003, pg 58
  4. ^ The first post to this newsgroup was posted August 1982, net.startrek, about this group, Google Groups, (Accessed October 10, 2008).
  5. ^ For the love of...
  6. ^ In 1985, a fan commented upon this statement: "Ellison hasn't been reading much K/S lately, or he'd know it is likely to be the other way 'round." -- from JG in K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #12
  7. ^ Verba, Joan. Boldly Writing. F T L Pubns, March 26, 2003, pg 76
  8. ^ Star Trek Big Bang Profile. (Accessed 19 June 2012)
  9. ^ Admin Post on January 11th, 2010 at the Star Trek Reverse Bang Community. (Accessed 19 June 2012)