Trexperts

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Zine
Title: Trexperts
Publisher: Ontario, Canada
Editor(s): Valerie Herd
Type:
Date(s): October 1992- (as of August 2011, there were 161 issues)
Frequency: monthly, then bi-monthly
Medium: print
Size: digest
Fandom: Star Trek, all of them
Language: English
External Links:
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Trexperts is a Canadian Star Trek newsletter and letterzine that, as of August 2011, has 161 issues. For many years, it was a monthly publication, and then switched to being issued six times a year. From a 1994 flyer:
TREXPERTS, started in October 1992, is a non-profit correspondence/news exchange club for fans of classic star Trek, Star Trek; The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine (members do not have to be fans of all three series!), featuring a 28-page monthly zine offering lots of space for fans to air their views on their favorite Trek subject, as well as featuring black & white pictures of various Trek stars, convention reports, Trek news, trivia questions and puzzles, book/episode evaluations, Trek merchandiser's listings, etc. We welcome fan artwork, short stories, cartoons, poetry, articles, letters, convention reports, photos etc, and encourage members to write in with any suggestions or ideas. Convention reports recently published covered talks by William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Siddig El Fadil, Jonathan Dei Arco (Hugh), Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, Marina sirtis, Brent Spiner and many other Trek stars. BEAM ABOARD TODAY!!! Tell us your news, views, ideas and Star Trek convention experiences, or just write in to say Hi! We want to hear from you!

This letterzine is rare in that it rarely printed fans' street address, sometimes including only their city of residence, something that was bit of an anomaly at the time.

The letterzine is also remarkably wank and conflict free and is completely "family-friendly" in its discussion of sex (or more specifically, almost complete lack thereof). According some readers, there is little discussion of fanfic, other than comments on the fiction contained in the publication itself, and there is no discussion or mention of zines. Others disagree saying that fiction and zines have been mentioned often over the years.[1]

Issue 1-20

Trexperts 1-20 were published between October 1992-May 1994.

  • information about #1-#16 is unknown
  • a full-page ad for Odyssey Trek '94 in Niagara Falls, Canada, March 18-20 1994
  • a fan comments about collectables: "I've received one complaint about my recent comment regarding the many inexpensive TNG 'toys' found on the market around holiday time. I uasn't saying it is urong to buy Trek collectibles: just come and visit and you'll see I've got Trek collectibles up to heeere (and I love 'em.'). What I meant was, the market has recently been FLOODED with Trek toys, which are great, but- didn't somebody mention "milking Trek for all its' worth" in a letter to Trexperts a few months back?? I feel that, as with Batman and TMNT before them, consumers will soon tire of seeing Trek toys in great abundance, and will perhaps view the movies and TV shows as being meant for preteens only.. .which won't help us in our quest to keep Trek alive...or in convincing scoffers that there's much more to Star Trek than transporters and pointed ears..."
  • an essay by Gary Sanger called "Star Trek: Is the Dream Dying?"
  • a write-up/explanation of the disaster that was Megacon '92, along with Nichelle Nichol's letter of apology after her appearance was cancelled 48 hours before the con
  • despite the fact that this letterzine is appears to be a bastion of politeness and good taste, a fan writes a letter that is unusually cranky. She declines to renew her membership due to what she feels is "the continued hostility to all forms Trek except the original... Your zine seems a particular home for constant degeneration." The editor responds by saying she tries to keep a balance of material with all Trek, but the letters are the readers' domain, and it is up to them to write about what they like and don't like; she asks fans to write a "long pleasant letter about your own favorite Star Trek memories."
  • these first twenty issues appear to contain no fan fiction

Issue 21-40

Trexperts 21-40 were published between June 1994-January 1996.

  • there is much discussion about the death of Kirk in the latest movie: "Of course, anyone would rather go out in a blaze of glory than die a ingering death. I've watched my mother and my husband die that way ... neither had an easy death. I know about death. But they were real people. Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise are fictional characters and they should have lived forever for those who love them. Years ago, when David Gerrold wrote that people should accept Spock's death because they have to learn that people die in real life, he enraged me. Did he think we lived in a vacuum somewhere, coming alive only for STAR TREK? Some of us joined fandom to give us a happy place away from the reality of watching our loved ones die. Unfortunately, the characters became part of our lives, which made them, in a way, "real" to us, giving Paramount the ability to hurt us deeply by killing them."
  • a fan writes comments: "I think it is important to note that, while it is true that without original Trek, there would have been no TNG or DS9, it is also true that interest in TNG and DS9 has benefited original Trek, in that the succeeding series have reflected and kept attention on the original Trek universe. I don't think original Trek would continue to be as popular in such strength today without its successors."
  • regarding a previous letter from a fan, [M W], who has unsubscribed due to unhappiness with negative content: "I have been reading letterzines since 1975, and with every one of them, sooner or later someone inevitably comes along and blames the editor for the content of the letters printed. Editors can only print what they receive, and they have no control ove what comes in the mail. (Although I concede that editors can withhold letters from publication, or omit parts of letters). Still, readers simply can't expect every letter to agree with their point of view, variety is what letterzines are all about, and every letterzine editor I have encountered has exercised reasonable judgement in what to print and what not to print. (Some letters are simply unprintable, for a number of reasons)."
  • a fan comments on [M W's] letter: "I can relate to what [M W] says. At the same time I received my first issue of Trexperts, I also received a sample issue of another fan newsletter. This newsletter was at least 50% bickering among the members, and I wanted no part of it. The occasional bickering in Trexperts can be tedious, but I think it's a small percentage overall. I think that you've done an admirable job in maintaining a balance, though obviously it's not always easy. I've looked through the last four issues of Trexperts to get an overall view of what Maggie has been seeing recently. There has been a lot of venom about the TNG movie. It does not bother me, since I love Classic Trek and have no interest in TNG. But trying to look at it from the view of someone who likes TNG, her decision is understandable, but I wish that Maggie had chosen, as you suggest, to "write in and share (her) own point of view."
  • a fan comments on the response to [M W's] letter: "I noted the characterization of another letterzine as "50% bickering" and couldn't help but think that many letterzines I've subscribed to have had such a content in some point of their publishing history. Let's face it, if someone mentions a controversial issue, the resulting outpouring of argumentative letters is nearly inevitable. I can't think of a single letterzine (and I've subscribed to many) where argument was the exception rather than the rule (including my own Treklink, published 1985-89, where some subscribers discontinued subscriptions because, they said, there was too much arguing), fly advice is this: if you can't stand to read people arguing, don't subscribe to letterzines AT ALL. After nearly twenty years of reading them, I'm getting a little weary of fans complaining because (surprise!) other fans disagree with each other—at length, and vigorously at that—in print. Again, sorry to disappoint, but it honestly and truly is unrealistic to expect every fan to agree with every other fan on every issue. It's just not going to happen."
  • there is a description of the fan club, The Galileo Three
  • some fan fiction starts to appear for the first time in issue #26 and then in subsequent issues: "Time Trek" by Jeri Flick, "Epilogue" by Jeff DeMerchant (reprinted from Seventeen Oh One, "The Departure" by Andrew Gurudata, "The Garden" by Valerie Herd, "The Solution" by Valerie Herd, "Clockwork" by Jessica Marie Krucek, "In Every Revolution" by Sandra Necchi,
  • a fan tells of the cease and desist letter he got regarding his proposed zine called Third Age

Issue 41-60

Trexperts 41-60 were published between February 1996-September 1997.

  • fiction includes "The Admiral's Shore Leave" by Kay Doty (reprinted from Free Fall), "Time Trek" by Jeri Flick, "Homeflight" by Victoria Nomen, "Dreadful Draught" by Valerie Herd, "Upon Reflection" by Victoria Nomen, "Herbaceous Boarder" by Valerie Herd, "The Children of Vaal" by Jeri Flick and Bobbi Adams, "The Last Dance" by Kay Doty, "Skydancers" by Valerie Herd, "O'Brien and the Lady" by Kay Doty
  • Ruth Berman writes that James Tiptree, Jr wrote, among other things, a Star Trek story in Pastaklan Vesla, and wonders, if permission can be gotten from her estate, if fans were interested in printing up a chapbook of her work
  • Ruth Berman describes some zines from the past, mainly Spockanalia, Masiform D, and T-Negative: "The best fan-fiction is as good as the best professional ST fiction, or, if anything, rather better, since it's more flexible in length, format, and plotting."
  • a club president says she wrote Devra Langsam asking for permission to print Visit to a Weird Planet in her club zine but her request was denied
  • a fan says she has recently looked at some copies of T-Negative for the first time: "I now understand why so many Trekkers look upon the days of early fandom with great affection. Filled with interesting information, colorful stories, and wonderful artwork, T'Negative has much to offer!"
  • a fan is unhappy with the current tell-all disharmony of ST among the original series' actors: "... Ever since the stories of discord on the set became public knowledge, it seems to me Star Trek, the actors, and the fans (of ALL the series), who have in the past been taken less seriously, are being laughed at all the more..."
  • recipes for Kate Mulgrew's corned beef and cabbage, Terry Farrell's recipe for meatloaf, and Honey Nut Hortas ascribed to no actor
  • in issue #47, a short "state of the zine" letter is written: "Trexperts has seen a few changes over the past four years, and at the end of our second year, I began to include serials- I had resisted doing that at first, due to Trexperts' small size, but those of you who have commented on the serials don't seem to mind that they take quite a while to reach their conclusion. There isn't always a lot to say, but I hope we can still keep talking, stay involved in fandom and keep Trexperts alive! It would be awful if all of the fan-run Trek conventions, clubs, newsletters & fanzines ceased to exist, leaving Trek entirely in the hands of Paramount/Viacom! (Eeeeeeek!)"
  • there is a con report for Shore Leave #13
  • a fan comments that Kirk did not bed that many women in the original series but in the zines (mainly due to all the wish fulfillment stories), he was a horndog -- something that made this fan dislike the character; her solution was to stop reading zines. Another fan replies to her: "I shouldn't think that fanzines have that much to do with Kirk's reputation as a womanizer. When it comes to writing out private sexual fantasies- I think most of the fans were more interested in Spock than in Kirk. (Of course, in the slash stories, the writer gets to have but those don't contribute to a reputation as a womanizer.) The factor in Kirk's reputation as a rutting sea lion is probably not fanzines, but the show's third season, when Kirk seemed to be falling in lave almost weekly."
  • Joan Verba writes about how she has been working her book, Boldly Writing for the past six months; she describes a visit from a television station who came to interview her in her home -- Joan was pleased with how the interview turned out

Issue 61-80

Trexperts 61-80 were published between October 1997-July 1999.

  • the editor gets a computer and starts looking around for all the Trek sites; she also welcomes email, now, but assures fans she still loves getting printed letters in the mail
  • these issues have much fanfic (and some non-fiction), mostly printed in serial-format, with a chapter published each month: "Skydancers" by Valerie Herd and Della Van Hise, "Children of Vail" by Jeri Flick, "Reality Check" by Valerie Nomen, "Where to Now?" by Catherine Walker, "The Planet Vulcan: Her People and Her Heritage" (non-fiction) by Victoria Nomen, "Wesley Crusher: Hero or Pest?" (non-fiction) by Jayne Greer and Victoria Nomen, "The Haunted Castle" by Kay Doty, "Trickery" by Anne Marie Caluwaert, "Androids in Love" by Jeri Flick,
  • a fan explains in issue #65 that there has been a big decline in number of LoCs received: "LOCs were the heart of Trexperts from its inception, and Trexperts grew in size from 26 pages in 1992 to 34 pages during much of 95/96 to accommodate the many letters of comment received. Subscription renewals dropped after TNG ended its first run on TV, after Generations/death of Kirk, and following the addition of Worf to DS9. Some people tell me their interests have switched from Trek to other S/F; others are involved in additional fandoms and have less time to write. (Many fan, and pro-publications are showing a vast decrease in LOCs these days)."
  • some fans write that they miss the cons that happened in the 1980s and are unhappy with the big, professionally run cons of the 1990s: "I would love to again attend a good fan-run con with a big dealers' area, with other than professional venders."
  • issue #66 contains a long con report by Sandra Necchi for Spacedock (Hagerstown, Maryland, Feb 7-8, 1998)
  • issue #67 has con report for that year's Vulkon
  • issue #71 has a con report for that year's Shore Leave
  • issue #74 is the first issue that covers two months; issue #80 is one as well
  • there is occasional X-Files, and other, art -- issues begin to have a little more discussion of other fandoms other than Trek; a fan talks of attending a Sentinel con, one fan likes Due South but doesn't like the new Ray: "But I didn't like the first one very much, either"
  • issue #75 has the transcript of a Yahoo chat with Roger Beltrane and Ethan Phillips from October 1998; this issue also has a transcript of a tape recording a fan made of DeForest Kelley addressing a convention in New York shortly following the release of the first motion picture
  • issue #76 includes the first letters sent to the editor by email

Issue 81-100

2002 calendar included in issue #100, multiple artists

Trexperts 81-100 were published between August 1999-November/December 2001.

  • there are several con reports for 1999 Shore Leave con
  • there is a 1998 con report for FedCon in Bonn, Germany (April 1999)
  • non-fiction and fan fiction: "I.Q." by Rod Summers, "Androids in Love" by Jeri Flick, "Skydancers" by Valerie Herd and Della Van Hise, "Red and Green" by Catherine Walker, "There's a Catch in It" by Anne Marie Caluwaert, "Garak's Guide: A Tour of Bajor" by "Elim Garak", "PeriLune" (from "Nights of Asylum" series) by James Hudson, "Why Build the International Space Station (non-fiction) by Rod Summers, "Star Song" by James Hudson, "To Err is Human" by Anne Marie Caluwaert, "The Games of Magellan" by Rod Summers, "McCoy Finds a Refuge" by Kay Doty, a few filks, "Captain Christopher Pike" (non-fiction) by Kay Doty, "That Which Survives" by James Hudson, "All for Profit: The Ferengi Captains" (non-fiction) by Valerie Herd, "The Haunting" by Valerie Herd, "To Have... and Have Not" by Kay Doty
  • fans are concerned about their VCRs not working due to Y2K
  • issues #82, #86 cover two months,
  • one issue has a description of Rocky Horror Tribble Show
  • Shirley Maiewski offers her account of the first Star Trek con
  • there is an extremely rare ad for two zines: "New Deep Space Nine Adventures! Do you like to have something printed on paper that you can take anywhere, read whenever you want to, as often as you want to? Do you enjoy stories written by fans, illustrated by fans? I do -- but with the rising popularity of the Internet, fanzine seem to be in short supply these days. But search no more!... Proceeds go to charity." The zines are Beyond the Wire and Bashir... Julian Bashir, see those pages
  • fans are gearing up for the new series, Star Trek: ENT, and as usual, a number are excited, but many more are skeptical: "And Scott Bakula is going to be the new captain? Scott Bakula? Do they expect us to forget all about Quantum Leap?... I like the guy, but I find him hard to believe as a Star Stek captain," and "[I'm] hoping that the next series or movie is not an embarrassment In the franchise. It would be far better to end our loved Space Drama with a full ran let |t be propped up one more time, and bilk the fans out of a few more bucks with a thrown-together movie. The ultimate thing I (and I think most fans) want, is for the Trek Franchise ta be turned over to the fans. Let us decide if Kirk dies, and how. Let us decide if we like the villain before he is shoved down our throats. Let us decide if TNG
s solely a vehicle to promote Picard and Data. Don't give us 1-1/2 hours of
: card and Data, and 3 minutes each of everyone else. Let us decide the plot, and
 what we want to see. Don't keep Trek in the charge of people that are out to
-lake a profit...they don't understand the magic of what Trek was (and, can be 
again). The vision behind Trek was a good one, and it can again gain popularity
in the hands of the right people." And in a rare fit of steamedness, at least for this newsletter, a fan writes: "Rick Berman often talks about how Gene Roddenberry "passed the baton' to him and the way he talks, you'd think it was the holy grail or something, that only he knows what's best for Trek, and that nobody better argue with him...well, I think it is high time Rick 'passed the baton' to somebody who gives a @#$&@!! We may be humble fans, but we're the loyal viewers, the collectors of Trek items, the purchasers of magazines, videos, games etc, and if he thinks he can throw just any stupid show, any idea, any badly-written episodes on TV and expect us to remain loyal for another seven years of TV viewing, he is royally @#$&@!!. Sorry about the language, but I am, as I said, steamed."
  • about the 100th issue: "If anyone had asked me back in 1992 if Trexperts would reach 100 issues, I probably would have said, "I don't think so," because there were a great many Trek newsletters 'out there' which were miles better than mine; there still are, though fewer of them these days, as computers and the Internet have pulled readers away with their promise of gorgeous graphics and instant news. I would like to see 'snail mail' publications continue as they seem friendlier, more personal, somehow (and much easier to balance on my knees in the bath, ha ha!©) Trek fandom has introduced me to so many wonderful, talented and interesting people, among them friends who have become like family to me, some suffering from the same unexplainable (or inexplicable!) need to use up much of their spare time (not to mention stamps, paper, loose change and sanity©) typing newsletter pages & fanzine stories late into the night, seeking news sources, art, LOC's...you know what I mean! It's been a heck of a lot of fun, it's stills heck of a lot of fun, and I want to thank all of you for making it fun. Consider yourselves hugged©."
  • issues #96, #97, #99 and #100 each cover two months

Issue 101-120

Trexperts 101-120 were published between January/February 2002-January/February 2005.

  • the issues, now, all cover two months each, which means the zine is published six times a year
  • the zine is much more, now, a newsletter, rather than an letterzine
  • the great majority of the LoCs arrive by email, and the letters that arrive by the postal service no longer include the fan's address, simply a city (and sometimes not even that)
  • there is announcement that Shirley Maiewski has died, along with a lengthy memorial explaining her role in Trekdom
  • a number of fans remark that they are finally "making it to the 'net" and others complain of a lack of access to computers in their home or their difficulty in using the ones at their public libraries
  • a number of issues at this time cover two months at a time
  • fan fiction includes: "To Wear the Wreath of Gold" by Victoria Nomen, "It's All in the Blood" by Anne-Marie Caluwaert, "Deadly Page" by Valerie Herd (reprinted from Beyond the Wire), "Blues for Allah" by Greywolf the Wanderer, "The Breach" by Robert Bruce Lloyd, "Do Well and Dread No Shame" by Anne-Marie Caluwaert
  • some con reports for Shore Leave, Swancon 2002, OLNFC 2006, I-Con 2006, and Farpoint
  • fans start to discuss the new Star Trek movie by JJ Abrams that they've heard is in the works

Issue 121-140

Trexperts 121-140 were published between March 2005-February/March 2008.

  • from a 2008 issue: "Sometimes I absolutely marvel at our little letterzines' ability to not only survive, but thrive in this age of internet instant gratification, I suppose that Mr. Spock would call me a sensualist, but there is a certain satisfaction I feel in physically holding a hard copy that I can refer to time and time again. I'm very proud of this group of die-hard Trekfen, and I hope that it can go on for a long, long time to come."
  • a fan writes: "I miss those good old days when Trek was loved and respected by millions. What I predicted came true. Paramount flooded the market and people lost interest. If they had tried to continue in a reasonable way with logical connections from one generation to the next, I think it would have fared better. There were too many different chaotic versions and there was no way to connect them all in a sensible way."
  • there are a number of photomanips in these issues, each putting the head of current actor on The Big Three's bodies in speculation of the casting of the the movie by JJ Abrams... Leonardo DiCaprio, Adrian Brody...
  • some fan fiction, now becoming much rarer in this zine, is "Mind Over Matter" by Valerie Herd,
  • there is a announcement that David Gerrold's 1987 rejected script (called "Blood and Fire") for TNG featuring two gay characters would be filmed by the fan-made show "New Voyages"
  • there is an interview transcription with the newly-casted Zachary Quinto and Leonard. In in Quinto says he has been having trouble with the vulcan salute: "I have put a rubber band around my ring finger and pinkie and have been doing exercises, so by November, I'll be good to go."

Issue 141-161

Trexperts 141-161 were published between April/May 2008- July/Aug 2011.

  • fans write about watching the internet fan-made ST series called "New Voyages"
  • some fan fiction: "Two of Jacks Beats a Queen" by James Hudson (a Torchwood/Pirates of the Caribbean/? story), "Mind Over Matter" by Valerie Herd, "The Disappearance of a Lady" by Teegar, "Peter Kirk" by Jeri Flick
  • there are photos and a write-up of George Takei and his husband's wedding
  • there is much news about the new movie
  • fans are pissed off at the current feud between Shatner and Takei regarding invitations to Takei's wedding and say it was all handled ungentlemanly -- one complaint is that the press is always looking for ways to make Star Trek celebs, and by proxy their fans, loony, and that this just reconfirmed the public's belief that Star Trek is silly and immature
  • fans are almost overwhelmingly happy with the new movie, despite a few that said it was fine but missed the special feel of the original
  • the zine's contents focus during this era is almost all about the new movie

Gallery

References

  1. In the end, it is left to the reader and letterzine contributors to decide how much fanfiction and zine discussion they want as, like most letterzines, the contents are made up of contributions from the readership.