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Talk about Star Trek, dude! Chicks dig sci-fi!

17 July 2012

I tend to think I’ve been a Star Trek fan since I was born, but that’s really just a case of my brain lying to me. I didn’t even come into it when most of my generation did, when Star Trek: The Next Generation started in 1988.

My first actual memory of seeing anything Star Trek related was at some point in the mid-80s, when I was in day care on an Air Force base in Colorado. It was late at night, and one of the local stations was playing a rerun of The Devil In The Dark. It scared the crap out of me, but most things scared the crap out of me in those days. I wouldn’t see another glimpse of any of the Trek series until I was in a hotel room in Houston in 1988, when I saw part of Heart of Glory on a vacation with my dad and brother. Neither of these things led to me becoming a fan, or really wanting any more to do with the series.

No, it was in about 1991 when I fell for the Trek universe, and I fell hard. We lived in Germany, and lived too far from any military installations to pick up AFN (the Armed Forces Network, the only English-language TV option outside of British satellite TV). We fell into watching videos during those long summer days when there was nothing to do (well, we could have gone outside, I suppose — we often did). I’m not sure which video I watched first that got me hooked, but I do remember borrowing all of the original series tapes from a guy in my dad’s shop and copying all of them with the tried-and-true “one VCR hooked up to another” method. (That guy works for NASA now.)

A relatively late introduction means that my full geek-out on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine happened during my high school years, which is fortunate, because high school girls are attracted to pale, underweight Star Trek fans like you wouldn’t believe.

Yeah, I know. I’m amazed I ever got married, too.

Nowadays, my Star Trek fandom is pretty casual. I’ll watch an episode here and there if it’s on. I did fly cross-country in 2009 to watch the premiere of the new movie with some of my old-school Star Trek geeks, though, so it’s obviously not something that has left me completely.

There’s a thing about fandom — in the Star Trek universe specifically, but I’d assume in other areas of fandom, too — that’s so wide, open, and accepting. It might be this human element, more than the filmed entertainment or tie-in novels or tabletop RPGs, that keeps an undercurrent of fandom going for 21 years plus. And as I’m heading to the huge Creation con in Vegas next month, I think that’s a pretty great thing to behold.

So what about you, folks? What fandom has changed your life, in whatever way?

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