Star Trek and Fan Fiction.
Star Trek fans have always been more dedicated than most, organizing large-scale letter-writing campaigns to save their favorite show, perfecting elaborate costumes so they can impersonate individual characters, and even mastering entirely fictional languages. But for some fans, simply enjoying Star Trek as audience members is not enough—they want to be co-creators of the stories that keep their beloved franchise alive.
In this episode of Primitive Culture, hosts Clara Cook and Tony Black consider the phenomenon of fan fiction, from its origins with the 'Slash' movement of the 1970s through to the present day, when the internet has made thousands of fan-written works, some of them novel-length or more, available to fellow enthusiasts around the world. Along the way, they consider the thorny question of what counts as canon, tropes such as the much-derided 'Mary Sue', and talk in depth about Tony's own fan fiction script series, Star Trek: Premonition.
A history of Star Trek fanfic (00:07:00)
Fanfic websites (00:18:15)
Star Trek: Premonition (00:28:40)
Licensed works (00:45:00)
Mary Sues (01:00:05)
Final thoughts (01:10:00)
Clara Cook and Tony Black
Tony Black (Editor) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Amy Nelson (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)
Star Trek’s Fathers: the good, the bad, and the absent. We look at daddy issues throughout the franchise’s fifty-plus-year history.
Hitler’s British Isles and the Dominion takeover of Deep Space 9. We consider the parallels between the opening arc of DS9’s sixth season and the occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II.
Starfleet and the US Space Agency. We look at the developing relationship between real-world exploration and the famous science fiction franchise.
Shrinking Sci-Fi and DS9’s “One Little Ship.” We look at some examples of shrinking in Star Trek, comparing the franchise’s tiny people to those in science fiction cinema, such as The Incredible Shrinking Man and Fantastic Voyage.
Federation Politics in Star Trek. We’re joined by Keith DeCandido, author of Articles of the Federation, for a look at Star Trek’s political structures, the Federation Council, and its three on-screen presidents.
Star Trek and Fan Fiction. We consider Star Trek's role in the cultural phenomenon of fanfic, charting its development from the 'slash' stories of the 1970s through to the vast online archives of the twenty-first century.
Anne Frank and Counterpoint. We look at the influence of The Diary of Anne Frank on Star Trek’s screenwriters, considering how science fiction handles fascist and authoritarian regimes and the role played by ordinary people in resisting oppression.
Michael Piller, Joseph Conrad, and Star Trek: Insurrection. We look at some of the inspirations behind the script of the third TNG film, including Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness and discuss Piller’s book Fade In.
The British Isles in Star Trek. We discuss the portrayal of our homelands over a few synthales at the Grosvenor Hotel in London, and examine real-world independence movements and the effects of transporters on national identity.
Cinematic Influences on Star Trek: First Contact. We discuss the influence of Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, and James Cameron on Jonathan Frakes and how their films inspired his big-screen directorial debut.