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)
John Carpenter’s Christine and Voyager’s “Alice.” We look at the 1983 cult classic movie and the Stephen King novel that inspired it, alongside the sixth-season Voyager episode that borrows its central premise.
Untimely Ends for Star Trek’s Redshirts. We look at how the deaths of junior crewmen have been handled throughout the franchise’s history, with reference to John Scalzi’s novel Redshirts.
Star Trek Beyond in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Trek.fm hosts past and present gather for a roundtable discussion recorded during a live London performance of the third Kelvin Timeline film.
The Holodeck and Video Games. We look at gaming culture in Star Trek and what the fantasy lives of our favorite characters—played out in those magical rooms—tell us about them as people.
Pandemics in Star Trek. We look at disease outbreaks on Federation worlds and beyond in relation to real-world plagues and pandemics, such as the Black Death to HIV.
Religion in Star Trek. We consider how the franchise’s presentation of faith and religious practice has changed over the course of half a century, and how our own beliefs have impacted our viewing.
Schooling in Star Trek. For Starfleet officers whose families have joined them in space, providing a well-rounded education can be a challenge. We take a look at how education is handled in Gene Roddenberry’s future.
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.