As OUTSIDE IN BOLDLY GOES pre-ordering rolls out, we’re going to share some thoughts from some of our 117 contributors on what STAR TREK means to them in this, the saga’s 50th anniversary year!
COLLEEN HILLERUP, Contributor
STAR TREK means family to me. It’s the one show we watched together from the first time Kirk said, “Space, the Final Frontier.” It means a way of sharing a common interest with my brothers. It means wonderful memories of going to conventions with my Dad. It’s a bond we all shared. Except Mom. She liked STAR WARS.
I wish Dad were still here. He would have loved this book, and that I could contribute to it.
JOSEPH F. BERENATO, Contributor and Editor of NEW LIFE AND NEW CIVILIZATIONS: EXPLORING STAR TREK COMICS
For the longest time, I had no idea what STAR TREK meant to me. Yeah, I loved it, but I couldn’t say why for sure. Hope for the future? A united Earth? Exploring the cosmos? All of that sounded great, but that’s at the cornerstone of a lot of great science fiction. It was only in recent years that it truly hit. STAR TREK resonates with me because it’s about people from all walks of life accepting one another as family.
Infinite diversity in infinite combinations, right? It doesn’t matter if you’re from warring countries, or from different planets, or from mixed backgrounds. Man or machine. Human or hologram. Doesn’t matter. Be who you want to be, and people will love you. I struggled with that a lot growing up. Other kids were far more popular and far better at sports. I’ve been wearing half-inch-thick glasses since I was two-and-a-half and was consistently picked last in gym class. I was content to read at recess instead of embarrassing myself on the field.
Then I watch this crew of vastly different people. Human. Russian. Japanese. Scottish. African. American. Vulcan. All together. For a quarter of a century. Fallible, all. But the love they have for each other is palpable. They see their differences, and they accept and celebrate them. I’ve tried to follow suit, and in recent years decided to finally embrace the inner geek that I’ve been trying to hide for decades.
I’ve met so many amazing people with similar stories – fans and professionals alike – and we were all brought together because of a mutual love of STAR TREK. I’ve made wonderful friends, and celebrated their joys and mourned their losses with them, and we have STAR TREK to thank for it.
That’s what STAR TREK means to me. Acceptance. Love. Family.
BOB GREENBERGER, Contributor and Editor of DC Comics’ STAR TREK
STAR TREK has been endlessly explored and analyzed, and yet we find interesting connections with some aspect of the show on just about a daily basis. I was at an event recently where the comedian wanted an audience-suggested language, and someone yelled out, “Klingon!” Our technology resembles what STAR TREK theorized, so it’s all-encompassing and very cool as the series led us from geekdom to mass acceptance. For me, my connections run through all fifty years, and writing about an early association that matches my current teaching profession was perfect for a collection such as this. While Paramount may not have made the most of the opportunity, the news networks and fans more than made up for it, so I spent the 50th cocooned with TREK everywhere, something no one could have believed until recently.
GEORGE IVANOFF, Contributor
I have fond memories of watching STAR TREK as a little kid with my parents. They were big fans of Kirk and Spock. And I just never stopped watching it, following each incarnation with much excitement. Getting to write about something that has been part of my life for so long was super cool.
KATHRYN SULLIVAN, Contributor
STAR TREK has been thought-provoking, optimistic, and adventurous. To me, STAR TREK was a window into a hopeful future, with both genders working as equals, and where not only all Earth cultures could work together but humans and aliens as well. This was a future I wanted to believe in. I chose “The Devil in the Dark” because that episode was the first time I had seen a television “space monster” portrayed as a sapient being with justifiable needs of her own.
FIONA MOORE, Contributor
STAR TREK was never my utopian future. By the time I discovered STAR TREK, it was the late 1980s, and we were all out of utopias; the best we could hope for was to wind up in a NEUROMANCER-style future of being wired in to computers and owned by megacorporations, as opposed to a Mad Max-style future of complete social anarchy. But on the TV, in syndication, there was still STAR TREK: a 50-minute glimpse a week of a different sort of future – a clean, multicultural, post-capitalist universe in primary colours and sleek metal curves. And although that future was never going to happen, it was a great thing that we could still go there, could still see what it was like. So, STAR TREK was never my utopian future. But it was somebody’s utopian future. And that was a good thing.
CHRIS KOCHER, Contributor
My grandma is the one who got me into STAR TREK when I was a kid. I’m pretty sure she had a crush on William Shatner. As I grew up, the local public TV station showed three uncut, commercial-free episodes of the original series every Saturday night. Not being cursed with a social life as a teen, I saw them all and also recorded them on home VHS tapes. I used to be able to name the episode just by seeing the first minute or so. (I don’t think I still can, but I haven’t tested that skill lately.) I still remember when STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION first aired; I was unconvinced that anyone could replace Capt. James T. Kirk and his intrepid crew. It’s amazing to fathom what TREK has become since then, and the hours upon hours of adventures that have been made (some clearly better than others).
As I’m sure it’s been for many folks, STAR TREK was my gateway into the wider sci-fi world, from DOCTOR WHO and THE PRISONER to dozens of other TV shows, movies and books. For that, I’ll always be grateful.
BARBARA WHILLOCK, Contributor
Growing up, STAR TREK influenced my aspirations of who I wanted to become. While the idea of exploring space was really cool, it really came down to the fact that I wanted to be a moral person and live an ethical life. STAR TREK became a blue-print for me on how to do this. It taught me that it’s possible to do the right thing because you believe it is right, not because of the carrot-and-stick of religion. It also taught a very impressionable teen that sometimes there isn’t the right choice, only the best choice, but that I should always take responsibility for my actions.
RICH HANDLEY, Contributor
I’ve been a STAR TREK fan ever since I was a young child. I was born in 1968, which means I was far too young to watch the series during its initial run (though my mother watched it every week, so chances are it was on TV while I was in my playpen nearby, blissfully unaware of what I was missing as I focused all of my attention on getting my tiny foot into my tiny mouth so I could drool all over it). But in the 1970s, thanks to syndicated reruns, I discovered the wonder that was Gene Roddenberry’s universe. I wasn’t even 10 years old, yet I was hooked from the get-go, and have remained a TREK junkie ever since.
As an adult, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work on a number of STAR TREK projects, including reporting for STAR TREK COMMUNICATOR magazine (until its unfortunate and untimely cancelation), helping GIT Corp. put together its STAR TREK comic book DVD-ROMs, contributing to Sequart’s NEW LIFE AND NEW CIVILIZATIONS: EXPLORING STAR TREK COMICS essay anthology and, most recently, working with IDW’s Library of American Comics to reprint the UK and US STAR TREK comic strips from decades past.
So when the opportunity arose to take part in what sounded like a fun and unique take on STAR TREK, I jumped at the chance and reached out to ATB. I was especially gleeful at being assigned an episode of THE ANIMATED SERIES, as I’m an unabashed fan of those cartoon episodes, nearly all of which are eminently re-watchable. I’m also probably the only person who thinks “The Magicks of Megas-Tu” is among the best episodes, so it was a perfect gig for me. Who cares what God needs with a starship — I’d much rather find out what the Devil needs with one!
It’s hard to believe that STAR TREK‘s debut was 50 years ago — not only because that means the franchise is old, but also because I (who am only two years younger than “The Man Trap,” after all) must be as well. But with new films continuing to hit theaters and with STAR TREK: DISCOVERY soon to debut on television — the seventh Trek TV show, astoundingly — my fascination with the final frontier remains as strong as ever. With books like OUTSIDE IN BOLDLY GOES being made, it’s truly a great time to be a TREK fan.
NICK SEIDLER, Contributor
Positive possibilities. A better Mankind. Hope for the future. STAR TREK can mean many things to many people, but for me it embodies the best of what humankind can be. Have an interracial kiss; that should be OK. Eliminate human divisions and identify as human rather than by nationality. Work towards creating peace between species; if we can befriend Klingons, surely we can get along with those who are exactly like us across an imaginary international border. To know that humanity has the possibility of collective action for good, and to see people work towards it, even in a fictional environment, makes many of us strive towards that as a reality. STAR TREK is about humanity’s journey to self-improvement. 50 years ago, we took another step toward that being a reality. Join us as we allow the philosophy to take that next giant leap into reality.
ROBERT SMITH?, Editor/Contributor
STAR TREK is wonderful, groundbreaking, breathtaking, silly and goofy. Sometimes all at once. I wanted to capture a sense of that diversity of tone through the book. And I chose STAR TREK BEYOND for myself partly out of editorial sensibility… but I’m very glad I did, as I fell in love with the franchise all over again. What a great fiftieth birthday present!