Today’s featured fanzine is Star Trek Quarterly, which – as the title indicates – is all about Star Trek.
And now I’d like to welcome Sarah Gulde of Star Trek Quarterly. Sarah was a Hugo finalist for Journey Planet in 2019.
Who are the people behind your site or zine?
Trekkies! Specifically, people involved in Star Trek fandom either IRL or online. I want anyone who loves Star Trek to feel welcome to send in submissions, from articles to art to fanfic to reviews to whatever shows their love of Trek!
I’ve also been very lucky to be introduced to folks like Karen Roberson, who created the new logo and does the covers now, and Sue Kisenwether, who created the website. Personally, I edit the submissions, lay them out, post the finished fanzines online, and advertise them on social media.
I’ve been a Trekkie since TNG started in 1987, so when Chris Garcia and James Bacon asked me to guest edit an issue of Journey Planet, I did a whole Star Trek-themed issue. I reached out to people I know in the Trek community and asked them to write about how Star Trek had impacted their lives. I ended up receiving some really impactful stories, from a friend who had immigrated to the US finding a family, to another friend finding the courage to come out of the closet, all through Star Trek.
It was a game-changing experience for me to edit other people’s stories. Everyone has a story to tell, but everyone is at a different writing level. Some pieces I didn’t have to touch, while I spent hours editing others. I loved helping people tell their stories, and making sure those stories were heard.
I loved it so much I didn’t want to stop with one issue! After some careful thought, I decided to create my own Star Trek-themed fanzine. Monthly was too much for me to take on by myself, so I went with quarterly. I asked Women At Warp, a feminist Trek podcast, to write a regular column. (Since then I’ve joined the show as a co-host.) I passed out flyers at the big annual convention in Las Vegas soliciting submissions for the first issue. And I posted to various Star Trek Facebook groups looking for more.
I didn’t know what to expect, but I got a lot of great submissions from people who are passionate about Star Trek. And it’s continued ever since!
What format do you use for your site or zine (blog, e-mail newsletter, PDF zine, paper zine) and why did you choose this format?
I originally started Star Trek Quarterly as a JPEG zine on Facebook only. It gave me a free, ready-to-go infrastructure for posting and advertising my fanzine. I didn’t (and still don’t) know how to create a website, but recently my Women At Warp co-host Sue Kisenwether created a WordPress site for me, so now folks can access Star Trek Quarterly as a PDF outside of Facebook.
I don’t worry about whether my fanzine is “important”. I make it because Star Trek is important to me, and because my fanzine makes my (and others’) love of Star Trek a bigger part of my life. You don’t make art because it’s important, you make art because you have something you want to express and get out into the world. If it becomes important to other people and they want to give it an award, that’s just icing.
In the past twenty years, fanzines have increasingly moved online. What do you think the future of fanzines looks like?
I wouldn’t tell anyone else how to distribute their fanzine, but personally I can’t imagine taking on the costs of sending a physical product. I have no expenses now but time and effort, and I intend to keep it that way. It would stop being fun for me if I had to fundraise or charge to keep it going.
The four fan categories of the Hugos (best fanzine, fan writer, fan artist and fancast) tend to get less attention than the fiction and dramatic presentation categories. Are there any awesome fanzines, fancasts, fan writers and fan artists you’d like to recommend?
First of all (and self-servingly), the Women At Warp podcast! We’re on a mission to explore “intersectional diversity in infinite combinations”, meaning we discuss Star Trek from an intersectional feminist perspective. We’re a part of the Roddenberry Podcast Network and will be hitting a million downloads sometime in mid-2021. You can find us online at womenatwarp.com, and @womenatwarp on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
I’d also like to specifically recommend a fanfic writer who is a regular contributor to Star Trek Quarterly. They go by Curator on AO3, and @curatoronAO3 on Twitter. I’m not a part of the fanfic community, but I LOVE reading Curator’s submissions each quarter. They’re well written and give you little pieces of the Star Trek story you didn’t know you were missing.
Where can people find you?
The next submission deadline is February 28 – I hope any Trekkies reading this will think about sending something in! Just email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks, Sarah, for stopping by and answering my questions.
Do check out Star Trek Quarterly, cause it’s a great zine.
Do you have a Hugo eligible fanzine/-site or fancast and want it featured? Contact me or leave a comment.