Going boldly …

September 2nd, 2013Posted by Nancy



Like just about every SF fan of a certain age, I was a huge Star Trek fan as a child.  I didn’t watch it on the first run but probably in the first years of the reruns, when I was 10 or 11.   While I never wrote Star Trek   fan fiction (which is not to say I’ve never written fan fiction, but that’s another post…) my best friend and I did spend many long happy hours playing Star Trek in her basement.  Her father worked at IBM and so had all these lovely computer bits that could be put along the arms of chairs and on desks to provide control panels.

Looking back on it, what most interests me is that we were already feminist enough to know that the depiction of women in the show was unsatisfying.  We had no interest in playing nurses or yeomen or even communications officers.  And don’t even get me started on that horrible episode where the crazy woman stole Kirk’s body so she could be captain.  Bah.  No, if we were going to play Star Trek, we were going to get the good parts.  I was always the Captain (which is really quite surprising, if you know me, as I am not very leader-like at all) and the BF was always the Science Officer.  We invented a ship with a  mostly female crew and we had adventures.  Of course, we did cross paths with the Enterprise and have interesting … um .. interactions with Kirk and Spock but it was always a given that whatever fuzzily romantic scenarios our pre-teen brains could supply, our first loyalties were to our ship and to each other.   No doubt there was something Mary Sue-ish in our characters but there was something surprisingly mature as well.   It was a given that my character would never give her up her ship for a man, any more than Kirk would give up his for a woman.

As we moved through various interests (comics, the Six Million Dollar Man – more on that one later – and, god help us, Roller Derby) this basic pattern repeated itself.   We were the heroes and we were friends.  The romantic element of our adventures with the various imaginary love interests was a big part of it but in the end, our characters always rode off into the metaphorical sunset together.


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