Hasslein Blog: Future Voices, Passed: Larry Nemecek Opens Up His Star Trek Archives


Hasslein Blog

Monday, October 15, 2012

Future Voices, Passed: Larry Nemecek Opens Up His Star Trek Archives

by Rich Handley
If you're a long-time Star Trek fan who has ever delved deeper into the franchise than merely watching the series on television, then chances are you've been touched by Larry Nemecek.

OK, that didn't come out right. Let me start that again.

Since the early 1990s, Larry Nemecek, an author, archivist, consultant and editor, has been extremely influential in the Trek realm, both in print and at conventions. So there's a pretty good chance you've either read his work or encountered him at an event. His latest effort sounds pretty damn cool—but I'll get to that shortly.

I first met Larry around 1990 or so, when I ordered a few of his earliest books. At the time, he had been writing season-by-season guides to Star Trek: The Next Generation. After picking up the first volume, TNG-1: A Concordance and Episode Guide, published in 1989, I contacted him directly to purchase both TNG-2 and TNG-3.

I absolutely loved these books, and read through them one episode at a time, while re-watching my homemade VHS recordings of the series. These were followed up by TNG-4 and TNG-5, as well as DS9-1. I've always wished he'd continued writing them, at least to complete the TNG and DS9 runs, but circumstances put a halt to their release. If you can find them on eBay, I highly recommend picking them up. I seem to recall reading that Gene Roddenberry and his staff actually used Larry's guides to keep track of what they were doing while writing ST:TNG, in fact.

In 1991, Larry founded Oklahoma's ThunderCon Star Trek charity convention, and a few years later he began appearing as a convention guest at various events worldwide, where he shared stories about the world of Star Trek. From that point on, Larry seemed to be everywhere. I started seeing his name associated with various Trek publications, including Star Trek Fact Files, Star Trek MagazineStar Trek: The Next Generation Companion and Star Trek: Star Charts.

In 1998, he became the managing editor of Star Trek: Communicator, the officially licensed magazine of Dan Madsen's Star Trek Fan Club. He continued to serve in that capacity until Communicator's unfortunate demise in 2005.

It was in that capacity that I became re-acquainted with Larry. Not long after he joined the Communicator's staff, I submitted an article for issue #121, regarding the long-forgotten Star Trek newspaper strips. Larry accepted the article and was open to additional pitches. This year, that article led to my helping to compile (and writing introductions to) IDW's upcoming Star Trek newspaper strip reprint books. So I'm especially grateful to Larry, because I can directly attribute the IDW gig to his willingness to publish my work thirteen years ago.

Soon, I was writing for each issue of the Communicator, including feature stories, interviews and an ongoing column about Star Trek gaming (which, in retrospect, is kind of funny since I'm not a gamer and never really have been). When the magazine closed up shop seven years ago, that ended what was, for me, some of the most fun I've ever had writing for a magazine. Larry is not only extremely knowledgeable about Trek, but also an eminently likable guy, so working with him was as easy as an Orion slave girl.

In 1994, Larry and his wife Janet sold a story called "Reflections" to the producers of Star Trek: Voyager, which had yet to air on television at that point. Finally, after several years of waiting, they saw their baby take form during the series' final season, as the updated (and re-titled) episode "Prophecy." In recent years, Larry has appeared in several Trek fan films, including Star Trek: New Voyages, and he also had a cameo in Enterprise's final episode, "These Are the Voyages..."

Larry, watching the Federation's formation.

In addition, Larry has continued to travel the convention circuit, and for the past several years, he has maintained a site called Trekland, which covers his personal history with the franchise. Larry posts periodic updates to the site, culling memories from more than 500 archival interviews with writers, designers, actors and crew members.

And that brings me to my point in writing all of this. After decades of storing all of those interviews, most of which are unpublished, Larry is now offering them to fans as a series of CDs titled Trekland: On Speaker. As you can see above, if ever there was anyone qualified to produce such a project, it would be Larry.

Here's how he describes it over on his site:

* * *

Finally: A new CD series that opens up our decades of interviews, now remastered for fans. 

First, the bad news:
For two decades, boxes and boxes of my cassette tapes of Trekland creator interviews have sat unused.


And worst of all, unheard—the vast majority not even transcribed and out in print.

The good news?

Thanks to the digital revolution, that's all changing now. Hundreds of hours of Trek talk are being sorted, saved and finally shared. That's why I’m so proud to present this new CD series, Trekland: On Speaker—which we debuted as a surprise at the 2012 Vegas Star Trek convention. On each CD, you won't get just sound bites or even a few sentences, as you expect even with DVD bonus features—but extended conversations with writers, producers, designers and all manner of crew, on-stage and off.

VOL. 1: Future Voices, Passed
The debut disk carries a theme of those Treklanders no longer with us. For an hour and 18 minutes, you'll enjoy never-before-heard comments and stories from TNG/DS9/VGR writer-producer Michael Piller, TOS/TNG actor Mark "Sarek" Lenard, TNG/VGR/ENT/film 1st assistant director Jerry Fleck, and TOS/TNG producer Bob Justman ... IN THEIR OWN VOICE.

* * *

This project sounds fascinating (please excuse the overused Star Trek cliché—it's simply an apt descriptor in this case), as there's an ENORMOUS wealth of heretofore-unheard information here!

Each CD will come with a tri-fold insert, a full-size CD jewel case, original photos and Larry's liner notes regarding the date and context of each conversation. Autographed copies will be available, and a portion of all proceeds will support his The Con of Wrath documentary project.

You can purchase Future Voices, Passed now for $21.99, including shipping. Why not order your copy, so you can boldly go where only Larry has gone before?

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