Science Fiction TV Fans:
We Don't Get No Respect
I recently read with great interest a newspaper article that featured the work of a
talented modelmaker. The man in question painstakingly crafted a realistic miniature of
Sherlock Holmes' London. He lavished years on this incredible diorama. The work was
phenomenal, and the feature writer properly appreciated the effort and devotion that such
a project required.
I confess to experiencing a twinge of jealousy about the praise heaped upon this man. I
was jealous not for his personal achievement, but jealous of the respect accorded to his
hobby by the media. If this modelmaker had invested the same time and effort into an
exquisitely detailed Klingon landscape, the reporter would have told him to move out of
his parents' basement and get a life.
There's no use complaining that certain people will always consider me a kook merely
because I hang out with guys who wear pointy ears and bumpy noses. I love my hobby and
should accept the social baggage associated with it. But I wonder at the sentiment of the
general public and media that science fiction fans are goofy social misfits; and those
Trekkies, they're the worst of all! How strange that this attitude persists despite half
of all Americans professing to be Star Trek fans. Even prominent pillars of society like
Microsoft's Bill Gates have publicly admitted to being Trekkers. The hallowed New York
Times syndicates a Star Trek column. How much more respectable can you get?
Of course, we don't help the situation. Why do we insist on tacking silly labels on
ourselves? Devotees of Home Improvement don't call themselves Homies; fans
of Cheers aren't Cheeries. But to separate ourselves even further from the mundane
world, we call ourselves Trekkers and Whovians and Leapers. Fans of the new science
fiction shows have yet to develope cute nicknames. Are seaQuest DSV fans DSV'gers? Babylon
5 watchers Babies?
As media fans, we can even engender disdain among science fiction circles. At some
literary science fiction gatherings,to mention Trek or, heaven forbid, the campy Lost
In Space, earns you a pleasant smile and a polite, "No, dear, we actually read."
To paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield, "We don't get no respect." But we derive a
lot of fun from our other-worldly pursuits. Heck, who needs respect? I've got a
functioning Battlestar Galactica pistol in the original box. Who could ask for