The SciFi Diner Classic Ep. 26
Our Interview with Dr. Star Trek
In our twenty-sixth episode of the SciFi Diner Classic, we interview Dr. Star Trek (Larry Nemecek). Since we do a news and interview show, it goes without saying that the news portion of our episodes often date themselves fast. And while the interviews with the people that make Science Fiction happen remain relevant and in our opinion important, most listeners will not listen back 100 episodes and wade through old news just to get to the interview. So what the SciFi Diner Classic aims to do is to share these interviews with you. If you have been with us from the beginning, then bear with us as we introduce some of our newer listeners to voices from the past. We’re bringing you just the interview and nothing else.
Larry Wayne Nemecek (born 18 January) is a noted Star Trek author, editor, archivist, consultant and producer. He is married to onetime script coordinatorJanet Nemecek.
A native Oklahoman, Nemecek began considering news and communications as a career in high school after being inspired by a teacher in his journalism class. He majored in theater at college with a journalism minor, and began writing aboutStar Trek because “all the Will Rogers and Sooners football books had been written.” He also cites Stephen Edward Poe’s classic The Making of Star Trekand Bjo Trimble’s Star Trek Concordance as seminal influences in entertainment and genre writing.
As an undergrad at East Central University, Nemecek started a science fiction fan club with his best friend Kevin Hopkins, called “Starbase ECU.” His favorite TOS character was Leonard McCoy and in make-up class chose a Tellarite for his non-realistic character project.
While a young newspaper reporter and editor, he chaired publicity for Oklahoma City’s SoonerCons and in 1991founded ThunderCon there as an all-media/Star Trek charity convention. In 1993, after the publication of his first professional book, Nemecek began sharing his stories and archives with humor as a guest at conventions worldwide.
Nemecek had a long-distance correspondence with fellow Star Trek fan and artist/author Geoffrey Mandel growing out of points in the Starfleet Medical Reference (Ballantine). Nemecek’s early drafts of Star Trek star maps led them to work together when Mandel intended to publish them in fanzine form, but when Mandel was asked to finish the incomplete Star Trek Maps for Bantam Books he managed to include Nemecek’s data in the revised format scale.
In 1989, after beginning an annual episode guide and concordance fanzine for the new Star Trek: The Next Generation, Nemecek met with Gene Roddenberry in his office. He was personally thanked by Roddenberry for writing the reference works, which the staff used as an ongoing update to their writer’s guide.
From 1998 until 2005, Nemecek served as managing editor of Star Trek: Communicator, overseeing the planning, writers, content and look of the licensed magazine of the Official Star Trek Fan Club. He has been a regular contributor to Star Trek Magazine since 1995, and contributed dozens of articles to Star Trek Fact Files, for which he worked all six years as Los Angeles photo editor and consultant. The topics researched and obscure references and sources tracked fueled the work of the UK-based Fact Files, later seen in the US in Star Trek: The Magazine.
Since 1986, Nemecek has conducted over 500 archival interviews of Star Trek writers, designers, crew and actors, most of them multiple or annual updates over the years and unpublished.
He also appeared in two episodes of the fan film Star Trek: New Voyages, in 2004 and 2006, and in the recently-released vignette No-Win Scenario as a Tellarite.
Contributions to Star Trek
In 1990, the shuttle Nenebek, featured in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Final Mission”, was named in his honor by Jeri Taylor. She had not yet met him but, like other writing staffers, had his fanzine concordances on her desk. She did not think to tell him the story until 1998.
In 1992, Nemecek was the author of the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion. He would later update this in May 1995 and in 2003. His text commentary also appeared in the CD version.
In December 1994, Nemecek and his wife Janet pitched and sold a story, “Reflections,” for the yet-to-air series Star Trek: Voyager. It was shelved for six years before being updated and written as “Prophecy”, an episode for Voyager‘s last season in 2001.
Nemecek co-wrote The Making of Star Trek: First Contact, published by Titan Books in the UK from material he,Ian Spelling and Lou Anders wrote for Titan’s magazine specials on the film. He also wrote the chapter openers and other research for Star Trek: Star Charts – a reunion of sorts with onetime Star Trek Maps colleague Mandel. He authored the original museum artifact placards and recent timeline update in the museum area of Star Trek: The Experience, and was a consultant there as well as on such projects as the Star Trek: Federation Science European tour and the Star Trek World Tour guidebooks and image references.
In 2002, Nemecek was interviewed for the bonus features (Star Trek Moments and Memories) on the seventh season DVD for Star Trek: The Next Generation. He spoke again in interviews for the new 20th anniversary DVD set for TNG in 2007, and served as Special Consultant on the overall project.
In 2005, Nemecek appeared with other cameo guests and crew in “These Are the Voyages…”, the last episode ofStar Trek: Enterprise. His costume was a reuse of Avery Brooks’ suit from DS9: “Far Beyond the Stars”. Nemecek recounted his experience filming the episode in his “Endgame” column in Star Trek Magazine issue 124.
For many years, Nemecek was a contributor and producer on the official Star Trek website. In 1996, he was its first-ever chat guest. In December 2007, however, he and the rest of the StarTrek.com production team were laid off by CBS Interactive, the result of restructuring at the company.
He is also the sole contributor to Star Trek – Best Episode Collection, a Fact Files DVD project for Japan, and continues his two columns for Star Trek Magazine. He hopes to work again soon with Communicator publisher Dan Madsen as well.