Nonfiction
Voyager: Exploring the Outer Planets by Joan Marie Verba
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In 1977, NASA launched the space probes Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 to explore Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. This book tells of what was known about those planets and their moons before the Voyager missions, as well as what Voyager discovered about those planets and their moons. This book is written for the middle-grade reader, and can be enjoyed by readers age 12 and up.

Booklist

Verba's account is crammed with information about the moons, rings, atmospheres, temperatures, and orbits of these planets . . . the large quantity of information makes this a worthwhile resource. . . .

Science Press

Joan Marie Verba has written a wonderful tale of the craft that have gone where no one has gone before. . . . Geared toward the intermediate student, the books is well written . . . and brimful of information.

Science Books and Films

NASA launched Voyager 1 and 2 in 1977. These flights of exploration greatly expanded our knowledge of the outer planets of the solar system. Verba gives a concise but fairly thorough description of the Voyager project from conception through the completion of the probes' photographic mission. Voyager begins with a brief discussion of the exploration of the solar system prior to the project. . . . Each of the chapters on the outer planets begins by describing what was known before Voyager, followed by what new things we learned as a result of Voyager. . . . The material is appropriate for interested 5th and 6th graders, but the vocabulary level is more at the 7th- and 8th-grade level ... this is a good account of the flights of Voyager 1 and 2 and what we learned from them.

Boldly Writing by Joan Marie Verba
Boldly Writing 2014 cover

Current cover for second edition, artwork by Phil Foglio

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Previous cover for second edition, artwork by Janet D'Airo

Current description:

Discover the rich, untold history of early Star Trek fandom. Learn how the fans kept interest in the show alive through conventions, clubs, zines, and newsletters after it was canceled and through the times when new movies and series were produced.

Curious about the circumstances behind the cancellation of The Original Series and how viewers worked to bring it back to the large and small screens? Searching for insights into the development of the Trek fandom? Looking to connect with the originators of some of your favorite phrases? Joan Marie Verba has been a Star Trek fan since the very beginning, both as a dedicated watcher from the show’s premiere and as a formative member of the burgeoning community as far back as 1969. And now she’s here to share her compelling retrospective of how two decades of pre-internet passion for the show built a fanbase destined to live long and prosper.

Boldly Writing: A Trek Fan and Fanfiction History, 1967-1987 is an extraordinary chronology of the amateur creations used to keep the story of Star Trek going when hopes for a revival were dim. With twenty years of collected zines and insider context, Verba brings to light the powerful grassroots movement that put the starship Enterprise back on the air. Grab your copy of Boldly Writing and see exactly what it was like living as a dedicated fan before it grew into the most famous science fiction series of all time.

In Boldly Writing, you’ll discover:

  • How zealous viewers fought to bring their beloved series back after it was canned and helped preserve this part of TV history
  • Rare material and print production driving the fanzine explosion that created a loyal following like no other
  • The dedicated, widespread operations taken to organize Trek clubs and conventions.
  • Origin stories from this groundbreaking series for everyday catchphrases
  • Humorous anecdotes relating to fan special interest groups, successes, and much, much more!

Boldly Writing: A Trek Fan and Fanfiction History, 1967-1987 is your straight-to-the-point source for the impressive underpinnings of the long-living Star Trek fandom. If you like carefully crafted chronicles, stunning revelations, and surprising true stories, then you’ll love Joan Marie Verba’s fascinating book.

Buy Boldly Writing to relive those exciting events today!

From the 2003 edition:

Before the Internet, before PCs and MACs became common household items, at the dawn of the era of VCRs, Star Trek fans were making history. In Boldly Writing, Joan Marie Verba chronicles the development of Star Trek fanfiction, Star Trek conventions (the first Star Trek convention may not be the one you're thinking of), Star Trek clubs, and Star Trek revival efforts. Boldly Writing tells how the term “Mary Sue” came into being, and follows the fan and fanfiction discussions and controversies of the era. At a time when fan communication was conducted largely through the mails, and fanfiction circulated through fanzines printed on spirit duplicators and mimeographs and offset printers, Star Trek fans created a lively and active fandom that continues today.

From the 1996 edition:

WhenStar Trek began in 1966, it instantly captured the attention of science fiction fans, and gained an attentive audience. When NBC threatened to cancel the show after the second season, the fans wrote in, demanding that it be returned to the air. After the third season, Paramount, NBC, and industry experts felt Star Trek was past. But the fans did not. They started clubs, organized conventions, published newsletters, and kept writing to Paramount to ask that Star Trek be revived. Through these actions, they kept interest in the show alive and flourishing. At last, fan efforts resulted in theStar Trek movies, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Currently, Star Trek lives on in five series—and the adventure continues.

Boldly Writing chronicles all of these fan efforts, and recognizes the most valuable resource of Star Trek: its fans. The trends, obstacles, hard work, and success of the revival efforts are detailed through the first 20 years of fan publications. Author Joan Marie Verba has been an active fan since the very beginning of Star Trek, and a zine reader, writer, publisher, and collector since 1969.

Henry Jenkins, author of Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture

This book pulls together an incredible amount of information about the history of fandom and does a major service for anyone who either wants to relive those exciting years or to better understand how Star Trek emerged as such a national and international phenomenon. I'll give you a clue. If Star Trek lives, it's because of what early fans like Verba made of it. I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in fandom (which increasingly means anyone interested in popular culture).

Siddig El Fadil/Alexander Siddig, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Joan Marie Verba brings back to life the heady days of Star Trek fandom, chronicling the fight to revive the original series and detailing the controversy and the gossip that fueled the first twenty years and gave birth to generations of wonderful poets and writers. I couldn't stop myself from dipping into this fascinating history.

Andrew Robinson, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Thank you for your Boldly Writing. I found it most informative, especially in light of where [the] Star Trek fanzine is now. It’s come a long way. Congratulations and continued success.

Jacqueline Lichtenberg, co-author of Star Trek Lives!

Yesterday ... the galley proofs to Boldly Writing by Joan Marie Verba arrived in the mail .... I had no idea her fanzine history was such an ambitious work. I advise any Star Trek fan who wasn’t around in 1969 to order a copy .... She has taken the amorphous welter of material that came off the fan presses and revealed a sharp, clear, and most of all, documented, print. She has shown us how Star Trek fandom was a force that gathered in, energized, trained, and produced people who have since then racked up an astounding list of achievements.... I have nothing but praise for this monumental work!”

Jean Lorrah, author of The Vulcan Academy Murders, The IDIC Epidemic, Metamorphosis, and Survivors

Little did I know on September 8, 1966 that watching a new television show would profoundly change my life. Star Trek has been inextricably woven into my existence ever since. In Boldly Writing, Joan Marie Verba chronicles the height of the fanzine phenomenon.... Joan's book is an amazing reminder of all those stories we shared, those dreams we dreamed, as we went where no fandom had gone before.