Remembering Shirley Maiewski

By Carl Slaughter: Shirley Maiewski (1920-2004) was known as “Grandma Trek.”

She served as chairman of the Star Trek Welcome Committee, acting as a liaison between the corporate world and the fan community.  She kept the franchise flame alive between cancellation of the show and the start of the movie series.

Maiewski also wrote one of the most popular fan fic stories, “Mindsifter.”  It appeared in Bantam’s Star Trek: The New Voyages (1976), edited by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath, the second of the Star Trek anthologies commissioned by Frederik Pohl.

She didn’t write any more fan fiction for 2 reasons:  1) “Mindsifter” was revised without her knowledge or permission.  2) Reviewers deconstructed it.  She was so upset with Bantam, she called for a boycott.  Because of her status in the fan community, Bantam’s source of fan fic manuscripts dried up.

After 40 years, “Mindsifter” finally got a screen adaptation. It wasn’t New Voyages best episode and the print version is much better.

  • Star Trek:  New Voyages:

  • Director’s commentary:

7 thoughts on “Remembering Shirley Maiewski

  1. I haven’t watched the fanfilm version all the way through (I struggle with the TOS recast fanfilms), but the original short story was one of my favorites.

    She was so upset with Bantam, she called for a boycott. Because of her status in the fan community, Bantam’s source of fan fic manuscripts dried up.

    I’d never heard this before. Do you have more information about it? Bantam did publish a The New Voyages 2 two years later, which doesn’t exactly seem like drying up.

  2. I believe the Star Trek Welcome Committee was actually known as the Star Trek Welcommittee, as mentioned in David Gerrold’s World of Star Trek (1973).

  3. gottacook is correct. The Welcommittee ran for many years, and Shirley was its heart and soul.

  4. Yvonne and I were on the Welcommittee for 15 years. Yvonne kept in touch with French-language fans, and I created the book list, which nearly overcame the Welcommittee Directory. Shirley was a sweet lady, and when she shut the STW down because she realized that brand-new thing called the Internet was getting the word out so much better than she and the STW could, we couldn’t help but agree. She is much missed.

  5. 1) “Mindsifter” was revised without her knowledge or permission.
    I’ve heard that they did that to several other stories also. They may have had the legal authority, but it’s still not right.
    (Hi, Amy!)

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