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XRISTOPHER BLAND |

Copywriter | Content Writer

35 Years Experience in Customer-First Writing
B2B | B2C

My Footnote in Star Trek History

 

In 1996, I earned a footnote in Star Trek history when TV Guide Canada editor Lee Ann Nicholson hired me to write roughly 70% of Star Trek: 30 Years, TV Guide’s first special interest publication (SIP), which sold in four countries and reportedly earned $1 million.

As part of the project (overseen by Paramount), I worked with Canadian astronomer Terence Dickinson (Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe) to produce a pull-out map of Star Trek space in the 24th century. Paramount’s sign-off on the map made me the co-creator of the first-ever official Star Trek map of space.

After the release of the SIP, I produced an expanded map as an interactive wall display for the McLaughlin Planetarium’s 1996 show Star Trek: The Exhibit, meaning I was the sole creator of the second Star Trek map of space ever officially endorsed by Paramount.

In addition to this, I worked with American linguist Marc Okrand, known as the creator of the Klingon language. I helped Okrand create all-new English-to-Klingon phrases for the SIP, meaning I helped create previously unknown Klingon phrases that may still be used by the Star Trek franchise today. Kapla!

Authorship credit listed as Christopher Bland.

As part of Star Trek: 30 Years, I had the pleasure of interviewing cast members from several Star Trek franchises, including Michael Dorn, LeVar Burton, Nana Visitor and Kate Mulgrew. I also had the opportunity to speak with Harlan Ellison, who wrote “The City on the Edge of Forever,” frequently cited as the best Star Trek episode ever written. Having been enthralled by Ellison's books as a kid, I was truly honored to speak with a legend.

Working at TV Guide (once the second highest-earning consumer magazine in Canada) was an incredible opportunity to work with and learn from some great writers and editors, including:

 

... and so many more.

 

I'll forever be grateful that I had the chance to work with such a great crew.

My favorite memory from the Star Trek: 30 Years project was a special media event at the Planetarium before Star Trek: The Exhibit opened to the public. Among the Star Trek props that were there, a warp core pulsed and hummed by the stairs leading to the second floor and a re-creation of the Enterprise bridge. Though the props were roped off, no one was around, and I thought, "Yah. This moment is never going to come again." So I stepped over the ropes, climbed into the captain's chair with beer in hand and marveled at where a writing career can take you. :) 

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