The Ancient History of theLogBook ‘Zine

theLogBook.com1994 through 1995 was a fertile time for science fiction fans and Star Trek fans in particular. At that time, Star Trek: The Next Generation was finishing its run in syndication and its cast was preparing for its first movie, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was wrapping up its first season and getting ready to hit its stride in season two, Star Trek: Voyager was just entering production, X-Files was hot, Babylon 5 was concluding its first season, and other shows were just starting to taxi down the runway toward production: Hercules, Stargate SG-1, and what was hoped would be a full-series revival of Doctor Who (as it turned out, we were about nine years off on that last item).

There was a lot to talk about.

And your webmaster, a few years before mastering the web (ha!), had a DOS-based desktop publishing program, time to burn, an itch to write and lay out a newsletter, and perhaps most dangerously, he had access to a photocopier at work. Look out, world. Thus was the print incarnation of theLogBook born.

LOGBOOK.ZIPAt the time, theLogBook was a ZIP file of text files making the BBS rounds. Each text file was an episode guide to a specific series – Star Trek: TNG, Babylon 5, you name it. The ZIP files were enormously popular. Quite a few of the writers who have been with theLogBook for years converged upon either the text files or the ‘zine at this time.

The internet was also in its infancy at the time, though the major studios had yet to see any value in having a presence there. J. Michael Straczynski’s presence on GEnie and Compuserve was a revolutionary connection with the fans, a truly unprecedented thing. Publications like Variety and Hollywood Reporter had no internet presence yet. The ‘net was a playground of information and rumors, each jostling for roughly equal credibility.

It was quite a time to be attempting a print ‘zine, especially in an area like Fort Smith, Arkansas, where the internet didn’t really have widespread penetration. Folks had Compuserve and AOL, but the internet? They were waiting to see if it would catch on. In this day and age, it’s almost impossible to imagine life without the ‘net, whereas it still seemed like a fad that could fizzle at any time.

It was against this background, and armed with EnVision Publisher on a pre-Windows PC that didn’t even have a mouse, that I briefly took theLogBook into print. My background was in print writing and print layout, so it may well have been a case where it was more fun for me to make it than it was for others to read it.

Here, then, is an archive of as many surviving issues of theLogBook ‘Zine as I could track down, with some commentary on each. Each surviving issue is presented in PDF form, and the text is searchable within the PDF (will, within the limitations of the scanner and OCR software’s ability to parse the occasionally too-tiny print resulting from me trying to cram ten pounds of information into a five-pound bag).

  1. Vol. 1, Issue 1 – August 1994
  2. Vol. 1, Issue 2 – September 1994 (no original copy to scan)
  3. Vol. 1, Issue 3 – October 1994
  4. Vol. 1, Issue 4 – November 1994
  5. Vol. 1, Issue 5 – December 1994
  6. Vol. 1, Issue 6 – January 1995
  7. Vol. 1, Issue 7 – February 1995
  8. Vol. 1, Issue 8 – March 1995
  9. Vol. 1, Issue 9 – Spring 1995
  10. Vol. 1, Issue 10 – June 1995
  11. Vol. 1, Issue 11 – July 1995
  12. Vol. 1, Issue 12 – August 1995
  13. Vol. 2, Issue 1 – September 1995
  14. Vol. 2, Issue 2 – October 1995