Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

The Joy of Trek: How to Enhance Your Relationship With a Star Trek Fan (UK title: Coping with Your Trekkie: What You Need to Know to Survive a Relationship with a Star Trek Fanatic) is a reference book written by Samuel Ramer that was published in 1997. Intended to familiarize non-fans of Star Trek with the franchise, the publication of the book saw it taken to court by Viacom with allegations of copyright infringement.


Samuel Ramer's wife was unfamiliar with Star Trek, so he hit upon the idea of writing a book to illustrate what the series was about, who the characters were and the settings of the various series.

Legal difficulties

However, Viacom thought the book infringed their copyright and took the author and the publisher to court, seeking $22 million in damages. Ramer commented: "It chills speech and stifles creativity." [1]

The court case was still open in 1999. Steve Schragis, the publisher of the book commented: "There are no clear-cut rules for what is fair use, only guidelines, and publishers need a definite answer. Our lawyers thought [the book] was great and they still think it complies. Oral arguments will begin in federal court in April and there could be a ruling by the early spring. Star Trek may produce one of the most important copyright rulings in recent history." [2]


  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • The Star Trek Phenomenon and Where You Fit In
  • How to Live With a Trekker; or, "Must We Have a Full-Size Poster of Worf in Our Bedroom?"
  • The Story So Far; or, "How Did Scotty Get So Old and Fat?"
  • The Characters: Star Trek: The Original Show
  • The Characters: Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • The Characters: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • The Characters: Star Trek: Voyager
  • The Aliens; or, "Why Do They All Have Weird Foreheads?"
  • Technobabble; or, "What the hell is warp, anyway?"
  • Really Cool Things to Say to Your Trekker; or, "Wow, You Watch Star Trek Too!"
  • The Star Trek Convention; or, "If We Don't Leave Now, I'm Going to Start Crying"
  • The Future; or, "Honey, They're Just Children. Don't Dress Them Like the Borg."
  • The Greatest Star Trek Episodes of All Time and Why You'll Like Them

Background information

Author Samuel Ramer grew up in the Bronx, and as a child was not allowed outside due to the violence in the neighborhood he lived in. He took to watching the original series, and found role models in Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Ramer later became an assistant district attorney, acting as a prosecutor in the Bronx in homicide cases. [3]

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