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Welcome to the wonderful world of Tech Fandom Correctness!

This strange and wonderful movement toward I Am Right And You Are Wrong has been sweeping the nation! (Well, okay, it's been sweeping James Dixon, anyway.) And now it's time to hop on the Tech Fandom bandwagon!

But wait! I hear you cry, "I don't know how to tell right from wrong in Tech Fandom! I'm just a newcomer whose watched Star Trek a couple of times and is wondering what Warp Speed means!"

Fear not, oh intrepid acolyte! The world of Tech Fandom is quite simple, despite its complexity. The only thing you have to learn is that the Star Trek universe is absolutely black and white; there is absolute right, and everything else is absolute wrong.

But tell me, O great one, how can I tell right from wrong?

I'm glad you asked. Just remember, since you are a new convert to Tech Fandom, that you are a lowly paeon, higher in rank only to the Non Believers out there who read [shudder!] unofficial material. To assist you in your quest for the One True Trek Truth, I've prepared a brief Frequently Asked Questions list to demonstrate Tech Fandom Correctness:

Q. What is Tech Fandom, specifically? A. Tech Fandom is that area of technical knowledge about the Star Trek

 Universe gained from all the official material.  It is exceedingly
 precise in its detail.

Q. What constitutes Official Material? A. That's an easy one! All the Star Trek TV shows and movies.

Q. The novels don't count? A. Well, I suppose the answer to what is Official is not as simple as I

 made it sound.  Novels CAN count as Official Material (O.M.),
 provided that they are GOOD novels.  Bad novels do not count.  In
 that same vein, only those episodes of the Star Trek Animated Series
 that are good ones count as Official Material.  By contrast, those
 exceedingly bad episodes of The Original Series and The Next
 Generation do not count either, even though I just said they do.

Q. I see. So what constitutes a good or a bad source? A. Again, simple. A source is good (and thus Official Material) if its

 technical details are consistent with Tech Fandom, and bad otherwise.

Q. Isn't that a bit of a circular definition? A. Of course it is, and that's the beauty of it! This way, the Dixons

 and other nameless keepers of Tech Fandom in the Universe can
 essentially accept or reject just about anything they like!

Q. Can you give me an example of how to determine if something falls

 within the realm of Tech Fandom or not?

A. Certainly! Suppose you had just watched that wretched "The Enemy

 Within" episode from Star Trek's first season.  You noticed that the
 crew was stranded down there on the freezing planet because the
 transporters were not working right, but Kirk never made an attempt
 to send down a shuttlecraft to rescue them.  Getting out your
 Official Compiled List of Tech Fandom Material (or, for this purpose,
 the Franz Joseph Constitution-Class Blue Prints would do), you see
 that the Enterprise does indeed carry a complement of shuttlecraft
 ready to launch from its rear shuttle bay.  So, that means that this
 part of the episode was not Tech Fandom and was the fault of those
 idiotic anti-technical People-magazine-reading staff writers who
 don't even know how their own garage door opener works.
 On the other hand, the WHOLE episode doesn't have to be thrown out,
 because it does have that neat bit about the transporters splitting
 Kirk into his good and evil halves, which IS allowed in Tech Fandom,
 specifically because of this episode in fact.

Q. I read some place in Star Trek: The Role-Playing Game that – A. HEATHEN! Don't even MENTION the Name of the Devil around here! We

 don't care if Paramount gave Them their seal of approval, that . . .
 that "game" that you just mentioned violates nearly every directive
 of the Holy Scriptures of Tech Fandom!  In fact, I think now is the
 time, before you get in any more trouble, that you should be intro-
 duced to:
 --- ---- ------ ---- -- --------- ------
 Don't even mention these terms in public!  They appear here once --
 and ONLY once -- so that you'll know which words not to say!!
 These devil-worshipping game designers have violated everything we
 Tech Fandomers know to be Holy.  Their role-playing game must be
 denounced every time you hear it mentioned.  Do not even LISTEN to
 people who speak of this game, as they might start making a little
 bit of sense to you if you did!  Mr. Dixon has a complete list of
 violations that this set of Banned Books commits.  You may read Mr.
 Dixon's list, but under no circumstances are you to actually read any
 of the material contained within the game!  And if you MUST mention
 the gaming company's name in public, please PLEASE use two asterisks
 to substitute for the middle two letters of their name, i.e. say
 "F**A", not the [shudder] full way it's spelled above.
 Another inconsistent game.  This would actually be worse than F**A's
 game, except that the designers have made all sorts of disclaimers to
 the effect that the Star Fleet Universe departed from the Star Trek
 Universe a long time ago.  It's also okay because no serious trekker
 takes it seriously anyway.  But if you must speak of this game, again
 use two asterisks to mask out the whole word, as in "Star Fl**t
 Battles."  This is in keeping with the ancient practice of never
 completely spelling out the name of God or the Devil for fear of
 being struck dead.
 No matter how entertaining you might find _Dreadnought!_, _Ghost
 Ship_, and/or _Battlestations!_, here work is clearly not T.F., and
 thus belongs on your List of Books to Burn.
 One of the most un-T.F. episodes of The Next Generation of all time.
 Avoid, avoid, avoid.  No further explanation is necessary.  So there.
 Boo, hiss!  We all know there is only ONE time line for Star Trek.
 If Gene Roddenberry himself were to come back to life and say that
 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan took place in 2285 A.D., he would be
 WRONG, as the whole world of Tech Fandom knows that it took place in
 2287.  How do we know?  Simple; we know that ST2 took place in 2287
 the same way the Catholics know the world began in 4130 B.C. -- we
 count up all the Begats and references to numbers of years wherever
 we can find them, even if everything else about the episode we got
 our information from violates the Holy Scriptures of T.F..
 There is no such thing as Internal Inconsistency in Star Trek!  Star
 Trek is PERFECT!!  There just happen to be a few episodes/incidents
 which are Not Canon, that's all.  If Spock says that Menagerie
 happened 13 years ago, and ST3 happened at the same time as ST2 (15
 years after TOS), and the Enterprise was only 20 years old in ST3, it
 was because one of those numbers Wasn't Canon.  Your duty as a Tech
 Fandomer is to ignore these number clashes and stick to the One True
 Time Line.

Well, I hope this little treatise has enlightened you, O brave young initiate. If you have accepted everything that has been said as Gospel Truth, then you are a True Believer, well on your way to being a tech fandomer in the tradition of our great Saint Dixon of the Timeline. For remember, if you were to look Trek full on in the face and see all its inconsistencies laid bare, our Mighty Empire of absolute consistency could collapse, and that must be avoided at all costs.

So, keep thine eyes closed, wear thy Holy Blinders, and remember to say "Live Long and Prosper" with the Vulcan salute in your RIGHT hand, since that was how Spock did it in "Amok Time", a very T.F. episode.

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