Strange Fascination

Karen Jeane’s ode to Spock, Strange Fascination, stood out in the early online fandom for its focus on character as opposed to technology. “Starships, phasers, xenobiology and astrophysics are all worthy of scrutiny, but the series is really about people,” Karen argued.

The website had started in 1997 as Karen Jeane’s Star Trek Web Site, briefly became The Redshirt Web and then Strange Fascination in August 2004.

Karen explained the focus on Spock in her website’s introduction:

It’s no overstatement to call Spock the best known, best loved, best developed, and most unique character Star Trek has presented in its near forty years. He conveys deep truths of human nature but remains utterly alien. He’s as familiar and comforting to viewers as any of the original crew, but also a serious, intelligent, powerful and conflicted being. He is seamlessly integrated with the Enterprise‘s crew and missions, but remains a distinct creation. If any Trek character merits in-depth study, it is Spock.

The character was thoroughly examined in the “Vulcan Master” section, which had a bio, personality analysis, physiology and skills, even an overview of the clothes and uniforms Spock wore throughout the series and films.

“Spock’s World” examined his relations with family and shipmates well as the people who created the character in real life; not just Gene Roddenberry and Leonard Nimoy, but also writers Dorothy Fontana and Theodore Sturgeon and Star Trek co-producer Gene Coon.

The “Rec Room” contained Karen’s reviews of Star Trek episodes, movies and books.

The website was updated from hand-coded HTML to PHP and CSS in November 2005, when the colors were also changed from the previous black-and-blue to Vulcanesque browns and orange. The Wayback Machine archived this iteration in December 2005. There is no version from later than 2006, which is when the website must have disappeared.