About the Site

Star Trek Minutiae is a personal Star Trek site developed and maintained by me, Dan Carlson. The site is a compendium of fan-created material that adds to the rich detail of the Star Trek universe. I’ve chosen to focus on longer-form articles and essays that develop what the Federation would be like as a real-world entity, research projects like the popular starship comparison charts, and a massive collection of humorous stories. Naturally, because every fan website is also a platform for the author’s opinions, it’s home to a seldom-updated blog as well.

Motivation and Purpose

I started the project that would eventually become Star Trek Minutiae in the fall of 1999. I had just entered college and had a lot more free time on my hands, combined with a very fast internet connection—a dangerous combination! I discovered many different aspects of online fandom, and I wanted to share my own ideas. For several years I had already been building a database to organize various facts about the Star Trek universe (especially starships, my first sci-fi obsession). I planned to build a website to host that database, but I developed many other interests along the way, including fan fiction, designing original starships, and applying lessons from my college courses in history, economics, and philosophy to the Star Trek universe. Some of these ideas spun off to become their own projects in collaboration with other fans.

Star Trek Minutiae is part archive, part showcase, and part web design hobby. On the many message boards I’ve visited, I’ve found stories and images that caught my interest, and I wanted to save them for other fans to appreciate. It’s also a place to share my own ideas, whether it’s about the latest series or movie, or some trivial detail from a long-ago episode.

I view the Star Trek universe as a shared starting point for our own flights of fancy. “Canon” is just a list of facts that most fans can agree on. Since Star Trek Minutiae isn’t (now) intended to be a primary reference site, many of the articles that I’ve written and collected are about expanding or even contradicting the canon universe in some way. I think that’s part of what makes it such a fun world to play in!

As I built my site, I discovered I really enjoyed the process of designing and maintaining the web pages themselves, not just writing the content. I even semi-seriously considered a career in web design. That never happened, but it's stayed a hobby for many years. For a while I pushed right to the bleeding edge of web development, adopting emerging standards like XHTML, pure-CSS layouts and animations, SVG and MathML. But the web has evolved too. What was bleeding-edge technology in 2010 is old news in 2020.

So now, Star Trek Minutiae is also the equivalent of the classic car in the garage, or the old jalopy in the backyard: it’s not the latest, greatest, or most-interactive site. There are no WordPress themes, no stock templates, no bloated frameworks. Just pure artisanal, hand-coded HTML and CSS. (It’s not that I think static sites are superior, it’s just not what’s needed for STM.) I love tinkering with the design just as much as (well, probably more than) I love creating new content.

This is my little corner of the vast tapestry that is the Star Trek universe.

See also: History of Star Trek Minutiae

About Dan Carlson

Dan standing in a futuristic-looking open doorway on the red carpet at the premiere of Star Trek Beyond, with a black banner showcasing the movie title in the background.
Dan at the premiere of Star Trek Beyond, July 2016

I’m a former history student who got an opportunity to follow my passion and work for an insanely great technology company. I spend my days sharing that love with others, showing them how they can do all sorts of cool stuff with technology, to enrich their lives and share with friends and family. (I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true! My official job title is “Creative”.)

I fell in love with Star Trek during the first season of Deep Space Nine in 1993. DS9 has always been my favorite, but I have enjoyed every single series. During my high school years, using the wonderful Star Trek Encyclopedia as a starting point, I created a personal database of ships, episodes, characters, and planets—something that reflected my interest in the details, background, and history of this rich fictional universe.

This interest has led me to become involved in a number of fan projects over the years. In 2003, I co-founded the Memory Alpha wiki with Harry Doddema. From 2001 to 2004, I contributed to the Star Trek: Renaissance fan fiction project, which explored the aftermath of DS9’s Dominion War. I’ve collaborated with Masao Okazaki on a few ship designs and articles for his amazing Starfleet Museum site. And certainly most exciting, in 2015 Harry and I were contacted by Simon Pegg—yes, that Simon Pegg—who solicited our contributions concerning a certain plot element in Star Trek Beyond!

In addition to Star Trek, my big interests in sci-fi are the grand, character-oriented stories: Babylon 5, Farscape, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, and The Expanse. I prefer classical, orchestral music to modern bands. I occasionally dabble in digital photography, drawing, and model building. And I’m a very fond of my cats, Patches and Vala!

Computers and Software

I’ve been a Mac user since 1993. I’ve never owned a PC or an Android phone. For a time I used Macromedia and Adobe software to develop the site, but as I developed my skills in hand-coding, and especially as subscriptions became ubiquitous, I found a good set of apps from small and indie developers that are not just as good, but better for my needs!

Fonts Used in Star Trek Minutiae

Acknowledgements

Special thanks go out to everyone who helped me put together this site: