Claire Gabriel was born and educated in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She earned a Bachelors degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in English literature at Marquette University, and a Masters degree in Library and Information Science at the University of Missouri - Columbia. She has lived in Omaha, Nebraska for over thirty years.
After intermittently teaching freshman English composition part time for several decades, Ms. Gabriel worked full time for twenty years at the University of Nebraska Medical Center as the regional coordinator of an online computer network, and later developed and taught Internet workshops for health science librarians.
She has two sons and a daughter, a grandson, and two granddaughters. Her hobbies include reading other people's novels, watching the top dramas on TV, surfing the net, and collecting freeware for the Macintosh.
Published Fiction and Non-fiction
Ms. Gabriel's first two published short stories won third place in two consecutive years inSeventeen magazine's short story contest for teenagers. Four more short stories later appeared in Seventeen, Ladies Home Journal, and two religious magazines.
Her novel,Bernadette Black (ISBN: 0517505916), was published in hard cover by Crown Publishers (now the Crown Group) in 1973, and in paperback by Manor Books in the same year.
A novelette, "Ni Var," was included in the Star Trek anthologyThe New Voyages, published by Bantam Books in 1976.
Professional non-fiction appeared in theBulletin of the Medical Library Association and several other peer-reviewed journals. Earlier, three articles on baby- and child-care sold to appropriate commercial venues.
Media Fan Fiction
While working full time as a single parent, and subsequent to the enthusiastic reception of "Ni Var" by fans of the original Star Trek television series, Ms. Gabriel became involved in the worldwide Star Trek fan fiction-writing phenomenon documented by Camille Bacon-Smith in her front-page article in theNew York Times Sunday Book Review (November 16, 1986) and subsequently in Ms. Bacon-Smith's book Enterprising Women, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 1992.
Ms Gabriel's fan fiction:
´ Quartet Plus Two,a Star Trek short story collection published as a paper fanzine in 1987. Five of the six stories here were originally published as Quartet Plus One in 1976.
´Simple Gifts (first edition: 1987; second edition: 1991), a novel depicting fictional experiences of the series' characters during the years between the original series and the movie Star Trek IV
´The Porcelain of Twilight (1993), a sequel to Simple Gifts
´A Second Season (1996), a collection of short stories based on the Star Trek: Voyager TV series
´Shooting the Moon (2001), a novel based on the TV series La Femme Nikita
Simple Giftswas the winner of the international Fan Q award for Star Trek fan fiction in 1988, and of the national Surak award in the same year.
Circulation and Internet Access
Quartet Plus Two, Simple Gifts, and The Porcelain of Twilight all sold (for production costs plus postage) well enough to be reprinted at least once in their original hard-copy versions.
A Second Seasonand Shooting the Moon have never appeared in hard copy, but only on the World Wide Web. However, a shorter prequel to Shooting the Moon entitled "Protections" was included by invitation from the editor in a hard copy La Femme Nikita fanzine entitled Seeing the Invisible (2004). The zine was intended to showcase particularly well-written LFN fan fiction with atypical themes or content.
Hit counters at Ms. Gabriel's fan fiction site show thatSimple Gifts has been accessed over 10,600 times, maintaining an average of 130 hits per month for seven years. The great majority of these hits were via links from other Star Trek internet sites, where the novel is often referred to as a classic of its genre.
Shooting the Moonhas had over 3,700 hits, maintaining an average of over 70 hits per month for four and a half years. It has also been anthologized at
and reprinted at
No hit counts are available forA Second Season.
Quotes and Kudos
AboutBernadette Black (1973)
From the publishers of the paperback edition: " ...A powerful and highly dramatic novel of 'miracles,' 'supernatural cures,' and a modern witch hunt that turn[s] a typical American city into a hotbed of medieval hysteria...."
From John Howard Griffin, author ofBlack Like Me: "I read with growing fascination and admiration and finally I was so captivated I could not put the book down even for the sleep I needed. Claire Gabriel's writing was expressive and full of subtle insights that indicated character and her knowledge of the mystical life and the various aspects of the 'church' mind seemed absolutely authentic and sure-handed to me.... I have the highest regard for Claire Gabriel as a true writer."
From novelist John A. Williams: "Mrs. Gabriel's novel is richly and tenderly textured, a fine and pungent work that will leave afterthoughts glittering all the way to Rome and back."
About "Ni Var" (1976), via email, from readers of the author's online fan fiction
"These stories are the absolute tops of any fanfic anywhere.... Ni Var was among the very first [Star Trek] stories I ever read; I suppose it's not inaccurate to say you're at least partially responsible for my twenty year on-and-off-again obsession [with the genre]. A heartfelt thank you." K.S.
"I was looking up authors I had enjoyed and remembered your story Ni Var. I think I compared all the other sites I dared look into to the beauty of your stories. There are many good authors on the web, but your stories are my favorites." - R.L.
"I was thumbing through my much tattered and beloved copy of 'Star Trek, The New Voyages' last night and stumbled onto 'Ni Var'.... It was always my favorite story in that book, and re-reading it, I was again impressed by your characterizations." - M.W.
"I assume you are the same Claire Gabriel who wrote Ni Var. It was the first Star Trek story that I ever read, and left me very hungry for more." - E.M.
AboutQuartet Plus One (1976), from letters of comment
"You really do get into the...characters better than anyone else I've read.... I couldn't put the zine down until I'd read it all. - C.B.
'I have been an avid Star Trek fan for two years, but I have never written anyone before because I enjoyed their written work so much that I felt that I had to write [to the author]. I've sampled most of the fanzines that are being circulated and read all of the [commercially] published material on ST, and I have never been so utterly enthralled...." - L.S.
"Quartet Plus One was the best zine I've ever read." - S.Y.
"My copy ofQuartet Plus One arrived on Saturday, and I've already read it four times [in two days]. " - D.S.
"The only word I can think of to accurately describe by reaction to Q+1 is "tender." All five stories are very gently done...." - K.M.
"...In the universe created by your stories, the characters were more real than in any other work [of fan fiction] I've seen. You seem to have a beautiful grasp of the relationships between people, something any writer should aim for but something they don't all attain with your precision.... I feel perfectly at home with your people." - B.Z.
AboutSimple Gifts and its sequel (1987, 1991/93, and online in 1999), via email unless otherwise specified)
On a web site: "The story follows the timeline of the Trek universe, [but] the the plot is a horse of another color. Claire Gabriel has made her own story." (unsigned)
On a web site: "I was quickly drawn into the powerful narrative. This is a very powerful and moving novel." (unsigned)
"I read and reread your two books: Simple Gifts and The Porcelain of Twilight in the 1990's and still have my copies in my collection of Star Trek books. I am glad to see you on the web." - B.W
"Just spent the last 3 days reading Simple Gifts and the sequel. Bravo!" - G.H.
"I read it with its sequel and got no work done at all until I was finished. It was pulling me in, and from the beginning to the end I was hooked." - V.
"I read these stories about ten years ago, and still find them among my favorite novels. That is not just in my fan fiction collection, but among everything I've read." - R.D.
"Simple Gifts, oddly enough, was the very first zine that I *ever* purchased, and to this day I compare all others against it." - T.S.
"I read Simple Gifts & the Porcelain of Twilight in a marathon weekend." - L.D.
"I have to say I have enjoyed both novels tremendously. When I got to the end of Porcelain, all I could think was "This can't be the end." I want more." - S.J.
"I loved reading a novel that stayed so close to canon but was full of surprises.." - K.R.
"I really don't have the words to express how deeply these stories affect me, or how much love I have for them. I just hope you know you have a major fan here, and that I am so grateful for your gifts to us." - K.L.
"I don't really have words for what I want to say. I have finally (after working at them 15 minutes at a time when I could get to them on-line) finished all of the Classic trek and Voyager stories you have on your site. They are glorious. They are like smooth silk and clear water, so deep you could lose yourselves in them." - M.F.
AboutA Second Season (1996), via email
"To my surprise, I liked this V*E*R*Y much! I'm not sure why I even read it, since I didn't care for the premise given in the description, but it works very, VERY well. The plot is plausible, and the [character] interaction is right on. Terrific job!" S.B.
"i read [the three stories] again, and again, and i just thought i would tell you what a wonderful story it is." - S.F.
"STILL rereading your stories. Haven't yet found any story to match them.." - M.A.
"Your Voyager stories moved me much. Surprised me with the depth of meaning you brought to [the characters]." - E.
"Beautiful. Elegant in its simplicity yet full of enough depth to make me weep." - A.M.M.
"I first encountered your stories about two months ago and I've read them like, 4 times or so." - C.J.
" These are, without a doubt, among the best [Voyager fan stories] that I have read. I have been reading Voyager fanfic for about a year now and I am now highly critical of everything that I look at. I really enjoyed your stories as well as your writing style." - K.M.
"I enjoyed your trio of stories.... Well written, unusual plot...." - J.W.
"Why had I not seen these before? They're wonderful.... How I wish that the show had gone that way." - J.M.
"You paint with a brilliant palette." - K.T.
"Your writing made it impossible for me to start my day until I had read all of them--twice." - T.S.
"I haven't enjoyed stories like those for a long time...absolutely compulsive reading and ones that you read over and over again." - E.L.
"Thank you for Voyager stories, Claire. I've printed them, and read them over and over. I'm sure there's nothing I can write here that you haven't seen again and again. But I wanted to send this short note to tell you your stories found a special place in my heart." - J.A.
"People have recommended them to me and told me that they are special, so I'm saving them for when I have a block of time to really enjoy them." - M.W.
"i am so very impressed I'm speechless! Way to go, girl!" - D.A.
AboutShooting the Moon (2001), via email unless otherwise specified
From a message board: "Everybody go read Claire's novel - you won't regret it! (and this means a lot coming from someone like me, who's not a big fanfic fan!)" A.I.
"The characters are so true to their original personalities yet show emotional growth and maturity." - R.
"I have read many, many stories by amateur authors, and so far, yours is the best I've read." - Z.R.
"It's got the complete ring of truth." - K.J.
"Very sensitive, perceptive characterizations." L.H.
"You have a talent for telling a story true to the characters yet moving and literate. Thanks." A.G.
"I find myself wanting more and yet being thoroughly satisfied at the same time. Strange. " F.O.
"I read [Shooting the Moon] and hated to read [it] because everything I read took me closer to the end of [it]. It's such an odd feeling, to feel so totally complete and satisfied with a story and yet to yearn for more. You have a true gift, lady. A beautiful and rare gift." M.F.
"The stories were rich and the characters seemed real." J.
"Great writing, fantastic insight." T.S.
"I was absolutely riveted. You style of writing kept me spell bound, and allowed me to not only picture the characters, but the surroundings as well." R.
"[The story] was beyond excellent." M.
"Thank you for a very absorbing, interesting and delightful interlude." S.S.
"It's not often that someone talks about familiar, common things in such a
special, arresting way." - E.
"Even with my knowing zip and zilch about the intricacies of [the TV series], you swept me right along. It's a seamless whole to me, and I believed every single thing you told me. " (From a writer friend who disliked the TV series so much she couldn't watch it.)
"Just to let you know that I have gone through and read some of [another writer's LFN] stories. While they are "good," reading "Shooting the Moon" evidently spoiled me. I have read other author's stories as well, and still compare them to your story, finding that none of them have been nearly as enjoyable." B.R.
"I'm a long time fan [of the TV series] and have read other fan fiction, but this is one of the very best stories I've ever read." B.F.
"The entire time I was reading I could actually hear [the main characters] speaking. You are a very, very talented writer. I wish this was in book form for I would buy it ;O) " L.P.
"[The characters] sound like them[selves], not [like the author]." T.P.
"I am so picky about fan-fic, but your story left me so satisfied." D.L.
"You put a great deal of work into this -- it's easy to read, believable, wonderful." L.L.
"Claire, if you aren't and haven't taken steps to become a professional writer, I strongly recommend that you do so and immediately. Your creativity, writing skills, use of language and imagery are excellent and you use them magically to weave a story that is beautiful and exciting to read. One of the means of judging good fiction is to ask readers will they read the story or scenes from it again and again. If the answer is yes, the writer has scored. Let me say for the record, that I will reread your story many times and I most grateful and honored for you sharing it with us." S.C.
" If money had to be exchanged, I would have been more than willing to pay for the opportunity to read this story." A.A.
"I stayed up all night to finish reading this story. " H.F.
"This was the nicest and best written story that I've come across [at a specific web site] in many months. You stayed true to the characters and conveyed real emotional intimacy." A.J.
"Just a note to thank you for your work. The characters are so true to their original personalities yet show emotional growth and maturity. R.K."
"Wow. Two days later and I can't get this story out of my head. " - P.K.
"You do a *marvelous* job conjuring up [a secondary character from the series] - even just in journal-entry form, you made her larger than life. I would gladly read a story by you composed completely of Adrian's journal entries - she was utterly compelling."
"Outstanding. Like gold for a LFN fan. " -T.M.
"...Finally, let me echo what others have said - you've done a stupendous job taking what [the show's creators] gave us and moving it up to a much more profound level. I understand that this approach creates some very onerous rules that you have to work within.... Accepting rules like that requires a lot of hoop-jumping, especially given the mass of inconsistencies that the show left us with. And you have done an awesome job of it - a work of art, really." - D.D.