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Mark A. Altman

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Mark A. Altman
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Mark A. Altman

Gender: Male
Date of birth: 29 October 1958
Place of birth: New York City, New York, USA
Roles: Star Trek author

Mark A. Altman (born 29 October 1958; age 55) is a comic book author, having written a number of issues for Malibu Comics, including the entire Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Maquis: Soldier of Peace and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Hearts and Minds series. He also contributed a story for DC Comics. Still, he is best known as a reference works author.

Altman visited the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine set during the filming of "In the Hands of the Prophets" while working for Cinefantastique magazine. (The Deep Space Log Book: A First Season Companion, p. 96)

In addition to his works authoring Star Trek comics, he is also a movie producer and was one of the writers and producers of the 1998 comedy Free Enterprise , which was directed and co-written by Robert Meyer Burnett. Altman had met Burnett at San Diego ComiCon in the action-figure aisle, and through their mutual interest as Star Trek fan inspired the story line in which two less than successful film producers, approaching mid-life crisis and clinging to their nerdy sci-fi obsessions (thereby poking fun at themselves), suddenly meet their idol William Shatner. Shatner agreed to the role when the two rewrote his character in the comedy as an over-the-hill, womanizing alcoholic, allowing Shatner in turn to poke fun at himself. [1]

Altman is also the co-author of several unauthorized reference books about the Star Trek saga, all of them with Edward Gross and much of which stemming from his writings for Cinefantastique magazine. According to the mini-biography on the back cover of Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages:

"Mark A. Altman is the former Los Angeles bureau chief for Cinefantastique magazine and is currently editor in chief of Sci-Fi Universe. He is also a regular writer for comic books, a member of the Television Critics Association, and has written for such publications as the Boston Globe, Film Threat, and the Manchester Guardian. Altman lives in Beverly Hills, California."
While working for Cinefantastique, from 1989 through 1993, he contributed numerous Star Trek articles for their themed issues, many of which were expanded into the book titles listed below. In 2003, he acquired publishing rights for the magazine, after it folded upon the death of its founder and chief editor Frederic S. Clarke, and relaunched it with Mark Gottwald under the new title CFQ in 2003. Returning to its original formula of being a critical review magazine, they were unable to regain the popularity of the magazine in its heydays and publication ceased in 2006 after 25 issues.

While Altman was and is a life-long Star Trek fan, he was not convinced of the viability of the franchise when a fifth, prequel series was announced, what eventually was to become Star Trek: Enterprise, fearing the franchise would overstretch itself. When interviewed by TV Guide, he expressed his great doubt, being on record as having stated, "People are sick of Star Trek. But rather than give the franchise a rest and re-launch in a few years when fervor has built again, Paramount is going to run it into the ground until it's dead." [2] Events, however, would prove him largely right.

Altman has branched out into the motion picture industry, predominantly working as a (co-)producer from 1998 onward, working on documentaries, television movies, and television series such as Castle (2009), Necessary Roughness (2011) and Femme Fatales (2012). One of his very first motion picture projects was Free Enterprise, followed-up by the 1999 "Making-of" documentary, Where No Fan Has Gone Before: The Making of "Free Enterprise".

Altman is featured in the "Making It So: Continuing Star Trek: TNG" special of the 2012 TNG Season 2 Blu-ray release, as well as in the "Regeneration: Engaging the Borg" special of the 2013 The Best of Both Worlds (Blu-ray) release.

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