James Dixon was something of a legend in online Star Trek fandom. He was banned from literally every online community that he ever joined.
He was very intelligent, extremely knowledgeable, very literate, and extraordinarily devoted to what he called, "Tech Fandom."
In brief, "Tech Fandom" is a subset of Star Trek fandom. It concerns itself with the various mechanics of the series: timelines, technical explanations of how things work, blueprints, etc.
Tech Fandom has its adherents, but none more vocal in so many different venues and over such a long period of time than James Dixon.
He was, frankly, a complete nut on the subject. He was probably a complete nut, period. It was impossible to disagree with him if he thought he knew more about a subject than you -- and he always thought he knew more. Minor discussions became flame-wars.
I've heard lots of stories, but can only speak directly to a time during the 1990s. I was vice-moderating the old FidoNet TREK Echo, pre-Internet. James began posting, and after a lengthy series of diatribes and rules violations, we were forced to ban him. We really didn't want to, but his presence was disruptive. He was argumentative and utterly inflexible.
The phrase, "We'll agree to disagree," wasn't in James' lexicon.
I was not James' friend. Like everyone, I argued with him a few times; like everyone, I tried to get along with him and couldn't.
His work is simply voluminous. I did a Star Trek timeline in the early 1990s and have some conception of the amount of work necessary to produce it. Dixon's timeline would have taken at least ten times the amount of effort.
The man was crazy, but he put a lot of work into his fanac. It was certainly more effort than I ever put forth. Regardless of what you think of him, Dixon's extraordinary effort deserves a place in the Hall of Forgotten Fanac.
I have never read all the files you'll find here. The information is so vast that I found it overwhelming.
The Fandom Star Trek Chronology was Dixon's opus magnum. It was his obsession to bring order to a disorderly universe, and he did this through the Chronology.
Star Trek has taken many forms: TV, movies, novels, short-stories, technical manuals, blueprints, comics, fan-fiction ... you name it, the Star Trek name has probably been on it. The Fandom Star Trek Chronology was Dixon's attempt to fit it all together. He took every single bit of Star Trek lore ever published in any form and tried to build a coherent whole from it.
ST:RU was a play-by-email Star Trek role-playing game whose players were primarily Rutger's University students. It existed for a number of years before modern video games moved into the space formerly occupied by text RPGs.
The following data was retrieved (and heavily reformatted for legibility) from http://mabino.tripod.com/strugettingstartedfaqs.htm at Thu Dec 13 06:39:31 UTC 2012. At that time, all links were broken. Original description text, spelling, and formatting is believed to have been Dixon's and is consequently maintained. Current links are hosted via Google Drive.
These James Dixon Sources are invaluable to any serious Star Trek fan. Citing them as a source for Star Trek: RU game play is acceptable and encouraged.
The following data was pulled from a variety of sources. Where possible, Dixon's original names and spellings have been retained.
When last heard from, Dixon had been permanently banned from TrekBBS. Then, in 2010, his name surfaced on a memorial site. It read:
What sustained James during the final year was any handouts he could find; even resorting to trapping pigeons for food!
Underneath this is a picture of a dismembered corpse (supposedly Dixon's).
At first glance, the suicide claim is easy for those of us who know Dixon to believe. The 2009 film contradicts everything Dixon held dear.
On further reflection, I don't believe it. The memorial site is so over-the-top that it screams Dixon's style. For that matter, every single posting screams Dixon's style.
Since his TrekBBS perma-ban, suspected Dixon sightings have been made here:
From the README.TXT file that accompanies the original:
I intentionally placed this last, out of deference to Dixon's obviously vast body of work. This is a very personal rant that gives some insight into James Dixon's psyche. Keep in mind that I am such a geek myself that I know most of the references to Star Trek lore that he makes.
I have altered the format by making paragraph breaks. I tried to be gentle, but it had to be done. It was a literal wall of text 60K long.