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Herbert Rossoff was a 20th century Human, a science fiction writer on Earth in the 1950s. He was a writer for the Incredible Tales magazine.

The stories he wrote for the magazine include "I Have No Voice So I Must Shout", "Quantity of the Monster", and "Hazardous Images".

Rossoff considered himself to be one of the stars of the magazine's staff and was not shy about declaring this, or in using it for leverage. Though he often threatened to quit and go work for the magazine's chief rival, Galaxy, where he felt his name – next to those of Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury and Theodore Sturgeon – was the only thing keeping Galaxy from being complete, he never made good on his threat to Douglas Pabst. Instead, Rossoff used his position to negotiate small raises for himself, and to get more fresh doughnuts for the office, a fact that amused his co-worker Kay Eaton greatly.

Unusually for the time, Rossoff believed in racial equality and frequently stood up for Benny Russell, a black writer at the magazine. This often brought him into conflict with Pabst, which grew more heated when Russell began writing stories about a space station run by a black captain. Pabst accused Rossoff of being a Communist, which he adamantly denied and in turn accused Pabst of being a fascist. (DS9: "Far Beyond the Stars")

Herbert Rossoff was played by Armin Shimerman, who had grown accustomed to appearing as Quark. "Herb Rossoff was not an extension of Quark [....] Being out of makeup," the actor explained, "was slightly off-putting [....] It was bizarre to be bare-faced on a Star Trek show. I never had been before." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 535) It wasn't only Shimerman who found his reduced make-up requirements odd. "I distinctly remember Pat, our prop guy, saying to me, 'Armin, it's so disconcerting to look at you out of makeup at work,'" Shimerman relayed. "This after years of working week in and week out AND seeing me hundreds of times out of makeup. I remember thinking at the time, 'Why?' Sixteen years later, I still have no answer." [1] On the other hand, Nana Visitor remarked, "It was fun to see Armin [...] finally free of all that rubber." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 535) The lack of Ferengi make-up allowed Shimerman three extra hours of sleep every day than he usually was permitted. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 116, p. 27)
Though "Far Beyond the Stars" leaves it unanswered as to whether Rossoff was a Communist, Armin Shimerman referred to the character as indeed being so, an aspect the actor believed went some way toward differentiating Rossoff's thinking from Quark's capitalist, Ferengi mindset. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 535) "It's also an opportunity to play something that I think of myself in real life – as a lefty liberal," Shimerman elaborated. "This character is the only one who is standing up in the office for the injustice that is being done to this black writer; the others may believe it, but he's the one giving words to it. And as such it's so invigorating for me." Shimerman added that this was slightly even more appealing than how the lack of Ferengi make-up allowed him more sleep than he was usually permitted. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 116, pp. 26-27)
Rossoff was partly intended to be a hot-headed analog for author Harlan Ellison. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 116, p. 26) Another detail which referred to reality but related to Rossoff was the fact that a memo, used as set dressing in "Far Beyond the Stars" and which he had apparently received from Douglas Pabst, suggested that "no one would believe that a cheerleader could kill vampires"; this was an in-joke referring to the fact Armin Shimerman appeared as a recurring character on the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 537) During a break from the filming, Shimerman discovered the note. "I laughed and laughed," he reminisced. "I believe that is the only time the production or anyone (except the actors) ever acknowledged my other existence on Buffy. To this day, I regret not saving that yellow message." [2]

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