Academy Days

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Zine
Title: Academy Days
Publisher: published in England
Editor(s):
Date(s): 1988
Series?:
Medium: print
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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Contents

Academy Days is a 98-page three-story anthology by Jackie Taylor about Spock at Starfleet Academy, from his first arrival to his final departure to join the Enterprise. It was published in England.

Contents

  • First Year (also in Alnitah #11)
  • Second Year (also in Alnitah #14)
  • Third Year

Reactions and Reviews

[First Year]: The story is of Spock's first year at the academy, and the characterization is impressive. Spock is unemotional without being stuffy, analytical without being over-calculating. In particular, his reactions to the humans are believable. The story maintains reader interest by introducing a number of well-rounded characters. The only drawback to the writing is the occasional parenthetical digression, which contains information peripheral to the situation that could have been handled just as well through dialogue. But this is minor—it's a good story. [1]
[zine]: This is a collection of three stories covering Spock's years at Starfleet Academy, and they are entitled, logically enough. "First Year", "Second Year" and "Final Year". The first two have previously been published in Alnitah zine, in 1980 and 82 respectively, so established zine collectors may have seen them before. Indeed, I had read "First Year" in a second-hand Alnitah, but it is the shortest of the three tales and I was still happy to buy the collection. Each story can stand alone, but they hang together so well that I will treat them as a unified whole.

There is nothing of the dreaded "Police Academy" style about this sensitive, gently humorous tour through Spock's Academy training. Jackie Stone's cameos of academy life; the lectures and lecturers, Spock's fellow cadets and their alternating devotion to social life and end-of-year exams, all rang true and built a very credible sense of atmosphere, which reminded me nostalgically of my university days. Spock's initial sense of overwhelming disorientation as he struggles to find his feet in the thoroughly novel environment of Starfleet Academy, will be instantly recognisable to anyone who has ever started at a new school, college, or job, although in Spock's case it is poignantly magnified by his genuinely alien nature and cultural background. Though his academic talents and physical fitness ensure that he sails through Starfleet's training requirements, interactions with his companions, both human and Vulcan, present him with more of a challenge. The trilogy traces Spock's development from a self-conscious social misfit to an outwardly assured, and even somewhat humanised, Starfleet Lieutenant.

There are several brief, though effective, character portrayals. Of course, there are no familiar faces from the Enterprise here, though perhaps there are a few shades of things to come. Jackie Stone's admirable prose style shifts easily from one character's viewpoint to another, sometimes utilising flashback, yet without losing continuity. In fact, I found this zine hard to put down, and finished it in an evening. I would strongly recommend it to any Spock fan; thoroughly enjoyable. [2]
Readers of the now apparently defunct zine "Alnitah" may remember Jackie Stone's two stories of Spock at Starfleet Academy, "The First Year" and "The Second Year." They have now been reprinted together with a new story, "Final Year," in the zine ACADEMY DAYS. The three stories are quite simply enchanting. The dialogue is sparkling and funny, and the characters are entirely true to life, including the outwardly calm and dignified but inwardly terrified young Vulcan who arrives, harbouring a strong desire to flee back home—but "his thoughts skidded to an abrupt halt as they reached the door of the house. There they paused briefly, and then turned and retreated in a contrite manner back to the present, depositing him firmly back in room 5174, with the trunk next to him...." And so he stays, learning how to get along with humans and somehow gathering quite a circle of protective admirers, including Rhoda, whose mother bakes those Walnut Honey Surprises which send even a Vulcan into silent raptures. Anyone who has been to college or university will, I think, recognize many of the situations, even if all your fellow students were not as nice as this bunch and you couldn't get into exactly the same fix as Spock, who, when tampering with helm control on his training ship, discovers that "the computer had been rigged to send the ship into ever decreasing figures of eight!" (Stating that the description of a Vulcan character is true to life may sound as logical as the statement of that unfortunate archaeologist who wrote that they had found a life-size statue of a sphinx, but I mean it!) ACADEMY DAYS is a very happy, very endearing zine. [3]

References

  1. from a review in Universal Translator #9, commenting on the story as it appear in Alnitah #11
  2. from IDIC #19
  3. from Treklink #14
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