Alnitah

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Zine
Title: Alnitah
Publisher: Trekkon (the first two issues, Orion Publications (the rest)
Editor(s): Ann Looker was chief editor for all of them, Margaret Draper was one of the editors for the early issues
Date(s): 1975-1983
Series?:
Medium: print zine, fanfic
Size:
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Contents

Alnitah is a Star Trek: TOS gen fanzine from the UK which was published from 1975 to 1983. There are fifteen issues and two collections called Omnibus.

This series features back cover "Sehlat Sagas" cartoons by Helen Sneddon, Kryptic Krosswords for Klingons, and short jokes scattered throughout.

"Alnitah" is the name of the star Zeta Orion, the far left star of Orion's belt. [1]

It has a number of sister zines. One is Alnitah Omnibus and the others are the nine Gropes.

Alnitah was first issued during Star Trek fandom's infancy in the UK. From IDIC: "With the exception of Alnitah, fanzines were duplicated; there was simply no other practical way to reproduce the news and fan fiction cheaply."

This zine won a 1988 "Federation Class of Excellence" Surak Award.

General Reactions and Reviews

These zines are delightful. They almost make up for Space: 1999. Thoroughgoingly, almost aggressively, English, from the schoolboy canings and getting lost on the moors to the understandable but still startling British spelling ('The Corbomite Manoevere'?) they show us our own chauvinism. To paraphrase Shaw, the English and the Americans are two fandoms divided by a common interest. Of course Kirk is American but that doesn't guarantee he'll be like us any more than we are like Alexander Hamilton. Alnitah demonstrates a bit how everyone makes Trek over into his own image... There aren't a great many illos, and those there aren't all that good. Yet the layout (unreduced offset) is very fine, competent, and balanced. Nor are the stories winners, suffering from too many two-paragraph scenes and lots of the shoosh-blooey-blam that made 1999 so dear to our hearts. Yet the characters are whole, if simplistic; the stories begin at the beginning, go on until they reach the end, and then stop; the humor is terribly, delightfully pawky... and sometimes the illos are just so -- right... It's a potpourri, something for everyone, for this is, I'm told, England's only fiction zine. Definitely worth a look; at the price, it can't be beat. [2]

Issue 1

Alnitah 1 contains 42 pages, was published in November 1975, and edited by Ann Looker, Margaret Draper, and Joyce Cluett. Cover by Helen McCarthy; Back cover "Sehlat Sagas" cartoon by Helen Sneddon. Other artwork by Margaret Austin and Beth Hallam.There was a second printing in March 1976.


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for Cold Snap.
See reactions and reviews for Nameless Enemy.
[zine]:
  • "Incident in a City" -- During "City on the Edge of Forever", tensions between Kirk and Spock are exacerbated when Spock accidentally spills some green blood.
  • "Cold Snap" -- Kirk sends Spock, Scotty and Chekov to investigate a signal on an uninhabited and very cold planet. When McCoy finds out, he demands they bring Spock back because he is not up to the cold, still suffering from the effects of “Operation: Annihilate!” Communications have gone out, leaving Scott and Chekov to deal with Spock, frostbitten and hypothermic to the point of rambling - in a very cute touch - about “T’Puh” the sehlat (Pooh). By the time McCoy’s rescue party arrive, Spock has been rescued and sent into hibernation by the watcher from a party of Vulcan colonizers who hibernate through the planet’s decades of winter and wake to resume their lives in the spring. Rabbit illos frolic about.
  • "Nameless Enemy" -- Interesting and dramatic dilemma. Kirk, McCoy and Spock are escorting a young Romulan prisoner when the shuttlecraft is damaged and Kirk knocked unconscious. There is possibly enough air for three to survive until rescue, but definitely not for four. Spock decides to sacrifice the Romulan woman. An interesting bit here is that McCoy offers to do it so that Spock won’t have to; one reason Spock won’t let him is that the woman is about Joanna’s age.
  • "Paternity Order" -- A crewwoman gives birth to a child with pointed ears, and the entire crew take a new attitude towards Spock. [3]

Issue 2

front cover of issue #2, Helen McCarthy
back cover of issue #2, Helen Sneddon

Alnitah 2 was published in 1975, contains 44 pages, and edited by Ann Looker, Margaret Draper, and Joyce Cluett. On the cover: "Inside: A Study in Star Trek." Interior art by Anne Cockitt and back cover by Helen Sneddon.

  • A Spoonful of Sugar by Beth Hallam. (31) (reprinted in Archives #4)


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

See reactions and reviews for A Study in Star Trek.
[zine]:
  • "A Study in Star Trek" -- Star Trek / Sherlock Holmes / Dr. Who romp. Somebody (Moriarty, using a phone booth) has been going back in time to prevent humans from discovering dilithium. This necessitates Spock going to 19th century London where, naturally, he becomes Sherlock. Very nicely crafted, with several entertaining subplots going on behind the Sherlock story - ties over from “Cold Snap” in that throughout this story, Sulu keeps trying to hear the joke Chekov told to Spock (to keep him awake) about the little old lady from Leningrad and the 15 rabbits; also Scotty trying to court Carolyn Palamas, who is totally disinterested.
  • "A Kind of Caring" -- Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to meet a planet's delegation, and become stranded with Kirk badly injured by a hapless former friend, now driven "godmad" after witnessing all of his companions butchered in a local ritual.
  • "A Spoonful of Sugar" -- A yeoman afflicted with xenophobia is stranded with Spock in the aftermath of an earthquake, and resolves to overcome the problem. [4]

Issue 3

Alnitah 3 contains 68 pages and was published in July 1976. Cover by Michael Eason; Back cover "Sehlat Sagas" toon by Helen Sneddon. Additional interior art by Helen McCarthy. It was edited by Margaret Draper and Joyce Cluett.

back cover of issue #3, Helen Sneddon
front cover issue #3 by Michael Eason
  • Festive Spirit by Margaret Draper (p. 4-11)
  • POEM: 'Twas Hogmany on the Starship by Helen Sneddon (p. 12)
  • Alien by Helen McCarthy (p. 14-31)
  • Captain Slog Helen Sneddon (p. 32)
  • cartoon by Margaret Austin (p. 33)
  • recipe by Jackie Wright (p. 34)
  • Reconciled Among the Stars by Ann Looker (p. 35-44)
  • Kryptic Krossword for Klingons by Beth Hallam (p. 45)
  • poem by Joyce Deeming (p. 47)
  • The Nebulous Crab by Sheila Clark (p. 48-64)
  • McCoy's Bad Day (24) by Gareth Looker [reprinted in Alnitah Omnibus #1]


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

See reactions and reviews for Reconciled Among the Stars.
See reactions and reveiws for The Nebulous Crab.
[zine]:
  • "Festive Spirit" -- Chekov, determined to help Spock enjoy a Starbase Christmas party, spikes his lemonade with dramatic results. Uhura to the rescue of Vulcan dignity - and proper retribution.
  • POEM: "'Twas Hogmany on the Starship" -- More Christmas mischief from the senior officers.
  • "Alien" -- Spock is sucked through a space-time doorway into 20th-century Earth, where he is captured by Straker, heading a team trying to develop ways to protect Earth from extraterrestrial invasion.
  • "Captain Slog" -- Vignette; Kirk bemoaning how sick and tired he is of... a number of things and people. Cute.
  • "Reconciled Among the Stars" -- After "Paradise Syndrome," Kirk is unable to overcome his grief, leaving an already-exhausted Spock to do both their jobs. Spock's attempt to shock Kirk into accepting the reality that Miramanee could never have been a meet companion to the real Kirk puts an insurmountable rift between them. McCoy's hesitation to relieve them both of duty results in Spock blacking out at a crucial moment, causing the death of a crewman. Kirk calls an inquiry at which McCoy defends Spock and gets the two back together.
  • "The Nebulous Crab" -- Kirk, Spock and McCoy land on a planet where nothing mechanical works. Trapped by a rockslide, they are reconciled to dying together, but discover a previously technological civilzation dying from the loss of mechanical function. The cause turns out to be crab-like telepathic aliens who have settled in the neighborhood and set up a blocking field to protect their brains from sonic interference. They put the boys through an intelligence test; when they pass, the crabs depart for other territories. Pretty sentimental and not a very convincing plot.
  • "McCoy's Bad Day" -- The editor's child's (unedited) tale of pteradactyls trying to eat McCoy. [5]

Issue 4

front cover of issue #4 by Robin Hill
back cover of issue #4, Helen Sneddon

Alnitah 4 contains 64 pages and was published in July 1976. Front and back cover by Robin Hill. Other cartoons by Joyce Deeming and other artwork by Helen Sneddon and Beth Hallam. It was edited by Margaret Draper and Joyce Cluett.

  • The Alternative Factors Department (28)
  • Dilithium Crystals Are Forever by Robin Hill (Vignette: Kirk as 007.) (36)
  • poem by Helen Sneddon (39)
  • poem by Beth Hallam (40)
  • poem by Margaret Draper (63)


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

See reactions and reviews for Countdown.
See reactions and reviews for The Human Computer.
See reactions and reviews for Teeth of the Lynx.
[zine]:
  • "Open House" -- Romp told from McCoy’s pov. He pushes for shore leave and they get it - on Vulcan - and also have to give a ship tour to a group of Vulcan children, one of whom wrangles with McCoy, creating a stink (literally) in the laboratory and also dropping hints of a prank Spock pulled as a child.. McCoy’s voice is excellent and the story quite funny.
  • "The Human Computer" -- Enterprise recovers and revives android Tarik, whom they find drifting in space. Tarik's quick actions save Spock from an observation pod accident, but when Spock learns that Tarik holds secret Klingon commands, he destroys the android. Standard adventure.
  • "Countdown" -- A reluctant McCoy has been chosen as guinea pig for Spock and Kirk's tinkering attempts with a complicated electronic gizmo. Cute shaggy-dog short.
  • "Dilithium Crystals Are Forever" -- Vignette: Kirk as 007.
  • "Teeth of the Lynx" -- Spock resigns after "killing" Kirk by ignoring his own foreknowledge of danger, and wanders off into the galaxy into a series of hellish lives, with Kirk's unintelligible voice pursuing him everywhere. A bit tedious; resolves as coma dreams from a head injury. [6]

Issue 5

cover issue #5 by Michael Eason

Alnitah 5 contains 50 pages and was published in January 1977. Cover by Michael Eason; Back cover "Sehlat Sagas" toon by Helen Sneddon. Other art by Robin Hill. It was edited by Margaret Draper, Margaret Austin, Ann Looker, and Joyce Deeming.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

See reactions and reviews for Menage a Trois.
See reactions and reviews for The Six-Million Credit Space Trek.
See reactions and reviews for Border Incident.
[zine]: We enjoy this one immensely, sort of Britain's answer to Warped Space. Comes out about as often, too. Margaret Draper is not only bananas, but she's a superior writer as well. Her 'Border Incident' concerns the events immediately after 'Enterprise Incident.' details how Kirk and Tal come to an understanding. But the highlight of this issue is -- dah da da dah! -- 'The Six-Million Credit Space Trek,' which is a 25-page black and white comic strip mish-mash of Star Trek, 2001 Space Odyssey, Space: 1999, Mission Impossible, UFO, Bionicism and Planet of the Apes with a little Lost in Space thrown in. Hilarious. [7]
[zine]:
  • "The Six-Million Credit Space Trek" -- Well-drawn, pun-ridden comic-book tale of Romulans capturing the Tardis and Spock ending up as the Bionic Vulcan.
  • "A Friend Like That" -- Kirk, grieving over the loss of Spock, permits a red-shirt to go after his partner, against orders. [sequel, from Norton's point of view, is "Flight of the Red Hawk" in Alnitah 10.]
  • "Border Incident" -- As they head home with the Romulan Commander aboard, Enterpriseinvestigates an attack on a space station. The landing party encounter a Romulan scoutship's crew; in escaping from them, Kirk is injured, then rescued from a monster rat by the leader, Var. Spock takes the ship away when attacked by the Romulan flagship, but maneuvers the scout into plowing right into it. He rescues Kirk and Vav, who turns out to be the Commander's son. Best bit in this one is the new-fangled Romulan universal translator that speaks in lines from bad movies.
  • "Menage a Trois" -- Starting into pon farr, Spock finds that he is drawn to Miranda ("Is There In Truth No Beauty"). Miranda and Kollos - after some reluctance on Miranda's part - agree to do what needs to be done to save Spock, but end up caught in each other's heads. McCoy solves the dilemma by having Spock look at Kollos, to shock him out of the meld. [8]

Issue 6

front cover issue #6 by Michael Eason

Alnitah 6 contains 44 pages and was published in June 1977. Cover by Michael/Mick Eason; Bacover "Sehlat Sagas" toon by Helen Sneddon. Other art by Mick Eason, Robin Hill, Sandy Sapatka, Beth Hallam, Helen McCarthy. It was edited by Margaret Draper, Margaret Austin, Joyce Deeming and Ann Looker.

back cover of issue #6, Helen Sneddon
inside back cover of issue #6, Mike Eason


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

See reactions and reviews for And Peace on the Haven, and Peace on the Sea.
See reactions and reviews for Open Sesame!.
[zine]: 'All in the Family' is a story I can read again and again. Kirk, having been invalided off the E, is replaced, not by Spock, but by a Howard Lessor, and the crew resents Spock's being bumped. This plot has been done before, but never so well. Lessor is not a martinet, a clown, nor a creep; he is a captain and quite a likable one, too. He could be a damned good captain of the Enterprise, but his 'tragic flaw' is that he doesn't happen to be either Kirk or Spock -- the Excalibur idea, only the 'rightwise King of England born' can wield the sword/drive the ship. There is some unnecessary business when Lossor and Spock discover they are cousins, and somebody's great-uncle is an an admiral, but on the whole, a most pleasant story. 'Open Sesame' is still better. Spock does something dumb but in character, resulting in him, Kirk, McCoy, and Uhura getting trapped underground in a deserted city. The Captain gets hit by a loose rafter, the air is running out, and their only route of escape lied in a recalcitrant computer that induced fear and pain in tamperers... and then -- and then -- a marvelous suspense piece. 'The Great Shirt' is rather odd, like a Monty Python out of The Prisoner, but somewhat disappointing for a piece by Margaret Draper. Nor is 'And Peace on the Haven' and 'Peace on the Sea' as well written as the ones above. Nevertheless, #6 is a bloodigood ish of a bloodigood zine, and comes highly recommended. [9]
[zine]:
  • "All in the Family" -- Kirk has been permanently removed from command due to injury. When Starfleet's policy of having captains of the same race as the majority of their crews effectively prevents Spock from captaining Enterprise or, indeed, any other ship, McCoy resigns in a huff and has to eat his words at Spock's request. The new captain, whom the bridge crew treat badly, turns command over to Spock in a crisis, risks himself to correct a radiation problem, and supports Spock's promotion to captain.
  • "The Great Shirt" -- Silly screen-play format spoof; devious Spockian plots involve expanding and contracting uniforms and aging/de-aging crew.
  • "And Peace on the Haven, and Peace on the Sea" -- Well-written and original. An artist, whose husband has died in the Fleet service, has been commissioned to create a statue of the spirit of Starfleet. In order to do so, she has been working on Vulcan. Interesting love/hate relationship of the artist and the sculpture; also good development of her own and McCoy's sense of something awry.
  • "Open Sesame" -- Investigating a dead civilization with an operating computer control, the landing party and rescue party are trapped in the underground control center, Spock and an injured Uhura on one side of a forcefield, McCoy and an injured Kirk on the other. McCoy has to operate. Spock determines that he has been mentally attacked, undermining his determination to fight, and is able to overcome the reluctance by drawing on Kirk's will to fight and getting McCoy to curmudgeon him into going on.
  • "Totally Illogical" -- Star Trek is revealed to be young Spock's school-time daydream; the Vulcan hierarchy decide to take steps to remove all that violence from his mind. [10]

Issue 7

cover of issue #7 by Maggi

Alnitah 7 was published in January 1978 and is 44 pages long. Cover by Maggi; Back cover "Sehlat Sagas" toon by Helen Sneddon. Other art by Robin Hill, Bob Shaw, Mick Eason, Beth Hallam, and Alan Hunter.

  • Soul Circuit by Robin Hill (2)
  • Ear To Ear by Caroline Nixon (14)
  • In Check by Margaret Draper (18)
  • Whirr Click by Helen Sneddon (31)
  • No Other Love by Helen Sneddon (37)
  • Edith, poem by Joyce Deeming (44)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 7

See reactions and reviews for In Check.
[zine]: It is probably one of the best fanzines that I've seen come out of England for awhile. Although everything in this issue of Alnitah may not be a classic, there are a few superbly written stories and some new and ORIGINAL artwork. There are two stories within dealing with the computer on the Big E: one serious and one not so serious. 'Soul Circuit' is basically a twist on 'The Ultimate Computer,' except that in this piece the Enterprise is gifted with a soul through he implementation of a new computer unit. I found myself wishing, after ending the story, that Robin had dealt a bit more closely with the problems attendant to any being with a soul, even if it may look like a machine outwardly, but it does give some cause to think about. 'Whirr Click,' on the other hand, is a delightful comedy in which the computer breaks down and begins fouling things up on the ship. The type of story is fairly old hat in fandom but the author handles the story with a timing and rhythm worthy of a professional comedy writer. And speaking of delightful, ' Ear to Ear' is a charming jaunt into a whimsical storybook world. Spock is perplexed in the story when he finds himself on a planet with characters straight out of A Wizard of Oz or Mother Goose. The writing style is so captivating in this piece and Spock's straight-laced character contrasts so splendidly with the little gnome in tthe story, that I was sorry to finish it... Two pieces of serious fanfic within are 'In Check' and 'No Other Love.' The first explores what happens when aliens experiment with Spock, and Kirk must force him into an emotional crisis. The other concerns Kirk's efforts as an old man with a terminal disease to find a way back in time to be with Edith before her death. In all, the zine's contents may not be a classic, or 400-page epic, but something about the whole zine clicks. It's TOGETHER somehow. Try to get it and see for yourself. [11]
[zine]: The stories range from good to excellent, with artwork to match. #7 contains five stories, two of these, 'Whirr Click' and 'Ear to Ear,' are short and humorous. 'Soul Circuit' is about what might happen if the Enterprise were able to feel love for its captain. 'In Check,' perhaps the best story in this issue -- in it, the landing party is subjected to an experiment by alien intelligences. It has beautiful illos by Mick Eason. Finally, 'No Greater Love,' -- Admiral Kirk's escaped from the now well-explored galaxy, to the only true love of his past, Edith Keeler. [12]
[zine]: The first thing you'll notice about this zine is the cover: it's a take-off of Hokusai's famous "View of Mount Fuji..." with the Enterprise in place of Fuji. This in itself is almost enough to make Alnitah worth the price. I believe it is a first for Alnitah although it's sister publication Grope has had a number of parodies of famous pieces of art (the "Creation of Vulcan" and the "Death of Kirk" come to mind). Alnitah is off-set, saddle-stitched, with a heavy cover. Issue seven contains five short stories and a poem. The best of these is Margaret Draper's "In Check", a well-written story that takes place early in the Enterprise's history. Most K/S stories are blatantly emotional and more than a little melodramatic. While "In Check" is basically a hurt/comfort story, it is better done than most and the fact that it was Kirk who caused the original hurt gives it an interesting twist. There were a couple of places that could have used a little more detail or explanation. First, it's not quite clear what was stopping Spock from helping Kirk. I would have liked to see a little more overt motivation behind his original refusal and a longer, more explicit struggle — on his part rather than Kirk's — before he broke. It just seems a bit sudden as it stands. Likewise the scene between Spock and Soril and the final scene between Kirk and Spock. Surely Spock would have taken a little more persuading? He'd been so wooden on the previous page but at just one word of explanation on Kirk's part, he has "a ghost of a smile deep in his eyes." Somehow I think Spock might be a little more wary of trusting Kirk again. The other stories are all interesting and on the whole well done. Two of them are funny0 The first, "Ear to Ear" by Caroline Nixon, was quite hilarious but will probably mean absolutely nothing to all of you poor slobs out there who weren't brought up on Enid Blyton. The other story, "Whirr Click" was quite well set up but two "Embarrass Spock" stories in one zine seems a bit much. "Soul Circuit" by Robin Hill was an Enterprise-comes-to-life story in which the Enterprise is sentient, female and insanely jealous of any other women. Interestingly enough, she tries to kill Uhura but Spock kills her first. Kirk is mildly upset but decides that he prefers to love his ship in the abstract rather than the concrete. The worst story was the last, "No Other Love" in which Spock and McCoy help an aged and dying Kirk to return through the Guardian and regain both his youth and Edith Keeler. This is one of the best zines we have yet reviewed and comes highly recommended. [13]
[zine]:
  • "The Soul Circuit" -- The Enterprise gets a new computer control circuit and begins a nasty campaign against Uhura in a fit of jealousy over Kirk.
  • "Ear To Ear" -- Spock has a whimsical encounter with the elf Noddy - apparently a well-known toy or book character in Britain.
  • "In Check" -- Kirk, Spock, Uhura and McCoy are zapped away from shore leave and subjected to studies which end with Kirk forcing Spock into an emotional reaction to prevent their tormentors from killing him. On return to their own dimension, Spock is catatonic. A Vulcan healer rescues him, but the rift between Kirk and Spock is only healed after Kirk loses it on the bridge and Spock covers for him. Heavy on the angst, and both Kirk and Spock seem rather out of character. Nothing very novel in the old lab-rat premise.
  • "Whirr Click" -- Romp. A bug in the computer system has it swapping answers to questions around, with amusing results -- including McCoy stumping Spock with a song about a "choochoo."
  • "No Other Love" -- An aged Kirk, faced with slow death by increasing debility, persuades Spock and McCoy to assist him in going through the Guardian to return -- young again -- to Edith Keeler. They find that, this time, he has managed to save her as well as the future. Implausible on all counts, but sweet. [14]

Issue 8

front cover of issue #8 by Alan Hunter

Alnitah 8 was published in August 1978 and contains 44 pages. Cover: Alan Hunter; Back cover "Sehlat Sagas" toon by Helen Sneddon. It was edited by Margaret Draper and Joyce Cluett. Other art by Alan Hunter, Beth Hallam, Mick Eason, Maggi, Gordon Carleton, Anne Cockitt, and Robin Hill.

back cover of issue #8, Helen Sneddon
  • Home Run by Margaret Draper (p. 4-14) (second part of a trilogy)
  • Policeman's Lot by Caroline Nixon (p. 15-17)
  • POEM: The Trouble With Quibbles by Helen Sneddon (p. 19)
  • The Axe by Anne Cockitt (p. 20-23)
  • To Your Mind by Robin Hill (p. 24-28)
  • POEMS: The New Voyagers by Margaret Draper (p. 28-29)
  • Leila by Meg Wright. Spock meets Leila Kalomi. (p. 30-46)


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 8

See reactions and reviews for Leila.
See reactions and reviews for Home Run.
[zine]: The stories range from good to excellent, with artwork to match. Issue #8 contains 5 stories and some poems. The major stories are 'Home Run' and it involves a likable Romulan prisoner, and his effect upon Kirk and Spock's loyalties to Starfleet and to each other; 'The Axe' -- Uhura is stranded on a primitive world; 'To Your Mind' -- Kirk spends a pleasant shore leave on Vulcan; in the longest story in this ish, 'Leila' -- Lt. Commander Spock meets Leila while on shore leave. The art is by Mick Eason, Alan Hunter, and Gordon Carleton. [15]
[zine]:
  • "Home Run" -- Spock and McCoy join forces to spring the Romulan Commander's son Var from custody on Starbase 10, enabling Kirk (whom Var managed to rescue though he lost his own crew) to keep his promise that Var would be exchanged without interrogation. But first they have to make sure Kirk himself can't be suspected of the jailbreak. Well-written adventure with nice characterization.
  • "Policeman's Lot" -- Nice little vignette of an English policeman trying to convince his boss that he was immobilized and dis-uniformed by a pair of strangers materializing from nowhere.
  • POEM: "The Trouble With Quibbles" -- Scott quarreling with Kirk over his reason for attacking the Klingons in "Tribbles." Accompanied by nice Gordon Carleton cartoon.
  • "The Axe" -- Uhura is sold to a trapper on a primitive planet. Short tale of her adjusting to the life and the trapper and contemplating the decision that will be required if her communicator ever replies. She uses the axe both to defend herself from him and cut off his gangrenous leg.
  • "To Your Mind" -- Visiting on Vulcan, Kirk is rather inexplicably approached by a Vulcan woman who mind-melds with him to show him how a Vulcan makes love, and wishes him to reciprocate by demonstrating the Terran style.
  • POEMS: "The New Voyagers" -- Short jingles on life and death in space. Interesting.
  • "Leila" -- The back-story of Spock's not-quite-romance with Leila Kalomi, just before Enterprise command is transferred from Pike to Kirk. Very well-written, and includes hints of how Leila ended up on the colony and why Kirk and Spock hit it off so well (Pike gives Kirk a few tips). Leila rescues Spock from near-drowning, then gives him sailing lessons which eventually result in them being stranded on shore together long enough for her to fall in love -- which he logically rejects, but only after a few kissing lessons. [16]

Issue 9

cover of issue #9 by Mick Eason
back cover of issue #9, Helen Sneddon

Alnitah 9 was published in January 1979 and contains 40 pages.Cover: Mick Eason; Back cover "Sehlat Sagas" toon by Helen Sneddon. Other art by Mick Eason, Beth Hallam, Robin Hill, Maggi, and Helen Sneddon. It was edited by Margaret Draper and Joyce Cluett.


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 9

See reactions and reviews for A Few Curves.
See reactions and reviews for Of Things to Come.
See reactions and reviews for A Lasting Request.
See reactions and reviews for Auld Lang Syne.
[zine]:
  • "A Few Curves" -- Kirk and Spock meet up with the Taurean women from "The Lorelei Incident" (TAS) and find them desolate at the discovery that they are barren. Number One shows up with a solution - she is from a planet of women who reproduce technologically, having eliminated men because of their aggressive tendencies. They need caregivers for their infants. Kirk and Spock go along on the trip to see if the Taurean women will fit in, and Number One tutors the Taurean women on the evils of males and drives Kirk nuts with insults to his male ego all the way there. On arrival there is a disaster in the incubator, which proves to be a test of whether Kirk, as a representative Federation male, will respond in a humanitarian fashion despite being provoked to hostility. He passes, Number One's reclusive society agree to join the Federation, and all rejoice. Fun tale with good characterization.
  • "A Lasting Request" -- Short adventure story with a fine shaggy-dog denouement. McCoy desperately tries to contact Enterprise to rescue Spock from imminent death by firing squad, but Spock solves his own problem by serenading the executioners.
  • "Queen of the May" -- Kirk and Spock try to convince a primitive village not to sacrifice their young maidens to the local volcano, only to discover that the villagers are quite right all along -- the volcano really does protect them from the Klingons and other outsiders, and requires the sacrifice. A nice twist on the arrogance of Starfleet's finest.
  • "Island" -- Pretty standard little vignette of Kirk and Spock sharing a heart-to-heart after Gary's death.
  • "Of Things To Come" -- Christmas is only a few days away, and Spock drives himself to distraction in dread of it. Cute.
  • FILK: "Federation Wassail Song" --Roberta's typical clever send-up.
  • "Auld Lang Syne" -- Romp. Sulu stumbles on a dragon - leading Spock to relate his childhood encounter with said dragon, on Berengaria, to Kirk. Clever and good fun. [17]

Issue 10

cover of issue #10 by Maggi, "Fallen Star" is a poem interpretation the cover -- shows an astronaut with cracked face helmet and curious aliens checking him out.

Alnitah 10 was published in March 1979 and contains 40 pages. Cover: Maggi; Back cover "Sehlat Sagas" toon by Helen Sneddon. It was edited by Margaret Draper and Joyce Cluett. The art is by Maggi, Mick Eason, Jake Grigg, Helen Sneddon, and Alan Hunter.


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 10

See reactions and reviews for Expose.
See reactions and reviews for A Cold Cup of Water.
[zine]:
  • "Expose" -- Young Spock, traveling with his mother, experiments with practical jokes; Amanda retaliates with a human form of discipline as recommended by Mark Twain. Leslye's usual charming rendition of the mischievous Vulcan child.
  • "A Cup of Cold Water" -- After a shuttle wreck, Spock is rescued and carried off by felinoid herdsmen and ends up breaking the non-interference directive in encouraging cooperation between the herdsmen and the budding farming culture.
  • "Flight of the Red Hawk" -- Lt. Norton goes after his partner and finds himself fulfilling a Native American-like prophecy and restoring a mechanism that maintains the planet's ecological balance. . [retelling of "A Friend Like That" in Alnitah 5, from Norton's point of view]
  • "Autumn Is the Dying Time" -- Non-Trek. Pensive piece on a lost relationship.
  • "Operation Goldilocks" -- Entertaining little tale of Spock calling Kirk and McCoy in to assist him in rescuing a wild female sehlat stuck in a ravine. Things get sticky when they find Baby Bear, badly injured, and need to convince the male that they mean no harm..
  • POEM: "Fallen Star" (cover) / Margaret Draper
  • Poem for illo of astronaut with cracked face helmet and curious aliens checking him out. [18]

Issue 11

Alnitah 11 was published in July 1980 and contains 42 pages. Cover by Glyn & Lynda Probert; Back cover "Sehlat Sagas" toon by Helen Sneddon. Other art by Alan Hunter, Mick Eason, Maggi, Helen McCarthy, Gill Draper, Gordon Carleton, and Steve Mackey. It was edited by Margaret Draper and Joyce Cluett.

front cover of issue #11 by Glyn & Lynda Probert
back cover of issue #11, Helen Sneddon


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 11

See reactions and reviews for Reflections on Damocles.
See reactions and reviews for No Credit, All Credit.
[zine]: Another issue of ALNITAH is out, with many attractive things for the reader. Not the least of these is the artwork. From the "tribble" fillers within to the cover composite of Kirk and Spock, to the accompanying artwork for the poem "One Star Too Many," the editors have included a number of remarkable illustrations. The reduced offset printing is clear and easy to read. The only suggestion I have about the overall format is for the editors to put the authors' names along with titles of stories and poems, so the reader need not refer back to the ToC to see who wrote the piece. The lead story "First Year" by Jackie Stone is typical of the quality stories that ALNITAH has published of late. 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. "No Credit, All Credit" by Tina Pole, is a delightfully humourous story of events on the ENTERPRISE that take place when they are denied shore leave at Wrigley's Pleasure Planet because of an error in the crew's credit rating. McCoy's remark, "That's just bloody marvelous!" may strike the North American reader as odd, and I did wonder whether the author intended "football" to mean soccer ball rather than the American football in Gordon Carleton's illustration, but such things, to me, add flavor to the story. The characterization is believable, and the story is well-written. On the other hand, "If Only I Were the Daughter of the High Ambassador of a Desirable Shore Leave Planet," by Teresa Hewitt, strikes me as a wish-fulfillment fantasy. In itself, that's not necessarily bad for a story, but the main purpose of the story seems to be to get laughs by placing the characters in awkward situations. Though many editors publish this type of story, and many readers claim to enjoy them, I prefer stories in which the major emphasis provides insight into a character, and any embarrassing situations that arise are secondary to the point of the story. Further, I do not think that Kirk would find being kidnapped, bound, and slapped even mildly pleasurable. "The Moon was Yellow," by Helen Sneddon, is the kind of story where the events in it are puzzling to the reader until the very last line, when all is revealed. Again, many readers enjoy a tale in which the story is written entirely for the "tag" at the end, but I found it confusing. In this case, I think the story would have been better had the author placed a clue as to what the tag would be in the beginning. "Reflections on Damocles," by Valerie Mackney, is the longest story in this issue. Kirk is transported to an alternate "Mirror, Mirror" universe, where Spock is female and a revolution to overthrow the Empire is in progress. It's mainly a character story, and the characters are believable, but I found it ponderous. A little more emphasis on the events and action rather than on the thoughts of the characters might have made this flow better. "One Star Too Many," by Helen Sneddon, is a poem I enjoyed. I only regret that I don't know enough about poetry to recommend it in more detail. [19]
[zine]:
  • "First Year" -- Young Spock deals with homesickness and culture shock during his first year at Starfleet Academy.
  • "If Only I Were the Daughter (of the High Ambassador of a Desirable Shore Leave Planet...)" -- The spoiled title character abducts Kirk for a little silly bondage entertainment.
  • "The Moon Was Yellow" -- Chilling tale of why Vulcan has no moon... not anymore.
  • "No Credit, All Credit" -- Fun farce of Spock's trials and tribulations as the rest of the bridge crew go slowly stir-crazy when they are denied leave on - but have to stay in orbit around - Wrigley's Pleasure Planet.
  • "Reflections on Damocles" -- While inspecting a planet devoted to Federation military and espionage technology, Kirk lands in a Mirror universe in which Spock is female, devoted to him, and gruesomely sadistic. Interesting take on the premise, and Kirk's reactions of mixed love and horror are well-drawn.
  • POEM: "One Star Too Many" (cover) -- With illo. An astronomer's discovery of a nova in counterpoint to the destruction of that far world. [20]

Issue 12

front cover of issue #12 by Mike Eason
back cover of issue #12, Helen Sneddon

Alnitah 12 was published in December 1980 and contains 42 pages. Cover: Mike Eason; Back cover "Sehlat Sagas" toon by Helen Sneddon. Other art by Alan Hunger, Mike Eason, Gordon Carleton, A.R. Gill and Gill Draper. It was edited by Margaret Draper, Ann Looker, and Joyce Cluett.

It had an original print run of 1000 copies. The demand for back issues led the editors to publish the first Alnitah Omnibus which contained stories from Alnitah issues #1-4.


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 12

See reactions and reviews for Reflections on Damocles.
See reactions and reviews for A Man Will Tell His Bartender.
See reactions and reviews for The Things I Do for the Federation.
See reactions and reviews for Double or Quits.
See reactions and reviews for Ka-Ree-Ah.
[zine]: ALNITAH is one of the finest quality zines available. You can always count on each issue being delightful and entertaining. The three editors (Joyce Cluett, Margaret Draper, and Ann Looker) know how to choose their stories well. ries are intelligently and skillfully written. "The Things I Do For the Federation," by Audrey Baker, is about a not-so-pretty minstrel persuaded by Captain Kirk to pose as the fiancee to the Ruler of Harmatt at the betrothal ceremony. It seems the real lady has been delayed and the touchy Ruler of Harmatt will forego this alliance with the Federation if she does not appear at the appointed time, which would make the Romulans very happy. This minstrel, Pandora Exning (I kid you not), has a striking resemblance to this Emmeline Broms-grove (really!), who has been personally chosen by the Har-mattian Ruler. Complications do arise of course, due to Pandora's constant companion, MacKenzie, a wise-cracking sentient Arcturian wolf. "Kah-Ree-Ah," by Sue Bursztynski and Jan McDonnell, is an intriguing account of what Stonn did after TPring dishonored him in "Amok Time." It is a new and fascinating interpretation of Stonn, sympathetic and provocative. "Double Quits" is the third part of Margaret Draper's series of stories based on the episode "The Enterprise Incident." Fortunately, there is a summary of what has gone before, and the story's ending does not leave you hanging. It is a complete story all its own, and worth the read even if you've never read the two preceding stories or the following ones. This is the best, and the longest, story in this issue, engrossing and skillfully plotted. The art is sparse and ranges from mediocre to very good. Mike Eason's cover is interesting: Kirk, in his ST:TMP uniform, holding the old uniform, and an expression on his face that is left to your interpretation (perhaps longing?). Alan Hunter has a lovely rendering of a snow-bound scene on Romulus on page 33. Gordon Car let on, A.R. Gill, and Gill Draper are the other artists that appear in this issue. And Helen Sneddon's recurring (and funny) "Sehlat Sagas" strip is on the bacover. Bound in a nice wraparound cover, ALNITAH is very comfortable to read. You don't have to fight with it, like so many other zine with difficult bindings. Highly recommended. [21]
[zine]:
  • "The Things I Do for the Federation" -- Romp. Kirk must convince a minstrel woman - with a companion Arcturian wolf - to substitute for a look-alike in a betrothal ceremony, and then extricate her from the groom's clutches.
  • "Ka-Ree-Ah" -- Interesting take on the aftermath of "Amok Time." Stonn reclaims his honor by following ancient law to the letter, Challenging T'Pring's brother and forcing Vulcan to re-examine the absurdity of death challenge in Kal-i-fee. Nice touch is T'Pring ending up the consort of a legend, after all.
  • POEM: "Circles" -- McCoy muses on his and Spock's entrapment within their antagonistic parts.
  • "Double Or Quits" -- ["Var" series, sequel to "Border Incident," Alnitah 5, and "Home Run," Alnitah 8] Var witnesses Spock selling Federation secrets to the Klingons - actually, Spock's capture by a privateer captain who sells him to the Romulans. Kirk and McCoy piece together what has happened, and Kirk, disguised as a Klingon, goes off to the rescue with Var. Spock is briefly reunited with the Commander, about to be exiled for returning alive from Federation capture. As the Enterprise men escape, she makes good on her refusal to be a pawn by blowing up the pursuit ship on which she is a captive. Excellent characterizations.
  • "A Man Will Tell His Bartender" -- Told from the bartender's pov. Kirk, Spock and McCoy gather at a local watering hole for a round of farewell drinks when Spock is promoted to Captain of the Lincoln. As the trio - yes, including Spock - become ever more inebriated, Spock reveals to his friends that he has declined the post. A charmer. [22]

Issue 13

front cover of issue #13, Alan Hunter
back cover of issue #13

Alnitah 13 was published in July 1981 and contains 40 pages. The cover is by Hunter. It was edited by Margaret Draper and Joyce Cluett. Art is by Alan Hunter, Robin Hill, Gill Draper, Bob Shaw, Joan Thomson, A.R. Gill, and Helen Sneddon.

  • And Where Shall I Lay My Bones by Beth Hallam (4)
  • poem by Margaret Richardson (8)
  • Not to Reason Why by Audrey Baker (9)
  • poem by Meg Wright (18)
  • R.H.I.P. by Margaret Draper (19)
  • Better the Devil by Tina Pole (22)
  • Mother Kaeli's Doorstep by Helen Sneddon (31)


Issue 14

cover of issue #14, Maggie
back cover of issue #14

Alnitah 14 was published in 1982 and contains 38 pages. It was edited by Margaret Draper and Joyce Cluett.

  • The Ways Converge by Sue Bursztynski (4)
  • Second Year by Jackie Stone (9) (about Spock's second year at Starfleet Academy, sequel to "First Year" in issue 11) (also in Academy Days)
  • The Ambassador by Margaret Draper (31)
  • poem by Margaret Draper (39)
  • art by Maggi (front cover), Alan Hunter, Joanne Hughes, Mike Eason, Helen Sneddon (back cover)


Issue 15

front cover of issue #15 by Alan Hunter. Reminiscent of the Easter Island statues, which are a frequent subject in sf art.
back cover of issue #15 by Alan Hunter

Alnitah 15 contains 48 pages and was published in August 1983. Covers: Alan Hunter. Other artwork by Joanne Hughes, Mike Eason, Bert Gill, Bob Shaw, Beth Hallam, Helen Sneddo and C. Sibbett. It was edited by Margaret Draper, Beth Hallam, Ann Looker, and Joyce Cluett. It was the final issue.

From the editorial:
You will have noticed our new tri-colour cover. Oh, the expense! Also, this is a special Celtic edition - with artists from Hibernia and Caledonia, an editor from Cymru and two Irish-orientated stories, it must surely be minorities V week! The introduction of the new-look ALNITAH is due to our desire to become even better than the Best British STAR TREK 'Zine of 1982'. (Anyway, we were bored with the old format.) So here is ALNITAH 15: brighter, thicker, prettier, longer - and on time! We do hope you enjoy it.


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 15

See reactions and reviews for A Word of Four Letters.
See reactions and reviews for The Ultimate Nightmare.
See reactions and reviews for When in Rome.
See reactions and reviews for More Than a Touch of the Blarney.
See reactions and reveiws for Finnegan's Wake.
[zine]: 'Alnitah' is a nicely produced glossy, English fanzine with an emphasis on humour. #15 is a special Celtic issue beginning with 'Finnegan's Wake' which involves Kirk's nemesis from his academy days, and in which Uhura has to perform a rather exotic dance in order to save the day. The things a girl has to do! In 'Four Letter Word,' an expletive painted on the Enterprise to psych out some Klingons fortunately turns out to be a sacred word used to invoke the great spirit on a world in which Kirk is involved in diplomatic negotiations. Funnily enough, this word, when written, also bears a strong resemblance to the name of a certain famous starship captain. In an hysterical story, 'The Ultimate Nightmare,' Kirk is a chicken (literally) who cannot escape his mother hen. Even Spock accuses him of behaving most unchickenlike. Of course he wakes up, and it's all just a dream, but it's lots of fun. My favourite story in this zine, though, is 'More than a Touch of Blarney,' in which Kirk and McCoy coax Spock into kissing the Blarney Stone, which as everyone knows, gives people the gift of gab. It certainly works on Spock, whose speech immediately takes on an Irish charm and verbosity, but his friends find this disconcerting when it goes on and on... and on. [24]
[zine]:
  • "Finnegan's Wake" -- Romp. Finnegan plays a last trick on Kirk, without realizing that he has played into the hands of Klingon raiders. Taken captive, Kirk uses one of Finnegan's old tricks to escape - which involves Uhura doing a ping-pong dance and having a celebratory drink with Spock.
  • "A Word of Four Letters" -- Koloth throws a kink in a delicate diplomatic mission in the sensor-fouling Murasaki area. Escape necessitates separating the drive (Adam) and saucer (Eve) sections. Kirk paints a Klingon obscenity on the hull in order to determine whether the Klingons can see them, and it turns out to be miraculously a holy word of the culture Fox is contacting.
  • "The Ultimate Nightmare" -- Kirk's annoyance at McCoy mother-henning him leads to a nightmare in which McCoy really is a mother hen, with a nest full of bridge-crew chicks. Bizarre but funny..
  • "When in Rome" -- Spock is bitten by a plant whose psychotropic properties McCoy is investigating, and is mentally propelled into Vulcan's racial memory and life as a tribal raider while McCoy tries to come up with a chemical concoction to jolt his healing center back into action. Spock kills, eats meat... and is about to take the woman he has abducted when McCoy gets through. Spock quite logically decides to hold him off for a time. Clever premise for getting Spock into pre-reform times.
  • POEM: "Turn Around" -- Someone (presumably McCoy) laments Christine's infatuation with the Vulcan she can't have instead of the human she can.
  • "More Than a Touch of the Blarney" -- Romp. Kirk and McCoy connive to make Spock kiss the Blarney stone, and regret it when Spock develops an exhausting gift for gab. [25]

References

  1. Alnitah at the TOS Zinedex. Accessed January 5, 2010.
  2. from Implosion #3
  3. from Halliday's Zinedex
  4. from Halliday's Zinedex
  5. from Halliday's Zinedex
  6. from Halliday's Zinedex
  7. from Menagerie #11
  8. from Halliday's Zinedex
  9. from Menagerie #12
  10. from Halliday's Zinedex
  11. from Spectrum #37
  12. from Scuttlebutt #11
  13. Starbase M.T.L. #6
  14. from Halliday's Zinedex
  15. from Scuttlebutt #1
  16. from Halliday's Zinedex
  17. from Halliday's Zinedex
  18. from Halliday's Zinedex
  19. from Universal Translator #9
  20. from Halliday's Zinedex
  21. from Universal Translator #21
  22. from Halliday's Zinedex
  23. from Truffles
  24. from Truffles
  25. from Halliday's Zinedex
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