Alpha Continuum

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Zine
Title: Alpha Continuum
Publisher: WTUU
Editor(s): Marty Siegrist, Tina Henry
Date(s): 1976 - 1980
Series?: yes
Medium: print zine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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Contents

Alpha Continuum was a Star Trek: TOS fanzine edited by Marty Siegrist. Four issues were published between 1976 to 1980.

Issue 1

cover issue #1 by Marty Siegrist

Alpha Continuum 1 was published in 1976 and contains 56 pages. Cover: Marty Siegrist; back cover: Signe Landon. Other art by Paula Block, Ingrid Cross, Connie Faddis, Kathi Lynn Higley, Gee Moaven, Laurraine Tutihasi, Thetis "Mother Rock."

  • Conspiratorials (editorial) (2)
  • No Time for Past Regrets by Ingrid Cross (4) (As Leonard McCoy is about to board the Enterprise for the 5 year mission, he looks back on the life he is leaving and meets Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock for the first time.)
  • Wings of Wonder by Valerie McLean (21)
  • Caison Occurence by Signe Jesson (a crossover with Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern) (The Enterprise officers are negotiating with the dragonrider planet when a rogue queen dragon creates havoc in the province -- and traps Kirk in a cavern collapse. Best bit is actually the alternate farce ending provided by the editors - in which McCoy nabs the unconscious Kirk's little black book.) (26)
  • Encounter by Ingrid Cross (Internal Kirk/Spock dialog as they engage in their first mind-meld.) (41)
  • Dancer by Ingrid Cross (Vignette - Uhura indulging improbably in romantic daydreams on the bridge.) (45)
  • The Sight of Kollos by Leslie Fish (47)
  • Night Creatures by Mandi Schultz (51)
  • Apres un Reve by Cheryl Rice (64)
  • The Fear of You by Anne Laurie Logan (65)
  • Never Enough Dark by Cheryl Rice (79)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for Never Enough Dark.
See reactions and reviews for Wings of Wonder.
See reactions and reviews for The Fear of You.
See reactions and reviews for Caison Occurence.
See reactions and reviews for The Sight of Kollos.
See reactions and reviews for No Time for Past Regrets.
[zine]: This first effort by Siegrist is extremely uneven in writing quality though it has excellent art. On the plus side are a trio of short stories by Ingrid Cross: 'No Time for Past Regrets' shows us McCoy as he is joining the crew and we get an inside on why McCoy and Spock may have difficulty being open with each other; 'Encounter' gives us McCoy's view of a mindmeld with Spock, from the inside; 'Dancer' tells us what Uhura does while waiting for all those frequencies to hail. Leslie Fish has a visual vignette of Spock in his Kollos-madness, 'The Sight of Kollows,' that is quite good. 'Night Creatures,' by Mandi Schultz, is a story out of her Diamonds and Rust series that relates to what happened to Kirk on Tarsus IV. Many may disagree with the character analysis of the younger Kodos, but the story is impelling in telling. 'Wings of Wonder' had potential, but we never find out why, of the whole landing party, only Marie is affected OR what caused her disassociation, except for maybe a hidden desire to mind-meld with Spock. 'Caison Occurrence' is your average Lt. Mary Sue story story, complete with plastic characters, contrived plot, and unrealistic dialogue. The only thing missing is that the heroine didn't have to die saving the situation. Annelaurie Logan's 'The Fear of You, and the Dread' started off fine, but after Spock and Megan beam down, mass confusion sets in. I can't honestly report what happened, though perhaps it is through some fault of mine. 'Never Enough Dark' is by Cheryl Rice and this is not one of her best, it is basically a rescue story but is extremely bland. There just isn't enough gut emotion that the plot line deserves. Overall, it is a toss-up on value. Reproduction is fair, the artwork is sometimes faded out, but the illos are very good. One suggestion I would offer is that cover stock be used for the covers; it will protect the zine better. [1]
[zine]: 1976 was a vintage year in Star Trek fan-lit, and ALPHA CONTINUUM 1 is a first class reprint of vintage material. Enough has already been made by me of Mandi Schultz's "Night Creatures," a succes de scandale of D&R. Ingrid Cross' "No Time for Past Regrets" is a sensitive and wise portrait of the first meeting of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. McCaffrey fans can luxuriate in Signe Jesson's "Caison Occurence." "Never Enough Dark" by Cheryl Rice gives one claustrophobia as well as thoughtful sketches of Kirk and Spock under pressure. Many will like Annelaurie Logan's "The Fear of You" better than I; it is extremely well done. Leslie Fish's poetic vignette about Spock and Kollos is excellent, and Paula Block slips gracefully across the line between good taste and hilarity to end the zine. Illustrators include Siegrist, Faddis, Moaven, Landon, and Tutihasi. Not all of the art reproduction is successful. However, the text is offset and reduced, and it is easy on the eye. Beg, borrow, steal, BUY these zines [issues #1 and #4]. They are cheap at twice the price. They can be used to proselytise the heathen or to subvert the believer. Marty Siegrist makes some, not all, of the $12 to $15 wonders of recent years look bloated and stupid. (A wistful message to Mandi and Cheryl: Rust Never Sleeps. But if that's all there is, thank you. I'll never forget the trip.). [2]

Issue 2

back cover issue #2 by Marty Siegrist
silkscreened front cover issue #2 by Marty Siegrist

Alpha Continuum 2 was published in 1977 and contains 154 pages, offset, reduced. It is a "McCoy issue." Cover & back cover: Marty Siegrist. It has the subtitle, "... In Wonderland."

Note: the first edition was 120 pages, offset, reduced. Original cost was $5.60 first class.

  • When the Good is Gone from Goodbye by Karen Fleming (p. 8-10) (The confrontation that led to the break-up of McCoy's marriage.)
  • Change of Habit by Meg Hogue (p. 11-21) (Christine Chapel is going through a difficult time in her personal life and as Leonard McCoy tries to find some way to help her he finds, to his surprise, that Christine is very important to him.)
  • Any Time But This, Any Place But Now by Cheryl Rice (The Zinedex says: "Vignette. One of McCoy’s techs, whining about how boring life is and dreaming of other times.") (p. 23)
  • To the Edge by Mona Delitsky (p. 26-32) (While on a planet, the Captain and Spock are injured in an explosion. The Enterprise will not return for many hours and McCoy, injured himself, struggles to stay awake and alert to care for his two friends until help arrives.)
  • No Child of Man by Anne Laurie Logan (p. 37-41) (A conversation between McCoy and his daughter reveals a very bizarre family background they share.)
  • The Southern Surgeon’s Nightmare by Paula Block (p. 42-43) (Illo interp: Civil War. McCoy wonders what sins have landed him in a purgatory of endless Civil War surgery.)
  • Night by Leslie Hobart (p. 44)
  • Ain’t No Virgins by Paula Block (p. 46) (Illo interp: McCoy dozing with a unicorn nearby. Pretty entertaining stream-of-consciousness from McCoy, suffering the mother of all hangovers and trying to make sense of the unicorn checking him out.)
  • Mad Dogs and Earthmen by C.R. Faddis (p. 48-50) (McCoy has an encounter with a Phoenix on a planet that has no animal life.)
  • The Real McCoy by Leslie Hobart (p. 52-62) (Our kindly doctor has been called 'seducer, thief, barbarian, and temple desecrator' by the people of the planet Alard. They will sell their Dilithium crystals to the Klingons if he is not punished. A case of mistaken identity, of course, but McCoy will be held in prison until it is all straightened out. Or will he?)
  • De-Funitions (p. 63-67)
  • To Each His Own by Mandi Schultz & Cheryl Rice [Diamonds & Rust series, Chapter 3] (p. 72-99) (One of two 'Diamonds and Rust' stories in this zine. McCoy becomes involved in a very unfortunate situation with his daughter that leaves him emotionally shattered.)
  • Idols I Have Loved by Mandi Schultz & Cheryl Rice [Diamonds & Rust series, Chapter 4] (p. 100-144) (Second of 'Diamonds and Rust' stories in which Chantel, the mysterious new Security Chief on the Enterprise, tries to help McCoy recover his mental health.)
  • Logjam by April Pentland (p. 145-150) (McCoy feels he has been wronged by a less than complimentary entry in the Captain's Log. Their friendship is threatened until McCoy, with Spock's guidance, finds a means of 'revenge'.)
  • POEM: The Naked Time by Gerry Downes (p. 33)
  • POEM: Prisoners in a Cold Cell by J. Feaster (p. 34)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

See reactions and reviews for To Each His Own.
See reactions and reviews for Logjam.
See reactions and reviews for No Child of Man.
See reactions and reviews for Mad Dogs and Earthmen.
See reactions and reviews for Night.
See reactions and reviews for The Real McCoy.
See reactions and reviews for Change of Habit.
[zine]: Everything in this McCoy-emphasis issue is nicely handled: graphics, layout, prose, humor, artwork. Visually, it's impressive, with the usual talented artists (Faddis, Landon, Moaven) dong their usual first-rate jobs. Siegrist's previously pleasant artwork has shown outstanding improvement in terms of overall composition. Kathy Lynn Higley's illios for some of the most wretched puns in galactic history are utterly delightful. Likewise, Rich Schultz's cartoons for Leslie Fish's 'Bones' are a stitch. None of the fiction is outstanding, but all is well-written. We have two installments of the 'Diamonds and Rust' saga which is the classiest Mary Sue story around and probably the best constructed. Leslie Hobart's comical melodrama, 'The Real McCoy,' is enjoyable, if thin, in spots. As with any McCoy zine, there are the usual stories and poems portraying his crummy marriage, his estranged and occasionally VERY strange daughter, and his numerous harey encounters with lovable lepuses and, there is the now-standard-for-many-zines fantasia section of illios and interpretations, which range from the strange ('Night' by Leslie Hobart) to the silly ('Ain't No Virgins' by yours truly). There is a warm, self-mocking tone to AC #2 that keeps it from becoming too self-impressed. Marty's efforts have made this an enjoyable zine, one of the rare ones prepared with the kind of T.L.C. that I wouldn't mind forking over 5 bucks for. [3]
[zine]: The theme of this McCoy issue is 'Wonderland,' whatever that means. I read through the zine, poring over the very nice art (lots and lots of art), perusing the fiction, and belching through the 'De-finitions' humor (?). The bulk of the zine, and the only substantial fiction, are two more chapters of Diamonds and Rust, 'To Each His Own' and 'Idols I Have Loved.' In them, a really unfortunate incident occurs between McCoy and his daughter, Joanna, which is elusively tied into the mysterious goings-on that Chantal is involved with. These chapters, like the others that have appeared elsewhere, suffer from two flaws that make them difficult for me to enjoy: a plot-pacing that would barely do credit to a crippled amoeba; and, the inescapable fact that these are, chapters to a longer story and do not stand up well on their own. The story ideas are, at least from what we can see of them so far, sophisticated, and the writing is competent. I tend to think that D&R Collected, to be published later this year, will be the best way to enjoy the series. The quality of the shorter fiction in the zine is also good, though taken as a whole, AC#2 lacks stories to think your teeth into -- like being handed a giant stein of fine beer and discovering that all you got was foam. [4]

Issue 3

silkscreened cover of issue #3, (yes, even though it says issue #4)

Alpha Continuum 3 is an all Spock issue. It says #4 on the cover, but it's actually #3. The editor offers an explanation for this in the zine. Edited by Tina Henry. Published 1980. Printed offset, stapled, 82 pages. Art by Lisa Agostinelli, Shona Jackson, Vel Jaeger, Marty Siegrist, Laura Virgil, and Allyson Whitfield.

  • Editorial (3)
  • Hostage of Fortune by Anne Laurie Logan (5) (Spock befriends Joanna McCoy and her child who are not very likable Leonard McCoy has rejected.)
  • Gentle Healer by Frankie Jemison (17)
  • Specified Explanation by L. Jeanne Powers (18)
  • The Challenge by L. Jeanne Powers (21)
  • Human Dream, Vulcan Reality by Garol A. Taddeo (22)
  • Sarpeidon Apogee by Jocelyn Feaster (27) (Alternate ending to Spock and McCoy's trip to Sarpeidon.)
  • A Warrior's Death by Ingrid Cross (30) (Spock helps McCoy come to terms with the impending death of Jim Kirk.)
  • Visions: Omens by Laurie Shanahan (36)
  • The Final Voyage by Jeanne Cavalos (50)
  • Beta Niobe Poem by L. Jeanne Powers (56)
  • Amulet by Toni Cardinal-Price (57) (McCoy accompanies Spock on a trip to Vulcan for the celebration of Amanda's birthday. When their air car crashes in the desert, they go through a mystical adventure before rescue.)
  • The Dancer by Jocelyn Feaster (81)

Issue 4

front cover issue #4 by Marty Siegrist

Alpha Continuum 4 was published in 1980 and contains 98 pages. This issue emphasizes Kirk. Cover: Marty Siegrist. Other art by Randy Ash, Amy Falkowitz, Kathi Lynn Higley, Signe Landon, Joni Wagner (back cover), Allyson Whitfield, and Marty Siegrist.

  • Editorial (2)
  • Year of the Cat by Cheryl Rice & Mandi Schultz (Diamonds & Rust series) (3)
  • Made for Each Other by Anne Laurie Logan [reprinted from Warped Space #6] (8)
  • Wide Open Spaces (Star Trek: TOS story)|Wide Open Spaces]] by Vicky Edgerton (19)
  • K/S by Dayle Palko (22)
  • Visions, interpretations (23)
    • Sea Change by Cheryl Rice (Illo interp. Kirk can't seem to decide whether to follow mermaid Chantal until she leaves him.)
    • Girl of My Dreams by Donna Toutant (Illo interp. Kirk, adrift on a sea after a shuttle wreck, finds a mirage-woman -- only to wake in Sickbay.)
    • Sunflower by Cheryl Rice
    • Untitled by Daphne Hamilton (Illo interp. McCoy's - and Kirk's -- fears are realized when the doctor vanishes into the transport beam.)
    • Spell Sword by Ingrid Cross (Illo interp. Kirk finds himself in some purgatory expiating sins by reliving a scenario in which his crew are killed and he kills Spock with a sword, over and over.) (34)
    • Where Sirens Sing by Mandi Schultz
    • Untitled by April Pentland (Illo interp. Kirk has been trapped in some medieval planet's revolution and dies on a mountaintop, soaring with eagles.)
    • Responsibility by Anne Laurie Logan
  • Home Leave by L. Jeanne Powers (51)
  • Song of the Jellicles by April Pentland (52)
  • Reunion by Rusty Hancock (Former shipmates of Will Decker gather in a pub to toast his memory, and end up discussing their own affairs with Deltans.) (73)
  • No Special Hurry by Cheryl Rice & Mandi Schultz [Diamonds & Rust series. Editorial notes that Diamonds & Rust was supposed to be a multivolume series. Volume 1 was published, but volume 2 was never completed. In this story, the authors wrap up loose ends and summarize where the tale was intended to go.] (80)
  • Memento Mori by Cheryl Rice [Reprinted from Guardian #2] (92)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

See reactions and reviews for Made for Each Other.
See reactions and reviews for Memento Mori.
See reactions and reviews for Sunflower.
See reactions and reviews for Responsibility.
See reactions and reviews for Wide Open Spaces.
See reactions and reviews for Song of the Jellicles.
[zine]: There come times when one must make sweeping generalizations, justify one's prejudices, create necessary pigeon-holes for square-peg in round-hole theories. So here goes: At its very best, be it blues or rhythm and blues, be it old gangster films or the works of science fiction masters from Heinlein to Fish, or Andy Warhol's art; American popular art is characterized by vitality and deliberate trashiness, by a nearly innocent corruption that simultaneously repels and endears, by purity and rawness of emotion. Melodrama is never far away. The in-ness of American popular art gives promise of telling those who seek out its mysteries where, in Tom Wolfe's phrase, the Right Stuff is and of what it consists. But, it never relinquishes the funky, elemental obligation of revealing where the bodies are buried. With the above in mind, I turn to the world of Chantal Caberfae and her once and future lover, James Kirk. The twisted and tarnished angels of DIAMONDS AND RUST come to us from a time as incompatible with human decency, as crippling, indeed horrifying as our own time. Chantal and Jim grab for the brass ring on their lives' little merry-go-round; and, Oh, God, is that ring ever made of brass! They seek a moment of shared sublimity and end up praying separately to whatever demented, minor god they still acknowledge that their grubby secrets will not, not surface, and that somehow, in their hour of honesty and abandon, their isolated hearts will not break. They are like Bogart and Bergman in CASABLANCA, and ever so much more like the real, drop-dead, romantic pair of that film, Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains. Mandi Schultz and Cheryl Rice have vested the DIAMONDS AND RUST universe with a basic sleaze that in its way is as irresistible as Hemingway's incompleteness, Vonnegut's innocence, or Billie Holiday's addiction. Chantal and Jim know, centuries hence, the dark, off-key, off-color worlds of Scott Fitzgerald, Lou Reed, and Edward Hopper. And through all their trials, the ghost of a half-forgotten old Viennese Jew, Sigmund Freud, who loved all who struggle in emotional shadow, observes the apparently doomed lovers as they learn the awful realities of the endless, unforgiving human condition. (See "Year of the Cat," AC 4 and "Night Creatures," AC 1) With a strained sort of mercy, Schultz and Rice give us a postlude to DIAMONDS AND RUST in AC 4, a moment in time shortly after the V'ger incident. It will not do. It is not enough. Who the Hell is Yang —The Target? What tawdry Gotterdammerimg was acted out on Cappela? When will the lovers meet again? What a terrifying reunion! Chantal and Jim are getting older, not better. (See "No Special Hurry," AC 4) No matter, like Yoko and John's occasional messages during the seventies (and now Yoke's), any message from Action Central is better than none at all. And a message from Hell is infinitely more exciting than anything a heavenly choir might transmit. When you are sufficiently sated by Chantal and Jim, plunge further into AC 4, prepared to absorb one of the most originally plotted ST short stories in a long time, April Pentland's "Song of the Jellicles," which"" would make a lovely TV episode and in which McCoy has a lovely role. Rusty Hancock's "Reunion" left me more tolerant of Matt Decker's fair-haired boy, Will, than I thought possible I liked Annelaurie Logan's light mixture of werewolves and the Enterprise crew, and Vicky Edgerton's "Wide Open Spaces" reveals things witty and surprising at the Galactic rim. Rice's "Momento Mori," which first appeared in GUARDIAN 2 is a nightmare richly deserved by that old tomcat, Kirk. The "Visions" section is outstanding. ALPHA CONTINUUM 4 is a class operation. Its authors can write. The dialogue is appropriate and lucid. No mindless platitudes here, although there are a few mindless pleasures. Little sentimentality. No imitation poetry. Dayle Palko does it in 17 syllables Jeanne Powers' "Home Leave" rings tersely true. Layout and graphics are excellent. The art work ranges from excellent to serviceable, and it is well used. The cover is not as good as the book. Marty Siegrist calls AC 4 by a second name, PHOENIX; and it is a literal phoenix. It flies! [5]

References

  1. from The Halkan Council #23
  2. from Universal Translator
  3. from a review in Scuttlebutt
  4. from a review in Interphase #4
  5. from Universal Translator #10
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