Alpha Newsletter

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Zine
Title: Alpha Newsletter
Publisher:
Editor(s): Stephen Eramo
Type:
Date(s): January 1976-?
Frequency:
Medium: print
Fandom: Space: 1999
Language: English
External Links: many issues are online here
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Contents

Alpha Newsletter is a gen Space: 1999 newsletter published by Stephen Eramo. There are at least 23 issues.

some issues

About

The editor's comments:
It was a dark and stormy night (really, it was) and, if I remember correctly, a Tuesday. I waited with cautious anticipation for a new British Sci-Fi TV series called Space: 1999 to premiere that evening on the local WCVB Channel 5 network. A neighbor and I, both diehard Star Trek fans, were just ready to dismiss this fledgling entry into the genre world. After all, nothing could ever replace Star Trek, right?

Although Space: 1999 did not replace Star Trek, my neighbor and I agreed that this new show was not bad at all. As the weeks went on and I watched more and more, I soon fell in love with 1999. Again, it was something new and after 79 episodes of Star Trek, which I had watched and watched and watched, I could certainly appreciate a new twist on things. I came to enjoy 1999 so much that I decided to start publishing a newsletter devoted to the show. At the time I was 14, and while I had always enjoyed writing, I didn’t know quite how to go about doing this. However, I did my research, looked at other newsletters, and had soon planned out my first couple of issues. Alpha Newsletter was born! I advertised in Star Trek newsletters and other fan club-type publications, and eventually began to receive inquiries from interested parties. Initially a relative of mine took the newsletters to work and Xeroxed copies for me to send out to people. As time went on, the newsletter became so popular that I had to have it professionally printed. Either my father or grandfather would drive me into Harvard Square in Cambridge where I went to Gnoman Copies (I think that’s the correct spelling) to have the newsletter professionally printed (and now even on different colored paper each month!). I figured out how much I would need for printing, supplies and postage and charged a yearly subscription rate. I ended up with over 500 subscribers from around the world, including Asia, Europe and Australia. During the second season of 1999 I was both proud and flattered to receive honorary membership acceptances to Alpha Newsletter from Nick Tate (Alan Carter), Prentis Hancock (Paul Morrow), Zienia Merton (Sandra Benes), Anton Phillips (Dr. Bob Mathias), John Hug (Bill Fraser), Peter Porteous (Petrov), Alibe Parsons (Alibe), Sarah Bullen (Operative Kate), Sam Dastor (Dr. Ed Spencer) and Clifton Jones (David Kano).

Alpha Newsletter ran for eight years, and during that time I made a number of friends that I’m still thrilled to have 30 years later! 1999 opened up a whole new world for me, especially when it came to my professional life. On one of my early trips to the UK I had lunch in London with John Hug, his longtime partner Dee Hart, and Sarah Bullen. The conversation eventually turned to my newsletter and John, Dee and Sarah all agreed that if I loved writing that much, then I should pursue it in some fashion. It took me a little while, but I’m happy to say that this summer (2011) I’ll be celebrating 25 years as a professional entertainment journalist. Thank you Space: 1999. Who knows what I might be doing today if way back when I had dismissed it as just another Star Trek wanna be, not to mention all the long-standing friendships as well as fun and laughs that I would have missed out on as well. [1]

Online

Many issues have been scanned here.

Issue 1

Alpha Newsletter 1 was published in January 1976.

Issue 2

Alpha Newsletter 2 was published in spring 1976 and contains 7 pages.

The editor writes: "In upcoming issues I plan to have more features, articles, and photos. I think for a 15 year old I'm doing pretty darn good. I hope you all like Alpha Two. Best to all, Stephen."

first page of issue #2
  • "Space: 1999 Technology" by Stephen Eramo
  • excerpts about the show from other science fiction magazines (from the "Christopher Lee International Fan Club Journal" by Nikki White, other articles from "Quasimodo Monster Magazine" -- August 1975, "Photoplay" -- 1975, "Screen Stars" -- January 1976)


Issue 3

Alpha Newsletter 3 was published in summer 1976 and contains 7 pages.

first page of issue #3
  • includes a cast list
  • review by Stephen Eramo of the episode "Full Circle"
  • article by Stephen Mitchell from "In the Know" v.2 n.1 January 1976
  • some stats and info about season two
  • word find
  • trivia quiz


Issue 4

Alpha Newsletter 4 was published in summer 1976 and contains 8 pages.

first page of issue #4
  • includes a brief description of the first episode of the second season, one fans will see for the first time in the fall
  • includes what appears to be a fan-made full-page ad for season two
  • includes two pages of testimonials by many, many local television program managers about how fabulous season two is going to be; quotes are gleaned from "Variety" (May 26, 1975)
  • there are lots of short ads for things for sale, mainly pro-made merchandise (bubble gum cards, puzzles, magazines, models, records, games, comics, toys, pro books)
  • there is a flyer by a fan who is creating a Silent Running fanzine: "At this time it is still in the planning stages, but it will be a Fanzine-Technical Manuel [sic] Format. We are seeking endorsement from Universal and Mr. Turnbull, but we need your help! You the fans, have to show you care enough about "Silent Running" to want a fanzine. We value you opinion! For more information, or just to write and give your opinion on the forth coming zine, write to "Silent Running Lives" c/c Mr. Patrick Kelley [address redacted]."


Issue 5

Alpha Newsletter 5 was published in 1976.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

Method of reproduction: Xerox and ITEK-offset, 22 pages. Issue #5 of "Alpha Newsletter" is a special on Nick Tate (Alan Carter). Contained in it are transcriptions of Nick's speeches at August Party, his biography, and Alan Carter's biography, reviews of "The Devil's Playground" (movie), and "The Day After Tomorrow" (TV special), as well as several articles about Nick reprinted from several magazines. Also included are a list of Alan's "zaps," most liked lines, notable episodes, and an ad for an upcoming ST/'99/UFO/SF con. Issue #6 will be a Landau and Bain special, and #7 a Anholt/Schell/Merton/Phillips special. To date this is the best issue of "Alpha Newsletter." Numbers #1-4 are hardly more than short reprints of articles discussing '99. This issue is a must for any Tate fan. [2]

Issue 6

Alpha Newsletter was published in 1977 and contains 19 pages.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

This issue of Alpha Newsletter is a special Landau and Bain edition. The issue starts off with an announcement of the 1999 letter campaign urging fans to write to keep the show on the air. Professional biographies on both Landau and Bain supplied by I.T.C. as well as two short character sketches on Koenig and Russell are also in this issue. "The Lunar Woman: Bain as Doctor Helena Russell" by Deborah Walsh is an article examining the difference between the characterization of Doctor Russell in the first and second seasons. It is a well written article providing a good view of the two versions of Doctor Russell. "Feeligs" (I think it's supposed to be "Feelings"), by Leslie Ann Marshall, is a short story about the aftereffects of a meteor shower which severely damages the medical section and blinds Doctor Russell. The story is fairly well written and attempts to feel out just what kind of relationship Russell and Koenig have by exploring Koanig s thoughts through the ordeal. The sxory v/ould have been improved if the endirs hadn't been so quick and seemingly rushed. The rest of the issue is made up of two reviews; one of "The Rules of Luton" and one of "Space Warp", some lists of movies and TV programs that Bain and Landau have appeared in, a section of ads, and a few pictures of Bain and Landau scattered through out. The abundance of typoes in some places can get to rather irratating [3] but over all this is a pretty good issue of Alpha. [4]

Issue 7

Issue 8

Issue 9

Alpha Newsletter 9 was published in summer 1977 and contains 16 pages.

first page of issue #9
  • a description of the episode "The Return of the Dorcons" which hadn't been released in the US yet
  • some sightings of the show's actors in other venues
  • "Killara," fiction by Stephen Eramo, Sharon Anne Hutchinson, Patricia Brimer (five pages, includes an illo by Eramo)
  • short question and answer section with Nick Tate and Zienia Merton, two of show's stars
  • trivia quiz by Mary Chamberlain
  • "The Metamorph," poem by Mark Gonzaga
  • character descriptions and actor filmographies
  • Bumps and Bruises Department" -- a run-down of all the times Alan Carter and Tony Verdeschi get themselves physically injured and/or are involved in a physical altercation
  • a long bio of the actor David Soul


Issue 10

Alpha Newsletter 10 was published in summer 1977.

first page of issue #10
  • contains a review of the theater production of "Duty Free" at the Birmingham Hippodrome, reprinted from "The Evening Mail", August 16, 1977
  • what appears to be a fan's review (Darlene Palenik) of the episode "The Last Sunset"
  • a fan review by Phyl Proctor of "The Devil's Playground"
  • a long bio of Nick Tate reprinted from TV Times, January 15, 1977
  • question and answer section with Nick Tate and Zienia Merton
  • bios of Michael York and Diana Rigg
  • "Is it Catherine? Or is it Maya?," poem by Jamie Sanders
  • small illos by Mary Bloemker
  • a review of "Space:1999" by Lee Winfrey, columnist for the "Philadelphia Inquirer"
  • "Alphan Revenge," fiction by Mike Rathke
  • the editor thanks [[Starlog]: "I want to thank STARLOG for all the fantastic help they've given me with my newsletter. The ad that was in Issue Eight helped my club immensely. Again, thank you for printing my ad and continued success with your fine publication."
  • the editor notes: "Also, another item of concern. As most of you know I have been reprinting articles in most issues for my readers' enjoyment. Many of you have written telling me how much you enjoy them because you never knew they existed. Any and all reprint articles in this and future newsletters are strictly for the enjoyment of my readers and are not intended to infringe on the rights of anyone."


Issue 11

Alpha Newsletter 11 was published in fall 1977 (before November) and contains 18 pages.

first page of issue #11
  • a review by Phyl Proctor of the play "Duty Free" (title later changed to "Don't Bother to Dress")
  • illos by Mary Bloemker
  • "Commander," "Pilot," and "Doctor," poems by Laura Extrum
  • "The Supreme Sacrifice," fiction by Gail Seigel and Audrey Gassman
  • question and answer section with Nick Tate and Zienia Merton
  • a long excerpt from the fan-novel Timetrap, includes instruction on how to purchase
  • a review of "The Protectors" episode "WAM"
  • bios of actors Patrick MacNee and Linda Thorson
  • three full-page zine flyers for Moonbeam


Issue 12

Alpha Newsletter 12 was published in January 1978 and contain 21 pages. The front cover of Nick Tate is by Mary Bloemker, the interior art is by Stephen Eramo.

first page of issue #12
interior page from issue #12, artist is Mary Bloemker
  • "The Dark Side of Space," fiction by Debbie Phares (6 pages)
  • "Hatred's Deep Seed," fiction by Diana Winslow (5 pages)
  • a full-page flyer for Moonbeam #3
  • half-page flyers for Catch the Final Sunrise and The Loner
  • an article about how NBC "as usual, has failed to give science fiction a reasonable trial period" and has cancelled Man from Atlantis, gives much information by Deb Walsh on how to conduct a letter campaign to bring it back
  • Year Two trivia quiz by Tod Ellsworth and Janet Conrad
  • actor bios


Issue 13

Alpha Newsletter 13 was published in winter 1978 and contains 18 pages.

first page of issue #13
  • contains a full-page publicity shot of Bain and Landau
  • "Time Enough for One Planet," fiction by Leslie Ann Marshall (9 pages)
  • a fan, Phyl Proctor, reviews an episode of "The Sweeney" ("Contract Breaker"?)
  • a fan, Stephen Eramo, reivews "Midsummer Nightmare" (written by Brian Clemens)
  • "The Devil Indecision" and "Holocaust," two poems by Laura Eckstrom (name spelled differently here than in a previous issue)
  • a bio of Lynda Day George and of Stuart Wilson


Issue 14

Alpha Newsletter 14 was published in spring 1978 and contains 22 pages.

first page of issue #14
  • the editor hopes that "everyone is sitting comfortable with their can of Coke (root beer, Tab, etc..) and will enjoy this newsletter." He also thanks many people, including Mary Bloemker for "appreciating my slide collection" and for Debbie Walsh for "keeping us fed with her Fry Baby"
  • update on SpaceCon
  • a review by Stephen Eramo of "The Beta Cloud"
  • the editor notes that "Due to circumstances beyond control, "Alpha Newsletter" can no longer handle mail and correspondence for the Star Wars fan club The Alliance. Please address all correspondence furter to "The Alliance," c/o Sharon Anne Hutchinson..."
  • a reprint of an article from "Lectures"
  • "Alan's Quest," poem by Laura Eckstrom
  • "A Child Lost," poem by Laura Eckstrom
  • some uncredited interview clips
  • trivia quiz
  • a review by Phyl Proctor of the play "Sleuth"
  • "The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth," fiction by Susan Muller
  • "Human Decision," fiction by Marybeth G. Fitzgerald
  • "General Hospital: English Version," a review by Phyl Proctor
  • bio of Joanna Lumley and of Gareth Hunt



Issue 15

Issue 16

Issue 17

Issue 18

Alpha Newsletter 18 was published in January 1979 and contains 19 pages.

first page of issue #18
  • the editor says he has a plethora of fiction submissions but wants more articles, reviews, art and poems
  • includes "Neutrino Transmissions," a fan forum that discusses the TOTM -- this month's question is "If you could change any Space:1999 episode and make it to your liking, which would it be and why?"
  • "A Minor Conspiracy," fiction by Stephan Eramo and Patricia Brimer
  • article by Phyl Proctor comparing two characters played by Tony Anholt
  • publicity blurb about the movie "Meteor"
  • "The Question of Alpha," poem by Paul Bane
  • a review of the episode "Breakaway" by Sally Syrjala
  • "Jackie," fiction by Diana Winslow


Issue 19

Issue 20

Issue 21

Alpha Newsletter 21 was published in June 1979 and contains 19 pages.

first page of issue #21
  • the TOTM, called here "Neutrino Transmissions," is "Which aspect of Year II change did you like the most -- which did you dislike the most?"
  • "Danger at Draconias," fiction by Steve Eramo
  • a review of the movie "Reil"
  • the editor writes:
    Hello people! As we all know the Space Convention is only three short weeks away! Can hardly believe it! And with this little announcement comes another little announcement* Presently the "Alliance" treasury has the minimum to cover con expenses. The guest list for this year's convention is most impressive as you know but those overseas flights ad up - close to $1000.00 each. For this con to succeed more fan response is needed and NOW! Even if you are not going a supporting membership is very important - and if you are going get that membership in now! Final date is July 15th and all membership orders must be accompanied by a S.A.S.E. to receive your membership.
I hope all members will support Con'79 for without it this will mean a large blow downwards for Space fandom.


Issue 22/23

Alpha Newsletter 22/23 was published in winter 1979 and contains 46 pages.

front cover of issue #22/23

Issue 24

Alpha Newsletter 24 (unknown if this issue was published)

References

  1. from Dragon's Domain
  2. from ComLoC #1
  3. "typoes in some places can get to rather irratating" -- ironic typos themselves
  4. from ComLoC #2 (1977)
Retrieved from "http://fanlore.org/w/index.php?title=Alpha_Newsletter&oldid=565737"
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