Spectrum (Star Trek: TOS zine published by Kzinti Press)
|Editor(s):||Jeff Johnston/"M.L. Fisher"|
|Type:||newsletter, non-fiction, clubzine|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TOS with some multimedia in later issues.|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
This zine by Kzinti Press (issues eighteen and up) were advertised nationally. It contains reviews, con listings, and "Dear Fandom Annie" column for readers' questions. There is Star Wars content in later issues.
The editor was a 20-year old college student who "... falls into a minority of male zineds. When I'm not involved in fandom, I... keep 8 aquariums, do calligraphy, and make monthly payments on my IMB typewriter." 
What is Spectrum?
- "Spectrum is a fannish comment zine designed for ST fans who are interested in fandom." 
- "I'm glad to be bringing the first issue of Spectrum out. Spectrum, as you know, was formatly the newsletter of the Toledo chapter of S.T.A.R. It became obvious to the editor, Jeff Johnston, that as a simple club newsletter, it was reaching almost no one. It was decided to change the format, turn Spectrum into a fanzine that would have a more general appeal. Spectrum did not do badly as a newsletter, It had over 70% subscription renewal. Mr. Johnston has worked on this format and turned the publication over to me [M.K. Fisher]." 
- "The two fanzines that are devoted mainly to sercon (serious and constructive) fandom are Halkan Council and Spectrum. Halkan Council has the unique ability of being able to turn Neofen into Established Fen or the latter into BNFs. HC is read by some of the major activators in fandom and offers other fans the opportunity of getting in print with a simple letter, and doing it so every month at the most. This makes them noticeable in fandom and also makes HC quite a name-dropper as zines go. Spectrum too, undoubtedly has some effect on the fans that read it." 
- "This long-running zine has something for everyone, new and old fen alike. The current format [speaking specifically of issue #37] starts out with an editorial, a listing of cons, an essay on the topic of the issue (this time: gafiation from fandom), general questions and answers in the Fandom Annie Column, 'zine reviews, and letters. Past issues have covered topics such as: commercialism in fandom, getting ahead in fandom, speculations on the future of ST fandom, con fans and mainstream fans, porno in fanfic, and graphics for amateur publishers. The one-main-topic-per-issue format insures depth and detail of discussion, and it always makes interesting reading." 
"Spectrum has temporarily suspended publication until further notice, however, all subs will be honored." 
Reactions and Reviews
- "Spectrum is an old newszine from STAR Toledo. M.J. Fisher is now editing it as an essay/issue zine -- at least the last four issues. The closest description I can put on it is that it takes some of the one or two paragraph comments out of HC and turns them into essays on the subject. Boring? Rarely! Thought-provolking almost always. Back issues have been explored (and well I might add), issues such as kids on board the Enterprise; neo fan vs old fan; the state of conventions today, and numerous fanzine reviews... All in all -- recommended -- Spectrum is well on its way to evolving into one of the 'required' zine for serious ST fans." 
- "His treatment of writers is very condescending; his wagging finger approach for poor writers and pat-on-the-head attitude toward good writers is irritating and not beneficial to writer or readers." 
- "As a result of one particular issue, Spectrum was even referred to as a slanderzine. This has never been my intention... ever. It HAS, however, been my goal to keep the articles in this zine as honest as possible. In comparison to other works in fandom, you might consider it disgustingly honest. There is nothing wrong or immoral about being honest. At times, it does tend to be impractical and definitely lacks tact." 
Numbering of Issues
This zine, in this format, begins with issue #18. The first seventeen issues were local club newsletters.
Spectrum 18 was published in July 1975 and contains 5 pages. It is also "vol 3, n. 1, whole number 18" which reflects its earlier life as a clubzine.. It was the first nationally advertised issue, aimed at Star Trek fans who did not belong to the local club. In it, the editor contradicts many of the doomsayers of Star Trek fandom of the time and notes: "Although some people believe that ST fandom will eventually merge with SF fandom, ST fandom still has not hit its height nor has it accumulated its greatest number of fans."
- listings for 17 cons
- Highbrow Fandom by M.J. Fisher (article)
- reviews of T-Negative #26 and #27, see that page
- review of Quartet Plus One, see that page
- review of Halkan Council #6 and #7
- The Gripe Column
Spectrum 19 was published in Aug 1975 and contains 7 pages.
- the editor notes the reaction to first issue was tremendous and it was sold out in two weeks
- the editor writes that there will be some changes to Spectrum. "Most of these changes have been thought over in consideration with another zine, The Halkan Council, in mind. Since both of our zines will probably appeal to the same audience, I will be changing those areas of Spectrum's format that I feel come too nearly to HC's. Future changes that I am call for include a major, if not complete removal of the fanzine reviews and a major cut-back in the lettercol. I'm making a firm stand here concerning reactions to The Gripe Column... Comments on the column will not be printed in Spectrum unless they come in the form of a complete article dealing with that topic."
- some con announcements
- a con report for Re-Kwest*Con
- a con report for Wondaycon #4
- the editor says too many zines are coming out too quickly and that it is difficult to keep up with them and their reviews. He proposes a review-only zine
- an essay on speaking your mind, slander, and points of view
- a review of Warped Space #8, see that page
- a review of a brand-new newsletter by Karen Flemming called Goings On, it was to focus on the ST cast and crew and what they were up to. There was at least one issue, but possibly no more published
- a review of Menagerie v.2 n.1, see that page
- a review of Interphase #1, see that page
- reviews of A Piece of the Action #28 and #29
- reviews of The Halkan Council #8 and #9
- The Gripe Column asks these questions: are cons becoming too tailored to a specific group of fans, how can we make fans aware of legal problems for fans (i.e. IRS, copyright, bankruptcy), how many ways is ST catharitic, how much "real information" is passed to other in con hotel rooms and private letters, and, in a possible allusion to K/S asks how many ST underground stories are there and would folks like to discuss them?
Spectrum 20 was published in Oct 1975 and contains 5 pages.
- announcements for 17 cons
- CONfusion by M.J. Fisher, an article about the future of cons and how to keep them accessible, but at the same time not, ahh, too accessible
- a review of Second Age #10, see that page
- a review of The Halkan Council #10
- a review of Menagerie #6, see that page
- a review of Delta Triad #1, see that page
- a review of A Piece of the Action #30
- a review of Amani #8/9, see that page
- Vulcan Lit or "Spock's Problem by M.J. Fisher, a long article about of the plethora of Spock zines being issued, and says, "I'm not sure I can stand to read another Spock zine again... Will the reader market for Vulcan stories peter out?" He feels the subject has gotten boring and writers aren't saying anything new.
- contains a handwritten flyer for the Star Trek convention in 1976 at the Commodore Hotel
Spectrum 21 was published in Nov 1975 and contains 10 pages. Boldly Writing writes it contains "one of the few unfavorable reviews of Star Trek Lives! Sharon complained that fan stories about sexual situations were over-represented in Star Trek Lives!, and that interviews with the actors were superficial." She writes a letter to The Halkan Council #12 on this subject as well, some of which is excerpted there.
- IDIC and the Prime Directive by K. Fleming (article)
- The Fall of the Terran Empire by M.J. Fisher (article)
- Star Trek Lives! (review) by S. Ferraro (article)
- four zine reviews
- "The current issue --#21-- contains news, a good con listing and a nice piece by Karen Fleming on the IDIC and Prime Directive as opposite sides of the same coin -- IDIC being Philosophy; Prime Directive being essentially the translation of that philosophy into law). [It also includes] an expanded version of my rantings in HC on ST Lives in HC #12 and fanzine reviews of T-Negative #28/29, Independent Entity, Halkan Council and APOTA. Last is a long, partly rambling piece by the editor on the 'fall of the Federation.'" 
Spectrum 22 was published in January 1976 and contains 7 pages.
- 15 con announcements
- a listing of Gene Roddenberry's college appearances
- an article on fandom's size and possible growth
- a short history of the Star Trek Welcommittee, by H. Young
- a review of Halkan Council #12 and #13
- a review of Furaha #1 and #2, see that page
- an ad for Tribble Dribbles
- The Gripe Column tosses out many questions, some being: what happens if STW becomes too bureaucratic, how many people are getting ripped off by greedy fannish goods dealers, should fandom have an ombudsman, why hasn't there ever been a "revealing" survey of ST fans, "will fandom ever look half-way respectable so that even your 'Aunt Emma' would approve (provided "she isn't a secret fan herself"), what will the movie mean to fandom, has avarice taken over David Gerrold, what will the postal increase mean for fannish communication...?
- Death Wish" by Cheryl Rice, a article that asks about deathfic, how many stories were there where a major character died?
Spectrum 23 was published in February 1976 and contains 10 pages. The cover is by Merrie K.
- Con Descending by M.J. Fisher (article about the impact of professionally-run cons)
- A Tale Tale by M.J. Fisher (article)
- a flyer for Derby-Con
- a flyer for The Mariette Hartley Fan Network
- there are 18 con announcements
- "A Tall Tale" is an article about rumors about the actors and privacy issues
- a review of A Piece of the Action #33 and #34
- a review of The Halkan Council #14
- a review of That Which Survives, see that page
- a review of Berengaria #6, see that page
- a review of Warped Space #14, see that page
- a review of Contact by H.O. Petard, see that page
Spectrum 24 was published in April 1976 and contains 9 pages.
- the editor says she is using a new, cheaper paper (it feels like construction paper), one that costs $1.69 a ream
- Underground Fandom by M.J. Fisher (article) (The first line: "Fans have admitted in the past that the structure in fandom comes close to anarchy and that the less formal structure, the better." A fan has submitted this taxonomy: 1) Armchair Fan 2) Trekkie 3) Neofan/Trekker 4) Contributing or Established Fan 5) BNF. "Armchair fans have almost no knowledge of fandom, and most Trekkies are more interested in Star Trek in its pure form than in fandom. Neofans, however, are people who have broken into fandom and are learning the ropes.... The real activists exist with Established Fans and BNFs. These people have worked their way up through the pyramid. Most Established Fans can be considerd ST trivia experts not just because they have worked toward that goal but because trivia is something you master to be able to contribute to a lot of discussions in fandom."
- a page and a half of convention listings (24 of them!)
- a review of Warped Space #15, see that page
- a review of The Halkan Council #15 and #16
- a review of Interphase #2, see that page
Spectrum 25 was published in May 1976 and contains 10 pages.
- this issue contains the first "Dear Fandom Annie" column, fan's who submit questions would be totally anonymous and the editor promised confidentiality
- there are 25 con announcements
- The Golden Age of Strekdom (article) by M.J. Fisher. (It posits that Star Trek fandom "is sort of a freak, a phenomenon to be sure, but one that has a limited lifespan.... We can only keep Star Trek alive so long and then it will fade away... 1) the ST movie and large number of SF films to come out this year and next year will swell fandom's ranks to their highest point ever... 2) fannish activities will increase dramatically, more zines, more clubs, the number of professional books may range upwards of 40 or 50...3) the quality in fandom will reach new heights... 4) fandom will begin to diversify somewhat while at its height. Specialty areas, or sub cults in STrekdom may being to form such as sercon groups, Kirk cults, Spock cults, Kraith cults etc. 5) finally, perhaps 15-20 years beyond the death of the original series, STrekdom will begin to go downhill. Fringe and neofans will drift out completely and the remainder will merge back into SF fandom from whence it originally sprung. As a sub-cult of SFdom, STrekdom will be composed of the experts and serious connoisseurs... With this in mind, I conclude that fandom is not entering its 'Golden Age.'... Gather is all in, store it in your memory as tightly as you can. Those will be the years of fandom you'll want to remember most!")
- To Censor the Art Critic by Merrie K. (article) (an excerpt: "I am really quite angry at the directions given of what media should be used, how (size, layout, margins) it should be presented, and the general underlaying snide feeling that artists have no preference for themselves of what media lends itself best to the feeling wished to be engendered... No one [should] ever proscribe what, or how, a piece of artwork is to be born but the artist himself! Once made, it can be reduced or blown up to fit the format if need be. I would like to have seen the person who would have deigned to ask Picasso to produce so-and-so, in a certain ink, in a certain size, on a certain paper. Damn, that takes gall!... I resent limited schooled people, in the art field, making unqualified judgements about other people's work and publishing these comments as Godlike!!!")
- a review of The Other Side of Paradise, see that page
- a review of T-Negative #31/32, see that page
- a review of Menagerie #9, see that page
- a review of Warped Space #16, see that page
- a review of Berengaria #7, see that page
- there is a flyer for Assignment: Star Trek
Spectrum 26 was published in July 1976 and contains 14 pages.
- the editor sent some fans a copy of The Strekfan's Glossary along with this issue of Spectrum
- there are announcements for 28 cons
- Star Trek: The New Voyages (review) by Laurraine Tutihasi (She complains of stories that have been altered from the original, and winds up with "For those of you who are not Trek fen, I would advise you to spend your money elsewhere. Because of the nature of the original, that is, because Star Trek was a TV show, Trek fan fiction tends toward mediocrity. The only good story here is the original Mind-Sifter, and that is not in the book.")
- "Commercialisrn in Strekdom", an editorial on commercialism in fandom (mostly among dealers at conventions and fanzine editors who overcharged for their merchandise), a common complaint
- The Strekfan's Glossary
- a review of Night of the Twin Moons, see that page
- a review of Warped Space #17, see that page
- a review of Turnabout, see that page
- a review of Karen & Leonard... A Monochromatic Romance, see that page
- a review of Stardate: Unknown, see that page
- a review of A Piece of the Action #39 and #40
- a review of The Halkan Council #19
- "It starts out with a Bicentennial cover of T'Pau in red, white, and blue, sitting in a rocker sewing a Federation banner, a la Betsy Ross... Can M.J. Fisher be serious? A cute idea if intended as a cartoon., but drawn 'straight' by Joni Wagner, the cover is a tacky take-off an already nauseating patriotic commercialism. Features included art Fanotes, which updates the Strek news, CONsensus, which provides a long con listing, and an article by Mandi Schultz warning about rip-off dealers and poor quality merchandise at cons. FANNISH THOUGHTS is M. J. Fisher's personal editorial in which he is free to meander in any fannish pastures of his choosing. This issue's topic: 'The Evils of Commercialism.' There is not one documented piece of information in this entire article. The reader is not told of specific bad commercial ST products; according to this article, ALL commercial ST products are bad. And 'commercialism' is actually a cover up for the editor's personal gripe about a particular overpriced zine. He quotes the price, length, type of artwork and printing, but not the name of the zine. But, why not? It's so obvious! I mean how many 300-page $6 zines do you have on your bookshelf? Mr. Fisher, it seems, is too polite to stoop as low as to mention the name of the zine in question; however, he will stoop to printing his own unappetizing 'egotorials'! A quiet note to the zine ed in question would have sufficed... Perhaps there was a justification for the high price. The second half of Spectrum contains eight reviews: one book review by Laurraine Tutihasi, and the rest by Fisher. Laurraine's review, on the controversial New Voyages, is in-depth with background info given on each story; the published version is compared with the original. She is surprisingly optimistic about a book that has received a lot of flak. Fisher, in his review of Warped Space #17, compares a short-short story of Annie Brown's to one of the same theme as Isaac Asimov; he goes on to say that 'His (Dr. Asimov's) was infinitely better'! Comparing two amateur writers is one thing, but comparing an amateur to a pro is outrageous, unjustified criticism. Issues of a A Piece of the Action and Halkan Council are given favorable notice, but he can still find something negative to say. His treatment of writers is very condescending; his wagging finger approach for poor writers and pat-on-the-head attitude toward good writers is irritating and not beneficial to writer or readers. Spectrum is printed on non-glare mimeo with attractive, easy to read pica type and few typos and no smudges or blurry print. The topics discussed are familiar to fandom, and Fisher's editorials probably benefit him more than anyone else. Since the review section is a major portion of the zine, more attention should be placed on writing constructive, objective reviews that are a service to the writers, artists, and editors as well as the reader. Spectrum needs more feedback and opinions and attractive artwork to spark the readers' interest. M.J. Fisher should certainly consider changing his format to reach and broaden his audience. He could encourage fans to write LoCs about the zine, and perhaps have an assistant to help with the lay-out and artwork, and offer advice for writing more concise editorials. Fisher is writing from an angle which is over the head of neos (though the Strek glossary supplement should help) and tiring the involved fen who have heard his topics countless times before. He has put time and effort into his zine, but a new format, one that is uniquely his own, is definitely needed... and one that will make Spectrum a real service to his readers and to fandom." 
Spectrum 27 was published in Aug 1976 and contains 11 pages.
- the editor complains that people have written to complain about his editorial from last issue that complained about commercialization in fandom; it appears these fans accused him of being just as mercenary as some of the greedier dealers. The editor responds by saying he's raising his prices next month. He includes a farcical pay structure for his zine where a single issue as $8.95 plus $3.50 in postage. He ends with saying "What more do you want? I'm surprised I don't charge myself to read it!"
- there are 22 con announcements
- "Dear Fandom Annie"
- The Right of Fanzine Reviewing, Part 1 by Sharon Emily (column on overcritical fanzine reviews, "A short time ago, reviews of the zine The Other Side of Paradise appeared in Menagerie #9 and 'Spectrum' #25. Both reviews contained synopses of the the novella, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. Both reviews committed a veritable sin that is becoming ever-more frequent throughout fandom -- that is, the use of sarcastic, even caustic personal remarks, inept descriptions; and, chiefest sin of all, total revelation of the plot. The two zines are named because they were the most recent to commit this 'sin,' however, there have been others whose editors have allowed the same thing to happen. Using sarcasm, personal remarks, and inept descriptions are techniques which create a form of criticism that is not beneficial in fandom. As a matter of fact, it heralds the development of a new strain of reviewing -- destructive reviewing... The entire problem can be summed up in one word -- Negativism. The reviews that reveal plots of zines or tend to personalize their comments reflect an increasing trend... It is becoming so bad that it seems that if anything good can be said about something, it probably won't be.")
- The Right of Fanzine Reviewing, Part 2" M.J. Fisher (response, editorial about the art of reviewing. He says that his reviews save people money, keeping them from buying crap. He also says that the fact that there are zines about there now like his (Spectrum), and like The Halkan Council) means there is now information available to fans. "Before the lines of communication were developed so well in fandom, it was a quite a treat to find out about any zine. Now there are a set of zines that are considered almost a 'must' among 'fans-in-the-know'... a must to survive in any heavy discussions between fen at cons or other gatherings. Certainly that wasn't the case as little as 5 years ago when the availability was more limited. Since we have more zines around, and more basis for comparison, we have set our values higher for zines. A few really fine pieces of the art have appeared as well, such as Interphase which gives a much loftier goal to reach for when scoring zines. What may appear to be a negativistic trend on the outside is only a refining of standards within fandom." He adds that "once a particular zine is out and available to fandom in general, it is in the public domain. That means anyone can have an opinion about it." He ends with "reviews can hardly be more advanced that the art of Treklit, and if we are to expect reviews to be perfect, then perhaps we may expect Treklit to be perfect as well.")
- a review of Stardate #9, see that page
- a review of All My Crewmen, see that page
- a review of Furaha #3, see that page
- a review of Contact #2, see that page
- a review of Fanzine Review 'Zine, see that page
- a review of The Halkan Council #20/21
Spectrum 28 was published in November 1976 and contains 16 pages.
- the editor apologizes for a part of a review in the last issue where he compared a fan's story to one by Isaac Asimov. "Let me openly apologize for a grave mistake I made in that comparison. No fan should ever be compared to a pro in the course of a review, and I should have known better. I was attempting to demonstrate what type of story she had written by using a clearer and better-known example. Mea culpa. My opinion on the story still stands, however. It was fuzzy, muddled, and difficult to read thru."
- there are 17 con announcements
- "On the Border" is an essay by the editor about the controversy surrounding his zine. "As a result of one particular issue, Spectrum was even referred to as a slanderzine. This has never been my intention... ever. It HAS, however, been my goal to keep the articles in this zine as honest as possible. In comparison to other works in fandom, you might consider it disgustingly honest. There is nothing wrong or immoral about being honest. At times, it does tend to be impractical and definitely lacks tact."
- "Cynical Fandom," an essay by the editor about cynicism, honesty and maturity in ST fandom. ("A few fans have started to become worried about the prevalence of cynicism in fandom, and indeed, it does seem to be on the rise....Most of the cynics you meet in STredom are probably perfectionists, too, and won't be happy until everything is just right.")
- a review of Alpha Continuum, see that page
- a review of Second Age, see that page
- a review of Menagerie #10, see that page
- a review of Warped Space #19, see that page
- a review of IDIC #3, see that page
- a flyer for Delta Triad #3
- an art piece depicting someone at MidAmeriCon, as well as some photos, including one of Paula Smith and one of Marion Zimmer Bradley and Devra Langsam (who is dressed in a Darkover costume)
- this issue contains an extensive con report for MidAmeriCon (Kansas City, MO)
Spectrum 29 was published in December 1976 and contains 12 pages.
- the editor writes: "In the last issue's article on cynicism in fandom, I made a comment about fanzine editors who cover up the costs that go into the production of their fanzines the rational behind the final price they come up with. ALthough this was just mentioned in passing, as an example of something else, it was a bit over-general. Even though there are fanzine editors that resort to unsavory price fixing, they ARE in the minority, and most do the best they can with what they can work with. My apologies to anyone who was offended by that statement. it was purely unintentional."
- the editor talks of possibly having to raise his rates if the postal service raises their rates "like they've been threatening to do."
- "Getting Ahead in Fandom," an article by the editor about BNFs, breaking into fandom, how geography dictates your "level" of fannish level of recognizability, how to write letters to the "right people," fannish politics and how to become exposed to the grapevine, and what letterzines to write to. "Most likely, most of the people in Star Trek fandom who are active fans have been in Halkan Council several times, if not frequently. With a little luck, a fan can pass from obscurity to being quite well-known in fandom with nothing more than a few letters appearing in a letterzine."
- there is a full-page ad for "Inside Star Trek... Gene Roddenberry," a long-playing lp record album what will shortly be for sale
- "Dear Fandom Annie" discussed mimeo vs offset: "Offset is not only more expensive, but many fans use it poorly. Why do zine eds do that?" "Annie" answers: "I could answer in one word -- EGOTRIP -- but I won't. Some claim that it's easier, some want the prestige, and some feel that for the cost of one offset zine run you could buy a used mimeo in decent condition. Indeed, some use offset very poorly by not preparing a good original copy, and some go for the ungodly expense of metal plates for art that could be handled for a fraction of the cost. Many would do well to realize that even a snappy appearance will not conceal poor content."
- a fan writes to "Dear Fandom Annie" to complain of all the "porno in ST zines lately." He or she says some zines don't even have a warning and that some fans are too young to be reading such stuff. "This porno is a blight to the minds of fans of any age who believe in ST and see in it philosophic goals for the future. Outsiders, such as reporters, insult fandom enough, must we insult ourselves with this trash?" Fandom Annie answers that he likes "a peek as much as the next guy" but he can get that peek in an x-rated bookstore for half the cost and with color pictures. He adds: "Having made a point of perusing every so-called pornzine that has come out recently, as well as the 'unusual' ones plumbing the depths of the K/Sp relationship, I feel fairly secure in having the opinion that the people writing have had no actual experience with the subject matter... I think what I personally resent the most is the virtual elevation of such stuff -- (I hesitate to refer to it as literature)-- as serious writing, and would feel much better if everyone admitted it was all a lark. Yet people will go to great lengths to validate their efforts... this sort of thing is [nothing but] a last ditch step in Trekfic. Perhaps we are truly marking the time until The Movie refuels us with ideas. That's a pretty sad statement to be made of a group that is supposed to be exceptionally imaginative and creative... Barf bags should not have to become standard survival gear when reading Trekfic."
- a review of Delta Triad #3, see that page
- a review of Alternative: The Epilog to Orion, see that page
- a review of Furaha #4, see that page
Spectrum 30 was published in February 1977 and contains 10 pages.
- it contains an 8-page article about "survival at Strek cons"
- "Dear Fandom Annie" answers some letters, including: "I have read many stories where Kirk and Spock have a homosexual realtionship. If this is true, does Spock ever get jealous of Kirk's girlfriends?" Annie answers: "There are some things mortal are just not meant to know."
- there is a full-page ad for Star Trek Adventure
- there are 22 con announcements
Spectrum 31 was published in April 1977 and contains 12 pages.
- 26 con announcements
- an article, "The Future of Star Trek Fandom" by John Baker and M.J. Fisher. It says Strekdom will be active at least into the 1980s because the movie will keep it going, but after that, "it will be dropped." It predicts that if popular markets stop selling a lot of the pro books, they will still continue to be sold to high school and college bookstores for SF courses. About cons: "The procons will no longer have the virtue of novelty. Most fen who are interested have already been to one before and not too many people will be willing to fork over a hefty sum to see something a second time... Fancons, on the other hand, will still be around... They may not be as big as they once were, but fancons in the '80's may even be more widespread and more frequently scheduled than they are now." And as fandom shrinks, there will be fewer neofans, fewer publications by neofans (such as dittozines, small newsletters and local club zines), "Beyond the 1980's, few people expect fandom to remain and large and viable as it is today. Some people expect fandom to die out completely by the end of the decade, but we believe that ST fandom may very possibly continue well on past the year 2000 in much the same way Sherlock Holmes fandom continues to exist today, held together by a few die-hard fans.... If fandom ever does die out, personal letters to other fans will be the last activity to perish."
- an essay by Fisher, "Round and Round We Go... The Fanzine Game" that discusses fanzine pricing, profit "Some people believe that once they have established a fanzine that people will buy, that they can justify adding almost any price into its total cost... If fans will shell out the extra buck, why not go ahead and use offset instead of mimeo? They'll pay for it. Why not go ahead and use screened illos and colored ink? They'll pay for it. Since the mails are so slow, why not call that author in California to discuss revisions? You can add it on to the final cost. They'll pay for it. And might as well take your zine to the convention to sell, so add on to the total cost your expenses for con membership, dealer's table and hotel bill. They'll pay for it. Honestly -- some editors have gotten carried away to this point... I do not deny the right of any faned to make a profit from a fanzine, as long as it is within reason. By all means, don't lose your shirt on a zine, and try to at least break even. Yet faneds need to have a feeling of responsibility toward the people who buy their product. They need to re-examine their ethics and leave their megalomania at home."
- a review for Altair, see that page
- a review of Stardate: Unknown #3, see that page
- a review of All My Crewmen #2, see that page
- a review of Fantasia #1, see that page
- a review of Masiform D, see that page
- a review of T-Negative #32/33, see that page
Spectrum 32 was published in May 1977 and contains 14 pages.
- the editor notes that he has permission from both Lori Chapek-Carleton and Joni Wagner to use the LP6 on the cover of this issue
- the editor thinks the WSA is "investigating the Star Trek Association for Revival and the Basta sisters. No one is making any accusations or pressing charges. This is just an investigation urged at the request of some fans. If you have any gripes, praises, or useful information, contact WSA Chief of Operations, Ron J. Frantz."
- the editor has two maps of "fan density," getting his data from fan club addresses, from a STW personnel roster, of his own zine's subscription list, and from various directories
- there is a full-page flyer for The Tsytsean Chronicles
- Bev Clark has an essay called "Con Fans and Mainstream Fans," "There are really two different kinds of Star Trek fandoms, con fandom and mainstream fandom. Most of us are mainstream fans -- involved with fanzines as editors, writers, artists, readers; involved with correspondence with other ST fans, involved with the matter of Star Trek in the creative sense... and then there are con fans... Active con fandom, at least the kind on the West Coast involves more than simply going to a lot of cons, although this is certainly part of it. The con fan likes being involved in a convention, as a gofer, as a committee member, or just someone 'in the know.'"
- a review of Warped Space #23, see that page
- a review of Delta Triad Supplement #1, see that page
- a review of Saurian Brandy Digest #1, see that page
- a review of Menagerie #11, see that page
Spectrum 33 was published in July 1977 and contains 14 pages.
- there are 28 con announcements
- "The Story of The Cage, the Se-Kwester*Con Conzine... or... How Not to Publish a Fanzine" by the editor. "I thought it might be fun to be involved in a project or two at the con, I came up with doing a publication for the convention, and sent it in to Sharon. Cons in the past have prepared special zines, picture books, souvenir books, and the likes for their attendees, but the idea I had for a zine was different. I was interested in doing a fanzine at the con. That is, enlisting the help of the attendees to actually type up stencils, draw artwork, print the zine, and collate it.... I can't remember [but I think] it worked out to about $30 for a zine of 20 pages and a print run of perhaps 225... Before the con, Paula and Sharon had solicited stories to be included so all we had to do was type those up... [but the] rest of the hard work lay before us.... It may seem unusual to think that most of the work isn't just typing. In most cases, time is spent proofing, editing, page numbering, adding artwork, and re-working futzed up pages... and of course, printing. Proofing The Cage was an experience and a half. It was complicated by the fact that most of the typists had never seen a stencil which is a sheet of blue film or wax, on which a typewriter makes a white impression. White on blue is not the easiest thing to read, especially when there is a translucent typing film over the top of it all. One can probably imagine how many typos turned up because of this." He goes on to write of how hot the room was, how the door was propped open allowing insects to come flying in, the constant chaos of people coming and going, the long-distance phone calls made, how they almost ran out of paper, that by Sunday night at 9:00 they were still only running off the stencils and people were starting to leave the con to go home, the page numbering was off, the art was printed too lightly, and other general madness. "Monday morning was the ceremonial stencil burning... After some searching, our motley crew managed to find a garbage can lid to burn the stencils in. Interestingly enough, stencils burn with a ferocity that is surpassed only by that of napalm. Paula suggest that it might be an omen or something to do with the contents of the zine... Just think... all of the stencils I have stored in drawers and boxes, one spark and it could all go up. Spontaneous fafiation. As an afterthought, it had been suggested that there are probably offset zineds who would have given anything for a film of the chaos that we experienced for the final six hours of that Sunday night... even a half an hour's worth would have been enough to convince any would-be fan publisher that mimeo zines are just not worth the trouble... The total bill for the zine was $42.02, not including the covers. We wound up with 225 copies, each with 44 pages... We still had to try to give copies of the zine to each person present and cross their names off the list of the people in attendance... Once we announced that the zine was printed and ready to hand out, the fans that were still around seemed to crawl out of the woodwork.. When it seemed that everyone up had gotten their copies, we closed our doors."
- there is a full-page flyer for Diamonds and Rust
- there is a two-page graphic by M.J. Fisher titled "The Laws of Fan Publishing"
- there is an essay titled "The Starving Artist Syndrome" by an uncredited author. "For some reason, artists in fandom do not have the status fanfic writers have. Treklit is the main staple of the Star Trek genzine and thus, a proportional amount of honor is paid to the authors in terms of kudos, notoriety, and rank... Artists have never quite figured in at the top of the status chart since art is usually secondary in a fanzine, sad to say, rather than working hand in hand..." She goes on to list of how fandom's artists are badly treated; poor printing of their work in zines, original artwork not returned to the artists, art published without permission in other places such as shirts and such, zine eds who use whiteout and other editing procedures on art... She recommends that fan artists (of which she writes are all female and "if you stop to count them there are only about a dozen or so people in fandom who do all the illustrations for all of the big fanzines, and perhaps a score or so of people who do a cartoon or a picture of The Big E for their own high school zine or clubzine") band together and require that an informal contract between zine eds and artists be drawn up. "Although the contract idea does not solve all of the problems of art/artist abuse and handling of art, it does offer artists a defense against flagrant indifference on the part of faneds who never had any reason to give a damn one way or another..."
- a review of Time Warp, see that page
- a review of Scuttlebutt, see that page
- a review of A Piece of the Action #52
- a review of The Clipper Trade Ship #15
Spectrum 34 was published in September 1977 and contains 14 pages.
- the editor has seen Star Wars and is enamored: "By next year, at the very least, a new fandom will spring into existence: Star Wars fandom. But why a whole fandom for just one movie? Why so much excitement just for two hours of fantasy on film?... The mundane reviewers suggest that people are tired of all the disaster films, the film jammed with social commentary, heavy symbolism and heavy meanings. Or maybe there hasn't been a big escapism film in a long time, and Star Wars luckily cased in by appearing at just the right time? Or maybe the special effects just swept everyone up in an identical wave of enthusiasm? Yet, not only has the mundane public turned out in record numbers to see Star Wars. Fandom has gone all out, too, and not Star Trek fandom either. All of the SF-related fandoms are talking about Star Wars: comix fandom, Sword & Sorcery, even Tolkien... Just to look at Star Trek fandom in particular, the popularity can be traced to the fact that Paramount has stalled far too long in bringing out the new series. Star Trek fandom was ripe for Star Wars to find a willing audience. Another thing about Star Wars is the scope of the film. There is an epic quality to Star Wars... It's a grand tale full of adventure and suspense... Star Trek never had that epic quality. The whole of ST might have, but you might have to think a while before you could grasp it all. Star Wars shows that epic tale in the space of two hours, so that you don't have time to lose a single instant of it... A Star Wars fandom seems almost destined. Zine should appear shortly and one can only wonder when the first Star Wars convention will be. As in the case of ST fandom in the late '60's and early '70's, it will probably be a case of Star Wars appearing as part of the programming in regular ST, SF and Comicons, until a large enough cult exists to hold separate Star Wars cons... Many of them have already instituted SW panels, and Star Wars characters now swamp the costume competitions with a multitude of Lukes, Solos, and Wookies [sic]."
- the editor adds: "Not all of Star Trek fandom has reacted favorably to Star wars however. Two extremes have already formed, one saying that 'Trek is Dead.' citing Star Wars as its killer; and the other faction maintains a grin-and-bear it attitude, assuming that the enthusiasm will eventually wane, leaving ST fandom intact, and that Star Wars 'is just another rerun movie.' Actually, both groups in those extremes are in a few disappointments. For the people that maintain Trek is dead, there are still those die-hard Trek fen who consider ST the ultimate show of all time. Those types of fans will always hold on to whatever they see in Star Trek to the exclusion of what any competition may offer. Some people are also just too hooked on ST fandom to ever give it up for something else, and others may stay with ST fandom simply to avoid the effort and hassles of 'making it' in another fandom."
- there are two pages of photos of fans from SeKWesterCon
- there is a full-page flyer for Necro-Con, a con for fans of old horror films
- there is long letter by Sharon Ferraro Short about Star-Borne; the zine and club is in disarray and in trouble; a while ago she and Paula Smith had taken the bus to its headquarters andspent the weekend trying to fill subscriptions and answer mail that was up to eight months old; they have been trying, along with the Basta sisters and Bjo Trimble, to come up with solution for for the failing newsletter; they are focusing on a "superzine" issue to send out to fulfill subscribers' orders, a zine that as of summer 1977 "has been shipped to LA, hopefully by the end of the year 'Nova' will be available to fans and possibly through the mail."
- there is a review for Showcase #3, see that page
- there is a review for Star Fleet Assembly Manual
- there is a review of The Star Trek Bartender's Guide & Punch Book, see that page
- there is a review of Deep Grope, see that page
- there is a review of Stardate: Unknown #3, see that page
- there is the very first review of a Star Wars zine, one for The Force, see that page
- there is a review of All My Crewmen #3, see that page
- there is a review of Masiform D #6, see that page
- there is a review of A Piece of the Action #53
- there is a con report by David Lubkin for MuddCon; it is told entirely as a filk to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun"
Spectrum 35 was published in Jan 1978. It had two covers, one risque, one not risque The Wicked Wanda cover was sent to fans the editor felt would be fine with it. Other fans he wasn't so sure about got a cover with Kirk on it by Merrie K.. There were 15 of the of copies of the Wicked Wanda cover that were hand-colored and were sent to subscribers who had an interest in collectables.
The bulk of this issue is two long, thoughtful essays, one by the editor on the "pro" side of explicit material being allowed in fanzines, and a long essay by Karen Fleming on the "con" side, arguing against explicit material.
From the editor:
- "Last summer a feud broke out in STrekdom.... The feud was over the issue of pornography and indecency in fanfic. To some people the whole controversy seemed absurd since most people in fandom feel that fans tend to be more open-minded and liberal than the rest of the mundane world.... The height of the debates occurred last summer and early in the fall of 1977. The reason that the pressure died down is due in part to the demise of The Halkan Council, which carried some of the debates, and also in part to pressure from STW to keep everyone away from everyone else's throats. Since that time there haven't been many zines out to carry on the discussion, but there is still a chance of the issue exploding once again.
- :... Fandom has been moving toward more 'liberal' fanfic steadily. This means that fanfic has been moving away from the basic form of story found in the series, and toward more experimental forms of literature, including pornography and erotic fiction. Because of this, fans that are new to fandom are introduced to fiction that is far removed from the type they ever saw on the screen... On the other hand, the fans who have been reading fanfic for years are being affected by the boredom factor involved in reading the same plots over and over again. For the older fans, the experimental fiction (including pornography) is something different. It's new blood. It's unique..." He concedes that something like an age statement would be a good idea, and the best way to calm the waters.
From Karen Fleming:
- "I place a great deal on my freedom to think what I please. And, like them [the proponents], I don't consider homosexuality harmful or immoral. However, looking deeper into the issue, I can see that the opponents have a point, too. The right to think and do as we want has a corresponding right to voice what we consider offensive -- part of the right to privacy. And to an extent, the opponent's privacy has been invaded. It's not as if they went looking for the stuff they consider filth. They didn't. It was brought into their homes via communications they had always considered harmless and friendly -- by zines they had always been "straight" before. And at SeKWesterCon*Too they found blatant porn art intermixed with straight art on display; people would be walking along looking at the pretty pictures and all of a sudden, there would be a nude Spock with a full erection...
- ... the solution is simple. Just return the topic to its original forums: the porn zines and private letters. For [the last year] the proponents have openly -- and aggressively -- discussed the subjects in public arenas, the usually 'straight' zines. They have had their say -- exhaustively! Withdrawing the subject to more private means of communication won't deny them free speech. The Kirk/Spock sex will continue to be discussed as long are there are two fans with an interest in it. It would be wise, however, to cease waving it under the noses of fans it offends."
Spectrum 36 was published in Jan 1978 and is eight, single-spaced, tightly packed pages.
The entire zine is what the editor hoped would be a sort of to supplement Communication the Hard Way. "While the fan booklet acts as a beginner's guide, this piece is intended as a sort of advanced course. This issue covers more difficult subjects in printing that the beginner's book did not, such as color significance, layout, paper types, how to handle artwork, and other subjects. The article is designed predominately to aid people in offset printing since most of the better printing techniques require offset."
About the cover: "I've done something with both issues #35 and #36 to help you appreciate them more. Both issues have double covers. While printing Spectrum #35's cover, a number of them were damaged, leaving me with 98 copies of the Wicked Wanda cover, so most of you will be getting an alternate... With the cover of Spectrum #36, both covers are the same except for the caption. The 1st caption for this cover is risque enough, but the other is even worse. Considering the row in fandom over porno lately I decided to send the baudier of the two covers out selectively to people I hope won't be offended as much as others. I won't tell anyone who has which cover, you can figure it out for yourselves. The cover art, by the way, was done by Joni Wagner. The picture is of Connie Faddis and myself, both in drag, hamming it up as Kirk and Chantal. If you missed our performance at SekWester*Con then you really missed a show."
The editor notes that if the subject of the zine was too specialized, that "if you're miffed that I spent a whole issue blathering about something that you could care less about, send me the issue back, in an envelope, in salable condition, and I'll extend your sub."
Spectrum 37 was published in May 1978 and contains 16 pages.
- the editor is becoming weary: "It's been so long since the last issue that most people have probably figured that I've gafiated or something... not quite, but the prospect seems increasingly tempting. In fact, I've come to a conclusion about Spectrum... It occurs to me that I am putting a great deal of work into Spectrum -- indeed this zine probably has the best mimeo graphics of any periodical in fandom -- and yet the zine flounders with a low subscription rate thtat won't even pay for expenses. So, unless a miracle occurs somewhere along the line to boost subscriptions beyond 200, I will be ending Spectrum shortly after issue #40... This zine is no longer worth the effort considering that I still write about 85% of it, and it only goes out to a handful of people... [For future issues] I need some artwork. You'll notice I have no cover art for this issue, due in part to the fat that I didn't have anything suitable to print, and also tot eh fact that I, personally, have decided never to do another piece of Trek art again. If I don't receive anything in the way of art, I'll just print more blank covers. I don't care. Ironically, the article in this issue on gafiation has what is probably the most upbeat ending that I have written in a long time. How disgusting..."
- the editor writes an essay called "The Glory and the Dream" on why fans leave a fandom. He cites the "boredom factor" (a term that he says Bev Clark coined in a letter to him). Another reason fans leave is unlike SF fandom which gets new material all the time, a media fandom's canon is stagnant and provides no new material. Other factors are that fans can be fickle in their interests, that some fans take on too much work and become run-down, that Star Trek's fans who are in high school and college like action/adventure fiction and the more established fans are writing less of that type, that egoboo makes some fans leave because they get a single bad review, that it is harder for zine eds to publish zines now that Interphase and The Other Side of Paradise have set the bar too high for most lazy fans to hit, that some fans end up marrying people who are hostile to fandom, and that fans drop out of fandom out of disillusionment.
- Pat Stall writes a letter and says is bothered that some zine eds don't bother to credit or list their artists' works
- there is a letter by Paula Smith: she says she found Thrust somewhat boring in that all the stories were about the same thing but she liked the art, that she's bothered that fans crab about sex in zines but not violence or the prevalence of get'ems, that folks shouldn't take sex so seriously...
- a fan writes in that T-K Graphics is experiencing many problems and that she, and a number of other fans, are trying to work with them
- a fan writes about all the sex in zines and says many people don't think about how the actors would feel about it all. "The actors have rights, too. While the printed page [text] may be faceless, the illos are most definitely not..." The faces in those illustrations are recognizable to anyone familiar with the actors. These men have feelings, families, and professional images to be considered. Who speaks for their rights?'"
- a fan writes: "Porn: I think its fascinating that all of the boy-boy stuff is being written by ladies of mature years. Are they day dreaming? Or are all the gay members of Trekdom hiding in their closets? Or aren't any trekkers going to admit they are gay?"
- there is a letter from a fan who says "straight zines are still straight," she hasn't seen any K/S zines sold without a warning, and that if you don't like the material in a zine, don't buy it
- this issue contains 40 con announcements
- there is a review of Warped Space #35/36, see that page
- there is a review of a personalzine by Amy Falkowitz called "Interstellar Amnity"
- there is a review of Alnitah #7, see that page
Spectrum 38 was published in July 1978 and 6 pages. It was the first issue that wasn't printed in mimeograph format, but instead reduced offset. The editor explained that with this format, he could include the same amount of content, but it would cost less in postage to mail. To be honest, it's so tiny that it is nearly impossible to read.
- the editor has an essay called, "No Easy Answers" in which he writes of the generation gap in fandom, of gafia, and the changes in fandom.
- there is an essay called "Fandom: a Neofan's View" by Judith Hanhisalo. She lists the steps as 1) First Steps or "We have to go home now so you can watch what?" 2) Getting Involved or "Can you imagine: these were actually written by fans?" 3) Conventions or "Wow, look at all those other people who are as crazy as I am" 4) Contributing or "Do you suppose I could do that, too?" and 5) The Death of Fandom or "Oh, Hell, I just got here and everybody's leaving."
Spectrum 39 was published in January 1979 and contains 8 pages. In it, Jeff Johnston, who was planning his own Star Wars newsletter, said, "Spectrum will cease publication within a few issues." There were, however, no other issues after this one.
- there is a long article called "Breaking into Print: Publishing Yourself" by the editor. In it, he discusses why people publish zines and how to do it; it also discusses at length Interstat and libel and the issues that zine is having
- a review of Atavachron, see that page
- a review of The Clipper Trade Ship, see that page
- a review of ComLoc #7, see that page
- a review of Interstat #15, see that page
- there is a full page ad for Solar Sailors
- a fan writes that she thinks the change in Star Trek fandom has to do with more and better communication, and that diversification is natural and a good thing
- a fan writes that she doesn't think fandom is falling apart. "More likely, the old one-room structure is crumbling, and a larger, multi-roomed house is being built, complete with cribs for the neos, rocking chairs for the elders, and garrets for the gafiators. And maybe double beds for the K/S folks."
- from the editorial in issue #25
- from Datazine #3
- from the editorial in issue #18
- from editor in Spectrum #24
- from Scuttlebutt #8, a review that focused on issue #37
- from an notice in Datazine #7 (October/November 1980)
- from The Halkan Council #13
- a comment from a reviewer in Interphase #3
- from The Halkan Council #22
- from the editor of "Spectrum" in issue #28
- from The Halkan Council #12
- from The Halkan Council #22