T-Negative

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Zine
Title: T-Negative
Publisher: Ruth Berman
Editor(s):
Date(s): 1969-1979, 1980
Series?:
Medium: print zine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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Contents

Ruth Berman
Deserves jewels and ermine
For the best, brightest zine
To light up the Star Trek scene.

T-Negative--
Long will its fame live!
To the Star Trek fan it
Was more fun than a shore leave planet.
(a poem in the tribute issue by Shirley Meech)

Overview

T-Negative is a gen Star Trek: TOS anthology. It ran for 35 issues starting with #1 in June 1969, ending with the double issue #34/35 in March 1979. Earlier issues saw reprints in the mid-1970s in a smaller digest sized format (thus page counts between editions may vary). The name of the zine comes from Spock and Sarek's rare blood type, "T-Negative."

A sort-of sister zine is T-Positive.

The Individual Issues

Subpages for T-Negative:

About

In her editorial, Ruth gave her reasons for starting the fanzine:
In November 1968 I started watching Star Trek, mainly because Juanita Coulson had recommended it so highly in Yandro. By December, I'd gotten Eleanor Arnason hooked on it, too, and by December she made the classic remark, 'We could write that, too.' In the months that followed, I worked on several scripts, some in collaboration with Eleanor, and some on my own.... Some of them, and some of the stories, could perhaps be re-written as novels and sold as such (if Bantam publishes an original novel by James Blish...and if it is successful enough to make them want to publish more, and if they will consider other authors if they want to publish more). As the prospect is so exceedingly iffy, I don't want to wait.

It is one of the very earliest Star Trek fiction zines published. For others, see List of Star Trek TOS Zines Published While the Show Was Still On the Air. Like some fanzines of that era, earlier issues were published without the required pre-1989 copyright notices, possibly placing the fanzine in the public domain.

General Reactions and Reviews

From a review in 1970:

Great zine! Ruth used to get on the ST set and usually has short pieces about various happenings during the late 2nd and 3rd season filming. I wish she wouldn't use ditto for running the zine as it tends to be hard to read in spots. The selection of stories is sometimes good, but usually at least fair. She appears to have an awful lot to draw on in the way of talent. The only one I never liked were the Dorothy and Myfanwy stories written by Dorothy Jones and Astrid Anderson. The character of Myfanwy was fair, but the character Dorothy was done too much as a juvenile to be believable. I think she must have been done by Astrid who is young enough to understandably lack the maturity to carry through with a full, 3-dimensional character. The most outstanding story presented so far in the zine is 'For the Good of the Service'. It would have made an excellent 2-part episode for the show and very reasonable to produce. [1]

From "A Tribute to T-Negative"

In September 1980, Stephen Borer published "A Tribute to T-Negative," a 20-page collection of fan's personal recollections, poems, parodies of letters to the editor, story satires, and a serious account of a visit to the Star Trek movie set.

By Joan Verba, from that issue:

T-Negative is a remarkable fanzine... Published at a time before large ST cons, before books about ST fandom, before STW, and before such fanzines as Halkan Council (and later Interstat and Scuttlebutt), it was a major source of information about topics related to ST and ST fandom... One of the outstanding features of T-Negative was its diversity. In fiction, there was something for everyone: tie-ins to episodes (such as "For the Good of the Service"...), Mary Sue stories (such as the Dorothy-Myfanwy series... also one of the first to be explicitly labeled an alternate universe Trek story), Get- stories (such as "Marginal Existence")...

In addition to the fiction, T-Negative has a wide variety of articles and information. Ruth Berman's 'Set-To' series featured articles about the backstage elements of ST, were first, followed by detailed character profiles of the crew by various authors, and supplemented by the 'Old Time Reviews Dept." which featured news clippings of the accomplishments of ST actors and staff. There were technical reports on Star Dates, the transporter... Fannish news included reports on ST revival, a short guide to sf fandom, an episode list including a guide to filmclips, con reports, con announcements, fanzine announcements, fanzine reviews, one of the first listings of the STW address, one of the first fan surveys (by Jacqueline Lichtenberg), a loc column, and updates to the ST Concordance...

Finally, T-Negative stands as a chronology of ST fandom for the '70's. T-Negative #1 began with an announcement that it would be a showcase for ST fiction... [and] it succeeded admirably. In addition to the other milestones... there was news of Spock Must Die! (the first pro ST novel), the first fanzine directory (from the LNSTFCF... listing 59 fanzines), an announcement by D.C. Fontana of the possibility of a ST movie, the announcement of the ST animation, and Genesis II. Through various listings, one can get an idea of fanzine publishing history [through its ads for available zines]...'

In all these things, T-Negative is an outstanding achievement in fan publication. It is a testimony to the talent of its editor, Ruth Berman. Both are regarded with affection and esteem by ST fanzine readers everywhere -- a reputation well deserved.

Special Tribute Issue

In September 1980, Stephen Borer published "A Tribute to T-Negative," a 20-page collection of fan's personal recollections, poems, parodies of letters to the editor, story satires, and a serious account of a visit to the Star Trek movie set. See editorial at the top of this page.

Fiction and prose contributors to the issue were Joan Verba, Paula Smith, Jim Rondeau, Shirley Meech, Mary Lynn Himmelback, Stephen Borer, Ruth Berman. Art contributors are Mercy Van Vlack, Chris Padovano, Bill Bryan, Kent Bingham, Bill Anderson, Kent Bingham.

T-Negative Special Art Portfolio

front "cover" of the special art portfolio, undated. It was also the cover for the first issue.

This art was made available on an unknown date. It contains 15 pages and art by numerous T-Negative artists.

From issue #23: The editor responds to a letter from a fan asking if she had ever thought of printing separate copies of Tim Courtney's art so she could matte them for display:
I suppose it would be easy enough to do. I think there'd have to be about 100 people wanting to get the set to make it economical. If, say, I made up a booklet of the half dozen or so Courtney covers, plus a few by other artists, plus some photo pages, 15-18 sheets, I suppose I could sell it as an extra issue of T-N. Those who wanted it could have it sent with the following issues of T-N, reducing their subscriptions by one, or could buy it separately for fifty cents.

References

  1. from Pentathlon #1
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