Warped Space

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Zine
Title: Warped Space
Publisher: The Michigan State University Star Trek Club (issues #1-21); T'Kuhtian Press (issues #22-51)
Editor(s): Lori Chapek-Carleton & Gordon Carleton
Date(s): 1974-1985
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: multimedia & Star Wars & Star Trek:TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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Contents

group photo

Warped Space is a multimedia gen and het (with very occasional slash) zine. Its content was purely Star Trek: TOS until issue #18 when it published a Man from UNCLE story, the first of that fandom in a zine, and became a multifandom with an emphasis on Trek after that. The zine has Star Wars content and other multifandom content in issues 28-52.

The fanzine was originally sponsored by The Michigan State University Star Trek Club (MSUSTC) and was very much a club zine containing material and article primarily for a very local readership. By the second year, however, Warped Space had a national readership.

a portrait of Lori Chapek-Carleton that appeared at the top of the title page of every issue of Warped Space, artist unknown

Starting with issue #21, it was published independently under Lori (and her husband Gordon's) own imprint, T'Kuhtian Press. Reprint rights to issues #1-21 remained with the University Club.

There were two sexually explicit issues, #10 and #20. After that, the X-rated zines spun off to become Obsc'zine.

There was also a compilation issue that collected material from issues #31-#51.

Issues

Information about the contents of individual issues is here:

Some Comments About the Zine's Cost

In 1981, the editor writes a LoC to Alderaan #9 and comments on an earlier letter which was about the cost of zines. Chapek-Carelton writes:
Concerning the question of zine prices, you needn't fear that Alderaan's price increase is unjustified. I think sometimes that fellow zine editors realize much more clearly that the general readership how much boosted printing and supply costs can affect a zine!... Everyone knows the effect of inflation and the increased postage rates! As an example, the last issue of Obsc'zine came out to something over two years ago, and the cover price at the time was $3.50. #4 has just come out, and though I'd said in a flyer between last May and now that the new cover price would be $4.50, I found when time came to actually tally up the total printing bill, that cover price would have to be a minimum of $5.00, which I've set it at. In honorinq all previous orders for the issue, many people paid only $4.45 including postage, so I'm takinq somewhat of a dunking, but I'm fortunately able to print 100 copies over the number of copies reserved, which will hopefully take up the slack. Of course, for subscriptions to #5 onwards, I'll now have to revise the prices upwards slighly to reflect the cover price increase. I think zines like Warped Space, Obsc'zine, Alderaan and Interstat etc., are more hard hit by increases than one-shots or zines which come out infrequently, like Pegasus or Skywalker, and are able to take reservations, with total price due upon receipt of imminent publication date. I feel that most zines are fairly priced.

Some Comments on Its Circulation Stats

"Warped Space" has a circulation of 800. "I believe Kraith [collected] has a print run of 1000, which I sincerely hope I never reach! We've held steady at 800 for some years now, as readership hasn't really fluctuated all that much, and I hope we stay steady, or even drop slightly. I wouldn't be surprised to find that if one polled the zine editors/readers, one would find that since Carol wrote her article, the average zine price is now $6.00 or $7.00. Postage rates are getting ridiculous, and I urge the use of UPS [United Parcel Service] whenever possible. [1]

Warped Space's Firsts

the first page of a 41-page manuscript (written in 1978) for one of the stories in The Weight Collected

The Cave Story: It was in the second adult issue (#20, 1976) that Shelter by Leslie Fish was published. Shelter was the first true first time slash story in fandom. (It was also the first cave story -- a genre that has receded in importance now, but was once very popular: if nothing else works, strand them on a planet with a nearby cozy cave, and everything will work out fine.)

The first Man from UNCLE story published in a zine was in issue #18.

Very early, though not the first, Star Wars content in a zine was the cover of #26/27 in July 1977 and a story in issue #28.

Leslie Fish's novel The Weight Collected was published in pieces over a period of several years in "Warped Space."

A Legal Battle

Text of legal action. The notice goes on to list issues #7, #8, #9, #14, #15, #16, and #21. Click to read.

Warped Space was first published by the Michigan State University STAR TREK Club while its creators were students. The zine's creators probably never imagined the zine would have a run as long as it did, and there ended up being a lengthy legal battle over assets and publisher's rights.

There was more on this conflict in issue #40 in 1978:
The interminable legal fight Lori Chapek-Carleton was forced into against the Michigan State University STAR TREK Club (led by members Tina Henry, Marty Siegrist, and Don Calderone) begun in 1975 was ended in Lori's favor on May, 20, 1980 when a Satisfaction of Judgement was signed (although a default judgment against the Club was handed down on March 21, 1979 saying that Lori was owed $922). The Club turned over 567 copies of various WARPED SPACE back issues from 1 & 2 through 21 and the members testified under oath that they had something like .50 in the Club treasury and had sold all Club property except for one stapler over the past two years. In effect, the Club is now defunct, and Lori is trying to recover through sales of the copies of WARPED SPACE that were turned over for the money the Club owed her. The copies of T'Kuhtian Press is selling are for all practical purposes the only unsold copies of these early issues left and are being sold for twice thier original cover price, plus postage. Supply is extremely limited on these collector's items. [2]

General Reactions and Reviews

  • "I was one of the original contributors when Warped Space took off in 1974. I remember hawking the little monster at bake sales to pay off the OurCon debt." [3]
  • "This zine started only last October with a mediocre issue, followed by a terrible one. It's been uphill since then, and the editors are making fine progress. Issues tend to be mixed -- from surprisingly funny and well-written to exasperatingly badly written (but with a good plot). The last two issues have featured the beginning of a new series -- The Landing Party Series. It is aimed at presenting a new set of characters for fan writers to work with -- six people in different departments that are Landing Party #6. The 'stars' are mentioned only infrequently and the stories tend strongly toward the humorous or ludicrous situations. They have the services of two excellent artists. Jane Clinkenbeard produces nice work -- often for the covers, and Gordon Carleton is the best -- make that the BEST caricaturist of the ST cast that I have EVER seen. His parody, 'The Man- Hatchery' is enough to make you get cramps in your side laughing... Final comment -- the last couple issues are worth buying and the upcoming ones ought to be even better. Comes out quickly too, about every six weeks on the dot." [4]
  • "A terrific and very frequent zine...Also very flexible in content--ST, SW, U.N.C.L.E., probably some Man From Atlantis in the near future, etc. Always plenty of variety. WS also includes' "The Weight", Leslie Fish's l-o-o-g, but gripping saga of Kirk and Co. in an alternate, Anarchistic society bound for the stars. Lotsa nice artwork, too. [5]
  • "WARPED SPACE has the distinction of being the most regularly printed zine in ST fandom. (As a leading contender in the delayed zine of the year category, I'd give anything - well, almost anything, souls, David and otherwise [6], excluded - for the editor's secret formula'.) WARPED SPACE has shown continuous improvement since the first volume in contents, graphic design, and print quality. WS is known for its light, humorous pieces and its slightly wacky viewpoint of the STAR TREK universe. It has also established itself as a zine with strong, straight dramatic fiction, also. (Is there anyone who has not heard of "The Weight'?)" [7]
  • "Oh, I'd hazard a guess there are quite a few of us who know the "good old days." Warped Space was the first zine I discovered (issue # 24, which I still have), not too long after I discovered there was a whole lot of other people who loved Star Trek and so I wasn't quite so strange after all. Gordon's and Leah's cartoons were always a hoot. The Sahaj stories were a favorite. And the Star Wars, MUNCLE and other stories opened the door for me to other fandoms. *sigh*...that was quite a few years ago, wasn't it?" [8]

References

  1. from Alderaan #12
  2. from a 1980 issue of Warped Space
  3. from an interview with Paula Block, from Menagerie #16
  4. from The Halkan Council #11 (October 1975)
  5. from Fantasia #2
  6. "souls, David" is a reference to the actor who plays Kenneth Hutchinson
  7. from Time Warp #1
  8. from a fan in 1998 at alt.startrek.creative
  9. from a fan in 1998 at alt.startrek.creative
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