A Piece of the Action/Issues 01-10

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Issue 1

first page of issue #1

A Piece of the Action 1 was published in February 1973 and contains 5 pages. The first editor was Mark Schulman.

  • the very first thing it prints is "blast off! On that note, "We're all out to launch," the Star Trek Welcommittee began it existence some months ago. Now, after a tremendous regrouping, we're 'out to launch' a bigger and better STW. Our goals are higher, and our returns will be bigger."
  • there is a nod to the interconnectedness of NASA and Star Trek; the editors note that "A number of Strekfans fall into the category of Space fans, too, as the two subjects are closely related."
  • about the money: the "Star Trek Wecommittee is a new organization -- and an expensive one to run. Since we're non-profit, we need ideas for fundraising. It has been suggested that we try to make money off of this monthly report. The idea has been pretty much rejected. If we sell all 100 copies of this first issue, our net profit will be $2. Obviously, we cannot run STW on a a yearly income of $24."
  • there is a blurb encouraging fans to watch Gene Roddenberry's new show, "Genesis II"
  • the editor notes that the STW has received 19 letters that month, "an all-time high" since the organization's re-grouping
  • it contains an ad for Vul-Con #1 (June 1973)

Issue 2

first page of issue #2

A Piece of the Action 2 was published in March 1973 and contains 6 pages.

  • said it received 130 letters to its mail room
  • announced the publication of the STW Directory. STW explained purpose of the directory as follows: "It is to ontain listings of all organizations currently in operation. This includes zines, conventions, books...."
  • D.C. Fontana reports that "Paramount is definitely not interested at the moment in a new Star TrekTV series or movie. However, Paramount has agreed to do an animated series of Star Trek."
  • there are several small illos reprinted from Federation Chronicle by Cheree Townsend
  • other small content

Issue 3

first page of issue #3

A Piece of the Action 3 was published in April 1973 and contains 6 pages.

  • it contains a very short article on warp drive
  • a review and commentary about Gene Roddenberry's new show, "Genesis II"... "To me the casing left something to be desired. Alex Cord as Dylan Hung reminded me more of a beached Mark Spitz than an intellectual or scientist. If Genesis II is renewed as as series, I think more emphasis should be put on brain, not brawn... In conclusion, I should say that the show fulfilled the function of a program on T.V. That function is to entertain. Another Star Trek is is not, but it was good just the same. Gene Roddenberry, welcome back!!"
  • the editor writes that while they are "no longer drowning in red ink... we are also not soaring in the black. If you haven't sent in your twenty-five cents for the April edition, please do so."

Issue 4

first page of issue #4

A Piece of the Action 4 was published in May 1973 and contains 6 pages.

  • a long con report by Helen Young for Equicon, see that page; one note: David Gerrold was there in an "actual ape costume and make-up" for the forthcoming "Battle for the Planet of the Apes
  • a review of the animated series, "the most controversial item in fandom today"; the fan urges others to support this show and "mention that we would like a live movie, too"
  • a fan writes that she likes the animated series okay but hates that it runs on Saturday mornings with the rest of the kiddie shows, and she dislikes that it's called "a cartoon"
  • an ad for "Keep on Trekkin'" bumper stickers; it costs a quarter
  • the editors say that the mail room is swamped

Issue 5

A Piece of the Action 5 was published in July 1973 and contains 10 pages.

  • an article about the animated series, of which a two-minute segment was shown at Vul-Con; one remark: "Lately, animation of any kind has become a dirty work, especially with TV critics. They take a cursory look at TV's Saturday morning schedule and quickly dismiss it as junk"
  • some con reports for Vul-Con, see that page
  • the "Dear Spock" column answers three questions about Spock's name, what "NCC" stands for and what is the difference between a red and yellow alert
  • two pages of photos from a con held at the Jung Hotel in New Orleans
  • a descriptive marriage announcement (like that printed in a newspaper) for Cheree Cargill and Randy Townsend
  • a lengthy description of the blooper reel
  • a small Richard Nixon cartoon

Issue 6

first page of issue #6

A Piece of the Action 6 was published in August 1973 and contains 8 pages.

  • a death announcement and a memorial for a Star Trek script writer, Gene Coon
  • results of the 1973 STW Volunteer Worker Questionnaire are published, see that page
  • an article/editorial called "Star Trek & The Women's Libber"; in it, the fan complains of multiple infractions on the show, but concludes that it wasn't the worst offender of the time... there were worse shows
  • more discussion of the animated series
  • Chris Schulman, apparently the manager of the "mail room," has a letter where he explains the STW gets about 30 letters a day; some volunteers who answer these letters are over-worked and some complain they don't have enough to do; Chris explains he is currently a junior in high school and says that the amount of work has been overwhelming and that he is grateful for any help received as "it had a very bad psychological effect on me, sitting there looking at that mountain of mail"

Issue 7

first page of issue #7

A Piece of the Action 7 was published in September 1973 and contains 6 pages.

  • more fannish opinion on the animated series; from Helen Young: "I find ST in animation to be truly superb. I think it has been made clear to us, now that we have actually seen it, that animation is not a substitute ST, nor a replacement -- but rather ST in a totally new and different form. We can now enjoy ST in two forms, neither of which detract from the other's uniqueness. The fans' trust in Gene Roddenberry and D.C. Fontana has not been misplaced -- animated Star Trek has not been aimed at children and is not cartoonish."
  • a con report for the "first annual Cleveland Comic Convention," August 24–26; dealer tables were $15—a price the fan felt was too high. "Quickly we made plans to find a way around that sum. How about a Star Trek slide show and a question-and-answer panel for a table, Mr. Swirinsky?" "Fine," was the answer. "I'll give you two tables.""
  • a fan does the math, and calculates that (in 1973 American dollars) the Enterprise would cost five trillion dollars to build based on calculations that the Big E cost five billion credits in the 23rd century and each credit is worth a hundred bucks
  • Debra Bucher, one of the contributors to the newsletter tries to tackle some of the questions/complaints they'd gotten from the recent questionnaire (STW Volunteer Worker Questionnaire) they'd sent out; all issues, she felt, could be traced to the fact that the newsletter made no money/had no money, and that it was run by volunteers and amateurs
  • a fan notes that the 1968 Sears Catalogue featured Star Trek pajamas and that the original title of the episode, "The Paradise Syndrome," was "The Paleface"
  • the mail room reports that it received 1677 letters last month

Issue 8

A Piece of the Action 8 was published in November 1973 and contains 8 pages. It was the first double issue and covers both October and November.

first page of issue #8
  • an announcement, along with detailed vote tallies, about George Takei September 1973 loss in a city council race in Los Angeles; the article notes that during the two months preceding the election, the local televisions station (KCOP) had to find episodes of Star Trek to run that did not have Sulu in them to avoid offering equal air time to the other 28 candidates
  • Shirley Maiewski has a con report for the WorldCon in Toronto, and it focuses on the Star Trek presence there
  • a short mention of Star-Con in Detroit, Oct. 5-7, with a promise of a longer con report later
  • a fan views "Starlost," a new show on television and finds it sorely lacking, especially since it was hyped as a sort-of sequel to Star Trek
  • some art by Joyce Huser
  • the newsletter is happy to receive from D.C. Fontana copies of the credits for the animated show that flash on the screen at the end of every episode; some of them are printed in this issue
  • Bjo Trimble reviews Questor from a special advance screening
  • a fan reviews the TV movie, "Go Ask Alice," and comments on William Shatner's role in it
  • STW is now selling patches, and the editor makes what he calls "a lousy artist's rendering of the actual patch (me being a lousy artist)"
  • Helen Young warns fans against buying scripts from unauthorized sources as they don't pay the writers any royalties; buy your scripts from Lincoln Enterprises instead

Issue 9

A Piece of the Action 9 was published in December 1973 and contains 11 pages. It has a bare bones look to it as Helen Young encouraged the editors to do a no-frills issue every other time to save time and money.

first page of issue #9
  • a very long report of three fans' visit to the Star Trek animation studios
  • the newsletter prints thirteen fan testimonials about how great STW is
  • a copy of a letter from the Assistant Director of Astronautics, F.C. Durant, III, thanking Helen Young for sending the National Air and Space Museum a copy of Directory of Star Trek Organizations to him. "This is indeed a welcome addition to our reference collection of Star Trek material. What a labor of love you and your colleagues are performing. As Dorothy Fontana probably explained, we recognize the influence of science fiction in 'stretching' imagination of creative minds of young people who have leanings toward science and engineering professional futures. In addition, good science fiction, in my opinion, helps cushion 'future shock.'"
  • a copy of a letter from Paramount giving the STW permission to market patches and bumper stickers, for a fee that may have exceeded their profit: "As a special favor to you we will license you the right to market the specific bumper sticker and patches attached to our letter... This license will be non-exclusive, and for a one-year period... and is conditioned upon your payment to Paramount Television of the sum of $25... All bumper stickers and patches should bear the following copyright designation: [copyright symbol] 1973, Paramount Pictures Corporation."
  • an update of the roster, including fan addresses
  • a fan is marketing copies of his game, "Alien Space"; it is "an all skill, adult game which creates hours of unparalleled science fiction adventure by making each player the captain of his own star ship. Each ship is equipped with sensors, life support, shields, blazers, main and auxiliary engines and a special weapon... like a transparanator to make itself invisible or a gaper zapper, nytron lance, magma beam, etc.. Game and 8 ships cost $4.00."

Issue 10

A Piece of the Action 10 was published in January 1974 and contains 5 pages.

first page of issue #10
  • ad for International Star Trek Convention, scheduled for February 15–18, 1974, in New York City
  • ad for Equicon, the Second Annual West Coast Star Trek Convention, to be held April 12–14, 1974
  • a con report for Star-Con, which took place in October 1973, see that page
  • a note of interest: "Dorothy Fontana says there's still a possibility of a movie"
  • the STW's official main address has change from one in Texas to one in Maryland, and the new Central Card File Officer is Shirley Maiewski, a "brave and noble lady who has generously agreed (in moments of sheer madness, I suppose) to serve in this capacity. Chris Schulman [the junior in high school] is taking a leave of absence, having been driven to the verge of complete madness by the rigors, frustrations, and other horrors of a year as our CCPFO... Chris certainly deserves a medal for the time and effort he has spent, moving literally mountains of mail."
  • ad for "Spock's Decision," a story by Jacqueline Lichtenberg; fans could purchase this story before it was printed in a zine; see: Kraith Collected #4
  • the editor writes a rebuttal addressing some letters received about the article, "Star Trek & The Women's Libber," in previous issue
  • a description of a fan gathering (The Boston Star Trek Association held its first social event of the year over Columbus Day Weekend, October6-8, 1973) which consisted of some fans sightseeing in Washington D.C., see a play called "Full Circle"
  • art by Joyce Huser and John Ellis