A Piece of the Action/Issues 11-20

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Issue 11

A Piece of the Action 11 was published in February 1974 and contains 13 pages.

first page of issue #11
  • had further information about the Smithsonian's interest in Star Trek: "Please do not send them any more Star Trek material. Any fan wishing to donate any item to the Smithsonian collection is advised to write them first."
  • an announcement for Jacqueline Lichtenberg's House of Zeor that was to be published in April
  • the editor of APOTA explains the Star Trek Welcommittee isn't a club but an information clearinghouse
  • there is a report on STW fundraising: last year's expenses were $800 and they barely broke even with their monies, some of which came from selling 1500 bumper stickers, 800 patches and 1200 Directories
  • there is a long, long detailed explanation of what the STW does, see that page

Issue 12

A Piece of the Action 12 was published in March 1974 and contains 10 pages.

first page of issue #12
  • there is a con report for the Third International Star Trek Convention in New York City, February 15–18, there were 27 STWers in attendance and the newsletter listed them by name; one fan reports that David Gerrold was "his usual obnoxious, but likable self."]
  • talk of a ST movie is, as usual, on and off again
  • the editor mourns the passing of the eight-cent stamp
  • a fan asks other fans about Star Trek games on computers: "If any of you computer freaks out there have seen a good Star Trek game on a computer, and can get to it, we would very much like to have the program listed, and if available, on a punch tape."
  • the editor of Tetrumbriant posts a survey about the new animated Star Trek, see Star Trek Animated Version Survey
  • there is an announcement that Jenny Elson is organizing the first British Star Trek Convention: "Things have really become hot over here!"

Issue 13

A Piece of the Action 13 was published in April 1974 and contains 21 pages. The editor notes that there are "15 extra pages in this huge issue not covered by the subscription rate we charge. They were made possible by the profits from a STW fund-raising project."

first page of issue #13
"It's Highly Illogical" by Verna Deen, a love song to Mr. Spock
  • there is an ad for Vul-Con 2, to be held in New Orleans, for Benecia 1, Star Trek/Science Fiction con in Atlanta, Georgia, July 5–7, an ad for Houstoncon '74
  • a report that NYC's 1974 International Star Trek Convention in February. From Boldly Writing: "It was reported to have drawn an attendance of 15,000 (estimates would vary between a low of 9,000 and a high of 15,000, either of which was many times larger than an average science fiction convention of the time)."
  • there is an ad from Germaine Best about her fanzine Tetrumbriant
  • the results of Equicon '74 Futuristic Design Contest (costumes) results are announced; those interested can send fifty cents for a 28-page mimeo, stenciled report
  • there is an announcement of the "biggest single fan project ever before attempted -- Star Trek '74 and HoustonCon '74. G.B. Love and Earl Blair [the two chairmen] are working together to bring you what may be the biggest single fan gathering ever seen." They are also having a door prize: the Star Trek Blooper Reel. The costume contest will have a $100 first prize award.
  • there is a long article about the television show, "Genesis II," which has been renamed "Planet Earth." One of the stars is Diana Muldaur, and she comments about the script: "When they offered this part, I thought it would be the ultimate of women's lib. Men are called Dinks, kept as slaves, house servants, and field hands, used, when necessary for breeding. But do you know how we keep them this way -- submissive and docile? We drug them. The only way we can control men is by sedating them. It's the ultimate put-down of women."
  • the new Roddenberry pilot for The Questor Tapes has a character named Lady Helena Trimble who is named for Bjo Trimble
  • the editor notes a fan has made the "big time" as her letter was printed in a recent issue of TV Guide
  • there is an article explaining what the Hugo Awards are, and there is a long letter from S.T.A.R. urging fans to vote for two Star Trek related creations—one is David Gerrold's book, "The Man Who Folded Himself" and the other the zine Star-Borne
  • this issue has a long article called "Star Trek and the Elusive EMMY, or, Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride" by Robert H. Gibbons
  • there is an article on how Star Trek is being used to teach children in schools about racial equality and sociology
  • there is a full-page song by Verna Deen, written in 1969, called "It's Highly Illogical"
  • the mailroom reports it received 431 letters between January and March
  • a fan has compiled starship serial numbers
  • there is some art by Suzanne Williams, Doug Herring, Alan Andres, Tim Estiloz

Issue 14

A Piece of the Action 14 was published in May 1974 and contains 7 pages.

first page of issue #14
  • there is an announcement that the animated ST show has been renewed for six more episodes
  • Gene Roddenberry announced at Equicon '74 there would be a "revival of live-action Star Trek;" also, 15 STWers were in attendance at this con, a fan donated five pieces of art and they sold at the auction for $37
  • there is an ad for KWeST-Con
  • there is an announcement that "because of a division in the committee", there will be two Star Trek cons in New York in 1975 -- The Star Trek Convention in February at the Commodore (Devra Langsam) and the International Star Trek Convention in January at the Americana Hotel (Al Schuster)
  • the editors print an apology: "In the March issue of A Piece of the Action, we printed a sentence which requires retraction, or at least explanation, we said, "David Gerrold was his usual obnoxious but likable self." This was partially the fault of the writer, and partially my fault, as editor, for allowing such a statement to be printed. David Gerrold, perhaps more than any other celebrity, has made himself a part of fandom, and perhaps this has something to do with it. Most of us look at him as though he were one of us, and jokes like "obnoxious" get through about him, where they might not with other celebrities. Those of us who have met him and spoken with him know that he is not obnoxious—in fact, it is so obvious that the very statement "obnoxious" is obviously sarcastic. But nonetheless, such a statement needs to be retracted, in order that those who have not met him will realize that it is definitely not true." [1]

Issue 15

A Piece of the Action 15 was published in June 1974 and contains 24 pages.

first page of issue #15
  • an announcement that Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Laura Basta had been nominated for a Hugo Award. From Boldly Writing: "This was a momentous occasion. Although "City on the Edge of Forever" had won the Dramatic Presentation Hugo, no Star Trek fan or fanzine had ever been nominated for the "best fanzine writer" or "best fanzine" Hugo award. Both Jacqueline and Laura were nominated for "best fanzine writer" solely on the basis of their Star Trek fanzine stories, and this created quite a furor in science fiction fandom. Some science fiction fans were aghast at the idea of fans writing stories for what they thought of as a second-rate TV show. Some were afraid that Star Trek fans would distract the World Science Fiction Convention from honoring those who wrote original science fiction novels. Other science fiction fans did not see what all the fuss was about. Thus began a debate about the relationship of Star Trek fans to the science fiction community which has continued, in one form or another, to this day."
  • a con report by Jenny Elson about the first British Star Trek con
  • there was a report about Gene Roddenberry's speech on April 25th at the University of New Hampshire, something that 800 people attended; a partial transcript of this speech is included
  • there is an ad for "Planet Earth" -- "A world where males are kept as breeders and slaves -- by a legion of Amazon women more ruthless than any man."
  • there is a letter from Roddenberry that talks of the possibility of a Star Trek movie
  • a fan has set up an event: "Trekker Day at Shea Stadium"; if 100 tickets were sold, they'd get their name on the scoreboard, if 1000 tickets were sold, there'd be a ceremony at home plate—in any case, there was going to be a picnic under the Unisphere at Flushing Meadows. "Bring your own lunch."
  • there is a long con report for Equicon '74 by Denny Arnold
  • there is a full-page flyer for Vul-Con 2
  • despite all the frustration about the original Star Trek not winning the Emmys fans felt it deserved, AND fans' insistence that the animated series was NOT a children's' cartoon, the animated series won an Emmy Nomination along with Captain Kangaroo, Fat Albert, The Cosby Kids, and Zoom. Zoom was the winner.
  • a fan writes that everyone is wondering what happened to Grace Lee Whitney and what was the deal with her sudden departure; some fans think she got married midway through the first season, and her husband made her quit the show
  • there is report of a mini-con, their third, hosted by the club, Space-Time Continuum; it was in Philadelphia at Pennypack Park. The first two cons were held in houses where there was a slide show, a small art show, a small huckster table with homemade crafts. The third con was held on a rainy day at the park and 26 "hardy souls" showed up. There was a table selling S.P.O.C.K. pens and stuff (Society for the Prevention of Obscuring Captain Kirk), the unveiling of a new zine called Triblets, there was a fire in the pavilion and everyone left at 9:00 as the park filled up that time with other people who used the park as a "lovers' lane."
  • Joan Verba writes a con report for Minicon, a science fiction convention in Minnesota; three guests were Bob Tucker, Kelly Freas, and Ben Bova
  • the mailroom report: 251 fan letters in April
  • this issue has art by Janice Scott, Cheree Townsend, Tim Estiloz

Issue 16

A Piece of the Action 16 was published in July 1974 and contains 8 pages.

first page of issue #16
  • there is a con report for HoustonCon
  • Joan Verba writes a report called "The Strekfan's First Star Trek Panel" in which she recounts her first experience as panel member - the con was Minicon, a Minnesota science fiction con, and her fellow panel member was Ruth Berman, who gave a slide show
  • there is an announcement that a fan, [L H], has "taped most of the Star Trek episodes, and is making tapes available (without or without subpoena) upon request for the cost of the tape, or if the tape is replaced."
  • this issue has a full-page panel comic strip by Cory Correll called Star Bleep
  • this is the last issue edited by Mark Schulman and co-editor Debra Bucher

Issue 17

A Piece of the Action 17 was published in August 1974 and contains 13 pages.

first page of issue #17
  • from Boldly Writing: "The August issue had a proposal by Sharon Ferraro for a Star Trek Fan Literature Archive called Memory Alpha. 'The goal of MA," she said, "is to collect, catalog, and microfilm as much of the fan-produced literature as we can get our hot little hands on.' She then proposed to put all issues on microfiche for posterity."
  • there is an essay on why Star Trek is so popular written by Helen Young
  • there is a con report for Benecia 1 -- "The Off-Again, On-Again Con" by Robert H. Gibbons
  • there is a long con report for Star Con that ends with "Doesn't sound like much of a con report, does it? It was not that much of a con. Go back and take out the two parties and there isn't much left for the average con attended who did not have the organization of the Hole in the Deck Gang behind them...and the Welcommittee! Take out the dealer's room and there is even less. I don't understand how people could be satisfied with as little as was offered without getting upset. There were less than 50 chairs set up for the Friday night panel, and the aforementioned lack of equipment. There was no bulletin board or chalk board to keep people informed of changes in schedule or special events, (alright, but four sheets of paper taped on a pillar is not what I had in mind.) The litter problem from last year at Cobo Hall seemed to still be haunting the convention also. The programming, outside of the episode and movie rooms, relied entirely on the celebrities; and the fan activity, outside of the gofers, was practically non-existant. And the most disconcerting part is the last line of the Program Sheet. "We hope you had a great time! See you next summer!" Not this Trekfan, kiddo."

Issue 18

A Piece of the Action 18 was published in September 1974 and contains 9 pages.

first page of issue #18
  • this issue has a con report on Discon 2, the 32nd World Science Fiction Convention in Washington D.C.
  • we find out that both Laura Basta and Jacqueline Lichtenberg lost to Susan Wood as best fan writer in the Hugo Awards
  • D.C. Fontana has a letter that says the ST movie is now fairly likely
  • there is a report that William Shatner has starred in an R-rated movie called "Big Bad Mama"; the subtitle of the article is "How Could You, Captain Kirk?"
  • the newsletter announces it has a new section on zine publishing information; it will be run by Sharon Ferraro
  • this issue has an ad for The Starfleet Handbook by Geoffrey Mandel
  • this issue has a partial transcript of an interview with Gene Roddenberry, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury that was hosted by Tom Snyder for something called "Tomorrow"
  • the editors note that: "Jacqueline Lichtenberg writes that she is still actively searching for fan ST fiction that is representative of each type of fan's interests and purposes for watching ST. This fiction, she feels, can help indicate the differing motivations behind the many factions of the ST movement. "This fiction is the most unique aspect of ST fandom since other shows have fan clubs around the stars, collectors of this and that, and even some publications. But none have this volume of vitally alive amateur fiction." The often cited major points for the series' popularity do not account for this fiction at all. "They account for why a person may be compelled to watch, but not why he is inwardly compelled to create ST." This is a compulsion that can drive so deep as to prevent a professional writer from completing a project until the ST is written out and expunged." This was material that was used for Star Trek Lives!.
  • some of the results of the Star Trek Animated Version Survey were printed; there were twenty responses; the favorite episode was "Yesteryear" and the least favorite was "The Lorelei Signal"
  • the mailroom says that 175 letters were received in August
  • the first Star Trek novel, Spock Enslaved!, is advertised
  • there is an ad that said Spockanalia would be reissued in a reduced offset form

Issue 19

A Piece of the Action 19 was published in October 1974 and contains 9 pages.

first page of issue #19
art on the back of a flyer for a 1975 pro con that was inserted in the newsletter
  • Sharon Ferraro announced that "Memory Alpha, the ST fan literature archive...has been accepted by the National Air and Space Museum. Microfilmed material will be sent to Ms. Scott, the librarian, as soon as it is finished." Joan Verba says in Boldly Writing: "This archive was a fine concept, but I have no information about it after the mid-1970s. Perhaps somewhere in the Smithsonian one may find a stack of fanzines, dating from 1967-1974, gathering dust in a corner somewhere."
  • there is a letter from Susan Sackett that confirms that the possibility of a movie has gone from "fair to good" and that this might even be a series of films in the future
  • there are a number of con announcements, of course, and a report that many of the actors were in great demand as speakers at colleges and universities
  • there is a lovely full-piece piece of art called "Within a Misty Nebula" by Morris Scott Dolens
  • the editor notes that since there is confusion over "APOTA"—some fans thinking it is this newsletter and others getting it confused with "Planet of the Apes" that maybe the newsletter should go by "PofA" or P/A," two suggestions that never really stuck
  • this issue has art by Don Harden, Cheree Townsend, Tim Estiloz, and Morris Scott Dolens (though this was on the back of a flyer for a 1975 Star Trek pro-con and may not be considered part of the newsletter proper)

Issue 20

A Piece of the Action 20 was published in November 1974 and contains 9 pages. Editor of the month was Alan Andres.

first page of issue #20
  • from Boldly Writing: "there was an announcement that Sondra Marshak (later co-writer of Star Trek Lives!) and L.E. Wallace (of Star Date 3113.7) had co-produced a TV special called "The World of Star Trek Fandom," which aired on WRBT-TV, channel 33, Baton Rouge, LA. Many felt the program depicted Star Trekfans accurately.
  • there is a con report by Jenny Elson for the first British Star Trek Con. She reports that it was a good, though relaxed, time. The hotel accountant and half his staff had been arrested for embezzlement and the new staff was sparse and had been on the job only three days. James Blish canceled days before for medical reasons. And Paramount wouldn't let them show three banned episodes. But... George Takei and James Doohan were there and delightful, both throwing themselves on the dance floor for "Shore Leave Disco" and that the blooper reel, shown for the first time in the UK, was a huge hit.
  • there is a four-panel installment of Star Bleep
  • the mail room received 277 letters in September and October


  1. ^ an example of the complicated relationship David Gerrold had with fandom