A Piece of the Action/Issues 11-20

From Fanlore
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Issue 11

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

first page of issue #11
  • 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 this newsletter explains that the Star Trek Welcommittee isn't a club but an information clearinghouse
  • 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
  • information about the letter campaign for The Questor Tapes
  • additions and corrections to the STW Directory of Star Trek Organizations ("'STorg List' for short")
  • a letter of comment for Starlost: "The reason, to me, that The Starlost did not go over is that it was not real. You could see the falseness of the sets — they were just play-houses, and the people running around were just play-acting...the sets looked like sets... and the people didn't act like people! Now, Star Trek was REAL. The sets looked believable, and the people, they sure acted like people. Maybe a little "over-acted" sometimes, but HUMAN."
  • from the chairperson, a long informational update about STW, including: " We have a fairly high rate of turnover within the ranks of STW. About 38 VWs resigned or were dropped in 1973 for a variety of reasons — they got heavily involved in other ST projects, or with school or personal matters, or just lost interest or got lazy!"
  • about the mail:
    The Great Avalanche I suppose you are wondering where a all those fan letters came from in Dec. and Jan., eh? Well, we had another one of those mail-room crises. Here came the mailman returning every packet of mail Chris had forwarded for a month (reason unknown--but then who does understand the Post Office???)--so they had to be re-sent. Then there were bundles of mail from several other ST organizations and individuals referred to us for help in answering; there were letters in boxes, letters in files, and letters under Chris' bed! Preparing for final exams (high school for Chris, college for Pola) meant it was necessary to neglect the mail for a couple of weeks, too. On Dec. 26, Chris, Pola, and Helen spent 7 hours straight carding and forwarding some 350 more letters to the ACs. The following 2 weeks another 150 referral letters were sent to various ACs, in preparation for transferring the mail room to the new Mass, address. During this Dec.-Jan. flurry of activity, every area received between 50 and 65 fan letters. It's the old story of either feast or famine: everyone sits idle for 2 or 3 months, then suddenly receives so much mail they're snowed under! At the end of January, the mail room is current and the backlog entirely cleared out. But in the 2 weeks Shirley has had the mail room, she reports nearly 100 fan letters received already! So watch out — Here Cum De Mail! Shirley is going to make every effort to get the fan letters sent out in smaller batches on a more regular basis this year. As our friend who sells margerine [sic] says, "Promise!" [1]

Issue 12

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

first page of issue #12

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
  • additions and corrections to the STW Directory of Star Trek Organizations
  • 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
  • con report for NYC's 1974 International Star Trek Convention in February, see that page
  • 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
  • an announcement of the "biggest single fan project ever before attempted -- Star Trek '74 [2] 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.
  • a long article about Roddenberry's project, "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
  • 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
  • a long article called "Star Trek and the Elusive EMMY, or, Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride" by Robert H. Gibbons
  • an article on how Star Trek is being used to teach children in schools about racial equality and sociology
  • a full-page song by Verna Deen, written in 1969, called "It's Highly Illogical"
  • the mail room reports it received 431 letters between January and March
  • a fan has compiled starship serial numbers
  • 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
the retraction from issue #14
  • 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
  • an ad for KWeST-Con
  • additions and corrections to the STW Directory of Star Trek Organizations
  • a con report by Helen Young for Equicon '74, see that page
  • 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." [3]

Issue 15

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

first page of issue #15
  • news clippings compiled by Alan Andres
  • additions and corrections to the STW Directory of Star Trek Organizations
  • detailed financial report for STW (includes sales of swag info, postage, supplies, donations, and "Roddenberry baby gift" = $5.73)
  • a con report by Jenny Elson about the first British Star Trek con
  • 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
  • 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."
  • 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."
  • a long con report for Equicon '74 by Denny Arnold
  • 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
  • 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 wrote a con report for Minicon, a science fiction convention in Minnesota; three guests were Bob Tucker, Kelly Freas, and Ben Bova
  • the mail room report: 251 fan letters in April
  • art by Janice Scott, Cheree Townsend, Tim Estiloz
  • 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.

Issue 16

A Piece of the Action 16 was published in July 1974 and contains 8 pages. This is the last issue edited by Mark Schulman and co-editor Debra Bucher.

first page of issue #16
  • con reports by Helen Young and Hal Wilson for HoustonCon, see that page
  • 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
  • an announcement that a fan, Larry, 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."
  • a full-page panel comic strip by Cory Correll called Star Bleep
  • Shirley Maiewski reported that the STW received 100 pieces of mail in May and 216 orders for Directories and letters containing information for the Directory were received and processed
  • additions and corrections to the STW Directory of Star Trek Organizations

Issue 17

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

first page of issue #17
  • a con report for Benecia 1 -- "The Off-Again, On-Again Con" by Robert H. Gibbons, see that page
  • a long con report by Sharon Ferraro for Star Con, see that page
  • an essay by Helen Young called "Why Star Trek?":
    Every ST fan has--at one time or another--been faced with trying to explain ST's popularity... its importance...its great appeal. Now, trying to explain "why Star Trek" to a non-fan in a few words is difficult...but I recently heard a tape that 1 think beautifully sums up why ST was so popular in a mere handful of words. Diana Watson sent me the tape of Leonard Nimoy being interviewed on the Univ. of Alabama radio station, saying he felt ST's popularity was due to its many levels of interest...that not only was it excellent entertainment...an extremely well produced series...but had such meaningful contents, philosophically, scientifically, and socially. I also am often concerned when certain people suggest that interest in ST and science fiction is escape... that those who enjoy it want to escape from the real problems of life. Isaac Asimov, speaking in Willingboro, NJ, for National Library Week (the transcript of his speech was sent to me by Sara Paul), maintains that sf readers escape into reality--by worrying about problems years in advance and trying to foresee the future (wh at will it be like? what possible futures might there be?) , one anticipates what's going to happen, prepares for it, works toward it, and considers what decisions need to be made now. Still a third reflection--how ST relates to today's problems, comes from a Gene Roddenberry speech at the Univ. of New Hampshire on May 25, 1974 (certain excerpts previously appeared in "A Piece of the Action" June, 1974, issue, supplied by Alan Andres). He states that ST wasn't really basically about space ships and planets and gadgetry. ST was about us...humanity...here...now...our problems today. It made statements: that we do not have the right to interfere with the peaceful evolvement of other peoples; that we must learn to value the differences between one another; that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it learns to value diversity in life and ideas; that to be different is not necessarily to be wrong; of affection and optimism about living things and the human race. It is hard to see how anyone could question the "whys" of ST's popularity in the face of these remarks.

Issue 18

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

first page of issue #18
  • a con report on Discon 2, the 32nd World Science Fiction Convention in Washington D.C.
  • both Laura Basta and Jacqueline Lichtenberg lost to Susan Wood as best fan writer in the Hugo Awards
  • additions and corrections to the STW Directory of Star Trek Organizations
  • D.C. Fontana has a letter that says the ST movie is now fairly likely
  • 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
  • an ad for The Starfleet Handbook by Geoffrey Mandel
  • a partial transcript of an interview with Gene Roddenberry, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury on Tom Snyder's show "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 mail room says that 175 letters were received in August
  • the first Star Trek novel, Spock Enslaved!, is advertised
  • 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."
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • additions and corrections to the STW Directory of Star Trek Organizations
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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, see that page for more
  • a four-panel installment of Star Bleep
  • the mail room received 277 letters in September and October
  • additions and corrections to the STW Directory of Star Trek Organizations


  1. ^ The remark about "Promise" margarine is a reference to William Shatner's 1974 commercial hawking that product.
  2. ^ This is NOT Star Trek '74.
  3. ^ an example of the complicated relationship David Gerrold had with fandom