A Piece of the Action/Issues 21-30

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Issue 21

A Piece of the Action 21 was published in December 1974 and contains 9 pages.

first page of issue #21
  • there is a prompt to write letters asking for a ST movie, but to be extra polite with the new vice-president, Barry Diller: "A word of caution -- let's make sure we impress him favorably!"
  • there is an announcement that Star Fleet Technical Manual was going to be published as a pro work
  • from Boldly Writing: "there was a KWest*Con (pronounced "Quest Con") report, which said, "KWest*Con was diverse: it did not devote itself exclusively to either science fiction or Star Trek, and the much-rumored hostility between sf and ST fans was totally lacking.' KWest*Con was the forerunner of a series of Star Trek conventions in the 1970s that would provide a yearly rendezvous for Star Trek editors, artists, writers, and readers. The tradition continued into the 1980s, in part, by the Media*West Cons." The con report noted that it was "extremely well-thought out and executed."
  • notes there are 92 Star Trek zines available
  • there is dissension among fans on how to refer to the newsletter as acronyms are pretty much out of control. "There is no end to what we can do with this! How typically ST fandomish."
  • the STW is dropping its pen pal service but taking up the cause of aid to other clubs in the form of a publication called How to Start a Club
  • this issue has art by Laura Virgil, Mike Mayes, Cheree Townsend

Issue 22

first page of issue #22

A Piece of the Action 22 was published in January 1975 and contains 11 pages.

  • there are comments about a radio show on November 12, 1974 in Dallas with Shatner and Kelley on WFAA
  • Alan Andres is assigned as the third Vice-Chairman of STW
  • there is an ad for the first annual Red Hour Festival
  • art by Andres, Laura Virgil, Doug Herring

Issue 23

first page of issue #23

A Piece of the Action 23 was published in February 1975 and contains 9 pages.

  • Gene Roddenberry says, "Paramount Pictures...has suffered a year long deluge of mail demanding a Star Trek motion picture. And Paramount finally cried 'enough.' We are now finishing negotiations for a full-length, wide-screen Star Trek motion picture...it will be shot with the original cast."
  • there is a con report for the Fourth International Star Trek Convention, see that page.

Issue 24

first page of issue #24

A Piece of the Action 24 was published in March 1975 and contains 19 pages.

  • reports that "...Gene Roddenberry has been talking about possible subject matter for a Star Trek script.... He has been thinking about bringing people up to date on the past history of the Enterprise, showing how it was built in space, how each character became part of the Enterprise crew; also something more on the mating cycle of Vulcans...."'
  • the results of the 1974 Star Trek Movie Cast Poll are published
  • there is an article called "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to WJAR-TV, Providence, or, The Logical Way to Appear with Leonard Nimoy" by Joel Davis, recounting Nimoy's charity appearance
  • many con announcements
  • there is an article called "Once More Into the Breach, Dear Friends" by Joel Davis, a con report for a New York con
  • there is a con report for the Red Hour Festival

Issue 25

first page of issue #25

A Piece of the Action 25 was published in April 1975 and contains 11 pages. This issue was edited by Helen Young.

  • there is a letter from Gene Roddenberry that discusses the movie proposal
  • announces that the animated version of ST has been canceled, despite the fact that it has won an Emmy for "children's' programming"
  • announces that Star Trek Lives! will be published in June
  • there is an ad for Star Trek uniforms: they cost $16.50 (there were only boy's and men's sizes available), a "braid kit" was $1.00
  • there is a partial transcript from a telephone call on the Ed Busch Talk Show on WFAA radio: participants were Gene Roddenberry, George Takei, Walter Koenig and Leonard Nimoy
  • announces the publication of a guidebook on how to produce a fanzine called Communication the Hard Way; it was available for twenty-five cents and two stamps
  • the editor notes that the newsletter has a circulation of 700
  • art is by Don Harden, Bob Gibbons, Mike McGuiness (envelope art), Carole Brownell, Tim Estiloz, Cheree Townsed, Robin Hill, Mainardi

Issue 26

first page of issue #26

A Piece of the Action 26 was published in May 1975 and contains 11 pages.

  • there is an announcement that "Star Trek Blueprints" by Ballantine
  • announcement that the first ST calendar will be published in the fall
  • there is a reprint of an article in TV Guide (April 19–25)
  • there is "News of the Stars" which lets fan know what the actors are doing
  • there was a small con report of the "2nd Annual ST Action Group Mini-Con" held on March 22 at the Leicester Centre Hotel
  • a fan writes that she is compiling a list of "Educational Uses of Star Trek"
  • there are some announcements of the birth of a grand-baby, the hospitalization of some fans, one fan has a broken finger, and another fan "is sporting a neck brace as a result of an auto accident"
  • art is by Pat Berry, Alan Andres, Mary Ann Stelzer, Doug Herring, Sandy Dennis, Diane McClaugherty, Cheree Townsend and Laura Virgil

Issue 27

A Piece of the Action 27 was published in June 1975 and contains 11 pages.

first page of issue #27
  • details about the first professional ST con in Chicago to take place August 22–24, said admission would be $20 (considered high) and "The convention will be held at the Conrad Hilton, the largest hotel in Chicago. The main program room seats around 4,000 and the film room seats 2500 so there will be no trouble with overcrowding." Boldly Writing notes this should have raised some red flags as previous fan-run conventions in New York and Los Angeles had had over 10,000 attendees. The October issue of APOTA reports there ended up being 12,000 attendees.
  • there is a long con report for OurCon; one highlight was the fanzine panel -- "The fanzine panel, with Babel, Kraith, and Menagerie editors, began as a sober discussion of the problems of tactfully returning truly terrible, but lovingly written manuscripts, but then exploded into hysteria as 'The Flying Ferarro Sisters' took over. The audience, which kept growing as sounds of hilarity drifted down the hall, was treated to the saga of Lt. Mary Sue, the youngest (only 15 1/2 years old!) lieutenant in Star Fleet; a clutch of filksongs, including the delightful anthem of the Klingon Diplomatic Corps; readings from The Star Trek Primer and a constance barrage of one-lines in answer to a shouted, 'How do Vulcans reproduce?'... Sharon Ferraro and Paula Smith have the funniest comedy routine since Abbott and Costello."
  • there is a con report for EquiCon/FilmCon in May
  • there is a report of Vul-Con II held in June; regarding one of the panel discussions. It was fairly complimentary, but one statement sets off a controversy -- "On the panel were Helen Young, John and Bjo Trimble, David Gerrold and James Mule, Captain of Vul-Con II. This was the worst panel I have ever attended. It soon become a discussion about running a convention. As to be expected, David Gerrold monopolized the whole conversation. At one point, he talked for thirty minutes. Our chairman, Helen Young, was never given a chance to speak to the very end, when she was told to wrap things up. The whole thing was unfair and very boring." While this remark's thrust was that Gerrold talked too much, there is the reality that other panel members could have been more assertive and should not have let one person monopolize the conversation. This part of the con report sparked an apology from the editor in the August issue.

Issue 28

first page of issue #28

A Piece of the Action 28 was published in July 1975 and contains 10 pages.

  • it contains one piece of news is a letter from Gene Roddenberry concerning the status of the movie
  • there is an ad for Chicago Con: "Now, hold onto your hats! Leonard Nimoy has just finished taping a TV commercial for the Con, which will begin running at the end of June locally in Chicago, and in July will be booked on other local channels around the country."
  • there is an announcement for The STW Directory of Star Trek Organizations (The Yellow Pages of Star Trek)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 28

This issue contains only one piece of news for the fan, and that's a letter from Gene Roddenberry concerning the status of the movie. All other material in this issue is either ads or update material for STW members. [1]

Issue 29

A Piece of the Action 29 was published in August 1975 and contains 10 pages.

first page of issue #29
  • it contains coverage of Space: 1999
  • the editor writes: "As Joan Verba pointed out in our April issue, our Big Business is answering fan letters. For some reason this has been an unmentionable topic with us. We have little or no communication with each other on the subject. Sure, we all dash off our desperate pleas for information to the Great Galactic Encyclopedia and Honorable Assistant (Cheree Townsend and Bob Gibbons), but do we write to each other for ideas on how best to answer fan letters? Not often. The lack of communication is deplorable as we have so much to offer each other. I'd like to offer my ideas on certain Difficult Letters and Their Answers. I know each of you has had his/her own pet difficulty. Sent it to me, along with your usual solution, and I'll discuss it in this column. If you are in need of a solution don't hesitate write either. Remember that your solutions are probably just as good as anyone else's, and we are all in the same ship."
  • the mailroom reports they had 902 pieces of mail
  • there is a statement the new book, Star Trek Lives!, and a by-product is a postage disaster: The new book "lists an 8-month-old price and address for our STW Directory, and neglects to say that we need a "self-addressed-STAMPED- envelope" in order to reply to questions. Our Houston address had been absolutely bombed with over 600 letters in just the first week of the book's sale, and that is 600 directory orders, and letters with questions that Houston is not equipped to handle. Filling directory orders coming in and, paying less than it costs us to print the directory, not to mention forwarding all those orders to the DDC in New Rochelle, NY, to be filled... is costing us a bundle in Postage -- a bundle that we do not have and cannot afford. PLEASE! EVERYONE! Visit every bookstore you know of that is carrying "Star Trek Lives!" with an armful of STW flyers, and beg them to let you stuff flyers in the books, put a pile of flyers on the counter near them, or post them prominently near the books. Please help us! Flyers can be obtained from any STW person, or the publisher of APOTA."
  • the editor notes that "We now have a subscriber in Japan!!! Isn't that exciting?"
  • there is a tiny con report for Micro Con
  • in this issue, the editor has a statement regarding the remarks about Vul-Con in the previous issue. It is one that spotlights the uneasy relationship that fans had with TPTB's Involvement and Interference; David Gerrold straddled a line, between being a fan, with the much larger role he played, that being one of the original creators of the show (mainly via his screenplay, "The Trouble with Tribbles" and his part in writing for-profit Star Trek books). He was sort of one of "us," but fans also knew he was perhaps a conduit to the TPTB, and treated him both with gingerly respect, and but also with a conflicted anger over many of his remarks and actions at cons and elsewhere; the editor's remarks hint at this constant back-and forth, and in the end, illustrate he knows which side fandom's bread is buttered on: "A number of people have been upset by certain parts of the Vul-Con report in the June A Piece of the Action -- D.C. Fontana, Bjo Trimble, David Gerrold, Virginia Walker, Janice Scott, Diane McClaugherty, to name a few whose comments had reached us by press time. Exceptions have been taken to several opinions expressed by the article's author. Some found Vul-Con to be a thoroughly enjoyable Con, and we hope to have their contrasting reports in the next issue. Others took exception to the rough treatment accorded the panel discussion. Because of the questions posed by the panel moderator and those asked by fans in the audience, those panel members who were knowledgeable about putting on a con or at whom the questions were directed did the answering—therefore David Gerrold might not deserve to be considered as having monopolized the conversation [the original topic of the panel was never mentioned]. The views expressed in the Vul-Con article were the author's opinion of an event and not intended as personal slander. Further, the author was not a spokesman for STW, but was functioning as a guest writer. News should be the primary function of any newsletter, but constructive criticism is essential as well. Pointing out faults which may lead to alternative action in the future is a necessary part of progress. However, the editors feel the references should have been edited and regret that they were printed. This incident points out to us that we do not often enough remember to express our appreciation to friends and supporters. David Gerrold is indeed a very good friend to the Star Trek Welcommittee and a valuable member of Star Trek fandom. We regret any embarrassment this may have caused him. David has long been a booster of the Star Trek Welcommittee. Thousands of first-discovery fans write him as a result of his two Star Trek books, and each receives several pages of informative flyers from David—which includes a lengthy and detailed description of the Star Trek Welcommittee, tells fans to contact the Welcommittee for Star Trek information, urges them to get our "fantastic directory", and plugs A Piece of the Action for the current Star Trek news. David has contacted A Piece of the Action regarding his concern about the fact that derogatory remarks have gotten out of hand in Star Trek and science fiction fandom. David dealt with this problem at length in his recent WesterCon Keynote Address..."
  • the editor notes that when she started her stint at APOTA, there were 96 subscribers, "now there are nearly ten times that many. Obviously, I had to devise a whole new system of record-keeping. There simply isn't time to keep a cardfile, update it, and then type up a set of labels every month." She also says they tried sending the newsletters out by bulk mail, but this has not been proven successful and are going back to first class mail

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 29

This is quite an informative issue and has a great deal of news within. There is special coverage given to the new british SF venture: Space: 1999, book announcements, convention listings, and a list of recent ST or related newsclippings from across

the country.

An important notice is printed concerning the fact that the new book STLives made mention of Helen Young's address for the Welcommittee rather than the mailroom address, and mentioned to send only a self-addressed-envelope, but not a STAMPED envelope, also an out-dated price is listed for the directory. The Star Trek Welcommittee asks all friends, subscribers of a Piece of the Action, workers for STW...or whatever, to try to contact book stores to convince them to put STW flyers with the correct info inside the book. Flyers are available from any STW person or Virginia Walker. [2]

Issue 30

A Piece of the Action 30 was published in September 1975 and contains 17 pages.

first page of issue #30
  • it has the headline that James Blish has passed away: "While he was a highly regarded SF writer, as well as a passionate medievalist, his STAR TREK adaptations were often a subject of controversy with STAR TREK fans. With these books Blish received more mail than for all of his previous work combined. Letters started pouring in to his study in 1967 and never let up. Unable to deal with each correspondence personally, Blish used the prefaces of his books to give a few personal reflections on the task of rewriting the tv scripts to another printed medium. In Star Trek 10. he said, "I am doing the equivalent of transposing some works of other composers to a different key, or at best making a piano version of works originally written for orchestra." He went on to say, "in this series it was obviously my duty to the originals to keep myself out of them as much as possible."
  • there is news that William Shatner broke his ankle on the set of "The Barbary Coast" and fans are encouraged to send him get-well cards; he is also been doing voice-overs for Wishbone Salad Dressing commercials
  • the volume of mail is causing some issue: "The more successful STW is...the more fans find out about our Information service... the more letters we receive. This is our organization's purpose, after all—to make ST Info available to every fan. But floods of mail do have unfortunate results, too. They cause an overload of work... We can handle these huge numbers...it is simply a matter of allowing time for our system to operate. The Mail Room, Directory Dept., Monthly Report Dept., and Chairman are heavily leaded with work right now—they can use your help, or your understanding and patience if things get fouled up or delayed or they are slow in replying... It is not really a case of needing more people in STW—actually we feel we have sufficient at our limit of 125. It "is extremely expensive to provide supplies and info to more than that number. Realizing that the increased volume of mail puts a heavy burden on some Crewmembers in attempting to provide their own postage for answering these fans, an issue of at least 10 stamps for every CM and AC has just been sent to all Commodores, for eventual forwarding to the Area Captains and distribution to the CHs. Any CM in need of postage aid should therefore apply to their AC—or at any time to the Finance DC."
  • there is a con report for HoustonCon/Star Trek '75 by Helen Young, which sounded attempted to describe the franticness and size of this five-day event
  • there is a con report for ReKWest*Con, see that page
  • there is a con report, a rebuttal of sorts, for Vul-Con II; the fan says it was a relaxed, enjoyable time: "As to the fan panel in which Our Leader appeared -- that's all Helen said she was going to do! Appear. And, and she kept her word!! As to the contents of the panel, I found it interesting to know some of the problems behind running a con... It seems to me that a large part of the success of many cons is due to the talent and concern of David Gerrold. Too many times he is sold short because he gets the unpleasant task of entertaining a restless audience, who don't seem to know that machines do break down, people are late, and the bread always falls buttered side up."'
  • there is a full-page ad for some badges that the STW is selling

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 30

This issue of P/A contains quite a bit of general news, important updates for STW volunteer workers, two con reports, the latest newsclippings and an update to the STW Directory. Lots of info in this issue. Recommended for new & reliable news! [3]


  1. ^ from Spectrum #19
  2. ^ from Spectrum #19
  3. ^ from Spectrum #20