A Piece of the Action/Issues 31-40

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Issue 31

first page of issue #31

A Piece of the Action 31 was published in October 1975 and contains 11 pages.

  • this issue has, as usual, info on the movie and what the stars have been up to
  • there is a full-sized, three-page ad for "Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual," advertised as "Franz Joseph Schnaubelt's Starfleet-Technical Manual," a pro-book that sparked the sub-genre of fans and their interest in creating blueprints and other technical fanworks about Star Trek, and later other topics
  • there is a short introductory piece on Worldcon called "The Strekfan's Guide to Worldcon" by Joan Verba
  • some trivia by Cheree Townsend Cargill
  • three con reports: Philadelphia International ST Con, Wondaycon #4 (see that page), and the Chicago con
  • the mail room letters report: June—797, July—1053, August—252

Issue 32

first page of issue #32

A Piece of the Action 32 was published in November 1975 and contains 27 pages.

  • the newsletter has a report on the 1975 issue of Time Magazine: one comment -- "Except for the repeated reference to "trekkies" (a label which most mature Star Trek fans object to), the article deals with Star Trek's popularity and fans intelligently."
  • there is news of what the stars are up to and the usual round-up of Star Trek mentions in the media
  • there is an ad for the United Friends of William Shatner, the official William Shatner fan club, president Maxine Lee Broadwater
  • there is collection of letters from fans commenting on Space:1999; most reflect the opening statement -- "Despite the fact that Space:1999 producer's avowed intention of aiming for his show to capture the Star Trek audience, early reactions to the series indicate that Star Trek has nothing to fear from comparison." It illustrates the rivalry between fans and their appreciation for their favorite show, even when said show had been off the air for years; this protectionism would only become more pronounced with the advent of Star Wars a few years later.
  • there is a Star Trek word search puzzle
  • there is a very short comment about August Party: "The convention brought out 940 people who thought they were the only ones who watched Star Trek. What a surprise they had when they found us all there also. We had slides, talks, movies, and get-togethers with these new fans and introduced them to ST fandom."
  • there are many, many con reports including those for the Palm Beach Con/Trek Con International, something called Minicon II (September, Houston), and Starcon #4
  • the fan in charge of the pen pal department, Joyce Thompson, says she has several hundred applications to mail out
  • art is by Don Harden, Gee Moaven, Laura Virgil, Eric Schaefer, Cheree Townsend Cargill, Elizabeth Marshall
  • there is a report on the Gene Coon Memorial Fund
  • there is a full-page ad for the Michigan State University Star Trek Club

Issue 33

A Piece of the Action 33 was published in December 1975 and contains 15 pages.

first page of issue #33
  • a survey that was taken of more than 3000 TV executives and their families in which they state that ST is their third most favorite TV show ever
  • news of what the stars are up to: some of it -- George Takei had lunch with the Emperor and Empress of Japan, Leonard Nimoy appeared at an auto show in New York...
  • there are seven con announcements
  • there is a con report for American Star Trek Convention (October 9–12, 1975 in Dallas)
  • Bjo Trimble advertises a 28-page folio of Equicon's Futuristic Fashion Design Contest
  • Jacqueline Lichtenberg tries some cross-marketing/added value thinking and writes that "ST fen planning attend SF Worldcon in Kansas City include Claire Gabriel, Joan Winston, and myself. Marion Zimmer Bradley plans to be there and many in the organization known as the Friends of Darkover feel there is a definite overlap of appeal between the Darkover books and ST. Getting involved in factions of sf fandom which would satisfy some of that longing for more-more-more ST is another reason for Strekfen to go to Worldcon."
  • there is a fan profile of [M L D]: "[I] am a 47 year old, plump, grey-haired, old maid, afflicted with the least interesting of all perversions -- scholarship." She says she started writing Star Trek fiction because young relations had been asking her to write "some Star Trek episodes." She adds that two of her stories will appear in the upcoming Delta Triad.
  • the editor notes that the "annual STW questionnaire" has been mailed to all volunteer workers
  • the STW's booklet, Communication the Hard Way, published as a joint project with boojums Press and recently been revised and reprinted. The first 100 copies are sold out. The second edition has a cover by Doug Herring, and interior art by Phil Foglio. Contributors include Ruth Berman, Debbie Goldstein, Jeff Johnston, Devra Langsam, Carol Lynn, Paula Smith, Bjo Trimble, and Helen Young. The final draft was written by Sharon Ferraro.
  • there is a new section announced for the newsletter—it is the "Editors & Artists Exchange"; its purpose was to help faneds and artists find each other; format would be a list compiled and updated by Laura Virgil; the STW stresses this "is NOT a distribution center for art and stories, but only a contact point."
  • art by Laura Virgil, Elizabeth Marshall, Don Harden, Melanie Mayfield, Sandra Dennis, Pat Berry, Tim Estiloz, and Eric Schaefer
  • there are ads for Federation Trading Post and Nova Enterprises, the latter which advertises "I Am Not Spock"

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 33

Within this issue is an interesting survey that was taken of more than 3,000 TV industry executives & their families which names ST as their third most popular TV program of all time. There is a brief section updating revival news, another on the "Ubiquitous Star Trek," news of the sitars, and book announcements.

The section on con notes has a very complete list of many upcoming ST cons thru Aug, and one con report. There are the usual pages devoted to STW information for the VMs, followed by-a lengthy report of a few efforts in ST publicity and a plug for a new department in the STl^ v^hich aimes at getting ST editors and artists together.

Although the STW info in P/A takes up too much volume (considering most of the readers are not STWers and therefore not interested particularly) the information compiled in each issue is always up to date and provides the best single source for recent news. Recommended. [1]

Issue 34

A Piece of the Action 34 was published in January 1976 and contains 15 pages.

first page of issue #34
From the editorial by Helen Young:
STW Is often asked to speak out against something, to editorialize, to take sides--the idea, of course, being to protect fans, or for the good of ST fandom, or just fair play. And certainly we are eager to protect fans, and to work for the good of ST fandom, and we stand foursquare for fair play. And certainly we will never knowingly condone or promote dishonesty. But there are reasons why we feel it would be unwise for STW to editorialize or take sides. First off, there are currently 140 volunteer workers participating in STW. It is entirely possible, therefore, for us to have 140 different opinions on any one given subject! How then could we ever reconcile ourselves to all supporting one side or one viewpoint and be fair to our own people? Certainly every STWer is free to express their opinion on any subject as an individual, but to have the organization itself take a stand that some of its members might disagree with would threaten our very existence... How are we to determine who is In the right? Who are we to judge? Who are we to condemn? Of course we deplore certain things. Of course we have opinions. But if STW should take sides, we'd anger the other side, and thus diminish our effectiveness... We like to think we're the one place In fandom where all organizations and all fans can work together. Where everyone can co-operate. Where everyone can get or give information or help. We feel the best way we can effectively serve all of fandom is to remain neutral. So please don't expect STW to take sides or editorialize—allow us to remain a non-partisan organization so we can better serve all fans and all of fandom.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 34

This issue leads off with a bevy of book announcements, and also has info on the stars, new products and a small section of "The Ubiquitous ST."

There is a very comprehensive convention calendar which lists only dates, places and addresses but is good for an at-a-glance chart of the upcoming con schedules. The con notes section describes 6 of these upcoming cons in more detail and actually has 6 con reports this time.

There is an editorial by Helen Young which defines clearly the position of neutrality that STW,must take on all controversial matters...something the readers should actually r-e-a-d and understand.

The rest of the issue is filled with about 5 pages of STW info en tout, and various ads. Recommended. [2]

Issue 35

first page of issue #35

A Piece of the Action 35 was published in February 1976 and contains 7 pages.

Issue 36

A Piece of the Action 36 was published in March 1976 and contains 13 pages. This is the last issue published by Virginia Walker.

first page of issue #36
  • Editor: Helen Young
  • the mail room letter count: October = 496, November = 453, December = 659
  • Movie news. (Production date set: July 15)
  • there is a poll called the "Star Trek Motion Picture Script Opinion Poll"
  • the STSTC has an update, mainly that there is no news regarding their campaign to have the ST movie retain all of the original cast
  • Tomorrow Show Spotlights Star Trek, hosted by Tom Snyder
  • News of the Stars
  • it contains a full-page letter by a fan who encourages other to write NASA and their representatives and "remind them our future is in Space. Don't mention Star Trek, must your concern and interest in the future of mankind."
  • New Products, mainly toys
  • Space: 1999 news
  • Gene Roddenberry Lecture Tours, calendar
  • Planetary publicity
  • STW newsclipping service
  • STW Directory of Star Trek Organizations
  • there is a con report for Pittsburgh Star Strektacular (December 12–14, 1975): "Most readers and STW VWs who sent their comments on this con stressed the almost total lack of planning and organization (or to put it plainly, 'what a mess!'). A change of hotel at the eleventh hour....no info desk....no press arrangements....no central dealers room, just many small scattered rooms....too small a ballroom for guest appearances....Leonard Nimoy didn't appear....costume show held in 7th floor hallway.... a disappearing committee and Chairman....knowledgable fans tried to step in and help EVERYWHERE. (Comments sent by Becca Oroukin, Dorothy McPherson, Bjo Trimble, Arlene Boyer.)."
  • another con report, this one for New York Star Trek '76 (January 23–25, 1976): "The prevailing mood of this con was Anger. There were huge crowds (estimated from 20,000 to 30,000) with inadequate crowd control provided people fainting, shoved against large plate glass windows. Both police and fire departments had to be called in to help with the situation. There were no program books or schedules for members, and the schedule as posted was rarely followed. Press coverage was enormous, but inadequate arrangements made for them....television coverage was also enormous, but mostly unfavorable. There were many more members than could possibly be accomodated in the ballroom to see the guests....the stars agreed to do a third show at 11PM to ease the situation. Irate ticket holders, unable to see anything, were full of complaints and demands for the return of their money. The Attorney General of New York has ordered an investigation into the causes of lack of space and charges of overselling. Lincoln Enterprises had a table in the dealers room, a most unusual sight for a ST con. Susan Sackett (secretary to Gene Roddenberry) was a guest, marking only her second such appearance. On stage, William Shatner had a pie thrown at him! (It missed!)."
  • another con report, this one for International Star Trek Convention (Jan 15-18, 1976, New York): "Attendance at the con was much lower than had been anticipated, so it was quiet and relaxed. A special separate area contained the tables for use of James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, and STW, courtesy of Chairman Al Schuster. Many STWers on short notice helped set up and manage the table: Sharon Ferraro, Mary Ellen Flynn, Gee Moaven, and Allyson Whitfield. Assisting them were: Maria Amato, Nora Bock, Winston Howlett, Joyce Russell, and Jack Townsend (President of Walter Koenig Fan Club). Walter Koenig held two autograph sessions at the table. $187.00 were realized through sale of patches, Directories, and photos donated by Tony Anello."
  • there are two very, very short con reports for International Star Trek Convention (Washington D.C., January 1–4) and Houston Mini-Con #13 (January 3–4)
  • the editors thank Mego Corporation for their donation of "communicators," (transistor walkie talkies) making it easier for con volunteers to talk to each other (up to a quarter mile!)

Issue 37

A Piece of the Action 37 was published in April 1976 and contains 12 pages. The publisher of this zine is now Josi Williams, with associates KathE Donnelly and Karolyn Popovich.

first page of issue #37
  • Editor: Virginia Walker
  • News of the stars: Leonard Nimoy as Sherlock Holmes, etc.
  • a con report for The Star Trek Convention, NY (Feb 12-16): "Thanks to Joel Davis for pinch-hitting—twice!—first opening and masterminding the STW table due to Mary Ellen Flynn's illness and late arrival, and then running the STW meeting due to Shirley Maiewski's illness and early departure. There were a few unfortunate occurrences—a fan was robbed at knife-point in her hotel room, and a dealer was tied up, beaten, and robbed in her hotel suite—but there was no doubt that this was again THE East coast fan con. It is the only Con attended by The Great Bird of the Galaxy himself besides Equicon in Los Angeles on a regular basis, with nearly everyone else as guests as well: Majel Barrett Roddenberry, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, James Doohan, David Gerrold, Isaac Asimov, Hal Clement, William Ware Theiss, and also DeForest Kelley—there wouldn't be much more a fan could ask! One big laugh occurred during a panel called "Women on the Enterprise" by Nichelle Nichols and Majel Barrett: a fan asked "Mrs. Roddenberry, if Christine Chapel were to 'get in trouble', would you let your son play Spock, Junior?" and for a few moments there was dead silence until simultaneously Majel said "What??!" and Nichelle burst out laughing. Then they both explained "You see what women's lib has done—for a minute there, we didn't know what you meant by 'get in trouble'!!""
  • there is a long review and reaction to the pro book, Star Trek: The New Voyages (see that page for details)
  • there is a full-page ad for "I am not Spock"
  • The Hole in the Deck Gang, a "central registry for gofers encourages fans to write it and apply
  • Yellow Page updates
  • Personnel updates
  • Computing, Dear, by Cheree Townsend Cargill - quiz
  • Trekkers vs Trekkie, by Terry Whittier: "What many people outside of STAR TREK fandom don't seem to realize is that there are two rather distinctly different types of Star Trek fans: Trekkers and Trekkies. And Star Trek fandom tends to suffer because of this misunderstanding. There are two different outlooks that separate the Trekker and the Trekkie: The Trekker is the serious, dedicated, and hardworking fan who is seriously into ST fandom trying to get something constructive done while still meeting people and making friends. But Trekkies- are. inconsiderate, disruptive kids who are simply along for the ride. The Trekker sees Star Trek as the only recent television show that treated science fiction in an adult, painstakingly authentic, highly entertaining manner by craftsmen who (because of their dedication and skill) make the future come alive. Trekkers give freely of their time, energy, and resources to get things done. They tend to be the organizers, the volunteers, the hard and consistent workers, the editors and officers. They run the service organizations like the Star Trek Welcommittee. Prime examples of Trekkers: John and Bjo Trimble, David Gerrold, Allyson Whitfield. Trekkies on the other hand, see Star Trek as just another exciting TV show. And the fandom associated with it simply another "in-group" they can try to join. They can always be seen, running all over, zapping everyone with their toy phasers, dressed in their spockears and uniforms. They are consumers of anything that says Star Trek or has a picture of Spock on it. Their only aim is to have fun. Trekkies are. forever quoting their favorite character, but are very apathetic when it comes to working on club activities and volunteer projects. Trekkers are responsible for most of the good things that have been done in Star Trek fandom. Trekkies, unfortunately, are responsible for the bad impression the general public has of Star Trek fans."
  • the mail room says it received 1360 letters in January, it is reported that the STW now has 130 volunteers

Issue 38

A Piece of the Action 38 was published in May 1976 and contains 14 pages. The editor announces that the fan readers of APOTA now outnumber the volunteers it was originally written for by 10 to 1, and that APOTA will now become more of a general newsletter and many of the usual sections will be discontinued; more detailed STW information for the 150 volunteers will now be sent to them on a separate mimeographed sheet of paper. The editor also says that after one issue, the new business manager (Josi Williams), has resigned and her duties pass on to Karolyn Popovich and KathE Donnelly.

first page of issue #38
  • Editor: Helen Young
  • Revival news: Filming for Star Trek Movie pushed back to late Aug or September
  • News of the Stars: Gene Roddenbery's lecture tour and more; William Shatner did an commercial for Linn Technical College, plugging it by saying, "As an old friend of mine might have said, it would seem the logical choice." The editors note that they are discontinuing this "actors in the news" section as it is getting too big
  • Profile: Grace Lee Whitney, by Bonnie Chardene in which the actress is described as "ultra-feminine and independent."
  • Book Announcements, Susan Sackett is doing a book of collected "interesting" fan letters she's received over the years
  • Computing, Dear, by Cherry Cargill. Quiz
  • The Ubiquitous Star Trek: ST mentioned in various media
  • Con Notes, there are eleven cons advertised; Al Schuster announces that due to financial difficulties, plans for his Seattle convention have been canceled, there is a con report for Star Trekon (see that page), other short con reports for four other ones
  • a fan reports on a con she hosted in Barranquilla, Columbia called "Star Trek Fiesta"; it was more of a house party and there were many children present, everyone stayed up all night, watched a play preformed by kids, and they had a meal at midnight "from other planets"
  • there is an "ad" for The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
  • STW Directory Announcements
  • Joan Verba becomes the "Zine Acquisition Consultant"
  • STW Needs Fan Support, by Helen Young; the article says that the STW needs more money but is unsure of how to get it; she suggests that fans who can step up and send in some donations and buy some more patches
  • the mail room reports having received 1523 letters in March 1976

Issue 39

A Piece of the Action 39 was published in June 1976 and contains 14 pages.

first page of issue #39
issue #39 published an index to the material that has appeared in the first 39 issues, including this list of con reports
  • Editor: Virginia Walker
  • News of the stars: Nichelle Nichols is the model figure for the heroine of a Gothic novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Con Farr: Before and After: eight cons are advertised, there is one con report for Equicon (see that page)
  • One Small Step, One Giant step; this is a long, long, detailed report, complete with photos, of the US Air Force Plant #42: Space shuttle Enterprise, see Star Trek Fandom and NASA
  • there is a long article by Helen Young called, "The STW Table at Conventions." It discusses the rules, descriptions, and technicalities of running the organization's table at conventions
  • the mail room reports having received 911 letters in April
  • art is by Elizabeth Marshall, Laura Virgil, Ellen Vartanoff, and Robin Hill

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 39

It starts off with a good selection of news of the stars, and follows up with a fine section on conventions, especially good is a report on Equicon. "One Small Step, One Giant Step..." is a very good article on NASA's space shuttle the the efforts to get the President to name the first shuttle U.S.S. Enterprise.

For those people interested in issues of P/A and past subjects there is a comprehensive index of subjects and issues inside #39. The usual items fill the remainder of this issue. Perhaps one of the more informative this year.


Issue 40

A Piece of the Action 40 was published in July 1976 and contains 10 pages.

first page of issue #40
  • Editor: Helen Young
  • Book announcements: Spock Messiah and more
  • Dear Grace Lee (advice column, Grace Lee Whitney)
  • A Fan's Handy Guide to STW services (officers and their home addresses) -- there are twenty-one services listed
  • there is a con report for Boston Con 1976, (April 16–19, Boston, MA) "This con apparently didn't whip up much enthusiasm...few fans bothered to send In comments on it, and those who did summarized it thusly: "nice" "nothing new" "a bore." Perhaps they were still trying to recover from the heat—the hotel air conditioning was not working for the first two days and temperatures outside were as high as 95°. The con was not a financial success. 5,000-7,000 attendance was anticipated and planned for, but less than 3,000 registered. All of the 'trekkers' were either working for the con or were dealers, which suggests fewer and fewer active, serious fans will be going to the big cons in future. The con ran very wet*--there were very few problems. Other comments: "I saw more little kids at this con than I could find in the entire school system of New York state." "George Takei was trying his hardest to convince everyone that rail travel is the only way to go." "Harlan Ellison was pleasant and relaxed, read some of his short stories." "BeForest Kelley was fantastic."" [4]
  • the editors thank about 28 fans for their donations of cash, stamps, and art for resale
  • art is by Don Harden, Lorrie Vall (envelope art), and Cheree Cargill

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 40

A new column in this issue is: "Dear Grace Lee," where fans ask Grace Lee Whitney questions. It should add some good personal interest to what can sometimes be a dry newsletter. A very interesting part of this issue is "A Fan's Handy Dandy Guide to STW Service," which describes the gamut of services available from fans. Definitely something to have. There are con updates, a small special interest article or two and the usual inclusions. Informative. Recommended.[5]


  1. ^ from Spectrum #23
  2. ^ from Spectrum #23
  3. ^ from Spectrum #26
  4. ^ from comments by Joel Davis, Sharon Ferraro, Virqinia Walker, Allyson Whitfield compiled in A Piece of the Action #40
  5. ^ from Spectrum #26