A Piece of the Action/Issues 81-94

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Issue 81

first page of issue #81, Michael Verina

A Piece of the Action 81 was published in March 1980 and contains 8 pages.

  • Shirley Maiewski writes that the STW is going to be advertised in a school magazine called "Career World," "aimed at 4th thru 7th graders, is doing an article about me," and she has hopes that it will generate the amount of mail that the same did in "Dynamite" magazine: "Remember 'Dynamite"? Did you know that we received over 6000 letters from the 'D' article? So brace yourselves—we may have a repeat."
  • there is a flyer for Human Factor #6 and Shuttlecon #2

Issue 82

first page of issue #82

A Piece of the Action 82 was published in April 1980 and contains 8 pages.

  • the editor warns of another chain letter/pyramid scheme involving Star Trek
  • an "ad" by the Star Wars actors who played Darth Vader, C3PO, and Chewbacca noting they are available to appear at cons; it lists their manager's address
  • a list of STW auction zines, Round 16, it features eight zines, one set of bubblegum cards and 105 film clips

Issue 83

first page of issue #83
the STW "Bronx Post Office" Flyer, click to read

A Piece of the Action 83 was published in May/June 1980 and contains 10 pages.

  • the front page is, essentially, a long ad for Susan Sackett's book "The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture," an example of the complicated and enmeshed relationship TPTB had with fans in this newsletter
  • some ads for some other pro books including, "Chekov's Enterprise," "Startrek Spaceflight Chronology," and "The Fourteen Official Blueprints from Star Trek: The Motion Picture"
  • a full-page ad insert for Caterpillar Music and filks and for PhringeCon
  • a full-page flyer for Echoes of the Empire #4
  • a paid ad from the manager for four Star Wars actors: Prowse, Daniels, Mayhew, and Baker -- "Would you like to invite one or more of the 'Star Wars' actors to visit your area for a convention or special appearance?... All English actors... can be reached through their manager in London."
  • several articles which hint at the possibility of a sequel to the movie that had just been released, something that was already whipping fan interest up once again
  • a transcript of an interview with Walter Koenig
  • this issue has a long, long, text-dense "general flyer" for the STW that was sent out "in response to inquires to the Bronx Post Office"
  • round 17 and 18 of the STW auction continues with seventeen zines, one hobby kit, a poster, and some film clips
  • this issue also contains two reviews of Sackett's book—one excerpt:
    For those of you who may have been a little irritated by the "I know something you don't know" tone of Susan Sackett's column in STARLOG magazine, here's your chance to find out what you were missing. Now that the movie is history, she reveals all the inside information we were dying to know. The more underwhelmed you were by the finished product, the more overwhelmed you'll be by the colossal effort expended to get it on celluloid. Nearly one-third of this volume is a painstaking chronicle of Star Trek's history, from its demise as a TV series, through the frustrating pinball game Paramount played, to its glorious resurrection as a big-budget motion picture. The studio is not openly condemned, but you'll get a fair picture of absurd corporate machinations, as well as their "revolving-door" policy with people working on the project. You'll also see the script in various stages of evolution, and the many intriguing ideas that were discarded. The remainder of the book is coverage of the actual filming, and a tribute to the many talented folks who struggled tenaciously with perhaps the most complex task of their lives. Not only all the stars, right down to Grace Lee Whitney (I didn't know that she was once the Chicken-of-the-Sea mermaid), but most of the production crew as well are trotted out into the limelight. There are chapters on costuming, makeup, props, science advising, special effects, and the all-important "little" people, from gaffer to gofer.

Issue 84

first page of issue #84

A Piece of the Action 84 was published in July 1980 and contains 8 pages.

  • there are the usual rumors and teases about a second Star Trek movie
  • this issue is the only one to print a recipe: it is for "George Takei's Sukiyaki"—it contains beef, tofu, a bottle of Saki, a cup of soy sauce, and some vegetables
  • a full-page flyer for Human Factor, an ad for Interstat, an ad for Starbird, an announcement for eight cons (including MediaWest, Shore Leave #2)
  • a full-page listing all the technical credits for the movie
  • round 19 of the auction includes nine zines and some blueprints

Issue 85

first page of issue #85

A Piece of the Action 85 was published in August 1980 and contains 8 pages.

Issue 86

first page of issue #86

A Piece of the Action 86 was published in Sept/Oct 1980 and contains 16 pages.

  • this issue starts with an edited transcript of an interview with Gene Roddenberry done at Augustrek; in it, he sort of addresses the disappointment in the first movie. He says he has written a sequel which Paramount liked and asked him: "Why didn't you have this for the first movie?" Roddenberry's answer: "Because you didn't leave me alone."
  • a short note about two records Nichelle Nichols has recorded
  • a full-page flyer for Forum, for the "RBCC Special Harlan Ellison Issue," a zine put out by Jim Van Hise, and for MediaWest
  • a con report for WorldCon = "Noreason" II
  • two con reports: Star Trekon and Star Con Denver
  • a short interview transcript of an interview with Grace Lee Whitney from Star TreKon in Kansas City. In it, she answers the question of "Will there be a continuation of a the Kirk/Rand affair?" with "Well, I think Uhura and I should have an affair."
  • rounds 21 and 22 of the auction include 19 zines and one script

Issue 87

first page of issue #87

A Piece of the Action 87 was published in Nov/Dec 1980/Jan 1981 and contains 16 pages.

Boldly Writing notes that APOTA "was in a decline. Its editors published only five issues in 1981. The number of subscribers dropped drastically as well. Even so, the news gathered was timely and accurate."

  • a poll taken by STAG and Janet Quarton measured British fan reaction to movie which had been released a year ago. Sample questions and answers: Notable questions included: Are you a Kirk, Spock, McCoy relationship fan? (Yes-387, No-46) Did you feel more use could have been made of Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, Chapel, and Rand? (Yes-370, No-18) Despite the changes did you feel she was still "our" Enterprise? (Yes-390 No-20) Did you find the music effective? (Yes-400 No-15) Everything considered did you enjoy the film? (Yes-417, No-20). Despite all the changes did you feel the movie was still Star Trek? (Yes-398, No-22) Would you like a follow-up to be made? (Yes-194, No-7).
  • a flyer for the first MediaWest and for Forum
  • a full-page article about "Theater Etiquette" by Pat Smith

Issue 88

first page of issue #88

A Piece of the Action 88 was published in Feb/Mar 1981 and contains 16 pages.

  • an announcement that the Concordance by Bjo Trimble is out of print
  • a long, long section of fan letters responding to the question of whether Star Trek could ever really be reproduced on television again
  • a long letter from Shirley Maiewski addresses some issues: mail to the STW has really dropped off (about 70 a month), the financial situation of the STW is not good and expenses have been cut, the newsletter is going bi-monthly...
  • a two-page flyer for the second PhringeCon, a one-page flyer for Star Con Denver '81
  • a long, long fiction-pun and a page of reprinted mainstream comics (Peanuts, Funky Winkerbean, and Doonesbury)
  • some pro book reviews
  • round 24 of the auction contains ten zines

Issue 89

first page of issue #89

A Piece of the Action 89 was published in April/May 1981 and contains 8 pages.

  • an announcement that Allan Asherman's Star Trek Compendium was published
  • a reprint of a newspaper article about Persis Khambatta
  • some pro books are announced
  • round 25 of the auction

Issue 90

A Piece of the Action 90 was published in June/July 1981 and contains 8 pages.

first page of issue #90
  • announces that the long-standing Mark Lenard Fan Club was disbanding
  • James Doohan has had a heart attack
  • some pro books are announced
  • a newspaper reprint about Walter Koenig and his writing career
  • a full-page flyer for Human Factor #7
  • a profile of Jane Wyatt
  • an essay by Patrick and Phillip Duff scolding Star Trek fans for having gripes about the first movie and how fans can never recreate the good old days
  • round 26 of the auction

Issue 91

first page of issue #91

A Piece of the Action 91 was published in Aug/Sep 1981 and contains 14 pages.

  • it contains extensive information, especially about the death of Spock in the next movie, contributed by Gene Roddenberry. ("Although I can understand how the Spock image troubles Nimoy, I believe that [it] is foolishly wasteful to permanently destroy this key character (and a bit unfair to me as Spock's original creator.")) The editors ran his letter in its entirety. They also printed parts of a transcript of a telephone conversation with GR mad earlier in the year at the August Party. The questioner asked, "If there were a series again, would you be interested in doing it?" GR's response was, "No. I won't line produce it again. TV is not as it used to be. There are too many people who will try to change what you are doing. I realize now that I had an easier time before. Now everybody has become an expert on science fiction. There are plenty of good young writer/producers who have the strength to fight, and I think they should do it."
  • some pro book reviews
  • a con report for the 39th WorldCon
  • a partial transcript of the August Party's Roddenberry Phone Call
  • round 27 of the STW auction

Issue 92

first page of issue #92

A Piece of the Action 92 was published in Nov/Dec 1981/Jan 1982 and contains 12 pages. The format of the newsletter changes for the first time, and is no longer full-sized and this, and the next two issues, cover three months at a time, a sign of its decline.

  • a report of fan's visit to the movie set
  • a flyer for a new zine called The Human Adventure
  • the auction continues with round "8201" and "8202"—both have eight items each, the latter with a copy of Zebra Three #4

Issue 93

first page of issue #93

A Piece of the Action 93 was published in Feb/March/April 1982 and contains 12 pages.

  • contains an extensive report of The Wrath of Khan by Joyce E. Thompson—it takes up half the issue
  • two more rounds of the auction
  • some newspaper clippings

Issue 94

first page of issue #94

A Piece of the Action 94 was published in October 1982 and contains 8 pages.

  • a reprint of a newspaper article in "Parade" featuring George Takei and his previously reprinted recipe for "Sukiyaki"
  • a handful of newspaper clippings and small want ads
  • It was the final issue, and this newsletter and institution goes out, literally, in a ball of flame (well, flames and smoke):
    Several weeks ago some friends and myself were working on the upcoming convention we do here, when my friend decided that he needed a book from my small office. I have a separate house located out behind my big house that I use for an office. He went over to the office only to be greeted by smoke pouring out from the roof... My friend, being the calm type, ran back into the house and informed me that the office was on fire. Me, being a very uncalm type, ran out to save it. I discovered something about myself at this point...the term 'Don't Panic' doesn't apply when it's your office that's burning... Anyway, the fire took it's toll on everything, it destroyed a lot of valuable papers and some of our props, and what the fire didn't get, the water and foam used to put it out did. All the work I had done for this issue went up in a puff of smoke (literally). What I was able to salvage were a few of the masters, the mailing list (hooray for large favors) and a few envelopes. Unfortunately, this put me back to square one as far as getting this issue out on time... All in all, it could have been worse. Fortunately the fire was discovered before it took the whole house... I am now in the process of remodeling the office and it will be better and more efficient than ever. I only regret that this has caused such a delay with APOTA. Oh well, what other publication can say that it went out in a blaze of glory.

  • in this issue, Shirley Maiewski writes her last letter in APOTA
    Dear Friends, This is the final issue of "A Piece of the Action". It is with great reluctance and sadness that we have decided to discontinue publication of A PIECE OF THE ACTION, after almost 10 years. Number one, Volume one was published in February 1973. Now, after all this time, the decision to stop has to be made. We find that higher and higher costs of printing and postage, and further, a large drop in subscriptions, makes this necessary. There are other problems also, which we feel are not necessary to go into at this point. HOWEVER: Any subscriber whose subscription has not expired will receive a refund for issues due! The refunds will be sent in the form of a check, just as soon as we can get- the figures together... One reason we have come to this decision is that we feel that most fans of STAR TREK are now able to find current information through other sources - such as STARLOG magazine and also the popular TV series ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, As many of you know, ET (not the movie of that name) is a product of Paramount Pictures Corporation, and it carries a lot of information relating to STAR TREK. Other forms of the media are carrying a lot of STAR TREK material, and we feel we just cannot compete with these professional outlets, especially since we have been forced to go bi-monthly, at least, with our publication. APOTA, as we affectionately call it, was originally intended as an in-house organ for our volunteer workers. Others heard of it and so it was opened to subscribers in 1973. A number of very hard working people have served as editors and publishers over these almost 10 years and each one brought their own special talents to the position. We wish to thank them all for making APOTA the fine publication it has become. Now, however, it is time to stop. The STAR TREK Welcommittee continues, of course, and questions relating to STAR TREK may be sent to us, c/o Box 12, Saranac, MI 48881 for answers. Please enclose a SASE and we will gladly answer or direct you to one of our other departments to help you. We thank all of you for your support over the many years and hope we can be of further help in the future. Peace and long life, Shirley S. Maiewski, Chairman.