Alpha Continuum

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Title: Alpha Continuum
Publisher: WTUU
Editor(s): Marty Siegrist (#1 and #2), Tina Henry (#3), Marty Siegrist and Signe Jesson (#4)
Date(s): 1976 - 1980
Series?: yes
Medium: print zine
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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Alpha Continuum was a Star Trek: TOS fanzine edited by Marty Siegrist, Signe Jesson, and Tina Henry.

There were four issues published between 1976 to 1980.

Issue 1

front cover issue #1 by Marty Siegrist

Alpha Continuum 1 was published in 1976 (reprinted in 1981) and contains 92 pages.

back cover of issue #1, Marty Siegrist

The front cover is not credited, nor is the back cover, but they are both by Marty Siegrist.

The inside art is by Paula Block, Ingrid Cross, Connie Faddis, Kathi Lynn Higley, Marty Siegrist, Gee Moaven, Laurraine Tutihasi, Signe Landon, and Thetis "Mother Rock."

It was edited by Marty Siegrist.

From the editorial by Marty:

I have to admit it -- you do have to be crazy to edit a fanzine. If you're not insane-when commencing the little (hah!) project, 'tis guaranteed you will be when you finish. I mean, I knew the job was dangerous when I took it; but no- body told me the degree of danger involved...ah, well. It keeps you on your toes (and off your rocker).

I would like to apologize to Laurraine Tutihasi for the way her fine scratchboard illo turned out in print. It seems printers don't much like black--at least in that quantity!

(He sort of moaned when I showed it to him.) We did the best we could.. I would also like to thank everyone who helped me scrabble this thing together--like the artists who came through with illos with very short notice, and the authors who put up with my editorial non-expertise; Art, the T-A who's a perfectionist, and Lori Chapek who' gave "elemental" assistance; and especially typists Lorie Ott and Mary Keast, who did one helluva lot of work on this (and they're not even Trekkers).

From the editorial by Tina Henry:

There is an old saying that states that, given an infinite number of monkeys with typewriters, and an infinite amount of time, all the great works of the world will be reproduced. I'd like to add a revision to that saying: Given three MUS students who are infintely bored with school and who are a bit strange anyway, a fanzine will be born if theyt just happen to say "what if"" just once too often

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for Never Enough Dark.

See reactions and reviews for Wings of Wonder.

See reactions and reviews for The Fear of You.

See reactions and reviews for Caison Occurence.

See reactions and reviews for The Sight of Kollos.

See reactions and reviews for No Time for Past Regrets.

See reactions and reviews for Night Creatures.


Two reviews received, one reviewer did not rate poetry and editorial. Art ranged from 8/9; fiction, 3/10i readability, 8/9; covers, 7/8; binding, 4/6; advertisements, 4/5. Covers done on regular (not cover) stock. Contains STAR TREK fiction, one reviewer was not sure whether "Caison Occurrence" is meant to be a humorous or a serious story, and noted the misspelling of the word "caison". Out of nine stories, four "are mind-melding prowls through (Spock's) mind."

Both reviewers mentioned that the 'zine suffers from an "obvious lack of editing" and a preponderance of typos, and that most stories "needed some re-write."

Probably the most notable story is "Night Creatures," by Mandi Schultz, which is part of the DIAMONDS & RUST series. Marty is a good artist, but an inexperienced editor. I don't know if this issue is still available.

The type is not reduced in ALPHA CONTINUUM #1. [1]

[zine]: This first effort by Siegrist is extremely uneven in writing quality though it has excellent art. On the plus side are a trio of short stories by Ingrid Cross: 'No Time for Past Regrets' shows us McCoy as he is joining the crew and we get an inside on why McCoy and Spock may have difficulty being open with each other; 'Encounter' gives us McCoy's view of a mindmeld with Spock, from the inside; 'Dancer' tells us what Uhura does while waiting for all those frequencies to hail. Leslie Fish has a visual vignette of Spock in his Kollos-madness, 'The Sight of Kollos,' that is quite good. 'Night Creatures,' by Mandi Schultz, is a story out of her Diamonds and Rust series that relates to what happened to Kirk on Tarsus IV. Many may disagree with the character analysis of the younger Kodos, but the story is impelling in telling. 'Wings of Wonder' had potential, but we never find out why, of the whole landing party, only Marie is affected OR what caused her disassociation, except for maybe a hidden desire to mind-meld with Spock. 'Caison Occurrence' is your average Lt. Mary Sue story story, complete with plastic characters, contrived plot, and unrealistic dialogue. The only thing missing is that the heroine didn't have to die saving the situation. Annelaurie Logan's 'The Fear of You, and the Dread' started off fine, but after Spock and Megan beam down, mass confusion sets in. I can't honestly report what happened, though perhaps it is through some fault of mine. 'Never Enough Dark' is by Cheryl Rice and this is not one of her best, it is basically a rescue story but is extremely bland. There just isn't enough gut emotion that the plot line deserves. Overall, it is a toss-up on value. Reproduction is fair, the artwork is sometimes faded out, but the illos are very good. One suggestion I would offer is that cover stock be used for the covers; it will protect the zine better.[2]

[zine]: 1976 was a vintage year in Star Trek fan-lit, and ALPHA CONTINUUM 1 is a first class reprint of vintage material. Enough has already been made by me of Mandi Schultz's "Night Creatures," a succes de scandale of D&R. Ingrid Cross' "No Time for Past Regrets" is a sensitive and wise portrait of the first meeting of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. McCaffrey fans can luxuriate in Signe Jesson's "Caison Occurence." "Never Enough Dark" by Cheryl Rice gives one claustrophobia as well as thoughtful sketches of Kirk and Spock under pressure. Many will like Annelaurie Logan's "The Fear of You" better than I; it is extremely well done. Leslie Fish's poetic vignette about Spock and Kollos is excellent, and Paula Block slips gracefully across the line between good taste and hilarity to end the zine. Illustrators include Siegrist, Faddis, Moaven, Landon, and Tutihasi. Not all of the art reproduction is successful. However, the text is offset and reduced, and it is easy on the eye. Beg, borrow, steal, BUY these zines [issues #1 and #4]. They are cheap at twice the price. They can be used to proselytise the heathen or to subvert the believer. Marty Siegrist makes some, not all, of the $12 to $15 wonders of recent years look bloated and stupid. (A wistful message to Mandi and Cheryl: Rust Never Sleeps. But if that's all there is, thank you. I'll never forget the trip.).[3]

  • "No Time For Past Regrets" / On the eve of his departure for a new life in Starfleet, McCoy is busy drowning his recent sorrows -- his demented wife Arianna having murdered his female colleague in a fit of unwarranted jealousy -- when he is called upon to rescue his new captain from unseemly drunkenness. Also sets up the hostilities between Spock and McCoy. Not one of Ingrid's best, and nothing much really happens here.
  • "Wings of Wonder" / A crewwoman finds herself dissociating from her body and must be retrieved by Spock via -- you guessed it -- mind-meld. Ho-hum.
  • "Caison [sic] Occurence" / Crossover with Ann McCaffrey's dragon series. The Enterprise officers are negotiating with the dragonrider planet when a rogue queen dragon creates havoc in the province -- and traps Kirk in a cavern collapse. Best bit is actually the alternate farce ending provided by the editors - in which McCoy nabs the unconscious Kirk's little black book.
  • "Dancer" / Vignette - Uhura indulging improbably in romantic daydreams on the bridge.
  • "Encounter" / Internal Kirk/Spock dialog as they engage in their first mind-meld.
  • "The Sight of Kollos" / Inside Spock's mind as he catches sight of Kollos and goes crazy. Nice bit is that Kirk's warning cry is what drives his paranoia - he knows there is danger but can't correctly identify it.
  • "Night Creatures" / Seems to be part of Diamonds and Rust series, or at least related. Chantal, who is not explained here, is sleeping with Kirk, who is reliving his days on Tarsus IV in his dreams. Kodos spared 14-year-old cadet Jim Kirk and his younger brother Sam in return for the boy's sexual favors. Not as interesting and nearly as salacious as the later stories.
  • "The Fear Of You" / Odd and rather disturbing tale in which Spock, sent along with a New Danaan woman and her symbiotic pet tiggy to investigate a mushroom hallucinogen smuggling ring on a planet on which Tellerites have seeded telepathic hounds... well, it was hard to follow, but the woman and her tiggy - which was quite a nice critter - end up dead and Spock ends up joining the hounds in massacreing the smugglers. Ick.
  • "Never Enough Dark" / Nice dilemma, though needed more done with it. Enterprise has rescued a bunch of bird-like folks from their nova-ing star, has filled the ship with them and has several boatloads in tow, but the transporters are burned out and they can't warp away. Spock advocates dropping the load to escape -- but then ends up providing incubator space for the rambunctious babies in his nice, warm cabin. I still don't get the title.[4]

Issue 2

back cover issue #2 by Marty Siegrist
silkscreened front cover issue #2 by Marty Siegrist

Alpha Continuum 2 was published in March 1977 and contains 154 pages, offset, reduced (the first edition was 120 pages, offset, reduced). It is a "McCoy issue." Cover & back cover: Marty Siegrist. It has the subtitle, "... In Wonderland."

frontispiece from issue #2, Marty Siegrist
inside back cover from issue #2, Paula Block

It was edited by Marty Siegrist.

The extraordinary amount of art is by Paula Block, Gerry Downes, Connie Faddis, Amy Falkowitz, M.J. Fisher, Kathi Lynn Higley, Signe Landon, Gee Moaven, Richard Schultz, and Marty Siegrist.

The typists were Mary B. Least, M. Siegrist, T. Henry, and Ingrid Cross.

Original cost was $5.60 first class.

  • Editorial (3)
  • Souvenir by L. Jeanne Powers (5)
  • Raison du partie by J. Jeanne Powers (7)
  • When the Good is Gone from Goodbye by Karen Fleming (The confrontation that led to the break-up of McCoy's marriage.) (9)
  • Change of Habit by Meg Hogue (Christine Chapel is going through a difficult time in her personal life and as Leonard McCoy tries to find some way to help her he finds, to his surprise, that Christine is very important to him.) (11)
  • Any Time But This, Any Place But Now by Cheryl Rice (The Zinedex says: "Vignette. One of McCoy’s techs, whining about how boring life is and dreaming of other times.") (23)
  • To the Edge by Mona Delitsky (While on a planet, the Captain and Spock are injured in an explosion. The Enterprise will not return for many hours and McCoy, injured himself, struggles to stay awake and alert to care for his two friends until help arrives.) (26)
  • The Naked Time by Gerry Downes (33)
  • Prisoners in a Cold Cell: A Matched Set by J. Feaster (34)
  • No Child of Man by Anne Laurie Logan (A conversation between McCoy and his daughter reveals a very bizarre family background they share.) (37)
  • The Southern Surgeon’s Nightmare by Paula Block (Illo interp: Civil War. McCoy wonders what sins have landed him in a purgatory of endless Civil War surgery.) (42)
  • Night by Leslie Hobart (p. 44)
  • Ain’t No Virgins by Paula Block (Illo interp: McCoy dozing with a unicorn nearby. Pretty entertaining stream-of-consciousness from McCoy, suffering the mother of all hangovers and trying to make sense of the unicorn checking him out.) (46)
  • Mad Dogs and Earthmen by C.R. Faddis (McCoy has an encounter with a Phoenix on a planet that has no animal life.) (48)
  • The Real McCoy (Or, "What's a Nice Girl Like You...?) by Leslie Hobart (Our kindly doctor has been called 'seducer, thief, barbarian, and temple desecrator' by the people of the planet Alard. They will sell their Dilithium crystals to the Klingons if he is not punished. A case of mistaken identity, of course, but McCoy will be held in prison until it is all straightened out. Or will he?) (52)
  • De-Funitions (63)
  • Sonnets by L. Jeanne Powers (69)
  • Epilogue by Signe Jesson (71)
  • To Each His Own by Mandi Schultz & Cheryl Rice [Diamonds & Rust series, Chapter 3] (One of two 'Diamonds and Rust' stories in this zine. McCoy becomes involved in a very unfortunate situation with his daughter that leaves him emotionally shattered.) (72)
  • Idols I Have Loved by Mandi Schultz & Cheryl Rice [Diamonds & Rust series, Chapter 4] (Second of 'Diamonds and Rust' stories in which Chantel, the mysterious new Security Chief on the Enterprise, tries to help McCoy recover his mental health.) (100)
  • Logjam by April Pentland (McCoy feels he has been wronged by a less than complimentary entry in the Captain's Log. Their friendship is threatened until McCoy, with Spock's guidance, finds a means of 'revenge'.) (145)
  • Bones by Leslie Fish ("This song was originally recorded on Folksongs for Folks Who Ain't Even Been Yet, an album that has got to be one of the best examples of fannish creative endeavor going today. The words to "Bones" and the other songs on the record have been previously printed in PEGASUS (edited by Melissa Bayard and Jan Rigby), SOL PLUS III (edited by Jackie Bielowicz), and THE OTHER SIDE OF PARADISE (edited by Signe Landon and Amy Falkowitz).") (151)
  • Star Trek Slurpie Cup #3 by Paula Block (157)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

See reactions and reviews for To Each His Own.

See reactions and reviews for Logjam.

See reactions and reviews for No Child of Man.

See reactions and reviews for Mad Dogs and Earthmen.

See reactions and reviews for Night.

See reactions and reviews for The Real McCoy.

See reactions and reviews for Change of Habit.

See reactions and reviews for Idols I Have Loved.

[zine]: Everything in this McCoy-emphasis issue is nicely handled: graphics, layout, prose, humor, artwork. Visually, it's impressive, with the usual talented artists (Faddis, Landon, Moaven) dong their usual first-rate jobs. Siegrist's previously pleasant artwork has shown outstanding improvement in terms of overall composition. Kathy Lynn Higley's illios for some of the most wretched puns in galactic history are utterly delightful. Likewise, Rich Schultz's cartoons for Leslie Fish's 'Bones' are a stitch. None of the fiction is outstanding, but all is well-written. We have two installments of the 'Diamonds and Rust' saga which is the classiest Mary Sue story around and probably the best constructed. Leslie Hobart's comical melodrama, 'The Real McCoy,' is enjoyable, if thin, in spots. As with any McCoy zine, there are the usual stories and poems portraying his crummy marriage, his estranged and occasionally VERY strange daughter, and his numerous harey encounters with lovable lepuses and, there is the now-standard-for-many-zines fantasia section of illios and interpretations, which range from the strange ('Night' by Leslie Hobart) to the silly ('Ain't No Virgins' by yours truly). There is a warm, self-mocking tone to AC #2 that keeps it from becoming too self-impressed. Marty's efforts have made this an enjoyable zine, one of the rare ones prepared with the kind of T.L.C. that I wouldn't mind forking over 5 bucks for.[5]

[zine]: The theme of this McCoy issue is 'Wonderland,' whatever that means. I read through the zine, poring over the very nice art (lots and lots of art), perusing the fiction, and belching through the 'De-finitions' humor (?). The bulk of the zine, and the only substantial fiction, are two more chapters of Diamonds and Rust, 'To Each His Own' and 'Idols I Have Loved.' In them, a really unfortunate incident occurs between McCoy and his daughter, Joanna, which is elusively tied into the mysterious goings-on that Chantal is involved with. These chapters, like the others that have appeared elsewhere, suffer from two flaws that make them difficult for me to enjoy: a plot-pacing that would barely do credit to a crippled amoeba; and, the inescapable fact that these are, chapters to a longer story and do not stand up well on their own. The story ideas are, at least from what we can see of them so far, sophisticated, and the writing is competent. I tend to think that D&R Collected, to be published later this year, will be the best way to enjoy the series. The quality of the shorter fiction in the zine is also good, though taken as a whole, AC#2 lacks stories to think your teeth into -- like being handed a giant stein of fine beer and discovering that all you got was foam.[6]

  • "When the Good is Gone from Goodbye" / McCoy’s final argument with his wife Arianna.
  • "Change of Habit" / Christine Chapel hits menopause and becomes refreshingly feisty, sparking McCoy’s interest. Nice McCoy lines: “Everyone tells the truth in confession. Those are the rules.” and “... if you’ll remember, I never propositioned the other Christine.”
  • "Any Time But This, Any Place But Now" / Vignette. One of McCoy’s techs, whining about how boring life is and dreaming of other times.
  • "To the Edge" / Typical H/C. With all three wounded, McCoy faces fear, pain and doubt to watch over Kirk and Spock.
  • "No Child of Man" / Illo interp: McCoy with a woman wearing a moon amulet. Without doubt the wildest version of McCoy’s divorce I’ve come across! Arianna as a member of a coven, with McCoy having her committed after witnessing her indulging in bloody ritual during her pregnancy. It also speculates that Jo may be parthenogenic - Ari’s child, but not McCoy’s after all. Definitely original, and rather spellbinding.
  • "The Southern Surgeon’s Nightmare" / Illo interp: Civil War. McCoy wonders what sins have landed him in a purgatory of endless Civil War surgery.
  • "Night" / Illo interp: McCoy with an arm that doesn’t seem quite his. Nightmare vignette. McCoy is running, trying and failing to escape a transformation. He believes he wakes in a rec room and heads for the way out, but we discover that he has in fact been lost from a landing party.
  • "Ain’t No Virgins" / Illo interp: McCoy dozing with a unicorn nearby. Pretty entertaining stream-of-consciousness from McCoy, suffering the mother of all hangovers and trying to make sense of the unicorn checking him out.
  • "Mad Dogs and Earthmen" / Illo interp: McCoy playing some kind of game with a vulture-y being. Dialogue between McCoy and a phoenix, who alternately threatens and teases him, offering him dragon fewmets for a snack. Seems to be a delirium from being lost in a desert. Cute enough.
  • "The Real McCoy" / McCoy is imprisoned for rape, theft and sacrilege perpetrated by a doppelganger, then rescued against his will by a mysterious woman. An entertaining little thriller with some nice tongue-in-cheek dialogue.
  • "De-Funitions" / Agonizing -- and illustrated -- puns on De Kelley’s name.
  • "To Each His Own" / [Diamonds & Rust series, Chapter 3.] Wow. I don’t quite know what to think of these. On one hand they are annoying Mary Sue tales. On the other... well, this one is worth the read for the shock value alone. The story-telling is suspenseful and compelling, and the writing good when not dwelling on the perfections and wardrobe of heroine super-spy Chantal Caberfae. In this installment: shore leave on Yemen, in the Argellius system, turns into a truly hideous nightmare for McCoy when a pleasant dalliance turns to incest, suicide and total breakdown. Chantal, having pushed Joanna McCoy to suicide while relentlessly pursuing her Target, struggles with unfamiliar affection for McCoy and resolves to try to repair what damage she can.
  • "Idols I Have Loved" / [Diamonds & Rust series, Chapter 4.] Chantal obtains treatment (that is, brainwashing) for McCoy from her espionage organization so that he can remain in his post. The doctor she takes him to, her old enemy/friend Brandy Burns, insists on payment with sex, which about gives her a breakdown herself. McCoy, unaware that he is being treated with hypnotism and psychotherapy, naturally falls in love with her, at which point she drops him and they quarrel. Chantal wants out of her Enterprise assignment, as she is growing too close to the crew. It is disturbing to see McCoy dragged through the wringer of his daughter’s death; it is much more disturbing to have him behaving normally and pursuing romance with another young woman just two weeks later. But again, the writing is compelling.
  • "Logjam" / Nicely done McCoy & Kirk confrontation. Kirk reports McCoy drunk in his official log, leading to an estrangement that begins to affect the entire ship. Spock prods McCoy to restore amity with an apology. McCoy does so, but gains revenge at the same time that he eases the tensions, by reporting the Captain “not drunk today” in his official medical log.
  • POEM: "The Naked Time" / Why wasn’t McCoy affected? “Even in his hidden secret dreams / He is always ... the Doctor”
  • POEM: "Prisoners in a Cold Cell" / McCoy musing on and apologizing to Spock in “Bread and Circuses.” [7]


If you like your science fiction flavored with fantasy, and have an insatiable appetite for Dr. McCoy stories, this is the zine for you. One hundred and fifty-four pages devoted to every possible (and impossible) facet of the good doctor's life.

No one will like every story equally, but there is a lot to choose from.

There is a sensitive story of Christine Chapel's dissatisfaction with her life; a lonely vigil as the doctor watches over his two injured, unconscious friends; a bizarre tale of a woman obsessed with witchcraft, and whose daughter has obsessions of her own; McCoy's false arrest for an unspeakable crime; a portion of a complex saga about Chantal, an alpha agent doing undercover work on the Enterprise; and a Kirk/McCoy feud with truth used as the weapons. I have a couple favorites.

You undoubtedly will too, though not necessarily the same ones.

Either the humor is a bit off base or else I am (I won't argue with those who opt for the second possibility.) I was unamused by most of the jokes.

The art is outstanding throughout. The only objection here is that of taste or preference. No matter how well a drawing depicts McCoy riding a winged horse, snoozing near a unicorn, or carousing with the animals from Alice in Wonderland, my predominate response is not "Wow!", but rather "Why!" [8]

Issue 3

silkscreened front cover of issue #3, (yes, even though it says issue #4), the artist is Marty Siegrist
back cover of issue #3, Marty Siegrist

Alpha Continuum 3 is an all Spock issue. It was published in May 1981 (printed offset) and contains 82 pages. It was edited by Tina Henry.

NOTE: It says #4 on the cover, but it's actually #3. The editor offers an explanation for this printing error in the zine and also explains that the issue #3 (this issue) was published after the actual #4.

The art is by Lisa Agostinelli, Shona Jackson, Vel Jaeger, Marty Siegrist, Laura Virgil, and Allyson Whitfield.

[from the editorial]:

What you finally have before you is ALPHA CONTINUUM #3. To try and set things straight for alI those we have confused with our numbering system (printed before this issue were issues 1, 2, and 4) we have decided, at least outwardly, to also call this issue #4. After all, who ever heard of printing #4 before #3? So now we have instead printed #4 before #4. Doesn't that make much more sense?

Actually somewhere between drawing and printing, 'zine fairies got to the cover. Hopefully the next issue of ALPHA CONTINUUM will be #5 and everything will once again make sense.

In any event this is the Spock issue of ALPHA CONTINUUM and it is also issue #3, no matter what else you may have read. Unlike the last two issues, this one does not have a second name printed on the cover. Unlike Marty, who gets cosmic cover revelations at four in the morning, I only get yelled at by the cats, and yawned at by my dog. With this sort of inspiration names such as "Italic Inserts" and "I Like Dreaming" slink out of the cosmic murk and neither of them seems as appropriate as ALPHA CONTINUUM #4. Like I always say: when you find a good name, stick with it.

  • Editorial (3)
  • Hostage of Fortune by Anne Laurie Logan (Spock befriends Joanna McCoy and her child who are not very likable and whom Leonard McCoy has rejected.) (5)
  • Gentle Healer by Frankie Jemison (17)
  • Specified Explanation by L. Jeanne Powers (18)
  • The Challenge by L. Jeanne Powers (21)
  • Human Dream, Vulcan Reality by Garol A. Taddeo (22)
  • Sarpeidon Apogee by Jocelyn Feaster (Alternate ending to Spock and McCoy's trip to Sarpeidon.) (27)
  • A Warrior's Death by Ingrid Cross (Spock helps McCoy come to terms with the impending death of Jim Kirk.) (30)
  • Visions: Omens by Laurie Shanahan (36)
  • Making Plans by Cheryl Rice (38)
  • The Dream by Ginna LaCroix (42) (also in Trek Encore #3)
  • Untitled by Ingrid Cross (44)
  • Beggars Would Ride by Cheryl Rice (47)
  • The Final Voyage by Jeanne Cavalos (50)
  • Beta Niobe Poem by L. Jeanne Powers (56)
  • Amulet by Toni Cardinal-Price (McCoy accompanies Spock on a trip to Vulcan for the celebration of Amanda's birthday. When their air car crashes in the desert, they go through a mystical adventure before rescue.) (57)
  • The Dancer by Jocelyn Feaster (81)

Issue 4

front cover of issue #4 by Marty Siegrist
back cover of issue #4 by Joni Wagner

Alpha Continuum 4 was published in 1980 (yes, before issue #3) and contains 98 pages.

This issue emphasizes Kirk. Cover: Marty Siegrist. Other art by Randy Ash, Amy Falkowitz, Kathi Lynn Higley, Signe Landon, Joni Wagner (back cover), Allyson Whitfield, and Marty Siegrist.

This issue was edited by Marty Siegrist and Signe Jesson.

[from the editorial]:

First, a thing or two about the materials herein. Two of the stories have appeared elsewhere, in somewhat different form: "Made for Each Other" in Warped Spaae #8, and "Memento Mori", in Guardian #2. Also, we have here two more chapters of the Diamonds and Rust series. One of them, "Year of the Cat" is simply a short vignette; the other, "No Special Hurry", is the ending for the series. Diamonds and Rust was originally intended to be a multi-volume project, volume one of which was published by Kzinti Press; however, other projects and commitments have forced those involved in the creation of the series to forgo completion of the project. "No Special Hurry" is intended to tie up a few loose ends, and to give some idea of events the series was to encompass.

Working on this issue of Alpha has been a . . . an interesting experience, at least what I can remember of it. Signe Jesson started collecting the material for It a year or so ago, only to discover that her work schedule wouldn't let her finish the zine. So, she turned it over to me to finish up and publish. Which is why I, along with fellow fools stalwarts, am now seeing double. Fanzines, after all, are projects to be worked on in one's spare time. The only spare time we have around here is the time we really should be spending sleeping instead of fanac-ing.


Ah, well . . . moving right along. This issue of Alpha Continuum is out of sequence (as some of the sharper readers out there have already noticed). It's out of sequence because Alpha #3—the Spock issue—hasn't been published yet (you knew there was a logical explanation, didn't you?). This issue was closer to completion, for various reasons, so we just decided to go ahead and print this one and confuse everyone. Worked, too. However, #3 should be out later in the year (have I said that before? oh, well. . . ), good Lord willin' and the printing prices don't rise.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

See reactions and reviews for Made for Each Other.

See reactions and reviews for Memento Mori.

See reactions and reviews for Sunflower.

See reactions and reviews for Responsibility.

See reactions and reviews for Wide Open Spaces.

See reactions and reviews for Song of the Jellicles.

[zine]: There come times when one must make sweeping generalizations, justify one's prejudices, create necessary pigeon-holes for square-peg in round-hole theories. So here goes: At its very best, be it blues or rhythm and blues, be it old gangster films or the works of science fiction masters from Heinlein to Fish, or Andy Warhol's art; American popular art is characterized by vitality and deliberate trashiness, by a nearly innocent corruption that simultaneously repels and endears, by purity and rawness of emotion. Melodrama is never far away. The in-ness of American popular art gives promise of telling those who seek out its mysteries where, in Tom Wolfe's phrase, the Right Stuff is and of what it consists. But, it never relinquishes the funky, elemental obligation of revealing where the bodies are buried. With the above in mind, I turn to the world of Chantal Caberfae and her once and future lover, James Kirk. The twisted and tarnished angels of DIAMONDS AND RUST come to us from a time as incompatible with human decency, as crippling, indeed horrifying as our own time. Chantal and Jim grab for the brass ring on their lives' little merry-go-round; and, Oh, God, is that ring ever made of brass! They seek a moment of shared sublimity and end up praying separately to whatever demented, minor god they still acknowledge that their grubby secrets will not, not surface, and that somehow, in their hour of honesty and abandon, their isolated hearts will not break. They are like Bogart and Bergman in CASABLANCA, and ever so much more like the real, drop-dead, romantic pair of that film, Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains. Mandi Schultz and Cheryl Rice have vested the DIAMONDS AND RUST universe with a basic sleaze that in its way is as irresistible as Hemingway's incompleteness, Vonnegut's innocence, or Billie Holiday's addiction. Chantal and Jim know, centuries hence, the dark, off-key, off-color worlds of Scott Fitzgerald, Lou Reed, and Edward Hopper. And through all their trials, the ghost of a half-forgotten old Viennese Jew, Sigmund Freud, who loved all who struggle in emotional shadow, observes the apparently doomed lovers as they learn the awful realities of the endless, unforgiving human condition. (See "Year of the Cat," AC 4 and "Night Creatures," AC 1) With a strained sort of mercy, Schultz and Rice give us a postlude to DIAMONDS AND RUST in AC 4, a moment in time shortly after the V'ger incident. It will not do. It is not enough. Who the Hell is Yang —The Target? What tawdry Gotterdammerimg was acted out on Cappela? When will the lovers meet again? What a terrifying reunion! Chantal and Jim are getting older, not better. (See "No Special Hurry," AC 4) No matter, like Yoko and John's occasional messages during the seventies (and now Yoke's), any message from Action Central is better than none at all. And a message from Hell is infinitely more exciting than anything a heavenly choir might transmit. When you are sufficiently sated by Chantal and Jim, plunge further into AC 4, prepared to absorb one of the most originally plotted ST short stories in a long time, April Pentland's "Song of the Jellicles," which"" would make a lovely TV episode and in which McCoy has a lovely role. Rusty Hancock's "Reunion" left me more tolerant of Matt Decker's fair-haired boy, Will, than I thought possible I liked Annelaurie Logan's light mixture of werewolves and the Enterprise crew, and Vicky Edgerton's "Wide Open Spaces" reveals things witty and surprising at the Galactic rim. Rice's "Momento Mori," which first appeared in GUARDIAN 2 is a nightmare richly deserved by that old tomcat, Kirk. The "Visions" section is outstanding. ALPHA CONTINUUM 4 is a class operation. Its authors can write. The dialogue is appropriate and lucid. No mindless platitudes here, although there are a few mindless pleasures. Little sentimentality. No imitation poetry. Dayle Palko does it in 17 syllables Jeanne Powers' "Home Leave" rings tersely true. Layout and graphics are excellent. The art work ranges from excellent to serviceable, and it is well used. The cover is not as good as the book. Marty Siegrist calls AC 4 by a second name, PHOENIX; and it is a literal phoenix. It flies! [9]

  • "Year of the Cat" -- [Diamonds & Rust series.] Kirk and Chantal pining for each other, with Kirk telling himself "the way to get over a woman is to have her" and Chantal regretting having to lie to him all the time, until she finally comes to his bed.
  • "Made for Each Other" -- Silly but entertaining and creative were-creature story, told in first-person by a young ambassador from planet Paradox. Various crew members seem to be carrying a were-gene, and when exposed to the star they are orbiting, they Change. Spock becomes a cat and scratches McCoy when the doctor tries to pat his head. The planet's inhabitants are also were-"wulves" and the Paradox contingent beam down to discuss arranging Organian protection for them. Also, security crewman Norton abandons ship to run off - as a wulf - with his superior officer. Best bit in this story was the "beastume" - an artificial lifeform that transforms into one's clothing at will.
  • "Wide Open Spaces" -- Spock and McCoy debate the wisdom of Enterprise's current mission of investigating the Galactic Barrier. Cut to two exasperated aliens on a higher plane, annoyed at the creatures who keep messing up their nice restraint, only to run back into the Galaxy again, and wondering if they'll need to be destroyed. Nice alien cowboy illo.
  • "Sea Change" -- Illo interp. Kirk can't seem to decide whether to follow mermaid Chantal until she leaves him.
  • "Girl of My Dreams" -- Illo interp. Kirk, adrift on a sea after a shuttle wreck, finds a mirage-woman -- only to wake in Sickbay.
  • "Sunflower" -- Illo interp. Spock accompanies Kirk to his Iowa home on an ill-fated home leave in which we learn that Mrs. Kirk is an alien-hater. In one short page, Spock falls ill from an allergy to sunflowers and waxes eloquent (at least in internal monologue) about the sun flowering in Kirk's hair. Nice touch is Spock's conclusion that McCoy was wrong, "you can go home, but you will wonder why you bothered."
  • Untitled. -- Illo interp. McCoy's -- and Kirk's -- fears are realized when the doctor vanishes into the transport beam.
  • "Spell Sword" -- Illo interp. Kirk finds himself in some purgatory expiating sins by reliving a scenario in which his crew are killed and he kills Spock with a sword, over and over.
  • "Where Sirens Sing" -- Illo Interp. [Diamonds & Rust universe] Kirk ponders the custom of referring to ships as "she." Chantal's answer is that men personalize them for the glory of early romance, and then whine that the beloved does not love them back, though it never had a heart to give.
  • Untitled. -- Illo interp. Kirk has been trapped in some medieval planet's revolution and dies on a mountaintop, soaring with eagles.
  • "Responsibility" -- Illo interp - one of the Three in cloaks in the mountains, Kirk with a staff, plus one of Kirk, chained to a rock with a serpent after him. Suffering from debilitating nightmares, Kirk seeks the help of dream therapists - (apparently on the planet where the women engineers gave Enterprise's computer its quirky personality). They send him on a dream Quest, with Spock & McCoy also providing their dreams to the technicians. In payment, Kirk captures an Orion pirate ship that has been plaguing their planet.
  • "Song of the Jellicles" -- The Enterprise bunch encounter a race caught in a cycle of advancing civilization and reduction to primitive level, all caused by health effects of a passing comet. Premise is rather vague, but story has some nice points, including a little romance for McCoy with the civilian archaeologist.
  • "Reunion" -- Former shipmates of Will Decker gather in a pub to toast his memory, and end up discussing their own affairs with Deltans.
  • "No Special Hurry" -- [Diamonds & Rust series. Editorial notes that Diamonds & Rust was supposed to be a multivolume series. Volume 1 was published, but volume 2 was never completed. In this story, the authors wrap up loose ends and summarize where the tale was intended to go.] Kirk and Caidan indulge in verbal, drinking and physical sparring over Chantal. Caidan hates Kirk because he's the only one superspsy Chantal ever loved back. Chantal has once again lied to Kirk and left him, supposedly to go along -- as honor demands -- as slave to an alien messiah who happened by just in time to save the galaxy from some evil plot involving creation of a black hole and... uh, well... I'm sure it would have been a roller coaster. Again, while I don't care for Chantal, or the premises and plots of these stories, the excellent writing makes them all palatable.
  • "Memento Mori" -- Kirk receives visitations from the women his conscience blames him for. A very nice take on this idea,with a good, strong Edith Keeler still pretty mushed up from the truck.[10]