Alpha Touch

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Zine
Title: Alpha Touch
Publisher: Venus Publications
Editor(s): [L L]
Date(s): 1979-1980
Series?: yes
Medium: print
Size:
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Information about the editor has been removed at the creator's request.

Alpha Touch is an adult gen and non-explicit het Star Trek: TOS zine. It was edited by [L L].

a 1980 ad
another 1980 flyer

Many of the fans who contributed to this zine, also contributed to Views of Intimation.

About

From issue #2:

ALPHA TOUCH is a tribute to the Alpha state of brain wave activity, in which the creative thought process is most productive, and to the pioneering theme of Star Trek "... To boldly go where no man has gone before..."

ALPHA TOUCH: These are the pages of your imagination. Our infinite mission: to express creative thought and explore strange new idias, to seek out new life and new imaginations, to boldly go where no mind has gone before....

We wholeheartedly express our thanks to all the generous people who contributed their talent and time to ALPHA TOUCH, the Star Trek revival, and all good forms of science fiction.

Ads

From an ad in Datazine #7: "A new ST genzine which contains works of fiction, poetry, art, articles, essays, jokes, graffiti, and limericks, as well as some original SF."

From an ad in Scuttlebutt #16: "A general ST fanzine dedicated to the Alpha state of brain wave activity, in which the creative though process is most active, and to the pioneer theme of ST, '... To boldly go where no man has gone before."

From an ad in The Clipper Trade Ship #27: "STAR TREK FAN MAGAZINE NEEDS YOU!! Alpha Touch, a general ST Fanzine, needs contributions of every type: short stories, factual or analytical articles, artwork, essays, jokes, limmericks [sic], poetry. Original science fiction is also accepted and appreciated. Published authors receive a free copy of the issue their work appears in. Issue one is available in a limited supply. It contains an illustration of Spock in the total nude. Please note that it is done in good artistic taste & should not offend the general public. Alpha Touch does not contain any pornographic material. Views of Intimation, a new ST zine whose goal is to explore the more personally emotional themes of ST, also needs contributions. SASE for price info when it becomes available."

From an ad in the con program for Starbase Baltimore: "This high quality fan magazine contains a wide variety of fiction, fact, poetry, art, pen-pal & info. listing. This is an exhilarating mixture of emotional drama, breathtaking adventure, astounding artwork, and hysterically funny humor. Once you pick this zine up, you won't want to put it down! Issue #1 features a photo-real illustration of Spock in the nude (skillfully executed by [LL]) and is only offered for sale to adults."

Issue 1

front cover of issue #1
back cover of issue #1

Alpha Touch 1 was published in 1979 and contains 52 unnumbered pages. It is photo offset with half-tones.

The art is by ERIC, Gloria Ann Rovelstad, and [L L].

The zine had a number of nudes in it, something that generated fan discussion and was discussed by the artist/editor in the second issue.

An ad in 1979 says it "contains no adult literature." An ad in 1980 says "There is an illo of a nude Spock. If you may be offended, please don't buy the zine." A flyer in the second issue states: "Issue one contains lots of artwork (including half-tones), featuring an attractive, realistic half-tone illustration of Mr. Spock in the total nude (executed by [L L]). There is no pornography in Alpha Touch -- the nude is art -- but if you think this illustration might offend you, please do not buy issue one, as it is not our intention to solicit readers who may be offended by what we have to offer."

From the zine cover: "If you have been where no man has gone before, then you are the first one there; the first touch; the alpha touch."

From the zine:

ALPHA TOUCH is a tribute to the Alpha state of brain wave activity, in which the creative though process is most production, and to the pioneering them of Star Trek, "To... To boldly go where no man has gone before."

ALPHA TOUCH: These are the pages of your imagination. Our infinite mission: To express creative though and explore strange new ideas, to seek out new like and new imaginations, to boldly go where no mind has gone before...
The editorial for issue #1:

Well, folks, here it is, the first issue of Alpha Touch, Can you believe I finally met a deadline? Can you believe it's been one whole year since I began work on this zine? Back then it was only supposed to be a twelve page mini-zine, but somewhere along the way, it turned into this. And all along the way the prices rose. The printing estimate from June rose 12% by August. There were also more pages to be printed by then. There were also several doctor bills, because when I finally realized what a monumental job I had gotten myself into, they had to put me in a rubber room for a week.

Next on the list: Why a nude Spock? Everyone wants a reason. Everyone asks. My question is, why not? Actually, the idea has fascinated me for quite some time. I wanted to see if I was capable of doing it, so I tried. If I decide to make nudes a regular feature. Captain Kirk will be next. I would like some feedback on this, and on the magazine in general, so please write and let me know your opinions.

After you're through reading this magazine, you'll probably be wondering how I got such fantastic contributions. My secret is to read everything, I want to include a wide variety of material in the next issue too, so there are no strict guidelines for contributions. Everything is welcome, including factual articles and origional science fiction.

Contributors who have their work published will recieve a free copy of the issue their work appears in. The only exceptions are for the contribution of limericks, which get the author a price discount of $1 per limerick, and one liners such as appear throughout this issue, which get the author a price discount of 50¢ each,

I want to thank everyone who contributed to this issue, ran errands, loaned money, gave encouragement, and just generally helped out. You know who you are. Keep up the great work.
  • Return Trip, Trek fic by Jeffrey Rubin ("The possible paradoxes of time travel have the crew of the Enterprise in a most unbelievable situation. Even they don't believe it at first!")
  • Dust Thou Art, Trek fic by Matayala Jyerstuve ("A subtly humorous view of how Uhura's 'feminine flaws' can affect destiny.")
  • Your Death is This to Me, Trek fic by Marriott Randoline ("A very serious, philosophical story in which Spock must deal with death and its meaning, both for Captain Kirk and himself.")
  • Life With the Morons by Suzanne Emilson (a comedy, "An outrightly funny piece that derives its humor from Spock's 'mastery' of the English language.")
  • Let There Be Darkness by Charles Lacey (an original SF story, "makes one aware of how little we know and how much is relative to our point of view.")
  • Alpha Touch, essay about politics, entitlement, Star Trek by [L L]
  • Little Boy, original fiction by Emmanuelle Briton
  • poetry (some titled, some untitled) by Mariann Hornlein, Gene Delapenia, Elaine Tripp, Lanthia Cruzasco, and others
    • The Direction of Things Now
    • Reflections
    • One Wish
    • I Am Without You
    • Jewels
    • Questions
    • The Homecoming
    • The Wish
    • This in Return for Your Love
    • I Remember Last Sunrise

Issue 1: Regarding the Art

Kirk, inside art from issue #1

The interior art pieces are highly detailed and accurate pencil drawings done in a transparent style. Like a lot of zine art, the drawings are mostly based on production stills from the series. For example, the Kirk art mimics Kirk's typical hero poses and expressions in some publicity photos.[1]

The images of Christine Chapel and Sulu are based on the episode "The Naked Time." The Chapel art is similar to a still of Majel Barrett.[2] The image of Sulu is based on a still from the famous scene when he runs around the ship, shirtless and carrying a fencing sword.[3] Unlike many other fanzines of the time, the inclusion of full-size portraits of secondary characters such as Chapel and Sulu is unique. Most artwork focused on either Spock or Kirk, with Doctor McCoy and Uhura running a distant third and fourth. Sulu and Chapel received only a small fraction of art 'air time'.

The image of a naked Spock posing with a lizard is part of a trend in zine art where a television character poses naked with an animal.[4] Like a lot of fanart with shirtless Spock, he is depicted here with an almost alarming amount of chest hair. This trend may have started after a Star Trek episode ("Patterns of Force") featuring Kirk and Spock half-naked and behind bars.[5]

One illustration—a tree sprouting from a pair of legs—is unusual for fanart. It is influenced by science fiction surrealism,[6] whereas most zine art tends to be more realistic and character-based. It is part of an early trend where fanzines would incorporate traditional sci-fi/fantasy artwork and stories before they started focusing solely on fan fiction and fannish art. Other examples of surrealist fanart can be found in the zines Genesis and Organia. This piece was probably an illustration for a story in the zine.

Issue 1: Artist's Comment Regarding the Art

In the second issue of "Alpha Touch," the artist commented on the nudes in #1:

In the last issue, I included an illustration of Mr. Spock in the nude, painstakingly executed by yours truly, me. I must admit that I was astounded by the audience reaction that this provoked. People either loved it or hated it; very few were apathetic. Among the adjectives and exclamations they used are: Hotdog!; How could you?; that’s DIS-GUST-ING; loved it; Provocative; FASCINATING; perverted pornography; obscene; tantalizing; excellent; Huh?; and 'Great Balls O' Fire!' Someone even went so far as to accuse me of including pornographic material in a non-pornographic fanzine for the sole purpose of ’ego-boo’ (yes, ego-boo is the exact term this person used). In answer to that, I can only say, of course it was ego-boo. All fanzines are, dearie.

In regard to other aspects of the nude Spock: It is not pornography - it is art, I understand Michelangelo had to put up with the same thing when he did the Sistine ceiling. Granted, I’m not in his league, but the philosophy does apply.

In regard to nudity in general: Although I received many complaints about the nude Spock, I did not receive any comments whatsoever about the bare female breasts that also appeared in the first issue of Alpha Touch. This implies that female nudity is acceptable where male nudity is not. I don’t know which gender should be more offended. To those of you who enjoyed the nude Spock: I’m glad you did, because so did I! That's one of the reasons why fanzines exist.

And to those of you who are wondering about the nude person Spock was posing with in that illustration: That's his wife. As a Vulcan, he would choose his consort for her mind. Race and physical appearance would be totally unimportant. Nice family portrait, huh?

Issue 1: Sample Interior Gallery

Issue 2

cover of issue #2

Alpha Touch 2 was published in 1980 and is 83 pages long.

The art is by Emmanuelle Briton, Mike Romesburg, Tony Yarborough, Gloria-Ann Rovelstad, [L L], and Patricia Ann Long.

  • The Dinosaur by Bert Leston Taylor (pro, non-fan); comment by the Editor (2)
  • At Last, editorial (5)
  • Words of Space, poems by various authors (6)
  • The Decision, poem by Lanathia Cruzasco (7)
  • Up Among the Heather, poem by L. Jeanne Powers (8)
  • A Very Ugly Fact About Every Nuclear Power Plant, clipping from the "Natural Resources Defense Council" (article) (10)
  • My Fantasy with Captain James T. Kirk by Susan Alongi (11)
  • Starlight, Starbright, poem by Elaine Tripp (13)
  • From Every Broken Heart by Lanathia Cruzasco (14)
  • Paradox, poem by Merlin Thomas (15)
  • When Scotty Says "Opps", poem by Rayelle Roe ("Opps" in the title and the table of contents, "Oops" in the poem itself) (16)
  • Silver Phoenix, poem by Elaine Tripp (17)
  • Star Treek by Patrick Fusco (radio play comedy, the Roy Neery mention is a nod to Close Encounters of the Third Kind) (18)
  • From the Space Child's Mother Goose by F. WInsor and M. Parry (33)
  • Limericks by Suzanne Emilson (33)
  • About a Deadly Issue by Mike Gravel (clipping about nuclear power plants, by non-fan, U.S. senator from Alaska) (34)
  • Dark Star, poem by Elaine Tripp (37)
  • Brave Doctor, poem by Lanathia Cruzasco (38)
  • Redburn: His First Voyage -- Psychological Analysis of Redburn by [L L] (psychological analysis of a character in a Herman Melville book) (39)
  • Lonely Men?, poem by Lanathia Cruzasco (42)
  • Realization, poem by Gene S. Delapenia (43)
  • Requiem, fiction by Julie Osborn ("An aftermath of the episode "City on the Edge of Forever," McCoy wants to know why Edith Keeler is dead. "Edith Keeler is dead and McCoy wants to know why. Can Kirk deal with the righteous Doctor, or even with his own guilt?") (44)
  • I Am What I Am, poem by Lanathia Cruzasco (46)
  • Christine's Lament, poem by Gene S. Delapenia (47)
  • A Life and Death Quiz (about radiation, by the "War Register's League") (48)
  • Song of Comfort, poem by Ursula Sanders (49)
  • The Alpha Touch, fiction by Joseph Lacey ("The Enterprise is on its way to destruction, and when it goes, it will take the universe with it. The odds become even more hopeless when unleashed human emotion complicates the situation.") (27 pages)
  • My Fantasy with Captain James T. Kirk by Susan Alongi ("Just what the title says it is!") (49)
  • What If?, poem by Merlin Thomas (70)
  • From the Space Child's Mother Goose (70)
  • Two Heads by Suzanne Emilson (77)
  • Scotty's Vulcan Ditty by Rayelle Roe (79)
  • Limericks by Suzanne Emilson (79)
  • Euclid by Vachel Lindsay (80)
  • Limericks by Suzanne Emilson (80)
  • You Are Receiving This Fanzine Because (83)
  • From the Rec Room Wall (84)
  • From the Space Child's Mother Goose (83)

Issue 2: Sample Interior Gallery

References

  1. ^ See KirkSpock.jpg (image), Archived version for example.
  2. ^ See the first image on the blog post Goodbye Nurse Chapel.
  3. ^ See this tumblr image, Wikipedia's page on The_Naked_Time, or just google "sulu shirtless".
  4. ^ Also see covers of Daring Attempt #5 and Obsc'zine .
  5. ^ See Eyecandy for screencaps.
  6. ^ Compare this art with the cover art for Timepivot by Brian N. Ball, a mass-market paperback published in 1970.