Alpha Touch

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Zine
Title: Alpha Touch
Publisher:
Editor(s):
Date(s): 1979-1980
Series?: yes
Medium: print
Size:
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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"Artist/editorial information has been removed at the creator's request. See talk page."

Alpha Touch is an adult gen Star Trek: TOS zine.

a 1980 ad

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 not 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.

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."

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
  • Dust Thou Art, Trek fic by Matayala Jyerstuve
  • Your Death is This to Me, Trek fic by Marriott Randoline
  • Life With the Morons by Suzanne Emilson (a comedy)
  • Let There Be Darkness by Charles Lacey (an original SF story)
  • 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

Art: Issue 1

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.

Gallery: Issue 1

Issue 2

cover of issue #2

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

  • Star Treek (Radio Play Comedy) by Patrick Fusco (15 pages)
  • About A Deadly Issue: Nuclear Power Reactors (Article) (2 pages)
  • Redburn: His First Voyage (Psychological Analysis) (2 pages)
  • Requiem by Julie Osborn 2 pages) (an aftermath of the episode "City on the Edge of Forever," McCoy wants to know why Edith Keeler is dead.)
  • A Life and Death Quiz (Radiation) (1 page)
  • The Alpha Touch by Joseph Lacey (27 pages) (The Enterprise is on its way to destruction, and when it goes, it will take the universe with it.)
  • My Fantasy with Captain James T. Kirk by Susan Alongi
  • poetry by Rayelle Roe, Jeanne Powers, Gene S. Delapenia, Merlin Thomas, Elaine Tripp
  • art by INTERFAN, Gloria-Ann Rovelstad, LL, Patricia Ann Long and others

References

  1. See [1], [2], and [3] for examples.
  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.