From Fanlore
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Title: Babel
Publisher: LL-LL & Igor Press
Editor(s): Margaret Basta and Laura Basta
Date(s): 1971-1974
Medium: print
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Babel is a gen Star Trek: TOS anthology.

a 1974 flyer

The first two issues are mimeo, the others are offset.

The fanzine, along with 12 others, became the subject of Paula Smith's satire in Menagerie #4.

Issue 1

cover of issue #1, Terry Austin

Babel 1 was published in September 1971 (second printing: April 1973) and is 80 pages long. Cover by Terry Austin. Interior art by Terry Austin and Randy Bathurst.

The entire content of this issue is reviews of Star Trek scripts: how they read, how they differed from what was filmed, how different revisions stacked up against each other.

  • Babel On by Margaret Basta (editorial)
  • Script Reviews by V. Conder (article)
  • Script Reviews by Margaret Basta (article)
  • Script Reviews by Laura Basta (article)
  • Cyrl the Knife by Laura Trise Basta (editorial)

Issue 2

cover of issue #2, Kucharski

Babel 2 was published in January 1972 and is 102 pages long. It was edited by Laura Triste Basta and Margaret A. Basta. Assistant editor is Carol Lynn. The art is by Terry Austin (back cover, interior), Laura Basta, Margaret Basta, Michael Kucharski (front cover, interior), Randy Bathurst, and C. Lee Healy.

  • Dedication (1)
  • Index (3)
  • Cyrl-the-Knife by Laura Basta (editorial) (4)
  • On Rigel by Frederick L. Reiss (6)
  • The Lemminian Incident by C. Ager (11)
  • Spock Shock, poem by N.T. Prize (22)
  • Genetic Analysis of the Kataytikhe by Carol Lynn (article about Kraith) (24)
  • A Remembrance of Echoes by Laura T. Basta (32) (It is the first Federation and Empire novella, which takes place in the Mirror Universe from the TOS episode "Mirror, Mirror". The Mirror Spock has killed Kirk and is now discussing it with Marlena, Kirk's "captain's woman", and with his own "captain's woman," Uhura. They begin laying the groundwork for the eventual overthrow of the Empire. This story is described in Star Trek Lives!.)
  • Why the Prime Directive? by Richard G. Van Treuren (52)
  • The Evolution of the Vulcan Primate by Carol Lynn (article) (61)
  • Babel On by Margaret Basta (editorial) (66)
  • Script Reviews by Val Conder, Laura Basta, and Margaret Basta (article) (67)
  • You Can't Go No Place If You Don't Know Where You've Been by "N.T. Prize" (104)

Issue 3

Babel 3 was published in October 1972 (second printing January 1974) and is 90 pages long. Covers by Terry Austin. The interior art is by Alan Andres (back cover), Randy Bathurst, Laura Basta, Margaret Basta, Roberta Brown, Jennifer Reid (insert), Adrienne LeVine, Mike Kucharski, Terry Austln.

back cover of issue #3, Alan Andres
front cover of issue #3, Terry Austin
cover of issue #3, second printing, January 1974

Boldly Writing states that: "There were two notable items in this issue. One was Laura Basta's latest installment in her Federation and Empire series. The other was Jacqueline Lichtenberg's "In Defense of T'Yuzeti." This article came about because in her Kraith series, Jacqueline presupposed that Sarek had married (or at least mated) before Amanda came along, and had offspring from that union."

From the editorial of the first printing:

Long ago and far away, my idiot sister and idiot self decided to do a fanzine appropriately named 'Babel.' IN a very big hurry we learned a few things about mimeographs, stencils, and oil-based inks and how bent drums leaked. Now we are learning about multilith and 50% reduction of pages and other nifty keen things about running our own fanzine.

From the editorial of the second printing:

A long time ago (was it only 3 years?) my sister and I published a one-shot fanzine called BABEL. (Ha!) At that time we couldn't conceive of selling out a hundred- copy run. But time passed, and then we couldn't even conceive of selling out a five- hundred copy run of an issue. Well, when you're forced to reprint your first 500- copy run, it was a successful issue. With this reprinting BABEL III comes up to 750 copies. Wahoo!... A few items need to be mentioned for BABEL III. N.T. Prize the 1st was usurped by N.T. Prize the 2nd, and then the 3rd in the later issues of BABEL. Whether it was for the better or worse depends upon your sense of humor. Hopefully all of the typos were corrected with this printing, though I am sure that I'll notice a few more the minute I do get the copies back from the printers. Our price has gone up, but not as drastically as our printers, the cost of paper, or postage. And if you are wondering why this issue is so late in being printed, don't ask. Until then as my sister would say, or what also could be considered the war-cry of S.T.A.R. Central: Love long and perspire!

  • cartoon by Jennifer Reid (1)
  • Cryl the Knife by Laura Basta (editorial) (3)
  • Federation and Empire by Laura Trise Basta (4) (story)
  • Star Tracks - Where No Man Has Gone Before by Brian F. Reiss (35)
  • The Mad Poet Speaks by Diedre Matthews (38)
  • The Chekov Syndrome by Frederick L. Reiss (39) (article)
  • Scenes We'd Like to See by N.T. Prize
  • Off Rigel by Marel Lelik (41) (article)
  • Off Rigel by 2 by Fred L. Reiss (counterpoint article) (44)
  • Counterpoint to Off Rigel by Frederick L. Reiss (44) (article)
  • Lest We Forget by Marel Lelik [also in Academy Vol. 2 #1] (article, serves as background for the story The Garden Was a Wild) (46)
  • The Garden Was a Wild, fiction by Marel Lelik (the article "Lest We Forget" in this zine series is background for this fic.) (48)
  • In Defense of T'Yuzeti by J. Lichtenberg [Also in Kraith Creator's Manual] (article) (56)
  • "Metamorphosis" (script review, first draft) by R. Brown (71)
  • "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" (script review, final draft) by V. Conder (72)
  • "Amok Time" (script review, first draft) by Ruth Berman (73)
  • "Amok Time" (script review, 2nd revised) (80)
  • "Whom Gods Destroy" (script review) by V. Conder (81)
  • "Way of the Spores" (script review, first draft) (83)
  • "Plato's Stepchildren" (script review, final draft) by Laura Basta (84)
  • "Friday's Child" (first draft) (script review) (86)
  • "Friday's Child" (second draft) (script review) (87)
  • "Ultimate Computer" (final) (script review) (88)
  • Babel On by Margaret A. Basta (89)

Issue 4

front cover of issue #4, by Mike Kucharski and Terry Austin
back cover of issue #4

Babel 4 was published in February 1973 (reprinted in February 1975, see notes below regarding the reprint) and is 75 pages long. Art by Mark Andres, Terry Austin, Randy Bathurst, Doug Herring, C. Lee Healy, Mike Kucharski, Adrienne Levine, Tom Orzjenowski, Jennifer Reid, and Janice.

From the editorial of the original issue:

One more time this editor sits down at another borrowed typewriter to write another column for the continuing saga of a one-shot fanzine called BABEL„ That's right. A one-shot fanzine in four volumes, with contents bordering around 600 typewritten pages.

On occasions, the editors have been asked what it takes to publish a fanzine like this one. I usually answer 'insanity' and strong fingers.


On occasion, I have also been asked as to how close to the different conventions fanzine is done. Well, for the New York STAR TREK CON# 2 which is the intended convention of this fanzine (read the details of the con in STAR-BORNE #6 when it comes out if you want to know about the time that we had...)... anyway, with the help of the great god Vaal (one of the names for this here typewriter), and other cosmic blessings, this zine will be collated Wednesday, February 17, and flown to New York City on Thursday. Close, huh? To say that this condition of publishing a fanzine is typical for the editors and their friends is an understatement. To my knowledge, never have any of our merry crew ever managed to get a fanzine done within a reasonable time (such as 24 hours) before we sell the fanzine in a Dealer's Room. In fact, I can remember a con where we were putting a zine together in a hotel room, and then rushing them off to the people who desired them. BABEL has grown indeed. We have gone from praising correction fluid and cursing blue stencils to praising a modern-day 'blessing' called liquid paper and cursing carbon typewriter ribbons that have to be pulled by hand for every single letter typed. I have been known to call it fun. One of the offshoots of all this is that BABEL's staff now includes a couple of editors from other Detroit-based ST fanzines. They didn't start off that way. My twin and I corrupted them. As for BABEL IV... you may notice that the first half of the zine has a smaller print that the rest of the zine. It was done in photo offset, 30% reduction. This means that for every sheet of paper, in reality there is four typed sheets of paper reduced. What all of this means is that this issue is the largest BABEL on record, somewhere around 150 typed or-drawn 8!s"xll" sheets of paper. If the new style of print doesn't work out....well, let us know.

As for the contents of this issue... there is a sensuous Schillian love story by "J" (if that doesn't make you want this zine, nothing will) and another installment story in the epic "Federation and Empire" series by my sister, and all of two script reviews in a fanzine noted for its reviews. Never fear though, BABEL V will be mainly reviews. And of course, N.T. Prize rears its...head...through some new visual means, and a couple of stories or three. And if your memory serves you well, yes, one of them was reprinted from a 1969 science fiction zine called SELDON'S PLAN.

Regarding the 1975 reprint, from the editorial in the reprint:

Greetings. First, I'd like to explain about this reprint. It contains all the material that was found in the 1st printing of BABEL 4, with a few exceptions. The only difference between this printing, and the 1st printing is that the format is different. Originally, only 30% of BABEL 4 was the reduced photo offset. In this printing more than half is reduced - mainly to save space, and as an attempt to keep from raising our prices. There is still almost 150 pages of material here - it's just smaller. As for what is missing from this reprint - the major item is a short story, "STAR TRACKS #3" which the author requested not to be reprinted; a poem by Becca Oroukin was not reprinted mainly because the corresponding artwork to it is no longer available; several minor pieces of artwork which we simply could not find room for in this printing (not any of the good stuff). Also, you may have noticed that we have printed the original columns for both "Cyrl-the-Knife" and "Babel On". Since they were written 2 years ago, they offer a slightly different perspective on what went into the making of this fanzine.

TOC for the original issue:

  • Babel On by Margaret Basta, art by Kurcharski and Austin (3)
  • Ssarsun's Argument by J. Lichtenberg, art by Doug Herring (also in Kraith Collected #2] (4)
  • Kraith I-F by Jacqueline Lichtenberg, art by Janice (5)
  • art by Janice (7)
  • art by Janice (10)
  • art by Doug Herring (14)
  • art by Kurcharski and Austin (17)
  • art by Kurcharski and Austin (21)
  • poetry, Stars by Kathy Carter, poems by Janice, art by Mark Andres, silk screen by Janice (22)
  • script reviews by Geronimo Felipe (23)
  • Mission into Chaos by M. Basta, art by Janice (24)
  • The Unusual Starship IMPOSSIBLE by Kathy Phelps, art by R.R. Bathurst (24)
  • Chekov by Kurcharski and Austin, blurb by N.T. Prize (29)
  • The Captain by Becca Oroukin, edited by Diedre Matthews (30)
  • Spock by Jennifer Reid and Adriene LeVine (32)
  • Star Tracks 2 by Fred L. Reiss, art by R.R. Bathurst (33)
  • cartoon by Kurcharski and Austin, blurb by N.T. Prize (37)
  • Star Tracks 3 by Fred L. Reiss (38)
  • cartoon by R.R. Bathurst (40)
  • cartoon by Kurcharski and Austin, blurb by N.T. Prize (42)
  • cartoon by Kurcharski and Austin, blurb by N.T. Prize (45)
  • cartoon by R.R. Bathurst (48)
  • Federation and Empire "The Winds of Will..." by Laura Basta, art by Doug Herring (49)
  • Planet by Kurcharski and Orzjenowski (52)
  • T'Letzbah by C.L. Healy (57)
  • Mirror Spock by C.L. Healy (68)
  • Enterprise by Doug Herring (71)
  • Scenes We'd Like to See by "N.T. Prize" (72)
  • Cyrl the Knif by Laura Trise Basta, art by R.R. Bathurst (73)

TOC for the reprint:

  • Babel On #2 (2)
  • Title page (3)
  • Index: art by Kucharski and Austin (4)
  • Babel On #1 (5)
  • Ssarsun's Argument by J. Lichtenberg (also in Kraith Collected #2] (6)
  • art by various (7)
  • The Unusual Starship Impossible by Kathy Phelps (24)
  • Scenes We'd Like to See by "N.T. Prize" (26)
  • Star Tracks #2 by Fred L. Reiss (27)
  • Script Reviews: Arena by Gerry Felipe (29)
  • Mission into Chaos by Margaret Basta (30)
  • Federation & Empire: Winds of Will by Laura Basta (31)
  • Planet by Kurcharski (34)
  • T'Rizpah by C. Lee Healy (50)
  • Enterprise by Doug Herring (53)
  • Spock and Uhura by Jennifer Reid and Adrienne Levine (54)
  • Cyrl-the-Knife by Laura Basta (55)

Issue 5

cover of issue #5

Babel 5 was published in February 1974 and contains 88 pages.

The art is by Alan Andres, Alan Asherman, Terry Austin, Randy Bathurst, Roberta L. Brown, Jim Hastings-Trew, Nancy Hastings-Trew, Doug Herring, Janice and Mike Kucharski.

From the editorial:

Speaking of traditions, the all-night collating party which almost always turns into the all-week mess. Then there's the corflu addiction withdrawals, and fatal papercuts. And of course there are the incidents during the conventions. It isn't a ST con until some porter somewhere along the way lifts up one of our suitcases and asks: "Lady, what have you got in here? Magazines??? And then there was the time when a certain airline lost our luggage, which fortunately was recovered. But in the meantime we were frantic - we didn't care about losing our clothes, it was the 3 suitcases of magazines and their value which would be hard to claim through an airline. That showed where Laura's and my interests were. And then there's the great feeling you get as the last of the 500 copies are neatly stacked together, and then you dis­ cover a box of page 23-24 that wasn't collated in. And the funny part about that incident was that no one noticed. And I won't tell you which issue it was, either. And then there were the typos which you naturally noticed only after you picked up the zine from the printer - and this is after staying up all night ptiigrwadung! Though of course our typos I don't believe can even come close to a dear friend, who in her zine, spelled in the rub-on lettering "disaffirmed" incorrectly. Now that takes talent. (And ought to earn up a couple of uninvited snowballs in the bargain). And then there is the typing and setting up of BABEL in my cold, cold basement. Those of you who live in warm climates, rejoice. You're the ones who should be doing fanzines. Me, whenever I ask my father to turn up the heat, he replies that it is up. Ever try typing in snowboots and gloves? And speaking of BABELs in winter, there was that memorable day with BABEL IV, when the collated pages were being carted across campus, and the cart turned over. Naturally it was windy. But we were fortunate, I guess. Most of the pages were stopped by a row of thorn bushes. (Ever try to go to your printer and explain why you need 14 copies of one page, 60 of another - and it's the same day you picked the zine up from the printers?') No, working on BABEL V as well as the other issues have been a real education.

As I said in the original BABEL on in BABEL II, working on a fanzine, you learn quite a few things. As well as a different kind of language suitable for an editor's frustrations.

Basically with BABEL, Laura and I have always tried to maintain as high a literary standard as possible. Which, by the way, is one of the excuses Laura used to explain to the family why she was buying an Oxford Unabridged Dictionary. Anyway, our original intentions were that BABEL should be a guide for script buyers on a budget, so that they could buy the scripts they wanted, and not just anything. But then we realized that there should be more to BABEL. In the second reprinting of BABEL I last year, I explained how BABEL I held half of BABEL II, and that BABEL V would hold the remaining half. Well, this issue doesn't. After going through what was left of II, I felt that the majority of the articles had already been reprinted in other ST fanzines, and were still available to the reader elsewhere. So all of BABEL II that remains in this issue are a few of the script reviews. And with the rest of the script reviews in this issue, I believe that all of the ST scripts have been reviewed - and it only took 5 issues to do it! As for the anima­tion scripts, that really depends upon whether or not we will have a BABEL VI.

People have also wondered just how many BABELs we have printed. Well, with the current reprints of I, III and IV, and the old I and II as well as this issue, over 3000 BABELS have found there way into the hands of ST fans. And that's a mind-boggling figure when you realize that the 1st BABEL I was only 60 copies. (And as I ask myself, when are we ever going to break even...

When Laura and I first started BABEL in September 1971, I can remember Jacqueline Lichtenberg being very happy that she had found 2 new ST fans who were actually publishing a new ST zine. At that time, ST was be lieved to be really dead, and most of the old-time ST fans had left the ST fandom. What changes have happened since then! ST was brought back in animation, and there are rumors of a movie. Laura and I became involved with S.T.A.R. and eventually became part of S.T.A.R. CENTRAL).


Getting back to BABEL and sf. My sister and I for the past 7 years have been active in the sf fandom as well. In fact we've been sf fans first, which to many ST fans, unfortunately sounds like heresy. ST was the best sf program on television. And if another sf show as good as, or better than ST comes along on tv, I will enjoy it too.

Anyway, every year the sf fandom holds an international sf convention over Labor Day weekend, called a World Con, and during this con they award prizes, similar to the film Oscar, but instead called Hugos, to both professional and amateur persons in the sf field. This Hugos are awarded for many many categories ranging from best professional sf novel to best film, to best amateur fanzine. Since ST was the best television sf ever done, it is but natural that many many ST fans are also sf fans. It is also natural that since ST won several of the categories when it was first shown, that many ST/sf fans feel that it is time for a ST fanzine to win a Hugo as the best sf fanzine. So, many BABEL readers have suggested to Laura and I that they nominate BABEL for a Hugo. We are of course honored, but I feel that this should not happen. Not that I don't think that a ST fanzine should not get a Hugo for this year, but that there are too many ST fanzines to nominate, and that the nominations would be ineffective. In order for a ST fanzine to be nomi­nated for a Hugo, and possibly win, all of those nominating a ST fanzine should decide on just one fanzine for the nomi­nation. Of the ST fanzines that are eligible for a nomination, there is, I feel, only one that is universally popular with ST fans - and that is STAR-BORNE. STAR-BORNE is the best candidate, because if just one third of S-B's readership nominates and then votes for S-B, you'll have over 250 (1 votes, which is almost triple the amount of votes that Hugos usually receive. So if you attend the World SF Convention in Washington D.C. this summer, please register early, and then vote as well as nominate STAR-BORNE. This could possibly be the year that a STAR TREK fanzine wins a Hugo. Think about it.

AS for BABEL's future, will there be another issue? As of now we really don't know. So much depends upon when I'll graduate from college, and just how serious the paper shortage really is. Since the last time I printed BABEL the cost of our paper alone rose 40% in less than 5 months. Laura and I knew that we had to raise the price of BABEL and what with the postage increase, we can only hope that the price rise is enough to cover the inflation. We have already received several items for BABEL VI if there is one, besides Laura's desire to continue on with her series, so who knows.

  • Scenes We'd Like to See by "N.T. Prize" (3)
  • Babel On: A Boy and His Wog by J. Francke (5)
  • Alphabetical Index of Scripts Reviewed (5)
  • Notes on Yesteryear, essay by Dorothy C. Fontana ("I would like to say in closing that I will not entertain long (or short) discussion -- verbal or written -- about "Yesteryear". The work stands as is, and it is my last word on Vulcan.") (6)
  • The Last Voyage, fiction by Burt Libe (also in Sub-Space #1) (10)
  • Federation and Empire, part four, fiction v (21)
  • Cyrl the Knife, essay by Laura Basta (49)
  • Warp Factors and Relativity, article by Burt Libe (51)
  • The Lost Star, story outline by John Meredyth Lucas (never filmed script) (58)
  • Script Reviews by Margaret Ann Basta, Laura Trise Basta, and Val Conder (59)
  • Script Reviews by