Beyond Antares (Star Trek newsletter published in the UK)

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Title: Beyond Antares
Publisher: Beyond Antares
Editor(s): Sue Toher and Fran Ball
Date(s): November 1975 to August 1981
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

It was published by Beyond Antares, a fan club in the UK.

This newsletter is a predecessor to B.A. News, which appears to have begun in January 1984 after the fan club re-opened after a two year hiatus. [1]

Issue 21

Beyond Antares 21 was published in March 1978 and contains 18 pages.

cover of issue #21

From the editor:

Firstly, as you'll all probably notice, the quality of this newsletter is way below sub-standard. I'm really sorry about this (and I mean that most sincerely, folks!) but following the long established tradition started by Sheila back in 1973, B/A has duplicator trouble - again! It was a choice between sending out a poor newsletter (printwise) or holding it back till I don't know when. A democratic vote (me!) chose the first alternative. At this point I'd like to thank a certain company (who shall remain anonymous due to employment matters) for the use of the xerox machine - even though they didn't know it was being used to assist B/A publications, or any other publications for that matter. Once again, sorry about the poor quality of this n/l, but I'm sure things will be back to normal next n/l time (huh, please duplicator... I promise I won't kick you anymore!).

  • "Chekov's Report" (one of a series of "reports" written from different crewmembers' point of view)
  • a pen pal section
  • Star Trek in the news, what the actors are up to
  • a listing of UK Star Trek fan clubs
  • some con info: Arcon '78 ("the first Star Trek con to be held on the South Coast," June 3), Intercon '78 (2-day con held at the Fulcrum Centre in Slough)
  • a "Journey to Babel" quiz
  • a con report for a Star Trek mini-con on February 11, 1978 at Fulcrum Centre, Slough
  • an untitled Star Trek story by Marion Dougall
  • "Pause for a Quote" ("Continuing our regular feature of 'Missing Quotes,' in which we hope to print Star Trek scenes with have either never been shown by the BBC or have only been shown once, the quote for this newsletter is from "Trouble with Tribbles'.")
  • some letters from fans: topics are ST theme heard in unusual places, Vulcan mating habits, a long letter which includes many (all?) ST episode titles, asking about lost issues of the newsletters
  • two jokes

Issue 22

Beyond Antares 22

Issue 23

Beyond Antares 23 was published in July 1978 and contains 18 pages.

cover of issue #23
  • some ST jokes
  • one more of a series of "reports" written from different crewmembers' point of view, this one by a security officer named Hoyle
  • Star Trek in the news, what the actors are up to
  • a listing of UK Star Trek fan clubs
  • some con info: Intercon '78, Empathy Mini-Con, Fanopticon
  • a "Mirror, Mirror" quiz
  • "In the Web," a Star Trek story by Sue Meek
  • "Pause for a Quote" ("Continuing our regular feature of 'Missing Quotes,' in which we hope to print Star Trek scenes with have either never been shown by the BBC or have only been shown once, the quote for this newsletter is from "Is There in Truth No Beauty'.")
  • some reviews of the pro ST books: "Mudd's Angels," Fotonovels #7, #8, #9 and "The Best of Trek"

Issue 24

Beyond Antares 24

Issue 25

Beyond Antares 25

Issue 26

Beyond Antares 26

Issue 27

Beyond Antares 27

Issue 28

Beyond Antares 28

Issue 29

Beyond Antares 29 was published in July 1979 and contains 18 pages.

cover of issue #29

It contains a retrospective of the first ten years of Star Trek fandom in Britain:

What were you doing on Saturday, 12th July, 1969, at 5:15 pm? Well, I can't actually remember what I was doing, but I expect there are a lot of you who can remember sitting down in front of the TV eagerly awaiting the start of a new science-fiction series called 'Star Trek'... And how many of you thought back then that 10 years later - even though filming on the last episode of the series had finished 6 months before we in England saw the first episode - we would all be waiting in eager anticipation for the release of the Star Trek movie.

Star Trek has frequently been referred to as a legend. After all, how many TV shows can claim what Star Trek has, and how many have fans like Star Trek has . . . fans who fought for years to bring about the revival of Star Trek in one form or another, and finally succeeded with "Star Trek - The Motion Picture".

But how did fandom start in Britain?

I expect many people who have been in British fandom since its beginning probably got involved the same way I did - through an American club.

Before I even realised there was such a thing as ST fandom, when I was sure I, and later Sue, were the only people who seemed to like Star Trek (and how many out there used to think they too were alone?), I joined the LNAF, then one of its chapter clubs, and through that met a certain Sheila Hull.

Then, out of the blue one day the postman delivered a letter from something called the Star Trek Action Group, which was then run by Jenny and Terry Elson. With Jenny having made the first step, other clubs sprang into being, including Beyond Antares which Sheila Hull began on 1st October, 1973. Other clubs around at that time also included Empathy, STCC, and STERB (which folded a few years ago). There are, and have been, other ST clubs, but forgive me for not remembering all of them at the moment.

On 24th March, 1974, Jenny Elson and the STAG committee organised the very first Star Trek minicon in Great Britain. It was held in St. Thomas' Church Hall, Leicester, and had an attendance of between 70 and 100 enthusiastic Star Trek fans, who suddenly realised they weren't as alone as they first thought. The amazing thing was although total strangers meeting for the first time, everyone got on with everyone else as though they'd known each other for years. (The cheap day return on BR was worth every penny!).

Of course, from little acorns oak trees grow, and over the weekend of 28th/29th September, 1974, the first British Star Trek convention, organised by STAG took over the Abbey Motor Hotel, Leicester, and started the pattern for future conventions. One of the great things about this convention was that its two guests were James Doohan and George Takei. (I can still remember the reaction in that hall when they both walked in). A new dimension was brought to fandom as suddenly fans were being told first-hand what it had been like working on Star Trek. Also, at this convention, the much talked about ST bloopers were first shown.

Things then went from strength to strength, and in the following year, over the weekend of 20th/21st September, 1975, Leicester was again invaded, this time at the Centre Hotel. In that year the guest was James Doohan who came over with his future wife, Wende. The programme for the convention was similar to the previous year's, but this time a fashion show was added, thus setting the format for subsequent conventions. It was at this convention that Jenny Elson, and her STAG committee, who had worked hard in getting British fandom off the ground, handed over the running of the club to Janet Quarton, who as we all know is still successfully running STAG.

1976 heralded a change both in venue and management for the year's convention. Held in Leeds over the weekend of 9th/10th October at the Dragonara Hotel and organised by Empathy, the guests this time were Nick Tate of Space 1999 and Mat Irvine, who does special effects work for the BBC. Again the general layout of the convention was the same as in previous years, but more and more people were joining in by taking part in the fancy dress and fashion shows, and home-made uniforms were proudly being worn throughout the weekend - not only in the hotel but also out in the town.

February 10th, 1977, was a big day for 50 Star Trek fans, when they were invited to spend the day at Elstree Studios as Gene Roddenberry's guests. Gene, and his wife, Majel Barrett, were here in England making a film called "Spectre", due to be seen in America as a TV movie and a cinema movie in England (However, I think the film has gone into limbo as far as English cinemas are concerned). After pledges of "Never again" in 1976, Dot Owens and Empathy did it again on 10th/11th September, 1977, when they held their second convention, this time in Liverpool. Held at the Centre Hotel, the guests were George Takei and Anne McCaffrey.

I'd been involved in fandom in a minor way for some time, but on January 1st, 1978, Sue and I took over the running of B/A. Suddenly I was in the deep of it, and what fun! I probably couldn't have arrived at a better time because on 28th March, 1978, almost 4 years to the day of the very first Star Trek minicon in Leicester, Sue phoned me at work. A telegram had arrived from Gene Roddenberry which read:-


Suddenly the letters to Paramount asking for a revival of Star Trek were worth it. After all the changing-of-minds in the last few years by Paramount executives who couldn't decide whether they wanted a series or a movie, there was something definite and firm to look forward to.

The main convention of 1978 was the first one to be run by an organisation other than a Star Trek club. The organisers were the Intercon committee and the convention was held at the Fulcrum Centre, Slough over the weekend of 2nd/3rd September, 1978. The guests were Anthony Daniels and David Prowse of Star Wars fame.

Because quite a few fans couldn't get to Slough as it was so far south, particularly for those living near or in Scotland, Dot Owens and Empathy organised their third convention, this time known as a midi-con because unlike the other main conventions there were no science-fiction films, only Star Trek episodes. Also numbers were limited. It took place over the weekend of 28th/29th October, 1978, in Manchester at the Portland Hotel.

With Star Trek episodes becoming available as 8mm films for home viewing, it was now possible to hold conventions where organisers were not reliant upon using science-fiction films to fill gaps where before no ST episodes were available for showing (at least very few that is). The midi-con in Manchester was an example of this, as was the most recent convention held in good old Leeds and the Dragonara Hotel, over the weekend of 31st March/1st April, 1979. This convention was the first to be organised jointly by two ST clubs - STAG and Empathy.

What had originally begun 5 years ago with about 150 people, and about half a dozen contestants in the fashion show, has become a well run annual get-together in which everyone feels part of, even if only in the audience.

Of course, throughout these past few years, apart from the main conventions listed above there have been other minicons, plus day-outs organised by individual clubs, all of which have been constructive in keeping fandom alive.

Which just about brings us up to date. Still we're fighting with the BBC to keep Star Trek on TV, but Paramount have been beaten once (keep writing those letters about the movie's sequel!). At the moment December 7th, 1979, seems to be the big date for the simultaneous opening of the long awaited Star Trek movie.

Who knows what the next 10 years of British fandom will bring. Perhaps about this time in 1989 I 'II still be involved with Star Trek and be able to review the years 1979 - 1989.

A long time ago in America, a phrase was coined — 'Star Trek Lives!'. After 10 years on our screens, British fans prove that it does over here as well!.

Here's to the next 10 years!!!

  • some fiction letters sent to Star Trek crew members (1)
  • crossword puzzle (3)
  • a retrospective of the first ten years of Star Trek fandom in Britain (4)
  • a complete listing of all Star Trek episodes (both live action and Star Trek Animated and when they were shown in the UK. "Miri" was listed as having been shown once on December 2, 1970 "and subsequently banned," and "The Empath," "Plato's Stepchildren," and "Whom Gods Destroy" "have never been shown on BBC TV.") (6)
  • ST in the news (8)
  • ads and such (9)
  • Starship Convoy (filk) by Martin Presdale, to the tune of "Convoy" (11)
  • a June 7, 1979 letter is shown in full: it is to Sue Toher from Cinema International Corporation (UK) saying they plan to release the Star Trek movie in the UK in December 1979
  • excerpted info from clippings (newspaper and magazines like Starlog) and A Piece of the Action #73 regarding movie info, includes a publicity photo of some actors in costume on the set cutting a cake (13)

Issue 30

Beyond Antares 30 was published in September 1979 and contains 18 pages.

cover of issue #30
  • Editorial (two main points: the Postal Service is slow, and club members need to send in more contributions to the newsletter) (1)
  • "The Enterprise Crew's Newspaper," satirical ship newsletter (2)
  • a fan's testimonial/memories of watching Star Trek and other science fiction shows (Fireball XL5, Outer Limits, Space Patrol, Man from U.N.C.L.E.) and of some early cons (3)
  • a trivia quiz with a "Plato's Stepchildren"-focus (5)
  • an excerpt from an interview in Starlog #25 with Mike Minor (6)
  • crossword puzzle (7)
  • With the Best Intentions in the Galaxy, fiction by Martin Smith (8)
  • The Unreal Paradise, poem by Janet S. Blach (9)
  • news of ST, cons (9)
  • excerpts from several publications (Starlog #23, #25, #26, Mediascene #37regarding the upcoming movie (10)
  • full-page movie poster

Issue 31

Beyond Antares 31 was published in November 1979 and contains 18 pages.

cover of issue #31
  • "The Enterprise Crew's Newspaper," a satirical newspaper for the Enterprise's crew
  • a con report for MediaCon '79, a one-day con organised by the London Plus Group, see that page (3)
  • crossword puzzle by Sue Toher and Barrie Wright (4)
  • ads and such
  • Zarabeth, poem by Janet Balch (7)
  • extract from Starlog #27 (8)
  • a Star Trek Animated trivia quiz (9)
  • Spectre of the Mind, fiction by Karen Maund (10)
  • a con report for Terracon '79, see that page (11)
  • extract from Starlog #28 (15)
  • an excerpt from something called "Newsletter No. 1 Paramount Pictures New York & Hollywood, Looking at a Phenomenon.... With 'Star Trek's' Creator": a puff bio piece about Gene Roddenberry (16)
  • two publicity photos of Spock (19)

Issue 32

Beyond Antares 32 was published in December 1979 and contains 23 pages.

cover of issue #32
  • the editor explains why the newsletter is a month early—it was to get it published before the release of the Star Trek movie, as the editor didn't want the material in it to feel irrelevant post-movie
  • "The Enterprise Crew's Newspaper," the regular feature, a satirical series of clippings from a newspaper published by the Enterprise (2)
  • "Memories," fiction by Steven Dalt and Colin Babbington (3)
  • crossword puzzle by Karen Maund (4)
  • True Friendship, poem by Margaret L. Richardson (8)
  • trivia test about space vessels (9)
  • "Last Battlefield," fiction by Margaret L. Richardson (10)
  • "I," poem by Katy Deery (11)
  • excerpts from various magazines, subject is the new Trek movie (12)
  • a letter from Gene Roddenberry talking about the new movie, his novelization... (23)

Issue 33

Beyond Antares 33

Issue 34

Beyond Antares 34

Issue 35

Beyond Antares 35 was published in June 1980 and contains 21 pages.

cover of issue #35
  • "The Enterprise Crew's Newspaper," by "raving reporter" Mike Rowphone (1)
  • a review of the pro book "Perry's Planet" (3)
  • a biography of Nichelle Nichols (4)
  • crossword puzzle (5)
  • lots of things to buy (6)
  • some questions about the new movie, answered by Susan Sackett (8)
  • trivia test about Klingons (9)
  • a review/comments of "Barbary Coast" (10)
  • "How to Pass Kolinahr: or "What Am I Doing in Coventry Anyway," a con report for U.F.P. Convention, see that page (11)
  • "Battle Hymn of the 'De Vere'" filk by Jayne Turner (13)
  • a biography of Leonard Nimoy (14)
  • a letter section (15), including this one:
    A thought about Fran's column 'Pause for a Thought'. It's true that the story situations in zines often seem contrived. The 'lay Spock' genre is as bad as the type of story mentioned in the column. I think what the authors are often after in these 'relationship* stories is a chance to examine in depth and detail the thoughts and emotions of the characters involved. The author asks him/herself, "How would Kirk/Spock/McCoy/etc. react in a situation like" and then write the story with the idea of concentrating on that scene, e.g. Kirk and Spock coming to realise how much they respect and rely on each other. Then something has to be written to enclose the scene, and sometimes the plot suffers as a result. However logical the more mundane explanation of Kirk and Spock's mutual friendship may be, it lacks the drama of a life—or—death situation, and as a result, I think we'll continue to see these fan stories in the future. And if they're well written, we'll overlook the faults to enjoy the good points.

  • extracts from Starlog (17)

Issue 36

Beyond Antares 36 was published in August 1980 and contains 17 pages.

cover of issue #36
  • the editor writes:
    Once we have this newsletter out we have to launch ourselves into zine work. Actually it would make things a lot easier for us if you all could sit down and write some things for newsletter contributions. We also need stories for zines. There are only a few of you who contribute regularly and I think it's about time the rest of you did something.

  • a caption contest is announced (2)
  • more of "The Enterprise's Crew's News" by Mike Rowphone (3)
  • "Edith," poem by Ann Flegg (4)
  • bio of De Forest Kelley (5)
  • trivia test: subject is Star Trek: The Motion Picture (6)
  • a fan's short review of the Roddenberry film "Planet Earth" (6)
  • St in the news (7)
  • ads for stuff (8)
  • "Encounter," fiction by Eileen Duffield (9)
  • "Four Years In....," poem by Tina Pole (10)
  • bio of Grace Lee Whitney (11)
  • Star Trek puzzle by Melanie Critchell (12)
  • "Star Trel... But then again," a report by Sandra Farrell of the Grumbleweeds show on the radio every Friday night and Sunday afternoon in which they do their "own version of Star Trek called 'Star Trek Hey Up and Under See Thee" (13)
  • extracts from Starlog #36, an interview with Nichelle Nichols (14)
  • "Our Child, poem by Margaret L. Richardson (16)

Issue 37

Beyond Antares 37 was published in November 1980 and contains 20 pages.

  • two items from the editorial:
    Whilst on the subject of Terracon, at which we had a club table, B/A made a considerable profit. As our printing costs have taken a dramatic rise recently, we can use this profit factor to offset the rise, and thereby hold club dues at £1.50 per year for a little longer. Of course, if postal charges increase we will have to review the situation. Owing to the recent trouble STAG have had advertising video tapes for sale, Fran and I have decided to make it club policy that B/A will no longer accept 'for sale' or 'wanted' ads concerning video tapes. We are sorry to have to do this, but video copyright laws have prompted this decision.

  • more "The Enterprise Crew's News" by Mike Rowphone (2)
  • winners of the caption contest (3)
  • crossword puzzle by Catherine Richardson (4)
  • "Convention Report -- Terracon '80 or 'Are You Star Trek, or Are You Normal',"" see that page (5)
  • trivia quiz with the Animated Star Trek episode "Yesteryear" as the focus (9)
  • ST in the news (10)
  • stuff for sale, pen pals (11)
  • extracts from an interview with De Forest Kelley from Starlog #38 (13)
  • bio of Walter Koenig (15)
  • extracts of the first part of a very interesting interview with D.C. Fontana, conducted at Terracon '80 (16)

Issue 28

Beyond Antares 28

Issue 39

Beyond Antares 39 was published in February 1981 and contains 19 pages.

cover of issue #39
  • from the editorial:
    Last n/l we advised we were increasing membership dues because of a postal increase - a rise of 25p from £1.50 to £l.75 for U.K. members. Little did we know at that time what a hefty rise the C.P.O. would slap on overseas postage. We apologise to our overseas members for the drastic rises in both membership dues and zine costs, but unfortunately there is nothing we can do to alleviate this situation. It's a ridiculous fact that, for example, if one of our American members buys a zine, postage alone will cost them approximately 3 times the cost of the zine itself.

  • "Need," poem by Ann Flegg (2)
  • announcement: "[M S] is planning a "Stay Sober' at the STAG con in April (I know, I couldn't believe it either!), and would like all us people who think he can't go the weekend without an alcholoic drink to put their money where there mouth is. All proceeds to charity. Anyone interested in sponsoring [M], please see him at the con and he'll tell you where to sign your life away your name." (2)
  • more "The Enterprise Crew's News" by Mike Rowphone (3)
  • crossword puzzle by Pauline Shaw (5)
  • extracts from An Interview with Fred Freiberger, reprinted from Starlog #39 (6)
  • ST in the news (9)
  • stuff for sale (10)
  • "Diary of a Star Trek Fan," memories/essay by Sandra Farrell (13)
  • a description of Battlestar Galactica and Galactica 1980 by Elenore Claassen (15)
  • trivia quiz about the episode "City on the Edge of Forever" (16)
  • Jenny Elson and Terry Elson's long report about visiting the United States, meeting with Grace Lee Whitney and George Takei (17)
  • a humorous list of what to bring to a con: some items are something to hide your sleeping bag in so the staff doesn't know there are ten sleeping in the room, some homemade wine, a lot of money, some cheese sandwiches... (19)
  • "The Logical Thing to Do," poem by Sue Meek (19)

Issue 40

Beyond Antares 40 was published in May 1981 and contains 22 pages.

cover of issue #40
  • untitled poem by Verna Burrell (2)
  • "The Enterprise Crew's News" by Mike Rowphone (3)
  • "Zarabeth," poem by Pauline Shaw (4)
  • con report, "Or, I Thought You Said This Car Didn't Have Warp Drive Capabilities," for STAG Con '81, see that page (5)
  • ST in the news (10)
  • stuff to buy (11)
  • "Enterprise," poem by Sandra Farrell (13)
  • word search by Melanie Critchell (14)
  • Susan Sackett at STAG Con 1981, transcript of her talk (15)
  • a transcript of an audiotape by Gene Roddenberry addressing the attendees of STAG Con (20)

Issue 41

Beyond Antares 41

Issue 42

Beyond Antares 42 was published in August 1981 and contains 21 pages.

front cover of#42
back cover of#42

From the editorial:

As mentioned last n/l, we are slightly early this time so as to enable us to complete the finishing touches (all right! - make a start) on the zines we will be selling at Aucon - Is it possible it's only a matter of days away!!!

On the subject of Aucon, the B/A club meeting will be held on the Sunday (30th) between 1:30 and 2:30 pm, although at this very moment in time, I don't know in what room - If you see a group on the roof, it'll be us! Just a reminder to anyone wishing to attend the B/A meeting and haven't given their names to Fran yet, could you please do so as soon as possible. Thanks. We now have some new zines available - 'Koon-ut-kal-if-fee No. 4', 'Memory Recall Volume II', and 'Atavachron' - details of which appear later in this n/l. At present, due to our recent 'sold out' situation, these are all we have. However, we are naturally getting together other publications, and I would now like to take this opportunity (and when have you known me to overlook an opportunity!) to mention my favourite subject - contributions! We desperately need stories - any length. (No K/S or explicit porn, please -we have imaginations!). So, if you can put pen to paper, send it along (the story, that is, not the pen and paper). One further point on the new zines -these won't actually be ready until Aucon, but anyone wishing to order now is very welcome to do so. On the ST movie front, things seem to have progressed no further than last time we reported anything, except, of course, for the fact fresh rumours have sprung up over who will and who won't be in it, for how many minutes, and in what reel they will be killed off! It might be a good idea to remember the script hasn't been finished yet due to the writer's strike in Hollywood, and consequently nothing is definite. These rumours seem to me to be very reminiscent of those circulating during the years preceding the last ST movie, and things (specifically, who would be in it) worked out fairly satisfactory, as I recall.

That's my moaning over with for the time being. So, on with the newsletter.

  • "Dear Sir," satiric fiction by Sue Ride (3)
  • part two of an article ("Interview with George Takei") extracted from Starlog #49 (August 1981) (3)
  • "If Only," poem by Meg Finney (8)
  • A Star Trek Novels Quiz by Carol J. Chong (9)
  • Star Trek News, ads for fannish goods (11)
  • three bits: "Anyone who knows anything about high density plastics and particle accelerated atomic drive, could they please contact Martin Smith." And, "Also, anyone who has not paid the sponsor money for the 'stay sober' which took place at STAG con in April, please do so immediately. Thanks!" And, "Any Star Trek fans in my area interested in getting in touch in the hopes of making friends and going to cons together (Klingons exempt!), please contact Penny Barmer."
  • con announcements (13)
  • a con report for The WISH Weekend (July 10–12, 1981, Los Angeles, CA, Sheraton Plaza La Reina Hotel) (14)
  • pro book review: "The Entropy Effect" (16)
  • film reviews by fans: (17)
    • "Baffled" ("This was a third rate TV movie with the makings of a second rate series."
    • "Out Limits: Cold Hands, Warm Heart" ("... it is a race against time to find a cure, leading up to the worst anti-climax I've ever see. Nevertheless it is worth your watching if it is ever repeated.")
  • a review of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, this review is extracted from Starlog #47 ("The difficulty is that in today's world we already have electric typewriters, stereos, bicycles, dishwashers, Cuisinarts, and a whole host of functional gadgetry that establishes a mode of living -- a daily routine. But most science fiction assumes that the gadgetry of tomorrow will be quite different and dictates a different style and mode of living: pocket-sized communicators, androids, phasers, intergalactic travel beam transportation, medical computers, etc. But of course, none of it really exists.") (18-22)
  • answers to the quiz on the back page


  1. ^ "BEYOND ANTARES IS BACK!!! Yes folks, after some much needed R&R, we're re-opening the club. Start date is January 1984. Please contact Fran Ball & Sue Toher." -- Communicator #9