CCSTSG Enterprises

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Title: CCSTSG Enterprises
Publisher: Central Connecticut Star Trek Support Group
Editor(s): Jeffrey H. Mills
Type: newsletter
Date(s): early to mid 1990s
Fandom: Star Trek
External Links:
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CCSTSG Enterprises is a gen Star Trek newsletter. "CCSTSG" stands for "Central Connecticut Star Trek Support Group."

From an ad in Starfleet Communiqué: "This is the monthly Star Trek newsletter that challenges and informs. The latest hot news, in-depth features, Ferengi Awards, reviews, humor, and more!"

From the newsletter's header: "A compendium of news and views, aspiring to be monthly, with loving and irreverent looks at the Star Trek phenomenon and its faithful following."

Issue 18

CCSTSG Enterprises 18 was published in January 1992 and contains 10 pages.

cover of issue #18

The editorial:

Greetings, unsightly sacks of high H20 content! It has arrived, and it's called "Deep Space Nine." For some months, many of us have fantasized about what the next Star Trek series will be like, and what elements it should contain. Convention panels have been dedicated to the subject. Survey responses have addressed the topic. Cultural Relevance class sessions have been consumed with such talk. What period should such a series use as a setting (prequel? sequel?) What ship should it center around (Enterprise B? C? E?, some other ship?). What will drive the new characters?

Now that the new series is here, I feel...cautiously excited. Or gypped — I haven't figured it out yet. Read the information on the proposed new series and reach your own conclusions. But these are my immediate reactions: The timing of the announcement is suspicious and hasty — suspicious considering the Babylon Five series proposal (which looks great) and hasty because it seems designed to catch a wave of Star Trek popularity rather than the result of a well thought-out process. Have they pondered what works in NexGen and what doesn't and why? Have they bothered to get any feedback from fans as to what they want in a third series (not that that matters, of course). I had imagined Paramount would take stock after NexGen and build up some excitement about a new series. Instead—plop! — there it was in the morning newspaper. Paramount hasn't even formally announced the sixth season of Next Generation! Perhaps the timing is designed to get the syndicates lined up while NexGen is still hot (that's what I mean about riding the wave). As for the proposed content of DS9, frankly I'm disappointed. Instead of a sequel or prequel, we have a "samequel," on a vessel that does no exploration, that is reactionary by nature (space stations receive and service, they do not create destinies). In essence, you may be able to do some interesting stories with a small, captive spacercity, but will they be Star Trek stories' Can you do Star Trek philosophical commentary from a revolving way station' Who's got a handle on the Vision Thing' Too many of DS9's elements suggest stagnation of the Star Trek mythos. A holding pattern. Parking orbit, [Note: I did not have such trepidation about NexGen; I am not a status quo purist] Maybe I'm being too hard. Maybe I'm excitedly cautious. Here's hoping Paramount proves me cynical.

  • The Babylon 5 Quotient by J. Michael Straczynski, a reprint of something JMS posted to CompuServe (date unknown, but likely late 1991), in which he describes his plan for the show and basically says Deep Space Nine rips off his ideas (2)
  • a compilation of press reviews of the latest Star Trek movie, "The Undiscovered Country"
  • clippings
  • letters, including one that said:
    ...Back in '86,1 had the opportunity to meet the Great Bird. Some friends and I were hosting a convention and Gene was one of the guests. Aside from being amusing, he was very friendly and down to earth. He didn't hesitate to tell you the kind of personal stories about himself that made you feel like you'd known him for years. Once, over drinks at an airport bar, Gene related a story about his past. It seems, that there was a time, when Gene was seeing both Majel Barrett and Nichelle Nichols on a romantic basis. Apparently, they found out about it and Nichelle called Gene over one evening. Unaware of his impending doom, Gene showed up at Nichelle's house and knocked on her door. He was stunned when Majel, not Nichelle, opened the door. As the story goes, he took his chances and entered and all three of them worked it out. We all know who he ended up with. As both Majel and Nichelle were sitting at the table with Gene as he related the tale, there was obviously no ill will over the incident.

Issue 19

CCSTSG Enterprises 19 was published in February 1992.

  • a long letter from a fan with comments about the Star Trek movie, "The Undiscovered Country"
  • a reprinting of the official press release describing Babylon 5 (3)
  • an essay by Jeff Mills, "What Exactly Is The Mission of the Enterprise?" (4)
  • the "classified" in this issue: "Wanted: A short submission on "Why I Read/Collect Slash" from someone who (you guessed it!) reads or collects slash fanzines (also known as K/S stories). A future issue of CCSTSG Enterprises will examine the slash lit. phenom, and I'd like a reader's perspective to be represented. Please send all submissions -- anonymously -- if you prefer -- to the address on page 1."
  • an essay by Jeff Mills called "On Telecommunications Devices, Joel Fleischmann, and a United Earth." The topic is how our world is getting smaller via communication, and what that means to communities, identity, and "tribes" One quote: "The development of communication and transportation technologies in this century -- and commercial trade to advance them - has essentially closed the Frontier on Planet Earth. That is, there are few places humans haven't been, few places they can't communicate with instantaneously by telephone or television. And cameras, radios, newspapers, electronic bulletin boards, Fed-X, faxes and televisions bring the world home." (8)

Issue 33

CCSTSG Enterprises 33 was published in April 1993 and contains 10 pages.

  • Trill Trouble, article by Edward J. Hines, Jr. (3)
  • The Asimovian Brain, What is the Nature of Data's Intelligence, article by John Vester (4)
  • Majel Barrett Speaks to Intimate Crowd at Hampshire College, con report for 5Con (February 1993, a small con with 125 attendees, Barrett's son was a freshman there) (5)
  • Moondog's Trek or Drek, column (8)

Issue 34

CCSTSG Enterprises 34 was published in May 1993.

Issue 42

CCSTSG Enterprises 42 was published in April 1994 and contains 12 pages.

cover of issue #42
  • lots of news and rumors
  • Dubbing Dialogue on Star Trek: Just the Thing to Make You Loopy (4)
  • Psychological Issues Concerning Star Trek Fans, research by Gayle S. Stever, "Editor's note: the following research was based on data collected from 97 members of the Star Trek fan subculture. This article is based on a larger work which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Psychological Type." (5)
  • Grace Lee Whitney Graces QVC Stage, compiled by Ed Hines, Jr. (9)
  • Moondog's Trek or Drek, TNG episode reviews and musings (10)
  • Technology Watch: The premise behind "Genesis" may not be as far-fetched as you think by John Seabrook (12)
  • Star a Star Trek Lunch Group, A How-To Manual by Mark Naigles (starting a viewing and discussion club at your place of employment) (11)
  • info about upcoming DS9 tie-in books (15)

Issue 43

CCSTSG Enterprises 43 was published in June 1994 and contains 16 pages. "Editor Jeffrey H. Hines. Assistant Editors: Gary P. Castor/Ed Hines, Jr. Runs around here like a crazy man: Garrett H. Mills."

  • lots of Star Trek news, written with dry humor and a breezy style
  • a Star Trek madlib (5)
  • Woulda Coulda Shoulda: An Exploration of NexGen's Mighta-beens, article by Ed Hines, Jr. (6)
  • Scenes We'd Like to See, a focus on Klingon cuisine by Bryan Kirschner (7)
  • The Ferengi Awards, a round-up of the most brazen and manipulative marketing done with Star Trek merchandise (8)
  • a fan counts up the running time of the six movies and the episodes of "Classic, NextGen, and DS9" and the total viewing time is 243 hours and 58 minutes (8)
  • Moondog's Trek or Drek, reviews of DS9 episodes (10)

Issue 47

CCSTSG Enterprises 47 was published in June 1995 and contains 12 pages. "Editor Jeffrey H. Hines. Assistant Editors: Gary P. Castor/Ed Hines, Jr. Just learned to put one knee in front of the other: Sarah Mills."

cover of issue #47
  • rumors and news
  • news of the Viacom Crackdown (4):
    The following reports suggest that the climate may be changing with respect to Paramount's attitude toward Star Trek fandom. It is possible that directives from new mother corporation Viacom are driving this stance. But whatever the cause, most agree it amounts to an arrow aimed at the heart of the Golden Goose. This first item, Exhibit A, was passed on to me by a subscriber and originally ran in the fanzine of AUSTREK, an Australian Star Trek club. It is rumored that similar actions are already being taken in Great Britain: AUSTREK was invited by the Australian representatives of Paramount Pictures to attend a meeting on Monday 20 March 1995 with a senior official from Paramount's Licensing Department, as were representatives from other STAR TREK fan clubs throughout Australia. Members of AUSTREK attended this meeting, for which no agenda was provided beforehand. To put things in factual terms, Paramount's representative communicated the following points: Paramount's position is that fan clubs have been costing it money by using its intellectual property without paying for this use. This will stop. No STAR TREK videos of any kind are to be shown at meetings of any club. (An application for a non-theatrical license would be considered, but only for episodes that had already been televised and released on video in Australia.) No unlicensed or non-locally sourced licensed STAR TREK materials are to be sold by fan clubs. There will be no more unlicensed conventions. All STAR TREK conventions MUST be licensed but they will NOT he exclusive to "Star Trek, The Official Fan dub of Australia." The issues that are still to be resolved include whether fan clubs can describe themselves as STAR TREK fan clubs — e.g., in their names — and the continuing production of club newsletters. We were informed that Australia is the first country for the introduction of these new guidelines but that these changes will be made worldwide. The official stated that Paramount does not wish to close down STAR TREK fan clubs but it will be resolute and vigilant in protecting its intellectual property in order to ensure its continued profitability. Legal action will be forthcoming where breaches occur. We have been told to expect correspondence from Paramount giving us more specific information on the changes they require. Exhibit B appeared in a recent issue of IDIC, a most excellent bi-monthly Star Trek fanzine published in Scotland: Janet Quarton] recently posted a TNG zine advertisement on rec.arts.startrek.misc and rec.arts.startrek.fandom for a U.S. member didn't have Internet access. She had seen people selling items on the newsgroups and didn't think there would be a problem. Unfortunately the member got a nasty shock when he received a letter from Paramount threatening to sue him for copyright infringement if he did not immediately cooperate with them. We are not sure what is happening here as we've never heard of Paramount objecting to fanzines. Also they had Janet's e-mail address but contacted the member direct — we wonder if this is because Janet is in the UK and he is in the US. Also, the Usenet is a fairly friendly and informative place but no one contacted Janet saying that it is not advisable to advertise fanzines. Janet was going to post a message onto the newsgroups to enquire whether this has happened before but on second thought we've decided it is best not to risk inflaming the situation. Our advice to members with Internet access is be careful what you say — the Paramount sharks are listening. The last exhibit was posted recently on one of the Trek newsgroups: I posted an article a month or so ago and I made reference to a guy on TV who was pretending to act out parts of Generations during commercials in Star Trek. Paramount phoned me (!) about an hour later demanding to know what station this person was affiliated with, where he got the script, and a dozen other questions. So, not only do they read the group, they scrutinize each and every posting, it seems. I am not impressed.

  • an article on language and Star Trek (5)
  • On the Prowl for a Good Read: A Look at the Latest Sci-Fi Magazines by Gary Castor (6)
  • Babylon 5's Creator Talks Trek ("[He] was recently asked the question: 'What would YOU do with Star Trek?') (7)
  • The Ferengi Awards, spotlight on particularly egregious Trek marketing and merchandise (9)
  • Moondog's Trek or Drek, Voyager episode reviews and musing (10)

Issue 48

CCSTSG Enterprises 48 was published in August 1995 and contains 12 pages.

cover of issue #48
  • lots of rumors and news bits
  • Voyager in the Spotlight: The UPN Summer Press Tour (transcript of an interview done on July 27, 1995 with most of the Voyager cast) (6)
  • Moondog's Trek or Drek, a look at the last eight episodes of Voyager (10)

Reactions and Reviews

Oh, thank the Christ! Finally, a Trek newsletter for grownups. Glory to God in the highest. Gloria in excelsis deo. Nbah Ctbulhu mort tindalos.

Way too many fanzines, fiction and non-, come from editors who are full of sweetness and light and ready to turn a flamethrower on anyone who isn't. Their version of Trek and its random might have come straight from The House at Pooh Corner, where, in the words of Dorothy Parker, "everything is hippity-hoppity." Such a zined's thoughts seem to run: "Hey, if it says 'Trek' on it somewhere, it's just hummy with me."

This is the attitude that births newsletters full of cute, rocket-ship shaped mazes and lame cartoons, those penpal lists, those reader bios (so you named your cat Saavik, you clever girlie, you), those blurry reprints from TV Guide, those photos ripped off from Starlog and so darkly repro'ed on the office copy machine that the one of Captain Sisko turns out on the second or third glance to be Jean-Luc Picard, those photocopied Kraft Marshmallow bags with the recipe for Trekkie Treats and the ad for the Mr. Spock Marshmallow Decanter.... ...all of which make for the impression that the zine in question is only one of the editor's hobbies, which also include fingerpainting and popsicle-stick crafts.

In contrast, wonderful contrast, CCSTSG Enterprises has a nice, hard, adult edge to it, which zined Jeff Mills has tempered with a whole holodeck full of humor. The first half of the title stands for Central Connecticut Star Trek Support Group, making it an even rarer avis: a clubzine that assumes its readers are capable of thinking for themselves. And each and every issue I've seen delivers exactly what its masthead promises: "news and views, with loving and irreverent looks at the Star Trek phenomenon and its faithful following."

Nowhere is the irreverent part more apparent than in the regularly featured Ferengi Awards. These recognize "blatant, shameful, deceptive or distasteful employment of Greed in the hawking of Star Trek merchandise and services to fans." A prime example, from Double Issue 45/46, takes aim at Jimmy Doohan and the "Own a Piece of History" Campaign, which encourages any fan with $125.00 just sitting around to buy a two-inch by four-inch piece of the actual kilt Scotty wore in "The Savage Curtain." To quote Jeff Mills: "What's next? Shards of the scotch bottle he drank from in 'By Any Other Name?' Better act fast... there are only 1,000 pieces in the collection (surely he could have cut them smaller!)"

To the fan tempted to sign up for the Star Trek MasterCard, he suggests: "Carry a two-inch by three-inch glossy picture of the Enterprise in your wallet. Have it laminated, even. Then, every time you make a credit card purchase, pull out the starship picture along with your fee-free MasterCard. Show the cashier clerk if you like, and the people behind you in line." It's really true: in California, everyone and his channeler knows someone in show business. Even so, I find "The Rumor Mills," another of CCSTSG Enterprises' regular features, one informative read. Every issue has lots and lots to offer as to what new Trek items are on the market, where the Trek actors are appearing, and Who said What to Whom. This can include anything from hard news to tasty gossip. Again, from issue 45/46: "Jonathan Frakes said Patrick Stewart is known to mutter, 'Jonathan—twenty-five years with the RSC to end up doing this!'"

Salted among the more-or-less regular stuff are lots of sidebars, blurbs, bits, and pieces: A review of Star Trek VI here, the "Top Ten Reasons to Retire the Original Star Trek Crew for Good" there. Yes, Jeff does run reprints, but they tend to be brief little beasties that don't overwhelm the zine and drown the edge in the voice of its editor. Most of the coverage goes to the two Treks still on the air, DS9 and Voyager, but the other incarnations, Classic, Next Gen, and the movies, aren't ignored.

Six monthly issues go for a mere $9.00, and each is packed—packed!—with goodies. I can't remember the last time I saw this great a buy in fannish commercial circles. No Ferengi Award for this puppy. And no Pooh Bear Award, either. If Marty would allow it, CCSTSG Enterprises would get an extra baobab or sequoia just for encouraging fandom to stop and think when confronted with all those glossy ads for Star Trek stuff. For telling the fans, in other words, that just because Paramount or the Franklin Mint rings the bell, they don't have to drool. [1]


  1. ^ from Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine? #6. The reviewer in gives it "5 trees." The reviewers in "Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine?" rated zines on a 1-5 tree/star scale. See that page for more explanation.