Deck Five Digest

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Title: Deck Five Digest
Publisher: Starbase Houston, a fan club
Editor(s): some editors were Terry Martin, Jan Beckworth, Katharine Scarritt and Deborah Townsend
Date(s): 1981-1983
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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Deck Five Digest is a gen Star Trek: TOS digest-sized fanzine.

At one point, there was to be an unrelated zine entitled "Deck 5. See Steve Barnes.

Issue 1

cover of issue #1

Deck Five Digest 1 was published in 1981 and is 56 pages long.

  • And a Time To Every Purpose by Cynthia Lockwood (The mission is over and his brother, Sam, is dead. Kirk must come to terms with this loss.) (3 pages)
  • A Subtle Suggestion by Feida Roam (Tantalus V is a memory, however Captain Kirk's problems have only just begun.) (10 pages)
  • Brother’s Keeper by Ruth Berman (reprinted from T-Negative #15; also in Starbase M.T.L. #6) (It is a sometimes whimsical McCoy get'em, Spock and McCoy are stranded on a planet. McCoy is badly injured and Spock takes care of him.) (9 pages)
  • Ghosts (11 pages)
  • Smidgen of Passion by Pam Rose (McCoy requests leave in Georgia. Could it be? It is...the Ponn Pecan!) (7 pages)
  • Graven Image by Lezlie Shell (an intro for a story in Obsession #2) (Spock has summoned McCoy to Vulcan to ask his help in cloning a duplicate of the deceased James Kirk.) (5 pages)
  • Symbiosis by Mary Lowe (reprinted in (Only Trek #2) (5 pages)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

This is one of a type of zine so rare as to be nearly unique, a clubzine (with five persons on the editorial staff) yet does not disgrace itself through total non-discrimination in its acceptance of contributions. In fact, it has managed to resurrect some of the bright, fresh ‘isn’t it all wonderful’ feeling of the earliest Trekzines, possibly because of the input of energy from a group of like-minded friends. This zine is printed digest-sized, so the advertised 56 pages is a bit misleading. However, since under $5 zines are even rarer than good clubzines these days, this one is still fair value for the money. This issue contains ‘… And a Time to Every Purpose’ – a nicely-handled vignette concerning Kirk’s reaction to the death of his brother. Some of the author’s insights could have been fleshed out a bit more for even greater overall effect. ‘A Subtle Suggestion’ – this story is based on the idea that command given Kirk by Dr. Noel in ‘Dagger of the Mind’ (you’re hungry) remained there to plague him with an irresistible urge to snack. Serious as such a problem would be, it seems hard to take seriously, and thus this plot would have worked better handled as a semi-comedic piece. As is stands, it comes across as having been conceived after reading too many dieting inspirational books. ‘Brother’s Keeper’ –is one of the things that gives this zine such a period piece feeling. If the accompanying illos are not originals used for sentiment’s sake, they are a waste of three pages, though. ‘Ghosts’ – a good idea that doesn’t make a good story. Firm editing could have saved this one. As it is, sending the Enterprise back in time to contact an Earthwoman –a writer and a space devotee – of the 20th-century – starts the story off badly on two counts. First the premise is highly improbable and second, making the heroine a writer encouraged the real writer to succumb to the temptation to indulge in writers’ fantasy/dream jokes. The reader is set up for light humor and is suddenly wrenched into pathos when the heroine finds out it isn’t a dream. Her attack on the starship crew – as handled here – for telling her that her dreams will someday come true makes little sense. Much promised here, but little delivered. ‘Smidgeon of Passion’ – is an ‘Amok Time’ southern style piece with McCoy playing the lead. A cute bit with some funny lines. ‘Graven Image’ – a four page introduction for a story that appears in Obsession #2. It concerns Spock and McCoy in a confrontation over an embryo cloned from the deceased Kirk, which Spock intends to raise into a replacement for his dead friend. It certainly succeeds in getting one interested in hearing how it will all come out. ‘Symbiosis’ – another story by the author of ‘Graven Image,’ with a slightly different version of how Spock might try to keep Kirk with him always. The idea of shared consciousness isn’t exactly untouched in Treklit, but this is well-handled and has enough new insights to keep the reader’s interest high. Best of zine award. Overall contents: mostly good. Art: poor to good. Repro: clear and neat with an attractive cover. Value: a zine worth reading. [1]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2

Deck Five Digest 2 was published in June 1981 and is 50 pages long.

The art is by Jan Meek Beckworth, Laurie May, Keith Tate, James Hunt, and Mary Lowe.

The editorial mentions that the zine "has changed hands many times" during the publication of this issue. The editors are Katharine Scarritt and Deborah Townsend.

  • Sensory Distortions, editorial (3)
  • The Decision by Elizabeth Koenig (Years of of association with humans has shaken Spock's identity. Now he must return to Vulcan to find his answers. (4)
  • Star Trek The Motion Sickness by Dave Weston (supposedly the original draft for ST:TMP, a parody) (7)
  • Knights Meeting by Jan Meek Beckworth (17)
  • Raspberries and Cream by Rhea Brainerd (19)
  • Ni Var by Jan Meek Beckworth (23)
  • Time of Waste by Valerie DeVries (24)
  • Comment by Elizabeth Koenig (39)
  • (Untitled) by Teresa Sarick (40)
  • Lt. Teddy by Landa Brannick (A group of animals, including a Sehlat, are brought aboard the Enterprise for transport. McCoy tries to keep the SehIats presence a surprise until Spock's birthday.) (41)
  • The Answer by Mary Lowe (47)

Issue 3

cover issue #3

Deck Five Digest 3 was published in March 1983 and is 88 pages long. Editor is Jan Beckwith, and it contains art by Pat Kilner, Linda Warren, Jan Beckworth, and Linda Richards.

  • Sensory Distortions (3)
  • Command Decision by Catherine FitzSimmons (4)
  • Forever After by Rhea Brainerd (5)
  • An Enterprising Idea by Jan Beckworth (a kinda, maybe, not really, but almost Mary Sue story) (10)
  • Sweet Vengeance by Diane Miskiewicz (14) (McCoy, motivated by good intentions, manages to alienate Spock, Scotty and Kirk.)
  • Khan's Revenge by Cathy Fitzsimmons (Just how did OLD Khan and Chekov meet all those years ago?) (24)
  • The Announcement by J.A. Stafford (26)
  • Empath by Teresa Sarick (40)
  • Lady of the Stars by GiGi Porter (41)
  • The Wind at My Sails by Rhea Brainerd (43)
  • Confrontation: Kirk Versus McCoy by Rhea Brainerd (44)
  • And the Moon is Full and Bright by Patty Bushman (serious trouble aboard the Enterprise, and the good doctor is right in the middle. McCoy is bitten by an animal that turns out to be a werewolf. As a result he becomes one himself. His friends, with the help of a woman claiming super natural powers, attempt to remove this curse.) (46)

Issue 4

Issue 5

Deck Five Digest 5 was published in 1983 and contains 76 pages. The cover is by Pat Kilner.

  • Khan's Revenge by Cathy Fitzsimmons (Just how did Khan and Chekov meet all those years ago?
  • An Enterprising Idea by Jan Beckworth (A kinda, sort maybe, not really Mary Sue story)
  • And the Moon is Full and Bright by Patty Bushman (Serious trouble aboard the Enterprise and the good doctor is right in the middle.)


  1. ^ from Datazine #22