Dorothy and Myfanwy Series

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Star Trek Fanfiction
Title: Dorothy and Myfanwy Series
Author(s): Dorothy Jones and Astrid Anderson
Date(s): June 1969- January 1971
Length:
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
External Links:

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The Dorothy and Myfanwy Series is a set of seven Star Trek: TOS stories by Dorothy Jones and Astrid Anderson.

The first story was printed in T-Negative #1 in June 1969.

The series was discussed in Star Trek Lives!.

art by Anthony Tollin in issue #7, it may be the first instance of color art in a Star Trek fanzine.

About

The "Dorothy and Myfanwy" series of stories by Dorothy Jones (later Heydt) and Astrid Anderson began in T-Negative #1, edited by Ruth Berman, in June 1969.

These are seriocomic tales about two junior officers, linguist Dorothy Conway and xenobotanist Myfanwy Orloff. Eventually they marry Spock and McCoy, respectively; but these should not be mistaken for Mary Sue stories. The two women are portrayed as highly intelligent and educated but otherwise perfectly normal, without unrealistic traits; they are exceptional people on a starship full of exceptional people. The storylines and canon characters are well in keeping with original series episodes such as "Shore Leave". The stories reinforce the canon from "Where No Man Has Gone Before", that by the time of Star Trek, psi abilities are generally acknowledged in earth societies, and all Starfleet cadets are tested for ESP.

A linguist and science fiction enthusiast, Jones created a Vulcan language and had begun exploring Vulcan culture and the wider universe of the Federation when the first Kraith story by Jacqueline Lichtenberg came out in T-Negative 8.[1]

Some Art

The Stories

1969

  • Bright Alpha by Dorothy Jones and Astrid Anderson (The first of the Dorothy-Myfanwy series, featuring xenolinguist Lt. Dorothy Conway and xenobiologist Lt. Myfanwy Orloff. When a landing party returns from an exploration, two of them seem to be transparent. They are actually not there at all. The indigenous life forms on the planet project elaborate illusions based on whatever they see in your mind. Lt. Conway has a field day thinking up appropriate weapons and technology for Spock to use in his search for the missing crewmen.) (T-Negative #1)
  • Tomlinson by Dorothy Jones and Astrid Anderson. (Following the events in "Balance of Terror", something begins to wreak havoc on the ship. The incidents are determined to have been caused by the ghost of Tomlinson, the man who died in the Romulan attack. Conway, who is Roman Catholic, arranges for a Mass to put his soul to rest.) (T-Negative #2)
  • The Stainless Steel Rose by Dorothy Jones and Astrid Anderson. (9) (An adventuress and thief named Rose kidnaps Spock.) (T-Negative #4)

1970

  • Tomorrow Is Yesterday by Dorothy Jones and Astrid Anderson. (In a mission involving time travel, various crew members find themselves attending a Star Trek convention on 20th century Earth. There are many characters at the con including numerous BNF science fiction writers, Bjo Trimble, the evil Harlan Ellison, and others making this story an early RPF.) (T-Negative #6)
  • The Vigil (The transporter messes up and Captain Kirk is lost on a planet without his communicator. Spock uses a combination of shuttlecraft landing parties and meticulous sensor scan of the entire world, sector by sector, staying awake and focused until the Captain is found. Anticipating that he will begin to speak Vulcan as he tires, Spock keeps Lt. Conway near him for translation purposes. After about a week of this, the Captain is found. Exhausted from the long vigil, Spock ends up in sickbay, and when Conway visits him he uses Vulcan poetry to propose to her.) (T-Negative #7)
  • A Letter, by Dorothy Jones. (Written from Spock's ancestral home by Dorothy Conway to Myfanwy Orloff, talking about their marriage and her Vulcan language studies. Among other things, there is an explanation of Spock's "Xtmprsqzntwlfb" family name that Dorothy Fontana came up with.) (T-Negative #8)

1971

  • The Rainbird by Dorothy Jones and Astrid Anderson. (With Dorothy still back on Vulcan with Spock, Lt. Myfanwy Orloff goes on shore leave with a small party of crewmates, including Dr. McCoy. Along the way, they confess they are attracted to one another, although McCoy is far older. This also features a Regenswelter, a birdlike humanoid whose people have been at war with the Federation until very recently.) (T-Negative #9)

Reason for Color

These stories were the driving force for some early color mimeo in the zine series, T-Negative. In 2017, Ruth Berman wrote:
When I started [T-Negative], I was producing it on a Ditto machine. With the Ditto process, it is fairly easy to use different colored masters to produce color work – but not so easy that I felt able to do it myself. (The b&w covers were done professionally, by photo-offset.) The reason color started showing up in T-N was that Anthony Tollin started subscribing, and enjoyed the Dorothy/Myfanwy stories, wanted to illustrate them, and had the artistic and technical skills to do it in color. The drawback to Ditto is that you get only some 50-100 copies before the master is worn out. When my subscription list got too large to handle on Ditto, I switched to Mimeo, which allows many more copies, but cannot match Ditto for placement of color detail and makes even the rough kind of color that can be done much more difficult. So once I switched to Mimeo, it was all b&w (and when I reprinted the early issues in Mimeo, the result was all b&w). Later, when I switched to paying a printer to print the issues by offset, color would have been possible, but prohibitively expensive. Nowadays, with color printing available on home computers, the cost for color work has come down considerably, but it’s still expensive enough in equipment and supplies to be too difficult for many. I don’t know of color artwork in ST-zines before T-N, but there may have been some. (I know of some early general sciencefiction fanzines that made use of color – even Mimeo’d examples! [2]

Mary Sue?

In 2017, Berman said:
Popularity of the Dorothy-Myfanwy stories – well, Anthony Tollin was impressed by them, and so were most of the readers who commented about them in letters [to T-Negative]. So I’d assume that they were also popular with the readers who didn’t comment on them specifically. That one story’s characterization of Harlan Ellison as unpleasantly sharp-tempered – well, he is, some of the time. A lot of the time he isn’t, and on his good behavior he’s a lot of fun to be around, not to mention being a fine writer. I think most people would agree, in or out of ST fandom. Looking at a couple of websites, I see that some readers nowadays complain that the Dorothy/Myfanwy stories are basically just "Mary Sue" stories. (I don't think I was getting that complaint at the time -- well, the name hadn't been invented yet, so I couldn't have, but the basic complaint could have been made without the term, and I don't think it was.) Technically the group does have the characteristics of "Mary Sue" (the name is from the protagonist of "A Trekkie's Tale," a parody of the type by Paula Smith, from her ST fanzine, "Menagerie," in 1973) stories (the protagonist is a young, beautiful, genius-level woman who resembles the author, and wins the heart of one or another of the main characters, usually Spock, and usually very gooey in tone, representing as they do authorial wish-fulfillment). But I think this group was better than the label would suggest, for its narrative humor and use of interesting world-settings. [3]

An Attempt to File Off The Serial Numbers

Dorothy Jones Heydt, who collaborated with Astrid Anderson on the Dorothy-Myfanwy series of short stories subsequently abandoned her narrative. In the mid-1970s, she attempted to rewrite and expand it as a novel with characters changed and renamed. The manuscript was rejected by publishers as being "too much like Star Trek", and Jones went on to other things.

>...To become canonical, the ST novels would have to influence later works; perhaps by featuring perennial squabbles between a healer and a logician aboard a quasi-military craft.

But if you tried to sell such a novel, it would get bounced as "too much like Star Trek." I know whereof I speak. Long ago in the morning of the world Astrid Anderson and I wrote such a novel. Everyone we showed it to who _wasn't_ an editor loved it. Everyone we showed it to who _was_ an editor said "Too much like Star Trek." So how will the ST novels ever get to be canonical?[4]

References

  1. "It is no coincidence that there are no other major Vulcan universes in ST fandom... Probably the best reason that the original Kraith stories and articles deterred other Vulcan-orientated work is the simple fact that they were superbly written. There is nothing better for eliminating competition than having the best product. Competing with Kraith and its large, vocal fan following was quickly deemed not worth the trouble it would cause." Daniela Kendall (a pseudonym for one of the Kraith creators), "Inside Kraith". In Probe #11, 1977.
  2. Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Ruth Berman
  3. Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Ruth Berman
  4. Dorothy J. Heydt, writing in rec.arts.sf.written, comment to Thiotimoline, Usenet post dated 1993-08-09.