Epilogue (Star Trek: TOS zine)

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Zine
Title: Epilogue
Publisher: Sol Plus
Editor:
Author(s): Jean Lorrah, editor: Jacqueline Bielowicz
Cover Artist(s):
Illustrator(s):
Date(s): 1977-1978
Medium: print zine, fanfic
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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Epilogue is a gen and het Star Trek: TOS set of novels by Jean Lorrah. The black and white illustrations are by Laura Virgil, and they were edited by Jacqueline Bielowicz.

Summary

From Agent With Style:
The 5-year mission of the Enterprise is cut short by the outbreak of war with the Romulan/Klingon Alliance. Against his will, Spock is given his own command. While he learns to command both his ship and his dual heritage, his parents contend with the occupation of Vulcan by the enemy. There's a love story, too!

Sister Zines

Epilogue and Additional Transformative Works

a flyer for a proposed zine that would not accept content from this universe: "We will except stories from all areas and all universes except Star Trek: Epilogue universe (this was a closed universe which was ended by the author. Sorry!"
In 1989, Jean Lorrah explained why she didn't want other fans to write in this universe:
Some of you may be familiar with EPILOGUE, which is one of my TREK universes, which is a closed universe. That is, it is a complete novel in two volumes — eight chapters — and the eight chapters tell independent stories, with beginnings, middles and ends. But they are not really independent of one another, even though the first three appeared in TRISKELLION, way back in the early 1970’s. They don’t leave you satisfied, they leave you wanting the rest of the story, but it’s closed. There’s no more EPILOGUE. I will not write any more and no one else will write any more that in official EPILOGUE. You cannot prevent someone else from writing a story, but I will not recognize it—no matter how brilliant it is — as part of that universe because that one is complete... ...If you’ve read it, then you know it’s about a war, in that case. You see, when you write fiction you translate your experience into something else. There was no war involved in my experience. But, you remember, EPILOGUE begins with Kirk as a very, very old man . . . facing senility . . . losing his memory . . . having lost the people who were like family to him . . . having lost his position. He’s been retired, not kicked out. He’s just grown old and been retired. It’s facing up to loss . . . and I was working off my own frustrations writing the first part of EPILOGUE. And then I came back and wrote part two after I had lived through and come to terms with that period of my life, and I had a book to complete. And then the artist goes on and finishes the story that was begun out of the emotion of a particular period. But it’s probably because it is so close to my own life that I don’t want anybody else fiddling around with it. It’s complete in itself. Now, that’s one kind of universe, where you as sole author, or perhaps with a collaborator write a particular thing, you finish it and that’s it. You don’t do any more. [1] [2]

Timelines in Lorrah's Fanfiction

In 1979, Jean Lorrah wrote of timelines and her fiction:
It is virtually impossible to create a timeline for a series when one does not yet know all the main events! In the NTM universe, which began as a single novel and also "jest growed," I try to make each story independent of the others, just as one must do when writing professionally. My characters do change and grow, and where in the time of the NTM universe we are is indicated within each story — five years after this, or Spock is so many years old, or something to guide the reader who is familiar with the whole series to when we are, but not something to interfere with the enjoyment of the reader who has never seen an NTM story before.

New readers can start anywhere — I just had a letter this past week from someone whose first exposure to the NTM universe was "Amanda of Vulcan" in Stardate: Unknown. I know that a timeline for the NTM universe would have to include a trip back to Penthesilea — the problem is, I don't know when that will happen!

Also, there are two events in the projected future of NTM—beyond anything yet written in the series—that I do not want to put on a timeline until stories leading up to them are filled in. Otherwise, half the readers would be screaming at me to write those stories without the necessary intervening buildup and the other half would be shouting that those events could never happen under any circumstances whatsoever!

Therefore, it seems to me that the approach of assuming that every story in a series is being read by readers who have read none of the others is the safest approach. Even in fandom, there are often long waits between reprints of the first volumes of a series (not in my case, as I'm fortunate to be solvent enough to keep everything in print), so that many readers inevitably come in in the middle... Oddly, I have an opposite problem. Because I wrote NTM and EPILOGUE, as well as a large number of other ST stories, many readers assume that they all must fit into a single timeline. No way! NTM and EPILOGUE are completely independent of one another. Only stories labeled "An NTM-universe Story" fit the timeline of the NTM universe. Please don't try to fit both series into the same timeline. [3]

Strong Women

In 1980, there was much discussion in the letterzine Interstat about the role of strong women characters, and often the lack thereof, in Treklit.

After reading this fan's comment: ""Trek-lit seemingly always uses at least one of the three main characters," Lorrah responded:
Kirk, Spock, and McCoy play very minor roles in the NTM universe. However, I developed that universe after many years of writing other kinds of stories. "Visit," "Parted From Me," and other of my early stories always concerned the Big-Three — and never had Joanna Russ's requirement of female friendship. The reason the Russ criterion that Leslie Fish quoted seems so right to me is that I can see the development in my own work from conscious attempts at feminism to the unconscious genuine feminist attitude as I slowly came to trust women as much as I did men as partners in writing and business.

At first I tried to write strong women, and to play up some of the anti-feminist problems I had run into in my own career. For example, I have been "Jean," never "Jeannie," since I entered high school. When one of my male colleagues attempts to denigrate me by calling me "Jeannie," (and, believe it or not, this happens!), I respond by calling him "Billy," "Johnny," "Davy," or whatever. But, if Jimmy Carter can be President, why can't Mary Louise Webster captain a starship (EPILOGUE)? Sorry, Mary Lou [addressing another fan], I invented Molly Webster several years before I heard of you; it is neither tribute nor parody. In another story I had a captain named Mary Jane. These names, and the roles, were quite deliberate.

As to the Russ criterion, my early stories simply never had friendships between women. By the time I wrote EPILOGUE, I gave Molly a best friend, Margie Jones, but I neglected to give Margie a role to play! I just said she was Molly's best friend; I didn't show it. By the time I wrote THE NIGHT OF THE TWIN MOONS, however, something had happened to my subconscious. The female-dominant Penthesilean society, Amanda's role as Ambassador-- those things are the conscious feminist aspects of the novel.

But how about Rille, Velinde, and Shira? I had never heard of Russ's criterion (how could I, if she didn't formulate it until last year?), but like all the best criticism, her comment makes me say, "Of course! Why didn't I see that for myself?" Ever since NTM, all my heroines have had female friends. In FIRST CHANNEL, Kadi's best friend is Carlana. In SAVAGE EMPIRE, Aradia's best friend is Lilith.

My point is not to brag about what a great feminist I am (I'm not a feminist at all to the most radical feminists), but to point out that I began writing female friendships into my books unconsciously. Damnitall, I'll be doing it consciously from now on, but the original natural outgrowth of my relationships in fandom was the quite unconscious development of female friends in my writing. I'm sure I'm not alone, this kind of development is most certainly taking place among other women in fandom. Why doesn't it show in their writings? How many other women writing Treklit today published their first stories in 1968. As I said, it's not an instantaneous change. Furthermore, back in the dark ages there were stories about female friends in Treklit. The two-girls-aboard-the-Enterprise stories were a staple in the early days of fanzines. [4] Usually, though, one got either Spock or McCoy, and someone came along and labeled them "Mary Sue stories" and scared them out of the fanzines. Too bad. Had they had a normal development, we might be seeing two-women-aboard-the-Enterprise-who-remain-friends-and-find-fulfillment- in-some-way-other-than-marrying-one-of-the-Big-Three stories. And I don't mean lesbian stories. [5]

Reprints of Issue #1

  • First printing: 1977
  • Second printing March 1979, 500 copies
  • Third printing, April 1980, 500 copies
  • Fourth printing, April 1982, 500 copies
  • Fifth printing, February, 1984
  • Sixth printing, May, 1986
  • Seventh printing, June, 1988

Issue 1

cover of issue #1, Laura Virgil
back cover

Epilogue 1 was published in 1977. It is a 79-page long novel by Jean Lorrah. It is reprinted from Triskelion #4. It was edited by Jackie Bielowicz and Mary Robbins. It contains a poem by Randy Vereyken. Graphic layout is by Stan Bielowicz. The typewriter was donated by Southern States Oil Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

Admiral Kirk, long after the Federation's war with the Romulan/Klingon alliance, is suffering the senility he knew he would develop ("Deadly Years") and has come to say goodbye to Spock (married with 5 kids, and indulging in human behaviors such as laughter) before doing himself in before he can get worse. Spock offers both physical and mind-meld treatment. Somehow, reliving others' lives of the intervening years will pull him out of himself and save his deteriorating mental faculties. A middling tale - becomes more compelling in the second part. Part I: Kirk experiences: 1) Spock's new life in command of the Surak with Molly Webster, Vulcan-raised human and telepath, as his First Officer, and running a much more informal ship. 2) Amanda's memories of Sarek's execution, and his katra (not named as such, of course) taking up residence in Amanda - which must be kept secret by some unexplained taboo. 3) Spock's experience of Nurse Joanna McCoy coming aboard, being ridiculously klutzy in normal times and absolutely efficient in an emergency, saving his arm in a crisis. And of falling in love, it seems, with Molly. [6]
The two volume set of Epilogue 1 & 2 was written in 1977 and 1978, respectively. Hence the radically altered Trek history that one finds within their pages. Epilogue 1 begins with the semi-senile Admiral James T. Kirk visiting Spock and his family on Vulcan. James T. has not seen his Vulcan friend for thirty years - not since Spock took command of the U.S.S. Surak during the Klingon/Romulan wars. Kirk is welcomed into Spock's home in a fashion most startling to those of us who know the Vulcan psyche of non-emotional display. Spock greets Jim Kirk with a wide smile (the illustration of a grinning Spock on page 4 of #1 is most disconcerting) and a bear hug. And that is the character of Spock throughout these pages. It has been determined that our poor, senile ex-captain can be helped through anti-aging therapy and a series of mind melds that help him relive the past from the perspective of others. That is how the reader discovers just what went on with Spock and his wife, father and mother during the years of the war. The stories of the war are rather interesting in and of themselves, but being a Vulcan fan, I find it rather difficult for them to be "made into the image of humans." Ms. Lorrah obviously has a fascination for the Vulcans - especially Spock and Sarek - but she seems to have a difficult time with their very Vulcanness. [7]
Beautifully, realistically written, this story deals with the memories bestowed upon an aging James Kirk, concerning events having taken place some 25 years earlier. Groing arthritic and senile, Admiral James T. Kirk decides to pay Spock and his family -- now on Vulcan -- a last, quiet, and dignified goodbye before he grows too senile to do so with grace and ease. Upon his arrival on Vulcan, Kirk recieves several shocks -- Spock, for one, laughing at a joke his own teen-aged son is telling him and his wife. When Kirk asks his former First Officer what has happened to him, Spock's simple reply is, 'The war happened.' And what a war it must have been! During a memory mindmeld with Spock, the Admiral relives the beginnings of it, and the reader sees his, and then Spock's, personal and professional adjustments to it. In the third year of the Enterprise's five-year mission, the Romulans and the Klingons form an alliance and set out to conquer the galaxy after having had war declared on the Federation. Kirk sees his crew broken up as the Enterprise is now a battleship, and his senior officers are giving warship commands of their own. Spock is positioned as captain of the Surak (and is rather miffed at the warship being named after Vulcan's father of peace); and the reader sees his growing accustomed to a very young, motley crew which includes a vivacoius woman named Molly Webster. Webster claims Vulcan citizenship as well as education at the Vulcan Science Academy, yet gets along surprisingly well with the human crewmembers, almost too well, to Spock's annoyance. Admiral Kirk also enters a memory meld as a therapeutic measure with Amanda, now in her 90's. The reader sees Amanda's memories in one of 'Epilogue's' best scenes, the capture and demoralization of Vulcan by the death of Sarek, as an example to all of Vulcan. Through these memory mindmelds, Spock, and others, hope to cure Kirk of his tendencies towards living in the past leaning toward the more tragic memories. So, it is a series of vignettes involving Trek characters, as well as characters of Ms. Lorrah's making with the healing of James Kirk as a focal point. Since it actually is Kirk's story, it explains the cover illo -- a beautiful, three-quarter view of a young James Kirk. Illos in this fast-paced zine are excellent and prolific, and the binding and editing are also excellent. All in all, part one is highly recommended for all Kirk/Spock/Sarek-and-Amanda fans. [8]

Issue 2

front cover of issue #2, Laura Virgil
back cover of issue #3, Laura Virgil

Epilogue 2 was published in April 1978. It is 131 page-long novel written by Jean Lorrah and illoed by Laura Virgil.

It was printed off-set. The second printing was in March 1979 and it was 500 copies.

This is Sol Plus Special Edition and was reprinted from Triskelion #5.

Summary: During war with the Romulan/Klingon alliance, Spock receives his own command & Vulcan is invaded.

[From the editorial]: Mea Culpa! For the first time in the history of Sol Plus we are late. Oh, Ghod, can we stand the disgrace?... The response to Epilogue has: been overwhelming. Thank you for the terrific letters and support It's always nice to know you're appreciated. In fact, there are many of you who are getting this issue who do not have Epilogue I. There will be reprints of number I. If interested, please send SASE now, so we will know how many to print. We also hope to have Sol Plus V ready for printing by June 1, 1978, so send in an extra SASE for that. Now that we have completed the Epilogue series, Sol Plus is in the market for another large piece of work. Dig into that old pile of manuscripts. Drag out that six-year old novel you've been hoarding, dust it off and send it to us for consideration as Sol Plus Special Edition 3. And please, Star Trek only; absolutely no Star Wars! [9] Explicit sex, violence or abusive language will be considered, but it must be necessary to the story. We are still interested in quality writing. Dead line for submissions is no later than August 31, 1978. Last, but certainly not least, we once again wish to thank Jean Lorrah and Laura Virgil for lending us their tremendous creative talents. It has been a rare experience to work with these two lovely ladies. We will be eternally grateful to them for letting us share in this incredible adventure. --Mary and Jackie

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

Part 2: Kirk's treatments continue. 1) Molly shows him how she and Spock went undercover to retrieve information on a weapon that forces telepathy, resulting in madness in species that cannot shield, and are captured and tortured by the mind-sifter operator. They marry themselves in a Vulcan ceremony. 2) Amanda shows him how her household became the headquarters of the Klingon occupation force. They took in T'Pring, catatonic from Romulan mind-rape and Stonn, and several other injured people. Amanda started a Vulcan underground, and when the Klingon commander tried to take Amanda by force, Sarek invaded his mind from hers and took over, leading the Klingons into defeat. 3) Meanwhile, Spock and Molly are having trouble getting StarFleet to recognize their marriage. In a battle lull, they plan to hook up with Enterprise for a civil ceremony, but the Enterprise is attacked first; Joanna beams over to find both McCoy and Kirk badly injured. Kirk has to be left in stasis on a base; McCoy is reassigned with Spock on Surak, but Molly is promoted to Captain of Enterprise. McCoy takes Spock and Molly to Cogley, who gets through the red tape by having Spock claim his Terran citizenship, and marries them. The war is ending; the final blow coming as the telepathy weapon is used on occupied Vulcan. I-Chaya dies attacking a Klingon about to kill all of Amanda's household. A Romulan couple sell their newborn daughter to Amanda to prevent her becoming a slave; the child becomes Spock's eldest daughter. [10]
Jean Lorrah is a fine writer and Epilogue II does her proud. This is the second part of the story of the war between the Federation and the Romulan-Klingon alliance. The story takes place some years afterwards and Kirk is being treated with a new anti-aging process. To aid his rehabilitation, he undergoes a number of mind-melds with Spock and Amanda and Spock's wife, Molly. Through these mind-melds, he learns what happened to his friends during those critical years.

One of the nicest features of Epilogue is its presentation of Spock as an adult — and finally happy — Vulcan/Human. Too many fan-fic stories present Spock as being dependent on Kirk to the point of being child-like. (The exception being the Kraith Spock who is so "macho" he ought to have a motor-cycle and leather jacket.) Lorrah's Spock is his own man, the property of neither Kirk nor Vulcan. Lorrah picks up nicely on another point: it is Spock's leaving Kirk that precipitates his growing up.

Read both Epilogues if you can. They're both excellent. [11]
[a review of both volumes]: Epilogue is the story of Admiral James Kirk's visit to Spock at his home on Vulcan, a visit which takes place many years after the time of the original mission of the Enterprise, which was cut short at three years because the Klingon-Romulan Coalition declared war on the Federation. Kirk is retired from Star Fleet and is a lonely old man, suffering from the arthritis and failing mental capacities predicted in the episode "The Deadly Years". He has come to say goodbye to Spock while he can still do so with dignity. Spock, meanwhile, is in the prime of life and is surrounded by a large, loving family. The contrast between Kirk's condition and Spock's condition makes Kirk even more depressed. Spock takes him to the Vulcan healers, who soon have his body on the mend. To alleviate his mental condition, the healers recommend new experiences via mind meld to bring him out of his withdrawn state. Spock, his wife, and his mother Amanda provide the new experiences. Kirk enters into seven mind melds in all to complete his therapy. Each mind meld is a complete short story; three in the first volume, four in the second. They tell the story of the war between the Klingon-Romulan Coalition and the Federation through the experiences of Spock and his family. When the War breaks out, Spock is given command of his own starship, the Enterprise. I particularly enjoyed the way he handles being removed from his comfortable niche on the Enterprise and forced to develop his own style of command on a new ship with a green crew. Of course, he handles it in a logical manner, but you may find some of his actions pleasantly surprising. Covered, also are Spock's espionage mission behind enemy lines with his First Officer, and his courtship and marriage. The fall of Vulcan, the execution of Sarek, and the occupation of Vulcan are seen through Amanda's eyes. You will be amused to see Amanda run the Vulcan underground right under the nose of the Klingon Governor, who takes her home as his official residence. Ms. Lorrah has a positive attitude toward the characters, and delineates them with care and compassion. She has a good, clean style of writing, which is necessary to handle the literary device of the mind melds which she uses to tell the story. Even when you are in a mind meld within a mind meld, you will be clear as to what's going on. The cover and illustrations by Laura Virgil are excellent. [12]
This second half completes Jim Kirk's bodily rejuvenation, but it falls into the "ho hum here we go again syndrome" which is a pity for Jean shows here that in her story telling she is not afraid to face the questions of age and its effects. Spock will live a longer life, we know this, and it is not unusual for Jim to want to blame that as much as possible. But he is lost. All through the stories you feel this with the final answer, or is it? I read these anticipating much but felt disappointed - oh well, perhaps someone else can use the ideas and make it more interesting. [13]

References

  1. from a transcript of a writers' panel, published in Wulfstone, see complete transcript here, accessed March 6, 2013
  2. Lorrah later adds that fans are "heartily invited to write" in the universes of The Night of the Twin Moons and Full Moon Rising: "There are plenty of other stories to be told that I don’t have enough time to tell. All I ask is if you want to write in the universe, please send me an outline before you start to write, so that if there is an inconsistency — which will probably be because I knew of something planned that hasn’t shown up in a story yet — then usually very minor tinkering can take care of that when the story is in outline form."
  3. from Interstat #20
  4. One example are the Dorothy-Myfanwy Stories in T-Negative.
  5. from Interstat #31
  6. from Zinedex
  7. from Engage! #7 (1991)
  8. from Delta Triad #4
  9. "This showed that Star Trek fans were increasingly writing Star Wars material and sending it to Star Trek editors for publication." -- from Boldly Writing
  10. from Zinedex
  11. Starbase M.T.L. #6
  12. from TREKisM #8
  13. from Beyond Antares #30/31