Eridani Triad

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Title: Eridani Triad
Publisher: Judith Brownlee
Editor(s): Gail Barton and Doris Beetem the Younger
Date(s): 1970-1973
Medium: print zine
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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Eridani Triad is a gen Star Trek: TOS anthology with an emphasis on Vulcan.

flyer for the reissue

Birthplace of a Term

Judith Brownlee's story, From Whatever Distant Hill, is very likely the birthplace of the fanon word: bond-mate.

In a 1971 letter to another fan, Brownlee wrote:

I got a loc on ET II which complemented me on inventing the word "bond-mate". Well, now, I am not aware that I invented it. Gail and Dee say that we just started using it one day in our conversations. I know that I did not use it in my second draft of "From Whatever Distant Hill," because I added it when I typed the stencil for ET II. I'm still not sure we didn't pick it up from somebody else. You come up with things that fit so well into your conceptions and you adopt them until they seem like rock-bound fact. [1]

Famous Last Words

The editors stated: "The name of this zine stems from the James Blish version of the home star of Vulcan, that is, 40 Eridani." They also stated that there would be only one issue: "... this is a one-shot--a ONE SHOT. None of this Spockanalia 2, 3, 4, and 5 nonsense."

In the end, there ended up being three issues of "Eridani Triad."

Get the T-Shirt!

Fans could order a t-shirt created and sold by the same zine publisher that produced "Eridani Triad." See The Klingon Rollerball Team T-Shirt.

A Well-Known Story and Why It's Not in this Zine

Judith Brownlee remembers ... A Handful of Snowflakes and Other Trek Tales and M.L Steve Barnes:

I was working on Eridani Triad with Gail Barton and Dee Beetem, and she was there with artwork, and with a story she hoped we would print. I read the story; it was a Nurse Chapel story. I was never very sympathetic towards Nurse Chapel stories, and this was a regular horror story. I put my teeth on edge... but the writing was good. Very good. Gail and Dee were not enthusiastic to print it either, for the same personal reasons. We worried about telling her because she was our friend, and we didn't want to hurt her. All three of us talked to her and told her that it was well-written but grated on our personal sensibilities. She took it well. We helped her find another zine to print it in. And that's the story of how Eridani Triad turned down A Handful of Snowflakes, one of the most popular and controversial Trek stories ever written. I don't regret it, though; it was just not my cup of tea.[2]


In a 1982 personal statement, Devra Langsam wrote that reprints would be available through someone other than the original creators:

Judith Brownlee, the editor of Eridani Triad, wishes it be known that she is not dead, nor in Acapulco. She has not failed to answer mail until now because of lack of interest, but rather because she had no answers. Now, she is happy to say that the reprint of 'Eridani Triad' #3 has been assumed by Michael Rightor and Rena Weber (Free Spacers Press).

Rena writes a personal statement in Universal Translator #17 and disputes her involvement with the reprints:

I am not associated in any way with 'Eridani Triad.'... I am also no longer associated with 'Free Spacer's Press,' having sold it to Michael Rightor last spring... He bought the magazine, its assets and its debts. I have turned all manuscripts over to him with my recommendations. He has a big load, so be patient, folks.

Issue 1

cover of issue #1

Eridani Triad 1 was published in 1970 and contains 102 pages. A second edition was reprinted in August 1976, then again in January 1977. Art by Debby Bethurem, Ed Stein, and Gail Barton.

The introduction to Doris Beetem's "Here We Go Round Again" says: "The following story is an unauthorized sequel to Jean Lorrah's "Parted From Me," which appeared in Triskelion No. 3." Boldly Writing says: "...this — as well as Ruth Berman's 'Revisited' story in Spockanalia 5 — shows that fans were beginning to influence each other in their fan writing."

From the editorial:

Hullo! So far it is one o'clock In the morning, but Dee and I thought you might like to know how this particular mess got started. I was visiting Dee up at Colorado University and we did a lot of talking about ancient Vulcan. A little later during Christmas vacation she showed me this play, called Hadla about two thirds finished, and after arguing with her on how to finish it, I made the glib suggestion that she write a play that took place before it and a play that took place after it and have a trilogy. Kicking and screaming from then to now, she did it. (Actually, I looked at Hadla. flushed with memories sf Sophocles, and said, "Now all I need is the other two plays" and believed myself) Meanwhile, she'd been collecting other things--storles, poems, the like, and It gradually occurred to us that there was enough for a zine. At this mad moment, I volunteered to illustrate it If she'd write it. At the time, she only had one and two thirds of a play to go. I would like to point out that this is a one-shot. For one thing, Dee would kill me if I insisted that she write another trilogy, say on Serrlt, Sotram's younger brother in the ice cave. So I repeat, this is a one-shot -- a ONE SHOT. None of this Spockanalia 2, 3, 4 and 5 nonsense. (Meaning we get prostrate quicker than Devra and Sherna.) The name of the zine stems from the James Blish version of the home star of Vulcan, that is, 40 Eridani. I looked through eight or nine star catalogues and couldn't find It, until I read an index that told that 40 Eridani was an alternative name for O2 Eridani. O2 Eridani is a triple-orange main sequence, red main sequence, and white dwarf. That white dwarf makes it pretty unlikely there's a planet there, but It is only 12.7 light years off, and triple sun systems are fun to paint. It's triad because of the plays. Astronomy 101 is now dismissed. -- Gail

We got into the plays out of a sincere desire to pick Mr. Spock apart — psychologically, physiologically, emotionally, and anthropologically — all in the interest of science, of course. Then there is the fact that Gail is a Surak fiend (as in dope fiend). We got into the zine when my backlog of unpublished stuff seemed to large to send out. Then there is the factor that we are budding young Vulcan anthropologists in search of a research paper — this, in its own way, is it. Judith Brownlee, the other major contributor, came in late, but was invaluable, not only in removing some of that incestuous look in the ToC, but in helping get the beast published. (In other words, giving us a good swat in the rear and getting the lead out.) Not to mention technical details. Thanks also to all of you whose borrowed work floats evanescently through my stories. Read closely, and you'll know who you are. To those of you whom my theories contradict: shake hands and come out fighting? -- Dee

  • A Vulcan Trilogy:
  • On Those Plays You Just Waded Through, article by Doris Beetem (52)
  • Shadow World Night, poem (54)
  • Here We Go Round Again by Doris Beetem (An unauthorized sequel to Jean Lorrah's "Parted from Me" in which the Romulans of the story turn out to have been Klingon impersonators.) (55)
  • The Switchblade Sehlat by Gail Barton (A satirical article about just how a "teddy bear"-like creature is supposed to have six-inch fangs.) (63)
  • How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Doris Beetem (James T. Kirk, as a boy, goes to San Francisco to visit his aunt, and meets with Spock, whose parents are attached to the Vulcan embassy there. Together, they run into a cadet Scott and a young Dr. Leonard McCoy. The author gets jossed with saying Kirk's middle name is Timothy; Tiberius comes up in a later episode.) (64)
  • Bell Song, poem (70)
  • To Seek Thee Out by Judith Brownlee (The Enterprise takes on the newly-appointed Vulcan captain T'Pelle to assume command of the starship Saratoga, which has been damaged in an alien attack. T'Pelle and Spock decide that they are suitable mates for each other, and their matrimonial bonding is described. This story was mentioned in Star Trek Lives!.) (71)
  • You are Receiving this Zine Because (last page)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for How I Spent My Summer Vacation.

See reactions and reviews for A Vulcan Trilogy.

[zine]: Zines are getting expensive, but I don't see how anyone can hope to sell too many at that price [$1.75]. Of course, one of my collector friends did, but then I always knew she was a little nutty. This zine is done by off-set. However, they had a bad typewriter and the a's and o's are filled in and several other things lend to making the pages look messy. The drawings aren't the main attraction (thank heavens). There is a trilogy about Surok [sic]. Trekkies are nutty but a fanzine devoted to one character who appeared in parts of one episode is pretty far gone. Next, I suppose What's-Her-Name will be doing a zine for sub-commander Tal. Anyway, the middle play of the trilogy, 'Hadia,' [sic] is the best. A couple of other short stories fill out the remainder of the 94 pages. Conclusion: if you want to spend more than the cost of 2 copies of 'Trumpet' on a Surok zine, you ARE a Trekkie.[3]

[zine]: Six or seven years ago, this zine pioneered material on Vulcan background. For a long time it had remained only an unobtainable rumor, but how it has been reprinted to the joy of us who missed it the first time around. It features three short plays, outlining the beginning, middle period, and the end of the career of the great reformer Surak. The plays, as plays, are not without flaws -- the authors have trouble getting their characters offstage and scenes tend to run down -- but at the same time, they do produce with a minimum explanation a strong impression of the characters and graphic illustration of the process by which the founder of Vulcan's pacifism spread his philosophy. The zine contains short stories, poetry, as well as a charming tongue-in-cheek article on the history of the 'Switchblade Selat.' Here is the a classic everyone should have.[4]

Here's one Star Trek one-shot that unfortunately missed. We start off with three plays, set in the period of Surak's lifetime and including him (or should that be Him...?)...l couldn't get into them, maybe you can.

Next we have "Here We Go Round Again" by Doris the Younger Beetam, a love story full of Klingon treachery, and Romulan duty (the main characters are Romulan). I wasn't crazy about this one, either, tho I can't figure put why. There is a hilarious, if too short, article by Gail Barton called "The Switchblade Sehlat," which is about (what else?) Sehlats. "How I Spent my Summer Vacation" by Doris Beetam, is a well-written story revolving around one of those silly plots that has Spock and Kirk meet as children, Scotty as an ensign, and McCoy as a young doctor...ridiculous but fun for a while. "To Seek The Out..." by Judith Brownlee is very disappointing. I know she can write, but this story contrives (and it is very contrived) to be both over-and-under-written at the same time...and Spock's marriage is an unimportant aside. If this were simply a firstish, I'd say that it has promise, but as a one-shot, it just doesn't make it. Repro is good, artwork is bad...a pity, it has promise...just not enough.[5]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2

Eridani Triad 2 was published in June 1971 and contains 120 pages.

This issue contains the famous article:

The Vulcan Love Story or Being in Pon Farr Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry" by Doris Beetem. From Boldly Writing: "This witty article analyzed all the fanzine stories written and published that had the same general plot: that is, girl-meets-Spock, girl-beds-Spock. The article attributed Spock's attraction to the theory that Spock fit the "Gothic Hero" prototype in romantic fiction,[6] and asserted that therefore it was natural for fans to fantasize about Spock along those lines (and to write up their fantasies as stories).

Production note from the zine:

Repro this time is courtesy of Judith's classical hand-crank mimeo—- Attila the Hun.[7] We got fed up (and impoverished) at the catastrophes of that dreadful offset…. Writers who are their own publishers eliminate many of the agonies of seeing their stories and works in print. Also they tend to lavish attention on such items as repro of illos [illustrations] and nice readable print on the reading matter. However, it also means that every time an illo burns out, every time the e's and a's fill in from bad repro, we suffer more than the readers do. After all, it's our babies we're murdering, not someone else's. We hope that the appearance of the zine is improved thish [this issue] ...but we still feel what we have to say in words or pictures is most important.

From the editorial in the zine:

It looks like all the fans are all drifting away in the discouragement of the show's cancellation. I met a couple of people at Louiscon that were liquidating their whole collection." The editors also comment on the statement made in issue #1: "Those of you who got #1 remember the firmness of the statement about Eridani Triad being a one-shot.'s now (maybe) an annual.

  • Let Me Count the Ways by Judith Brownlee (32)
  • Report on the Tribble, article by Gail Barton p. (33)
  • The Return of the Native by Doris Beetem (37)
  • The Vulcan Love Story or Being in Pon Farr Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry by Doris Beetem (57)
  • Mimir's Well by Doris Beetem (reprinted in Despatch #18-#19) (63)
  • Star Dregs: A Soap Trek by Doris Beetem (A satire that has all the characters confessing to one another, "I have always wanted... loved you!") (75)
  • From Whatever Distant Hill by Judith Brownlee (Another story of T'Pelle, Vulcan captain of the Saratoga and Spock's bondmate, takes place six months after the story in issue #1.) This story was mentioned in Star Trek Lives!. (81)
  • Filks: The Ballad of Salmon and Tuna (Frankie & Johnny) / Doris Beetam
  • Further Verses to "A Slanderous Song" (Sloop John B) - earlier ones in Spockanalia
  • a handwritten letter from Barry Atwater (Atwater is the actor who portrays Surak. He says received a copy of "Eridani" #1: "Eridani Triad blew my mind! Out of sight that a commercial TV series should be able to stimulate the kind of thought and energy your people demonstrate. I suspect it is really the 'philosophy' of Vulcan that turns you on and Surak is a visible symbol of that-- well, the idea of Surak turned me on, too, and I had to fight with the director and the two lead actors in order to play Surak the way I wanted to. I'm pleased you picked up on it. May you live long and prosper.")
  • You are Receiving this Zine Because (last page)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

[Vulcan Love Story]: But the highlight of Eridani Triad 2, was the article, "The Vulcan Love Story, or Being in Pon Farr Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry," by Doris Beetem. This witty article analyzed all the fanzine stories written and published that had the same general plot: that is, girl-meets- Spock, girl-beds-Spock. The article attributed Spock's attraction to the theory that Spock fit the "Gothic Hero" prototype in romantic fiction, and asserted that therefore it was natural for fans to fantasize about Spock along those lines (and to write up their fantasies as stories). The article used examples from a great many fanzines. I spent years trying to find them all, but was not successful. Not only were some out of print, but I was unable to locate some of the editors. (Editorial burnout has happened on several occasions over the course of fanzine history. I suspect that in such cases, the editor found fanzine publishing so onerous that she or he decided to leave fandom permanently.) [8]

[Let Me Count the Ways]:

This is a Sarek/Amanda story. It starts with the death by drowning on Earth, of Sarek's bondmate T'ana. It then moves to Amanda, teaching two Vulcan boys, and we learn that Vulcan, under T'Pau;s influence, had not initially wanted to join fully with earth. T'Pau is violently (for a Vulcan) anti-Terran.

The diplomatic problems lead Sarek to consider that it is important that the two races get to know each other better; it is pointed out to him that he is basically suggesting an inter-marriage.

From this meeting he goes out and encounters Amanda, who is crying from a combination of pain from a twisted ankle and grief at the break-up of her romance with a young Terran.

When the suggestion is put to the Humans, their first thought is to refuse politely; Amanda, however, volunteers to marry a Vulcan, and is accused by the Humans of causing a diplomatic incident...but it's more a matter of 'mob reaction' - "Human women should not marry aliens", "hands off our women", type of thing, and indeed the Vulcans, with Amanda, are forced to flee Earth.

Although doubtful, the Vulcans accept the marriage, which remains unconsummated until pon farr. At that time, Amanda discovers that Sarek's demands are rather greater than she had anticipated and her initial reaction makes her think the experiment has failed; however, they sort this problem out.

Amanda's condition for volunteering was that they should at least try for a child, which is conceived and the foetus developed completely in the laboratory; Amanda then finds herself completely unable to cope with the baby, although Sarek, it seems, can quieten him with a touch. She decides to return to Earth - only to learn that Sarek will not permit it....

There is a tendency, when thinking of Sarek/Amanda stories, to think first of Jean Lorrah, who has made this particular field of story very much her own; but this story equals Jean's in most respects. It is a well-told story, well developed, and if an experiment in getting to know the other race isn't exactly 'the logical thing to do, it's at least a logical, apparently unemotional excuse. I think it is well worth reading...if you can get hold of it. [9]

  • Let Me Count the Ways / Sarek and Amanda's courtship and early years together. Includes Terran fringe groups hostile to inter-species marriage. Some interesting points about Vulcan life, notably the fact that the marriage bond provides a certainty of the partner that Terrans can never have. An interesting aspect that was not satisfactorilly pursued was that the infant Spock (genetically engineered) responded only to Sarek, not Amanda.
  • Report on the Tribble / Surprisingly pleasing and and plausible explanation of tribble anatomy and biology.
  • The Return of the Native / Spock plays Holmes when Surak (from The Savage Curtain) is suspected of murder on a Vulcan research station.
  • The Vulcan Love Story / "Being in Pon Farr Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry." Essay on Spock's attraction and categories of fanfic Spock sex stories, pointing out that Spock is a classical Gothic romance hero.
  • Mimir's Well / Caught again in the phenomenon that transposed our crew to the Mirror Universe, Spock ends up on a Vulcan that never had Surak and remains a violent, emotional society, with Sarek urging him to combat.
  • Star Dregs / Amusing ST spoof in soap opera format, with endless repetitions of various characters saying, " I have always wanted... loved you." Gets tedious by the end, but some pretty funny bits.
  • From Whatever Distant Hill / Story of T'Pelle, Vulcan captain of the Saratoga and Spock's bondmate. I couldn't work up enough interest to read this one, but she ends up in deep doo-doo on a planet and is saved by holding her IDIC and sending a telepathic message to Spock, who - rather illogically - commits a court-martial offense to send aid, rather than just telling the Captain what was going on. He figures it out; no court-martial needed.
  • Filks: The Ballad of Salmon and Tuna (Frankie & Johnny) / Further Verses to "A Slanderous Song" (Sloop John B) - earlier ones in Spockanalia [10]

[zine]: A very early zine in reprint. Featured here are T'Pelle, Sarek, Amanda, Tribbes, and Soap Opera!! In retrospect, these early zine stories show a great deal of depth to the character, with few overtones of hero worship which feature in later zine stories. I liked T'Pelle; in her Spock has chosen well but does he keep her? Do future stories culminate in marriage? I don't know, not having read later issues, but I hope so. "Star Dregs' - well, what can you say but froth, froth, bubble, bubble on its way to the galactic drain. Sarek and Amanda and early misunderstandings in the circumstances depicted here are resolved amicably. But why wait so long - T'lan should stay out but her maternal concern won. These are Very Enjoyable stories, quite relaxing highly recommended for Trek zine historians - for the quality of the early writings.[11]

Issue 3

Eridani Triad 3 was published in 1972 and contains 122 pages. Art by M.L. Barnes, Gail Barton, Liz Danforth, Bill Guy, Jim McLeod, Roz Oberdieck, D. Carol Roberts, and Mary Ann Walther.

cover of issue #3
  • A Rose For Miranda by Ruth Berman (A post-script story for the episode. Kirk hangs around a bit too long in the transporter room and sees Kollos as he and Miranda dematerialize. Kirk goes mad, and all Spock's attempts to bring him out of it fail. McCoy suggests that Spock should cry, appealing to Kirk's instinct to help his friends.) (1) (reprinted in And Starry Skies)
  • To the Half-Breed by Judith Brownlee (7)
  • The Mating Game by Judith Brownlee (It is amazing when Spock requests leave on Wrigley's Pleasure Planet and even more amazing when he is the only one missing when the crew is recalled. All evidence points to the fact that Mr. Spock is in Jenny's House of Joy. When McCoy readily admits he was the one who gave Spock the address, it is logical that McCoy be the one to accompany Kirk as he attempts to 'rescue' Mr. Spock.) (8)
  • Space -The Final Frontier by Doris Beetem (article) (23)
  • A Little More Than Kin, But Less Than Kind by Devra Langsam (Sara, a young Vulcan girl comes aboard as a passenger. She has been raised by humans and has very little knowledge of things Vulcan. Spock thinks she should be trained as a Vulcan on Vulcan and Sara rebels. But there is more to her "thoroughly human" behavior pattern than there might appear. This time McCoy is the one to come up with the logical solution to their conflict.) (30)
  • Three Haiku by Carrie Peak (51)
  • Warp in Logic, article by Hal Clement (52)
  • Bonding by J. Lichtenberg (58)
  • The Hunting by Doris Beetem (62) (McCoy accompanies Spock on a hunt which is the Vulcan rite of passage into adulthood. It turns out to be the most trying time for both participants. This was reprinted in Star Trek: The New Voyages in 1976.
  • The Vulcan Love Myth by M.L. Barnes (article) (Barnes' idea of the true nature of pon farr and why women who write stories about putting Spock in that state are making a mistake. Quotations from this appear in Star Trek Lives!.) (72)
  • Meet Me at Infinity by James Tiptree, Jr. (written as a script Tiptree had drafted for the series) [12] (76)
  • Sonnet—to Surak from a Far-Traveled Kinsman by Gail Eirann (89)
  • And Maybe Tell You About Phaedra by Doris Beetem (90)
  • Strangers When We Meet by Judith Brownlee (100)
  • The Taste of Home by Judith Brownlee (121)
  • You are Receiving this Zine Because (last page)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

See reactions and reviews for Meet Me at Infinity.

[The Mating Game]: I have read only #3 in this series so far. I liked "The Mating Game" where shore leave is cancelled on Wrigley's Planet and Spock is discovered in a House of Joy.[13]


  1. ^ from a letter in MPH's collection
  2. ^ from Steve Barnes - a remembrance by Judith Brownlee
  3. ^ from Pentathlon #1
  4. ^ a comment on the 1977 reprint, from Scuttlebutt #3
  5. ^ by Ken Scher, from the science fiction zine "Space and Time" #12, June 1971, published quarterly by Gordon and Rebecca Linzner
  6. ^ The most familiar classical examples would be Rochester in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Heathcliff in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights or de Winter in Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. Lestat in Anne Rice's vampire novels and some portrayals of Batman also fit the type.
  7. ^ Fans often named their mimeograph machines as well as their typewriters.
  8. ^ from Joan Verba and Boldly Writing, see here, Archived version
  9. ^ from Communicator #7 (Oct 1982)
  10. ^ Halliday’s Star Trek Zinedex (TOS) - Title Index, Archived version
  11. ^ from Beyond Antares #28
  12. ^ Tiptree was a Hugo Award-winning science fiction writer. Toward the end of Tiptree's life, it was revealed that he was actually Dr. Alice Sheldon. Phillips, Julie, James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon. St. Martin's, 2006. This biography describes Tiptree's fascination with Star Trek in some detail.
  13. ^ from Enterprise Originals #8