Infinite Diversity (Star Trek: TOS anthology edited by Pat Harris)
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|Fandom:||Star Trek: TOS|
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Infinite Diversity is a gen Star Trek: TOS anthology of fiction and art edited by Pat Harris.
Cross Pollination With the Zine and the Pro Book
My daughter [name redacted] picked up 2 'zines at West Coast cons, INFINITE DIVERISTY #'s 5 & 6, without knowing I have known Sonni Cooper (author of both these 'zines) for many years. But the real surprise came when I opened ID#5 and found the very illo that the artist Donna Banzhof had sent me - a haunting study of Spock as Blackfire.
Despite TREKLINK's policy of avoiding analysis of the prof, market, Trekdom, pro-STdom, and even sf fandom are becoming inextricably intermixed; the moreso since ID#5 is the "out-takes" from the pro-novel BLACKFIRE. I was eager to see these cut bits especially because I had enjoyed BLACKFIRE so much. My bifurcate taste was starkly evident as I read cut scenes from the first half of the novel. Oddly enough, even without rereading the novel, the cut scenes track very well - the editor is due applause for this feat. I enjoyed reading the bits, getting the grand, fulfilled feeling I usually get from 'zines, while at the same time the trained writer in me was going, "good cut" - "well cut" -"perfectly cut" - "pity that had to go, but it didn't belong there" - "what a shame but I'd have cut it too," - and so on to the end.
Sonni and her critics/editors did a superb professional job developing her manuscript into a pronovel. Any aspiring novelist would do well to study the novel, the "out-takes" in ID#5, and then study ID#6 which is a raw, fanzine style undeveloped novel called I CELEBRATE MYSELF, also by Sonni Cooper. It is loosely connected to the universe of BLACKFIRE by simply not contradicting what has been established about Spock's family, but it stands completely alone.
It is well and intricately plotted, full of good Trek-tickles such as Kirk acquiring a Klingon Grajgh pup from a half-human Klingon, and Spock working on Earth as an itinerant computer technician and accidentally getting promoted. Its great big gaping hole is that the cause of Spock's sudden shift in metabolism from near-Vulcan to pure-human (complete with surprise indigestion and chronic sexual needs) is never properly explained. There is a very simple explanation lying there in plain sight, but it's never used to tie the whole plot together.
The writing student would do well to study the 2 'zines as a unit, then attempt to rewrite the second, I CELEBRATE MYSELF, using the exact same techniques demonstrated with BLACKFIRE, for CELEBRATE needs the exact same editing job.
The result of that editing, however perfectly done, would not be pro-publishable simply because the basic material wouldn't please Paramount as much as it pleases fen. This is no doubt why Sonni didn't invest the effort in it, and in a way I'm glad. I LOVED the dratted thing as is. It's got what I NEED from Trek even though it contains the full set of first-draft problems that seems to be Sonni's hallmark. This is typical of all writers, neo and veteran. First drafts always come off with the same idiosyncratic problems. Learn to solve yours and take years off production time....The point here is that Trekzine production requires just as much group effort from seasoned pros as from fen, as does sf-'zine work, and ultimately is the same as professional market work. The only difference is in CONTENT not skill. If you master Trek writing, you CAN go pro in any other field you want, simply by learning a new set of rules for what the product must look like. Don't be dismayed. The trekzine field is not being dominated by pros these days, but rather the reverse is happening. The pro-sf/ST market is becoming dominated by FANS - for once a fan always a fan. 
Infinite Diversity 1 was published in January 1978 and contains 86 pages. The illos are by Sonni Cooper and Pat Harris.
- Tale of Contents (ii)
- Dedication (ii)
- Editor's Comments (iii)
- I Celebrate Myself by Sonni Cooper (the short version, see issue #6) (what happens to Spock when his human side becomes dominant) (1)
- Child of the Stars by J. Strodecke (55)
- Kevin Riley: King of the Irish by Pat Harris and Sonni Cooper (a shuttle craft crashes on Planet Erin and Kevin finds out he really is King of the Irish) (56)
- In the Fog by Donna Hutt (80)
- Puzzled Universe, puzzles by Molly Clark, Pat Harris, and Mark Sloan (81)
Infinite Diversity 2 contains 102 pages and was published in 1978. Art is by Pat Ortega, Franny Moore-Kyle, and Pat Harris.
- Table of Contents (i)
- Editorial (ii)
- Dedication (iii)
- You Can't Go Home by Sonni Cooper (1)
- poetry by Dayle S. Palko (50)
- Roses are Red by Franny Moore-Kyle (52)
- Requiem for Methuselah by Jean Moss (57)
- In Memoriam (63)
- A Touch of Blarney by Maureen S. Donnelly (66)
- The Logical Thing to Do by Franny Moore-Kyle (74)
- The Patriotic Thing to Do by Jenny Peckham-Vanzant (82)
- Puzzled Universe by The Committee and Pat Harris (88)
- Interview with George Takei (95)
Infinite Diversity 3 contains 65 pages and was published in 1979.
Infinite Diversity 4 contains 127 pages and was published in 1981. Artwork by Pat Harris and Trish.
- To Thee My Love by Edna Martin (Spock, Christine, their children) (3)
- A New Beginning by Edna Martin (a Spock/Christine story) (37)
- Doppleganger by Sonni Cooper (Star Trek RPF, William Shatner is accidentally exchanged for Jim Kirk during fan convention.) (63) (also published as a standalone zine, sometime before 1989)
- The Dreadnaught by Laura Ruskin (a new ship for Kirk, McCoy and Spock) (83)
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4
See reactions and reviews for Doppleganger.
[zine]: If you enjoy strong, independent women characters, avoid this fanzine. The first two stories, one a Chapel/Kirk story and one a Chapel/Spock story, both by Martin are the worse offenders in this matter. The major female characters, Chapel and Uhura -- two women 50+ years of age, whom the author affectionately refers to as 'the girls' - both become 'wifey' types in a world in which everyone marries, spawns, and pairs off into nice little nuclear families. The men don't really come off any better. Poor Spock and Sarek are left emoting all over the place, concerning their human wives. And Kirk gets his share of sappy scenes before he dies -- because, I kid you not, he has rocks in his head. 'Doppleganger' by Cooper is much better written. However, it relies on an idea which was fresh when Jean Lorrah wrote Visit to a Weird Planet and Ruth Berman wrote Visit to a Weird Planet Revisited used it nearly 20 years ago -- but is no longer. 
[zine]: INFINITE DIVERSITY 4: The first two stories in the zine, one a Chapel-Kirk story and one a Chapel-Spock story, are both written by Edna Martin. They are exactly the sort of stories a beginning fan writer ought to leave moldering in her desk drawer and perhaps drag out years later to gut for the one or two good scenes, moments, or lines that are usable. They are ridden with bad metaphors (We are told at one point that Christine has "her heart in her eyes," which sounded painful to me— and, when we are later told that she has "a roaring sea" in her chest, at least we understand why she has room for it.), 1950's plots and values and mores (Everybody marries and reproduces and creates a nuclear family.), and characters that are not even recognizable to me.
Sometimes when I am reading fan fiction, I feel as if there is a tiny reference computer in my head going through the series and films for appropriate references. Thus, when Sarek is going through this story thanking Christine for staying with him, thanking Uhura for liking his coffee, and so on—my little reference computer is quoting (in fact, nearly chanting) "One does not thank logic, Amanda." And when Kirk is forced to abandon his command for medical reasons and accepts it gracefully as long as he can have Christine, the logic circuits of my little computer were almost burnt out by the volume of contradictory evidence they tried to retrieve. As a final note I might point out to the authors that there is a difference between an African and an Afrikaner, that Swahili is a language and not a nationality, that Romulans do not take prisoners or treat them kindly, that women 50+ years of age are not girls. My final disappointment in this zine was "Doppalganger" by Sonni Cooper. While considerably better written, its premise and set-up are a blatant rip-off of Jean Lorrah's "Visit to a Weird Planet" (and its flip-side "Visit to a Weird Planet Revisited" by Ruth Berman), which have been so widely re-printed in fandom that it is hard to understand the printing of a story such as this one —at least, without some acknowledgement of one or both of those stories. I would like to be able to comment on the final story, but I didn't read it. You see, about a third of the way down the 1st page of it, I learned that Kirk had been galvanized. Now, while it is true that I may have liked him better that way, I just couldn't bring myself to read through the remaining 40 pages to find out.The original copyright on this is 1981. I can only assume I received a review copy now because this has been reprinted. My only question is, why? 
Infinite Diversity 5 was published in 1984 and contains 126 pages.
It does not contain any of the material that was in the pro-novel itself.
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5
This is really an odd issue. One of the published Star Trek paperbacks from Pocket Books was BLACKFIRE by Sonni Cooper. This issue contains what was left out of the paperback and the original ending. If you haven't read the book, this won't make too much sense. 
Infinite Diversity 6 contains 150 pages and was published in 1985. It was edited by Pat Harris, printed offset, perfect bound, and contains interior art by Trish.
- It contains the novel "I Celebrate Myself" by Sonni Cooper (Expanded from the short story in issue #1, the Enterprise experiences a mysterious power surge while Spock is investigating a blocked sensor in one of the engine pylons. The aftermath is only slowly discovered ... and it affects them all; Spock's human side begins to take over.)