Interstat/Issues 141-152

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Issue 141/142

Interstat 141/142 was published in July/August 1989 and contains 30 pages.

cover of issue #141/142
  • fans comment muchly on the return of the actress who played Dr. Crusher -- many fans loves this, some don't
  • Joan V writes of fannish love despite nitpicking:
    I wish to challenge the idea, implied by a number of fans, that criticizing STAR TREK (or anything else), means that one does not enjoy Star Trek anymore. Many of us who are fans of Star Trek enjoy Star Trek despite its faults, not because we think Star Trek is perfect and not because we do not think it cannot be improved. To criticize Star Trek, then, means that we enjoy Star Trek enough to want it to be the best it can be, and we wish to point out flaws in the hope of improvement (that is, to learn from mistakes, rather than to pretend they do not exist). If we didn't care, we wouldn't criticize. In short, I would ask those fans who imply that to criticize Star Trek is to hate it to rethink their position. This is not necessarily true (and it is definitely not true in my case).
  • Chris M writes of movies:
    I was shocked to read that some people would prefer to end the movie series on the basis of ST V's "failure." It seems to me that these people are convinced that no matter what happens, another movie is irrevocably destined to be a disaster. If this attitude had prevailed after ST:TMP, we would have never gotten Wrath of Khan, arguably the best Star Trek made. Fortunately, it seems that these people are in the minority, where I hope they stay.
  • Linda S is done with TNG:
    Ever since the premiere I have faithfully watched Star Trek: The Next Generation as it baldly goes where 5 movies, a live series, a cartoon series, and innumerable zines and pro novels have gone before. I have put up with weak scripts that trail off into nothingness. I have put up with bad acting, even including that of Gates McFadden, who would have been out of her depth in my senior class's production of You Can't Take It With You. I have put up with weak, predictable, implausible characters such as a hysterical security guard and a chronically indecisive captain. I have put up with hamhanded Marxism. I have put up with lapses into excruciating stupidity, such as the visit to the Planet of the Horny Blondes, which would have been a more appropriate mission for the bachelor crew of the Starchair Enterpoop (and Berke Breathed could probably have made it entertaining). Tonight I began to put up with the visit from Worf's ex-wife who had terminal PMS. I have reached my limit of tolerance. 1 turned off this pointless, boring, sadomasochistic tour de force halfway through, and 1 will never, ever watch the show again, because I am afraid that continuing to watch it might spoil for me the charm of 'real' knotheads—not to mention real Star Trek.
  • Lynda C writes of TNG:
    I've finally figured it out. After two whole seasons, 1 know what GR is trying to do with TNG! The Great Bird, concerned that hardcore Trekfen may be shortening their lives through couch potato-dom (couch potato-ism?) has found a way to compel aerobic exercise in those of us who are hard-core slouches. At least once in every episode, he manages to have the scriptwriter insert a line or an act so totally insane, so unforgivably wrong, that every fan in America is compelled to leap out of his/her chair, shrieking, "You can't do that, you jerk!!!" and jumping up and down until his/her pulse rate reaches optimum.
  • Liz P suggests not listening to fans:
    TNG isn't as good (to me) as old Trek. In ST:C, Mr. Roddenberry made a show that followed his own beliefs and he stuck to his guns on what ST should be like. With TNG I have the feeling we got a show specificallyengineeredtopleasethefans. Andwhenenoughfansdon'tlike something or someone, it changes. When you try to please everyone, you please no one. I wish Paramount or Mr. R or whoever is in charge would not listen so much to the fans and just give us something they feel strongly about. Maybe then I would feel the old charisma of ST.
  • Ann Crispin addresses Joan V:
    You misread me as consistently as you claim I misread you. I don't intend to quote lines to prove my assertion; I have a deadline to meet. My stand on this exchange of ours remains: (1) I do NOT take your remarks about the Star Trek books personally. I've said before that what you think of my writing doesn't matter a hill of beans to me, and I meant it. I just happen to like many of the Star Trek pro novels, and would probably defend them even if I weren't writing them anymore. I feel that fandom owes these books a debt of gratitude, just as it does the fanzines, for keeping Trek alive during "the dry years" between the television show's demise and ST:TMP. True, not all the books are/were Great Art, or even Great Star Trek Stories. But without them, Star Trek might have faded away entirely except for fanzines. It was the pro novels that produced sales records proving to Paramount that people would actually pay money for Star Trek products. And money is always the bottom line in television and film production. On the other hand, you don't like the books, you've made that crystal clear. You never miss a chance to slam them (except that you always exempt Jean Lorrah's work). I've noticed that you seldom criticize individual books or their writers -- just the publishing program as a whole and the authors en masse (except for Jean Lorrah, of course).... I also don't care who that author who criticized Gene Roddenberry was. In my opinion, people with a vested interest in a Paramount-copyrighted product such as a Star Trek novel ought to exercise a little discretion, but this is a free country. I simply pointed out that, until very recently, the Star Trek books were not reviewed by anyone with any particular literary, editorial, or even Star Trek background, and that there are/were no official guidelines available for would-be authors. As for your repeated invitation to write you personally, I have no interest whatsoever in discussing the pros and cons of the Star Trek publishing program privately with you. What would be the point? I would never convince you that Trek novels can be good and valuable additions to the Star Trek universe, and you would never succeed in convincing me that the Trek books are without merit and, possibly, shouldn't even be published... The bottom line is this: you don't like the Star Trek novels, and probably never will, which is your right. But other people do like them; I am among them, so I'll continue to answer your public complaints about them with equally public rebuttals.
  • Sue B is not impressed by a Creation Con:
    Enclosed is a program from a so-called Star Trek convention, put on by Creation, in San Francisco, last week and which a friend and I had the misfortune to pay $32.00 for the privilege of attending for one day. This was our first Trek convention and we were very excited about it. We expected to see people in costume walking around, Star Trek exhibits and souvenirs on sale. In fact, we both came with money to buy several souvenirs. However, the reality was totally different from our expectations. We all sat on chairs in the hotel ballroom and watched adver tisements for the new Batman, Indiana Jones and The Abyss movies; very old Star Trek bloopers, where the film was hard to see and the sound was very bad; slides from the old and new Star Trek, and the slide projector kept jamming. There was a Star Trek trivia quiz, but it was mixed with questions from other science fiction TV programs and movies, which the poor contestants didn't know much about, therefore losing out on any prizes. There was also an auction on some Trek souvenirs, with some souvenirs qoing for ridiculous prices. The highlight of the event was the appearance of William Shatner, who stood on the stage for an hour and answered questions from the audience. Mr. Shatner was really very interesting and we did enjoy him very much, but no one was allowed to shake his hand or get his autograph (except for one woman who bid $575.00 for a porcelain William Shatner doll). Frankly, my friend and I felt cheated and I thought I'd write this letter to let other fans know what to expect from Creation events and perhaps be forewarned. Also, the "convention" was supposed to run from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM and only ran from 11:15 AM to 5:00 PM.
  • Tamara S. F describes her feelings upon being characterized by Richard Arnold at a con:
    After attending CONtinuum in Cape Girardeau, MO, I have to say that the experience was well worth the trip. It was a well-run con, held in an attractive location, and the opportunity to touch base with others who love ST is always welcome to me. I was, however, distressed by one of the guest speakers. Richard Arnold, while giving his generally amusing anecdotal slide presentations, made some comments regarding ST fans that I, at least, found insulting. During a question-and-answer session, he was asked about the possibility of fans visiting the ST:TNG set. He responded that the actors find it difficult to work with fans on the set, because the fans display unprofessional behavior inthatsituation. He then gave his impression of a ST fan, complete with popping eyes, slouched shoulders, and a hanging tongue. While I don't deny that there may be some behaviorally disordered, or just plain rude fans among us, Mr. Arnold's remarks were certainly a slap in the face to all the thinking adult ST fans I know. Generally speaking, the people I have met through ST fandom have been intelligent, mature, and well- educated. I find it difficult to believe that after so many years in fandom, Mr. Arnold's acquaintances only include the drooling and slack-jawed... It seems odd that Mr. Bennett, who has been the spark of life to ST since ST II, seems to have developed a real rapport with fans, while Mr. Arnold, the archivist and fan liason, seems to have developed only contempt.
  • Debbie G comments on a scene in the recent movie:
    I found it hard to accept the idea of Spock being born in a cave, because I'd read the "medical" version in so many fanzine stories that I'd kind of taken if as canon. [Carol M]wonders how we could be witnessing a scene that Spock surely wouldn't remember. Well, if he did remember, we would have seen it from the baby's point of view (which would have been an exciting piece of film, come to think of it). I believe what we saw was a representation, a scene that would summarize the rejection that Spock felt for most of his life.
  • Jean Lorrah wants to know something about the episode "Up the Long Ladder":
    ...did anyone else find it utterly illogical and grossly prejudiced? I would hate to think I was inadvertantly responsible for the anti-eugenics stance in Trek. A number of things we early fanzine writers used for plot purposes have become established over the years as things "everybody knows," even though they were never in an episode. Joanna McCoy, for example, never got into the aired canon, but D. C. Fontana spoke about her at conventions 'way back in the 1960"s, fanzine writers started including McCoy's daughter in their stories, and now she appears as "given" in the pro novels. ln a personal example, I am the writer who first said that Spock's mother, Amanda, invented the Universal Translator. That quickly became such a commonplace in fandom that for years neos assumed that ii actually had been established in aired Trek, perhaps in a perpetually-cut line from "Journey to Babel." No, I said it in my NTM stories, and so many people picked it up and used it that before I could fit it into my own pro Classic Trek novels, Diane Duane officially established it in hers'. What has this to do with ST: TNG's anti-eugenics stance? Back in the days when the best scientific knowledge was that Spock had to be a genetic construct, I wanted to have him conceived and born naturally in the NTM stories. At that time, I explained that I did it for dramalic purpose, despile the "knowledge" that it was impossible. Interestingly, since then (the mid-70's) the best scientific knowledge has changed, so that a normal conception between a Vulcan and a human is now considered possible if only remotely probable, provided Vulcans, like humans, have an even number of chromosomes! However, I made Amanda's reaction to Ihe idea of an artificially produced child so dramatic that I wonder if my rationale for it has carried over into another "everybody knows" that really isn't so. I said that after the Eugenics Wars of the 1990's, humans became so terrified of the concept of genetic engineering that they were for generations repulsed by the idea of anything artificial about the production of children. ST: TNG seems to have picked up that attitude, whether from my work or elsewhere doesn't matter. I hope I am not responsible, for I never meant to say that the altitude I gave Amanda was right, only that it was a likely physchological development on a world which had suffered through Eugenics Wars.
  • Steve R writes of the conflict he is having with Richard Arnold:
    Richard Arnold suggests some nasty things about me in his letter, even implying that I used the dread word "@$*<t&!" in my undoubtedly scurrilous initial letter to him. Well, I did say in my letter to Interstat that his accusation that I'm making up problems with TNG because I really don't like it was bullshit. But, despite that, I was quite polite in my original letter, as you can see for yourself. In fact, the text of my original letter and Arnold's reply were both much more restrained than our letters which have been printed in Interstat. As you will recall, Teri, I brought up the issue of my reply from Arnold when you phoned me about a different matter, and you agreed that I should write a letter about the incident with the understanding that I should paraphrase, not quote, his letter, on the grounds that it was a private communication and should not be quoted without Arnold's permission. As a result, I was a little perturbed by what Arnold had to say in his letter to Interstat, especially when he claims, "he wasn't fair enough to at least run my entire response, which would also have, in my opinion, exonerated me with most of your readers especially if they had read his original letter." I assume that constitutes permission to reprint his letter, which will no more excuse his excessively harsh tone in Interstat than my original letter will. [Excerpts from Steve's letter]: "Dear Mr. Arnold: As a longtime Star Trek fan, I trust that I may make a criticism of The Next Generation without being dismissed out of hand. Please understand: I enjoy the show. I like the characters. What disturbs me, though, is the occasional ignorance of or antipathy to science and technology.... [much stuff about science]...There have been some episodes of The Next Generation which are as worthy of respect as the better classic Star Trek episodes, and consequently when I find an episode ruined by some completely unnecessary absurdity it seems much worse than it is. Please remember that these criticisms are not the ravings of some diehard classic Trek fan striving to rationalize his hatred of this perceived upstart. I want Star Trek: The Next Generation to be the best science fiction show on television. I hope you do, too. Sincerely [Steve R]" [Richard's letter]: "Dear Steve, Thank you for your letter. We welcome constructive, intelligent criticism from our fans, although we do ask that they remember that this is a Science Fiction TV series and not COSMOS. "Datalore" contained a reference to Noonian Soong's having achieved 'Asimov's dream of a positronic brain'. This is a nodtoIsaac,whoisanoldfriendofGeneRoddenberry. I'm afraid you're looking for problems where they don't exist. It was not the genetic engineering of the children that began the problem in "Unnatural Selection", but the scientists insisting on giving the man aggressive immunity system, which in fact turned out to be too aggressive. This was not an anti-genetic engineering story, and again you are looking for problems that don't exist. I think that you may need to reevaluate your reasoning for reaching so far to find reasons to criticize the new show. The fact that the above 'non-problems' ruined the episodes for you tells me you are fighting accepting that the show is a worthy successor to the original series."
  • Debbie G comments on the recent letter to Interstat by Kristen Brady/Bobbie Hawkins:
    The purpose of INTERSTAT is to exchange ideas; the personalities of the letter-writers are irrelevant. And while many readers are certain to take offense at what Bobbie/Kristen said, and to be put off by her cynical tone, I have to acknowledge the bitter truth of much of what she says. I love Star Trek (an affection which causes me to involuntarily exclaim, during particularly wonderful moments of Classic Trek, "God, I love this show!"), but in my case love is not blind. I, too, must beg of Paramount: "Please, no more. Don't let these fine people embarrass themselves. Don't make me have to feel embarrassed for them."
  • Carol M writes of pro books and her disappointment:
    I've stopped buying Star Trek pro-novels for two reasons: first, they are almost totally devoid of interesting ideas (a minor complaint if they are entertaining); second, and most serious, is the sadistic nature of many plots. The worst violators are Black Fire—in which Spock is nearly killed by a bomb, paralyzed, beaten, stabbed, poisoned, and imprisoned in a Federation jail under brutal conditions—and "Mindshadow", where Spock muddles through most of the story with severe brain damage. The fact that this stuff is popular really disturbs me because it involves a fascination with violence, something which is becoming more prevalent both in entertainment and in life. Also alarming is the fact that the brutality is necessary—indeed, even central— to the plot. "Vulcan's Glory" I bought because DC Fontana wrote it, and her talents contributed much to the original series. She has been writing some mysteries lately, so when Spock and T'Pris established their adulterous relationship, I decided that to restore continuity, T'Pris would have to die. It would also be a good opportunity for Spock to be so affected by her death that he would become more taciturn. All this is another way of saying that the major plot elements were no surprise; the murderer was, only because information was withheld to make identification impossible. But the murderer's identity seemed almost irrelevant to the other issues involved; the reasons for his actions were convoluted and irrational. So as a mystery, it's not much of a mystery. The main characters are largely unrecognizable— especially Mr. Spock. There are so many flaws that at the end I felt it really wasn't Star Trek... Is there a message to be learned here? Is Star Trek more interested in making money and protecting its past to the point that it neglects the present? During the first season of Star Trek, talented, professional, science fiction writers created stories for the new series. By the third season, they were gone, and the lack of talent showed. With all respect to Richard Arnold, who has made fandom a paying profession, I think he's too close to the problem to make an impartial evaluation. And he does get paid to promote the show--a powerful inducement to lose one's objectivity. It's nice that some fans like the new show, and their adulation helps pay the bills, but money and popularity often cloud the questions of quality and idea content.
  • Eunice R ponders communication and expectation:
    I would like to comment about letters to or from Richard Arnold. I wonder if at least part of the problem is misinterpretation? I recently wrote to Mr. Arnold, and sorry to say, I was not polite. He was offended, and I can't blame him. I did not want to write that letter, and have since explained as much to him. I probably wouldn't have written at all, but I did feel that there was an unfairness of policy in some areas; and after reading some of Harve Bennett's comments in the interview book (I'd like to think l misinterpreted those!), I absolutely had to speak my mind. Believe me, I didn't enjoy it! I'm well aware that dealing with the public every day is a hard job. Many people are deliberately abusive, no matter what. Dealing with such letters can tend to make one pessimistic toward all correspondence. If that happens, it's easy to feel that nearly anyone with an opposite opinion is being unreasonable—even if they aren't. I wonder if this is the problem here?... I think what may be needed is a re-evaluation. First, not everyone whose opinion differs from Paramount's is automatically being bossy or hostile. There are some bad apples, certainly; but for the most part, it stands to reason that the average letter is written because someone cares enough to write. If they didn't care enough to write, where would Star Trek be today? The point here is: please understand that we care.... Yes, sometimes we become indignant, or pick out faults, but we do it because we are sincerely interested. If we didn't care, we wouldn't write. If the folks at Paramount will please keep that in mind, angry letters will be kept at a minimum.
  • Karen R addresses Kristen Brady/Bobbie Hawkins' letter from I#140:
    You remind me of Joe Tormolen in "The Naked Time." You keep grousing, yet you keep signing on! How DID you ever manage to remove INTERSTAT's staple? And what is this about "one last fannish request?" Are you trying to get the ears of the "higher-ups"? In INTERSTAT?? Shame!!! I agree that there ARE faults with ST V, but criticisms can be couched in courteous terms, and be made less stridently, and without personal attacks. Instead of castigating fandom for being cliquish and mean-spirited, maybe you need to look into your own heart and mind. Cork the vinegar, dearie, and start spreading more honey. You might be a happier person for it. And did you find NOTHING worthy of praise in the movie? Maybe you're in the wrong fandom. I want ST VI. I want it as badly as Kirk wants the Enterprise. If you don't want to see any more, stay out of the theatres! Should the rest of us miss out because YOU'RE dissatisfied? Hardly!
  • Anne B addresses Brady/Hawkins:
    You obviously put a lot of thought and effort into your letter, and I believe you are for the most part sincere. But you are missing one obvious point: Since you feel so strongly that the ST of today is totally unworthy, and since you do not enjoy it, you should simply avoid it. Criticism so dense with disparaging description and emotion-laden put-down suggests to me that ST has become a pastime affording you merely a writing exercise probably insufficient to compensate for its unpleasantness.
  • Tom L writes of the latest movie:
    It was a pleasure to read the many positive reactions to ST V in I//139, especially after the critical drubbing. I can only add my voice to those praising this film. The Final Frontier is not the smoothest of the ST movies, but I found it the most meaningful. It's a wonderful film. Unfortunately, the bad reviews and formidable competition seem to have taken their toll: ST V lasted less than two months in first-run theatres here. I can't help but feel this bodes ill for the cinematic future of ST. I hope many fans will write Paramount and urge the production of ST VI, with William Shatner directing. Though ST V would be a noble farewell, I'd like to see another ST film (a drama, preferably).
  • Susan B. S writes of the movie:
    Does it strike anyone else that Star Trek V would be right at home in a zine featuring Triad stories? For some fans the "Big Three" and their inter-relationships are Star Trek. When a fan of this persuasion boots up her word processor her goal, naturally, is to explore and explain this single most important aspect. Her plot, and any science-fictional idea that was needed to start it rolling, are simply tools, devices to maneuver these beloved people into contact and conflict with each other. If the plot lias glaring inconsistencies or proceeds in jerks and starts what does it matter, so long as it pays off by extracting the desired character interactions? Indeed, the whole plot will be suspended if there are juicy emotional revelations to linger over. (At a fireside, say, or in a prison cell.) And to that type of fan we who are complaining about ST V because our definition of Trek involves more strands must seem like spoiled children, waist-deep in torn Christmas wrapping, whining "Is that all there is?" The only excuse I can offer for my greed and ingratitude is that I was indeed spoiled. By Star Trek.
  • Shirley Maiewski writes of some advantages of getting old, and of a choice in labels:
    I learned something this summer - being a Senior Citizen has its advantages! With theater tickets running into the $8.00 range, the SC discount really helps. So many blockbusters! Something for young folks to look forward to, after all, ST fandom has been alive for 23 years, so I'm sure there are a lot of fans like me "getting on in years." It would be nice if the folks at Paramount would realize this and stop thinking of ST fen as "Trekkies." Of course I don't mean ALL the people at Paramount - mostly the publicity department that continues to use the term! Have those of youwho have been able to see the actors at cons noticed they have learned to use "Trekker"? Somebody is noticing!
  • J. Elizabeth G is a fan of Harve:
    We owe a tremendous debt to Harve Bennett. He did not give Star Trek its grace, its humanity and humor, its shining intelligence and hope for the future. ST possessed those qualities already. But so does Bennett. In the hands of any other film producer, the seeds of ST's philosophy may well have fallen onto barren earth. Bennett, because of his talent, and most vitally because of his integrity, was able to provide a fertile ground upon which those qualities which are so essential to Trek, which command such a ferocity of love from its fans, could flourish and flower. And what magnificient flowers it has given us! He's a good man. And a talented producer/writer. And one hell of a gardener...

Issue 143

Interstat 143 was published in September 1989 and contains 14 pages.

cover of issue #143, Mike Brown
  • there is much discussion regarding abortion rights
  • Kimberly P writes of pro novels as she responds to a letter from the previous issue:
    I have been an enthusiastic fan of the Star Trek pro- novels since they first made their appearance because it was the only way I could get Star Trek of any nature for many years. I am a college educated woman and believe that I have a discerning mind - i.e. I enjoy a well written and executed story and do not enjoy those that are not done well. I hugely enjoyed the novel "Black Fire" because of the fascinating twists and turns of the plot. The fact that violence was involved did not diminish the story for me. Obviously, the galaxy is a wonderful place, but it can be dangerous especially when one is dealing with shrewd and devious enemies such as Klingons, Romulans, et al.... I recently purchased the new Trek novel (#46) "The Cry of the Onlies" by Judy Klass. I was thoroughly engrossed in the story and really enjoyed the involvement of Flint from the episode "Requiem for Methuselah" and the Onlies from the episode of "Miri." My only complaint was that Judy somehow found it necessary to kill off dear little Miri in the book and I really resented that she found it necessary to do away with the young lady that held so much promise! What a waste! Other than that, the book is classic Trek and nonstop action which I really enjoy. I highly recommend it.
  • Lynda C addresses the letter by Jean Lorrah in the last issue:
    Jean, you may be interested in knowing that this fan, at least, did indeed think about your NTM Amanda's abhorrance for genetic manipulation in connection with the "Long Ladder" characters' response to the idea of cloning. In my private fantasy rewrite, Picard would have offered to pass the Mariposan request on to other Enterprise passengers and crew, but would have warned them that the post-war hysteria about genetic manipulation still lingered in many humans. That wouldn't have cured all the problems in the episode, but it would have been a step in the right direction!
  • Kathy H complains of access:
    Paramount has one more jam to give us this year - the price for a BETA version tape is $29.95 while the price for the VHS version (which of course is what most of us own) is S91.95!!! Makes you want to run right to the store doesn't it? If there was any doubt that Paramount has given up on ST V or on Classic all together, this should take care of it. Paramount will never learn. Once again, Warner is going to show them how it's done.
  • Lynda C takes another fan to task for a phrase:
    What really bugged me, however, about your comment was the "terminal PMS remark. (Gentlemen, you may leave the room. We're about to discuss gynecologyhere.) I know you were going for a laugh, but I'm getting really tired of hearing emotional excesses or bad temper in women characters attributed to their menstrual cycles! In 1959, it was "being on the rag." In 1989 it's "terminal PMS." Both are offensive and sexist. Why can't a woman — real or fictional -- be a pain in the butt just on general principles? Men certainly can!
  • Lynda C writes of another fan's comments about Creation Con:
    Sorry you had to learn the hard way about Creation Cons. Your experience was not unique, and perhaps your letter will help others, especially newcomers to fandom, make informed judgments when Creation Cons come to their cities. This outfit has a long and ripe history. They do bring big-name guest stars to fans who can't afford to travel cross-country to the big fan-run conventions, and that's the best that can be said about them, IMHO. Please don't let the experience sour you on fan-run Trek conven tions, which are "a whole 'nother critter" from the commercially run conven tions like Creation Con.
  • Kathy H addresses A.C. Crispin about TNG pro books:
    Regarding the lack of sales for TNG books. In my opinion. Classic fans are the older fans with jobs and money, and as is true with my friends, we just are not interested in TNG books. I have read 3 or 4 of them but I do not go out of my way to buy them.
  • Jan M. M writes of the TNG pro books, and of being a fan:
    I think at least part of the problem is that ST:TNG has a smaller fandom than Trek. I usually buy the Trek novels and take the risk of getting burned. (By the way the last novel, "Cry of the Onlies," is putrid IMHO. It makes Star Trek V look coherent and well written.) But I don't buy any ST:TNG books. Sad to say, I am truly fighting accepting the show is a worthy successor to the original series. I find it to be a mediocre science fiction ripoff that trades on the name of the original series and I know a lot of fans that think the same way... I have been a Star Trek fan since the first showing of the first episode. And
I will be a fan, despite incoherent movies, insulting pro-novels, and rip-off
series clones. I will be a fan because somewhere in my memory and my heart
there is a captain who is charismatic, intuitive, intelligent, and brave
(and occasionally pompous), a first officer who is logical, incisive,
brilliant, and caring (and occasionally tedious), a CMO who is perceptive,
loyal, gruff, and compassionate (and generally acerbic). With those three
fly a supporting crew of the finest the fleet has to offer in talent and in
character. They were no more than a glimmer in the last movie, and apparently
were on vacation during the last book, but hope does spring eternal. They
may be back in the next Paramount offering. And if they're not I could never lose them anyway.
  • Zaquia T writes of Star Trek's fan liaison:
    Richard Arnold, for some reason that eludes me (and, it appears, a great number of other fans), has become point man for STAR TREK, a position that is clearly beyond his limited capacities. That he has been permitted to behave the way he does, and seemingly with impunity, leaves me for one with the distinct, but hopefully incorrect impression that his condescending attitude is not only encouraged, but endorsed by others within the production company. Still, the fact remains that he has been allowed to ride rough-shod over those who have kept the genre alive all these years, and in the process provide him with employment. Granted, fandom does have its fair share of "the drooling and slack- jawed." But my response to [Ms. F's] description of Mr. Arnold's impression (at Cape Girardeau CONtinuum) of the typical fan, "complete with, popping eyes, slouched shoulders and a hanging tongue" is to say, "Well, Mr. Arnold, you are the company you keep.
  • Joan V has some analysis: occurred to me that ST V was tailor-made for the fans of the "buddy" or "family" aspect of the show. Once I realized this, other things in the past that have puzzled me fell into place: why some fans rated ST III the best of the movies, when it, to me, was quite obviously the worst; why a number of fanzines are dedicated to the Kirk-Spock friendship; why, in many of these stories, the authors are so quick to remove Kirk and Spock from the ENTERPRISE, Starfleet, and even the Federation (in contrast, to me, a story isn't "really" Trek unless it is in some way connected with space exploration, as defined above); why so many Star Trek fans are attracted to non-Trek programs such as Starsky and Hutch (another "buddy" series which I personally found uninteresting); and why some fans cannot make the transition to TNG. But I think there is more to the issue than even this. I think that the reason that ST V did worse than expected at the box office was because the "buddy" or "family" aspect alone does not have general appeal. Instead, ST V is like watching someone else's home movie--perfectly fine if you're "family" also, but boring if you're not. [I concede that an ST movie heavy on sf, such as ST:TMP, does not go over well with the general public, either.] The best-selling ST movies, II and IV, had both a good sf story (both dealt with the consequences of runaway technology) and strong character interaction. It seems that one without the other won't do, and that's not necessarily a bad thing—it seems to please most (though not all) fans, whether they are sf fans or "family" fans, as well as the general audience. This may be something to watch for in an ST VI.

Issue 144

Interstat 144 was published in October 1989 and contains 14 pages.

cover of issue #144, Vel Jaeger
  • this issue continues the abortion rights debate which at times touches on the subject in Trek, and mostly doesn't
  • Eunice R rights a long, long pointed letter about what she sees as incredible racism, sexism, and ableism in both the original series and in the movies; she includes many examples
  • Gulserene D comments on the movie:
    My own main problem with V is, as I had expected, Sybok. Not the character, mind you, I think he is delightful; but his being Spock's brother. Why should it be considered necessary for Sybok to be Spock's brother to make Spock hesitate to shoot a man in cold blood? Especially when a phaser stun would have done the job just as well? Since when does one need mitigating circumstances for not killing? And anyway, as far as I am concerned, long-lost brothers rank right along with the beautiful daughters of mad scientists (no, I have not yet read Tekwar, why do you ask?), fore closing landlords, amnesia victims and evil guardians, at the bottom of the grab bag of tired old plot devices... Furthermore, I really want to see Captain Kirk provided with a female- yeoman who is resourceful, loyal, witty, efficient, brave and the most gorgeous Tellarite ever to join Starfleet.
  • Tim F comments on pro books:
    The problem isn't that they're all bad—the problem is that they're so inconsistent. You read a good novel like, say, "The Wounded Sky," and think, hey, these are pretty good. Then you get hold of a book like the predictable "Mutiny on the Enterprise" and it's a shock. I like good books, and I can handle bad books, but if there's something I can't stand, it's a boring book.
  • Debbie G comments on pro books and addresses Ann Crispin:
    You wanted to know why there are fewer buyers for ST:TNG books. The answer is simple. Classic Trek has had 23 years in which to build an audience. Millions of people grew up with it, and we've incorporated it into our culture. The average reader will automatically pick up a book about Kirk and Spock, because they know what to expect. It's hard for us fans to believe, because we've been involved with the new series for three years, but I'd say the majority of people in America have never seen an episode of ST:TNG (despite its being the number one drama series in syndication). ST:TNG doesn't yet have name recognition. Also, most folks aren't buying the ST:TNG novels because the books are, generally speaking, no damn good. Speaking of lousy books, I've read Shatner's TekWar (and reviewed it for the Memphis newspaper). Sources in fandom have told me that Shatner hired a ghostwriter to do the book for him, but whoever the author was, the results are laughable. It's one of the most groaningly inept science fiction novels I've ever plowed through. Also, Shatner refers to drug addicts as "tekkies"— think he's trying to tell us something, fans? (Once the typesetter slipped and actually printed "trekkies.")
  • Alicia G writes of Richard Arnold:
    Speaking of the Cape Cirardeau con, I wanted to put in my two cents about Richard Arnold's comment concerning typical fans with popping eyes and hanging tongues. I was there and I wasn't the least bit offended. I do remember a somewhat hostile groan emanating from the crowd after that comment so I expected to read about it in INTERSTAT. I have read all kinds of things in these pages about what an awful person Richard Arnold is and I must say that, after seeing him and meeting him, I simply do not agree. He seemed like a likable enough guy to me. Yes, lie has an ego. Not that it's any excuse but he is successful and is rubbing elbows with people he has loved and admired all his life. His work and his hobby are the same thing. If I were in his position, I'd be proud, too. If he really disliked fans, if he honestly considered them stupid, unpleasant, and distasteful, why would he call himself a fan? Why would he be so quick to name people like Whoopi Goldberg as fans? Why would he even come to these cons? Why would he show us slides, give speeches, and enjoy himself if it were all so terrible? It isn't the money, folks. He's making a fine salary at Paramount.
  • A.C. Crispin explains why she doesn't include her home address in Interstat like other fans :[1]:
    I'd also like to add that, although I've gotten a few weird and/or grouchy letters from Star Trek fans over the years, the mail that caused me to be uneasy about giving out my address to all and sundry was occasioned by my writing the V novelization, NOT from any Star Trek writing. As a result of writing V, I received a death-threat from a fringe group in the Pacific northwest that had reason to be offended by the portrait of the lizards as Facists. (I'll bet all of you can guess what their symbol was.) I read the nasty thing with horror and relief that it had been forwarded (unopened) by Pinnacle, so they didn't have mv actual address, gagged, washed my hands, then turned the disgusting, sick epistle over to the FBI, The most unusual Star Trek fan letter I ever got was from a young woman who identified herself as a witch. I was her favorite author, she said, and for the past few weeks she'd been picking up vibes that evil spirits were attempting to invade my home. She graciously offered to fly over (I don't know by what method she would have used, broomstick or commercial airline) and perform an exorcism on me and my abode. I wrote back and thanked her, but politely refused. So even when Star Trek fan letters are weird, they're usually benign. I think that's because Star Trek folks are a cut above the crowd, just generally decent people.
  • Theresa D encourages other fans to rally and write letters in support of a sixth Star Trek movie:
    I decided to write to the 37 Trek clubs that I belong to, thinking that I could get greater exposure, and it's working. Mind you, there are a few of them which do not think it's important enough to place the campaign info in their newsletters. I cannot see this, because why have a club if you don't believe in IDIC? It's like these clubs are trying to kill the future of Star Trek, just like what Paramount did in the way they handled Star Trek V. I would like to think that all hardcore Trekkers will get out their pens, pencils and typewriters and send letters to Paramount and tell them we would like to see a Star Trek VI film in the future. It's us that supported the cast for 23 years, and I hope we will do the same in supporting the writing campaign. So all fans who did not like Star Trek V, give some thought on your negative views and let Star Trek have another chance to right itself one last time—with our heroes finishing up with dignity. Long-time Trek fans, I also urge you to do something before it's too late. I took it upon myself to help the world of Star Trek, and I would hate to see it down and out without a fight from its loyal fans.
  • Gulserene D brings this subject up for the first time in Interstat:
    In fact, come to think of it, there has been throughout the movies an alternation between a financially less successful odd numbered mythic-type film and a financially more successful even numbered adventure-type film. This bodes very well for VI, doesn't it?
  • Janet P writes about a Trek possibility:
    I was at the Creation Con in Rochester, N.Y., on November 18, where George Takei was the guest speaker. He had some very disturbing news about the future of the Star Trek movies. He said that Paramount is seriously considering re-casting the roles of the original cast, because they believe that the low box office intake was due to what the critics kept harping on: the age of the actors. They're thinking of using a much younger cast, and making a movie about the Academy days of Kirk et al. The other option that they're considering is not making Star Trek VI at all, because they're afraid that the low box office may just mean that the interest in Star Trek is waning. Do you want to see another Star Trek movie? Do you want to see the original cast'? If so, let Paramount know. The address is: Mr. Harve Bennett. Paramount Pictures, 5555 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles. CA 90038. I loved Star Trek V, but i! you didn't, let Harve Bennett know what von would pay to see. You may never get the movie that you want, it you don't work for it.
  • Elaine M. B writes of some Trek movie options:
    Anne and I saw George Takei at a Creation Con in Rochester 11/18. He said Paramount is considering three options for ST VI (in this order of consideration) Not making one at all; making a 'flashback' movie with new, young actors; really making STVI. Seems they're saying ST V isn't going to break even (overseas sales and videocassettes don't count...). So George wants ST fans to write to Harve Bennett, c/o Paramount Studios, 5555 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038, and tell him what we think of the three options. (#2 got an even worse reaction than #1 at the con!)

Issue 145

Interstat 145 was published in November 1989 and contains 14 pages.

cover of issue #145
  • Chris M is unhappy about the home movie price of the fifth Star Trek movie:
    I can't figure Paramount out. Every previous Star Trek film has been released on video at around the $30 mark if I'm not mistaken. So why the switch with STV? Personally, paying $60 for a movie (that's the lowest I've seen STV being sold for) offends my sensibilities, not to mention my wallet. All I can say is unless they lower the price, I will go without the latest adventure of Kirk and crew.
  • Kimberly P urges some fan action:
    If VI is going to ever exist, and if it is the last, I want my heroes to go out with a bang instead of a whimper. Trekkies everywhere—we got Star Trek back in movies and in a series by our dedication to this fantastic show through our letter-writing campaigns. Let's not let Star Trek die out with a whimper, let's gather up our pens and papers again.
  • Charles T. Jr. is unhappy with the portrayal of fans:
    The multi-faceted qualities of 'classic' ST screenplays are legendary, and anybody truly knowledgeable about television drama can easily recognize them. But why must I or anyone else be insulted with such childish notions of 'the trekkies' as only being into 'popularity contests' over comparisons between both CASTS when we raise questions or criticisms of the new Trek series? And WHICH 'trekkies' are being 'catered to' with such hokum as a female 'Bones' McCoy-like character or the implied direction the show took Riker's character In SHADES OF GRAY? Of course there's another name for this; it's called commercial overkill, which includes the notion of some media critics to judge fan critics of the show as 'guilty until proven innocent.' And, unless there are members of our ranks who are gremlin-like wreckers of TNG soundstages (which I doubt), how do our letters to the studio about said TV show make us 'meddlesome troublemakers'? Well, I guess I'd sum up the attitudes of Shatner et al as show-biz mentalities, i.e. they really view what they're into as entertainment and truly don't understand what the fuss is all about. But ST fans have always been more than your average 'couch potato,' and perhaps at the heart of our disagreements with Gene (at times) over his new series stems from that. Yes, Mr. Roddenberry, it is your show to do with as you please, but intelligent and knowledgable viewers, let alone intelligent and knowledgeable trekkers I know (myself included), simply aren't 'buying' some of the crap that your producers and writers present us with as 80's Trek episodes. I humbly suggest that for your staffers to act out of self-righteous indignation, or allegations of unfairness on the part of said fan critic, won't resolve anything.
  • Joan V comments on the on-going discussion regarding abortion rights:
    Another thing that tends to startle me is to see fans drawing circles around an issue with no one getting to the point. The point of bringing up the topic of abortion (though even the originator of the discussion seems to have missed this) is not which side is correct, nor is it whether the actors take one side or the other on the issue. What underlies the discussion is the process that takes place when one falls in love with the Star Trek universe-All of us fans find something attractive in Star Trek. The more we enjoy it, the more we tend to think that its ideals are ours, and our ideals are theirs. So that when Star Trek—or anything connected to it—does not conform to our ideals, we tend to feel shocked or betrayed. That is why someone who is against legalized abortion would feel hurt when a Star Trek actor participates In a pro-choice demonstration, and that is the issue, not the issue of abortion in itself. And the solution to this is not for those of us who are fans to insist that Star Trek conform to each and every one of our individual ideals— because there are issues where ethical people can legitimately disagree—but to realize that, at its heart, Star Trek is not our alternate universe, but Gene Roddenberry's, and, in the end. Star Trek will reflect CR's ideals, which may, or may not, conform to ours on any given issue.
  • Kimberly P writes of the abortion rights discussion in this letterzine:
    This whole discussion of the abortion issue within the pages of INTERSTAT has started to make me mad. I subscribed to INTERSTAT with the desire to read about my favorite hobby - Star Trek and now I feel like I am opening to the editorial page of the Omaha World Herald with each issue. Let's get this back on track, people! This is supposed to be a discussion forum for Star Trek, not the emotionally heated issues of today's society. I am sick of the name calling, the rhetoric, the heated arguments, etc. concerning the abortion issue. If this keeps up, and I'm sure it could go on for forever and six years as long as any of you has an emotional bone in your body, I think I will cancel my subscription.
  • Carol M writes of pro books:
    It is well to remember that your intriguing twists and turns of plot may be another's annoying kinks and bends. Despite all the intricacies of plot, in the end the pro-novels must return to the same universe they left; therefore we know that somehow Spock won't really be a traitor, nor suffer irreparable brain damage, nor will he die. This means that attempts to generate excitement by the seeming endangerment of major characters is a cheat; yet many of the novels use this device instead of developing a strong story. My objection to violence is not absolute—only when it's purposeless and sadistic. It is a plot weakness when the antagonist exists solely to thwart the hero, or when no reasons—or irrational reasons—are given to explain their actions. For example, Black Fire required us to accept a culture advanced enough to travel into space (so they could threaten the Federation) and primitive enough so they could imprison Spock under extremely brutal conditions. I much prefer stories like "The Devil in the Dark" where the "monster" has reasonable motivations. Certainly there is evil in the universe, but it is rarely pure evil. "Q" from TNG is a poor villian for the same reasons: he is simplistic, childish, belligerent, and acting out of completely obscure motives; the classic one-dimensional, cardboard-cutout villian... How boring... Ideas are of the utmost importance. I want to read books In which the characters have to make difficult choices, and where the alternatives aren't always clear-cut. This barkens back to [Ms. V's] letter (I#143) which divides Star Trek fans into two camps: those who like it for its science fiction (i.e. idea) content, and those who look for the interpersonal relationships. Surely Star Trek—and literature in general — is at its best when it explores both, having believable characters and interesting stories.
  • Kimberly P addresses Ann Crispin and comments on pro books:
    I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you how much I appreciate the novels you have written. I own "Yesterday's Son," "Time For Yesterday" and"V".... I have about six of the classic Trek novels that rank among my favorites and your two books are in that group. Write another one! I love your style and handling of the characters. There are a lot of us who are not weird or grouchy who appreciate you, so please warm up your typewriter or word processor or whatever you use and give us some more!
  • Charles T. Jr. comments on the Get a Life! skit:
    I do believe that ST fans get an unfair amount of criticism from outside their ranks and I believe some of these know-it-alls could learn a few things from us in how we try to raise honest criticisms about each other through gentle-hearted kidding and by showing some real warmth towards the person of the other point of view in our ranks (or at least some of us do). But. yes, I DO find that too many professional media/celebrity cons fit that SNL parody. And though I believe Shatner's heart was in the right place, I also believe that he should've had his head examined for appearing in it. Instead of getting people to view the phenomenon in a more positive light —and by allowing himself to be a part of the skit—Shatner actually reinforced the negative stereotypes outsiders have about us. You see, either people view ST and ST fandom with open minds or they don't. Yes, we should be able to laugh at ourselves and not take ourselves (or the things we're into) TOO seriously, but I don't think that we have to put up with EVERY put-down or EVERY cheap shot at our expense. The convention parody was a cheap shot at our expense in order to get some cheap laughs, and in spite of the 'with it' attitudes of the SNL cast, I'm afraid that the show's writers are coming across like pompous snobs these days. Still, I separate what they were up to with what Shatner was sincerely trying, to say, though he said it in the wrong way.
  • Gennie S addresses Joan V:
    I found your description of the categories of ST fans most interesting. I've been aware of it, and it always seemed strange to me that some could be enthusiastic fans of ST and such things as Miami Vice at the same time. I am a science fiction fan (and also science fantasy and fantasy) and was attracted to ST because it is science fiction. (Outer space and all that.) I've never been a fan of anything with a contemporary setting, and I liked least the ST episodes with a "familiar" setting, such as "Assignment Earth," to mention one.
  • Danni B is unhappy with Paramount's fan liaison's remarks at a recent con:
    After hearing him speak at SoonerCon V in November, I personally found him to be anything but [likeable]. What I found objectionable went far beyond the occasional rude or condescending remarks by him about fans mentioned in previous issues of INTERSTAT. Mr. Arnold was also willing to hold up for public discussion some of the professionals who have been an integral part of the creation and success of the Star Trek films. During his talks at this convention… Richard Arnold seemed to me to be negative toward the Star Trek films, particularly V, appearing to be nothing more than a point man for The Next Generation. It was my understanding that as Paramount's "fan liaison and archivist," he was representative of all Star Trek. If his attitude was any indication, that's not the case. In both his slide show talk, and in a later talk held in a second location, he showed great bias for the new Trek series. The sense of competition--the 'us vs. them' mentality—was strongly apparent… It's easy to make others look foolish and small when they are not there to set the records straight. It's just as easy to ask your audience not to quote you, which implies that it is okay to pass on your stories—just don't say who told you. While Mr. Arnold's remarks were being absorbed by conattendees, I wondered what was behind all this, for it seemed to me his 'mission' was an orchestrated attempt to mold fan opinion against certain individuals with the hope those newly formed opinions would spread to all corners of fandom. Another annoyance was a reference he made to INTERSTAT and its letter -writers when a question was put to him about fans. He said in a distinctly condescending tone of voice, "Yes, I know they write their little letters to INTERSTAT." Well, Mr. Arnold, I take pen in hand and write my little letter to INTERSTAT, with the distinct purpose of expressing my disappointment in you as spokesperson for Star Trek. Had I taped your sessions, I would have done more than write this letter. I would have sent copies to those Star Trek people who I felt may have been victimized by your indiscretion, and who, to my knowledge, have never voiced negative comments about you from a convention stage. I believe fandom owes a great debt to the Star Trek actors and production people who have kept the dream alive all these years through the films. I have nothing against Richard Arnold or anyone else associated with The Next Generation, but Classic Trek has been a cherished part of my life, and I cannot stand by silently while concentrated efforts are being made to alter fan opinion about creative people I've come to admire. I felt sorry for the young fans there. They believed what Mr. Arnold said, and I fear his "little" stories have forever changed how they will view these individuals. If Mr. Arnold really brought with him to his present studio position his "love of the show" (I#138) , I ask what he asked in his LoC when he questioned the reasoning behind what lie felt was one fan's campaign to discredit him: "Whatever happened to IDIC?" More importantly, Mr. Arnold, whatever happened to fair play and good manners?

Issue 146

Interstat 146 was published in December 1989 and contains 14 pages.

cover of issue #146, Vel Jaeger
  • some fans write to complain about what they felt to be disrespectful comments and attitudes displayed by Paramount's Star Trek fan liaison, Richard Arnold, at cons
  • a fan wonders:
    A bit of fanciful speculation for those of us who are also Doctor Who fans; anybody else suspect that Guinan may be a secret Time Lord? "Yesterday's Enterprise" strengthened this idea, but I had it even before that; somehow Guinan just reminds me of the Doctor.
  • a fan is not happy with a idea she has heard regarding the next movie:
    Another bad idea is the "Academy Flashback" thing. Come on! There is so much disparity in the ages of the crew it's ridiculous.
  • Jean Lorrah writes of a bit of fanon:
    Here's another bit of ancient fan trivia: there's no such thing as a sonic shower. It was never mentioned in an episode of Classic Trek, and unless it comes up in an episode before this letter is printed, it has never been mentioned in ST:TNG, either. Early fan writers began using the term, and it carried over into the novels. In none of my four was it ever questioned, and I know someone different was in the archivist's chair at Paramount for each one of them. Is there anyone out there who can pinpoint who first invented the sonic shower? It wasn't me; I picked up the term from other fans in the early fanzines.
  • Shirley Maiewski comments about the portrayal of fans:
    one reason that mundanes get the wrong impression of ST fen is the way the media covers conventions. There may be literally hundreds of seriously minded fans there, but what do the TV and newspaper reporters cover? The first kid with over-size Spock ears they come across. Never pictures of the really fabulous costumes one sees, nor dis cussion with those who take Trek seriously. That isn't "news"; the weird (to them) often is. Sometimes I think that maybe hall costumes aren't such a good idea after all - but they are fun, aren't they?
  • Zaquia T is weary of ham-handed messages:
    With the notable exceptions of such episodes as the just aired "Yesterday's Enterprise" and "The Bonding," ST:TNG has repeatedly proven itself incapable of continuing the "socially conscious" tradition of "Classic" Trek. Instead of coming to grips with a current social problem, the script writers sidle up to a "hot" subject, take a few jabs then run like hell. Once they are at a safe distance, they slap themselves on the back, then take a bow for "confronting a topical issue head on." Heavy-handed writing and screechily didactic dialogue does not an enlightened viewer make. If the above mentioned episodes (and a handful of others) are to be the exception, rather than the rule, why not stick with writing and producing a good, old space western, devoid of underlying messages, but chock full of fast-paced action and snappy repartee? I for one, would welcome the change.
  • Tim F comments on the next movie:
    concerning "Star Trek VI": I wouldn't mind a flashback story about the Academy days of the Enterprise crew so long as it was really done well. What I would like to see is for everybody to get a good sendoff, if this is indeed to be the last Star Trek movie. It would really satisfy me for all the main characters to take a dramatic last bow and make a classy exit. Not necessarily die, mind you, just exit.
  • Bill H adds to the discussion of who was a "better" captain, Kirk or Picard:
    A couple of recent INTERSTAT writers have noted, with displeasure, that Captain Picard takes a much harder line on the Prime Directive than Captain Kirk used to. This is true, and it was startling to see Picard nearly let a planet be destroyed in "Pen Pals" or say, "Why didn't you let him die?" in "Who Watches the Watchers." On the other hand, perhaps there is a reason for this, other than Picard simply being "cold" and "unfeeling." I have the feeling that maybe, at some point earlier in his career, Picard played fast and loose with the Prime Directive in Kirk style, and the results were disastrous. It might be an interesting story to tell, if not in a TNG episode, then maybe in a TNG pro novel or a fanzine.
  • Jean Lorrah writes at great and candid length about her pro book, "Metamorphosis":
    Metamorphosis is finally finished, and will be in bookstores by the time this letter sees print. For all the trials and tribulations it met with, and despite annoying editorial glitches discussed below, this is still the most important Trek novel I have written. The core of the book came through unscathed, and I can only beg your indulgence in looking beyond the occasional clunky sentence and cutting glitch. The way things are going at Paramount today, it is a wonder any novel reaches print in coherent form. Only one month ago, when the book was already printed, although not yet bound, there was a sudden directive from Paramount to make a change affecting scenes in two parts of the book — this after, mind you, all revisions had been made to their supposed satisfaction last November, when Paramount finally got around to my book (because of delays in the ones ahead of it) when it was already at the galley stage. If you are thinking of writing a Trek novel, be warned: all the rules have changed. You may not refer to any characters, events, planets, etc. in any previous novels (including your own), and no one knows for certain what the rest of the new rules are (they appear to change daily). You will notice that authors who had had books approved and were completing them during the time that, without our knowledge, the rules changed, still have vestiges of the old methods in our books; don't take that as permission to do the same thing in yours.... [regarding the rule that manuscripts be submitted on computer disk and of her editor]... …the ability to change things with the flick of a finger proved too great a temptation for the frustrated writer that lurks in every editor. He took having a disk as carte blanche to rewrite Metamorphosis before sending it to Paramount. I know you trufen will be horrified to see Jean Lorrah practicing Roddenberry's Law of Parallel Evolution when a native of Elysia apparently uses English words. No so; I wrote that those were the closest equivalents in Data's language banks. Dave Stern took those explanations out, and put only one of them back — the last one, when it should have been the first one — when I protested that it would make me the butt of one of the most ancient of fannish jokes… Every few pages there is a clunky sentence where Dave decided he could write it better than my original, or where he added something. Even if he were a better writer than I am, our styles are incompatible; I understate and he overstates. It's like two melodies, each harmonious on its own, creating discord when played together. There are also cutting glitches of the kind in which Picard appears to address Data as "Lieutenant" because the part of the speech addressed to O'Brien was cut except for that one word. That sort of error is caused by revisions made under intense pressure at the last moment. My author's copies just arrived, and I am turning the pages with great trepidation, afraid to discover even worse errors than the ones I've already found. Still, the basic story is there, the majority of it in my words. So I hope you will like Metamorphosis. Despite all the rewriting I had to do (for example, somebody at Paramount has decided that Andorians can't work with humans, even though no such tiling was ever said in any episode, forcing me to change the species of a pivotal character), and all the rewriting Dave did without my permission (I think he thought he was saving me time and effort), the basic intention of the book remains untouched….You certainly can't tell what the book is about from the cover; the cover art is the Enterprise above and heads of Picard, Data, and Riker below the title — generic stuff. The blurb on the back cover is so careful not to give away the big secret that it makes the book sound like just another adventure on just another planet. Thus I am praying for word of mouth to get around that "this is the one." I know I've said this before, but let me remind you again: authors have no control whatsoever over covers. Any competent fan artist could have done more imaginative cover art. As this book is not intended for the jaded confines of fandom, I suggested the obvious: Data looking into a mirror and seeing Brent Spiner. Clearly no one bothered to convey that suggestion to the artist. So the book looks like the most ordinary ST:TNG. Believe me, that's not what's inside! You may love it or you may hate it, but I can guarantee you won't be bored by it.

Issue 147

Interstat 147 was published in January 1990 and contains 14 pages.

cover of issue #147
  • this issue lists the last Surak Award winners and apologizes for their late announcement; the 1990 awards are supposed to be out in April 1990
  • Jean Lorrah wonders what is up with the Data of the third season, that his robotic ways are reminiscent of some things in her pro book ("Metamorphosis"), but admits that the pro books don't influence aired canon
  • Joan V says the sonic shower isn't fanon, but from the original ST movie:
    ...listen to the "voice over" of the Intruder Alert system, which speaks while Kirk and Spock rush to Ilia's quarters, you will hear it say that the intruder is located in the sonic shower.
  • Sally S, angry at the cost of the fifth movie on video cassette, writes:
    Personally, I couldn't see paying $90 for the video so I had planned to wait until the used copies went on sale at the video store for half price or less (I think cost to dealers was about $60). One of our local pay-per-view Channels, however, offered STV for $4.00, so I taped it—total cost about $10, including the blank tape that I used. I thought about the fact that this tactic, carried out on any large scale, could cut the studio's profits for the film even more, further reducing chances for a STVI; but personal financial considerations, the fact that I had already paid to see the film in a theater twice, and the feeling that Paramount was knowingly trying to stick it to us faithful Trekkers led me to act as I did.
  • Missy F writes of the proposed movie:
    I recently received a flyer for a local con, and
 with that flyer was a letter urging me to join a letter-writing campaign to Paramount Studios. Apparently, word
 has leaked out that Paramount plans to make STVI a comedy and set it prior to the original voyages of the Enterprise during "academy days." Furthermore, as rumor goes, they plan to use different actors to play Kirk & company. Now, this letter I received was urging me to protest this possible action. My question is, why should I? ST has far outlasted many, many TV shows and has indeed become a universe of its own. That's all very terrific. But some of those who delve into this universe take it all a bit too seriously. As William Shatner so poignantly, if a little harshly, put it on Saturday Night Live, "Get a life." But that's not the real point of all this. The point is that, ST is so terrific because of its writing. And if a character, since Kirk & co. are all characters, is written well enough, any-body can play it. We shouldn't have to rely on Shatner, Nimoy, Kelley, etc. to portray those roles because, all else aside, they are not going to be around nearly as long as ST will be. The true test of the integrity of Kirk & co. as fictional characters will be when other actors play them. I do, however, object to the notion of STVI being made as a comedy.
  • Eunice R writes of the movie:
    I've come to the conclusion that The Great Bird and Flock no longer care whether they produce a quality product or not, thus the Academy idea.
  • Jan D writes of the movie:
    I've just read issue I#146 and think more needs to be said about an academy movie. Several people indicated
 they would be happy to see such a movie, written and directed by Harve Bennett. I like and respect Harve, and he's given us four movies, but my feeling of appreciation for him does not lake precedence over my love for Star Trek. Everyone to whom I talk about this in this area is very upset at the thought of young actors being cast as our crew and most mention immediately that even if they could tolerate the idea, few of the crew members could have been at the academy at the same time. If the studio is determined to proceed with an academy story, they should develop new characters as in TNG and leave Classic alone. As far as saying this story doesn't preclude another movie with the original stars, do they think we were born yesterday? If they will pass up a Classic movie on the 25th anniversary, they are not planning another. I'm stunned by how many fans are turning their backs on the Classic cast without a good fight. After all these people have done for us over the years, don't they deserve our loyalty? I didn't care for the remark that George's reaction was natural since he'd he out of a job. It seemed a bit cold after all he, Nichelle and others have given us. It wouldn't take much effort on the part of the studio to make a successful Classic movie, to find a writer who could give us an exciting space story and who knew the crew well to give them a final movie back in character…The movie should end with the entire crow at their stations on the Enterprise, continuing their mission to go where no one has gone before, leaving them alive and well in our minds. It is not necessary to retire them or kill them. People must change and they must die -- fictional characters do not have to do either. As to whether ST II would have been the favorite movie had Spock not been brought back to life, I doubt it. Killing him for a good scene in a movie was a mean idea and I still resent it. And that 'firestorm of protest' is what saved him for us. Nick Meyer didn't intend an open ending or approve of bringing Spock back -- I've heard him say so. Another firestorm is the only hope we have of life for classic, but hope is not high. Fandom is in a state of deep depression.
  • Joan V comments on the movie:
    As a fan of Harve Bennett, I am delighted that he may get a chance to write and direct STVI. On the other hand, I agree with [Karen R's] concern for the time line involved. There is no evidence that any of the ENTERPRISE regulars knew each other before they were assigned to the NCC-1701. With Scott at least five years older than Kirk, McCoy in private practice before joining Starfleet, and Chekov at least twelve years younger than Kirk, it is highly improbable that these regulars would have been at the Academy at the same time. I doubt, also, if Sulu and Uhura were in the same graduating class as Kirk. I even doubt whether Kirk was in the same grad uating class as Spock. While I have no problems with the idea of the characters being re-cast, I have very large problems with departures from established Trek.
  • Karla T suggests more fanworks:
    Regarding Jean Lorrah's letter on the new rules for Star Trek novels, it seems to add credence to the rumor that Paramount wants to run the original Star Trek into the ground and leave it there. How restricting and stupid to tell writers that they can't refer to anything in an earlier story—even their own! Self-referencing is part of the richness and fun of Star Trek. Why constantly re-invent the wheel? And what is this idea that humans can't interact with Andorians? What about Thelin, the first officer in "Yesteryear" and its alternate timestream? Or the Andorians we've seen in the movies? I expect the person who made up that rule is no fan of Star Trek—just a faceless "junior executive" who wouldn't know an Andorian if she broke into his house and ate his VCR. In the light, so to speak, of these new rules, I agree with [Karen R] that we need a "new Golden Age" of fanzines—in which stories are snappy, original, and adult, and not confined to the whims of whoever's currently got a corner office at Paramount.

Issue 148

Interstat 148 was published in 1990, no month noted, and contains 14 pages.

cover of issue #148, Nan Lewis -- Spock and a cat
  • Ruth S writes of her appreciation for Interstat, and also comments on the next Star Trek movie:
    A STAR TREK academy film? Well, I certainly respect Harve Bennett's talent and ability...and who knows, maybe he could reconcile the obvious, glaringly apparent inconsistencies inherent in such a story. But, I've got to go on record in opposition of this theme as STAR TREK VI. Actually, I think it would be kind of nice if Mr. Bennett could make this film as he apparently envisioned it, as "a gift to the fans," separate and apart from STVI. But, for STVI, I want the original Classic TREK cast. Oh, I have a list of things I would like to see that would be impossible to incorparate into a single film...
  • Jacqueline G writes of the next movie:
    To those concerned about the possibility of Star Trek VI becoming an "Academy Farce": Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend Vulcon in Orlando, Florida. Guest Richard Arnold assured the fans that this storyline had definitely been turned down by the powers that be. Exuding confidence for a 'brighter future,' perhaps now we fans should direct our efforts toward launching a massive letter-writing campaign geared toward convincing Paramount Studios of fandom's interest in an international celebration of twenty-five wonderful years of Star Trek. Imagine the fun we all could have!
  • Jan M wonders about fanzines, ties it into the lack of serious discussion into Interstat, and asks why her letter from six months ago wasn't printed:
    ...a golden age of fanzines. I'm beginning to wonder if it's even possible anymore... There are exceptions to what I say - a few staunch voices that refuse to be silenced. That was why abortion made any appearance in INTERSTAT at all. Issue-oriented letters pop up and sink in a sea of banal chatter. To some extent, it has always been that way - and I, too, contribute to the chatter. But to say that a Star Trek fanzine is not the place to discuss an emotional current issue is to turn our back on everything that Star Trek stood for and on the best things that fandom has been. It is to reduce Trek to a dry corpse and fandom to unrelieved inanity. Karla - there can be no great renaissance of Trek zines while the prevailing attitude is that matters of passion, questions of morality and issues of substance are not germane to Trek. I need to know if anyone even cares anymore. I need to know if anyone thinks this is even important. Is a Star Trek fanzine a place dedicated to issues of personality and cosmetics? Is there truly no place in INTERSTAT for issues of substance and emotional/logical conviction? Say if you will that you don't care to read about abortion or discuss it. I have no problem with that. But if INTERSTAT, or any Star Trek zine, is not the proper place to discuss abortion, then Star Trek is truly dead. And fandom is worse than dead - it is a desecration.
  • Anne B writes:
    ST V thus seems to me to represent a desperate attempt to push Classic ST back into its old "TV" mold (which it never fitted into very well to start with). And now that it's failed, we shouldn't be surprised that Paramount has decided to solve the "age" problem not by introducing new characters (even the kind that get killed off at the end) but by finding younger actors to portray the old characters. Somehow we appear to have given them the idea that what fandom wants is endless rides on the nostalgia merry-go-round. Furthermore - as several fans have pointed out - there's simply no way that all the characters could have been at the Academy together. So we might be in for six or eight "flashback" movies (or one movie with six or eight flashbacks, which would be a worse mess than ST V). And what's next after that - remakes of Classic episodes for the big screen? This fan, at any rate, is not attracted by the prospect of watching the Enterprise boldly going around in circles. A Trek that isn't allowed to grow and change has about as much vitality as a Saturday-morning cartoon. It's fine that TNG is now getting a healthy dose of creativity (which reminds me -I agree with everyone who praised "Yesterday's Enterprise," an excellent episode). What I don't understand is why it's being siphoned away from Classic ST. Isn't there enough to go around?

Issue 149

Interstat 149 was published in 1990, no month noted, (probably July) and contains 14 pages.

cover of issue #149
letter from Harve Bennett
  • this issue reprints Harve Bennett's Farewell Open Letter dated June 29, 1990:
    To All My Friends At Interstat: Today I leave Paramount, completing my ten year mission on STAR TREK. I wanted to thank you all for your support, your friendship, and your love during the decade we have shared. You. are without doubt the finest and most loyal audience a filmmaker could have. I am very proud of what we achieved while I was Chief of Staff of the feature division of Gene's Dream. I am particularly indebted to Nicholas Meyer, Ralph Winter, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner and David Loughery, my comrades in close collaboration. My only regret is that I was unable to bring to the screen the STAR TREK I believe could have been our best. Our final draft script was called STAR TREK: THE FIRST ADVENTURE, and it dealt with Kirk's return to the Academy and his memories of life, love, and how it all began. It was a beautiful story. It had nothing to do with the"Police Academy" trash tag that unknowing people labeled it with. My only disappointment after ten years of proving my abilities to you all is that there were some of you who engaged in a letter campaign to destroy a work of art on hearsay evidence. I think I deserved more trust than that. To Dixie, my thanks for the accuracy of her clippings and the depth of her caring. To Rhea, my forever thanks for being first fan to write me a letter of support. And to Teri, who has been my friend 200% of the time, my gratitude always. Beam me out, Scotty.
  • Dixie O addresses Jacqueline G, as well as a number of other fans, regarding the idea of an "academy days" movie:
    Nobody said a word about P "turning our backs on the Classic cast" while THE ACADEMY DAYS script was under consideration. In fact, in his interview on the subject, Mr. Bennett was very careful to say in effect that this would be a "Lucky Strike Extra," and would not even carry a number. In no way would it have interfered with the regular progression of ST sequels. For instance, consider this interesting possibility: perhaps yet another generation of ST might have been available to us in sequels to ACADEMY or even another block-buster tv series to bring more $$ to Para's coffers. And our much under-employed Classic second line actors might have had a chance at more work. All kinds of ways could be devised in sf for their appearances in younger form—or present day, for that matter. Scotty could have been teaching/consulting at the academy in spite of his 10-year seniority on Kirk and Spock; Uhura and Sulu could have been high school kids going to Space Camp—why not? If a new set of actors has evidently gained complete (more or less) acceptance in TNG, why not a young set (MUCH younger, and much less bald) in pre-mission days? I myself had a wonderful time looking around for a young golden-boy Kirk and "a walking stack of books," and it in no way detracted from my 24-year devotion to Mr. Shatner's marvelous Kirk.
  • Danni B writes:
    As for STAR TREK: THE FIRST ADVENTURE, it seems that we will never get the chance to see this idea on the big screen. I must say that I'm sorry we've missed the opportunity for what could have been something wonderful. Inever saw this proposed film as something that would have ended the adventures with the original cast. Never was it said that doing a picture on the Academy days ruled out projects with the original stars. This interpretation was rumor and was never backed up by fact. To me, this film idea was an exciting way to extend the adventures of Captain Kirk and his crew in a different direction, while, at the same time, continuing with films starring our beloved original cast...if fan interest warranted it. It was up to us to continue to support STAR TREK!! It seemed hypocritical and non-sensical for fans to support TNG (Trek with actors other than the original cast) while at the same time screaming "Disloyalty!" over "The Academy Days" (which was, again, Trek with actors other than the original cast). And while we're talking about loyalty, doesn't Harve Bennett deserve a little loyalty?? After all he's given us with his involvement with ST, why should we believe unfounded rumor and gossip spread on the convention circuit?! Hasn't he shown us his love for ST through the four films he gave us? In fact, and I say this after much consideration, when comparing Bennett's view of ST, as shown in the films, and ST as shown in TNG, I think the films show a much closer representation of the true spirit of ST. I will always be grateful to Mr. Bennett for his contributions to ST.... It seems to me that these fans are suffering from a very bad case of short-sightedness. The big push has been to get the original cast back for ST VI, with no apparent thought for what would follow. What happens after VI? Are we all done then? Is it over?... Are all you First Generation fans content with that prospect? Well, I, for one, am not. I want to see the adventures of the original characters continued. Think about those early episodes. So many exciting and fascinating story possibilities exist in those early days! What fertile ground to explore! I really mourn the loss of STAR TREK: THE FIRST ADVENTURE. I trust Harve Bennett and I believe he would have given us that "beautiful gift" he talked about. It would have been a new dawn for Classic Trek.
  • Rhea B writes:
    "Star Trek: The First Adventure" appeals very much to me and I hope they get around to doing it. How are fans arriving at the idea that #VI will be the last Star Trek film? I have yet to read an official statement on this. We do want a farewell movie whenever the time comes. And when that time comes, I would think a grateful studio would want the Star Trek phenomenon, with the original cast, to "go out in a blaze of glory." Personally, I cherish STV because it plays like a fanzine story. I went to see it in the theater ten times, and I have the video. Haven't fans been clamoring for a relationship fanzine-type Star Trek movie for years?
  • Debbie G writes of appropriate topics for discussion in Interstat:
    I think that no topic should be off-limits, as long as it relates directly to Trek. This is a crucial distinction. For example, after Guinan's description of "disposable people" in "The Measure of a Man," it was perfectly natural for us to have a debate on slavery. The Classic episode "A Private Litte War" was intended to generate discussion about our country's policy in the Vietnam War. If Trek does an episode specifically about abortion, then yes, we should talk about the issue, but from a 24th-century perspective. The bitter political battles going on right now will be long over and done with by then, and humans will have reached some kind of consensus on whether abortion is acceptable or not. (I suspect, however, that technology will have made the question irrelevant, since a baby could be brought to term outside the mother's womb.)
  • Linda K. W has a question:
    Although I have loved Star Trek since 1973, I am a newcomer to fandom who has only recently discovered the existence of zines and publications such as INTERSTAT. As a newcomer, I would like to find out more about the history of the zines. How did they start? What were the very first ones?
  • Kimberley P addresses Jan M:
    Your letter struck me as somewhat bitter and I am sorry that you feel the way you do. However, INTERSTAT is not the place for a raging battle about abortion to take place. Teri was most gracious to print both sides of the abortion issue without any prejudice on her part, and I, for one, was quite relieved when it was over. The way it seemed to me was that people were using INTERSTAT to scream about an issue that probably will not be solved satisfactorily in this century for either side, and Star Trek was not even mentioned in several letters. It was starting to become a place of name calling and INTERSTAT ceased to be fun during those months. As far as I am concerned, I do not see where Star Trek has stopped addressing social issues of today. But why should INTERSTAT become so cerebral that we cannot have fun discussing whether or not Riker should shave his beard (personally, I love his beard) and must continually and always discuss how each episode applies to life today? Just because we enjoy discussing the episodes and the characters does not mean we have all stuck our heads in the sand and are letting the intensities of life pass us by. Sometimes we need an escape and Star Trek happens to be mine.
  • A.C. Crispin writes about her new TNG pro book, "The Eyes of the Beholders""
    EYES is scheduled to come out in September. I hope it will do well... that the fans who like my writing (not everyone, I know, I know!) will enjoy my first and only venture into TNG. It took a lot of research to write TNG, research I don't have to do with classic. I haven't seen the Next Generation episodes fifteen times each (at least!). But all that research seems to have paid off, since GR's office (that would be Richard Arnold, reviewing for Mr. Roddenberry, reporting to and consulting with him) came back and pronounced EYES a "fine novel" that "makes fine use of our established characters" and concluded that it was "an excellent, work." I still had changes to make, of course, and they were numerous, but most were minor enough to be made with a pen. My experience in doing this book was far different from Jean Lorrah's with METAMORPHOSIS, which is why I'm reporting on it, for those who may be interested in the Star Trek novels as well as celluloid Trek. (And no, Jean, I didn't turn it in via diskette, I couldn't — I'm still using my old dinosaur of a Morrow — CPM! Maybe that's a blessing ini disguise. It required some inventive wangling, but I was allowed to use not only an Andorian in the story (as one of the main characters), but also a Tellarito! AND, most important, I got to have a Vulcan character, namely Doctor Selar. To be honest, I don't think I could write a Trek book without a Vulcan in it. They're my all-time favorites. So here's hoping that EYES will be as well-received by fans as it was by the more active, extremely knowledgeable reviewers they now have at Paramount.
  • while most fans seem to have warmed to TNG, and in fact, have been downright enthusiastic about the show, Danni B is not:
    I cannot accept TNG as real ST "just because it calls itself ST." Week after week, we are served episodes which are, at best, lackluster and, at worst (which is often), pathetic. After watching the episode called "Sarek," I hope TNG will stay away from all references to Classic Trek! Mark Lenard is a wonderful actor and he did a good job with the material he was given...but you can't make a silk purse out of a Slime Devil's ear. What a sad spectacle this episode was. If they wanted to tackle the heart-wrenching topic of Alzheimer's, why did they have to use of one Trekdom's most loved characters? Perhaps it was easier to use an already-established and cherished character. In making this choice, they saved themselves the work of making us care for an original creation. How I wish they would have gone to the extra effort and left poor Sarek alone! Having cared for a much-loved relative suffering with Alzheimer's, I have first-hand experience with this disease that is known as "the long good-bye." With my background, an episode such as "Sarek" should have had a powerful emotional impact on me. However, as usual, TNG trivializes everything it touches. Instead of centering on the main issue, they chose to re-cast Amanda with this new wife. Needless. Pointless. It cheapened what Amanda and Sarek had. Having Sarek marry yet another Earth woman was manipulative and just plain didn't 'feel' right here. (Though fail writers have handled this same situation In a believable way.) Why have him marry a human woman so similar to Amanda? Was he trying to replace his dead wife?? Not a very healthy thing to do. Did he just have a thing for Earth women?? Grief, I hated this show.

Issue 150

Interstat 150 was published in 1990, no month noted, and contains 18 pages.

cover of issue #150, Mike Brown
photos of Harve Bennett taken by fans at many cons over the years, uncredited
  • there is an open letter to Harve Bennett, see An Open Letter to Harve Bennett... In Fandom's Defense
  • the vast majority of letters are reactions to Harve Bennett's Farewell Open Letter, see that page
  • Teri Meyer writes a letter about Harve Bennett:
    In the last issue of INTERSTAT, Harve Bennett closed his farewell letter to fandom with "Beam me out, Scotty." I speak for many when I express the hope that you've beamed him to a far better place and with the highest of honors. His was a ten-year command deserving of both. If you would, Mr. Scott, please send to the same coordinates my fondest wishes and following sentiments. Tell him how much he will be missed and how sorry many of us are to lose him at the helm. Give him our thanks for the strength and vitality he brought back to Star Trek and for making its big screen years successful. Thank him for the passion and excellence in his writings, for keeping on course the character interplay so deeply loved by fans. Mention, too, the regard held for his professionalism and sense of fair play at his public appearances. Appreciated always were the acknowledgements and high praise he gave his peers when speaking from a convention stage. Remind him as well that he treated his fans with equal respect and often brought sunshine to their lives through his generosity, warmth and innate sense of humor. Star Trek's most able commander narrowed the chasm between fandom and the studio through his multi-faceted communication skills and willingness to share his time and knowledge with fans. I don't think there's another producer who would have personally given as much of himself as he did, as he does even now in his final letter to INTERSTAT, where again gratitude and respect for Star Trek's following is expressed. It calls to mind an earlier Bennett tribute which acknowledged fandom's interest and vast knowledge of the vehicle: "What a privilege for a filmmaker to have an audience that pays attention."
  • Tim F writes:
    As usual, INTERSTAT #149 was another wonderful issue. [Charles T's] letter reminded me of past issues where people have complained about your not printing their LoCs. I guess there will always be people who think you're somehow obligated to print their comments just because they wrote them. I don't know how many letters you get every month—it must be dozens--but with a finite amount of space you certainly can't be expected to print all of them. Choosing the best comments is not censorship. You're the editor—you have a right to decide how to run your zine and what should be put into it, and your readers trust you to make the best judgments. Personally, I think you're doing a terrific job, and I look forward to every issue. INTERSTAT is your zine, Teri, and if some people don't like it they can just go out and start their own zine.
  • Jan M. M addresses Teri Meyer:
    Well,it's your bat and your ball so I suppose we play your game. So far as I know at this time it is the only game in town. I don't know of any other letterzines. And, to be fair, for a lot of years you have done an excellent job of running an interesting zine, not an easy task and one done for love of fandom. Will you be adding a coda to the front blurb about length to the effect that: The editor retains the right to edit and choose letters for content that she deems suitable? Since that is the policy of INTERSTAT, it will prevent misunderstandings. That policy does make my entire last letter rather a moot point. Regardless of the feelings or thoughts of some individual fans, you did say there were several letters on abortion you chose not to print - what we write will not see print in this zine unless your overall editorial policy allows it. While I can't pretend to agree with your choice, I can accept the fact that you have the power to make it. I am curious about the guidelines you will be using. Are there any other subjects that have had their run and are now taboo - or is abortion the only one? Are there any subjects that are totally taboo? Will you be notifying us when you decide that a subject is no longer suitable for discussion? Or will letters simply disappear into a black hole and never be seen again?
  • Alicia G asks:
    Did anyone reading go to the con in Cape Girardeau, Missouri last August and make audio tapes of Richard Arnold, Harve Bennett, and Marina Sirtis? I had never been to a con before when I went and didn't think to bring a tape recorder. I got the address of a fan who went and taped these people, but she has not responded to my letters in a year. So, if anyone still has their tapes and a tape to tape recorder, I would be infinitely grateful if you would allow me to send you some tapes for you to dub their talks onto. The correct address is at the top. I'll forward money for postage, too.
  • Pat K also needs some copying help:
    HELP: Is there anyone out there in INTERSTAT land that has ish 1-46 handy? If so, I'd love to be able to get copies (i.e. xeroxes) from you. I'll be quite happy to pay the copying and postage costs.
  • and finally, Teri Meyer announces that the next issue of Interstat would be last:
    My friends, I find I can no longer continue publishing INTERSTAT. The time restraints of family and a second job (to help send two of the above members to college) have made it impossible to continue a timely publishing schedule. Therefore, as of this announcement, new subscriptions will not be accepted. My plans call for the publication of one more issue. However, I know many of you have a lot to say about THE NEXT GENERATION'S new season, so I will publish a double issue (#151/152) to accommodate your letters, as well as those LoCs which did not see print in the current issue (#150). If the letter-writers of these LoCs wish to submit another, I will do my best to see that both are included. Please limit your letters to 2 pages—1 1/2 pages is preferable. Subscriptions which extend beyond #151/152 will be refunded alphabetically, and readers whose subs expire with #150 will be sent renewal slips for #151/152. I am sorry to have to say goodbye, but there is no alternative. I sincerely apologize for the lateness of #150, and I will make every effort to get INTERSTAT's final-double issue into your hands soon after the receipt of your letters. Let's make INTERSTAT's final voyage the best one yet. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. I will miss you all very much.

Issue 151/152

Interstat 151/152 was published in 1991, no month noted, (though believed to be March) and contains 34 pages.

cover of issue #151/152
from issue #151/152
from issue #151/152, art by Fran Dovener
from issue #151/152, art by Vel Jaeger
  • interior art by Vel Jaeger and Fran Dovener
  • Donna K writes:
    I was thrilled when I received your first issue of INTERSTAT in November of 1976. And I'm still proud and a little saddened to be here all these years later to receive your last issue. Yours is quite an achievement. Personally, I will always remember INTERSTAT fondly because my last two letters you printed were each rewarded by personal letters from Harve Bennett which I will always cherish.
  • Gennie S writes:
    You have gained a place in the history of STAR TREK fandom that will never be forgotten, and you deserve it richly. I will keep my INTERSTATs for a long time to come.
  • Jean Lorrah writes:
    Who will be taking over from you, Teri? Fandom needs the forum you've provided all these years. I hope someone will continue the tradition who has Paramount's respect, as you have. Thank you for all your hard work—you're going to be a tough act to follow.
  • Zaquia T writes:
    To you, Teri, and to the LoCers of INTERSTAT: for entertaining me, educating me, enthusing me and yes, at times enraging me, thanks... I think. Your comments were a constant reminder of what IDIC really means.
  • Sue B D writes:
    I was very disappointed to hear that you feel you can no longer continue publishing INTERSTAT. It was kind of like when you discover a brand of chicken noodle soup you especially like, and then the manufacturer stops making it.
  • Lynda C writes:
    INTERSTAT has given us a decade-plus of lively discussion, insights into fandom, the world of Trek, one another's lives and an occasional hair-pulling free-for-all. For all of those, I thank you. You've done a helluva job, and I know from our phone conversations, infrequent though they've been, that it was often done at a high personal price. I consider you a person of great energy, ability, and integrity. May you have the best of luck in all your future endeavors, and may you continue to find enjoyment in the world of Trek, regardless of who has the conn. Again — thank you so much for all you've done for fandom in general, and for the enjoyment your efforts have brought this fan in particular.
  • Melissa M writes:
    Season#4 [of TNG] is off to a great start. I was just thinking how much I wish we could have had a fourth season for the original Star Trek, and that they could have had as much money to spend on each episode as their successo has had. But then I reminded myself that though I prefer the original Star Trek, we're pretty lucky to have had 3 years of it, 5 movies, and now another series now starting its fourth year! May Star Trek continue to Live Long & Prosper!
  • Jan D writes:
    Ifeel I've lost something very dear - a lifeline to fandom. If any one reading this sees fit to carry on in Teri's place, keep all our names in mind. You'll have a built-in audience ready to subscribe.... The end of INTERSTAT and the possible end of another long-time fan group gives me the feeling that fandom is verging on collapse on the eve of the 25th anniversary. We ARE going to make this one helluva year and celebrate Classic Trek and support ST-VI, aren't we?
  • Kathy H writes:
    Boy, this week has really been a roller coaster ride. On Monday, I received the latest Datazine in the mail and was delighted to find a letter from Sandy Zier with news that she may publish another Mind Meld zine. Terrific! Followed on Tuesday by INTERSTAT with the stunning news of its end. You could have knocked me down with a feather. The ironic part is we will lose this fen comm line just as our 25th anniversary looms on the horizon. Deep sigh ... Well, thanks are certainly in order. I have enjoyed receiving INTERSTAT and, like many others, drop just about everything to at least scan it upon arrivinghome. You and INTERSTAT will be sorely missed.
  • Mark M writes of TNG:
    My contribution to the last issue will be quite short: The only television I watch is the hour-long episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It's the only show on TV that doesn't insult my mind or leave me feeling that my time has been wasted. Some letter-writers have been downright cruel in their comments. I truly feel sorry for those of you who don't care for the show. The show is not without its faults, but, since the middle of its second year, it has given me many hours of viewing enjoyment. To paraphrase [Bill H], it feels like Star Trek. That's always been good enough for me.
  • Jean Lorrah writes:
    Paramount will of course want to do another STAR TREK tv series in the future. Let me suggest that that is where the Starfleet Academy idea belongs, not in a film. I understand why it was first thought of as a film, because confined to Earth at the Academy the stories just wouldn't have the scope to sustain 75-100 tv episodes. However, it won't play as a film—we need more time to get to know new characters, and fans won't stand for recasting old ones. So, here is my suggestion for the next STAR TREK television series, with an all new cast: set it aboard a Starfleet Academy training ship. The senior officers are the continuing characters, with each season or even every few weeks a new crew of cadets. Even on training cruises the crew could meet up with new life forms and new civilizations, with problems often precipitated by inexperienced cadets trying to deal with the unknown. Put some new alien species aboard, people who have just joined the Federation and have unexpected problems and talents to spice things up. The training setting is also an excellent excuse for guest appearances by people from TNG, who come aboard to teach a particular lesson and get caught up in an adventure. [2]
  • A.C. Crispin writes:
    I wonder whether anyone will want to take up the mantle and publish a successor zine, using your mailing list? I certainly don't have the time (or, to be honest, the inclination), but maybe one of your other readers does. If so, I'd be interested in subscribing. Over the years, INTERSTAT, more than any other source — conventions, Paramount, Pocket Books, even the writers' grapevine — has kept me in touch with Trek fans and what they're thinking and feeling. Your zine has helped me tremendously when I helps me focus attention on the elements that Star Trek fans like best in both the original and the new series. I'll miss INTERSTAT. We all will.
  • Ruth S addresses Debbie B:
    No one is asking you to feel guilty for not liking STAR TREK V. But a little guilt might be in order for dropping your support of STAR TREK, in lieu of a track record of series and films spanning nearly 25 years, based upon one film. Had most fans been so fickle, we'd have all quit watching back in '69 with the airing of "Spock's Brain." Hey, I watched ST:TNG for nearly the full first two seasons until I couldn't take it anymore and could no longer justify wasting my time on it.
  • Eunice R writes:
    Something puzzles me. People keep saying, "I didn't like STV till I'd seen it x-number of times." If it's good, why the apparent need to become conditioned by repeated viewings? Was some basic response created at first—a gut feeling, as it were—that said, "Something's not right," and it had to be dulled by repetition? Personally, my own favorite stories and characters, on the screen or in print, are those I liked from the start. There was no need to train myself to like them through repetition, like a wild animal being trained to jump through a flaming hoop. Why must people seemingly need to get used to STV before liking it?... As for poor promotion: the best advertising is a satisfied customer. STV's advent was certainly no secret. If enough people thought it good, word of mouth would have sold it, hands down. Perhaps the boss was smart enough to recognize a lame duck when he saw one, and realized no amount of advertising would sell it if customer reaction was poor. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
  • Amelia H writes of "changing the channel":
    Finally, a general comment: there are occasionally discussions in INTERSTAT that I, too, find uninteresting. The "Kristen Brady" letter controversy, for instance, seemed to go on forever. I recognize that my interests may not always be those of others—some people obviously care, or they wouldn't be writing!—so instead of asking Teri to stop debate on a subject, I just skip over those letters that deal with it. In the letter that wasn't published, I began with a sentence warning people tired of the abortion issue that this was one they shouldn't read. Is it so hard to just go onto the next letter? I think that a diverse community of views and interests is better served by allowing readers to select from a broad array of Star Trek-related topics than by limiting discussion to only certain ones. Are we to be like the television viewers who, seemingly unable to switch channels or to turn off the set, demand that a network broadcast only those shows that appeal to them?
  • Eunice R writes of the movie that wasn't:
    In I#149: Harve indicates his "work of art" is kaput, and bewails the irreparable loss. Lo and behold, Teri, in 1#150 you tell us it's "said to be still in a holding pattern"! Who's right—you or Harve? If you're right then what? Is his departure for real, or is he just playing 'possum as reverse psychology, hoping we infidels who got tired of "10 years of broken promises" will repent and be "saved" by his second coming? I suspect we haven't seen the last of Harve and his script, and his supporters' mourning is premature. [Editor's response: "Holding pattern" - "Shelved" - "On file" - Take your pick, Eunice- For a period of time that is the status of most scripts pulled before production, particularly inhouse scripts like THE FIRST ADVENTURE. I repeat: It's unlikely Paramount Pictures will release the story for publication. As for your impertinent remarks about Harve Bennett, his supporters (as well as his non-supporters) know better, even if you choose not to.] Oh, yes—there was still another negative reinforcement: In his letter, his description of the Academy story was quite opposite to his previous public statement, in which he said it was written specifically to eliminate the need for Shatner and crew! His seeming reverse claimin I#149appears to be on a par with his previous multiple and often contradictory excuses for the abrupt changes in the so-called "Spock trilogy," and the dropping of Robin Curtis. Yet he wonders why so many of us stopped trusting him!?
  • Jan D writes of the movie that wasn't:
    Regarding Harve's Academy movie. I think the rumor of the 'Police Academy' spoof was not the issue. We just don't want others in those roles. The actors endowed the characters with some of their own personalities and made the characters their own. They did such a good job that the characters and STAR TREK stayed alive and strong for 24 years. Count how many times you hear it mentioned one way or another in everyday life and on television to see what a part of our culture it is. So let's not fool around with those characters. We know how Kirk, Spock, Bones, etc.. looked as young men, and we were not prepared to accept have a bunch of vacuous young actors in the roles of Kirk and company. That Academy movie would have been the end of Classic Trek as we know it. And chat viewpoint is the one I heard from almost every fan I know. I'm just sorry that Harve didn't 'test the water' first and ask the feeling of fandom in general on this subject. Fans have strong views and seldom hesitate to express them. I have no objection to an academy movie done with young actors in different roles. If they have good stories, then different characters will work.
  • Pat M writes:
    Regarding the Harve Bennett flap, I was frankly at a loss as to why people were upset when he left. As [Ruth S] mentioned, killing Spock and blowing up the Enterprise did not exactly engender undying gratitude in this fan! The proposed Academy storyline was absolutely the most appalling thing I could have imagined for a ST movie plot. And as someone mentioned last issue, we couldn't have won either way. If it was a hit there would never be another one with the original cast and if a flop no further movies, period. We have to remember we are still dealing with the studio that still has no respect for the fans. The thought of what that movie would have been like makes me shudder. The only good thing would have been that it would have made the unfortunate #5 look good in comparison!
  • Joan V writes:
    [Interstat's] 13-year span and 153 issues, recording Star Trek and fan history, are unsurpassed by any Star Trek news letter that I know of. As with newsletters (popular in their time) such as A PIECE OF THE ACTION, it carried letters and information from the Star Trek production staff; as with HALKAN COUNCIL, it printed letters from fans. INTERSTAT combined both news and letters, making it a doubly valuable fan resource. Other fans claimed they could do better than INTERSTAT, but they put out, at most, a handful of issues before folding. This more than anything showed that INTERSTAT's supporters far outnumbered its critics. INTERSTAT set a high standard; any newsletter competing with it was found wanting. When it is no longer in print, it will remain a fond memory for many fans.
  • Rhea B writes:
    Dear Teri: Thank you for giving us 150 issues of the quality and constant letterzine INTERSTAT. I'm sorry to have it end. In spite of all the trials and tribulations of doing a regular Star Trek fan letterzine, you've held fast to your principles and have put out a credible, classic publication. We've had -.thirteen years of a zine which included space program news, science fiction book lists (by authors whose names we recognize), Dixie's wonderful columns about Star Trek alumni and their activities (I know of the hours Dixie spent combing various publications), other related and interesting columns, and special letters to the fans from special producer-writer Bennett, a gentleman who values fans and the integrity of his work. And of course there were all the interesting letters from subscribers. INTERSTAT heightened my enjoyment of the phenomenon that is Star Trek, both the television classic series and the movies. INTERSTAT gave mc the opportunity to learn what other fans were thinking, and to discuss or argue those thoughts. Some discussions were carried on through letters in INTERSTAT and some continued in personal correspondence, by telephone, or in person. (Sometimes we even determined the personality and character of the correspondent by way of his/her comments and tone.) Some of us became long-distance friends and had the fun of meetings at conventions or homes.
  • the editor signs off:
    It was a joy to see a dream become reality, to provide a monthly forum of news and comment for Star Trek's unique following. INTERSTAT evolved into a 13-year history of the range and direction of Star Trek fandom, a chronology of the views and opinions of the finest letter-writers In any media fandom. Because of the talent and diversity of these letter-writers, I was always assured of the continuation of this publication. No editor could be more grateful. There are many people to whom I would like to extend my deepest thanks, particularly the staff of INTERSTAT. Their time and efforts often made the difficult task of meeting monthly deadlines seem easy... [long list of detailed thanks snipped].... It was the best of times, sometimes the worst. But what a privilege for an editor to have had a readership and staff whose unswerving support nurtured and sustained her every effort. No journey was too great, no adventure more beloved. Beam me out, too, Scotty.


  1. Many fans didn't want mail sent to their house either and choose to use a P.O. Box instead.
  2. Jean also makes some detailed suggestions regarding a possible TNG episode and says: "Paramount, are you listening? If you do this episode I want "From an idea by Jean Lorrah" credit."