Likely Impossibilities

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Title: Likely Impossibilities
Publisher: "a Lifestar Production"
Editor(s): Shirley Herndon
Date(s): 1985-1987
Medium: print zine
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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Likely Impossibilities is a gen Star Trek: TOS anthology. These zines are unusual as they include a short descriptive paragraph about each author at the back of the issue, plus an artist's portrait of the author.

The zine's title comes from the Aristotle quote: "A likely impossibility is always preferable to an unconvincing possibility."

This is a sister zine to Lifestar.

Issue 1

cover of issue #1, Tom Howard

Likely Impossibilities 1 was published in October 1985 and contains 138 pages. The art is by Tom Howard, Ellisa M. Schob, Betsy Fisher, and Sue Hudson.

  • The Lady in the Corridor by B.J. Mikita (1) (Find out who the lady in the corridor is besides the beautiful red-head who makes daisy chains for Kirk in the Earth garden.)
  • Captain Uhura and the Flying Dutchman of Space by Thomas F. Howard (11) (Uhura leads a mission to rescue a Federation vessel from hyperspace.)
  • Knight Errant by Betsy Fisher (69)
  • Blind Man's Bluff by Betsy Fisher (75)
  • A Few Loose Ends by Sue Hudson (83) (There are a few loose ends at the end of ST:III.)
  • Show Me the Way Home by Susan K. McLeod (127)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

LIKELY IMPOSSIBILITIES is a good-looking all-Trek fanzine with a couple of good stories in it. "The Lady in the Corridor," by B.J. Mikita is abput a mysterious — but somehow familiar — woman aboard the Enterprise. It's a bit confusing at the beginning, but turns out well. "Captain Uhura and the Flying Dutchman of Space," written and illustrated by Thomas F. Howard, is the longest, and in my opinion, best story in the fanzine. It is a post-ST III story in which Uhura gets command of a mid-sized ship outfitted with transwarp drive. "Mr. Adventure" and Christine Chapel are part of the crew; the others under her command are new and interesting characters. The plot concerns a Romulan intrusion of Federation space which seems to coincide with appearances of the USS Potemkin, which, in turn, seems to slip in and out on interphase. Uhura and her crew are sent to investigate. The plot moves along well; there are interesting aliens and an interesting alien culture featured. The illustrations add to the visualization of the story. The other stories I found less exciting. "Knight Errant" and "Blind Man's Bluff," by Betsey Fisher, are really one story in two parts. Spock is going blind. The first part tells the tale from Kirk's point of view; the second, from Spock's. I found the emotional aspects of the story heavy-handed. "A Few Loose Ends," by Sue Hudson, I found confusing. The major part of the story deals with the Enterprise landing party's exploration of a large space station. However, near the end, there is a switch to the events of the "Enterprise Incident" episode, then another switch to Vulcan, which I didn't follow. Further, in the latter half of the story, there are about four major conversations among disembodied voices going on simultaneously in three columns. This was a bit too much for me; perhaps other readers might find it an interesting challenge. The last story of the fanzine is "Show Me the Way Home," by Susan K. McLeod. Here, in an improbable sequence of events, Spock goes back in time to contemporary New York City via the Guardian and loses his memory after being hit on the head by muggers. Kirk, who has sent Spock on the mission without a communicator or transponder, has a short period of time to find Spock before the Guradian pulls him back. So he goes after Spock with a landing party, including Christine. Kirk and the others fail to find Spock before the deadline and the Guardian pulls them back. Chiristine finds Spock but is stranded with him. This improbable sequence of events has equally improbable dialogue, such as: "Spock! I have found you after all. But now it's too late. Too late!" and "This mishap is hardly a tragedy for either of us! I finally have what I have longed for all these years." In short, I think the first two stories have enough strength to make the fanzine worth reading. The latter stories I leave up to the individual fan's taste. [1]
LIKELY IMPOSSIBILITIES 1 starts out with a charming short story by B. J. Mikita titled The Lady in the Corridor," in which a mysterious woman appears aboard the ENTERPRISE. The longest story in the issue is Tom Howard's "Captain Uhura and the Plying Dutchman of Space," which I thought was also the best story. The title is a nearly complete plot summary in itself. It is set after STAR TREK. In it, Uhura gets command of a mid-sized ship. "Mr. Adventure" and Christine Chapel are among the crew. Their mission is to investigate puzzling sightings of the U.S.S. POTEMKIN, and in so doing they come across a very interesting alien culture. I can't recall seeing a Captain Uhura story since Winston Howlett's last publication, several years back now. It's about time that we saw her in command again, I think. "A Few Loose Ends" by Sue Hudson features not only one, but three disembodied voices talking at once (in three columns down the page). I had found the story confusing enough up to this point; then, the author lost me. Perhaps some intrepid fans might be interested in unraveling this tale. "Show Me the Way Home" by Susan K. McLeod leaves Christine stranded with Spock in 20th century New York City (conveniently) through a set of circumstances I found hard to believe. Equally hard for me to believe was some of the dialogue. Two samples: 'I'm sorry, Captain,' she thought remorsefully, 'but I must find him. Not just for you, but for myself as well,' and 'Spock! I have found you after all. But now It's too late. Too late!' My recommendation is to read and enjoy the first two stories. They are quite worthwhile. [2]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2, Tom Howard

Likely Impossibilities 2 was published in June 1986 and contains 228 pages. The art is by Tom Howard, Chris Myers, Bev Chick and Betsy Fisher.

  • Requiem by Shirley Herndon (1)
  • Time Shot by B.J. Mikita (3) (The Enterprise makes an unplanned trip into the future and ha a fascinating rescue.)
  • Aurora Ascending by Tom Howard (13) (Captain Uhura of the Marco Polo saves the playboy of the Federation.)
  • In the Darkest Reaches of the Night, poem by Gloria DeLeon (46)
  • So Pleasing a Thing by Sue Wilson (48) (nominated for a Fan Q, details Spock's marriage to a shy Vulcan woman, sequel is in the next issue)
  • The USS Wood Shavings by Debbie Gilbert (72)
  • Amanda's Lament by Nancy Gervais (73)
  • Mother Earth by Matt Billie (75)
  • A Slightly Different View by Betsy Fisher (87) (Spock wounded, Kirk blinded. Where will donor eyes come from?)
  • Introspect by Betsy Fisher (156)
  • Seleya by Gloria DeLeon (157)
  • That's Entertainment by Debbie Gilbert (156)
  • Valkris by Debbie Gilbert (159)
  • The Decoy by June Claudette Tisdale (161)
  • Reunion by Nancy E. Bagnasco (182) (Joanna McCoy and her Vulcan associate spring some surprises on her father.)
  • Droxine by Nancy Gervais (208)
  • Closure by Debbie Gilbert (210)
  • Love's Last Chance by Su McLeod (211)
  • A Father's Day by Sue Wilson (223)
  • biographies of the authors by Tom Howard (226)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

Likely Impossibilities II is a good buy— and I'm not just saying it because I have a story in it, though I'm not averse to free publicity! Tom Howard's "Aurora Ascending" is a well-written sequel to the "Captain Uhura" story in LI #1, and I especially liked Sue Wilson's "So Pleasing a Thing," which is probably the second-best "lay-Spock" story I've ever read. (You can tell what my tastes in fan literature are!) And my story "Reunion" is near the back of the zine in case anybody wants to read that too. [3]
What we have here is simply a fine fanzine. It would be hard to improve this nice piece of work. LI2 has something in it for everyone. action/adventure it's got, hurt/comfort it's got, Pon Farr it's got, Joanna McCoy it's got, poetry it's got, great art it's got, nice cover it's got, the list goes on and one. Now that I've buttered the bread, let's attack it with a fine toothed comb. First of all, I dislike the Pon Farr story, 'So Pleasant A Thing'. Now, Pon Farr lovers on the other hand will not be able to turn the pages quickly enough. It's just that I don't care for it's style of writing. It's the 'ol' drool over each other' routine. The one thing that saves the story in my opinion is the art within the story. It's very good. The only other story that I didn't care for out of the huge 230 page book, was, 'Love's Last Chance', by Sue Mcleod, who I don't really care for, but it's the story I'm talking about, and not the writer. The story is well written, I'll give her that, it's just another get Christine into bed with our favorite Vulcan. As I said before it was well written, although, I doubt if she did it without LI2's wonderful editor, Shirley Herndon, to help trim the edges. If I am incorrect, that I am sorry. Now the two stories I've sapped aren't bad, I just don't really care for those type of stories. Now back to more of the good stuff! LI2 features another one of Tom Howard's well written Uhura stories. This time the Marco Polo must team up with some wonderfully crafted characters from the troubled cruiser, Golden, Regina. The story, 'Aurora Ascending', is a very nice follow up to his first Marco Polo adventure which appeared in LI1 last year. The art to this neat adventure is even better than the nice shots seen in 'Captain Uhura and the Flying Dutchman of Space'. I very much enjoyed the shot of Uhura at the beginning of the story. Also needing to get words in are, 'Time Shot', 'Mother Earth', 'The Decoy', which are all well written action/adventure stories. There is one story I like by Betsy Fisher which was a nice tale which seemed to get better the further it went. In poetry we have some real joys like, 'In The Darkest Reaches of the Night' (This one is a jewel!), and "Droxine". There are several more fine works as well. The art is very nice, however, there should be a little more variety. Don't get me wrong, Tom is a fine writer and artist, he will soon be quite famous among fandom, if he isn't already. There can hardly be any end to variety in a zine, most of the time the more the better. The book is a flat $13 bucks, perhaps a bit more for first class service, while this may seem a little high, it isn't. The book is a steal! In fact there should be a law preventing us from taking advantage of such a fine offer. Certainly there are very few items which could be improved upon, but as Spock has stated in STII, 'Nobody is perfect'. With each zine Ms. Herndon puts together things get even better! With such a friendly and creative person behind the helm, this and its companion series, 'Lifestar', in which she has some wonderful things of her own in, is going to go someplace big. One way Ms. Herndon has come about to thanking her contributor is giving them there own section of the book. What I mean is, there is nice little paragraph for the contributor to tell everyone a little something about themselves. Also, Tom charges his pen and sketches a picture of you in full uniform and places it right next to your paragraph. It's simply a nice way of saying thank you. Bottom line is you'd better hurry, because LI 2 won't stay in stock for long. After devouring this zine check out her others, 'Lifestar I & II" and LI1, also Lifestar #3 is just around the bend. Just as good as the stories, by the way, is the printing and binding. This is a book that will be around for a long time, so when you read for six thousandth time in 2017, it will still be in good shape. BOTTOM LINE: Buy it, there is something for everyone. [4]
I found a gem of a story in LIKELY IMPOSSIBILITIES II. It is "So Pleasing a Thing" by Sue Wilson. I am considering nominating this one in the best writer category [for a Fan Q]. At first, this just looks like another "Spock in pon farr" story, as well as another "Spock meets—and mates with— a Vulcan/human hybrid" story. But it is not. Its approach is fresh, witty, and credible. It overcame the expectation I had in the first few pages that I would not enjoy the story at all, and went on to entertain me thoroughly. Highly recommended.

LIKELY IMPOSSIBILITIES II has some other notable stories. Matt Billie's "Mother Earth" has the ENTERPRISE crew investigate some strange disappearances and has an interesting twist. "Aurora Ascending" is another "Captain Uhura" story by Tom Howard which ultimately revolves around a living legend. The author does a particularly good Job capturing a woman's reaction to a male nuisance. Two stories in this volume might be skipped. One is "The Decoy" by June Tisdale, a "Destiny Hoffman" story which precedes "Echoes of Madness." Although slightly better than the latter story, "The Decoy" still suffers from the fact that no one seems to be able to do a thing without good old Destiny Hoffman telling everyone what to do next. The other is "A Slightly Different View" by Betsy Fisher, who blinded Spock in LIKELY IMPOSSIBILITIES I. Here, she has Kirk go blind. The characters spend pages upon pages wringing their hands over poor old Kirk who is in sick bay. (Kirk and Spock are also full of self-pity.) Most irritating of all, the author refers to Uhura as "Penny!"

LIKELY IMPOSSIBILITIES II also has short descriptions of each of the contributors in the back, which is definitely a nice touch. [5]

Issue 3

cover of issue #3, Sue Hudson

Likely Impossibilities 3 was published in August 1987 and contains 214 pages. Art is by Sue Hudson, Tom Howard, Rich Dahm, Marie Williams, Fiona Graves and Mary Stacy-MacDonald.

  • Promises by Cheryl Hendry-Storm (1)
  • Beware of Fairy Godmothers Bearing Contracts by Kathleen Walks in Rain (18)
  • Florence Who? by Matthew A. and Deborah A. Bille (20)
  • After-Effects by Sandra Hall (27)
  • A Time of Passing by Bill Hupe (29)
  • poem by Gloria DeLeon (33)
  • Journey, too by Sue Hudson (34)
  • The Night Before Battle by Libby Smith (42)
  • Broken Traditions by Sue Wilson (44) (a sequel to "So Pleasing a Thing")
  • Mirror, Mirror by Betsy Fisher (118)
  • Apprehension by David Marks (120)
  • Captain Uhura and the Separated Man by Tom Howard (123)
  • Out in Space Atain by Sandra Fouts (145)
  • War, Waste, and Wonder by Patsy Curnow (146)
  • Tea-Plot by Sue Hudson (154)
  • Salt in the Would by Sandra Hall (162)
  • Starborn-Starbred by Betsy Fisher (165)
  • You Had to Be There by Gail Schultz (166)
  • poem by John Hall (181)
  • When Dreams Come True by Ann Zewen (182) (her first zine fic)
  • A Letter to My Brother by Kathleen Walks in Rain (206)
  • Rainer Beer and Bugs by Ed A. Taylor (208)
  • An Essay by Tom Howard (214)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

Highlights include: "Promises" by Cheryl Hendry-Storm. It is primarily set on Hellguard, but Saavik is a minor character. The main character is a Romulan/Vulcan woman who is concerned with the survival of the younger ones when the Romulans abandon the base. The story is well-written and held my interest despite the fact that I disagree with the premise.

"Broken Traditions" by Sue Wilson, is the longest story, and the highlight of the issue, in my opinion. As with its predecessor, "So Pleasing a Thing," I think this is material worthy of an awards nomination. The basic plot concerns Spock and his new wife. At first, the story problem is her failure to conceive and how this disappointment affects their marriage; later, it is how Spock's resignation from Starfleet affects their marriage. I found the characterization good, the style easily readable. It is a fine example of story craftsmanship. What points I disagreed with were these: I thought the phrase "scamper nimbly" was unsuitable to describe Spock's wife, and, it should not be surprising that I disagree with the author's premise that Vulcan culture expects a wife to walk several paces behind her husband. Other than these, it is a good story.

"Captain Uhura and the Separated Man" by Tom Howard is a highly entertaining story with interesting complications. As usual, there are good writing, inventive characters, and good plotting. The story concerns an ambassador who asks Uhura to take him to a rendezvous point. He apparently has Starfleet permission to make this request. After this, strange things begin happening. The story's greatest weakness is an almost too-easy solution to a complicated situation, but other than this, it reads well. [6]


  1. from Universal Translator #31
  2. from Treklink #5
  3. from Treklink #6
  4. from Datazine #43
  5. from Treklink #6
  6. from Treklink #10