More Tales of Feldman

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Zine
Title: More Tales of Feldman: A Novel in Eight Days
Publisher:
Editor:
Author(s): Mindy Glazer
Cover Artist(s):
Illustrator(s): Mel White and Nan Lewis
Date(s): 1983
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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Moretales.jpg

More Tales of Feldman has the subtitle, "A Novel in Eight Days." It is a het Star Trek TOS novel by Mindy Glazer. The illos are by Mel White (most) and Nan Lewis (one illo).

It ran 162 pages, but was probably actually a longer story, since it was reduced offset. It's also quite funny, and was quite well received, despite the fact that little of the action happens on the big E. In it, Feldman tricks Spock into getting a bris. He comes back looking green. Heh.

Series

  • Tales of Feldman (1980)
  • More Tales of Feldman, a Novel in Eight Days (1983)
  • "Controlled Damage," a story in Two-Dimensional Thinking (1985) (Mindy wrote in Interstat #27 that she had completed the first part of what was to be the third novel in the series. It is unknown if this is the story "Controlled Damage" or something that was never published.)

Blurbs from the Author

This zine, and its sequel, have to be the most blurbed-about zine in fandom.

  • "Who is Brother Irma Derma? Who cares. SASE." [1]
  • "Why did Amanda Grayson's brother marry an android? Does it run in the family? Who is Aunt Roseanne? Have you eaten any of her tomato sauce? Please do not SASE unless you have read ToF; I won't send you a flyer." [2]
  • "'More Tales of Feldman' in which Spock is forced into befriending a cockroach and six-foot, stuffed carrot with delusions of grandeur. SASE only if you've read Tales of Feldman." [3]
  • "'More Tales of Feldman' follows in the footsteps of its predecessor in shaping up to be too weird to see print. But Mindy's arm has been delicately twisted, and so at this point, 'More Tales of Feldman' may be accompanied by 'Far More Tales of Feldman Than Any Normal Person Would Want to Read' (a set of inserts that will make an otherwise merely odd story totally perverse). Watch this space for details. (For details, this idea isn't likely to last until the next issue.) Long-awaited flyer should be ready real soon now. SASE only if you've read Tales of Feldman (I know who you are.)." [4]
  • "By the time you read this, this zine may actually be finished. The sequel to the classic tale of love and betrayal amid cheap jokes, 'More Tales of Feldman' finally avoids the easy answers."[5]

Summary

"Spock locates his runaway bride - and preschool daughter - on Earth. Fiona has a religious marriage ceremony in mind this time, and another set of hilarious complications result." [6]

Gallery

The Series' Origins

In January 1980, Mindy wrote of alternative universes, authorial self-indulgement, difficulties in series, her views on the birth of this zine, and the third volume that, in the end, was never published:
On alternate universes: I feel two conflicting points of view: the reader and the writer. As a reader I prefer mainline trek, and have learned (through much expense and more confusion) which universes I'm not interested in. I prefer a fanzine to be all trek, full of characters I know and situations which do not require massive appendices and/or glossaries to be understood. But as a writer the question becomes sticky, because I know how easily one can become intrigued with the products of her own mind, and just not want to stop churning out the wonderful world she has created. The greatest thing about fanzines is that anyone can be published, if not by someone else then by her own hand. But I think there's also a question of responsibility, on the part of the writer and the publisher to know when to stop. This is not easy, and well I know it. My first trek novel turned into a trilogy. I have plotted all of the second novel and written much of it. I have also written the first third of the last book. And I have put them away. Although there are two stories there yet to be told. I am not entirely certain of all the reasons they should exist. And maybe the best reason they should not is that it is necessary to have read the first book to understand the background of the second; and it is absolutely necessary to have read the second book to understand the motivations of the third. Judging from my own early experience with zines—coming in on the middle of too much too soon. I don't think that this is a format zines are conducive toward. There are also characters and situations far beyond the norm of mainline treklit. Where these can be interwoven with the more general trek line in short stories and vignettes, they are fine. Where they turn into tales unto themselves it becomes caveat emptor. While toying with the idea of publishing a most bizarre saga I seem to have written along the way, I wondered about warnings on fanzines. We're all used to "Adult." It so runs the gamut that it doesn't say enough. Maybe we should be more inventive here, and let the reader know what she/he's getting. For my own saga I knew that "Adult" wasn't enough, and therefore added, "TACKY!!! COMPLETELY OFFENSIVE TO MOST!!! BEWARE, NEW YORK JEWISH HUMOR AT WORK!!! YOU'RE GONNA BE SORRY! (And if anyone doesn't know that 10 exclamation points in a row are a sure sign of trouble then they deserve it.) I had been vacillating between publishing my epic and chortling over it in the privacy of my own home when I came to another solution: not everything has to be published. This seems completely obvious, as it was to me when I first began writing and knew my novel probably would never even be finished, let alone published. But it never occurred to me to be a question of my own choice. At this point I have decided to type to draft my weird opus and make a lending library of it (small library). Because I know that there are a handful of people in fandom who would laugh until they cry over it. And I know that if I got someone to do a flashy cover for it I could probably sell a lot of them at conventions. And I know that I would rather have a handful of people laugh until they cried than have anyone look at the zine, grimace, and whine, "I paid money, for this? There is a question of knowing your audience, its extent and its limits. And there is a question of respect, and honesty, in dealing with that audience. Although it's fun to see your name following the word "by" on a printed page, and although it's cheaper to be handed a contributor's copy than to buy a zine, I seem to have decided that it's better to know your work will be understood, and appreciated, by those who read it. [8]

Reactions and Reviews

More Tales of Feldman is as funny as the first book, but the author has matured in her craft and manages to bring surprising depth to the tragi-comic tale of the brilliant inanist who never really understood how Star Fleet worked. This Spock and this version of Vulcan are even further from Gene Roddenberry's than those in the first volume, but if you can get past that fact this story works very well. [9]
Yes, folks, at last, after years of anxious waiting, the sequel to the much loved and maligned Tales of Feldman is finally available. Let me tell you, 'More Tales of Feldman' was not only worth the wait, it disproves the old saw about sequels being necessarily inferior. MTOF is everything its predecessor was, and more. Not to spoil the fun of the discovrey, MTOF is about what happens after Ensign Fiona Feldman and her infant take off for the great unknown to escape the horrors in Sarek's home. The sequel focuses heavily on the interaction between Feldman and Spock, once the latter finds her their now four-year old daughter. There are some classic moments in this one -- Spock toting a giant toy carrot through the streets of 23rd century New York City; the Moyel telling amputation jokes during Spock's bris; Sarek dancing with a rose between his teeth. When MTOF is funny, it is every bit as funny as the screamingly hilarious TOF. But MTOF is more than just a rehash of crazy comic episodes. It is also Mindy Glazer at her best as a creator of multi-dimensional personalities with real psychological problems... Fiona does, miracle of miracle, turn into an adult, and with moving credibility. And as she does so, Spock goes from being Attila the Hun with pointy ears to becoming a real, confused person torn between desire and tradition, and finally coming to terms with both. In the process, we become intimately familiar with both characters, and with the more fundamental motivations inherent in human, and Vulcan, nature. Best yet is T'Yenta, the remarkable product of the bizarre union of her apparently incompatible parents. 'Gram,' as Fiona calls her, is a delight, her precocity is a endless source of humor as well as a means to the development of the adult characters around her. Who can refuse to like a child who eats only orange food? A word of warning to lovers of Kirk and the Enterprise: very little action takes place aboard the Big E, and we don't get to see much or her crew, even Fiona's loyal partner in crime, Nora Gilbert. The author's emphasis here is on a more focussed dramatic conflict, and that means no disastrous landing parties or court maritals, thought the stag party is something in the way of compensation. MTOF is not adventure Star Trek, so don't expect derring do and the the Three Musketeers together on the bridge at the end of the novel. What MTOF is, to the nines, is a top flight dramatic fiction as engrossing as anything in the archives of fan fiction. It is as well-conceived and executed as most of the novels you'll find on the bookshelves under the aegis of Random House or Doubleday. [10]
MTOF picks up slightly before TOF ends, then moves rapidly through a three-year period wherein T'Yenta gets bigger, Gilbert (Feldman's best friend) gets tapes from assorted portions of the galaxy, Feldman and child drag around in poverty due to Feldman's fear of death-by-firing squad (she never did get around to reading the Fleet manual), and Spock engages in strenuous sports. The meat of the story, the "novel in eight days," happens when Spock finally begins to confront some of his marital problems. The eight days that follow are packed with connivance, romance, and terror. Spock begins in a position of supremacy, earning for himself the apt title Attilla the Hun, and the Fiona/Spock relationship becomes a power struggle that the Vulcan is very sure of winning. However, Fiona, backed into a corner and changed by three years of fending for herself and her child, comes out fighting. Not kicking, biting, and whining; it is a more adult fight wherein she has enough security and confidence in herself to know that "they" can't win unless she lets them. At stake are her child, herself, and her marriage. She ends up fighting for Spock, too, making an effort to show him that what he says he really wants is not what he really wants. Glazer builds a good, realistic relationship, and the reader roots for togetherness and the communication and understanding that will lead to it. T'Yenta is adorable (as Spock notes, she whines just like her mother), and watching Spock learning to relate to her is not only funny but warm. Even if Spock doesn't know he has feelings, the reader knows. In addition to the Feldman-Spock-T'Yenta relationships, Glazer gives us a cultural confrontation which not only provides one of the major conflicts in the story but is intrinsically interesting for the ideas about culture that it puts forth. Sarek and Amanda arrive on the scene, bringing Vulcan and all its thousands of years of cultural superiority with them. Sarek ("the Rock") is there to make sure Spock does all the things he is Vulcanly supposed to do with regard to his wife and child. Which means Vulcan-ize them. This produces some tense scenes wherein it seems as if it's Fiona Feldman vs. the Entire-Right-and-Might-of-Vulcan, and it certainly is a tribute to Glazer's skill that she can glide so naturally from scenes of the amusing to scenes of the serious. As Feldman describes it, culture is an artifact, a creation of beings who agree to terms with which they can live in relative stability (excepting, of course, inane cultures, where anything is possible/probable). Cultures reflect the needs of its members and no culture is in and of itself inherently superior. Different cultures are neither better nor worse; they are merely different. And once one realizes this, one realizes that one has choice. Can Feldman get Spock to realize this? And what will his choices be? Will he be able to recognize and deal with a set of needs vastly different from his own? Can and will the twain here meet? You will have to real MTOF to find out. Suffice it to say that you won't be disappointed, and finding out will be very entertaining. MORE TALES OF FELDMAN is a delightful noveL You've got your laughs, you've got your romance, you've got your drama. And you have Little Israel for the Blind, Bernie Popplenick, Mr. Carrot, a horny Vulcan (and Fiona's clever, if frenetic, way of dealing with same), the wisdom of Thelma Greenglass, Rabbi "Hey, kids!" Pucelbaum, a Feldmanized Vulcan welcoming ceremony, Big Bertha and the entire Feldman clan, Spoek's bris, a bachelor party from the likes of which bribery is made, and a good ending - all of which I highly recommend. Glazer has certainly matured as a writer, and her skill as a humorist blends nicely with the depth and seriousness she had added to MTOF. She gives us a good, solid piece of writing, excellent by fannish standards, and definitely pro-quality. There is solid characterization; a logical, nicely flowing story line; dramatic impact; a climax worthy of the name, and a denouement (if a Feldman Family Circus could be so called) that will leave you grinning. An altogether entertaining novel. Definite Fan Q material. And remember, tomato cheese soup is pukey-pukey-pukey; yes, it really is green; gish have fills; and Armageddon never comes when you could really use it! [11]
Every once in a while something totally different and refreshing in Treklit turns up. Ms Glazer's TALES OF FELDMAN went where no Treklit had gone before, and now the sequel, MORE TALES OF FELDMAN goes even further out. Readers of TALES OF FELDMAN immediately groan/guffaw in anticipation, but how do I explain what I am talking about to everyone else?

Basically this is what happens. By the end of TALES OF FELDMAN, the plain Jewish Ensign Fiona Feldman had 1) married Spock, 2) borne him a daughter, T'Yenta, 3) gone to live on Vulcan with Amanda and Sarek, and 4) disappeared with T'Yenta. In MORE TALES OF FELDMAN, Spock 1) finds Fiona and T'Yent'a (a typical Mensa brat if I ever saw one), 2) convinces her to return to him, 3) converts to Judaism, and 4) marries Fiona again in a totally kitsch Big Jewish Wedding Ceremony with both sets of in-laws present. Sounds simple, heh, heh. You know how Roddenberry would have done it. But what if it had been done by someone like the nice people who brought you SOAP or ALL IN THE FAMILY and who didn't have network censors breathing down their necks? O.K. NOW you got the idea of what to expect. Yes, total lunacy alternating with tender meaningful insight as both Spock and Fiona shuck off layers of cultural conditioning and come of age in New York City. Look, I don't want to spoil you pleasure by blabbing specifics. You don't really want to know in advance why Amanda and Sarek aren't "fun" in-laws, or what color Spock turned when he learned he had to be circumcised (by Mr. Yashinsky of Yashinsky's Kosher Meats and Poultry the traditional way -- without anesthetic -- yes, there is some bad taste material included, heh, heh), or how Sarek was holographed with a rose in his teeth, or why Spock was walking down the street with a six foot stuffed carrot on his shoulder or the details of Klingon wedding ceremonies or any of the other 150 touching/absurd incidents included in MORE TALES OF FELDMAN. I declare MORE TALES OF FELDMAN to be a genuine comic masterpiece and heartily recommend it to anyone interested in the lighter side of Treklit. Just remember girls --don't marry outside your species unless they can guarantee that the offsprig will be born potty trained. Rated R. All Yiddish translated for the goyim.

Good print job, nice illos, readable layout. My copy arrived in excellent condition.[12]
"More Tales of Feldman is as funny as the first book, but the author has matured in her craft and manages to bring surprising depth to the tragi-comic tale of the brilliant inanist who never really understood how Star Fleet worked. This Spock and this version of Vulcan are even further from Gene Roddenberry's than those in the first volume, but if you can get past that fact this story works very well."[13]

References

  1. from the author's blurb in proposed zine section of Universal Translator #6 in 1980
  2. from the author's blurb in proposed zine section of Universal Translator #7 in 1981
  3. from the author's blurb in proposed zine section of Universal Translator #10
  4. from the author's blurb in proposed zine section of Universal Translator #17
  5. from Universal Translator #18
  6. from Boldly Writing:
  7. from the author's blurb in proposed zine section of Universal Translator #10
  8. from Interstat #27
  9. comments by Troubled Tribble, 2010
  10. from Datazine #17
  11. from Universal Translator #20
  12. from TREKisM #35
  13. Buncha Shortie Reviews dated July 19, 2010.