Off the Beaten Trek (published by Trinette Kern)

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Zine
Title: Off the Beaten Trek
Publisher: see each issue
Editor(s): see below
Date(s): 1976-1977
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Off the Beaten Trek is a gen Star Trek: TOS anthology.

Issue 1

cover of issue #1, Monica Miller

Off the Beaten Trek 1 was edited by Trinette Kern. It was published in July 1976 and contains 72 pages. It had "special editing by Michael Amsden," and it was published by Jack Dae-Check.

  • Editorial
  • Novas, this issue (4)
  • Me and Thee by Trinette Kern (James Kirk is discharged from prison after serving 4 years for culpable negligence and gross incompetence. McCoy, Scotty and Spock are there to greet him. Spock has also been discharged from Starfleet and offers Kirk a place with him in the business he has built uith that goal in mind. When Kirk accepts it means McCoy must part from his friend once more.) (5-21)
  • The Captain's Chair, Naturally by Leslye Lilker (22)
  • Desert Boy by T. Kern (23)
  • We Are one by Beverly Volker (24)
  • The Long Twilight by Jennifer Weston (25-59)
  • Conversation 2 AM by Christine Gwinn (60)
  • Dog Watch by Leslye Lilker (The Enterprise gets the dubious honor of transporting Admiral Komack's 4 Great Dane dogs which he decrees can only be handled by the senior staff. To make matters more interesting, one of the dogs is pregnant and Dr. McCoy may have a chance to practice his skills as a vet.) (61-69)
  • What Never Was Can Never Be by Anne Golar (70-71)
  • One Liners Caption Contest
  • Up and Coming
  • Requisitions
  • And Another Thing (76)
  • art by Chuck Ellin, Trinette Kern, Monica Miller, and Gee Moaven

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

[1977]: The artwork... is easy to look at and ranges from fair to good. The bright orange cover features a lovely illustration of Kirk and Spock against a starry background, done by Monica Miller. The zine consists of four stories, four poems, and a 'one liner' contest, previews of future issues, and ads for other fanzines. 'Me and Thee' is a what if story that has Kirk dishonored and ousted from the Enterprise and Star Fleet. After serving four years in prison, Kirk fears he faces an empty future -- unaware that Spock has already taken care of that. Somewhat soap-operish at times, with a too-understanding McCoy and a thoughtless Scott: but the Kirk/Spock [reviewer did not intend slash with this abbreviation] fans will love it. A footnote states the possibility of a series of stories taking up where this one leaves off, or one that explains how Kirk got into such a predicament; contributions along this line are requested. 'In the Captain's Chair, Naturally' by Leslie Lilker -- a delightful little ditty, written to the tune of 'Alone Again, Naturally,' is enjoyable and catchy. 'Desert By' (poem) refers to Spock's childhood as told by Amanda; well done. 'We are One'... nicely written and somewhat lyrical poem dealing with mind-melding. 'The Long Twilight' is a Spock-has-an-incurable-fatal-illness with a different, and likely, ending. One of the better Kirk/Spock [reviewer, again, does not mean slash] stories in which emphasis is on how Kirk helps Spock face his darkest hours -- although some scenes stretch the believability a bit. McCoy is handled especially well -- and his contribution, or lack of it, is realistic. It is a realistic story in itself. 'Conversation: 2AM' is a free verse examination of the feelings and truth thereof between Kirk and Spock. 'Dog Watch' -- the Enterprise and her senior officers are assigned to care for four Great Danes belonging to Admiral Komack, and take them to a vague destination. En route, there are the usual problems, and complaints from Kirk ('This is a star ship not a dog kennel') and McCoy ('I'm a surgeon, not a veterinarian') and 'smuggling' of the most unusual nature. But Kirk gets the last word over the Admiral in the end. Characterization slips occasionally, the the writer evidently knows her Great Danes. 'What Never Was Can Never Be' -- a what-happened-after-story concerning Yeoman Rand and Kirk after the 'Enemy Within' incident. In this, Rand shows more intelligence and maturity than she ever did in the series, and she discover just where she stands with Kirk. [1]

Issue 2

wraparound front cover of issue #2, Monica Miller

Off the Beaten Trek 2 was published in October 1976 and contains. It was edited by Trinette Kern, Jacqueline Lichtenberg, and Leslye Lilker.

from issue #2, "The Fanzine Editor and the Disgruntled Reader" -- caption "Can't we talk about this logically?" Under the cartoon: note by the editor: "This little cartoon is dedicated to those of you... and you know who you are... who approached the editor with your various complaints over the past few months. Please do not get upset with me. I am working under a serious handicap -- I happen to be human! So I hereby promise all the Spock fans that I won't do that to Spock in every issue and to the Kirk fans, well... I'll try to be more sympathetic. L.L.& P."
  • Editorial Whimsies (3)
  • To the Disgruntled Reader (6)
  • Novas (7)
  • Until That Tomorrow by Mary Frey (8)
  • Brothers by Trinette Kern (26)
  • The Coming of the Age of Cindy by Ellen Blair (27)
  • My Private Little War by P.J. Greenberg (47)
  • Tribbles by Mary (Pace) (48)
  • Equidistance by Jennifer Weston (51)
  • Grafitti by Mary Frey (53)
  • Third Shift by Alex Potter (54)
  • Infinite and Immoral by Nancy Kippax (57)
  • Unspoken Truth by P.J. Greenberg (61)
  • Light by Monica Miller (62)
  • Contingent by Trinette Kern (63)
  • Grafitti by Mary Frey (90)
  • One Liners (91)
  • Requisitions (92)
  • And Another Thing (94)
  • art by Trinette Kern, Signe Landon, Monica Miller (front cover), Gee Moaven, and Mary Pace (inside back cover).

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

[1977]: This zine has an extremely wide range, by which I mean it goes from the ridiculous to the sublime, and back again. Actually, it is not too bad. Kern's vision sometimes seems to exceed her grasp, in that she obviously has marvelous ideas, but somehow cannot completely carry them out as solidly as they ought to be. The style of Kern's editorials, and of her one story in the zine, 'Contingent,' is often so prosaic and cliche-ridden as to be trite: golly! and gosh! and 'really' accent her prose, about as welcome as raisins in mashed potatoes and are about as necessary. Still, even though she has loaded 'Contingent' down with a Mary Sue nurse, a setting in Pittsburgh (and in 1973...), two quarts of blood 'n guts, and the Old Dream Ending, the story manages to be quite compelling. Kirk and Spock are not stick figures; their problems are real, not puzzle boxes. Kern is not yet a Good Writer, but she will be. Her ideas are good, her vision is strong. 'Until That Tomorrow' would have benefited from a consistent point of view. [Not having one] can be disconcerting, Spock's thoughts popping up in the middle of what are apparently Kirk's as if somebody pulled a mindmeld. 'Until' could have also benefited from a different artist. Kern's figures' arms, heads, and necks all appear to have the same girth. Jennifer Weston has an exceedingly short story in issue #1. In #2, she has a 2-pager. A shame, becoz she is much the best writer in the zine. She understand and cares about her characters; she knows that a man is not God, that he has his limits. And she knows that limits -- broken, crossed, fallen short of, are the stuff of drama. #2 costs $4.00. It is probably worth it, especially to the Get-Together fans. Once could do worse. [2]

Issue 3

front cover of issue #3, Monica Miller
back cover of issue #3, Monica Miller

Off the Beaten Trek 3 was published in 1977, contains 90 pages and was edited by John Dae Check & Jude Pohl. It is an !All Vulcan Issue!.

The zine was published under the auspices of new editors after a falling out with the original editors Trinette Kern and Carol Mularski. In a personal statement published in Warped Space #27 she explained:

STATEMENT BY TRINETTE KERN -- MAY, 1977

My dear friends and fellow fans: Due to circumstances beyond my control, differences of opinion, and concern for the integrity of the STAR TREK fan universes, I shall no longer be connected in any capacity with my former fanzine. The new owners will continue to publish this item as a professional magazine, and they have informed me that all subscriptions and orders for back and single issues will be met as they are on file.

However, I refuse to go underground. Carol Mularski, my assistant editor, and I are presently planning a new,fanzine to continue the original concept of printing the best of new and established fan material. Planned title for this zine is NEW BEGINNINGS. As soon as we have established any definite dates or prices for NB, we will get that information to the fanzine editors who will, we hope, pass it on to you. Promised novels and series from my former publication will continue in this future zine, hopefully coming out in late August of this year. All authors and artists who have sent material to me for review or editing will have the opportunity to go with either the former publication, with NEW BEGINNINGS, but these people should let me know as to the disposition of the materials at once. My address is below. I will handle all inquiries concerning contributions, while Carol will accept s.a.s.e.s for information, when we have it, on the price and availability of our new zine. Please use the addresses listed below. I thank you for your understanding and your support. May you all live long and prosper.
art from issue #3, dedication page, artist uncredited
  • Culture Shock by Trinette Kern (3)
  • And Never Parted by Carol Mularski (4)
  • Untitled Poem by Jana Shulman (20)
  • Vulcan Framework Puzzle by Molly Clark (21)
  • Desert Flowers by Jennifer Weston (22)
  • Choices by Jana Shulman (23)
  • Baptism by Fire by Trinette Kern (25)
  • Vulcan: Spock's Home a portfolio by Signe Landon (45)
  • Three Steps Behind Him by Eileen Roy (51) (a Kraith story)
  • Cryptogram by Molly Clark (53)
  • Regere Amnis by Jennifer Weston (55)
  • Kah-I-Farr by Melanie R (57)
  • The Sun by Day, the Moon by Night by Zena Plenty (58)
  • Spock's Meditation by Eileen McNamara (72)
  • No One on this Planet Looks at Rainbows by Leslye Lilker (73) (a Sahaj story)
  • The Birthing Place by C.R. Faddis (82) (also in Neutral Zone Outpost #3 and Computer Playback #2)
  • art by Marla Decker (back cover), Doug Drexler, C.R. Faddis, Christine Gwinn, Trinette Kern, Suzanne Kirwan, Signe Landon, Michael Mahaney, Elizabeth Marshall, Monica Miller (front cover) and (T'Pring color insert), Gee Moaven and Mary Pace

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

[1977]: Out of the 3 issues Trinette Kern has been associated with, this is the best (of course being a Spock-nut, Vulcano-phile helps). Trinette, of course, has pulled out of association with the zine and according to what she has told me and others, I will probably not purchase future issues. The publisher strikes me as someone who knows next to nothing about zines and fandom. The cover is a lovely Monica Miller piece, though the proportions on the male Vulcan look a little odd. It loses some of its effectiveness by the big blurb 'All Vulcan Issue.' Interior illos vary in quality from good to excellent with Gee Moaven's, Signe Landon's and Connie Faddis' being outstanding. Not to mention the special treat of a color insert by Monica Miller of T'Pring. My least favorite illo is the one on the dedication page by an artist whom the publisher is pushing, and who strikes me as putting forth a rather pseudo-symbolic abstract that a lot of 'modern' art students of art employ and which generally leaves me cold. Trinette's opening poem doesn't quite work but as I said, poetry is definitely one of those things that effects each person differently. 'And Never Parted' by Carol Mularski was somewhat stilted but is interesting in that it explores Surak, his time, and just what some of his famous reforms besides the generally known ones were. I think the story will be something of an interesting surprise with its major distraction being it is printed in italic type. 'Baptism by Fire' by Trinette was one the best things she has done. It is a manhood test beyond the Kahs-wan that Spock must go through. It is well-conceived, well-written, and the ending is not quite what you would expect. 'Three Steps Behind Him' by Eileen Roy was totally unsatisfying for me. I have a feeling I missed the point. 'Regere Annis' by Jennifer Weston uses some very interesting imagery to describe our favorite Vulcan. 'The Sun by Day and the Moon by Night' by Zena Plenty was intriguing. It seemed a bit jumpy in places, and I wish there was a better intro of T'Sar-she -- she just seems to suddenly appear, but the reader in the meantime has more mysteries than necessary. This is a very different kind of Spock-Kirk story. Leslye Lilker has a Sahaj story, a nice but slightly sad piece called 'No One On this Planet Looks at Rainbows.' Connie Faddis' 'The Birthing Place' is another one of her lovely shorter pieces. It raises some intriguing questions about Spock, the Vulcans, and intelligent-spirit-life. Altogether, a worthwhile zine and recommended. [3]
[1977]:

Off The Beaten Trek. #3, is by far the best issue yet. The theme of this copy is Vulcan - its past & present, and its people. It doesn't deal exclusively with just Spock, the most well-known Vulcan. It takes him into consideration, but the zine is not built around him. He doesn't dominate the issue.

As soon as I received my copy in the mail I ripped open the envelope to scan it. Much to my surprise a fulli-color insert fell out. I picked it up & it was beautiful! Monica Miller drew T'Pring in such a way that she captured the essence of T'Pring's whole being. And since it is an insert, it is definitely suitable for framing. In fact, most of the artwork inside the zlne is good. There is a great composite drawing by Chuck Ellin entitled Escape From A Confused Humanity, and you can just Imagine what that looks like.

The fiction covers a wide range of Vulcan subjects spanning many centuries from Surak to Sumi to Spock as a boy to Spock as First Officer of the Enterprise. And Never Parted relates em important event In the life of Surak & how It affects him & his philosophy of Peace. Why & how did the Betrothal Bonding tradition begin? What logic lay behind it? This story explains how the beginning concept was formulated & eventually carried out.

A Sahaj story has even been included in the zine. After all, an anthology on Vulcan would definitely not be complete without at least one Sahaj entry. No One On This Planet Looks At Rainbows relates just one of Sahaj's many experiences In trying to adjust to his new environment, his new home, and his new family on Vulcan.

In The Sun by Day, The Moon by Night Spock makes a somewhat drastic decision that almost costs him his life. Sutak, an "underground" Vulcan healer, had been experiment ing on Vulcan subjects; seeking an alternate solution to Pon Farr; before he was exiled from Vulcan. Spock, with his natural curiosity, decided to risk his life for the chatnce of being free from Pon Farr forever. His reasoning behind his action just might surprise you.

My favorite story in the zine is The Birthing Place. Certain ancient Vulcan records were lost to Vulcan forever when Sumi had died centuries before. Sumi was a follower of Surak's Constructs, & who was born seven centuries after Surak's death. Sumi had lived In a time of particularly savage nature on Vulcan. A rulership had formed that used hard cold logic to govern, & woe to anyone who disagreed with the rulership's interpretations of Surak's Constructs. The Corollaries were written as a rebuttal to the rulership & Sumi was labeled as a dissident, fleeing into the inner-lands, where he eventually died. Spock, home for a short leave, decides to try to find the lost Corollaries that other Vulcans had been searching for for centuries. It had been said that the only ones who actually knew where they were hidden were the 'skelpis, an antelope-like animal native to Vulcan. But to touch one was to risk certain madness. Documented proof attested to that. 'Skelpis retained memories from generation to generation & by initiating a mindllnk, Spock would learn where Sumi had last hidden the Corollaries.

Baptism By Fire Is yet another Vulcan ritual that the child Spock must pass to "prove" both to his parents & to himself that he Is a true Vulcan. It would be a day of meditation, of lessons, of judging right from wrong. Spock had suffered a mild concussion just days before the ritual & was not permitted to go. But against the Healer's orders (& those of his parents) he had slipped out of the house, and joined the group of boys already assembled. To fail was no disgrace. But to Spock, failure would mean more than just disgrace.

There are several pieces of poetry in OTBT. And they are all quite good. They leave you with a feeling of deep insight into Vulcan. Vulcans are a complicated race. Advanced, yet they still retain old traditions that seem out grown, out of place.

Off The Beaten Trek, issue #3. Get it soon! [4]
[1989]:

I have only read Vol 1, No. 3, but found it of a very high standard. No bad stories at all - quite a record. In And Never Parted by Carol Mularski, Surak meditates on the waste of life in the Koon-ut-kal'lf'fee challenge and fights to modify the tradition. Baptism of Fire by Trinette Kern tells of a young Spock defying his parents by going out on a maturity test, In Three Steps behind Them, Sarek and Amanda grow to respect and honour each other's customs. The Sun by Day by Zana Plenty is a story of a triad - Spock, his wife and Kirk, who also loves her! No One On this Planet Looks at Rainbows by Leslie Lilker is a Sahaj story - one of a series about Spock's son (yes, really!). In the Birthing Place by C.R. Faddis, Spock's mind melds with an antelope to obtain a secret.

If you like stories about Vulcans, this zine is definitely for you! [5]

References

  1. from The Halkan Council #23
  2. from Implosion #3
  3. from Scuttlebutt #3
  4. from [Fleet]] #17
  5. from Enterprise Originals #10 (1989)