Omne Praeceptum Frangit
|Title:||Omne Praeceptum Frangit|
|Publisher:||USS Tradition, a club out of Hawthorne, CA|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TOS|
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There was a "dramatic reading" of this zine over Labor Day weekend at PropCon.
For subscribers to The Propagator, the zine was free if you picked it up at the editor's home or at a con. Or if you sent the editor $2. It is unclear how much it cost other fans.
From an ad in Datazine #39: "Or, How the Enterprise came to the rescue of the doomed Starship Tradition, despite their better judgement & Starfleet's urgings to the contrary."
From Boldly Writing: "This 42-page story, written by Janine Goldfarb, deals with the Enterprise meeting another starship, the Tradition. The Traditionis peopled by alter-egos of members of Lisa's and Janine's Star Trek Club. It was a deliberately humorous story, and the concept of a whole shipload of "wild and crazy guys" drew praise from many fans."
From an ad in The Propagator #15: "Yes, that delightful zine you've all been waiting for, describing in excruciating exciting detail how the Tradition escaped certain death with the help of the Enterprise, is finally available."
Reactions and Reviews
I have also read OMNE PRAECEPTUM FRANGIT by Janine Goldfarb, published by Lisa Wahl. This I would only recommend with great caution. What happened here is that a Star Trek group in California (the U. S. S. Tradition) Imagined what it would be like if they had their own ship in the Star Trek universe and wrote a story around it. The result is that the U. S. S. Enterprise meets the U. S. S. Tradition, and the result is intended to be humorous. However, the humor is very offbeat and I suspect includes many in-jokes that, while known to the club members, are confusing to the reader. This may be a result of too much identification between the club members and their corresponding characters in the story. Also, in order for humor to have an impact on me, it has to have some grounding in credibility. The idea that Starfleet would give this "wild and crazy bunch" its own ship and let it run loose strains my suspension of disbelief too much. (One "wild and crazy" crewmember, maybe; a whole shipful... doubtful.) However, if "wild and crazy" offbeat humor is your cup of tea, you may indeed enjoy this story. 
About the best 'zine I've read recently is OMNE PRAECEPTUM FRANGIT. It is silly, slapstick, and the writing is topnotch. A Word of Warning, OPF is not for those who like their Treklit serious, weighty and concerned with Universal Truths. There are none here, you must leave all logic at the door when you enter and simply abandon yourself to a starship whose patron saint(s) are obviously the Marx Brothers. The cost is nominal, the turn around time is excellent (10 days counting the time in the hands of the U.S. Mail) and worth every penny. 
Have you ever read a Star Trek club newsletter zine? They're the ones where the club president is the captain of some mythical starship and the club members are the crew. I've read several and found them usually a) disjointed because of the number of different writers b) funny only to the people involved because the rest of us don't know the in-jokes c) amateurish on occasion because they'll take anything, and d) ideally suited for their purpose of entertaining their members. Pretty tame stuff, right? Right. Well, my perception of these cutely publications has changed recently due to the arrival of a zine produced by Lisa Wahl of the U.S.S. Tradition and written by Janice Goldfarb. This zine features the usual cast of funny folks involved in their club doing crazy things but with some very interesting differences from the usual clubzine. First of all, there's a real, honest-to-goodness story here, and it's very well-written. Secondly, the crew of the Enterprise is there is to 'rescue' the most unorthodox ship in Star Fleet. Scotty, Uhura, Chekov, and Kyle have a definite role and remain true to character throughout. Third, the club characters are all believable, honestly funny, and endearing. I wouldn't mind knowing any of the people depicted here as they seem more real and more likable than any other group of fantasy Trekkies I've read. Let's face it, folks, 95% of us would never be allowed in space, but if we were, this is just how we'd be: a little out of shape, a little eccentric, and a lot creative... I enjoyed the story very much. Revealing who rescued whom and how took storytelling skill and a sense of humor. Not only was the story memorable, but the art by April Shelby was very appropriate to the story... If you've been reading too many 'Kirk gets the girl and saves the universe' or 'Spock gets the girl and saves the universe' stories, I highly recommend 'Omne' to clean your palate, lift your spirits, and leave you with a feeling that you and I could survive and excel in space on a ship like the U.S.S. Tradition.