Sol Plus

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Zine
Title: Sol Plus
Publisher: T'Kuhtian Press
Editor(s): Jacqueline Bielowicz
Date(s): 1975-1981
Series?:
Medium: print zine, fanfic
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Sol Plus is a gen Star Trek: TOS anthology.

The seventh issue contains a K/S story with an editorial as to why it was included.

Related

Related sister publications:

  • a filk tape
  • Sol Plus Special Edition 1 = Epilogue #1
  • Sol Plus Special Edition 2 = Epilogue #2
  • Sol Plus Special Edition 3 = there may not have been one; see the editorial excerpt below for issue #5
  • Sol Plus Special Edition 4 = The Cosmic Connection, a filk tape and lyric book
  • Sol III

From the Editor Regarding Production Choices

Here is what I want to say about offset vs. mimeo issue... There are three basic reasons I don't use mimeo to produce Sol Plus. First, I don't like mimeo. Oh when it is done by an artist such as [names two zineds], it can be delight. But I am famous... for my incredible inability to handle machines more complicated that a rotary can opener. By the time I mimeoed a zine to a readable state, I would have to charge about $20 a zine to make back my cost. Second, I was the editor of Sol Plus #1 and it was mimeoed. It took [fan's name] two months... about ten hours a day, to print the damn thing... She is also one of infinite patience for a machine that is contrary. I don't. Third, mimeo, in my opinion, just doesn't last, and I'm conceited enough to want my zines to be good to the end of time. [1]

Issue 1

Sol Plus 1 was published in 1975 and contains 85 pages. The front cover is by Joe Fleming, the interior illos are by Mark Wallace and Joe Fleming.

cover of issue #1

From the zine: "May the Great Bird of the Galaxy sprinkle happiness in your breakfast each morning."

From the editorial:

This is the first issue of SOL PLUS. We chose that name to give us a broad base from which to build our ’zine. It doesn’t tie us down to just STAR TREK, or one aspect of STAR TREK, though STAR TREK was our origin in this venture. And it gives a solid base (good, old mother Sol) with the hint of a lot of added goodies (Vulcan, Klingons, etc.).

In this issue, we bring you a mixture of STAR TREK and general science fiction material. In the beginning, we tried to make it 50& STAR TREK and 50% general sf. As you can see, it didn’t turn out that way. From now on, we won’t set such arbitrary limitations.

In future issues, we hope to keep SOL PLUS flexible, allowing for a variety of material, including STAR TREK, QUESTOR, PLANET EARTH, general sf, UFO, etc. -- whatever the readers are interested in. But, STAR TREK will more than likely be our staple, since that’s what has brought most of us together.

Making this issue has been a real education. It’s been a little like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle in the dark. The first stencils were typed in early March '74; the last in mid-September -- after several setbacks. I’d like to have a talk with the fellow who said, "Ignorance is bliss." It’s not! Ignorance is expensive and time consuming.
  • Nuts and Bolds, editorial (1)
  • It, fiction by Karen Fleming (Star Trek) (2)
  • Now There's No More Mornin' Dew, fiction by Rosemary Arnold ("Was the first place. winner in the Literture [sic] division 'of the 1st Annual Tulsa Science Fiction Art Fair, Sept., 1973, sponsered [sic] by STARbase Tulsa.") (science fiction) (7)
  • Star Track, cartoon by Mark Wallace: Star Track (10)
  • Pro and Con: Star Trek Animation Reviews (14)
    • No Cartoon: A Review by Mark Wallace
    • The Animation: A STAR TREK Rip Off (?), by Karen Fleming
  • More Deadly than the Male by Karen Fleming (a sequel is in Grup #4) (Star Trek) (21)
  • Imagine Meeting You Here (not categorized) (33)
  • Star Blech, cartoon by Mark Wallace: Star Bleep (54)
  • Reference Guide to Some Good Fanzines, brief comments by Karen Fleming ("March 1974") (55)
  • Clay Gods, poem by Karen Fleming (not categorized)(59)
  • The Missing Link by J.W. Randell (science fiction) (60)
  • Play it Again, Sam: Time Travel in Star Trek and Science Fiction by Jo Fleming (79)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

This, the first issue of Sol Plus, starts off with a darling little ST story called "It". "It" is the child of Konach diplomats the Enterprise is ferrying, and the story, a happy, low conflict tale, is about the waves "it" makes in the crewmembers' lives. For this tale by Karen Fleming makes Sol Plus a worthwhile buy.

However, Karen's other story, "...More Deadly Than the Male", is a violent tale of Klingons aboard the Enterprise, full of little things that strike me wrong, disappointing after "It". For example, women officers are called "Miss" instead of by their proper titles. And part of the plot is based upon the Klingons believing women are inferior creatures, which seems to go against DAY OF THE DOVE, where Kang's wife Mara was the science officer. And the only way to save the ship, therefore, is by Women's Lib. Interesting characterizations of Uhura and some of the other female personnel, but Spock and McCoy lack vitality (being minor characters).

Jackie Bielowicz's vignette (ST) "Memories" was quite good, accompanied by one of the better illustrations of the zine, done by Mark Wallace. Mark also did some very funny cartoon satires of ST, which I thoroughly enjoyed. General sf is represented by Rosemary Arnold's "Now There's No Mornin' Dew", and "The Missing Link", by J.W. Randell, the latter well written and stylized, but of a worn out plot.

Poetry, fanzine reviews, and some articles round out the issue, balancing it. I'm glad I bought it. [2]

Issue 2

Sol Plus 2 was published in March 1976 and contains 44 pages.

It has interior illos by Cheree Cargill, Jo Cunningham, Joe Fleming, Nancy Gwenther, Kevin O'Brien, Mark Wallace, and S'Ki.

front cover of issue #2, Mike Wallace
back cover of issue #2, Jo Cunningham

The zine's dedication: "DEDICATION: We gratefully dedicate this issue to the fan reader who provides us with our favorite audience."

From the editorial:

We realize this was due last August, but isn't it traditional for 'zines to run late? However, we hope this will not happen again. This is a first effort for all of us and we would appreciate LoC's, pro and con, for SP 111. Our format will remain oriented toward STAR TREK and science fiction, unless our readers indicate otherwise. We especially welcome controversy. (Oh, boy. A fight!!!) All submissions for SP III, accompanied by an appropriate bribe (for bribe rates, send SASE) should be in our greedy little hands no later than June 30, 1976.

For those of you interested (Who cares, Myrtle?), the editorial policy of this 'zine is simple: all pieces of work must be approved by two of the three editors. The only exception is that any editor submitting material must be approved by both other editors.

We are especially looking for illustrators, those wonderful people who can read a story and interpret it in art. We are very fond of those who submit pencil drawings, are willing to compromise, and don't commit to ink until we all agree on the illo.
  • Tribble Dribble, editorial by Jackie Bielowicz (ii)
  • Girl of Your Dreams?? by Vicki Kirlin (1)
  • Starship, poem by Cameron Cunningham (9)
  • Trekletts by Mark Wallace (10)
  • Survival by Jackie Bielowicz ("McCoy is marooned on a planet with a hostile environment and populated by a savage race. He is helped in his struggle for survival by the mental image of Spock offering his logical advice.") (11)
  • No Beach to Walk On, poem by Shirley Maiewski (26)
  • Grafitti [sic] (27)
  • Star Trek... Or Star Trick?, essay by J.R. Wilson (28)
  • Reunion by J.W. Randell (original science fiction) (35)
  • On the Job Feigning by Sam F. Kimery (original science fiction) (37)
  • Trekletts (38)
  • Contact by J.W. Randell (original science fiction) (39)
  • Time... Space, two poems by Randy Veryken (40)
  • A Controversial Shade of Green, essay by S'Ki ("It is possible that the blood of Mr. Spock is not at all green, but, rather, dark red, or possibly black or brown. His perpetual verdent pallor, therefore, must be attributed to his previous night's activities, recent

experimental cuisines, or "mal de mer". Second hypotheses lays the blame of error at the feet of the author of the series in that inadequate research failed to discover that Spock's blood is not copper based, but some totally different oxygen active compound. This entire concept seems to hold small credibility owing to the thoroughness and attention to detail employed by the author.") (41)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

See reactions and reviews for Star Trek... Or Star Trick?.
Photo offset, non-reduced type. This 'zine is very readable — good reproduction, but the artwork is somewhat disappointing, except for the excellent frontspiece. Authors include Vicki Kirlin, Jacqueline Bielowicz, Shirley Maiewski; Mark Wallace's artwork is above average. Sol Plus contains both serious and non-serious Star Trek fiction, some poetry, limericks, graffiti, cartoons, articles (both serious and humorous), and contains a little bit of everything. Most of the fiction is predictable; none of the pieces are very long and the quality varies from pretty good to fair. None are outstanding. The reviewers gave the 'zine a composite score of 7. One reviewer said this 'zine would probably be best for a neofan. I think it's just a little over-priced, but then, it's printed on pretty expensive stock. This was a good effort, and I'd say the editors are off to a good start. [3]
The physical makeup of this zine rates a real A-plus. It is offset (without eye-killing type) on luxurious glossy stock -- a veritable 'Harper's Bazaar' of zines. Its longest and feature item is 'Survival' by Jackie Bielowicz, a well-written tale in which Dr. McCoy, that ultimate pacifist, lost on a primitive planet and facing a foe who is literally 'dead-set' on him, must realize the limits of his philosophy and the predominance of the instinct of self-preservation. It's a real winner. Most-likely-to-hate is an article called 'Star Trek... or Star Trick,' in which the author 'proves' by leaping from a false premise (that military takes orders from diplomats only if they represent a military dictatorship) into a sea of speculation concluding with: the Federation is a military dictatorship. It calls for a cool, politically knowledgeable reply in a future issue. In addition, there are several short stories. Vicki Kirlin's 'A Girl of Your Dreams,' and erotic fever-dream, is still a little unsure in writing style, but has definite talent. 'Reunion' and 'Contact' by J.W. Randall, and 'On the Job Feigning' by Sam Kimery are short-shorts with stings in their tales. There is also some passable to very good poetry and cartoons. This zine's contents is varied and enjoyable. The price is more than reasonable; get this one! [4]
Most of this zine is made up short stories, some serious, some humorous, several poems, including a page of limericks, and quite a few illustrations. The drawings are mostly on the comic book level, but there's a very nice frontispiece by C.T. Cargill in the style of an old woodcut showing what appears to be a medieval monk with Vulcan ears hard at work over his manuscripts. 'The Girl of Your Dreams' has Kirk meeting a beautiful but mysterious woman and falling madly in love with her, under circumstances that suggest he must be dreaming. It's a little to romantic for my taste, and the ending is too predictable.

'Survival' is about McCoy, who gets lost from a landing party on a wild, savage planet, and injured. It tells of his struggle to stay alive, hunted by native cannibals, until he is rescued. Although well-handled, it's a theme which has been pretty well covered in other stories lately, such as 'The Hunted and the Hunters' by Anna Mary Hall in Interphase #1, or 'Trial by Ordeal' in Interphase #2.

'Star Trek -- or Star Trick?' is an article from which I quote: 'What I hope to do here is point out some obvious flaws -- as well as some perhaps less obvious contradictions -- in the so-called" Roddenberry universe"' ... and present an admittedly superficial discourse on what I personally feel is a more likely future...' which he then proceeds to do. I followed willingly enough while he tore the whole ST universe apart, but parted company when he got to his own interpretation of the future. What I don't understand is, are there really fans over the age of twelve who honestly believe that the ST world could be REAL?

Verdict: not an outstanding zine, but contains fair to good. Attractive format. [5]
My over-all impression is one of neatness and polish. Though the art and layout need work, the fact that SOL PLUS II is printed on slick paper, has a very finished cover illustration, and is bound with a plastic slip-on grip strip makes for a lovely magazine. Even the typing shows a lot of work and concern for appearance.

The major piece in the zine in terms of content is "Survival" by Jackie. It's the story of a routine survey landing party turned nightmare for Dr. McCoy. While tromping through some ruins, he falls and hits his head sharply. Then, barely conscious, he unknowingly crawls onto a still-active thought-directed teleport plate and is whisked to heaven-knows-where. while the story could have used a little more work, it was still pretty good. As usual, the people of the Enterprise go blundering into danger — otherwise, where would you get much of your excitement? If they were as cautious as a normal person would be, even aside from their superior Starfleet training, the adventures of the Starship Enterprise would be too often dullsville.

There is a handful of short-short stories, and a scientific article by S'ki explaining that Spock's blood can't really be green. There's also a lengthy article by J.R. Wilson called "Star Trek...or Star Trick?" Wilson cuts down ST because it is supposed to be a "window to the future." He then proceeds to viciously examine ST's obvious flaws and contradictions with a vengeance. He seems to miss the point that ST is entertainment and not trying to predict the future, Star Trek needed its futuristic setting as a backdrop to say what it wanted to say, but it certainly wasn't Roddenberry's omniscient look into the future. Anyway, it is presented in SOL PLUS in the spirit of free speech. [6]

...Boy, you sure do want people to go on about your work, don't you? All that lavish, overdone, kindness-to-a-friend praise in my first letter wasn't enough? All right, I shall reiterate: SP II was well written (only moderately well edited), quite professional in appearance (layout, design, packaging) and undoubtedly one of the best first efforts (for this trio of, ahem, editors) in the glorious history of fanzineism.

I think the addition of a letters section in the next issue will add even more to its overall stature among the greats of the field. (There, damn it, what more do you want -- a Hugo nomination?) [Ed. Note: Hell, yes!] ... Say, Maddog Fleming and Mark are doing their usual good work

(really like Mark's illustration of "Reunion"), but this Jo Cunningham is a damn fine artist (and the one sample of Cheree Cargill's is equally praiseworthy -- how about some more of her's in SP III?). I doubt if any of the other fanzines can boast four - count 'em, four - such talented artists. And this is not to slight Guenther or O'Brien, particularly Guenther. Liked her treatment of the Kirk shot -- looks like a stylized photo engraving. As for S'Ki -- who the hell is S'Ki? ..I have my suspicions, considering the artistic talent, the scientific bent, and -- if you followed what we finally determined to be Vulcan nomenclature the maleness of the name but it could always be somebody new to me -- or even more than one person. [7]
...I enjoyed SP II - fantastic repro! It is without a doubt the best-looking fanzine live seen so far. I am somewhat less impressed by the content; the artwork especially varies hugely in quality. But, generally, it is a fine effort, and 1111 be looking forward to SP III.[8]

"The Girl of Your Dreams" is a fantastic story. My compliments to Vicki Kirlin... "Survival" has an interesting theme, but I did not really enjoy [it]. I believe it could have been written better than it was.

J.R. Wilson made some good points in his article. I especially agree with the premise that humans should not and probably will not be the controllers of a federation which includes several alien cultures. "Reunion","On the Job Feigning", and "Contact" all have interesting themes and I enjoyed reading them. The limericks were fabulous and some of the other poetry was also good. The art is not all that good, but

I did like the front cover.[9]

.. .the cover ... was well designed, artwise, but I disagree STRONGLY with it's symbolism. I'm afraid I just can't see the Feds as being all peace-and-brotherhood, all sweetness and light, and the K1ingons as the destroyers, the war-mongers and bringers of darkness... When it comes right down to it, the opposition is not as abrupt and "opposite" as it might seem, or as we might like to believe. Kirk and Kor ["Errand of Mercy"] were a heckova lot alike. And then there was Kang...

"Illumination" on the first page was beautiful!..."The Girl of Your Dreams" was nice, though a bit on the predictable side..."Starship" and "No Beach to Walk On" were definitely the best poems you had. (Well, being a Shirley Maiewski fan, anyway.)...Of the three short stories, "On the Job Feigning" was the best one. It was fun...S'Ki's article was interesting, but I've heard it before...And besides, being an ardent Spockfan,

I prefer it that he be dissected in other ways than figuring out his blood chemistry...The limericks were fun... [10]

...The material is the best you have to work with and not all that bad, considering the limited area from which you had to draw upon. That can't be helped. But there are other things that you have a direct control over. Like layout. Your layout with this issue is adequate, but uninspired. And perhaps you should exercise more discretion over the illustrations you print. A couple of them didn't help at all. Remember that you're under no obligation to print every single thing you get.

That goes for things contributed by friends, too ... Jo Cunningham and Joe Fleming have crude styles, and more potential than they might think. Urge them to refine their techniques. Raise your standards for their work. Reject everything they submit until they improve. It will be work for them, but they need it.

Mark Wallace, on the other hand, is pretty good. He still has room for improvement, though. Put the squeeze on him, too. He has a great amount of potential, and obviously cares about improving himself. Help him along by demanding improvement from him, too. Be tactful about it, of course, but don't take anything he gives you just because he is the best you have. He could very quickly become one of Star Trek's best illustrators if you give him a shove, and refuse to baby him.[11]

...I'll start out looking over the publishing factors -- printing, layout, typeface, typos ... The printing is very good, very good. Clutch your printer to your collective breasts and don't let him get away!

...It reads well, the drawings reproduced superbly. The binding is one of the best I've seen in a fan publication...The one thing that I object to...is your use of glossy paper...it sort of offends my aesthetic taste ... It's ... "ostentatious"

I realize you may have gotten the paper free, in which case my objection goes down the shute [Ed. Note: It Was free!] ... In fact, a "slick" looking fanzine is almost a contradiction in terms, if you think about it ... Your layout is fine, for the most part. There are a few places where you might have improved it. For instance, look at pages ii and 1. The title for the editorial is in boldface presstype, and it immediately captures the eye...the title of the story beginning on the opposite page is nearly invisible...You could have replaced the page 1 there with any of your pages of poetry or cartoons, making an easier transition from the editorial into the body of the zine...In several places in the zine, you have printed artwork that bleeds to the edge...Visually, this is not usually a good idea ... Very clear typeface, and it prints up nicely... but the printing in SOL strikes me as too dark, too big, not crisp...not any of those exactly, it just striked me oddly, I guess. It must be a case of "fanzine-eye", that's it -- straining too hard for too many years trying to decipher badly ditto'ed zines or patchy mimeo'd zines, has ruined my eyesight forever... Dman few typos. Good show. [sic].[12]

...First, was very impressed by the slick paper. First time I've ever seen it in a zine and looked super...Also impressed by the method of binding...

I have to admit that when I started reading SP II I had the strangest feeling that several things were stolen from Interphase but was happy to see that nothing was more than superficially similar...

Loved Nancy Guenther's illo of Kirk. The best in the zine ... Again, I thought "Survival" was ripped off of Interphase II until I read it and was very p1eased...The only thing I found false in the story was McCoy's killing the savage. This smacks of the message that ST tried to wipe out -- that man is basically a savage and can't control his baser instincts. I would have hoped that McCoy could have retained control of himself and only rendered the man unconscious and that Spock and Co. would have arrived in time to take him off safely without necessitating the death of the savage...

Disagree with Wilson's opinion totally and wish I had time to write a good rebuttal to it. Have a feeling Wilson probably watches Space: 1999 and likes it...

"A Controversial Shade of Green" was interesting and probably true. Wish I was knowledgeable enough in that field to tell whether it is hot air or not. Seems logical, though, to borrow a phrase.[13]

...Loved the illuminated manuscript of Spock-as-a-monk frontispiece... But "Survival" is the crown jewel of this issue, securely cradled in a wealth of plausible detail, setting it apart from the average fanfic (which really is a whole lot more like fantasy than sf) ... My really biggest problem was understanding the bit about the ancient transporter. I can see why you thought it necessary to the story to remove McCoy some distance from rescue, but never felt the teleportation device got enough explanation. It simply picked him up and dumped him in a remote section? Was it intended to be a hospital ruin? Was there machinery there? The mechanical mind that operated the thing would surely show up on the ship's sensors as a source of power? [Author's Note: For the multitudes that have asked, the planet's transporter system has an emergency band that automatically transports critically injured persons to the nearest hospital.]...I can forgive that in the light of the strengths of the last part of the story though: the set piece of McCoy's reversion into a state of primitiveness is excellent, and his survival tactics and evident ability to make and use weapons out of what was available at hand is oddly comforting, considering he is a 23rd Century man. One hopes the lords of technology will never get completely out of touch with their simple origins ...

More more more from J.R. Wilson ... His spritely article is a ST-gourmet's delight. I don't find myself capable of providing a "good" rebuttal, possibly because I largely agree with him, but pray solicit more of his wit and wisdom for future issues. [14]

Issue 3

front over of issue #3, Mike Wallace
back cover of issue #3, Andy Duckett

Sol Plus 3 was published in August 1976 and contains 157 pages.

The front cover is by Mike Wallace, the back cover by Andy Duckett, and the interior illos by Stan Bielowicz, Cheree Cargill, Amy Falkowitz, Jo Fleming, Kevin O'Brien, Laura Virgil, and Leslie Fish.

It was edited by Jackie Bielowicz, Mary Robbins, and Sam Kimery. Bob Hise and DeeDee Hise did the proofreading.

The original price was $4 for club members, $5 in person, $5.50 book rate and $7.50 first class.

From the editorial:

You may have noticed that SP III is a "little larger" than our last effort. Even though it is almost three hundred percent (300%) larger, please note that the price has not increased proportionately. On SP II we miscalculated (slightly!) the price of the 1st class postage. We have made corrections accordingly. Don't blame us - blame your efficient postal service.

[...]

Even though one of our editors is new this issue, our editorial policy remains basically the same. There is only one small change: Jackie decides What, Mary decides how, and Sam does it - if he agrees. Everything else remains the same.
  • Tribble Dribble, editorial by Jackie Bielowicz (iii)
  • Something New Can Mean So Much, poem by Randy Vereyken (1)
  • From the Office of M.L. Dodge, U.F.P. by M.L. Dodge (This is a tongue-in-cheek rebuttal to Star Trek... Or Star Trick?, an essay in the previous issue.) (3)
  • Cats in the Cradle, fiction by Rebecca Hoffman (7)
  • On Another Rock in Another Field, poem by Randy Vereyken (26)
  • Damn Albert Einstein Anyway, essay by J.R. Wilson (topic: FTL) (27)
  • Treklett Showcase, cartoons by Mark Wallace (32)
  • And the Fanzines They Were Free, essay by Richard B. Schultz (36)
  • Grafitti [sic] (41)
  • Manna, fiction by J.W. Randell (original science fiction) (42)
  • S.O., poem by Patricia Cullen (45)
  • Hero's Welcome by Jacqueline Bielowicz (47)
  • Blood Chemistry and Color, article by Stephen Kimmel (a reply to an essay in the previous issue) (74)
  • Showcasing Leslie Fish (art, lyrics, music: selections from Folk Songs For Folk Who Ain't Even Been Yet) (75)
    • The Ballad of Transport 18
    • Skybound Blues
    • Iron Mistress
    • The Engineer's Hymn
    • A Toast for Unknown Heroes
    • Wobblies from Space
  • Hell Minus Three by J.W. Randell (original science fiction) (89)
  • Definition of a Star Trek Fan by Amanda Kramer (115)
  • The Quest, poem by J.W. Randell (original science fiction) (119)
  • What is Science Fiction?, essay by Steve Kimmell (121)
  • Changes, fiction by Darlene Fouquet (also in William Shatner Letter Exchange Dec. 74) (124)
  • Domestic Scene With Sehlat by Jean Lorrah (also in Archives #1 and NTM Collected) (131)
  • Sensor Readings, letters of comment (152)
  • You're Getting This Because (157)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

Sol Plus is a big glossy zine available at an outrageous price. Apparently the steep price is justified by the use of slick paper and offset process, but it too bad the price is not justified by Sol's content.

There are many interesting non-fiction articles, including 'And the Fanzines They Were Free,' by Richard Schultz, about the growth of sf fandom. The stories are based on familiar Strek themes and offer nothing new. The exception to this are Rebecca Hoffman's 'The Cat's in the Cradle,' a fun story about a telepathic feline; if not taken too seriously, it can do no harm. There is also Jean Lorrah's 'Domestic Scene with Sehlat,' a pleasant Sarek-Amanda-young Spock tale that could stand some refining but gets its message across. Besides these two fair efforts, the classy paper is wasted on the other major stories. The editor's 'Here's Welcome' is the old 'Kirk wants to quit Starfleet and settle down with sympathetic girl but knows he is tied to the Big E, his only love, coma.' It is predictable from the word 'go' and even the beautifully repro-ed, black beyond belief illos of Andy Duckett can't save it. But despite its overused theme, Jackie shows us she can thread a story together adequately; if only she could come up with some fresh ideas. 'Hell Minus Three.' by J.W. Randell is nothing short of a dull disaster. Presumably, the protagonist is a detective hired by this nut whose wife is a witch, whose brother-in-law is a werewolf, and whose mother-in-law is a vampire. Got that? The poor detective has to kill off each of the critters, described in increasingly gory detail. The ending is too foolish to mention.

The poetry is a bit schmaltzy and overly obvious, but with some beautiful accompanying illos. Patrice Cullen's security officer poem was by far the best, with some semblance of meter, besides the original subject of the unsung S.O. The dramatic quality is heightened by the excellent Leslie Fish illo, who proves she can draw as well as she can sing. Leslie is even given her own filksong showcase from her popular Folk Songs For Folk Who Ain't Even Been Yet. The great, wonderful 'Ballad of Transport 18' is here, along with 'Skybound Blues,' 'Iron Mistress,' and 'Engineer's Hymn.' all nicely illoed by Laura Virgil. 'Iron Mistress' is the best, a finely drawn Kirk in a style much like Faddis and Landon, against a very black, black background. Mark Wallace could be a good cartoonist and should stick to a humorous subject; his illos on 'Domestic Scene' made Sarek and Family look unintentionally comical. Joe Fleming's style is also rough, unrefined and needs more work, as does Amy Falkowitz's who is still too erratic to judge. The good-looking Stan Bielowicz illo suffers from a photo-in moon which sits there like a moldy Sunkist orange. The cover is a big mess and looks like someone had an accident with a spray gun. A cover by Virgil or Bielowicz would have been more appropriate.

No one can deny SP3's fine printing job, with a few fade-outs and a very clear type, with an average number of typos. Some of the illos faded badly and were messily cut-out, however. It is unfortunate that the quality of the material does not live up to its classy appearance. There are many budding talents here who would benefit from some more experience in less expensive surroundings. Printed with less extravagant process, the content could be quietly written of as Basic-Blah-Zine 101, but in bold black type Sol Plus 3 glaringly displays its own faults and weaknesses; it is done in by its own deceptive appearance. A more careful, selective editing job would have reduced the price and increased the enjoyment. Getting 'carried away' is no excuse for the unjustified high price. Perhaps in the future issues, cooler heads will prevail and get SP off its undeserved high horse and back on steadier, if less pretentious ground.[15]

This would be an excellent zine if only it didn't cost so damn much [$5.50]. The print is unreduced, the art is clear except for a tendency for the smaller lines to smear. The who thing is extremely readable, in fact wastefully so. The same material could have been presented at half the price, even if not as spread out or on slick paper. Beyond that the contents are good. The art is competent, though nothing is generally outstanding.

Jackie Bielowicz' "Hero's Welcome" is easily the best story, a very real and believable tale on how Kirk finds love while on home leave—no Mary Sue, no alien enchantresses, no half human/half Martians. Great! Rebecca Hoffman's "The Cat's in the Cradle" tells of some crewmembers' trials in raising a Capellan Power Cat. Rebecca did a good job, but then I like cats. Jean Lorrah's "Domestic Scene with Sehlat" would be better than it is if it wasn't just like several other Sarek-Amanda stories she's already written. However, it is as well written as the others, and Mark Wallace's illos add a lot.

There are lyrics and illos to some of the FILK SONGS FOR FOLKS WHO AIN'T EVEN BEEN YET, including one that never made it to the album. All in all, a better than average zine that is awfully expensive. Rating: Graphics: 4; Content: 4; $ Worth: 3. [16]
...the third ish of SOL PLUS just jumped about three points in my 1 to 10 scale of quality in fanzines ... artwork and storywork in general certainly improved (lid put this ish]] at about 7 to 8 on the aforementioned scale, compared to a 5 last ish--...very few zines lid rate a 10-- INTERPHASE is one...) Where did you dig up Laura Virgil? She is certainly a most up and coming artist...As usual, I did really like Mark's work... another year or two (or maybe 1ess...) and you could be up there with Foglio and Carleton as a caricaturist...l very much liked both Patrice's poem and the accompanying i110 by Leslie...I liked...HERO'S WELCOME, although I do not think it was anything really fantastic. I do think that your writing is continuing to improve--that you have a definite abi1ity...LOVED the Definition of a Star Trek fan--10ved it...I'm gonna Xerox the part about the mother--and give it to ~ mother (who still doesn't understand!). [17]

... Shocked by illo to "S.0. I -- didn't have any idea that Leslie Fish was an artist! She has never let on!...Afraid the low point of the zine was "Hell Minus Three" and its pretty bad illos. Don't know what a story like this, which was cliche and badly written, was doing in a ST zine any- way! Randell has been watching too many reruns of "Night Stalker". It could have easily been left out. Pretty fair illo of Satan, but must

take exception to the phrase "she-bitch." Please tell Randell that there is no such thing as a he-bitch. The term is female, like mare, cow or hen... Enjoyed the lettercol and Joel's inside bc. He has really improved...my overall reaction to SP is--the stories are fine and sometimes approaching brilliance, but the zine suffers from the general poor artwork. Joe is progressing and Mark is fine at cartooning but serious illustrating is just beyond them right now. Especially Mark. Good as his cartoons are, when used as serious illos, they detract from the story. [18]
..."Hell Minus Three" is chilling, and terrifying, and very effective, perhaps because Morgan's identity is kept so well hidden until nearly the end of the story. And the story is as nice a description as live seen of the way in which ordinary decent people are induced to commit evil acts "for the good of the community/group/world/whatever," and of the way in which they lose the capacity to realize that what they are doing is wrong: Bellini becomes hardened, even to the horror of the inhuman bodies... "Hero's Welcome" -- I enjoyed also; you captured one of the major components of Kirk's personality -- his compunction to shoulder in its entirety the blame for anything that happens to his ship...[19]

Mark Wallace is a new enthusiasm of mine, but I must say, if I was disappointed in anything in the zine, it was that the fine cover (front) cries out for a story to match--come on now--something terrible has happened, how did it all come out?? I can see Kirk leering at the nude beauty (covered only by a blanket) while Chekov wonders if he can get to her first and what it would do to his chances for promotion, and Spock is off baying at the moon and playing his lytherette. Wha's hoppening? ..Richard Schultz has such a fine well- reasoned article, ... I bought and read pro-zines from the 20's on, but never knew about fanzines until a couple of years ago. How much I missed, all those years ... "Hero's Welcome" was the highlight of the issue for me ...1 loved all that home and background stuff, warm and loving and supportive, which we all need so desperately, and a nice sensible romantic love story--even if it stretched credibility a little to have her speak Vulcan (could you be a Vulcan freak [Ed. Note: I'll admit to anything if you'll get me a date with Leonard Nimoy. - Jackie and Mary])...But it was a nice story, such a relief after all those turgid sex tales that have been cluttering up the mails recently (which I joyously buy and greatly enjoy... ). Outstandingly good illos, too...Finally the lovely Jean Lorrah Vulcan story--I am so pleased with her Vulcan universe, as opposed to the Kraith one, which degener- ated into magic and fantasy, leaving geniune SF far behind--though, alas, in this instance, Mark Wallace's cartoons (ugly and with no real resem- blence, almost caricatures) are not worthy of his other fine art. Laura Virgil could have done these so beautifully...this is one customer who

is highly satisfied for her money.[20]
"Cat's in the Cradle" had a strong ending, though I disliked the female lead; her dialogue at times seemed to have been lifted out of "Police Woman" ... "Manna" was tight, ironic. "Hero' Welcome" colorful and realistic; a human Kirk. And on page 70: "As he spock...",(spoke) has got to be a classic among typos.[21]
SOL PLUS 3 was the best...The cover, binding and artwork are class A and Mark Wallace's Trekletts are ---! ... For factual art I like Duckett the best but for snide commentary Wallace's tops them all ... As for the stories, well I'm sending this SASE along for more. [22]
I've read SOL PLUS I &II. I'm glad to see that you have more and better qua1ity stories (except for Manna and He11 Minus Three).[23]

1 like all the artwork...particularly Laura Virgil's...and Andy Duckett's Spock on page 64. All of his portraits are very good, but something about that one in particular grabs me..."Cat's in the Cradle": OH NO, another Lt. Mary Sue! Sorry, Rebecca, but it seems to me that we should realize by now when we're writing one of these, and CEASE AND DESIST IMMEDIATELY: And I even like cats.

"Manna": Intriguing, to say the least! I like it more every time I read it.

"Hell Minus Three": I skipped this one the first time through because it isn't something I'd ordinarily read...finally read it and liked it more than I thought I would. The ending wasn't a surprise, but I don't think it was meant to be, was it? The clues were there. [24]

My favorite cartoon was Spock and the Tang Gang. Is T'Ang a Vulcan? Boo!... All I have to say for "Manna" is "Grief!"

Who wrote "The Ballad of Transport 18"? They are brilliant. That thing had me in complete hysterics, and my dog thought I was nuts sitting in the room all along singing,' So we cheered our salvation and we mourned for the brew..." WOW!

The illo for "Iron Mistress" was fantastic! I'd love to have a poster of it. [25]

I finished SOL PLUS 3 and I'm very impressed. The improvement over #2 (which, by the way, was not at all bad) is at least 300% (quality as well as quantity-keep it up!)...At first, I didn't like "Cat's in the Cradle" but found I liked it. Very well handled and not at all icky-poo, thank ghod.

Adored "On Another Rock in Another Field.

Page 79 held one of the very best Kirk/Shatner impressions I have ever seen! ... the only other ones I've seen and liked have been by Signe Landon. Kudos for Laura Virgil.

"Catspaw" cartoon really tickled my funny bone. [26]

This is really a beautiful zine - the printing is so clear and easy to read. Good artwork, too, particularly...Laura Virgil.

The story I liked least was "Cat's in the Cradle". Probably because it's one of those stories in which some very junior officer (always female) aboard the Enterprise overwhelms all the senior officers, scientists, etc. with her vastly superior knowledge and ability. However, I doubt very much that Spock would have avoided Micki because he subconsciously sensed empathy in him. Vulcans don't do things subconsciously; that's what all their training is for-to control every action of mind and body, to produce the greatest awareness. Not subconsciously, but consciously Spock would have sensed Micki's empathy, and he would have mentioned it to the captain when he first noticed it. It would not have been necessary for Ensign Keenan to painstakingly point it out. The ending bothered me, too; it seemed highly improbable. Would an officer aboard a starship really decide to spend the rest of her life on a planet populated only by Capalent Power Cats?[27]
You may have thought you were fooling me when you checked Box #6 [on the "You Are Receiving This Zine Because page]: getting my name from the FBI files ... I know you used the files! ... I was in the Girl Scouts ... "Hero's Welcome". Finally, Kirk ...is attracted to a mature woman, and isn't taking her to bed at the first opportunity--then leaving her! Frankly, I've had enough of the "tomcat" image for Kirk...Hopefully, if you write a sequel, you won't kill the lady off! He deserves some chance for another love, besides his "Iron Mistress".[28]
It's really nice to read a 'zine without either needing a magnifying glass to see the print or having the pages fallout before you get to read them...! do disagree with Rebecca on her portrayal of Christine Chapel. Chapel has a doctorate in research biology, and she has always struck me as levelheaded and sensible. I honestly don't believe she'd try anything as stupid as feeding the cat through the bars of a cage. Since biology is her field, I think she'd be as likely as the doctor to know that the power cats don't give much of a shock in kittenhood ... Or Cool Fan-every seven years Spock has the irresistible urge to put on a leather jacket and flirt with the entire female population of the Enterprise...The poetry and the songs fit the ST characters very well.[29]
Now then, for those of you who are reading your first SOL PLUS and don't know what the hell we're talking about--Welcome. Within these pages you will find stories, articles and, especially, art work ranking among the finest amateur efforts anywhere (there also are a few offerings of my own, but every publication has its drawbacks). I am proud of this publication, because it is a quality effort involving the sweat and blood of those I am privileged to call friends. So enjoy; tell your friends; write a letter--better yet, write a story or article or poem of your own and become a part of this growing society of mad geniuses. [Ed. Note: Thanks, Jerry Wilson. Your check is in the mail.] [30]

Issue 4

front cover of issue #4, Mike Wallace
back cover of issue #4, Joe Flemming

Sol Plus 4 was published in 1977 and contains 100 pages.

The art is by Joe Fleming, Mark Wallace, Cheree Cargill, Leslie Fish, Signe Landon, Gee Moaven, Jim Rogers, and Edmond Walzer.

The editor notes in Implosion #6 that she had over 100 SASES inquiring about the release of this issue.

From the editorial:

Contrary to popular demand, here is yet another issue of SOL PLUS. This is our fourth issue in fourteen months; therefore, we are going to take a small break and issue five will not come out until either one of two things occurs: our printer1s bill is down to $300; or, a release date of September, whichever comes first. Deadline for submissions is August 1,1977, and we mean August 1st.

Due to unexpected illness by our chief (and only) typist, we had to ask friends to step in and help with the typing. He would like to give special thanks to Linda Deneroff, Elan Jane Litt, and Cynthia Levine, for typing and proofreading one half of the zine in five days. That doesn1t sound like very much to you, but they live in New York City and we live in Oklahoma, and that's a distance of some three thousand miles. Thanks a lot gals, and we will be releasing your parents tomorrow.

Because of our poor eyesight, we have made the following editorial policy: No reductions, unless absolutely necessary; No reduced type, we don1t have access to a magnifying glass; No narrow margins, we don1t guess as well as we used to as to what a word might be, especially when there is a staple in the middle of it. And, for one last and final time: THE SLICK PAPER IS FREE!; as long as we can get it free, we will take it, but we will NOT buy it.

We are extremely delighted in the interest shown in reprints of earlier issues of SOL PLUS. At one time we had considered reprinting at least issue I. However, Jackie1s schedule has gotten heavier and Mary is becoming more involved with SF in general. This leaves us only time and money to print new material (to SOL PLUS). Therefore, regretfully, we hereby announce that there will be no reprints of SOL PLUS in the future. This applies only to SOL PLUS, at this time, and not to our Special Editions.
  • Editorial: Tribble Dribble (iii)
  • You Are My Son (poem) by Brian Gray (1)
  • Kemper County Co-op by Stephen Kimmel (original SF) (3)
  • How to Get from Here to There in Nothing Flat, or, Can somebody Tell Me What the Hell I'm Talking About, article by J.R. Wilson ("What I am about to discuss is on the theoretical fringe of modern physics -- so far on the fringe, in fact, that few researchers have written much about it. And what has been written is frequently contradictory. Therefore, I feel free to take considerable liberties and rollout a few unsupported, highly questionable and potentially dingy theories of my own. As I tried to point out ~n "Damn Albert Einstein, Anyway" (Sol Plus 3), the basic problem with FTL flight as it is generally approached lies with the pesky factor of time. Too much, too little, too distorted -- all tend to limit the application of FTL flight in any reasonable exploration of space. Therefore, the obvious solution is to get around the time factor, neutralize it, so to speak. Is it possible? Perhaps.

And so to hyperspace (more or less).") (9)

  • It All Began With... by Frances Zawacky (12)
  • Graffiti (13)
  • Among the Ways to Babel by Jean Lorrah (NTM story; reprinted in NTM Collected #1) (14)
  • Treklett Showcase by Mark Wallace (45)
  • Sundered Duties by Jacqueline Bielowicz, Linda Deneroff and Frances Zawacky (Kraith story) (also in Probe #9 and Kraith Collected #6) (47)
  • Alas, Babylon by Sandra Gent (79)
  • Point-Counterpoint by J.R. Wilson & Stephen Kimmel (editorials on strengths and weaknesses of Star Trek) ("In SOL PLUS 2 we printed an article, "Star Trek... Or Star Trick?" in which author, J.R. Wilson, expounded a few of his favorite ideas of where the aired ST was in error. We promptly received a rebuttal from Steve Kimmel which was printed in SOL PLUS 3 as "What is Science Fiction?" This generated a heated (and slightly hostile) letter from Wilson to the editors which we handled in our usual courageous way: we sent Wilson and Kimmel each other's addresses and told them to go at it. The following debate is the result. This is a private debate, not a town meeting. Please do not send us ten-page rebuttals of both and/or either debator. If you would like to send in a sentence or two on what is said, we will print these in our "Sensor Readings," as room permits. As usual, the views of either debator are not necessarily those of the editors. We will continue the debate as long as interest is generated or for 10,000 words, whichever comes first.") (81)
  • Computer Fireflies by Stephen Kimmel (original SF) (88)
  • Sensor Readings, letters of comment (93)
  • You're Getting This Because (99)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

An above-average zine (at times, far above). A marvelous Jean Lorrah story; a mixture of SF with ST vignettes, poems, etc, enjoyable all. 'It All Began With...' (poem) and 'Computer Fireflies' (short story) in particular were amusing and good... All in all a zine well worth the money. Very enjoyable. [31]
This is a fine general STAR TREK/Sci-Fi zine with a fairly polished look with a leaning toward Vulcan. There are only two stories of any length or import, but both are engrossing and entertaining. There are also two short stories, some very funny humor, and several interesting articles.

"Among The Ways to Babel", by Jean Lorrah and part of her NTM universe. As the title implies this story picks up with a repeat, and some amplification, of the action at the end of the aired episode, "Journey to Babel", and continues from there. Jean Lorrah has a deft, knowledgeable hand with the characters of Sarek and Amanda, and in this sotory she also gives us a few insights Into her conception of Spock. The major portion of the story deals with Amanda's mental review of the events (including the Season for their absencefrom Spock*s marriage) leading up to Sarek's collapse on the ENTERPRISE and the ever widening gap they had caused between she and her husband. Amanda is definitely the main figure In the plot, and her character is extremely well drawn and fleshed out. The most engrossing scene has to be a mindmeld linking Sarek, Amanda and Spock which Is realistic and suspenseful. The author never minimizes the problems still to be faced by Sarek and Amanda in their relationship. Indeed, she leaves the door open for future stories on the subjects however, the overall tone of the story, especially the ending, is upbeat and hopeful with flashes of humor. This is easily the best offering in the zine.

"Sundered Duties", by Jacqueline Bielowicz, Linda Deneroff, and Frances Zawacky. A fascinating, often sobering, lock at the events leading up to Spock's decision to enter Star-fleet Academy and his leaving to do so. This is a KRAITH universe story, so anti-KRAITH people be warned. The story is not overloaded with Kraith words or ideas, and those used are fairly self-explanatory. If anything, a first time reader might get interested In investigating KRAITH more closely. It is well written with good characterization, flows smoothly, and holds the reader's attention throughout. It is not perhaps an "enjoyable" story, but it is certainly an interesting, engrossing one. The action builds inevitably and believably to the story's conclusion, and the last scene leaves the reader eager for more while satisfied with what has been read.

"Kemper County Co-op", non-TREK, by Stephen Kimmel, Standard Sci-Fi, but still nicely written with a few good touches, including an ending that, while not completely unexpected, still manages some emotional clout. "Computer Fireflies", Non-TREK, by Stephen Kimmel. A humorous, lightweight, totally irrelevant to anything, but very enjoyable story, and a welcome break from the more weighty matters of life. "Point-CounterPoint", by J.H. Wilson & Steve Kimmel. Concerns their widely differing views on the strengths and weaknesses of STAR TREK. The editors make it clear they are not, starting a town meeting on the subject but short comments are welcome. Both sides are clearly thought out and present interesting, if opposite, views of the same subject.

Artwork is not overabundant in the zine, but what is there is very good, especially the portraits illustrating "Sundered Duties". There is also a spattering of humor and humorous graffiti that is overall very funny and the cartoons are well drawn. "You Are My Son", by Brian Gray is a fluid, powerful poem, melancholy in tone, with a memorable last stanza and a beautiful illo to enhance its strength.

The layout is generally good. The printing is clear, easy to read, with no wasted space good reading and worth its price. Considering the general high quality of the fiction and non-fiction in this issue I would not hesitate to recommend it or future issues other friends and fans. [32]

Issue 5

front cover of issue #5, Mark Wallace
back cover of issue #5, Dennis Drew

Sol Plus 5 was published in July 1978 and contains 108 pages. Cover: Mark Wallace; back cover: Dennis Drew. Art & illustrations: Cheree Cargill, Dennis Drew, Gayle F, Joe Fleming, Brad Frank, Sheila Hallman, Amy Harlib, Mark Shepherd, Marty Siegrist, Laurraine Tutahasi, Anji Valenza, Laura Virgil, Mark Wallace.

Regarding the lack of Leslie Fish songs in this issue: "Due to the fact that Leslie Fish's songs have appeared in so many other 'zines and the fact that we could not get all of the art work in in time for Sol Plus 4, we will not be reprinting the remainder of the songs as promised. We do thank Leslie for giving us first crack at them."

The editorial:

You think this is late, don't you? You're wrong. The other three issues were early. If we get this out on our present schedule, this, too, will be early by on month. In case you guys haven't figured it out yet (and we have figured it out), we have printed (not including this issue) 549 pages since February, 1976 (Jackie, that makes my finger stubs hurt). Therefore, after this issue, we are going to take a very, very minute vacation. So don't expect issue six before February, 1979.

Concerning submissions to Sol Plus, as of this time we have issue six filled except we need one medium article and, of course, artwork. We are especially interested in getting a really spiffy front and back cover. For issue seven, we have all the science fiction we need, but are in desperate need of Star Trek, along with the usual poems, articles, etc., etc. Deadline for #6 is November 1, 1978. Deadline for #7 will be announced in six.

The main reason we are taking a vacation is to build up our Star Trek stockpile. Another reason is that when you finish one issue and immediately start on another, it is no longer a hobby, it is a pain in the ass. So we will use the time to recharge our enthusiasm batteries, so to speak.

For the multitudes who have already asked, there will be no Epilogue 3. Jean has finished this series and if you want any more, you can write it yourself. However, that does not mean that we will not be doing a Special Edition #3. It will probably come out after issue 5 so we will have more information in that issue. Submissions for this special edition are now being taken. What we want is a novel length Star Trek work. Violence and explicit sex and vulgar language will be considered only if it is an integral part of the story. We are interested only in quality writing, not Star Trek exploitation, or immature sex fairy tales, and please, no Star Wars.

[snipped]

SINCE IT IS THE FASHION, WE ARE MAKING AN OFFICIAL POLICY STATEMENT ON SOL PLUS. THIS 'ZINE IS A FUN HOBBY FOR US. WE ARE NOT PERFORMING A PUBLIC SERVICE; WE ARE NOT IN A BUSINESS; AND WE ARE CERTAINLY NOT THE MOUTHPIECE OF ANY CLIQUE IN POWER OR NOT. WE HAVE A PROFOUND AFFECTION FOR STAR TREK, SCIENCE FICTION, AND AMATEUR WRITING. WE DISPLAY THIS AFFECTION BY PRODUCING A FANZINE OF STORIES THAT WE LIKE, AND OFFER TO SHARE THEM WITH FRIENDS. IF SOME OF OUR FRIENDS DO NOT LIKE WHAT WE PRINT WE DO NOT TAKE IT AS A PERSONAL INSULT. AS STRANGE AS IT MAY SEEM, MANY OF OUR FRIENDS DO NOT EVEN LIKE STAR TREK OR SCIENCE FICTION, BUT THEY REMAIN OUR FRIENDS. THE MEASURE OF FRIENDSHIP TO US IS NOT ABSOLUTE CONCURRENCE WITH OUR IDEAS. THEREFORE, AS LONG AS SOL PLUS IS EDITED BY MARY ROBBINS AND JACKIE BIELOWICZ WE WILL CONTINUE TO PRINT THE THINGS WE LIKE. IF THERE ARE THOSE WHO DO NOT APPROVE OF WHAT WE PRINT, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO NOT PURCHASE SOL PLUS, BUT DON'T LET US LOSE YOUR FRIENDSHIP.

ONE FINAL WORD. BECAUSE WE ENCOURAGE NEW WRITERS TO SUBMIT SO THAT THEY HAVE A PUBLIC FORUM TO TRY OUT IN, WE WELCOME CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM THAT WE CAN PASS ALONG TO THE WRITERS. WE WILL NOT BE MEDIARIES FOR PERSONAL ATTACKS. BLUNTLY, MAMMA DON'T 'LOW NO INSULT SLINGING 'ROUND HERE.

HOPEFULLY THAT WAS THE FIRST AND LAST TIME YOU WILL HEAR US GET SERIOUS. OUR NAUSEA THRESHOLD IS VERY-Y-Y LOW. LET'S GET THOSE LETTERS COMING, OR WE MAY GET THE IDEA WE ARE PERFECT.
  • Tribble Dribble (editorial) (iii)
  • Ode to Mary Sue, poem by D.K. Brewer (1)
  • Alter Egos, puzzle by Nancy (2)
  • The Last Unicorn by Sheila T. Hallman (4)
  • So Dime It Flickers Blue by Randy Vereyken (10)
  • art by Mark Wallace (11)
  • Miss-Match, puzzle by Nancy (13)
  • Tiger, Be! by Diane Tessman (15)
  • 4 Poems by Mark Shepherd (30)
  • The Rule of the Dead in Vulcan Culture, article by Karen Fleming (about filial piety, family relationships, the episodes "Amok Time" and "Journey to Babel" - "Unfortunately, what we have are only fragments of Vulcan culture -- only a tiny handful of the pieces of the Vulcan jigsaw puzzle. We don't have enough pieces to even begin to understand the whole. Possibly, the explanations I have offered for Vulcan actions are erroneous. I don't pretend that any of this is established fact. I do offer this as a prod to get theorists on Vulcan ways of life out of their rut -- to try to persuade them to look at Vulcan from fresh points of view. If we are going to think of Vulcans as if they were part of a real culture instead of pawns in a piece of televised fiction, we should take off our cultural blinders and see them as entities who may not really be like us. It's not that Vulcan values are better or worse--only that they were evolved to suit Vulcan needs.") (33)
  • Mechanomorphosis by Joseph Cown (non-Trek) (37)
  • Future Shock, poem by D.K. Brewer (54)
  • Showcase: Brad Frank, close-up illos of some Star Trek equipment (56)
  • Graffiti (60)
  • Trekletts, illos by Mark Wallace (61)
  • Stardrifter, poem by Randy Vereyken (63)
  • In Prinipio, poem by Beverly Clark (65)
  • OKon '77 Postcard Auction stories (67)
    • The Hand of Venca by Wilson "Bob" Tucker
    • The Rite of Passage by R.A. Lafferty
    • The Daily Planet by Jim Rogers
    • Putting on the Bite by Lee Killough
    • Ghengis Con by Gary Phillips
  • Bridge Between Souls by Karen Fleming (reprinted from R & R #4) (72)
  • Point-counterpoint, article/debate by J.R. Wilson & Stephen Kimmel (86)
  • Mnemosyne by Mark Shepherd (non-Trek) (95)
  • Sensor Readings (small bits from LoCs) (104)
  • Star Trek Lives! So What., essay by J.R. Wilson (105)

Reacations and Reviews: Issue 5

See reactions and reviews for Bridge Between Souls.
[zine]: The editorial contains a policy statement and a listing of what the editors are, and are not, looking for in submissions. The remainder of the zine is taken up with a variety of material: poetry, puzzles, non-fiction, articles, fiction, and artwork. One story is reprinted from R & R #4 and one illustration is reprinted from the Interphase calendar. A special bonus is the inclusion of material by pro science fiction writers (Tucker, Lafferty, Rogers, Killough, and Phillips). This issue contains a little something for everyone and is printed offset on sturdy paper with (miracle of miracles!) unreduced type. Easy on the eyes, enjoyable reading. [33]
[zine]: Best two stories are "Tiger Be" where a young and unsure and guilt-ridden Kirk finds peace after he sets free a rare sabreenian tiger. This freeing his own psyche to grow into the man we know. "Bridge Between Souls" is another version of Spock/Christine's eternal dilemma with the usual results. I like Mark Wallace's illustrations. He has a devilish sense of fun with certain 'sacred cows.' [34]

Yes, SOL PLUS #5 was a welcome sight in my mailbox and was in fact a trade for Falcon's Lair — won't Jackie be surprised when she sees that I've reviewed it? Probably not, but it's the thought that counts.

SOL PLUS #5 has three main stories, Mechanoraorphosis by Joseph Cowan, a interest and different story that was enjoyable. Bridge Between Souls by Karen Fleming left me less that luke-warm and Tiger, BE! by Diane Tessman. I always save the best for last. I loved this story from beginning to end and look forward to more by Miss Tessman. She has a very light and professional style (light in the sense that it's easy to read not necessarily humorous), Anji Valenza's illustrations were also perfect. SOL PLUS is also packed with lots — and I mean lots — of other goodies.

The art is excellent to fair, but whose zine's art doesn't run the gamut? Much of the art is also of a comical nature, what can you expect since most of it comes from Mark Wallace? I like this issue of SOL PLUS which really says a lot since I thought an earlier issue (the expensive one with glossy paper) sucked. SOL PLUS is well worth the money and I look forward to more issue like itI Since I think it will be in stock when you read this I'm listing prices along with the address (Try it, you'll like it!) [35]

We enjoyed reading SOL PLUS #5, especially "Tiger, Be!".

We were fascinated by Karen Fleming's article "The Rule of the Dead in Vulcan Culture" especially as we had been convinced all along that the Vulcan culture was closely patterned on that of the Japanese people. Several things had led us to believe this: 1. the repression of emotion despite the capability of being a highly emotional race (Pon Farr and Vulcan's violent past, for example) 2. close family clans and respect of age. 3. the discipline, search for harmony — all these bear resemblance to the Samurai class disciplines in Japan...However, we do not agree with several points in Karen Fleming’s article. For example, we do not believe that the Vulcans worship their ancestors. We believe that, they worship the "logic" and "intelligence" of their ancestors, which is very much different thing. In other words, they adhere to Surak's Construct of the IDIC, but do not worship Surak as an idol or god...Vulcans would not believe in the concept of souls, so logically they would not believe in the spirits of their ancestors guiding them from beyond the grave. Believing this way, logically, when a Vulcan died, there would be no ghost left to wander in the night. [36]

You know, you have a really strange zine on your hands. I have tried to define it as an ST-genzine, but that seems so equivocating of me. SOL PLUS is definitely a zine of its own ilk...

I do want you to know that SOL PLUS #5 was great! I love schmaltz, but I was overdosing on it when my SP came. It was good to cry comfortingly neutral tears for the last unicorn rather than over Spock giving Jim's eulogy. *Sob*

I already had "Bridge Between Souls" but it was well worth the reprint. I've noticed fandom is a lot nicer to Christine than they used to be -- she shows some intelligence (she always did -- some of us just ignored it). Maybe it's because of K/S-- well anyway, it is always nice to see a rational scientist in Christine's body! (Don't read into that, please!)

I will have to read "Mnemosyne" several more times before I really understand it. I think I liked the story.

Matter of fact, I liked the whole zine! (As usual). [37]

"The Hand of Venca" by Wilson Tucker would have been more effective if you'd managed to put the last line on the next page...

I couldn't quite accept the premise of "Tiger, Be!", that Kirk's guilt over the deaths of the Farregut crew could be blunted, if not absolved, by releasing the tiger -- it didn't seem like enough to me.[38]

First of all, on the cover of #5, who is the distinguished looking gentleman with the two-toned beard a self portrait of the artist? (EDS' NOTE: No, it's what Mark thinks the character Scotty would look like if James Doohan were allowed to-wear his natural beard during filming. Sexy, huh?)

All together a really beautiful issue. Your artwork is some of the best I have seen. [Gayle F's] "Tiger Be!": An interesting story. Well thought out and very well-written. Though I cannot see Kirk as a Swamper in a third’ rate circus.

Karen Fleming's "Rule of the Dead in Vulcan Culture". An extremely interesting article. Her comparison of Vulcan and Earth/Oriental cultures is valid as she has developed it. However, she did not go into still one other break from Vulcan Tradition. Sarek's marriage to Amanda. So if T'Pring's family did agree with her challenge, the cause could go back one generation. This would tie in with the Japanese concept of Gimu/Giri, which can follow a family through many generations until honor is satisfied.

Joseph Cowan's "Mechanomorphosis" is a very good straight 3F story. Not a brand new concept, but the first time I have seen it applied to a President of the United States.

"The Rite of Passage" by R.A. Lafferty: May I say this poem nearly brought me to a messy end? I was reading and drinking a coke. I read the last three lines, laughed, the coke went down the wrong way, and I damn near choked to death. It was downright painful, but worth it, hilarious.

"Putting on the Bite": Really, have you no shame? A gay vampire, really? Actually, I have always had my doubts about Dracula, especially as played by Bela Lugosi. He was just a bit precious.

"Bridge Between Souls": Let me state right at the beginning that I am a complete, verified, card-carrying, certifiable Spock freak. I love stories about him or Vulcan in general. Karen Fleming's story is outstanding. And Ms. Cargill's illustrations portray it so very well. I do have one small question though. Since McCoy obviously knew what was wrong with Spock, would he go out and leave Chapel there? You would think he would foresee the resulting situation. Maybe he didn't and in his own McCoyvian way was trying to solve both their problems? I hope Ms. Fleming will not leave this story at this point, but will continue in further issues. This story is not ended, in fact, it has; really just begun., (EDS' NOTE: That is what we keep telling Karen, but; so far with no results.).

Wilson and Kimmel: They argue very well, but it must be rather difficult to sustain a lengthy argument when they both are on the same side. (EDS' NOTE:' You noticed that, too? Evidently, Steve and Jerry felt the same way since we didn't hear from either one for this issue. Actually, Steve has sold several stories and is now very involved in his writing. We have ah idea that Jerry, too, is probably very busy since he is a journalist in Georgia, home of you-know-who.).

Mark Shepherd's story is very odd. Talk about a fate worse than death, this is it. The rape of an individual's personality. Gad, "Brave New World" I don't think! What a horrible fate for mankind. [39]

What can I say about Mark Wallace? I especially enjoyed the cover... *Sigh*

You distinguish between STAR TREK and SF, and I agree it's necessary, but ST was originally meant to be science fiction, for heaven*s sake! True, stories set in the ST universe can be written that don’t deal with SF concepts—good ones like "Tiger Be!", cute pieces of fluff, like "The Last Unicorn", and (ho hum) True Confessions-style soap opera, like "Bridge Between Souls" (has the technology of contraception been lost (or ..possibly made taboo...) maybe in the Eugenics Wars? Would children be desirable on board a starship?). But please, let’s get the SF back in STS...This is probably the #*%#%# letter that says "tell Randy Yereyken that blue stars are the hottest stars and thus the brightest (look at Sirius & Vega, for instance)".

I enjoyed the SF, the "Postcard” auction stories, and especially "The Rule of the Dead in Vulcan Culture" — it would be nice to see a Vulcan-based story that explores Vulcan religion or sociology.[40]

Issue 6/7

Sol Plus 6/7 was published in October 1979 and 160 pages. It was a flip-over zine combining two issues.

The editor writes in an ad: "Two for the price of one! Sol Plus is going to a whole new format, mimeo with some offset art. This way we hope to give the same great issue at half the price. In Sol Plus #6 there is fiction by Steven Kimmell and Ann Bagley. In Sol Plus #7, there is fiction by Sarah Hood and Joy Wilson, to name a few." [41]

front cover of issue #6, Laura Virgil
front cover of issue #7, Laura Virgil

Contents of Issue 6

The art is by Stan Bielowicz, Cheree Cargill, Gordon Carleton, ERIC, Brad Frank, Mark Shepherd, Laura Virgil, Mark Wallace, ZACK, and Bev Zuk.

From the editorial:

Ghod, we can't be a year late! Put we are. Rather than bore you stiff, anyone interested in the longer version of our sad story can send us a SAE and $829.86 in postage. The shortened version is: very delayed artwork, injured son (now doing much better, thanks to all of you who prayed), graduation, state boards, convention chair- maning, and new jobs. Personally, we are delighted to finally get this into your hands and hope we never hear of it again. Some of you may have been following the debate going, on in INTERSTAT. concerning offset vs mimeo. tie felt that we owed it to our readers to try mimeo in order to save money in these ~ays of inflation. After months of stencil typing, screwed up electrostencils, and various other problems, even our printer, Karen Fleming (arch-champion of mimeo), states that these issues are cursed. Mimeo may be cheaper in price, but in time to prepare, Mary and I have decided either we give up mimeoing or give up work, family, and all other spare time activities just to do SOL PLUS. Needless too,say, we would rather go back to offset. Besides we found a new printer who is giving us a better price, though with slightly less quality.

You may notice that there are several differences in these issues than were advertised. First, we are shorter than planned. This is because Jackie can't count. Though our page count is shorter, the number of planned offset pages, especially those that needed metal plates is greater, so the price came out to be about what we had estimated originally. Also, due to the fact Mary ended up as OKon '79 chairman practically at the last minute, the pro-written short-short stories have been temporarily "lost" in Mary's house and we will be printing those at a later date. Anyone who has purchased this issue for those and feel like they didn't get their money's worth, just return this issue and we will return your money.
  • Editorial: Tribble Dribbles (iii)
  • This is Not For Me, poem by Gene Delapenia (1)
  • Lot's Wife by Rebecca Ross ("McCoy is about to start his autopsy on the salt monster when he realizes the creature is not dead.") (2)
  • Little Green Men, poem by Randy Vereyken (10)
  • Finagle's Folly, puzzle by Nancy (11)
  • The Sanctuary by K. Lee Killough (12)
  • Infrared Cosmos, poem by Randy Vereyken (30)
  • Banshee by Sarah Hood (32)
  • Answer to Puzzle (60)
  • Tomorrow & Tomorrow by Ann Bagley (62)
  • art by Mark Wallace (66)
  • Spacefighter by Charlie S. McCue (68)
  • Trekletts by Mark Wallace (88)
  • You Are Getting This Because (90)
  • Tradrotriticale Stew (91)

Contents of Issue 7

The art is by Cheree Cargill, Raynette Dodge, ERIC, Joe Fleming, Brad Frank, Mary Ellen Matyi, Laura Virgil, Mark Wallace, and ZACK.

Regarding the story "To Find an Answer":
As advertized, one of our stories is K/S, though with only one brief sexual scene. If you remember from issue #5, we stated that we weren’t interested--in K/3 because on the whole, we found that K/S was not only poorly written, but didn’t excite us. When Joy sent her story, we read it because: 1. if it was well-written, we would recommend that she send it to one of the better known K/S zines, or 2. if it was poorly written, we would make some suggestions on improving the story. Lo and behold, the story really excited us. Not only was it well-written, but we both could become emotionally involved in the story! We loved it so much that we just couldn’t resist printing it. This does not mean that SOL PLUS is going into K/S. In the last few weeks, we have read several well-known K/S stories and while we were delighted to see that the quality of K/S-lit has dramatically improved, still none of the stories really moved us. So if you want to send us a K/S for consideration, fine. Just don’t be surprised if it doesn’t get to us emotionally. Unless it has the impact on us that Joy’s story did, we won't be printing it.
  • Editorial: Tribble Dribbles (iii)
  • Ode from a Forgotten Star: Beta Niobe by Lucy Tuttle (1)
  • ... Aionaarap by H. Patrick Killough (original science fiction) (2)
  • Kraith Portfolio by Gene Delapenia (three illos, three poems) (14)
    • Uhura
    • S'Darmeg
    • Spock
  • First Duty by Stephen Kimmel (18)
  • Maze-Word by Nancy (31)
  • Illusion by Lucy Tuttle (33)
  • Code Name: Tunnel by Robert Teeple (34)
  • Trekkie... Trekkie... What is Trekkie? by Jacqueline Bielowicz (reprinted from Crudzine #2) (58)
  • Answer to Puzzle (61)
  • To Find an Answer by Joy Wilson (This story is KS.) (64)
  • You Are Receiving This Zine Because (76)
  • Sensor Readings, letters of comment (77)
  • Graffiti (80)
  • Tradrotriticale Stew (82)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6/7

Sol Plus 6/7 features a new format, mimeo/offset, which, according to the editorial, cut the price and doubled the problems. It's a nice mimeo, though, and 172 pages makes the price reasonable. The zines are flip-flopped back to back like an old Ace Double and beware the staples. You may yet have two individual zines! There is an amazing variety in the contents: stories, poems, art, non-fiction, SF and Trek, Kraith and Nivens universes, and even a K/S story. No one story stands above the others as clearly superior and there are too many to go over each story. My favorites: "The Sanctuary" SF by K. Lee Killough. I won't give away the plot because of the nice twist at the end. 'The Banshee' by Susan Hood could have been aired Trek. It is a complete with problem-adventure-rescue, a humorous sick-bay wrap-up, and nice art by Bev Zuk. If you have a little extra money this month, try this one. It isn't the best zine Sol Plus has ever produced, but there is something for everyone, and the price is right. [42]

It was worth the wait. I liked all of the stories, poetry, art, and the graffiti was hilarious! "To Find The Answer" was the very best of the stories, though. Very well written and well thought out.

However, I am glad that you are going back to offset. For some reason mimeo doesn't look as professional as offset. No matter how well it is done the mimeoed zine seems to look "muddier" than the one in offset...[43]

Enjoyed SOL PLUS 6/70 Whatever printing method you choose for future issues is fine with me.

Highlights of this issue: "Lot's Wife"--I'm pleased that a story was finally written as a sequel to this episode; the aired ending was unsatisfactory & out of keeping with the Trek spirit. "Banshee"--enjoyable story. "To Find An Answer" -- my favorite (but I'm a K/S fan). Joy did an excellent job on this one...[44]

"Trekkie, Trekkie..." brought out an interesting point, the feuds of fandom. Having read STARLOG since #1, the letters often show the vehemence between sub-groups.

It is time that more effort is made to live up to the inherent philosophy of SF/F. Surprisingly, it is stated well by Gene Roddenberry; if we survive to the future, we will take delight in the differences between intelligences and things.

Fen revel in the newness, the outlook of SF/F. Stories, movies, novels, and such are criticized more often for their lack of ideas than for bad special effects. Fen enjoy the SX bonanzas but they also respect the classics with their solid philosophy but no space battles, Dolby stereo, or even color.

True, a new wave of "Ies" sprout from each blockbuster, even ST:TMP. But I (when rested and strong) will attempt to sit and talk to them. Some brave fen did the same for me when I first found fandom through OKon '77 after braving Smokey [45] and a busted AC.

We have something to be proud of in a broad perspective, a joy in differences. The immediate warmth we feel when finding a kindred soul. The excitement of letting loose occasionally and gluing on our favorite rubber ears or filking our favorite song.

The "Ies" miss it. They see only their "Show". Instead of rejecting them, help show the way. As Jackie says, it may be worth it when we find a diamond under the rough. Tolerance of narrow minds and a joy in the differences we find. The mark of fen. [46]

"Lot's Wife"--Leave it to Becky to figure out a way to save the Salt Monster, and make her loveable at the same time; a very good story .... "The Sanctuary" --A very good SF story. Talk about getting just what you deserve!... "Banshee"--I like this story. I am afraid the human race will still be subject to greed, even in the 23rd century. Too bad, however, maybe these aborigines will fare better than some of ours did....Tomorrow & Tomorrow"--Ann always writes a very emotional story. This one, however, I found a little vague at the end. But, still I did enjoy it..."Spacefighter" --Somehow, I cannot believe that an organization like Starfleet does not already contain trained squadrons of individually manned space fighters. They are too practical and too versatile to have become obsolete. Aside from that, a good story... "Aionarap"--Now I liked this story. Though I still am not quite sure if my leg was being pulled..."Code Name. Tunnel" --A good story. I am always happy to see the invention of another type of people from "out there." The Selbans sound like fun to work with..."To Find An Answer"--since I like relationship stories the best of all, I liked this one very much. I hope Ms. Wilson will be writing other stories, and make this a series. It is very good, well written, well presented and emotionally satisfying. Also that opening scene is not only very funny, but very realistic; somehow I can see that happening, just when things start getting interesting, there goes that damn intercom. Again, please encourage Ms. Wilson to write other stories. She is very good...

The Cargill illustrations are very good, even though the "Morduck Priestess" one was printed backwards. (Sorry, Cheree! EDS.)...Please tell Eric that her illustrations for my poetry were all beautiful. I really do admire her work. I just wish that the reproduction had been better on some of them. Uhura consisted of hair, eyes, and collar...Mark's cartoons are as always, outrageous. Funny, too. One could become snicker-sick...

"First Duty"--Steve Kimmel is very talented, but rather pessimistic. Somehow, I rather think that the imaginative crew of the ENTERPRISE could have come up with some less fatal solution to this problem. (ED. NOTE: When Steve submitted the story, it was very well written by a talented writer with an optimistic ending. It was also like a million other Trek stories where the ENTERPRISE'S crew saves the day and goes off into the sunset. Being the nasty kind of editor that I am, I presented a challenge to Steve and being the professional that he is, ((be sure and look for some of Steve's pro-published stories)) he came through. My premise was that 1) Why have a starship with planet-killing power if it is never used and 2) What happens when Kirk has a problem that he can't solve no matter how fast he talks, logics, bluffs, cons, or threatens. I wanted Steve to show me a captain who could make this kind of a decision, sadly but without guilt. Emergency people, policemen, firemen, medical, and in this case, starship captains are trained in "triage", priority treatment based on who has the best chance of survival. Also, Gene, Steve did not end on a pessimistic note. Though the race was destroyed, life on the planet was not. Hopefully, the next evolution pattern will produce a more peaceful race.). [47]

Issue 8

front cover of issue #8, Mike Wallace
back cover of issue #8, Mike Wallace (a nod to Mork and Mindy

Sol Plus 8 is a collection of 20 stories and poems. It was published in March 1981 and is 134 pages long.

It is an all-Trek issue and contains eight stories.

The front cover is by Mike Wallace. Other art by B.P. Gordon, Cheree Cargoll, Beverly Clark, ERIC, Dixie Gay, Ben Hopkins, Sue Klasky, Christine Myers, Gerald Peel, Gloria-Ann Rovelstad, Ann Shelby, Marty Siegrist, and Mark Wallace.

From the editorial:

You guys didn't send in enough complaints, so we are printing again despite all threats. And this time we are only four months late instead of a year. See what clean living can do ~ Who? US!!??) Once again, we have to thank a bunch of nice, talented people who trusted us with their "babies", met our impossible deadlines. came through with last minute work. But we must give special thanks to two extra lovely ladies, Linda Deneroff and Regina Gottesman for reasons to be explained below.

First, some good news and some bad news. The good news is that in May, 1980, Mary became Mrs. [redacted]. We all join in wishing her and Tom the very best in their life ahead. (We know they will be together a long time; they have a "child" named VCR.) But Mary's changed status necessitated a change in SOL PLUS. Because of logistical problems presented by families and jobs (hers and mine) plus Mary's ever-increasing responsibilities with OKon, we found it harder and harder to get together to work on SOL PLUS. So with sadness, I must announce that this is the last issue that will carry the dual banner- head of "Robbins & Bielowicz--- Editors."

Back in March of 1976, two inexperienced, eager ST fans took over a fanzine that had already had one highly successful issue and said , "Won't this be fun?" And it was, despite the 28 straight hours laying out issue #J. the broken car springs from carrying too much zine weight, the messed up houses from lay-out and collating parties. There was even the time when in the first 20 minutes of lay-out, Mary and I had a screaming argument that had the rest of the people cowering along the walls. But that is all part of co-editing; the fussin' and feudin', the kissin' and makin' up, the laughs, tears, and groans, and most important, the creative cosmos developed by two people who love each other and the things they share. Thank you, Mary, for the rich, full five years.

Now, that brings us to Linda and Regina. The way Mary and I usually worked it was after we were' both satisfied with the stories and re-writes, Mary would type it up from the raw copy, correcting 'English as she typed. When I sent this issue's typing to Linda and Regina (who had volunteered to help me out), I forgot to do final edit. But Linda and Regina, in true fen tradition, typed and edited without complaint (and only a small scolding instead or-the flogging I deserved). Not only do I thank them for service above and beyond, but I hereby declare them lifetime honorary Associate Editors of SOL PLUS.

Now to future issues of SOL PLUS. I can give you no deadline on when issue #9 will be out because as of this date I have only one SF story and some poems from Shona Jackson. That is going to make a mighty slim issue. So all of you people who have been hoarding- out there, send them in. I'm also looking for a great novel or series of stories (STAR TREK only) for the next SOL PLUS SPECIAL EDITION. I have one series of Spock/Chapel stories in the works, but since the author is going to one year nursing school, it may be awhile before she has them ready. I really would like to get out a Special next summer if possible.

SOL PLUS #10 is going to be a blockbuster if I can get things to work out like I hope. More on this later in issue #9.

So much for commercials. Read and enjoy; we are still very skimpy on the LoC. In fact, we haven't had a good fight in this zine in a long time. So keep your editor happy; disagree with someone. (Try J.R. Wilson. He turns such a beautiful choleric purple!!
  • Editorial, Tribble Dribbles (iii)
  • Botony Bay, poem by Gene Delapenia (1)
  • The Testimony of Thomas Wiggins by Stephen Kimmel ("When dreams become too real for life... or death.") (2)
  • Exercitation on Enhanced Chronometry Utilizing Hydrogen Maser Technology by J.R. Wilson (11)
  • The Ballad of Capricorn One by Cheryl J. White (14)
  • Romulan Maze, puzzle by Marie Blair (16)
  • In the Dark Empty Blackness by Hermine L. Woelke ("The crew of the Enterprise stage a mutiny... sort of.") (17)
  • The Burning House by Gene Delapenia (27)
  • Trekletts by Mark Wallace (28)
  • Icarus, Descended, poem by Deborah Lymon (32)
  • Court Martial Offense... With Honors by Nancy Munden ("Riley and Scotty against a Klingon ship. Too bad the Klingons didn't have better odds.") (33)
  • Maze, puzzle by Pat Grant (61)
  • Amanda, poem by Gene Delepenia (62)
  • Prologue by B.W. Hopkins (63)
  • Word Hunt, puzzle by Pat Grant (76)
  • Untitled, poem by Gene Delapenia (77)
  • Earthfall by Susan Farrell ("A fond Auld Lang Syne. We follow McCoy and his friends as they return the Enterprise to Earth at the end of the 5 year mission.") (79)
  • Ni Var, poem by Jeanne Cloud (92)
  • Words? Words? Words?, puzzle answers by Nancy (94)
  • The Idleness of Astronomy by Michael White (95)
  • My Brother Cain by Sarah Hood ("McCoy gets his chance to meet an emotional Vulcan, and is sorry he asked. McCoy and Spock become the prisoner of the Vulcan Sinnok who is a dangerous throwback, and determined to kill them.") (99)
  • Sensor Readings (131)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 8

It had a you are getting this because section, something I had not seen since the early days of fanzines. Even Devra, who had originated the idea in Star Trek fanzines, did not include the checklist anymore. [48]
As far as tone and outlook go, the stories in this zine are similar to many of the original ST episodes: optimistic, a bit simplistic, easy to digest. The only thing wrong with them -- and with the original episodes like 'Squire of Gothos' and 'The Alternative Factor' -- is that their creators wouldn't or couldn't strive for better than two-dimensional plots and characters. Take 'Court Martial Offense.' Nancy Munden postulates a world whose inhabitants are threatened by starvation and crowding because of over-population... but [the author's] knowledge of science and human nature is rather limited... 'The good part of 'Prologue' is its O'Henry ending; I hadn't seen it coming, yet the groundwork for it was laid all the way through.... 'In the Dark Empty Blackness of...' ... everyone should read this one -- not only is it a perfect pip of a story, but it points out gently and humorously what so often goes wrong in writing a fan story, and how to avoid some of the traps. It does this by having Kirk and Co. kibitz over the writing of the very story they're in, giving critical analysis and raising objections over impossible timings or silly characterization. In so doing, they're more 3-D than the characters of many a story... 'My Brother Cain' is a something of a throwback, if not only by intention, to the elder days of treklit when get-Spocks were rife... The story is not awful, but there's not a whole lot of insight in it except for Sinnock's pathetic pride in the Old Ones of Pre-Reform Times. [49]
...On the whole I was a bit surprised by the zine. Leafing through it idly when it arrived in the mail, I didn't expect anything of great interest although there was a great variety of pieces -- poetry, artwork, puzzles, cartoons, and a good selection of short stories. It looked like just the kind of relaxed reading one would welcome on a quiet rainy day, and I saved it for exactly that.

I always read the poetry first! It seems to set a precedent for the rest of a publication and as I discovered with SOL PLUS #8, suggested a quality that would hold my interest throughout the entire volume, all 134 pages. One particular piece of artwork caught my attention on page 78, an illustration for the story "Earthfall" by Susan Farrell. The artwork, consisting of a very nice profile of the Big Three, was done by one Marty Siegrist and, in my opinion, should have been on the cover! Very nice, indeed. And the story matched the illo. Briefly, it covered the last day on the Enterprise at the end of the five year mission. It includes some classic poetry and some soulful reflections that made for some very good reading. But: back to the poetry: one selection, "Ni Var" by Jeanne Cloud, was done in calligraphy and Sue Klasky's expertise lent a dream-like aura to the chilling message enclosed. Surprisingly enough, the poem "Botany Bay" leaped out at me from the first page, and I wondered if the author, Gene S. Delapenia had known something the rest of us hadn't? The story material is varied, humorous, serious, sad, and nostalgic. My favorite would have to be "My Brother Cain" by Sarah Hood. A strange Vulcan is discovered on a distant planet named Oribi II and although he claims never to have met Spock before, McCoy is disturbed by the fear in the strangers eyes. Ultimately, McCoy and Spock are trapped on the planet with the Vulcan, Salas, and the two aliens face off in a deadly confrontation. The story was well written in straight-forward style with excellent descriptive passages as well as a suspenseful chase to cap the climax, although one of the other stories is longer, I found this one to be more reflective of original Trek and its characters. There are two somewhat technical shorts on time computation and Black holes which are interesting and informative if given serious consideration. But the first story, "The Testimony of Thomas Wiggans" will leave you with the hair raising on the back of your neck. It is not set in a Trek universe but rather in dream universe, the likes of which will keep you thinking for days. Its theme deals with the dream/reality theory which has been raised by poets and authors over the centuries, and Stephen Kimmel presents his version most interestingly.

The zine is attractive, well done with few errors despite the ed's apology, and I think due praise should go to "The Great Broads of the Galaxy" who did the collating and all the rest involved in assembling and polishing. The zine seems to come out yearly as a result of some very dedicated teamwork. [50]
"Court Martial Offense" is another good Scotty story -- featuring a journey to the 20th century style -- Dracos IV, Kevin Riley, and Klingons. Scotty and Kevin break the rules but defeat the bad guys with some feminine help out risk court martial for breaking the Prime Directive. "Prologue" gives us the first glimpse of McCoy and "My Brother Cain" is one of the closest versions of a Vulcan reversal to barbarism and the loneliness of banishment I have read. Salas/Sinnock is not a nice person but we can feel sympathy for his loneliness but not his methods of ending it. Well written and characterised. This issue also features poetry by Gene Delpenia and Jeannie Cloud, illustrations from Mark Wallace and B.A. Clark enhance the stories. [51]

Issue 9 (never published)

Sol Plus 9 was planned to be published in 1986 or after. However, according to the editor, the final issue never reached publication.[52]

"Stories by Thorn, Humphrey, Farrell, more -- McCoy must choose between his daughter's safety and Federation safety; Sarek's dead and Amanda is mourning -- can Spock balance Vulcan tradition with her needs?; How did Scotty's grandmother get a communicator from a six foot leprechaun? Art by Carleton, Crouch, Myers, Jaeger, Hedge. Trekletts by Wallace, poetry by Patt, Nevins, Cloud, Cargill. Articles and more." (from an ad in Datazine #42)

References

  1. ^ from Implosion #6
  2. ^ from The Clipper Trade Ship #6 (1975)
  3. ^ from Fanzine Review 'Zine
  4. ^ from The Halkan Council #18
  5. ^ from The Halkan Council #19
  6. ^ from Stardate #8
  7. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #3
  8. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #3
  9. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #3
  10. ^ from a letter of comment by Amy Falkowitz in "Sol Plus" #3
  11. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #3
  12. ^ from a letter of comment by Connie Faddis (editor of Interphase), in "Sol Plus" #3
  13. ^ from a letter of comment by Cheree Cargill in "Sol Plus" #3
  14. ^ from a letter of comment by Dixie Owen in "Sol Plus" #3
  15. ^ From The Halkan Council #23
  16. ^ a review by Sharon Ferraro in Menagerie #11
  17. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #4
  18. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #4
  19. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #4
  20. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #4
  21. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #4
  22. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #4
  23. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #4
  24. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #4
  25. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #4
  26. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #4
  27. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #4
  28. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #4
  29. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #4
  30. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #4
  31. ^ from Scuttlebutt #2
  32. ^ from Delta Triad #4
  33. ^ from Scuttlebutt #9
  34. ^ from Beyond Antares #30/31
  35. ^ by Randy Ash in Falcon's Lair
  36. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #6/7
  37. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #6/7
  38. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #6/7
  39. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #6/7
  40. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #6/7
  41. ^ from an ad in Datazine #1
  42. ^ from Datazine #3
  43. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #8
  44. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #8
  45. ^ "Smokey" is a reference to police officers, specifically the US Highway Patrol.
  46. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #8
  47. ^ from a letter of comment in "Sol Plus" #8
  48. ^ from Boldly Writing
  49. ^ from Warped Space #46
  50. ^ from TREKisM #26
  51. ^ from Beyond Antares #30/31
  52. ^ Email from Jackie Bielowicz to Morgan Dawn dated June 7, 2015.