Spectrum (Star Trek: TOS zine published by Kzinti Press)

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Zine
Title: Spectrum
Publisher: Kzinti Press and S.T.A.R. Toledo
Editor(s): M.J. Fisher (alias for Jeff Johnston)
Type: newsletter, non-fiction, clubzine
Date(s): 1975–1979
Frequency:
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS with some multimedia in later issues.
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Spectrum is a gen Star Trek: TOS and fanzine newsletter put out by M.J. Fisher alias Jeff Johnston.

flyer, click to read, printed in A Piece of the Action #29: "'Spectrum' is an editorial fanzine made to focus a sharper eye on Star Trek fandom and the things going on."

This zine by Kzinti Press (issues eighteen and up) were advertised nationally. It contains reviews, con listings, and "Dear Fandom Annie" column for readers' questions.

One fan described it as " a fannish comment zine designed for ST fans who are interested in fandom." [1]

There is Star Wars content in later issues.

Fisher/Johnston was a 19-year old college student when the first issue was published in 1975. He wrote in 1976 that he "... falls into a minority of male zineds. When I'm not involved in fandom, I... keep 8 aquariums, do calligraphy, and make monthly payments on my IBM typewriter." [2]

Began as a Club Zine

The first seventeen issues were local club newsletters published by S.T.A.R. Toledo called Spectrum. That means that "Spectrum" by Fisher/Johnston starts at issue #18.

Fisher and Johnston are the Same Person

The editor and publisher of this zine states in the first issue that "Fisher" took the zine over from Johnston:

I'm glad to be bringing the first issue of Spectrum out. Spectrum, as you know, was formerly the newsletter of the Toledo chapter of S.T.A.R. It became obvious to the editor, Jeff Johnston, that as a simple club newsletter, it was reaching almost no one. It was decided to change the format, turn Spectrum into a fanzine that would have a more general appeal. Spectrum did not do badly as a newsletter, It had over 70% subscription renewal. Mr. Johnston has worked on this format and turned the publication over to me [M.J. Fisher]. [3]

It is unknown if Fisher/Johnston intended to keep these two identities separate, or if the fact they were the same person was a fandom open secret.

The editor of Stardate in April 1976 connects the two names twice in his publication: "Johnston, who puts out SPECTRUM under the alias of M.J. Fisher (see the fanzine reviews), recently wrote these interesting remarks in response to some inquiries on my part concerning fanzine reviewing..." And: "I really wasn't fair to M.J. (alias Jeff Johnston) last issue, and this issue of SPECTRUM makes me swallow my words emphatically." [4]

Up to issue #32 of "Spectrum," "M.L. Fisher is listed as the editor and publisher. From #33 onward, the publisher is listed as Kzinti Press.

1976 flyer printed in A Piece of the Action #42; "Would you buy a used fanzine from this man?"

From Joan Verba in Boldly Writing: "Edited by Jeff Johnston (whose pen name was M.J. Fisher), [Spectrum] contained mostly editorial matter, but it was always interesting."

Zine's Focus

AN INTRODUCTORY NOTE ABOUT SPECTRUM...
an undated intro letter written by the editor

You are about the embark upon a very unique fanzine in Star Trek fanddm, a fanzine named Spectrum. Because Spectrum is so different from other fanzines you may have encountered, this introductory note was prepared to provide a little background on the fanzine so that you'll know what it's about before ever reading the first copy. Spectrum's primary purpose is to examine fandom. Star Trek fandom. Spectrum attempts to ex amine all parts of fandom, everything that makes it tick. It attempts to study it, analyse it, ponder it, excell [sic] in its virtues and harken to the failures so that others may learn. Spectrum tries to leave no stone unturned. Spectrum doesn't discuss Star Trek however. There are plenty of f^zines around that do that...Spectrum is for the person who is interested not just in ST, but In fandom too.

Spectrum mainly discusses fans and fandom through its editorials, which take the form of speculative essays. Occasionally entire issues are devoted to particular themes or special topics. In the past, whole issues have been dedicated to subjects such as Commercialism in Fandom, Fanzine Reviewing, and How to Survive a STrekcon, In general, the essays are serious, in-depth studies of the topic. At the other extreme, there is a column carried regularly in Spectrum called Dear Fandom Annie, who answers short questions by the readers about any aspect of fandom. Other regular features inside Spectrum include one of the most complete 5-month advance convention listings,of any fanzine and a comprehensive section of fanzine reviews...all of recent publications.

Spectrum may seem to some people, a little obscure, especially to fans who have never seen u fanzine which discusses only fandom. That's mainly because Spectrum is aimed primarily at fans who have been in fandom for more than a few months. Admittedly, it is not directed toward neofans, or new fans. This is because of the fact that most of the people who would be interested in a fanzine which discusses fandom, probably have a big enough stake in fandom to make such a fanzine useful to themselves. Obviously, someone who has only just entered fandom is not going to be able to discuss something he or she may have only just discovered. So, occasionally, Spectrum may discuss topics or use words which may not be familiar to everyone. To help anyone caught in this bind, Kzinti Press also publishes the STrekfan's Glossary of Abbreviations and Slanguage. It is designed to compliment Spectrum. The STrekfan's Glossary contains well over 175 different slang terms, abbreviations, familiarism and technical jargon which are used frequently among fans. The listings in the Glossary are also designed to familiarize any one with a little bit of the history of fandom as well as a few fannish courtesies and taboos. [5]

Just briefly, Spectrum is a fannish fanzine. It has no ST fiction and no ST-related_ material. It discusses only ST fandom. There are all sorts of other fanzines around which discuss ST and have fiction, but Spectrum is the only fanzine around which discusses only fandom.

a June 7, 1977 letter written by Jeff Johnston in which he explains his zine to an interested fan

In case you are a convention fan. Spectrum has what is probably the most complete convention listing (5 months advance) of any fanzine* Shirley Maiewski has told me that the Star Trek Welcommittee actually get many of their conventions for their listings from Spectrum.

Spectrum also prints some of the most demanding reviews of fanzines around. Some editors feel that if they can't say anything good about a zine that they shouldn't print a review of it. That's nice and altruistic, but Spectrum doesn't review that way. I review good zines, bad zines, experimental zines...all types. If you stop to think about it, the majority of everything in the world tends toward the average. The same is true of fanzines. There are a few good ones, a few bad ones, but most are so-so. You'll find that reflected in the review pages of Spectrum. Not many fanzines get really complimentary reviews, and not many get scathing attacks. Most of the fanzines reviewed are discussed as being just average. Somehow I never could see other fanzines as being realistic if they only included just good reviews. There are some people who comment that Spectrum is derogatory, spiteful, slanderous, and pessimistic. I have never thought so. I've only tried to make it realistic. I hope you'll find it that way too. [6]


The two fanzines that are devoted mainly to sercon (serious and constructive) fandom are Halkan Council and Spectrum. Halkan Council has the unique ability of being able to turn Neofen into Established Fen or the latter into BNFs. HC is read by some of the major activators in fandom and offers other fans the opportunity of getting in print with a simple letter, and doing it so every month at the most. This makes them noticeable in fandom and also makes HC quite a name-dropper as zines go. Spectrum too, undoubtedly has some effect on the fans that read it. [7]

Spectrum's End

"Spectrum has temporarily suspended publication until further notice, however, all subs will be honored."[8]

Reactions and Reviews

1975

Spectrum is an old newszine from STAR Toledo. M.J. Fisher is now editing it as an essay/issue zine -- at least the last four issues. The closest description I can put on it is that it takes some of the one or two paragraph comments out of HC and turns them into essays on the subject. Boring? Rarely! Thought-provoking almost always. Back issues have been explored (and well I might add), issues such as kids on board the Enterprise; neo fan vs old fan; the state of conventions today, and numerous fanzine reviews... All in all -- recommended -- Spectrum is well on its way to evolving into one of the 'required' zine for serious ST fans. [9]

1976

Spectrum is not a crudzine, but I am not sure whether it justifies its price. ' [10]

His treatment of writers is very condescending; his wagging finger approach for poor writers and pat-on-the-head attitude toward good writers is irritating and not beneficial to writer or readers. [11]


As a result of one particular issue, Spectrum was even referred to as a slanderzine. This has never been my intention... ever. It HAS, however, been my goal to keep the articles in this zine as honest as possible. In comparison to other works in fandom, you might consider it disgustingly honest. There is nothing wrong or immoral about being honest. At times, it does tend to be impractical and definitely lacks tact. [12]

1978

This long-running zine has something for everyone, new and old fen alike. The current format [speaking specifically of issue #37] starts out with an editorial, a listing of cons, an essay on the topic of the issue (this time: gafiation from fandom), general questions and answers in the Fandom Annie Column, 'zine reviews, and letters. Past issues have covered topics such as: commercialism in fandom, getting ahead in fandom, speculations on the future of ST fandom, con fans and mainstream fans, porno in fanfic, and graphics for amateur publishers. The one-main-topic-per-issue format insures depth and detail of discussion, and it always makes interesting reading. [13]

Issue 18

front cover of issue #18, zine notes it is by Mary Seymour, though is it signed "Merrie K."

Spectrum 18 was published in July 1975 and contains 5 pages. It is also "vol 3, n. 1, whole number 18" which reflects its earlier life as a clubzine..

This zine was the first nationally advertised issue, aimed at Star Trek fans who did not belong to the local club.

From the editor, M.J. Fisher:

Spectrum, as most people know, was formerly the newsletter of the Toledo chapter of S.T.A.R. It became obvious to the editor, Jeff Johnston, that as a simple club newsletter it was reaching almost no one. It was decided to change the format, turn Spectrum into a fanzine that would have a more general appeal. Spectrum did not do badly as a newsletter. It had over 70% subscription renewal. Mr. Johnston has worked on this format and turned the publication over to me.

  • editorial
  • listings for 17 cons
  • Highbrow Fandom?, essay by M.J. Fisher - The author talks about many issues relating to power and control of fandom. It also contradicts many of the doomsayers of Star Trek fandom of the time and notes: "Although some people believe that ST fandom will eventually merge with SF fandom, ST fandom still has not hit its height nor has it accumulated its greatest number of fans."
  • reviews of T-Negative #26 and #27, see that page
  • review of Quartet Plus One, see that page
  • review of Halkan Council #6 and #7, see those pages
  • The Gripe Column: various short comments about fans, clubs, zines, and cons
    • "There is a lot of concern directed toward S.T.A.R nowadays and perhaps some hostility since Star-Borne has not been printed in almost 10 months. This is of little concern for an article since it would only be complaints and bitching. But is S.T.A.R. finished now in it's operation? It's purpose was to get the show back, that's done. What of it's chapters...does someone have the inspiration to suggest a possible plan for another organization (maybe the STW) to absorb the members and chapters. Certainly we can't let that already-organized group just dissolve!"
    • "We are beginning to see the con with the bad reputation. Many cons are snubbed be cause of the chairperson(s) holding them. Should this be so, and if so should we publicize the nasty reputations of these chairpersons or find a way to restrict them from doing one thing or another for the benefit of the con-goers?"
    • "Pick up a few ST zines here and there and you'll likely find a Vulcan zine or stories related to Vulcan. How many people are saying, "Oh no, not another Vulcan zine!" (Can you blame McCoy?) Can't we leave Vulcan to the people who started it, and promote creative stories. Menagerie has stories which have been written so as to not take place on the Big E...anyone out there following suit?"
    • "Anyone notice the little mention of "Gerroldian epiphytes" (look it up) in "Sleep Not, Dream Not"? [14] Get you thinking? What's DG's place in ST fandom? Maybe he is feeding off of us, but [is it] malignantly or benignly?"

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 18

There is a lot of potential in this zine - if you don't get bogged down in either too many letters or sloppily written columns [15]

I liked Spectrum's new format very much. The cover art is superb. I like your selection of general subjects/categories/columns...a most complete con listing, your own editorial, zine reviews, letter column, gripe column...though perhaps gripe column is in part misnamed, for it is in many ways a suggestion column and contained some provocative ideas. The Durrans letter was excellent — such a cut above the "I don't think they'd..." types in some zines--it was a dazzling display of logic, backed by definite reasons why there's NO WAY kids would be a part of the regular starship routine. [16]

Issue 19

cover of issue #19, Merrie K.

Spectrum 19 was published in August 1975 and contains 7 pages.

  • the editor notes the reaction to first issue was tremendous and it was sold out in two weeks
  • the editor writes that there will be some changes to Spectrum:
Most of these changes have been thought over in consideration with another zine, The Halkan Council, in mind. Since both of our zines will probably appeal to the same audience, I will be changing those areas of Spectrum's format that I feel come too nearly to HC's. Future changes that I am call for include a major, if not complete removal of the fanzine reviews and a major cut-back in the lettercol. I'm making a firm stand here concerning reactions to The Gripe Column... Comments on the column will not be printed in Spectrum unless they come in the form of a complete article dealing with that topic.

  • some con announcements
  • a con report for Re-Kwest*Con, see that page
  • a con report for Wondaycon #4, see that page
  • "Zines in the Attic", an article where the editor says too many zines are coming out too quickly and that it is difficult to keep up with them and their reviews; he proposes a review-only zine
  • The Right to Say, an essay by M.J. Fisher on speaking your mind, slander, and points of view
  • a review of Warped Space #8, see that page
  • a review of a brand-new newsletter by Karen Flemming called Goings On, it was to focus on the ST cast and crew and what they were up to. There was at least one issue, but possibly no more published
  • a review of Menagerie v.2 n.1, see that page
  • a review of Interphase #1, see that page
  • reviews of A Piece of the Action #28 and #29, see those pages
  • reviews of The Halkan Council #8 and #9, see those pages
  • The Gripe Column asks these questions:
    • are cons becoming too tailored to a specific group of fans: "How many cons are becoming "tailored" to a specific group of fans. Not every con chairman wants the "trekkieboppers" galavanting around in the hundreds or thousands at their cons even if they do mean extra money. And how many more cons in the future will keep the doors open to just every fan off the street?"
    • how can we make fans aware of legal problems for fans (i.e. IRS, copyright, bankruptcy): "True, the average fan doesn't have to worry about it at all, but fan club leaders, publishers, and especially con chairpersons might need to know a lot. Of course it might not be a good idea to include such a thing in a separate booklet but publish it along with another booklet so that the information is available for fans. Such a list of legal problems and actions might include: getting non-profit status from the IRS, getting tax-exemption from the IRS, incorporation, the perils of publishing including copyright infringement, and filing for bankruptcy."
    • how many ways is ST cathartic: "Besides those people that go in for the romantic aspect of space travel or the show's adventure style, how many people are moved to tears by scenes from what Are Little Girls Made of?, or The Empath. Or perhaps there are housewifes that have switched from a soap opera addiction to a Star Trek addiction. Is there a psychiatrist that would recommend watching an episode for therapy?"
    • how much "real information" is passed to other in con hotel rooms and private letters
    • in a possible allusion to K/S: "How many fans don't know of "underground" Star Trek stories that circulate by the mail? And wouldn't it be interesting to discuss the contents of a few of these?"

Issue 20

Spectrum 20 was published in October 1975 and contains 5 pages.

cover of issue #20, Merrie K.
printed in issue #20, a handwritten flyer for the 1976 Star Trek Lives! con
  • announcements for 17 cons
  • CONfusion by M.J. Fisher, an essay about the future of cons and how to keep them accessible, but at the same time not... too accessible
  • a review of Second Age #10, see that page
  • a review of The Halkan Council #10, see that page
  • a review of Menagerie #6, see that page
  • a review of Delta Triad #1, see that page
  • a review of A Piece of the Action #30, see that page
  • a review of Amani #8/9, see that page
  • Vulcan Lit... or, "Spock's Problem", essay by M.J. Fisher, about of the plethora of Spock zines being issued. The writer feels the subject has gotten boring and writers aren't saying anything new: "I'm not sure I can stand to read another Spock zine again... Will the reader market for Vulcan stories peter out?"
  • contains a handwritten flyer for the 1976 Star Trek Lives! at the Commodore Hotel
  • From "The Gripe Column" (which several fans stated they thought this was a misnomer):
    • an embryonic comment about the need for the Fan Q Awards: "An interesting project to carry out through this fanzines might be a little contest or just a survey to determine which things we might want to include in a ST fandom Hall of Fame. The projects could include the best of: ST Novels, novellas, short stories, poems, art and perhaps layout. Positions of honor might be best, writer, editor, artist, poet, all-around-fan. Such a project could be commemorated by a special zine to be put out every year. This would be comparable to the Idea that has been tossed around of the ST Hugo-type award."

Issue 21

cover of issue #21, Merrie K.

Spectrum 21 was published in November 1975 and contains 10 pages.

The editor wrote: "Jacqueline Lichtenberg has told me that STLives! has gone into its fourth printing and the Star Trek Welcommittee corrections went through at last!"

  • IDIC and the Prime Directive, essay by Karen Fleming
  • The Fall of the Terran Empire...an extrapolation, article by M.J. Fisher (It begins with: "The Federation will be in grave trouble and will quite conceivably build itself up for collapse slowly and inexorably. That same future foretold from those facts, gleaned from Star Trek,indicate a faulty political and economic structure doomed to a tomorrow of stagnant and unchanging values and overly conservative action. This will be the case unless action is taken in the proper manner and by the proper people to reorient the Terran society.")
  • "The Nausea Effect": Star Trek Lives!, review by Sharon Ferraro of Star Trek Lives! (also excerpted in The Halkan Council #12). In Boldly Writing, Joan Verba wrote that the review contained "one of the few unfavorable reviews of Star Trek Lives! Sharon complained that fan stories about sexual situations were over-represented in Star Trek Lives!, and that interviews with the actors were superficial."
  • a review of T-Negative #28, #29, see those pages
  • a review of Independent Entity #2, see that page
  • a review of Halkan Council #11, see that page
  • a short description of the contents of A Piece of the Action #31

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 21

The current issue --#21-- contains news, a good con listing and a nice piece by Karen Fleming on the IDIC and Prime Directive as opposite sides of the same coin -- IDIC being Philosophy; Prime Directive being essentially the translation of that philosophy into law). [It also includes] an expanded version of my rantings in HC on ST Lives in HC #12 and fanzine reviews of T-Negative #28/29, Independent Entity, Halkan Council and APOTA. Last is a long, partly rambling piece by the editor on the fall of the Federation. [17]

Issue 22

cover of issue #22, Merrie K.

Spectrum 22 was published in January 1976 and contains 7 pages.

  • 15 con announcements
  • a listing of Gene Roddenberry's college appearances
  • Many fans might be left in the lurch of fandom, essay by M.J. Fisher about changes in fandom's size and possible growth
  • A Short History of the Star Trek Welcommittee by Helen Young
  • Death Wish by Cheryl Rice, an essay that discusses death stories in Star Trek: TOS fiction
  • a short history of the Star Trek Welcommittee, by Helen Young
  • a review of Halkan Council #12 and #13, see that page
  • a review of Furaha #1 and #2, see that page
  • an ad for Tribble Dribbles
  • The Gripe Column tosses out many questions:
    • what happens if STW becomes too bureaucratic
    • how many people are getting ripped off by greedy fannish goods dealers
    • should fandom have an ombudsman
    • why hasn't there ever been a "revealing" survey of ST fans: "Apathy? or don't we know how?"
    • "will fandom ever look half-way respectable so that even your 'Aunt Emma' would approve (provided "she isn't a secret fan herself"). Will fandom ever become serious enough for this, or will we actively keep fandom among ourselves?"
    • what will the movie mean to fandom: "What in the world will happen if half of the actifans in fandom expect the ST movie to be as deep as Kraith? Or as sloppily mushy as Grup for that matter?"
    • "Is 1999 going to taking away any potential fans "out there." Are Banal Bain and Languid Landau that appealing?"
    • "How much of a black eye did S.T.A.R. give fandom? Does everyone ever know what happened, or will they forget it in another six months?"
    • David Gerrold: "Why in hell was Gerrold so upset over the [T]ribbles? Has avarice taken Dear-David over completely?"
    • "One thing that fandom is developing among its writers is the art of being critical. My, but aren't we picky when someone writes a story with bad characterization or, Ghu help us, bad technical errors. Look how everyone jumped on STL! 'cause it wasn't their book, as though fandom's collective child had died."
    • what will the postal increase mean for fannish communication...?

Issue 23

Spectrum 23 was published in February 1976 and contains 10 pages. The cover is by Merrie K.

cover of issue #23, Merrie K.
  • a review of A Piece of the Action #33 and #34, see those pages
  • a review of The Halkan Council #14, see that page
  • a review of That Which Survives, see that page
  • a review of Berengaria #6, see that page
  • a review of Warped Space #14, see that page
  • a review of Contact by H.O. Petard, see that page
  • From The Gripe Column:
    • "The idea of the fandom ombudsman seems to be an unworkable one to many people. What about a milder counterpart -- a "Dear Abby" for fandom. We may already have a few people who [have] taken it upon themselves to counsel fans, a sort of closet Ann Landers. Maybe it would make a nice addition to Spectrum, ay, what? Dear Fandom Annie..."
    • "If fandom is becoming more ordered and departmentalized in some areas, it might not be all that surprising to find we'll need computer or data-storage assistance in the near future. This ultra-modern aspect of mundane life might become involved in Strekdom too... provided anyone can afford it."
    • "Perish the thought that people in fandom are picky, but we may be spoiling ourselves when it comes to zines. Zines like Interphase are by far the exception in fandom, but it just might start a trend. There's a fortunate aspect to this though -- Interphase involves a great deal of personal effort, dedication, money, and especially talent. It is difficult to mass produce those qualities in a zine that is run off by the thousands by an offset machine. It will also raise the standards by which we judge all other zines. The word "crudzine" is going to pop up much more often now."
    • "There seems to be a plethora of new Star Trek books in the works for future publication. Hopefully Bantam has learned a little about SF, although without someone like Judy Lyn del-Ray it's debatable. Is is too hard to believe that before long we are going to have a book published on Spock that reaches out to the mentality of the Spock-shocked, bug-eyed trekkie? Afterall, I Am Not Spock doesn't have the widest publicity and is published by an obscure publishing house."
    • Does anyone REALLY know of an adolescent boy who's been raped by a sex-starved housewife at a ST con, as a few people fear after reading STL!"

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 23

I really wasn't fair to M.J. (alias Jeff Johnston) last issue, and this issue of SPECTRUM makes me swallow my words emphatically, (see editorial) The major feature of this issue are the very competent fanzine reviews. Mike/Jeff devotes an average of half a page to each of seven of the best Star Trek fanzines available. Mike has tremendous balance and perspective in doing reviews. He has a deep appreciation for the field of ST fanzines, and displays it in the expertise with which he reviews them in here. In each review he lists the more interesting features of the zine and at least mentions the rest. The stories and articles are summarized and given critical review, the art and printing are described, and the fanzine on the whole is given an overview. He displays amazing perspective in his reviews, along with a studied and patient fair-mindedness. He tells it like it is—sugar coating nothing. I've never seen better reviews. Also in this issue is a long and comprehensive list of SF and ST cons through September of this year. And then there is an editorial decrying the irresponsible rumor-mongering and other dishonorable treatment the ST stars have been receiving of late. He touches on the obvious drawbacks to being so popular with so many people, and the abuses that have been rife in ST fandom. He winds up an excellent issue by analyzing the current trends and dilemmas that've followed on the heels of the surge in big professional Star Trek cons. [18]

Issue 24

Spectrum 24 was published in April 1976 and contains 9 pages.

front cover of issue #24, Merrie K.
the April Fool's Day first page from issue #24, included with only some copies
  • the editor says he is using a new, cheaper paper (it feels like construction paper), one that costs $1.69 a ream
  • Underground Fandom, by M.J. Fisher, The first line: "Fans have admitted in the past that the structure in fandom comes close to anarchy and that the less formal structure, the better." A fan has submitted this taxonomy: 1) Armchair Fan 2) Trekkie 3) Neofan/Trekker 4) Contributing or Established Fan 5) BNF:
Armchair fans have almost no knowledge of fandom, and most Trekkies are more interested in Star Trek in its pure form than in fandom. Neofans, however, are people who have broken into fandom and are learning the ropes.... The real activists exist with Established Fans and BNFs. These people have worked their way up through the pyramid. Most Established Fans can be considerd ST trivia experts not just because they have worked toward that goal but because trivia is something you master to be able to contribute to a lot of discussions in fandom.

  • a page and a half of convention listings (24 of them!)
  • a review of Warped Space #15, see that page
  • a review of The Halkan Council #15 and #16, see that page
  • a review of Interphase #2, see that page
  • from The Gripe Column:
    • "Would fandom benefit from such a thing as a board of standards? Within fandom now the only standards that exist are those that most of the fans agree upon verbally. The World SF cons have a set constitution which define certain rules concerning conduct...might something of this sort be adapted in STrekdom?"
    • "What might be the long term effect of publishing fan fiction in the pro market? Star Trek: The New Voyages is the first attempt at this and somewhere along the line the original stories have been clipped, mangled, or metamorphosed out of shape. Bantam is notorious in STrekdom for their sloppy or inconsiderate editing. Perhaps New Voyages will be the straw that breaks the camel's back and turns fandom against Bantam."
    • "Here's an interesting idea - a world ST con, much the same as the world SF con held each year. To date, almost all of the ST cons have been autonomous events. If we could ever really organize STrekdom it might not only be possible, but inevitable."
    • "What power does STrekdom really have now? We all know what it did in the past to get Star Trek's third season a new lease on life and to get the animated version and the movie, but it doesn't reflect on fandom's ability to survive as an entity. What unit force do we have to keep fandom's integrity. Without some form of integrity fandom might very well dissolve, some of the fans drifting off to SFandom and some fading away, never to be heard of again."
    • "What's David Gerrold doing in fandom these days besides running DAGE or collecting the profits thereof?"
    • "Are there really BNFs in fandom? If so, who applies the title?"

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 24

One of the best, if not THE best sercon (serious/constructive) Star Trek fan zines. It contains a comprehensive listing of Star Trek and SF conventions across the country, consistently some of the best Star Trek fanzine reviews available, and more excellently thought-out Star Trek commentary than you can shake a stick at. If there i3 anyone who will prove to be a real FORCE is Star Trek fandom, it's this guy. Some of the ideas M.J. Fisher brings out are really intriguing. For example: Would Star Trek fandom benefit from a board of standards for conventions and other activities? Or how about a world Star Trek fan con, much like the annual world SF con. And are there really BNF's in Star Trek fandom? This issue, as have other issues, has an excellent piece by Merrie Seymour. The reproduction on this issue is some of the clearest and most readable mimeos I've ever seen, and Fisher is perfection a 3-color mimeo technique nicely. M.J. is a perfectionist in all areas, and his expertise really shows through. [19]

Issue 25

Spectrum 25 was published in May 1976 and contains 10 pages.

cover of issue #25, "Miri," by Joni Wagner
  • there are 25 con announcements
  • The Golden Age of Strekdom by M.J. Fisher, posits that Star Trek fandom: "...is sort of a freak, a phenomenon to be sure, but one that has a limited lifespan.... We can only keep Star Trek alive so long and then it will fade away..."
  • To Censor the Art Critic by Merrie K.: "I resent limited schooled people, in the art field, making unqualified judgements about other people's work and publishing these comments as Godlike!!!"
  • a review of The Other Side of Paradise, see that page
  • a review of T-Negative #31/32, see that page
  • a review of Menagerie #9, see that page
  • a review of Warped Space #16, see that page
  • a review of Berengaria #7, see that page
  • there is a flyer for Assignment: Star Trek
  • this issue contains the first "Dear Fandom Annie" column, fan's who submit questions would be totally anonymous and the editor promised confidentiality; it is likely that the questions, as well as the answers, were by Fisher himself:
    • "Dear Fandom Annie: All of the kids in school think I'm STAR TREK crazy (which I am). What can I do to retaliate? -- Anxious"
"Dear Anxious: Sad, but true, I've found that proselytizing seldom works with Trek. If someone has seen it but doesn't feet it, you might as wall save your breath; they never will, and move onto the next warm body. School, however, can be a painful situation. If survival is the order of the day, don't flaunt your IDIC. No one's giving the commonfen combat pay yet."
    • "Dear Fandom Annie: Why did Jacqueline Lichtenberg put so many "EFFECTS" in Star Trek Lives!? I was effected to death! And how come it wasn't about F*A*N*D*O*M like it was supposed to be? -- Let Down"
"Dear Let Down : The object of JL's effect-ion is very likely the answer to your second question as well. It's what the U.S. Mint does."
    • Dear Fandom Annie: Is it true that Sharon Ferraro is really 3 different people? How else can anyone have their fingers in so many things at once? I opens the ST Tech. Man. and what finds I? I finds her name listed in the credits! -- Curious"
"Dear Curious: Truth be know, Sharon Ferraro is really a fan hoax perpetrated by three bilingual rotifers [20] in Poughkeepsie."
    • "Dear Fandom Annie: Please tell me where I could get a lock of our gorgeous Captain Kirk. Do they cut hair in that time, or do they phaser it off?... I'd do anything to get a lock of Captain Kirk's hair. -- A Hair Freak of Kirks"
"Dear Freak: I wish you Harvard guys would go back to bugging Ann Landers. Can't you tell this is a sercon column? (Actually, $5.00 to Lincoln Enterprises would probably bring you a lock of hair from one of WS' old toupes [sic].)"

Issue 26

Spectrum 26 was published in July 1976 and contains 14 pages.

cover of issue #26, Merrie K.
  • there are announcements for 28 cons
  • a detailed reivew of Star Trek: The New Voyages by Laurraine Tutihasi, some of which complains of stories that have been altered from the original, and winds up with "For those of you who are not Trek fen, I would advise you to spend your money elsewhere. Because of the nature of the original, that is, because Star Trek was a TV show, Trek fan fiction tends toward mediocrity. The only good story here is the original Mind-Sifter, and that is not in the book."
  • Commercialism in Strekdom, an essay by M.J. Fisher about commercialism in fandom (mostly among dealers at conventions and fanzine editors who overcharged for their merchandise), a common complaint
  • Caveat Emptor, essay by Mandi Schultz: "ST is already legend, but the purpose of this article is not to talk about the show itself, but rather about the sub cult that surrounds it, sf fandom's bastard child, ST fandom."
  • a review of Night of the Twin Moons, see that page
  • a review of Warped Space #17, see that page
  • a review of Turnabout, see that page
  • a review of Karen & Leonard... A Monochromatic Romance, see that page
  • a review of Stardate: Unknown, see that page
  • a review of A Piece of the Action #39 and #40, see those pages
  • a review of The Halkan Council #19, see that page

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 26

It starts out with a Bicentennial cover of T'Pau in red, white, and blue, sitting in a rocker sewing a Federation banner, a la Betsy Ross... Can M.J. Fisher be serious? A cute idea if intended as a cartoon., but drawn 'straight' by Joni Wagner, the cover is a tacky take-off an already nauseating patriotic commercialism. Features included art Fanotes, which updates the Strek news, CONsensus, which provides a long con listing, and an article by Mandi Schultz warning about rip-off dealers and poor quality merchandise at cons. FANNISH THOUGHTS is M.J. Fisher's personal editorial in which he is free to meander in any fannish pastures of his choosing. This issue's topic: 'The Evils of Commercialism.' There is not one documented piece of information in this entire article. The reader is not told of specific bad commercial ST products; according to this article, ALL commercial ST products are bad. And 'commercialism' is actually a cover up for the editor's personal gripe about a particular overpriced zine. He quotes the price, length, type of artwork and printing, but not the name of the zine. But, why not? It's so obvious! I mean how many 300-page $6 zines do you have on your bookshelf? Mr. Fisher, it seems, is too polite to stoop as low as to mention the name of the zine in question; however, he will stoop to printing his own unappetizing 'egotorials'! A quiet note to the zine ed in question would have sufficed... Perhaps there was a justification for the high price. The second half of Spectrum contains eight reviews: one book review by Laurraine Tutihasi, and the rest by Fisher. Laurraine's review, on the controversial New Voyages, is in-depth with background info given on each story; the published version is compared with the original. She is surprisingly optimistic about a book that has received a lot of flak. Fisher, in his review of Warped Space #17, compares a short-short story of Annie Brown's to one of the same theme as Isaac Asimov; he goes on to say that 'His (Dr. Asimov's) was infinitely better'! Comparing two amateur writers is one thing, but comparing an amateur to a pro is outrageous, unjustified criticism. Issues of a A Piece of the Action and Halkan Council are given favorable notice, but he can still find something negative to say. His treatment of writers is very condescending; his wagging finger approach for poor writers and pat-on-the-head attitude toward good writers is irritating and not beneficial to writer or readers. Spectrum is printed on non-glare mimeo with attractive, easy to read pica type and few typos and no smudges or blurry print. The topics discussed are familiar to fandom, and Fisher's editorials probably benefit him more than anyone else. Since the review section is a major portion of the zine, more attention should be placed on writing constructive, objective reviews that are a service to the writers, artists, and editors as well as the reader. Spectrum needs more feedback and opinions and attractive artwork to spark the readers' interest. M.J. Fisher should certainly consider changing his format to reach and broaden his audience. He could encourage fans to write LoCs about the zine, and perhaps have an assistant to help with the lay-out and artwork, and offer advice for writing more concise editorials. Fisher is writing from an angle which is over the head of neos (though the Strek glossary supplement should help) and tiring the involved fen who have heard his topics countless times before. He has put time and effort into his zine, but a new format, one that is uniquely his own, is definitely needed... and one that will make Spectrum a real service to his readers and to fandom. [21]

Issue 27

Spectrum 27 was published in August 1976 and contains 11 pages.

cover of issue #27, "For those who are wondering... [this] is Kelly Freas dressed up in his Klingon guise as 'Lt. Krylic' at ReKWest*Con" -- Marty Siegrist is the artist

From the editor:

Aha...it's you again. The fickle reader. After all of the careful consideration and good intentions that went into the last issue, #26, it has come to my attention that my editorial was not taken to heart, that it was glossed over and disbelieved and the points inside rationalized away (specifically about the fanzine I discussed). I even figured out that it cost 56 cents to print each one of those issues with the special covers...far over the price I sell them for with subscriptions. All to illustrate my own feelings toward the subject of commercialism and show that one shining spot of brilliance shown out in a sea of despotism.

But alas, it was to no avail. Did thoust here me? Nay. Did thoust take my warning! Nay. So hearest me now fellow zineds! I surrender to the almighty dollar and the Ghods of avarice and greed. I lift up my altruistic soul beside the gold-plate door and I will become one of the poor, hopeless and yearning to be rich. I join thee in thy holy quest to overcharge the lowly minions on my subscribers' list and wrench from them every penny I may, to spare them no expense that I may incur, or imagine, to give them no discounts, and to do my best, to do my duty, to lubricate my billfold with that green lifeblood of fandom. Toward these ends I do hereby declare these new prices for Spectrum, checks payable to my numbered Swiss bank account.

New Prices:

Single issue: $8.95 + $3.50 postage
Subscription: $60.50 for 5, ppd.
Foreign countries: $180 for 5, via pack mule
All earth colonies: 1,500 UN credits and your first born male child per issue Extra-galactics: 2,000,000 Interstellar Credits and your first galactic conquest for every Platinum staple: $150.00 extra
Autographed copies: You should be so rich!
I may change my mind about those prices by next month, but don't hold your breath. I do debase myself to the point of personally licking the postage stamps for these issues, without so much as wearing gloves! What more do you want? I'm surprised I don't charge myself to read it!

  • regarding two names:
One point to clear up: for those of you who think that Dear Fandom Annie and H.O. Petard are both pseudonyms for M.J. Fisher - try again. Both are real people, who just wish to remain unknown, and they're not me! [22]

  • there are 22 con announcements
    • "Dear Fandom Annie: Why do Trek fanzine critics always have to give away the ends of stories? Don't you think that is a cheap shot and unfair to the author and potential reader? - Chastened Reviewer"
"Dear Chastened Reviewer: The end justified the means, more often than not. Frankly I'm hard put to wonder why so much recent flack over this, seeing as how the endings of the stories involved had absolutely no real bearing on the plot. It's been my experience that the furor hasn't been well-founded, and much to the reviewer's dismay probably brought the story in question more attention than it deserved in the first place."
    • "Dear Fandom Annie: Who is Paula Smith and why does she say so many nasty things? - Sickened"
"Dear Sickened: Dear Sickened: Please don't bother me with Paula, I'm still working on who or what Sharon Ferraro is."
    • To a fan who asks about overpriced zines:
"Dear Stymied: Not knowing the format of the zine it's difficult to confirm or deny an increase of costs. I am however, a firm believer in voicing one's opinions, and if you feel you're being ripped off, YELL. There's a difference in preserving harmony and kissing asses, after all. If you feel you haven't gotten your money's worth and want to know where the additional cost is going, ask, it's your right as a consumer to know and I for one, wouldn't trust an Ed. who won't tell you."
    • "Dear Fandom Annie: Who do editors think they are that they can tell an artist how to do artwork for a fanzine? Not only do they ask the artist to use certain size, shape, and layout, but they have the audacity to tell us exactly what type of medium we must use. What gall! I feel the artists should have the right to produce what they think best conveys their inner feelings and not prostitute themselves. - Angered Artist"
"Dear Angered Artist: A good artist is a disciplined artist, and one with discipline can work within the limits zine eds have to set, obviously because so many do. One must realize what it costs to produce art for a zine - and the fact that the more costly it becomes, the rare expensive the zine is going to be. To avoid problems, the eds specify the mediums, size, etc. The most inexpensive way to repro art is electrostencil but its abilities are limited, so the next step is offset. Some artists don't seem to realize that offset does not occur like manna from heaven, you have to pay for it. Pencil originals with halftones require a heavier metal plate and casphotographic process at an incredible cost just to make the screening negative and plate, so Eds ask for art in Black ink, no halftones and if the gods are with"them it can be done on the "instant process" that uses a paper or foil (and therefore less costly) plate. In any event, if the drawing is too large, you pay to have it reduced. If it's too small you pay to have it enlarged. Believe me, Eds have better things to do that - think of how many ways to inhibit your creative flow. Take pity on them, or don't complain about the high prices if you've helped create them. Since many zines are featuring beautifully done art that does conform, perhaps the problem lies with your ego, not the Ed's desire to exercise his power."

Issue 28

Spectrum 28 was published in November 1976 and contains 16 pages.

a fan (?) at MidAmericaCon
cover of issue #28, Merrie K., Uhura as "Venus on the Half-Shell"
  • the editor apologizes for a part of a review in the last issue where he compared a fan's story to one by Isaac Asimov:
Let me openly apologize for a grave mistake I made in that comparison. No fan should ever be compared to a pro in the course of a review, and I should have known better. I was attempting to demonstrate what type of story she had written by using a clearer and better-known example. Mea culpa. My opinion on the story still stands, however. It was fuzzy, muddled, and difficult to read thru.

  • On the Border, an essay by M.J. Fisher about the controversy surrounding his zine.
    As a result of one particular issue, Spectrum was even referred to as a slanderzine. This has never been my intention... ever. It HAS, however, been my goal to keep the articles in this zine as honest as possible. In comparison to other works in fandom, you might consider it disgustingly honest. There is nothing wrong or immoral about being honest. At times, it does tend to be impractical and definitely lacks tact.
  • Cynical Fandom, an essay by M.J. Fisher about cynicism, honesty and maturity in ST fandom:
A few fans have started to become worried about the prevalence of cynicism in fandom, and indeed, it does seem to be on the rise....Most of the cynics you meet in STrekdom are probably perfectionists, too, and won't be happy until everything is just right.

Issue 29

Spectrum 29 was published in December 1976 and contains 12 pages.

cover of issue #29, M.J. Fisher of "Mary Sue Hartman" (a reference to Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman + Mary Sue)
  • the editor writes:
In the last issue's article on cynicism in fandom, I made a comment about fanzine editors who cover up the costs that go into the production of their fanzines the rational behind the final price they come up with. Although this was just mentioned in passing, as an example of something else, it was a bit over-general. Even though there are fanzine editors that resort to unsavory price fixing, they ARE in the minority, and most do the best they can with what they can work with. My apologies to anyone who was offended by that statement. it was purely unintentional.

  • the editor talks of possibly having to raise his rates if the postal service raises their rates "like they've been threatening to do"
  • Getting Ahead in Fandom, an essay by M.J. Fisher about BNFs, breaking into fandom, how geography dictates your "level" of fannish level of recognizability, how to write letters to the "right people," fannish politics and how to become exposed to the grapevine, and what letterzines to write to. "Most likely, most of the people in Star Trek fandom who are active fans have been in Halkan Council several times, if not frequently. With a little luck, a fan can pass from obscurity to being quite well-known in fandom with nothing more than a few letters appearing in a letterzine."
  • there is a full-page ad for "Inside Star Trek... Gene Roddenberry," a long-playing lp record album what will shortly be for sale
  • "Transeat in Exemplum," an expose by Mandi Schultz about a Trek fan who was fooled by a thief; it was also printed a month earlier in Warped Space #21 with the title: The facts are these. Hoover is not telling the truth.
  • a review of Delta Triad #3, see that page
  • a review of Alternative: The Epilog to Orion, see that page
  • a review of Furaha #4, see that page
  • from "Dear Fandom Annie":
    • "Dear Fandom Annie: What can be done to initiate some new ideas at conventions? It seems that all Star Trek conventions are becoming increasingly repetitive? - Slightly Bored"
"Dear Slightly Bored: Changing con programs is going to be a painfully slow procedure. Short of holding the kind you want yourself, TALK to the con comms, especially if and when you're a paid member. Tell them what you want to see at a con as well as what you'd like NOT to see. Most of them won't listen because they're convinced they're already doing quite nicely without your help, but there's always a chance. Another idea would be to write up reports of cons you've been to for fanzines pointing out what you liked as well as what you didn't, and what you would've preferred. The whole idea is that you have to be pointedly vocal about it, and too, try smaller cons. Unlike the large ones that have turned into side shows, the small cons, for the most part, are much more interesting as you can attend on a personal basis. You won't be lost in the tidal wave of sheer numbers of fans."
    • "Dear Fandom Annie: I have noticed that in Star Trek fandom there is an awfully large preponderance of offset fanzines. From what I hear, this isn't the case in other fandoms. Offset is not only more expensive, but many fans use it poorly. Why do zine eds do that? - Confused Zine Editor"
"Dear Confused Zine Editor: I could answer in one word -- EGOTRIP -- but I won't. Some claim that it's easier, some want the prestige, and some feel that for the cost of one offset zine run you could buy a used mimeo in decent condition. Indeed, some use offset very poorly by not preparing a good original copy, and some go for the ungodly expense of metal plates for art that could be handled for a fraction of the cost. Many would do well to realize that even a snappy appearance will not conceal poor content."
    • "Dear Fandom Annie: It occurs to me that fandom lends itself to politics as much as anything else. If so, how can a fan politically stack the deck in her/his favor? - Political Student"
"Dear Political Student: The fine art of ass-kissing seems to lend itself to your need. But do you really think the personal debasement and compromising of principles is worth it?"
    • "Dear Fandom Annie: I have noticed more porno in ST lately. The same occurs in science fiction; it isn't art unless it's dirty an calls itself "speculative fiction." This doesn't mean I want everything to be squeaky clean, just that I believe a ST zine shouldn't resemble an underground comic. To me this is sad because many fans are too young for this garbage. How can parents believe in the wholesome interests in Star Trek if they see these zines? Some do not even state they are "For Adults Only." Also, it is a blight to the minds of fans of any age who believe in ST and see its philosophic goals for the future. Outsiders, such as reporters, insult fandom enough, must we insult ourselves with this trash? What do you think? - Saddened"
"Dear Saddened: Well, in all honesty I like to peek as much as the next guy does. How ever, I can peek for less money at better quality if I'd buy from a dirty book store. Having made a point of perusing every so-called pornzine that has come out recently - as well as the "unusual" ones plumbing the depths of the K/Sp relationship, I feel fairly secure in having the opinion that the majority of the people writing have had almost no actual experience with the subject matter. This is not to say that we should not write what we don't know per se - obviously we would all have to give up right now. But since sex in all of its various and deviant forms, already exists with fairly well-defined basics, the people without the experience are standing out like sore...well, make up your own analogy. I think what I personally resent the most is the virtual elevation of such stuff (I hesitate to refer to it as literature) as serious writing, and would feel much better if everyone admitted it's all a lark. Yet people will go to great lengths to validate their efforts, including thinking that they can point to various things in the episodes themselves to back up their ludicrous suppositions. Personally I resent the insults made to my intelligence by the insinuations that this sort of thing is anything but a lark as well as a last-ditch step in Trekfic. Perhaps we are truly marking time until The Movie refuels us with ideas. That's a pretty sad statement to be made of a group that us supposed to be exceptionally imaginative and creative. As for me, the sampling has been more than sufficient, to convince me that the material of this nature is even more odious than Sturgeon's law promises. And the next time I want to be titillated, I'll go to a specialty store, pay half the price, and get color photos to boot! In short, will everyone please turn down their gonads and start writing something worth the paper it's on again? Enough is enough, barf bags should not have to become standard survival gear."

Issue 30

Spectrum 30 was published in February 1977 and contains 10 pages. This issue doesn't have any zine reviews because A Survival Guide for Strekcons took up most of the space.

cover of issue #30, M.J. Fisher

Fisher is grumpy about postage costs:

I am going to be changing the mailing policy of Spectrum by just a bit. The expense of mailing Spectrum is really getting a problem now that the subscription list is growing. The problem lies with returned copies. Since Spectrum is sent third class, copies that are returned because of a change of address, incorrect address or other problems, cost me 25¢ to reclaim. If it costs me 14¢ to send them out, 25¢ to reclaim a returned copy and another 14¢ to re-send that copy back out then I will have spent 53¢ in total on postage alone. Seeing that when you get a subscription to Spectrum you only pay 38¢ an issue that means I lose 15¢ on each returned copy that I send out. From now on, if I receive a copy of Spectrum back because a subscriber has moved, and failed to tell me, then I will re-send that copy back but deduct the cost of one issue from that person's subscription. On the other hand, if it's my fault- say I put the wrong address on and it came back- then I will not deduct any_ issues from the subscription and still send it out. Please remember however, that if you change your address and a copy of Spectrum is returned because you haven't told me, you will have an issue deducted from your subscription. If the issue returned was the last on your subscription, then I will not send it back at all. This is the only way I can afford to cope with returned copies, without switching to first class mail (which would raise subscription prices to $2.60/5!).

    • "Dear Fandom Annie: I have read many stories where Kirk and Spock have a homosexual relationship. If this is true, does Spock ever get jealous of Kirk's girlfriends? -- Fascinated"
"Dear Fascinated: There are some things mortal are just not meant to know."
    • "Dear Fandom Annie: Back when Fandom first started, how did people know where to get in touch with other fans and how dis the idea of publishing zines come up? Also, how did fans know where to get the zines before the Star Trek Welcommittee was formed? -- Latecomer"
"Dear Latecomer: Embarrassing tho it may be, most early fen (at the time when Strek was on network TV) found each other thru Leonard Nimoy's Club(s) or at his early personal appearances to hype his records. The idea of a zine, per se, is not new to a fan club, nor to SF fen [There is an article on zines in SFdom in Sol Plus III- Ed.] SO when STrekkers infiltrated SF cons, the idea rubbed off. Last but not least, there were already-established SF fen such as Juanita Coulson. They were already zineds and produced some of the early zines. A lot of campuses (Texas A&M comes to mind) already had SF clubs and their members turned on to Trek. Not unlike VD, the publishing urge spread from person to person via an assortment of pleasant exchanges."
    • two other questions:
Why has Trek art become so boring?
Does the "post offal" hate fanzines specifically? (the latter a reference to late mail, damaged mail, and general fan dissatisfaction with the Postal Service)

Issue 31

Spectrum 31 was published in April 1977 and contains 12 pages.

cover of issue #31, artist is Merrie K.
  • 26 con announcements
  • The Future of Star Trek Fandom, essay by John Baker and M.J. Fisher. It says Strekdom will be active at least into the 1980s because the movie will keep it going, but after that, "it will be dropped." It predicts that if popular markets stop selling a lot of the pro books, they will still continue to be sold to high school and college bookstores for SF courses. The essay also has a lot to say about conventions
  • Loonies in Fandom?, an essay by M.J. Fisher about being an enthusiastic Star Trek fan
  • a review for Altair, see that page
  • a review of Stardate: Unknown #3, see that page
  • a review of All My Crewmen #2, see that page
  • a review of Fantasia #1, see that page
  • a review of Masiform D, see that page
  • a review of T-Negative #32/33, see that page
  • from "Fandom Annie":
    • "Dear Fandom Annie: I just received issue 1 & 2 of Interphase, xeroxed, from Lori Chapek-Carleton, and I really didn't like them. I found that The Other Side of Paradise was a hundred times better... Why is it that people say Interphase is the best and most professional Strekzine in fandom? I didn't find is so. -- Phased Out"
"Dear Phased Out: I certainly must applaud your courage to say such a thing in print. I also happen to agree whole-heartedly. While Interphase is always a visual coup, its literary contents frequently leave something to be desired. But how many people would have the nerve to take the name of its editor in vain?"
    • "Dear Fandom Annie: I've been in Star Trek fandom for almost a year now. Every con report I've read seems to put down the con. Since I haven't been to a con yet, I can't judge the con for myself. Are cons dying out? Why are they put down so much? -- Non Con"
"Dear Non Con: As far as big (pro) cons are concerned, you haven't missed much unless your character would have benefited from highway robbery. Cons are put down because people are unsatisfied with them, as well they should be. It's ridiculous to pay $25 for the honor of being crammed into an auditorium in order to hear the cast tell you about their present projects. At least on television, commercial messages are free. People are tired of being abused by poor hotel staff (though the blame does fall on the con promoters for insufficiently arranging things) and suffering with poor facilities. People are tired of paying their money for the opportunity of being swindled by dealers masquerading as fans. Fan cons are the wave of the future."

Issue 32

Spectrum 32 was published in May 1977 and contains 14 pages.

cover of issue #32, Joni Wagner, mash-up by M.J. Fisher -- it portrays members of Landing Party 6: "Found guilty of bad plotting, cardboard characters, atrocious pus & sheer gall by appearing in print. MAY BE DANGEROUS -- APPROACH WITH CAUTION."
The editor adds: "The cover—before anyone accuses me of unnecessarily-cutting up other people's fantasies—was done with the permission of both Jon1 Wagner and Lori Cbapek-Carleton,. You may accept it on whatever merit you will."
map of U.S. "fan density" printed in issue #32 as part of the essay Statistical Fandom
  • the editor notes that he has permission from both Lori Chapek-Carleton and Joni Wagner to use the LP6 on the cover of this issue
  • Statistical Fandom, an essay by M.J. Fisher
  • the editor notes two letter campaigns are circulating: one to renew Space: 1999, and the other is to get more of Gene Roddenberry's show Spectre: "Personally I thought [Spectre] was spectacular, and I would like to see more. If you feel the same way you can write to the following addresses: [...] Remember the basic rules for writing to networks: don't use form letters, don't mark Spectre on the out side of the envelope, and don't threaten or condemn. Type if you can, and use your own stationery if you have any, and try to be concise, polite, mature and sincere."
  • the editor thinks the WSA is "investigating the Star Trek Association for Revival and the Basta sisters. No one is making any accusations or pressing charges. This is just an investigation urged at the request of some fans. If you have any gripes, praises, or useful information, contact WSA Chief of Operations, Ron J. Frantz."
  • the editor has two maps of "fan density," getting his data from fan club addresses, from a STW personnel roster, of his own zine's subscription list, and from various directories
  • there is a full-page flyer for The Tsytsean Chronicles
  • Bev Clark has an essay called Con Fans and Mainstream Fans:
There are really two different kinds of Star Trek fandoms, con fandom and mainstream fandom. Most of us are mainstream fans -- involved with fanzines as editors, writers, artists, readers; involved with correspondence with other ST fans, involved with the matter of Star Trek in the creative sense... and then there are con fans... Active con fandom, at least the kind on the West Coast involves more than simply going to a lot of cons, although this is certainly part of it. The con fan likes being involved in a convention, as a gofer, as a committee member, or just someone in the know.

Issue 33

Spectrum 33 was published in July 1977 and contains 14 pages.

front cover of issue #33, M.J. Fisher
from issue #33, "The Laws of Fan Publishing" by M.J. Fisher
from issue #33, "The Laws of Fan Publishing" by M.J. Fisher
  • there are 28 con announcements
  • the editor warns fans to keep their addresses current:
With summer, of course, is the annual decline in fanac that it precipitates because of people moving back from school or off to vacations. So- please remember to keep your addresses up to date, and give me your school address right away if you are moving off to a university this fall. Keeping track of home and school ad dresses is no problem, just as long as I have them to begin with. Remember, since Spectrum is sent 3rd class it is not forwarded and I'm not responsible for copies that are lost in the mail because of CoA's...so please, keep those addresses current.

  • the editor is also plugging a new movie:
    Those of you who have not gone to see Star Wars should definitely make a point of forcing yourself. It's worth the extra $$ to see it now while it's still first run, that way you'll get the full cimemascopic and stereo effects. Even though it may sound blasphemous I was far more impressed by Star Wars than I have ever been by any SF film...even Star Trek. The movie has a scope and grandeur that Roddenberry never exhibited, and it even surpasses 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's not a film that has to be deciphered like 2001, just watch it and enjoy it. Would've been nice if it had a plot though...but, what the hell, with all the action and great visuals, who cares? It's a film you'll want to see again and again. A must for any SF fan.
I thought it might be fun to be involved in a project or two at the con, I came up with doing a publication for the convention, and sent it in to Sharon. Cons in the past have prepared special zines, picture books, souvenir books, and the likes for their attendees, but the idea I had for a zine was different. I was interested in doing a fanzine at the con. That is, enlisting the help of the attendees to actually type up stencils, draw artwork, print the zine, and collate it [there].

  • a full-page flyer for Diamonds and Rust
  • a two-page graphic by M.J. Fisher titled "The Laws of Fan Publishing"
  • an essay titled The Starving Artist Syndrome by M.J. Fisher, lists how fandom's artists are badly treated; the poor printing of their work in zines, original artwork not returned to the artists, art published without permission in other places such as shirts and such, zine eds who use whiteout and other editing procedures on art; the author suggests organizing themselves and using contracts for protection and respect
  • a review of Time Warp #1, see that page
  • a review of Scuttlebutt, see that page
  • a review of A Piece of the Action #52, see that page
  • a review of The Clipper Trade Ship #15, see that page
  • from "Dear Fandom Annie":
    • "Dear Fandom Annie: Where the hell does Paramount, the original ST cast, and Roddenberry come off trying to rip us STrekfen off! Every time I turn around, I find that the actors have jacked up their price for appearing at a con, and then they just plug whatever book or record they have out. It looks to me like they're going to price themselves right out of the business. -- Pissed Off."
"Dear POed: While I agree that the cast is pricing themselves right out of the con-game no pun intended, the fact remains that there have been throngs of fans, Trekkies and Trekkers alike, willing to pay the equally ridiculous con admission fees, that paid these gargantuan salaries. But I do not feel that the actors can be faulted for whatever they do on stage. These people are paid showmen after all. I don't know what else the fans expect them to do up there. At one point I recall someone suggesting they perform Star Trek on stage. Evidently this fan knows absolutely nothing about the business or [s]he would never have made such a ludicrous suggestion. Such performing is bound on all sides by a plethora of guild and union rules, not to mention copyright laws. Who, pray tell, will write this scenario for them? Do you know what it costs to pay someone to do that — and legally, you would have to pay a union member...also hire union people for props, costumes, make-up, etc.. etc. If you think $25 is exorbitant for con admission, imagine what you would pay if the con-throwers had to pay that as well. To maintain their profit margin they would have to increase admission price. You people also forget that we all eat, drink and sleep ST. the actors do not. It's eight years in their past, despite the cons, and they cannot continue to eat and pay the mortgage on the house by living on the fumes of past glories, no matter how enthusiastic they may seem about the possibilities of a Trek series. So, if their services are purchased at a personal appearance, they are going to promote what pays the bills now. Being enamored of Spock's ears does not put food on Nimoy's table anymore; his residuals stopped a long time ago."
    • "Dear Fandom Annie: I heard, long ago, from the grapevine that S.T.A.R. was going to published a fanzine/book called NOVA which was supposed to be a super-colossal fanzine with articles and artwork by pros and fans alike, with the intent of paying off the former debts and subscriptions owed by S.T.A.R. I even heard rumors to the effect that some people have seen the artwork from NOVA, and there might even be copies of it that really exist. Is NOVA just an unfounded myth like Noah's ark, or is there such a thing? -- Myth-fied Fan"
"Dear Myth-ified: While I am sure that nowhere in the Bible does it say "and the ground clave asunder and swallowed up NOVA," the result is just the same. As I understand it, NOVA was intended to be an appeasement from S.T.A.R. to all of the people who were left hanging, still owed $$'s worth of something or other, Babels, club memberships, whatever. This was, I believed, well over a year ago, probably closer to two. Every now and then I hear vague rumblings or a new rumor that someone has seen a cover, a chapter, something, anything, to signify that NOVA really is going to exist. I personally think we'll witness the Second Coming first, and believe me,Id be happy to be wrong since I lost my hard-earned ¢a$h there too. For those of you who have been similarly 'deprived" — that is, those to whom Bastas/S.T.A.R./Et. A1 still owe something to, please get in touch with Ron Frantz P.O. Box 95171, Oklahoma City, OK 731091. WSA is a consumer protection group for fans, formed by fans. They are currently investigating just what, if anything, these people plan to do about NOVA and would appreciate hearing from anyone who is owed. Please include details such as copies of checks that have been cancelled and all pertinent dates."
    • "Dear Fandom Annie: I recently noticed something about Star Trek fandom in comparison to what I know of Science Fiction fandom -- STrekdom doesn't have a single amateur press association. Not one that I've ever really heard of. Why is it that there are no APA's in ST Fandom? -- APA-fan"
"Dear Non-APAthy: The purpose of the APA is usually mass letter writing, talking more than books or fandom. You'll find the majority of APAzines, unlike STrekzines, feature not fiction, but accounts of personal thoughts and experiences. Whereas the genfen are eager to share everything about themselves with others of their ilk, the majority of Trekfen apparently are not. It is hard to believe they have nothing to share, but so far they are working hard to prove it."

Issue 34

Spectrum 34 was published in September 1977 and contains 14 pages.

cover of issue #34, M.J. Fisher
from issue #34
from issue #34
  • the editor has seen Star Wars, and he is enamored:
By next year, at the very least, a new fandom will spring into existence: Star Wars fandom. But why a whole fandom for just one movie? Why so much excitement just for two hours of fantasy on film?... The mundane reviewers suggest that people are tired of all the disaster films, the film jammed with social commentary, heavy symbolism and heavy meanings. Or maybe there hasn't been a big escapism film in a long time, and Star Wars luckily cased in by appearing at just the right time? Or maybe the special effects just swept everyone up in an identical wave of enthusiasm? Yet, not only has the mundane public turned out in record numbers to see Star Wars. Fandom has gone all out, too, and not Star Trek fandom either. All of the SF-related fandoms are talking about Star Wars: comix fandom, Sword & Sorcery, even Tolkien... Just to look at Star Trek fandom in particular, the popularity can be traced to the fact that Paramount has stalled far too long in bringing out the new series. Star Trek fandom was ripe for Star Wars to find a willing audience. Another thing about Star Wars is the scope of the film. There is an epic quality to Star Wars... It's a grand tale full of adventure and suspense... Star Trek never had that epic quality. The whole of ST might have, but you might have to think a while before you could grasp it all. Star Wars shows that epic tale in the space of two hours, so that you don't have time to lose a single instant of it... A Star Wars fandom seems almost destined. Zine should appear shortly and one can only wonder when the first Star Wars convention will be. As in the case of ST fandom in the late '60's and early '70's, it will probably be a case of Star Wars appearing as part of the programming in regular ST, SF and Comicons, until a large enough cult exists to hold separate Star Wars cons... Many of them have already instituted SW panels, and Star Wars characters now swamp the costume competitions with a multitude of Lukes, Solos, and Wookies [sic].

  • the editor adds:
    Not all of Star Trek fandom has reacted favorably to Star wars however. Two extremes have already formed, one saying that 'Trek is Dead.' citing Star Wars as its killer; and the other faction maintains a grin-and-bear it attitude, assuming that the enthusiasm will eventually wane, leaving ST fandom intact, and that Star Wars 'is just another rerun movie.' Actually, both groups in those extremes are in a few disappointments. For the people that maintain Trek is dead, there are still those die-hard Trek fen who consider ST the ultimate show of all time. Those types of fans will always hold on to whatever they see in Star Trek to the exclusion of what any competition may offer. Some people are also just too hooked on ST fandom to ever give it up for something else, and others may stay with ST fandom simply to avoid the effort and hassles of 'making it' in another fandom.
  • there are two pages of photos of fans from SeKWesterCon
  • there is a full-page flyer for Necro-Con, a con for fans of old horror films
  • there is an open letter by Sharon Ferraro Short, the topic is S.T.A.R.; club is in disarray and in trouble; see The 1977 S.T.A.R. Letter by Sharon
  • there is a review for Showcase #3, see that page
  • there is a review for Starfleet Assembly Manual #1, see that page

Issue 35

Spectrum 35 was published in Jan 1978. It had two covers, one risqué, one not risqué The Wicked Wanda cover was sent to fans the editor felt would be fine with it. Other fans he wasn't so sure about got a cover with Kirk on it by Merrie K.. There were 15 of the of copies of the Wicked Wanda cover that were hand-colored and were sent to subscribers who had an interest in collectables.

the Wicked Wanda cover by M.J. Fisher. (It is unclear if this is a copy of the hand-colored one) Note: the cover has a small foldout at the bottom

This issue was late because the editor used up all his ink running off the zine Diamonds and Rust. He had ordered thirty more pounds of ink, but it was late in arriving.

Fisher also writes that it is the first issue in a long time to have a lettercol. One of the letters is about APAs in Trek fandom, one letter states they wish "Spectrum" printed more letters, one letter is about the difference (or lack thereof) between "art" and "illustration" in zines, the last letter is about bad service from T-K Graphics.

He directly addresses The 1977 S.T.A.R. Letter by Sharon: "Dear Sharon- Seeing, in this case — seeing NOVA in the mailbox — is believing. But I tend to think that the age of miracles has passed."

The bulk of this issue are two long, thoughtful essays, one by the editor on the "pro" side of explicit material being allowed in fanzines, and a long essay by Karen Fleming on the "con" side, arguing against explicit material.

  • from "Dear Fandom Annie":
    • "Dear Fandom Annie: Where does Paramount come off, trying to rip off us fen? Instead of charging a little bit for a film, their prices have going up into the hundreds and thousands of dollars. That stinks. I can't really pin anything on Roddenberry, but Paramount has been cracking down on people selling ST film clips without permission. Now, granted, Paramount has sole rights to these clips, but the fans selling them can't be hurting Paramount really. It seems to me that Paramount and Roddenberry are just trying to get all the money they can and not share it with anyone else. -- Pissed Off
Dear Pissed Off: Paramount is a business, not a charity institution. They are not blind to the amount of $$ con-givers are making, and they want their percentage. You must also realize that the cost of renting an episode also does things like paying the Writer's Guild their cut, if I have been informed correctly. You're not going to like what I have to say about film clips either. Paramount is not blind to the enormous profits being made by the big-time dealers at cons. The studio has the right to their percentage, or to crack down on people selling. You seem to forget that they legally own this stuff. Lo, these many years ago, Paramount was the one who shelled out hard cash to make Star Trek. It belongs to them, even the film clips which are throw- away scraps (until they throw them in a public dump, they own 'em). They paid the actors in those film clips - they paid for sets, the costumes, the scripts — they own it. Morally, ethically, legally, they are entirely within their rights to demand a percentage on any monies anyone is making on what they own. Look at it this way — if you owned Star Trek, would you be as generous as you condemn Paramount for not being? I don't think so. In the past. Paramount has turned a blind eye to the dealing that went on since there was only a handful of dealers. Things have changed considerably. Vie've brought it upon ourselves, even those of us who are not dealers, by buying from the over-priced ones. Paramount has given the fans every consideration in this department, and they're the ones who've been robbed. (For example, even the licensed dealers report only a fraction of their con profits in order to minimize their percentage to Paramount.) I do not think they can be faulted for finally protecting themselves."
    • "Dear Fandom Annie: I have been noticing lately that a lot of zines say they are for sale for people 16 and over (rated X). Now, you tell me, how in the heck do editors of these zines know that the people who sub are 16 and over? Or is it just publicity? -- Minor-ly Interested"
"Dear Minor - Those ratings (X, Adult only, etc.) are meant to serve the same purpose as the notices the TV networks run before shows that might be offensive or require "parental discretion." They are also about as useful. Obviously zine editors and TV stations don't know the true age of their audiences, but giving some warning does shift the blame in case any one becomes upset. The ratings would, to a certain extent, work as advertising. Most people; whether under or over 16, are interested in what someone tells them they can't have. For bidden fruit is always the sweetest & most enticing."

Issue 36

Spectrum 36 was published in January 1978 and is eight, single-spaced, tightly packed pages.

cover of issue #36, Joni Wagner, a parody of Diamonds and Rust mash-up with Jeff Johnston (as Chantal) and Connie Faddis (as Kirk) in drag for the play at SeKWester*Con, Too. "No, Connie, it wouldn't work between us... One transvestite in the family is enough. But if it will make you feel any better, you can borrow my pumps whenever you want." -- It is unknown if this is the "bawdier" cover of the two that were printed. See below.

The entire zine is what the editor hoped would be a sort of to supplement Communication the Hard Way:

While the fan booklet acts as a beginner's guide, this piece is intended as a sort of advanced course. This issue covers more difficult subjects in printing that the beginner's book did not, such as color significance, layout, paper types, how to handle artwork, and other subjects. The article is designed predominately to aid people in offset printing since most of the better printing techniques require offset.

About the cover:

I've done something with both issues #35 and #36 to help you appreciate them more. Both issues have double covers. While printing Spectrum #35's cover, a number of them were damaged, leaving me with 98 copies of the Wicked Wanda cover, so most of you will be getting an alternate... With the cover of Spectrum #36, both covers are the same except for the caption. The 1st caption for this cover is risque enough, but the other is even worse. Considering the row in fandom over porno lately I decided to send the bawdier of the two covers out selectively to people I hope won't be offended as much as others. I won't tell anyone who has which cover, you can figure it out for yourselves. The cover art, by the way, was done by Joni Wagner. The picture is of Connie Faddis and myself, both in drag, hamming it up as Kirk and Chantal. If you missed our performance at SekWester*Con then you really missed a show. (I should point out that Connie and I don't normally do that kind of thing.

The editor notes that if the subject of the zine was too specialized, that :

...if you're miffed that I spent a whole issue blathering about something that you could care less about, send me the issue back, in an envelope, in salable condition, and I'll extend your sub.

Regarding the zine: the editor wrote:

Spectrum is now the longest running fanzine about fandom. It is for the fan who is not only interested in ST, but in fandom too. Spectrum carries discussion about various topics in fandom, and offers a variety of features such as the most complete five-month advance con listing of any zine around, a varied array of reviews of recent fanzines and "Dear Fandom Annie." Because of the recent passing of Halkan Council, Spectrum has reinstated a lettercol which was dropped from the format long ago to avoid a clash in format between the two zines. Now that HC is no longer around Spectrum offers this valuable service to its readership.

Issue 37

Spectrum 37 was published in May 1978 and contains 16 pages.

cover of issue #37. The editor wrote: "I need some artwork. You'll notice I have no cover art for this issue, due in part to the fat that I didn't have anything suitable to print, and also tot eh fact that I, personally, have decided never to do another piece of Trek art again. If I don't receive anything in the way of art, I'll just print more blank covers. I don't care."
  • the editor is becoming very weary and crabby:
It's been so long since the last issue that most people have probably figured that I've gafiated or something... not quite, but the prospect seems increasingly tempting. In fact, I've come to a conclusion about Spectrum... It occurs to me that I am putting a great deal of work into Spectrum -- indeed this zine probably has the best mimeo graphics of any periodical in fandom -- and yet the zine flounders with a low subscription rate that won't even pay for expenses. So, unless a miracle occurs somewhere along the line to boost subscriptions beyond 200, I will be ending Spectrum shortly after issue #40... This zine is no longer worth the effort considering that I still write about 85% of it, and it only goes out to a handful of people... [For future issues] I need some artwork. You'll notice I have no cover art for this issue, due in part to the fat that I didn't have anything suitable to print, and also tot eh fact that I, personally, have decided never to do another piece of Trek art again. If I don't receive anything in the way of art, I'll just print more blank covers. I don't care. Ironically, the article in this issue on gafiation has what is probably the most upbeat ending that I have written in a long time. How disgusting...

  • The Glory and the Dream, essay by M.J. Fisher, on why fans leave a fandom. He cites the "boredom factor" (a term that he says Bev Clark coined in a letter to him). Another reason fans leave is unlike SF fandom which gets new material all the time, a media fandom's canon is stagnant and provides no new material. Other factors are that fans can be fickle in their interests, that some fans take on too much work and become run-down, that Star Trek's fans who are in high school and college like action/adventure fiction and the more established fans are writing less of that type, that egoboo makes some fans leave because they get a single bad review, that it is harder for zine eds to publish zines now that Interphase and The Other Side of Paradise have set the bar too high for most lazy fans to hit, that some fans end up marrying people who are hostile to fandom, and that fans drop out of fandom out of disillusionment.
  • Pat Stall wrote a letter and said she was bothered that some zine eds don't bother to credit or list their artists' works: "A plea to Zineds: Most fans buy the kinds of zines that interest them, and for me the art work is as important as the writing. As an art teacher, I'm always excited by the work of a Faddis, Miller, Moaven, [Gayle F], Nim, Fish, Landon, Wagner, Siegrist, Falkowitz, and so many, many other fine artists, and especially delighted to discover a new artist among the ranks of these illustrious, established Trek illustrators. Am I alone in being enamored of good Trek art? Why, for example, do so many new zineds fail to list their artists, when describing the contents of their zines in their ads? Some even neglect to mention whether they do, in fact, have any art at all among their offerings. Sending a SASE to inquire before ordering takes more than just stamps — it takes considerable time to write all those letters, and time is a luxury few of us can afford when we have publication deadlines to meet. Please, Editors and Publishers, list the artists who did your illos in your ads and flyers and please, Zine Reviewers, tell us about the artwork when you discuss zine contents and quality. Thank you!"
  • there is a letter by Paula Smith: she says she found Thrust somewhat boring in that all the stories were about the same thing but she liked the art, that she's bothered that fans crab about sex in zines but not violence or the prevalence of get'ems, that folks shouldn't take sex so seriously..., see Thrust for more
  • a fan wrote: "I just wanted to write you and tell you how much I feel about all the awful pornography in Star Trek fandom. Goddamitall, how can people write such awful stuff about that wonderful Captain Kirk and his luscious first Officer, Mr. Spock. Fuck it man, why can't those cocksucking writers write something nice?... Even my brother and his boyfriend feel the same way I do (And boy, can they feel.) You tell those nasty, commie, perverted, ball licking writers to stop writing such awful stuff. Signed, A Pure American"
  • Gerry Downes wrote that T-K Graphics is experiencing many problems and that she, and a number of other fans, are trying to work with them:
Ted and I have amiably worked out a payment schedule and so far he's sticking to it, so I'm not ready to lodge any official complaints. I would suggest that zine editors insist on payment in advance before sending books, however. T-K has been a good source in the past for hard to find and limited edition items. I'd like for Ted to be able to survive this current cash flow crisis and keep the business going -- I think it's just a case of expanding too fast to satisfy too may peripheral interests at once. I doubt he has ever intended to defraud anyone.

  • a fan wrote about all the sex in zines and says many people don't think about how the actors would feel about it all (see full comments at The Wall):
The actors have rights, too. While the printed page [text] may be faceless, the illos are most definitely not... The faces in those illustrations are recognizable to anyone familiar with the actors. These men have feelings, families, and professional images to be considered. Who speaks for their rights?

In re: porn—I think it's fascinating that all of the boy-boy stuff is being written by ladies of mature years. Are they day-dreaming? Or are all the gay members of Trek- dom still hiding in their closets? Or aren't any Trekkers going to admit that they are gay? Or — oh well. I'm far more intrigued by the fact that the people who were beginning writers five or ten years ago are now all grown up, and are getting very impatient with the beginners and neofen, who are where the old-timers were way back then. There is a process known as "growing up," a part of which involves learning to tolerate the follies of others which you have already been through. So I seem to be able to stand more "adolescent writing" simply because I'm old enough to understand that everyone goes through that phase. And I am all the more willing to encourage younger writers, even though their current product may be pretty crude. After all, even Jackie Lichtenberg had to start somewhere. A little more "IDiC spirit" wouldn't be amiss.

You wouldn't believe how amused Mandi and I were by the Pegasus D&R parody—it was one of the best ones we've seen. Humorous without being malicious like some of the others, but then we enjoyed them all. After all; if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, being parodied is certainly the second. We are still waiting for a good take-off on the whole series. It looks like we may have to do it ourselves. I can see it now — Diapers & Lust. The problem is that doing a good parody is not as easy as it looks. I've tried more than once to do one on Alternative, (to he called "Viable Alternative" of course) but it proved impossible — there wasn't enough content there to work with.

  • there is a letter from a fan who says "straight zines are still straight," she hasn't seen any K/S zines sold without a warning, and that if you don't like the material in a zine, don't buy it: "I would like to point out to you that none of the "porn" zines have deceived any fans in their ads. I've been exposed to fanzines since 1976—just about the time that the controversy surfaced, from xeroxed stories in the underground. Every one of these ads have said "age statement required with order." "if you don't like the theme, done buy the zine." These stories are not being shoved down any fan's throats. All they have to do is refuse to order or read the zine." See more of her comments at The Wall.
  • this issue contains 40 con announcements
  • there is a review of Warped Space #35/36, see that page
  • there is a review of a personalzine by Amy Falkowitz called "Interstellar Amnity"
  • there is a review of Alnitah #7, see that page

Issue 38

cover of issue #38

Spectrum 38 was published in July 1978 and 6 pages. It was the first issue that wasn't printed in mimeograph format, but instead reduced offset. The editor explained that with this format, he could include the same amount of content, but it would cost less in postage to mail:

I know — what the heck is going or. Spectrum in reduced offset? Yes, it's true. I had no alternative. The reason is related to the postal increase in late May. Spectrum has weighed between one and two ounces for about two years now. When I first started mailing out the zine I could mail it for lO¢ via third class mail. When the mail went up to 13¢ I could still mail it out for the price of a first class stamp if I would just stamp "Third Class Mail" on the outside. Then they raised third class to 14¢ last July. But then — and here comes the clincher — when they raised the first class rate up to 15¢ in May, they raised the third class rate up to 20¢! I knew that I had to get Spectrum under one ounce or else not even bother to put out another issue.

  • No Easy Answers, essay by M.J. Fisher -- it is about the generation gap in fandom, of gafia, and the changes in fandom
  • Fandom: A Neofan's View is an essay by by Judith Hanhisalo. She lists the steps as 1) First Steps or "We have to go home now so you can watch what?" 2) Getting Involved or "Can you imagine: these were actually written by fans?" 3) Conventions or "Wow, look at all those other people who are as crazy as I am" 4) Contributing or "Do you suppose I could do that, too?" and 5) The Death of Fandom or "Oh, Hell, I just got here and everybody's leaving."
  • a fan wrote a letter discussing The Wall. An excerpt: {{Quotation| While I wholeheartedly believe in literary freedom and creativity, I suggest for general consideration that anyone presuming to alter the characteristics of any established entity in the name of exploration, fanfic, literature or whatever, takes on the responsibility of upholding the qualities of that characterization which make it unique. They should not. Inadvertently, lower it to the base natures to satisfy sexual or egotistic fantasies. And if this end is indeed their desire, they should create their own entitles and their own universes. [See more of her comments at [[The Wall (essay)|The Wall.]}}
  • there are two letters addressing the essay The Glory and the Dream, see that page
  • "Dear Fandom Annie" addresses several topics: Star Trek: The New Voyages #2 and the "editing" done by Marshak and Culbreath, a fan who was very unhappy with Menagerie #13, and the difficulty of getting ahold of out-of-print zines

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 38

About Spectrum 38—at first I couldn't figure out why the zine looked different, then I realized the print was reduced, and it was offset. I'll miss the mimeo feel, but I don't mind the reduced print atal1. As a zine editor who was recently forced to change her format and readjust rates due to postal increases, I can sympathize (oh boy, can I sympathize) with your plight, but stop apologizing. I'm sure everyone understands, and you'll apologize yourself into a hole, otherwise.

"No Easy Answers" was very, very thoughtfully written. By and large, I could agree with many (even most) of its statements. I think that part of the change in Star Trek fandom is related to the better means of correspondence and communication that exists now — there are more fanzines now, so ideas get tossed around simultaneously in different places. When I first got involved in fandom, I had no idea what I was getting into, and had the naive idea of collecting everything that had ever been written in regards to Star Trek. I still collect all I can, but have been forced by finances and sheer lack of space to limit myself to the topics that most interest me. I don't see diversification as a bad thing, and like you, suspect that this very diversification is the one thing that will keep fandom going. You can't get bored of something if it is constantly growing and diversifying. Or can you?

I agree with Johanna Cantor. The actors are not the characters, and vice versa. Perhaps Spock and Leonard Nimoy look alike, but I think few people confuse them. Fan writers are entitled to write what they will—after all, writing is a form of catharsis, and writers must write what they must write. If readers agree with them, fine—if not, that's fine too. As an editor I've printed stories with which I don't agree, and as a character — Kimeya Maya, of Landing Party 6 — well, Kimeya has acted in ways I never would have, and as the person who happens to look like Kimeya, who happens to edit the zine she's put into, I've allowed Kimeya to be written about in ways I really don't approve of, because I've felt it is not my right to challenge a writer's interpretation of the character. If I do feel moved to challenge an interpretation, I'll respond on the same level, by writing a story. Does that make sense?

To [Sally S]: I know what you mean about fandom! Even though I am consistently slow in answering my mail, I still love to open the mailbox each day and pull out a handful of letters. Perhaps my delight in being part of fandom is related to my delight in,reading letters which communicate the fact that there are others out there who feel the same way we do. Of course, the occasional angry letter (where are my zines?) is a let-down, but I have no one but myself to blame for those!

Jeff, are you "Dear Fandom Annie"? [NO! - Ed.] [23]

Four days after mailing, the latest issue of Spectrum managed to find its way into my mailbox. Was able to read the contents without use of a magnifying glass and quite understand why you have been forced to go the micro-mini print route. There are times when I wonder if the post office isn't trying to lose business through all of its price increases. There does come a time when those "few cents more" become the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.[24]

Issue 39

cover of issue #39

Spectrum 39 was published in January 1979 and contained 8 pages. Despite the editor's plans for a few more issues, this was the last issue of "Spectrum" published. In fact, according to a 1987 issue of Comlink, Johnston gafiated sometime in 1980.

The editor (who had been planning his own Star Wars newsletter at the time) wrote:

Since issue #38, those of you who have got ten letters from me know that Spectrum will cease publication within a few issues. This is the first chance I've had to officially announce it in print. Which issue will be the last I don't know. It may be as early as issue #41. At the lat est, issue #45 will definitely be the last issue. Future issues of Spectrum should continue until the end in this off set format. This is 25% reduction, and a far cry beyond the 40% reduction used in #38. It means less material, but also fewer tortured eyeballs. Would anyone mind if I eliminated the zine review column and/or the Con-Census column for the last few issues? Both are timely to research and write. Send me a LoC & state your preference. When the last ish of Spectrum comes out, I'll include checks with that issue for the remainder of any issues still owed on your sub, unless you write in and tell me not to bother. Between writing all those checks and pubbing the last few ishes in offset I expect to run about a $75 deficit. If you'd like to donate the remainder of your sub for that I'd be grateful, but I must have it in writing from you, OK?

  • there is a long article called Breaking into Print: Publishing Yourself by M.J. Fisher. In it, he discusses why people publish zines and how to do it; it also discusses at length Interstat, libel and the issues that zine is having
  • a review of Atavachron, see that page
  • a review of The Clipper Trade Ship, see that page
  • a review of ComLoc #7, see that page
  • a review of Interstat #15, see that page
  • a review of a zine called "Afta" #2, edited by Bill-Dale Marcinko
  • there is a full page ad for Solar Sailors
  • a fan writes that she thinks the change in Star Trek fandom has to do with more and better communication, and that diversification is natural and a good thing
  • a fan writes that she doesn't think fandom is falling apart: "More likely, the old one-room structure is crumbling, and a larger, multi-roomed house is being built, complete with cribs for the neos, rocking chairs for the elders, and garrets for the gafiators. And maybe double beds for the K/S folks."

References

  1. ^ from Datazine #3
  2. ^ from the editorial in issue #25
  3. ^ from the editorial in issue #18
  4. ^ from Stardate #8
  5. ^ from an introductory flyer that Fisher sent to interested fans, it is undated
  6. ^ from a June 7, 1977 letter sent by Jeff Johnston to a fan
  7. ^ from editor in Spectrum #24
  8. ^ from an notice in Datazine #7 (October/November 1980)
  9. ^ from The Halkan Council #13
  10. ^ a comment from a reviewer in Interphase #3
  11. ^ from The Halkan Council #22
  12. ^ from the editor of "Spectrum" in issue #28
  13. ^ from Scuttlebutt #8, a review that focused on issue #37
  14. ^ "Sleep Not, Dream Not" is a story by Connie Faddis. Faddis talks about that story in Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Connie Faddis.
  15. ^ from a LOC by Sharon Ferraro in "Spectrum" #19
  16. ^ from a LOC by Helen Young (chair of the Star Trek Welcommittee) in "Spectrum" #19
  17. ^ from The Halkan Council #12
  18. ^ from Stardate #8
  19. ^ from Stardate #9
  20. ^ "rotifer"?
  21. ^ from The Halkan Council #22
  22. ^ Note: this statement is by the same person who, in the first issue, talked about Jeff Johnston in the third person as if they were two different people.
  23. ^ comments by Lori Chapek-Carleton in "Spectrum" #39
  24. ^ comments by Sally S in "Spectrum" #39