Spirit (Star Trek: TOS and science fiction zine)

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Title: Spirit
Publisher: Mpingo Press
Editor(s): Winston Howlett
Date(s): 1978
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS, science fiction, Original Fiction, Star Wars
Language: English
External Links:
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wraparound cover by Winston A. Howlett -- "Where No Spaceship Has Gone Before"
flyer printed in Probe #12

Spirit is gen Star Trek: TOS and other science fiction 40-page anthology centered on Christian-oriented material.

The publisher's ad called it "science fiction for Christians." The plan was for it to be published twice a year; there was only this one issue.

The zine was edited by Winston Howlett. Art by Cecilia Cosentini, Winston Howlett, Ann Leonhart, Rodney Plummer, Mary Beth Santarelli, and Julie Waters.

The editorial:

I wish I could say that you are holding a totally unique publication in your hands, but with one getting started in California, and another one about to spread its wings in Texas, that statement would not exactly be true.

Nor is SPIRIT really something really new for Mpingo Press. Christian-oriented material has been lightly tripping through issues of PROBE since its first issue ("Death In The City"). And recent wranglings over sexual perversion themes in STAR TREK fan fiction have pushed us even further into the Christian limelight. Like PROBE, the material covers a broad range, from biting humor to heavy drama, most of it by names PROBE readers are already familiar with: VIRGINIA BRENNAN is our "Mistress of the Macabre Vignette", here telling a story that is 'almost religious'. INGRID CROSS' first submission to a fanzine was her article reprinted here. Her modern psalm was specially requested by Ye Editor after she wrote him a non-s.f. one for his birthday last year. ELIZABETH WATERS is former editor of AMBROV ZEOR fanzine, and decided to turn her ballet instruction into a religious fantasy soon after hearing of SPIRIT's inception, asking her sister JULIE to help out in the art department. CECILIA COSENTINI, also a dance student, lent us one of her own ballet illustrations for this occasion. The highly varied drawing styles of ANN LEONHART, RODNEY PLUMMER, and MARY BETH SANTARELLI help round out the rest of the art chores... STAR WARS has generated a whole new field of fan fiction, even in the field of religion. "The Prometheus Pattern" is a strange interweaving of SW and Milton's "Paradise Lost", which makes the ending predictable, but brings some surprises along the way.

Our 40-page count includes our wraparound cover because of the strange printing rules involved in saddle-stitch binding. The small size of the issue makes saddle-stitch practical, and we hope to be able to hold onto the format in future issues (see CORNERSTONE on page 39).

  • "I Am God!" The Madman Said, poem by Winston Howlett (reprinted from Probe #5) (4)
  • Star Trek: A Religious Experience by Ingrid Cross (reprinted from Probe #7) (6)
  • The riAlku Circle by Winston Howlett ("The turning point in the long religious war on Kafarra, a planet that doesn't even know of the existence of man!") (9)
  • The Traveler's Psalm by Ingrid Cross (18)
  • Death in the City by Paul Kirby (20)
  • Lord of the Dance by Elisabeth Waters (a ballet dancer's religious fantasy) (22)
  • Wings of the Wind by Ingrid Cross (26)
  • Delusions by Virginia Brennan (28)
  • The Prometheus Pattern by Winston Howlett (a Star Wars story about the origin of the Force) (30)
  • Cornerstone (39)

Sample Interior Gallery

Reactions and Reviews


In 1978, the author of "The Prometheus Pattern" wrote of his fears about legalities, fanworks, and Lucasfilm. For context on this subject, see: Open Letters to Star Wars Zine Publishers by Maureen Garrett:

OF "STAR WARS" AND COPYRIGHTS: Not so long ago, in a galaxy not too far away, Ye Editor's own major contribution to this issue was supposed to be "Four- Sided Game", a "STAR WARS" story about what happened to the farm after Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru were slaughtered and Luke Skywalker left for Alderaan.

The only reason the story -- and a sequel -- was even considered was because of unofficial word received last September [1977] from Very Official Sources that Twentieth Century Studios and the STAR WARS Corporation were about to give sanction to SW fan fiction and fanzines. This hope was fueled by further written communication from the SW Corp., communications which could not be published, but were permitted to be circulated underground. The main message was, in effect, "Hang on. Sanction should be coming shortly, as soon as we get some legal points ironed out."

But now -- as of this writing -- the Corporation is looking for people who have already started publishing SW fan fiction. The Corporation's stated intention is "not to hassle" these persons, but merely to inform them that they are in violation of copyrights.

So much for the hinted-at sanction.

Said sanction may eventually come. At least one member of the Corporation is trying to convince Twentieth Century's legal department that fanzines are "a good thing". But while all the haggling is going on, we thought it would be better for PROBE to stay out of the mess until the matter is settled, one way or the other. PROBE has said a lot about the sanctity of copyrights, and we try to practice what we preach.

The one SW story that Mpingo Press has published -- "The Prometheus Pattern" in SPIRIT 1 -- went to press long before this new turn of events. So be it. Other than that, our SW efforts have remained in safe areas, like satire, for which anything is fair game. We are not sure if "Ballad of the New Rebel" is 'legal'; we may soon find out...the hard way… [1]


Spirit is a first in fanzines: It's a genzine for believers in Jesus Christ! Edited by Winston A. Howlett, known for such zines as Probe and Goddess Uhura, this zine is just right for those interested in ST/SW/fantasy.

For those interested, stories include the following: "The Prometheus pattern" — a most unusual story about the origin of Star War's Force. You'll have to read it to believe it. "Star Trek: A Religious Experience?" — a brief but hilarious" examination" of Trek fandom as a religion by Ingrid Cross. "The riAlku Circle" — this story presents the turning point of a long religious war on the planet Kafarra, Good sf/f story.

Spirit is 40 pages long, including cover. Photo-offset. Worth the money. [2]


  1. ^ from Winston A. Howlett, the editor of Probe #12, and author of "The Prometheus Pattern"
  2. ^ from Star Trek Nuts & Bolts #29