Star Canticle

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Title: Star Canticle
Editor(s): Dotty Barry
Date(s): 1978-1980
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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Star Canticle is a Star Trek: TOS anthology with three issues.

While mainly gen, the first issue contains some slash. Three stories by Katy Young are a part of her Yea, Though I Walk series, most of which appears in Mahko Root. This series is one of the first examples of K/S fiction to appear in a zine.

Art samples are included on Fanlore with the publisher's permission.

Comments on All Three Zines

I like beautifully printed zines -- STAR CANTICLES comes to mind -- that reflect thoughtful lay out. [1]
...each zine stands perfectly well on its own merits... Produced by Dotty Barry in the late 70s, these outwardly modest-looking zines are, in fact, a treasure house of diversity, both prose and poetry, guaranteed to engage all the emotions and the credits page reads like a Who's Who of Trek fan writers, including Gerry Downes, Gina La Croix, Teri White... The most prolific contributor is Rayelle Roe whose writing skills range from the emotional-wringer to the delightfully absurd.... All three zines are now out-of-print but they can sometimes be picked up quite reasonably, second-hand, ff you like zines with the feel of the classic series, these are for you. [2]

Issue 1

Star Canticle 1 was published in September 1978 and contains 96 pages. Art by Gerry Downes, Rayelle Roe, and Dotty Barry.

front cover of issue #1
From the editorial:
Well, here it is—the zine I swore would never be. I am a relatively sane adult, exceedingly lazy, and I hate to type. So why are you now hold ing a copy of STAR CANTICLE? I don't know. (Maybe I've had "a close encounter I can't remember and am functioning under an alien implanted compulsion— that makes as much sense as anything.) Regardless of the reason for existence, STAR CANTICLE is a reality of which I am proud. My thanks go to all of the contributors, some of whom took valuable time from their own publications to fill these pages with gifts of talent. A free copy of the zine hardly seems adequate payment, but it's all I have to offer, except my eternal gratitude. A very special thanks is due Rayelle Roe who not only wrote a large portion of the material for SC, but who also helped put it together, listened to me enthuse and despair by turns, and put up with all my craziness in its many varied forms. STAR TREK is a somewhat new interest for me—two years—and it has given me untold pleasure, the greatest of which has been the making of new friends. Therefore, STAR CANTICLE is dedicated to the fun and love of friend ship wherever it may be found. A second issue of SC is planned for late spring, 1979. All contributions will be welcomed. I am primarily interested in stories which center about the major STAR TREK characters or life aboard the ENTERPRISE, although any well written story set in the STAR TREK universe will be considered. As with most zines, people who are willing to do art work are always needed.
  • For You, poem by Dotty Barry (5)
  • The Wrong Side of Paradise, story by Rayelle Roe ("...was inspired by Gerry Downes' "Paved with Good Intentions," which appeared in STARDATE:UNKNOWN 3. After Raye had read Gerry's story, she said, "What if Kirk and Spock died, went to Heaven, and spent all their time trying to escape because they thought it was an alien illusion?" I said (naturally), "Write it." She did; it's here; and on behalf of Raye, "Thanks, Gerry.") (6)
  • Almost Human, poem by Dotty Barry (11)
  • ... And Always Will, story by Katy Young (12) (part of Yea, Though I Walk series)
  • A Way Chosen, story by Katy Young, (16) (part of Yea, Though I Walk series)
  • Return Passage, story by Katy Young (29) (part of Yea, Though I Walk series)
  • Harmony, poem by Dotty Barry (39)
  • Who Goes There?, poem by Dotty Barry (40)
  • Plea, poem by Dotty Barry (41)
  • Personal Log: James T. Kirk, story by Sally Syrjala (42)
  • I See, poem by Dotty Barry (44)
  • Haven, poem by Dotty Barry (46)
  • Confession, poem by Dotty Barry (47)
  • No Regrets, story by Rayelle Roe (48)
  • Reasons, poem by Katy Young (50)
  • The Cage, poem by Dotty Barry (51)
  • Fairy Tale, story by Rayelle Roe (52)
  • The Only Choice, poem by Ellen Kobrin (55)
  • Command Decision, poem by Katy Young (56)
  • Once Again, poem by Dotty Barry (58)
  • Saving Grace, poem by Katy Young (59)
  • And Close the Gate Behind You, story by Jane Aumerle (60)
  • Repeat Performance, poem by Dotty Barry (62)
  • Symphony, poem by Dotty Barry (64)
  • Prefixes, story by Rayelle Roe ("...the first chapter of an Amanda/Sarek series. Further segments will appear in later issues of SC.") (65)
  • Reflection, poem by Dotty Barry (70)
  • Star Gazer, poem by Dotty Barry (71)
  • The Sad Saga of the Sehlat, the Cactus and the Vulcan, story by Rayelle Roe (72)
  • Jimmy, poem by Rayelle Roe (75)
  • As the Worm Turns, story by Rayelle Roe (Doctor McCoy is notorious for the jokes he plays on his shipmates. When Spock becomes a victim, his Captain counsels: 'Just indulge in a little revenge every now and then and your life would be a lot more peaceful'. Logical, decides Spock and sets about to follow the advice.) (76)
  • Great Vulcans I Have Known, Ode to a Lock of Hair, Star Fleet Pre-Primer, humor by Rayelle Roe (81)
  • The Heist, story by Rayelle Roe (87)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for The Heist.
Star Canticle is one of the nicest fanzines I've seen all year. The book is dedicated to friendship in all its many forms and includes fiction and poetry by Dotty Barry, Rayelle Roe, Katy Young, Sally Syrjala, Susan Burr, Ellen Kobrin and Jane Aumerle, with art by Downes, Roe, and Barry. The style of the zine is fluid and gentle, and has a fun story "The Wrong Side of Paradise" by Roe in which Kirk dies and ends up in heaven, not hell as in SU and yes, it's kind of a business up there, too, folks. "The Heist" by Roe is also hilarious, as is the Star Fleet Pre-Primer (on the order of 'see spot run'). Several of Katy Young's series of K/S stories are also included; they trace the developing relationship with style and grace. [3]
This zine seems to have appeared suddenly out of nowhere, and what a nice surprise. There is a lovely first issue. With not too many contributors, the editor has put together a very credible PG-rated K/S-orientated zine. There are three short stories by Katy Young which are part of her series appearing in Mahko Root #2, and they are very good. I don't know where Katy has been hiding, but she has a beautiful way with words... There are a couple of short stories by Rayelle Roe (also a newcomer, I believe) which are gently very funny. She has a sure touch with this kind of non-slapstick humor. She also has one vignette that is a quiet horror story. Dotty Barry and Katy Young have written some beautiful, tender poetry, accompanied by Gerry Downe' and Dotty's illos. The zine is nice to look at, too, with a refreshing minimum of typos and spelling/grammatical errors. Someone who cares about the language! The only complaint I have is that the short stories are TOO short. Some are more like outlines than complete stories, with rather abrupt endings. But characterization throughout is good, and quite satisfying. A must for K/S fans, and others as well. There will be an issue #2 also -- this one will be one to watch. [4]
The first story of the first issue begins, of all places, in HEAVEN where Gabe is trying to explain to Pete how Kirk and Spock KEPT ON trying to escape (even got into the elevator heading DOWN!) and why he finally HAD to let them both return to their ship. This is followed by several stories by Katy Young; the best, to my mind, being 'Return Passage'. Kirk, following his mother's death, finally has to come to terms with his feelings for her. The zine continues in the same vein, a mixture of the sad and the funny; the dramatic and the trivial and in the tradition of saving the best until last, it ends with the first part of Rayelle Roe's 'Heist' trilogy which is now an established part of Trek lore and reason enough in itself for buying all three zines. The initial plot is simple - Our Boys have to replace a lake crystal with the priceless real one - only the fake turns out to be the real one while the... well, you get the idea! Of course, Kirk has a Cunning Plan... which ultimately lands them both in gaol even though Spock (who incidentally, is covered in pink soap bubbles), has a perfectly reasonable explanation for entering the bathtub already occupied by a rather large (screamy) lady. The ever-resourceful Kirk has his alias ready but our Vulcan Innocent Abroad is caught on the hop and blurts 'Sarek...' (which conceives parts 2 and 3 on the spot!). They escape with some inadvertent help from some Ladies Of The Night and Spock has his revenge for his lotian flivver experience! [5]

Issue 2

front cover of issue #2
back cover of issue #2

Star Canticle 2 was published in June 1979 and is 66 pages long. Art by Laurie Huff, Rayelle Roe, and Dotty Barry.

From the editorial:
STAR CANTICLE began as a gift of friendship, and I am pleased to say that gift has been received with open arms. I can't tell you how much your letters of enthusiasm and encouragement have meant to me and the contributors of SC. Thank you. Special thanks is given to a group of fellow editors and readers who took it upon themselves to augment my limited PR efforts, thus bringing SC to the attention of fandom—Susan Burr and Penny Warren, Gerry Downes, Ellen Kobrin and Carol Hunterton, Carol Frisbie, Vickie Clark and Barbara Storey, Janice Hrubes, Dixie Owen, and Sheila Clark.
  • Prelude (2)
  • untitled poetry by Dotty Barry (3)
  • Scotty’s Decision by Joy Mancinelli (4)
  • Bound, poetry by Dotty Barry (6)
  • Agape by Margaret Schwarz (7)
  • The Lesson, poetry by Dotty Barry (9)
  • House of Mirrors by Rayelle Roe (10)
  • Reverie, fiction by Sally Syrjala (McCoy, new to the Enterprise, wonders if he dares to open himself to the possible pain of new friendships.) (18)
  • The Healer, poem by Carol Crunk (19)
  • Perspective by Katy Young (20)
  • Chess, Anyone, poem by Merlin Thomas (25)
  • Debut et Mort by Susan Burr (26)
  • Personal Log: James T. Kirk by Sally Syrjala (27)
  • If Only, fiction by Joan McLachlan (28)
  • Loveborne, poem by Gene Delapania (29)
  • Marigolds and Sage, poem by Dotty Barry (30)
  • Paper Dragons by Rayelle Roe (Spock is returned to the ship after captivity and rape and fighting to save his sanity. McCoy uses his skills and love for Spock to heal his friend.) (31)
  • If, poem by Dotty Barry (35)
  • Further Ode to a Lock of Hair, poem by Susan M (36)
  • Down the Tubes by Rayelle Roe (39)
  • Minnesota Spock, fiction by Rayelle Roe (39)
  • Shouldn't You Ask Me First, poem by Susan M (41)
  • Storm Haven, poem by Ellen Kobrin (42)
  • Fire and Ice, poem by Gerry Downes (43)
  • Viewpoint, fiction by Kay McElvain (44)
  • Threads, poem by Susan Burr (47)
  • The Starless Sky, poem by Liz Persic (48)
  • Starting Over and Renewals, poems by Susan Burr (50)
  • Welcome Home, Max, fiction by Rayelle Roe (51)
  • zine reviews by Jane Aumerle "Other Voices" (55) reviews of Menagerie #15, Masiform D #8, King Grope, Variations on a Theme #2, Copkiller, T-Negative #34/35, Zebra Three #3 and #4, The Pits, Syndizine #1, see those pages
  • zine information (60)
  • Post Heist, fiction by Rayelle Roe (61)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

See reactions and reviews for Post Heist.
Issue 2 is a little more serious without being too 'heavy'. One story has Scotty in the starring role and another takes a caring look at the Spock/McCoy relationship. Also, we are introduced to MAX, the furry, one-eyed hero with the plaid bionic leg. Sounds yukky but it isn't. The issue ends with 'Postheist'. Following our heroes' escape, SAREK is arrested and charged with the possession of stolen property, assaulting an officer, attempted rape, consorting with pros... are you with me? He is visited in gaol by his attorney, one Leonard Montgomery who comes complete with a strong Georgian accent... and why is Spock now apparently intent on having his Evil Way with UHURA? Er, I think I've forgotten to mention Kirk's Cunning Plan I Amanda takes it all (well, most of it) in tier stride but the Spock/Sarek relationship looks likely to hit an all-time low! [6]
The ST zine contains five long stories, nine short ones, fifteen poems, and ten of Jane Aumerle's lucid zine reviews (five of which are non-Star Trek, mostly Starsky and Hutch). Each piece of poetry is beautifully illustrated, sometimes with exquisite botanical drawings. Six of the stories are Rayelle Roe's, my favorites of which are humorous "Minnesota Spock" and "Postheist." In '"Minnesota," young Spock visits the Graysons on Earth and is taught the game of marbles by condescending neighborhood kids — with results about like what will happen if McCoy actually gets to teach contemporary Spock to play the game of poker. Very well written, wry humor, as well as a bellyful of laughs; Amanda makes him give back all the marbles, of course; pity. "PH" finds Spock in a mistaken identity crisis — with Sarek! — as he and Kirk go about their merry ways bending local planetary laws, winding up in the pokey as usual, etc. Witty arid warm. "House of Mirrors," in which a computer planet substitutes a surly and hostile android Kirk "for company" to Spock while secretly repairing a serious injury to the real one, lacks credibility. No sensible reason why Jim's sunny personality would not have been duplicated, too, except for the hurt feelings (what! Spock??) and misunderstandings that are the sole basis of the tale. The whole concept is artificial and strained. Katy Young has a nice story, "Perspective," in which Kirk leans over backwards to avoid the appearance of playing favorites when it comes to risking men to save his First Officer's skin. None of this issue's contents is really long enough to show much plot or character development, but kills a pleasant couple of hours. [7]

Issue 3

front cover of issue #3, Margaret Schwarz
inside art from issue #3, fold-out art for "Homecoming" en h/c story "The Homecoming" by Terry White. Artist: Pat Stall. The original art piece was resold at Shore Leave in the 2000s.

Star Canticle 3 was published in 1980 and contains 138 pages.

From an ad in Datazine: "This is the third and final issue of Star Canticle, the Trek zine of love and friendship. It's been fun, folks. Thanks for your support and good thoughts." [8]

From the editorial in "Star Canticle" #3:
I have enjoyed publishing Star Canticle and have greatly appreciated your support and encouragement. Someday, maybe, I'll return to Trek. The Enterprise and its crew of fascinating people will always have a place in my thoughts. They brought me untold hours of joy. The friends I made through common love of this universe remain—an unexpected and cherished gift.
From the editorial, an example of how three zines fold and another zine cleans up:
Production notes: "Homecoming" by Teri White, "They Shoot Centaurs, Don't They?" by Dayle Barker and Michaelene Dalton, "Dragon Gold" and "Caged" by J.M. Mike, "Official Act" by Isabel Real, "Gem" by Ginna LaCroix, "Building Blocks" by Crystal Ann Taulor, "The Mission" by Joan McLachlan, "Trial By Error" by Katy Young, "Unity" and "Divided We Fall" by Ruth Kurz, "Captain, Captain" by Dotty Barry, and "Prophecy" by Gene Delapenia were originally scheduled for publication in Stardate: Unknown 6. I would like to thank Gerry Downes and the various authors for allowing Star Canticle to print these stories and poems. I would also like to express my gratitude to Gerry for providing the color star plates and half tones of Pat Stall's and Ruth Kurz's lovely drawings.

"One Tin Soldier" by Rayelle Roe was originally scheduled for publication in Turbolift Review 3 before Teri White decided to cease publication.

"Fool's Paradise" and assorted poems by Dotty Barry and "Homo Factus Est" by Jane Aumerle were scheduled for publication in Mahko Root 3 before Susan Burr and Penny Warren also decided to cease publication.
  • art by Virginia Jacobsen (3)
  • They Shoot Centaurs, Don't They? by Dayle Barker and Michaelene Dalton, art by Kay McElvain (4-16)
  • Epitaph by Elaine Tripp (17)
  • Official Act by Isabel Real, art by Virginia Lee Smith (18-19)
  • Comes a Vapor by Rayelle Roe (20-25)
  • Star Songs by Dotty Barry, color star plate courtesy of Gerry Downes (26-27)
  • Trial by Error by Katy Young (28-37)
  • untitled poem by Dotty Barry (37)
  • Unity by Ruth Kurz, art by Ruth Kurz (43)
  • Divided We Fall by Ruth Kurz (39-40)
  • Duet by Dotty Barry (43)
  • Prophecy by Gene Delapenia (44)
  • 3-D Chess by Gerry Downes (45)
  • Captain, Captain by Dotty Barry, art by Vel Jaeger (46-53)
  • One Tin Soldier by Rayelle Roe (54-66)
  • two poems by Dotty Barry (67-68()
  • Crewchief's Nightmare by Anna Walker (68)
  • poem by Dotty Barry, star plate from Gerry Downes and Dixie Owen (69)
  • She by Pam Martin (70)
  • The Call by Susan Burr (71)
  • The Punishment by Liz Persic (72)
  • poem by Dotty Barry (73)
  • Frater, ave, by Jane Aumerle (74)
  • I Love You by Liz Persic (75)
  • And I by Dotty Barry (75)
  • Aside by Dotty Barry (76)
  • The Alternative by Kay McElvain (77)
  • poem by Dotty Barry (78)
  • Homo Factus Est by Jane Aumerle, art by Gayle F (79-82)
  • Gem by Ginna La Croix (83) (also in Trek Encore #2)
  • Building Blocks by Crystal Ann Taylor (84-85)
  • Caged by J.M. Mike (86)
  • Dragon Gold by J.M. Mike (87)
  • poem by Dotty Barry (88)
  • Finale by Dotty Barry (89)
  • Decision by Kay McElvain (90)
  • Where Do We Go? by Susan Wyllie (91)
  • poem by Dorothy Bradley (92)
  • poem by Dotty Barry (93)
  • The Mission by Joan McLachlan (92)
  • Fool's Paradise by Dotty Barry (95-97)
  • Homecoming by Teri White, art by Pat Stall (98-111)
  • The Wedding by Rayelle Roe, art by Roe (112-124) (reprinted in Two-Dimensional Thinking, "W.T. is back, and is he mad! See W.T. meet T'Pau, Sarek, and the entire Vulcan Council! See Spock prepare for martyrdom. See McCoy having the time of his life.")
  • After the Heist is Over by Rayelle Roe (125-137)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

See reactions and reviews for After the Heist.
Issue 3 begins in Arcady where Kirk-the-centaur and Spock-the-lynx are trying to rescue a somewhat 'high' McCoy. A strange story this; fun but With Feeling. There follows several more serious themes, including Rayelle Roe's soul-chilling 'One Tin Soldier' which centres around the Prime Directive. Separated by the course of events during a planetary war, Kirk and Spock each end up in the hands of opposing factions; Spock among the helpless civilians. Kirk with the military. Kirk's stratagem finally brings the war to an end but we are left wondering whether he will ultimately be able to live with the price of his interference. 'Homecoming' by Teri White is a post-Amok Time story. Kirk invites Spock to visit the family homestead in Iowa with him in an attempt to salvage their shattered friendship. This is probably best-known for the 'Spock' fold-out which raised a few eyebrows, not to mention heart-rates, in its time. A quick mention for 'The Wedding' - Spock has been at it Again, having (allegedly) radished Mr W.T. Dubois' (he pronounces it Dewboys but y'all can call him Dubya Tee) five innicent daughters and is due to become Vulcan's equivalent of a shotgun bridegroom live times over., and finally, 'After The Heist Is Over'. By now, EVERYONE is in gaol, Kirk's Cunning Plan notwithstanding. McCoy fancies a Chinese (takeaway, that is), Spock initiates a lunchtime brawl and Sarek is in real danger of coming to like his son's humans. The artwork in the first two zines is unremarkable but this one has some nice illos plus a couple of colour star plates. [9]

...unreduced offset, beautiful layout, artwork by the enjoyable likes of [Gayle F], Stall, Kurz, and others. Heavy covers well stapled, silhouette on frontcover, Genzine.

The editor leads off this issue with the announcement that she is gafiating to Starsky and 
Hutch full time — and I guess nobody can stop her, but I am hereby declaring author-poet-art
ist Rayelle Roe an International Trek Treasure whom S&H are forbidden to co-opt. Her last 
two stories in this zine, "The Wedding" and "After the Heist is Over", are absolute master
pieces in satire and mischievous wit. Helpless tears of laughter ran down this reviewer's
 face when the Space Beverly Hillbillies confronted the starchy Vulcans in Spock's shotgun
wedding to the five "Dewboys" sisters; yes! all at once. And poor innocent Sarek is the one
 who takes all the guff in "Heist" when he tries to help clear up the mess our Dynamic Duo
has left on planet Amatice. These two pieces alone are enough to justify SC's price. But 
there's more, in fact a veritable plethora of "more", giving 
rise to the suspicion that the editor cleaned out the desks 
of several zines for this, her final issue. In fact, she did — inheriting the best that Gerry Downes' STARDATE: UNKNOWN had left when publication ceased, and perhaps the remains from MAHKO ROOT as well. But what the heck, we wouldn't want it to go to waste. Would you believe — eleven more stories of varying lengths by such excellent writers as Teri White, Jane Aumerle, and Katy Young? And two serious ones by Roe. Teri's "Homecoming" is a lovely hurt/comfort, accompanied by heartbreakingly beautiful Pat Stall illos. This zine really gives you your money's worth, folks, and if an editor has to quit Trek, it's nice to go out in the well-known blaze of glory. Vale Editor/Publisher Barry, and Happy Cops and Robbers! [10]


  1. ^ from Stylus #2
  2. ^ from B.A. News #61 (1994)
  3. ^ from Stardate: Unknown #5
  4. ^ from Scuttlebutt #10
  5. ^ from B.A. News #61 (1994)
  6. ^ from B.A. News #61 (1994)
  7. ^ review by Dixie G. Owen in The Clipper Trade Ship #26
  8. ^ from Datazine #7
  9. ^ from B.A. News #61 (1994)
  10. ^ from Dixie G. Owen in The Clipper Trade Ship #32