Star Trek Action Group (newsletter)/Issues 021-040

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Issue 21

Star Trek Action Group 21 was published in January 1977 and contains 20 pages.

drawing by John Carrigan
front page of issue #21
  • there is news from Star Trektennial News #19 that the movie would start filming in summer 1977
  • about the newly-cancelled Space:1999: "Those of you who were at Terracon will remember Nick Tate saying that if SPACE died the future of TV SF would be in danger. You may or may not agree with him but in either case I'm sure you will agree that we need more SF series on TV. We think that SPACE 1999 is a good SF series and well worth saving."
  • a fan is selling a pair of "working communicators" which operate on batteries and have a short wave range of two miles -- it is noted that you need a license from the Post Office to operate short wave radio sets in Great Britain
  • a fan, John Carrigan, includes a drawing of a phaser and the note: "Dear STAG, I am writing this letter and sending this drawing to you mainly because of the Starfleet Technical Manual. In the manual there is a diagram of a phaser pistol that in my opinion is wrong. I do not see how a book of so called authentic plans can be wrong but I know for sure that the picture of the phaser in the book is wrong. After years of studying phasers I have come up with what I think is a correct interpretation of a phaser pistol. Rather than let star Trek fans waste their time rnaking a phaser model from the incorrect drawing in the manual, if they follow my drawing they can be sure that their phaser model will be correct."
  • this issue has a translation of an article about the new space shuttle, Enterprise, from the German TV-magazine GONG, translated by Theo Krik
  • "The Most Deadly Criticism" is an essay by a Finnish fan named [M H] and is about being a good leader and whether Kirk qualifies
  • a fan comments on the idea of K/S:
    Basically the relationship cannot be sexual on two counts. Firstly, Kirk likes his women too much, and secondly, Spock dislikes physical contact. If he feels embarrassed and ashamed with a woman, how could he feel with a man? But I do see where the idea comes from, and I think it derives from a misconception of two factors. There's no doubt that the relationship between Kirk and Spock is one of love, and a great many people seem unable to understand a close love unless it's put into physical terms. Even more important is touch as a means of establishing contact. If you watch carefully you'll see that Spock touches Kirk and allows himself to be touched much more than you would expect frcm a Vulcan... There are a lot of things whioh are beautiful to touch, cold glass, deep velvet, but the loveliest of all are people, and it most often isn't sexual. Touching and being touched is the only way that Spock can tell Kirk that they are friends. It is simply a communication.
  • a fan writes in a rebuttal to the con report of the Bi-Centennial Con in New York that was in the previous issue; points of disagreement -- the age of the con goers was older (not children), the dealer's room was fabulous, the crowd was not boisterous ("Everyone was so helpful, courteous and friendly that one just KNEW that love was present that weekend."), the art show was great...
  • regrading the story contest: "There were four entries in the last competition, from T.W. Francis, Gloria Mitchell, Jackie Newey, and Valerie Piacentini. Judging was fairly close, but Valerie just had the edge. It's the first time that someone has won twice."
  • this is the scenario for the next story contest: "The competition this time is for a story explaining the following situation. Spock has just beamed back up from a planet, wearing a grass skirt, a string of brightly coloured beads, with a flower stuck in his hair and carrying a small wooden trumpet. Why? The story can be funny or serious, but it must have a sensible, logical, credible reason for the way Spock is dressed, and I won't accept as a good reason that it's the way everyone on the planet dresses, that there was a fancy dress dance or that he was dressed that way to be sacrifliced to some pagan god."
  • a fan writes of his one experience with "seeing" a UFO, one that turned out to be a weather balloon, two other fans wrote of their experiences seeing a UFO
  • this issue contains a story by Ingrid Emerton called "A Life Gone By"

Issue 22

Star Trek Action Group 22 was published in March 1977 and contains 18 pages.

front page of issue #22
  • the club president apologizes for the lateness of the newsletter; she had Susan Sackett staying with her for a few days, and she had to arrange a visit to Elstree Film Studio with 50 British fans at Gene Roddenberry's request
  • this issue has a warning via Sackett noting that an outfit in Houston, Texas called "Stardate 77" has been selling unauthorized super 8 and 16 mm films of all the Star Trek episodes: "This operation is NOT authorized by Paramount or Desilu, despite the group's statement to the contrary. They are running an ILLEGAL operation. There is considerable question whether or not they even have the films."
  • there is some news about the ST film, along with the hint that it POSSIBLY might be filmed in Britain as the exchange rate is so favorable
  • news about two pro books: "The Making of the 'Trek' Conventions or How to Throw a Party For 12,000 of your Most Intimate Friends". Doubleday has snapped up this new book by Joan Winston and they plan to publish it in hardback next fall, at a price of $6.95. It will feature 24 pages pf photos.... Gene Roddenberry's book THE GOD THING will be published by Bantam later this year. The book is based on Gene's rejected script for the ST MOVIE." (This second book was never published)
  • the newsletter reprints this from Susan Sackett's Star Trektennial News #14: "The material contained in the "Star Fleet Tech. Manual" and "Star Trek Blueprints" was solely the inspiration of the author, Franz Joseph Schnaubelt. Gene Roddenberry agrees that there are some fine things done in these works; however, had he been consulted he would have had a great deal to add on his own (being the creator of STAR TREK.) No, they will not be followed in the movie STAR TREK II, and should not be taken as the final authority, especially when entering our contests. Sources for our contests will be: Gene Roddenberry, other people connected with the show, the Lincoln Enterprises booklet, "Fifty Most Asked Questions", and Bjo's "S.T. CONCORDANCE." The editor of STAG adds this comment: "While these two books are interesting, they are nothing more than fan speculation, and therefore no more accurate then any other fan writing. While Janet is only too happy to answer any questions about STAR TREK or S.T. fandom, she would prefer not to be asked questions regarding the development of technology, etc, arising from the speculation of other fans. There is no answer to these questions." [1]
  • there is much information and hype about Gene Roddenberry's project, "Spectre"
  • there is information about the Letter Campaign to save Space:1999
  • some fans write in about their belief in UFOs
  • a fan writes that he got a letter from Paramount explaining that the Star Trek products he wanted to purchase are not available, and at the same time got a catalog from Lincoln Enterprises advertising those very goods for sale
  • there are some reports of the fan gathering (51 people) and tour of the Elstree Film Studio in London; from one:
    On arrival, we were met by the PR lady, Jean Garioch, and were taken up to the Executive Dining Suite. There, a delicious buffet was laid out for us, with everything from sandwiches and sausage rolls to fried chicken. Red and white wine was available, and coffee was brought out later. I enjoyed it all, it was scrumptious! Then Garioch appeared again, and introduced us to Mr. and Mrs. Roddenberry. Gene and Majel looked so at ease and natural - if you didn't know who they were, you'd never guess. Gene wore a navy blazer and dark trousers, shirt and tie, and had dark tinted gold framed glasses. Majel wore a red jumper with a red, black and blue plaid skirt, and long black leather boots. She had a lovely pendant on, and I believe a pair of command insignia ear-rings. They were such a friendly couple - our president had a kiss from Gene (and Majel too, I think) and Majel gave Janet ear-rings similar to her own. As I was fairly far back, I couldn't see a lot - there was quite a crowd around Gene and Majel. Various people gave them gifts - they got quite a few zines from various groups, too. Cameras were clicking all the time - including mine! Gene began to give autographs, while Majel said she had a gift for all of us, and would we go and oollect them from her. I decided to get my gift, so didn't get an autograph (something I regretted later!) We were given a choice of ear-rings, ring or pin in command insignia - the first ones in the queue got the choice of IDIC rings too, but they went fast! We all really appreciated Majel' s kind thought... The set [of Spectre] was in one corner, with lots of artificial rocks and arches. There were several young actresses in slit dresses (we managed to keep Robin Hill under control, though!) Several warlock-like men in black were in the scene too, along with a dwarf and a hairy warlock. From where I stood I couldn't see a great deal. The cameras and microphones were to one side; with the director and his personnel at hand. Gene introduced the director, then a rehearsal was done, with the director telling the girl (Penny Irving) what he wanted. Next came the actual take, the red light above warning us to keep absolutely quiet, hardly daring to breathe. The take ended with Penny being dragged off, legs waving; screaming hysterically, and rocks and boulders rolling about all over the place. It was over in a few minutes; then I caught sight of a familiar face (even in dark tinted glasses), dressed smartly at the back of the set. It was Robert Culp, who plays Sebastian, the hero.
  • during the tour of Elstree, a fan asked Majel Barrett if she would appear in the new ST movie and, if she did, would it be as "a blonde":
    To this, Majel replied that she certainly wouldn't do it as a blonde again. She had only done it as a blonde in the first place to get round network policy. In the original pilot, 'The Cage', Majel played the second-in-command, No.1, wearing her normal brown hair. When the network saw the pilot, they said 'Get rid of the broad who's playing No.1, because nobody would believe a woman second-in-command." (They also wanted to get rid of 'The guy with the ears' - so Gene, figuring he could save one of them, fought for Spock, and married the broad because, in Gene's words 'It would have been illegal to do it 'the other way'). Once a studio says 'I don't want this person', they mean they don't want that person - they don't want him to show up again ever in the whole show. If Gene had said 'I would like Majel Barrett to play this part' (as Chapel) they'd say, 'I told you no once, what do you mean?' So Majel was billed in her part as No.1 as Leigh Hudec (which is her real last name) and had to change her hair, and change her appearance, in order to take another part in the show. The studio eventually found out about it about two years ago, when they let the publicity go, and Majel said 'By this time, they were so embarrassed they didn't dare come back on it.' So now that the studio knows, there is no reason for Majel to appear again wearing what Gene called 'That phoney blonde hair.'
  • a topic for discussion from a fan: "It occurred to me - 'The Omega Glory' seems to be thought of, by a lot of people, to be a very prejudiced episode, but wouldn't you say that 'Bread and Circuses' is too? It takes for granted that Christianity is right and true, which, as a Christian, I'm quite prepared to agree with, but I wonder how an atheist or a member of any other religion feels about it? What does anyone else think?" The editor asks readers: "Well, does anyone have any comments to make about whether episodes are prejudiced? What about Conscience of the King? The Galileo Seven? The Return of the Archons? A Taste of Armageddon? This Side of Paradise? The Apple? The Gamesters of Triskelion? even Space Seed?"
  • regarding the story competition from the last issue: "There was an excellent response to the competition for a story in which Spock beams up wearing a grass skirt, string of beads and with a flower in his hair. Entries came from Laura Corney, T.W Francis, Janet Hall, G. Jones, Valerie Piacentini, Malcolm Plummer, Helen Sneddon, K. Stevenson, T.G.Z.C, (who as usual wishes to remain anonymous) Veronica WalIace and M. Wright. There was also one entry that we had to disqualify because it was sent in completely anonymously. We respect requests for anonymity, but we must know who the writer is for copyright reasons." The winner was Wallace, whose story was to appear in Log Entries #9; the story competition for next issue is "for a story in which Kirk gets clobbered, Spock and McCoy are there to be worried about him, ending happily in sickbay."

Issue 23

Star Trek Action Group 23 was published in May 1977 and contains 18 pages.


front page of issue #23
"How to Infiltrate a Science Fiction Con, or My Personal Guide to the Wimpy Bars of Coventry"
  • a fan would like to UK fans to be able to have access to a circuit library operating in the US: "Is anyone interested in joining a "library" of ST stories? These will be manuscripts of unprinted stories written by U.S., and possibly British, writers. There will be an annual charge (so far unfixed) to cover the cost of copying the stories and getting them over from the States, from a group already operating over there. Each listed member, having read the story, sends it on to the next name on the list. We will only begin this if onough people are interested."
  • there is some info about the progress of the movie from Star Trektennial News
  • there is a write-up, and full synopsis (minus the end) of "Spectre," the new show by Gene Roddenberry -- an excerpt: "Originally Gene wrote this about four years ago along with a couple of other Science Fiction shows, and CBS ordered it done - and he wrote it, and sent it off, and it came back; too strong, it's too powerful; right after that came the Exorcist and The Omen. The story is about a demon called Asmodeus, the Prince of Lechery, who corrupts Humans through lust. Asmodeus has been sealed away for some 3000 years by three Druid priests, but some time recently he has been released. Originally the main characters were to be Sherlock Holmes and Watson, but Gene couldn't get permission to use those characters, so the investigators became Sebastian and Dr. Hamilton (Ham)."
  • a fan writes a humorous guide for ST fans attending a SF con -- called "How to Infiltrate a Science Fiction Con, or My Personal Guide to the Wimpy Bars of Coventry" (see image) along with a con report for Eastercon at Coventry; it mentions that the next Eastercon will be at the Heathrow conference center, there will be a Novacon in Birmingham (organized by the Brum SF Group) on the first weekend in November, and Faircon in the summer of '78 in Glasgow (purely a media con, but hopes to explore SF and the media: Star Trek, Doctor Who, etc. Organizers are the Friends of Kilgore Trout or the Glasgow SF group)
  • a fan comments on the character of Christine Chapel:
    Thank goodness something is to be done (in the film) with Christine Chapel. Never was a character more used and abused. One minute she's an excellent nurse with a witty, intelligent turn of speech, the next she's a goggle-eyed, wishy-washy, incapable, lovesick male chauvinist's dream girl. How can scriptwriters and those responsible for character continuity allow such a thing? How could Majel Barrett allow her character to be so mutilated? It's inconceivable that such a strong-willed woman as would search the galaxy for a lost fiance should waste herself on Spock. He isn't her type, if Corby is any guide. He [Spock] doesn't love her, he pities her, tolerating her out of politeness. I don't believe she loves him either. I think the revelation of the truth surrounding her fiance shattered her, made her so unwilling to trust another man that she latched on to the only 'safe bet' - Spock. She could direct her feelings at him, knowing he wouldn't take her up on it, wouldn't betray her, wouldn't hurt her. She'd run a mile if he tried to start something, witness her reaction in Amok Time. And the fact she was so obviously interested in him would deter any other man from making an approach, so she was doubly safe. I hope she breaks free of him when he's served his purpose, and finds true love elsewhere. She's had enough heartbreak without burdening herself with a lifetime's toil and anguish on Spock's behalf. Set her free, you lot, she deserves it. Let her be happy.
  • a fan writes in response to another fan's comparison of Starsky & Hutch to Kirk and Spock in Star Trek Lives! (Spock and Hutch have passionate coolness, reserve, and decorum while Starsky and Kirk have passionate warmth, openness and mischief):
    Certainly the parallels of behaviour are there, but there have been many partnerships that could be squeezed into those headings throughout the field of films and TV. I don't want to knock Starsky and Hutch, which is one of tho best American 'cops and robbers' shows around, but the essential differences between the Kirk/Spock partnership and any other is that within the Star Trek format there is a whole universe of possibilities to consider - witness the incredible number of fanzine stories - and any other partnership is restricted to arresting or gunning down the 'bad guys' (or good guys) in Western or modern settings. I notice a Starsky and Hutch Appreciation Society has been formed, and I'd be interested in learning of the range of development that can be made with the characters.
  • a member of a local UFO Group called the Manchester Aerial Phenomenon Investigation Team writes in about his belief in the existence of UFOs, as do some other fans; one other fan writes in of his disbelief
  • there is much fannish discussion about prejudice and the assumption of Christianity in Star Trek -- some sample comments: "Prejudice is lack of understanding. People who believe that of Star Trek have not looked deep enough. If things like Christianity and Star Spangled Banners have been used, it is because these are things that people can most easily relate to, especially in America; these are the outer evidences of the basic principles." And: "I surely don't need to tell anyone what Christian America, the land of the free (where's your Omega Glory now?) perpetrated until well into the nineteenth century. Christ's idea was good, but His so-called followers have racked up an appalling record of war, cruelty and the destruction of other cultures which could not possibly have been worsened by very many pagan cultures, and in fact compares rather unfavourably with Rome at her best." And "Another, and I suppose natural, prejudice is the pro-Human one. The notion that the Human culture is the best around is frequently perpetrated. Look at the scene in Day of the Dove when Spock is ahout to lay into Scotty. "You're half Human!" yells Kirk, hanging on to his arm. Since Spock is about to behave in a violent way as an emotional response to an insulting remark, he is in fact acting like a whole Human, and "You're half Vulcan" would have "been a more appropriate deterrent."
  • the editor writes that the response to the last fiction competition was "quite poor." There were four poems and two stories. Poems were from Gillian Catchpole, Janet Hall, TW Francis and Jackie Newey, all of which were of a very high standard. The winner was Catchpole. The stories were from TW Francis and John Tessyman and "while both ideas had merit, neither supplied what [we] were looking for, and so we decided that in this class there would be, on this occasion, be no winner."
  • this issue contains a story by Nefertari called "Tomorrow Will Be My Yesterday..." (tells of Zarabeth and how she is sentenced to exile)

Issue 24

Star Trek Action Group 24 was published in August 1977 and contains 20 pages.

issue #24
  • a fan explains the origins of the zine Zap!:
    It was in those days that we learned the ingredients Janet considered essential for a good Star Trek story - Kirk had to be hurt, and hurt bad! And there just weren't enough of her type of story around. That was how Margaret Draper, Ann and I got bullied, flattered, cajoled and bribed into writing them for her. And write them we did, along with a few other people Janet got at, like Sheila. Just a few weeks ago, Margaret Draper and I went through "those Janet stories" and re-read them. Some of them were quite good, we decided. Why hasn't someone published a 'zine of them? So we decided to do just that; the result is 'Zap!' a Quartonly magazine. The first edition of 'Zap!' will be available at the con. Anybody interested in 'Zap!' should write to me for information, enclosing a stamped addressed envelope...
  • this statement from the editors illustrates the slower-moving pace of information pre-internet and computer-age: "The problem about putting newsletters out every two months is that important news often comes in just after the newsletter goes out. I'm afraid there is no way we can put a newsletter out monthly and we really can't afford to send out 'Newsflashes' as the last one cost us nearly £40 to post, not to mention time addressing envelopes, etc."
  • there is a report from Susan Sackett that the movie is on hold as the latest script has been rejected by Gene Roddenberry as "not being Star Trek"; fans have also received news that there would be a new TV series instead
  • there is a progress report for Terracon
  • there is more discussion about UFOs and some fans experiences with seeing them
  • three fans write and defend Starsky & Hutch, saying it is more than just a cops 'n robbers show and the friendship between the characters is as intense as that of Kirk and Spock
  • there were only two entrants for the writing competition (Ginette Jones and T.W. Francis); Francis' story was the winner and will be published in Log Entries #13
  • the next writing contest subject concerns pre-series:
    [S S] asked us recently if someone could write a story about the time when Kirk first joined the Enterprise - she said there seemed to be quite a lot of stories about the end of the Enterprise and her crew but not the beginning. She's right - offhand, I can only think of four or five stories, all written in the States, about the early days on the Enterprise. So - that's our next competition. A story about the early days on the Enterprise, when Kirk first joins her.
  • a fan, Linda Williams, tells of coming home from a con and talking to a woman on a train who worked in radio; this fan is now doing Star Trek book reviews for a radio show and is some stations' go-to person regarding fandom
  • fiction: "Sacrifice" by Carole Fairman

Issue 25

Star Trek Action Group 25 was published in October 1977 and contains 22 pages.

1976-1977 club financial report
front page of issue #25
  • the editors ask that fans once again write in and ask for The Four Star Trek Banned Episodes
  • there are two con reports for Terracon 1977, see that page
  • there is a report of the STAG meeting, held on Saturday evening of Terracon; much business was discussed -- some topics: should the newsletter print zine reviews, should other shows be discussed, would STAG ever do a major con, could photos be included, could there be more information and material about other characters than The Big Three, do fans want a fee increase or a shorter newsletter if the postal fees go up...
  • a fan writes a long and impassioned letter about her distress upon hearing the the "new series" will not have Spock in it. An excerpt:
    I was shocked to hear, a few days ago at the convention, that Mr. Spock will not be in the new series. How can you have STAR TREK without Spock? The new series is certainly a tribute to the fans' support and devotion for so long but without Spock what a bitter victory it will be for the multitude of Spock fans, among whose ranks I have stood for many years. I am certain I am not alone in this when I say that to me, STAR TREK without Mr Spock is unthinkable. Captain Kirk and the Enterprise without Spock would be like Moonbase Alpha without John Koenig, or the Tardis without the Doctor. Incomplete. Empty. Gene Roddenberry has said that Kirk and Spock are two halves that fit together perfectly to make a whole. He created them that way. How, then, is one half to function without the other? I confess, I cannot see. I have wanted this new series very much. But now, I am not even sure I want to see it. Not this way. Perhaps some people will say I am being childish, even inflexible, but I know one thing with certainty. Without Spock to stand at Kirk's side it will never be the same, not for me, and how many Spock fans can place their hand on their heart and say with truth that they are looking forward to a series that does not contain Spock? None. I know I can't.
  • Ann Looker writes an Open Letter to Trekfans called The Future of British Conventions, see that page
  • two fans write about Star Trek as it compares to Starsky & Hutch: one prefers Star Trek:
    Occasionally I can be rivetted to my seat watching a play on TV concerning the relationship between two or three people, but generally I am far more interested in the relationship between a person, or mankind, and present-day technology or, I hope, eventually life forms from other planets totally alien to our terms of reference.
  • several fans write letters about UFOs, there is a quiz by Jean Barron, and there is an essay called "The Curved Space Theory" by Teresa Clancy
  • this issue's writing contest yielded eleven entries, most of a high standard -- entries came from Jean Barron, Peter Buckett, T.G.Z.C., Theresa Clancy, Lesley Coles, Robia Edmonds, Carole Fairmain, T.W. Francis, Nancy Kippax, Dhyleas Macleod, and Helen Sneddon. The winner was a tie between Nancy Kippax and Jean Barron.
  • the story competition for next issue is one that explains why the shuttlecraft was not used in "The Enemy Within" to rescue Sulu and the rest of the landing party
  • regarding the story library that had been proposed: "At the moment, this is having to be left in abeyance. Not only are we 15-20 names short of the minimum number we need to make it an economically viable proposition, we've never heard again from the girl in the states who was to be supplying us with the stories."
  • Fiction: "News Always Comes Late" by Carole Fairman

Issue 26

Star Trek Action Group 26 was published in December 1977 and contains 28 pages.

front page of issue #26
the list of the writers for the first 13 episodes of the Star Trek series on television, a series that never happened
some info by Susan Sackett about the "new" Star Trek series on television
  • there is announcement of a "dock strike on the East coast of America that has severely curtailed surface mail"
  • fiction: ""Romulan Rendezvous" by C. Abbott, "A Minute in Eternity" by Elizabeth Sharp, "Exam Nerves" by Meg Wright, "Symbol of Joining" (poem) by J. Felton,
  • this issue has a review of Star Wars: it is not particularly positive, citing its plot holes, its lack of characterisation, poor script, bad casting, its dependence on portraying aliens in the cantina scene; the fan did like the special effects...
  • a fan writes an essay called "Captain Kirk" -- the first sentence: "James T. Kirk is almost the perfect epitome of what a starship commander should be."
  • there is some news of the movie from Susan Sackett, as well as information about the TV-series that never happened: "We also have all our scripts for the first 13 episodes of STAR TREK II, and the show will be aired some time in the Spring, although it might not be on until the 1978-1979 season." One comment by Gene Roddenberry concerned the role of women in the new series: "We can show more women aboard our ship, and we can show them in command situations as much as we care to, if it seems dramatic and desirable." The new series was to also answer a number of questions including: do uniforms get cleaned or regenerated, where are the toilets, do people take baths by water or shower by some sonic means, and is there still a need to shave or is "there a treatment to eliminate this?"
  • fan comments on some of the reading she's done, both in pro books and in fanzines:
    I've had ample opportunity to read both 'zines and books. I enjoyed Simone Mason's two stories and Chris Hall's love story. I have to admit though that I had a sneak preview of that - it's nice to know true romance isn't dead in this 'Full Frontal' age. I didn't understand 'Price Of The Phoenix', maybe I'm just thick, but what is an Alpha Male? Seems to me it's a man shaped like the first letter of the Greek alphabet, that makes 'The Omega Man' look odd too! I preferred 'Planet of Judgement', but I've known better fan-written stories. However I loved 'House of Zeor,' more power to your elbow - Jacqueline Lichtenberg.
  • this issue has review of the William Shatner double album LP entitled "Live" as well as of the new publications, the Fotonovels
  • there is an open letter from Gene Roddenberry to fans regarding the roles, or lack thereof, that Leonard Nimoy was going to play in the movie and/or the proposed second television series, see Open Letter to Spock-Nimoy Fans
  • some response to the "Open Letter to Spock-Nimoy Fans," one that illustrates the nearly universal support for Gene Roddenberry from fans, but also shows that at least one fan feels a bit used in the process:
    I have had several letters from people in the states over the last few months urging me to write to Roddenberry and demand that he includes Nimoy in the new series. I feel strongly that this approach to Roddenbery is grossly impertinent and an insult to his professional judgement. It is also more than slightly naive. Surely it is obvious that Roddenberry would have preferred to use Spock/Nimoy and that the decision to go ahead without Spock must have been made very reluctantly. Let us not be deceived by LN's emotional outpouring at the New York Con. Rather, let us remember that Nimoy is an actor and that his speech at the con may have been one of his finest performances. He probably wanted to use us to put pressure on the studios and on Roddenberry so that he could get the STAR TREK role on his own terms. After all negotiations have been going on re this matter for over two years and during that time it seems that Nimoy's demands have been a major stumbling block. Of course, everyone wants Spock. But, as Roddenberry has pointed out, there is a limit to what the budget can stand. Moreover, Nimoy himself has made it fairly clear that he wishes to be primarily regarded as a stage actor and that he considers his stage commitments more important than any projected STAR TREK series. My opinion is that he has played hard-to-get for two years and is now chagrined that his bluff has been called and that someone has gone ahead on the principle that no one is indispensible. Whether or not he really is indispensible is a fact that we can only judge when we get to view the new series. I write this as a confirmed Spock fan. I myself find it hard to visualise a STAR TREK without Spock. I love the character and love the dramatic possibilities that such a character offers to the scriptwriters. However, my feelings about Nimoy himself are less positive. I think I am a bit hurt that he cannot see the fact that is so obvious to all his fans: namely, that Spock is his finest dramatic creation and the role upon which his reputation is really built. I am sure that, in spite of the way he goes on in 'I Am Not Spock", he really secretly despises the role and probably, by extension, the fans themselves. Otherwise, why did he not jump at the chance of recreating the role in STAR TREK II when he had the opportunity? Is he too proud to approach the studios himself and ask for the role. Why must we do the job for him. I get the feeling that we are being used because fan pressure can get him better terms that he could get by himself... let us remember that basically [the new TV series] is Roddenberry's baby, without him there would have been no STAR TREK in the first place. It is he who must suffer financially and professionally if the series is a flop or if it runs over its budget. We have no right to make demands - we can only offer good wishes and hopes for the future. We know, from past experienoe, that Gene will always do his best for us.
art from issue #26 by Martin Bradely; the writing contest for the next issue was to write a Star Trek story with this scene in mind
  • some more fan response to "Open Letter to Spock-Nimoy Fans" and the situation in general:
    If Gene had to accept that he couldn't get Nimoy to do Spock then he had no choice but to create some new characters. He hasn't killed Spock off, only transferred him to the Vulcan Science Academy, so it has been left open for Nimoy to return on guest appearances or even to return as a regular if that can be arranged. Now I want Spock back as much as any of you; although I have a slight leaning towards Kirk I am basically a Kirk/Spock fan 1st and a Kirk/Spock/MoCoy fan 2nd. I feel that part of Kirk will be missing without Spock. However, you may or may not be surprised to know that a large number of STAR TREK fans do seem to be willing to accept the new series without Spock. They feel, and rightly so, that STAR TREK is more that just one character. It has to be more, or it doesn't deserve the cult organised around it. Personally I will watch the new series with an open mind, although much as I hope to enjoy it. I will probably treat it as alternate universe as in my ST universe Kirk, Spock and McCoy will always remain together on the Enterprise. In conclusion, I would just like to say - stop treating Gene Roddenberry as the enemy. I don't see how any real STAR TREK fan can think of 'the Great Bird of the Galaxy]' as an 'enemy,'. If you want to blame anyone blame Paramount. They cancelled ST in the first place, decided to do the movie then rejected Gene's script, invested time getting two writers who had never seen STAR TREK to write a script and then rejected it, then cancelled the movie because they felt it couldn' t compete with STAR WARS. If Paramount had got their finger out and let Gene get on with his job, the STAR TREK movie would have been released first and STAR WARS would to have had to compete with it.
  • up until now, fans have had only one (or two, if one takes into account the animated series) source text, and the possibility of a new Star Trek series, and one without Spock, has made some fans apparently feel uneasy about what constitutes canon; a zine editor addresses this topic:
    Another point a lot of you are worried about is whether with the birth of the new series fan writers will write about it and ignore the original series, and Spock. The answer to that is that probably a lot of them will, but there are a lot of writers who, Ioving Spock, will not readily leave him out of their stories... Since alternate universes were an established part of STAR TREK, there's nothing illogical to keep on writing and printing stories set in a universe where Spock remains with the Enterprise. (There are a number of alternate universes already in print, like the 'Variations' universe in which Spock is the Captain and Kirk the First Officer. Incidentally, there are more stories planned set in that universe.) ... We plan to keep LOG ENTRIES as a purely 'traditional' zine. If we get sufficient stories using the new set-up, and sufficient interest is shown, we'll put out a seperate zine of 'new series' stories in which Spock does not appear as First Officer of the Enterprise. LOG ENTRIES will continue to be published as long as there is a demand. We fans have kept STAR TREK alive for the last 10 years, we see no reason why we shouldn't keep the original series alive for many, many more years to come in our ovm fantasies - shared with each other.
  • a fan is already trying to come to grips with the new series without Spock: "A James Kirk with Spock not at his side?? Fan fiction has started to develop the concept of Jim Kirk's latent telepathic powers. Perhaps if the captain cannot have Spock physically at his side, they can be in contact via some form of mind meld. Therefore, in times of crisis they can still have each other to fall back upon. This way, when either feels a need for comfort or companionship, there will be the mental contact to provide the necessary solace."
  • the possibility of the new series also prompts the editor of STAG to write:
    We've had a number of letters from members asking us whether STAG will support the new series of STAR TREK or continue to stick with the old. The simple answer to that question is that we will do both. STAG is a general ST club; we will do our best to give you all the information we can get on the new series and also give our support to Gene Roddenberry in his efforts to bring ST back as an exciting and viable new series. Now, while we give our support to the new series, this does not mean we will forget about the original series. Both Sheila and Janet are strong Kirk/Spock/McCoy fans, and the fact that Spock will not be in the new series will mean that as much as we may enjoy the new series, our loyalty will remain with the original series. Janet, for one, would never even think about writing a story that didn't have Spock as First Officer of the Enterprise, and she will never accept a story as 'true' ST unless it has Spock on the Enterprise. This is purely personal, Janet has never accepted stories where one of the main characters leaves the ship, gots killed off, or whatever.
  • this issue has an open letter addressed "to all Star Trek fans" regarding Intercon '78 and "certain allegations [that] were made at Terracon '77 regarding the organisation and funding of next year's proposed convention at Slough." The letter defended the costs of the hotel room and other fees, and it assured fans that no profit would be made
  • a number of fans write regarding the open letter, The Future of British Conventions: some excerpts are below:
By all means let's take a leaf from SF fandom - their organising abilities have evolved over a fair number of years so that now they produce highly successful and relatively smoothly run cons. If we are to continue to have STAR TREK cons, they must improve every year or else decline. Basically I'd like to see cons planned over a longer period of time and responsibility for producing them shared among many more people. Does anyone else also get the feeling that by going to a con you're paying your money and going to see what's happening thanks to a small group of people? I'm sure many of us would like to go to a con knowing that we'd helped, if only in a small way, to 'get the show on tho road.'
I totally agree with Ann about organised conventions. However, there is one drawback I can think of, that is, with people voting, it might mean that the convention always would be held in the south or alternatively in the north. Would it not be better if we worked out some system in which, one year the convention would be held in the north of Britain, the following year in the centre while the year following that, in the south, then back to the north?
Science Fiction conventions seem to be run primarily for adults, and from what I have seen of them, most of the money is made in bar takings. STAR TREK conventions are not run along adult lines (by adult I mean X-certificate), they are primarily family affairs, run for Trekkers of all ages. If I want to go to a SF con, then I will go to one, and if I want to go to a ST con, again I will go to it, but I would not mix the two! The atmospheres are too dissimilar. The idea of voting for a convention I also find stupid. As I understand it, the group that won the vote would be solely responsible for the convention, and all the organlslng. Fine. What happens if all these groups are made up of people who don't know what they're doing, or who are other than Trek minded? Will we end up with conventions run, not for charity, but for the money the organisers and dealers can fork in? Is this the sort of con we want? I don't think so.

Issue 27

Star Trek Action Group 27 was published in February 1978 and contains 20 pages.

  • the editors say that the fan club has over 500 members
  • the editors ask that club members be on the lookout for mentions of Star Trek in newspapers and magazines and to send those items, or a copy of them, to STAG as the newsletter is going to start incorporating clippings
  • this issue has an ad for Zebra Three, a Starsky & Hutch zine
  • about the rise of Star Wars and this newsletter:
    I've have heard that some ST clubs and zines in the U.S. are beginning to incorporate STAR WARS and other SF series and films as a regular feature. The STAG committee has decided that there is no way this club will do that. STAG is a STAR TREK club and that's the way it will remain. If there ever comes a time when the club can't survive on ST alone it will be time for the club to fold.
  • a fan has this to say about Star Wars, and other "competition":
    I think that STAR WARS, or that type of film, could be seen coming. Sooner or later an SF/Space Fantasy/adventure film was going to come. It came in STAR WARS. STAR WARS has brought back the 'Space Opera'. From now on we can expect cheap spin-offs, and I am afraid that the public at large will think that the revival of STAR TREK has been brought about because of STAR WARS, and that makes STAR TREK look cheap. We know the truth, but we are not many compnred to the number who don't. I don't mean to say that STAR WARS is not much of a film. Indeed it is a very good film, but I am afraid that it will have an adverse effect on STAR TREK. Of course, this is just speculation. It may have just the opposite effect and renew interest in TV SF. After all, even Flash Gordon is making a comeback, and if that's possible, anything is!
front page of issue #27
  • the editors address the issue of fiction for Log Entries, illustrating the patience sometimes fans had to have regarding how long it took for their fiction to be available:
    Although I have enough stories on file for several issues of LOG ENTRIES, I could do with more stories by other writers; LOG ENTRIES isn't a closed shop for a handful of writers, although from looking down the list of regular contributors, you might be excused for thinking so. Again, you might have to wait a year before I use your story, but if it's accepted, it will be used. Sometimes a story is an awkward longth, and has to wait until I have others that fit in with it; or its theme is such that I wait until I have one that can balance it before printing it.
  • there is a call for another letter campaign as Star Trek has not been broadcast in the UK for over eighteen months; STAG hopes that the Beeb will get 2000 to 3000 letters
  • there is an announcement that fan Theo Krik has passed away; he was an active member of the club and did much translation
  • this issue has a long update about the status of the movie and the proposed television series
  • there is an announcement for the Empathy get-together on February 25 at the Crown Hotel in Halifax; there was to be a disco, City on the Edge of Forever shown, and there was to be a slide show] of the convention
  • this issue has some reviews of two science fiction movies: "Silent Running" and "Dark Star"
  • there is a long response by the author of the open letter, The Future of British Conventions in which she writes that Star Trek conventions aren't "X certificate affairs" but instead completely tame, that the profits from the bars at SF conventions go to the hotels, and that:
    I only suggested that Trekfans adopt the SF method of voting for convention venues. I never suggested that they become like SF cons in character. If the two sorts of convention were almost identical in character there would be little point in having separate conventions. And that was my basic premise - that we need a really good annual Trek convention... I fail to see how the convention bidding system which I proposed could let in the professional 'con men'. In fact, the evidence available suggests it would have the opposite effect. SF fandom has operated such a system for years and, as far as I know, there has never been the slightest threat of a pro con. After all, who in their right mind in fandom would be likely to vote for a con run by non-fans? In America, however, Trek fandom has never got a bidding system organised. Perhaps as a result they have suffered some disastrous cons run by the advertising and media people - probably profitable for the organisers but disastrous for fandom which has now become divided by this very issue. There are now two sorts of cons and two sorts of fans depending on which sort of convention you want to go to. I heartily agree with [name redacted] that we must not let non-fans muscle in on the act, just in order to make a quick profit out of us. I think that a voting system should ensure that they get little chance to do so.
  • there is a long letter from a fan who compares Star Trek and Starsky & Hutch and the level of violence in each and comes to a conclusion that both are better than James Bond in that the violence happens to real, sympathetic characters as opposed to cartoonish characters: "I cannot believe anyone is helped, saved, whatever, by being able to laugh at Bond and stare in horror at Kirk. I would suggest that to stop staring in horror is the real horror. Aboard the USS Enterprise, courage, knowledge, acceptance of differences are part of life, and therefore some part of life's dark side has a place and a purpose. A real cop faces death, cruelty, a dozen lesser miseries every week, even in Britain; he will be a better human being if he also possesses in himself humour, kindness, gentleness and love for people."
  • the fiction competiton had these entries (plus one late entry): Pam Baddeley, Lynda Chambers, T.W. Francis, Paula Greener and Valerie Harrison
  • "This month's competition is for a story involving McCoy's early days on board the Enterprise. This is another subject that has been pretty badly neglected by fandom - offhand, I can think of only one early McCoy story, which I wrote for Janet some time ago. Nancy Kippax did rather a nice McCoy/Kirk story involving their first meeting, but it was years before the Enterprise (A Human Touch, in the US zine Galactic Discourse)."
  • there is some fannish discussion about the pro books "Planet of Judgement" and "The Price of the Phoenix" -- an excerpt from one comment:
    I'd just like to say a word in favour of 'The Price of the Phoenix' as Beth seemed to like 'Planet of Judgement' better. 'Planet of Judgement' was certainly written in a less complicated way and there are bits in 'The Price of the Phoenix' where you feel that there must be pages missing, but this is more than made up for by the Kirk/Spock relationship which was expressed beautifully and in fact was the main theme of the book. Kirk's price is Spock, and Spock's price is Kirk. Also their characters were described very accuratoly in the 'Phoenix' and there was not much interplay of character in 'Planet' - I think probably because Joe Haldeman just doesn't know and understand Kirk, Spock and McCoy as well as Sondra and Myrna do.
  • fiction in this issue: a poem called "Happy Birthday, Janet" by Jean Barron; an untitled story (winner of the competition from issue #25) by Jean Thompson; "Two for the Life of One" (poem) by Steven J. Green; "Perhaps There's Still Hope," story by Martin Kane; an untitled poem by Cindy Hilton; "Bones" (poem) by Carole Fairman; a quiz by Rod Summers

Issue 28

Star Trek Action Group 28 was published in April 1978 and contains 26 pages.

front page of issue #28
  • the editor writes that they sent copies of the telegram from Gene Roddenberry (confirming that Spock would be in the movie) to those fans who'd had a SAE on file
  • there are a number of official letters, telegrams, newspaper articles, and reprints from Starlog talking about the new upcoming movie
  • in this issue, there is a fairly long section of letters from readers expressing their opinion about Blake's 7; most fans are initially skeptical but later very interested
  • there is a review of Star Wars
  • there are several reports, one for the Slough Mini-Con, and one for the Empathy Get-Together in Leeds
  • from a section titled "Zines & Censorship":
    Jenny Elson recently sent us a story in which there was a scene between two characters which had homosexual inferences. We asked her permission to cut that scene; she agreed, but added - "I don't mind anything being X-rated but I'm a bit unhappy about frank censorship. I do like to think that the greatest majority of ST fans are responsible, mature adults who view the characters as real, full-blooded, complex people who have all the hopes, fears, desires and dreams as we do. Censorship not only takes away freedom of choice (to read or not to read) and the right of the individual; it tends to 'water down1 the characterisation. Sex (for instance) can be as important as eating and is as biological as digestion, so why censor it? We are all (even Spock) sexual creatures to some extent. I would be interested to know what other members think about this." [THE EDITOR'S REPLY]: "It is STAG's editorial policy not to print certain types of story. These include both explicit sex and homosexual stories. We feel that for fans wanting these kind of stories there are plenty of zines available (see fanzine ads). We may print a zine which while not including explicit sex does have references to the subject which we feel make the zine unsuitable for our younger readers and in this case we will not sell the zine to under 18s. These zines will be in the minority as we prefer to put out zines that the majority of fans can read and enjoy. We consider this a matter of policy, not censorship.
  • a fan describes a recent Empathy Get-Together in Leeds: "I went to the Empathy get-together. It was the first ST occasion I had attended; I found it very interesting - and enjoyable. I believe some people were disappointed because they expected a mini convention, but the advert in the STAG newsletter clearly said 'get-together' so I don't know why they were misled. It was so long since I had seen 'City on the Edge of Forever' and seeing it on a bigger screen and in colour made it even more enjoyable."
  • a fan describes another fan get-together in Slough:
    By courtesy of British Rail, Simone and I arrived at the Fulcrum Centre with two young friends in tow in plenty of time for the opening. While Simone went off looking for Sylvia Billings who was, for a while, giving a creditable impersonation of the Scarlet Pimpernel, I stood at the head of the queue and experienced my usual 'knees turning to water' sensation at the sight of so many Kirk/Spock posters, but managed to maintain a certain amount of dignity as I fell through the door at the off signal. Thereafter I did my best to buy up the contents of the stalls before anyone else had a chance, stood in for Simone while she went off with the same idea in mind, and even managed to sell a few zines in her absence. The highspot of the afternoon was, of course, the film show. The whole thing over-ran by about an hour, but I didn't hear anyone complaining... The auction had a lot of Star Wars stuff no-one was keen on, in fact many large posters did not sell. The Fulcrum Centre is certainly a pleasant building and the glass walls enable you to sit and watch people outside. Occasional seating provided is comfortable, What I did not like was the little time there was to buy things because everything was in the same room; I hope this is not the case at the main con.
  • many fans write in and comment on pro books, some of which are "Planet of Judgement," "The Price of the Phoenix," "Spock Messiah," Blish's series, and Star Trek: The New Voyages
  • there is a long, detailed article called "Taking Photos from the TV Screen" -- an excerpt (keep in mind, you were taking photos of a show that you'd perhaps only seen once and may have had no opportunity to see again...):
    I would suggest that before you try to take pictures of something that you really want, you first try a spool on something less important, and experiment as far as your camera will allow. Keep a note of what you've tried, so that you can judge which results are best, and stick with that speed, aperture, etc, thereafter. I don't promise that you'll always get perfect results, but it will minimise the chances of losing pictures you really want. If you decide to use up an entire film on one show, have a saucer containing dry peas or something like that sitting beside you - one pea for each exposure on the film. Take out a pea every time you take a shot, and you'll know how you're doing for available exposures as the show progresses. Remember, too, some TV sets do not give good results. I lost an entire spool once when visiting a friend; although the eye didn't catch it, the set had a very clearly defined scanning line, and the camera picked it up; every shot was ruined. Luckily there aren't many TV sets like that around.
  • there were only three entries for the "McCoy's early years on the Enterprise" writing competition: authors were Janet Balch, Kelly Mitchell, and Sally Syrjala; Mitchell's story was the "more gripping"; there was much art by Betty De Gabrielle, Ena Glogowska, Alex Kennedy, Karen MacGarvie, Christopher Mason (age 6), Mike Slawin and Barry Willmott; while the art was all excellent, the winner was Willmott; the next art competition was to design a cover for Log Entries "We have established a clip-board somewhere in the design as a feature of our zine, so this must be included. Don't include any lettering -- we'll add that ourselves to the successful entry -- but leave enough space for the title to be fitted in, and also the number of the zine..."
  • the next story competition is for selections that focus on any member of the crew as a child, or at Starfleet Academy, or pre-series; the winner would receive a photo.
  • fiction: "The Outsider" by Sally A. Syrjala, "Pets, Keep Out" by C.J. Cooper, "Oriental" poem by Meg Wright, "To Leonard Nimoy" poem by Meg Wright, "Sheer-Maal" by Christine Rowe, "Night and Morning" poem by Gillian Cathpole

Issue 29

Star Trek Action Group 29 was published in June 1978 and contains 24 pages.

front page of issue #29
  • two fans organize a get-together at a pub; fans who would like to meet and discuss Star Trek should walk into the pub carrying a Star Trek book
  • another fan gathering:
    There will be a joint STAG/EMPATHY get-together at the Crown Hotel, Horton Street, Halifax on July 8th, 1978, from 10am till 8pm (or later) There will be room for at least 60 people. Tickets £1, inclusive of tea, coffee and sandwiches (pay at the door). For anyone wanting anything stronger, the bar will be open. Films will be shown.
  • this issue has a long biography of Gene Roddenberry
  • a fan comments on a previous fan's comments on several pro books:
    I've been reading with interest the correspondence in the newsletters about The Price of the Phoenix and Planet of Judgement. It made me realise that I had completely forgotten the story of Planet of Judgement, which must be a criticism in itself. So I deliberately reread the two books, bearing in mind the opinions expressed in the last two newsletters. The first thing that struck me was that this time I understood a lot more of The Price of the Phoenix. Whether it's the American phraseology or the psychology that defeats me, I'm not sure. I enjoyed the story and agree with Karena Langdon and Susan Meek that the Kirk/Spock relationship was beautifully handled. Tho fact remains that I'm a librarian, not a psychoanalyst, so I prefer novels to be a little less complex - and so I imagine would non~ST fans picking up the book out of curiosity. My main complaint about Planet of Judgement is that it changes direction halfway through. The author builds up interest in the triangle of Charvat, Follett and Atheling and then suddenly abandons them. As far as the plot goes, they are unnecessary, so why encumber the story with extraneous persons where established characters could have been used to make up the rescue shuttle numbers.
  • there are a number of responses regarding a fan's comment in a previous issue about censorship of same sex/explicit material and its publication in STAG zines:
    While I agree with Jenny's comments on the right of the individual to read or not to read a particular type of story I feel that if she chooses to write X-rated material she should send it to those fanzines specialising in such stories. STAG's attitude has been well and clearly stated on the subject. STAG zines are of general interest and rarely contain any material of objectionable character (to anyone) and I hope will stay that way. There are certain publications in my collection which, while read and enjoyed by me (when in the mood) would certainly not be handed over to any of my younger friends. If a zine is going to contain adult material then a great many people are automatically excluded from its enjoyment, and not only the very young. Many people find sexual relations a fine and very private thing and find no great pleasure in excessivo description of the act; while many more regard a homosexual relationship between Kirk and Spock a violation of their essential characters. Inclusion of such material would mean that a great many of your readers would cease to bother with STAG zines. This is something I happen to feel quite strongly about. I exercise my right to read X-rated material and would strongly object to anyone refusing that right, equally I defend my right to read a zine that contains little if any of such material and my right to know that it will be such a zine - and yours to publish such a zine. If I buy Log Entries, I know what I'm getting; if I buy Obsczene [2], I know what to expect. STAG has a reputation for printing general interest zines, not concentrating on one particular character or type of situation (granted 'get - X,Y,Z' preponderate but most of us like them) and it would bo a great pity if you were to become merely another in the long series of somewhat tedious sexual explorations by proxy.
  • another comment:
    I feel that in a general zine of the type Log Entries is, anything X-rated would destroy tho balance. Being new to zines and their contents I've only recently realised that there are zines portraying a ' love' interest between Kirk and Spock. This intrigues me but I can't at the moment see myself reading any of them. It seems to me that this alters the relationship so much, and in a very basic way, that it doesn't really appeal. I don't, personally, want the relationship changed that much. Friendship, loving friendship and all tho things that go with it I find much more satisfying. As well as that, my daughter is almost eleven and is taking more of an interest in ST mainly because of having magazines arrive by post to great cries of delight. I wouldn't like to have to say 'No, you can't read that'; it creates too many problems. I have no hangups about homosexuality and am a great believer in living and letting live as long as no-one is getting hurt.
  • and:
    I was shattered when I read that you effectively condemned homosexuality by not printing stories containing 'homosexual inferences.' No matter how much you try to justify it as a 'matter of policy,' it still comes across as blatant censorship. Jenny justifiably criticizes your undemocratic editorial 'policy' (have you ever taken a vote to find out whether members want to be told what they can read and what they cannot read?) but there is the more serious question of sexual discrimination to consider. Apparently it is perfectly suitable for younger members to read stories with heterosexual inferences, yet you reject stories with homosexual inferences. Hiding the gayness of a story won't make homosexuality disappear. Whose morals are you trying to protect? Must your younger members be permanently kept in the dark as to what homosexuality really means? I have found that once young people are given the opportunity to discuss homosexuality they develop very positive attitudes towards gayness. We have been struggling for years to enlighten society - to show them that there is no need to fear and persecute gay people. Through your irresponsible and repressive policy, which apparently even prevents the subject from being intelligently discussed in fan fiction, you are perpetuating the dangerous myths that surround a viciously persecuted minority.
  • fiction: a short short by Theresa Holmes, "Not the Same as Wanting" by S. Meek (reprinted in Log Entries]] as it was the competition winner, "The Ultimate Test" by Wendy Walter, "T'Spen's Child" by Jenny Elson, "And What is Beautiful? (poem) by Gillian Catchpole
  • the next fiction competition was for a story or poem that takes place in a shuttlecraft
  • their were 8 art entries for the Log Entries cover, but none were deemed satisfactory
  • the editors list 11 dates in July, each represents a fan gathering at a fan's home:
    We have worked out an itinerary for the two weeks July 8th to 23rd- We tried to cover as much of the country as possible, although we weren't able to reach some areas because nobody there was able to host a meeting. Our dates coincided with the holidays some of you already had arranged, but unfortunately this was going to happen whenever we tried to make our trips we ourselves were limited to some extent by the demands of Newsletter 30, which is due out at the beginning of August; we'll be coming straight back to start work on the newsletter....We would appreciate it if the London members only go to one of the two meetings available in order to give as many people as possible the chance to attend. Please let Janet know which meeting you would like to attend, enclosing a SAE for confirmation and directions; names should reach her by July 1st* Should more people want to go to one of these meetings than there is room for, it will have to be first come, first served. Episodes available include City on the Edge of Forever, Deadly Years, Miri [3] and Trouble With Tribbles, also the second season blooper reel. Which films are shown at any meeting will be decided by vote of those present. Registration fee of 75p to cover expenses incurred will be payable at the meetings. We plan to start evening meetings around 6pm and weekend meetings at 10am.

Issue 30

Star Trek Action Group 30 was published in August 1978 and contains 20 pages.

front page of issue #30
  • there is a reprint of a long letter from Gene Roddenberry
  • this issue has a biography of William Shatner that was issued by Paramount
  • there is a con report for Trek Party in Montreal
  • there is a con report for Intercon, see that page
  • a fan (Greg Allshorn) proposes a UFO zine, but it goes nowhere
  • there are some fan comments on Quark, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Logan's Run
  • the fan gatherings in homes in July was determined to be of mixed success:
    We've already mentioned the meetings we held during the last two weeks. There was a small registration fee to cover expenses, but in fact the attendance at most of those meetings was disappointingly small, and the club lost £20 as a result. Although the attendance was small, the meetings were very successful, with those attending enjoying the chance to meet other fans, talk, and generally get to know each other. However, we have decided that we can't possibly repeat this year's tour. Not only was it exhausting for both of us, it cost STAG money! What we have thought of doing in future years is holding two or three fairly large meetings, similar to the one held at Halifax at the start of this year's tour, or even a minicon somewhere. We have begun looking into the possibility of a two-day minicon in collaboration with Empathy sometime next year.
  • there is a short article about "communicators" and amateur radio transmissions and licenses
  • fiction: "Ode to Janet" (poem) by S. Meek, "A Life on the Ocean Wave" by Janet Hall, "I Am What I Am" (poem) by Ann Neilson,
  • the fiction competition for next issue is to be based on a "miscommunication"
  • the fan who wrote the original letter about the "censorship" regarding her Star Trek story responds:
    I read the comments regarding STAG censorship with great interest, and found some of them most intriguing, particularly the comments of [three names redacted]. In fact, I agree with them all, particularly those who say that a homosexual relationship between Kirk and Spock would be a violation of their essential characters, and would destroy the credibility of their unique friendship. Both [two names redacted] have jumped to the wrong conclusion, however, and I would love to know why they feel they have to defend Kirk and Spock. - without need to in this case... when their essential characters are strong enough to defend themselves. The relationship in my story referred to by Sheila was not one concerning Spock and Kirk. The part I agreed to cut out was just one sentence which was, I admit, deliberately ambiguous, and dependent upon the reader's interpretation. It was also attached to a strong feeling of love and friendship between the two characters, and one of the points it was trying to make was that non-Terran love does not necessarily have to be a conventional, heterosexual Terran-type relationship to be both good and mature. At no point was the sentence obscene, objectionable or explicit, and the removal of it did not alter the sense of the scene in any way. I also agree that material of an adult nature should not be placed in a general zine such as Log Entries. I did not suggest that. I do think, however, that there is a place for them in general STAR TREK clubs. Adult fiction does not mean, as some members seem to think, obscene, explicit and objectionable material; that is not adult, or a mature expression of an adult, and quite rightly should be relegated to the pages of an Obsczine. I, for one, do not buy such zines for that very reason, and everyone who knows me will also know that I have never resorted to that type of fiction-writing. I do, however, believe that good, mature fiction, written by adults for adults, and without resort to the objectionable, where adult themes are dealt with as part of the story and not for contrived sensationalism can be well worth reading and writing.
  • more about the censorship/adult debate:
    It has "been most interesting to note the policy of STAG, and the views of [names redacted] and then to glimpse down the list of zines available from STAG. 'Variations on a Theme', ... [includes] 'certain adult material' and are only available to members over 18 years, which seems to be contradictory to what they have said, and hints at a double standard. Further to [name redacted's] comments, I would like to add that I have never 'descended to cheap titillation'. The characters in STAR TREK are mature, full-blooded adults, not pale effigies of saints, and it is perhaps good to be sometimes reminded of this by reading adult fiction. Here lies the diversity of STAR TREK. To deny the complexity of the characters is to deny the characters themselves, and to deny the major attraction of STAR TREK. It is perhaps of interest to note that the most popular story I ever wrote - 'Angry Sunset' - was for adults only. It was reprinted three times, and over 500 copies were sold (in the days when there were not so many British fans). Up to the time I moved house, I was still receiving requests for copies, and I am sure that everyone who read it will agree that nothing obscene or objectionable was included, and that the 'adult' scenes were not provided for cheap titillation but as part of the foundation for the story. To be adult does not mean to bo sexually objectionable. It can mean, however, that one is mature enough to accept the diversity and combinations in the spirit of IDIC.
  • another fan responds:
    My comments in the last newsletter were not aimed at [name redacted's] story but at sex-orientated stories in general - some of the more explicit ones leave nothing to the imagination and indeed consist of nothing but one long bedroom scene - and if that's not cheap titillation I don't know what is. [Name redacted's] stories never do more than touch on the subject of sex, and I thought we had made it quite clear that in fact the scene we asked her to cut was a simple inference... Some members have stated positively that they do not want to read any story in which either Kirk or Spock is stated to have homosexual leanings; or indeed any of the main characters, and on this subject Susan Sackett, assistant to Gene Roddenberry, stated in a letter to Janet dated February 27th - 'Gene and the executives at Paramount feel that this is harmful to the STAR TREK concept, since this was never the intention in creating the series.' [Name redacted] also mentions 'Variations on a Theme'. Yes, these zines are X-rated, but not because they contain any strongly sexual material; the only sex scene in either issue is disposed of in 7 words and is in only to show the reader the situation in which the young, shy and lonely Commander Kirk is trapped by a ruthless and brutal Captain, but both zines are X-rated because references are necessarily made to the cruelty to which he was subjected before Variations 1 started. Admitted, Captain Spock was homosexually inclined, but he was not 'our' Spock but an alternative universe Spock - the one who never adjusted to his Human blood, and he is disposed of early in Variations 1, although there are references to him throughout both issues. The zines in fact deny a sexual relationship between our characters.
  • more on explicit sex and STAG publications:
    Re sex. I'm sure that if anyone who feels strongly pro implicit/explicit intercourse/ sex acts will be able to get exactly what they want if they look through the list of ST zines in the ads section (ie PASSAGES; COMPANION - both contain 'adult' material). Surely the aim of STAG fiction is to provide enjoyment for all of its members - and not for a minority with precise tastes. Editing is not the same as censorship; it is merely catering for the readership and giving entertainment. Sheila's assertion about the lack of any 'gay' theme in the actual shows is correct - in fact, Kirk even went as far as giving Miramanee a child, surely not the action of a non-heterosexual. His other conquests are too numerous to mention. As for Spock, his love for Leila in THIS SIDE OF PARADISE, and his passion-based insanity in AMOK TIME, justify exactly the opposite view from that which [name redacted] seems to want published. The present policy is correct, and no disservice to either heterosexual or homosexual ST fans.
  • a fan has these comments about what he's read about the planned Star Trek movie:
    I read the Starlog description of the 'new' Enterprise with a small degree of alarm -- for example, the abolition of the main viewscreen and replacing it with a 'holographic' display. For many, the familiar main viewscreen has become a point of reference, a symbol of the Enterprise's 'ability' to see, and like looking at a TV screen, a familiar occurrence. This point of reference may be lost when the audience is confronted by a 3D holograph, since few people have experience of such. Also a large number of special visual effects will account for a substantial portion of the film budget; this may count against the renewal of STAR TREK as a TV series with a limited budget. This is my personal opinion, but then again I may just be crying in my beer.
  • the editor brings up the subject of a cover for this newsletter:
    Interestingly, the only letter we got mentioning the possibility of covers on the newsletters came from a non-member, who pointed out that in his opinion, covers are only used by fanzine editors when the zine is going on open sale. For a newsletter there is really no point. He considered it better to use art internally. Unfortunately, art inside tho N/L means exactly the same as artwork on the cover - it uses up space that we feel is better devoted to news, articles and comments. It would also increase our running costs - and membership dues do not cover the cost of putting out the newsletters. We need profits from the zines to keep the club viable.

Issue 31

Star Trek Action Group 31 was published in October 1978 and contains 30 pages.

club financial report for 1977-1978
front page of issue #31
  • this issue has quite a bit of detailed information about the movie plans, Star Trek in the news, and a bio of Leonard Nimoy
  • a fan asks: "Has anybody a recording of the Apollo 16 Moonshot that they can copy on a cassette for me? "
  • The editor writes that they have a new duplicator:
    We also have another new STAG worker, James T., our new duplicator. Freda was 10 years old' and rather suffering from old age and over-work; we were warned that she would soon need a £300 overhaul. We decided to cut our losses (though 'Freda actually paid for herself many times over) and bought a three-year old Roneo 870 for £320. We can't run to a brand new one yet as they cost over £700. James T. has printed two zines for us so far as well as this newsletter and he's doing fine. His only problem is that he' s rather more sensitive than Freda and like his namesake he's inclined to blow a fuse occasionally. However, we' re still using Freda's drum - we kept it when they took Freda away, in memory of a faithful friend.
  • some fans have commented on Intercon:
    Intercon '78 was a good con and those who have written to us about it enjoyed themselves. The only thing a lot of you mentioned was that although it was a good, well-run con it didn't have the atmosphere of other ST cons, it didn't somehow feel like a ST con. We think the problem was that there were too many people there who just weren't ST fans. They were either STAR WARS fans come in to see the guests, or just people come in to see what it was all about. We don't see anything against holding cons for media SF in general but we feel there is a definite place for ST only cons. Even if only 200 ST fans want to go to a con they should be catered for and a con run to suit that number.
  • an announcement:
    So many of you keep asking when STAG is going to run a con that we've decided to have a go at running a two-day midi-con with EMPATHY next March in Leeds. With the majority of the STAG committee being in Scotland and the fact that we think Leeds is a good place to hold a con, we felt that it would be best to hold it jointly with EMPATHY. Dot has organised some good cons in the past couple of years and we feel her help will be invaluable. Dot will do a lot of the actual organising for tho con, guests, hotel, etc. Janet will do the registration and other bookwork. So far we have booked the Dragonara in Leeds for March 31st/1st April but that's as far as we have got.
  • there is a con report for Intercon, see that page
  • a fan reports on August Party, see that page
  • there is a con report for Astrex Minicon
  • very short fiction: "Rebirth" by Beryl Turton, "Who Mourns for Galileo" by Janet Bulch, "The Excursion" by Sally A. Syrjala, "Hell Driver" by Chrissie Farr

Issue 32

Star Trek Action Group 32 was published in December 1978 and contains 30 pages.

a call for fannish hospitality: "In August 1979 the World Science Fiction Convention is being held in Brighton, and a number of non-British Star Trek fans will be coming to England to attend it... We thought it would be a Good Idea to set up a survival scheme for them! These fans are not 'rich American tourists' -- they're people like us, and just as broke -- not to say apprehensive -- as we would be. Can you help? Provide a 'flop' for a night, maybe, or a quick tour of your town, or a lift to the station? Perhaps you could organize a mini-con in your front room! There are many ways you could help."
front page of issue #32
  • "Gene Roddenberry kindly sent us a tape to be played at the Manchester convention. We wanted to share it with everyone. He said": [long, long chatty report about the upcoming movie]
  • this issue has an excerpt by Susan Sackett from Starlog #18
  • this issue has a biography of DeForest Kelley and some reports of Star Trek in various newspapers
  • there are three con reports for Empathy Midi-Con, see that page
  • a fan writes about Star Trek in Germany
  • a fan comments on The Four Banned Star Trek Episodes
  • a fan writes a article about the career of Alan Dean Foster
  • a fan writes an article called "What's an Affirmation?":
    Have you read Kraith? Kraith is the view of Vulcan culture by Jacqueline Lichtenberg and her associates. It started off as a few stories and has become a mammoth undertaking comprising many stores written by different authors but all conforming to the Kraith view of Vulcan and the Federation. One of the early stories in the series was Spock's Affirmation. This states that all Vulcans must attend an Affirmation Ceremony every fifty years and renew their commitment to the Vulcan way of life, thus assuring a continuity of Vulcan thought and philosophy. This idea has so caught on in America that "Affirmations" are held when enough STAR TREK fans who wish to be "Affirmed" get together. There has never has been an "Affirmation" in Britain because the Kraith creators have not visited here. However, this could change. At the end of August 1979 Brighton is the venue for the World Science Fiction Convention. Many U.S. STAR TREK fans plan to attend... Among our American guests will be Jacqueline Lichtenberg herself. Jacqueline is keen to meet as many British STAR TREK fans as possible while she is here. She has offered to hold an "Affirmation" ceremony for those wishing to be "Affirmed." Jacqueline will be staying with me in Bedford from 16th to the 20th August 1979. According to the numbers wishing to meet her and/or be "Affirmed" depends on what plans are made. If more than 20 I shall plan a small minicon in Bedford. The minicon would consist of video showings of episodes, a sales room, perhaps an auction and the "Affirmation."
  • regarding the newsletter fiction and art competition:
    We had quite good response to the last competition -- better than the last time we had a similar sort of subject for it! There were entries from Lynn Campion, Jackie Clarke, Paula Greener, May Jones, R.E. Jones, Christine Leeson, S. Meek, Gladys Oliver, Sally Syrjala and Josie Timmins. Most of these are new writers and it's nice to know that more members are becoming interested in writing. We left the final decision to Janet, since this was 'her' subject. She felt that the story by Jackie Clarke best fit the subject... For next time, we would like an episode sequel... You have till January 13th to think of something...
  • Fiction: "The 12 Days for Christmas on the Enterprise" by Angela Sigley, "A Tale of Christmas Future," by Rod Summers, "On the Way to Babel" by S. Meek

Issue 33

Star Trek Action Group 33 was published in February 1979 and contains 33 pages.

front page of issue #33
  • this issue has a bio of James Doohan and some reprints of articles from Starlog
  • there is a reprint of info from Interstat #13 which announces that "STAR TREK fans are in the movie!" The list is made up of various insiders and BNFs:
    ... The Rec room scene was filmed with a crowd of extras numbering nearly 300... Some of those lucky fans are: Richard Arnold, Roseanna Attias (Gene Roddenberry's secretary), Paula Crist, Chris and Monty Doohan (Jimmy's twin sons), David Gerrold, Steve Hersh, Bill Hickey, Katherine Kurtz, Susan Sackett, Kathleen Sky, Louise Stange, Susan Stephenson, Bjo Trimble, and Grace Lee Whitney's son, Scott. [4]
  • STAG is thinking of bulk ordering some American zines to facilitate UK fans: they are enquiring about getting a bunch of Stardate Unknown #5
  • there are some pro book and merchandise reviews
  • the editor notes that Star Trek isn't being shown on television anywhere in the UK right now
  • a fan writes a long, chatty report about her trip to the US, meeting many fans there, touring Paramount, meeting the stars, and being shown around by Richard Arnold
  • this issue has an article by a fan called "A Probable Outline of the Career of Captain James T. Kirk"
  • fiction section: "The Challenge" by Rita Oliver and four poems

Issue 34

Star Trek Action Group 34 was published in April 1979 and contains 42 pages. This issue had a 750 print run (33,000 pages), and the editors hauled four boxes of the zine to the post office for mailing.

front page of issue #34
  • there is an announcement that there have been some staffing changes regarding the upcoming movie, but that "we don't need to worry, we know we can trust Gene to insist on the best."
  • a noise complaint:
    The Dragonara management told us that they had some complaints about excessive noise and disturbance on two floors during the Saturday night. While room parties are an accepted part of con weekends -- we enjoy them ourselves -- it is possible to forget that the parties are breaking up in the 'wee small hours' when other people are staying at the hotel -- and this includes some of the con attendees, too, since some of them like to get to bed by midnight... The Dragonara management has been very helpful to us, both at this con and in 1976, and it distresses us to receive these complaints; if the hotel complains to the con committee about excess noise or rowdy behaviour by any group of fans, the people involved will lose all con privileges -- which means they will be charged the full rate for their hotel rooms, and risk being banned from future conventions. Knocking on hotel doors at 3 o'clock in the morning is not funny."
  • there is a transcript of a tape by Susan Sackett because:
    ... we asked Gene Roddenberry to answer us some questions on tape for the convention. We had a very nice letter from him saying he hoped we didn't mind that he had asked Susan Sackett to do the tape. Gene was off with the flu at the end of December and the doctor made him take a month off work to get some rest and got back in good physical shape. Because of this and with deadlines beginning to press on him he is having to concentrate on necessary professional duties. We want to thank Susan for doing her best to answer the questions we sent.
  • this issue has a number of reprints from Starlog
  • this issue has a bio of George Takei
  • this issue has the common "Star Trek in the News," which reprints mentions of the show in newspapers and magazines
  • regarding a fan's question of whether this newsletter could become a monthly issue:
    You must be joking! It takes us a lot of time and effort to get them out bi-monthly. It isn't only the compiling and printing the newsletter which takes time but also getting all the address labels done and the wrappers sorted out and checked. We send out nearly 700 newsletters; processing and wrapping time is the same is the same whether the newsletter is 10 pages long or 20. It now takes us a fortnight to get a newsletter out (at one time it took us nearer to three weeks, when Janet was in Dorset) and during that time everything else is dropped, and with only two weeks out of every four to work in, we couldn't get as many zines out as we now do - and quite frankly, membership dues do not cover the cost of running the club. We need income from sales - and that means zines - if the club is to remain viable.
  • there are several con reports for STAG and Empathy Star Trek Midi-Con, see that page
  • the con competition winners for Fancy Dress, Fashion Show, Poetry, Fiction, Art, Trivia and the Grand Tribble Show from STAG and Empathy Star Trek Midi-Con are listed
  • there is a con report for AussieTrek
  • there is "An Outline of the Probable Life of Commander Spock" by Sheila Clark and Valerie Piacentini
  • there is a review of the pro book "Spock Must Die!"
  • fiction and much poetry: "To Kevin Reilly" by Denise Whalen, "The Convention" by Jackie Newey, "The Fan" by Martina O'Hagan, "Do-WHAT??" (Star Trek RPF) by Jenny Elson, "Mother of Her Race" by Janet Balch, "Beaches" by S. Meek, "The Dreamtime" by Sandie Cowden, "Command Decision" by S. Meek, "Born to Lead" by Linda Hughes

Issue 35

Star Trek Action Group 35 was published in June 1979.

front page of issue #35
  • there are major issues with the duplicating machine; despite this, the editors hope to send out 800 copies of this issue
  • there are the usual reprints of Star Trek articles from Starlog and such, as well as some movie updates
  • this issue has a bio of Nichelle Nichols
  • a fan reviews the pro book, "Fate of the Phoenix":
    My first impression is that the style is even more wordy and confusing that it was in "Price of the Phoenix." It does not encourage the reader to "read on." It starts with Omne reborn and continues with two Kirks, two Spocks, two Omnes -- and just to confuse matters further one of the Spocks and one of the Omnes are the same person... The Romulan Commander has acquired a name at last. Intrigue and counterplot are rife, with a great deal of action concerning the Commander and James... making yet another sequel very probable. I feel this book would have benefited from some ruthless editing -- if I want to read something that requires a great deal of thought, I prefer non-fiction.
  • a fan announces a party at her house on July 7: "Everyone is welcome, if you would like to stay the night you can take a sleeping bag."
  • this issue has ads for, among others, Copkiller and Naked Times #2 -- the later has this note: "An age statement is required as this zine contains material which may be offensive to some."
  • there is a con report for Karlshure Science Fiction Show held by an Army Service Club on May 5 and 6th:
    Upon our arrival, Ann was swamped with a deluge of fans waiting to see her fanzines. Eurotrek 79 had displays set up by Sci-Fi fans, an art exhibition, guest speakers, some films. The two featured guest speakers were Starlog/future Magazine's Special Projects Editor Tom O'Steen; he showed a slide show called "Reaching for the Stars." It was a mixture of art depicting man's desire to fly, photographs from NASA, and several alien landscapes painted by various artists. The other speaker was Steven Scheel from AFN TV in Frankfurt who had been to several conventions in the past. He had brought with him some film clips from the old movies. They especially captivated the audience. The German Jedis, the Guardians of Forever, and some individuals from all over Germany were costumed (as for ST, two people had the old ST uniforms while two others had the new uniforms on)... It was a fun weekend but a tiring one. Bob Petterson, the brainchild behind Eurotrek 79, has enlisted my help for next year. This one will take place around the same time next year except that it will be a regular convention.
  • there are some con reports for STAG and Empathy Star Trek Midi-Con: one fan writes:
    By the time I arrived home on Monday, I was so tired that I just fell into bed, and when I woke up I found that the 'Depression' had set in. I had been warned about it, but didn't really believe that one could become so low. The next day at work I felt awful. It was if the bottom of my world had fallen out. But we get over this feeling eventually, and now I cannot wait for the next con in October, when I know I shall be amongst my kind of people again. Sharing the same feelings with so many others gives one an inner glow that cannot be explained to outsiders. Now I know what true 'Fandom' is all about, a wonderful feeling of friendship, peace and togetherness.
  • there is an open letter by Roger N (also printed in an issue of Starship Excalibur's newsletter) -- (see IDIC -- Fact or Fiction? for the entire letter):
    I have heard recently that the producer of Blake's 7 has been receiving a lot of abusive letters from some Star Trek fans, telling him to take Blake's 7 off the air, as (in their opinion) it is rubbish and to put on the old repeats of Star Trek in its place. I've also heard that it is these same fans who put pressure on ITV to stop making Space 1999! as it isn't as good as Star Trek. It appears (if these rumours are true) that some Star Trek fans seem to regard Star Trek as the be-all and end-all of science fiction and so, therefore, no other science fiction shows should be allowed on TV. Such an attitude is ridiculous and is extremely petty minded.
  • there is a fan-written essay called "Sarek and Pon Farr"
  • this issue has a reprint of a review from Publisher's Weekly for The Making of Star Trek
  • a number of fans comment on the movie uniforms
  • fiction and poetry: "Deathscream" by S. Meek, "I-Chaya" by Liz Newton, "Kirk... To Edith's Memory" and "Hybrid Birth" by Gladys Oliver, "The Shadow" by Sandie Cowden, "Great Things from (Extremely) Small Beginnings Grow" by Karen Maund,

Issue 36

Star Trek Action Group 36 was published in August 1979 and contains 46 pages.

front page of issue #36
  • the editor writes of a change in hardware:
    ...this is the first publication we've typed the stencils for on our new electric typewriter. We need to get one or two keys changed - this machine doesn't have an asterisk, for example, or an exclamation mark, both of which are essential, or a dollar or number sign, both of which we got on our manual machines. Apart from that, however, it seems to be doing an excellent job...
  • this issue has a letter from Rupert Evans and a letter from Sonni Cooper
  • news about the movie and the stars reprinted from clippings from magazines and newspapers
  • this issue has a bios of Majel Barrett, Grace Lee Whitney, DeForest Kelley
  • three fans reported receiving letters from the BBC in response to their inquiries about The Four Banned Star Trek Episodes An excerpt from the BBC's response:
    We have no plans to show the banned episodes as we have stated several times before. I am afraid every big organisation comes in for a little ridicule from time to time, but we are a public service broadcasting organisation with great responsibilities, and if after very careful consideration we decide not to show a particular programme, you may rest assured that it is in the best interest of viewers in this country.
  • this issue has a complete listing of what episodes were rerun and when
  • a fan writes a long report of trying to meet Sonni Cooper during a two-hour airport layover; its focus is mainly the details of the difficulties of finding her at the airport
  • this issue has con reports for Faircon '79
  • two fans write in about how much they like the new uniforms they've seen in pre-movie photos
  • some fans write in about what Star Trek means to them
  • there is a technical drawing done by a fan
  • a fan reviews "Where No Man Has Gone Before," the first episode; another fan reviews "Spectre" by Gene Roddenberry
  • there are some pro book reviews
  • two fans write an article titled "An Alternate Reality"
  • fiction and poetry: "As New Wind" by S. Meek, "A Day to Remember" by Sylvia Billings, "His World" by Catherine Moorhouse, "Acceptance" by Cilla Futcher,

Issue 37

Star Trek Action Group 37 was published in October 1979 and contains 32 pages.

a 1978-79 financial report, click to read
front page of issue #37
  • this issue has a bio of Stephen Collins ("Willard Decker") and of Persis Khambatta ("Ilea")
  • there are some con reports for Mediacon, see that page
  • there is more talk on censorship and the episode "Arena":
    ... ARENA was cut; they removed all references to the ingredients of gunpowder. A letter Theresa H received [from] Caroline Mackersey said, "Arena was minimally edited because it is not BBC practice to show the exact process by which gunpowder is made. This is to prevent the children emulating their heroes." We can understand the BBC's feelings on this although they may be over-reacting as a child can probably look the info up in an encyclopedia if they are keen. ARENA was shown full in 1969 and 1972 but the cut version was shown in 1974.
  • there is much fannish discussion about an article printed August 23 in The Glasgow Evening Times called "Let's Show Some Enterprise -- And Kick Out Kirk"." the article featured a short comments/interviews with Valerie Piacentini, Lori Chapek-Carleton, David Coote, Christine Jones and is reprinted here
  • this issue has several con reports for Seacon
  • there is a con report for the Star Trek America convention at the Statler-Hilton, 1st to 3rd September
  • there is a report of the S.T.U.K. Party:
    This was a party held a week before Seacon, the main object of the get together was so the Americans who came could get to know the British fans better and would also know, any they might possibly see at Seacon. The party was the idea of Beth Hallam and Margaret Draper, and although not as many people turned up as was hoped, was a success. Altogether there were about 25 people there, split roughly 50-50 between British and American, some of the Americans present were Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Kathleen Sky and Stephen Goldin. There were several dealers' tables and to begin with the party was held at a church hall but later went on to Beth's flat in Bedford. Most of the time was spent simply talking and getting to know each other... There were of course other Americans there, but I can't remember all of their names. Some I do, and they were Devra Langsam, Linda Deneroff , Joan Vebos (Verba?) and a very nice girl called Valerie. It was a pity there were not more British fans there as I'm sure they would have enjoyed themselves. The party started around 10am and we finally left Beth's home somewhere around 9.30 - 10pm. I don't know if the British fans simply couldn't get to Bedford on a Sunday, or if they simply weren't interested enough, but those who did go [are] sure glad they did.
  • there are some short reviews of the movie Alien and some ST pro books
  • a fan writes an technical article about phasers
  • fiction and poetry: "Nightmare" by Josie Rutherford, "For Charlie" by Wendy Walter

Issue 38

Star Trek Action Group 38 was published in December 1979 and contains 32 pages. There were 900 issues printed.

front page of issue #38
  • the front cover and back page consist of a montage of black and white photos of ST actors and the movie set
  • every issue lists the honorary club members -- for this issue, the stable is: Gene Roddenberry, Majel Barrett, William Shatner, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Susan Sackett, Grace Lee Whitney, Rupert Evans, Sonni Cooper, Anne McCaffrey, Anne Page
  • the editor writes that four tickets for the upcoming Trek movie were raffled/auctioned at Mediacon, bringing the needy fan £200 towards the purchase of an electric wheelchair; one of the winners immediately said he wanted said needy fan to have his ticket
  • the editor asks for volunteers to hand out flyers for the Welcommittee at cinemas showing the upcoming film
  • regarding the movie: "We can now give you confirmation that ST-TMP will be released [in the UK] at the Empire Theatre Leicester Square on Saturday December 15th; performances are at 12.30pm, 3.00pm, 5.45pm and 8.30pm. The movie will be released across the country from the 20th.""
  • this issue has a bio of Robert Wise
  • the newsletters have been printing an increasing number of ads and descriptions for official merchandise; this issue has more than four pages of them
  • there is a rare [5] personal statement:
    Diane Marchant wishes to make in known that Karen Lewis has no authority to act as her agent in any degree, and that any claim to that effect should be disregarded.
  • a fan is planning a mini-con:
    Plans are underway for a one-day Starsky and Hutch con, to be held at Leicester in early April next year. Attendance will be limited to about 20-25, but we hope to provide sales tables, episodes on video, art display, in short, everything you expect of a big con, only scaled down. Would anyone interested in attending please send an S.A.E. to Sue S..
  • the fan who wrote the technical article on phasers in the last issue comments, before another long speculative article on future technology:
    In response to my request last N/L for criticism and/or comments on my exploration of the innards of the phaser, I only got one reply (from Robert J), who was somewhat irate and definitely 'not amused' with my article! Well, for Robert's sake and for the sake of all the other rather literal-minded readers, I'd like to state here and now that all theories put forward in this article are not based solely on the science of today, but on a logical progression of it in a century or two's time.
  • a Swedish fan named Hans Siden (also a friend of Forrest J. Ackerman) wrote of meeting Harlan Ellison at a Los Angeles party celebrating the magazine, "Omni"'s first year; he calls his letter to "STAG" -- "Is it True What They Say About Harlan? Definitely No..." An excerpt:
    Of course after reading all the nasty stories and biting reports on Ellison, I was a bit apprehensive when he was introduced. But what a pleasant surprise. Harlan turned out to be an extremely charming and witty man and when I mentioned my interest in the film of his novel, A BOY AND HIS DOG, which has never been released in my home country Sweden, Harlan right away asked me what I was doing the following day. "I got it on a Betamax tape. Just phone me tomorrow and you're welcome to my house to watch it and if I'm not home my secretary will run it for you." This was the Harlan Ellison I've read so many 'horror stories' about? Unfortunately, due to other commitments I was not able to take Harlan up on his generous offer but before he said goodbye on the OMNI night, I couldn't help telling Harlan to his face that I was rather surprised that he had turned out to be such a nice fellow after all that bad press... But as Harlan so rightly pointed out most of the attacks on him have been on him as a person and not on his books or other writing.
  • one of the two founders of a Star Trek club in Switzerland writes a long account of meeting James Doohan while she was in California
  • this issue has a con report for Terracon, see that page
  • there are several fan-written reviews of some pro books: The World of Star Trek and "Vulcan Sky"
  • the editor writes that she would welcome zine reviews in the letterzine, and she admits the LoCs they get for STAG zines are usually not very specific which isn't helpful
  • a fan describes a Star Trek computer game but - other than 'Star Trek' - doesn't say what its name is
  • two fans write of why they are Star Trek fans
  • fiction and poetry: "Why Knit... Why Knot" by Meg Wright, "Ann" by B.I. Walton, "Uneasy Phantoms" by Ceri Murphy

Issue 39

Star Trek Action Group 39 was published in February 1980 and contains 20 pages. There were 1000 copies printed.

front page of issue #39
  • a new club member:
    First we'd like to welcome Bjo Trimble as an honorary member. Most of you have heard of Bjo but for those who haven't it was Bjo who organised the successful letter campaign which brought ST back for a third season. She and Dorothy Jones were responsible for the production of ST Concordance, and is still very active in fandom.
  • the editor notes that the club has had about 250 enquiries and over 100 new members since December; sometimes one of the club presidents gets 30 letters a day
  • regarding the long-awaited movie:
    We expect that most of you have seen the movie by now and we hope you all enjoyed it. Reports we have been getting on it from members have varied. Most of you love it but there are some who don't like it, find it slow and boring, the acting wooden, no relationships etc. etc. We can't understand this, especially as regards the main characters. Shatner's acting is so versatile and convincing that we couldn't help being moved by his obvious sincerity. His relationship with his friends from the series was still clearly there, especially with Spock and McCoy. Admittedly a lot of it was subtle, conveyed by face and body movement but then a lot of it always was. The relationship with Spock in particular was presented in such a way that relationship fans could read into it whatever depth of feeling they wanted.
  • about the movie's premiere in the United States:
    We've heard that the World Premiere was a great success in the States. Reports say that 10 Trekkers were invited, including Shirley Maiewski, Barbara Wenk, Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Alice Asherman. We also heard that Nancy Kippax and Kay Johnson were there.
  • new technology starts to hint at a new freedom:
    I am researching into the possibilities of getting all 4 of the banned STAR TREK episodes on video cassette. I am sure that it can be done but it will be fairly expensive, therefore I would like to gauge the interest in them before-hand. If all those with V.C.R.s who would be interested in buying video cassettes of these episodes would write and let me know at the above address, I'll see if it's worthwhile going ahead.
  • a fan comments on the movie, one of many:
    I am afraid I was very disappointed. I have been apprehensive for some time and when I read the book was very excited. Unfortunately the excitement did not include the film. As a film it was very good but I cannot help wondering why the story was so different from the excellent book. My feelings were that the special effects were far too numerous and there was definitely not enough of the characters. The best part of the film for me was when Kirk told Spock to sit down.
  • a fan comments on the movie:
    Fantastic! I was mesmerised all the way through. I hope other fans have enjoyed it as much. I intend to see it again soon. Are they planning another?
  • a fan comments on the movie:
    Personally, I wasn't disappointed at all - but on the other hand, I wasn't that excited about it either! I did thoroughly enjoy it of course, although I felt there was just a bit too much emphasis on special effects. Anyhow, it was still the Star Trek we know and love, which was the main thing.
  • a fan comments on the movie:
    I finally managed to get to see the film, excellent, but the story was rotten... reminded me of Nomad. Too much of the cloud thing and not enough interaction between the crew and the characters. At least we can say it hasn't altered ST at all... The only time the film came to life was when McCoy was the screen. What a let down!
  • a fan comments about the movie:
    It's fantastic. The special effects were great. I particularly liked the scene where Kirk first sees the Enterprise, my favourite scene. I thought Kirk looked marvellous in his Admiral's uniform and the white short-sleeved one. I can't understand why the critics gave it bad reviews, they must be out of their minds - it's a beautiful film.
  • a fan comments about the movie:
    I thought the movie wasn't as good as I had hoped and better than I feared. The book is a necessary reading to find out what got left out and to explain some fuzzy areas.
  • there were many more comments and fan reviews of the movie, many unhappy, some satisfied, most mixed

Issue 40

Star Trek Action Group 40 was published in April 1980 and contains 48 pages. There were 1050 copies printed.

front page of issue #40
  • the editor writes that the club has received 440 questionnaire responses from members; the questions are about the new movie, but also general Star Trek opinions, including that of this newsletter; the editors print many extracts of these responses
  • there are many reprints of articles about Star Trek in the news
  • a fan is selling audio cassettes of some television episodes of Starsky & Hutch, The Prisoner, Planet of the Apes -- cost is £3 each; also cassette tapes of movies: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Dark Star and Superman -- £5 each; this issue has, for the first time, a fairly extensive listing of videotapes of Star Trek and other television episode shows for sale by what appears to be independent fans, rather than companies. [6]
  • "A Dream Come True" by Kay Johnson is a detailed account of going to the movie premiere in the U.S. It focuses almost entirely on the parties, receptions, and travel details. The opening paragraph:
    Nov 20th: Received a phone call from Gene Roddenberry's office inviting me to the STAR TREK Movie World Premiere in Washington, D.C. on December 6th. Me! Really! Pinched myself to see if I was awake. OUCH: Yes, I'm awake and the call is real. "Yes," I croak. "I can go." My mind is reeling; how can I go? Sell my car for the plane fare? ... List for me to do tomorrow: put an ad in the newspaper to sell my piano, shop for shoes to go with new dress, cut out and sew new dress,come down off Cloud 9...
  • two fans write separately of their visits to the U.S. to see the movie, their stay with Bjo Trimble and family, their tour of Paramount studios, and meeting the stars -- one comment:
    While we were in the Sound Stage we also met Nichelle Nichols, who surely must surely be one of the most beautiful women in the world. She is a very charming and gracious person who willingly stopped for a few minutes to talk to us, although it was obvious that she was in a hurry. Our next call was to meet Henry Winkler on the Happy Days set - the poor man was absolutely shattered, but still found the strength to sign some scripts for us. Our last port of call was to the Star Trek Office to meet the Great Bird of the Galaxy himself. Mr. Roddenberry took time out from a TV interview to meet us and sign autographs. He is a very tall, broad-shouldered and (dare I say it?), cuddleable - rather like a life-size teddy bear! A very nice man and a true genius. We left Paramount feeling somewhat dazed and very privileged to have been allowed behind the scenes.
  • there are some fan-written essays about the importance of the "space program"
  • a fan reviews the pro book: the movie novelization by Roddenberry
  • another fan reviews "Shatner: Where No Man" by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath, giving it an extremely poor review:
    Marshak & Culbreath have seen fit to add their own comments at every opportunity and it's hard to take seriously a book which has comments in it like 'that slim look of an apprentice angel' and ... is forever making references to his anatomy. I mean, M & C's tone is positively adulatory, which, if you're doing a biography of someone, is the wrong line to take.... That's another thing that annoys me about their book (I hesitate to call it his book, that to me is insulting). One begins to. wonder if it is Shatner's biography. M & C are obviously more interested in the character of Kirk and how it and and Star Trek as a whole relate to changes in the sexual and social roles of male and female in society over the past decade. Don't get me wrong -- I think it's an interesting study... but quite honestly it should not figure so largely in a book which is meant to be primarily about Shatner... It is fairly obvious (and has been from their fiction writing) that M & C are obsessed with the 'dominant woman' theme in the social revolution that has taken/is taking/will take place and they really go to town with it. (Sorry, but this book really makes me see red.) On top of the whole mish-mash, it's very badly written.
  • there is a review of As New Wine, see that page
  • there is a review of Vice Versa #1, see that page
  • there are many, many fan responses (pages and pages!) to the movie -- some were very disappointed citing the lack of relationship interactions among the characters, the acting, the story line, the special effects, and the uniforms; fans did seem to like the music; some fans liked the movie a lot; others said they liked the movie but then proceeded to say everything they disliked about it; there is a distinct feel and evidence in fans' negative comments that despite the poor movie, they were still staunch Star Trek fans
  • some fans write that they are aware that the movie shown in the UK has been cut by 20 minutes
  • fiction and poetry: "Amok Time Aftermath" by Judy Miller and "A Question" by Vicki Carleton

References

  1. a very interesting exchange, and one that illustrates TPTB's attempt to define canon in fanon sources, as well as the fine line regarding the relationship between some fans and the official creators; in other words, who owns what and how far does the leash extend?
  2. she is probably referring to Obsc'zine, but it may be Obsczine, a much more minor publication
  3. interesting: this was one of The Four Banned Star Trek Episodes
  4. "Paramount catered a lunch of steak and mashed potatoes for this crowd of extras..."
  5. Personal statements were fairly common, even ones as blunt as this one, but the STAG newsletter did not publisher them.
  6. Most of these appear to be not a fan-to-fan offers but more "wholesale," and as a result, are questionable legal endeavors regarding intent and profit.