Stardate (Star Trek: TOS zine edited by Randall Landers)

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Title: Stardate (with #22 in 1985 it became Orion)
Publisher: Stardate Press (until 1985), then Orion Press
Editor(s): Randall Landers, with occasional guest editors
Date(s): 1979 - 1984
Medium: print zine
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links: Orion Press
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Stardate is a gen Star Trek: TOS fanzine published by Orion Press.

It was first published in 1979 and ran for 21 issues under this title and then was renamed Orion due to a 1985 legal dispute with FASA.[1]Issue #14 is adult and contains a nude drawing.

This 1985 legal dispute was also likely the reason "Stardate Press" became "Orion Press." [2]

From the Orion Press website:
In 1979, there were more K/S zines than genzines (non-adult general content) [3], and in June of that year I decided to start my own fanzine: Stardate. The first issue sold over 800 copies over the years, and while it's crap by today's zine standards, it was the start of Stardate Press. [4]

Science Fiction, Stardate, and Males

From Boldly Writing:
Many editors of the time were not science fiction fans and did not care whether the story happened on the Enterprise or even in the Federation as long as Kirk and Spock were featured. In contrast, Randall made sure that all of the stories he published fit into the Star Trek universe, and that the stories would have few, if any, departures from the facts established on the screen. Because of this, Randall's Star Trek publications have enjoyed a wide readership. In particular, Randall attracted more male fanzine writers and artists than most other publications. Regulars of his early issues included Rick Endres, Richard G. Pollet, Don Harden (who presented a story in issue 5 in comic strip form), and Tim Farley.

Many LoCs

Issues of Stardate featured a prominent LoC section. So many were received that Landers wrote in his editorial that he would reduce the type size in issue #8 so he could print more of them.

A Dispute, and a Title Change

This zine underwent a title change in 1985. There is a letter from the editor in Datazine #35 that says that Stardate under Stardate Press, will no longer be published because FSA Gaming Corporation (a Paramount company that makes a Star Trek role-playing game) has used their title and format for a magazine of their own. Landers has contacted his lawyer but was advised he really could do nothing. He expresses his extreme regret at having to give up a zine he's worked on for six years and hopes that fans will support his new zine Orion.

From Sensor Readings:
As of May 15, 1985, Stardate Press is no longer in existence thanks to the callousness of the FASA Gaming Corporation. This company, which is licensed by Paramount Pictures Corporation to produce to a Star Trek role playing game, came out with a magazine for their customers Their magazine was given the title, Stardate, and the same cover format devised for 'Stardate' #21 by Tim Farley (which was to be used on all future issues of our publication) was employed by FASA on their first issue. After discovering this, I made an enquiry into the matter with FASA and issue. After discovering this, I made an enquiry into the matter with FASA and politely asked them to change the name of their publication. They failed to respond for a number of months. Then, I was contacted by their attorney who threatened legal action if 'Stardate Press' continued to produce 'Stardate,' claiming that they had exclusive rights to the title and format under a license from Paramount and under a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. I am simply floored. I had been producing 'Stardate' since June 1979. I produced 21 issues in the six years of operation. 'Stardate' received several favorable reviews for various issues in Universal Translator and Datazine.... It was printed under what fans refer to Common Law Copyright, as most fan magazines. 'Stardate' has over three thousand satisfied readers. And because I can't afford to sue this corporation (and they apparently can afford to sue me), I am no longer able to produce 'Stardate.' To quote an ancestor, 'I will fight no more.' As of May 15, 1985, Orion Press will be born from the ashes of Stardate Press Our first issue, 'Orion' #22, will be legally copyrighted, trademarked, and given an ISSN number, as will all our other publications. [5]

Issue 1

cover of issue #1, R. Landers

Stardate 1 was published in June 1979. Randall Landers, editor. It has 28 pages. On the cover: "A NEW ZINE FROM GEORGIA." The publisher describes in in 1988: "[The first issue of] 'Stardate' was a piece of crap. I know it, and so does everyone else who has read it." [6]

  • Plague (Entire crew gets plague from planet) (16 pages)
  • The Salos Sell-out (Mining operations) (9 pages)

Issue 2

cover of issue #2, Don Harden
inside page of issue #2

Stardate 2 was published in November 1979. Randall Landers, editor. It has 38 pages. On the cover: "A NEW ZINE FROM GEORGIA."

  • From the Editor by Randall Landers (2)
  • The Captain is Always Right #2, cartoon by Randall Landers (2)
  • Next Issue "Assassin" and "Star Trip" (2)
  • Stardate Unknown, poem by Richard G. Pollet (3)
  • Writing Contest Rules (3)
  • Of All the LoC (4)
  • The War Mongers, story by Thomas C. Harden and Randell Landers (Troubles with egotistical passenger) (5 pages)
  • Star Trek Trivia, The Man Trap (20)
  • To Die Or Not To Die, story by Richard G. Pollet (Disease responsible for lack of life on a planet) (21 pages)
  • Star Trek Trivia , The Naked Time and Charlie X (28)
  • Attack From The Beyond, story by Randall Landers (about spies) (29)
  • Mirror, Mirror, a poem by Richard G. Pollet (37)
  • art by Don Harden (both covers), Randall Landers, Richard G. Pollet

Issue 3

cover of issue #3

Stardate 3 was published in March 1980. Randall Landers, editor. It has 42 pages.

  • Assassin (Someone is out to kill Kirk and Spock takes it upon himself to keep his captain alive. But who's taking care of the Vulcan?) (7 pages)
  • Star Trek Trivia: The Cage, The Doomsday Machine and Obsession) (3 pages)
  • A Time To Cry (A Parody) (Captain Kirk finds himself aboard the Seaview with Admiral Nelson, Captain Crane and Mr. Pem. Can he escape the horrors of that universe before he finds himself totally insane like them?) (9 pages)
  • Star Trek Trivia: Spock's Brain (1 page)
  • Meeting At Xanadu (The crew of the Enterprise encounter a former Starfleet Academy history teacher whose love for the past may endanger the peace of the present.) (21 pages)
  • Three Strikes, Yer Out (Once again, Scotty is forced into action during a shore-leave on Disneymoon. The hilarious winning entry in the writing contest.) (9 pages)
  • Star Trek Trivia: Devil In The Dark (2 pages)
  • The Last Survivor (A post V-ger story set on the planet Neural. Can the precarious balance of power be maintained there? A Federation observation team has disappeared while seeking the answer. A sequel to "A Private Little War.") (17 pages)
  • A Review Of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (2 pages)

Issue 4

front cover of issue #4, Rick Endres

Stardate 4 was published in August 1980. Randall Landers, editor. It has 38 pages. The front cover is by Rick Endres. On the cover: "THE HUMAN ADVENTURES CONTINUE." Other artwork by Mitchell B. Craig, Don Harden, Tim Farley, Randall Landers, Rick Pollet.

Issue 5

coverof issue #5

Stardate 5 was published in October 1980. Randall Landers, editor. It has 62 pages.

  • The Captain Is Always Right (Cartoon) (1 page)
  • The Wages Of Vengeance (On The planet Serenadid, Captain Kirk murders the ruler during a ceremony for the signing of a treaty between the planet and the Federation) (25 pages)
  • Star Trek Trivia: Bread and Circuses (1 page)
  • An Analysis Of: (The Corbomite Maneuver and The Man Trap) (1 page)
  • Star Trek Trivia: The Enemy Within (1 page)
  • First Mission by Richard Pollet (As the new captain, Jim Kirk has his hands full with his science officer, Spock, who has left the ship to join up with a telepathic killer and has taken all the ship's dilithium with him. A tale of revenge and more.) (7 pages)
  • Star Trek Trivia: Specter Of The Gun (1 page)
  • Star Trek Myths by Don Harden (Article) (2 pages)
  • Star Trek Trivia: The Slaver Weapon (1 page)
  • A Funny Thing Happened… (A group of practical jokers aboard the Enterprise) (9 pages)
  • A Review Of Star Trek Maps (1 page)
  • Star Trek Trivia: The Motion Picture (1 page)
  • First Impressions by Randall Landers (article)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

Stardate #5 is the beginning of Rick Endres' 'Serenidad' series... This is a well-written storyline with many virtues. The very first story is the weakest of all, notably for its overuse of adjectives, a typical mistake for a first-time writer. In later issues, the quality of writing improves dramatically. The characterization is very strong. Each individual stands out as a unique entity. The Klingon culture is very well defined. The author is very good at contrasting the joy of lovemaking (in one scene) to the horror of rape (in an unrelated scene).

With a few exceptions, the plotting and situations are believable. The premise of the story is that an Earth colony, Serenidad, is wanted by both the Federation and the Klingons. The Federation is looked upon with favor by many government officials, but this does not stop the Klingons from trying to install a puppet government. The ENTERPRISE is heavily involved in this conflict.

This has many elements of a good Star Trek episode: action, romance, political conflict, narrow escapes. A minor weakness is that, in tying up the loose ends, anyone who might present a lingering problem once the conflict is resolved dies (a heroic death, to be sure, but nonetheless, such characters do tend to get killed off). Even so, this is a story that should appeal to quite a few Star Trek fans (particularly Klingon fans, and I should point out I'm not a Klingon fan).

The story continues in STARDATE 8 (1981). The only minor complaint I have here is that I wonder if the entire crew of a starship would beam down for a ceremony. Further, the ethics of erasing someone's memory are dubious, in my opinion. Otherwise, the story is greatly improved here from the first installment.

In this issue was a story about McCoy's divorce called "The Anniversary Gift" by Donna C. Clark. This is the way I imagined that it happened; that is, both parties were well-intentioned, but had different expectations: he put priority on his work; she put priority on family life. As such, I found the story quite believable. [7]

Issue 6

cover of issue #6, Rick Endres

Stardate 6 was published in November 1980. Randall Landers, editor. The cover of is by Rick Endres. It is a 68-page novel called "Resurrection" (about Gary Mitchell).

  • Resurrection by Randall Landers (On a barren, little world at the edge of the galaxy, Kirk finds what is apparently a ghost. The horror unfolds as Kirk's old friend has now become a threat to the galaxy. A post-ST:TMP sequel to "Where No Man Has Gone Before.")

Issue 7

cover of issue #7, Donna Clark

Stardate 7 was published in December 1980. Randall Landers, editor. It has 87 pages. The cover is by Donna Clark.

Issue 8

cover of issue #8, Rick Endres

Stardate 8 was published in February 1981. Randall Landers, editor. It contains 117 pages. In the editorial, Randall writes that he was reducing the type size in the LoC section so more letters could be printed.

The art is by Donna C. Clark, Rick Endres, Don Harden, Vel Jaeger (back cover), Randall Landers, and Blake Sims.

  • From the Editor (2)
  • Of all the LOC (3)
  • The Captain is Always Right, cartoon strip by Randall Landers (9)
  • Story Contest Announcement (10)
  • Oath of Vengeance (part of a multi-segment story) by Rick Endres, sequel to The Wages of Vengeance in issue #5 (11)
  • Star Trek Trivia: The Motion Picture (2 pages)
  • Star Trip (cartoon serial) by Don Harden (73)
  • The Anniversary Gift by Donna C. Clark (75)
  • The Trek Trivia: The Conscience of the King (84)
  • Variable Velocities in Subspace by Tim Farley (85)
  • The Balance of Nature by Jeffrey Woytach (89)
  • Mainviewer, review of Enter-comm #3 (115)
  • Zine Listings (115)
  • The Last Word (117)

Issue 9

cover of issue #9

Stardate 9 was published in March 1981. Randall Landers, editor. It contains 95 pages.

  • Mark of the Beast by Rick Endres (An inhuman killer stalks the corridors of the Enterprise in search of human prey; can Uhura escape this werewolf?) (43 pages)
  • Star Trivia (1 page)
  • The Star Trek Myths (Article) (1 page)
  • Star Trek Trivia: Errand Of Mercy (1 page)
  • A Matter of Trust by Tom Harden, Randall Landers, and Kevin Morgan (While investigating the loss of a science expedition, the landing party is marooned on the surface of a planet with a contingent of Romulans nearby) (13 pages)
  • Star Trek Trivia: Operation—Annihilate (1 page)
  • To Say Goodbye by Linda McInnis (After the loss of Spock and McCoy, Kirk takes a long vacation) (26 pages)
  • First Season Production Staff by Don Harden (article)

Issue 10

cover of issue #10

Stardate 10 was published in May 1981 and is 52 pages long. Randall Landers, editor

  • Homecoming by Rick Endres (Spock is in pon farr after the V'ger encounter. And there is no T'Pring. Who will he mate with or will he die?) (19 pages)
  • The Starfleet Manual—The Warp Drive and Other Hyperlight Technologies In Star Trek Part III: Some Possible Velocity Formulae (Article) (2 pages)
  • The Once and Future Kirk by Rick Endres (Retirement for Kirk) (16 pages)
  • The Original Episode titles by Randall Landers with Don Harden and Dave Eversole
  • some poems, including 'Edith' and 'Something That Happened Long Ago' by Donna C. Clark
  • A View from the Helmsman Position by Pamela Rose (a very short story, an AU of sorts, where Sulu speaks out on a variety of topics)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 10

This is a comparatively short zine with a basic action/adventure format. The two major pieces of fiction are short stories by Rick Endres… In the first story, ‘Homecoming,’ the run-in with V’ger has caused Spock’s biochemistry to go awry, prematurely bringing on pon farr. Knowing that there will be now one awaiting him this time, he returns home to die. He does not tell Kirk or McCoy, of course. After visiting his family one last time, he makes his way to a cave in the desert that had been something of a sanctuary to him as a child. There, just as madness is about to claim him, he receives an unexpected visitor. The only thing I find questionable in this story is the visitor’s motives in seeking Spock out. In my opinion, this character would not have reacted in such a way… The story is nicely put together, cohesive, and written in a concise, straightforward style that makes for smooth reading… The same can be said for the other short story, ‘The Once and Future Kirk.’ This one opens up on Kirk’s seventy-fifth birthday, it is also his last day as commander of the U.S.S. Enterprise. But before he can get to his own retirement ceremony, he comes upon trouble in the form of a Priority One distress call from the U.S.S. Procyon…. This story will surprise you. There are a couple of twists … as is characteristic of Endres’ writing, the story moves along quickly and is tightly constructed…. On the whole, quite readable and highly enjoyable. The artwork in this zine is quite satisfactory to not quite adequate. The poems are not too bad… I conclude by saying that Stardate is one neat little zine which elicited from me something akin to nostalgia. The format, embracing anything from serious short story to trivia to poetry to cartoons with an emphasis on action/adventure is reminiscent of the type of fanzine being produced when fanfic was still young. The same enthusiasm is still there but whereas the early zines were sometimes faltering and awkward, Stardate is polished and confidant, the culmination of this particular genre. [8]
Stardate is a zine of new and burgeoning writers, and it shows. But that, in itself, is not necessarily bad. In this zine's LoCs I found an overwhelming sense of comraderie and support, of nurturing and reproof. It was refreshing to see in a fandom that all too often shows its remoulding tendencies by first severing the head. The main part of Stardate 10 is composed of two stories by Rick Endres. "Homecoming," in which Spock comes home to die in Pon Farr having no one to mate with, becomes interesting when the lady Romulan Commander, unknowing of his condition, but having heard of Spock's experiences with V'ger, decides to track him down to re-state her case for defection to the Romulan Empire. "The Once and Future Kirk" has Kirk affected by an alien stone and forced to relive, or maybe a better word would be pre-live, his mandatory retirement. Aside from a literary ploy of sequence that is attempted and does not work, it is by far the better of the two pieces. Mr. Endres knows how to do all of it right — unfortunately, he does not use this knowledge all of the time, nor all in one story. There is a fine line of know-how between falling short and being good. Some authors never make it to the far side of that line; Mr. Endres is teetering on the edge. Whether he will continue to teeter, dipping in and out of some very good and some very mediocre writing, or will reach the other side, remains to be seen. Because there is a Stardate, we will have the opportunity to watch, and maybe the opportunity to see something special. There is also in the zine some pleasant but unspectacular poetry, Trek trivia, complementary zine listings, ads for previous issues of Stardate and an editorial by Linda Mclnnis. An article by Tim Farley on Warp Drive from Star-fleet's Technical Manual looked properly menacing, complete with mathematical formulae in equations. So menacing did it look, that I have to admit, I did not tackle it. Several things that were very good in Stardate 10 were the review of Nome 4 by Debbie Bryant, a very funny Trek cartoon feature by Don Harden and a short, first person ditty by Pamela Rose called "A View from the Helmsman Position." The latter was a ribtickler, and very much in the character of Sulu. All in all, Stardate fills a needed position. It is basically a labor of love — labor in the sense of new birth, to be looked on, encouraged, and perhaps, in the course of time and maturity of talent to be recognized as the beginnings of real quality. [9]

Issue 11

cover of #11

Stardate 11 was published in 1981 and contains 60 pages. Randall Landers, editor. It contains 57 pages and is a novel called "Shattered Mirror."

  • Shattered Mirror (STTMP story of first getting the Enterprise back, but with a twist—the mirror crew) (50 pages)
  • LoC's
  • movie trivia
  • complimentary zine listings
  • a zine auction
  • an Episode Poll
  • Analysis by Randy Landers and Don Harden
  • a review of Saurian Brandy Digest #27 by Debbie Bryant

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 11

Issue #11 of Stardate is mainly comprised of a novella by Rick Endres entitled Shattered Mirror. It is not his best work. A talented but very inconsistent young writer, this effort reveals a story heavy in marred dialogue, incomplete characterizations, and violence and sex at the expense of character relationships.

The story line was a good one: In a mirror universe that has some parallels to the events of the movie, Kirk gets back an Enterprise that was almost tricked away from him and asks for Spock as his First Officer. (Spock, having seen the value of "our" Kirk's words, is in a prison for treason to the Empire) Spock is released at Kirk's request and to Kirk's responsibility, having supposedly been "re-habilitated" to Empire standards. The rest of the story involves Spock's secret workings to lead the ISS ENTERPRISE into the hands of the Klingon Confederacy as a means to weaken the Empire and quicken its fall.

Rick's assumption that in a mirror universe the Klingons would be the good guys was intriguing as was the scene between a supposedly reformed Spock and his releasing warden. Also of interest was the interaction between Spock and Xon, a young Vulcan officer who wisely sees the value of Spock's goal.

Unfortunately, the storyline is buried beneath the attempt to show us how mean and nasty the Empire really is. The possibilities of showing us a Spock that was neither "our" Spock nor the Spock seen on "Mirror, Mirror", but an emerging individual, the chances to see in depth, what each of the characters really were, fell by the wayside in favor of lurid descriptiveness. This novella is not worthy of Mr. Endres talents.

The author's own art illoed the novella showing much improvement from the last issue. There were several good Kirks as well as a fine Sulu illo.

Also in this zine is a cover by Tim Farley, LoC's, movie trivia, complimentary zine listings, a zine auction, an Episode Poll and Analysis by Randy Landers and Don Harden, and a review of Saurian Brandy Digest #27 by Debbie Bryant. [10]

Issue 12

cover of issue #12 by Vel Jaeger.
Vel comments on this art: "You have to blow it up to close to the 8 1/2" X 11" size to make it out, but the phrase 'Get Well Scotty' [referring to the actor's recent surgery] is on the right side sleeve of the arm (image's left side) hidden in the folds of the uniform. I don't have Hirchenfeld's talent, but I don't have a problem with borrowing his ideas. Also, the lettering is from a class project I did, for which I had to create an alphabet. I named this one "Costa Mesa," for a ritzy, exclusive neighborhood south of us, where Gene Roddenberry was building a house. Amazing, isn't it, how much detail one can squeeze into a small drawing. All part of the fun!" [11]

Stardate 12 was published in August 1981. Randall Landers, editor. It contains 56 pages.

  • To Weather A Storm, a story by Jody Crouse (16 pages) (Kirk and McCoy must locate Spock who has been taken from the bridge by an alien transporter. But why has the Vulcan been kidnapped?)
  • Star Trek: The Fandom (an article defining exactly what ST fandom is.) (2 pages)
  • Only The Sound Remains, a story by Linda McInnis (27 pages) (Spock apparently has been beguiled into leaving the Enterprise to join a race of true telepaths. But can he give up James T. Kirk?)
  • The Captain Is Always Right (Cartoon) (1 page)
  • LoCs

Issue 13

cover of issue #13
Star Trip by Don Harden from issue #13
inside art from issue #13, Rick Endres

Stardate 13 was published in December 1981 and contains 88 pages. Rick Endres, editor.

  • From the Editor (2)
  • Of All the LoC (3)
  • ad (6)
  • A Collection Of Lines, a story by Linda McInnis (7) (An alternate communications officer must deal with her husband's promotion to security under Lt. Chekov. With his new job, how can she bear the nights alone?)
  • an ad (18)
  • Star Trek: The Animateds (Part One) An Indepth Analysis Of The Series by Randall Landers (19)
  • Chess Partners, a story by Donna Clark (Lt. Joanna McCoy has been transfered to the Enterprise. But can she bear to be subjected to her father's continual scrutiny?) (25)
  • The Star Trek Myths—Reflections On The Second Season Production Staff by Don Harden (Article) (47)
  • an ad (49)
  • Star Trip by Don Harden (Cartoon) (51)
  • The Star Fleet Manual—The Warp Drive and Other Hyperlight Technologies In Star Trek Part IV by Tim Farley (53)
  • The Human Equation, a story by Rick Endres, illos by Rick Endres (55) (Lt. Xon learns about what makes human beings live and die, and learns about how he will adapt to the Enterprise mainly human crew.) (nominated for a TrekStar Award)
  • an ad (84)
  • Mainviewer, a review by Debbie Bryant (85)
  • zine listings (86)
  • an ad (87)
  • The Last Word, an editorial by Rick Endres (88)

Issue 14

cover of issue #14, Bonnie Reitz

Stardate 14 was published in March 1982. Linda McInnis, editor. It contains 72 pages. It was guest edited by Linda McInnis.

  • No Place Like Home by Rick Endres (Gap-bridging story, set between the end of the five year mission and the start of the new one, explains what was happening during that time with Kirk and Lori Ciani and more. Nudity, mature language and scenes) (26 pages) (Nude illustration of Lori)
  • Easier Said Than Done by Jane Wesenberg (Spock readjusting to emotions after his mind-meld with V’ger. Who can he turn to for help, and who can he turn to for love?) (11 pages)
  • Star Trip (Cartoon) (2 pages)
  • The Star Trek Myths: A Look At The Third Season Production Staff by Don Harden (Article) (7 pages)
  • No Beach To Walk On by Linda McInnis (The walls are closing in on Janice Rand and James Kirk, but how can this be happening aboard their own starship?) (4 pages)
  • The Decision by Donna Clark (Young Spock has to make a choice of career. But how will the decision affect Sarek and Amanda and himself?) (6 pages)
  • The Starfleet Manual: The Warp Drive and Other Hyperlight Technologies In Star Trek Part V: The Impulse Drive and Time Warps (Article) (2 pages)
  • And The Children Shall Sue by Kiel Stuart (A parody of the worst episode of Star Trek. Can Captain Jerk defend himself against charges of child molestation? Can Schmuck?) (8 pages)

Reacations and Reviews: Issue 14

Stardate is definitely an up and coming ST zine with a strong emphasis on action-adventure. Well… usually. This issue seems to be a departure from the regular format, probably due to the editor. In the editorial, Ms. McInnis tells us that the regular editor, Mr. Landers, called her up and basically suckered her into editing the zine. Poor way to run a zine if you ask me… The lead-off story is by Stardate’s usually fantastic assistant editor, Rick Endres, and it is entitled, ‘No Place Like Home.’ This story is one of the best pieces I’ve read to explain what was Kirk up to between the television series and ST:TMP. I really enjoyed the interplay between the characters, and instead of boring us with a lot of details, Endres used several scenes of dialogue to provide the information we needed to know, rather than boring narrative. Well done, Mr. Endres! Unfortunately, the next story ‘Easier Said than Done’ is not up to this level of quality. Characterization rape should be made a felony in my opinion, and this author should get the maximum sentence for her portrayal of Mr. Spock. Why is he such a cry-baby in this story? Maudlin and definitely not a good story. I know that this was her first effort, but I hope she realizes she has a long way to go before she can achieve the kind of quality that fans deserve. ‘No Beach to Walk On’ is a little nightmare by the editor. Actually, it’s quite nice, and Kirk is nicely dealt with. A little short, but I wouldn’t have wanted it to be much longer. ‘The Decision’ is the old story we’ve seen before, and this author tell it in a rather boring way. She seems to have the same ideas as several other writers who have treated the concept much better, but one can tell she hasn’t read much fan fiction herself. ‘And the Children Shall Sue’ is a delightful parody of what I think has to be one of the most wretched stories ever filmed for television. The author did an excellent job here… Priceless. Artwork for this issue is a mix of mediocre to fantastic. There is a fantastic art portfolio by Bobbie Hawkins, and the xerox printing method employed did a decent job copying a lot of black tones. Rick Endres has one nude, a little out of proportion, but she’s not as well-endowed as some of his nude females have been. Not particularly offensive, but not particularly necessary either… his Kirks are great, though. I wish he’d do more of them and less of the bare-chested females. Bonnie Reitz has an excellent front cover of Sulu. The poetry is mediocre with the exception of McInnis’ untitled piece which captures the Arthurian tradition as ST embodies it. Very nice. Articles are there for those of you who read them as well. A modest buy, not high on a list of priority. It’d give this issue a 77-78 for its quality. [12]

Issue 15

cover of issue #15, Evallou "ERIC" Richardson
interior page from issue #15, Don Harden

Stardate 15 was published in April 1982 and is 118 pages long. Randall Landers, editor. Art is by Rick Endres, SKD, Don Harden, Bonnie Reitz, Gennie Summers, Bobbie Hawkins, Donna C. Clark, and Evallou "ERIC" Richardson.

  • Masks by Bonnie Reitz (26 pages) (A post ST:TMP action-packed mystery. A group of aliens, a religious artifact, a Romulan peace envoy, and a murderous entity are all present.)
  • Star Trip by Don Harden (6 pages)
  • Dream for Help by Sgt. Stephen W. Clark and Donna C. Clark (siblings) (11 pages) (This story has Kirk haunted by dreams of a young woman. Post St:TMP and very much like 'One Step Beyond.")
  • Spectres Within The Shadows by Randall Landers (8 pages) (Kirk and company encounter Orions on a mission of destruction. Unfortunately, Mr. Spock and McCoy are found dead in a turbolift. Or are they?)
  • Incident On Xantharus by Rick Endres (Captain Pike and his crew deliver a new secret weapon (known as a 'phaser') to Starfleet, but unfortunately those nasty Orions pop up again.)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 15

STARDATE #15, like all other STARDATEs, is a joy to read. Each issue in the past is filled with high quality action-adventure stories and this issue was certainly no exception. The star of STARDATE is generally its assistant editor, Rick Endres, but this issue had several contributors which were deserved of high praise.

The first and best story to be considered is Bonnie Reitz's "Masks." Ms. Reitz's works are always high quality, and so is this one! It's an action-filled mystery, perplexing and confusing to Kirk. And there are several red herrings thrown in to keep the reader (and Kirk) guessing as to the identity of the mystery killer aboard the Enterprise during one of those ever-so-popular diplomatic missions. Top notch science fiction in a Star Trek setting is always a pleasant surprise.

The next story is by Sgt. Stephen W. Clark and his sister, Donna, and is their first joint effort. The story is not bad, but definitely forgettable. The following story by the editor, "Spectres Within the Shadows," is another such piece. Humorous, but somewhat forgettable. Still, the clarity of Mr. Landers' zine makes up for his fair-to-middlin' fiction.

The poetry is definitely not spectacular. Good to mediocre at best. The artwork is fair to fantastic, the best pieces being done by Bonnie Reitz, Rick Endres, and Bobbie Hawkins.

The last issue in the story is extremely good. "Incident on Xantharus" is by Rick Endres. It is a totally engrossing tale of Captain Pike's Enterprise. The plot is very complex, spellbinding, and very enjoyable to read. The only reason that Ms. Reitz's piece is better is because of the descriptiveness of Mr. Endres' work. Mr. Endres is very good at writing, and often the luridness of the story makes one queasy. Readers who wade through the graphic violence and scenes of humiliation will be entertained by the many twists and surprises Mr. Enders has in store for the readers. The ending of the story is quite unexpected, and is one that evokes sheer horror in the readers while reminding one that the Federation isn't always right. 'Definitely a good buy, this STARDATE gets a 89-90 for its quality. Very recommended. [13]

Issue 16

cover of issue #16

Stardate 16 was published in October 1982. Art by Bev Clark, Ann Crouch, Rick Endres, Don Harden, Bonnie Reitz, and Sherry Veltkamp. Poetry by Demetri and Sarick.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 16

Stardate 16 is the largest issue the editor has ever put out. I have always enjoyed reading Stardate from its beginning. This issue, like those which have preceded it, is the best yet. The entire zine is one of the best produced I have ever seen. There are a few typos, but excellent typing in general, fantastic art, and it is strip-bound. The only production flaw was the mis-numbering of a few pages… The first piece of fiction, a ‘novel,’ is simply a trilogy of stories with a ‘prologue’ and an ‘epilogue’ attached to it to confuse the reader. These additions, though, are extremely well-written. Both Endres and Landers did nice jobs on them. The first story of the three was by Randall Landers, and it was a little choppy. However, several scenes are very memorable. One in particular involves McCoy and Chapel. For once, the former nurse now a doctor, is handled very intelligently; she is not a wimp! The second story, ‘Assassin in Our Midsts’ is much more polished. It’s a mystery about a Klingon about the Enterprise, and it’s up to Chekov to solve the problem. The surprise is the mature way that the young Russian is handled. Landers has allowed the characters to grow. The third story is quite nice. It is this story in which the Klingon’s point-of-view is explored in detail, and explored well, I might add…To Deny All Truths,’ the Klingons have half of the pages donated to them. The soon-to-be-relieved-of-his-command Kor goes on a rampage, setting a course for Earth, and destroying everything in his way. But the ugly ST:TMP Kh’myr Klingons have other ideas. The solution was quite a twist, and I’m glad to see that things worked out the best for everyone. The artwork for the novel is simply incredible. Rick Endres, Bonnie Reitz and Don Harden all did excellent work. As with Endres’ usual penchant for over-developed nude females, the only ‘nudie’ is well-proportion. Excellent!... ‘Star Trip- The Wrath of Dhon’ is an excellent parody of ST:TWOK. Don Harden did an excellent job with the art, and the dialogue provided by a number of people is simply priceless. The claim that it was based solely on rumors can’t quite be true, I’m sorry to say, because there are indications the authors (or, at least the artist) saw a few publicity trailers. I suppose that does count as ‘rumors’ though since half of the publicity clips I saw were never seen in the film. The humor, though, makes up for it. DELIGHTFUL! ‘Through Time and Tears’ was a first effort story by Terry Shank. An excellent story to say the least, it introduced one of the few non-Mary Sue characters I’ve ever seen in fan fiction. Gaea Stark does have a few Mary Sue tendencies, but overcomes them. She is Amanda’s niece, but is a human who acts Vulcan. Kirk is a little out of character at the end, but the rest of the story does make up for it. I’m looking forward to more of this new talent’s work in future issues of Stardate. The artwork by Endres for this piece was superb. Stark looks a little like Wilma Deering from the television show Buck Rogers, but there are some excellent Kirk and Spock illos here. The rest of the issue contains a review of the Trek novels, poems by Patricia Demetri, a technology article by Tim Farley that makes sense to a non-techno person like myself, a ‘Star Trek Myths’ article by Don Harden in which he talks about the fourth season that could have been, a review of TREKisM at Length #2 by Bryant. All in all, this is a well-rounded, balanced issue, quite well-written, produced, and illustrated, and I’d give it an ‘87’ on a scale o f100. A very good buy, don’t miss it for the Star Trip! [14]

Issue 17

cover of issue #17

Stardate 17 was published in October 1982 and contains 124 pages. Randall Landers, editor, some art by Mel White.

  • A Crystal Clear Problem by Rowena G. Warner (A tale of the adventures of a landing party on an ice-bound world) (14 pages)
  • Brain, Brain, Who's Got Spock's Brain, by Randall Landers, Alex Rosen, Tom Harden, & Don Harden (a parody and spoof of one of Trek’s most infamous episodes) (22 pages)
  • First Best Destinies by Rowena G. Warner (How Kirk and Spock met at the academy) (8 pages)
  • The Black and White Cookie Episode, a poof by Kiel Stuart (spoof) (9 pages)
  • ”Wrath” Reviewed by Kiel Stuart(2 pages)
  • Letter From Home by William Kropfhauser (a letter Scotty wrote home and the response he gets) (2 pages)
  • Star Trek the Motion Picture Satire by Kiel Stuart (spoof) (18 pages)
  • The Presence by Randall Landers (A sequel to “Spectres Within The Shadows”) (12 pages)
  • An Evening With... by Rowena G. Warner (Setting Kirk and Spock on a talk show) (16 pages)
  • The Changes in the Technology of Star Trek by Tim Farley (article) (4 pages)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 17

This issue seems to be a departure from the regular 100% action-adventure format of Stardate in its fiction department. The zine has 50% humor and 50% drama. The production is excellent; pages stapled, clearly typed and reproduced. The front cover is printed on parchment for what I suspect is effect. It really enhances the art work of Don Harden (namely a Cet Eel). ‘A Crystal Clear Problem’ is a nice little Big Three Story, with emphasis on Kirk and Spock. There’s no threat to the Big E or its crew, but, in fact their presence poses a threat for a beautiful ice-bound world. The planet will be terraformed unless they find some sort of life. Apparently, the only animal life constitutes a life-form since these are in abundance. Other than that, Kirk is taught to ice skate by Spock and McCoy. Nice, but not spectacular. ‘The Black and White Cookie Episode’ is a spoof of ‘Let that Be Your Last Battlefield.’ This author also spoofed ST:TMP in this issue. Both are quite funny and thoroughly enjoyable. Ms. Stuart also reviewed ST:TWOK. I note that she mentioned everyone but except Leonard Nimoy. Was this an oversight or an accidental omission by the editor, or an intentional oversight by both? ‘Letter from Home’ is an exchange between Scott and Mary about Peter’s death in ST:TWOK. Nice. The poems for this issue range from decent to fair. Another technology article by Tim Farley is an easy read. ‘First Best Destinies’ is a tale of Kirk and Spock’s first meeting while at the Academy. It is a very enjoyable story, not too long, not too short. This author also wrote ‘An Evening With…’ which is a very funny well-written tale of Kirk and Spock’s visit to a talk show. Quite funny, quite serious. The characters were a little stilted, but I would expect them to be if they were ever on a TV show. ‘The Presence’ is a sequel to a story in issue #15. The first story was amusing, the second one isn’t. It’s an average story at best, and I hope there are no further sequels. The editorial is just an introduction to the staff of Stardate which I had been wanting to see. If you aren’t interested in that sort of thing, then you’ll find it incredibly boring. ‘Brain, Brain, Who’s Got Spock’s Brain?’ is by a plethora of writers, and is one of the funniest spoofs I’ve seen in a long time. Mel White did the artwork for it, and it’s priceless. Mel also did the artwork for ‘An Evening With…’ All in all, I would give this issue an 82 for its overall quality. Worth the price for fiction by Warner and the spoofs, but not up to par set by the last issue. [15]

Issue 18

Stardate 18 was published in March 1983 and contains 98 pages. Randall Landers, editor. It contains a 13-page art portfolio.

cover of issue #18

Issue 19

cover of issue #19

Stardate 19 was published in September 1983 and contains about 150 pages. Randall Landers, editor

  • fiction by Marracino, Bonnie Reitz, Warner
  • satire by Stuart
  • poetry by Demetri, Oakes, Warner
  • artwork by Farley, Nancy Gervais, Don Harden and others

Issue 20

cover of issue #20

Stardate 20 was published in January 1984 and is 110 pages long. Randall Landers, editor

Reactions and Reviews:Issue 20

There's a certain attractively streamlined look and feel to STARDATE, and also a definite sense that its creators took extreme care with everything, or at least with the technical aspects, tho I'd recommend a new team of proofreaders. This zine is that rare animal of a ST zine produced by MALE fans, and has a strong emphasis on action/adventure, scientific integrity, and humor. It is eminently successful with the first two. Its success with the latter is only partial. The first thing you notice About thish is the exquisite cover by Pat Kilner of the Romulan Commander from "Balance of Terror. Admittedly, I am very partial to this character and Kilner's brooding, detailed style exudes strong depth and emotion. Then, too, there is the attractive parchment-like paper used for the covers which enhances the cover's beauty. After an unevenly interesting lettercol], there is the first of the zine's four major offerings,'Victory' by Mark C. Henrie, an effectively engrossing story set during Kirk and Spock's academy days. Both are apparently cadets in the same class, About to embark on a grueling race called the Antares Two Mllion, wherein six cadet-built ships pass through "12 'gates' on the way to the finish line of standard orbit around Antares Nine." Each ship has two crewmembers and Spock and Kirk are each in command of their own vessels, along with their co-commanders, an Andorian male (for Kirk) and a human female (for Spock). Written in a clear, precise style, the story immediately involves you in the dangers of the race, focusing on the two lost likely winners, Kirk and Spock. The presentation of the scientific aspects is remarkably clear and not at all distracting, but an integral part of the story. The characterizations are quite good and Spock's dialogue is excellent. This is a very well-developed and plotted story, tho a few character scenes seem to be a bit forced and hurried, as when Kirk's Andorian partner discusses the differences of his culture to him in a quick, textbook-like manner. Generally, tho, the story succeeds well on action. The only real doubt I have is whether Starfleet would need to put these cadets through such a dangerous race, exposing them to burn up by a star or by a possible entry into a gas giant's atmosphere. Does West Point or Annapolis put its cadets through similar tests? "Interlude" by Rowena Warner has a fine message about friendship and a refreshing rare argument between Kirk and Spock. It's one long scene between the two (who are later joined by McCoy), set between TMP and WOK, in Spock's quarters. Both are trying to persuade each other to take command of a new ship, Theodus, convinced that the other is unhappy with his job (Kirk is back at his desk and Spock is teaching at Fleet Acade.y), yet both lash out at each other, shouting they are indeed happy with their position, at least for now. The argument goes round in circles, delving perceptively into their thoughts, and foreshadows Starfleet's use of the Enterprise as a training vessel in WOK (and, not incidentally, its concept for the Big E, as shown in the newly released SFS) Finally, McCoy enters and straightens the misunderstanding out, intelligently explaining what transpired psychologically with the Enterprise crew after the 5 year mission. The problem in this piece is that there aren't enough breaks between the dialogue and Kirk is too wild and emotional, which tends to lessen the impact of the deeply complex feelings present in the scene. Still, the story is definitely worth reading because it serves to bridge the strange and wide emotional/psychological gap between the series and the filIm. It also helps a more cynical fan of the film like myself put the critical character developments that must have occurred between the series and the films (and between TMP and WOK) into perspective, something the films and their novelizatins failed to explain coherently. [16]

Issue 21

cover of issue #21
inside page from issue #21

Stardate 21 was published in June 1984 and contains 101 pages. Randall Landers, editor.

From Boldly Writing: "There was a letters section in the front of the fanzine. This is notable because the tradition of having a letters column in a fiction fanzine was nearly extinct by this time, and Stardate was one of the few fanzines that still had one. The most notable entry of the issue was the story "Salt" by Linda McInnis Goodman. This story dealt with the events leading up to Kirk meeting Carol Marcus, and continuing through the birth of their son David and their eventual separation."

  • From the Editor (2)
  • Of All the LoC (4)
  • Serenidad, The Cost of Freedom, story by Rick Endres (8)
  • Seventy Percent Discount, vignette by Adela Peterson (25)
  • To Coin a Phrase, a vignette by Randall Landers (27)
  • No Margin for Error, story by Linda Goodman (29)
  • Klingonese, poem by loan sloane delerius (32)
  • Reflections of Two Romulans , poem by Mikki Reynard (33)
  • Peregrine, poem by Gloria DeLeon (34)
  • Remembrances, poem by Cathy Palmer (34)
  • Encounter, a vignette by Esther Lemay (35)
  • Child of the Enterprise, story by Regenia Marracino (39)
  • His Was the Most Human, a vignette by Rick Endres (67)
  • Salt, story by Linda Goodman (71)
  • Star Trip: Improvise a la Carte, written by Becky Franklin, Randy Landers, Kevin Morgan and David Newton (89)
  • Mainviewer, reviews of "Sapreidon 1" and "From Hell's Heart" (95)

External Links


  1. note on the Orion Press zine list page explaining the name change.
  2. Issue #13 of the zine "Stardate" in 1982 was listed in an ad in Riders to the Stars #1 as being published by "Stardate Press."
  3. this is very debatable
  4. Orion Press, accessed 12.7.2010
  5. from Sensor Readings #1
  6. from his LoC in Comlink #37
  7. from Treklink #10
  8. from Datazine #16
  9. from Universal Translator #11
  10. review by Beth Carlson in The Clipper Trade Ship #33/34
  11. from personal correspondence with Mrs. Potato Head in December 2011
  12. from Datazine #24
  13. by Tony Z in The Clipper Trade Ship #44/45
  14. from Datazine #24
  15. from Datazine #24
  16. from Datazine #33