Stardate (Star Trek news zine)

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Zine
Title: Stardate
Publisher: Sacramento Valley S.T.A.R.
Editor(s): Terry Whittier (issues #1-#11), ? (#12-#14), Kenneth W. Montgomery (#15-#19)
Type: newsletter
Date(s): 1972-1978
Frequency:
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
letter (1974?) to fan regarding future issues

Stardate has the subtitle: "The Fan-Produced Star Trek News Magazine." The newsletters are packed with letters/opinion/editorials, fanzine reviews, book reviews, Star Trek & SF & convention & club & NASA news, trivia, humor, artwork, ads, etc.

Its Publisher

It was published by the Sacramento Valley Chapter of S.T.A.R. (the Star Trek Association for Revival). S.T.A.R. was formed in 1972 and published its own national newsletter Star-Borne. It eventually disbanded in 1974, however a few local chapters were still active years later, including the Sacramento Valley chapter that published this fanzine.

General Reviews

One 1976 Exchange

This review was printed in The Neutral Zone #4 in July 1976.

A fanzine which looks like it's headed in the right direction. The zine is an extremely mature publication, and it is edited by Terry Whittier. The zine is about 8 1/2 inches by 5 1/2 inches. Considering it's [sic] price, I would say that it's well worth it. The content of the zine focuses on current happenings. The first section called "Star Trek news," tells about the latest in the Star Trek world. The news is not a bunch of "Trekkie gossip," wither. The next part, called club news is sort of an "in" thing discussing the general minutes of recent S.T.A.R. meetings. Local news (next section) follows along that same line. After that, a section on nationwide CONS, and a section called MISC. The section focuses on up-to-the-minute news. The rest of the zine is devoted to discussions, ads, and a zine listing column. (Much like our zine review column). An overall good zine. Not loaded with pics, but very informative. We suggest this zine highly. [1]
In November of that year, "Stardate" published returned the favor and wasn't nearly so kind in their review of "The Neutral Zone", writing that:
This has to be preserved as a monument to the spirit of amateurishness and naiveté. The articles are usually one per issue, double spaced, and lacking in any content. The artwork looks like poorly reproduced pencil. Paste-ups are covered with finger printy scotch tape. Pages are printed only on one side however, it is typed - though the amount of print (aside from a couple of reprints from flyers) would cover less than an ordinary page of SD. I'm sure that who ever put this our either never saw a (good) fanzine before, (and hasn't bothered to, yet) or is somewhere around the age of 8 years old, Not that I'm slamming it, however, all sincere efforts are to be cherished.

1976

STARDATE is the official newsletter of STAR/Sacramento --"The largest STAR chapter in the country." The newsletter is handsomely done, good to excellent art and very readable type. It usually contains the usual club chatter about '"Nobody wants to do any work" but often Terry runs very interesting editorials and articles. One in the February [2] issue about "Fan Editor's Etiquette" touched upon several facets of editors' behavior and procedures that needed illumination. He drew heavily from the sf faneds tradition, but nonetheless it was an interesting article. It does not contain a super abundance of news, but as a large circulation newsletter, does contain several features--enough that each issue would have something for everyone. Content...3; graphics... 4. [3]

Its Editor Steps Down

Dear Member, As you might have noticed the appearance of STARDATE has changed. Unfortunately, due to irreconcilable difficulties, which would lead to a lower standard of creditability for STARDATE and legal complications for S.T.A.R., Terry Whittier, is no longer STARDATE editor. However, we would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Terry Whittier for developing STARDATE into the fine magazine that all S.T.A.R. members can be proud of. We hope in the future to maintain and exceed this high standard. Thank you very much, SACRAMENTO VALLEY S.T.A.R. Board of Directors. [4]

A Zine That Appeared to Have a Number of Financial and Leadership Challenges

from issue #9, just one of the statements regarding political internal strife

Regarding issue #7:

An interesting aside: as per a letter to a fan, the club did not anticipate publishing any issues after #7. From image below:

Arthur F. (illegible)

(illegible), Rhode Island.

I am sorry to report that we no longer have Stardate #7 available. So as a refund we are returning you three of the .13 cent stamps you have sent to cover the postage. Also, we do not anticipate further issues of our fanzine Stardate to come out. Therefore we are sending you issues numbered one, two, three and five to fulfill your order. We hope this is satisfactory. If it is not please inform us and we will be glad to refund you your money.

Kim (illegible), Secretary, The Valley S.T.A.R.

PS. We found an Stardate #7 today and have enclosed it instead of the .13 cent stamps.

In issue #10, from an open letter which was enclosed:

As of June 18, the Executive Council of S.T.A.R. Sacramento has gone through a drastic change.

In a chaotic general meeting held on June 18 at the Hiram Johnson High School auditorium, a vote of confidence was called on the entire Executive Council, resulting in the removal of Andy McLean as President and Kathy Wendt as Secretary, with the resignation of ^lark MacDonald from the Treasurer's spot. The new line up is: [list of nine names and club titles].

There has been a general feeling for some time that our club was deteriorating because of the increasing politics and personal grudges among the people of the Executive Council and others who were on the fringes of the Council. It was suggested this meeting that a starting over was needed in the club, beginning with a vote of confidence on and re-election of the governing body of S.T.A.R. Sacramento. And thus it was

With our new Council, it is hoped th at things will improvegreatly. There are a lot of loose ends to tie up, and all help will be appreciated. Too, as this is a new beginning of a sort, greater membership involvement is encouraged. If you have any ideas for activities we can do, projects, suggestions, please send them to: [address redacted]

In issue #11, an enclosed letter:

Dear member: Since the last newsletter was sent out, Sacramento Valley S.T.A.R. has run into debt over its convention that was held November 13, 1976. From about that date to January 14, S.T.A.R. had no president, secretary or treasurer. Many thought that it would be best to dissolve the club. Some disagreed and are currently trying to inject new life into it. We feel committed to print at least one last newsletter, telling what happened and how, but if you want to see Stardate return to the format and quality that it has had this past year, we need your help, A meeting is scheduled for February 18, 1976, 7:30 P.M. at American River College in Sacramento. We hope attendance will be large - so we can start over and rebuild S.T.A.R. Elections for several council positions will probably be held. We need candidates, people who are willing to put a little time not it. We also need people to help with things such as the newsletter, fundraising projects and fan activities. We cannot realize our full potential unless people get involved. If you cannot make it to the meeting, send us a letter giving your opinion and maybe some ideas. As a closing note, if you know any members who may have gotten their newsletter two or three weeks before you, assure them that S.T.A.R. is not dead like their newsletter might have reported. We plan to send something out by early March telling of the next meeting plus a bunch of neat gossip. P.S. The payment of our debts is coming along very nicely
In issue #12, the president writes of the financial loss of, Star Con, the convention the fan club sponsored:
By the time of the October meeting of the club it had become apparent to most of the former Council members that Starcon was on a collision course with bankruptcy. At that time Andy McLean and I went before the membership and recommended that they postpone the convention. Needless to say we were ignored— Starcon 76 was held on November 13 with approximately 1,500 people in attendence. The result was a loss of about $8,000 and the resignation of the newly elected President, newly elected Secretary, and the re-elected Treasurer. From November 13, 1976 to January 14, 1977 the club was virtually non-existent. At the January 14 meeting a new President, myself, Secretary, Kim Fulton, and new Treasurer, Andy McLean, as well as a new represenative, Betsy Ito were elected. In the period following: The outstanding debts of the club have been reduced from $1,800 to under $4000, and the newsletter—thanks to Terry Whittier, one of the people whom did not resign—has begun to function again. It is my belief that the club can continue, however, we need your support and help. At our next meeting, March 11, we will be holding elections for all positions. We need you there to participate— both to run for offices and to vote. I hope that with this explanation you can understand the delays in the answering of mail and the sending of materials. Thank you for your continued support, we can't do it with out you. [5]

Issue 1

Stardate 1 was published in 1972.

Issue 2

Stardate 2

Issue 3

Stardate 3

Issue 4

Stardate 4

Issue 5

Stardate 5 The print-run was 1000 copies.

Issue 6

Stardate 6. The print-run was 1000 copies.

Issue 7

Stardate 7 was published in January 1976 and contains 14 pages. The print-run was 1200 copies.

cover of issue #7
  • Sci-Fi Introduction by T. Whittier
  • Fanzine Etiquette by T. Whittier
  • other unknown content


Issue 8

Stardate 8 was published in April 1976 and contains 30 pages. The print-run was 1500 copies.

cover of issue #8
  • Colophon (1)
  • Table of Contents (2)
  • Star Trek News (3)
  • Club News (4)
  • Local News (5)
  • Conventions (5)
  • Miscellaneous (6)
  • Not-a-Star Trek Trivia Contest (7)
  • What They Say About STARDATE (8)
  • Starship Grapevine, editorial (9)
  • Fanzine Reviews (13)
  • a review of Sol Plus #2, see that page
  • a review of Interphase v.3 now 5-7, see that page
  • a review of Bellerophon v.2 n.1, see that page
  • a review of Star Base Log, v.1 n.8
  • a review of Trekin v.2 n.14 (Americans for Star Trek, 1977, the newsletter of S.T.A.R. Base 37, a fan club in San Jose, CA
  • a review of Trek #4, see that page
  • a review of Probe #5, see that page
  • a review of Spectrum #23, see that page
  • a review of Phaser #2, see that page
  • a review of Star Trek This Month v.6 n.5, see that page
  • a review of Star Trek Adventure, see that page
  • a review of Klingon Empire Appointment Calendar, see that page
  • a review of Menagerie #7 and #8, see that page
  • a review of Compass, #6
  • Letters of Comment (25)
  • Ad Rates (30)
  • the editor apologizes for some poor zine reviews:
    I've been writing the fanzine reviews for this issue and
 the last issue. Last issue I blew it through lack of experience
plus pressure of an upcoming deadline and lack of space, I
wanted to get at least a mention of the fanzines I'd received,
but didn't have space to do much of a treatment — I ended up with some lousy looking reviews. Too, I offended some people by some of the things I said in the fanzine review section. My "review" of HALKAN COUNCIL and SPECTitUM were unfair and I apologize to those concerned. The wording of the intro to the section was not good, and I used indelicate phrasing in my review of ST This Month. We learn from our mistakes, however. At least I do. I've grown and matured with these unfortunate boo-boos. There is so much to learn to be a good editor — but that's what I want to be. If I stick ray neck out, and get it chopped, then it's because I'm trying. You can't get anything done if you don't take chances, I guess, *Sigh* So this issue's reviews are much more
r epresentative of the way I've wanted them to be, and will be
in the future. I hope you like them.
  • from a long letter by M.L. Fisher, the editor of Spectrum, in response to a letter the editor of this zine sent him regarding zine reviews and how to do them correctly:
    You have to decide what type of zines you review, too. I will review mainly faanish sines, done by people who know their stuff, who put out a good zine or one that has something to offer, or maybe one with potential. In general, club newsletters don't make the grade since a lot of club leaders aren't really involved with fandom and other zines. To do a good zine you have to be an avid buyer and collector of zines yourself and the vast, vast majority of all Star Trek fans simply do not have the contacts or tiie desire to get that deeply into fandom. There are exceptional cases though, such as "That Which Survives" which got reviewed in issue #23 of SPECTRUM That is an exceptional newsletter, mainly because the gal who runs the club receives tutelage in fandom from a lot of sources and she's a real zine maniac, so she's learning how to really do a zine of her own. Zines that are pure horse____ when it comes to quality are a waste of time to review, even if you want to fill space. That's why I thought it was an intelligent move en my part to use quotes in SPECTRUM-1. They are nice for filling up a few lines and they actually add comment and substance to the zine rather than resorting to including reviews of junk. The one exception I'll make is if a crappy zine is getting hyped around fandom and more people are buying than there should be. In this case I will try to do a nice objective review of it but make it perfectly clear that it doesn't have any merits and good money can be spent elsewhere for better return. (When I refer to a crappy zine here I'm discussing one that is beyond a doubt a real turkey, with lousy art and unreadable printing, or incomprehensible or lousy fanfic.)

Issue 9

cover of issue #9

Stardate 9 was published in June 1976 and contains 24 pages. The print run for this issue was 1500.

From this issue, regarding a change in leadership of the fan club which issued this zine:
As of June 18, the Executive Council of S.T.A.R. Sacramento has gone through a drastic change.

In a chaotic general meeting held on June 18 at the Hiram Johnson High School auditorium, a vote of confidence was called on the entire Executive Council, resulting in the removal of Andy McLean as President and Kathy Wendt as Secretary, with the resignation of ^lark MacDonald from the Treasurer's spot. The new line up is: [list of nine names and club titles].

There has been a general feeling for some time that our club was deteriorating because of the increasing politics and personal grudges among the people of the Executive Council and others who were on the fringes of the Council. It was suggested this meeting that a starting over was needed in the club, beginning with a vote of confidence on and re-election of the governing body of S.T.A.R. Sacramento. And thus it was

With our new Council, it is hoped th at things will improvegreatly. There are a lot of loose ends to tie up, and all help will be appreciated. Too, as this is a new beginning of a sort, greater membership involvement is encouraged. If you have any ideas for activities we can do, projects, suggestions, please send them to: [address redacted]
  • there are many letters that speak to the internal political strife this fan club is having
  • Colophon (1)
  • Table of Contents (2)
  • Star Trek News (3)
  • Club News (5)
  • Local News (5)
  • Conventions (5)
  • Miscellaneous (6)
  • Science Fiction books (7)
  • What They Say About STARDATE (8)
  • Starship Grapevine, editorial (9)
  • Fanzine Reviews (11)
  • a review of Chekov's Station, see that page
  • a review of Warped Space #15, see that page
  • a review of Introduction to Star Trek Fanzines, see that page
  • a review of Assignment: Star Trek #2, see that page
  • a review of Viewscreen, see that page
  • a review of STI Communicator
  • a review of Compass v.1 n.10
  • a review of Hartlines, #1, #2, #3, see that page
  • a review of SF Booklog #8
  • a review of Archives Log v.3 now. 2 and 3, see that page
  • a review of S.T.A.R. Base Akron’s Log v.2 n.1, see that page
  • a review of Spectrum v.4 n.3, see that page
  • a review of The Starfleet Handbook #10, see that page
  • a review of Bellerophon v.2 n.2, see that page
  • a review of Subspace Chatter #7, see that page
  • Letters of Comment (18)
  • Ad Rages (22)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 9

This is an unusual little zine in that it serves the function as both a club newsletter for a local organization, and a fanzine directed toward other fans. Just as general rule, local club zines do not make it with mainstream fandom and many times the reverse is true as well. Perhaps part of this ability lies in the printing of 'Stardate.' Although this is done in reduced offset, it is clear and dark (or you could say that if you are familiar with Warped Space's printing, then this is nothing like it.) There are numerous photos and the editor has an excellent grasp of the available transfer lettering, borders, and layout aides. Considering the printing quality -- the price just can't be beat... Inside this issue is a few pages of general ST news, club and local news, cons, and other miscellany. An interesting feature is an introduction of science fiction for Star Trek fans. More often than not, ST groups are so interested in Trek that they fail to consider anything else for their zines, and it's nice to see 'Stardate' is interesting in expanding horizons. There are over a dozen fanzine reviews in thish. A few of the reviews may be a little subjectively oriented, but they are a nice broad selections of zines from all over the entire genre, even fan club journals and SF zines. A lettercol finishes off this issue. The only major gripe is the amount of filler material inside. There are three full-page ads, the tale of contents and colophon take up two full pages, as does the page with ad rates and one odd page titled 'What They Say About STARDATE,' which is seven complimentary letters from fans... self-bqckpetting? There is also a section called 'Starship Grapevine' which is nothing more than a rambling editor's page. If you can stand all this extraneous material, you'll find yourself a very nice zine indeed... It is great for the average fan, and the price should be right for anyone. [6]

Issue 10

cover of issue #10

Stardate 10 was published in August 1976, contains 51 pages, and was edited by Terry Whittier. It has the subtitle: "Special Star Trek Anniversary Issue." The print run for this issue was 2000.

inside page from issue #10
inside page from issue #10
  • How to Calculate Star Dates by J. Broadbent
  • Nichelle in Chicago (speech) by N. Nichols
  • Letter From NASA
  • Fan Info Sheet by B. Trimble
  • How to Write an Effective Letter by Bjo Trimble
  • Why Star Trek? by Leslie Fish


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 10

I wish to compliment you on the choice of pictures you use, and the articles your newsletter writes. It is done wonderfully and is worth much more than the measly 25 cents you ask for it. [7]

Issue 11

Stardate 11 was published in November 1976 and contains 29 pages. It was edited by Caroline Long and Don Jarmaillo. 1000 copies of this issue were printed. John McLaughlin is artist of the inside front cover.

cover of issue #11
inside page from issue #11
  • Table of Contents (1)
  • Colophon (2)
  • Star Trek News (3)
  • Club News (5)
  • Shore Leave (6)
  • Starship Grapevine (10)
  • The Future of Star Trek (12)
  • Film Reviews (21)
  • Fanzine Reviews (21)
  • a review of "Clavius" #10
  • a review of The Neutral Zone, see that page
  • a review of Star Trek Today v.2 n.1, see that page
  • a review of Portal #1, see that page
  • a review of All My Crewmen #1, see that page
  • a review of Star Trek Prospers #14, #16, #17, see that page
  • Book Reviews (24) (Spock Messiah!)
  • from an enclosed letter:
    Dear member: Since the last newsletter was sent out, Sacramento Valley S.T.A.R. has run into debt over its convention that was held November 13, 1976. From about that date to January 14, S.T.A.R. had no president, secretary or treasurer. Many thought that it would be best to dissolve the club. Some disagreed and are currently trying to inject new life into it. We feel committed to print at least one last newsletter, telling what happened and how, but if you want to see Stardate return to the format and quality that it has had this past year, we need your help, A meeting is scheduled for February 18, 1976, 7:30 P.M. at American River College in Sacramento. We hope attendance will be large - so we can start over and rebuild S.T.A.R. Elections for several council positions will probably be held. We need candidates, people who are willing to put a little time not it. We also need people to help with things such as the newsletter, fundraising projects and fan activities. We cannot realize our full potential unless people get involved. If you cannot make it to the meeting, send us a letter giving your opinion and maybe some ideas. As a closing note, if you know any members who may have gotten their newsletter two or three weeks before you, assure them that S.T.A.R. is not dead like their newsletter might have reported. We plan to send something out by early March telling of the next meeting plus a bunch of neat gossip. P.S. The payment of our debts is coming along very nicely

Issue 12

Stardate 12 was published in January 1977 and contains 10 pages.

cover of issue #12


Issue 13/14

Stardate 13/14 was published in May 1977 and contains 12 pages.

cover of issue #13/14


Issue 15

Stardate 15 was published in 1977 and contains 22 pages There is some Star Wars content starting with this issue. The editor was Kenneth W. Montgomery.

cover of issue #15


Issue 16

Stardate 16 was published in 1977 and contains 19 pages. The editor was Kenneth W. Montgomery.

cover of issue #16


Issue 17

Stardate 17 was published in 1977 and contains 23 pages. The editor was Kenneth W. Montgomery.

cover of issue #17


Issue 18

Stardate 18 was published in 1978 and contains 15 pages. The editor was Kenneth W. Montgomery.

cover of issue #18


Issue 19

Stardate 19 was published in June 1978 and contains 19 pages. The editor was Kenneth W. Montgomery.

cover of issue #19
inside uncredited art from issue #19
  • book reviews
  • Star Trek News
  • The Star Trek-SF Book Beat, "If You Liked That Episode, You'll Love This Book" (part 5) by Terry Wittier
  • publicity still for Battlestar Galactica
  • The Making of Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Club News
  • Space Science: Shaping Tomorrow Today, an article about the Space Shuttle Program


References

  1. from The Neutral Zone #4
  2. This is issue #7.
  3. review by Sharon Ferraro in Menagerie #9
  4. from issue #11
  5. see the Star Con page for more
  6. from Spectrum #27
  7. from an LoC in issue #11