Stellar Gas

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Title: Stellar Gas
Publisher: Pon Farr Press
Editor(s): Della Van Hise
Date(s): 1979-1980
Medium: print zine
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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Stellar Gas is a gen Star Trek: TOS anthology.

On the front cover of the second issue: "The Finest Star Trek Fiction This Side of Orion!"

Issue 1

front cover of issue #1, Ralph Fowler -- portrays the last scene in Lost in Thought
back cover of issue #1, Jim Kuzee

Stellar Gas 1 was published in 1979 and is 79 pages long. Cover: Ralph Fowler; back cover: Jim Kuzee. Art & illustrations: Ralph Fowler, Cheryl Newsome, Scott Gilbert, Kerry Gammill, Matt Fertig, Craig Sattler, Bev Zuk, Martin Cannon, Jim Kuzee.

This zine features two novellas. "The Gift" by James Van Hise & Christopher Randolph explores one possible reaction to unwanted immortality, as well as the friendship between Kirk and Spock. "Lost in Thought" by Tracey Alexander — an in-depth exploration of after "The Enterprise Incident."

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for Lost in Thought.
See reactions and reviews for The Gift.

[zine]: Art ranges from poor (p. 52,5) to photograph-like flat expressionless drawings.

SG is edited by Jim and Della Van Hise, who also do the semi-pro zine Enterprise Incidents, and has the same slick professional quality. This issue consists of two long stories and several bits of poetry, and if you ever complain of finding the same old plots or no-plots in fanfic, then the sparkling originality of the story lines in "Lost in Thought" and "The Gift" (by Tracey Alexander and Christopher Randolph/Jim Van Hise, respectively [1]), are highly recommended. Imagine a Star Fleet-sponsored mutiny led by Spock, and Kirk a prisoner in his own quarters as part of an elaborate ploy both to save Kirk's life and to avoid Romulan tampering with Earth's past, and you won't be able to put "Thought" down until its unexpected conclusion.

"The Gift" is a curious blend of magic and science, which results in immortality for Kirk and Spock. And that's great, right? But what if they are blown into little bits --- and STILL live horribly. How can McCoy bear it? The interesting solution is a satisfying one, and one I won't give away. To the wide reader of ST zines the whole content of this one has a sexual undercurrent, but so subtle that it is unlikely to give offense to younger readers. I did consider the presence of the two ads for the K*S* zine also done by these publishers to be intrusive, however, since SG has been widely advertised as a G-rated zine. Well worth its cost in entertainment value, at any rate. [2]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2 by Michael Verina
full cover of issue #2
flyer for issue #2, printed in Naked Times #3

Stellar Gas 2 was published in 1980 and is 78 pages long. Art by Michael Verina, Vel Jaeger, Jim Kuzee, Ruth Kurz, and LeE.

  • Editorial (ii)
  • A Thousand Winged Unicorns by Della Van Hise (1)
  • A Price to Be Paid (poem) by Liz Persic (6)
  • Where Two Halves (poem) by Wendy Rathbone (8)
  • A Time to Refrain by Jan Mike (9) ("What if?... What if Kirk hadn't prevented McCoy from saving Edith Keeler? Can he pay the price? And just exactly will that price be?")
  • Edith and Forever (poem) by Wendy Rathbone (12)
  • On Striking a Chord by T'Rhys (13)
  • The Murder of James T. Kirk by Mary A. Smith (17)
  • One Question by Wendy Rathbone (24)
  • Paradise, Are You Listening? by Anthony Cervettes (25) (article, "Have you ever stared at the stars, wondering? And did you ever stop to think that, perhaps, there may be something more to your dreams? And why does the Enterprise seem more like home than "home" at times???"))
  • Not for the Captain's Log by Joyce Tullock (McCoy has done it again. He is separated from the shuttlecraft party with no communicator and knows full well that it will be Spock to rescue him 'for the sheer humiliation of it'. He can just imagine Spock's report to the Captain. Mr. Spock, however, is not that predictable.) (27)
  • Expectations of a Phoenix (poem) by Merlin Thomas (29)
  • Shadows (poem) by Liz Pietrzak (30)
  • Uhura's Alien by Ruth Kurz (32)
  • Idylls of a Gentle Healer by Vel Jaeger (McCoy recalls many of his adventures during the 5 year mission.) (37)
  • Peter by Pamela S. Rose (39) ("Kirk's young nephew, Peter Kirk, is assigned to the Enterprise. But why is he resentful of the assignment? And can he hold up in a crisis situation?")
  • Hold Onto Your Hat! (poem) by Liz Persic (60)
  • Time Cannot Console by Christine Thomson (61) ("An excerpt from the personal log of a Sickbay nurse who happens to be on duty when tragedy strikes Jim Kirk. This vignette details her reactions to the horrifying situation... and explains why Spock is the only logical alternative.")
  • Amanda Est (poem) by Twyla J. Peacock (64)
  • This Side of Paradise (poem) by D. J. Biehl (66)
  • The Language Barrier by Vel Jaeger (67)
  • T'Pring's Dilemma (poem) by Gene S. Delapenia (74)
  • Escape (poem) by Bonnie Guyan (76)
  • Tales My Mother Told Me (Filk) by Della Van Hise (77-78)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

Unknown Date

[zine]: Again, nicely produced, professional-looking zine. This one is full of get 'ems and anguish.
  • A Thousand Winged Unicorns / Written for the cover illo. Having died of injuries from a Klingon attack, Kirk wakes on a pretty planet to find Spock riding over the horizon to him on a winged unicorn. These heaven stories aren't much to my own taste.
  • A Time to Refrain / City on the Edge. Kirk decides to let McCoy save Edith, so that it is McCoy who is run down by the truck and dies slowly of his injuries, and Earth turns to a Nazi-ruled hell. The rest of the crew come down; they form the nucleus of a resistance group, but are killed off one by one. Interesting take.
  • Edith and Forever (poem) / the unfairness of gaining our universe at Edith's expense.
  • On Striking a Chord / A union organizer leads the crew on strike - until the bridge crew court Klingon attack and then go on strike themselves. Cute.
  • The Murder of James T. Kirk / A breast-beater. Spock takes leave on the Shore Leave planet in order to live out atonement for his murder of Kirk in "Amok Time."
  • One Question / Kirk resigns after having saved the ship at the expense of leaving Spock to die.
  • Paradise, Are You Listening? / Musings on fan writing and reality.
  • Not for the Captain's Log / Spock unexpectedly rescues McCoy's dignity when the doctor falls down a ravine, then falls asleep while awaiting rescue.
  • Shadows (poem) / McCoy muses on his third-wheel situation
  • Uhura's Alien / A not-quite-material alien stows away on the Enterprise, leading to charges of kidnapping.
  • Idylls of a Gentle Healer / Something between supposed poetry and prose. Musings on various of McCoy's Enterprise adventures.
  • Peter / Ensign Peter Kirk is feeling sullen and pushed when his uncle requests him for Enterprise, leading to a rift between them. Peter becomes the hero of the day when their rescue party is captured by a madman who believes himself to be Satan, torturing everyone he can find in a ritual of atonement for the planet's long-ago destruction in nuclear war. Kinda trite, but interesting and the characters are nicely drawn.
  • Hold Onto Your Hat! (poem) / Spock considering the dangers of their situation in A Piece of the Action - specifically with regard to Kirk's driving.
  • Time Cannot Console / Spock pulls the plug on brain-dead Kirk, joining him in death through the mind meld. Standard H/C fare. One unusually nice touch is McCoy reciting words from the marriage service at the funeral: What God has joined together..."
  • The Language Barrier / Technical difficulties - the transporter dumping them in a pond instead of near it, the new-fangled U-translators not functioning - force the landing party to get by with pantomimed communication. This was cute, but with some more work it could have been hysterical.
  • Tales My Mother Told Me (Filk) / Teachings of Amanda & Sarek from Spock's pov (with chords). [3]


[zine]: Della Van Hise has once again presented us with a lovely fanzine. SG2 is quite professional in appearance. It is characterized by the fine attention to detail that is typical of Della's zines. Decorative illustrations and borders throughout the zine serve to enhance the stories and poems. The zine also includes 7 actual photographs. These photos are very unusual such as the the one of Shatner/Joan Collins in their 'City' guises. The artwork by Jaeger, Juzee and LeE is liberally distributed throughout the zine. For the color cover by Michael Verina one can only have praise. His Kirk illo is one of the finest he has ever produced; Spock is exotic and the unicorn is lovely. The artwork/photos alone make this zine worth the modest purchase price of $7.40. The written contents are quite good as well. Humor is prominent in both stories and poems such as 'Hold Onto Your Hat,' which deals with Kirk's driving inability and 'On Striking a Chord' which touches on the effects of strikes in space (strikes as in mass transit type). Other themes well treated within SG2 are the problems of starship captains and Edith Keeler. 'The Murder of James T. Kirk' is a well drawn psychological profile of Spock and the aftermath of 'Amok Time.' 'Time Cannot Console' will ring a tear from a heart of stone. 'Tales My Mother Told Me' is a lovely comparison of the logic/illogic Sarek and Amanda presented to Spock. 'A Thousand Winged Unicorns,' however, is not fully developed and hence rather unsatisfying coming from a writer's of Della's ability. It is a tale dealing with the cover illo. Perhaps the most titillating piece is 'Paradise, Are You Listening?' For all who endured the scorn of non-Trek people, he offers a fascinating explanation as to why Trek and especially Trek fanzines are so captivating... SG2 is a very lovely zine in all respects. It will provide the reader with much enjoyment. [4]
[zine]: Della has a zine that is definitely different. Like any innovative or experimental project, there will be times when it will be questioned, not because it is not worthy but because an individual is not familiar with the format. In some respects, my comments must fall into this category. The zine is attractive, the writing is competent. I liked several things, most especially an excellent filk. The colorful cover is from a painting by Michael Verina. The art of the cover is unique, but quite unlike that of most fanzines. In some cases, the photographs are only marginally related to the text. But SG2 is a frustrating read. Of the 11 stories, all are six pages or less except one. Interesting ideas are presented, but not in depth. Several are fragments, written well enough, but not quite vignettes. With an addition 15 pages of poetry, the zine had an unbalanced feel. 'Peter,' the major story, was good, but it can't quite compensate for this. The appearance of the zine was also affected by the computer-type, which I found clear but distracting, especially the commas. Space was used fairly well, but the inclusion of professional produced filler art, mostly floral in theme, gave unity, but at the same time detracted by giving an un-space/SF/Trek atmosphere to the zine. Somehow, the combination of print and the professional elements removed some of the personal feel most fanzines have. In my opinion, the money spent on the color cover and photographs should have been used to give us one more good solid Trek story. However, Della has arranged for distribution through newsstands, and there is no denying that that lovely cover is an excellent selling point. One is left wondering if this is a fanzine, or a semi-pro magazine. Which ever it is, it is interesting! [5]


There are some fanzines you buy because you love the series THAT MUCH. There are some you buy because you know an author, or it hits the cheap pile and looks interesting.

And then there are some you buy simply because the covers are batshit insane and you must own the ridiculousness.

Guess what the reason was for this purchase.

Wrap around cover for Stellar Gas #2, art by Mike Verina. And this one isn’t just random “I wanted to paint Spock on a winged unicorn just because.” It actually illustrates the first story in the ‘zine, A Thousand Winged Unicorns by Della Van Hise. I’m not 100% sure what’s going on in the story, but I think this is Jim Kirk’s afterlife. In which case, this is 10,000% better than the version of it he had in the Nexus in Star Trek: Generations, and I am disappointed we didn’t see this on the big screen.

#Star Trek #The Original Series #vintage fanzines #Really there should be a gallery of awesome fanzine covers somewhere #because this shit is AMAZING [6]


  1. Incorrect: Both Tracey Alexander and Christopher Randolph are pseuds for Della Van Hist.
  2. review by Dixie G. Owen in The Clipper Trade Ship #26
  3. Halliday’s Star Trek Zinedex (TOS) - Title Index, Archived version
  4. from Datazine #12
  5. from Datazine #13
  6. bruinhilda.tumblr