TREKisM at Length

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Zine
Title: TREKisM at Length
Publisher: the Star Trek special interest group of the nationwide club MENSA
Editor(s): Vel Jaeger
Date(s): 1979-1991
Series?:
Medium: print zine
Size:
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

TREKisM at Length is a gen Star Trek: TOS anthology edited by Vel Jaeger. The series collects and reprints content from the long-running newsletter TREKisM.

Art is included on Fanlore with the publisher's permission.

Issue 1

TREKisM at Length 1 was published in 1979 (reprinted with copy edits and the addition of "Footnotes on the Second Edition" in 1985) and contains 52 pages. Its content is short pieces from issues #1-8 of TREKisM plus some original content. The illos are by Henry Roll (cartoons on pages 25 and 47), Vel Jaeger (front and back covers), and LaVena Kay Kidd (everything else).

front cover of issue #1, 1979 edition, Vel Jaeger
front cover of issue #1, the 1985 second edition, Vel Jaeger
back cover of issue #1, Vel Jaeger
The editor's comments from the second edition:
It is quite a humbling experience to look back on work done nearly six years ago, especially so when It becomes painfully obvious that I had forgotten quite a few of the more elementary rules of grammar, not to mention a blind eye to typographical errors. When the original printing of 500 copies sold out, It was our intention to merely "tidy up" the master and simply run off copies In Xerox. But the amount of tidying far exceeded the amount of copy left untouched, and It became simpler to just retype it all — specially since we now have a far more sophisticated machine with an automatic correction system!

Reading back over these 52 pages has been like a trip through a time tunnel, when we beginning Trekkers were full of fresh enthusiasm for anything Involving Trek. And that passage of time has demonstrated how sophisticated fan fiction has become over the years. The temptation to re-edit this material, and even eliminate some items that now seem incredibly naive In retrospect, has been great indeed. On the whole, though, I still feel this has significant contributions to make to our genre, and choose to Ieave our short journey through the Guardian as it was originally travel led.

As of this writing — April, 1985 — our faith in the continuance of Star Trek has been rewarded with a promise of yet another film adventure In STAR TREK IV. When we are all huddled In our shawls, rocking away at the Old Trekkers' Home, I hope to be able to say that every Issue of TREKIsM at Length remaIns vaIabIe still.
  • Strange Trek by LeVena Kay Kidd (4)
  • When the Munchies Hit by Barb Parcells (10)
  • Not the Way to Go by David Buxbaum (11)
  • Classified Communiqué by Catherine Whitehead (reprinted from Antithesis) (12)
  • Little Lady Milque-Toast by Rosemarie Eierman (14)
  • Black Warrior by Barba Parcells (15)
  • Journey to Talos IV by Karen C. Hunter (16)
  • Personalities by Vel Jaeger (20)
  • Just What This Ship Needs... Another Vulcan by Vivian Meltz Bregman (reprinted from Vulcan Irregulars) (22)
  • Mine Can Be No More Worse Than Someone Else's by Rosemarie Eierman (26)
  • Of Women and Of Voyages by Vel Jaeger (27)
  • Insufficient Data!!! by Rosemarie Eierman (28)
  • A Star Trek Bibliography by Vel Jaeger (31)
  • From the Diary of Chai Williams by Barb Parcells (33)
  • Scales of Infinity by Vel Jaeger (34)
  • A Romulan's Revenge by Vel Jaeger (35)
  • Just One of Those Days by Vivian Meltz Bregman (reprinted from Vulcan Irregulars) (36)
  • Ode to a Mass-Produced Klingon by Barb Parcells (43)
  • Just How Fanatic a Fanatic Are You? by Vel Jaeger (44)
  • A Fly in the Ointment by Barb Parcells (45)
  • Trivialities Sector by various SIG members (48)
  • Footnotes on the Second Edition (52)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

The best way to describe TaL is "eclectic." The zine is a compilation of various issues of TREKisM, which is the newsletter of MENSA's Star Trek Special Interest Group. All three issues offer a very mixed bag of fiction, articles, cartoons, poetry, conreps, trivia, etc. By far the best that TaL has to offer are the articles and discussion spots. Number 1 contains a lot of forgettable short pieces of humorous fan fie and poetry, including two stories with a Lt. T'Racy Cane as the main character, a one-quarter Vulcan cousin to Spock, brilliant, brave (she saves Kirk's life, of course), and the target of Kirk's desires, and . . . you get the idea. Much of the humor throughout the zine is pretty uneven, but occasionally effective, as in LaVena Kay Kidd's cartoon strip "Strange Trek," when Kirk and Spock walk into a bar and find various renowned film and TV robots as customers. Kidd's cartoon art is hilarious and skillful. The best piece in thish is unquestionably Rosemarie Eierman's "Insufficient Data" column, a sort of 'Andy Rooney meets ST', wherein Eierman points out various lapses and contradictions in the series and often confronts implications in an episode that probably went unrecognized by the writers/ producers. Eierman writes well and she's of that opinionated breed that makes for such engrossing reading. She had me agreeing and disagreeing vehemently (as in her contention that Starfleet shouldn't allow Chekov and Scotty to express their nationalistic tendencies). Much of the art is rough, though I think that has partially to do with the fuzzy reproduction. Vel Jaeger's nicely dark, contrasting baeover of the Big Three is quite attractive. Kidd has a great cartoon of Nimoy drawing himself up stiffly with a mischievous expression, wearing a T-shirt that has Spock asking "Nimoy who?" The one other piece I found to be particularly effective is another article by Eierman called "Little Lady MilqueToast," wherein she discusses the women of ST. She is wry, perceptive, and admiring ("For I admire them tremendously — they are what I can never be.") Generally though, TaL 1 doesn't quite succeed, but only because some of the contributors were still rough and evolving at the time of its publication. [1]
TREKisM at Length' is a conglomeration in may senses: Print, layout, style, subject, and quality. Out of 108 pages, there are 69 individual listings in the index. Contained therein are Trek-related stories, cartoons, verse, puzzles, reviews of book and movies, LoCs, art, parodies, suppositions about alien cultures and probably eleven other things I haven't mentioned. I found some of the best -- and some of the not so good-- of what I like to read. I also found a lot of things I could have nicely done without. Basically, I enjoy long and psychological dramas and personally had a problem with the shortness of the pieces; but it is only natural for these to be shortcomings from the source of a 16-page bi-monthly publication. I was particularly impressed with Jean Mac Kay Jackson's 'Star Drek,' one of the funniest Trek parodies I've ever had the privilage of reading. Several other humor pieces, though, I failed to get much out of. Also good was Vivian Meltz Bregman's excellent and very real story of a young one-quarter Vulcan relativ of Spock's as a commander and Second Officer of the Enterprise. When the young woman is subjected to the Klingon's mind-sifter, she must travel the long and painful road back to sanity, self-respect before Spock and Vulcan dignity she began with. 'A Mother's Son' is a story of courage, family loyalty, and the tough love we must all exhibit to our loved ones from time to time. Bregman's heroine is someone special... All in all, given the choice, having seen it before hand, I don't know, honestly, if I would have bought TaL2. Probably not, for the pure reason that it is not really what I enjoy reading -- short, light pieces -- and on such a variety of subjects. But the, before I pass on this copy to the next reviewer, there are a few things I'm just going to HAVE to copy... You decide for yourself. [2]

Issue 2

TREKisM at Length 2 was published in 1981 (reprinted a third time with copy edits in March 1986) and contains 112 pages. It is compiled from issues 9-15 of TREKisM. Back cover: Vel Jaeger. Art & illustrations: James R. Moon, Vel Jaeger, Lavena Kay Kidd.

front cover of issue #2, Lavena Kay Kidd
back cover of issue #2, Vel Jaeger

This issue had a long exchange of LoCs between a fan and the author of Captives regarding the K/S premise. See Captives.

[From 1985 ad in Datazine #38]: With Vulcan Noon covers, spiral binding, and 122 pages this time, we're living proof that anyone can learn from their mistakes. Stories which were microminiaturized in the first edition are now printed full-sized. Washburn scandalized everyone's favorite Trek character with "Toodledoo, Mary Sue"; Buxbaum strikes terror with his mad puns in 3 merciless stories; T'Racy Cane's adventures continue in a new story by Bregman. We do have a serious side which can be seen in some non-fiction articles, debates, and rather nice poetry. Our prize feature is another "Strange Trek" by our award-winning artist, LaVena Kay Kidd, guaranteed to insult everyone's intelligence.
[From the editor in the third edition (1986)]: It's all here, folks, everything from the first crowded edition — all that has been purposefully omitted are the most glaring of grammatical errors.— though ! thought I'd never reach the end of some of the microminiaturized pages. Even though five years have passed since I've read much of the material contained herein I'm gratified at how much remains relevant (but only the Preserver in me saved some material from the editorial axe this time around!) In many ways this was a bit of time travel, going back to the appearance of the first ST film and our hopes for the future. A most pleasurable journey it has been, and now I promise to let this poor zine alone — no more changes! LL&P, Vel
  • Editorial Ramblings by Vel Jaeger
  • Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise Go Somewhere Thataway by the Kidds p. 1-8
  • A Star Trek Dick & Jane
  • Con Reports: p. 9-19
    • Star Trek America Con, NY City, Labor Day weekend 19789
    • Stellar Con V, Greensboro, NC, March 21-22 1980
    • Florida Space Festival, Tampa, March 23-24 1980 by George Takei
    • Kansas City, July 25-27, 1980 - DeKelley & Grace Lee Whitney (Phone Interview with Gene Roddenberry, AugustTrek 1980 p. 20-21)
  • A Message for the Letter Log by Karen Hunter p. 22-24
  • The Sound of Muzak by David E. Buxbaum p. 25-27
  • Breeding Programs - article explaining the new Klingons p. 28-31
  • Captain's Contemplations by Mike Koenigsberg p. 33-40
  • Trekkish Holidays - the Halloween Incident by V. L. Thorn p. 41-44
  • A Few Words form Scotty, p. 46 (report of James Doohan interview at Georgetown College, 1979)
  • The Collectibles Enterpriser by David G. MacLean, p. 47-49
  • Star Trek, the Book: a Review by Peter Scott, p. 50-51
  • A Klingonii Rebuttal, p. 52
  • Klingon Trivia Quiz, p. 53
  • Toodleloo, Mary Sue by Moria by Donna Washburn p. 54-57 (slash, parody)
  • Trekish Holidays, part II: Trek Us All With Boughs of Holly by David E. Buxbaum p. 58-60 (actually 9p - mistyped page numbers)
  • Love and War Among the Vulcans by Karen Hunter (A) p. 62-65
  • Puzzles, p. 66-68
  • Lights Out by David E. Buxbaum p. 69-70
  • Star Dreck by Jean MacKay Jackson, p. 70-71
  • A Most Logical Misunderstanding by Peter Scott p. 72-73
  • Ship Security, Sulu Style by Michael Koenigsberg p. 74 - 76
  • A Mother's Son by Vivian Meltz Bregman 7p (numbering off)
  • A Hairy Log by Ginger Lee, p. 80
  • Insufficient Data by Rosemarie Eierman, p. 81-86
  • Idylls in a Romulan Mode by Vel Jaeger, p. 87-88
  • Klingon Ethnological Studies, p. 89-90
  • Romulan Astronomy by Robert S. Sayes, p. 91
  • Trek-M's Speak their Minds on... Star Trek: the Motion Picture, p. 93-99
  • Letters, p. 100-107 (An exchange of LoCs between a fan and the author of Captives regarding the K/S premise. See Captives.)
  • Zine plugs, p. 108
  • Contributors, p. 109-110

Poetry:

  • Reincarnation by Jacki Gasiorek, p. 19
  • The People by Amy Saenz, p. 21
  • Mission #80 by V.L. Thorn, p. 27
  • Epitaph to Norman by V.L. Thorn, p. 32
  • What's a Rhaandarite? by Vel Vaejer, p. 32
  • The Visit by V.L. Thorn, p. 44
  • I Am Not T'Pring by Amy J. Saenz, p. 45
  • XVIII by Amy D. Whit, p. 45
  • To Grieve with Thee by Rosemarie Eierman, p. 51
  • Mr. Scott by V.L. Thorn, p. 57
  • The Christmas Incident by V.L. Thorn, p. 60
  • If a Starship Had a Fireplace by LaVena Kay Kidd, p. 61
  • Eagle by Barb Parcells, p. 68

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

It sports an amusing color cover of Spock inside his thruster suit from ST:TMP being accosted by a tribble. Some of the printing is a bit splotchy and extremely reduced but overall quite readable and neatly produced. The usual fare of mediocre short fiction and poetry is sprinkled throughout, but there's more to like here. A random selection: LaVena Kay Kidd's "Go Somewhere That Away" is a Dick and Jane version of ST:TMP. While the humor is unevenly effective, there is no doubt that Kidd is an excellent cartoonist. "If A Starship Had A Fireplace," is another one of her detailed cartoons, with Xmas stockings filled with joke items, like a copy of "A History of the Western World" in Chekov's stocking from the entire crew. "Pure LaVena" offers us more of Kidd's cartoons, my favorite of which is an angry tribble (yes, she manages to draw one with anger on its non-face) holding a sign proclaiming 'The Tribbles Strike Back.' Why isn't this woman pro? There's genuine detail, symmetry, clarity, and humor in her figures. "Breeding Programs," by Rosemarie Eierman, is a fascinating exploration of gene manipulation in the Klingon Empire and on Vulcan and the implications for their respective societies. "Captain's Contemplations," by Mike Konigsberg, is a sort of 'summary story' related to us by Kirk about one of his earliest missions — an encounter with the space shuttle Enterprise (the one we Trekkers named). Fun idea, but it would have been nice to see this dramatized, not summarized. "The Collectibles Enterprise," by David MacLean, is an interview with a coEectibles dealer and is chock full of information concerning the market value of various posters, comics, et cetera. "A Klingon Rebuttal," no author credited, is a hilarious but quite understandable answer to Rosemarie Eierman's "Breeding Programs" article, written by 'Kon Fusion, Cmdr. m Chief, Galactic Relations' who begins his rebuttal with ". . .you fEiermanJ continue to hurl allegations at my people based on the imposters depicting Klingons in a recent bit of Hollywood hysteria called "Star Trek: The Home Movie." "Toodledoo, Mary Sue" has to be read by every Mary Sue-hater in fandom. Moria Washburn satirizes the genre by writing (in first person) an adventure told by M.S. concerning her deliciously conceited views of herself and her attempts to seduce every Enterprise male, and her failure at each try. There's a great 'Mary Sue gets her just desserts' ending too. "Love and War Among the Vulcans," by Karen Hunter, is a well-written, logical exploration of Vulcan attitudes toward violence and sex. She seems to preclude the idea that Vulcans can have sex just for the fun of it. But her theory is a valid extension from the hints given in the series, hints which imply a very direct relation between violence and sex as being practically one and the same. "Insufficient Data," by Rosemarie Eierman, is another compilation of her column from TREKisM, and even more interesting that the installment in TaL 1. She analyzes some of the contradictions she sees in STtTMP (such as Spock's hyper-secretiveness) as well as in the series. One of her more interesting points is her contention that the Federation shouldn't keep a troublemaker like Harry Mudd around, that it should deport him instead, possibly to the Klingons. In Harry's defense, I don't think he's ever done anything to warrant that severe a punishment. "Idylls in a Romulan Mode," by Vel Jaeger, is perhaps the only memorable and effective piece of fanfic here. The atmosphere she sets is somehow mystical, almost surrealistic or spiritual, in five successive short pieces written from the point of view of the son of the Romulan commander we saw in "Balance of Terror." Not only is Jaeger's writing economical and tight, it is vivid and fluid: "Now he also shimmered in the flickering light, clad only in his purpose. Without defense, he offered his life as hers to command. A smile of assurance appeared as she turned the sword on herself and severed the waistband of her single garment." The final section of the zine is probably the best: a discussion of ST:TMP and of TaL 1, an article rebutting Eierman's "Insufficient Data" ("The Walrus Speaketh," by Mark Koenigsberg), and a debate on the K/S relationship held by Diana King (pro) and Ginny Thorn (con). As always, ST fans conduct fascinating and evocative discussions. Fortunately, this section is long. The editor also included a feature I wish others would follow — a list of the contributors and their short bios. Nice to know whose words we're reading and whose visuals we're seeing. For the price, it's a reasaonble buy. [3]
'TREKisM at Length' is a conglomeration in may senses: Print, layout, style, subject, and quality. Out of 108 pages, there are 69 individual listings in the index. Contained therein are Trek-related stories, cartoons, verse, puzzles, reviews of book and movies, LoCs, art, parodies, suppositions about alien cultures and probably eleven other things I haven't mentioned. I found some of the best -- and some of the not so good-- of what I like to read. I also found a lot of things I could have nicely done without. Basically, I enjoy long and psychological dramas and personally had a problem with the shortness of the pieces; but it is only natural for these to be shortcomings from the source of a 16-page bi-monthly publication. I was particularly impressed with Jean Mac Kay Jackson's 'Star Drek,' one of the funniest Trek parodies I've ever had the privilage of reading. Several other humor pieces, though, I failed to get much out of. Also good was Vivian Meltz Bregman's excellent and very real story of a young one-quarter Vulcan relativ of Spock's as a commander and Second Officer of the Enterprise. When the young woman is subjected to the Klingon's mind-sifter, she must travel the long and painful road back to sanity, self-respect before Spock and Vulcan dignity she began with. 'A Mother's Son' is a story of courage, family loyalty, and the tough love we must all exhibit to our loved ones from time to time. Bregman's heroine is someone special... All in all, given the choice, having seen it before hand, I don't know, honestly, if I would have bought TaL2. Probably not, for the pure reason that it is not really what I enjoy reading -- short, light pieces -- and on such a variety of subjects. But the, before I pass on this copy to the next reviewer, there are a few things I'm just going to HAVE to copy... You decide for yourself. [4]
The zine came out beautiful! You have a nice balance of humor, fiction, info, etc. And the art is well placed throughout the zine plus exceptionally well done. I LOVE the cover - it's perfect. The only thing I could maybe find to complain about was that the very reduced type [only one-fourth of the book is reduced] was kind of hard to read, but that's not exactly a big deal. I particularly enjoyed the CAPTIVES debate - Diana King came out with some good points. All in all, the zine v.as very enjoyable, good work. [5]
All in all, I think you did a superior job on TaL II. I have skimmed it quickly, stopping here and there at something new, and will go back with fine-toothed comb as soon as time permits. But I must say, this issue surpasses any other fan produced production I have encountered. Must be the analytical input. Karen Hunter's philosophical Vulcan evolution leads one to believe they were the original Mensans. Concerning STAR DRECK: unmentionably hilarious. Is that girl actually a Mensan?… LESSONS LEARNED - profoundly exquisite. Poetic diaries, no less? 'LIGHTS OUT: don't you wish. Is Rosemarie's TO GRIEVE WITH THEE a prophetic preview, I wonder? [6]
Just got TaL II in the mail, and have spent some blissful hours going through it from cover to cover. Most enjoyable, all of it. I liked most of the poetry… but my most favorite story of all was Moria Washburn's TOODELOO MARY SUE. She has a nice light touch with humor—tickles you with a feather rather than bashing you between the eyes with a sledge hammer. Poor Rosemarie Eierman! Looks as if she caught it from all sides! Gee, Rose, I was only kidding (says the Klingon with the engaging smile and the joy buzzer concealed in. the outstretched hand of friendship). I could not help but wonder anew at what Roddenberry hath wrought with his vision of the future. A good look at quality publications such as TaL's 1 & 2 and all the creative effort and just plain work and research which went into all the artwork and stories and humor and straight articles just might silence the detractors of SF and Trek in general. The people who say that Trek fen are disassociated from reality or childish need to see more of the creative side of fandom and less of the characters who live in their Obi-Wan costumes just to get some sort of attention or acknowledgement of their existence. It's a subject I feel very strongly about. I am so tired of that sneering attitude of superiority from "mundanes" who are so encased in their armor of everyday respectability that they wouldn't know a creative impulse if it bit them, or more correctly, who are so unsure of themselves that they are afraid to let themselves dream a little. There's a world of difference between childish and childlike, and I hope I never lose my childlike wonder at the awesome things in the around me. [7]
  • The Sound of Muzak (Silly story of tempers flaring on the E due to a change in the background music. Only really good bit is having the chaplain respond to Uhura's farewell with, "The Force be with you.")
  • Captain's Contemplations (Rambling bit with McCoy telling Kirk not to take the Admiralty and Kirk reminiscing about his command.)
  • Trekkish Holidays (The Halloween Incident (A couple of dull Halloween stories.)...
  • Toodleloo (Nice spoof. Beautiful and talented fan makes it into the 23rd century and aboard the Enterprise and proceeds to try to seduce all the male ranking officers in turn, but is horrified to find: Kirk and Spock in one another's arms; Scotty loving his engines; McCoy lusting after her body, but only once she's finished with it; Sulu eager only for her knowledge of weeds; Chekov uninterested in older women; and Uhura putting the moves on her. She goes home and forswears Star Trek. I especially liked McCoy's diagnosis of a crewman with Denebian Snorting Fever. McCoy snickers as she beams away, but she doesn't catch on.)...
  • Trekish Holidays, part II: Trek Us All With Boughs of Holly (I liked this one once it turned out *not* to be about the crew meeting baby Jesus. Tansporter trouble strands Sulu, Uhura and Chekov somewhere rural, outside an inn with no room... It's something on the order of the Shore Leave planet. The story is riddled with sneaky one-liners and the whole thing ends up a shaggy dog story so McCoy can tell Chekov: "everybody knows there's no sanity clause.")...
  • A Mother's Son (Spock's 1/4-Vulcan cousin T'Racy is mind-sifted. It takes all of the Big Three to bring her out of a retreat to insanity. Her return to full duty is justified when she is again confronted by Kor, fakes a trauma reaction and saves the crew. I'm tired of more relations for Spock, but it was nicely executed. Title from Kipling poem in which the narrator watches a man go crazy, and the man is "my mother's son.") [8]

...offset in types ranging from kindergarten to Kraith-eyestrain. There are 64 different stories, con reports, poems and articles, interviews,, cartoon sequences, puzzles, trivia quizzes and answers and a letter col: segregated into Mensa members and non0 Even the table of contents identifies the non-Mensasa with asterisks. This zine is essentially a compilation of selections from a Star Trek Mensa Group's monthly newsletters, and as such no doubt meets their needs nicely. It is handsomely bound with sturdy red covers and full of the editor's and others beautiful mostly line-drawings, carefully and lovingly edited. Layout is for the most part easy on the eyes and pleasant to deal with expect for the few pages of itty-bitty print that also suffered from printing skips. You had to be really interested in these to stick to the stories.

There were several tales I particularly liked because they were written from pov's other than the Big Three: for instance, "Toodeloo, Mary Sue" by Moria Washburn combined great humor with a send-up of all the Marysues we have known and loved. And of course any writer who incorporates "Kirk is just too golden gorgeous..." into a story has ray attention right there. Then there's the delightful "A Message For The Letter Log" by Karen Hunter. This takes the form of a letter from a crewwoman impressed into service aboard the E as it hastens out to meet V'ger, and gives the poor swabbie's point of view on the lower decks. There are several stories dealing with the various human holidays on the E, most too short to do more than relate incidents or reflect Spock's discomfort with being trapped into these bizarre phenomena. In short, this zine is fine for what it is, a sort of house organ for a special group which apparently has a wide age range. It's when they go wide and decide to sell to everyone that problems are raised and questions of elitism arise. Hardly any reader would care to have his/her nose rubbed in lack of brains to qualify for Mensa. If these various bits of segregation to the outsider-ghetto were eliminated, however, I would have no hesitation in heartily recommending this zine to neo-Trekkers, who are still working ST puzzles, worrying over trivia, etc. Most old hands prefer stories long enough to develop characters. In short, if you like great variety of things in a zine, the price is right on this one and it should give many hours of entertainment. [9]

Issue 3

Trekism at Length 3 was published in 1983 and contains 262 pages. Edited by Vel Jaeger. Art by Vel Jaeger, Virginia Lee Smith, LaVena Kay Kidd, Bonnie Reitz, Leah Rosenthal, Christine Myers, Toni Hardemen, Beverly C. Zuk, Melody Rondeau, Elaine Tripp, Barbara J. Yanosko, and Gennie Summers.

According to TREKisM #28, this issue contains "all of the art that was commissioned for Kirk but never printed because of a difference of artistic opinion among the editors."

front cover of issue #3, LaVena Kay Kidd
back cover of issue #3, Vel Jaeger
  • Midnight Soliloquy by Linda C. Brown (7)
  • An Enigma by Vel Jaeger (8)
  • An Unexpected Pleasure by V.L. Thorn (9)
  • The Legacy by Vel Jaeger (25)
  • Small Comforts by Beth Carlson (26)
  • Deus Ex Machina by Emily C. Ross (28)
  • Mischief by Debbie Gilbert (30)
  • Maturity by Debbie Gilbert (31)
  • A Mother's Response by Rowena G. Warner (32)
  • Sanctuary by Linda C. Brown (33)
  • Thoughts on a Spring Night by Linda Slusher (34) (reprinted in Kalin Kollected)
  • Paradigm by V.L. Thorn (36)
  • By Your Side by Patt Demetri (39)
  • Barter the Stars by Barbara J. Yanosko (40)
  • Mind If I Join You? by Vel Jaeger (95)
  • By Sun and Candle-light by Beth Carlson (97)
  • Chanson by Emily C. Ross (102)
  • Not Again by Patt Demetri (105)
  • A Fold in the Wolf by Moira Washburn (106)
  • It Could Have Been Glorious by Catherine L. Whitehead (112)
  • Saving the Captain's Royal by Beth Carlson (113)
  • Not Out of the M**D Yet by Peter C. Scott (115)
  • Help! by Patt Demetri (124)
  • The Best Medicine by Rowena G. Warner (127)
  • When It Hurts Too Much to Cry by Moria Washburn (129)
  • Rights by Patt Demetri (143)
  • Starfleet Academy Exam by Stephen Mendenhall (144)
  • The Written Word in the 23rd Century by Stephen Mendehall (146)
  • The Casting Department by Stphen Mendenhall (149)
  • Conventional Adventures by Catherine L. Whitehead (153)
  • Who's Who at SF Cons by LaVena Kay Kidd (157)
  • Please, Spock by Patt Demetri (179)
  • Again by Patt Demetri (180)
  • Just a Hand Behind by Patt Demetri (181)
  • Over the River and Through the Woods by Devery Helm (184)
  • In One Ear by Debbie Gilbert (187)
  • Star Trek: The Home Movie by Fran Panabaker and Wanda Butts (187)
  • And Be Alone on Earth by Karen C. Hunter (203)
  • M-5 Again by Jon B. Green (223)
  • Spock Experiments by Karen C. Hunter (228)
  • Schemes and Counterschemes by Rosemarie Eierman (231)
  • The Wager by Karen C. Hunter (234)
  • The Main Course by Rowena G. Warner (237)
  • The Lesson by Robert S. Sayes (238)
  • Birthday Boy by Debbie Gilbert (241)
  • Nocturne by Beth Carlson (243)
  • Perceptions by Emily Tripp (245)
  • Carol by Emily C. Ross (246)
  • Upenda by Vel Jaeger (246)
  • Miserere by V.L. Thorn (247)
  • No Home by Patt Demetri (247)
  • Postscript to a Funeral by Linda Slusher (248)
  • Walls by Vel Jaeger (248)
  • Eulogy from a Country Doctor by Rowena G. Warner (249)
  • Grief by Patt Demetri (250)
  • The Gift of Insight by Debbie Gilbert (250)
  • New Dawn by Patt Demetri (251)
  • Aftermath by Karen C. Huter (252)
  • Perfection by Ginna LaCroix (255) (also in Trek Encore #3)
  • Reverse Image by Ginna LaCroix (256) (also in Trek Encore #3)
  • The End? by Patt Demetri (261)
  • Home at Last by Patt Demtri (262)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

'TREKism at Length’ is just that, at length, 262 pages of pure trek. Most of the stories are well-done and though I didn’t like all of them, it was more a matter of taste as opposed to poor writing. The art ranged from fair to excellent, with most of it toward the higher end of the scales. The longest story in the zine – ‘Barter the Stars’—left me feeling ambivalent. An odd mixture of ‘it’s been done before’ and very interesting original material. Once I was beyond the court martial, the story started to pull me in, then it lost me when I read a rehash of one of the animated ST. I picked up interest again until the very end. It was so predictable, I was disappointed. I know this doesn’t sound much like I enjoyed it, but where it worked, it worked. There is a series of related stories, letters, and whatnot that really caught me by surprise. Pleasantly, I might add. On author starts it but she’s not the only one who makes it come alive. If found myself sorry when the last one was read. Both funny, and human, I chose these as best of zine. I also find that I’m partial to Beth Carlson’s style of writing. I didn’t realize it till I went back to see which stories I liked best. I’m not sure she portrays the characters the way I see them, and yet, because she makes me see them so clearly, it doesn’t matter. She has three short stories that I found delightful. ‘When It Hurts too Much to Cry’ is the one story I found I almost couldn’t finish reading. Nearly everything about it seemed highly improbable, if not stupid. To say I didn’t like it would be an understatement. I haven’t even touched on two thirds of the zine, and there are many more stories worth reading. The portfolio, ‘Who’s Who at Science Fiction Conventions,’ is an amusing and biting piece of entertainment. There is a great deal of poetry, a script for a play called ‘Star Trek: The Home Movie.’ I’d have to say this zine is well worth what you pay. [10]
TaL 3 is the best of the bunch [of issues 1, 2, and 3], with even neater, more attractive reproduction and layout. Aesthetically, it's almost flawless. The contents, too, while much of it is seriously flawed, shows a great deal of improvement in ideas, development, plotting, and style. "An Unexpected Pleasure," by V.L. (Ginny) Thorn is the 3,000th telling of How Sarek And Amanda Met. There are several problems here, like Amanda's teenage-like behavior (always with weak knees upon meeting Sarek), the unrealistically formal cordiality among the university faculty, and Sarek's occasional uncharacteristic dialogue ("It just seems more logical to do it that way.") Predictably, Sarek contracts pon farr. The cause is his destabilizing trip to Earth, yet no other Vulcan in his party succumbs to the fever. Then there's that questionable scene where the Vulcan healer "wrings his hands" and tells Amanda all about pon farr after having just met her (and after Sarek just met her the day before). Spock had known Kirk for y_ears before telling him of it. The story is a bit quick and sketchy but, despite all this, Thorn has obvious talent in getting our attention. With more development as a writer, she could become quite skillful. Virginia Lee Smith's illos for this story are a bit on the thin side, and rather rough. "Small Comforts," by Beth Carlson, is an all-too-short piece about Amanda and her thoughts about her aloof little boy. There's very little new here except that Carlson managed to make me cry because Amanda, feeling alone, receives word that her beloved pet dog on Earth has died. Her remorse over his inability to understand why she was leaving him and never would return was conveyed so well that I actually had tears in my eyes. But I'm easily moved to tears when it comes to animals. "Deus ex Machina," by Emily Ross, is an excellent piece set during Spock's Kahs-wan, wherein he discovers the value of compassion. "Thoughts on a Spring Night" is a powerful story-poem by Linda Slusher about a Klingon and his captive human bride and his warring emotions concerning Federation lucre: "That we can afford peace/Because the Federation has enough to share/ It's an intriguing idea/But every time I think of itAn the back of my mind I hear starving children crying/And I realize that survival should not depend on altruists/It is best to take what is needed/And be certain/Because the dead cannot oppose you." After reading that, how can anyone hate the Klingons? Bonnie Reitz' illo interpretation of the warrior speaking in the poem is quite striking, and far more intelligent-looking than the brutes of ST:SFS. "Barter the Stars," by Barbara J. Yanosko, is the longest piece with quite a lot of themes going on. There are three plots here: (1) A Federation ambassador goes aboard the Enterprise, headed for a "primitive" planet for negotiations. On the planet, the leader demands a battle to the death between her champion and one of the men from the Enterprise, a demand the ambassador blithely agrees to. He offers Spock, who refuses, and who subsequently suffers court-martial and exile on a frontier world; (2) during Spock's absence, the Enterprise acquires a new first officer, a woman, and a small battle of wills ensues between the chauvinist Kirk and the "ultra-liberated" Commander Jerry Stevers; and (3) mysterious disappearances of Federation, Orion, Romulan, and Klingon ships have been reported and eventually lead to the discovery of a quiet invasion conducted by beings from another universe. The Enterprise is, of course, in the middle of all this. Eventually all these storylines meet in a well-developed, convincing way, but the plots themselves have quite a few problems. To begin with, we've seen in the series how Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and the entire crew, are not above disobeying orders from superiors if they feel they are being commanded to do something wrong. What's more, Starfleet and the Federation demonstrated approval of this behavior many times, and gave Kirk and his crew tremendous leeway to go on their own best instincts. This is one particular theme that I enjoyed about the series; it shows great sensitivity to what many call the "Nuremberg Obligation." Yet Yanosko wholly ignores this pattern from the series and has Kirk, Scotty, and McCoy mutely comply with the ambassador's court-martial, proceeding solely on the charge of Spock's disobedience. Moreover, the order he disobeyed — to fight a battle to the death in order to induce the planet in question to join the Federation — would not be agreed to by a Federation ambassador, much less the men of the Enterprise. Kirk's behavior in all this is extremely out of character, especially since he is not one to just keep quiet and be the good little soldier. Then, too, there is the cliched plot about the superwoman Stevers, her stereotypical insensitive demeanor, and Kirk's "putting her in her place" with a line like, "Women are first of all crew on the Enterprise, and women only off duty." (Are men only men off duty, and crew first?) Predictably, she winds up in Kirk's arms as the ship suddenly, for no credible reason, "buckles," and they reconcile. Spock, meanwhile, is on Outworld, working as a musician in a bar, trying to get passage on a merchant ship. His patron, and owner of the bar, is one of those "tough broad" types who constantly calls Spock "bucko." Ultimately, the Enterprise becomes one of the disappeared ships, suddenly whisked away to the other universe — which is expanding and will eventually dissipate. There he finds various ships, including a Romulan ship commanded by the woman we saw in "The Enterprise Incident" and the Klingon ship, Devisor, with Koloth and Korax aboard. All the ships have to pool their resources together to survive — food supplies are depleted (I thought the Big E's computers manufactured the food aboard ship). This was quite a nice touch, and Uhura, reacting to this forced cooperation among enemies, quite aptly says, "In some ways, this universe is better than our own." I wish more had been done with this sequence. Again, despite all the problems, the story itself moves, keeps you reading, and is written with an easy, readable style. More careful thinking would have made it quite an impressive effort. "A Fold in the Wolf has to be one of my favorite pieces of humorous Trekfic. Its premise is that Scotty was indeed guilty of killing all three women and that Kirk, Spock, and McCoy just invented that Jack-the-Ripper story to get him off, the way Spock got Kirk off in "Court-Martial" (yeah, the Captain was guilty there, too). Melody Rondeau's illos for this are pretty hysterical, especially her McCoy-in-a-rage-at-Spock. "When It Hurts Too Much to Cry," by Moria Washburn, is a strange story that explains Spock's decision to go to Vulcan and attempt Kolinahr. Most of it involves Spock and Kirk running around the ship, trying to confiscate gift boxes sent by Spock to various Enterprise officers, all of which contain a ring that, as Kirk informs him, is an inappropriate gift. The reason is never quite clear, except that it has something to do with MENSA and genetics. Apparently, the experience so unnerves Spock that he feels no one, especially Kirk, must ever have an emotional hold on him. It's an uneven mixture of humor and sorrow, but Spock's last inner musings are quite convincing. "Who's Who at Science Fiction Conventions" is another cartoon section by LaVena Kay Kidd. They are finely drawn, hilarious, and perceptive. I especially like her "Serious Science Fiction Fan" contrasted with the bizarre "Fans of the Guest Star" and the "Trekkie (Closet)" wearing a normal outfit and with child in tow as the pretext for attending a convention. "Star Trek: The Home Movie" has great Kidd cartoons, but is only barely funny since much of the dialogue is actually straight from ST:TMP itself. "And Be Alone on Earth," by Karen Hunter, is a depressing story set before ST:TMP and detailing Kirk's relationship with Lori, the woman mentioned in the novelization. Depressing, but generally effective, as Kirk's descent into the severe solemnity apparent in ST:TMP is strongly foreshadowed here. Karen Hunter and Rosemarie Eierman have a series of short-shorts and "letters" written by two Enterprise crewmen that are extremely engrossing, detailing the various jokes and experiences during and after the first two films. Spock's own practical joke, meant as a morale booster — a device called a "framistantor" with no obvious purpose — is perhaps the best ongoing plot. Unfortunately, the zine ends on a depressing note with a story by Ginna LaCroix that has Kirk old, alone (everyone else is dead), and about to retire from the service. There's much more to this issue, including a series of fine vignettes by Beth Carlson, imaginative and funny cartoons by Gennie Summer and Melody Rondeau, and other well-detailed, skillful art by Bev Zuk, Barbara Walker, and Christine Myers. It's an uneven potpourri, but quite a bit of fun. Because of the steep price of this issue, however, I leave it to the buyer to decide.[11]

Issue 4

TREKisM at Length 4 was published in 1984 and contains 162 pages. It was edited by Vel Jaeger and illustrated by Lavena Kay Kidd. The front cover is by Kidd, and the back by Jaeger.

This zine is a single novel called "A Matter Of Time" by Lee Phillips.

cover of issue #4, Lavena Kay Kidd. The art on some copies is a photograph affixed to the front cover
back cover of issue #4, Vel Jaeger

Summary: "An action-adventure tale with Spock at the center, involved with Klingons; Kirk, McCoy, and some new characters play pivotal roles in new settings."

Another summary: The Enterprise has been vanquished in a battle with the Klingons. McCoy has been seriously injured, Kirk blinded and Spock taken prisoner by the Klingons. The story tells of McCoy's efforts to help Kirk, the Klingons treatment of Spock, and the adventures that lead to the reuniting of the three friends.

From a flyer:
AMOT takes the reader back to the five-year mission of the Enterprise. Catastrophe, in the form of a Klingon ambush, cripples the NCC 1701, scatters the crew, and leaves Kirk and McCoy to recuperate in separate star-base hospitals. But Spock's mysterious disappearance and the belief that he is still alive somewhere in the Klingon Empire continue to haunt Kirk. The alien former First Officer becomes an elusive pawn in a desperate quest across the galaxy as rumors of a Vulcan officer in Klingon military echelons reach the Federation. The motive behind Spock's abduction, and the secrecy surrounding his adoption into Klingon society form the other half of the story, culminating in a violent confrontation that draws Kirk's loyal crew into the dangerous conclusion.
From the author's preface:
I cannot dispute my love of the world of Star Trek. Several years ago, after I'd discovered others with the same insatiable affliction, the idea for this story began to gel. However, putting it down on paper proved to be more difficult than I'd imagined, and at times I considered chucking the whole thing into the trash. Even after it had reached the final draft I put it on the shelf because I didn't feel it was good enough to offer to anyone else. Dealing with scientific and medical terminology, painting myself into corners that demanded constant rewriting, and limited writing experience had convinced me that it wasn't worth any more hours of struggle. What had begun as a short story had turned into an epic, and the monster had me by the throat!

A few nagging friends later, I'd plunged into more rewriting and editing and critiques and title changes and sleepless nights, all of which prompted (more than once) the question: "Why do Star Trek fans write?" There is no money, very little fame, and certainly less than desired response in most cases of fan writing. But the world of Star Trek seems to spawn more than its share of dedicated, thought-provoking material, and the fascination continues.

A Matter of Time is placed late in the final stages of the five-year mission of the Enterprise. It is an alternate universe story, having taken outline form between the releases of ST-TMP and ST-TWOK, and one of the chapters concerns the deaths of Sarek and Amanda. Convinced as to the improbability of future big screen episodes following ST-TMP, I developed my own conclusions as to the fate of the Federation and its various inhabitants. And since there seemed to be no clear-cut motivation for Spock's journey to Gol in ST-TMP, I concluded that it might have something to do with the end of the original five-year mission, and the loss of his parents. As it turns out, Sarek will be appearing in the next movie, Star Trek — The Search for Spock. I am happy to find that he is alive and well, and hope that, perhaps, Amanda will also make an appearance some time in the future. Nevertheless, by the time I had learned about Sarek, AMOT had progressed beyond the point of rewriting the chapter concerning Spock's parents' deaths, and I chose to retain the idea in the story, placing the entire setting in an alternate universe. There are many others in fandom, and I hope the readers enjoy mine.

Issue 5

TREKisM at Length 5 was published in 1985 and contains 228 pages. Its covers were printed on a warm grey classic laid card stock. It was edited by Vel Jaeger, contributing editor was Kim Knapp. Front cover is by LaVena Kay Kidd, back cover by Vel Jaeger. Other art by Barbara Walker and Gennie Summers.

cover of issue #5, LeVena Kay Kidd
flyer that was included in issue #5

DATA ENTRIES

  • Frost on the Typewriter by V.L Thorn, art by LaVena Kay Kidd (2)
  • Trek Omen" by V.L. Thorn (6) (originally appeared in TREKisM #26)
  • James T. Kirk vs The Computer by Jon B. Green (7) (originally appeared in TREKisM #31)
  • Logic and the Vulcan Mythos by Karen C. Hunter (8) (originally appeared in TREKisM #16)
  • The Engineer's Log by Jon B. Green (10) (originally appeared in TREKisM #33)
  • To Seek Out New Life by Katherine Gillen (11) (originally appeared in "SigNature" Jan/Feb and Mar/Apr 1984)
  • The Babel Perspective by Barbara J. Yanosko, art by Gennie Summers (14)
  • Insuffient Data by Rosemarie Elerman (20) (originally appeared in TREKisM #16-30)
  • Star Trek 1/2 by Debbie Gilbert (36) (originally appeared in TREKisM #29)
  • The Search for Spock by Rosemarie Eierman, art by Barbara Walker, and LeVena Kay Kidd (37)
  • Our Readers Respond: commentaries on issue #3 (45)

FANTASTIC REALMS:

  • An Enigma by Vel Jaeger (52) (originally appeared in TREKisM at Length #3)
  • Tales from the Vulcan Hearth by Karen C. Hunter (53)
  • How the Vulcans Lost Their Wings (54)
  • The Sky God's Daughter (56)
  • The Gift of the Gods, art by LaVena Kay Kidd (57)
  • Sui Generis by V.L. Thorn (58)
  • Cat-Kin by Emily Ross (60) (originally appeared in TREKisM #36)

THESE ARE THE VOYAGES:

  • Pandora's Bowl by Suzan Lovett, art by Lovett (63) (reprinted in Antinomy)
  • Shipping Out by Emily Ross (72)
  • Choices by Isabel Klein (73)
  • Though Years Be Past by Kim Knapp, art by Kidd (76)
  • Who Mourns for Adonais? by Lee E. Heller (83)
  • Innuendo by Kim Knapp (Christine Chapel is obviously very angry at Dr. McCoy, but he has no idea what he could have done to deserve her wrath.) (84) (originally appeared in TREKisM #35)
  • Where are the Clowns by Isabel Klein, art by Kidd (85)

THE INCOMPLEAT PUZZLER:

  • Word Searches by Rosemaie Elerman (105)
  • Star Trek Speaks: Cryptograms by Elerman (110)

STRICTLY FOR LAUGHS:

  • What's in a Name by Moria Washburn (114) (originally appeared in TREKisM #16)
  • Count Dratula by Laurel Ridener and Lynn Sych, art by Kidd (116)
  • An Attirely New Day by Rosemarie Eierman (121)
  • Intelligence Quotha by Moriea Washburn (122) (originally appeared in TREKisM #26)
  • Food, Glorious Food by Kidd, art by Kidd (125)
  • Ode to Star Trek on a Fringe Station by Bonny Backslider (131) (originally appeared in TREKisM #32)
  • Starfleet Bartender's Guide by Kidd, art by Kidd (132)

THE HUMAN ADVENTURE:

  • Soliloquy at Gol by Ellen Hulley (140)
  • Hobson's Choice by Kim Knapp (141)
  • Yesterday's Shadow by Vel Jaeger, art by Jaeger (142)

FROM HELL'S HEART:

  • Ebony Brass by Kidd, art by Kidd (148)
  • Joachim's Lament by Debbie Gilbert (150) (originally appeared in TREKisM #27)
  • Puzzlement by Debbie Gilbert (151)
  • Premonition by Patt Demetri (152)
  • Reflection by Patt Demetri, art by Jaeger (152)
  • Through the Link by Denise S. Chonka, art by Jaeger (154)
  • Desolation by Allie Werhan (156) (originally appeared in TREKisM #35)
  • Solitaire by V.L. Thorn (156) (originally appeared in TREKisM #26)
  • Invocation by Mikki Reynard (157) (originally appeared in TREKisM #38)
  • Yesterday by Patt Demetri (157)
  • A Little Death by Lee E. Heller (158)

THE NEEDS OF THE MANY:

  • Tears and Laughter by Karen C. Hunter, art by Barbara Walker (160)
  • High Stakes by Emily Ross (163)
  • D'amour e'Klingon by Lee Phillips, art by Jaeger (165)
  • Agent Provocateur by V.L. Thorn, art by Jaeger (166)
  • Final Option by Debbie Gilbert (168)
  • The Needs of the One by Barbara J. Yanosko, art by Yanosko (169)
  • The Childlost by Ellen Hulley, art by Jaeger (171)
  • Lost by Pat Demetri (171)
  • To Lose a Son by Debbie Gilbert, art by Jaeger (172)
  • In the Garden of Thought by Denies S. Chonka and Donna Frost, art by Jaeger (We join McCoy in the Garden of Thought at Sarek and Amanda's home in SkiKahr. It is immediately following the Fal Tor Pan and McCoy is trying to understand the 'dark and empty' space inside him that he cannot fill or banish.) (175)
  • Vulcan Transition by Allie Werhan (178)

ALTERNATE VISIONS:

  • Mudd's Menagerie by Stephen Mendenhall, art by Jaeger (181)
  • New Blood, Old Blood by Moria Washburn, art by Kidd (188)
  • Speculation, Stardate: 8142.4 by Mikki Reynard, art by Jaeger (196)
  • Out of the Ashes by Barbara J. Yanosko, art by Kidd (200)
  • In Which We Serve by Isabel Klein, art by Kidd (205)
  • Phatasma by Rosemarie Eierman, art by Kidd (227)

Issue 6

TREKisM at Length 6 was published in 1985 and contains 200 pages. The art is by LaVena Kay Kidd and Vel Jaeger.

front cover of issue #6, LaVena Kay Kidd
back cover of issue #6, Vel Jaeger
  • The Wine of Astonishment by Kim Knapp (1)
  • Portfolio: Prelude to the Eternal Loser, art and poetry by Vel Jaeger (43)
  • Portfolio: Early Harvest, art and poetry by Vel Jaeger (45)
  • Portfolio: Visionary, art and poetry by Vel Jaeger (46)
  • Portfolio: Chrysalis, art and poetry by Vel Jaeger (49)
  • Portfolio: Alpha Quest, art and poetry by Vel Jaeger (50)
  • Technically Speaking (collected columns from TREKisM #32, #33, #34, #36, #37, #41, #42, #43, #44) by Peter Scott
  • TreKomedy Korner by Elliot Miller and Louis Rakita (compiled from TREKisM #28, #29, #30, #31, #36, #37, #38, #39, #40, #41, #42, #43, #44) (65)
    • Episodes that Never Quite Made It (66)
    • Did You Ever Wonder -- (72)
    • Trekwiz I (72)
    • Trekwiz II (74)
    • The Now I've Heard Everything Quiz (76)
    • World's Hardest Trekwiz I (76)
    • Worlds' Hardest Trekwiz II (78)
    • World's Easiest Trekwiz I (78)
    • World's Easiest Trekwiz II (79)
  • Private Pleasures by Deborah Goby (80)
  • The Evil that Men Do by Isabell Klein (81)
  • Mind-Slave by Anne B. Collins, D.V.M. (120)
  • Portfolio: Art and Poetry by Vel Jaeger (126) (reprinted from Voices to the Stars)
    • An Endless Presence (126)
    • A Mortal Stumble (129)
    • When Only Anger Reigns (130)
  • Time in Two by Barbara Yanosko (132)
  • Relics, a novel by Deborah Goby (reprinted from TREKisM #43)

Issue 7

TREKisM at Length 7 was published in 1986 and contains just over 150 pages. It contains reprinted stories by Karen Hunter that have appeared in other zines. It contains no interior art.

front cover of issue #7, LeVena Kay Kidd
back cover of issue 7, Vel Jaeger
From the editorial:
All my life I have been writing stories, early ones in my head and later ones onpaper. My Trek stories began about one day after seeing my first episode of Star Trek: THE SQUIRE OF GOTHOS. Most of that original work has mercifully been left behind, but vestiges remain in several of the stories here. "Vulcan Woman" and "Jettison!" were begun as a direct result of Star Trek: The New Voyages. Until then I had never heard of zines and had no idea anyone would be interested in my stories. While they were doing a round of rewriting and editing (with the immense help of Trinette Kern), I managed to squeeze in some other things around two small babies and a house we were renovating. "Outbreak on Ostergard" is another story that owes its beginning to reading zines and [being] a part of fandom, which meant other people's stories and commentary were more often an inspiration than something internal. Having TisM come along made a big difference, too. Here I had a place to send things that were not stories, and a place to read other people's comments as well. "Challenge" was a direct result of reading Jean Lorrah's NTM stories and realizing I hadn't done a very good job of dealing with the realities of Vulcan telepathy, especially in regard to love and marriage. The filmed versions of Trek led to some more inspiration, particularly in the "What-if" category, and-the filling in of missing scenes to my own satisfaction. That is the direct genesis of Teri Prohaska, along with a desire to put real people on the Enterprise, although her basic origin had little to do with that. That started out as a scene designed to get Vel to draw a picture of Kirk wearing nothing but a towel (which, by the way, failed in its objective). The poems began totally in my unconscious, since generally I dislike poetry. I wrote "Argument/Acceptance" in church one morning, scribbling all over my bulletin to the annoyance of my seat mates. It almost wrote itself, and after that it has been a bit easier to express myself that way.
  • Academy Cadets (reprinted from Kirk (1)
  • Parting of the Ways (reprinted from Saurian Brandy Digest) (2)
  • Outbreak on Ostergard (reprinted from Saurian Brandy Digest) (14)
  • Journey to Talos IV (reprinted from TREKisM at Length #1) (26)
  • Challenge (reprinted from In a Different Reality #23) (30)
  • Love and War Among the Vulcans (reprinted from TREKisM at Length #2) (44)
  • Logic and the Vulcan Mythos (reprinted from TREKisM at Length #5) (48)
  • Jettison! (reprinted from R & R #20) (51)
  • Vulcan Woman (reprinted from R & R #20) (67)
  • Argument/Acceptance, poem (reprinted from In a Different Reality #22) (89)
  • Last Mission (reprinted from Saurian Brandy Digest #19) (90)
  • And Be Alone on Earth (reprinted from TREKisM at Length #3) (104)
  • Officer Material (reprinted from Maine(ly) Trek #4) (121)
  • Spock Experiments (reprinted from TREKisM at Length #3) (132)
  • A Message for the Letter Log (reprinted from TREKisM at Length #2) (135)
  • The Bare Facts (reprinted from Kirk, was originally titled "A Problem in Supply") (138)
  • The Wager (reprinted from TREKisM at Length #3) (140)
  • Aftermath (reprinted from TREKisM at Length #3) (143)
  • Tears and Laughter (reprinted from TREKisM at Length #5) (146)
  • Saavik's Farewell, a poem (reprinted from Academy Chronicles #7) (149)
  • Understanding, a poem by (reprinted from Academy Chronicles #8 (150)

Issue 8

front cover of issue #8
back cover of issue #8, artist is Vel Jaeger
inside front cover by Toni Hardeman
inside back cover by Toni Hardeman
the progress report/flyer printed in TREKisM #52

TREKisM at Length 8 Edited by Vel Jaeger and Kim Knapp. Published in 1987, 374 pages, art by Ken Feduniewicz, Toni Hardeman, Vel Jaeger, and LaVena Kay Kidd. On the cover: "Celebrating 20 Years of Star Trek." Poetry by Demetri, Ellen Hulley, and Elain Shappard. Non-fiction by Lynda Carraher, Karen C. Hunter and Stephen Mendenhall.

  • Lest We Forget by Deborah Goby. Cadet Uhura, about to begin the Academy training, has a personal introduction to space history. (2 pages)
  • The Winds of Change by Elizabeth Small. An undercover mission sends an Enterprise crewmember aboard the USS Belinda, a ship with a poor performance record, an unhappy crew, and suspicious connections with Klingon smugglers. (31 pages)
  • To Love Again by Deborah Goby (3 pages)
  • Not Quite Paradise by Kim Knapp. Ever wonder what happened to Nurse Chapel when she was exposed to the spores of Omicron Ceti III? It wasn't paradise for her at all. (4 pages) (reprinted from More Missions, More Myths #1)
  • Confrere by Jane Land. Lady Amanda has a revealing converstion with Nurse Chapel following the events of "Journey to Babel". (9 pages)
  • Dandelions in the Wind by Ellen Hulley (poem)
  • A Private Little Ambition by Ellen Hulley (poem)
  • Who Is James T. Kirk? by Karen C. Hunter. Analysis of Kirk's personality. (6 pages)
  • Interlude by Elaine Sheppard (poem)
  • Conventionally Speaking by Lynda Carraher. Short pieces used as opening statements at convention panels:
    • Are We Taking Trek Too Seriously?
    • Where's the Magic In Star Trek?
    • Humor in Written Trek
    • A McCoy Panel
    • A Spock Panel
    • Poetry
    • Changes in Star Trek: A Retrospective by Stephen Mendenhall. Article (5 pages)
  • Dialogue in the Clouds by Ellen Hulley (1 page)
  • Requiem for Fools by Ellen Hulley (poem)
  • The Lighter Side of Star Trek: the E Team by Stephen Mendenhall (2 pages)
  • Trelane by Elaine Sheppard (poem)
  • An Uplifting Tale by Lynda Carraher (2 pages)
  • Chekov's Daydream by Deborah Goby (2 pages)
  • Eternally Ensign? by Isabell Klein (9 pages)
  • No Parking by Deborah Gorby. McCoy runs full speed into the brick wall of a Terran traffic bureaucracy, and ultimately involves everyone on the Enterprise -- much to the annoyance of his captain. (16 pages)
  • Knowledge Sleeping by Bonita Kale. A novella-length saga featuring a historical novelist conducting what should have been simple research on a planet considering membership in the Federation. Before long, the Enterprise is embroiled in a native plot to overthrow the immortal Emperor. A baffling plague and telepathy add to the mystery. (81 pages)
  • We Three Kings by Deborah Goby. A routine scientific assignment for Chekov and Sulu is disrupted by an urgent plea for help, which occurs under very unusual circumstances. (5 pages)
  • The Youngest Brother by Karen C. Hunter. Story from the Tales from the Vulcan Hearth series. (4 pages)
  • Tales of the Fifth Year by A. C. Willment. 125 pages of short and long stories focusing on the last year of the Enterprise's 5-year mission. Longer works feature McCoy in "Dining with the Devil," Spock in "Prodigal Son," and Kirk in "Fear in a Handful of Dust.' Old friends and new appear in a wide variety of situations and themes -- and to tell any more would spoil some wonderful surprises.
    • Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On (4 pages)
    • Other Lives (4 pages)
    • Dining with the Devil (35 pages)
    • The Vivisection (3 pages)
    • Prodigal Son (32 pages)
    • With the Tongues of Men and Angels (5 pages)
    • Fear in a Handful of Dust (37 pages)
    • Absent Friends (5 pages)
  • Kaleidoscope by Ellen Hulley (poem)
  • A Fatal Honor by Kim Knapp. Joachim's last moments in "The Wrath of Khan." (2 pages)
  • Ripple Effect by Leigh Caskey. Dr. Chapel learns of Spock's death in a tragically abrupt manner. (4 pages)
  • Anomalies by Ellen Hulley (poem)
  • Auld Lang Syne by Kim Knapp. The mutinous Enterprise crew has an unexpected ally in their escape from Spacedock in "The Search for Spock." (3 pages)
  • Contrapunto by Ellen Hulley (poem)
  • Exiles by Karen Rhodes. Kirk and crew head out on an undercover mission in the Bird of Prey to track down the security leak that gave the Genesis secret to the Klingons. (25 pages)
  • Home Again, Home Again by Karen C. Hunter (3 pages)
  • Hello, Darkness, My Old Friend by Vel Jaeger. Gillian Taylor was wrong when she told Kirk she wouldn't be leaving anyone behind on 20th century Earth. (5 pages)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 8

TaL is published by the Star Trek Special Interest Group of Mensa. This is one gigantic zine -374 pages, although the number of contributors is relatively small, most of them having multiple works in it. One of the first things I noticed, and it's something I've never seen before, was biographical information on the contributors. I think it's an excellent idea, one well worth repeating. One might expect, considering the number of stories by the same authors, a certain lack of balance, but this is not the case. No two stories seem similiar. There is a mix of humor and drama, albeit heavier on the drama side. The poetry, what little there is, is very good. I'd particularly like to point out 'A Private Little Ambition', by Ellen Hulley - a gem taken from 'Private Little War'. As for the stories TaL sets the quality right from the start with 'Let we Forget' by Deborah Goby (who has three other stories in this issue). It tugs at the heart, taking us to Uhura's meeting at the Academy with a descendant of Frances Scobee, one of the Challenger crew. It's rather short, but beautifully done. This is one of the two I'd pick for best of zine. The other is 'No Parking', also by Deborah Goby, a comedic turn wherein McCoy receives a parking ticket from the city of Chicago on a vehicle he hasn't owned in years. (He wasn't even on Earth at the time.) Well, we all know the frustration of trying to buck the bureaucracy, imagine if you will McCoy attempting it. The possibilities were endless and Deborah took full advantage of them. The rest of the stories are equally good, containing some marvelous adventures, and a few surprises. There is also some nicely done non-fiction in the form of discussion on Trek, and a sextet of what the author called written panels'. They are very good, although I tend to disagree with the one on poetry. All in all, 1 would venture to say that this zine is well worth the $18.00 cover price. I recommend it highly. [12]
A. C. Willamet's "Tales of the Fifth Year" in TREKisM AT LENGTH VIII are good reading. They tie in neatly to the televised episodes, but stretch their borders with imagination. There were at least two other stories I especially liked. Vel Jaeger's "Hello Darkness, My Old Friend," envisages the problem Gillian set her employer and friend by disappearing so hastily in STIV. "Confrere" by Jane Land is just a quiet nighttime conversation between Chris Chapel and Amanda, but very well done. TaL 8 is big — over 376 pages of single-spacing. It includes both fiction and non-fiction, as well as some poetry and four illustrations for a writing contest. The inside covers show nicely matted illustrations of the ENTERPRISE. [13]

Issue 9

TREKisM at Length 9 was published in 1991 and contains 288 pages. It is subtitled: Tales from the Fourth Year. The fiction is by A.C. Willment. Art is by LeVena Kay Kidd (front cover and interior art), Ken Feduniewicz (back cover) and Vel Jaeger (graphics). The covers were thermo-graphed on heavy white glossy card stock, something, if not one-of-a-kind in fanzines, was very rare.

front cover of issue #9 by LaVena Kay Kidd
The author writes that the established" chronology of the filmed series and movies is impossible to untangle and has many flaws, and so she has taken the liberty of establishing her own:
The chronology followed in 'Tales of the Fourth Year' assumes a hiatus of 10 to 12 years between the end of Kirk's first five-year mission on the Enterprise and the events of 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture.' It also assumes that the TV episodes took up the first 3-1/2 years of the five-year mission, and completely ignores the animated episodes. From 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture,' we assume another five-year mission immediately following, with the Enterprise under the command of Admiral Kirk, followed by a stint of several years as a training vessel. The second, third, fourth, and fifth movies follow each other in a space of months.'' She has more explanation and then adds, "To those who would complain, I say only, 'Not to disillusion you, but the whole thing's made up anyway.
  • The Mystery (1)
  • My Better Angel--Old enemies, and unexpected allies, cross the paths of the Enterprise crew when they are called to rescue a planet under siege -- and learn that no matter how far they travel, their selves will catch up with them.) (7)
  • To Gather Stones Together (95)
  • Time in Thy Flight--Crippled and drifting, the Enterprise welcomes the aid of a crack mechanic. But the enigmatic visitor has other priorities, and my fix the ship while tearing the crew apart. (99)
  • Widow's Walk (186)
  • The Strange Heart--Juggling an assistance job for a civilian colony and a trio of unusual ambassadors to the Federation, Kirk finds himself forced into three problematic and harrowing "first contacts," one of which will change his life forever. (194)
  • Epilogue: At Daybreak (281)

Issue 10

cover of issue #10

Issue 11

cover of issue #11

References

  1. from Universal Translator #25
  2. from Universal Translator
  3. from Universal Translator #25
  4. from Datazine #16
  5. from TREKisM #21
  6. from TREKisM #21
  7. from TREKisM #21
  8. from Halliday's Zinedex
  9. from The Clipper Trade Ship #37/38
  10. from Datazine #30
  11. from Universal Translator
  12. from Communications Console #1
  13. from Treklink #13