Terminal Case

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Star Trek Fanfiction
Title: Terminal Case
Author(s): Winston A. Howlett
Date(s): May 1976
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
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Terminal Case is a Man From U.N.C.L.E./Star Trek: TOS story by Winston A. Howlett who labels it "parody." It is much closer to metafic.

from "Probe" #8, Winston A. Howlett
from "Probe" #8, Winston A. Howlett

Author's description: "A Stunrod story featuring two views of women's liberation, both of them Black."

It was printed in Probe #8.

Part of a Series

It is part of the "Stunrod Series," most of which were written by Howlett.

  • Helpers by Winston A. Howlett (Probe #3) (Fiction that was derived from Howlett's experiences and fantasies while a go-fer at the New York conventions. "For Laurie Dewitt and the Helpers of First Division, it was just another day at the STAR TREK Con: Stunrod battles, hand-to-hand combat, diabolical plots, double-crosses...")
  • Gambit by Paul Kirby (Probe #5) ("Probe's first and most outrageous satire, the first Stunrod story to feature male chauvinist, Joe Denim.")
  • The Cheater by Winston A. Howlett (Probe #7) ("As the Helpers try to keep the lid on at a STAR TREK Con Costume Call... and capture an honest-to-God vampire!" and "the costume call to end all costume calls")
  • Terminal Case by Winston A. Howlett (Probe #8) ("A Stunrod story featuring two views of women's liberation, both of them Black.")

About the "Stunrod Series":

I created the Stunrod Series, which is a satire on STAR TREK Fandom. It got started because I was a Helper at the first convention, in New York in ‘72. I was one of Gene Roddenberry’s bodyguards, and had the horrible moment of trying to get Gene through . . . this crowd of five hundred people. My friend Dominic Corrado — about six foot nine and weighing two hundred eighty pounds — and I were supposed to hold back five hundred people to get Gene across the distance of ten feet, from one door to another. Forget it! They could’ve killed us if they’d wanted to! (Laughter) So I said, ‘What we needed was about twenty Helpers, all armed with a device I thought up, called a ‘stunrod’, which would shoot down unruly Trekkies with an invisible beam . . . all the Helpers trained in martial arts, give them code names, communicators, backup systems . . . all the things we needed.’ So I wrote these into a story, and I started putting in all the experiences I had over the years in being a Helper into the series, all the crazy things I ran into . . . Like the time it was supposed to be top secret as to what Bill Shatner’s room number was, and every Trekkie downstairs had it, but Security didn’t! (Laughter!) And that happened! It really happened!

“So I used the series to do commentaries on the ‘real world,’ because I think the fans are the most interesting thing. We can create the most interesting strange planet or environment. [1]

Author's Commentary

From the editorial in "Probe #8":

As with "Gambit" in PROBE 5, our satirical eye is now turned toward the STAR TREK Welcommittee, as Laurie Dewitt and Joe Denim once again fight to help clean up Fandom, this time side by side. But the tongue-in-cheek action of "Terminal Case" is merely the backdrop for a very serious study of Women's Liberation from two points of view, both of them Black. The Stunrod Series will not end with this story, but I doubt that the series will have a more down-to-earth segment.

Reactions and Reviews

When's the next installment of the Stunrod series? "Terminal Case" is a classic. Whoever originated the concept of a Man From U.N.C.L.E.-ST parody should be congratulated... The humor is perfect — chapter titles, McCoy dialogue... — and being female, I especially appreciated the comments on Women's Lib. Couldn't really decide whether you're pro or con but, never the less, it provided food for thought. If I feel oppressed, a second-class citizen and victim of 'slavery', how much more intense must be the emotions of black Americans, particularly those that are women. Maybe you're for, yet wanted to give the readers something to ponder. Whatever, bravo. [2]

...I have enjoyed PROBE very much, especially the adventures of Laurie Dewitt against the forces of T.R.E.K.K.I.E. A very clever blending of fiction, TREK, science fiction and action. It even (wonder of wonders) has something to say. That is good, considering some of the drivel being printed in Trekfic today. Perhaps I should nay 'masquerading as' Trekfic… [3]


  1. ^ from [http://www.simegen.com/writers/savage/wulfstone/index-full.html WULFSTONE THE MAGAZINE FOR FANS OF JEAN LORRAH’S SAVAGE EMPIRE SERIES], Archived version
  2. ^ from an LoC in Probe by Sandra Gent in issue #10
  3. ^ from an LoC in "Probe" #10