The Body Electric

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Zine
Title: The Body Electric
Publisher: a Soong's Folly Publication, distributed by Bill Hupe
Editor(s): Diane K. McCarty
Date(s): 1992-1995
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Trek: TNG
Language: English
External Links:
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The Body Electric is a gen Star Trek: TNG anthology that focuses on the character Data.

cover of issue #1, Brenda Renips

Issue 1

The Body Electric 1 was published in Fall 1992 and contains 98 pages.

From Media Monitor: "A scientific team, headed by Dr. Noonian Soong, joins together to create the perfect man; Lore has a romantic encounter while dodging Pakleds on a shore leave planet; missing scene from 'Brothers'; Lore enters 'The Darkside"; articles and more."

issue #1 came with a Reader's Survey
The editorial:
Greetings, humans (and others!) and welcome to the first issue of The Body Electric It's hard to believe it's been more than a year since I first began speculating and planning for this baby. It's also hard to believe the many changes that have taken place in my life since then. I now have a new fiance, a new apartment (complete with new furniture and a new roommie), a new car, and a new kitten (Toonces Gandalf McCarty-Hottle, I). In other words, a new life! Of course, my old life is now for sale. Any buyers? Didn't think so.

Enough about me. This 'zine is a fanzine, with the focus on "fan", and a DataLore 'zine, with the focus on "Lore". In addition to featuring stories and other material on our favorite android(s), we will present an occasional story focusing on other characters portrayed by the talented Mr. Spiner. We have pretty much a mixed bag (a sort of "Trex Party Mix," nyuk, nyuk) to offer this first time around with some stories, part one of my first serialized novel, and a few articles, filksongs, fake ads, advice column(s), classified ads, not to mention all the little extras thrown in to surprise and amuse you and otherwise please my sense of variety. I started this fanzine because I felt a need for a 'zine that, unlike "Data Entries" and "Electronic Male" (which are both wonderful, by the way) focuses more on short works of fiction written by fans and is large enough to include material the above 'zines are too small to include. Some of you may have seen ads in "Data Entries" for Data fiction 'zines such as "Cygnet" and "Omicron Theta." I sent SASE's for information on both and have never heard anything from either. I am not even certain if they exist. I make it a point to respond to all inquiries re. The Body Electric and will promise to do so. Unfortunately, not all 'zine editors do the same. I will publish all LoC's (letters of comment) unless you tell me not to. I will, however, reserve the right to edit any letter for any reason. I will not publish personal attacks against anyone, or any of what I consider "destructive criticism." I think you know what I'm talking about.

The editor would like to thank the following for their help and patience: Joyce Legendre, Brenda Renips, Patricia Rees, Thomas Hottle, and last, but not least, Penda Renips. She would also like to acknowledge Christina Mavroudis, Joyce McDonald and Melody Rondeau for inspiration and for bolding going...
1992 flyer for issue #1
  • Editorial (It Never Happened) (This is a long article about then-recent rumors of Brent Spiner being a jerk at cons and unfan-friendly: "Gossip: a dirty word. Every time it rears its ugly head, it causes someone harm. I'm sure many of you are aware of the rumors that have circulated regarding an alleged incident that occurred at the New York Creation Con, Thanksgiving Weekend of 1989. According to the rumors, Mr. Spiner was in the dealer's room. A fan fainted in front of him and he told her to "get a life." As a result of this rumor, Mr. Spiner has received hate mail and certain fans have written letters to fanzines that further blacken his name. One fan, in a letter to Christopher Simmons, the editor of "Galaxy Class" called Spiner "a jerk". I'm not so sure I would agree with her, even if the rumor were true. But from what I've heard in the past few years, I very much doubt any of it is true. I have sought out first hand accounts of what really happened and here's what 1 have found. I spoke to Gary Berman, an employee of Creation, who was at the con. He said Spiner was never in the dealer's room, no one fainted in front of him and he didn't tell anyone to "get a life.") (4)
  • Top Ten Spiner Nicknames (5)
  • Here's LoC'ing at You, Kid (6)
  • Gravely Speaking/The Soong Also Rises - courtesy of Becky Zertuche and Brenda Renips (9)
  • Spiner Tap by Brenda Renips (11)
  • Playmates by Joyce Legendre (Lore has a romantic encounter while dodging Pakleds on a shore leave planet.) (15)
  • The Man Behind the Golden Mask (excerpts from an article published in "The Free Lance Star," August 3, 1991, by Jerry Beck AP Television Writer, submitted by Brenda Renips) (28)
  • Spiney Con '91 by Ace Reporter Diane K. McCarty (A fan's con report about seeing Brent Spiner at the Creation Con in Chicago that year.) (30)
  • Li'l Brother's Corner
    • Data's Joke Box (54)
    • I Sing the Body Electric, the Ballad of Data and Tasha, filk to the tune of "The Beverly Hillbillies", by Diane K. McCarty (54)
    • You May Call me Jacob by Diane K. McCarty (How did Lore trick Data out of his emotion's chip? A missing scene from "Brothers.") (55)
  • Other Trex
    • Sermon to Silence by Brenda Renips (Lore enters the "Darkside" and meets up with the Reverand Peabody.) (57)
    • Speculation Corner (59)
    • Collecting Data, a listing of Brent Spiner's non-trek credits (61)
    • Transcripts: "Movietime Skit w/Marina, a humorous quiz by Brenda Renips and Pat Rees (69)
  • Omicron Theta, part one by Diane K. McCarty (A scientific team, headed by Dr. Noonian Soong, join together to create the perfect man... part one of a three part novel.) (71)
  • classifieds, complied by Freda Kurtzman and Brenda Renips (97)
  • a flyer/schedule of events for Chicago 25-27, 1992 Creation Con
  • all art by Brenda Renips

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

[Playmates]: Lore has a close encounter with a spirited woman who shields him from pursuit by vengeful Pakleds. He repays her kindness in his cruel and arrogant, yet "charming" manner. Recommended as a "guilty pleasure," funny, outrageous, and great for Lore fans. However, may offend some feminist sensibilities; how can the heroine put up with him?? [Rated] somewhere between PG-13 and R.[1]
[zine]: I picked up "The Body Electric" at our recent Toronto Trek Convention (July 23rd w/Majel Barrett/Nana Visitor). I loved it! (Besides picking up an autographed pic of His Brentness, it was the best buy.) I like Data -- but it's Brent I'm really interested in. I've been a fan of his since his early Hill Street Blues days... I've read [another Brent fanzine] [2], but your fanzine is so much better -- and I'm not just talking about size! [3]
[zine]: I just finished reading File One of "The Body Electric." WOW!! I LOVE IT! The artwork is excellent, the articles are great, and I can't wait to read the next installment of "Omicron Theta"! I loved "Playmates," too! I also enjoyed your transcript of the Chicago Con. I agree with you, Brent does give a good Con! His sense of humor and his sense of timing make his appearances on stage a memorable experience. He is an absolute doll!. [4]
[zine]: I will say that I really like your artwork and xeroxed photos and ticket stubs approach to this zine.... I particularly like the color front cover. Too many times an excellent zine in content has a ghastly front cover and art work. I also thank you for mentioning my name in your zine. I typically write more transcript style reports because I am a fan, not a famous critic. I am flattered that you would have used my name in the context of a critic/reporter, rather than bashing my report as an amateur fan. [5]
[zine]: I recently purchased the Fall '92 File 1 issue of your magazine containing "Omicron Theta." It was a rude surprise to discover that it was a "to be continued" novel... The story is fascinating so far and is better than some of the published novels I've bought from Pocket Books... You're better than a lot of the writers whose works I've read -- please keep at it!.... [much snipped about her experiences at volunteering at Creation Cons and her opinions of the TNG stars: LaVar Burton was most gracious, Patrick Stewart was a "very distant person," Brent Spiner was a smoker, joked a lot, and was a backseat driver, Marina was better than she'd heard, and everyone but LaVar was "mercenary."] [6]
[zine]: I've only been involved in "fandom" since April, but everyone who I write to has been most encouraging. Melody Rondeau is particular is fast becoming a very good friend, and she has supplied me with lots of addresses, and would like to see my cartoons in widespread print. Heck. so would I!...

A friend of mine recently lent me her copy of The Body Electric. I really enjoyed it, and was delighted to find the emphasis on Lore. Joyce Legendre's story "Playmates" was magnificent. Nice to see somebody treating our boy with deserved respect and a bit of ... er.... hubba hubba... to keep the old imagination firing on all cylinders... I mentioned this before, but any publication that puts the emphasis on the Bad Boy Soong (in a favorable way, of course) gets my vote 110%.

I just today received a copy of The Digital Times. WHAT a beautiful zine. I haven't started reading it yet, but I've flipped through... and flipped out! I have to watch my money these days (oh Gosh... who doesn't??) and I'm trying to be discerning about the zines I order, especially if they come from abroad... sigh... so when a gorgeous journal like TDT or TBE flops through my letterbox, my heart sings like a lark. [7]
[zine]: I enjoyed "The Body Electric". The con report was very thorough and entertaining. For someone who lives in the Northern reaches of bad weather country where Spiner Tap isn't likely to do a con, those reports are invaluable. Thanks.

I have a couple of comments regarding format -- I prefer more fan fiction and less white space -- especially regarding filler like "Counselore" and some of the full page illos... I was a tad bit disgruntled to note that my $17.00 bought me pages with nothing but a replication of ticket stubs... Hopefully, your next ish won't be so filled with fiction that you won't have to vamp like that. (Please do not be dismayed -- these are technical grumbles only.) ((On the contrary, I appreciate constructive criticism like this whenever I can get it. As for the ticket stub thing, I had originally planned to put photos from the con in that space, but they photocopied miserably... Now about the "filler" -- maybe there was a bit much, but personally, I think the filler is some o the best material in the zine. I mean, not to be sounding like an Armour hot dog salesperson, but... -- DM))

Regarding Lore [much speculation about his snipped] [8]
[zine]: Thank you very much for my copy of "The Body Electric"... Congratulations are most definitely in order. It has such a clean, professional look about it. With a healthy variety of stories and articles, plus all manner of interesting odds and ends -- you've struck an excellent balance. Brenda Renips' artwork is wonderful. Her cover drawing, especially, makes a great first impression. Oh, that pale but gorgeous face! I thoroughly enjoyed the first part of "Omicron Theta." I can well imagine Noonian Soong surrounding himself with just such, how shall I put it, unique collaborators. Siriusly. (Oy!)

Admittedly, I'm no fanzine connoisseur, having only seen only one other example, which shall remain nameless. The stories were quite good, generally, but I suspect they hired a drunken orangutan to do the typesetting. There's no other charitable way to account for the entire issue being littered with more typos than Doc Soong's kids have circuits.

So don't be humble! Fluff up your feathers and strut a couple of laps around Ira. You've earned it. [9]
[zine]: I found "The Body Electric" at a Star Trek convention and I loved it! The only thing I couldn't quite get into was "Paper Chase" (Transcriptions) but I believe that's because I don't know anything about Brent outside of TNG.... What I really want to know is how to get "The Body Electric" File Two and (hopefully) continuing issues. Will there be much difficulties to send them to Germany? I hope not, since "The Body Electric" is the best Spiner fanzine I've ever read... [10]
[zine]: I was extremely fortunate to obtain an original copy of "The Body Electric". It was worth every penny! I'm new at this, but in the last 2 months, I have managed to collect all D.E. issues. I subscribe to Database and now I have recently received my first double issue of E.M.. I just can't get enough when it comes to info and fun on Brent Spiner. [11]
Wow! Thanks! You really made my year end a far more pleasant one with your totally unexpected gift! You really are too generous, dear lady, and the zine looks great. I'm so pleased to see it has become a reality. With Bill Hupe carrying it, there's no way it can fail to take off. [12]
Well, I just finished reading my very first copy of "The Body Electric", and I was VERY impressed! I didn't think that any fanzine could ever be that entertaining! [13]
Two weeks ago I attended the "Grand Slam" Star Trek Creation Convention in Los Angeles where I bought a copy of your fine fanzine.... The price was a little steep, but it was well worth the money.

I especially enjoyed Joyce Legendre's story "Playmates," but I must admit I read it with a sort of fascinated horror. The reality of a naive and trusting woman going away with Lore, a defective android who's admitted to a very violent past made the story more than a little disturbing. I was curious to know what happened to the poor, brave girl. Did Claire get skinned alive by the Sargonians or did the couple stay in and play three weeks of sick, perverted, and technically illegal sex games! I guessed the latter. Could a human female even survive such an experience?!

The other thing that bothered me was the "you'll do whatever, whenever and however I want" stuff. The feminist in me bristled at that one, but then I thought, how long would an arrangement like that really last? One night, if he was lucky. [14]
Thank the Heavens for Media West Con! That's where I picked up my copy of "The Body Electric". And I had begun to believe that I was all alone on this planet... suffering a terminal case of Data/Lore/Spiner-itis... alas, I am not!

Well, as cons go, I was dishing out some cash to a dealer (for a Jean Kluge 'Data' print to be exact!) when a saw a woman walk up to the table with a copy of "The Body Electric" tucked under her arm. "Where did you get that?!?!?!" I nearly bowled the poor woman over. She looked at me rather strangely and pointed to Bill Hupe and Peg Kennedy's immense table off in a corner. Within minutes I held a copy of the "TBE" in my hot little hands. (They were nearly sold out, by the way.)... I found the zine extremely entertaining! I love the idea of including stories. Brenda does a great illustration job! She did an esp. good job of capturing Brent on p. 62. Mentioning page numbers, is page 14 available in a life-size poster?

[info about the Phantom of the Opera letterzine Beyond the Mask snipped here, see that page] [15]
I am writing to you to tell you how wonderful "The Body Electric" is! I received a copy as "payment" for some illustrations I did for Bill & Ann Hupe, and I LOVE IT! May I sign up for the next issue?...

What I really love about it is the serious approach to Brent it takes. It's not "juvenile" or "silly" -- it's a SERIOUS publication for those of us who just enjoy Mr. Spiner's work. I enjoyed so much of the zine I don't know where to start. First of all -- I've been in quite a few zines in the last year -- and I must say your layout is very good! Clean, precise, and it doesn't waste space. I loved (I have read it many times) the story Joyce Legendre wrote "Playmates." It was so good -- is there going to be a sequel??

Next, Brenda's beautiful artwork. As a fellow artist, I was notably impressed!! Third, the "Spiney Con" article as well as the great list of credits Mr. Spiner has done. I've often wondered where this wonderful actor was before Star Trek: TNG. THANK YOU!! [16]
Thank you so much for my copy of "The Body Electric"... I love the zine, especially the story "You May Call Me Jacob." Fills in the gaps quite nicely. I also got a big kick out of "A Sermon to Silence." You done good. [17]

Issue 2

The Body Electric 2 was published in 1995 and has 128 pages.

cover of issue #2, "Away Team at 20,000 Meters" -- artist is Nan Nelson

The art is by Julie Evans, Bruce F. Kannenberg, Don Kroth Jr., Diane McCarty, Nan Nelson, Brenda Renips, Melody Rondeau, Marjorie Russell, T. Tilly, and Michelle West.

From an ad: "At last, the wait is over! Issue #2 includes part two of "Omicron Theta" by Diane McCarty. The Alibi" and The South American", by Marjone Russell, a con report, folks, survey results, and much more beautiful full color cover with artwork by Nan Nelson. Additional artwork by Brenda Renips, T Tilly, Michele West, Melody Rondeau, Julie Evans, Majorie Russell, Don Kroth, Bruce Kannenberg, and Diane McCarty."

The editorial:
Well, here it is at last. The wait Is over! The second sensational issue of The Body Electric. Thank you all for your patience and beating with me (and my horrendously busy schedule!). I hope the wait was worth it. Thank you. also (a thousand times over) for the wonderful letters you've sent me. Whoa? Anytime I need an ego boost.... Read the LoC column to see what I mean. Fair warning: Due to space constraints, I've had to edit the letters to eliminate personal data (no pun intended) and other information I didn't feel would fit very well into the subject material of the zine (i.e. Brent and his characters).

While It's true that the show is over (at least as far as the medium of television goes), we will continue to boldly go with our own adventures here In the realm of the fanzine. I Invite every one of you to join us. Now that Data has his chip firmly in place, the mind reels with the possibilities... They are more alike now, aren't they? I'm not sure how long I will be able to continue this endeavor (after all, All Good Things must end...), but I promise to at least finish the serialized 'Omicron Theta" for you (with Issue #3). Part II graces this zine. Expect some major changes in the way this zine looks for issue #3 because (fanfare, please), Diane now has a REAL computer!!! The new logo design on the front cover is the result of my playing around a little with Corel Draw. Also, I can now been found wreaking havoc In cyberspace. You can e-mail me at SoongsFP@aol.com or at mchottla@lx.netcom.com. Please note: these addresses are subject to change without notice, so It your e-mail bounces, please snail mail me and I'll let you know what my new address is. Cyber-hugs go out to my newly made friends on America Online's Brent board! :::waving enthusiastically::: I would like to thank the following people for helping me with this effort: my good buddy in New York (who has chosen to remain anonymous), my husband, and - of course - all the writers and artists who have contributed. Thanks also to all of the readers and those who have written letters for their praise, support, and advice. I needed that! Mucho thanks to Bill Hupe & the gang at Footrot Flats for handling the unenviable task of printing and distributing this zine. Need I mention my appreciation to Gene Roddenberry and everyone else involved In Trek for creating, such wonderful characters for us to work with, and especially to Brent Spiner for bringing some of these characters miraculously to life. But above all, I'd like to thank God, the Source of It all, for giving us the power of creativity. I couldn't have done it without Him!

Love LLore Long and Perspire Profusely,
  • Here's LoC'ing at You, Kid (4)
  • Gravely Speaking/The Soong Also Rises (11)
  • Brent at Trek Fest '93 by Ace Reporter Diane K. McCarty (13)
  • Cat Tales by Sandy Stevens and Diane K. McCarty (18)
  • Li'l Brother's Corner (19)
  • The South American" by Marjorie Russell (20)
  • Data's Joke Box (33)
  • "The Alibi" by Marjorie Russell (36)
  • Endless Possibilities by Diane K. McCarty (54)
  • Survey Results (55)
  • Diane Bares Her Soul, the editor's reply to the survey questions (59)
  • Other Trex:
    • Transcripts: Night Court (61)
    • Speculation Corner (79)
  • I Sing the Body Electric
    • Filk: Lore's Next" to the tune of a Who song by Thomas S. Hottle and Diane K. McCarty (82)
    • Bob Bob O'Wheeler, to the tune of "Baba O'Riley" by Thomas Hottle (82)
    • Beyond Gold Eyes, to the tune of "Behind Blue Eyes" by Diane K. McCarty-Hottle (83)
    • The Real Me, to the tune of a Who song, by Thomas Hottle and Diane McCarty-Hottle (84)
  • Reprints
    • Clips from Starlog's Next Gen Makeup Issue (85)
    • Trek Stop, from People Magazine (86)
  • Omnicron Theta, part two by Diane K. McCarthy (88)
  • Opened Captioning (127)

References

  1. from Data Base v.2.0
  2. the editor has redacted the title of this zine in the letter
  3. from an LoC in "The Body Electric" #2
  4. from an LoC in "The Body Electric" #2
  5. from an LoC in "The Body Electric" #2
  6. from an LoC in "The Body Electric" #2
  7. from an LoC in "The Body Electric" #2
  8. from an LoC in "The Body Electric" #2
  9. from an LoC in "The Body Electric" #2
  10. from an LoC in "The Body Electric" #2
  11. from an LoC in "The Body Electric" #2
  12. from an LoC in "The Body Electric" #2
  13. from an LoC in "The Body Electric" #2
  14. from an LoC in "The Body Electric" #2 -- the editor adds a note and says this fan was so inspired by this story that she wrote her own story about it.
  15. from an LoC in "The Body Electric" #2
  16. from an LoC in "The Body Electric" #2
  17. from an LoC in "The Body Electric" #2