The Goddess Uhura
|Title:||The Goddess Uhura|
|Author(s):||Winston A. Howlett|
|Cover Artist(s):||Gee Moaven|
|Illustrator(s):||Fern Marder, Anji Valenza|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TOS|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
The Swahili Series
There are three Probe Special Issues:
From the dedication: "This issue is dedicationed to all women everywhere, for whom the term 'mere female' is no longer acceptable, and was never applicable anyway."The editor writes about 'The Goddess Uhura' in issue #9:
[It was finished] just in time to be a hit at the February Star Trek Con in New York. That was our first Special Issue, and it took precedence over 'Probe 7' which was due to come out the same time. It also took every last credit and quatloo in the budget (and another $150 from my parents) to pay the printing bill, so 'Probe 7' had to wait until April for its printing and collating, after 'Goddess Uhura' was declared a hit and so many Uhura fans sent in orders.
From the Author
One time I overdid it in trying to be subtle. In GODDESS UHURA, I had a scene where Uhura psychologically ‘divorces’ herself from Kirk by symbolically castrating him. In the scene, she was tossing the supernatural powers she gained through psionics on this huge, phallic-shaped rock. She fired at it and cut it in half, then psionically lifted herself in the air and stood on the blackened stump. And, seemingly, nobody caught that. I don’t think anybody saw that, but they could see by the end of the story that Uhura could say to Kirk, ‘Bye . . .’ and not feel any great regret about it. The subtlety worked, I think, but— 
- Starline by Winston A. Howlett, p. 2-3 (editorial)
- Last Skimmer to Jericho by Winston A. Howlett, p. 7-50 [Originally published in Probe 2; also reprinted in Furaha 1]
- Music Has Charms by Sara Paul, p. 51-57 (reprinted and revised from Space-Time Continuum #8. Howlett wrote that this was the only fiction he'd allowed in his shared universe: "I haven’t even let in one outside writer [to my fan-created universe]. Sara Paul had a short story in SPACE-TIME CONTINUUM #8 that coincided with an aspect of what I was writing for GODDESS UHURA. And I asked her permission to put a rewritten version of ‘Music Has Charms’ in GODDESS UHURA. That is the only outside contribution that I have ‘accepted’ for the Swahili Series, except for some poetry by some friends of mine." )
- A Plague of Dreams by Winston A. Howlett, p. 61-121B
flyer for "The Goddess Uhura" printed in the zine "Probe", click to read
Reactions and Reviews
See reactions and reviews for Last Skimmer to Jericho.
[zine]: ...I've always enjoyed watching the beautiful lieutenant, too — and it was "Mirror, Mirror" that got me hooked on her. She was so cool, so controlling — and so undeniably female — in that episode; every time I think of it I wonder: Why didn't the show's writers make more use of Ms. Nichols' unique talents? I'm pleased that GODDESS UHURA is doing something to rectify that omission; you, at least, have succeeded in showing Uhura as a fully-rounded character (oh, man! That is an atrocious pun!), and a strong, dynamic woman, at that. 
[zine]: The Goddess Uhura gives us a long-overdue look at Lt. Uhura and what makes her tick. Both major stories are actually parts one and two of one longer story. Uhura is portrayed as a total woman. The insights into her mind and the encapsulation of events as seen from her point-of-view are very well done indeed. Frances Zawacky, Fern Marder, and Winston A. Howlett are contributing authors, and Gee Moaven and Anji Valenza outdid themselves in illustrating this issue. The issue is definitely a good buy, and it is refreshing to get a glimpse of Uhura away from her communication console. Winston is to be congratulated on his entry into the field of fine, Trek-orientated 'zines that have something to offer beyond the usual ... The reviewers gave this 'zine a consistent rating of 8 (good) and I'd be willing to push it one point further ... 
[zine]: For every fan who especially likes Uhura -- and even for those who don't -- this zine is a delight... In these stories, we are shown what Uhura can do when given the chance and she definitely isn't 'mere' at all. In 'Last Skimmer to Jericho,' Uhura takes shore leave on the planet Duquesne, hoping to visit a dear childhood friend. Instead, she finds he has recently died and soon is running for her life and that of a child. The characterization of the people, the setting, and the plot itself are all brilliant. A shorter story, 'Music Has Charms' is a bridge between 'Skimmer' and 'A Plague of Dreams,' the other long story in the zine. It's not really up to the level of the other two, but is nevertheless of some interest. 'A Plague of Dreams' is one of those stories that is difficult to describe without giving the whole plot away. Basically, it tells how the lieutenant, after receiving what seem to be almost supernatural powers from a mysterious source, saves an alien race from one of their own kind. Again, the insight into Uhura's character is fascinating. And, as an added plus, we are given a solution to the problem of the Kirk/Uhura relationship that is both logical and very much in character for the people involved. The illos, mostly by Gee Moaven, are among the best I've ever seen. The front and back covers are especially exquisite. Easily on of the best ever. 
- Last Skimmer to Jericho, When Enterprise is called on to transport materials to Duquesne, Uhura manages to obtain shore leave there to visit an old mentor and his family who have become colonists there. Sadly, she arrives shortly after Umri has been killed rescuing his infant grandson from the local beasts of prey. Uhura is unable to understand or penetrate the hostility of the surviving daughter Utamu, formerly a great friend, who has left Starfleet to remain with the family on the new colony. The colony then comes under attack from living nuclear firebombs. Uhura manages to rescue Utamu and the child, and get the three of them onto the last vehicle back to the capital - and she also manages to stun one of the "fire-things" and wrap it up safely to take back to Enterprise for examination. It attempts to communicate with her through her dreams. After a crash, all four are rescued by Enterprise, and it is determined that the Ballenites live by means of small-scale nuclear energy. A swarm of them were headed off to colonize a new planet after their own was destroyed, but they ran out of steam and got sucked down onto Duquesne where they exploeded. The only survivor is the one Uhura stunned, Soor. Enterprise takes Soor to its original destination and drops it off to found a new population (they bud) and Uhura and her childhood friend are reconciled.
- Music Has Charms, Enterprise is following runes found floating in space, the remnants of an exploded asteroid, when Uhura begins passing out and experiencing dreams she cannot understand. This turns out to be the result of entities attempting to communicate with her in their musical language to convey a warning to the Enterprise to stay away from the sector.
- A Plague of Dreams, Uhura is discovered to be suffering from a form of radiation poisoning that is both giving her telekinetic powers a la Gary Mitchell and transforming her into some new being. She interprets the transformation in the light of an African fairy tale and believes she is being prepared for a great battle. Meanwhile, those around her are caught between fears for her and fears of her. She is being called to the planet of the Ballenites, where indeed she ends up doing battle with one of them who has turned mad and powerful because of the radiation from an odd little second sun in the system. Needless to say, she succeeds in slaying the dragon, which turns out to be Soor. Too much mysticism and nonsensical granting of superpowers for my taste (this is where "Goddess" Uhura comes in, she's been turned into a goddess) - but I did enjoy the interweaving of African myth into the story. 
[zine]: GODDESS UHURA is the most definitive picture of Lt. Uhura yet drawn. The courage, wit, charm, and capabilities so ably hinted at by Nichelle Nichols in STAR TREK - this despite a dearth of decent scripts - is captured beautifully in the two main novellas of this volume. Howlett is presently working on the sequel to GODDESS UHURA, an episodic novel entitled CAPTAIN UHURA. 
- from a writers' panel, transcript here, accessed March 5, 2013
- From a writers' panel transcript, 1989, accessed March 5, 2013. For more on this topic, see Remix, Shared Universe.
- from an LoC in Probe #12
- from Fanzine Review 'Zine
- from The Halkan Council #20/21
- from Halliday's Zinedex
- from Time Warp #1