The Landing Party 6

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Fanwork
Title: The Landing Party 6
Creator: Gordon Carleton
Date(s): July 1975 as described in Warped Space #8
Medium:
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
External Links:
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The Landing Party 6 was created by Gordon Carleton for the zine Warped Space and Menagerie. It was a series of stories/shared universe featuring OMC members of the Enterprise.

There is a "Landing Party 6 Writers' Guide" in Warped Space #8.

The stories were later collected in the zine The Compleat Faulwell/Landing Party 6.

Descriptions of the Series

1975

Landing Party 6 has five permanently assigned personnel with one rotating member. This position varies with each specific assignment and also allows the insertion of a character of your creation into the landing party. [1]
The Landing Party Series is aimed at presenting a new set of characters for fan writers to work with -- six people in different departments that are Landing Party 6. The 'stars' are mentioned only infrequently and the stories tend strongly toward the humorous or ludicrous situations. [2]

1996

Landing Party 6 stories were the adventures of an Enterprise team that were the role-play alter-egos of Warped Space writers & club members. [3]

2010

[The series] was very loose roman à clef about Paula Block and her friends. They were really self-portrait characters, but for whatever reason, they had more of a sense of proportion about them. She had McCoy fall in love with Sadie, but it did not necessarily change McCoy's characterization, and it didn't change anyone's characterization, and the stories were intriguing on their own. Was this a Mary Sue or not a Mary Sue? [interviewer interjects: It helped that Paula Block was a good writer.] Yes. As a writer, she gave a lot more than she demanded from the reader. She gave us a character that we could recognize to a certain degree, but did not demand that we fall in love with the character. We could like Sadie or not on our own terms. [4]

Gallery

The Characters

  • Sadie Faulwell, works in Field Linguistics, created by Paula Block
  • Girc'N, Lieutenant Commander in charge of the ship's Schematics Department, created by Gordon Carleton
  • Kimeya Maya, Lieutenant Commander, cultural anthropologist, created by Lori Chapek and Paula Block
  • Yeoman Fred Shippe, recording secretary and communications officer, created by Gordon Carleton
  • Ensign Mita Razumov, the landing party's medical officer, created by Nancy Svenson
  • the insertion character, see above

Fans Talk About the Series

Comment to Sharon Ferraro ... I've never met any of the models for LP6 but their characters are written into the stories enough that I'm in love with them! To me they're as much a part of the Enterprise story as Captain Kirk! But you're right about the in-joke idea; I don't always catch some of what's written about the various conventions. For instance, I don't have any idea who or what KDC and KAC and are! [5]
I don't believe in abandoning the main characters while there are still so many possible stories using them. Be careful and start mixing in Landing Party and non-Landing Party stories or you'll wind up stereotyped as completely Landing Party-fiction fanzine. [6]
Question - does Girc'N resemble Gordon Carleton?' Connie Faddis said she'd like to borrow Gerk as a model. (!) I have one comment. Let's not overdo the LP6 stories. They're interesting once in a while but to overdue the series is to grow into an in-group ala Kraith. You end up like impacted toenails. I tend to think LP6 is a little too flakey for such a hazardous profession. Faulwell is the worst offender, an air-head paragon. [7]
... I am also fond of the stokers-eye-view, were ' there such a creature on the Big E, of ship, command crew, mission, etc., and for that reason am passing fond of LP6 and Faulwell. They can be tedious at times, but I find their relationships realistic, and its so nice to find someone neither related to nor in love with Kirk ((or Spock?)). I've followed the Faulwell controversy with interest, and beinq an elderly enthusiast, am quite surprised to find her criticised for her behaviour sexually. Why d'you think all those birth-control methods are advocated? And imagine what the crew of a starship would be like if each encounter was filled with romance, and people got unduly hung up about who sleeps with whom. Remember, they're supposed to be up there for months at a time, probably either bored with the routine or working in life-and-death stress situations. Ask any nurse—either of those things can be quite horny-making. (And there's nothing quite like the touch of flesh to flesh to help!} Faulwell as Paula writes her may not be the person I'd choose as my best friend, but I can really believe in her, and as a character I love her. That actually goes for all of Paula's stuff— and thanks for introducing me to McCoy. You give him a dimension I missed—I guess that's what love is for. [8]
The content of WS is always one that has bothered me. I still feel that it has the potential to be one of the best and moat viable 'zines in fandom, but its potential is wasted, a beached and dying whale on the shores of STrek fan publishing. The material inside is inconsistent ..., sometimes beautifully constructed and marvelously portrayed, and sometimes cob-web ridden plots and thin, boring action. It's hard to see how the content can jump around so much without stabilizing in any one spot.

LP6 is the worst part of the 'zine. They really I would not be so bad, they would be tolerable, a nice easy going series of fan stories that belong to WS and make it special, but it isn't. You've tried to blow it up into something that it isn't. It almost seems sacrilegious to see a serious, even melodramatic story performed by LP6 like "Pasadena Blues." ((Ed: Ahem. "Pasadena Blues" was part of the Faulwellian Epic, which is separate from LP6, although Faulwell is also part of the LP6,)) The LP6 crew is set against the crew of the Big E —right? Fine. BUT the very nature of the LP6, the people and their characters define the limits to the type of stories they can be contained in. For the most part—the people in LP6 are flakes! How you or anyone else can expect them to be credible in a serious drama is beyond me. Those stories in which bizarre things take olace, the ones played out with a light and whimsical tone are the best LP6 stories around, for those are formats that LP6 fit into. Casting LPS in a story like "Pasadena Blues" was like casting Conan into the role of Hamlet ... he might have worked in a different story construct ("Midsummer's Night's Dream" maybe) but nothing serious. "Pasadena Blues" was a mediocre story to begin with ... the premise had been used before and tha technicalities of it were a hit hard to swallow, but it could have been worked up to a nice story. It's major flaw was using LP6 ... it should have used some other crewmen.

And ... to add insult to injury, LP6 is praised. Yes, PRAISED, almost deified! I don't believe I would mind if LP6 were accepted for what it is, just sit back and let it be an integral part of WS. In due time the fans would praise it for you. Yet LP6 is brought up constantly, their roles are adulterated, prostituted. The letters in the lettercol are almost invariably in favor of LP6 and some of the comments are just sickening. The worse offense of all was 'that blasted article "In Defense of Faulwell" which was in actuality a sniveling little lettercol that had been expanded and thinly disguised as an article, complete with re-run artwork. LP6 is not great. Only a few individual stories have ever had any merit. The whole group is a bunch of loonies and the only way they could have possibly gotten past the Starfleet examinations is to qualify as ETs and claim minority discrimination against Starfleet. Sometimes, if they went any farther off the deep end they might qualify as something engendered by Monty Python's Flying Circus, yet, after all of this-- LP6 is only so-so. The stories have their moments, but they aren't spectacular. In the pages of WS I see LP6 pushed all over the place, trying to hype it, sell it to the readers. I don't appreciate that, but I don't know if you, or anyone else, does it consciously ...Doesn't anyone have negative comments on WS or LP6? It seems that only speculative letters or ones of praise get into that column ...[9]

I do dislike the idea of Girc'N terribly. He strikes me as a convenient creation to cater to those who wish that Vulcans were psychologically closer to humans.' I find it hard to take him seriously, especially after stories like "Ayok Time." In my opinion, you are making a serious mistake by using the

character to satirize Vulcan, as well as presenting him as a legitimate alien; the inconsistency leads to confusion.[10]

Sadie Faulwell

Sadie is by far the most written character and generated much fan comment in regards to her appeal whether or not she was a Mary Sue, echoing fans' conflict regarding strong OFCs.

Gordon Carleton's description of this creation from his writer's guide:
Lt. Sadie Faulwell is responsible for field research in linguistics. She works in the ship's language labs. In addition to being a regular member of the landing party, she is currently having a 'thing' with Dr. McCoy... Faulwell's personality is complex. On the surface, she appears to be a cheerful, flaky type, second only to Girc'N in her unpredictability. She makes Kirk nervous, tells Scotty dirty jokes, and is generally liked by the crew. Underneath, though, she is basically insecure and it is obvious from her behavior in [the story] 'A Private Little Naked Time' that much of her flakiness is a front for that insecurity and also a means of attaining the attention she craves.

Some Words from Sadie's Creator: 1975

For all those readers pleading that Faulwell be stoned - or at least branded with a big red A [for cheating on McCoy] - I hope you were pleased with her "just reward" in WSll. I am very pleased, as an aspiring witer, to see you guys getting so involved with my work. It reminds me of the actors in soap operas who are always being accosted on the street by the public, who demand, "How can you do that to your sister, who's been so good to you?" Kind of losing sight of the author- directo'rs intention and blaming it all on the character.

I don't think I have to justify Faulwell's actions - only the fact that they were not out of character for her, just the reader's view of what he'd like her to be. Besides, it was important to the conflict plot I was building up to. What do you want - a relationship that's all sweetness and light, with no problems? If anything ain't real, that ain't. Enough said. I really dug all the response - filled my little writer's soul to the top of it's joybox. Keep it up. Maybe one day Bantam will publish a book called "Faulwell Lives!" It can't be any worse than some books I could mention. [11]

Some Words from Sadie's Creator: 1980

The 'Faulwellian Epic's' genre was... well, I can't exactly say it was action-adventure, can I? I always considered it a Mary-Sue (how could I honestly consider it anything else, when the drawings of Sadie were patterned after me?), in that Mary-Sue incorporates portions of the author's personality within the main character. And Sadie certainly reflected a lot of my thoughts and yearnings. Though 'she got her man in the end,' I always tried to keep her as humanly imperfect as possible. She didn't win by beauty, gile or feats or heroism. It was her personality that pulled her through -- a sense of fatalism blended with a sense of humor, vulnerability balanced by stamina. A lot of people could identify with her, which helped transform the meaning of 'Mary Sue' in this case from Wonder Woman to Everywoman. [12]

Fans Talk About Sadie Faulwell

Unknown Date

I adore Paula Block's Sadie Faulwell series. Some may call her Mary Sue, but I beg to differ; she is a real person, and a fine match for Paula's very realistic McCoy. Paula's writing is always wonderfully evocative, whether the tale is tender, serious, slapstick, or all three. [13]

1975

Everyone adored Faulwell. We all think she is terribly funny and well-done. [14]
I especially enjoyed the Faulwell-McCoy stories, I hope she will keep doing them. In fact, the whole Landing Party series is great. Keep it going! [15]
Don't like Faulwell anymore. Sorry, but I'm still old-fashioned enough to believe that one does not begin a new relationship until one has honorably terminated the old one. I'm sure next ish Sadie will be right back with McCoy -- and that he doesn't deserve! It's realistic that in real life flakey characters like Faulwell do charm one for a while until they do something grisly -- then they can't understand why you are not charmed anymore. But when you create a continuing character, you really shouldn't turn the readers off to her in that way. [16]
I've already put in my protest about Faulwell and McCoy sleeping together [in the story "The Trouble With Revels]. Now I want to expand it. If Faulwell must sleep with a man (which I still don't like), please keep it to one man at a time. I don't think she'd take her relationship with McCoy so casually that she'd hop into bed with the nearest male when [McCoy] is not around. She must have loved McCoy a little more than you make it seem in order to want to sleep with him in the first place. I realize I'm projecting my morals onto her, but I don't think her morals are quite as loose as you have made them. I know I would have respected her more if she hadn't slept with Athos, especially when it wasn't essential to the story. Somebody's characterization is slipping. [17]

I have always thought Paula B. was a fantastic writer and Faulwell was a really clever idea, and I really liked her until "At Long Last ..." Well I still think Paula is a great writer but I am not sure how I feel about Faulwell. I just thought I would say that before I started picking at her. The first time Faulwell slept with Athos I didn't really care. I did think that Faulwell was a bit self-centered, but who isn't? But the second time around really rubbed me the wrong way; not so much the fact that she did it, but her attitude towards the whole thing. I thought the bit about not being able to say no, to justify what she did, was a cop-out. I didn't like the way Faulwell led McCoy on. I don't like the way some girls (and I know some) will hang on to one guy while trying to get a new guy just in case the new guy doesn't work out (or leaves the ship in two days). Add to that was the way Paula writes the characters and past stories... I got the impression that McCoy loves Faulwell and Faulwell came across as indifferent as far as he's concerned.

[...]

I liked Faulwell better in the first two stories and if Paula does start the affair again I hope she will write Faulwell like she did in the beginning. The only two reasons I can think of right now that I would agree with for the re-starting of the affair is a) Faulwell and McCoy really love each other and/or b) McCoy is some kind of a nut. [18]

1976

Faulwell bugs me sometimes. She is the realest character I've seen introduced into the ST universe, but sometimes I could just shake her. But she gets Bones into the sack fairly regularly, and if he's happy, who am I to complain? [19]
I can emphasize muchly with Faulwell: I can see in her many of my own characteristics, including the difficulty in saying 'no.' [20]
Thank goodness she's gotten over Athos! That business always bothered me, not so much the affair, but that she could have done it on the ship under McCoy's nose so to speak. I felt she had a little more regard for Bones and wouldn't have done something she knew would wound him when he found out about it.[21]
I'm beginning to suspect that Faulwell is a Lt. Mary Sue in disguise— or maybe an anti-Lt. Mary Sue. Would you believe a mirror version of Pat Zotti's Amy? I've been trying to figure out what a Faulwell is in positive terms. The conception of Faulwell that I can make out is totally negative. But to be a believable character-- or I should say a 'sympathetic' character, especially to be a main character in a continuing series of stories— I should think that Faulwell should have a balance of positive and negative qualities. To be a believable crewmeriber of a starship she has to have a job on board and be reasonably qualified and stable enough to do the job. But it seems that almost every time we see her she's going off the deep end about silly little thing's like a birthday. Or she's ticked off at McCoy or seducing McCoy or being seduced by some alien. All of which can be fine, but there's a limit where it becomes a bit tiresome. If I remember right, Paula said in one of WS's lettercols that she was trying to portray a realistic relationship (one that isn't all 'sweetness and light') and that is a laudable goal. But I think she's making a mistake in trying to dump all the dramatic problems on Faulwell's shoulders -- it isn't reasonable. There should be some give and take in a normal relationship. McCoy's no saint. I hope in the future that she will let McCoy carry some of the burden of the stories, give Faulwell some positive qualities, point: up some of McCoy's weaknesses (his irascible nature, his stubborness, his probable devotion to duty/his career at the possible exclusion of some other parts of his life, etc." — in general put more balance into the series. [22]
Re the Faulwell controversy...A lot of her 'flakiness' is probably just shyness. And as far as Athos goes-- she only slept with one person per episode, which is all McCoy can say.[23]
I particularly like the Faulwell-McCoy series even though I don't like Faulwell! I don't think there is ever any excuse for cheating and Faulwell didn't have one at all. It seems Bones is about to take her back in the story in issue #12, I and I hope Paula Block creates another woman to take him away from Faulwell. I think Bones deserves better than a woman who is UNFAITHFUL. [24]
I wish to rebut [another fan's letter] regarding the sexual escapades of Sadie Faulwell. As a woman of mature years who has been married to the same man for thirteen of them, I can assure all of you little innocents out there that the true test of a relationship is whether it can withstand the kind of pressures described in the three Faulwell stories. ... I like the Faulwell stories, and I think that Paula Block is marvelously perceptive writer and a truly liberated and thinking female to have written them.[25]
It is touching and believable that Faulwell is reaccepted by McCoy, but her behavior is just too calculating and thoughtless to keep my sympathy.[26]
I might as well begin by throwing in my vote for Faulwell -- I like her, dammit, flakiness and all. She's one of the few really believable characters in fan fiction... Sure she's a little bit odd, but I don't think she's a complete yo-yo, as somebody described her... I think that some of the dislike of Faulwell comes from the fact that she isn't the usual Lt. Mary Sue or the male version thereof. Much as we complain about Mary Sues, I think we've come to expect them to some degree, or else we draw an analogy with the current space program, and assume that anyone who gets into space must be near-godlike in all respects...[27]
The Landing Party stories are now a bore. The very genuine humor and the almost-realism would work better if there was less quantity and less Faulwell. She might be believable as someone's roommate in their sophomore year in college, but on a starship?[28]
I also enjoyed Faulwell's bit, she's very easy to relate to, and altho' I didn't think she had to justify having Athos again, I can understand where she might have. As my personality prof says -- you don't have to use someone else's reality, just respect it and try to understand where they're coming from. [29]

I would like to say how I feel about the Faulwell series (or, rather, what I've seen of it so far). I fully expect Paula not to agree with what I have to say, but it'll make me feel better just to say it. That Faulwell is a yo-yo (literally) I can't see McCoy putting up with that bullshit of Faulwell's bouncing; back and forth between yes-McCoy and No-McCoy all the time. Don't you think he'd recognize the fact that she has a very unstable personality? As the physician responsible for the mental and physical health of the crew, he'd have to recognize it and straighten her out (probably in psychiatric sessions with a strict doctor-patient relationship) or ship her out to a less sensitive post--either to Star Fleet post planetside or completely out of the service. Question: how did Faulwell by the Star Fleet psy- chaitrlsts and get into Star Fleet anyway? Did she develop these problems after she got into the Fleet? I like what I've read by Paula so far, but I think that if she continues to bore me to death and I'll end up saying, "Oh yes, another Paula Block Faulwell story— no need

to read that." There are so many problems with relationships between "normal people" that I wish she'd stop wasting her talent with this Soap Trek about the doctor and the yo-yo. I'm not asking that she drop Faulwell— just make her a bit more realistic crewmember. The 2 stories by Paula that I've read have been frustrating: McCoy stories are rare and I enjoy a good McCoy story, but though the Faulwell stories are well-written, they're mostly just depressing— with just the barest hook at the end. [30]
I'm an avid fan of Faulwell's. She's real, believable. I really detest stories that make the main character 'perfect,' since they don't exist. Keep it UP, Paula. [31]
I am new to WARPED SPACE'S readership but being a loyal TREK fan bombarded with 6 issues of WS at one time, I'd like to add my comments to Warped Communications [32], Firstly, I was much impressed with the quality of the zine, that is, the writing as well as the illos and layout. (I've been a Paula Block fan ever since I met the old girl at the Chicago con in August and where, finding out we were both McCoy fans, we would sit in the hall-room until 3 a,m, and squeal and swoon every time De Kelley came on the screen...) Anyway, I say I am a P. Block Fan, but I am definitely not a Faulwell fan, I mean, I dig the Faulwell-McCoy stories but I disagree with whoever said that Faulwell was 'liberated.' I'd say that 'spineless and brainless' more clearly defines her and her inability to say no. Anyway, the stories are interesting and I'm waiting to see further adventures. [33]
I wish to rebut Ms. Joyce K. Quackenbush's letter regarding the sexual escapades of Sadie Faulwell. As a woman of mature years who has been married to the same man for thirteen of them, I can assure all you little innocents out there that the true test of a relationship is whether it can withstand the kind of pressures described in the three Faulwell stories. If McCoy does take her back, their relationship will have been enhanced, and will probably take on a deeper meaning to both of them— they need each other and no outside episode can ever change that. I like the Faulwell stories, and I think Paula Block is a marvelously perceptive writer and a truly liberated and sensitive female to have written them. Aside from which— please change your printer so that I do not have to change my optometrist!! [34]
Let me say to Karen Fleming — raspberries! Block-Faulwell stories are NOT soap trek, and just what the hay does she consider to be a 'normal' person? I think she's normal but then again I think I'm normal and I have friends and relatives who do not agree. Maybe her problem is she has only read two such stories. Read 'em all, Karen, in rotation. [35]
... The LP6 concept is pure genius. I adore the characters, especially Girc'N and Fred Shippe (how about a little more character development on the latter, Gordon?) and your serious stories are utterly beautiful. I do ... have a few suggestions ... Since I started in the middle issues of the fanzine, one thing that was glaringly evident was the lack of plot synopses for continuing story series. Just a few sentences would really do wonders for us lost folks who only recently were introduced to Faulwell, LP6, etc. ... Congrats to Paula Block on her Faulwellian epic! One of the masterpieces of modem fiction. Never have I seen a more totally real, believable character in a fanzine. [36]

1977

... I can't understand why there's so much flack over LP6I When did they pass a law that a story couldn't be written and read just for fun, for Ghod's sake? Sadie's muddling through and somehow having things turning out pretty much all right after all sounds a lot like most life-patterns. It may not be the happy-ever-after, everything-going-as-one-wants pattern, but what a dull story-line that makes! [37]

A Possible Revival?

cover of Spectrum #32, the "Wanted" cover, artist is Joni Wagner, mash-up by M.J. Fisher
In 2007, Gordon Carleton proposed more adventures. From the MediaWest*Con program book:
The Return of Landing Party 6? With the 40th anniversary of Star Trek, ST panels and exhibits at Worldcon, and the "remastered" SFX on TOS episodes, Gordon has been inspired to possibly put out Volume 3 of the Compleat Faulwell/LP6, maybe for MW*C 28. There were a couple things that got left out of Vol. 1&2 and some new stuff is in the works. Does anybody care? Any artists and writers want to contribute? Also looking for some references if anyone happens to have them: Spectrum 32 ("Wanted" cover), and references to T'Kuht and T'Kuhtians in fanfic or pro stuff.

References

  1. comments by its creator, from Warped Space #8
  2. From The Halkan Council #11
  3. Joan Verba in Boldly Writing
  4. from an 2010 interview with Paula Smith in Transformative Works and Cultures, see A Conversation with Paula Smith
  5. from a fan's comment in Warped Space #11
  6. from a fan's comment in Warped Space #11
  7. from a fan in Warped Space #12
  8. from Ruth Jansons in "Warped Space" #19
  9. comments by Jeff Johnston in a LoC in "Warped Space" #19
  10. comments by Robert S. McCann in a LoC in "Warped Space" #23
  11. from Paula Block in Warped Space #12
  12. from an interview of Paula Block in Menagerie #16
  13. Halliday’s Star Trek Zinedex (TOS) - Title Index, Archived version
  14. from a fan's comment in Warped Space #11
  15. from a fan's comment in Warped Space #11
  16. from Jean Lorrah's comment in Warped Space #11
  17. from a fan's comment in Warped Space #11
  18. from a fan's comment in Warped Space #12
  19. from a 1976 issue of Warped Space
  20. from a 1976 issue of "Warped Space"
  21. from a 1976 issue of "Warped Space"
  22. from an LoC in "Warped Space" #15
  23. from a 1976 issue of "Warped Space"
  24. from "Warped Space" #14
  25. from a 1976 issue of "Warped Space"
  26. from "Warped Space" #14
  27. from "Warped Space" #15
  28. from Pat McCormack in "Warped Space" #15
  29. from a 1976 issue of "Warped Space"
  30. from an LoC by Karen Fleming in "Warped Space" #14
  31. from an LoC by Cindy Myers in "Warped Space" #14
  32. "Warped Communications" is the lettercol in Warped Space.
  33. from an LoC by Mona Delitsky in "Warped Space" #14
  34. from an LoC by Jean Lorrah in "Warped Space" #15
  35. from a LoC in "Warped Space" #15
  36. from a LoC by T.J. Burnside in "Warped Space" #15
  37. from a LoC by Sharon Emily in "Warped Space" #23