The Tollian Affair

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Star Trek Fanfiction
Title: The Tollian Affair
Author(s): Claude Devaves
Date(s): 1974
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
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The Tollian Affair is a Star Trek: TOS story in script form by Claude Devaves.

It was published in Warped Space #2 and reprinted in issue #1/2.

One notable review of this story appeared in Warped Space #3 in the form of a letter of comment by Paula Smith. Smith lambasted the story for being a Mary Sue. In the letter, Smith refers to "Mary Sue" as "a worthless genre" and that the script form style of the story "simply not worth my time; the only reason I finished this, indeed, got past the teaser, was to review it. And my considered opinion is that it stinks."

Reactions and Reviews


"The Tollian Affair." Jesus. I did not think it possible for a guy (Clyde does have a Y chromosome, doesn't he?) to write a Lt. Mary Sue story, where the stupid, young, but beautiful ensign manages to Save the Galaxy with the equivalent of her hairpin. This is a worthless genre, for the hero is not heroic, interesting, or even consistent, and there is never the slightest reason for us to pay any attention to the idiot-savants that populate the atories of this ilk. Men are attracted to her because she behaves like a simp, but two paragraphs later she's inventing the phaser out of cardboard and spit, and correcting Spock's calculations. Worse, and this is why the Lt. Mary Sue is not a Hero, she is never called upon to suffer for her mistakes, neither by humans, nor by nature. There are logical results to certain actions, but the Lt. Mary Sue somehow manages to evade them, receiving nothing but adulation and success. Vide: in the teaser, we see that this Albertson has mangled a fellow officer, and thus is to be - horrors - confined to quarters, BUT! General Quarters signal sounds and she gets off scot-free, okay, once is legitimate. Anything is legitimate once. Page 21, she apparently has insulted Spock, but is not called out on it, which I would certainly expect Chapel to do. The Nurse, if she were in character, would want to know why the ensign is "going to be sick," if only because she is the nurse, and not just desperately in love with Spockie. Still, for no good reason I can perceive, Kirk is going to take this inept who nearly ripped the arms off one of his crewmembers - thus demonstrating a deplorable lack of control in a shipboard circumstance— down to a planet with an extremely sensitive political situation. No way. Bad characterization on the part of Kirk; he's not that dumb. But what am I complaining about? Bad- indeed, vile! Witless!

Exucrable! Characterization typical of the Lt. Mary Sue story. Witness page 26: Spock asays, "If I could feel emotion, Doctor, I would probably agree with you." Well, primo, while we all know Spock can feel emotion, he is not going to admit that he does; he is not even going to admit the possibility that he could. Secundo, no way would he even indicate that he could agree with the Doctor on anything in an informal situation, which this was. Page 33, we have Miss God rather snottily teaching Chapel to play chess, whan, A) Chapel is her ranking superior, a lieutenant, end, B) Chapel has more likely learned to play the game long before, if only to inviegle Spock into a moent together. And Chapel is portrayed as such a brainburn case. Name or Ba'el, she's the Head Nurse, peoplel She cannot be that mindless. But this, too, is how the Lt. Mary Sue story operates: characterization of the regulars is allowad to go to hell in order to puff up the heroine. If everyone else is apparently an outpatient from a lobotomy ward, Albertson can't help but look pretty good.

I won't go into the bad plotting, wooden dialog, lack of definite setting, and brainless handling of the play structure, except to say that, if filmed, this would be horrible. Very little happens, people are generally talking to one another or "going" somewhere. Many people write their trek stories in play form, thinking it easier than prose. Unfortunately, a good play, a decent play, an adequate play is not simple, and requires more than indenting and capitalizing the character's name. Consequently, most of these fan stories come out badly. They are simply not worth my time; the only reason I finished this, indeed, got past the teaser, was to review it. And my considered opinion is that it stinks. [1]


  1. from an LoC by Paula Smith in Warped Space #3 (1974)