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Title: Treklink
Editor(s): Joan Verba
Type: newsletter, letterzine
Date(s): 1985-1989
Frequency: quarterly
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS, and later Star Trek: TNG
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
from an ad in Datazine #50, click to read

Treklink is a Star Trek discussion newsletter/letterzine that is split into sections for adult het and gen that focus on discussions and advice about fan writing. There are twenty issues.

The zine won a Fan Q Award in 1988.

The editor, Joan Marie Verba, describes the zine as: "A newsletter solely for the discussion of Star Trek fanzines and Star Trek fan writing. Send comments on stories you read. Even one-line comments are welcome -- formal reviews or formal locs not necessary." [1]

From an Introductory Flyer


Although I don't expect to have to do this very often, I do reserve the right to edit or reject contributions. I'm sure that 99% of the contributions I receive will be publishable, and I hope that the readers of this newsletter will be understanding about the other about the other 1%. If I do not wish to print a contribution, I will try to send it back with a note of explanation.


Taste. I will reject any contribution I consider to be in poor taste. Although I occasionally use four-letter words in my conversation, I won't print obscene language. Nor will I print anything I consider degrading to an individual or group of individuals.

Other guidelines. I will print both favorable and unfavorable comments. I am aware that there is some sentiment that one should only write favorable things about fanzines or stories, but I am not of that opinion. I may, however, return criticisms that I feel are relentlessly harsh.

Please restrict your comments to fanzines that are still in print so as to not frustrate subscribers who might want to read the story you comment upon.


All contributions should be signed with your real name. If I suspect someone is using a pseudonym, I'll return the contribution. I will withhold name or address upon request if the comment is favorable to a fanzine or story. Unfavorable comments will be printed with a name and address or not at all.

Because DATAZINE and UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR already accept letters of complaint about unfilled orders from editors, I will not duplicate their efforts.

Until I receive them, I won't knew whether I'll get any letters on adult (i.e. fanzines requiring an age statement) material or not. If I do get such comments, however, they will be printed on a separate page(s), and that page will be mailed only to these subscribers who request the page, and those subscribers must provide an age statement. This, I think, will be fair to those who read such material as well as those who choose not to. I myself do not confine my reading to "G" rated material, so I will accept comments on any fanzine.

FREQUENCY OF PUBLISHING: This will depend on the response. If there are a small number of contributions, this will be a quarterly publication (July, October, January, April). I will do a special Fan Q issue in January to reprise fanzines and stories of the previous year to aid in nominations. If there are a large number of contributions, this publication may be bi-monthly, if I can manage it. If I get no response, then I will stop publication.

From the Editorial in the First Issue

Welcome to Treklink. I feel the time has come to have a fanzine for the discussion of Star Trek fan writing. To my knowledge, no such fanzine currently exists. INTERSTAT discusses current and past Star Trek production and Star Trek fandom. PROPAGATOR discusses the Star Trek pro novels. (I recommend both INTERSTAT and PROPAGATOR highly.) So I have started this newsletter in the hope that this will encourage discussion of Star Trek fan writing. My reasons for this are as follows:

Feedback. This is my 15th year in Star Trek fandom, and I can say wtihout a doubt that for many years fan editors and writers have complained about lack of feedback. Fanzine reviews seem few and far between, even with the all-review issues of DATAZINE, and the frequent reviews in UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR. Fanzine review zines have been tried and have failed for lack of input. LoCs (Letters of Comment) are hard to come by since some fanzines are one-shots and therefore have no opportunity to print them, and some come out so irregularly that the stories are forgotten by the time the LoCs are published. In order to fill this gap, and to get more feedback for writers and editors, I'm opening this publication up for comments. Contributors to this fanzine do not have to submit formal reviews or formal LoCs. Informal contributions and even one-line comments are welcome. I hope by this method to get more comments on more stories.

Awards.. Unfortunately, I left the 1985 Media*West convention before the discussion of the Fan Qs began. However, I was at the 1984 discussion, and was alarmed at the fact that there were barely enough nominations that year to warrant a separate category for Star Trek. I consider myself partially at fault because.I do not nominate most years because I simply can't remember the outstanding stories for the previous year. I often wonder if other fans, too, have the problem of either not remembering or not being aware of stories that might be nominated. (By the way, anyone can vote on the Fan Q awards now—it is no longer limited to Media*West members.) Therefore, I encourage contributors to this newsleter to send in comments on their favorite stories or fanzines so that more people can be aware of them. Which brings me to

Recommendations.. I strongly encourage recommendations. Anyone looking through issues of DATAZINE or UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR will see that the list of Star Trek fanzines seems endless. It is a general feeling among fanzine readers, according to my experience, that we want to read all the good stories we can, but sometimes we don't know where to find them. In particular, it is quite possible to miss a story in a "mixed media" fanzine, which might have only one or two Star Trek stories in it. So please send in your comments on your particular favorites.

From "Boldly Writing"

I had considered editing a fanzine of this sort for some time, but waited for someone else to publish one. In the process, I saw many 'fanzine review' issues come, last a few issues, and go. Then, at MediaWest that year, I found that Star Trek almost did not receive sufficient nominations to put it on the Fan Q ballot, so in order to stimulate interest in Star Trek fanzines and keep the category alive, I finally took the plunge. I put out Treklink 1 in the summer. I wrote the entire contents, and set out my editorial policy. Because I knew a lot of fans did not wish to read about explicit material, I split Treklink into two sections. Fans wishing to receive section 2 would have to send in an age statement. About 90% of the subscribers got both sections, but I thought I kept everyone happy that way. I put out Treklink 2 in October. This issue ran 5 pages reduced offset, including section 2. Fans wrote in and recommended Kin of the Same Womb Born for a Fan Q, even though it had been published in 1984 and its eligibility had expired. Many fans were to make the same error; Kin of the Same Womb Born got on the ballot for the best Star Trek story, and Rosalie Blazej got on the ballot for best Star Trek writer; unfortunately, both had to be withdrawn.[2]

Reactions and Reviews

Stephen, Joyce and I have made it a policy to not review fanzines ourselves In DATAZINE. We didn't want to-be accussed of favoritism or worse, However, every once In a while an idea or publication comes along that I would like to highly recommend to the readers of DATAZINE. TREKLINK is one such pUblication, Joan Verba is the creator of this newsletter whose purpose is to provide an open forum for discussinq Star Trek fanzines. She would like to provide a publication that will fill a void now existing concerning fanzines. As Joan states in her editorial "In order to·fill this gap and to get more feedback for writers and editors, I'm opening this publications up for comments. Contributors to this fanzine do not have to submit formal reviews or formal LoCs. Informal contributions and even one-line comments are welcome. I hope by this method to get more comments on more stories." TREKLINK is open to any and all discussions of Star Trek writing. The first issue is FREE and I hope that you will all check this new publication out and send Joan your comments and ideas.[3]

This is a fairly new (issue #5 came out in 7-86) quarterly fanzine devoted to the reviewing and discussion of fanzines. It comes in two parts: 1) a general Trek section and 2) an adult section for those fanzines requiring an age statement. You must request section two and provide an age statement when ordering to receive both sections. Discussion in both sections is lively. Information is well-organized and easy to read. As a fanzine fan, I find this indispensable.[4]

I'd like to alert everyone to a fairly new letterzine called TREKLINK. It is just for the discussion of ST fan writing. So far, three issues have been published, and although they are fairly thin, a super idea like this is bound to catch on rather quickly within fandom. Issues 1&2 may be had for free by requesting them with a double stamped SASE. Subscriptions starting with #3 are $2 for the year! They do print reviews of K/S and other adult zines, but in a seperate section which must be requested (at no extra cost) with an age statement. Only reviews of current zines will be accepted. Also, short comments, ideas and opinions are welcome, so nO one need feel intimidated by the thought of writing in-depth reviews for everything.[5]

Issue 1

TrekLink 1 was published in summer 1985. The content consists entirely of the zine's editorial policy.

cover of issue #1

Issue 2

TrekLink 2 was published in October 1985 and contains 5 pages.

cover of issue #2
  • this issue has letters from Devra Langsam, Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Kim Dyer, Lori Chapek-Carleton, Lynda Carraher, and Joan Verba
  • there are comments on Two-Dimensional Thinking, see that page
  • there are comments on Mind Meld #2, see that page
  • there are comments on Vault of Tomorrow #8, see that page
  • there are comments on Gateway #2, see that page
  • there are comments on Storms #2, see that page
  • there are comments on Sensor Readings #1, see that page
  • there are comments on The Compleat Faulwell/Landing Party 6, see that page
  • there are comments on Don't! Tell It to the Captain, see that page
  • there are comments on R & R #22, see that page
  • there are comments on Nome #8, see that page
  • a fan, the editor of The Propagator, writes:
    I haven't read any [fanzines] in ages. Why? 1)They're too expensive! Every time I decide I'm going to start reading zines again, I look through Datazine and go into shock when I realise it'll cost me about $10 each. And so many are mixed media so I'll have to spend that money for just a few ST stories. 2) I guess I've gotten jaded. Almost all ST stories I've read lately have been bad, cliche (i.e., like many others I've read) or both. Even when I borrow a zine, I feel I've wasted my time in reading it, and am very glad I didn't spend money on it, too. Am I just missing the good stuff?... Maybe you see why I've never felt inclined to comment on fanfiction in Prop—I haven't read anything in, oh, 5 years, anyway, worth commenting on!

Issue 3

TrekLink 3 was published in January 1986 and contains 6 pages.

cover of issue #3
  • Joan writes in Boldly Writing:
    I ran an editorial about fanzine advertising and publicity (which I continued in a subsequent issue). The editorial supported ads that featured descriptions of the contents as opposed to dialogue taken from the stories and questioned inflated claims, such as 'Destined to become the next Star Trek classic!' (to promote a poor Mary Sue story), and 'If you believe in the Star Trek dream' you should buy the fanzine (implying that if one does not buy the fanzine, one does not 'believe in the Star Trek dream.') To my great astonishment, after my editorial, both of those advertising promotions were discontinued.

  • this fan says it's time to move on:
    It's been about 20 years since Star Trek first hit the airwaves and captured our imaginations. We've seen 78 TV episodes, three movies, a Saturday morning cartoon, dozens of books, hundreds (at least) of fanzines, and a host of imitations a since then. We've followed Kirk and Spock and McCoy and Scotty and the others through high points and low, good times and bad, through blood, sweat, tears, and TV executive offices. Whether on the big screen, little screen, ink and acetate, print or comic book. We've followed our heroes through every emotional, psychological and sociological conflict in the book. My point is: it's time to move on. It's time to move on. It's time to create new characters, find new ideas, explore new frontiers. We know how the crew of the Enterprise will react in certain situations—let's see some different crews, different personalities, look at the Star Trek universe through different eyes for a change. We've explored every aspect of Kirk's and Spock's and McCoy's personalities so much that there isn't anything left, we've said all there is to be said.

  • a fan comments on a comment in a previous issue:
    [Lisa W's] comments about recent Trek fiction, while not completely without justification, seemed a bit harsh. The cost of zines has indeed risen over the past few years. So have paper and printing costs. K/S zines in particular are often the most expensive publications in fandom. They are also frequently the most ornate. All that fancy work and extra effort isn't free. Fandom is an expensive hobby; publishing a zine is an even costlier one. I can only speak from personal experience concerning the quality of stories. In my ten years in organized fandom, I've read a LOT of Treklit. Some of it was excellent, most of it has not particularly memorable, However, them's the breaks. I most of us are flaming amateurs, writing flaming amateur stories. Few of us can aspire to writing at the level of, say, Connie Faddis or Syn Ferguson—shining examples who consistently turn out well written and emotionally gripping stories. Fandom has a core of writers at any given time who write often and well. The rest of us are learning our craft. To expect carloads of Pulitzer material seems unrealistic. I too have encountered a recent motherlode of stories I consider disappointing. However, I prefer to think of this misfortune as a phase while new writers are coming up to speed. The gold nuggets are always out there. They may be widely scattered among the zines, but digging them out is part of the fun.

  • comments about First Time #1, see that page
  • comments about In Triplicate, see that page
  • comments about Revenge of the Wind Rider, see that page
  • comments about Don't! Tell It to the Captain, see that page

Issue 4

TrekLink 4 was published in April 1986 and contains 8 pages.

cover of issue #4, artist is Tom Howard
  • the editor writes:
    Yes, I know of the fine old tradition, particularly as applied to sf fanzines, of giving a free issue in exchange for an loc. It's a nice gesture, though I've always wondered how the editor could afford it. Yes, I know that without letters of comment, I could not put out TREKLINK. However, I feel that I've done my part in being generous by offering TREKLINK #1 and #2 free of charge, and by keeping the price on TREKLINK as low as I can. I may still be able to give out a free copy once in a while, but unless the number of subscribers hits 1000, I don't think I'll be able to afford to do it very often.

  • a fan addresses a comment in an earlier issue:
    [Tim F wrote that] fiction has overworked and overdeveloped the characters of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy in the past 20 years, and that it is therefore "time to move on," time to explore new aspects of the Trek universe. That, of course, may be the feeling of many (though certainly not all) fans who have been involved with Trek since its beginnings, but those who have just found fandom should not be forgotten. To them, those characters and the addiction to them is very new. The neofan is just beginning to explore those three personalities and create for them new dramatic conflicts and adventures. It all may be old hat to some, but to others it's far from that. Consequently, I'm confident we'll continue to see K-S-M fiction being written, and as long as we do, it's a sure sign that ST fandom is still alive and well and attracting new members to the fold.

  • a fan, Regina Moore, responds to Jacqueline Lichtenberg's letter in the previous issue:
    flaw of all K/S (having created newcharacters and called them by old names)." Surely, if K/S has "created new characters and called them by old names," then all of fandom is guilty of same. I assume she is using the issue of sex between Kirk and Spock as the basis for declaring them "out of character." And I'm assuming she considers that relationship to be "out of character" because we never Baw it on the screen. Well, just about everything that happens in any fanzine story was never seen on the screen! Think about it. We actually saw a very small portion of the lives of the Enterprise crew through 79 hours of episodes and some six hours of movies. Most of the time we did see them, they were on duty —"at work." We rarely saw them in private, on shore leave, just relaxing, just being themselves. Frankly, I'm tired of hearing about this-and-that story being out of character. Yes, I cringe whenever Spock speaks in contractions, or begins a sentence with "Well...," but some of the limits being put on what is defined as "in character" is ludicrous. How can we possibly define the entire personalities of Kirk, Spock, etc., if we only go by what we've seen on acreen? Surely there is more to them than that! What's more, we've all known people in real life, who we've thought we've known well, who has done or said something we felt was "out of character"—but since they did or said it, it obviously wasn't! Since I doubt any two of us would agree on a definition of what is "in character," I leave it up to the skill of the writer to make the reader believe in the story she is trying to tell. From that standpoint, there isn't any liMt to what could be depicted as accurate behavior for our heroes.

  • a fan writes that she buys a lot less zines as the average price of them ($10) is too high, editors are doing an increasingly poor job of editing, and she dislikes the look of a zine done on a photocopier
  • comments on Galactic Discourse #3, see that page
  • comments on The Future Tense Affair, see that page
  • comments on Kin of the Same Womb Born, see that page
  • comments on Act 5 #1, see that page
  • comments on Daring Attempt #4, see that page

Issue 5

TrekLink 5 was published in 1986.

cover of issue #5
  • contains the results of that years' Fan Q Awards
  • from Boldly Writing, about the Fan Qs:
    A couple of odd things happened in the Star Trek category in 1986. First, as reported earlier, Rosalie Blazej and Kin of the Same Womb Born got on the ballot, despite the fact that the story had been published in 1984 and was not eligible. Rosalie and her story were subsequently withdrawn. Second, No Award won for best Star Trek fanzine and best Star Trek poet. (Syn Ferguson won for best Star Trek writer for Courts of Honor, but hers was the only name on the ballot after Rosalie's was withdrawn; and Caren Parnes won for best Star Trek artist.) Kim Dyer, the Fan Q administrator, explained: "'Please make sure your readers know that if the guidelines for keeping a category were in force last year, there would have been NO Star Trek categories'.

  • from a fan who wants a warning:
    As a recent inductee into the world of zines and amateur publications dealing with Star Trek, I have been upset by stories nebulously referred to as "Mary Sue" stories. I do not like MS stories and believe that writers and editors should warn me before I dole out my hard earned bucks for another's personal wish-fulfillment. The biggest problem with identifying MS stories is deciding upon a definition. To me, a MS story is one in which the major character is obviously based on the writer, performs all the functions usually attributed to one of the Star Trek stars, thus leaving Kirk, Spock, and company standing around smiling appreciatively. The major character doesn't have to be born the 1980's (although that's an immediate tip-off) to constitute a MS story. I want to read about the Enterprise crew, not about the writer wishing he or she were saving the Enterprise crew. Should zine writers warn us, like the slash zines do, of their content?

  • comments on Masiform D #15, see that page
  • comments on Likely Impossibilities #1, see that page
  • comments on Lifestar #1, see that page
  • comments on More Missions, More Myths #4, see that page
  • comments on Infinite Diversity #4, see that page
  • comments on Omne Praeceptum Frangit, see that page

Issue 6

TrekLink 6 was published in October 1986 and contains 12 pages.

cover of issue #6, Tom Howard
  • from Boldly Writing:
    I wrote a detailed review of "Echoes of Madness," which had appeared in the fanzine Images and Dreams 2. This was a Mary Sue story featuring a character called 'Destiny Hoffman.' Destiny is an officer aboard the NCC-1701. There is nothing she cannot do. She is a 'Daughter of the Star' and has special powers. She is a better telepath than Spock. She is an 'ambassador plenipotentiary' and outranks Kirk. She has studied on Vulcan and is a foster-daughter of Kirk's mother. Not only do Kirk, Spock, and McCoy constantly praise her, but Destiny thoughtfully brings William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy forward in time. The actors also shower Destiny with praise. The writing, unfortunately, included many awkward phrases and errors of fact. Despite this, I saw at least one 'Destiny Hoffman story in another fanzine. There, readers were told that the author had written five hundred 'Destiny Hoffman' stories, and was about to publish them in a one-volume fanzine. However, this proposed fanzine, to my knowledge, never saw print.

  • a reader comments on the ongoing discussion in this letterzine about the number of "No Award Given" for Trek zines at the last Fan Qs:
    Having read through some of the items on the Fan Q awards, I wondered why nobody seems to have made what, to me, is a fairly obvious conclusion on the choice of 'No Award'; namely that the people voting for no award either have as a favourite some other zine/writer/ etc that isn't in the list, or haven't had the chance to read them. You can't vote for something you haven't read. The nominations for best writer for 1985 rather jump to the attention as one where no award is the only possible vote for people to give, since Rosalie Blazej is disqualified. Just how many people have had a chance to read Courts of Honour? [6]

  • an editor at ScoTpress writes:
    [Your] comments on 'I don't buy that many Trek sines because they... seem to be doing the same old things over and over again.' As an editor I find that when we try to get away from stories featuring Kirk, Spock and McCoy, we promptly get complaints from a lot of people. Although there were six other regular characters (if you count Chapel) in the series, and all of them have their fans, the Big Three have the vast majority of fans. The best we can do to please most folk is print a story that features one or more of the minor characters. In addition, we, and all editors - can only print what we're sent, and if nobody writes a story about Sulu and Chekov on shore leave, nobody can print one. [And] just because a plot was used ten years ago doesn't mean that it can never be used again. The writers of ten years ago are not reusing the same plots; it's new writers coming in who haven't had a chance to read the old zines and who probably believe that they have come up with a new idea. The one time we printed a really new idea - and it was a very well-written story -nobody but us liked it!

  • regarding the comment in the previous issue that "editors should warn me before I dole out my hard-earned bucks for someone's personal wish-fulfillment":
    I have been subjected to this all too often over my years of Trek fandom and, now that I am a Trek editor, I seem particularly vulnerable to it. I am not saying that there is no place for realistic and well-done Mary Sue stories, but they are rare and, as an editor, I would rather be tipped off up front that this is what people are working on. Surprises, I am sorry to say, have mostly been nasty ones.

  • regarding Fan Qs:
    I don't read many fanzines any more, for a number of reasons which I won't go into here. But even when I was reading 30 or 40 a year, I seldom thought of the Fan Q awards during the course of the year. By the time nominations opened up in January, it would have been a major undertaking to sit down and list the outstanding material I could recall, dig up the zine to find all the information needed for a nomination, and so forth. In a decade of ST activity, I think I've made two nominations. I was three or four years into fandom before I ever heard about the award. The situation might be improved if editors made it a habit to include Fan Q information and a sample ballot form with each zine sold.... The point being, if I had a Fan Q nomination at hand when I finished reading an outstanding piece, I'd be more likely to jot down the pertinent information and file it away somewhere. Then, in January, I could leaf through the potential nominations and come up with my personal "best of the best" list to send on to Michigan. Since most dealers keep a stack of advertising flyers on their tables at cons, and since many editors include other promotional material in the envelope with mailed zines, it shouldn't be a major undertaking to include Fan Q information.

  • a reader praises Conzineience, a convention in Houston, Texas that had a fine gathering place for zine readers, see that page
  • comments on Echoes of Madness, see that page
  • comments on Communicator #7, see that page
  • comments on Odyssey #8, see that page
  • comments on Destiny's Children #2, see that page
  • comments on Revenge of the Wind Rider, see that page
  • comments on Spockanalia
  • comments on Likely Impossibilities #2, see that page
  • comments on Spock #43, see that page
  • comments on Beyond Antares #5, see that page

Issue 7

TrekLink 7 was published in January 1987 and contains 11 pages. The front cover is by Rich Katuzin.

cover of issue #7, Rich Katuzin
  • the editor writes that she counted the zines for sale in Datazine #43 and that "there are about 132 separate fanzine listings. Of the all-Star Trek fanzines, 7 were informational (e.g. newsletters), 26 required an age statement, and 34 did not require an age statement."
  • a fan points out that a zine, From Hell's Heart, is selling for $11 and by his calculations it should have cost no more than $6.50 to produce
  • many fans write of their appreciation for the article by Verba in the previous issue about Mary Sue; there is also much fannish discussion about Mary Sues, their characteristics, and why they are written
  • a zine ed says he wants to see more non-K/S adult zines:
    Having done only one such (non-K/S adult) zine, I am considering a second. During the time I spent working on the zine, we received only a few non-K/S stories and several K/S submissions. We opted to return all the K/S ones as I don not accept the concept to be plausible. Most of the K/S subs tended to be poorly written and, therefore, unpublishable. The authors of these rejected works clearly had no concept of grammar, correct spelling, and proper usage of established Star Trek characters... The K/S stories we received were much more sensitive, and according to my co-editor, much more erotic than the non-K/S pieces. I also noted that the grammar, spelling, and characterizations were superior... My question is, 'Why?' Has anyone else noticed this somewhat bizarre phenomenon, or was it just a coincidence? Finally, as I stated earler, I do not accept the K/S homosexual percept as plausible. The notion of two men that are as close as Kirk and Spock are cannot be 'just friends' is indefensible to me. I ask this: were the characters, Kirk and Spock, females... would their friendship be regarded by the K/S contingent as a lesbian relationship? And no, I'm not trying to convince anyone that K/S is right or wrong. This is just a little food for thought and discussion...

  • there are remarks about Alternate Universe 4 #3, see that page
  • there are remarks about Katra: The Living Spirit #4, see that page
  • there are remarks about Masiform D #14, see that page
  • there are remarks about Power of Speech, see that page
  • there are remarks about Omne Praeceptum Frangit, see that page
  • there are remarks about TREKism at Length #7, see that page
  • there are remarks about T-Negative, Lifestar #3, see that page
  • there are remarks about The Genesis Aftermath, see that page
  • there are remarks about The Women's List #1, see that page
  • there are remarks about Icefire, see that page
  • there are remarks about T'hy'la #5, see that page

Issue 8

TrekLink 8 was published in April 1987 and contains 11 pages. The front cover is by Tom Howard.

cover of issue #8, Tom Howard
  • a fan writes in and says most treklit is boring and somewhat lazy: "Most Trek writers are imitating the very worst [in what] the series had to offer. Their stories are usually a string of unrelated scenes cloned from their favorite episodes, and the resulting miasmas of transporter malfunctions, beautiful yeoman and pon farr have all the thematic unity of spin art."
  • the editor clarifies some points about the Mary Sue article she'd written for a previous issue
  • a fan writes in resposnse to an earlier letter and comments on whether one should review a zine in which she or he has material in:
    [Name redacted] strongly implied that I, or other contributers, do not, or cannot give honest, unbiased reivews of zines they have ever been in, or are presently contributing to, and that this is intentional... If she is really concerned about bias, though, then perhaps everyone (myself included), should also state wheter or not the zine they are reviewing has ever rejected their work... I guess what I am saying is that reviews are based on personal opinion, and that because they are, they are subjective, and nothing subjective can be totally bia-free. Most people realize that, and reviews they read are tempered by that knowledge.

  • another fan writes in and applauds the letter complaining about reviewing zines with which the reviewer has material: "I have seen the dreaded Halo Effect at work... Nomally logical people lose all sense of objectivity when when one of their own stories is in the zine."
  • a fan comments on Mary Sues:
    Everyone automatically assumes that Mary Sue is female. Nobody has brought up the question of male Mary Sues... I know there aren't all that many men writing in Trek fandom; in ScoTpress we have one regular male writer, full stop. But two or three years ago, we got a submission from a man that in the interests of tact we rejected on the grounds of theme -- it was a cross-universe Trek/Dr. Who story -- but oh, boy was it a Mary Sue!

  • a fan writes about the prevalence of stories focusing on the Big Three:
    Although I prefer stories involving Spock, preferably with Kirk and McCoy around, I've read some very good stories that revolved around the 'minor' characters, particularly Uhura; but on the other hand... the law of supply and demand comes into it. For every reader who actively wants stories about Sulu or Chekov, there are dozens who want stories about Kirk, Spock, or McCoy. As I writer, I have to admit to occasional frustration over always writing inside the same time frame; my 'escape' is to use the alternate universe format...Yet even there there is still a frameork that has to be maintained. The difficulty seems to be partly that stories set in the Star Trek universe that don't include the Enterprise characters aren't, in the view of may readers, really Star Trek. They're science fiction using the Star Trek background, and if the editor of a Star Trek zine were to print one of these stories, her readers could feel cheated. Zines are expensive; a reader who feels cheated by an editor may never buy another zine from that source.

  • a fan commments on comments in a previous issue about there being more quality writing in K/S stories.
    How true! That was my main reason for turning to K/S but why he even considers this a 'bizarre phenomenon' or even a 'phenomenon' escapes me. Another reason for switching to K/S -- I like to read about Kirk and Spock -- and Star Trek, not characters I do not know and care nothing about. If I wish to read sci-fi stories, I will buy Issac Asimov. [Name redacted] says he does not accept the K/S precept as plausible. Why? It is just as possible for their friendship to progress into a love-affair, for that is what it is, than to remain status quo. Which brings me to the point I attempted to make when I state that, in my opinion, menage a trois stories have no place in K/S. The very fact that Kirk and Spock become, or are, lovers without either one being homosexual per se, IS what makes their relationship special. Most of us see Kirk and Spock simply as two people who love each other and just happen to be of the same gender.

  • a fan comments about the perceived superior quality of certain stories: "Regarding your question as to why K/S stories are superior in quality to adult non-K/S stories, I don't have an answer. But rest assured that K/S fandom has its share of poorly written material."
  • Jacqueline Lichtenberg writes in with her detailed comments about Elysia #1 and When the Lu'guii Cries, see those pages
  • a fan comments on Ni Var, see that page
  • a fan comments on Katra: The Living Spirit #4, see that page
  • a fan comments on Kista, see that page
  • a fan comments on Demeter, see that page
  • a fan comments on "Time Enough," which is issue #8 of First Time, see that page
  • a fan comments on Private Possessions, see that page
  • a fan comments on The Women's List #2, see that page

Issue 9

TrekLink 9 was published in July 1987 and contains 11 pages.

cover of issue #9, Rich Katuzin
  • a fan writes about Mary Sues:
    I've heard it said that the difference between a Mary Sue and a three-dimensional fan-created female is that the latter just has a better disguise for her real identify: the author. I don't think that's completely fair (though there is some truth in it) because it intimates that fen are incapable of divorcing themselves from the characters they create. Certainly all characters are inextricably linked with their authors, but to say that even well-written female characters are just good "window dressing" to enable the author to inject herself in her story more covertly is to make a rather crude generalization. It denies creativity, and implies a certain immaturity on the part of all (female) fan writers. I think there can be a large difference between Mary Sues and good female characters.

  • a fan admits to his Mary Sue:
    If you define Mary Sue as an alter ego, then I have a Mary Sue, even if he exists mostly in unfinished stories and only one in print. Placing myself into the Star Wars universe, I couldn't see myself as a Jedi, Corellian pilot, or any glamorous sort of occupation, so my Mary Sue was just an average , somewhat nebbish guy who sometimes finds himself slam-dunked into situations much larger than himself. Writing myself into a story like that is much more fun than building myself into a Superman who can do anything.

  • a fan writes about stories that focus on other characters in Star Trek:
    As to the stories about characters other than the Big 3, here is one person who is willing and likes reading about the other characters. Nor do I think that such stories are that unusual. It seems to me that there have been plenty of Vulcan stories about Spock's childhood and Amanda and Sarek. Unhappily, when dealing with the ship's crew, such stories are rare, especially good ones, especially ones that don't simply rework an old idea into the ground. Some good examples of these are many of the Chapel or Uhura stories. Many of them are simply bad romance or erotica with ST characters. One I read-was so bad that I swore I wouldn't read another Chapel story ever. (I did, though it took a long time to get over it.) The editors are as often as much to blame. I remember one zine (out of print now so I won't mention names) where Uhura and Spock have a "first time" experience with each other in three different stories in the same zine. Can't these women do anything else? How does Uhura feel about her lack of promotions, what does she try to do about it, how would she handle an emergency, or a case of sexual harrassment? What were Chapel's experiences in medical school, what is her job at Starfleet headquarters, what is her relationship with Sarek and Amanda now, how did she handle the news about Spock's experiences on Genesis, where was she during the events of Star Trek III? How would Uhura handle going back in time to the present or before the Civil War and being a black person, or Chapel handle being stranded in a culture where women are second-class persons? These are all good ideas that I don't think have been used by anyone. Instead we get stories like Chapel has a one night stand with Kirk, Chapel has a one night stand with Scotty, Chapel has a one night stand with Spock, ...with McCoy, ... with a male whore, ...with half the galaxy. Same with Uhura. There is also a bit of sexism in these stories. This is a strange thing to say as most of the writers are women but if 80% of the stories written about Kirk were nothing but sexual encounters, I think people would get bored real quick. Sex is a natural body function but Chapel and Uhura deserve the same respect that the Big 3 get and have the right to do more than bed hop in every story. And yes, I would buy such a zine and read it.

  • a fan alerts others to a typo in her story in Trekism at Length #6, "Mind-Slave": "Unfortunately, there was a pretty hideous typo that you may want to alert your readers to: on the last page, the story says that Spock grabbed Kirk by the arms. That would be Kirk grabbed Spock! My Spock doesn't behave that way, and earlier in the story I made the point strongly that Spock rarely touched humans."
  • the Star Trek nominees and winners of the 1987 Fan Q are listed
  • two fans comment on Trojan Angel, see that page
  • a fan comments on Kista, see that page
  • a fan comments on Demeter, see that page
  • a fan comments on A to Zine, see that page
  • a fan coments on LIAPITA, see that page
  • a fan comments on Interlude, see that page
  • a fan coments on Nuages #1, see that page
  • a fan comments on More Missions, More Myths #5, see that page
  • a fan comments on Courts of Honor, see that page
  • a fan comments on Way of the Warrior, see that page
  • a fan comments on The Vulcan Too Affair, see that page

Issue 10

TrekLink 10 was published in October 1987 and contains 11 pages. The back cover, the only full back cover art in the series, is by Jacqueline Zoost.

front cover of issue #10, Tom Howard
back cover of issue #10, Jacqueline Zoost
  • a fan disagrees with Treklink announcing that Courts of Honor was finally published:
    I don't hold with your printing of reviews of COURTS OF HONOR. A lot of people got burned by all that mess, and printing reviews only encourages sales of that zine. I feel that all this hoopla about Syn Ferguson's great writing and all overwhelms what really happened: people (fans) got ripped off by another person (fan). Now this gang of whatever is glorifying this work, and it seems to me that this will only encourage this sort of behavior in the future from Ms. Ferguson and others.

  • Jacqueline Lichtenberg comments on the differences in editing between pro books and zine fiction in regards to "Blackfire":
    My daughter [name redacted] picked up 2 'zines at West Coast cons, INFINITE DIVERISTY #'s 5 & 6, without knowing I have known Sonni Cooper (author of both these 'zines) for many years. But the real surprise came when I opened ID#5 and found the very illo that the artist Donna Banzhof had sent me - a haunting study of Spock as Blackfire. Despite TREKLINK's policy of avoiding analysis of the prof, market, Trekdom, pro-STdom, and even sf fandom are becoming inextricably intermixed; the moreso since ID#5 is the "out-takes" from the pro-novel BLACKFIRE. I was eager to see these cut bits especially because I had enjoyed BLACKFIRE so much. My bifurcate taste was starkly evident as I read cut scenes from the first half of the novel. Oddly enough, even without rereading the novel, the cut scenes track very well - the editor is due applause for this feat. I enjoyed reading the bits, getting the grand, fulfilled feeling I usually get from 'zines, while at the same time the trained writer in me was going, "good cut" - "well cut" -"perfectly cut" - "pity that had to go, but it didn't belong there" - "what a shame but I'd have cut it too," - and so on to the end. Sonni and her critics/editors did a superb professional job developing her manuscript into a pronovel. Any aspiring novelist would do well to study the novel, the "out-takes" in ID#5, and then study ID#6 which is a raw, fanzine style undeveloped novel called I CELEBRATE MYSELF, also by Sonni Cooper. It is loosely connected to the universe of BLACKFIRE by simply not contradicting what has been established about Spock's family, but it stands completely alone. It is well and intricately plotted, full of good Trek-tickles such as Kirk acquiring a Klingon Grajgh pup from a half-human Klingon, and Spock working on Earth as an itinerant computer technician and accidentally getting promoted. Its great big gaping hole is that the cause of Spock's sudden shift in metabolism from near-Vulcan to pure-human (complete with surprise indigestion and chronic sexual needs) is never properly explained. There is a very simple explanation lying there in plain sight, but it's never used to tie the whole plot together. The writing student would do well to study the 2 'zines as a unit, then attempt to rewrite the second, I CELEBRATE MYSELF, using the exact same techniques demonstrated with BLACKFIRE, for CELEBRATE needs the exact same editing job. The result of that editing, however perfectly done, would not be pro-publishable simply because the basic material wouldn't please Paramount as much as it pleases fen. This is no doubt why Sonni didn't invest the effort in it, and in a way I'm glad. I LOVED the dratted thing as is. It's got what I NEED from Trek even though it contains the full set of first-draft problems that seems to be Sonni's hallmark. This is typical of all writers, neo and veteran. First drafts always come off with the same idiosyncratic problems. Learn to solve yours and take years off production time.... The point here is that Trekzine production requires just as much group effort from seasoned pros as from fen, as does sf-'zine work, and ultimately is the same as professional market work. The only difference is in CONTENT not skill. If you master Trek writing, you CAN go pro in any other field you want, simply by learning a new set of rules for what the product must look like. Don't be dismayed. The trekzine field is not being dominated by pros these days, but rather the reverse is happening. The pro-sf/ST market is becoming dominated by FANS - for once a fan always a fan.

  • a fan comments on Mary Sues:
    I'd never heard of the latter term before—I'd like to say that all characters ever created by a writer are either composites of people that author has known, reflections of that author's own personality, stereo-types, any combination of the preceding, or caricatures. I'm not saying this is good or bad (it can be either, as anyone should be able to determine), but special attention is paid to "Mary Sues" and (I don't like the term either—it sounds 'hick') "Billy Bobs." I recently received a lot of praise for a character created in a story, and I had based that character on a college friend of mine, or rather, my perception of an ol' college friend of mine. That's why I don't hold any real antipathy for the Mary about Gary Lou's for Billy Bob's?

  • a fan writes of a previous issue's review of Ni Var:
    Another point I wanted to get across that obviously eluded the reviewer, and I admit that possibly I might have been at fault, was that I wanted Spock to be wrong—just once. After all, he's not perfect, is he? I mean, he must be wrong once in a while, mustn't he? Quick, when was the last time you saw an episode that he was? Can't remember? I can't blame you. The only one I can remember is "The Galileo Seven." That was only because it was an early episode and they hadn't yet decided that this character who was already knocking everyone off their feet, the viewers that is, was gonna be perfect. Even that show was a noble attempt that didn't quite work out. At the end everyone seemed intent on telling him that his gambit to save himself and his crew was an emotional, desperate act, when it was the only logical move left. Then there was him saying to himself longingly, "My first command," when the guy has been a commander for at least a year or two and, most likely headed his first landing crew before he even became a Lt. Commander, but that's another story.

  • a fan adds his comments about zines of the day:
    As a consumer, I do have a couple of gripes about fanzines. For one, there's too many of them. And, second, they're getting too expensive. (Since these are amateur publications, I believe this is very inconsiderate to us less-than-affluent fanzine buyers.) For example: GALACTIC DISCOURSE #5 has one of the most beautiful covers I've ever seen. (It also costs $15)...Out of my range, right now...A hobby is just that, something that isn't supposed to take all of your disposable income.... These are lean times for some of us Trek fans. So, if zine/eds want our continued support, they've got to get more realistic about how much we can afford to pay them (for their zines).

  • a fan comments on Mary Sues:
    I suggest that if the term "Mary Sue" weren't slung around quite so freely in discussion and particularly in critique, we might see a greater variety and number of female characters, thus leading to a greater variety and number of stories dealing with male/female relationships. At the very least, it has created the suspicion in several writers I've heard from that female characters are critiqued more harshly than male characters.

  • a zine ed brings up a point:
    ... editors also deserve a little respect... if the zine editor spends long hours producing a zine, the least the contributor can do is acknowledge the fact that they recieved it. Thirty percent of the contributor's copies we send out evidently fall into a black hole of apathy. We never know if they got the or not or if they liked or disliked them. A 14 cent postcard is not too much to ask for a $12.00 zine.

  • a fan comments about sexism in Trek fan fic:
    (Sigh.) What to do about it. (Again sigh.) The problem of inventing believable women characters or even addressing issues of sexism or gender stereotypes (so often propagated in the series) is one that I wrestle with each time I try to write Trek fiction. Because the three main characters are male and because—frankly—they are the ones I am most interested in, often the easiest thing is to introduce women characters who fall into neat stereotypic categories: love interests for Kirk/Spock/or McCoy, symbolic female aliens, maternal middle-aged advisors, etc. Also since these men exist in the extraordinary circumstance of starship life, the women they meet are likely to be scientists or rulers or Somebody Important's daughter—all brilliant, spunky, and (it goes without saying) BEAUTIFUL. This combination of factors, including the dismal fact that there were no well- developed women characters in the series, is likely to produce stereotypic women characters in fan fiction. Since this dilemma is always present and bothers me greatly, I have consciously tried to solve the problem by another less obvious, but perhaps more creative, route: through the male characters themselves. A couple years ago, as a reaction to a fan story in which Captain Kirk casually allows Spock, after having raped Christine Chapel, to roam the ship freely (not his fault, you see; nasty old pon farr again), I wrote a story about a rapist on the ENTERPRISE. Through this situation, I was able to "right the wrong" as the distressed and outraged male characters expressed and acted on their attitudes toward the rapist, toward the rape victims, and even toward the idea of an encompassing male culpability regarding that act of aggression called rape. I thought if I could somehow portray Kirk's and Spock's handling of this "women's topic" with an active sensitivity that, at the very least, I might be able to undo some of the sexist attitudes often portrayed in the series and in fan writing. More recently, I have been toying with the idea of exploring the female experience through Kirk and Spock by writing a "what if" story: after escaping from the brig and capturing Janice Lester, Kirk is faced with spending the rest of his life in her body when the transference does not dissolve. Through the years, I have read fan fiction whose premise is that he would hate the idea, that being in a female body would disgust him and even send him spiraling headlong toward a mental breakdown; on the contrary, I think he would love it, finding it an exciting adventure (as long as he thought it wouldn't be permanent). This story deals with Kirk's reaction to and acceptance of her new body, the status of women in Star Fleet, Kirk's reaction to male friends (and strangers) and they to her, and Kirk's exploration of the real differences, if any, between the two genders. Again, actual female characters, though represented, are secondary, as this is a Kirk/Spock story, but I feel confident that I can break some stereotypes while exploring both James Kirk and women's issues. While there is no substitute for truly well-conceived women characters and while this back door route may not work for everyone, it is a viable alternative that allows me, a woman writer who loves to write about these male characters, to have my cake and eat it too.

  • a fan encourages fans who crave feedback to write for Clipper Trade Ship: "... Readers [there] seem to be LOC-writing fiends. I got more feedback on a story I had in issue #56 than on anything else I've done in my six years in this hobby."
  • comments on Likely Impossibilities #3, see that page
  • comments on Stardate #5, see that page
  • comments on Infinite Diversity #5 and #6 and how they intersect with the pro-novel market, see that page
  • comments on The Holmesian Federation #7, see that page
  • comments on Galactic Discourse #5, see that page
  • comments on KSX, see that page
  • comments on Courts of Honor, see that page
  • comments on The Reckoning, see that page

Issue 11

TrekLink 11 was published in January 1988 and contains 8 pages. The editor notes that the zine now has 100 subscribers.

cover of issue #11, Tom Howard
  • a fan comments on SASEs and an editor's/writer's responsibilities:
    On [Tom H's] letter about "writer's rights, I must disagree. If a writer doesn't have the decency or sense of common courtesy to send me a SASE with their submission, I will not respond. The reason for this is simple, respect for the editor and his or her personal finances. I simply cannot afford to respond to any submissions without SASEs (given fifteen submissions per month, twelve months per year, and 25 cents postage/envelope, an editor could spend $45.00 on postage for "first contact" alone). Now, occasionally I forget to enclose a SASE when I should, but never when submitting to a new potential publisher. Also, I have seen very short stories that need a lot of work. I cannot comment on Tom's case as I have not seen the story, but if you don't like the suggestions, then pull it—just don't be surprised if you piss off the editor, and he or she doesn't want to see any more of your submissions... We all need to bear in mind that as a fandom of very bright and creative people, we're bound to have disagreements from time to time. Some really nasty fights, in fact. But if we put the disagreements out of our minds, go off and work on separate projects for a while, when we come back to the subject of the disagreement, we find it was really nothing to get so excited about.

  • a fan gets a reality-check regarding the cost of zine production:
    When I first entered creative fandom, I, too, was aghast at the ten and twelve-dollar price tags of some zines. It wasn't until I all but moved in with GALACTIC DISCOURSE'S Dan Barth and Laurie Huff that I could truly appreciate the reasons why. The pre-production costs alone are pretty terrifying! eleven dollars for a rubber stamp, forty dollars for flyers. Another twenty dollars for flyers because you didn't print enough the first time around. Border tapes! Letraset catalogues! Bulbs for the light table! If you haven't gone through it, you have no way of knowing how easy it is to walk out of an art supply store with your pockets fifty dollars lighter—still thinking about all the stuff you have to get when you get paid on Friday. Understand, when you do go to press, you'll pay less per copy if you have a very large print run. This is why OMNI costs three bucks at the local B. Dalton and GALACTIC DISCOURSE costs fifteen, sixteen, or seventeen.

  • Vel Jaeger comments on the male Mary Sue:
    I've been following the discussion of "Mary Sue" in Trekllt with interest, especially the speculations about a male counterpart. He does indeed exist, and I've called him "Johnny Cadet" for years. Fortunately for readers, not too many of these stories actually see print, and most of my exposure to them has been as an editor who has to reject them. Perhaps I see more of these than many editors because TREKisM has an unusually large proportion of male readers/writers than your average fanzine or newsletter (we currently have 30% male subscribers, though our zine buyers are a more typical 2& male). "Johnny Cadet" is usually young, male, a military genius and/or super athlete, lots of action, both personal combat and space tattles that would rival Armageddon, provide the key elements of what little plot can be ascertained. If there are female characters of any importance at all, they usually are the quiveringly libidinous beauties that serve as mere window dressing. Characterization is practical1y nonexistent, sacrificed for action and more action. The author usually inserts (inappropriately) some personal interest (favorite sport, for example) that only serves to distract from the plot. What I dislike most about Johnny Cadet, in addition to the poor writing (aggravated by bad grammar), is the level of violence and lack of regard for life. Red-shirts are particularly disposable, and enemy aliens merely maggots to be disposed of quite casually. Usually there is no hope of salvaging these stories, and I'm left with the problem of how to reject these stories diplomatically.

  • Vel Jaeger comments on rejection letters:
    How to write a reject letter? The problem is how to say "no" without totally crushing the spirit of a new writer. Most writers don't want to hear that they need to review their grammar and/or take a few creative writing courses. One time when I suggested such courses the retort was that they had been taking classes, and their instructor thought their story was just wonderful, and what gave me the right to disagree with such skilled professionals, anyway?!! An even worse example came from an artist—I had learned my lesson and had quietly rejected some artwork on the grounds that the level of skill wasn't quite what we were looking for, or some such tiptoeing rhetoric. The artist replied that she had been teaching art for X number of years, and then ranted for two pages on how bad my own art was (I had used one of my own illos on my stationery) and who did I think I was to judge her! She had umpteen people waiting to purchase her wonderful art, so there. You can't win.

  • comments on Communicator #8, see that page
  • comments on More Missions, More Myths #6, see that page
  • comments on True Vulcan Confessions, see that page
  • comments on Night of the Twin Moons, see that page
  • comments on Nome #10, see that page
  • comments on Legacies, a story in Shades of Grey, see that page
  • comments on Beyond the Farthest Star, see that page

Issue 12

TrekLink 12 was published in April 1988 and contains 14 pages.

cover of issue #12, Jackie Zoost
  • a fan writes:
    I've noticed that, in almost every issue, there's lamentation over the lack of stories featuring any characters other than the "Big Three." I'm surprised that no one has mentioned "In a Different Reality." This zine consistently features stories focusing on "lesser" Trek characters. The authors of the excellent "Valjiir" series have developed a "Star Trek" universe as fully realized as anything I've ever seen in fandom, and they have, in particular, given Sulu an extensive and fascinating background. Many stories deal with original characters set in the Trek universe, and it's to the credit of the authors that they make many of these people as fully dimensional as any of our familiar favorites.

  • a fan distrusts what she sees as out of character, familial hangers-on:
    I do have to admit that one of my pet hates in fiction is the story that insists that without a wife - or girl friend - or husband, come to that - a person is inevitably lonely. Why should (s)he be? On the other hand, without good friends, yes, one would be lonely. Another pet hate is the assumption that the Trek characters want children - or, worse, have children. I totally reject David Marcus, and while I didn't like Spock's death (I'm a Spock fan befcre I'm a Kirk one), David's presence as Kirk's son was what I most disliked about WRATH OF KHAN. His existence seems to me to be a denial of the sense of responsibility for others that Kirk showed through 79 episodes; and the continual "You sacrificed your son for Spock" that runs through SEARCH FOR SPOCK - and some stories - just irritates me. I don't believe in the automatic tie of blood; David was a stranger to him, and anyway David's death had nothing to do with any decision Kirk made. So why wax sentimental over it?

  • on rejecting artwork for zines:
    Rejecting artwork is much more difficult [than rejecting fanfiction], especially if it's artwork you've requested. I feel that I have certain standards, and that my zine must live up to those standards. So I am not hesitant about rejecting art if I feel it compromises the quality of the zine or doesn't fit the story. Sometimes I hurt the artist's feelings, and I never receive material from them again, but that's one of those choices an editor must make. Some editors feel that an artist's work should never be rejected if it's been requested. I don't hold to that view. It only serves to encourage mediocrity. Look at it this way: I ask myself, would I publish this work if I had received it without having asked for it? If the anwwer is no, then I cannot allow myself to publish it, personal feelings of the artist (regrettably) be damned.

  • a "new" fandom brings new questions:
    Next Trek, or "STAR TREK:THE NEXT GENERATION." Should it be printed alongside of Star Trek movie-oriented material, or original Star Trek series material. Those of you who've read ORION know we've always printed series and movie Trek material side by side. So coming to a decision on the NextTrek works should have been easy. Well, it wasn't. Is it Star Trek? Will the fans accept it? Do the fans who accept it want both NextTrek and RealTrek in the same zine? Would the fans who don't accept NextTrek tolerate its fiction in a RealTrek zine? These are but a few of the questions I had to ask myself. Finally, after discussing the matter with my senior consultants, I decided to publish NextTrek under a separate title, ERIDANI, and keep ORION solely devoted to RealTrek.

  • a fan writes:
    The question was posed, why "/" zines were better written than non "/" zines. I have never read a "/" zine but I know several writers. My opinion (worth about two cents) is that it is not the type of story that is better but that the writers have a better hand on their craft than most other zine writers. "/" writers often have been in ST fandom many years before they start writing "/' zines. Not only do they know the Trek universe inside and out but thave long practice with writing skills. Many other zine writers have less experience with both the characters and the skills needed for writing a good story. Many zine writers are young and inexperienced in writing anything other than ST fantasy, as the number of Mary Sues and Jonny Cadet stories show. A number of these writers drop out of writing altogether. I believe that there are plenty of good non "/ " stories about, it's just that they tend to get lost in the amount of slush that comes with it.

  • there are comments about Progressions, see that page
  • there are comments about Beyond the Farthest Star #1 and #2, see that page
  • there are comments about Alien Brothers, see that page
  • there are comments about Katra: The Erotic Spirit, see that page
  • there are comments about Idylls #2, see that page
  • there are comments about The Hive, see that page
  • there are comments about The Reckoning, see that page
  • there are comments about Laff Trek #1, see that page
  • there are comments about Vault of Tomorrow #11, see that page
  • there are comments about Hellguard Social Register #2, see that page
  • there are comments about Sensor Readings #2, see that page
  • there are comments about Quartet #2, see that page
  • there are comments about In a Different Reality, see that page
  • there are comments about More Missions, More Myths #8, see that page

Issue 13

TrekLink 13 was published in July 1988 and contains 13 pages.

cover of issue #13, Jean Kluge
  • the editor comments that she feels the theme of slavery in Trek fanfiction is both overused and not used realistically:
    For some time, I've been reading ST stories which include slavery and reviews of stories which include slavery, and I am fast coming to the conclusion that this theme is being overdone. More to the point, it is being done from the wrong approach. First and foremost, slavery is not fun. Too many stories deal with it superficially, even benignly. Too few stories deal with the physical and emotional hardships —especially the emotional hardships—of being a slave. Where is the examination of the psychological hardships of one's life not being one's own, of constantly having to do what someone else wants to do, of rarely or never being able to do what you want to do, of having to eat, sleep, marry, leave, come, and exist at someone else's whim? These things are sadly absent, making slavery look like a romp through the woods, instead of what it really is—a degradation of spiritual integrity. Second, slavery is not only glossed over by some writers, it is used by beginning writers, or writers wishing for the characters to indulge in sex, as an easy device for getting characters to act in a certain way. Can't get Kirk into bed with your favorite character? Make him a slave, then he has to. Can't think of a way to get Spock to do what he ordinarily would not do? Why, make him a slave, and then he has to. In short, using slavery as a writing device has simply become a short-cut for writers who do not wish to take the trouble to think up creative, free-will situations in their plotting. In short, I would like to see writers not use slavery in their writing unless they are ready, willing, and able to explore it realistically. Further, I would like writers to think up better ways of getting their characters to behave in unusual ways or of getting them into bed with whomever. Also, I would like to see editors and reviewers come down harder on these superficial slave stories, to try to discourage the glorification or trivialization of a degrading institution.

  • a fan talks about rejecting art for zines and the complicated dance of "Tiptoeing Rhetoric":
    But the "TR" has to be piled mighty high when a zined feels compelled to turn down work that they themselves requested. Yes, Randall, this has happened to me. Twioe. One time, it was because the artist had turned out a beautiful and eerie Kirk and Spock. On the strength of that piece, I asked her to do a Chekov for me. It was a beautiful and eerie drawing—but it looked nothing like the character! She readily admitted that she had no idea what to do to fix things, and I had to have the art in a hurry, so I was forced to turn the assignment over to someone else. The artist was understanding, but I felt utterly horrible anyway. There are a lot of self-taught artists in fandom good at their own favorite characters but on shakey ground when they tackle someone new. My own zine, PROTOSTAR, is exclusively Chekov-oriented, and I usually ask would-be illustrators to send a sample representative of their handling of the ensign. Soliciting art on the basis of a gorgeous Luke or Han or Sarek can lead to some really nasty surprises.

  • Vel Jaeger comments on art trends:
    I also agree with Sheila that no art is preferable to bad art. Though I feel on very shaky ground discussing another artist's work (risking the comeback of "well, your art's not so damn perfect, either!"), I'm glad that she's raised the problem of artwork that just does not resemble the character it's supposed to depict. There are a very few artists whose work is not the most perfect portrait of a subject, but who manage to convey the "essence" of that character, and in some cases are actually better, or should I say, more exciting, than a more realistic rendering. I'm thinking here of Leslie Fish, Mary Stacy-MacDonald, and Merle Decker. Perhaps some would say that Karen Rhodes and a few others who specialize in careful pencil or chareoal renderings are more 'correct,' but I find I prefer more original thought behind the design. I've also noticed a trend to have more unfinished-looking composition—the face, and sometimes the figure, is all that's really finished, with the background either floating around without purpose, or very poorly drawn, almost as if the artist had finished the most important part, and rushed through the rest to get it done and in the mail.

  • a fan in the UK writes about ST:TNG:
    Over here it won't be seen on TV for at least two years - a video company got the first rights to it! "Encounter at Farpoint' was put out with a price tag of around $140 and the episodes are to follow, two at a time every two months, at a price that's not much lower than that. The result is that over here we don't know much about it - except for those who have access to converted US videos! But even they haven't seen more than half the episodes yet. What we at ScoTpress have seen of it, we've liked, and we plan to put out a TNG zine if we get the submissions - but we do intend to keep TNG as far as possible separate from our original Trek zines. I say "as far as possible" because it's almost inevitable that someone will write a story that links the two - in which case I think we'd put it in the TNG file. We think this separation is necessary because not everyone has accepted TNG, There's an amazing amount of sight unseen (or "I watched five minutes of the TNG pilot and hated it') hostility still directed towards it over here. In addition, just as there are those who came into fandom through the movie's there are bound to be those who come into fandom through TNG and have no great interest in reading about Kirk, Spock, etc.

  • the author of Simple Gifts addresses age statements -- [see that zine's page for more of her comments]:
    I'd like to comment on your EDITOR'S CORNER column in TREKLINK #12. It's not that I disagree with what you said about age statements. In essence, I agree. But some of your points disturbed and confused me for a personal reason that has wide applicability for the authors and editors of fanzines that contain sexually explicit scenes and/or so-called four letter words. I think the matter should be discussed further, and TREKLINK might be the best place for this discussion As I understand your editorial policy, such a discussion would fall within your guidelines. If this is printed in the July issue of TREKLINK, I anticipate that a new fanzine of mine, SIMPLE GIFTS, will have been in print for about a month (in time for Media*West Con). This zine contains seven chronological ST stories of mine that take place between the end of third season and the beginning of ST III — an episodic novel, if you will, with one sequel already in the works and another planned. After much soul-searching, soliciting of opinions from first-readers, and consultation with the editor, I made the decision that SIMPLE GIFTS would not be an "age statement zine." But on reading your column, I wonder if that decision was the correct one.

  • comments on Eridani #1, see that page
  • comments on Off Duty #1, see that page
  • comments on TREKisM at Length #8, see that page
  • comments on Odyssey #7.5, see that page
  • comments on Naked Times #3 and #9, see that page
  • comments on KSX #1 and #2, see that page
  • comments on As I Do Thee #9 and #10, see that page
  • comments on Nuages, see that page
  • comments on Alien Brothers, see that page
  • comments on Courts of Honor, see that page
  • comments on Simple Gifts, see that page
  • comments on "Crystal Clear," the novel that is First Time #16, see that page
  • comments on The Guardian, see that page
  • comments on Matter/Antimatter #6, see that page

Issue 14

TrekLink 14 was published in October 1988 and contains 13 pages.

cover of issue #14
  • there is a list of Surak Award winners
  • the editor publishes the results of the survey of Treklink's readers (she sent out 148 surveys, got 110 back, a 74% response rate, results were compiled by Claire Gabriel)
  • Jacqueline Lichtenberg comments on an article by Dovya Blacque in On the Double #6 and ties it into the quality of fiction being tied to the prevalence of Letters of Comment being written:
    ... considering my research lately, considering the way "quality" in 'zine writing has gone up and up, and the way the whole field has divided and sub divided, I'm not surprised that new authors are encountering even more trouble trying to break into Trekzine print than they would trying to break into prof print! As Berkeley Hunt commented in TREKLINK 11, the 'zine eds have to up-front a huge amount of money, before publication - money which they won't recover unless their product is competitive and of reliable, high quality. I would suggest that the place for new would-be 'zine writers to learn what they're up against and to meet the readers and reviewers who can teach them the craft is the letterzine and the letter- - column (which is being revived in some 'zines now). New writers should read letterzines like TREKLINK and ON THE DOUBLE (which also publishes reviews as well as crosstalk and discussion). But don't just read, correspond, get to know the people who are articulate enough to express a coherent opinion - and then get them to read and comment on your story before you send it out on submissions. Blacque claims that lately, she's been getting a large number of letters from new writers about callous rejection letters. I have been getting a number of comments from established writers that the LoC (Letter of Comment) has disappeared from Trek etiquette. I suspect the two trends are connected. Most of what I know about the craft of fiction writing, I learned while writing Kraith - and getting tons of LoCs from readers who read back to me what I'd written. "This character is too stuck up." "That one is a pompous ass." And very often, those traits were not what I'd intended. From LoCs, I learned how to craft a piece of fiction so the readers would get what they paid for, what they yearned for. Now having ceased publishing LoC columns, editors are offended that the quality of new sub missions has dropped way off. People used to write LoCs in hope of getting one published; a published letter was worth a free copy of the 'zine. Not all LoCs were published, so people tried "real hard" to write good, insightful commentaries and earn a copy of the 'zine. Now, with no hope of earning any thing for their effort, people aren't writing LoCs, veteran writers are depressed that their work isn't pleasing people enough to get them to write LoCs, new writers aren't learning what's good and what's not good in storytelling, and editors are ticked off that submissions aren't up to snuff. Vicious circle. 'zines like TREKLINK and ON THE DOUBLE are helping, but perhaps we need one specifically aimed at new writers?

  • a well-known artist, Jean Kluge, writes:
    First, on the rejection of artwork. I am a firm believer in 'no art is better than poor art.' The problem is, I've seen a great many editors who talk a good line about rejecting artwork that is not up to par, but whose fanzines are littered with numerous examples of just what constitutes 'not up to par.' My own feelings on this are that most editors don't have the time or energy to round up really spectacular art for every piece of prose that they decide to print, or that some of them just don't recognize poor renderings when they see them. In that case, badly-drawn work is inevitable. There are also other sides to this issue. Take a look at some of Connie Faddis's early works in old zines. Or Suzan Lovett's. Or nearly any other artist whose work today is the kind of art that the rest of us attempt to emulate. Those early works may show only the faintest beginnings of the talent that was later brought forth through practice and a gradual improvement in technique. Without encouragement (and criticism) of fellow fans, some of these artists may never pursue their interest in drawing. It would be easy to say that any artist worth the paper she uses would presumably have the burning drive needed to keep practicing despite letters of rejection, but that is generally not the case. I still cringe when I see badly-rendered art work—but then I go back to some of the zines that printed my earlier works, and try to put what I've seen into perspective. It doesn't make the bad art work any prettier, but it at least gives me a measure of tolerance toward the artist who may only now be learning. As I am. I just may happen to be further down the line.

  • Jean Kluge also writes of her ST:TNG story in Vault of Tomorrow #13:
    I also did the artwork that accompanies it, and would like to pass on a bit of wisdom that Suzan Lovett and I have both discovered: printing color artwork in black and white is a chancy business. Sometimes it works out wonderfully; most often than not, it doesn't work well at all. Unfortunately, this particular illustration belongs in the latter category. The original won Best of Show by both popular vote and the art show staff at Media West*Con 8—the same illustration printed in black and white looks incredibly awful. Live and learn. One thing to avoid -- printing artwork in which the contrast in lighting comes from two different colors—red and blue, for instance, as in a color piece that was printed b&w in GALACTIC DISCOURSE 5. Both colors came out looking the same in black and white, and the molding of the features which should have been accomplished by the contrast of lights is completely lost. This illustration in VAULT is similarly unsuitable because of a red light shining on much of the main figure and the surrounding features—the red translated into a dark shadow, and the picture not only lost much of its impact, but also a great deal of the actual shape of the face and of various necessary shadows and lights.

  • a fan writes of slavery and an upcoming story:
    I shuddered when I read your commentary on slavery. Currently, I am working with Rick Endres who is busy writing an action-packed, adult novel with the plot of having Doctor McCoy rescue Princess Teresa from Kazh, the Klingon Homeworld. She has been reduced to the role of slave. The terror of slavery, the sheer brutality and ugliness will not be glossed over by Rick Endres. But neither will he gloss over the rampant sexual abuse of slaves by their masters. McCoy will be rescuing the Princess who will bear those scars for the rest of her life. Hopefully, this will not be seen as an adventure in eroticism (even though it is X-rated). But, rather, it should be seen as "a degradation of spiritual integrity" for the Princess and for McCoy, too, as he sees for himself the horrors she has gone through.

  • Jacqueline Lichtenberg gives a little history lesson:
    The "adult" trend started with "get Spock" pon farr (usually hetero) stories advanced to a wide range of "hurt/comfort" stories (likewise hetero) and then went on into K/S which started with a lot of "slavery" and "sex-slave" and hurt/comfort themes. The earlier stories centered on the sex scenes with a "chip-on-the-shoulder" attitude that came from a kind of juvenile defiance of cultural restrictions - a "breaking out" of a literary mold. During this time came a revolutionary, blatant porn approach in OBSC'ZINE, coupled to a burlesque or parody style of humor betraying writer, publisher, and reader discomfort with the subject matter. Overlapping these developments, there came a trend which sent the authors out to do their home work. Before writing "/"stories, they researched homosexual patterns and cultural evolutionary trends today - serious scholastic research that was needed because the authors weren't part of the gay community. Stories began to get more thoughtful, more psychological, and more realistic - and writers and readers (and publishers) began to be less embarrassed by what they were doing. Treklit began to resemble real literature, and standards (and prices) began to go up. Today, the only difference between books published by Bantam or Berkeley and those published by Pon Farr Press is commerciality of subject matter and type of binding. I believe that judged on sheer literary merit, by scholastic standards, trekzines might well be producing a higher percentage of novels worthy of the name "classic" than the professional publishers are producing.

  • a fan, Jean Kluge suggests that what is acceptable and what is good is really all a matter of taste and opinion:
    Somebody's actually gone and done it. I mean, I knew that somebody would—eventually. I was hoping for later rather than sooner. Someone wrote a slash Next Generation story ["Research/Development"]. (They can argue that it isn't, but the semantics really make little difference.) And it's excruciatingly awful. Let me make my position clear on "/" fiction, to set the record straight. I like good slash fiction. I enjoy believable slash fiction. Those, however, are the two operative words—good and believable. K/S that involves one or the other character as a "love slave," or equally "alternate" permutations generally make me go,"Huh? Who are these people?" I've also read slash fiction in numerous other fandoms, some of it wonderful, some of it in the Excruciatingly Awful category. So— I'm not against slash fiction, per se. I am, however, very much against badly written fiction, and this one fits the bill. Picture this: a normal day on the new ENTERPRISE. Riker is making out his list of Things To Do. The laundry. Check on Engineering. Seduce Data. Huh?? Actually, to be fair (although certainly nobody warned me in advance, 'sexually explicit' doesn't cut it), that's not quite how it goes. But it's close... Who are these people? Riker and Data? I can't think of an unlikelier combination. To make this one believable, it'd take a lot of doing, and I doubt that fandom's best writers could pull it off. It just isn't in the characters as we know them.

  • The rise of the age statement is in some ways, also the rise of warnings. Another fan writes:
    Age statements serve two main purposes. First, they act as insurance for the publisher. In the fabled case of a litigious parent discovering her minor child reading a zine she feels to be pornographic, the existence of that signed age statement offers a first line of defense. Of course 'literary worth' is the main defense against charges of being pornographic, and I'm sure all fan publishers feel what they are printing has value or they would have rejected it to begin with, but realistically, how many would look forward to having to prove that point in court? Which means that for this purpose whether to require an age statement depends on how fearful the publisher is and how she feels about her zine. Just how 'sexy' or 'likely to arouse prurient interests' or "obscene" (depending on one's attitude towards erotica) does she think it is? Given that homophobia is as common as it is, a parent is more likely to be upset by a line such … Kirk's penis being caressed if the partner is Spock rather than Uhura, so probably for the protection of the publisher the 'explicit-ness threshold' should be lower for K/S zines to serve as a warning flag to prospective buyers, and this is where I feel today's practice is inadequate. If this purchase will be my first exposure to Publisher A's zines, how can I know if her standards mesh with mine? The fact that she's asking for an age statement implies that she thinks some people may be offended by some of the contents, but what yardstick is she applying—and to what type of content? Is the only problem some "blue" language? Nude illustrations? Are there explicit sex scenes? Is there detailed, gory violence? The same person's taste for, and ability to stomach, differing aspects of "adultness" can vary greatly. For example, "language" doesn't bother me and I consider most art and "sex scenes" to be as big a plus as almonds on a Hershey bar, but not those involving sadistically inflicted pain or the rape of a child, and prolonged descriptions of violence or suffering of any type repulses or depresses me. There is no way the publisher can be expected to know my tastes in that detail. But I do. And if she would only offer enough useful information in her flyer her public would be happy to make their own informed decisions.

  • there is discussion on the dearth and quality of TNG fiction thus far, which brings up the topic of how long should fans wait before they attempt to write characters they have seen little (and in the case of fans who didn't live in the United States, none):
    I would like to agree wholeheartedly, the idea being that most writers were undoubtedly waiting to get a feel for the new characters before attempting fan fiction. Personally, I'm not quite certain that an entire season has given me enough of a handle on the characters, although I am doing some writing. And I will certainly be doing some rewriting. And some more rewriting. And still more rewriting— primarily in an attempt to make whatever I write to be worth reading, but also to avoid submitting the kind of Next Generation fiction that I picked up at MediaWest*Con this year. I wish that most of those writers had waited, or had at least something to say—or even a marginally skilled way of saying anything.

  • comments on The Weight Collected, see that page
  • comments on Rerun #6, see that page
  • comments on Eridani #1, see that page
  • comments on NCC-1701-D, see that page
  • comments on Beyond Diplomacy, see that page
  • comments on "Research/Development" in Abode of Strife #10, see that page
  • comments on More Missions, More Myths #10, see that page
  • comments on Contact Christmas #2, see that page
  • comments on Cygnet, see that page
  • comments on Galaxy Class #1, see that page
  • comments on Triad, see that page
  • comments on Academy Days, see that page
  • comments on The Exhibit, see that page
  • comments on The Bargain, see that page
  • comments on Year of the Ram, see that page
  • comments on The Flight of Aymor, see that page
  • comments on Nome #10, see that page
  • "Never the Twain" in Locusts and Wild Honey, see that page

Issue 15

TrekLink 15 was published in January 1989 and contains 9 pages.

cover of issue #15, Jean Kluge, "Insatiable Curiosity.” (pencil on plate-finish Bristol board)
  • regarding the ongoing discussion of the theme of slavery in Trek fanfiction:
    I was very interested in your article on slavery in Trek stories because I, too, have been concerned about the number of stories that have this theme. My concern is the fact that I have a hard time believing that the members of the Trek universe would either enjoy or accept being a slave. So many stories seem to be writing things like, "Captain Kirk is captured and made a slave to this person and he enjoys it." I dislike these stories because they forget what slavery does to a person's mental state and outlook. Slave owners try to impose a feeling of low self-imageand powerlessnesson their slaves, in the process of enslavement. The "training" in "Gamesters of Triskelion" is a look at this, as is the "training" of Kunta in Roots. My complaint is that few stories deal with this process. They take a self-assured starship commander, put a collar on his neck, and it's "Whip me, beat me, rape me, I'm yours." There were many times that Kirk was offered or captured in order to do some enforced labor for someone else; not all of it was that unpleasant (being a stud for the Scalosians doesn't seem like a really terrible way to spend one's time). Kirk and crew, however, never accept that way of life on the show. It would take a massive change in their attitude and outlook. I can hear the complaints now: but this is an Alternate Universe story and I can write anything I want to! Yes, you can, but don't expect it to be believable. Personally, I don't read many slave stories. The ones that pretty it up, insult my intelligence; the realistic onesleave me cold with the stories of personal degredation.

  • regarding the ongoing discussion on artwork for zines:
    This seems to be a largely neglected field as far as discussion in letterzines is concerned. As an editor, I had to face the problem of whether or not to print less than inspiring or downright awful art. I didn't get many in the latter category, but I found that several of them consisted of a few lines thrown together, obviously intended as an easy means to a free zine. Those I didn't print and didn't suffer any pangs about rejecting them. But when someone obviously put a lot of effort into her creation, I had a much harder time deciding how to handle it when the work was aesthetically disappointing. This dilemma probably faces most editors who end up printing mediocre artwork rather than risk hurting the feelings of someone who did the best they could. I'm not sure if this is any more constructive than accepting fiction which isn't up to par for fear of hurting the author's feelings. In general, I find my contributors very open to suggestions, although they didn't always take my advice. However, a small percentage of Trek writers and artists are far more thin-skinned than the norm. One discouraging word, no matter how diplomatically put, and they're likely to 1) fold up into their shells, never to be heard from again, or 2) become very vindictive. Either way, editors are at a disadvantage. One must walk on eggshells in order to get any kind of work at all.

  • a fan is not fond of the character of Riker, citing one reason as "Paramount s blithe assumption that we will all see him as the resident hunk":
    The first time I ever saw a photo of Jonathan Frakes was at a Creation Con before the series premiered. The young male narrator of the slide show wanted to be sure we understood we were looking at "a hunk" so he announced each Frakes slide with, "Now here's something for you girls" . Being condescended to does not put me in a particularly receptive mood. I doubt I'm alone in that response.... [Also] Riker, as presented in the first season, had some very ugly bones under that skin-deep beauty. Perhaps the authors of "Ah, a Riker Joke" in GALAXY CLASS #1 saw them, too. The man was incredibly insensitive in the episode "Justice" when he questioned Worf about his sexual needs, and compounded the gaffe with the "gift" he chose for Worf in "Hide and Q." In fact, all the "gifts" he chose in that episode were things Riker thought the others needed but were -- again, in his opinion — unlikely to be capable of achieving without his largesse. I was very offended in "11001001" when Riker found amusement in "a blind man teaching an android how to paint." And, in "Haven," when Troi was being maneuvered into a prearranged marriage, he expressed the depth of his concern by calling the union "damned unfair to me." This is a hero? The wonder is not that some viewers find Riker less than the ideal man; the wonder is that more viewers aren't trading their "Space the Kid" buttons for "Space the Hunk" ones.

  • a fan has it all figured out:
    Y'know. I've figure out why some fanfic writers have such a miserable time getting their thoughts down on paper. They don't read. Not Steinbeck, not Harlan Ellison, not A. A. Milne, not Jackie Collins, not The Adventures of TinTin, not The Globe. not The Enquirer, not Swamp Thing comic books, not the warning about Toxic Shock in the box of Tampax, not the tamper-proof seal on the Tylenol, not the "unleaded only" sticker next to the gas cap. Oh, it's not that these folks are functionally illiterate or anything; it's just that it would never occur to them to bruise their fingertips turning the pages of something that didn't have "TV Guide" smeared across the cover; not when they can dip into the magical realms of "Dallas" or "The Love Boat" with a flourish of the remote. And it shows. There are people out there who have more control over their bowel movements than over the way they arrange words on a page. What they call original fiction bears a close resemblance to chocolate flavored Malto Meal—but the fragrance is less than appetizing. I'm not just talking about horrific spelling,missingcommas, ormetaphorsthat have done time in a Waring Blender. I'm talking about syntax that looks like it fell into the hands of the Inquisition and played musical chairs with the rack and the boot. I'm talking about plot devices that make "Gilligan's Island" reruns look avant-garde. I'm talking about dialogue that was ancient when June Cleaver was in pampers. We learn by imitation, yes? Pretty hard to learn to write descriptive prose by watching "Hawaii Five-0."

  • there comments on Masiform D #16, see that page
  • there comments on Katra: The Living Spirit #1 and #2, see that page
  • there comments on Cygnet, see that page

Issue 16

TrekLink 16 was published in March 1989 and contains 8 pages.

cover of issue #16, M.A. Smith
  • regarding effort, fanfiction, expectations:
    I sympathize with Dorothy in not wanting to reject artwork. I admit that I've accepted less than standard artwork for covers of COMLINK only because I'm a weenie when it comes to rejecting work outright. I've gotten around this somewhat by saying to the artist that I wouldn't be able to use their work right away, so s/he is free to submit it somewhere else. I'm not sure what to say in response to Jean's comments on fen being lenient because this is an "amateur" effort. Part of me thinks that we really need to give more slack and judge fanfic different because these are not professionals. But after being in fandom over 17 years, I've come to expect better from fanzines. It isn't as if there aren't standards out there to compare a 'zine to. While I don't expect professional work (but then if you've seen some professional work, you start to wonder who paid for it in the first place?) from basically "amateur" writers and artists. I do like to think that they at least tried to do as well as they could. Sometimes when I look at a zine, I don't even feel that the editor even tried to edit the material but simply re-typed it to fit a standard form. Let's face it, fanfic will always be a mixture of good and bad and it is up to us, as wise consumers using letterzines like TREKLINK to encourage those who we feel deserve it.

  • the cover artist comments:
    It just sends shivers up my spine to think of what I've seen lately. You know, layout that looks as if it had been done while on the run from angry fans. And dear me, I keep seeing reproductions that more closely resemble Rorschach blots than art. It's not the artist's fault if I can't see the forest for the crappy production values. The presentation is just as important as the art. Sounds like a bit of a triteism, but it's true. You can show art at its best, or you can kill it where it stands; the deciding factor is design. Not the artist's design (a discussion for another day), but that of the zined on the receiving end of a quality submission.... Speaking of art that is damaged by its presentation; there is that nasty habit many fan publishers have of using colored paper (blue being most popular). Color is a powerful design element; one that should be chosen by the artist from the beginning. A pen and ink can't always compete with color.... As a zined, if you are not thinking like an artist, you are missing the shuttle. With a little training, ANYONE CAN BE AN ARTIST. It's not innate; it is a learned function. Some people just start learning to see the broad picture (no pun intended) earlier; we call them talented. The best way to start is to learn to observe and copy. Back in Leonardo's day, art teachers forced their students to copy the works of what where then considered great masters. They would study what worked and what didn't. You don't have to go to a private art school to study design and layout; look at the magazines on your coffee table; check out the full page ads in the Sunday paper; better yet, pick up your favorite zine, and squint your eyes till the words blur (for me that's not hard on Sunday morning) and all you see is the design. After a while you won't need to squint in order to separate the written material from the design. Do it day in and day out until crooked borders and off-balance black fields bother you. Before you know it, you will be just as vitriolic as I am when it comes to crummy production values.

  • regarding labels and warning for zines:
    I think that there's such a thing as getting too descriptive of the zine's contents in age statements; a general label of violence, sexually explicit material (straight or slash indicator) or language is sufficient. Stuff like incest and necrophilia...well, maybe, "very, very explicit—possibly objectionable even to the most liberal fan."

  • comments on Ring of Deceit, see that page
  • comments on Don't Tell It to the Captain, see that page
  • comments on McCoy Gets the Last Word, see that page
  • comments on Blood of Others, see that page
  • comments on Sojourns, see that page
  • comments on "Silent Gestures" in Shades of Grey #3, see that page
  • comments on Within the Mirror #1, see that page
  • comments on Fetish, see that page

Issue 17

TrekLink 17 was published in May 1989 and contains 6 pages.

cover of issue #17, Vel Jaeger
  • a comment on the ongoing discussion on the character of Riker:
    I'm puzzled by all the folk who're characterizing Riker as insecure, mean, childish, and other assorted epithets. Sure, his delivery of lines sometimes sounds like the barking of a distempered seal. Okay, often. And he's quick-tempered, to boot. But the comments being touted as evidence of his vile hastiness to his shipmates—particularly Data and Geordi— sound more like the sort of wisecracks one exchanges with friends and coworkers. Shoot, my buddies at work are funny and quick-witted, and we love to trade off smartass remarks. It's sort of like a contest. It's fun, not mean (when we want to be mean, we snipe at management). It relieves monotony and tension, keeps life from becoming too tedious. This is no more than friendly banter, in the same vein, not cruel at all* (Tacky, yes*—cruel, no.)

  • more on zine art:
    M. A. had some excellent suggestions and I would add that it isn't necessary to squint or hold the page in question upside- down to see the design and balance. I usually just look at the page in the mirror and I've found this to be best for me. What I admire most is that M. A. isn't just taking us zineds to task but appears to be doing something about it in her Artforum letterzine. While I don't expect art reproduction to become professional looking overnight, any publication to help zine editors to become better at what they do is most welcome.

  • a fan responds to another's comments in the previous issue:
    Incidentally, we 'old-timers' still seem to have some life in us. Claire Gabriel has done a marvelous zine called SIMPLE GIFTS. Joan Verba is putting out TREKLINK. Leslie Fish manages to filk and write professionally. Marty Siegrist has had art published professionally, and she and I are working on a zine (when the rheumatism permits, of course, and it's warm enough not to need a shawl). Jacqueline Lichtenberg is writing professionally; Paula Smith, ditto. Devra Langsam puts out MASIFORM D. Connie Faddis writes and illustrates zines. Allyson Dyar edits COMLINK. Just in case you hadn't noticed, and thought all the dinosaurs had become extinct.

  • the organizers of the Surak Awards are looking for two fans, J. Arthur and Rayelle Roe:
    The other person we need to hear from is Rayelle Roe. We have made repeated attempts to contact Ms. Roe, in regards to her Surak Award from last year, to no avail. If we have not heard from her by September 1, 1989 we will have no choice but to consider her award as forfeited.

  • comments on Cygnet, see that page
  • comments on Beyond Diplomacy, see that page
  • comments on More Missions, More Myths #9, see that page
  • comments on Whalesong #2, see that page
  • comments on The Price, see that page
  • comments on Orion #27, see that page
  • comments on Spock #53, see that page

Issue 18

TrekLink 18 was published in July 1989 and contains 6 pages.

cover of issue #18, M.A. Smith
  • the editor announces this zine has been nominated for a Fan Q for Best Star Trek Letterzine, this issue also lists the other Star Trek 1989 nominees, see the Fan Q page
  • a fan comments about poor art:
    In my last letter (TREKLINK 16) I blasted editors with lax production values. Well, there's another culprit still roamin' around. Stand back artists, the other barrel's about to fire. How in creation is an editor supposed to transform a miserable photocopy into breath-taking art. Talk about miracles. Did the artist ever consider reproduction before slapping the finished illo down on top of the copier at the local drugstore?... [Also] there seems to be this enormous void in fandom between the 'visual' and the 'verbal' communicators. My guess is that it stems from the perception that the two are mutually exclusive. There are those who look on artists as if they were Hortas or something—totally different from all life as we know it. And as everyone knows, a good writer doesn't need to rely on an illo to tell the story (but it sure can't hurt).

  • comments on Kefrendar, see that page
  • comments on City on the Edge of Nowhere, see that page
  • comments on A Russian Inwention, see that page
  • comments on Formazine #5, see that page
  • comments on Eridani #2, #3 and #4, see that page
  • comments on Mindset, see that page
  • comments on Illusions #2, see that page
  • comments on Kraith Collected, see that page
  • comments on The Way of the Warrior #1, see that page

Issue 19

TrekLink 19 was published in September 1989 and contains 5 pages.

cover of issue #19, Marty Siegrist
  • a fan responds to another's comment in a previous issue:
    I never at any time, have I denigrated the "oldtimers" of Trek fandom, being approximately the same age. I own several [J K] prints and admire her skill and talent. As a matter of fact, I bought her Riker print DREAMSPINNER because it was so lively and attractive (and I DISLIKE RIKER). I have admired the products of many "oldtimers" (her expression, not mine). Since I never used that expression in my letter, I have to presume that [J] projected outward onto me. I'm sorry that she is upset over the fact that the classics of original Trek are being forgotten but it is a fact of life that all things pass away. I see little reason to canonize the "elders" of fandom for longevity in fan activities. I appreciate and purchase their good work, and partake of it when I can. I enjoy excellence wherever I find it whether from newcomers or oldtimers. In regard to TREKLINK 18, [J K], I am not denying your right to comment on whatever you wish. I do not understand the need to keep harping on how bad CYGNET supposedly is. I don't deny that it has problems and places that could have been handled differently. But why focus on CYGNET to the exclusion of other Next Generation zines that need your expert criticism...

  • comments on Qapla', see that page
  • comments on Comlink #39, see that page
  • comments on Generation Gap #2, see that page
  • comments on Abode of Strife #16, see that page
  • comments on The Hive, see that page
  • comments on Mindset, see that page
  • comments on Ship's Log #3, see that page
  • comments on McCoy's Toy, see that page
  • comments on Hellguard Social Register #1, see that page
  • comments on Idylls #3, see that page
  • comments on Twin Tales of Trek, see that page
  • comments on Nor No Man Ever Loved, see that page
  • Continuum #1, see that page
  • and yes, more comments on Cygnet, see that page

Issue 20

TrekLink 20 was published in November 1989 and contains 8 pages. As of this issue, there were 146 subscribers.

cover of issue #20, Marty Siegrist
  • a fan writes:
    Do any of you fluctuate in your reading habits between fanzine and prolit? Until I started going to cons and discovered fanzines, I read prolit. Then after 1972, my main reading came from zines. Then somewhere around 1980 I went back to prolit for the bulk of my reading. Now, I'm turning towards fanzines again.

  • from Ruth Berman:
    ... fans are making much more use of commercial printers than they used to, and not printing themselves at home so much, and the result is usually more legible zines. But mimeo printing at home can give good results, and the money saved can be spent on extra pages of art. For that matter, it's possible to mimeograph some artwork well, but I always found it very difficult when I was doing it.

  • a thank you from this fan:
    What imaginations are at work, what gifts fans show by their art and use of words. To all those who publish these zines I say thank you for all the blood, sweat & tears that go into the publications of said same.

  • a fan has a suggestion:
    One thing I'd like to see 'zine eds doing that commerical fiction publishers do is to put somewhere on the jacket or flyleaf a short synopsis of the story. I find that when sorting through 'zines at cons to see if I've already read one, I may forget a title, but a description would tell me instantly if I've ever read the story before. It would also help when pawing through my collection to find something to rereread - which I've been doing a lot of lately.

  • a fan writes:
    After my review of ERIDANI in TREKLINK 18, I was chastised by a couple of people for having been so Harsh and Critical. I want to make it clear that I had no desire to be cruel. I merely tried to give my honest assessment of the zines' contents. I'll admit I have high standards for fan fiction. After all, my intro to same was through the talents of such as Connie Faddis, Paula Smith, Signe Landon, and so on (yep, them "old timers," as they were called in TREKLINK 16), during the heyday of original Trek fandom. And I've been reading some truly excellent TNG fanfiction over the past year, so I know the characters can be written believably and well, and I want to see more of it. Done well. Of course, other readers have every right to disagree with me; mine is only one fan's opinion, nothing more. I shouldn't think its expression sufficiently influential to drive anyone away from fan publishing—at least, I hope not.

  • a fan doesn't like what she sees:
    I'm curious. Is anyone else as disappointed with third season TNG (so far) as I am? They seem to be trying to make it a visual disaster. I don't understand why they'd want to make all these...scenic ...individuals look ugly, but they're close to succeeding. Data looks like moths have been at him, Riker's hairstyle makes him look pudgy, and making the beautiful Gates McFadden look, er, dorky, must've taken some real effort. Patrick Stewart oughta thank his lucky stars he's got no hair for them to uglify. However, like everyone else, he does have a now uniform. Boy, do they look bulky and uncomfortable. Everyone looks like an understudy for Richard III. Or Quasimodo. The collars make everyone look fatfaced, the darts are dreadful, the cut and fit likewise, and those shoulder pads! Everyone looks stuffed. I keep expecting to see straw or fiberfill poking out through those ill-sewn seams.

  • comments for Orion #28, see that page
  • comments for The Reckoning, see that page
  • comments for Edge of Forever #1, see that page
  • comments for More Missions, More Myths #14, see that page
  • comments for Dr. McCoy's Medical Log, unknown issue, see that page
  • comments for No Peaceful Roads Lead Home, see that page
  • comments for Games of Love and Duty, see that page
  • comments for Make It So #1, see that page
  • comments for Eridani #4 and #5, see that page
  • comments for Lifeboat, see that page
  • comments for The Sourdani Journal, see that page
  • comments for Legacy, see that page


  1. ^ from Datazine #37
  2. ^ from Boldly Writing
  3. ^ from Datazine #37
  4. ^ from The Women's List #1
  5. ^ from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #19 (April 1986)
  6. ^ The category "best writer" did go to Syn Ferguson after Rosalie Blazej was disqualified. It was the "best fanzine" category, with four eligible nominees, that got "no award."