Combining Forces

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Title: Combining Forces
Editor(s): Kim Gianna & Linda DeLaurentis
Date(s): 1981-1982
Medium: fanzine, print
Fandom: Star Wars
Language: English
External Links:
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Combining Forces is a gen Star Wars anthology.

Issue 1

cover of issue 1

Combining Forces 1 was published in January 1981 and contains 114 pages.

  • Conflictions by Clara Testa (4)
  • Blood Times by Kim Gianna (5)
  • Boy Meets Girl, or A Jedi to the Rescue by Kim Gianna (10) (Luke's father meets up with a member of the Lars family)
  • The Dream by Kim Gianna (37)
  • At Friendship's End by Kim Gianna (38)
  • untitled poem by Clara Testa (45)
  • Ode to Millennium Falcon by Linda DeLaurentis (46)
  • S.P.O.D.V.D.L.O.S. (48)
  • untitled poem by Clara Testa (50)
  • Nell's Story, or May the Farce Be With You by Linda DeLaurentis and Kim Gianna (51) (script)
  • Advertisement by Jamie Gianna (72)
  • Nell's Poem by Clara Testa (74)
  • Echoes from the Past by Linda DeLaurentis (75) (Takes up where TESB left off, what happens when a SW fan wishes herself into the SW universe?)

Issue 2

Combining Forces 2 was published in August 1981 and contains 90 pages.

cover of issue #2
  • editorials (2)
  • The Strangest Thing Ever by Clara Testa (4)
  • More Important Things by Linda DeLaurentis (5)
  • And They Returned by Linda DeLaurentis (11)
  • Meraja, a Vision of Loveliness by Clara Testa (14)
  • An Alternate Universe, The Dark Side by Kim Gianna (21)
  • Boy Meets Girl, part II by Kim Gianna (22)
  • A Serpent's Tale by Kim Gianna (37)
  • Pawns by Linda DeLaurentis (58)
  • Welcome to the Blue Squad, another script from CF Productions by Kim Gianna and Linda DeLaurentis (71)
  • S.P.O.D.V.D.L.O.S. Presents by Jamie Gianna (90)

Issue 3

flyer for issue #3 from the 1982 MediaWest con program, click to enlarge

Combining Forces 3 was published in 1982 and contains 100 pages. It contains both Star Wars and Star Trek: TOS.

cover issue #3
  • Gone Tomorrow by DeLaurentis (a short short)
  • Grieving by Kim Gianna
  • Stardust by Valerie Leslie (Star Trek: TOS, a continuing search for our roots.)
  • All's Fair by Gianna
  • Leave Taking by Gianna
  • The 497th Running or Murphy was a Genius, a Star Wars story by Gianna and DeLaurentis in script form (Han and Luke attend the Intergalactic Ord Mantell Space Yacht Races.)
  • Grieving by Gianna (Han is dead. Can Lando win the grieving princess for himself?)
  • Sidetracked by DeLaurentis (Han and Luke's mission is slightly altered by a bad deal and a tall female.)
  • six vignettes, one by Lesley called Darkness Versus Light, another called Civilities by Gianna, another by Gianna called Mater
  • poems by Clara Testa, two of which are called To Spock -- An Apology, and From Spock -- An Answer

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

Thank Ghu for editors that say something in their editorials! Linda DeLaurentis' editorial for CF #3 is a strong protest against treatment she and her co-editor have received from some quarters in fandom. I'm unfamiliar with it all, but if, indeed, some disapprove of CF's closed-contributor policy, I can only remind them that there are plenty of zines out there greedy for submissions, and if CF's editors are lucky enough to have enough material to fill their zine, more power to them. Perhaps if CF were a lousy zine, these criticisms would have some validity, but such is not the case. I wish CF's other editor, Kim Gianna, used her editorial in the same way as Linda did, especially since she mentioned "the excaliburizatiion of SW fanfic", something I would have liked her to expand on.

Only a few errors and typos can be found in thish and the attractive typeface is doubly complimented by the neat typing and columned format. It's a very clean zine with a very open quality to it. Illos are spread throughout well, and perfectly integrated.

Two short-shorts introduce us to the varied and fascinating range of ideas offered in CF, and to the impressively well-crafted writing. The first is "Gone Tomorrow" by DeLaurentis, remarkable for its delivery of a rather complicated set of circumstances and a not-so-small range of emotions in less than two and one-half pages. Economy of writing is not one of my strengths and I admire and envy anyone who's skilled at it. "Gone Tomorrow" concerns a 15 year-old Tatooinian girl who has a crush on Luke, and her plight after Luke's sudden disappearance from his world in ANH. Light, sweet and humorous, it's a great attempt at showing the effect of Luke's sudden abandonment and his guardians' deaths, on those who knew them at home. The only complaint I have is one I level at almost all fan stories which attempt to show life on Tatooine (or Corell). The people and relationships here are simply too much like some American teenage sitcom. A minor compliment: I was struck by Linda's penchant for excellent and convincing names in an alien, yet Earth-like setting. "Grieving" by Kim Gianna is, again, a great idea and poignantly executed. Han is dead, Leia is grieving and Lando, who loves her, waits until she will turn to him. Hooray for Gianna! I'd love to see Leia and Lando get together! I don't think that's a popular idea in fandom, though. My problem is that I'd love to see Leia get all three of them (Han, Luke and Lando)!

"Stardust" by Valerie Lesley is a fascinating ST story and an entry in the editors' "search for our roots". Congratulations to DeLaurentis and Gianna for not forgetting their origins, for not holding ST in contempt (as so many SW fans seem to) and for presenting a very strong story about the consequences of Kirk's obsession over his ship, combined with an invading space phenomenon. It has an extremely moving ending, and I was particularly touched by Spock's and Scotty's reactions at the climax. Lesley's writing is very clear and complete, every word and sentence tightly essential. "All's Fair" by Gianna is a very aptly titled story about a triangle between Luke, an Alliance lieutenant called Ranel and a rebel womanizing captain called Kenan. Gianna has a couple of scenes with some impressive aliens and their accents. The main body of the story concerns Ranel's and Kenan's mission to a planet that enslaves its women, so naturally Ranel must pose as Kenan's property. Good characters and an interesting subplot about Kenan and his Imperial brother (Vader's aide) are just a few of the interests here, but I did not like Leia's icyness. Nor did I feel altogether comfortable with the enforced slavery idea. I always wonder in stories like this (and they've become a fanfic cliche, whether male or female domination) if there is not a calculated desire by the writer to put a particular character in a position where she/he gets herself/himself "straightened out" and conforms in some way. In this story, Ranel falls for the womanizer (it's never quite clear why) who turns out to be not such a creep after all. But his sudden conversion is not convincing. Ranel's treatment of Luke afterward is not very kind either. Still, it should be read if only because of Luke's role in it. "Sidetracked" by DeLaurentis is a truly fun and meaty adventure with subtle humor, gentle warmth and a hilarious ending. I'm not too crazy about Han's chauvinsim here ("Why would an attractive woman like you want to stick out her pretty little neck for people you don't even know?") but there is a lovely and sensitive motif that concerns Han's guilt for not returning soon enough to the Death Star to save Biggs in ANH. Its resolution is a testament to the friendship between Han and Luke and of Luke's sensitivity. Luke's innocence and sincerity are presented with great warmth and dignity. "Leave Taking" by Gianna surprised me. I'm not usually impressed with most of SW fandom's many series of fiction. Most of them just don't persuade me. But this one story has suckered me in. While I don't care for the series' title (Darth Vader, the True Story) nor for the tinge of middle America Gianna draws us into, I can't help but enjoy this story because Gianna does just that—she draws me into it and keeps me there, and leaves me wanting more. This entry in the series is about Luke's mother at 17, stuck on Tatooine, bored out of her mind, having to deal with her unimaginative brother, Owen, her "genuinely nice" future sister-in-law, Beru and her recalcitrant mother. Sitcom stuff here, folks, but with a warmth and feeling that transcends that cliche. But even if this story were the worst in all of fanzine history, I would have to recommend it for one inclusion here that I haven't seen anywhere else. Thank you, Kim, for including that paragraph on Beru's sensitivity to womprats and her opinions on their preservation. Maybe I'm not the only one who didn't like Luke's line about "bullseyeing womprats". The last and longest piece is a movie script by both editors called "The 497th Running or Murphy Was a Genius". The editors have a fine handle on movie scripts and I can see this easily visualized onto a screen. I can't see it stretched out into a two-hour film, though. More likely, 60 minutes, 90 minutes possibly. It concerns a mission Han, Luke and a rebel named Xandretta undertake during the Ord MantelI yacht race. It's pure fun adventure with good dialogue and intelligent scene structure. Some quibbles: again, Han's chauvinism ("I don't play ladies' games."), Luke's cheap use of Xandretta as a saloon singer, and his having to "calm her down" when she didn't seem to be in the middle of an outburst at all. Not only is the former very sexist, it's also not especially original. In fact, the entire escape sequence is painfully familiar. There are six vignettes, all excellent. The most memorable are "Darkness Versus Light" by Lesley (wherein Vader muses to himself about his son—fascinating), "Civilities" by Gianna (an extremely well-written and powerful scene between an Imperial and her captured rebel prisoner with some fine dialogue and potent character interplay) and the best in the zine, again by Giana, is "Mater", in which Luke, while on Dagobah, has a beautiful and very moving meeting with the spirit of his mother. I don't think I can ever forget this and it's one of the few pieces of fanfic I'll be going back to periodically. I should also mention Clara Testa's "To Spock - An Apology" and "From Spock - An Answer". Spock's reply sounds EXACTLY like him! The accompanying illo of Spock in Kolinahr garb and position is very striking—looks like a painting. Spock's neck, fingers and face are drawn with strong crease lines and the entire effect makes the portrait stand out among the other illos in the zine. As to the other illos, the best are Kim Gianna's. Her renderings of Luke, Lando, Han, Leia, Kirk, Spock and McCoy are gorgeous, stippled likenesses. Her best, though, is her two-page black dragon, beautifully spread out with wings, scales and fire. Her most striking story illo, however, is of the character Berand in "Sidetracked", because of the woman's distinctive, bony face. Her stance is well composed, but her bulky clothing makes her look fatter than her face implies. I recommend CF. It isn't every day you can buy a zine for $6.00 first class with 102 pages and quality material inside. [1]


  1. from Scoundrel #5