Contes di Cottman IV

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Zine
Title: Contes di Cottman IV
Publisher: Lightning Press
Editor(s): Lynne Holdom, Roberta Rogow (with Lynne, issue #1-2), and Ingrid Mack (with Lynne, issue #6)
Date(s): 1981-1991
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Darkover
Language: English
External Links:
covers of issues #1-#15
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Contents

Contes di Cottman IV is a Darkover fanzine edited by Lynne Holdrom. Roberta Rogrow helped edit issue #1-2, and Ingrid Mack helped edit issue #6.

The editor describes "Contes de Cottman IV" as "a Darkover fanzine with the Terran accent."

From the title page of the first issue: "This is an amateur publication produced with the written permission of Marion Zimmer Bradley."

Issue 1

front cover of issue #1, Bob Eggleton
back cover of issue #1, Rob Miller, III

Contes di Cottman IV 1 was published in November 1981 and contains 75 pages. Art by Lynne Eldridge, Amy Harlib, Michelle Petersson, Melody Rondeau, Fa Shimbo, Michael B. Smith, Rob Miller III, Bob Eggleton.

From the editorial:
I really hadn't intended to edit another zine after I'd arranged to step down as the editor of Tightbeam which I'd edited since July of 1976. I hadn't even intended to write another Darkover story after finishing 'A Time to Heal' which, under the name, 'The Way of the Wolf,' will appear in the anthology 'The Sword of Chaos and Other Stories.' ... So why am I co-editing this and whey did I write two Darkover stories after I had promised myself that I would branch out into my own universe? I wish I knew. Part of the answer is that I love to edit and I'm getting fairly good at it. Another part of the answer is that I meet Roberta Rogow... Now I have a number of friends who encourage me to write fiction. Mainly, they threaten to lynch me if I don't produce. However they all live far enough away that they are limited to making threats by mail. Roberta, though, lives only a short distance away and can, at the drop of a hat, drive over and make sure I'm writing or editing or whatever I should be doing. It's great incentive and one I need.

Contents:

  • Editorial (1)
  • Communique by Roberta Rogow (2)
  • Recontact by Lynne Holdom (3) (A young man of Aldaran meets strangers from farther than he could know.)
  • N'ha Ysabet by Pat Mathews (19) (Magda Lorne's parents come to Cottman IV.)
  • Ole by Roberta Rogow and Lynne Holdom (28) (Cultural exchange takes on a whole new meaning.)
  • Judas by Roberta Rogow (40) (A City Guardsman has a mid-life crisis with surprising results.)
  • Thendara Mailbag by Pat Mathews (73)

Issue 2

front cover of issue #2, Fa Shimbo
back cover of issue #2, Rikk

Contes di Cottman IV 2 was published in May 1982 and contains 88 pages. Art by Nancy Gervais, Fa Shimbo, Rikk, Linda Leach, Michelle Petersson, Melody Rondeau, Mike Smith, Hannah Shapero, Rob Miller III.

From one of the editorials:
When we started this fanzine, there was some doubt as to the propriety of anyone but Marion Zimmer Bradley herself writing or publishing Darkover fiction. MZB has quashed objections to the former and she's been very kind about Contes citing one story fro m the first issue in a Special issue of Starstone. So that should settle that particular argument.

Contents:

  • Editorial by Lynne Holdom (1)
  • Communique by Roberta Rogow (2)
  • Whither Thou Goest by Mary Frey, art by Nancy Gervais (3)
  • Rule Nineteen by Patricia Mathews, art by Linda Leach (16)
  • Prologue by William West, art by Michelle Petersson (28)
  • The Reluctant Amazon by Lynne Holdom and Roberta Rogow, art by Melody Rondeau (35)
  • Thendara Mailbag, Again by Patricia Mathews (48)
  • The Dope from Thendara by Gregory A. Baker, art by Mike Smith (49)
  • The Kerwin File by Roberta Rogow and Lynne Holdom, art by Hannah Shapero (65)
  • The Great Fire of Shainsa by Patricia Mathews, art by Rob Miller III (88)

Issue 3

front cover issue #3

Contes di Cottman IV 3 was published in 1982 and contains 92 pages. Stories include another in the Levich/Lawton series, the exploration of the Montray divorce, and a couple of examples of Terran/Darkovan co-operation.

  • Editorial by Lynne Holdom (1)
  • Communique by Roberta Rogow (2)
  • The Parting of the Ways by Mary Frey, art by Michelle Petersson (2)
  • Woof by William West, art by Melody Rondeaa (19)
  • Cabin Fever by Lynne Holdom, art by Jean Ellenbach (30)
  • Darkover Landfill by Patricia Shaw, art by Jean Ellenbach (43)
  • Infinite Diversity by Katherine St. John, art by Steve Fabian (56)
  • Vengeance is Mine by Roberta Rogow and Lynne Holdom, art by Shona Jackson (66)
  • according to Rec Room Rhymes #3: Ylanna's Revenge, a filk by Roberta Rogow


Issue 4

front cover of issue #4

Contes di Cottman IV 4 was published in 1983 and contains 88 pages.

  • Editorial by Lynne Holdom (1)
  • Communique by Roberta Rogow (2)
  • Matrix by Patricia Buard and Michael Rabbitt, art by Sara Stoel. A computer versus a Keeper. (3)
  • The Road to Nevarsin by William West, art by Hannah Shapero. The Terran church versus the cristoforos. (11)
  • In the Drytowns by Patricia Shaw, art by Melody Rondeau (20)
  • Summer Frost by Cynthia McQuillin, art by Jean Ellenbach (27)
  • The Choice by Lynne Holdom, art by Linda Leach (34)
  • The Hastur File by Lynne Holdom and Roberta Rogow, art by Jane Fancher. Another story in the Levich/Lawton series. (40)
  • Terranan Steel by Valerie Smith, art by Pat Munson-Siter (72)
  • Legends from the Past by Jonathan Shipley, art by Michelle Petersson (84)
  • Nedestros by Dom Kyril by Roberta Rogow, art by Melody Rondeau (filk) (89) (also in Rec Room Rhymes #3)


Issue 5

front cover of issue #5, Bob Eggleton
back cover of issue #5, Sheila Barrera

Contes di Cottman IV 5 was published in November 1983 and contains 92 pages. The front cover is by Bob Eggleton, the bacover by Sheila Barrera.

  • Editorial by Lynne Holdom (1)
  • Communique by Roberta Rogow (2)
  • To Pay the Piper by William West, art by Gennie Summers (30)
  • Demon Tower by Jonathan Shipley, art by Mary Bohdanowicz (11)
  • Lonely Threshold by Susan Southwich, art by Jean Ellenbacher (15)
  • And Justice for All by Lynne Holdom and Roberta Rogow, art by Sara Stoel (27) (A look at Dan Lawton's first (and only?) visit to Castle Ardais.)
  • Devil's Advocate by Patricia Anne Buard, art by Hannah Shapero. Reprinted in the DAW Books anthology Red Sun of Darkover. (64)
  • Cat's Paw by Paula Crunk, art by Melody Rondeau (74)
  • Soul of the Chieri by Patricia Mathews Shaw, art by Jane Fancher (86)
  • Haven, poem by Robin Hood (95)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

"To Pay the Piper," by William West, is a tale about a talented musician whose skill attracts the chieri-right at Midsummer Festival, where one's sexual proclivities are let loose due to a planetary phenomenon. The hapless musician's plight at this very rare honor — to play for and, ultimately, to make love to the chieri — while worrying about his wife's wrath, is just one of the situational gems in this well-developed story. The ending is loving and poignant. The story also has the advantage of being illoed by Gennie Summers, who is not a DK fan. Summers has fast become one of my favorite artists. She knows how to use space in what seems an almost mathematical, and graceful, precision. "Demon Tower," by Jonathon Shipley, is an enjoyable short-short about a boy from the Domain lands enslaved by the superstitious Drytowners, a weakness he cleverly exploits to effect escape. Effectively written in the first person, the story captures MZB's adult portrayal of children. Mary Bohdanowicz also captures the eeriness of the Tower's effect on the Drytowners in her illos. "Lonely Threshold," by Susan Southwiek, is an engrossing tale about a high-born child enslaved by bandits. I like Jean Ellenbacher's interpretation of the boy and his master, but her last illo, while nicely composed, seems to have practically the same face on everyone, even though only two of the people in the illo are related. "And Justice For All," by the editors, is the best and longest piece. Holdom & Rogow have expanded a writing contest entry concerning the young Terran-Darkovan, Dan Law-ton, and his stay with his difficult uncle, Lord Dyan Ardais of the Ardais Domain, whose potential heir he is. A clash of wills and cultures ensues as Dan, raised as a Terran, witnesses Darkovan injustices first-hand, all the while fooling himself into thinking he can one day be satisfied to be a Domain lord. Characterization is strong and Dan's growth is finely developed. I hope the authors write a sequel to this. Sara Stoel's watery, 'other-worldy', illos are quite good. Her illo of Dyan in front of a blazing hearth not only captures the younger Dyan but also has good perspective. "Devil's Advocate," by Patricia Anne Buard, is an intriguing story about a Terran Catholic priest sent to Darkover by the Church to investigate the cristoforos' (the DK religious order) saint, Father Valentine, and to determine whether he is worthy of canonization. In just eight pages Buard manages to give us a three-dimensional person, resolve his emotional bankruptcy about people, and make the reader hunger for more, especially about Fattier Valentine. I do wish, though, that Buard had further detailed Father Cerrano's discoveries about Valentine. She tantalizes us with only a few sentences. Cerrano's resolution of his character flaw is also slightly incomplete, as we don't know what effect it's had on his opinion of Fattier Valentine. I suspect that it's had little effect since Cerrano's purpose is to bring back to the Church a "devil's advocate" position against Valentine. Hannah Shapero's illos are beautiful. Again, these are full illos of well-chosen scenes. The editors seem to know how to choose artists that use space to its fullest advantage. "Cat's Paw," by Paula Crunk, is a long letter by a Terran anthropologist sent to investigate DK'S catfolk, on which mission he is enslaved as a pet. Rescued by Free Amazons, his experiences make him a patient of the Terran Psych Division (from which he has written his letter). He also causes a big stir when, on his advice, eatpeople show up in droves at the Terran Legate demanding their norv+iuman rights. It's a hilarious and well-written piece, but although we're really supposed to sympathize with the Terran scientist (Roberta describes the story in her editorial as "ammunition" [for all ailleurophiles] the next time they visit a cat-loving friend"), my sympathies lay with the catfolk'. But that's a prejudiced opinion, as I am one of those cat-loving people. Melody Rondeau's illos have a deceptive quality. They depict rather horrific circumstances in a wryly amusing way. I love her style. She'd make a good animator. "Soul of the Chieri," by Patricia Shaw, is a very complex six-page story. An acrophobio pilot, stuck near a ledge inside his aircar, gets some help from the chieri. His musings about his half-chieri lover and her painful experiences of racism and sexism form the main counterpoint to the chieri. She struggles to fight and survive in a world that despises her as a whore and worse, while her people accept racial death complacently on a world that reveres them. Powerful message here. I also commend Shaw's inclusion of a non-white, non-middle-class Terran who is strongly aware of his Black heritage as her main character. With all the diverse cultures on Earth, reading much of general sf/f media fanlit makes one think only Americans and Europeans will be around in the future. As a Brazilian with black, Indian, and Hispanic ancestry, I can tell you that we Third Worlders intend to stick around. Jane Fancher's illo for this story is eerie, potently active, and lovely. All the stories in both zines accurately capture the essence and feel of DK, and the range of subjects covers the full gamut of DK's culture, from the Comyn, to the Towers, the bandits, the Drytowners, the chieri, the cristoforos, the Terran, and the catfolk... Highly recommended. [1]

Issue 6

Contes di Cottman IV 6 was published in June 1984 and contains 92 pages. Art by Melody Rondeau, Hannah Shapero and others.

front over of issue #6
  • Dispatch
  • A Fox in Shainsa by William Fox
  • With a Small Step by Jean Lamb
  • Winter Wine by Raul Reyes
  • Strike Three, You're Out by Lynne Holdrom
  • In Her Own Time and Season by Emily Alward (winner of a Starstone contest)
  • A Matter of Protocol by Roberta Rogow
  • The White Oudrakhi by Deborah Wheeler
  • The Do-It-Yourself Darkover Story by Jeffrey Kasten

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

There's something so awfully neat and attractive about this zine, something so aesthetically streallined yet not dull that makes one eager to grab it up. This is the second issue I've read and, again, the stories are varied, imaginative and fun. I find it interesting that none of the Darkover zines I've seen (admittedly, only three) have poems or filk or cartoons. Articles, straight and humorous fiction are the main and only course. Personally, I, find it refreshing. (I don't think it's deliberate policy, tho.) "A Fox in Shainsa" by William West concerns a renegade Comyn and members of the Sisterhood of the Sword out to rescue two young boys kidnapped by a Drytowner. The story is quick, action filled and witty. However, I have a problem with its cliched plot: a tough broad type is forced to accept help from a strong chauvinist type to rescue someone(s). He uses her as a prostitute/slave/etc. to effect rescue (a nice way to humble these 'big mouthed bitches·") Still, the male character is drawn quite well and he's not insufferably arrogant, altho he comes close. Sara Stoel's illos are hard to get used to but I think I've succeeded. Her motive, watery style is weirdly compelling. 'With A Small Step" is a powerful vignette by Jean Lamb about a conqueror during the Ages of Chaos and a cristofaro monk who shows him the future he is brutally designing. Linda Leach's one illo for this is quite beautiful. "Winter Wine' by Raul Reyes concerns a Free Amazon falsely accused of murdering a young Comyn Lady and the Amazon investigator who seeks out the truth. An error in typing made this story hard to follow. (four pages switched) but generally it is strong in characters altho weak in creating a setting. Also, the actual murderer gives up too easily. Sophia Kelly's illos are illustrative and darkly evocative. "Strike Three; You're Out" by, Lynne Holdol is... ah... well, it could be subtitled 'Union Busting Comes To Darkover' or 'Class Struggle vs, the Comyn". This is a light, breezy piece meant strictly for laughs and it does succeed, but as a political radical and union sympathizer, I was wholly on the side of the rabble rouser, Paco (the one who tells the Darkovan workers at th Terran Trade City that they're more important than the Comyn aristocrats, thereby urging them to strike) and against the narrator, a supposed labor representative whose main interest is in looking sexy at a bar. I sympathized with Paco despite all the cliches on radicals the authors dredge up ("Paco sneered at the decadence of it all' )' The end is supposedly a positive agreement worked out between the workers and the Terran personnel, but I can't help but feel the workers got the raw end of the deal. But this is just a fun, humorous story with some great harried scene. Plus, I have to compliment the authors for putting in a Brazilian as the second major character. Nice to see my own nationality in a fan story for once (one quarrel tho: no Brazilian, nor any Latin American, would take the following remark made in the story with anythng but cynicism: Like most North Americans, he is determined to be most democratic.) Interestingly enough, all the Terrans are of a distinct nationality: French, Australian, Swiss, Mexican (they all sound and act like Americans, tho) Melody Rondeau's illos for this are, of course, lovely. Clean lines, depth, background and abundant humor. "In Her Own Time and Season" by Emily Alward is a prizewinner in Starstone's writing contest. It tells the story of a Comyn Lady, Lorela, whose arranged marriage frightens her, even to the point of approaching the Free Amazons. This is a fine character story with excellent plotting and development. Chirs Soto's illos are a bit bare, but smooth and well-chosen (as to which emotions and scenes to dipict) A Matter of Protocol" by Roberta Rogow is an excellent piece that has the Terran Legate, Dan Lawton, confronting the childish Regis Hastur about his neglect of his (Lawton) in Hastur's Project Telepath. This is a finely dramatic, smoothly developed story that commits your interest from the start. Rogow's writing is fluid and concise, and strongly evocative. This was my favorite in the zine. Gennie Summer's illos are, as usual, fully illustrative, with background and depth. Her faces are slightly uniform, tho. "The White Oudrakhi" by Deborah Wheeler is another prizewinner and a very strong statement against the pretensions of the Comyn and the Terrans versus the supposedly ignorant Drytowners. A simple Drytowner searches for a white Oudrakhi (a horse-like creature), strangely drawn to it as if the beast is part of his soul. He is sought out by a group of Comyn telepaths, part of the Project Telepath (organized to put Terran and Darkovan telepaths together to work for Darkovan parity and sovereignty with the Empire who are looking for any and all laran talents. The Drytowner's response to them makes the story quite sensitive and refreshing. Hannah Shapero's illos are strong and dark, replete with a sense of Darkovan atmosphere. "The Do-It-Yourself Darkover Story" by Jeffrey Kasten should be read by every Darkover fan who find MZB to be a bit contrived and predictable. This is a hilarious piece. What makes it even funnier are Melody Rondeau's charming and insane cartoons. Shapero's front cover and Chrii Soto's backeover are both gorgeous. This is, of course, recommended. [2]

Issue 7

front cover of issue #7

Contes di Cottman IV 7 was published in 1985 and contains 96 pages.

  • Sea Fever
  • The Princess and the Pea
  • Vengeance on the Amazons
  • A Little Learning
  • Ten Minutes or So by Marion Zimmer Bradley--A story that takes place in an alternate Darkover; it was also published in the program book for Darkover Grand Council Meeting II, in Sternenkristall #1, and in the DAW Books anthology Towers of Darkover: ("It took place in an alternate universe where Dyan decided not to pursue Danilo, but instead responded to the loneliness of Regis Hastur. Regis was a boy struggling with his gayness and unable to recover from an earlier gay relationship. It was clear that Dyan could give Regis the reassurance he needed to banish the guilt and establish a positive identity. Dyan also needed Regis badly. At last, here was a boy who would love Dyan in return. In "Ten Minutes or So" we get a glimpse of Dyan at his best.") [3]
  • The Shara File
  • Return to Caer Donn


Issue 8

front cover of issue #8
flyer for issue #8

Contes di Cottman IV 8 was published in 1986 and is 97 pages long. The flyer says: "Now containing Ages of Chaos stories as well." Artwork by Christine Soto, Hannah Shapero, Melody Rondeau, Linda Leach, Sara Stoel Mason, Ken Helfrich and Julie Cesari.

  • Journey To Newskye by Mary Frey (It was fourteen-year old Harryl's first visit to Newskye with Grandfather and he was excited. What was it that made Grandfather so special, so different from other men?) (first appeared in Starstone 3) (13 pages)
  • Animal Eyes by Jean Lamb (Could a former riyachiya ever be rid of her origins and her past, even under the new king, Allart Hastur?)(4 pages)
  • The Silken Cord by Nina Boal (Lewis-Gabriel Ridenow had returned home after five years of captivity in the Dry-towns. Would his family and friends ever accept the fact that he had chosen to live rather than suicide?) (17 pages)
  • Bredin by Lynne Holdom (Rakhal Darriel had always felt like an outsider in Aldaran, the Domains and even at Nevarsin. Could the strangers from the stars help him find his place?) (20 pages)
  • A Black Knight In Thendara by William West (Armand and his friends had come to Cottman IV to find a genuine Medieval atmosphere. Was it what they had hoped for or were they due for a disappointment?) (8 pages)
  • The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword (10 pages)
  • Why Not Me? by Michelle Hallett (Kennard Alton had brought the Terran Elaine Montray to Darkover to be his wife. Could he count on the support of his bredu Dyan Ardais in gaining her acceptance before the Council?) (8 pages)
  • The Records At Nevarsin by Diann Partridge (Sethany was going to Nevarsin to discover the truth about Darkover's origins. Was Darkover really settled by Terrans, and thus a part of the Empire automatically?) (15 pages)


Issue 9

front cover of issue #9, Hanna Shapero
back cover of issue #9, Chris Soto

Contes di Cottman IV 9 was published in 1986 and is 99 pages long. Art by Hannah Shapero, Ken Helfrich, Melody Rondeau, Allan Gillespie, and Chris Soto.

  • Editorial (1)
  • Chaos In Macarandale by Linna Reusmann (2)
  • To Her Own Conscience by Joan Marie Verba (10)
  • The Catman’s Tail by Paula Crunk (22)
  • Man of the Kadarin by Ernest Fitzwilliam (40)
  • The Reluctant Amazon by Lynne Holdom and Roberta Rogow (54) (first printed in Contes Di Cottman IV 2)
  • A Time to Grieve by Jude M. Jackson (68)
  • The Awakening by Phyllis Fishbein

Issue 10

Contes di Cottman IV 10 was published in May 1987 and contains 110 pages. The front cover is by Leigh Matooka, the back cover is mistakenly attributed in the zine to Chris Soto; it was actually done by Anji Valenza, the frontispieces are by Hannah Shapero. Other art by Mary Frey, Megan MacDonald, Erin McKee, Melody Rondeau, and Linda Leach.

From the editor, who also points out this is the first issue produced entirely in Minneapolis, Minnesota:
These stories are all set before the Terran Recontact and are in the approximate order in time in which they occurred. No really close setting in time is possible with the exception of Journey which is set five years or so before the Terran Recontact." She says in the editorial that this issue is a first for her new typewriter which, sadly, doesn't have an "italics daisy wheel so everything that would normally be in italics is now is script. I don't like that as well but one must adjust.
front cover of issue #10, Leigh Matooka
back cover of issue #10, Anji Valenza, also used as with Jumeaux
  • Editorial (1)
  • In the Mists of Halie by Megan MacDonald (2)
  • The Ways of Avanna by Patricia Cirone (22)
  • Castles in the Air by Jean Lamb (35)
  • Intrigues and Tableclothes by Phyllis Fishbein (50)
  • Wild Flower by Joan Marie Verba (57)
  • A Step Beyond by W. Marshall Kyle (64)
  • Journey by Lynne Holdom and Nina Boal (73)




Issue 11

front cover of issue #11, Erin McKee
back cover of issue #11, Chris Soto

Contes di Cottman IV 11 was published in 1987 and contains 100 pages. Art by Leigh Matooka, Linda Leach, Erin McKee, Melody Rondeau, Catherine Mintz, Chris Soto.

  • Editorial by Lynne Holdom (1)
  • Kyria's Story by Mary Frey (2)
  • A Meeting in the Hellers by Nina Boal (49)
  • A Dish Best Eaten Cold by Jean Lamb (57)
  • Dom Kyril Takes the Pledge by Perennelle Doublehanded (64)
  • The Gift by Joan Marie Verba (65) (reprinted from Starstone #2)
  • Fetters by Jill Curtin (77) (reprinted from Kierestelli #1)
  • Chances by Loies McDowelll (87)
  • Journey's End by Paula Crunk (96) (reprinted from Starstone #5)

Issue 12

Contes di Cottman IV 12 was published in 1988 and is 104 pages long.

front cover of issue #12
  • The War Is Over (66 pages)
  • Every Pie In Thendara (Alternate Universe) (30 pages)


Issue 13

Contes di Cottman IV 13

Issue 14

Contes di Cottman IV 14

Issue 15

Contes di Cottman IV 15 was published in 1990.

cover of issue #15


Issue 16

Contes di Cottman IV 16 was published in December 1991.

front cover of issue #16
back cover of issue #16
  • Tower in the Wild by Mary K. Frey
  • The Ladies Aldaran by Kathleen M. Massie-Ferch
  • Childhood Dreams by Jaquie Groom

References

  1. from Universal Translator #23
  2. from Datazine #33
  3. "Beyond Bounds: Intergenerational Relationships in Science Fiction and Fantasy" by Linda Frankel
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