Interstat 1 was published in November 1977 and contains 18 pages.
- art by: M.S. Murdock, Gerry Downes, Linda Rubin.
- the editors' policy: Because of the strong personal conviction of one of the editors, Interstat will refrain from published ads for zines which require a certification that the buyer is 16 years of age or older.
- The Star Trek Welcommittee states its policy on zines and labeling: The STAR TREK Welcommitte has no intention of censoring fanzines. All 'zines will be listed in the Directory, unless we have complaints about the honesty of the editor/publishers — that is, 'money sent, no zine delivered' (within a reasonable time, of course). Since the Directory does NOT print the price of any zine, it is up to the buyer to write and ask. Then it is the responsibility of the ed/pub to decide whether or not the buyer is of age. It seems to us that it is also the responsibility of the ed/pub to describe the contents of their zine — honestly! The Directory will include "adult" if the ed/pub request such a listing. Remember, even the professional book clubs include the words, "some of the material in this book may be offensive to some readers", or, "this book includes explicit sexual material". This can easily be included in zine flyers, and would then protect the ed/pub from complaints.
- KathE D comments on Star Wars and the "cult of Darth Vader": I am curious if others have noticed how people seem to be identifying with Darth Vader and his stormtroopers rather than the good that was suppose to be represented in STAR WARS? During a recent convention I attended, there was a noticable feeling of camaraderie for the dark side of the Force, unlike STAR TREK where the emphasis was definitely on the good of the Federation and not the evilness of the Klingon Empire. I realize that intelligent Science Fiction has been absent from motion pictures for several years, but it is unnerving to witness a "cult" that seems to be developing.
- George W complains about sentimentality and quality fiction: I have a view from the male, and minority, side of fandom about all the 'Mary-Sue' stories. Why are we readers inflicted with all these simple and sentimental stories? Where are the good old action/adventure plots with SCIENCE FICTION, not ROMANTIC FICTION. I always thought STAR TREK was science fiction, but by some fanzine standards, it appears to be gothic romance. Let us face it girls, there can only be so many heroic yeomans on one starship. Second, we seem to be over-run with fanzine editors who feel they can indulge in their own private fantasies and pet projects, and then foist them off on their readers. What right have they to feed us their dribble, however well written, about ceremonial objects; Kirk's one-hundreth romance, Spock's umpteenth pon-farr and resulting son. I would expect to be able to do with such a zine what I would do with any book I had bought and, after having read a few chapters, found I did not like it, return it to the place of purchase. But no, not with fanzines. Zines are all the work of gods and all artwork by the nymphs of Zeus. We pay for it and we're stuck with it. Editors have an obligation to fans that few recognize. For so many years they have been the only source of new STAR TREK material and it has gone to some of their heads. There have been some classics to come out of STAR TREK fandom, but what about the rest? Fans have a right to quality entertainment when they buy a fanzine. I think STAR TREK fandom is a unique and wonderful phenomenon, but we deserve better than we are getting.
- Dixie O comments on Star Wars: I am bemused by the sudden surge, indeed a stampede toward STAR WARS among ST fen; in some instances to the total exclusion of ST. And wondering if this represents a joyous return to the sf of the 30's and 40's for fen (mostly male?) who had become uncomfortable with the intense, sometimes turgid "character relationship" stories produced by the great majority of the female fan writers active in ST today. Because, make no mistake, SW is a simplistic return to teen-aged clodhoppers who jump into billion-credit starships and pilot like they were trained for it (see innumerable Heinlein & Asimovs written for adolescent boys, sans women or girls in any role), to fighting without beginning or end, just action for the sake of action, to putting women back in their place as sex prizes for the winners.
- a fan writes a piece about three Strek pro novels (Spock: Messiah, The Price of the Phoenix, and Planet of Judgement) The essay is called "What Hath Bantam Wrought? Or They're Going to Keep at it Until They Get it Right!" that has the first line: "What can a fan expect from a Star Trek novel?"
- other fans write their reviews of other pro novels, all with varying degrees of satisfaction
- a fan writes a character study of James Kirk
- a fan writes an essay about the close relationship between Spock and McCoy, what she calls the "McCoy-Spock Connection," and despite the frequent use of "McCoy/Spock," is not talking about slash
Interstat 2 was published December 1977 and contains 18 pages.
- art by: Heather Firth and Melinda Shreve
- from editor, first page: "The editors strongly believe in infinite diversity and "the dignity of persons". Within that framework we strive to bring you a current stimulating vehicle."
- a fan writes at GREAT descriptive length of the photograph of William Shatner in the inside cover of his newest record album
- "Rumors" by Kay Brown
- zine ads
- "Spock," an essay by Melinda Shreve
- "There's Something I've Been Meaning to Say..." by Michelle Arvizu, a satirical essay on "Amok Time," consumerism, and "Vulcan/American biology"
- Jackie E bemoans the lack of screen time for Doctor McCoy: How many episodes were about the good Doctor? NOT ENOUGH!!! There was all the latent talent that is Deforest Kelley, and they hardly used him!
- Heather F reminds others that a zine's material is of personal preference: Fanzines are, generally, a spare-time hobby indulged in by fan editors who wish to share their creations with other interested fans. I don't believe that publications of this sort need cater to others who, of their own will, ask to share in the enjoyment of the editor's past-time. Fanzine editors put an incredible amount of time and work into their pet projects, be they kindergarten quality or near professional, and I, for one, truly appreciate their efforts. Fanzines offer an alternative to watching episode re-runs for the fifteenth time or reading an already memorized adaptation. I doubt that fandom would be nearly as enjoyable for me without these fan-produced marvels. As to their contents -- No one will be forced to purchase a fanzine against their will. I'm sure. If in doubt that you will enjoy a particular issue's offerings, don't buy it. I usually purchase a fanzine only after having read a short synopsis of the contents and finding them to be of interest. Occasionally a fanzine's past history alone will warrant payment. You needn't read through another "Mary-Sue" story if you dislike the format. But the fact that one particular type of story is disliked by even half of fandom doesn't mean that another person won't enjoy the story, and that is who it was written for. I, personally, dislike the current outcropping of homosexual stories being offered to fandom, but I will stoutly defend any--one's right to continue produce them! The fact that I decide not to read a story of this nature does not, I believe, give me the right to persecute its author because they wish to share their written "masterpiece" with others.... If [George W] wants an action/adventure fanzine with stories exactly to his liking, I suggest that he begin production of his own. I it is good, I will probably order a copy. But at the same time, I would appreciate the option of snuggling up with a good ol' "Mary-Sue" if I so choose, without someone raving for its immediate destruction!
- Brian L comments on a previous letter, and Mary Sues: Sorry George, but as a member of that male minority in fandom, I take as lightly different view of the Mary-Sue stories. Although long over done, some were very well written and almost all were FUN. Besides, while the female fans portrayed Mary-Sue in their fantasies, I portrayed the object of their Mary-Sue fantasies in mine. (Exhausting, but exhilarating considering some of the stories that were done.) In another vein. When you buy a fanzine, you are buying just that — a fan magazine. We do not have the right to expect anything but that. Fortunately, we get a lot more, always. For zines are an act of love. And that love outshines the supposed quality, that you're worried about, in my book.
- Rebecca H writes more on gender and fic: [Mr. W] seems unhappy with the romances and personality-stories we ladies write... Perhaps the best suggestion for [Mr. W], and others who are discontented with and seemingly threatened by the present trend of female-written stories, Is that he should start doing his own zine. Then he can foist his own pet projects on us. Who knows; we might enjoy it. One other thing he should realize is that ST Fandom is far more a woman's world than a man's — at least in the creative end of it, and since we are writing for ourselves, he's got to expect that we'll write what we like to read. One further point to this is that if he doesn't like what we print, then he doesn't have to support us by buying our zines. I mean, who's holding a gun to his head?
- concerning Mary Sues and the gender lines in Trek fans, Teri H writes: ... most of the male element of Trek fandom is more interested in art or the technical side. Most of the stories I've read were written by males were either funny or satire, or so full of technical terminology it boggled my poor mind. While the females write romances because that's what they like. I have read some action/adventure stories which were labeled 'Mary- Sue' just because there was a new fan-created female character.
- Karen F says, no foreign phrases!: A number of writers these days think it's really great to use foreign phrases in titles and inside stories. If the phrase is common enough that the reader can find it in a dictionary, it is OK. However, if the reader doesn't understand the language the writer is using and the phrase cannot be found in an English language dictionary, the reader isn't going to understand what the writer is saying and the phrase -- no matter how eloquent or posh or whatever --is useless. People write to communicate. Or so I've been told... I suspect I'm not alone in being irked by the insertion of foreign language phrases into Treklit.
- there are already questions regarding Star Wars, George Lucas, and fanzines, and Melissa B writes:
- a zine ed, Vicki K, likes a money-back guarantee: I have always maintained that as an editor, we should refund the money to any reader who did not like that issue, as long as it was salable to someone else. Just because you might not have liked the contents doesn't mean someone else might not enjoy it. I have a few zines I would like to return because I objected to them, but have decided to keep them as examples of how not to publish and what not to publish. If a reader feels he or she was ripped off by a fanzine, then they should complain long and loud and warn others not to buy it. But the criticism should be directed toward specific areas.
- Amy F writes regarding the ST/SW controversy: I love both -- for differing reasons. I've seen SW 5 or 6 times! I love it because it's fun and that's its purpose...But ST -- well, being a Relationship fan -- there is more in the characters of ST.
- Rebecca H addresses another's letter in the previous issue: She seems threatened by the seemingly male fantasies in STAR WARS. My reaction to that is, so what? After all, male creators have the same right to indulge their fantasies as we females. (George Lucas in effect, has called STAR WARS a "Mary-Sue" movie since Skywalker is really George Lucas.) Why do all movies, stories, etc. have to have a feminist view point? This was a fun movie, any way you take it, and even though Lucas made the remark that he wasn't sure who he would "reward" the princess to, if any one listened closely, it would have been noted that Lucas said that with his tongue stuck firmly in his cheek. Okay, so the music was derivative. I haven't heard of a truely original piece of music in the last 200 or so years. The thing which bothers me about this letter is that [Miss O] seems to believe that if a show or story is not totally done from the feminist viewpoint, it's unacceptable. I've got news for her — that's a line of bull. More and more non-feminists are telling the feminists that we like something else, and if there's one thing the feminist movement has done, it's given the rest of us the freedom to say what we think.
- a comment from Gerry Downes: Your art, layout, graphics, etc. and so on is beautiful. Very high quality. BUT: "A monthly ST publication devoted to fan comment, analysis, and information." "A clearinghouse of Information, a forum of views." Very high sounding words, and a worthy goal. Then the kicker. "We will not list fanzines which require an over 16 age statement." If you are doing your own personal fanzine, then not mentioning anything is your perogatlve. But if you are setting yourself up as a service to fandom in general, then you must try honestly to do that, not just promote your own views Are you trying to slow down the distribution of ST with an erotic focus? You've listed "R&R",and the "The Best of Pon Farr", (which has an excerpt from Alternative) and the NTM books. The only reason people have ever put age statements on ST zines is so they wouldn't be accused by uptight types of corrupting children. It also became a customary way to let people know that stories often contained sexually explicit material without sending out x-rated flyers... you guys have set up a very artificial and arbitrary rule, and if you stick to it, you'd better change your own advertising. You can either be a forum for fandom, or a forum for yourself, but you can't have it both ways. Be honest with your fellow fen.
Interstat 3 was published in January 1978 and contains 18 pages.
- art by: M.S. Murdock, Heather Firth, Melinda Shreve, Rick Kingslan and Bruce Scivally
- this issue has a review of Close Encounters of the Third Kind
- Melinda Shreve has an article, with illos, about the female costuming in Star Trek
- "Insight" is a characters study of Dr. McCoy
- "There's Something I've Been Wanting to Say" by Michelle Arvizu, satire
- a fan, Mary Lou D, addresses Gerry Downes' letter in a previous issue regarding Interstat's policy not to print ads for zines that required an age statement: When these people gripe (and they are out to protect their own X-rated junk) about not publishing advertising for the porn-zines, it doesn't look like they understand the facts of editorship. An editor determines the subject matter and tone of a publication, and is responsible for everything in that publication; therefore, his/her taste is the criteria. (HALKAN COUNCIL printed letters that agreed with its editor's social and literary opinions and left opposing opinion unprinted — INTERSTAT has the same right.) Nor does someone who prints material that offends people an absolute right to have it advertised. His/her freedom of speech ends with the right to print it — to stuff it down someone else's throat is not a privilege he/she is entitled to — that interferes with other's right to privacy and defense against harassment.. There is no lack of space devoted to over-18 material....and it would scorn that those who shout so loudly about tolerance and freedom would respect another's ethical philosophy even when it differs from theirs.
- Sally S comments on fandom's supposed danger of distraction: THE PERILS OF FANDOM: Casually glancing through the offerings of the local newstand, I happened upon a new magazine. Of course, upon finding a STAR TREK article in it, I proceeded to look a little more closely at this literary wonder. There was even a mention of STAR TREK fandom. Being fairly new to fandom, I was naturally curious to see what was being said about fandom at large. What should appear to my wondering eyes, but: threats of wrecked marriages, lost jobs and divorcement from reality syndromes! This article seemed to in dicate If you became involved in fandom, soon you would find it grabbing ahold of your life to the exclusion of all else. After warping Into space with the Big E, it seems we should be unable to contemplate dirty dishes, unmade beds or demanding husbands — ergo wrecked homes! (No mention was made of the exist ence of any male STAR TREK fen.)
- Jackie E writes of zines and her introduction to fandom: Never did I imagine when I opened my first copy of "Showcase", that I was getting into something as big as the world of fanzines. I had read the books and watched the episodes and assumed (sigh) that this was ll I could get. And then a friend introduced me to fanzines. I was plunged into a fascinating new world. All the stories that were never written, the endings that were never continued — Spock, Christine, McCoy — they were all there, living out the episodes that I'd dreamed about...and some I hadn't. They ran the spectrum from fierce battles and tender love stories to tragic tales of misery. And, Oh! The stories about Leonard McCoy! They delved into his character in a way that a limited series never could. I was in heaven! To give you an idea of how deeply I was involved with these things, my friends began asking where I was. Had I moved? Was I all right? They hadn't seen me for three weeks. What had I been doing...reading what?...you're kidding.' But it was true. I had zines stacked all over my living room floor. I buried myself in them, only coming up for air when finished and then I went back for another load. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Conventions here I come!
- Cheryl N contemplates Star Wars: I'll begin with [KathE D's] letter on the reaction of the public toward STAR WARS' darker aspects. I find it rather unusual to say the least, seeing "Darth Vader Lives.'" bumper stickers gracing peoples' cars. Now don't get me wrong, I loved STAR WARS. I loved the special effects, the characters, and the fantastic sets. However, I noticed that when I left the theatre I was not suffering from that heady feeling that comes from seeing Captain Kirk save the day or the ENTERPRISE leave orbit from a job well done. I felt rather depressed. STAR TREK placed a great deal of emphasis on a united future: united people, united planets, united ideals. STAR WARS, on the other hand, has us still at war (and a rather large war at that.) Of course the Federation had the Klingons tc deal with but they didn't spend all of their time at war with them. They did take time out to develop better relationships with other planets. STAR WARS was a feast for the eyes but STAR TREK remains a feast for the mind!
- Cheryl N also wants one of Gene Roddenberry's visions comes true: In many countries (rank America #1 in this aspect) there seems to be a general agreement among people that it is just not normal for one man to care about another man. Just think what shape the world would be in if men (and women) didn't care about each others' feelings, hopes, and ideas; if they didn't help each other when things went wrong; and didn't support each others ambitions.' Man loving man in the sense that Kirk loved Spock or McCoy loved Kirk, etc. is simply a beautiful expression of brotherhood. Gene Roddenberry knew what this world needed and put an example into action. I hope that more people will follow his lead in years to come.
- Karen B expresses her disgust: Fan fiction writers have degenerated to the point of of illiteracy. Their characters have the morals and vocabulary of gutter rats. Demeaning the characters in perverted and/or sadistic behavior, homosexuality included, has no redeeming social or literary value. Several of these futile attempts at placing thoughts on paper consist of no more than plotless sexual fantasies drawn out in tiresome, explicit detail. Cannot these erstwhile authors raise their standards of communication to a redeemable level? There is a distinct difference between a general zine, ("Showcase", "Stardate Unknown"), and an adult zine, ("R&R", "Rigel".) However, one should not confuse an adult story with one dealing with homosexuality. If you publishers insist on inundating the reader with this kind of material, at least have the courtesy comparable to "Alternative" and state what sort of writing your zine carries and allow the purchaser discretion. In point: "Obsc'zine" does not warn that their stories deal almost exclusively with homosexuality. Contrariwise, "Alternative" states in print on the flyer that this is the content. Surely having written the story you cannot be ashamed to admit to it on a flyer...or would you?
- Roberta R both scolds and encourages: People who have been into fandom for a long time are bothered by new writers repeating what the older writers have already done. It's a strange process know as 'Growing Up'. The so-called dinosaurs of First Fandom are now in their late 20's. Neofen are in their teens, which is where the older ones were ten years ago. They are moving through the same stages as the older gang did, while the older writers are getting into other areas of thought. There is room in Treklit for both, and I think old-timers could exercise a little more tolerance toward beginners. Everybody has to start somewhere, and even Asimov wasn't always Asimov. There's also a tendency for the people who have just discovered sex to get vocal about it, and to write a lot of wish-fulfillment-type stories about their discoveries. We've gotten into a very sexy corner, and I wish these people would realize that sex has been around a while, and the rest of us know all about it. How about a few "what happened then?" type of stories? Or stories that take place in the STAR TREK Universe, but not necessarily on the ENTERPRISE?
- Sharon E comments and provides an example of differing expectations regarding fannish communication, then and now: People have rapped me rather sharply across the knuckles because they can't find my phone number, etc...People, please! Temper your judgement with a little mercy! The number is not an unlisted one, and those who should have the number have access to it. However, Friend Husband has his study In the Parsonage — which means he's HERE most of the time. That means the phone has to be free so he can use it to conduct church business, informed of illnesses and deaths, etc. If you need to get In touch with me, a letter is much cheaper — and I will answer...eventually.
- Georgia N is thinking that the letters they've been writing all these years have been going to the wrong people: We Trekkers have been writing to Paramount for ten years but I'm beginning to think Paramount is more apt to listen to one sponsor saying, "I'll buy time on a STAR TREK show" than a hundred Trekker letters which have no thing more to offer than a SASE or the price of a movie ticket. I think it's time we contact the sponsors.
- regarding the confusion and uncertainty over fanfiction for Star Wars, Sharon Emily writes: Something with the STAR WARS question. I made a statement in SC4 that though I love the movie and would love to do something along that line, I will not make any concrete plans in that direction until STW releases word that the go-ahead has been given by the proper authorities. So, the interesting rumors that have been getting back to me are just that — rumors. At present, I am not starting a SW zine, for I have no desire to get into any more complicated situations than I am at present.
Interstat 4 was published in February 1978 and contains 18 pages.
- art by: Heather Firth, Gerry Downes, M.S. Murdock
- the subject of how to refer to a female fan is brought up; a fan in this issue chides a male fan for using "Ms" rather than "Mrs.": "I am not an abbreviation for a manuscript!"
- there is a letter from Shirley Maiewski in her Welcommittee role discussing current news regarding the ST movie and possible new television series
- Roberta R comments about the future of media science fiction and fandom: STAR WARS is here, and I am glad to be in at the beginning of a new fandom. However, I don't think it will replace TREK — it might enhance it! Meanwhile, science fiction on TV marches to its doom. LOGAN'S RUN has run its course — a pity, because there were some good ideas in it. But not enough Trekkers were willing to save it, so down it goes! To be replaced, next year, by Buck Rogers which will probably be played for Camp! And what's the latest movie rumor? For anyone who wants face-to-face confrontation, I'll be at S.T. World in New York in February; at T'Con in March; then nothing till summer. And I'll explain why New York fandom supports Mr. Townsley and his Cons — at this point in time, they're the only game in town. THE Committee closed up shop In '76, and there's a Mini-Con every six months, but for a full-scale Con you need an organization and a lot of money, and Mr. T has both. Ergo — he tries to provide fannish activity and Star Fan activity and in my opinion he's done pretty well. He MUST bring in the Neofen — that's how he can support the rest of the con. And if fandom doesn't admit new mem bers, it's doomed to extiction by slow attrition, as people gafiate.
- from a long, long letter by Jacqueline Lichtenberg: [Susan H] touched on a point dear to my heart, and I'd like to jump in with my comment. She's wondering if the readers of INTERSTAT believe that man will have to give up his emotions as Vulcan did to achieve final peace and would everyone be willing to if required? I am already on record as not believing that man could, should or will have to give up his emotions for any reason whatever. KRAITH establishes this view of mine quite clearly in the mechanism of the Blooming and genetic drift accounting for Vulcan's pathological state. (There is an article in the forthcoming Kraith Creator's Manual II which may clear up some of this, as far as KRAITH background is concerned.) But KRAITH hasn't settled anything with regard to the emotion question. (Say} there's an entry in the 1978 understateraent-of-the-year contest.) This Is largely because KRAITH doesn't bother to define emotion... Simultaneously, I'm working the problem on my analogue computer which I call my Sime Series. The Sime Series is also, in some ways, a Logic/Emotion Series.
- Mike B complains of Spock, Spock, Spock-all-the-time-Spock: I specifically wanted to say something about the focal points of fandom. We see so much of Spock, Kirk/Spock and Spock that I really hesitate to read anything that's slanted that way. In fact, for quite sometime I wasn't until I got ahold of Mary Lou Dodge's "The Castaways" and was thrilled Into oblivion. I guess you'd say her novel pulled me back Into everything and I decided to read all Trekfic, and not censor my self from Spock-involved stories simply because I was tired of Spock. Of course, being a devout Uhura fan, I'm always clamoring to see more of that lovely lady in print. I think fandom has sadly neglected Trek's First Lady. It's incredible to think of how few Uhurian pieces are written each year: Maybe ten (good ones, at least). Whereas every zine you pick up has a Spock story. Furaha, Delta Triad, and Goddess Uhura are the only zines which carry a definite Uhurian flavor, and all three are my favorites. I'm awaiting with great anticipation Winston's future Captain Uhura — I'm sure it'll be fantastic (as when isn t he?).
- Mary Lou D complains of over-active glands: I see already you've got some splendid differences of opinion going, so I'll dive right in: I stand with [George W]; Trek writers and editors are not fulfilling obligations. If someone wants to put out a zine for around a dollar, and print everything that comes in, I'll be glad to buy it just for the fun of discovering a grain or two of pure gold talent in the mountain of sludge -- but for five to eight dollars, fans have a right to expect a professional polish since for that amount of money you can buy a well written adventure story from your nearest bookstore. The Trek writers, whatever their ages, are not growing, not learning the fundamentals of a story teller; you expect teenage girls to write sex fantasies, adolescents are obsessed with fornication (that's the way nature intends it for the continuation of the species) but by the late twenties the brain should have taken precedence over the glands, and writers should have discovered that humans long for love and an under standing of what they are, far more than they do for sex — yet, I've run across little that is aimed any higher than the reader's navel. Whatever happened to plots, and characters, and Roddenberry's dictum that the form be used to comment on the problems and idiocy of modern life? Whatever happened to the purpose of fanzines — to help young writers polish their craft in preparation for professional careers? My Trek purchases are declining steadily, and have gone to nil in the past six months. The liplicking reviews are alone enough to turn a real fan off. Trek writing is descending to the point where it is fit only for giggling adolescents (maybe it should be labeled not to be sold to anyone. over 16).
- David L writes of the purpose of fanzines: Ah, but the fanzines are not for the reader. They are a way for a fannish editor to express herself, exercising her right to the freedom of speech. It is only when she wants someone to read it voluntarily that the reader's desires come into play— whether because she wants an audience or whether she has a $1000 printing bill to pay off. If an editor wants to feature only one writer or artist, that is her right. This is not subject to discussion. If you either dislike this editorial policy or think the writing lousy, don't buy it. If you've already bought it, then tell your friends that you didn't like it and why. But you have no right whatsoever to tell an editor what she can or cannot print...
- regarding Interstat's zine ad policy, Sue K writes: In general I agree with your policy of not publishing ads for zines requiring a statement of age over 16 but fans can miss a few very lovely issues this way. Delta Triad Sup.I" requires this statement while "Stardate: Unknown I does not. Both of these issues were beautifully done but "S:U#I" was more sexually explicit in content. Since it is the editor of each individual zine that sets their own rules as to what should be restricted I agree with [Karen B] that the editors should state in the flyer if the issue has material that some might find objectionable. I'm certainly not opposed to a little sex but stories on homosexual relationships turn me off and I think the editors have a responsibility to their readers to let them know what they are in for.
- Sharon E comments on fandom and feminism: Methinks that fandom is considered and treated as a threat because a lot of those who are involved are female and — horrors! — have learned that they can be interested in something beside the comfort of the almightly male, the softness and whiteness of their laundry, and whatever there's dust on the top of the refrigerator. Worse yet, some of them have revealed that there's more going on Inside their heads than eternal worry about "ring around the collar." Sorry, that sounds rather cynical and feminist — well, I still believe that the old man plus mote theory holds true, but I have the weird notion that God created wo man to be man's helper, partner and right hand, not his slave and footstool. There is an upheaval going on in society. Men had it all their own way for so long, too many of them aren't mature enough to cope with and adapt to a new way of life. Hence, fandom, since it does break chains, must be put down.
- because there's nothing like a little gasoline on the current fire, Sharon also comments: [George W's] letters calls to mind a paraphrase of an old adage: Those who can, sit down and write. Those who can't, overreact. It's a tragedy that one's sense of identity can be achieved only by creating much unhappiness, strife, and dissension, then justifying such conduct by chirping "I'm an opinionated S.O.B." ((and that he's proud of it is understood)). Poor dear, your letters sound so irritable! Isn't it about time you had your diapers changed?
- Rebecca H on regarding editorship: Yes, it is up to you what you advertise. However, as Gerry said, you are a service to Fandom, and yet, it is your right to exclude those you think are in poor taste. Trouble is "R&R" did get by you, but then "R&R" doesn't have a restriction and never has, and since you said no zines would be advertised that carried an age restriction, I guess "R&R" gets by. Gerry mentioned "The Best of Pon Farr". As I recall, that tine had no age restriction and needed none. There was absolutely nothing in it which was offensive, and that poem of Gerry's was something I'd let a kid read. Now, as to Jean Lorrah's books, "The Night of the Twin Moons", is restricted to those over 16. (Editor's Note: NTM does not have an age restriction now) I would suggest, instead of using an age restriction as a guide line that you exclude ads on those zines which would be considered R-rated or X--rated, and you will of course have to make your own determinations regarding some of these zines. But then, that's your job as editor, and I sympathize with you. As to Mary Lou's contention that someone who prints X-rated material has no right to have it advertised — I disagree. Anyone who does a zine has a right to have it advertised, but they don't have the right to force a zine ed to advertise if the editor doesn't care for the material. There are other markets in Fandom, so you shouldn't be forced to plug zines. Along a similar line, In response to [Karen B] — comments on adult zines — OBSC'ZINE does not deal almost exclusively with homosexuality. Admittedly, they had more than I cared for in Issue #1, but issue #2 had only two or three short stories on the subject. I do feel, like Karen, that the editors should have warned us in the flyers that we were getting gay material. I'm all for zines advertising exactly what they are. But, I believe this sort of oversight is just that, and is not intended to sell zines under false pretenses. Perhaps, too, some editors wish to give the readers some surprises. I like to, and there's really nothing wrong with that, as long as the surprise is not a nasty one. Especially in the adult zines, we need to know what we're getting before we plunk down the money, simply because some of the stories are offensive to some people.
- Rebecca H also writes more on zine content and criticism: I've noted lately that certain people In Fandom seem to have nothing better to do than bitch. Specifically, there are zines around which are religiously oriented, or which have stories that are, for some odd reason, some readers buy issue after issue of the zines, knowing ahead of time that they are apt to have stories which are about religion, then they have the unmitigated gall to bitch to the editor because their anti-religious sensibilities have been offended! People, if you know a zine is going to have religious stories in it and you don't like them, don't buy the zine! I should think If you don't like it, you wouldn't continue spending money for it. It makes such a griper come off like a fool. I'm not saying that these zines shouldn't be criticized. For instance, saying "So-and-so could not have had this religious experience In my opinion, because..." is one thing. Saying, "I'm not Christian and I'm sick and tired of all this religious garbage in your zine!" is something else! An editor has a right to print what she wishes, and if you don't like it, you don't have to buy it. At least, don't be insulting! "If you don't dig the scene, don't buy the zine!"
- Dixie O adds her opinion about accepting "adult" zine ads: With regard to Gerry Downes' letter in ish 02 — I must say that I agree with her completely, having also recognized your schizophrenia in printing the little disclaimer statement about not carrying ads for zines which require an age statement, then proceeding to list zines which definitely come under that classification. No zine can be all things to all people, of course, but to reach and benefit the widest number of readers the whole spectrum of fandom should be available for letter-discussion, reviews and comments; ads for forthcomings and reprints, or whatever is bugging us this month or next. The hint of prior censorship is enough to discourage some very good LoCers from taking part — and this would be a great pity, since I consider INTERSTAT to have made an excellent beginning in its three first issues, and I continue to recommend it enthusiastically to my friends.
- Dixie O also comments on a fan's earlier statement that Obsc'zine was contained primarily homosexual stories: I wish to point out that "redeeming social or literary value", like beauty. Is probably in the eyes of the beholder. ST fiction, like any other kind, runs the gamut of emotions and sexual standards, with plenty available in all areas to suit the tastes of the buyers. This is as it should be, and nobody twists arms to force more conservative folks to read material beyond their enjoyment or understanding. With regard to the OBSC'ZINES, remember that this zine grew out of extra material left over from WARPED SPACE'S Double X ish, 020, and certainly anybody who read WS 20 knew exactly what to expect further along that line. I have been unable to turn up any separate flyers for OBS, if indeed any were printed, but the regular ads for WS carried notices of it, with its "X" rating in plain sight. As a matter of curiosity and with reference to Ms Bates' statement that "their stories deal almost exclusively with homosexuality", I went over the contents of both of the issues now available, and came up with the following: OBS 01 had seventeen stories, all lengths, and of these, eleven were "straight", four were humorous-homosexual, and two were serious K/S. OBS 02 had fifteen stories/articles, and fourteen of them were straight. No K/S in this one, only a Christine/Uhura fantasy. So dealing exclusively with homosexuality, they don't — perhaps it just seems that way. Be warned, Karen, that there are several zines about to be published which DO deal in serious detail with the no-called K/S "Relationship" — and which are advertising themselves as such, to avoid any misunderstanding from unknowing buyers. There's room for all of us under the broad wings of ST fandom, and there are probably many others who buy practically everything, as I do — and enjoy most of it, whether straight-childlsh-action-adventure, deeper character development or zines with a highly focused sexual interest. IDIC, that's us.
- Roberta R comments on gender differences and fanfic: About fan writing: We're essentially baring our own fantasies. Sure, we throw in characters that are US in disguise — why not? We can't keep delving into Spock's psyche forever. I plead guilty to having invented a couple of really outrageous characters in Warped Space, but I've also gone into "what happened before" or" what happened after" an episode. You might as well pick at Jean Lorrah or Jacqueline Lichtenberg for inventing a Vulcan background for Spock and his family... About women writing romance and men writing nuts-and-bolts SF: Well, what do you expect from our society? Little girls are expected to be emotional; little boys are expected to be mechanical — and we're only now starting to get away from those old stereotypes. A lot of what STAR TREK had to say was absolutely revolutionary back in 1966 — how many of you out there remember that far back? We HAVE come a long way, and STAR TREK was one of the first television shows to have women in command positions. Women who write for fanzines write romance set in the future — men who write for fan zines tend to write humor and technology. It may be coincidence, but the two fanzines that concern themselves with technology ("Trek" and "Enterprise Incidents") are edited by males. So is "Spectrum", which concerns itself with issues like consumerism and reviews. And there is always the very true dictum — if you don't like it, you don't have to buy it! Conversely, if someone has something and they don't want it, I am collecting fanzines for the Paterson Free Public Library's fanzine collection — let me know about it, and I can relieve you of it!
Interstat 5 was published in March 1978 and contains 18 pages.
- art by: M.S. Murdock, John Price, Wilhelmina, Pat Stall, Ray Lamb
- G M C wants to know why Lt. Mary Sue stories are so "continually bad-mouthed: I understand the terrm applies to any plot where a 20th century female (presumably the authoress) is beamed aboard the ENTERPRISE and manages to adjust to the 23rd century via falling in love with a major ST character and then performing some vital service that saves the ship from destruction. Is it just because she is female? At least two ST episodes have 20th century males aboard the ENTERPRISE, but nobody objects to Tomorrow is Yesterday or Space Seed because of that. But if Capt. Christopher had been female and fallen in love with Kirk before she had to return to her own century lest the future be changed, it would have been a "Mary Sue"...Or if Khan Singh had been female and seduced a handsome male Lieutenant and almost captured the ship before being condemned to colonize a barren planet, Space Seed would have been labeled "Mary Sue" and presumably lowered beneath comtempt in the viewer's eyes. How come? Why is it okay for 20th century males to be projected into the world of the ENTERPRISE, but not females? Just what IS wrong with Lt. Mary Sue — her sex? or her success? I've read some excellent stories tagged with this label and can't figure out why I'm not supposed to enjoy them. Anyone care to elucidate?
- G M C also comments on ST vs SW, an interesting comparison: I thought SW was very well produced for run-of-the- mill science fiction and enjoyed it very much. Sure, it employed every sf cliche from animated chessboards to sword-and-sorcery using laser beams instead of steel. The background music may not have been original — but it was LOUD and that was all that was needed. There's one point about it which hasn't been mentioned: not since the days when cowboys wore white hats and xuatlers wore black, has it been so easy for the viewer to know right from wrong. ST expects us to recognize there ARE such concepts as good and evil , but it expects us also to think about them in order to recognize them. SW makes no such demand. We know from the beginning the good guys will win, so we can pull for the underdog — Darth Vader — with a clear conscience. I doubt SW could be turned into a series unless Darth Vader escaped. SW without him would be as empty as ST without Spock, and no amount of Chewbaccas, twittering robots, or hairless hussies could make up for the loss of either.
- David L responds to another's letter and lists a number of reasons why people choose to have sex: But most of all, it is called making love for a reason. Sex at its best can be the physical embodiment of love. Love can exist without sex, just as sex can exist without love but the two in conjunction constitute one of the greatest ecstasies of life. Not to deal with sex of any sort in fiction would be a mockery of humanity. Not all stories need deal with it, and those that do should be subject to the same standards of literary quality as those that do not. Literary standards, not those of propriety. Your distaste for sex or sexual fiction is primarily your own problem. What is repugnant, though, is your notion that real fen agree with you, that you are a fan and that those who read, write or edit what you term in #3 ""X-rated junk". You may have publicly stopped declaring that Leslie Fish is a professional pornographer or that Connie Faddis or Winston Howlett, by being writers of quality agree with every particular of your thesis (as previously espoused in MENAGERIE 12) but it is clear that the intent — and, more importantly, the implication — is still the same.
- Karen B address another's letter, and also has a problem with being addressed as "Ms.": Either a piece of writing is tastefully done or it is trash...The second paragraph was not objecting to the actual contents of such zines as "Obsc'zine", but rather the practice of not being advertized as containing homosexual material. Do not bother trying to make room for me under your proverbial "broad wings of fandom". I prefer a sequestered domicile of clean habitudes. If you wish to make blatant personal remarks and attacks, write to me personally rather than submit the readers of INTERSTAT to them. Please do not refer to me as [Ms B]. I am not of a neuter gender.
- Jenny F also addresses another's, the aforementioned Mrs B, previous comments: I had to respond to comments made by [Karen B] in the January ish — "fan writers... their characters have the morals and vocabulary of gutter rats" etc. — please, Karen — if no thing else, remember the Idic. You object to stories portraying homosexuality? (For one example) — I think one of the most valid aspects of homosexual stories, is that they sympathetically depict a way of life, a sexuality, that is foreign to many. From this point of view, such stories are very valuable. They have helped us to see that this deviant behavior is simply different from our norm. They've helped us to see the beauty of a different way of life. And taken us one step closer to the desired goal of appreciating truly alien life-forms and styles. Oh, I know much of this has been said before. But, why is it "demeaning the characters" to have two men loving each other sexually as well as emotionally/intellectually? The operative point should be that two beings have found a way of expressing their special closeness and affection; that those two beings are two men, or two women, or two whatever-else, is irrelevant to the celebration of life they declare. Love, between two consenting adults happily sharing, is not "perverted" — it is beauty.
- Jackie E writes: Also, am I the only one that was bothered by [Roberta R's] letter in issue #3? In exactly what way am I (being a new fan) in my teens? Age wise? or fan wise? And what about the older fen who she said are In their late 20's? If she means it in the sense that a new fan is a youngster while a more experienced fan is close to 30, I'll buy that. But if it was meant literally, I think she's all wet. I mean, I'm 24 and I'm about as new a fan as there is! And I know of some older fen who are pushing 40.... Writing about one's sexual fantasies. Write them, and if you have the nerve (I wouldn't, I'm afraid) to have them printed, submit them. But that's where your rights end. Follow the personality of the CHARACTERS. Kirk & Spock would no more have a homosexual relationship than I would. The love between them was beautiful, but as Kirk said in WHOM GODS DESTROY, it was the love of brothers.
- Vicki K writes: I cannot believe the juvenile editorials such as the one that was sent to me, to quote: "In fact, if there is such a thing as "prissy porn", Dodge is certainly its queen." I could continue with letter quotes, but you people know who you are. Ms Dodge will be writing stories and novels long after this particular editor and other so-called authors, who have stopped to write with their glands instead of their hearts and intelligence, have long since been forgotten. Perhaps at the next ST con Mary Lou plans to attend, they could have several lions as guest of honor.... I don't question anyone's right to purchase and read whatever they so desire. But I happen to have rights too, and I don t care to purchase a fanzine listed as "adult" or "sexually explicit material may be offensive to some" and discover it is almost exclusively de voted to homosexual stories, or even in fact, one story dealing with this subject.... Just labeling something adult or sexually explicit is not sufficient. I am an adult, but there are some things I do not care to read about and that is homosexual stories and incest. As long as I am talking about adult material, quite frankly, I find that most of the authors seem to have read some sex manual, know all the dirty words and moving parts, but switch their characters around in different positions throughout several pages as if they were stiff, wooden, and cared nothing about the other person. The dialogue is stilted, naturally, as it is aimed at titillating instead of stimulating one's intelligence. If these writers knew anything about making love, they would understand why those of us who do know the difference, find their stories juvenile and boring. Any time a fanzine editor, who considers printing a story with a main theme of Kirk and Spock fondling in a swimming pool as being literary merit, should take another look at his/her publishing aims. I thought the ideas of ST stories were to entertain, not to disgust.
- Ann P writes a long letter which comments on "The Procrustean Petard" by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath in Star Trek: The New Voyages #2 in which she explains genetics and humans who have an extra chromosome: My principal reaction to "Procrustean Petard" was one of distress at a number of scientific errors which constitute part of the basis for the plot. My objection is not literary. I hope that the readers will bear with me for a short course on genetics... These comments arise from a very real concern for the damage that can be done by the spread of this sort of stigmatizing idea, not from some desire on my part to cause trouble. I am perfectly aware that the willing suspension of disbelief is an integral part of all science fiction but...
- Wilhelmina writes: The increasing intensity in fandom is frightening. I find an almost universal lack of laughter. A lack of joy. I see diversity of opinion indicated instead of lauded. I read LOCs filled with vituperation and passion instead of with reason and enlightenment.
Interstat 6 was published in April 1978 and contains 20 pages.
- art by: Heather Firth, Beverly Zuk, John Price, Cathy Strand, Gerry Downes, Wilhelmina
- Columns: Insight (from Melinda Shreve); Rumors (by Kay Johnson); Book Barn (the premiere) (by Cathy Strand)
- a fan lays out a case for Vulcans being polygamous
- "Thanks for Writing" is this letterzine's version of WAHF, and this issue lists five names
- Chuck R is unhappy about Star Trek fans, and professionals, attacking Space: 1999: The whole anti-Space:1999 feeling that per- meates Trekdom is so widespread that it's not difficult to find examples of Trek's snobbish attitude towards the show. More than just a few Trek zines have had anti-1999 articles, editorials, or something else to support this feeling of ill will towards Space:1999.... Space:1999 was the first really serious attempt at good TV SF since Star Trek and as such most newspapers and magazines tended to compare the two and saying things like "Space:1999 is Star Trek's successor" or "It's better than Star Trek". Lines like this seemed to have worried Trek fans. It seems like Trek fandom immediately took the defensive, feeling that Star Trek's popularity would be threatened. Trek fans feared that 1999 might overshadow Trek so they did everything they could to minimize 1999 by cutting it down and being hypercritical of the show. It's a sad situation because 1999 is the best TV SF to come around in a long time. I've enjoyed the series a great deal and it's too bad that so many Trek fans have been blinded by prejudice which has kept them from enjoying the show.
- Johanna C writes: Since you published a comment of mine in [Vicki K's] letter (I#5), I wish you would quote it in context. The paragraph ran: "Exploring the Trek characters' sexual relationships is done on many levels, of course. But the levels differ in degree, not kind. [Mary Louise D] cannot depict her curiously Victorian, "she-for-God-in-him" Uhura without exploring Uhura's sexual relationship to her lord-and-master captain. Dodge's explorations, which are by no means confined to her adult-rated stories, tend to be couched in veiled language. In fact. If there is such a thing as "prissy porn" (Dodge's term), Dodge is certainly its queen. But her stories are, in kind, the same thing she condemns so roundly in others: the presentation of an extrapolated love (sex) relationship between two characters created by others..." I have enjoyed many of [Mary Louise D's] stories, and I hope she does, as [Vicki K] says, keep on writing. Fandom would be poorer for her absence. But I genuinely do not understand where the author of "Uhura's Decision" gets off attacking other fan writers for "taking characters and returning them covered with slime."
- Susan M S offers up her opinion of explicit fiction, and of K/S: I don't object to sex in writing, be it hetero, homo, or whatever. I've seen "dirty" pictures and read so-called porn before they became fashionable In Treklit; I've got the judgement to say "big deal". Sex is one of the oldest facets of life; writing sex for sex' sake has got to be one of the most boring aspects of all writing, not just fanfic. Adding sex to a lousy story may make a few people blush, but it won't improve the technically inadequate story structure one bit. One of the saddest things about the SexTrek writing is the lack of growth by its writers. There is more to the craft of writing than just "in" and "out". Complain as you will about [Mary Lou D]and her "old-fashioned" attitudes towards things sexual, but the woman knows a good deal more about the craft of writing than many of her detractors. When I see a statement like "homosexual stories...are very valuable, because they sympathetically depict a way of life..." it really makes me wonder where [Jenny F]has been. The K/S stories are a put-down of every gay individual I've ever met. Aside from two stories done by Leslie Fish, "Shelter" and "Poses", which showed individuals capable of feelings instead of merely lusts, the K/S stuff is a disaster for the gay community. K/S portrays the characters as love-sick puppy dogs, and all traces of the highly competent officers remember from the series have disappeared. The writers who scorn the picture of our captain pining over Lt. Mary Sue turn right around to do the same thing, using Spock instead. It all gives the impression of a bunch of adolescents (which I know some of these writers are not) who are so busy trying to prove their sexual and sociological sophistication that they had forgotten the well-rounded characters. That's being patronizing, not sympathetic! How can we devote such energy to a debate over the sexual prefer ences of fictional characters, and totally ignore the fellow human beings who created those wonderful characters? Doesn't anyone else care that maybe Bill Shatner and Leonard Nimoy may not like the idea of being depicted in homosexual acts? The printed page is faceless. The illos in Thrust are not. Kirk and Spock are two specific actors and no one else. I've heard K/S proponents say that Nimoy knows about K/S and doesn't mind. Just because he hasn't spoken out against K/S we should not assume approval. Paramount was sued because of their use of his face on that famous London billboard. If it is wrong for Paramount to use these men's faces for monetary gain, what makes it right for us as writers of Treklit to use their faces in any way we choose?
- Leigh W has a reminder: Star Trek is a fantasy (strange that anyone should have to be reminded). It bears very little resemblance to any reality, nor should it. The Star Trek universes (and I stress the plural) are in our minds and ours to do with as we damn well please. The Enterprise crew has been described in a number of very different ways, as Christian, gay, sex-crazed, infantile, macho, etc. Pick and choose what you care to believe. That's what fantasy is all about. But you hardly have reason to feel threatened when someone else chooses another point of view; that is his/her right as well as your own. It simply doesn't matter, since none of it is real in the first place. And if it does indeed matter as much as some of you seem to indicate, then you are taking ST and probably yourselves altogether too seriously. Our ST fantasies do not have to mesh into one beautiful whole (forget the IDIC here); that would be unspeakably boring. The bitter, spiteful letters I've been reading lately serve no purpose and represent a damn silly way of making a point. Bad-mouthing the quality of each other's work solely because of a basic difference of opinion is childish and pointless; putting each other down personally for the same reason is worse. This kind of argument generates nothing but anger, and you cannot possibly expect to make a valid point or change anyone's mind by using it. Talent can be found on all sides, and all sides are equally guilty of putting out abominable work. The latter is by no means confined to the representatives of any one point of view, and none of you has any business criticizing another's opinion on that basis.
- Crystal Ann T has this to say: I am tired of reading complaints of people who claim they've been unwittingly forced to read stories on homosexual topics. Perhaps this might have been true when the subject first hit fandom because no one knew then that it would be met with such a blast of intolerance in the land of supposed IDIC. But now, such complaints fall under the proverbial heading of 'beating a dead horse'. With all the advertisements, letterzines, reviews, and the grapevine, anyone who orders such a fanzine and is then suddenly surprised by its contents is either blind or stupid. I have no trouble knowing what I order. And there is such a thing as: when in doubt, ask. If reading about any topic upsets you that much, inquire before you purchase the zine. If the editor's answer doesn't satisfy you, don't buy the zine. No one can force you.
- Crystal Ann T also says she had thought fans were different from other people: I did believe that we were different. I thought that we believed in a new and bright future—one in which 'the best and truest in any species of beings' would be revealed by us. If we worked toward the creation of that bright universe and if we lived the ideals of Star Trek now, then there was a chance of that future becoming a reality. After all, what attracted you to Star Trek in the first place? It saddens me to realize how far we are from our goals. If we can't accept and tolerate the different lifestyles of the people who are on our earth today without calling them perverted or inferior (be they sexual, political, or social differences), then how are we going to accept truly alien cultures in the future? We are Just kidding ourselves if we think we can accept infinite diversity in infinite combinations when we really mean we can accept it only as long as it doesn't interfere with our own pet beliefs. At least words like 'if you don't like the theme, don't buy the zine' imply tolerance and recognize the rights of differing opinions. That's more than can be said for those who claim that everyone can read what they want as long as 'they don't step on my rights' and then turn around and label differing opinions as perverted, sick, and now juvenile. Do you know what I think is juvenile? I think intolerance is juvenile and regressive. There are only a few innate biological and social imperatives; the rest is all a product of acculturation. Since most of a person's opinions and attitudes are a result of conditioning and learned response to the particular environment he grows up in, such smugness and holier-than-thou attitudes over the superiority of his own beliefs are ludicrous.
- Karen F disagrees that Star Trek would "be empty without Spock": -sigh- Why can't members of Spock's Flock understand that Spock isn't the only character in ST! There also are Kirk, McCoy, Scott... the list could go on and on. For me ST would be empty without Kirk! Of course, there has to be at least one alien on board, but any Vulcan played by a competent actor would suffice—or even an Andorian or Tellarite or...
- Bev C agrees that we should all strive for doing the best we can with zines, but that in the end, we are all just amateurs: [We] should write what his or her heart wants to, and have the right to publish it. Not everything looks like Interphase—not everyone has the talent, the time, or the money to do a major production; and in some ways everything should not look like Interphase. Phase was a beautiful, memorable fanzine, and Connie deserves a great deal of credit for producing those four issues. Phase also was, unfortunately, one of the instigators of the current "polished" look sought after in fanzines—almost pro—and the corresponding rise in prices, and I'm not sure that this is entirely a good thing. For one thing, it doesn't feel fannish, In a way it creates mistaken and somewhat unrealistic ideas in some people's minds—and leads eventually to letters like George's. I think his expectations of near-professional quality are unrealistically high, given that fandom is a hobby and a labor of love. And to imply that editors who do not meet these standards do not take care in their production is unfair.
- Frances J. R writes of her acceptance, and non-acceptance: Kirk and Spock are not gays. Portraying then as such is a direct contradiction of the characters as shown on Star Trek. I have nothing against gays. Gay rights is O.K. by me. However, Kirk as portrayed on the series is totally straight and Spock didn't carry on with anyone, same or opposite sex, unless under the influence of spores or something. I wouldn't bat an eyelash at the existence of gays on the Enterprise. Every generation born contains homosexuals and lesbians. Why should the future be any different?
- from Meredith M, a bit of "treason": Permit me a timid squeak on the subject of "Procrustean Petard." I agree 100% with [Ann P] but there's something I'd like to add. Look, this is an alien planet, right? Now I don't know all that much about genetics, but it seems to me that it's highly improbable the double-helix would be identical with Terran genes, in which case you got a lot of mixed-up Terrans drifting around the galaxy—not to mention Spock! I always thought it a miracle that Amanda didn't die of copper poisoning, but this is ridiculous! Look, assume the inhabitants of this planet are humanoid, Go further, and say that they're genetically identical to Terrans. Carry the whole thing to the point of absurdity, and say Sargon was right and Terrans are descended from these people. OK—WHAT ABOUT SPOCK? He's got copper-based blood and a Vulcan arrangement of organs—if these people are like Terrans—and if they aren't you have a worse problem—the machine would probably reject him. If not, being a computer—and computers I do know something about—it would follow its programming, reassemble Spock (in a Terran pattern, remember) and continue operations. In which case, Marshak and Culbreath, you don't have an XYY male, you have, to put it bluntly, one very dead Terro-Vulcan hybrid and one heck of a mess on the floor. I may be completely wrong, but that's the way it seems to me. If this be treason, make the most of it!
- Penny Warren explains that if a female character can make some hurdles, she is not a Mary Sue: Like the reader, they must learn something, change in some way. Meet those two require ments and your central female character can be as attractive, as successful, as heroic as all hell—and she won't be a MarySue. She will be someone like Juanita Salicrup's Christine Chapel, or Connie Faddis' Maggie Landis. 
- Penny Warren also comments on variety and the right to create what one wants: The characters of Kirk and Spock are open to a variety of interpretations: there are as many Kirk's and Spock's as there are writers who deal with them. Which is as it should be, and what keeps Treklit from becoming a crashing bore. Your Kirk and Spock wouldn't engage in sexual relations with each other. Fine. Other people's readings of the characters make such a relationship possible, perhaps inevitable. You have a right to disagree with this interpretation. You do not have a right to attack it as "ipso facto" invalid because you disagree with it. Hamlet can be played with a Prince who is sane or mad, straight or gay. So can Trek.
- Elsa de V has this take on K/S: For some time now I've followed the interesting argument among ST fans, concerning the possibility of a K/S homosexual relationship and its inclusion in zines. I am personally against such stories, and not because they "offend" me, but because they are too simplistic to be worthy of inclusion in the ST universe. Let's look at the facts. In a galaxy of many species, in the ST expanded galaxy, many diverse forms of sexual arousement must exist. The "perversion" of one such form can only be contemplated in the context of mores that are exclusivist—another, single, form is the only one per missible. Humanity, having two sexes, has considered that the differences of those sexes serve to define what's permissible in intercourse, which in our culture has had the specific object of pro-creation. Not so in other societies, at other times, when due to the cultural patterns in existence homosexuality was condoned right here on our own planet. If you doubt this, look at the unexpurgated Greek history texts in any public library. So, if it has happened here before, how can we deny that the Enterprise's future will find homosexuality to be the norm among many of the most advanced Federation species? And if the practice is accepted (I doubt that the Federation would contemplate sending envoys/missionaries to "cure" the natives whose biological functions dictate otherwise), why would it be such a big deal aboard the Enterprise? Once we realize that the mere fact that K/S may be homosexual, and I doubt that they are, doesn't constitute a story per se, we must make the same demands upon those stories where the sole theme is that relationship that we make on others not using it for impact purposes. When fan writers present stories that are illogical, the readers should complain; they must complain, to let everyone know that the "reality" of our make-believe world must be maintained.
- Sandy H writes a tongue-in-cheek comment: An open request: to all those people who wish to rid fandom of Kirk-Spock stories, to all those fans who want fandom to grow in one certain direction (their direction, of course), to all those folks who wish to protect ray tender psyche from the horrors of Mary-Sue stories, adult stories. Kirk stories, Spock stories, Amanda-Sarek stories. Menagerie stories, and action-adventure stories; I appreciate it. Really I do. But, you know, I'm a high school graduate and I've been In the Navy and away from home for three years; I think I can do it for myself now. I'm almost sure I can decide on my own which stories I want to read. It's those other people, the ones who aren't as mature as you are, that we have to protect. Now, you tell me who they are, and I'll help you protect them.
- Joan M. D is disgusted: As I read [Jenny F's] reply in I#5 to [Karen B's] letter in 1#4 I became first shocked then disgusted. You are welcome to your opinion and your right to voice it, but I agree with Karen. I remember IDIC well but I cannot help feeling that this is a bit much. Kirk and Spock are brothers in that they respect each other and call one another friend, they do not need to express that affection in sex. It is demeaning to the characters when you consider Kirk chases women and Spock is interested in sex only every seven years. Kirk and Spock can love each other without deviant behavior . They express their love for each other in another way, they are willing to give up their careers and to die if necessary for each other and that is the highest form of love. They don't need to prove their love by deviant behavior , they show it in an even greater way, Sacrifice.
- Lynne M is disillusioned and angry: Although IDIC was born out of the most perfected series in television history today, and has philosophies that are admirable, its abuse in fandom is incredible. This is obvious when reading comments by fans, who at every opportunity, throw their IDIC into another's face when he/she has made a stand based on moral belief… Let's be realistic fellow fans and see IDIC for what IDIC really is—or isn't, IDIC is fiction. IDIC is not God. IDIC, unfortunately, is a convenience for those Star Trek fans who have joined ranks with an uncaring society in a world of decaying moralities. And quite frankly, I'm sick of IDIC.
- Sandy H writes: It's going to take a long time for the human race to grow up enough to really apply IDIC to every being and thing in the universe. Maybe we never will.
Interstat 7 was published in May 1978 and contains 22 pages.
- art by: M.S. Murdock, Heather Firth, Wilhelmina and Melinda Shreve
- Columns: Insight (from Melinda Shreve); Rumors (by Kay Johnson); There's Something I've Been Wanting to Say (by Michele Arvizu); Book Barn (by Cathy Strand)
- Melinda M writes a characters study of Scotty, as does Melinda Shreve
- Barbara G writes an uplifting letter: About a year ago, I launched my first SASE into this, your (our) world of STAR TREK. Since that time, I have communicated with many fans, writers, editors, greats and not-so-greats. I feel that I am a kind of "silent majority" fan—non-con, non-published, but enjoying myself out here on the fringe. I figure there must be a lot of us out here. And from my orbital viewpoint, I have one important thing to say: There is a gallantry in fandom. Simple, everyday gallantry. It starts with a SASE, a please and a "glad to hear from you again." In the past year, I have received exhaustive literary help from some of the best— encouragement, referral and much, much personal warmth. I realize that I am dangerously on the edge of the Camelot-hype or the "gee whiz" neofan mentality, but there is just a little more to say. Coincidence doesn't answer for all the lovely encounters I've had. I figure that this focus on the enlightened future has, most graciously, ennobled us all. And it shows. I realize that what I am saying has been said—and felt—by others but right now — after reading about zine ripoffs, LOC feuds, neofan nonsense, commercial cons and purist tvraids — I feel compelled to make this mention of the basic, gallant nature beneath it all.
- Jeff W splits some hairs: In [Leigh W's] letter (I#6), I think that she was so concerned with her STAR TREK and its many splendid viewpoints idea that she lost track as to what STAR TREK is. First off, STAR TREK is not supposed to be fantasy. Roddenberry created the stoy to be a series of fictional stories surrounded and supported on scientific theory and fact. In other words, science fiction. And because of this, at least some of the stories should be able to come true. Therein lies the difference [Ms. W] has missed. Though fantasy doesn't need to resemble reality too much, science fiction needs to get as close to reality as possible to get any kind of believability. Would those bright new futures be as bright if they couldn't happen?
- Mary M. S writes: To be frank, I haven't been as happy with INTERSTAT as I was with HALKAN and I'll tell you why. Even though there are more features in INTERSTAT, HALKAN was an exchange of ideas and the lettered of INTERSTAT has become an exchange of screeches. I have to admit that I do not understand the editorial mind butIdoknowthatyoucan'tagreewitheverythingyouprint. There's no way you can run a Trek letterzine and delight everyone. Still, it hurts to see a Trek publication used as a soapbox by those who trash others over disagreements. "I'm sick of IDIC." That hit me where I live. That hurt! Nothing would be accomplished by my dashing off a letter full of my immediate responses to that statement. But that attitude is used to justify mud-slinging at others whose ideas, opinions, religious and even sexual orientations differ from your own.
- Donna C has a comment on K/S: I would like to add my voice to the contro versy over the Kirk/Spock homosexual relationship in fan fiction. I wish everyone would keep their moral views on homosexuality out of the discussion. That is not the issue here. The issue is perception of the characters. Sure, STAR TREK is a fantasy and everyone has their own fantasies, but the characters in these particular fantasies are not original to the fan writers. They were created by Gene Roddenberry , and developed by William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and various writers. The creators of fictional characters establish certain quali ties for those characters which should be maintained by people writing about the same characters. The proponents of the K/S "relationship" are mistaken in their perception of the characters. Such a relationship is greatly inconsistent with the characters as originally written and portrayed.
- G.M. C. wants fans to keep things in perspective: I, for one, happen to believe society does have a right to pro tect itself. For instance, I think the permissiveness expressed in the "No Censorship" outcry is wrong and even dangerous to society when it is conducive to children of 11 and 12 becoming dope addicts, 13 and 14 year olds becoming parents, and venereal disease rampant at all ages in epi demic proportions. But I also think society ought to get its thinking straight about what it needs to protect itself against — and fanzines, even those with Lt. Mary Sue stories or the K/S relationship — really are not all that important.
- Georgia N has concern for the actors: Kudos to [Susan S] for her highly articulate INTERSTAT 6 letter. I wondered if anybody was ever going to get around to considering the feelings of WS and LN. Or doesn't it matter that they might be hurt, insulted, disgusted? I can't believe LN doesn't care and I do know that WS was offered and turned down a center-fold. And I don't think either of their careers are in such low gear they need or appreciate the kind of attention they're currently getting.
- Karen B writes: IDIC, IDIC, IDIC, IDIC.... I have grown quite weary of aforesaid entry being thrown in my face at every comment I make on a controversial topic. I find it interesting to note the metamorphosis that has occurred in the approaches taken by correspondents since my first comment appeared in (#02). What originally began as a statement of personal taste and a protest against advertising practices has turned into a two-sided war. It is time to stop using INTERSTAT as a battlefield and treat it as was first intended: an open forum for ideas and personal comments. I am as guilty as anyone else for wanting to make numerous rebuttals to letters offensive to me, but restraint is essential.
- Sandra N has a boyfriend, and an acceptance, problem: I seem to be in a dilemma. I have a boyfriend who publishes a little known zine and is very much into cons, writing, reading ST/SF/comics. So I suppose you could say he's in fandom in that respect. But as for other zines, he's fed up. He's never been much into zines (that is, knowing who does what zine, - reading the majority being printed, etc.) but when he looks for material to read, he finds endless Spock/Vulcan stories, K/S stories, "get" stories, "Mary Sues", homosexual stories, porn, etc. He sees fandom as a female dominated elite who have turned ST into soap opera and undignified trash. And I, who believe in fandom and who is a lot more familiar with the zine scene than him try to defend it by saying there are good stories being written, good zines being printed (he acknowledges zines like Warped Space and Menagerie as exceptions to the rule) and that the ethics of writing is based on the fact that if a person feels the need to write something, whether it be a quality piece of work or pure crud, then he/she should write it. But he then asks me, "Is it Trek?" And I find I cannot answer. Now, I believe in each person having different interpretations. And I have found that I am able to understand, accept and even agree with many interpretations of a book, movie, TV show, whatever. I am usually capable of seeing every side of a story and find myself agreeing with both sides. I can do this because I am able to see what the other side sees. But I really can't see any Trek fan seriously believing that Kirk or Spock would ever engage in homosexuality.
- Sandra N also reminds fans that it is Gene Roddenberry who made fandom possible and that he would find K/S disgusting: ...one person that fandom has seen fit to neglect, denigrate and be extremely ungrateful to is Gene Roddenberry. The man has faults, like any other human being, but were it not for him, you would not be reading this fan zine, you would not be sharing in his dream. I am eternally grateful that he does not read many zines because I would be exceedingly ashamed. Fandom has a lot to be ashamed for. The dream Gene had and which he was willing to share with others was beautiful and fandom has changed it, has lost sight of it, has made it tasteless.
- Allyson W counts fan clubs and zines in the recent Directory of Star Trek Organizations and she notes: Ever since August 1977, the fanzines have totaled more than the clubs... Would anyone care to give an explanation to why we have become more of a zine oriented fandom rather than a club oriented one?
- a fan, Carol B, makes an offer: Since I teach the blind, I can write braille quite proficiently. I am not a certified transcriber, but would be willing to braille materials for any blind people who are interested in STAR TREK writings — particularly during the summer. Brailling is time-consuming and takes a lot of space, but postage is all "Free Matter of the Blind". I am sincere in my offer. I'm not allowed to braille professional publications, without publisher's permission and couldn't anyway, because I'm not certified. However, all fanzines fall into another category — as long as readers will put up with a few mistakes.
- Linda R writes: nstead of everyone getting upset over porn, homosexuality, etc., just don't buy the zine. No one is ever forced into buying a zine and editors should have the right to print what they want. The best way to let someone know you don't like their zine is not buy it — that's how people have been protesting poor products and high prices for years.
- Mary Lou D comments on literature at large: A little censorship would be highly beneficial to publishing, writers and readers, and would lead to an Improvement in the quality of present day literature. Strangely, the absence of social or legal restraints throughout history has caused a kind of Gresham's Law in publishing; subject matter becomes trivial and despairing. Writers, intent upon investigating the formerly forbidden subjects, cut themselves off from all understanding of human beings, and can no longer show the inner beauty and strength of mankind, only its abnormalities.... The last five years (our anything-goes years) have produced nothing memorable in the publishing world. The last book which will outlive our generation, T.H. White's "Once and Future King", was published in 1958, and handles its themes of rape, incest, adultery and patricide with such exquisite subtlety a child can read it. For that matter, it appears even young adults would fall to grasp its meanings — my niece reports that nearly half the students in her second year college Lit course were dumbfounded to be told that "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" had been raped! In the absence of explicit description they were unable to understand the text. These young people, their imagination atrophied by a diet of explicit sex and violence have been forever cut off from the joys of the subtleties and delicate nuances of the world's great literature, just as a delicate palate is destroyed by a steady diet of heavy spice. Now I understand the amazing fact that so few young STAR TREK fans seem to catch the implied commentaries on con temporary man in the episodes, which seemed to me not all that difficult to recognize.
- Rebecca H stresses acceptance of other fandoms: I've noticed also that many TREK fans are into STAR WARS, and other TREK fans are dismayed. Come off it! WARS is a beautiful movie — not because it's science fiction, but because it's FUN. Lucas got back to the basics of movie making, giving us something to entertain us. It's the first time in many years I've been in a theater where the bad guy is booed when he walks on the screen. When the Deathstar was blown up, the audience cheered. I've not seen an audience so engrossed in a movie, so captivated, and it's good. It's what's been needed for a long time. My favorite was Darth Vader, but I haven't been inspired to write in the STAR WARS universe. I've enjoyed the fan stories,though. I'm glad to see that STAR WARS has done so well. But, it's not competition for TREK. It just isn't in the same league. It's like comparing oranges and apples. You can't, but they're both good food — and both WARS and TREK are excellent food for the soul. So, let's just enjoy it.
- Melinda S explains Mary Lou D's involvement in an explicit het zine, Delta Triad: I would like to explain Mary's position on DTS I to certain people. Mary didn't write the love scenes for the "Ambassadress", nor did she approve of the illo accompanying "Uhura's Decision". You see, we vote: two to one wins. Laura and I wanted to do the Supplement R rated, not Mary Lou. But she respected our opinions enough to give in to the majority and help us with it. What she preferred not to write, Laura wrote.. So, Laura did the love scenes for the "Ambassadress" — and it's interesting to see where Mary leaves off and Laura begins. Mary did the love scene between McCoy and Nora In "Autumn's Echo" In her own inimitable way; and, in my opinion, did a beautiful job of it. "Uhura's Decision" was Laura's story; she wrote the outline, major scenes and the first rough draft. Then Mary Lou embellished it with her superb writing style, again, because we asked her to do it to maintain continuity. Mary has the ability to keep each character separate unto themselves in any situation — something I wish I could do. Mary Lou is our main author, but not the only one who writes for the zine. She is not an editor for DT, but she knows how to make useful, intelligent suggestions. What I want to get across is that Mary Lou did not compromise her beliefs in doing the Supplement; and Laura and I respect her for adhering to her views on pornography, whatever the definition of it is. We respect each others' opinions and beliefs; and Instead of running each other down, we unite to form a greater whole: DELTA TRIAD.
- Melinda S also writes that she wishes IDIC would go away: I notice, too, that the beliefs postulated by IDIC are being ex ploited. It's all right if someone expresses an opinion, as long as it agrees with attitudes of a certain group of fans. But say something contrary to that opinion, and they yell IDIC! IDIC! Well, I wish IDIC would dry up and blow away. These people do not really subscribe to it. It's being used as a cop-out, or an excuse for their conscience. IDIC requires mutual cooperation and tolerance. I see very little of this in ST fandom, for there is no moral standard. And a strong, per sonal conviction needs high morals or it is self-defeating.
Interstat 8 was published in June 1978 and contains 18 pages.
- art by: Heather Firth, Beverly Zuk, Ray Lamb and Cathy Strand
- flyers for Future Wings and Alderaan
- Letters of Comment from: Jeff Johnston, G.M. Carr, Marjorie Robbins, Sue Keenan, Joan M. Verba, Caroline Hedge, Margaret Marrs, Leigh Washburn, Denny Arnold, Sandra Necchi, Carol Mularski, Vicki Kirlin, Rebecca Hoffman, David Lubkin, Cheryl Rice, Beverly Clark, Jackie Edwards
- Columns: Insight (from Melinda Shreve); Rumors (by Kay Johnson); There's Something I've Been Wanting to Say (by Michele Arvizu); Book Barn (by Cathy Strand)
- Sandra N, regarding the accessibility of BNFs: Perhaps I will offend some BNFs due to the following but this is an urgent matter. There has been a growing attitude that is extremely disturbing. It is offensive, arrogant and the height of egocentricity. I am speaking about the increasing habit of BNFs playing the game of "I'm more important than you are." At cons, they have closed parties and they are, generally, no longer accessible. There are no notable exceptions and they certainly bear acknowledgement. But this attitude is growing; it is unfair and detrimental to fandom. Many non-BNFs hope to meet and talk with their favorite fan writers, fan artists, fan editors. But lately, many fans find themselves unable to do this.
- Jeff J writes of convenient IDIC and of what he sees as three types of fans: IDIC is used as a convenience by fans whenever they so please to employ it on their side... I personally don't see where all that many fans feel for that concept which was called IDIC in the show. It used to be that I thought I knew what IDIC was. Then I read "Kraith" and I've been confused about lt ever since. Although what I am about to say may sound inconceivable to some fans, I know that it is true. There are a lot of people in fandom who don't give a damn about IDIC, or even about STAR TREK. From all that I have observed about fandom, there are three areas of fannish organization: Con Fandom, Club Fandom and Mainstream Fandom. The latter is the literary-oriented part of fandom that reads fanzines like this one, and carries on the bulk of letter writing and information processing. Within Mainstream Fandom, there are different types of fans. They are different because of what they do, because of the reasons they are in fandom or because of the range of experiences and people they know. Most fans are drawn into Mainstream Fandom because they are fans of the show and they want to converse and exchange ideas with other fans. After awhile, however, the appeal of STAR TREK declines. How many times can you sit through all of the episodes? How many times can you re-hash the same plot conflicts that you've seen dissected in countless fan zines? How many times can you take the characters apart and put them back together again? Well, countless times, if you're determined. But it still becomes tiresome after awhile. The series ended almost a decade ago. There isn't any new material to pick through. Except... Fanfic is new and vital. Fanfic also is able to transcend the boundaries of the show's own format where you can split up characters, kill them, marry them off, put them on different ships, or discuss ships and crews never seen before on the show. Fanfic is now. It is creative and more expansive and original than the televised show ever could be. Look around you and you'll find that within Mainstream Fandom, there are not only a lot of fans of STAR TREK, but a lot of people who are just fans of fandom. The latter could care less about revival of theseries. They have fandom as their core of interest, which they can perpetuate and change as the fans see fit. STAR TREK was in the hands of the network execs and the fans could only affect change on a massive scale. STAR TREK Fandom however, is in the hands of the fans, and almost anyone can write a story or publish a fanzine and voice their opinions and be heard!
- G M C comments on one of the current rifts in fandom, that between Star Wars and Star Trek: I agree with those who say that crying "IDIC" at the first breath of criticism is a cop out — what they appear to be doing is trying to muzzle opposition by a gag labeled "IDIC" rather than defend their own position. After all, "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations" does NOT mean "Shut Up!" Rather, it means (or should mean) "Your thoughts are different from my thoughts on this subject." (That is, if it means any thing at all...) For instance, my thoughts are different from [Rebecca H's] on ST/SW — I do think it could very well be "competition for TREK". The last Con I attended out here was at least 50-50 ST-SW all the way from the costumes (those I saw, at any rate) to the hucksters. It could possibly merge with TREK and become a part of it...
- Marjorie R scolds: I'm appalled!!! After reading INTERSTAT 06 &07, I'm surprised that some of you have the nerve to call yourselves Trek fans. OK, I'm only a neo (about one year of being active and over ten of watching and loving the show) but it seems to me that if we all truly believed in the concepts of Trek there wouldn't be so much bickering, name calling and so on. Is this what STAR TREK is all about?... If I sound like I'm full of starry-eyed optimism, let me assure you that is not the case. I'm very aware of many of the problems and controversies in fandom. But, without replying to specific issues, let me ask if these issues are important enough to ruin a good thing?... If fandom is truly as messed up and as far from the ideals on the episodes as your letters would indicate then I question the wisdom of being involved at all.
- Joan V on the appeal of fanzines: ... being a fanzine reader Is easy. All it takes is stationary, stamps and a modest expense account. One does not need writing or artistic or editing talent to participate. One need not even leave home. It keeps one In touch with other fen. It Involves one in fandom because any reader can loc a fanzine or submit a review or write a letter to the editor or write to another loc writer. It also provides something one can discuss with other fen at convention time. These are the things that make fanzines attractive to others.
- Caroline H on a theory on why fanzines are more popular/accessible than fan clubs: I believe the reason that fandom seems to prefer zines to clubs is simple. We're in fandom for various reasons, but one of the primary aspects is communication with other fans. Currently, zines are providing much more communication than clubs.... Why do zines succeed? One reason is that there are zines for everyone. Fiction zines, letterzines, and every combination between. And if you cannot find one to suit, there is always the ego-boo of creating your own zine. Again, a chance to choose your level of involvement. Everyone can participate, even if it is only by purchasing zines. Zines involve (really involve) a larger percentage of fandom than clubs. Zines cover more physical territory than clubs. They go anywhere. They are flexible and can change with the times. Remember high school biology? "In a closed system, entropy tends to increase." Clubs are usually more "closed" than zines. Zines and letter columns produce communication. It must be what we want!
- Margaret M responds to the fan, George W, who has stirred up much commentary: When is he going to realize that not all ST material is written exclusively for his enjoyment? Perhaps some of the 'Mary-Sue' stories he so despises are not the zenith of ST fiction. Literary quality aside, do these much maligned little love stories stray as far from the established image of STAR TREK as do the homosexual/pornographic Kirk/Spock stories? Nowhere has [Mr. W] taken a stand regarding this controversial element in ST fiction, though it has been widely debated in INTERSTAT. As to the action/adventure stories he prefers, I have read good ones and I have read poor ones, but I do not say that the writers should stop writing them or the editors stop printing them, simply because they do not measure up to professional standards.
- regarding explicit Trek fiction and an earlier letter, Leigh W writes: [Mary Lou D] wrote a very-thought-provoking letter in INTERSTAT #7. I do not agree with her conclusions, but I respect the logic of her argument. This is not meant as a backhanded compliment. The deadening effect of a steady diet of pornography is quite real. Subtlety and restraint can paint a very beautiful and sensuous picture much more effectively than can explicit narrative. Must exposure to explicit sex and violence inevitably lead to a steady diet? Can we not have it in moderation?... I interpreted the word censorship in [Mary Lou D's] letter as referring to the passage of laws as well as the private exercise of judgment over what we bring into our homes and allow our children to see.
- Denny A writes: Re all the K/S correspondence: What I'm really waiting for is STAR WARS fanfic writers to relate Han Solo's seduction of Luke Skywalker, which makes the Wookie very unhappy...so Solo comforts him (after all, he's a very valuable co-pilot) and finds that Chewie is a lot more fun than Luke. Meanwhile, Leia has had a child by Darth Vader conceived when she was a prisoner aboard his ship. Darth Vader really hated Obi Wan because in his youth he made a pass at Obi Wan and was turned down...Leia is sort of left out in the cold now that Luke has a crush on Solo who is having fun with Chewie, so she has a shot at programming Threepio to... Well now, is that any sillier than what has been done to the characters of STAR TREK in fanfic? Do you know who the real captain & first officer of the fanfic ENTERPRISE are? Sulu and Chekov, of course. Kirk and Spock are so busy laying each other and anyone else they can grab, they haven't time to run the ship.
- Sandra N has more on K/S: You are absolutely correct in your statement that this entire discussion about the homosexual premise is being talked about to death within the pages of INTERSTAT. However, it is difficult to remain silent when people defend it under the banner of "IDIC" or "different interpretations" or "diversity" when those three things have nothing to do with it. The issue is the validity and believability of this premise. That opponents believe is simple: it has none. The reason we can't remain silent is because the indignation is deep. It hurts when we see something we love treated with a theme that isn't credible. We believe in these characters. But in these stories, this believability cannot be maintained....
- Vicki K has more on the premise and basic "schlock": Having put up with juvenile writing and purchasing many fanzines over the years because there were a few 'gems' among the shlock that made the purchase worthwhile is some kind of criteria for criticism. But some of the authors today have been writing for many years and their editors have been around even longer. When I continue to read what I consider juvenile,t hen I will call it what it is. I realize that ST writers are amateurs, but that does not excuse the fact that their writing is not maturing along with their bodies, and supposedly their minds. I am appalled at the garbage that is showing up in print. In the early days of fanzines, anything that was labeled ST seemed to get published. That was fine if the writing was good, but it is also the editors' obligation to help the writer polish their material before it is published, no matter what the theme. It seems that too many editors are cheating not only their subscribers, but also the writers, by publishing anything that may have a shock value as long as people are willing to purchase and read themes that are titillating and not something to cause a person to think or explore the universe through the printed pages....
- Vicki K chides another: I still question your ethics in using your fanzine editorial  to put down another member of fandom. If you felt that Mary Lou was ripping people off with her stories or the fanzines they appeared in, then I could understand your gripe. But the fact is that Mary Lou merely had the courage to speak out and call smut by its true name, and her opinion on the printed material coming out in fandom. Therefore, I don't understand your objection; aren't we all entitled to voice our own opinions? After all, freedom of speech is in the constitution, but evidently not in STAR TREK fandom. I also take offense to your continuous attempt to dehumanize people by using their last name.... the exchange of information and ideas should be fun, not this deadly, hate-filled atmosphere that has begun to be prevalent in fandom. I never realized how hateful people could be in expressing a view that relates to STAR TREK, until I read the LOCs in the latest issue of MENAGERIE
- Rebecca H points something out to another: Thank you for the explanation of Mary Lou's involvement with "Ambassadress" and"Decision" . However, her name was on the story with no disclaimer from her; therefore, she is just as associated and just as responsible, as if she had written those scenes herself. And I notice Mary is at it again. By now, everyone knows how she feels. I think it's time to just drop the subject. Porn is with us and will continue to be. We cannot stop it, so let's find something else to discuss. We've gotten in a rut. (Pun intended.) 
- David L writes of some stats: For a group rampant with rifts, we do seem to get awfully monotonic: 57 letters pro K/S, 39 against, and a surging 105 crying for a spirit of IDIC (as of 06). Seriously, if you have problems fitting in everyone s letter, think in terms of repetition. Though it does seem that we have an annoying habit of harping over issues and beating dead horses.
- Beverly C makes a clarification: First I think I ought to make It clear, in case people get the wrong impression, that I did not intend any slur upon either Connie or INTERPHASE in my LoC published in I#6. I think all four issues of PHASE were extremely impressive, and they are among my most prized possessions. Connie is to be congratulated for her achievement. If there is any fault to be laid for the setting up of PHASE as the ultimate standard by which fanzines should be ludged, it belongs to the fans themselves who allowed it to become such, instead of accepting it as a tour de force. I should say "to the fans ourselves," because I also admit to being influenced by PHASE when I judge a zine....
Interstat 9 was published in July 1978 and contains 22 pages.
- art by: Cathy Strand, Mike Brown, Gerry Downes, Beverly Zuk, Wilhelmina, Heather Firth and Bob Cochran
- from the editor: In response to several letters inquiring as to the rationale we use in determining which LOCs will be printed, these are our criteria. 1. All letters received by the 15th of the month, by either publisher, are considered for the next month's issue. 2. Letters relating to S.T. and its genre receive precedence over letters relating to other topics. 3. New topics are favored on a 30% new (as available) to 70% proportion of continuing topics. 4. Insights on current controversies and replies to published comments are published in a direct percentage re- lationship to the total number of replies received on that topic. Each issue reflects the pro/con proportion of mail received that month. 5. New writers have an edge over writers who have pre- viously appeared in INTERSTAT—but only the first time. 6. Letters which are clear and concise are favored over letters which ramble. 7. Letters of over one 8 1/2 x 11 page may be edited for length in order to provide the widest forum for all comments. And we dislike the arbitrary function of trying to ascertain which topics are most important to a letter writer. So these letters are subject to the confines of layout. In the clutch of "publishing week", layout considerations are the determining factor between two letters of comparable view. We feel this is fair. While both of us feel volatilly on issues (often in opposite corners) it is not our place— in INTERSTAT-- to censor, control or "guide" this zine by publishing letters which conform to our personal opinions, The LOC section is a fan forum. At the same time, as publishers, we will not print any letter which our legal counsel considers libelous. We are responsible legally, financially and ultimately, for these pages.
- Eileen R hopes for better: ... if Star Trek represents the best humanity is or can become, I'm looking around for a new species. The last time I checked, this is the real world we're living in. Dr. Tom Dooley, Gandhi, Father Damien of the leper's colony on Molokai are some examples of what I feel is the best humanity can be, not an entirely fictional and not particularly ethical starship captain.
- Jenny F is in withdrawal: And I'm not tired of seeing 'em! Listen...anybody who's tired of the eps should try going without them,involuntarily; it's miserable. I've recently moved, and can no longer get a cable TV hookup—which means no Trek. Horrible! Or at least, no clearly-received Trek; I am reduced to fiddling with my antenae (uh, the TV antenae, that is), turning the volume up, and hoping the weather will remain clear because then, with luck, I can receive a fuzzy picture from a poorly-if-at-all-received station 60 miles away.
- Gayle F writes of The Premise: To those who protest that the K/S premise is out of character: How many mainstreamTrek tales have you read where you felt one or another of the protagonists, because of the conception rather than poor writing, was out of character? Did you also find that while some fen were in agreement with you, others found what you felt to be a flaw in the characterization to be a brilliant insight, or at least an intriguing possibility—and vice versa? Controversial stories and series which come to mind are "The Price of A Handful of Snowflakes", "Kraith", "The Weight", "Diamonds and Rust", and "Spock Enslaved". It's annoying to me to read that no true fan could "seriously" believe in the K/S premise, when it is quite obviously dear to the hearts of many fen, and granted as a reasonable possibility by many more. It indicates a very narrow view of bi-sexuality and homosexuality— a view to which most of us were conditioned, to one degree or another. If the premise is "out of character" with the aired episodes, it is because Star Trek was a show of the 60*s, progressive for its time, but still presented in terms of 60'smorality. Aside from Janice Lester- Kirk's seductiveness with Dr. Coleman, there was nothing to suggest there was such a thing as bi or homosexuality in humans. If Trek had dealt with the theme then we would have gotten the current cliches, an effeminate hairdresser at some royal court, a decadent, sadistic villain, possibly a pathetic, persecuted, guilt ridden villain, of intergalactic blackmail. Those cliches have their counterparts, but so do Billy Sive and Harlan Brown of The Front Runner, and Mary Renault's romantic warriors, her Alexander, Alexias, and Lysis. If Star Trek were doing TV episodes now, might not the Enterprise fly to Winter, Ursula Le Guin's fascinating planet of hermaphrodites, or encounter some other race of exquisite but sexually ambiguous humanoids? How is it against the original concept of Star Trek to expand the universe, both inner and outer, to open doors that were closed to it in its own times?... The Kirk/Spock relationship is the richest and most complex love relationship offered in StarTrek. The K/S premise brings all that is best from the friendship and integrates it with a sexual union. If they don't appeal to you as a couple, fine. If the idea appalls you...well, the Spock/Chapel coupling appalls me, but I'm still able to appreciate a well written story on the theme. If you do like the theme it's a lovely way to have your cake and eat it too. Love gained and no adventure lost.
- Tina L suggests that IDIC be worn only by those who understand it: I would like to add my comment to the ranks of protestors of the misuse of IDIC. Maybe for Terrans the meaning should be "infinite dickering on infinite controversy". The Vulcan symbol IDIC was said to be the most revered of all symbols in their world. With the parental heritage of Mr.Spock one would feel that it would have special meaning for him. Spock embodies the meaning of this symbol and his character is consistant in its effort to live by the philosophy of IDIC. It is Spock who is most willing to accept alien life forms within their own social structure. And quite often it is also Spock who leaves us to understand that the symbol is not worn just as a decoration but as a great honor. Is it possible that on Vulcan it is only used by those who truly understand the philosophy? Is it also possible that those of us here on Earth should not be so free with this philosophy until we can, without the least exception, say we live by it? I think the answers to these questions are yes.
- George W writes of IDIC and addresses another fan: Open your eyes, lady. IDIC is real and it exists independently. IDIC does not require someone stepping into it and pulling it on like a suit of armor. IDIC must exist before it can be expressed. Which came first, IDIC or expression of it? It had to be there to be expressed. Your idea of IDIC hits me like a soap opera, all outer shell, no meat. It is nice for you to cuddle up to in your own narrow existence but for someone else? Never! You've lost the whole point of IDIC, it is not a justification, it is a reason for the existence and the enjoyment of the diversities of life.
- Guinn B is very upset: Ordinarily I don't go in for 'foaming-at-the-mouth' LOCs, but I have just finished reading the personal statements section of the latest Scuttle-but , and I'm about mad enough to chew neutronium. The creators of the Nu Ormenel series, it seems, are particularly peeved by the very suspicious (they say) similarities of Other Writers' Klingon stories to Nu Ormenel. These Other Writers have not now, and never will have their permission to write Nu Ormenel—and if This Situation goes on (they warn darkly) Appropriate Action will be taken. (!) Well, gee. I guess they mean they're going to hire a hit man! I hope they don't seriously believe the copyright laws will protect their Magnum Opus. Anyone who does more than hint that their story is about Klingons, or Andorians, or Romulans, or Thalosians, is violating the copyrights held by Gene Roddenberry, Paramount, Norway Productions, et al—disclaimers notwithstanding. This goes for the girls who are so fierce about protecting their version of Klingon civilization from rip-off, too. A theft is a theft, and we in fandom are all guilty. You cannot plagerize someone's work, expand upon it a bit, and then warn everyone else to keep their cotton-pickin' hands off because it's yours now. We all are lucky that the fan phenomenon is seen by the true holders of ST copyrights as a desirable thing—otherwise the "Appropriate Action" they'd take would have us up to our necks in legal fees. What I'm trying to say, I guess, is let's stop all this 'I-have-a-copyright-and-I'll-sue-your-ass' nonsense inside fandom. Sure, it's good manners to ask permission to use somebody's stories or even their ideas—but how many of us did that before publishing our ST stories based on the brainchild of Gene Roddenberry? HMMMMM?
- Al F, age 15, encourages others to be less argumentative: Star Trek is not about arguments, hate, sex, etc. It's about love and peace. I don't want to cut down this fanzine, I know it's fantastic, but there are so many arguments between fans issue after issue. Just calm down and settle your private arguments between yourselves. Let's keep INTERSTAT a clean, kind, and healthy fanzine.
- Eileen R gives this definition of a Mary Sue: as far as I'm concerned, a Mary Sue is any story where the author has projected her (or him) self into the protagonist's role to the detriment of reality. Any story about a minor character is usually not a Mary Sue, since a Mary Sue author wants to make her persona as important as possible. A story about a 20th century character in the world of the Enterprise who was alone, despairing, homesick and who eventually has a mental breakdown because of the complete exile from everything she's ever known before— this would not be a MarySue. It would be real. I don't know if I'd care to read it but it would be real.
- Penny Warren addresses Mary Lou D, then Mel S, then Sandra N: Censorship is violence, manifested on the intellectual and ideological level. If one cannot persuade others of the worth of his opinions without coercion, that fact should tell him something about the pro bable social and moral value of those opinions....You're dead wrong, you know. IDIC isn't—in fact, can't be—a salve for anyone's conscience. Attempting to use it in that fashion would be like putting a burned hand back in the fire. IDIC recognizes the primacy of the individual conscience, and requires us to respect its exercise in others. This means, for example, that I acknowledge your right to object to the exploration of certain themes in Trek fiction; and I further acknowledge that your objections are based on moral imperatives which you perceive as valid. But it also means—and this is the crunch—that you shall respect my honesty in those areas where I differ with you. Neither of us has the right to attempt to impose her values on the other, by censorship, invoking Paramount, or any other means. In a pluralistic society, there cannot be any single moral standard; but there can, and must, be respect for the integrity of those who do not agree with us. Even when it's difficult. Even when it hurts.... ST, like any other work work of fiction, is a metaphorical construct. It is a mark of its quality that it can in fact support so many Interpretations, that it can serve as a vehicle for the development of such varied themes* In good Trekfic, as in other good literature, that is accomplished by the posing and solution of problems (or in some cases, by the failure to find a solution) Aired ST gave us characters with some fairly heavy hangups: Kirk with his macho power games, Spock with his inability to reconcile his rational and emotional natures. Most of the K/S stories are aimed at resolving precisely these difficulties; they do extrapolate from an Identifiable point within the aired series. They show the characters changing, growing, learning. It's not possible to do that, and adhere strictly to the way "they were painted to be". That's just more of the same, running in place. It's boring. Worse, it's pointless.
- Dixie O takes Mary Lou D to task for her advocation of "a little censorship": I am deeply distress at the implication in [Mary Lou D's] letter (I#7) that she become the guardian of all of our ST morals. The trouble with people who advocate "a little censorship" is that they never know where to stop. [Ms. D] took it upon herself to personally try to stop publication of the Diamonds and Rust series of stories last year (written by Mandi Schultz and Cheryl Rice and published in various zines); not content with expressing her disapproval of certain elements of the tale, she sought to have the zines who carried it make apologies to their readers for doing so. The upshot of these activities was to drive Schultz and Rice completely out of ST fandom, wounded by the vituperation visited on them, and presently represented only by the recent publication of the D & R Collected, Volume I, Kzinti Press. (Every fan who approved/hated D & R owes it to him/herself to read the whole first third of this novel, to see the individual stories in perspective, without the background of warring LOCs.) Now this year [Ms. D], elated over last year's victory, has taken on the writers and publishers of the K/S relationship stories in a further effort to scourge us back into line with the subject matter she thinks is suitable for ST fen. I say to hell with it—the free speech of the First Amendment applies equally well to ST fanfic as pro publishing. I have a great and abiding respect and admiration for Mary Lou's own good writing style and smoothly told stories—but I would never dream of telling her what she could or couldn't write. I suggest a sprightly dose of the Golden Rule is applicable here. 
- David L addresses Mary Lou D: "...your antipathy to me and my works..." When have I ever voiced anywhere antipathy towards either you or your works? At times I disagree with you, and you have written things I was not overthrilled with. But there have been enough times when I have agreed with valid statements of yours or liked some story you wrote. Antipathy implies a habitual or basic aversion. I do not see your name in print and start foaming at the mouth. Sometimes I agree and sometimes I don't. It just happens that our worldviews are sufficiently disjoint for me to disagree rather more often than I agree.
- Eileen R addresses Sandra N: ...which BNF's are you talking about? I've been able to see and talk to just about everyone I wanted to at cons. I've also spent utterly miserable evenings wandering around staring furtively at name-tags. I haven't noticed any standoffishness. I've run into some, "I'm exhausted; can I talk to you later?" Again—who are you talking about? Generalizations are always false and usually useless
- Matthew P. B addresses Chuck R: Right on for defending Space: 1999 in I#6! Whenever I hear a Star Trek fan criticize the show my blood boils! It seems that the majority of Trek Fandom looks upon itself as a god who can determine what sf is good and what is bad, often to the point of hypocracy [sic]! And they also find it their right to pass judgement on the fans of a show just because it rubs them the wrong way.... DON'T GET ME WRONG! I do not hate Star Trek. I think that it is fantastic tv sf, for the most part I do expect a lot out of the Star Trek movie. And knowing Gene Roddenberry, we will get it and more!
- Crystal Ann T writes of why she writes fanfic: I can't say for certain why fanzines were started in the first place, since I was totally unaware of them back then, but I suspect the reason was more the need to communicate than the desire to polish writing skills. Kristofferson summed it up so well in the words "...I've got to feed the hunger in my soul..." I know I don't write to improve my writing skills; I write to communicate with others who share the same love of Trek as I do—to give back something of myself and my ideas to those who have given me so many hours of pleasure. Of course, I am grateful to editors who have helped me improve my writing skills... [which] helps me communicate more effectively with others.
- Deborah C writes of her interest in expanding discussion of one topic, but not another... sort of: As to the furor over the K/S stories—let's get onto other controversies. Few minds will be changed by furthur debate, much less name-calling on either/both sides. K/S will probably stay and short of burning them all, threatening the authors or passing a law against it we should do something. Let's turn our collective attention elsewhere for more fruitful and consciousness expanding topics. As to my views, I intensely dislike K/S stories and homosexuality, but I feel I have no right to censor other people's tastes. One person's smut is another person's sensitive 'adult' story. As for the limits of story material, I do not know where these are. Indeed, I suspect that few do and that our culture as a whole must examine this question and resolve it. However, I feel that the contents of a zine should be made known to all potential buyers. I think that this would be a good policy for all zines, not just "adult" zines. I will furnish something in the way of a controversy...Klingons. I find this an infinitely more interesting topic than whether K/S stories are immoral and disgusting or not.... Klingons all too often are presented as flat and one-dimensional characters. They are Bad Guys. This also goes for Romulans, but to a lesser extent. Little or no thought goes into considering them as individuals or as a culture. Kirk was, to put it mildly, biased. I've met many humans whom I would cross the street to avoid. Considering the human race and its history, we aren't perfectly pure and decent people. Klingons, at worst, are ourselves in a distorted mirror, an "us" that we don't want to see or acknowledge.
- Jacqueline Lichtenberg writes of K/S and personal journey: Each of us journeys along our own path—but we're all heading for the same goal. No one of us can tell another what he ought to do—or ought to be—or ought not to do or be. It's strictly a "by your own bootstraps" situation. There's no such thing as teaching—only learning. And as we journey upwards in consciousness, pieces of the overall puzzle of life begins to fall into place.... The argument about who "ought" to be the arbiter of sexual mores is related to the question of "who ought to run the world and who should the world be run for" (which is the basic substance of my Doubleday novel, UNTO ZEOR, FOREVER—while I was writing the book, the question was torturing me because I thought I knew the answer, but self-doubts had crept in. When I finished it, I had arrived at a tentative an swer which I could live with, different from the hero's answer but as difficult for me to accept as his answer is for him to accept). So I can't really get into the K/S debate except to point to all the fiction I have written and say, "Here is the development of my thinking on the subject to date—but I don't know where it will lead me next".
- Deborah L. B writes of K/S: let me say that I don't think that homosexual stories are completely out of character for Kirk and Spock. There is simply no indication of it in aired Trek. I, too, wonder about Shatner and Nimoy's reactions to such stories.
- Frances R writes of K/S: My own answer to this I draw directly from Mr. Roddenberry. He once said, "We must learn to live together or must certainly we will soon all die together". I interpret this statement to me as getting along with those whose private lives may puzzle or disgust us, yet cause us no real harm. If those of certain religious beliefs choose not to practice homosexuality, that is their right. But why must they persecute those whose choices are different?
- G.M. C writes of K/S: Now if we humans have so many choices of mating pattern to choose from (with or without religious sanction), how could we agree on a moral code suitable for our entire planet? The answer is, we can't. At least, we have not yet done so, but not for lack of trying. Take the homosexual love issue: here on Earth it has been very highly condemned from every social aspect—religious, social, mob-reaction, physical revulsion, etc. Largely because the planet needed population, and homo-sex is anti-reproduction in essence. But suppose we found a planet like Gideon, where every new child born just increases the deadly over-crowding...Wouldn't homo-sex quite possibly be considered 'moral', whereas hetero-sex might be highly condemned, even revolting? After all, Odona considered she was sacrificing herself by engaging in a roll in the hay with an out-worlder, and only for the sake of proving to the people of her planet it was possible for one of them to get sick and die...She didn't even want to get well, after what she had done...For them, suicide could have been highly valued, if they could do it. Different moral values entirely.
- Susan M. S is bothered by Christine Chapel's movie "promotion": Was anyone else bothered by this Chapel-the-neurosurgeon business? I got the impression someone wanted to throw a bone to all us women lib types. If so, they blew it. Chapel's field used to be research biology. That's certainly a useful specialty aboard a starship. So why can't Chapel be a doctor in her own field? I can't imagine there'd be enough work to justify the assignment of a neurosurgeon to a starship of only 430 crew- members. Why this patronizing change to neurosurgery? Besides, who wants someone to horn in on McCoy's action?
- Jackie E also speaks of Christine Chapel: Majel Barrett is perhaps the most maligned player in StarTrek. She has been flitting around the edges of the series for almost twelve years now, and I think it's about time someone spoke up in her defense.
Interstat 10 was published in August 1978 and contains 21 pages.
- art by: M.S. Murdock, Mike Brown, Wilhelmina, Beverly Zuk, Gerry Downes and Melinda Shreve
- there is a review of Star Trek: The New Voyages #2, see that page
- fan reports that William Shatner had preformed a recitation of D.H. Lawrence's poem, "Whales Weep Not" at the Atlanta convention: It was a moving piece that arrested everyone's attention and held it through the entire recitation. Shatner combined the sound of whales with the words of the poem and as the whale noises got louder, Shatner's voice rose until the effect was deafening. Before he started to read, Shatner told the story of a whale who had been murdered for sport, and his voice broke. The man truly feels for these creatures and hopefully, again for our sakes, he is concerned about other animals.
- Danielle D speaks up for zine publishers/creators: I would like to take the opportunity to say a few words on their behalf. I've read a lot of destructive reviews and statements and I'd like to say something positive for a change. Editors who are cheap, dishonest, or deliberately put off mailing zines because of laziness or lack of care are a very small minority. If an honest editor doesn't mail her zines on time, well, there's always an explanation for it and it can be one of the reasons I've mentioned earlier. Sometimes, we ST fans make the mistake of forgetting that ST editors, authors and artists as well, can also be tired, edgy, over worked and be assaulted by problems. So, since they do not have the in credible Vulcan strength, resistance and stamina, they also deserve some rest, some free time to themselves, and, above all, some patience and understanding from the rest of us. I would like to end this letter by saying this. Since we all need encouragement, a few words of positive comments, opinions or suggestions can do wonders to sometimes overworked people involved in a zine. Good quality demands a lot from us imperfect humans. So, let's not forget that behind every good ST zine there is around, there are the editors, authors and artists who worked hard on it.
- Jeff J discusses copyright and zine and art pirating: Copyrights do lend useful protection to some people in fandom. Indeed it is needed protection. As far as I know, the people who have been benefited most from copyrights are artists. There are several artists that I know of who allowed an editor to publish their artwork without buying the art. Later, it turns out that the artist's work appears inside of a prozine, on Star Trek pillow cases, or Star Trek glasses or Star Trek key chains—all without the artist's permission. I know too that there is an underground network of people in fandom who photostat entire zines and sell them to fans at a profit. (I am not referring to Lori Chapek-Carleton who photostats out-of-print zines with the permission of the editors.) Even my own fanzine, Spectrum, has been caught up in this a few times. I did get one subscription from a fan who said that she had met me at the August Party last year and gotten a copy of my zine there. That's rather odd since I wasn't even at August Party in 1977. So there is an underground of people who sell or resell originals and photostats of zines, or who reproduce and use unauthorized copies of artwork. The problem isn't very big and I doubt that the "underground" that exists really has enough of an organization to make any real money, but please note ... that some people are being cheated out of money for things they have created. It may be pretty debatable to argue whether or not anyone has the right to prohibit writing in a particular field but a zine producer or an artist should have the right to the things that they produce. Copyrights do have a valid place in fandom to protect these things. Copyrights are not used solely by groups of insecure paranoid-types who want to stake ownership of everything they touch. There are a few very sound reasons for using copyrights.
- Ed S also comments on copyright and transformative works: Some writers to INTERSTAT feel that the copyright laws protect in total their writings. To take those who cry out copyright, remember that STAR TREK had many episodes that drew upon already proven science fiction classics. If you don't believe me, just read those, 'If you liked this episode, then you'll want to read...' volumns in our fanzines. You will be surprised how closely over twenty episodes approach prior SF stories. It is said that it is an honor for someone to imitate (copy) one's style. For another author to build upon your work is not criminal. Is it a copyright violation when an artist duplicates the smile of the Mona Lisa? I say NO, it is just a reverence for a standard established by a great man. To take what is good and build upon it, is the backbone of our civilization. Now I am not condoning wholesale piracy of an individual's work. It is wrong to steal the whole. It is the parts, not the whole, that we are usually speaking of. We who have developed upon ST owe it to others to allow them to develop without interference. For in reality, are we all not benefiting from their efforts.
- Jeff J comments on the idea of shared universes and copyright: I too saw the comments in Scuttlebutt and it almost did appear that the authors of the Nu Ormenel series wanted to insure a monopoly on their own alternate universe by use of threat. I wonder if that was just a reaction on the part of the authors to keep the competition away. It seems to me that alternate universe series are becoming rather popular. Kraith is probably the first, but there have been many others since then. However, nothing guarantees that the characters that you decide to use for your alternate universe can't be used by others. There is a bit of paranoia involved on the part of some authors who may wish to have one whole segment of the Trek universe reserved just for them.
- Fern M, co-creator of Nu Ormenel, comments on copyright: In reference to [Guinn B's] letter (1#9). There are two distinct issues raised here. [Ms. B] has a valid point in her statements about the copyrights held by Gene Roddenberry, et, al. However, Mr. Roddenberry, on behalf of Paramount, etc., has given formal permission for the publication of fanzines dealing with Star Trek material. Therefore, it is legal for fans to write Star Trek-related stories. It is not a "rip-off." The provision of a copyright means only that one must have permission to use such material. Second, any writer, fan or otherwise, has the right to copyright as his or her own any original material created, even though it might have its distant roots in other material. A novel about the life of Neil Armstrong is copyrightable, is it not? The Nu Ormenel series is based on a large body of original material created by Carol Walske over a period of ten years. This includes historical background, social structure, biological data on the species discussed, and many, many characters. The stories in the Nu Ormenel series are based on this work. Our statement in Scuttlebutt was intended to protect the original material created for Nu Ormenel. There is a general feeling in fandom that anything in a fan-written story may be used by any other fan, as if It had appeared in Star Trek itself. Gene Roddenberry gave permission for Star Trek material to be used—we have not. Our long-range plans as writers make it Impossible to permit others to borrow from original Nu Ormenel material. We hope that our fellow fans—both readers & authors will understand our position & recognize our legal right to protect our work.
- Susan M. S writes of K/S: Can anyone give me a clear, concise translation of Jackie Lichtenberg's letter (I#9)? I've gone over it several times only to conclude that she's taken an awful lot of space just to cop out on the K/S debate. My feelings on K/S take off in several directions. First, I see no basis for it in aired Trek. Deep, lasting friendship between 2 adults is a wonderful thing. We seem to live at a time when sex is easier to come by than friendship. Is K/S a reflection of that? Second, suppose we accept the existence of an alternate universe where Kirk and Spock are lovers. Where are the stories about this universe, about the best starship and Star Fleet's number 1 crew? While Gene is interested in humanity's aspirations, K/S writers are into assholes. Gene treated intelligent beings with compassion, whether human, Vulcan, Klingon, Romulan, or Horta. The trend in K/S is to use the Kirk and Spock characters in a sexual Steppin' Fetchit role to amuse us mindlessly. For all the talk in editorials about caring, love, and compassion the characters of the K/S universe seem to lose out. Where are the stories of human dignity, of the better side of human nature, of people striving to grow, and of respect for the rights of other intelligent beings in a universe in which Kirk and Spock just happen to be homosexuals? Or is compassion too much to ask when the writers are trying to be avant garde? I'd like to thank [David L] (I#8) for helping to prove my point. You see. David, none of the writers you've mentioned (Smith, Block, Faddis, Fish, or 'Cantor') waste their time writing only SexTrek. Leslie Fish may have written "Shelter" and "Poses," but she's also written and illustrated "The Weight," done 2 albums of delightful filksongs, and many other things. Johanna Cantor not only writes stories on a variety of subjects, but is the editor of R&R, a zine which prints stories with plot character, and skilled writing. Paula Smith, Paula Block, and Connie Faddis]] all demonstrate their talents in many ways. These women are not in a 'rut'. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for those writers whose big problem in their stories is the transition from one flat surface to the next, ignoring the rest of the universe. My third point concerns the feelings of Gene Roddenberry and the actors. It seems to be an unpopular position with some K/S people, but if we are to have respect for other individuals how come these folks always seem to lose out? A pro-K/S friend of mine made the comment that they have to put up with K/S just like they have to put up with Movie mags. Have we really descended to the level of that garbage? Would we want to? In response to [Gayle F] (I#9) I suggest she read page 7 of On Moral Fiction. Gardner's "Literature is exhausted" remark sounds so familiar.
- Marjorie R comments on K/S: .... personally I can't see the sex thing. Although I have very deep religious and moral reasons for disapproval, that is not the reason I dissent. I feel that it is totally out of character for both of them. However, I can understand the feelings and reasons of the proponents of this philosophy. In fact a very dear friend, and editor whom I write for, is into K/S sex, although it doesn't appear in her zine, a K/S zine. We don't fight about this issue. We have had several interesting discussions on the topic, but so far it hasn't affected our friendship or working relationship. The point I'm making is that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, IDIC again (with apologies to those who object to its use). If people feel this way, fine, go ahead and write your stories and pub lish your zines. To those against K/S sex, you don't have to buy the zines, so why hassle them? Now, please don't write and call me a trai tor, I would prefer not to have this in fandom, but since I believe in IDIC, I'm not going to object violently. Enuf said?
- Melinda S addresses Penny Warren: I'm not too good at writing, that's why I prefer artwork to active writing. What I was trying to say is that the K/S homo people, and others, use IDIC as an excuse for writing their stories instead of sound reasoning and facts. Nowhere was it indicated in the aired episodes that K/S were, or ever would be, lovers. X never meant that IDIC should serve as a conscience, I said it was being used Instead of a conscience. It's fine with me if people want to write or read K/S homo stories — I Just resent being told that that is The Way It Is, that the K/S homo situation is the logical and unavoidable conclusion to the K/S relationship, and there's no other way around it. I respect others rights to read, say, do, write whatever they please; I always have, no matter what the subject. I was objecting to the fact that few were allowing me my right not to like or approve of what's being done. I usually follow the 'let's-agree-to-disagree' rule on such matters and let it go at that. I dislike long, drawn out arguments that lead nowhere.
- Crystal Ann T writes a long letter about right/wrong and the Prime Directive: Having grown up as a 'child of the sixties' in which we tried very hard to correct some of the injustices prevalent in our own society, I d be the last person to defend the Federation perpetuating the 'American dream' across the galaxy. But I wonder if those who believe that the captain carries a copy of "50 Ways to Violate the Prime Directive Without Getting Caught" realize that 'non-interference' is a beautiful doctrine that's much easier said than done. For example, if a man is being mercilessly beaten to death, and is unable to defend himself, do you stand on the sidelines, mouthing 'I've no right to interfere because I don't know who's right or wrong; indeed, how can I determine if this man is truly suffering?"? Pain is pain and torture is torture and can usually be recognized as such whether or not a being is similar enough to us to react in the same manner we do.
- Ingrid C addresses Dixie O: Come now, if Rice and Schultz didn't believe in their work enough to continue in fandom despite all obstacles, where does anyone get off blaming [Mary Lou D] for their gafiating? I seem to remember sending some suggestions to Schultz a while back when Diamonds and Rust was submitted to DELTA TRIAD. I read the entire series. To me, it just didn't click—but I didn't say "Don't write it anymore." And I also spoke out against Rice and Schultz' recent story in ALPHA CONTINIUM 2 on incest that was added to the D & R series as an apparent afterthought. Why, I don't know; it served no purpose that I could see. And now you're denying [Mary Lou D's] right to protest in other areas. Who said you had to do as she wishes? No one is forcing you to follow her ideas. I make up my own mind as to what I do; if I agree with Mary Lou, fine; if I don't, that's fine too. Arguing about it back and forth is pointless. I believe if we took care of our own affairs, and let others do the same, we'd be a lot better off.
- Cheryl R addresses copyright, her zine, and the real reasons for gafiating: Does anyone know how © fan stories really stand? — legally I mean. We © all the D & R stories, sent them into Washington D.C. and filled out the papers and paid the fee & all. ST is a topic of Interest to a lot of fan writers, tho I must admit I don't know why Guinn has his/her feat hers so ruffled over the problem. Final thing — I'm sure [Dixie O's] motives were the highest, but she is totally wrong in saying [Mary Lou D] drove Mandi & I out of ST fandom. We are going on with the series due to public demand as the saying goes. The best estimate I can make as to when volume #2 will be out is— eventually. Mandi is limiting her fan activities to the series but this has as much to do with changing interests as to Dodge's machinations. She & [Gee M] produced a 400+ page, lavishly illustrated STAR WARS series, Moonshadow, and has now moved on & is working on a series of Saturday Night Fever stories. All this in addition to work on the new D & R. I'm still in Welcommittee, had a story published in the latest Warped Space and last week at a local SF con helped staff the ST room. I've hardly been "driven out of ST fandom." I think it is a mistake to come down too hard on Mary Lou — after all, it must be terribly embarrassing to her to have ranted & raved so wildly only to find that no one with the slightest amount of good sense paid her the least bit of attention. After watching her succeed only in making a spectacle of herself— I think the true Christian attitude to take is deep pity.
- Carol M addresses Star Wars fiction and sex: I do have a comment on [Eileen R's] statement [in Interstat #9] that we should keep George Lucas happy by not letting him "see" SW stories that are other than GP rated. I do hope she was being facetious. G.R. and Paramount have been more than kind in allowing us to take the ST characters and make them our own...They've held still while we've killed them off, "got-um", given them various sexual habits, etc. If they had asked us to refrain from any of this, it would have been our moral duty (I hope everyone's morality agrees with this) to respect their right to control their own characters. So, G.L. comes along and asks fans to "keep it clean" with his characters, and I think we should respect his wishes. I'm sure he didn't mean that we should completely leave sex (as apart of life) out of the picture altogether, but I suppose he means no' porn-type ditties.
- Ingrid C doesn't like the "new trend" in fanfiction: The factor that bothers me the most concerning the issue of homosexuality in the Kirk/Spock relationship, is that the supporters of the pro-side seem oblivious to the facts. Why is it so difficult for us (and it's especially the women among us, since we started this whole issue way back when) to accept the fact that two men can enjoy a close friendship without sharing a sexual life? Why is it so unusual to see two men (whether it!s Kirk/Spock, Starsky/Hutch or two acquaintances of yours) loving each other without feeling it necessary that there's more to it than what we see? If we see two women embracing when they meet for lunch, does that mean that they are lesbians? WHY HAVE WE LABELED IT WRONG FOR MEN TO SHARE FRIENDSHIP ON SUCH AN INTENSE LEVEL? For we do deem it improper and incorrect when we speak of them as homosexuals. Can anyone give me a clear example from the aired episodes that definitely proves that Kirk and Spock are more than friends? Why is it difficult to remember that Kirk and Spock risk their lives because of love and friendship...have we forgotten that the greatest thing we can do for a friend is lay down our lives for that friend? And then there is that complaint that there is not good new fiction these days. Perhaps it is because we have turned our heads toward new perversions of old themes. We have written some types of stories to death (Mary Sue, blood-and-gore, love-em-and-leave-them) , and left out of our fanzines the best type of story...the style that worked best on Star Trek's aired episodes: the action and adventure stories, the science-based stories. It always amazes me that I can write a good story, spend hours perfectlng it and polishing it, make certain that I have the characterizations correct ...and then send it to an editor who has bugged me for material. Two weeks later (if I'm lucky), I'll get the story back with a brief letter. I find out that the editor has changed the policy of the zine to Include only pornographic material (which is what I consider the new wave of relationship stories to be). When I wrote for that zine before, I could send that same type of story (here I mean an action-adventure type or sf-based story) to him/her and have it snatched up quickly. It's no wonder that some stalwart zine editors have given up in the face of such opposition. And it doesn't make me wonder why there are no new writers....
- Sharon E describes her experiences at Star Trek Atlanta, some excerpts, MUCH snipped: ... it was a shock when I read the following notice on the official convention program: "To prevent overcrowding, William Shatner will Autograph only copies of his record album, 'William Shatner Live'." My immediate reaction was: "Why wasn't this announced in the follow-up flyers so those wanting Mr. Shatner's autograph could bring their albums from home instead of having to buy another one here?" Then, people stopping at the table said that they'd been told they would have to present the red circle on the outer wrapping of the album sold at the con in order to obtain Mr. Shatner's autograph. They were also told that "a part" of the money from the sales of the album would be given to charity — but they were not told exactly what percentage would be given, or to what charity. To me, the whole thing boiled down to one having to buy Mr. Shatner's autograph. That set my teeth on edge ... My heart broke when I saw young ones coming past our table crying because they couldn't afford to buy the album, or because their parents refused to pay for one when they already had one at home. More than one individual stated that he or she had already paid out all they could In order to get to the con; they couldn't buy the album, so there went their hopes of getting that autograph... The team from Channel 11 came to film the convention activities that day. By the time they reached the Dealers Room they were curious about the background noise regarding these autographs. It happened to be one of the times I was taking a break from the table, so I missed a chance to express my feelings in the matter. However, [Rebecca H] of Southern Star and I were sharing the table, and she was there. The camera crew asked Rebecca about the "autograph problem", and she told them how she, personally, felt about It. They thanked her, told her there would be a story about the con on the evening news, and went their way... That evening, Rebecca watched the news report. She said that they did not edit her comments, but they had interspersed her comments with shots of Mr. Shatner's — thus, the presentation could very easily lead a viewer to interpret [Mrs. H's] comments as a direct attack on Mr. Shatner—but it was not… It was Saturday evening, so there was a line of people waiting to be seated. We approached that line, intending to take our place and wait. Immediately, a dark-haired female approached Rebecca and asked if she was the lady who had been on Channel 11's evening news. When Rebecca replied that she had, the female launched forth a stream of words, phrases, and statements that I cannot dignify with the term "criticism". It was nothing but an assault with words. Rebecca, instead of responding in kind, replied with courteous calmness. Then [Carol F] entered the scene and proceeded to attack Rebecca verbally as well. The only way to describe the attack is to say it was an outpouring of hatred, hostility, and verbal acid. Among other things, Carol accused Rebecca of "washing dirty linen in public". Strange, I got the distinct impression that Carol was the one who was guilty of doing her laundry in public, where unsuspecting hotel patrons who knew nothing of ST and of the convention were being forced to stand there and listen to Carol's disgraceful display of immaturity and lack of emotional control, when the only thing they'd had in mind was to enjoy a pleasant evening out... Rebecca maintained her dignity and replied courteously to Carol and Company, but this merely served to add fuel to their flames—to the extent that I finally spoke up and said: 'Oh, Carol, shut up!' Of course, that only made things worse. Eventually, they allowed their comments and attacks to trail off because Rebecca turned her back to them and began to talk with us. Carol and Company continued to make unkind, uncalled-for remarks at Rebecca's expense, however; finally, we got tired of it and went to another restaurant. After all this fuss and furor, we made it a point to watch Channel 11's late evening news report. They did not run the same thing they had at six but only mentioned the fact that there was a ST convention and that a portion of the money made from the sale of Mr. Shatner's record album would go to charity. Sunday morning, after we opened the table, customers coming by made reference to Rebecca's appearance on Channel 11's newscast, saying that they agreed with what she had said—complimenting her for her courage in speaking her mind. Then, [Carol F] walked up to the table and immediately started to deliver another verbal attack. Again, Rebecca remained calm and gave courteous answers. But Carol continued to be rude and unmannerly in her comments. Finally, she walked away and delivered a final insulting comment over her shoulder as she walked off. Oh well, there are some in every crowd. Later, several people were gathered at the table. We noticed one female with dark hair arranged in an up-swept style waiting. I noticed that her name badge read "[Carol H]", but I was busy with another customer at the moment. Rebecca finished with her customer then turned Later, a young lady who had brought a copy of Southern Star by mail stopped at the table to talk with Rebecca and to pick up copies of later issues of the zine. While she was writing her check, the black-haired female who seems to swim in [Carol F's] wake rushed up, grabbed the girl's arm and snarled, (I quote verbatum) "That's the asshole who made all those dumb statements on the news last night," then turned and ran away. There were other such incidents, but these stick firmly in my mind because I was on the scene. Probably it's a confirmation that I'm behind the times, but I wish to state in print that Carol and Company's behavior revolted me. I was brought up according to precepts stating that If someone expressed an opinion, it was my duty to respect their right to express that opinion. However, if I did not agree with them, if I felt that what they had said was "wrong" (according to my standards) , I would contact them in private and discuss the matter with them. Under no circumstances was it correct to attack said individuals in public and display the entire matter for all and sundry to see and hear. Disgraceful. Disgusting. Ill-mannered. Crude. Un-called for. Ugly. I saw bystanders who were unwilling spectators to these tirades looking at Carol and Company, shaking their heads and pressing their lips together in varying expressions of pity, disgust, disapproval; and sheer horror. It would be interesting to learn what impression they have of people from New York now after witnessing that display of bad manners. Frankly, I cannot visualize Jackie Lichtenberg nor Joan Winston conducting themselves in such an ill-mannered way—nor can I understand why Carol and Company considered they had a right to do so. The whole thing has left a bad taste in my mouth and I'm sure that others who were forced to watch and listen to these events suffered an equally severe case of indigestion.
- Rebecca H writes of her experience at the Atlanta con, some excerpts from her very, very long letter: I seem to have unwittingly stirred up a hornet's nest by voicing my opinion at STAR TREK Atlanta, and I'm afraid the fallout may descend upon INTERSTAT. I've thought this matter over a great deal, and I've decided to go ahead and record here all that happened, in the hopes that your readers will take a warning from my experiences. Those experiences were far from nice and stem from some opinions I expressed. Some people may disagree with those opinions, but I can not understand anyone condoning the events which occurred a bit later. The aftermath was, in a word, tragic. Let me put it all into proper perspective. A great many of the con attendees received a real disappointment regarding William Shatner, when they discovered they actually had to buy a copy of his latest record in order to receive his autograph. We were not advised of this in early flyers and most of us came thinking we would be able to get Shatner's autograph during regular autograph sessions. Not so! The entire set-up amounted to buying the autograph!... As I said, a lot of grumbling was going on when fans found out by reading their convention schedules, and by Saturday, the grumbling had increased. One of the local TV channels was taping, and they heard the growls of discontent. They asked me what the shouting was all about and I told them, in no uncertain terms. Then they wanted to know what I thought of this type of commercialism, and I didn't pull any punches. Why should I? To me, this is crass commercialization and the fans have a right to be angry. I still didn't say everything I felt, but I said enough. Some people think I said too much.... All right. I had my say, I accused no one, but I said something which I thought should have been said. It should have ended at that point, for there is nothing I can do to change con policies. The foregoing is not the thing which I am really writing about, but is necessary to set the scene for some later, extremely distasteful events. In the past, I had heard of some instances where fans hassled other fans, but until that night, I did not fully realize just how vicious and nasty some can behave. That Saturday night, I was personally — and unwillingly — involved in an excessively vulgar display by an ill-mannered, rude person. I hope a trend isn't developing in fandom, but others like [Mary Lou D] have felt the effects. I may not agree with her opinions or the way she has gone about expressing those opinions, but that is no reason to persecute the woman. This type of thing must end I. I thought fandom and cons were supposed to be fun — instead I found persons who only wished to undermine such attitudes in a useless, ridiculous attempt at what seemed to me to be a power play. To continue: I and some friends had gone to the coffee shop, and while in line, I was accosted by a dark-haired woman who asked if I was the one who had been on the news. When I confirmed this, a [Carol F] jumped all over me. She and some of her friends were highly incensed that I had had the guts to air my opinions over television, and she proceeded to try to give me a verbal thrashing. She all but prohibited me from airing our "dirty laundry" (as she put it) in public, and I'd like to know just who she thinks she is to try to muzzle me... When I refused to bow down and agree with Carol, she bellowed her indignation for the entire room to hear. Then the Frisbee sailed off to her own table without giving me a chance to reply. After that came harrassment. I was speaking with [Sharon E] when I noticed a woman, [Carol H], standing before me. I looked up, asked if I might help her, and she replied by snarling, "So you wanted to be on TV that badly!" then prissed away before I could reply. In fact, TV holds no fascination for me. I have given far more extensive interviews on TV many times before. The remark was totally inane. Other things occurred, but I think the clincher came when a female whose name tag read "[Susan J]" grabbed a customer by the shoulder, pointed at me and said, "This is the asshole who made all those dumb remarks on TV last night!" She also kited away, but this time I replied, "Take off!" Not only did she not louse up my sale, but every time these individuals attempted to hassle me, more people came over and bought my zines. I do appreciate the sales impetus! My main point is this: certain individuals in fandom seem to believe that their word should be law, and will go to any lengths to bully others into their point of view. Their methods are those of cowards...despicable, vengeful, and downright vulgar. I thought only the mundanes acted in such a manner, and it is to my sorrow that I have discovered such invading fandom. Of all the people who attended the con, these few were the only ones who were barbarians... Worse yet, all of us must now suffer for the actions of these few. The scene in the restaurant gave all those non-TREKers an awful image of fans, and they, as well as any new fans who witnessed that scene are probably wondering what is so great about Fandom, when certain individuals conduct themselves in a worse manner that most mundanes would (outside of maybe Klan members).
- Myra E [Sharon E's daughter] writes of her experience at Atlanta Con: This is my first letter to you, and I'm sorry that my letter concerns a distasteful display that I was unfortunate enough to witness. I've been both angered and saddened by the character assassinations that have been going on in STAR TREK random, but have never been so angry as I am now. In my opinion, there is something very wrong when a few so-called "adults" act like four or five-year-old children Just because another person has dared to air a differing opinion. I'm sure that others have written to mention Rebecca Hoffman's statement on Atlanta television. The aftermath of that statement was what stung me into writing. On Saturday evening after watching the newscast, Becky, myself, and a couple of other people went to the hotel coffee shop for supper. As we joined the waiting line, a black-haired woman turned to us and asked Becky if she was the lady who had appeared on the newscast. When Becky answered in the affirmative, this lady (I use the word only as an adjective, for she did not act like a lady) launched into an almost hysterical tirade. This woman's companion started in with a large amount of verbal abuse directed at Becky. The calmer Becky's responses, the ruder and ruder the others' voices became. I was finally moved into saying that Becky was entitled to her opinion, and that she had not spoken over national television, merely over a local station. Their response to that was to start spewing and sputtering as if they had been recorded at 33 1/3 and were being played back at 78. These two femmes finally ran out of steam and turned away from us when they saw that Becky would not descend to their level, but X was left with the impression that those two were a perfect example of brattishness Maybe I'm wrong, or maybe It's just the way I've been brought up, but I've always believed that when a person has a beef, that person roasts it in private, not out in the open where everyone else can smell it. I've also been brought up to respect my elders, which I try to do. However, how can I respect those who have behaved worse than spoiled children?
- and finally, Susan Sackett (Gene Roddenberry's personal assistant) writes: It is my understanding that there exist, somewhere in fandom, fanzines which subtly and even openly portray a homosexual relationship between Kirk and Spock. No one who has written one has ever had the courage to send one to Gene Roddenberry' s office. What surprises me is that no one has ever mentioned why these two apparently straight-appearing characters should be the only ones on board in this kind of relationship. Why, who knows who we might have found fraternizing aboard the ENTERPRISE. How about Sulu and Chekov? They sit together and see a lot of each other, you know. Or how about Uhura and Chapel? With Spock in heat for anyone (hopefully Chapel) every seven years, and with no black dudes in sight for Uhura, what's to stop them from digging each other? Bones and Scotty? That leaves Yeoman Rand. Yeoman. Get it? Even she's not too sure of her straight-ness. At last we know why there's such good birth control on the ENTERPRISE. We already had the Gay 90's. This decade will probably go down in history as the Cay 70's — and it has done considerable good in helping to at last recognize gays and to work for their liberation. 3ut all this has no application to characters in STAR TREK. They just weren't created as gay characters. Why try to change them? Today's gays are not out to convert the world to their "cause," they just want acceptance on an equal level. Good STAR TREK fan literature should be accurately based on STAR TREK. It's only logical. * These comments reflect my personal opinion, not necessarily that of Gene Roddenberry or the studio.