Interstat/Issues 041-050

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Contents

Issue 41

Interstat 41 was published in March 1981 and contains 18 pages.

art from issue #41, Vel Jaeger
art from issue #41, Melinda Shreve-Reynolds
cover of issue #41, Ann Crouch, reprinted from Penumbra
  • art by: Vel Jaeger, Ann Crouch and Melinda Shreve-Reynolds
  • the Dodge/Fish debate is "Is Science Fiction Overrated?" (Dodge)/"Who's Overrated?" (Fish)
  • Roberta R writes:
    About the SF vs ST controversy: I think it's become "Media" vs "Book", more than Trek vs the Rest of Them. What with Star Wars, Galactica, Buck Rogers, et al, the "Fringe Fans" are taking over, and it's making the Book-Readers nervous. For one thing, the Media types tend to be extremely visible, with their dandy uniforms and buttons and things. For another, they tend to write fannish stories based on their Media heroes and heroines, and that means they have to publish fan zines to expose those stories in, and since the Media fanzines are prettier than the ordinary SF genzines, the SFers tend to put them down. (They are more expensive, too, but that's because of all that pretty art in them!) The Book-Fan's world is being taken over by the Media-Fans, since many of the films and TV shows are now spawning pro-novels (Flash Gordon has three, plus reruns of the original strips). They make loud noises about "Trekkies" and pretend they never go to movies or watch television— they sit at home and write and read BOOKS. Media Fans think this is sheer hypocrisy, and go on wearing their uniforms and enjoying the Pro-Cons.
  • Kathy L tells others what kind of Treklit she likes to read:
    I like best for the writer to create a world where I'd like to be, with people who are allowed to become real to me. I'd rather not cry, I prefer not to retch at gore, nor do I really want to be the third party in Kirk and Spock's bedroom. Good grief. I'm the woman who said I'd read anything. I'll never say never, and I regularly break every criterion listed, but these are the best I know. Does everyone know and love Sahaj; and Kraith; everything by Jean Lorrah, ]]Jean Stevenson, Johanna Cantor; Barbara Wenk's ONE WAY MIRROR...where do I stop? Although I'm not fond of hurt/comfort themes, I've enjoyed some because they were too well done to miss. Have you read "Home Is the Hunter" by Bev Volker and Nancy Kippax? If you watched the hostages return with a lump in your throat and wondered what they would go through while putting their lives back together, don't miss this one in CONTACT 5/6.
  • Crystal Ann T comments on the use of "Vulcan" in fanfiction to refer to Spock:
    Believe me, there is no one more tired of using the designations Human and Vulcan than the writer herself; you can tear your hair out in frustration trying to rephrase things. But there are times when First Officer, Science Officer, Captain, Doctor, etc., are too formal for the stories, and even when they can be used, there's a limited number of times they will work before people start protesting that their ranks are known by now. If Spock were Human, there have been times when I could have substi tuted the word 'man' as a description, but whenever I've tried to do that, I always hear Spock whispering in my ear: "But neither am I a man." If writers give up the designation Vulcan because people read sinister motivations into their use of the word, then complex sentences involving more than one of our heroes become very difficult to write.
  • Kay B writes of preference and allegiance:
    Recently, there's been some discussion in INTERSTAT regarding the question of whether STAR TREK fans
 tend also to be general sf fans. Generally speaking,
 it's likely that they do. However, as always there are exceptions, and I confess to being one of them. It is not sf for which I have a penchant but—dare I admit it?—romance (egad!). Gothics, regencies, and even a potboiler or two appeal to me, and I find myself readily absorbed in all that emotional turmoil—and totally enthralled by those captivating heroes who meet and overcome difficult odds of all kinds, psychological, emotional, and/or physical. But doesn't that all sound somehow familiar? If it's reminiscent of a certain tv show/movie, it's not surprising, for STAR TREK, too, is very much romance After all, it gives us heroes—and what heroes!— facing adventure in strange lands; heroes conquering tremendous odds; heroes being tested and not found wanting. It is ST as heroic romance that attracts me.
  • Joan V offers up a history lesson and some perspective:
    I suppose I must dust myself off and bring up a point I was certain someone else would mention by now: the same charges levelled against INTERSTAT were levelled against HALKAN COUNCIL, some years ago. (For the "newer" fans, HALKAN COUNCIL was similar to INTERSTAT in that a large portion of it was devoted to fan letters.) I paid no attention to the charges that the HALKAN COUNCIL editors were practicing "favoritism", and I'm not about to give any credence to the charges against INTERSTAT, either. In fact, I guarantee that if those who think the staff of INTERSTAT practices "favoritism" started their OWN letterzine, THEY in turn would be accused of "favoritism" by someone else before three years were out (if not sooner). Few editors can publish every letter, so sooner or later there's bound to be SOMEONE who takes the rejection personally and chalks it up to "favoritism". And, according to my experience, it is not only letterzines, but fiction fanzines, and even prozines which receive complaints from disgruntled rejectees charging the editors with "favoritism." It is not a new or rare phenomenon.
  • G.M. C sees a physical resemblance and it gives her a RPF feeling:
    I heard that Bill Shatner, Jimmy Swaggart and the well-known Moral Majority sparkplug, Jerry Falwell, are cousins. They certainly look alike and Shatner and Swaggart share the same tonal qualities- I would like very much to hear tapes of Shatner singing and if he sings as well as his cousin Jimmy Swaggart, I'm surprised they didn't have Capt. Kirk singing in the series along with Spock and Scotty. Swaggart has some rock 'n roll gospel tapes that are remarkably good and I heartily recommend them — especially for the illusion they give of Kirk singing...
  • Leslie Fish addresses Ken G:
    You really want to know why ST fandom is "female dominated"? Because, for a very long time — and still predominantly true today, straight-SF fandom has been heavily male dominated. Where could the female fans go to be decently treated, pray tell? Straight SF fandom was also politically conservative until the New Wave hit it, but ST started out as a 60's-Liberal dream: which of the two is more likely, then, to attract post-Vietnam-wise females? SF fans tend to treat ST fans as an underclass, and males tend to treat females as an underclass. The meeting was inevitable, I've been reading SF for years, but I never felt like an equal in fandom until I met Trek-fen. Trek-fandom's antipathy to SF fandom is the fault of SF random's own prejudice, just as Lysistrata's strike was in reaction to the men's war. Remember, too, that Lysistrata won. More men have been showing up recently in Trek-fandom, which is a hopeful sign, but until SF fandom treats its females better, the war between the sexes will go on.
  • Judith H has some words for T'Yenta:
    I think that we should all hope that T'Yenta gets back to Vulcan in time to seek medical help for the deadly disease she has be come inflicted with. To have constipation of the brain and diarrhea of the mouth is very serious and should not be taken lightly. I sincerely hope that not all of her comments and opin ions are so venomous. I guess she never bothered learning constructive criticism. When David Gerrold or Harlan Ellison (who have much bigger audiences than T'Yenta has or maybe ever will) write a criticism to a subject, they present facts. They don't base their opinions on a lot of "I wonders". Even better, they sign their real names, not a pen name. I hope that we can now leave T'Yenta and her vindictive pen to the past and talk about more productive (plus positive) topics.
  • Leslie Fish also has some words for T'Yenta, as well as hopes for some more exciting conflict:
    ...the only thing T'Yenta said that I consider worth the ink to notice is that, yes, INTERSTAT hasn't been sporting many really good fights lately. Fandom seems rather pooped after The Movie, but it's high time we got over that — especially with the fight over the new TV series brewing. Well, if the Lady wants to see some juicy invective in these pages, I'll be happy to oblige her: the Paramount Pinheads would piss away gold if you handed it to them. By all means, out with the poison-tipped pens, everybody, and give 'em what-for over the production staff of the new ST. Fight, team, fight! Blood! Blood!
  • Linda Mc is starting to "question the validity of fandom itself":
    What are we doing? Fen, let's face it—we are promoting a fantasy! It's a beautiful one, I surely won't deny that, but it's not real. Okay, I can feel the heat all the way down here in Atlanta. Let me clarify myself. I am not, repeat not, saying that I or anyone else should give up fandom. I love it! I love reading, writing, publishing, everything that goes with having a network of unseen friends throughout the country and the world. But listen to this—We, fans, saved Star Trek. We, fans, were greatly responsible for the motion pic ture. So, fans, why don't you, and I and all of us turn away from Paramount Pictures and start hitting President Reagan, and our state and national senators and congressmen? Think about it. If we could convince a group of people who think the highest form of entertainment to come down the pike are shows like "Three's Company" and "Bosom Buddies" to keep a serious, thought-provoking, science fiction program on the air for a third year, and then ten years later, convince them to make a movie out of that same show, then surely we can convince the guys in D.C. to have a space station in orbit within the next decade.
  • Caro H addresses Damon H:
    So fandom needs a man's touch, Damon? (I#40). Trek fandom may need improving, but surely it is nothing that women could not do as well as men. I am afraid that you see yourself as our savior, and that doesn't sit easily in my mind.... you might consider that Trek fandom is a unique establishment. A female enclave among the formerly predominantly male fandoms, Trek fandom developed because it had something to offer women that was not available in other fandoms. Just as SF fandom and SF writing first appealed to adolescent males and their fantasies and inter ests, so Trek fandom is primarily focused on the needs, interests and abilities of females, primarily in their twenties. Do you know what these needs, interests and abilities are? Are you condemning this fandom because it does not conform to your ideas of what we ought to be?... Are you, Damon, trying to convince us to stop drawing our lines and draw yours? If your further comments show that you do not understand what we are but only what you'd like us to be. Trek fandom may not be for you. We've built a fandom that has lasted 15 years out of a TV show that was on the air for only three years. This fandom is alive, it grows, and it has been responsible for the birth of other new fandoms. This is more than stewardship. Stewardship implies that Trek is a property to be managed. But let's hear how we have failed, oh, roaring malefan.
  • Kathy L comments on a fan's earlier thoughts on the movie Flash Gordon:
    I do think you went overboard praising FLASH GORDON. There's an old Regency cliche, known to readers of the Georgette Heyer canon: 'half flash and half foolish.' I too found the film amusing while I was watching it with friends, but there has been a bad taste in my mouth as I remember and analyze it. I willingly concede that the production was opulent in sets and costuming, but to what real purpose? In my opinion, to a rather disturbing purpose: to change the comic-book-of- the-silver-screen to a blatant catalog of male sexual fantasies, especially those involving dominance and sadism.
  • Jeanne C has just bought a copy of Cheap Thrills, and it causes her to bring up the cost of zines:
    I did enjoy the zine, but that is beside the point. What I do want to bring up is that I am very excited that someone—FINALLY— is making a conscious effort to bring down the price of zines to an affordable level. This has long been a sore subject with me. I realize that there are still a few low-priced zines to be had out there, but they are getting VERY scarce. Now, before you editors jump on my back, please let me state that, for the most part, I know you are not to blame. The cost of ink, paper, gasoline—let alone postage—are skyrocketing and beyond your control. When I first got into active fandom, the average zine cost about $4-$6 each. My budget (on a good month) would allow me to buy two or three zines a month if I wished. Now, on the same budget, I can buy maybe one. I will admit it—I am a hopeless addict and my craving is not being met. What I would like to ask fandom, in general, is—are we getting so spoiled by the quality of zines coming out that we demand ONLY offset printing? Yes, I will agree that it IS beautiful and I enjoy it as much as anyone else, but lately editors seem to be in a competition to see who can put out the most beautiful zine. We are now starting to see silkscreening on covers and inside pages. Does the average fan have any idea how much this adds to the cost of a zine? Do color prints add that much more dimension to a story than black and white to justify the cost of printing them? Yes, we buy them, so editors think that is what we want so they print more—and we keep buying. I, for one, am getting frustrated. I want the stories so I have no choice but to buy them. Where does it all stop? Ellen and Carol have put out CHEAP THRILLS with no artwork and as cheaply (cost-wise—not story-wise) as possible. I miss the artwork terribly (who doesn't drool over Ann Crouch, P.S. Nim, Alice Jones, Bev Zuk, Michael Verina, etc., etc., etc.), but if it comes to giving up artwork and offset printing versus zines altogether I think you know what I'll pick.
  • Susan R. Matthews writes this personal statement, one that appeared in many letterzines:
    For the past year, I, Susan Matthews, have been trying to market the Ragnarok stories that originally appeared in a SW universe of fanfiction in a new and original universe of my own invention. With two novels finished and three in draft to date, my agent feels I have a very good chance of selling the entire Cycle. This means I am forced to immediately pull all fanfiction that treats of or refers to the Ragnarok and any character associated with the Ragnarok in order to protect my interests. The only exceptions I've made are with the zines that had already gone to press when I made this decision. Under no circumstances will any reprints of Ragnarok material be permitted. I ask everyone to please remember that Ragnarok, unlike ST and SW, is not yet "in the public domain," and that even the most innocent of infringements on the Ragnarok material and my copyrights may adversely affect my health and welfare. I ask that the editors I took manuscripts back from, the artists who had done illustrations for those manuscripts, and whoever might have been anticipating more Ragnarok-related material, to understand my motives and excuse the inconvenience I have put them to. [1]
  • Dixie O proposes a new award:
    Many die-hard Trek fen have watched sadly and with much dismay year after year as the highly regarded ST Fan Quality Awards (known as Fan Q's, and associated with the big Kalamazoo/Lansing, Michigan fandon) have been diluted to include fringe and comix fandoms. Presently they cover every area—SW, Man From Atlantis, Flash Gordon, Dracula, Superman, Alien, etc., and Trek has pretty well been lost in the shuffle; the awards went to fandoms other than ST the last couple of years. It's high time we got back to basics with Trek-only choices, perhaps the Trek Star Award for Best Zine, Best Editor, Best Writer, Best Artist, Best Humor, etc.? It would be even nicer if a regularly appearing zine like INTERSTAT would sponsor these, dedicated as it is to Trekdom— set up rules, deadlines, and ask for nominations/votes on postcards, maybe. Not necessarily limited to subscriber participation, of course, since the widest possible spectrum of fen would be in the best interests of the cause. [The editor interjects Interstat would print rules and such, but that Dixie would have to coordinate these awards.]
  • Mary Lou Dodge posits in her regular debate column:
    I'll agree there are some writers of superb talent (Bradbury, Sturgeon, Bester), but they are far fewer in science fiction than in the other genres, and their work is firmly rooted in the human heart, not inventive landscapes and exotic languages... The low level of writing wouldn't matter except that many fans appear to be reading nothing else, and are using it to escape or avoid real life. Visiting Oz may be exciting and enjoyable, but Dorothy was glad to get back to Kansas! Historical novelists Alfred Duggan, Mary Renault or Marguerite Yourcenar all create worlds and people so remote as to seem aliens, and yet make them understandable to us. And each of their books give some insight into the human heart and the problems of our world. Even the rabbits of "Watership Down" tell us something of courage and leadership. But a clever idea which wears thin a third of the way through a novel, special languages and magic, written in inferior prose, does not advance the taste and understanding of readers. I can enjoy a bad book immensely, for its unintentionally hilarious qualities; but I wouldn't restrict myself to such, and I'd never mistake it for quality. Science fiction appears to both debase the taste of its readers, while convincing them they are of superior mentality.
  • Leslie Fish answers Mary Lou Dodge and posits in her regular debate column:
    Sure there's a lot of bad f & sf on the market, if only because there's a lot more of all f/sf being published today than there used to be — but Sturgeon's Law still applies. Remember that publishers print (and tout) books not so much according to quality, but by what they think the buyers want and publishers are not prophets. Even critics, whose job is to winnow out the good stuff, are not absolute arbiters of quality. In the end it's the sense and taste of the readers that blesses a good or bad book with success.

Issue 42

Interstat 42 was published in April 1981 and contains 22 pages.

cover of issue #42, Heather Firth
art from issue #42, Gordon Carleton, from an announcement of for the Media Fan Fund
art from issue #42, Sat Nam Kaur Keahey
the letter from Harve Bennett, published in this issue
  • amid a number of letters discussing Vel Jaeger's letter in the previous issue regarding Mensa, Vel explains that she meant no offense
  • Ann Crouch is no longer the book reviewer, Sylvia Kleeman is taking over
  • art by: Gordon Carleton, Heather Firth, Mike Brown, and Sat Nam Kaur Keahey
  • this issue has a letter by Harve Bennett addressed to Interstat in which Bennett confirms that he reads Interstat, intends to give personal updates to its readers, and that he hopes for "your support and friendship":
    Thank you for your warm welcome and the invaluable copies of INTERSTAT you have sent me. For some months I have felt like a stranger in a strange land trying to learn the language and customs of a legendary people.... It is my profound hope that I will not fail that incredible loyal group of people who have loved STAR TREK longer, but no less, than I. I recognize the regard with which INTERSTAT is held within the STAR TREK community, and would like to stay in close contact with you. I am by nature reluctant to make premature announcements until events and deals are fact, but when that time comes I welcome the opportunity to share announcements with you. In the meanwhile, may I say that a sampling of comment in INTERSTAT has been very reassuring to me, since I find myself in agreement with the majority of fan comment and criticism. Example: I was pleased to note how many fans missed the original series music in ST:TMP. Since this was one of my first critical reactions to the film (how can it be STAR TREK without the themes of Sandy Courage?), you may rest assured that the new STAR TREK two-hour project will return to its musical heritage. It is also my hope at this time to utilize all of the original cast if they are available, and as many of the series team of artists and craftsmen we can reunite. Gene Roddenberry has been wonderfully supportive of me and I pick his incredible brain at every opportunity. It is my hope to do a STAR TREK of which he and all of you are proud. In this I welcome your support and your friendship.
  • Claudia C is unimpressed by pro books in general, and cites the latest offering:
    I've heard very little fan reaction to David Gerrold's Galactic Whirlpool. It did nothing at all to satisfy my... hunger. I was disappointed that the writer of one of Trek's most popular episodes didn't produce a better novel. It must be true that no one knows the characters as well as the fans. The only ST pro fiction that has impressed me is that of Marshak and Culbreath.
  • Lynda C describes her experience at a con:
    The last con I went to was in northern Idaho, and there was a definite anti-Trek aura in the air. An otherwise a kind gentleman from the SF fan group in Helena, Montana, rather apologetically told me that their club had been purposely designed to discourage Trekkers, because "you people have a tendency to takeover." A neo SF writer, who's just beginning to break into prozines, advised me to stop writing Treklit "because you're teaching yourself to plagiarize." The two Trek episodes and one Trek panel which were scheduled were placed opposite such big guns as a pro writer's workshop, the GoH's speech, and the Jupiter fly-by films, with what seemed to be an unspoken understand ing that "the kiddies" could be parked in the film room while "the grown ups"got on with serious business."
  • Barbara P. G isn't willing to forgo art in zines:
    Sorry, I want something to look at in the zines I buy, and I'm willing to pay a few more dollars for a little beauty. The bad writing in some zines certainly needs propping up with artwork; even mediocre illos can rescue a sagging story, and embellish an otherwise lackluster zine. The artless zines now beginning to appear are no bargain; they are ridiculously expensive, considering the contents. And, it is the INTERPHASESs of the zine world which can be resold for anywhere from $30 to $100, not the ugly, throw-away zines. You never lose the money you invest in an attractive zine. Artwork does not necessarily raise the price of a zine; that is just an excuse for editorial laziness, lack of taste, and inadequacy in dealing with artists. There are better ways to reduce costs: 1) Cut marginal expenses which are included in the final cost, such as excessive phone bills and con expenses, 2) Become acquainted with, and try, alternate printing methods, and printers, 3) Don't take as large a profit from zine sales. One of the best ways an editor can make a zine worth the money it costs, is to concentrate on pleasing one audience. Media-fans do not necessarily like all kinds of media fanfiction. It hurts to buy a zine for $10, and get only $3 worth of material which you can read and really enjoy. Eventually, the rising costs of printing and postage must cause the readership of the multi-media zine to diminish, and encourage fans to indulge in photocopying from friends' copies only the parts in which they are interested. This is already happening. In a recent fan publication, a fan advertised for someone willing to xerox the SW/TESB stories out of Trek-zines and multi-media zines for her. This is not an isolated case. Whereas this kind of xeroxing may not be fair to the editor, neither is the editor being fair to the fan. Perhaps fan authors should be encouraged only to submit their material to the zines that run the same kind of media material.
  • Bev C comments on high zine prices and cites access to machines, the high cost of postage, and lastly mentions a difference in culture and expectation between ST and SF zines:
    As a fan editor, I think I can address Jeanne Cloud's concerns about escalating zine prices. To a large extent she's justified: there really isn't a need for silkscreening or color within zines, nor is it necessary to forego art in mimeo zines: art can be reproduced on mimeo, although not with the clarity or detail of offset. The problem is that a lot of fans who would like to produce zines do not have access to mimeo, ditto, or any form of repro except xerox or printing — such as me. And while those forms of repro are cheaper to use, the machinery itself is expensive to buy; the first couple of zines produced with a new mimeo are not going to be a whole lot cheaper than printed zines (if a fan buys a mimeo solely for the purpose of producing a fanzine, she is probably going to try to amortize the cost over a few fanzines, which will drive their cost up). The other reason for the escalating cost of zines, outside the reproduction and other production costs (which can add a dollar or more to the cost of a zine), is the Post Office. Mailing a large zine first class can cost almost as much as printing it; and while bookrate or third class is cheaper, it's also less dependable (though most editors, as I do, offer a choice). However, Jeanne is right that the pro-quality zines are not necessary; in fact, as Roberta Rogow mentions in passing, in SF fandom they are considered pretentious. True fans use mimeo or ditto and charge under a dollar for their zines in SF fandom.
  • regarding the current topic of creating a new award for just Trek zines, Bev C cautions others:
    [Dixie O's] call for a new set of awards for ST zines/fans only brought to mind a similar brouhaha in SF fandom a few years ago. Some disgruntled fans, upset because Hugos no longer went to real fanzines but to semi-prozines and even fringe-zines, decided to set up their own awards, the Faans. At the time, they seemed full of sour grapes and rather childish, announcing that the Hugos no longer had any meaning, these fans were the last bastion of Tru-fandom, and other similarly apocalyptic decrees. The irony: the immediate cause of their upset was the nomination of two ST writers for the Best Writer Hugo. Her Hugo had no meaning, said the winner later, because she had won it against Trekkies, not against real fan writers. Let's not start that sort of silliness in media fandom. True, the Fan Q awards started as Trek awards, but at the time there was no other media fandom. As Trek fandom expanded to embrace the other media, so should these awards; like it or not. Trek has metamorphosed into media. Most of the media fans are also Trek fans, and a good many people I have known for years in Trek fandom are also participants in wider media fandom. It makes sense to have one set of awards to cover all these fandoms, and it makes sense for these awards to be separate from the SF Hugos or Faans. All media fandoms have similar standards of quality and similar conventions in writing, art, and zines... When fans vote for the Fan Q awards, they are not judging ST against SW, but judging both against standards that apply to both; there may be bloc voting (ST fans voting for ST material, SW fans voting for SW material, and so on), but that happens in any case — it was widely believed in SF fandom that bloc voting was the reason that two ST fans were nominated for Best Fan Writer in 1974, and it's probably true. Besides, the more awards there are, the less validity any award has, and the more the newer awards appear self-serving.
  • Vel Jaeger likes the idea of separate Trek zine awards:
    To [Dixie O] - I think your idea of a series of awards for Trek fandom is superb. I hadn't really thought about it before, but we really are excluded from the general SF field entirely in this matter. I think it's safe to assume that no all-Trek zine was ever nominated for a HUGO, despite the fact that the original ST was nominated 5 times, and that ST zines can hold their own in quality in comparison to general SF zines. Being fairly familiar with general SF art, I know for certain that Trek art is equal, if not superior in many ways (eg. Trek artists have the additional burden of making their subjects true-to-life)- Let the other "Media SF" specialities have their own awards, too.
  • Lori Chapek-Carleton is supportive of a separate Trek fan award:
    Paula Smith and I have been saying for quite some time that if anyone in any fandom feels like setting up fandom-specific awards, they are certainly welcome to, and if a STAR TREK Award is set up, I at least think that Dixie would be the perfect coordinator! This wouldn't hurt the Fan Q's at all, and I can visualize someone ('zine, author, or whatever) quite possibly being nominated for multiple awards, as now happens with the Academy, L.A. Critics, Foreign Correspondents, etc.... To reiterate my personal opinion on awards, if anyone most involved in any single fandom wishes to establish awards in that fandom (whether in connection with a 'zine or ' a con), I'm all for it, and would participate wholeheartedly in those fandoms in which I am active.
  • Claudia C is a fan of zines, and she wants more:
    My non-ST friends are horrified at the amount of money I spend on zines; it even horrifies me! In fact, as a Canadian I pay an extra 20% for exchange. Many of them are worth it. I'd hate to lose zines like Nome and Contact, which are almost as enjoyable to look at as they are to read. However, I would like to see many zine editors follow Cheap Thrill's lead and present quality material in a "no frills" format. Perhaps then I could afford to begin to satisfy my "insatiable hunger" for more and more...
  • Beth C comments on zine expense and art:
    I think when we talk about either limiting art in zines or protesting the extravagance with which it is done we have to remember one very important thing. Zines are there to showcase an artist's work just as much as they are there for the writer. If a writer has the right to do her best work for zines, then an artist has the right to do the same, as does an editor have the right to put out as professional looking a zine as she wants to, At this point we come to the buyer. It's your choice- I personally am very stingy with my zine allowance- I buy the most of what I want for the least money, whenever possible. Sometimes, it is the low-illo mimeo style, sometimes the greatly reduced offset. Sometimes it is offset unreduced and very expensive just because I can't stand not to have it. The answer is not in limiting the art or the type of art in zines, but in some zines choosing to not use art, in some zines choosing to reduce their offset, for some artists choosing not to do every illo in fifteen different colors. Where do we writers sacrifice? Where do the readers? I don't know. We do have to keep a place for the full talents of our fan artists to be displayed, and we do have to find a way to offer some reasonably priced zines—somehow. Is it feasable to put those great illos between mimeo pages? Could we have art zines? Would they fly without the stories? I would hate to see the zine market narrow down to twenty absolutely fantastic zines, each costing a mint and containing, by matter of competition, only the very best of everything. In that event, the new or not so brilliant craftsmen will lose out—and so will we all.
  • Lynda C is feeling a bit threatened after counting the zine for sale in the Mar/April issue of Universal Translator:
    Of the 63 "Available Zines" listed, 16 specifically mention non-ST features. That's a hair over 25%, folks. At the risk of being called an "elitist" — not a new charge, by the way — I would propose that Trekzines be Trekzines. Best wishes for success to all those SW, Galactica, Darkover, etc. zines, but please — let's not get lost in the shuffle!
  • Joan V writes an long, excellent rebuttal to Mary Lou Dodge's comments (the Dodge/Fish debate) regarding the value of science fiction works, it begins with:
    I was aghast at Mary Lou Dodge's essay on science fiction and fantasy. I do not know where she got such ideas about SF, but it is obvious she knows little about the field.
  • D. Booker comments on terminology:
    What still bothers me is that Kirk is identified as "The Captain", Spock as "The Vulcan". The one is an attainable power-status, the other a matter of genetics. Why not "The Terran" and "The First Officer"? Nobody goes around calling Uhura "The African", do they?
  • Susan C theorizes why women find Star Trek so appealing, and why the first movie didn't strike the same chords:
    Fanfiction and its major themes points out a number of emotional factors these folk called fans had in common, but I don't think I ought to take up the pages I'd need to explore them in depth. However,these ideas came together for me into a theory. I think that when Gene Roddenberry created Trek, he did not even realize he would be punching these mental/emotional buttons in the people destined to be Trekfans. From what I can gather, he was trying to improve TV by putting together a show for intelligent people, and of course he succeeded admirably. But the reason the movie did not start the fan phenomena all over again is that we were an unique group, shaped by our times, and those out searching in today's world were attracted to entirely different things. The fans were not wholly satisfied for a similar reason—we have changed. Ironically, it is Trekfandom which is responsible for much of that change. Gene Roddenberry has obviously changed, too, and I fear he may have gone too far in a different direction to ever reach us in quite the same way again. I wonder—did he suspect this could happen, without exactly knowing it? Consider the events in "Who Mourns For Adonais?" A special being contributes ideas to a group of people, and then leaves them on their own. Using these dreams and their own wonder, the people grow, eventually reaching out to new things as diverse as the stars themselves. And when the special being meets them again, trying to show them more of the same marvels, their reaction is a lukewarm acceptance, heavily based on nostalgic remembrances of the way things were.
  • Mary L defends fandom, pointing out that it doesn't ever need to become something "bigger," a reference to a letter in an earlier issue about ST fans becoming more active in promoting the space program and politics:
    It is true... that we in fandom are promoting a fantasy, but I'd like to point out that, as human beings, much of what we are is shaped by our exposure to "unreal realities". Hamlet never lived, and he certainly never talked to the ghost of his father, Don Quixote never warred with windmills, our "1984" won't be much like Orwell's, Scarlet O'Hara never walked proudly through Atlanta in a dress made of curtains— but these creations of fiction will live and speak to people about people long after our reality is no more. So, I think, will the world of STAR TREK. If called upon to defend the merits of fannish activities, I might say that fanzines are a repository for a new and wonderful American folklore, that fan writers have a chance to hone their skills in a worldwide workshop like no other, that the fans I have met at cons are articulate, intelligent, compassionate people — but we shouldn't have to always justify what we do in fandom. I see nothing wrong with the fan whose only involvement in Trek is in acquiring memorabilia or zines — collecting is an acceptable hobby in other circles. Nobody insists that stamp collectors go out and make the history depicted on stamps, doll collectors are not harassed with suggestions to put aside such childish things — why can't the hapless Trekkie be left alone to pursue her hobby with the dignity and respect that people with other manias enjoy?
  • Sonni C comments on a speculation from the previous issue that Shatner was related to Jimmy Swaggart:
    ... anyone who knows Bill's background knows that evangelists from Jewish families do not grow! Although our distant relatives did at times switch their faith, (such as the apostles), none of the Shatner's have been known to follow suit. I follow up on rumor, and asked him if, by some odd chance, Jimmy Swaggert [sic] was a cousin. His reaction? Remember that laughter on the blooper reels? As for singing, well, he describes his voice in terms of the "all clear siren," so there goes any thought of hearing him sing on any show. Not that he wouldn't want to. Bill says he envies a person with a beau iful singing voice, he just didn't happen to be graced with one. Illusion is fun. And if [G. M. C] wants to imagine her favorite evangelist as Kirk singing, all power to her.
  • D. Booker also comments on Shatner's supposed relativity:
    Speaking for myself, if anyone suggested that I were related to an American TV evangelist, I'd sue for defamation of character. I suppose actors learn to take such suggestions with a shrug, however.

Issue 43

Interstat 43 was published in May 1981 and contains 24 pages.

cover of issue #43, Sat Nam Kaur Keahey
inside art from issue #43, Vel Jaeger
  • art by: Vel Jaeger, Sat Nam Kaur Keahey, and Jude Jackson
  • there is an announcement for the first TrekStar Award, see that page
  • there are many positive comments about M*A*S*H and Hill Street Blues, one fan suggests that fans of Kirk-Spock give Starsky & Hutch a try as it is a fine portrayal of male friendship
  • the editor announces that "Interstat" will sponsor a zine award called TrekStar Award. She said Dixie Owen originally had the idea when she noticed the FanQ nominations ballots only a few Star Trek entries. The ballot for this award was printed in August, and winners were announced in October.
  • Joyce T encourages fans to not be passive consumers:
    I'm a little troubled by the attitude I observed in the last issue of INTERSTAT which implies that we should be less zealous about writing Paramount, Speaking as a member of the viewing public, not even as a Star Trek fan, I'm inclined to feel that a major part of network television's problems today is that the viewers are too shy. They do not write enough! I would encourage anyone to write to any studio in regard to a favorite program (or even a hated one). Whether or not we pay directly for the programs we see, we are the consumers. We are the ones who suffer for the low quality of programming seen today. Look at us, bombarded with situation comedies composed of twenty-year-old situations and thirty-year-old jokes, laugh tracks to remind us when to laugh, and oh boy, action/adventure stories which are written and performed like third rate high school plays. We can complain and complain and complain, but the burden of guilt rests with a public which allows the advertising world to pressure studios into providing what is downright poor taste in programming. Again, it is our duty to write. We have a right to say what it is that we would like to "buy". Paramount, or any studio, isn't giving us anything. And the people who buy advertising time certainly aren't giving the studios anything. No sir, we're the ones who ultimately reach down into our pockets. We are the consumers..-and sometimes we're being cheated.
  • Barbara P. G blasts ST pro books:
    Having read to page 58 of the new pro ST novel, Kathleen Sky's "Death's Angel", I don't think I can possibly go any further. Someone tell me this novel isn't worse than the infamous "Spock, Messiah!" Even a child couldn't stomach this stuff. Wading through pages of nonsense, including listings of improbable aliens exactly like intelligent giant lobsters and bedbugs, from planets with names like Hemiptera, Chiroptera, and Cetacea, we find Kirk, in the midst of a serious and delicate diplomatic mission, attempting to bed a curiously beautiful amphibian; and a discussion of a Nazi SS- surrogate organization—an arm of Starfleet! Is this supposed to be funny? Doesn't anyone out there in pro-land know what we want? What Star Trek is? Is there any hope for Harve Bennett? Does even Roddenberry really know what he did right—and wrong?
  • Cheryl N attempts to analyze why being a fan of Star Trek makes other people dismissive:
    I have been analyzing just what it is about Trek that brings out the scorn and snicker in the non-Trek population. Do you suppose it has something to do with the fact that Trek (well, the basis of it anyway) is SF? Now, SF has never been a highly-regarded field among the single-minded masses out there. The mere sound of those two words brings forth chortles and sly smiles.
  • Damon H addresses Caro H regarding the gender gap in Trek fandom:
    ...there is a great deal of demonstrated talent in this largely female fandom and it gives this grumpy malefan some cause for hope. I've learned a lot from you ladies about the values of good illustrating and characterizations in telling a story. But for all the much-vaunted feminism and liberation, this malefan finds it embarrassing and frustrating to watch you ladies panting after Kirk's butt, no matter how perfect an object it may be- I'm more interested in him as a starship captain. Nor do I care much about the gender of a writer of a story, good writing is good writing. The reason I roar is because fandom"s stewardship consists of more than passive hero-worship and fanatical devotion. Responsibilities go with the privileges, being objective about Star Trek and about ourselves is part of that, being an isolated enclave ought not to be. Please try to excuse my snarling, my objectivity slips under duress, as do my manners.
  • Kathy L shares a bit of philosophy:
    I bought a transfer at Noreascon which I planned to put on a skirt. It says,"I've given up on reality, and I'm looking for a good fantasy." It's in a drawer, for I decided it was not my philosophy, nor that of most of the non-mundane people I know. We didn't flee from reality into fantasy, or into the future, or into alternate universes. We may, as one writer of my acquaintance puts it, have abandoned the save-the-world business. The difference between the SF reader or fan and the mundane, however, is not in acceptance or rejection of reality, but in a willing ness to dwell on an idea which does not directly influence today's bread. Adults who invest time and energy in speculative fiction are not running from the present but toward new ideas and new dimensions.
  • a letter by Harve Bennett was printed in the previous issue proves to fans that Interstat has Bennett's ear; for the first time in this letterzine, fans directly addresses Bennett:
    Concerning that very interesting letter from Harve Bennett on returning to Star Trek's musical heritage: an excellent suggestion; go for it. I wish you all the best Mr. Bennett; you show The Powers that Be in Video Land that Science Fiction can be done and done successfully on that all too fickle a medium.
  • B.J. Peters also addresses Harve Bennett and has a LONG list of suggestions of what NOT to do in the next movie:
    Here's a short list of the most suicidal moves you could make:... 2) Present women as an alien race. That is, perpetuate the misconception that a strong woman is substantially different emotionally and intellectually from a man [many suggestions snipped]... 6) Keep Bill's white tunic, but dump the clodhopper shoes. Boots please. They're as logical a fashion as slacks. Neckline and hem line of the bland tunics are all wrong. Simpler neck and less "apron", please. Old was better... [many suggestions snipped] ...Shoot your ideas to INTERSTAT and watch the cauldron boil and bubble. Had we been in the cutting room, guaranteed, Paramount would have made double the money... Ask us, poll us through INTERSTAT, and Paramount won't have to wait ten years for a ST:TTVM to receive the critical esteem it deserves.
  • Ingrid C encourages fans to write Paramount to ensure that the character of McCoy appears in the next movie; she says she has gotten a letter from DeForest Kelley in which he wrote:
    "I wish to thank you and the fans for this tribute to me. It was both heartwarming and gratifying. I appreciate your letter to the studio. Whether or not I do Star Trek, letters to studio heads never hurt any actor and most often have a positive effect."
  • Nadya E says there is room for all fiction views:
    I must admit, I don't quite understand the apparent need on the part of some to dissect zines(and individual stories) relating each one to their own "set of Star Trek rules", as though there were a Sacred Writ some where, decreeing "This Is What Star Trek Must Be." Part of the magic in Trek (and science fiction, period) is that it embodies all types of writing, with an extra measure of freedom and imaginative flair tossed in... [Fandom] is a big candystore. All flavors are available. Pick your preference and enjoy! But why look down your nose at someone else's choice? Why "explain" every story ad infinitum as though to check and see if "it could really happen" when it's academic anyway? The gaps between the givens we seek to fill in are arbitrary, and it's the variety of possibilities there that makes it all the more interesting.
  • Rosemarie E doesn't want to see less art in zines, and in fact, thinks this wouldn't be fair to fans whose talent lies in that field:
    I have mixed feelings about [the] suggestion in #41 that editors cut back on illustrations in the fanzines they produce. The need to slow the accelerating cost of zines is self-evident, but why at the expense of fen who happen to be artists rather than writers? I can't draw anything except stick figures and I want to see good art highlighting the stories. We just have to find ways to buy adequate quality paper, etc. at reasonable prices (pool our resources, maybe?) cut out the obvious frills, and concentrate on reaching as many people as possible. I generally find the "slick" zines have nice art, but low quality stories or articles. Others turn out a stunning zine with conventional materials and I chew my fingernails waiting for it to reach my mailbox. Please, editors, no frills, but don't consider artwork a frill.
  • Shirley Maiewski plugs a new pro book, written by a fan:
    I hope everyone is able to get a copy of Allan Asherman's STAR TREK CONPENDIUM. The stores around here only got 2 or 3 copies, which were snapped up in no time. It seems that Simon & Schuster still doesn't realize that good Star Trek books will sell - it is almost impossible to find copies of some of the movie books already. However, real fans will love Allan's terrific book! I am learning things I never knew about TV Star Trek, and enjoying it immensely. I only wish the people now doing Star Trek would hire Allan as Fan Consultant!
  • Randall L, like many fans, has strong opinions about the pro books:
    To propose that the garbage-filled Galactic Cesspool be made into one of the telefilms is utterly ridiculous. I only hope that none of the pro-published Treklit be made into these telefilms. I want to see new voyages, new adventures. Any one else want to join in? One other thing...I got Death's Angel and advise no one to read this one as it rips off a few fan concepts, and just isn't even a worthy plot for any reader.
  • Jean Lorrah writes a detailed letter explaining postage decisions when mailing zines, the pros and cons of print reduction, and of the challenges of mimeo, and why most fans don't use it:
    The answer to why most zine editors use offset is that most zine editors have entered the field in the past five years and do not own mimeographs. It costs about $2000 for a mimeograph these days—that is without any ink, paper, masters, and other expenses. Then it takes considerable time to learn to use one. It is possible to buy a used one, but you had better first be an expert mechanic and an expert on how to run one. People like Devra Langsam and a few others can do miracles with a mimeo, but they started years ago to learn how to turn the craft into an art. So the new zine editor who doesn't live in a large city (I cannot buy a mimeo in Murray except through Sears; would have to drive 65 miles to a repair/supply shop, have no access to anyone in a hundred-mile radius who can do electro-stencils), who does not already own a mimeo, and/or has not spent several years learning the art of mimeo, is obviously going to turn to offset.
  • Rosalie B comments on art in zines:
    On the topic of the cost of zines and the need for art. By profession I am a graphic designer so I tend to judge zines by professional standards even though I realize they are amateur productions. By those standards some fare quite well and others don't. I never hold it against those that don't make it because they never pretended to be anything but amateur. However, I do find that I enjoy a zine that is put together well and con tains good illustrations, while I find poor illustrations to be a major dis traction. The cost of a zine should not be significantly affected by the use of art except that it takes up space. Line art costs no more to repro duce than copy. Of course halftones and color reproduction are something else, but you don't need those processes to get good illustration. The cost of any publication is most affected by the number produced. The per unit cost at 200 is vastly more than it is at 20,000.
  • Jean C also comments on art in zines:
    On "artless" zines: sure, I love good art in zines, but some good stories can be annoyingly badly illustrated (as well as "sagging" stories being buoyed by good art). Editors aren't going to stop publishing beautifully illustrated (and well-written) zines - NOME, for example. But the verbal content of a zine is its principal reason for existence (has anyone published an all-art zine?). And editors do not charge prices that pay for "excessive phone bills— con expenses" or "large...profit" margins. Trek editors are amateurs, in the best sense of the word, and most publish for love and the basic reimbursement of publishing expenses. CHEAP THRILLS, as the current, outstanding example of an unillustrated zine, is well worth its price in content.
  • Lori Chapek-Carleton writes of zine art:
    And I'm glad [Beth C] picked up one of the most important factors in the "limiting art in 'zines question"—i.e., an artist has the same right to contribute to 'zines as does the writer! I'm all for increasing variety in 'zines, and as Beth pointed out, 'zines are branching out into "no frills","art showcases", single fandom, multiple fandom, mimeo, xerox, offset, etc. variations. Re the Trek vs. media fans brouhaha (and isn't Trek a media fandom, after all?), it strikes me that only strict Trekkers feel threatened, as I don't hear members of the other fandoms crying out for exclusivity...
  • Damon H does not have positive feelings about Star Trek fandom:
    What's been happening to Star Trek fandom in recent years? It's hardly dead, if the listings of fanzines in FORUM and UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR are any indication. It's the nature of fandom that disturbs me, not the lack of activity. Star Trek fandom has failed itself. Fandom's false optimism and distorted perspective of itself doesn't hide the creative entropy and lack of direction and purpose. It's clear evidence that fandom ultimately failed to understand the overall story and message of Star Trek and has become deeply obsessed with a limited set of characters. In the process, it has lost the story, the characters and itself; and it has earned the contempt of the literary SF crowd. How has this unhappy situation come about (and can anything really be done about it?)... Of course people responded to this idealism and imagination during those troubled years of the late sixties and early seventies; it addressed a need for positive values in a time of increasing uncertainties. We could use more of that today, and will need it even more in the future. The popularity of the program grew even in syndication and a fandom grew out of it, becoming a surprisingly strong force of enthusiasts with a capacity to shape events. Fandom found itself and became a family of friends who put out fanzines and put on conventions and kept exploring the Star Trek story in the absence of new production. I was drawn to that buoyant enthusiasm, liking the people who were determined to keep the idealism alive. That dream has soured, somehow. I think the roots of this problem go back to the TV series, and the nature of media SF fandom itself. The lack of a definitive timeline, amorphous goals of the five-year mission, the tantalizing but rarely explored background made the story somewhat cloudy. The actors portraying the characters of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy were just a little too good, too bigger than life, while the other characters seemed to remain in their shadows. The animated series took one or two important if limited steps, but was never as popular or as accessible as the live series. And the Movie, in all its overbudgeted glory, was just one more episode which hasn't contributed much to the concept of an overall story.... This unfortunate obsession with a limited set of characters and a minimal concern with an overall story and sense of purpose has reduced the idealism to a narrow dogmatism, an easy formula. Fandom's excessive zeal, its selfishness and immaturity, makes it difficult for the more imaginative and mature fans to find much point in remaining in this fan dom. I know people who got out because the negative values of fandom outweighed the positive values of the story itself. "Those damned Trekkies" is a popular epithet frequently directed at us, and I've had it suggested to me more than once that I should grow up and get into some "real" science fiction. I don't bring up the subject amongst the literary crowd any more... Gang, I'm sorry. My recent stridency and lack of humor hasn't con tributed much that is useful to these pages. I'd rather have good things to say about us, I'd like to have practical alternatives and suggestions to present, it's no fun being a grouch. But it's a difficult reality to labor under and I don't see much hope of improvement. I'm afraid media science fiction is going to be like this, it's difficult to find excel lence in this field because values are so often watered down to meet the tastes of a mass, paying market.
  • Judi H comments, in somewhat of a erratic manner, on complaints from fans about the rising number of other fans of other fandoms:
    There's no reason that media people and media zines can't exist along with Trek, as long asTrek isn't lost in the shuffle. It is, as other people have said, very disappointing to buy a zine that claims to be Trek but is actually a mish mash of different themes. For many of us Trek is still unique. Its special viewpoint, the opinions and experiences portrayed, the relationships between the characters aren't repeated elsewhere. In a time when the world seems to be moving more and more towards extreme viewpoints and intolerance, let's try to keep an open mind in fandom. Fan activities never go in a single direction. They are a place for diversity and self-expression in differ ent directions. Nobody dominates and there's no hierarchy. There's no such thing as a true fan.
  • Deborah L. B also comments on the wider variety of fandoms available and addresses Bev C:
    You are so right about the Fan Q Awards. There is no way to shut out other fandoms, non-ST zines or turn back the clock. Other fandoms and the zines they inspire are here to stay. It is up to the ST writer and artist to keep up the quality of the work so that their stories and illos will be strong enough to stand up to the competition.
  • Barbara P. G complains about the Fan Q awards, proposing that "The time has come to disassociate Trek fandom from media fandom":
    It is clear that the Fan Q Awards as they are, are unfair in that they do not even adequately represent so-called media fandom. The only fandoms represented on the awards ballot are ST and SW, with one Dracula exception. What about S&H, BG, MASH, and all the others? The Awards have become a ST/SW media-popularity contest. Why is it necessary to have such a contest, when it causes so much observable hostility? It is time to recognize that there is no such thing as a "media fandom"; there are ST fans, and there are SW fans, and there are MASH fans, and so forth. Some of us are involved in more than one fandom; some are not- There is absolutely nothing wrong with either preference. The problems—and the hostility—arise when some fans begin to behave as if their taste were universal: the only possible acceptable, correct taste. They should understand that some of us definitely may not want to be referred to as media fans and find ourselves lumped together with other fandoms of media we may find boring and even repellent, and may not wish to have ourselves confronted with these media at every turn. The time has come to disassociate Trek fandom from media fandom, as it once disassociated from SF fandom and for the same reasons: our special needs and interests are not being served by the association, and to stifle the growing jealousy and hostility directed toward ST fandom.
  • Joan V comments on awards:
    While I agree with [Bev C] that the idea that the 1973 Hugo fan writer award was somehow "diminished" by the competition of Trek writers was silly (I was there), I disagree that this incident has any relation to the idea of having a Trek award separate from the Fan Qs. No one is saying the Fan Q award has been "diminshed" in value by the presence of non-Trek nominees and winners. No one is saying that non-Trek media fan writers aren't "real" fan writers. We're not trying to slap the other media fan doms in the face—we simply want to recognize Trek writing which was excellent but nonetheless might not have made the Fan Qs. I further do not agree that "the more awards there are, the less validity any award has." In books and in film, multiple awards abound, but I have yet to see any award criticized because it overlaps any other award. So what if a novel wins BOTH a Hugo and a Nebula? Does that make either any less important? So what if a Trek novel wins a Trek award and a Fan Q?

Issue 44

Interstat 44 was published in June 1981 and contains 22 pages.

cover of issue #44, Mike Brown
  • art by: one teeny piece by Ann Crouch, cover by Mike Brown
  • Vel Jaeger comments on art in zines:
    On the importance of art in zines: The general appearance of a zine is not based solely on the illus trations it contains, and the most important ingredi ents do not necessarily have to increase its costs. How the material is arranged (especially the amount of wasted space), the type and quality of lettering, the amount of reproduction, the style of type, and the amount of errors - these are far more important than the number of illustrations. The best illos in fandom won't save a sloppy layout job. And it is essential to establish a level of quality and to maintain it. If necessary, go to press without an illo, rather than include those that are below your standards. You may never hear from the artist again, but if it's an honest judgment your zine will be the better for it. I run over people to get to a zine that is assembled well, with good graphics and illustrations. These seem to attract the best writers anyway, and even if the written material is only average, I feel I still have received more than my money's worth. At the same time I can enjoy top-quality stories in a zine with little or no art - the stories are good enough to stand on their own. In all of this I can speak from both sides of the problem, being both an editor and an artist. I've had to reject the art of friends (and don't think it ever stops hurting), and I've had my own work returned; each experience has helped me be more sympathetic to the "other side".
  • Sonni Cooper lets fans know she is in-the-know:
    The script is back to first and second season philosophy. There is action, the people are back, and they care about one another. That's what fans have been asking for and that's what they will be getting. Yes. I have seen the script. And no, I can't and won't talk about details. Harve is really enjoying his experience with Trekdom. It's a unique phenomenon to have the producer so up front in a Hollywood project. The concern fans show for every detail in Star Trek is a wonder to him, and he is doing his best to bring as much of the "old feeling" back.
  • Michele A addresses Damon H and his complaints that ST fans aren't fannish in the right way:
    I have only one suggestion: Do what I do. Write the kind of story that you want to read. If you're unhappy with too many stories about the Big 3, write something that will make you happy. Chances are, if you're sincere and dedicated, others will read what you've written and enjoy it immensely. No need to snarl and roar at us. Take what you want from ST. If you want aliens, go with that. But please don't condemn the rest of us simply because we are drawn to a concept which pleases us, which touches something in our hearts.
  • Beth C also addresses Damon H, suggesting he is going to give himself an ulcer:
    I think it might do you well to look at what you are addressing. You want more action, more SF in our writing, for us to be more of what you feel is worthwhile. Okay. But what about supply and demand? All of these zines aren't selling because they have more of what you want. They're selling because they are what a lot of us want. This is a female random and—I can feel the daggers flying before I even say this—women are a little more relationship oriented than men are as a rule. If you come into an established fandom with the idea of changing it, you have to realize that it will be tough on you. You either have to buck your way along with your chin up, or realize that perhaps the majority of us are happy with what we have created the way it is.... And, as for panting after Kirk's butt: Damon, I don't think you're seeing this from the right perspective at all. Men have been panting after women's bodies for centuries. Panting—or at least looking and enjoying—isnormalto the human animal. It's a built in insurance policy to the race. But it's just been 'legalized' socially for women in the last twenty years or so—and, Damon, it's fun! It really is! And maybe Trek helped it along some. But women are having a blast being, publicly—and verbally—the sexual creatures they have been for years in their closets.
  • Linda I has this to say to Damon H:
    I really do, believe it or not, admire James T. Kirk as a starship captain. He's a fascinating character study, and as portrayed by William Shatner, fascinating to watch in action. The fact that he has a good looking rear is icing on the cake, as it were. I do not watch ST, did not wait twelve years for the movie to come out, am not anxiously reading every scrap of news I can about the telefilm, just to see Shatner's butt! Really, Damon, give me and other femfen a break!
  • Nadya E tells Damon H what she thinks about his statement about fans only concerned with looking at Kirk's butt:
    As for Kirk's butt it really doesn't warrant comment, but I think I'll take this opportunity to inform you that we "females" (it was you, who used the label. as though we all had to wear our little badges separating the "species") have put up long enough with macho science fiction, wherein Big, Tough, Handsome space-jocks pursue T&A all over the galaxy. So! You're more interested in Kirk as starship captain, than lover? Voila! Now you know how we feel about women. We are sick and tired of reading about the big-bosomed lovelies parading throughspace—seldom presented as people, but as sex-objects, instead. Turn about is fair play. Now, it's our turn to show you men exactly how it is.
  • Jimmye G addresses Damon H:
    Ah, one thing more. In regard to us "ladies panting after Kirk's butt". 'Tis merely aesthetic appreciation of the highest form, sir, or, perhaps, some small sweet revenge for every "fluff", "broad", "babe", "piece", "TSA", and "mama" we've had thrown at us over the years—with the accompanying leers.
  • Maggie Nowakowska agrees with Damon H, and so far appears to be his only supporter:
    Hurrah for Damon Hill! I'm not one for joining fannish debates in letterzines, but I just had to write after reading Damon's last contribution. I've agreed with 90% of what he's said during the past few months and now must say hurrah! May I state for the record, and Damon's reassurance, that this is one female ST fan who from the beginning, fall 1966 fell in love with the idea of ST, not the characters. However much I have enjoyed the Big E personnel, and however much I learned from specific personal problems explored in the show, I couldn't care less if every last one of the regulars got transferred off the Enterprise so long as the Federation and its ships continue to explore space and take me along for the ride.... Perhaps syndication turned the reaction to ST into something I don't recognize anymore. Take Spock for example. When you watched the show as it aired, you saw this vulcan grow and change. He was not the same being in the third season that he was in the first: he could take command and take it handily, even with great equanimity. By the time the animated shows came along, he was capable of admitting his human side had its advantages at times. This is not the Spock we see in so many fanzines, a 'schitzo' Spock, neurotic and confused. Maybe seeing the shows out of sequence, with 1st season one day and third season the next, inspires a belief that Spock is forever locked in a vulcan version of manic/depressive. I can understand that such a viewing gives the audience the idea that this guy has loads of problems. Kirk suffers similarly, progressing in the originally aired shows from a brash young Captain through a man experiencing a bit of executive burn-out to an older, much more confident Captain in the animateds. But this is not the man I see in the zines.
  • Jeanne C isn't a fan of multimedia zines:
    I agree with a lot of you on this subject. I, too, don't like the mixed zines. I have a very limited amount of time to read so must choose it wisely. I'm not into any other media, right now at least, than TREK. It irks me to spend money on a zine and have it half full of Wars, BG, Dr. Who or whatever. I now am very careful when choosing a zine to buy to get one that is all TREK. That is where I feel I get my money's worth.
  • Vel Jaeger on the current fan campaign:
    Concerning whether or not to write to Paramount: Yes, I believe every fan should send a letter, but only one letter. By all means, express your support, your ideas as to what is most important, and what you hope to see as a final product. But don't forget that an essential quality of any "campaign" letter is to be brief, not used as a vehicle for every pet theory you ever had about Star Trek. A daily barrage of meaningless messages will only serve to tie up a staff which we expect to produce a movie. That will be made unnecessarily difficult if they have to spend all of their time cataloging mail. Give them room to create, first!
  • Randall L on the current fan campaign:
    In regards to all of those who insist we keep writing to Paramount, I say nonsense. Folks, let's stop telling them how to do it so they can do it. Are we fans so ungrate ful, so suspicious that we can't let them devote their fullest efforts into STTF (Star Trek, the Telefilm)? Since Mr. Bennett is so willing to devote his efforts into letting the fans know what's going on via INTERSTAT, what's the problem? Shatner's signed, Kelley's signed, Nimoy's signed for a cameo (and he had several episodes like "Who Mourns for Adonais?" which could shoot his scenes in one day), what gives? Where's the optimism? Give 'em a chance!
  • Randall L comments on zines and cost:
    I am tired of complaints about the pricing of zines. I don't get them from readers of my zine, but I keep seeing this issue in INTERSTAT. Forthosewhocomplainabouttheprices,whydon'tyoutryputtingoutazine? You have to deal with USPS postal increases, contributor's copies, printers who sometimes don't give a damn or screw up royally, malfunctioning typewriters, authors and artists. I've only been editing for one and 3/4ths of a year, but I've lost a lot of my initial naivete about the process. Sure, I enjoy it, but these complaints are unjustified. What people should be concerned about is the quality of the material, not the price.
  • Leslie Fish writes of women and attitudes in the SF community and of ST's part:
    I first bumped into straight-SF fandom more than 20 years ago. Believe me, the sexism at that time was horrendous! Thank Ghu for the New Wave, ST, Women's Lib, and all the new top-quality female SF writers invading the field in recent years. Things have improved greatly, but most of that change came after ST had begun collecting its own fandom, so the rift exists from ST fandom's start.
  • B.J. P has this to say about "genre" writing:
    A good SF writer differs from a good writer. Harlan Ellison showed rare taste when he refused to be identified as a SF writer on a talk show and walked when his sensibilities were thus offended. Good writing is good writing. Good SF writing presumes that the reader will tolerate severe faux pas. Rod Serling and Gene Roddenberry are masterful writers. As such, they deserve to be devoid of genre tags. In my American Literature Since World War II class, no author was identified as a SF author although the genre was so named. ST's strength stems from the universal appeal of its characters. Roddenberry could place them in the Gangland Twenties, Tombstone, and the Depression without loss of impact. If most SF authors tried that, their entire novel would collapse... Roddenberry layered true emotions and conflicts and pitted us against the greatest monsters of the id with effective weapons. I like good SF, but it's so rare, call me a ST fan. Good there isn't rare. It's rampant.
  • knowing now that Interstat has the ear of Paramount, Beth C addresses Harve Bennett:
    Get yourself a pen name and a P.O. Box and throw in your thoughts. You'll get our reactions and no one else will know. And, by matter of experience—story and relationship wise—we know what we're doing.
  • Jimmye G addresses Barbara J. G about her comments in a previous issue about a recent pro book:
    Re your comments on Sky's DEATH'S ANGEL. At the risk of threatened nausea, I braved through it to the very end, so if you don't mind, I'll add my comments to yours. Sky makes Kirk out to be an ass whose major concern is satisfying his sexual urges over concern for the danger to his ship and its passengers; Spock, a snob and a bore; McCoy, finally, a quivering mass of jelly and her "heroine", "Elizabeth", is a direct steal from DIAMONDS AND RUST's "Chantal". "Elizabeth" is just shorter and married, otherwise she has the same silvery hair, phenomenal beauty, physical dexterity and strength, altered physiognomy and belongs to a feared security organization. Bah! I assigned it to the trash can.
  • Ann T. D enjoyed the recent pro book:
    I am of the minority who enjoyed Galactic Whirlpool. Except for some aspects of Kirk, I thought the characterizations were excellent, the plot adequate and the writing far superior to most of the pro-drivel that's been published. But mostly I enjoyed the good time Mr. Gerrold obviously had writing this book. I can picture him bent over his typewriter with a wicked grin, chuckling as he added one more awful pun or inside joke. After all, fandom is supposed to be fun, right?
  • Leslie Fish comments on the ST pro books:
    The official ST novels are bad because they're farmed out to the company's stable of hack-writers; outsiders (such as fans) are not invited. You ought to know by now that, no matter what the ST production crew thinks. Para mount has a monumental contempt for fans.
  • Maggie Nowakowska comments on fiction awards:
    I think the analogy of Hugo/Nebula awards for the media fan awards misses the point. The Hugos are popularity awards, and the Nebula, author awards, true, but both awards work off the same set. Media fanfic is one set, with the same rules for believability, whatever the show. When we award certificates for quality in fanfiction, we are honoring one type of writing, just as the Hugos and Nebula honor SF as a separate set within fiction. When we include all media fanfic in an award we demand that readers judge on merit, not prejudice, a good thing.
  • a fan, Susan C, writes a complaint/warning of a chain letter that has been circulating, one which Susan Sackett, Kay Brown and some other fans were involved in; Susan Sackett writes a response, one which illustrates the fine line between fannish involvement with TPTB and the bleed-over in Interstat -- an excerpt from Sackett's response:
    Some people see a connection to STAR TREK with everything in their lives. I don't. Most people don't. My job has something to do with STAR TREK. But when I go home, I water my garden, read TIME Magazine, feed the dogs, go out on dates, eat dinner, read a good biography, watch a movie, visit my friends, write letters to my friends, etc. I do not live, breathe, eat and think STAR TREK. I am an average person doing average things in my life. So much for Hollywood glamour. At no time have I ever taken advantage of STAR TREK fandom, nor do I ever intend to do so. The chain letter was mailed with my home address on it; I am very protective of my home and privacy and would not knowingly release this to Trek fandom-at-large. The chain letter was a frivolous lark, a chance for me and some of my friends to maybe get a few bucks. A very few bucks have been received, and some of this I donated to the Welcommittee. The other few dollars I kept for my costs. If this is upsetting to some people, then I apologize for any offense caused you.
  • Marilyn P speculates:
    I have been wondering if the term "media fandom" isn't just an attempt to categorize separate fandoms of possible like interests, into a more easily defined group. Perhaps the only thing we all have in common is Media*West Con and the Fan Q Awards. But I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing. Under the general terms of SF or Fantasy you have a very wide variety of "fandoms", if you will. OK, so maybe it's not quite the same, but someone who likes McCaffrey or Tolkien does not necessarily like Asimov or Herbert. I think the "media fandoms" are fairly separate except for a few zines, and quite a few fans. (I wonder what percentage of ST fandom is into more than one media universe). I like having a "multi-media" fan gathering, and I think the Fan Q Awards have a place along with separate fan doms, gatherings, and awards. Now maybe my viewpoint is distorted by being a ST and SW fan, but I would hate to see ST disassociated from the other media fandoms. (I'd go broke going to Cons!) Maybe INTERSTAT's new Trek awards will cool off the inter-fandom hostility a little.
  • Crystal Ann T also comments on the subject of ST and multi-media fandom:
    The nominations for this year's fan awards brought home to me the need for separate awards for Star Trek cate gories and those for other media. At one time I was able to read most of the major ST and SW literature, so I was familiar with all the nominations, but this year, I discovered that the only entries I was familiar with were those from Star Trek, my main love. It made me realize that all these fandoms are getting so large and prolific in terms of fanzines that many of us have neither the time nor the money available to pursue all of them. Of the fan oriented literature, I read Star Trek first and primarily, and today I can only branch out into the other fandoms when I have both the time and money to indulge in them- It occurs to me that there are probably fans in Star Wars fandom also who have the same complaint of lack of time and funds. It is getting impossible to read everything, no matter what you would like to do.... It has been said that such a division would constitute the same snobbery and prejudice as science fiction fans once showed to Star Trek and that a good story is a good story despite the media. Well, the latter is obviously true of course, but you do have to be able to read it before you can judge its quality- And the honor of an award only means something to those who are familiar with what won and what lost. I don't feel my wrists slapped because I don't vote on science fiction awards, because, considering the number of sf books I have time for in comparison to the ones I have no time for, I wouldn't consider it right to vote on which is the best- The same thing should apply for the fringe fandoms we are discussing here. Thus, fans should keep in mind that concentration of interest in one fandom doesn't necessarily reflect snobbery or prejudice. Sometimes, it is just pure economics. And enforcing competition between entries of diverse interest with no apparent common connection does a disservice to all of them.
  • Barbara P comments on "media" fandom and the proliferation of choices:
    The hostility directed towards ST fans by "media" fans might be called petty, irritating, perhaps dismaying, but not particularly threatening. That is just the kind of unfortunate statement frequently made by "media" fans. I would like to know why "media" fans arc so anxious and determined to convert ST fans to their multi-media point of view, and why they are so disturbed when they can't. And why do they insist on using ST fandom as a kind of crutch, even going so far as to use ST-episode terminology for the names of new zines that have little or nothing to do with ST? There is nothing "exclusive" about wanting to follow one's own interests—in literature or anything else. And after a taste of certain "media" fans' activities at some cons I've attended, I'd say that there are several good reasons for "exclusivity"—legal reasons, and simple good taste. "Media" fandom is largely based on faddism, and most media have little of lasting value to recommend them. ST fandom has sustained itself long years on little else but its fanart and fanlit. In so doing, it has perhaps become more like SF fandom in spirit, but still quite unique. No, ST is no longer simply a "media" fandom; it is a classic.

Issue 45

Interstat 45 was published in July 1981 and contains 18 pages.

cover of issue #45, Ann Crouch
  • art by: Ann Crouch and M.S. Murdock
  • new staff: Sandra Carter as a production associate, Michael Verina as artist
  • Barbara P. G writes of her impressions of MediaWest*Con, as does Susan R. M, see that page
  • Bobbie H is a new subscriber and writes:
    Now, thanks to Interstat, I have letters to write, things to think about, and people whom I've never even met to be angry at.
  • Linda M. J, upset about the rumor of Spock's death, suggests they organize a fund and take out full-page ads in trade papers promising to boycott the movie. The November issue notes such an ad was placed in "The Hollywood Reporter." This ad ended up generating a story on the front page of the October 9, 1981 "Wall Street Journal." Her comments:
    I would like to propose that we quickly organize a fund and take out as many full page ads in their own trade papers ("Variety", "Hollywood Reporter", etc.) stating our feelings about this and adding strength to it by promising to boycott whoever the sponsors of the telefilm would be if their horrible proposal is not canned. If sponsors are a bit reluctant and worried, then the networks cannot charge so high a fee to them, and in turn will not be offering as much "$" to Paramount since they will foresee advertising troubles.
  • Bobbie H writes of the impending rumor regarding Spock's death:
    seriously, what is this.'Spock is going to be killed off stuff? The higher-ups can't be considering that as a serious alternative, can they? I understand that something must be done if the show continues and Leonard Nimoy decides that he can't or won't continue with it, but killing off Spock is not the answer..... I think Spock should be kept alive so that he can roam the stars forever, on the Enterprise, always by Kirk's side, in the same manner that Superman is still ducking into phone booths, in the same manner that the Lone Ranger, Tonto close behind, is still pounding the dirt of the old West, in the same manner that Popeye is still scarfing spinach. Well anyway, what I mean to say is that people's heroes should be allowed to remain ageless, and cer tainly not put to death. In fact, the very idea is so ludicrous it makes me wonder if the whole thing isn't just hype designed to drum up interest in the forthcoming ST project.
  • Terry S directly addresses Harve Bennett about Spock's death:
    If you feel you must "write-out" Spock's character (or if, perhaps, Mr. Nimoy wishes to be "written-out"), please don't do it on a permanent basis. Find a way to do it gracefully - temporarily. For example—have Spock decide to return to Vulcan to teach at the Science Academy, or have him test his dual heritage by living for a while on Earth sharing his knowledge and experience with the cadets at Starfleet Academy. Whatever you decide, please leave a door open to the possibilities, to new story lines and, hopefully, to what would, most certainly, be eagerly anticipated Nimoy guest appearances. Remember, Mr. Bennett, someone "killed-off" the "Bionic Woman" and then had to find a way to "resurrect" her. Good luck!
  • B.J. P, well-aware Interstat has Harve Bennett's ear, does a bit of leverage:
    Harve: Poll! And may I add that INTERSTAT is a handy place to poll. Heck, you could have a four-page questionnaire in two-pages. Fans are mad xeroxers. The poll would be everywhere fast!
  • Linda M. J on Spock's death rumor:
    This LOC concerns Paramount's latest and worst atrocity! Killing Spock. ARE THEY CRAZY? From all indications this is not a rumor but a serious proposal. It is hard to believe even Paramount could propose such a cruel, drastic, insensitive and downright stupid idea as the killing of a principal character that is so deeply loved around the world, not to mention one of the best and most intriguing characters ever created - and besides all of that, an integral part of Star Trek. They wish to not only hack up all of that, casually destroying Gene Roddenberry's beautiful creation, but to offer it to us as ENTERTAINMENT!!
  • G.M. C ponders Mary Sue, K/S, and fans' failing of fandom:
    I think ST fandom defeated its best possibilities when they ridiculed those early "Lt. Mary-Sue" stories and insisted that the protagonists of EVERY story should — nay, MUST — be Kirk, Spock & McCoy. Instead of welcoming new "guest characters" with new characterizations, new adventures, new explorations, the self-appointed standard-bearers of Trekdom insisted that the only valid ST stories must be about the Big Three, and must be about their personal involvements. Why else all the flap about K/S? Sex is about the most personal involvement' possible, so aside from some authoress managing occasionally to insert herself successfully disguised as one or the other of the original ST characters onto the Enterprise (without actually making a Lt. M-S out of herself) what else could one expect?
  • Jackie E addresses Sonni Cooper:
    Reality, ah yes, let us address ourselves to reality. Ms. Cooper says that it is difficult for someone like her to read the "unrealistic exercises" that fans go through. Has anyone read the WISH newsletters? If I were to pluck what I considered an "unrealistic exercise" from Star Trek fandom, it would be reading the William Shatner Fan Fellowship newsletter, The Center Seat.
  • Barbara G has a beef with the recent Fan Fund:
    Susan Matthews has won the 1981 Fan Fund (according to the MediaWestCon Progress Report #3), and will be attending MediaWest Con. Not surprising, unfortunately. Was anyone as disturbed as I was by that slightly disguised full-page ad for S.Matthews that appeared in WARPED SPACE #45? The other contestants were not given full-page ads. They did not advertise themselves either openly, or in such a camouflaged fashion. This kind of conduct is extremely unfair to the other contestants and should be grounds for disqualifi cation. If the Fund can't be run fairly, it should be abolished. Also, the decision to convert the Fan Fund from Star Trek to multi-media was made unilaterally by "media" fans, without consulting Trek fandom. Wouldn't someone in fandom like to organize a real Star Trek Fan Fund that can't be perverted to something else—and that is run fairly?
  • Lori Chapek-Carleton, who was given Barbara G's letter ahead of time as a courtesy by Teri Meyer, replies to Barbara G's letter:
    You are paranoid, aren't you? Susan Matthews sent me "SulkCon '81" in a letter, as a joke. I, being an editor, thought it would make a lovely submission to the 'zine, and asked her if I could print it in WARPED SPACE. She agreed. Not everyone who signed up for MediaWest*Con subscribes to WARPED SPACE, so I do think you over-estimate the 'zine's influence just a tad. I wouldn't know what "advertising" any of the 1981 Fan Fund contestants did, either "openly" or "in such a camouflaged fashion." I did not, and do not, consider "SulkCon '81" to be a full-page ad for Susan Matthews—anyone running for Fan Fund, I suppose, if they are an active fan and participate as authors or artists in 'zines, or have their names associated with cons, would, I suppose, have their names thrust before fandom at large whenever they contribute to anything.... And I'm sorry, but since the Fan Fund has been associated with our series of conventions since its inception, I suppose it is true, in a way, that the decision to convert the Fan Fund from Star Trek to multi-media was made by "media" fans. I.e., the fans who attended Mos' Eastly last year and who were interested enough to show up at the meetings held to discuss that very question. You yourself told me that the thought of supporting a "warry" (by which I presume you mean a Star Wars fan) made you sick, and thus were reluctant to vote and contribute your $1 to the fan—don't you know that Susan Matthews is also a Star Trek fan? Don't be so quick to label people, Barbara, at least not until you know the facts! I know, everyone nominated this year for Fan Fund is involved in varying degrees with Star Trek fandom!
  • Vida H asks fans with advanced technology for help with some photo references:
    Is it possible that those of you with videotapes and other futuristic devices are able to make slides or photographs from shows? I'm trying to find a slide or picture from Seizure—where Leonard Nimoy was seated on a patterned chair. I'm interested in it as a model for a painting (viz numerous post-impressionistic portraits in patterned chair or background.) I'm also interested in characteristic (as in "identifying the character") pictures of Nimoy's other (non-Spockian) roles for use in art work.
  • Bev C addresses the recent flap regarding Damon H's letters and of her disappointment in Trek fiction and fandom
    I want to throw in my voice in support of [Damon H]. I don't think fandom ever had any great "purpose" that it could fail, but what it has failed, to a large extent, is ST itself. Except for having characters with the same names and taking place on the Enterprise, a good deal of fan fiction these days doesn't seem to have much to do with the old ST that I loved. Plots are nearly nonexist ent or are set up merely to allow what Sharon Ferraro once called "navel-diving"; there is no sense of adventure or discovery such as so often motivated ST episodes; and finally, there is no sense of the greater importance of the adventure, the mission, and the exploration such as was the driving force behind most of the best ST episodes. Even the much-vaunted emotional exploration far too often crosses the line from sentiment to sentimentality, such that I've read stories that seemed nothing more than Harlequin Romances in space — except that both main characters were male. Sure, ST had characterization as one of its main assets, and compared to previous filmed SF, that was a major step forward. But what made ST was not merely the characters, but the balance of all its elements: characters, plot, theme, special effects, and "sense of wonder." Some fan fiction even more recently has maintained the balance — DREADNOUGHT EXPLORATIONS, for instance, is some of the best fan fiction I've ever read, because its authors realize that ST is more than the interactions between three characters. If I sound somewhat bitter, if Damon sounds bitter — forgive me, Damon, if I am putting words in your mouth — it's because I did love what ST was when it was first on TV, what it still was when I first became active in fandom over eight years ago, and what it still can be. Ironically, some of the things I loved best were not only those that drew Maggie Nowakowska to the show, but those that drew [Lori P]: The sense of adventure, of discovery was exciting to a teenager who was already a SF fan and sure she was going to be an astronaut when she grew up; and even more, there was a sense of purpose, a concern with more than the immediate exigencies of everyday life, optimism about the future, and the vicarious thrill of exploring strange new worlds, even if only in idea. That is what I think is predominantly lacking in contemporary ST fandom, and in that lack I think fandom has failed ST. The balance is gone, and in its place is often an over emphasis on characterization.
  • Barbara P. G issues a challenge:
    Fellow Trekfen, we have been issued a challenge. According to Paula Smith, so-called moderator of the "Fan Wars or the ST-SW 'feud'" panel at MediaWest*Con, there are not even 100 ST fans left (in the U.S.? in the world??) who would be interested in attending a Star Trek, not a "media" con. This statement could be classified as just another typical "mediaH-fan statement, I suppose, but it seemed to be sincerely presented. So, I propose that if you disagree, write Paula and help correct her misconception. It was my impression that just last year there were a number of successful ST cons here and in England, with considerably more than 100 attendees, but perhaps I am wrong.
  • from Susan R. M:
    The fandoms have gotten rather polarized. I simply don't read much Trek fiction any more. So that I have changed my mind about the media-fiction awards. When the idea first came up I rather snickered at the Trek-fans so insecure about how Trek-lit compared with other media lit that they wanted to have their own little True Value awards. I changed my mind about it at MediaWest, and [Crystal Ann T's] letter said it as well as I could. Meaning no disrespect to anyone involved, it's my conviction that our two major media fandoms have gotten so big that to put them both on one ballot comes down to de facto if not de jure discrimination—and not based on quality. I can either vote just for what I am familiar with—the Star Wars fiction, for me—or not vote at all.
  • Marian K admits she's been out of fandom for a few years, but reading a recent issue of Interstat reassures her that nothing much has changed:
    Not to worry—semper idem. There are the same delicious mixtures of rumors and put-downs, the same anxieties and imperious dictates...both facts curiously reassuring. I did detect a note, or notes, of genuine concern directed toward the upcoming movie for tv. Concern due to rumors about the demise of favorite characters. Spock to die? McCoy waffled for House of Pancakes? Uhura to a nunnery? All legitimate grist in the rumor mill, some of it probably not without substance. The idea of terminating an on-going character might not be too realistic as far as the business end goes— stations don't like to buy shows for rerun when one of the main characters has been "done in.' Not good on the ratings. The anxietal cause, however, is probably because we are dealing once again with, migawd, Paramount. Ever since the first rumors of cancellation in 1968 we fans have been 'dealing' with the Mothership, and not always with satisfactory results. I have never felt like anyone but a poor relative caught wearing muddy boots on clean carpeting when it comes to the studio.
  • Leslie Fish suggests that Paramount is going to kill off Spock for shock value or a losing revenue tax write-off:
    Well, the word is out: The Paramount Pinheads are planning to kill off Spock in the revived version of ST. They wanted it kept secret, but fandom has an underground that outdoes the CIA. I think Paramount is about to find out that we're mad as hell, and won't take it anymore.
  • Mary Lou D has this to say about Spock's demise:
    I don't for a moment believe Paramount is serious about killing Spock — it smells too much of a ploy to bring Nimoy to heel.
  • an unidentified fan addresses TPTB:
    Harve Bennett, be open with the fans. I find it hard to accept that anyone wishes you anything but a glorious success with this new movie. It is the inaccessibility that turns people off. Not for your body, nor for your dinner table, simply they are hungry for a little information about their favorite show, and actors. You will find with a little care and feeding, these same fans will rise to do you honor, will defend you against all odds—if they feel they can trust you. We are not cretins—not six-year old children, nor do we frankly care about the color of your bathroom tissue. We are simply people who for many, many years have devoted themselves to an idea named Star Trek.

Issue 46

Interstat 46 was published in August 1981 and contains 18 pages.

inside art from issue #46, Amy Harlib
cover of issue #46, Sat Nam Kaur Keahey
  • Rosalie B doesn't see a distinction between ST and SF:
    Perhaps I have missed something important. It seems so obvious to me, yet no one appears to agree with me. To
 me Star Trek is science fiction and by that I mean something deeper than the external trappings of transporter beams and pink food cubes. For a while Star Trek suspends reality and asks the eternal 'What if?'. It invites us to join in the wonder of new places, new possibilities. For me that is the magic of Star Trek. Star Trek is also the characters, the nobility and tolerance, the failings and fears of the men and women who bring life to the starship Enterprise. I agree that aired Star Trek fails in that it lacks a strong female character. And in that lies the beauty of Star Trek literature. The matrix is open and fluid enough so that one can create, add, subtract, and still be true to the basic structure.
  • Crystal Ann T writes of the polarization of fandom:
    Having a Nominations Booklet is not a bad idea, but it is at best a stop gap measure. It doesn't address the problem—the problem being that the two major fandoms are getting too big and their fanzines too numer to keep current in both fandoms, even for those who wish to ous for most people do so. Like it or not, there is only so much time and money that can be spent on one's interest, so naturally everyone is going to concentrate on his/her favorite fandom first. This is only going to get worse because the economy and people's standard of living are going to decrease a lot more before they improve. Whether we want to admit it or not, polarizations reality, whether it is caused by pure interest, snobbery, or necessity; at this point, it no longer really matters what the reasons are. And as long as both fandoms continue to exist and grow, the problem will only get worse and the fandoms more divergent. For example, how many writers do you see writing in both universes? Some may, but the majority do not, for very understandable reasons, not the least of which being that to produce anything good, you have to take the time to understand your characters and to perfect your stories. To make that commitment of time and energy, you must care a great deal, and it's extremely difficult to have that intensity for two sets of heroes. It is another example that shows that we are not all on the same track, but at best, are running on parallel ones.... Besides, if you have Trekfen only nominating Trek things because it's the only thing they read and SW fen nominating only SW things for the same reason, then don't you have a polarization in reality whether or not you wish to recog nize it as such, and whether or not you force it to be in the same category? Why not admit that it exists and flow with it? Perhaps it would at least alleviate the resentments on both sides and we could all live happily, side by side.
  • Linda Mc addresses Bev C:
    I agree with much of what you've said; true, too often "relationship" stories go off the deep end and try to psychoanalyze the Big Three's every move, sneeze and eye blink, to the detriment of the rest of the story. There are still many good, inexpensive, balanced 'zines in ST fandom. You've mentioned DREADNOUGHT, and I'll add STARDATE and ALTERNATE UNIVERSE 4. But 'zines alone don't make a fandom. I'm sorry that ST fandom no longer has what it takes to attract you, but I cannot believe that "the sense of adventure, of discovery, of purpose. optimism about the future, and the vicarious thrill of exploring strange new worlds, even if only in idea: is gone from it. Of course, I do speak only for myself, but the first tingling notes of the ST theme, and the "where no man" speech at the beginning of each well-known and well-loved episode still brings a chill to my backbone. I hope they always will.
  • a fan, Jean L, asks for "help and understanding":
    This morning (July 2, 1981) I received a telephone call from a fellow fan whom I considered a friend up to this point. This person, having a dispute with me over a personal/business matter that is still unresolved, called me "bitch" and stated, "I'm going to ruin your reputation in science fiction." The caller is a person with many connections. I cannot name the person because there is no evidence of what that person said to me in the call, although the telephone company can verify that the person did call me this morning. Even though this person is setting out to smear my reputation, I will not open myself to charges of slander or defamation of character by naming my caller. That could happen even though I am the injured party. I sincerely hope that having vented spleen on the telephone, the person will cool off and see clearly that anyone in fandom will recognize that a smear campaign is not the way to settle a dispute. However, should any of you hear any defamatory remarks about me, please consider the source. I would also like very much to know the source; if it becomes necessary for me to take legal action against someone who has informed me "I'm going to ruin your reputation," witnesses would be greatly appreciated.
  • Judi H comments on some MediaWest*Con controversy; here is a very small excerpt from a long, long letter:
    I feel somewhat obligated to reply to [Barbara G's] letter in the last issue of INTERSTAT because I was also a panel member on the "Fan Wars" panel at MediaWestCon and I feel Barbara misconstrued and misstated several salient points with reference to that panel. Also on that panel were [Mary Lee C], [Susan M], [Gordon H] [2] , [Devra L] — referred to by [Ms. G] as "some BNF panel member to my right" — and [Paula S], who moderated what proved to be an angry and difficult panel to the best of her ability. My god, where do I begin? The first point I feel I must deal with is [Ms. G's] seemingly innate inability to realize that people who now consider themselves STAR WARS fans can and do consider themselves to be Star Trek fans as well. The "obvious con bias" she refers to did not exist for a great many of us, including several close friends of mine who have no interest in STAR WARS at all but who are full-blooded Trekfen. As for [Ms. G's] claim to have come to the panel in a spirit of "helpfulness", I'm sorry to say that people were approaching several of the panel members after the panel was over and asking who the woman was who was — and I quote — "spoiling for a fight." They pointed out [Ms. G's] and I told them her name… It's unfortunate that [Ms. G's] has a habit of referring to STAR WARS fans as 'idiots'. That slipped out once either during the panel or immediately afterwards, and was not well received by either group of fans, I feel [Ms. G's] claim to have "said very little actually" was somewhat inaccurate. [Ms. G's], [Paula S], and [Devra L] carried the balance of the panel between them. Please remember that this was an hour-long panel and that there were seven panelist and a roomful of vociferous fans.... [MUCH snipped]... 'm not saying that [Ms. G]is entirely incorrect. It's just that half of the bias she sees in others seems to come from the fact that she is so biased herself. Faint heart never won fair fandom, Barbara? Then say also that understanding cannot grow in a bed of hostility, and that righteous wrath is a contradiction in terms. I am a Star Trek fan. I am a STAR WARS fan. I also like horses. I see no conflict in this path.
  • Paula S addresses Barbara P. G regarding her comments on MediaWest:
    Well, I have to admit it: we've been caught in our own spiderwebs of deceit, [Lori Chapek-C] and I. We could pull the wool over the eyes of 500 suckers last May, but we couldn't fool [Barbara G] (I#45)- She saw through our biased programming, the stultifyingly dull tapes the membership brought, and the shrewd conspiracy to freeze-frame everyone in the video room. S/iC couldn't be misled by such a transparent hoax as to claim that [Devra L], [Winston H], and [Mary Lee C] were Trekfen. What incredible chutzpha we've had, to think we could direct our own conventions the way we thought best I God knows we never listen to any suggestions from you proles. It takes a keen mind and a wild imagination to see through our petty schemes, and [Barbara G] has the latter. Yes, yes, I confess! Envious of the woman's widespread repute, I tricked Barbara Gordon onto that panel. It wasn't easy. Anyone named after Batwoman's secret identity is bound to be on the ball. That BNF who made "constant derogatory remarks" while [Barbara G] tried to speak? I paid hereto do it! (I held her cousin hostage in the basement of an abandoned space station to force that BNF to smart off.) Jealous of the wild and tumultuous applause accorded the least comment saintly [Barbara G] was able to interject, I deliberately shoved a sack over her head and screamed at the audience to shut up. Everyone saw that. I don't know how I thought I could get away with it this long. [Barbara G] reports that, although frustrated and justifiably angered by these kangaroo court proceedings, she most perplexingly "almost fell asleep". well, I'm caught out again! I put the chloral hydrate in her water glass. Yes indeed. With the last dregs of my debased honor, let me urge you people—don't be fooled! Even the con's title—MediaWest—is a cunning ploy to rook you Trek, SWars, and other fans into thinking we have something to offer you, but beware: next year we're devoting the whole shebang to HILL STREET BLUES, har har! Our warped and evil minds, our tiny souls didn't publish examples of nominees' work in the Nominations Booklet last year, and next year we aren't considering expanding the Fan Q's over separate fandoms (check out the first P.R. if you don't believe me). We are completely depraved. So be warned...don't come next year...if you do, we'll steal your money, torture your cultural sensitivities, and pollute your precious bodily fluids— what's that? You're already signed up? All 350 of you? You guys just never learn, do you.
  • Barbara G is upset about the Fan Fund:
    There was no public meeting at which the decision was made to change the ST Fan Fund to the Media Fan Fund. The change was presented as a fait accompli, and was announced, without opportunity for discussion, at the Trek Awards meeting at Mos' Eastly Con. As such, the change is indefensible and unjustifiable. I was there; I was interested. There was no discussion. The meeting was not held "to discuss that very question", as Lori states (I#45), but rather to discuss the Trek Awards. The change to Media Awards was also made in spite of several people's objection and attempted discussion, which was carefully discouraged. Why was not the "conversion" of the Fund and the Awards to "media" not brought before a wider audience, such as the readership of INTERSTAT, for example? Lori, if you wanted a "Media" Fan Fund and Awards, or perhaps more accurately, a SWars Fund and Awards, why didn't you start them yourself rather than preempting, and thereby destroying, the ST Fund and Awards? If the Fund and the Awards are going to be regarded as the personal province of a small group of "media" fans, it is a farce to even bother with nominating and voting. No, Shirley Maiewski, I'm afraid that there really isn't room enough in fandom for all of us, as you told me. Not when this kind of thing is allowed to happen... Lori tells us we can buy her Nominations Booklet for a "nominal fee", and read all the "media" material we missed from lack of money or time—or perhaps intentionally—thereby sidestepping the essence of the question: we can not nominate fairly if we don't have the time, money, or desire to read everything. And if we can not nominate, why vote? And could she honestly suggest that a person who does not like SWars fan fiction pay for and read the thing? I'd rather contribute the $1.52 to the Viking Fund, together with all the other money I'm going to save by boycotting the Fan Fund, and by not buying "media" zines. I'd like to suggest that other fans do the same. Believe me, some of us have tried to read SWars any number of times, in hopes that it would at least have more substance than the movie. We have been sorely disappointed. Trying to read through that stuff is a chore which we would rather avoid. The very worst "navel-diving", "soap operas", and "Harlequin romances" I have ever read were SWars fanfic.
  • Randall A. L writes:
    To the ST vs Media Debaters: I'm tired of this, gang. Personally, I'm a Trek fan, but I like sf, Star Wars, and several other things as well. It seems to me that a certain Trek concept/philosophy known as IDIC should be practiced in this case. I'm not saying you have to love any thing that you don't want to, but why condemn those who do? And if awards are what you want, then make up your own. If you don't like media zines, don't buy them.... Does fanfiction overkill Kirk, Spock and McCoy? The answer is, unfortunately, yes.... I must agree with ... about the Harlequin Romance angle. There are some zines in which the Human Adventure has left out the Adventure. Unless, of course, you call a captain performing sodomy with his alien first officer an adventure. I certainly don't. There is, however, a lot of fanfiction out there which, like myself, does not ascribe to the "relationship" aspect. You just have to look for it.

Issue 47

Interstat 47 was published in September 1981 and contains 26 pages.

cover of issue #47, Michael Verina
  • art by: Michael Verina
  • Mary Ann D, Maria H, and Kathy L brainstorm on some solutions to the zine price topic, bringing up pot smuggling and for the first time in published media zine correspondence, the idea of transferring information from floppy disk to multiple print copies in another location:
    What can we do about the incredible increase in postage
 rates, particularly overseas rates? Three of us began brain-
 storming ideas at the breakfast table during a recent visit.
 We had just been discussing setting prices for a zine, cutting production costs, and having less expensive ideas, but there remains one area where we haven't been able to do much — the post awful. Some thoughts, put together without any input whatever from overseas friends: 1) Print an American edition of British zines. Mail one copy to the authorized agent, have photocopying done here (or whatever) and mail zines at domestic rates. 2) Crate a box of zines printed overseas and send by surface mail for US distribution by said agent. Same advantage. 3) Recruit an airline employee with a regular route who would carry copies. Is that smuggling? 4) Find out how the pot people do it. 5) Mail floppy disks for word processors. (That's the cheapest, easiest, and least likely to happen by chance. It assumes that a pair of fans with suitable technological competence and compatible equipment could be found. Dream on, friends.)
  • Judith G comments on the differences between Star Wars writers and Star Trek writers:
    Though I'm a ST fan, I'm willing to accept [Bev C's] argument (I#45) that there's currently more literary ferment in SW fandom than in Trek. Leafing through SW zines makes me nostalgic for the old T-Negative, with its good, solid stories and LoC's. But Bev seems to think that the ills of ST fandom can be cured by exhortation, and I don't agree. Bev says she wants "stories and adventure and characters I can identify with and intellectual stimulation. . ." and so forth. Bev, who doesn't? A glance at the stories that have won the Fan Q award would show you that ST fans do value far-reaching, intellectually stimulating fan fiction. (Maggie Nowakowska's own Thousand Worlds series, though based on SW, was awarded the Fan Q by a heavily ST-oriented Michigan con.) But liking it and writing it are not always the same thing. Maybe we should try to find reasons why ST fan fiction has changed, if it's changed, and not go around pointlessly blaming people. I can think of a few possible reasons: 1) ST fandom is older than SW fandom and more slowly-growing. Though new fans continue to enter Trek fandom, the rate has slowed. For whatever reason, ST:TMP didn't attract large numbers of new fen, while TESB had a much more explosive impact on SW fandom. There are some obvious consequences of this simple demographic fact: a) The number of aspiring professional writers in ST fandom has decreased. Some of the best fan fiction has always come from fans who were practicing for a professional career as SF writers. Of course, aspiring professionals can't be expected to stay in fandom forever. In the last few years many of these writers have left ST writing (thank the fates for those who are still left!). Some have gone pro, others have gone to other fandoms. And for the most part, they're not being replaced, b) ST fans are probably chronologically older, on the average, than SW fans. Most of us, when we start pushing 30 or so, find our lives have become busier, more complex, more full of mundane responsibilities. Unless you're a truly serious writer, it's hard to find the time and concentration away from career commitments and juggling complicated schedules to write complex, thought-provoking, well-crafted SF. It's (perhaps) relatively easier to dash off a story that's mostly "feeling" rather than plot. And we women do seem to have an almost unlimited reservoir of emotion to draw on when we sit down to write. . .lucky us! At least, we rarely run out of things to say. My superficial impression is that many SW fen are young and child-free and perhaps have fewer distractions than the older ST fen.) It's possible that a lot of the people who've stayed in ST fandom have stayed because of their personal ties with other fans, not because they are still attracted to the "universe" of ST. Maybe people whose major interest in fandom is in personal friendships have a tendency to write "relationship" stories. I don't know. 2) An alternative is that SW may simply be more in tune with the needs of a 1980's audience than ST. Tempis mutantur et nos mutamur in illis. Consider, for example, the emphasis in SW on the adventure of sheer survival, as opposed to the emphasis in ST on the adventure of growth and discovery. The SW Rebels don't have time to explore space, right social wrongs, or learn about IDIC. In fact, we don't really know what they're fighting for, what kind of society they intend to have if they succeed in overthrowing the Empire. They're too busy just staying alive! Maybe that speaks to where many folks' heads are at nowadays. ST was, after all, a product of the expansive, idealistic 1960's, and we're now in the grim, stagflationary 1980's. Please, Bev, and other SW fen, this is not meant as a put-down of SW! I'm trying to understand, not to judge. Indeed, at MediaWest*Con, I talked with several SW fen who said that they prefer SW's lack of moral pretensions to what they regard as the "cosmic Mary Worth" attitude of ST. I think it's the temper of the times. Corroboratory evidence is that many ST writers have more or less explicitly abandoned the benevolent ST universe but kept the characters, by placing them in "alternate universes" where, as in TESB, life is often "nasty, brutish, and short."
  • Michele A is just one of many fans who write of their dismay over the rumors of Spock's death in the next movie:
    Some fans suggest to go ahead and kill Spock this time, but make mm "resurrectable". But what kind of continuity is that? Have the dead Spock turn out to be an android they say, or next movie, have Kirk use the Guardian to go back in time and save Spock. So tear our hearts out over a dummy because LN "might" change his mind and concede to play Spock again? What if he doesn't? Now, not only is Spock being manipulated, but the fans as well. The solution is to have Spock retire from Star Fleet. If Paramount wants to save most of their already-written script, Spock can be permanently injured and required to retire because of those injuries. Kirk and Spock may still have either a tender Spock-is-hurt scene or a poignant Spock's departure scene—either way, the "death" rewritten so that Spock survives (by a hair is fine)....Arrogantly, we folks in organized fandom believe that it is we who keep Star Trek alive. Just wait till the ST concept no longer claims the alien Spock as its visual spokesman; closet Trekkies will abandon the project in droves, taking their millions of entertainment dollars with them. Even after last year's less than exciting movie, fandom hasn't died, but then the Kirk/Spock/McCoy triad was not tampered with and in fact, left intact and reunited—adding to our hopes of a more typical ST adventure this time around. If a character on a soap opera or even another prime-time series were killed, the death might elicit a few letters from a few fans. But Star Trek is vastly different. ST fandom reaction carries media weight, and only regarding ST are fan reactions sought after by the press and publicized. Fan disapproval over Spock's death will be forthcoming and it will be strong; delay is only the result of Leonard Nimoy's and Paramount's collusive silence.
  • Rosemarie E encourages others to write more LoCs:
    It is easier to just read some one else's work, to not trouble to make time to write a LOC one doesn't know will be appreciated. It might help if editors would indicate which authors and artists want LOC's and supply an address to which critiques may be sent (the editor's or the individual author's). I have only seen one fanzine include such a list, and only a few other editors somewhere mention the name of contributors receptive to comments or indicate that they would forward comments. Perhaps writers and artists should ask their editors to request LOC's from the readers and editors should routinely ask their contributors if they desire such letters. The names and addresses could be listed on a page at the back of the zine. Maybe editors should consider giving a free zine to readers who do worthwhile (no, I won't define that here) critiques of their zine or its con tents. And perhaps we should all vow to write at least one LOC for each fanzine we read.
  • Ingrid C wants to hear more information about the new movie from the original horse's mouth:
    ...we, like lambs, take certain people's words as gospel truth. Harve Bennett says "every member of the cast is involved." That's encouraging. But why can't Mr. Bennett be more straightforward in his language? "Involved" could mean several things. The most frightening possibility for Kelley/McCoy fans is that his name has maybe been mentioned in production talks. It guarantees nothing. The man I want to hear things from is Mr. Roddenberry. He has, after all, been honest and straightforward with us in the past. Mr. Bennett's letters (and second-hand comments) are filled with "no-speak" phrases: "involved," "not unimportant," "it is his hope to utilize all the characters." In the rising nova that is Mr. Bennett, have we forgotten about Mr. Roddenberry? Unfortunately, lambs are notorious for following any leader who comes along. Roddenberry is the true shepherd of random...and no one else- He gave us the original dreams and glories. Let's try not to forget that.
  • Judith G comments on the disrespect fandom receives as she describes folks waiting in line for a movie:
    What's premiering anyhow? Oh - Star Trek: The Motion Picture! That accounts for it - all the guilty 'I'm not really here' looks we've been seeing. After all, no self-respecting office manager or VP wants to be labeled a fan. The media, the newspapers, they'll tell you - fans are psychotic fantasy trippers. Of course the fact that million, even billion dollar industries are built on such unstable sands is hardly ever mentioned. Consumerism is okay - it's our national religion. You won't see a media-type knocking Lucas Enterprises. After all, Lucas, et al are just the pushers of fantasies? it's the users who are the real menace. Well, you say, the terms are too broad. The newspapers don't mean the poor slobs that buy phonograph records and paperbacks when they talk about fans. They moan the hard liners, the nuts, the kooks, the con goers. Right on! Now we've gotten down to the nitty-gritty. Now we can separate the wackos from the rest of humanity. They're the ones who go to cons. Cons that is, not conventions. Conventions are what political types and business organizations and VPWs hold. There's a lot of boozin' and screwin' at conventions and a few things get broken but that's okay because it's good, clean, American fun. And convention goers have lots of money to pay for the messes they make. Con goers don't drink or screw much. Being mostly kids and crazy women they don't have much money either. They're un-American.
  • Paula M. B addresses Barbara G and her complaints about media fans and the Fan Fund:
    Ow. Ow. Ow. That's the sound of someone trying to resist her lower impulses, which are prodding her to respond to [Barbara G's] latest diatribe in kind. The woman really seems set on raising as many hackles as she can as she goes about attempting to deliver her people from the wickedness of the outside (non-Trek) world. The hell with live and let live. Kick 'em all out of the garden of eden. I have been sitting on my hands for a couple of days in order to resist engaging in a futile war of words. I know that rationally refuting [Ms. G's] statements will get me nowhere. I know that stooping to her level of bitter invective won't get me anywhere either. But I really can't stand her jaundiced fannish view, can't stand not making some sort of statement to balance things out a little for other readers. First, there was a public meeting at Mos' Eastly Con regarding the change in the title of the Fan Fund. Granted, it was not a huge meeting of all the con members, but I'd say there were at least 30 to 50 people there. It was called when people began bickering over the issue of whether or not a non-trek fan could be nominated for fan fund, since it was called The Star Trek Fan Fund. Since it was titled that when Star Trek was the only fannish pursuit, and since approximately half of the people who win this award now choose to use it to attend the annual Michigan con (the intention is for people to attend the con of their choice) which is, like it or not, media oriented, the logical thing to do seemed to be to change the title. (People were nominating non-trek fans even before the title change, which made things really confusing.) Since the originators of the Fan Fund (the Halkan Council folks) gafiated several years ago, the fund has been run by the Michigan gang. Understand, it has been carried on, not taken over. The Michigan gang volunteered to continue it, no one objected or said they'd be willing to take on the burden, so it became their duty. Neither Lori nor Paula Smith run it. That task has been handled by [Carol H] for several years. What is the big problem with it being a Media award, rather than a purely ST award? The majority of folks attending the Michigan cons are media oriented. A "small group of 'media' fans"? The nominating is open to everyone, and if you are so intolerant of your peers that you refuse to participate in the nominating and voting, then I don't see how you can complain about who gets nominated. If you persist in believing that Lori, et al has destroyed the pure nature of the Fan Fund by helping to keep it alive these last few years, why don't you start your own ST Fund and do all the work required to make it a success? There seems to be enough room in fandom for most of the people who participate in Fan Fund, Fan Q's and the Michigan Cons in general…
  • Paula M. B also refutes Barbara P's complaint in the last issue about the quality of Star Wars fiction:
    ...there's drek in every genre of writing, but I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable making a blanket statement like [Ms. G's] (that all SWARS lit is "navel-diving", "Soap operas", and "Harlequin Romances"), without making certain that I had already read lots of those zines that she avoids purchasing. I mean, quite a few of the Trek stories I happen to have seen in the past few years have dealt with the Kirk/Spock relationship — but I'll freely admit that I haven't been actively collecting Trek zines for quite a while. I'd never make a statement as ridiculously pat as: "All Trek writing these days concerns sodomy." I was introduced to several fine Trek stories via the nomination booklet for the Fan Q's, including this year's long story winner by Barb Wenk (who, ironically, also won best short story for a humorous SW vignette)--certainly enough to convince me there is still a lot of good Trek writing in random, if I were to actively seek it out.
  • Roberta R is very unhappy about the direction the newly-formed TrekStar Awards are taking:
    I don't usually use your pages for protest, but this time someone has done something that can't be ignored. I refer to the so-called INTERSTAT TrekStar Fan Awards. Of the fifteen nominees in the writing/editing categories, nine are specifically connected with "Kirk/Spock" fanzines, the rest are in discriminately labeled "multiple work", and much of it is K/S. Of the fifteen categories, only six specific fanzines and one novel are cited, and of those 'zines, one is Interstat and the rest K/S (except Antithesis, which is Klingon, and practically into its own Universe). Are you really convinced that this is the BEST Treklit has to offer? What happened to NuOrmenel, if you want Trek-oriented Klingons? Where are the sensitive stories that are neither gruesome torture both for the characters and the reader, nor slightly disguised adolescent fantasies? I cannot believe that Sun and Shadow, Companion, Galactic Discourse, and Nome represent a true cross-section of Treklit. The editors of these 'zines are doing a fine job, and all of them are things of beauty, but there has got to be something more out there! And, lest you now scream at me, why didn't you SAY something — might I remind you that I didn't even HEAR about this until it was too late for me to do much more than sit back and say, Let's see what they can do? For all the hassle about the Fan Q Awards, the committee that selected the nominees was fair enough to give at least six months for people to send it choices, and another two months for voting. This so-called award is a jerry-rigged hurried attempt to pacify a few infuriated fans and massage a few egos, and I will not vote for ANY of them! If this committee, and the editor of Interstat, really wanted to do the job of rewarding excellence in Treklit, they should have thought the matter through, and made a more thorough effort to reach the readers of Treklit. I got one notice, through Interstat, too late for me to send my own nominations (which were NONE of the above!). There were no notices in Forum and Universal Translator, the two major outlets for such information, which are used extensively by other committees to notify fans of similar events. May I suggest that you start NOW to organize yourselves for the REAL Trek lit awards, and announce that this was a try-out? All that you are doing is promoting six 'zines that don't need any more promoting, in my personal opinion, two of which are VERRRRY expensive, and one of which is out of print! It's almost enough to make me turn my back on Treklit and say, If this is the best Trek can offer — give me Wars! Needless to say, I remain my eclectic self, and I enjoy almost ANY good media fanfic — but what you've got up there is a very small sampling, and not true Trek at that! K/S is not Trek!
  • Teri M, the editor of Interstat, replies to Roberta R's letter above, saying fans were in control of what was nominated, and that it wasn't her fault Roberta had let her subscription to Interstat relapse for a time, plus:
    I must take exception to your statement that our effort was a "jerry-rigged hurried attempt." The first indication of interest for Trek-only awards in INTERSTAT came about when columnist Dixie Own made the suggestion in issue #41. Response to that was so positive and support so strong, Dixie and I set about to organize such an award, but with intentions of honoring those zines printed in 1980, final balloting to take place before the busy holidays. Thus, the October announcement of winners. At no time did we feel the need to 'pacify infuriated fans,' or 'massage ego." It was, without a doubt, a sincere attempt on our part -- one which took a great deal of time and expense -- to give what Star Trek fandom wanted: a Star Trek award -- now...
  • Dixie Owen, TrekStar's organizer, also responds to Roberta R's letter:
    Rules of INTERSTAT TrekStar Awards were that if nominees had a minimum of three sponsors, the names would go on the final ballot -- not that they had to be K/S or non-K/S material, only that they be Trek. We accepted what the participating voters sent us. Issue #43 gave the basic rules, issue #44 clarified a question raised and reminded readers of the nominations closing date (7/10), #45 carried another reminder, and #46 announced the results and reviewed rules for final voting. In other words, the process took about 2 1/2 months, time enough for word-of-mouth to non-subbers... In no way is INTERSTAT "promoting" any zine; It would not matter if all were out of print. Our Intention is to honor the Trek fan talent of 1980 as chosen by their peers. In all, selections were nominated from 43 different zines, 34 of which were non-K/S. I don't know how Roberta gets fifteen nominees in the writing/editing categories; I count 4 writers, 5 editors, 5 humorists and 4 poets, most of whom contribute widely to zines of every persuasion. Of the 6 specific zines and one novel, only the COMPANIONS are totally K/S, and NOME is mixed; the others are genzines or hurt/comfort.

Issue 48

Interstat 48 was published in October 1981 and contains 22 pages.

cover of issue #48, Mike Brown
  • art by: Mike Brown
  • winners for the TrekStar Awards were announced, see that page
  • there are some con reports for The William Shatner Fan Fellowship Weekend, see that page
  • Beth C writes about WISH and Center Seat:
    One thing I would like to say about the CENTER SEAT and WISH: Sure the info is couched in a certain amount of bubbles, rainbow colors and spun glass. And at first it bothered me. But then what are unicorns and flying horses, dragons, Vulcans, starships and starship captains but bubbles, rainbows and spun glass of the imagination? Bill's fans are a small, usually pleasant, part of his life. I am but one of thousands. That's okay by me. He's only a man, a special man, granted, but just a man like the rest of the males o fthe race. His garbage disposal backs up just like anyone else's... but I want the magic. If he gets too much like the man next door, where is the magic? I think along the line, I decided to relax and enjoy that magic, and not to keep prodding at myself to be a realist, any more than I sit and watch Trek reminding myself that there are no such animals as starships. I guess that's not for everyone, but I have no complaints. I don't find it condescending so much as something fun, shared. And in the meantime, I find out the whens and wheres I joined the club for.
  • Deborah L. B comments on splitting one's fannish loyalties:
    Whose Fandom Is Better Dept: I am a Trek fan first and foremost. I also enjoy stories from other fandoms (mostly Star Wars) and in fact enjoy all types of media. I don't think this makes me any less of a Trek fan. Because of ST I have been able to discover all of these other things and broaden my world much more than I ever thought I would.
  • Owen C. O also comments on fannish loyalties:
    For the life of me, I cannot figure out why fans of different media science fiction think that they must continually feud and defend their favorite movies and TV features against all others. Time after time I have heard ST fans scream "BLASPHEMY!" when someone around them may casually mention SW. At a recent trip to a "Space: 1999" convention, one of my friends actually found a cardboard cutout of a red circle and a red slash bar with an Enterprise insignia in the center! I'm a ST fan — period. Other science fiction doesn't really hold any special fascination for me like TREK does. But ST is ST, SW is SW, and "Space: 1999" is "Space: 1999." Each format and goal of each feature is very different. They can't really be compared, and they certainly can't hurt each other. Why, if it wasn't for SW we probably would never have gotten ST-TMP. TREK should be a hobby for us— and nothing else. We should have fun watching it, reading it, writing it, collecting it, and looking forward to it in the future. What other media SF fans do with their time should be their business. NOTHING can kill ST fandom — at least not for me!
  • Vel Jaeger comments on fannish loyalties:
    Re the current Trek vs Other Fandom controversy: I have no personal difficulty in enjoying all areas of SF, including Star Wars. And while I have no particular interest in the non-SF media that are developing fandoms (eg Man from Uncle, Mash, etc.), I think it's terrific that these fans are building their own outlets. That's the whole idea in the first place, to work in your chosen universe, be it Trek, Darkover, Middle Earth, whatever. I prefer my world of Trek, and reflect that decision by keeping our newsletters and zines 100% Trek. That doesn't mean I can't help writers and editors find each other, nor that I resent anyone who chooses to work exclusively in another fandom. That makes as much sense as taking a friend to a smorgasbord, but not letting them pick out their own food! As Mother always said, "Whatever makes you happy, dear."
  • more on fannish loyalties, this time from Jan M. M:
    I've been an active fan on and off for the past 7 years, and a passive fan since the first showing of ST. Saw SWs and it didn't click for me. Didn't see TESB and probably won't. And while I enjoy Lou Grant, Hill street Blues, Darkover - I really can't say that I am all that interested in writing or reading about them at this point. I find it distinctly annoying to buy a zine and find that a good part of it is devoted to a universe I don't particularly care for. This happens less and less as more eds become sensitive to the problem and advertise contents, but even recently I subscribed to a new letterzine only to find that it was totally Star Wars. It's also a trifle disquieting to go to a Trek con and find a large percen tage of the fans dressed from SWs et al... I like purely Trek zines, but I just have to be a bit more choosy to find them. Barbara says that the worst "navel diving", "soap operas", and "Harlequin romances" can be found in SWs fanfic. Probably true. It's equally or more true of ST fanfic. But ST has produced Kraith, Sahaj, House of Mirrored Faces, and more. I'm sure that SWs has produced zines of the same quality or soon will, and those writers have the right to have their work appreciated. I am not thrilled with the change to a media fan fund, but it does seem to reflect the changing face of fandom. I don't intend to change my reading habits, but I'm sure there will always be enough ST nominees to satisfy those of us who are pure Trek fans. In the long run that's truly up to us, and of course the TrekStar awards exist to satisfy even the most rabidly isolationist, among others.
  • Johanna C addresses Roberta R regarding the TrekStar Awards:
    The League of Women Voters gets it right:"If you don't vote today, don't gripe tomorrow." I'm certainly not on the K/S grapevines, and I too am a busy person. But I saw the announcements of the TrekStar awards in several places, including MediaWest. I didn't get around to nominating anybody, but that's my fault, not the fault of the awards committee. The preponderance of K/S material surprised me, too, I admit, but I doubt very much that that's due to planning the conspiracy your letter seems to indicate. I think it's simply that many K/S fans feel the necessity to make statements, and organize themselves to do so. Next year, I'll get off the mark in time to make nominations. So should you.
  • Lori P comments on what she considers the main difference between SW and ST fanfic:
    ... ST is somehow more enduring. Consider: if there had been no SW sequels, if Star Wars had been the whole package, how long would the zine trend have lasted? 14 years? Not likely, in my opinion. I don't deny that I could be wrong - and before anyone accuses me of being a SW-phobic, I actually (gasp!) belong to a Harrison Ford club and I have written some SW stories for same. But SW's appeal has to be limited: how many 'intergalactic war' stories can one group write? Now, since the movies will be going on forever, so will the SW fanfic, because they won't throw away their cinematic opportunity(s) to attract new fans (here that, Paramount?)
  • Bobbie H tells another fan:
    I must admit that I basically agree with several of your precepts; I must also admit that sharing this much common ground with you puts considerable strain on my IDIC. You possess a singularly irritating style.
  • on the subject of Spock's death in the next movie, Lori P writes:
    One thing I would like to know, despite all this mess, is where is Louise Stange? it is her silence which worries me most, not LN's. And, since Sonni's not talking, we are doomed to be forever in the dark. As an aside: isn't it wonderful that Harve Bennett is a WISH member? At least we know who's fans will not have to worry about being shortchanged.
  • Deborah B writes of a phone call she received:
    Spock is not going to be killed. I know this to be a fact because on August 15 I received a phone call from Louise Stange, president of the LNAF. She was calling inregard to my INTERSTAT letter about the long-delayed club yearbook... In the course of the conversation Louise made special mention of the fact that Spock was not going to be killed in the upcoming movie. Isn't that a relief, everyone?
  • another thought on Spock's rumored death, this one from Jan M. M:
    Oh, yes - as for Spock dying - if this is what Nimoy truly wants then there is little we can do. The man has given us many years of his life. It's only fair to be courteous enough to let him bow out when he chooses. I doubt that his death will have any great impact on fanfic. I've seen a few post ST-TMP stories but they certainly haven't overtaken and wiped out the pre-stories. If they promote Kirk to a desk job, kill off Spock and send McCoy to a veterinary practice it may just open things up enough so that a new life and new blood will enter fandom and fanfic. And for those of us who are traditionalists and who would hate to say a final goodbye, there are still many years to be explored. We are all quite adept at alternate universes. I dare say that the first result of Spock's film death would be a fanfic explosion of stories exploring the personal ramifications or explaining how Spock did in fact survive. We may have given Nimoy his start, but he has given us close to 20 years of his life.
  • Jan M. M addresses Roberta R on what is real Trek:
    Sorry, Roberta, K/S is definitely Trek. It may be morally repugnant to you, it may frequently be poorly written, excessively maudlin, sentimental, masochistic, a fad or a phase. It may be appalling, amusing or intriguing depending on one's tastes.But if Nu Ormel can be included in your idea of Trek fanfic I can't see how you can exclude K/S. It certainly deals a lot more with elements of the series as aired. Some of the absolute worst garbage I have read has been K/S, and I am beginning to burn out on it. But like all. fanfic it has had its jewels and it is definitely Trek - love it or hate it.
  • Susan R. M discusses the new trend of multimedia zines:
    I can completely understand the frustration of spending hard-earned dollars on a zine that is full of stuff you don't want to read. But I'll still campaign for mixed-media-material fanzines. The reason? I read some Treklit in one of the zines I got recently that I'm really enthusiastic about—I think one story in particular is terrific. And I never would have run across the story I liked so much if it hadn't been in a mixed media zine. Since the zines I get nowadays are compcopies I usually get only SWars or mixed media zines, and and if this one author had restricted herself to pure Trek zines I'd have missed out. I can't afford 'em. So I'm glad this one author placed her mater ial in a mixed-media-material zine; and I for one would rather read mixed media than exclusive zines—I see material I'd never have occasion to read otherwise.
  • Barbara P. G addresses many, many fans including Shirley and then Carol:
    Now, how could I possibly have known that MediaWestCon was going to be a hopeless bore before I attended? I am not precognitive. It was not a "media" con, but rather a SWars Con, and as such was misrepresented. I loved August Party, a true media con, which included written SF. It was one of the best cons I have ever attended; even though I do tend to prefer Trek- only cons, I can say that.... how do you justify equating so-called "media" fandom with Trek fandom? They may overlap, but they are not the same thing. How can you say the Fan Fund functions as a Star Trek fan fund, when you allow SWars nominees? You are confusing individual fans with fandom, when you say you can't tell where ST fandom ends and "media" fandom begins. Why is it so hard for so many fans to understand that we are not all fans of the same things? Carol, if you truly wish to carry on the Fan Fund in the spirit in which it was originated, to honor a Trekfan, you will return it to its original Star Trek focus, and let the SWarsfen start their own fund.
  • an example of the heated comments often common of Interstat, a fan tells another fan in a long, long, long letter that addresses many fans by name:
    You have peppered your two letters with emotion-laden words and personal attacks. For the last time: I will not put up with character defamation and slander. I am not a bigot, or any other of the insulting things you called me. I won't be intimidated; I won't shut up, and I won't back down, and run away cringing, just because I am not a BNF and a "sage" like Devra Langsam (yourwords). You and Judi are acutely infected with big-frog-in-tiny- pond snobbery. And I have been in fandom quite long enough, thank you!
  • another example of heated comments in this letterzine:
    There are millions of fans out there, and each of them has different tastes... But back to IDIC. It does not say you must enjoy everything new that comes out (BBS, BG, SW, CE3K, etc.), but it does say that you must rejoice in their existence. Failure to do so is in utter defiance and contempt of IDIC, as you are, [name redacted]. So I suggest that you quit clamoring about being persecuted, being libeled and maligned and the like. The rest of us (and I see that I am not alone) are tired of this subject, your complaints and your paranoia. [3]
  • Roberta R writes that "That loud popping sound you heard was my foot emerging from my mouth!" and that she did receive her Interstats but they were late due to many factors, which is why she felt like the whole topic of the TrekStar Awards snuck up on her:
    The first I heard about the TrekStar awards was when I read about them in an INTERSTAT that I got three months late. The rules of the awards, now that I can see what they were, were fair, to a point — and that point was that K/S fans are vocal and organized, and they are in a position to push their own choices on the awards committee. And, by the way, I include hurt/comfort with the K/S since often the two are inter-related. I am glad that you've decided to extend the deadline, because, although I still can't find it in my stomach to vote for the awards, those who are voting should have that chance. As for my statement that K/S is not Trek: let me amend that. The Kirk/Spock stories are not the be-all and end-all of TrekLit. They are an interpretation of a small portion of what Star Trek is all about. Trek is about exploring new frontiers, and reaching out to other beings — which might, with a lot of stretching include the personal life of the Captain of the Enterprise. However— some of the best Trek stories have nothing to do with sex or hurt/ comfort— they deal with other types of exploration and other realities. For instance— a lot of stories are now appearing that take the Trek episodes as they might have happened in the "Mirror, Mirror" Universe — a fascinating idea! Let's have more of those, and less of Kirk loves Spock loves —
  • Gene Roddenberry writes a letter to fans and is printed in this issue:
    September 9, 1981. Dear Friends: I cannot imagine who or what gave you the idea that I want to kill off Mr. Spock of STAR TREK. The truth is that I am doing everything in my power to prevent it. In fact, when the STAR TREK movie was being planned, I fought the same battle to save Shatner's Captain Kirk, who was believed by some to be "wrong" for the movie role. The facts are that Leonard Nimoy no longer wants to play the Vulcan and has agreed to do this second movie only if Mr. Spock is permanently eliminated from STAR TREK before the movie ends. The producers of this movie granted Nimoy's request in an early script in which Spock was killed and his body given a space funeral. A second script is now being written, and there seems to be the possibility of a compromise in which Mr. Nimoy agrees that Mr. Spock will somehow mysteriously disappear and be presumed dead. As you may know, I have elected not to be the producer of this.new STAR TREK film, but am serving as consultant. In that role, I have recommended to Paramount and the producers that they do not destroy the character that has become STAR TREK's "trademark". I think it would be wonderful 20 years from now to see STAR TREK come back with an equally talented new cast playing Spock and Kirk and Bones and Scotty and all the rest as they say tomorrow's things to tomorrow's generations. Sincerely yours, Gene Roddenberry

Issue 49

Interstat 49 was published in November 1981 and contains 26 pages.

cover of issue #49, Sat Nam Kaur Keahey
  • art by: Joy and Sat Nam Kaur Keahey
  • there is a letter and clippings about Concerned Supporters of Star Trek, see that page
  • Randall A. L explains what he feels what is Star Trek fanfiction and what isn't:
    K/S is not ST. And I'm not too sure about Nu Ormenel (I've never seen it, but understand that it's about Klingons). If it has nothing to do with the Enterprise and our favorite crew, then it isn't ST. I even have trouble accepting Kraith as ST. Now these may be alternate universes, if you prefer, but I certainly wouldn't say that these are definitely ST. What is ST then? ST is what appeared on the television tubes across this country. If a type of fan fiction doesn't fit that style, format, concept, then it isn't ST. K/S, Kraith, Nu Ormenel (not too sure), AU4, aren't ST but are alternate universes.
  • Randall A. L tries to sort out the movie rumors:
    So Roddenberry has finally written INTERSTAT about Spock's impending doom. I'm just a little confused, though, as to what has made him change from the last time when it was the Great Bird who wanted Spock not to return which led to a certain broken-hearted speech. Fan pressure perhaps? But I'm not coming down on GR now. I want to know why Nimoy has a monopoly on Spock. Is it in his contract? And I hope to Ghu that they don't come up with a compromise that looks like a compromise when it's seen. The ol' Spock disappearing bit is just too pat. I say use one of my earlier suggestions [in this letter], or even...If pon far occurred during the second year of the mission which lasted five years, if the Enterprise was in Earth orbit for two years, and if it's been two years since the last venture, I would say it's time for a pon far! Spock can't make this mission because he has to go back to Vulcan to spawn!
  • a number of fans write in response to Susan S's letter in the last issue, Michele A's letter is one example of the anger and the jockeying for position with and about TPTB:
    [Susan S] once again has left me flabergasted at the arrogant tone coming from her letter. Wielding her mighty sword from the tippy-top of Mt. Paramount (does anyone know just how she got herself up there?), Susan once again speaks for those people she has no business speaking for and continues to insist that only she can "educate" all of us dumb fans that Harve Bennett is now top dog and that Gene Roddenberry is "small potatoes." Obviously, this woman will stop at nothing to make her point, even if it's at the expense of others. To be blunt, I and others that I know are tired of being educated by Susan and those affiliated with WISH that making movies is a business that we can't and don't quite understand. We are tired of the condescending attitude which is forced at us in each and every letter and newsletter. We are tired of hearing that because Gene Roddenberry is not producing the new ST-II that we fans must choose between GR and Harve Bennett, and that if we're smart we'll choose the latter. Granted, many fans may be unfamiliar with the Hollywood scene (frankly, the more I know, the less I want to know), but I doubt WISH members subscribe to The Center Seat for a quick course in how the industry works.... Susan's sudden compassion and admiration for LN (no such courtesy is extended to Gene Roddenberry) looks suspiciously like an attempt to please The Mountain (Harve Bennett, this year)... Susan, unwittingly, drives a wedge between Mr. Bennett and the McCoy segment of fandom, like all her other wedges, that is purely political, unnecessary and destructive... I still operate under the naive (perhaps) impression that INTERSTAT readers and letter-writers are people who carry a great love of Star Trek in their hearts—not people jockeying for position next to the latest Holly wood producer, nor people in love with the sight of their names in print, nor people using fandom as a forum from which to manipulate others.
  • Tess L. T also has issues with some fans telling other fans how to interact with TPTB and fandom:
    In response to [Susan S'] letter in issue #48, I'm confused. What's happening here? Suddenly, fandom seems to have sprouted some self-made leaders who are laying down rules of conduct and thought! Who are these people who see fit to make these rules? Sonni Cooper's resume was nice, but I didn't see any mention of fandom-related activities before WISH, professional or otherwise, other than coordinating celebrity appearances at cons. Also, who is [Susan S]? Why does she deem it necessary to attack those fans who are in friendly disagreement with the powers-that-be?
  • Jackie E addresses Susan S:
    I have told you, Susan, over the phone that I found your newsletter. The Center Seat, and Sonni's letter in I#44, condescending. You disagreed and that was that. In INTERSTAT, I was merely expressing an opinion about the WISH newsletter and GR's work—isn't that the purpose of INTERSTAT? But while we're on the subject, let me give you some examples from I#48 of what I consider to be condescending: "Poor Jackie"; "Dear Jackie"; "Sorry, kid"; "Sorry, my dear". And in the WISH newsletters: "Kiddo"; "Kiddies"; and "Read the club's rules and procedures sheet until you understand it." That, to me, is insulting to the reader. Also, telling those who wrote to you as hopeful penpals that they should take their problems to a local mental health clinic seemed unneccessarily cruel.
  • Sue K also dislikes another fan's attitude:
    Move over, Moses. Make room for the new prophet from Campbell, handing down the laws to those beneath her. [Susan S] (I#48) has gone to great lengths to tell us what is and is not acceptable within Star Trek fandom, and the bothersome part is that she's making it sound official. Well, she is on the WISH staff, but does not speak in any official capacity for Bennett, Roddenberry, Nimoy, Kelley or Paramount. That should be made clear since she goes on to insult the "kooks and nuts" that support Spock, and the "manipulated" McCoy fans.... Your letter sounds like you're asking fandom to choose between Roddenberry and Bennett, declare for one or the other. Why should we? Why give up the talents of one when we can enjoy and support the works of both? What confuses me is the way you have abandoned GR, a man you once held great admiration for (I#12,16,26,37). Why bolster Harve Bennett at Roddenberry's expense? Mr.Bennett doesn't need this kind of support and I doubt if he wants it. And if GR as consultant, isn't a member of the ST team, what is he? Your letter could be wrongfully interpreted as an official statement, by an official, through a non-official, that an ex-official, isn't official anymore.... What disturbes me most about your letter was the over-all tone. Suddenly, people who were once close to you have become "Edwards and Keenan", and then there's Zuk, Tullock, Cross, Crites and Hedge, as opposed to Harve, Bob, De, Leonard,Gene and Susan. We have first names too, and you know me a lot better than you know them. Maybe you and Sonni are pros (after all, WISH is a professional club), and want to hitch your wagon to a rising star. But remember, the rest of us are fans and don't have to go with the flow. Even if it means maintaining our loyalties to a semi-retired actor and a writer/producer who may be "small potatoes", but quality through and through.
  • Jeanie H doesn't appreciate the "pep talk":
    And as for the Sonni Cooper history lesson, I joined WISH because of William Shatner, a man I respect and admire, not because Cooper was in a movie before you wereborn. I have never doubted her ability to do her job. William Shatner wouldn't have sanctioned the fellowship if he didn't have confidence in her ability. But I don't see that she is any more an authority on fans than anyone else.... Do we really need a pep talk to remind us to be good little fans?
  • Marian K addresses Susan S:
    Susan: remember the times we sat together chortling over letters to be written in one campaign or another? Remember the letter-writing crusade you headed to oust two ladies who were published in Trek and Bantam Books? Remember the letters (multiple copies) you solicited from this same Jackie Edwards and Sue Keenan and many others to urge Shatner to start up a new fan club? I could go on but to do so would prove embarrassing. My point is this: why do you claim letter-writing poses threats now? The people who were targets then certainly felt the brunt of sharpened pens and there was no quarter given. To the fans directing their letters to the studio and to Harve Bennett this is their way of expressing honest and angry opinions. To merely state that they are causing great harm is not enough. that is simply the reply of those who are feeling the impact of those letters. Information, candid, and forthright, as to why those letters are harmful is what will matter. And, out of curiosity, may I ask just how you have been privy to those letters? Has either Bennett or Paramount been divulging their contents to the WISH staff? One wonders about such things from your letter. I also can recall when your opinion of Sue Sackett was a great deal more kind, when you actively sought her acquaintance because it was a way to meet Gene Roddenberry. Remember when the gesture by him to allow fans to be in ST:TMP, and you were selected, was the highpoint of your year? Can it be that with familiarity comes contempt?...or is it simply that one of the other adages in Glitter Gulch has become important to you -- "Don't rub shoulders with someone who isn't IN, it might rub off on you."... I feel badly to be writing this letter, badly because you seem to have for gotten your own beginnings in Trekdom. You have always been known as a letter writer, par excellence, and some of those you have attacked have maintained dis creet and loyal silence in the past. They don't deserve to have their wrists slapped because you want to make a point. Fans have supported Trek for fifteen years and done it well, or else Paramount wouldn't be even considering this current Trek project, would they? Making money is their concern, and while I am delighted by the quality of people around Bennett, the silence about certain aspects of the script are disheartening. Information is badly needed, and not the kind that scolds and alienates loyal and intelligent fans by attacking that loyalty and intelligence.
  • Bev C from Washington writes of a name mix-up:
    I think I'd better clear up a little misunderstanding: that is, there is another person in fandom with the name [Bev C]. I discovered her a little more than a year ago when I got a letter postmarked Moore, Oklahoma, and discovered that the writer was a woman with not only my name, but my nickname and my middle initial. I mention this because I read the first sentence of [Lori P's] letter several times without understanding it: I've never been to a Babelcon, and I didn't know what "Menage a Trois" was until I read the sentence more closely, I thought it might have been a fanzine or a story or a piece of art or anything. The only explanation is that the [Bev C] involved in whatever Lori was talking about is the one from Oklahoma, the one who also edits a fanzine called SHADOWS OF... [4]
  • Jayne C looks to the future:
    I'm looking forward to a time when someone else slips into the character's shoes, or rather, ears. No, not a new actor playing opposite William Shatner's Kirk, De Kelley's McCoy, or any of the other actors in the cast. That chemistry is too set after nearly twenty years and it would be foolish on anyone's part to monkey with it. Each of these actors is the other's reality and nobody—maybe not even the cast—would believe an "interloper" portraying Spock. Perhaps, though, we could recognize a division between the chemistry of a fine repertoire of actors and the fertile rapport of Star Trek's characters. I'm speaking of a day when ST—The Concept may be done once again as a television series (or whatever the popular home entertainment medium may be) with an entirely new cast. Not just anybody but a fine group of actors who have something in common with the original cast: craftsmanship. Different actors could open up to us facets or aspects of Star Trek's characters, enlighten and thrill us with interpretations different, if only in a small part, from those of the original, the first cast. To feel that ST can never ever be done well ("as it should be") except exactly as it was in the 1960's is to glorify the show unrealistically and unfairly restrict the range of its potential as a concept, as IDEA. What better thing to apply IDIC to than ST? It is a narrow and insecure thinking that maintains that unless the Big 3 remain intact with Nimoy's presence, ST will sink, will be ruined, will fail to be what it is. How is it that we know what it is yet few of us agree? We only know ST as it was in that one period of time with that one group of actors and that one staff of writers, etc. There have been hundreds of Hamlets throughout the history of the theater and no one Hamlet was the same because no one actor was the same. Hamlet remains a great play. I once would have felt that if ST were done again from scratch with new everybody and it succeeded that somehow this would subtract from the specialness of the original series because its achievement would then be less unique. Not so. Star Trek, the science fiction series of the 1960's and the phenomenon of the 1970's is what it is, its prece dence can never be changed no matter how many times it may be done again (not over, as if to improve upon).
  • Barbara P. G writes that Spock belongs to fans:
    I don't think any of us would want to keep Nimoy in a role he dislikes, but that is not the point. Nimoy does not have the right to kill off Spock. Spock, if he belongs to anyone, belongs to us, not Nimoy. We are the ones paying for this "entertainment"; we should have some small say in what Paramount perpetrates upon us.
  • Susan Sackett writes:
    To those who have said many kind things about me in the past few issues of INTERSTAT, my heartfelt thanks. Although I have stated that I wish this zine to remain your forum, and not deprive you of your valuable column space, I feel that I have good reason for not remaining silent, since many of you have so kindly spoken on my behalf. Those of you who have done otherwise, I can see your point of view too, with one exception. There seems to be some question as to my job, career, employment—call it what you may—some people are confused as to who I work with and for, and what my responsibilities are. One LOC writer from Maryland seemed to think I must be an elected public servant who, in her opinion, ought to be impeached! I had quite a good chuckle over her ignorance. On the other hand, while that person may be overestimating my responsibilities, my good friend Susan Stephenson seems to be of the opinion that my main job is to type Gene's memos. The truth lies somewhere in between...When I began working with Gene seven years ago, I knew that having been a Trekfan myself, it would be nice for the fans to have "one of their own" on the inside, i.e., myself. I began watching the series the year after I graduated college, the second week it aired on NBC (somehow I missed the premiere week, and I've bemoaned it ever since). I was a fan before many of you were out of diapers. As an "insider" I took it upon myself to do something none of Gene's secretaries had ever done before—I deliberately set out to establish a personal rapport with key fans around the country and around the world. I took time to answer thoughtful letters with personal, rather than form replies which had been standard up to that time. As a result, I ended up with nearly fifty "penpals" from all over. NO ONE TOLD ME I HAD TO DO THIS! This was not a job requirement. I am under no obligation to write to Janet Quarton, Sheila Clarke, and six others in Britain; [Atsuko Y], [Yoshiko H] and others in Japan; [Sandra B] in Brazil; Diane Marchant, Karen Lewis, [Val & Harry R], [Valerie P] and others in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Germany, Canada, and even Israel. I collect a paycheck regardless of whether or not I continue my correspondences with the editors of A PIECE OF THE ACTION, INTERSTAT, ALLIES FOR STAR TREK, SPELLBOUND, THE PACIFIC COMMUNICATOR, MENSA'S TREKisM, and literally dozens of other zines. I do this because I care about these people who are so dedicated, as I am, to the ideas STAR TREK stands for, but also because these are all people who have become, through the mails, personal friends (and I've visited homes of many of these people, even overseas)...[ much snipped due to length]... I am not being the least bit defensive in the above, nor do I think I need to be. Most fans know all of this anyway, and those few uninformed ones who didn't, do now. Consider yourself lucky that you have a friend looking out for your interests, answering each of your letters (if a SASE is included), listening to your voice, and truly caring. Who can blame some of you for being jealous? It's one of the few "jobs" in this world with so many rewards. But I don't think of it as just a "job." It's one enjoyable aspect of my very full and happy life.

Issue 50

Interstat 50 was published in December 1981 and contains 22 pages.

front cover by Heather Firth
  • art by: Heather Frith
  • after a long absence, there is an installment of the Dodge/Fish debate: "Can Star Trek/Kirk Survive Without Spock? (Dodge)/"Spock Must Die -- Says Who?" (Fish)
  • the issue as late, and the editor explains:
    Half-way through typing this month's INTERSTAT, I dropped my Selectric II, sending it directly to Boot Hill. It will cost hundreds to fix, and as a result, typing the remaining pages at work was the cause for delay.
  • Ginny T was going to bail but changed her mind:
    Last month I had all but decided not to renew my subscription, but I#49 was so thought provoking that I just could not bring myself to miss another six issues of back-biting, stinging diatribes dedicated to the castiga-tion of every outspoken ST fan who contributes a contending opinion. How could I face life without looking forward to another episode of "Mary dislikes Jane's point-of-view and sees little value in it as well," or "how to alienate your former friends by exhibiting a desire to defend yourself in the face of misinterpretation and incomplete information," or "how to lose patience and infuriate others by misquoting a celebrity or two!" Has the love of ST brought fandom to this?!... Have we forgotten that ST has in all probability become a symbol of some thing more than just entertainment, that it has become, in fact, a belief — a hope for better things to come?... So what is the purpose of the almost vicious arguments that fill the pages of INTERSTAT; are those disparaging words advancing our desire for bigger and better ST productions? Or do they only serve to divide us — to create dissension within an initially united front to perpetuate the beauty and enjoyment of the ST experience?
  • Joan V is excited about the new movie:
    Since others have mentioned in these pages what they'd like to see in a new Star Trek movie, I thought I'd put in a plug for science. When I was an astronomy graduate student, I was always on the lookout for things that might fit in nicely with a ST or sf story. One phenomenon that rarely fails to get attention is a supernova, and now I've read that one is being considered for the movie.... A sequence where the ENTERPRISE is stopped in space, watching as the explosion overtakes planets, knowing that if they don't get out of there, they'll meet the same fate, will thrill the audience down to their toes (if done correctly). I would love to see it.
  • Kerry C wants to know if K/S fans are generally "pushy":
    [Johanna C] and [Roberta R] both, in slightly different words refer to K/S fen as vocal, organized, and rather pushy. Are they? Is there a basis for this stereotype? It's one I've encountered before. I'm not really sure, as my contact with Trek fans in general has not been great, but of the several K/S people I know, only one might be described as overly pushy. As to "vocal" and "organized"...? I can't really focus on a large enough cross-section. Does anyone out there have a working assessment as to what percentage of general Trek fandom is friendly toward K/S and what types of people these mostly are? (Are the vast majority of K/S fen vocal? Or are there great quiet masses who say nothing and enjoy?)
  • D. Booker comments:
    Multi-media zines: Well, anybody who is dumb (or gullible) enough to send a cheque or MO without first getting a contents list deserves whatever happens to them. And this is not to suggest that an editor would deliberately take advantage of such a person. But editors are not required to cast their zines in bronze and then stick to the same type of story issue after issue. Nor is Trek some sort of sacred rune which must be protected from contamination by "lesser" fandoms. Where did this idea come from that one must be either a Trek fan or a SW fan or a-whatever-fan and that each group in some way is in competition against all the others? The important thing about fans, whatever their particular area of interest, is that they care enough to put time and effort and enthusiasm and talent into their hobby. With qualities like that in common, surely it is unnecessary to indulge in the kind of ."I said/you said/she said/I said/you said" silliness that the debate about the Michigan convention has descended to.
  • D. Booker writes about the recent TrekStar Awards:
    I thought the voting and rules and the slate of nominees were all well handled. The works nominated were representative of what is going on in Trek today—the writers, artists, and editors who are producing attractive, thought-provoking material. Some work may represent ideas that don't appeal to every fan's concept of Trek, but then these awards were for excellence, which by definition excludes that which is typical, ordinary or middle-of-the-road. I don't think that there was any sort of K/S fan conspiracy—after all, anybody could vote and anybody could nominate. So, if your particular favorite didn't win this year, get out the old typer and start to work on next year's ballot.
  • Kendra H, a Starsky & Hutch fan, thanks Star Trek:
    Being one of those "Starsky and Hutch types in Sacramento", I'm totally indebted to "Star Trek" and its fandom. Without Trek, S&H wouldn't have a fan dom. We wouldn't have had a parent from whom to learn. While most of media fandom remains scifi oriented, there are shows like "Starsky and Hutch" and "Hill Street Blues" that deserve an organized fan following. These shows have fandoms because of Trek fandom.
  • Beverly C. Z echoes a number of letters of this era, all disliking the negative image of fans in the media:
    The word fan is being made to cover an awful lot of territory these days. It's applied to card-carrying members of the William Shatner Fan Fellowship, as well as those who don't know what "tush" means. It can be applied to those who'd hock their first born for the price of a zine, to those who'd think twice before coughing up four bucks to see ST:TMP. And here I'm limiting myself to just one segment of a larger fandom (Science Fiction) (Media), which is, in turn, one of many fandoms. That's only part one of the semantics problem. When the media gets on their 'all fans are demons and/or crazy cultists' they don't bother to say: "All Jody Foster fans are blankity, blankity, blankity." They say ALL fans. [5]
  • Kerry C comments on "what is Star Trek?":
    Interesting. How can K/S be Star Trek? Or Kraith, or Nu Ormenel, or, for that matter, Amok Time, or Shoreleave, or City...? How can any of these BE Star Trek? I speak to [Roberta R]. You are correct in saying that "the Kirk/Spock stories are not the be-all and end-all of Treklit." No, nor is any other group of stories. You are also correct in saying that "they are an interpretation of a small portion of what Star Trek is all about." Yes. So are the episodes. There is no one episode that IS Star Trek, no one tale or concept that could possibly encompass all of that magic. The universe of ideas that IS Star Trek is far too vast, too many different things to too many different people, to be so conveniently categorized...'this is Star Trek, this isn't' — nonsense!
  • Rosemarie E wants to know:
    ...don't you folks have any other hobbies? Is Trek your whole life that this is so super important? Don't you worry about other things, like crime, hunger, vanishing resources...that you can get so worked up? I don't plan on anything drastic if Paramount cancels Trek tomorrow. For the time not filled by other activities (and worries), I've got fifteen years of lovely memories, hundreds of fanzines, and a brain quite capable of keeping alive all the people of the Enterprise in stories. I know most of you can do that too. So why make all of this seem as if the fate of the planet is being decided? This is for fun, friends. Can't we have some friendly arguments?
  • Susan M. S responds to the letters about her:
    It's surprising how individuals I'd thought know me fairly well are suddenly refusing to accept my penchant for speaking my mind. Now these people decide this must be because I've dared to "change." Well, I damned well hope I've changed I I would hope all of us grow as our horizons expand with new experiences and opportunities. Could all this be because my opinions no longer coincide strictly with their own? Or might it be I've had the nerve to raise questions which tread too closely upon fannish taboos? Either way, it's immaterial to me. Working with Bill and Sonni is an experience I find fascinating; my personal opinions on exposure to the fannish and Hollywood scenes remain my own, and I've as much right as anyone else to express that personal opinion in INTERSTAT. I've done so in the past and will continue to do so in the future... Fans are pushing GR onto a pedestal where no one can humanly survive, so eager to deify the man they refuse to allow him to be any less than this image they've created. One can't be a loyal ST fan if one doesn't think GR is the biggest thing in town. Only GR has The Truth. And all Truefen so believe. Hogwash lThe biggest trap in the entertainment industry is blind adolation. Paramount is automatically the enemy, while GR is cast as Sir Galahad.
  • Roberta R says she has received a very long, angry personal letter from a zined who feels Roberta R bad-mouthed her zine in I#48:
    Madame Editor, I am sorry that you took my expression of an opinion as a personal insult. I regret any harm this might have done you, your fanzine, your readership, or your contributors. I had no intention of maligning you, your fanzine, your readership or your contributors. If you wish to continue this feud, you will have to do so without any more help from me. I don't like this sort of hassle, but I won't stand by and see my words twisted out of context like this. Next time, Lady, read the letter yourself, and do not listen to idle gossip and tale-mongering. PS: This editor has requested that I withdraw all references to her fanzine from the forthcoming (and FINAL) volume of TREXINDEX. Unfortunately, I cannot comply with this request. TREXINDEX is a service for Trekfans in which I present certain information. Until each of the contributors to her fanzine insists that I remove the references to their contributions as regards that fan zine from the listings, I must insist that the information be available to those who want it... Anyone wishing to review, criticize or lambaste the TREXINDEX has the same freedom that I claim for myself, i.e. to express his/her/its opinion of the service performed and whether the Index fulfills its function of providing information to Trekfans.
  • Carol Lynn addresses an earlier complaint by a fan regarding zines paid for but not received, one which Carol said was "a completely unintentional victim of circumstances":
    Kraith has certainly been the focus of enough heated disagreement over the years, but until now it has been a thematic, personal, or philosophical attack. Maligning my business practices are another thing all together. Kraith has been my hobby now for more than nine years. During that time, I have dealt with well over 2,000 fans who have purchased fanzines from me. It is my standard practice to 1) replace zines lost by the U.S.P.S. free, 2) make long distance phone calls to fans asking if they meant to send a duplicate order. 3) provide a place for fans to record their order, check# & account on the order form. Name me another zine that does all that!
  • Sonni Cooper proposes fans raise money for a Hollywood star for Bill Shatner:
    Although the star is being sponsored by the Fellowship, I feel that all Trek fen are welcome to participate in this project. Many fen are not members of the club and admire Bill greatly. This is an opportunity to show him how much you do support him. If you would like to participate, please con tact me for information. When I got together all of the information needed for the application there were 68 pages of credits! That even impressed Bill! He hadn't realized how much he had really done, either. When the star is presented we hope to be able to have an event like none before. When I told Bill we intended to go ahead with this project, and asked him if it was all right with him, he was floored. "It's so much money," he said. My answer was, "But it's a gift of love from all of us." And knowing how much we do care, he agreed to permit us to go ahead.
  • Judith G suggests that all the people that complained about K/S rally about what she seems as a similar topic:
    At the height of the K/S controversy a few years ago, one of the most common anti-K/S arguments was that fans did not have the right to "tamper" with the characters that Gene Roddenberry had created. Anti-K/S fen argued that K/S lit "defaced" Roddenberry's characters, dragged them through the mud" and was grossly unfair to their creator. (No matter that Mr. Roddenberry never expressed such sentiments; plenty of fans were willing to spring to his defense nevertheless.) Now one of Roddenberry's characters is certainly being "tampered" with, and not just in a fanzine (which no one confuses with the "real" Trek whence all our fan fantasies spring), but on the screen, definitively, once and for all. And it's definitely being done without Roddenberry's consent or approval. In the Wall Street Journal article, Mr. Roddenberry says with his usual gentle good manners that "It's a bit unfair for someone to kill off a character I created." I certainly hope that all the fans who've protested so vociferously in the past against "out of character" fan fiction are now doing all they can to defend Gene Roddenberry's right to determine the fate of the character he created. Or does the fact that the guilty party here is a Hollywood producer with lots of clout, as opposed to a fellow-fan with none at all, make the difference? Of course, it could be that K/S is somehow "worse" than killing off Spock.. .better death than dishonor, I suppose.
  • Mary Lou Dodge posits in the debate with Leslie Fish:
    It appears, at Leonard Nimoy's urging, the script for the new movie will be Spock's last appearance. Can the future series be as successful without him? Of course! Star Trek is composed of philosophy and ethics, as well as those carefully balanced lifelike personalities...as long as that balance is approximated, and the intellectual background maintained, I see no reason it should not continue to be as loved and successful as ever.
  • Leslie Fish posits in her debate with Mary Lou Dodge:
    Come, fellow-fen, let us apply logic together. Either the rumor of Spock's demise at Nimoy's request is false, or it is true. In either case, why? And what will follow?

References

  1. see A Personal Statement from Susan Matthews
  2. This fan is mistaken: the panel member named here is not Gordon H but Winston Howlett.
  3. In a bit of IDIC hypocrisy, however, this fan writes in the same letter that "K/S homosexual relationships (which I find as absurd as your statement that a goodly portion of fandom adheres to this kind of nonsense - [Roberta R's] right: K/S is not ST!)"
  4. This fan doesn't continue the title, and it is unclear to which zine she is referring.
  5. While this specific letter doesn't mention it, many fans were also wrote about their dismay about how were being lumped in with the man who shot John Lennon in December 1980.
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