Interstat 71 was published in September 1983 and contains 18 pages.
- contains a cartoon by Don Harden
- there are many comments about Web of the Romulans and Yesterday's Son, see those pages
- Mark C. H wants more aliens: I vote a resounding yes to more aliens, but particularly to the aliens we've seen in the series. I'd love to see what modern movie make-up could do with an Andorian or a Tellarite, especially if given the attention reserved for main characters who do close-up work. Picture this, fen: Kirk is in his command chair when a call comes through from Starfleet Command. Uhura puts it on the screen and we are greeted, not with the smiling face of a human or the pointy ears of a Vulcan, but by the blue skin and antennae of an Andorian or the snout and paunch of a Tellarite. I know that I'd be ecstatic. It would be real continuity with the series and perhaps now, after fifteen years, we'd be able to learn a little bit more about the rest of the Federation's major members. The Tellarites and Andorians (my special passion) have until now been addressed only by a few fan stories, and once or twice in the series. The movies opted for some bizzare aliens which could just as easily have been painted into the backdrop. I think it is more than past time for an Andorian on the bridge, perhaps as Spock's replacement, and then when Spock comes back, as something else. The whole concept of IDIC seems no longer to matter. I wish the folks in charge at Paramount would remember that we are not interested merely in pointy ears. They do not an alien make. How about it, fen? Are we ready for an Andorian (or even a Tellarite) with actual lines and a personality? I say yes, and it's past time, too! So, alien-lovers out there: UNITE! Let's end this blatant discrimination against Andorians and Tellarites! Blue is beautiful! Gentlemen prefer snouts! We shall overcome...
- Kathy C would like some organization  : Even though it would really be impossible to clean up all the contradictions now, I don't think it would be a bad idea to try to at least catalog the different "facts" that have been offered up by various creators so far. (Larry Nemeck, are you listening? Do you still have any of your research from your brand-spankin'-new days? Can you take a hint?) In this case I don't mean trying to consolidate all the information into one background that makes sense. Rather, it would have to recognizethedisagreementsthatalreadyexist. Example: "Kirk, James T. Place of birth. Source A says Iowa, Earth. Source B says Earth's moon." It could be more detailed than that, but the idea is to make scriptwriters, authors, and so on aware of what's already been said on the subject. Why? So that said scriptwriters and authors will at least choose between one of the two "facts" that are already floating around, instead of making matters worse by coming up with a third. One hopes they would also be able to weigh the sources of the two alternatives and go with the "fact" that comes from the more reliable or desirable source (in their opinion). At least a listing such as this would give the creators of "commercial" Trek a better frame of reference than many seem to have now. Too bad they can't manage on their own, but as I said above, the world of Trek has gotten pretty complicated.
- Nancy D, a fan in the Alaskan bush, is starved for Trek: I, too, want good sound and color VHS tapes of all 79 ST tv episodes, prefer- ably without commercials. I never saw many of them, and where I live now (Alaska bush) I probably never will. Also, since we don't have TV reception out here, I would like to have the tape of ST:TMP with the extra 15 minutes or so that made such a difference. So please, someone, help a Star Trek-starved fan "pig out" and belay cabin fever this upcoming dark cold winter.
- Ruth B discusses a point of Vulcan sexuality: I... don't think [Linda S] is correct (I#70) in saying that there is a consensus among fans that Vulcan males are potent at all times, not just at pon farr. There are probably adherents for every possibility that is at all plausible (and no doubt for some that are not). She omitted one popular possibility in her list — that a Vulcan male, without being in a period of sexual potency, could satisfy a Terran mate's sexual needs manually. Several of Jean Lorrah's Sarek-and-Amanda stories make use of that assumption.
- Joan V has some clarification, and then makes a mild comment about Yesterday's Son that causes much later discussion: In I#70, the remark, "There's no such thing as a good pro book" was attributed to me. For the record, I never made such an absurd statement. What I said was (I#67) : "I still consider a good fanzine story superior in quality to any ST novel published, ever." The difference is asserting that pro novels always have, and always will be, poor in quality (I did not say this), and asserting that, so far, I consider the ST pro novels little better than an average fanzine story (which is what I did say). I still stand by every word printed under my name in I#67 (that is, what I actually said). I bought two fanzines at SPACE TREK II, and either of them struck me as superior to both WEB OF THE ROMULANS and YESTERDAY'S SON... Before I read them, I had high hopes for both of these novels, because I have met both M.S. Murdock and A.C. Crispin, and both fans convinced me that they are dedicated STAR TREK fans and that they want to write good ST fiction. I wish both authors well, and I hope that they write something in the future that I like better.
- Ruth B refers to an earlier letter about harshly-worded reviews: [Gennie S] asks what others think of reviews which use terms such as "garbage which could only be the product of an immature mind" and "a sample of the worst Treklit in fan fiction." The terms strike me as courteous enough — certainly "garbage" is politer than several other words I can think of. The real problem, surely, is not the language, but the judgment. It always hurts an author's feelings to know that a reviewer thinks the work is bad. Turning the review into a piece of "constructive criticism" by adding an analysis of what's wrong and suggestions for how to fix it is really not going to make the author feel any better. (Take it from me — I've been constructively criticized.) The work is still being condemned. But reviewers have to have the freedom to say, "This is very bad," if they're going to be useful guides to the readers on what is worth getting. (No doubt a reviewer could simply refuse to review unworthy material — but then all the unreviowed would feel just as hurt at the tacit condemnation.) It's not so much a thick skin that authors need to cultivate, as a conviction that reviewers who fail to appreciate their work are fools — you just keep muttering to yourself, "Dopes, whadda they know," and after a while you feel better, because, after all, it may quite possibly be so.
- Joan V is a fan of spoilers: If items about ST III come with warnings, I would not object, though I think it would be impractical to do in INTERSTAT. However, I must add that I, for one, prefer to be prepared rather than surprised when it comes to movies in general, and ST movies in particular. I bought and read each novelization before viewing both ST I and ST II. I am sure that if, for instance, I had NOT known in advance that the Kobayashi Maru was merely a simulation, I would've spent the rest of the movie in a state of shock. That is NOT how I want to watch a ST movie. In fact, I went to SPACE TREK II with high hopes of a banquet of information about ST III, and instead only got thrown a few crumbs. I think the studio's "closed-set-we- don't-tell-the-fans-anything" policy is rubbish. I am aware that many others want to be"surprised," and those fans are entitled to their preferences. On the other hand, I think Paramount goes to ridiculous extremes to "shelter" us fans from getting information.
- Bev L writes of editing and pro books: THAT is the problem with Timescape and the Trek novels. Lack of good editors or lack of true editing altogether. An editor is responsible for not only simple gram- mer but in tearing it apart for such things as clarification in plot devices, past/ present tenses, details in speech, appearance and actions of the characters, theme structure, and the whole basic framework meshing the story into one enjoyable ex perience. I guess those works that had good editing only occurred in the good ol' days because this is not only happening with Ballantine but many other book com panies as well. Just a general opinion of mine.
- Randall L doesn't like the labels: To those fans who love to apply derogatory labels such as Herberts, and other such terms of derision: perhaps we should find a term for you. I find it quite alarming that there's so much of "Us and Them" in fandom when in light of the wonderful ST philosophy IDIC such should be discouraged. And I certainly wouldn't expect it from a STW member, [Ms. W], or even a MENSAn, Debbie. Fandom should strive not for polarization, and not for unity, but rather, diversity. "It has given us a lovely universe" hasn't it? I was quite pleased to see these sentiments foreshadowed by [D.C. L's] letter, but I'd carry it further: applying labels is not cute; it merely serves to support this childishness, and I oppose usage of the terms, "Trekker" and "mundane."
- Linda S addresses some anti-Carol Marcus remarks made by a fan in an earlier issue: I don't think that standing up to Kirk and wanting to live one's own life is being 'ultra-possessive' or 'self-centered.' What makes Kirk's needs any more important than Carol's? I liked her. I thought she was a level-headed sensible, mature person and a vast improvement over the fragile fluffies the show usually offered as typical of Federation womanhood. Turning down the dubious privilege of being Mrs. James T. Kirk does not mean one's a neurotic nut—from where I sit it means the exact opposite. Kirk's a wonderful person but I think he'd make a terrible husband.
- Mary Ann D writes of Courts of Honor: Kathleen Lynch, Barbara Storey, and I have taken over the copy- editing chores on Syn Ferguson's novel COURTS OF HONOR. This publication is very late. If anyone is nervous and wants their money refunded, Syn will be glad to do so. The novel is finished. Syn is typing the final copy as fast as she can... Suzan Lovett is doing a number of additional illos, and we will not have all of those until November. After waiting so long already, we feel that it would be undesirable to rush through the final process and turn out a sloppy zine full of typos. Most people who have ordered the zine have been very patient, but the more time Syn spends answering inquiries, the less time she has to work on the finished product. A third of the novel has already been through my hands. It is excellent, assuming you like K/S, and well worth the wait. Please be patient. No one is trying to cheat anyone, contrary to rumor. Unfortunately, one of the zine-listing publications seems to have indicated that COH is currently available. It is not. We can't possibly get it out before the end of the year. The covers have been printed, but that is all.
- Shirley Maiewski comments on a letter a fan wrote for the last issue about the death of a friend: Because of your letter, we will not forget [Carol ] either! I do not think that many in fandom had the pleasure of knowing her before, which is our loss - then and now; however, we do know her now, through you. Too late? Yes, but in a way maybe not. Maybe because of your letter the rest of us will stop and think about our friends, old and new, and begin to cherish them the more. I certainly will - I have often thought of all those dear friends that I have that I would never have known, if Gene Roddenberry had not had his dream of friendship and love between people of all kinds - the dream we know of as Star Trek. Your description of your wonderful friendship with Carol brings back so many memories of early days in fandom, when we were discovering that others had the same love and interests that we did. How well I remember meeting some of those who now are closer than family, in some ways - just as you and Carol shared. We've had wondrous times together, sharing news & things, such as scripts and pictures and early zines. We met at our first, wondrous conventions! Sat in ballrooms, holding seats while friends ate or toured the 'huckster's' room, spent HOURS at night in crowded hotel rooms talking and talking as though we could never stop - sharing our joy for an old, cancelled TV show - one that we found others loved too! Oh my dear friends! I wept when I read Jan's letter, and not only for [Carol]. I realized one cannot go back to "The Good Old Days," but can't we at least try to make the new days - Good? I do not mean that we should all agree - how dull that would be! But can't we stop and think a bit before writing hurtful letters? Let us try to remember [Carol] and the wonderful tribute her friend [Jan] wrote for her.
Interstat 72 was published in October 1983 and contains 18 pages.
- cartoon by Don Harden, no other illos
- Ann Crispin comments on her book, Yesterday's Son, see that page
- there are many letters commenting about the fire on the Star Trek set and William Shatner's brave/foolhardy actions with a fire hose
- Linda S writes of pro books:
- Danaline B comments on zines and profit, and Judith G's remarks in an earlier issue: And speaking of amateurs vs pro—I guess I'm naive, but 'till you first mentioned editors making profits on zines, I thought it was a long-standinq tradition that zines were always non-profit. Just how wide-spread is this practice of making 40 to 50% profit? Above almost everything else, I hate to be ripped-off, manipulated or made to be anybody's fool. I wouldn't mind the idea of an editor making a profit, if it were clearly labeled as such. Of course,t hat will never happen or Paramount would be all over the editor, like stink on Bantha poo-due. If I knew that an editor was making money on a zine, I would certainly be less under standing about missing pages, poor binding, faint printing, etc., etc. How can the average fans, the non-BNFs, tell the pro from the amateur zine editors? What really burns me about all this is the astronomical rise in zine prices in the last few years. Before I gafiated (around 1978), the most expensive zine I'd ever bought was SENSUOUS VULCAN at six bucks (and which I never received). When I returned to the fold last year, I couldn't believe how expensive zines had become.
- Debbie G remarks on labels: To [Randall L] and all others who feel that terms like "Herbert" are indicative of an "us versus them" attitude: Where is your sense of humor? I don't actually go around calling people things like that! But labels are not always necessarily evil; they can be quite useful for differentiating one group of things from another. And whether or not you choose to label it, the sub-group of people who are not Star Trek fans does exist. Labels are only harmful when they come to define the entire person. Each of us can wear many different labels simultaneously. If all the world knew me only as a "Trekker" without noticing all of the other aspects of my personality, I would be in trouble!
- Rowena G. W writes: I am a ST writer and zine editor myself and fully agree with those who say it is more than a hobby. I would not even call it a labor of love because to me it is not a labor (more like an obsession). I definitely do not publish my zines for profit. To be quite honest, in order to keep the cost to the purchaser as low as possible, I take a loss on such sales. I am certainly not rich, but when one considers it is a loss of approximately ten to fifteen dollars on one hundred sales, I can handle that. The "profit" is in sharing my stories with others and hoping they will find a measure of enjoyment in them. I guess that might be called egotistical, but it definitely is fun. I have received some extremely nice letters in response, and would like to thank those who took the time to praise and criticize my zines.
- Cindy McA comments on another fan's view of Carol Marcus: I suppose in some people's books [an unplanned pregnancy] is good enough reason to get out the shotgun and call the preacher, but if I were going to call every girl that Jim ever had an affair with his "wife," then he sure is one helluva busy bigamist and the shotgun dealers thereabouts must be doing a landslide business. I also imagine that Carol wasn't the only one who was left with a "little reminder" of a fling with Jim. There are probably "Kirklings" scattered throughout the galaxy. There was no legal bond between them, no mention that there ever was one, and no indication given in the film that there ever will be. They haven't been in contact with each other for years, perhaps since before David was born, and neither one seemed particularly eager to establish contact for personal reasons at this late date. Even when they see each other they behave more like old friends than reunited lovers just waiting to start over again. Had they ever been married or had they even discussed the possibility of marrying now, I could understand your use of the word "wife" as a figurative slip for "ex-wife" or "wife to be," but somehow it seems to really stretch semantics to the breaking point to use the term to describe an ex-girlfriend (one of many) whom Jim hadn't even seen in perhaps 20 years or more. I'd also remind you of the context in which you used the word, supposedly to scare off all of those nasty little K/S fans where all of Jim's past "love 'em and leave 'em" exploits had failed.
- Ruth A. B addresses Shirley Maiewski and offers her opinion about the current state of STW: I have to disagree that STW is alive and well, and I say this from the point of view of someone who was a crewmember from '76 through '82. With few exceptions, my letters to fans had to be prefaced with an apology for the long delay in responding to them. I've met fans who have told of the letters they had written to STW and never received an answer; they eventually gave up, disillusioned. Zine editors have asked if STW were dead. These are not isolated incidents. The grumblings, from me personally and those I heard, were passed along. The reason for the creation of STW was a worthy one. There are individual STW workers who have continued to work very hard over the years, and they are to be commended. However, the organization itself just hasn't worked. There are now numerous services throughout fandom that do a very efficient job, not to mention the fact that once a new fan meets any other fan, he/she has a 'source' for finding other areas of ST interest - so, there is really no reason any longer for there to be a STW.
- Ann Crispin, the author of Yesterday's Son comments on feedback she's revieved: Well, 6 to 1 ain't bad, either! While I'm sorry [Joan V] didn't like my book, she enjoys (?) the unique position (so far, and this is not a challenge, folks) of being the first fan not to like it. Which is sort of remarkable, since I know from personal experience what a varied bunch of types and tastes we Trek fans encompass. Actually, negative remarks are good for a writer, in a way. They keep us from getting complacent, make us try harder next time. And, as Doctor Asimov has sadly pointed out (in his typically hilarious way), one can get 100 absolutely adulatory letters, but it's the one negative missive that will induce sleepless nights... At any rate, I'd like to thank very gratefully all those who wrote to me to reassure me that they liked my story, in response to my earlier letter. Thanks also to all the kind people who said so publicly in INTERSTAT. If you write to me personally, please don't be impatient with delays, and please send a SASE if possible. I'm trying to answer all my mail, but it takes time. I have turned in a proposal for a second Trek novel. If Pocket buys it, I'll probably write it sometime in 1984. This one is developing in a much lighter vein than YESTERDAY'S SON, and is completely my own idea, not a spin-off from a former episode. It concentrates more on Kirk this time, while again showcasing the good doctor (I feel McCoy is too often eclipsed in fiction, and he's one of my favorites). Spock is another favorite...heck, they're all my favorites! I love those people, that universe, and I guess the reason so many people have liked my story is that they can tell I really do.... Finally, thank you, Teri. Your 'zine has helped me stay in touch with fandom at large, and that's the main thing that the publication of YESTERDAY'S SON has meant to me — that Trek is very much alive and well.
Interstat 73 was published in November 1983 and contains 18 pages.
- cartoon by Don Harden, no other illos
- there is much talk of canon: its definition, its use, who constitutes it, the many mistakes of canon within canon itself, whether anyone needs it...
- this issue has the first direct complaints from fans about TPTB's inclusion and influence in this letterzine
- Michele A offers a less than positive review of Yesterday's Son, see that page
- While there has been quite a bit of fannish bickering regarding whether Harve Bennett or Gene Roddenberry should have creative say/control/production rights to Star Trek and which man did the better job of shepherding Star Trek into the future, this is the first time a fan has suggested a straight-up favoritism, and partiality of the letterzine -- Barbara P. G addresses Teri Meyer: I understand your motivation for defending Mr. Bennett, but is it really worth it, making INTERSTAT a partisan zine with a party line, an unbroachable bias? Is it worth it losing the good will of all the fans who disagree with you and don't accept that Mr. Bennett is the best writer since Shakespeare, and don't accept that Paramount is all peachy keen—just so you can keep the tenuous relationship you have with Harve Bennett? Are a few friendly phone calls worth ruining the impartiality Of INTERSTAT? I am really terribly disappointed that you would stoop to the purposeful misinterpretation and character assassination to which some other misguided, childish fans resort. I am shocked that you would draw conclusions as to a man's character (Roddenberry's) from such inadequate evidence as a couple of letters and one interview, then misinterpret my comments, and make false conclusions based on your misinterpretations. I do not insert intercalations in my comments. Every word is there for a reason, and you have no right to ignore some of the words, at the same time exaggerating and misdefining others: if you want to bicker and quibble, do not expect my cooperation (see my previous comment). I resent your misrepresentation of my comments, their emotional context, and my motivation for making them. If someone has not the courage to say what they think about TWOK and future movies, how can we expect improvement? The purpose of criticism is to point out inadequacies and faults so that they can be seen, appreciated, discussed, and corrected. Any negative intentions in my comments are a product of your own imagination, and not intrinsic to the comments. You have even made implications about Mr. Roddenberry's views on TWOK which are simply not true.... I have always admired you and INTERSTAT for your fine impartiality. Please, don't change that!
- Danaline B addresses Harve Bennett, and then Teri Meyer regarding the letter from Bennett that was printed in the previous issue: To Harve Bennett: I found your comment about [Barbara G] to be most inappropriate. Sure, it's fine (even swell) for The Powers That Be to acknowledge the fans'support. It's nice (even great) to know that you're aware of our humble presence—something that's long been in doubt to me. It makes you a terrific (even spiffy) person. You should have stopped while you were ahead. I found it offensive that you chose to single out one FAN to ridicule in a public forum. Actors, politicians, journalists and others in the public eye have to realize that not everyone will love them and act accordingly. If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen—as my grandmother used to say. You diminished yourself, as far as I am concerned. To Teri Meyer: You know that I'm the president of the Lawton chapter of the Teri Meyer Appreciation Society, but I'm afraid I'm gonna have to cross swords with you on this one. If Mr. Bennett didn't have sense enough not to make the remark about [Barbara G], you should have had enough discretion NOT TO PRINT THE THING You could have deleted the sentence in question. Given so much prominence (full page, bordered in black, on OFFICIAL ST:TSFS stationary), do you think it was quite fair? This is our forum, Teri. Having input from the creators is the icing on the cake--but they should refrain from personal insults. Honestly, in your wildest flight of fancy, can you imagine Gene Roddenberry doing such a thing? Of course not The Great Bird is too much of a gentleman.
- Teri Meyer and Michele A include a long description of their October visit to the Paramount Star Trek movie set -- an excerpt: The Roddenberry office, known for its warm and generous hospitality to fans, made our transition from one world into another something special. Our sincerest thanks go to Susan Sackett, who for years has found great pleasure in the sharing of her dream. She escorted us onto the sets where we had the rare opportunity of watching actors William shatner and DeForest Kelley perform before the cameras. Our deepest thanks also to Gene Roddenberry, who graciously took the time to meet with us. It was an honor to speak with the man whose beautiful creation of Star Trek has touched the hearts of millions, and a moment we will never forget. Visiting Paramount's publicity department might be considered by some a passing moment easily forgotten. Ed Pine, however, belies that very expectation. Not only is this unit publicist a delightful personality, but a Star Trek fan as well—a kindred soul whose marvelous sense of humor was instantly contagious, and who made this special day for us a little more special. And lastly, to Harve Bennett—who moved a mountain to fulfill our dream. Author Allan Asherman once wrote of producer Bennett, "Upon meeting him, one becomes aware that this man possesses an extraordinary ability to communicate." We found that and more during our visit with him, and we were quickly made aware of Bennett's willingness to express his thoughts on Trek, which are also shared by countless fans around the world: "Star Trek is a vehicle worthy of the attention given it—by its fans and by those involved with its creation." There is something about Star Trek that creates a sure bond between its fans—from those in production to those who merely watch the series—that is as real as any we've experienced. No other vehicle in film history has had the privilege of such devotion from both sides of the camera. That devotion today is held sacred within the Bennett production circle. Like his cast and crew, Harve Bennett deeply respects the product Star Trek and its remarkable following, and he is committed to producing a film worthy of bearing that name. Thank you, Harve, not only for your time given to us, but for recognizing, too, the worthiness of Star Trek—and for caring. We are fortunate to have you behind its helm.
- Sandra A. N writes of the second movie at great length, starting with: As to ST:TWOK, my initial reaction was very positive but in my last two viewings, I've formed some misgivings.
I am a new reader of INTERSTAT, and I am shocked to read that there are actually Star Trek fans out there that did not like "The Wrath of Khan." Every review I have read or heard before this was very positive.
- a fan has videotapes for charity sale: To Leonard Nimoy Fans: With his permission and for the benefit of the Alan Nimoy Memorial Fund, I taped Mr. Nimoy's two hours of talk at Space Trek II, St. Louis, on videocassettes. Any fan who wants a copy can send me a blank VHS tape, $2.50 to cover postage, padded mailer and insurance, and a charity donation made out to the Memorial Fund, above. Beta tapes (plus postage and donation) go to Mary Brown [address redacted]. We will send your donation checks and names to the new Leonard Nimoy fan club, which will acknowledge the gifts in one of their publications as well as getting the money to the Boston Children's Medical Center (which also gratefully thanks you in writing). I hope to get permission next June to tape DeForest Kelley's talks at Space Trek III. See you there! —Dixie.
- Bev L on the topic of feedback and whether a reader owes the writer a response: Does the world owe her a living or more apropos, a justification for her need to write? To desire the re sponse is fine, but if it becomes an overwhelming need where it supercedes the desire to create in the first place, then she is misplacing her oriorities and sticking fandom with a psychological problem that they should not be responsible for as fandom is NOT responsible for her need.
- Barbara P. G addresses three fans: I have much better things to do than answer such puerile ranting. Why don't you all get together and publish your own LoCZine, and call it "Attack!", or better yet, "Senseless, Irrational Attack." Then you could sit around and "My dear..." yourselves all to death. What nonsense!
- Lynda C comments: On the burning question of why Starfleet ladies don't carry purses...I strongly suspect it was for the same reason that the men's uniform pants didn't have pockets — costume designers who were going for a "look" rather than for what would have been a functional uniform in "real" life. In defense of the purseless ladies, however, consider that we most often saw women "at work" rather than shopping, visiting, or driving down the road — the circumstances under which most of us carry purses or have them close at hand. As for credit cards, identification, and keys, I don't think it's too unrealistic to assume that those 20th-century artifacts will have been replaced by things like retinal scans, palmprints, or fingerprints in the next 300 years. The "small change" question is probably valid — at least off the ship, and I've often wondered myself what the 23rd-century equivalent of a G.I. "dog taq" will be. We've certainly seen Kirk peel off his shirt often enough to know he doesn't wear them inside his uniform!
- Lynda C comments about profit from zines; I'm not an editor is that every time I get serious about the thought, I go out and price printers and then have to come home and lie down. If you'll take your favorite zine to a few print shops and ask them what it would cost to run off 300 to 500 copies, you'd probably understand why zines have gotten so high. Once you get the estimates, compare them to the cost of the zine. And don't forget to tally up mailing costs and losses, contributor's copies, postage for zine-related correspon dence, office upplies, gasoline, telephone bills, and the inevitable dead losses from the printer — blank pages, bad bindings, and so on. The zines I buy — though perhaps I'm simply blundering into the purchase of "non-profit zines" only — are not that far out of line in price. (High, yes! Unrealistic — probably not.)
- Barbara P. G addresses Michele A regarding her comments about the Minefield incident: Really, Michele! Your comments are a bit distorted, to say the least! Dealers who sell the outline "for sometimes double the price"? WHAT price?! Being a "pirated" script (as we presume), it has no set price. It is whatever price each dealer chooses to set- And aren't you being just a little holier-than-thou? Can you honestly say that you have never read a pirated script yourself or seen a pirated tape, or perhaps even bought one? Then don't attack my "moral rationalizations"; look to your own. Also, one finds it difficult to feel too concerned about someone who has all the weight of Paramount's Brobdingnagian legal department behind him. If they wanted to prosecute the culprit who pirated that outline (and do keep that in mind please; it was not the dealers who did the pirating), I'm sure they would have absolutely no difficulty in doing so. That is their decision to make, their business—not yours. And if paramount were only more honest and forthcoming with the fans, this problem of thievery would be mitigated.
- Lynda C address Larry N: As for Terran Chauvinism, yes, it was there. (So was sexism. If a woman was given a large "guest star" role, it was generally so somebody — usually Kirk — could fall in love with her.) And while it can't be denied — or excused — it can be partially explained by the same time-and-money factors as the dearth of aliens. "This guy's only gonna be a face on the vicwscreen for 90 seconds. Why should we do a six-hour, $3,000 makeup job on him?" Writers' laziness and inability — or unwillingness — to consider Earth as less than THE BIG WHEEL of the Federation probably accounts for the rest of it. If you'd care to justify the exclusive use of humans as ancillary characters, you can tell yourself they weren't all Terrans. With all the "humanoid" races encountered, who's to say such non-backgrounded characters as Commodore Stone in "Court Martial" or High Commissioner Ferris in "The Galileo Seven" weren't Denevan or Coridian? If you insist on a Terracentric Federation — and you certainly have the right to that opinion — yes, a fan story from an outsider-looking-in viewpoint would indeed be great. Write one!
- Fran H addresses another fan's comments regarding whether the STW was still a needed service: I must take issue with a dear friend—[Ruth B] just can't agree that the Star Trek Welcommittee isn't needed anymore... Ruth you're a fantastic person—bright and conscientious and hard-working, as well as a warm and delightful friend. And I can well understand how someone who does work hard with a high investment in getting a job done right would be frustrated by the delays inherent in the STW organization, not to mention the fact that we have had some volunteers who didn't come through, and/or people who gafiated the wrong way. Having worked in a variety of hard-work-low-ego-boost-volunteer-dependent organizations, however, I have the impression that overall, the STW doesn't measure up too badly. In fact, a lot of paying organizations would consider themselves lucky to get the kind of work the STW manages for love. Yes, there are numerous services now available throughout fandom—thank good ness. The STW will be happy to refer you to them, asking only a SASE. I guess that sounds corny. So be it.
- Joan V, STW area captain and fanzine acquisition consultant, also addresses the comments about the usefulness of the STW: I remember how it felt to be a new fan, and how important it was to me to get a quick answer. I also get a lot of pleasure out of answering letters, and I do not regret one moment of the countless hours I've put in for STW. I am sure that there are other STW members who would say the same. In any organization, one is going to run into well-intentioned procrastinators. Unfortunately, STW has had its share of those. I grieve for the fans who have never received a reply from us, and whenever I go to a convention, and fans see my STW name badge and mention they've never received an answer from us, I ask for their address (or give them mine), and write immediately upon arriving home. I do not, however, accept this as evidence that STW "doesn't work." It is against my experience that potential active fans will discover fandom by running into someone. In a poll taken in the late 70's, it was found that only a small number of fans got into fandom as I did, by running into someone who knew about it. A large proportion got into fandom by finding STW's address in STAR TREK LIVES! or one of the Blish books, and writing STW. These fans received answers, and, despite the unanswered letters, hundreds of fans STILL receive replies from STW members each year. Further, I do not see what can replace STW. True, there are fanzines which are better sources for fanzine information than the STW directory, but I have yet to see as comprehensive a source for clubs, books, and merchandise. I know of nowhere else in fandom where one can write to receive a list of fans in one's area, for instance. While fanzine editors and clubs may be able to take the time to introduce someone to fandom, clubs and fanzines sometimes get caught up in their own activities fall behind in their own mail, or disband. Though STW does not always work to perfection, I still think (meaning no insult to clubs and fanzines) that we do it better than anyone else could, because our first priority is to gut the mail answered.
- Lucia J addresses Joan V: There is just no pleasing you. In the few issues of INTERSTAT that I have read, since I started receiving the letterzine in May, I have not seen you say anything complimentary about pro-novels or fan-novels. It is easy to be critical when you aren't the one writing. Have you ever tried to write any kind of novel? Melinda Murdock and Ann Crispin have gone out on a limb trying to write some decent Trek novels. Speaking for myself, I think they did a fantastic job. I admire them for their GUTS.
- Lisa W doesn't see anything wrong with a few labels: There is nothing inherently derrogatory about an Us and Them classification. Admittedly "Herbert" was used in the series as an insult, but it was a mild insult, tempered by the humor of the episode. (And it was used to refer to Kirk, so it can't be too bad!) Now, if I had suggested calling Them "Regulan bloodworms"or"Klingon scum", you would have more of a point. To me, it is, in fact, in the nature of IDIC, to be able to discuss Them, to recognize their existence, and to appreciate their differences.Of course, words get their meanings from their usage, and a word like "Herbert" could come to have nasty connotations. But I don't think that's necessary. I, for one, think that They can be interesting people. I am very tolerant about working with Them, living with Them, dealing with Them. But, of course, I wouldn't want to marry one.
- Bev L addresses Carol F and the topic of zine copies: I see we agree about illegal copies, such as you call, pirates. I think making the public aware is fine and dandy. But I also think that the ultimate responsibility rests solely on the editor. There would be no such thing as pirates if all editors made their zines available. There are throe alternatives (three golden rules?) to be put into operation to wipe out illegal copies. 1) Advocate the reading and xeroxing of the consumers' friends' copies, 2) If this is impossible for the fan, then offer to lend out an extra copy you the editor should have handy. 3) And if you decide there are so many requests that you want to do a reprint, then offer them this alternative, asking for a deposit until you have enough orders to go to press. By not offering the first step, the editor is setting herself up for pirates because the consumer wants the zine and she will get it somehow. By not being responsible with the second step, means the editor is irresponsible and is just out for a fast buck. Sold the zines and I don't care about you. Well, if that is the way the editor feels, then the audience has the right to react back in the same manner. I don't care about you then, I'm getting myself a pirated copy. The third step is an alternative that not everyone can afford, so the first two are highly necessary. There is a fourth step but I do not recommend it unless the reader clarifies that she only wants the original. That is, to recommend an auction to the consumer. After all, the first three steps usually take care of the fan's need to read or copy a zine. Only if one is a true collector, does the auction become necessary. If an editor takes the fourth step first, then she is turning the non-profit sharing experience into a sham and is treating her audience as 'big business'. I call this unfair and unkind on the part of the editor. What I find despicable are the editors who have kept extra copies aside to resell at auctions. They up the prices to get a nice juicy profit. I find this worse than the idea of pirates and it annoys me much more than editors who are ignorant of the first three alternatives. I have heard rumors of this being done by a few editors in Trek. In my opinion, they deserve the pirating of their zines and should be run out of fandom. FAST...at full gallop...never to be seen again!
Interstat 74 was published in December 1983 and contains 18 pages.
- cartoon by Don Harden, no other illos
- this issue has a long letter by A.C. Crispin about Yesterday's Son, see that page
- Sue W writes of zines and profit: Those editors making profits off their fan publications (if indeed there are such animals) must have the same special secret that allowed alchemists to turn everyday metals into gold. Maybe I'm naive too, but printing costs having risen to a nearly prohibitive high, I think we should consider our selves fortunate that there are still enough editors out there who are willing to risk seeing "red" and let the ones who are magicians keep their profits!
- Danaline B addresses another fan, and zine profit: To [Lynda C] I didn't ask for "any hard figures on what the average zine editor's profit might be." I don't care. It's none of my business what the average zine editor's profit is. Specifically, I asked, "How wide spread is the practice of making 40 to 50% profit?" Perhaps I should have prefaced my remarks with a disclaimer, but I thought it was apparent that I was continuing [Judith G's] discussion of disreputable zine practices. SO...let me say, here and now—for God and everyone— that T did not intend my remarks to be an indictment of the average zine editor. I like zines. I like zine editors. My father is a zine editor. Some of my best friends are zine editors. I'm aware of all the extra costs involved in putting out a zine, especially ones of high quality. I admire all the Neat People who give us these lovingly-produced zines. What I wanted clarified was the discrepancy in zine prices. I've received $8 zines that contained 36 pages (or less) of poor quality. And yet, I've also bought high quality, 200-page zines for $12 (or less). In my fevered brain, I can't quite understand the variance in money spent for product received. I had always supposed the print run, typo of printing process used, or different locales accounted for the difference in 'unit price.' Or is the eight dollar, thirty-page zine an example of somebody making a lot of money off of the fans? Sorry I was so vague last issue.
- Rennie D writes: I am a new fan and if it wasn't for the STW, I would never have read INTERSTAT ... apart from commercial cons and the STW, there is not really much interaction between the fan world and the outside world, and most people do not live in areas with either commercial or fan cons. So the STW with its various types of info and its address in many out-of-print books in public libraries is the conduit for the new fan who doesn't know somebody in fandom. I could tell there were other fans out there but I really didn't know how to get in touch with them and I never met fans who knew about fanzines at the commercial cons. So don't knock the Welcommittee. It did take them a while to answer my letter but that was to give themselves time to give me a bunch of goodies. It was well worth the wait! And it was faster than the zine editors I've written to have responded. This is, after all, a hobby! It's not fair to expect better than business world standards from the STW.
- Tim F writes about the STW and addresses two fans: [Fran H] and [Joan V] (I#73): [Daniel W] "could have" gotten the info he needed from STW. But he didn't. The fact that people find the need to make such inquiries in these pages says to me that STW isn't working. Sure, the mail gets answered—but as you pointed out, many letters go to long out-of-date addresses. (Mow many of these letters end up "Returned to Sender," I wonder.) STW is a good contact point, but frankly it is one that is hard to find. We need to give neo-fans easy access to up-to-date addresses. How? My suggestion: have a representative at a table at each and every ST convention, SF/media convention, and events where ST personalities (such as G.R.) are scheduled to appear. Cons by their nature as public events draw in the very people who need STW. Not to mention the opportunity for fund raising. STW is more than welcome to a table, free of charge at our club (ASTRA) mini-con next year. Another suggestion: start APOTA back up. Many fans misinterpreted the demise of APOTA as the death of STW.
- Carol E. A comments on the STW: I have recently joined the STW as a crewmember who answers fan letters and I find it very satisfying to me as well as to them. I have spent many years reading and learning and I want to spread the the word for ST. And to take away the only central place to ask questions is almost unthinkable!
- Vel Jaeger comments on the STW: Unfortunately, I must agree with those who consider STW a white elephant. Though the STW Directory was once a reliable reference source, the fact that it was allowed to slip by for 5 years without being updated is indicative of the ponderous creature STW has become. With the exception of the Directory, all the other "functions" of the organization I found to be non-existent or unsatisfactory — I remember my reaction of frustration 8 years ago, desperately attempting to make contacts, and writing off the STW as a "doesn't respond" category. Too bad, as I'm sure their intentions were good — but I stopped recommending them long ago as an active group.
- Sue W comments on the STW: Let me add some fuel to the fire over the STW debate. I am not a new fan, but I am new to active fandom, having spent the last seventeen years on the periphery of what was happening in the world of fan involvement. Having my interests in ST renewed and invigorated by ST:TW0K, I wanted to know what, if anything was available for fans. There is no way to describe the isolation a new fan feels or the need for contact with other fans that is so necessary . I ask you just to think back on that time when you and others were just beginning to discover Trek and remember how you felt. These feelings are multiplied when there is an absence of local organized groups or clubs or when there is seemingly an absence of local fans altogether. Like so many, I stumbled across the address to the STW in an old book and I wasted no time in dashing off a letter with a score of questions I was frenzied to have answered. A few weeks later, a newer book, a more recent address, another letter — the STW remained up until this point my only hope of contacting fandom at all.
- Ruth B comments about the idea of a prerequisite to criticism, and of pro books: [Lucia J's] complaint that [Joan V] doesn't like any ST-writings -- that isn't really what Joan said. She complained that she found most of the ones praised as REALLY GOOD THIS TIME not to be good enough to merit that much praise, but only good enough to be pleasant enough to read through once. That degree of goodness takes a fair amount of skill and is a compliment to writers whose careers are at the start, such as Crispin and Murdock. But the best fan-stories (as Joan pointed out) are still better than the best of the pro-ST writings. I suspect that the factors involved in making pro-ST poorer than most pro-sf writing and poorer than the best fan-ST writing are newness of writers, carelessness of editors, the artificial action-action-action format (YESTERDAY'S SON comes closest to breaking out of the reliance on perpetual motion and is therefore the most interesting ST pro novel so far published, but it still wasn't all that good on a more demanding scale — as [Michele A] points out, the emotions meant to be its heart remain quite sketchy) — and the freedom to do things in fan-fiction that normally get in the way of the action of a story by stopping to discuss background and ideas, as with the extrapolated Scotland of Zuk's HONORABLE SACRIFICE, or the potential unpleasantness of getting the wish to enter the ST world granted as with Wenk's ONE WAY MIRROR, or Langsam's use of her combat studies in the Kershu fighters of her Klingon stories. The best fan-fiction maybe does things that require an audience who can bring a lot of background already provided to the reading, and so can spend time on a sort of hybrid of essay and story which is different from either. Occasionally you got such material published professionally — a lot of Philip Jose Farmer's fiction is fan-fiction, set in and commenting on other people's worlds. (His THE OTHER LOG OF PHILEAS FOGG by the way, is ST — as well as Jules Verne-based.) As it happens, though, if writing a novel is a prerequisite for being qualified to criticize (it isn't, though — ability to analyze and ability to create often go together, but not always), Joan is qualified. She's had fan-fiction published in several fanzines and recently completed a novel (general sf), which she's been reading in chapters to our local writers group, and which I think is certain to sell eventually.
- Don H sticks up for Harve Bennett's quip about fan Barbara P. G in Bennett's letter printed in issue #72: I suppose we'll part company when I say that [Barbara G] scarcely needs Harve Bennett to make light of her when she does such an expert job of it herself. Moreover, there is nothing wrong with using slanted language or irony if it is deserved. We have a smear job only when negative statements are excessive and undeserved. Looking at [Barbara G's] never-ending" parade of horrors," I think that Bennett was on strong grounds in the use of irony in his letter.
- Judith G comments on the letter: I agree with [Danaline B] that Harve Bennett's jibe at [Barbara G] was tacky and unworthy of someone in his position. No, Roddenberry would not stoop to that level. He practices what he preaches — IDIC — and values diversity of opinions. However, I think it should also be pointed out that Bennett was giving Barbara just what she wants — attention. So my concern is less with Barbara herself than with the overall level of discussion and good taste in INTERSTAT.
- D.C. L addresses Harve Bennett: It is a revelation to me to learn that Harve Bennett reads INTERSTAT. Thank you, Mr. Bennett, for caring enough about fans' opinions of your handling of the STAR TREK movies to actually pay attention to what is said here.... Since first hearing rumors of Spock's possible death in ST II, and later finding they were true, I have wondered about something. In this culture, particularly among some males, why must your best buddy, your soulmate be dying or dead before one of you is willing to choke out, "I love you," or, more commonly, "I loved him, and he never knew"? Would it not have been more therapeutic to witness two strong, masculine males openly affirming their lasting love and deep commitment to one another — and to find that NO ONE DIES after such a revelation? It also just might lower the rampant homophobia in some quarters a notch or two...... On a different issue, I noticed that some of [Barbara G's] criticisms nettled you enough to make dry reference to them in your letter. But one thing she said (1#70) few of us could argue with: "Remember, there are more intelligent, inventive ways to deal with the 'villains' of your movies than always blowing them up." Unless the world in general learns that lesson, this fragile planet has little hope of surviving into the 23rd century. Some indication that you subscribe to this view via STIII would be most welcome!
- Vel Jaeger addresses the editor about a fellow fan's comments as proof of non-censorship and of Harve Bennett's letter: Any who doubt your objectivity in printing any and all letters to INTERSTAT need only look to [Barbara G's] ceaseless diatribes. You're to be commended for your tolerance, evidenced in having printed [Barbara's] direct attack on you in this latest issue (#73). Were I the editor of INTERSTAT, I'd be sorely tempted to lose a few such letters twixt the mailbox and the front door. I feel it was perfectly in order for you to have printed Harve Bennett's letter which contained the remarks concerning [Ms.G]. Sinces he's obviously felt quite free to have written page after page of criticism of Mr. Bennett and his creative efforts for nearly 2 years, I don't think his few lines of rebuttal are out of line. He's entitled to the same freedom of speech as us fans, I would presume.
- Larry N notes a change in non-fiction Trek writing: As for the ongoing plethora of new non-fic, it seems to me that authors are writing more and more out of a professional contractual obligation rather than from love and dedication as a fan. I've never seen these "Kirk was born on the Moon" books and just wonder what the heck is going on. Errors or inconsistencies in the older non-fic works were usually out of sincere commission or because of the rush of deadlines that did not allow enough pre-publication opinions. I don't think much of the newer confusion is coming from the old guard of responsible, serious non-fic fan authors who still believe in continuity and seeking opinions before publishing.
- J. Elizabeth G reflects on her first year with Interstat and of some things she's learned: ... ST fanzines are not, as I'd always been inclined to believe, crudely produced, embarrassingly badly written indulgences in personal fantasy; but are, in general, lovingly made, beautifully illustrated treasures with a quality of writing which should put Timescape's "pro" writers to shame. And, that while collecting zines has become a delightful hobby, paying for them may well put me into the Poor House by my 33rd birthday....that [Barbara G]is NOT a satirical invention of Teri Meyer's, (I am sorry, Teri). And that, invariably, if [Ms. G] is opposed to something, I'm for it. I've also learned to resist the temptation to respond to any of [Ms. G's] vitriolic diatribes; there seems little point to beating one's head against an impenetrable brick wall. I just take a handful of Tagamet and lie down. ...that the feuds, infighting, personal vendettas, and general internecine war fare among long-time ST fans makes the disputes within the PLO look like Romper Room time.
- Judith G comments at great length about contraception, the Star Trek future, and of the marginalization of women's lives and work and how it all relates to Carol Marcus and Kirk and the son he "stayed away from": I'd like to think that these attitudes, based as they are on social inequality between men and women, will no longer be around in the twenty-third century to hamper men's and women's free decisions to bear and raise children who are loved and wanted. And even more important, I want STAR TREK to show us men and women who've overcome our contemporary hangups, not people who are still trapped by them. If I want to see unplanned pregnancies and absent fathers, I'll watch a soap opera...} Finally, I would probably have forgiven all of the above if Carol and David hadn't been so — boring. They are probably the two dullest characters in all of STAR TREK. Even Will Decker was more interesting. They subtracted a great deal from my enjoyment of STAR TREK (I have to exclude them completely from my own personal STAR TREK universe if I am to keep my own concept of Kirk intact), and they added nothing in return. Carol Marcus may be sensible and mature, but so what? I saw nothing of the creative genius in her. I could not believe that she had created Genesis, as I believed (on the original series) that Dr. Daystrom had created duo- tronics. There was no spark of brilliance, of divine madness — no nothing.
- J. Elizabeth G also addresses the Carol Marcus subject and addresses another fan: [Mary Louise D's] letter of INTERSTAT #71 intrigued, puzzled, and amused me. Her oddly hostile analytical dissection of Carol Marcus struck me as being terribly convoluted...and silly. To characterize Marcus as a "devouring mother" is unjustifiable, based on the scant evidence presented to us in ST:TW0K. We don't know that David "(grew) up without a family" — though that interpretation depends on the narrowness of your definition of "Family." It might be logical to assume that in a humanistic future society the Extended Family would be prevalent, and that child care support services would be far more readily available than they are today. The label "a mother dedicated to her career" certainly is no condemnation, though [Ms. D] seems to have intended it as such; there are countless career-oriented single parents who have managed and are managing to raise emotionally healthy children. The statement that "psychologists say there are very few 'accidents' even when women claim they are" is interesting, but I wish [Ms. D] had cited a specific reference source for that dubious contention — which struck me as little more than a variation on that grotesque sexist cliche, "There may be No! on your lips, but there's Yes! in your eyes!". I'm confident that there are many fans who would agree with me that the character of Carol Marcus is indeed attractive — as portrayed by Ms. Besch, she emerged as a brilliant, dedicated, compassionate, complex woman — and would be pleased at her inclusion in any future Star Trek films.
- Linda S addresses a previous letter by Barbara P. G in which Barbara accuses Interstat's editor of censorship: Your own letters in INTERSTAT are solid proof that its impartiality remains intact. Unless you have some solid proof that Teri Meyer is using INTERSTAT as a weapon against those who disagree with her, e.g. if you can prove she is censoring letters containing the 'wrong' viewpoints, I think you owe her an apology. And, I think you owe the rest of us a logical justification for your opinion that Teri is the only fan in Trekdom who should not be allowed to express herself in INTERSTAT. As long as she keeps her editorial policy clearly separate from her personal views, which she is doing to my satisfaction (and I am certainly no fan of Mr. Bennett's Trekwriting!), why should she not express herself? Doesn't she have a right to disagree with you? Would you be as upset if she were as vehemently outspoken in a dislike of Bennett as you are?
- Judith G comments on what she has felt to be censorship in this letterzine: In recent months, it seems that an increasing number of people have mentioned to me that their letters to INTERSTAT have been drastically cut in the form in which they appeared in INTERSTAT Of course, it is an editor's prerogative to edit the material that appears in her letterzine. But I think one cause of concern is that very long letters from [Barbara G] appear regularly month after month, while other fans' letters are cut to ribbons (or so my fan friends have reported; I don't recall ever having had a letter of mine cut) . It might not be a bad idea to give fans EITHER (1) hard and fast page limits; OR (2) the option of specifying whether they would prefer that their letter appear uncut or not at all. You could also allow readers to specify which parts of their LoCs arc most expendable. The problem is that once you start cutting large chunks out of people's letters, you inevitably are going to wind up cutting out the parts that they considered most important, whether you mean to or not. I know you can't print everything that everybody sends you; that's obvious. But I think you can take some very simple steps that allow the reader to retain some control over the process, without sacrificing editorial discretion or the quality of your letterzine. Fairness is important, too, and if you regularly print a page and a half from Fan X and only half a page from Fan Y, although Fan Y had also sent in a page and a half, that can be perceived as unfair. The long letters from [Barbara G] bring up another question. To someone with a Machiavellian turn of mind, it might appear that printing vituperative, arrogant, and extreme statements by someone not an admirer of Harve Bennett is the surest way to discredit all the rest of us who have extremely serious concerns about that fate of STAR TREK in Mr. Bennett's hands, but express ourselves more moderately than [Ms. G]. Now, my own turn of mind is not particularly Machiavellian, but I have heard other fans wonder out loud whether printing those letters from Barbara, month after month, is not an attempt to discredit Mr. Bennett's critics. ([The editor interjects]: "Those letter-writers, whose concerns are "more moderately" expressed, are welcome to submit their pieces to INTERSTAT at any time.") There was something a little — symbiotic is the only word I can think of for it — in Bennett's mention of Barbara that [Danaline B] referred to in 1873. By being nasty and extreme, Barbara provokes the attention from the Powers That Be that she seems to want. And Barbara in turn gives Bennett an object to poke fun at, and perhaps the satisfaction of feeling that critics of TWOK and the new movie are all as crazy as she is (after all, if the loudest voice comes from the craziest person... well, you get the idea, I hope). Please do not read the above comments as criticisms of you and INTERSTAT. I'm merely trying to give you some feedback on how your editorial policy in recent months has appeared to the handful of readers who've mentioned their concerns to me. If this opinion is a minority one, you're certainly entitled to disregard it, and I would expect you to.
- the editor replies to Judith G's letter: Editor's reply: I certainly have every reason to disregard it, but I won't disregard the 'handful of people' who are sure to appreciate your carefully chosen words written in their behalf. It might be prudent, however, for those who wonder out loud to you, to bring their comments directly to me. I am very much aware of what Fan X feels, as she uses the proper channel to aim her criticisms at me—INTERSTAT. But I am curious as to why Fan Y (all two or three of them) chose not to, and also as to what your motives are, Judith, in acting as their spokesman. In any event, please allow me to reiterate my policy for the benefit of Fan Z (new readers and those with short memories): Submissions to INTERSTAT are edited only for (1) space limitations, (2) obscene language and (3) that which is libelous. In addition to the above, timing plays a very important role. While a Star Trek film is in production, the number of letters received for print shows a remarkable increase in order to feature more letter-writers and a variety of opinions, some editing is required, although it is done on a limited basis. Furthermore, every attempt is made to follow up by printing those letters left over and/or portions thereof in future issues—preferably the next month's. Example: Comments on the subject of fanzines by [Judith G], Vel Jaeger and [Sandra N] will be included in the next issue— whereas this month's INTERSTAT is devoted more to the continuing STW, ST III, and Kirk/Marcus debates. (Judith, your LoC dealing with the latter subject was already typed, proofed and corrected when your two additional letters arrived—giving us a total of six pages submitted by you within a three issue period. And lest we forget the bee hive you stirred up in another forum [[[UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR]]], I remind you that it was this letterzine which allowed you to finish it— in toto —a courtesy extended to you despite the length of your letter and despite the fact that other LoCs were put on the back burner… well, you get the idea, I hope.) I would also like to remind Fans X, Y,and Z that this vehicle is under no obligation to print every single letter, month after month; but, Judith, you can bet your fanzine's reputation that every effort is made to do just that. Put simply: INTERSTAT's editorial decisions by me shall remain exactly as they have been for the past six years—consistent and fair. Put frankly: I don't know which is the more ludicrous—INTERSTAT's impartiality in question, or the asinine thought that this editor would use one fan's sharp criticism in the hopes of discrediting another's.
- Rowena G. W appreciates Barbara P. G's letters: [Barbara G] (1#73) : Your letter was a delight because I finally understand your reason for writing to INTERSTAT. You are not at all like your letters lead people to believe, but instead you are playing the "devil's advocate" in order to get people to think and appreciate Trek more fully. You've hit upon a great idea! I am not certain if Teri Meyer is involved, but perhaps she prints the letters in order to receive more LoCs. If so, my hat is off to both of you. At first, I was greatly disturbed by such letters, but now I can accept them in the spirit intended. I'm certain Mr. Bennett's comments in 1872 were simply intended to add more fuel to the glowing fire. Please keep the letters coming. Now that I understand what's going on, I am enjoying them and the other LoCs immensely. My subscription will definitely be renewed!
- sadly, J. Elizabeth G was going to have to wait another two to five more Christmases to receive Courts of Honor:
Interstat 75 was published in January 1984 and contains 18 pages.
- cartoon by Don Harden, no other illos
- this issue contains the printing of the first photos from the movie sent in by Paramount's publicist, Eddie Egan
- Tim F publishes a result of a study he did in response to some fans who felt that Barbara G] was monopolizing the conversation: Upon re-reading [Judith G's]comments about some INTERSTAT correspondents being favored over others, I decided to look back over the past year's issues (63-74) for trends. Some 263 letters were printed in 1983, representing 131 different people. The mythical 'average correspondent' thus writes two letters in a year's time. The average letter is 5.1 column inches long (a page being 8"). As far as long letters go, the winners are—Gordon, 70 total inches; Wahl, 46"; Verba, Gilbert & Slusher, 40" each; Lorenstein & Harden, 34" each; and I had 31". Looking at average letter size (for regular correspondents only—sometimes a person will write one long letter and disappear) the top three are, ironically enough, Gordon, Gran and myself, in that order. Others who write above-average length letters are Booker, Verba, Lorenstein, stillwcll, Drach, Wahl, and Landers. As for the longest letter printed—it's a tie between Gordon (I«68), Drach (I#68), and, er, urn, ME (I#65) . (Each was 14".) However, if one looks at space devoted to a single person in a single issue, Gran wins with her two letters in 1874, ironically enough. An interesting statistic—the combined length of Wolpe's 6 letters in 1983 is less than the length of the longest letter. The use of the phrase "month after month" in reference to Gordon is somewhat in error, however. Looking at the number of letters printed (meaning separate blocks in these pages, as I am not privy to Teri's splitting of letters between issues), the results are different—Harden & Gilbert top the list with 9 each; Slusher, 8; Wahl s. Gordon, 7 each; Verba & Wolpe, 6 each; Lorenstein, Henric £ Landers, 5 each. Thus, Gordon is typically printed every other month or so, while others equal or exceed that rate. What have I learned from this? Considering my ranking in these lists, that I should keep my mouth shut! (Heh, heh...) 
- Barbara P. G addresses Judith G: You should at least get your facts straight before you attack someone as you did in your last INTERSTAT letter. What gives you the right to assume—and publicly state— that my letters are never cut, and never omitted entirely? As a matter of fact, they have been both cut and omitted, and I have never whined about it, about favoritism, not even the last time it happened, though perhaps I had cause. Possibly your "friends'" letters were omitted because they were unable to express their thoughts intelligibly—or some other legitimate reason. This is_ a fanzine, not a prozine, and (I have to keep reminding myself) the standards are different. You certainly ought to know from your own experience that a fan editor prints what she likes, not necessarily what her readers want to see. Despite that, and despite Teri's very obvious bias, she does make an attempt to be fair, and usually succeeds.
- D. Booker addresses heroes and masculinity: I can see why the "Kirk as Demi-God" coterie would be disappointed by the idea that he isn't the perfect father along with being the perfect friend, lover, diplomat, tactician,strategist,soldierandhost. Butremember,ifyouspreadthewealththeway Kirk did in the series, you are bound to drop a penny or two along the way. Kirk is a good explorer and a good soldier and has the personality and the character to permit him to succeed in those areas. However, the desire to propagate oneself or to raise children (not the same thing, by the way) is not necessarily part of or even a desirable adjunct to a professional military career... If we're going to quote old saws at each other, I'll see your "It takes a man to raise a man" (which is patent nonsense) and raise you with "A girl in every port" and "When the ship leaves, all debts are paid." The real problem is that some fans, notably Gran and Dodge, cannot bear the thought that Kirk comes complete with warts as well as a self-polishing halo, instead of being just a little tin god for our adoration.
- Astra T writes of pro books:Last time I wrote to INTERSTAT, I particularly wanted to praise the then-most recent Trek novel, WEB OF THE ROMULANS. Since then, we've had YESTERDAY'S SON and MUTINY ON THE ENTER PRISE. Well, YS was rather enjoyable but it lacked the right punch. [Michele A] clarified my feelings pretty well, so I'll say no more. Now, about MUTINY....tsk tsk tsk. And we were doing so nicely, too. Sexist I may sound, but how come all the best Trek is written by women?
- Daniel W addresses Danaline B about Harve Bennett's letter in a previous issue: This magazine, as I understand it, is for fans of the show to write in and say what they please. Harve Bennett claims to be a fan of the show, and therefore I don't think his statement, as inappropriate as it may have been, needed to be censored by Teri. Maybe Bennett was wrong to write it, but I don't think Teri was wrong to print it.
I agree with you that [Barbara G's] statements are vituperative and arrogant (you forgot 'redundant in the extreme'). Try what I do: just skip thorn, reading them every third month or so to see if she's yet changed the broken record. HOWEVER, regardless of how painful it is to listen to Barbara, SHE HAS THE RIGHT TO SPEAK. So does Bennett. So do you, I, everyone. We even have the right to stick the foot in the mouth. I've had INTERSTAT letters cut. It never bothered me. Either I'm too dumb to know when to get mad or I'm not egocentric enough to believe that it's a terrible tragedy if INTERSTAT readers are deprived of a single golden word I write.
- Susan Beth S comments on Interstat's editorial policy: Fellow INTERSTAT readers, I find myself compelled to write a letter that is sure to be one of a multitude sent defending Teri Meyer's editorial behavior. I ask your patience upfront if I duplicate views expressed better by others in this issue. Letters in I#74 have said (or implied) that Teri is showing bias by: 1) not printing letters on certain subjects/views; 2) mutilating letters by cutting out the most important points and/or distorting the writer's opinions; and 3) choosing to print some letters in full to discredit a certain viewpoint. In response, I haven't detected any bias in letter selection due to contained opinions. Teri's attitude towards TWOK and Harve Bennett may be clear, but only from what she has explicitly labeled as expressions of her personal opinions. Can anyone look at the number of anti-HB letters from many different writers and reasonably claim she has been suppressing them? The only bias I have noted is in favor of letters with ideas that are new, coherently written, interesting, amusing—or some combination of the above. And isn't selecting out the dull or confusing or repetitious letter a function we want a letterzine editor to perform?
- Daniel W comments on a now common refrain about pro books: About Mutiny on the Enterprise: For those of you who have yet to read it, I've got some good news and some bad news: The good news is that it's better than his previous attempt. The bad news is that by better I mean it's up to incompetently written.
- Lynda C renews her subscription: Enclosed is my subscription renewal check, which should say all that needs to be said in response to [Judith G's] comments in I#74 dealing with editorial policies. However, her letter did perform one very valuable service — it made me realize just how much I appreciate INTERSTAT and all the hard work you and your staff put into it, and how lax I have been in not mentioning it before. I can't remember how long I've been a subscriber, or how many letters I've contributed, but I should guess that two or three years and nine or ten missives should be somewhere in the ballpark. In all that time, only one letter was unpublished — and that was a long, rambling con report on SPACE TREK II last summer. I specified that the report could go into the "circular file" if other letters covered the same ground — which they did, in subsequent issues. In no other case were my letters edited beyond removal of introductory or non-important babble, i.e., "I haven't written for a while, but...", or "Here's my renewal request, and while I'm at the typewriter...". Somehow, I doubt that my experience has been unique. Just for the record, I have subscribed to five other letterzines and/or publication directories in the past. Only INTERSTAT and UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR subscriptions have been renewed. INTERSTAT has remained a constant source of accurate information, thought- provoking commentary, and current trends in fandom. Furthermore, its on-time arrival record has been superb, its graphics and print quality outstanding, and its cover art excellent.
- Shirley Maiewski writes a long, long letter, excerpt: It is with great reluctance that I write to take part in the STW Debate. It saddens me to think that there IS such a debate - after eleven years of working with STW and over six years as Chairman it is difficult to think that all that effort is for nought. As Chairman, I take full responsibility for all that STWand its many members do. It appears that all those years of dedication have been wasted? Is that what is being said? Speaking as one member of STW I think of the hours I spend every week dealing with STW affairs, the weekends I spend entirely at my typer, the personal money I spend for postage, stationary, typewriters that wear out and must be replaced, typer ribbons (priced them lately?), bus and plane fares to conventions (where we do have tables as often as possible, Tim) and on and on. As Chairman, I don't expect the other members of STW to do as much as I do, but I know that many of them do!
Interstat 76 was published in February 1984 and contains 18 pages.
- there is no interior art, but there are two full-page publicity photos supplied by Paramount's publicist, Eddie Egan
- Robert R would like to see fan writing fall into line with canon: First of all, I strongly agree with [Carol L] in I#73. The Making of Star Trek by Whitfield and Roddenberry should be the main ST canon in ST fan fiction writing. It is, as Carol said, the way "Gene Roddenberry would have it." The book presents the major background, personality, and basic details about each of the original characters. The Making of Star Trek's information was taken directly from the Writer's Guide, a handbook given to writers of the show containing informa tion about the format, characters, and technology of ST. The book should be made the basic canon for writers of Star Trek because it is what ST is, and another reason I suggest the book is availability.
- Lynda C has a number of positive comments on the new pro book: The only major problem I have with the book lies not with the work itself, but with the company which presented it. How can what one assumes to be the same editorial board, working from the same requirements and judgments of quality, bring us brilliance like "The Wounded Sky" hard on the heels of drek like "Mutiny on the Enterprise"? Other than that conundrum, the only questions I'm left with are: Who's Diane Duane, where has she been, and when's her next Trek novel due?
- Joan V comments about a previous letter by Randall A. L. in which he states, "... after observing that Jean Lorrah has picked up her pen for a ST novel, I must conclude (Conclusion #3, if you lost count) that some of us deem to be ST fans only when it's profitable to be one.": To accuse Jean Lorrah of claiming to be a ST fan only when profitable to do so is to show a complete ignorance of Jean and her fan and pro activities. I have been active in SF fandom since '73, and while it is true that many general SF fen are friendly to ST, it is also true that there are a number who aren't, and who equate "Trek writer" with "hack writer." Nonetheless, even though Jean Lorrah is trying to promote her SF novels, at every WorldCon where she and I have both been in attendance, Jean has been open about her ST activities, even when doing so might bring grumblings from part of the audience. This is hardly the behavior of someone trying to hide ST affiliation.
- Barbara G (not the prolific, often controversial LoC writer) agrees with another fan: She is absolutely correct that James T. Kirk would resent the passage of time, and his own aging. He was, and still is, a virile, youthful man, and I can picture him having a fit over growing older. I, too, would love to have seen him at 40! And Bill Shatner, if he shares those worries, has NOTHING to worry his handsome head over!
- Nancy D addresses Ann Crispin: You said pro Trek books are aimed at teenagers, heavy on plot and action, light on emotion. Since when are teenagers light on emotion? Anyone who has lived with one could hardly agree less! Wake up. Editors!
- Joan V writes about the STW: Part of the reason why INTERSTAT has not been overwhelmed with letters in support of STW may bo because the critics have been so vague. We are told, for instance, that STW is "useless" and in the process of "ongoing disintegration," but we are not told what this means. Useless in what way? Useless to whom? (Yes, STW is useless to experienced fans. To people who don't know a thing about fanzines, clubs, cons, and other ST activities, STW can be very helpful.) As for "disintegration," I fail to see how this applies. [Mary Lou D], our mailroom director, has not disintegrated. Nor have I, nor have my crewmembers. Nor have the several STW members who have contributed letters to INTERSTAT. As to the general charge of unanswered letters, neither I nor any of STW's critics can say for sure what percentage of letters are unanswered. No statistics exist. That some are answered is clear because I, for one, can document every STW letter I've answered in the past six months (this is as long as I retain letters). I can also note the fact that from Dec. '82 throughout Oct. '83, the STW mailroom received 777 letters. Let us presume that the STW critics can produce 50 fans who wrote us in the above time period who didn't receive an answer. That's less than 10% of the total. Granted, STW's goals are, and should be, to get each and every letter answered. Still, a failure rate of less than 10% is hardly a reason to shut us down. If the 50 fans the critics produce wrote us within a two-year period, that percentage decreases even further; within 10 years, further still. To sum up, I think it is up to the critics of STW to provide specific information and detailed examples to support their criticism if they are to convince fandom at large that STW has no reason to exist. In the meantime, because fans continue to write STW in large numbers, and because someone ought to answer those letters, I think the responsible thing to do is to keep STW going.
- Linda S addresses the subject of the STW: All those who are really ticked at the Welcommittee: Well, you have two positive options (as well as the negative option of continuing to complain but doing nothing else). You can put your brains to work offering advice, suggestions, help. Or, if you think the STW is utterly beyond redemption, you could start your own operation to welcome new fans. You, of course, would never make the Welcommittee's mistakes. You would maintain your operation in a perfectly professional manner and would easily surmount the trifling problems of lack of money, inability to disseminate information nationally to those who really need it, the vagaries of volunteers who are sometimes overworked or lazy, etc., etc. I am not now nor have I ever been a member of the STW, and, look, folks, I know it's not perfect. Idon't expect it to be. I do think it's a good idea; it has helped a lot of people who thought they were alone. Do you really want a welcoming service for new fans to die? Do you want ST fandom to become an exclusive closed club? Think about it.
- Daniel W has an apology for Eric A. S: Two years ago, I sent a rude, rather unkind letter to you privately. The letter was private, but my apology will be public. In the last two years, I've grown up quite a lot and learned quite a lot. I have been putting out fanzines for a year and a half, and after the release of THE VENUS ZONE next month, I shall never put one out again. The fact that your organization has worked at all astounds me when I look at how hard it was to keep Tucop on its toes. Eric, I sincerely apologize for my letter two years past, and I hope that if we ever meet, it will be on amicable terms.
- Nancy J. C addresses Mary Louise D and the current topic, the Carol Marcus/James Kirk relationship: I don't understand why you think Jim is a "villain" because he has a son and doesn't live with the mother. Jim didn't ABANDON David, he stayed away out of respect for Carol's wishes. Her wishes were a bit selfish, but they were also understandable. She wanted a child, and she wanted the child to be a part of her world. I think Kirk is even more of a good, decent man because he did stay away. If he had gone off on his adventures, then came waltzing in when David was of age and expected David to go off with him, I would have said THAT was out of character. I got the impression that Carol CHOSE to have a child. David and Carol get along too well for there to be resentment on either side. "Why didn't you tell him?" Jim asks, and Carol sounds shocked. "How can you ask that? Were we together? Were we going to be? You had your world, and I had mine. And I wanted him in mine." Given those circumstances and a desire for a child, I'd make roughly the same decision. Other women have made the same choice and their kids aren't any worse than kids from a "normal" family. And the fathers of those kids aren't Peter Pan males, either. (If you'd stop generalizing, I'd agree with you that SOME men are.... I also can't understand hostility toward Jim Kirk, so don't write me off as a pro-Marcus/anti-Kirk fan. I love and admire Jim—He's also a good Hero. But I'm intelligent and realistic enougli to know that he's like ALL heroes—Human. He has virtues and vices, he does things we like and dislike. Most of us can accept the Hero aspect of Jim Kirk, but not everyone can accept the Humanness of Jim Kirk. Remember "The Enemy Within"? I think Carol's quip was very revealing if you think of it in terms of the stereotyped image of Boy Scouts; so squeaky-clean good. He was many things, but Jim Kirk would never fit into such an image.)
- Shirley Maiewski writes about pro novels: First of all, I am writing as ME, Shirley Maiewski, author of "Mindsifter" and writer, editor, publisher of ALTERNATE UNIVERSE 4 - NOT as Chairman of the Star Trek Welcommittee! I don't know if anyone realizes how difficult it is to keep one's private life separate from something as public as head of STW! "The opinions that follow are those of ME and not of STW!" Now - regarding such things as the Star Trek books we buy and read, I want to thank Ann Crispin for her exceptionally fine explanation of what goes into the publication of professional Star Trek books as opposed to fan publications. I mentioned "Mindsifter" up there because it is a good example of what can happen to a fan's material once it goes pro. Many of you have heard the story of the changes that were made in the original material, first published in Sharon Emily's STAR TREK SHOWCASE, changes that were made WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE before publication of STAR TREK: THE NEW VOYAGES. I don't know if you realize that almost without exception, every story in that book was also changed? I assume that such things can no longer happen, and authors at least know of changes before the book goes to print. I certainly hope so! I would send a word of caution to anyone submitting material to a publisher to be sure they know what they are doing and/or signing! I would hope, however, that writers continue to submit material, even under the restrictions Ann tells us about and hopefully we will be able to read more of the kind of books we can enjoy! One thing I'll say about the pro books - the covers are getting better.
- Daniel W doesn't like being a example: Tim, I wish you hadn't used me as an example in your letter. It is true that I could have asked STW for the information I wanted, and I knew that. The reason that I didn't ask them had nothing to do with the efficiency of the organization. The reason I didn't ask is because I've been an INTERSTAT subscriber for so long, that I prefer to ask INTERSTAT. I feel like I'm writing to friends and not a magazine. As far as STW's efficiency is concerned, I've worked in a lot of organizations, from USY to my own Tucop Publications, and from what I've seen, STW is pretty darn efficient. Every time I've turned to them I've received a response, and pretty quickly, too. I'm sorry, Tim, but you can't prove any negative points about STW through me.
- Elaine M. B writes of Interstat's editorial policy: So far, I have seen no reason to complain about Teri's policy concerning letters. My first letter to INTERSTAT was printed in its entirety. One letter I wrote never saw INTERSTAT's pages, but since the topic I was addressing (and the opinion I was espousing) were adequately covered by other letters, I didn't feel slighted. Teri did once omit a paragraph that I felt to be important from one of my letters; I wrote and politely told her so, and the matter was taken care of in the next issue. I may not always agree with Teri, but I admire her tremendously for what she is doing, and I hope she keeps doing it (despite the knocks some people insist on dealing her).
- Linda S addresses Barbara P. G: I didn't say that Teri doesn't like Bennett. Obviously she does. I said that her personal feelings are always clearly labeled as such and do not affect her editorial policy; if they did, you and I would seldom be heard from. What evidence do you have that she is suppressing serious criticism of Bennett? At first, I too thought the (in)famous Bennett cover was a bit much. Then it occurred to me that I wouldn't object to seeing Roddenberry on the cover, that a lot of INTERSTAT readers seem to think that the movies have supplanted the series, and that Bennett is producing the movies now so their loyalties will lie with him. Addressing one cover out of 75 to these people doesn't seem unreasonable. We purists still have 74 other covers to look at.
- Debbie G writes of the editorial policy of Interstat: When issue #75 arrived yesterday after an unusually long wait and it did not contain my letter, in my hurt and disappointment I was about to fire off another letter, full of thoughts like "Letterzmes are supposed to be a forum for discussions and if my comments do not appear then I am automatically barred from participating," and "The past two issues have each contained two letters from [Judith G]," and so on. But then [Tim F], bless him, brought me to my senses with the cold hard statistics, and boy is my face red! I realize that I've been hogging the show, and I feel like a jerk. Teri, there's been a lot of recent outcry concerning "censorship," but I feel that INTERSTAT would be much more enjoyable to read if some of the petty bickering could be eliminated. In issue #75 particularly, the letters from [Barbara G] and [Randall L] consisted largely of defensive retorts to other writers. Reading such comments is a far from pleasant experience. INTERSTAT's function is to provide information and entertainment. Such childish arguments offer neither, nor do they have anything to do with Star Trek.
- While most fans say the public library was not the place to get info about Star Trek, at least one fan found fandom through it -- Trina A writes: In December '82, when I came out of the closet, I was starving for somebody to share my love of ST with. I called the local library, as there was no local ST club, and asked for the address of any_ ST club, and if nothing else Paramount Pictures' address so I could write to GR. I was a little disappointed to find out from STW, that STW is not a fan club, but a service. But through a STW worker in RI, I was given a flyer on STARFLEET. I must now enter in the STW debate. It is not dead, but very much alive. I owe them heapings of gratitude for their directory. Through the directory, I found INTERSTAT, UT and DATAZINE and fanzines. Enterprise Outfitters, New Eye Studio, and numerous other aspects of the ST fandom.
- Elaine M. B addresses Randall L: I'm... slightly perplexed by your comments on [the pro book] The Wounded Sky. You say you find it 'absorbing, intriguing, compelling, superlatives ad nauseum' (strange way of putting it!) but you think K't'l'k is a MarySue. I realize that the definition of MarySue in its application to Treklit has changed considerably over the years, but I think I need the term redefined. From your comment, and a few others I have heard or read recently, it would seem that any engaging character well-liked by a majority of the other characters has to be a MarySue. (I wonder what that makes Captain Kirk?) I also find distasteful your slam at Jean Lorrah. The lady is entitled to write what she chooses; she doesn't owe it to you or anyone else to write exclusively Trek fiction. And one doesn't necessarily stop being a ST fan because one no longer writes Trek works.
- Rowena G. W writes of Mary Sues and addresses Randall L: Yep, you've printed your fair share of Mary Sues, including my first, last, and only one I'll ever write. This kid is going to stick to psycho-drama and humor. However, I have to render my personal disagreement on the alien in THE WOUNDED SKY being labeled a Mary Sue. As a matter of fact, she was the only thing I truly enjoyed about the novel. Please don't get me wrong — THE WOUNDED SKY is extremely well written, but it seems to tread into the field of fantasy, which is something Roddenberry always took pains to avoid.
- Cyn H pushes for a nomination: I feel that INTERSTAT deserves to be nominated for a Hugo Award this year. But, we must act now as the deadline for Hugo nominations is March 27th. At last year's World Con the rules pertaining to fanzines were changed. Because of the new Semi-pro-zine category, LOCUS is no longer included with fanzines, opening up the field for smaller publications. INTERSTAT meets all the criteria for the fanzine category. A first class fanzine, INTERSTAT has come out promptly every month for six years (without the aid of paid advertisements). It deserves to be recognized throughout science fiction fandom as it has been within our own fandom. It has been an open forum for all opinions, whatever they may be. The artwork is always excellent and Michele Arvizu's sharp satirical humor is right on target. The news columns are up-to-date (often scooping major magazines featuring Star Trek material—INTERSTAT had pictures of ST III before anyone!), and the professional look of the layout often rivals that of the prozine.
Interstat 77 was published in March 1984 and contains 22 pages.
- Bev C writes a long, long letter about radiation shields
- there are a number of publicity photos of the stars provided by Paramount's publicity via Eddie Egan: "Our sincerest thanks go to Eddie Egan who, while updating us on The Movie, continues to supply INTERSTAT with those wonderful ST III pictures. We will be running 'em up to the film's opening. Thank you, Mr. Egan, we are enjoying!"
- Ruth Berman wrote: Shirley Maiewski remarked that "almost without exception, every story in that book ((ST: THE NEW VOYAGES)) was also changed." I know that her "Mind Sifter" was greatly changed by the abridgement of it, but I wonder if it's true to say that the stories were changed almost without exception. I know of two exceptions — my "Visit to a Weird Planet Revisited" and "The Face on the Barroom Floor" by me and Eleanor Arnason. The only change I noticed in either of these was that the spelling of Perez had an accent mark put over it, as would be done by a native speaker of Spanish, a trivial change (for which I was grateful).
- Julianne D writes: I thought I would take the time to thank you for a wonderful publication. With one notable exception, the contributors are thoughtful, intelligent and concise in their offerings, exemplifying the spirit of IDIC. You are to be congratulated for presenting such a wide range of views, even when it is apparent that some of them are coming from the Twilight Zone rather than TREK - all deserve to be heard from.
- Ann Crispin writes about pro writing, and of paying one's dues: I appreciate [Randall L's] comment in INTERSTAT #75 about YESTERDAY'S SON, but must take exception to the ending remark in the letter about Jean Lorrah's being a Star Trek fan "only when it's profitable to be one." In the first place, Jean has "paid her dues" in Trek fandom — NIGHT OF THE TWIN MOONS is still one of the most popular spinoffs of Trek fanlit of all time, to my knowledge. The fact that Jean has gone on to write her own universes (and collaborate with Jackie Lichtenberg in her Sime/Gen stories) doesn't take away from her credentials as a writer who, like many others, cut her literary teeth on Trek. Also, it just isn't that doggone profitable. I hate to disillusion anyone out there who is slaving over a (hopefully) pro Trek book with visions of dollar signs and undying royalty checks before his/her eyes, but here are the facts: (1) The advance for a pro Star Trek novel is a respectable advance for a beginning writer. For someone who, like Jean, is an established author with a number of sales to her credit, it's mediocre, at best. And they won't raise it. (2) You can't write and publish (at best) more than, say, two Trek books a year. If it takes about three months to write a Trek book, what will you do with the other six months of the year, if you're depending on Trek to live? Starve, in a word. You must write other things! (3) The royalty for a Trek book is just above nil. (Getting any royalty at all for a tie-in book is unusual, so anything is better than nothing.) (4) In order to write Trek you must put up with Paramount. I just withdrew the proposal for TO STEAL A STARSHIP because they demanded what I felt were arbitrary and ridiculous changes to the book in order to approve it. I'm usually among the mildest and most agreeable of writers, but these were silly changes, and would have harmed the story I wanted to tell. Why write Trek when you have to put up with someone telling you what to write, and how? Not for the money, certainly! I made over twice the advance I received for YESTERDAY'S SON to write "V," and, though I tore my hair out over revisions in the screenplay, this is to be expected when dealing with Hollywood.
- Linda L is a fan -- of bickering: I happen to like the petty bickering and the childish arguments. The heated disagreements keep things pretty interesting and I laugh myself through each and every one. Long live puerile ranting!
- Mary M. S addresses the subject of Star Trek and fantasy: In regard to a Star Trek canon: If we judge everything by the standard that Gene Roddenberry (or Harve Bennett or whoever) would not do this, we are heading for stagnation. THE WOUNDED SKY is an example of how well fantasy can be adapted to the ST universe. Why restrict yourself to what you think Hollywood wants?
- Linda L comments on the pro book, The Wounded Sky: K't'lk was definitely a Mary Sue. (And yes, Kirkie Sue and Spockie Sue are not that unusual in fanzines.) But any time an author projects herself into a character of the story, it's considered a Mary Sue. Mary Sues can be good or bad. Some of the worst and best fiction in fandom is MS. Depends on the calibre of the author. I found K't'lk engaging, and any time you can get me to like a three foot spider, you're doin' pretty good.
- Mary T writes of The Wounded Sky: I thoroughly enjoyed The Wounded Sky. For me, it was an exciting, refreshing, and absolutely exquisite reading experience. But, Randall, I do disagree with your evaluation of K't'lk as a Mary Sue (and I presume that is to whom you were referring). I think Diane Duane is to be highly commended for her ingenious creation. I found K't'lk to be irresistibly charming, intelligent, and totally unlike any character, human or alien, I have yet encountered.
- Mary M. S writes of Kirk the man and hero: The most tragic thing about Kirk in TWOK was his total refusal to accept responsibility for his own actions. Instead of saying, "Yes, I created this situation, and I must solve it," he sits with a pitiful why-me expression on his face. And he recites a litany of his sorrows to Carol: another person he has failed. The most heroic thing he does is to destroy another living creature who has already been destroyed. I cannot feel any compassion for him. Not even when Spock dies. Only a sensation of, "Poor man, will you never learn that your actions have consequences? Poor foolish man." This hardly indicates that Kirk is back to the primitive level of his dark side in "Enemy Within." He's not roaming the ship, smashed out of his skull, looking for some one to rape. Yet the fact that he ends up in his quarters, drinking alone, does not bode well.
- Donnis E. P writes of the STW: I finally found something I'm brave enough to write about—the current discussion concerning the ST Welcommittee. A lot of you feel that it's rather a white elephant, has outlived its purpose. I believe the opposite. I answer letters for the Welcommittee. Two years ago I became a full-fledged ST addict. I asked my nephew if he had any books besides the Blish or Foster novels and he kindly dug out "Star Trek Lives," "The World of Star Trek," and "The Making of Star Trek," plus a few early pro novels. The love affair started. Here I sat in a podunk small town with NOBODY to share this interest with. (I've been a fan since 1969, but knew nothing of fandom.) I've always been a sci-fi, fantasy lover, and don't even know any people that share that interest. I wrote the old Welcommittee address and finally received a gracious answer from [Mary Lou D] with lots of info as well as her asking me if I'd like to answer letters for the Welcommittee. I was ecstatic. With the material and info she sent me, my interest absolutely snow-balled. Previously, I had not known about the various pro novels, I had no idea what fanzines were, had no idea what merchandise existed, and definitely had no knowledge of how many people were active in fandom, or that clubs existed. Now I average spending $40.00 to $50.00 monthly on fanzines, I share regular correspondences with several wonderful people, I found a ST club I love, I discovered INTERSTAT, etc.—a pretty active involvement to get into at the ripe old age of 34. You folks who have been heavily involved in fandom for a long tune take a lot of these things for granted—you can't believe that anyone could be unaware of all these wonderful things. Well, I was, and so are many of the people I get letters from. The Welcommittee is often the first step into a wonderful world that a lot of us never knew existed. And all the other people in the Welcommittee I've dealt with have always been superbly helpful and friendly. I try to be the same way when I answer letters—I load them up with goodies and info to show people what a variety of material exists out there. And yes, there are some screw-ups in the Welcommittee. (I haven't found an organization in my life that didn't have some nuts & bolts out of place), but we try. And I personally love sharing information to help excited people take their first steps into the active world of fandom. I'm proud to be a member of such a group—it means a lot to me.
- Mary T is a fan of the STW: When I first decided to become actively involved in fandom, I was frustrated beyond words because, living in a small town, I had nowhere to begin looking except in used bookstores. As a result, I came up with Helen Young's Houston address, so I wrote to her, pouring out all my frustrations about being the only Trek fan within several hundred miles, asking for information, and volunteering my services. A few weeks later, I received a delightful letter from Mary Lou Dodge. She sympathized with my frustrations, sent me a bundle of helpful information, and WELCOMED me aboard. She also said that, yes, they were short of volunteers at the time and could use my services, so I have been actively involved ever since. Through STW, I was introduced to DATAZINE, INTERSTAT, The Leonard Nimoy Fan Club, and many, many lovely new friends. STW led me to New Eye Studios, in whose catalog I first saw an ad for SPACE TREK II—my first con. Yes, yes, I probably would have discovered all these things on my own—eventually—but how much nicer it is to have that one wonderful source…. If you don't believe STW is performing a service, I can show you all the thank you letters I have received from people whose inquiries I have answered. That, to me, makes it all worthwhile. I am deeply grateful to STW, not only for being a treasure house of information, but for all the precious new friends it has brought my way. I think it would be a terribly tragedy if STW were to fold, and I pray that will never happen. I shudder to think of where I'd be now if it hadn't been for Shirley, Mary Lou, and the rest of the STW crew who so kindly and generously donate all those countless hours to helping others. May you all live long and prosper!
- Susan Sackett gets involved in the STW debate: You know my policy has been to remain neutral and to let your writers work out their various viewpoints amongst them selves. However, I find that I must submit my comments on the recent attacks on the STAR TREK Welcommittee. For the past ten years (this August will mark my tenth anniversary with GR and fan involvement) Gene and I have had numerous occasions to call upon the services of the Welcommittee. We cannot thank them enough for the tireless support they have given our office. We have referred hundreds of letters to their staff members, and each one has been handled efficiently and expeditiously by Mary Lou Dodge of the STW Mailroom. Shirley Maiewski has done a commendable and very difficult job of coordinating what is, after all, a non-profit, service organization and not a fan club. We found the STW Direction of Fan Organizations (published very aptly by Kay Johnson) indispensible. In short, we cannot praise STW highly enough for their selfless work. Perhaps they haven't been all things to all people. We only know that they have been 100% helpful to us and for that they have our deepest gratitude.
- Harriet S comments about the editorial tone and policy of this letterzine and addresses a fan: I'm surprised. I've never heard any zine editor either deny or disguise bias. I have yet to interpret any zine editor's statement of policy as "I will be wholly fair, completely objective and totally detached from 'self when editing." (I vote to confer Vulcanhood on the first editor that says it and manages it for one single issue of a zine.) In INTERSTAT's case, if Teri edits submissions based on what she feels is important to present in her zine, then that, m'dears, is called Editor's Prerogative. And if her support of Harve Bennett in INTERSTAT seems totally biased, then that, m'dears, is called an Honest viewpoint. And to that point, a quick fact: Neither [Barbara G] nor Teri Meyer are in the peculiar position of being a 'public' figure without the privilege of answering detractors. That Mr. Bennett chose to answer, is his right.  That Teri chose to print that answer (as well as publicly support not only that right, but the man himself) is also her right. After all, when it boils down to the bottom of any pan, gang, INTERSTAT is her zine. [Barbara G]: If you feel you could be forced into 'persona non grata' status by expressing opposing views of Mr. Bennett (or any other topic, for that matter), there are many options open to you. First and foremost, you can publish a zine, indeed in the same format as INTERSTAT, and meet the sheer challenge of trying to keep your subjectivity to a minimum. I don't mean to be rude. But I don't believe Teri Meyer has ever declared herself to be the SOLOMAN of fandom, nor has any zine editor I've spoken with. As for the pros that you, Barbara, feel are unbiased; might I point out that by your very choice of them and the material they present, you exhibit discretionary criteria, according to your own view of what is objective and unbiased. And that may not be my own criteria for unbiased presentation of fact. Even a computer discriminates in data, according to the bias of the user's need for that data. Teri Meyer's personality print, like a fingerprint, has always been on INTERSTAT. That, I thought, was accepted fact. Name one zine not endowed with its editor's personality.
- In her last letter to Interstat, Barbara P addresses Teri Meyer: Did I ever say that you don't have a right to state your opinions about anything??? Of course not! However, I do believe that you have an obligation to make it absolutely clear that they are only your opinions. For one thing, even if all you say is "We are a fandom blessed!" (in big, bold type, on the first page of an issue!), you should sign your comment , like every other writer.  Can't you see that you are giving unfair weight and importance to your own feelings about something—which are certainly not shared by everyone? In the past, you almost never made comments—not until Harve Bennett and TWOK. If you are going to throw your hat into the ring, you gotta take your knocks, like everyone else!
- Sandra R addresses another fan: To [Ms. Barbara G]: (Beware! This is an attack letter — Handle with care.) This is just to let you know that this letter isn't part of your paranoic delusions but a real live attack letter. If Teri were guilty of editing or omiting our letters
- Karen H, a new subscriber, has this advice: One thing that struck me very forcibly was how personally most people take the comments that other people make. Before I know anyone and anyone knows me - so that I " hope no one will take these remarks as a personal attack - I would recommend that all letter writers try to avoid commenting on people's intelligence, paranoia, upbringing, family, and dubious connections with the underworld. It's the difference between saying "I disagree with your position because..." and then giving the reasons; or saying, "Who- in space do you think you are, you Denebian Slime Devil? Everyone knows that you ai j wrong (stupid, crazy, etc.)." This also includes any variation on, "I agree with your right to say what you want, but no one as dumb as you should be allowed to live." The purpose of INTERSTAT, as I understand it, is to promote analysis and reaction. A little more appreciation of IDIC, if you please1 Also, understanding helps and might eliminate some of the problems of people who write once and then disappear. Who will continue to contribute valid and needed points of view if they realize 100 critics will kill them if they try?
- Jean S writes of possibilities: [To] all the others debating what the Star Trek canon should be: Please beware! All too often, canons become law. One of the soaring things about Star Trek is in its open-ended possibilities for infinite diversity. As long as a canon is kept in perspective, and used as a skeleton, or a take-off point, I suppose it might be useful. I've noticed a distressing tendency among the Human species to use canons, instead, to draw boundaries around the imagination and limit it to a nice, safe, well- defined space. How many of us wonder what kind of artistic talent we might have, if in our early days, someone had handed us a blank sheet of paper and crayons and told us to make a picture? Instead, all too often, we were given a coloring book and told to stay between the lines...and many of us still spend too much time worrying about staying precisely between whatever lines are drawn for us...
Interstat 78 was published in April 1984 and contains 18 pages.
- there are a number of publicity photos of the stars, but no art
- Fans are excited about the upcoming movie: "92 days!!! I can hardly wait!"
- Terry Sue S writes: My 7-year old [son], after listening to the familiar line, "Where no man has gone before," turned to me, and in all seriousness asked: "The girls have already been there, huh, Mommy?"
- Shirley Maiewski wishes for a spoiler system: It is getting to be a problem to ignore those who have the very latest scoop on the plot of ST III, isn't it, for those of us who would rather NOT KNOW! Wish there were some way such items could be flagged so one wouldn't be into them before you realize it! I know INTERSTAT can't afford colors, but at MediaWest last year we were issued red or green stickers if we did or did not want to hear about JEDI before seeing it. It does seem to be a losing battle, however, NOT to know. A number of cons here in the East have had slides and trailers from ST III - I was told that it was someone from Paramount itself who showed them at a Creation Con in Boston recently, so they must want the news to get out! I will say, however, that I enjoy the pictures in INTERSTAT; they are intriguing without giving away plot.
- Linda S wonders about IDIC: Would anybody like to offer an opinion on the practical aspects of the IDIC philosophy? Where does it stop? Obviously, if someone is inciting murder, we should try to shut her up. But suppose a bigot should wander into the pages of INTERSTAT—should we let her spew her poison as long as she doesn't go as far as proposing we shovel 'em into the gas ovens, or should we do what I always have done and say I really don't care to hear that sort of nonsense? How far does IDIC go? How far should it go? I have no answers yet. Do you?
- Besty L. B comments on the the discussion about the declining physical quality, and editing, of Star Trek episodes as seen on television: I'd just bought a new 19" TV (to watch ST on, of course) and I always adjust the color by—what else?... ST, because I know exactly what shade Spock's shirt is, etc. I was on the verge of returning the set to the shop because of PIX with its lavender Spock and red-headed (and red-eyed) Kirk. Phew! What a relief to know that you are seeing the same things in NY and the problem is not with my set. I guess showing the films every night must be burning them out. And I agree, cutting them the way every station does really is a sin. Some local stations began showing ST episodes uncut and it was a revelation, as I saw scenes I'd never seen since 1966-68. Well, it makes watching ST over and over more interesting, because even watching the same episode, you don't see the same thing because each station chops out a different part...aargh! I don't know of any solution except to find a station showing pristine uncut episodes, purchase a VCR and 79 hours of tape and...You get the idea.
- Kay B comments on the recent pro book: As I'm not much of a science fiction reader, I hesitate to be critical of a pro novel that is being so generally and enthusiastically praised as good science fiction, as well as good STAR TREK. However, for me WOUNDED SKY proved to be a disappointment. It begins well, with interesting aliens and an imaginative mission for the Enterprise, and it continues to what is a fascinating premise—an anentropic universe bleeding into our entropic one as a result of our own actions. The idea is excellent, but its potential is never reached. The "creative physics" seems more like pretentious nonsense. It's drawn out much too long, as are the experiences of the crew during the "jump:;." And if someone can explain to mo how in heaven K't'lk repairs the rip between the universes, I'd be very grateful. For a novel that is seen as good science fiction, the only thing that seems to be lacking in her methods is science. As far as I could tell, she does it all by singing and thinking scientific thoughts and mathematical equations. That's just a tad hard for me to accept. I suppose it has something to do with creative (very) physics, but it's much closer to fantasy and mumbo jumbo. Finally, it's been suggested that WOUNDED SKY would work well as general sf; I think it would have been better that way.
- Elaine M. B addresses another fan: OK, you say that a Mary Sue is any character into which the author has projected him or herself. Since any character ever 'born' is in one way or another a projection of its creator, according to your definition Roddenberry's Kirk (or Spock or McCoy) is a Mary Sue (which is what I meant in I#76). Also, if a Mary Sue can be either 'good or bad' as you indicate, why is the term almost always used in a pejorative fashion? [As in, 'The book was great, but (or except that) character X was a Mary Sue.' Some people use Mary Sue to indicate a character that is 'too perfect.' Others still use it in terms of a character in a story that is a blatant or obvious wish fulfillment story; in other words a character acting out a fantasy of the author's. With all these shades of meaning floating around, how do you know what who meant when?
- Linda S doesn't think some expression of love will help some matters any: I don't think having Kirk and Spock fall all over each other would do much to quell 'rampant homophobia.' it would just make them look like a couple of insecure overemotional turkeys. As long as they've been together, they don't need to say 'I love you.' They know.
- Michele A addresses Ann Crispin: I look forward to reading a sequel to YESTERDAY'S SON. It's a story that cries out for one. Sorry my comments continue to bother you so much.
- Sue R comments on pro books: I haven't enjoyed all that I've read. My favorite pro writers are Marshak and Culbreath—even if I have to read the novel three times to fully comprehend it. I keep and recommend what I like to friends, the others I return to a used paperback store.
- one Barbara G addresses another Barbara G: I want to tell you that in spite of everyone's comments on YOUR comments, that you can say anything you feel like, as far as I'm concerned. After I saw a certain artistic rendering of yours in my favorite zine, I know where your sympathies lie! You're a STAR TREK FAN. You are also a fine artist, which I hope you will continue to be.
- Bev L writes: Quite frankly, I was hesitant in sending in my renewal notice when I received the slip with I#77. I was flabbergasted by the overall, over-defensive reactions to [Judith G's] letter on criticism about INTERSTAT. NOTHING remains perfect in this world and a little objective criticism helps, not hinders. I have a hard time accepting the fact that many a fellow fan out there evaluates constructive criticism as personal attacks. I find it presenting an unhealthy outlook as well as destructive because it conjures up strong emotional investment in something that does not warrant it. It sets up a prejudicial set of mind by 'siding1 with the right v.s. the wrong, when the issue here is NOT good or bad, right or wrong, but merely suggestions meant to help and improve what is already good. Constructive criticism is not done with negativity in mind, nor with the attitude that I am right and you are wrong. It is said in honesty and with the hope to enhance the output. [Pat K's] suggestion to name the people Judith referred to is a direct demand to give away confidential information. I find this request disgraceful, but I will admit to being one of the people who complained and wrote to Teri that I was one of the complainers. I requested to know WHY my letter was cut up and not in there for over 4 months. (It took that long for all of it to appear.) Teri explained how she did operate it afterwards, but to be truthful, as of now I STILL can't make out how it is done FAIRLY. I sent in another letter and I wonder why it hasn't been in yet. It wasn't very long (page and a half) and though it had 3 separate topics, many of the letters in l#77 had more than one topic. Was mine dated later? Or was the topic a dead topic or what? I agree with Judith on some sort of improvement being needed. Perhaps it IS just me this is bothering. But still, I'm a reader and contributor so I feel I can put in my two or more words to give a complaint or two. (This is your first complaint letter submitted for print. --Ed.) And this is not a PERSONAL problem I am discussing. Merely a method/practice problem. I am not discussing WHO but WHAT concerns me. To be honest, I do not know why Teri allowed ANY response at all to Gran's personal letter, because defusing it would have meant leaving out ALL opinions on the matter. Pointless, in my opinion, was keeping opinions in. It could be perceived as an act of vindication. But I would rather trust in Teri's integrity and believe otherwise. Teri IS doing a fine job. She doesn't censor. She is aware of people's varied opinions and is willing to print opinions that differ from her own. BUT INTERSTAT CAN improve. It is not perfect. And it HAS improved in the past, from editing skills to basic all around format. It is one of the greatest forums in all of Trekdom.
Interstat 79 was published in May 1984 and contains 14 pages.
- there are a number of publicity photos of the stars, but no art
- Betsy L. B writes of the movie, and of Eddie Egan: I had the pleasure of seeing Paramount's ST III slide show and short promo film at Boston's Creation Con in March, and the even greater pleasure/privilege of talking with/listening to Eddie Egan after his talk. Mr. Egan is the best thing that has happened to fandom in a long time (and he's not even a fan himself—give him time, give him time!). He had lots of interesting comments about the new movie and also about ST II, as he was on the set quite a lot during that filming. He was very careful, of course, not to give away any of the Big Secrets, but really, if you watch the slide presentation and are halfway intelligent, you can piece together pretty much the course that the film will take.
- Joan V is a big fan of spoilers: On the issue of surprise in movies. I go to a movie to have an audio-visual experience. No verbal tale or still picture can replace that experience. Therefore, no description of a movie in advance can ruin it for me. Some people must feel the same way, otherwise, why would movies based on bestselling novels attract an audience? Certainly many people who read such novels also see the movies based on them. Further, if a scene in a movie surprises me, I am too shocked to pay close attention to the scene immediately following... For that reason, in order to fully enjoy a movie the first time I see it, I must have as much advance information as possible. Unfortunately for me, though, there is a growing obsession in the movie industry—as well as among fans—with secrecy. Lately, I have read that the novelization of ST III will not be released until after the movie, on the premise that I want to be surprised. In addition, many well-intentioned fans who previewed ST II refused to give me certain information about it—no matter how much I pleaded—because they insisted I must be surprised. With all due credit to good intentions, I am 30 years old and perfectly capable of deciding for myself whether or not I wish to be surprised.
- Harriet S doesn't want any spoilers: I entered early into the game of trying to find out what ST:TSFS was all about...and sorely regret it. Trying to grit my teeth and get through the Opening Night glitz and glitter, would send my brain into overload. I am planning to experience the movie and not the hype by seeing ST:TSFS for the first time during an afternoon matinee, by myself, and not on OPENING NIGHT. Next time, for STIV, I'm not gonna ask anyone anything. Everyone, do me the tender and compassionate favor...refrain from 'spilling the beans' ...just...DON'T TELL ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! what you know about the next ST movie.
- Jean Lorrah writes: I would like to thank all the friends and fellow fans who came to my defense against the charge that I decided to write a professional Star Trek novel for the money. All of you who know me know that I have never left Trek fandom, which is a second home to me. The one thing I have not been able to do, however, since achieving a very modest success as a professional science fiction writer, is to write the many fan stories which are still in the back of my mind. And that is why, when I heard in December of 1982 that Pocket Books was in the market for more professional Star Trek novels, I decided to submit a proposal. THE VULCAN ACADEMY MURDERS was a fan novel I had wanted to write for five years, but had not had the time. Perhaps you may be interested to know what it has been like so far to write a professional Trek novel. [see The Vulcan Academy Murders for more of this letter]
- Kay B resigns: As of March 6, 1984 I resign as Editor of and no longer have any responsibility for the fanzine BASELINES. At Trekkon '84 in San Antonio Texas, 3 & 4, friends of mine sold BASELINES 3 & 4 on their Dealer Table as a favor to me, and were told by other Starbase Kansas City members to raise the price $1.50 unbeknownst to me. The new president of Starbase Kansas City raised the price after BASELINES #4 was printed and I just learned of this today. Also...This is to advise anyone concerned that Starbase Kansas City has no connection with K.C. CON I, K.C. CON II, or K.C. CON III. If anyone has a question, SASE me.
Interstat 80 was published in June 1984 and contains 18 pages.
- there are a number of official photos of the stars, but no art
- a number of fans write in about their appreciation of the STW -- one comment: "If it weren't for a member of the STW I would still be deprived of all the great zines and info that are helping sustain my BORED existence."
- the editor of Universal Translator, Susan J. Bridges, submits a letter which was also printed in her adzine, as well as Southern Enclave: I have been reading zines for eight years and publishing UT for four of those eight. In that time, I have ordered a lot of zines through the mail and I've waited years for some. [She tells of some horror stories]... There have been others. but for all the unmitigated gall, I think that [R S] takes the cake. This woman has been taking deposits for several years for a zine called 'D'Alliance" [see proposed zines]. During that time, she sent reassuring messages that, despite the delay, 'It was coming.' Now, in April of 1984, I find that it was cancelled in July of 1983. It was not cancelled with a timely public message in any news or letterzine that I subscribe to. It was cancelled in an open letter published in another zine. Furthermore, it was cancelled with NO REFUNDS. Specifically, 'pre-publication costs have taken all moneys received to date, and I am, very regretfully, unable to return the reservation fees... It was never my intention to attempt to cover the costs for printing this zine out of my own income...' As a reader, and as an editor, I object, adamantly and vociferously, to Ms. [R's] behavior. It is NOT acceptable, much less STANDARD, practice to refuse to refund money for a cancelled zine. I don't understand how a few flyers could cost $80 ($2.50 deposit X 32 reservations), and I don't accept the validity of any other type of 'pre-publication cost.' Publishing a zine is a risky business. It takes time to break even, and during that time, the editor is at risk financially. If you don't intend to absorb the initial costs out of your own pocket, then DON'T START a zine. According to her letter, Ms [R] does not intend 'to gafiate, or retire, or otherwise disappear from fandom,' and offers her writing and poetry to anyone who is interested in publishing her work. I, for one, would like it clearly understood that I resent her belief that her behavior is acceptable. I do not find it to be so. Theft and fraud are damaging to all societies; they are especially destructive in a society where so many members participate at a distance from each other... trust is an, if not THE, essential social glue. Editors who betray the trust that readers place in them as blatantly as Ms. [R] has done should have no reasonable expectation of continued welcome in fandom. [This letter, as well as the original letter by [R S] were also printed in full in Southern Enclave, available at Southern Enclave/reference link (on page 57)]
- Lynda C writes a letter, one that is also printed in Universal Translator #23: This is an open letter to zine editors and fan writers, requesting some thoughts and feedback on the subject of tape recording stories from fanzines. I've recently become involved in a tape correspondence with a ST fan who is visually handicapped, and have been taping an occasional story from one of my fanzines to send her. In all honesty, I don't feel this is abusing anyone's rights or violating anyone's copyright, any more than the very common practice of lending out or trading zines. The basic question I'm posing here is: At what point does the practice stop being friendly sharing and become zine piracy? Suppose the tape is passed onto a third party and beyond? Or suppose someone should decide to produce multiple copies of tapes for general distribution? Obviously, at some point, permission to use the material is necessary. At what point? And who is authorized to give it — the author, the zine editor, or both? There is also the question of reimbursement. If multiple copies are made, is a contributor's copy in order? If the tapes are sold at a profit, are royalties to be expected? And in either case, who is entitled to that reimbursement — again, author or editor?
- Jo W writes about pro books: I'm looking forward to eading "The Vulcan Academy Murders." It sounds like a good one. For the most part the Pocket Star Trek books have been disappointing. Except for "Black Fire" and "Death's Angel," the longer books have been the least satisfying. I do a bit of writing myself, and I've come to learn that a story will be as long as it takes to tell it. To lengthen a story, just for the sake of making it longer, rarely works. You only wind up ruining a perfectly good short story. Someone should save us from works by the likes of Diane Duane, Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath, and Vonda Mclntyre. They are on my list, unfortunately growing, of writers whose work I will no longer purchase. Give me a good fan story any day. Even the terrible ones are far better than some of the pro ones we've gotten recently.
- Joan V writes about the recent pro book: I again find myself completely bewildered by the praise given to a ST novel—in this case, THE WOUNDED SKY. This novel is not only poor general SF, it isn't even as good as previous ST novels.
- A.C. Crispin reports that the ST pro books are officially shifting their focus from less young adult to more adult readers, and she comments on Mary Sues: I was also told that I could go as high as 100,000 words for the sequel to YS (as compared to the 60,000 they were looking for when I submitted YESTERDAY'S SON), and that comparatively "adult" sex was permissible, as long as it was in good taste (no, that doesn't mean they're going to start buying K/S erotic tomorrow, folks!). I suspect what they mean by "good taste" is something on the level of what you'd see in most sf by writers like Marion Zimmer Bradley, Vonda Mclntyre, or Joan Vinge. Nothing with "tennis-match" exactitude — i.e., "he did this, then she did that, then he did, etc., etc. — all through the entire act. You have to be an awfully good writer to carry that off, anyhow... terms of being "Mary Sue" or "Non-Mary Sue!" People level accusations of "Mary Sue!" at the most unlikely subjects nowadays — including glass spiders and Spock's adult son. Seems to me this is going a bit far, since for me at least, the term "Mary Sue" constitutes a put-down, implying that the character so summarily dismissed is not a true character, no matter how well-drawn, what sex, species, or degree of individuality. My personal definition of a "Mary Sue" is of a young, wish-fulfillment character of the same sex and species as her/his creator, who is possessed of a high degree of personal attractiveness and charm, unlikely and un-proven intelligence, plus extraordinary and unbelievable abilities. In terms of Trek, "Mary Sue" succeeds in obtaining the respect and affection of the entire crew due to the aforementioned qualities (usually without ever doing anything really tangible to earn them), and more than likely obtains the undying romantic affection/physical favors of one of the primary ongoing characters. K't'lk sure doesn't fit the bill! Sorry to rave on, but this happens to be a personal button that's been definitely pushed. In working on the sequel to YS (still in the mind-only stage), I developed a female character I liked very much, only to have someone point out that she sounded like a dynamite character, but of course was a Mary Sue. In reaction, I found myself working hard at giving her as many nasty and unsavory physical and mental characteristics as possible in order to avoid such a damning judgment. I nearly ruined her for the purpose of my story before I hauled myself up short with a "Waitaminit! What the heck are you doing?!"
- Linda S comments on Mary Sues: Kirk is a Mary Sue. Roddenberry has said that Kirk is a fantasy aspect of himself; and. Kirk is the perfect soldier, diplomat, friend, lover, ad nauseam. You name it, he does it better than anybody else. However, this is all fine and dandy because Kirk's name is James, not Jane. Mary Sue has become a very sexist concept, which I find odd since most zine writers and editors are female. Can it be that Uncle Tomming (a.k.a. the Schlafly Complex) exists even in Trekdom? If so, let's root it out! … I'm sure we can all cite our pet hates in each category [she lists a number of fan fiction genres], examples of wretchedly bad writing... but that doesn't generally cause you to dismiss the whole category with a derisive label. This unique dishonor has been reserved for the bad feminist story, which is what a Mary Sue is, and the taint often spreads to any feminist story. Regardless of the author's political affiliations, the attempt to show that women can take charge, do something, be something other than a fragile fluffy toy for CPT Kirk is indeed feminist, perhaps the author's first tentative step towards a raised consciousness and eventual liberation. Is the derision Mary Sue inspires a defensive reaction to an attempt, albeit a clumsy one, to throw off the shackles? Now, I'm not accusing all you nice folks of pushing barefoot-and-pregnant. I do think that in our militantly patriarchal culture it is very easy to fall into the trap of sexism without realizing it. Mary Sue is such a trap, so I vote we junk the concept and the term. Maybe those bad feminist stories have to be written until the author gets enough experience to write the good ones. Remember, nobody automatically derides all alien contact stories because of "Spock's Brain." Ladies, I'd say we owe our inexperienced sister writers the same consideration. In fact, we should be tactful with new writers anyway. Was your first ST story, Mary Sue or not, any good? Mine sure wasn't!… I am only thankful that I wrote it 9 years ago, when I had never heard of zines, so it never found its way into print!
- Lisa W comments about Star Trek and fans' animosity towards other shows: My experience with the hostile attitude taken by some Trekkers towards SWers is that THEY started it! The most rabid SW fans seem to be STers who "converted, "and no longer follow their former evil ways. I mean, those former Trekkers who turned their backs on ST are really traitors! Not like the little kiddy SW fans who are too young to appreciate ST. I imagine the Catholics during the Reformation felt the same about the Protestants. And nothing arouses the hostility of a Trekker like being told that they just haven't seen the light of the SW way yet. I mean, SW was fun, sure, but let's not seriously compare it with ST! (Anyone out there hearing strains from Julia Ecklar's "Born Again Trek" yet? "And we've still got full main phasers, so, tell me, who needs the Force? . . . And I'm proud to be a born again Trek Fan!") It's a lot like the reaction to Space:1999. Long before it appeared, we were told that it would be another ST, when we Trekkers knew that nothing could compare with Trek... And when it turned out to be so little like ST, we tended to react a bit negatively to it. I know I like Space a lot better now than I did when I first saw it.
- Lee W. V writes of her fannish dual alliance: I find it sad that fans of one sf universe should feel the need to take pot-shots at another. Surely there is room for divergent views. For me, and for many, many others, there is as much value in STAR WARS as there is in STAR TREK-STAR TREK has been a part of my life for nearly 20 years, STAR WARS for 7, and both have had a major hand in shaping the person I have grown to be. Each fills a different need. STAR TREK was a home for me as an adolescent; Kirk, Spock and the others are my friends. And I cried (and still cry) in TWOK as I have never cried over a SW film. But the STAR WARS Saga makes me think, about people, and their relationships, and duty and honor, all on a far more personal level than TREK does, because I identify very strongly with Luke, and with Leia. I know that there are those for whom SW is no more than mind candy. They certainly have every right to that opinion. But I'd like to hope they can allow those of us who see more in it to have our opinions without belittling them.
- from a letter by Alice Greene, one of the first known mentions of Usenet in any fannish media publication : I would like to share my discovery of USENET, a nation-wide computer net accessible from many university mainframe computers and other entry terminals. There is a Star Trek interest group [net.startrek] consisting of people all over the country with computer terminals and some way of getting on the net. There is also a group for shuttle news [net.Columbia] and space news [net.space]. Timely information is posted by people with access to it. One can ask a question to be answered by anyone on the net who happens to know. If any readers have accounts on a large mainframe which participates in Mail, I would be delighted to correspond. My mail path is [...!ucbvax!sdcsvax!sdccsu3isdeatt- b!mel41]. Make the headerTo Alice because I share the account with a colleague who also gets mail.
- Lisa W writes of Mary Sue: ... Of course, the original definition of "Mary Sue" might be put: "a character intro duced into a work of ST fiction for the purpose of being the author's alter ego." I see two problems with this definition: 1) It's too subjective. We need to have contact with the author, who is sufficiently introspective to be able to tell why they created the character. 2) It forces us to eliminate stories* such as those written by male authors, that read just like Mary Sues, but don't seem to be covered by the above definition. And so, I propose: "A new character introduced into a work of ST fiction who is central to the story and to one or more of the main characters." Of course, this doesn't cover Uhura or Chapel Mary Sues, but we can call that characterization rape instead. And it doesn't cover minor-character Mary Sues, but I'm willing to forget those. Of course, the above definition implies that any now main character must be a Mary Sue. Fair or not, that certainly seems to be the case. However, I would also like to forward a list of characteristics, which Mary Sues tend to have. The more she has, the stronger the case for her Mary Sueism. 1) One of the ST characters falls in love with and/or marries her. 2) There comes a situation where she is the only one capable of saving the Enterprise/Federation/Universe. 3) She does so. 4) She dies heroically in the process. 5) She is young, beautiful and brilliant and loved by all who meet her. 6) She is the daughter of a king or some other man of similar high social status, who is also a story character.
- Brad K writes a response to a letter in an earlier issue which had proposed there was more Star Trek canon and fanon than Sherlock Holmes canon: It's always good to find mention of dear old Sherlock Holmes in INTERSTAT. Although I've enjoyed your publication for some time, I remain for the most part a Trekker by marriage but a Sherlockian at heart. Terry's comment that more has been written on Trek than Holmes was therefore of interest to me, especially as it was inaccurate and deserving of correction. In other words, if you'd still like to place a sizable wager on it, Terry, I'll take you up on it. But first consider the following: Trek has been in existence for nearly twenty years now; Holmes has been around for almost one hundred years. As Trekkers have zines, so Shcrlockians have their journals, a number of which have been running from the forties and fifties to the present day. From my experience, Sherlockians are about as prolific as Trekkers, so the head-start they've gained makes a difference. This may sound like so much supposition, but as I have both a Trekindex set and Sherlock Holmes bibliographies to refer to, it is not without foundation. A rough count gives written works on Holmes a sizable lead over Trek works (as of 1980) at something just under a two to one margin. Limiting the comparison to works of fiction based on Holmes or Trek, however, might give Trek a fighting chance. Without counting them, one at a time, it is hard to separate the stories from the articles in the Trekindex, but on the whole I would guess the bulk of Trek writing to be fiction (am I right on this?). I do know that the greater amount of Holmes work is non-fiction; removing it from consideration changes the entire balance of things. If one does not want to change the balance by altering categories, however, time may just take care of the matter. Although more has been written about Holmes currently. Trek seems to have the sheer numbers of fans these days. If those numbers translate into an outpouring of Trek writing, the entire Holmes/Trek comparison could overturn within the next one or two decades. Defections from either side to the likes of Dr. Who could alter the scheme of things entirely. One never knows. Volume isn't what really matters, though; substance is what makes the difference. And who can really be the judge of that?
- Wendy A speaks up for kids: I am, in some ways, relatively new to fandom—I discovered it through STW (which has always been prompt and helpful to me) when I was 11 and then for two years somehow allowed myself to lose touch. But now, at 16, I am back and I hope NEVER to leave again. However, there is one thing that does annoy me and that is the comments and feelings of some to the tune that children and teenagers don't really belong in the fen (and I do stress the some). I will readily admit that just in 5 years I have been able to see MUCH more in ST than I ever did before—but my basic FEELINGS are the same, and isn't that what really counts? I have close friends who a few years ago withdrew from fandom because they weren't taken seriously or were treated rather lightly simply because of their age. Now I know I would like to see the world, and most importantly the ideas and ideals-, of Star Trek outlive myself and I do hope other fans feel that way too. The best way of insuring that fandom will not die out years from now is by encouraging those young people who are genuinely interested in what ST has to say (and not the special effects!)!! We may still have a lot to learn, but should that count? Surely there are those in fandom more qualified than the rest in one of the many fields Star Trek encompasses: those who have degrees in physics, philosophy, computer science, etc. I couldn't see any of them claiming to be more "right for Trek" than the others, or they wouldn't be here, right? What I am trying to say is, next time you run into a young Trek fan, please don't feel "above" them—welcome them and encourage them (certainly the majority of my peers did everything to Discourage me from Trek—thank God they didn't succeed!—and any encouragement was tremendous) and if you can spare even 5 minutes of your time, listen to what they have to say or ask about Trek.
- Larry N comments on gender differences and interests: Yes, I had noticed the male/female fan interests as a generalization, just from matching names/faces with letters/product; I may be attacked, but how many women have written any non-fiction references (besides Bjo—and the Concordance is a production, not a non-fiction reference). Personally, I do care a great deal about characters and will opinionate on the spot if requested; it's just that background (i.e. events, timeline, places, AND hardware) is such an in triguing, irresistible puzzle—can it be fit together, given everything on film?
- J. Elizabeth G looks into the immediate future and comments on the upcoming film: By this time all of us will have seen ST III:TSFS a half dozen times; we will have made our private judgments, privately voiced our praise or condemnation. And with INTERSTAT's next issue, and many, many issues to come, we will be making those judgments public. Some, of course, will love the film; some will hate it and feel obliged to vilify those involved in its production; some will concern themselves with analyzing various of the film's characters in accordance with private beliefs and prejudices; some will endlessly debate obscure and minute technical details which in the last analysis are irrelevant to the film's meaning and worth. And IDIC will be strained to the breaking point...and perhaps a little beyond...
- and perhaps a wiki!
- from Shirley Maiewski in Interstat #76
- Boldly Writing notes that Barbara stopped sending letters to Interstat soon after this, "though because of poor health, not because of complaints in Interstat."
- a reference to his letter to Interstat in issue #72, see that section
- This is a reference to issue #71, see that section
- See also TREKisM #6, May/June 1984