Interstat 91 was published in May 1985 and contains 18 pages.
- contains a cartoon by Don Harden, no interior art
- Linda S emphasizes with Syn Ferguson: As I sit here looking at six projects-in-progress, not to mention a novel that has dragged on so long I'm thinking of calling it Klingone With The Wind, I feel much sympathy for you as you struggle with your 500-page Frankenstein.
- Kathy C asks fans to give the movies the same realities as zines: Many fan stories have dealt with similar themes—Kirk for once unable to pull off a miracle to save his ship and/or crew; Kirk forced to build a new life out side of the Enterprise and Starfleet; Kirk pushed to the edge and coping. If we find value in using fanzines to break out of the mold of the episodes and explore new themes, why not explore them in the ST movies as well?
- Linda S addresses Michele A and takes on the issue of Kirk and heroism: I appreciate all support on the issue of the new Kirk's...er ...less than charming personality, particularly from someone as eloquent and persuasive as yourself, since I am aware that I may well be dismissed as merely a disgruntled Kling-symp. I am also aware that it is not Harve Bennett's responsibility to gruntle me, and, although his honest and kindly efforts to do so were much appreciated, I still have to part company with him on this issue; I still remain a disgruntled Kirk-symp. The annoying thing is that even if Harve Bennett agrees with us—which, for all I know, he may—it'll make no difference, because tickets must be sold, here in the '80's, so, instead of your hero and mine, the White Knight of Star-fleet, we must have instead a ronin of and for the Me Generation. Our 180° cultural flipflop in the last 20 years is reflected in an interesting way by comparing the series with the Bennett films. In ST II, Kirk, deliberately and with deliberate, sadistic glee, lures the psychotic Khan into a battle to the death. Compare this with the old Kirk's strong yet compassionate handling of the equally murderous Garth. Khan, who's not so lucky as Garth, must be destroyed; it never occurs to anyone to try to trap him into surrendering for treatment. Moving up to ST III, contrasts really get interesting. We have a woman who sacrifices her life for her people; we have a man who busts his butt trying to save the universe, or at least his people's corner of it, from the ultimate weapon, and these are the villains!
- Randall L has some advice for this letterzine's editor, and renews his sub: After a great deal of consideration, I am opting to renew my subscription to INTERSTAT. After reviewing my LoCs over the past year, I am aware of a trend that I see has developed in your editorial policy, mainly the censoring of comments that you: 1) disagree with, 2) are afraid will hurt the feelings of: a) a star, b) a production team member, 3) know to be false. Now this is your right as an editor, however, it is pretty damn frustrating as a LoCer. Now it seems that Sandra Necchi is starting her own letterzine. And from what I gather, her reasons for doing this are the same as I have just cited. I do not agree with most of Sandra's comments in INTERSTAT (her views on Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan alone annoy the hell out of me!). But the fact that two people from such differing points-of-view agree about the current editorial policies of your letterzine indicates to me that there may indeed be a problem you need to address. And soon. I realize that you're liable to take all of this personally (it'd be almost impossible not to), but I urge you to regain and reestablish your objectivity and editorial integrity by self-examination and correction of the obvious problems I listed earlier.
- the editor replies to Randall L's comment above: Editor's reply: INTERSTAT editorial policies are not in need of modification, and my rights as an editor, the same. For fan opinion I may disagree with or comments that may offend studio personnel, see issues #1 through #90. The only trend I've noticed is that certain letter-writers who make frequent use of INTERSTAT's limited space complain the most. A suggestion, Randy: Mind your own store and concentrate your efforts on fan operations in Atlanta, not Omaha. If that's too difficult, then back up your serious allegation that your LoCs have been censored. They have not and I will openly debate you in INTERSTAT on the subject. Go ahead. Randy, make my day. A message to INTERSTAT readership: The Sandra Necchi incident that Randy speaks of in his LoC comes from her March, 1984 submission to INTERSTAT which I refused to print (4/4/84). Much has been written and published on the matter, but unfortunately some key facts were excluded when the editorial decision was made public in the K/S APA (6/84) and UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR (10/84 1) that I agreed to edit and run the LoC in INTERSTAT (4/20/84), but Ms. Necchi, having a change of heart, never called or re-submitted (the letter was quickly revised and sent elsewhere), and 2) taking on new coordinates, she set sail for Paramount Pictures and took her original letter and protests to one of the subjects of her LoC who officed there. Concerned over the inaccuracies the LoC held, that individual sent official word (7/24/84) that she had been misinformed and her words—printed in a public forum—might only serve to spread a belief that would do harm rather than good. After correcting the facts and steering Ms. Necchi on the right course, permission was given to her to share said facts with others ("I've have no objection to your using the facts in this letter") and she was asked to keep the identity of the letter-writer confidential. (She did neither, and yes, APA readers, you were had.) I am sorry that Sandra failed to include—for APA readers and UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR readers and God-knows-who-else— this information, and sorrier, still, that the numerous falsehoods written about INTERSTAT were allowed into print. The alleged restriction of 'ideas' was never a factor in the letter not seeing print. Nevertheless, I wish Ms. Necchi the best of luck with her "No-Censorship" letterzine and promised policy of an open-forum-without-personal-attacks. She will need it. she will also need the skill and patience required in dealing with the space limitations inherent to such a vehicle. It can be pretty damn frustrating for the editor, too.
- Linda S addresses Ginzie regarding the subject of pseudonyms and criticism: You could have mentioned me by name if you wished; I stand behind what I say, which is why I never use a pseudonym. Shatner usually turns in an excellent performance, which, unfortunately, makes the occasional lapse like the 'Klingon bastard' repetitions all the more glaring. I must say an unthinking, worshipful attitude such as yours has always set my teeth on edge. ST deserves better than that. ST deserves to be thought about. Would you have us be blind, deaf, unthinking supplicants groveling in mindless gratitude at the altar of ST? We wouldn't criticize and comment and nitpick if we didn't care. And, as a writer myself, I can say that having people be interested enough in your effort to criticize, comment, and yes, even nitpick is the highest compliment. Why should Harve Bennett be deprived of that pleasure?
- Karen B. B also addresses Ginzie: Thank you for gracing the pages of our 'little' publication with your enlightening letter. It is so rare to find a person of true renaissance abilities. Not only are you a connoisseur of the visual arts, but also music/ drama critic and expert in production matters and its many intricacies. How degrading it must have felt to see your pseudonym within the pages of a fan" publication that made you feel 'almost dirty.' The sacrifice was certainly one of overwhelming proportions to one of your professional stature. The deprecatory fashion in which you presented your statements places you among those you meant to denigrate. INTERSTAT has long needed one of such professional impartiality to adjudicate, thank you for filling that need. The next time you wish to expound on your sensitive and meaningful observations or create empty allegories, why not spare our 'little' publication and do it in a medium that doesn't make you feel...'dirty.'
- Gennie S addresses Ginzie: Thank you, Ginzie, for such a beautiful, uplifting letter! I feel the same way about Star Trek the series, and Star Trek the movies. I have felt depressed at a lot of the harsh criticisms I've read. I love Kruge's pet, for instance, as well as the monster microbes by Spock's photon tube coffin.
- Randall L comments on new fans and what he feels to be an attitude: I'd like to address the issue of the apparent hostility in the neo-fans. These people, who have become fans in the past few years, are some of the most hostile I've ever encountered. I've had a number of bad encounters with these people lately, both at cons and in zine mail orders. At cons, they're pushy, obnoxious (even more than I ever could be!), and just plain rude. In mail orders, their impatience knows no limits. One woman from the Northwest ordered a few issues of STARDATE. One week later, she wrote me demanding that I send her the zines, or else she would take the matter to UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR and DATAZINE. This is admittedly an extreme example, but I would like to hear from anyone else who has noticed this trend.
- A.C. Crispin addresses Jean Lorrah, one fan-writer-turned-pro to another, and Crispin offers to be a mediatory: Jean, I enjoyed THE VULCAN ACADEMY MURDERS very much, although I, too, figured out who dun it on page 20. The hint you gave on the page by having Sarek see the computer tie-in to the hospital was too obvious, and I know you regard Sarek as the sexiest hunk of Vulcan in the known and unknown cosmos, so it was easy to tumble that his little blonde assistant wanted him, too. But the humor, the characteriza tions, the rest of the book, were very true to Trek, and I liked them a lot. (Having done two conventions with Mark Lenard, by the way, I have to tell you that Sarek's charm and virility is not just fine acting — Mark is really a terrific guy! If you haven't done a con with him, consider doing so.) While in New York last month I met Karen Haas, the new Star Trek editor at Pocket. She's really terrific, very committed, obviously a hard worker. We discussed TIME over lunch, as well as the future of the Trek novels, and the direction she'd like to see them take. If anyone who is seriously working on a Trek ms.f or submission to Pocket wants to write me (enclose SASE), I'll pass along the guidelines she mentioned as to what kinds of stories she's seeking for publication.
- D. Booker comments on Kirk: Yep—Kirk was the galactic golden boy for 79 episodes, in spite of a rather pronounced degree of emotional immaturity. And now he's falling apart. Not surprising, considering that Murphy's Law operates on people as well as events. To assume that one individual always will be able to solve any problem, no matter how bizarre, personal, or whatever, is just courting disappointment. Little tin gods always rust out. What makes for interesting literature is how they cope with their rust.
- Rocco G writes of his experiences with the fan club, Starfleet: I WAS a member of your STARFLEET organization. I joined (July '82) after its appearance in Starlog mgazine. I formed a starship chapter but I did not get much support) I didn't even get all of the issues of the STARFLEET Communique promised. I wrote and wrote, but no response, then finally a form letter stating STARFLEET was "restructuring" and to please wait for the Communiques. Time passed and nothing. Soon I had to start refunding (June *83) some of the membership dues (out of my own pocket, I might add) due to the fact that we were a chartered high school club, too. Making matters worse, some disgruntled members found that the "exclusive" club newsletter, the Communique, was being sold through TREK publications. More time passed and the high school days were over. It was then that I got a letter from the "restructured" STARFLEET (Feburary '84) stating that they can not be held responsible for the failures of the former administration, but feel free to join again. (At a higher price, I might add.) I gave up on STARFLEET. But that all ended well over a year ago and for the most part, I and others, had forgotten about you and STARFLEET quite willingly. Now to read a letter from you about the "emotional barbarism" of fans, the "hateful humans"...are you trying to say that none of the bitterness was deserved? I (and others) took a lot of heat because of your organization's failure, we never complained, we only asked for what was promised but was not received. We asked for an explanation but never got one. Can you please give one now?
- Mary Ann D addresses Eric A. S's letter in an earlier issue regarding Courts of Honor which comments on a number of issues, including the trivial shot that Syn Ferguson's legal name has a small pun with the initials "K" and "S": Fact: COH will be published by the end of the summer, if not before, and will be mailed as quickly as Syn can do the binding. The color covers, familiar to purchasers of the poster, have long since been printed. Fact: Although it would be nice if everyone who pre-ordered make3 up the difference between the original price and the final one, no one will be compelled to do so. And it was I, not Syn, who suggested raising the price of COH: It is now at least three times longer than Syn originally intended, and printing and mailing costs continue to soar. Hence, it is clearly irrelevant how many pre-orders have come in, so long as everyone whose check has been cashed receives COH. I, personally, find a figure of 500 ridiculous. Has any fanzine ever received that many? And speaking of irrelevancies, it would be a truly astonishing time-warp if Syn Ferguson's parents had had K/S in mind when they signed her birth certificate. Eric's connection of Syn's real Christian names with K/S is as puerile as children's taunts on a playground. Failing to make his case in any other way, he descends to a cheap shot so transparent it's almost embarrassing. Because he couldn't get a rise out of Syn with local trouble-making, he appears to be using the pages of INTERSTAT to escalate his war-game and dupe its readers into playing the game with him. Alas, his obvious hope that COH will never be published is in vain, and its publication will, of course, prove his veracity or lack thereof. Or mine.
- Kathleen Shelley L also addresses Eric A. S: I've seen the final camera-ready copy for 75% of Courts of Honor, and the edited copy for all but the last two chapters, I have no crystal ball, but common sense tells me that so many honest and hardworking people have put their talents and their expectations into COH that the project is not likely to be dropped. I measure breath-holding time in seconds, so I'm not holding mine, either, but I do confidently expect to see it printed, bound, and distributed. I'm annoyed by Eric's publication of Syn Ferguson's mundane name, as opposed to the nom de plume she chose for herself. It was a piece of gratuitous bitchery worthy of the television Erica. Perhaps he should consider that many fans, writers, artists and even editors engage in occupations sensitive to public image. To allow my mundane name (the one I'm signing above) to be used in a K/S publication would have serious economic consequences for me, for example. I'm glad Eric doesn't know any of the pen names I use to write about the presumed sex lives of polymicronuclear leukocytes (the microphage). Just for fun, couldn't all of us with initials KS, or even SK, please stand and wave to Eric?
- Joan V writes about criticism and the difference of opinion and Interstat: I am distressed to see, in the past few issues of INTERSTAT a number of fans saying or implying that they don't want to see anyone taking issue with anything in Star Trek. One fan implied that "objective, analytical criticism" (which I always thought was a virtue) is undesirable- Another lists "speculation" among the items that make her feel "almost dirty." I've found the speculative opinions in INTERSTAT among its more interesting items. Certainly, rudeness is unacceptable. But I cannot see anything evil in pointing out that something is lacking—in one fan's opinion—with the plotting or characterization or anything else in Star Trek if it is done courteously. Reading a variety of opinions —whether I personally agree with them or not—is one reason I subscribe to INTERSTAT.
Interstat 92 was published in June 1985 and contains 22 pages.
- there is no interior art
- has a Kor (Klingon) cover by Fanti Dovener, she dedicates to to Fern and Carol
- there are a number of comments about the new pro book, Ishmael, see that page
- Cathy B is horrified about the rumor that Eddie Murphy may appear in the next Trek film: I can only say I hope this is a publicity stunt. Eddie Murphy in Star Trek is about as scary as Neil Diamond as The Jazz Singer. Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed Eddie Murphy's past films, but he doesn't belong in Star Trek.... I must express my dismay about the latest ST pro novel, Ishmael. HERE COME THE BRIDES?1! I don't believe it. Perhaps Eddie Murphy isn't so stupid an idea after all.
- R. Arthur P writes about Harlan Ellison: Will someone please tell me why Harlan Ellison was even considered to script ST IV! Granted, he may be a gifted writer, but I have yet to read an article written by him in which he does not take a swipe or two at Trek. Let's face it, for Ellison even to think about accepting such a job goes to show that his "hatred" of Star Trek fades rapidly when money is flashed in his face just as his "love" of Star Trek faded when Gene Roddenberry re-wrote "City on the Edge of Forever" to fit the Star Trek universe better. To add insult to injury, Paramount approached Ellison to script ST:TMP. To add further insult to further injury, Starlog had Ellison review the film. Remember, this man doesn't just blast Star Trek, no, Harlan goes straight for us, the fans. I know this sounds like a vicious tirade against Ellison, but that's not what it's meant to be. I am simply trying to say that Harlan Ellison turned his back on Trek 18 years ago. He's made his choice, let's not attempt to change it.
- Tony W has a long memory, and a request: I am writing this letter to try and locate a gal who, almost five years ago, wrote a wonderful Space: 1999 story that appeared in a Star Trek fanzine. Her name is Lucy D. Witt. Has anyone heard of her or know where she lives? There is interest in reprinting her story "Mission: Morale,"  but I want to contact her and get the necessary permission, first, of course. Thanks for your help. Lucy has to be somewhere.
- Shirley Maiewski has a reminder: As Chairman of the Star Trek Welcommittee, I want to thank Teri Meyer and INTERSTAT for the support STW has had over the years. Also the many fans who have written to say STW has been a help to then - many long-time fans have said they got their start through help given them by our members. This, after all, is what the Star Trek Welcommittee is all about - being a helping-hand to all Star Trek fen. Considering the amount of time and work it takes to be a volunteer worker in The Welcommittee, it is a wonder to me that we have been able to continue. We have so many dedicated members - where they find the time in their busy schedules to keep up with the demands on their time STW requires is a miracle. I want to take the time and space in INTERSTAT to thank each and everyone who has worked with us for all these many years - something like 14 years for some! However, there is a subject I do want to address - namely how difficult it is for STW members to disassociate themselves from STW. I realize this sounds odd, but it is true. Every member of STW is entitled to their own opinion on all subjects. The problem is that The Welcommittee has a policy of neutrality on ALL subjects. It is very difficult for a member to express an opinion on some subject that requires taking sides, without someone out there saying, "Oh, so THAT is what the STW believes?" I personally have had this said to me more times than I want to remember. The same goes for many of our people. NOT SO! I have been Chairman of STW for eight years. Eight wonderful years in many ways. And then there are times when I wish I'd never heard of it! These are the times when I have to try to straighten out problems caused when someone misunderstands STW's policies. Please, everyone, remember; the opinions expressed by STW members are their own personal opinions! As Chairman, I speak for the Welcommittee. With the help of the other officers, I make decisions regarding policy. If anyone has questions as to how STW stands on ANY questions, please contact me. I will do my best to answer any questions of this kind I speak for the Star Trek Welcommittee.
- Debbie G addresses Eric A. S: What kind of statement is that—"I wish we all loved Star Trek, it would make us better people"? ALL INTERSTAT readers love Star Trek; if they didn't, why would they waste $14 a year to subscribe? We just love it in different ways and for different reasons. For some, part of the enjoyment comes from arguing about it. You don't mean unconditional love; you mean blind love, which is the inability to acknowledge any faults in the object of your affection. I don't love anything so completely that I can't see its flaws, because nothing in this universe is perfect. But just because I point out something in Star Trek that could be changed, this is not an expression of hatred. How could I hate Star Trek?
- Patrica Fazer L has some words for Eric A. S and his comments about Courts of Honor: A newcomer to the pages of INTERSTAT, I was appalled to read [Eric S's] letter in I#90, with its venomous remarks about Syn Ferguson and the Courts of Honor affair. I fail to see what such a tissue of misstatements and slurs can possibly accomplish. I ordered COH at the original price of $12.00 (not $15.00, as [Mr. S] states) and have received, in the intervening period of time, witty, contrite, and perfectly acceptable explanations regarding the delay. One of these flyers stated that there would indeed be a price increase, and that Ms. Ferguson hoped that purchasers who had pre-ordered would make up the difference, but that they did not have to do so. My experience as a zine purchaser has led to some teeth-grinding with a couple of editors around the country—one in particular in southern California who was into me for around $75.00 worth of zines and did not even reply to my polite queries for around two years. I did eventually get those zines, but was disappointed in their quality, both literary and graphic. I am convinced that such disappointment will not be the case with COH. As a matter of fact, I have been privileged recently to proof-read 587 pages of the camera-ready manuscript (all but the final two chapters). I now eagerly await receipt of my printed bound copy. One last word about [Mr. S]: if he has "dropped out of fandom," as he says, then why such determination to make life difficult for and spread innuendoes about one of fandom's finest writers? Illogical, to say the least.
- Cheryl B, a fan from Eugene, OR, writes: In a city where the 1st Interstate Bank forecloses on the Hilton and the eradication of the Gypsy Moth takes precedence on the news, the subject of COH or Syn Ferguson wouldn't even make the lower right column on the back page of the University of Oregon Daily Emerald. The idea of Eric Stillwell trying to cause trouble for Syn in Eugene is ludicrous. There's only four people in Eugene who even know what K/S is let alone care and we know all about it anyway. Leaving Eugene and Eric out of it. To anyone with a shred of perception the issue of whether or not COH will even see the printer's press is shaping up to be the 'ugly' fight of recent K/S fandom. My advice, and heartfelt wish, is to drop it. Let's fool everyone and let it die before it gets ugly. Each side can get as rabid as they wish but in the final reckoning it's all up to Syn and until we hear from her it's all a lot of bickering and name-calling.
- Harriet S comments on new fans: I have not run into any of the hostile neo fans others talk about. My experience as a zine publisher with new fans has been one of delight: on their part to discover fandom and fanzines, and on my part to remember how it was in the dim times when we all seemed to be "neos." Fandom only seems to appear a closed society with its own hierarchy and once a new fan finds appearance is not actuality, they probably feel less overwhelmed and therefore less confused. confusion and eagerness mask as "hostility."
- Joy C. M addresses Harve Bennett about diversity in Star Trek: This is mostly an open letter to Harve Bennett Sir, I'm pleased to see that you read INTERSTAT. It shows you do take a genuine interest in the fans. I've enjoyed the work you've done on the last two Star Trek movies. I'm eager to see what surprises you have lurking in ST IV. Please understand that what I'm about to say, is said in the spirit of constructive criticism. The backgrounds in ST II and III (especially III) is disappointing. The look of the films is "WASP"y. For example, in the spacedock bar (during the scene between Kirk and Morrow) all of the background players were WASP males, with two exceptions. One is a female junior officer. The other was a female in evening dress, presumably one of the officers' wives. There were no Terrestrial minorities nor were there any non-humans. The full name of the Federation is the United Federation of Planets. This presumes there are other sapient beings besides humans. It is logical to assume that some of these intelligences can and do live on Class M planets, AND CAN VISIT SPACEDOCK IN RELATIVE COMFORT. I had hoped that by the 23rd century, xenophobia would be an obsolete concept, along with sexual and racial bigotry. Agreed, there have been a FEW non-whites. But Terrell, Morrow, the trainee Lieutenant, the trainee Engineering officer, the older Engineering officer, and the Grissom's helm officer, are like Uhura and Sulu—tokens in a vast sea of white human males. True, Enterprise's crew would be predominately human (yes, I saw the single alien in the background) but why weren't there many more aliens in Spacedock? Remember Kirk's arrival in Starfleet Headquarters during ST:TMP? The aliens walking back and forth stated, in a nicely subtle and non-verbal way, of a truly galactic community—of a unified interstellar civilization proud of its unique people; not a homogenized government of Earth and Earth colonies. I am wondering—when is a woman going to command a Federation starship? As much as I dislike the Klingons' attitudes, at least they are honest about their sexual discrimination and male chauvinism.... Why not let Star Trek (again) be a vehicle for learning and change?
- Bev C writes of the old Kirk and the new Kirk: I'm a little bemused by the argument that the "new" Kirk is so much worse than the "old" Kirk. Maybe this is because I never thought the "old" one was such a paragon (I admit it, I was a Spock fan when the series first ran on TV and for most of the 1970's). He was, after all, the man who blithely imposed his own personal morality on alien cultures, non-interference directive or no, and who more than once put individual concerns ahead of "group" concerns. He is also the man who reacted to age in "The Deadly Years" by becoming rigid, querulous, error-prone, and increasingly unable to recognize his limitations. The older Kirk of the movies is actually aging more gracefully, and I find him much more appealing than the TV Kirk. This is undoubtedly related to the fact that I am now an adult myself, almost Kirk's age in the first season, not an adolescent.
- A.C. Crispin writes of pro books: I notice that the fan/pro novel controversy continues to smolder, occasionally shooting up active flames of protest from mostly the anti-pro novel folks. I'd like to address a comment or two to those who maintain that the pro novels are absolutely without worth and that those who pen them are lousy writers, if I may. As I pointed out long ago (I#74), the pro Star Trek novels are not just aimed at the audience of truefans, they're aimed at a mass-market audience that numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Most of the fanzine novels I've seen (or most of the short stories for that matter) would be of only peripheral interest to a mass-market audience — they're too insular, and not enough action-oriented. Fanzine stories tend to be long on emotional impact, characterization, character interaction, with lots and lots of talking about feelings, problems, etc. They also tend to involve the characters in life-changing situations: cancer, blindness. Kirk and Spock's realization that they've fallen in love with each other, the death of one or the other of the Big Three and the effect that this has on the remaining two the list goes on and on. Many of these stories are good (and many more are crappy, to be blunt), but all of them in this vein involve changing the ST universe, which is verboten for pocket Books to do. Paramount still screens everything they propose putting out, remember, and they're very paranoid about possible changes creeping in. So in order to sell the number of ST books Pocket Books sells, they must market them for the mass-market audience, not just the truefans like the folks who read INTERSTAT. Anyone who feels they can write a fanzine-type novel that would appeal to everyone and sell it professionally is welcome to try. Another point to remember about the pro/fan novel controversy is that the people who denounce anyone who reads and enjoys a pro ST novel as a drooling cretin are doing a disservice to fans whose pockets aren't as lined as theirs obviously are. Face it, folks, you can buy a Trek novel for $2.95 or $3.50, and get a Star Trek story to read. A novel-length fanzine will run $10.00 to $15.00, and possibly more. Lots of the younger fans will have trouble forking over that kind of dough very often. Admittedly, out of six pro Trek books a year, maybe two of them are really good, another two are okay, and the remaining two are rather poor. (And this percentage was better in 1984 — most of the books belonged in the okay-to-good category, IMHO.) But are the percentages any better in fanzines? How many really top-quality fanzine novels or short story collections are published each year? Not that many, folks. And, of course, the average fanzine has a run of maybe 500 copies if it's a biggie. So 500 people get to read a top-notch story, while, with a pro novel, 250,000 people get to read it. I have a feeling that the two factions will never resolve the controversy, but it would be nice if a more "live-and-let-live" attitude could be fostered among the anti-pro novel people. After all, nobody is twisting your arm to make you buy or read pro Trek novels, friends! It's fine with everyone if you prefer to read only fanzines. But I'm tired of having my literary taste (not to mention my sanity!) sneered at for enjoying many of the pro Trek novels. I realize I probably sound a bit thin-skinned. But as I sit here, getting ready to plunge back into TIME FOR YESTERDAY, working hard to make it the best book I can (while taking a significant cut in pay to write it), I began thinking about the fan/pro novel controversy, and decided to stick my two cents' worth in.
- Michele A writes: For nearly eight years now, we have all enjoyed the privilege and wonder of holding a mirror up to our own reflections. Within these pages, we have been entertained, informed, inspired, angered and, most of all, moved by each other's hands and minds. This publication simply could not have survived all this time if it weren't fulfilling an exact and needed function in fandom. It has fulfilled my needs, and I thank Teri Meyer for the privilege of contributing to INTERSTAT since the very first issue and of working so closely with her.
- Kate D has a question about the men: Can anyone explain why the few men who write to INTERSTAT are so crabby? Living isolated in a very rural area and not attending cons, I have very little contact with Trek fans at all, and the only male opinions I've encountered are in the pages of INTERSTAT. They seem to spend an awful lot of time complaining about each other and all the rest of us. I haven't seen so much pique floating around since I retired from academic librarianship. Isn't all this supposed to be fun? And if it isn't, why don't they pick up their phasers and go play in some other sandbox?
- Rhea B writes of Interstat: It is amazing that a fellow editor of a fanzine would exhibit such immaturity and childishness toward the policy of the editor of this labor-of-love letterzine. Don't all responsible editors have the right to edit, if indeed that happened to him? If she edited out material, there would have been a very necessary and legitimate reason for doing so. I have been reading inters tat since number 28 and know Teri Meyer as a personal friend. She is a caring person of integrity, sensitivity, and good taste. I do not see that her policy has changed or that her integrity has been impaired. In going back through preceding issues, you will find LoCs pro and con regarding Star Trek, its cast. Paramount and those involved in the episodes and movies of Star Trek. I think even Gulf and Western has had its bad day. The comments were by Star Trek fans in their letters to INTERSTAT. (And only lovers of Star Trek would bother.) If Teri had edited out the caustic comments made by various fans over the years, the issues of the letterzine would have had many less pages. And I expect the subscription list would have decreased, not increased. I believe Teri Meyer prints what she receives that's lawful. It is perfectly all right and lawful to disagree but I have found a number of the fans' LoCs printed in INTERSTAT to be vicious and dehumanizing. I wonder what you think was left out. INTERSTAT is the only letterzine of its kind. It comes to us every month and contains the latest information available to fans re Star Trek and its cast members, our space program, and available science fiction books. It is thoughtfully put together and includes pictures and artwork we would not ordinarily have the opportunity to enjoy. If [Mr. L] decides not to renew his subscription, that's his loss. Long live INTERSTAT, its editor, and Star Trek.
- Debbie G addresses Ginzie's letter from a previous issue: A love letter to Star Trek—how wonderful and how beautiful! I hope you've helped the cynics among us to "see ourselves as others see us." I particularly liked your dubbing Star Trek "the Mona Lisa of television." What a striking analogy! The show, like the painting, is a classic, a masterpiece, yet it is also enigmatic, like the lady's smile, and no two people see the same thing in it.
- Debbie M addresses Ginzie's letter: I want to thank Ginzie for a really beautiful letter. Many of my own ideas were expressed in her letter, yet I could never have expressed them so eloquently.
- Cheryl B is excited to see that a new pro novel is on the horizon: While perusing the microfiche for any new Star Trek titles, what did I find but Star Trek #24, Killing Time—by Van Hise, due out 7/85. Delia, is that you? If so, Braval! Good show and all that. When the display shows up I'll push it for all it's worth.
- J. Elizabeth G addresses Ginzie: The distress and distaste you felt at your first exposure to the admittedly sometimes vicious infighting ST fandom suffers (enjoys?) is understandable... and probably typical. Certainly that was my own reaction when I read my first issue of this 'zine' my subscription almost ended right then! ST fandom is a small pond...and unfortunately there are many within it who have deluded themselves into believing they're Moby Dick. It seems that the first Law of Fandom is that whenever two or more people gather in ST's name, there's bound to be some grand arguments, whether concerning matters philosophically profound or scientifically trivial. Having been very quickly made aware of this Law, the suggestion, which surfaces periodically, that Harve Bennett would benefit from the assistance of a "fan advisor" seems to me to be awesome in its asininity. Given the mind-boggling number of 'camps' within fandom, to one or more of which virtually every fan belongs, choosing a single individual to represent fandom would be grossly unfair, and choosing a number of representatives from differing 'camps' would be self-defeating; you'd end up with a great deal of noisy bickering and name-calling, probably a little hair pulling, and very little else. The only "fan advisor" Mr. Bennett needs is a subscription to INTERSTAT.... Those who bellow "IDIC!" the loudest in public are often those who display the crudest understanding of the concept.. .their reasoning running something like, "I'm a narrow-minded, opinionated, thoroughly disagreeable gadfly who brays my prejudices in public every chance I get and don't you dare disagree with me 'cause if you do that'll prove you're an intolerant bigot who doesn't believe in IDIC and by the way aren't I noble as hell for defending IDIC and aren't you contemptible for misusing it so SHUT UP1" Not infrequently I've read letters in the pages of this 'zine that have prompted me to turn it upside down and read them again...in the hope that they will make more sense that way. Usually they don't. But I'll defend any fan's right to express their views in appropriate forums, even when those views are diametrically opposed to my own. Yep, I'll go down to my knees defending that right. But don't ask me not to mutter, "Yar she blows!" under my breath while I'm doing it... The point I'm so awkwardly trying to make is that, after my own initial negative reaction.. .with a few more issues of INTERSTAT under my belt...I began to realize that what I was witnessing - the blood feuds, the elite alliances, the extravagant praise and vitriolic condemnations - was IDIC in action. Within the pages of INTERSTAT— within ST random itself.. .IDIC works. Oh it creaks and groans and more often than not seems past the point of total disintegration...but it does, somehow, hold together. It does work. IDIC, Ginzie, is not a delicate, hothouse, faraway philosophical ideal. It's a tough, adaptable, demanding way of living one's life. IDIC, when confined, to the television or movie screen or to the printed page, is a very pretty thing. IDIC in everyday life isn't always quite so attractive; in fact, it's often aggravating as hell and ugly as sin. The letters published each month in these pages, and the widely differing views they express, may not suit the naively idealistic code of chivalry you've envisioned for ST random...but INTERSTAT is, IMHO, the best and certainly the most realistic overview of fandom available to us.
Interstat 93 was published in July 1985 and contains 18 pages.
- it contains no interior art
- there are some comments on the pro book, Ishmael, see that page
- there is a personal statement by Lynda C regarding Reflections of Honor, see that page
- Linda S is unhappy with Trek's recent scenery: And now, female fans, it is time we put aside petty quibbles such as mentioned above, and arise in sisterhood to address a really serious problem. I refer to Harve's habit of writing out all the cute guys.
- R. Arthur P addresses Kate D about her previous letter: I was not aware that my comments seem crabby. As a man and a fledging LoCer, I am understandably concerned if my letters (and those of other male subscibers) come off as crabby. However, if they don't then please specify. A guy can get self-conscious too, you know.
- Eric A. S writes about revealing a fan's legal name, and of Courts of Honor: Regarding your comments in I#91...You're absolutely right. I shouldn't have mentioned Syn 'Ferguson's "real" name in INTERSTAT. I apologize, Syn. Your K.S. initials have always intrigued me as a curious acronym for the literature you write, but no more so than the increasing number of Oregon State license plates that begin with the letters "KSX." The comment was "incidental" for those who actually read my letter in I#90. The comment was a meaningless side line for those with a curious mind, but I apologize to those who were offended. As for you, [he addresses a fan with the initials K.S. L] you have no right to suggest that Syn's "real" name is "mundane." That is no more your right than it was mine to comment in the first place. As for serious economic consequences for the revelation of Syn's "real" name, don't worry. Syn has nothing to be ashamed of. Syn's writing is outstanding and she has every right to be proud. She doesn't hide behind pen names, like some. Syn is the name that she uses in everyday life and everyday business. I respect her for that. Syn is Syn. As for you, Kathleen Shelley, I don't know who you are and I don't give a shit about the presumed sex lives of polymicronuclear leukocytes.... Your assumption that I "hope Courts of Honor will never be published" is false. I do want to see COH in print. That is exactly why I wrote my letter. I do not want to see hundreds of people left in the lurch.' In fact, I have a great deal invested in COH, and its publication will be a benefit to me. I am very glad that you have set me straight, because Syn has promised me five (5) copies of COH when it is finished. This oral contract was agreed to when I worked with Syn during the early years of COH. I can hardly wait to receive my five copies—I'm sure they'll be worth their weight in gold. Syn and I go back a long way, and I wish her no ill will. I simply want to see Courts of Honor published, and I want to see hundreds of pre-orders filled. Many of my friends have ordered COH. [this letter goes on a great length about their working relationship and friendship]
- Jan M. M writes about Star Trek's morality: In an earlier letter, I complained about the "I have had enough of you" line, not that I felt that it was out of character for Kirk at that point (we all have to agree he had an astonishingly bad day as many people had pointed out), but that the movie was so structured as to make this a major emotional payoff rather than a regrettable but understandable lapse. (Yeah, let's watch Kirk kick the villain into the lava. Cheers and whistles!) I think that what you see as a degradation of Kirk's character, I see as a corruption of the basic morality of Trek. I like the new Kirk - his wry humor and his human weaknesses - but I don't like the way he has behaved. And, particularly in the movies, where Kirk goes is where Star Trek as a whole goes. Let's hope that paramount will take the Dirty Harry aspects out of future movies and return to the worthy opponent of yesteryear.
- Leigh Ann M is looking for a mentor: I was wondering if there was anyone who would be willing to adopt me. Please lower your eyebrows and finish reading my letter. What I mean is—is there anyone who would be willing to explain the "ins and outs" of fandom to me? Before you agree to this I think I should tell you a few things, a) I have a lot of questions, b) I am only fifteen, c) I don't type well and d) I don't spell well. I don't know if this is the right place to ask, but I needed to.
- Rennie D comments on the "untouchable" Spock in some recent pro novels; I do think we should remember that every Star Trek fan has not seen the TV series. I've met at conventions fans who've been fans long enough to form clubs and make costumes and have a great time with Trek, but saw their first episode at the convention. So, since there are books in print with untouchable Spocks and new characters, I don't see why another author shouldn't follow this lead. It seems unlikely, but maybe [Janet K] has never seen the series or maybe, if she has, she sees it differently, as the K/S fans see things that I don't.
- Leslie D. M writes of Interstat's editorial policy: I can't understand the charges of censorship that have been leveled against Teri recently. From what I've seen there has been a fair balance of opinions from all sides. An editor's job is to edit. To approach the task with the idea that nothing may be changed is to reduce the position to that of a xerox machine. One job of an editor is to see that criticisms do not become personal attacks. No matter how much I (or even Teri) think it is deserved, my calling someone a "scum-sucking son-of-a-bitch with shit for brains" would be edited out of any letter I sent before Teri printed it. And rightly so. Editors must also edit to shorten letters. Some people have so many things to say, each so near and dear to their hearts that they can't bear to leave it out, that they wind up submitting 6-page letters — in singled-spaced micro type. (No names please, Teri!) Someone has to cut that down to printable length. Sure, some of the writers' favorite comments may not make it into print. But that still doesn't make it censorship. And if Teri should decide that certain topics will not appear in INTERSTAT, that is her right as publisher.
- Joan V writes of Interstat's editorial policy: A local Star Trek fan who does not subscribe to inters tat told me recently that she cannot understand why fans will not allow fan editors the same right as any other editor of a newspaper or magazine: the right to choose what does and what does not go into a publication, I agree entirely. Those who think their free will has been violated by an editor's rejection have forgotten that the editor has rights, too. I would say that since there is an overlap in the subscription lists of UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR and INTERSTAT, and since I have not heard that readers cancelled their INTERSTAT subscriptions en masse following [Sandra N's] letter, that the INTERSTAT readers guessed the truth of the situation and gave Teri the benefit of the doubt, which I think she has earned.
- Linda S writes of Interstat's editorial policy: Oh, Lord, not the INTERSTAT objectivity debate again. I have HAD enough of THIS! It was boring the first tine around—not to mention silly. If she will print me, she will, obviously, print anything. Seriously, I cannot understand people who think that subscribing to a magazine gives them the right to help set editorial policy. (Kind of like old Jesse Helms thinking that he has the right to take over CBS news because he doesn't like what he sees there.) The editor's name goes onto the magazine. Her work, and in many cases, her money, go into it. It is her prerogative to decide what else goes into it.
- Joan V comments on pro books and a fan's right to an opinion: I think there is some confusion out there as to what those of us who criticize the pro novels are trying to nay. Certainly I can't remember anyone who has been "anti-pro novel," which I would define as being against the idea of pro novels. Even to define the term as one who generally has disliked pro novels doesn't quite get to the point. The point is that there can and should be far better stories in the pro novels than what we have been getting. Further, the point in comparing pro novels to fanzines is that though there are many excellent fanzines, I have seen no excellent pro ST novels to date. (I think Jean Lorrah's is good, and is the only ST novel so far I would classify as "good." The remainder are "fair" to "poor," in my estimation.) I do not think that what prevents us from getting good pro novels is the fact that pro ST novels cannot deal with sex, or permanent changes in the character's lives, as I pointed out in 1986. In fact, someone has written "a fanzine-type novel that would appeal to everyone and (sold) it professionally": Jean Lorrah, THE VULCAN ACADEMY MURDERS. I wish that all the other pro novels were as good (or better). Perhaps one day they will be. I always read ST novels with the hope that they will be good. Unfortunately, so far I've been disappointed in all but one case....On the subject of the authors, I take for granted that those who write ST novels are trying to write the best they can. I have said several times in the past that I realize the authors are nice people and dedicated to their craft; one only has to check back issues of INTERSTAT to verify this. However, authors should realize that to say "I did not enjoy this book" is NOT identical to saying "you are a bad author" or "you are a bad person." And to close this issue, I hope everyone realizes that those who do not enjoy pro novels (or any other writing) have just as much right to say so as those who do.' Z may be wrong, but I sometimes wonder if some who enjoy pro writing are trying to say, "If you don't like what you read, keep quiet about it!" which is not quite fair to those of us who have a different perspective.
- Michele A writes of IDIC: Just a quickie note (oh sure) regarding neofans' discovery of the battleground we lovingly call INTERSTAT and its relationship to IDIC. First, INTERSTAT is not a thing, it's a place, a place for fans to hash out ideas, interpretations, and extrapolations of Star Trek. If we fans criticize—consider the merits and demerits of—the Star Trek films, books, etc., it isn't because we don't have anything better to do than tear down someone else's work—rather it's because we wish to explore the work so produced for the public at large: us. Secondly, we write letters because we love Star Trek. By extension, we love the actors, the producers, the directors, the scriptwriters—again, anyone having to do with the actual production of Star Trek. It is a fascinating kind of love: boundless, enthusiastic, natural. It is, however, not an unconditional love. There is one teeny-weeny little demand: we reserve the right to analyze, dissect and discuss Star Trek in all its forms till Khan or the cows come home (neither of which seems too likely) . Consequently, I fail to see how our exuberant analysis of Trek within INTERSTAT violates any notion of IDIC. IDIC does not call for continual praise (nor its opposite). IDIC requires nothing but an open mind and an acceptance of diversity. If I may digress: Sometimes we fans feel a terrible pressure, seemingly forced upon us by other fans, to choose "sides," i.e., pick a camp, identify with one actor or issue, voice our opinion dammit; that pressure to choose sides is the terrible result of the dualistic thinking our society encourages: that every issue is an either/or one. By playing into that kind of thinking, we find ourselves caught in the middle of unfortunate situations. If you enjoy Harve Bennett's work, you automatically reject Gene Roddenberry. if you're a Shatner fan, you dislike Nimoy. if you love Spock, Kirk must be relegated to the dope in the center seat. In other words, it's all or nothing. The philosophy of IDIC prevents one from taking those "sides," by recognizing that life situations are not either/or. An opinion is not a decision? a criticism of one characteristic or action is not rejection of the whole; an interpretation is only a different way of looking at that which, in Star Trek's case, can only be interpreted: fiction. Now back to the issue: When I write a letter to INTERSTAT, I do not consider that specific letter my only possible option on a given topic; on the contrary, with the limited space available to me, I accept that while I am open to many ideas on the topic, I may only comment on one opinion at one time. The nature of a letter (due to its structure) noticeably limits the arguments that one can make. On the receiving end, it is easy to believe that a letter constitutes the writer's singular opinion; that assumption is a trap. Not surprisingly—to me, at least—I found myself in total agreement in all respects with [Nancy H's] letter regarding Kirk and the Enterprise even though that letter was in basic disagreement with my own in the same issue on the same topic. I see no inherent problem, no subtle symptoms of mental disorder, no feelings of inadequacy in my acceptance of [Nancy H's] view of Kirk. He fans run a great risk by taking so seriously the "sides" we find ourselves assuming in our letters. A letter to INTERSTAT is an intellectual exercise only— aerobics for the mind. There is not even a way to reconcile the facts of Star Trek let alone all the permutations of interpretations. [J. Elizabeth G's] analysis of how IDIC works is a superb one. If fandom's practice of IDIC turns into a kind of tossed salad of experience, it's because some of us are butter leaf lettuce and some of us are anchovies. But that's what attracts us all to fandom and this publication.
Interstat 94 was published in August 1985 and contains 18 pages.
- there is no interior art and one cartoon by Don Harden
- many fans complain about the rumor that Eddie Murphy might appear in the next movie
- there are a number of comments on the pro book, Ishmael, see that page
- Gulserene D is no fan of Kirk and Spock's employer: Before I become specific, let me just say that I have no special fondness for Starfleet. In fact, for the past 17 years, I have been firmly suppressing a tendancy to consider that Starfleet and the Feds are manned (beinged, if you prefer) by the most incompentent collection of blithering nincompoops in the galaxy. BUT, since the doughty crew of the Enterprise, whom I of course worship, have seen fit to swear oaths of loyalty to them, I have always forced myself to assume that it was pure coincidence that we have only seen the losers so far. The alternative was to believe that our friends are either totally naive or totally cynical. This is unthinkable- It is therefore only rational to deduce that by and large Starfleet is made up of beings only a shade less decent, brave, sensible and true than our lot, with just the occasional lemon one finds in any organization to mar the overall effect.
- John L. W writes of gender: Are the men who write to INTERSTAT crabby? I don't think so. In fact, I see most of the crabbiness as coming from the women. Who could forget [Barbara G], for example? Actually, the blame could be distributed on both men and women.
- Jo W addresses A.C. Crispin's remarks about pro novels: In response to your letter in I#92, I think that a few words must be said in defense of fan fiction. In an informal poll taken among my friends, action-oriented books were not high on the list. When asked what was their favorite pro Star Trek book and/or novel, the winner was "The New Voyages." When asked why, the response was "Because they were short, believable and well written. For those of you unfamiliar with the book, it was a professionally published book of fan stories. Pro novels are not immune to doing a lot of "Talking about the meaning of life" and other such deep subjects. For example, "The Price of the Phoenix," "The Fate of the Phoenix," "The Prometheus Design," "Triangle" "The Wounded Sky," "The Final Reflection" and "Uhura's Song" (all but the first two published by Pocket Books) all contain passages of such a nature. Most do nothing to advance the story, only lengthen it. Changing the Star Trek universe is verboten, is it? Well what about the latest Star Trek novel "Killing Time"? That one is set in an alternate universe where Kirk is an Ensign and Spock may well be the father of the next Romulan Praetor! I can't see a greater change than that. I don't know of any of my non-Star Trek friends who have ever bought a Star Trek novel. I doubt that many non-fans bother to even look at a Star Trek novel let alone buy it. They are just not interested. Did it ever occur to you that a good fan story that was published on a limited basis, may be worth more in later years than a pro one that was mass-produced? I would much rather write a good story that appealed to a limited audience than write something I was not comfortable with that sold millions. Money is not everything, you know. Some of us write for the fun of it. It is obvious that someone at Paramount is reading fan fiction. The idea that someone could place their spirit in the mind of another at death, was mentioned in Jean Lorrah's excellent "Epilogue " (copyright 1977). Anyone who has read "Kraith Collected" knew instantly who and what T'Lar and her female attendants were. Star Trek has always left so many interesting "gaps." No one can blame us for wanting to fill them in.
- Susan B comments on a fan club: In the three years I've been in STARFLEET, I've seen the effects of both Eric Stillwell's leadership and Fran Booth's. While my experience in Eric's club was less than satisfactory, I must admit it was compounded by difficulties at the local chapter level as well. But since Fran Booth became president, the club has completely turned around. Fran put forth her goals when she took office and accomplished every one of them by the end of 1984. In my opinion, from where I sit, she worked a miracle with a club that was almost falling apart, plagued with infighting, financial difficulty and breakdown in communications.
- Douglas Van N writes about Starfleet, the fan club: I am a member of the STARFLEET FAN CLUB. I joined in August of 82 after reading an article which appeared in STARLOG magazine. Soon afterwards, I formed a starship chapter that exists to this day, but with no support from the national organization. All that we have accomplished was done by my loyal, hard working members. I, as did many members while Stillwell was president, did not receive all that was promised to us. If as did many members while Stillwell was president, did not receive all that was promised to us. When I renewed my membership a year later, I failed to receive my promised membership package as well as all of the issues of the STARFLEET COMMUNIQUE. I wrote numerous letters to no avail. You, sir, ruined what could have been the best Star Trek club ever. Through all of this, I never gave up on STARFLEET. Now to read a letter in INTERSTAT from Mr. Stillwell about the "emotional barbarism" of fans, the "hateful humans" — calling us animals!! Are you trying to say that none of the bitterness was deserved? I, and members of my chapter took a lot of heat and aggravation due to your inability to manage the club. We never complained. We only asked for what was promised us, but was not received. We asked for an explanation but never got one. Can you please give us one now?
- Jan M. M writes about the idea of a "fan advisor": I had to laugh at the "fan advisor" debacle you described. Particularly since it has always seemed that those who propose the idea are in fact really placing their own names in consideration.
- Larry N writes that he can see how a fan advisor to the Trek movies would be fraught with difficulties, but thinks it could work: Of course (he said, grinning broadly) I'd be happy to fly to L.A. in a second to nominate myself. ARE YOU STILL LISTENIN', HARVE?
- Mary Ann D gives a Courts of Honor update: I finished typing COURTS OF HONOR several weeks ago—all 611 pages of it. Books III and IV are now on the proofing round and will come back to me for corrections in a month or so. Syn is busy with layout of the first two books. This will be the last update in INTERSTAT, because it's not really the place for it. Watch UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR for more information.
- Tom L writes of Interstat: It strikes me that half of the letters in INTERSTAT (or half of each letter) are concerned with what is and is not proper for publication in this zine, how much criticism is too much, what form it should take, and so on, etc., ad nauseam. A question: wouldn't you all rather discuss Star Trek than discuss discussing Star Trek?
- the editor writes: UPDATE ON KILLING TIME & ISHMAEL: The initial print run of "Killing Time" was 150,000 and it sold very well. But because of questionable material therein, Pocket Books has reissued the Van Hise novel and the revised edition is now being shipped. Look for it soon. And contrary to rumor, ISHMAEL, by Barbara Hambly, has not been pulled from bookstore shelves by Pocket, and there are no plans to do so. (Some of the above info courtesy of Eddie Egan.)
Interstat 95 was published in September 1985 and contains 18 pages.
- there is no inside art
- photos by Eddie Egan, Joyce DeBoard and Linda Lakin of KC Con, Nimoy, Doohan
- several fans write about the death of Toni Cardinal-Price
- there are comments regarding the pro book, Killing Time, see that page
- Deborah L. G asks fans to photocopy this zine for her: My first sub to INTERSTAT began with issue #7. With the 100th issue coming up in a few months, I've decided I would like to complete my set. Would anyone who has the time and the copies be willing to photocopy the first six issues for me? please write to me first. I'll pay for everything. I think it would be safest if the photocopies were sent by UPS or by First Class registered mail if UPS is not handy.
- Linda S writes about her head canon: I spin my fan-fiction strictly off the episodes, because I simply can't reconcile them with the films, not to mention my characters would probably set up a picket line on my typewriter if transplanted to the movie "universe."
- Jan M. M kicks: All right - let's kick it and see if it squirms - maybe there is some life in fandom after all. Premise - The ST movies have been the worst thing to happen to fandom. Enjoyment aside - and I did enjoy all three - fandom suffers from a severe case of pernicious anemia in their wake. We are lethargic, stuporous - carrion gorged on a fat corpse with no fear of future starvation. We pick our teeth and belch as we dissect our last meal - eaten well over a year ago -and dream about our future feasts. Our imaginations, our enthusiasm, our creativity have been corralled by the corporate images of Paramount. We are tamed and domesticated, properly fattened and locked in a gilded cage. We no longer create fandom, we have abdicated our generative position. We are no longer an active fandom, nor even an interactive fandom - we are solely a reactive fandom. No, that's not quite right. We were always a reactive fandom. The change is simply that where we once reacted to each other - kicking, cussing and screaming, generating endless controversies, debating fannish propositions, discussing premises and motivations in fan created works, we now react only to each movie as it comes out. We each beat our proper pet Paramount pony in the silence of a decaying dream, and we convince ourselves that we are better off now than the thin, mean, wild and starving creatures we once were. Has Paramount bought our birthright for a mess of pottage? Have they a copyright on controversy, an impenetrable prison for ideas, a stranglehold on our souls? Where are our great ones? Where are Lichtenberg, Lorrah, Lylker, Gordon, Fish, and so many more? Gone, gone, gaffiated and gone. Where are our controversies - those delightful and hideous propositions that made thick skins and flak jackets a fannish necessity? Where are our catalysts - the brave ones who stood in the line of fire and threw grains of wisdom that fandom separated into wheat and chaff? Where are our ideas, our propositions, our premises - so painfully personal that we squirmed as a dozen fannish needles tailored them to fit other pet theories, turned them inside out and exposed mercilessly the rents in our reasoning?
- Jan M. M comments on the discussed topic of "fan advisor": [Larry N's] propositions for fan advisor are delightfully honest and self-serving. They remind me of my daydreams almost 20 years ago of suggesting the post of cultural science officer on the Big E and nominating myself to play the role. The plain fact is that a fan advisor to Paramount would be as worthless as tits on a boar hog. No right minded exec is going to scrap several million dollars worth of hot property because it does not jibe with the established Trek universe. They know and we know that we'll see the movie no matter what it contains in the way of fallacies, specious reasoning, and cosmic holes. As for a conduit between fandom and corporate interests - there is always INTERSTAT if needed. And we need no more dogma - an official background on all aspects of ST would be our death blow. Leave us some function beyond appreciative audience, please.
- Fenton H writes about a pro book: I would like to pass on a bit of shocking news. A local "Star Trek" club member, in their latest bi-monthly journal, has accused Barbara Hambly, author of "Ishmael," of plagiarism! Can you believe that? Somebody is really getting up enough nerve to accuse her of that serious a crime. The accuser's reasoning was that there was no credit given "Here Cones the Brides" on the copyright page. Anyhow, my eyes popped out when I read it.
- Tony W backs up statements made by his roommate, Eric S: Yes… I am one of the many who have ordered Courts of Honor and Before the Glory from fan author Syn Ferguson (I hear the groans already). The comments from [Eric S] in I#93 are directly on target. Eric is correct in everything that he says, in what is becoming known as the "I was there" declaration. However, he wasn't the only person "there" at various stages of development of Courts of Honor. As convention chairman of Trekkon '83, I welcomed Ms. Ferguson to our convention and she was invited to participate in a special reading of fan fiction. [Lynn W] and [Kay J] also read selections from their works. [Kay J] was already published and [Lynn W's] Darkshine was subsequently published later in 1983. I, too, was "there" in Houston, Texas, selling Courts of Honor posters and copies of Mission to Mrinn, not to mention becoming ensared in that disaster of a convention. I would like to take time to note that Trekkon '83 was held February 19th and 20th in San Antonio, Texas, now over 2 1/2 years in the past. The Houston Convention was in June, 1982, over 3 years ago. Ms. Ferguson began work on Courts of Honor followed by Before the Glory at least 1 year prior to this time. Since attendees at Trekkon '83 ordered copies of both of Ms. Ferguson's works, I feel that her delinquency possibly marred an otherwise successful event. Here and now I ask that 1) Ms. Ferguson please come out of hiding and answer all protests and accusations against her, 2) She set a firm date for the publication and mailing of Courts of Honor and 3) Do likewise for Before the Glory or else refund all monies -- immediately, to all parties involved. Not anyone in Star Trek fandom can dispute the fine work of Ms. Ferguson, when available. However, the delays, gyrations, and inappropriate behavior of the author and her spokespersons is totally unheard of and should not, and cannot, be tolerated any longer.
- Patricia R addresses Eric S regarding his previous Courts of Honor comments: In I#90 the tone of your letter as I read it (and IMHO) came off full of jealousy in hoping that Syn Ferguson would fail with Courts of Honor just because you failed with Starfleet. As to the reference to Syn's real name, [K S], that could be taken as being snide. And as far as Judy Miller not even making a dime's profit or compensation, nobody ever makes a profit on a zine. And as for compensation, I don't know what you mean by that, unless you mean she should get a copy of CoH. Then in 1#93, you come off slapping yourself on the back for being there since Before the Glory. Eric, I think you have a lot of growing up to do.
Interstat 96 was published in October 1985 and contains 14 pages.
- photos of Roddenberry, Takei, Kelley, Bennett by Val Jaeger, no inside art
- there are more comments about Killing Time, see that page
- there are two reports by Vel Jaeger and Michele A about seeing Gene Roddenberry receive his Hollywood Walk of Fame star
- Sandra H. W Q writes about her dissatisfaction with the pro novels: There have been too few excellent novels, novels by Ann Crispin, Greg Bear, John Ford, and maybe a couple more on that good level. But most of the novels written are on the fanzine level. In hopes, I buy each one released, read about 1/3 - 1/2 and then give up, frustrated. I know, wanting to read something about Star Trek's universe, we can got desperate, but really, some of the stuff published is not worth buying. It's not good science fiction. To be good Star Trek, it has to also be good science fiction with a plot, a real story. Just putting Star Trek characters in a poorly written story does not make it better! Good or great Star Trek, there's just not much to choose from.
- Michele A is bemoaning the lack of conflict and the rise of complacency: For those of us fans who have been around for a long tine, the climate of fandom has indeed become more temperate in recent years—during what [Jan M] correctly defines a the movie years. I, too, have tried to analyze why we are now so complacent, "fat," and "reactive," and the source of that complacency. I, too, miss the likes of Fish, Paula Smith, J. Lichtenberg, etc. Our scrappy fox terrier random has turned into a no risk fandom. If the battles aren't much to shout about anymore (and many would argue that the "battle" analogy is flawed, even anachronistic, perhaps it is because we have already won the war. Haven't we gotten exactly what we wanted: 1) a studio which regularly produces Star Trek, 2) beloved original cast members who now have an even greater input into the Trek universe, and 3) a decent relationship with the Trek production office. Frankly, isn't it hard not to be reactive when everyone is rowing your way? I'm not complaining . . . exactly. I'm just stating the situation. With actors who direct, producers who write and fans who write pro-novels, inbreeding appears to be the new order. Not only that, the "status" of Star Trek as a commercial vehicle has radically changed in the last ten years; as a viable concept, it is no longer an industry outcast with only fanzines and cons keeping it alive, but a growing and carefully monitored corporate concern. Maybe all those people gaffiated because they found something better to do. Maybe the rest of us haven't because, no matter what, we still love the Trek characters and want them to continue through thick, thin and rumors of Eddie Murphy. Or maybe they're gone and we're still here because we just haven't managed to figure out yet that the spoils of war promote compliance, complacency, and conciliation.
- Terry T addresses Jan M. M: Controversy is a way of life you say and Trek fandom is one prime example. Your promise that the Trek movies, the same ones that we fought for like rabid cats, is truly a Pandora's box. The cause for fandom lethargy, pavlovian response responses in mature adults and acne in children under the age of twelve. Egads--how could we not debate the movies? And if they are the issue of the day, consider... they're like that 80th episode that we never saw. And like every episode, only a launching platform for individual ideas, ideals and concepts. And, taken in that context (also consider the intensity of the movies and behind the scenes...) if the bulk of fandom stories and conversation are geared in that direction, then my response is this: We are curious creatures. We dissect anything fannish down to the navel lint. Present us with an issue and we turn it into a mountain until we talk and write it down to a mole hill. I guess that's part of our charm, yes? But the movies are only one more addition to a long line of additions. Not the bottom line or an end all by any means. Like a fresh perception equalling my Kirk isn't your Kirk which isn't Harve Bennett's Kirk which isn't Bill Shatner's. Sort of what we've been discussing, new concepts. Give the movies another chance, you won't be selling your soul to the company store. And as for mourning the Lichtenbergs and Lorrahs. Well, I say good luck. Ladies, and happy trails! For today we've got the Ridners and Sutherlands and Wellingtons and Fergusons to spark the mind and titillate the curiosity. There are always possibilities...and issues.
- Bev C reminds a fan that it wasn't Star Trek that started zines: While it would be nice to claim the credit for the idea, fan-produced newsletters did not begin in Star Trek fandom. Star Trek fandom borrowed the idea from science fiction fandom, where they'd been produced since the 30's and 40's, when fans were few and far between and needed a medium for keeping up. The original concept has probably been around a couple of hundred years or more and has been used widely by political groups, churches, the literati, special-interest organizations, and so on. Something even closer to traditional (SF) fanzines is found in the new-wave rock world. Basically, any group denied access to the traditional media or for which the media for some reason are inappropriate or inefficient, and which needs to communicate among its members, will come up with some variation on the private newsletter.
Interstat 97 was published in November 1985 and contains 14 pages.
- it contains no interior art
- this issue is mainly one of introspection about Star Trek fandom
- Dawn E. L comments on Trek fannish slump: The lethargy of fandom is_ largely due to the movies, but for a different reason than those mentioned. At the conclusion of both ST II and ST III we are left with an unresolved story. In fact, the movies together, including ST IV, will be one complete episode. From the point of view of a fan writer, the sequential movies limit what one can write in the present Star Trek time frame. The choices are few: missing scene vignettes, interpretative passages, or writing a "what happens next" story. A "what happens next" story soon becomes dated when the next movie hits the theaters. Fan fiction cannot continue with new stories without resolving the problems present in the most recent movie— which entails a "what happens next" story before a completely new story can begin. Both ST II and ST IIT leave the Star Trek universe in a lurch and fandom is held in limbo until the next movie comes out to reorganize everything (and, in the case of ST III, create now problems). After ST II, Spock is presumably dead, leaving the writer with the unfavorable choice of writing a story which does not include Spock (you have not read too many of those, have you?). After ST III, everything which had been a foundation in the Trek universe is dishevelled except for the characters themselves. You have two choices as to where to place a story in a timeline which does not present monumental problems: the original series, or directly after ST:TMP. I think writers have tired of being left with the same choices, choices that have yielded fiction and poetry that has been written forwards, backwards, and sideways in the past two decades. I predict that when ST IV completes the "single episode" and the thrust of Star Trek will once again be 'the ongoing mission of the starship Enterprise,' you will again see an outpouring of creative writing in fandom. I don't agree that the lethargy in fandom is due to gluttony. Perhaps I have a bizarre idea of gluttony, but waiting 2-3 years between movies is far from being presented with steady feasting. How many people will claim they have seen more than enough Star Trek which is the reason they do not want to read/write anything more on the topic? No, fandom has been more or less waiting since June 1982 for a completion of an episode which is a conglomeration of ST II, ST III, and ST IV. Hopefully, at the end of ST IV, fandom will be faced with the task of keeping Star Trek alive with stories that begin new missions.
- Nancy H also comments on trends in fandom: It seems my disclaimer that I perhaps truly do not understand where the twenty-year veterans are coming from is true. After all, I have no battle scars. I contributed to the GR Star fund, but big deal. The characters I know and love are there for the taking at every turn — I have a VCR, I have a plethora of zines from which to choose, and best of all, I have INTERSTAT. Fandom is indeed easy for me. I have no ready answers for those who miss the underdog position of fandom. It's just not that way anymore, and I have to say thank you to all who made it possible to have this discussion. In a big way, the loyal fans of the past have made Star Trek what it is today: a part of our national heritage. If it weren't for the devoted, the dream would have died an early and unsung death. For myself, I can't imagine what my life would have been like without the presence of Star Trek. This is not to say that it rules my life, rather that I have enjoyed it for so long. I grew up on it; I have no recollection of when I saw my first episode, for instance. And for the longest time I never knew what episode belonged to what season! Star Trek is in my blood, which is how it got into my brain. I love the characters, the format, the messages, and I always have. And now that I have come out of the closet, I think it does many of the same things for me that it did for the original fans. It's such fun to think about it, write about it... It's that legacy which enticed me to join into the fray...or what's left of it. As far as I know, the active fen are still a minority, and we still have a national treasure to guard. With the passing (I hate to use that particular word) of the regulars in the foreseeable future, what then? Will the dream be endangered again? And because the corporate world values our favorite world, perhaps they'll listen, and fandom will have something to fight for again, even if just a little. So, if fandom is complacent, and I have yet to come to truly understand how it is, perhaps it's a necessary period. I've heard that social movements come in cycles and cannot be sustained. We seem to need periods of complacency as a con trast to social upheaval, times to sit back and feel okay about the proqress we've made. Then as time goes by, we sit up and realize the job's not done, that people are still starving and being shunned in prejudice, and on and on. In conclusion, I'm not going to give up discussing the current Trek environ ment even though the stakes are not very high. But I hope that the veterans are able to enjoy the fruits of the labors for a while — they deserve to.
- Leigh Ann M writes about Star Trek fandom, and focuses on fan age: A quiet reminder: not everyone has been around since the beginning of the world as we know it. That is, not everyone has been watching ST since it came on the air. I wasn't even born 20 years ago. That is no reason to say that I am less of a fan than those that have been around for that long. I have written to many people in our fine fandom and thought that that little age bigotry didn't exist there. I thought this was a group that didn't care what year you were born in. In recent issues, my mind lias been changing, and I hope I am misinterpreting the letters. It would be a shame to see such a fine group of people corrupted with the attitudes of "You aren't like me, so you aren't as good as me."
- Cynthia B writes about Star Trek fandom: In the months of reading INTERSTAT, I have noticed the continuing hype concerning how the temperament of fandom has changed over the years. I wasn't around in the beginning of fandom, so my ideas about the attitude then are only impressions. You might even call what I am about to say an outside opinion of the entire ordeal. I am, by no means, an authority on the subject, everything I read just made me think about it a little more. In my opinion, these arguments, and off-beat reactions within fandom today can't be avoided, in the beginning, you (the first fans of Trek) fought to persuade NBC to give Trek a chance at a third season. After Trek was cancelled, you worked together to keep it from becoming a memory on a broadcaster's shelf. Finally, together your influence was the main cause of Paramount's reprisal of Trek in ST:TMP. Combined fandom was, and still is, able to move the proverbial mountain, or influence a president to give the space shuttle an honored name. Now, all of your goals are accomplished. Paramount is producing Trek movies regularly, without prodding, and things are running pretty smoothly. Those of us who just recently joined fandom, thank you for that. So, why isn't everyone quietly propping their feet up and enjoying all of this? Because quiet gets pretty boring after a while. Controversy sparks imagination and puts a little zest into things. Since there are no great campaigns right now, individuals or small groups are setting their own goals.
Interstat 98 was published in December 1985, postmarked January 1986 and contains 16 pages.
- art by Nan Lewis, Heather Firth and Vel Jaeger
- there are some comments about Killing Time, see that page
- Mary A. S is angry after hearing of another's fan's travails with Paramount regarding Star Trek videos he has bought that have faded colors and misplaced trailers: By the time you see this, I will have my own video recorder, or jolly old Santa is in real trouble. Seriously, all of us who intend to collect the video tapes owe a debt of gratitude to [Douglas H]. I have no wish to invest any amount in junk. However, I can feel nothing but contempt for the behavior [Mr. H] was forced to take from Paramount. It is sad to say that he is telling us the truth. Paramount is not the Enterprise. It is part of Hollywood Babylon, where arrogance to the point of insanity is the rule. [Mr. H] is doing the right thing in having no further contact with them. One can have a more meaningful conversation with a brick wall. What advice can I give? If the people at Paramount haven't got the sense to realize that we pay their salaries, perhaps we ought to remind them. A boycott? Maybe. In the meantime, it might be best to purchase no Trek videos from a store unless you know it has a return policy. Save your receipt!And if the product is flawed in any way, back it goes for a full refund. There is absolutely no law that says you have to be cheated.
- Richard Arnold writes his first letter to Interstat and offers some information on the video tapes that Douglas H has been complaining about: I would like to try and straighten out some of the misunderstandings and problems you've run into regarding Paramount Home Video's releases of the Star Trek series episodes. I read your letter in the latest issue of INTERSTAT #97, and, although I do not work for Home Video, I do work with them on this particular release, and also work for Gene Roddenberry as his on-lot Star Trek expert, so please accept that I know what I'm talking about, and this is not just a form letter of any kind. Your first complaint is about the mix-up of cover picture on "The Enemy Within." That one got by us, and we are well aware of it, and in future printings that will be corrected. Much closer attention is being paid to the covers now, and there'll be no more glaring errors such as that one. Your next complaint is understandable. Grace Lee Whitney was not featured in "Modd's Women," but at that point in time she was under contract as a regular on the series, which is reflected in the credits accompanying that episode title in the legal files, so her name had to be included. Follow? Your next complaint is way off base. The colors you are used to and claim to be correct are not. Jeffrey Hunter's hair was not black but brown, and his eyes were very blue, but even the bluest eyes get washed out by studio lighting. The earlier release of the "Menagerie" double tape was not from the original negatives. This new release is, and the color is perfect. If you are a film clip collector, as I am, you would know that all film fades with time. Brown goes to black, blue goes to gray, and only red stays bright. That is why the cover picture on the "Menagerie" tape of this current release looks so faded...it's from a twenty-one year old film clip. Only prints made from the original negatives are true color, and it has probably been eighteen years since prints of this quality have been made As for the trailers not being in order, you are right and you are wrong. The episodes are being released in order of airdate. [much snipped] I am sorry that you have had problems in dealing directly with Home Video. This is the first complaint I have heard along these lines. I can't see anyone over there swearing and hanging up on you, although I can imagine someone picking up the wrong line, realizing it and possibly losing you, trying to put you on hold. In any case, I have asked them to direct the 'fan calls' to me, so that I can get a better idea of what's happening from that perspective. Again, I apologize for the errors that have occurred so far, and hope that you will believe that none of them were intentional and they are not being ignored. If you should wish to discuss this further, please feel free to contact me at my office here at the studio.
- Jeanne C has this response to why fandom has felt to many to be complacent: Let me put forth a possible theory on why fandom may have become lethargic and only reactive instead of active. I will use myself as an example of what my theory is. When I first got into fandom nine years ago, I was in my 20's and still trying to make my statement to the world. I am now in my mid 30's. I still have the desire to make a statement, but I don't have time. I'm a wife, the mother of two small children, work full time, am PTA president, Girl Scout leader, serve on the session in church, sing in the choir, play handbells, sing solos for various organizations and try to maintain as much a hand in Trek fandom as possi ble through and with our Trek group "The Great Broads of the Galaxy." I used to write a little poetry. Now, if I have a little time to myself, it is all I can do to dredge up the mental energy to read a fanzine or INTERSTAT. I personally hate all the petty bickering that goes on because it drains me further. Please don't take me wrong. I dearly LOVE my fan activities, but I don't seem to have the time OR mental energies to do more than react. I wonder if there isn't a large segment of fandom about my age who are busy setting up careers, raising children, etc., who may be in the same dilemma.
- John L. W comments on the continuing subject of fandom lethargy: I have written three Star Trek stories myself; one was about Spock's boyhood, the other two were squashed in between ST:TMP and ST:TWOK. If earlier suggestions are valid, that these two movies are separated by about 10 or 15 years in Star Trek time, then there is actually a lot to work with there. Reading fanzine stories set right after one of the more recent movies can be frustrating, especially when you know Paramount will release a sequel that totally contradicts them. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the alternate universe episode in the comic books, but, then again, I know ST IV won't be at all like it (and possibly not as good). As a writer, I have found a "third pathway" to good source material; the eleven years that Spock spent with Captain Pike. A lot more happened in those years than the Talos IV incident. Better yet, how about Captain April's captaincy? I find in him a character that is just as interesting as Kirk, Spock, or McCoy. There is much untapped material to be found here. Sometimes going back is a good way to step forward.
- D. Booker comments on another hot topic in Interstat, that of Jim Kirk becoming less of a hero/acting in cruel or careless ways or Jim Kirk changing as he ages in a realistic way: No one who has risen to Kirk's rank in a military organization could possibly be so naive as to arbitrarily discard direct orders from his superiors as "mere politics" and thus unworthy of note. If Kirk is any kind of a commander, if he learned anything at all at the academy or from all those classic military strategists that the fan writers have him reading in his spare time, it is one of the things you have to learn to do, to use your men to gain your objectives. And in a military situation, that means that sometimes some people are going to die. Now I realize that for people whose experience of war is restricted to 30 second clips on the 6pm news, this may be an unpalatable concept. But it's true and if Star Trek is going to have any sort of realism at all, that's a fact that we are just going to have to get used to. After all, nobody seems too upset when a red shirt bites the dust.
- Mark C. H also comments on the changing character of Jim Kirk: What is IDIC? If you were to describe it to the non-Trekker, how would you sum it up? In the simplest of terms, it is cultural relativism taken to an extreme case. In unkind but perhaps not unfair terms, it is the pop philosophy of the 60's heavily embellished. Now, cultural relativism is a prudent philosophy since it corresponds to reality. Different cultures differ. But when such relativism is used to apologize for the aggressive behavior of others, then we have overstepped the bounds of reason. Furthermore, one of the interesting questions of philosophy concerning relativism is this: Must the relativist also say that the absolute is correct? Linda's letters and many Trekkers in their version of IDIC would seem to take the side that yes, the true relativist, the true follower of IDIC must make allowances for the "correctness" of absolutists. The Klingons as I understand them are absolutists in the extreme. They don't hold any qualms about killing thousands or millions of innocents in pursuit of their goal of domination. If this is so, is it prudent for the followers of IDIC to accommodate such folk? And in what form should accommodation or non-accommodation take? If IDIC is right, what steps should the followers of IDIC take to defend it against those who would destroy it? These are all difficult questions which Trekkers have failed to address. You may have noticed in my writing that STAR TREK may be seen to mimic life. Consider the current state of affairs between the superpowers. But it is a legitimate and difficult question: How do believers in freedom protect freedom from those who would destroy it without infringing on the freedom of others, including the freedoms of those who would destroy freedom? Perhaps "Dirty Jim" is an expression of the Reagan 80's. If so, then STAR TREK Is simplistic because it paints the world in black and white. But perhaps "Jim Kirk" was an expression of the late 60 's. If so, then STAR TREK was simplistic because it paints the world all the same shade of grey.
Interstat 99 was published in January 1986, postmarked February 1986 and contains 14 pages.
- there is no interior art
- Ouida C has a project in the works: I am actively soliciting submissions for a proposed STAR TREK anthology along the lines of the "New Voyages" books of a few years ago. I need first quality short stories ASAP. I emphasize the ASAP and the quality, as I have only half of what it will take to put a manuscript for Pocket Books, and would like to shoot for an anniversary year pitch to them. Sadly, I have been seeking quality writing for nearly a year now, with slim pickings.
- Susan Beth S says she buys less fanzines now: I'd puzzled over my current indifference to most fanzines, wondering about the cause. Was it because the pro books have improved enough in the last two years to satisfy my hunger for Trek? No. Even though they are much better, one book every other month is hardly a satiating diet. Was it because the contents of fanzines have deteriorated to the point of unpalatability? No. I'd say the stories run the gamut from excellent to average to bloody awful, just as they always have. (Sorry, I'm not a subscriber to the theory of a lost "Golden Age" of fanzines.) Was it because I've lost my taste for Trek? No. If gafiation lurks in my soul, it's certainly well disguised by my hunger for news of the next movie. Then what is the cause? Something utterly simple: poor reproduction quality. Consider the two sets of offerings I spurned last week. Publisher A has a decade long history of producing zines filled with stories of average or better quality. I bought the first 15 issues of her zine and each time promptly filed a SASE for news of the next. Then Number 16 arrived, and the print was a much lighter shade of gray, and the type size had been reduced, and many letters were blurred or broken. I struggled through a few stories, mainly continuations of ones I'd enjoyed in the past, but then the zine got put aside "to be finished later." Number 17 was bought anyway but proved to suffer from the same eye-straining problems. It got archived, virtually unopened. And a backlog of one and a half unread issues is sufficient to keep me from buying any more of that series. My experience with Publisher B is shorter but similar. The first zine I bought from her suffered from all the faults of poor xeroxing: blurring, light gray print, uneven shading, areas dropped out entirely from poor toner spread. In addition, the publisher had chosen to use a non-standard san serif type which I found rather hard to decipher, especially at the 50% reduction used for much of the zine. Since that zine arrived with flyers extolling the "excellent" copy work the publisher would do for hire on the machine she'd bought to produce her zines, I abandoned any hope that future Issues would be better. (Additional quibble: Is ten cents per page really a justifiable cost for a xeroxed zine?) These complaints may seem minor since we all know that the contents are supposed to be much more important than the wrappings. In general, I agree, and I'd never mark a zine down for lacking illustrations or a fancy cover or esthetically pleasing page layouts. But if the printing is so poor that the pages can't be read at normal speed, if your attention is frequently wrenched from following the characters and action to trying to decrypt letter by letter an illegible word, the wrappings are preventing you from reaching the contents. And as far as I'm concerned, an unreadable zine deserves to be an unpurchased zine.
- Karen Marie S writes of the pro books: As I don't have a VCR (and can't view the original episodes on tape) and none of the television stations in my area have shown any Star Trek episodes in the past several years, I anxiously await all of the newly published novels from both Pocket Books and Bantam. While I will admit that some of them do not live up to the expectations I hold for ST (and I will admit that my expecta tions are high), all of the novels do serve to keep the ST dream alive.
- Lisa W feels Trek fandom needs a cause to get fannish juices flowing: Unfortunately, I suspect that it's not ready for one. All the great causes are not gone: the campaign for a 20th anniversary postal stamp is no less valuable a cause than the naming of the first space shuttle (yes, it seems less important to us space enthusiasts, but ask a stamp collector!), the effort for a ST spin-off series is as worthy as the "Save the ST Cast" campaign that sprang up after rumors that Robert Redford would be playing Spock in ST:TMP. And what about the effort to get the U.S. to refit the shuttle Enterprise, to give it its 100 flights in space before retiring to the Smithsonian? But I've seen very little interest in such efforts. I do think fandom has become more passive.
- Joan Marie V writes of the Hugo Awards: It is time again to consider nominations for the Hugo awards, and I hope that those who nominate and vote on them, would consider INTERSTAT in the fanzine category. A nomination is not a hope beyond reach. Sometimes as few as 15 nominations (depending on the category) is sufficient to get an item on the ballot.
- Gennie S writes of the Challenger space shuttle disaster: At this date I have not gotten any fan reaction to the terrible tragedy of the Challenger space shuttle. The loss of life, of such dedicated lives, is a loss to the entire world, to all of mankind, and the delay in the space program that this will cause is to be deeply regretted by all of us who believe in it and follow its progress eagerly.
- Terry Sue S also writes of the Challenger: I'm sure you are all as devastated as I over the loss of the Challenger and her crew. I had said on so many occasions over the past few months that I envied Ms. Mc- Auliffe more than anyone on this planet. It's strange, but in many ways I still envy her. Of course, I feel intense sorrow and empathy for her friends and family, especially her children (and students) who had to watch the disaster, but I can honestly feel no pity for Christa or the crew — only envy and admiration. They were doing exactly what they wanted. Their last few months of training, and those final few moments on board the Challenger, must have been the ultimate in fulfillment and exhilaration.... My own children had a very fearful reaction upon hearing about the accident. Perhaps because Ms. McAuliffe was my age, because she was an "everyday person," because my sons are practically the same age as her children (my oldest is 9), and because I have always been so vocally gung-ho about the space program, the experience seemed all that much more real to them. My own mother told me Ms. McAuliffe should have never left her children like that. Of course, everyone seems to forget that the male astronauts have children, too. I just hope the children of the world are not scared off. I hope, instead, they will know a greater appreciation and admiration for the courage of our space pioneers.
- Douglas H writes of the Challenger: The images of everything I was doing just prior to, and during that launch, are now and forever burned into my mind. I'm still reeling from shock and horror from watching its explosion just an hour ago. As I reached for the latest issue of INTERSTAT to get its address to send my letter, I opened to the column, Starfleet Now. I tried to fight back my tears as I looked at the little drawing of the shuttle that always accompanies this section. It looks so vulnerable and endearing with its bay doors open wide. I thought of Challenger's interracial crew of men and women and how appropriate the title of Starfleet Now really is.
- Debra S urges other fans to use their powers: The point I was trying to make was that, if a person feels strongly about a particular topic, then that person should state his or her opinions, not remain silent. Too often, we sit back and say nothing, then we're disappointed when things don't turn out as we'd hoped. Maybe such opinions will have no effect on Harve Bennett or Paramount. The Powers-That-Be have pretty much taken the bit in their teeth on all three movies, but we have to try. Fan responses helped to bring Spock back after THE WRATH OF KHAN, and everyone remembers how a letter-writing campaign helped save the series twice. Public opinion is a little like voting. If you vote in an election, then even if your candidate doesn't win, you do, because you expressed an opinion. However, if you don't vote, then you can't complain when things don't turn out quite as you'd expected. So, if you feel strongly about the topic of Saavik's pregnancy, or about some other aspect of Star Trek, write Harve Bennett.
Interstat 100 was published in February 1986 and contains 18 pages.
- there is no interior art
- there are comments on Killing Time, see that page
- there is a long, free-form, stream of conscious letter about the Challenger disaster
- this issue has an open letter by a zine editor, see Open Letter by Helena Seabright Regarding "Alien Brothers"
- there are many letters congratulating Teri Meyer on the 100th issue of the letterzine
- the editor writes: Readers: For the wagon-loads of love and support and well wishes and many years of wonderful reading, the staff of INTERSTAT thanks you. Without you, issue 100 would have been merely wishful thinking. And big hugs to Harriett Stallings, Terry Todzonia and Jennifer Ferris for their thoughtful, lovely bouquet of spring flowers sent to my home; and also to staffer Ken Gooch for the delightful surprise found on my kitchen table late one evening after work: a large sheet cake sporting the words "Bravo, Teri! INTERSTAT #100!", dec orated with a big smiling face and trimmings of tasty, colorful flowers. (My kids were quick to help me celebrate.) Thank you, thank you, thank you. —Teri
- Harriet S writes: You are one stubborn human. Few 'zine editors will ever know what it is to persevere for so May issue #100 be just the beginning!
- Debbie M writes of fandom apathy: I would like to take a minute to discuss the theme of apathy in fandom which has been mentioned in several LoCs recently. The very fact that a letterzine such as INTERSTAT is celebrating its 100th issue proves that there is no lack of enthusiasm in fandom today. Being involved in fandom is supposed to be fun or at least interesting. If anyone says Star Trek fandom is becoming boring, I say it is your own fault. As with anything else, fandom is what YOU make it. Whether you are someone who belongs to clubs, writes fanzines, reads novels and collects Star Trek memorabilia, or just receives INTERSTAT and writes the occasional letter, fandom should be fun. If you don't enjoy fandom, don't stay with fandom. I don't believe fandom has become apathetic, but rather is suffering from the apathy of a few fans.
- Harriet S addresses Lisa W regarding the topic of contributor copies: As a 'zine editor I understand that, with rare exception, contributor copies are given and editors absorb the cost. But a newsletter editor can hardly be expected to do so. Your example of 15 contributors' copies given out for each issue is only reasonable for a zine published once every 2-3 years. But 15 copies for every issue published monthly is another matter entirely. Besides, if writing a letter for a monthly newsletter took as long as writing a short story for a zine (sans the time and effort in editing and multiple rewrites), then every letter would be a masterpiece deserving not a mere contributors copy...a contribu tors subscription would be more like it. Or maybe I misunderstand relative cost and value of time in writing, let alone effort.
- A.C. Crispin writes of Trek fandom and personal need: After hearing all the debate about what happened to fandora — where are our Jackie Lichtenbergs and Jean Lorrahs?" I wonder if perhaps the answer isn't that many of us don't need Trek anymore — at least not the way we needed it back in the sixties and seventies. For example, take my own situation: when Star Trek first aired, I was sixteen, lonely, and alienated… [some personal stuff snipped]… I needed Star Trek. It gave me a setting for my daydreams, something to focus on when the real world was just too threatening. It gave me hope that maybe planet Earth would continue, that I'd live past twenty instead of ending up a glowing smatter of ash on a radioactive skeleton of a world. At that point in my life I talked Star Trek incessantly with my friends (and it was such a bond that most of us are still close), and even (God help me!) penned a mammoth and untitled Mary Sue novel (which I'm gonna burn as soon as I unearth it — it was awful). Star Trek was as real to me as anything else in my hormone-tossed existence. Sometimes it seemed the only real thing. But now that's all different. I'm twenty years older, and my life is much fuller. I have a family to worry about, a career, and books in my own universe to write (as well as those in the Star Trek universe). I've analyzed Trek in order to write about it. I've made money off it. All of these things change you. Although I still love Trek, and probably always will, I don't need it in that desperate, adolescent way that I used to. I suspect the same has happened to many other fans. Certainly people like Jean and Jackie are busy writing in their own universes, just as I am. Many other fans are also wrapped up in careers, homes, families — all the responsibilities, joys and distractions of maturity. I do know that when I meet over-thirty fans who are still so wrapped up in Trek that it seems like the only real world to them, they're usually people without many outlets, and I feel sorry for them. Often they're stuck in boring, dead-end jobs and have no fulfilling relationships outside their Star Trek friends. At least they have Trek, instead of nothing, but (and here I go, cheerfully larding my values onto others, which I shouldn't do) their lives seem comparatively empty and arrested.
- Linda S feels she has said enough about the third movie ("And after two years, more or less, I have HAD enough of THIS! It's been fun, but as of now I'm going to drop ST III (you're welcome) and go on to other things.") and brings up another topic: What's your "favorite" turkey [episode]? I nominate "Elaan of Troyius," for its "enlightened" view of interpersonal relations. Elaan is independent and, of course, miserable; she finds true happiness only after he-man Kirk slaps her into submission. Gag. On top of that, Kirk was way out of character. After two and a half seasons of roaming the galaxy freeing the downtrodden, he suddenly thinks its perfectly all right for Elaan to be given "as a bribe to stop a war." Methinks he'd have been presented as far more sympathetic to a man in the same position; the writer apparently grafted his own prejudices onto Kirk, and it didn't fit well. A bouquet of poison ivy and ten lashes with a tricorder strap to the perpetrators of this unpleasant mess.
- Lisa W writes that she's had her fill of Challenger fannish tributes: I would like to protest, in advance, the upcoming issue of INTERSTAT. I have no doubt, given the editor's past obvious fondness for sloppy sentimentality, that it will be filled with touching tributes to the Challenger. I expect my copy will find its way into the trash can, unread. Now, the space program means a lot to me. I probably follow it more closely than most of you and I used to work for NASA. I was in shock when I heard the news, and when I got out of shock, I cried real tears. And I even allowed myself a moment of sickly sweetness in one of my own newsletters. But if I read one more fannish eulogy to the Challenger, I'm going to toss my cookies. Please, fannish writers, try to contain yourselves. I know the temptation is great to try your hand at a real tear-jerker, but, I beg you, allow the Challenger a death with some dignity.
- Shirley Maiewski makes a comment about gender: I was well into [Doug H's] letter [regarding the quality of the Star Trek VCR tapes] before I stopped to see just who was writing, but I somehow knew without looking - it was a male! Now don't get MAD, Doug, I'm with you regarding the treatment you have received from Paramount concerning the tapes! But I see this so often in STW letters -- the guys are the ones who go to great lengths with facts and details! Somehow, women seem more inter ested in characters and relationships. I'm glad that there are all types of people writing to INTERSTAT.
- Larry N licks his wounds a bit about the comments in Interstat about a Star Trek fan advisor and remarks on the letter by Richard Arnold: Richard Arnold (I#98), who says he is GR's "on-lot Star Trek expert." Pardon the outburst, but...ALL RIGHT!!! ALL RIGHT!!! If what I read and perceive in his reaction to Douglas' letter is correct, Richard Arnold's role is much of what I was talking about originally. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN, RICHARD? Do you subscribe to INTERSTAT? (Or is he just reacting to a separately-sent letter with a reply that was also forwarded to Teri? I couldn't tell from the tone of the letter.) Without knowing more, I can't surmise whether, through Gene, he ever gets to have any input on ongoing matters of production, or cares to. But this revelation of a decently knowledgeable fan attuned to what fans think, or at least receptive and able to act on it with some authority or respect, is much of what I was getting at. Yes, Jan, a "fan advisor" at Paramount would be wonderfully self-serving IF I could somehow manage it. But that's not the point—anyone so qualified could fulfill it. Richard fills, at least at first glance, the "conduit between fans and studio" in a formal respect that I was talking about, at least to some degree— and a hell of a lot more than what I thought we had. Actually, what we may be talking about here is more akin to a public information officer—more than just a studio PR person (although it seems, Teri, Dixie, et al., are getting Eddie Egan well-trained!). Someone who could, for instance, make set, costume, prop pics available to the press—or even to publishers for licensed printings.
- Nancy H would like to see some forward thinking regarding gender and race in Star Trek: What I think we have in ST is a pretty accurate reflection of American society, embellished a bit and projected-into the 23rd century. In middle class USA, there are blacks, hispanics, orientals and women holding responsible positions, making decent money, pursuing the American dream as we all know we should. The majority, though, and the ones who hold the power, are WASPy males. However, world society is not like this. I'm not a demographer, but I am aware that white people are not the majority. How come we never see Indians or Arabs in ST? Why are there so few Asians? If Starfleet accurately represented world population, the ratio of Asians to whites would probably be reversed on starships. ... I'm sure we all hope that the world will function differently by ST's day. I am comfortable with ST as it is because I'm a middle-class American and the setting doesn't overwhelm me with culture-shock. If ST reflected the world's actual population, it would run the risk of alienating its audience. The problem is, I think, that at its inception. Star Trek was progressive, and it's not now. It's maintaining the status quo. So, I'm all for a woman captain. Perhaps in the next film the "extras" scenes could be more carefully thought out. After all, this is the final frontier we're talking about.
- a story in R & R #1