Pat Nussman

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Fan
Name: Pat Nussman, Pat Jacquerie, Patricia Weeks
Alias(es):
Type: fan writer, fanzine editor, moderator
Fandoms: Star Wars, Blake's 7, Remington Steele, Harrison Ford, The Sandbaggers
Communities:
Other:
URL:
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Pat Nussman/Pat Jacquerie became active in media fandom in 1980 in Star Wars fandom, and later became a prolific writer and zine editor in Blake's 7 fandom. She was also somewhat active is some other smaller fandoms.

Pat, by Eluki, a "fan with grace and determination."

She used the name "Nussman" in Star Wars and "Jacquerie" in Blake's 7, connecting those names in various ways on her fiction web site. Pat wrote gen, het, and beginning in 1996, slash.

In 1996, she attended MediaWest*Con and was the recipient of the Fan Fund

She also had a quick and deft hand with a program book.

the subject is Pat Nussman, the artist is Nancy Stasulis for the story "Prince in Waiting" in Time Warp #6/7 Volume 1

Pat passed away in June 2001, very shortly after returning from MediaWest*Con.

A memorial zine, Angelfood[1], was published in 2002.

In 2009, Maggie Nowakowska dedicated her history of the Star Wars letterzine Jundland Wastes to Pat: "In memory of Pat Nussman, editor extraordinary of JUNDLAND WASTES, the dynamic STAR WARS letterzine of the early 1980s. Pat Nussman played "list mom" to the first hurricanes that tore through SW fanzine fandom with grace and determination."

Star Wars/Harrison Ford

Blake's 7

Multifandom/Other

Her Own Words

From her fanfic page:

"I first got into fandom in 1980.....The earliest stories are in the Star Wars universe, my first fandom, which I got into right after The Empire Strikes Back was released and represents my writing output from about 1980-1986.

In 1986, I got hit by the Blake's 7 bug (in case you don't know, B7 is a rather dark British science fiction series) and I've been fairly monogamous to that fandom ever since, with a few extensive side flirtations (maybe one affair--with another British show, The Sandbaggers)."[3]

Permission to Copy

In 1990, she wrote:
Again, for the record, I officially give permission for fans to copy any of my OOP SWars zines (frankly, it's easier on me than doing the photocopying myself): JUNDLAND WASTES (all issues), ALDERAANI IMPERATIVE, COMPLETE CIRCLE OF FIRE 1 and COMPLEAT ZEEK 1. For the record, the last two never had second volumes because of various fiscal problems... SWars has become a fairly small market and the price of printing is way up.[4]

Hokas, and a Tribute to Pat

From Millennium #2 (2004), a zine that was dedicated to Pat Nussman:

The small drawings of Star Wars Hokas scattered through this issue [of Millennium] were first drawn as column headers for one of the first Star Wars letterzines, "Jundland Wastes". The editor, Pat Nussman, also a talented writer of fiction in several fan "universes", was one of my own earliest friends in fandom. Pat was the kind of person who, having found her way into fandom, turned around at once to offer her hand to the next newcomers. Long before the Internet, her zine was intended to provide a place for Star Wars fans to discover each other. Pat left us much too soon, taken away by cancer, but her fine writing is still here and for her sense of fun... One more time, these little folks are for you, Pat.

Pat's Fiction Online

Fan Tributes

Pat's Place

Excerpts below are from In Memory: Pat's friends and fans share their memories of her.; Webcite

[Brooke Barker]:

There's no such thing as the typical fan, whether one's generalizing in order to praise or to denigrate, but I think Pat was someone to point to and say "that's what fans are like at their best." She was passionate (when she was arguing about Tarrant with a friend at one con, words failed her and she resorted to whapping the other party over the head with a program book amid hysterical laughter, which is how she got the title of Enforcer for the Tarrant Nostra) but always polite. She only used program books on her friends.

That's not to say she never got exasperated or annoyed. In private she could rant as well as anyone about the irritating behavior or preposterous utterances of Fan X. But she'd accept Fan X as someone with talent, or good intentions, or simply as a person who cared about fandom enough to be part of it, and try to figure out how to get along. In fact, sometimes she'd do both in the same sentence: I recall hearing her say "She's really a wonderful person, except when she's driving me bugfuck nuts." Her private fuming was what one does about difficult relatives with whom one nevertheless expects to spend holidays.

[Beth Friedman]:

Pat was a voice of reason on the B7 lists when I was on them. At first, she wasn't a slash fan (she later discovered the joy of Avon/Tarrant), but she always had something interesting to say on any subject. We shared a room at my first MediaWest, and she was a lovely roommate who only boggled mildly about the several feet of zines that I acquired that weekend.

[Jane Emerson]:

I first swam into Pat's shipping lanes in the late 80s, when I attended a one-day Blake's 7 con in north Jersey where Chris Boucher was the guest. While there I came across some leaflets announcing an APA for something called "The Sandbaggers." My only questions were, "What's an APA? And what's 'The Sandbaggers'?" Passionate and fascinated with so many things in life, Pat could ignite the enthusiasm of others; Sandbaggers is now one of my all-time favorite series, and I have Pat to thank for introducing me to its heady mixture of politics, obsession, and betrayal (themes which have followed me wherever I wrote).

Time passed and I joined GEnie, in the halcyon days of its fannish message boards, and there I stumbled across Pat once again, in the XF topics. I sent her an email - "Are you the same Pat who..." And before long, we were meeting all over the boards - in my author's topic, in the character torture discussions, everywhere there were obsessively fine analyses of heroes and their neuroses.

How often in life do you find someone who's a good audience, a good writer, and a good friend? Pat read my space opera, and commented online chapters at a time; it was like being in a darkened theater with an incredibly brilliant twelve-year-old, before the jadedness of adulthood robbed them of wonder: "Yes! Go, Tal!" (Just before a kiss.) She was a catalyst on so many levels - she could rekindle your enthusiasm for your own work, draw you into discussion groups, bring people together and get them interested and chatty and alive.

She never had enough confidence in her own work, I thought. She could have gone pro (if she'd really wanted to), but on the other hand, she had an endless bag of gifts, freely given - like the very first Pat story I read, a bonbon of charming dialogue and erotic adventuring with Avon and Soonlin.

A middle-aged friend of mine said recently, "Do you know how little passion there is in the world, in people our age?" I can't imagine the passion ever running out for Pat, no matter how long she lived. We used to kid about one day leaving our rockers at the Old Fans' Home and motorcycling down to the all-night Star Wars marathon. Whenever I learned that Pat had gotten interested in a fandom I liked, I'd feel a sweep of delight: Now there'll be some great discussion!

[eluki bes shahar]:

I first met her through her fanwriting, which completely blew me away - so dark, so rich, so perverse! It was an inspiration to me in my own work, and, yes, a major influence. I think the first time I met her was December 1981, at a friend's house in Brooklyn. Lordy, that's 20+ years ago now! She seemed so...normal<g>, and totally without ego, despite the fact that she was a BNF and I'd barely been published. I still treasure her comment about a story of mine: "eluki, I may write purple prose, but yours is ultraviolet!" Yo, Pat!

And then, of course, there's her fan publishing, both zine and letterzine. (Without the rats that night we put together - what was it, ALDERAANI IMPERATIVE, I think it was - would there have been a Bast? Maybe not.) I believe it was in Jundland Waste where I first tried my hand at reviewing, learning many valuable lessons that stood me in good stead in later life, especially now that I'm doing it under my own name....

And of course, without Pat, there never would have been a JEDISTARDARKFALCONKNIGHT parody flyer of blessed memory, which same amused fandom for an entire year, and even generated a zine of its own.

[Jitanith]:

She always had interesting things to say in the e-mail lists we were on together, and was extremely fair-minded and even-handed as a listmom.

[Katie]:

My first encounter with Pat was when I was invited to join the JP list. (I had never bumped into her on Genie.) I asked her if the Jacquarie in the list name was a reference to the French peasants' revolt, and she responded with delight, since I was the first to spot (or at least the first to ask) about the name's origin.

At that time, I was still quite new to fanfic and the B7 universe. She sent me a couple of her stories and I read them with delight. It was only later that I realized that not all fanfic was as well-written as hers, or the others who introduced me to the sub-sub-genre.

[Leigh]:

When I first became active in B7 fandom, Pat was a BNF (Big-Name Fan). She ran the terrific Neutral Arbiter letterzine, she attended cons and moderated panels at them, her intelligent, articulate, and unfailingly polite letters filled zine lettercols, she wrote wonderfully polished and much-acclaimed fanfic. She was a star of the fandom, at least as far as I was concerned, and I was a bit intimidated by her. I remember seeing her at the first B7 con I ever attended. I think it was Scorpio-6. She didn't know me, but I recognized her name immediately. She was moderating a panel, and the subject of Tarrant and slash came up. She said she loved the Avon-Tarrant relationship, but she'd kill anyone who slashed them. My alarm must have shown on my face, because she stopped to reassure me: "I'm only kidding." She was ever passionate...in this case, passionate in her feeling that Avon and Tarrant had an interesting but strictly non-sexual relationship.

Imagine my surprise when, a few years later, Pat was not only no longer threatening murder to A/T slashers...she had become one of them! And that, to me, was the essence of Pat. She always kept an open mind. Not many people ever change their minds about something as fundamental as whether or not they like slash, but Pat did, at an age when most people are becoming as set in their ways as 30-day concrete.

I remember I use to annoy the heck out of her when I said I thought she and Blake had the same Myers-Briggs personality type. She hated the very idea, because she thought Blake was a fanatic. She even sent me stacks of photocopied material on personality typing, hoping to convince me that she and Blake were nothing alike.

Well, perhaps she was right. Pat may have been passionate, but she was certainly never a fanatic. She had a flexibility I never saw in Blake...and that I much admired.

[LB]:

I didn't know Pat really well, but she was a fixture of B7 fandom very early on for me. Her contributions were many-her wonderful stories and poems; the zines she edited; her letters to On the Wing; and the Neutral Arbiter, the fine letterzine she co-ran. Pat's most valuable contribution, though, was herself, both in person at cons and on the B7 mailing lists. She could always be counted on for thoughtful, well-reasoned, and sometimes humorous commentary and discussion. I fondly recall a dry comment she made in an online zine review that, in one slash story, she had "particularly liked the scene with the shaving cream." LOL!

Pat was also a lovely editor to work with. I greatly appreciated her putting together the Straight Blake's zines, which were havens for a het fan in a slashy world. I contributed stories to two of these zines, and her comments and encouragement were sincere and heartfelt. She made me feel as though I had honored her zines by contributing to them, rather than the other way around. Pat was certain one of my stories would win a Fan-Q, and when it didn't, I think she was far more disappointed for me than I was. She caught me in the MediaWest dealers' room afterwards and was so apologetic (like this was her fault?) that I couldn't help but love her for her empathy.

Though definitely not feeling well this last MediaWest, Pat was obviously determined to enjoy herself the best she could. She attended panels and parties, and brainstormed many times with Carol and Brooke on a story collaboration. At one point, I showed some tapes of Peter Wingfield (an actor whom both Pat and I found attractive), one of which featured a very nice bathtub scene. When asked if she'd like a copy of that episode, Pat emphatically declared, "Oh, yeah!" She definitely had the heart of a fan, with fannish priorities!

I'll miss Pat. I miss her already, actually. Her place as a fan and a friend can never be filled. I'll close with a Pat con incident that is indelibly engraved in my memory, even though I'm not sure whether I actually witnessed it, or if it was just related to me later. Perhaps Carol could help me here with specifics or errors. Anyway, the gist of it was that Pat was discussing Tarrant with another fan, when the other fan made a comment about said handsome pilot that Pat, uh, rather disagreed with. "Wrong!" she admonished, "Wrong, wrong, wrong!" Emphasizing every "wrong" with a light whap over the transgressor's head with her program book. ROFL!

Wherever you are, Pat, keep that program book with you and administer justice whenever you see fit.

[Misha]:

Pat was a brilliant writer and a great editor - I was thrilled when she wanted my first story for Straight Blake's, and it was always a special thrill for me when she complimented something in my writing. But that wasn't just because she was such a good writer and editor -she also had two great traits which one seldom finds. On the one hand, she was an incredibly kind, warm, friendly person - people who couldn't get along with each other loved her and would do anything for her. At the same time, she had iron-hard principles and could not stay silent in the face of something she felt was wrong.

[Sarah T]:

She was a big part of B7 fandom for me. I knew her for exactly seven years, which I guess is kind of appropriate. And an eventful seven years it was, for both of us.

Meeting Pat was one of the big thrills of my very first MediaWest, back in 1994. I'd been a B7 fan for about two years already at that point, but I missed the 1992 con because I was in bed with a back injury (though a friend kindly shopped for me and brought back, among other things, an 8 X 10 of Mr. D. shirtless, which made me feel loads better) and the 1993 one because I was in China.

Anyway, on the airport shuttle on the way to the hotel I overheard her talking to someone else and realized, all starry-eyed, it must be that legendary Big Name Fan, Pat Jacquerie. What a thrill! And she was so friendly and nice. We began to correspond, and shortly after that (as I recall) she started a topic on the old GEnie SFRT bulletin board that became a legendary fannish hangout.

In 1994 Pat was just getting back into B7 again after wandering off into things like Sandbaggers for a few years. She was, in those days, a fan who preferred het to slash, although she didn't actually object to the latter. We had some very interesting conversations, at the con and later by e-mail, about fannish erotica, and I loaned her a bunch of assorted stories that I liked. I like to think I had a little something to do with Pat's slash epiphany; I remember with great fondness and pride seeing her at some conventions with a button that said "It's All Sarah's Fault" (a gift from her S.O., I believe).

Pat Got It about slash on August 9, 1995, at about 2:00 PM on a Wednesday afternoon - very inconvenient timing, since she was at work at the time! She had already been working on "Duty," just to see if she could write a slash story without actually being a slash fan; but it was slow going, because Avon and Tarrant are such stubborn types. For quite some time they both told their Writer, "I won't do it, and you can't make me!" Then, all of a sudden, they changed their minds in a big way, and the rest is history. The story that resulted has become one of the classics of B7 fandom.

[Susan Cutter]:

Pat and I met on Lysator. As fellow 'character junkies,' more specifically Avon-centric ones, we quickly became off-list friends. Our correspondence eventually led to the formation of the "Avon Without Guilt" fellowship, and inspired me to create the slash-friendly mail list "Space City." Without Pat's encouragement I probably would never have gone to my first MediaWest where I finally had the pleasure of spending time with her F2F, and through her met a whole slew of other people who have greatly enriched my life. She was endlessly supportive of my early struggles with writing, always ready to supply sympathy, encouragement, and valuable guidance.

So it was pretty much due to Pat that I became an active fan, a published fanfic writer, and even touched on the fringes of Blake's 7 BNFishness for hosting Space City.

And you thought she had no crimes to answer for.

Other Tributes

Note from Lexa: Pat passed away in June 2001, a few days after returning from Mediawest. Her friends think she held on for one last con, and then slipped away quickly and quietly. I know she'd much rather be remembered for her fiction than for her illness, but one of the memories from that con which will stay with me the longest is of Pat sitting in her wheelchair in the hotel restaurant, unable to eat much but enjoying being out with friends, and responding to someone's wisecrack with laughter so loud that people at the next couple of tables turned to see what was going on.

She had known for more than two years that her prognosis was bleak. She handled it bravely, which doesn't mean she never experienced fear or depression. Pat loved life and didn't want to lose it. She was talented, she had plans, she was happy, and then she found it was all going to be taken away. The wonder is not that there were dark times, but there were so few.

She called her coping strategy "denial," but that's misleading. Maybe "defiance" would be a better word. She simply refused to concede any more of her life to cancer than was absolutely necessary. A large chunk of her time went to chemo, tests, medication and side effects, but although she did all she could to take advantage of what medical science could give her, she didn't let that become her life. She kept reaching out for joy: travelling, watching a new kitten establish himself with the resident cats, enjoying new books and chatting with friends about the latest fannish flamewar.

And, most especially, writing. Pat wasn't happy when she couldn't write, and she was determined that "Survival" should be completed. At her last Mediawest she expended her limited strength reviewing scenes and talking plot, regretting that she couldn't take a more active part in the collaboration.

If I've spent more time than Pat would wish talking about her courage, it's because her talent speaks for itself. [5]

Passionate and fascinated with so many things in life, Pat Jacquerie could ignite the enthusiasm of others. She was a catalyst on many levels-she could rekindle your enthusiasm for your own work, draw you into discussion groups, bring people together and get them interested and chatty and alive.

Her contributions to fandom were many; her wonderful and much-acclaimed stories and poems; the zines she edited; her intelligent, articulate and unfailingly polite letters; her attendance at cons. She also attempted to reach out to tans and to bring them together. She did this formally by organizing newsletters such as Pressure Point and Neutral Arbiter and other forums where like minds could gather-her topic on the old GENJE SFRT bulletin board became a legendary fannish hangout. And she did it informally by taking the time to personally contact newbies. Through her writing and her recruitment efforts, she brought many fans into the "Blake's 7" fold.

Pat came into B7 fandom with a whirlwind of ideas, energy and projects. Her zines reflected her positive approach to fandom (and life). She liked het and wanted to read more, so she produced het zines - three issues of Straight Blake's - which encouraged others to read and write het. Deadlier Than the Male was designed to promote the neglected female B7 characters. Although not initially a slash fan, Pat always kept an open mind. Not many people ever change their minds about something as fundamental as whether or not they like slash, but Pat did, at an age where many people are becoming as set in their ways as 30-day concrete.

Pat was an exceptional writer in every fandom in which she wrote. She gave credence and personality, wit and style, to all the characters. Hers was always very much writing by an adult mind for adult readers and her work was an inspiration and a major influence for many. The only disappointments were when those Pat had introduced to fandom discovered that not all fanfic is as well-written as hers. When she went about writing A/T, she redefined the genre. Her stories are classics, evoking heartfelt emotions. A/T writing would be less respectable as well as poorer without her work.

She was also a lovely editor to work with. Her comments and encouragement were sincere and heartfelt. She was endlessly supportive of new writers, always ready to supply sympathy, encouragement and valuable guidance, and making writers feel that they had honored her zines by contributing.

Pat's love for fandom was clear-sighted and unillusioned. She was a veteran of the B7 controversy, throughout which she was a stable and sane voice, and other fannish wars. Editing a letterzine during a period in Star Wars fandom that could politely be described as fractious, she was able to maintain grace and dignity. Tactfulness was one of her admirable traits. Pat was the gentlest of souls when she disagreed with anyone. She presented her opposing view in a non-confrontational and non-judgmental manner. Long before the Internet made "IMHO" popular, she was careful to append an "as I see it" to her convictions. She was a voice of reason on lists, had something interesting to say on any subject, and could always be counted on for thoughtful, well-reasoned, and sometimes humorous commentary and discussion. As a listmom, she was extremely fair-minded and even-handed.

That's not to say that she never got exasperated or annoyed. In private she could rant as well as anyone about the irritating behavior or preposterous utterances of Fan X. But she'd accept Fan X as someone with talent, or good intentions, or simply as someone who cared enough about fandom to be part of it, and try to get along.

When Pat's long battle with cancer began, her courage was an inspiration. With so much will and bravery, it only made sense that she kept living and doing as long as she did with such a serious illness. She had planned all along to be at MediaWestCon 2001, and when her doctors told her that the cancer had spread to her liver and her time was now very short, that only intensified her desire to attend one last time. As ill as she was, she was more full of life than many people in the bloom of health and was there to enjoy the con. She attended panels and parties, bid on art, plotted stories, visited with friends, bought zines. It was typical of Pat to concentrate on the positive.

On the one hand, Pat was an incredibly kind, warm, friendly person -- people who couldn't get along with each other loved her and would do anything for her. At the same time, she had iron-hard principles and could not stay silent in the face of something she felt was wrong. She was a woman of rare sense and feeling, a wonderful friend both to those who met her in person and those who knew her only via e-mail. As well as being passionate, she was also brave, not just in the courage with which she dealt with her illness, great though that was. Long before that she was joyfully willing to take risks, have adventures, and pursue happiness instead of security.

Her place as a fan and a friend can never be filled, but the creativity that she fostered in so many others lives on. [6]

References

  1. Angelfood
  2. Google groups archive of alt.tv.x-files discussion about X-Files acronyms, accessed September 4, 2011
  3. Bio from Pat Nussman's fan fiction website (Accessed 02 December 2009)
  4. from Southern Enclave #25
  5. Fargone
  6. from the zine Angelfood, words by the zine's creators