Susan M. Garrett
|Name:||Susan M. Garrett|
|Fandoms:||Forever Knight, Shadow Chasers, Doctor Who, Q.E.D., The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, and many others|
|Communities:||ForKni-L Mailing List, SJJV Yahoo Group, SJJVA Yahoo Group|
|URL:||Her Forever Knight fan fiction page * Her SFF.net page * Amazon page for Intimations of Mortality * Her home page *The Secret Journals of Jules Verne fanfiction Yahoo Group **The Secret Journals of Jules Verne Adult fanfiction Yahoo Group * her LJ|
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Susan M. Garrett was a prolific and respected gen writer, editor and publisher in many fandoms, but especially Forever Knight -- she was hugely active on ForKni-L, and a member of the Ravenettes. She won four Fan Q awards for Forever Knight zines or stories. Her Forever Knight fan fiction and non-fiction can be found on her website, The Library of Lost Souls.
Her zine publishing was done through Penguin Press.
She is perhaps best known for being invited to write a Forever Knight TV tie-in novel, Intimations of Mortality, in 1997. But it's possible her biggest contribution to fandom was the writing and publishing of
- The Fantastically, Fundamentally Functional Guide to Fanzines for Readers & Contributors, 1989, and
- The Fantastically, Fundamentally Functional Guide to Fanzines for Editors & Publishers, 1990.
These works are wonderfully informative guides for new-ish zine fans. She also published an adzine for other adzines:
Susan Garrett was a member of the Forever Knight, Doctor Who, Shadow Chasers, and The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne fan fiction communities. Her first official fanfic was written for the series Fantastic Journey back in the mid-seventies. Susan is the author of over 400 fanfic short stories, multiple novels and novellas and the editor/publisher of over 45 fanzines.
Susan shares the honor of being the co-creator (with Ann Larimer) of the NOT The MediaWest*Con Program Guides, a satirical homage to all things fannish published for many years and distributed at MediaWest*Con.
She was given the title of "The Finder of Lost Fandoms" due to her interest in limited episode series - if a pilot was written but never filmed, she was probably a fan of the show. Due to her interest in a multitude of fandoms and the inability to tie her to one, Susan's catchphrase was "I am not a fandom, I am a free fan."
For a complete list of her fanzines, awards, and fandom contributions, click here.
She was given the title of "The Empress of FK-Fic" by the FKFIC-L list. On the FKFIC-L list she started the practice of Story Challenges, participated in a number of round robins and was a part of the first fictional FKWar. In addition, it became a tradition to post Forever Knight fiction to the FKFIC-L list to help Susan celebrate her birthday.
In 1998, Susan M. Garrett created and ran the The Forever Knight Fan Fiction Awards. Awards were given to the authors of Forever Knight fan fiction that was nominated and voted upon by Forever Knight fans - all items posted on the internet during or previous to December 31st, 1997 were eligible for nomination. In 1999, Susan again ran the awards, during which Forever Knight fan fiction posted on the internet during or previous to December 31st, 1998 were nominated and voted upon by Forever Knight fans.
At the time of Susan's death, the ForKNI-L-based Forever Knight fandom was in the middle of organizing its first War in six years. War 13 (played in October 2010) was therefore dedicated to her memory.
Susan's many interests included the fandoms listed, as well as Q.E.D., Beauty & The Beast, Quantum Leap, The Man From UNCLE, Kolchak:The Nightstalker, X-men (comics), Dark Shadows, The Man From Atlantis, The Avengers, The Prisoner, etc.
Susan was the moderator of two Yahoo The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne fanfic writing groups -
- SJJV - The Secret Journals of Jules Verne for gen fiction and
- SJJVA - The Secret Journals of Jules Verne Adult for adult fanfiction.
She was also a fan crafter. Time Bears was a Doctor Who zine that published 26 of Susan's Doctor Who-related needlepoint designs.
In November of 1998, Susan spent the day as an extra on the set of Homicide: Life on the Street, and wrote an account of her experiences. She appears in the episode "Bones of Contention", which aired in season seven, January, 1999.
Excerpts from a 1986 Interview
Some excerpts from an extensive interview in Pop Stand Express #13 (1986):
- On her fannish start: For most of us it would be difficult (if not impossible) to cite the exact date we entered fandom. Not so, Susan Garrett. As a senior pursuing a degree In literature at the University of Dallas, she vividly remembers the afternoon of January 15, 1983, as one spent getting feedback on some of the stories she had circulated among fellow students and friends from a local Dr. Who club to which many of them belonged. Somewhere in the midst of "...this is good—change that—leave this alone..." someone casually announced: "You should try to publish some of this stuff." Although fandom proper was still an unknown, a decision was reached to assemble the stories and create a small publication entitled "Time Winds" and distribute it through the club. It wasn't long before someone Introduced her to UT and Datazine and her official entry into fandom was complete.
- On her press: I started Penguin Press primarily because I couldn't afford to put out a zlne with the printers I had in Toms River. Having lived in Dallas and Boston, I'd lived In areas where printing was fairly cheap, and it wasn't unheard of to get 3-4 cents a page. Around here the cheapest I could get was 6-9 cents a page, which was really preposterous. So I came up with the idea of leasing a small photo copier and started printing my zlnes myself.
- On the The Karenina Continuity Chronicles: wrote a story based on "The New Avengers" featuring Karenlna. A friend of mine read it and told me that I really needed to resolve the ending. I said okay, and wrote a second story a few months later, printed them both In "Wynter Tydes" which was a small publication I had put out at the time, and then forgot about it. Well, the second story was very open-ended. Karenlna takes a plane from England to the U.S. and during the flight she meets Michael O'Leary, who is Remington Steele, coming over at the same time. I put it In as kind of an in-joke to see if anybody would pick it up. Several people did, and they started writing to ask when I planned to continue it, even though I never seriously gave it any thought. I was sitting In Boston In November of '83 watching an episode of "The Avengers," called "The House That Jack Built" In which Emma Peel is being hounded by a man who was fired by her father. In this episode we learned that Emma's maiden name was Knight, that her father was the head of Knight Industries in England, that he had a brother in the U.S. that was the head of Knight Industries In America, and that after the father died, she had taken over the business for him in England. So, being that this was such a coincidence with "Knight Rider" I thought, as long as I have her coming to America, maybe I can tie this into a story. I mentioned this to Guy Brownlee In Texas during a late night phone call, and he mentioned that there were lots of other coincidences, so we tried to see how many we could come up with. You know, things like, Jamie Sommers and Jim Rockford having the same phone number except for the area code, and, uh, like in "Return of Man From UNCLE" when James Bond shows up...little things Iike that. So I said, why don't I Just go ahead and instead of writing a solo or story, come up with an adventure, and we can use these little end and tie-ups to create a tapestry. The first thing to figure out was what material would be used. We decided only media shows or movies that occurred In a basic real-type earth, or current time, should be utilized. From there the plot sort of evolved on its own.
- On new accessibility: Cable Is a godsend to fandom. It has made available things that five years ago you never would have dreamt of seeing again. Who would have thought all of the MUNCLE episodes would be available again, or Dark Shadows? If anybody had told me I would be spending 3 years of my life taping a soap opera everyday I would have said they were crazy. But I did It, because I was so afraid I would never see it again.
- On taking chances: I would like to see a lot more people taking chances with what they'll print. Not necessarily with something that's controversial, but I'd Iike to see somebody try some interesting stories. My brother told me the other day that he would Iike to run an ad and find out if anybody would be interested in contributing to a zlne that had a thematic nature about religion. Not that the story would have to be about religion, but do they know what religion the character is, and if they wrote a story, would the character's religious beliefs or non-relIgious beliefs determine how they dealt with a particular situation. It was a very interesting concept, but as we sat there and discussed it, we got very depressed. We imagined people saying, "That's very Interesting," but they would be too afraid to submit something, or they would be more content to sit back and write a story that would be accepted for a general media zlne, than try to do something for a one-shot like this? I don't know if he'll ever go through with it, but I hope he does. I think there are a lot of interesting ideas out there, but they're not getting done simply because there aren't many places to air these views. A letterzine is pretty much a one media type of thing—you like this, or you don't like that. It never really gets beyond the basics.
- On that exhilaration of creating: There Is no other feeling like standing there after you've put the staples In the first copy. It's not so much the selling or the LoCs. It's that one moment when it's printed and you're holding it in your hand, knowing that you put it together. Or, if it's a group and the first collated copy makes it down the line and everyone shouts, "Yaaaal - We're throughl Only 400 more to go!" But for that one brief shining moment. It's Camelot.
Susan passed on August 14, 2010.
Some memories are at 'Remembering Susan M Garrett', Fan Dominion, August 16, 2010 and here.
She befriended people everywhere she went, and she was a GOOD friend to those people, too. She encouraged people and built them up. She was patient with their troubles, and a great listener. She was at her happiest when she was making other people happy, and she understood how to do that as well as anyone I've ever known....She was also a very gifted writer.... She knew what made a good story, and how to find enough common threads to put uncommon things together and make it work. She could surprise you in a good way. 
Susan Garrett was what we used to call a SMOF--Secret Master of Fandom. She knew everyone, knew the rules and when to break them. Knew the secrets and the stories and the jokes and always always where to find the nearest bathroom. [...] I could never have hoped to have a better mentor than Susan. She didn't just teach me about fanzines and writing and cons. She taught me about the shape of stories and our appetites for them, the joy of friendship and the importance of being good to people. Not just because you never know who might be there for you when you need a hand up someday, but just for the sake of being a good person in a "thus we refute entropy" sort of way. 
The world's a poorer place today because she's left us....Susan stood for a time when fandom was more personal, more generous, and infinitely more pleasant ... for me, at least. She personified everything that was great about being a fan -- passion and enthusiasm and generosity and wit and the willingness to work and work hard, for the sheer love of writing. It was about doing it well, not getting instant kudos via the press of a computer button.