Syndizine

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Zine
Title: Syndizine
Publisher: T'Kuhtian Press (the first two issues), Pegasus Press (the third issue)
Editor(s): Paula Block
Date(s): 1979-1981
Series?:
Medium: print
Genre:
Fandom: multimedia
Language: English
External Links:
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Syndizine is a gen multimedia fanzine. It was the first multimedia zine that contained content that wasn't based on science fiction shows. [1]

flyer printed in Pegasus #3

About

Will contain stories (both serious and 'twitty' a la Monty Python) from various TV shows, past and present, including High Caparral, Man from UNCLE, Starsky and Hutch, etc. Material still being solicited as the zine won't be ready for a while... some Trek will be accepted. [2]
Syndizine is an upcoming fanzine dedicated to the pathetic folks around the country who are addicted to and slaves to their television sets. While the zine is directed at the fen already gathered around Star Trek, Trek material will make up only a small portion of Syndizine.... Any television show qualifies for story material, altho please do not consider this your big chance to get out your dusty, ten year old story about Cornet Blue out of the trunk and see it in print unless you plan to put a lot of effort to rewrite it. Dusty ten year old stories are rarely of interest to anyone but their creator. Believe me, I know. Straight stories should have a believability factor comparable to the original series. Proper characterization, as always in fanfic, is crucial. There will also be a section of the zine dedicated to total absurdity of the Monty Python variety, the Twitzine. This material can be COMPLETELY off the wall when it comes to tastelessness, absurdity, and humor, but dammit, make it funny. Only authentic twit writers need apply, and if you need a definition of 'twit' you're probably not one. Try a straight story instead... [3]

General Reactions and Reviews

Surely the most manic multimedia zines ever made. They're a little sloppy (by 1993 standards they're a lot sloppy). Their subject matter is all over the highway, with Tenspeed and Brownshoe and Time After Time bunking next to James Thurber and the Muppets. But eclecticism is tempered with an overriding sensibility of enthusiasm and good humor, and held together by the solid talent of everyone involved. It also assumes the reader's life experience consists of more than solely watching television. [4]

Issue 1

Gordon Carleton
back cover of issue #1, Joni Wagner: portrays Paula Block in mortal combat
foldout centerfold by Gordon Carleton, portraying John Cleese

Syndizine 1 was published in May 1979 and has 105 pages.

It was published by Lori Chapek-Carleton, and edited by Paula Block.

A story summary from one unknown source for "The End" is "Starsky pushes Hutch out of the way of a bullet during a liquor store robbery and dies. Years later, Hutch dies stopping another robbery and they meet before going to Heaven together." But -- this is totally not what the story is about. See spoiler summary in the footnote. [5]

Editorial by Paula Block:

I suppose you're wondering why I called you all here today. To tell the truth, I did it out of self-defense. I began to hear rumors late last year that a lynch mob was being formed to snap Poblocki's crooked little spine into shape. And they weren't even chiropractors (chiropractics?).

After debating whether to saddle up Berkey (the Wonderdog) and get out of town before sundown or get out Syndizine before the turn of the century, I opted for the latter, out of a deep sense of dedication to those members of fandom who still wanted it (not to mention the fact that Berkey wasn't saddle-broken).

I wish to state here and now, though, that I never would have gotten my act together about Syndizine if it wasn't for the sharp but loving prods of my three favorite editors in fandom, Paula Smith (Menagerie), Judi Hendricks (Pegasus) and Lori Chapek-Carleton (Warped Space). (Buy their zines--good stuff!) Lori, by the by, really got the ball rolling by generously offering to become publisher, adman and all-around flak catcher for the zine, and a big wet kiss to her from me and Berkey. As long as I'm name-dropping, I may as well mention my other harassers, Faddis, Lindner, Ruffin and Paciello (now Truty), who should certainly share some of the blame. I also wish to thank my wunnerful artists and authors for hanging in there and those poor fen who sent in their original SASE's inquiring about Syndi at least two years ago (some are probably dead by now). And Paula Smith again for writing half the zine. And my mother and father for giving birth to me and the members of the Academy for. . . Uh—I think I 'm getting carried away. In case you can't tell, I've never gotten the opportunity to write a dedication before.

Back to the point of this thing, Syndizine was originally conceived of as an outlet for fannish writers who had story ideas for (essentially) television-inspired, non-SF stuff. There are about a million (or at least 20) zines where folks can get their Star Trek and Star Wars stuff printed, but where do you go If you have a "High Chappara!" story? Or a "Lou Grant" story? There are readers out there who'd be thrilled to read a good "MASH" story, if there was a zlne that would print one for them. So, after being convinced that "anyone can put out a zine", I plunged into the Syndizine project. Needless to say, somewhere along the line things got bogged down till now. Putting out a zine takes a hell of a lot of time and energy and tlc and I'm amazed that this thing is finally done! I originally decided to make Syndizine a one-shot item, but I know that the need for a fannish outlet like it still exists. So if you folks out there would like to see a 2nd volume, send me your l.o.c.'s (the editorial office for Syndizine is c/o me at [address redacted]). Send I.o.c. 's even if you don't like It. I want to hear them a 11. If the general consensus is thumbs up, I'll start accepting submissions for a Syndizine II. And no two-year delays this time. PROMISE!

I have a feeling this editorial should be much pithier than it is, somehow relevant to the impending nuclear holocaust or something, but my soap box has run out of soap. So support your local jedl, visit your public library, burn your draft card if ERA passes, and read this zine. Be seeing you, Po
Editorial by Lori Chapek-Carleton:

Somewhere around the time that Poblocki started sending me stories to type, and typed stories to reduce, I began to realize that this issue of Syndizine was going to turn out to be really good! Syndizine more or less started out as a joke, I believe. Most of the earlier material to come in was originally listed under pseudonyms, but the authors decided their stories were too good to be disowned. I concur.

Do you like this issue? Read it, then decide. If you do, write Poblocki (and/or me) and request further issues. Think of all the many worthwhile television shows (cancelled or still running) that deserve to have worthwhile stories written about them! Doesn't it fire your imagination? Aren't you enthusiastic? Dust off your old manuscripts ... sit at your typewriters ... watch those re-runs! And submit to SYNIZINE #2 ...

I'm glad Po thought: up this 'zine. I'm glad the contri
butors contributed, and I'm glad you bought it. I'm proud 
to be associated with the existence of this 'zine. Forgive
 me if these sentences don't make much sense, but we've (Po,
 Paula Smith and I) have spent the past 12+ hours laying out 
this sucker. Shazbot!

P.S. By the way, if you come across any of those quaint letter groupings which in other 'zines are known as "typos", in this 'zine the problem is simply static on your set. You should get it fixed. -- Lori
  • Fear and Loathing in Fandom, editorial by Paula M. Block (3)
  • Vertical Control, "publishtorial" by Lori Chapek-Carleton (4)
  • I Have a Pretty Good Imagination by Alexandra Ramsay (Man from UNCLE) (Illya and a lightsaber) (5) (reprinted in Tales of Two U.N.C.L.E.S. #2)
  • The Divine Painkiller, poem by Paula M. Block (M*A*S*H) (8)
  • Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling, a High Chaparral story by Po Block (10)
  • A Hawk and a Handsaw by Eileen Roy (UNCLE/Prisoner), a follow-up to "The Final Affair" in The Wolves and the Lambs Affair & The Final Affair and Warped Space #18) (18)
  • Finale by Paula Block (UNCLE/Prisoner), a follow-up to "The Final Affair" in The Wolves and the Lambs Affair & The Final Affair and Warped Space #18) (22)
  • Battlestar Impractical by Cool Han Luke (22)
  • Those Below, a Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea story by Carolyn R. Meredith (introduces Seaview to Cthulhu) (24)
  • Whatever Happened to the IMF? by Paula Smith (Mission Impossible) (43)
  • fold-out Centerfold, And Now For Something Completely Different, art by Gordon Carleton (Monty Python)
  • Talk Show by Paula Smith (Starsky and Hutch) (the author says "It's not that good, but as I swiped the plot from a comic book, what do you expect?") (47)
  • Root Rot Time by R.M. "Ro" Jakubjansky (Quark) (in script form) (52)
  • Five Ways to Sunday by Kelly Hill (Maverick) (60)
  • P.O.V." by Jackie Paciello (Lou Grant) (70)
  • Summer Storm" by Amanda Ruffin (James at 16) (75)
  • Contagion by Paula Block (MASH) (88)
  • The End by Jan Lindner (Starsky and Hutch) Art is by Signe Landon (103)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

I say it as shouldn't, but this is an excellent zine dedicated to the proposition that all non-Trek TV fandoms are created equal, or at least deserve equal time. 'Syndi' gives it to them... The list of contributors and their subjects is even more impressive: Paula Block writing a High Chaparral (for some reason dear to her heart), story, an UNCLE follow-up to her 'The Final Affair,' and a MASH poem; Eileen Roy merging the Prisoner and Illya Kuryakin; Jackie Paciello offering 'P.O.V.' -- a Lou Grant shortie; Amanda Ruffin pederasting James at 16; Carolyn R. Meredith making Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea worhwhile by inroducing Seaview to Cthulu; Po sending up Richard Benjamin; and Kelly Hill giving us an adequate treatment of Bret Maverick. Damning false modesty, I have to say that my own MASH story, Contagion, is pretty good. 'Talk Show' is not, but as I swiped the plot from a comic book, what did you expect? 'Whatever happened to the IMF' gets obscure at times as it purports to explain the personnel changes over the years of Mission Impossible. 'I Have a Pretty Good Imagination' hands Illya K a lightsabre. A one liner. 'The End' by the Lindner sisters is pure gratuitous wallowing in blood, death, the male heterosexual pair bond, Starsky, and Hutch. Incidentally, it is superbly done. [6]
... this zine is not pegged to any particular series. It is designed, instead, to provide maintenance therapy to "those addicts of the video persuasion" who would otherwise find it difficult if not im possible to make a connection. If you're a M*A*S*H head or a Lou Grant freak, this rag is a max buy—the goods are mostly smooth, clean, and uncut, with only one or two bad trips in the whole lot. The electronic feast gets off to a light start with Alexandra Ramsay's "I Have a Pretty Good Imagination", in which Illya returns to UNCLE headquarters to discover that someone has picked up on the correspondence between Napoleon's surname and that of a current sf hero— and R&D has reacted accordingly. It's nicely- turned and entirely frivolous. (N. B.: "frivolous" is not the same as "pointless". True pointlessness requires that a story create some degree of literary expectation, however modest.) Next is the editor's own "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling", a High Chaparral epic wherein Manolito almost suffers A Fate Worse Than Death. The author conceals the precise nature of the problem until the last moment, imparting a neat comic twist with serious undertones. While "Darling" isn't Block's best work, it makes the most of its material. At the other end of the spectrum (that of High Seriousness), Eileen Roy's "A Hawk from a Handsaw" suffers from the proverbial oddity too many, relentlessly sustained. Strange people doing strange things for strange reasons tend to leave the reader annoyed, dissatisfied or both. The same comments apply to Block's "Finale". Just as queer in its way is Carolyn Meredith's "Those Below", a hybrid of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and the Cthulu mythos. It holds the attention, but never quite earns the necessary suspension of disbelief or the reader's concern for its people. Part of the difficulty, I think, is a poor choice of viewpoint; as Kelly's story, this might have been compelling. "Talk Show", Smith's Starsky & Hutch shorty, has no plot, no action, no adventure, no clinches, no tearful declarations of undying friendship. It's merely a gritty and loving day in the life of, that respects the characters' right to their own existence, A stone groove for dedicated SHead, and recipient of 1/2 of the Best of Zine Award, (A year-old Super Deluxe Combination pizza, shellacked and handsomely mounted on a Genuine Simulated Walnut hardwood board. Postage and handling extra.) Rose Marie Jakubjansky's "Root Rot Time" reworks "Amok Time" au Quark, getting off some terrific lines in the process. Despite its implied options, Kelly Hill's "Five Ways to Sunday" never makes it past the Friday rush hour. None of the characters— and I use the word advisedly; it should more properly be "caricatures"—learns anything, changes or grows in any way. This tale is pointless, a waste of time and tree. Jackie Paciello's "P.O.V." is therefore something of a relief; a pile-up on the freeway teaches a gung-ho Rossi that there are things more important than getting the story. "Summer Storm" is another man-who-learns-better piece, well-handled by Amanda Ruffin, James-at-16 emerges as a likable adolescent, not always sure of himself but trying hard, and free of the saccharin idealization/sheer spottiness that mars so many fanfictional children. As for Smith's "Contagion", suffice it to say that it's one of the best things she's written. Like "Talk Show", it takes a long, honest look at some of the uglier facts of human nature, allowing no compromise while avoiding the easy outs of self-pity and despair. In case you haven't guessed, this one takes the other half of the prize. The zine concludes with Jan Lindner's and Judi Hendricks' S&H kill-'em-off, which rings true but is weakened by a certain sketchiness. On second thought, its restraint is admirable; this is definitely one of those cases where less is more. Artwork ranges between brilliant—Faddis, for "Contagion" —and indifferent. Highly recommended. [7]

Issue 2

Sonofsyn.jpg

Syndizine 2 has the subtitle "Son of Syndizine" was published in 1981 and has 174 pages. In 1982, it won the MediaWest FanQ award for "Best Other Media 'Zine".

It was published by Lori Chapek-Carleton, and edited by Paula Block.

  • A Brother Helped is a Strong City by Roy Smith (Starsky and Hutch) (reprinted from Ten-Thirteen, with new art by Karen River -- "In the holocaust department, Roy Smith' s "A Brother Helped Is a Strong City" was parodied in Sue Doughnym's "He Ain't Heavy, He's My City", and extrapolated into Jill Ripley's Decorated for Death (which Jody Lynn Nye and I parodied in "Demonstrated to--Death" [8]
  • The Sands of Time Affair by Jackie Paciello (Moffit discovers an archaeological treasure in an area soon to be a battlefield, reprinted later in another zine, perhaps The G-2 Files.) Rat Patrol (12 pages)
  • Time After Time After Time (Time After Time)
  • Time After Time After Time After Time (Time After Time)
  • Resolution by Judi Hendricks (Masada)
  • Don't Go Near the Water (Quincy)
  • Star Duck: The Molting Picture by Gordon Carleton
  • The American Gigolo Primer by Paula Block
  • Monty Python Interviews Darth Vader
  • Altered Seasons Tenspeed and Brownshoe)
  • an illo by Martynn where Boba Fett shoots J.R. from Dallas
  • Land of Honalee (Happy Days)
  • a Pigs in Space skit called "Pigs in Space'
  • other content from: Incredible Hulk, Shogun, Altered States, ST:TMP/Daffy Duck
  • contributors: Jocelyn Feaster, Judi Hendricks, Paula Block, Eileen Roy, Paula Smith, Kathy Penland, Gordon Carleton, Marian Lindner, Nancy Z. Solomon, Jan Lindner, Beckey Aulenbach, Phil Foglio, Todd Hamilton, Signe Landon, Martynn, Dolores McAllister, Cheryl Newsome, Susan Perry-Lewis, Karen River, and Joni Wagner.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

Top writers and artists grace these 174 reduced pages of Rat Patrol, Altered States, SH, Quincy, Masada, Shogun, American Gigolo, Tenspeed & Brownshoe, Happy Days, and Monty Python. This zine never stops surprising me. The first issue had me dreading to read Maverick, High Chapparaal, and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea stories. But I loved them all. In thish, I did NOT want to read any Rat Patrol, Tenspeed & Brownshoe, Quincy, or Happy Days stories. But I loved everything in this zine. These stories and the accompanying gorgeous art will touch, impress, and delight you.

There is just too much for me to mention, so I'll highlight my personal favorites: the two lovely Time After Time stories - the first, by Paula Block, takes place immediately after H.G. and Amy take off in the time machine; the second, by Nancy Zingrone Solomon, takes place much later and is told from the point of view of one of their sons. There's Gordon Carleton's insane "Star Duck—The Molting Picture," featuring Captain Duck, commander of the U. Eth. Eth. Warnerprize; Ensign P-P-Porkov, Chief Engineer (Yosemite) Sam, and the rest of the Warner characters.

Written by "Roy Smith" (Eileen Roy and Paula Smith), "A Brother Helped is a Strong City" (SH) is perhaps the best story in the zine. Excellent writing and a fine plot - concerning the breakdown of L.A. in 1982, with gas at $4 a gallon, and society generally crumbling - make for an engrossing tale. Amidst all this, Starsky and Hutch try to help a few survivors. It is the fine interweaving of this complex plot and the characterization that struck me. This is a very long, extremely impressive story (and I'm not even an SH fan!), and it should win some sort of Fan Q award next year. (ED NOTE: This zine is not eligible for the 1984 Fan Q as it was published in 1981.) But there was one thing in this zine that meant more to me than anything else. It said what I've been trying so futilely to express to others, and on paper, for nearly nine months (at this writing). On page 32, Judi L. Hendricks has a masterpiece of a poem called "December 8, 1980" and on page 33, Sue Perry Lewis has a beautiful pencilled rendering of John Lennon. I can't thank Ms. Hendricks personally, so I'll have to do it here: thank you. The visuals are lovely, what with artists like Carleton, Foglio, Landon, Martynn, Wagner, River, and others. The price is steep, but well worth it. Highly, highly recommended. [9]

Oh Syndizine! Thank god for it! The home for the homeless fan fiction. And boy do I have homeless fan fiction! I truly enjoyed it, "Time After Time After Time" especially. You got Amy down pat. Being a David Warner fan I adore that film and I'm so thrilled when Amy braves all to join H.G. So bravo! You hit the nail on the head. I thought I'd die about Stephenson and the Force—I just fell and fell and fell about the room. "Time After Time After Time After Time" (Jeez, that can get repetitious) was superb. I think I cried as many times as the title indicates. And "The American Gigolo Primer" was a scream; that's funny stuff you've got there, Paula—keep it up. And "Quincy"—I love It. I am doggedly faithful to that show. And "Shogun"... I guess I'm trying to say I like the zine, please don't stop it.

So I guess I've finally reached my subject, and that's Judi L. Hendricks "Resolution." God, I thought I was the only "Masada" fan out here. Thankfully, I see I am now wrong.. . There's just something about Peter O'Tooie/jnd I'll admit that it was Susan Perry's drawing of Silva and Sheva that made me buy the zine... O'Toole fans need a little space too, and he seems to be very popular in fannish circles. But then, he is unique, to say the least....[10]

First off, I really enjoyed the back cover illo ((of Mark Hamiil and Carrie Fisher)) for Syndi II. It's a gorgeous piece of artwork!

"Star Duck" would make a marvelous Saturday morning cartoon. The only character I didn't recognize was Mr. Spot, the dog, but then, it's been a while since I've been able to sit down and really enjoy Bugs Bunny and the gang. But I was glad to see one of my all time favorites included, the Martian.

"Don't Go Near the Water" was excellent and I definitely mean that. When I watch "Quincy," I always try to guess the ending, only this time I was unable to figure it out, as it was so well-written. I had no qualms whatsoever on the script format—in fact, it made it seem more like a televised version.

There is only one word to describe "The American Gigolo Primer" and that is—hysterical! The no-nonsense verbiage accompanying Joni's illos was perfect.

Jackie's "Sands of Time Raid" brought back memories of all those Monday nights spent in front of the tube watching "The Rat Patrol" without fail. It included insight into the characters which the show did not always cover, and since Moffitt was, and always will be, my favorite character of the series, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

We had a hilarious time reading aloud "Monty Python Interviews Darth Vader" at MediaWest last year. It would actually make a good skit.

Even though I never saw "Time After Time" (gasp!) and only saw pieces of "Tenspeed and Brownshoe," I enjoyed both stories.

I think my favorite piece in the entire zine was " "Altered Seasons." I would definitely like to see at least half of those appear on the television set, especially the one with Boomer, even if it would be the last episode of the series.

And all that time we were quibbling over whether Sue Ellen or Kristen or someone else shot J.R. (re Martynn's ill) and all the time it was dear old Boba. Should've known.

Just one little thing on a LOC in Syndi II on Syndi I... Maggie Nowakowska mentioned that scalpels come in little packages now, in 1 and a half inch blades. They do, but back in WWII and the Korean war, they had one piece solid scalpels. I have one upstairs (my father was a physician) and they are quite sharp and can be used to slice someone up or kill them.

And I guess that's all really have to say. What else can I say except that I liked everything in the zine? Sorry I have nothing negative to report, tsk, tsk.[11]

The price of Son of Syndizine set me back a little, but skipping lunch was worth it. (Actually a can of root beer was lunch and S of S was food for thought.)

Haven't read the whole issue yet, but it is easy to skim. Liked "Land of Honalee," "The Pigs in Space Sketch," "Time After Time After Time After Time" (but saw no reason to bring in Quincy—an alternate universe tag didn't fit in my opinion) and the LOCs. I think the best piece in it was Gordon Corleton's "Star Duck — The Molting Picture." And the best art was Joni Wagner's back cover.

All in all, it is a worthy successor to Syndizine, and thank you for putting it together. Good luck on the third volume.[12]

Re Son of Syndizine; The cover offended me—the idea of Miss Piggy with Yoda as her baby seems wrong somehow. Besides, after two issues, how about something else on the cover--"The Greatest American Hero," perhaps.

"The Sands of Time Raid" was a nice story, a different view of "The Rat Patrol" and Moffit. "Monty Python Meets Darth Vader" was a piece I didn't care much for. Just not interesting. "Time After Time After Time" was much better, captured the spirit of the movie. And the drawings were good. Can't say much about the "Altered States" ones—never saw the movie. " Land of Honalee" and "A Brother Helped is a Strong City" were both bad stories that never came together. Again, it's like being dumped into an alternate universe and never told that you are. As for "Tenspeed and Brownshoe", if the series had been like that, it might still be on. Didn't care for "Pigs in Space"--the Muppets don't do much for me.

The second "Time After Time" story was all right, but a little off on the characters, I think. The best part was the reference to Quincy at the end.

"The American Gigolo Primer" was a total waste of space, not interesting at all. "Don't Go Near the Water" was a nice story, more like Quincy used to be before Klugman ruined it with social causes. Lastly, "Star Duck, the Molting Picture," just doesn't do much for me. It's not that funny and I'd rather see a new idea than a satire of on old one.[13]

I am a Monty Python freak, going through the pangs of withdrawal now that it's off the air, and I can assure you that I know quality Python when I read it. The Darth Vader interview was "bang-on." Simply wonderful!

I must admit that the funny stuff is always my favorite in any given zine—the fan-writer is a person who knows his/her subject well, so who better to write the perfect spoof or take-off.

I attended the Mos'Eastly con and I must have missed the "Pigs In Space" sketch (I would have remembered it, surely). Gordon Carleton's drawings were essence of Muppet, unlike the depressing Muppet Funnies in the daily newspaper. Those Muppets are drawn as if they are puppets, not like the little living people that they are (as G.C. draws them). The script was hilarious too (also unlike the stale stuff to be found in the Muppet funnies). How I love bad puns done with manic style and grace.

One thing I do remember about the Mos'Eastly con was (heh, heh) "Innocence for Sale." That tiny reproduction doesn't do justice to Joni's wonderful work of art (which always seemed to have at least two or three Fen clustered around it). The girl is obviously talented, and you were lucky to get so many illustrations from her for the zine. I particularly like the Amy Robbins on page 24. Its delicacy and soft consideration is an interesting contrast to the active and harder-edged style she uses on the back cover.

I'm really surprised that you didn't get letters about "The American Gigolo Primer"—surely someone had something to say about it, even that they were offended! Personally, I thought it was deliciously vicious. I never saw the movie, I but I was able to enjoy the jokes (probably more than I would have enjoyed the movie). I let a friend of mine who often frequents the Pink Pussycat Boutique (your average hive of scum and villainy) read it, and he sort of smiled evilly/ nodded/ and idly fingered the metal-studded leather strap he wore on his wrist. This is his way of bestowing his seal of approval. Though I'm not sure that's a compliment.

"Time After Time 1 " and "Time After Time 2" were both well-written. I don't know if you planned the two stories together, but it certainly seems that way. The optimism of the new life together, then the destruction of bright hope becouse of human failings and harsh reality. The message of the movie was "and they lived happily ever after" .. .that fairy tale of being delivered from today's pressures and insanities into a better, simpler age. In a way, I learned more about Wells than I really wanted to know. Now, now, I do know that Amy really didn't zap back in time, but he did tend to use his wives and mistresses the way other people use kleenex. I don't care how much of a genius he was (and people tend to excuse genius' faults more readily than average types' faults), he was still an insensitive boor. Here's something you might like—while reading this story, I was reminded of a description of a Tyranosaurus Rex by Ray Bradbury. "It ran, its pelvic bones crushing aside trees and bushes, its taloned feet clawing damp earth, leaving prints six inches deep wherever it settled its weight." H.G. Wells was a magnificent monster, blithely making his mark on the fragile folk around him, blind to the destruction he caused.

I must, however, take exception to one cliche the author of the second story employed—that of the "sainted and saintly sufferer." I mean Amy, of course. (Or 'Jane', if you like.) There are two things I cannot stand—the glorification of war, and the qiamourization of death. I think that great old-time silent flick, "Camille," started the tradition, "Dark Victory" carried it on, then Ali McGraw in "Love Story," and most recently, these tv movies in which young, healthy, extremely doomed athletes bite the big one between commercials. My experience with sick people tells me that even the nicest martyr will occasionally be snappish, abusive, or frightened—in other words, they will act like a human being. There is nothing wrong with this. Amy was too damned perfect, and became a cardboard figure of sainthood as a result.

The fact that I liked the Starsky and Hutch story so much is really rather unusual. You see, I have never liked S & H. This speaks well of the author. I have always maintained that the true test of any fan-type derivative story is whether or not a story in which you replace the famed title characters' names with 'non' names is still interesting. (For instance, all the Star Trek novels, except for Mclntyre's The Entropy Effect, fail this test because if you replace the names with Smith, Jones, and Johnson, etc., the books immediately fall apart. Entropy would be a good book no matter what. I'm sure there's a gang of people who would love to argue in defense of their own favorite ST book.) Back to Starsky and Hutch—it was just a plain old good story about the disintegration of a city. Perhaps the fact that I'm living in a large city that is collapsing under its own weight increased my enjoyment and appreciation. That sounds terrible, doesn't it? I mean that I understood it. The suspense was killing. . . the relationship between the two men didn't need a knowledge of the show to be appreciated. My favorite scene had to be "6:07 p.m. 33 [degree symbol]" —the anguished cry, "This kid, for all I know, does half the filing for Parker Center and he can't read," and Hutch's "Who else would take the job?" By the way, the device of titling the "chapters" with the time and temperature works well. Ya know, I used to not know which one was Starsky and which one was Hutch—I think that this story has helped me to get a bead on this little problem.

Well, this letter is getting a bit long. I cannot for the life of me figure out why you were not inundated with letters, letters, letters. Actually I can think of one reason—almost none of the stuff in the zine is derived from shows that people are fanatics about. When was the lost time you heard of a "Rat Patrol" convention (I had to be told by my father that there used to be a show of that name). People are crazed for"Star Wars," "MASH", "Star Trek," "Man From U.N.C.L.E.", and possibly "Starsky and Hutch."

((Ahem— those readers feeling prematurely withered by Celeste's comment about "Rat Patrol" might take heart the fact that U.N .C.L.E. was a contemporary of "RP", and she is familiar with that series.)) In Son of Syndizine, there was only the one S&H story, a dash of SWARS, and the other shows that people like but are not mainline panicked about. ((Yes, but, that's why there is a place like Syndizine— for the 6 people who like "Rat Patrol" to read a story about it, and for the one person who wrote the story to see it in print. Seriously, though, the zine's dedicated to the eclectic in media devotion. You can't print an "Altered States" story in "Zebra-3", or a "Those Lips, Those Eyes" story in "Warped Space." But if it's well written, you con print it here.))

By the way, at the Mos'Eastly convention, some smarty put a bid sheet on the plastic "The management is not responsible for any coats or suitcases left in this room" plaque in the art room People started putting funny bids on it—e.g. Frodo bid a finger, Adama bid a slightly used battlestar, and Dr. Who bid a bag of jelly babies and a sonic screwdriver. The art show runners put the silly thing on sale and, lo and behold, some one bought if. They said that it was going to appear in a fanzine. Do you have any idea which fanzine it appeared in? ((No, but if you check inside you'll find the bid sheet from the new car outside the Lansing Hilton's coffee shop, courtesy of this year's MediaWest art auction and Jean Stevenson.[14]

Hey, I like your zine! (And you thought you'd be getting intelligent comments. Boy, were you wrong.. .) Seriously, it's difficult to pick out one piece and say, "I think this one was best," because all of them are very high quality. If gun is put to head, however, I'll choose "A Brother Helped is a Strong City," which I would nominate for Fan Q against all comers had I not iust realized it was a reprint. Damn. This is one very consistent piece with strong images and an impact that is independent of the tv show. I wish I could write this well.

On the other hand, I have an Obligatory Gripe about T [4] A [3] (by Nancy Zingrone-Solomon, and I'm not going to write that title out!). I never saw the movie, so both Nancy's story and yours presented something of a challenge. I thought yours depended more on the film to make sense, because of the internal references, while Nancy's stood better atone as a story about a woman trying to convince her sons she belonged in the future (though I must admit reading your story, especially with its foreword, was a tremendous help). HOWEVER, the last few paragraphs of Nancy's story almost made me throw the zine across the room! I hated her dragging in "Quincy" on such a story that was so self-contained! I would have been much better pleased if she had left Feldman with the unsolved mystery. Crossing universes at that point was a real jar and a great disappointment, precisely because the story was so good to begin with.

"Sands of Time Raid" seemed a little thin to me, perhaps because there was a lot of "telling" going on about Moffit's devotion to archaeology, but not much "showing. I would like to know why this particular discovery would be so vital, instead of simply being told it is. Other small nerches—I am surprised the remains were worn down to bone rather than being naturally mummified to at least some extent, and most minor of quibbles, if Troy ever does ask Moffit what the difference is between archaeology and anthropology, the answer will be meaningless, because the British define their disciplines differently. British "anthropology" is a much narrower field.

"Land of Honalee" confused me. I liked the story, but it required a distinct effort to connect H with "Happy Days"!

Loved the "American Gigolo Primer." You should be ashamed of yourself, subjecting a fine young movie to such parody.. .snicker, snicker, marsbar.

"Don't Go Near the Water" was neat. If I were a defense attorney I'd raise hell obout the purity of a sample derived from wringing out someone's tie, but as that's exactly the kind of glitch that pro TV writers get away with every day, why shouldn't Judi and Jan? I am impressed. I think they need on agent, but leave us not probe sore points—this is pro quality. It should sell, dammit.

I'm usually reluctant to comment on art, but overall it was very very good. ! was particularly impressed by Sue Perry's companion pieces to Judi's poetry. "Tenspeed and Brownshoe" got killed by preemptions in Albuquerque, so I only saw a few episodes, but it seemed to me that Kathy Penland got Lionel exactly right. Neat!

I haven't a whole lot to say on the poetry—"Reflections" didn't do much for me, and neither did "Words on a Wind." "December 8th, 1980" reminds me of Ferlinghetti—the rhythm carries you along. The strongest part of "Resolution" seems to be the first stanza, but something happened to the balance of the poem.

I'm not going to comment specifically on the rest of the zine (my hand hurts...), but I think you more than earned your Fan Q. Congratulations and keep up the good work![15]

I enjoyed Son of Syndizine a lot. And I must admit my
favorite parts were the "Time After Time " stories. I just love Nicholas Meyer's stuff.

Also, I reatly appreciated the Mason Parrish quote on your title page. That was my favorite scene in the movie "Altered States."

I'm glad you're taking on another Syndizine. As time goes on, I find the more diversity in a zine, the better I like it. [16]

Issue 3

cover of issue #3, Karen River: "New Cast for "Three's Company'"
flyer for issue #3 from Warped Space #48

Syndizine 3 has the subtitle: "Beneath the Revenge of Syndizine" was published in Fall 1982 and is 124 pages long.

It was published by Pegasus Press, and edited by Paula Block.

Artists: Beckey Aulenbach, Gordon Carleton, Bernie Davenport, J.R. Dunster, Todd Hamilton, Celeste Hotaling, Ros Ludwig, Wanda Lybarger, Martynn, Jackie Paciello, Susan Perry-Lewis, Karen River, and Joni Wagner.

Paula's editorial:

Well, garsh, folks—we're three volumes old. Who woulda thunk it?

First off, my heartfelt thanks to all of youse who voted SYNDI II a best "other media" zine fan q last year at Media West II. And belated thanks to all my con-tributers/lackies/etc. who made that issue what it was. I know I should have thanked you all before this, but I is a bad girl.

Second off, you'll have noticed by now that as of this issue, SYNDIZINE is now a Pegasus Press Production. I guess if I'm the Steven Spielberg of this scribal effort (I mean, when I fantasize, I fantasize big), then Jackie Paciello must be Frank Marshall. And Judi Hendricks can be Howard Kazanjian if she likes, but for at least this edition, I think she prefers the position of Obi-Wan (i.e. resident sage, but involved on a less tangible level than Jackie or I).

Jackie has been a Super-Trooper, and without her help you wouldn't be seeing this issue a scant 18 months after the last one appeared. I just don't work that fast on my own. While I'm handing out thanks, I'd like to award special kudos to Celeste Hotaling for turning out s'wunderful stuff till both her brain and her fingers hurt, and Karen River for living up to the title resident artist.

People occasionally ask me why I print such strange stuff in SYNDIZINE—Rat Patrol stories, vignettes based on Those Lips, Those Eyes, etc., etc., etc. They also ask why I don't print more stuff based upon shows everyone seems to like—for example, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., I Spy, etc.

Well, as to that first question, as I pointed out in this ish's loc column, I really do try to stand by my policy of altruistic eclecticism when it comes to chosing submissions. Who am I to say whether a good Greatest American Hero story is more worthy of print than a good Heroes story, even if the former is bound to hit a broader audience of fans than the latter? Good writing is good writing and I'm a sucker for orphan media.

To that second question—I'd love to print a good U.N .C.L.E./l Spy/Etc. story. But you folks have to send them in for me to print. Verstehen Sie? I can't print what I don't get. Jackie will probably live up to her reputation (see next editorial) if I don't keep this down to size. I do have one last request—PLEASE send me Iocs. Otherwise I'll be forced to makejcfp'Some (more).

This zine is respectfully dedicated to the memory of Mr. Elias Howe, who, in 1848, invented the sewing machine.
Jackie's editorial (which is "rated R" due to the use of the word "bitch") is titled Obitchitorial:

If I hadn't thought of the title myself, I might have been offended.

Po asked if I wanted publisher's space to say a few words, and being in "that kind" of mood, I told her just to write my obituary instead.

"No, on second thought," I'd reconsidered, after reminding her two days before layout that she hadn't written her editorial, "call it an obitchitorial. That seems to be my primary function." And, in truth, Po is the editor and I, representing Pegasus Press, am the publishing force. Like Mr. McGraw Hill, Mr. Harcourt Brace, William Wilkins. . .Mrs. Pynchon. I get the lists, remind Po of deadlines, hassle artists. In other words, I bitch. And bitch. And bitch. And I'm damned good at it. Anyone who really knows me will tell you that.

And I must say that I've done some of my very best bitching to get Syndizine on the drawing table and to the printer. But to give credit where credit is due, without Po to bitch at, there would be no Syndizine. So thanks to Po for being kind enough to put this zine out so I could bitch ather. And thanks to all of you who wrote asking that this zine be put out, so I could bitch at Po.

Judi's editorial addresses why Jackie has done so much of the work and includes the comment: "To Po the Younger, I bow in undisguised amazement. At the rate she's turning these zines out (with only three LoCs to urge her on) the next one'll be published before JED I comes out. Well, maybe not that fast.. .but close."

  • Editorials (2)
  • Fan Mail, LoCs (5)
  • Crazy Eddy {spelled "Eddie" on the title page, "Eddy" in the tale of contents) and the Healing Power of Love by Paula Block and Nancy Zingrone (review of an article that originally appeared in the second issue of the Midwest PSI Research Institute Newsletter, 3/1/81) (9)
  • Shadows by T.J. Burnside (Hill Street Blues) (11)
  • Song of a General's Pride by D.C. Arian (17)
  • Halloween Tales by Sherry Magee (Heroes) (18)
  • * Ghost Hunt (war story, does not appear in the table of contents and does not list an author) (37)
  • Eulogy Between Friends by Bec Aulenbach (Barreta) (45)
  • Vermithrax Pejorative, Better Lairs and Dungeons by Beverly Grant (Dragonslayer) (46)
  • The Thurberesque Carnival by Celeste Hotaling, Paula Block, and Paula Smith (satires and humorous short stories) (47)
  • After the Fall by Paula Block (Doctor Who, Fourth Doctor) (66)
  • Going Three Times, contributed by Jean Stevenson, satirical bid sheets from MediaWest*Con (70)
  • And Never Brought To Mind by Jackie Paciello (The Greatest American Hero) (72)
  • Close-Up by J.L. Hendricks (76)
  • Gumby Strikes Back by Pogumbi (Star Wars/Monty Python) (con skit transcript) (78)
  • Gumbies of the Lost Ark by Gumby Davenport (Raiders of the Lost Ark/Monty Python) (con skit) (82)
  • Brownian Motion by Sheryl Adsit (Q.E.D.) (92)
  • A New Scenario by Irene Schafer (The Greatest American Hero) (99)
  • A Little Change Back by Kelly Hill (Harry Crystal) (104)
  • Espeth by Bev Grant (Dragonslayer) (106)
  • Television Crossword Puzzle (109)
  • H.M.S. Deathstar by Bev Grant (Star Wars Play/Parody) (110)
  • Close-Up by J.R. Dunster (121)
  • The Hill Street Blues-backed Speller by Paula Smith (122)
  • Puzzle Answers (124)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

Syndizine #3 is a spiffy-looking, if teeny-tiny printed, zine of 'orphan' media stories -- stories few other zines will take, not because they are badly done, but because they haven't an active fandom behind them. After all, there hasn't been a Hill Street Blues con nor a Dragonslayer zine to show off those pieces in... yet. The worst one can say about this zine is that most of the entrees are either very short, or else verge on the fluffy, like the 14-page script for the two Gumby plays performed at MediaWest*Con, "Gumby Strikes Again" and "Gumbies of the Lost Ark'... It's pleasant to have these plays in more solid form than memory, and the 'Carnvial' is a clever combination of fandom and James Thurber, but they are likely not to everyone's taste, despite being the second and third longest things in the zine. The longest is "Halloween Tales," a diptych with Kenny Boyd, Harrison Ford's character in the movie Heroes. Both stories are incidentally quite fine, depicting Kenny's coming to manhood in the opposite situations of a junior high school Halloween dance, and a moonlit Vietnam sniper chase... The remaining pieces are vignettes or a little more, but still, they are rather good. Of the two Greatest American Hero stories, 'A New Scenario' beats out 'And Never Brought to Mind' by a whisker. Shafer's plot -- Ralph is to return the supersuit after five commendable years of action, and Bill is depressed because he sees it as the end of their friendship -- stays in focus better than Paciellos': Ralph offers to holovise for the murder of Bill's wife, but Maxwell demurs, not wishing to stir ghosts... Grant's two Dragonslayer pieces are interesting. 'Elspeth' is the better, an intense look at the princess heroine at a heroic moment, as she decides on certain death to force the nobility and her father, the king, to exterminate the dragon, not just placate it with semi-annual virgins... 'Vermithrax Paradox' is a witty turnabout on the film from the dragon's point of view. Grant also has a collection of instant filksongs for Star Wars in the Gilbert and Sullivan mode. My favorite is 'I am the Very Model of a Diplomatic Droid.' Delightful sketches by Todd Hamilton accompanying them. I can't help favoring Burnside's Hill Street Blues-based 'Shadows.' It's the story I had meant to write myself. Even without that motive, a reader will enjoy this piece; it's right in character, it takes off from a point mentioned but not shown in the series, and it's the beginning of another relationship, specifically Bates/Coffey. Now all that remains is to write the sensual resolution. A heterosexual relationship story -- what a concept!... 'After the Fall' is a curious, haunting depiction of the limbo where the good doctors go after shuffling off their mortal coils. It is also similar to Poblocki's 'Finale' (in Syndizine #1) in which Illya Kuryakin also showed the serenity that comes from letting go of one's mind. This calls up Mark Twain's mysterious stranger, who recommended madness as a cure for unhappiness... No blockbuster stories, but many fine works. Recommended. [17]

References

  1. "One index finger on the mouse scroll bar and the other on my clit" : slash writers' views on pornography, censorship, feminism and risk (2001)
  2. from a submission request in Scuttlebutt
  3. from a blurb in Implosion #4
  4. In 1993, a zine ed asked her readers to list their "Five Favorite Fanzines." This was one fan's comment. For more, see Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine?/Top Five Fanzines Questionnaire.
  5. Hutch is shot in the chest during a routine collar. Starsky puts the bad guy in the back seat of the car, and carries Hutch to the front seat. As they are driving to the hospital, Hutch dies. When Starsky realizes this, he drives the Torino over a cliff, engulfing all three occupants in a fiery flame.
  6. review by Paula Smith from Universal Translator, the same review is in an issue of S and H
  7. from Jane Aumerle in Star Canticle #2
  8. from Paula Smith in the program book for The Paul Muni Special
  9. from Universal Translator #21
  10. from an LoC in "Syndizine" #3
  11. from an LoC in "Syndizine" #3
  12. from an LoC in "Syndizine" #3
  13. from an LoC in "Syndizine" #3
  14. from an LoC in "Syndizine" #3
  15. from an LoC in "Syndizine" #3
  16. from an LoC in "Syndizine" #3
  17. from Warped Space #48