Nut Hatch Press

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Name: Nut Hatch, Nut Hatch Collective, Nuthatch, Nut Hatch Creative Workshoppe, The Nut Hatch, Nut Hatch-Entropy, Multimedia, Entropy Express, DOAW, NHE
Contact: n/a
Type: fanfic zines, fanzine publisher
Fandoms: Professionals, due South, Starsky & Hutch, Sentinel, multi-media
Status: defunct
Other: slash, gen; also sold authorized reprints for Tanglewebb Press
URL: Final 2003 update via Wayback Machine
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Contents

"This press was aptly named 'The Nut Hatch!' Sometimes I wonder how we're not all chained to the wall, never mind shackled to the typewriter." [1]

Nut Hatch was an Australian zine press run by Jane of Australia, who was also the core writer under her various pseuds, although Nut Hatch also published other authors.

a flyer for Tanglewebb Press, printed in Hostage to Peace, shows some of the zines agented by "Nut Hatch Press"
a 2003 screenshot for NHE

It began publishing in 1984 and stopped publishing in May 2006.

In its early years, "Nut Hat Press" considered itself an "underground press," but went on to become one of the most intensely advertised fanfiction publishers. From a 1989 statement in Falconhurst:
Not for general sale: get it for a friend, get it from a friend... Which means, please recommend us to your friends, because we do not use open advertising. We are a completely underground press and we rely on your word of mouth.

The press published both novels and anthologies, mostly slash but with a smattering of gen as well. It published under a wide variety of names (Entropy Express and DOAW), however it was best known as "Nut Hatch Press."

Nut Hatch also agented for other fanzine publishers. In a 1994 flyer, they advertised that they had "....reprint rights to Tanglewebb Press zines, and we agent for Entropy Express world-wide, and in Australasia for Satyr D'Nite Press and Other Times and Places Press."

From the publisher's website in about 2001:
The Nut Hatch is another of the oldest fannish presses in the world, not much younger than Entropy Express. This one was born in 1984 as a "circuit library" in the Golden Age of PROS fandom. Ah, those were the days!

Scores of zines and many websites later, Nut Hatch is still alive and kicking and, if not actually "going strong," it's certainly surviving! A few years ago we branched out into many other fandoms after PROS had been our pivot point for so long that, at one stage, it seemed all of fandom was Bodie and Doyle! The FULL CIRCLE zines were born right then, and after the five of those came STARSKY & HUTCH, DUE SOUTH, and more.

More recently, Nut Hatch's last mainspring, JJ, mentioned that the rights to print four long in-limbo M/Uncle zines, and a whole new project was born. Read on..." [2]

Technology, Weight, and Location

The press constantly struggled with the reality of their location: shipping zines from Australia to fans outside of Australia was extremely expensive.

From the editorial of Sword of Damocles:
But as you know, the zine must come in under 5OOg, and we're teetering on the brink of that right now. Once upon a time, Nut Hatch books were 177pp! That was in the days when we used staples and paper covers (ouch). The coils and acetate plastic sheets weigh about 30g — which effectively steals about a dozen sheets of paper from the zine... when you exceed 500g, airmail leaps up by $14 and $15 — no stops along the way to $24 and $25, for the addition of a single extra sheet of paper. To those of you who own and operate computers, a note: if you need a RAM memory kit of about three megs (several chips), drop a line to [B R], [Australian address redacted]. These chips are designed to run with the AT generation of computers, so make sure you have the right kind of machine to run them. (That is, if you have an SX, you'd have problems). Your manual will tell you. And this is a bargain.

Constant Financial Worries

According to the always very lengthy editorials in the print zines, "Nut Hatch Press" was always on the verge of financial collapse, in financial collapse, or climbing back from financial collapse. Reasons cited were the economy, cost of shipping from Australia, zine piracy, equipment failure, circuit stories vs. zines, the circuit, the GST, and other variables.

In a long, long personal statement in 1986, Jane said Entropy Express was closing down shop due to zine piracy:
It's very sad when fans start to prey off one another: It's true that we all prey on the licenced copyright holders, but producers and fans have come to a sort of understanding, and we thought the understanding between fans themselves was very clear: when piracy raises its head, fandom comes unglued, and if we don't have ethics, we've got nothing ... The photocopier and the SLR camera are the fan producer's worse enemies. We at Entropy are trying to market a range of high quality zines and telepix, and it's recently been brought to our notice that the main reason why our sales have been so poor is that our potential customers in the USA are obtaining copies of both our zines and our photos from ... somewhere. It must be understood that any zine's 'next issue' depends on the financial returns of its past and current issues. When the editor has boxes of unsold copies but the customers have all got pirated copies — there isn't going to be a next issue. This the state of affairs with SYNDICATED IMAGES. It gets rave review, but we literally can't give it away. We're not even asking who it is who's responsible for sticking our zines on the copier for friends [and] releasing the stories onto the circuit . . . but we'd like to say this to them: Congratulations. SI just closed up shop at #8, and unless we sell the mountain of copies we've got in the boxes (which is to say, if they can be kept off the circuit and interested parties purchase the zines instead of bags full of loose copies from Blackbeard Productions), SI9 will never happen. It was going to be a beauty, like #10 after it, but we know when we're licked. You pirates have killed the zine stone dead; when SI8 is available, in about ten days' time, and you've pirated that, there won't be anything else for you to pirate. To the people who own our zines in their pirated form, we'd like to add the following: we're not blaming you. How were you to know that the stories were not cleared for circulation, and that the publishers have heaps of unsold stock? But if you come across the works of the following authors in circuit-story form from this point on, you know that they are the wares of rip-off merchants: Adam Jenson, Jack Heston, Jane Sterling, Peta Brock, G.W. Conrad, Mike Adamson. These writers appear only in SI, and since all our issues are still in print, none of them are cleared for the circuit. To the people who are copying/selling our telepix: do you really think a photographer can't recognise his/her own work? Imagine the shock when you open a zine and find it illustrated with a Xeroxed enlargement of a photo for which the supposedly unique negative is in your own file! There's nothing we or any other photographer could do about this: copyright is a laughing matter when someone has a 35mm camera and a set of CU filtres... [3]
In 1988, from the editorial of Unfinished Melody:
This novel is from THE NUT HATCH CREATIVE WORKSHOPPE. Not for general sale: Get it from a friend. Get it for a friend. But no part of this novel may be reproduced in any way or form without permission from the publisher. Please do not photocopy it as a favour for your friend; the result is that she won't know it is/was a zine and not a circuit story, and will copy it for her friends, who copy it for theirs — ad infinitum. Got it?? This is a zine! And unless The Nut Hatch can sell its copies, we'll go broke and won't be able to do any further zines! Many thanks for your attention and your co-operation. This novel is copyright. -- Kathy Keegan, Publisher.
From the 1989 Falconhurst:
Please, under NO circumstances whatever copy the text of this book for the circuit. As you will read on page 3, our sales are failing badly, and soon we may have to shut up shop. Friends returning from the USA tell us our zines are all on the circuit over there — which is why we can't sell the copies we print. We have to stay solvent, and to do this, we need to sell copies. If YOU have a copy of this zine in your hand and are setting off to copy it for your friend, please remember... this could be our last zine, because of what you are about to do. HELP US!! Thanks.
In an editorial from a 1991 issue of Fantazine, the editor wrote that she was concerned about finances, a common worry for many zines:
We're in real financial strife once more, so if you are ordering direct from the Press in Australia, and if you can pre-order, it would be safest to do so. All orders will definitely be filled, but we won't be able to print 'spare' copies, and batches will have to be restricted to orders-only. This means there may be a delay in sending your zine, and for this we apologize. The difficulty is, we can't carry a mass of spare copies because they'll be boxed in the corner, tying up the finances for the next zine, which is never more than about two months away. Funding has become a real problem once more, and we beg your patience until we can get our difficulties straightened out.
In June 1992, Kathy Keegan had good news. From the editorial to In the Future Tense:
On a positive note, things are looking up for the press, with better sales and some great representation at cons. Also, the 'black marketeering' of our zines, which was such a problem in years gone by, seems to have just about stopped, and that is wonderful. Thanks to all of you who helped fix this. We are still alive and still publishing!
In November 1992 in the editorial to Elvensongs, Jane commented on a turn for the worse and on what she felt shut down Entropy Express:
The process of atrophy has struck our Aus sister press, Tanglewebb. They are closing, and I wish I could blame it on the global depression, but sadly it's not that simple. A friend in the US was good enough to let Tanglewebb know that they were being ripped off, their zines were being pirated and sold as facsimile editions in America. Bad enough, but here is the cruncher: the pirate is in Australia, those facsimiles are being shipped o/seas from here and probably bought in all good faith. This kind of news sends shock waves around any press. Tbe same thing happened to the publishers of the Ennarare media lines last year. Same thing happened to Entropy Express in the mists of time, when JJ was at the helm. This sickness kills small presses, and make large ones ill. Nut Hatch is probably being pirated, but thanks to the fact we have such an excellent distributor, and we've been going so long that we have an enormous list of zines available, we can survive. Tanglewebb can't. We grieve to see a press die due to piracy, and there's a cold shudder running through us all. If our sales implode and fall to about 60 or some ridiculous figure, we know what's the cause of it. But what to do about it? That, as Hamlet said, is the question.
In 1992, from Flood Tide, a statement she used on a number of Nut Hatch zines:
THAT OLD PLEA TO READERS: for the umpteenth time we beg you not to duplicate this zine for the circuit. Also, if you discover someone doing this, gently suggest to them that they stop, because The Nut Hatch will get stuck with $1000's worth of unsold copies, and go broke all over again! If you would like to bulk-order for your group, circuit or con, please write to us, we would be delighted to give details in full!
From a the 1999 editorial, GST SPELLS K.A.O.S. but Entropy Express will probably survive!:
The long-awaited and longer-feared GST is happening, and though Nut Hatch can exist in that environment, it won't be plain-sailing Click on this for the full story of what's going on, but the short version, within the parameters of this editorial is: zinedom exists in a shady zone under copyright law, and in a few months' time, I'm going to have to answer to the Australian Taxation Office for the business that goes through my credit card merchant account, and the stock that goes through my hands, no matter what it is. It's getting scary enough that I know I need to be careful, before a day comes when I find myself trying to explain to the government about zines, and slash. [4]

From the editorial in Double or Nothing (2002), Jane of Australia, writes of the fundraiser for the new printer and of some of its results:

The words "welcome to a new zine" leap to mind. And also, this issue is a quantum leap, literally, over the previous ones. We never before had the ability to illustrate the zines to the extent which the fiction most certainly deserved; and that situation didn't change until very recently (like, the few weeks prior to the printing of this issue!) when, after a decade and more of faithful service, the old HP LaserJet IIIP decided to go to that great printer workshop in the sky.

Immediate panic gripped NHE (which is of course an amalgam of Nut Hatch and Entropy Express: more about that later). Real, serious panic, folks, because a new printer costs serious bucks and we're on a pretty tight budget! Fortunately, a combination of ingenuity, desperation and a goodly amount of kindness on the part of early-ordering fans came to our rescue. We launched a fund-raiser, and enough people pre-ordered to allow us to go get the printer and get it installed in time to be actually printing this zine in May 2002, as we'd promised. Thank you, thank you, to everyone who was kind enough to do this.

Two pieces of fantastic news come out of this. The first thing is ... the new printer is capable of outputting very nice halftones indeed, and gives us the ability to illustrate the zines properly. This is the first issue where we've been given the chance to indulge ourselves in the artistic side of zines, and ... wow. The second wonderful thing to come out of this story is that the necessity to launch a fund raiser to help pay off the new printer made us look around for something new and delicious. By an astonishing stroke of luck, we'd just had the chance, a couple of months earlier, to get a CD burner at a price you would not believe. And out of the blue an old project, looong on the back burner, was brought out of the drawer. In all probability you're holding the first of the series of disks in your hands even as you read these words!

The "Private URL"

In the early to mid 2000s, the press explained their policies for admittance to the Nut Hatch catalog:
Well, at least you're halfway there! This page is a "staging base" on the way, because you're now on the threshold of, and about to enter the "private sector," or "members' area" the site.

As you would expect, the Nut Hatch pages are "by invitation and referral only," which is to say, we need to be sure that visitors are aware of the situation before they walk right in!

This is only good manners, and good sense. Nothing actually uploaded to this server is rated more than PG-15, but we want to be absolutely sure that no offence is given or taken, so —

Because time is at such a premium these days, we've decided to invest a little more trust in our users, and, rather than have everyone pop off an email saying, in effect, "Hi there, I'm on my way into Nut Hatch," (which is actually a private URL), we thought we would inset a real, genuine, Java-scripted "login page" between DOAW and Nut Hatch:

The login page is still a form (as it has been for yeaks), with a pseudo-legal "agreement," where you state your firm understanding of what slash is, and what Nut Hatch publishes, give a valid email address*, and hit the "I Agree" key. However, rather than being automatically redirected, you actually need to receive a proper user name and password from us ... but you can use your user name and password AUTOMATICALLY from them on, no need to pop off any more emails, just log in and go.

It's part of the chain of legality that we must ask you for your valid email address!! In case of come-backs, we need to know that the people wjho "signed the form" agreed to the terms! So please, just one time, "jump through the hoops with us for the sake of legalities. (Also, the first time through the hoop, you'll need to give us a valid emaid addy because otherwise we can't email your user name and password to you ... duh).

So, via this whole login process, you absolve us, in the event that you should be offended by slash; you will be redirected to a second page, where the "secret URL" will be revealed, complete with the on-link to get right into the sealed section ... it's like a pair of shears!

Please don't give away the URL!! Ask your friends to go through the login process. It's simple, it's streamined, it's quick, it's only a one-off, and after that — heck, bookmark the Nut Hatch homepage and go right there!!

Thank you for your patience. Have fun at Nut Hatch!! [5]

Nut Hatch-Entropy Multimedia (NHE)

CD25.jpg

In the early '00s, Nut Hatch gained another owner -- Jane's husband Dave -- and expanded into a much broader business, NHE Multimedia. At least some new zines were sold both in paper and CD formats, and the CDs had added material as well:

[W]e're just about to come out with an all-new SENTINEL zine, both on CD-Rom and paper, as a full-on multimedia experience including book! CASCADE VISIONS is about to happen, with video, music, hundreds of color photos, rafts of georgeous digital artwork, animations, sound effects and ... lest we forget! ... a swag of delicious stories. We also produced THE PROFESSIONALS 25th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION CD-Rom set, and we just released the DIGITAL DREAMS: THE PROFESSIONALS album from popular artist Jade. And if multimedia tickles your fancy almost as much as the Pros fanzines, don't miss CROSS MY HEART #14 on CD-Rom.[6]
Jane explains in 2003:
NHE" is an amalgam of Nut Hatch and Entropy Express. There's more dovetailing between the two presses as time goes on, we're sharing web space, CD projects and so on, and the dividing line is getting harder to pick. A while ago I made the decision to weld the two into NHE ... Mike may maintain the 'Entropy Express' label for a while to come, but eventually NHE will embrace both. I want to take this moment to make special thanks to an angel without whom none of these projects would be happening. I was rescued ... My darling life-partner, soul-mate and fellow CD-perpetrator, Dave, took over emails and 'customer service' for me. I don't think he knew what he was getting into, but he's been a trooper. [7]

They also expanded out to other physical mediums:

We're currently launching a whole new range: we have glossy photos available now for Pros, Martin Shaw, Lewis Collins, Starsky & Hutch, Highlander and Richard Dean Anderson, with Due South, "classic" Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford, and others available soon ...

But the most exciting news is that we're producing the "Art by Jade" series of "stuff" ... bookmarks, fridge magnets, coasters, art prints ... [...] with SIX subjects available now (LORD OF THE RINGS, HIGHLANDER, S&H, PROS, STARGARTE SG-1 and THE SENTINEL), and several more due soon, including some "by request" items, and various specials for Martin Shaw devotees still in the works.

So at this time NHE is in full-swing with CDs, objects d'art, and so on ... for instance, we have a full-size reproduction of the glorious LADDER OF SWORDS poster in full color, and some amazing goodies are imminent. Stay tuned![6]

The Press Shuts Down: 2006

Jane left fandom in a classic swan-song flounce on May 17, 2006, in a message to Zinelist (and other lists?) in which she expressed her unhappiness with complaints over unfilled zine orders and attributed them to malice and fandom's unwillingness to stand up to negative elements. [8]

"[The Nut Hatch] was closed, and its website removed from the internet, following an apparent misunderstanding on one of the discussion lists in April/May 2006. Jane declared that she was leaving Pros fandom, and would not be giving permission for anyone else to reprint her stories or zines. This means that stories printed by the Nut Hatch Collective, unless they had been previously archived online, or unless writers other than Jane give permission for their work to be printed elsewhere (and it is suspected that Jane wrote under many pseudonyms), will only be available via secondhand zines." [9]

Some of her Pros fiction is at The Circuit Library.

Zines

Due South

The Professionals

Slash anthologies

Slash novels (Bodie/Doyle)

Gen novels

The Sentinel

  • Cascade Visions (slash anthology)[11]
  • Shaman (slash novel by Toshua)[11]

Starsky & Hutch


Star Wars

Xena

Multi-media

Agented zines

Agented for Tanglewebb Press

Notes and References

  1. from the 1992 editorial in In the Future Tense
  2. The Nut Hatch
  3. from Universal Translator #32
  4. from Nut Hatch Press, Editorial from October 1999-January2000
  5. Nut Hatch Press; WebCite
  6. 6.0 6.1 Nut Hatch Site Index, dated April 2003. Accessed January 10, 2009.
  7. from Double or Nothing #3
  8. Saved email from Zinelist, dated May 17, 2006. Accessed January 10, 2009.
  9. Paley Loitering
  10. 10.0 10.1 Flyer on the Cross My Heart Pros zines page, via Wayback Machine, dated 2003. Accessed January 11, 2009.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Sentinel zines page, via Wayback Machine. Accessed January 12, 2009.
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