Enterprise Incidents Interview with Leslie Fish

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Enterprise Incidents Interview with Leslie Fish
Interviewer: Jim Van Hise
Interviewee: Leslie Fish
Date(s): 1980
Medium: print
Fandom(s): Star Trek: TOS
External Links:
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Contents

In 1980, Leslie Fish was interviewed for the Enterprise Incidents #8.

Also see Legacy Interview with Leslie Fish.

Also see List of Star Trek Fan Interviews.

first page of interview as it was printed, self-portrait by Fish
first page of what appears to be the rough draft, complete with strike-throughs

Some Excerpts

I've been involved with ST fandom since August, 1975, when I simultaneously got the address of the Welcommittee (from STAR TREK LIVES) and found out about an ST con being held in my hometown of Chi. Before then, I was a typical Isolated fan — thinking that no­body but me still watched old reruns religiously. (Ho! Ho!) The aforementioned con turned out to be the infamous Lisa Boynton Pro-(as in "for money first") con, but I managed — by singing my way in on the strength of my homemade ST songs — to get in for free, and had a lovely time. I subsequently wrote to the Welcommittee for their directory, got it, began writing to and ordering 'zines, decided that a cheap way to get zines would be to contribute — and I guess the rest is history.
I began writing ST fiction within a couple months of getting into fandom, for the reason mentioned above. I believe I had some minor poems and illos printed in some small zines (by 'small' I mean of less than 40 pages, less than 100 circulation, and lasting less than three issues), and I tried writing a story which I sub­sequently abandoned for lack of interest, and wrote a few short vignettes for small zines — most of which weren't published until many moons after I'd sent them, and a few of which never saw print at all. Surprising­ly enough, the first piece of ST fiction of mine to actually get published was Part One of "The Weight."
Three things drew me into fandom, and dam{ino to this day what their order of importance is. For one thing, I simply enjoyed being able to talk about dramatic, stylistic and thematic aspects of ST with people who knew and cared what I was talking about. For another, I liked the general grade of people I ran into in fandom; ST fans struck me as intelligent, creative, open-minded (if sometimes naive, mostly through lack of experience) and humanely oriented. Finally, I discovered that ST fandom, thanks to the sheer number of zines, readers, editors and detailed LoC-writ1ng critics, just happened to be the best school for beginning science-fiction writers that I'd ever run into. Do you know how many fan writers have gone on to become Pros? I can think of half-a-dozen offhand, and I certainly don't know everybody in fan­dom. That's not counting artists, editors, and costume designers and model-makers, either.
Aside from the positive aspects I just mentioned, I think ST fandom is also a fine example of the amazing amount of work people can do by themselves, voluntarily, organized by nothing more (or less) than an ideal. Being an Anarchist myself, I'm always happy to find such examples... The negative aspects are no worse than one could expect to find in any organization: petty politics and personal ego-tripping (more common among clubs than zines), failures of various projects due to lack of experience, assorted touches of social, religious and political prejudices, occasional faction- fights, and so on. As an old SDS'er, I've seen all
When I got into fandom, K/S was already a much discussed premise around the fan grapevine (I believe Mary Manchester outlined her "Continuity Theory" a year earlier), but it was till hush-hush and underground. Having lived in various "undergrounds" for a good part of my life, I thought this was an idea that deserved to surface. "Alternative hadn't been printed yet, but I did see a copy of Diane Marchant's A Fragment Out of Timein Grup #3 that convinced me that a K/S story could be printed in a fanzine, so I wrote one (a longish and fairly soft-core story called Descensus Averno) and sent it off to Grup. The story was accepted and I was told it would be printed in Grup #5 or #6, but it took a year for #5 to be published and another two years before #6 came out, and my story wasn't in either of them, for reasons known only to the gods and the publisher. Meanwhile I'd written Shelter as a triple literary exercise, attempting to: 1) write a convincing K/S story that could be printed somewhere besides Grup, 2) have the precipitating incident be something other than the "underground" usual cause of Pon Farr, 3) describe a love scene only (or at least primarily) in terms of one sense -- sound. I sent the first version to Connie Faddis, for whose subsequent advice and criticisms I'll always be grateful, then sent the finished version to Warped Space for their promised "double X-rated" issue #20. WS accepted it, and between acceptance and publication, "Alternative"was printed. The rest, I guess, is history.
I run across quite a few people who dislike K/S for legitimate reasons. Connie Faddis makes a good case for the unliklihood of the K/S relationship because sooner or later Pon Farr would show up, and there's an excellent chance that a human male couldn't survive that. I think she has a good point there; the only ceiling limit we know to the violence of Pon Farr is that Amanda has survived it (happily) for more than 40 years, and for all we know she could be a remarkably tough lady, physically as well as mentally. Spock would absolutely not involve his beloved Captain in an affair that had a high probability of killing him! Another legitimate objection, to my mind, is Paula Smith's; she complains that most K/S stories are dull, unconvincing, and poorly written. Since Paula is one of the best writers in Trekdom (and recently gone pro,) ... and has written a couple of WS stories herself (both in Lori Chapek's Obsc'zine), I'd say she has every right to Insist on such high literary standards, and she certainly knows the subject. No, it isn't honest objections like these that make me tear off such letters to Interstat. What makes me get "intemperate" about anti-K/S proponents is all-too-often-encountered blind prejudice about the whole concept. This prejudice usually disguises Itself behind the phrase "out of character," but what it really means Is that 'Our Heroes could never do such a dirty-dirty thing because they're not falryish.' This, of course, assumes that any form of same-sex affair is automatically dirty-dirty, and that nobody would ever indulge in it except for a true lavender 99%-impure stereotype drag queen, complete with lisp, mince and limp wrist. ARRGH! Needless to add, this is totally contrary to the observed facts. Truth is, under the right circumstances (and feelings) anybody could "do it".