A Fine Line (Star Trek: TNG zine)

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Title: A Fine Line
Publisher: Orion Press
Author(s): Gail J. Christison
Cover Artist(s): BEKi
Illustrator(s): Margaret O'Quinn
Date(s): 1993
Medium: print zine
Fandom: Star Trek: TNG
Language: English
External Links:
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front cover, BEKi

A Fine Line is a 78-page gen Star Trek: TNG H/C novella written by Gail J. Christison, edited by BEKi, and published by Randall Landers of Orion Press. The cover art is by BEKi and the interior art is by Margaret O'Quinn.


An excerpt from Media Monitor: "Suddenly the air was filled with a rank, feral smell and the thunderous crashing of something large, very large, through the thick undergrowth. Riker spun around just as a hongerat burst into the clearing. It charged Picard."

The Editorial

When Gail Christison first sent me her story, I intended to publish it in TANTALUS 5. It struck me immediately as classic hurt/comfort, the kind made popular in Classic Star Trek fanzines, the kind of hurt/comfort that literally drags our beloved Trek characters through pain and suffering and teaches them how to doubly appreciate the friendships they have heretofore taken for granted. Only this time it featured Star Trek: The Next Generation characters, specifically Picard and Riker. Perfect for TANTALUS, I thought, immediately accepted the story and then turned it over to my assistant editor on that issue, BEKi, for editing.

BEKi liked the story as much as I did, but in the process of detailed editing found some holes in the plot, nothing that couldn't be fixed, but things that did need fixing. She made suggestions, some of which Gail liked, some of which she didn't. But through the sometimes painful process of editing and compromising, Gail adopted some of BEKi's suggestions, rejected some others and came up with some alternative methods of fixing the other problems that she felt were more true to her original vision for this story. Her story. Her prerogative.

As a result of that process, painful as it may be (and believe me, Gail, I know exactly how painful, as I've been through it myself from your end), we ended up with a story that was even better than the original version. And not only was it better, but it was longer, too.

In fact, A Fine Line ended up so good and sufficiently long that we decided to pull it from TANTALUS 5 and publish it separately as a novella. After all, that's what it ended up being, both in length and in scope, as well as in strength.

If you like hurt/comfort (h/c, but not slash) in the grand old tradition of Trek fanzines but want to see it applied to The Next Generation, then this story is for you. If you like the characters of Jean-Luc Picard and/or William T. Riker and especially want to see their friendship with each other more thoroughly explored, then this is for you. If you like to slowly peel back the protective layers of a character's personality to discover both the strengths and weaknesses underneath, then this is for you.

Get ready for a good, old-fashioned wallow. I think you'll enjoy it. I know I did.

Sample Interior