An Open Letter to all Readers of "Adult" fanzines

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Open Letter
Title: An Open Letter to all Readers of "Adult" fanzines
From: Sharon Wells
Addressed To: all Beauty and the Beast fans
Date(s): June/July 1991
Medium: print
Fandom: Beauty and the Beast (TV)
External Links:
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An Open Letter to all Readers of "Adult" fanzines is a 1991 Beauty and the Beast (TV) open letter by Sharon Wells.

It was published in Tunneltalk v.2 n.4/5.

Some Topics Discussed

  • intolerance
  • fans policing other fans
  • Beauty and the Beast (TV) fanfiction and zines
  • chiding women for writing, and for superficially writing about sex


I would like to quote some words written by Peter Formaini, words I find offensive, that appeared in his February 1991 Beauty and the Beast Companion Quarterly Update #1. First off, let me quote him from page 31: "... no one has the right to have their view imposed on the entire fan community." Well, if that is true, why does he have the following on page 37: "Avoid X-rated zines, as these bring dishonor to the series and its characters and degrade both their authors and purchasers.

Aren't you glad to know that this man has taken it upon himself to pass judgment on alt of us who write and read the adult zines? This same man goes on to tell us just what is wrong with some episodes, (see his critique of "The Reckoning," when he says in referring to the naming ceremony that "The wording, the inflections of voice, the positions of actors and actresses have changed since the scene at the end of "Invictus.'" Sorry, but they used the exact same footage, with clever editing putting in more of Diana and featuring Finola Flannagan's character.)

This self-same "expert" on fandom goes on to knock fans who dare to criticize the shows by saying: "I stand against those with no experience in drama, creative writing, or television production possessing the extraordinary gall to delve into realms of which they have no knowledge and pretend to offer words of 'professional' advice." He goes on in his wisdom to remind us the tunnels are not real!

I'm sorry, I don't usually get my dander up, but this man with his "I know it all and you're just stupid women" attitude really has offended me. What gives this person the right to pass judgment on me, my writers, artists or readers? Chances are he doesn't realize that "adult" zines are no more "X-rated" than the best selling romance novels of Johanna Lindsey or Jackie Collins, but that probably is because he never bothered to read what he condemns so out of hand.

I strongly urge all of you to write to him, and to letterzines such as TT, to make your views known. In the hundreds of personal letters to me about the adult zines I publish, I have had only 3 with negative comments. The rest of you have thanked me, repeatedly, for helping ease the frustration that the series caused and adding a little humor and maturity to the Vincent/Catherine relationship. Obviously this kind of male-female intimacy bothers Mr. Formaini, because it "brings dishonor" and "degrades." I'm sorry, but since when does sincere love, between consenting adults, in a fantasy yet, hurt anyone?

Don't be quiet. Take up your pens and be heard! Remember, too, you vote with your dollars.

Be well.

Fan Comments

Sue K: I totally agree with Sharon Wells "Open letter" about recent efforts in a periodic B&TB publication to list what fans should and should not buy, read, or enjoy, and further tiresome pronouncements about how we, the lowly fans, have no right to criticize a product put out for our consumption. As I've said in an earlier issue of TT, the editorial and letters to which Sharon refers offended me equally.[1]


  1. ^ from the last issue of Tunneltalk (June/July 1991)