Anatomy of a Letterzine

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Fanwork
Title: Anatomy of a Letterzine
Creator: Kristen Brady
Date(s): spring 1987
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
External Links:
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Anatomy of a Letterzine was an open letter by Kristen Brady criticizing Interstat.

"Anatomy of a Letterzine" took a look "at the letterzine know as 'Bennett's Tenets,' also known as 'The Harve Bennett Fan Club Newsletter,' or, as it is more commonly called, Interstat". The review takes Interstat to task for two things: one, its "gnashing of teeth, the raking of claws, and the lashing of tongues -- not to mention the backbiting, mudslinging..." and two, the reviewer's belief that Interstat was nothing but a censored rag dedicated toward TPTB.

It was sent to at least three letterzines, and one fiction/non-fiction zine. Interstat and Datazine refused to print it. Power of Speech and Orion ran the letter.

"Kristen Brady" connects this pseud to her legal name in the June 1989 of Interstat.

Some Topics Raised

  • fan censorship
  • fans' power in affecting decisions made by The Powers That Be regarding Star Trek
  • the legitimacy of fan opinion when pushed through the filter of knowing it was being read by TPTB
  • the use of a pseudonym
  • the "culture of nice" in fandom

Official Rebuttals and Responses

Many individual fans commented on Anatomy of a Letterzine and their comments are on this page.

There were also several official rebuttals and responses made by fans directly involved in the controversy: Teri Meyer (editor of Interstat), Sandra Necchi (editor of Power of Speech), and Karen R. (a lengthy rebuttal published in Interstat).

See Anatomy of a Letterzine/Official Rebuttals and Responses.

Excerpts from "Anatomy of a Letterzine"

Mr. Bennett's continued interest in the goings-on of the fannish community -- as evidenced by his occasional letters to Interstat -- is the proverbial monkey wrench in the works. The knowledge that 'HB' will be watching casts a entirely new light on the subject, and the subscriber's letters, which once might have started out as an attempt to reach out to new fans and perhaps talk a little Trek, suddenly take on a very personal and a very immediate importance as each tries to impart his or her own personal vision of the essence of True Trek to one in a position of power. It then becomes of paramount importance that these personal visions not be marred or sullied in any way, in the eyes of HB. In this context, any opinion contrary to the author's own personal conception of Trek is taken as a personal attack, and by the same token, if an author wants his/her own beliefs to stand, it often becomes necessary to tear down those of others. Gone is the forum type of atmosphere one would assume of something called a letterzine. Gone is any give-and-take if opinions, any exchange of ideas; the atmosphere of Interstat is quite unmistakably that of competition. The goal is, I think, for each participant to try to get his/her particular vision to be the one that HB selects and possibly incorporates into future Trek projects...

Reactions and Reviews

The editors of "Datazine" did not print the letter and distanced themselves from "Anatomy of a Letterzine", stating they had a policy of not printing things by anonymous reviewers.

The editor of Power of Speech, which ran the letter in full, prefaced the comments with:
Some of you know that this zine's [Power of Speech] conception originally came out of my frustration with Interstat and later, the SW letterzine, Scoundrel. Not only did I find the zine to be generally boring and caught up with kowtowing to studio VIPS, I personally suffered from censorship. So, you can hardly call me an impartial reader/publisher of this article. I happen to agree with it. I just want to make one thing clear for those who can't distinguish between writing styles, the review is not mine. I am not Kristen Brady.
Interstat's fans, in turn, wrote many LoCs in support of their letterzine and derision for "Anatomy of a Letterzine." A fan in Interstat told Kristen Brady off about her recent controversial letter:
To the REALLY huffy puffy Kristen Brady who thinks INTERSTAT writers "rake their claws" and "lash their tongues," or whatever: LIGHTEN UP! [1]
From the editor of Interstat:
According to reviewer Brady, this publication's LoCers are a lot of things, and "INTERSTAT is a letterzine with a problem." And that problem is its letter-writers. In fact, LoCers, your writing talents and abilities at expressing intelligent thought are curiously excluded from this 'review.' At best, you are competitive and cutthroat, and you are showcased as sniveling little toadies to the higher-ups at Paramount, your letters consisting of nothing more than "just a little bit of Trek with (the) Crapola." To drive home this point, Brady states unconditionally, "INTERSTAT's main failing is that its '(devotion) to fan comment, analysis and reaction' is merely a secondary consideration in comparison to its primary function of its devotion to retaining the attention of the higher-ups"—particularly, Harve Bennett's, the only higher-up named. Because (in her mind) you are easily seduced by "the knowledge HB will be watching," your letters take on new meaning as each of you "tries to impart his or her own personal vision of the essence of True Trek to one in a position of power." Add to this, your raw determination to protect those visions ("in their full glory") is so great, you pose a threat to letter-writers who do not agree with Bennett's interpretation of Star Trek. "In real short order," Brady warns, the poor souls who offer differing opinions "will be kicked repeatedly in the face until (they) fall off the cliff into the molten lava below." The end results are obvious to reviewer Brady: "Gone is the forum-type atmosphere one would assume something called a 'letterzine1 is trying to attain, gone is any give-or-take of opinions, any exchange of ideas; the atmosphere in INTERSTAT is quite unmistakably that of competition." And according to Ms. Brady, "the rules are simple: anything goes." Thus, the unknowing fans who stumble upon these published fabrications see the views of fandom's finest letter-writers reduced to "the gnashing of teeth" and "the raking of claws"—not to mention the outrageous suggestions that their views may in fact be responsible for 'the true essence of Star Trek being lost" and that a veteran filmmaker failed to be the wiser. Such suggestions in themselves are the epitome of claw-raking, and I quote: "If the pages of INTERSTAT are what Harve Bennett takes to be representative of Star Trek fandom, then it is no wonder, and not at all his fault, if he failed to grasp the essence of Trek in the making of the movies." Speaking of that cliff— Who is Kristen Brady? She is someone who wanted a little attention— and to get it—sent multiple submissions of her review for publication throughout fandom. And although you, the authors of INTERSTAT, were a hot topic in the piece, Brady chose not to submit her opinions to your forum— INTERSTAT. She chose to mock you elsewhere, just as she chose elsewhere to reprove Harve Bennett for "interfering with, and thereby changing the fabric of his sources," i.e. your printed thoughts. What nonsense. INTERSTAT LoCers do not back away from expressing candid opinion because Big Brother may be watching (make that Brothers; Shatner, Nimoy, Kelley, Doohan and Roddenberry also get INTERSTAT). And Harve Bennett, whose background in journalism was a reality before Brady could spell her name, has a keen sense of what freedom of expression means and would be the last one in Star Trek to disturb the fabric of fan thought in INTERSTAT. Furthermore, Bennett admirers are not alone in their belief that the true essence of Star Trek has not been lost under his guidance and expertise. Frankly, as one of those admirers, I am grateful that it was Bennett the studio approached to take the helm because—in real short order—he recaptured the spirit of Star Trek and brought to the big screen added character and growth to Roddenberry*s beloved starship crew (Brady, see II, III & IV to connect the dots). Star Trek is successful, and its writer-producer was a major creative force in maintaining that success at the box office. Now that Kristen Brady has made her own mark with the publication of
her review in several zines, I await her submission of said review to these
pages, where INTERSTAT's no-nonsense letter-writers can enjoy first hand her
 personal vision of their efforts—in its full glory. And this time, Brady,
 do it honestly. Do it under your real name. —Teri Meyer [2]
Karen R also addressed Kristen Brady:
Who is Kristen Brady and why is she saying all those nasty things about INTERSTAT? How can she not enjoy the wonderful sensation of being verbally bashed over the head and coming back for more? How can she not recognize that we're all Trekbrothers and sisters under the skin who love nothing more than sharing the give-and-take of INTERSTAT? What rag ...er, publication...was that so-called review published in? Don't tell me— THE GLOBE! However, there was a compliment for us INTERSTAT LoCers. Nice to know that we are "stout of heart and rhodium-plated." [3]
The editor of Interstat writes again and says:
As expected, "Kristen Brady" did not respond to my invitation to submit her review for print under her real name. Perhaps she will reconsider for next issue and offer additional insight into what makes an INTERSTAT LoCer tick. Likewise, I did not receive for print opposing views to my editorial comment or a submission of the review from those who made its publication a sad reality: editor Sandra Necchi, THE POWER OF SPEECH, published out of Philadelphia; and editor Randy Landers, ORION, published out of Lansing, Michigan. A great injustice was done to the letter-writers of INTERSTAT when the review and the untruths stated therein were published, and those responsible for its circulation obviously prefer not to discuss the matter with INTERSTAT's LoCers. Not surprising. It takes courage to face those you have made to look like fools in print, particularly if it means facing them in their own forum. Ed. [4]
Linda S writes:
Of course INTERSTAT readers occasionally snarl and snap and growl at each other! We're a family, and no family is sweetness and light all the time. I may joke about INTERSTAT being a barroom brawl on paper, but I love it, I love the friends I've made through it, and I love you, Teri, for making it all possible... About the Kristen Brady brouhaha. I hadn't read the review and am not acquainted with Ms. Brady. I am, however, acquainted with Harve Bennett, and I can assure Ms. Brady he writes his own movies. (We have a partnership: he writes the movie and I nitpick it starting the day it hits Columbus. Don't know how he ever got along without me.) [5]
Jeffery K. W writes:
let me say that "Kristen Brady" is all wet about INTERSTAT. Sure, not all letters are literary masterpieces, and some are more interesting than others, but INTERSTAT is, for me at least, my number 1 source of information and opinions about my favorite TV series of all time. [6]
John L. W writes:
Re: the Kristen Brady review. I finally got to read it and found it very insulting. Sure, we all disagree. Most people thought my comments on ST IV were very insulting. But I was still able to have them printed in this wonderful forum, no matter how off-balance people thought they were. And no matter how many people write things I may not like, I enjoy reading each and every letter, because I know these are people who have an opinion and are not afraid to assert it. They are intelligent and perceptive, not a bunch of "growling, barking, and snapping" animals. I salute them for their candor (even though it may rub my candor the wrong way). If Kristen Brady or her friends have anything more to say, they should use this forum to say it. I look forward to seeing their comments in INTER STAT (and wait until my hair turns grey?). [7]
Carol M writes:
In one respect, the Kristen Brady review was accurate; some INTERSTAT writers indulge in personal attacks. Instead, we should discuss ideas, not personalities. One writer in I#26 claims not to be emotional, yet calls those who disagree with him four different insulting names. Name-calling is unproductive and irrelevant.) [8]
When a fan suggests to Teri Meyer, the editor of Interstat, that "concerning the whole "Kristen Brady" affair, I hope, Teri, you don't let it get under your skin. I've seen fan feuds eat people alive, and it's just not worth it. Now that everybody's had their say, let's move on, okay?," Teri writes:
I have only begun to have my say. The publication of the "Brady" review was but one link in a longtime smear campaign designed to crack the foundations of INTERSTAT's credibility (see K/S APAs, 6/84-7/84; UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR 26, 9/84; POWER OF SPEECH 1, fall of 1985; POWER OF SPEECH 3, summer of 1987; ORION 22, 5/85; ORION 24, 3/87; ORION 25, 9/87—to name a few). I ignored the Necchi/"Brady"/Landers crusade for years, to no avail. When they began directing their cutting barbs at the letter- writers of INTERSTAT, it was apparent their obsession with discrediting INTERSTAT was not limited to just its editor—and it was the final straw. I appreciate your concern, Tim, but it is my intention to vindicate INTERSTAT to the best of my ability. This is something which will happen if and when the above group debates me without the use of pseudonyms and letters so filled with vague allegations and non-specifics they deny reasoned response. There has been ample time for them to do so. My first comments on the "Brady" matter appeared in INTERSTAT #121/122, October/November, 1987. [9]
Kate D writes:
In the "Kristen Brady" matter: it certainly says a lot about Brady's own priorities that she sees letters to INTERSTAT as attempts to influence Harve Bennett! I wouldn't know a "Bennett Tenet" if it bit me... In fact, KB seems so obsessed with Bennett, one has to wonder whether she hasn't tried to get his attention and feels she's failed. Naturally INTERSTAT contributors are an acrimonious lot, so are the most interesting people in any hobby in which I've ever been involved; from show dogs and horses to pedigree guinea pigs to Gilbert and Sullivan fanatics. That's what makes it fun! I guess KB isn't having any, fun that is. "Kristen Brady" really ought to reveal the true name behind the pseudonym if only to take suspicion away from some others; I'm sure we all have our theories... A person as devoted as KB is to the "truth" surely intends to do so. [10]
Jan D writes:
When 1 asked her about the Kristen Brady review, [Karen R] sent a copy and indicated that she would write a 'rebuttal,' which she certainly did. Karen has a way with words and she said it all. Be assured that I never gave prolonged and profound deliberation on whether to renew. There has never been any doubt. 1 may disagree strongly with some opinions expressed in INTERSTAT, but I agree as strongly with others, and find it interesting and entertaining how differently people can view a subject. I fully understand how you must feel about all this. But remember that some people just enjoy finding fault and criticizing - tell them off, try to put them out of your mind - and keep INTERSTAT coming. Most of us look forward to it and start reading it on the way in from the mailbox. [11]
Sylvia K writes:
Brady is right about all of us writing solely to get Harve Bennett's attention. The last several issues prove her point. I'm sure Mr. Bennett has been hanging on every word of the ST:TNG discussion. [12]
Harriet S writes:
Kristen: I am reminded by your review that a "good reviewer" knows the difference between personal polemics and an honest critique. As for Mr. Bennett's participation in INTERSTAT and the effect on the LoCers for it: at least he does not indulge in secular pseudepigrapha. By signing his name, he accepts any criticism that comes with that participation. To me, that's the sort of working honesty I call integrity. Besides, I defy anyone to espouse the self-delusion of pure objectivity. Of course each of us uses the well worn tradition of the stoics (the art of rhetoric), a singularly individual vision of what life is (or what Trek is). I, for one, can fault no human for being aware of the "other" and by that, care what the reaction of fellow humans might be. There are erasers on pencils because most people care what the "other" might think. The elegance of humanness is in being concerned what one's fellows think and feel.
Linda McI writes:
I am writing in response response to the "discussion" of the infamous Brady review and also to the editor's comments following that discussion. When I first started receiving INTERSTAT, my first reaction was that the 'zine was wonderful—full of fannish talk and gossip that I had no other accessto. My second reaction was "Why are these people so mad at each other?" To my eyes, there was a certain amount of "hissing, spitting, and ...snapping." And guess what? I liked it. After I had read several issues, I began to see that people who received snappy comments had, indeed, asked for them. I assumed that the letter-writers were reasonably mature, so figured that they would manage to blow off these comments and go on with their lives outside of INTERSTAT. That's the main reason that I was surprised to see 3 1/2 pages in the latest issue devoted to this review controversy. I read the review. I had a substantial contribution to the issue it was printed in. Some of it I agreed slightly with, most of it, I did not. I read it, shrugged my shoulders and went on. As one of INTERSTAT's "wonderful letter-writers,"I certainly am not going to be swayed one way or another by one review, whatever fanzine it's printed in. I see this whole situation as equivalent to Eddie Murphy going on a full-speed ahead "let's get 'em" campaign against Siskel & Ebert because they panned BEVERLY HILLS COP II. C'mon, guys, it's one review! written by one person. Okay, the fact that h/she used a pseudonym bothered some people. That's understandable. My personal philosophy about people who choose not to use their real names is this: that is an excellent reason not to take them seriously.... 99% of INTERSTAT's readers may well consider the Brady review "crapola." Fine. Ignore it. One other thing that virtually everyone has chosen to ignore is that the review might have been written tongue in cheek. Many of Michele Arvizu's parodies have been equally "scathing." I don't recall such controversy generated over them. Can't we just lighten up and practice IDIC instead of preaching it? [She concludes with wondering why Teri M is requiring Randy L's letters to be marked especially for publication, when other fans must assume all their letters are fair game][13]
Teri Meyer responds to Linda McI's letter:
Editorial Reply: I'm sure ORION's faithful would like nothing more than to move on, but I have a few comments to make on [Ms. Mcl's]] letter. In the 10 years INTERSTAT has been in publication, this editor has never made any attempt to destroy ORION credibility. Neither have I published a review which recommended that readers avoid opening its pages when it arrives in the mail. While co-editor/writer [Mcl] suggests that (my?) objections to the publication of the "Brady" review are equivalent to a "get 'em" campaign, she makes no mention of the damaging press given to INTERSTAT over the years by her friend and head-editor. [Randy L].... Another item of interest left unmentioned by co-editor [Mcl] was [Randy L's] published comments on the "Brady" review. His editorial preference on the matter was implicitly clear, and I quote from ORION 25: "Now, about the review of INTERSTAT, I would like to add my two cents' worth. Apparently I have been banned from the letterzine. And I'm not terribly happy about it." [For the record, Mr. Landers has never been banned from or censored in these pages. His numerous LoCs over the years were rarely edited, and of those which were, space limitations or what I considered to be libelous were the primary consideration.] He continued, "I disagree with Kristen's assessment of who is to blame for the uncivil atmosphere (which I have admittedly contributed to in the past). I must assign the blame to the editor." And following that idiocy came the epitome of [Randy L's] hypocrisy: "Now, I don't intend to allow ORION's letter-col to become a breeding ground of contempt, so any comment on the review or my comments will probably not see print. If, of course, you wish to write anyway, I'll be glad to pass on anyone's comments to Kristen." That's right, boys and girls, let's be "reasonable" and "make nice, nice" in ORION's letter-col. Let's "purge" from its pages honest fan opinion and "protect" its editor from "harsh criticism" for having published malicious and fact-wrong statements about the letter-writers of INTERSTAT. [14]
  • Joan V writes:
    I must say I got more belly laughs out of I#127/128 than I have had from any issue in a long time. It was not because of any ridiculous statements; quite the contrary—the witty replies directed at the INTERSTAT critics were utterly delightful. If the critics displayed as much wit as they do of sound and fury (signifying nothing), perhaps the rest of us wouldn't yawn so much while reading their complaints. [15]
  • Anne B writes:
    I'm glad that you finally got the perfect opportunity to answer the "Kristen Brady" people - and you sure did! Bravo. I'd say more, but if I want to get this in the mail before Shore Leave, I'd better keep this short. I do wonder, however, what the newer people to fandom make of all this. I remember how disillusioned I was when I first found out that there were people in fandom who formed cliques and talked only to each other, putting down anyone else's opinions. Since then, I have discovered that the vast majority are really the nice people they sounded like in letters or zine contributions, and the complainers & snobs are actually a smaller percentage than in the general population. [16]
  • A.C. Crispin writes:
    My goodness, what is going on in INTERSTAT? Truly nasty, vicious (and, far as I can tell) totally unfounded attacks on you personally, on your integrity as an editor, and on your 'zine. For the record, I'd like to state that none of my letters has ever been "censored." They were published just as I wrote them. Teri, your reply in I#127/128 was excellent — and, frankly, my advice to you is to leave it at that, because people like "Kristen" and Sandra will just drag things out and wear you down with their petty sniping if you respond further to them. [17]
  • Tim F writes:
    I had no idea the whole "Kristen Brady" thing had been festering for so long. I understand now. I guess there's some people in the world that just can't stand the idea of another editor getting so much good stuff submitted to her letterzine. [18]
  • M C writes, and Teri Meyer answers:
    I'd like to make a comment here if I may. I'm a little concerned about the ongoing feud with Necchi/Brady. You've drawn her out and made your kill ... it seems to me. You've got a wonderful publication and the "ears'" participation of the upper echelon of STAR TREK ... I'd hate to see this N/B thing backfire is she worth it? I continue to enjoy INTERSTAT immensely. [My thanks also, Margaret, for your concerns. The question isn't whether she/ they are worth it, but rather are the issues and INTERSTAT's good name worth it, and the answer to that is a resounding yes. The fact that some of the studio's personnel are reading INTERSTAT has no bearing on the matter. I do this for INTERSTAT, its letter-writers, and me, and I trust that the people I have dealt with at Paramount will understand and not have forgotten this forum's 10 year track record and its editor's silence during most of it. —Ed.] [19]
  • Amy G writes:
    Thanks so much for INTERSTAT 127/128 and the copy of Brady's "review." From reading her review I got the distinct impression that she is royally pissed at Mr. B. (and I would love to know why!) and is therefore attacking the INTERSTAT readers as a way to get revenge/notice. SHE seems more concerned about his opinion than anything I've seen from the INTERSTAT letter-writers. I must say I have been very interested in reading everyone's comments on this matter. Conflict gets the blood stirring, stimulates the brain cells, and helps us THINK more clearly. Personal attacks are uncalled for in a "public" forum. [20]
  • Alicia G writes:
    When I got to the last pages and started to read Ms. Necchi's letter, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry tears of pity. I don't have much to say about it because you covered everything I could ever think of in your rebuttal. I can only offer my support and tell you what a fantastic job I think you're doing and how much I love this forum you present for fans. I will continue to subscribe as long as it exists. Please don't let this embittered, self-important woman ruin it for you. [21]
  • Steve A writes:
    I think you are doing an excellent job, and wouldn't mind at all if you decided to stop wasting valuable space printing ridiculous letters from a microscopic group of malcontents! I'm thrilled that Harve Bennett or anyone else of importance takes the time to listen to fans' views. [22]
  • Teri Meyers comments on the two LoCs which appeared in the latest Orion:
    [Randy L] had a change of mind. Before going to press, I had the unfortunate experience of reading ORION's latest letter col (#26), where reaction to the "Brady" review was allowed. Two letters commented on the review and INTERSTAT, and Iwould like to quote in part from both. The first letter, written by a [Simone D] [address redacted], declared that the letter-writers of INTERSTAT are prone to "ass-kissing" its editor and "they've no more individual incentive than a mongrel pit bull terrier." A little "hostile" methinks, and very reminiscent of the letters [Mr. L] privately writes to me and others in fandom. Although it isn't necessary to set the records straight on the above foolishness, I take pleasure in speaking of people I admire and respect. INTERSTAT LoCers are articulate, no-nonsense letter-writers who possess a great deal of talent and stamina. Audacious thinkers, they stand firmly on their views and back them just as firmly with their names, not to mention their addresses. Evidently editor [L] doesn't believe his letter-writers should concerning the latter; the addresses of [name redacted] and fellow LoCers were not made available to ORION readers. While [Mr. L] is quick to use INTERSTAT's published addresses to dispense wild tales about this editor, he's even more anxious to accept on behalf of his letter-writers reaction to their comments published in his zines. But take heart, ORION LoCers, he'll be more than happy to pass any comments on to you. The second letter, penned by INTERSTAT subscriber/ORlON artist [Gennie S]… was for the most part generous and supportive of INTERSTAT when recalling some of the exaggerations made in the "Brady" review. Inserted within the body of her letter, however, were disturbing words sadly indicative of the damage INTERSTAT incurred over the years from the spread of unfounded lies, and I quote, "If it's true that opinions contrary to those of Harve Bennett's and the INTERSTAT staff are being edited out or banned, that is, of course, regrettable. Several people whom I respect highly have told me that's true, so I can't dismiss it." Neither can I dismiss the above misgivings, particularly when they are 1) aired in print, and 2) followed up with a statement that is more damning than it is helpful: "But I do think there are plenty enough good, interesting, informative, and worthy letters printed to make INTERSTAT worth the subscription price—" Good letters. Interesting letters. Informative letters. But letters which are reflective of the opinions of Star Trek's producer and the staff of INTERSTAT. (Nothing an honest letterzine editor couldn't remedy, right?). It is regrettable, all right, that such fabrications would even be taken into consideration as "true." They are not....I think readers will agree that you have the right to express in print your opinion that INTERSTAT has "plenty enough good" letters "printed" to make it worth their time and money. But what do you say, then, to those subscribers who also support INTERSTAT because they genuinely believe it's an honest and fair forum? Would you merely dismiss them as poor naive souls easily duped by this editor—for 10 years? I learned long ago never to underestimate my letter-writers or their attention to detail. To quote one staff member who expressed her faith in this letterzine, "INTERSTATE track record speaks for itself." It does indeed, Gennie, and I suggest that you take a crash course in the history of this publication and read issues #1 through #129, Guaranteed: a real eye-opener and the "full range of views" of Star Trek fandom. Please give your utmost attention as well to those critical views directed at Producer Harve Bennett and the editor of INTERSTAT. Guaranteed: the restoration of your faith. I also recommend that your "several people" (I'm fast coming to loathe the word "people") employ a little of Delacambrc's "individual incentive" and present their allegations— and the facts to substantiate them—to the pages of INTERSTAT. There's no better place for them to do it, Gennie. But don't hold your breath; "courage" is an attribute unknown to those who bellow like moose in rutting time— and can't produce. [23]
  • Gennie S writes in response to Teri Meyer's letter in the previous issue of Interstat:
    I'm frankly astounded that you think my letter to ORION "deserves" that much space in INTERSTAT. I'm really sorry that it upset you so much. First, that letter was written way back at the first of the year, at least in February, perhaps even earlier than that. I can't find it on any disk, so I must have written it by typewriter. I wish I had a copy of the original, because it doesn't sound to me like what I would write. I don't want to accuse Randy of changing the wording, either, as I don't know. I did find a copy of another letter written 3-12-88, which is the one I wanted him to publish. I'm going to risk sending you a copy of that one, without his knowledge or having gotten his permission, in the interest of time. I will inform him. It expresses my true feelings. The sentence beginning "If someone hadn't told me ..." is the one I question. It's not the way I wanted to express that thought. What I mean to say was that INTERSTAT seemed to me like a happy family, and I'd never think otherwise from its content. The other sentence, about opinions contrary to Harve Bennett's and the INTERSTAT staff's supposedly being banned or edited out, frankly, at that time, I did have some doubt. Since talking with you several times, I no longer entertain any such doubts. One of the persons who planted the doubt in my mind is an old and very dear friend whom I know to be honest and fair in all her dealings. It was hard to just dismiss what she said. I suppose she still holds such opinions, I don't know. Naturally I cannot give her name... And yes, most of it was vague. But it doesn't take specifics to plant doubts when the one speaking is someone you hold in high regard. I'm now wondering if someone didn't plant doubts in her mind in much the same way. I do agree thatI NTERSTAT's track record speaks for itself. Aside from the controversy that went on around the time of ST:TWOK (which was when I first subscribed), I don't think there is anything for anyone to complain about. And frankly, I was greatly amused by it at the time. But realizing later that some people were really unhappy about it, I'm glad it's no longer the case. I'm genuinely sorry for having caused you such pain. I do not intend to get involved any more. I hope you will print this reply in INTERSTAT, since you addressed me publicly in issue 129/130. I also hope the whole thing will die down, and that you have gotten your point across and have set the record straight concerning INTERSTAT. [24]
  • the following is an excerpt from a letter written by Gennie S to Orion which the publisher of Orion did not publish; Gennie later submitted it to Interstat, and Teri Meyer published it:
    This review by Kristen Brady is the kind that I deplore, whether it is directed at artwork, writing, a fanzine, or anything in fandom! I'm known for speaking out on this subject. In the first place it is exaggerated in the extreme and totally biased. There are a great many intelligent, caring fans who write in to INTERSTAT, including you and me, and to say that they do nothing but bite and scratch and rake their claws on each other is grossly disproportionate to the number of letters in that fine letterzine that are expressed in beautiful language and show great depth of thought in analyzing Star Trek and expressing their appreciation for it and for one another as well. It is a meeting place for fans to discuss all aspects of fandom and I think it would be fair to say that ninety percent of them do it without hostility. There is an occasional "Bertha Bitch" as you called her in some of the spoofs, but they are rare. They can stir up quite a bit of controversy with their words, and then there is some of what your reviewer calls biting, hissing and scratching. But your reviewer dwells on that to the exclusion of everything else, and that is my objection. Besides, most of that took place in the era around Star Trek II, and is no longer in great evidence. I don't like to see anyone in fandom treated so cruelly. We are all in it for enjoyment, we are not professionals, we do our best, and no one should set themselves up to pass such harsh judgement, especially in words such as that. I submit that Ms. Brady is guilty of doing exactly the same thing that she has accused the writers of INTERSTAT of doing. As for Teri Meyer or the writers being afraid of offending Harve Bennett — not from what I have seen. This, too, if there is any truth to it, has been exaggerated beyond recognition. [25]
  • Karen R responds to a comment about her open letter regarding Anatomy of a Letterzine, see Anatomy of a Letterzine: Official Rebuttals and Responses:
    I will explain why I took apart the Brady 'review' in I#126. The tone of the 'review smacked of a vicious attack that was, on the evidence of my more than five years' reading of INTERSTAT, totally unwarranted and out of line. (Later, with Teri's mention of the continuing smear campaign and vicious private correspondence — to which I have also been subjected, and got a first hand taste of the nastiness of your 'friend' [Mr. L's] — it became apparent that the review was only part of a long-running smear campaign.) I wrote the 'dissection' on my own. Let no one think for one minute that I was 'commissioned' to write it by Teri. It was my own reaction to something which I have no tolerance for — a McCarthyesque tactic of making charges without owning up to the responsibility for providing evidence for those charges…. Teri Meyer has never been anything but gracious, forthright, and open with me. INTERSTAT has been a source of enjoyment, thought, inspiration, guffaws, cringes, and outrage — and I have loved every word of it. Some LOC's hove made me see red; sometimes I've been a little acerb in reply. But these people with whom I share the pages of this letterzine are the creme de la creme, and do not deserve the unsupported allegations and vicious, unsubstantiated charges that "Kristen Brady" made. The review was not 'tongue-in-cheek,' and bears no resemblance to the satires of Michele Arvizu. Satire must be written so that the reader UNDERSTANDS that it IS satire; the 'review* was not written in that vein. The 'review' was insulting, not the least in that it gave no supporting data for its allegations and charges. This kind of sloppy thinking needs to be pointed out, refuted, and not allowed to continue, especially when the cowardly author of such scurrilous charges hides behind a pseudonym. The attacker hides in shadow, while the target is hit in the clearing and must spend time and energy refuting the charges. And Teri MUST refute the charges, for no one can be permitted to think that the 'review' and its unsupported charges have merit. The lack of evidence, the refusal of the maker of these charges to come forward and provide any evidence or own up to her own responsibility, negate any merit the 'review' could possibly hope to have. [26]
  • Steve R writes:
    To begin, let me say that you may print anything I write in my letters, providing it meets with your editorial approval. I don't anticipate any need for confidentiality. This leads me to the great debate currently raging in Interstat, over how best to deal with the Brady Bunch. Why not just send them a copy of I#129/130? The variance of opinions on such matters as TNG, pro novels, and the Brady controversy ought to prove to any sentient being that the readers of Interstat differ in their opinions and in their ways of expressing those opinions, and that the editor is perfectly willing to let the whole range be represented. So what are they bitching about? [27]
  • Joan V is worried that "the Brady Effect" will have a backlash on Interstat in the awards arena:
    It is the end of another calendar year, and time to think of nominations for the Fan Q and Surak awards. I have been recommending (and nominating) INTERSTAT for awards for many years now. It was nominated for the Fan Q two years ago (and lost), and for the Surak award last year (and lost). I want it to win this time. It may be of interest to INTERSTAT readers to know that there is great resistance to nominating and voting for INTERSTAT, because of what might be called the "Brady effect." That is, many fans will vote for ANY publication running against INTERSTAT, because they believe (erroneously) that Teri practices "censorship." That is why I strongly urge INTERSTAT readers to go out of their way to nominate and vote for INTERSTAT. [28]

References

  1. from Interstat #123
  2. from Interstat #123
  3. from Interstat #123
  4. from Interstat #124
  5. from Interstat #125
  6. from Interstat #126
  7. from Interstat #126
  8. from Interstat #127
  9. from Interstat #127/128
  10. from Interstat #127/128
  11. from Interstat #127/128
  12. from Interstat #127/128
  13. from Interstat #129/130
  14. from Interstat #129/130
  15. from Interstat #129/130
  16. from Interstat #129/130
  17. from Interstat #129/130
  18. from Interstat #129/130
  19. from Interstat #129/130
  20. from Interstat #129/130
  21. from Interstat #129/130
  22. from Interstat #129/130
  23. from Interstat #129/130
  24. from Interstat #131/132
  25. from Interstat #131/132
  26. from Interstat #131/132
  27. from Interstat #131/132
  28. from Interstat #135