Antithesis (multifandom zine)

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Title: Antithesis
Publisher: Antithesis Publications
Editor(s): Pat Spath, Cathie Whitehead
Date(s): January 1978-October 1983 (The dates on these zines are confusing: all have a "January 1978" copyright on their title page, no actual date of issue, and a statement when the next one was due; the latter is one's only clue of the actual date of publication.)
Medium: print
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS, Star Wars & original fiction
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Antithesis is a gen Star Trek: TOS, Star Wars, and original anthology with twenty-four issues.

It was published every four months (Jan, April, July and October) , and in 1983, had a circulation of about 1500.

From the cover of the first issue: "This fanzine is based solely on counter Federation cultures. Within these pages a different perception of the Federation and the Klingons will be discovered......."

After March 1982, the focus of the zine changed; it dropped the Star Trek and became focused on original science fiction.


Very interesting--mostly TOS Klingon stories and art. Very cool stuff by Pat Spath, Bonnie Reitz, C. Whitehead and others, mostly from PA, people who got inspired at a Philadelphia convention in 1977 to start a Klingon-focused zine. (Must be something in the water here :-) [1]

ANTITHESIS is a quarterly fanzine devoted to Counter-Federation cultures in general and the Klingon Empire in particular. The fanzine has been publishing regularly for two years now. During this time, they have attempted to create a Klingon culture through stories based or Klingon history and legend, stories current to the Star Trek era, and future and/or alternate universe speculation stories. Other alien species native to Klingon space have been invented and feature in mary of the stories. For those who came in late, a Concordance is printed at the front of each issue. The Klingon Empire is depicted as a basically warlike state run The Klingon Empire is depicted as a basically warlike state run by the Supreme Warrior and his/her First Consort. Ascension to Supreme Warrior is by ritual challenge and physical combat. The government is headquartered in their home planet, which is virtually barren as a result of a plague brought upon them by the Providers (THE PARADISE SYNDROME). Klingons are split into two sub-races, the dark war-like overlords and the fair red-haired Ku who are untouchable enslaved intellectuals. The Star Trek era Empire is seen as being in a state of crisis. Supreme Warriors come and go without bringing an end to the conflict with the Federation and the peace necessary to rebuild the Empire and establish a stable economy. And then there is Triad, the pirate force made of Klingon, Romulan and Federation renegades who are trying to achieve peace in an odd way. They are attacking all three empires to get them to unite against the common enemy Triad.[2]

Proposed a Break with Trek: January 1981

From the editor in issue #13 (January 1981):

That's what we need from you, all of you! With the continued support of our readership, and the guidance of Amazing's Britton Bloom we have taken great steps forward. But, we are now contemplating a BIG step, and we need your help. We want to go semi-pro, but to do this we must drop our Klingons. What we need to know is (1) will you continue to read Antithesis if it completes its transformation to a totally main-line science fiction/fantasy/and horror? (2) How many are now reading the single issue that you purchase.

We don't expect those reading your copy to buy Antithesis, but the grapevine has cold us that there is an average of three people reading each copy. If our readership is that great, we have to know.

The benefit to you is that after we have the statistics, and we have to the step from fanzine to semi-pro and hopefully in a year or two, the price of a single copy will drastically go down and you will be able pick us up on the news stands. So, please, drop us a postcard with the information. As always, thanks a ton of tribbles!

A Break With Trek: March 1982

In 1982, there was some conflict regarding this zine and the TrekStar Awards which caused some fans to comment in Interstat about Antithesis' content. This caused Cathie Whitehead to respond:

Some events have transpired recently which have made me aware that there are some strange notions of our fanzine, ANTITHESIS, and its editors floating around out there. I'd like to make the following statements about the 'zine and our position in the hopes of clearing some of the fog surrounding us. 1. ANTITHESIS was a Trek 'zine devoted to the alien point of view. Mostly Klingon-oriented. 2. The Klingons were presented in the series as a Warrior race, and our stories were geared to follow that concept. 3. We were neither sex-nor violence-oriented. Our rating would have been at the worst, a mild PG. We never questioned [Roberta R's] right to vote for or withhold her vote from any fanzine. We did, however, take exception to the fact that she seemed to be questioning our right to appear in the nominations for the TrekStar award, especially when our nomination was in compliance with the rules of the contest. We never intended to imply that she held a position of power in East Coast fandom. We did try to remind her that anyone who gets into print has a certain amount of credibility. This has been supported both by a letter received by our Editor-in-Chief, Pat Spath, which offered a sex and violence story because the author had read in INTERSTAT that this was the type of story we printed, and the reply to Roberta's "retraction" which appeared in a recent edition of this newsletter. 6. It is only by straining my limited amount of charity to the utmost that I can say that Roberta exercised "literary license" in regards to our personal letters to her. If she received a "Death Threat," it was not from us. I have sent copies of our letters to Teri [the editor of Intersat], and she can corroborate this. 7. ANTITHESIS no longer prints Trek material. We are now oriented to SF, Fantasy and Horror, so the TrekStar Awards will be free from our malign influence this year.[3]

Regarding the Repro

In issue #19, a fan in 1982 commented on the repro:

...the reproduction, to be very blunt, is awful. The consistent near-disappearance of vertical lines in the type leads to a very unenthuslastlc attitude toward actually reading the zine. (It also does your art no good at all.) I was quite astounded to discover how engrossing some of the mater1al really was, for I'd read through a whole story -- the type is is just readable -- and only rea1ize that the printing was still bad at the beginning of the next. Is there nothing to be done on this? The type is doing you a real disservice.

Ann Wilson, one of the editors, responded in that same issue:

(We're doing everything we can short of going to a form of reproduction that would raise the price. We cut out a generation of repro in #18, which helped everything but the italics, and I'm double-typing those until we can find a heavier italic face. Any other suggestions will be welcome -- we like to go back and re-read some stories, and we don't like poor repro either. --AW)</ref>

General Reactions and Reviews

First the title strikes me as interesting, intriguing: and intelligent, in view of the 'zine's subject matter. I fear that I'm not a horror genre aficionado, particularly, so some of the stories may well have gone completely over my head 1n what they were trying to do, but at least some of them were well worth the 'zine.

[comments snipped about the zine's poor repro: see Regarding the Repro ]

The mix of short stories, longer novellas and serials book reviews, non-fiction, etc., is nicely balanced, and the other technical aspects ~aside from the repro, of course) show at least minimal professionalism.

To the meat of the matter: the fiction itself is, uh, variable. I very much enjoyed some of the short stories, and completely missed the point (if there was one) of others. The longer works, notably Ann Wilson's Terran Empire material, is consistently competent with occasional flashes of both awfulness and genius. The Boba/Am stories in #14 and #17 were somewhat patchier, but had readable prose and an underlying structure that made sense on its own terms.[4]

Issue 1

Antithesis 1 was published in January 1978 and is subtitled, "Visions of the Empire." It contains 118 pages.

cover of Antithesis #1: Visions of the Empire
  • We, of Klingon by Pat Spath ("A brief history of the Klingon people -- planetary history, geologic, biologic, Klingon customs.")
  • Is It Evil to Survive, poem by Cathie Whitehead
  • Child of the Dove by Anne Malcolm ("Kang and Mara again clash with the Enterprise. A powerful, unknown warship and Mara's imminent childbirth lay on both sides of the balance.")
  • You Will Laugh by Bonnie Reitz
  • Ice Claim by B. Reitz ("Two races, Klingon and Federation, claim an unknown world, right in dilythium. Only the little-known S'fali can break that tie -- but in whose favor?")
  • The Challenge by Pat Spath ("Mega, a woman Klingon commander, challenges for the right of Supreme Warrior in the only way possible -- a duel to the death.")
  • art by Bonnie Reitz, P. Spath, Anne Malcolm

Issue 2

cover of issue #2

Antithesis 2 was published in April 1978 and contains about 100 pages. It is subtitled, "Survival."

The art is by Bonnie Reitz and Pat Spath.

  • Concordance
  • Omega Dawn, part one by Koda ("The Klingons are forced into an alliance with the Federation, against the Vulcans, who have gone made from a nebula-born disease. Only two men -- Kulus of Klingon and Benai of the Federation have the war skills to stand against the Vulcan's save destruction. This is a future history series, set a few hundred years beyond the Star Trek time period.")
  • Dialog
  • Brief Encounter of the Klingon Kind Cathie Whiteheand and Bonnie Reitz ("an alien takes control of a Federation vessel and drives it towards the neutral zone.")
  • Snake Without Fangs by Pat Spath ("In building the advanced Klingon warship, the Ketar, Kulus is forced to go against his race's laws and use the aid of the a hated Ku. This is a future history series.")
  • The Romulan Zone, poem by Bonnie Reitz
  • A Brief Pause by Bonnie Reitz and Pat Spath (a look into Klingon commercials)
  • The Encounter by Bonnie Reitz ("An alien takes over a Federation ship, the Cousteau, and drives it toward the Klingon Neutral Zone, with no way to stop it -- to certain war. This is a story in "S'fali series.")
  • Letter by Cathie Whitehead ("When devastating plagues struck ancient Klingon, ships were sent out to other worlds to seek food and supplies. One of these ancient-visited words -- Earth.")
  • Konar's Question, poem in calligraphy by Cathie Whitehead

Issue 3

cover of issue #3

Antithesis 3 was published in July 1978 and contains 101 pages. It was subtitled Women of Survival.

The art is by Mike Horn. Bonnie Reitz, and Dawnsinger.

"This fanzine is based solely on counter-Federation cultures. Within these pages, a different perception of the Federation will be discovered."

  • Omega Dawn, part two by Koda (1) ("The second part of the war that shook the galaxy, Klingon and Federation against the berserk Vulcans and their all destroying Death-ship. A future history series.")
  • If I Were a Rich Kon, filk to the tune of "If I Were a Rich Man" (Fiddler on the Roof) by Anonymous (36)
  • Klingon Nursery Rhymes by Anonymous (37)
  • The King Maker by Bonnie Reitz (38) ("Kosar makes an attempt to Challenge for Supreme Warrior, whole on trial for High Treason. his S'fali wife and an altered Romulan cloaking device are his only weapons. This is a story in the S'fali series.")
  • S'fali Woman, poem by C. Whitehead (73)
  • Mikee by Pat Spath and Bonnie Reitz (74)
  • Hi, Guy! by B.J. Levit and Bonnie Reitz (75)
  • The Brain Caesars by Pat Spath (76) ("The final bid for Supreme Warrior by Kulus against the man he knows has poisoned the previous Klingon ruler to gain position -- Kulu's mother. The clash between them has developed into an all-out war, threatening to rock the Klingon Empire. This is a story in the future history series.")
  • Supreme Warrior Speaks, editorial (100)
  • The Empire Presents: Dawnsinger (101)

Issue 4

cover of issue #4

Antithesis 4 was published in October 1978. It is subtitled, "The True Aliens." It contains 100 pages.

This is the first issue that starts numbering its pages.

The art is by Shona Jackson, Mike Horn, Bonnie Reitz, Gloria-Ann Rovelstad and Pat Spath.

From the editor:

THIS IS WHY EDITORS GET GREY DEPARTMENT: Because two scheduled Klingon stories failed to materialize in time for #4's deadline, we've had to substitute "The Emissary" instead. Although it contains an alien species, in keeping with our theme this issue, the story is not typical Antithesis fare, in which the Klingons are the main characters. Everybody's favorite bad guys will be back in full force in the Jan. 4th Anniversary issue (A 200 page must for Klingon fans.).

  • Concordance
  • Song of the Starship-Kon, poem by Dawn Singer (1)
  • The Emissary by Mary Anne Shannon (2) ("The crew of the Enterprise must escort the Ambassador from a Klingon-threatened world to the Organians, fighting an alien menace on board, which is killing crewman. The Ambassador may be an equal threat.")
  • The Winds of Ke'Lar, poem by Cathie Whitehead (60)
  • Supreme Warrior Speaks, editorial (61)
  • The Stuffed-Up Photon Torpedo Award (Introduction of the zine's award for the "worst Science Fiction movie, book, professional magazine or event.") (63)
  • The Fruits of Trestes by Pat Spath (64) ("Crash-landed on a desert world, a Klingon commander must survive until rescue. yet with one of those aliens, the almost-human birdmen, may lie the only answer o the plague which devastated Klingon.")
  • Planet Bound, poem by Pat Spath (92)
  • cartoons, poem: "Kon Fusion" by Dawn Singer (93)
  • Bitter is the Harvest, poem by Dawn Singer (95)
  • The Emoire Presents: Mike Horn (96) (Klingon's Favorite Things, STAR PIGS, a featuring some Muppets, a la Miss Piggy)

Issue 5

Antithesis 5 was published in January 1979 and contains 185 pages.

front cover of issue#5

It is the First Anniversary Issue.

The art is by Shona Jackson, Bonnie Reitz, Mike Horn, and Pat Spath.

The story, "The Last Rebel," is prefaced by this note from the editor:

When we began Antithesis, all of us involved thought that it should be a forum for young writers, artist and poets as well as for those who have had some experience. In keeping with that idea, I have chose to include the following short story. Please, do not compare it with other work in this issue; read and enjoy it for its own value. I found it an exciting idea, and an enjoyable story.

  • Concordance by Shona Jackson, Bonnie Rietz, and Pat Spath (1)
  • Apocalypse by Pat Spath (4)
  • Variations on a Theme: A Gift by Pat Spath, and Reflections by C. Whitehead (41)
  • The Sound of Distant Thunder by B. Reitz and Shona Jackson (43)
  • Ancient Klingon War Song by Dawn Singer (83)
  • A Cartoon by Bonnie Reitz (84)
  • Last Stand at Shiloh by Bonnie Reitz (85)
  • More Nursery Rhymes by Anonymous (171)
  • Supreme Warrior Speaks by Mega (172)
  • The Scourge by Pat Spath and Bonnie Reitz, art by Mike Horn (173)
  • The Last Rebel by T.E. Jordan (177)
  • The Song of Mara, poem by Rose Wolfe (183)

Issue 6

cover of issue #6

Antithesis 6 was published in April (?) 1979 and contains 178 pages. The editor apologizes for this issue not meeting deadline, so it appears that it may have been in fans' hands later than April. The editor also notes this is the first time the zine has been late.

Artists are not listed, but they appear to be Dawn Singer, Pat Spath, Mike Horn and Bonnie Reitz.

  • Concordance
  • Labrys, story by Bonnie Reitz (1) (predates "Last Stand at Shiloh" in the last issue by several years)
  • Guest of the Empire by Ann Wilson (41)
  • Uhura, Any Messages? or Oie Vey! by Terri Librande (74)
  • Kenekito's Report by Shona Jackson (75)
  • The Stuffed-Up Photon Torpedo Award by Bonnie Reitz (77)
  • Dimensions of Power by Pat Spath (78)
  • Babble Star Glossolalia (116)
  • The Scourge by Pat Spath, art by Mike Horn (118)
  • Where has my little dog gone? by T. Librande (119)
  • Tarcus by T.E. Jordon (122)
  • Eternal Mistress, poem and Galactic Seed, poem by Pat Spath (137)

Issue 7

cover of issue #7, copy

Antithesis 7 was published in July 1979 and contains 91 pages.

  • The editor notes they are going to be attending the New York Con in September and says, "Enslave Long and Conquer!"

The artists are Pat Spath, Bonnie Reitz, and Mike Horn. Individual illos are not credited, nor necessarily signed, so it is difficult to know who did what.

The story, "Klingon Encounter," has this preface by the editor:

Admittedly, this is not standard fare for Antithesis, but I found it a compelling story and believed our readership may also enjoy it. It emphasizes not only the fact that when a Klingon is pushed into a corner he might arrive as some very interesting "20th Century" solutions to his problem, but also gives the Federation's view of the Officers of our Empire.

  • Concordance
  • Spreading the Word in Rural America/or Goerge and Marthy [5] meet the Klingons by Kon FusLon (1)
  • Rite of Passage by Cathie Whitehead (2)
  • Cartoons by Pat Spath (12)
  • Fire Dawn by B. Newby (13)
  • A Pan or Two?, creators Pat Spath, Bonnie Reitz, art by Reitz (22)
  • Dimensions of Power, part 2 by Pat Spath (26)
  • The Planet "Cancellation," a satire by T. Librande (64)
  • The Empire Presents, The Pentology by V.A. Meredith (poem) (67)
  • Klingon Encounter by T. Librande (72)

Issue 8

cover of issue #8

Antithesis 8 was published in October 1979 and contains 120 pages ("2-sided xerographic reproduction, with full-size type").

The art is by Steve Gallacci, Bonnie Reitz, Pat Spath, and Shona Jackson.

  • Concordance
  • Rain by V.A. Meredith, poem and Untitled, poem by Dawnsinger (1)
  • Possibilities by T.E. Jordan (3) (a short end-of-the-world story)
  • The Only Constant by Ann Wilson (5) (a Triad story)
  • The Stuffed-Up Photon Torpedo Award by Cathie Whitehead and Pat Spath (47)
  • A Price Beyond Measure by Pat Spath (51) (a Kang and Mara story)
  • Ancient Love Song, poem by C. Whitehead and Ke a Set, poem by Pat Spath (81)
  • Gas Wars or Alternate Sources of Energy? by T. Librande and Pat Spath (83)
  • Trivia by Cathie Whitehead (85)
  • Hunters in Blood by Bonnie Reitz (87) (the first in a major Triad novelette)
  • Trivia Answers (119)

Issue 9

cover of issue #9

Antithesis 9 was published in January 1980. It contains 178 pages, and some Original Science Fiction. It is the "Second Anniversary Issue."

The art is by Steve Gallacci, Shona Jackson, Pat Spath, and Susan Satterfield.

  • Report to Planet Gremlock by Terri Lebrande (7)
  • The Forbidden Questions by V.A. Meredith (8)
  • The Empire Regrets by Cathie Whitehead and Pat Spath (11)
  • Clarification by Pat Spath (34)
  • A Fairy Tale by Terri Librande (36)
  • Revenge by T.E. Jordan (41)
  • Numbers by T.E. Jordan (52)
  • Klingon Daily Planet by Pat Spath and Cathie Whitehead (54)
  • Supreme Warrior Speaks (56)
  • Dimensions of Power, part 3 by Pat Spath (60)
  • Klingon Sublime Axiom (94)
  • Klingon Maps

Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror:

  • Fantasy by Cathie Whitehead (102)
  • Watchman by Pat Spath (104)
  • The Chosen One by Ann Wilson (108)
  • The Plant Lady by Cathie Whitehead (120)
  • Excursion Tour by Pat Spath (127)
  • Stranded on an Astral Plaine by Cathie Whitehead
  • Planet Bound by Pat Spath (149)
  • The Beginning of Forever by Terri Librande (151)
  • To Our Sweet Departed Mothers by Cathie Whitehead and Pat Spath (154)

Issue 10

cover of issue #10

Antithesis 10 was published in April 1980 and contains 118 pages. The art is by Dawn Wilson, Guynup, and Pat Spath.

  • Concordance
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture Sequel 213, satire by Terri Librande, cartoon by Mike Horn (2)
  • Loyalty's Toll by V.A. Meredith (8)
  • Envy's Harvest by Cathie Whitehead (10)
  • Supreme Warrior Speaks (23)
  • In a God's Arms by T.E. Jordan (26)
  • Klingon Video Viewer Guide (54)
  • Klingon Daily Planet (56)
  • An Unexplainable Feeling by V.A. Meredith (57)
  • Why Klingons Don't Ski/or Down Hill is the Pits, report by Kon Fusion (59)
  • A Simple Test by Pat Spath (63)
  • Mye ri ka (The Mourning) (91)
  • Aliens Must Report (93)
  • A Hesitation in Time by Pat Spath (95) (original science fiction)
  • The Last Sacrifice by Ann Wilson (99) (original science fiction)
  • The Ultimate Consequence (118)

Issue 11

cover of issue #11

Antithesis 11 was published in July 1980 and contains 142 pages.

The art is by Sue Satterfield, Shona Jackson, T.J. Burnside, and Pat Spath.

  • Concordance
  • Dry Storm by Shona Jackson (6)
  • Cy Kong (or, The Cyclones Destroy Earth, part 2, by Cathie Whitehead and Pat Spath, art by Mike Horn (7)
  • Godhome by Ann Wilson (16)
  • The Ancient Warrior Reflects by Sheryl Adsit (40)
  • In a God's Arms, part 2 by T.E. Jordan (42)
  • cartoon by Shona Jackson (82)
  • Deception by Ann Malcolm (84)
  • Sore Losers by Roberta Rogow filk) (123)
  • The Number of the Beast is 666 by Lance DuBach (125) ("Non Klingon Fare")

Issue 12

Antithesis 12 was published in October 1980 and contains 117 pages. Artists: Shona Jackson, Steve Gallacci, and Pat Spath. Writers: T.E. Jordan, Ann Wilson, Cathie Whitehead, and Pat Spath. Poetry: Cathie Whitehead and Shona Jackson. Cartoonists: Mike Horn and Shona Jackson.

front cover of issue #12, Pat Spath
  • Life Cycle #1 -- Birth by Cathie Whitehead (1)
  • Life Cycle #2 -- Youth by Cathie Whitehead (2)
  • Life Cycle #3 -- Maturity by Shona Jackson (5)
  • cartoon: "Miss Universe" by Mike Horn (6)
  • Life Cycle #4 -- Middle Age "Autumn's Reward" by Cathie Whitehead (8)
  • Psychological Report to the Supreme Warrior by Kon Centration/M.E. Steele (29)
  • Life Cycle #5 -- Death "Diogene's New Task" by Pat Spath (34)
  • The Klingon Daily Planet (62)
  • The Imperial Dating System by T.E. Jordan (65)
  • "The World-- According to KATT"—cartoon by Shona Jackson (67)
  • Ordeal, a novel by Ann Wilson
  • The Supreme Warrior Speaks by Pat Spath (110)

Issue 13

cover of issue #13

Antithesis 13 was published in January 1981 and contains 192 pages.

From the editor:

That's what we need from you, all of you! With the continued support of our readership, and the guidance of Amazing's Britton Bloom we have taken great steps forward. But, we are now contemplating a BIG step, and we need your help. We want to go semi-pro, but to do this we must drop our Klingons. What we need to know is (1) will you continue to read Antithesis if it completes its transformation to a totally main-line science fiction/fantasy/and horror? (2) How many are now reading the single issue that you purchase.

We don't expect those reading your copy to buy Antithesis, but the grapevine has cold us that there is an average of three people reading each copy. If our readership is that great, we have to know.

The benefit to you is that after we have the statistics, and we have to the step from fanzine to semi-pro and hopefully in a year or two, the price of a single copy will drastically go down and you will be able pick us up on the news stands. So, please, drop us a postcard with the information. As always, thanks a ton of tribbles!

  • Dungeons and Dragons - Klingon-Style (2)
  • I'm Dreaming of a White Turning by Tim Thomas (11)
  • The Journal by T.E. Jordon (13)
  • The Bird - A Klingon Myth by Victoria Meredith (19)
  • When the Munchies Hit by Barb Parcells (23) (reprinted from Trekism at Large #1)
  • Idylls in a Romulan Mode by Vel Jaeger (25)
  • Star Date - Tomorrow by V.L. Thorn (33)
  • The Glitch by Amazing's Britton Bloom (34)
  • Ordeal, part 2 by Ann Wilson (56)
  • Space Gothic of Cathie Whitehead (56)
  • Second Coming by Ann Wilson (105)
  • Cartoon by Mike Horn
  • LasCon by Ann Wilson (121)
  • Running the Gauntlet by Pat Spath (126)
  • HELP! (the editor wants to know what fans think about this zine "dropping the Klingons" and going semi-pro)
  • Ads

Issue 14

Antithesis 14 was published in April 1981 and contains 51 pages.

cover of issue #14

From the editorial:

Our fearless editor-in-chief went to a sci/i convention held in her area recently. She walked into the dealer's room carrying a copy of Antithesis #13 which was intended as a gift for the guest speaker, Jack L. Chalker. One of the dealers noticed the book and asked her what it was. She explained, adding that at one time it was all Trek writing, but that we had expanded our format to include straight sci/fi, fantasy and horror. Hie comment? "I'm glad you finally decided to grow up." His assistant also had a comment. "Yeah, we used to burn Star Trek fans. Now we just just hang them." This is something that I find both hard to understand or tolerate. Tolerate good word, isn't it? And it's the gist of what seems to be missing from sci/fi fans, this tolerance which is the hallmark of the Star Trek and Star Wars fans.

This has been bothering me for a good while, and I thought it would help if I shared some of these feelings with you, the readers. What is wrong with science fiction fans? I use the quotes purposely. An article by David Gerrold in the December Starlog magazine echoes my sentiments to a great extant. His stand was on the issue of how some sci/fi fans were complaining about how Trek fans ruined fandom. Ruined? How? Star Trek was the first introduction to science fiction for a lot of people, and Star Wars brought a lot more awareness to a lot more people who learned that science fiction could be entertaining, enjoyable, and thought-provoking. These fledglings added their talents to fandom, and in my opinion, made it better. The fanzines and newsletters are excellent forums for the newcomers to exhibit their work. These fanzines allow a lot of people to polish their talents at the same time they are being read, and some people have even gone into pro writing and paid art assignments for the enjoyment of those snobs who complain that fandom was ruined by their very existence.

There seems to be a certain breed of people who feel that the best way to show their intellectual superiority is know knock someone else down. Unfortunately, Science Fiction fandom appears to draw these self-proclaimed intellectuals...

Please don't get me wrong. Not every Science Fiction fan is a snob -- it just seems that these snobs are more vocal than the majority of the fans, and they have the uncanny knack of making it sound as if they have been elected to speak for all of fandom.

  • Oh My Aching, editorial (19)
  • Hand Sculptor by Michael J. Sherrod (3)
  • Regrets by Cathie Whitehead (4)
  • I Am, Therefore, Am Is by P.M. Spath (5)
  • Trilogy of Torment by Pat Spath (10)
  • Too close an Encounter by Steve Gallacci (11)
  • Ordeal, conclusion by Ann Wilson (13)
  • Karkus Chronicles by Mike Horn (36)
  • Choochy-Choochy, created by SAG (37)
  • ... the executioner came on time by P.M. Spath (38)
  • Gotcha by P.M. Spath (39)
  • Tomes, book reviews (47)
  • Ads

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 14

"Gotcha!" Spath, is a slow-developing but ultimately satisfying horror story, with good development of the space-going service and the story1s characters along the way. One of the best stories in these four latest issues.

"Executioner Came on Time" Spath, was enjoyable for the detached style which, I hope, was intended to be dryly humorous, for that is how it seemed to me. The conclusion is a bit simple for the story (could almost be a top-heavy joke), but not inappropriate.

"Regrets," Whitehead, is a sensible and sensitive expression of emotion, exactly what poetry should be (if I may be so hubristic as to define "poetry!!). It hit me particularly, because it fits a space-ship-commander character I am writing about, and I was quite glad to have the inchoate emotion I was trying to define for him so well-put.

"I Am, Therefore Am Is," Spath, is the only work I've ever seen in SW fanfiction to develop Boba Fett's character and background. This isn t necessarily definitive, but good -- the background he's given fits the menace and ferocity hinted at the little we see of him in TESB, and of course, it explains what he's doing there at all. The prose is a bit choppy (not enough to keep me from reading it, though, and I'm easily annoyed by bad prose) and I can pick a couple of holes 1n the story premise, but the story itself is there, structured and outlined and making sense in its own way. The dense explanation of Am's past on the last page is a bit confusing; seems 1ike you were trying to clean up all the loose ends when we already know the important stuff about Am, that is, what she was and did in relation to Boba. But it does solve the mystery of Am and Vader, which would otherwise have been left hanging. Two comments on the construction. Small one (really a nitpick): if the Rok bird was Am's eyes, the mention of the bird being accustomed to Boba following her, and therefore not reporting him to Am, becomes contradictory or at best an unexplained element. Large comment: the constructed world of Royd which is your major premise makes little sense in larger terms, though it is quite self-consistent within the story. If the powers-that-be wanted food, or a place to have unwanteds executed, there are easier ways to go about both objectives. If they wanted hunting, no one's doing the hunting but the Huntresses; it's not directly connected to whoever runs the place. The p-t-b, of course, may merely have wanted to feel god-like, or have some other purpose which I haven't picked up on. Royd is, however, a thoroughly developed and detailed construct on its own terms; this is very solid writing in the sense of visualizing a place and showing it to the reader.[6]

Issue 15

Antithesis 15 was published in July 1981 and contains 34 pages.

cover of issue #15

From the editorial:

Science fiction is going through a convulsion now that is having a detrimental effect on the genre. A spate of movies—BIG movies, costing millions cf dollars to produce—are coming out; new magazines backed by huge corporations are publishing the big names in the field; mammoth books are hitting the stands.

It all sounds rather healthy for the science fiction medium. Science Fiction has graduated into the big-time, money-making consciousness of the public.

But it is also ruining a branch of literature that has been valuable for people with active, restless imaginations. I don't wish to begrudge Robert Heinlein's record-breaking contract for Number of the Beast, nor the success of George Lucas1 Star Wars series nor the big media dollars going into the publication of Omni or Twilight Zone Magazine. But the fact remains, when that much" money is poured into a project, it has to return that much money and more. Publishers and producers are not in the business just to advance the bounds of imagination. They are in the business of making money.

And science fiction has become a big money-making proposition.


Part of the problem here lies in the state of the economy—didn't you already guess that? Ten or fifteen years ago, someone could take a few dollars to a magazine rack at the drug store and buy half a dozen science fiction magazines and have a couple weeks of good reading. The magazines had some garbage, sure; but they also had some good new writers with new ideas.

Now, that same person with a couple extra bucks can only buy one or two magazines. And considering the price of magazines, if that person doesn't like what's inside, he/she will feel cheated. Therefore, the safest thing is to buy stories by writers known to that buyer—a known product.

Publishers realize this trend, and the emphasis is now on the name writers who have a following already. It might take more money to buy those writers, but at least there is a better chance of getting a good return. It's great for the big-name writers, but it also creates an SOS science fiction ~ Same Old Stuff.

Back in the days of the fifty-cent magazine, a reader didn't feel cheated if there was only one good story in the whole magazine—fifty cents isn't too much for one story. But now, with $1.50, $2, $3-plus publications, if only one story is any good—well, that magazine won't be bought again. And if a magazine is not bought, it does not last.

The dwindling number of pulp science fiction magazines on the stands has a drastic effect on the writers. Above all a writer needs lo be published. He/she needs to see the written word in print, needs to have the feedback from editors and readers in order to polish a style or iron out flaws in story construction.

Every writer needs that period of apprenticeship. Today's big-name writers all published wretched stories in the early pulp journals. Everyone. None of the big-name writers could have their first stories published in today's market—they are just too naive or simple, or just plain dumb.

But that is a necessary part of a writer's education. The mistakes made in the early days contributed to the writer's strength now, and every writer needs to make those mistakes.

But where can a writer make those mistakes and learn those lessons? So many of the small magazines have disappeared and the advent of SOS science fiction have removed many of the places for new writers to learn their craft. Who could know how many future big-names have been discouraged out of the field because of the tight market?

Well, you're holding part of the answer in your hands now. The small, amateur fanzines or semi-pro 'zines are caking the place of the old a testing ground for new talent. These magazines are the source for the new NAMES in science fiction and more and more of the professional writers list 'zines in their early credits. How the 'zines survive is a mystery. Given the difficulties of a tight economy, the arduous editorial collection, printing, binding, distribution, and a thousand unforeseen hassles and heartaches, a fanzine has absolutely no rational business being published on a regular basis. Yet they are. Somehow all the troubles are surmounted and the 'zine is put out, after all.

And somehow, despite all the wisdom of the publishers and their accountants, they are bought. Completely ignoring the market forces and conventional economic trends, some folks are still willing to put their few precious reading dollars into experimental publications that escape the bounds of SOS writing.

If there is anything that can save science fiction from the dismal swamp of predictability and imitation, the 'zines can. The 'zines, built on the editors' love for the genre and the readers' restless craving for fiction that has originality, experimental science fiction—with room enough to take a chance on a new idea or style of writing.

  • Oh, My Aching, guest editorial by Britton Bloom (1)
  • The Next Candidate for Jedi Knight? by Mountain Dunham (speculations about Boba Fett) (2)
  • Aquatica—The Age of the Pearl by Albert Russo (original science fiction) (3)
  • Tomes, May 1981 SF/fantasy/horror bestsellers (4)
  • Running the Guanlet [as per Table of Contents, Running the Guantlet as per title on actual story, in either case, misspelled both times] by P.M. Spath (original science fiction) (5)
  • The Return, poem by Cathie Whitehead (original science fiction) (14)
  • Wizard's Green, poem by P.M. Spath (original science fiction) (14)
  • Fatal Shadow by Ann Wilson, art by Steve Gallacci (original science fiction) (15)
  • Karkus Chonicles by Mike Horn (Star Trek) (29)
  • Pride of the Klingon Fleet? by Matt Vera (Star Trek) (30)
  • The Next Step, non-fiction by Sam Robinson (31)
  • Duty by T.E. Jordan (original science fiction) (33)
  • Hovan's Song, poem by Cathie Whitehead and Ann Wilson (original science fiction) (33)
  • ads, many flyers for media zines (34)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 15

"Pride of the Klingon Fleet?" Matt Vera, is an admirable funny satire on television (a lot of television, too. I have a soft spot for humor, and this is great!

"Duty," T.E. Jordon, is a good mood piece. The gravedigger whose whole worldview is wrapped up in his work makes a quietly gripping piece of horror-genre prose. It's concise and complete and self- consistent and generally well-done.[7]

Issue 16

Antithesis 16 was published in October 1981 and contains 64 pages. The art is by Mike Horn, Steve Fallacii, Ken Hass III, Leilah Wendell, Pat Spath, Ann Wilson, and Mike Worley.

front cover of issue #16, Mike Horn
back front cover of issue #16
  • Oh My Aching, editorial (1)
  • Dreams by Fabina R. Bacoo (2)
  • Talks With... (interview with Elinor Mavor, editor of Amazing/Fantastic) (3)
  • Klingon Daily Planet (6)
  • Jack by T.E. Jordon (7)
  • Ransomed Future's Past by V.L. Thorn (7)
  • Writing Science Fiction Poetry, Is It Worth It? by Cathie Whitehead (8)
  • Cookin'!!!! by Ken Has III (9)
  • Cinema: Cinematic Visions (current film reviews) by Kris A. Gilpin and Timothy Finn (13)
  • Solar Sailor by Michael J. Sherrod (16)
  • Staying by George W. Smyth (17)
  • Desperate Situations, a Fable for Our Times by Cathie Whitehead (19)
  • Tomes, book reviews of current books in the SF/Fantasy/Horror category (21)
  • The Applicant by Joseph Michaels (29)
  • The Target by Albert Russo (33)
  • Fatal Shadow part II by Ann Wilson (35)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 16

"Desperate Situations," Whitehead, calls for a snicker. I hope she doesn't mean this seriously, but it's such a logical thing to do... "L'assassinat juste, one might say.

The woodcut-style illos in this issue and #17 are intriguing, if often obscure, and are some of the few bits of art that the printing doesn't blur too badly. They are "live" art, something which asks questions or gives a sense of being one scene in an ongoing situation, and I like the use of symbols.[8]

Issue 17

Antithesis 17 was published in January 1982.

flyer for issue #17
  • Oh My Aching, editorial
  • Emo Convert, fiction
  • The Rattling Shade, fiction by Tim Coats ("It will take away your reason for living and your reason for dying!")
  • Death Rattle, fiction by Patricia Hockhalter ("Elizabeth Barton is the living, breathing bait to lure and to finish the terror of an island's ancient ghost.")
  • Shepherd of the Children, fiction by Kris Gilpin
  • Shadow on the Dark Side, fiction by P.M. Spath and Ann Wilson ("Is there any place to hide if you're an Imperial agent who's blown your mission? It seems highly unlikely, especially if Jabba the Hut wants you dead, Darth Vader wants you alive, and Boba Fett is hard on your trail — besides which, there's this Corellian by the name of Jor Solo who'd gladly turn you in for the price of a new hyperdrive compensator... (A full length Star Wars novel.)"
  • Fatal Shadow, fiction by Ann Wilson ("FATAL SHADOW (Conclusion) by Ann Wilson: The success or failure of Thark's Crusade will be determined by his assault on the Imperial Palace in Antarctica, and by those facing him and his awesomely Talented associates. They are a motley assortment: two Rangers, one with only rudimentary control of his Talent, plus a young warrior, the Chang's Captain and Security Chief, a lander pilot, and seven others.")
  • Ordeal, fiction
  • "I hate extraneous crap!" This and other inside information on the inner workings of Robert Greenberger, one of Starlog's editors. An exclusive interview by Cathie Whitehead and Pat Spath."

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 7

The woodcut-style illos in this issue and #17 are intriguing, if often obscure, and are some of the few bits of art that the printing doesn't blur too badly. They are "live" art, something which asks questions or gives a sense of being one scene in an ongoing situation, and I like the use of symbols.

The short stories in this issue were mostly too obscure or (sorry) badly-written to be interesting. Previous issues show that the zine is often better on this score, or I'd've been worried. I may be missing the point of "Emo Convert" and "The Rattling Shade," but neither seems to have said anything coherent by the end of the story, and both feature characters who suffer arbitrary mood changes, when moods seem to carry the only meaning the stories might have.

"Death Rattle," Hockhalter, has the outline of a good ghost story. The events depicted are fine, and the development is smooth; the characters and setting (and the ghost!) are solidly traditional. However, the writing style is so wrong for the material as to make it a parody of itself. A simple blatant ghost story doesn't make any sense in prosaic terms like these. The only excuse for ghosts in a this universe setting is to create or fulfill a mood: horror, suspense, creeping other-worldliness, something -- and the story just doesn't have the right atmosphere.

"Shepherd of the Chi1dren," Gilpin, on the other hand, does have all the elements which make a work-able story: Readable prose, a style consistent enough with its contents not to jar, and a series of events carefully chosen to support its theme. The use of small details to support the plot is especially good: they make their point without being visibly pushed into the narrative; they belong there. The protagonist's relationship with his fiancee is trite, but a mysterious yet coherent set of events affecting him is neatly presented.

"Shadow on the Dark Side," Spath and Wilson, follows up on Boba Fett from "Am Is." The Boba scenes are so much more evocative than the Vader/Imperial material that despite their seeming place as a sub-plot, they dominate the story's structure. Again, there are several plot paints which are unsupported and thus weaken the structure, but there is a clear story being told; the thing stands up under its own weight, both as Crystal's story and as Boba's. The narrative makes sense, the prose is readable and is enlivened by occasional witty lines (and a few clunkers, but who's perfect?). For instance, "Ben, what else haven't you told me?" as Luke's cry of despair shows the mundanely human side Luke must have, even as it recalls his heroic conflict. As with "Am 1s," the often grim atmosphere supports the point of the story. The really notable holes in the plot include: how did Crystal's attacker in the cantina (the headless female body) get a copy of Damien's letter to Agler? How can an organization with such extreme discipline as the Imperial Service shows (as, death penalty for missing an assignment known to be tricky and ruined by events demonstrably not under the agent's control) attract members? Given that premise, if Ivar Piett had had any sense (and he's shown to have considerable good sense), held have made sure Damien never got near the Academy. Why should Boba Fett fall in love with Crystal, in the space, apparently, of about five minutes? This is a quick transition even by romantic-opera standards. One also wonders why Crystal's mother was so interested in an unnamed sperm sample as to bear a child by it, but I must admit her character is consistent with the rather cold-blooded nature the experiment suggests. Vader is shown as consistently more merciful (and more sensible) than the Empire, a development I can't find the heart to decry, but wound up admiring poor Admiral Piett more than anyone else. (This last is probably personal -- I've been writing Piett-based stories for some time, following approximately the same character traits you have, and Ivar Piett is remarkably similar to the professional side of the one I'm working with.)

"Fatal Shadow," Wilson, is a good, active story in the best Poul Anderson tradition of aliens-politics-and-heroism, with at least as much characterization as Anderson ever gave, and rather more on the female/alien characters. Her Terran Empire is shown clearly enough to let the reader know what it is, in outline, and that this story concentrates on one segment of the Empire, while hinting at what other segments hold. That is, her larger picture does make sense, and the story itself dovetails into it seamlessly. Corina's rise in the Empire is more than a bit Cinderella-like, though it is established that she has the qualities she promo­ted for. The book is about Corina, after all, not someone who didn't make the grade. The development of esper talents in Medart and other human characters is less well-prepared, but is also justified believably within the story.

One detail which seems unlikely is Thark's simply giving up, once it is incontrovertibly demonstrated to him that his premises were false -- but that's in my own human-ambition frame of reference, and Thark's race and stated reasons are never hidden, so perhaps I shouldn't be so surprised that he follows what he said he'd do from the very beginning.

I've read part of "Ordeal," but don't want to delay this any more, so I'll just say it seemed at least as well-done as "Fatal Shadow," and quite busy developing an entirely different part of the Terran Empire's history. I'm glad the series seems to hold up throughout, and look forward to seeing more of it.

Hope this loc comes over as objective and good-natured, which is what I was aiming for. I'd suspect writing a good horror/mood short story is considerably harder than it looks, from the thinking I've done about some of Antithesis' examples.

[The editor adds: "I hesitated about including Barbara's comments on "Death Rattle" -- but they are valid, and the story was in the first copies of that issue.

For those of you who aren't yet familiar with Admiral Sonel Piett and the Executor Cycle , let me recommend it strongly. The first story in the series is "Hoth Admiral" in Imperial Entanglements, written in collaboration with Sylvia Stevens -- I find it an excellent story."] [9]

Issue 18

Antithesis 18 was published in April 1982.

flyer for issue #18
  • The Survivor by D. Gurnett (The alien Loquax are at war with Earth's Empire, and they're winning. As far as Anthony Alexis knows, he's the only human left alive and free. It's not much of a life, sharing the sewers of Chicago with oversized rats, but it's all he has, and he's determined to keep it. Only there's one fact he doesn't know...)
  • The Resurrection of Nolan Prentice by Leilah Wendell (Immortality is usually supposed to be a good thing: Nolan Prentice thought so. At least he did until he woke from death with the seal of Rhadamanthus burned in the palm of his hand...)
  • Wizard's Dream by T.E. Jordon (What would it be like to be the guardian of a dream you've had to hide in glamour, in an age when nothing is taken on faith, and not even the Moon itself is safe from the problems of humanity?)
  • Spirit of Tar:a : Tale of Zaire by Albert Russo (It's not wise to hold a grudge against the gods, Karumi discovers. they might let you get a way with it as long as you do it quietly, but if you shout definance at them, they might just get upset enough to silence you...)
  • poetry, art, short-shorts, comix-strips and more

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 18

I want to thank those with good words about my work in and for issue 18. It looks like we will be having lots of new artists appearing in the future. I would like to be able to concentrate more on just the comic feature. I am very pleased with Kris' script, "Death by Numbers;" he is hitting his stride! We seem to work well together. We have tossed around the idea of doing a short 'shooting script' with storyboard type illustration to go along, as a change up from comicwork. Does anyone know if Ron Cobbls comic/storyboard for the movie "Conan" is available in print? A couple pages were run in Comics Scene and they were beautiful ... I don't recall the article mentioning a published edition and I'd never be able to dig the issue out of the shambles of our soon to be vacated apartment. Home everyone likes this issue's cover, a lampoon of work by a certain painter! -- Ken Haas [10]

Issue 19

Antithesis 19 was published in July 1982 and contains 60 pages.

front cover of issue #19, "First Dream" by Paul Nehring
back cover of issue #19, untitled by Jeff Haas

The editor addresses some rumors that she has heard about this zine:

Why all this sudden interest in the working of the rumor mill? Well. you've probably guessed by now -- it's happening to us. The first we knew of any problem was when two people wrote to Pat and asked her to return their work. They had "heard," you see, that we had refused to return someone's art work on request, and that we were using this art work to make and sell T-shirts. Antithesis has made a lot of things -- we've made people laugh (sometimes unintentionally). we've made people cry, we've made friends, and, obviously, we've made enemies. We've never made T-shirts. We tried to track this disgruntled artist down, to no avail, and frankly, we're at our wits' end. How many people are there who think we've done this thing? We can print disclaimers until we run out of paper and ink, but we probably will never reach everyone who has heard of our "evil deed" It hurts. We've all put a lot of time into the 'zine, and we've tried to treat everyone fairly. I could understand if a letter requesting the return of work got lost in the mail and our failure to reply to this person was construed as a refusal, but why wouldn't the person follow it up with another letter or even a phone call? Why did we have to learn about this by accident, it this person feels he or she has a legitimate claim?

There's another side to this story. What if someone is making T-shirts using artwork lifted from the 'zine? He or she could be saying they have our permission, thereby ripping off the artist and dragging our name through the mud at the same time. And mud clings.

The only way I could think of offsetting this accusation is by making the following statements:

1. To my knowledge we have never refused to return the original of any work to the artist or writer who requested it.
2. We never authorized the manufacture of T-shirts utilizing the work of any artist who's sent us submissions.
3. We have never made or distributed any T-shirts ourselves.

I know we'll never be able to completely undo the damage to our reputation, a fact which ought to make the originator of the rumor quite happy. Bitter? Yes. Hurt? Yes. Angry? Yes. Able to overcome this and go on doing the same work we've been doing? Yes!

One last thing -- if anyone sees someone wearing a T-shirt bearing any art which you definitely recognize as having appeared in the 'zine, would you take the trouble of asking them where they got it and then passing the information along to us?

  • Oh My Aching, editorial (3)
  • Scratch the Blues, fiction by Karl Eid, illustrated by Suzanne Satterfield (5)
  • The Magic Touch, poem by Neal Wilgus (7)
  • Movie Reviews by Kris Gilpin (8)
  • untitled poem by Susan Matthews, illustrated by Jeff Hass and Ken Haas III (12)
  • Spoils of War, fiction by Ann Wison, illustrated by Jeff Hass and Ken Haas III (13)
  • Misfit, fiction by P.M. Spath (21)
  • Mind's Eye, comic strip by Kris A. Gilpin, art by Ken Haas III (22)
  • Con Report: MediaWest* Con or Raiders of the Midwest, by Cathie Whitehead, see that page (25)
  • Crumbling Stars, As I Dream, two poems by Teresa Sarick (26)
  • Unicorn Eyes, poem by John Gregory Betancourt, illustrated by Dennis Myers and Ken Haas III (27)
  • Together Forever, fiction by Fabina Bocoo, illustrated by Ken Haas III (27)
  • Ramblings of an SF Writer, poem by Ann Wilson, illustrated by Jeff and Ken Haas (28)
  • The Next Catch, fiction by David m. Lisa, illustrated by Ken Haas III (29)
  • Cruel Whip, poem by Scott E. Green, illustrated by Paul Hehring (32)
  • Letters of Comment, edited by Ann Wilson (33)
  • Ghost Poem #3, by John Gregory Betancourt (36)
  • Parallels, poem by Victoria Meredith (36)
  • Guest of Honor, fiction by Cathie Whitehead, illustrated by Ken Haas III (37)
  • Caravans, poem by Scott E. Green, illustrated by Paul Hehring (40)
  • London Vault, fiction by Jan Bee Landam, illustrated by Paul Hehring (47)
  • Book Reviews by Andrew Andrews, Kevin J. Anderson, and Diane C. Donovan (43)
  • Old Timer, fiction by Cathie Whitehead and P.M. Spath, illustrated by Paul Hehring (47)
  • Shades: A Ritual for a Summer's Day, Apparitions, An Everlasting Kingdom Lost, three poems and art by Leilah Wendell (50)
  • untitled poem by Janet Fox (50)
  • Update: Antithesis News (51)
  • Cometose, poem by Peter Payack (53) [11]
  • In-Between the Lines, poem by Sue Ann Sarick, illustrated Ken Haas III (53)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 19

My sister and I received our issues of Antithesis #19 and I must say you're improving on an already professional-style publication. The heavy glossy covers add a lot towards the first impression of a qua11ty Z1ne and this is carried over into the well-crafted artwork and layout. All of the artwork is excellent; from the unique style of Ken & Jeff Haas -- the inside backcover looks like it could be translated into a painting for the cover of a Molly Hatchet album while the illos for "Spoils of War" is on a totally different plane -- to the engraving style of Kiel Stuart's mock woodcut on p. 29 -- to the fine line drawings of Paul Nehring. The cover illo is super -- quite eye catching and captures the mood of Antithesis.

Articles, fiction and poems are up to your high standards, and Cathie's con report is quite good. She does a fine job of creating the ambience of a con in words.

I especially like the small, fascinating detailed sketches scattered around the pages. Such as the skull on p. 1. design on p. 32 by Jeff Haas, and Ken Haas Toltec on p. 45, p. 12 and various other beasties.

Thanks for a lovely zine. Even if some of the stories are too scary to read after dark! -- Terri and Sue Ann Sarick [12]

Greetings and a good job on Antithesis 19. Paul Nehring's external covers are stunning, and Jeff

Haas' interior covers are very impressive.

Cathie's editorial concerning rumors about Antithesis not treating its contributors fairly is quite a shock -- I have never come across any publication whose staff has gone to such lengths to be totally up front and square with its people. In all the years I have been associated with you, you have always been fair and helpful with special requests, and never exploitative. And that is rare in publishing. The stories are a nice mix of science fiction, fantasy and horror, with enough variety to be constantly interesting. "Scratch the Blues" by J. Karl Eid is my least favorite of the issue. It seems a pointless piece that glorifies brutality for its own sake. Ann Wilson's "Spoils of War" is another fine story by a consistently good writer. "Spoils" has a beginning, middle and end, with good character development and plenty of "action" of a different sort than the usual mayhem. The warrior Gaelan's internal struggle to overcome his humiliation provides as much interesting conflict as any star-roving military campaign, and is much harder to portray. My only complaint is that the end is too abrupt; a few more incidents are needed before Gaelan's allegiance to the Baron is believable.

"Misfit" by Pat Spath is a nice short-short with a twist, and a fine emotion behind it. Felt good to read it. "Together Forever" by Fabina Bacoo left me cold since it is built around characters that are too shallow and an egocentricity on the part of the man that is silly.

I enjoyed "The Next Catch" by David M. Lisa because I agree with him about fishing, and those submarine descriptions were excellent. I was so carried away by the story and identifying with the main character that the end made me a little uncomfortable. Very skilled, and a good reversal of roles.

Cathie Whitehead's "Guest of Honor" was an enjoyable read, and a relief from the ghost stories in which the ghost's only motivation seems to be a desire to kill as many people as possible. Nice descriptions here, and genuine emotions for the children that are touching.

"London Vault" by Jan Bee Landman impressed me as a fine example of how the fantasy genre can explore "real life." The heights of ecstasy at the beginning of a love affair followed by a return to reality as those involved got used to the situation, leading to the disillusionment as the beginning heights cannot be maintained and the hatred that sometimes leads to. The only problem is that Sylvie goes over the edge too quickly, without enough character development to make her final action credible. All in all, an interesting exploration of human nature in exaggerated form.

The regular departments are great. Cathie's report on the MediaWest*Con was fun, an entertaining account that made me enjoy the can without having been there. Andrew Andrews is a well-read book reviewer whose knowledge adds much to his reviews; there is always more to choosing a book to read than simply what it is about, and Andrews' comments add a nice human touch I like. Kevin Anderson's review of the Borrible books by Michael de Larrabeiti is good; I'm glad some attention is being paid to those books (and I wonder why they are not stirring more comment.) Anderson and Diane C. Donovan have done a service by pointing out books that might be overlooked.

I also enjoyed Kris A. Gilpin's movie reviews. (If a book reviewer is well-read, how do we refer to a movie reviewer's credentials? Is he well-seen?). I like having a bit of background info on the director and writer of a film, and a little attention paid to the context in which a film appears. Gilpin's comments fill out a movie for me, and add a dimension to the flicks. Good job.

This all ran longer than I expected, Pat. Just a long way of saying I enjoyed Antithesis 19 -- am 1ooking forward to the next issue.[13]

Antithesis 19 finally came in Friday. I've read "Spoils of War" several times already & I love it of course. I skimmed the other fiction in the zine and found it too macabre for my taste. I thought the most sensual thing in SoW was Jairy's reaction to her examination of Gaelan. The kiss seemed to me to be very much like the "kiss of peace" which was exchanged between a lord & his vassal in medieval Europe after an oath of fealty had been accepted. It was so obvious that Gaelan was not only quite hazy but also pushed to a point of desperation or emotional exhaustion where more than anything else he wanted his situation resolved, even if it meant death. This is strongly and beautifully exemplified in the last two sentences Gaelan speaks before the Baron accepts his fealty. I can hear the weary tone of his voice that says 'Accept what I can honorably g1ve or kill me. I don t really care any more -- just get it over with." Of course he would probably have felt differently in a day or two, but it's his state of mind at the moment when he swore fealty that counts. The things that you mention... being shot, having surgery, the drug fog are only the immediate reasons Gaelan isn't thinking straight, before these things happened he'd been through several days of very unsettling experiences. His mental state must have been far from normal, even before he was shot. He's been captured, interrogated, treated in what he considers a dishonorable manner, and threatened with things he has always considered unthinkable, alone unspeakable. Hasn't anyone else ever heard of culture-shock?[14]

Here's another of the overly frank loc's I'm sure you'll learn to appreciate in time (say about six years...), on Antithesis #19. First off, the cover was kinda cute. Maybe teddybears don't want to be cute and cuddly all their lives, and welcome the chance for escape. Or are these nocturnal visitors bent upon recruiting the house bears to freedom? Or do they plan to substitute themselves for the real teddybears for malign purposes, perhaps? Many sinister possibilities suggest themselves, starting with a nightmare I had when I was very young about my favorite doll, Danni, coming alive and being possessed of Medea's temperament and Medusa's powers. Danni was never a happy doll, anyway, but that dream partook of the horrors usually projected upon the hapless dead. I suppose that this zine cover taps into the same vein of fantasy/psychology imagery. It's those great-pupilled eyes that really bring home the life of the nighttime escapers, or invaders.

Inside, Paul Nehring's stuff looks nice. The zine repro has improved tremendously; it is no longer ruining your art. The frontispiece for "Scratch the Blues" is also good; that deceptively simple-looking, blocky style requires that the artist know what he or she is doing. The story by Eid is a small spot of illumination in a murky universe, both literally and figuratively. I detest these depressingly grim social documents, but the story technique is good, focusing on incidents and actions rather than explanations.

I've already corrmented on "Spoils of War" to Ann. but I liked the story as much or more on re-reading as the first time. The action proceeds apace, if not a-run, and one can, as usual, sympathize with all the parties represented in her story.

"Together Forever" by Bacoo, and "London Vault," Landman, are both suitably horrifying, but the characters' motivations are left a bit sketchy. "Together Forever" is so efficiently written that this may be taken as a deliberate omission, but "London Vault" leaves one wondering how two people who are openly "darlings" to each other can be such inimical manipulators. There are hints, but the otherwise vivid story is a bit abruptly developed as far as the characters are concerned.

"The Next Catch," David Lisa and "Guest of Honor," Whitehead, are both set on somewhat familiar themes, but both are adequate, even deft, handlings.

The circularity of "The Next Catch," David Lisa, is nice. "Old- timer," Whitehead & Spath, ends somewhat abruptly, but it's a nice little capsule of an idea, positively Clarkian.

"Shades," by Wendell caught my attention (I usually ignore the poetry) with its pleasingly outre imagery, use of assonance (as well as rhyme and meter!), and other indications that the author has but is not enslaved by, a 19th-century background.

I could write a bunch about Bladerunner, but you already have a movie reviewer. After seeing the movie and reading the book, I think the film captures Phillip Dick's atmosphere, even while the usual cuts in a book-to-screenplay change manage to trample his plot into a pancake of its former self. This leaves the background curiously out of style with the storyline. I've never liked Phil Dick much, so while I appreciate the film (and the books) I don't really like either.

I received #8 and #9 at the same time #19 arrived, and the contrast is quite remarkable! It's only

right that you should improve over time, I suppose, but the layout, art. writing are all dramatically better in the later issues. Hope you haven't been wounded or lost too much breeding stock while hunting down the wild zines... My zines are all nice and tame, living in the kitchen as they do among the books, but my manuscripts are the ones that run off and hide at the sight of light" and lose themselves and interbreed shamelessly in dark corners. Have you considered subduing them with staples? Once I staple a manuscript, it generally behaves in much more civilized fashion. By the way, the change from ACCO fasteners. to staple binding is appreciated; ACCO keeps the thick zine together, true, but itls hell to stack and tends to tear up adjacent zines. (The early Antitheses are a feisty bunch.) Embrace the Dark Side, Barbara T[15]

Here are the illos for "Landslide Victory" for Antithesis #20. I enjoyed il1oing this story as I love spoofs and parodies. I'm enclosing some more fillos, as I was inspired by Ant. #19 to draw some "uglies,"

which I adore & love to do. I also love doing exotic females, so I'm tossing one in. This art is cartoon style to fit the story. I like to try different styles, like the stipple work or "dot" style, and combinations for serious art.

Antithesis 19 is beautifully done; the solid blacks donlt print solid, however, and that is difficult for artists to work around. I'm glad my monster face was mated to an enjoyable poem. He does fit in with the general mood &style of your zine.

I enjoyed "Spoils of War." The characters are well developed and I found myse1f caring deeply about what happened to Gaelan. "The Next Catch" was also quite good. I always did feel sorry for the fish I chanced to catch. "The London Vault" was wonderfully gruesome. I think the readers would have enjoyed Martinis fate more if he had been pre- sented as more wicked and deserving of it. I wonder -- if the art were as graphic as the descriptions -- would you print it? [That would depend to a large extent on how it was handled, but probably not. We try not to do things that would gross most people out -- and in this instance, what the readers imagine could well be more gruesome than anything an artist could depict -- the editor (AW)]

I like dungeons. If you get another dungeon story lid like a crack at the artwork. All of your writers have a very good, readable style. Of the poetry I liked "Cometose" and "In Between the Raindrops" because they're easily understood. Some of the others leave me wondering at times what they're driving at. Some seem ambiguous to me.

I'm glad you carry letters and I'm looking forward to reading what others will have to say about Ant. 19.

I really like the back cover and inside back. Of the other art, I 1ike "Dragon Door". (I'm crazy about dragons) and the abstract on p. 26, also p. 52. Most all of the art is good, but the repro spoils some of it. It makes lines which are not sharp & distinct that much more vague. The stipple art with "Spoils of War" is good but came out a little too light. 11m sure that is what made "Mind's Eye somewhat vague in places.

I wish I could write as inte11igent and perceptive analyses as [Barbara T], but I'm not that smart. I just know what I like and dislike.

The movie & book reviews are also written in a scholarly manner. I'm disappointed that there was not a review of "The Wrath of Khan" (which I loved, being a Star Trekker). Mr. Gilpin should not a11ow prejudice to interfere with duty. Oh, well, it probably would have been a negative account and then I'd be mad at him. -- Gennie Summers [16]

Issue 20

Antithesis 20 was published in October 1982 and contains 80 pages. It has a wraparound cover. The artists are not credited formally, but include Mary Bohdanowicz, Jeff Hass, Gennie Summers, "yow", Suzanne Satterfield, Paul Nehring.

front cover of issue #20 by Jeff Hass
wraparound cover of issue #20 by Jeff Hass
from a flyer printed in the previous issue

From the editorial:

Antithesis ;s proud to announce that we will be putting on NovaCon '83 in Lancaster, PA, from 5 PM Friday October 14 all through Sunday the 16th. It's at the Treadway Resort Inn, just off Route 30, which is giving us special prices for rooms: S40/single, $47/double. The con membership is $8 (to NovaCon '83, PO Box 41, Marietta, PA 17547) for attending, $3 for supporting; dealers' tables are $10. Besides all the usual panels, art show, and dealers' room, we will be having David Gerreld, the SCA, Larry Arnold, at least one speaker from Three Mile Island, people from the phenomena research group Enigma, an exhibit from the Goddard Spaceflight Center... We think it will be fun. If you want more information, SASEing the above address will get you a flyer -- and of course, if you want to attend, send in your membership! Next: we've had a couple of comments that we are too serious. Well, we can only print what we get, and we simply haven't been getting that much humor. We'd dearly love to have more, but that's in YOUR hands.

  • Oh My Aching, editorial (3)
  • Illuminaries, poems by Jon Post, Miriam Hasert (4)
  • Daemien's Fugue, fiction by Leilah Wendell (7)
  • untitled poem by Jon Post (8)
  • Book Reviews by Andrew Andrews and Kevin J. Anderson (9)
  • Painting, poem by Miriam Hasert (11)
  • Landslide Victory, fiction by Carl S. Milstead (Star Wars parody, "Meet the BugEye Knights, Princess Andora Organic, Minthros the Muncher and Stal Syndrum. Just a few of the characters in this side-splitting, slap-stick satire about 'a galaxy far, far away.") (13)
  • Survival, or Repent, Pilgrim, cried the Kodac Man, poem by Susan Matthews (23)
  • Fact and Fiction, fiction by Mark C. Henri (25)
  • Solitary Confinement, fiction by D. Lauretta Henderson (26)
  • Letters of Comment, edited by Ann Wilson (27)
  • St. Benny, fiction by Bonnie Warner Rowland (31)
  • Signed, Post, poem by Jon Post (35)
  • Captains, poem by John Gregory Betancourt (36)
  • Talks With: Kris Gilpin interviews Gary Goldstein (37)
  • Death by Numbers, cartoon strip by Ken Haas III and Kris A. Gilpin (41)
  • Patterns on the Trestleboard, fiction by Barbara Froman-Syverud ("No more trees, therefore no more carpenters, therefore no more need for men, therefore no more need for a place to inhabit. A 'big-bang' story with a difference.") (45)
  • Untitled Haikus, two poems by John Gregory Betancourt (53)
  • The Black Road, poem by Denise Dumars (55)
  • Riptide and Ghost Poem #2, two poems by John Gregory Betancourt (55)
  • Wild 'Zine Wall (graffiti) dedicated to Barbara T) by Pat Spath (56)
  • The Screams in 137, fiction by Jonathan E. Bensinger ("The curse of job burn-out has gotten to Thorton, a social worker. He has set his mind on quitting his lousy job; that is until a neighbor of apartment 137 keeps calling him about the awful screams coming of of there at night. "Well, maybe, just this one last case...") (57)
  • The Black Star, poem by Denise Duamars (61)
  • The Sealed Room, poem by John Patrick Fenney (62)
  • Cinematic Visions: movie reviews by Timothy Finn and Kris A. Gilpin (63)
  • Death by Numbers, fiction by D. Lauretta Herderson (69)
  • The Lady Medea, Reflections in a Madman's Mirror, poem by John Patrick Feeney (70)
  • END-ings: poems—The Wather by Denise Dumars, untitled by Janet Fox, Performance in the Square by William T. Vernon, The Danger of Feeling by William T. Vernon, The Experiment by Denise Dumars, The Sound by Denise Dumars (71)
  • Classified Ads, Flyers (74)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 20

I received #20 today, and since it beats the hell out of studying, I read it all the way through. Somebody else said (in another LaC) that your stuff is "er...variable." #20. I am sad to say, is a little bit too, er ... variable for my taste. Not wishing to tread on writerly toes (we both know that mine are delicate enough), I won't mention names: some of you nifty folks out there are forgetting some of the primary rules of writing, like mildly original storylines, character development, and clear, lucid, and non-cluttered prose.

Kris Gilpin deserves a mention, in that he needs to check his pillow, because I think some of his brains leaked out while he was asleep. ET was nothing more than an old Lassie script rehashed and injected with twirling, colored lights. Shave your collie, Kris, and see what I mean.

If I want to see a movie about a boy and his dog, I will go and see A Boy and His Dog, based on Ellison's short and novel of the same title. I did this by the way, last week. Now that was SF!

Jeff Haas gets a double pat on the back for the two high points of the 'zine. His cover provided a few yuks, and the inside of the back cover (Zombie Love) had me rolling on the living room floor.

Jonathan Bensinger receives a plaudit for the first half of "The Screams in 137." Any character who is put to sleep, rather than puking his guts up by drinking half-a-bottle of creme de cacao is OK by me. This story went flat after Jon got into alien sociology, when he should have pursued the potentially hilarious, and not to mention messy, complications of an overworked social worker dealing with a trouble alien family. I wish I had thought of this first.[17]

Sorry to have taken so long to acknowledge receipt of my contributor's copy. No time.

I was extremely pleased with your magazine. It looks really good. certainly by this country's standards. The illustrations by Paul Nehring are first rate. (Please convey my respectful compliments to him for a superb illo to my "London Vault")

Unfortunately I have not yet had time to read the mag from cover to cover, but I did read "Scratch the Blues," which undoubtedly has one of the very worst opening lines in the history of the written word, but picks up nicely and proves quite a laudable effort in the end. I positively liked "The Next Catch," which may not be the most original idea conceivable but has good writing and atmosphere.

Finally I read "Together Forever." It was not bad, but my enjoyment was seriously marred by the fact that I had to read it three times before I understood. I guess I'm growing senile before my time.[18]

I can't resist captioning the cover thus: "You'd look pissed too if somebody punctured your party doll." But the inside bacover was great. How I used to hate those True Love comics.

All in all you do a good job; there's a little something for everyone in here, I think. Liked much of the poetry, especially that by Jon Post. Liked best "The Four Seasons" and John Feeney showed uncanny skill with rhyme in "The Sealed Room," especially in the first and last stanzas, tho I think the poem is a bit long to sustain the idea. I usually don't care for rhymed poetry, but that's only because such gawd-awful things have been done with it. If I might nit-pick for a moment, I can't understand the use of ne'er instead of never. They both scan roughly the same and in the situations they're used in, the tone of the poem isn't necessarily archaic. All I could figure out is that the ne'ers were used to sound poetic. No such a good reason.

The ol' crab strikes again; must disagree with Kris about E.T. The heavy e:notional scenes were too heavy, I don't say maudlin -- maybe manipulative is a better word. I kept trying to remember scenes from Lassie Come Home, which I think is somewhat the same in emotional tone. And I kept thinking, if the little sucker can propel a bicycle end a boy through the air, why can't he pick up a chair or candlestick and let his persecutors have it? But all in all, except for these parts, I enjoyed the movie. The kids were wonderful, especially in familiar and typical scenes like learning to drive by backing the car in the driveway and causing a riot in school by telling the frog to "make a break for it."

Note to the copy editor: My poems aren't really untitled; they just have the titles in odd places sometimes (the caps). But I prefer having it called Untitled rather than having the real title hauled up from the text and put at the top and then having the caps still used and making me redundant, as has been done in some zines.[19]

Just received #20 yesterday, and as usual, I am very very pleased. The cover illo made me laugh! The layout is increasingly superb! However, I do agree with one of the letters from your readers about listing art contributors. I sincerely feel that artists will be more enthusiastic if their name appears in the contents as having contributed to your magazine, or you could do what other zines do; example: Damien's Fugue by Leilah Wendell -- Illustrated by Pat Spath. You could do this rather than make a separate column for art contributors like US does. My favorite piece was "Patterns on the Trestleboard." This is a nicely written piece of unusual standing.

I enjoy it immensely. The back cover topped everything eff: "Zombie Love" Torrid Tales of rotting romance. It would be quite interesting to see this developed as a continuing series somewhere in ANTI, either as a strip or a straight-forward serial. Serials have a way of compelling the reader to return for another copy. Your printing quality is constantly improving, with large blacks remaining your only problem, but even on offset, this is a niggling worry.

I haven't had time to read every story as of yet, but what I have read is good. I always find that your zine prints stories of a highly unique nature. Never a rehashing of what's already been done. I seek that out and when I find it, I treasure it! I got a beautiful letter from one of your readers who enjoyed my "Resurrection" story in your previous issue! It's nice to know someone appreciates your effort![20]

Just wanted to drop you a quick line to congratulate you & the whole crew on the news that Antithesis is going pro. Good job! And good luck with this new step.

I've been going over some old back issues and am impressed with the advances the 'zine has made over the years. The stories have become increasingly competent. and the editing has grown in sureness and ability. There is enough variety in the choice of stories to appeal to many different tastes, providing readers with a fine range of styles and types.

But the most appealing feature of Antithesis has been its ro1e in teaching new writers their craft -- certainly the regulars have learned much about their craft in the pages of the 'zine. After all, writers need to be published and criticized in order to break out of the isolation of the writer's den and into the world of readers. Of course, it is not your function to act as a writing school, but by taking chances on new people you have provided some authors with a first taste of ink, and introduced them to the rough world of letters of comment.

I wish you well in the future and hope you can maintain the excitement and experimentation. Antithesis has always had. I feel very fortunate to have been a witness to the growth of the 'zine. All my best.[21]

Issue 21

Antithesis 21 was published in January 1983 and contains 90 pages.

front cover of issue #21
wraparound covers, issue #21, Jeff Hass

From the editorial:

After five years of more than our share of ups and downs, there is extraordinary news to pass on to our readership. Starting in February of 1983 you will be able to find Antithesis on the shelves of selected bookstores across the country.

With that event will come a first in this recession we an find ourselves in: we are going to reduce our prices. No matter the issue, regular or our double-sized anniversary edition, Antithesis will only cost $3.50 per issue by subscription. Those who have a subscription with more than a single issue left on it will have that subscription extended by two issues. For readers who are unable to obtain Antithesis locally, we will still be sending it out of our home address. The new price will be, as stated previously, $3.50 an issue or $12.50 for a four-issue subscription. The main reason that we will be able to do this is the increased reader- ship promised to us by the distributor.

Other excellent news is that we wi11 be going offset with our April edition as well as lowering the price. No longer will our much beleaguered artists have to worry about too much black space. In the future, if sales increase as much as proposed, we will be paying for material used in our magazine. At first it might only be ~ a word, but who knows what the future will hold. In all modesty, may I say, "Whoopee, and watch out big boys, here comes Antithesis II...


It is such an immense pleasure for me to wr1te this upbeat editorial that I believe I will close while the feeling remains with me and pop open a magnum of champagne!

  • Legend Has It, editorial by P.M. Spath (2)
  • The Hunter and The Hunted, fiction by John Betancourt (3)
  • Webster's Definition, fiction by Dennis Funk (5)
  • The Jewelry Box, poem by Gail Wilkerson (9)
  • The Cove, fiction by Johnathan Lowe (11)
  • Corvus Corax, poem by Charles Stephenson (12)
  • Book Reviews by Andrew Andres, and Diane C. Donovan (13)
  • Dragon Moon, poem by Paul Meier (17)
  • Night Fantasy, poem by Ethel Dunn (18)
  • The Affidavit, fiction by Mark C. Henri (19)
  • Running In Place, fiction by John Gibson (20)
  • The Hunger of Long Eyes, fiction by Allen Izen (21)
  • Dawn, Nova, two poems by Miriam Hasert (24)
  • Oh, My Darling, fiction Kris A. Gilpin & Ken Haas III (29)
  • Metamorphosis, poem by Nancy E. James (38)
  • Cinematic Visions, movie reviews by Kris A. Gilpin, Phil Fracinella (39)
  • Frog Pond, fiction by Myron S. Hoyt- 35 Computer Time-by Kendra Usack (45)
  • Directional Information, poem by L. Ballentine (48)
  • Half-Breed, fiction by Christopher Gilbert (51)
  • Crysila's Prayer, poem by Debra L. Corgias (55)
  • Game Over, reviews by John DiPrete (56)
  • Pattern on the Trestleboard Part II, fiction by B. Froman Syverud (57)
  • Leona, poem by Jon E. Richardson (67)
  • Talks With: Interview by Kris A. Gilpin with Eddie Deezen (68)
  • No Title, poem by Laurel A. Lang (72)
  • Rabbitears, fiction by Ginger Bisanz (73)
  • Fire Lady, fiction by Ellen Behrens (75)
  • We Are The Walrus, fiction by Eric Leif Davin & Cami11e Leon (76)
  • Salt Water Dreams, fiction by T.E. Jordon (81)
  • Tale Ends, LoCs edited by Ann Wilson (83)
  • Classified Ads and Flyers (85)
  • Yog-Sothoth Glimpsed, poem by March C. Henri

Issue 22

Antithesis 22 was published in April 1983 and contains 50 pages. It has a wraparound cover.

cover of issue #22 -- "Bradic Circle": The ancient tradition of story telling around a campfire is here carried on by some archetypes from myth & fantasy (ans some relatively fantastic real Earth creatures) dwarf, elf, half-elf, wolf, wizard, dragon, pegasus, centaurs, ornyx, fox-eared bats and bat-eared foxes and an American Indian/Viking heroine. Done with Higgens Black and crowquill by Teanna Byerts"
showing the wraparound cover

The editorial is short as the editor says she has nothing to complain about. Ironically, there is also no LoCs in this issue:

Believe it or not, no one wrote a negative comment letter about #21, and Ann and I had both agreed at the insception [sic] of the LOC column, that we would not run an entire series of letters that did nothing but praise our efforts. All the staff knows we're perfect, God knows I am at least, but out there, in reader's land, there has to be someone that has a clear eye!

  • Legend Has It, editorial by P.M. Spath (2)
  • Soap, fiction by Martin S. Dworkin (3)
  • Far Away, poem by Melissa K. Angell (4)
  • Enemy Bouquet, poem by Sue Marra (4)
  • The Woodpecker, fiction by Joan Robinson Sabia (5)
  • A Rapist Named Gacy, poem by Carol Spelius (7)
  • Rings of the Midnight Moon, fiction by Doug Shearer (9)
  • Dragon of Vanzee, poem by Robert Newsome (16)
  • After Escation, fiction by Mark C. Henrie (17)
  • The Avenger, fiction by Darlene M. Hall (19)
  • Three Miles from Here, poem by Susan Packie (26)
  • Front Seat, fiction by Rose Ellison King (27)
  • The Devil and Daniel Webster, part two, fiction by David Sabet (29)
  • Coup de Maitre, book reviews by Andrew Andrews, Kevin J. Anderson, W. Ritchie Benedict (33)
  • Talks With: interview by Britton Bloom with James Gunn (33)
  • The Alien, poem by Nancy E. James (34)
  • Unfinished Dream, poem by Ethel Dunn (36)
  • Little Spheres, fiction by Debra L. Corgias (37)
  • Jurassic Gliding, poem by Larry Blazek (41)
  • Cinematic Visions, movie reviews by Kris A. Gilpin (42)
  • Virginities Enchanters, poem by A.D. Accampo (44)
  • The End of the Earth, fiction by T.E. Jordon (45)
  • Edgar's Vacuum, fiction by William P. Robertson (47)
  • Come Tomorrow There'll Be Sorry, poem by William Michael Fagan (48)
  • Scientifictional Word Puzzle by John Bregory Betancourt (a word find with 65 science fiction, fantasy and horror books, magazine, and writers)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 22

This issue runs a little heavy on the horror side with a touch of fantasy. A collection of short stories, all of which have been very well-written, poetry, reviews and even an interview make up a very well-rounded fanzine. I can't think of anything I didn't like about this zine... The stories all speak for themselves: past, present, future, they're all there for you to pick and choose from... My favorite story is 'Wind Shadow,' which is somewhere between fantasy and science fiction... With the cost of things as high as they are, I'd say you'll at least get your money's worth out of this one.[22]

Issue 23

Antithesis 23 was published in July 1983 and contains 50 pages. The art is by Mary Bohdanwoicz, Tracy Butler, Teanna Byerts, Jim Garrison, Ken Haas, Jeff Hass, Mike Horn, Paul Nehring, Suzanne Satterfield, Pat Spath, and Gennie Summers.

front cover of issue #23
back cover of issue #23
a flyer for issue #23

The editorial is a grim one:

BEWARE THE VAMPIRE: It isn't even close to Halloween, October 31, but there is a pale-faced, blood-sucking son of Vlad the Impaler out there, and his intended victim is the fanzine world.


It all began when a well-meaning, generous friend of the editor came 1n contact with this blood-sucker. He had been successful in convincing this person of his good intentions in distributing her fanzine, and this editor wanted to share her luck with Antithesis.

Let me digress a moment. I direct the following thoughts to editors in the small press world. You, who are responsible for the advancement and forward thrust of your fanzine, you who head the publication, know how difficult it is to have a distributor take you seriously enough to take your publication as a customer. Be wary: this being from the black lagoon is out to disturb at the very least and destroy at the worst, the literary press world. After lengthy discussions with other victims, we could not find a viable reason for him to do what he has done. He does not make that much money on us, and in my case he made nothing, but cost us much. One theory was advanced that he was a writer scorned, and if that is true (which we cannot prove) then then be doubly careful, for vengeance lasts a long time.

To get back to the main thread, I was thrilled beyond belief and trusting to a fault, and in my trust I agreed to have this black beast distribute Antithesis. The first correspondence I had from him was in November, the contents of which glorified our magazine, and naturally I concurred with every piece of praise he tossed to my starving ego. To paraphrase a fellow author, "Success can test a person as well as failure." Boy, does he understand his targets! To continue, this creature's letters swore that following a working vacation in the exclusive Hamptons of Long Island, in which he would be promoting the zine, he would contact me with a contract to be signed by both parties. December came and with it, a stall. Still blinded by hope and visions of future growth, I swallowed the excuses like a hungry fish does bait. He said that he was moving to a larger, better location to handle the mountains of new clients he had received after an article in the Library Journal, which I later discovered was non-existent. My eyes shone with anticipation of actually paying my staff and contributors with cold hard cash. After all, he had promised 10,000 extra copies sold within one year's time!

With the advent of February, the month in which the orders were to follow the contract, all I received was a set of snowstorms, one from Mother Nature and one from him.

Holding desperately on to hope, I made excuses for him. Relocation, business, and on ad infinitum. When spring arrived sans contract, hope turned to desperation. In the second letter he had written he said that it would be necessary to lower our price, go offset, and run an extra thousand copies so that I could quickly fill orders he would be getting from bookstores. April loomed and with it the deadline for the next issue. After talking with my fellow victim, I discovered that this escapee from Creepshow was supposedly at the London Book Show promoting her zine, Antithesis, and a long list of others. My lust for recognition reinforced by this news, I decided that I would fulfill his requests. In doing so I had to inform the person who had printed our zine until that date, that we were going to offset. With that act I lost the possibility of ever going back to the cheaper xerox. I also ran the extra thousand because it was cheaper to to do it all in one shot than to wait for a second printing. I then sat and waited, and waited, and waited...

Finally, panicked and pressed to the wall, I began to investigate the references he had given me. After many expensive long-distance calls to dead ends, either the editors of the magazines had never heard of him, or there was no such magazine (he even claimed to have sold an early work of Ramsey Campbell, which came as a large surprise to the author's agent who had sold a good many years back to McMillan), the truth began to sink in. I decided to contact the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines in NYC. I explained what had happened and that a registered letter, a package and a telegram sent to the address had come back as "No such person, no such address." They kindly said that they would look into it, which they did, and they came up with the same information as the Post Office.

Now crazy with fear and 500 copies -- I have subsequently found homes for a good amount of the overrun—I started jumping to what I believed was the viable conclusion. He had never existed! In a sense I was right on the mark...or rather, I was the mark!

My fellow editor-in-trouble had taken a trip to the office to find it vacated. No one in the building or on this block knew what had happened to him. So my friend then started her own sleuthing. On one particular night, after aha had rattled the grapevine of fandom publishing, she received a telephone call that simply stated that this vile creature had done the same number under a different name.

By this time, I had contacted my friend with all my suspicions in hand. After a lengthy talk and a comparing of notes, we cam to the bitter conclusion that we had been victimized. Now for the vitals on this bloodsucker:

A) He preys on fanzines only, and apparently fanzines with a promising future.
B) He sells a limited amount to draw in his targets.
C) He promises sales if the editor will make certain changes—costly changes.
D) He promises contracts that never appear and then gives very logical reasons for their non-appearance.
E) His names to date are Jonathon Chandler and Benjamin R. Kristan.
F) He is in his early thirties, with dark hair and beard, and he looks like an emaciated Stephen King.
G) He has an English accent that he can put on at will, along with his glib tongue and smooth manners.
H) His last place of business was Christopher Street in NYC and an office that did not exist in London, England.

And now for some free advice that cost his newest victims a great amount:

A)Get a contract prior to making any changes in the number of your run or appearance of your zine.
B)Talk person-to-person with the distributor.
C)Check all references trail This seems too simple, but when you are trying to not rock the boat with a new distributor you will not want to upset him by questioning his credentials—DO IT!
D) When you do get a contract, take it to a lawyer.
E) And most importantly, listen to that small skeptic voice inside you that says it might be too good to be true—believe me, it just might be!
To conclude, I'm not saying to trust no one -- just be smart when 1t comes to important decisions that will affect the life of your publication. Luckily, Antithesis is solid enough that we will weather this storm as we have others. But smaller, younger zines could have been wiped out! And remember, for this one vampire there are 2,000 legitimate, reputable distributors out there, but also remember, no one is too sophisticated or business-smart not to get taken. Carry a stake with you at all times! Love, Pat

  • Legend Has It, editorial by Pat Spath (2)
  • Sophist on a Low Floor, fiction by Doug Shearer (3)
  • Keepers of the Beasts of Legend, poem by Bruce Boston (4)
  • Suspended Animation, fiction by J. Madison Davis (5)
  • Hero, poem by W. Jones (6)
  • Weaving Shed, poem by Charles Stephenson (7)
  • The Mind Trap, fiction by Rose Ellison King (9)
  • Book Reviews by authors Kevin J. Anderson, Kristine K. Thompson (12)
  • The Dwarf, poem by Ron Keith (14)
  • The Old Man Endlessly Rocking, fiction by Alan Catlin (15)
  • Lunar Humor, fiction by T.E. Jordon (16)
  • Burning Sky, poem by Ron Keith (17)
  • Dog Days, fiction by Conger Beasley Jr. (18)
  • "3" Black Hole?, poem by William Michael Fagan (24)
    • Refugee Graffiti by Sue Mara
    • The Astronomer, poem by A.D. Accampo
  • Interviews with Kris A. Gilpin, and Eddie Harris (25)
  • Lament of the Griffon King, poem by Paul L. Meier (28)
  • Josh-Ben Joseph Calls His Agent-Bruce, fiction by Bruce C. Kulak (29)
  • The Image of Deanne, fiction by Carl S. Harker (31)
  • Movie Reviews by Kris A. Gilpin (37)
  • Food for Thought, fiction by David J. Sheskin (40)
  • Mystery Guest, poem by Carol Spelius (45)
  • Stormy Night, poem by Robert Nowall (46)
  • Tale Ends, Letters of Comment, edited by Ann Wilson (47)

Issue 24

Antithesis 24 was published in October 1983.


  1. ^ from Klingon Archive Project, posted 2010
  2. ^ TREKisM #10
  3. ^ from Interstat #53
  4. ^ comments by Barbara T in "Antithesis" #19, see her comments on individual issues below
  5. ^ yes, spelled that way
  6. ^ comments by Barbara T in "Antitheis #19
  7. ^ comments by Barbara T in "Antitheis #19
  8. ^ comments by Barbara T in "Antitheis #19
  9. ^ comments by Barbara T in "Antitheis #19
  10. ^ from an LoC in Antithesis #20
  11. ^ Yes, spelled that way.
  12. ^ from a LoC in Antithesis #20
  13. ^ from a LoC in Antithesis #20
  14. ^ from a LoC in Antithesis #20
  15. ^ from a LoC in Antithesis #20
  16. ^ from a LoC in Antithesis #20
  17. ^ from an LoC in Antithesis #21
  18. ^ from an LoC in Antithesis #21
  19. ^ from an LoC in Antithesis #21
  20. ^ from an LoC in Antithesis #21
  21. ^ from an LoC in Antithesis #21
  22. ^ from Datazine #27