Barbara P. Gordon

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Name: Barbara P. Gordon, B.P. Gordon
Alias(es): Dale Campion, Helena Seabright, Kyla Weston
Type: fanartist, fanwriter, fan poet
Fandoms: Star Trek: TOS and others
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Barbara P. Gordon was a fan artist whose Star Trek art appeared in numerous fanzines in the 1980s. She also created fan art, fan poetry, wrote fanfic, and was a prolific (often controversial) LoCer.

Barbara Gordon was the same person as Helena Seabright, the editor of the influential, and controversial, zine Alien Brothers.

Gordon also proposed at least two zines that did not see publication: "The Next Generation" and a second issue of "Alien Brothers."

An early submission request for the proposed zine, "The Next Generation." An excerpt: "Story submissions of all lengths from novel to short-short, as well as poetry of any length, articles and commentary, illustrations of all kinds including cartoons, are solicited. They will be accepted or rejected solely on the basis of quality, appropriateness to the theme, and the feasibility of contributor and editor working together to obtain a superior result without strife and acrimony. Your work will be carefully edited only where necessary, however, you have the final say on what is published, and can OK the final manuscript. Deadline for THE NEXT GENERATION will follow anthology book publishing practice: only after I receive enough high-quality material to publish will I set a date with my printer. This avoids compromising quality."

Gordon passed away in January 2018. Her massive fan art and fanzine collection ended up being sold in Chicago area estate sales. One man, Jenson Hillenbrand, rescued 72 pieces of fan art from her collection and tried unsuccessfully to donate them to various LGBTQ groups in the Chicago Area. He eventually put them into a monthlong art exhibit [1] and offered them for sale in 2020. [2]

Involved in Many Controversies

Gordon was a flashpoint figure in fandom due to her intense dislike of Harve Bennett and his Star Trek film production, her persistent and raging letters to Interstat regarding other fans and fandom, her allegations that it was her stolen mail that was the reason she had not paid some fannish bills, her twisty communications in Kindred Spirits where she often insulted fans and fandom, her suggestions that there was an anti-Barbara cabal in fandom, her statements that fans were intensely cliquish, that certain fan editors had been unfair and careless with her art, that fans were often ignorant about art, and much more.

Gordon also claimed to have brought some of her complaints about other fans to a lawyer.

Gordon was almost certainly the creator of Naked Doubles, an anonymous open letter in the form of a flyer that enraged many fans.

Letters to Interstat

See [2], [3], [4], [5], [6].

It appears that Interstat either stopped printing Gordon's letters in 1984, or that Gordon gave up trying to get them printed. [3] [4]

In June 1985, Gordon wrote: "I am becoming convinced that it doesn't matter what or how I say something? It will always be misunderstood in fandom. That is one of the reasons why I stopped writing for INTERSTAT, and why I don't even try to communicate with some fans. And I am not the only one who has this problem; I know of at least two others." [5]

In April 1986, Gordon gives a different reason for her absence. This was the last letter printed in that letterzine.

Letters to Kindred Spirits

Gordon's letters to K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) were very combative, angry, and accusatory. The topics were similar to those in Interstat: persecution, cabals, misrepresentation, refusal of zine editors to print the controversial Loveslaves, accusations of vicious personal letters sent to her, and much more.

Fans' reactions to these letters were sometimes pointed and aggressive, sometimes bewildered, and occasionally supportive. Many fans simply ignored her and pointedly did not address her tribs. Fans in that zine grappled with how to handle Gordon.[6]

There were at least two major dust-ups in that zine.

One of them was a very angry open letter by the central mailer asking Gordon to resign, saying that she'd continue to include Gordon's tribs but she didn't want anything to do with her. [7]

Another one was a very crude single page "flyer," clearly written in anger by two fans who'd reached the end of their rope. [8] The flyer begins with "[BPG], show this to the postal inspector!!" It ranted against Gordon, taking her to task for Naked Doubles, for threatening fans with legal action, for her perceived paranoia and disingenuous threats, and more. One complaint was that Gordon was someone "who rats to the PO about our private world of fandom..."

Hatred of Harve Bennett's Star Trek Films

Gordon's intense dislike of Harve Bennett and his Star Trek productions were evident in her MANY letters and comments to not only Interstat, but also to many other publications. These comments caused Bennett himself to address them in 1983. See this letter, printed in Interstat #72.

The Naked Doubles Flyer

Gordon was almost certainly the author of the controversial open letter that was distributed to fans anonymously at Shore Leave #6 in July 1984. See Naked Doubles.

The Story: Loveslaves

There was MUCH controversy regarding the content and characterization in the story Loveslaves, a story that was turned down by at least two zine editors. Gordon ended up printing this story in her own zine (also controversial!), Alien Brothers.

Feuds with Zine Editors

Gordon feuded with many zine editors regarding their acceptance and treatment of her artwork. [9]

Gordon also had a long-running feud with the editor of Duet regarding the content of her stories Love Slave's Song and Loveslaves. This feud spilled over to the editors of Final Frontier after that zine agreed to print the second story, and then declined.

Stolen Mail

In late 1985, Gordon reported that her mail was being stolen, and among other things, this meant that some fans were not receiving checks she owed them. [10] Fans who complained of non-payment were threatened with legal action. [11]

Threatened Fans with Legal Action

Gordon mentioned several times that she had contacted lawyers to take legal action against other fans for their treatment of her. [12] [13] [14]

Some Art by Barbara Gordon



Zine Contributions

Slash Zines

Alien Brothers | Amazing Grace | As I Do Thee | Brave New Worlds | By His Side | Final Frontier | If Freedom Fall? | K/S Tonight | Kontinuing Saga | Naked Times | Nocturne | Not Tonight, Spock! | T'hy'la | Twin Destiny

Gen and Het Zines

The Adult Kirk | Archives | The Bedside Grope and Queen Grope | Captain's Log | Destiny's Children | Enter-comm | Enterprise Log Entries | Friends & Strangers, Near & Far | Gateway | Grip | Graveside Grope | Guardian | Home Is Where the Heart Is | In a Different Reality | Maine(ly) Trek | Mind Meld | Nexus | Obsession | Odyssey | Organia | The Other Side of Paradise | Parallax Ring | R & R | Rec-Room Rhymes | Riders to the Stars | Sahndara | Sol Plus | Spin Dizzie | Trek Continuum | Vault of Tomorrow

Letters and Commentary

Interstat | Datazine | K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits)


  1. ^ To Boldly Go: Kirk/Spock Slash Fan Art from the Collection of Barbara P. Gordon — Co-Prosperity, Archived version
  2. ^ [1], Archived version
  3. ^ Gordon mentions this in Kindred Spirits.
  4. ^ A fan in September 1984 in Interstat #83 wrote: "Where's Barbara Gordon's letter by the way? I had expected to read her opinion on [the movie]. Whether positive or negative, they always cause controversy. I've sort of become used to them and was looking forward to debating with her (as long as they stick to the issue)."
  5. ^ from. K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #17
  6. ^ A fan in late 1985 roe: "I certainly don't think fans who have experienced wounding and ostracism in mundane life are justified in taking out their frustrations on other fans. And I agree that the strategy of ignoring such a person risks triggering and escalation of her tactics until she absolutely forces people to pay attention to her. it is indeed a Catch-22. What is needed, perhaps, is a strategy of "selective reinforcement," that is, responding with plenty of "strokes" to positive behavior and ignoring the negative variety, so eventually she learns what will be rewarded with attention." -- from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #17
  7. ^ " it's very rare that I lose my temper, but since I just can't let this go by till issue #16, I must speak now. I'm sick and tired of the underhanded tones that come from [BPG's] comments. I know of a few people who have dropped out because of her. I feel that I must take some action. As far as keeping [BPG] in the APA, I don't feel its right for me to just kick her out. I'm going to ask [BPG] to leave. If she still sends in her APA, I will put them in, just as long as her postage account is up to date. But I do not want anything to do with her." -- from more, see comments by NLS in K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #15
  8. ^ Printed in. K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #17
  9. ^ JG writes of this regarding Organia.
  10. ^ "I have been having some serious problems with my mail. After living in the same place for almost 11 years, for the first time I am not receiving things, and my outgoing mail has also been lost. Probably there is a thief in my local P.O. station." -- from Kindred Spirits #17 (December 1985)
  11. ^ "Some weeks ago, I discovered that quite a bit of mail was not reaching me, nor was some of the mail I sent being delivered. This includes a number of checks and money orders, as well as various replies concerning artwork, and at least one parcel. Then I discovered a giant heap of ripped-open mail belonging to me and quite a few neighbors, lying abandoned near some elevated train tracks near here... The Post Office didn't seem to be concerned, but I am! As always, nasty, threatening, and insulting letters will be forwarded directly to my lawyer for possible legal action and will only delay or prevent my reply." -- from Universal Translator/Issues 21-32 (January/February 1986)
  12. ^ "I am busy collecting evidence about who started and perpetuated that rumor that I had something to do with that loathesome NAKED DOUBLES flyer. I have discovered that a certain New Jersey fan with a Crusader Complex that amounts to a psychosis, is largely responsible for perpetuating these lies. When I collect enough evidence, I am going to see if something can be done about it legally. I had started to do this regarding a certain libelous editor and decided to drop it, but now I can see that some fans just have to be kicked, or they won't stop. -- from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #14 (June 1985)
  13. ^ Gordon's "a certain libelous editor " is possibly a reference to Gordon's long-running feud with Doreen Dabinett, a zine ed who refused to print Loveslaves. It would also be a reference to Gordon's feud with the editors of Final Frontier.
  14. ^ "I have had to hire a lawyer to handle the threats and insults I have received. He cannot understand why I don't drop fandom like an overripe turd (sorry). -- from Kindred Spirits #17 (December 1985)