Bright Center of the Universe
|Title:||Bright Center of the Universe|
|Publisher:||Ming Wathne & Soaring Wings Press|
|External Links:||"Many 'Bright Center' stories can be found online here". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. (as of 2013 the website is offline)|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
The zine ran for 11 issues.
Guidelines: A Bit of Same Sex in the Beginning, and "No Hello Luke-Good-bye Luke"
While the contents of this zine series was gen and het, the first issue contains one Han/Luke slash story and two Han/Luke poems; all three of these fanworks are not explicit. See Stopover for fan reactions to this story.
Zine guidelines printed in the second issue specifically stated that this content would be allowed, but not with any "established characters." In the fifth issue, the editor said: "Sexual situations are acceptable as long as they are an integral part of the story, and not gratuitous. Same sex situations can be considered if it does not involve established characters. Possible usage, descriptive background of some social conditions, or planet lifestyles. Any use of sexual material should be more intimated then graphic. If unsure, contact Editor."
However, after the first issue, there were no other same sex stories, poems, or art.
Regarding original characters, from issue: #5: "Cross Universe, parallel or alternate Universe are acceptable as long as the Main or peripheral SW characters (Wedge, Reeiken etc.) are seriously involved. No Hello Luke-Good-bye Luke accepted just to call it Star Wars."
The zine editor had a contest called the "Corellian Gamble." Fans could have their name entered in a drawing for a free zine if they wrote a substantial Letter of Comment.
Bright Center of the Universe 1 was published in 1991 and is 168 pages long. It won the 1991 Star aWards for 'Best Star Wars Zine.'
It is dedicated to "George Lucas who gave us a galaxy to play in and to the authors, artists, puzzle makers, and editors who have kept that galaxy alive."
Art by Z.P. Florian, Rick, Ed Schultheis, Martynn, Rebecca Carey, and Wanda Lybarger.The editorial:
Hay! I I am going to do a zine! — That is what I told my friends. The response was more or less expected, after all you see I have never done one before, I can't spell and my idea of punctuation is to toss cunfeddy up in the air and see where it lands, and most of all you do not try and get a 150 plus page zine out in 3 and a half months, so the "Ming you are crazy!" "Ming you are Nuts" (so what else is new) and the hysterical laughter after the shocked silence was not entirely unexpected. And at this point I want to thank all the artists, authors and the others, and especially my GHOST, the person who so valiantly walked in to handle the assorted technical language difficulties and data entry, for doing an incredible job. And if you find words misspelled in this little notice, even the spell checker had to give up in some cases, and I would not let the GHOST change anything. Please LOC and let us know how you liked this effort. It was a labor and your comments will only help us make it better next time - and yes, there's a next time! (You can bet) Thanks and enjoy.
- Afternoon by Dylan-Marie Antone (1)
- Fail Safe by J.A. Berger (4)
- Puzzle by Linda Van Diver (21)
- Interiors (Five Cantos) by Rebecca Carrey. Winner of the Star aWards 1991 'Best Star Wars Poem' (22)
- I Knew a Guy Once by H. Sapiento (30)
- Trapped by Z.P. Florian (42)
- Puzzle by Linda Van Diver (45)
- Preventative Measures by P. Nussman and J. Taero (47)
- Play It Again, Han, filk by Maggie Nowakowska ("I Always Thought Han's Theme Should Have a Little Sax... (Melody: As Time Goes By, with apologies to Herman Huppfeld)") Won 1991 Star aWards 'Best Misc.' (55)
- Selskit by Elise Dickensen (56)
- Limerick by R. Cary (69)
- Turning Point by Michelle Malkin (70)
- A Song for Han, poem by F. Granger (Han/Luke, same sex romance, no graphic material) (73)
- Stopover by Felicity Granger (Han/Luke, same sex romance, no graphic material) (74)
- By Morning Light by F. Granger (Han/Luke, same sex romance, no graphic material) (80)
- "Gathering Darkness". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Carolyn Golledge. Winner of Best Long Story Star aWards (Badly wounded in an attack by an Imperial refugee army, Solo is held hostage. Will Leia agree to their demands—even if it means risking the Alliance personnel in her command?) (81)
- A New Beginning by Karen Estabrook (129)
- "Some Things Never Change". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Carolyn Golledge (Leia's private journal from around the time of Star Wars: A New Hope. Also in Never Say Die in comic book form with illustrations by Zawinudin) (138)
- The Adventures of Sollo by D. Kittle (147)
- Odds by Maggie Nowakowska (155)
- Art Portfolio by Wanda Lybarger (From the editor: "One thing in doing a zine, you learn to expect the unexpected. In this case, the Art arrived, but the story did not. Despite the hopes of the author and editor, the story is still in the hands of the Post Office at printing time. However, there will we another issue of Bright Center, and if we are lucky the PO will have delivered the story, and we will print these beautiful illos a second time. Until then, have as much fun as I did thinking up your own headings.") (157)
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1
See reactions and reviews for Stopover.
[zine]: Praise to Ming, who shamed the doubters! In a very short time, BCOTU turned out to be a beautifully printed and typed zine, full of splendid stuff to read and to look at. I am trying to be short, but it is hard. This zine is like a verbal picture book of our favorite playground, the SW Universe.
"Afternoon" lets us catch a glimpse of a very young Luke, on a very boring Tatooine.
"Fail Safe" was incredibly exciting! and gave us Han at his absolute best! Han fans should frame this one! Action, adventure and great character, all in one story — a movie in itself.
"Interiors" — excellent SW poetry, great dialogue, flowing rhymes, mapping a relationship, as it grows.
"I Knew A Guy Once" — this story is even more interesting now, that Heir to the Empire is out, and deals with similar problems within the Alliance. The story gave me the shivers.
"Selskit"...she was the perfect pet for Han, and I felt very upset to sec her go. Please give us a sequel with Rita coming back! with at least 9 kittens! and a jealous husband. I wanna see Han's face!
"Limerick" untitled, and unforgettable!
"Turning Point" — a beautiful, and much too short vision of a very dark soul.
"A Song for Han," "Stopover", "By Morning Light" Leia's character in the story was great,and the love between Han and Luke beautifully pictured. But while in Star Trek there is plenty of room for a strongly sexual Kirk/Spock relationship, in SW I cannot see any possibility for Han or Luke to stop wanting Leia. But...I can be convinced. Write another story and show me how and when this relationship started.
"Gathering Darkness" — as we have learned to expect, Golledge is all action, heroism, pride and temper. Han gets his usual dose of torture, this time on television!
"A New Beginning" — another beautiful picture in the BCOTU album: the description of Han and Leia making love is very touching.
"Some Things Never Change" — this is an incredibly intimate and funny account of the chemistry between Han and Leia, and I enjoyed every word of it!
"Adventures of Sollo" — a veritable fireworks of wit. St. Baccachew tops it all!
"Odds" — I am always glad to read about Lando, and I always enjoy Nowakowska's unique style, so the story was a double delight.The Lybarger portfolio was a story in itself. I didn't miss the words. And I loved the back cover.
[zine]: I loved reading BCotU. It contained all of my favorite people and aside from a few spelling typos (which is, unfortunately, something I cringe at) it was really great.
The first thing I did was look for my story and since I got it at work I passed it around. I saw Wanda's art portfolio. She is so good and my favorite artist. I was drooling over these even if I had seen most of them somewhere else. [ed. If you are referring to the portfolio, you are mistaken! This is the first lime these have ever been printed. There are some somewhat similar in another Jeffords story. And no, the story will not be a reprint.]
The few reprints in the zine were nice. I hadn't read any of them so they were new to me. I loved Homer Sapiento's "I Knew a Guy Once." It was funny and sad and so well written. The author has the children's whining/arguing down nicely. Reminds me of what I was like with my brother and sister.
J.A. Berger's "Fail Safe" was a good adventure story. Using Han to send his "distress signal" was tricky at best since he doesn't believe in it, but then he'd be worried. I liked the end, quite amusing.
"Interiors" by R. Carey was great. Normally, poems are poems and some are cute but this one was really good. How did she find all those words to rhyme?! A really great job.
I laughed myself silly at "Trapped" by Z.P. Florian. It was hysterical! I have a Darth doll only but I can really relate this and the kids reacting to their mother playing with dolls was great.
Pat Nussman's and Jacqueline Taero's "Preventive Measures" brought out a new twist in the SW Universe. Started me thinking about what if the Mon Calamari were in league with the Empire. It would certainly bring about a quick and decisive end to the war with a victory to the Empire. I hope to see more of their slightly alternate/new characters stories in the near future. You two did a good job with this one.
Until I read BCotU, I had never read any same sex stories before. They have always been mentioned or hinted at by others. In regards to Felicity Granger's "Stopover" I tried to keep an open mind about it as I read it It was certainly different I can't picture Han and Luke together no matter how hard I try. I guess what I'm trying to say is, that if there were two other beings in the story, that would sit better with me personally than Han and Luke as a couple.
Now I come to one of my favorite authors: Carolyn Golledge and her story "Gathering Darkness." Just when I thought she couldn't possibly bring that wonderful Corellian to more pain and suffering, she proves me wrong. She must have a wicked imagination. I love it! Just another great story. I hope we see more of Hagren. (she is at least hinting that way) Her continuation " Some Things Never Change" was also an excellent story. He wasn't too badly damaged but it was great for Han to hear Leia's feelings for him changing.
Just a small change in my story. On page 105, the line should read "the look of distaste on his friend's face..." not father's face. Only Feluke knows he's Sollo and no one else.
Aside from that, I loved the whole zine but...yet I'm pretty easy to please. Just let me sit down with a SW zine and I'm a happy person. Although I didn't comment on every one of them, I enjoyed all the stories. You can run out of descriptive words rather quickly.I loved the Falcon on the cover. It was beautiful. I can't wait for the next issue.
[zine]: Well, I really enjoyed Bright Center #1. I liked the Falcon drawings, and I liked the way you used it on some of the interior pages. The illos were high quality all the way through. I particularly liked the Rebecca Carey illo on page 138. The Wanda Lybarger illos for the missing story were great too. I'v e always liked her work, and they really made me want to read the story.
I thought "Stopover" was a cute idea, and Felicity Granger handled it tastefully.
I liked J.A. Berger's characterization of Han and Leia (and Chewie) in 'Tail Safe" but I didn't like the characterization of Luke. I thought he was a bit too naive. The woman was a good nasty Imperial, though. I wouldn't have minded if they'd dumped her out the airlock.
I liked "Preventive Measures" a lot (even though it didn't have Han in it). Nussman and Taero really have a smooth, well polished style, and their handling of the characters was excellent The ending was perfect.
Carolyn Golledge does Leia very well, and "Some Things Never Change" was a good first person treatment. And "Odds" by Nowakowska was a good portrait of Lando.I liked most of the stories, and I don't really have any other specific comments. It was a very good zine overall and I'm looking forward to the next one, and I will definitely work to get a story to you. [ed. As you see she did, and what a story.] 
[zine]: If Bright Center of the Universe is going to come out on a regular basis, I'll do my bit to get some interaction going here. To the authors: thank you for the inspiration, and I hope my asides don't discombobble you too much.
As for the zine itself, first, it's nice and simple and straightforward, just the way I like them. The comb binding allows a reader to lay the zine flat, or turn it around without bending the pages, which I appreciate since I tend to read while I eat, play cards, etc.
Please don't try and fancy BCU up with 4 colors and such. The stories are what matter to me first; and speaking as an artist, I'm prejudiced toward illustrations that compliment the story, which means content, not complexity of presentation.
I think the use of your Mother's pattern was simply wonderful, especially since you noted the source. That's the kind of continuity that is so wonderful to see.
As for the text format, the single-column presentation had a large enough type-size to compensate for potential loss of attention, but I would have had a bit easier time reading if there had been either paragraph indents, or more space between paragraphs. Still if you are taking votes, I'll go for two columns in future issues.
Back to the art: I was glad to see so many artists actually illustrating the stories. For myself, I don't care if the figures look exactly like Ford, Hamill or Fisher. Just as long as the spirit of Han, Luke and Leia are captured in expression and body language [ed: when Leia screams on film, she seems to me to be more startled then scared, so a clinging, loose-limbed screaming Leia in an illo wouldn't be very convincing to this reader.]
By the by, R. Carey's illos in "I Knew a Guy Once" are great, especially the difficult angle of Leia in the first one.
To the stories:
"Afternoon," Dylan Marie Antone—This is a nice start to the zine, short, sweet and not too much strum und drang for its length. "Fail Safe" J.A. Berger I really liked the interaction between Chewie and Han in this one. Neither one condescended to the other, I had a real sense that Chewie was as much his own being as Han is, with opinions that did not necessarily mesh with the Captain's. I've found this kind of individualization rare in fanlit, especially regarding relationships with Solo, which seems to mostly react to the Corellian rather then interact with him. It's nice to see a straight action piece, too. Although the emphasis on the difference between Han's attitude toward the necessity of a body search and Luke's reaction was definitely legitimate, I do have to admit to being thrown out of the story a bit by the emphasis on the woman's modesty. Even on earth we have such different attitudes toward the same, let alone considering how being in a conflict situation alters necessities, that I have a hard time believing these characters from different worlds across space would fall readily into mid-American set piece; and hey, after my respectable uncle was caught wearing his new watch across the Mexican border rather than declaring it, my respectable aunt was strip-searched without any howdy-do; as were coworkers, working gonzo overtime offsite in California, after they were caught drawing their initials into some wet cement late one evening in Redondo Beach... However I readily admit that a woman of such rank would be a fast thinker and be able to discern that Luke apparently was from a society where female modesty was considered so very important.
'Trapped" by Z.P.Florian. Loved it! and boy, can I identify. My Han was a doll widow, after a doxie/pomie cross chewed the hell out of the lady-friend I had bought for him. Not to mention the condition a couple of neighbor boys left Han, Luke & the lady friend in before that when they invented a steamy scenario of jealousy and murder for the three. After I pointed out to the boys that Luke and Han were supposed to be friends, at least they gave the loser a decent burial. And these days, it's my niece playing havoc with the wooden-crate split level I created for the 12-inch folks. (As for anyone who thinks playing with dolls is silly, consider it left-over energy from a 50s childhood where the available dolls were either gooey babykins or raunchy Barbies...and all girls, no boys. I would have loved to have such interesting dolls as these when I was 6 or 7.)
"Preventive Measures" P. Nussman, J. Taero Goodie,people who write stories that are more depressing then mine. Seriously (hmm, no, that's a pun, too), anywho — Pat and Jackie have always been great writers — Pat's Rieeken has always been a fascinating character—and it's nice to see their SW work in print again, even if the viewpoint is darker then mainstream. I'm glad that the story was by- lined as an alternate; that alerts the reader to be prepared for dramatic differences from the film SW storyline and diminishes the chance of being thrown out of the story when such difference is encountered (butIlikesquid...). Is this part of a greater cycle of stories? (ed: Ask Pat) That's another thing I'd like to know about a story so I can come to the shorter piece with the understanding that it is just one part of a puzzle (and look forward to other stories appearing!).
"Selskit" Elise Dickenson -- I remember enjoying this the first time around, many years ago. Thanks for resurrecting the story! For historical purposes, maybe you could tag such resurrected tales by the original pub date and zine in the future, giving newer fans a sense of how far back some of the ideas and characterizations are in SW fanzine history.
"Turning Point" Michele Malkin -- Great! Michele neatly walks the fine line between sympathy and psychosis. Making Anakin-turned-Vader believable is a challengingtask: it is easier to blame his problems on outside sources then accept that his madness, obsession, criminality, whatever you choose to call the transformation, is real. Readers find a lot of noble Vaders and a lot of cardboard-nasty Vaders, but very few Dark Lords who convince us both of their humanity and their willingness to do harm.
"Stopover" Felicity Grainger -- The story is well-written, but if an author is going to so change the givens in SW, the author is going to have to work a little harder at plotting to convince a reader that the differences are legit Was Han never attracted to Leia? What happened to Luke's confrontation? Perhaps this is another place where an "alternate*' subtitle is handy for the reader, like the Nussman/Taero story. It's funny—of all the stories that have love as their theme, this one with Leia as the odd person out is the one which gives us a Leia who is not alternately bitchy and mushy-dopey. On the other hand, Luke is moony enough here. I used to think that fans wrote women in love as overwhelmed romantics; I am beginning to believe that it is simply the subject of being in love that brings out the heart sand flowers in so many writers. Maybe I've been partnered too long, but does anyone other then newlywed and teenagers go calf as often as fanfic lovers do? The activity that I do see among loving partners, that doesn't show up in fan stories very often, is the crazy, extremely private humor that goes on between people who have lived/loved together.
"Gathering Darkness" -- Carolyn Golledge Carolyn as usual puts Han through his gittum paces. You know, Ming, I'd like to see a nonfiction article by Carolyn on the appeals of "Get Han" stories. She's been writing them a long time, with great success, and I think an analysis on why such stories are so popular, year after year, would be fascinating. Sure, I can remember arguments from long ago, but fandom and the world has changed since then and maybe the reasons for the Gets have as well.
"A New Beginning" Karen Estabrook — I Thought Han's dialogue in this story was quite believable.
"Some Things Never Change" -- Carolyn Golledge -- A good adventure. Although Carolyn waxes a bit enthusiastic for me with Leia's sarcasm, she doesn't slip into the Leia as bitch, as stupid complainer, as mouthy female trap so many like stories do. I've always felt that, on screen, Leia's cracks simply matched Solo's and were contained within a very pragmatic acceptance of the difficulties at hand. Carolyn's Leia is competent, thank heavens, and her Han is vulnerable enough not to turn the exchange into Mr. Macho and Ms. Brassy. And in Carolyn's stories, the action is always important rather then just a frame for the relationship, just like in real life where the world does not stop moving along just because you've had a disagreement with your lover; you still have to deal with the office work, with driving the kids to class, and with bounty hunters and snow storms. Bravo.
"Adventures of Sollo" -- Deborah Kittle. This story was so true to the TV show that I couldn't watch the Family Channel for a week afterwards. The Alcalde makes a great Vader, though has anyone else noticed how our villains have become more blond over the years after having to be dark-haired? I can't help but think that Solo as Zorro would have been a bit more raucous than the FC allows—and I'd like to see a follow-up piece that satirizes the oh-so-clean-and-moral version of the Zorro legend (give it to Carolyn G...snicker) using the SW-ized personae.That's it for now, Ming. I think your idea of a lottery for those who LOC is a great idea, especially with the prize a copy of the next issue. For me, if you print the story I'll be sending, you can take my LOC out of the running since I'll get a comp copy.
[zine]: Congrats to Ming and all her little elves! Looks like Ming has produced a quality zine in less then 12 parsecs! Amazing! And another issue promised! Way to go! I very much enjoyed this one! Love the cover logo!! I really have a thing for anything that has to do with flying!
J.A. Berger has always been a favorite so I was pleased to find a story by her.
Homer Sapiento writes the best Han/Leia dialogue around. He has created a believable and interesting background for Solo and a happy ending! It's way past time his stories appeared in all Star Wars zines! Ahem! Rebecca Carey's accompanying illos captured the mood nicely.
Z.P. Florian's idea was highly imaginative, and had me thinking...how's about some more in this series!
Good to see my friend (the Munch!) Karen Estabrook represented too! She weaves a touchingly romantic telling of Han and Leia's finally resolving their feelings and future plans. As for Wanda Lybarger...I'd love to hold her as my prisoner, and force her to illo all my work! really appreciated the art portfolio...especially the trashing! I must compliment E. Schultheis on his wonderful work for "Gathering Darkness." I was pleased with the way he brought the story to life, and would like to see more o f his work. The medical personnel were exactly as I pictured them when I wrote about them, and I liked the sense of movement and background detail
Maggie Nowakowska always adds a touch of quality...wish I could write like this! (ed: don't we all).All in all, a fine — and very FAST — job, Ming! Bravo! And more please! 
[zine]: They may have said you were crazy or nuts to trying to put out a 150+ zine in three and a half months, but you proved that is can be done and VERY well at that Congratulations on a job well done! I like spiral binding because they lay flat on a table and are also easy to fold if you are reading lying down. Some spirals have too may pages for the size of the spiral and make it more difficult, this was just perfect The type was terrific. As I get older, I find that I greatly appreciate type that is easy to read. I found all of the type in Bright Center to be legible and even (it's annoying sometimes to have dark pages and then the next page so light it's almost unreadable.)
I loved the Falcon and the fact that it was repeated throughout the zine tying everything together. It's too bad that the quilt was never completed, I bet it would have been beautiful.
I liked the little blurbs at the top of each story — they really piqued your interest.
The artwork was excellent throughout the zine. Printing Wanda's artwork without the accompanying story was fun. I found myself trying to figure out the story line and of course, new headings for the illos.
I know that you wanted reviews on the stories but I ain't gonna do it, because I loved all of them. That in itself was unusual as there is usually one that I don't care for. I don't mean in terms of writing ability. As a non-writer, I don't feel qualified to comment on someone's writing. I can comment on story content, characterizations, etc. though from my point of view. My point of view says that there isn't a story there that I didn't enjoy and won't read again.I eagerly await Bright Center of The Universe #2.
[zine]: Congratulations Ming on a very good S.W. zine which was right up my street, meaning plenty of Solo stories. Can't get enough about that guy and I never grow tired of reading fans ideas about his adventurous life.
The art work was generally great, especially Rebecca Carey and Wanda Lybarger was absolutely excellent. Her work tells a picture without words and your headings Ming, seem just about right. Can't wait to read the story connected with those action packed pictures, as I'm sure it will be a winner. Hopefully in your next zine Ming?
Now to the stories, starting with "Stopover". Interesting but sorry can't agree with this one. Maybe Felicity Granger pictured something different in the films but I only saw a brotherly devotion between Luke and Han, and nothing else.
That brotherly devotion shown to its fullest in J.A., Berger's "Fail Safe". I wonder how Han keeps getting those messages that Luke needs his assistance? The Force maybe or a little ghostly intervention? Either way, in this story it's a good thing for Luke that Han happened along when he did. As to the Lady, I knew she was guilty straightaway. An innocent girl wouldn't have made half so much fuss about being searched by a handsome spacer. I know I would have of.
Nice little family story in "I Knew a Guy Once". Could just picture the setting even without Rebecca's pictures. One mystery though? I just couldn't figure out who Han's father was. Maybe someone could enlighten me? (ed: Ah-Ha! Read the last 5 lines of the story.)
Rebecca Carey's "Interiors" was a gem, including her art I love her humorous way of dealing with Han and Leia's feelings using an interplay of words that tell the whole saga.
"Selskit" was the funniest. Poor Han being stuck with that impossible pussy, but she certainly had good sense. And trading her for four lightsabers. Out comes that brotherly devotion to Luke again.
And now for something ridiculous? Not at all. "The Adventures of Sollo" was excellent in a Zorro sort of way.
"Trapped" Well, now I know how my sons SW figures must feel like, having been put through countless battle situations and trashed a thousand times.
"A New Beginning" from Karen Estabrook was right up there among my favorites. A lovely romantic story with Han willing to give up even his Falcon for Leia. That's what I call love. Thank the Force that devoted brotherly love came through again, as Luke took our desperate Wookiee home. But I think Chewie could've stayed long enough for the wedding.
I left the best until last because just seeing her name meant a treat of a story and in this case two. I mean of course Carolyn Golledge or the trash-Han queen. And I wasn't disappointed. Oh poor Han! In "Gathering Darkness", I could just picture him knee deep in mud and blood trying desperately to hide from the murderous Stormtroopers. And later the strength of love between Han and Leia to overcome the cruel Imperial demands. All real good imaginative thinking. Hope to see a sequel (We are considering it, Carolyn and I) with our bad guy Hagren facing Han and Co., again.
And what a great idea Carolyn had in "Some Things Never Change!" A bored Han finding Leia's private journal and reading her amusing accounts of those dreadful misadventures with our intrepid snoop. Great!More please! Not only from the many talented contributors, but from you Ming, the all important editor (ed: and the Ghost)... Bright Center of the Universe was my cup o f tea and I look forward to the next issue with anticipation.
[zine]: Now at long last I am LOCing your zine. It was very good, including some very intriguing and imaginative stories. As an Editorial suggestion, though, I think you should indent the paragraphs or skip a space between them. Sometimes it was difficult to read. (ed: OK the readers win — Indents it will be).
I really liked "Afternoon." This is one of those stories that's so good but so short! I wanted more. I've read very few, Luke's early years on that dustball can't have been very exciting (like Han's youth), but I nevertheless love the glimpses into that period of his life to catch a for shadowing of the man he would become. I really liked the line "Nothing would ever come from cleaning droids." Oh yeah? The illo was very well done too.
I loved "Interiors." So dramatic! So sweet! And I liked how it was done in the different styles — quite appropriate and descriptive.
"I Knew a Guy Once" what a novel idea having Han tell the story of his past to his family. It made for a good 'day in the life story, very well done. I liked their kids, and I would say Han and Leia have aged quite gracefully in this story. The illos were fabulous — the best in the zine. I'd love to read more by this writer — but wait a minute: Han's dad is the Emperor?!? (ed: not Palpatine.) Egad! Another Universe I know nothing about. We'll have to have more on this.
'Trapped" was absolutely delicious. I'd like to see Luke in that slave boy outfit "Plastic imitation weapons." Han bound with rubberbands — how kinky. I wonder what my Luke action figure sitting atop my desk at work thinks about his surroundings? This story brings back memories of me playing King Kong to my Barbie's Fay Wray.
I roared over the "What Hotel?" picture — but I wanted to get a peep under that towel.
I took a perverse pleasure in the "Selskit" story. How could I not when the principle character bore my name, and with lines like "Rita's always pawing me" and "Maybe if Rita likes Luke she'll attach herself to him." You bet I would. This was fine quality slap-stick humor. And when traded the Selskit for the lightsabers, it was so sweet What a marvelous ending. I'm such a sucker, it actually brought tears to my eyes.
"Turning Point" was excellent Vader stories are always the most powerful ones, because he is the most tragic figure. This story broke my heart But like most Vader stories it was too short. Why is that always the case? I don't know but I loved the story.
"Stopover" and the two poems were some of the highlights of the zine, if only for their shock value (but it was more then that). They certainly put an interesting twist on the old love triangle! It's a very daring idea, but I must say I found it hard to accept If I read the story of how they get together (has such been written?) then I think I would believe it. As it was however, it was too radical a departure in the way all three of their relationships have always seem portrayed to just jump into the middle of it like this. But I would love to read the story of how they get together. I also liked the ethical questions that were raised about whether the cost in lives was a price worth paying for the rebellion. Adventure and romance stories are certainly fine, but my favorite stories are the ones that raise moral issues about war and rebellion, as well as loyalty, duty, conscience, etc. I'd like to see a longer story from Ms. Granger that delves into these issues as well.
As for Carolyn Golledge's stories — I always agonize over her stories. She is one of the most talented fan writers I've ever read, but I have to say I'm getting tired of all these "trash Han" stories It seems Han spends most of the time getting tortured and so forth and is on the brink of death, but still manages to save everybody else several times, while all the time tossing off snappy comments to the bad group. It's too superhuman. Everything is taken to the extreme, with the result that there is very little real drama. On the other hand, when she gets away from his trashing and gets into the characters relationships she is very good. She portrays them and the dynamics in their relationships so well. If she could only move on to subject matter that's more worthy of her incredible talent! However when she's poking fun at the "trash Han" genre, as in "Some Things Never Change" it is very funny.
I think my favorite piece was " The Adventures of Sollo." I loved it! I have always been a Zorro fan. I though this was a very clever mixing of Universes. Ms. Kittle did an excellent job of "translating" the names in to Spanish equivalents. I especially liked St Baccachew, the patron saint of the long-hared people. The story was very creative. There is only one thing it lacked: an illustration. I certainly hope this story has a sequel.So over all what did I think? It was a great zine! I just wish there was more of it! More art and longer stories. But I can never get enough of SW. So I eagerly await the next production of Bright Center. Congratulate yourself Ming. On a joy well done.
[zine]: Here at long last is my LOC on BC #1 hopefully in time for the contest, too!
I enjoyed "Afternoon" very much. I came from a small farming town originally where dreams of something better were all that kept you going sometimes, so I know how Luke felt in this.
"Fail Safe" just didn't set right with me. At the time it seems to be set in their relationship, I think Luke would have trusted Han more — maybe been taking lessons?
"Interiors" was great This is one of the few poems I've read that seems to sum up the feeling of Han and Leia exactly through the last two movies — from affectionate annoyance through to the loyalty and deep love we all know they share.
"I Knew a Guy Once" although I can't see Han and Leia settling down to a planetside upper class existence and mothballing the Falcon, this is still one of my favorites. It explains a great deal of the emotional baggage that Han brought with him and also where he learned to be such a damn good pilot about how to be such a leader. He had to earn the Corellian blood-stripe somewhere! The characterization of the children was very good, too. Loved the line about wondering how so may Corellian genes could be packed in such a small body!
What can I say about "Play it Again Han" except I agree that a little sax adds a great deal to Han's theme. It scans great!
"Selskit" was terrific! I've always thought everyone should have a pet, and am a confirmed feline lover myself. Seems like poetic justice that Han would finally find a "Female he wanted to get rid of and couldn't — find one who was deeply attached to him too! Getting the sabers for Luke at the end was pure Han — unwilling and unadmitted hero that he is.
Although they are well written, "A Song for Han" "Stopover" and "By the Morning Light" I really couldn't enjoy because I've never been able to see Luke and Han's relationship in this light Luke — maybe, but Han is one of the most masculine males I've ever run across. I don't usually fall hard for characters in movies, but Han got me and got me good from the first.
As to "Gathering Darkness" what can I say except bravo! A story by this lady is an automatic sell of a zine to me. Is there a previous story that I have missed?? This reads like a sequel. The thing that really made the story for me was the character of Doctor Tarrant, also Jerrod. It makes the point the even on the "wrong" side, there are sometimes some very good people in a very bad situation. I didn't particularly care for the illos, though. I can't say exactly why, except that they seemed too linear, too "square"? I ' m not an artist, so I really c a n ' t critique this too much.
"Some Things Never Change" was a delight It captures the mood and characterization between the first two movies perfectly, and seemed like something that could have happened. The dawning realization on Leia's part that she really does care for this Crazy Corellian was nicely done and the epilogue topped it off nicely. Han finally proved to himself what he'd always suspected—that Leia had loved him before she would ever admit it. I would never have thought of there being any similarity between "Star Wars" and "Zorro" before reading 'The Adventures of Sollo". Then the bit about the always bandaged chin of Don Juhan-Diego. And casting Luke as the mute servant!Last but not least I sincerely hope the post awful comes through with the story to accompany Wanda's lovely illos. She is one of my favorite artists and captures all of Harrison's characters so very well. Rebecca Carey falls in that group, too. Her illos are always a delight.
[zine]: This is a very good first time zine. It was nice to see work by people I know as well as someone new.
"Fail Safe" It's nice to sec J.A. Berger back in print. She's been missing from fanfic for quite a while, and I thought that she may have gone on to other things. She writes really well and makes the characters seem very real. It was a nice touch when Han told Luke to use the Force to decipher the truth about the woman. Obviously a Corellian reputation can be a bit of a handicap at times.
"Interiors" Not only docs Rebecca do great illos but her writing's are not bad either. Is this her first in print? (ed: No) I hope to see more from her. Like the way she's portrayed the innermost feelings and thoughts of Han and Leia and gotten them to admit the real reasons for their former behavior.
"I Knew a Guy Once" a perfect companion piece to Homer's epic "Resolution Solo" This shows how far Solo has come in trusting anyone enough to reveal his innermost feelings particularly the painful reminders of his early life on Correll.
"Preventive Measures" How closely were the Mon Calamari associated with the Emperor? Were Luke and Vader really the only Jedi left? I'd like to see more of this alternative story line.
"Selskit" Obviously Solo and the others have had little experience with anything of a feline persuasion. Some of them have been known to be quite possessive and easily upset, the valuable ones more so. It says something about the Corellian's attitude that he would let he valuable critter go in trade for the lightsabers to aid Luke in training the Jedi. It seems there is hope for the old pirate yet.
"Turning Point" I get the feeling that this is when Vader got the idea to recruit Luke's help in getting rid of the Emperor.
"Stop-over" I've never read any of Granger's work before but she writes very well. I would think that same sex might be difficult for most people to do and do well, but she seems to have a handle on it. Luke and Han as lovers? Why not?"Gathering Darkness" Just when you think Carolyn can't possibly find any more ways to trash Han Solo she proves you wrong. Once again she brings the poor man to the point of death, only to have him saved to fight another day. Carolyn's stories are always well written, the characters believable in words and actions. Here she's provided a great villain, with Vader's strength but not his control and a grudge against Solo. I'm afraid there's more trashing in the Corellian's future.
Bright Center of the Universe 2 was published in March 1992 and is 159 pages long.
This issue is dedicated to Wanda Lybarger, Martynn, and Rebecca Carey, "artists who, over the years, have made zine stories more enjoyable."
The art is by Z.P. Florian, Wanda Lybarger, D. Thorp, Martynn, Rebecca Carey, Dianne Smith, and C. Churko.
- Letters of Comment (1)
- Another of Those Han Stories by Z.P. Florian (1)
- Basanos by Maggie Nowakowska (2)
- Trail of the Phantom Starship by Christine Jeffords (15)
- Grammatical Error by M.A. Dean (85)
- Don't Freeze Me In, filk by A.G. Steyn (88)
- "Hidden Peril". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Carolyn Golledge (Han develops amnesia after an accident. Believing Chewbacca has attacked him, he "escapes" from the Falcon only to meet Darth Vader. First appeared in Perceptions and reprinted in Never Say Die #2) (89)
- Dreamer by Rebecca Carey (114)
- An Untitled Story by Rebecca Carry (115)
- Team Leader's Thoughts, poem by Jennifer Moore (121)
- Ghost Ships by Martha Wilson  (Han and other rebels are captured by Lord Tion's Star Destroyer. Can they escape and at what cost? Fifth story in the Arandu Series.) (also appears in The Renegade and the Rogue and Bloodstripe #2) (122)
- From the Pages of the Empire Daily News, submitted by A.G. Steyn (160)
inside page from issue #2, Wanda Lybarger, an illo from the first issue that is finally matched up with the story that had been lost in the mail
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2
If you can judge a zine's success by the number of time it gets read and re-read, Bright Center 2 is a howling success. It's been with me so much, people are beginning to think it's a graft My only quibble is that it needed one more funny story to balance it out. Otherwise, I enjoyed it immensely. The artwork was absolutely wonderful. As a non-artist, I'm in awe of those who can draw and do it so well. Oh, and ending the issue with the Classifieds was a great move; they're very imaginative. I'd hate to be the one who interviews the job applicants.
"Another of those Han Stories..." was absolutely hilarious. It if really was written at 3 AM, it's nothing short of miraculous. I wish I could be that funny at any time; hey, I wish I was even awake at 3 AM. I think Han would enjoy getting involved with a different type of princess. Dwarves might make a nice change from W okiees and Ewoks. "Basanos" It took me several readings to figure this story out. Most intriguing is the idea of Kenobi having such strong Dark potential. The thought of him being more powerful than Vader if he turned raises interesting possibilities. I did find myself having to stop several time to figure out sentence structure, and typos are really distracting in a story like this. This isn't a story you rip through and forget about. I like that. "Trail of the Phantom Starship" After having pondered the illustrations in the first Bright Center, it was a laugh to see how close I'd guessed on some things and how far off my ideas were in most respects. It was nothing short of ingenious to come up with a plot that made Han's friends' suspicions seem logical and reasonable. The suspense resulting from the threat of the mindset being real carried through the whole story. Listing the other Bright Star stories is a great idea. Not having read any of them I'll have to add them to my library list. (Ming, are you listening?) "Grammatical Error" What can I say? I laughed myself sick over this one. It has to be the funniest twist on the old standby of Han and Leia's wedding night that was ever conceived. "Hidden Perils" There are so many plot devices turned inside-out, that it was fascinating just to track them. The scene with Vader outconning the conman was very good. And I like the subtle contrast between Han and Leia's interaction while she was helping Han and their return to the status quo at the end. Luke's Force outbursts were a little hard to take; maybe they just seemed a bit too convenient as a way of disclosing the traps. But that's being picky considering everything else this story does right. "An Untitled Story" This ones breathes tragedy. So many mistakes, so many things that need not have happened, but did. Siri comes across as a very strong person. It is possible to believe that she will find a way to solve everything. For a short story set outside the movies' history, it has a structure that is dramatically complete. "Ghost Ships" I definitely want to find out more about the other characters, especially Arandu. His interaction with Han is very well done. I'm glad there was a list of the other stories with this one, too. (Yes, Ming, more library requests.) Plus you have to like a story that uses the names of Northwestern American Indian tribes as names for Sith Lords. Han and Chewbacca's relationship is done well; Sanders is a bit wooden, but she doesn't get to do much anyway. And there is a whole bunch of throwaway lines and references to other situations that just sneak up on you. I read this one through several times and found new things each time.I like the fact that the stories were longer, even though it meant there were fewer of them. There's form and coherence to the whole issue that makes it a pleasure to read. I'm already looking forward to #3. Thanks, Ming. Well done.
Bright Center #2 really looked great. The double columns with paragraph indention made it much easier to read for me and it looked very profession throughout. You and anyone else who worked on it should be proud.
Basanos was very good. Interesting and chilling portrayal of the Emperor. In Trail of the Phantom Starship: I really enjoyed the relationship between Han and Zera, and it was a good adventure tale. (It was also nice seeing what those great Lybarger drawings were illustrating, too!) Loved that Dianne Smith illo on page 117. I've been a fan of hers since I saw that collection of her Harrison Ford portraits she published several years ago. I don't think I'd ever seen her work before that, and it just floored me. Hidden Perils was good stuff too. I also enjoyed Rebecca Carey's An Untitled Story (really like her art work too). Interesting situation she's set up there. I'd love to see a sequel where the daughter finds Han. One typo in my Author's Note I wanted to correct: The Artash Gamble was actually in On A Clear Day You Can See Dagobah #4 and not #3. (The layout on my story was great, by the way. I loved seeing it in print) Other stuff: I finally got a publication date on my first pro novel The Element of Fire. It's going to come out between May and August of 93. It's along time to wait, but at least they've given me a time frame now, so I'm not sitting around in limbo. If you want me to do any editing on the scries of four Arandu stories, let me know, because I was rushed when I got them ready to send to you and I wouldn't mind taking another whack at them. One thing I would like to do is a minor rewrite of Ghost Ships, maybe making it a little longer and fixing a couple of problems that I didn't notice until I read it in print. (Like one character has changing eye color. I don't know how many times I read that story without noticing that.) But I promise to make whatever deadline you want to set. (Revising existing work goes much quicker for me than coming up with something brand new.)Anyway, you've done a great job on the zine, and I really enjoyed it.
I really enjoyed #2, more so for some reason than #1. All the stories appealed to me whereas in the first one I skipped over a couple.
"Another of Those Han Stories" was a classic. I love Z. P. Florian's sense of humor and this was a perfect example of it. Now she needs to take it further 'cause those Han stories always have him being nursed back to health... Maggie Nowakowska's "Basanos" made me shiver! Her great love of language and control over words was evident in phrases like "My pure dark is vital now" and "his lightside litany stubbornly lectures over his pique." She captures these men with strokes of carefully chosen words and brings them to life. And since I'm such a huge Vader fan, this story might have been written for me. Whew! Keep writing, Maggie. It was an unexpected treat to have a Christine Jeffords story and a nice long juicy one at that. "Trail of the Phantom Ship" was exciting and very well- written. Chris writes like she's been to Corell. She took me there with this story. I do wish she'd given Luke a little more spunk. I think he would believe in Han's innocence no matter what. Their friendship is an underlying theme of the Saga and I don't think Luke would hesitate not once but twice in believing his friend. "Grammatical Error" was a fun piece. M. A. Dean has a wicked imagination, doing something like that to poor Han. I especially like the illo for this story of Leia draped in Ewok pelts. Kinda looks like an abbreviated version of "101 Uses for a Dead Ewok." Great to see Carolyn Golledge up to her old tricks. "Hidden Perils" had me howling. I loved the scene where Vader convinces Han they're allies. Leave it to Darthie to take advantage of an opportunity. Martynn's illos for this story were great too. Though the one of Han and Darth looked a little kinky at first glance. R. Carey's "An Untitled Story" was so grim. I liked the character of Siri and hope there's a follow up to this story where she rescues her dad. Don't leave it like this! I like Martha Wilson universe and was glad to see more of it with "Ghost Ships." Lord Arandu is a memorable character. He reminded me of Thrawn in the new Timothy Zahn books but with sense enough to strike out on his own. This was great story. I was totally surprised by the identity of the girl in stasis and would love to see more of these characters. Arandu is too good to waste and his daughter's talent is just begging further exploration. Pretty please? The poems and filks were nice but I always tend to think of them as filler. A. G. Steyn's "Empire Daily News" was cute—hope we see more.The layout and look of Bright Center was enjoyable. Not as many typos this time which is always welcome. If I have any complaint I would say the zine seems a little Han-heavy. I know you have to print what you get but aren't there some Luke fans out there somewhere? Come on, he has adventures too.
Zine itself, clear, dark printing-no eye strain here. Artfully laid out, like the little Falcons at the start of each story. Love the cover Falcon. For a Star Wars
fan, truly the picture that conveys a thousand words, but in this case, the reverse is more the truth. Mention the Falcon, and a thousand images come to mind. The dedication was a classy touch and Wanda, Rebecca and Martynn certainly deserve the honor. Their pictures have been bringing the stories to life for many years. Asfor the zine stories, the variety reminded me of a marriage tradition—something old/something new/something borrowed/something blue. "Another of Those Han Stories'...First time I read it, I was disappointed at the ending. Have always held the belief that somewhere in the vastness of time and space, the SW universe really exists. I mean, given those limits, anything is possible, right? But the introduction of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves brought the universe crashing back to fairy tale status. It was like.Darth Vader-yes/transmutating witches-no. Then I told myself, "Good grief, Anderson-lighten up," and re-read it. I laughed at the cleverness, the three A.M. silliness of the idea and mentally ran amok with the dam thing. Started having visions (might have been the result of the wine coolers) with all the SW characters in diverse costume, singing "Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho," and fitted them with their appropriate dwarf names: Grumpy (Darth Vadcr), Doc (Obi-Wan), Dopey (C3PO), Leia was Snow White, of course. Happy (Artoo-Detoo), Sleepy (Han-by virtue of carbon freezing), Sneezy (Chewbacca-all that fur up his nose) and Bashful (Luke-need I explain?) I ran out of dwarves before I ran out of SW characters but it was a wonderful self-indulgent little image. 1 wished I was an artist as it would make a priceless cartoon. "Basanos" - Have not read "Strings" (an omission I shall have to remedy ASAP, so can't comment on Basanos as a companion piece, but the story stands all by itself very nicely. M. Nowakowska has a unique writing style, a skillful command of the English language and a definite flair for sentence structure. Fascinating concepts in this story/vignette - the Emperor feeding off the emotions of others like a vampirous empath (or would that be an empathic vampire?) unable, as I inferred, to generate feelings of his own. By the end of the story, she had me reeling pity for the Emperor (now, that's good writing!) because he was so empty. Felt pity for Vader also, who essentially had no will of his own, no life or real power - only that which the Emperor deigned to give and allowed Vader to use. Kind of ruins Vader as a villain. though ROTJ did thai rather completely anyway. It was a very thought-provoking debate between Vader and Obi-Wan - analytical and logical, yet emotionally dramatic- Good stuff for SW people lo discuss long into a convention night. "Hidden Perils" - as always, Carolyn writes a good story, plotting is light, and when she isn't doing parody, her characterizations are right on the mark. Have two minor quibbles though. As a nurse, I tend lo raise a vulcan eyebrow at her vision of medieval care in the SW universe. Her thinking is too contemporary. Given the level of industrial technology that is presented in the three SW films, it follows that medical technology would be as equally advanced… All the above, of course, docs not disract from the fine quality of Carolyn's writing. It's merely a professional observation. What does detract and my other story quibble is her penchant for "trashing" Han Solo, feeling sometimes that it's gratuitous, rather than essential to the plot. Perhaps because I am a nurse, her detailed descriptions of Han's injuries and suffering affect me negatively more than most. Yes, I know you can't write hurt/comfort without the hurt and this literary ploy enables one to have wonderful "comfort" scenes, but there are other ways to make this character groan, moan and whimper while getting him out of his clothes and into a bed, than to cause him physical injury. Carolyn has proven she can write love and affection and it would be nice to see her do more of the "comfort" and less of the hurt…
[much snipped due to length]A fair second effort, Ming - (fair - as in good - not as in average or mediocre) better than your first and I've no doubt, number three will be better than number two...Thank you, from this SW fan, for the effort, the time and the enjoyment.
Another of those Han Stories-Snow White? I love it! A hilarious and sly pegging of a certain kind of formula story.
Basanos--Good to sec Maggie writing SWars again, and I've enjoyed the recent fare, but this one threw me, I confess. The story already deals with metaphysics and subtle nuances of interpersonal relationship--a complex narrative. When the difficult present tense style is used and skips around viewpoints (I've found present tense to work best from a single viewpoint-even stream-of-consciousness) you end up rereading sentences to try to make sure of them. A device meant to give immediacy actually pops you out of the story.
Trail of Phantom Starship — intricately but plausibly plotted in Chris' alternate universe. I'm curious why the one illo was dropped. It was acceptable to run when the set was done last issue as a portfolio so I assume it became a matter of space? Hidden Perils—Carolyn's usual excellent writing style, bogged down in a one note theme that's begun to take over her otherwise inventive and refreshing story ideas. Good to see Martynn's art back, and new work besides! Especially the tricky viewpoint angle in the illo on pg. 95.
Untitled Story—Rebecca writes as well as she draws. While the premise is both heartbreaking and all too plausible and I personally shy from killing off main cast, this is very good with a sympathetically and tenderly drawn Luke that avoids sentimentality or chest-beating angst. The Smith illo is a particularly good one-good likeness, good accurate anatomy and a three-dimensionality that transcends its plot references and reads well in B/W.
Saved favorite for last Ghost Ships. The only thing wrong with this story is it concludes a series that first introduced me to Martha Wilson's authoritatively professional prose, and sent me scurrying for all the rest I could find. I am glad Arandu "dropped the other shoe."But please, Martha, as with "Trust" and "Festival of the Sun's Return" you show you have more to say than just the one narrative. More, please? Besides giving all the characters a fair shake, she, almost unique among fan writers, shows a Han neither superman nor crude, even dim, red-neck trucker. He's reasonably an intelligent man of experience and insight without straining for the paranormal, and a convincing, informed professional in the "Trade." I've likened her works elsewhere to Cherryh and I think this grounding in the plausible realities of a profession and the nuts and bolts of hardware and alien society are the reason. Altogether a good zine, I much enjoyed everyone.
Thank you Ming, for another great issue of Bright Center. The art was again of a high standard. I especially liked Florian's Han that complemented her short story and Dianne Smith's portrait on page 117. And, of course we got the story that went with Wanda's great illustrations.
As to the stories, starting with Christine Jeffords "Trail of the Phantom Starship." I must admit, I haven't read much of her Bright Star Universe series, so it's a little difficult to comment on something you don't know much about. I don't normally like stories that differ too much from George's main plot, especially regarding the personal relationships between our main heroes. So why would Han encourage Leia to love him in Empire, only to dump her afterwards? Although I must agree with Christine, that some parts of Return of the Jedi were a little disappointing, I still feel that Han and Leia were meant for each other. Having said all that, I did enjoy reading Christine's story after pushing my own personal feelings aside. Interesting idea having Jabba's revenge take the form of getting Han into trouble with the Reb's. Lovely description of Corell and nice to see an old friend of Han's helping him out of true love and friendship. Would like to have seen a little more of an ending though. For example, Han's return to the Alliance and reunion with his family. Of course Wanda's art compliments the story perfectly.
"Another of those Han Stories." Great! I wonder how our Han will cope with Snow White and her seven dwarfs. Snow White, no problem but seven dwarfs? Oh well, short help is better than no help, to quote our intrepid hero.
"Grammatical Error." No! Oh no, you just can't do that to our hero. That's the worst trashing of all, Han minus his hydro-spanner. No way! I don't blame Leia one bit, it's enough to turn any poor girl to the Dark Side.
Carolyn Golledge's "Hidden Perils" was her usual good old trash Han story. Poor Chewie, fancy accidentally causing so much trouble for his beloved Han. Thank the force Luke was able to see through Vader's dastardly plan. Maybe, Vader should have made sure his doctors were a little more hygienic, then his plan would have worked wonderfully.
Loved R. Carey's poem "Dreamer," just hinting that Han isn't entirely happy with his family ties and yearns for his former self. And her "An Untitled Story," oh what a sad, sad story. I think I used up a packet of tissues on that one. Would love to see a sequel about how Siri finds her father. How about it, Rebecca?Now to "Ghost Ships" by Martha Wilson, probably my favourite in this issue. Although 1 haven't read any of her previous stories, it didn't matter because this story stands out well on its own. It showed a strength of character in Han that we all know he has. His willingness to give his life for those few individuals he loves and his quiet loyalty to Luke, the Princess and her rebellion. Like to see some sequels to this one too.
Bright Center of the Universe 3 was published in April 1993. It is 180 pages long and contains 25 stories and poems.
When we think of Star Wars, we tend to think of the whole Trilogy as the Star Wars story.
We tend to forget that before the Trilogy there were three individual pictures, all pointing to several possible ways Star Wars would go.
Just as we do today these stories were written to fill out the Universe we all enjoy, but they were written at a time when that Universe had not had extensive explanation, so there will be discrepancies between what did happen, and what the authors thought might happen. Bright Center is printing not only new material, but also some of the early material that has not been printed before, and some reprints of some of my own personal early favorites.When some of these stories were written, not even Lucas sometimes knew where he was heading, what the characters looked like, and who was related to whom, so there can be variations on what we now accept as canon, and what authors thought might happen. Bright Center of the Universe is committed to celebrating the diversity of creative work inspired by the Star Wars Universe.
Four of the stories by Marcia Brin appear to have been printed in the zine Carbonite Maneuver with the title: "Four Preludes, and One Short Epilogue on Han Solo or After the Empire Struck Back." In that zine, this was a collection of pieces exploring the possible fate of Han Solo. It is a very, very early example of a sort of Five Things fiction). The first one, "Rovan," is not in "Bright Center of the Universe" but is in Shadowstar #12. These stories were discussed in Han and Leia in Fanfiction.
- LoCs (i)
- Star aWARdS (1991 listing) (viii)
- The Carnival of Master Lo by Sheila Schneider, art by Z.P. Florian (1)
- What Child is This? by M. Treleaven (7)
- Corellian Word Puzzle by Wendy Schwartz (13)
- The (Not Quite) Complete History of Red Flight by Louise Turner (about a West End Games (computer game) offering) (14)
- "The Journey Back". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Marcia Brin (Jabba has finally taken his revenge on Han Solo. Terribly disfigured by the Hutt’s torturers, can Han ever find the courage to return to the woman he loves?) (17)
- Being There, poem by Yvette Ghilan (23)
- "Call it a Tie". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Z.P. Florian, art by Florian (Luke is stranded alone after an explosion. Will Han rescue him in time?) (reprinted in Han Solo) (25)
- Tercel by Martynn (31)
- You Love Him, Don't You? by C. Anson, art by Florian (32)
- Three Stories, poem by Yvette Ghilan, art by Florian (56)
- Trial Run by Chris Callahan, art by Florian ("Han Solo becomes involved in a drunken encounter with lasting consequences.") (This story war originally planned for the never-published fourth issue of The Jedi Journal. It is part of the Maeve Solo universe.) (57)
- "Talisman". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Carolyn Golledge, art by Martynn (Sequel to Gathering Darkness. Leia, Luke, and Jake team up to help Solo track down his enemy, Hagren. The Sith Lord has fled to a strange world where powerful sorcerers have learned new ways to control The Force.) (62)
- The Falconer Series Story List by Carolyn Golledge (120)
- Art Portfolio by Wanda Lybarger, Martynn, and David Thorp (121)
- Cave In by Wanda Lybarger (127)
- Ben's Little Secret by Tammy Olson (130)
- "Hell Hath No Fury". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Marcia Brin (Capturing and torturing Han Solo may turn out to be the worst mistake of Jabba’s life—or it will be, if Leia has her way.) (134)
- Destiny's Knell by Yvette Ghilan (139)
- Lord Vader Ponders, poem by K.A. Marshall, art by Ed Schulthies (145)
- Why "Get Solo"? Why Not?, essay by Carolyn Golledge (146)
- Keeper of the Plan, poem by Tammy Olsen [her last name is spelled two ways in this toc] (148)
- Stealing a Bull Taun-Taun is a No-No by Deborah Kittle (149)
- "One Day in the Park". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Marcia Brin (Unable to find Han after Jabba has frozen him in carbonite, Leia almost gives up hope.) (161)
- Lord Bless the Trilogy, song by Wendy Schwarz (166)
- "The Departure of the Jedi". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Z.P. Florian, art by Florian (Leia and Han are uncertain that Luke should reveal their family history to the New Alliance government. Luke is about to learn the hard way who his true friends really are.) (167) (reprinted in Han Solo)
- "Recall". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Marcia Brin (After being tortured by Jabba, Han is released—but he no longer remembers who he is or where he came from.) (176)
- Falcon, poem by Ming Wathne (181)
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3
See reactions and reviews for Why "Get Solo"? Why Not?.
This zine is like, a treasure chest, full of sparkling, exciting and very different goodies!
I loved Trial Run by Callahan, a good, solid story, an excellent portrait of Han, the smuggler as he meets the Wookie of his life. This is not some idealized Han Solo, this is the real thing.
I was glad to see another Sollo of Kittle, especially with Roberto Fetta! Kittle's unique brand of talent to seamlessly mix the two universes always delights me. Cave In by Lybarger was a great reprint. I loved the tight, intense story.
Schneider's Carnival proved that Han had indeed seen a lot of strange things.
Ghilan's Destiny's Knell was absolutely enthralling. This is one of those stories I can read over and over again. Her Vader is a tragic, dark cyborg, and his mechanical body is very much part of his life.
Anson's Han & Leia love story is a thoroughly entertaining romance!
Golledge wrote Talisman with fairy tales and sorcery rolled into one package, nail chewing excitement, a fine race for the heroes to save eadi other and to give us the good feeling that no matter what, they will prevail. Turning a Corellian into a ghost and a wizard is her dirtiest trick yet.
Treleaven; What Child is This: I loved Han's caution. It showed that the man does have tremendous experience in things galactic. And I loved Luke's vulnerability, proving thafthe Force can be a problem as well as an advantage.
But I thought Luke should have kept IT, whatever IT had been. A Jedi ought to have weird companions calling him daddy...
Marshall's Vader poem had one of the best last lines ever written!
Among the Brin stories. Journey pierced me right through the heart, and Recall was just as wonderful. Thank God (spell it M.I.N.G.) for reprints!
The whole zine was great. I was particularly grateful for the shc^ping mall at the end. The Lybarger illo onpage 128 was stuiming. And let me say a word about the unsung heroes of BCOTU 3: all the fine people writing long, good LOCs not just pleasantries, but serious opinions. Keep it up.
Just a note to let you know how much I enjoyed Bright Center #3. I've been devouring zines since MediaWest but I left enough gnawed pages on which to LoC!
Favorite story in this issue was Carolyn Golledge's Tolkein story, a.k.a. Talisman. It was fun seeing Jake Kellahen again, after his dramatic introduction in High Seas. I loved the scenes where Jake learns to adjust to his ghostly form, and his friend Han's reaction to the change.
My only quibble with the story was that Hagren got taken out so easily. He's been notoriously hard to kill in other stories. Now Han doesn't even need help from Luke or Jake to finally destroy his old enemy. I wanted them all to get a piece of him, after all Hagren had hurt them all.
As a Vader fan, I really enjoyed Destiny's Knell by Yvette Ghilan. She really gets inside Vader's ... uh... helmet, showing us a man who has a tight reign on his emotions. I like the Sith's reaction when he first sees his son's name, barely recognizing it as once his own.
As always I can't send in my comments without addressing the Z. R Fbrlian issue. Where does she get time to write and draw as much as she does? I really like her Han and Chewie on page 59 — love that low slung Master! And her Luke on p. 24, though a little thin (having you been starving Ae poor lad?), was nice. Her story. The Departure of the Jedi was great, though I do think Han would've had more faith in Leia's innocence in her Mother's supposed death. I liked the way she came clean about her heritage though, a very Leia-ish thing to do.
Also like the interplay between Luke and General Matte. The ex-Imp was a very ccxrf customer, sizing up Luke's predicament accurately. I'd like to see more of Matte.
Louise Turner's article on Red Right was thought provoking. I had no idea there was any cohesion to all those X-wings we see on the screen. I knew that theoretically they were divided up somehow, but I never quite figured out their system!
Let's see, some other highlights ~ Luke's eyes- glazing-over reaction to Aireal in You Love Him. Don't You? Everyone's surprise, Chewie included, that Han understands Wookiee in Trial Run, and all those goofy names in Debbie Kittle's Sollo story ~ Roberta Fetta ~ please!All in all, a fun read. Can't wait for #4.
Another delightful issue of BC3.
First off, I was amazed at the number of LoC's printed in this issue. It's more than I'm used to seeing and I'm glad more people are writing in. I really enjoy reading C. Anson's "You Love Him, Don't You?" I thought the premise of Luke and Leia ending up not being brother and sister and Han misinterpreting it was good. I had trouble putting it down as work kept interfering.
"Talisman" by Carolyn Golledge was fantastic. I was glad to see Jake back in the middle of things. I was, however, disappointed that Hagren died. He was a great villain. How about cloning him? It was nice to see Martynn's illos grace the story. I'm glad she did them.
The Art Portfolio was excellent. I especially liked the Snow White and the Seven Dwarves that Wanda Did. What a hoot!
It's a shame Carolyn had to write "Why Get Solo? Why Not?". All of her work is tastefully done, even her "trashing". Readers can just skip the story if anyone if offended by it I get fed up with people who try to tell me what to watch on TV because of the violence. Just turn the channel/turn the page.
Z.P. Plorian's The Departure of the Jedi" was quite intriguing. I also find her stories protraying the Alliance as the not so shiny and good organization it claims to be very different and enjoyable.
The four reprints of Marcia Brin's from CARBONITE MANEUVER were new to me and I liked them. I really thought "Hell Hath No Fury" was a good one - nothing like one-upping Jabba.
And speaking of reprints, I was glad to see Carolyn Golledge's "A Day In the Life of Han Solo." I had to reread it as it is one of my favorites.
The art/rainbow that acccanpanied the poem "Palccm" ckme by our esteemed editor was beautiful. The colors were bright and vibrant and the blue sky with the clouds was breath-taking.
To all I didn't single out, don't fear. I really like everything between the blue covers. A good job done by all and thanks for the hours of reading entertainment!Anxiously awaiting #4.
Congratulations on another great issue of " Bright Center Ming! Excellent stories and some truly wonderful art. I especially liked Martynn's two pieces in the art portfolio. The women in Han's life (I bet he had plenty before the princess) and that gorgeous mediaeval Han on the next page. Some nice art from ZP.Florian, especially Han and Chewie on page 59 and Leia cm page 173. Lastly, my favourite in this issue is Wanda Lybarger's powerful drawing for her story "Cave In".
Although some of the stories were reprints, I hadn't read any of them except one, "A Day in the Life of Han Solo". A great laugh! Loved the four shorts from Marcia Brin, each one an alternative to R.O.T.J. "The Joumev Back".I could believe. I've often wondered why such a monster as Jabba would leave Han in carbonite. He's the type to take sordid pleasure from physical torture. Yes I know, Lucas had to keep it P.G., but in truth this would have been a more plausible outcome for poor Han. Glad Leia loved him despite his disfigurement. "Hell Hath No Fury". Great idea putting a price cm Jabba's head and Leia willing to use her wealth to do it. "One Day in the Han Solo". Can I have that statue for my garden, please? "Recall" Regarding Han. But happily Han gets his memory back.
Liked the mystery in "The Carnival of Master Lo". Han and Chewie saved by ghosts.
"The Departure of the Jedi "bv Z.P.FIorian was a believable future for Luke. After what Vader did, I wonder how many people would really except Luke and Leia's true parentage. Of course, Han does and always will.
Nice to see Sollo ride again in "Stealing A Bull Taun- Taun Is A No-No". Hope Victorileia eventually gets her man.
"Trial Run" was a good Han meets Chewie story, and I liked "Call it a Tie"
I usually love all of Carolyn Golledge works but I wasn't quite so taken with "Talisman". Not because it wasn't wonderfully written, which it was, but I think she paid a little too much attention on a character away from the big four, namely Jake Kellahen. It looks like this Corellian has become Carolyn's new let's trash him item. Also., there was a little too much fantasy for my liking. Great imagination though. Good to see Han kill Hagen in the end.
As to Carolyn's decision not to trash Han anymore: Does this mean our intrepid Hero isn't going to get so much as a cut finger in further stories? After all Carolyn's put him through, I would find that rather unbelievable. Okay, so she may have over done it a little sometimes, but strangely enough, some of us love to see our favourite characters suffer, later to be helped and given love by those around him. And aren't those the main ingredients of a good story? Love, friendship, pain and suffering, good v evil. So please reconsider your decision Carolyn. Your trash Han stories were always so wonderfully expressive, showing the depth of love Leia, Luke and Chewie had for him.
Now to my favourite story in this issue and that has to be C. Anson's "You Love Him. Don't You?" because it addressed something I've always felt was questionable in R.O.T.J.. In my opinion whether Luke was Leia's brother or not, it shouldn't have made any difference regarding her feelings for Han. I hate fan stories with the "if only you weren't my brother/things could be so different" theme. Leia could have had Luke in Empire if she wanted him but she fell for Han. And her love for Han should never be second best, as that's a recipe for disaster because it was so hard for him to give his love in the first place. So well done Catherine! Your story covers this theme perfectly. Just loved the dialogue between Aireal and Leia.Thanks to everyone concerned and I'm eageriy looking forward to Bright Center IV.
Bright Center #3 was teirific! You did a very good job. My favorite stories revolve around Luke, but there were some very exceptional Han stories I liked vey much.
"The Carnival of Master Lo" - love ghost stories. The story was written well and had my continuous attention through out. There are two things that I thought could be different: the Seer, I'd love to see this character fleshed out a bit. More Mystery. The crate of spare parts, it's too easy. Too convenient. Especially for Han.
"The Journey Back" ~ I loved this story and I read it more than once. Poor Han! I like the way the author was able to draw emotions from the reader. Love to see a longer version of this.
"Being There" ~ Accurately describes what all Star Wars fans want - no, desire.
"Call It a Tie" - Z. P. Floridan does it again! By catching on to something the rest of us took for granted. I'd also like to see a longer version of this story.
"You Love Him, Don't You?" - This has to be the most truly romantic story written. Han proves not only his love for Leia, but also to his friend Luke by doing what she said he would do in "Return of the Jedi". Not stand in the way. Although, I believe Luke would've done a better job at protecting Leia.
"Trial Run" — cute story.
"Talisman" - I like this story a lot. It was a sequel, but it also is self-contained. Wonderfully written.
Carolyn Golledge has a marvelous grasp of the characters' personalities.
"Hell Hath No Fury" - Marcia Brin is starting to make this a habit.... of writing good stories! Leia was a very strong character. Hate wimpy female leads.
"Destiny's Knell" - Good story. Very dark, as it should be. Loved Vader's description of Luke.
"Why "Get" Solo? Why Not?" - I agree with your reasons, Carolyn. I like your stories. Keep up the good work (Please write another). Good luck with your book.
"Departure of the Jedi" — This is by far my favorite in BC3. A Jedi Salute to you, Z. P. I would love to see this story fleshed out and made longer, see the characters go through their emotions, and to see some things from Luke's.
"Recall" — Another great alternate story. The author has a wonderful way of writing and the story was well thought out.Ming, BC3 was well put together and completely enjoyable! You did a great job and I can't wait for BC4! Thanks. 
I was absolutely delighted by the diversity of stories in Bright Center 3 - all the new material plus the reprints of the earlier stories. It's amazing the range of plots and adventures everycme can come up with. I also found the poetry exceptionally good. I think I like a couple of the poems better than the stories which is a first for me.
My favorite stoiy is Sheila Schneider's THE CARNIVAL OF MASTER LO. It reminded me of Ray Bradbury stories and early Twilight Zone episodes. What's especially good about it is that it wouldn't even need to be a Star Wars story to hold the reader; substitute two other characters for Han and Chewie and it would still work. Hope to see more by this author.
Usualy I just read and don't stop to analyze so Louise Turner's HISTORY OF RED FLIGHT was fun. It's a lot better than the historical descriptions they put in the Role Playing Books. My only quibble is that I disagree that terming Cdr. Nana "The Boss" indicates his authority has gone to his head. It seems to be a nickname for the squad leaders; Wedge uses it to refer to Luke in ANH when Luke takes over the remnants of Red Squadron.
As usual, Z. P. Floridan manages to put a new spin on events we al take for granted. I enjoy both her stories. Love to see Mon Mothma as the bad guy; she makes a great villain. And I liked General Matte; he's a wonderful character and very believable. Z. P. always manages to slip in a choice tidbit about Corellian culture; this time it's a look a burial customs. Great background stuff!!
TALISMAN by Carolyn Golledge was a classy trip through Dungeons and Dragons. I'd always thought of Hagren as a high-tech villain; it was disappointing to see him dispatched in such a low-tech manner. 1 hope that's not the end of him. After all, we really don't know a lot about his background except for the hints Carolyn has droppedinherstories.Unlessyou'rereallysickofHagren, Carolyn, how about some fill-in-the-blank stories about him and Han and Vader? It was fun to see Jake return, but he really wears me out. Are all Corellians hyperactive? "YOU LOVE HIM, DONT YOU?" by C. Anson is another story that turns our assumption on their heads and makes it work. The plot twist is excellent even if I have some hesitation about how it all came about. The end was one of the most romantic and erotic scenes I've come across in fan work in ages. That's because it really is erotic and not just soft pom with lots of panting and thrusting.
Marcia Brin's stories did more damage to Han than (Carolyn usually does. She also includes many fantastic supporting characters for Han to interact with. However, all dramatic suffering and romantic reunions aside, I liked ONE DAY IN THE PARK the best. I would give my eye teeth to have thought of that last line! And while I'm on the subject of humor, Debbie Kittle lives up to the expectations created by her first Sollo story with STEALING A BULLTAUN-TAUN IS A NO-NO. I am floored by her ability to keep coming up with those names. The only thing missing from this story is an illo. I want to see Don Wedgon and the others in their californo costumes herding tauntauns. Wish I could draw!
BEN'S LITTLE SECRET by Tammy Olsen gives us a strong and fascinating new female character in Liri. By the way, does she know that she's Obi-Wan's daughter? How did she learn to do all the things she does, including escaping from the Death Star? She's got so much going for her, I have a hard time imagining Luke not noticing her a lot earlier.
Now to the poems: BEING THERE by Yvette Ghilan makes me leel just like I did the first time I saw the movies. She captures the excitement and the emotion beautifully. Being there is every fan's dream. And then she works with different emotions in THREE STORIES. The meter and rhythm of this poem recall the tragic folk songs of the Childe cycle. It expresses Luke's disillusionment and confusion perfectly. And finally LORD BLESS THE TRILOGY by Wendy Schwartz. I love it; it's fun and it just carries you away. Great work.That's it, Ming. Wonderful zine - the delicately colored Falcon at the end is a perfect touch. Ill be eagerly awaiting #4.
Bright Center of the Universe 4 was published in May 1993 and is 175 pages long.
The zine debuted at MediaWest*Con.
It won an Honorable Mention in the 1994 Star aWards for 'Best Star Wars Zine.'
The art is by Gerald Crotty, Martynn, Z.P. Florian, Sara Ferluga, and Wanda Lybarger.From the editorial:
So you want to edit a zine, well the first thought is that surely you could do better than that zine, which ever it happens to be, so you start and then—well this is the 4th issue of Bright Center and I am still learning, and more to the point, if the past is any example, I will be learning for a long time yet.
It's been fun. I've fallen over my own feet more times than I care to tell, made mistakes, stepped on toes unintentionally, given advise [sic] that was not asked for, sometimes not given advise because I was afraid I would hurt someones feelings. It has not always worked out the way I wanted. The physical world will interfere with the best intentions, and there are time when you wondered why you ever started this mess, and you swear you will never do something as stupid as this again.
This is the start of the learning process of slowly becoming an editor. So with this well intentioned warning I will say I hope you enjoy this zine, and if you thinkyou want to take on this crazy stupid nerve-jangling job—Go For It!
This issue contains two stories that were winners of a contest. Fans were invited to write stories based on an illo printed in the previous issue, and reprinted in this issue.
- Letters of Comment for issue #3 (iii)
- A Gift of Chaos by Donna Frayser (1)
- Search for a Traitor by Marie Treleaven (6)
- It Sure is Monday, filk (To the Tune of "It Sure is Monday" by Mark Chestnut, "dedicated to all the people who have to leave Media West Monday morning") by Debbie Kittle (23)
- Extracts from the Diary of Ran Dangor by Gerold Crotty (reprinted from Telesponder) (24)
- Brotherhood by Yvette Ghilan (contest winner, a response to an illo) (26)
- Alliances by Shayne McCormack (reprinted from Pen and Pencil) (37)
- I Wanna Take Care of You, filk (To the tune of "I Wanna Take Care of You" by Billy Dean) by Debbie Kittle (56)
- State Dinner by Z.P. Florian (won an Honorable Mention in the 1994 Star aWards for 'Best Star Wars Vignette) (57)
- The Temptations by Giulia Jardin (reprinted from Cloud City #17) (61)
- Mirrors by Wanda Lybarger (winner of the 1994 Star aWards for 'Best Long Star Wars Story) (64)
- Heartease by Martie O'Brien (128)
- Farewell to Vader by Yvette Ghilan (129)
- Out of Sight by Louise Turner (130)
- The Naming by Z.P. Florian (contest winner, a response to an illo) (135)
- "Accidental Hero". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Carolyn Golledge (Also in Never Say Die #1) (137)
- Beru by Ming Wathne (168)
- Smuggler's Cove Market Place, ads (176)
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4
[Mirrors]: It has great romance (always an important criteria in my lexicon), thoughtful characterization, an original plot premise, and even raises some extremely interesting philosophical questions on the nature of individuality. (And it even has Rieekan ... not that anyone but myself and someone with the initials IT cares...) Doesn't seem fair to me that Wanda should be both a great writer and a great artist.
[Mirrors]: Most highly recommended from me is Wanda Lybarger's "Mirrors" in Bright" Center #4. Solo clones working for the Empire! Brilliant characterization and plotting! And a real, almost literal, cliff-hanger finish! Nail-biting excitement underlaid with a remarkable depth of feeling and some very moving scenes. I've reread the ending several times, simply because I don't want to leave that feeling behind! And the frosting on the cake are some wonderful illos by the author. I defy anyone to glance at those illos and not immediately have to sit down and start reading.
Only 11 more months to MWC!!
This is my LOC for BCOT #4.
BCOTU 4 is the zine of new angles! Most of the stories have an unique and fresh POV. Turner's "Out of Sight" was totally stunning and surprising It left me gasping! What else can she look at with eyes that see into the dark comers of the saga?
Crotty's "Diary" was another new-angle story, very excellent, and the illoes were grand!
Garbin's "Temptation" was yet again a stunning new view, who said fanzine writing is getting repetitive?—we can always go deeper and deeper!
Wathne's "Benu" — another surprising idea, extremely intriguing Special thanks for noticing Beru's flowers! Luke as Lady Darklighter's property was a fascinating twist, and the conclusion was a real stunner!
Ghilain's "Brotherhood" had a very interesting premise with the reincarnating Jedis and eternal friendship.
Frayser's "Gift" was very good.
Loved McCormack's "Alliance" - sweet, good, well-oiled, full of solid, warm human feelings. I hope for more stories like this,friend.
Treleaven's "Traitor"—now she is someone who can do for Luke what Golledge does for Han! Exciting plot, great interaction with Vader, Tov was a great character; I hope he will appear hale and healthy for a sequel!
Golledge's "Accidental Hero" - loved it. How do you get yourself into these things? I have connections... yeah, connections to Golledge! The special Golledge-touch, the warm, sweet, funny talk keeps getting better.Lybarger's "Mirrors'—should be mandatory reading for every new SW writer. Admired the Lybarger magic writing HEAVY tragedy with a deceptively light pen, to gut-wrenching effect. This was an inspirational work on the fascinating subject of clones, digging deep into a complex matter. 
Issue #4 of BC of U was really a great read. A lot of good stories between the covers.
'BROTHERHOOD' by Yvette Ghilan was really good. However, I see Chewie and Han having a much closer brother-like bond than Han and Luke. I can see them growing quite close in the years ahead, but Han and Chewie already have the benefit of those years and life saving circumstances. An interesting story none the less.
I got a kick out of Z. P. Florian's "STATE DINNER'. Not much in the way of sacrificing, if you ask me.
I liked THE TEMPTATION' by Guilia Garbin Very moving. I have been enjoying reading the reprints from other countries.
'MIRRORS' by Wanda Lybarger was wonderful. She can weave a story that makes it hard to stop reading because mundane reality intrudes. A very though-provoking story and on a subject not really touched on in fanfic a lot: clone rehabilitation. Her artwork was just as delightful as usuaL
Louise Turner's 'OUT OF SIGHT was so good. That's one of the things you don't think of is all the possible rebels on board that were killed. The author has a real knack for writing about the common rebel's point of view. Well done.
Carolyn Golledge's story 'ACCIDENTAL HERO'was a really great story. I love to read all her stuff as she doesnt disappoint me. And Gerald Crotty's artwork was stunning—a double lethal combination!
'BERU' by Ming Wathne was a rather interesting story and one I really enjoyed.I look forward to BC #5. 
First, and foremost, I would like to say as a fan writer from yesteryear, I was totally blown away by the quality of writing and story telling that appears in Bright Center of the Universe #4. It's been a long time since IVe sat down to a potpourri of such enjoyment and talent. Congratulations to Ming and to those who contributed their talents for making #4 so very enjoyable.
The first piece I read, I picked by closing my eyes and allowing the zine to fall open of its own accord; therefore, making it easy for me to move away from the computer, and my own lengthy tale in progress, to partake of the fun and adventure #4 offered (Sorry, Ming I really intended to read only one story before I started the next chapter. So much for good intentions. Alas, when I finally put the zine down, I had, instead, read most of it. But I AM working on Lair, I promise. Just remember it IS summer in Alaska, and our days are over 20 hours long now, plenty of time for reading.... and writing.) Anyway, the first piece I read was SEARCH FOR A TRAITOR by Marie Treleaven. I was very excited about the time period selected, an excellent choice when insecurities would have been at one of their highest points in the young Jedi's life. The fear and the natural anxieties when it became "the first time since Bespin that he wouldcallonhispowersinamajorway." Marie,I like your characterizations and particularly your handling of Vader. But through it all, I felt the real strength of your storywas in the confronting and handlingoftheconflictwithinLukeSkywalker. It was a good tale, well told. Having already admittedto my transgressions and my inability to put the damned zine down, I gave in and went to the front and started my way through one deligitful tale after another.
Thenext was A GIFT FOR CHAOS by Donna Frayser. m admit I was a little restless when I started this piece. First person is interesting to read; however, I spent too much time trying to link the antagonist to a major...or minor, Star Wars character before I was able to settle down and truly enjoy the tale. I found it a well written and very entertaining tale of a not quite "average" rebeL But best of all, I truly enjoyed Donna's ability to get into the realistic fears and anxieties of her character and bring to the story the silent heroism which is so often found in the most "average" of people when they are tested for the first time.
BROTHERHOOD by Yvette Ghilan. What fun! Writing a story around drawing by Martynn! I intensely enjoyed the pre-livesof Han and Luke told in the characters of Corradan and Doan I also enjoyed the interaction and intrigue built around their "brotherhood" with Yoda and with the Force. However, I felt the story slowed when we had to "backtrack" into the lives of Luke and Han with the same dialogue and scenes we are all so familiar with and, certainly unnecessary given the strength of the story already set before the reader. (This is only one writer's thoughts on the subject and, heaven knows, if you take 10 Star Wars fanwriters and one story line you're sure to get 10 different stories. But here's what I would have like to have seen tried with this story.) Consider building the tale around Corradan and Doan..as you did...right up to the dramatic ending of their lives. Fade out. THEN...fade in, with one scene and one scene only; the first meeting between Luke and Han across the table in the cantina and the very wise, perhaps knowing gaze of the old Jedi who has perhaps just put the world right by bringing these two together again. But regardless, it was still a fine tale and, after all, that's what fandom is all about, the variety of ways individuals approach aspects of a familiar theme. I would love to read more stories about Corradan and Doan, should you ever decide to revisit their world.
ALLANCE by Shayne McCarmack. I had a professor once, who said, "A tale is never too long if it reads too short." This was an excellent story by a writer who obviously knows his/her way around the development of story line and interesting characters to further the plot. I thoroughlyenjoyed Merril and hope there are, or will be, other stories featuring him My only negative comment on the story is in feeling they got off The Rock a little too easily. But I also have to admit I say that partially because I didnt want the story to end. It was well written, imaginative, and I CAN'T wait to read more by this fan writer.
STATE DINNER by Z. P. Florian. Hah, caught off guard again! Writers who draw or artists who write are some of the most talented people I know and still they continue to amaze me. Therefore, I should have been forewarned when I started this short piece having already seen samples of Florian's artwork throughout the zine. What a pleasant, delightful piece! No deep, dark meanings behind each scene. No suspense or laser flashes, death or destruction; just a dull diplomatic dinner with a little "healthy" diversion Heaven knows it's about time our young Jedi started looking beyond the Force!!! What a wonderfully written, delightful piece.
MIRRORS by Wanda Lybarger. Once upon a time, there was a fan artist who could (and still can) draw Han solo in every aspect of his "perfection" And, after reading MIRRORS, I think, as a fanwriter, I should probably just fold my tent and slip quietly back into retirement. What a wonderfully tight, knowledgeable, and well written story! And it has it all. Okay, so I'm a Han Solo fan and it shows. That I can't help. But with all the wonderful stories in #4, I admit to waiting for that "A" Number One, 'give me all Han or give me nothing' tale, and this is it!!! Yet, Wanda also gave us Leia and Luke without taking anything from Han. It reflected all the loving and caring shared by the three without sacrificing from one to give to another. She did everything right with this story and, knowing Wanda, I suspect this has become a personal trademark that appears in all her stories as it has always appeared in her artwork. My hat's off to a gal who just keeps getting better!
OUT OF SIGHT...by Louise Turner. What a sad story, but a well thought out one. It does give one pause for thought. After all, those rebel prisoners from Leia's flag ship had to have been taken somewhere, stands to reason it could have been the Death Star. Of course, fans can reason Leia and her rescue party didn't have a whole lot of time to go looking for familiar faces during their brief stay in Vader's brig and we are later told that, in fact, they were ALLOWED to leave so they could be tracked back to base. So, while I'm not sure Leia and party could have done any more than they did, it still makes for a sad, thoughtful story. Well done.
ACCIDENTAL HERO by Carolyn Golledge. I loved this tale! And you say 'of course you did, it's a Han Solo story.' Yeah, okay, you've got my number, so what can I say. It was fun And my favorite part was, "well, that's for you to sort out. We gods don't stoop to such technicalities. We just party!" A wonderful ending to a delightful story.
BERU by Ming Wathne. All through Ming's story,in the background of my mind, I saw that wonderfully kind, weathered face of Beru Lars. I'm so glad Ming chose to write about her. I thought the story well written and well thought through. Obviously, Beru has been on Ming's mind for a long long time. I think there's probably a lot of us who reach back to the beginning of Star Wars fan fiction, who have always thought the whole thing was a "family affair." I don't think most true fans were really surprised that Vader was Luke's father, still more of us thought it likelier still that Ben was his grandfather..or brother to Owen Lars...so, I had no trouble following Ming's train of thought on Beru. A nice story, Ming...stay with Beru, and give us more when you have the time and inclination
Well, this has been way too long, and if I've missed anything it wasn't by intent as much as by length of letter.
The prose set to songs by Debbie Kittle I cant really critique with any kind of knowledgeable comment because I don't know the music they've been set to. I did read them and did enjoy them, so please forgive my ignorance.
HEARTSEASE by Martie O'Brien, however, is very familiar because rve had the pleasure of enjoying CONTRABAND for some months now. (Martie is to music and verse what Wanda is to art. Two multitalented people who have been friends for a long long time. I truly can't imagine one without the other.) I've been lucky enough to know them both-luckier still that they've allowed me to play in their universes off and on over the years. Martie has always brought joy, fun, and a good healthy blend of love and rawdyness other worlds and they are ALWAYS a joy to share.
Okay, Ming, there it is. Use whatever part of this monster you want. I want you to know you're holding a masterpiece, one of a kind in the years I've been in...and out...of fandom, this is the only LOC I have ever written I just never could bring myself to write them.I LOVE fan fiction/art/poetry; therefore, I cannot truthfully find fault with anyone's work because I enjoy them all. After all, we are in fandom for the love and fun of it. I never felt it was anyone's place to berate or comment negatively on something someone else has so graciously agreed to share. The best I can do is say what I liked about the different pieces and thank the creators for sharing. 
Was great to see you at MediaWest and as usual there wasn.t enough time.
Bright Center of the Universe #4: Hello, apologies for being such a bad LOC'er and this one must be short because I'm turning over a new leaf and I've a lot of zines to LOC before the hand gives out. To have so many riches after MediaWest con after the long drought in Star Wars fandom is pure delight, but BC is still a standard among them. Typos, typos, but otherwise a handsome zine. Hitting the high points....
"Alliance" by Shayne McCormack featured a strong action tale which the plot per se wasn't new territory, the interacting of the Principal Cast, who had what elements of the action was especially fresh and very entrancing. They are well in character, and the mixed ethics of the villain Merril and even the unexpected sympathetic light on Moab helped lift a solidly written piece with good, crisp dialogue but otherwise routine plot out of the ordinary. That and the wonderful set piece of "The Rock." A real taste of science fiction there.
"State Dinner" by Z.P. Florian had me rolling Witty, wicked—and Mel Brooks could direct this one.
A profound thank you to Martie for "Heartsease." For her first published dip back into fannish watersto be inspired by something of mine takes the breath...if her imagery had not already done so. The song I can say is beautiful, but these rhythms already sing on the page without the music.
"Farewell to Vader" is another poem that scans meticulously, building real menace from a situation already heavily mined in earlier stories and verse.
Ming's own "Beru" is told in the rather distanced omniscient viewpoint her stories usually are. But what it lacks in immediacy by the approach it more than makes up for in the freshness of its innovative premise. The last paragraph says it all Good, good stuff, even that which I didn't comment on specifically.A P.S. here because The Renegade and the Rogue" is one shot and I don't know Martha Wells to personally tell her how much I've enjoyed her Arandu series, and her other non-related Star Wars stories and how pleased I was to be able to illo these collected pieces -- as well as get the treat of the new, previously unpublished material. The best of luck to her in her pro writing. I admit I'm happy to read she intends to keep writing SWars fan fiction Ahem, now what do I have to do to get her to finish that tantalizing fragment of "Alternate"....? 
Bright Center #4 is a delight. It. keeps getting better and better. I especially enjoyed al the new faces that showed up in this one. What a treat! Thanks for reprinting stories from overseas zines that are difficult to get. Could you put the source of the story at the head of the story itself instead of in the Table of Contents? rm lazy. Nice clean presentation, too, with very few typos.
Donna Frayser's A GIFT FOR CHAOS is a wonderfully original idea;I love the notion of the Force being useful for undoing things in such a spectacular way. ft's a fascinating story which needs none of the major characters to make it so. I also enjoyed the character of Merril in ALLIANCES by Shayne McCormack as well as the sinister Plessy. Hope there will be more about Merril and The Rock. The relaxed characterization of Luke was fun to read; not a Jedi saint in this story! On the darker side of Luke's character, I was intrigued by Sara Ferluga's THE TEMPTATION. It's the first story rve seen that uses the events of the Dark Empire comic series as a basis. Very interesting idea used in an emotionally effective manner. Also on the black side, although in emotional content, not in morals, is Gerald Crony's OUT OF SIGHT, in which he proves again that he can write as well as he can draw. That was a chilling glimpse into the disastrous consequences the rebellion can bring to those unfortunate enough to be caught by the Empire; and an excellent reminder that the declared heroes are only a tiny fraction of those who fight.
I wasn't intrigued by the drawing, but I found the stories which resulted to be fascinating Yvette Ghilan in BROTHERHOOD creates a wonderful background for Han and Luke's friendship. Once she sets the scene, however, I wish she'd tightened up the final parts of her story. Reiteration of ANH's dialogue made me impatient to get on with it especially since she'd already let us know that Han and Luke are Corradan and Doan's reincarnations.
Z.P. Florian has also created a rich background in THE NAMING. I know there are more stories about her vision of Corell and the Sion's family. The matriarch is a wonderful character; very strong and powerful While I'm on the subject of Z.P., she shows her versatility and wonderful imagination in STATE DINNER it"s a complete riot! Thank you, Z. P., for getting Luke involved with a woman who is not petite and who is not hysterical.
ACCIDENTAL HERO is another fun piece by Carolyn Golledge, well illustrated by Gerald Crotty. I'm glad he chose to show us a picture of the natives instead of focusing on Han and Luke (looked a lot like a tribe in my Anthro text) and the illo of Han being blown up is quite explosive. (Sorry, I could not resist; I have no willpower when it comes to bad puns.) The story itself is great action and adventure with lots of funny lines (I've told you which one is my favorite, Carolyn!), and the author's trademark hearty supporting character - Makalty, this time.
BERU by Ming Wathne is a brilliant little piece. I like Ming's concept of Beru as a strong woman who was the center of the Lars home. She also paints Owen in a different light than the crusty farmer who appears in so many fan stories. And Mara Darldighter is another strong female character with a delightful sense of whimsy. Wanda Lybarger's MIRRORS continues fandom's fascination with clones. (Seems like there's a lot of them in the literature recently.) I truly wish the authorhad either written the novel (or novelette) or cut the story in half. There are so many fascinating sidetrips, but in a story of this length they can only detract from the major storyline and cut the tension just as it's building. I liked all the different things Wanda was doing and I hope there will be more.Before I end this set of ramblings, I want to mention that Debbie Kittle's IT SURE IS MONDAY made me feel just awful because she hit right on the head how you feel leaving MediaWest. Back to reality, until next time.
Thanks again, Ming, for another terrific issue of Bright Center. The art work was it's usual high standard, especially Wanda Lybarger's work for her own story. She seems to have a way of telling a story with her art alone, it's so detailed and descriptive. Also liked Gerald Crotty's art for "Accidental Hero" And of course, that gorgeous Corellian of Martynn's made his appearance again.
Your challenge to write a story around that picture produced two very different results, both of each I enjoyed immensely. Firstly, Yvette Ghilan's "Brotherhood", raised the interesting question of reincarnation Whether one believes in that or not, is a personal matter but Yvette's story made it all seem plausible. Interesting how the roles were reversed, the rich young nobleman Corradan becomes the slightly older poorer street wise Han and the older quieter Baitan becomes the young naive, Jedi-in-waiting Luke. It also explains the instant close friendship between two very unlikely companions.
Secondly, Z.P. Florian's "The Naming," was one of the first stories that I've ever read about Han's father being a respectable sort of guy. George gave us clear information about Luke and Leia's father but left Han's so open I've read numerous stories about how Han was either abandoned to the Wookiees or his Dad was a no good space bum that deserted his family, but never one where his father may of been someone of importance. Made a nice change.
As to Florian's other story "State Dinner", I bet Luke won't mind going to a state function from now on, if there are more girls like Fahria there. Interesting mode of dress.
Liked your story about Beru, Ming That's one lady that doesn't get mentioned very often and she had such an important job.
Loved Carolyn Golledge's "Accidental Hero". Thought you werent going the trash poor Han again Carolyn? But here we go again. Off goes our hero to get himself a spare part and almost ends up as spare parts himself. Great verbal exchange as usual between Han and the Princess, and a nice ending as The Gods throw a party for the natives.
I've left my favourite story until last and that was "Mirrors" by Wanda Lybarger. What can I say. Her story was a good as her art. The depth of feeling between the main characters in it was something that the so called professional SW. writers could take a lesson from. Those wonderful moments of love, so tastefully portrayed The way Leia helped and supported Han through the shock of finding clones of himself. Her determination not to let her force dream come true and Luke's love being so great, that he willingly offers to raise the child clone of Han Not an easy task, I bet. Great stuff.Keep up the good work. Really looking forward to issue 5. 
Beautifully put together as always, I love the little filler art you put in at the end of some of the stories.
Marie Treleaven's "Search for a Traitor" was a good story, an action-filled way to resolve Luke's post-ESB funk. Except poor Luke had to wet himself to do it. Oh well, he got clean skivvies in the end. I really enjoyed Yvette Ghilan's and Z.P. Florian's different takes on that Han as knight drawing Shayne McCormack's "Alliance" was excellent, I loved where Leia and Han jump on that passing freighter to sneak in after Luke. Gotta love those Aussie's. Is more available to print?
Speaking of overseas 'zines, is any more available from Ginlia Garbin? "Temptation" was a gem I always love a story from Wanda Lybarger, and "Mirrors" was no exception I especially liked how Lando, Chewie and Luke figured into the story. I liked old Leger too. Her drawings were a pleasure, as always. 'Accidental Hero" by Carolyn Golledge was a good story augmented by Gerald Crony's clear, realistic drawings. Only thing is, I thought Carolyn was going to stop being so hard on poor Han She really beat the tar out of him in this one! "Beru" was a detailed look at one of SWs most overlooked characters. We should see more Beru stories or vignette's. I loved Z.P.'s drawing of Beru and little Luke on page 175. It looked just like a family snapshot.Thanks to Ming, the authors and artists for some happy hours of reading. Gotta go milk the Bantha. -- Head Bantha Dairy Farmer 
Well, you done bust my...balloon! Just when I thought everything to do with Star Wars was lighter than air, you go and print stories that are thought-provoking.
Thanks to Louise Turner, now I'm never see the explosion of the first Death Star quite as joyously as I did before. Her portrayal of the captain in Out of Sight was moving, and the short, choppy sentence structure strongly conveyed the disordered panic of his thoughts.
As if that wasn't bad enough, then Wanda Lybarger has to go and make me think sorrowfully about the lost potential of Storm Troopers, who always seemed so disposable before. What did you do in a previous existence, Ms. Lybarger, to deserve being able to write and draw like that?...What a story!
Then the excellent artist Gerald Crotty goes and makes me feel sympathy for a loyal Imperial in his Excerpts from the Diary of Rana Dangor. Beru's death was always poignant (though Lucas certainly didn't allow Luke or anybody else much time to dwell on it) but now it's doubly so after your incisive portrait of her, Ming.
But really, it was over the top when Yvette Ghilan made me feel sorry for Vader in her poem about the Emperor's cynical plan for him in Farewell to Vader.
Nevertheless, what a great job you did on BCofU #4! All the hard work really shows, and what a nice print job you got. Very easy to read, and did justice to the beautiful illo's by Gerald Crotty, Wanda Lybarger and the others.
State Dinner was a delicious...er, delightful change of pace. One of the things I liked best about the zine was the variety of goodies you put in it—something for everyone. I like action and adventure, so I was very happy with Search for a Traitor and Brotherhood, imaginative additions to the SW universe. And too, Ms. Golledge finds yet another way to wreak havoc on our Hero — but she does it so well! I keep expecting to read somewhere that she's turned pro. The hospital sequences rang very true and were presumably based on recent experience.All in all one grade A prime zine, Ming! Just don't print a sympathetic portrayal of the Emperor, that would be more than I can handle. 
Bright Center of the Universe 5 was published in April 1995 and contains 296 pages.
The zine won an Honorary Mention in the Star aWards for 'Best Star Wars Zine.'This issue contains something unusual. The editor prefaces two stories ("Final Act of Love" and "Second Chance") with this:
In the early days of Star Wars, I came across a story that I found I could read again, and again, but I must admit it is not a story to read on a rainy day after you have had the flu for 2 months. Never-the-less, I thought I should like to reprint it for all the new fans who have never had a chance to read it. To my horror, I found I could not locate the author, so from issue one of Bright Center until now, this story has not been reprinted.
The story is beautifully written, but some fans found the ending somewhat disturbing. Wanda Lybarger being one of these [fans] decided to write an addendum, putting her own ending on the story. I was just as fascinated with her version as I was with the original. Wanda's story had never been printed, and I begged her to let me print it, but she felt, (rightly so) that "Second Chance" would not have the proper impact if one had not read the first story. I admit I cried a bit, but I could perfectly understand her reasoning.
Then Oh Joy! I managed to contact Kay Crist, the original author of Final Act of Love, and she, great lady as she is, gave me permission to reprint her story, opening the way for me to do Wanda's as well. Now all is well -- well not quite, there is a bit more to the research, but to explain it now, would lesson the impact of the story -- so on the last page of this little grouping is the final word on this Editor's research, and please read it, because it is necessary to understand some of the art pieces.
[Editor's notes at the end of the two stories]:
Hope you enjoyed the stories as much as I did. A little more explanation is due you. [snipped] Wanda Lybarger does not illustrate Star Wars stories that feature the death of any of the three main characters. The fact that two of her illos appear to break this rule here, is another research fluke that needs to be explained. The first and second illos were never made for these stories. One appeared as the cover of Alderaani Imperative, and the second one was the back cover of one issue of Shadowstar. They were originally done over a year apart with no connection to these stories, but I knew this art could be used to great effect for these particular stories, and using all of my persuasion short of blackmail, I convinced Wanda this was not really compromising her "no Death Scene" position. She did not draw them for these stories. The third illo was definitely done for these stories. We had to leave Han and Leia with happy faces.
What do you says when you realize that what started out as a one zine project has grown into a five year 7 zine project. "I must have been out of my mind!!!" J Well that is what I was told at the beginning when Bright Center of the Universe #1 was first conceived. Ming, you must be crazy!!. As that fact was fairly well know to most of my friends it really was not much of surprise.
The most surprising thing to me has been how much I have learned. Slowly I am learning how to use my Computer, and do layout work. I have made friends with artists, authors, poets, puzzle makers and Filkers. I learned about binding selections, paper, printing material, copy machines. Fonts and Language. If you read did you know that not all people actually read words.? This sound a bit confusing, but it can be explained rather incompletely as this. Some people when they read actually form the Language in anice structure with all the paragraphs, and punctuation, caps and spaces. Others like myself, translate the words as a continuing motion picture in their heads, or relate the printing to the sound of the spoken word. The words themselves have little meaning in these isolated structures. This can cause some problems when an Editor is reading a submission. It is the sort of "Yes that is what I said, but that is not what I meant." A fascinating situation.Bright Center of The Universe #5 was quite an effort. Our biggest zine yet, and I fervently hope we do not get much larger. The hours spent in putting this monster together were, I think well spent. But I do not think I would care to repeat the process very soon. I hope you enjoy it and please LOC and let us know.
[The words to "Give 'em What They Want," filk by Amanda Palumbo, to the tune of "Candy (Give 'Em What They Want" by 10,000 Maniacs -- a commentary on fannish feuds and fighting]:
- If Han or Luke is the CANDY
- If the Church of Smut tastes so sweet
- Then we...
- Give 'em what they want
- PURITY vs SMUT!!
- So Luke's character's
- Growing hazy
- Cause they want
- To turn him on
- So their plot revolves
- Round a BIG lightsaber -- hey!
- CENSURE vs DEBATE
- If Princess Leia's an iceberg
- If we can't/don't want to figure her out
- Then we...
- ... Just write her off!
- REAL WOMAN vs WHINER
- Church of Ford
- vs Cathedral of Luke
- Exchanging blaster fire
- Warring factions not close friends
- Like their heroes...
- Attack instead of OPINION
- If old time fans really want unity
- Then why do new feel they have to SECEDE
- Why did we....
- ... Join active fandom?
- NEO vs DINOSAUR BRIGADE!!
- PALPIE doesn't have to do a THING!!
- Letters of Comment (i)
- "Lady Luck Can Be Kind". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Z.P. Florian (Desperate for money, Han talks Chewie into selling him as a slave. The plan is to steal him back—but then things go very wrong.) (reprinted in Han Solo) (1)
- Reunion, poem by Yvette Ghilan (14)
- Knight & Chaos by Donna Frayser (15)
- Tour of Duty, cartoon by Annette Steyn (20)
- "The Princess and the Nerfherder". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Carolyn Golledge. Won Honorary Mention in Star aWards 1995 for 'Best Medium Star Wars Story (11-29 pages) (This story is set shortly after Star Wars: A New Hope. Wounded on a mission with Leia, Han takes refuge at a smuggler’s cove and earns the nickname. Also in Never Say Die) (21)
- The Thin Line by Jennifer Cole (49)
- "Bring Me the Head of Han Solo". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Mary Jo Fox (A warlord's daughter accuses Han of getting her pregnant and a bounty is put on his head.) (53)
- Oh, What a Thrill, filk to the tune of "Oh, What a Thrill" by the Mavericks, by Debbie Kittle (61)
- The Women in His Life by Chris Jeffords (The zine incorrectly lists this as "The Woman in His Life," something the author points out in the next issue, and the editor apologizes for this mistake.) ("From the Chronicles of the Good Ship Thunderbolt, The Adventures of Young Han Solo #4. A Brightstar Universe story by Christine Jeffords, from an idea by Susan Matthews.") (62)
- The Song of Skygold and Amiranda, lyric poem by Martie Benedict (reprinted from Timeframe #5, originally written in October 1981) (92)
- Syren Song by Donna Frayser (102)
- New Beginnings by Louise Turner (107)
- Reasons by Jennifer Cole (129)
- Editor's Note: A packet of two stories that pleases a Research Editor, by Ming Wathne (132)
- Final Act of Love by Kay Christ, see the editor's comments above about this story, and the unauthorized/authorized sequel "Second Chance" (This story was originally printed in Carbonite Maneuver in 1981. It was also discussed in Han and Leia in Fanfiction.) (135)
- Second Chance by Wanda Lybarger (the unauthorized/authorized sequel to "Final Act of Love," see the editor's comments) (138)
- Malla's Gift, poem by Jennifer Moore (146)
- Zealot's Curse by J.P. Treleavan (147)
- Fight (Give'em what they want), filk to the tune of "Candy (Give 'Em What They Want" by 10,000 Maniacs -- a commentary on fannish feuds and fighting, by Amanda Palumbo (also printed that year in Only Hope #2) (171)
- Hell Hoth No Fury: The Adventures of Solo by Debbie Kittle (173)
- Dagobah, poem by Yvette Ghilan (188)
- "MPRT". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by J.A. Berger (Having returned to the Blue Falcon Order, Han and Luke face their greatest test when what should be a routine Mind Probe Restistance Training exposes them to extreme danger. A stand-alone sequel to J.A.'s zine novel Lair of the Blue Falcon.) (189)
- The Things We Do For Love by Susan Matthews. Won Honorary Mention in Star aWards 1995 for 'Best Long Star Wars Story. It was written by Matthews for Wathne between November 1990 and February 1991. (214)
- The Princess on Hoth, poem by Donna Frayser (262)
- Honeymooners by A.G. Steyn. Won Honorary Mention in Star aWards 1995 for 'Best Long Star Wars Story (263)
- Master, filk by N. Smith (295)
- Tour of Duty, cartoon by Annette Steyn (296)
- Star Wars Market Place, flyers (297)
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5
Thanks for another great issue of BC which came with the great cover art by Diane Smith.
Loved "Lady Luck can Be Kind" by Z.P. Florian, We got to see a little of Chewie's thoughts and the ending line "Sometimes he regretted it, though." was perfect. It was extremely tightly written A rare thing in much of both zine and pro fiction. Just a great story overall. Loved all the art too, especially the Luke & Han for Jennifer Cole's story.
"The Pincess and the Nerfherder" by Golledge was cute, and I mean that in the good sense of the word. Good luck at West End Carolyn. Maybe you'll try your hand at Lando one of these days soon? I enjoy your work and would like to see your take on other characters besides Han. (or along with Han)
Jennifer Cole's "The Thin Line" was an appropriate prelude to "Heir to the Empire." It helped set the stage for Zahn's book, reminding us of all the Emperor's evil experiments. Her story "Reasons" was an apt comparision of Han and Luke. More of your writing, please, Jennifer.
Mary Jo Fox's 'Rring Me the Head of Han Solo" was a wonderful action story. Mary Jo always keeps the action moving and the "Now" at the end was my favorite part.
Frayser's "Siren Song"-Liked the story and the little gems drawn at the end. Lots of good Han stories so far. Turner's "New Beginnings" was a plausible intro to the Rebellion for Wedge. Even took care of that "Captain Antilles" problem from ANH, 1 hadn't considered that Wedge would have been so yoimg when he joined up, but it makes sense that he wouldn't be made a fighter pilot immediately.
Treleaven's "Zealot's Curse" was probably my favorite piece in the 'zine. Luke, Han, Leia, Wedge, lots of action, the "Jedi Question" is addressed. It was a perfect 'zine' story. Thanks J.P.
"M.P.R.T." by J.A. Berger was a good look at the bond between Luke and Han. My only comment is that I had trouble following some of the Blue Falcon stuff and needed just a little more back-story to fully understand all the dynamics.
These were the stories which I enjoyedthe most. Thanks for another well produced 'zine, Ming. See you next time. 
First an open note to all readers: Ming's computer apparently misread my disc', and the title to my story came out slightly incorrect. It's supposed to be "The Women in His Life," referring to Cyr, Shari, Eulali, Mari, and even Bethany, though she doesn't appear.
My favorite story this time around has to be "The Things We Do for Love." What a great treat to see my old friend Susan Matthews writing SW again—and she hasn't lost her touch! (Dare we hope to see more from her in BRIGHT CENTER?) Her Vader is an especially complex and fascinating being, with the same clearly hinted at ethical code (however twisted) that we saw implied in ANH, and what an interesting slant she gives on the relationship of Jedi and Sith! And I love the way she gets into Chewie's head -- I'm reminded of C.J. Cherryh and her Hani in the Chanur Series. This ability to "think like an alien" is a rare gift—do please use it some more, Susan Of course, an old Western hand like myself immediately recognized the Sun Dance, but Susan has put a truly science- fictional twist on it, especially in that Han's vision shows him the comet and how it will affect (presumably) the Poritlow system, naturally, this would be something the Blues would want to know, but they wouldn't have the scientific training to interpret it as Han does.
Second favorite: 'The Honey- mooners." A. G. Steyn.'s alternating viewpoints make for a particularly effective story, and they also serve to emphasize the two very different cultures from which Han and Leia come. There's also plenty of humor, and with an almost fairy-tale feel to the "quests" of the two as they try to accomplish their mission without letting each other know what they're up to. And she has given quite a plausible explanation for the description of Han as a pirate.
'Then there's "Lady Luck Can Be Kind"—another "Han in a bad spot" tale, though I'm hardly complaining-Force knows I write enough of them myself! It's a situation .in which we don't often see him, however, and it does serve to show some things about character that seldom come out otherwise. Again a nice wryness touch to it especially like Chewie's reflection that "The cub could work his way out from the depths of the seventh Hell with a single screwdriver."
"Knight and Chaos"—this is a character I'd like to learn more about. '
The Princess & the Nerf-Herder"-at last we find out what a nerf is. Carolyn Golledge in good form; not quite so violent as she sometimes is, and betraying a gift for the absurd as well.
"Reasons"—a good exchange of confidences, though I can't help thinking Han and Luke would have gotten this out of the way long ago.
And then, of course, there's the twin stories, "Final Act of Love" and 'Second Chance"; I had read them before, but it's nice to see them again and realize all over what a marvelously multi-talented lady Wanda Lybarger is. It's hard .enough to write this stuff, and. I can't draw for sour apples. Wanda not only draws like an angel, she writes with the best of us.
All in all a superior zine, one I'm proud to have appeared in and pleased to include in my collection. Keep up the good work,everyone
What a nice cover! I have heard that Dianne Smith won't be doing any more SW art. Too bad. I've always enjoyed her renderings of Han.
My favorite story was Donna Frayser's "Knight & Chaos." You felt like you were really there experiencing a Rebel mission, through the p.o.v. of a "regular" person. It had a lot of great action and well written dialog.
Another story I enjoyed was Carolyn Golledge's 'The Princess and the Nerf Herder." I liked how she framed it as a bedtime story (though I doubt Han would mention some of those scenes to the kiddies.) It esplains the whole gorgeous guy like me/scruffy-looking nerf herder" exchange.
"Zealot's Curse" was a good read, thaugh I keep getting finstrated at how characters kept speaking for Luke or blew off the things done to him.
"Final Act of Love" was a real downer -- I don't particularly like stories where the main guys get bumped off either. It was just nice that Wanda Lybarger wanted to "Fix" the ending in her sequel, though things were tied up a little too neatly in just a couple of pages.
There were a few other stories around universes (?) that didn't have much to do with the movies, sorry but I didn't get them.The poems were pretty good as were the filks - Amand's hit it right on the head. Wand's work wwas terrific as always.
A.G. Steyn's story had me laughing out loud. I think it was the best Han and Leia get married story I've ever read. The bit where Han is explaining what he's doing out on the street begging ("It was the dirty rebels, sir...") still gives me a chuckle whenever I think of it.
"Lady Luck Can be Kind" by Z.P. Florian was quite good, and I also liked the illos.
I also enjoyed the "Princess and the NerfHerder" by Carolyn Golledge. I love her Han and Leia stories, especially when they get stuck somewhere and have to deal with each other."Final Act of Love" by Kay Christ and "Second Chance" by Wanda Lybarger were very good pieces. Mixed in with all the adventure stories, it's nice to have a good cry now and then.
The front cover is superb. I am a great Fan of Dianne Smith's portraits and this one is excellent. Although I am also very fond of the falcon motif you use, for obvious reasons!
Of the stories the one that makes most impact was "Final Act of Love," which I had read before and its counter Balance "Second Chance." This was a stunning piece of writing and so believable, the illustrations may not have been drawn for these stories but they certainly fat perfectly. Wanda Lybarger brings words and pictures to life so well.
As for the 'Princess and the Nerf Herder" by Carolyn Golledge I had been privileged to read this one before it was published, loved it then and loved it even more in it's final form. So funny and action packed and so very much in the what I consider to be Han and Leia's true personas.
Having recently read "Lair of the Blue Falcon," I was looking forward to reading J. A. Berger's "MPRT" and it didn't disappoint me. What a nightmare to be drawn into and again written in a way that makes it all so very plausible.
Also enjoyed "Lady Luck Can Kind" by Z .P. Florian very much.Everything else was as to be expected of a very high quality and well put together. Zine. I look forward to Bright Center #6 and unlike you I hope it is even bigger!! 
I am getting bored writing every year that "this BCOTU is the best so far", but that's the truth. The gorgeous cover was a good indication of the contents. It's impossible to mention every good thing between the front and back covers.
Must say, though, that Golledge's story was very sweet, and her pix at the end is great, Leia's expression is priceless. Cole's "Thin Line" touched on a very fascinating problem.
Mary Jo Fox provided great entertainment with "The Head of Han Solo"- what a good title!
Martie Benedict's epic poem blew me away. Very few people can write poetry in the classical sense: thank you for this one.
Frayser's "Syren Song" was a prime example of how spendid a very short story can be, and what beautiful things are to be found in a galaxy far, far away.
Debbie-"Hell Hath no Fury"- she is going to kill me with laughter: where is she getting those wonderfully crooked ideas?
Treleaven's "Zealot" was a very accurate picture of prejudice and harassment, and the friendship in Luke's circle came through beautifully.
And a million thanks to the Research Editor, for the reprints. Keep it up. Lady, because you brought us wonderful stories.
Crist and Lybarger's double treat 'Final Act" and "Second Chance" were great. And just seeing Matthews name in a freshly printed zine made my heart sing, even if it's an older story-and what a story! Not only a masterpiece in trashing Han, but a richly detailed, vivid background as well.
To paraphrase Robert A Heinlein, I guess the high point of a zine editor's day must be just before the mail arrives...and the low point, immediately thereafter.You worked so hard to give us many hours of pleasure, it was a really beautiful job; and then, nobody coments. You're absolutely right, we newbie-types do hesitate to write LOC's (there's nothing like gushing in print at an original idea!" only to discover later that it's one of fandom'shoariest old chestnuts.) But one thing I have already noticed is that there seems to be nowhere even a pro SW writer can go that some fan writer hasn't been before; maybe we newbies shouldn't take it too hard. 
"Lady Luck Can Be Kind"—whoa, talk about your Kiss of the Spider Woman! Fine, very readable job by Z.P. Florian, nicely plotted and paced, and I loved the way she drew Chewie.
What a paradox in the line about Han giving up his independence to become a slave for the Falcon's sake, because it was everything to him. The Corellian's mind would work that way. Carolyn Golledge's inventiveness never ceases to amaze. Is there anything painful left for her to do to Han? (And are you quite sure you like him, Carolyn? The "tough love" people must've had you in mind...) She just gets better with each story she writes and is up to professional standard now.
The "Thin Line" - good point about perceptions and discernment between good and evil; and I especially liked the descriptive touches in the story, made it atmospheric and really drew me in. Jennifer did a nice with "Reasons," also.
Bring "Me the Head of Han Solo Straight-forward action and adventure with a slambang sort of pace, very entertaining. Incidentally, Jewel was rather fortunate—first labors don't go that easily or quickly, or at least almost never in humans. 'The Women in His Life"—Made me want to read all the stories Christine Jeffords has written about these characters; it was full of fascinating hints about them. She ought to put them in a reprint collection so it would be easier for newer fans to get at them. Fine bit of irony there—all those women around who like him, and Han ends up paying for sex; bet that doesn't happen to him very often.
The "Song of Skygold and Amiranda"—Blew my mind, the combination of SF images written in language something like Tennyson's Idylls of the King. (But no more, perhaps, than the 19th century language would have blown away an Arthurian.) Interesting juxtaposition and—dare I say it?—quite an original idea.
"New Beginnings"—A Wedge story! And a ood one, too—just hope the Dark Horse comics series treats him as well as Louise Turner did. A good depiction of every day life in the Alliance, full of details that never seem to find their way into the films.
"Final Act of Love"— Loved the presentation, but not the subject matter! While I can't conceive of Leia not letting Han be free to choose, I must admire the way in which it was written. And Wanda Lybarger's addition kept it from being hopelessly depressing, though still not, as you put it, a story for a rainy day. I think Han took it a lot better than most of us would have.
J.P. Treleaven's vision of what could happen in the vacuum of power left by the fall of the Empire seems all too probable—it rang very true.
"Fight—Give 'Em What They Want"—Too true, Ms. Palumbo! Cracked me up.
"Dagobah"—I hate to use a phrase like "evocative and haunting", sounds so cliche—but, well, in this case it's true, so there it is.
"M.P.R.T."-Well! We always knew there was more to Solo than money, and Berger has certainly plumbed new depths in him. The story idea has more than a little factual basis; ask any anesthesiologist, as they occasionally run across patients who, for one reason or another, are very resistant to drugs.
"The Things We Do for Love"—This one had everything—the epitome of a Good Read in a SW story, with iM, inventiveness, good characterization, and a plot that zipped right along. I enjoyed it no end, Susan, it was terrific! More, puh-leeze!
A.G. Steyn—as I've said before, you are a naughty girl! It was a hoot and a howl, also had my favorite b/w illo in the piece.Taken all in all, Ming, you outdid yourself this time. Hope there'a a BCU #6. 
Well, you've done it again. BC 5 is an excellent zine, full of all sorts of goodies.
Before I forget, let me congratulate you on the Star aWards Honorable Mention you won for BC 4. Now to the heart of the matter.
ZP has pulled off another of her wonderful Corellian stories with "Lady Luck Can Be Kind". Looks like she's entering the Carolyn Golledge Trash Han Tournament. The arachnids are very, very good, made me want to spray for spiders just reading about them. And speaking of Carolyn, 'The Princess And The Nerf-Herder" is my kind of bedtime story.
I think Donna Frayser better be busy with another story about her one-note, chaos specialist. She's a delight and a great change from the onmipotent Force user that we see in many of the pro novels. However, I didn't find "Syren Song" as satisfying although it was well done. Jennifer ^le's two stories are both good solid glimpses into the characters of Luke, Leia and Han. It's difficult to pull that off in a short story and she does a good job. Louise's "New Beginnings" does a lot to fill in Wedge's background and tell us more about the lives of the pilots and the techs who work with them. I'm so glad to see that BC is continuing with a heavy dose of pime fun.
Mary Jo's "Bring Me The Head Of Han Solo" is a wonderful reworking of a familiar idea; Debbie continues to delight with the adventures of Sollo. I said this before and I'll say it again; I want to see an illo of the whole bunch in costume. It would be a perfect addition to Debbie's madness. And finally, A.G. Steyn should be against the law for using a deadly weapon. The premarital shenanigans that Han gets up to in his efforts to do the right hing for Leia are too funny to be legal. I loved the illo of Leia in her wedding finery-wonderful job! Let me also mention that the "Tour of Duty" cartoon is a kick.
The impact of the twin stories by Crist and Lybarger is tremendous. Either one would be excellent by itself but the effect of both of them together is phenomenal. Thank you, Ming, for pursuing Kay until you could pull off this tour-de-force. I thought Benedict's "Sky gold" told a wonderful story, very lush and romantic. However, I did not like the poetic form that she chose to present it in. I think a different rhyme scheme (maybe a ballad) would have more effectively set the story off. "
The Women in his life" by Chris Jeffords does a good job tying together many of the loose ends from her earlier stories; I would have liked to have seen more of the action scenes which Jeffords writes extremely well. If there is anyone out there who has not gotten a copy of J. A. Berger's excellent, "LAIR OF THE BLUE FALCON," I can only say you're missing a lot. Her story, "MPRT", ought to demonstrate just how well she can write and how unique her alternate universe of the Blue Falcons really is. The relationship between Han and Luke is very well done and I liked the willingness to leam and the humility of Doctor Solante. I wish more of our earth doctors had those qualities.Time for some poetry, I think. Loved Debbie's "Oh, What A Thrill!" filk. Do you really repeat the chorus 9 times? Jennifer Moore's "Malla's Gift" is beautiful and explores the feelings of one of the SW characters who doesn't often appear in fan stories. I enjoyed Ghilan's "Dagobah" right down to the last verse and then it disappointed me. The rest of the poem is so beautifully done that the totally mundane ending with the line from ESB left me cold. Wish the ending had followed the tone of the rest of it. 
Loved Dianne Smith's cover-gorgeous!
Carolyn Golledge's "The Princess and The Nerf-Herder" was great! I liked the way she told it as a fairy—tale. Delightfully done.
The Christine Jeffords "Bright Star" story "The Woman In his life" was great. I've always enjoyed Mari Sevenstars so it was nice to read another in the s'dfiesv Beginnings" by Louise Turner was good. Her Wedge Charicter is wonderful to read about. She has a way of writing about other then the main charicters that keeps me reading and wanting more of her stuff."
Both "Final Act of Love" by Kay Christ and "Second Chance" by Wanda Lybarger were terrific stories. Kay's story was heart breaking and moving and I loved Wand's addendum. Also enjoyed Wanda's illos-a great complement to both pieces.
"Malla's Writings," "The Gift" by Jennifer Moore was touching. Nicely written even if it didn't rhyme.
"Zealot's Curse" by J.P. Treleavan was well done. Her characterizations were on target and it was a good story.
A.G. Steyn's "Honeymooners" had me laughing so hard, I almost wet my pants! It was a riot especially her illos of Leia. I think a package of "Depends" should be sent home with every zine that has an A.G Steyn story in it for the unsuspecting. Very well done!!
I did enjoy reading all the other pieces even if I didn't single it out. My only complaint with the issue were the typos: both the single words and whole sentenceproblems as well as the lack of space to denote scene changes. It personally drives me crazy. I hope it'll be better next issue which I"m looking forward to.
What can I say, but you've done it again, Ming. I thought B.C. #4 was excellent but B.C. #5 has surppased even that one. From cover to coverjust pure entertainment. And that front cover was justgorgeous.Diann Smith's work, wasn't it? All other art work was good, especially Wanda Lybarger's for the "Final Act Of Love."
Good stories were munerous, so I'll only comment on my favourites. "Lady Luck Can Be Kind" by Z..P.Florian. Just goes to show, things don't always work out as planned. Rather dangerous to sell yourself as a slave in that galaxy, I should imagine.
"The Princess And The Nerf- Herder'. I've come to expect a good story from Carolyn Colledge and this one was no exception. Loved the way Han is telling his cldldren about how he came to be called a scruffy nerf—herder by their Mum. I've often wondered why she called him that. Now we know. Carolyn has a wonderfulway of filling in the gaps.
"Bring Me The Head Of Han Solo" by Mary Jo Fox. Poor Hen being used by that young lady. That's what comes in having a reputation as a lady killer."
The Women In His Life" by Christine Jeffords. Nice to know how Mari Sevens tars first met our Corellian.
"Reasons" by Jennifer Cole. A very human convera ation between Luka and Han using T. Zahn & Co's future. Enjoyed reading the next instalment about our intrepid hero Sollo.
J..A. Bergers "M.P.R.T." was a nice follow up to "Lair Of The Blue Falcon" Which I thoroughly enjoyed by the way. Sorry I didn't have time to Loc.
Found Susan Matthew's "The Things We Do For Love" a little strange but well written. Showed Han's loyalty to a friend and Chewie's steadfast loyalty to Han.
"The Honeymooners" was great, only glad my wedding was nothing like that. Can't imagine Leia going along with it all though?
I've left my absoolute favourites until last and they were "Final Act Of Love" by Kay Crist and "Siecond Chance" by Wanda Lybarger. I'd never read the first story before and by the time I'd finished there was a lump in my throat and wetness in the eyes. How did Leia find the courage to do that, I don't think I could of. And well done Wanda for putting things right so beautifully.
My thanks to all the contributors and to you Ming for a zine worth every cent.Look forward to number six. 
Bright Center of the Universe 6 was published in April 1996 and is 304 pages long. It won an Honorary Mention in the 1996 Star aWards for 'Best Star Wars Zine.'
The art is by A. G. Styne, Donna Frayser, Wanda Lybarger, Z. P. Florian, Kelly L. Thorpe, M. J. Mink, and Nicola Pearce. The front cover won an Honorary Mention in the 1996 Star aWards for 'Best Cover Artist'.
This issue is dedicated to "The Other" - The Bit Players & the Extras. To all those who helped build up the background, and make that Galaxy Far Far Away a more believable Reality." This dedication appears to be a combination of several things. First, its use of the term The Other can be both canonical and metaphorical. Second, its reference to the "bit players and extras" and those "who helped build up the background" may refer to minor canon characters, as well as fans and their fanworks.The editorial:
What will the future bring? Well we never know. Bright Center Of The Universe #1 started out as a one— shot zine. To fill space that had been left open by other SW zines that had closed. Now we are in our Sixth year and planning for #7.
We have learned a lot and continue to learn about what our readers want, and what the authors and artists want also. It is our hope to give you the best zine we can, and that requires time and effort on our part and it helps us a great deal when you LOC and let us know what you like and what you do not want.
As in the past. Bright Center of the Universe will try and bring you works by established authors, and neophytes and selected reprints from foreign zines, and early issues of other Star Wars material that can no longer be found on the market. This insures neofans the chance to read the material that appeared before there was a Trilogy, but only single pictures that could have gone in many other directions. One thing H we do not do is continued stories. Long stories or story collections that are good enough can have a zine of their own and Soaring Wings press does occasionally do these specials.
With this issue Bright Center is putting a little tag in the upper corner of the titled sections that indicates where the stories fall in the Trilogy, such as Pre New Hope or Post Empire, if they fall with in the Trilogy lines. We also list Alternate or Parallel Universes or Fantasies where that is appropriate.I hope you enjoy this offering and will let us know what you think by sending your LOCs. This is how your authors and artist, poets and filkers know if you enjoy their work and it encourages them to keep giving you the stories and art you want.
- Letters of Comment (1)
- Frontispiece: The Falcons of Soaring Wings Press
- "Camera Obscura". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Martie Benedict O'Brien (Han makes a bet....) (1)
- Art: Soul of the Falcon by Donna Frayser (8)
- "In Close Proximity". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Carolyn Golledge (On a mission a year or so after the Yavin medal ceremony, Han and Leia find themselves captured by Imperials. Handcuffed together, they escape into the wilderness. Will the environment kill them before the personality clash does? Or will they learn more about one another....) (9)
- The Girl Friend by John Fredericks (31)
- Chewie to Leia: A Lesson Learned, poem by Jennifer Moore. It won an Honorary Mention in the 1996 Star aWards for 'Best Poem' (34)
- The High and Mighty, cartoon by A.G. Steyn, won an Honorary Mention in the 1996 Star aWards for 'Best Misc'. (35)
- Dark Memories by Kelly L. Thorpe (37)
- Phynix by Martie Benedict O'Brien (59)
- Necessary Lies by M. J. Mink (103)
- A Feeling by Mary Jo Fox (121)
- I Should Have Been True, song by Debbie Kittle (122)
- "A Night in Passover". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by J. A. Berger (From the Blue Falcon Series. Now mind bonded to Luke, Han finds it causes more problems than he expected. Another stand-alone sequel to J.A.'s zine novel Lair of the Blue Falcon.) (123)
- Luke to Yoda: An Unspoken Conversation, poem by K.A. Marshall (150)
- A New Beginning by Judy Ebberly (151)
- "Errand on UrikkRa". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Z.P. Florian (Luke is captured by a strange religious sect and Han must save him.) (reprinted in Han Solo) (162)
- Happy Glockenmockerspiel by Laura Michaels (177)
- Rieekan Friendship Formend, poem by Jennifer Moore (185)
- Full Circle by Jane Callard and Jana Bos (The editor apologized for neglecting to mention this story was a reprint from an Australian zine. While Wathne did not include the title of this zine, it is likely an issue of Spock.) (187)
- Haikus for Wedge, two poems by Jennifer Moore (192)
- A Walk on the Wild Side, cartoon by A.G. Styne (193)
- You're The One I Dream About by Deborah Kittle, filk to the tune of "You're the One I Dream About" by Reba McIntyre. It won an Honorary Mention in the 1996 Star aWards for 'Best Filk.' (211)
- I Am Not Alone by Jane Callard. It won an Honorary Mention in the 1996 Star aWards for 'Best Poem'. (212)
- Knights and Dragons by Chris Jeffords (213)
- Who Needs You, Leia, poem by Deborah Kittle (280)
- Loss and Restoration by Bernadette M. Crumb (281)
- Short Cargo by Wanda Lybarger. It won an Honorary Mention in the 1996 Star aWards for 'Best Medium Length Star Wars Story (289)
- Smuggler's Cove : A list of Star Wars stories and items of interest (The "list of Star Wars stories" is several pages explaining the scope and content of "The Fan Zine Archive," an early name for The Fanzine Archives: A Library for the Preservation & Circulation of Fan-created Material.) (389)
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6
First off, this was a great issue and had tons -of neat stuff, including stories by quite a few of my favorite writers. I'm only going to mention a few in particular. "Phj'nix"byMartieBenedict.I'vereally enjoyed the previous stories in this series <md was glad to see another one. Loved the characterization of Han and the verbal fencing with Mondragon, and the concq>ts of the lattice, and the stasis module. Great illustrations by Wanda in this one. I enjoyed "Camera Obscura," too. "A Walk of the Wildside" by AG Styne. I made the mistake of reading this at work and laughed so hard I scared my grad student. I really liked the characterization of Han and Luke, too. "A Night in Passover" by JA Berger. I'm glad to see she's continuing the "Blue Falcon" storyline. I liked the character of TNeel and the way the telepathy was handled. Very good story. "Errand on UrikkRa" by ZP Florian. Very intense. I liked the characterization. The religious fanaticism of the Urukkans was really well done. I liked the art, too. "Short Cargo" by Wanda Lybarger. Another great Wanda story. I liked the way the issue of forcing someone to alter their memories when they don't want to do it was dealt with, and the characterization of Yoda.Oh, and I loved the front cover, too. That's about it. Take care. 
Thank you for sending me the latest copy of BCU. I was thrilled to get such a heavy package in the mail! I can only hope that # 7 will be heavier.
The cover by A.G. Styne was truely magnificant. I think that it is one of the best that I have ever seen in or on a zine. I also liked the classification of the time frame in the corner. That saved me from having to read pages to figure out when the story was set. I am glad to see so many alternates in one zine. I am always interested in ways that the various authors take the saga, when not constrained by "cannon". This is what, in my humble opinion, that is killing the "pro" novels, (among other things!!!!) I also liked the diverse topics, characters, and time periods that were covered. It was a nicely produced zine, and you should pat yourself on the back for a job well done, Ming.
"The Girl Friend" by John Fredricks was hilarious. I loved the entire concept as well as the dialouge between our favorite heros ( and their oh- so snappy clothes). The story reminds me of my Darth Vader figure that was constantly stolen by my dog and buried in the back yard. I finally gave up and let her have Darth.
"In Close Proximity" by Carolyn GoIIedge was a great read. I really admire the way she handles Han and Leia. It is nice to see someone who can write the two characters with such passion. These are not flat, one dimensional characters, but the carping duo we've grown to love. "Dark Memories" by Kelly Thorp was an interesting idea, with an interesting perspective. I had to reread this one to fully understand, it but I appreciated the complete storyline.
"Necessary Lies" by M.J. Mink is one of the best stories that I have read in a very long time. Not only is it an alternate universe, but a much more interesting ending than ROTJ. I love the way the author writes both Vader and Luke. Vader as a multi-dimensional character, with many emotions and motivations. Luke is not just a whining victim, but a person who has some control over his destiny. I loved the plot as well as the interaction of Vader and Luke. This story was heart rending and very emotional, as well as ambigous ( in the end). More!!!!
"Errand on Urikka" by Z.P. Florian was a great story. Visualizing Luke running around in Han's shirt was quite entertaining. I also liked the accompaning drawing. I am amazed that Z.P. can write and draw. It is simply not fair that one person is multi-talented!
"Full Circle" by Callard and Bos brought up many interesting "what ifs". "Knights and Dragons" by Jeffords was interesting, but as a newbie, I felt a little lost. I need to go read more of her stories in order to fully appreciate it. I did like her protrayal of Vader and Piett.Overall, I liked most of the stories and poems. This was a great zine and I think that you should publish not one, but two a year. (pretty bold coming from someone who can't write, draw or edit). I am looking forward to the next zine! 
To those who accuse me of entering the Golledge Trash Han Tournament - yes, you are right, but it's not my fault! There's a supreme being who keeps giving me ideas I can't resist (you know who you are!).
BCOTU had an absolutely glorious cover, Steyn surpassed even herself More, please? The whole zine was great. My favorite story was Martie O'Brien's Phynix. It's wonderful to have a winged son for Han. Loved Golledge's In Close Proximity, she can beat anyone in the "Han suffering manly and nobly" race. A Night in Passover by Berger, one of those stories that makes zine reading a supreme pleasure. Mink's Necessary Lies was another of her amazing stories. Crumb's Loss and Restoration was very moving. Lybarger's Short Cargo - yeah, that was a story asking to be written.Steyn's Walk was interesting, both very funny and very interesting. 
What a real treasure trove BC 6 turned out to be! So many great stories and art sandwiched between two beautiful covers. Most enjoyable for me was to see a return of Martie Benedict, one of the ladies whose stories inspired me to try my own hand, as I wanted the same pacing and adventure but including Leia and Luke. Well, I got the extra characters in okay, but no one could ever match Benedict for sheer pulse-racing excitement and a host of truly real alien worlds and enthralling secondary characters. I was so thrilled to see a return of the Voolans and of Solonai in particular. Entrancing! Romance with underlying spirituality and mysticism. WOW! And oh, to have wings! The perfect finish to a Solo physique, dreams are made of this! I love Solo seeing himself at 20 in his son, a whole new generation beginning. Benedict could write her own novel based on a Solo-type dynasty on Etrina! Hint. I'd love to read it.
Also was a great story re the Kirlian camera in Camera Obscura. Loved the first person POV.
Really laughed over John Fredericks 'doll' story. The Girl Friend. More please.
Jennifer Moore provides us with more insightful poetry and a great moral in Lesson Learned. Well done.
I was really drawn into Minky's story Necessaiy Lies. An intriguing opening. Good point re Luke wearing the cloak to help with others defering to him. Leia's first priority on Bespin, Han? She DID go back for Luke, and earlier she did try to escape to go to him and warn him of Vader's trap. Clever idea, Vader slowing Luke's fall, most plausible. One little glitch — how could Han "remember helping Luke when he fell from the antenna below Cloud City? (OK—just read the story again- the info is there. Ye Ed.) Vader looks like Luke! Love it! What a great, tense wonderfully complex story Certainly more than I can say for my own In Close Proximity, but I do want to thank Donna Frayser for her action-packed illos that really brought scenes to life. I especially love the drawing of the Falcon ship and bird/starfleld.
Jean Berger's stories are always among the first I turn to and are those I read over and over to this day. Eyes of A Jedi is a very tattered copy in Facets now! I was not disappointed with A Night In Passover. Brilliant study of Solo's personality and his growth via his friendship/bonding with Luke. I do hope Jean will grace the pages of SW zines with many more of her Han/Luke stories.
Enjoyed KA Marshall's poem. Luke to Yoda. Beautiful comparison of weight of X- wing and Luke's soul.
Judy Ebberley. A New Beginning. A heart-warming insight into the developing relationship of our favorite trio. Ebberly knows Solo's character so wall and has created an original and plausibly intriguing background for him. More please, Judy! Love your dialogue in particular.
ZP Florian. Expand On Urikka. You've definitely stolen my crown as Queen of Trash Solo! A Florian story always means true creativity and a fascinating new culture and new approach to our heroes. Luke would be excited to see new worlds, most believable portrayal. Good also the way Luke's rebel companions look to Solo for a solution - "a natural leader" Indeed. Luke not having "space shots, good detail, especially re wrong shots because of mistaking his genetic inheritance. Love the line from Han, "my religion allows me to strangle monks"!
By comparison, enjoyed the light- hearted feel of Happy Glockenmockerspiel (or however you spell it!) by Laura Michaels. Jennifer Moore's haikus are just that, droplets of pure essence of Star Wars. Loved Rieek Friendship Formed, and Haikus for Wedge.
Full Circle by Jane Callard and Jana Bos. Welcome to some more Aussie Star Wars writers! this story reflects good thinking. Yes, Owen and Bern would leave, an message for Luke re his background in event of their deaths. Don't say that idea hasn't occurred to other writers I wonder how close this version will be to Lucas' prequel? I especially like the ending with luke at last putting the past behind him and "Luke smiled" YES!
A Walk On The Wild Side by A. G. Steyn. this lady has fast become my favorite SW author. I love the unique POV, the flavor of the story-teller, really gets to the heart of the characters we love and helps us see and feel and hear what they do. So funny! Oh those images of SPO! And the ending with Solo wondering if he can ever get the last word in with Leia. I guess he finally did with "I know!"
Also liked Callard's poem I Am Not Alone.
And the trimming on the tree was another wonderful story Wanda Lybarger. I have always wanted to write a meeting between Solo and Yoda, as oddly I feel they have much in common. But I could never figure the how of it. Wanda's idea is pure genius. Particularly the part about Yoda having to leave Dagobah to draw Vader and all away from the baby Skyrwalker twins. And of course the outcome involving Solo. Excellent as always!
This lady is so talented that we fans should get together and pay her to work solely for us! I look forward to BC 7 and hope that the only dampener on its fine history — the series of typos, especially the lack of indents and , confusing running together of what should have been separate paragraphs of dialogue — will be corrected. Then Mingyou will have every editor's dream! Keep at it, your efforts are very much appreciated.
Haven't written a LOC in years and years, so this will be brief. But, to paraphrase poor Han in Return, "I'm out of it for a while and everyone gets grander..."
A.G. Styne: Nice style!
John Fredericks: Nice toys!
Donna Frayser: Nice Falcon!
Z.P. Florian: Nice illos!
Jennifer Moore: Nice haikus!
Nicola: Nice portrait!
JA.: Nice story!
Wanda: Nice everything!
Chris Jeffords: Nice romance!
M.J. Mink: Nice irony!Ming: Nice zine!
I know it took me nearly a year from the publication date to order B.C. #5 and I'd really intended to LOC before. Honest, Anyway.
I did enjoy #5 immediately. I finally got to read the story behind the cover. It was disterbing, but I Found it fully within Leia'S charicter to want to save Han from what would be a slow ,painful death—maybe. Wanda's rebuttal story was so well written and so absolutely in character.So assuring to read Carolyn Golledge again. 
Bright Center of the Universe 7 was published in 1997 and is 216 pages long. Though the art is quite sparse, this issue contains a charming illustration by Wanda Lybarger of a scene with Chewie, his wife, son, three newborns, and various characters bringing the family gifts.
In general it is not the policy of Bright Center of the Universe to publish works when we have not been in touch with the author but in the following story we have done this.
As an Editor I read quite a lot of Star Wars material. As a reader of Star Wars Fan Fiction material my private collection is probably one of the largest in the United States, but I have never come across a story that uses the Characters quite like this one. There are extenuating circumstances with this story and I want to apprise our readers about this. This story was formulated as a computer story and was taken off of the a Web. Site. Now despite newspaper stories to the contrary not everyone has a computer. This means that not every Fan had access to this story. I though it unusual enough that I would like to have it in Bright Center. Nice idea but—after trying for over 3 months to contact the Author, with absolutely no results, I was about to give up the idea when I reread the Authors introduction material.
With her introduction the Author gives permission to freely distribute the story to those interested. With the usual disclaimers to Lucas. That Introduction & Disclaimer are printed on the next page. It appears exactly as it was taken from the Computer.This is the only time Bright Center has printed a story without contact with the Author, and the only reason it was done was because the Author had already given permission to freely distribute this unusual contribution to Star Wars Fan Fiction. It is my hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
- Letters of Comment (2)
- Imperial Wetworks by Richard Pfeiffer (1)
- "Mindfield". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Martie Benedict-O'Brien (An old friend's new flame may be something more than he seems. Can be read as a sequel to "R&R.") (5)
- New Beginning by Jean Ward (20)
- Triage by Siobhan DG (28)
- Everything I Really Needed to Know, poem by John Fredricks (28)
- Tour of Duty, cartoon by A.G. Steyn (34)
- Flight Dreams by Siobhan DG (55)
- Fleet Technical Services Piping Specs by LlCor Bran Syndori (36)
- "Joker's Wild". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by J.A. Berger (From the Blue Falcon Series. Vader had Han in Lair of the Blue Falcon and lost him; this time he uses Han to set a trap for the Jedi he believes Han to be bonded to.) (37)
- Sinking by John Fredricks (62)
- Celebration by Sue Depping (74)
- Eslahaan Two Step by Cat Anson ("Betrayed, Leia is dying. Only Luke can save her - but does he want to?") (77)
- The Mask of Sollo: The Last Adventure of Sollo, the Legendary Man in Black by Deborah Kittle (117)
- The Flat Iron, art by A.G. Steyn (128)
- "Trying Again". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Martha Wilson. Someone has stolen the Falcon and left han to die. But where was Chewbacca? It won an Honorary Mention in the 1997 Star aWards for 'Best Long Star Wars Story. (129)
- Potpourri of Art and Poetry by Kittle, Lybargare, Paulson, Cary, and Keisel (165)
- Hibernation Song, filk to the tune of "On My Own" from Les Miserables by Ken Kiesel (170)
- Branded by Mary Jo Fox (171)
- Defeat at Gortyul by Richard Pfeiffer (174)
- Dark Bonds by J.P. Treleavan ("Boba Fett is not the only bounty hunter and Han is not the only prey. Who else wants Luke?") (176)
- Truth, poem by Ming Wathne (195)
- Lost by Z.P. Florian ("Boba Fett has disappeared. What happened to Han Solo?") (194)
- Shades by Rebecca Maynard (Synopsis from the story as it was posted online: "Shades: Coincidence or careful planning? Fate or decision? Did Luke, Leia and Han just happen to arrive in the same place at a galactically opportune moment? The following is intended purely for the enjoyment of the reader and the writer. It may be freely distributed to those who are interested. It is in no way intended to infringe on the characters created by the immortal George Lucas and certainly not meant to make him lose any sleep.") (209)
- Wookiee Surprise, color art by Wanda Lybarger (last page)
Bright Center of the Universe 8 was published in 1998 and contains 198 pages. Art by is by A.G. Steyn.
Ming's comments in the zine regarding the "email story" reprinted in this issue:Well, what started out as a one shot is now in its 8th issue. One H of a lot o f work and learning experience, but also a lot of fun. You will notice several changes. No Letters to Editor -- we received several notes saying they would write later, but apparently they later never came. This is bad news because the authors and artists depend on your input to tell them what you like or vice-versa Second we are doing an E-mail story again. This, as was the last, is taken directly from the E-mail listing. I choose them simply because they have a different slant on SW, and I think our zine readers might find them interesting. I will never use more then one in each issue and s ome time there will be none. This was done with the authors permission, and the explanation is appended to the story.
The following story was taken off of the Web. It was removed exactly as printed and only the set-up was changed to fit the Bright Center format.
The last few years has seen quite a debate as to which is the best method, for stories and, which will be the future of zine stories~both side having stanch defenders of their own ideas. As a zine editor some would guess I would be all for the printed form, and they would be wrong.
The Telegraph was a great invention, it was the first electric method of getting word from one place in the country to another, but then the Telephone came along-what happened to the telegraph?-nothing it is still going strong, and is used in many ways where the Telephone is not satisfactory.
This is the type of future I see for both printed zines and the E-mail. They will both eventually find the roll [sic] they fit best. In the meantime Bright Center will, for those who do not have E-mail yet, print the occasional story that I think is unusual and different. Something out o f the ordinary.
I do not classify this as a reprint because actually it has never been printed in a zine. It is available on the net i f you want to look for it. For those who do not - here it is .I found it great fun to compare the different ways the ideas evolved in the Devil-hype story and Alderaan not been destroyed. It just shows that ideas can come from anywhere.
- Editor's Note (i)
- Jabba's Court (art)
- One Fine Day by J.P. Treleavan (1)
- "A Family Feeling". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Carolyn Golledge (Set post Return of the Jedi. Han and Leia take the kids on vacation to an Ocean World with which the Alliance is negotiating a treaty.)(6)
- Leia's Lament, poem (20)
- "Ghosts and Demons". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by J.A. Berger (After the Ewok celebration, Han and Leia must help Luke as the Emperor's ghost still lingers.) (21)
- Memory Lane (editor note) by Ming Wathne (50)
- Once Upon an Ice Cube by A.G. Steyn (51)
- Devil Hype (reprint) by Kay Crist (53)
- Sorcerer's Apprentice by A.G. Steyn (54) (art)
- "What If Alderaan Had Not been Destroyed". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Babette/Roni Markowitz (64) (the "email story")
- Sorcerer's Apprentice by A.G. Steyn (71) (art)
- Return to the Old Ways by Amy Farmer (73)
- Circle, poem by K.A. Marshall (75)
- Winter Stalk (graphic novel) by Wanda Lybarger (76) (reprinted from Facets #9/10]]
- "Family Connections". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Judy Ebberley (Han introduces Luke to an old friend and Luke begins to suspect that the connection between Han and the man may be closer than the Corellian imagines.) (115)
- Lonely is the Hunter by A.G. Steyn (127)
art from issue #8, "Sorcerer's Apprentice"—a nod to Ghostbusters
Bright Center of the Universe 9 was published in April 1999 and is 126 pages long. The art is by Z.P. Florian, Tara Ludmer, and clip art.
This issue contains no letters of comment.
- The Boy Who's Worth a Ship by Z.P. Florian (1)
- Cup, Candle and Life by Martie Benedict (filk) (12)
- Sun Jumper by Martie Benedict (filk) (13)
- Chivalry by Kate Birkel (part one of The Chivalry Series) (14)
- Spacer's Blues by Martie Benedict (filk) (24)
- "Bounty on Ord Mantell". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Laura Tarzia (Leia learns much more about Han after meeting several of his old acquaintances on Ord Mantell—one of whom has turned spy for the Imperials.) (25)
- On the Road by Martie Benedict (filk) (81)
- Remembrance by Carolyn Golledge (82)
- Goin' Down by Martie Benedict (filk) (102)
- Starship by Martie Benedict (filk) (103)
- Hero Unmasked by Siobhan DG (103)
- Silver Bell by Martie Benedict (filk) (106)
- The Slavers by Martie Benedict (filk) (107)
- The Woven Ocean by Selinthia Avenshcesca (108)
- The Glitter and the Glory by Jason Clarke (109)
- Sea of Stars by Martie Benedict (filk) (124)
- The Sun Weaver by Martie Benedict (filk) (125)
- The Star Wars Market Place, ads (126)
Bright Center of the Universe 10 was published in May 2000 and contains 211 pages. It was nominated for the 2000 Star aWards 'Best Star Wars Zine (Over 200 pages).'
It has very sparse art by Margaret Westphal, Naomi Stickels, and Z.P. Florian.
This issue contains no letters of comment.
- Shadows of the Past by J.A. Berger (1)
- An Open Door, poem by Crysalis (42)
- Palpatine by Selinthia Avenchesca, art by Z.P. Florian (43)
- We Touch, poem by Crysalis (46)
- Some Things Never Change by Judy Ebberly, art by Margaret Westphal (47)
- Under the Stars by Selinthia Avenchesca (58)
- One Restless Night by Z.P. Florian, art by Florian (73)
- All for Alderaan by Z.P. Florian (73)
- "Sweet Revenge". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Valerie Vancollie (What if Luke had used the Dark Side as a child?) (79)
- Starstruck, poem by Crysalis (98)
- Of Vader, poem by Crysalis (116)
- Recognition of the Heart by Catherine Anson, art by Margaret Wesphal (117)
- That Darned Story! by Ming Wathne (209)
- Smugglers Cove, items of interest and ads (215)
Bright Center of the Universe 11 was published in 2001 and contains 150 pages. It has very sparse art by Wanda Lybarger, Rich Logsdon, and Z.P. Florian.
Despite it being the last in the series, there is no editorial or comments by the author. There are also no letters of comment.
- Responsibilities by Judy Ebberly, art by Wanda Lybarger (1)
- Sith Lords Don't Have Friends by Z.P. Florian, art by Florian (13)
- The Nobel Jedi Order, filk by Marlene (20)
- Brother, My Brother by Nadja Lee (Alternate Universe story, taking place during and a little after the films. Luke finds out that he and Han are brothers in more ways than one.) (21)
- Shattered Dream by Ming Wathne, art by Rick Logsdon (26)
- The Only Way Out by Kay Crist, reprinted from News of the Rebellion #9 in 1981) (32)
- Wanted by Valerie Vancollie, art by Z.P. Florian(36)
- Prologue by Rebecca Carey, reprinted from somewhere else (79)
- Revelations by Ming Wathne and Kaz (81)
- "Call of Duty". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. by Margaret Westphal (An alternative future for Han and Leia. Leia marries a Prince out of duty and Han ends up a slave before fulfilling his destiny.) (87)
- Smuggler's Cove, "ads & items of interest in the Star Wars Universe") (145)
- from an LoC in "Bright Center of the Universe" #2
- from an LoC in "Bright Center of the Universe" #2
- not the name used on the zine
- from the LoC section in issue #3
- from the LoC section in issue #3
- from a letter of comment in "Bright Center of the Universe" #4
- from Southern Enclave #39
- from a letter of comment in "Bright Center of the Universe" #5
- Shadowstar #17.
- from a letter of comment in "Bright Center of the Universe" #6
- a letter of comment from "Bright Center of the Universe" #7