Cell-Phase Matching

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Zine
Title: Cell-Phase Matching
Publisher: T.P.S. Press
Neon Rainbow Press
Editor(s): Jody Norman & Cinda Gillilan
Date(s): 1989-?
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: War of the Worlds
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
another flyer (one that misspells the title), this one printed in To Life Immortal #1

Cell-Phase Matching is a gen War of the Worlds anthology.

It accepted strictly first-season material. From the submission request in Alien Sushi #3: "WE VEHEMENTLY DISAGREE WITH THE SECOND SEASON CHANGES, WE WILL ACCEPT ONLY FIRST SEASON BASED SUBMISSIONS. THANK YOU!!!!!"

Submission Guidelines

Printed in The Blackwood Project #2:

ALL STORIES, POEMS OR FILK-SONGS SHOULD BE TYPED, DOUBLE-SPACED FOR LEGIBILITY. IF YOU DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO A TYPEWRITER PLEASE PRINT NEATLY DOUBLE-SPACED ON LINED PAPER. REMEMBER—WE CAN'T PUBLISH WHAT WE CAN'T READ. ENCLOSE A SELF-ADDRESSED, STAMPED ENVELOPE WITH ALL SUBMISSIONS. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS BECAUSE THESE WILL NOT BE RETURNED. THIS PERTAINS TO ALL SUBMISSIONS, INCLUDING ARTWORK. ALL ARTWORK SUBMITTED SHOULD BE AT LEAST 8X10 UNLESS YOU WISH IT TO BE FILLER ART. PEN AND INK IS PREFERRED BUT IF YOU WISH TO SUBMIT A PIECE DONE IN PENCIL PLEASE MAKE SURE THE COPY IS DARK ENOUGH TO REPRINT. ANY SIZABLE SUBMISSIONS MIGHT BE SERIALIZED OR POSSIBLY CONSIDERED FOR A SPECIAL EDITION NOVELLA. AUTHORS WILL BE NOTIFIED IF THIS PROCESS IS DEEMED NECESSARY. ALL STORIES, POEMS, FILKS AND ARTWORK MUST BE P-G RATED. DUE TO THE NATURE OF THE SERIES SOME VIOLENCE IS NECESSARY BUT NO OVERT VIOLENCE WILL BE TOLERATED, NO SLASH ALLOWED!!!!!

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF ISSUE IS AUGUST 1STH. WE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE COPIES AVAILABLE AT STARCON IN DENVER, COLORADO ON SEPTEMBER 29 THRU OCTOBER 1. (RICHARD CHAVES/IRONHORSE IS SCHEDULED TO ATTEND THIS CONVENTION.) ALL SUBMISSIONS WILL BE PUBLISHED UNDER THE AUTHOR'S REAL NAME UNLESS SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED BY THE AUTHOR OR ARTIST. PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR REAL NAME AND ADDRESS SO WE KNOW WHERE TO SEND YOUR CONTRIBUTOR'S COPY. TO RESERVE A COPY OF "CELL-PHASE MATCHING" PLEASE SEND A $5.00 DEPOSIT AND A S.A.S.E. TO [address redacted] [1]

Issue 1

cover of issue #1

Cell-Phase Matching 1 is 143 pages long and was published in 1989. Stories by: Adrian, Dickinson, Kipper, Ortal, Stoltenberg, and The Staff of TPS Press. Poetry by Edmunds and Merkel.

  • Revelation (by Patricia Adrian) A crossover with Star Trek: The Next Generation. Ironhorse ends up on the Enterprise. (27)
  • Love Thy Neighbor (by Kathy Kipper) The Project thinks Suzanne is dead... (2)
  • Executive Decision (by Elyse Dickenson) A touch of satire with the Project versus Paramount. (3)
  • Among the Philistines (by Denise Stoltenberg) A tag for "Among the Philistines." Guilt is the emotion of choice in the aftermath of Kensington's death. (2) (also in Code 47, Level 3, Authorization 10)
  • Love Thy Neighbor, Part 2 (by Kathy Kipper) Suzanne contemplates her survival. (2)
  • Judgement of Solomon (by Denise Stoltenberg) Ironhorse is hurt and life might never be the same for the Project. (35) (also in Code 47, Level 3, Authorization 10)
  • Weight of Command (by Tulife M. Ortal) It's inspection time. (2)
  • Love Thy Neighbor, Part 3 (by Kathy Kipper) Suzanne is seeing Paul in a different light. (1) (also in
  • Vengeance is Mine: A Missing Scene (by Kathy Kipper) A missing scene from "Vengeance is Mine." The immediate aftermath of the Sara Cole shooting. (2)
  • Tower of Babel (by Patricia Adrian) The Blackwood Project ends up at a SF convention. (5)
  • Love Thy Neighbor, Part 4 (by Kathy Kipper) Suzanne and Paul return to the Cottage. (1)
  • The Tomb of Lazarus (by Denise Stoltenberg) Lieutenants, aliens, Grace Lonetree, life is complicated for Ironhorse. (40) (also in Code 47, Level 3, Authorization 10)
  • The Pilgrimage (by Kathy Kipper) Ironhorse at the Wall. (2)
  • Deliver Us From Evil (by Kathy Kipper) Ironhorse helps some kids. (4)
  • To Do Unto Others: The Eagle's Revenge (by Kathy Kipper) The aliens have a new weapon. (1)
  • Quatrefoil (by the staff of T.P.S. Press) The Blackwood project attend a Renaissance Faire. (12)
  • poetry by Chris Edmunds and Lana G. Merkel, cartoons by Collene Winter, art work by Barb Johnson, Lana G. Merkel, and Sheila Paulson.

Reactions and Reviews:

This is a sizeable zine (143 pages of reduced print). It took some time to finish it, due partly to the difficulty in reading the light, squared-off typeface and partly due to exasperation.

The contents of CPM are uneven, beginning with the art: sometimes color really works well (as with Need to Know); in this case, the drawing of the Blackwood Team in "Renaissance Faire" type costumes was a nice idea, but the characters are not as well-drawn as the costumes; this art might have been better off inside the zine. In contrast. Sheila Paulson's fine Ironhorse portrait has been tucked in almost as filler art. Other artwork includes some of Colleen Winters' wonderful cartoons and a photo-montage centerfold that will please the 90+% of this fandom who enjoy looking at Ironhorse and/or Richard Chaves.

I enjoyed two of the serious stories quite a bit: Pat Adrian's crossover "Revelation" puts Ironhorse on the USS Enterprise, and although this story starts slowly (three different points-of-view stating, "It was a Dark and Stormy Night"), it does present a new twist on the "Transporter Malfunction of the Month." There was a little more "tell" than was really necessary, and dialogue was stiff in places (Hiker's long-winded explanations tended to slow the pacing) but the "Trek" characters were believable, interacting well with each other and with Ironhorse, as when the Captain and the Colonel sized one another up. The mechanics of returning Ironhorse were apparent to anyone who's seen the original Trek" episode, but the emotional complication balanced it out well and left me wishing that Ironhorse had been able to spend a few more days on board.

The other serious piece -- I think maybe the strongest in the zine — was Kathy Kipper's "missing scene" from VM, an Ironhorse stream-of-consciousness set immediately after the shooting. The short, choppy sentences and nervous self-questionning really capture the mood of a man struggling to hold himself together. This was the best of Kipper's several short contributions; the others did not have as deft a touch, and one, "Love Thy Neighbor," inspired much gnashing of teeth. Read all at once, it's a pleasant if predictable Ironhorse-Suzanne romance; scattering it through the zine with its component parts unmarked added distraction rather than suspense.

Other good stuff: Elyse Dickenson's "Executive Decision," doing unto WOW what "Saturday Night Live" did unto "Trek" (the moral, I suppose, is that Paramount never learns....); Lana MerkePs poetry (the lady knows how to write 'em); "Tower of Babel," a terrible shaggy-dog (shaggy-alien?) story wherein Blackwood and Ironhorse wander through a SF convention and are ogled by fen. This isn't Pat Adrian's best work, but it has a great groaner punch line.

These stories fill slightly less than half the zine, and Denise Stoltenberg's two novellas ("Judgement of Solomon" and "Tomb of Lazarus"), which comprise the rest, are slow going. The basic plot lines are good, but situations are often melodramatic and contrived — for example, Suzanne spends three days caring for a critically wounded Ironhorse in a makeshift tent in the middle of a battle... but when word comes through that Debi has been hospitalized for a tonsillectomy, the battle site suddenly becomes accessible by helicopter. "Compassionate leave" is all very well, but it's hard to believe General Wilson wouldn't send in dustoff if Ironhorse were wounded that badly; this battle was somewhere in the northwest US, after all. Improbabilities of characterization also gap the credibility: Ironhorse trying ("instinctively?") to scalp a dead alien? Joseph Lonetree unable to judge whether Ironhorse is a murderer? Ironhorse telling Suzanne (or anyone) about his sex life? I'm not sure who these people are; instead of talking, they make stiff, unrealistic speeches. Ironhorse, for example, concludes a three-page discourse on his romantic past by telling Debi, "It is good for me to speak of such matters every once in a while in order to divest myself of any excess emotional baggage I may have burdened my soul with. You are a very good listener."

Much of the speechifying revolves around the adults' romantic activities: Ironhorse is carrying a torch for a mysterious handicapped woman who vanished from his life while he was in Vietnam; Suzanne is attracted to Ironhorse, Harrison to Suzanne... I kept expecting Mrs. Pennyworth to confess a lust for Harrison while Norton developed a yen for Mrs. P. If convoluted romance is your cup of soup, you may get into these stories.

There's nothing wrong with romance, in reasonable doses and balanced with other plot elements, but these stories lean heavily toward soap opera. And I object strongly to what appears to be perpetuation of a racist stereotype. I assume this was entirely unintentional on the part of author and editors, but here is how it looks to me: Suzanne tries everything short of a bear trap to coax Ironhorse into bed. He argues that he can't oblige because he's not really in love with her (this apparently rules out friendly fraternization). Okay so far. But when the situation becomes too frustrating, he trots off to Grace Lonetree. He doesn't love her either, but apparently there's one standard of behavior at the Cottage and another on the reservation. And Grace doesn't object -- hey, they're friends, better her than a stranger.

That sounds like the way too many women of color have been used for too long by the dominant culture in this country. I don't care how "whitewashed" Ironhorse got at West Point, this is not believable characterization. Yes, he apologizes for using her as a "surrogate," and Grace is "rewarded" at the end of the story when Ironhorse decides maybe he does love her after all, but — This is the woman who's "out of the tepee and back with a vengeance?" Even if Ironhorse sank to such behavior (and the man I saw in "Dust to Dust" would not), Grace Lonetree struck me as the kind of lady who'd throw the Colonel out on his epaulets if he behaved so churlishly. It's a shame that this characterization was so weird, because "Lazarus" did have a good murder mystery as its central plot — but it wasn't enough to offset the problems.

Overall, Cell-Phase Matching is a crazy quilt. It is packed pretty full, a reasonable compensation for the high production costs, and has a decent balance of humor to serious stuff. The Stoltenbergs have recently left, so future issues may have a different balance of content. [2]

Issue 1.5

Cell-Phase Matching 1.5 as published in 1989 or 1990 and contains 103 pages. Novellas by Kathy Kipper and poetry by Stoltenberg.

  • A Time to Kill, A Time to Heal (by Kathy Kipper) The aliens have a plan to win the war of the worlds, and the Blackwood Project might not be able to stop them. (59)
  • O, Death, Where is Thy Sting (by Kathy Kipper) Ironhorse is declared dead after a car accident, and a replacement is sent, but the Blackwood Project doesn't give up that easily, and neither does Ironhorse. (43)
  • Plus poetry from Denise Stoltenberg. Art work by Jim Markle.
cover of issue #2, or #1.5, or #3
cover of issue #2, or #1.5, or #3

Issue 2

Cell-Phase Matching 2 was published in 1990 and contains 134 pages. Stories by: Adrian, Aldridge, Edmunds, Fisher, Groves, Merkel, Mouse, Kipper, Olberding, Ortal, and Raugh. Poetry by D'Orazio and Merkel.

  • Failure (by Alice C. Aldridge) A tag for "Among the Philistines." Dealing with death. (8)
  • Home Truths (by Lana G. Merkel) Ironhorse wants to be accepted. (4)
  • Son of "The Second Seal" (by Kathy Kipper) The Project is trying to set Paul up with Norah Coleman. (5)
  • Here Be Dragons (by Gena Fisher) Ironhorse has a vision. (8)
  • David and Goliath (by Connie Olberding) Ironhorse and Coleman encounter some rednecks. (2)
  • My Soul to Take (by Kathy Kipper) Harrison takes a trip to the Wall. (11)
  • Sow Not in Anger (by Patricia Adrian) The aliens target Sylvia. (24)
  • Hi Guys (by Chris Edmunds) Ironhorse's letter to the men on the Wall. (1)
  • The Blackwood Project Goes Camping (by Tulife M. Ortal) A fill-in-the-blank story. (2)
  • A Time to . . . Love (by Kathy Kipper) A series of scenes with peeks into Ironhorse's heart. (4)
  • Revelations (by Marla Groves) Ironhorse and Harrison are trapped by an explosion and learn a few things about each other. (31)
  • Dear Diary (by A. Nony Mouse) A peek into Suzanne's diary. (2)
  • The Corner Stone (by Sharon E. Raugh) The aliens are after a cache of their crystals. (21)
  • Fan's Revenge (by Kathy Kipper) A series of dreams that make more sense than the second season. (2)
  • Plus poetry from Patricia D'Orazio and Lana G. Merkel. Cartoons by Colleen Winter. Art work by Lee and JJ MacFaddenn, Jim Markle, and Lana G. Merkel.

Reactions and Reviews:

These editors have gotten their business sense turned completely around. The first thing that happens with most products is that the price goes up and the quality down; CPM has gotten the concept backwards, and the readers benefit. CPM2 has a comfortable balance of serious fiction to humor, and most of the writing is also quite good. I found bits and pieces of some of the longer stories hard to swallow: in Alice Aldridge's "Failure," I found Ironhorse's reaction to Kensington's death a bit extreme. (But I never did accept that Major Kensington, Ret., could aim point-blank at an alien and only graze him. Not this author's fault.) Pat Adrian's "Sow Not in Anger" has Harrison behaving like a bigger pain in the rear than he ever managed in aired WOW, and Sharon Raugh's "Corner Stone," a bona-fide Mary Sue, has Ironhorse absent-mindedly forgetting to pick up an alien object after driving somewhere to collect it.

On the other hand, given the premise, "Failure" is very well done and the characterization is sharp and accurate; "Sow Not" has a good, tense action-adventure plot, and Harrison is allowed to learn and grow from his mistakes; and "Corner Stone" shows a lot of ability from a 17-year-old author. I think we'll see a fine writer emerge in Sharon's future work.

CPM2 has several interesting short pieces: Lana Merkel's "Home Truths" has no aliens, no action, and no fireworks, but a lot of heart; "Here Be Dragons," though hard to follow in places, is a post-Kitara story that shows some respectable research. I enjoyed Kathy Kippers "A Time to Love" but found her "My Soul to Take" a tedious sequel to CPMl's "Pilgrimage." This may just be my own reaction to a sudden rash of The Wall vignettes -- I have trouble believing that Colonel "we haven't got time to get in touch with ourselves" would allow himself to spend so much time on memories when he's got a war to fight. Most of "Soul" consists of an outside character telling Harrison about Ironhorse's experiences in Vietnam; it strikes me as some sort of deus ex machina psychotherapy session. People who liked "Judy" from CPMI will probably enjoy this, and it has some worthwhile things to say about that war for those who are too young to remember. I was disappointed with Maria Groves' "Revelations,' which started with a suspenseful frame story and turned into a flashback featuring Clayton Forrester. The idea was interesting, but the stiff dialogue and coincidence overload slowed the pace pretty badly. Even so, there's some good character work.

Inspired silliness is scattered through CPM2 -- "Son of the Second Seal" starts out plausible and turns lunatic, the author of "Dear Diary" may have been wise to remain "A.Nony Mouse," and the finale, "Fan's Revenge," is a hoot. I particularly enjoyed Malzor singing "We're only dust in the wind" after being squashed by a giant mothball. And Colleen Winters' cartoons are (as usual) delightful.

I have a couple of quibbles with the production of CPM2: a two-inch margin makes that tiny type look pretty lonely. A 15-CPI, two-column format would have been much easier to read -- the eye gets lost easily across the page-wide columns. And some gremlin seems to have left out a page somewhere, resulting in illos (mostly for poems) illustrating pages with totally unrelated material. Lana Merkel's art and poetry fared the worst from this shift, but the silliest sample had to be a drawing of Ironhorse bent in sorrow beside The Wall — facing my own "Mad Libs" of the Blackwood Project Goes Camping. (Guys, I know it was awful, but it's not bad enough to make a strong man weep!) I can't believe the editors did this on purpose; this kind of goof would have been worth a few days' delay while the printer corrected the run. Then again, the zine's low price may reflect a compromise with a printer. Decide for yourself on the layout; the stories are certainly worth the cover price. [3]

Issue 2.5

cover of issue #2.5

Cell-Phase Matching 2.5 was published in June 1990 and contains 102 pages. Novella by The Staff of T.P.S. Press. Story by Gena Fisher.

  • It Came From the Convention (by Gena Fisher) The members of the Blackwood Project hunt aliens at Aliencon II. (7)
  • Blessed is the Man (by staff of T.P.S. Press) A crossover with Star Trek: The Next Generation and Excalibur. When the Mancuso Effect is identified -- "when someone deliberately throws a money wrench into the time line" -- the crew of the Enterprise set out to find out who (Ironhorse), where (Northern California) and why (you'll have to read the story). What they find is Merlin and Arthur, the Blackwood Project and Mortaxans. (86)
  • Art work by Lee and JJ MacFadden.

Issue 3

Cell-Phase Matching 3 contains 183 pages. Stories by: Dickinson, D'Orazio, Ellison, Fisher, Kipper, Ortal, Seaver, Sheila DC, Warner, Watson, and The Staff of TPS Press. Poetry by D'Orazio and Merkel.

  • The Kitchen From Hell (by Gena Fisher) A satirical fix for the second season. (3)
  • Playing With the Boys (by Patricia D'Orazio) A peek into Suzanne's past. (2)
  • Promises to Keep (by Rowena Warner) Ironhorse is trapped under a slab of stone and the water is rising fast. (17)
  • Rain Men (by Tulife M. Ortal) Another "fix" for the second season. (1)
  • After Sunset (by Gena Fisher) Ironhorse finds himself in an unusual situation, saved from death, but at what cost? (21)
  • Valley of the Shadow (by Kathy Kipper) Ironhorse is seeing his grandfather in dreams, and trying to deal his own feelings, aliens, and the Project. (36)
  • Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream (by Tulife M. Ortal) A short humor story. (1)
  • Sunny Side Up (by Linda Watson) Harrison accidentally shoots the colonel . . . in the-- Read it! (11)
  • Aftermath (by Jo Seaver) A tag for "My Soul to Keep." Ironhorse has a brief conversation with Cash at the Ice Plant. (3)
  • Seek and Ye Shall Find (by Laura Ellison) The Project teams up with Dr. Kate Moonjean to find evidence that the aliens had landed on Earth before the birth of Christ. (20)
  • Curses (by Elyse Dickenson) A crossover with Friday the 13th. A short second season fix. (1)
  • A Time to Mourn, A Time to Dance (by Kathy Kipper) Debi's feeling a little down and finds an unusual source to cheer her up. Meanwhile the aliens plan to strike. (21)
  • To Science (by Sheila DC) Suzanne is kidnapped by Quinn and Ironhorse risks it all to get her back. (26)
  • Swan Song (by the staff of TPS press) Another second season fix. (3)
  • Plus poetry by Patricia D'Orazio and Lana G. Merkel. Art work by Constance Edwards, Gena Fisher, Michael Kessel, Jan Linder, Lee and JJ MacFadden, Lana G. Merkel, and Diana Smith.

References

  1. Yes, all caps.
  2. from The Blackwood Project #6
  3. from The Blackwood Project #8