Comlink/Issues 21-30

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Issues 01-20 · Issues 21-30 · Issues 31-40 · Issues 41-50 · Issues 51-57

Issue 21

cover of issue #21, Dave Garcia

Comlink 21 was published in February 1985 and contains 10 pages. It has an Indiana Jones cover by Dave Garcia.

  • a fan comments about her dismay about so many fans owning VCRs and how this seems to the be norm these days
  • a fan writes of her intense dislike of ROTJ: "It is a a manipulative, gimmicky, shallow film. The only thing about it that keeps my attention is Luke's story, but even that is handled very badly."
  • a fan, [R S], one who was pretty much burned at the stake for writing a fairly cheery letter announcing that she would not be refunding deposits for her defunct zine, writes a letter and says she is slowly paying folks back their deposits for the zine, "D'Alliance' which never got off the ground. She explains some of the circumstances, and says:
    I have been told recently that zine fandom understands the money problems incurred in planning and/or editing fanzines. Whether or not that is true remains to be seen in this case. I will initiate no further fannish contacts after these funds are fully repaid. I have also been informed of late that zine fandom is based on trust. Well, be that as it may, the fandom I joined eight years ago was based on shared enthusiasm and the friendships they created. Those friendships which matter most to me have not been damaged by the demise of a small genzine which 36 creative minds wanted to be and only 32 readers wanted to see. I was delighted to make the friends I did while planning 'D'Alliance' and very grateful for the understanding those contributors have shown since the zine died. Fare thee well, and blessed be, this is all I have to say on this subject. Finis. [1]
  • a fan writes about Roddenberry and Lucas:
    A good illustration of the difference between Gene Roddenberry and George Lucas is a recent personal experience. I was recently censored in a ST letterzine [probably referring to Interstat] because the editor thought my comments about Gene would hurt him were he to see them. Actually, they were a defense of GR, and a characterization of some fan treatment of him. I send him a copy of the censored LoC, a copy of the editor's rejection, and a cover letter asking if he would object to the publication of the LoC, and also asking if he would correct me on any errors I amy have made in the LoC... Two months later, I received a detailed two-page, personally typed letter from GR explaining his position on the ST films, complimenting me, saying he didn't object to the LoC's publication and several other things... Around the same time, I sent GL a letter about Luke's story in ROTJ asking if Luke went permanently to the Dark or not... What I got back was a very terse, patronizing reply from a low-level secretary in the OSWFC telling me that SW is just a fairy tale, and would I like to join the fan club. The letter was three short sentences long... The issue is GL's inaccessibility, his indifference, his condescension to fans.

Issue 22

cover of issue #22, "by" Mac N. Tosh (with help from Philip and Carol Reed). "This is an actual ad in the Yellow Pages of Battle Creek, MI, laid out as close as possible to the original on a Macintosh. According to [the artist], it has appeared there for years, and originally , the Fatman was a Battle Creek resident. Now he has moved elsewhere, but still maintains his office in Battle Creek. And you thought this sort of thing only happened in fiction!" -- from the editorial

Comlink 22 was published in April 1985 and contains 20 pages. It has a cover called "The Fat Man" "by" Mac N. Tosh (with help from Philip and Carol Reed).

  • most of the discussion was about current movies and what fans thought of them
  • some other fans say they enjoyed the movie "Ewok Adventure," with one fan saying "[It was] better than that "Star Wars Holiday Special" a few years back."
  • fans debate pro books vs fanzines, and fanzines always come up the winner. "I don't buy pro stuff because it always reads like formula, and I'd prefer to spend my money on fanzines any day" is one typical comment.
  • there is more displeasure shown about George Lucas:
    I agree with you about George Lucas' attitude toward fans. He knows he is well-loved by the mass audience that it wouldn't matter whether he catered to the sf community or not. In fact, we are sort of an untouchable caste he'd rather not get involved with; he sends his publicity people to do the dirty work at major conventions, just for appearance's sake. And what we are fed is propaganda, what they want us to hear, not what we really want to know. Just look at the drivel published in the SW fan club newsletter. I guess we've all been spoiled by Gene Roddenberry; he's always been truly caring and a gentleman, and I've never heard any fan speak unkindly of him. I guess that's because Gene's world revolves around people, not tricks and gadgetry.
  • a fan writes about the Star Wars Holiday Special:
    How come the last Lucas TV-movie disappeared without a trace? I was looking forward to a rerun of that Wookiee Christmas special, and it never came out again. Was it unpopular or did Lucas retain the copyright and refuse to rerun it? Perhaps it was supposed to sell Wookiees and it ended up not selling much of anything.
  • a fan writes of the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars fandoms:
    There's one big difference in terms of the creators' relationships with fandom, and that' the perceived value of the work. That is, at that time that ST cons were flourishing and fans were being catered to at them, ST was seen by its owners, notably Paramount, as have no further value. It was a dead TV show; it was profitable in syndication, but it was no longer a living, changing show. When it did come to have commercial value again, Paramount suddenly tried to crack down -- and failed. Things had gone on so long... Paramount wound have had trouble controlling ST fandom even it if wanted to because of this error [the old copyright law did not allow the 5-year grace period of the current one]. ... Paramount's inability to control what was done with ST (because of its inexplicable failure to copyright the first season) because of original neglect was one of the main motivations for Lucas' establishment of control over how SW was used from the beginning... In fact, there wasn't a SW fandom at all, at least centered around fanzines and the reason was Fox. It took nearly a year of negotiation between Lucasfilm and Fox... before Fox would agree to allow unrestricted publication of fanzines. Lucasfilm backed them all along. Craig Miller [first fan liaison at Lucasfilm] says that he and 'others' at Lucasfilm were disappointed that SW fanzines took the direction they did, i.e., fiction, like ST zines, rather than to articles and analysis, like SF fanzines, but they back the zines anyway. [The editor of the letterzine interjects: "Could this be because the majority of SW fans are women as in ST fandom, and we tend to write more fiction than fact?"]
  • a fan writes about Lucasfilm and fandom:
    An independent fan club was squashed early on, as was a proposed SW con, and the story went out that the SW actors had been forbidden to attend any con where there was unauthorized SW material or activity. Some of this seemed unreasonable, especially to a fan, and not explanation was ever given that I know of. but I don't think George Lucas' attitude toward fandom has ever been one of disdain, and I've been in SW fandom since the beginning.
  • a fan talks of why she goes to cons:
    What I enjoy most about them is getting to meet people I've known only through correspondence and/or the occasional long-distance phone call, and meeting and making new friends there who share common interests. I also enjoy raiding the huckster rooms and going to the occasional panel discussion. What I don't like about conventions , particularly SF cons, is the snobbish attitude some fen have towards other fen who don't share their interests. There was a lot of this in media fandom when the only two fandoms with any real numbers were ST and SW, but now that there are several other media fandoms with people constantly crossing from one to another or belonging to several at one time, this isn't very prevalent anymore. But, in general, SF and fantasy fandom this attitude of 'we're better than you. still exists towards media fen.
  • a fan asks a question about zine art:
    Is it really, positively necessary and absolutely mandatory that a fanzine have artwork? I've done a Spock/Uhura novel and I'm thinking about cutting down the cost of printing. Does [the presence] of artwork really make a difference in the quality of a fanzine?

Issue 23

cover of issue #23

Comlink 23 was published in July 1985 and contains 20 pages. The cover is "Evolution of a Jedi" by Chris Soto.

  • a fan tries to sort herself out:
    My guess is that people-fen tend to analyze characters played by 'their' stars, while subject-fen may also analyze interactions between characters the given situations, speculate on hypothetical situations, and generally take more interest in the Big Picture. I'm very curious about the social-political-economic conditions in the SW universe but not in the world around 'Corvette Summer' or 'The Frisco Kid".'
  • a fan weighs in on art, or lack thereof, in zines: "If the choice is no zine versus a zine without art, I'll choose a zine without art; otherwise, the art is important."
  • another fan weight in on art in zines: "When I get a zine, I do tend to look for the illos, if only as an enhancement for stories. I think it would be less necessary for a a novel."
  • another fan says of art: "I've bought one or two zines for the artwork when I wouldn't have otherwise... but in general, if the writing's any good, I don't care whether there's art or not. Admittedly, a striking cover can get more people to look at a zine in the first place, but I think interior art is optional. I know I'm at the far end of this scale in the art-versus-writing contest, but there are people who read zines just for the stories, period. Think about Tales of Feldman: zip art, great story, Fan Q winner."
  • there is much discussion on whether ST fen tend to be SF fans or not. One comment: "There's no denying that some ST fen have decided ST is their one hobby, and that they don't really care for anything else. On the other hand, there are people who first entered fandom through Star Trek, who like a variety of media and/or print media."
  • a fan comments on the differences between SW and ST fandom:
    Good point about the difference between Paramount's (dis)interest in ST during the 70s when it was becoming a fan subculture, and LFL's or Fox's concern about SW's financial earning from the first. The long-term effect is more on the audience for the fan-fiction zines than the writers -- fans enthusiastic enough to write their own versions exist for some shows, and do so openly if that's possible, underground in private circulation if not, regardless of studio approval. The burgeoning ST cult gave fanzines a bigger forum and incentive to polish the product. Hmm, maybe the long-term effect on zines HAS been changed by the studios' attitudes. I suspect, though, that an existing fiction-zine fandom gives any show a potential fanzine audience now, and it's more the show's quality and intrinsic appeal than the studios encouragement, or lack of it, that determines whether they'll be much fan fiction.
  • another opinion about the differences between ST and SW fandom:
    I suspect that may of SW fandom's problems with Lucasfilm over the years, whether the problems, have been real or in fandom's own mind, have stemmed from the lack of inside understanding of media fandom at Lucasfilm. Maureen Garrett is the first fan liaison to have made a real effort to understand media fandom, though her background, I believe, was as an SF fan. On the other hand, the problems have not all been on Lucasfilm's side. Organized SW fandom has wanted a special place in the spectrum of SW fandom, as organized ST fandom had in ST. Trouble is, the situations are not comparable. ST fandom spoiled many of us, in a way. ST fans were courted for a long time, since it became obvious that a dedicated and devoted fandom existed even after the show's cancellation. Organized ST fandom was never very large -- though larger than SW fandom, even at the latter's heyday but t was vocal and it wrote letters. And for a decade, it was the mechanism that kept ST alive... ST fans were integral to that resurrection -- at the left hand of God, so to speak... SW fandom has never been in that position. Organized SW fans were not, and are not, necessary to the original success and continued viability of SW... The viability of any future SW movies will be based on the success of the first three and George Lucas' overall reputation as a producer of megahits, not the devotion and vocal partisanship of a small group of fans.

Issue 24

cover of issue #24

Comlink 24 was published in December 1985 and contains 18 pages. It has a cover called "Droid" by Bob Miller.

  • there is much discussion on current movies
  • a fan writes in and announces the death of Sara Campbell
  • this issue contains a Japanimation article by Caro Hedge. The opening paragraph:
    In Japan, they make the finest animation in the world. Notice I did not say cartoons. We are not talking about Saturday morning kiddie fare that generally passes for animation in this country. The Japanese make their animations to appeal not only to children but to all ages.
  • a fan writes:
    I sorry to hear that you feel SW fandom has passed its zenith, but lots of long-time fen are saying it, so it must be true! Gulp -- I just got here! I think enthusiasm might rekindle if Lucas would announce a new film, it's probably just too much for him to face.
  • a fan writes:
    When I first entered general and media fandom, I was told by various and sundry fen that a person was a neo-fen for two years, and only became a trufan by going to as many cons as possible. The media fandom of last several years has just about blasted that idea. A media fan can get into the swing of things almost immediately by reading and/or writing to letterzines, getting involved with fanzines, attending the almost continuous media cons held all over the country, corresponding with and visiting other fans. From past personal experience, I can confidently say that general SF fandom isn't nearly active in such comparative numbers as media fandom. I wonder if the fact that we put all that phony baloney nonsense [behind] us very quickly in media fandom is another thing that general fans hold against us.
  • a fan is unhappy with most SW letterzines:
    I think I'm going to drop my subscription to the SW letterzines. In addition to their cliquishness and their acrimonious tones, not to mention the same old topics ("Han versus Luke", 'Isn't Harrison Ford sexy?, and "George Lucas can do no wrong"), they offer me no return on my money and effort. I Loc'd each issue faithfully, but the Big Name Fans respond only to each other; it's as if my words were written in invisible ink. Comlink, however, is different. Here I feel a part of a big group of friends who enjoy getting together on occasion to have lively, far-ranging conversations... We have a much more balanced perspective, which might be partially attributed to the fact that we have a 'coed' rather than an overwhelmingly female readership.

Issue 25

cover of issue #25

Comlink 25 was published in March 1986 and contains 20 pages. The cover is "Samurai Pandas" by Dave Garcia.

  • one fan writes that she likes letterzines more than fiction zines
  • "Better Late Than Never": the Comlink survey results. The survey was distributed with Comlink #17/18 "sometime in June and the last survey was accepted in December 1984." Ninety surveys were distributed, 56 were returned, though three of those were shared with another fan, making the number of completed surveys 59. In other words, 69%. The questions:
    • gender: male = 14%, female = 86%
    • age: under 17 = 0%, 18-24 = 14%, 25-35 = 53%, 35-44 = 29%, 45 and older = 2%
    • astrological sign, which ranged from 3% (Capricorn) to Pisces (15%)
    • employment: full-time: = 64%, part-time = 15%, student = 14%, homemaker = 15%, unemployed = 3%, self-employed =10 % ["No real surprise here, it takes mucho bucks to be an active fan."]
    • marital status: single = 56%, married = 34%, separated = 3%, widowed = 2%, no response = 3%
    • your income: $0-5999 = 12%, $6000-999 = 9%, 10,000-14,000 = 16%, 15,999-19,999 = 16%, 20,000-29,000 = 28%, 30,000 = 11%
    • highest education received: high school = 10%, technical school = 3%, some college = 24%, some graduate school = 3%, BS/BA = 31%, Master's Degree = 20%, MD&JD/LLD = 0%, other = 5%
    • which of the following aspects of fandom are your currently interested in/multiple answers welcomed: Star Wars = 95%, Star Trek = 75%, Pern = 42%, Darkover = 37%, Tolkien = 37%, Man from UNCLE = 36%, The Prisoner = 24%, Doctor Who = 20%, with miscellaneous fandoms all having less than 20%
    • how many hours a week do you spend on fanac: 0-7 = 27%, 8-15 = 32%, 16-23 = 25%, 24-39 = 3%, 40+ = 5%
    • where do you primarily find out out fanzines to buy: direct mail = 9%, word of mouth = 17%, other zines = 68%, flyers = 20%, ads = 19%, conventions = 19
    • there were some other questions pertaining to Comlink ie: where did you find out about it, what are your favorite and least favorite parts of it
  • a fan wants to know why there isn't more Ghostbusters fanfic:
    Some friends and I have speculated that it's because 1) lots of writers don't want to try to handle the type of humor in GB; and/or 2) people today seem to prefer writing 'romantic' heroes rather than 'klutzes'.
  • a fan, who admits that she isn't much of a Star Trek fan writes:
    The biggest handicap I have in watching , talking, and reading ST is that fact that I can't stand Spock. I wish he would take a vacation or something. Since the essence of liking ST and being a fan is liking Spock, I'll never make it. Personally, I would have preferred him to stay dead. I would have kept David in the series over him.
  • a fan complains about Star Trek: TPM:
    .. most people did not like it because of the fact that it was not Trek... the worst thing about it to my mind was Kirk's character. It was not Kirk. In that film, he was everything he had striven against in the series." Another fan disagrees: "I know ST: TMP had flaws. I saw all of them. Nonetheless, it was ST to me. In fact, I far prefer ST:TMP to ST:TSFS. I think parts of ST III are ghastly... The whole nonsense about Spock 'aging' and the planet 'evolving' were hard for me to take. It was also distressing for me to watch the bit about pon farr, not because I object to the sexual overtones (I don't) but because it did not seem to honor the spirt of the facts presented in 'Amok Time' and elsewhere... On the other hand, I wholeheartedly agree that part of the appeal of The Wrath of Khan was that it 'combined the action element with the feeling that the Enterprise was somehow magically endowed and would be able to come through anything.' Of course, I'm a big fan of the starship, so that my influence my thinking a bit. To my mind, ST: II was the quintessential ST and the best Star Trek ever made (live action, animated, or movie) I realize, though, that there are are some fans who claim that ST II wasn't 'real Trek' for various reasons. All I can say is I don't agree with them.
  • Maureen Garrett's resignation letter as an employee of Lucasfilm is printed in this letterzine in its entirety. An excerpt:
    The highlight of my career with Lucasfilm was having the opportunity to be an extra in Howard the Duck. I was dressed as a punk, covered with chains, and wearing an upswept hair-do, a costume of my own design. A lot of footage was shot, but you'll probably only see my hand! Look fro me in a smokey night club sitting at the front bar during a fight scene.

Issue 26

cover of issue #26

Comlink 26 was published in July 1986 and contains 20 pages. The cover is of Rick and Minmei from Macross by Bob Miller.

  • it contains a review of the movie: Robotech called "Robotech: More Software than Hardware" by Bob Miller
  • there is much discussion about the current movies, about fans acquiring their first VCRs, about Japanese animated comics, about the demise of the Star Wars comic book series, and whether the book Dune was well-told as the movie
  • a fan comments on an earlier fan's statement in the previous issue:
    I find it refreshing that someone can actually admit that they can't stand Mr. Spock. You're entitled to that opinion, but if you voiced it in Interstat, you'd be slaughtered.
  • there is discussion about the new James Bond movie and how Pierce Bronson is having trouble getting out of his contract with Remington Steele. One fan writes of a possible replacement Bond:
    I have to say that anyone who has ever seen him can testify, the perfect James Bond would be Lewis Collins (Bodie from The Professionals). The man is gorgeous and can be funny as well as menacing at the same time.
  • one fan comments on Star Trek: TMP:
    I was one of the people who disliked the movie not because it was bad ST, but because it was a bad movie. It's too long, it's ponderous, it's a rehash of old episodes, it lacks proper pacing, and some of effects depend too much on familiarity with the old series. It also has too many flashy special effects that overwhelm the plot.
  • a fan cries censorship in other letterzines:
    ... I really appreciate those zine eds who print all letters received in toto. If restrictions are to be applied, they should be uniformly enforced, and announced beforehand as zine policy. I recently sent a LoC to another letterzine. The editor wrote back that because it pertained to club business as opposed to club interests, he was not publishing it... This is apparently commonplace in that zine; I've frequently seen editorial comments such as 'in the interests of space, I've deleted several paragraphs.' I won't be LoCing that zine again. Why should I take the time to write and type a LoC if it many never seen print, or if half of it will be cut out? The purpose of letterzines is the exchange of ideas, no? If an editor intercedes by rejecting portions of letters or entire letters, the communication flow is seriously distorted. It's called 'censorship,' and I think it stinks.

Issue 27

cover of issue #27

Comlink 27 was published in October 1986 and contains 20 pages. The cover, "Geometry" is by Allyson M.W. Dyar.

  • a fan says she's in possession of a printout of a discussion on CompuServe about the storyline to Star Trek: The Voyage Home, and that the movie so far sounds, "dumb... stupid... inept... silly... ridiculous... and get real, folks." She is convinced the storyline leak is a some sort of studio stunt:
    [Perhaps] an elaborate hoax conjured up by Paramount to thwart fans from leaning the truth. Knowing how resourceful fen are and how quickly word gets around in fandom, Paramount has planted this bogus plotline with certain persons they know for sure will have contact with fen. The fen, knowing this source to be extremely reliable, will take this information as gospel and circulate it through normal fannish channels. Hence, Paramount has given the fans something to talk about until December when the picture comes out, while at the same time keeping the REAL storyline under wraps. In December, we will NOT see WHALES on the screen. Instead, we will see a film with a storyline that is intelligent, well-thought out, and intelligent.... [She then lays out the entire movie as it was later seen on the screen and ends with]... Sheesh, gimme a break! Harve Bennett and Nicholas Meyer can do better than that! What I can't understand is how they expect this plot to work...
  • a fan sums up her thoughts on a Star Trek movie:
    Spock's death was depressing, the monster in Chekov's ear was a gratuitous yeech, and David's death was dumb mistake. Robin Curtis should have been a different character.
  • a fan comments on Interstat and favorite characters:
    I haven't read Interstat in a while, but my memory of is that that a fan could have gotten away with saying she didn't like Mr. Spock. Now, if she'd said she didn't like Captain Kirk and/or William Shatner, she would have been in trouble. One of the things I found most interesting about Interstat is that is mirrored a shift from Spock/Nimoy as the most popular character and actor in ST to Kirk/Shatner... Maybe the change is only apparent to writers in letterzines, but it was certainly pronounced there. If it is true that Kirk has superseded Spock as the more popular character, I'd be very curious to understand why. Is it that we're all getting older? Spock, after all, is in many ways an adolescent character and may have appealed most strongly to us when we were all in our teens and early twenties and still felt ourselves to be aliens in a world we didn't quite understand or like. Kirk, for all his faults, is more mature than Spock.

Issue 28

cover of issue #28

Comlink 28 was published in December 1986 and contains 22 pages. The cover is of Admiral Kirk and it is by Dave Garcia.

  • many, many fans shared their early memories of being a Star Trek fan
  • a fan talks about Spockanalia:
    Lacking a photocopier and believing that all the zines I had seen up to that time were out of print (after all, they were mimeo'd and dated several years earlier), I HAND COPIED several of my favorite stories so I could have copies of my own. I still have the notebook...
  • a fan remembers the blooper reel:
    [A fan] told me she was in possession of something called a 'blooper real' and would I be interested in seeing it? Silly question. The only problem was, we needed a projector. And the solution proved to be rather simple. Eileen was a mass communications major... We got permission to use one of the college's rooms and projectors, and we put up flyers around the buildings. Well, the school only provided a small room -- and I mean small, big enough for maybe 25 people. We squeezed everyone in until they were practically hanging from the ceiling, and we still had to run it twice. And there were people who still didn't get in. So we made arrangements to show it in a bigger room. This time we got an auditorium. But the word had spread like wildfire, and there still wasn't enough seats. Finally we hit the school up for their biggest auditorium and squeezed them in like sardines.
  • a fan remembers watching ST while it was on the air while she was in high school:
    We met each Friday night at one of the two homes that had a color TV to watch Star Trek together. I had a reel-to-reel tape recorder. Silence was mandatory except during commercials, and afterwards we 'discussed' each episode. We re-wrote each story and corrected the wrongs done to 'Our Guys' by the writers. We memorized bits of dialog. We even started to write our own adventures....[She remembers the zine she'd been putting together in 1969-1970 called "Gonomony.]... [It] never saw the light of day as all contributions were destroyed in a basement flood.
  • another fan remembers:
    In 1968, Star Trek fandom consisted of me, and three high school friends. As far as we knew, we were the only ones in the whole world who loved the show. Why, we even wrote our own stories! Wasn't that a novel idea? When the show was cancelled the first time, and the letter campaign brought it back, that kinda tipped us off that there were other ST fans in the world. I mean, our four letters couldn't have been THAT powerful, could they? But, where were these other fans?
  • a fan recalls the roles of females on Star Trek:
    The show was sadly deficient in other ways, in particular in its treatment of women... Women were never shown in a position of authority unless they were aliens. It was like the show was saying equal opportunity is okay for their women but not 'our girls.' One episode that really points this out is 'Journey to Babel.' At the end, the enemy has been vanquished and the injured Kirk is going to go back to sickbay. Since neither Scotty or Sulu is available, he turns the con over to ENSIGN Chekov when LIEUTENANT Uhura is sitting right behind him. I was devastated that such an open-minded show (for 1968) would do something so blatantly sexist."

Issue 29

cover of issue #29

Comlink 29 was published in March 1987 and contains 18 pages. The cover is "Fantasy" by P.L. Caruthers-Montgomery.

  • there is talk of starting a Star Wars Welcommittee
  • many fans are nervous about the upcoming new Star Trek series on TV, ST:TNG and hope TPTB don't mess it up. "I hope that it doesn't turn out to be the fiasco that V was."
  • a fan chides another for using initials to represent her first name: "I have never hidden my gender behind initials or pseudonyms, which surprises other fans upon meeting me for the first time. Being female in SF fandom is not the handicap it was many years ago, when James Tiptree, Jr. pulled the wool over everyone's eyes."
  • a fan has just returned from Hexacon, "a relaxacon with not much in the say of panels, art show, and dealer's room, but the film program is interesting... This is the only con I know of where the hotel allows skinnydipping. After regular pool hours, the pool is open to just convention members and the windows are covered with large sheets of brown paper."
  • a comment from Boldly Writing about this issue:
    In the March issue, Allyson wrote an essay titled, "Some Thoughts on the Dearth of Young Fen," in which she lamented the lack of teenagers showing up at conventions, and wondered where the "next generation" of fans would come from. Answering her own question, she predicted that computer buffs would probably eventually find their way into science fiction fandom.
  • the editor writes:
    Calling all compufen: If you own an IBM-PC clone and use either 5.25 or 3.5 inch disks, please contact me about submitting your ASCII format LoC on disk. I'm doing this with a few folks, and it has been very successful, saves mucho time, too!
  • the editor passes along info about ST: TNG from the very short-lived zine, This is It!:
    I would be negligent if I didn't pass along some information about the new ST TV series... from a fanzine, 'This is It' by Rich Volker. I present an abbreviated version for you to read and digest. Captain Julian Piccard -- a caucasian man in his fifties who is very youthful and in prime physical condition. Born in Paris, his Gallic accent appears only when deep emotions are triggered. He is definitely a romantic and believes strongly in concepts like honor and duty. Number One (aka William Ryker) -- 30-35 years old caucasian born in Alaska. Number one, as he is usually called, is second-in-command of the Enterprise and has a very strong, solid relationship with the Captain. Lt. Commander Data -- He is an android who has the appearance of a man in his mid-30s. Data should have exotic features. Lt. Macha Hernandez -- 26-year old woman of unspecified Latin descent who serves as the ship's security chief. Macha has an almost obsessive devotion to protecting the ship and its crew and treats Capt Picard and Number One as if they were saints. Lt. Deanna Troi -- An alien woman who is tall, about 30 years old and quite beautiful. She serves as the starship's Chief Psychologist. She and Number One are romantically involved. Wesley Crusher -- An appealing 15-year old caucasian boy. His remarkable mind and photographic memory make it seem likely for him to become, at 15, a Starfleet acting-ensign. Otherwise, he is a normal teenager. Beverly Crusher -- Wesley's 35-year old mother. She serves as the Chief Medical Officer. If it were not for her intelligence, personality, and beauty, and the fact that she has the natural walk of a striptease queen, Capt Picard might not have agreed to her request that Wesley observe bridge activities, therefore letting her son's intelligence carry events further. Lt. Geordi LaForge -- a 20-25-year old black man, blind from birth. With the help of a special prosthetic device he wears, his vision far surpassed anything the human eye can see. Although young, he is quite mature and best friends with Data.
  • there is a long essay by Joan Verba called "Censorship and the Rights of Editors." In it, she responds to an earlier LoC in which a fan accuses letterzine editors of practicing censorship when they don't publish or publish an edited version of the letters they receives. Joan disagrees on the use of the term in this context. An excerpt:
    No editor or publisher is compelled, under the First Amendment of the Constitution, to print all material received, or print it in its original form. To force an editor to print all material unaltered would be a breach of the editor's First Amendment Rights... As an aside, I find it strange that some of those who complain about editors editing material for letterzines make no complaints of editors of fiction fanzines altering or rejecting material, though the rights of letterzine editors and fanzine editors are identical... If a fan is upset with an editor's decisions on what gets printed and what does not, or is upset about what gets changed and what does not, then I think it is appropriate, I think, to cancel one's subscription and send a polite letter of protest to the editor explaining why. This is the subscriber's right. Contributors have the right to withdraw their letter prior to publication. Thoughtful editors will consider complaints, even if they do not follow all suggestions. [The editor of "Comlink" adds that while she agrees with Joan: "in fandom, I am operating under a slightly different set of rules.'']
  • "Whither Fandom? Some Random Thoughts on the Dearth of Young Fen" is an essay by the editor. It was written in response to the information about age demographics culled from the survey recently published in Locus, as well as what the editor observed a a recent WorldCon. An excerpt:
    The apparent lack of new reading fen will undoubtedly have an direct impact on fanzines and letterzines... Without the influx of a younger generation, we are in danger of becoming a fandom of the old, steeped in our ways and unwilling to listen to anything new.... It seems that the neofen were primarily interested in the video/movie rooms and very little else by video, I mean movies and television mostly, not the written-word of fanzines and other print media. Care must be taken to avoid confusing media fen, those interested in video media but expressing themselves with the printed word, with video fen, those who concern themselves with video only and have little or no interest in print media. This confusion between media and video fandoms may be what is causing the SF tru-fen so much consternation. The SF tru-fan many times confuses the seemingly unliterary video fan with the very literary media fan... We have experienced the video revolution in television, movies, cable, television, video games, interactive games, role-playing games, music of all types, MTV, and other factors outside our experience. The underlying common factor in all of the above is the idea of instant gratification: why slog through a book when all one has to do is sit back and enjoy?... While the instant gratification of the video boom certainly contributes to younger fen's disinterest in picking up an SF book, the microcomputer revolution has lured many a young (mostly male) potential fan into the world of computing. The nerds were no longer considered outcasts, but could find solace in computer fandom rather than in SF fandom... The rise of microcomputers and their associated fandom may have indeed have taken the majority of our future contributing fans. While in Omaha in 1983-85, I observed many young compufen expressing themselves on the Electronic Bulletin Board Systems. BBS are, in some respects, high-tech successors to fanzines/apazines with immediate updating and continual feedback the main differences... Many of the messages left on the board discussed SF books, so it's apparent the problem isn't that the computer fen don't read, but that they don't contribute to the established outlets of SF fandom: fanzines, apas, etc... Hopefully, this pool of compufen will not oly be turned onto fandom, but also become contributing members to the great fannish tradition, the Written Word... We literary fans must make an effort to bridge this generation gap, for fandom's future... Without the influx of new fen, the viability of fanzines may be in jeopardy. One of the major obstacles in bridging this literacy gap is the attitude of some SF 'tru-fen' who want to keep SF fandom 'pure' and not let anyone in who might 'contaminate' OUR fandom.

Issue 30

cover of issue #30

Comlink 30 was published in June 1987 and contains 20 pages. The cover is "Luke" by Marty Siegrist.

  • there is part one of review/essay by Lance Oszko called "The Hidden Fortress" which discusses, among other things, Akira Kurosawa's films and their influence on Star Wars
  • some fans recollect their memories of seeing Star Wars for the first time; one fans' most enduring memory was going to Knott's Berry Farm after the movie for a meal and passing out while waiting in the line for a chicken dinner
  • there was much discussion on "censorship" and the editing and decisions fanzine editors need to make regarding letters of comment, most of them fairly bland
  • a fan writes about the future of fandom and neofen:
    Regarding new fen in the fold, I don't feel that literacy is the problem. These people read, but I feel they just don't know about printed fandom. The traditional ways of learning about fandom are vanishing because cons have become three-ring circuses catering to warm bodies rather than a gathering for fans to meet, talk, and continue fannish traditions. I recently attended a convention [she is possibly referring to Corflu] just for fanzine fans. There were no hucksters, no films, no dances, no masquerades, no multi-track programming, no gamers. The whole con centered around a fanzine room (where one could produce a zine), a con suite (where people snacked and talked rather than endure drunks), and a program room that had a single track of programming on Saturday, and a banquet on Sunday. It was a great weekend, relaxing and refreshing. The people were all fanzine people who had brought their latest and talked about fandom and changes... It seems to me that fewer old-time fans are attending cons. It isn't just the expense. Many of the older fans I've talked to feel that cons are run not for fans, but to amuse the hordes of teens who show up for the weekend. After all, this brings in big bucks and profit and has become what SF cons are all about, rather than being a gathering of fans. Because of this, small fanzine-only cons have become popular among the tru-fen. It's a step back to what fandom was before it became big business. These small cons may be where the fans of the future will come from.
  • another fan says he attended Comic Con in San Diego and:
    ... noticed that there was a big gap in ages -- there were a lot of people that were either teenagers, and a lot of people in their thirties [which he considered "old"], but not a lot of people in their twenties.


  1. The original letter is [1]/WebCite (on page 57) and was also extensively commented on in Universal Translator.