Contes di Cottman IV
|Title:||Contes di Cottman IV|
|Editor(s):||Lynne Holdom, Roberta Rogow (issue #1-5), and Lynne and Ingrid Mack (issue #6), Lynne alone (issue #7, onwards)|
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The editor describes "Contes de Cottman IV" as "a Darkover fanzine with the Terran accent."
Permission from Bradley
From the title page of the first issue: "This is an amateur publication produced with the written permission of Marion Zimmer Bradley."
In the editorial, it is noted that this zine series had a "blanket go-ahead" from Bradley.
Contes di Cottman IV 1 was published in November 1981 and contains 75 pages. Art by Lynne Eldridge, Amy Harlib, Michelle Petersson, Melody Rondeau, Fa Shimbo, Michael B. Smith, Rob Miller III, Bob Eggleton.From the editorial: Lynne:
The editorial: Roberta:
I really hadn't intended to edit another zine after I'd arranged to step down as the editor of Tightbeam which I'd edited since July of 1976. I hadn't even intended to write another Darkover story after finishing 'A Time to Heal' which, under the name, 'The Way of the Wolf,' will appear in the anthology 'The Sword of Chaos and Other Stories' due out sometime next year from DAW. So why am I co-editing this and whey did I write two Darkover stories after I had promised myself that I would branch out into my own universe? I wish I knew. Part of the answer is that I love to edit and I'm getting fairly good at it. Another part of the answer is that I met Roberta Rogow at an ESFA (Eastern SF Assc) meeting. Now I have a number of friends who encourage me to write fiction. Mainly, they threaten to lynch me if I don't produce. However they all live far enough away that they are limited to making threats by mail. Roberta, though, lives only a short distance away and can, at the drop of a hat, drive over and make sure I'm writing or editing or whatever I should be doing. It's great incentive and one I need. Also she gives me feedback on my works in progress which I also need, at least at times.For example: about four years ago I had this vague idea of a starship crewman who kept getting dreams about a strange planet with four moons, high mountains, medieval people and strange aliens. You guessed it. He was dreaming about Darkover because he was a latent psi. I pictured this crewman as a Scot and he somehow got the ship to come to Darkover thus opening up Empire contact with Darkover. (The "how" was something I had never explained or even thought about.) Roberta mentioned that we needed a story about the Recontact of Darkover and Terra. I foolishly said that I'd had an idea along that line. "Fine," she said. "Write it up." The result is "Recontact" and it shows how my ideas have changed. As one example, I am tired of North American, Anglo-Saxon and Celtic types so my red-headed Scot became Cristovao da Silva of Brazil who knew he had psi powers but who was not a telepath. "Recontact" was also the first story I have written that had a Terran in it in any role. Most of my stories have been set in the Ages of Chaos and include only Darkovans.
This is the third fanzine I've been associated with as Editor or Co-Editor (the fourth if you count the TREXINDEX). You'd really think I'd know better than to get involved with the assorted hassles of putting together a fanzine, selling it at conventions, etc -- and a Darkover fanzine at that!
I was dragged into Darkover kicking and screaming last November, because I'd been done out of a Trek-Con and I had 200 copies of GRIP #8 to peddle -- and the fact that I'd been deploring Darkover fandom for years didn't stop me from attending the Grand Council Meeting in Wilmington during Thanksgiving weekend. Having sneered loudly at Darkover, I realized that I hadn't actually read any of the more recent Darkover books; the first version of THE BLOODY SUN had turned me off utterly, and the antics of some Darkover fans didn't help any. If I was going to be negative about something, I'd better have my facts straight -- and so, I read the NEW edition of THE BLOODY SUN -- and I was thoroughly hooked, especially after I read HERITAGE OF HASTUR. I proceeded to write some Darkover filksongs, and then a story on the oft-repeated theme of "How-Dyan-did-it" (which is being printed in the collection "Bitter Honeymoon and Other Stories" by Thendara House).
At this point, Lynne Holdom came into my life via a group called the Eastern Science-Fiction Association which meets once a month at the Wayne Public Library. Lynne had been urged by our mutual friend, Jacqueline Lichtenberg, to get in touch with me, since we live only a few miles away from each other. However, things being what they are, we only met this past Spring. It was Instant Recognition on both sides. She had characters, but no plots. I write plots, but my characters tend to be sketchy. Obviously, we HAD to collaborate. The result is called "Ole!"
At the same time, I'd developed the story which emerged (after much travail) as "Judas", which got gestated at about the same time as I was involved in preparing my daughter Louise for her Bat Mitzva, a major milestone in Jewish life. So now we had two stories, and a viewpoint that we both shared, and what could we do about it?
As a veteran of the Trekkie scene, my impulse was to publish a fanzine -- provided we could get the okay from Ms Bradley. Lynne got a blanket go-ahead and we went ahead, soliciting material from anyone we could think of who shared our viewpoint: the Terrannan are not monsters, but human beings, with flaws and virtues, even as Darkover is not Paradise on Earth (or in Space), but a society where there is a lot of injustice and some very unpleasant (if fascinating) people.
So --- here it is. Our very first issue of CONTES DI COTTMAN IV (translated, it's "Tales of Darkover", in what we think is going to be Terran Standard about two thousand years from now.) Besides "Judas" and "Ole", we've got a couple of stories by Pat Mathews, one by Lynne Holdom, art by both familiar and unfamiliar hands, and a brief over-view of what Lynne and I think is going to happen to Earth.
I've been editor of GRIP four four years; I co-edited WIDE OPEN SPACES with Leah Rosenthal for two. Lynne's been editing JUMEAUX for five years and TIGHTBEAM for six. Between us we hope we can present a fanzine worthy of the Terran Trade City and Darkover.KEEP YOUR TOWER DRY!!
- Editorial (1)
- Communique by Roberta Rogow (2)
- Recontact by Lynne Holdom (3) (A young man of Aldaran meets strangers from farther than he could know.) (also in Kierestelli #2)
- N'ha Ysabet by Pat Mathews (19) (Magda Lorne's parents come to Cottman IV.)
- Ole by Roberta Rogow and Lynne Holdom (28) (Cultural exchange takes on a whole new meaning.)
- Judas by Roberta Rogow (40) (A City Guardsman has a mid-life crisis with surprising results.)
- Thendara Mailbag by Pat Mathews (73)
Contes di Cottman IV 2 was published in May 1982 and contains 88 pages. Art by Nancy Gervais, Fa Shimbo, Rikk, Linda Leach, Michelle Petersson, Melody Rondeau, Mike Smith, Hannah Shapero, Rob Miller III.
From the editorial by Lynne:
Welcome to the second issue of CONTFS DI COTTMAN IV. I wasn't sure He'd make it since I'm never sure just how a sine of mine is going to be received. We also have managed to get some writers doing stories for us besides Patricia Mathews who will most likely he calling herself Patricia Shaw after this issue. It seems there is another Patricia Mathews who writes Gothics (and must he rich judging by the number of her books adorning the shelves of bookstores and libraries) and Patricia doesn't want to be confused with her. Mary Frey has returned to writing after a brief absence. Among other things she was working at two jobs but Reagonomics has solved that problem. She has written of the meeting of Wade Montray and Hariel of Aldaran. Her story was quite long and could he divided quite naturally into two parts. Each is complete in itself so we are publishing them both as complete stories.
Bill West showed me and Roberta Rogow a story he was working on when we attended Boskone. We both agreed that it needed work but was fairly good. It certainly shows a different picture of Dyan Ardais than most of the fiction concerning him. Perhaps Bill shows us how a man sees Dyan rather than how a woman does. For a long time I wasn't sure whether or not we were going to be publishing "Rule Nineteen" or not. There was a slight mix up and we were not sure whether it would be published by Thendara House or us or both. However, a bit of communication cleared that problem up. Linda Leach did the illos. She remarked that "Rule Nineteen" was one of the better stories she's illustrated. Patricia's story isn't really science-fiction or even fantasy. It's an all too real problem faced by many people today. Naturally Roberta Rogow and I couldn't resist writing another story about the zany antics of the Cultural Affairs Bureau. If nothing else, we are showing in a humorous way just why the Terrans aren't particularly liked by Darkovans. Darkover gets all the losers and incompetents in the Foreign Service. The one exception is the rising of a new group, about the time of HERITAGE OF HASTUR, composed of half-Darkovans, half-Terrans born on the planet who have some understanding of both sides. Though judging from the experiences of such peoples on comtemporary Terra, I'm not at all sure that they would not be harsher toward "ignorant natives" than ordinary Terrans. Dan Lawton is the exception, not the rule.
Greg Baker's story is also the first of two parts and is finally here having been promised for the first issue. We may or may not have the second part next issue.
While driving to Boston for Boskone, Roberta and I got wondering just who actually did kill Cleindori and her circle. It's all very well to talk of fanatics but we wanted to be a bit for specific. After all, one could say that fanatics killed Lincoln or Anwar Sadat or McKinley or Julius Caesar or.... I'm sure you get the idea. So we started discussing specifics. The result is "The Kerwin File". It's a looking back in retrospect since neither Roberta nor I could stomach writing from the point of view of a fanatical murderer. (I know you are supposed to be able to write from all points of view but, quite frankly, I can't.)
Finally there is the humorous "Great Fire of Shainsa". Something lighthearted was needed after "The Kerwin File."One note: The Terran Empire uses a different dating system than ours. Their base date is "The time man first escaped his planet to travel to other worlds." But does this mean the date of the first artificial satellite? the first moon landing? The manned Mars landing? Or the first trip to another star? Who knows. The Interregnum during which 95$ °f Terra's population perished (in the year 179) destroyed so many records that no one will ever be entirely sure though all of the above events have their supporters as the year 0.
From the editorial by Roberta:
Greetings, and here we go again! This is our second issue of CONTES DI COTTMAN IV. A number of people didn't think we'd get past our first issue. We are already making plans for #3. When we started this fanzine, there was some doubt as to the propriety of anyone but Marion Zimmer Bradley herself writing or publishing Darkover fiction. MZB has squashed objections to the former and she's been very kind about CONTES citing one story from the first issue in a Special Issue of STARSTONE. So that should settle that particular arguement.
As for the contents of the second issue: There are two stories that are sort of two-parters in that they are parts of series, (and there are some more misadventures of the Cultural Affairs Office). "The Dope From Thendara" was advertised for CONTES #1. Unfortunately, between our page restrictions and Greg Baker's difficulties in getting to his typewriter to do the second draft, it had to be postponed. Greg wants to devote his time to his GREAT NOVEL, so we decided to let him do it. When he's finished with that, we'll have "The Dope's Revenge". Mary Frey was in the same predicament; she had a story that fell into two parts and we're publishing them as separate stories rather than use a "cliffhanger" ending.
William West (also known as Bill) has given us a look at Larry Montray facing Darkovan society at its worst. Pat Mathews returns with a story that shows that bureaucracy doesn't change much no matter where or when. And as for Lynne and me, our contributions to this issue are "The Reluctant Amazon", another rip-roaring fiasco for our friends in the Cultural Affairs Office, and "The Kerwin Pile".
"The Kerwin File" is one of those things that sort of grows on you. Lynne has already published an article on "Who Killed Gleindori" in JUMEAUX. She and I got to talking about it, and the more we talked, the more involved it became. MZB doesn't want to get into the details of the murder, and I can see why. But it still leaves a lot of loose ends, and Lynne and I set to tie them up.
I might as well confess one failing: I am a lazy writer. Once I have gone to all the trouble of inventing a character, finding a background and an inner life for him/her, I hate to just drop the poor thing by the wayside and make up someone else. I tend to use the character again and again....and so it was with Henry Levich, Director of Personnel, who is also head of Civilian Intelligence in Thendara (a sort of CIA as opposed to MI-5). As to who could be his "watson", the obvious choice was Dan Lawton, who would become very important on Darkover in HERITAGE OF HASTUR and SHARRA'S EXILE. If you want to look at it that way, Levich is ME and Lawton is Lynne. And while "The Kerwin File" (like "Judas" in CONTES #l) may not be Marion's version, we think that it's a logical explanation.Enjoy the zine KEEP YOUR TOWER DRY!
- Editorial by Lynne Holdom (1)
- Communique by Roberta Rogow (2)
- Whither Thou Goest by Mary Frey, art by Nancy Gervais (3)
- Rule Nineteen by Patricia Mathews, art by Linda Leach (16)
- Prologue by William West, art by Michelle Petersson (28)
- The Reluctant Amazon by Lynne Holdom and Roberta Rogow, art by Melody Rondeau (35)
- Thendara Mailbag, Again by Patricia Mathews (48)
- The Dope from Thendara by Gregory A. Baker, art by Mike Smith (49)
- The Kerwin File by Roberta Rogow and Lynne Holdom, art by Hannah Shapero (65)
- The Great Fire of Shainsa by Patricia Mathews, art by Rob Miller III (88)
art from issue #2, Hannah Shapero: "Back in Bradleystan, the re-colonization of Darkover continues. Terrans now circulate among the "natives" (who are themselves earlier colonists). In this story, a sophisticated Terran woman envoy must mediate a dispute among members of the "Free Amazons," a society of women who defy the usual customs and live unmarried as a sisterhood. The Terran is a chic Frenchwoman who wears her Terran uniform like a fashion plate, while the country-dwelling Amazons wear rustic garb suitable for their work in wilderness and countryside. Black ink on illustration board, about 8" x 10, November 1986." -- pyracanthasketch
inside art from an unknown fanzine: "As I said some time ago, Darkover fan writers used to place their stories into other genres, just for the fun of it. There were romance, Western, horror, and detective fan stories, including the one with this illustration. The author wrote it in a "noir" detective style, though the main detective character is an Orthodox Jew. I adopted a style for this story as well, the heavily inked scratchy pen work typical of fiction illustration in the early 20th century. Here the villainous character, the hybrid alien/human Kadarin, appears as if by magic in a familiar noir scene, a dark warehouse. Lots of black ink on illustration board, 7" x 10", spring 1982." - pyracanthasketch
Contes di Cottman IV 3 was published in November 1982 and contains 92 pages. Stories include another in the Levich/Lawton series, the exploration of the Montray divorce, and a couple of examples of Terran/Darkovan co-operation.From Lynne's editorial:
Welcome to the latest issue of CONTES DI COTTMAN IV. It was just about a year ago that I typed up my first editorial. Now that issue is all but out of print, quite an accomplishment. We have also added quite a few other authors besides me, my co-editor, Roberta Rogow, and Pat Mathews who is now writing under the name Patricia Shaw. See "Darkover Landfill" in this issue.
We also had the unpleasant task of having to postpone using one short story, "Summer Frost" which was supposed to be in this issue. However we ran out of room so it will appear next issue. We also have two other stories which arrived just too late to go in this issue which will probably appear next issue. Quite a difference from the first issue when we were begging for material. On the other hand we do have the rest of Mary Frey's tale of Wade and Mariel Montray, how they met and how they came to part. William West has written a humorous story of one man and one dog's introduction to Darkover in "Woof". "Cabin Fever" is a bit different from most of the usual CONTES DI COTTMAN stories in that it has no Terrans in it. It does take place during the Terran era however, and is yet another of those how-Dyan-did-it stories represented in the Thendara House publication BITTER HONEYMOON AND OTHER STORIES. "Cabin Fever" arrived just to late to be included there, and it isn't likely that there will be another anthology with the same theme so.... Katherine St. John had a story in the anthology BITTER HONEYMOON mentioned above. She wrote under the name Kathy Gorman then in case you want to look up the story. Here, she shows us a Darkovan with a unique problem. For the record, it was the first story we got for this issue. Pat Shaw's "Darkover Landfill" was the last story we got. Pat is working on a novel that she hopes to have published, so isn't doing much short story writing. We do have a story of hers on hand for next issue. After that, there may be a long drought. "Vengence is Mine" came out of a three-sided discussion at Chicon between me, Roberta Rogow and Devra Langsam. Devra, who used to head the Free Amazon Council, posed a what-would-happen-if situation which we all discussed back and forth. The original solution was so grim that it belonged to a medieval ballad or to Greek tragedy. Since we were not quite up to the latter, we settled for writing the former and postulated what happens when a modern person runs up against a situation out of a ballad. Ballads are pleasant to sing and to listen to but....I suppose I should also say a few words about "And justice for All" which was listed on the flyer as appearing this issue. Roberta wanted to rethink the story since it seemed to have a number of flaws. Just enter a story in the Darkover story contest and you will discover just how many flaws it has. That, too, will appear next issue.
- Editorial by Lynne Holdom (1)
- Communique by Roberta Rogow (2)
- The Parting of the Ways by Mary Frey, art by Michelle Petersson (2)
- Woof by William West, art by Melody Rondeau (19)
- Cabin Fever by Lynne Holdom, art by Jean Ellenbach (30)
- Darkover Landfill by Patricia Shaw, art by Jean Ellenbach (43)
- Infinite Diversity by Katherine St. John, art by Steve Fabian (56)
- Vengeance is Mine by Roberta Rogow and Lynne Holdom, art by Shona Jackson (66)
- Ylanna's Revenge, a filk by Roberta Rogow, Devra Langsam, and Lynne Holdom (last two pages, not listed in the table of contents)
Contes di Cottman IV 4 was published in 1983 and contains 88 pages. Art by Steve Fabian, Sara Stoel, Hannah Shapero, Linda Leach, Melody Rondeau, Jean Ellenbach, Jane Fancher, Pat Munson-Siter, and Michelle Petersson.
- Editorial by Lynne Holdom (1)
- Communique by Roberta Rogow (2)
- Matrix by Patricia Buard and Michael Rabbitt, art by Sara Stoel. A computer versus a Keeper. (3)
- The Road to Nevarsin by William West, art by Hannah Shapero. The Terran church versus the cristoforos. (11)
- In the Drytowns by Patricia Shaw, art by Melody Rondeau (20)
- Summer Frost by Cynthia McQuillin, art by Jean Ellenbach (27)
- The Choice by Lynne Holdom, art by Linda Leach (34)
- The Hastur File by Lynne Holdom and Roberta Rogow, art by Jane Fancher. Another story in the Levich/Lawton series. (40)
- Terranan Steel by Valerie Smith, art by Pat Munson-Siter (72)
- Legends from the Past by Jonathan Shipley, art by Michelle Petersson (84)
- Nedestros by Dom Kyril by Roberta Rogow, art by Melody Rondeau (filk) (89) (also in Rec Room Rhymes #3)
Contes di Cottman IV 5 was published in November 1983 and contains 92 pages. The front cover is by Bob Eggleton, the bacover by Sheila Barrera. The interior art is by Gennie Summers, Susan Southwick, Jean Ellenbacker, Sara Stole, Jane Fancher, Melody Rondeau, and Hannah Shapero.The editorial by Lynne:
The editorial by Roberta:
Welcome to the fifth issue of CONTES DI COTTMAN IV. It was just two years ago that we published our first issue which is now out of print, and, by the time you read this, CONTES #2 may well be also. The zine seems to have taken on a life of its own. I merely follow in its wake.
With the demise of STARSTONE, Roberta and I decided to include some Ages of Chaos stories in CONTES along with those set in the post Terran Recontact period. "To Pay the Piper" by William West is the first of these and there will be two more in CONTES #6 (we have four such stories in our files.) After all a lot of people prefer to write stories set in that period (I'm one of them) and the good ones should be published somewhere.
The major problem we had this issue was in getting artwork. One regular artist moved and left no forwarding address. She left the Northeast to get away from the cold and damp -- to Arizona which promptly had the worst floods on record! Another artist moved to Washington state and another is getting married. (She will be married by the time you read this). All this means confusion and that we have to find some new artists to fill in the gap. On the other hand, the confusion means that we already have a cover for CONTES #6 since two artists sent us covers. We decided to use Bob Eggleton's cover this time and Jane Fancher's next time. (Since Jane has artwork in this issue, postponing using her cover means she gets two issues of CONTES instead of one.)
Also lamenting about art problems can have its good side. Roberta and I were at a local relaxicon doing precisely that and one local artist, hearing about our lack of a back cover offered to do one for us. So Sheila Barrera is appearing for the first time in a fanzine -- I think. She's not widely known however. And another local artist will be doing work for us next issue. She wanted a bit more lead time than we were able to give her this issue.
Two artists new to CONTES -- though not to fan art -- are Mary Bohdanowicz and Gennie Summers. Neither are Darkover fans but did the artwork as a favor. Neverthess the work seems to have a certain Darkovan flavor. There are also two new authors in these pages -- Paula Crunk and Susan Southwick. Susan's story was originally slated for STARSTONE (as was Patricia Anne Buard's and Jonathan Shipley's) while Paula's was intended for this zine from the very beginning.
Patricia Buard's story "Devil's Advocate" was the first prize winner in the third Darkover story contest. Next issue will feature a third prize winner, "In Her Own Time and Season" by Emily Alward which is not a Free Amazon story. "And Justice For All", our story in this issue, was in the third story contest (written then by Roberta Rogow alone) and was an also ran. Most comments stated that it needed expansion to make the point clearly. I made a LOT of suggestions as to what could be done with it, but it wasn't until I remarked that if Dan Lawton was the age he would have to be, and that if he had been born about the same time as when Cleindori was murdered (a supposition we had used in the Levich stories) then he would have been at Ardais at about the same time as Darryl Longlegs, the lead character in "Judas" first came into Dyan's service and at about the same time as the birth of Lew Alton. (I have a natural habit of cross-indexing dates and events that was very handy when I was studying history.) This led to a whole new slant on the story. That, plus the fact that I wrote the final draft -- everything but the first draft in fact -- makes it a collaboration. I can't plot to save my life, but I'm very good at editing. The original "And Justice For All" was ten pages double- spaced. This one is considerably longer.
We would like to hear from all of you concerning what you would like to see in CONTES. Do you want Ages of Chaos stories? More tech? Less tech? More laran? Would you likean article on where we think the Terran Empire is going?
Welcome to another issue of CONTES 01 COTTMAN IV. There are a few surprises in this issue, and a few things missing. We've left Dr. Levich out in the cold, looking into "The Sharra File", which will (we hope!) be in the next issue, and the Cultural Affairs Office is also missing, since they are handling labor problems. (Also in the next issue, time and space permitting.)
On the other hand, there is "...And Justice For All", which started out as an entry in one of the Starstone Story contests. Originally it ran ten typewritten pages, one side. The general comments ran along the lines of "this needs to be expanded"... and then Lynne and I realized the time-differentials, and put it into the same time-frame as the first of our efforts, "Judas". And, by adding Darryl Longlegs to the story, we got quite a different look at Dan Lawton, Dyan Ardais and Darkover.
Of the other stories...well, they are an interesting assortment. Two people use the same theme at the beginning and ending of our issue, and there's another variation on the "Nevarsin vs. The Terran Church" theme. And "Catspaw" will give all ailleurophobes ammunition the next time they visit a cat-loving friend.
The one thing that gave this issue a will-we-or-won't-we feeling was the artwork. As of this writing, our cover will either be by Jane Fancher or Bob Eggleton. Bob did the cover of our very first issue. I've also persuaded two people who usually do Star Trek art for my other fanzine, GRIP, to try their hands at something a little different. Mary Bohdanowicz and Gennie Summer came through for me with flying colors!
As for what is going on for the next issues: Lynne and I are batting ideas around for "The Sharra File" and "Three Strikes You're Out." We've got some stories in reserve and some poetry that never got into the 'zine.And we are desperately looking for artists! Meanwhile, Lynne and' are working out our own "Universe"---but that's another story -- Keep Your Tower Dry
- Editorial by Lynne Holdom (1)
- Communique by Roberta Rogow (2)
- To Pay the Piper by William West, art by Gennie Summers (30)
- Demon Tower by Jonathan Shipley, art by Mary Bohdanowicz (11)
- Lonely Threshold by Susan Southwich, art by Jean Ellenbacher (15)
- And Justice for All by Lynne Holdom and Roberta Rogow, art by Sara Stoel (27) (A look at Dan Lawton's first (and only?) visit to Castle Ardais.)
- Devil's Advocate by Patricia Anne Buard, art by Hannah Shapero. Reprinted in the DAW Books anthology Red Sun of Darkover. (64)
- Cat's Paw by Paula Crunk, art by Melody Rondeau (74)
- Soul of the Chieri by Patricia Mathews Shaw, art by Jane Fancher (86)
- Haven, poem by Robin Hood (95)
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5
"To Pay the Piper," by William West, is a tale about a talented musician whose skill attracts the chieri-right at Midsummer Festival, where one's sexual proclivities are let loose due to a planetary phenomenon. The hapless musician's plight at this very rare honor — to play for and, ultimately, to make love to the chieri — while worrying about his wife's wrath, is just one of the situational gems in this well-developed story. The ending is loving and poignant. The story also has the advantage of being illoed by Gennie Summers, who is not a DK fan. Summers has fast become one of my favorite artists. She knows how to use space in what seems an almost mathematical, and graceful, precision. "Demon Tower," by Jonathon Shipley, is an enjoyable short-short about a boy from the Domain lands enslaved by the superstitious Drytowners, a weakness he cleverly exploits to effect escape. Effectively written in the first person, the story captures MZB's adult portrayal of children. Mary Bohdanowicz also captures the eeriness of the Tower's effect on the Drytowners in her illos. "Lonely Threshold," by Susan Southwiek, is an engrossing tale about a high-born child enslaved by bandits. I like Jean Ellenbacher's interpretation of the boy and his master, but her last illo, while nicely composed, seems to have practically the same face on everyone, even though only two of the people in the illo are related. "And Justice For All," by the editors, is the best and longest piece. Holdom & Rogow have expanded a writing contest entry concerning the young Terran-Darkovan, Dan Law-ton, and his stay with his difficult uncle, Lord Dyan Ardais of the Ardais Domain, whose potential heir he is. A clash of wills and cultures ensues as Dan, raised as a Terran, witnesses Darkovan injustices first-hand, all the while fooling himself into thinking he can one day be satisfied to be a Domain lord. Characterization is strong and Dan's growth is finely developed. I hope the authors write a sequel to this. Sara Stoel's watery, 'other-worldy', illos are quite good. Her illo of Dyan in front of a blazing hearth not only captures the younger Dyan but also has good perspective. "Devil's Advocate," by Patricia Anne Buard, is an intriguing story about a Terran Catholic priest sent to Darkover by the Church to investigate the cristoforos' (the DK religious order) saint, Father Valentine, and to determine whether he is worthy of canonization. In just eight pages Buard manages to give us a three-dimensional person, resolve his emotional bankruptcy about people, and make the reader hunger for more, especially about Fattier Valentine. I do wish, though, that Buard had further detailed Father Cerrano's discoveries about Valentine. She tantalizes us with only a few sentences. Cerrano's resolution of his character flaw is also slightly incomplete, as we don't know what effect it's had on his opinion of Fattier Valentine. I suspect that it's had little effect since Cerrano's purpose is to bring back to the Church a "devil's advocate" position against Valentine. Hannah Shapero's illos are beautiful. Again, these are full illos of well-chosen scenes. The editors seem to know how to choose artists that use space to its fullest advantage. "Cat's Paw," by Paula Crunk, is a long letter by a Terran anthropologist sent to investigate DK'S catfolk, on which mission he is enslaved as a pet. Rescued by Free Amazons, his experiences make him a patient of the Terran Psych Division (from which he has written his letter). He also causes a big stir when, on his advice, eatpeople show up in droves at the Terran Legate demanding their norv+iuman rights. It's a hilarious and well-written piece, but although we're really supposed to sympathize with the Terran scientist (Roberta describes the story in her editorial as "ammunition" [for all ailleurophiles] the next time they visit a cat-loving friend"), my sympathies lay with the catfolk'. But that's a prejudiced opinion, as I am one of those cat-loving people. Melody Rondeau's illos have a deceptive quality. They depict rather horrific circumstances in a wryly amusing way. I love her style. She'd make a good animator. "Soul of the Chieri," by Patricia Shaw, is a very complex six-page story. An acrophobio pilot, stuck near a ledge inside his aircar, gets some help from the chieri. His musings about his half-chieri lover and her painful experiences of racism and sexism form the main counterpoint to the chieri. She struggles to fight and survive in a world that despises her as a whore and worse, while her people accept racial death complacently on a world that reveres them. Powerful message here. I also commend Shaw's inclusion of a non-white, non-middle-class Terran who is strongly aware of his Black heritage as her main character. With all the diverse cultures on Earth, reading much of general sf/f media fanlit makes one think only Americans and Europeans will be around in the future. As a Brazilian with black, Indian, and Hispanic ancestry, I can tell you that we Third Worlders intend to stick around. Jane Fancher's illo for this story is eerie, potently active, and lovely. All the stories in both zines accurately capture the essence and feel of DK, and the range of subjects covers the full gamut of DK's culture, from the Comyn, to the Towers, the bandits, the Drytowners, the chieri, the cristoforos, the Terran, and the catfolk... Highly recommended. 
Contes di Cottman IV 6 was published in June 1984 and contains 92 pages. This is the first issue edited by Lynne Holdom and Ingrid Maack.Lynne Holdom:
There have been a number of changes since the last issue of CONTES DI COTTMAN IV. For one thing, my old assistant editor, Roberta Rogow, had to leave because of financial problems. Also she is not interested in fantasy and CONTES seemed to be veering toward fantasy. This left a void in the editorship
and in my pocketbookuntil an old friend, Ingrid Maack, the editor of six issues of MOON PHASES offered to take up the slack. Since Ingrid is much more of a fantasy person than I am while Roberta was more hard SF than I am, well.... We'll see how things develop. You may notice that there are three stories set in the Ages of Chaos this issue.
There are also two prizewinners from the STARSTONE story contest in this issue. "The White Oudrakhi", my personal favorite of all the stories in this issue. (I even liked it better than the first prize winner we featured last issue. Sorry, Patricia.) The other is "In Her Own Time and Season" by Emily Alward. Another story which tied with Emily's for third prize, "The Records at Nevarsin" is in the files and should be in CONTES #7. That's by Diann Partridge who also had a story in BITTER HONEYMOON AND OTHER STORIES published by Thendara House Press. There are also three newcomers to CONTES: Jean Lamb (she has been in MOON PHASES, however); Raul Reyes, and Jeffrey Kasten (who has been published in JUMEAUX and MOON PHASES.) Jeff read his Do-It-Yourself story to a group at the last Darkovercon and I knew we had to have it in CONTES. Then there are the old reliables like William West, the former co-editor, Roberta Rogow and me. I can always meet deadlines for CONTES anyway.
A new artist is Christine Soto who lives in the Los Angeles area. She offered to do art and works fast — that's always a blessing. Sophia Kelly does fantasy art at numerous cons. She's interested in Egyptology and hopes to get over there for a dig.
So if the characters look like King Tut...Gennie Summers is a repeater from last issue while Mel Rondeau and Linda Leach have been with the zine from the beginning. Hannah Shapero's fine art is always welcome. Notice that she's now trying space art. Sara Stoel is now Sara Stoel Mason as she got married last November.
People have asked just how to get published. Well, first you have to write a story. This sounds basic, but isn't. A lot of people TALK a good story but never get it down on paper. I am often ready to make suggestions on how the story could be improved but refuse to give out basic plots. I have enough trouble coming up with my own plots. Then, as I try to draw stories from varied periods of Darkovan history, I will consider a story set in a period I don't already have one in before one set in a period I'm overstocked on. Thus, please no more post WORLD WRECKERS stories for a while, folks. I've got two in my files now and another one undergoing a rewrite. The same with Ages of Chaos stories. Here, too, I have three stories in my files and another one being rewritten. I can use stories set in the period from the Terran Re-contact up through BLOODY SUN. j have precisely one story set in that period. Help!
It also helps if your story is short. I can find room for a seven page story much more easily than a twenty-four page story which is the reason Mary Frey's excellent story "Sea Fever" got bounced to CONTES #7. "The White Oudrakhi" and "The Records at Nevarsin" were both prize winners and both set in the post WORLD WRECKERS period. But "The Records at Nevarsin" was over twice as long as "The White Oudrakhi" so guess which one got printed.Hopefully, if Roberta Rogow has some time for collaboration on "The Sharra File" Levich's last case, that'll be in CONTES #7 as well. As for the rest, that's still up in the air. See you in November, hopefully.
The editorial: Ingrid Maack:
Why am I suddenly co-editing CONTES Di COTTMAN IV instead of my own MOON PHASES? It came about quite suddenly. The former co-editor, Roberta Rogow, had to discontinue so I ended up being the new co-editor. I am glad I made the decision to be here.
Some of you may already know me through my own Darkover-related zine MOON PHASES. I have also edited several issues of TIGHTBEAM for the National Fantasy Fan Federation. In my mundane life, I've worked for a publishing company for the past 17 years.
I've been a Darkover fan for many years. My other interests include para psychology, astrology, tarot, mythology, heraldry, classical music (my favorites are Mozart and Haydn), travel and many other things. I love the films of Steven Spielberg and see all his movies. (POLTERGEIST gave me nightmares for a week!
Besides MZB, other authors whose works I enjoy are Katherine Kurtz, Anne McCaffrey, C.J. Cherryh, Heinlein and Tolkien. I really enjoy going to cons. On the weekend of June 8th, I'll be attending a DR WHO con in Philadelphia (I've seen some Peter Davidson episodes and can't see why people didn't accept him). The Star Wars trilogy and others. I'm a member of the SCA and play Dungeons and Dragons.
The first Darkover novel I read was DARKOVER LANDFALL, and I've been hooked on the series ever since. My favorite is THE HERITAGE OF HASTUR which made me into an unabashed Lew Alton fan. Besides the Darkover novels, I really liked MZB's THE MISTS OF AVALON.
In this issue of CONTES, I personally liked "In Her Own Time and Season" by Emily Alward which won 3rd prize in the 3rd STARSTONE story contest. Deborah Wheeler's "The White Oudrakhi" was a good change of pace story and Jeff Kasten's "The Do-It-Yourself Darkover Story" was very clever and original. I'd like to see more of Jeff's work get published.
In the art department -- Hannah Shapero's cover is supurb! [sic] I also liked Chris Soto's work. I'm sure her art will soon be seen in a lot of places.I guess that's it for this time. Enjoy this issue of CONTES Dl COTTMAN IV.
- Editorial by Lynne Holdom (1)
- Dispatch by Ingrid Maack (2)
- A Fox in Shainsa by William West, illos by Sara Stoel Mason--A tale about a renegade Comyn and members of the Sisterhood of the Sword out to rescue two young boys kidnapped by a Drytowner. (3)
- With a Small Step by Jean Lamb, illos by Linda Leach--A story about a conqueror during the Ages of Chaos and a cristoforo monk who shows him the future he is brutally designing. (14)
- Winter Wine by Raul Reyes, illos by Sophia Kelly--A Free Amazon falsely accused of murdering a young Comyn Lady and the Amazon investigator who seeks out the truth. (18)
- Strike Three -- You're Out by Lynne Holdom and Roberta Rogow, illos by Melody Rondeau (38)
- In Her Own Time and Season by Emily Alward, illos by Christine Soto--The story of a Comyn Lady, Lorela, whose arranged marriage frightens her, even to the point of approaching the Free Amazons. (winner of a Starstone contest) (57)
- A Matter of Protocol by Roberta Rogow, illos by Gennie Summers--The Terran Legate, Dan Lawton, confronting the childish Regis Hastur about his neglect of Lawton in Hastur's Project Telepath. (70)
- The White Oudrakhi by Deborah Wheeler, illos by Hannah Shapero--A simple Drytowner searches for a white Oudrakhi (a horse-like creature), strangely drawn to it as if the beast is part of his soul. (84)
- The Do-It-Yourself Darkover Story by Jeffrey Kasten, illos by Melody Rondeau (90)
inside page from issue #6, from the artist, Hannah Shapero: "Last month I posted a bit about the "cameloids" in the small desert region of Darkover known as the "Dry Towns." Here's an illustration from another fan story set in the desert, starring a cameloid known as an "oudrakhi." In the story, an all-white oudrakhi is born in the flocks of a tribal herdsman. The white oudrakhi is thought to be a magical creature of destiny so the non-tribal Darkovans try to kidnap it using their techno-magic. The herdsman is trying to fight their magic off with only his curved scimitar. OK, I have no idea whether that story I recall has anything to do with the "real" story I illustrated which was published in the fan magazine. But I do remember that the herdsman gets to keep his white cameloid oudrakhi, winning somehow against his magical opponents. I do recall that this story treated the tribal Dry-towner sympathetically, rather than portraying him and his people as violent "primitives." Original art is black ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 10", May 1984." - pyracanthasketch
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6
There's something so awfully neat and attractive about this zine, something so aesthetically streallined yet not dull that makes one eager to grab it up. This is the second issue I've read and, again, the stories are varied, imaginative and fun. I find it interesting that none of the Darkover zines I've seen (admittedly, only three) have poems or filk or cartoons. Articles, straight and humorous fiction are the main and only course. Personally, I, find it refreshing. (I don't think it's deliberate policy, tho.) "A Fox in Shainsa" by William West concerns a renegade Comyn and members of the Sisterhood of the Sword out to rescue two young boys kidnapped by a Drytowner. The story is quick, action filled and witty. However, I have a problem with its cliched plot: a tough broad type is forced to accept help from a strong chauvinist type to rescue someone(s). He uses her as a prostitute/slave/etc. to effect rescue (a nice way to humble these 'big mouthed bitches·") Still, the male character is drawn quite well and he's not insufferably arrogant, altho he comes close. Sara Stoel's illos are hard to get used to but I think I've succeeded. Her motive, watery style is weirdly compelling. 'With A Small Step" is a powerful vignette by Jean Lamb about a conqueror during the Ages of Chaos and a cristofaro monk who shows him the future he is brutally designing. Linda Leach's one illo for this is quite beautiful. "Winter Wine' by Raul Reyes concerns a Free Amazon falsely accused of murdering a young Comyn Lady and the Amazon investigator who seeks out the truth. An error in typing made this story hard to follow. (four pages switched) but generally it is strong in characters altho weak in creating a setting. Also, the actual murderer gives up too easily. Sophia Kelly's illos are illustrative and darkly evocative. "Strike Three; You're Out" by, Lynne Holdol is... ah... well, it could be subtitled 'Union Busting Comes To Darkover' or 'Class Struggle vs, the Comyn". This is a light, breezy piece meant strictly for laughs and it does succeed, but as a political radical and union sympathizer, I was wholly on the side of the rabble rouser, Paco (the one who tells the Darkovan workers at th Terran Trade City that they're more important than the Comyn aristocrats, thereby urging them to strike) and against the narrator, a supposed labor representative whose main interest is in looking sexy at a bar. I sympathized with Paco despite all the cliches on radicals the authors dredge up ("Paco sneered at the decadence of it all' )' The end is supposedly a positive agreement worked out between the workers and the Terran personnel, but I can't help but feel the workers got the raw end of the deal. But this is just a fun, humorous story with some great harried scene. Plus, I have to compliment the authors for putting in a Brazilian as the second major character. Nice to see my own nationality in a fan story for once (one quarrel tho: no Brazilian, nor any Latin American, would take the following remark made in the story with anythng but cynicism: Like most North Americans, he is determined to be most democratic.) Interestingly enough, all the Terrans are of a distinct nationality: French, Australian, Swiss, Mexican (they all sound and act like Americans, tho) Melody Rondeau's illos for this are, of course, lovely. Clean lines, depth, background and abundant humor. "In Her Own Time and Season" by Emily Alward is a prizewinner in Starstone's writing contest. It tells the story of a Comyn Lady, Lorela, whose arranged marriage frightens her, even to the point of approaching the Free Amazons. This is a fine character story with excellent plotting and development. Chirs Soto's illos are a bit bare, but smooth and well-chosen (as to which emotions and scenes to dipict) A Matter of Protocol" by Roberta Rogow is an excellent piece that has the Terran Legate, Dan Lawton, confronting the childish Regis Hastur about his neglect of his (Lawton) in Hastur's Project Telepath. This is a finely dramatic, smoothly developed story that commits your interest from the start. Rogow's writing is fluid and concise, and strongly evocative. This was my favorite in the zine. Gennie Summer's illos are, as usual, fully illustrative, with background and depth. Her faces are slightly uniform, tho. "The White Oudrakhi" by Deborah Wheeler is another prizewinner and a very strong statement against the pretensions of the Comyn and the Terrans versus the supposedly ignorant Drytowners. A simple Drytowner searches for a white Oudrakhi (a horse-like creature), strangely drawn to it as if the beast is part of his soul. He is sought out by a group of Comyn telepaths, part of the Project Telepath (organized to put Terran and Darkovan telepaths together to work for Darkovan parity and sovereignty with the Empire who are looking for any and all laran talents. The Drytowner's response to them makes the story quite sensitive and refreshing. Hannah Shapero's illos are strong and dark, replete with a sense of Darkovan atmosphere. "The Do-It-Yourself Darkover Story" by Jeffrey Kasten should be read by every Darkover fan who find MZB to be a bit contrived and predictable. This is a hilarious piece. What makes it even funnier are Melody Rondeau's charming and insane cartoons. Shapero's front cover and Chrii Soto's backeover are both gorgeous. This is, of course, recommended. 
Contes di Cottman IV 7 was published in January 1985 and contains 96 pages.From the editorial:
For a while I was wondering if I could get this issue of CONTES out. On the one hand there were all the stories I had had to postpone from CONTES #6. On the other hand [personal info snipped] However,in the final analysis, I didn't think it fair to deny the authors whose stories I postponed from last issue, a chance to see their stories in print. Also when I was attending the latest Darkover convention, I heard from various fans that they actually wanted to see the latest Levich story. I had debated whether or not to include it in this issue. In it, Levich doesn't precisely discover anything we don't know after reading THE HERITAGE OF HASTUR, but it does explain why Dan Lawton, as Legate, knew so much about what was going on in SHARRA'S EXILE and why he was prepared to declare martial law even in Darkovan controlled Thendara despite Danvan Hastur's objections. (Luckily he never had to.)
Oddly this issue seems concerned with HERITAGE OF HASTUR. It is my favorite Darkover novel but I hardly expect others to share this preference. Yet Bill West's story is motivated by the events in that novel and in SHARRA'S EXILE. Marion Zimmer Bradley's story depicts an alternate to the standard events of that novel. (Now if she could just find some alternate where Lew lived happily, without Sharra.... Fat chance.) For myself, I find Kadarin the most fascinating character in the first novel though I have been portraying him less than sympathetically. Partly this is the problem of having a co-author whose viewpoint differs from your own, though I get the final say since I do the final drafts no matter what goes before. Personally I think Aldaran had some legitimate grudges against the Hastur rule in Thendara though I certainly don't condone what happened with Sharra. Jean Lamb's story also ties in with HERITAGE OF HASTUR since it stars Danvan Hastur. He doesn't often get such a role and he makes the most of it.
The two Ages of Chaos stories are really pre Ages of Chaos. Patricia Mathews Shaw's story is more in the nature of a myth or a fable than factual history. Mary Frey's has more of a historical feel about it but it too could be regarded, at least partly, as myth. I did feel a bit uncomfortable with her captain's being called Valonde as I have very definite associations for that name but that's my problem. Finally there is Jeff Kasten and Linda Frankel's story. It is set in a historical period on Darkover and tells of something that could, all too easily, have happened to Free Amazons.There were also two stories that were: postponed from last issue that had to be postponed again. The first was "To Stop a Maddened Beast" by Kathleen Woodbury. This will probably appear in the TWO TO CONQUER issue of JUMEAUX. Kathleen originally submitted it to JUMEAUX so it could be said to be back where it belongs. "The Reconrds at Nevarsin" by Diann Partridge is a different case. I really wanted it to be in this issue. However I had a great deal of trouble with the artist who was supposed to be doing the illustrations. They never appeared. By the time I realized they weren't going to appear, I was sick and then it was too late to have to hassle with another artist to do them, particularly when I had illustrations for enough stories to fill the issue. Note: editors get lazy so an artist that doesn't produce — and worse, doesn't inform anyone that she isn't going to produce - can do in your story. I will have the story in the next issue though it will be illustrated by a different artist than originally planned. Sorry, Diann.
The story, "Ten Minutes or So," by Marion Zimmer Bradley was previously published in the program book for Darkover Grand Council Meeting II (1979), in Sternenkristall #1, and in the DAW Books anthology Towers of Darkover From the story's foreword by Marion Zimmer Bradley: "This story obviously takes place in an alternate DARKOVER; if it had happened like this, there would not, of course, have been any novel called HERITAGE OF HASTUR, and the rebellion of Lew Alton against his father would have taken a different form. So I'm not sure I wish it had happened this way. But it would have been less painful for everyone."
Another fan wrote: "It took place in an alternate universe where Dyan decided not to pursue Danilo, but instead responded to the loneliness of Regis Hastur. Regis was a boy struggling with his gayness and unable to recover from an earlier gay relationship. It was clear that Dyan could give Regis the reassurance he needed to banish the guilt and establish a positive identity. Dyan also needed Regis badly. At last, here was a boy who would love Dyan in return. In "Ten Minutes or So" we get a glimpse of Dyan at his best." 
- Editorial by Lynne Holdom (1)
- Sea Fever by Mary Frey, illos by Chris Soto (2)
- The Princess and the Pea by Patricia Mathews Shaw, illos by Mary Bohdanowicz (29)
- Vengeance on the Amazons by Jeffrey Kasten and Linda Frankel, illos by Sara Stoel (35)
- A Little Learning by Jean Lamb, illos by Melody Rondeau (47)
- Ten Minutes or So by Marion Zimmer Bradley, illos by Shona Jackson
- The Sharra File by Roberta Rogow and Lynne Holdom, illos by Hannah Shapero (57)
- Return to Caer Donn by William West, illos by Sophia Kelly (85)
inside page from issue #7, (One of two illos by Hannah Shapero for "Ten Minutes or So," a story by MZB that originally appeared in the Programme Book of the Darkover Grand Council Meeting." Note: One of the illos for this story by Hannah Shapero also appeared in Definitive Definitive Issue 8 in August 1985 for "Bride Price" a story that was also in a program book for Darkover Grand Council Meeting. The two fics, however, different stories. The illos for both stories did not appear in the program book.) In 2016, the artist wrote: "In a fan story, a Darkovan colonial girl nurses a stranded spaceman back to health. This episode appears in almost every fantasy story, a "trope" to use the current word for it. It's also called a "hurt-comfort scene" and was especially popular among the writers of Star Trek fan fiction. Nowadays the fan writers are still producing such scenes in their writing about male British TV adventure characters like Sherlock and Watson. It's much more common to find this scene played between a girl or woman and the male hero, who is often a soldier or a spy. It is always the precursor to a sexual liaison between the recovered man and his caring nurse. In this case there is also the usual corollary, that she gets pregnant by him. The child turns out to be the Liberator of the Colonialists, or the Hero of the Future, given that he has the ancestry from both sides of the conflict. It's Darkovan fan fiction, but as usual I have little or no memory of the original story. I do like that I put garlic in the picture. Black ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 11", summer 1984." - pyracanthasketch
Contes di Cottman IV 8 was published in January 1986 and is 97 pages long.
Welcome to the eighth issue of CONTES DI COTTMAN IV. Somehow I never thought I'd get this far with the zine. I knew that people liked Darkover stories, but I never dreamed they were SO popular.
There seem to be more new writers making debuts this issue than is usual. There are Nina Boal whose story arose indirectly from reading "Knives" by MZB in MORE TALES OF THE FREE AMAZONS (it's now also in FREE AMAZONS OF DARKOVER from DAW as well.) In some ways, a man has it harder since there is no male equivalent of the Free Amazons to give refuge to Lewis-Gabriel Ridenow. Nina also has her first professional publication in FREE AMAZONS OF DARKOVER and now edits and publishes MOON PHASES which she took over from Ingrid Maack.
Michelle Hallett is an Australian who hopes to make it as a SF writer. She, like a number of other people is fascinated by Dyan Ardais. She should be encouraged to write more. But she and Phyllis have had material published in JUMEAUX, which I also edit and published. I have to admit that Michelle's portrayal of Kennard Alton and Elaine Montray [Holdom appears to have skipped some words here] since I had just finished a story about the pair, minus Dyan, called "Meeting at Storn." I am also glad that I did not read it until I had finished my own story.
Diann Patridge's story should have appeared last issue. This time, I am still sweating out artwork but it's all my own fault. I got it ages ago and misfiled it some where. Hopefully Diann is getting this issue regardless because this is editorial error. Diann lives in Wyoming near Yellowstone park and works with stained glass. She has had stories published in STARSTONE edited by MZB and in both issues of KIERESTELLI edited by Jill Curtin of South Australia. (My story "Recontact" which appeared in CONTES #1 — now out of print -- also appears in KIERESTELLI #2 in a slightly amended version.)
"Bredin" is a sequel to "Recontact" but is perfectly understandable if you have not read the first story. This allowed me to get information out that I couldn't in the initial story as Cristovao da Silva had no way of knowing it. People keep asking for another Levich story but I haven't been able to come up with something for him to
poke his nose intoinvestigate. Any ideas out there?
Jean Lamb and William West are returning this issue. Jean is also working on an epic detailing the life of Danvan Hastur that will appear in MOON PHASES #8. In between she writes short gems like "Animal Eyes". William West apparently has to hand me stories as the post office has managed to lose all communications he sends to me. As I write this, a story he promised is suspiciously overdue He is the only person who sends me material to me that has this curse hanging over him.
Mary Frey's story "Journey to Newskye" won the first Darkover story contest. It would have appeared in a DAW anthology had it been closer to MZB's vision of Darkover. It did appear in Starstone #3 which is now out of print. I thought it deserved a wider audience. Mary agreed so here it is.[snipped]
- Editorial by Lynne Holdom (1)
- Journey to New Skye by Mary Frey (It was fourteen-year old Harryl's first visit to Newskye with Grandfather and he was excited. What was it that made Grandfather so special, so different from other men?) (first appeared in Starstone #3 where it had the title "Journey to Newskye") (2)
- Animal Eyes by Jean Lamb (Could a former riyachiya ever be rid of her origins and her past, even under the new king, Allart Hastur?) (15)
- The Silken Cord by Nina Boal (Lewis-Gabriel Ridenow had returned home after five years of captivity in the Dry-towns. Would his family and friends ever accept the fact that he had chosen to live rather than suicide?) (19)
- Bredin by Lynne Holdom (Rakhal Darriel had always felt like an outsider in Aldaran, the Domains and even at Nevarsin. Could the strangers from the stars help him find his place?) (36)
- A Black Knight In Thendara by William West (Armand and his friends had come to Cottman IV to find a genuine Medieval atmosphere. Was it what they had hoped for or were they due for a disappointment?) (56)
- The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword by Phyllis Fishbein (64)
- Why Not Me? by Michelle Hallett (Kennard Alton had brought the Terran Elaine Montray to Darkover to be his wife. Could he count on the support of his bredu Dyan Ardais in gaining her acceptance before the Council?) (74)
- The Records At Nevarsin by Diann Partridge (Sethany was going to Nevarsin to discover the truth about Darkover's origins. Was Darkover really settled by Terrans, and thus a part of the Empire automatically?) (82)
art from issue #8, by Hannah Shapero: "I enjoyed making Darkover fan story title pages because I could use different kinds of type and experiment with styles. In this story, the plot is kind of weak: a Darkover-human wilderness dweller or "mountain man" discovers a super-weapon lost by the high-tech Terrans. It looks like a simple writing pen but can deliver blasts of power. In this scene chosen for the title page, I have the shaggy woodsman sneaking up on a bunch of bandits who are torturing a youth, to save him with the unusual device. Since most of the action takes place at night, I had to image scenes done in darkness in the deep woods. There is a little campfire for light around the action area but for the woodsman I created a dark forest with ink and brushwork. I often wonder what happened to my Darkover friends, fans, and creative clients. Faded into a darkness mightier than the pen. Black ink on illustration board, 8" x 10", summer 1985." -- pyracanthasketch
art from issue #8, Hannah Shapero: "When I did an illustration for a piece of Darkover or other fan art, I took the text seriously and illustrated it with respect. This piece was about a young man who didn't know that he was an alien-human hybrid. I don't remember the story after that but I wanted to really do well by the illustration. If I could I usually did a title page complete with decorative typeface for the title. The architecture is borrowed from an Italian hill town. "Bredin" means "brothers" in the Darkovan language, a tongue derived from various Western European languages. Believe it or not, someone in fannish history has reconstructed these fantasy mixes of Darkovan languages. Fans can be amazing. Original drawing is black ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 11", January 1986." -- pyracanthasketch
art from issue #8, "Journey to New Skye", Hannah Shapero: "As he sits grieving over his grandfather's body, not knowing what to do next, the young man sees strange lights in the forest which manifest in the darkness as a group of attenuated, very tall glowing humanoids, clad only in translucent silk. They are the Chieri, perhaps even the ones which intermingled with the humans of New Skye, as Chieri, like Elves, are very long-lived. They levitate Grandfather's body and wrap him in one of their silk swaths. They explain that they will take care of his remains among his kin. As for the young man, the Chieri designate one of their number to accompany him to the town to see more of his kin. As the journey continues, the Chieri companion is already turning into a beautiful girl who will partner the young man and continue the hybridization. I recently met Mary Frey, the author of this tale or rather its original. Mary and I shared old-time memories as fan artist and fan author. I have no idea whether I've told the original story, but this makes sense of my illustrations. The original story, as with so many others, is buried in my dusty closet. Black ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 11", May 1987." -- Journey to New Skye conclusion by Pyracantha (February 15, 2018)
art from issue #8, "Journey to New Skye", Hannah Shapero: "The original Earth settlers of Darkover were mostly from Celtic lands and were characterized by their red hair (of course), warlike tendencies, and psychic powers. Their original settlement town was called "New Skye," after Scotland's Isle of Skye. It was there that they re-made their original Earthling ways into mystical neo-Celtic tribalism. It was also in New Skye that they encountered the main alien race still living on Darkover. These were the "chieri," elf-like eerie humanoids who were much taller than ordinary humans (more than 7 feet tall) and who wore only delicate flowing spider-silk wraps even in freezing weather. The chieri were also highly endowed with psychic abilities, and what's more, they were hermaphroditic. They had organs for both sexes and could morph into whatever gender their partner desired. This sounds like a good reproductive strategy, but on Darkover they were dying out - till they found that the chieri could interbreed with humans. New Skye was the first place where hybridization occurred. In the story, which I don't remember much of, a young man travels with his grandfather to the original settlement of New Skye. Grandpa is unusually tall, has a lot of psychic gift, and has other hybrid characteristics. He wants to find his alien relatives. Unfortunately, the grandfather dies on his way to the town, and the young man is left alone not knowing what to do.... Original title page art is black ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 11", spring 1987." -- Journey to New Skye (February 14, 2018)
Contes di Cottman IV 9 was published in 1986 and is 99 pages long. Art by Hannah Shapero, Ken Helfrich, Melody Rondeau, Allan Gillespie, and Chris Soto.
- Editorial (1)
- Chaos In MacArandale by Linna Reusmann (2)
- To Her Own Conscience by Joan Marie Verba (10)
- The Catman’s Tail by Paula Crunk (22)
- Man of the Kadarin by Ernest Fitzwilliam (40)
- The Reluctant Amazon by Lynne Holdom and Roberta Rogow (54) (first printed in Contes Di Cottman IV 2)
- A Time to Grieve by Jude M. Jackson (68)
- The Awakening by Phyllis Fishbein (84)
art from issue #9, Hannah Shapero: "In the old days, the 1980s, DarkoverCon was like an indoor Renaissance Faire, with two rooms of lively merchants, music and dancing and parties way into the night, public performances and book-reading and storytelling recitals, a costume show, and an art show filled with professional as well as amateur art. Thirty years later, the hall is the same, but it was empty except for a few wandering stragglers, aged relics of the earlier days, and the notes of a single instrument echoing in the cavernous hangar. I could go on with this but it will make you and me sad. This is one of my title pages for "Chaos in MacArandale," a fan-written story about a Darkovan boy, disabled by a hunchback and other deformities and who must use a wheelchair, and his brother, a well-built, able-bodied warrior. The disabled boy is studying to be an herbalist, but he will never do deeds of valor like his brother. In the story the brothers find that they have a telepathic link so that the homebound one can share the adventures of the other one out in the world. At least that's what I think the story is about. It was published thirty years ago and I haven't read it since. Original art is black ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 10",October 1986." - pyracanthasketch
art from issue #9, Hannah Shapero: "Here we are again with one of my title pages for a Darkover zine. As I have pointed out, Darkover planet had a number of indigenous humanoid species which human colonizers had to contend with. The "cat-men" were one of them, a felinoid species which was intent on retaining its territory despite being well-outnumbered and out-weaponed by the human colonists. I used 17th-century Renaissance engravings as an inspiration for this story which I have mostly forgotten. Ink on illustration board, 8" x 10", October 1986." -- The Catman's Tail
art from issue #9, Hannah Shapero: "Here we have yet another dramatic episode between the friends (and later, lovers) Regis (light haired one) and Danilo. Regis gets a psychic vision where he freaks out until Danilo comforts him. Fan writing is full of scenes where one character comforts another for pages of dialogue. I have read an excessive amount of fan writing and there is something about men showing weakness and talking at length about their emotions that just makes the fan writers squirm with joy. This is probably because the real men in their lives would rather poke themselves in the eye socket with a screwdriver before talking about their emotions. I have attempted to read long-form fan fic about TV characters and it had the effect of allergy medicine on me: Caution do not operate heavy machinery while using this medication. May cause drowsiness. I guess that's why you need an "Awakening." Black ink on illustration board, 8" x 10", August 1986." - pyracanthasketch
Contes di Cottman IV 10 was published in May 1987 and contains 110 pages. The front cover is by Leigh Matooka, the back cover is mistakenly attributed in the zine to Chris Soto; it was actually done by Anji Valenza, the frontispieces are by Hannah Shapero. Other art by Mary Frey, Megan MacDonald, Erin McKee, Melody Rondeau, and Linda Leach.
With this issue of CONTES, I have accomplished a number of firsts.
One: this is the first issue produced entirely in Minneapolis. It is also being produced with a new typewriter. Unfortunately, there is no italics daisy wheel so everything that would normally be in italics is now in script. I don't like that as well but one must adjust.
Two. this issue also contains only stories set before the Terran Recontact. In part this is because I was getting a LOT of these stories and would have had to postpone some of them forever just about had I parcelled them out two or three to an issue. As it is I still have a couple of these early stories for CONTES #11. (Yes, there will be a CONTES #11.)
Three: Nina Boal and I wondered what would happen if our characters met as they live in not too different eras. So in this issue they do. The story is called "Journey". I hope you enjoy it. There are several writers making a debut in this issue: Megan MacDonald, a Michigan native who is very conscious of her Scottish heritage.... Also Patricia Cirone whom I met at Esotericon a couple of years ago. I couldn't use the story she gave me then but am hopefully making up for it now. The other new writer is W. Marshall Kyle whom I met at the Darkovercon last year.
Also there are the more familiar authors: Mary Frey, Jean Lamb (who took time out from her epic about Danvan Hastur to play around in the Ages of Chaos) and produced what I think is her best story to date; and Phyllis Fishbein who has the virtue of writing the only humorous story in the lot. Joan Verba, the final author, is a near neighbor of mine here in Minnesota.
Two artists from here in Minneapolis are making a debut as well: Paul Rucker and Erin McKee. It is strange to have someone knock on your door, hand you a packet saying "Hi, I'm Erin. Here's your artwork." Leigh Matooka, not from Minnesota, but definitely talented, did the cover and "Intrigues and Tablecloths". Hannah Shapero did the frontpieces. In fact, as I write this, Chris Soto is the only person who has not gotten her art in.
She seems to be making a habit of pushing deadlines.
One odd thing has been the weather. When I left New Jersey for Minnesota, everyone told me I was asking for frostbite at the very least. Some said I must have been inspired by Darkover, but wasn't moving to Minnesota going a bit far to follow an enthusiasm? Ha! This winter has been a bust. We didn't get any snow. They had to truck in snow for the St Paul Winter Carnival. It was so warm that there were massive changes of events at the New Brighton Midwinter Festival. How can you have a snowman building contest without snow, or a snowshoe workshop or dogsled races or... I wonder if this ever happens on Darkover. At least we don't have to worry about spring floods. Also I keep hearing from people in New Jersey who tell about this white stuff that falls from the sky called snow and how they got buried in it. Pardon me while I have the last laugh.
I would like to hear from folks out there. Is there any special era or topic you would like to see stories on in CONTES? Does anyone miss Levich? There are some ideas perculating around in my head on that subject inspired by Jean Lamb who has threatened all sorts of dire things if I don't produce... It seems she wants Levich to meet Danvan Hastur and... We will thus get a test of seeing whether Lenny Bruce was right when he said that everyone from New York is Jewish, even the Gentiles.Now enjoy.
- Editorial (1)
- In the Mists of Halie by Megan MacDonald (2)
- The Ways of Avanna by Patricia Cirone (22)
- Castles in the Air by Jean Lamb (35)
- Intrigues and Tableclothes by Phyllis Fishbein (50)
- Wild Flower by Joan Marie Verba (57)
- A Step Beyond by W. Marshall Kyle (64)
- Journey by Lynne Holdom and Nina Boal (73)
art from issue #10, Hannah Shapero: "Here's another fan art title page from one of the Darkover zines. The story wasn't very Darkovan; it was more myth and fable than action adventure. A king has to play chess with a Mephistophelean evil character, to save his kingdom. The text, as all of them, is packed away in my closet awaiting liberation as an archival object. I wonder if there is an archive of Darkover fan material. I was thinking of compiling the best of my Darkover art into an archivable and possibly art book publication but it would be a huge amount of work. I don't even remember whether the Devil or the King won the chess game. From the board it looks like the King prevailed. Black ink on illustration board, 8" x 10", April 1987." - pyracanthasketch
art from issue #10, Hannah Shapero: "Darkover was a planet mainly covered by snow and icy glaciers, uninhabitable by humans except for a band around the equator. There was a variety of climates and terrains on that band. That included a small but significant area of desert, the warmest place on Darkover, which was nicknamed the "Dry Towns." In that area, desert animals thrived, and human cultures lived lives similar to Bedouins, nomads, or oasis dwellers. The people of the Dry Towns rode imported horses but also used native creatures similar to camels, you might call them "cameloids." Another reason why Marion Zimmer Bradley invented the Dry Towns was so that she, and later her fan fiction writers, could write tragic stories about the mistreatment of women in tribal cultures. This illustration, which I rescued from a fan site since I had no copy of it for myself, shows the main character, a young boy, riding on a cameloid as part of a caravan. He's looking back at us readers and seems to be having a good time. Black ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 11", October 1986." - pyracanthasketch
art from issue #10, Hannah Shapero: "I enjoyed making the fan art title pages because I could use decorative typefaces. In those days before easy computer type selection and printing, I had to copy the title by hand onto the page. This worked surprisingly well as long as I planned it out carefully. According to Marion Zimmer Bradley, Darkover had numerous sentient species well before humans arrived. They were all basically humanoid but some had characteristics of animal species as well. The oldest and most elusive were the "chieri," a tall, delicate-looking species of humanoid reminiscent of elves. They were all endowed with psychic powers, and even in the frozen winters of Darkover they were immune to the cold and went naked or wore just a thin wrap. Most interestingly, chieri were physically androgynous. They could turn into either male or female, depending on the desires of their partners. (Bradley borrowed this idea from Ursula Le Guin, who in turn borrowed it from Balzac's "Seraphita.") Chieri could interbreed with humans, which happened a lot, so the human Darkovans were actually psychically powered hybrids. This story, in my dim recollection, involved a youth who had the psychic talent of communicating with animals. Living in a primitive medieval society, he was constantly assaulted by the pain and distress of brutalized animals. He ran away into the forest intending to kill himself but instead the wandering chieri found him and took him in among them, where he learned to control his powers. Then, instead of sending him back to the village, they set him in a place where he could be a protector for the animals of forest, farm, and road. If this wasn't the way the story went, I apologize to W. Marshall Kyle the author, it was rather a while ago on planet Darkover let alone here on Earth. The magazine with the story is somewhere in my collection but I'm not getting it out. Black ink on heavy illustration board, 8" x 11", April 1987." - pyracanthasketch
art from issue #10, Hannah Shapero. "Here's another illustration from the Darkover fan story I posted a few days ago, "In the Mists of Hali." I don't remember the details but in the story a young man has to protect his little brother, who is disabled, from kidnappers who want his psychic powers. At one point the boy falls into the water and can't swim, so his brother must dive in to rescue him.... Black ink on illustration board, 8" x 10", April 1987." -- pyracanthasketch
original art for "The Mists of Hali" - "I did many title pages for Darkover fanzines, as well as interior illustrations. The title page had the title in a decorative font and a scene from the story. Marion Zimmer Bradley, whatever her faults may have been, started many a fantasy writer on their career. Their first "published" but non-professional work appeared in Darkover fan magazines and sometimes in anthologies curated by Bradley and her fellow professionals. Most, if not all of the writers were women. It was a womens' community and the members often approached difficult topics through this fan fiction. That would include gender, sexuality of all kinds, mental and physical illness, disability, race, religion, and size issues. In this story a young man from a fisherman's family must protect his little brother, who is mentally disabled but psychically powerful, from the authorities who want to capture him and put his powers to work. Original drawing black ink on illustration board, about 7" x 11", April 1987." - pyracanthasketch
art from issue #10, Hannah Shapero - "Here's another of my Darkover fan story title pages. This time I tried setting the story not in the faux-Renaissance of the Red Sun but in an equally faux late 19th century. It gave me the chance to render an 1880s-style big dress, and I also had fun with caricature faces such as the two gentlemen at right. I forget what this story was about but from my records this piece was done when I was about to quit doing fan art for pennies and try to make myself a "real" career, which had, looking back, mixed outcomes at best. Original art is ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 11", April 1987." -- Nineteenth Century Fan Concept Art (March 16, 2018)
Contes di Cottman IV 11 was published in 1987 and contains 100 pages. Art by Leigh Matooka, Linda Leach, Erin McKee, Melody Rondeau, Catherine Mintz, Chris Soto.
- Editorial by Lynne Holdom (1)
- Kyria's Story by Mary Frey (2)
- A Meeting in the Hellers by Nina Boal (49)
- A Dish Best Eaten Cold by Jean Lamb (57)
- Dom Kyril Takes the Pledge by Perennelle Doublehanded (64)
- The Gift  by Joan Marie Verba (65) (reprinted from Starstone #2)
- Fetters by Jill Curtin (77) (reprinted from Kierestelli #1)
- Chances by Loies McDowelll (87)
- Journey's End by Paula Crunk (96) (reprinted from Starstone #5)
art from issue #11, Randym
Contes di Cottman IV 12 was published in 1988 and is 104 pages long.
- The War Is Over (66 pages)
- Every Pie In Thendara (Alternate Universe) (30 pages)
Contes di Cottman IV 13 was published in November 1988 and contains 100 pages.
The art is by Christine Soto, Catherine Mintz, Mary Frey, Melody Rondeau, Linda Leach, and Leigh Matooka.Editorial:
Welcome to CONTES Dl COTTMAN IV#13 which is finally out. As you will notice there have been a few changes. For one thing this is being done on computer which gives it a neater appearance. There are also firm margins. When typing, I have a tendency to crowd the margins but the computer won't let me do this. Dictatorial, things, aren't they?
Another first lies in having a two-part story. I hadn't planned it that way but unless I ran it this way, you would still be waiting for this zine, not to mention it being unmanageably large. Hopefully, CONTES Dl COTTMAN IV #14 will appear soon after this does (send SASE for details) so you won't be waiting for too long to find out how the story ends. As of right now, CONTES #14 will be out in December, 1989.
Mary Frey again has an excellent story this issue featuring a strong woman. She says she doesn't write Free Amazon stories but she doesn't have to as her women can be strong and heroic in more traditional roles. They manage as best they can in the situations in which they find themselves. Shani is no exception.
This issue also sees the return into print of William West who finally decided he wasn't gafiated any longer. The story features Eduin Ridenow who first appeared in "A Fox In Shainsa" in CONTES #6. He should have a story in CONTES #14 as well if he gets it to me. It's in the hands of the US Postal Service at the moment. Somehow that's not all that reassuring. However, the story tells the further adventures of the group featuring in "A Black Knight in Thendara," in CONTES #7.
I also have stories by two new writers - Elaine Bergstrom and Colleen Farrell. I hope you like them. Both, not surprisingly, deal with the Free Amazons in one way or another. Since I am not overly fond of writing Free Amazon stories (though I do like to read them) I am glad others will supply this lack.
There is also a fun story at the end written by W. Marshall Kyle. I like the end the zine on a up note.
The final story in the issue is "The Alton File" in which Henry Levich and Dan Lawton, goaded on by Dan Lawton's daughter Rayna, newly home from college, decides to look into Marius Alton's death. But there's nothing mysterious there, you say. So did Dr Levich and Dan Lawton. They didn't count on Rayna's perseverance. I only wish we could have fit the whole story in but I do have budgetary limitations and these keep CONTES at about the 100 page mark.
As for the art, most of it was done by Leigh Matooka who in mundane life [personal information redacted]. Chris Soto did the cover but alas she did it some time ago. I don't know when/if I'll ever have art from her again. Mary Frey did her won art for her story which certainly helps an editor out. She can't complain if the artist didn't render her characters the way she pictured them.I hope you enjoy this zine. See you in December.
- Editorial by Lynne Holdom (1)
- Seeds by Elaine Bergstrom (2)
- A Fox in the Valley by William West (11)
- Selective Memory by Mary K. Frey (25)
- The Ties that Bind by Colleen Farrell (57)
- The Alton File by Lynne Holdom and Jean Lamb (63)
- Where No Keeper Has Gone Before by W. Marshall Kyle (99)
Contes di Cottman IV 14 was published in 1989.
Contes di Cottman IV 15 was published in December 1990 and contains 102 pages.
The art is by Leigh Motooka, Mary K. Frey, Kiri Namtvedt, Theresa Buffaloe, Catherine Mintz, Hannah Shapero, Linda Leach-Hardy.The editorial:
It's autumn and time for another issue of CONTES di COTTMAN IV. Somehow I didn't get into the mood for actually doing CONTES until October (I had forced myself to work on it earlier) because the weather was so warm quite late into the year. People always tell you about Minnesota's cold winters but neglect to mention the hot summers. The only consolation is that they are comparatively dry.
Oddly enough, I do not have any completely new writers this issue. Roxana Pierson is new to CONTES but has had stories in the DAW Darkover anthologies. In fact, "Secret Sisters" was originally intended for the DAW Free Amazon anthology but was rejected, possibly because it was too grim. However, I thought it was an excellent story and hope you enjoy it as well. I was also planning to include "Computers and Laran Don't Mix" by Jacquie Groom, but difficulties of logistics in contacting the Netherlands, forced me to postpone that story until CONTES #16. lam somewhat ahead of the game in having artwork for it though.
I also have a new artist in this issue, Kiri Namtvedt, a fellow Minnesotan who is new to Darkover fandom. It is nice to be able to contact an artist (or writer) on the telephone without running up an enormous phone bill. You will be seeing more of Kiri's work.
I had also intended to feature some of Melody Rondeau's work but she now has a full time day job and had to cut way back on fan art. Maybe next issue. On the other hand Linda Leach-Hardy is still doing fan art though she mostly does pro work.
As of the time of this editorial, I am chewing my fingernails awaiting Erin McKee's cover. She did say she would probably get it done. She's another over extended artist. If I could only draw.... On the other hand Erin does live here in the Twin Cities which makes it easy to contact her.
On the other hand, if I don't get it in time for Thanksgiving, you may see a cover by Fa Shimbo instead. Nothing like uncertainty to keep one on one's toes. All in all, I just hope I am not a nervous wreck by the time Thanksgiving rolls around. I know I should really plan to get organized earlier, I should....That's it for this issue. See you in 1991... if I survive.
- Editorial by Lynne Holdom (1)
- The Ridenow Gift by William West (2)
- This Much at Least by Joan Marie Verba (reprinted from Starstone #5 (14)
- Secret Sisters by Roxana Pierson (25)
- Domain Son by Colleen Farrell (44)
- Who I Am Now by Mary K. Frey (51)
- Turnabout by Roberta Rogow (71)
- At Her Own Time and Choice by Emily Alward (87)
inside art issue #15 by Hannah Shapero, reprinted from Jumeaux Definitive Issue #2: "Back on Darkover, Robert Kadarin continues his adventures. He meets a young boy, named "Valentine," and takes a liking to him. After all, as a mostly-alien that mates with both sexes, anyone young and pretty is fair game to him. The youth even has the same tall, thin figure, suggesting a similar "mixed" ancestry. What Kadarin doesn't know (even though he is supposed to have telepathic powers) is that the boy "Valentine" is really a girl in disguise named "Thyra." This is covered in some of Bradley's material and the fan author continues it. In the end, her gender is revealed and Kadarin falls in love with her as a heterosexual, which ultimately leads to them getting married. Ain't fantasy fiction great! Black ink on illustration board, 6 1/2" x 9 1/2", 1983." -- pyracanthasketch
Contes di Cottman IV 16 was published in December 1991 and contain 104 pages.
The art is by Catherine Mintz, Kiri Namtveldt, Leigh Motooka, Linda Leach-Hardy, and Mary K. Frey.The editorial:
Here it is ; the latest issue of CONTES di COTTMAN IV. It's hard to believe that I've done sixteen issues of this zine already. Somehow it doesn't seem like that many. In some ways this was one of the easier issues to edit as two of the contributors sent in camera ready copy. In another sense, it was quite difficult due to some Darkover-type weather we got blasted with here in Minnesota.
Something also known as the Great Halloween Blizzard which dumped 28 inches of snow on the Twin Cities, the largest amount of snow ever. It was also very early for any major snow. Even in Minnesota, it usually holds off until November to begin such tricks. Anyway, the snow caught everyone flat-footed. Two days earlier they held a parade for the World Series Champion Twins, and then this. Some folks joked that the Braves hired a snow dancer. (Either that or Dorilys moved into the area.) One of the illustrators was planning to move that weekend. Surprise! The blizzard also wrecked havoc with the mail service which hardly needs any excuse to mess up delivery. It's back to normal as I write this but three guesses what's in the weather forecast.
I only have three stories this issue. Partially this is because Mary Frey loves to write long stories which can't be fitted into the Darkover pro anthologies. This time her story only ran 79 pages which is the bulk of the issue. I hope you enjoy it.
Kathleen M. Massie-Ferch is a newcomer to these pages. I met her at Chicon (the World SF con) and she mentioned a story. I told her to send it in. She has had stories published in SWORD AND SORCERESS but not in any of the Darkover anthologies. She has written her version of Aldaran's quarrel with the Domains.
I was planning to run Jacquie Groom's story Computers and Laran Don't Mix this issue. However, due to a misunderstanding that is quite complicated to go into at the moment, it was run in another zine. So I am printing Childhood Dreams instead. Another story of Jacquie's should appear in the next issue. I think it needs a slight bit of rewriting. I have two other stories that got squeezed out of this issue and these should also appear next time always assuming that we don't get dumped on by blizzards all winter. I've been spoiled as all the winters since I've lived in Minnesota have been relatively snowless.
I also had the pleasure of actually meeting one of my illustrators, Leigh Motooka, at the Chicago Worldcon. It's nice to be able to put a face to people I've only met in print although I have yet to meet anyone who looked remotely like I imagined.That's it for now. See you next year.
- Editorial (1)
- Tower in the Wild by Mary K. Frey (2)
- The Ladies Aldaran by Kathleen M. Massie-Ferch (82)
- Childhood Dreams by Jacquie Groom (99)
- from Universal Translator #23
- from Datazine #33
- Beyond Bounds: Intergenerational Relationships in Science Fiction and Fantasy, Archived version, 1986 by Linda Frankel
- "The title was a very common one among beginners (My first Darkover fanzine story carried that title, despite Marion Zimmer Bradley's wise advice to me to change it; had I known such a title was a cliché, I would have"). -- from Verba in Boldly Writing