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Title: Dee-Pice
Editor(s): Pat Ames
Date(s): 1989-1990
Medium: print
Fandom: War of the Worlds
Language: English
External Links:
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Dee-Pice is a gen War of the Worlds fiction anthology. The title of the zine, a misspelling of "Deep Ice," is explained below.

a flyer for the first issue
another flyer for the first issue


From Agent With Style: "In the series, Dr. Clayton Forrester, Harrison Blackwood's foster father, had worked on "Operation Deep Ice," a project regarding the 1953 invasion, whose papers were stored in an underground vault. When the group gets to the army base, they discover that the archives are stored in more than one vault under various misspellings of the name 'Deep Ice,' as a security measure."

Comments from the Editors Regarding the Second Issue: Mary Sue, Second Season Material

We've officially committed to a second issue of Dee-Pice. I mention it here because there are two things I'd like to say: 1) Dee-Pice II will consider both first and second season material (and practically anything else; before, in-between, after, alternate universe, cross universe, cross-your-fingers). Personally, I'm greatly troubled by the doors that are slamming on fan fiction for WOTW. I've never... known a zine to restrict fiction, by policy, to a specific season. Surely, if it's your zine, you have every right to create policy for it I do with Dee-Pice. But if you're ticked off at Mancuso, why is it being taken out on fandom? Why does being "vehemently opposed to the changes instituted by Paramount" mean that there's no opportunity to explore the potential of Season Two, setting our creative (and talented) minds to fixing the things we don't like and explaining the things we do? Fandom is suffering from this kind of ultimatum. I'm sorry if this is coming across as a soap box, and I don't intend to pick on just one zine as more than one are using this policy (and on the other hand, more than one zine is looking at Season Two material). As a reader, I do not dish out the bucks (big bucks) for any zine because of its editorial policies. And I think it's fanatically unfair to assume that second season-based fan fiction is unfit to print and read. At the very least, we should be looking more hopefully to the great potential of fan fiction for what we aren't getting from Season Two.

I guess this bothered me a bit more than I thought, but an opinion is an opinion. I take fan fiction very seriously because I love the potential. I'm not suggesting others don't take it seriously; I'm saying I can't restrict that potential, and I thought it was fair to let everyone know what I'm accepting for II, and why. As always, what actually gets printed depends on what I receive and how it can be worked into the zine. If you were happy with Dee-Pice, then give II a chance.

2) I'm also accepting "character addition-material. Now, I can hear the gasps of despair... This is a new term we've coined to avoid the connotations implied by the term (are you ready for this? Hold your ears) "Mary Sue." This is a particular soap box of mine, as several people have discovered. For now, I'll limit my 'tizzy fit' and simply explain that the "char add" means any fiction which includes the addition of a viable, newly created character. "Mary Sue" also has a very specific definition. Stay calm. "Char add" isn't as bad as it sounds. [1]

Issue 1

cover of issue #1, Bruce L.
this Connie Faddis drawing, along with two others, illustrated Jan Lindner's story "Damage Control

Dee-Pice 1 was published in 1989 and is 124 pages long. Art by Bruce LaFontaine (front cover), Connie Faddis, Ann Larimer, Lana Merkel, Mary Wheeler.

From an ad in For Your Information #5 (December 1990):

We've done it! We located fan fiction, art, and poetry before the aliens did! Find out who says, "We can give you anything you want," in "Bow Down and Worship Me" by Barb Mater -- or -- "I know what it is... what I don't understand is WHY" in "Damage Control" by Jan Lindner -- or -- "Colonel, I've never done this before," in "Night of a Thousand Nights" by Pat Ames. ... All characters make a good showing in this charity zine. Hurry to order -- this reprint is the last.

  • Coyotes by William W. Goodson, Jr. ("Aliens are taking advantage of Mexican "aliens."") (crossover with MacGyver) (11)
  • The Keys of Hell by Lana Merkel (19)
  • Bow Down and Worship Me by Barbara Mater ("The aliens have specific designs on Norton.") (39)
  • Tower of Babel by Sandi Jones ("Paul gets an aide to help him with his work.v) (45)
  • Resurgam by Susan M. Garrett ("Crystal Lake is closed down and for good reason. Too bad aliens don't keep up with the news.") (45)
  • Poetry by Lana Merkel (67)
  • Rescue by Lynne Armstrong-Jones ("Ironhorse is lost in an intense storm. Can he survive until help arrives?") (75)
  • Father Figure by Beth Muramoto ("A tender story of Ironhorse and Debi.) (81)
  • Damage Control by Jan Lindner ("A continuation of "Angel of Death." From the "Damage Control" Universe." [2]) (89)
  • No New Holes by Kathleen Condon ("Just what did Harrison mean by that remark?") (105)
  • Night of a Thousand Nights by Pat Ames ("The plane trip would have been find for Ironhorse and Harrison had the pilot not been an alien.") (107)

Reaction and Reviews: Issue 1

I haven't reviewed this zine before because there's a story of mine in it, but that's not a good enough reason to ignore an excellent piece of work. At the time of its publication, I thought this was the best zine I'd seen in this fandom. It's still one of the best. The contents are not all equally polished; there are some newer writers here, and some artists who are still working out the rough spots. But the balance between neos and old-timers works very well, and fandom needs a place for neos to try out their wings. In fact, the best part of Dee-Pice b its balance: of strengths and weaknesses, story themes, writing styles, and featured characters. It's a fine example of what constructive editing can do to strengthen a newer writer's work.

Production values: I thought the layout could have used a little more "aesthetic white space" and a clearer indication of titles. A little breathing space between stories would have relieved that crowded feeling and, even though Dee-Pice is a charity zine, presstype for titles would have been a good investment. The print quality is excellent, though, as is the cover a crisp, top-drawer line drawing of alien warships.

And the writing generally stays with the 'feel' of the WOW we all enjoyed, even when it branches out in new directions. The first story, "Coyotes," was a good example — a cross-universe where Ironhorse runs across MacGyver. (Can we classify this as precognition?) Both characters stay in character; I especially liked MacGyver's duct-tape-and-cactus missile, though the melted alien tissue shouldn't have dissolved the tomahawk blade or a gun (episodes MI and SS show to otherwise). Aside from that the plot was reasonable, and though I felt the ending dialogue fell a little flat, I'd like to see more of this universe. (Harrison's improvised flamethrower in PS always made me wonder if he and MacGyver were distant cousins, anyway.)

I hate reading Part 2 of a series first, but Lana Merkel's "The Keys of Hell" is relatively self-contained and too good to wait for the first section to be published. This story is excellent; Lana's Quinn is easily the_ best I've seen anywhere: dangerous, unpredictable, lonely, with a touch of sardonic humor. And she does just a good a job with the Blackwood Project regulars, with an economy of words that I envy. All four characters are given space and development, filling and expanding their roles (Norton as peacemaker, for instance, and Ironhorse as strategist). Although Lana's Harrison is a bit more "walking wounded" than I see him, and more abrasive, I can't argue with the character as written; it's a reasonable extrapolation of the aired Blackwood. All characters, even Quinn, are portrayed with warmth and understanding. Best of all, all the characters are written as intelligent adults, aware of and in control of their feelings, determined to accomplish their mission. This could have been the second-season opener, if Paramount had used intelligence instead of nepotism when selecting producers. In short, "Keys" is the kind of story I hope for every time I open a zine, and Dee-Pice would have been worth the price if this had been the only good story in it. But it's not. Barbara Mater's "Bow Down and Worship Me" does not have the polished flow of "Keys" -- emotions are more "tell" than "show," but it's the first story I've seen from Norton's point of view. Mater not only gave Norton a past, she also gave him an emotional life and a chance to participate in the action. And again, the characters are all treated as intelligent adults.

Tower of Babel," by Sandi Jones and Pat Ames, is well-written, but when the first (human-related) paragraph of a story is devoted to describing the female "guest" character, I know that nothing in the story will be more important than that character -- and since it took another five pages of Kaitlyn's life history for the Blackwood personnel to get involved in the plot, I was almost ready to skip the rest of the story; I don't often enjoy Mary Sues, especially when their names are distractingly cute. But the character herself is reasonably well-rounded, and "Babel" is the only story of its type in the zine -- again, balance. Once the tale gets past Kaitlyn's past, it is interesting; if more time had been spent on the plot, perhaps her background could have been presented more gradually. The rest of the character work is well-drawn, especially Norton's humor and Harrison's "Captain Kirk" reaction to Kaitlyn.

Susan Garrett's "Resugam" is...different, a surprising little change-of-pace thriller. Very well-written, it crosses universes from an alien's point of view. I don't want to give away the details (Earth has a few "secret weapons" of her own), but this Earthling is no_i someone Ironhorse would want to recruit for Omega Squad. Lana Merkel's portfolio of poetry and art come next; I don't think her artwork has reached the (superior!) level of her prose, but the poems are very good, particularly Suzanne and Norton's. "Dust-Off," the Ironhorse poem, is a close third, but I didn't care for the Harrison poem as much. Personal taste; it seemed more descriptive than evocative.

"Rescue," by Lynn Armstrong-Jones, lets Suzanne take the lead in extracting Harrison from some nasty alien experimentation. McCullough is written well, and I found her alternating between determination and honest fear to be quite believable. But I was perplexed by the presence of two men named Cully and Brown, who were presumably members of Omega Squad, but never identified or explained. And I found the notion that Ironhorse had to be "rescued" from a thunderstorm -- when he had shelter in a nice, safe, dry barn -- to be mildly ridiculous. I don't mean to harp on the subject, but the man is not a Cub Scout. To someone who's spent days on end in muddy foxholes dry hay would be almost as good as a featherbed.

The illos in "Rescue" are not the zine's best. The frontspiece had good composition but poor execution, and the other illos, while well-drawn, looked like they'd been printed from a smeary photocopy. In this case, it might have been worth the risk to send originals.

Beth Muramoto's "Father Figure" takes a good idea -- Ironhorse's relationship with Debi -- and conceals it under heaps of "tell." The basic plot is that Ironhorse teaches Debi about horseback riding, a demonstration of the father-role that is obviously as rewarding to him as to Debi, and they both inadvertently learn something about their feelings toward their own fathers. The emotions run true; some of the dialogue is excellent. But there are long stretches explaining what Suzanne, Ironhorse, and Debi think of the relationship, which mostly slow the story down. Debi's POV didn't always sound like a 12-year-old; her observations were too sophisticated.

I really liked this story. I thought the ending was very strong and had wonderful character interaction; I just got impatient with being told everything that was going on in the characters' heads. The action and dialogue were strong enough to tell the story on their own. Even so, it had some good insights on both characters, and broke new ground in subject matter.

"Damage Control." Hm. Even if you don't read this — I can hardly review my own story --take a look at Faddis* artwork. She's outdone herself. "Night of a Thousand Nights." The editor has produced a very interesting, well-written story. Even minor characters such as Derriman were handled well, and I enjoyed "Night" up until the last page, when it became depressing. Badly-written death stories don't bother me, but this was too well done. I fervently hope that putting death stories at the end of the zine does not become a habit.

Overall, Dee-Pice is a terrific anthology zine, lacking only a touch of humor. It is definitely one of the best-edited zines around and, at $10, a real bargain. [3]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2, Ann Larimer -- "Hammersmith Bridge by Henry Taunt, 1895"

Dee-Pice 2 was published in 1990 and has 174 pages. Art by Ann Larimer (front cover), Constance Edwards, Connie Faddis, Lee and J.J. MacFadden, Lana G. Merkel, Mary G.T. Webber, Mary Wheeler.

From the editorial:

All my heroes have been media characters, mostly television, a few from movies. The one exception is Sherlock Holmes. Even though he has been seen on the tube several times over the years, portrayed by many different actors, he is the only character I became totally fascinated with through printed fiction.

I feel comfortable with these people. They come into my home on a regular basis (and I don't feel obligated to clean the apartment for them) or I can call on their presence instantly — and for only the price of a tape. They share their adventures with me. I learn their lessons with them, lessons which in their most basic form I can use to understand my life out here in reality, and often I go on to learn more because something about them has sparked my curiosity. So they give me many gifts, as well as entertainment, and I can mold those gifts, more or less, into my life.

A hero is "admired" and "honored," but that just isn't enough of a definition to fully justify how valuable heroes are. Heroes affect our lives. They give and give, and we take and mold and shape. They are important to us because we see in them everything we'd like to be, or think we should be, but know that we really can't be—not in the real world. So we do the best we can, trying to live up to those images, and after all, the real challenge is in the climbing, isn't it?

It may be a little disquieting that my heroes aren't real people, but the product of writers' imaginations, actors' skills and production values of greater or lesser quality. So, they don't provide the benefits of a one-on-one conversation with family and friends. But I think that's okay. Heroes have qualities to strive for, require a stretch. No one should get too close to a hero and find out that, maybe, they are...just human, after all. The hero-quality of media characters is not really unusual. Heroes have always been the bigger-than-life creations of classic stories, passed down through the ages, retold to children and cast into plays, their stories, their lessons, taking on a universal appeal while still entertaining. It used to be a way to educate the next generation about living, and nobody really cared, or expected, those to be REAL people. Although they could have been, once, because parts of them are familiar—to all of us.

Television is just our modern way of creating myth. Yea, okay, television is mostly redundant, the same old stuff over and over only with ifferent cars in the chase. Maybe that's why science fiction appeals to me, because it requires a necessary element of imagination. But myth is like that too, the same old story told over and over, for ages. Even the implicit variation introduced by individual storytellers can not alter the basic elements of the story, or its meaning would be lost, the story would become invaluable, the heroes powerless. So television holds up as a myth-form.

And there's another way tv acts like myth. It means different things to different people, and different things to the same people at different times. Classic STAR TREK meant one thing to me at age ten. Years later, after some education and life experiences, it means another. That's a quality I've always enjoyed about DOCTOR WHO; most episodes, apparently without conscious effort by the creators, have several layers of meaning. Myth—good myth—does that too. A child might be entertained by the images of a story; an adolescent might understand something about their life through that same story's lesson; and an adult, with years of experience, can see the hidden morality there.

Then there's fan fiction, which expands on that myth, teaches new lessons, and gives us an opportunity to grow as writers, poets, artists and readers. More gifts from the heroes and their stories. And as fans meet one another, making friends, sometimes half a world away, even more gifts come, more pleasure, more entertainment, more satisfaction.

This zine is about heroes--people who are fighting insurmountable odds with what they have, people with unique characteristics, people who have something to teach, and something to discover. And things change about them as they fight. They learn lessons about what is possible, that there is always hope. Pretty classic. And this zine is written by people who are sharing their visions of these heroes, using their own unique talents and voices.

There's one thing I've come to appreciate as I study myth and the value of heroes in our lives. Heroes all started out as real, familiar people and discovered hero-like qualities within themselves during their adventures. That's it, you see, to discover the "beat of a personal drum" within ourselves. That's where the real heroes exist. Inside each one of us.

  • Inheritance by Patricia D'Orazio ("After the horrific '53 Invasion, young Harrison Blackwood is taken in by Clayton Forrester.") (9)
  • Predator's Plaything by Gena Fisher ("Thirsting for revenge after being left behind in a South American jungle, Poncho Rameris finds that his former commander has gone Hollywood and changed his name to Arnold Schwarzegger.") (41)
  • Veterans Day by Rowena Warner (47)
  • My Life for My Sheep by Patricia Fogelman ("Despite all precautions, Debi finds out about the alien invasion the hard way.") (49)
  • Changeling by Lana G. Merkel (56)
  • Missing Scene: "Dust to Dust" by Beth Muramoto (57)
  • A Penny's-Worth of Thoughts by Lana G. Merkel (vA view of the Blackwood team through the eyes of their quiet housekeeper.") (59)
  • Whitewood by Lana G. Merkel (64)
  • Voices by the Sea by Alice Aldridge ("Dr. Adrian Bouchard may be dead, but the aliens have nefarious designs for the gentle dolphins.v) (65)
  • Medal of Valor by Jeanne O'Donnell ("Harrison learns how to defend himself, with unexpected results.") (81)
  • Friends by Paulie Kay (89)
  • A Codicil to Venveance by Karen Miller (from "Vengeance is Mine," vAn eye-opening discussion between Ironhorse and Suzanne.") (91)
  • Hot Seat by Beth Muramoto ("A computer virus could spell doom for part of the team.") (97)
  • Shadow of Thy Wings by Jan Lindner ("Ironhorse may be the only person to pull Sylvia from the depths of her insanity." From the "Damage Control" Universe, see issue #1.) (109)
  • Harrison: Doppleganger by Mary G.T. Webber (143)
  • Quinn: Tergiversator by Mary G.T. Webber (145)
  • Eagle's Cry by Cheryl Sulls ("A brief study of Ironhorse before the aliens cloned him.") (147)
  • Requiem by Mary Raugh (149)
  • To 'Life' Immortal by Lynne Armstrong-Jones ("Debi is lost, but help comes from a mysterious source.") (151)
  • For Kincaid by Lynne Armstrong-Jones (155)
  • Integrity by Lana G. Merkel (157)
  • Finis by Lana G. Merkel (158)
  • The Phoenix by Beth Muramoto ("The team is drawn back to the wreckage of their former home.") (159)
  • Ironhorse by Karen Miller (166)
  • Requiem by Karen Miller ("Kincaid is unsure of his new charges.") (167)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

There are a number of "missing scenes" and stories that fit in or around aired episodes, and most of them fit seamlessly. The first of several long stories is Pat D'Orazio's speculation on Harrison's childhood after the Invasion. "Inheritance" explains everything from the reason Sylvia never married Clayton Forrester to some of Harrison's less admirable personality traits. This is a very "adult" story, although not in the sense of being sexually explicit. It may present a colder view of Harrison than some readers are comfortable with, but the view is a reasonable one. And D'Orazio has created a strong female character who is nobody's Mary Sue

It's kind of a shame that Gena Fisher's "Predator's Plaything" is only fiction, because it ties up the loose ends of that film in a very satisfactory manner, as well as neutralizing the "dreaded Mancuso effect." It's also very silly.

A trio of short serious pieces follows. Patricia Fogelman's "My Life for My Sheep" is more clear evidence that Debi on a camping trip is ideal alien-bait. Seriously, this is a good short story and gives Debi a chance to do something besides stand around looking scared. Beth Muramoto's missing scene from "Dust to Dust" has a bit more exposition than it probably needs, but it presents one possible reason that the Lonetrees never appeared again. "A Penny's-Worth of Thoughts," by Lana Merkel, which fills four of the best pages in the zine, is a marvelous portrait of Ironhorse through Mrs. Pennyworth's eyes, as well as a deft characterization of the retired spy who finally has time to indulge her love of cooking. This is a prequel to "Among the Philistines," a natural lead-in to "Voices from the Sea," a post-"Philistines" story.

And Alice Aldridge did a great job with "Voices." Besides putting Norton into an environment where his handicap vanishes, she's followed up on the implications of what it could mean to have Adrian Bouchard's dolphin work fall into alien hands. The teamwork clicks beautifully -- Harrison's environmental contacts open doors where the military is not welcome, but Ironhorse takes over when he's needed. It's also very nice to see a romantic interest for Norton that's based on believable motivations. Alice's background research on delphinology is solid, but not overly conspicuous, and the sea people are clearly individuals — who have some tough questions that the Blackwood people can't really answer. Good story! "Medal of Valor" had good dialog and an interesting plot, but a few things didn't quite make sense — Harrison "scraping his wrist on something soft," a reference to allergy as a disease, and, most puzzling, the Omega Squad nominating Harrison for a civilian version of the Medal of Valor. I read the story half a dozen times, but am still at a loss to understand just what Harrison did to deserve a medal. And his study of Kung Fu, which opened the story, was never used -- contrary to the "loaded gun" principle of unfulfilled expectations. (As Alfred Hitchcock put it, if you load a gun in Scene 1, you should fire it before the final curtain.) I got the feeling that an explanatory paragraph or two had been lost somewhere.

Karen Miller's "Codicil to Vengeance," on the other hand, has all its parts in superb working order, and contains a perfect explanation for why Suzanne is so very protective of Debi. "Codicil" is quite short — only six pages — but it speaks volumes about the pain of loss and the price of survival. Muramoto the Sadist strikes again in "Hot Seat." This is a combination puzzle-box/ticking clock story that puts Norton on the aforementioned seat in trying to find a way around an alien computer virus that has trapped him and Ironhorse in an airtight room. Beth has done a fine job of capturing the tension and flaky humor of deadline exhaustion, but I kept wondering why somebody didn't just knock down a couple of walls and get them out. Even if Ironhorse didn't have any explosives in his pocket, he could've phoned in a carry-out order to Omega Squad. Or, if there were some reason they couldn't get out by force, the reader had a "need to know* that reason. The art in this issue is scarce but generally quite good. Mary G.T, Webber has turned out to be another of those multitalented people who can draw a portrait with pen and ink as well as with words. The art in this issue is scarce but generally quite good. Mary G.T, Webber has turned out to be another of those multitalented people who can draw a portrait with pen and ink as well as with words.

Poetry runs the gamut. Webber's "Harrison: Doppelganger" is a brooding gem illuminated by Faddis' stark pen and ink; MGTW also sent me to the dictionary with the title Tergiversator," which suits her Quinn poem perfectly. Lana Merkel's piece on the same theme, "Changeling," was placed far enough away that there was no conflict of interest -- or appreciation. A couple of the other poems left me cold; "Veteran's Day" needed work on its scansion and rhyme, and "Friends" was basically internal dialogue broken up into lines. The idea worked, but the dialog didn't follow the speech patterns of either character. (Would Ironhorse really say, "Good heavens, I like that crazy scientist!"?)

Overall, Dee-Pice II fulfilled the high expectations set by Issue 1. The last 20 pages of DPH are second season -- enough for TSI fen to enjoy, but certainly not enough to discourage first season diehards. It's definitely worth the $15. [4]


  1. ^ from the editor's LoC in The Blackwood Project #5
  2. ^ The "Damage Control" Universe: Close Encounters in To Life Immortal #2 | Damage Control in Dee-Pice #1 | Rumors of War in Bring 'Em Back Alive #1 | Arms & The Man in Wasting Aliens | Shadow of Thy Wings in Dee-Pice #2 | War In the Gates in Bring 'Em Back Alive #2
  3. ^ from The Blackwood Project #6
  4. ^ from The Blackwood Project #10