Far Realms

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Zine
Title: Far Realms
Publisher: Falcon Press & Galactic Winds Press
De-Van Press reprinted them for a time, in 1986, T'Kuhtian Press had permission to copy and distribute these zines/parts of these zines
Editor(s): Jeanine Hennig, Mark Hernandez, and Keith Woods (#1), the other issues by Hennig alone
Date(s): 1981-1987
Series?:
Medium: print fanzine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Wars (mainly), multimedia
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Far Realms is a gen multimedia zine with an emphasis on Star Wars content.

It was planned as a quarterly zine, ran for nine issues, and was a Fan Quality Award Winner.

The editor Jeanine Hennig, with Cheree Cargill, also did two parody editions: see Far Realms Sex.

Some of the Catalyst! Universe stories are in this zine.

A Megazine

While the first three issues were small to medium sized, the last five were very large, something that the editor commented on in 1986 in the essay The Bigger They Come: The Trials and Tribulations of Megazines:

I didn't start out to run a big zine. No, truly! FAR REALMS started out with a first issue of about eighty pages. Then, just like the guinea pigs in the story, it bred and bred...*sigh*. Now FAR REALMS is called cheerfully by others—cursingly by myself, the SW phone book. It is also a good booster chair for toddlers—I know; I've used it as such.

But a big zine (megazines as they're called now) has to be more than just impressive in size. Perhaps it has more rigid standards set for it than any smaller zine. Why? Riddle me this. Batman. Would you pay almost $20 for a zine that had nothing more going for it than sheer bulk? I sure as heck wouldn't.
The issues I had perfect bound, FAR REALMS 4/5 & 6, were done by a very capable bindery and did not suffer from having pages fall out like some perfect-bound zines have. But you do have the problem of people finding them hard to read simply because you can't lay them flat. Another choice is simply buying a GBC, hand-operated binder, sure, you'll have sore arm muscles for a couple of days after you tackle punching holes in the darn thing, but you obviously think pain is fun or you wouldn't be steadily doing megazines. (Who needs Nautilus when you've got a GBC binder?) We recently broke down and bought one, when we found that we could buy two for the price it takes the printers to do all the work. And you can exchange labor/dollars/whatever to let other editors use it.

Megazine publishing is not fun. Thos who think it is don't often come out with quality zines. It is work, hard work. Around publishing time I'll guarantee you that you won't want to do another one. You'll threaten your mate or family or roomie with hari-kari, threaten to sell yourself for enough money to do the darn thing—it's like a disease. And, like a disease, it gets into your blood and won't let go. So why do one?

Well, there are several reasons. "Mount Everest Syndrome" is one of them—"because it's there". Every reason is different for every editor I'm sure. My reasons are varied. I tend to write tomes, so I have a soft spot in my heart for writers who do the same. I like to give those writers a forum to publish their work in its entirety, without breaking it up into parts. A friend of mine once told me that I was the only editor who didn't faint when she walked up and mentioned a 100+ page manuscript. I took without a whimper. But that's not the only reason. I hold firm to FAR REALMS because most of the 'old generation' magazines, of which it is a part, are no longer publishing. FR is almost the only one left. I never want for material and never have—I must be doing something right I And as long as that keeps up, I'll keep up.

So call me a masochist...

Issue 1

Far Realms 1 was published in 1981 (February? [1]) and is 86 pages long.

It was edited by Jeanine Hennig, Mark Hernandez production manager), and Keith Woods (during the zine's production was first was the publisher, then cheif editor and then associate editor)

front cover issue #1, Keith Woods
back cover of issue #1, Keith Flanagan

The art is by Guy Brownlee, Kevin Flanagan, Mark Hernandez, Jenni Hennig, Bill Otstott, Robert Schaupp, Vicki Wilson, and Keith Woods.

From the editorial by Mark:

The purpose of this zine is to take you, the fan, on a journey to unimaginable worlds - and to those that are slightly familiar. FAR REALMS will intrigue you with its freshness and genuine honesty. The fervor in these pages reach out to that which is buried deep inside of each of us, that small part where tomorrow is yesterday and all the futures of man have been born and died a million times. We are iust beginning, the adventure has not even begun! Join us, let FAR REALMS be your guide through that spot in each of us where we are all equal, and even the strong be weak. The game is afoot: the hounds are bayine at a shallow moon that harbors aliens and nightmares from a thousand lifetimes. The everyday is fading, and all but a dream in the mists of forever. Let go; don't be afraid. The Phoenix is dead - long live the Phoenix!

This is it; you have begun a journey from your inner sanctum to the vastness of FAR REALMS!!!!
From the editorial by Jeanine:

I'm the Editor of this culmination of love and hard work. I also handle a mean blaster. I'm not a newcomer to fandom - I was addicted at the tender age of thir teen - but I received my iniation [sic] to fanzines a bare two years ago. I was elated to find out that I wasn't alone, (doya mean other folks write about the same things I do? WHEEE!!) Of course, this led to THE IDEA - start your own!!

[snipped]

Little did I realize how hard it is to start a new zine - the little nit-picky details could drive you to breeding tribbles!! I had to find out the hard way - and if it hadn't been for some nice people who gave me advice, good ol' F.R. #1 would be a dying gleam in my eye. People, you know who you are, and I thank you bunches!!! (besides, with 3 dogs and a horse, I don't have no room for those tribbles!) I hope you'll enjoy the zine - write us and tell us what you think, 'cause we'll have a space next issue for letters.... As to submissions, send 'em on! We've already started taking them for future issues.

Well, I'll pipe down for a while -I'll try, anyway! And I'm happy to announce the arrival of a new baby zine called FAR REALMS!!!!
Introduction to an illo:

Robert Schaupp, seventeen, is a comic fan - but not your normal one. Of all fans, maybe ten percent are talented enough to aspire to become a comic artist, and he is planning: to so to New York soon and show his portfolio. It looks as if Robert,(or RAMS, as he is known to sign his artwork), is well on his way. Here's a sample of his artwork, and we're pleased about the fact that someday we might be able to say, "I knew him when ...

Good luck. Robert!
  • Editor's Page by Jeanine Hennig, Mark Hernandez, and Keith Woods (1)
  • Saga of the X-Men, article by Mark Hernandez (Marvel Comics) (4)
  • Introspection by Violet Nordstrom ("Leia has lost much — her family, her friends, and most of all, a pirate named Han Solo. Can she possibly find the strength to go on?") (Star Wars) (7)
  • A Hero's Vow, poem by Jenni (Star Wars) (11)
  • The Desk of the Dark Lord by guess who?! (Star Wars) (12)
  • Eve of Neversleep, vignette by Greta Masters (original science fiction) (14)
  • Against the Red by Mark Hernandez (original science fiction?) (15)
  • The WAR STARS Primer by Jeanine Hennig and Keith Woods (Reprinted in "Far Realms" #8, this was almost certainly inspired by Star Trek Primer: A Child's Garden of Space by Paula Smith.) (Star Wars) (17)
  • Flash Gordon: A Review by Mark Hernandez (Flash Gordon) (22)
  • THe Bet, poem by Guy Brownlee (Star Wars) (24)
  • Starbuck's Gamble by Lillian Carl ("The Cylons are close behind and the war-like Tethyans have need supplies. But in order to obtain them, Starbuck must make the most risky gamble yet, with the fleet as stakes.") (Battlestar Galactica) (25)
  • Portfolio by Vicki Wilson and Robert Schaupp (34)
  • Catalsyt!, part one by Jeanine Hennig (The first post-TESB novella. General description: "Disheartened after his struggle with Darth Vader, Luke leaves the Alliance once more, only to have the greatest conflict ever awaiting him on a far-off planet, conflict with 'The Other.'" This story's description from the second issue: "In part one, lost from the Alliance, a disillusioned Luke Skyaalker crashed on an unknown planet and was rescued by a young girl named Jessami, whose healing powers saved his life. To his amazement, she is Ben Kenobi's grandchild and has been living alone since her parents were brutally killed by Darth Vader nine years before. Since then, she has been 'shielding' her powers and hiding from the Dark Lord who is still looking for her. Her only companion is a horse-like animal named Sky, who nurtures a hatred for any intruders - namely Luke. But now, Luke has unknowingly betrayed himself as Vader's son, and a frightened Jessami runs from him only to fall into a viper pit. She is forced to call on Luke for help, and he aids her, unaware that she knows who he is, and that she could turn out to be his worst enemy ...") (reprinted in whole in 1986 as Catalyst!) (Star Wars) (41)
  • Star Reck - not the motion picture! by Keith Woods (Star Trek) (66)
  • Star Song, filk by Violet Nordstrom (to the "The Science-Fiction Double-Feature", from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show.") (71)
  • Sequel by Kevin Borah and Guy Brownlee (72)
  • The Force Will Keep Us Together, filk by Jeanine Hennig and Mark Hernandez (to the tune of "Love Will Keep Us Together") (Star Wars) (74)
  • Sulu's Karma, part one by Kei Courtney (Star Trek TOS, takes place in very future Japan) (76)
  • Musings of a Lady, poem by Violet Nordstrom (Battlestar Galactica) (85)
  • Realm's End by Jeanine Hennig (86)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

... I haven't had a chance to sit down and do justice to Far Realms #1 yet, but I did read 'Introspection'. The characterization of Leia has never been a favorite of mine for the simple reason I could never figure her out. So it's always nice to read a story from someone who has some understanding of her character. [2]

Hello! I've read so many zines lately, I've LoC'd myself out; so this will be short.

My favortie piece in the zine was "The War Stars Primer' - very clever.

I like the 'Catalyst!' story, and I'm looking forward to more. However, I don't subscribe to the theory that Darth Vader is Luke's father. No way ... [3]

... You did it! I'm so glad for you, Mark and Keith that Far Realms did not re main a gleam in your eye.

It was only a few months ago that you were asking everyone who came into Larry Herndon's shop, Remember When, if he or she did any writing. From the looks of the zine, you got a pretty good response. I have enjoyed it immensely.

'Against the Red' was a sad commentary on just how easy it is for machinery to be wrong. 'War Stars' and 'Star-Reck' are great, especially the bit about the Asteroid belt and O'Hara's accent. 'Starbuck's Gamble' did nothing for me. It was a good story, but I don't like Starbuck.

As you well know, my kids like to sing 'The Force Will Keep Us Together. And what a thrill to see my own stuff! 'Catalyst!' ... ah, 'Catalyst!'. I've become so acquainted with Jessami, Sky, Luke, ad infinitum, that it's hard to be objective. I LIKE IT!!! If anyone says that the first part is corny - well, that's their problem.

Now that #2 is a reality, maybe I can get a breather between issues ...Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha ... hah! Congratulations, Madame Editor, Asst.(?) Editor, and Prod. Man. — [4]

... I picked up a copy of Far Realms #1 at MediaWest Con and was very impressed with your zine. The concept of a zine covering all areas of fandom appealed to me even though I also buy zines devoted to only one fandom. I like variety, I suppose.

As to FR#1, I am hooked on the 'Catalyst!' series, (probably the main reason I'm ordering #2), and the cartoon of Star Trek is wonderful. I especially enjoyed 'From the Desk of 'Yours Truly', because I have a grudging something for the Dark Lord. I enjoy reading humorous things about him — [5]

This here thing is one official LoC! Handle with care! I figured I'd start at the beginning and somehow get to the end. Glad you're going as a genzine, much as I love SWars.

Most genzines limit to media, so I loved the piece on the X-Men. Excellent!

'Introspection' was interesting - reminded me of Judy Low's excellent Leia. I enjoyed seeing the tender side of her. The time switches were a little rough, but that was not too hard.

War Stars was fantastic, one of the best parodies of SWars I've seen, (and I've seen quite a bit!)

'Starbuck's Gamble' was a good story. I especially*liked the way Melantha kept control of the situation. Now to ' Catalyst!', which I assume to he the major story of this ish. Now, I have hints of what's to come, so I know it gets better.

Right now, I'd consider 'Catalyst!' the weakest link in the series. Sky could he interesting, but he definitely needs some work as far as his presentation. I can see that it is an early story, because later stories are handled with more maturity. ' Catalyst!' has a childlike innocence,' probably too much at times. It hurts it.

'Star Reck' and 'Desk of the Dark Lord' were great - I can't wait to see how the Endocrine crew deals with Barph Later.

'Sulu's Karma', a wonderful Trek piece, was beautifully written. Kei Courtney certainly had me empathizing throughout. Love the idea of the culture clash. Many people forget that a planet is usually made up of very different cultures and classes.

On a whole, the poetry and cartoons were all good. Look forward to #2! [6]

What a wonderful fanzine you have put together! The 'War Stars Primer' was terrific - what was it that Chewbacca was writing; Darth Plucks, Darth Ducks, (you can see I've never been in a subway)? Very clever (Alsorann rock garden, indeed). Vicki Wilson's artwork was very good, especially like her rendition of Leia Organa. For some reason, fan artists don't draw Carrie Fisher very well, (because they don't like her portrayal of Leia?), but the drawing on page 35 was very well done.

To be truthful, I haven't finished 'Catalyst!', but do like reading the character's thoughts. I'll write again.[7]
I just finished FAR REALMS and enjoyed it very much. I especially found 'Catalyst!' a good story and I can't wait to read the continuation. Jeanine Hennig's style of inserting the thoughts of her characters is awfully effective. The only thing I could object to would be the odd little essays - one or two of them - that cropped up. They were nicely written, but thematically incomplete ... I felt like asking, "let's have the rest of the story!" Too, could you include more SW material? Just a subjective choice on my part ... [8]

I have enjoyed FR #1. Violet Nordstrom's works were beautiful, (though the 'Lady' was a surprise), 'A Hero's Vow was also very good, but I have a "bad feeling" about 'Sulu's Karma'. (Can't wait to see if I'm right.)

'Catalyst!' is my favorite, can't wait to see if two and three are as good. (Personally, I feel that if Vader is Luke's father, he took after his mother!) I am looking forward to FR#2 ... [9]

Ya want to know what I thought of #1? Hmmm.

Okay, here's my opinion. FAR REALMS is ... different. Honestly, that reaction is perhaps the most clearly, defined emotion I can come up with. Your zine's 'difference' is the strongest aspect in your zine, which is the humor. And boy, is it weird! Keep it going strong! [10]
Hi! I enjoyed FAR REALMS #1 - It was good, good, good, and funny, funny funny! I was kinda stuck on the 'War Stars Primer'. The articles, 'Saga of the X-Men' and 'Flash Gordon' were very interesting and well-done! I also enjoyed 'Starbuck's Gamble', 'Catalyst!' and 'Sulu's Karma' - plus all the artwork, songs ... not to mention 'Star Reck' ... [11]

I really liked the comic art and the X-Men review - not that I know anything about X-Men, I just know a lot of X-Men fans. Vicki Wilson's art portfolio was really nice, tell her to keep at it. The funniest piece had to be 'The Desk of the Dark Lord'; in fact, I'm including a contribution to Darth's letter pile. A word about 'Catalyst!', though. The action moves along fairly well and I like all the thinking that

the reader is let in on, but the sheer improbability of Jessami's position makes the story actually difficult to read. It just seems too impossible for Obi-Wan to have a last surviving relative, and that Luke happens to stumble on her and that they are apparently a perfect match. It doesn't seem possible to me. Perhaps if some of Jessami's differences from Luke were emphasized along with her similarities, the character might gain more believably. [12]

In #1, Vicki Wilson's Han on pp. 36 is pretty good; to this non-expert on comics, Robert Schaupp's comic illos look fine.

'A Sequel' by Guy Brownlee is pretty good.

In 'Safe House', Tiare is a fine character, interesting, and much more mature that any of the others.

If you want less-than-positive comments on other pieces you'll have to ask. After two pages of negatives I think enough's enough! Hope it didn't come across the wrong way, but I have a feeling it might have — I've been told that often what I put on paper is not the way I intended it to sound. Basically, I think the zine over all and the writing need work. Please keep in mind that I've just turned 38 and therefore have a different perspective than a younger reader. Someone not involved acting as in-progress editor might help, if you don't already have someone doing this. Think I'll quit before I get too far behind here — "I'm making this up as I go along"— and I've probably long since worn out my welcome.[13]

Issue 2

front cover from issue #2
back cover of issue #2

Far Realms 2 was published in August 1981 and is 145 pages long. It was printed offset, reduced.

It was edited by Jeanine Hennig.

It has art by Kevin Flanagan, Bill Otstott, Keith Woods, Guy Brownlee, Jeanine Hennig, and Daryl Dennis.

From the editorial:

WHOOPEE!! We're here!! #2 is out! YAY!!

Well, maybe not so serious. Anyway, if you can't tell, I'm excited about this. FAR REALMS has taken off to the stars, and I don't think this hotshot kid's coming down! It's kinda fun! So multiple thanks go to the people who helped make #2 a reality - especially the ones who read and enjoyed FR #1.

I do have apologies to make for the lateness of thish. Two months behind isn't funny, (you all should see my mail!), but I do have two very good excuses - Mark Hamill on Broadway and MediaWest Con in Lansing, Michigan. Here I was - until three months ago, I was a country girl who'd never been north of Oklahoma, then twice in two months I get to go about as north as you can get ...

At any rate, Mark was truly stunning in 'The Elephant Man', and MediaWest ... ah, MediaWest. What can I say? I met so many fabulous people there, and it was a zine fan's paradise! (You know that once you get hooked on the darn things, there's no hope for you!).

I sold almost every copy of REALMS #1, (there are maybe 10 left, so if you want one, hurry!), and I also learned quite a bit, so hopefully thish will be even better, quality-wise. Thank you, Gordon and Lori Carleton, and I'm looking forward to going to MediaWest II. (l may be crazy, but I'm not stupid!)

Speaking of crazy, I've really done it! I've gone off the deep end this time! Galactic Winds Press is now putting out a new zine. It is devoted to Mark Hamill, will be edited by me, and the name? SHOOTING STAR!

[snipped]

Speaking of changes, Violet Nordstrom and I have formed a co-authorship on my 'Catalyst!' series, and some really neat things are forthcominug. So far, response has been favorable, and people want to see more, so you asked for it, you got it! Hang on to your lightsabers! What started out as a very short story expanded into a novella, and now has the possiblilty of turning into a mythological epic! ARRGH!! (By the way, you should soon see some 'Catalyst! stuff in other zines, as well -- plug, plug!).

'Safehouse' is here, and brings in another new character that will be vital to the 'Catalyst!' universe. It's Vi and mine's firs effort and a true cancer (it grew , and grew...) But I think the finished product is well worth the pains of birth.
  • Editor's Page by Jeanine Hennig (1)
  • From 'Round the Realm by Various and Asundry Fen, letters of comment (3)
  • CineRelms by Mark Hernandez (short movie reviews) (5)
  • Dark Lord Darth, filk to the tune of "Jingle Bells," by Kevin Flanagan (Star Wars) (6)
  • From the Desk of the Dark Lord by Guess Who?! (7)
  • Quandry, poem by Violet Nordstrom (Star Wars) (9)
  • Catalyst!: Safe-House by Jeanine Hennig and Violet Nordstrom (A chapter in the Catalyst series: "Dr. Tiare Falrynne runs an undercover operation on Ord Mantell—offering the Alliance needed supplies. It is up to Han, Luke and Leia to pick up those supplies, but there is a problem. The planet Governor's right-hand man is a bounty hunter who would give anything to capture a certain Corellian smuggler." This story was revised and combined with "Lady in the Woods" to become "Alpha" in Catalyst! Collected.) (10)
  • Interlude: Dreams & Settlements by Jeanine Hennig (a small hint that is is part of the Catalyst! universe) (Star Wars) (55)
  • Dark Wish, poem by Kelley Harkins (61)
  • For the Woman Who Has Everything by Kathy and Keith Woods ("Ginny Crabtree has everything a normal young woman could possibly want—until two little alien benefactors appear in her bathroom and give her more than she bargains for.") (original science fiction) (62)
  • Patience by Mark Hernandez ("The dark-haired stranger who entered Teek's Bar looked to be an ordinary freighter pilot—but he wasn't. As the patrons were soon to find out, he was linked to the Force in a powerful, and mysterious way!") (Star Wars) (69)
  • To the Stars! by Jenni Hennig (Star Trek TOS) (81)
  • Sulu's Karma, part 2 by Kei Courtney (Star Trek TOS) (82)
  • Paradox, poem by Jenni Hennig (91)
  • Catalyst! by Jeanine Hennig (Second of three parts: "Luke has crashed and is stranded on the planet Marthala. The only other human inhabitant is a young woman named Jessami, who, as Luke discovers, has the Force as only a Jedi could. But now, more than ever, the spectre of Darth Vader hangs over Luke, involving Jessami as well. Can she trust the son of one who destroyed her family? Or will she be moved to vengeance?" In 1987, Violet Nordstrom wrote that this story was "adjusted by Jeanine to accommodate new informational input and changes that grew out of out of collaboration." [14]) (92)
  • Introspection: Emergence by Violet Nordstrom (part of the Catalyst! universe) (Star Wars) (119)
  • Catalyst! by Jeanine Hennig (Third of three parts. In 1987, Violet Nordstrom wrote that this story was "adjusted by Jeanine to accommodate new informational input and changes that grew out of out of collaboration." [15])) (123)
  • Jedi!, poem by Kelley Harkins (Star Wars) (142)
  • Realm's End, zine ads, etc. (143)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

Just got FAR REALMS #2, and thoroughly loved it. 'Quandry', 'Paradox' and 'Jedi!' are all beautiful. 1 was wrong, (and right), about 'Sulu's Karma', loved it. 'Patience' is off to a running start, (can't wait to hear more from "the stranger"). 'Safe-House' brought out some interesting background for the ' Catalyst!' series; and as for 'Catalyst!', itself, part two is even better than I hoped - but talk about cliffhangers!!?! ...[16]

Help! Jeanine, I got a little lost in between the different 'Catalyst!' universe segments. I kept thinking I had finished a section, only to find it started up again in another part of the zine. As far as the individual pieces were concerned, however, I was pleased.

I turned to 'Catalyst!' first, because I enjoyed the installation in FAR REALMS 1 so much. I especially liked the way you handled Luke and Jessami's night together in the old house. You gave plenty of description to go along with the dialogue, so that the reader felt empathy for both character's feelings. The love they shared was totally natural, without pretense, and this scene was written especially well. The ending culminating with the dream coming true was downright spooky; really left me tense. 1 do have some questions about the story, however. Why didn't Luke and Jessami realize from the first that he was the Jedi that was to be her life-mate? It Just seemed so obvious to me. Also, how could Luke feel so dejected about himself and his worth to the Alliance, when it was he that almost single-handedly destroyed the Death Star and saved the Rebels?

You and Violet should both be pleased with 'Safe-House'. Tiare is an unusual character as a woman who has dedicated her life to working against the Empire, without being romantically involved with one of the main Swars characters, (or should 1 say, at least for now, since I don't know what will happen next.) I enjoyed the animosity between her and Luke, because it shows that the rebels are just human, after all. They don't automatically like or trust one another.

The hook of the Jedi and the quotes from it used through out the zine were really great. I read them over and over, wishing I had made them up myself. How about a collection of quotes or proverbs from the Kallandir next time?

A little more on 'Safe-House' ... I was confused by the fact that the rebels had to enter Ord Mantell the first time with an elaborate disguise' but on their second entry had none at all. Also, in reference to the joke on pp. 25 about "If I could ..." (walk that way) - do you really think those people would have heard of Groucho Marx?

It was nice to see a humorous piece in an otherwise serious zine in ((Kathy & )) Keith's 'For the Woman Who Has Everything'. I really got a kick out of the line, "Beam me down, Scotty." I hope Keith continues to write as well as draw.

Violet has done a good Job of getting inside Leia's char- actor for 'Introspection; Emergence'. Too many people simply do not understand the Princess' motives. They dislike her simply because she doesn't react the way they would like her to. Once you consider how she was raised, then it all begins to make sense. Keep up the good work, Violet.

'Patience'? What do you mean, 'Patience'?! What an apt title for a story that leaves the reader with so many questions that they want answered now!! Though I usually don't enjoy 'fight scenes', I have to admit to being interested in the scene going on in 'Teek's Bar'. What is this guy, some kind of Indiana Jones Jedi?! I was intrigued by his mysteriousness, and I want to know more about his Daria, as well. This is a story with definite possibilities.

As far as the artwork is concerned, I especially liked what I saw on pp. 1, 42, 56, 91, 102, & 115. For some one who has taken up drawing in the last year, Jenni is really coming along. 'Jedi' was a last touch for the ending of the zine. I'd like to think that the 'other' could be someone for Luke, since Leia has apparently ended up with Han - but then again, I'm a romantic. Just one thing ... I'm sorry : that 'War Stars, Episode Three: There's No Hope' got lost in the mail. I was sooo looking forward to it."" ' Next ish, huh? [17]

Well, I've just finished reading FR#2 right through for about the sixty-zillionth time since it came. I wanted to refresh my memory before plunging into this. 'Catalyst I' was far and away the most striking story in the zine. For once, a story that centers around characters, and does it well! Luke, of course, is my favorite, and as you obviously feel the same, I don't need to rave on about him. But, what I found so wonderful about your zine,was all the SWs stories had well-balanced character portrayals. My hat is off to both you and Violet for an excellent adventure in 'Safe-House', as well! 'Patience' was well-written, but I'll have to wait for further ad ventures before I make a final Judgement - it was a bit disjointed for me to follow easily ... Artwork - what can I say? (Yes, that was a nice drawing if you did say so yourself!) - my other favorite work was dramatic piece on pp. 123 - hum, nice! But, with all the . other stuff, it was hard to decide. (Amongst them for my fav!)

As for the rest of the zine, I would like to see what else is planned for Ginny Crabtree - Ralph Hanley watch out, huh? 'Sulu's Karma' Just didn't hold my interest, I don't know quite why ... oh, and I was supposed to inform you; you've been awarded my 'Chuckle of the Month Award' for your cartoon: 'A Day in the Life of the Editor's Husband'! Priceless ... [18]
FAR REALMS #2 was very good. I'm enjoying the 'Catalyst!' series; however, I would have enjoyed 'Safe-House more without the constant fighting. It's difficult for me to envision Luke ducking his problems and responsibilities and giving himself over to petty feelings of jealousy. I just got the impression at the end of Empire, that he had himself pretty much together. I very much liked 'Patience' and will be interested to see where it goes from here. By the way, what about Han?! [19]
I've received FAR REALMS 2 and yes, 'Catalyst!' reads much better this time, the' I'm still a little uneasy about Jessami - she's still a little naive. She needs to see the galaxy, maybe become a little more worldly. [20]

I have read ish #2 twice now, so you can be sure I think it's a good ish. Perhaps I shouldn't comment on artwork, since I can't draw and don't know the terminology- but after so many years of fanzine reading, I can appreciate good art. (It also helps that some of my fan friends here in Det[roit] are artists too.) Your art is very good, and I feel, is comparable to Martynn's work and others like her who have gotten awards. I hope that you get one soon, as well. Most portraits such as Leia on pp. 9 and Luke on pp. 56 are beautiful. The group and action shots, such as on pp. 37, some times appear a bit stiff, but I expect that is because you are rushed for time and cannot devote yourself to each piece as you would like. As an amateur photo bug, I can appreciate the framing and composition of you art. Each is very effective. Like I said, the faces are very expressive; it is Just the bodies that are sometimes stiff.

The stories are excellent, too. Love your turn of phrasing - I could read your stuff all day. I like the dialogue and the naturalness of the behavior of the characters. You make them into people, and not characters, if that makes sense. It is so good to read snappy dialogue; I noticed that both Luke and Jess in 'Catalyst!' managed this, and yet were not trying to hurt each other. Any hurting that they did do was a result of their con fusion and not deliberate. I like your handling of Luke, as I am very tired of the dippy portrayal that most writers show. Han and Leia don't suffer, either, and are their usual selves; but best of all, "your own characters are neither extra-dominant or wishy-washy non entities. A very good balance is maintained. Your slipping from dialogue to action to thoughts is also very effective and realistic. I'm glad that you show everyone's thoughts and not Just one character's. It allows the reader to participate in all the action and still get inside everyone's head. I always want to know WHY people do things and you satisfy my curiosity:. Thanks.

'Sulu's Karma' is very, very good, and thank you for showing another aspect of TREK. I am sick and tired and fed up to the sun with the trite action-adventure and/or sniffy personality and I'm-lost-without-you-Kirk/Spock stories that have made 90% of TREK stories BO boring for me. Conflicts in culture are much more interesting.

I was glad of the article on X-MEN in ish #1 and like to read stuff like that. Personally, I still like comics in spite of my 37 years - or is it because of it? They have priced me out of buying all the ones I did ten years ago, so now I Just read a select few, and X-MEN is one.

Loved Ginny Crabtree's adventure and hope we see more. (( if all works out, you will in REALMS #6)) I think that what is wrong with most fan-written general SF is that the authors try to be too sweeping in their coverage and forget the specifics of day-to-day life and humor, especially humor. The Woods succeeded. Well done ...[21]
... Thank you for sending me the latest FAR REALMS 2, I enjoyed it very much. The 'Catalyst!' series is interesting, though I still think that ROTJ is going to end with Luke staggering off in his noble, self-sacrificing, (ie - pigheaded), lovable way into the desert, to be come Obi-Wan Skywalker, true blue Jedi. (Rather Dune-ish!). But I prefer the 'Catalyst!'! ..[22]
[The editor, Hennig, prefaces these comments with: A quick note on Chris Callahan's letter [in issue #6] — normally, I like to stick my two two cents worth in if the mood hits me, but there are so many questions in hers that it would take 'a whole 'nother' zine to answer them properly! I answered a couple that I just couldn't sit still on, but I've already sent her a letter that answers a lot of the questions; a lot of them were answered in FR3, had she read on, and she is right about several points. Well, you know, you grow ...

Some of this will be questions, basically rhetorical—I don't expect you to spend time answering them to me. (Unless you really want to, of course!) Anything phrased as a question is basically intended to suggest that it wouldn't hurt to think about the particular item and see if there might be a better way to handle it, maybe to provide an explanation of something you know so well that you didn't put it down. And if I put my foot in my mouth up to the knee, apologies in advance—I have a bad case of foot'n mouth of long standing.

Part one, at the Rebel base. It seems to me that Luke would have told Leia well before this that he'd promised to return to Dagobah, and if he somehow didn't get around to it, why doesn't he tell her now? He acts more like a ten-year-old afraid of a scolding than a Commander, however young, with a considerable amount of responsibility.

On the flight, there's a reference to 'passage into another arrangement of planets'. If the ship is in hyperspace it wouldn't be near a solar system, certainly not in a way that R2 could detect. It it's in some sort of 'overspace/time' in a mystical sense, being noticeably near a solar system is even less likely. If it's in real space, it won't be going into another system along the way, and indeed would be too far away from such a system to tell what it was in the first place.

The relationship between Luke and Jess is unreal—it's overly emotional but at the same time very shallow—all the feel ing is on the surface; basically it strikes me as very adolescent, which may be appropriate on Jess' side, but not on Luke's. ((I think it's all a matter of what you see in each character and characterizations)) The idea of a child living alone with an animal friend, remaining childish through lack of human contact is a cliche; so is the close rapport between a teenage girl and horse/unicorn (which has also considerable Freudian overtones—did you intend that?) As for her surviving at a fairly high standard of living on her own, this seems to me most unlikely, given the lack of physical support from any society.(food, clothing, medical attention)

In pt. 2, Luke's reaction to Jess' long hair is rather childish, esp. for someone his age. ((Frankly, then, all men must be childish—I have long hair and most of them have a similar reaction ...)) So is his apparent total trust in her, when he tells her about Leia. Jess' question about love is unlikely. Her whole reaction to Luke seems to be very adolescent in the teen magazine sense, which doesn't seem right, given her total lack of contact with humans all these years—such a way of seeing people is learned behavior. Innocence in the general as well as sexual sense is one thing, but Jess comes across not as innocent but a combination of confused and calculating. Making Luke and Sky rivals for Jess strikes me as tabloid-level Freudianism, even if it wasn't meant that way; the impression is strengthened by the fact that Sky has never mated and seems to identify so heavily with Jess in spite of the species difference. Luke's total lack of concern about possible conception in the love scene seems rather unlikely to me, tho' perhaps it does fit in with the general immaturity of the relationship. I naturally wouldn't expect Jess to think about it. One thing bothers me about this scene quite aside from all this—it reminds me of the idea in 'Elf- quest' of 'recognition', the spiritual identification that has to be present for conception and which, when present, almost assures conception. ((I feel that this needs to be straightened out—the idea of 'spiritual unification' is not a new one, even in 'Elfquest'. I've had this comment from few people, and while this is the only one that is a bit aggressive, Jedi Bonding and Recognition are NOT the same! Recognition is lust, pure and simple, according to the Finis, a drive that demands notice whether the people involved like it or not. If you MUST compare Bonding to something, compare it to the 'Impression' of dragons to dragonriders in the McCaffrey books. The feeling is like a total melding of desires and both parties like it! Also, as you'll read in this chapter of 'SOD:Jihad', Luke and Jess don't even truly know what this Bonding is ... you are right in one thing Chris, their relationship was the one of two scared adolescents ... Sorry, back to you!))

Next problem is a matter of layout in zine. Putting the story in two parts with a related piece in between is OK; in this case it helps pull the stories of Luke and Leia together in time and spirit. But it would have been more helpful to the reader to have a title for the second part of 'Catalyst!' An obviously-related illo just doesn't substitute for a title. As for the illo on pp. 123 - it's fine, in my opinion the only really well-executed illo in the zine. But it looks awfully familiar.

Finally I remembered why—it's dangerously close to Joni Wagner's opening illo for 'Foreshadows' in SKYWALKER 4 [23] and the . I hope the resemblance is accidental. ((It just means that Joni Wagner had the same book on 'Dynamic Light and Shade' that I did, which shows the technique. I guess the lotus is common among Jedi ...})

Luke's constantly calling her 'little girl' doesn't fit the Luke of SW and TESB—it's condescending, and he's not that sort of person. Han might call her that, with the intention of gently (?) teasing, but even he wouldn't do it constantly.

Is Jess' relationship with Sky supposed to be symbolic of her emotional and social immaturity?

It's hard to believe that Luke at least doesn't even suspect the significance of Jess getting 'fat' after over 3 months of lovemaking without contraception. And if these humans are basically like Terrans, Jess should have noticed the lack of menstruation by now and at least thought it odd even if she hadn't gotten any information while her parents were alive.

I didn't read FR3, so I don't know whether some of my questions were answered/ objections resolved in the last part.

OK, now that I've made a properly rotten impression on you, a couple of favorable comments on other items. In #1, Vicki Wilson's Han on pp. 36 is pretty good; to this non-expert on comics, Robert Schaupp's comic illos look fine. 'A Sequel' by Guy Brownlee is pretty good. In 'Safe House', Tiare is a fine character, interesting, and much more mature that any of the others. If you want less-than-positive comments on other pieces you'll have to ask. After two pages of negatives I think enough's enough! Hope it didn't come across the wrong way, but I have a feeling it might have—I've been told that often what I put on paper is not the way I intended it to sound. Basically, I think the zine over all and the writing need work. Please keep in mind that I've just turned 38 and therefore have a different perspective than a younger reader.

Someone not involved acting as in-progress editor might help, if you don't al ready have someone doing this. Think I'll quit before I get too far behind here—"I'm making this up as I go along"—and I've probably long since worn out my welcome.[24]

Issue 3

Far Realms 3 was published in December 1982 and is 122 pages long.

front cover of issue #3, Keith Woods
back cover of issue #3, Brad Foster

Characters appearing in fan art include: a Klingon, Chewbacca, Mr. Spock, misc. Battlestar Galactica, Mork from Ork, Yoda, Darth Vader, R2-D2, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher/Princess Leia, George Lucas, C-3PO, Apollo/Richard Hatch, Starbuck/Dirk Benedict, Adama/Lorne Greene, Boomer/Herb Jefferson Jr., Kermit the Frog, Conan the Barbarian, Red Sonja, Captain Kirk, and Indiana Jones.

The art is by Anne Davenport, Jeanine Hennig, Keith Woods, Carol McPherson, and Daryl Dennis.

From the editorial:

In my unbiased (hah!) opinion, I think you're holding in your hands the best zine yet. I've finally learned how to do a reasonable lay-out, and things that we promised last ish are showing up now!

Those who have patiently awaited the last part of 'Star Reck', which first showed up in REALMS #1, will be re warded. Ain't life grand?! And speaking of 'Patience', which started in REALMS #2; it has been delayed, and will hopefully show up next ish. (C'mon, Hernandez - WRITE!!)

And speaking of next issue, there are some changes I reed to tell everyone about. I am going to (try to) take a small break, in order to get some writing and drawing done. This means that there will be a delay in between thish and the next one - but, fear not! In order to compensate, I will be combining ishs 4 & 5, which will make it a huge sucker! With all the written material I've accepted so far, it looks as though 4/5 will be well over 300 pages! I'm not taking any more stories for 4/5, but I am looking for artwork, poetry, and filler. Deadline for this is February 27th.
  • The Editor's Page by Jeanine Hennig (1)
  • From 'Round the Realm, letters of comment (2)
  • From the Desk of the Dark Lord by Guess Who??! (4)
  • Dagobah, filk to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas," by Keith Woods (6)
  • The Lady in the Woods by Violet Nordstrom and Jeanine Hennig ("When a beautiful, past-haunted lady appears in Dr. Tiare Falrynne's house one morning, Tiare is forced to make a choice. For not only does the lady hold the keys to Tiare's past and know all of the doctor's ties to the Alliance, but she holds the very future of the Rebels in her hands—through Luke Skywalker and the New Order of the Jedi Knights." This story was revised and combined with "Safe-House" to become the story "Alpha" in Catalyst! Collected. In 1987, Violet Nordstrom wrote that is "was written by me and edited by Jeanine, and utilized taped dialogue and plot lines developed both of us, and therefore we are both credited." [25]) (8)
  • Children, poem by Jeanine Hennig (Star Wars) (34)
  • Life is a Crock by Keith Woods (35)
  • To Shoot Down a Falcon by Lorelei Rade ("Alainkheer, the Master Assassin, tries again to down Solo, but it backfires in a peculiar way.") (36)
  • Caption This Picture!? by Carol McPherson (37)
  • WAR STARS Episode III: There's No Hope! by Keith Woods (38)
  • Impossible? by Christine Jeffords, illustrations by Carol McPherson (Author's note: "The author wishes to express her indebtedness to Teanna Lee Byerts, whose "Slight nav'puter malfunction cartoon in MOS EISLEY TRIBUNE #1 served as the inspiration for this story.") ("Lieutenant Starbuck thought he could handle any situation, until a black hole sent him careening straight into a squad of TIE fighers. And who to the rescue, but the Millennium Falcon.") (part of the Brightstar Universe) (Star Wars/Battlestar Galactica) (44)
  • Portfolio: Featuring by Keith Woods (66)
  • A Case of Hero-Worship by Violet Nordstrom (Battlestar Galactica) (71)
  • Tales of the Warlock by Keith Woods (original science fiction, comic) (74)
  • STAR RECK: NOT the Motion Picture by Keith Woods (75)
  • Catalyst, part three by Jeanine Hennig (In this conclusion to the first story of the series, Luke Skywalker and Jessami Kenobi are forced to battle for their lives alone on the planet Farthala, against a dreaded enemy who demands a fateful sacrifice. "It is the fifth month of the year 3023. Four months ago, a disillusioned Luke Skywalker crashed on the planet Farthala only to he rescued by its only inhabitant^ a young Jedi girl named Jessami Kenobi whose powers of Healing saved his life. Their explainable attraction to each other confused them both until one night when Luke, in an emotional turmoil, called to Jessami through the Force. In that same night, they became lovers and life-mates, finally beginning to comprehend the inherent linking together - the 'Bonding' of two Jedi that are destined to be together. In his resulting happiness, Luke conveniently put away. Only thoughts of returning to the Alliance and convinced himself that Vader would not be able to find them; ignoring Jessami's protests and his own visions to the contrary. Now, Jessami has finally confronted Luke with his reluctance to return, and an uncomfortable rift has come between the two. They are also unaware of the fact that Vader felt the stirring in the Force that their Bonding caused, and has used it to home in on them. Both of the young Jedi hare the fight of their lives ahead of them - for not only does Vader plan to take them, but also wants something that they don't realize they have..." In 1987, Violet Nordstrom wrote that this story was "adjusted by Jeanine to accommodate new informational input and changes that grew out of out of collaboration." [26])) (79)
  • Interlude: Fear by Jeanine Hennig (part of the Catalyst! universe, Star Wars) (110)
  • Paradise.... Lost by Jenni (112)
  • Realms End, zine ads (114)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

Yupyupyup ... here it is, Editor, my LoC! The cover of REALMS #3 is not the best of Keith's artwork I've seen; but the bacover by Brad Foster is verrry stylish.

Story-wise, 'Lady' is nice; Rebekah is a powerful character, and very real. I particularly liked her using arguments she didn't believe in to convince Tiare. There were points that were a bit confusing. I didn't understand the necessity of the scene with Aimee - it may be important in the series, but the import in the story was lost to me. I also found Rebekah to be a bit forgiving of Tamlin. Maybe if you're a Jedi it's different, but if my bond-mate had been able to speak to me for 24 years, and hadn't, it'd take more than a few minutes of dialogue to get rid of my anger. Which brings me to another point. I hope that somewhere, somewhen, you will explain why all your characters have to be tested over and over again. Just wondering ... One last thing: Tiare's wedding seemed very disjointed to me, and ended too rapidly. After all the build-up, 1 expected a bit more, but that's minor. Basically, 1 liked 'Lady', and hope to see lots more of 'Bekah in the future.

"Impossible' is hard for me to comment on. It's not exactly the way I would imagine Starbuck in the STAR WARS universe, but it's too close to my own ideas to require a suspension of belief. Understand? The characterizations seem true, (with the possible exception of Leia slapping a stranger), and I like the byplay between characters. Starbuck's return falters a bit, which is too bad - a tighter ending might have helped the story's overall impression.

'Catalyst!' just keeps getting better and better. I wasn't really ready to like Jessani when I first started reading the series - I tend to not like added love interests - but Jess has enough background, enough individuality to stand on her own against the more familiar characters of Luke and Darth. I didn't like Leia much in this - I guess I expected more tact out of her. Otherwise, I feel it's the best piece to come out of the series so far.

Jenni's artwork is really getting beautiful. I can't decide whether pp. l6, 89, or 113 is my favorite. Ah, what the hell - hurt-comfort always did get to me. It'll have to be a bloody Luke and his fallen mate.

Keith Woods' 'War Stars had me giggling, guffawing, chuckling, and likewise making an ass of myself in front of my mundane neighbors. I'm anxious to see the rest. 'Star Reck' was also good, but my first true love is SWars, so I'll have to opt for that as the best.

'A Case of Hero Worship was an interesting idea - not expanded into a story longer than it needed to be. As a finale, 'Caption This Picture' was as hilarious as

the Warlock. REALMS is turning into a very good zine, and I hope you continue publishing as often as you can. [27]

I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy FAR REALMS. It has developed into a really nice zine, and just seems to keep getting better every ish.

'Catalyst!' is a wonderful, dreamy story. I've loved it ever since I first read it, almost two years ago, and I love it even more with the changes you've made in it. Nice touch, having Luke go back to Tatooine at the end. I think that it is, really, the only place that Luke will begin to find the answers he needs. 'Paradise Lost' is nice, and that illo ... *S1GH* WOW! Your artwork gets better and better. I am a true Jenni fan! 'The Lady in the Woods' was interesting; can't wait to see the family reunions coming up - also, it's going to be neat seeing the new generation of Jedi in action! Rebekah is going to have her hands full! Wonder what Luke's life is gonna be like with Rebekah's (and Tarn's?) input.

On the lighter side, I liked 'War Stars' and 'Star Reck'. Fun and silly! And as to REALMS 4/5, I am looking forward to the rest of 'Catalyst!', (Can Luke and Jess find happiness and settle down in suburbia hmmm?),and to the further adventures of Ginny Crabtree. [28] (Oh, to have super powers!) ... [29]

Better late than never, right? Right! Well, I've got lots to say, so I'll just jump right in. First of all, I must say that I'm surprised at the change in the portrayal of Tiare in 'Lady in the Woods'. In 'Safe-House', she came across as being the one in control, but it appears here that learning about her true heritage as a Jedi knocked her off her feet so completely that she quite literally fulfills Rebekah's prophetic announcement, "sleep, child ... for child you are, living without knowing who or what you are." I miss her calm strength in this continuation. Just a minor complaint about the governor's death, I thought it was a little too simple and convenient. I'm not asking for blood and guts, but something a little more believable. By the way, am I right in assuming that Rebekeh was somehow responsible for that?

Next, concerning the acquaintance of Gea and Rebekah - first you say that Gea lets Rebekah in to watch over Tiare because Gea "knows if her, knows she's a friend", but later, Rebekah tells Tiare that Gea has visited her before. Little incongruities such as these can be distracting. I loved the symbolism of the garden in Rebekah's urging Tiare to get out and experience the whole universe instead of growing in one secluded corner. Very nice! I assume that Rebekah has known all along that Darth would find Luke and pursue him, but it appears that this knowledge and her job of rounding up and informing the children suddenly overwhelms her - or is she often plagued by such doubts? After all, it is serious enough to draw Tamlin out of his 24 year absence to give her encouragement. I can't help but think of him as some kind of saint. I mean, how can you not like the guy after he tells 'Bekah to give the child his own name and saber - somebody hand me the kleenex! I like the description of Darth, (pp. 33), which explains in brief terms how Rebekah could ever have gotten involved with him in the first place. Jeanine's hypo thesis of this whole 'affair' is beautifully orchestrated in a yet-to-be-published story called 'Legacy'.

If you want the juicy details of what went on between Darth, Rebekah and Tamlin, you must read this one. On the whole, 'Lady' was a good way of providing a lot of necessary information and characterizations for the Catalyst! universe. Your characters are developing and showing as yet unseen sides of their personalities.

My favorite Jenni illos are on pp. 6, the foldout, 82, 100, A 107. Lovely, just lovely!

I think Keith Woods is at his best when he combines his artistic and humorous talents, as in 'War Stars, Episode III', 'Star Reck', and personal favorite, 'Tales of the Warlock' (Jiggety-Jig). They were all funny, and his Vader and stormtroopers exceptional.

The idea of mixing universes as Chris Jefford's does in 'Impossible' is nothing new, but she manages to carry it off with a believable explanation and realistic characterizations. The only thing that bothered me about the story was that Starbuck was supposed to represent a man two-million years more advanced that our SWars heroes. Two-million years... Starbuck... are you kidding?

When I first saw M'Son's Forceful Darth on pp. 37 I got a big laugh out of it. I still do. Why it it that I find myself wanting to say yes?

Finally, to 'Catalyst". The scene near the beginning when Vader approaches the kids playing on the beach and says, "How charming" made my skin crawl. It sets the mood for the whole piece. I personally need to get some thoughts clarified about Jessami's confrontation with Darth and the Dark Side. At some point where Vader has already struck Luke down, Jess tells him that she won't let him hurt Luke anymore. Her aggression seems to have a positive bent as you explain, "this was an older/wiser/harder Jess talking." But when Luke regains consciousness and sees her saber upraised over Vader, you say he sees his worst fears coming to pass. Surely you don't mean the possibility of killing Vader. Do you mean because she is letting her anger rule, or for a brief instant she is succumbing/flirting with the Dark Side?... A question for all SWars fen -- when a Jedi is overcome by the negative emotions (fear-hate-anger), is this the same as experiencing the Dark Side? This is an interesting concept to me as a student of psychology. Jedi are only human, after all. If this statement is true, I'd expect that they'd suffer a lot of ulcers and show other stress symptoms. Anyway, back to Catalyst!. I like the bit where Ben explains to Luke that it is Jess's decision to make about how she is to live, and how Luke realizes that he is in greater danger from her, his lover, than he'd ever be from Vader, because if she turned to the Dark Side, he'd find it hard not to go after her. What a dilemma!!

Immediately after this scene, when Jess comes to her senses, you say she was ashamed at the wanting, the power-lust thoughts she'd had in those moments. What thoughts? You never let us know what she was thinking at that time. Was she really contemplating crossing that line into darkness?

I don't see Leia being quite so blind or narrow-visioned as to not realize that Luke was the father of Jess's baby, especially after the animal-like protectiveness he exhibited over her when they first ran into the rebels on Farthala. At the end of the story, I didn't want Luke to go off, because I just know there's trouble out there waiting for him. But the ending with the shaudarin, Sky, and his mate, with the tear running down his face, was just perfect. It sums up the theme very well; that we all must grow up sometime, accept change, and live with our losses. [30]
[comments by Chris Callahan]:

Let me start out by admitting that I read this zine in a strange order. I am not a vast fan of alternate universe stories, or of cycle stories that the reader must be familiar with to appreciate. Of ten it is impossible to get copies of the old zines where these cycles started and way too often the reader goes into these stories with no idea of character motivation or history. So, what might be a well-constructed story reads more like a poorly-constructed, half-engineered nightmare. Thankfully, this wasn't the case here, but it did motivate me to skip around in the zines to read the 'normal' SW stories first.

So, keeping that in mind ...

I enjoyed the "desk of the Dark Lord'; cute, and while I've seen others that were quite similar, I imagine the author suffers from the same time lag some of my own pieces do. At any rate, well done and not too cutesy.

'The Lady in the Woods' - well, this is the example that my first paragraph refers to. I briefed through it, realized that there was no character here with which I was familiar with, so I skipped it. Having then read the rest of the zine, I settled down to 'Catalyst!', since it had Luke, and totally enjoyed the story. I then read 'Lady' and found that I was glad I did; it's an excellent work of its own.

It took less than a page to feel that I knew these characters. They lived with out the superficial need for the Rebellion, and what scant traces we have of contact with the 'big three' of SW weren't necessary for the story to live. Rebekah lives alone, with strength and a regal power that the reader is frequently reminded of by the woman's words alone. I didn't much like Tiare; maybe because her childishness re minds me too much of myself at times. But not liking her doesn't mean that I didn't like the way the character was developed. She is strong and again stands well as a three-dimensional person. I didn't doubt that she could live as stated, and found very few instances where I doubted that she wouldn't have responded just as she did in a situation.

What we are shown of the Jedi and their past glories brings more to life this in situation of people than I've read in any other SW stories. I could believe the Jedi like this; I could understand them. Here we are shown a group of people who aren't super perfect. We are given a group of people who can, and do, make mistakes. People serving for the good will of others, but not without the ability to fail. Even the final failure, the failure of pride, was very human.

Rebekah as Luke's mom, well, she's stronger than he. But then, she is older and well-trained in the Jedi ways. I like her as his mom, and in a way I can even see his future in her, the taming of his anger and frustration to make him a Jedi like her. Tamlin I believe easier. Tamlin is the Luke 'I' know, already grown.

If I have a favorite scene in the story, it would be the meeting between Tam and Rebekah. Here we are shown a love that can outlast death. We're shown that it can be beautiful without being maudlin. The tightest writing and some of the best characterizations are in these pages.

My only minor complaint is the character of Aimee. She is dropped into the story, and while I felt there was probably some history for her in another story, it wasn't here.

I loved the story, and the foreshadowing it gave to 'Catalyst!' was well done also. I am looking forward to reading more of these stories in the future.

'Life is a Crock'; well done, Keith. I enjoyed it to the hilt. 'To Shoot Down a Falcon' by Lorelei Hade was cute, and an obvious twist to a MarySue story.

Keith does some ... uh ... interesting things to his comic section. I giggled a lot. And ' Star Reck' ... shows promise!

'Impossible' shows that with style, even a multi universe story can be handled. Chris Jeffords does extremely well. It is nearly impossible to logically combine two universes, and the black hole covered the science, even if Carl Sagan would scream: "Impossible!". And the story itself was okay. That there was little in the way of literal plot didn't matter. It was a clear- cut action piece to introduce two scrappers to the same universe. I liked her charac terizations of Solo and Starbuck and their association. She avoided the cliches here, and I liked the card sequence.

Catalyst!' I loved. Well and away my very favorite piece of the zine. I find that editors tend to put their pieces last and underplay them; I suppose they have to. And of course, 'Catalyst!' logically should follow 'Lady', but I liked it better. Of course, it has Luke in it, and a Luke I can love well. I would have liked to have read the story before it to read of the developing love but I didn't have to have the previous story to like this one, and that was a pleasant change. I've praised Jeanine already in 'Lady' for her ability to combine and create characters, now she proves that she can do it standing alone. I cried many times in this story, and held my breath that both Luke and Jessami would survive unscathed. That Luke was touched here by Tamlin is obvious after you read 'Lady', but you wouldn't have needed to read the first to understand the second. There is such drama and underlying tension here that action wouldn't have been necessary. The conflicts, the fights between Luke and Va- der, then Jessami and Vader are handled without resorting to portraying either character as lacking intelligence or skill. Well done...[31]

Issue 4/5

front cover of issue #4/5, Lin Stack: "Luke Skywalker: 007"
back cover of issue #4/5, Mary Soderstrom
flyer for issue #4/5, printed in Crossed Sabers #3

Far Realms 4/5 was published in May 1983 and contains 256 pages.

The art is by Dorothy J. Wight, Jeanine Hennig, Janice Liedl, Mary Overstreet, Anne Davenport, J.R. Dunster, Martynn, Mary Soderstrom, Laura Virgil, Lin Stack, and Keith Woods.

"Contents © copyright by Jeanine Hennig, This copyright is in no way intended to infringe upon or supercede any copyright holdings on which this fannish hoopla is based. FAR REALMS is published solely for entertainment and is *whew* fan produced and published. All rights revert to contributors. Hey, you can't beat that!"

From the editorial:

Well, here I am, sitting in front of my brand- spanking new Selectric, thinking, 'Why couldn't our income tax return made it sooner?' Well, it's here, and I finally was able to get a new typer, (after my furschlugginin' old typer finally bit the dust), and that's what counts! Y'all will just have to put up with the different type faces - it was either that, or wait another six months to a year for this sucker. And I, for one, am sick of it hanging around my abode, begging to be printed; not to mention what all of you must think. I must mention in passing the folks who are my 'regulars', who waited almost two years to see this baby printed. Y'all are wonderful.

[personal info snipped]

Well, two months till JEDI, and I'm on pins and needles. Looks like it's gonna be a winner, huh? And, I must admit, I have a thing about seeing Luke in black. There's a little of the Darksider in us all, and it's high time. Three trilogies start in thish, and I know its real mean to do this to all of you, but ... I love it! Seriously now, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the twists in each one, and will think they're worth the wait. Several things got bumped this time, unfortunately, due to numerous strange circumstances, - one notable is 'War Stars'. Hopefully it'll be back next ish. (C'mon Woods - DRAW!!)

This editorial is a little scrambled and short, I know, but putting this thing together has done so. Please forward all complaints to D. Vader, Sith Lord. Only kidding!

Let me know what you all think of this ish. We are but to serve.
  • The Editor's Page by Jeanine Hennig (2)
  • From 'Round the Realm, letters of comment (3)
  • From the Desk of the Dark Lord, humor by guess who?? (7)
  • Don't Let This Happen To You, vignette by Kathy Woods (meta fic, Star Wars, Merlin, Carl Sagan, writing fanfic...) (9)
  • Fire in the Steel: Warrior's Blood, story by Christine Jeffords, art by Dorothy J. Wight ("When Mari Sevenstars offers to 'Join' the Rebel Alliance, only a few suspect that she has other motives - personal ones that reveal a part of her shadowed past, first of a trilogy in the 'Brightstar' universe") (Star Wars) (11)
  • Broken Trusts, filk to the tune of "Diamonds and Rust" by Joan Baez, by Jenni (59)
  • In Their Adventures on Earth, story by Laurie Shanahan ("No," said the Editor. "I've had enough of the 'fan meets her hero in the flesh' stories. I don't care how good it is, I'm not printing it." "Aww ..." The Writer looked out the side window of the car, which greatly disturbed the Editor, since the Writer was driving. [snipped] "No one'11 ever believe it," said the Editor, as the ship disappeared into the emerging stars. "Oh, I don't know," said the Writer, wiping her eyes and suddenly feeling happy for no reason. "We could always write a story."") (Star Wars, metafic, about fanwriters deciding what to write) (60)
  • FORCEd Reflections, vignette in dialog, by Lonna Poland (Star Wars) (66)
  • The Commander's Son, story by Lynne Terry ("It's rough being the only son of a Commander when you want to be a Warrior ...") (Battlestar Galactica) (68)
  • Corellians Don't Get Lost!, poem by Sandi Hendrix (poem) (73)
  • All That Matters, story ("to be continued") by Diana Piercy, art by Jenni ("On a patrol, Luke Skywalker discovers a young girl whose home has been razed by the Empire. He takes her back to the base, only to find that the base is gone; destroyed by the Empire. So, left with no other choice, he takes the girl, Brianne,to a secluded hideout of the Rebellion, located in a monastery, and finds out there that this seemingly unimportant child could be someone that the Jedi have been searching for a long time!") (Star Wars) (74)
  • The Banning, story by Sue Rutherford (Star Wars) (103)
  • Art Portfolio (106)
  • Sapphire Memories, story by Debra Vorgias (Star Wars) (139)
  • A Choice of Evils, story by Laurie Shanahan, art by Carol McPherson ("Lucian Skywalker is introduced to Darth Vader by her mentor, Ben Kenobi, and her highly developed Jedi prescience allows her to see a terrifying vision - where this trusted pupil destroys her whole race. She is forced to make a choice, knowing that as on will be required of her, one who will bring the galaxy to glory or despair. Lucian loves her Master but only Darth can give her child the strength that will be needed ...") (Star Wars) (142)
  • Seeds of Destruction: Icarus by Jeanine Hennig, art by Jenni ("Luke Skywalker and Jessami Kenobi are forced, by their own choice, to separate for a time. So, Luke leaves for Tatooine to find the keys to his ambiguous past, all the time unaware that Han Solo has been delivered to that same planet and is trying to escape from Jabba the Hut and Boba Fett. And, back at the Rebel Fleet,a bewildered Jessami tries to find the keys to her future, a search that ties herself, Wedge Antilles and Leia Organa in to a fateful knot. The answers that both the young Jedi find aren't necessarily the ones they expected ...") (first chapter of a trilogy in the 'Catalyst!' series) (161)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4/5

Did you hear a scream coming from the Northeast last Sunday? No? Well, you should have. I turned to the last page of 'Icarus' and nearly had a stroke. You're worse than Mr. Lucas! At least at the end of TFSB, every character wasn't in dire straits, but you !?#%#!! Gads, Luke is being carried off to the Emperor, Han is watching the Falcon being hijacked, Jessami is in agony. Wedge is being tormented by his new powers and Vader, Rhevyn and the Emperor are seeing who can get to Luke first. Cruel! You're cruel! Aside from all that, I liked the zine tremendously. I loved Chris Jeffords' 'Fire in the Steel'. It's so refreshing to see strong female characters in the SW universe. I love Darth's column on pp. 7. The I.E.B., huh? Clever! I also enjoyed 'The Banning' by Sue Rutherford and the 'Portfolio' section was really great. The only complaint I have is that the inside margin was too close to the binder. At times it seemed like I'd have to tear the binding apart to read the inside margins. ((Sorry again—first time I worked with perfect binding.)) Let me know as soon as FAR REALMS 6 is even thought about, and keep up the good work! [32]

I'm gonna kill you. How dare you make me stay up until 2 A.M. and read FR 4/5 and then leave me THERE?! ((A calmer aside; Lucy is talking about 'Icarus'. She's a little - excitable ...)) Luke, in the hands of the Emperor—an Emperor that just looks like his teacher? How can he stand up to the shock? And Jessie deserting him for Wedge—((hey!!)) Leia being cold and unfeeling (by her own admission!) and Solo nearly killing him and throwing him out—boy, must Han feel good now! Like feeding your friends to Vader and his buddies? You realize that is now comes to a 'recover or destroy' mission—either they recover Luke, battered, beaten, IN CHAINS!—before the dark side seizes him or they are going to have to KILL him—and it'll probably fall to Solo to do it. Don't you feel good about yourself now. Solo? Proud of your self? Can't you even see with your own eyes? That child cowered from you—the man he said he respected and admired—and Solo had the AUDACITY to react the way he did?! (I know, it was necessary for the story! Shush—I'm talking to Solo!) Doesn't Han remember that Luke's ill—that fever did him in good cowardly bitch—she'd better miscarry!—had to have that to get him. The Dark Side—by hook or crook! They have no respect!

In all honesty, Jeanine, I loved the story. Very little makes me cry—and very little makes me issue death threats! Possibilities:1) Solo - of course!— will get back to Yavin. 2) Solo will insist on going on the 'recover or destroy' and Jessie will go with him. 3) Luke BETTER NOT turn to the dark side! ...[33]

Hi! How's life treating you? Just got finished with FAR REALMS 4/5 and I do have a few comments to make. 'Fire in the Steel' was quite good. I'm fascinated with Sevenstars and I like Chris Jeffords' writing; the descriptive passages are interesting, though sometimes a bit long and distracting in the middle of the action. I did have some difficulty with Leia. She is a diplomat and used to dealing with people she does not like. Under the circumstances, I think she would have had sense enough to hold her tongue and not pick fights with Mari. Also, I don't see her taking the attitude of 'I'm better than you because I'm a Princess and you're just a crook' . There is really no room for that during war, and don't think"that she's used this against Han. 'Forced Reflections' was wonderful. I think Han seriously believes in the Force now, if he didn't before. In times of great need, people often turn to religion in com fort, even if they aren't great believers before. As to the rescue of Luke on Hoth, I've felt that Han was guided there; Kenobi would not have been talking about Dagobah unless he knew help was on the way. Han was, indeed, there for a good reason. 'All That Matters' was somewhat predictable. Luke just happens to rescue Brianne, who just happens to have the Force. There were a couple of awkward sentences scattered throughout the story, however, I admire anyone who is willing to tackle any thing this big at the start. I do much better with the short stuff.

'Choice of Evils'—very good, but help! Page 158 ends in the middle of a sentence and doesn't pick up again. What did I miss? ((Gripes! If I haven't gotten back to you on this, let me know and I'll send you a xerox!!)) 'Seeds of Destruction'—Ye Gods, Jeanine, whatever is going ON in your 'Catalyst! ' series?! Han got rescued, he and Leia come to an understanding, Luke 'fessed up' and I thought, wow, this is great—but it was pretty much downhill from there. Part of the problem is that there is no communication; everyone going around trying to carry these great burdens alone. It's no wonder things have come to such a mess. However, there are one or two lights at the end of the tunnel—Luke's mother is on her way, and Darth and Rhevyn are at each other's throats. Do I detect a hint of humanity in Darth? ((He is human, after all, if a pain in the ass!)) Well, it's hard to see how things could get much worse. If the characters had even half the problems we give them, they'd be basket cases. There were a number of nice moments in the story - Leia's growing closeness to Jessami, Han 'telling all' to Luke in order to make it easier for him to do the same, Han's remark to Chewie about planning on being all right for a long time. You are really quite a good writer, Jeanine, and again, I admire anyone who does anything this big. I just hope things brighten up a little ...[34]
The US Constitution forbids 'cruel and unusual punishment': so what do you do? Make everyone wait a year between issues of FAR REALMS.cczine publishing, like war, is hell.)) There is Luke SKywalker before the Emperor in chains and I have to wait 'til next May for the sequel. This is tor ture . Pure torture. All kidding aside, I loved FR4/5. I've been meaning to write ever since I read it. I adore the cover; you're right, Luke is perfectly delicious in black. My favorite was your 'Seeds of Destruction: Icarus' story; I liked all the Machiavellian twists and turns, but I hated the cliff-hanger ending. George Lucas is obviously setting a bad example. I liked the D. Piercy story as well, but I had trouble with 'Fire in the Steel'. ((One small correction, which Chris will probably kill me for if I don't mention it, is that 'Fire in the Steel' is the trilogy; 'Warrior's Blood' is the first story.)) The lead character just seemed too perfect. But I've read another story in the series and the character seems less like Superwoman . Good luck with the next issue! I can't wait!! [35]

Greetings to you through the Force! I have been pacing around, waiting for my copies of FAR REALMS to arrive; had no idea there was so much talent out there! Geez, am I impressed!

I hardly know how to begin. For one thing, my nerves are totally shot—I just finished the latest of your own 'Catalyst! ' chapters in FR4/5. There are still tears all over my face and I am really shaking! The only thing I want to know is why I couldn't have discovered your fanzine from the very beginning. More than anything I want to obtain copies of FR #2.

I must say that I'm in shock at what you've put Luke through so far—Geez! ((Just Luke?!)) And I admit, I never once thought of Luke as anything but virgin. I guess Leia and I could possibly have some thing in common there. But you did bring him to life in a way I really could believe. Please don't even THINK of not finishing your series—I'd die of curiousity. I wanna see Luke's fate avenged!!

You must have been at this for quite a while, to come up with such a detailed, 'rings-true' type of feeling in your stories. Geez, I'd better end this letter; it's getting mighty oozey with compliments! Nah! Really, I am hyped-up about your publications, and wanted you to know that someone in Northern California has got taste ...[36]

Has it really been almost two years since FAR REALMS 3? It doesn't seem that long. Maybe my mind is turning to mush. What the heck, the wait was worth it!

Now, I have a confession to make. After many viewings of SW, TESB and JEDI, I think my favorite character is Luke, something about that black Jedi uniform did it, I think. He looks so striking, so dashing, so heroic. After all, wasn't this trilogy, 'The Adventures of Luke Sky- walker'? Don't get me wrong - I love all the SW characters; they are very important in telling the story. (Nothing like stating the obvious! Get on with the LoC!) OK.

Once again, 'Desk of the Dark Lord' left me howling. My favorite was Darth's review of Splinter of the Mind's Eye. I, like so many fen, bought and read this hook. ((And did not understand one word ... sorry, been watching 'Frisco Kid' too much ...)) Some times, I wonder why it's still sitting on my shelf. Maybe with Darth's influence I can send it into hyperspace permanently.

Just when I was recovering from Darth, I read Kathy Woods' 'Don't Let This Happen To You' and lost total control for billions and billions of seconds. So this is what a fan writer has to go through. Think I'll stick to reading.

'Fire in the Steel' is a very good story. I truly like Mari Sevenstars. She has spunk. Her name and persona sound vaguely familiar. Has she appeared in any other of Chris' stories? ((You betcha!)) Anyway, the only complaint I have in the story is Leia's characterization. To me, she seemed too calculating and downright unfriendly. I agree that she has to be careful about protecting the Alliance at all costs, and yes, accepting help from pirates could be very dangerous. I would see her point of view very clearly, but I felt she needed to be toned down just a little. However, this in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the story. I like Chris' way of using 'a' to denote a neutral noun. It took me a few times to figure it out, and I was beginning to think the typist had made some boo-boo. I stand corrected and apologize. Dorothy is a new name to me in fan art; I like her style.

'In Their Adventure on Earth' is ever true fan's dream come true. If I ever ran into any of them, I could never make intelligent conversation. I'm afraid I would just gawk.

'Forced Reflections' is a real attention-getter; to hear Han finally break down and admit things he didn't want to. He has friends and he cares for them, and they care for him. Getting ahead of myself, isn't it remarkable how Lonna guessed Han would change along these lines in JEDI?

'The Commander's Son' is a pleasant EG story; I must admit, I am a EG fan and thought it had potential. But with SW around, and a revitalized ST, I let BG fall to the wayside. Lynne's story brought back some of my happier memories.

'All That Matters' I enjoyed because of how Luke was developed and handled. He has a maturity I like seeing. I'm glad to have him handling some leadership and responsibility, especially in his fledgling attempts to teach Brianne how to use the Force. His calm dealing with Zordo reminds me of how Han would handle such a situation. Compared to how Luke behaved in the Mos Eisely cantina, he has come of age; I like what I read. I hope Diana can keep this up in the rest of her trilogy. (Oh, those nasty trilogies! You really know how to grab us and keep a strong hold on us, don't you, Jea- nine!? Have you been taking lessons from George?) ((That's the fourth (?) time I've heard that! Should I be ashamed? Hell, no! Gee, thanks, guys!)) In 'Sapphire Memories' we have a new twist on the Other theme. Darth had a sister, huh? Why not? As told from her point of view, it has a personal flavor, a way to see how she thinks and makes her decision. Again getting ahead, I noticed Debra used the idea of Darth reverting back to the good side that played such a major facet in JEDI. 'A Choice of Evils' made me feel deeply for Lucian and her dilemma. From the be ginning, you knew she was doomed. I was pleased Laurie had her and a very young Luke on Dagobah for a short time. I always wondered why in TESB Luke felt he knew the place. Yoda was wise. I can't see him babysitting. I think my enjoyment of the story came from holding my attention and making me feel at the right places. Laura Virgil's art added to the quality of the story - I love her Obi-Wan on pp. 155. Now to the biggie. 'Seeds of Destruction: Icarus' neatly picked up where 'Catalyst' and 'Lady' left off. I am so glad that you are planning to tie all of these stories together. First off, I had no trouble at all following the story as it jumped from Yavin, to Tatooine, to Vader and to Rebekah. Second off, as I read toward the end of the story I thought, 'Naw, she won't leave us really hanging. She's closing it up right here.' Then I hit the last few pages. RATS! Not again. Poor Han, left baking, as opposed to freezing, on some dustball, Rebekah off to get her son, and Luke left to face the Emperor alone! Double rats! Then I calmed down and said, 'Yeah, think of all the fun I'll have trying to outguess her before FR6 ar rives. Just like waiting for a SW movie.' Jeanine, your stories just get better and better. Since it would take a novel to expound on how much I like it, I'll just hit upon the high points for me.

Wedge as a Jedi is a great idea. Who else besides the major characters survived the adventures of the trilogy? None other than Wedge Antilles. We're never told why, but I like your solution.

Having Luke visit all his 'old friends' on Tatooine was another good idea. I felt so satisfied for Luke when he forced Camie to face the truth about him now. Her 180° turnabout was a classic.

I always wanted Luke to return to Ben's hut for that chest. I am so intrigued by it. What secrets does it hold? By the way, is Luke's mysterious friend 'George' supposed to be Tam Skywalker? ((Uh ... could be ...)) Just curious.

I felt sad when you bumped off Lando. I figured you did it because he really needed to save Han somehow, and sacrificing himself for Han did the trick. ((Not to mention, the 'good guys' don't always sur vive in real life, no matter how much we want them to.)) I think the two were a lot closer than we were lead to believe in TESB. But with Wedge becoming so important, I also figured you would have too many char acters to keep track of. At least he died heroically and with all debts paid.

I like your treatment of Leia. For some reason this is an obsession with me. But she is regal, commanding, and compassionate all at the same time. Her changing atti tude toward Jessami, once she realized and accepted Luke and Jessie's relationship, is well played-out. Also, for Leia to finally realize that she treated Luke as an object for the Rebellion and regret it, is a courageous step for Leia to take. Her determination to see to it that the same doesn't happen to Jessami is just as cour ageous . Vader is so nasty. Rhevyn is so evil. I just seethed with anger at the thought of her violating Luke as she did. I hope she gets hers at come point in the upcoming trilogy. (I know, hatred leads to the Dark Side .. .) I know Han really regrets how he treated Luke at the end. Will he get a chance to make amends? Somehow, I feel their friend ship needs to finally and permanently be sealed so they can help each other over the rough spots. ((I tried to give the impression that it was ... even the deepest of friends can be open to quarrels and misunderstanding and anger. After all, it's a part of the whole ...or should I say. All?))

Finally, I can't stop without mentioning the good doctor Ian Sangovall. Somehow, I feel we'll be learning much more about this doctor with a huge heart. Having him be overseer or narrator of the story gives the reader a base to touch with before going on with the story. I'm sure this helped me keep touch with what was going on. I think you should keep this format for the remainder of the story. I know I have exhausted my supply of praiseworthy adjectives. I do have to add that I agree with Lin on pp. 258. It IS nice crude matter! Congrats to your little one for finally making an appearance into the world. Another year for FR6, huh? I think I can manage to dwell on 'Icarus' for that long. FR is a class act. Keep it up, Jeanine! [37]
No wonder SHOOTING STAR was such a terrific first-issue zine: you, dear lady, really know what you're doing! I am holding you and FAR REAL.MS responsible for an almost non-stop reading spree that kept me up to all hours for several days, caused my horses and dogs to mop around in a pique of neglected self-pity, and almost inspired me to close down my office so I wouldn't be interrupted! (Who knows how many animals' lives might have been saved - if I'd closed down?!) In a word, I think FR is wonderful. I don't think I've read any better; I put you right up there with PEGASUS and SKYWALKER, and that's the highest praise a zine-addict can give! I have only one little bitty complaint . .. now that your back issues are out-of-print, I have been driven to order reprints—and I don't think I can stand the wait!! Now for a few moments (bow your head humbly) of personal praise: you are one hell of a WRITER, in addition to being a good editor. This praise does not flow idly from my typewriter, either. Since I laughingly consider myself a writer as well, I'm inordinately picky about who I bestow that title upon. Your 'Catalyst!' series has me in a state of obsessive frenzy—I LOVE IT! You do one of the best characterizations of Luke Skywalker that I've ever read in fan fiction (and believe me, I've read a lot of bad ones!). And I love your original characters (especially Jessami; she's good enough for our boy!), and the whole structure of your universe. I don't always agree with all of it—but that's inconsequential to me if I like it. some of the best SW fan fiction I've ever read has been set in a universe that I couldn't personally write in —not that yours is one of those! The whole zine is very impressive; your standards are obviously very high. I can't get over Chris Jeffords' ; her 'Fire in the Steel: Warrior's Blood' has got to be one of the best written stories I've ever savored my way through, SW or not! You guys write like I wish I could: that is the highest compliment (and admission of envy) that I can give. As I said, I've sent for reprints of #1 & #2—and I can't wait for #6! [38]
Well, I finally finished FR4/5 ~ you really did it big, this time! And boy, have you come a long way! I definitely agree with you that 4/5's your best ish yet. What can I say other than it's lovely? Well, how about marvelous? All the stories were equally enjoyable, although it IS a dirty trick to put in all those 'continued' stories. I can't wait to see where Chris Jeffords goes with her 'Fire in the Steel' story. The relationship between Han and Sevenstars is very interesting. I found the multitude of aliens in her story also a change of pace. It's nice to see a plot that manages to stand on its own without necessarily focusing on the 'regular' characters. 'In Their Adventures on Earth' is a nice twist on the usual 'them in our uni verse' story - in fact, it's really funny. Did you contact Lucas, Jeanine? ((You oughtta see the lightsaber I got ... oops. Can't say any more ... Top Secret, you know...)) All the other stories were very enjoy able, too - 'The Commander's Son', 'The Banning', 'All That Matters' and especially 'A Choice of Evils' ( a very poignant story, that one). Of course, the one I was waiting for was the next story in the 'Catalyst' universe. 'Seeds of Destruction' was worth the wait! Unfortunately, your style is so easy to read that I just zipped right through the story. Even though it's a long story, it just isn't long enough! I love your portrayal of Han and Leia's relationship and the way you show the thoughts of the characters. But, oh, no, how could you leave us hanging so at the end? Only Lucas is so cruel, I thought. I even had a friend from New York write me and tell me to beg you to hurry with FR6—she's in suspense, too ...[39]

A while back (about 6 months), I tried to order your zine, but my inquiry was re turned by US Postal service. Little did I know how sorry I should have been about it!

I picked up a whole armload of zines at MediaWest Con III, (and kept running across your name! Now when I think Jeanine Hennig, I also think 'Luke'. Girl, have you got it bad!), and also picked up FR 3 & 4/5. I have to talk about 'Catalyst!'. I really couldn't believe my eyes! Really! This story read just like a soap opera! ((By the All! Should I laugh or cry!?)) I tried hard not to like it, but I couldn't put it down! I know I missed the beginnings of it such as 'Safe-House' and where Luke meets Jessami—the parts with Tiare and Rebekah leave me cold; just can't sympathize with them—but the rest is so...so...awe some! I mean, you have Jedi coming out of the woodwork and everybody gets hurt and traumatized and lusts after everyone else and makes up with everyone else and learns something new about everyone else! Jedi seem to have the copyright on fear, anguish, temptation, rage and love. You have a lot of background to keep straight and you DO! I have to appreciate the amount of thought you obviously put into this series. Are you going to try and work in Leia as Luke's twin or keep in your own alternate universe? ((Ghads -I'd NEVER sleep if I did that! Seriously, it just wouldn't work. Everything back and ahead—in most cases, is pretty well mapped- out, excepting artsy spontaneity. There are, however, three things that I will use from the movie, appearing in this ish. I am in LOVE with those speeder bikes Harley-Davidson, eat your heart out!—and the nifty air-brushed ponchos. Also, the Jedi Knight's uniform is very practical and looks good, so I've integrated it into their myriad clothing, with the exception of the color. But the black will play an interesting part later on aw, shutup again, Jenni! Back to you, Don Pardo ... uh, Dani!)) I also found some good insight in the story. Such as Han being frozen for 6 months just like ROTJ, (score one for you!) and his comment about learning the true value of his friends fits exactly with the Han of the movie novelization.(score two for you!) I do like your characterization of my favorite Corellian smuggler. And Leia came around, too, after Han came back. But Luke ... poor Luke! He seems to get jerked around so much! He's almost too anguished to bear at times. I really wished that Jessami would realize what she'd been doing to him by not telling him of Darth's manipulation so that they could work on a solution together. Anyway, it sounds like a major gathering of the Jedi . (and their ghosts) is about to happen. I am very anxious to see how all this winds up! Really, Jeanine, your mind is sooo tricky and convuluted. I do suspect that you could keep this going on as long as, well, as long as 'All My Children'! (haha)

As far as zines as a whole, I'm very impressed. FR4/5 was a little better than 3. The cover was beautiful. I love 'Desk of the Dark Lord'. 'Fire in the Steel' was very good! Loved it! I also really liked D. Wight's illos - my speed! I like a story that can be continued, but not leave you hanging for a year! Sevenstars was a real interesting character.

'In Their Adventure on Earth'. Laurie has got to be kidding! She sounds like my type of gal. I had this dream about the Falcon swooping down over my house and i was ... well, never mind!

I liked Battlestar Galactica and was glad to see the stories relating to it in 3 and 4/5. The Commander's Son' didn't do much for me, but 'Impossible' was fun, and, I felt, pregnant with possibilities. Starbuck and Han should've had more sparks flying, tho' .

'All That Matters' was sweet and 'Forced Reflections' was very well characterized, but my favorite short was 'The Banning', by Sue Rutherford. It was perfect! Please, Sue, more! I love to draw myself, so I liked the 'Portfolio' section. Especially Martynn's. Guess why! Jeanine, well, you've got it bad, kid.

'Sapphire Memories' and "A Choice of Evils' were both well-written and interesting. ROTJ has taken its toll, though, what else can I say? (By the way, Darth on pp. 148 looks just like Frank Langella. Coincidence?) One more thing. Laura Virgil? You're the one who did the Indiana Jones' for the ad on pp. 260 for 'Field Studies'? He's great! The best I've ever seen! Did you have a likeness or did that come out of your head? I have GOT to know! (Sorry if I drool!) i guess I've got it bad, too, Jeanine!

Now, don't forget that I'm waiting on info for #6. Is it really gonna take a year? Ah, well! [40]

Running cover to cover, FR 4/5 is impressive by size and uneven in content. I tended to be rather objective reading it as the greater percentage of your material was Luke- oriented, and therefore less likely to catch bias from this avowed Corellian- lover. There was, admittedly, something for all tastes in the zine and Lin Stack's collage of heroes on the cover gave a fair preview. I didn't follow the '007' reference in the cover title, though. Stack's likeness of the carbonite effigy is the best of the lot. Her technique and grouping is reminiscent of the 'busy' Japanese SW posters. The bacover is simple and a bit anachronistic for SW, but Mary Soderstrom does beautiful horses. Singing ones, yet. And the hint of a rakish story behind that comfortably backward seated Han and companion is whimsically irresistible. I like the flow of this almost-cartoon so much better than Mary's over-zipatoned, standard Luke in the portfolio section. A general word about overall layout before I get into the 'guts' of the zine: I'm still not fond of the minuscule reduced print on stories, nor margins too close to the central binding of the zine. Such makes reading a strain on the eyes with the larger stories. Fortunately the repro is excellent and clear so the print, even when small, is very legible and the art is sharp and replete with all detail intact. I particularly appreciate the latter.

Keith Woods must be a FR exclusive because I've never seen his artwork in any other zines and with the scarcity of male media fan artists, I know most all of the 'regular' guys. Woods is quite a cartoonist. Maybe not on the Gordon Carleton scale, but his headings for the ed's page and particularly the 'Dear Darth' column are wonderful!

Anne Davenport's little flying 'American Hero' sketches always brighten up the extra white spaces in a whimsical way. And her '101 Jedi Jokes' put to mind the most recent '101 Ideas for a Dead Cat' book (we in the Pitt have a variation using Bothan Spies) or the book someone once mentioned to me about '99 other Things to do in Zero Gravity'. I'll bet I know what the 1000th way to use the Force is —

There is no author listed for 'From the Desk of the Dark Lord', so if it's really Ye Olde Editor, take a bow because it's cute and really almost as funny as 'Dear Abby'. With the revelations on the relative nature of evil in the SW galaxy as raised in 'Jedi', it might have been nice to shift Vader's literary duties over to the Emperor...

There's more amusing prose in FR per ounce. If Kathy Woods is related to Keith Woods, the funny bone obviously runs in the family. Kathy's 'Don't Let This Happen To You' is a riot and, unfortunately, has a ring of truth to it. I can't remember what zine it was in (PEGASUS springs to mind) but I'm sure I've read at least one 'serious' Obi-Wan-as-Merlin story. And if you think the intentional glitches Kathy comes up with are bad, you should see some of the boners I get in Indiana Jones stories some eds have sent me! Suspension of disbelief should go no farther than rope bridges — anti-gravs were not, to my knowledge, in common use in the early 1900s on Earth...

Chris Jeffords' Mari Sevenstars and Co. are familiar characters in a zine that held mostly new faces for me. Chris always spins a good yarn, full of bright and shiny SF trappings that are sadly lacking in a lot of SW fanzines. Her space battles proceed with the balletic ease of the Lucasfilms' dogfights, breathlessly exciting and daredevil; the nailbiting cliffhanger rescue scenes abound in space and dirtside (witness Luke almost getting torched in a ground facility). Chris' version of the SW characters ring true on the level outside of their relationships with her own characters, another positive point. She does get a bit carried away with details and descriptions — half a page nearly describing every crease in Mari's trousers seems unnecessary verbiage — often slows the movement to a crawl. There's a limit to the amount of extraneous background needed for stories of the shorter, one-installment fanzine length. I've wearied a bit of Severnstars' constant perfection too — her lack of any flaw of even apparent personality traits aside from the stereotyped 'dedicated spacer captain' to me, render her progressively less interesting than the other more-foible characters. Every story (and that's quite a few) I've read or illoed about Sevenstars has her rescuing a patently incompetent Han or Luke as though she were perfect and Han/Luke/whomever never engineered a successful maneuver in their life. I guess what I mean to point out is that her storylines and SF format are always great and 'Warrior's Blood' is worth reading if one can get past the over-description and the predictability of the one main character. Dorothy J. Wright is yet another artist I've never seen outside FR and she is excellent! With the current emphasis on stipple, hatchline art and heavy contrast shading in fanart, Wright's pure line drawings are novel. They are not simple, either, but intricate and complete with excellent character likenesses right down to the Wookiee, good action poses (pp 43 in particular) and backgrounds full of believable hardware. Her art is a real asset to the story.

Shanahan's 'Adventure on Earth' is a standard, if harmless, Mary Sue fluff — the sort of thing written in high school study halls for general amusement. It has its place in the fanzine on it's own level. And since several lines provided a chuckle or two (Corellians exposed to the nymphomania ray?) it has justification. Your simple line art, Jenni, matched the uncomplicated air of the story.

'Forced Reflections' was another of the popular 'thoughts-in-carbon-freeze' that offered no new insights into the Corellian's soul, but it is a good dramatic monologue. I like the question-and-answer format Solo uses.

I'm still of the opinion that if carbon-suspension permitted any thought processes beyond the reduced body functions, they would be erratic and largely incoherent, like dreams rather than rational musings.

I'm afraid that Leidl's 'Galactica' vignette struck me as sappy as many of the Apollo/Boxey scenes in the original series. The lesson in family pride, however, is well-meant. Apollo's speech pattern, if I recall correctly, was much more educated than depicted.

No problems with the dramatic monologue on Sandi Hendrix's short-but-intriguing 'Corellians Don't Get Lost!' Solo's variable slang sounds perfect. The rhyming couplets give a terse, urgent tone to belay Han's reassurances. In the case of this poem, brevity leaves one wanting more, as well as a fill-in on the alluded-to adventure. It's a prime use of that throwaway line on Corellian in the SW novelization.

Piercy's 'All That Matters' had less of a positive impression on my interest. When all was said and done, this was another MarySue Jedi story which failed to sustain my interest less because of the concentration on Luke and exclusion of Han than due to the vapid characterization of the main character, Brianne. Piercy seemed to be attempting to create the perfect mate for Luke, but unlike your own Jessami in the 'Catalyst!' series, in the process concocted little more than a rather static female version of Luke without his spunk or resilience. The Adam and Eve bit in the woods, the swim and the instant sexual attraction between Luke and Brianne served little point to the story and seemed a bit gratuitous, slowing the narrative and embarrassing this reader almost as much as Luke. If the danger of pursuit was that imminent, such interludes could scarcely occur. The episode with the Kareecs, too, seemed too slow to create tension. In fact, the only conflict in the story aside form the implied, rather than demonstrated, threat of the Empire is the sexual tension between Luke and Brianne and between Luke's conflicting feelings. Every time a scene developed any potential in that aspect, the author diminished it with such hackneyed phrases as "Yes, Bri, a thousand times yes!" that made me virtually cringe. Some of the comments about Luke are just plain silly — bearing no resemblance to the Luke I recognize from the three films (for example the line about Luke's voice sounding 'deeper than usual' as he speaks with Bri for the last time. Luke's voice is never deeper than a medium tenor simply because of Mark Hamill's range. Period.) I'm no raving Luke fan, but I do like stories that develop his character beyond the films. I'm afraid that when the end of this story proclaimed 'continued', I would have preferred 'ended'.

Back to my hero. Sue Rutherford's 'The Banning' is yet another of the seemingly endless renderings of the throwaway mention in Brian Daley's Han Solo series of how Han was drummed out of the Imperial Academy. The names and clan structure of Corell which Sue invents have a distinctively Scandinavian flavor to them, a linguistic and social influence not present in the Lucasfilms SW as far as the films got. I never heard it settled whether Han's surname reflected a Germanic or Chinese background, and 'Solo' is blatantly south European, but no character or place in SW ever used the Icelandic roots Rutherford implies. Other than that strangeness of names, the vignette is fairly predictable and believable, given Han's character. I would have liked to have heard more of Chewie's role in the situation. If that is Rutherford's own artwork gracing the end of the vignette, I would offer her a word of caution when using reference photos of Harrison Ford for Han. If she uses shots of Ford other than the Solo characterization, she should at least attempt to modify the attire and coiffure closer to Han's. The reference she used was obviously ’Force Ten From Navarone1 and all Sue apparently did was add a few insignias to what is obviously a US army jacket and turtleneck, circa WWII. With all the Scandinavian references of the story, I would have expected the same influence on Han’s uniform, or at the very least that his uniform would have borne a resemblance to those of the .Imperials in SW.

I’m still embarrassed by the antiquity of my offering in the art portfolio but at least it insured representation of the Corellian kind therein. For technical proficiency and excellence of style, J. R. Dunster’s sketches exhibit the best quality in the collection. Her body proportions have textbook excellence and grace and her faces an enviable individuality. My only regret was that her choice of subject was so generic; anonymous studies, really, as opposed to recognizable SW or media characters per the zine’s format. My other two favorites would be your own ’Catalyst!’ gallery, the characters which have lively faces that hint at their backgrounds and a nice flow in the bodies and Anne Davenport who perhaps make up for the sketchiness of her style by the humor in the ’Hero’ piece and the good shading and composition in the SW piece.

Some of the best artwork in the zine aside from Dunster’s is Laura Virgil's illustrations for Shanahan's 'A Choice of Evils'. The depiction of Vader as Frank Langella is reminiscent enough of Langella's Dracula to be distracting from the story, although the likeness is excellent. The Kenobi at the end of the story is superb — the heavy, blunt quality of the stippling is nonetheless lovely and the starry background is a unique style that adds to the mystic quality of the character.

This leaves me with the largest single work in the zine, your fine ’Catalyst!' installment, 'Seeds of Destruction'. It is a tribute to your craft that despite the concentration on Luke and your own character, Jessami, when my interests usually run towards stories that feature Han as the central character, I found the entire prolonged piece compelling in all of its parts. Happily, you do not exactly ignore Han either and I thoroughly enjoyed the reunion scene between him and Leia. Your treatment of the social predicament the pirate/princess liason raises is both interesting and intriguing. All of the situation and person conflicts are more adult, of course, in your series than those portrayed in the Lucasfilms SW, but perhaps that is why I enjoy your version of the characters' adventures. Hardware and robots and fuzzy teddy bears offer little food for thought.

Your development of the SW characters' backgrounds if believable and, to me, reminiscent of Maggie Nowakowska's 'Last Sanctuary' in its completeness, although you lean more towards the individual relationships than sociology and planetary economics as the ThousandWorlds series favored. Yours is one of the most attractively-developed Wedge characterizations I have read. The foreshadowing of the Wedge/Luke/Jessami triad of the later chapters is subtly alluded to and I went back to this chapter after reading FR6 just to see how thoroughly you covered your tracks (you did). I also liked the way you re-introduced the characters of Camie and Fixer who fell to the cutting room floor in the original SW — their scenes on Tatooine with Luke in both your and Lucas' stories add further dimensions to Luke's character and background. Your artwork varies, especially in regards to likenesses (Luke and Han tend to be distinguishable solely by the shade of their hair and their clothing) and anatomy (hands seem to be a problem) but it is well-endowed with movement (the Han/Leia reunion scene, the scene wherein Jess heals Wedge, and the one of Chewie protecting Jess are particularly good), your facial expression are often excellent (Leia being strangled by Jess shows real terror and Jess' anguish in Chewie's embrace is tangible), and your portrayal of your invented characters (particularly Jessami) is nicely consistent. The anatomy bit I have problems with myself. After a couple disparaging comments in LoC columns about my drawings of feet, I thereafter used models of anatomy/figure drawing books. That stuff, especially fore shortening, is just plain difficult yet; as I said, it is only an occasional problem with you — some of the very difficult body angles you handle well.

Your one full-page of Luke asleep with Jessami in his arms recalled a similar illo which I did for the old 'Continuator' series of Luke and Bri Windrider in the 'Comfort' installment. I'm curious as to whether you used your own reference because, I recall, Po sent me a clipping from a magazine with the angle she wanted for the sleeping couple. It's a nice rendition, anyway. [41]

Issue 6

"There's no bacover art but that's more than compensated for by Jenni's exquisite color front cover of Luke and a "shadow" Vader, entitled "Child of Light, Child Of Darkness." I believe the medium is pastel, with swirling, suggestive, smooth strokes that will stay in your memory. This is easily one of the best covers of the year, simple and subtle, if not the best." [42]
flyer for issue #6

Far Realms 6 was published in May 1984 and is 280 pages. The front cover is by JENN, the back cover is blank. Interior art is by Dani Lane, Suzy Sansom, Jenni, Martynn, Gordon Carleton, MRO Ludwig.

It was typed and proofread by Linda Knights and Jeanine Hennig. Layout and graphics by John Hennig and Jeanine Hennig. Collating was done by The Farthalan Enclave.

The zine's dedication: "FAR REALMS #6 is dedicated to those who've been in on this thing from the beginning, those who've supported me and my baby. Peace to you all, and thanks for accompanying me on MY quest."

From the zine: "Contents c copyright by Jeanine Hennig. This copyright is in no way intended to infringe upon or supercede any copyright holders on which this fannish, silly, classy literature is based. FAR REALMS is published solely for entertainment (wheel) and is fan produced and published. All rights revert to contributors. All complaints go to D. Fader, Sith Lord, a personal friend of a friend of a friend ..."

The editorial:

This issue marks a milestone for me. I feel like it should be an anniversary, but I can't really claim even that. I guess it all started when I was looking back through the old issues of FAR REALMS, and thinking, 'Boy, have I come a long way!' It gets you to feeling a bit sloppy and sentimental, so please forgive if this editor's spot reflects that.

I guess it is rather a turning point in fandom. JEDI has come out, in all it's glory, and, in a way, an era has ended, a little saddening, but also heartening, because WE'RE the ones that will keep the SWars saga alive and well. An exciting thought. I don't know about the rest of you, but ROTJ has motivated me even more to write, in my own universe and in what has become George's. I felt very much of a kind with Luke this year - it has been one for soul-searching and ideal revamping, flurried with activity, both physical and mental. I feel as if I can look back at this past year and say, 'I feel like I've accomplished a great deal.'

One of those things is before you, now. FAR REALMS 6 has been a bitch and a joy to produce. I feel there are some wonderful things scribed and stippled here, some meaningful messages and some downright ridiculousness. The writers vary from a professional who's had several shorts published and is looking for a home for her newest novel, to neos who show so much promise it makes me proud to show some of their first works. Thanks and love to all of you.

Before this starts sounding like a farewell address, let me say that FAR REALMS will see #7, #8, and as many thereafter as I can possibly keep doing. Many good zines have decided to close down operations, and I can't blame them, for it IS the most hectic thing going. But I thrive on hectic, and as long as I do, I'll keep going and enjoying.

A few personal notes: for the followers of my "Catalyst!" series, there will be a 'Catalyst!, Collected'. I've already contacted some artists to help me on the monster, a dear friend of mine has offered to help edit, and in it will be some never-before-published stuff. I will also be pulling a 'Marion Zimmer-Bradley' in that I've gone back over the older stories and TOTALLY revamped them, using that worthy author's excuse that 'I was a different person when I wrote them, and much younger'. Maybe not in years, but in mileage, huh? It looks as if it will be interesting, though it will be a while before it makes it out. We're talking about over 500 pages of manuscript, here! I have also debated putting the conclusion to the 'Seeds' trilogy in it, but I'm not sure, yet. If you're interested, or want to give an opinion on this, please let me know. I'd like to hear from you.

Well, I'm running out of space - and time. As always, this is being done the night before it goes into print. Clear skies from the kid, and remember: All my men wear black... or they wear nothing at all.

Go with the Force! !
  • The Editor's Page (1)
  • From 'Round the Realm (2)
  • The Do-It-Yourself Star Trek Plot by Kathy Woods (10)
  • Golden Gift by Ronnie Sacksteader, art by Martynn (12)
  • Encounter in a Cantina by Lynda Vandiver, art by Dani Lane (14)
  • Fire In the Steel - Part Two: Trust (story by Chris Jeffords - art by Dani Lane) (A description from Southern Enclave: "Fire in the Steel' part two: Trust by Chris Jeffords. Hans life hangs in the balance and Mari Sevenstars is forced to do a thing she swore never to do. 'Seeds of Destruction, Jihad' by Jeanine Hennig. Han Solo has been abandoned on the planet Garet 5, Leia Organa and Wedge Antilles try to save Jessami Kenobi's life and Luke Skywalker's mother, Rebekah, races to help her son, who had been taken to the Emperor in chains." -- from the flyer: "Han's life hangs in the balance, and Mari Sevenstars is forced to do a thing she swore never to do - trust an Imperial-turned-Rebel: in her eyes, a traitor and an oathbreaker. (Second story of a trilogy in the Brightstar' universe.)") (17)
  • Choice, part one (story and art by Cheree Cargill from the "Paths of Choice" series) ("Han is frozen, perhaps dead, and Leia has a choice to make ...") (50)
  • Raid on the DEATH STAR, puzzle by Linda Vandiver (52)
  • The Blood Remembers (story by Linda Knights - art by MRO Ludwig) ("Luke's quest for his identity leads him to Keloti, a peaceful world of paradoxes. There he finds a race of people, their oneness of the Force that of Jedi. But they aren't Jedi ...") (53)
  • The Cover of the ROLLING STONE by John and Liz Goojes, art by Gordon Carleton (108)
  • Do-It-Yourself Star Wars Plot by Kathy Woods (110)
  • Conscience (story by Laurie Shanahan - art by Jenni) ("The night after the Death Star's destruction, and Luke may have a medal, but that doesn't ease the burden of his conscience ...") (112)
  • Dungeon Cell, puzzle by Lynda Vandiver (113)
  • All That Matters (story by Diana Piercy - art by Dani Lane) ("Brianne Cassel has joined the Rebellion and begun her training as a Jedi. But her separation from Luke Skywalker drives her to desperation; maybe even to the dark side! (Part two of three parts)") (114)
  • The Valley of the Shadow (story by Lillian Stewart Carl - art by Jenni) ("Luke grapples with his feelings after the death of Anakin Skywalker.") (168)
  • Echoes, poem by Linda Knights (172)
  • Seeds of Destruction: Jihad (story by Jeanine Hennig - art by Jenni) (a Catalyst Universe story) ("Han Solo has been abandoned on the planet of Garet 5, Leia Organa and Wedge Antilles try to save Jessami Kenobi's life, and Luke Skywalker's mother (Rebekah) races to help her son who has been taken to the Emperor in chains. Will the Dark gain more to its cause? For if Luke fails, the rest of the 'children' follow.") (173)
  • The Thaw by Jenni (265)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

This is quite a gorgeous zine to look at. The paper is thick so there's little see-through effect, the print is excellent and the art reproduction stunning. There's no bacover art but that's more than compensated for by Jenni's exquisite color front cover of Luke and a "shadow" Vader, entitled "Child of Light, Child Of Darkness." I believe the medium is pastel, with swirling, suggestive, smooth strokes that will stay in your memory. This is easily one of the best covers of the year, simple and subtle, if not the best.

The bulk of the zine is in four long stories. The best and longest of these is unquestionably Jeanine Hennig's "Seeds of Destruction: Jihad", part two of a chapter in her "Catalystl" series. Episodic and very gothic, the story centers on Luke's descent into the Dark, having been tricked by his father and the Emperor, a relative of Kenobi's. This is the first story I've read in the series and I think I've finally found a SW series that I can sink my teeth into. It's quite startling how I could so easily follow the story, and become engrossed in all the proceedings. Hennig accomplishes quite a bit here: a clear, memorable storyline, powerful and distinctive secondary characters (not a common achievement in SW fanfic), a character that could easily have become a typical irritating Mary Sue but doesn't, and a writing style that immediately hooks you in and keeps you suffering for more. The lady is a sadist.

Hennig's Leia, while not hopeless, still suffers from triviality. Leia's only role in the story seems to [unclear word], to comfort, to be Han's female. She is often a trembling little girl with none of the natural strength and Independence from the films. She is referred to as "cold" (again), "shrewish", and a "figurehead from the beginning" in the Alliance. Han, as usual, has greater importance, but Hennig isn't gushy about him. He offers practicality, perception, honesty, love. And then of course, there is Luke. Hennig is a Luke fan but she doesn't portray him with gush or oversentimentality. He is not a perfect hero. He is a deeply cmnpleit, quite beautiful heroic/anti-heroic construct, and an utter joy for this reviewer to read. The scenes of battle and of love are filled with texture and emotion, although Hennig would do well to improve her attempts to provide a fuller sense of setting. Throughout all this are Hennig's own characters. The most successful is Luke's mother, Rebekah, whose personality resemblance to her son provides for some fascinating and funny moments. When she first sees the Falcon, She exclaims, 'What a piece of junk!" Rebekah is the link for all the mystical elements taking place, and for all the young Jedi who threaten the Emperor. She is a Master Jedi, and despite all the pain she has apparently suffered in the past and is suffering now, she exudes a spirit of hope that keeps the action exciting. The scenes between her, Vader and Luke are powerful and tantalizing, much too short and somehow incomplete. This is no ordinary nuclear family, folks. Hennig also incorporates Hedge into a prominent role in the action of a Jedi and a rival to Luke in his love for the girl Jessami. These secondary characters are not fully developed, but they have such strong, distinctive personalities already that they engender a devotion of their own among many readers, particularly Rebekah and Wedge. The scene where I had the hardest time in believabilty is between Luke and Jessami 's twin, a Dark Sider, when their child is conceived. It reads too much like a bad gothic sex scene with Luke saying things like, "You scheming little bitch.' Jenni's illos to this story are the best in the zine—dramatic, emotional, though a few are placed in such a way that the characters don't really seem to be interacting with each other, but are being put on display for the viewer. The illos pick ue perfectly the atmosphere of the story: brooding, panoramic, dark.

The three other stories cone before this one and are all disappointing. Christine Jeffords' *Fire in the Steel—TRUST" is the second part in a trilogy and revolves around her recurring character, the Azaeli pirate Mari Sevenstars and her attempts to rescue Han from yet another underworld character. The most interesting thing here is Mari's unusual, unspoken devotion to Han. That Sevenstars is a memorable character is without doubt. Unfortunately, I can't seem to take her seriously. She's more of a strutting martinet with a personal bodyguard who are fiercely loyal to her, yet it's really not clear why they should be. She is perhaps too much of a caricature than a real person for me to become interested in. We are constantly reminded of her fierceness and warrior skills, yet we're nsver shown this. The action of the story is constantly interrupted by unimportant details that break the flow of the story. And the piece just doesn't move, it seems that the only thing Mari thinks about is revenge or killing. Then, too, occasionally Jeffords' writing becomes a bit pretentious as in her use of the word "thither." There are long moments of reflection that also should be consigned to quieter moments, not in the middle of a coming rescue or battle. The plot is also very thin. Jeffords' writing is quite fine generally. She merely needs to make more of her character than an immature child playing with guns, acting tough, intimidating people. Dani Lane's illos to this, however, are full and well-chosen. Her perspective and composition are excellent, and she provides vivid renditions of various scenes.

Linda Knights' "The Blood Remembers" is even slower moving. Luke is drawn to a strange, mystical planet to discover his origins. The inhabitants are apparently strongly tuned in to the Force. The story revolves around Luke's journey to a village that may be his parental home. Accompanying him are four men, the most interesting of whom is a non-talkative, almost fairy-like denizen of the forest who silently protects Luke on the journey. There is a lot of waiting around in the woods, dull, stiff, philosophical dialogue. The philosophizing often becomes extremely pretentious and obscure. Knights' interpretation of the Force is also a bit skewed. Upon entering an area where the Dark Side had consumed the inhabitants (who are now all dead), Luke has a vision of the events that led to the village's destruction. Apparently, the village's "shaman" was filled with a "seed of doubt" (there's a lot of talk about this "seed of doubt" in this story) who passed it on to his son, who passed wish to question, the entire village becomes consumed. Finally, after pages and pages of philosophy, we reach the village of Luke's origins and the scene is decidedly anticlimactic. This is a plodding, overdone story, and a chore to read. MRO Ludwig's illos are a bit flat and sterile. The people are indistinct and there's no illo of the village of Northern Shores, Luke's destination, which is described in some detail.

Diana Piercy's "All That Matters" tells the recurring story of yet another young, beautiful Jedi girl (this one's called Brianne) who loves and is loved by Luke. The point of view switches, the dialogue is stiff, there is some misuse of words ("Ben spoke to her intrinsically") and the story just doesn't inspire interest. Brianne is an adolescent, childish creature, and I can't for the life of me understand why Luke would love her. (Someone should also tell the author that the word isn't "un-comfortableness" but "discomfort." ) Brianne's love for Luke is melodramatic, over-sentimental and dependent. The love scenes are rather good, however, written with some triteness but affecting and subtle. Also, Leia is done surprisingly well here. Most stories with one of these female characters do little' justice to Leia. But here, the Princess is portrayed with accurate warmth and kindness. Dani Lane's illos to this are genuine depictions of emotions. The perspectives are wonderful, sometimes from overhead. One illo of Luke end Leia standing on a ramp has Leia's stance ard expression done exactly as the stcry describes. Lane's free, easy, creative style truly helps to see things that sometimes the story is unclear about.

Vignettes and poems arf sparse in the zine, "Choice" by Cheree Cargill has Leia commiserating about what to do with Han's child since, so Cargill assumes, there's no place for children in a revolution. Laurie Shanahan's 'Conscience" has Han and Luke commiserating over their medals just after ANH, with Han (again) disparaging Leia for her supposed insensitivity. It's strange to see Han talking about guilt over killing since in that same film, he blasts Greedo with such total indifference (actually making a joke about it as he leaves) that I can't believe he would feel guilty about his role in the Death Star battle. No one looks upset at the end of ANH.

Once again, I have to object to a zine's exorbitant price. It isn't even 300 pages and it's $19.00. It's a truly beautiful zine with a few excellent offerings a

nd wonderful art. It's up to the potential buyer on this one.[43]

At last I read FAR REALMS and am ready to comment. Very nice cover—I especially like the way Vader is drawn in, sort of materializing out of mist.

'Fire in the Steel: Trust'—I was glad that Leia didn't figure in the story, because I was spared those arguments between her and Han, which are so unlike them in their tone. Mari's line of thought on who was to blame for Han's capture was not carried to its logical conclusion—if Han had not opened his mouth, it wouldn't have happened. This could have occurred anywhere—it was not Reon's fault. A person is responsible for his/her own actions. Mari needs to think more; tearing around the base could have caused a lot of trouble. It seems to me that the Alliance security would take precedence, anyway. I like the way Reon stands up to Mari.

'Choice' — it's stupid, I know, but I hope Leia finds a way to keep the baby. After all, the people of the Alliance are fighting for a future for their children. Are you going to run the next chapter of this? ((Yep, as you can see!)) 'The Blood Remembers' — The arawn reminded me a lot of the Ranyhyn in the Thomas Covenant series in that they choose their riders. How would Luke hear forest sounds on a desert planet? If people choose to leave River Home, and wanted to get off-planet, wouldn't they go to the spaceport? And wouldn't people there wonder where they were from?

'Conscience' — I recently read a story along similar lines, but with different emphasis. Basically, what it said was this: because Luke cares, because he is taking a life, every time he pulls the trigger it will be a right action, because knowing, he won't do it unless it's his only alternative. I think it's precisely this quality that separates the Alliance from the Empire. And I think Leia has it, too; she was not being vindictive. If the DEATH STAR had not been destroyed, the Imperials would simply have continued blowing up planets. You can feel too guilty about something; so many fan writers have heaped guilt for Alderaan on Leia, when it rightly belongs to those who did the deed. Lastly, if you look at the larger picture, Han and Luke made it possible for the Alliance to survive, and saved the the lives of millions. In that sense, they were heroes.

'All That Matters'—a heck of a way to teach someone, nearly killing them. If you don't pass the lightsaber test, you die? That won't be right. Brianne acts pretty childish over her separation from Luke. If she hadn't put up the mind block, she would have known he was alright. Once she found out, why didn't she go straight to Rieekan, instead of walking into the trap? I am assuming Kyllen's thoughts won't be read by Vader at the distance she's in, otherwise they would be pretty dangerous. I had a lot of trouble with this story.

'Jihad' 'I don't believe this! It's like an incredibly bad holopic!' YES! But don't stop now, I love it! Have you considered a different title?? How about the 'Edge of Night'(remember how the screen was split between dark and light?) or 'All My Children'(Rebekah would like that) or 'The Young and the Restless (Luke, Jessami and Wedge).... Questions: Are you saying that Luke and Jess can never have children? How can a baby be automatically good or bad, is it all in the genes? I'm glad you brought up the point that Luke touches everyone he meets and gifts them with the ability to love. It's so true. May he long continue to do so. I believe it can overcome all obstacles.

Cheap shot at Han by Krill: I'll have that, man's head on a platter! As a Han fan, may I say that you're handling him well? He and Luke are friends, by God, and friends stick together. Han's empathy is heightened by the fact that the 'kid's' circumstances are so like his > own were some years ago. My only quibble is that I don't see enough of Han, or him and Leia. Could you feature them just a little bit more?

I hate to, but I wanted to point out an awkward sentence, on page 221, in Sangovall's log entry. The one where he's talking about Luke's back does not read well. There weren't many instances of this, but there were some.

I'm glad you are doing a CATALYST! COLLECTED; it's impossible to get all the stories. However, I would be opposed to putting the last 'Seeds' chapter in there, if it means we have to wait longer than the usual year to read it. It would be better if you put it in the next FAR REALMS ...[44]

Loved every word. The cover particularly caught my eye—something about the blend of coloring and the texture of the paper before I even began to appreciate the excellent illo in itself. Very much enjoyed reading part of your 'Catalyst!' series in TREMOR IN THE FORCE 1, SO was thrilled to read what appeared to be part of the final chapter in FR6. (Hope there is more to come; am dying to know what happens to Luke next if or when he does return. I'm sure glad that I'm not one of those poor unfortunates who LoC'd in FR6 about the torture they had to suffer waiting for the ending—God! What a cruel cliffhanger! ALmost as bad as TESB!) Haven't much time to go into detail right now (lucky you) but the part of this Catalyst story that moved me the most and which I will always remember is the way you portrayed the special friendship between Han and Luke. Particularly liked Han's holding, protecting and comforting a tearful, remorse-stricken Luke after his return from the dark. Also liked Han's accidentally letting slip about how his and Luke's experience of betrayal, imprisonment and court martial have given them a special bond of understanding. That scene in which Han visited Luke in the cell and thought how much Luke looked as he must have done back during his own internment was very touching. There were many other parts I also loved, but that's what sticks in my mind as I type this days after reading the zine. Am afraid I haven't been able to get much into 'All That Matters' yet, though what I have seen appears to be exceptionally well-written, it's just hard getting involved for the first time with a lot of new characters and another person's point of view—but after the great enjoyment I got from persevering with getting to know the Catalyst world, I will certainly be giving this one a try soon. Artwork—particularly liked Dani's Luke and Brianne P. 147, your Han and Rebekah p. 198, and Luke and Jessami p. 234. My favorites were your Han and Luke on p. 211 (naturally) the expression on Han's face of anguish, grief and love was beautifully captured—well done!— and Dan i's Han, Luke and Chewie on p. 126. loved the do-it-yourself plots. Was especially taken with 'Conscience'— this theme has been handled before, but this was particularly sensitively done. Han's words came out sounding like him, even though this was a 'heavy' piece of moralizing for him. Descriptions of facial expressions were also well done. Tank you, Laurie. Giggled over the 'Rolling Stone' piece and cartoon—and original and clever idea. Whoops!— artwork—almost forgot Martynn's Han on p. 105; what can I say, definitely another masterpiece! Really enjoyed 'The Blood Remembers', though this is only an impression after a skim reading, will be going back this weekend to pore carefully over this on—the settings, animal life and River people are truly intriguing. Sorry, know this is not a proper LoC when I have to yet thoroughly read the zine—but it's so huge! and I know that I would probably never get around to writing any comment at all if I don't do it now. ((Any comment is always welcome, Carolyn!)) Besides, wanted you to know that although FR really lived up to its name by going to China and back twice, Yugoslavia, Upper Kambucta West and everywhere in between—I finally have it, safe and sound in my hot little hands. Love everything I've read of Cheree Cargill's (and no, Cheree, I'm not just saying that because of the very real debt I owe you as being the first person to be brave enough to edit and publish my first major SW stoiy... {(TREMOR IN THE FORCE 2—plug, plug for Cheree, and boy am I gonna charge her for it— snicker!)) Anyway, getting back to the original point, which now I can't understand why no one else thought of, it seems so obvious, if you go for the Han and Leia making love before Bespin and Leia not worrying about contraception (or Han, for that matter.)

This could be a real heart-breaking situation, and I for one am dying to know how Leia resolves the crisis of •Choice* (when, Cheree, when?) Also liked the illo for this, got the mood down well, besides I'm a sucker for Han with kids. (Leia*s) p. 49—*A typical Dallas Bar'? Truly! Where's my air ticket!

Read every word of Chris Jefford's 'Fire in the Steel: Trust', being a fan of her series. Mari Sevenstars has always seemed a little too tough to be believable, but this story showed her caring side without undoing her independent will.

Liked 'Encounter in a Cantina'—a totally different slant on the SW universe; Dani's art for this is my favorite Han of the zine. Dani's cartoon of Vader 'training' Luke on p. 9 had both my nieces in convulsions of merriment. Enjoyed the cheerful, free, teasing nature of Ronnie's 'Golden Gift' and loved Martynn's illo.

All in all, as I said, loved FR6 and am sure I will equally enjoy finishing the longer stories. Sincerely hope this isn't to be the last issue ((Nope!)) Thank you, Jeanine, very much appreciate your efforts to feed the starving multitudes of SW fans. This was really a feast—what a whopper! [45]

First, I'm very happy to read that you plan to continue FAR REALMS as you wrote, 'as long as I can survive on hectic'. I have read and enjoyed FAR REALMS from the first issue and it has steadily improved and each issue seems to outdo the previous one. However, I did miss 'From the Desk of the Dark Lord* and hope it will return. A CATALYST! COLLECTED ? Yes, yes, definitely yes! It's a great series but all these cliff hangers are driving me crazy! This way I can have it all!

As for the latest installment of FAR REALMS—what a beautiful front cover! I just love it! Is there by any chance a few extra prints of it lying around?

After reading the LoC column I realized my last LoC was a bit long. I'll try not to get carried away this time.

'Fire in the Steel: Trust'. Well, Chris Jeffords does it again! I love Mari Sevenstars! What a lady! This story wasn't as long as 'Warrior's Blood' but it was just as good. It better explained Mari's relationship with Han, which I think is a perfect one for the two of them. Dani's artwork was simple in style, but for me captured the essence of Mari very well. 'Choice'. Okay, Jeanine, you love serial stories. (sigh) Apparently this short-short is to be a lead-in to the series that follows. I'm looking forward to the next installment. 'The Blood Remembers' by Linda Knights is one of my favorite pieces from the zine It is an excellent soul-searching story for Luke, one we needed for a post-TESB-pre-JEDI filler to explain how Luke developed so much and how he tried to come to terms with his past and his destiny. The entire set-up of a race of beings using the Force in a different way than the Jedi would was very interesting. Each of the companions on Luke's journey were well-defined in their being and reasons for taking the trip with Luke. However, I couldn't help equating Aed to the missing Han. I know the characters are in no way similar, but his actions reminded me of what Han would do. Aed watched over Luke, as Han does, trying to be there when he needed him. The one time Aed was gone was the one time Luke needed him most. (sort of a reversal of what happened on Bespin) At the end of the story it is Aed who gives Luke final solace and advice in the same manner I feel Han would have done. Maybe I'm way off base here, but that is how I feel.

'On the Cover of the ROLLING STONE '--I love Gordon Carlton's artwork. He can be humorous and good at the same time. 'Conscience'. Laurie has the same idea I have. How can Luke go about destroying this and that and not feel for the deaths that he causes? As a Jedi, isn't he taught to respect all life as part of the Force? Otherwise, it was a nice piece between Han and Luke.

'All That Matters' My favorite part of this continued story was the Jedi training Bri was receiving from Obi-Wan. I like the way Diana has developed it. One flaw I had dealt with the plot. I pretty much figured Kyllen as the traitor early in the story, so it took away any suspense I may have had. On the other hand, the part about Bliu was a neat twist. I hope this is a trilogy story, because I feel that we've been set up for quite a finale.

'The Valley of the Shadow' One of the few complaints I have about Jedi was how it ended. Luke has endured so much in this move—especially the last third— that I felt cheated not knowing how he really feels at this point. What are his thoughts? If he found it hard to be a h^ro after the first Death Star, how will he handle it now? After all, everyone thinks he killed Darth Vader and the Emperor. I agree with Lillian— what he needs is a woman. Anyway, this story helped to soothe my ruffled feathers.

Usually when I get a new zine I leaf through it to sort of check it out. Not this time. Right to 'Jihad* (what an apt title!) For awhile I was shocked that Luke fell to the Dark Side (albeit not permanently, I think). He was so cold, I actually disliked him, and was upset with what he had become. Thank goodness you found a way to get him back (well, sort of...). The interplay between Vader and Rebekah was... interesting. Apparently he still feels something for her. However, her cool defiance was exactly what I had expected from her. I loved her first encounter with Han. Anyone who can handle him at his own game is most certainly to be admired. Oh, goodie! You fried Rhevyn! I'm not normally a violent person, but I savored every last detail. (See what happens when you try to mess up the hero?) Going back to Farthala was a great idea. In true Jedi fashion, the circle will be completed. It ends where it begins. All I can add is that I'm primed and ready for the next installment!

Well, I think I have babbled enough this time around, (not to mention that my STIII soundtrack is almost through playing), so I'd better quit. .Thish was a classic and I hope the next one will be as good. Keep it up![46]

Boy, I really enjoyed FAR REALMS SEX I Oops, wrong zine! I was supposed to be LoCing FAR REALMS SIX, wasn't I? Darn it, Jeanine, you KNEW FR SEX would muddle my mind!

Well, far realms 6 was spectacular, too; that is one HEFTY zine, lady! I'll just mention some of my special favorites rather than a blow-by-blow review. There wasn't anything I didn't like! Chris Jeffords was, as usual, up to her own impressively high standards! 'Fire in the Steel: Trust' was a fitting continuation of her 'Warrior's Blood' in the last issue of FR. "I'm not looking forward to this excellent serines ending—I want it to go on for years! Again, Dani Lane's illos were a perfect complement to Chris' story. I also greatly enjoyed Linda Knight's 'The Blood Remembers'; a very well-done story with an impressively-done alien culture and ecology. For sheer emotional impact, I have to go with Diana Piercy's 'All the Matters'. I find Brianne a fascinating character; full of paradoxes. It was rewarding to find her and Luke finally 'finding' each other, to put it tastefully! And I laughed my way through 'On the Cover of the Rolling Stone'! I don't know which was funnier: the Gootjes' adaptation of the song, or Gordon's hilarious illo! The best-for-last department: Yes, 'Seeds of Destruction: Jihad'! Okay, Jeanine... every time I see one of these overwhelmingly long stories of yours, I think. Hey, this is a monster! I'll never get through all this!... And then I sit down with it and begin to read it and within a few minutes, there is nothing else going on in the world, and I am totally immersed in another world until I finish the whole story! (Needless to say, I do NOT begin one of your stories while I've left something on the stove—or if I intend to go to work the same day!) TERRIFIC story!! I keep wondering how you're going to top yourself next time and you keep doing it! (That also goes for FAR REALMS in general, not only your CATALYST! stories) I think I made pretty much the same comment after reading 4/5, but at the risk of repeating myself: I consider myself to be a writer, a pretty damned good one if it comes to that. So I realize the effort it takes to plot out and write a story, and my praise comes straight from the heart. And when I read something like a 'Catalyst' story that I really like, it makes me feel good, too!

Thanks again for a GREAT zine! I'll be waiting for #7! [47]

All I can say about your 'Seeds of Destruction' in FAR REALMS 4/5 and 6 is that I'm certainly glad you LIKE Luke! I'll hate to think about what you'd do to the poor guy if you didn't like him! Gosh, and I thought George Lucas made Luke's life miserable in HIS story! Luke's life seems almost PLEASANT in the STAR WARS trilogy when compared to his life in the 'Catalyst!' series!!! You really re hard on poor Jessami and poor Wedge, too! I can't actually say that I ENJOYED the story (after all, it surely isn't the happiest story I've ever read!) but I certainly did get caught up in it! You are a terrific story-teller, and once I started 'Seeds', I couldn't put the book down.

I really did not like the Darksider Luke. He was so cold and calculating and cruel! He was almost as nasty as his father! Luke had changed so much and had become so full of Darkness that I was surprised (but much relieved, of course!) that he could still be saved. It was so sad when he killed Tiare!

Even after he returned to the Light, he was still so different from the Luke we know and love after his near-loss to the Dark Side. It was heart-breaking to see Luke so cool and unfeeling and uncaring.

I really liked Han in this story. He was a real friend to Luke when he truly needed one! The compassion, caring, and love he demonstrated towards Luke was very touching and beautiful. I like kind Dr. Sangovall and strong, independent Rebekah. They are two wonderful characters that you have created! I can't wait to read the conclusion to the 'Seeds' trilogy! I figure things have to get better for Luke and Jess! (They obviously can't get any worse—although, that's what I thought at the end of FR 4/5 and, I'm afraid, things DID get worse!) I think it's about time 'the kid' and his 'little girl' experience some joy and laughter for a change. How about it, Jeanine? Please bring some HAPPINESS into their lives! Before I end my comments on 'Seeds', I must say that I loved your poem, 'The Thaw'! I also liked your artwork on pp. 174, 211, 234, 261 and 265.

'The Blood Remembers' by Linda Knights was an enjoyable alternate universe story. It was a different kind of story and the characters were interesting. They were all unselfish individuals, and proved to be helpful friends to Luke. The quest was exciting and dangerous. It's too bad Tuath was killed near the end of the story, though.

Once again, I enjoyed reading about Mari Sevenstars in Chris Jeffords' 'Fire in the Steel' trilogy. Captain Sevenstars certainly takes her friendships VERY seriously!

Jeanine, you and George Lucas must be having a bad influence on Diana Piercy! She certainly left us hanging at the end of 'All That Matters'! We don't know whether or not poor Brianne will be shot by her own brother, if Vader will trap Luke, if Kyllen will survive, or if General Ouchi will sabotage the conference! That's another reason to read FAR REALMS 7, right? I liked Dani's pictures on pp. 126, 147, & 160. Leia is faced with a TERRIBLE dilemma in Cheree Cargill's 'Choice'. I'm rather anxious to find out what she decided. I found 'Valley of the Shadow' by Lillian Stewart Carl poignant and touching, and Martynn's drawing of Han on p. 108 was nicely done.

I enjoyed reading FAR REALMS 6. The look of the zine is great, and I like the perfect binding. It was nice to be able to read some Luke-oriented stories for a change. So many stories seem to concentrate on Han Solo. I like Han's character, but Luke's has always been my favorite, and after being deluged with so many 'Superhero Solo' stories lately in other fanzines, it was nice to read a few stories that had LUKE as the focus.[48]

So, here goes: I loved the cover! When you said that you didn't want to sell it at the art auction, I could well understand that! Just lovely! Perfect to wrap around that monster zine of yours! I'll want to say something about all the art and I'll do that first since it won't take as long. (Damn, I think you and I each did half the zine, eh?) I like all the illos by MRO Ludwig, but my favorite of hers is pp. 95. I loved the Obi-Wan- That was one nice shot. The illo on pp.54 as also very good; MRO can do very nice equines. And it is not easy to draw a person on a horse, either! Gordon's illo for 'On the Cover of the Rolling Stone' was precious. His Luke looks very wryly perturbed. In 'Jihad' my favorites by far were pp. 189 (Darth is very good, looks so much like Luke and yet not so much like him), pp. 234 (this one has a lot of feeling in it, even without reading that part of the story. You can almost tell what they are thinking by just looking) and, of course, pp. 265. You have really captured some nice expressions there, especially Luke's eyes.

Now I'll go right into your story. 'Jihad' was the first thing I read. I had been waiting a long time for this one. I had read about Tamlin and Darth and Rebekah in TREMOR IN THE FORCE 1, and I really appreciated all the background I got on them and I plan to go back and reread 'Lady in the Wood' in FR3 now that I am more familiar with the characters. The only thing that I didn't think was made plain enough was how good of friends Darth and Tamlin were. But that's another zine and another LoC...

Doesn't anyone ever smile in your stories? God! Sometimes I just want to kick some of the characters! First of all, I was so sorry that Luke had to go over to the Dark Side. I DID like the tentative relationship developed between him and Vader. After all, he is the kid's old man. What a devilishly Dark duo they make, eh? But now Luke's gone to Dagobah and Wedge and Jess are going to learn from Rebekah. I guess it's about time. I hope that the old gal can knock some sense into their heads, after all, she's been through the 'poor, poor pitiful me' routine and knows how futile it is. I am happy for her—she'd lost a lot but now has a lot to live for. But I am concerned about Luke. I know that he must still love Jess, so what is his problem? s it that the Dark Side must be totally exorcised before he can love again? And about the only thing I have a lot of trouble accepting about 'Jihad' and the stories that came before are the abortions, spontaneous or not. But that is just the mom in me talking and part of me doesn't like to see anyone's life disregarded so casually. most like bang, you're prego and then bang, you're no longer responsible for the acts that placed you in that position. Not to mention the poor little baby that never had a chance. At least everything is ending on a good feeling and I think that your next story will finally bring everybody back around feeling more mature and better about themselves. And maybe they will forgive themselves and each other, something that they all have a hard time doing. Thank you for leaving Han and Leia's relationship stable. Actually, I don't think that those two could keep their tempers in check enough to achieve their peace, but at lest there is one port in the storm!)

I absolutely loved the 'Do-It-Yourself' plots! They were just hilarious. Lynda's 'Encounter in a Cantina' was just like my illo: short. This piece seemed a little too short and didn't cover enough territory. Almost as if there should've been a first chapter of a longer story, not a first segment printed all by itself. What happens next?

And the winner of the 'What Happens Next' category was Cheree's 'Choice'! T'his was also short, but it outlined a nice problem, so What Happens Next? I was very happy to illo 'Trust'. Mari Sevenstars is a wonderfully colorful character and I enjoyed dressing her very much. I just once would like to see Han pull HER fat out of the fire, though. I mean, I would like to know why she likes Han so much. Let's face it. I doubt that there are that many people out there who would get Mari feeling so protective. So Han helped to get her before the Alliance, but he must have done something for Mari a long time ago. Well, Chris? 'Conscience' was a very nice piece. I think that the Death Star battle would be a little overwhelming to an innocent lad like Luke. That was a hell of a lot of killing for someone who had never held a gun on someone before. Good point.

'All that Matters' was a lot of fun to illo, as well. Only one complaint; where is Han Solo!? Brianne is another one of those characters that seems to have a lot of growing up to do. In the first story she was just entering young womanhood and now she is experiencing all the turmoil that follows first love. I am glad that Luke seems to have a better grip on himself than she does But then, he's older, too. Seems logical that the next story will show her maturing through her crises with her brother and Vader. Oh, and I didn't forget 'The Blood Remembers'. This one seemed a little predictable to me. I liked some of the concepts it produced, though, such as the cave of doubt. I was very sad when Tuath died. That was the only surprise for me other than the fact that I cared when he did. I usually don't get caught up in secondary characters—ones created by the author—but I liked Tuath. I haven't read enough about Luke after his father died in Jedi so naturally I loved 'Valley of the Shadow', and 'Echoes' had a nice rhythm to it. Lovely.

All in all, I was very proud to have been a part of such a nice zine. Jeanine, you do a very nice job. [49]

You wanted an LoC; you're gonna get one, blow by blow!

The cover -- —WOW!! Knock my socks off. Honey, I nearly died! I was at work and could hardly contain myself... kept running to my locker to make sure it was real. Flipping through it, it made me proud. I took it around to show everyone, my boss does review books, after all, and all were duly impressed. 'This is fandom'.

Enjoyed the LoC's. It is always interesting to find out what's on everyone else's mind. The 'toon on pp. 9 is hilarious, put me into fits of laughter. My husband wondered what had gone wrong, if I'd lost a few screws or something!

Kathy Woods' Do-it-Yourselfers are very good—you can get into come pretty hairy situations!

'Encounter in a Cantina' was great. I enjoyed Han's reaction to Presia's interest in Chewie—so perfectly 'Han'. And Martynn's illo on pp. 13 is gorgeous!

Mari Sevenstars is a great character and Chris Jeffords has put together a fab story. I loved the friction between Sevenstars and Dr. Reon, then the 'trust' they both secretly share. I also enjoyed Dani Lane's illos more than the ones that were in FR 4/5. She's captured Sevenstars the way I imagined her, with the stiletto and boots and gypsy clothing. I liked 'Choice'—could have been a lot longer, tho'! 'The Blood Remembers' is fantastic! The testings in the caves of doubt and River's End—wow, really emotional. At times, the story was a little too descriptive, you kinda get lost, but as far as impact and storyline: A-1. I liked the character Aed; the mysterious wise overseer, sort of like Ben.

I've heard gripes from friends that all the stories in zines seem to portray Luke as a green farmboy. If this doesn't shatter that image, I don't know what will!

Diana Piercy has done one better this time. 'All That Matters' is wonderful. It really held my attention, very suspenseful, too. Having Bliu show up as one of Vader's henchmen was a real shocker. Most of all I loved Luke and Bri's night together. WOW. I wish I had been in Bri's shoes, or sheets, I should say! (hee, hee!) 'The Valley of the Shadow' is interesting. I can't accept Luke and Biggs' widow together, but... I like Lillian's interpretation of how Luke feels. I imagine he would seem sad and alone instead of joyous.

Now, the story I've been waiting for... Absolutely LOVE the picture on pp. 174. The scene between Luke, Nigel and Vader on 176 was gut-wrenching! I just ached for Luke and...GASP...Vader and what they were having to endure. The illo on pp. 178 is so emotional for me... father and son. WOW! Rhevyn and Luke on pp. 185! Steam...sizzle! I hate her for what she's done to Luke. Poor Luke. 'And the single tear escaped one eye, spilling down his cheek and falling to the floor.' made me cry. SHAME on you, Jenni! God, this just keeps getting better and better!

The confrontation between Luke, Rhevyn, Jessami, Han, Leia, Wedge, Rebekah and Tiare was so visual, I felt like I wa there. All the pain—OUCH! The illo on pp. 210 is wonderful. I love it! Luke, treason?! Poor Jess, she loves Luke so—he'd better snap out of it!

Whew! Whatta story, girl! Kept me on the edge of my seat. I can't wait for the conclusion. You'd better write it! So many questions to be answered. I'll be dreaming of Luke, Jess and Darth for weeks now! What a great read this has been. As always, I think the zine is fab, A-1, primo! All of you guys deserve a pat on the back (and I need a good stiff drink after what you just put me through!)

I'll be counting the days 'till FAR REALMS 7. And to all of you guys whose stories, art, etc. kept me entertained: BRAVO!! [50]

First a few comments on FR6 which I bought at Worldcon. I won't comment on every story, just a couple. You already know my feelings on your alternate universe. Just keep on writing. Just because George backed off doesn't mean you have to. Can't wait to see how the whole thing turns out. I did enjoy 'All That Matters', except for the ending. I believe you said you weren't sure if the final chapter would be published. How could the author leave it where she did? I know that several well-known fan authors have said that Brianne is just another Mary Sue. Probably, but nowadays it is not possible to create a female character and not have someone say it. I've written a few myself and am afraid to send them out. No matter what the original concept, Mary Sue-ism has changed and now includes any original female character. How did you handle that with Jessami?

If someone wants to create a female character and that character just happens to either fall in love with or sleep with (or both) Han/Luke/Chewie(?), why not? If it's done well — and some of them are — then I say go for it! I don't mind reading them and I have a hunch many of the fans who protest so much enjoy them as well but would never admit it.

Now I'm afraid I have to confess something. In FR6, the story 'The Blood Remembers' was very difficult for me to get through. Not that it wasn't beautifully written (it was!), showed much imagination and was in character all the way. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of reading SoD first. It was downhill from there. To put it bluntly, there was no romance (translation: Sex!). Mind you, this was not the writer's fault at all. Yours, perhaps?[51]

Issue 7

Far Realms 7 was published in 1985 and is 336 pages long.

front cover of issue #7, Mark Fisher
back cover of issue #7, Melea Fisher

The art is by Cheree Cargill, Kate Nuernberg, Martynn, Laura Virgil, Mark Fisher, Melea Fisher, Dani Lane, Judith Low, Rebecca Carey, Pat Easley, Wanda Lybarger, and Suzy Sansom.

flyer for issue #7
From the editorial:

I've had several requests for my submissions policy, so here it is: If it's about Luke, and he's submissive, I'll print it!

Ahem. That was not what I meant to say! Start again...

In regards to submissions to FAR REALMS, I do require the normal typed, double-spaced mss, numbered pages and all that. So far as content, and 'rating'—I don't have a firm anything on that. I take each sub as it comes, and I do not like to stick to an 'I don't like this' policy, because usually something comes along that makes a liar out of me!

But there is one thing I'd like to request, and that is that people who have continued stories—stories that cannot stand on their own without the consecutive parts—need to try to get me all of those parts if they can. The reasoning behind this is that twice now I've been burned by printing the first parts of stories, then not ever getting the last parts. The first was in FAR REALMS 2, and now, the last part of 'All That Matters' is my second case of 'story burn'. Due to unfortunate circumstances, I have not gotten the third part, nor do I know if it will ever see print. It is unfair to the readers, I know—and not very good for editor's nerves, either!—but that's the way it stands. I apologize to all those who wanted to read the end of the story. As always, I'm looking for submissions for the next ish—and FRB is filling up fast, folks!
Also from the editorial:
This issue marks another milestone in FR history—trilogies are coming to an end, yet not quite. There's a good mixture of everything in this issue; I think there's even more diversity than before, and FR is really cleaving to the philosophy of IDIC. For a change of pace, the portfolio section features some of fandom's alternate universes— and there will be a second edition in FRB. Plus a healthy amount of wondermaking art, stories and poetry/filks. (A real surprise for me was to open my PO box and find three wonderful filks written to my 'Catalyst!' series. Wow!) And my baby's on computer disk for the first time in its life! I really have to send some grateful Force-whammies to Gail Small, who lent me her word- processor, then to Cheree Cargill and Laura Virgil and Pat Easley, whose wonderful typing fingers came in for me when the chips were down. This zine wouldn't have seen print if not for these wonderfen.
More from the editorial:

In the 'plug thyself department, I have several things to mention. One is that 'Catalyst!", like FREALMS, will not die—even if you beat it with a stick. No sooner did I type 'Renaissance' into the WP than six more stories popped out the otherwhen, saying 'You will write me'. Gaak! And 'Catalyst! Collected', Voluminous I, will be seeing the light of day approximately the same time as Fall sweeps through our fair land. It will contain the earlier stories, with considerable rewrites and additions, and some new material that has never before hit the ozone! See flyer at thish's back.

Also, the South will rise again! For the first time ever, Texas shall see an all Media convention. (I must humbly pause to give MediaWest Con its rightful place as inspiration.) Again, Conzineience is listed at the back in the flyer section. No excuses—you all have plenty of time to save up and come! Truly, this is the biggest sucker I've printed yet—I'm going to try and cut down on the size after this. But FREALMS will remain large, to keep up with those writers like me who can't shut their fingers up once they get started typing. So don't panic if you've got a large mss. Look, on that table! Is it a tome? A booster chair for toddlers? The Rebel Alliance phone book?

No , it's FAR REALMS!!!

Walk the skies!
  • Editor's Page by Jeanine Hennig (2)
  • From 'Round the Realm, letters of comment (3)
  • One Thing and The Other by Karen Ripley (10)
  • Fragments, poem by Kate Nuernberg (11)
  • Corellian Confidences by Kathryn Agel ("To make a choice between a Princess' love and the freedom of space isn't easy, even if Han's sister Cara is willing to help him talk it out.") (part of Starbird's Children Universe) (12)
  • It's Me, poem by Anne Wortham (17)
  • Oh, Love, Oh Love, Oh Careless Love by T.S. Weddell ("Faulty contraceptive inserts four years ago, and Han was just lucky enough to buy a batch of them! But responsibilities like that aren't to be shirked, and Solo takes advantage of time off a supply run to check into the news — and make sure that he didn't leave eight little Solos behind!") (18)
  • Choice: The Fostering by Cheree Cargill (Choice (parts 2&3)) ("Leia is pregnant, and a choice must be made: to have a baby, or head a Rebellion. Is there an alternative to both unworkable solutions?") (42)
  • Vision, poem by Kate Nuernberg (47)
  • Mindtwins, poem by Gail Small (47)
  • Father and Son, poem by Gail Small (48)
  • First Steps by Samia Martz ("Jeni Petersen in a small girl with a big problem. Her brother calls it nonsense - she calls it the Force. Both of them end up learning more about it than they ewer wanted to when they quit their uncle's berth and end up being taken in by the Rebel Alliance ...") (49)
  • Destiny by Anne Wortham (104)
  • Checkmate by Jeanine Hennig (105)
  • Alternative Universe Portfolio (107)
  • A Jedi Craves Not These Things, poem by Jeanine Hennig (118)
  • Warrior's Blood: Quite an Item Together by Chris Jeffords ("There's a traitor to the , Rebellion, one that causes an untimely evacuation to Hoth. Luke and Han want to make sure that the person doesn't mess them around" again, but Mari Sevenstars and Jerira Lornay have a different fate planned for the be trayer ...") (Final third of a trilogy in the 'Brightstar' Universe.) (120)
  • Homespun: Beru, Owen, two original songs (lyrics and chords) by Kate Nuerberg (168)
  • Choice: Janaree by Cheree Cargill (Choice (parts 2&3)) ("Leia is pregnant, and a choice must be made: to have a baby, or head a Rebellion. Is there an alternative to both unworkable solutions?") (170)
  • Truth, poem by Kate Nuernberg (178)
  • The Ballad of Rebecca Nightrider, filk by Carolyn Kinkead (179)
  • Luke's Song for Jessami, filk by Carolyn Kinkhead (180)
  • Darkling Musings: The Return to Yavin, filk by Carolyn Kinkead and Sue Smalley (182)
  • Seeds of Destruction: Renaissance by Jeanine Hennig ("The Rebellion lies in the hands of corrupt diplomats, Luke has left for Dagobah to keep his promise to Yoda, and his friends have become embittered pawns in a desperate game. The last stand against the Darkness of the Baperor and Darth Vader has begun: will there be anything left to fight their final bid for power? Or will the children of the Jedi become caught up in their own destruction, seeded years?") (final third in a trilogy, Catalyst! Universe story) (183)
  • Shadow Walker by Anne Wortham (337)
  • Ads and other things (338)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 7

The looks of the zine were great. Top marks to the edit droid and all the other droids.

Art first...

I greatly enjoyed Wanda Lybarger's illos for '...Careless Love'. There was such a nice sense of body language between Han and Luke; the illos reflected not only the action of the story, but the mood of the relationships in the story.

Martynn's first illo for Chris Jeffords' story was a bit, er, strange. Leia looks like she put on about 50 pounds and the positioning of Mari Sevenstars' arms indicate an extremely open body stance that doesn't seem in synch with her character. Well, while I'm on the subject of body language, the illo of Han on pp 155 says volumes.

I think Dani Lane did a good job putting some action ot movement into the rather mundane scenes illoed at the beginning of 'First Steps' (leaving a ship, going to a ship, getting on a ship). The bar scene is nice; there is a kind of balance in all those fully- extended bodies, caught right in the middle of a punch. The illo with Han and Leia on pp 91 is well done. Although I think the illo of Luke trying to help Jeni is very well done, there is something about its size and placement that bothers me. Considering the importance of the scene, Vader's first attack on Jeni, to the story and proposed series, I should think it would deserve more attention. It was puny in comparision to the full-page illo of the happy siblings dumping their mean old uncle.

As for the art in 'SOD:Renaissance', my reactions ranged from 'excellent' to •who the hell is that supposed to be?' Shall we say good on the whole, but somewhat uneven quality? The front cover was beautiful.

Now stories...

First of all, I enjoyed '...Careless Love*. It was an excellenat execution of an idea. I particularly enjoyed the way T. S. Weddell sees the relationship between Han and Luke.

I have to admit I was a little disappointed by the outcome of Cheree Cargill's 'Choice' story. She did such a good job setting up the problem that it seemed almost impossible for Leia to resolve it. So when Leia just goes off and puts the baby in an artificial womb it was something of a letdown, especially since she made such a big deal in the first story that it would be almost impossible to use that solution. Sure, they worried a lot, but nothing really happened. The second and third parts of 'Choice' were well-written, but they lacked the nice, gut-wrenching conflict of the first part.

Being a person who enjoys gut-wrenching conflicts, I wasn't much interested in 'First Steps'. No offense to Samia Martz, but the adventures of a baby Jedi just don't appeal to me. And Jeni is such a nice person there's never any doubt that she'll want to become a Jedi.

Anyway, RE: 'Warrior's Blood: Quite and Item Together'... This story sets up a good problem for Luke concerning Hoist, then Mari Sevenstars butts in and ruins things. Mari is a character with good potential, but lately she seems to have turned into a giant deux ex machine who roams the galaxy making things right for Han, and now Luke, too. By turning Hoist into a lunatic, Mari saved Luke from making what would have been a difficult and interesting choice that I, for one, would have enjoyed reading about.

There are some short pieces I wanted to mention. I liked Karen Ripley's 'One Thing and the Other'. I've always been annoyed by the notion that Luke's decision to go to the aid of his friends made him a failure as a Jedi. 'Destiny'/'Checkmate' were very interesting. I had a compulsion to write yet another piece of the story. ((Believe me, the 'story war' goes on between Jenni and Anne. Who will have the last word? Stay tuned and find out! I should have some more of those goodies for FR 9!)) As for Anne Wortham, she's been driving me crazy lately by writing short pieces that would be the beginnings of very compelling stories.

As for 'SOD: Renaissance', I'll say only one thing — well, I wanted gut- wrenching conflict, didn't I? [52]

Wonderful covers, both front and back: striking with excellent likenesses. The splash of color on the front really stands out.

'One Thing and the Other'—I agree 100%. 'In his willingness to love, his power is.' Yes.

'It's Me'—sweet poem and so true. Nice illo, too.

'Oh Love...'—I liked this story for several reason. Han actually took precautions; he showed a sense of responsibility, a sense of morality. There was real affection between him and Laiende and he was wonderful with Jakki. Lastly, the serious parts were well- handled and didn't conflict with the humor. I think Han will be a good father.

Wow. Destiny' and 'Checkmate' together were a knockout! Hah! Gotcha Palpatine, you swine!

I knew 'Choice' would end just as I wanted it to. Thanks, Cheree.

'Renaissance'—honestly, I don't know where to start on this, there is just so much I want to say. So I'm going to divide it into categories and put down the things that struck me in each. Concepts; Luke as Obi-Wan of the new Jedi, the Quest—similar to Camelot, the All and the Triad—about which more later but it is a good answer to 'Who are we?' (why was the first Triad Bright/Dark/Bright?) ((Actually, it was Bright/Bright/Dusk—Luke was the first Dark Lord ever. The Jedi had never before been forced to the ultimate power of the All of the Force.)) Power- bonding—rather tricky isn't it?. Time Search, and finally the idea of Challenge. Scenes: Yoda and the sleeping Luke, Yoda's death scene, the poetic language, the scene early on between Luke, Wedge, Jess and Vader, Jess Healing Luke—I could almost see the steam rising off the page, the entrance of the new Triad into the Alliance camp, Luke turning the tables on the Council and telling them to leave, Vader's deception of the Emperor just before the rescue attempt and his later cry of Challenge against Nigel, Leia's pregnancy and Han's acceptance of an Alliance commission, dressing down of Wedge by Leia, goodbye scene between Han and Leia, their bonding ritual, the spirits of past Jedi showing up at the final confrontation, Jessami cutting out Kenobi's force abilities, Vader's decision at the end—which was at least honest, Luke turning out to be his heir, and last, but not least, Han and Leia's 'honeymoon'. Quotes; 'Princess Organa, we have decided that for the Alliance's good, you will be married to the Baron"—humph! 'To the pure are all things pure' 'Look, kid—I know what you do under the covers now, an' I'm keeping an eye on you! Got me?' 'I give you joy' 'No braid, no bed'—and I love the Alderaani marriage braid and the gown. Well, nuts, just when I got interested in Hmmsk, he got blown up!

I have to say that I am very ambivalent about the Triad. In terms of the Jedi and their role, it is a very good idea. However, in terms of Luke, Jessami and Wedge and their personal relationship, I would have preferred some other resolution. I know that sounds old-fashioned, but it would be less than honest to say otherwise.

Of the artwork, my favorites are Leia on pp 106, Han on pp 131 and Wanda's work, as always. The artwork for the portfolio was also good.

That's it. I'm sure you're breathing a sigh of relief about now. Take care until the next issue. Walk the skies.[53]

I must admit that the first thing I did when I began FR7 was to turn to 'Renaissance'. It kept me engrossed all afternoon and long into the evening. Whew! What a great ending to the Catalyst trilogy! So does the next installment start in FR8? ((As you can see, it does! What started out as a gag and piece of fluff turned out to have some meaning to it! (At least I hope it has meaning!) Gee thanks, Cindy!)) You are going to tell us about the kids, aren't you? ((They're already chomping at the bit, wanting their say. If writers are schizophrenic, I must be one of the worst ones!)) I don't think you left anything unanswered or hanging. Everything all tied up nice and neat. Especially your letting Rebekah and Tamlin finally be reunited. It was all so emotional for me, but very fulfilling. Sigh. I don't want to neglect the rest of the zine. Of course, I just loved 'Quite An Item Together'. I can never read enough stories with Mari Sevenstars. I like her more and more with each new story Chris Jeffords writes. In this particular one, I like the way Mari 'helps' Luke and Han without them realizing. Very tricky.

I do enjoy all the portfolios you have been putting in FR lately. I'd like to see more if the work is available and there are no special problems. Some of the artwork is just fantastic.

'Oh Love...' was a relaxing piece for me. It was so light and humorous. It left me feeling happy. Also I got to read a side of Han I rarely see in fanfiction. I enjoyed it very much and will be looking for more by T. S. Weddell.

The rest of the zine was your usual

good stuff. I'm never disappointed with FR. [54]

I enjoyed the covers, both front and back immensely. I have seen Mark and Melea Fisher's work before, and always find it very pleasing. I also liked your layout and binding. The plasic spiral makes reading such a large tome twice as easy and enjoyable. I always enjoy a large, well-written fanzine. FR 7 fit the bill nicely. Kathryn Agel's 'Corellian Confidences' was a cute little vignette. I'm not overly fond of the 'extra relative syndrome' unless properly handled. This piece was well-done.

I found T. S. Weddell's 'Oh Love.,.' slightly long and drawn-out, but this was offset by Luke's rather funny part and it was well-written enough to keep my interest. It also made for a good 'Captain Solo... this was your life'. As always, Wanda Lybarger's art was amusing as well as 'on the nose' for catching the characters as they truly are. Her pictures add to any story she illustrates and I often buy my zines because they mention her as an artist. Cheree Cargill's 'Choice' series was fun with a real cutesy, nice, happy ending. I'm so glad things came out all right. It was worth the wait to read the conclusion. 'First Steps' by Samia Martz was nice—cute idea. However, I'm not really sure I understand where this one is heading. Why was Vader content to just murder Jeni's parents as a warning? Also, why bother to 'warn' Jeni at all against using her Force powers? From everything I have ever seen/read/heard, Vader would never be content to just let a practicing Force-user be scared off, but would most likely attempt to harness her ability immediately for his own purposes. It has been a while since I finished this story, so I maybe off on a few points, but I shall be interested in seeing what direction this story takes.

Heavy scene there in 'Destiny'. Thanks for the companion piece in 'Checkmate'. Poor Luke, though. Love the art for the 'Alternate Universe Portfolio'. I'm a fan of long standing for both 'Brightstar' and of course, 'Catalyst!' universes. The others were very nice also, and I've touched on each one at one point or another in time, so none of the pieces were truly foreign to me.

So, speaking of Alternate Universes— particularly at this moment the 'Brightstar' one—-it's time to comment on 'Warrior's Blood Part 3'. First and foremost I'm a fan of Martynn's art. She continues to brighten any story with her many and various techniques of pointalism—absolutely beautiful. OK, back to the story. There has always been one major problem for me in dealing with Chris Jeffords' universe, and that is her main character, Mari Sevenstars. For me, I find Mari too all knowing, totally flawless. I guess I'd like to see her make a few mistakes in judgement, etiquette, warfare, whatever—just to make her seem more human! Ah—er—that is Azaeli (please don't kill me, Rolf—ouch! Stop it Gort!) I've always found 'super- characters ' a little hard to take. That's not to say, however, that I don't enjoy the story(ies). I still search diligently through all fanzine listings or Jeffords' works because it's very well-written fun, possessing many varied and interesting original characters, customs and situations. Also, I enjoyed the solution for permanently taking care of the evil Mykel Hoist—very cruel, but no less than his just desserts. One last criticism—I fell Leia's character should be treated nicer. She's cast too many times as the proverbial harpy or heavy. I admit that the 'human time' she spent with Mykel helped offset this image but still around the people she loves she tends toward the figure of the naggish old woman rather than the diplomatic young Princess. Now for 'Catalyst!'. I'd like you to know that the 'Catalyst!' series of stories are just about my all-time favorites—very easy to get hooked on once you start, much like a soap opera. (Can you guess which one? Nudge, nudge!)

It was over much too soon! There's so much I've enjoyed about the series that I could take forever to talk about it—but I'11 spare your eyes and my hand and just go over a few points.

First a few criticisms. I'm having a little trouble with Rebekah's use of the term 'commoner' to non-Force-users. I've always believed that the Jedi's original purpose was to serve the universe and protect—thus to be humble in one's use of power would be a high goal well worth attaining and mastering. The term 'commoner* suggests contempt, loathing or at best, indifference. I don't think even Rebekah feels this towards the non-Jedi or would really wish to be active in alienating those allies around her.

Secondly, I had a little problem with the way Han and Luke related with each other—namely their dialogue. I felt they came across well in actions and feelings, but particularly in their conversations things seemed stilted. Case in point—when Han uses the line "I've watched you grow, little blood- brother. We've watched each other grow." I find it hard to imagine Han speaking to anyone in those terms, even though he has been opening up much more emotionally. It still seems a bit forced and not in keeping with the pirate/smuggler free-spirited character. One last criticism then onto the praise! This last is less tangible and therefore a bit hard to describe. Please bear with me. Everything in 'Catalyst!' is just a bit too intense. I realize that the problems/situations faced by our main characters are far from normal and are certainly galaxy- sized, but at times it appears that the characters are so wrapped up in their problems, so involved that when a new problem appears that is of bigger/graver importance the impact is lost due to the overwhelming importance of the last plot complication. There needs to be greater distances between the high highs and the low lows to give a better feel to the peak occurrences. I hope that you can at least get a feeling for what it is I'm trying to explain.

All right—enough of that! Jenni's art is nice; sometimes a bit too angular or 'stringy' but overall a nice bit of work in keeping with the mood of the story. 'Renaissance' was really great reading—and as a writer I can certainly appreciated the time and effort it must have taken to plot and write and rewrite to get the finished series chapters. It is so nicely written and planned that it is easy to become totally enthralled in the continuing actions, plots, subplots and character complications. A particularly favorite piece of mine was the tri-bonding of Luke, Wedge and Jessami. It was tastefully handled, flowing as a river does from one natural movement to the next—in tune with everything on its course. You took a potential 'hot' or delicate situation and not only handled it, but made it something truly beautiful. Thanks.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the relationship that Han and Leia share. They are both real—each learning and growing from the interaction with the other. Of course, there's just wonders as to the growth of all the main characters—particularly Luke, Wedge and Jessami. You've brought them along beautifully—almost like watching a child/children grow from toddlers to full-fledged, aware adults. Nicely done!

The story was, of course, brought to a wonderfully-intense and powerful conclusion. How different to not only kill the main 'baddie* but to instead exact an even crueler revenge—in this case, forever blinding Palpatine to the Force—neat!

Glad everything turned out so well with happiness for most everyone— certainly for those who deserve it most. I could continue this forever—a great series—its been fun, interesting, sad, treacherous, etc. I hope this isn't the end.

The poems and cartoons were very nice and also quite funny and the zine had a nice variety of talented artists; I'll be really looking forward to FR8. Thanks so much for letting me spout off—and of course for 'Catalyst!'[55]

Well, I've finally made it through FR7! Whew. A good read, as usual. Loved both covers.

'One Thing and The Other' is how I wish (hope) it really was! Enjoyed 'Corellian Confidences'. It was sweet. However why does Han always have a little sister, not a brother? Liked Suzy's illos.

'Oh Love...' was great. Nice to see Han portrayed as having a conscience. The Convent of the Sisters of Chastity scene had me in hysterics! You could really feel his embarrassment! Both parts of Cheree's 'Choice' series were good. I like how she follows the films but weaves her own web as well! Hoping for more, Cheree, okay?

Loved all the poetry selections in this ish.

'First Steps' was excellent. Looking forward to more of this series. 'Destiny' and 'Checkmate' LOVED. Alternate Univ. Portfolio was nice. I enjoyed a 'guideline' of sorts for these great stories.

'A Jedi Craves Not These Things'... Jenni, Jenni, could that be you so blatantly in bed with Luke? Hee.

'Warrior's Blood 3'—I really enjoy Mari Sevenstars and the BS universe. Loved how Hoist 'got his'! I can't help wondering is Mari and Han will ever get together? Please? Skye is just kind of wimpy to me. Martynn's illos were fab, especially pp 143.

'SOD:Renaissance'—you've done it again, Jenni. Love the illo on pp 184.

I want it! Got any extra copies? Another page-turner. My only complaint — if you can call it that—is Luke, Wedge, and Jessami together. I just can't accept their bonding. It doesn't mesh with my values, I guess. You have an incredible talent of making your reader feel/experience what we are reading. I laughed, I cried, I was in pain and in love and joy. BRAVO! I will be awaiting the next chapter. [56]

Now I shall try to LoC FR7, but lordy, it won't be easy! It's so full and it's so rich in detail. A wonderful zine, a feast, chock full of emotional calories! Yum! The front cover was very nice and I liked the composition. The pp 9 cartoon nearly choked me—from laughing!

I thought K. Ripley's 'One Thing and The Other' was great, for once someone takes up for Luke and does it marvelously! 'Fragments' is sensitive to Luke's feelings, yet although he may feel this way about never having love after he realizes he's lost Leia to Han and genetics, I hope he'll find love.

'Corellian Confidences' by Agel seemed a little slow to me, but I liked Sansom's illos.

I loved 'Hey, It's Me' by Wortham, each little verse had a point to think about, catching you off-guard. And Virgil's illo gets that Solo 'Ah, come on! I'm lovable!' expression just right!

'Oh Love.." by T. S. Weddell, so far I've enjoyed all stories by this author. Her descriptions of the interplay between Han, Luke and Chewie were warm and funny and, at times, touching. Lybarger's illos are always great, but especially pp 24, the look on Luke's face is priceless! And on pp 40, that illo is poignant. 'Choice: The Fostering' and 'Janaree' were sweet but a little simple and short. I like the illo from 'The Fostering'—3P0 looks very dignified. 'Vision' was a little hard to read; it didn't flow smoothly.

'Mindtwins' was beautiful, the illo was OK, 'Father and Son' was all right. I'm not much on free verse, but that's just me. I liked Luke's face in this illo.

'First Steps'—I enjoy S. Martz's stories a lot and am glad to see them in another zine besides her own. Dani really illos well; she gave Samia's characters focus for me. The picture on pp 103 makes Luke look a little old.

'Destiny' was flat chilling, and thank you, Jeanine, for giving me an ending I could stand (but just barely!) The picture pp 106 of Leia Is marvelous, it captures the look on Leia while she's holding Han in Jabba's palace beautifully. The Alt. Universe Portfolio was very interesting as well as artistically well-done. It also helped as I'm fairly new to SW fandom and most of these universes I'm just getting introduced to.

'A Jedi Craves Not These Things' — nice poem, pantingly delicious illo! 'Warrior's Blood 3'—I must say, I was hesitant about buying a zine that had so many series that I hadn't read the first parts to, but all were well-written enough that I could enjoy them even at that! Mari is interesting. I look forward to learning more of her culture. I usually love Martynn's illo, but on pp 121 is Leia supposed to look fat?

The filks for Owen and Beru were good to see and enjoy, not that much shows up about them most of the time. Cartoon on pp 177, hilarious. I do so love a good laugh, and with so many deep, moody stories, laugh breaks are appreciated! 'Truth' was very insightful and thought- provoking. I can't really comment on the three 'Catalyst!' filks, as I haven't read the stories they're about. I'm workin' on it, Jenni! I liked Mark Fisher's illo, it was different.

Now, (gulp) 'SOD:Renaissance'—well, it's all your fault, Jeanine, that all my x-tra dough (what little I have) will be spent tracking down past zines that have 'Catalyst' stories. My sister is a dyed-in-the-wool mundane and she liked your title illo very much. I really like Wedge being so important in this series, I've always had a soft spot for him. How do you comment on a story that seemed as real a universe as your own life?

And So full of emotions that lift you, throw you down, crush you, exalt you. I panted through 9/lOths of this story! I love the imagery of the Dark Lord being the sun, the Bright Lady the moon and the Dusk Lord twilight and shadows.

'Shadow Walker' was a thought I had not had before. I love Leia's image in this illo too, very nice! Well, my pencil runneth over again! Very, very well-done zine, one to cherish and read over and over again! [57]

The first thing I read, naturally, was 'Renaissance'. It was a beautiful conclusion to 'Seeds of Destruction', if somewhat bittersweet. I'll miss Rebekah a lot. She was a wonderful character— strong, stubborn, loyal and very caring, as indicated in her last act of giving up her own life for the sake of her granddaughter's. I know she's happier now with Taralin. Will their 'ghosts' be popping up in any future stories?

I loved the way Jessami's seduction of Luke was handled. I had the feeling it would take something pretty drastic to break though that shell he had around his emotions. I don't suppose Jess ever heard of Masters and Johnson, but her methods seemed to me to bear more than a passing resemblance to their sensate focus technique.

The idea of the Triad really intrigues me. It took some time for me to get used to the idea—my first reaction was similar to Wedge's: 'I have no stomach for orgies.' But as I kept reading and thinking about it, it came to seem natural—indeed, the only thing they could have done under the circumstances. The love scene, with the physical and emotional Bonding of the three of them, brought it across very well. At the same time, I understood and sympathized with Wedge's conflicts over the situation. He really has had a difficult adjustment to make.

I was glad to find out more about the Plague, since I was going to ask you all sorts of questions about it. It really is a nasty disease, isn't it? Nigel's attempt to unleash it really made me realize how crazy he is. I hope Jessami—and especially the babies— don't suffer any ill effects from it. (Does it cause birth defects, for instance?)

'Quite An Item Together'—I thoroughly enjoyed this. Mari Severnstars is a fascinating character— intelligent, powerful, strong-willed and self-controlled. It's interesting to see the way her character traits fit into her cultural background, and the idea of her being a distant relative of Luke's intrigues me. I'd like to track down some more stories in the 'Brightstar' cycle. One question—is Leia OK? I liked 'One Thing and the Other' a lot. I've never been able to accept that Luke did such a terrible thing in going to Bespin, despite the consequences. Incidentally, an interesting counterpoint to this story is found in Anne Elizabeth Zeek and Pat Nussman's 'Testing Ground' in WARPED SPACE 49.

I laughed over 'Oh Love, Oh Love, Oh Careless Love'. I appreciated Han's being responsible enough to track down the women he might have impregnated, rather than forgetting the whole thing. The poignant ending was a nice touch.

'First Steps' was a good establishing story. It'll be interesting to watch develop. I'd like to see more interaction between her and Luke, tho'.

I liked the Alternate Universe Portfolio—I'll have to check out some of these stories. Suggestion: you might want to print addresses where the authors can be reached. I had a lot of trouble tracking down Chris Jeffords.

The poems and songs: my favorites were 'A Jedi Craves Not These Things' (gorgeous illo, too!), 'Homespun' (I'm trying to learn these on the guitar, but am having trouble counting measure and with the melody lines), 'Truth' and 'Darkling Musings' (this one haunted me for days afterward).

Overall impression—fantastic! I can't wait for next year's issue. [58]

I've been reading and enjoying zines for about three years now—but have sent out relatively few LoCs. Probably the main reason for this was shortage of time—working full time and attending school. Now that my free time is once again an existent fact, I'm going to try to break this bad habit and begin actively LoCing—and hopefully say something worthwhile in the process!

I believe I will start with the art. From LoCs I've read, this seems to be one of the most overlooked and undermentioned items (probably unintentional — if the art is good and the reader is not an artist him/herself, one tends to subliminally appreciate while not consciously acknowledging the contribution the artist makes). First off, I found the cover by Mark Fisher, and the back cover by Melea Fisher to be both exquisitely striking — I look forward to seeing more of their work. Laura Virgil's Han on pp 17 was perfect. Wanda Lybarger's illos—esp. pp 24 showing Luke's disgruntlement and Han's uneasiness — blended nicely with the tone of the story. 'The Alt. Universe Portfolio' with its respective artists was lovely. Probably my only quarrel with this was Judith Low's' illustration for her universe, 'Princess Tapes'. Although I liked the picture as a whole, I thought that her Leia was a little bit too chubby and her expression a little bit too sickly-sweetly vacuous. Forgive the generality of the above comments — but I'm afraid that when it comes to talking about differing brush strokes, shading techniques, etc., I'm lost!

Now to the stories. My favorite in the zine was 'Seeds of Destruction: Renaissance'. I've been following this saga since its beginning in FRl, each new installment present through a variety of other zines, was astounded and flabbergasted with this concluding portion, and hope that there will be further offerings in this universe — in other words, you've got me hooked, Jeanine.

I enjoyed Kathryn Agel's 'Corellian Confidences'. She presents a good feel for the characters and Han with the prospect of having a baby sister is an interesting idea — full of potential. I think my main gripe with the stories, and this story in particular, that Agel has set in this universe all seem to be too short — too short for any real plot development and character development. Quite often it seems that they begin and end in the same breath.

While I have always enjoyed Cheree Cargilll's 'Choice' universe stories, as I enjoyed the part 2 in this zine, I don't believe in their premise — that the Rebellion has no place for children. The Rebellion has been going on for quite some time — and showed the prospect of continuing to do so for many years. The idea that during these years the complication (I give you that) of having and raising children would not arise, I think, is unbelievable. Also, the 3 films showed the Alliance to have quite an up-to-date and large medical center/complex. I would think that the removal and re-implanting of the embryo in an artificial womb could have been accomplished right there in the Alliance medical facility — why did Leia have to risk her life and that of the unborn babe's by venturing into deepest Imperial territory?

Finally, this zine was my very first introduction to Samia Martz's 'First Steps' universe and I absolutely, unadulteratedly loved it. I loved it so much that when I learned that further adventures of Jeni and Sandor were to be found in THE WOOKIEE COMMODE, I promptly ordered the 1st two issues of said zine for that very reason alone—though I'm sure I'll like the whole zine too, Mary!

Although I've not covered everything in this humongous zine (it would take an encyclopedia to do that!) I enjoyed the whole zine and look forward to issue 8— which I hope is coming to our planet soon, Jeanine. [59]

'Corellian Confidences': If Boba Fett can have a sister, why can't Han Solo? This one even screams Mary Sue to ME! But I enjoyed reading it anyway. I'm afraid I'm one of those readers who immerses herself in whatever she happens to be reading at the moment.

'Careless Love': Nice Solo story. Humorous with just enough seriousness to make it interesting. Enjoyed the art, too.

'First Steps': Not being familiar with this alternate universe, I really can't pass judgement on it. I did think Jeni was a bit of a spoiled brat but I would like to see her developed beyond this point. She and Luke would make an interesting couple is she were able to keep her identity and not fall into his shadow. 'Destiny/Checkmate': What can I say? Jenni had no choice. Thanks for finishing what Annie started. But why do we love to torture ourselves so?

'A Jedi Craves Not These Things': Words fail me. I don't know which I liked better, the poem or the illustration. (Tellme, Jenni, has your husband seen this one?) ((ED: Yep! He has a matching one with him and Jane Seymour!))

'Warrior's Blood': Good story, Chris. Despite what so many have said, I like Mari Sevenstars. The only fault I found with this was the illo on pp 121. Not up to Martynn's usual standards.

'Choice — Janaree': Predictable ending to a predictable story. but what the heck. We all knew it would come out like this.

'SoD: Renaissance': I think I was reading this one when the car radio caught fire somewhere in Montana. Certainly hope my thoughts didn't influence the blaze.

Nothing was damaged, thank the Maker. Boy, Jenni, you do know how to write a story! I only wish love scenes that

I've written could be graphic without overstepping the bounds of good taste. It's been enjoyable watching Luke, Wedge and Jess mature and grow through 'Catalyst!'. Shows how much thought went into the writing. The last paragraph (pp 334) summed it up perfectly and with just a few changed would make a marvelous theme song for the whole series. [60]

Issue 8

front cover of #8, Jim Markle
back cover of #8, Jim Markle

Far Realms 8 was published in May 1986 and contains 324 pages.

The art is by Jim Markle, Danaline Bryant, Dani Lane, Marci Erwin, Ronda Henderson, Wanda Lybarger, Mark Murphy, Jenni Hennig, Jean C., and Guy Brownlee.

  • Far Realms, poem by Danaline Bryant (1)
  • From 'Round the Realm, letters of comment (2)
  • Saga Stomper Quake, puzzle by Marci Erwin (13)
  • The Knowing by Karen Ripley (14)
  • Cloud City Dining Room, puzzle by Marci Erwin (18)
  • The Star Wars Primer by Jeanine Hennig (reprinted from "Far Realms" #1) (19)
  • Not Just Another Pretty Face by Margie Goforth (crossover with Fantasy Island) (24)
  • Jumbled Jedi, puzzle by Marci Erwin (33)
  • Lady of the Two Lands, poem by Deborah J. Laymon (34)
  • Edge of Darkness by Patricia D'Orazio by Patricia D'Orazio (36)
  • Destiny, vignette by Lee Vibber (83)
  • Point of View, poem by Ronda Henderson (84)
  • Aftermath on Bespin by Matthew Whitney (Author's note: "Author^s Note: I hereby acknowledge that all characters not previously appearing in the STAR WARS saga are my own creation with the exception of "Lady Arcadia Skywalker," who appeared in John L. Flynn's "Fall of the Republic." I do not have Mr. Flynn's permission to use this character, but hope he understand that my use of it is entirely a compliment, and that I do not wish to wrongfully infringe on his property.") (86)
  • Suspicious Behavior by Lynda Vandiver (113)
  • Somehow, I Knew, poem by Patricia D'Orazio (117)
  • My Sweet Leia, filk by Kathy Agel (118)
  • The Homecoming: Tomorrow's Yesterday by Chris Jeffords (part of the Brightstar Universe) (120)
  • Ode to ROTJ, filk by Sally Smith (139)
  • The Night Bird's Song by Danaline Bryant (140)
  • Surviving by Lee Vibber (160)
  • Forceimages (163)
  • Brother, poem by Ronda Henderson (189)
  • Changes by Lee Vibber (1900
  • False Friends by Carolyn Golledge (reprinted in Never Say Die #2) (192)
  • Flyin' on Home to You, filk by Kathy Agel to the tune of 'Bringin' Me Home To You' by John Denver (221)
  • Not a Jedi Yet, poem by Deborah J. Laymon (222)
  • Sympathy for the Devil by Michelle Malkin (224)
  • Gambit by Ann Huizenga (233)
  • Tatooine Meditation, poem by Deborah June Laymon (234)
  • A Look in the Mirror by Marcia Brin (It was originally to have been printed in Warped Space #53, but that zine series ended. Author's note: "This story is part of "The Republic Cycle" and takes place several months after RETURN OF THE JEDI. The character at the beginning of this story is not the Luke I see in RETURN OF THE JEDI. He is, however, what the RETURN OF THE JEDI - Luke might become if he continues to march blindly down the path on which he stepped after THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. We don't know what happens after RETURN OF THE JEDI ends. My hope is that, as he does in this story, Luke take a long look in the mirror and, as we all have to do one time or another, exorcises his demons.") (336)
  • Luke and the Emperor, filk by Sally Smith to the tune of 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' by the Police (255)
  • Darkside Confusion by Gail Small (256)
  • Kebrion's Road, filk by Ronda Henderson (257)
  • My Inheritance on Set, or How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Jeanine Hennig (part of the Catalyst! Universe) (258)
  • Awards Ceremony, puzzle by Marci Erwin (318)
  • SW Death Star, puzzle by Lynda Vandiver (318)
  • Zine Ads (319)
  • puzzle answers (322)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 8

Oh, no, you're not really going to stop publishing FAR REALMS, are you? I do hope not; it would really be a shame. What happens to 'Catalyst!' if you do? Is there anything your readers can do?

Lovely covers -- Luke has that alert look on his face. On the bacover, I like the flowers braided into Leia's hair.

The Knowing — Odd, that Luke is unsure about seeing Han and Leia together, but Han is also unsure about her and Luke. Interesting having the Bothans as a sect instead of a racial group. I also like Luke as the shrake. Mon's reference to his making a choice "with your heart". Very nice.

Beautiful illo of Leia for 'Lady of the Two Lands", especially the eyes; they have a lot of expression in them. Can Leia fall? Of course, anyone can. But I don't think she will. Just the awareness of the possibility would guard against it. I would think, however, that dwelling on it too much would not be helpful.

Edge of Darkness — good exciting story. This must be some of that gut- wrenching conflict Patricia is so fond of! Of course, the Emperor and those like him would see love and compassion as weaknesses; how wrong they are. Somehow I knew the Jaspin would be pregnant; I'm pleased. And the Princes (or at least one) of Corel1la have returned, though she doesn't' know it yet.

Somehow I knew — Beautiful. I especially like the reference to 'flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone' and' the fact that Leia and Luke had been together before. Very nice Han and Leia on pp 116 and Luke on pp 161.

False Friends -- It's just like Han to choose the child's life before his own. I like his reaction to Toten's line about 'subversive activities'; it sounded like standard government propaganda. I'm also not surprised at Han's reaction to the explosion; he's a good-hearted person. Tolen isn't really a bad person and neither are some of his men. And Pietri is to be commended for his faith in Han's innocence. Rather tacky movement on Tolen's part, trying to get the base location, though I suspect he really did want to spare Han. Good sense of humor Han has; his remarks to Hager and his greeting to Tolen, "Well, look what the storm blew in! Luke! Is that really you?" Intriguing conversation between him and Tolen. Elin is right — everyone has to make a choice. Might have known Tolen would come through, it was almost inevitable the way Elin kept badgering him and given the way he felt about her. Cute remark by Luke about Han always being in the thick of it. Carolyn's stories are a Joy; she captures the main characters and their feeling for each other perfectly and her plots are always exciting and well-executed.

A Look in the Mirror — this definitely doesn't fit ray conception of Luke. Many of the things I disagree with here have been discussed at length elsewhere, so I'll confine myself to a few that haven*t been. First, given Luke's deep love for Han and Leia, and his desire for their happiness, I can't see him referring to Han as a 'Corel Man nobody', or worrying about tainted bloodlines, or insisting that Leia's loyalty to him come before hers to Han. This just Isn't like him; he's too warm-hearted for that. Second, it's difficult to believe that someone who grew up on a farm as Luke did would know nothing about farming; there are certain things that are basic to it no matter the climate. And he would certainly know the importance of water, coming from a place where it was so precious. Third, when Yoda said, "No further training do you require; already know you that which you need", that was precisely what he meant. I can't see it as significant that the word 'Jedi' was not in the sentence. If Yoda felt that Luke required further training, he would have said so.

Personally I feel that the whole point of ROTJ was that Luke did confront and exorcise his demons. Having done so,he will be able to grow and mature even further as a Jedi. This story would have done better to concentrate on the relationship between the settlers and the hill people, having Luke try to bring them together, perhaps. The romance between Luke and Dyanne was given rather short shrift. •My Inheritance on Set' — well, this arrangement is creating problems and Wedge is right, this does sound like a breeding program. Let's cut the 'common smuggler' stuff, OK Tharn? if he didn't see Leia go through combat, he wasn't paying attention. Yes, Luke does have quite a smile, doesn't he? I'm a sucker for it, too. Great scene, 3P0 interrupting Luke and friend in the shower, especially 'Threepio thought his master looked very glassy-eyed'. Sweet remark by Leia about not wanting to lose Luke. The falcon 'mangled'? No wonder Han was insulted! Like the references to Leia's temper. Terrific way Luke handled Lord Karras. "I'm going to beat you." "Oh, please, it's been weeks" "You're pointing north." Han blushing. "Leia, I'm gonna beat the tar outta you." "Oh, good — let's have an orgy!" Love reference to Chewie's bathing. "May I enter" "Why not? Everyone else has..." "We must rise to the occasion." "I was trying to, but I got interrupted." Nice description of everyone in their clothes. Cute remark about the banquet being just a light snack for Chewie. Good confrontation between Luke, Jess and Tana. Intriguing person, Morrigan. Luke and Jess are funny together. She's right; Luke broods too much. "I think we're in deep shit." Leia's right, there's no sense in dancing around the word 'father*. Wow! An assassination attempt! Somebody feels threatened. Far out the way the babies came to Jessami's aid during the duel. Nice scene between Luke and Han in the steam bath. Chewie'sstayingcleaner, very funny. Some lady, Anora. This Rites of Ananta business is quite strange. Tharn and Anora Just got themselves into a real pickle -- odd alliance between Jess and Tana -- Ha! Rhevyn! No wonder 'Morrigan' was so intriguing! Great argument between Jess and Luke. Maybe they took lessons from Leia and Han? Love the way Luke told Anora off! Good, I'm glad that Uedge is going to adopt Jenniver's baby.

Just one thing. I know Luke and Jessami's babies are very important, but don't neglect Han and Leia's little one, okay? The above Is what my notes look like before I polish them; I just note what strikes me as I read. [61]

I just finished reading FR8 and all I can say is what a great zine, all 330 pp of it! I've noticed that a lot of zines are using spiral bindings, which is great since I hate stapled zines.

My favorite stories were 'Edge of Darkness' and 'My Inheritance on Set'. Both were well-written and do keep Luke, Leia and Han in character. Sometimes fans have a tendency to reshape out favorite threesome into their own image, but you and Patricia don't. My only quibble with Patricia's story is the artwork. Unfortunately, Mark Fisher's illos didn't come out right, and that's too bad. On the other hand, Jim Markle's illos worked very well with your story; his renditions of Han and Luke are on target, though he does have to work on Leia.

Forceimages was an interesting addition to the zine. I wouldn't have bought a zine only of artwork (sorry, Jenni), but I enjoyed the portfolio and wouldn't mind it you kept it as a regular feature. Most of it was very good, with my favorite lllos being Jean Kluge's (yes, the dragon and Sir Luke) and Cindy McAuliffe's. Martynn's Han and Leia bugged me, though, because it's impossible for Han to hold Leia that way -- unless he separated his arm from the rest of his body.

Among the shorter pieces -- 'Lady of the Two Lands' was a thoughtful piece on how Leia must reconcile herself to being Anakin/Vader's daughter. Leia has more to worry about since she has the potential for the dark that Luke has and hasn't yet undergone 'trial by fire'. And *Darkside Confusion' kept me on the floor for fifteen minutes. Oh, dear — just like dear old Luke to misinterpret his teacher's intentions...[62]

The first thing I wanted to mention is you have found a real find in artist Jin Markle. I have one of his pieces I purchased at last MediaWest and I just love it. The original for the bacover was there as well, and some lucky soul purchased it for a steal. Please, if at all possible, keep on using him! I an glad that you re-ran the 'War Stars Primer'. It was just a hilarious as if was in FR1. I enjoyed 'Just Another Pretty Face* as a change-of-pace story. Interesting to picture Mr. Hani11 and Mr. Ford in completely different roles than we're used to seeing them in. Are we ever going to read about the song-and-dance fantasy? It's been a while since I've read a Patricia D'Orazio story. I recall how much I enjoyed her type of mysticism and Interpretation of the Force in respect to the Good and Dark side. I accepted the character of Jaspin easily and how she showed Luke that It is possible to live with both sides of the Force in one person. The story also addressed one of my pet peeves: what did Luke do between TESB and ROTJ? I believed that some time passed, and Luke would not sit around and let Lando and Chewie do all the work in locating Han, not would he sit around and wait, either. The introduction of a second Fett intrigued me as well. we were told very little about Boba Fett and that always bothered me. In 'Aftermath on Bespin' someone answered the question of what happened to Luke's lightsaber. Since he put such value on it, I found it difficult to accept that he so lightly dismissed its loss as the films seem to indicate. Also, we got a detailed background and personality for Lobot as well. I enjoyed the story overall, especially since it had Luke and Leia together in an adventure. •The Homecoming'. I Just enjoy the character of Mari Sevenstars; I have run out of words to use in describing my joy in her. She is one of my favorite fan- created SW characters. She is such an independant -and smart lady. I never tire of reading about her. I did get a little slowed down in this story where the author digressed to write of Marl's society and customs, but they were essential to better understand the character. The portfolio of art was very nice. I had a stronger liking for Jean Kluge's work. I have one of her prints from a few years back so I enjoy her work very much. 'Not a Jedi Yet' by Deborah J. Laymon is an excellent poem which to me clearly defines the struggle between Luke and his father. I just love reading it over and over.

'A Look in the Mirror'. Good, I agree with Marcla Brin and her reasons for doing the story. I felt Luke was headed in the wrong direction, too. In fact, I still think that after ROTJ he could be headed in the wrong direction as far as the Force and the Knighthood is concerned.

And.finally to your story, Jeanine. You know you have me hooked when I read each new installment, before checking out the rest of the zine, every tine I get the new issue. And each new story is as entertaining as the first one way back when. Gads, the money in silence bribes could get outrageous!)) Those poor children! They've already lived a full life and they aren't even born yet. After this life would be dull, I should think. You still have the touch: lots of action, a fast and interesting read, and I get so involved in the story so quickly. i do hope Rhevyn is gone for good. It was nice, though, to have her ge twhat she deserved a. second time![63]

'War fun! Stars Primer': silly stuff, but 'Not Just Another Pretty Face': No comment! 'Edge of Darkness': Again, who cares about female characters! Actually I think that of the two, the Jaspln was much more multi-dimensional. Somehow I can't quite conceive of Boba Fett having a sister. Though I suppose if he did she would be a tough little critter. I could identify with the Jaspln — I, for one, would not like to be held under anyone's sway for whatever reasons. The way she solved her problems night not have suited some readers but she had no choice. As for Arokeith, it might be fun to see her and Luke together. She does, have good taste in men, but... sex on a trapeze? Really?! 'Aftermath on Bespin': Nicely fills In holes left in TESB. Good story, good art.

'Suspicious Behavior': WS Primer and ditto. See comments on on WS Primer and ditto.

'The Homecoming' Once again, enjoyed Chris' work. This was up to her usual standards. I definitely enjoyed reading some of Marl's background. Since she usually comes off as being a little too tough, it's nice to know what made her that way.

'NightBird's Song': This story made me just a little uncomfortable. Can't say why. I guess it was seeing tha possibility of Biggs' origins as other than I would have imagined. Probably sis the same to others. But somehow Pd always pictured him as the child of a fine, upstanding family. Different point of view, though, is what this is all about.

'False Friends': Good Solo story! Since I'm more of a Luke fan these days, I waited awhile before I read this one. But it was excellent. Very much in character, which is very important when working with George's creations. I think the author succeeded in getting underneath Solo's shell and showing us the Corellian in his true colors. And anytime Wanda Lybarger illos, I know I'll enjoy it.

Nice illo on PP 223, Jenni. The expression was more eloquent than any words.

'Gambit': We all know Just how easily It could have ended this way. Thank the Maker It didn't. 'A Look In the Mirror': Total departure for Marcia. We all glimpsed this Luke in ROTJ, on the Death Star. I would echo her comments about hoping that Luke sees himself and likes what he sees in the coming years. Good advice for any fledgling Jedi. 'Kebrion's Road': Filking Petra? Well, why not? 'My Inheritance on Set': All right, Jenni, so this started out as a light story. Uhat would have happened if the reverse had been true? I have the feeling that we've not heard the rest of Rhevyn. Clever the way you brought her back. And since you did, what about the child she carried? Luke's Darkslder son? Did he die as well, or are you hiding something else? Is there a sequel? Please write one. Yes, I suppose 'Catalyst! is a soap opera of sorts, but I enjoy them almost as much as I do fanzines. But the big question in my mind now is: what happens to all the children as yet unborn? Luke's and Wedge's and Jess* and Jenniver's and Han's and Leia's. And what about Rhevyn?

[64]
I'm sifting through old boxes in an effort to get my house ready for the contractor's appearance next week, and I just came across something... odd. In a box full of old Pagan periodicals is one lone Star Wars fanzine called "Far Realms 8", printed in 1986. So I was flipping through the ToC trying to see whether it's worth keeping or not when I saw this: "Sympathy for the Devil" by Michelle Malkin, art by Jim Markle. It seems to be an origin story for Palpy about a boy named Jomel Palpatine whose father was "an assassin for the Slemneen crimelord of Tatooine". The kid gets jumped by slavers, raped, and while this seems to have happened to him repeatedly, this particular incident awakens the Force in him and he kills the rapist without touching him. Guess that's where Pervy Palpy, "master" of Anakin, was created, eh?

So are there two Michelle Malkins, or does the infamous conservative pundit have a dark teenage past writing OC Palpy Stu fic?

ETA: Debunked, sadly. Must be two bad writer Michelle Malkins. Which is also scary, just not quite as interesting.[65]

Far Realms 8 is a big, meaty zine, over 300 pages; it is chock full of stories, poems, puzzles, filks, vignettes, and art. Its artists include Dani Lane, Danaline Bryant, Melea and Mark Fisher, Ronda Henderson, Wanda Lybarger, Jean Clissold, Jim Markle, Guy Brownlee and Jenni. A special section entitled "Force Images" features the terrific art of Ronda Henderson, Jean Kluge, Martynn and Cindy McAuliffe.

The longer stories include an entry in Patricia D'Orazio's "Starsword" series, "Edge of Darkness." Luke, while searching for Han after Bespin, encounters the Jaspin, a disciple of the Emperor, who has been instructed to seduce and betray the young Jedi in order that he fall to the Dark Side. The plot is complicated, with events of twenty years before influencing the outcome. Matthew Whitney's "Aftermath on Bespin" deals with Leia's determination to recover Luke's lost lightsaber, even if it means returning to Bespin. How Raf and Mari Sevenstars escape their enemies on Azael with their father is explained in "The Homecoming: Tomorrow's Yesterday," by Chris Jeffords.

"The Night Bird's Song," by Danaline Bryant and Carol Regine, haunts a young Jedi after Vader's betrayal, even twenty years later on Tatooine. "False Friends," by Carolyn Golledge, stars Han Solo as his mission on Roghin is betrayed, and he finds friends in strange places. An unusual story by Michelle Malkin, "Sympathy for the Devil," shows the early brutal life of the future Emperor Palpatine, which Marcia Brin's "A Look in the Mirror" portrays a Luke Skywalker whose arrogance and anger have him half-way to the Dark Side.

Jeanine Hennig adds another installment to her epic "Catalyst" series with "My Inheritance of Set; or. How I Spent My Summer Vacation." After numerous delays, Luke, Leia, Jess, Han and Chewie are off to the Sithworlds to claim Luke's legacy. Once there, Luke finds he cannot enjoy his wealth, or his lady, without often fatal interruptions. Mon Mothma offers Luke advice and exacts a promise in Karen Ripley's "The Knowing." Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford have some interesting fantasies for Mr Roark in "Not Just Another Pretty Face," by Margie Goforth. The

Rebels are acting strange and Han doesn't like it in Lynda Vandiver's "Suspicious Behavior." In Lee Vibber's "Surviving," Leia comforts Luke's anguish as he shows her the events on the Second Death Star. [66]

Issue 9

cover #9, Jenni
issue #9 table of contents, click to read
issue #9 table of contents, click to read

Far Realms 9 was published in May 1987 and contains 292 pages.

It has a color cover by Jenni Hennig. The interior art is by Mark Fisher, Jim Markle, Emily Penfield, Pat Easley, Catherine Churko, Rebecca Carey, Ronee, Sandi Jones, Daara, Melea Fisher, Angela-Marie Varesano, Dani Lane and Jenni.

Because issue #9 was the last issue and was released on the zine's 10th anniversary, the editors sought out many current and past art contributors for art.

From the zine:
FAR REALMS contents © copyright 1987 by Jeanine Hennig and Galactic Wnds Press & Graphics. This copyright is not in any way intended to supercede, infringe upon, or violate, only slightly squeeze the characters on which this fannish fic-fun is based. All rights revert to contributors. And yes, Virginia, there is life after printing. I think.
From the editorial:
Well, as you may or many not have heard, FAR REALMS 9 marks the last issue in my somewhat-crazy career as Zine-Ed. And yet again FR has received a Fan-Q nomination. In light of that, some have

urged me not to stop doing something that must be right, to go on and make it #10 to 'finish* out the set. But by both Celtic and "Catalyst!" mythology, nine is a very auspicious and mystical number — three times three.

Taking on a zine is a big decision — deciding to finish is, I think, an even bigger one. It entails a lot of weighing of alternatives — do I keep on out of mere responsibility in spite of all? Or do I know when to bow out gracefully and leave, hopefully like Greta Garbo, before the tarnish starts appearing on the silver? And the past year has threatened FAR REALMS' silver with more than its share of dimming. Many things have happened, both good and bad.

Burn Out (yes, I Intended those caps) is perhaps the most important reason for ceasing publication. Last summer I co-chaired a convention with my husband and it was, to put it mildly, the final straw. The con was a good one, but the simple fatigue of getting zines ready in April-May, then coming home from MediaWest*Con barely in time to get on the merry-go-round again for a convention in July was a killer. 'Fanzine' was a dirty word for a while after that. I debated even going ahead with FR9. but I had commitments to the people whose work I'd already accepted, plus there's something in me that hates going out with a whimper. This zine you hold in your hand is perhaps the hardest ever for me to produce -- because it wasn't very much fun. And I swore that when it stopped being, fun, I'd quit. Add that to the realization that I'd been doing this for *gasp* eight years and you want to keel over!

It is a great feeling to be the longest- running SWars zine, but it Is also slightly overwhelming!

Another problem came in the lack of response. The LoCs I got this year were good ones -- but compared to the usual count I had gotten in past years, there weren't very many at all. Sometimes you get into very 'sorry-for-yourself* moods and bang your head against the wall, wondering why you do things like this if no-one appreciates it! This year also seemed to be the ringer for irritable (and irritating) letters. Like the person who wrote me and asked why I hadn't gotten their zine to them yet. (The order date was only three weeks old! Hell, even pro mailing houses take six to eight weeks for delivery!)

No reward is worth this, right?

Well, maybe it is. The friends I've met and grown with, the readers who kept me going when I thought to sink under the morass of 'I don' wanna write no more!', even the people who have taught me sometimes-unwanted lessons, be they in writing or in relationships, I was very young when I first laid down the press-type for FAR REALMS 1 — just married, just out of school, really. Maybe I am still young in years. But man, do I have the edge on experience! And a lot of that is thanks to fandom. All of you have made me much richer. (The fanzines certainly haven't!)
  • Editor's Page by Jeanine Hennig (1)
  • From 'Round the Realm, letters of comment (3)
  • The Legends People Tell by Linda Knights (7)
  • Backstairs at Bespin by Jacqueline Taero (10)
  • Solo & Skywalker, Deceptions by Sarah Laker (11)
  • The Ballad of Luke Skywalker by Jacqueline Taero
  • Pirate's Return by Christine Jeffords (part of the Brightstar Universe) (15)
  • Ties That Bind by L.A. Carr (48)
  • New Beginnings by Linda Shadle (53)
  • Alliance in Victory by Jacqueline Taero (66)
  • Corellian Doorprize by Linda Shadle (67)
  • Rendezvous with Starlight by Catriona Campbell (78)
  • Abandonment by Pat Nussman (79)
  • Another Step by Samia Martz (80)
  • Destiny Sleeps by Ronee (88)
  • Shadow of Desire by Sandi Jones (90)
  • Father by Angela-Marie Varesano (132)
  • Well, I Never! by Ruth Radecki (134)
  • Forceimages (135)
  • Running by Erin Endom (147)
  • Decision by Angela-Marie Varesano (148)
  • Cellmates by Ruth Radecki (150)
  • What Price, Peace? by Carolyn Golledge (152)
  • But Be Sensible by Sandi Jones (192)
  • Somebody's Knocking by Jean Thompson (194)
  • You Can Never Go Back by Dina Heredia (196)
  • Dulce Far Neinte by Pat Nussman (200)
  • Secret of Sith by Marti Schuller (201)
  • Desert Plains by Erin Endom (214)
  • Battle Hymn of the Dark Lord by Jean Thompson (215)
  • Sword of Sorrow, Sword of Hope by Patricia D'Orazio (216)
  • With This Torch by Sandi Jones (271)
  • Dustball Mechanic by Jean Thompson (272)
  • The Different One by Linda Knights (274)
  • These Dreams by Jeanine Hennig (281)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 9

Far Realms is one of the oldest Star Wars zines still in existence; issue nine is a thick, richly varied zine of almost three hundred pages, sparked with some very distinctive art by Jim Markle, Mark and Melea Fisher, Rebecca Carey and many others.

The heart of the zine is its fiction, from the shortest vignettes to the long, meaty stories. A large proportion of the stories are set after JEDI, moving the characters into new relationships and new revelations.

Linda Knights has two post-JEDI stories dealing with similar themes. In "Legends People Tell," Luke is disappointed that the remains of a Jedi enclave reveal they were only ordinary people; until Han takes him to a local bar to hear about modern Jedi heroes. And in "The Different One," Luke finds a Force-user and learns Kenobi's lesson that some people should never be opened to the power of the Force.

Marti Schuller's "The Secret of the Sith" nearly traps both Han and Luke when they are sent to reclaim the records of the Sith. Another return involves Mari Sevenstars, as she travels back to her own homeworld after years of exile in "Pirate's Return," by Christine Jeffords. Dina Heredia's "You Can Never Go Back" offers Luke a chance for a life of peace away from the death and destruction of the Empire when he returns to the Darklight- er homestead after Biggs's death.

Wedge comforts Luke after the first Death Star in "Ties That Bind," by L. A. Carr; while the ties that bind Luke and Jessami as children are frayed by Darth Vader in Jeanine Hennig's "These Dreams." In Samia Martz's version of the Star Wars universe, Luke and his lover, Jeni Petersen, have some problems to work out if they are ever to be bonded in "Another Step." And Luke finds a mysterious stranger in the Jundland Wastes who fascinates and compels him in "Shadow of Desire," by Sandi Jones.

Linda Shadle introduces a new character in "New Beginnings," a nine year old orphan named Sharra Kerevan. In "Corellian Doorprize," Han discovers an abandoned baby on his ramp. Even less prepared for an infant than Tom Selleck was [67], he heads for Algon and a grown-up Sharra Kerevan. Years after the Endor victory, Luke and Han preserve a tenuous peace by multi-level deceptions in Sarah Laker's "Skywalker and Solo—Deceptions."

The two longest stories in this zine are by Carolyn Golledge and Patricia D'Orazio. "What Price Peace?" by Golledge involves Han's sense of justice and compassion as he helps a tortured Imperial, a rescue that endangers his life and leaves Leia believing that he is dead. "Sword of Sorrow, Sword of Hope," by Patricia D'Orazio, is another chapter in the "Starsword" series. Luke takes Han to Tatooine after the Emperor's resurrection. They need time to rest and learn the secrets of their Starsword partnership; but ancient enemies. Lord Vader's adopted son, Leia's pregnancy, and Bobba Fett's sister are all pieces in the Emperor's plots against them. [68]

References

  1. ^ The editor mentions issue #2 in August was two months late, and this zine series was planned as a quarterly.
  2. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #2
  3. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #2
  4. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #2
  5. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #2
  6. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #2
  7. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #2
  8. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #2
  9. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #2
  10. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #2
  11. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #3
  12. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #3
  13. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  14. ^ The Proposed Zine: "Remigrations"
  15. ^ The Proposed Zine: "Remigrations"
  16. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #3
  17. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #3
  18. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #3
  19. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #3
  20. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #3
  21. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #4/5
  22. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #3
  23. ^ This fan is comparing Skywalker4art12.jpg this illo in "Skywalker" by Joni Wagner to Farrealms2-16.jpg this one by Hennig.
  24. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  25. ^ The Proposed Zine: "Remigrations"
  26. ^ The Proposed Zine: "Remigrations"
  27. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #4/5
  28. ^ This is a reference to the story "For the Woman Who Has Everything."
  29. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #4/5
  30. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #4/5
  31. ^ from a letter of comment in issue #6
  32. ^ from an letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  33. ^ from an letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  34. ^ from an letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  35. ^ from an letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  36. ^ from an letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  37. ^ from an letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  38. ^ from an letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  39. ^ from an letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  40. ^ from an letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  41. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #8
  42. ^ from Southern Enclave #7
  43. ^ from Southern Enclave #7
  44. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #7
  45. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #7
  46. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #7
  47. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #7
  48. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #7
  49. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #7
  50. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #7
  51. ^ from Far Realms #9
  52. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #8
  53. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #8
  54. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #8
  55. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #8
  56. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #8
  57. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #8
  58. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #8
  59. ^ from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #8
  60. ^ from a letter of comment Far Realms #9
  61. ^ from Far Realms #9
  62. ^ from Far Realms #9
  63. ^ from Far Realms #9
  64. ^ from Far Realms #9
  65. ^ Random Squib at Fandom Lounge, posted August 29, 2007, accessed June 4, 2013
  66. ^ from "The Wookiee Commode Guide to Star Wars Zines -- 1986", from The Wookiee Commode #6
  67. ^ This is a reference to the movie "Two Men and a Baby"
  68. ^ from "The Wookiee Commode Consumer Guide to 1987 SW Fanzines," in The Wookiee Commode #5