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
Date(s): 1981-1987
Series?:
Medium: print fanzine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Wars, multimedia
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
cover issue #1

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

It 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.

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 and is 86 pages long.

  • 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?)
  • 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.)
  • Catalsyt by Jeanine Hennig (an ad in Datazine #15 says it is the first post-TESB novella... 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.") (reprinted in 1986 as Catalyst)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

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. [1]

Issue 2

cover of issue 2

Far Realms 2 was published in 1981 and is 145 pages long. It has art by Flanagan, Jenni Otstott, Keith Woods, Hennig, Nordstrom, and Hernandez. Offset, reduced.

  • Safe-House by Violet Nordstrom and Jeanine Hennig (45 pages) (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.)
  • Interlude: Dreams and Settlements (6 pages)
  • Dark Winds (1 page)
  • For The Woman Who Has Everything by Kathy and Keith Woods (7 pages) (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.)
  • Patience by Mark Hernandez (12 pages) (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!)
  • Sulu’s Karma (9 pages)
  • Catalyst by Jeanine Hennig, illustrations by Jenni (27 pages) (In this 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?)
  • From the Desk of the Dark Lord by Guess Who (A regular feature. Do you have any problems? Feel depressed? Can't get that Jedi or that smuggler to notice you? Let Darth help you... or else!!!)
  • Introspection: Emergence (4 pages)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

[The editor prefaces these comments with: A quick note on Chris Callahan's — normally, I like to stick my w# 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 bet ter 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, apolo gies in advance — I have a bad case of footnmouth 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 didi'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 appro priate 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 stan dard of living on her own, this seems to me most unlikely, given the lack of physi cal 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 im pression is strengthened by the fact that Sky has never mated and seems to identify so heavily with Jess in spite of the spe cies difference.

Luke's total lack of concern about pos sible 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 con ception 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. 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 men struation by now and at least thought it odd even if she hadn't gotten any infor mation 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. [2]

Issue 3

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

front cover of issue #3
back cover of issue #3

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.

  • Impossible? by Christine Jeffords, illustrations by Carol McPherson (Lieutenant Starbuck thought he could handle any situation, until a black hole sent him areening straight into a squad of TIE fighers. And who to the rescue, but the Millennium Falcon.)
  • Catalyst! by Jeanine Hennig, illustrations by Jenni (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.)
  • To Shoot Down the Falcon by Lorelie Rade, illustrated by Anne Davenport (Alainkheer, the Master Assassin, tries again to down Solo, but it backfires in a peculiar way.)
  • The Lady in the Woods by Violet Nordstrom and Jeanine Hennig, illustrated by Jenni (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. A chapter in the Catalyst! series. This story was revised and combined with "Safe-House" to become the story "Alpha" in Catalyst! Collected.)
  • unknown filks, poetry, an art portfolio, fiction

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

Let me start out by admitting that I read this zine in a strange order. I am not a vast fan of alternate universe sto ries, 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 stitution 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 stron ger 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 multiuniverse 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 de veloping 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... [3]

Issue 4/5

front cover issue #4/5
flyer for issue #4/5, printed in Crossed Sabers #3

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

  • From the Desk of the Dark Lord, humor by guess who—2 pages
  • Don't Let This Happen To You, vignette by Kathy Woods—1 page
  • Fire in the Steel: Warrior's Blood, story by Christine Jeffords—48 pages ("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)")
  • Broken Trusts, poem by Jenni—1 page
  • In Their Adventures on Earth, story by Laurie Shanahan—5 pages
  • Forced Reflections, poem by Lonna Poland—2 pages
  • The Commander's Son, story by Lynne Terry—4 pages ("It's rough being the only son of a Commander when you want to be a Warrior ...")
  • Corellians Don't Get Lost, poem by Sandi Hendrix
  • All That Matters, story by Diana Piercy—30 pages ("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!")
  • The Banning, story by Sue Rutherford—3 pages
  • Sapphire Memories, story by Debra Vorgias—3 pages
  • A Choice of Evils, story by Laurie Shanahan—17 pages ("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 ...")
  • Seeds of Destruction: Icarus by Jeanine Hennig—80 pages ("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)")
  • War Stars, Episode 3.2, There's No Hope by Keith Woods ("Will Barph Later be denied his-ah-questioning of Princess Hi ya Howyadoin?")
  • plus Desk Of the Dark Lord, STAR RECK: NOT THE MOTION PICTURE, poetry, filks, and "various mayhem and madness"
  • also a very special Portfolio section with artwork by - J.R. Dunster, Martynn, Mary Soderstrom, Carol McPherson, Jenni, Keith Woods, Anne Davenport, Lin Stack, Brad Foster, Janice Liedl, and more


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! ((Heh, heh ... ahem. Sorry.)) 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! [4]

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 unffeeling (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! ...[5]

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 circum stances, 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 atraut 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 try ing 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 ... [6]
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 favo rite 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!! [7]

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 shak ing! 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 be lieve. 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 get ting 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 ... [8]

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. Af ter 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 herioc. 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 stat ing 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 remakrable 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 responsi bility, 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 tri logies! 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 sis ter, 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 won dered 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 Destruc tion: 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 misun derstanding 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! [9]
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 hor ses 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 ani mals' 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 fren zy—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 sa vored 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! [10]
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 lo vely? 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 cnange of pace. It's nice to see a plot that manages to stand on its own without necessarily fo cusing 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 ... [11]

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! ((Fur Shure ...shutup, Jenni! This nice lady is giving you a compliment, and you act like THIS! Shame! I know you've been typing for six hours straight, but really ...!)) 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 characteri zation 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) ((Now I REALLY don't know whether to laugh or cry! How about throw up?! Boo, Dani!))

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 interest ing. ROTJ has taken its toll, though, what else can I say? (By the way, Darth on pp. 148 looks just like Frank Langella. Coin cidence?) 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! [12]

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." [13]

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.

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."

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) (Han's life hangs in the balance, and Mari Sevenstars is forced to do a thing she swore never to do, turst an Imperial turned Rebel; in her eyes, a traitor and oathbreaker.) (17)
  • Choice, part one (story and art by Cheree Cargill from the "Paths of Choice" series) (50)
  • Raid on the DEATH STAR, puzzle by Linda Vandiver (52)
  • The Blood Remembers (story by Linda Knights - art by MRO Ludwig) (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) (112)
  • Dungeon Cell, puzzle by Lynda Vandiver (113)
  • All That Matters (story by Diana Piercy - art by Dani Lane) (114)
  • The Valley of the Shadow (story by Lillian Stewart Carl - art by Jenni) (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' by 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 and wonderful art. It's up to the potential buyer on this one.[14]

Issue 7


cover of issue 7
Far Realms 7 was published in 1985 and is 336 pages long.
  • Choice (parts 2&3) (Story and art by Cheree Cargill)
  • Oh Love, Oh Love, Oh Careless Love (story by T.S. Weddell; art by Wanda Lybarger)
  • Variations on a Soul (story by Linda Knights, art by Jenni)
  • Corellian Confidences (story by Kathryn Agel, art by Suzy Sansom)
  • Warrior's Blood: Quite an Item Together (story by Chris Jeffords, art by Martynn) (in the "Brightstar Universe)
  • First Steps (story by Samia Martz, art by Dani Lane)
  • Seeds of Destruction: Renaissance (story by Jeanine Hennig; art by Jenni) (a Catalyst Universe story)
  • much more unknown content


Issue 8

cover of #8

Far Realms 8 was published in 1986 and contains 278 pages. Art by Jim Markle, Danaline Bryant, Marci Erwin, Ronda Henderson, Wanda Lybarger, Mark Murphy, Melea Fisher, Keith Woods, Pat Easley, Mark Fisher, Cindy McAuliffe, Dani Lane, Jean Kluge, Martynn, Jenni, Jean C., and Guy Brownlee.

  • The Knowing by Karen Ripley
  • Not Just Another Pretty Face by Margie Goforth
  • Lady of the Two Lands by Deborah J. Laymon
  • Edge of Darkness by Patricia D'Orazio
  • Destiny by Lee Vibber
  • Aftermath on Bespin by Matthew Whitney
  • Suspicious Behavior by Lynda Vandiver
  • Somehow, I Knew by Patricia D'Orazio
  • My Sweet Leia by Kathy Agel
  • The Homecoming: Tomorrow's Yesterday by Chris Jeffords
  • The Night Bird's Song by Danaline Bryant
  • Surviving by Lee Vibber
  • False Friends by Carolyn Golledge
  • Flyin' on Home to You by Kathy Agel
  • Not a Jedi Yet by Deborah J. Laymon
  • Gambit by Ann Huizenga
  • A Look in the Mirror by Marcia Brin
  • Darkside Confusion by Gail Small
  • My Inheritance on Set, or How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Jeanine Hennig
  • Sympathy for the Devil by Michelle Malkin, art by Jim Markle
  • much more

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 8

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.[15]

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 January 1987 and contains 292 pages. Full color cover by Jenni Hennig. Art 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.

  • The Legends People Tell by Linda Knights
  • Backstairs at Bespin by Jacqueline Taero
  • Solo & Skywalker, Deceptions by Sarah Laker
  • The Ballad of Luke Skywalker by Jacqueline Taero
  • Pirate's Return by Christine Jeffords
  • Ties That Bind by L.A. Carr
  • New Beginnings by Linda Shadle
  • Alliance in Victory by Jacqueline Taero
  • Corellian Doorprize by Linda Shadle
  • Rendezvous with Starlight by Catriona Campbell
  • Abandonment by Pat Nussman
  • Another Step by Samia Martz
  • Destiny Sleeps by Ronee
  • Shadow of Desire by Sandi Jones
  • Father by Angela-Marie Varesano
  • Well, I Never! by Ruth Radecki
  • Running by Erin Endom
  • Decision by Angela-Marie Varesano
  • Cellmates by Ruth Radecki
  • What Price, Peace? by Carolyn Golledge
  • But Be Sensible by Sandi Jones
  • Somebody's Knocking by Jean Thompson
  • You Can Never Go Back by Dina Heredia
  • Dulce Far Neinte by Pat Nussman
  • Secret of Sith by Marti Schuller
  • Desert Plains by Erin Endom
  • Battle Hymn of the Dark Lord by Jean Thompson
  • Sword of Sorrow, Sword of Hope by Patricia D'Orazio
  • With This Torch by Sandi Jones
  • Dustball Mechanic by Jean Thompson
  • The Different One by Linda Knights
  • These Dreams by Jeanine Hennig


Issue 9 Interior Art Gallery

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. Below is a representative sampling of only a few of the many artists who contributed.

References

  1. from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  2. from a letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  3. from a letter of comment in issue #6
  4. from an letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  5. from an letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  6. from an letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  7. from an letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  8. from an letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  9. from an letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  10. from an letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  11. from an letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  12. from an letter of comment in "Far Realms" #6
  13. from Southern Enclave #7
  14. from Southern Enclave #7
  15. Random Squib at Fandom Lounge, posted August 29, 2007, accessed June 4, 2013