The Federation Archives

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Zine
Title: The Federation Archives ("Letterzine of the Lost Seska, A Blake's 7 Information Condominium")
Publisher: The Lost Seska, A Blake's 7 Information Service
Editor(s): Linda Terrell
Type: letterzine
Date(s): late 1980's
Frequency: bi-monthly
Medium: print
Size: legal
Fandom: Blake’s 7
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

The Federation Archives is a Blake's 7 letterzine edited by Linda Terrell. It was published in the US.

It included letters of comment as well zine reviews. It was also one of several zines that was a hotbed for a lot of fan discussion about The Blake's 7 Wars.

From Comlink #36: "The letterzine of 'The Lost Seska,' a B7 un-club that has members write letters of comment on any B7 subject. It is often critical but always fun and enlightening."

From Starlog #126:
"The Lost Seska. This is an information exchange for Blake's 7 Fandom. Contact: Linda Terrell, [address removed]. Dues, as such, are six 22¢ postage stamps, which will bring you a bi-monthly newsletter The Federation Archives for an unspecified period of time (until the stamps run out?)"[1]

Editorial Rules

Rules for the FAS: all letters will be in this font, with name and city of writer in ALL CAPS. Editorials will be in italics. No personal attacks will be accepted. Personal attacks should be taken to mean no fan feuds, fan dirt, rumor, or unfounded accusations with names attached. Innuendo is in the eye of the beholder and that's where my editorial decisions WILL stand. Please try to limit your letters to two pages single-space typing or two pages front and back handwritten. I will TRY to print all of the letters eventually. I generally print by DATE, oldest first, but start an FA with several recent LOC's for continuity. Anything over two pages will be edited by having self-contained paragraphs removed which I will save for a later FA but I won't guarantee they will make it to a published page. Please put your whole name and address somewhere on the letter page -- envelopes get lost.

Includes an Early Use of the Term PWP

In 2008, a fan writes that this letterzine had a very early use of the term PWP:
1) From the May-July 1989 issue of Federation Archives (a Blake's 7 letterzine edited and published by L. Terrell), one LoC refers to Oblaque and Oblaquer (two B7 slash zines) thusly: "The editors have also created a new category of story: PWP. It stands for Plot? What Plot?" 2) From the On the Double #13, November 1989 (a slash adzine, published by A. Hughes), an ad from GBH Productions for Oblaquest includes this: "Many fifth season stories and just to lighten the load, a few PWP's (Plot? What Plot?). [2]

Controversy

It also chronicled the division between slash fans and Paul Darrow, as well as slash and gen fans, as well as publishing a series of widely-distributed and discussed Open Letters and at least two addendum/supplements. See The Blake's 7 Wars.

Known Issues

Please take note that the excerpts from the three below are almost entirely focused on The Blake's 7 War. Other issues of this letterzine have plenty of other Blake's 7 fan content that isn't about this subject.

In the excerpts below, all fan names are redacted as initials.

December 1987

front page of 1987 Christmas issue


December 1988-January 1989

It contains three pages of editorial comments and information by [L T]. At the end of these comments, she writes "And now to the fannish stuff for which we subscribe to this chaos," so this issue must have been longer than three pages.

front page of the December 1988/January 1989 issue

NOTE: [L T's] comments in this issue all relate directly to The Blake's 7 Wars. See that page for much, much more.

Some content and excerpts:

  • an explanation of the differences between a fan con that focuses on fans and fannish activities (and don't include guests from the show) versus fan cons that include celebrity guests. "In recent years, fan cons have sprung up which focus on the actors of B7 rather than on purely fannish activities. Because of the high cost of bringing the actors over from England... membership fees correspondingly had to go up. But, the actors were so charming and so willing to mingle with the fans (in other words, so lacking in American "star" attitude) that everyone was willing to pay more to see them. The actors took note of this. Fannish activities at cons dropped off as the committees were forced to spend more and more time and money on keeping the guests satisfied. It became a CATCH-22: the fans wanted to see the guests so the guests had to be kept happy; but in order to keep the guests happy, the fans' needs began to be ignored."
  • the differences between fan cons (with or without guests) and pro cons
  • the shows stars/celebrity guests no longer want to appear at cons for free or to break even with expenses -- they want the money and less work that pro cons can provide, and they no longer have fans' best interests at heart
  • at least one star of Blake's 7 is quoted as saying he wants to put on his own for-profit con to take the place of both fan run cons and Creation Con, that he wanted to 'put the fan cons out of business' and 'control fannish literature.' (!) The cities they are considering for these cons are Ft. Lauderdale (where OMNICON, a fan con is held); Chicago (where SCORPIO, the major fan run British media con is held); Houston (where REBELLION -- and previously DESTINY -- is held); San Francisco (where ORAC) is held; Newark, NJ (where GAMBIT -- and previously DSV -- is held); and I believe St. Louis (where TARDISCON was held). Dallas (where STAR ONE was held last year) and ORLANDO were also mentioned as 'possible' sites... Many people of my acquaintance who are involved in running the fan cons in these cities have already been approached about helping to run the 'new' Cons. In other words, these new organizers want the fans to help (free of charge, of course) put themselves out of business!!! To their credit, most of the people approached that I am aware of have said 'No' or that they'd only work for a fee. (after all, it's a profit-making venture, not a charitable one, so why should they donate their time, money, and experience [unclear word/s] to line the actors' pockets??)"
  • much about how these new actor-run pro cons would control the content of the con, the fanart content and participation, how these fans would have to pay a 50% commission to the actors
  • much about other attempts to profit and control fan cons -- examples are:
    • Doctor Who fandom and a "trog named Barbara Elder was licensed by the BBC as kind of an overseer of merchandise at the Cons -- she took this as permission for a Power Trip, cursing out dealers and fans alike. In effect, she was nothing more than a snitch for the BBC. She then attempted to 'control' fan writing and the zines by virtually demanding all zines clear all their contests through her before publication."
    • "Then we got Spirit Of Light - Rubenstein/Ettigers and Co. I had a de facto role in their organization so I was privvy to a lot of the crap that went on in their private meetings -- and the utter CONTEMPT with which they viewed fans, and even the actors. It was a money-making scheme, pure and simple. Fans were viewed as so many wallets, period. Which is why I have a bad taste for CREATIONS." Anywho, SOL's game plan was to be controlling the the cons by controlling access to the Guests. Having a "stable" of selected guests, with set, substantial fees -- rarely less than $3000 PLUS expenses."
  • her view that British TPTB were intent on soaking rich American fan wallets

First Addendum

This issue was published in February 1989 and contains 9 pages.

  • the editor writes: "This ADDENDUM has been paid for by ME and as I'm a bit cash shy, you'll have to put up with a reduced format... Since I had my say in the last FA, and, as a result, dragged "innocent" fans into it, I figured it wasn't fair to shut the FA down to any replies I might get. What I actually meant to say -- and do -- was shut it down to any "hate" mail I was sure to receive. Well, I didn't receive any (and I have my suspicions why -- see ending editorial). The letters were sane, sensible, and adult. And these are what are printed in this 'Addendum.' After all, I did pledge to bring you 'all sides.' I paid for this ADDENDUM because I don't believe the member's money should be used on what is basically a feud among the 'BNFs'.... The ADDENDUM is a one and only. I cannot affort to put out addendums in reply to addemdums. So, if you have any letters you wish to write, please send them to the various Club newsletters. -- I will sully no more pages of the FA with any of this flap. The FA is returning to regularly scheduled programing now and forever."
  • the editor details the responses she got from Terry Nation and Paul Darrow when she had contacted them about her concerns about fan run cons and the direction Blake's 7 cons were going
  • there is a long letter from [A W] in which she says she is "publicly admitting my authorship of the 'Name Withheld' article published in the last FA. I wished to spare the organizers of GAMBIT further abuse, such as they have suffered over the last year.... A number of people were aware that I wrote the article and someone ran straight to Paul Darrow and told him I wrote it. His response was to call up my close friends and to 'destroy' me in fandom. He claimed he would show me 'what true power is.' His wife called me a 'vile woman.' None of this was said directly to me, you understand (and Paul has my phone number) , but to my friends. Although my friends disagreed with Paul and tried to explain the situation to him, he is now telling everyone that my friends have 'abandoned' me and are in complete accord with him. Furthermore, Paul has written an extremely libelous statement about me (which doesn't address the issues but rather attacks me personally), which he is distributing and asking people to print. I will refrained from commenting on it at length, but I will point out that Paul claims that I wrote my article because I was jealous over 'losing' his attention and that my ethics regarding conventions should be called into question. These claims are patently ridiculous and harmful only to himself."
  • [M D] says everyone's arguments would carry more weight if they named names and weren't so vague
  • [B F] says she disagrees with the proposal that the US should have more general British media cons: "I am a Blake's 7 fan, not a general media fan. If the unhappy day comes when there are no B7 cons to attend, I will return to SF cons. With possibly the occasional reasonably priced driving-distance no-Guest general media con like MediaWest for visiting with scattered fan friends and zine shopping."
  • [J C] writes: "I read with increasing disgust the latest "Lost Seska" zine. How sad that sections of the B7 fandom and the running of conventions, born out of enthusiasm for the program, should obviously be turning sour, apparently corrupted by power struggles and with fear [that] guests have been corrupted by power and greed. It is such a disappointment."
  • [G B] writes: "These people have every right to expect payment for their appearances. What they are doing when they come here for a convention is WORKING. I don't care what labels you put on it. The fact that so many of the stars of DW, B7, et al. have attended cons for mere expenses in the past (and present, in many cases) has been a gift to the fans -- who have become extremely spoiled by that.... As for Paul Darrow's earlier statements that he would not charge for appearances: aside from the fact that anyone is entitled to a change of mind, understand that he and other B7 & DW personalities are coming over here and seeing incredible amounts of money changing hand at conventions -- never mind who ends up with it, it's a hell of a lot more money than anyone on the far side of the Atlantic would see floating around on a daily basis. They see people going home with armloads of fanzines at $10 and $20 a pop, briefcases full of photos -- and the prices fetched at auction by some pieces of artwork are staggering (remember the pencil drawing of Vila that went for $200 at Scorpio two years ago?)! If they are thinking "Whey can't some of that cash be spent on me?" who could blame them, and since when do we have the right, in the most capitalistic country on the planet, to say no?"
  • [S A S] writes of her sadness about the greed and control in fandom and says: "... all I can say is we just might have to be satisfied in sharing our stories, art, and poetry and our visions of BLAKE'S 7 only amongst each other."
  • [L A] writes: "I was in a position to see the inner workings of cons a few years ago, and got to see a lot of the dirt and slime in the 'inner circle' of these things. I saw simple and friendly fans in Doctor Who become arrogant Names. One woman in DW fandom with whom I had corresponded for two years, trading tapes, and even staying over at her house, couldn't so much as say 'hello' when she was one of the committee responsible for putting on one of the first DW cons. By the time I saw this happen in B7 fandom, I figured that this was just a natural evolution. Because of my exposure to cons, and seeing what happened to committee members in DW, I was not surprised when certain members of what we called East Coast Establishment starting acting if they had invented B7 fandom, and that the actors were there private property. To this day, they give themselves credit for being the pioneers of B7 fandom. However, it is a documented fact that there was a B7 fan organization here in Los Angeles as early as 1980... There were also fans in Oregon, Iowa, Texas, and Florida as early as the late 70's. And we knew each other, so there was already a 'network.' Correspondence in the past couple years from certain BNFs to me astonished me with their cavalier attitude towards the actors, notably Paul Darrow and Michael Keating. From these BNFs themselves, I learned that Paul Darrow was their private possession, and that Michael was to be treated like a pet. In summation: the actors are not causing any problem in B7 fandom. They are victims of it, as we small name fans... Finally, I personally believe that the statements I received were generated by some Big Name Fans who are discovering they can't push people, the actors and the rank-and-file fans, around... I was here before the BNFs, and I'll be here after. I should hope that the actors and the rank-and-file fans will be there, too."
  • [J C] writes that "Fandom is about fans and fun and friends and freedom."
  • [B S O] writes: "Being a midwesterner, I feel rather caught in the middle between the east coast and west coast factions, and I know people in both, so that makes it awkward to say the least. We all need to be a little more forgiving of our fellow fen, and move on to holding this fandom together. It is going through one hell of a strain right now. I'd hate to see it die."
  • [D B] writes: "Be it known that as an adult many, many years past the age of consent, I do not require, rather quite resent, unasked for 'protection' from unscrupulous persons. I am more than capable of making my own judgements and arriving at my own conclusions as to who are the unscrupulous and who are the power-hungry. Furthermore, I consider such accusations based on hearsay and made under the cloak of anonymity to be suspect at best... Names, dates, times, places -- just some simple facts, please. Sensationalist tactics and histrionics do not take the place of truth. If B7 fandom is destined for civil was, let us at least be armed with more than conflicting rumors. Linda -- during the two-and-a-half decades in which I have been involved in several fandoms, such power struggles have unfortunately appeared with nauseating regularity. Most frequently unfounded rumor and its enthusiastic proponents have been the cause of the bloodletting. At times the damage has been too great to heal, and no one remains to care who was right or wrong.... This does not have to be another Dr. Who fiasco."
  • from [J G]: "Why the hysteria currently spreading among fan clubs and individual fans, like a disease? We are reacting with alarm, and a, to me, inexplicable mistrust, to a series of lies launched by a few power-hungry fans who have alienated Paul and Michael by their attitudes and behavior, and are afraid of losing control. This hysteria, taking the form of outcries against Paul Darrow, is dividing the fandom. It is terribly destructive to the atmosphere of mutual affection and fun that is the best part of fandom. This atmosphere, celebrating friendship and creativity, is so delicate. Like a fantasy, build on air, it can vanish, leaving only cold emptiness behind."
  • from [J M]: "Due to my occasional forays into the adult zine world (slash and straight), I figured that if there was indeed going to be an 'approved writers' list, I wouldn't be on it. Since I had given Celeste a story (which won "Best Short Story" at SCORPIO for her zine, and since Celeste was apparently working on the Darrow Tour, I decided it wouldn't be fair to prevent the sale of her zine at these cons just because of my story. So I withdrew the publication rights fro her zine and have given them to Annie, figuring we blacklisted writers and editors have to stick together."
  • [L M] writes: "I am uneasy about actor-oriented cons, whether fan-run or professionally-run. In all these years, I have attended only 4 actor-oriented cons. I find listening to an audience asking actors questions about roles they portrayed 5, 10, 20 years ago, unbelievably dull. Programing that is largely photo and autograph sessions is mind-rotting boring. I have always found particularly abhorrent, the infamous asterisk, next to the invited guests on actor-orientated con flyers. The one that leads to the statement at the bottom, saying "professional engagements pending." When I go to a con, I expect the guest to be there. And barring illness or major catastrophe, they are there -- writers, artists, editors, publishers, BNFs. Most of all, I feel that the concept of paying actors to attend is outrageous. They are wined and dined and gifted and adored. And on top of that, they get money. Not just expenses, but you must pay them too! How desperate can you be?... To me, it has the distinctly creepy-crawly feeling paying someone to love you. Or, at least, to say they do. For the weekend, anyway. Until you ante up some more money the next time. And they sure as hell don't respect you in the morning... This has little to do with blacklisting or betrayal. It has everything to do with making a buck. And that really is okay. It is your right not to volunteer your labor when others are being paid. It is your right not to attend if you don't like the circumstances. It is your right to refuse to go along with a scheme to make someone else a buck. It is your right to be upset when you see your past work denigrated. It is your right to be angry when your friends are questioned quietly about you, rumors are spread about you, and no one has the courage to speak to you directly. On the other hand, it is your right to volunteer if you wish. It is your right to attend as many of these productions as you can. Be aware, however, that this has little to do with fandom.... But, PLEASE, stop confusing the actor with the role. Paul Darrow is NOT Kerr Avon. Darrow is a talented British actor who played this role years ago, among many others in his career. I would be interested in reading his post-GP novel, as I have ready many versions... I am not interested in worshiping at his feet.... I do feel sad that Darrow has disrupted longstanding friendships among some; outraged that he has taken skills honed in that industry, and used them on fans. Fans, of all people! Not other actors, directors, entertainment bureaucrats... but on fans. I feel angry, but not surprised. I saw it coming way back.""
  • [L H] writes: "The reason why the organizers and the 'star' of these proposed conventions are attaching [Ms W] is because she gave them a focus for their embarrassment at being caught out in their intention to a( put an end to any convention relating to B7, fan-run or otherwise, that is not under their complete control and b) make certain that [unclear word] profit derived from American fans (of ANY size name) shall be directed toward their sole benefit and prestige. With the publication of her letter, [A W] became the first fan with the courage to put her outrage in print..." "Think about this carefully. If you bring people who thrive on applause from England; pay their way totally from airfare to hotel to bar bill to every bill; heap them with presents (many of them extremely expensive); ask the same inane questions over and over about one particular role that they had in the past; worship at their feet; follow their every movement with total longing in your eyes; treat every word they say as the holiest of gospels -- how can you possibly be surprised or angry that they develop a distorted view of what is happening, and at least some of them decide to try to turn this adulation into bread-and-butter! It is their right to try to make money if they can. It is their right to refuse to attend other cons where they won't get paid. It is their right to try to sweet-talk American fans into volunteering to do the huge amount of work necessary for a professional tour."
  • [P G] writes: "Pro-cons tend to want only the fast buck and damn the fans (who provide the fast buck). Fan-cons are organized by people who love the show, actors, etc. I understand that. But this idea put out by Nation and Barrow seems to be a good one. It is good for both parties -- guest and fan. I applaud all the B7 guests who showed up at cons in the past gratis, who thrilled and entertained the fans as well. But shouldn't we be giving something back to the progenitors which started B7? -- Nation the creator, Darrow the actor? As long as the con would be a fan-run effort and interested in putting the actor in touch with his fans, what would be so wrong about a guest getting a fee?... I think the problem is lumping together the pro-cons with this new (to me) concept of a fan-run con and artist-organized con where both parties work together to make the con a success. How can it be a pro-con when the actors and the fans organize it out fo their love for B7? How can you doubt Nation and Darrow?... B7 is too precious to lose as we lost DW."
  • [J A] writes: "A "Witch Hunt" for writers of "slash"? -- Perhaps there was just some surprise on Paul and Janet's part that [the] individual they felt they knew & that they felt knew how they felt about 'slash' hadn't told them that they wrote it? I've never been around when the subject was discussed -- but apparently someone was and 'agreed" with Paul on his opinion. I don't know if that was by silence or not, but I know if I'd been there and heard him I could not, in good conscience, continued to write as a 'friend" without clearing the air... Frankly, I think if Terry -- disliking slash (and, apparently explicit straight as well) -- can say, in effect, go ahead and publish [it], but stay away from cons where the guests are going to be embarrassed, you should recognize this attitude is one that very few creators of universes would take. Terry is the OWNER of the B7 universe, and if he chose, could specify what was and was not acceptable to write/publish at all. Look at would happen if you tried to write it in Marian Zimmer Bradley's universe, or Jacqueline Lichtenberg's, or, -- as Deb Walsh found out -- in Tanith Lee's." [3]
  • from [D M]: "The author [of the anonymous letter] states that he/she is looking to protect fandom from the greedy business-types who run 'professional' cons. If indeed that is the authors' true purpose, it is smothered beneath an avalanche of thinly-veiled gossip and innuendo which reads as a personal gripe against guest in general and B7 guest in particular. most fans in the B7 universe adore the guests and always leave conventions feeling enchanted by spending a few precious moments with their favorite star."
  • from [D L]: "I spent four days at Seattle, the con last May where Mr. Darrow was one of the guests. He is NOT a money-grabber, there is not a greedy bone in his body.... He is not that type of guy. He is giving, caring, and courteous, concerned that all fans have a wonderful time. I have never seen a more caring person."
  • the editor addresses Open Letters by the Darrows and adds: "Since returning from their Tour of Australia and New Zealand where they were giving the names of several American slash writers by some "concerned" fan, Janet had been pressing me [on the subject of slash]. Among her questions was, indeed, "why do they [slash writers] use pseudonyms?" I was also asked "why" it was written and treated to several lines of how sick, and sad, and terrible it was. I did reply [the Price letter says she received no reply], very civilly and sincerely. TWICE. I tried to tell her why it was written and why pseuds were often used. I did not, however, rat on my fellow writers and give out names. I resented her pushing the subject again and again and asked her to "please" stop. I was obviously disregarded."
  • the editor closes with: "A parting word to those "open minded" fans among you who are cancelling out FREEDOM CITY because Annie and I are "associated" with it. How convenient for you that Paul isn't going to be at FC after all -- and hasn't been scheduled for some time because of the play he's going to be in at that time. Because if Paul Darrow were still going to be at FREEDOM CITY, you know damn well that the lot of you would be there even if it were being run by the Inquisition and the PLO! Cancelling out isn't "protesting" -- especially when it puts Marion McChesney in a very real danger of going bankrupt. It's BLACKMAIL! A little honesty, please! "Don't speak up before GAMBIT, it might hurt the Con. Oh, now don't speak out before FREEDOM CITY, it might hurt the Con. Oh, but can't speak up before SCORPIO, it might hurt the Con." So, it's shut up and "go along" with the mob? Sorry, but that's a one-way street, no turn on red."

Second Addendum

It was printed in March 1989 (though the editor puts a "maybe" after this date at the top) and contains 12 pages. One issue is postmarked March 27, 1989.

Written across the top of the first page: "EXTRA! EXTRA! EXTRA! The New, Revised Special Edition of the SARDONIC VERSUS."

This issue contains the full text of Paul Darrow's 1989 Statement at Gambit, see that page.

  • the editor writes: "Yes, I know I said I wouldn't do another "Addendum" and to please send your letters to other newsletters and letterzines. But many of you wrote with support, or, at least, wrote seeing the sense in the last ADDENDUM that I feel compelled to go to print with these. They shouldn't be wasted. I thank you for support and/or seeing that there really ARE two sides. I am also mildly "surprised" that there haven't been any cancellations to the FA. I'd thought I'd at least see that as a sign of "protest". Unfortunately, some of the fans practiced economic blackmail on FREEDOM CITY instead. Backing out of that Con, citing me and [A W] being "associated" with it as the reason. However, since [M M] gave refunds, and since airfares hadn't been paid for yet, and since Paul isn't going to be at FC, those fans have "lost" nothing. [M M], however, over-reacted under the pressure and 'fired' [A W] and and me. Actually, we were told we that she 'had' to ask us to resign. As that was precisely what Paul wanted, it was a point of honor not to resign. So I consider ourselves to be fired. And it really hurts me, as it was a Con I was in on from its inception at DSV in 1988. I had hoped [M M's] neutrality could have been less unilateral. After all, what is this whole business about if not the the Freedom to think and speak. I do not believe in "unquestioning support". It is not what being sentient is about. What was it Blake said about "so honest men can think and speak"? B7 isn't a religion, it's a fandom. By and For FANS. I'm a fan and I have expressed an opinion. And I've been vilified for it. Is this what it's really all about? At long last, is it really 'toe the Party Line or be driven out'? I can not do what Paul Darrow believes is right. I just do what I believe is right. The least of which is not to be run out of this fandom by Paul's command."
  • the editor writes: "Our original allegations went out after we had, indeed, attempted to contact the Darrows. In one of my two replies Janet claims I "declined" to make, I asked them to "please' call me COLLECT so we could talk it out. I felt there had been an over-reaction. Their reply was to call mutual friend, instead, and rail at her as to how they were going to 'ruin" [A W] in fandom. Then the letters started going out. We fully expected that we would take quite a bit of flack. But I never dreamed, in my wildest fantasies, that the Darrows would make it so personal and so petty! That they would 'go after" friends and mere associates of ours. 'Demand' fans take sides' Demand we be "denounced". Even "go after" fellow actors! The last time I dealt with that kind of a vendetta was in elementary school!"
  • [A W], creator of Open Letter by "Name Withheld By Request", writes: "First, I wrote one and only one public letter regarding the Fan vs Pro Convention situation. This letter was printed in its entirety and in the only form ever written or authorized by me in THE FEDERATION ARCHIVES. I asked no other club or newsletter to print it. I have since heard it said I wrote numerous other letters which 'named names.' This is untrue. Prior to the publication of any public letter, I wrote one personal letter to a West Coast fan. Within six days of writing that one personal letter, I was receiving 'anonymous' hate mail accusing me of conducting a hate campaign against Paul Darrow and Michael Keating (?!). All of a sudden the Darrows had copies of my public letter... before it ever saw print. I may be incredibly naive and slow, but even I could figure out what happened. I obviously trusted the wrong person with sensitive information. I have more recently learned that private letters I wrote to Terry Nation, Paul Darrow and Laurie Cohen regarding the whole situation have been circulated indiscriminately by the principles involved. I find this lack of discretion disgusting but given recent developments, hardly surprising.... Paul Darrow's pseudo-legalistic letters which attempt to deny me the right to use his 'likeness' in any way, aside from being legally unenforceable, do not seem to take into account the fact that [L R], [L V] and I paid him $2,000.00 in February, 1988, for total rights to certain photographs. If Mr. Darrow would like to return our $2,000.00 we will cheerfully stop selling the photos. Until then, the United States legal system will, I believe, take a dim view of him selling the rights to something and then attempting to withdraw same without enumeration. As to my fanzines, Paul Darrow and Michael Keating hold absolutely no rights to trademarks or copyrights associated with B7. As to artists using their likenesses, the United States courts have continually upheld the rights of artists to use the likenesses of public personalities in work which is artistic as opposed to commercial. And, yes, they have a right to sell said work without paying anybody a royalty."
  • [F B] writes: "I hope the current furor will soon die a natural death without too «any feelings shattered. Whichever way it goes, the main victim will be B7 fandom; the issue of zines and cons will be academic as there lay be no fans left. Anyway, I hope you're bearing up well. I enjoy your writing and trust you'll continue to contribute for some time yet. It may not seem like it at times but all the hard work you put into FA IS appreciated. It can be a bind at times, putting out a newsletter, instead of going out for the evening so you have my thanks for your dedication in that respect."
  • from [L M]: "As for slash, it, like all forms of artistic expression, runs the gamut. At worst, it can be reprehensible, or merely laughable; at best, moving and exciting. I see no reason to condemn a person for what they choose to read, or write. It's sad that someone apparently felt so strong a need to ingratiate themselves with a celebrity that they resorted to smearing other fans, or that other people are so narrow-minded as to sit in judgement based solely on the subject matter of a writer's work. But, then that's the real world, ain't it. I have several gay friends, and while I still can't figure how anybody can justify getting Crockett & Tubbs in the sack, I'm not gonna burn a cross in anybody's yard over it. Last I looked, this was a free country."
  • from [R S H]: "Oh, you're so right, [L T], it's much harder and more honest to stay and fight. I'm a fighter; I care for B7 and am staying, despite this incredible mangling. Sadly, I did drop DW fandom because I just couldn't take it anymore. I'm damn tired of seeing things ripped apart, and though I'm an "snf", I think it's time to help fight back. As far as I'm concerned, dear "Mr. and Mrs. Actor' were rather catty - that hint at [A W] stealing con funds was low ... I just want to keep this fandom alive! I hate (DETEST) politics! Why can't people just enjoy something without ripping it up?? It's long past tine to regroup, approach things with some sanity, and attempt some unity. Have a little fun. Is that so bad)? When our illustrious "Mr. Actor" goes on a long, libelous assault against a single fan because she's displeased hit, that's just degenerating into slime-slinging. And yet there are those who will read his unfortunate editorial, buy it all, and blacklist the victim, saying she started it all. (Same with 'Mrs. Actor's claims). I notice that certain people can't stand those who stand up for honor, who defend themselves and speak out. As for traitors, snots who blithely give out names of writers - maybe as some twisted revenge only they understand - well, there are times when I sympathize with Avon's style. 'Betray me and you die!,' I've come to call it. It was Honor - an extreme form, but it suited him."
  • [C N] adds his comments: "As to fan fiction, this is a very important area to me since I'm a writer and hope to publish two zines myself this year, one dedicated to Servalan and the other a female slash zine. I certainly don't want to see a 'Witch Hunt' on and an 'approved stable of writers set up by the stars, but the very idea of this happening is ludicrous in itself. Once again, look around. America - purple mountains' majesty and all that rot. Dammit, nobody is forcing anyone to do anything.... And for God's sake, stop the personal attacks. I was shocked to see such venom in the recent FA ADDENDUM. If Paul has to react with anger, show him the fans WILL not copy his attitude. By meeting anger with anger, nothing is accomplished. By meeting it with tolerance and understanding, so much trouble could have been averted.... On slash and whether it's appropriate or not: again, the people we're writing about are Characters, not the real actors and actresses! Nevertheless, I can understand the need for secrecy. I write female slash under pen-names. I write straight stories under my real name. It's not exactly embarrassment; Americans are just a bit more sensitive about these things than Brits and Europeans."
  • [D B] comments: "I keep hearing about the B7 Con flap, and it makes me want to crawl into a hole! Such a lot of bad vibes, and so pointless. I've been on a lot of Con Coms and I just don't think the money is there to run at a profit. I have heard that somebody sent some slash stories to Darrow - anonymously - and the idea makes me shudder. That is so nasty to Darrow, the fans, the authors, everybody. If somebody wanted to stand up and be counted, I guess I'd have to say 'Hell, her morality isn't mine." But anonymously? Fortunately, I've never been in fandom for the stars. Acting is their job. I wish that vein, if they want to come to my library and watch me work, fine. Other than that, I much prefer cons without guests - they are mundanes after all."
  • the editor comments on the "slash sent to the Darrows": "What's carious about this, is Janet's 'sudden' reaction to the 'porno' story involving 'Paul and Janet' rather than Avon and ... She takes it sound as though she just received an atrocious copy of this last Fall and that started it all. I remember distinctly her telling a small group of us about that same 'rude' story on the pool deck at OMNICON OVER A YEAR AGO! At that time, we told her about slash; where it came from, why it's called slash; why it is written; why pseuds are used, etc. FACE TO FACE with Janet Darrow! OVER A YEAR AGO! And she's acting like she just discovered it. And it's not a slash story, but heteroerotica. And some in the fandom have been 'hearing about this story for several fears now. But I don't know anyone who has ever actually seen/read a copy, except the Darrows! She has been sent at least one genuine slash story - 'Dearly Beloved/Rogue' - anonymously!"
  • a fan named [D H] includes a quote by Issac Asimov, one he made at Worldcon in 1980: "Any person who charges a fee to go meet his fans is a fool who hasn't figured out who's playing the bills."
  • [M O] writes: "After reading [A W's] statement in THE FEDERATION ARCHIVES, and [L T's] accompanying comments, I get the impression of concern for other fans who do not remember the not-so-distant mess with Pro-Con/Fan-Cons in DOCTOR WHO fandom in the early 80's. Much of [A W's] statement I read as a brief history of the actions and attitudes by Con Committees, Con Organizers, and major Actor Personalities. She also indicates that she and others have observed similar attitudes developing inside B7 fandom, and that One Actor in particular is taking steps to control certain areas of Fannish Activity. [A W] did not name this Actor, though many fans seem to have identified him correctly (I didn't. But as I said, I'm fairly naive and isolated). [L T] in her FA statement, appears to have acted in a responsible manner, trying to verify [A W's] allegations with those parties most involved, and received at least partial confirmation from many sources. Attempts to get any comment from Mr. Actor, either confirmation or denial, appeared to be in vain until Mr. Actor issued his statement to fan groups all over - but not to either [L T] or [A W]. Perhaps [A W] and [L T] overreacted, but considering their experience with DW fandom, I consider their reactions justified - especially in light of [L T's] efforts to get straight answers on the matter. I consider Mr. Actor's reaction to be quite a different matter... Whatever the truth or falsity of the alleged Pro/Fan Convention proposal, I regard Mr. Actor's personal attack on [A W] to be distasteful, unprofessional, and (no pun intended) unworthy of a man of his position and calibre. I have never met this man nor been personally exposed to his charm, good will and generosity. My previous good opinion of Mr. Actor has been based on his own obvious skills as an actor, but also upon positive feedback from fellow fans who think very highly of him. Ironically, this included the very same lady he so viciously attacks in his statement."
  • from [A S]: "I think a little clarification should be in order regarding the term BNF. I have been involved marginally in fandom since the mid-70's, first in STAR TREK and lost recently in B7 fandom. I have no idea who coined the term 'Big Name Fan' bit of late. It seems to have taken on some rather nasty connotations which I think the majority of those honored/inflicted with the title do not deserve. Granted, there are those fans out there who would like nothing better than to be the 'big fish' in the pond, to have the actors' attention and favor more than most. I am not denying that these people exist, but just as there are all types of people in the world, good and bad and the myriad shadings in between, so are the BNF's individuals with their own good and bad qualities. First of all, let's remember how the BNF's got to be BNF's. You don't get a name by sitting around and doing nothing. Most of these people are the ones who worked to perpetuate the fandom. They are the writers, the artists, the organizers of conventions. They have worked hard at spreading the word and sharing with others what they found. Naturally, those who were in the forefront of B7 fandom in the early years have known the stars and been known by them better and longer than those who weren't so involved, or for so long. Those of us who are small name or no-name fans recognize their names because we have seen them in the bylines of our favorite stories, as editors of the zines we buy, recognize then from MC-in a convention event or from their wonderful artwork. I suggest we get off this thing about the 'nasty BNF's' who want to ruin things for the rest of us and remember that without them there wouldn't be anything for the rest of us!"
  • [P N E] writes: "As a fanzine writer and editor, you know where I stand on the issue of freedom of speech or any other form of expression. As for the rest of this brouhaha, I feel this whole thing should be a private affair between the people involved and would prefer to remain a happily neutral fan. It is a philosophy I've applied in other areas of my life and it works pretty well. Case in point, I'm good friends with two different fan groups who would cheerfully cut each other's throats, but they know I am truly neutral, willing to listen to both sides but refusing to take sides, just offering sympathy and an ear to listen to their various gripes."
  • [L A] writes: "There was a claim of art control, that certain artists would pay a 50% commission to join the procon. The fact is that in addition, mark that, in addition to the usual art shows and auctions and the usual fees, some artists would be COMMISSIONED to do special art promoting the con (i.e. t-shirts, mugs ... the sort of thing you see at any fan-con), for 50% of the profits. 'Anonymous' pulled two words out - 'commissioned' and '50%' - and tried to make that sound like control. And then there's zine control, and I'm certain 'Anonymous' and her friends will make a big issue of this. A few writers and zine editors have already voluntarily blacklisted themselves. One admits so in the Federation Archives Addendum. Terry Nation didn't do that. Paul Darrow didn't do that. Janet Darrow didn't do that. They did it to themselves. Why? They like martyrdom, I suppose. I dunno. I do know that slash is not the issue but merely apart of the problem "Anonymous" and her friends are creating. At Revelcon in San Diego, we had a slash panel, and Terry Nation presided. He discussed the issue maturely and rationally. We didn't seek his approval and he didn't seek excuses. The panel broke up with UNDERSTANDING on all sides. Most all problems can be cleared up in a rational, mature DISCUSSION. I'm sure this will come up, so ... is it zine control if Terry Nation or Paul Darrow ask 'Anonymous' and her two friends to no longer use then or their creations in their zines? That depends if you think that after maligning Terry Nation and Paul Darrow, hurting him. and his wife, and distressing many fans as well, one still has a "right" to their faces and creations."
  • [L A] adds: "The hundreds of fans who have shown Paul and Janet their support, and love, and who have stood up against this nonsense, will have created a stronger fandom in the end. B7 fandom is, to my limited experience, unique. I can't think of another fandom where the actors have the care and concern for the fandom that the Darrows do. I've thought all along that we're very lucky to have such genuinely nice human beings so accessible to their fans. I now think we're doubly lucky that they, and Terry Nation, care so much. A lot of strong bonds are being forged here, not the least of which are the bonds between the actors, the creator and amongst the fans. I'm glad to still be a part of it all. Hang in there, folks, because I do believe we'll survive, intact."
  • [D L] writes: "I was so upset by the FA Anon letter, that I missed a day of work. I was sick not only in body, but at heart, to think people would attack PD in such a manner. Someone who has bent over backwards to see that the fans have a good time at the cons and return home with wonderful memories."
  • [L V] states she has been quiet up until now, but blatant mistruths have been told about her and she is now taking a stand: "As for myself, personally, I'm quite aggravated about the whole ordeal not because of the convention concept but because I've now been told that (1) I was never contacted by them and (2) I'm lying about being contacted. Up until now I have made no public statements concerning my dubious "position" on the subject, and wonder, therefore, exactly how anyone can know I am lying."
  • several fans write that they have never seen the RPF story that was supposedly sent to Paul and Janet Darrow by [K H]: "As to the "Paul and Janet" naughty story...I've never heard of anyone outside of the Darrows who has actually seen it. It certainly hasn't ever appeared in any zine I've ever seen."

References

  1. Starlog #126 (accessed July 29, 2015).
  2. comment by klangley at PWP? WTF?, 09 September 2008 post by cesperanza, see more of this post for the rest of klangley's comments
  3. The Tanith Lee zine Deb Walsh proposed was gen. See "Ghyste Mortua" in Proposed Zines.