Guardian (multimedia zine)

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Zine
Title: Guardian
Publisher: Mazeltough Press
Editor(s): Linda Deneroff and Cynthia Levine
Date(s): 1978-1988
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: multimedia but mostly Star Wars, Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Guardian is a gen multimedia zine, with an emphasis on Star Trek: TOS in the first two and on Star Wars in issues 3-8.

It was published by Mazeltough Press, originally in New York and then later in Seattle, Washington.

Some Miscellaneous Things About Guardian

  • The second issue of Guardian was one of the first fanzines to be perfect bound.
  • In a 2005 interview, one of the contributors, Fern Marder, explained: "The Guardian was a fanzine published by Mazeltough Press, which had the odd distinction of being a fan novel that was paid-for publication (publishers split the profits with us to get the novel)." [1]
  • The Guardian was also the focus of some controversy regarding Slow Boat to Bespin. In September 1981, Maureen Garrett head of the Official Star Wars club, sent a cease and desist order to the publishers claiming that issue #3 of the fanzine had violated the informal policy of George Lucas to tolerate fan fiction, provided it was not 'pornographic." [2] For more about this issue, see: Open Letter to Star Wars Zine Publishers by Maureen Garrett.
  • The editor notes that: "I personally know of one story published in my zine, 'Guardian,' that was not only reprinted in another zine, but was literally lifted out of mine; i.e. the second publisher not only didn't have the courtesy to ask my permission, she didn't bother to retype it and used my original layout! I don't even know if that editor even got the author's permission!" [3]

Issue 1

front cover issue #1, Signe Landon
back cover issue #1, Amy Falkowitz

Guardian 1 is 140 pages long and was published in August 1978. It contains nine Star Trek stories and a Star Trek events timeline. The front cover is by Signe Landon, the back cover is by Amy Falkowitz. Interior art is by Allan Asherman, Mike Braun, Gordon Carleton, Leslie Fish, Wilma Fisher, Mary Ellen Matyi, P.S. Nim, Patrick O'Neill, Josie Sherman, Marty Siegrist, and Mark Wallace.

There is a notice in the zine: "Due to unforeseen circumstances beyond anyone's control, there are no Alice Jones illos in this issue of Guardian. Having held your reservations for so long and having a deadline to meet, we felt we could no longer hold up publication. Please excuse the three blank pages and accept our apologies."

From one of the editorials:
It all started one day at Cynthia's house when in all innocence I turned to her and said, "Hey, why don't we do a fanzine?" Famous last words. Well, in all honesty, Cynthia had already worked on Ambrov Zeor and I had helped out on it as well as collated several other zines.... Little did I know that within a span of a year both Cynthia and I would move. Boy, the post awful must have loved us! Not to mention those of you who sent SASES and then worried if we got 'em....

You will notice that there is no fanzine listing in this issue, although we had originally intended to put one in. Well, it's like this: the list grew longer and longer until we realised that just about every zine already appears in Scuttlebutt. So this is a plug for Scuttlebutt, the zine that tells you what other zines are out, will be out, or are out of print (as well as presenting reviews and relaying messages)...

Anyway, here we are, 18 months later... I think we have lots of goodies for you. Just briefly we have:

"And The South Shall Fall Again" by Leslye Lilker and Juanita Salicrup. It's the longest story in this issue, both in length and the amount of time we waited for it. Give yourself about an hour; keep all friends, relatives and telephones far from reach, and enjoy! By the way, subluxation is an incomplete or partial dislocation. Now I
 leave it to you to find the reference.
"Sworn Enemies" is by one of fandom's relatively new writers, Janice Hrubes. What happens when a Romulan falls in love with a Terran? You'll find out here.
"Memories," by Jacqueline Bielowicz is a beautiful euology [sic] to our heroes. The Spock portion is reprinted from Sol Plus I with the kind permission of Karen Fleming but the other vignettes were written specially for this issue. Read on.
"The Lost Colony," by Johanna Cantor is a disturbing tale of enslavement and survival. But where does symbiosis end and enslavement begin?
"The Sentinel," is by Sibyl Hancock, a professional writer, but new to fandom. In fact, had Guardian been out on schedule, it would have been her first published fan-fiction. This is a pure Trek tale of a type that's been missing from fandom for a while. We look forward to seeing more from Sibyl.

There's also plenty of humour and poetry inside, but you must already know that. This issue just seems to have grown and grown. We also have a special treat: Maggie Nowakowska presents a comprehensive time-line of 5tar Trek history from the dawn of the space age through the command of the Enterprise by one James T. Kirk. It's truly a magnificent and thoughtful piece of work, sure to generate lots of new ideas.

On a closing note, please remember: there are no typos in "First Garbage, but said story is full of references. See how many you can find. There are no prizes; we just want to see how alert you are. Please let us know what you think of Guardian. We have tried to present many different facets of Trek in this issue, and we hope to continue doing so. There will be a second issue and hopefully it will not take as long to get to you. We already have some material and neither Cynthia nor myself plans to move in the near future. Issue two will contain some Star Wars material, now that Star Wars Corporation has given their approval. We have the privilege of presenting two stories in the Thousand Worlds series in the S'Wars universe by Maggie Nowakowska and Dyane Kirkland. However, I want to stress that our priority is and will continue to be Trek.

So, banning any unforeseen circumstances, we'll see you again in early '79. (HELP!) Live long and Prosper! -- Linda

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for And the South Shall Rise Again.
[zine]:
  • Sworn Enemies / Taelor, now the Romulan Praetor, invites the Federation to negotiate. He tells Kirk and Spock the story of Lasla Shovan, the Terran woman with whom he was stranded for years on a planet, and became his wife. Nice enemies-to-lovers tale as they learn to value one another's skills; it is she who is the survival expert.
  • Fred the Klingon / Not Paula's funniest effort, but amusing enough. Full of puns.
  • The Lost Colony / Kirk et al go in search of a vanished colony and discover that giant web-spinning insects have been keeping the colonists as drugged slaves to work their fungus farms for generations. The landing party manage to escape and they kidnap the colonists. Nice touch is both Spock and McCoy mourning the lost opportunity of communicating with the critters, as the planet is set off bounds.
  • Second Time Around / report of personal trials & tribulations to attend a con
  • Memories / Reminiscences of all the crew in their last years or moments. Bit of a tear-jerker and smarmy conclusion with each popping into position on the Enterprise as they die, then going off to cruise around while they wait for the long-lived Spock. However, all the end vignettes are quite nice. Kirk was killed first, taking a hit meant for Spock; McCoy has been put in a wheelchair by a mine explosion while going after patients; Scotty is killed trying to repair damage to poorly maintained engines on a freight line; Sulu and Chekov ("Gemini") are both killed in a rescue attempt in a war-torn planet; Uhura founds an electronics company.
  • This Galaxy Our Home / Star Trek events timeline.
  • And Only Dreams Remain / Kirk and Spock are kept as neglected specimens by some unseen alien; Spock keeps them going in a fantasy world, drawing on Kirk's imagination. Well-written, though concept a bit trite.
  • First Garbage / Silliness full of asides by all the cast and sprinkled with zine names. McCoy: "Not [plot] 47B again!" and "I'll need the Enterprise computers for an alpha continuum." Cute, but only for the real zine afficianado.
  • The Sentinel / Kirk and Spock are caught inside a tower that functions as a kind of prison and accidentally activate a "conditioning" process that messes with their minds. Not very convincing excuse for tender moments of the boys holding one another.
  • And the South Shall Fall Again / A Sahaj story. McCoy's sister Jackie Lee sends a stargram that their father is dying and he hurries home; Kirk, worried about his reaction, sends Spock along for support. When McCoy and Spock arrive at Rev. Alan McCoy's home, Laurel Hollow, they find him quite well and also find Amanda, Sarek and Sahaj there visiting as they have come to attend a Grayson family reunion in the vicinity. The rest of the story is a delightful little romp of family dynamics as Jackie sets her cap first for Sarek, then for Spock, who dumps her in a stream. It all wraps up with a family ball game in which the three Vulcans conspire to cheat for Amanda. I didn't get the last bit - Sarek has apparently released all of Jackie's canaries (which Sahaj had done once before), and Sahaj's explanation of Sarek's "final duty" before they could leave is to sing "The Bonny Blue Flag."
  • Guardian / I guard the Guardian; who guards me? - nice little one-pager. [4]

Issue 2

front cover issue #2, Bev Zuk
back cover issue #2, Cecilia Cosentini

Guardian 2 is 202 pages long and was published in September 1979.

It was one of the first zines that was perfect bound. It contained fourteen Star Trek stories, four Star Wars stories, and a single Battlestar Galactica (1978) story as well as poetry and filk. Cover: Bev Zuk; back cover: Cecilia Cosentini. Other art by Allan Asherman, Mike Bruan, Gordon Carleton, Eric, Cheryl Frashure, Miriam Greenwald, Dale Holman, Shona Jackson, Pam Kowalski, Martynn, Mary Ellen Matyi, Pat O'Neill, P.S. Nim, Mary Stacy-MacDonald, Angela-Marie Varesano, Mark Wallace, Carol Walske, and Allyson Whitfield.

It has astonishingly extensive art, a sample of which is below.

  • Where Have All the Creators Gone? by Frances Zawacky (1)
  • Dedication (2)
  • Cynthia's Editorial (4)
  • Linda's Editorial (5)
  • Medical Emergency by Rebecca Ross (Star Trek: TOS) (6)
  • Safe Haven by Ginna LaCroix (Star Trek: TOS) (also in Trek Encore #2) (23)
  • Point of View, poem by Beverly Clark (41)
  • Circles by Linda Deneroff (Star Trek: TOS) (42)
  • Rite of Passage by Sandy Hall (Star Wars) (43)
  • House Call by Ann Popplestone and Cheryl Frashure (Star Trek: TOS) (McCoy is suddenly removed from a medical staff meeting to an unknown place where an alien race asks for his help. One of their kind has been in McCoy's universe and returned with an illness that through symbiosis will kill all of the alien race.) (54)
  • Memento Mori by Cheryl Rice (Star Trek: TOS) (58)
  • Exilium, poem by Beverly Clark (63)
  • Aries Rising by Anne Elizabeth Zeek & Barbara Wenk (Star Wars) (reprinted in Collected Circle of Fire in 1985. This story may be an accompanying story to Slow Boat to Bespin which was also reprinted in that zine, but with the title "Aries Descending" and without Barbara Wenk's name on it.) (64)
  • Outsider, poem by Fern Marder (82)
  • Socratic Dialogue by Jean L. Stevenson (Star Trek: TOS) (69)
  • Universes, poem by Fern Marder (82)
  • Searching, poem by Merlin Thomas (84)
  • The Strange Case of the Body on the Bed by Rayelle Roe (Star Trek: TOS) (85)
  • The Big Bang Theory (between 94 and 95)
  • Nebula by Angela-marie Varesano (95)
  • From the Apollo Journals by Linda Deneroff (Battlestar Galactica (1978)) (96)
  • Second Dream, filk by Rich Kolker (98)
  • I Wonder What the Vulcan Is Doing Tonight by Beverly Clark (100)
  • The Covenant by Lois Welling (Star Trek: TOS) (101)
  • For Elizabeth I by Anne Elizabeth Zeek (118)
  • For Elizabeth II by Anne Elizabeth Zeek (119)
  • The Grey Plain by Jennifer Weston (Star Trek: TOS) (120)
  • untitled by Kathy Esselman (122)
  • When Words Collide by Jennifer Weston (Star Trek: TOS) (123)
  • The Taste of Sunsets by Ingrid Cross (Star Trek: TOS) (130)
  • Phantoms of Shadow by Dyane Kirkland (Star Wars) (see note below) (131)
  • Religion Among the Treek by Ann Popplestone (Star Trek: TOS) (139)
  • Night Wine by Cheryl D. Rice (Star Trek: TOS) (142)
  • Solitude, poem by Gene S. Delapenia (149)
  • Roses, poem by Wilma Fisher (149)
  • In Defeat of Hell by Jacqueline Bielowicz (Star Trek: TOS) (150)
  • Starship Enterprise, filk by Rich Kolker (158)
  • On the Edge of Forever, poem by Merlin Thomas (159)
  • Ni Var For a Cage by Ann Popplestone (Star Trek: TOS) (160)
  • Child of Mine, filk by Rich Kolker (162)
  • Blazing Starship, filk by Rich Kolker (163)
  • Renewal by Angela-marie Varesano (164)
  • The Reluctant Rebel by Maggie Nowakosk (Star Wars) (165)
  • Silent Mistress by Ellen L. Kobrin (199)
  • Abandon All Hope by Frances Zawacky (200)
  • Zine Listing (202)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

[Phantoms of Shadows]: Vader has managed to repair most of his physical damage through a combination of cloning techniques and the Force, but retains the breathscreen for psychological reasons, to overawe the common run of beings and set himself apart from them. This option has been considerably limited by the sight of Vader without his helmet in TESB. [5]
[zine]: Mazeltough Press strikes again! Guardian 2 balances nicely between Trek and Star Wars and humor and serious pieces. Its stories include the "Thousand Worlds" SW series and the Evilla May Vader stories by Sandy Hall, when the Empire strikes back in a very unusual way. It's expensive and photo-reduced but it's worth the price! [6]

[zine]:

I couldn't possibly describe every offering of Guardian #2; the table of contents lists 42 items and the zine runs 202 pages. Rest assured there is something for almost everybody. In the humor department, "Rite of Passage" by Sandy Hall gets top billing. She has created two delightful rogues to harrass our 'Star Wars heroes. Characters like Evil la May and Fritz give mayhem a bad name. Less successful were two attempts at Star Trek humor based solely on embarrassment. We find Kirk's faux pas at a Vulcan reception stretched into an agonizing seven pages. Spock's itchy rash was cause for snickers throughout an entire murder investigation. No one loves to put a dignified man into an undignified position more than I do, but there should be some point. Kirk's blunder should have had some cause and effect; Spock's discomfort should have had some connection with the murder. Jacqueline Bielowicz gets high marks for originality with her "In Defeat of Hell" in which the Enterprise crew gives ol ' Lucifer a bad time. The best of the Star Trek dramatic pieces all concerned Spock. Foremost by far was "Socratic Dialogue" by Jean L. Stevenson. Sarek teaches Spock by asking questions, but the son's answers lead him in a direction the father never anticipated. "Medical Emergency" by Rebecca Ross and "The Covenant" by Lois Welling both concern Spock's learning to trust a woman. All three show Spock changed by events in the story. In contrast, the Kirk stories showed him on vacation totally unaware of the villains' machinations all around him, and in his own quarters being haunted by every woman in his checkered past. Christopher Pike is shown as manipulated and tortured by the Talosians endlessly. What do fans have against captains? Neither Chris nor Jim makes a decision or learns anything in these three stories. Obviously there is much more. I haven't mentioned the stories from the "Thousand Worlds Chronical" (SWars) , several vignettes, poetry, art, and so on. As Linda Deneroff suggests in her editorial, "Take your time, find a comfortable chair, and settle in for a long and enjoyable read. [7]
[zine]:
  • "Medical Emergency" / Spock and Chapel are stranded on a planet whose civilization has wiped itself - and the rest of the landing party - out with biological warfare. The virus happens not to kill rh negative beings (!) and is conveniently cleared from their systems by Berthold rays.
  • "Safe Haven" / Kirk is left on a planet for R&R; all goes well as he befriends a traumatized child and his lovely caregiver, but the local Brondi assassins suspect he has other motives and kidnap him. The child manages to get out a help call to the Enterprise.
  • "Circles" / Vignette of endless "Amok Time" endings.
  • "Rite of Passage" / Star Wars Story
  • "House Call / McCoy is called between universes to tend to a case of smallpox. Points for interesting aliens, demerits for giving them astonishing mental powers.
  • "Memento Mori" / Kirk receives visitations from the women his conscience blames him for. A rather nice take on this idea, with a good, strong Edith Keeler still pretty mushed up from the truck.
  • "Aries Rising" / Star Wars story
  • "Socratic Dialogue" / Another -- and interesting -- take on the rift between Sarek and Spock. Spock is being an obnoxious adolescent, cold and anti-human to his mother; Sarek encourages him to "ask the next question" (from a Theodore Sturgeon signature symbol - Q with an arrow). But when he does, and it takes him to Starfleet, Sarek demands an obedience he does not get.
  • "The Strange Case of the Body on the Bed" / Entertaining and nicely illustrated tale of Spock, suffering fiercely from an embarrassing rash while trying to discover the source of a corpse in Kirk's bed.
  • "The Covenant" / Spock accepts a second marriage arranged by his parents, which seems to be a good match. However, he nearly ruins everything with his own doubts.
  • "The Grey Plain" / A Spock & Kirk Get-Em. Spock must make the ultimate sacrifice(s) to keep evil aliens from invading our universe - leaving the rest of the gang to worry and hope forever.
  • "When Words Collide" / Cute screenplay of Kirk recounting a "most embarassing" moment - when he greeted an important Vulcan official with an unfortunate mispronunciation.
  • "The Taste of Sunsets" / Vignette - Chapel & Uhura Get-'Em
  • "Phantoms of Shadow" / Star Wars story
  • "Religion Among the Treek" / Cutesy anthroplogical analysis of the gods and spirits of Trekdom.
  • "Night Wine" / Chris Pike's life on Talos after the accident - memories, or are they visions, of freedom and loss. Points for a disturbing vision of a disturbing episode.
  • "In Defeat of Hell" / Lovely send-up of the "Heaven Can Wait" storyline, with the Enterprise crew raising hell in Hell.
  • "Ni Var For a Cage" / Spock argues his conscience to a draw over what he's doing for Chris Pike.
  • "The Reluctant Rebel" / A Star Wars story. [8]

[zine]: An excellent zine, in stories, poems, art, and overall printing and layout.

A few stories are: "Medical Emergency" by Rebecca Ross. Nurse Chapel has finally resolved her own conflicts concerning Spock, when they are assigned to determine the cause of a deadly virus which may cause their permanent isolation if they fail. They both maintain a professional relationship and are enabled to return to the ship. A nicely written and ended story, considering what other uses such a plot could be turned to.

"Safe Haven" by Ginna La Croix. A gentle and compassionate tale of Kirk on shore leave alone, and his relationship with an autistic boy and the woman who cares for disturbed children on that world. Since Kirk has unknowingly chosen to take his leave near the hideout headquarters of a group of interstellar assassins, he is kidnapped. One hopes that he will be able to meet Jenny Dores again.

"Rite of Passage" by Sandy Hall. An excellent humorous satire of Star Wars with the protagonist Evilla May, who calls the Dark Lord "daddy," and her revenge on those who destroyed the Death Star. I'll look forward to her further adventures.

"The Covenant" by Lois Helling. It's a number of years after Spock's first pon farr, and Sarek his arranged another bonding for his son. It is logical, and although Spock goes through with it, Spock has his doubts. Then he finds he and T Ayrian are very compatible. A nicely done story. Feels right, after all the K/S bondings abounding.

"Phantoms of Shadow" by Dyans Kirkland, a ThousandWorlds short story. Earth is finally free of his life support armor, and there are only 6 light sabres left for him to collect.

"Bight Wine," "by Cheryl D. Rice. An excellent short story by this author. A followup of Captain Pike's future with the Talosians. It's not all that it seemed at first. Spock should have thought of this. The last line gives cause for thought.

"The Reluctant Rebels" by Maggie Nowakowski, a ThousandWorld Chronicles story. Told from the viewpoint of Commander Willard on the hospital world of Hayon where Earth was saved after his fight with Obi Wan. Ties everything together and brings to life very realistically a character who plays such an important part in SW history eve: though he is never acknowledged for it. Also tells of the time before Han partners with Chewbacca and some of the wookies' history. Excellent.

Also stories by Jean L. Stevenson, Rayelle Roe, Jennifer Weston, and Jacqueline Bielowicz. [9]

[zine]:

In 'Medical Emergency' by Rebecca Ross has Spock and Christine working together to find the antidote to a virus to which only they, among the Landing Party, have not succumbed. 'Safe Haven' by Ginna La Croix is a story of Kirk's developing rapport with a small boy from a centre for disturbed children, and his nurse. In 'Socratic Dialogue', Spock, aged 17, rejects his mother's humanity and has to come to terms with both sides of his heritage. This is written by Jean Stevenson. 'The Strange Case of the Body on the Bed' by Rayelle Roe is a two-in-one story, one of a murder mystery where Kirk plays detective, and the other of Spock's attempts to deal with an itchy rash. In 'The Covenant' by Lois Veiling, Spock gets married. The story deals with the insecurity of their relationship and is nicely written. [10]

Issue 3

front cover issue #3, Nan Lewis
back cover issue #3, Joni Wagner

Guardian 3 is 214 pages and was published in May 1981. It contained both Star Wars and Star Trek fiction, as well as one Man from UNCLE story.

Cover: Nan Lewis; back cover: Joni Wagner. Other art by Gordon Carleton, Kathy Carlson, Julie Cesari, June Edwards, Amy Falkowitz, Steve Gallacci, Barbara Gordon, Abbie Herrick, Robin Hill, Vel Jaeger, Pam Kowalski, Martynn, Christine Myers, Pat O'Neill, P.S. Nim, Leah Rosenthal, Stu Shiffman, Marty Siegrist, Mary Stacy-MacDonald, Jennifer Weston, and Bev Zuk.

This zine is well-known for, among other things, a story to which Lucasfilm reacted. From Boldly Writing regarding this story, Slow Boat to Bespin: "Both authors alleged that Han and Leia consummated their relationship at that time. Neither was any more explicit than countless female-crewmember-beds-Spock stories that Star Trek fans had been writing for years." Nonetheless, they were one of the things which generated the cease and desist and guidelines from LucasFilm. For more information, see: Open Letter to Star Wars Zine Publishers.

  • The Siren's Lure by Frances Zawacky (1)
  • Dedication (2)
  • Editorials (4)
  • Han Two; Jabba Zero by Pat Nolan (Star Wars story) (6)
  • Yoda's Theme by Fern Marder (12)
  • The Way Back Home by Denise Tathwel (Star Trek) (13)
  • Winged Dreams by Jeanne Cloud (16)
  • The Clone-Master by Eileen Roy (17) (Star Wars story)
  • Grief by Gene S. Delapenia (19)
  • The Man on the Bridge by Ellen L. Kobrin (20)
  • True to the Blood by Carol Mularski. Star Wars story in the "Desert Seed" series. (21)
  • Rebel's Lament by Jani Hicks (46)
  • Evilla May Strikes Back Again by Sandy Hall (Star Wars spoof) (47)
  • The Hard Life & Good Times of Han Solo by Jani Hicks, cartoon (58)
  • The Winds of Decision by Jacqueline Bielowicz (59) (Star Trek)
  • To Spock by Jennifer Weston (66)
  • Speculation Department by Ann Popplestone (58)
  • Sandy by Sheryl Adsit (69) (Star Wars story)
  • Haiku Sequence: Merlin & His Familiar by Diana Rusnak (74)
  • Three Poems by Dayle S. Barker (75) (one was nominated for a TrekStar Award)
  • Hyperspace 'an Freedom by Jani Hicks (76)
  • Burger Trek by Ingrid Cross (Star Trek) (77)
  • Friend by Susan Fine and Carole Berger (83)
  • Two Poems by Charla Menke (84)
  • The Gold Against the Fire by Cathi Brown (Star Trek) (85)
  • Creatures of the Dark Side by Amy Falkowitz (Star Wars art portfolio) (97)
  • The Extraordinary Discretion Affair by Susan R. Matthews (UNCLE story) (109) (winner of a 1982 Fan Q)
  • The Ragged Star Seed Rag by Judy Ferguson-Clark (115)
  • What Honor Demands by Charla Menke (Star Trek) (116)
  • Thoughts on Paradise Lost by Merlin Thomas (132)
  • Dreambreaker by Joy Mancinelli (Star Trek) (134)
  • Tit for Tat by Roberta Rogow (Star Trek) (139)
  • Retreat From Danger by Abbie Herrick (Star Wars story) ((146)
  • The Deadly Years by Tina W. Pole (160)
  • Tribble Trek: the Motion Picture by Tina W. Pole (Star Trek) (160) (Tribble Trek was previously published as a standalone zine in England.)
  • Paradox by June Edwards (172)
  • Portrait in Miniature by Jean L. Stevenson (Star Trek)
  • Slow Boat to Bespin 1: as it could have happened by Anne Elizabeth Zeek (Star Wars) (R-rated Han/Leia first time story that raised a ruckus. See review below as well as Open Letter to Star Wars Zine Publishers by Maureen Garrett. This, and the accompanying story by Barbara Wenk, were also discussed in the essay Han and Leia in Fanfiction. "Slow Boat to Bespin" was reprinted in Collected Circle of Fire in 1985 with a different title: "Aries Descending." This story may be an accompanying story to "Aries Rising" in the second issue of "Guardian.") (174)
  • Slow Boat to Bespin 2: as it probably occurred by Barbara Wenk (Star Wars) (non-explicit, fade-to-black, Han/Leia first time story that raised a ruckus. See review below) (183)
  • My Love Has Wings by Billie Phillips (Star Trek) (189)
  • No Guarantees by Maggie Nowakowska (Star Wars story) (193)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

See reactions and reviews for Slow Boat to Bespin.
See reactions and reviews for Desert Seed.
[zine]: Guardian is, as ever, a fine-looking, slickly-produced zine... As far as appearances go, my only complaint is that the transfer type used for the story titles is sometimes so large and takes up so much of the pages that is it both wasteful AND hard on the eyes... It was a pleasant surprise to see that the SW/ST material was much more evenly balanced in this issue than in G#2, It was also nice to learn that more ST writers and artists have crossed the invisible barrier between the two fandoms and are now doing SW material. Examples of this are Pat Nolan's 'Han Two, Jabba Zero,' beautifully illustrated by Mary Stacy-McDonald, a bouncy little tale in which Han teaches Luke not to always take things at face value, and Eileen Roy's 'The Clone-Master,' a chillingly written vignette dealing with the heartlessness of Imperial exploitation and how one victim rises to its challenge. Carol Mularski's 'Desert Seed' story, 'True to the Blood' deals with a very believable case of culture shock. Take a technically-trained 18-year old woman who has spent her entire life in the dull but steady placidity of a Tatooine moisture farm, remove said woman to the hustle, bustle, and pressure of an Alliance base, add one brand-new husband and a bunch of dreams which, in truth, [are] Force visions of events occurring in parsecs away, and what do you end up with? What you have is a very confused farmgirl who has to decide between returning to the stability of her old life, or an uncertain -- and possibly short -- but meaningful future with her husband and the Alliance. 'Evilla May Strikes Back Again' is a Star Wars/Frankenstien satire (and very funny, too) in which Darth Vader's daughter, who sent Luke to join the force in an earlier story, sort of brings him back in an attempt to have him join her daddy. 'Sandy' is an absolutely pointless story in which Han is constantly bested by a street waif and Wedge Antilles is made to look like a brain defect case. 'Creatures of the Dark Side' is a collection of five drawings that would do well in any fantasy collection. 'Retreat from Danger,' a 'Nightside' story tells of an Alliance attempt to use an accidently-discovered clone of Darth Vader to assassinate the Dark Lord. Considering the kind of life the clone is shown to have lived and his mental and physical condition when found, the Alliance attitude toward him in this story is downright inhuman and the end result no surprise at all. 'Slow Boat to Bespin' is a name shared by two stories written from an idea by Martynn. Both stories take place on the Falcon as it is heading for Bespin and deal with getting Han and Leia in bed together for some lightly graphic sex. (light or not, it's the most I've ever seen in a SW zine. Damn well about time, too!) The first version is a 'Circle of Light' story. This is a very pleasantly-written, highly-enjoyable little story with only one major problem: Han and Leia don't sound like Han and Leia. In fact, when Han starts to seduce the Princess by saying, 'And now, Leia-my-sweet...', I immediately conjured up a vision of our smuggler friend twirling his mustachios prior to tying schoolmarm Leia to a railroad track. The Barbara Wenk version of 'Slow Boat' is, on the other hand, fast, fun, and always true to character. The Martynn drawings that accompany both stories are, as always, delightful. But, I still bemoan the fact that she doesn't do backgrounds... The last SW story in this issue is a Maggie Nowakowska ThousandWorlds story, 'No Guarantees.' This story begins slowly, but has an impressive second half. It starts with Princess Leia as a very young senator out for a night on the town and ends up with her having learned some very sadly maturing lessons about trust and betrayal. Several Star Wars zines have come out in the last two or three months, and I would rate Guardian #3 among the best both story and artwise. (and this includes the Star Trek material, as well). I highly recommend this zine as a welcome addition to any zine enthusiast's collection. [11]
[zine]:
  • "Han Two; Jabba Zero" / Star Wars story
  • "The Way Back Home" / Kirk sees Sam in a near-death experience.
  • "Portrait in Miniature" / "Dharen'g't" story. Lone artist T'Nym accepts her young cousin Spock, about 3, into the clan.
  • "The Clone-Master" / Star Wars story
  • "True to the Blood" / Star Wars story
  • "Evilla May Strikes Back Again" / Star Wars spoof
  • "The Winds of Decisions" / Old Vulcan story
  • "Sandy" / Star Wars story
  • "Burger Trek" / The evil Writer sends the boys into an ion storm, landing them as a burger joint crew. Cute.
  • "The Gold Against the Fire" / Odd little Good vs. Evil story, with shades of the Phantom of the Opera. Evil alien master of illusion nabs Kirk, requiring Lt. Taz to fight for him; evil master takes dragon form.
  • "Creatures of the Dark Side" / Star Wars "nonfiction"
  • "The Extraordinary Discretion Affair" / UNCLE story Good review from J. Verba in BW
  • "What Honor Demands" / Kirk teams up with honorable lords of the Protectorate to battle Klingons and androids to destroy a new mind-sucking weapon that has been turned on Spock.
  • "Dreambreaker" / Interesting alternate ending for "City on the Edge" - McCoy manages to save Edith, forcing Kirk to face the choice all over again, and Spock to kill her. McCoy is a bit too easily convinced.
  • "Tit for Tat" / After "Trouble with Tribbles" the Klingons end up shooting the sun and orbiting old Earth; they do a deal with JR Ewing (Dallas) to trade quadrotriticale for dilithium crystals, but end up giving him tribbles instead. Good fun. Nice point that Earth's dilithium crystals are spoiled by hydrocarbon pollution before we ever know we need them.
  • "Retreat From Danger" / Star Wars story
  • "My Love Has Wings" / Incomprehensible tale of Kirk participating in some winged dance as a result of a mysterious Starfleet message that "the Mithyana want to go home."
  • "No Guarantees" / Star Wars story
  • Poetry - interesting bits among the chaff:
  • "Rebuff" / Dayle S. Barker plagued planet rejecting alliance
  • "Thoughts on Paradise Lost"/ Merlin Thomas - Kirk reflecting on Spock's happiness
  • Great illo of McCoy from the Deadly Years (p. 159) [12]
[zine]:

The first thought that ran through my mind when I picked up Guardian 3 was, "I've never seen a more beautiful zine." It is, by far, the nicest looking zine I've ever seen. It is bound like a book instead of punched ((known 1n the trade as "perfect binding" —AM)), and the cover not only looks good, it feels good. Inside, it lives up to its appearance. There's a sprinkling of Star Wars with the majority being Star Trek. Because COMLINK is primarily a Star Wars forum and space does not permit me to include everything, I'd concentrate on the Star Wars items.

"Han Two: Jabba Zero" by Pat Nolan is a brief account of what happened on Ord Mantell. Luke tags along with Han and Chewie to pick up some information for the Alliance, and Han has a run in with a bounty hunter. There's nothing really exceptional about the story; however, it is redeemed by a slight twist in the end 1n terms of stereotypical role playing in SW fiction.

Eileen Roy's "Clone Master" is definitely not standard fare. The clone master, a she, manufactures clones for the Empire; but she 1s much more. She is the eyes and ears of all that happens In the galaxy; everything runs through her. It's a powerful piece that takes the reader into the mind of this controller while she faces decisions and events. If this seems to be a vague description, it is because the story is so difficult to describe. All I can say 1s to read it for the visceral effect and poetic style.

"True to the Blood" by Carol Mularski is another in the "Desert Seed" story line. This time Kaili faces a crisis of loyalty. She feels that maybe she rushed into her decision to join the Alliance and although she has a loving husband, she's not sure she can stay away from her family while they're still worried about her. She ends up leaving to sort things out and runs into an old Jedi counselor; a woman living as a peddler on the planet Jarelt. What follows is a story that has a little of everything: action, Jedi teachings. Imperial entanglement and some good female characters. This is all handled very well by Ms. Mularski, but what I liked the most about this story is the crisis that Kaili faces and how it is handled. She is torn between two loyalties, and these emotions are described effectively. The resolution is also realistic; it's a growing-up process for Kaili and follows the natural progression of the story. On the whole, a very well done story that managed to touch a few responsive chords in me.

"Evilla May Strikes Back Again" by Sandy Hall is an enjoyable mating of Frankenstein and Star Wars. Suffice to say that Evilla May, as her name implies, does partake in some evil doings at the expense of Luke, Leia, the droids and Mary Shelley.

Sheryl Adsit's "Sandy" is a "Han Solo tackles street urchin" story. I never really could warm up to homeless waif or streetwise kid stories, so I guess I had a little trouble with this one. The addition of Han and Chewie doesn't make the kid any more likeable and there doesn't seem to be any point to the story, at least to me.

"Slow Boat to Bespin" 1 and 2 by Anne Elizabeth Zeek and Barbara Wenk are two versions of what happened on that fateful trip to Bespin aboard the Falcon. The first version has a much more experienced Han walking the Princess through the lovemaking process. I thought this Han was a little off the mark since I can't see him calling Leia, "lovely Leia." Also, many of the other lines have appeared countless times in fan fiction, such as "forget the rebellion," "you've never learned to be a woman." etc. One would think that they had gotten past that point in the time frame of TESB. Leia seemed to plunge into the relationship and this is why I think her character is truer to the original than Solo's. Leia has always appeared to be a ticking bomb just waiting for an excuse to go off. The second version is a tougher and less sentimental one. Leia fights Han's approaches at first, but not for long. I liked Han better in this version since he seemed more on target and Leia is also characterized well. The only problem I have concerning both versions is the way each author resolves each story. I just do not believe that Solo would feel the need to verbally express his feelings at this time. I feel he would keep that certain phrase inside for now, if he in fact feels it at all. But this is a small problem; the stories are well written and enjoyable to read.

There is a ThousandWorlds story, "No Guarantees" by Maggie Nowakowska in the zine, but I'm sorry to say that I just couldn't get into it and did not finish it. Maybe it's because I've never been overly fond of the Alderaani Senate stories, but that's just my opinion on this one — I've loved the other ThousandWorlds stories. So much for the major SW stories.

The poetry is all good and the filk-songs are Imaginative. There's much Trek material, including some of the most humorous spoofs I've ever read, and a Han from U.N.C.L.E. story. The artwork is excellent and is reason enough to buy the zine; but what else does one expect with artists like Martynn, Joni Wagner, Gordon Carleton, Nan Lewis and others. My recommendation — Guardian 3 is a must for all serious (and those who like to laugh) SW or Trek fans, or even those fans who don't put themselves into one group. Buy it and enjoy. [13]

Issue 4

front cover of issue #4, Nan Lewis

Guardian 4 is 205 pages long and was published in May 1982.

The front cover is by Nan Lewis. The table of contents lists the back cover artist as Carol Walske, only the back cover is blank. This art may be the Han Solo portrait by Carol that is the last page. Other art by Bernie, Gordon Carleton, Ann Crouch, Caro Hedge, Vida Hull, Vel Jaeger, Jenni, Martynn, Christine Myers, Karen River, Leah Rosenthal, Bill Rotsler, Stu Shiffman, Marty Siegrist, Lin Stack, Mary Stacy-MacDonald and Angela-Marie Varesano.

It won a FanQ for Mixed Media zine.

Despite having Uhura on the cover, there is only one Star Trek story. In the editorial, Linda Deneroff vigorously defended their choice to continue to accept both Star Wars and Star Trek fiction as opposed to making two exclusive zines, something many of their readers had requested.

  • Regrets by Frances Zawacky (1)
  • Dedication and Editorials (2)
  • The Falcon by Jani Hicks (6)
  • Tales of the Lost Ark, INDIANA JONES, one story with articles and news reports by Jean Stevenson (Is history bound to repeat itself?) (7)
  • two poems by Marion McChesney (32)
  • The Die is Cast by Lisa Cantrell (33)
  • Starseeker by Roberta Rogow (36)
  • The Other, a Star Wars story by Marcia Brin (One version of who "the other" might have been.) (37)
  • three poems by Jenny McLean (48)
  • "TESB: The Musical?" as performed at Media*West Con 1 (49)
  • Secret Musings by Jeanne Cloud (56)
  • Upon Reflection by Jeanne Cloud (58)
  • The Boy In Between by Jani Hicks (60)
  • Nomads of Fate; Nomads of Choice, a Desert Seed story (early Star Wars), by Carol Mularski (War is not just a game for soldiers.) (61)
  • Pilot Boots by Gatonpaulis (84)
  • Hear the Echo Lonely, an Indiana Jones/Star Wars crossover story (sorta) by Marcia Brin (Indiana Jones and Star Wars. Indy has an unusual secret in his past.) (85)
  • three poems by Dayle S. Barker (87)
  • The Call to War by Jani Hicks (88)
  • Dark Knight of the Soul, by Paula Block, Star Wars story ( (89)
  • Bitter Memory, a Star Wars story by Vida Hull (95)
  • Small Talk on a Large Subject by Marcia Brin (98)
  • The Ballad of Taenni and Shanni by Jani Hicks (100)
  • The True and Worthy, a Star Trek story by Charla Menke (The true and worthy is precious and rare... and easily lost) (101)
  • The Stranger by Rebekah (117)
  • Dreams to Come True by Gatonpaulis (118)
  • Aftershock, a Star Wars story by Debbie Gilbert (119)
  • In a Quiet Moment by Marion McChesney (128)
  • Life in the Space Lanes by Jani Hicks (129)
  • Speaking Glances, One Rebel Pilot, and Luke's Lament by Gatonpaulis (130)
  • You Can't Go Home Again, a Star Wars story by Pat Nolan (133)
  • three poems by Ronni Sacksteder (139)
  • Three Women in Search of an Elephant by Paula Block (140)
  • The Man in the Cold Steel Mask, a Star Wars story by Marcia Brin. Set post The Empire Strikes Back. Leia goes after Boba Fett and finds more than she bargained for. (143)
  • Son of a Sith by Marry Otten, Michele Rosenberg, and Leah Rosenthal (148)
  • A Very Short Star Wars Story by Marcia Brin. Set post Return of the Jedi. Han thinks about his feelings for Leia... (151)
  • Till the Morrow Comes by Gatonpaulis (153)
  • The Fall of the Jedi by Jani Hicks (154)
  • Beginnings, a Star Wars story by Sue Bursztynski (155)
  • Enterprise March by Charla Menke (156)
  • Midterm, a Star Wars story by Marcia Brin
  • Ilia's Theme by Charla Menke (157)
  • The Lesson, a Star Wars by Anne Elizabeth Zeek (159)
  • Solo's Girl by Gatonpaulis (166)
  • Escape from Cancellation, by Howard Weinstein, a Battlestar Galactica (1978) story (167)
  • The Call by Jenni (169)
  • The Visit Home by Jani Hicks (170)
  • Captain Solo by Jani Hicks (171)
  • A Jedi Craves Not These Things by Susan Matthews, Star Wars, (an alternate solution to SW) (This story, called "The Susan Solution to Star Wars: A Jedi Craves Not These Things," was privately circulated for a time before appearing in this zine. The story was discussed in Han and Leia in Fanfiction in 1981.) ( 172)
  • Solo by Fern Marder, art (204)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

[zine]: The Trek offerings are few, but "The True and Worthy" will satisfy any Trek adventure reader. Sarek and T'Pau have called Spock to Vulcan on a matter of such urgency that Spock left the Enterprise without seeing Kirk. Kirk follows Spock only to discover he had fallen into a trap to discredit Spock. And it looks like there's no way out! Much of the rest of the material surrounds the Star Wars universe. Such feasts as "The Other" wherein Luke and Yoda meet other Jedi Masters, "Dark Knight of the Soul" which pits Luke against the adversities of The Force, and "Bitter Memory" has Luke searching his soul to resolve old problems, along many other selections, wiII entertain readers for hours. The fans of Indiana jones wi II enjoy "Hear the Echo LOIIely" and in "Escape frol Cancellation" Starbuck runs into a friendly Cylon, Miss Piggy and Yoda along others! The poetry selections are better balanced in terms of media representation and provide many thought provoking concepts about our heroes and heroines. All the art is well done and more than apropo to the selections they are depicting. GUARDIAN 4 is a zine that is very well put together with more than 200 pages of goodies. It's an excellent buy for the Star Wars readers, but for the rest of you-- borrow one instead. [14]
[zine]: In one sense, it is patently absurd to be reviewing 'Guardian' 4. This fanzine has been a state-of-the-art product since its inception and both of the last two issues have contained Fan Q material. Plus issue 3 won the Fan Q this year for Best Trek Zine. This issue, not surprisingly, is also a quality product. Strictly on a format basis, my only complaint was the number of typos I found without looking, one being in the Table of Contents A rap on the knuckles isn't good enough for that kind of offense, folks. Linda should be feeling a certain tightness about the collar for this one. (No apology is accepted.) And I haven't decided yet whether Linda has done her contributors a favdr or a discourtesy by putting several of the best writers currently in fandom together in 'Guardian' 4. All of the contributions are about the level of quality normally expected of 'Guardian' but the strengths and weaknesses of even the are clearly seen. Furthermore, there is a variety of both prose and poetry; in fact, more of the latter than is usually seen in fanzines. Beginning with the prose contributions, the reader first encounters Marcia Brin' s "The Other". A relatively short story, it covers all the ground left for of 'Revenge of the Jedi, we see who the "other" is, Luke and his eternal angst, brooding over his failure and guilt, Leia suffering until the rescue of Han, the momentum gathered by the Alliance after they are reunited, the final duel between father and son, and the final victory of all participants on the good side. There is a certain fairy tale quality to the piece, partially because of the pov adopted by the writer and partially because of the plot device she uses. To say more would be giving away the ending which deserves to be left its integrity as part of the story. However, to my way thinking, the proper title for this would have been "The Enchanted Prince."There is ohe interesting sidelight that is new in this story, and that is the handling Marcia gives the Force. Even this is a rather fairy tale treatment because of its lack of viability if one were dealing in the real world. However, Marcia postulates that the Force is in need of tending by the Jedi, in pain when its natural flow is blocked by the Dark Side, which is contrary to what we've learned from the movies, but the ploy works in the story and is rather nice. The next long piece by Marcia is "The Man in The Cold Steel Mask" which unfortunately repeats the one-note surprise ending of "The Other". It is yet another explanation of how we get Han out of carbon freeze, legitimate but not particularly exciting. "Midterm" is a one-page oy Brin, a short chat between Yoda and Ben as to their pupil's status. If she's tight about whether Luke passes or fails the test, I personally will be very pleased if only because it will show that life is never fair, even in the movies. "A Very Short Star Wars also by Brin, is funny and demonstrates that Marcia is good at the very short short prose pieces. Frankly, it is with the poem Marcia contributes, "A Small Talk on a Large Subject" that I am most displeased. Suffering from terminal "cuteness" and a lack of any real poetic structure, it comes across as being labored. The premise of a man reacting with such total stupidity to his wife's pregnancy is completely ridiculous, any humor regarding men and babies having been done to death in TV sitcoms. Unfortunately, the pregnancy "joke" also shows up in "Nomads of Fate, Nomads of Choice", a part of the "Desert Seed" cycle by Carol Mularski. Dealing with the removal of more of Luke's relatives from the sandy environment of Tatooine and the family feud between the Lars and the Skywalkers, the story would have been greatly improved by a general tightening of the story line. The truly pivotal conflict does not even begin to show up until 11 pages into the story, when we've already got the Lars offplanet and aboard the Millennium Falcon. The personal conflict for Luke in the context of the story is the temptation for him (which at one point he does not resist) to use the Force against his relatives out of anger. I wish this had been played up more because it is a consideration we don't often see in fan fiction. At any rate, this subplot doesn't get enough usage while we end up seeing too much of the disagreeable Lars family. I sincerely feel the editor missed by not demanding more out of the story than she got. I found Anne Zeek' s "The Lesson" frustrating for the opposite reason. Here the story suffered from being forced into a short story format when the material really demanded a novella-length treatment. Han Solo is forced by the Empire into using his own "Force-sensitive" powers to vanquish the Alliance. This itself could have developed into an exciting exploration of a man, reluctantly agreeing to. a scheme to his personal sense of honor for the sake of his love for a woman. What actually happens to Han emotionally when he is under the tutelaoe of the Dark Lord and discovers he has allowed a father-son intimacy to develop with a man who has swept away all that Han has ever cherished--this is a story we could have read. As it is printed, however, the story consists of four pages developing the story's conflict and two pages of a single duel that supposedly resolves said conflict. Somewhere in between the two days we are. Shown in detail, five years pass, in the most minimal description imaginable, i.e. "Time passed". We're are given to understand that a closeness has grown up between Han and Darth in that time period but we never see any evidence of it. Indeed, not four paragraphs later, the relationship is destroyed. Having read Anne's work with some pleasure over the past two or three years, this one example was a disappointment. It has several times been up in fannish editorial circles that a vast percentage of what is being printed today are stories that rehash scenes from the films or "gap fillers" as opposed to original plot treatments. "Dark Knight of the Soul" by Paula Block and "Aftershock" by Debby Gilbert both deal with the same time gap between Luke's rescue from the Cloud City's "tail" and the final scene in Sickbay. Both are well-executed and seem plausible. But what struck me was the particular strength of both characterizations of the princess. In both versions, Leia listens to Luke's tormented confession, but the versions differ in how she responds to the idea of Luke's parentage. Paula Block's Leia is sharp, not from lack of feeling or defense against a surfeit thereof, but from sheer impatience with what she sees as stupidity. Gilbert's princess is more vulnerable; still strong but much more the shy, lonely woman who draws close to a very few. She is compassionate toward Luke's pain, but unsure of where to apply balm. Both versions seem equally valid and real to me I think the contrast between the two versions of this "time gap" add flavor to the zine. Karen River's illustration for Block's piece is lovely. She has several impressive items in this issue, including the illustration for Susan Matthews' "A Jedi Craves Not These Things". If one can get a Fan Q in a full year ahead of time, I nominate Karen River for Best Artist on the basis of the work in this one fanzine alone. The following is my one absolute no-holds-barred rave in this fanzine. Susan Matthews' answers to all the unresolved questions of TESB appear in "A Jedi Craves Not These Things" and if this is not. the way George Lucas solves his own puzzle in ROTJ, he had best have something equally as good. There are subtleties in this gentle handling that floored me, caused me to cheer, and destroyed the fingnails on one hand. Every single character is real and alive and lovable. Leia is not a manipulative cold woman, but accepting of others' responsibilities in this war. She recognizes that while Han's loss may be staggering to her personally, the loss of the one active Jedi knight available to the Alliance would be fatal to a far larger population. We see Vader desperately survivng in his dog-bite-dog world. Chewbacca is a fierce, not entirely predictable alien. C3PO is the flaming twit who still offers comic relief. In particular, his totally irrelevant worry over Princess Leia's lack of a pocket hanky is a fine example of how Susan uses detail and humor in her characterizations. There is the introduction of a Rhodrix mercenary in the course of Lando's rescue operation that was also neat. Some of the byplay between her and Chewbacca I did not quite follow. A minor quibble, Susan: alien insults may add flavor but only if we are able to understand the reference involved. But it is Susan's portrayal of Luke's maturation and education that most entranced me. Her version of an aquatic... no, I won't say. This needs to be discover in order to be appreciated. However, her resolution of the major conflict between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader is of major important. There is use of color in this scene in the same way Lucas uses color in his medium. What is not done is as important as what is done in the line of plot action. Pay attention, folks. There has been no other version quite like this in fan fiction to my knowledge, and it is a powerfully done scene. The twist to the triangle of Luke-Leia-Han is neatly and tidily done and, should leave everyone happy. Applause, Applause, Applause! "Bitter Memory" is another "Luke" story, about a point that has always nagged at me from the movie (TESB), i.e. the relationship between Dack and Luke. Dack, as I'm sure you'll recall, is the gunner Luke loses during the battle on Hoth. Hull's artwork accompanies, this but a warning to those who look for happy endings, this is a painful two pages. What else is there in this issue? An astonishing amount of filk/poetry. Marion has several cameo pieces which are very delicate, and I only hope that the average reader doesn't overlook them, coming as they are at story endings to act as filler. Roberta Rogow has a single sonnet, and it says something for Roberta that she even attempted the discipline of this rigid form. Jani Hicks has eight pages of her filksongs, all tantalizing glimpses into how she sees the events and history of the SW epic. Gatonpaulis (the Whillish name for Pat Gonzales) shares an equal amount of space, making me wish I had the ability to pick out the melody given to accompany a piece like "One Rebel Pilot". Lisa Cantrell and Jenny McLean are also represented in this issue, but space considerations limit me too much to go into their work. "TESB: The Musical?" is a light novelty number. On a very subjective basis, I felt the space given it would better have gone to another story but there is an audience for this kind of fluff so... Besides, both the editor and publisher had a hand in it. The remaining pages go to Star Trek stories and an outstanding Indiana Jones story by Jean Stevenson (worth a Fan Q nomination for sure!). It seems needless to tell people to go out and buy this Guardian and increasing sales precede any recommendation given by me. However, this is an example of the best fandom has to offer, and I will add my little push to the general shove--make a point of buying this one. [15]
[zine]: Nearly all Star Wars and Indiana Jones this issue. One ST item. The True and Worthy / Spock has to undertake a blood-oath when Surak's IDIC is stolen by his demented cousin. Kirk and his lover are kidnapped by said villain. In the ritual battle between said villain and Spock, Kirk finds that his lover is actually in on the plot, and Kirk is killed by the cousin's lirpa. Not much here to my taste. [16]

Issue 5

front cover issue #5, Carol Walske
back cover of issue #5, Carol Walske
flyer for zine

Guardian 5 is 198 pages long and was published in February 1983. It features "Stormbrother" a full-length Star Wars novel by Fern Marder and Carol Walske. Covers and artwork by Walske; poetry by Marder. It was edited by Cynthia Levine and Linda Deneroff.

Publisher's summary: "....set more than a year after the end of the victorious revolution. Who is Areth Solo, and why are they saying terrible things about him? Can Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi re-establish the balance between the light and dark sides?" [17]

In a 2010 interview, Fern Marder described the zine: "All of Carol's and my Star Wars fiction was written during the time of the original series, particularly between the second and third movies. Probably the most well-known (or perhaps I should say 'infamous') is a novel called Stormbrother, which was published in 1983 as a special issue of Guardian (Issue No. 5). The Guardian was a fanzine published by Mazeltough Press, which had the odd distinction of being a fan novel that was paid-for publication (publishers split the profits with us to get the novel).

Particularly relevant at this particular moment, although coming out just before Return of the Jedi, its premise concerns the true identity of the man who became Darth Vader, and why/how he fell to the dark side. This presented a very different scenario for the plot end of the first trilogy." [18]

From the editorial: "Blame Fern and Carol. It's all their fault! Really. See, they wrote a novel that they hope to sell professionally. But, instead of getting the jitters like other neo-pro authors, they decided to while away the response period by writing a Star Wars novel. So welcome to what we are pleased to think is the best issue of Guardian yet. Read it quickly if you must (and you'll probably have to in order to avoid putting it down), but then re read and savor it because it is, in our "humble" estimation, one helluva story. A word of warning: Don't start Stormbrother before going to bed. If you do, you may find yourself short on sleep the next day. (Don't say we didn't warn you.) But we think we've made Fern and Carol blush sufficiently, so on to other matters. For one thing, you'll notice that there's no letter column in this issue. That's because it just didn't seem appropriate to print it here since this is somewhat of a special issue for us. But we will print your LoCs in issue six, and we hope we'll be able to include comments about Stormbrother as well as our previous issue."

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

Storm brother is post-ROTJ, but the story of Stormbrother is not Walske's and Marder's version nor the answers to Lucas' plot problems. It does offer some explanations of how everyone got out of their respective snake-pits but those explanations are purely secondary to the tale which concerns acceptance and compromise on many different levels. The Star Wars characters are used to tell this story, but the main thematic content would have been equally at home in a historical novel. Therefore, the work makes for a fairly satisfactory experience for a reader on that level. Stormbrother is well-crafted, and that also justifies the purchase of the fanzine. Those Star Wars fans familiar with Star Trek writing will recognize Fern Marder and Carol Walske as the creators of the Nu Ormenel series, stories which dealt with the Klingon Empire. They created a culture with interesting characters and established themselves as potential professionals. In fact, this project was completed while they awaited word on a novel submitted to a professional publishing house. Therefore, it should come as no shock to them that this is a tightly structured novel with all events arranged for a particular reason and effect. The new characters created for the novel are real people, in and of themselves human and not without fault. Marder and Walske open up the conflicts between parties that one has suspected must flare, considering the events of TESB. Certainly, there is conflict between Han and Leia, Luke and Ben, the world and Areth Solo. Areth Solo is the main protagonist of this plot, the focal personality around whom all action centers. At first meeting, he is a thoroughly dislikeable person. He is arrogant, conceited and clings to a bind independence without regard for others. But the feeling one gets is that he is part of the "walking wounded," hurting more than evil. Han Solo is also unlikeable at the beginning of the tale. He is convincingly bitter upon his awakening from carbonite hibernation when he discovers that Luke and Leia are married, that the Rebellion was successful without him there to rescue the Cause, and that the only thing left to him is wandering in the Falcon. Even that is to be without the close companionship of Chewie, who has been a casualty of war. These two characters have warts aplenty between them. Still. there is sympathy for their hurt, and pardon is granted for their bad behavior due to the good writing of the authors. The tale of Storm brother lies in their learning to accept much that it IS not in their nature to accept. Areth Solo was-once upon a time-a Black Jedi and he is not excessively repentant and/or reformed even after the war has been lost to the Alliance. This is evident in a scene early in the novel where he attempts a rape. The woman attacked, as a Jedi of the Light, reports the existence of a Black Jedi to the reborn Order. To her surprise, the response of those learning this information is far in excess of what is expected, so that she and a friend head off into the vast voids of hyperspace to find the miscreant and bring him to justice. A complaint can be made in the presentation of the Jedi Order in its new formation with Luke and Ben as heads. The Knighthood is overbearing and fanatical. One is not simply master; one is "Lord Master". One is not an apprentice--one is a "Squire". In view of the fact that the titles used within the reference to apprentice, this seems to be a little extreme. Still the point being made about the Jedi is, in fact, that they are extremely powerful and not above interfering in much of what might be considered matters of personal choice. In particular, Obi-Wan loses much of the gentle man/pitying warrior seem in Alec Guinness' performance. Here he is seen as an obsessive crusader striving to sustain the purity of his re-created Way. Some of the speeches made by this figure do not play well in the Dolby sound system of the mind. The only other twinge of doubt for me in characterization arose from one of the primary occurrences in the novel. Han and Areth seem to be able to accept the re-establishment of their sibling bond despite the fact that they've not seen each other for 22 years. Areth was reported to his family as dead and has never made any attempt to contact his relatives to repudiate the lie. In a similar situation, it is a question whether any person who has admired an older brother or sister would willingly accept such callousness and restore the person to their former position with the immediacy that Han does. This brings to mind, by contrast, one character who is exceptionally well-developed within this universe: the Jedi Master Yoda. Wizened man or alien that he is, there are scenes employing him which are exciting in their implications and execution. A battle between Yoda and Areth is particularly good. Aside from plot considerations and characterization, there are other points to make about the good writing of Stormbrother. In particular, these two writers demonstrate a remarkable gift for names. Dawnreach, Arkhaven, Stormbrother, and Lightbringer roll gently off the mind and suit well the universe that Lucas built. The first 133 pages of this novel are very pleasing. The blow came at page 134. There is a puchline to this story that was absolutely gut-wrenching for an unwary reader (caveat emptor). In fairness, my husband guessed the punchline early on and did not react to the final revelation in any way. It is a plausible punchline which I may not betray here, but it is a pivotal aspect of the rest of the story. It also retains its punch through a second reading, which I discovered to my own emotional distress even after a month's grace period. Therefore, a final decision on Guardian 5 is that it is certainly a worthwhile purchase for the first reading of the story. It is very well written and will be talked about for many, many reasons. [19]
In reading Storm brother, I found my emotions torn equally between admiration and annoyance. Admiration, because this is without doubt one of the finest pieces of writing in SW fandom-writing so good that I finished the novel in a single day, gripped despite myself in a story line I found increasingly distasteful. Annoyance, because as a story about the SWars characters It has huge problems which almost destroyed my pleasure in the work. It's difficult to find fault with the writing and it would be picayune to try. Marder's and Walske's style is sparse but compelling. Not heavy with either adjectives or description, it nevertheless draws the reader inevitably into the atmosphere of the universe by the very drama of the story they're telling and the larger-than-life fascination of their main character. For make no mistake about it, though Han Solo is co-featured on the cover, and other characters take chunks of space in the novel, the central character is Areth Solo, a brother that Han had believed dead since before the way, and who manages to dominate every line of the story. In the first chapter of Stormbrother, he runs into Han on post-rebellion Corell, and from then the novel revolves around the mystery of his past and the enigma of his future. Who and what Areth Solo really is and what path he travelled to meet his brother in a Corell cantina makes up the fabric of the novel, and a strong fabric it is. Love him or hate him-and he stirs up both emotion in the novel's other characters-he's a riveting and powerful character, skillfully drawn. Unfortunately, the authors seem unable to handle the main "good-guy" characters with the same interest or understanding they show toward Areth. When Areth is on stage, Stormbrother is magnificent; when he strides toward the wings, the other actors seem either wooden puppets or shadows of their film selves. To start out with, Chewbacca is dead. I can't help but feel this symbolic of the condition of all the main characters. I have no objection to "killing off" a main character if the storyline demands it, but there is no reason-storywise-for him to be dead. It doesn't appear to affect Han all that much. It doesn't set in motion an important chain of events. It doesn't do anything but rid the story of a character the authors apparently didn't want to write about. Fine. But couldn't he just have been on vacation? Or visiting Malia and Lumpy? A similar situation exists with Leia Organa, only here she isn't dead. She's married to Luke. Now again, though my preference is for a Han/Leia pairing, I have no objection to a story where she marries Luke, providing there's a story reason for her change of mind. In Stormbrother, there is none. The authors' purpose was apparently to free Han so he could be matched with their created character, Jireen. Since Jireen herself no real role in the story, the reason seems inadequate. Indeed, if Jireen's place at Han's side had been taken by Leia, Marder and Walske would have created a stronger conflict, since Leia's adjustment to Areth's past is a particularly difficult one. In the context of the story, Leia's decision is prompted by Luke's slaying of the Emperor, which apparently impressed her so much that she fell for the hero who accomplished this. Whether you accept that depends on your reading of the character of Leia Organa; personally, though Leia has her faults, I don't consider vacillation one of them. A much better motivation, that would have worked within the storyline, would have been Han's inability (in this universe) to settle down, and Leia's extreme dedication (in this universe) to the new Republic. It would have been consistent to the movie characterizations and, though perhaps not the conclusion I would have liked, would indeed fit into a believable pattern of motivation. One of the authors' problems with Leia-though they really bend over backward to be fair to her-is that they seem to have little sympathy or understanding of the character of the princess. They try, but their hearts aren't in it. The same seems to be true with Luke. Though they're never unfair to him, he never quite comes to life either. He's hailed by all the characters as a hero, but the actual characterization (the showing, as opposed to the telling) paints him as a weak and rather unattractive person. Obi-Wan, who's brought to life again courtesy of a bionic body, is a tyrannical and obnoxious prig through much of the story. And although he's rehabilitated at the end, somehow it doesn't quite come off. Han is the most attractively portrayed of the Big Three-he's painted sympathetically and one can readily recognize the screen character on the page. Still, in the end, Han is only a oackdrop to the portrait of Areth; he spends a great deal of the novel standing back and admiring his big brother. My main objection to Stormorother, then, is not the presence of Areth I'd gladly read one or a dozen stories about this compelling and not-always-pleasant character. But I do object to the other main characters being dragged into the novel only to be pushed out of shape, soundly denigrated, or made into mere mirrors to reflect the hero's glory. I think they deserve better than that. Despite my reservations, though, I do recommend Stormorother as an extremely well-written and gripping novel, not to mention a topic of conversation. Atter devouring it, I wanted desperately to call some fellow fans so that I could say the above and get their opinions; it affected me that strongly. And anything that affects one that much-either pro or con-cannot be called an inferior work. [20]

Issue 6

back cover issue #6, Carol Walske
front cover issue #6, Marilyn Johansen

Guardian 6 is 215 pages and was published in May 1984. Cover: Marilyn Johansen; bacover: Carol Walske. Artwork by Bernie, T.J. Burnside, Pat Cash, Anne Davenport, eluki bes shahar, Daphne Hamilton, Stephanie Hawks, Caro Hedge, Liz Hoolahan, Wendy Ikeguchi, Jenni, Marilyn Johansen, Martynn, Christine Myers, Pat O'Neill, Bonnie Reitz, Joy Riddle, Karen River, Melody Rondeau, Marty Siegrist, SMAP, Lin Stack, Mary Stacy-McDonald, Nancy Stasulis, Joni Wagner, L.C. Wells, and Mel White.

  • The Best Laid Plans by Frances Sawacky (1)
  • Mirror, Mirror by Elizabeth Hoolahan - SW story (5)
  • The Firefly Factor by Lynda Carraher (11)
  • Onward to Destiny by Rebekah (22)
  • Journey of the Mind by Rebekah (22)
  • Raiders of the Lost Wreck by Marcia Brin - SW-Indiana Jones spoof (23)
  • Phalanx by Denise Habel (24)
  • A Member of the Guild by Kate Birkel - SW (25) (Han's tendency to run from responsibility comes back to haunt him yet again, this time in a conflict of interests that could jeopardize his relationship with Leia and the Rebellion.) (also in You Could Use a Good Kiss)
  • Reply by Gatonpaulis (49)
  • The Mickey Mouse Affair by Charlene Kirby - SW - UNCLE (50)
  • Shattered Delusions by Irene Shafer - SW (63)
  • Plot Device by Teresa Sarick (68)
  • Hell's Heart by Beth Bowles (72)
  • For the Need of One by Julia Ecklar (70) (filk)
  • Thoughts on a Princess by Beth Bowles (72)
  • Dangerous Scheming by Maggie Nowakowska (74)
  • Prism by Karen Osman - SW (75)
  • The Corellian Code, Rules and Regulations, Dreams Come to Me by Gene S. Delapenia (78)
  • Starfleet Memo by Ann Cecil & Sharon Giacomo (79)
  • Cinechrome Reality by Pat Gonzales - SW (82)
  • Catchtrap for a Flier, Pt. 1 by Kathy Esselman - Batman (89)
  • We Flew/Take Me Flying by Teresa Sarick (102)
  • Lines Spoken by a Lady in White by Pat Nussman (103)
  • Brief Candle by Kate Nuernberg (104)
  • Living Legacy by Gatonpaulis (106)
  • Homesick by Marilyn Johansen (107) (After the 5 year mission Natira has joined McCoy on Earth where he is doing Fabrini research. Now Admiral Nogura has informed McCoy that he is needed back on the Enterprise and Natira knows there is a part of McCoy that wishes to return.)
  • Comfort in You by Rebekah (109)
  • Daddy's Little Girl by Julia Ecklar (110)
  • The Acolyte by Carol Hines-Stroede - SW (111)
  • Whispers in Space by Laura Mulqueen Campbell (141)
  • To Take the Knife by Pat Nussman (142)
  • Over the Rainbow by Pat Gonzales - ET (143)
  • Transit by Angela-marie Varesano (146)
  • Anakin by Debbie Gilbert (150)
  • Bequest by Patrice Heyes (150)
  • Doubts by Deborah Busse (150)
  • Detour by Libby Smith (151)
  • Miramanee's Song by Charla Menke (160)
  • The Starship is in the Very Best of Hands by Beverly Grant (161) (filk)
  • Prophecy for the Past by Ronni Sacksteder (162)
  • Hell to Pay by Susan Sizemore- SW (165)
  • A Love to Mourn by Linda Knights - SW (167)
  • The Final Curtain by Cleo St. Gillian (170)
  • David by Debbie Gilbert (172)
  • Hawk's Lament by Denise Habel (173)
  • Vow of Vengeance by Julia Ecklare (174) (filk)
  • Returning to the Clan by Jacqueline Bielowicz (176)
  • Soul Mate by Gatonpaulis (184)
  • The Turning Point by Roberta Rogow (185) (filk, also in Rec Room Rhymes #3)
  • A Vulcan Elder on the Death of Spock by Ruth Berman (186)
  • Poem for a Personalized Probe by Ann Cecil (186)
  • The Dark Lord's Bain by Mattie Jones - SW (187)
  • High Flight by Diane Duane - SW (189)
  • Voyage by Charla Menke (214)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

[zine]:
  • Mirror, Mirror / SW story
  • The Firefly Factor / An alien invades first Kirk, and then, via Spock, the ship's central computer system, getting its way from the crew by cutting off life support when they try anything. Kirk finally recognizes that it is lost and trying to merge with its buddies - a recognition triggered by a memory of catching fireflies. The old entity in the computer may be a bit trite, but this was quite a well-written story with good characterization.
  • Raiders of the Lost Wreck / SW/Indiana Jones spoof
  • A Member of the Guild / SW
  • The Mickey Mouse Affair / SW / UNCLE
  • Shattered Delusions / SW
  • Prism / SW
  • Starfleet Memo / The new commander reports on troublesome adjustments the previous crew seem to have made in the Enterprise's systems. Cute.
  • Cinechrome Reality / SW
  • Catchtrap for a Flier, Pt. 1 / Batman
  • Homesick / McCoy, living with Natira on Earth, receives his draft notice from Nogura. Nice exploration of this relationship - though neither can say so, they no longer need each other, it is not the love either was seeking, and they are both relieved as they make promises they don't intend to keep. Natira has been planning to return to New Yonada for quite some time.
  • The Acolyte / SW
  • Over the Rainbow / ET
  • Detour / Scotty and Lt. Korax are transported to a planet as pets by beings who instill happiness - which is traumatic to Korax, and exposure to their light blinds his already-damaged eyes. Nice Klingon / Human relations here - Scott manages to get them released, but must maintain hostile relations to keep face for Korax in front of Koloth.
  • Hell to Pay / SW
  • A Love to Mourn / SW
  • The Final Curtain / Yet another Kirk meets Spock on the other side vignette. They end up at Spock's home, chess waiting.
  • Returning to the Clan / Cadet Scott must take command during his training cruise. The event convinces him to pursue engineering instead. Nicely written - exciting and a good character study.
  • The Dark Lord's Bain / SW
  • High Flight / SW
  • Mildly interesting poetic efforts:
    • "Hell's Heart" / McCoy, watching Spock die
    • "Poem for a Personalized Probe" / nicely alliterative poem for V'ger
  • Filks:
    • For the Need of One (w/music) Julia Ecklar
    • Vow of Vengeance (w/music) Julia Ecklar, Khan to Kirk
    • This Starship's in the Very Best of Hands / Beverly Grant
    • The Turning Point ("Dona") Roberta Rogow, Jedi [21]

Issue 7

front cover of issue #7, Liz Hoolahan
back cover of issue #7, Marty Siegrist

Guardian 7 published in January 1986 and is 280 pages long. It won the 1987 Mediawest FanQ "Best General &/or Multi-Media 'Zine" award. [1]. Covers by Liz Hoolahan and Marty Siegrist. Other art by Vernie, Jai Dixit, Mark Fisher, Marilyn Johansen, Jean Kluge, Pam Kowalski, Judith Low, Leah Rosenthal, Mary Stacy-MacDonald and Nancy Stasulis.

  • The Old Men by Frances Zawacky (1)
  • Pavane for a Dead Princess by Ellen Randolph (5)
  • The Plundered Shrine by Liz S. (32)
  • And He is Us by Carol Hines-Stroede (33)
  • Luke at the Pyre by Lynda Vandiver (65)
  • Jedi Queen by Sheila Willis (66) (filk)
  • Correll by Jenni (68) (filk)
  • The Tutorial by Ellen Randolpy (79)
  • Apologia Alternities by Jean Stevenson (79)
  • Dangerous Dreaming by Maggie Nowakowska (82)
  • In the Passage by Linda Knights (84)
  • Loose Ends by Mary Otten and Michele Rosenberg (127)
  • Death-Song for Yoda by Cheryl Zier (148)
  • That Name No Longer Has Meaning by Ronda Henderson (148)
  • Legacy of Fire by Mary Robertson (148)
  • Pay Up Or Else by Ellen Randolph (149)
  • What Cost of Friendship? by Jacqueline Bielowicz (Star Trek) (153) (As Kirk pleads for McCoy to join him at the beginning of the V'Ger mission he thinks back to the end of the five year mission. At that time, a tragedy for McCoy led to an action by Kirk that almost ended their friendship.)
  • Panegyric by Debbie Gilbert (160)
  • Regrets by Debbie Gilbert (160)
  • A Klingon's Best Friend is His...? by Debbie Gilbert (160)
  • The Last Voyage of the Enterprise by Karen Mitchell (161)
  • The Search by Charla Menke (161)
  • New Man on the Enterprise by Virginia Zanello (161)
  • Sabaac by Kate Birkel (162)
  • Duet by Mary Robertson (280)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 7

Ellen Randolph has more nerve than any other writer in the zine. There is no way I would let Marty Siegrist illustrate anything I wrote, for fear no one would bother with the words. But, that's what she's done in "Pavane for a Dead Princess", and brought it off. This is the best Birth & Fall story I've read so far. The plot and character relationships make sense (not easy given the facts we have to work with), and there is some excellent character development as Anakin moves down the path toward Vader. The story also offers an interesting reason for the separation of the twins.

In a lighter vein, Randolph's "Pay Up Or Else" comes up with a unique answer to the question of who pays for the rebellion. "The Tutorial", a sequel to Anne Elizabeth Zeek's "The Lesson", is the least satisfactory of her stories; not for any lack of writing skill, but because I can't quite believe it. I can believe a man might take command of a death camp in order to get the chance to kill Hitler and Eichman. I can believe he would sign the order for the deaths of a couple million so that he could save a few hundred thousand who would otherwise die. I can even believe he could succeed. What I can't believe is that he'd come out of it sane. Or that those he helped save wouldn't have so much suvirvor guilt they'd never want to see him again. Still, she almost makes me believe it. And I enjoyed meeting Luke's wife. In fact, the overall portrayal of Luke was very well done. Carol Hines-Stroede also tells a story of the problems of selling your soul to help your friends. "And He is Us" takes its title from Walt Kelly's Pogo comic strip series on political witch hunting: "We have met the enemy and he is us." The bureaucracy takes over after the rebellion and such free spirits as Han are seen as threats. How Luke deals with this problem while still remaining a Jedi constitutes the main thrust of the story, but there's more to it than that. The mystery fan in me enjoyed the investigative aspects of the story. "What Cost Friendship" by Jacqueline Bielowicz (you know a zine is well-edited when it can spell both Bielowicz and Hines-Stroede correctly—the preceding was a paid political announcement. Now back to our review.) Bielowicz tells a serious story of what can happen when one friend sacrifices his own nature for the other. It gives a moving portrayal of the effect of this sacrifice on both the one who makes it and the one it is made for. Best of all, it shows how two people who care for each other can rebuild a nearly shattered relationship. Excellent story. I am an omnilect. I'll read almost anything—even the ads on the Long Island Railroad schedules. This comes from early training to always read what's put before me—"think of all the illiterate children in China who would just love to have some of this (Dickens, Heinlein, Cartland, Chander, Deneroff). All this by way of justification for the admission that I have read now and then in the genre called (incorrectly) romance novels, some very well done and some totally lacking historical or psychological accuracy. So I was not taken completely at a loss when I read Jean L. Stevenson's "Apologia Alternitas". What she's given us here is the last paragraph of a romance novel called Dark Seduction and the promo and sample paragraphs from the sequel Bright Surrender. It's a parody, of course, both of the genre and some of her own Star Wars writing. But she also manages to give an excellent condensed image of the entire first trilogy in one tightly written paragraph. And she fills in an interesting gap in the second trilogy between the rescue and Endor. As always with Stevenson's writing, the reader is warned to read closely—the surface story ain't always just what it seems.

Credit is also due to Mary Stacy-MacDonald for the perfect romance novel cover illo. You can almost see the pink and purple. "In the Passage" by Linda Knights is not just another "Han Solo—Jedi" story. In actual fact it's almost an "everybody—Jedi" story. It's also the story of how Luke faces his fears and once again goes into the cave on Dagobah. And it's also one of the few stories I've read in the past few years where Yoda's dialogue rings true. There are very definite patterns to the way Yoda handles sentences, and for some reason a lot of people seem to miss them. Knights doesn't, and it makes an enjoyable story even more fun to read. Han Solo and Luke come back to Tatooine to pay off Han's debt to Jabba and rescue some refugees from Alderaan. Only Luke is sudenly ill and someone among his old friends is talking to the Imperials. Michele Rosenberg and Mary Otten ("Loose Ends") tell an engrossing story with a serious theme and a light touch that go well together. When an obnoxious bully from Luke's past is annoying him, Han offers the suggestion that "You could shoot him, kid." And I'll leave to your imagination the situation in which someone says, "Have you ever tried to shear a Wookiee?"

About half the zine is taken up with "Sabaac", Kate Birkel's continuation of "Member of the Guild" (Guardian 6). In addition to a whole new theory of the Force and some further adventures of new characters from the first part, the story has a moral fandom would do well to heed. In the process of a fast-moving adventure story (an alternative to ROTJ) Luke overcomes his inability to accept other understandings of the Force than the one he has. Han Solo, it seems, is a Tseborahan Jedi. "'A rare and wonderful thing is a Jedi of Tseborah,' Yoda said softly. His smile seemed wistful and nostalgic. They can laugh."1 They are also "flighty, irresponsible and frivolous". You may have noticed, by the way, that Yoda can laugh. The answer is in the story if you look for it. It's in the very nice little kicker scene at the end of the story, right where we are so amused at Solo's discomfort, we'll miss it. All in all, it's one of my favorite alternate Wars stories: good plot, good characterization—even of the spear carriers, good metaphysics and very, very little purple prose. About the art work: I've already mentioned Marty Siegrist's illos for "Pavanne for a Dead Princess". While they fit perfectly with the story I can't help wondering if she isn't creating a Star Wars Tarot (or is it Sabaac?) deck. In a zine in which good art is not scarce, these are masterpieces. Liz Hoolahan's cover is frustrating. The mind keeps wanting to hear the dialogue that took place just before the picture. And my special thanks to Jai Dixit for the most appropriate drawing at the end of the editorial. Perceptive readers (the only kind Scounorel has, of course) will notice I have made no mention of the poetry and filks. There are several reasons for this. I am not the most musical person on Earth. While it is not true that I can't carry a tune with anti-gravs, those I do carry frequently arrive in damaged condition. Besides, filks are there to be enjoyed, and I did enjoy them. Maggie Nowakowska's for the nicely worked out story line, Karen Mitchell's for the humorous twist at the end—but these are story qualities rather than musical judgements.

Poetry is another matter. Real analysis of poetry takes time, space and work. I don't think Joan's willing to devote an entire issue to my opinions and analysis on the poems, besides which, I'm too lazy to do it. But the real problem is time. I'm still rereading and "working" on the poems in this zine, and at least one of them, Mary Robertson's "Legacy of Fire", is not finished working on me. In a certain sense, all media zines are alike. A couple of Wars stories, a couple of Treks, a few filks, two or three poems and some pictures more or less resembling the characters in the stories. Guardian 7 has a different kind of sameness. It has all the same things the other zines do. What it lacks is diversity—not of style or content, but of quality. There are stories I didn't like as much as others; poems that didn't happen to grab my attention; art work in styles I am not fond of. What was lacking is anything poorly done, badly written, haphazardly drawn. This is due in part to the skill of the contributors. It is also due to the fact that the zine just won't accept poor work. In all the reviews I read, no one seems to pay any attention to the fact that the zine has to have an editor. And it's not easy to edit a zine. It takes patience to work with a beginning writer, showing them how to improve a story, without just doing it for them. It takes guts to tell an experienced writer that their submission isn't up to their best work and needs rewriting. Not to mention all the problems with layout, printers fouling up illos and the financial hassles that seem to be causing so many still-born zines (with large bills for the midwives, anyway). Guardian 7 (and 6 & 5, etc.) shows the result of this kind of work, and makes the zine not only worth the money, but worth the time to read it. [22]

Issue 8

front cover of issue #8, Bonnie Roberts
issue #8, table of contents
art from issue #8, artist is Marty Siegrist (this particular image is from Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine? #5 where it was later reprinted)

Guardian 8 published in December 1988 and is 178 pages long.

  • Choices and Beginnings by Ellen Morris (Star Trek: TOS)
  • Justice, fiction by Lynda Carraher (Star Trek: TNG)
  • Avernus, fiction by Ellen Randolph (Star Wars)
  • The Baron of Bespin, fiction by Susan R. Matthews (Star Wars)
  • Mon Mothma, poem by Jacqueline Taero
  • Ebony Fire, poem by Ronda Henderson
  • Our Vulcan of Perpetual Resurrection, poem by Jacqueline Taero
  • Magnum PI content
  • Man from UNCLE content
  • Robin of Sherwood content
  • other fiction by Kate Birkel, Susan Farrell, Debra Doyle, J.C. MacDonald, Jeanine Hennig, Ellen Randolph, Roz, Jean Stevenson, Marcia Brin, Barbara Gardner, Maggie Nowakowska, and others.
  • art by Gordon Carleton, Catherine Churko, Marilyn Johnasen, Bonnie Roberts, Pam Kowalski, Jean Kluge, Leah Rosenthal, Marty Siegrist, Dianne Smith and others

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 8

There are few times in your life when you actually bother to wash your hands every time you pick up the zine you're reading. This is one of them. Granted, it's an old zine by fannish standards, originally published way back in 1988. It's taken me this long to get my grubby (now ivory clean) hands on a copy. So sue me.

If I'd gotten my hands on this back in 1988, would it have changed the way I looked at zines? Possibly. I do know that I would have been knocked flat on my back by the textured cover paper (now THIS is sensual), the crisp, clean blacks, the amazingly legible two column type, the name printed on the perfect bound spine, the cover bleed to the edge, the neat type titles, the remarkable screen repro, not to mention the exceptional reproduction of all of the art in the zine. Then again, three years ago I wouldn't have been able to put that appreciation into words. My reaction probably would have been a combination of cooing noises, with an occasional, "Oh, wow!" thrown in for good measure. In the three years since Guardian was printed, I've looked at a lot of zines and made an effort to express my likes and dislikes in concrete terms. Whether this is a benefit to my LOCs or reviews is pretty much up for debate--it certainly makes them a hell of a lot longer.

But enough about me. One should properly begin by thanking Linda Deneroff and Cynthia Levine for all of the above. Charity begins at home and Linda and Cynthia have been more than charitable to their contributors by providing a clean, safe environment in which these creative efforts may shine forth in their Sunday best. Typos were at the barest minimum and the individual styles of the contributors presented themselves ably-which usually means there was no rewriting or creative tinkering with submissions. Contributors looking fora home for their little offspring could do far worse than knock at the doors of these very conscientious and talented ladies. And what contents they've managed to assemble! The package is primarily Star Wars and Star Trek, with a soupcon of Robin of Sherwood, Man from UNCLE, and Magnum, PI thrown in. There isn't a bad story in the lot and the writers are far better than any average fandom has to offer. Among the successes is a Star Trek story by Ellen Morris, "Choices and Beginnings," about Kirk facing the death of his son. Ellen manages to portray solid, human emotion without dipping into angst or maudlin "wet-hankie" sentiment--a difficult line to tread but done with the deft moves of a confident writer. Her descriptions and dialogue are excellent, particularly the relationship between Sarek and Kirk. And for those who like ST:TNG, Lynda Carraher has written a reasonable ending for "Justice" (you remember, where the Enterprise visits the planet of the Southern Californians) that actually makes you want to see the episode again. Honest! No lie. I succumbed immediately.

The two primo pieces of fiction are both Star Wars. "Avernus," by Ellen Randolph, is an excellent piece of writing that evokes the horrors of a fully automated, soulless death/ prison camp for Imperial prisoners that Luke is sent to infiltrate and liberate, and the consequences thereof. It's a powerful, compelling story. Granted, there are a few murky bits, but the writing is top-notch. 'The Baron of Bespin," by Susan R. Matthews, however, has to be the best story in the zine. Her Lando is no better, or worse, than the character we have seen at the end of Return of the Jedi charming, a gambler, with an innate sense of responsibility that always gets him into trouble. The writing is eloquent, the secondary and tertiary characters are fleshed out and three-dimensional, everyone has motivation, the description is flawless...hell, it's a great story. One of the best fan stories I've ever read.

Poetry is where the zine falters a step or two. Not that anything's really dreadful, because it isn't. It's just that so much of it is more of the same. The filks are acceptable, although not particularly memorable. The best poem in the zine is "Mon Mothma,"by Jacqueline Taero. For centuries, the older, wiser warriors, past their prime, have sent the young into battle for a dream they could not realize on their own, seeing all too well the consequences that youth cannot when blinded by hot blood. This poem is a stirring, thoughtful evocation of those lonely, night-before-battle vigils. Charla Menke has contributed two untitled pieces that really shine, and "Ebony Fire" by Ronda Henderson does a beautiful job in positing that Darth Vaderin love is possibly at his most dangerous. And honorable mention should go to "Our Vulcan of Perpetual Resurrection" by Jacqueline Taero, if only because it's the only time I've empathized with Kirk or McCoy - what do you have to do to kill that damned Vulcan, anyway?

As mentioned previously, the care with art reproduction and layout/presentation is evident throughout the zine. In an environment where good work is so often handicapped by inadequate or inconsistent reproduction, the artwork in Guardian 8 is enhanced by the loving care given to layout and final print. If anything, the artists in Guardian have, for the most part, achieved technical excellence.

The cover, by Bonnie Roberts, instantly identifies the contents as multi-media. The repro is generally excellent, if a bit dark in spots, but the artwork works very well with the cover stock chosen. The bleed to edge is strong, and the layout interesting (landscape instead of portrait). Bonnie's likenesses run the gamut from excellent (the Star Wars characters show the greatest verisimilitude) to poor (the Marion in the lower left comer is most easily identified by her hair), but even when she doesn't capture the likeness of a character, she does somehow manage to instill some power in the portrait. The cover is striking and the tonal qualities are excellent--I like the crisp folds on Luke's jacket-so sharp you could cut your finger on them!

And, taking the liberty of embarrasing our esteemed editor, Marty Siegrist's illustration on page 153 has to win best of zine. It's dynamic, traumatic, and gives me the willies just thinking about it. Brrrrrr! The design of the half-dead faces is magnificent, with just that one really hate-filled (and boy is that HATE!) face in there-magnificent and totally wonderful. In fact, it's one of the best illustrations I've seen anywhere. The remainder of the artwork, including a gorgeous pieces by Jean Kluge and impressive ST: TNG by Christine Myers, is technically excellent—these people know about anatomy and how cloth folds and looks and feels. In fact, at least eighty-five to ninety percent of the work in the zine is illustrative, rather than portrait. To say that I'm damned impressed would be a severe wimp-out.

So how do I rate the overall package? Normally, I'd give it a four, if only because the poetry and filks aren't anything out of the ordinary. But then look at the price-- $13.10 for a 178-page zine, postage paid, perfect bound, with beautiful art repro and some really great stories? Hell, give this puppy five trees! For this price, a Star Wars fan can't afford not to have this in their zine library. [23]
Susan Garrett's review of Guardian 8 was right on the money—and I may just have to go back and read "The Baron of Bespin" now that she's recommended it. (Although I must admit to disagreeing with her generally favorable review of Bonnie Roberts's work. The cover was comprised of publicity photos even non-fans have seen a bezillion times, all sort of jumbled together, willy-nilly, with little regard to composition, and her interior pieces were mere publicity photo portraits. I have to admit I found it pretty dull stuff.) Ellen Randolph's " Avernus" in this zine is just the tip of a literary iceberg. [24]

References

  1. Renderosity: Writers in Fandom the Fanzine Scene/WebCite
  2. McCardle, "Fan Fiction: What's All The Fuss?". McCardle gets a number of things about this incident wrong, though, one of them being that the zine did not cease publication, as she states.
  3. from Comlink #44
  4. Halliday’s Star Trek Zinedex (TOS) - Title Index, Archived version
  5. from Jundland Wastes #2
  6. from the Augustrek program book
  7. from Spin Dizzie #5
  8. Halliday’s Star Trek Zinedex (TOS) - Title Index, Archived version
  9. by Gloria-Ann Rovelstad in The Clipper Trade Ship #28 (1980)
  10. from Enterprise Originals #7
  11. from Jundland Wastes #3
  12. Halliday’s Star Trek Zinedex (TOS) - Title Index, Archived version
  13. from Comlink #3
  14. from Datazine #35
  15. from Jundland Wastes #10
  16. Halliday’s Star Trek Zinedex (TOS) - Title Index, Archived version
  17. from Southern Enclave, accessed 10.10.2010
  18. from Writers in Fandom: The Fanzine Scene: Interview with Fern Marder
  19. from Jundland Wastes #14
  20. from Jundland Wastes #14
  21. Halliday’s Star Trek Zinedex (TOS) - Title Index, Archived version
  22. from Scoundrel #10
  23. from Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine? #3. The reviewer, Susan M. Garrett, gives it "5 trees." The reviewers in "Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine?" rated zines on a 1-5 tree/star scale.
  24. from Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine? #4