Interstat/Issues 001-010

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Issue 1

cover of issue #1, M.S. Murdock
interior art from issue #1, Gerry Downes
interior art from issue #1, M.S. Murdock

Interstat 1 was published in November 1977 and contains 18 pages.

  • art by: M.S. Murdock, Gerry Downes, Linda Rubin.
  • the editors' policy:
    Because of the strong personal conviction of one of the editors, Interstat will refrain from published ads for zines which require a certification that the buyer is 16 years of age or older.
  • The Star Trek Welcommittee states its policy on zines and labeling:
    The STAR TREK Welcommitte has no intention of censoring fanzines. All 'zines will be listed in the Directory, unless we have complaints about the honesty of the editor/publishers — that is, 'money sent, no zine delivered' (within a reasonable time, of course). Since the Directory does NOT print the price of any zine, it is up to the buyer to write and ask. Then it is the responsibility of the ed/pub to decide whether or not the buyer is of age. It seems to us that it is also the responsibility of the ed/pub to describe the contents of their zine — honestly! The Directory will include "adult" if the ed/pub request such a listing. Remember, even the professional book clubs include the words, "some of the material in this book may be offensive to some readers", or, "this book includes explicit sexual material". This can easily be included in zine flyers, and would then protect the ed/pub from complaints.
  • KathE D comments on Star Wars and the "cult of Darth Vader":
    I am curious if others have noticed how people seem to be identifying with Darth Vader and his stormtroopers rather than the good that was suppose to be represented in STAR WARS? During a recent convention I attended, there was a noticable feeling of camaraderie for the dark side of the Force, unlike STAR TREK where the emphasis was definitely on the good of the Federation and not the evilness of the Klingon Empire. I realize that intelligent Science Fiction has been absent from motion pictures for several years, but it is unnerving to witness a "cult" that seems to be developing.
  • George W complains about sentimentality and quality fiction:
    I have a view from the male, and minority, side of fandom about all the 'Mary-Sue' stories. Why are we readers inflicted with all these simple and sentimental stories? Where are the good old action/adventure plots with SCIENCE FICTION, not ROMANTIC FICTION. I always thought STAR TREK was science fiction, but by some fanzine standards, it appears to be gothic romance. Let us face it girls, there can only be so many heroic yeomans on one starship. Second, we seem to be over-run with fanzine editors who feel they can indulge in their own private fantasies and pet projects, and then foist them off on their readers. What right have they to feed us their dribble, however well written, about ceremonial objects; Kirk's one-hundreth romance, Spock's umpteenth pon-farr and resulting son. I would expect to be able to do with such a zine what I would do with any book I had bought and, after having read a few chapters, found I did not like it, return it to the place of purchase. But no, not with fanzines. Zines are all the work of gods and all artwork by the nymphs of Zeus. We pay for it and we're stuck with it. Editors have an obligation to fans that few recognize. For so many years they have been the only source of new STAR TREK material and it has gone to some of their heads. There have been some classics to come out of STAR TREK fandom, but what about the rest? Fans have a right to quality entertainment when they buy a fanzine. I think STAR TREK fandom is a unique and wonderful phenomenon, but we deserve better than we are getting.
  • Dixie O comments on Star Wars:
    I am bemused by the sudden surge, indeed a stampede toward STAR WARS among ST fen; in some instances to the total exclusion of ST. And wondering if this represents a joyous return to the sf of the 30's and 40's for fen (mostly male?) who had become uncomfortable with the intense, sometimes turgid "character relationship" stories produced by the great majority of the female fan writers active in ST today. Because, make no mistake, SW is a simplistic return to teen-aged clodhoppers who jump into billion-credit starships and pilot like they were trained for it (see innumerable Heinlein & Asimovs written for adolescent boys, sans women or girls in any role), to fighting without beginning or end, just action for the sake of action, to putting women back in their place as sex prizes for the winners.
  • a fan writes a piece about three Strek pro novels (Spock: Messiah, The Price of the Phoenix, and Planet of Judgement) The essay is called "What Hath Bantam Wrought? Or They're Going to Keep at it Until They Get it Right!" that has the first line: "What can a fan expect from a Star Trek novel?"
  • other fans write their reviews of other pro novels, all with varying degrees of satisfaction
  • a fan writes a character study of James Kirk
  • a fan writes an essay about the close relationship between Spock and McCoy, what she calls the "McCoy-Spock Connection," and despite the frequent use of "McCoy/Spock," is not talking about slash

Issue 2

cover of issue #2, Heather Firth
inside art from issue #2, Melinda Shreve
inside art from issue #2, Heather Firth
a sample page from issue #2

Interstat 2 was published December 1977 and contains 18 pages.

  • art by: Heather Firth and Melinda Shreve
  • from editor, first page: "The editors strongly believe in infinite diversity and "the dignity of persons". Within that framework we strive to bring you a current stimulating vehicle."
  • a fan writes at GREAT descriptive length of the photograph of William Shatner in the inside cover of his newest record album
  • "Rumors" by Kay Brown
  • zine ads
  • "Spock," an essay by Melinda Shreve
  • "There's Something I've Been Meaning to Say..." by Michelle Arvizu, a satirical essay on "Amok Time," consumerism, and "Vulcan/American biology"
  • Jackie E bemoans the lack of screen time for Doctor McCoy:
    How many episodes were about the good Doctor? NOT ENOUGH!!! There was all the latent talent that is Deforest Kelley, and they hardly used him!
  • Heather F reminds others that a zine's material is of personal preference:
    Fanzines are, generally, a spare-time hobby indulged in by fan editors who wish to share their creations with other interested fans. I don't believe that publications of this sort need cater to others who, of their own will, ask to share in the enjoyment of the editor's past-time. Fanzine editors put an incredible amount of time and work into their pet projects, be they kindergarten quality or near professional, and I, for one, truly appreciate their efforts. Fanzines offer an alternative to watching episode re-runs for the fifteenth time or reading an already memorized adaptation. I doubt that fandom would be nearly as enjoyable for me without these fan-produced marvels. As to their contents -- No one will be forced to purchase a fanzine against their will. I'm sure. If in doubt that you will enjoy a particular issue's offerings, don't buy it. I usually purchase a fanzine only after having read a short synopsis of the contents and finding them to be of interest. Occasionally a fanzine's past history alone will warrant payment. You needn't read through another "Mary-Sue" story if you dislike the format. But the fact that one particular type of story is disliked by even half of fandom doesn't mean that another person won't enjoy the story, and that is who it was written for. I, personally, dislike the current outcropping of homosexual stories being offered to fandom, but I will stoutly defend any--one's right to continue produce them! The fact that I decide not to read a story of this nature does not, I believe, give me the right to persecute its author because they wish to share their written "masterpiece" with others.... If [George W] wants an action/adventure fanzine with stories exactly to his liking, I suggest that he begin production of his own. I it is good, I will probably order a copy. But at the same time, I would appreciate the option of snuggling up with a good ol' "Mary-Sue" if I so choose, without someone raving for its immediate destruction!
  • Brian L comments on a previous letter, and Mary Sues:
    Sorry George, but as a member of that male minority in fandom, I take as lightly different view of the Mary-Sue stories. Although long over done, some were very well written and almost all were FUN. Besides, while the female fans portrayed Mary-Sue in their fantasies, I portrayed the object of their Mary-Sue fantasies in mine. (Exhausting, but exhilarating considering some of the stories that were done.) In another vein. When you buy a fanzine, you are buying just that — a fan magazine. We do not have the right to expect anything but that. Fortunately, we get a lot more, always. For zines are an act of love. And that love outshines the supposed quality, that you're worried about, in my book.
  • Rebecca H writes more on gender and fic:
    [Mr. W] seems unhappy with the romances and personality-stories we ladies write... Perhaps the best suggestion for [Mr. W], and others who are discontented with and seemingly threatened by the present trend of female-written stories, Is that he should start doing his own zine. Then he can foist his own pet projects on us. Who knows; we might enjoy it. One other thing he should realize is that ST Fandom is far more a woman's world than a man's — at least in the creative end of it, and since we are writing for ourselves, he's got to expect that we'll write what we like to read. One further point to this is that if he doesn't like what we print, then he doesn't have to support us by buying our zines. I mean, who's holding a gun to his head?
  • concerning Mary Sues and the gender lines in Trek fans, Teri H writes:
    ... most of the male element of Trek fandom is more interested in art or the technical side. Most of the stories I've read were written by males were either funny or satire, or so full of technical terminology it boggled my poor mind. While the females write romances because that's what they like. I have read some action/adventure stories which were labeled 'Mary- Sue' just because there was a new fan-created female character.
  • Karen F says, no foreign phrases!:
    A number of writers these days think it's really great to use foreign phrases in titles and inside stories. If
 the phrase is common enough that the reader can find it in a dictionary, it is OK. However, if the reader doesn't understand the language the writer is using and the phrase cannot be found in an English language dictionary, the reader isn't going to understand what the writer is saying and the phrase -- no matter how eloquent or posh or whatever --is useless. People write to communicate. Or so I've been told... I suspect I'm not alone in being irked by the insertion of foreign language phrases into Treklit.
  • there are already questions regarding Star Wars, George Lucas, and fanzines, and Melissa B writes:
    Query: Would someone care to detail the EXACT position of 20th Century Fox on SW zines? Allyson has some info, so do others. Let's get it together for mutual advantage.
  • a zine ed, Vicki K, likes a money-back guarantee:
    I have always maintained that as an editor, we should refund the money to any reader who did not like that issue, as long as it was salable to someone else. Just because you might not have liked the contents doesn't mean someone else might not enjoy it. I have a few zines I would like to return because I objected to them, but have decided to keep them as examples of how not to publish and what not to publish. If a reader feels he or she was ripped off by a fanzine, then they should complain long and loud and warn others not to buy it. But the criticism should be directed toward specific areas.
  • Amy F writes regarding the ST/SW controversy:
    I love both -- for differing reasons. I've seen SW 5 or 6 times! I love it because it's fun and that's its purpose...But ST -- well, being a Relationship fan -- there is more in the characters of ST.
  • Rebecca H addresses another's letter in the previous issue:
    She seems threatened by the seemingly male fantasies in STAR WARS. My reaction to that is, so what? After all, male creators have the same right to indulge their fantasies as we females. (George Lucas in effect, has called STAR WARS a "Mary-Sue" movie since Skywalker is really George Lucas.) Why do all movies, stories, etc. have to have a feminist view point? This was a fun movie, any way you take it, and even though Lucas made the remark that he wasn't sure who he would "reward" the princess to, if any one listened closely, it would have been noted that Lucas said that with his tongue stuck firmly in his cheek. Okay, so the music was derivative. I haven't heard of a truely original piece of music in the last 200 or so years. The thing which bothers me about this letter is that [Miss O] seems to believe that if a show or story is not totally done from the feminist viewpoint, it's unacceptable. I've got news for her — that's a line of bull. More and more non-feminists are telling the feminists that we like something else, and if there's one thing the feminist movement has done, it's given the rest of us the freedom to say what we think.
  • a comment from Gerry Downes:
    Your art, layout, graphics, etc. and so on is beautiful. Very high quality. BUT: "A monthly ST publication devoted to fan comment, analysis, and information." "A clearinghouse of Information, a forum of views." Very high sounding words, and a worthy goal. Then the kicker. "We will not list fanzines which require an over 16 age statement." If you are doing your own personal fanzine, then not mentioning anything is your perogatlve. But if you are setting yourself up as a service to fandom in general, then you must try honestly to do that, not just promote your own views Are you trying to slow down the distribution of ST with an erotic focus? You've listed "R&R",and the "The Best of Pon Farr", (which has an excerpt from Alternative) and the NTM books. The only reason people have ever put age statements on ST zines is so they wouldn't be accused by uptight types of corrupting children. It also became a customary way to let people know that stories often contained sexually explicit material without sending out x-rated flyers... you guys have set up a very artificial and arbitrary rule, and if you stick to it, you'd better change your own advertising. You can either be a forum for fandom, or a forum for yourself, but you can't have it both ways. Be honest with your fellow fen.

Issue 3

Interstat 3 was published in January 1978 and contains 18 pages.

cover of issue #3, M.S. Murdock
inside art from issue #3, inside back cover, Bruce Scivally
inside art from issue #3, Melinda Shreve
  • art by: M.S. Murdock, Heather Firth, Melinda Shreve, Rick Kingslan and Bruce Scivally
  • this issue has a review of Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Melinda Shreve has an article, with illos, about the female costuming in Star Trek
  • "Insight" is a characters study of Dr. McCoy
  • "There's Something I've Been Wanting to Say" by Michelle Arvizu, satire
  • a fan, Mary Lou D, addresses Gerry Downes' letter in a previous issue regarding Interstat's policy not to print ads for zines that required an age statement:
    When these people gripe (and they are out to protect their own X-rated junk) about not publishing advertising for the porn-zines, it doesn't look like they understand the facts of editorship. An editor determines the subject matter and tone of a publication, and is responsible for everything in that publication; therefore, his/her taste is the criteria. (HALKAN COUNCIL printed letters that agreed with its editor's social and literary opinions and left opposing opinion unprinted — INTERSTAT has the same right.) Nor does someone who prints material that offends people an absolute right to have it advertised. His/her freedom of speech ends with the right to print it — to stuff it down someone else's throat is not a privilege he/she is entitled to — that interferes with other's right to privacy and defense against harassment.. There is no lack of space devoted to over-18 material....and it would scorn that those who shout so loudly about tolerance and freedom would respect another's ethical philosophy even when it differs from theirs.
  • Sally S comments on fandom's supposed danger of distraction:
    THE PERILS OF FANDOM: Casually glancing through the offerings of the local newstand, I happened upon a new magazine. Of course, upon finding a STAR TREK article in it, I proceeded to look a little more closely at this literary wonder. There was even a mention of STAR TREK fandom. Being fairly new to fandom, I was naturally curious to see what was being said about fandom at large. What should appear to my wondering eyes, but: threats of wrecked marriages, lost jobs and divorcement from reality syndromes! This article seemed to in dicate If you became involved in fandom, soon you would find it grabbing ahold of your life to the exclusion of all else. After warping Into space with the Big E, it seems we should be unable to contemplate dirty dishes, unmade beds or demanding husbands — ergo wrecked homes! (No mention was made of the exist ence of any male STAR TREK fen.)
  • Jackie E writes of zines and her introduction to fandom:
    Never did I imagine when I opened my first copy of "Showcase", that I was getting into something as big as the world of fanzines. I had read the books and watched the episodes and assumed (sigh) that this was ll I could get. And then a friend introduced me to fanzines. I was plunged into a fascinating new world. All the stories that were never written, the endings that were never continued — Spock, Christine, McCoy — they were all there, living out the episodes that I'd dreamed about...and some I hadn't. They ran the spectrum from fierce battles and tender love stories to tragic tales of misery. And, Oh! The stories about Leonard McCoy! They delved into his character in a way that a limited series never could. I was in heaven! To give you an idea of how deeply I was involved with these things, my friends began asking where I was. Had I moved? Was I all right? They hadn't seen me for three weeks. What had I been doing...reading what?'re kidding.' But it was true. I had zines stacked all over my living room floor. I buried myself in them, only coming up for air when finished and then I went back for another load. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Conventions here I come!
  • Cheryl N contemplates Star Wars:
    I'll begin with [KathE D's] letter on the reaction of the public toward STAR WARS' darker aspects. I find it rather unusual to say the least, seeing "Darth Vader Lives.'" bumper stickers gracing peoples' cars. Now don't get me wrong, I loved STAR WARS. I loved the special effects, the characters, and the fantastic sets. However, I noticed that when I left the theatre I was not suffering from that heady feeling that comes from seeing Captain Kirk save the day or the ENTERPRISE leave orbit from a job well done. I felt rather depressed. STAR TREK placed a great deal of emphasis on a united future: united people, united planets, united ideals. STAR WARS, on the other hand, has us still at war (and a rather large war at that.) Of course the Federation had the Klingons tc deal with but they didn't spend all of their time at war with them. They did take time out to develop better relationships with other planets. STAR WARS was a feast for the eyes but STAR TREK remains a feast for the mind!
  • Cheryl N also wants one of Gene Roddenberry's visions comes true:
    In many countries (rank America #1 in this aspect) there seems to be a general agreement among people that it is just not normal for one man to care about another man. Just think what shape the world would be in if men (and women) didn't care about each others' feelings, hopes, and ideas; if they didn't help each other when things went wrong; and didn't support each others ambitions.' Man loving man in the sense that Kirk loved Spock or McCoy loved Kirk, etc. is simply a beautiful expression of brotherhood. Gene Roddenberry knew what this world needed and put an example into action. I hope that more people will follow his lead in years to come.
  • Karen B expresses her disgust:
    Fan fiction writers have degenerated to the point of of illiteracy. Their characters have the morals and vocabulary of gutter rats. Demeaning the characters in perverted and/or sadistic behavior, homosexuality included, has no redeeming social or literary value. Several of these futile attempts at placing thoughts on paper consist of no more than plotless sexual fantasies drawn out in tiresome, explicit detail. Cannot these erstwhile authors raise their standards of communication to a redeemable level? There is a distinct difference between a general zine, ("Showcase", "Stardate Unknown"), and an adult zine, ("R&R", "Rigel".) However, one should not confuse an adult story with one dealing with homosexuality. If you publishers insist on inundating the reader with this kind of material, at least have the courtesy comparable to "Alternative" and state what sort of writing your zine carries and allow the purchaser discretion. In point: "Obsc'zine" does not warn that their stories deal almost exclusively with homosexuality. Contrariwise, "Alternative" states in print on the flyer that this is the content. Surely having written the story you cannot be ashamed to admit to it on a flyer...or would you?
  • Roberta R both scolds and encourages:
    People who have been into fandom for a long time are bothered by new writers repeating what the older writers have already done. It's a strange process know as 'Growing Up'. The so-called dinosaurs of First Fandom are now in their late 20's. Neofen are in their teens, which is where the older ones were ten years ago. They are moving through the same stages as the older gang did, while the older writers are getting into other areas of thought. There is room in Treklit for both, and I think old-timers could exercise a little more tolerance toward beginners. Everybody has to start somewhere, and even Asimov wasn't always Asimov. There's also a tendency for the people who have just discovered sex to get vocal about it, and to write a lot of wish-fulfillment-type stories about their discoveries. We've gotten into a very sexy corner, and I wish these people would realize that sex has been around a while, and the rest of us know all about it. How about a few "what happened then?" type of stories? Or stories that take place in the STAR TREK Universe, but not necessarily on the ENTERPRISE?
  • Sharon E comments and provides an example of differing expectations regarding fannish communication, then and now:
    People have rapped me rather sharply across the knuckles because they can't find my phone number, etc...People, please! Temper your judgement with a little mercy! The number is not an unlisted one, and those who should have the number have access to it. However, Friend Husband has his study In the Parsonage — which means he's HERE most of the time. That means the phone has to be free so he can use it to conduct church business, informed of illnesses and deaths, etc. If you need to get In touch with me, a letter is much cheaper — and I will answer...eventually.
  • Georgia N is thinking that the letters they've been writing all these years have been going to the wrong people:
    We Trekkers have been writing to Paramount for ten years but I'm beginning to think Paramount is more apt to listen to one sponsor saying, "I'll buy time on a STAR TREK show" than a hundred Trekker letters which have no thing more to offer than a SASE or the price of a movie ticket. I think it's time we contact the sponsors.
  • regarding the confusion and uncertainty over fanfiction for Star Wars, Sharon Emily writes:
    Something with the STAR WARS question. I made a statement in SC4 that though I love the movie and would love to do something along that line, I will not make any concrete plans in that direction until STW releases word that the go-ahead has been given by the proper authorities. So, the interesting rumors that have been getting back to me are just that — rumors. At present, I am not starting a SW zine, for I have no desire to get into any more complicated situations than I am at present.

Issue 4

Interstat 4 was published in February 1978 and contains 18 pages.

cover of issue #4, Heather Firth, also in the 1977 Star Trekon program book
art from issue #4, M.S. Murdock, a bit of Star Wars art
art from issue #4, Gerry Downes
  • art by: Heather Firth, Gerry Downes, M.S. Murdock
  • the subject of how to refer to a female fan is brought up; a fan in this issue chides a male fan for using "Ms" rather than "Mrs.": "I am not an abbreviation for a manuscript!"
  • there is a letter from Shirley Maiewski in her Welcommittee role discussing current news regarding the ST movie and possible new television series
  • Roberta R comments about the future of media science fiction and fandom:
    STAR WARS is here, and I am glad to be in at the beginning of a new fandom. However, I don't think it will replace TREK — it might enhance it! Meanwhile, science fiction on TV marches to its doom. LOGAN'S RUN has run its course — a pity, because there were some good ideas in it. But not enough Trekkers were willing to save it, so down it goes! To be replaced, next year, by Buck Rogers which will probably be played for Camp! And what's the latest movie rumor? For anyone who wants face-to-face confrontation, I'll be at S.T. World in New York in February; at T'Con in March; then nothing till summer. And I'll explain why New York fandom supports Mr. Townsley and his Cons — at this point in time, they're the only game in town. THE Committee closed up shop In '76, and there's a Mini-Con every six months, but for a full-scale Con you need an organization and a lot of money, and Mr. T has both. Ergo — he tries to provide fannish activity and Star Fan activity and in my opinion he's done pretty well. He MUST bring in the Neofen — that's how he can support the rest of the con. And if fandom doesn't admit new members, it's doomed to extiction by slow attrition, as people gafiate.
  • from a long, long letter by Jacqueline Lichtenberg:
    [Susan H] touched on a point dear to my heart, and I'd like to jump in with my comment. She's wondering if the readers of INTERSTAT believe that man will have to give up his emotions as Vulcan did to achieve final peace and would everyone be willing to if required? I am already on record as not believing that man could, should or will have to give up his emotions for any reason whatever. KRAITH establishes this view of mine quite clearly in the mechanism of the Blooming and genetic drift accounting for Vulcan's pathological state. (There is an article in the forthcoming Kraith Creator's Manual II which may clear up some of this, as far as KRAITH background is concerned.) But KRAITH hasn't settled anything with regard to the emotion question. (Say} there's an entry in the 1978 understateraent-of-the-year contest.) This Is largely because KRAITH doesn't bother to define emotion... Simultaneously, I'm working the problem on my analogue computer which I call my Sime Series. The Sime Series is also, in some ways, a Logic/Emotion Series.
  • Mike B complains of Spock, Spock, Spock-all-the-time-Spock:
    I specifically wanted to say something about the focal points of fandom. We see so much of Spock, Kirk/Spock and Spock that I really hesitate to read anything that's slanted that way. In fact, for quite sometime I wasn't until I got ahold of Mary Lou Dodge's "The Castaways" and was thrilled Into oblivion. I guess you'd say her novel pulled me back Into everything and I decided to read all Trekfic, and not censor my self from Spock-involved stories simply because I was tired of Spock. Of course, being a devout Uhura fan, I'm always clamoring to see more of that lovely lady in print. I think fandom has sadly neglected Trek's First Lady. It's incredible to think of how few Uhurian pieces are written each year: Maybe ten (good ones, at least). Whereas every zine you pick up has a Spock story. Furaha, Delta Triad, and Goddess Uhura are the only zines which carry a definite Uhurian flavor, and all three are my favorites. I'm awaiting with great anticipation Winston's future Captain Uhura — I'm sure it'll be fantastic (as when isn t he?).
  • Mary Lou D complains of over-active glands:
    I see already you've got some splendid differences of opinion going, so I'll dive right in: I stand with [George W]; Trek writers and editors are not fulfilling obligations. If someone wants to put out a zine for around a dollar, and print everything that comes in, I'll be glad to buy it just for the fun of discovering a grain or two of pure gold talent in the mountain of sludge -- but for five to eight dollars, fans have a right to expect a professional polish since for that amount of money you can buy a well written adventure story from your nearest bookstore. The Trek writers, whatever their ages, are not growing, not learning the fundamentals of a story teller; you expect teenage girls to write sex fantasies, adolescents are obsessed with fornication (that's the way nature intends it for the continuation of the species) but by the late twenties the brain should have taken precedence over the glands, and writers should have discovered that humans long for love and an under standing of what they are, far more than they do for sex — yet, I've run across little that is aimed any higher than the reader's navel. Whatever happened to plots, and characters, and Roddenberry's dictum that the form be used to comment on the problems and idiocy of modern life? Whatever happened to the purpose of fanzines — to help young writers polish their craft in preparation for professional careers? My Trek purchases are declining steadily, and have gone to nil in the past six months. The liplicking reviews are alone enough to turn a real fan off. Trek writing is descending to the point where it is fit only for giggling adolescents (maybe it should be labeled not to be sold to anyone. over 16).
  • David L writes of the purpose of fanzines:
    Ah, but the fanzines are not for the reader. They are a way for a fannish editor to express herself, exercising her right to the freedom of speech. It is only when she wants someone to read it voluntarily that the reader's desires come into play— whether because she wants an audience or whether she has a $1000 printing bill to pay off. If an editor wants to feature only one writer or artist, that is her right. This is not subject to discussion. If you either dislike this editorial policy or think the writing lousy, don't buy it. If you've already bought it, then tell your friends that you didn't like it and why. But you have no right whatsoever to tell an editor what she can or cannot print...
  • regarding Interstat's zine ad policy, Sue K writes:
    In general I agree with your policy of not publishing ads for zines requiring a statement of age over 16 but fans can miss a few very lovely issues this way. Delta Triad Sup.I" requires this statement while "Stardate: Unknown I does not. Both of these issues were beautifully done but "S:U#I" was more sexually explicit in content. Since it is the editor of each individual zine that sets their own rules as to what should be restricted I agree with [Karen B] that the editors should state in the flyer if the issue has material that some might find objectionable. I'm certainly not opposed to a little sex but stories on homosexual relationships turn me off and I think the editors have a responsibility to their readers to let them know what they are in for.
  • Sharon E comments on fandom and feminism:
    Methinks that fandom is considered and treated as a threat because a lot of those who are involved are female and — horrors! — have learned that they can be interested in something beside the comfort of the almightly male, the softness and whiteness of their laundry, and whatever there's dust on the top of the refrigerator. Worse yet, some of them have revealed that there's more going on Inside their heads than eternal worry about "ring around the collar." Sorry, that sounds rather cynical and feminist — well, I still believe that the old man plus mote theory holds true, but I have the weird notion that God created wo man to be man's helper, partner and right hand, not his slave and footstool. There is an upheaval going on in society. Men had it all their own way for so long, too many of them aren't mature enough to cope with and adapt to a new way of life. Hence, fandom, since it does break chains, must be put down.
  • because there's nothing like a little gasoline on the current fire, Sharon also comments:
    [George W's] letters calls to mind a paraphrase of an old adage: Those who can, sit down and write. Those who can't, overreact. It's a tragedy that one's sense of identity can be achieved only by creating much unhappiness, strife, and dissension, then justifying such conduct by chirping "I'm an opinionated S.O.B." ((and that he's proud of it is understood)). Poor dear, your letters sound so irritable! Isn't it about time you had your diapers changed?
  • Rebecca H on regarding editorship:
    Yes, it is up to you what you advertise. However, as Gerry said, you are a service to Fandom, and yet, it is your right to exclude those you think are in poor taste. Trouble is "R&R" did get by you, but then "R&R" doesn't have a restriction and never has, and since you said no zines would be advertised that carried an age restriction, I guess "R&R" gets by. Gerry mentioned "The Best of Pon Farr". As I recall, that tine had no age restriction and needed none. There was absolutely nothing in it which was offensive, and that poem of Gerry's was something I'd let a kid read. Now, as to Jean Lorrah's books, "The Night of the Twin Moons", is restricted to those over 16. (Editor's Note: NTM does not have an age restriction now) I would suggest, instead of using an age restriction as a guide line that you exclude ads on those zines which would be considered R-rated or X--rated, and you will of course have to make your own determinations regarding some of these zines. But then, that's your job as editor, and I sympathize with you. As to Mary Lou's contention that someone who prints X-rated material has no right to have it advertised — I disagree. Anyone who does a zine has a right to have it advertised, but they don't have the right to force a zine ed to advertise if the editor doesn't care for the material. There are other markets in Fandom, so you shouldn't be forced to plug zines. Along a similar line, In response to [Karen B] — comments on adult zines — OBSC'ZINE does not deal almost exclusively with homosexuality. Admittedly, they had more than I cared for in Issue #1, but issue #2 had only two or three short stories on the subject. I do feel, like Karen, that the editors should have warned us in the flyers that we were getting gay material. I'm all for zines advertising exactly what they are. But, I believe this sort of oversight is just that, and is not intended to sell zines under false pretenses. Perhaps, too, some editors wish to give the readers some surprises. I like to, and there's really nothing wrong with that, as long as the surprise is not a nasty one. Especially in the adult zines, we need to know what we're getting before we plunk down the money, simply because some of the stories are offensive to some people.
  • Rebecca H also writes more on zine content and criticism:
    I've noted lately that certain people In Fandom seem to have nothing better to do than bitch. Specifically, there are zines around which are religiously oriented, or which have stories that are, for some odd reason, some readers buy issue after issue of the zines, knowing ahead of time that they are apt to have stories which are about religion, then they have the unmitigated gall to bitch to the editor because their anti-religious sensibilities have been offended! People, if you know a zine is going to have religious stories in it and you don't like them, don't buy the zine! I should think If you don't like it, you wouldn't continue spending money for it. It makes such a griper come off like a fool. I'm not saying that these zines shouldn't be criticized. For instance, saying "So-and-so could not have had this religious experience In my opinion, because..." is one thing. Saying, "I'm not Christian and I'm sick and tired of all this religious garbage in your zine!" is something else! An editor has a right to print what she wishes, and if you don't like it, you don't have to buy it. At least, don't be insulting! "If you don't dig the scene, don't buy the zine!"
  • Dixie O adds her opinion about accepting "adult" zine ads:
    With regard to Gerry Downes' letter in ish 02 — I must say that I agree with her completely, having also recognized your schizophrenia in printing the little disclaimer statement about not carrying ads for zines which require an age statement, then proceeding to list zines which definitely come under that classification. No zine can be all things to all people, of course, but to reach and benefit the widest number of readers the whole spectrum of fandom should be available for letter-discussion, reviews and comments; ads for forthcomings and reprints, or whatever is bugging us this month or next. The hint of prior censorship is enough to discourage some very good LoCers from taking part — and this would be a great pity, since I consider INTERSTAT to have made an excellent beginning in its three first issues, and I continue to recommend it enthusiastically to my friends.
  • Dixie O also comments on a fan's earlier statement that Obsc'zine was contained primarily homosexual stories:
    I wish to point out that "redeeming social or literary value", like beauty. Is probably in the eyes of the beholder. ST fiction, like any other kind, runs the gamut of emotions and sexual standards, with plenty available in all areas to suit the tastes of the buyers. This is as it should be, and nobody twists arms to force more conservative folks to read material beyond their enjoyment or understanding. With regard to the OBSC'ZINES, remember that this zine grew out of extra material left over from WARPED SPACE'S Double X ish, 020, and certainly anybody who read WS 20 knew exactly what to expect further along that line. I have been unable to turn up any separate flyers for OBS, if indeed any were printed, but the regular ads for WS carried notices of it, with its "X" rating in plain sight. As a matter of curiosity and with reference to Ms Bates' statement that "their stories deal almost exclusively with homosexuality", I went over the contents of both of the issues now available, and came up with the following: OBS 01 had seventeen stories, all lengths, and of these, eleven were "straight", four were humorous-homosexual, and two were serious K/S. OBS 02 had fifteen stories/articles, and fourteen of them were straight. No K/S in this one, only a Christine/Uhura fantasy. So dealing exclusively with homosexuality, they don't — perhaps it just seems that way. Be warned, Karen, that there are several zines about to be published which DO deal in serious detail with the no-called K/S "Relationship" — and which are advertising themselves as such, to avoid any misunderstanding from unknowing buyers. There's room for all of us under the broad wings of ST fandom, and there are probably many others who buy practically everything, as I do — and enjoy most of it, whether straight-childlsh-action-adventure, deeper character development or zines with a highly focused sexual interest. IDIC, that's us.
  • Roberta R comments on gender differences and fanfic:
    About fan writing: We're essentially baring our own fantasies. Sure, we throw in characters that are US in disguise — why not? We can't keep delving into Spock's psyche forever. I plead guilty to having invented a couple of really outrageous characters in Warped Space, but I've also gone into "what happened before" or" what happened after" an episode. You might as well pick at Jean Lorrah or Jacqueline Lichtenberg for inventing a Vulcan background for Spock and his family... About women writing romance and men writing nuts-and-bolts SF: Well, what do you expect from our society? Little girls are expected to be emotional; little boys are expected to be mechanical — and we're only now starting to get away from those old stereotypes. A lot of what STAR TREK had to say was absolutely revolutionary back in 1966 — how many of you out there remember that far back? We HAVE come a long way, and STAR TREK was one of the first television shows to have women in command positions. Women who write for fanzines write romance set in the future — men who write for fan zines tend to write humor and technology. It may be coincidence, but the two fanzines that concern themselves with technology ("Trek" and "Enterprise Incidents") are edited by males. So is "Spectrum", which concerns itself with issues like consumerism and reviews. And there is always the very true dictum — if you don't like it, you don't have to buy it! Conversely, if someone has something and they don't want it, I am collecting fanzines for the Paterson Free Public Library's fanzine collection — let me know about it, and I can relieve you of it!

Issue 5

Interstat 5 was published in March 1978 and contains 18 pages.

front cover of issue #5, M.S. Murdock
inside art from issue #5, Pat Stall
inside art from issue #5, John Price
  • art by: M.S. Murdock, John Price, Wilhelmina, Pat Stall, Ray Lamb
  • G M C wants to know why Lt. Mary Sue stories are so "continually bad-mouthed:
    I understand the terrm applies to any plot where a 20th century female (presumably the authoress) is beamed aboard the ENTERPRISE and manages to adjust to the 23rd century via falling in love with a major ST character and then performing some vital service that saves the ship from destruction. Is it just because she is female? At least two ST episodes have 20th century males aboard the ENTERPRISE, but nobody objects to Tomorrow is Yesterday or Space Seed because of that. But if Capt. Christopher had been female and fallen in love with Kirk before she had to return to her own century lest the future be changed, it would have been a "Mary Sue"...Or if Khan Singh had been female and seduced a handsome male Lieutenant and almost captured the ship before being condemned to colonize a barren planet, Space Seed would have been labeled "Mary Sue" and presumably lowered beneath comtempt in the viewer's eyes. How come? Why is it okay for 20th century males to be projected into the world of the ENTERPRISE, but not females? Just what IS wrong with Lt. Mary Sue — her sex? or her success? I've read some excellent stories tagged with this label and can't figure out why I'm not supposed to enjoy them. Anyone care to elucidate?
  • G M C also comments on ST vs SW, an interesting comparison:
    I thought SW was very well produced for run-of-the- mill science fiction and enjoyed it very much. Sure, it employed every sf cliche from animated chessboards to sword-and-sorcery using laser beams instead of steel. The background music may not have been original — but it was LOUD and that was all that was needed. There's one point about it which hasn't been mentioned: not since the days when cowboys wore white hats and xuatlers wore black, has it been so easy for the viewer to know right from wrong. ST expects us to recognize there ARE such concepts as good and evil , but it expects us also to think about them in order to recognize them. SW makes no such demand. We know from the beginning the good guys will win, so we can pull for the underdog — Darth Vader — with a clear conscience. I doubt SW could be turned into a series unless Darth Vader escaped. SW without him would be as empty as ST without Spock, and no amount of Chewbaccas, twittering robots, or hairless hussies could make up for the loss of either.
  • David L responds to another's letter and lists a number of reasons why people choose to have sex:
    But most of all, it is called making love for a reason. Sex at its best can be the physical embodiment of love. Love can exist without sex, just as sex can exist without love but the two in conjunction constitute one of the greatest ecstasies of life. Not to deal with sex of any sort in fiction would be a mockery of humanity. Not all stories need deal with it, and those that do should be subject to the same standards of literary quality as those that do not. Literary standards, not those of propriety. Your distaste for sex or sexual fiction is primarily your own problem. What is repugnant, though, is your notion that real fen agree with you, that you are a fan and that those who read, write or edit what you term in #3 ""X-rated junk". You may have publicly stopped declaring that Leslie Fish is a professional pornographer or that Connie Faddis or Winston Howlett, by being writers of quality agree with every particular of your thesis (as previously espoused in MENAGERIE 12) but it is clear that the intent — and, more importantly, the implication — is still the same.
  • Karen B address another's letter, and also has a problem with being addressed as "Ms.":
    Either a piece of writing is tastefully done or it is trash...The second paragraph was not objecting to the actual contents of such zines as "Obsc'zine", but rather the practice of not being advertized as containing homosexual material. Do not bother trying to make room for me under your proverbial "broad wings of fandom". I prefer a sequestered domicile of clean habitudes. If you wish to make blatant personal remarks and attacks, write to me personally rather than submit the readers of INTERSTAT to them. Please do not refer to me as [Ms B]. I am not of a neuter gender.
  • Jenny F also addresses another's, the aforementioned Mrs B, previous comments:
    I had to respond to comments made by [Karen B] in the January ish — "fan writers... their characters have the morals and vocabulary of gutter rats" etc. — please, Karen — if no thing else, remember the Idic. You object to stories portraying homosexuality? (For one example) — I think one of the most valid aspects of homosexual stories, is that they sympathetically depict a way of life, a sexuality, that is foreign to many. From this point of view, such stories are very valuable. They have helped us to see that this deviant behavior is simply different from our norm. They've helped us to see the beauty of a different way of life. And taken us one step closer to the desired goal of appreciating truly alien life-forms and styles. Oh, I know much of this has been said before. But, why is it "demeaning the characters" to have two men loving each other sexually as well as emotionally/intellectually? The operative point should be that two beings have found a way of expressing their special closeness and affection; that those two beings are two men, or two women, or two whatever-else, is irrelevant to the celebration of life they declare. Love, between two consenting adults happily sharing, is not "perverted" — it is beauty.
  • Jackie E writes:
    Also, am I the only one that was bothered by [Roberta R's] letter in issue #3? In exactly what way am I (being a new fan) in my teens? Age wise? or fan wise? And what about the older fen who she said are In their late 20's? If she means it in the sense that a new fan is a youngster while a more experienced fan is close to 30, I'll buy that. But if it was meant literally, I think she's all wet. I mean, I'm 24 and I'm about as new a fan as there is! And I know of some older fen who are pushing 40.... Writing about one's sexual fantasies. Write them, and if you have the nerve (I wouldn't, I'm afraid) to have them printed, submit them. But that's where your rights end. Follow the personality of the CHARACTERS. Kirk & Spock would no more have a homosexual relationship than I would. The love between them was beautiful, but as Kirk said in WHOM GODS DESTROY, it was the love of brothers.
  • Vicki K writes:
    I cannot believe the juvenile editorials such as the one that was sent to me, to quote: "In fact, if there is such a thing as "prissy porn", Dodge is certainly its queen." I could continue with letter quotes, but you people know who you are. Ms Dodge will be writing stories and novels long after this particular editor and other so-called authors, who have stopped to write with their glands instead of their hearts and intelligence, have long since been forgotten. Perhaps at the next ST con Mary Lou plans to attend, they could have several lions as guest of honor.... I don't question anyone's right to purchase and read whatever they so desire. But I happen to have rights too, and I don t care to purchase a fanzine listed as "adult" or "sexually explicit material may be offensive to some" and discover it is almost exclusively de voted to homosexual stories, or even in fact, one story dealing with this subject.... Just labeling something adult or sexually explicit is not sufficient. I am an adult, but there are some things I do not care to read about and that is homosexual stories and incest. As long as I am talking about adult material, quite frankly, I find that most of the authors seem to have read some sex manual, know all the dirty words and moving parts, but switch their characters around in different positions throughout several pages as if they were stiff, wooden, and cared nothing about the other person. The dialogue is stilted, naturally, as it is aimed at titillating instead of stimulating one's intelligence. If these writers knew anything about making love, they would understand why those of us who do know the difference, find their stories juvenile and boring. Any time a fanzine editor, who considers printing a story with a main theme of Kirk and Spock fondling in a swimming pool as being literary merit, should take another look at his/her publishing aims. I thought the ideas of ST stories were to entertain, not to disgust.
  • Ann P writes a long letter which comments on "The Procrustean Petard" by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath in Star Trek: The New Voyages #2 in which she explains genetics and humans who have an extra chromosome:
    My principal reaction to "Procrustean Petard" was one of distress at a number of scientific errors which constitute part of the basis for the plot. My objection is not literary. I hope that the readers will bear with me for a short course on genetics... These comments arise from a very real concern for the damage that can be done by the spread of this sort of stigmatizing idea, not from some desire on my part to cause trouble. I am perfectly aware that the willing suspension of disbelief is an integral part of all science fiction but...
  • Wilhelmina writes:
    The increasing intensity in fandom is frightening. I find an almost universal lack of laughter. A lack of joy. I see diversity of opinion indicated instead of lauded. I read LOCs filled with vituperation and passion instead of with reason and enlightenment.

Issue 6

Interstat 6 was published in April 1978 and contains 20 pages.

cover of issue #6, Heather Firth
inside art from issue #6, Beverly Zuk
inside art from issue #6, John Price
  • art by: Heather Firth, Beverly Zuk, John Price, Cathy Strand, Gerry Downes, Wilhelmina
  • Columns: Insight (from Melinda Shreve); Rumors (by Kay Johnson); Book Barn (the premiere) (by Cathy Strand)
  • a fan lays out a case for Vulcans being polygamous
  • "Thanks for Writing" is this letterzine's version of WAHF, and this issue lists five names
  • Chuck R is unhappy about Star Trek fans, and professionals, attacking Space: 1999:
    The whole anti-Space:1999 feeling that per- meates Trekdom is so widespread that it's not difficult to find examples of Trek's snobbish attitude towards the show. More than just a few Trek zines have had anti-1999 articles, editorials, or something else to support this feeling of ill will towards Space:1999.... Space:1999 was the first really serious attempt at good TV SF since Star Trek and as such most newspapers and magazines tended to compare the two and saying things like "Space:1999 is Star Trek's successor" or "It's better than Star Trek". Lines like this seemed to have worried Trek fans. It seems like Trek fandom immediately took the defensive, feeling that Star Trek's popularity would be threatened. Trek fans feared that 1999 might overshadow Trek so they did everything they could to minimize 1999 by cutting it down and being hypercritical of the show. It's a sad situation because 1999 is the best TV SF to come around in a long time. I've enjoyed the series a great deal and it's too bad that so many Trek fans have been blinded by prejudice which has kept them from enjoying the show.
  • Johanna C writes:
    Since you published a comment of mine in [Vicki K's] letter (I#5), I wish you would quote it in context. The paragraph ran: "Exploring the Trek characters' sexual relationships is done on many levels, of course. But the levels differ in degree, not kind. [Mary Louise D] cannot depict her curiously Victorian, "she-for-God-in-him" Uhura without exploring Uhura's sexual relationship to her lord-and-master captain. Dodge's explorations, which are by no means confined to her adult-rated stories, tend to be couched in veiled language. In fact. If there is such a thing as "prissy porn" (Dodge's term), Dodge is certainly its queen. But her stories are, in kind, the same thing she condemns so roundly in others: the presentation of an extrapolated love (sex) relationship between two characters created by others..." I have enjoyed many of [Mary Louise D's] stories, and I hope she does, as [Vicki K] says, keep on writing. Fandom would be poorer for her absence. But I genuinely do not understand where the author of "Uhura's Decision" gets off attacking other fan writers for "taking characters and returning them covered with slime."
  • Susan M S offers up her opinion of explicit fiction, and of K/S:
    I don't object to sex in writing, be it hetero, homo, or whatever. I've seen "dirty" pictures and read so-called porn before they became fashionable In Treklit; I've got the judgement to say "big deal". Sex is one of the oldest facets of life; writing sex for sex' sake has got to be one of the most boring aspects of all writing, not just fanfic. Adding sex to a lousy story may make a few people blush, but it won't improve the technically inadequate story structure one bit. One of the saddest things about the SexTrek writing is the lack of growth by its writers. There is more to the craft of writing than just "in" and "out". Complain as you will about [Mary Lou D]and her "old-fashioned" attitudes towards things sexual, but the woman knows a good deal more about the craft of writing than many of her detractors. When I see a statement like "homosexual stories...are very valuable, because they sympathetically depict a way of life..." it really makes me wonder where [Jenny F]has been. The K/S stories are a put-down of every gay individual I've ever met. Aside from two stories done by Leslie Fish, "Shelter" and "Poses", which showed individuals capable of feelings instead of merely lusts, the K/S stuff is a disaster for the gay community. K/S portrays the characters as love-sick puppy dogs, and all traces of the highly competent officers remember from the series have disappeared. The writers who scorn the picture of our captain pining over Lt. Mary Sue turn right around to do the same thing, using Spock instead. It all gives the impression of a bunch of adolescents (which I know some of these writers are not) who are so busy trying to prove their sexual and sociological sophistication that they had forgotten the well-rounded characters. That's being patronizing, not sympathetic! How can we devote such energy to a debate over the sexual prefer ences of fictional characters, and totally ignore the fellow human beings who created those wonderful characters? Doesn't anyone else care that maybe Bill Shatner and Leonard Nimoy may not like the idea of being depicted in homosexual acts? The printed page is faceless. The illos in Thrust are not. Kirk and Spock are two specific actors and no one else. I've heard K/S proponents say that Nimoy knows about K/S and doesn't mind. Just because he hasn't spoken out against K/S we should not assume approval. Paramount was sued because of their use of his face on that famous London billboard. If it is wrong for Paramount to use these men's faces for monetary gain, what makes it right for us as writers of Treklit to use their faces in any way we choose?
  • Leigh W has a reminder:
    Star Trek is a fantasy (strange that anyone should have to be reminded). It bears very little resemblance to any reality, nor should it. The Star Trek universes (and I stress the plural) are in our minds and ours to do with as we damn well please. The Enterprise crew has been described in a number of very different ways, as Christian, gay, sex-crazed, infantile, macho, etc. Pick and choose what you care to believe. That's what fantasy is all about. But you hardly have reason to feel threatened when someone else chooses another point of view; that is his/her right as well as your own. It simply doesn't matter, since none of it is real in the first place. And if it does indeed matter as much as some of you seem to indicate, then you are taking ST and probably yourselves altogether too seriously. Our ST fantasies do not have to mesh into one beautiful whole (forget the IDIC here); that would be unspeakably boring. The bitter, spiteful letters I've been reading lately serve no purpose and represent a damn silly way of making a point. Bad-mouthing the quality of each other's work solely because of a basic difference of opinion is childish and pointless; putting each other down personally for the same reason is worse. This kind of argument generates nothing but anger, and you cannot possibly expect to make a valid point or change anyone's mind by using it. Talent can be found on all sides, and all sides are equally guilty of putting out abominable work. The latter is by no means confined to the representatives of any one point of view, and none of you has any business criticizing another's opinion on that basis.
  • Crystal Ann T has this to say:
    I am tired of reading complaints of people who claim they've been unwittingly forced to read stories on homosexual topics. Perhaps this might have been true when the subject first hit fandom because no one knew then that it would be met with such a blast of intolerance in the land of supposed IDIC. But now, such complaints fall under the proverbial heading of 'beating a dead horse'. With all the advertisements, letterzines, reviews, and the grapevine, anyone who orders such a fanzine and is then suddenly surprised by its contents is either blind or stupid. I have no trouble knowing what I order. And there is such a thing as: when in doubt, ask. If reading about any topic upsets you that much, inquire before you purchase the zine. If the editor's answer doesn't satisfy you, don't buy the zine. No one can force you.
  • Crystal Ann T also says she had thought fans were different from other people:
    I did believe that we were different. I thought that we believed in a new and bright future—one in which 'the best and truest in any species of beings' would be revealed by us. If we worked toward the creation of that bright universe and if we lived the ideals of Star Trek now, then there was a chance of that future becoming a reality. After all, what attracted you to Star Trek in the first place? It saddens me to realize how far we are from our goals. If we can't accept and tolerate the different lifestyles of the people who are on our earth today without calling them perverted or inferior (be they sexual, political, or social differences), then how are we going to accept truly alien cultures in the future? We are Just kidding ourselves if we think we can accept infinite diversity in infinite combinations when we really mean we can accept it only as long as it doesn't interfere with our own pet beliefs. At least words like 'if you don't like the theme, don't buy the zine' imply tolerance and recognize the rights of differing opinions. That's more than can be said for those who claim that everyone can read what they want as long as 'they don't step on my rights' and then turn around and label differing opinions as perverted, sick, and now juvenile. Do you know what I think is juvenile? I think intolerance is juvenile and regressive. There are only a few innate biological and social imperatives; the rest is all a product of acculturation. Since most of a person's opinions and attitudes are a result of conditioning and learned response to the particular environment he grows up in, such smugness and holier-than-thou attitudes over the superiority of his own beliefs are ludicrous.
  • Karen F disagrees that Star Trek would "be empty without Spock":
    -sigh- Why can't members of Spock's Flock understand that Spock isn't the only character in ST! There also are Kirk, McCoy, Scott... the list could go on and on. For me ST would be empty without Kirk! Of course, there has to be at least one alien on board, but any Vulcan played by a competent actor would suffice—or even an Andorian or Tellarite or...
  • Bev C agrees that we should all strive for doing the best we can with zines, but that in the end, we are all just amateurs:
    [We] should write what his or her heart wants to, and have the right to publish it. Not everything looks like Interphase—not everyone has the talent, the time, or the money to do a major production; and in some ways everything should not look like Interphase. Phase was a beautiful, memorable fanzine, and Connie deserves a great deal of credit for producing those four issues. Phase also was, unfortunately, one of the instigators of the current "polished" look sought after in fanzines—almost pro—and the corresponding rise in prices, and I'm not sure that this is entirely a good thing. For one thing, it doesn't feel fannish, In a way it creates mistaken and somewhat unrealistic ideas in some people's minds—and leads eventually to letters like George's. I think his expectations of near-professional quality are unrealistically high, given that fandom is a hobby and a labor of love. And to imply that editors who do not meet these standards do not take care in their production is unfair.
  • Frances J. R writes of her acceptance, and non-acceptance:
    Kirk and Spock are not gays. Portraying then as such is a direct contradiction of the characters as shown on Star Trek. I have nothing against gays. Gay rights is O.K. by me. However, Kirk as portrayed on the series is totally straight and Spock didn't carry on with anyone, same or opposite sex, unless under the influence of spores or something. I wouldn't bat an eyelash at the existence of gays on the Enterprise. Every generation born contains homosexuals and lesbians. Why should the future be any different?
  • from Meredith M, a bit of "treason":
    Permit me a timid squeak on the subject of "Procrustean Petard." I agree 100% with [Ann P] but there's something I'd like to add. Look, this is an alien planet, right? Now I don't know all that much about genetics, but it seems to me that it's highly improbable the double-helix would be identical with Terran genes, in which case you got a lot of mixed-up Terrans drifting around the galaxy—not to mention Spock! I always thought it a miracle that Amanda didn't die of copper poisoning, but this is ridiculous! Look, assume the inhabitants of this planet are humanoid, Go further, and say that they're genetically identical to Terrans. Carry the whole thing to the point of absurdity, and say Sargon was right and Terrans are descended from these people. OK—WHAT ABOUT SPOCK? He's got copper-based blood and a Vulcan arrangement of organs—if these people are like Terrans—and if they aren't you have a worse problem—the machine would probably reject him. If not, being a computer—and computers I do know something about—it would follow its programming, reassemble Spock (in a Terran pattern, remember) and continue operations. In which case, Marshak and Culbreath, you don't have an XYY male, you have, to put it bluntly, one very dead Terro-Vulcan hybrid and one heck of a mess on the floor. I may be completely wrong, but that's the way it seems to me. If this be treason, make the most of it!
  • Penny Warren explains that if a female character can make some hurdles, she is not a Mary Sue:
    Like the reader, they must learn something, change in some way. Meet those two requirements and your central female character can be as attractive, as successful, as heroic as all hell—and she won't be a [[Mary
Sue]]. She will be someone like Juanita Salicrup's Christine Chapel, or Connie Faddis' Maggie Landis. [1]

Issue 7

Interstat 7 was published in May 1978 and contains 22 pages.

cover of issue #7, M.S. Murdock
art from issue #7, Heather Firth, reprinted from the 1977 Star Trekon program book
art from issue #7, Melinda Shreve

Issue 8

Interstat 8 was published in June 1978 and contains 18 pages.

cover of issue #8, Heather Firth
inside art from issue #8, Ray Lamb
inside art from issue #8, Cathy Strand

Issue 9

Interstat 9 was published in July 1978 and contains 22 pages.

cover of issue #9, Mike Brown
art from issue #9, Cathy Strand
art from issue #9, Wilhelmina
note from the editor regarding which letters get printed in Interstat, click to read

Issue 10

inside art from issue #10, Gerry Downes
inside art from issue #10, Beverly Zuk
cover of issue #10, M.S. Murdock

Interstat 10 was published in August 1978 and contains 21 pages.


  1. Maggie Landis is the OFC in the Starsky and Hutch story, Mojave Crossing.
  2. in R & R
  3. two stories in Delta Triad which required an age statement to purchase
  4. from Interstat #8
  5. from more on this topic, see The SekWester*Con Porn Debate and Open Letter by Mary Lou Regarding Explicit Fanworks
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