Interstat 31 was published in May 1980 and contains 18 pages. The editors write of the previous issue: "Neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night... "inch by inch, by candlelight if necessary" is how INTERSTAT was brought to you last month. We experienced a four hour blackout in our area, and we collated, stapled, labeled and stamped by candlelight issue #30."
- art by: Ann Crouch
- Brian L loves the movie: I've now see it 17 times and would rate it as one of the best movies ever attempted in the SF genre. Certainly the most thoughtful and definitely the most ambitious.
- Rebecca H is skeptical about the Dodge/Fish column from issue #29: I've got to say that I'm not so sure about Leslie's argument. I'm thinking in particular of the source of her remarks? Before I can credit Miss Russ with a valid argument, or statement, I've got to ask, who is she, and what makes her statement valid? So far, I see no reason for even wanting to pass the "Russ test". Secondly, while the point is interesting, that fem inist literature is about women's relationships with other women, it is not at all complete. Nor is it realistic. After all, women are not the only people which women associate with, and in limiting the definition of feminist lit to the above definition is irresponsible. It also seems to be a bit ludicrous. Good literature should encompass the entire spectrum of relationships, not just one part of it, and in this world/ women do have to associate with men.
- Mary A. S also comments on the previous Dodge/Fish column: Forgive me, Mary Lou... You are using the "hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world," argument. But years of living have proven to me that the hand that rocks the cradle, rocks the cradle, and that's all it does. Traditionalists have stated that because human beings have the biological equipment to produce babies, then they have the obligation to produce them. (And that seems to go double for women.) But most human beings also have the biological equipment to become concert pianists: two ears and ten fingers!
- Gloria-Ann R comments on Darlene F's comment about the "obscenity" in the movie: I only saw people's comments on Darlene's letter, so I don't know all she said, but I do say that if you look at some of the odd shapes in V'ger from a Freudian viewpoint... and your premise is we are creating a new life...you notice some unusual forms!! The first view, once inside of the cloud layers, of V'ger from a distance, looked like nothing more than a big cell, ready to divide. And the Enterprise so tiny, flying into it. And at the end they're referring to it as a baby! OK now, let's see if anyone else saw it this way?
- Donna C comments on the movie: I cannot accept V'ger becoming a living thing. I also have trouble with the ending. I couldn't accept the idea that Decker and Ilia were something other than dead until I read the novel, which describes an actual transformation that was not achieved on film. A second viewing did not change my inability to see what happens as a good thing, however. My reaction is still a mixture of horror and sadness, the second because I liked Decker very much, and feel a sense of loss at his leaving us. I consider "creation of a new life form" and "perhaps the next step in man's evolution" annoying nonsense. I am distressed at my strongly negative reaction to what is, in many other ways, quite good Star Trek.
- Virginia E. B feels that, in the movie, the actor and the character of Kirk are both too distinct, and not distinct enough: The bravado and forcefulness o f the "old Star Trek" Kirk's personality was not there, and I feel that it should have been. Some might say that this was good, that it represented that Kirk has matured since the series, but after straining to find the "old" Kirk's dy- namic intensity in Shatner's portrayal, I came to the con- elusion that, while attempting to reveal Kirk's inner self, Shatner overacted, e.g. "I NEED you!", "Spock! Transmit now!", and thus undermined the basic foundation of Kirk's personality as Captain of the Enterprise . Also, I found that the "command voice" of the old Captain Kirk had been replaced by semi-falsetto voice; in fact, it reminded me of the voice of the "good" Kirk on the episode, "The Enemy Within". Yet, I do agree that no one else but Shatner can ever portray Kirk. I think that if Shatner had relaxed a bit and had attempted to portray Kirk's reactions and not his own, Kirk would have been more believable. After seeing Shatner in other theater and television performances, I have come to the conclusion that I do not feel comfortable watching Shatner, but that I do feel comfortable watching Kirk. Of course, then one has to take into consideration the actor/character identity problem. Who is to say which is the more relevant reality?
- Sandra N elaborates on some earlier movie thoughts: Remember that glowing letter I wrote two issues ago, how absolutely wonderful I thought the film was despite all its flaws (which I discussed in detail)? Well, no, I'm not reneging on it but my general attitude has changed somewhat. Firstly, I do think the film was very enjoyable and simply breathtaking. However, I also feel we fans were cheated. [Bev C] was correct in saying that there is a general lack of critical judgement among us fans about the film. Sure, there are some truly wonderful moments in the film. But there is good reason to be disappointed. Because we've waited so long and workedso hard for a TREK revival, we were pretty psyched up to accept almost anything... Even so, I also think we were lucky. It could've been so much worse. And it was surprisingly successful in re apturing many of the old elements which made TREK worth while. I think ST:TMP is an interesting film, a fun film, and an exciting and visually stunning film. But it is also deeply flawed and dissatisfying. One is left with a feeling that something was missing or, if not that, distorted.
- Barbara L. S comments on The Footnote: ...to those people in fandom who say that GR has given a definite "No" to K/S in the novel, I don't understand how you've reached that conclusion. When I read the novel (pg. 22 in particular), what I see is that GR has again woven a wonderful "open texture", laying groundwork, not giving definitive answers or making judgments. If he had wanted to squash the idea of K/S, why would he have devoted two-thirds of a page to a foot note concerning it, and given it a special (and lyrically beautiful) name? What I feel he meant by that footnote is, "I don't think so, but..." GR is very aware of what has been done in fan fiction, and I think he understands, or acknowledges the possibility of K/S, though it was never suggested in the series (see pg. 148 of William Shatner's biography, "Shatner: Where no man..."). Also, if you look at the novel and the movie closely, you can see that he has agreed with fan fiction in many areas, not just concerning the relationship between Kirk and Spock. Anyway, regardless of my opinion, I knew there would be lots of debate over the K/S question as soon as I saw the book - which is great, I always look forward to intelligent debate. I look at the movie, and see certain things, which are related to who I am as a person. Someone else can see something totally different. That's what fandom is - different people, with different backgrounds, different ideas, unique unto themselves, coming together because of one common love. I'm not saying that my opinions, expressed above, are right, and should be accepted or recognized as such by everyone; I'm only saying that they are mine, and are right for me. Therefore, I resent it when those who do not agree with K/S charge that I am wrong, that I am distorting the characters, or reading something into it that isn't there; why do you find it so hard to allow me the freedom of thought that I would gladly give you? Tolerance of others' philosophies and differences was one of the most beautiful ideas expressed in Star Trek - I would like to see it adopted a little more widely in the fandom that has grown up around it.
- Jean Lorrah writes about women in fanfiction: I have a batch of things to comment on from I#30, all having to do with the question of portrayal of women in Treklit. First, in principle I am all with [Roberta R's] comment that we are under no obligation to support any particular philosophy in our Treklit. Nonetheless, I find it grating on my sensibilities like nails on a blackboard when some whose work otherwise corresponds to my own fantasy, as Roberta so rightly puts it, breaks not into male chauvinism, but into anti-feminism. We can all tolerate idiosyncrasies in people whom we respect--but am I the only person who found it incredible that an intelligent woman like [Mary Lou D] could seriously propose in I#29 "bringing about the world of Star Trek by having today's women retreat from the status they have so painfully won into the old domain of kinder, kuche, kirche? In the world of Star Trek that I saw on both the large and small screen, women were Star Fleet officers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, explorers, soldiers, etc. Where did those women get their role models if their mothers and grandmothers were all housewives?... That brings me to the development of women in my own Treklit, and [Cheryl R's] comment, "Trek-lit seemingly always uses at least one of the three main characters." Ahem. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy play very minor roles in the NTM universe. However, I developed that universe after many years of writing other kinds of stories. "Visit," "Parted From Me," and other of my early stories always concerned the Big-Three—and never had Joanna Russ's requirement of female friendship. The reason the Russ criterion that Leslie Fish quoted seems so right to me is that I can see the development in my own work from conscious attempts at feminism to the uncon scious genuine feminist attitude as I slowly came to trust women as much as I did men as partners in writing and business. At first I tried to write strong women, and to play up some of the anti-feminist problems I had run into in my own career. For example, I have been "Jean," never "Jeannie," since I entered high school. When one of my male colleagues attempts to denigrate me by calling me "Jeannie," (and, believe it or not, this happens!), I respond by calling him "Billy," "Johnny," "Davy," or whatever. But, if Jimmy Carter can be President, why can't Mary Louise Webster captain a starship (EPILOGUE)? Sorry, Mary Lou, I invented Molly Webster several years before I heard of you; it is neither tribute nor parody. In another story I had a captain named Mary Jane. These names, and the roles, were quite deliberate. As to the Russ criterion, my early stories simply never had friendships between women. By the time I wrote EPILOGUE, I gave Molly a best friend, Margie Jones, but I neglected to give Margie a role to play! I just said she was Molly's best friend; I didn't show it. By the time I wrote THE NIGHT OF THE TWIN MOONS, however, something had happened to my subconscious. The female-dominant Penthesilean society, Amanda's role as Ambassador-- those things are the conscious feminist aspects of the novel. But how about Rille, Velinde, and Shira? I had never heard of Russ's criterion (how could I, if she didn't formulate it until last year?), but like all the best criticism, her comment makes me say, "Of course! Why didn't I see that for myself?" Ever since NTM, all my heroines have had female friends. In FIRST CHANNEL, Kadi's best friend is Carlana. In SAVAGE EMPIRE, Aradia's best friend is Lilith. My point is not to brag about what a great feminist I am (I'm not a feminist at all to the most radical feminists), but to point out that I began writing female friendships into my books unconsciously. Damnitall, I'll be doing it consciously from now on, but the original natural outgrowth of my relationships in fandom was the quite unconscious development of female friends in my writing. I'm sure I'm not alone, this kind of development is most certainly taking place among other women in fandom. Why doesn't it show in their writings? How many other women writing Treklit today published their first stories in 1968. As I said, it's not an instantaneous change. Furthermore, back in the dark ages there were stories about female friends in Treklit. The two-girls-aboard-the- Enterprise stories were a staple in the early days of fanzines.  Usually, though, one got either Spock or McCoy, and someone came along and labeled them "Mary Sue stories" and scared them out of the fanzines. Too bad. Had they had a normal development, we might be seeing two-women-aboard- the-Enterprise-who-remain-friends-and-find-fulfillment- in-some-way-other-than-marrying-one-of-the-Big-Three stories. And I don't mean lesbian stories. 
- Darlene F elaborates on her "obscenity" comment: I don't have to reach far at all for the significance of a ship design that had the walls stretching upward and outward, and enclosing a pulsating central orifice that had to be penetrated.... It hit me smack between the eyes, once I convinced myself that I was actually seeing what I thought I was seeing. Was I really the only person in ST:TMP's audience who reacted so strongly to that design?... Now that's fascinating. The joke worked. Who would have thought it? That must be why I watch movies instead of produce them; I obviously can't tell what will sell and what won't. And if my mind were truly in the gutter, as you suggest, Jimmye, then I probably would have sat back and enjoyed, instead of becoming so upset, don't you think? I will admit that my feelings about the ship were fueled by the bitter disappointment I felt over the rest of the movie. If everything else I saw had at least held my interest, I suspect I would have hurried over my reaction to this par ticular item in my eagerness to find out what was going to happen next, which is apparently what at least some members of the audience did. Unfortunately, this was simply the final straw for me. Maybe I could have taken being either embarrassed or bored, but not both.
Interstat 32 was published in June 1980 and contains 18 pages.
- art by: Sat Nam Kaur Keahey, Melinda Shreve-Reynolds, Ken Gooch and Vel Jaeger
- the Dodge/Fish column's subject is "History and the Twenty-Third Century" (Dodge)/"Women, The Future, and the History-Book Shell-Game" (Fish)
- a fan writes that the movie has been nominated for a Hugo Award and that its competition is "very keen" -- the other movies are "Alien," "The Black Hole," "Time After Time," and "The Muppet Movie"
- Joan V writes of the movie: Putting aside the question, for the moment, of whether or not the plot, characterization, or artistic quality of ST:TMP was flawed, I want to bring out this point: could it be that the enjoyment (or lack of it) that each of us found in the movie is directly related to the degree that the movie stimulated our imaginations? For me, a large part of the fun, while watching the movie as well as after the movie, was finding things in it that provided material and inspiration for future Star Trek stories.
- Carmen D writes of the movie: Personally, I found no obscenity in the graphic representation of the alien ship as a gigantic womb. I find nothing filthy about the symbolism - the ship penetrating the alien vessel obviously represented a union, but I viewed it as a well done cue to let the movie goer be aware that something awesome was about to happen. If a point for obscenity is to be made, then I question how many people objected to a man mating with a machine. Along this line I am curious if anyone experienced what I did when Decker made up his mind about merging with Ilia. There were snickers and "oh ohs" and similar reactions from the audience, giving it a naughty connotation rather than the gravity it deserved.
- Susan S writes: I wanted to thank INTERSTAT for helping Sonni Cooper and I spread the word about the WILLIAM SHATNER FAN FELLOWSHIP. A number of fans joined mentioning they learned of WISH in your pages. We've been doing everything we can think of to let Bill's many fans all over the world know an Official fan club exists. The job isn't made any easier by the problems created with the previous club. Bill is very aware of that situation and wants his fans to know he has taken steps to prevent such a disaster from recurring. With no humility whatsoever I can report we've had no complaints from any of the fans who've taken a chance on joining WISH....Bill is so pleased with the job we're doing for him with WISH that his 'support' has become 'enthusiastic cooperation.' At long last he's getting feedback from his fans, and he loves it. Bill personally selects merchandise offered for sale and I assure you it is not a yes/no proposition. Bill has a say in everything the club puts out. He is very definite about his likes and dislikes.... It's very exciting to pick up a phone at the WISH office to find Bill on the other end, calling to set up his next meeting. Bill is spending hours each month with Sonni answering fans' questions, going over club business, and chatting about personal tid-bits fans never heard before. It's just plain astonishing when a writer calls from England to ask the color of Bill's eyes...It's thrilling when Bill responds in his own special way to let us know he appreciates what we are doing and saying. Most of all it's gratifying to be able to be the buffer that allows Bill to communicate with his fans while not being overwhelmed by them. Bill and Marcy are both eagerly participating in WISH, and I hope all their fans will join the fun. This club is a whole new experience.
- Jelica R is feeling disillusioned: I've had some funny feelings about Star Trek lately. I came to Trek late, having seen my first episode in the fall of 1976. I came to fandom even later, discovering zines in 1978 and attending my first con in 1979. Like so many of us, I found Star Trek at a time when there was a large hole in me—an emptiness big enough to fly a shuttlecraft through. Suddenly there was this family—Kirk, Spock, McCoy and all the rest—and they cared about each other. Somehow, I knew (come on, we all know it), that that ship was real, and that, if I could only get there, I'd be part of that family, too. I went to cons and found, there, the family that I'd hoped was aboard the ship. I was home. I met the cast and visited the set, and saw the movie at least two dozen times. Then...something happened. Perhaps it was the discovery that, as in any family, there is infighting, both in fandom and among the cast members. Perhaps it was the movie-while the actors all went through the motions, somehow I felt that the only real evidence of the old caring was Kirk's face when he first saw his ship. I really love Trek, and I am grateful—more than grateful—that it was there when I needed it. But it has somehow got entangled with my real life, and when fantasies become too real, they become a little bit tarnished. The movie didn't reaffirm the caring that was in the series. I feel a little— disillusioned. Anyone else ever get these vibes?
- Pat M-S writes of her tolerance regarding K/S: I myself do not care for the subject, but I certainly have no objection to other people writing, reading, etc., if that is their area of interest. It certainly seems to me that it is a valid secondary universe. All I ask is that editors specify in their ads what the content is, so I have something other than the title from which to decide if I want to buy the 'zine or not.
- Damon H writes of his involvement in Trek fandom as a passive fan and what changed: What finally tipped the scales in favor of active involvement was the discovery of FUTURE WINGS and finding out who 'Hans Dietrich' really is... I also began to become increasingly impatient. It's not easy to explain, possibly because I'm the male of the species. I think it may have to do with the fact that Kirk, Spock and McCoy don't have much sex appeal to me. Pon Farr stories were wearing thin on me, bad science irked me, the K/S homosexual relationship suggested exploitation and not literature and not friendship, and besides...I thought Star Trek was science fiction. Wasn't it? It seemed that if I wanted to see the stories I wanted to read, I might have to start writing them myself. Judging from a few comments in INTERSTAT and from conversations and correspondence it seems that I'm not the only one who would like to see new viewpoints and opinions... Now here's my point: fandom is in a rut, has been in there for a long time, and seems to be happy with it. There is a long-established trend in fandom that seems to suggest that Star Trek's success, that its' strength in a set of strong characteriza tions, has become its greatest weakness. But Star Trek is not Kirk, Spock, and McCoy on the Enterprise. Star Trek is science fiction, not interstellar soap opera, and the Big Three are merely characters in a far larger setting of time and space...There's a whole Galaxy out there with its million worlds and peoples and possibilities to be explored and Our Heroes in their moment of time and space and setting are fortunately still very humanly full of a sense of adventure and wonder. It is the proper stuff of science fiction and deserves to be treated as such. Fandom's failure to go beyond the premise of fixed characterizations and circumstances is significantly a sign of fandom's failure to mature and to permit the characters to mature, and to act according to their own true nature. It is a lack of imagination and vision, and it suggests ominously that fandom is beginning to wither, that no new fruit is forth coming. And it's too bad that the Movie seemed determined to maintain this status quo. Am I being too hard on fandom by expecting professional results from a group of enthusiastic and surprisingly talented amateurs?... Finally (!), I'm attempting to explore my own interests in science fiction and Star Trek by exploring the character of M'ress, the Caitan 'representative' on the Enterprise, who is significantly stationed on the Bridge along with the Edoan, Arex. She seems to suggest some interesting implications and possibilities and I'm disappointed that apparently no one has attempted to write about the character except very briefly to open hailing frequencies, just like poor Uhura. I feel like I'm working in a near vacuum, it's lonely work. Am I it? Hasn't anyone even wanted to write about her?... So far I've had an interesting, frustrating, challenging and fun time of it and have every reason to expect that it will continue that way. It means for me a great deal of research, thinking, developing writing skills and even employs my electronic hobbies. I suspect I could spend the rest of the decade working just within this seemingly narrow subject. If the rest of you want to remain dead-ended with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, so be it, but it does seem rather a misfortune to do so. I think fandom is way overdue for a general house-cleaning, self-appraisal, and consideration of where we go from here and I even say that Roddenberry himself could stand to be a little more daring and innovative. But I wonder if his problem might not be due to a relatively low-quality audience.
- Johanna C discusses [[|Big Name Fan|BNFs]]: I don't know what a BNF is exactly either, but I do know that in roughly 5 years in fandom, I've been lucky enough to meet and/or correspond with most of the people who might have a claim to the dubious title, at one time or another. There are stupid ranking games in fandom—a pecking order that makes 6 years in fandom more important than 5, and 3 drinks with Jimmy Doohan more important than 2. But what's really important is, very few fans, big name or otherwise, play those games. Those that do are so few that they can be dismissed. The fact that they rank other fans, in their own estimation, is insignificant. I'm afraid that these ranking games do do some harm if neos run up against them. I had that experience at my first con, and I remember my dismay and disillusionment. But I was luckier than some maybe; I already knew, through zine reading and my first "hello out there" letters to zine authors and editors, that fandom had a scope and variety and, in general, a "the more the merrier" spirit that made that BNF and her little kingdom only one small piece of a very large mosaic. I also found out that most BNFs spend an incredible amount of their time, energy and money welcoming people to fandom. Occasionally those resources, particularly energy, may run thin. But the BNFs didn't develop the visibility that makes them BNFs without working their tails off in some aspect of fan activity. If a few of them want to play "big frog in a small pond," they've earned it. It needn't stop the rest of us from enjoying the pond.
- Judith G writes about the false assumption that all fanwriters create fiction for the same reason: There seem to be two very different impulses for writing fan fiction: one, the aspiring professional author's urge to practice her skills; and the other, the fan's urge to express her fantasies. Of course, the two motives are often combined in practice. But I have the impression that much of the criticism that fan fiction is too limited to the Big Three comes from authors whom I'd place in the category of "professionals," or writers-in-training, rather than from fan writers whose interest in writing fan fiction is more narrowly derivative from their interest in STAR TREK. The writer-in-training is already looking beyond STAR TREK towards the non-Trek fiction she'll write later on. And there is usually a lot of non-Trek material in her stories already: new charac ters, cultures, and societies because that's how she develops her skills. Because writing is a major focus of her career energies, she's likely to use her fiction to express her views and develop her favorite themes. But there are other fan writers who never would have dreamed of writing fiction if it hadn't been for STAR TREK. Many fans write simply because the ST characters have seized their imaginations, their fantasies. It's not that their views won't influence what they write. It's just that... the fan writer doesn't neces sarily use her fan fiction as a major vehicle for expressing her attitudes and ideas... The writer-in-training often welcomes the opportunity to develop one of the alien cultures only hinted at in aired STAR TREK (Klingons, Andorians, etc.) because this allows her essentially to develop her own SF universe while still maintaining a link to STAR TREK. Other writers will feel little motivation to write about Klingons and Andorians unless Klingons and Andorians happen to spark their fantasies... Surely it's the same with female characters. Even the most ardent feminist may have little interest in writing about female relationships in fan fiction unless that theme happens to engage her fantasies. And [Johanna C] pointed out months ago in these pages that opposite-sex fantasies seem to be a common denominator for both male and female fan writers. So perhaps for some fans, the choice is not between writing about Kirk and Spock or writing about strong women; the choice is between writing about Kirk and Spock or not writing fan fiction at all. All fans certainly have the opportunity to create strong female characters; to write about Andorian and Tellarite society; and indeed, to explore every single facet of the entire STAR TREK universe. But for many fans, to convert this opportunity into an obligation would make writing fan fiction as cumbersome as administering an affirmative-action program.
Interstat 33 was published in July 1980 and contains 18 pages.
- art by: Mike Brown and Carol Waterman
- Mindy G addresses the Dodge/Fish column from a few issues back, the one on feminism in Trek-lit; she points out that neither of them actually addressed the question: Feminism happens to be the belief that women should be granted social and political rights equal to men. While Joanna Russ is a fine writer, her definition of feminism is not the definition of feminism, so we can scrap Leslie's piece right there.... Mary Lou did a hair-shade better...but only that much. She seemed to work from her own definition of feminism, twisted though it may be. To Mary Lou it seems that someone who holds the rather innocuous belief that people should not be discriminated against because of sex, should be classed as some sort of modern-day-Medea. I get the feeling that said individuals should subsist on nothing but their children so that they can pay their cleaning women a decent wage (a wage they themselves don't earn... Is there then anti-feminism in Trek-lit? There was anti-feminism in aired Trek...male animals were more equal than others. This was not so much intentional as that it was the way it was in 1966. It also just so happens to be the way it is in 1980. I don't think that Treklit is full of anti-feminism so much as it is full of indifference to feminism. We are all creatures of 20th century Terra. Those of us who consider woman's place in 20th century Terra important will write whatever woman's place we damn well please in 23rd century Milky Way. And those of us who don't, well, they'll write woman's place in 20th century Terra into 23rd century Milky Way. As a human I know that if someone were to give me three wishes, there are plenty of things I would change. As a writer I know that each time I sit down to the typewriter I can play God. I can create anything I want, make it the same or different. The key word here is 'want'. And I think that a lot of Trek writers don't want a change in women's status very badly, or they would change it themselves.... At Mos'Eastly there was a panel dealing with anti-feminism in Trek lit, and among the things covered, two points stand out. The first was the quest for role models. The group seemed to want more women, but were unsure about writing them. It was suggested that alien women often fare better than human women, and that there seem to be few human female role models to work from. This is a fact of our history: not that women didn't participate in heroic events, but that their parts were all too often excluded in the retelling of them. If we wish to seek for sources, more and more are becoming available.... The second point that stands out is a question: How can we write good women when we, as women, don't have a very good self-image? I like to think I can answer this one, because I like to think that I created a good woman. The prospect initially terrified me: this woman was nothing like me, how could I possibly write her? By combining two real women and one fictional one, and firmly telling myself over and over that I was not writing me, I managed to write. Soon she started to write herself. Some time later I had a completely bizarre realization: damned if that woman didn't start to sound more and more like me. But how could she? She was heroic. She was admirable. She was one tough babe. And then I looked in the mirror, and I heard myself say, "That's right, toots, and don't you ever forget it."
- Vel Jaeger writes of [[|Big Name Fan|BNFs]]: My experience with BNFs has been similar to yours - the Bigger the NF, the nicer, it would seem. When I first began to submit illustrations to editors, I was touched at the amount of time these incredibly busy people took to give advice to a fledgling. And I am amazed at the number of people who never bothered to return a SASE with even a minimum of a "thanks, but no thanks." But that faction is a very small percentage, and the majority have been super. In fact, if ever there's an election for Nice Person of the Year, I'd like to cast my vote for Dr. Jean Lorrah. She's been in Trek fandom since the very beginning, and is an inspiration to us all. And she was one of the first people to print one of my illos, bringing my discouragement to an end.
- D. Booker comments on women's friendships and roles in Treklit: I have a theory (not original, I'm sure) that the controversies of fandom and the plot conflicts in fan fiction reflect each other and the latest "in" topics of American society at large. Thus the proliferation of interest in the rela tionships between women. Eileen Roy's excellent story "The Explorer" in Menagerie 16 is a case in point. And this brings me to a second and, in my opinion, very curious point. Both [Lisa W] (#30) and Jean Lorrah (#31) make the statement that friendships between women are suspect in some way in American society. One of the characters in Roy's story makes a similar comment in quite bitter terms. The TV series itself certainly never portrayed female friendship in anything approaching even a fraction of the intensity that characterized male friendships. The same seems to be true of much fan fiction. The only exception I can think of immediately is the Orloff-and-Conway series that ran in early issues of "T-Negative". Most fan stories never get farther than sending Chapel and Uhura off together on a shore-leave shopping binge to buy outfits with which to devastate their (male) companions of the evening. And had anyone noticed that almost invariably female characters are described in terms of their appearance, males in terms of their occupations and skills?
- Sonni Cooper writes of the Shatner fan club: HELLO FROM THE WISH OFFICES: The William Shatner Fan Fellowship is now beginning its third full month and is coming along swimmingly. We now have over 700 members and are growing. I want to thank all of you out there for your help and sup port. It's been grand. Bill is the kind of person who attracts special people, and I have the pleasure of writing to, and meeting the very best, most of the time. There have been a couple of incidents which have hardened me some and it's getting easier to understand why Bill has been so fan-shy. I'm beginning to retreat some myself from sheer overwhelming numbers of people who want immediate responses. One case in point was a fan (and from her example we know why fanatic applies) who lied her way into Bill's home intruding upon his costly privacy. It's not fun to drum a fan out of a club, but in this case it was done hurriedly and not too politely... For all of you who have held back because of sad experiences with Bill's last club, reassurance that we are running smoothly, get things out in reasonable, if not excellent time, and do care about Bill's fans. He's behind us 100% and actively participates. So join us now in showing Bill how much support he really does have: And have fun with us as we plan more treats for the coming year.
- Carol W, who had never heard of zines and asked for more information about them in the last issue writes: Thank you seems such an inadequate term to express my appreciation to the many fen who responded to my plea for info regarding zines! But it will have to do until I'm able to think of a better way to express that gratitude. THANK YOU! I'm going under in a sea of flyers (and loving it!) and so far have only received one duplicate! And hearing from Trek folks from one end of the country to the other too good to be true!
- Michele A responds to a letter: [Damon H'] letter was so eloquently written and sincere that I was almost convinced. Almost. His theory is a very interesting one: that the true theme of the science fiction (his emphasis) series called Star Trek is not the Kirk, Spock, McCoy relationship, but a much larger issue, namely Mankind's spiritual and physical journey out ward. I can only speak personally; and personally, half of me wants to agree with Damon, but somehow the other half just can't. To me. Star Trek has been and will always be the story of Kirk, Spock and McCoy. It is through their eyes specifically that we meet the galaxy (Life) and interpret it. Certainly, they are we, with our failings and virtues (symbolically representing Humankind), yet more precisely, they were themselves and it is through their lives that Star Trek will keep its universal appeal. If anyone in fandom is tired of the Big 3 and wishes to explore the other characters (Uhura is a good example), that is fine and I encourage it. I only claim that Kirk, Spock and McCoy can still func tion and grow on any level of human experience if only writers and readers demand that goal of them selves. These men are fast friends, they maintain a rela tionship with each other that is viable, and the ethical and moral decisions they make on their trip through space are fascinating and often quite emulative. Our stories should reflect this aspect of their characters.... I agree with Damon that Star Trek fandom is in a rut, but it's not Kirk, Spock and McCoy's fault. They are the innocent victims of writers who find it easier to be myopic, unimaginative and repetitive than to buckle down and do some creative research and analysis into the human condition Kirk, Spock and McCoy exemplify. Yes, K/S is often exploitative (would any of us expose our "real" friends' sexual relationship in the self-gratifying manner we have exposed Kirk and Spock?—I doubt it). And yes, pon farr stories are wearing thin because the drama often comes from an artificially set up exterior situation and not from the characters themselves (just how many times can Spock be in pon farr at the bottom of some pit with only Kirk around?). What fandom needs is more writers of the calibre of Leslie Fish (among others), who always looks at Kirk, Spock and McCoy with a fresh eye, who writes on all types of themes and is never afraid to place the characters in new situations and allow them to react naturally and in character; in short—a writer who respects the integrity of the characters.
- Mindy G comments about Mary Sue: Jean Lorrah's point about the term MarySue becoming the kiss of death is probably a valid one. Writing women is not easy, and taking shelter in characters that will not get your psyche kicked in the teeth is one escape from the insult. Yet I seem to be seeing another genre taking its place: the Spocky-Ann. These stories are every bit as sappy as MarySues, and, to my mind, show no great love for the character who is metamorphosed into saying in the male voice what to me sounds more real in the female. Well, there is shelter in dealing only with men—until people start to catch on—but there is also a price.
- Vel Jaeger writes of how Star Trek fandom makes anywhere home: I have observed an interesting paradox develop in the past few years because of my involvement with the world of Trek. Having moved about the country five times in the past eight years, I have become accustomed to losing a lot of casual friends. But I am now aware that this has not held true with the people I have come to know through ST - indeed, the inverse seems to be the rule. People I have corresponded with are as old friends when we finally meet in person, and there isn't the usual drifting apart that occurs when we are separated by distance. We have been in our new house barely a month now, but I feel I have brought along a legion of friends: the mail hasn't slackened. it's increased, actually, and more often than not the few times the phone rings it's someone calling me long distance. The message seems to be that there is some stronger, deeper tie that binds a friendship begun with ST as a basis. Perhaps IDIC has been firmly inplanted in some segment of humanity. I don't know what deep psychological reasons may lie behind this phenomena of "illogical friendship". I only know that since I've been involved in writing and editing for fanzines the large, painful gap that existed when everything and every one in a new town is strange and intimidating no longer exists. I have found my home and it doesn't really matter where my house is located.
- Deborah B addresses Jelica R's letter in a previous issue, one which comments on fandom letting her down: I don't think that the trouble is with ST. I think the trouble is with you. If you don't mind my saying so I'm very sure that you let ST take over your life more than you should have and depended on it in the wrong way. By that I mean you counted on ST and fandomtodotoomuchforyou. Yousimplyexpectedtoomuchofanyone person or group. I think you ought to realize by now that you have to actually start doing things and living your own life and not stay on the sidelines.
- G.M. C also comments on Jelica R's letter: [Jelica R's] letter really struck an answering chord in me. I suspect it found a lot of others, too. She probably reached to the core of that attraction ST has had for such a large and loyal fandom; namely that it gives a sense of belonging. "— that the ship was real, and that, if I could only get there, I'd be a part of that family, too." Why else so many Lt. Mary Sue stories? I have not run across any other fandom which gives so strong an illusion of reality; so strong a sense of identification. And I suspect that is one reason for the disappointment so many fans felt in ST:TMP, the sense of identity with the 'family' of the Enterprise was lessened — like coming home to Thanksgiving Dinner after many years and finding no one there but 'in-laws' one had never met before...
- Bonnie Y wants to clear something up: I'm writing for a couple of reasons: The first is to clear up a situation that has been driving me crazy for 6 months now, A number of people probably read, heard, or saw that a woman went to ST:TMP with labor pains 2 minutes apart, and that she had to be taken by force from the theatre and rushed to the hospital. She reportedly had planned to have the baby in the theatre, and her friends had come with rubber gloves and sterile sheets. Well, I am that woman, and for weeks after the birth of my son, I received phone calls from reporters and interviewers all over the country. At first, I found it amusing, but when I was watching the Today Show in the hospital and heard my name in the story, I was shocked. None of it was true! That same story appeared in newspapers and on radio shows, and I got calls and letters from friends everywhere wanting to know why a relatively sane person such as myself would do such a stupid (not to mention dangerous) thing. Well, I didn't, and I want to set the record straight.... As the day went by, my contractions never got any closer than 10 minutes apart, so by the time evening came, we decided to go ahead to the show. When we got there, the contractions started coming 9...8...7. . .6 minutes apart, and they were getting much stronger. I was doing LaMaze breathing techniques and trying to concentrate on the movie. When I say the special effects were breathtaking, I mean that literally! We decided we'd better leave for the hospital and we left very calmly. Luckily, I had put my bag in the car, just in case. Our beautiful second son was born at 4:02 AM on December 8th with a completely natural delivery. (As it turned out, we could have seen the end of the movie after all. We still haven't had a chance.)
- Karen B is angry about a zine review in a recent adzine: I would like to make a few comments concerning the "review" of Dilithium Crystals by Tigriffin in Forum #4. To Tigriffin: What gives you the privilege of playing God that you can perform merciless butchery on this or any other zine? Your initial paragraph, meant to be humorous I suspect, is a masterful example of hypocrisy. The actual "review" is disgusting in its inane attempt to make "good and bad" comments with which to salve your inflated and egotistic conscience. No zine or person(s) deserves to be treated in the manner in which you did Dilithium Crystals. A great deal of time, energy, money and especially a large piece of one's self goes into putting out a zine. When this kind of ambition is made into reality, who are you to cry shame?—especially when it is a first zine. What I do see is someone hiding—yes, hiding—behind a pseudonym pointing fingers and being childishly and viciously nasty. Such remarks as "good—nobody dies" or "good—it was only two pages long, bad—this story is trite, heavy-handed, malicious and character defaming." have no place in an impartial review. The last paragraph "overall contents" was unintelligible and implied the proofreader was the only person making a "laudable effort". Oh, yes, the printing shop seems to have passed your inspection also; how nice of you to actually make a kind judgment on something. Since you feel it's such a good approach, I believe I shall utilize your good/bad idea. Tigriffin's review: Good—I now have an extra sheet of paper to paper-train my new pet goldfish. Bad—the entire review.
Interstat 34 was published in August 1980 and contains 14 pages.
- art by: Ann Crouch, Melinda Shreve and Carol Waterman
- there is a long update on the progress of the space shuttle
- a fan is uncomfortable with a line from a pro book: Was anyone besides me bothered by Gene Roddenberry's notes on McCoy that were published in THE MAKING OF STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE? On pg. 102, it says, "He did not want to come on this mission—but he recognized its importance and the fact that there is no one close enough to Kirk and Spock to help them. The pressure on McCoy is tremendous and raises the question of whether or not he can handle it without cracking. He leans on CHAPEL who must take on an overly large portion of treating the sick " On pg. 119, it says, "...McCoy seems to enjoy passing on to (Chapel) every duty he finds too boring, irritating, or annoying to himself." This made me stop and think. Leonard McCoy, our Leonard McCoy, the one who's the doctor to the exclusion of anything else, the one who identifies himself with his profession so closely that being a physician is his personality, handing over patients to another doctor? This does not sit right with me. Anyone who enjoys his or her profession as much as McCoy does would seize with delight any opportunity to practice it; therefore, I think McCoy would want to see every patient that came in. Further, I do not think he'd "enjoy" passing off patients to Chapel; rather, I think that if he had to turn a case over to Chapel because he had to help Kirk and Spock overcome a crisis, he'd feel very badly about it. In fact, I think that being torn between attending to medical duties and helping Kirk and Spock would result in the kind of "pressure" mentioned on pg. 109. Certainly he would want to practice medicine and help Kirk and Spock too, but under crisis conditions he may not be able to do both, and this would create "tremendous" strain on him. Can anyone help me resolve this? As far as I'm concerned, Roddenberry has the final word on "official" characterization, so naturally I want to follow his idea of the characters in writing stories. However, this particular point strikes me as a contradiction, and I've had a hard time working it over in my mind. Any ideas?
- don't worry about the fighting: Don't be concerned with the "in-house" fighting that takes place between the Daly City, CA fen. We are, after all, fallible humans with all that that denotes and as such, despite our common interest (love? mania?) are subject to disagreements. How dull it would be if we all agreed on everything.
- more on the fighting in this letterzine: I am upset by the petty judgmental exercises of diatribe that I find in INTERSTAT at times! I also wonder what gives other people the right to analze your personality from a short letter. I am commenting in particular about the letter from Deborah Bruno, who assumes that I am "staying on the sidelines". Those who know me know that I do anything but stay on the sidelines. Unfortunately, responses like Deborah's are the kind that make me wonder why I'm involved in fandom at all.
- "show me the waterworks fic": A few issues ago you made a definite statement concerning fan fiction. You scathingly referred to "those stories in which Spock or Kirk turn on the waterworks and weep incessantly thereafter", their "weeping on a busy bridge" and "Have I really read that story? Ah, yes, a dozen times over," In issue I30, in an answer directed to Jean Lorrah, I asked if anyone had read these stories, and if so, would they please let me know of them. It has been several months now, a reasonable time, I believe, for anyone to affirm or refute either of our statements. (Jean's reference to "Poses", as I stated, is not to what you are referring. Spock and Kirk could in no way be described as "weeping on a busy bridge" in that story!) I presume your words were not written under oath, but I believe your credibility might be at stake if you cannot prove your words. You did, after all, use the words "a dozen times over". That implies more than just a few. To many, I'm sure, this is of little importance but I am so tired of broad indictments of fan fic that do not specify as to story and zine so that we readers may judge for ourselves. Too many get away with it too often. So, [Ms. K], the gauntlet has been flung.
- about K/S: I was also terribly surprised to see the number of people who totally disagree with the K/S as lovers premise. It's as if the subject was a dirty word in Trek. I was waiting for it to go in that direction, and I'm glad Roddenberry finally brought it out into the open. I have to agree with [Barbara S]y (I#31) : Now why would Roddenberry even have bothered mentioning it? if he didn't want to make it open for debate, and let the fans know what was going on in fan fiction—and boy, has it been open for discussion and will be for quite a while. That's one of the main reasons Spock left for Vulcan. He realized that the relationship between him and Jim was getting too close and that his next pon farr could possibly be directed towards Jim because of the partial bonding they were sharing unconsciously, i.e. the scene where Spock is on Vulcan and senses that Kirk needs him, there's trouble. Now there must be something going on to reach all the way to Vulcan, hey? Well, at least thanks to the movie, Spock has finally come to grips with both his heritages — and the relationship can go from there—if it hadn't already.
- "It wasn't me who sent that K/S fan to Paramount!": I am going to use INTERSTAT as the most effective way of squelching a rumor that came to my ears at third or fourth hand. I only hope what I heard was distorted, because I'd hate to think that anyone who knows me either through what I write or what I say would think this of me — BUT — someone has been telling people that I sent a copy of one of the K/S fanzines to Gene Roddenberry. THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE!!! In the first place, I do not send my own fanzine, GRIP, to Gene Roddenberry. (I sent Sue Sackett a copy of the first volumes of TREX-INDEX because she sent copies of INSIDE STAR TREK and STARTREKTENNIAL NEWS for Indexing). I am far too careful with money to spend it on mailing something to someone I do not think will want it or appreciate it! As for doing it out of spite — which, I gather, is supposed to have been my motive—that's not the way I work. If I want to zap someone, I usually do it with humor, not in a snide and back-handed manner like that. I sincerely hope that whoever thinks I sent the 'zine will revise their opinion, because I DID NOT!!! The other rumor that's been going around is even more ridiculous, namely, that I have ousted Gregory Baker from the chairmanship of Augustrek Con. This is also untrue. Greg has been called up to Officers' Candidate School, an opportunity that he cannot afford to miss. We planned this move as far back as last November, when it looked as if he might actually have to go to Afghanistan or Iran. Greg is monitoring events as best he can via telephone, and there is no question of who is the final arbiter on vital questions involving finances or programming. It's not my idea of having a good time at a Con, in spite of all the yapping I've done—I'd just as soon hand the hassles to someone else and let them worry about hotels, guests, art show, etc. I hope this clears the air on these two sorry points. I've been in fandom actively for five years—I know I can be obtuse, and brusque, and my strange sense of humor can offend certain people—but I would hate to think that the other Trekkers out there are willing to believe these two canards that are being circulated. Thanx to all who have NOT believed them.
- BNFs: My idea of a BNF (Big Name Fan or, in SF Fandom, WKF: Well-Known Fan as opposed to the LKF: Little-Known Fan) is someone whose name is associated with a popular zine, story(ies), art or other fanac (like Shirley Maiewski's STW activity.) To be a BNF, I think, is the result of hard, long work at some fan activity and to be appreciated by a large part of fandom. There are names that are familiar to most (not all) of fandom like Paula Smith, Lori and Gordon carleton, Eileen Roy, Jean Lorrah, Leslie Fish, etc. As to snobbery, it all depends on the fan. For awhile, I saw some evidence of BNF's separating themselves from us "little guys" for various reasons. A lot of times it actually has to do with the fan's mood or basic personality quirks. A lot of times, a certain type of behavior is mistaken for snobbery. I suggest that if you go to your first con expecting to be snubbed, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find the opposite. If you go to a con expecting everybody to be saints just cause they're TREK fans, you'll find something different altogether. The mistake many of us make (and I include myself here) lies in expectations. BNFs are just fans who may have done a little extra fanac for a long period of time. Oh sure, I admit to being a tiny bit excited when I first see people like Leslie Fish or Gordon Carleton in person but that's because these are people whose work I love tremendously and until then, they've been just names on a printed page. When I admire someone's work, I tend to do it intensely so that seeing them in person is sort of a kick. All I've known until that moment is the incredible mind behind the human shell (which may be enough and all that's really important.) Meeting them just proves what I've known all along: they're people who eat, drink and sleep just like I do but when they sit in front of a typewriter or take a pen and start drawing, there lies the difference. Then, the ordinary becomes the extraordinary and that's quite an impressive thing, when you think about it.
- zine update for a zine that ended up never being published: Special notice to those who ordered "Istari Axanar": Due to myriad rewrites (and other problems) the publication of Axanar has been held up much longer than I expected. My co-editor, Mary Ann Emerson, has been in charge of publication since summer, 1977, and I have had no control over this zine beyond story editing. The latest word from Mary is that Axanar has finally gone to the printers. A few of the pages have to be redone, but it really will be coming out, folks! Some of you may be having trouble getting in touch with me, due to a number of moves in the past couple of years (see above new address). I wish to thank each and every one of you for your patience, and please accept my apologies for the long wait.
- about reviews in Forum: In reference to [Karen B's] letter in INTERSTAT #33, as editors of Forum we would like to take this opportunity to reply. We do not edit reviews, nor do we shun controversy. We feel each zine reader (or reviewer) is entitled to an opinion. We do invite "rebuttal reviews" and are more than happy to print them. We solicit reviews from all our readers, and our policy on them is what we consider liberal. We naturally prefer reviews on current zines because our readers tell us that is what they want. Our only request is that if a reader finds a review not to his/her liking that he/she make their feelings known in Forum.
Interstat 35 was published in September 1980 and contains 18 pages.
- art by: Anonymous, Carol Waterman, Heather Firth and Ann Crouch
- Karen Bates is leaving as proofreader, and Sylvia Kleeman is replacing her
- the Dodge/Fish column's topic: "Fandom Versus Paramount, Round Three" (Fish)/"Only Round 2 1/2" (Dodge)
- Jean Lorrah writes a detailed letter about how she is out $138 as she sent a box of zines to a fan named Linda Kaye B who offered to sell them at a convention and has heard nothing back from her: After four months, I'm afraid that I must conclude that Linda has no intention of returning my zines or paying for them—and therefore I am warning other fanzine editors that she is not to be trusted with their products.
- Liz P is pleased with Interstat: I have thoroughly enjoyed the past few INTERSTAT issues: gone are all the ubiquitous, piquant LOCs which seemed to me to be gaining a stronger foothold with each successive issue- The sharing of ideas and exchange of opinions (non-violent, if possible) is what makes INTERSTAT so interesting, and all the various viewpoints and interpretations of the various aspects of fandom "food for thought." But, it seems that certain expressed opinions on particular areas of fandom elicit some rather vituperative responses and "discussion" of issues (be they K/S, character portrayal in fanfic, or whatever) seem to be getting lost in the shuffle. It appears that those LOCs have abated these last few issues, and it is a refreshing change. Clearly, the movie has been lauded and debased simultaneously, perceived in as many different ways as there are people who have seen it; and the LOCs have reflected this. But, at the same time, even with all the various opinions being expressed about the movie, people have allowed the various differences and interpretations with a lot more tolerance and acceptance than before.
- Carol W addresses Karen B's letter complaining about the harsh review of Dilithium Crystals: If you intend to try and deny the press its right to print reviews, you're going to find yourself up against big guns, the Constitution of the United States, for one. Good or bad, brimming with praise or extremely scathing, it is an editor's/publisher's right to print reviews! My mother once said, if you can't stand the heat stay out of the kitchen.... Just as a zine editor has the right to publish, a reviewer has the right to tear that publication to ribbons!
- Dr. Barbara H runs a small thantopis clinic/hospice and is a fan; she asks for help in getting together a small ST library of used zines: I have come to consider the feasibility of setting up a shut-in service of some kind...a zine service for people for whom time is of the essence—not just terminal patients, but people to whom a boost in the near-present would be worth more than an infinity of birds in the bush. I've thought of sending out flyers to clinics like my own, young adults' psychiatric hospitals, longtime-disability wards— a little time and research and my current state of awareness would yield at least a good regional list of these, and word could spread. Fran's suggestion is that I invest a little personal money in a stock of good, low-cost zines: T-NEGATIVE, ARCHIVES, SPOCKANALIA come immediately to mind because they are nice "g"-rated jobs, but my own scope is so limited that any suggestions would be welcomed and would probably outrank my own, and INTERSTAT—charge $5, and make up packages which would total this amount plus postage. I have the manpower here who are more than anxious to do this, or something, or anything, and could do it virtually by return mail. Oddly, although most of my patients don't have vast amounts of time in an infinite sense, the time they have hangs heavy and is hard to fill, and any outer-directed activity is doubly welcomed, and the conmunication and contact with people who love what they do—ST— and need something they can do, would be the best therapy of all.... The two favorites here seem to be anything Vulcan and anything bawdy. Vulcan, I suppose, be cause of the need, here, for that which seems most Vulcan—logic, person al detachment, order, and particularly a feeling that anything there is can be mastered, controlled, understood. And bawdy, I suppose, because these are alive young people who are pretty much cut off from life, and thisisgenerallyallthebawdythey'reapttoget. So, if anyone is stifled and growing inundated by boxes of stored and already over-thumbed zines, they'd find a willing market here.
- Deborah L. B comments on Star Wars: A couple of guesses about ESB. Darth Vader is not Luke's father. This is simply Darth Vader's way of attempting to destroy Luke by hitting at Luke's weakest point. Also, although it appears that Han has gotten the girl (Leia) it won't be that way in Part Three. Why? Think of the three movies as if they were a three act play. Act I introduces all of the characters and sets the stage for all of the action to come. Act II advances the story. Act III concludes the story and ties up all of the loose ends. Now would someone please tell me why Han and Leia decide that they are right for each other? Drama wise it's too soon. My guess is that during the time that Han is missing, Luke and Leia will get to know each other and by the time Han is found Leia will have realized that Han Solo is not the man for her.
- Gayle F apologizes to Roberta R: I appear as the person with foot in mouth. I misremembered an opinion expressed to me months ago and thought you were the person suspected of sending K/S to Gene Roddenberry, perhaps because there does seem to be antagonism between you and some K/S fen (for no reason other than conflicts of belief and personality). I repeated my misconception to only one person, a concerned friend of yours. My apologies for upsetting you.
- Patricia B comments on the movie: Certainly it could have been better and I do not deny its flaws (primarily a weak script containing too much V'ger and not enough character interaction); but, on the whole, I have felt it was well worth my money all of the 23 times I have seen it so far.
- Cecilia and Lucille S write a letter about the sort of K/S they enjoy: We have read opinions on the K/S relationship. We believe the best K/S zine was by Susan K. James & Carol Frisbie. It was called Nightvisions. We wish other Trek writers would write these type of zines. We also like the fanzine from Canada called Inter Com. It has a different kind of K/S. It has Kirk as a female. They took it from the episode Turnabout Intruder. That is the kind of K/S we like. So please, all those K/S writers out there—please start writing these type of novels and stories we have mentioned.
- Margaret J hopes for better things in the future: Consistently while reading INTERSTAT I have come to the conclusion that we are applying 20th century values to the 23rd century. Granted, that's all we have to work with, but I really did expect more liberal views. After all, SF is a very liberal field! I refer to the K/S lovers premise. I would like to hope that by the time we get to the 23rd century all men and women will be equal. It won't matter what one's color is or who one's sexual partner is.
- Leslie Fish's posits for her pro/con column with Mary Louise Dodge begin with: Let us arise and plan, my fellow-fen, for The Movie is over and gone, and the bray of the jackass is heard again in our land. The Paramount Pinheads have done it again; they're either trying for a new world's record in Golden Goose Killing, or turning their company into one big tax-loss write-off for Gulf and Western... So where does this leave us? Right back where we started, team. If we ever intend to see new ST on film, we have to begin the letter-writing all over again. This time, though, let's try to get ST away from Paramount. First, we must learn who now holds the legal rights to the characters, concept and name of STAR TREK. If some new company has them, we must letter-blitz the new owners into reviving the show — even if they must rent the sets from Paramount. If Paramount still holds the basic rights, we must persuade it to sell. Sell to whom? To anybody with the will and the backing to re vive the show! To GR himself! To a home-grown fan-run film co-op! Anybody! Anything to get that property away from those fools who throw away quality, popularity and money with both hands!
- Mary Louise Dodge posits for her pro/con column with Leslie Fish begin with: Very dramatic, Leslie; now let's return to the real world and the real facts. "Star Trek" has not been abandoned by Paramount, only postponed; and strange, and maddening as it may seem, it appears they have been telling the truth when they said they didn't have the money to make a sequel this year.... There's not much we outsiders can do about corporate stupidity; that's up to stockholders to correct (unless, Leslie, you'd like to start a campaign to buy up Paramount stock, and gain control of the board of directors). Until we're told otherwise, we have to assume that the ST rights still belong to Roddenberry and Paramount jointly. Paramount would be crazy to sell a property that has proven a money maker, and there isn't any way, legally, to force someone to sell something if he doesn't want to. If ST should appear on the market, there'd be plenty of buyers, but the only way to persuade Paramount to get rid of their property would be to kill its value-to get the fans to refuse to buy any ST product, and to refuse to watch the reruns, to ask the stations to take it off — and you know we wouldn't do that!
Interstat 36 was published in October 1980 and contains 14 pages.
- art by: Ann Crouch, Heather Firth
- there is a con report for Star TreKon, see that page
- there are a number of letters speculating on the reasons behind the characterization changes in Kirk, Spock, and McCoy as they were portrayed in the movies
- Jani F has praise for Interstat that highlights just how visible this letterzine was: The time has come again to commend you on just about the best LOC zine around. Whenever I mention "Interstat" at a con, everyone knows what I mean and to which letters I might be referring. You have grown and matured a lot since issue #1 almost 3 years ago and I am grateful I have been a subscriber since that first ish.
- Mary Lou D addresses Damon H regarding his letter in an earlier letter about his dissatisfaction with Star Trek fandom: All literature, not just science fiction, concerns man's spiritual and physical journey outward (or at least it used to); however, even John Bunyan personified human virtues and vices. Your remarks (I#32) only apply to those who consider "Star Trek" science fiction; but for those of us who consider it as personified humanist philosophy, dealing with contemporary life, the people involved are paramount. If you hunger for strange worlds and aliens, you'll be more at home with Edgar Rice Burroughs.
- Roberta R reports on a con: About NorEasCon: It was quite an experience, going to my first World SF Con — it was a helluvalot bigger than most TrekCons, and I've been to some of the "biggies", like the New York Cons when they were THE New York Cons. It took place over two floors of two buildings, spread over five hotels in Boston. Welcommittee and Boston Star Trek Assn. were well represented, and most of the New York Trek crowd were there — but Trekzines were not! Why? Because we (the NYC Trekkers) had been told that Trekzines didn't sell well at WorldCons, so we left ours home. As a result, Devra Langsam wound up selling all kinds of stuff because she had a table. My personal chagrin was heightened when the person who did my cover art (Bob Eggleton) won an award for Black- and-white art in the Art Show, and I didn't have the zine!!!
- Karen B wants to clarify something: To [Carol W] (I#35): If you would like to step down from your soapbox for a moment and read my letter in I#33, you will find my remarks addressed to Tigriffin—not to Forum. The mentioning of Forum was strictly for the purpose of reference to the review's location. There was never a question of whether Forum as publisher and/or editor had the "right" to print the review. My objection was to the lack of courtesy, decency and good taste in Tigriffin's "review". Please spare me the berations and citing of the U.S. Constitution, I have been in fan-dom long enough to understand the prerogatives of publishers and editors. This reply to you is not meant to be derogatory in any manner, I simply object to being chastised for something I didn't do.
- Mary Lou D scolds those fans who she feels haven't taken Darlene F's unhappiness with the "obscenity" she saw in the movie: And for those who excoriate [Darlene F] — there's something you're missing! No matter how mistaken her interpretation, she received a shock which has damaged her enjoyment of the movie and "Star Trek". As someone who has experienced a similar situation (deliberately offensive) I am very sorry for her unhappiness, and offer sympathy and hope that the realization of the matter was not deliberate and was quite innocent of the meaning she visualized will help her overcome the revulsion and distress.
- Roberta R accepts Gayle F's apology regarding a rumor that it was Roberta who'd send K/S materials to Gene Roddenberry/Paramount: In the words of Darth Vader—Apology accepted. Actually, we've settled the whole matter to our mutual satisfaction, and all is well. I think what bothered me wasn't the rumor but the thought that someone might believe it!
- Vel Jaeger comments on the poor review of Dilithium Crystals that Karen B complained about in a prior issue: [Karen B's] letter in I#33 disturbed me greatly, and continues to do so even now, months later. The prospect of a vicious critic reviewing fan publications, who would offer criticism that is less than constructive, is most distressing. Having read neither DILITHIUM CRYSTALS nor Tigriffin's review of it I feel I can react objectively to Karen's letter. I must agree that it is grossly unfair to hide behind a pseudonym, and I don't like flippant reviews on principal, especially not of amateur works. If the purpose of a review is to enable a reader to decide whether or not to purchase the publication, fine - but there's no reason to be cruel about it. I feel like biting my tongue when pressed to comment on a work that is less than noteworthy. If I can offer no encouragement whatever, I remain silent. I'd rather be considered rude in not replying than to be heartless. Karen's letter has haunted me, and prompted me to purchase a copy of FORUM. I have #6 in hand, which contains another review by Tigriffin. I now see what angered Karen so: Tigriffin writes with a style that can only be described as "smart-ass". Sorry if the word offends anybody, but that's the attitude of superiority I perceive. I can't tell exactly what she's saying without constantly rereading, and the compliments are mostly backhanded. None of the other reviewers use this manner, and it's simply not necessary! An aspect of fandom that I've enjoyed is the willingness of creative people to help each other develop their talents. Sorry, KathE, as much as I enjoyed the rest of FORUM my sympathies lie with Karen - and I don't even know her.
Interstat 37 was published in November 1980 and contains 14 pages.
- art by: Bruce Moxley, Ann Crouch and Sat Nam Kaur Keahey
- the Dodge/Fish debate topic: "The Two Way Path" (Dodge)/"The New People, part one: Same Old Bullsh*t" (Fish)
- Rosemarie E comments on the beginning of ST:TMP fanfiction: Friends, the stories are being written - but it ain't easy, let me tell you! I co-authored one. I know. All those ideas mentioned these past few months - all quite feasible. Which to select? The two of us decided upon a huge misunderstanding, a breakdown in communications at the conclusion of the five year mission, between the very weary "Big 3." Perhaps a vague outline of our ideas will spark others into writing their versions. (Ah, emphasis is on the word 'vague', folks.) We figured that, between personal euphoria and bureaucratic high pressure tactics, Kirk let his promotion to Admiral go to his head. As a result, Spock felt betrayed, quarreled with Kirk, and resigned Starfleet. McCoy, trying to help, was rebuffed by Kirk as well as ignored by Starfleet, and resigned in protest, totally disgruntled. Spock went to Gol for many reasons: He had lost faith in humans, his emotional need for Kirk could not be stilled, he felt he could not sur vive in Vulcan society as he was, et. al. He was desperate - and sick at heart. McCoy was doing what he did once before - fleeing. The Fabrini research was a natural occupation to bury himself in. It had saved his life, after all; now he could help save others. Perhaps it was meant to be this way. The rest of the crew would be taking advantage of their position as the first survivors of a five year mission to get whatever they wanted out of Starfleet in the way of education, opportunity, or transfers while the Enterprise was drydocked. Now let's hear some alternate scenarios.
- Susan C speaks for both sf and Trek and is bothered by the rift between the two: I think the time has come for someone to stand up for science fiction and science fiction fans. There has been a myth circulating for a long time that sf fans are evil carnivores who eat Trekfen for breakfast. I believed this myself until about two years ago, when someone coaxed me to a sf club. My fan activities are now split about 50/50 between Trek and sf. I think this qualifies me to speak from experience on both sides. I almost wrote this letter after reading the Fish/Dodge debate about feminism in Treklit (I#29), when I read that Ms. Dodge had "never heard of Ms. Cass". (Underlining mine—I hope this was a typo, rather than an inability to read or spell Ms. Russ's name correctly.) Joanna Russ is rated one of the top sf editor/writers of our time. As a Nebula award-winner, university (of Washington) professor, and respected critic, her talent in this tough field is unquestionable. I was shocked that a supposed literary expert like Ms. Dodge would dismiss her so off-handedly. In I#36 Mary Lou strikes again, when she implies that to consider Star Trek mere science fiction would limit its scope and applicability to "personified humanist philosophy" and"contemporary life". Then she recommends those of us who hunger for strange worlds and aliens (whatever happened to exploring strange new worlds?) read Edgar Rice Burroughs. This is another example of her abysmal ignorance of the field. Mr.Burroughs, classic writer though he was, has about as much to do with contemporary sf as Nathaniel Hawthorne has to do with the modern novel. Today's science fiction, written as it is by homo sapiens, can only be divorced from dealing with the human condition by extremely poor writing. If a planet, culture or person is conceived by the human brain, it can never be anything but humanistic—providing the reader has the mind to compre hend the writer's efforts. Then we come to [Roberta R's] letter. I note that she simply took the word of whoever told her Trekzines wouldn't sell at a worldcon, instead of consulting an experienced dealer like Devra Langsam, who knew better, and sold zines there like there was no tomorrow. Roberta complains that some people booed when ST:TMP was announced. As we all know, some Trekfans were disappointed in the picture, so you can't blame the sf fans who disliked it. They didn't even have the emotional ties to the characters to hold their interest. It was not a plot against Trek fandom. I've known a lot of Trekfans who booed 1999 and Galactica. The above may sound harsh, but I am quite annoyed with this segment of Trek fandom who think it's okay—even expected!—to sneer at sf people. How dare they demand a respect from sf fans for their interest that they are not willing to give? Let's put it this way—how do you feel when a family member or co-worker ridicules your Trek activities? Makes you mad, right? You shrug it off by telling yourself they obviously don't have the brains to appreciate Trek. Well, guess what? That same kind of attitude—the blatant ignorance and apathy so many Trekfans have about sf, is what makes the average sf fan look down on Trekkers in general. And it makes things uncomfortable for those of us who like both kinds of fandom.
- Carol W revisits the zine review flap and addresses Karen B: In your letter (I#33) you said that you felt the reviewer, Tigriffin, was "playing God" and performing "merciless butchery" on DILITHIUM CRYSTALS. First understand, I have not read DILITHIUM CRYSTALS and don't know Tigriffin, so I am completely unbiased. Secondly, correct me if I'm wrong, but do not fan publishers/writers/artists strive for the same level of quality as pros? Since discovering fandom, I have seen nothing but quality work from INTERSTAT to the story zines. I don't see the people who produce fan lit as infants who have to be given their criticisms in pablum form, lest their feelings be hurt. If they can produce the kind of excellence I've been seeing, then they ought to be able to take a little—or a lot—of harsh reviewing. All reviewers "play God". Whether they praise or put down, is it not their job to cast judgments and opinions upon the efforts of talented folk who have put their heart and soul into their work? Idealistically, a reviewer should always direct criticism toward the constructive, and should not be unthinking or callous about it. Problem is, it doesn't always happen that way... Granted I'm applying pro references to fans but the fans I know don't want special treatment. Personally, if someone says anything I produce is lousy, I can do several things: take a hard, long look at the work being criticized and decide if the criticism is valid, and if it is, learn from it, and if it isn't, I can ignore it. I can't tell that someone how to voice his or her criticism. As far as a first zine receiving a harsh review is concerned, I have no sympathy. Does an umpire let a batter take a base when he's really just struck out, because it's his first time at bat? Sure it must hurt to hear it for the first time, but it's those who can handle it and gain from it who end up being the Alan Dean Fosters of the world, not those who take offense and feel sorry for themselves. By the way, I have several friends who used pseudonyms. And they aren't hiding from anything.
- Rebecca H comments on the current zine review controversy: also read Tigriffin's reviews, and I must say that I was dismayed by the tone and snipping in those "reviews". I write reviews, I publish reviews, I read reviews; and reviews seem to fall into one of two major categories. One, of course, is the critique, and I don't honestly think most reviewers are capable of honest critiques. A good reviewer stands aside and critiques from a totally technical point of view, without injecting any personal opinion - or if he does, he is careful to note personal opinion as such. I've seen too many reviews which were nothing but personal opinion disguised as a review. The second major category is that of the informative review; and that is what is needed, especially in zines like FORUM which cater to the fanzine-buying public. In this type of review, one presents a quick synopsis of each story, the idea being to inform the prospective buyer of what that zine contains so the buyer will know if it is of interest to him. Such reviews are not cute, are not funny, and do not take stabs at either the contributors or the editor. They simply present the zine. And yes - in this type of review you can tell the reader that "the mimeo runs", that "the illustrations do not look like the characters", etc., but it should be done in a straightforward manner without any attempt on the part of the reviewer to either sway the reader, or hurt the zine being reviewed. Again, personal opinion has no place in such a review, unless it is obvious that that is what it is. Personal opinion should never be confused with a statement of fact, nor should personal opinion be substituted for objective analysis. In other words, a reviewer's prime function is to inform so that a buyer can make a wise choice. If a review doesn't inform, then it has failed its purpose. Frankly, Tigriffin's reviews tell me nothing about the zines - only that Tigriffin wishes to make a name for her/him/itself in an extremely hurtful manner. The reviews are a poor imitation of Gene Shalit (whom I've never appreciated) and they aren't even entertaining (though they try to be). They seem to be an attempt to entertain at the expense of the zines victimized, and that's a pretty cheap shot. Let's see reviews that help readers make informed choices, not reviews which try (in vain) to bolster the reviewer's ego at someone else's expense... [added by phone]... Have just read the latest issue of FORUM and in it appeared another review by Tigriffin. Was shocked to notice the change in the mythical figure's reviewing style. It was not the usual hatchet-job we have come to expect from Tigriffin. It was far more mellow in tone and far more rational in content. It is to be hoped that Tigriffin will continue in a more responsible manner in her future reviews.
- Susan M. S is finding no pleasure in the Dodge/Fish debates: I hate to say this, but I'm finding the debates between Mary Lou and Leslie to be rather dull and generally predictable. Take the one over Paramount selling STAR TREK and several other movies to a group of investors. Leslie very predictably jumps up and down, and Mary Lou just as predictably takes a much calmer view of things. The very first of their debates dealt with the rights of fans to produce fanzines. This was beating a dead horse at the time it was written as the issue had been covered long before. Gina Martin and Linda Maclaren of THE DREADNOUGHT EXPLORATIONS have a letter from Paramount legal  in New York which states "fanzines are a fair use of STAR TREK." So what was the fuss about? That letter is now several years old. This battle of words is much bigger on 'ho, hum' than on the 'snap, crackle, and pop' one expects from a really good debate.
- Mary Lou Dodge posits the debate column: Trouble is brewing for humanity! After making great strides in social welfare, after gigantic scientific advances, and breathtaking discoveries in space — or perhaps because of them — large numbers of humans have turned away, rejecting society, and retreated into themselves, in search of personal serenity, a group consciousness that is often called "God". I'm not talking about today, but the era in which Star Trek takesplace. In the novelization Gene Roddenberry touches upon Star Fleet's problems with "The New People" whose increasing power threatens to cut off funds for space exploration; who apparently consider themselves an elite who know better and are better than or dinary humans, a superior race without interest in human welfare, or knowledge, only in their romantic urge for group-mind, a telepathic cohesion.... the past philosophy has been one of the main attractions of "Star Trek', and elitism in any form, financial, racial or religious, has been distasteful to him. I believe the New People have been invented to give the Enterprise crew a new enemy to face and defeat.
- Leslie Fish posits the debate column: GR's "New People" sound satirically like California Mystics, but they're brothers under the skin to Eastern Fashionable Decadents, Midwestern Bible-bouncing Born-agains, Southern New Klansmen, and every city's junkies and winos. The basic game is the same for all. Key word in all the jargons is "higher" — as in "higher con sciousness", "higher morality", "higher racial type" or just plain "get high". It implies that everybody else is lower. The word for that is "arrogance", and there are two kinds of people who feed on it.
Interstat 38 was published in December 1980 and contains 18 pages.
- art by: Mike Brown, Carol Waterman, Ken Gooch
- Pat S in Missouri announces she is having a Trek art sale/show
- the subject of this issue's Dodge/Fish debate: "The New People, part 3: Who Farms Strange Fruit?" (Fish)/"Less Heat and More Light on the Subject" (Dodge)
- this issue has a long, long, long rebuttal by Teri Meyer of a review of Interstat by T'Yenta in Universal Translator #6 in which Meyer posits that T'Yenta has an ax to grind against this letterzine as at least one of her letters was most likely not chosen for print -- some excerpts: "A WINNER respects those who are superior to him, and tries to learn something from them; A LOSER resents those who are superior to him, and tries to find chinks in their armor." So it seems the only explanation I have as to why the sudden wave of hatchet-happy individuals in fandom today, who perform senseless butchery on fan works and dishonor the art of criticism. INTERSTAT, certainly no exception to this rule, wasn't spared much when a 'review' was cranked out by one known as T'Yenta. For those of you who are unfamiliar with who T'Yenta is, she is featured regularly in the popular UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR. In this 'review', her most recent and ambitious effort, T'Yenta 'wonders' a lot. In fact, she wonders so much about INTERSTAT that she fails miserably at reviewing it, and turns what might have been a proper review, into annoying, almost hysterical statements. And throughout this superficial examination of INTERSTAT, an unsure and misinformed T'Yenta, is dependent upon her ridiculously transparent "I wonders" to question the integrity of this publication. Within her first paragraph, this 'reviewer' emphatically states to unknowing fans, "Your letter will be printed only if you subscribe"—an outright lie....Moving further into this glowing 'review', T'Yenta angrily rips into perhaps the finest writing staff ever assembled for a monthly fan publication. Here again her flawed research is blatantly apparent to those who have the intelligence and insight to appreciate the time and energies devoted to these columns. She immediately starts off giving an inaccurate reference as to where our news and information comes from. She carelessly implies a "cozy" staff change, dismissing entirely what is obvious to all: convenience. And without an ounce of sensitivity, she compares one column aspect to Downes Syndrome. Tacky. (I might point out that if T'Yenta is going to send Michele Arvizu to the hangman's noose, she best spell her first name correctly and call her column by the proper title given it.) Then we come to what may be a personal beef all T'Yenta's own. She deliberately attempts to convince fandom that a certain change in staff was the result of the controversial 1979 Fan Fund. Not true. Clearly, this is implication founded on cheap gossip, and has no place within a fan review from a UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR review. But style or no style, T'Yenta continues her mockery of the INTERSTAT staff, striking when she can while conveniently failing to mention their columns are juggled. And with spiteful determination, she wonders (once again) which editor's boyfriend columnist Ken Gooch is, reducing her piece to the sensational rather than factual: Ann and I are both happily married. Personally, I object to such a display of unprofessionalism and arrogance gone amok; not only in this particular 'review' but others out there like it. I question, quite frankly, the qualifications of a 'reviewer' who speaks out of both corners of her mouth.... When T'Yenta questions, "Are there some letters they won't print? Views they aren't open to?", (Implications disguised as questions again), she is, in reality, seeking out this publisher's personal views. Obviously T'Yenta is still pretty 'neo' at all this—she doesn't quite understand that fandom doesn't give two hoots what my beliefs are. Their priorities rightly demand that INTERSTAT remain a most consistent and dependable vehicle, representing their interesting comments fairly and open to their many diverse opinions—whether it's K/S, ST:TMP, Women's Rights, etc. They aren't necessarily biting their fingernails at who publishes it—as long as it remains a quality product worth their hard-earned money. And it's a darn shame that a fellow-fan may be resenting its longevity.
- Damon H addresses Mary Lou D regarding her reading suggestions for him: Edgar Rice Burroughs?! Oh, Mary Lou, you can't be serious! (I#36) I assume you refer to his Carter/Barsoom series and not Tarzan of the Apes, but however well-meant your example was intended to be, it is a very misleading one. I had Poul Anderson in mind; he writes stories which are very people-oriented and represent some of the finest science fiction literature written in the last two decades. If Roddenberry ever gets Star Trek back on the tube, he'd do very well to get Anderson as a writer/consultant. I'm very disappointed by the lack of reaction that my LOC in I#32 received. Just the same, Star Trek is science fiction and characterizations alone, no matter how good, do not make a good story. I don't intend to dump Our Heroes totally in favor of other characters, but I do want the rest of the Universe. Since Star Trek represents the best-balanced science fiction in the visual media and a fascinating universe for me to explore, I intend to remain active in this fandom for a long time to come. And because INTERSTAT has the only regular and intelligent forum that I'm aware of, you're all going to be stuck with my opinions! Besides, what this fandom needs is a man's touch...more about all of that nextish.
- Roberta R addresses Susan C about her letter regarding sf fans and Trek fans at WorldCon: I didn't "just take the word" of the people who told me "Trek won't sell" at a major SF Con. I've been attending LunaCon and EmiriCon (both in the New York City area) for several years, and it's been pretty obvious that Trekkers and SFers are not compatible (at least, not where fanzines are concerned). The problem with the WorldCon was that numbers of people who ordinarily don't attend World-Cons (the "New York Trek crowd") were there, instead of attending the annual New York Star Trek America. As for Devra, she was the one who told me that my fanzine, Grip, would probably not sell, although the Trexindex would. In point of fact, she did sell several volumes of the Index for me.
- Kathleen S. L comments on the Tigriffin review flap: ...we don't need is vitriol masquerading as criticism. I certainly don't wish to push the skunk reference, but it seems to me that some of the criticism written by amateurs about amateurs is not written with altruistic intentions. Perhaps the critic feels clever in cutting down (or apart) what someone else had done; perhaps, on an even pettier basis, it is some sort of revenge for hurtful remarks once directed at the critic. Anyone who sets up as a critic needs to take the job seriously: that means thinking through what the criticism is intended to accomplish. Righteous indignation has its place in criticism, and so do warnings against spending money by ordering a zine which is not what it pretends to be. Criticism can improve the state of the art, even if it stings. But, Tigriffin (and other reviewers), have some purpose in what you say beyond self-aggrandizement.
- Beverly C writes of the rifts and perceived threats between sf and Trek fandom: I've been involved in SF fandom for as long as I have in ST fandom longer, since my participation in the latter is dwindling - and I've read SF for almost 20 years. I was -and- am annoyed with the attitude of some SF fans toward ST fans, though I can understand it: it's not just that they found ST fans silly, hero-worshipping, and semi-illiterate, or so they claimed, but we threatened them. We've changed the structure of their cozy little fanworld - and if you don't believe me, buy the issue of STARSHIP/ALGOL containing Dick Lupoff's GoH speech at the 1979 Westercon, the one that David Gerrold walked out of. We're mostly female - fandom before ST was mostly male. There are a lot of us. Before ST, Worldcon averaged 800 or fewer people; by the end of the 60's and the early 70's, Worldcon was over 2,000 people; and the most recent one had over 6,000 members. And, unfortunately, some of us have Mary Lou's parochial ignorance of SF: as Susan says, how do we feel when someone denigrates our fannish interest out of ignorance? Still, I'm saddened to see the same attitudes crop up in ST fans' opinions of SF fans, or SW fans, or fans of X (fill in the blank). Must we be fans of one thing only and give up all our other interests?
- Rosemarie E wants to know if constant references to Spock's "Vulcanism" is racist: This question has been bothering me for some time: Why do I keep seeing certain adjectives applied to the name of a certain First Officer on the Enterprise? I am referring to words like Vulcan, half-Vulcan, and alien. I simply do not understand why it is necessary to refer to Spock's heritage fifteen pages into a story. Scotty isn't continuously referred to as 'human' nor are we repeatedly told that Uhura is 'female.' But hardly a page goes by that Spock isn't labeled 'Vulcan' by some well-meaning writer. I once asked a writer-friend why she did it and she could only reply, "It is so handy not to have to fill up the page with 'Spock' and 'Science Officer' (which is unwieldy)." But I wondered: aren't we all unconscious racists? There must be a reason we constantly point out one person on the entire ship. If he were an unknown element, I could see the need, but even then, following the first or second mention, the reader should be perfectly aware of that fact. After that, it is the customs, clothing, weapons, etc., that have to be differentiated or identified, not the person. Spock we all know very well, yet writers keep reminding their readers that he has pointed ears, greenish skin and other external differences. Could it be for the same reasons in so many early stories we were constantly reminded that Uhura was black? I believe it is time to sit down and consider what we really mean when we write something like: "The Vulcan looked over at his Captain." Are we putting the First Officer into a separate category because he is unique or because he is different? Are we subconsciously expressing feelings of either superiority or inferiority? Are we just going along with the phrasing "because everybody does it?" Even Dr. McCoy would question the logic of that remark.
- Carolyn S. H can see both sides of zine reviewing controversy: Concerning the small controversy over the proper way a fanzine reviewer should conduct him/her/itself: I hate to straddle the fence on this one but I can see both arguments. Practically every writer has gotten bad reviews, owing to a number of different factors, including at times, an honest evaluation of a really lousy job. On the other hand, not everyone in fandom is a "mature adult" able to take untactful, vituperative criticism and turn it into an artistically uplifting experience. Also, the ability to take criticism is not necessarily a prerequisite for creativity. Some of the greatest creative artists were downright lousy at taking criticism, Michelangelo for one. There's a reason for the term "artistic temperament" you see. Myself, I've always found it a bit peculiar when people preceede a verbal hatchet-job with "Now don't take this personally." Like a baby, if you really care about your writing or your art when you're laboring to produce it, of course it's going to hurt when people say it's ugly as sin.
- Leslie Fish posits in the Dodge/Fish debate: (Last month I showed how GR's "New People" are just one more manifestation of self hatred inculcated at an early age. This month we'll track down the social sources of widespread self-hatred induction.) Who profits? We can discount booze-sellers and smack-pushers. Winos are too strung-out to get enough money for expensive liquor, and cheap-wine sellers have little access to children. Smack-pushers get bigger profits from junkies, but have even less opportunity to brainwash youngsters. Big business ad-men have opportunity via the media, money- power to influence the same, and some motive for preaching that Only Bad Kids Don't Eat Froot-Loops, but several factors limit their effect: media are too obviously impersonal to be 'taken personally', even kids can exert some power of choice on them (if only by changing the channel), and any attempt at strongly pushing self-hatred at children is readily attacked by everything from the FCC to the PTA.
- Mary Lou Dodge posits in the Dodge/Fish debate: Leslie shows a fine grasp of polemics, but a lack of knowledge of child-raising or what makes people tick. Rarely influenced by things we learn in adult life, our main value systems are determined in the first decade we live, by the values programmed into us by parents, community, literature, and lately by the ominous eye of the television set (religion may be a small, but only a small part of it). These influences come more from inferences and observations of those we admire, than by words. We copy the heroes we choose at that early age. (How the mature gen eration, whose heroes were illiterate, drug-ridden, pop singers, will cope with life is a thought-provoking theme.) And this early value system can rarely be shaken except by an overwhelming emotion al experience, and mature logic roused by such an experience.
Interstat 39 was published in January 1981 and contains 18 pages.
- art by: Ann Crouch and Mike Brown
- Jean Lorrah emphasizes the connections and networking fandom provides and asks for help in preparing a book about teaching
- Susan M. S comments about the rumor that Kirk had been killed off in a soon-to-be-published pro book: I really want to thank Dixie for helping put the lid on the flap over the "Kirk is dead" story. Sonni and I have answered numbers of letters from fans quite understandably distressed over the story. With Paramount's track record it is possible to believe someone there might conceive the idea of a Kirk-less Trek, or even one without Roddenberry in control. Fortunately, in this particular instance the problem stems from incomplete reporting on the part of the Associated Press Wire Service (Gee, thanks, Troops!) which carried the sensational part of the story without including Vonda Mclntyre's carefully explained, "but this is only the middle of the book, not the end." The AP story was picked up by newspapers, and radio and TV stations all over. Things appear to have quieted down now, but for a while every day brought us a new stack of letters on the subject. There was even a flyer from a group in the Pacific Northwest calling themselves something like the "Capt. James Kirk Memorial Club" which was attempting to raise money for a "parade and memorial service" in June in Kirk's honor. Honest. Having had as much fun with the Kirk character as anyone I know, I still feel a rather disquieting lack of perspective in all this. Poor Vonda felt badly at all the fuss.  Sonni has been in touch with her ever since all this hit the fan. The December issue of the WISH newsletter includes a letter from Vonda telling more about this situation. That should also help calm the Trekkish waters a bit.
- Susan M. S comments on a fan's remark in a previous issue about whether referring to Spock as a Vulcan was offensive/racist: [Rosemarie E] raised an interesting question (I#38), but I'm not in total agreement with her. Referring to Spock as a Vulcan isn't necessarily a negative thing. It does make a practical alternative for "Spock this," "Spock that," and "the First Officer something else." It's more the direction you choose to point your mind when seeing or using the term. How is one to glory in the infinite diversity of the universe if one refuses to admit to the diversity by name in the first place?
- D. Booker writes of her thoughts about fanfiction that constantly refers to Spock as "a Vulcan": Spock is all too often the "token alien", not an individual person with his own job, personality, and life. Not only that, but I think some writers are so uncomfortable with the idea of an alien that they constantly try to prove that Spock, for all he looks strange, is really "human". They constantly refer to his "human half", his emotions especially, as if that was some identifiable portion of his anatomy, located a little NE of his gallbladder, perhaps? Both the animated series and the movie introduced alien characters but they are almost completely ignored by fan writers. The new societies that the Enterprise encounters seem to fall into two catagories: hideous and dangerous or humanoid and good. The Klingons are an exception. They are usually depicted as humanoid but mindlessly violent, vicious and depraved. It seems that there is an underlying theme that any alien society we meet is going to be a threat to human existence. Is IDIC just pious cant rather than a real moral philosophy?
- Carolyn S. H writes of references to Spock's Vulcanism: Concerning over-use of adjectives like Vulcan and half-breed to describe Spock. (I'm really not picking on [Rosemarie E]—she just keeps bringing up things that make me want to respond—bless her fertile mind.) Just for the sake of argu ment I tried to think of some non-parochial, unprejudiced reasons why writers may be prone to this. (1) Perhaps they are pre judiced in reverse (fascinated with the exotic appeal of Spock to the point that it comes out unconsciously in this way?) (2) Perhaps it merely reflects the author's acknowledgement of Spock's own preoccupation with his Vulcan heritage? (3) Maybe they're assuming that not everyone who is going to read their story is familiar with Trek and the fact that Spock is Vulcan (I'll admit that one is reaching a bit far for an explanation.) I recall a story I read recently which concerned one of those Trek- fan catapulted into the Trek universe themes. The "heroine" was stunned and a bit uncomfortable upon finally meeting Spock face to face to realize that here was really an alien. Culture shock maybe, but prejudice? Not so sure.
- Kathy Resch comments on the epithet, Vulcan: I thought I was the only person annoyed by the constant use, in fan fiction, of 'the Vulcan' to refer to Spock. (It isn't even accurate try substituting 'the half-breed' and see how well that goes over.) I'll admit that in stories that refer to Kirk as 'the Human', this practice stops being so distracting. But I really can't see the need for it in the first place. I developed this attitude, by the way, after multiple watches of the series. Their constant use of 'Vulcan this' and' Vulcan that' quickly created a new cliche....The television use was, of course, necessary in that they constantly have to acquaint new viewers with the basics of the characters. But why do we, in fan literature, constantly keep repeating information we all already know.
- Deborah L. B comments on the letter by T'Yenta which criticizes Interstat, and Teri Meyer's response in a previous issue I have just received I#38 and I feel I must comment on the letter from T'Yenta; the one the INTERSTAT editors withheld for a year. That letter and the accompanying article prove that the editors are winners. They prove that they care; not just about ST but about the people who made it happen. Teri Meyer also does an excellent job of defending INTERSTAT.
- Lynda C has this to say about T'Yenta review: About that "review" in the last UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR. As much as I hate to admit agreeing with anyone who hides behind a pseudonym (especially one like T'Yenta), I have to go along with her evaluation of Michele's column. I generally enjoy satire, but Ms. Arvizu seems to have a tendency to go after our beloved threesome with a baseball bat, where a needle would do a better job. The sense of affection, which separates good-natured teasing from vicious ridicule often seems lacking in the feature.
- Jane E writes of Interstat: Every month I find it to be of consistently high professional quality. Almost all of the letters and columns have shown evidence of thoughtfulness and intelligence at a superior level. I can appreciate the amount of work that must go into the letters and production of this zine. My favorite feature is Michele Arvizu's column. Her satires are succinct, to-the-point, and hilarious. They always evoke a sense that she has hit the mark exactly, said just the right thing to make each line as funny as possible.
- D. Booker has this to say about a recent review and reviewer: On the subject of Tigriffin and reviews in general, may I be permitted to take what seems to be very much a minority view? I like Tigriffin's reviews in FORUM. I think she is witty, amusing, and refreshingly cynical about fan-fiction. All too many reviewers seem to think that if they say anything negative they will have destroyed some fragile little egos, or else will have laid themselves open for similar treatment when they in turn publish something. Concerning "Dilithium Crystals", I read the zine twice, both before and after the review appeared, and I think Tigriffin was if anything, too lenient in her treatment of some of the material, especially that piece about Majel Roddenberry. The purpose of a review is to provide an opinion as to whether or not something is worth spending money on. It is not intended to provide breathless praise (Mother is the proper source of that) or free lessons in creative writing. As an occasional reviewer myself (of professionally published books) I can tell you one thing—more people will read a sarcastic or ironic review that states a definite position than will read a kind, sweet, "say something nice or nothing at all" whitewash. Anyway, let's face it, writing stories and poetry for publication, whether for profit or ego-boo, is nothing but a socially acceptable form of exhibitionism. If you can't stand being stared at, don't dance on the tables.
- Gloria K. S writes of T'Yenta review and of pseuds: I read the "review" of INTERSTAT in UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR and thought it qualified more as a personal opinion than a review. I thought Teri's rebuttal was quite good and should be condensed and sent to UT. This would seem the best way of expressing both points of view to potential subscribers.... I have read Tigriffin's reasons for using one and I don't see her reasoning. I think that if a writer I respect writes a favorable review of a zine, I am more likely to buy that zine than if someone I don't know reviews it. Also I don't know which fans are friends so it would be hard for me to know that a person could be writing a favorable review because they were friends with another.
- Kathy Resch is glad some others have echoed her thoughts on T'Yenta's review of Interstat: When I received the last issue of "Universal Translator", I was so aggravated by T'Yenta's so-called 'review' of INTERSTAT that I began organizing my thoughts into doing a suitable rebuttal after I got back from vacation. Well, after I got back, the latest INTERSTAT was waiting for me. You've pretty well covered all the points I wanted to make. I would like to say, regarding all of T'Yenta's' wondering', that when she 'wondered' whose boyfriend Ken Gooch was, my reaction was to 'wonder' which editor she had a personal vendetta against. I quite agree with your original decision not to publish that particular letter of hers. Quite apart from its merits or lack thereof, the established practice with most magazines, pro and fan, is not to publish letters that are unsigned or use an obvious pseudonym. Most people who feel the need to hide behind such anonymity are using it to vent childish, vicious tempers.
- Ann T. D has this to say about the purpose, and the art, of reviews: Opponents of the "caustic review" seem to be ignoring the fact that critiques are themselves a literary form, a specialized version of the essay. Letter-writers have focused on the practical components of a zine review, insisting on factual story descriptions with preferences left to the reader. This is certainly a valid (and valuable) approach to reviewing, but it is not the only one. A good reviewer is a creative ar tist in her own right, not an altruistic consumer advocate. She, like a fiction author, may choose whatever style she wishes in which to write. It should be noted that the function of a zine reviewer in fandom is somewhat different from that of a professional book reviewer. Other than the publisher's flyer a zine review may well be the only information a potential purchaser will have about a zine. I can leaf through a book on a shelf before I decide to buy; a zine must be ordered, at ever-increasing prices,sightunseen. Under these circumstances, numerous non-committal or carefully-approving reviews become worse than useless. I have more confidence in the judgment of a reviewer who is willing to be negative when appropriate than in one who is indiscriminately positive. I often suspect that Mary Sue Critic's glowing comments about Zine X are more a reflection of her friendship with the editor than her unbiased assessment of the zine. The problem is compounded by the fact that few reviewers, even within our relatively small fan community, have recognized names or established points of view that allow the reader to assess the critique. Controversial reviewers may offend sensitive reviewees but they do provide the reader with a recognizable point of reference. Finally, let me suggest that caustic wit can be precisely that: witty. Sit back and enjoy.
- Roberta R comments on reviewers and the use of pseuds: TWO reviewers for fanzines are either skewering themselves or being skewered! Forum's "Tigriffin" explains, in a good-sized article, her standards, viewpoints, and general reviewing criteria. On the other hand, "T'Yenta" has obviously overstepped her bounds, and INTERSTAT has the right to reply in kind. It all boils down to the whys and wherefores of reviewing, and who is doing it — and whether it's fair to use a pseudonym. Naturally, if either of the gentlebeings involved are well-known in ST fandom, it makes sense for them to hide behind a veil of mystery. After all, who wants to get attacked while sitting behind a table at a Con, where one is exposed to the Great Unwashed Mass of Trekkies? On the other hand, it helps to know from what direction the salvos are being fired. Thereare several people in Trek fandom whose prejudices are a matter of record, and if one has managed to step on those toes, one is going to be blasted, no matter how good the material is!... Objectivity is the most important thing about fanzine reviews because we get so little of it! The T'Yenta review was affected by the reviewer's attitude toward the 'zine and its policy. T'Yenta then proceeded to vent a lot of spleen on the editors and columnists for that policy. This is not particularly good reviewing, even if T'Yenta managed to get off a lot of clever lines in the process. Gene Shalit does it, and shouldn't. Neither should T'Yenta.
- Jane E comments on a perceived rift between Star Trek and Science Fiction fans: I was quite surprised to hear of some animosity between ST and SF fans. The first love in my life was SF (books) which I discovered around age 7 or 8; I have never "come up for air" since (I'm now 29). I like just about all of it, my favorites being the works of Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov. I fell into ST easily, as it was (and is) the best SF ever on visual media. I have always looked at ST from both per spectives: Beloved though it is, ST is one bright jewel in the immense, multifaceted gem that is SF. And, throughout all of SF, ST holds a secure, impressive stronghold, its unique place never to be usurped. I can see no inherent contradictions between ST and SF as each is part of the other. I see no reason for any grief between the two overlapping fandoms (on the basis of the ideas involved, anyway). Perhaps this was better understood in the earlier days of ST fandom? I have been reading some old T-Negatives and have noted many references in the letter columns relating ST ideas to other works in SF, quite easily and naturally. I'm speaking on the basis of ideas and not personalities, etc., as I had also been unaware of the tremendous scope of organized SF fandom until I learned of it through ST. The SF books I read all those years I found mostly at the library and never saw a reference to organized fandom in them.
- D. Booker has this to say about the Dodge/Fish debates: I was amused by the fact that though Mary Lou and Leslie have apparently opposing views of the value and dangers of religion (as usual) they both reject mysticism out of hand. That seems characteristic of much of Western society no matter what the political position might be. Is it, I wonder, because we associate mysticism with the black and the brown people, with the colonies and the pagans, with people who reject the Kentucky-fried-apple-pie-hot-from-the-industrialized-computerized-20th century-social-microwave-culture of North America?... the only problem with their column is that it is predictable. Given the particular topic, any regular reader could tell you in advance what position ML will take and which will be occupied by L. Each sees anything solely in terms of their particular political beliefs. Leslie is a parlor-pink socialist and Mary Lou thinks the world started to go to Hell in 1960. Neither seems capable or perhaps willing to leave the safety of their respective shibboleths for the dangers of independent thought.
- Kathy Resch comments on the use of pseuds for reviewers: It would seem to me that the point of using a pseudonym for this purpose is to avoid the pitfalls of being accused of favoritism: to be able to make an honest, objective review without being swayed by personal friendship or enmity. Jane Aumerle's "Other Voices" column in "Star Canticle" fulfills this objective to my satisfaction. The reviews are intelligent, concise and informative, and the criticism highly constructive. She can point out why a story went wrong—or right—without getting into personal ities. Both T'Yenta and "Forum's" Tigriffin use their particular pseudonyms to see how many reputations they can trash without taking any effort at all to do an honest review. Their columns have served some purpose,however. By ordering all the zines they've torn apart, I've been able to make my own honest appraisal of the material, and have found some highly enjoyable stories in those particular publications.
- Randall A. L comments on a letter by Damon H in an earlier issue: The phrase "what this fandom needs is a man's touch" made by [Damon H] (I#38) is one of the most sexist things I've ever read. The sentence implies that women can't handle ST fiction. Preposterous-And it implies there are no male writers. Well, in my own zine, out of 16 contributors, 10 are men and 6 are women. Now I admit that the females may have a majority in most other zines, but there are males who write ST. But the idea that one's sex could have any bearing on the quality of writing is just impossible.
Interstat 40 was published in February 1981 and contains 14 pages.
- art by: Ann Crouch, Vel Jaeger and Ken Gooch
- Susan C comments on the recent lull in Interstat controversy, which she suspects will soon be over: Looks like INTERSTAT is emerging from another quiet cycle, a recurring event regular INTERSTAT readers are aware of, but which some people apparently took as evidence that controversial letters were being deep-sixed before they even got into Teri's house. Guess the thought didn't strike that the calm was possibly a simple conversational lull. Well, hopefully reading the wide range of opinions printed last month will convince people they won't be wasting their stamps if they want to argue with what someone said, and there will be enough exciting back and forth discussion to at least mollify those who enjoy letter fights.
- Susan C addresses the current topic of whether it was appropriate to refer to Spock as "the Vulcan" in fanfiction: I think it can be overdone for two reasons. One is habit. Boy, is it easy to fall into that trap! Certain words are so right that a person becomes addicted to their use, and the reader is then subjected to an overdose of them. The only cure is for the writer to be made aware of her tendency, as perhaps all this discussion on the subject of generic terms has done already. The other reason is more insidious, and closely allied to the basic speciesism several letters in I#39 accuse over-users of these terms of fostering. There is a distinct tendency to draw a line between Us and Them, and then try to pull the 'good1 aliens, like Spock, over to our side. Admittedly, since we all happen to be Terrans (to the best of my knowledge), it's hard not to paint our alien characters a shade too human. But there's a handy way to change the viewpoint momentarily so you can evaluate a questionable scene. Reread the part, and substitute a whole 'nother kind of being: a female (or male, as the case may require), a Wookiee, or an ethnic group you ally yourself with. If this comparison comes out uncomfortably close to a semi-slanderous stereotype, you are right to question the use of generic references.
- Rosemarie E writes of Science Fiction fandom and Star Trek fandom: Re: ST and SF. Perhaps I just travel with the "wrong" crowd, but every ST fan I know is also an SF fan. Some began with SF and found Trek; some found SF because of Trek through writers like Bloch, Ellison, David Gerrold, and [], not to mention our own fen pros. I have been reading science fiction and fantasy since grade school, some 23 years now. Fads - even the much celebrated and long-lived 'New Wave' - have come and gone. Star Trek should have been one of those fads, but something in Trek made it special. It became a sub-genre and in the process turned fandom into an equal opportunity establishment. Some "straight" SF fen have never forgiven us for that. Yes, there were women writing SF before 1970, but relatively few. Likewise, there were strong women characters, but very few. Why else did Dorothy Fontana write as the neuter D.C. Fontana and have to backpaddle so often on Uhura? Even today, between the Fen and the Dream lies Reality. And the Wasteland.
- Damon H takes on Randall L regarding his comments in the previous issue when Randall said he wasn't interested in reading about characters in the Star Trek universe who were not directly connected to the Enterprise universe: Randy Landers, I charge you with a most serious science fiction crime: nonthink, a willful suspension of imagination. If your letter is truly representative of your philosophies, then you are ill-qualified to be either a writer or an editor of Trek or any other SF literature! Consider the Enterprise's basic operating charter: Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise, its five-year mission; to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where none have gone before! (I know, that's not an exact quote, but it serves my purpose better.) Extraneous, are the aliens, eh? Consider: if Spock had not been introduced as an original character at the beginning of the episodes, but had been added later, perhaps with less character development than he has had, would he then be extraneous" if some people were to see a possibility of further development? Randy, as constructive punishment for your ill-thought-out remarks, you will hand me a neatly handprinted assignment book with the above quote from every Star Trek episode copied 100 times. I expect it at the next A.S.T.S. meeting. I was going to go into my reasons for saying that fandom needs a man's touch. I find that I'm wrong to say that, because it's not going to be enough. Fandom has failed its stewardship of Star Trek in a fundamental and wide-reaching way, and it needs to grow up.
- Rosemarie E feels that the recent caustic review of Interstat by T'Yenta printed in Universal Translator #4 is dangerous to fandom in its time of sparse activity: To T'Yenta: Many non-fen and others think that ST fandom will slowly die now that ST:TMP has come and gone. We need a bitter, dirty quarrel like we need tribbles to eat our fanzines.
- Vel Jaeger has this to say about the two recent pseudonymous reviewers:
- Sheila G has a different opinion about the regular satirical column by Michele Azvizu, "There's Something I've Been Wanting to Say...": Regarding Lynda Carraher's comment (I#39) that Michele Arvizu seems to "go after our beloved three some with a baseball bat, where a needle would do a better job"—I, for one, have always preferred sports to sewing...and I have always enjoyed Michele's column and sensed a great deal of affection flowing through it. I doubt her satires would hit the mark as well as they do were she to "tip-toe" with her typewriter for fear of treading on delicate sensibilities. I have never read anything approaching "vicious ridicule" in Michele's column. Granted, her wit is sharp. Were her teasing to become too "gentle" however, the point (as well as most of the humor) would probably be lost. Often, the line between satire and ridicule is a thin one, the difference lying solely in the eye of the beholder. Perhaps Michele gives her wit free rein because she trusts her audience, INTERSTAT readers all, to understand and accept her jibes in the vein intended (governments that forbid satire do so because they fear the audience, not the satire). In any event, I strongly recommend that anyone harboring doubts as to Michele's true sentiments about Star Trek and its characters read her novel, Penumbra. All doubts will be laid to rest.
- Anne D writes of T'Yenta: To clarify my position on T'Yenta—frankly, I thought she was a joke. With comments like—"INTERSTAT used to be the place to defame someone's religion and/or libel their maternal relations. It used to be full of argument, insult, and snide innuendo."—all of these qualities being what might be expected to go into a very bad letterzine, I just find it hard to take somebody like T'Yenta seriously. With every other sentence containing an insult, it's obvious that T'Yenta's reviews exist more for reasons of just plain mouthing off rather than objective criticism. So, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to her review. Unfortunately, I think that I've put my foot in it this time. Comparing I#38 with T'Yenta's review I find that T'Yenta has gone way beyond the arena of smart-ass commentaries. Some of those 'cute' little barbs (probably all of them) really hurt. The purpose of a review is to give the reader an overview of a zine/movie/whatever that he/she might want to read/ see, not to showcase the reviewer's biases/fast mouth. When I originally read T'Yenta's review I doubted that even half of her statements were true and now after having read I#38 I find that my doubts were well-founded. I'm not a subscriber but I enjoyed reading INTERSTAT and it hardly deserves T'Yenta's attacks. If I've offended with my earlier indifference about T'Yenta's review, I apologize for it and thanks for the I#38; it was very thoughtful of you to send it to me so that I could read the other side of T'Yenta's argument.
- Caro H also comments on T'Yenta and her valid points, as well as her own support of Interstat: I've read with interest the T'Yenta review and the INTERSTAT reply. I agree that the T'Yenta review was nasty. Not because of the views she presented, but because of the spiteful and stating-supposition-as-fact believe however that it is important to sift through style she used. T'Yenta's "review for the questions among the unkindness. She does bring up questions that might naturally occur to INTERSTAT readers. 1) The:changing size of the letter section in proportion to the featured columns is a valid point. I think they have changed somewhat. I have most of issues #5 through #39. Issue #5 had 12 pages of letters to 5 pages of features. Number 6 had 14 pages of letters to 7 pages of features. Recently, the proportions have been running like this: #35-8/9, #36-6/7, #37-9/4, #38-9/8. The general impression that I had was that the percent of space given to letters was decreasing. However, INTERSTAT never promised any set percentage. I myself prefer letters to columns, but other people have other preferences- 2) T'Yenta also mentions Michele Arvizu's column. Imho (In my humble opinion) her column is often scarcely funny. I, too, have found it almost offensive. [Lynda C]said it well in I#39. Michele has a tendency to beat an idea to death in the name of humor. Everyone's tastes are not alike. [Jane W] thinks they are hilarious. Obviously, so do Teri and Ann. Even if T don't find it to my taste, there is a place for the column in INTERSTAT. 3) A third point T'Yenta made was to question the selection policy of the letters that appear in print in INTERSTAT. Yes, I've had a letter to INTERSTAT edited. I agree that it is their right (their responsibility in some cases) to edit. But, being human, I still wondered what their criteria were, even while I admit that each editorial decision involves entirely too many factors to list. It bothers me that I found these three thought-provoking points in T'Yenta's "review". It bothers me that T'Yenta took an opportunity to bring up legitimate points and instead blended them in with vicious opinions, innuendo and libel. Although Teri's reply was also savage in some parts, it was also fairly logical and needed to be said. Her point about the letter from a T'Yenta that they did not print was a good one. Although T'Yenta didn't seem to mean to, I think she did INTERSTAT a service by bringing up this mess. INTERSTAT's policy to never reply themselves to any INTERSTAT letter led many people to make assumptions about the INTERSTAT editorial policy. Now that T'Yenta "reviewed" and Teri replied, it has cleared things up to a certain degree. I enjoy INTERSTAT, especially the letters. I think this zine has a unique role to fill. Hopefully this distressing T'Yenta review will, in the long run, strengthen INTERSTAT. May it live long and prosper.
- Teri Meyer, the editor of Interstat, writes and clarifies Interstat's editorial policy and replies to Caro H's remarks: One of the many pleasures of being INTERSTAT's publisher has been to offer a variety of fan opinion and to provide a means of fan-communication for Star Trek fandom. And it is not my place to control or manipulate the opinions_ expressed in this zine by publishing LOCs which conform to my personal beliefs or opinions. I do not, nor have I ever practiced artificial selection as implied by fandom's Wonderwoman. Your comments are your own, and I would not offend INTERSTAT readers by determining each month what this publication will reflect... Having personally selected letters for and typed 26 out of 39 issues to date is a record that speaks for itself. To imply editorial abuse is ridiculous, an insult to Star Trek fandom's intelligence; a fandom which could easily discern within that number of issues any such attempts. On a more personal level, I do not believe it is a blessing in disguise to have one's motives disputed (caustic wit is one thing, distorted facts quite, another.) It does not do service to this publication and staff; and irreparable damage may result when dishonest, unsubstantiated reviewing statements are allowed into print. A Ietter submitted under a known pseudonym will not be printed. This practice, when abused, creates opportunity ior manipulation, bad judgment, lawsuit threats to fellow-LOCers and trashing of others for no apparent reason. When these situations occur, it is done serious consideration be given to their intent and purpose. This does not mean, however, none will make their way into print, as a demanding deadline prohibits my investigating all suspicious and/or unfamiliar LOCers. Letters oi comment may be cut for space limitations, edited for extremely offensive language and incoherency; and statements of libel unsupported by fact will not see print. INTERSTAT will continue to reflect the mood oi Star Trek fandom, its timely distribution also giving you, the reader, the most current news and updated info.
- Ken G gets in a parting shot: To D. Booker: I read your LOC in I#39 with great amusement- I wasn't aware I had become such a threat to 'beloved' fandom. I do wish to express my appreciation for the recent promotion you granted me. As part of a minority (in a female dominated subculture) "little brother" is a big step up from "boyfriend". You will be happy to learn, while I found T'Yenta's comments to border on libel, yours were merely annoying.