Interstat/Issues 061-070

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Issue 61

Interstat 61 was published in November 1982 and contains 18 pages.

cover of issue #61, Ann Crouch
  • art by Sat Nam Kaur Keahey, Ann Crouch
  • Judith G addresses the letter from Syn Ferguson in the last issue and discusses profit and fair use:
    I don't think Gulf + Western's threatening letter to STARFLEET, reported by Syn Ferguson in I#60, represents a "new
 attitude" for Paramount's parent. My impression is that over the years, G+W rather consistently has opposed the commercial use of unauthorized ST material, while just as consistently leaving noncommercial products, like fanzines, alone. I say "rather consistently," because G+W is a heavy-handed corporate conglomerate that basically doesn't know a fanzine from a Fotonovel. They make mistakes. The same Bruce Hosmer who wrote the letter to STARFLEET also wrote to the editors of DREADNOUGHT EXPLORATIONS in July 1977, a letter which was quoted in INTERSTAT #12 (October, 1978). There, Hosmer wrote, "Paramount is familiar with several fanzines, and as such we find them to be a 'fair use' of STAR TREK, one which we can only hope to encourage. . . ." (p. 2.) Hosmer thought that DE was "not a fanzine." (Maybe he thought it was a Bantam paperback? In fairness to G+W, though, the editors of DE had allowed their zine to be sold in a commercial bookstore — which meant that someone was profiting from it, though not the editors.) The significance of Hosmer's statement that fanzines are a "fair use" of STAR TREK lies in the fact that in copyright law, a "fair use" is an exception to the exclusive rights of the copyright owner. A fair use is more than an excused or tolerated infringement; it isn't an infringement at all. In other words, Hosmer was acknowledging that G+W has no legal right to control fanzines. I don't think that G+W has given us any reason to fear legal action against fan zines, as opposed to merchandise — at least, not against fanzines that are published strictly as a non-profit hobby, and not for personal gain. The best way for a zine editor to protect her readers, it seems to me, is to make sure her fanzine stays within the boundaries of "fair use."....What about fanzines that do make money for their editors? Well, Syn is certainly right that fanzines are a tradition of ancient vintage, but it's worth remembering that fanzines were once a "gentleman's hobby" for those who could afford the financial loss they inevitably entailed. Mass media science fiction and offset printing have changed all that. The relation of demand to costs now means that the editor of a popular media zine can make a profit from it, if she wants to. I know personally of a zine editor who boasts that she took in, from her zine, twice what it cost her to produce it. I know another who prices her zine by doubling the printing cost and then adding on the non-printing costs to that. By her own calculations, her own "take" is about 40% of the cover price of the zine. Fortunately, neither of these editors is a STAR TREK fan. But if the copyright owner is adding it up, the message surely must be clear. And from the copyright owner's point of view, if there's money to be made in zines, why shouldn't he demand a cut? Wouldn't you, if someone were marketing a product based on your copyrighted material for money?... I certainly hope that G+W never seriously tries to control fanzines. But even more, I hope we don't bring that on ourselves.
  • Crystal Ann T is a little resentful of fandom having to clean up a mess:
It is one thing to ignore the flaws of a movie because it has so much other stuff that you love, it's another to seek to legitimize them just because they are there and a part of aired Trek. I think that we all have to keep this in mind when we speculate about and consider things that have been introduced in ST II. I know that this isn't always easy when one man's inconsistency is another man's truth, but I do think we should keep it in mind. Maybe I'm a little too over-protective with my hero, but I still find myself resenting that fandom now has to deal with things that are inconsistent with everything that has gone before just because they did appear in one movie.

  • Lynna B proposes that Harve Bennett is not a fan of Star Trek:
    I feel constrained to tell you that Kirk's character was severely distorted in TWOK. Even I, who liked the movie, can be objectively aware of that. His actions in the movie are perfect examples of characterization rape. The screenplay was written by a man who had to be sat down to watch Star Trek and had never watched it before. Harve Bennett is NOT a fan of star Trek. His professed love of the concept has always struck me as hypocrisy- He knows beans about James T. Kirk or how Kirk would act. Kirk's actions are not his own fault, so don't accuse him, please. Look, it's a sad fact of life that from now on the 'public' Star Trek is Harve Bennett's show. He, in all his vast, omnipotent, well-meaning ignorance will do whatever the hell he wants to do with it and Kirk. And—maybe to our regret—Spock. I don't know. I've noticed that in the first flush of the movie we almost all (except for [Barbara G], of course!) loved it. I mean, it was Trek wasn't it? Real, live, Panavision—and above all it moved, had energy, some nice moments. And I can't say that I hated it. But the more we all sit and think about it, the more we stew. And like any meat in a stew, the movie begins to fall apart. I for one am beginning to see that all the holes (Kirk not noticing Spock's absence from the bridge being my own personal unfavorite. One scene, in which somebody says, "Oh, Spock went down to help Scotty," would have helped immensely) and misinterpretations of character are symptoms not just of expediency but of ignorance. But worse, an ignorance that doesn't think it needs edification. An arrogant ignorance.... I must say one last thing, though. I don't think it's sensible to expect the makers of public Star Trek to live up to what's going on inside every one of our heads. None of us agree on what real Trek is either, too often, do we?
  • Debbie G addresses something new in fandom, the ability to watch films somewhat "on demand":
Comparison does make a difference, but it works botn ways. This summer, we could come straight home from seeing "Wrath" at the theater and turn on HBO to watch "ST:TMP". The first movie looks absolutely ludicrous in comparison. For two years, because it was the only ST movie we had, we tried to convince ourselves it wasn't so bad, but now the truth is inescapable.

  • Mary Lou D writes:
    It would appear that Carol Marcus set out deliberately to have a child by a galactic hero. Anyone who has been a teacher or social worker can tell you about the damage done to children of today, by working mothers, and a lack of family life. Surely in "Trek" future there will be some more sense of responsibility, encouraging people to limit childbearing to couples who can provide a stable atmosphere for their children, and that should give a father, whether or not he has married the mother, some rights to his child. While the novelization seems to indicate that Kirk does not know David is his son, the movie, on the other hand, hints that not only does Kirk know he has a son, but that he has voluntarily left him in the hands of a woman who admitted that she wanted entire possession'of her child, depriving him of a healthy relationship with a father image. Would Kirk, who has always shown the greatest interest in the welfare of the young, have agreed to such a narrow upbringing? Particularly since the movie indicates that for the last eight years or so (since the boy was twelve and in the age group that most needs a strong masculine image) he has been working at a desk job with plenty of time to attend to his son. And that brings up another question: Why isn't Kirk married? Since he has spent the last seven or eight years behind a desk or teaching, and living all alone in an apartment that has all the homey warmth of a dentist's waiting room, are we to believe that though he is no longer "married to his ship", he is still content to limit his emotional relationships to one-night stands with bar pickups? He is now close to or past fifty, and must have had ample opportunity to meet a number of women who would make an excellent wife for an admiral. Marriage and fatherhood would be the normal procedure for a man who exhibited every sign of satisfaction in that life with Miramanee.
  • Don H addresses Barbara G, and among other things, "accuses" her of being a fan of K/S:
The fact is that you have talked about K/S in INTERSTAT despite your bleatings to the contrary. Just reach back for l#48, 47 and 51 and you'll find that K/S is definitely one topic for which you having nothing negative to say. Finally, please spare us from your tired and worn-out modus operandi of avoiding discussion by labeling all questions directed to you as "personal attacks." I have yet to hear ANYONE attacking you for your physical appearance, ethnic background, bathing habits and the like—but rather, only for what you SAY. And please don't throw mo your favorite old standby, "You've misread my letters." For the last time, it is not a personal attack merely to disagree with you or to point out where your statements disagree with the facts.

  • Mark C. H wants to know about Star Trek and religion:
    Just where does Star Trek stand on religion?... This is definitely a difficult question for we saw so very little religion in the series and even less in the movies, perhaps it is easiest to address the question by looking at what random has gleaned on the topic. And as a Christian, what I see is not comforting. Star Trek fans are a great bunch of people. Unfortunately, it seems from my experience that they are also for the most part "humanists".... Now for those unfamiliar with "the term, a humanist is a person who believes in certain moral values and ethics but does not believe in any deity. And tracing back, looking at the episodes, we can see that this appears to have much validity, for I believe there is only one look at formal religion there. In "Balance of Terror" we see a wedding in the chapel and at the end we see Kirk look up at the alter (?) in a meditative glance. Another glimpse is when Kirk says to Apollo, "We find the one sufficient." without these, we would have nothing at all which would indicate any theistic view. But some writers in fandom have taken the episode "Who Mourns for Adonais" as advocating an atheistic view. Some believe that the theme is basically "In the future when we've 'seen it all' we'll have outgrown the need for such superstitions as gods and/or god." I feel this is a grave misinterpretation, and highly destructive as well. It is also quite arrogant really, and can be labeled "sophomoric"... One last thing, let me assure you that I am not an ultra-conservative fundamentalist a la Jerry Falwell and Company. I believe in evolution for instance and it fits quite nicely in harmony with my Christian viewpoint. That is the view of most middle-of-the-road Protestant denominations. Maybe some fans should go to church and see just what Christianity believes now. I've written this letter mostly because I've seen so much anti-God writing in fandom that I thought I'd give Him a good word or two. I'd like to hear what you in fandom think.

Issue 62

Interstat 62 was published in December 1982 and contains 18 pages.

cover of issue #62, Mike Brownl
  • contains no interior art
  • the editor writes an Open Letter, called Where No Producers Have Gone Before, see that page
  • Debbie G addresses Mark H's question about religion in Star Trek:
    You say that there is hardly any mention of Christianity in Star Trek. How could you overlook "Bread and Circuses"? When Uhura says, "Don't you's the Son of God," Kirk becomes almost reverent: "Caeser and Christ— they had them both — Wouldn't it be something to watch, to be a part of?" The crew's reactions clearly indicate (to me, at least) a belief in God. Just for the record, and to prevent any confusion caused by my letter to the local paper which was printed in INTERSTAT #61, you might as well know that I_ have no religious beliefs, and my views tend to waver between agnosticism and atheism. My own feelings on the subject do not alter the fact that Star Trek was, in its own way, deeply religious.
  • Bev C also addresses Mark H:
[Mark H's]letter is interesting in bringing up an aspect of the ST universe that undoubtedly exists yet is seldom explored either in the series or movies or in fan fiction. I'm not sure that ST has to take a "stand" on religion; especially if, as Mark says later in his letter, the implication of what we've seen is that attitudes toward religion are more laissez-faire and less of "mine is better so convert or else" variety. While few of the episodes dealt directly with religion, there were other hints that religion is not dead. Ruth Berman points out some in her letter, indicating that some sort of traditional Christianity is still around. Presumably other religions survived as well. I find it hard to believe that religions that have lasted two, three, and four thousand years, through all sorts of differing intellectual climates, are going to disappear entirely in the next 300 years- We don't see the others because Our Heroes, the main ones, have come out of the western Christian tradition. Except Chekov: keep in mind that Chekov is Russian, and the Russians have, as Ruth Berman points out, made the most concerted attempt to stamp out religion in their country of any modern society (except for the communist ones, I don't think any countries have actually tried to stamp out religion of the traditional variety). Chekov is very likely, if the Russians were successful, to indeed regard the Bible as mythology... One thing I would like to ask of Mark, though, and that's not to get the attitudes of ST itself and the attitudes of fans mixed up when it comes to religion. There's no correlation between the two. Also, it should be pointed out that origins of humanism were in Christianity) Erasmus and the other founders of the movement considered it a movement within the religion, not outside it, and later humanists were often deists, if not Christians in the traditional sense. I think Mark is falling for bugaboo "secular humanism" the religious right seems to find under every bed in the country (except theirs, of course); they've taken a specific philosophy — distinguished from "humanism" by the adjective "secular" — adhered to by a small number of people, and applied it to every political, social, and intellectual movement they don't like. Because fans are not all practicing Christians, you can't assume that they're atheists or "secular humanists"; and you certainly can't assume anything about ST itself from the beliefs and practices of fans.

  • France F addresses Mark H and religion in ST:
    I'm sure, Mark, that there are many fans who have a strong belief in a supreme being—perhaps we're just not very outspoken about it. I think the last thing we would want to start in INTERSTAT is a controversy over religion. But I too, am dismayed by "anti-God writing in fandom" as you describe it. Some writers seem to go out of their way to stress in their stories that Kirk et al. do not believe in God, or they would not know how to pray to Him in tines of trouble if they did believe in Him. I would not, in charity, mention any stories or authors specifically in an open letter such as this. I've run across fanzine stories in which our heroes do seem to have belief in a supreme being, but they are all too few. The loving God whom I believe in does not need or want a servile, mindless devotion of the type demanded by Apollo. If He did, why did He make us as we are— with our driving, restless spirits, our passions, our curiosity? He made us as we are so that we may help each other and grow in love for Him, who is all good. Those fans who consider yourselves atheists, humanists, or whatever, please don't take my remarks as an attack on your beliefs, because in view of the concept of IDIC and my religion, I love you all. May you all one day find God in your own way.
[Mark H's] letter assumes a connection between arrogance and atheism. The assumption strikes me as....well...arrogant. It's true that many scientists (and, for that matter, non-scientists) are impressed by the orderliness and complexity of the universe and proceed to a religious belief in an Orderer who made that complexity necessarily beyond human comprehension. But then again, many are impressed by the same characteristics and proceed to a non-religious love of the beauty of the order and complexity without assuming the existence of an Orderer. Yet again, many are impressed mainly by the complexity and proceed to a non-religious belief in an ultimately irrational universe or to a religious belief in a universe ruled by a non-comprehensible Creator; many are primarily impressed by the order and proceed to a religious belief than an Orderer made an understandable universe, or to a non-religious belief that the universe is understandable without assuming an Orderer. Any of these beliefs can be held arrogantly. Any of them can be held humbly (i.e. with respect for the beliefs of others and awareness of the possibility that one's own belief may be wrong).

  • Bev C comments on an earlier letter about Kirk not ever getting married
    As to why Kirk isn't married: why isn't Richard Chamberlain married? He's nearly 50. Why isn't George Takei married? Why are any number of people in their 40*s and 50's not married? Maybe they don't want to be married. Maybe, like Kirk, they put their careers or other pursuits ahead of personal relationships, by choice, knowing what they're giving up and why. Maybe they're quite happy living alone, in their own ways. Maybe Kirk is a closet romantic, looking for the One Right Woman who never showed up. There's nothing wrong with not being married.
  • Bev L answers Mary Lou D's question of Kirk and lack of matrimony:
Why isn't Kirk married? Well...for us K/S fans, we KNOW why! For anyone else, the answer is...your guess is as good as...(was gonna say mine, but...).

  • Kay K. D says of the movie:
    I got the feeling that I'm the only one who truely enjoyed the film. It's an exciting and entertaining movie. Kind of like seeing old friends.
  • Barbara P. G holds firm on her opinion about the movie:
Now that I've seen it, and have also had time to mellow, to really think about it, I now find it absolutely, unbearably repulsive in every way except for some of the acting.

  • Cathi B says about Spock staying dead:
    Should Spock stay dead? I'll vote no. I want Spock back, but as Spock. Not as a "fern", not as a Spockenobi. If the latter were to be the case, I would be one of the first to urge Lucasfilms to sue the pants off Paramount. I want Spock back, yes, but in a stylish form, and as Spock. Course if worse came to worse, they could always trip over to the "Mirror Universe" and bring back Spock-2. I'm only kidding, folks, honest.
  • Bev L comments on the movie and its lack of subtlety:
One of its basic flaws is the use of obvious simplicity and the lack of sophisticated subtlety. This is especially apparent in the verbalization throughout TWOK. One example of this is "The many, the few, the one...." Words with deep meaning? Are they symbolic or WHAT? And even in actions/ such as the giving of gifts...the glasses, the book. Tale of Two Cities, we find symbolic gestures. This really bothers me. Why? Because something so obvious, takes not a brain to decipher. It merely provides simplicity by defining with a definite answer/explanation, therefore taking away the ability to reason, analyze, and make choices. It turns aside from the logical progression of fitting together the pieces of a mental puzzle, turning away from the deep understanding of each separate part to understand the whole. And it destroys the natural curiosity innate in all beings who wish to explore the ideas opened by a hint and their mental growth established by individual interpretation. Anotherwards, subtlety opens the mind with ideas rather than closing it with definite structures. It entails the use of the viewers mentality to question WHY and for the viewer to decide in detail, just what is really meant by actions and words. Roddenberry did not always do it well in the past. Remember "The Omega Glory"? But at least he TRIED. It was his baby and he worked hard at making ST the best it could be, taking into consideration the budget he was allowed and the audience's most probable reaction to newly sprouted liberal ideas. Many concepts seem outdated now, but for back then they were very progressive. TWOK was created for the money. ..big bucks and for the mass audience at large, and this is fine to a degree. But it neglected the most important factor...Roddenberry' s ideology.

  • Bev C agrees that ST fans are "born nit-pickers":
    Letters in INTERSTAT have carefully pointed out all the mistakes and inconsistencies in the movie; ten years ago, we used to delight in picking out inconsistencies in the old series. If you think we're bad, you ought to have seen an article in a fanzine recently about RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. This article, by a person who admittedly loved the movie and had seen it 16 times, listed 79 different errors and/or inconsistencies — and those didn't even count the really big plot holes. Fans have done the same for both SW and TESB. As long as we don't get too vicious about the nit-picking or use it to make points against each other, it's kind of fun to figure out where the movie-makers went wrong. We, of course, would have Done It Right if we had made the movie!

Issue 63

Interstat 63 was published in January 1983 and contains 18 pages.

cover of issue #63, Sat Nam Kaur Keahey, reprinted from Beyond Shattered Illusions
  • Mary Lou Dodge, Leslie Fish and Ken Gooch are no longer listed as columnists
  • Dawn L comments on the current discussion topic of religion in Star Trek:
    It would be reasonable to assume that the crew of a starship would have many beliefs, simply because they have been exposed to so many in their travels, and are from various races which will definitely not all resemble the types of religion we know now. To have ST emphasize the presence of Christianity or a particular god, would be the writer's beliefs surfacing, not the galaxy's. Actually, I would rather not even have a debate on religion be involved with ST, unless it in cludes every god that is believed to exist, has been believed to exist, or will exist. I'm not an atheist by any means, but to emphasize the presence of Christianity or any other religion in ST would be destroying the concept of IDIC.
  • Bev L has some observations and advice:
In closing, PLEASE, people, let's be a little less rude...I loved [Linda S's] letter for pointing this out... To insult a media product is one thing, get personal with attacking fellow fans is quite another. I thought the STAR WARS people were bad! Well, it looks like the ST folks like to make people upset too. It only promotes bad feelings and more negativity. Let's cut it out, people.

  • Jan M. M apolgizes to another fan, Michele A:
    Again, I apologize - not for what you thought I was saying, but for writing in an ambiguous way that could lead to the misinterpretation.
  • Dawn L writes of canon and acceptance of flaws:
I agree with [Ruth B] (I#62) when she says that everything that appears on the screen is "fact". Sure, there were a lot of glaring mistakes in ST II, I'll be the first to admit it, but the episodes had their faults too, some even worse than ST II's. Do we consign these to an alternate universe too, or label them as non-Trek? If we start doing that, then there must be some basis for judgment, and who would be the one to make that decision? Where would Trek begin and non-Trek end? Is AND THE CHILDREN SHALL LEAD or WHOM GODS DESTROY (two frequently criticized episodes) non-Trek? I feel ST:TWOK was superior to either of these two and yet the movie is called non-Trek. What does that make the episodes? I'm sorry, but I can't agree with the theory of what's Trek and what isn't, based on flaws and mistakes (which are inevitable). I guess my question is, if ST:TWOK wasn't Trek, what was it?

  • Lynna B explains her views on the Kirk in the movie:
    I was responding to [Susan S's] exegesis of Kirk's flaws as a leader (I#60). She went on and on about his failures in leadership until I couldn't stand it anymore. Not that her analysis was wrong; she was right about the Kirk in the film. It's just that I don't agree that that Kirk was Kirk. All I'm saying is look for a source of characterization before you set about maligning a character some of us might like a little, for pete's sake. Don't just accept what somebody says is truth, as truth. Just because somebody says something is so doesn't make it. Antonioni showed us that years ago. All the leadership stuff aside, I cannot accept the notion that Kirk does not notice and question Spock's absence from the bridge when there are only however many minutes till destruction. No concept of gratitude says I've got to. I think that is out of character for him. I also happen to think that the writers were insensitive onthispoint. Not wrong. Not criminals. Just insensitive. I think a fan would be sensitive to a point like that.
  • Cathy B addresses the open letter Teri Meyer wrote in the last issue:
Thank you so much for putting into words what has been on my mind since the release of TWOK. I feel that
 fandom is more than spoiled. We are blind? blind to what STAR TREK really is. As Harlan Ellison once pointed out, we have taken a form of entertainment, a TV show, and made it more important than it was ever intended to be. We have raised it to the level or perfection. Each one of us has put so much of ourselves into our view of the STAR TREK universe that anything that does not agree with the view is immediately dismissed as bad Trek. Poor Gene Roddenberry, in producing ST:TMP he had to feed the needs of thousands of fans who had been dreaming and fantasizing their own individual STAR TREK universes for ten years. There was no way he could have pleased us all. Harve Bennett was in no better a position than Roddenberry. Bad press plagued him from the start. Now that TWOK is out some fans are upset because it did not live up to their own interpretations of STAR TREK. They accuse it of being a cheap movie made with no other purpose than to make a quick buck. Yes, TWOK was made to make money, so was ST:TMP, and so was the original STAR TREK series. We must keep in mind that that is all STAR TREK is, a form of entertainment, is long as we keep this in mind, and stop making more out of it than it really is, we will enjoy TWOK and the movies that will follow it.... I have been so disappointed at the back-biting and the narrow-mindedness of most fans I see in INTERSTAT. Fandom as a whole seems to have lost the fun and the friendliness I enjoyed so much when I was active in it five years ago. It seems to have lost the qualities that it loves so much in the series. If we cannot be open-minded to one another, how can we expect a future seen in STAR TREK? How can we criticize TWOK for its lack of ideology, when we are so cruel to each other? I am thankful to you for allowing me to express my opinion. INTERSTAT is a very important zine for just that reason.

  • Sonni Cooper writes a goodbye:
    By the time this is published my Trek novel, BLACK FIRE, will be available. I'd love some feedback. The novel is essentially my swan-song to fandom. My work is receiving some very kind attention in New York and I have two novels to finish: one a fantasy and the other about a contemporary American Indian family. I am going back to my work as an anthropologist and concentrating on my writing. STAR TREK will be always there, but as entertainment and memory of happy times and lots of friends. I won't miss fan carping and demands. I'm thoroughly enjoying being able to concentrate on my own work again. I've done my best in fandom and cherish the friends I have made through association with it.
  • Deborah L. B sees an upswing in Trek zines:
Has anyone noticed the direction fanzines seem to be taking? A couple of years ago it looked as if other fandoms (SWars, BG, Dr. Who, etc.) were going to overwhelm and eventually snuff out Trek zines. Now the trend seems to have reversed itself. If the Oct-Dec issue of Universal Translator is any indication,Trekzines are not just holding their own, but staging a comeback.

  • Barbara P. G addresses Linda S:
    To say that a few listings in UT and FORUM indicate how I feel about K/S is completely unwarranted and illogical. The vast majority of the 60 zines to which I have contributed are not K/S: GUARDIAN, R&R, VAULT OF TOMORROW, etc. I've illoed every conceivable kind of story, including several kinds I really do not enjoy reading. I will illo or write any kind of ST or SF story or poem for any zine editor, as long as I have the time—with the single exceptions of SWars and BG—because I love variety and challenges. Concerning rudeness, here we have a case of the pot calling the kettle black. False accusations and personal attacks are the epitome of rudeness. I suggest you look to yourself, and exercise some discretion. Anyone who is still terribly concerned with the ridiculous topic of "Do I or don't I (like K/S)" is hereby invited to write me at the above address, to avoid taking up valuable space in INTERSTAT, and to avoid boring to death everyone else who couldn't care less. "SIGH** Every issue of INTERSTAT I open eagerly, hungering for some intelligent comment, and then I get this kind of silliness…!!!
  • D. Booker addresses the question of Kirk and religion:
As for Kirk's religious beliefs: Sorry, pal, but one thoughtful look before carrying out a secular ritual hardly constitutes a confession of faith. And "We find one sufficient", if analyzed within the context of the circumstances in which it was uttered, is pretty obviously intended to distract and anger Apollo sufficiently to permit an escape attempt. Surely even our dear, if somewhat insensitive. Captain would hardly be so conceited or ignorant as to seriously make a statement that by implication denies the validity of the beliefs of the polytheists, pantheists, atheists, animists, etc., who undoubtably inhabit the Federation. Or are you seriously suggesting that Christianity will by then have triumphed uber alles, at least among humans? I can't say whether people in the future will have outgrown the need for gods. After all, they have so many excellent uses as justification for slavery, war, murder, pillage and rapine. They can be used to frighten the gullible into obedience, the weak into submission and the different into conformity. Governments, for example, have alwavs found them to be terribly functional.... If God really is, as the Christian theologians tell us, omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent, then he hardly needs much from us. My god, by the way, is female, and I'm made in Her image, not from the dust of the earth or a man's cast-off rib, but from all the stuff of the universe.

Issue 64

Interstat 64 was published in February 1983 and contains 18 pages.

cover of issue #64, Sat Nam Kaur Keaheyl
  • contains no interior art
  • Eric A. S addresses Joan M. V:
    I enjoyed your letter very much in the last issue of INTERSTAT because I have very similar opinions. Along those lines I would agree with you 100% that it is silly to think Khan could return in Star Trek III. After all, his body was vaporized when the Genesis effect destroyed everything that existed within its range in favor of its new matrix. Spock, on the other hand, was placed into the "new" life-generating matrix. I have recently come across, however, a credible theory as to how Khan could return... In a new zine from Lezlie Shell, Khan returns in a very believable fashion. I'm sorry if I give away the ending to the zine, but I was so impressed by the idea, that I think everyone should hear it. As we all know, the Genesis device has been programmed by Dr. Marcus to create a great variety of plant and animal life during its "creation phase." Sub-atomic particles are rearranged into life sustaining patterns—plants, animals, etc. So why couldn't the device be programmed to create human life as well? The process wouldn't be much different than the cloning process which is currently being done in laboratories around the world. And this is exactly the point. If scientists today (in the 20th century) can reproduce identical copies of life forms, why wouldn't it be possible for the Genesis device (in the 23rd century) to do the same? Well, this is precisely what happens. Khan, who is himself a Eugenics expert from the 20th century, programs the Genesis device in the final scenes of the film so it can "recreate" the likenesses of himself and some of his crew on the new planet that will be created. Knowing his own genetic code, as well as some of the codes of his crew, he places the information into Genesis along with cell samples, so when all is said and done, Khan is reborn on the new planet! The cell sample guarantees that he is recreated in his last known state, and not as a baby. If nothing else, the thought is intriguing.
  • Linda S comments about Trek and religion:
The "anti-God bias" in fan writing (I think it's more accurately described as an anti-Christian bias) is probably backlash hostility from people who confuse the lunatic-fringe Moral Majority with true Christianity. (D. Booker's letter, I#63, is a good example of this confusion.) There has been a lot of back lash in the last few years because of the Jerry Falwells, the modern-day "scribes and Pharisees." What you've observed in fandom is just a microcosm of this.

  • Debbie G addresses Ruth Berman and Dawn L's letters which in turn addressed religion in Star Trek:
    Your remarks on arrogance and atheism were right on target. Since every person's view of the universe is different, it is pointless to argue over beliefs. [Dawn L] made the very good point that it is wrong for Star Trek to single out one particular belief system. Why do we seem to think that Christianity and religion are synonymous?
  • Lisa W writes of religion and Star Trek:
We all see a different ST, and, especially on a subject such as religion which ST gave us no definite signs on, we view things as we wish to. I, myself, am an atheist and am inclined to see the ST universe as a better one than ours. So, I sec it as being, primarily, materialistic. And I can shrug off Kirk's comment about the one being quite sufficient as I shrug off Spock throwing himself at Droxine. I can't imagine Vulcans believing in god(;;). But I can easily see how a religious person could just as easily see our heroes as being religious. And which of us really knows the true attitudes of ST? Actually, (and I've gotten into trouble before for saying this, but here goes) ST fandom, itself, is a religion. We all have a feeling about ST, a faith in the future, a love for the people in it. And the social phenomena that attend a religion are here, a family unity. I admit, there often seems to be a Schism going on (Protestant trckkism) and not everyone feels quite the faith in The Great Bird that there once was. Still, there is an element of religion in ST, independent of the more familiar religions. And, if you're uncomfortable calling it a religion and confusing it with Judeo-Christian traditions (which is, mainly, what we're most familiar with) call it a cult.

  • Lynda C addresses D. Booker's comments on religion:
    My religious convictions match yours more closely than they do Mark's, by the way, but he wasn't trying to convert either one of us. He was making a declaration and inviting others to examine it. That you chose to attack it instead disturbs me deeply.
  • Mark C. H addresses D. Booker's comments:
I confess that I chuckled when you said, "My god, by the way, is female." Really? Are you a member of the Divine Sisterhood of Isis or something? For the record, my God is androgynous. My point, however, is against atheism. Not against any form of monotheistic religion. Mankind has used religion as an excuse for all the atrocities you mentioned, I agree. But that same set of beliefs has inspired some of the greatest cultural works in the history of civilization. What about the B Minor Mass? What about John Donne's poems? What about the Temple of a Thousand Buddhas? What about the hundreds of Hindu temples? Look at what atheistic thought has brought forth through the ages. Jean-Paul Sartre's works ring with despair and hopelessness (e.g. "The Wall"). So do the works of Hemmingway at times (e.g. "A Clean, Well-lighted Place"). But back to the main point. I still believe that some more attention should be paid to the religious beliefs (whatever they may be) of the ST crew.

  • Joan M. V addresses the subject of canon:
    As it is used nowadays, the word 'canon' means an authoritative body of works about a particular subject.
 Recently, there's been some discussion of what constitutes the STAR TREK 'canon', and I would like to say a few words on this issue. In my opinion (and others, I presume, will differ), the STAR TREK 'canon' consists of all the televised episodes (live-action and animated), the ST I s II movies, THE MAKING OF STAR TREK, THE MAKING OF ST:TMP, THE STAR TREK WRITER'S GUIDE, and the novelization of ST:TMP (because these books were written by or with the collaboration of Gene Roddenberry) . Also, I include anything said by GR about ST in interviews and such. Anything not included in the above, in my opinion, is NOT official STAR TREK. SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED from the 'canon', in my opinion, include parts of scripts that never got into the final TV or movie print, the Blish adaptations of live-action ST, the Foster adaptations of the animation, and all other ST novels (except the ST:TMP novelization), including, and particularly, Vonda McIntyre's novelization of ST II.
  • another view of "real" from Linda S:
now that I've explained why I don't accept TWOK as "real" Trek, I have something important to say: ST is a fantasy, so to argue about whether something is "real" Trek is circular and pointless— we might as well debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. "Real" Trek is whatever the individual believes it to be and has the most fun with: movies, K/S, Kraith, Nu Ormenel, what-have-you. Since it's all imaginary, and all for fun, we are all right.

  • more on canon, this time from Gloria-Ann R:
    There is a precedence for not accepting aired Trek! How many people include all the aired animated stories in their Trek universe, even though they had the real actors' voices for most of the characters?—and I believe approval was passed by Roddenberry. "Yesteryear" was one of the best and i£ accepted and there are fanzine stories about M'Ress the feline female, but in general all the animated episodes are ignored. Some were very innovative too!
  • Daniel W isn't for gimmicks:
If either of you could copy the article about STIII being done in 3-D and send me a copy, I'd appreciate it. I collect articles like these, and this one is extremely important to me. I do not want to see STAR TREK cheapened by this type of gimmick.

  • Linda S addresses Don H:
    No, I do not owe Harve Bennett an apology. I paid money for his product, giving me the right to state my opinion of what I purchased.
  • Lisa W doesn't have a problem with nit-picking:
You're not the only one who truly enjoyed the film. But if we didn't find flaws in it, we wouldn't have anything to say in our letters to INTERSTAT. (Also, I admit to being prejudiced, but I think science fiction docs have to be logical! If it's not, it's fantasy. And that's my main objection to the Spockenobi idea—I like science in my SF.) When you need a book to shed light on a movie, something in that movie has failed. For example, reading Gone With the Wind after seeing the movie is certainly interesting, but it's not necessary. But who can understand about Scotty and Preston (or about Deltans, in the first movie) without the book? Or fannish data.

  • Don H on nit-picking:
    I believe that at least some of the nit-pickers are getting all the "rudeness" they deserve.
  • Terry S speculates on a 1983 reality if it had happened that Star Trek was never created:
The first fanzines were never printed. There was no Welcommittce, no fan network, no organizations of any kind. There were no fan clubs. There was no ST convention in 1972. Because of ST many people got a chance to express themselves through writing, drawing, organizing, and a host of other creative talents. Some of these people have turned pro. Others have discovered a new sense of self-worth and managed to make new lives for themselves using ST as a base. Think of the zines you've read, the new ideas and high quality talent you've been exposed to. Isn't your life a little better for it? All fan publications, including the one you're reading now, are non-existent. While some of them aren't the quality we wish they were, others are very good and give us a great deal of information plus helping us keep in touch with all of our fellow fans. About 3/4 of the fan conventions held around the country on a year-round basis are the direct result of the first ST con in 1972. There are many problems, but there is also a great deal of pleasure for those who can attend them. Who knows how many people have been influenced by these gatherings? Starlog magazine was never published. This means that none of their other magazines ever came into being. How many people have been helped by these publications? If that isn't mind-boggling enough, try this thought: No ST tv series means no Space: 1999. While this scries had its share of detractors, it did help to introduce many fans to the world of science fiction. There is a good chance many of them have gone on to discover everything else fandom has to offer. The summer movie boom of 1982 never happened. Both Lucas and Spielberg were deeply influenced by ST. No ST means no SW, CE3K, TESB, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. and quite possibly both Jaws movies. Who knows, the Superman movies might not have even been made. Of course, there were no ST movies because there was no SW which in turn wasn't made because there was no ST tv series in the first place!

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 64

A letterzine with information and lively conversation especially concerning TWOK. Cover art by Sat Nam Kaur Keahey of Spock is beautiful. Cost to Australia is $10 for six issues. Well worth getting if you enjoy the stimulation. Recommended. [1]

Issue 65

Interstat 65 was published in March 1983 and contains 22 pages.

cover of issue #65, Chris Grahl
  • Tim F writes:
    One humorous note...if we presuppose that residual effects of Genesis will re generate Spock's body, what will then happen to him? He will find himself inside a casket which must be well-sealed (or it would not have made it to the surface), push on the cover, be unable to open it, suffocate, and die—only to be re-regenerated, push on the lid, suffocate, die—be re-re-regenerated, suffocate ad infinitum. What a sad fate, indeed!
  • Bev L addresses Barbara P. G:
One can object or debate strongly without resorting to any such negativity and personal jabs as I've seen you and others do in INTERSTAT. Straying away from being courteous, using insulting expressions, implying a downgrading tone to others, done gently or aggressively, is simply not acceptable in a free-thinking, expressive forum. I am not saying you CAN NOT do it, but simply that it reflects back unto yourself. If others reply to you in the same fashion, they are just as guilty as you. Rudeness and a negative train of thought discolors the quality of the conversation and makes it merely chatter. Then you appear only as a source of inane conversation. And the people answering you appear as people ready to spring on you and you scream back. It's a running circle and makes no sense. Therefore, it has no growth allowance. It seems to me that either you lack insight into your own behaviors or else you clearly enjoy being a counter-point for arguments so you can have attention. If all you want is negative attention, fine, then continue on. But I've been rather hoping to see some sort of change in your output. Sorry to say, I have seen none so far. I would really like to respond to you on a positive level, if you'll give me the chance. And I think most everyone who contributes in this letterzine, thinks the same thing.

  • Linda S tells Pat K:
    ...there is a difference between insulting a media product and attacking a fellow fan, an unsubtle distinction that you apparently failed to grasp. Unless you consciously intend to make yourself look foolish. I suggest that you refrain from clumsy attempts at sarcasm until you learn how to get your facts straight. But keep working at that misdirection ploy, it could be effective someday.
  • a fan tells another:
Why don't you go and find some other fandom to annoy?

  • Frances F has an issue with age:
    Another point I'd like to bring up, and I've often wondered if this should be considered a plot defect in TWOK—what's all this emphasis on Kirk's age and his mid life crisis? I understand he is now 40. Good Heavens, this is the 23rd century! I'm sure the life-span has been extended a great deal by the medical technology of the time, so I would think the so-called mid-life crisis wouldn't come before age 60, perhaps even later. What's so bad about being middle-aged anyway?
  • two German fans, Susanne & Franziska D, are happy to have Interstat:
The February issue of INTERSTAT was again fascinating! You would perhaps not imagine how much we like to read the different comments in your zine. This diversity of amusing, thoughtful, smart and often provoking points of view is to our opinion the real Star Trek! We can only repeat saying that over here is no equal place for such an exchange of ideas like there is in INTERSTAT. The discussion in German Trekdom is, alas!,not so colourful and detailed. Itisrather"proandcontraTWOK"andthereis rarely discussion about the "whys". People mostly show a really soporific reaction, nothing provoking at all. Sometimes a yawn, "Maybe the first movie was better after all," but besides...Sigh! At least that is our impression after several attempts of investigating. INTERSTAT is considering that a ray of hope!

  • Eric A. S addresses Randall L:
    In I#64 you told me to "take a couple of aspirins and an uncola, and write [you] in the next issue —" Are you assuming I need a couple of aspirin because you are a pain in the neck, or wouldn't a local anesthetic ting the pain in the posterior portion of my anatomy?
  • Lisa W writes of Spock's possible return to life:
[Dawn L's] comments should be thought about: "If a best friend died (I#63), and you were offered the chance for him to be brought back to life, would you refuse the offer?" But, would it be more than pure selfishness to accept it? Especially when that friend willingly gave his life? What makes you think Spock would want to come back? He gave his life, his all, for the Enterprise. To bring him back is like saying, "Yes, but that's not good enough. Do it again." Spock's sacrifice in TWOK was heroic and noble, and bringing him back can only demean that effort.

  • Don H offers this opinion:
    My guess is that the real reason that you and other K/S people attack Harve Bennett so relentlessly and recklessly is that he had the audacity to not only kill off Spock (and thereby K/S gay stuff), but also to give Kirk a wife and a son.
  • there are a few reviews of the pro book, "Black Fire," and they are negative; one excerpt from S. L. R:
The ending was too, too predictable for my taste, but tell me one thing—when a certain Vulcan gives a certain doctor his earring does this mean they're engaged? Oh, I don't think I should go on. There are so many things that grated on my nerves in this book, I could never (and don't want to) mention them all. To give credit where credit is due, there was one member of my household who enjoyed the book immensely. My dog found it delicious.

  • Bev L writes of the movie:
    And most importantly, shouldn't we expect a Trek production to reflect its original intent? I expect a movie to at least reflect SOMETHING of the original ideology. To me, TWOK failed miserably in this area. Therefore ,it isn't the real Trek in my opinion. Merely a reflection of its look, its feel. Anotherwards, it is a dramatist's view which is enjoyable but unbelievable; a real space opera... You are right. HB did his best. Does that mean I have to swallow it whole? And who said the movie had to be perfect? The TV show wasn't, why should one expect it of the movie? Maybe a few fanatics, but the majority of us just want the real thing. And I wouldn't worry too much about what HB and the makers think. They're rolling in the bucks, and success has made them content to start a sequel... And I am happy for those who were satisfied with TWOK and got some type of deep meaning from it. Myself, I hope the next film will try and do a little more justice to its creator by expressing its original message.
  • Debbie G points out:
It occurs to me that the amount of nit-picking done by fans is directly proportional to the quality of the episode. We argue endlessly over the finer points of "Amok Time", for instance, but who ever debates the merits of "And the Children Shall Lead"? It's not worth the effort. The fact that everyone's hotly debating TWOK proves to me it was a first-rate show.

Issue 66

Interstat 66 was published in April 1983 and contains 18 pages.

cover art of issue #66, Heather Krause
  • Ruth Berman addresses a letter in an earlier issue, one that speculates on a world where Star Trek had never been created:
    It's incorrect to say that there would be no fanzines and fan clubs. Science fiction fandom has existed since the 1930's, complete with fanzines, clubs, and cons.
  • Tom A writes of Spock's death:
SPOCK—To be or not to be? When the rumors of Spock's death first began to circulate, I doubled my opinion of ST. Any M*A*S*H fans out there? When Henry Blake died, did it make you realize that this was not a game? That people can die? If Spock were to stay dead (I really hope not), it would increase GR's 'Believability Factor' for the show. We will know that any one of the stars could possibly die in any given episode. WE WOULD THEN WORRY!

  • Barbara R questions the idea of canon:
    Why do we even need a ST canon? It seems that could only lead to great divisiveness: "I'm a real ST fan, because I do (or don't do) X; believe (or don't believe) Y; read (or don't read) Z." Implication: the others, who don't subscribe to the canon, somehow don't measure up. ST is, first and foremost, an idea. Each of us will draw from it, "according to his gifts" and see ourselves reflected in different facets. The canon might make fandom simpler, but much less interesting. Hasn't ST become the phenomenon it is, because there is room for all?
...Star Trek is a highly personal thing that is not quite the same for any of us—although that is certainly true. I have to go further and say that there is no Star Trek canon—not just because we can't agree on what it ought to include, but because Star Trek is a uniquely complicated entity that makes it virtually impossible for us to ever reach any kind of consensus on what makes up its canon. Each of us has a perfect right to our own view of what Real Trek is to us (I, for example, prefer to completely ignore the animated and roost of ST:TMP). But there are so many possible combinations of this-and-not-that, and so many possible rationales on which to base the choice, that a consensus seems out of the question. By comparison, the Holmesian Canon (it even gets a capital "C"—always 1) is a clearcut matter, in this case the original material that started it all—the 60 chronicles—is the product of one pen, not a conglomerate effort like Star Trek. Not only is it a simple matter, therefore, to distinguish between what is one of Doyle's stories and what is not, but the "facts" within the Canon consist of words' set down on paper, not maybe-the-script-and-maybe-the-way-the-actor-did-it. Having a clearcut Canon doesn't eliminate the problem of things within it that contradict each other. But at least Sherlockians can spend their time coming up with ingenious explanations that take care of all those problems, instead of trying to decide what the Canon is to begin with.

  • Mark M comments about the letterzine itself:
    After six months of INTERSTAT I am thoroughly hooked. All the comments and criticisms are terrific and I just love the way people insult others they don't agree with and criticize people for taking pot shots after they themselves have done so. I find it all very humorous.
  • Lynna B comments on the movie:
What's really not played up in the film is a clear-cut message. What did we learn, what did the characters learn? I don't mean all this aging-death-youth vs. experience-rejuvenation stuff. That's all irritatingly muddled in the film; none of it clearly-carved enough to stand out as the main thrust of the picture. The message is passive, it just lies there waiting to be picked up. I sort of miss the old "Lesson of the Week" air about the old show. Kirk's speeches. Remember how persuasive they were? Where's that in 'The Wrath of Khan'? The viewpoint. That's what I miss. Knowing that these were knowledgable writers (some really good people wrote for the show) and directors whose names recurred episode to episode, and somebody somewhere was saying, 'This is what we're about. We stand for this.' A liberal-Romantic view. There's something so right-wing about TWOK, anti-romance.

  • Bobbie H writes of the movie:
    It looked like Trek and it smelled like Trek, but it definitely did not taste like Trek.
  • the last few issues have had much discussion about a fan club; one fan writes:
I, too, do not entirely appreciate STARFLEET trying to become the "official" ST club. What about all the rest of us who have had our clubs for several years? ST fandom worked very well for a long time without an "official" club and it can continue to do so.

  • Don H addresses Eric S:
    In my opinion, which is the only one that I am entitled to express, anyone supposedly motivated by "selfless initiative" would refuse any bestowment of title, be it president or "Commanding Admiral." And if you are not self-appointed, then where are the free elections that choose your group's leader(s)? Paramount may have sent someone a letter addressed to "Starfleet Imports," but the fact remains that Syn Ferguson (I#60) makes specific references to STARFLEET fan club. And since her letter apparently provoked some undesirable questions from certain readers, it sure did take a long time for it to be "corrected." As far as I am concerned, STARFLEET is already in trouble with Paramount because the club logo copies the studio's trademarked design. Also, you cannot be an IRS non-profit organization unless a charity is involved. Simply being a fan "service" group ain't enough. And as far as STW goes, maybe you should ask [Trina A] (I#65) how STW managed to come through for her recently with flying colors? Also, APOTA discontinued primarily because of overwhelming competition from STARLOG, ENT. TONIGHT, etc., not due to lack of funds per se. If you are so willing to talk about all this in a public forum like INTERSTAT, then I would like to see a response to the issues I've raised without all the invective and personal attacks we've been seeing lately.
  • Bobbie H finds the feedback of the pro novel, "Black Fire" by a fan in a previous issue to be exceedingly harsh, and asks the editor to exercise some of her power:
I could not specifically recall that Sonni Cooper requested to be publicly flayed alive so I backtracked and sure enough, I discovered that Ms. Cooper had originally asked for some "feedback" on her new novel. Black Fire. If "feedback" can be loosely defined to mean constructive criticism, then the comments contained in your issue #65 contribution to INTERSTAT can in no way be termed that since they were completely devoid of any serious critical or analytical thought. Nothing constructive to offer but heavy on the criticism and therefore, a totally valueless effort on your part. Teri Meyer: I must say I was somewhat appalled by the sarcasm and downright nastiness of the aforementioned letter. It seemed unnecessarily tasteless and cruel. I'm wondering if it isn't time (past time, perhaps) for the editor, who "reserves the right to edit contributions," to do just that. I think that the type of "fan comment, analysis, and reaction" that INTERSTAT aspires to is meant to be of a somewhat higher form than "My dog found it delicious." I mean, you gotta draw the line somewhere.

  • another fan, Linda S, comments on pro books:
    I wasn't crazy about Black Fire (Sonni Cooper seems to think Spock's first name is 'Mary Sue'; I disagree), but you did it an injustice. It was well-intentioned and far from the worst pro novel I've ever read. That dubious honor is shared by The Klingon Gambit (barf) and Death's Angel (double barf). You don't know what trash is till you've suffered through these two. I can't decide which is worse; does anyone care to cast the deciding vote?
  • Tom A writes of "Black Fire":
I liked "Black Fire." Liked it so much that I read it in one sitting (4 1/2 hours). I thought that Starfleet was ignoring the facts of the case, but I thought that it was because the invasion Spock feared had already begun— replacements, plants, doubles... I agree Kirk would miss Spock, but perhaps McCoy lied all along, telling Kirk that Spock had been re-assigned. I realized that something was fishy when Spock 'walked' out of a penal colony. It was all too easy, even for Spock.

  • Lisa W and Julia E write about the quality of pro books:
    In regard to the present situation with pro Trek novels, we have something we would like to say. Is everyone else as tired as we are at discovering that Trek novels by award-winning science fiction writers are often not even as good as many fan works? And now are discovering that novels by fan writers are not necessarily any better? Ever since the Trek novels first came into existence, only a small handful of them have been worth the money spent on them. Yet, they continue to be published and fans continue to buy them. We think that this is a problem. With the amount of interest and talent in the Trek fannish community, there should be no problem in locating readable Trek. However, Timescape Books (and Bantam before them) persist in turning out thin, adolescent efforts, which they expect us to buy. And fans do buy them, thus continuing the cycle. If we are ever to disrupt this cycle, we must let the book publishers know how we feel.
  • Don H doesn't like this letterzine plugging another show:
Finally, to [Dixie O] and [Helen M]: Being such prominent figures in fandom, you'd be the last people I'd want to annoy. But is it really necessary to go to such great lengths to promote a crummy cop show just because of William Shatner? Granted, his protrayal of Hooker is indeed likeable, but the writing is atrocious. I sincerely hope that you tone this down, Teri, and nearly everyone I've spoken to regarding this matter thinks that the full-page excerpt from Variety was a bit gauche. I'm a Kirk fan, but this is going too far, gang.

  • Gail P. E gives a history lesson, and a "boot-in-the-ass speech":
    In 1968, NBC cancelled STAR TREK, to the chagrin and outcries of us all- Thanks to a massive letter campaign (ably whipped along by a little lady called Bjo), the network relented on its decision. There art thou happy. The death sentence was again pronounced in 1969, but this time there was no last minute reprieve. That's it we thought, after summer reruns, and we read the last rites over the apparently lifeless body of our beloved series. Then came syndication. There art thou happy. More and more stations picked up the episodes over the years and broadcast them almost continuously (we have one such station in the northwest in Tacoma, Washington. Boy oh boy, am I happy!), and STAR TREK's popularity blossomed. There art thou happy! In fact, so popular did the series become, that Paramount began making feature film noises. Ten years after ST's demise on network TV, we were presented with STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE. Whether or not you liked the picture is irrelevant. The point is, instead of letting STAR TREK lie quietly buried. Paramount did something with it. There art thou happy. Despite the problems with and criticisms leveled against ST:TMP, bucking all odds. Paramount went ahead with a second film. There art thou happy. A third film is tentatively scheduled to go into production in August, which means we have yet another STAR TREK year to anticipate (or, one more chance for Paramount to prove themselves, if you hated ST I & II). There art thou happy! Now, I'm not saying these two films are perfect...but then, what is? Certainly not the series. Some of the episodes had gaping flaws in continuity you could drive a" truck through. Those fans who have their feet planted obdurately in 1966-1969, and have idealized the series beyond all reason, should perhaps take off their rose-coloured glasses and take another close look.
  • an example of fannish discourse:
I didn't ask for a definition of rudeness, and it is rude of you to say I did; however, I'll give you the benefit of a doubt, and assume you did not understand what I wrote. Now, if you have a specific comment of mine about which to complain, I'll accept your criticism. I do not accept your unwarranted generalizations and self-centered judgments. You are being extremely rude in delivering them, and in saying that I "lack insight" into my behavior and write letters to INTERSTAT because I "can have attention"; can't you see that? When you say "everyone who contributes to this letterzine thinks the same thing," you are being extremely egotistical and illogical, if nothing else. Do you think that you are immune to rudeness when you make such accusations?

  • another example of fannish discourse:
    I don't care whether anyone else [agrees] does or not—that's their business. Unlike you, I don't want to intimidate everyone into agreeing with me; I have enough faith in my own opinions that I can tolerate having them challenged. It's a pity that you're so immature that you can't tolerate anyone disagreeing with you. Rephrase whatever it was you were trying to say, quoting me accurately and lowering your level of hysteria about ten settings, and then we'll try to pick up the discussion (although I reserve the right to stop wasting time arguing with you if something more interesting comes up). Try to keep things in perspective; try to remember it's not a crime to dislike something (if it were, your irrelevant cheap shots at K/S would condemn you).
  • Dawn L pleads for civility:
There's another topic that several have mentioned and I must add my contribution. That is, how we treat each other. Without a doubt, there have been several instances in the pages of INTERSTAT where insults fly and anger is only too apparent. My only question is — why? It doesn't make sense. We are all involved in the same thing, all appreciate Trek, or you wouldn't be reading these words. Negative meets negative and insults meet insults, am I wrong? Angry letters will not be met with favoritism, let me assure you. Just think too, we are debasing the very thing ST fandom is supposed to be: sharing ideas, learning from each other. I'm not saying there shouldn't be any criticism, as long as it is in good taste. I, myself, WANT criticism. If everyone agrees with me, it certainly won't get me anywhere. I can't build upon ideas, or change them, or even improve them. Most people are open to ideas, as long as those ideas are intended to help, not hurt. I guess what inspired this was the comment of a friend, who is non-Trek. For the past year, I have been trying to make her understand what I see in ST and fandom in general. She finally did read one of my issues of INTERSTAT, just a few excerpts. I think you can guess what her reaction was when she read some of those more forceful' letters.

Issue 67

Interstat 67 was published in May 1983 and contains 18 pages.

cover of issue #75, Mike Verina
inside art from issue #75, Sat Nam Kaur Keahey
  • art by Mike Verina and Sat Nam Kaur Keahey
  • Teresa C would like more variety, and the editor explains:
    I have been reading INTERSTAT for several months now and I enjoy the information and articles. But I've noticed a trend among
 the letters that I wonder about. It seems to be the same people who repeatedly have their opinions published. And although I have no objection to them having their opinions published per so, I would like to see a variety of letters. Unless, of course, no one else is venturing to write you. (A very small percentage of INTERSTATE readership actually submit letters of comment. --Ed.)
I would like to say one thing - several people lately seem to be expressing the idea that the Star Trek Welcommittee is having problems. Not true! It is alive and well, and continuing to do its job of HELPING Star Trek fans, old and new! It is true we had to discontinue the newsletter, but that is all! STW has more departments than ever and all are flourishing. We continue to receive a steady stream of letters from fans turning to us for help with questions. We do our very best to answer each and every one as soon as humanly possible. Anyone who has a complaint regarding STW should feel free to contact me at once and I will do my very best to settle the problem! However, STW is not a clearinghouse for complaints about other organizations - please remember we have NO authority over anyone other than ourselves! We have never said we did, nor would we want to have it - we are a SERVICE organization - period. Let us help.

  • Lisa W explains a term:
    "Mundane" is a standard term used by SF fans to describe non-SF fans and I, too, find it quite charming. Which brings mo to a subject that has been bothering me for some time. In almost every tightly-knit group, there are terms for US and THEM, Americans and foreigners, fen and mundanes. Christians and heathens. But there's no term I know of for non-Trekkcrs! Oh, we can borrow the term 'mundanes' but do we really want to include in US, the trufen who think ST fans arc jerks? No! My suggestion for such a THEM is 'Herberts' in true Trek tradition, but I'm open to other ideas.
  • Larry N writes of continuity:
I see how there cannot possibly be all-encompassing agreement on everything Trek— but WHERE WERE YOU when an enthusiastic, brand-spankin'-new fan of 16 decided his mission in life was to connect all the disjointed aspects of Trek background so that everybody would have a nice, neat foundation to work with? I mean, all fans have their "first big fandom energy burst" story—mine was sincerely thinking that after years of listlessness the Believability Factor as represented by the Great God Continuity had to be resurrected. Meanwhile, years and tons of fan non-fiction research later, it was not until 1981 that a letter from [Tim F] shocked me into realizing that not everyone wants a neat, tidy backdrop for Trek, let alone thinking one was possible. Well, yeah, I can always cherish my own opinions—but whatever happened to that long-ago and far away basic blueprint of GR & Co. and the struggle (yes, not always successful) to stick with it? I suppose the realization of the futility of what I had been doing for eight years (painstaking research, crosschecking, consultations, and non-fic book plans) kinda took the wind out of the ol' Trek writing sails. I still enjoy Trek and fandom, of course—I guess I'm just saddened at this passing of idealism.

  • Mark C. H comments on the show, memories, elevation of opinion and more:
    By blowing the greatness of the original series way out of proportion, we have succeeded in setting a standard which for all intents and purposes can never be reached again. That's what over a decade of remembrance can cause. The moral messages of series TREK were conspicuously absent, but oftentimes the moral messages were handled in a less than poetic manner. The direct statement of the moral of the story by Kirk at the end of these episodes is a rather clumsy device at best. STAR TREK is the best television series in history. Elevating it to literature, it loses its luster, for none of the writers was a Milton, a Keats, or a Donne.
  • Colleen C comments on the many fans who are discussing the use of, and lack of, realistic science in the ST movies:
I am one of those "ST" fans who is NOT a particular "SF" fan in general, though, so I often miss some things that are "plain" to others. Perhaps that's why I was able to enjoy both TMP and TWOK, even though there seem to be many people who did not.

  • Anne E. B liked the pro book, "Black Fire":
    To Sonni Cooper - I dip my pen in purple ink to you, to your Black Fire:... Black Fire was a long ways from being everybody's cup of Trek, but buckle my swash, it was fun!
  • Lisa W on "Black Fire":
I didn't like Black Fire. I thought the plot was so thin as to be transparent. I felt that Spock was out of character, and most of all, I think Sonni Cooper could use a few classes on writing prose—at least the pro writers who don't seem to know Trek are, technically, good writers. Still, I thought [S.L. R's] comments were rude and nasty and I would not have made them. However, I also thought they were witty and funny and I really enjoyed reading the letter I think the same principles apply to other INTERSTAT writers and that other readers may well feel the same way. Rude comments are often entertaining.

  • Frances F comments on "Black Fire":
    Regarding the novel BLACK FIRE, I felt it was one of the better pro novels— interesting, fast-paced, colorful. Sure, it had its defects—what Trek story, pro or fan-fic, doesn't?
  • Suzanne M writes about "Black Fire":
I have just finished Black Fire, and enjoyed most of it, especially the first half. I was rather deflated with the ending, although all along I wondered how Sonni Cooper was going to get Spock out of the mess he was in. For me, the most unbelievable part was the pirate section, which, ironically, Black Fire was named for! Sonni does have a knack for dialogue, and her efforts are better than some pro novels which have our crew say and do things completely out of character. I do recommend Black Fire, for even with its flaws, the action and dialogue are superior to most ST pro novels.

  • Debbie G writes of the fan campaign that was suggested regarding Timescape Books:
    Good luck to you in your campaign to reform the Timescape novels. However, I will not be one of the letter-writers, because I solve the problem in a very simple way — I neither read the books nor buy them. I think that's the real solution. The book editors are not fans. They don't understand what Star Trek is, so they don't buy real Star Trek stories. Since we have little hope of educating the publishing industry, our best bet is to circulate flyers among fans saying, "For heaven's sake, stop buying this trash!"
  • Joan V writes of pro books in general:
I am pleased to see that I am not the only Star Trek fan concerned about the poor quality of the professional ST fiction. For a dozen years, ever since I read the first pro ST novel, SPOCK MUST DIE!, I have told every fan who would listen that I consider an average fanzine story better than the best pro novel published thus far. Fans who have claimed to enjoy the pro novels keep telling me, "Read the latest one! It's really good! It's different from the rest!", and I have always found the novel recommended to mo little better than the others. I still consider a good fanzine story superior in quality to any ST novel published, ever. To name a few: Howard Weinstein wrote one of my favorite animated episodes, "Pirates of Orion." Yet, I felt COVENANT OF THE CROWN was unremarkable. Kathleen Sky, and her husband, Stephen Goldin, were very kind to me at Seacon, so I read DEATH'S ANGEL with high hopes, but I found the elite security force she introduced into the ST universe an idea bordering on the macabre. Likewise, I had great expectations for BLACK FIRE by Sonni Cooper, but I thought the plot was pedestrian, and Spock was characterized as a super-mortal. Vonda McIntyre has a reputation for good SF, but I found THE ENTROPY EFFECT and the ST II novelization cluttered and pointless. Sondra Marshak's and Myrna Culbreath's books, in my opinion, are the worst ST ever published (even mediocre fan fiction is better). I couldn't get through the first three chapters of THE PRICE OF THE PHOENIX. I did get through THE PROMETHEUS DESIGN, though it was not because it was a great work of fiction. Demoting an Admiral to Commander and them promoting his second-in-command over him is terrible for morale; there are more convincing and realistic ways to render a ranking officer powerless. Further, the idea of "total, unquestioned, and absolute obedience" is a stupid concept—how foolish it is can be proven by a quick exercise in logic called the reductio ad absurdam (and they want us to believe that Vulcans have this philosophy of obedience?). Their latest, TRIANGLE, is again a mixture of silly pseudo-philosophies and ideas whose consequences have not been thought out. As much as I dislike the pro ST fiction, though, I don't think a letter campaign to TIMESCAPE will do very much. Like other major book publishers, TIMESCAPE is part of a large corporation, which is only interested in the bottom line— will it sell? And ST pro fiction, no matter how rotten, sells. One may get an individual editor who cares about literary quality, but, in the first place, editors come and go fairly often, and, in the second place, corporations still make editors select books more on profitability than quality. Sure, the fanzine stories are better, but the number of fanzine readers is minuscule compared to the number of Star Trek admirers out there who are totally ignorant of fandom, and desperate for ST fiction to read—no matter how poor. And, the undeniable fact is, some people actually like these books (even come who also read fanzines, which is bewildering to me). What, then, can be done? I don't know. Some good ST fan writers have tried to submit pro novels without success. Some good ST fan writers don't want to become pro writers (which is their privilege). Some good ST fan writers would rather write general SF novels. As long as this is the case, we'll continue to get shoddy writing.

  • an apology! -- Mark C. H writes:
    You are right. I did get carried way out of line in issue #64. Sorry about that guys. Right now D. Booker and I are corresponding privately, and quite cordially, I believe. The discussion is wonderful. I do agree with you though. Some basic elements of tact and decency have been sorely missing in these pages. Let's have some measure of decorum, shall we?
  • Judith H suggests another topic of discussion:
Yes, I would be very interested in reading your articles concerning the similarities and differences between the Star Trek and Holmes phenomenon. I think that we could all
 use something fresh to think and write about. Did you ever read the book PROFILE BY GASLIGHT? It is an Irregular Reader about the Private Life of Sherlock Holmes and was edited by Edgar W. Smith. It is comprised of articles written by Sherlockians who base their opinions about Holmes and his world on the "Sacred Writings." To give you an example, one writer wrote that Watson was a woman (probably Holmes' wife) and another wrote a very good article that the "later" Holmes after the Reichenbach Fall was an imposter! The only source of information that either one used was from the pen of Doyle.

  • Sylvia K would like an official fan club:
    On the subject of STARFLEET: As a member, I find STARFLEET enjoyable. I'm sorry you don't like it, but then again no one ever asked for your approval, and you certainly would never be required to join. There is no draft in Star Trek fandom. If you don't want to join a club, don't; and there's an end to it. As far as whether or not STARFLEET could, or should, be an official fan club, it doesn't really matter if it's STARFLEET, or the Welcommittee, or something new. What [Cathy F] says is true. Star Trek fandom has existed for years without an official club, and will undoubtedly do just fine without one in the future. But it would be nice to have one. Star Wars has an official fan club, and members get all sorts of nifty posters, pictures and patches, and a quarterly newsletter with official behind-the-scenes stories. We in Star Trek fandom have to dig for what Swarsfen have handed to them, and we are plagued by rumors. So yes, an official fan club would be nice. Not necessary, but nice. It would not eliminate local clubs or fanzine. I don't think we need concern ourselves with the matter of whose club it should be too much, though, because Paramount isn't as smart as Lucasfilm, and will probably never sanction any existing or proposed group.
  • Debbie G thanks Interstat's editor:
Just want to thank you for your unobtrusive editing. I'm very touchy about having my words changed, and I get upset when careless typos detract from what I'm trying to say. For a zine that comes out every four weeks like clockwork, yours is amazingly free of errors. Keep up the great work; I love it!

  • Lisa W on Interstat's editorial policy:
    I don't think editing out nastiness is a good idea—it makes for interesting reading and gives us more to discuss. However, there is some editing I think you should be doing. How many people in this issue corrected D.Booker's misquote? I really got tired of reading that same correction. You should have chosen the best one and edited out the rest.
  • Bev L comments on this letterzine's editorial policy:
Another great ish as usual. I want to commend you on one thing that people neglect to mention. That is, your tolerance and nobility to stray away from censorship. I like the idea that anything can be said in your letterzine even if the comments are racy, tacky, or downright insulting. (Thank you. With the exceptions of space limitations, obscene language and libel, little is edited. --Ed.) People should monitor themselves rather than it coming from one authority setting herself up as judge to what should or shouldn't be said. Not all letterzines in other fandoms do this. I appreciate yours the most for being an example, and having the guts to be an honest-to-goodness publication of the free press.

  • Lisa W addresses Ruth Berman's earlier letter about SF and ST fandom:
    While it is true that SF fandom also has fanzines, clubs, and cons, I've found that they possess a completely different flavor than their counterparts in ST fandom. The fanzines, especially, are a different breed, being much shorter, often available for free or a LoC, and with relatively little fiction.
  • Bev L brings up the topic of fans making copies of fanzines:
Some editors are concerned with other fans copying their fanzines and have written in to Universal Translator and such. I think there is a world of difference between fans who copy them for themselves and others who intend to sell the copies to make a profit. A copyright exists to protect commercial rights... nothing else. When a fan makes a copy for herself or friends from her/their own pockets, as long as no business to make profits from it is involved , it is legal to do so. It is a non-profit article. The consumers are only paying for the paper. The copyrights for each separate writer and poet exists so that no one can steal them and make a profit from them in any way. The same with a piece of art. The original is the original and no one, when it is copywritten can produce the same. (They can draw a simulation but not an exact duplicate.) A zine as beautiful, for example, as The Bloodstone, would certainly not have the same quality in xeroxing. The paper is nice and thick, the writing is clear and dark, the art is reproduced beautifully, etc. A xerox can simply not stand up to the beauty of the original zine, as the zine itself can not stand up to the beauty of the original lettering and art. So, fellow editors, take heart. The originals are always more valuable. And this is only a hobby after all, in which we hope to share the pleasures of fandom, not something to depend on for our own financial gain.

  • Shirley Maiewski writes of the changes and blessings she has seen:
    As one of the Senior Citizens of Fandom, I'd like to comment on the wonder of being able to sit in my living room and see motion pictures that at one time could only be seen in theaters! I realize many other fans cannot remember a time without television, but there was a time when after a movie finished its theatrical run - that was IT! I remember how I wept when a particularly well-loved Nelson Eddy film closed (date myself, don't I?) and I thought I'd never see it again! Now with TV and TV recorders, we can enjoy a film over and over again! Progress! Isn't it wonderful? I think so! In my lifetime we've gone from Lindberg flying the Atlantic to Space Shuttles and Voyager! Imagine what some of you younger people will see! Enjoy!

Issue 68

Interstat 68 was published in June 1983 and contains 18 pages.

cover of issue ##68, Ann Crouch
  • it contains no interior art
  • this issue has piece of commentary from Teri Meyer called Minefield in which she discusses the leak and sale of a script outline for the third Star Trek movie, see that page
  • S.L. R comments on Interstat's editorial policy:
    I'm sure if you had taken up the practice of editing, slashing, omitting, and twisting all the letters sent to you over the years, INTERSTAT would never have lasted as long as it has. Thank you a thousand times for this fine example of free press, this open forum to air our opinions. You're doin' good, kid.
  • Mary Ann D comments on editorial policy and addresses Bobbie H:
Did I read that right (1#66)? You really want Teri to exercise censorship? She has that editorial statement in there in case someone uses one of the really Class A Anglo-Saxon terms—four-letter-words, for short. I respect her greatly because (among other things) she manages to edit INTERSTAT without stamping her own opinion all over it. If you disagree with someone, say so. That is your privilege. Don't ask poor Teri to put her head in a snarth's den by eliminating sources of controversy for you—in advance.

  • Daniel W offers an apology to a fan:
    I re-read my letter to you and figured that maybe I did overreact. My apologies. I can be a real hot-head sometimes. I honestly do hope that you'll accept my apologies if I offended you.
  • Debbie G doesn't want an official Star Trek fan club:
Thank God Star Trek does not have an official fan club. I belong to the Star Wars club you mentioned, and I admit they do a nice job in giving the members a square deal. However, it's all so slick and commercial that I feel somehow depersonalized. The emphasis is heavily on merchandising, and the level of writing is geared toward the younger audience. The studio people are dishing out what they want us to know about Star Wars; there is no communication among the members themselves. Star Trek fans already have many avenues for free and open discussion. I feel that an official fan club would diminish Star Trek's position as adult sf.

  • Barbara P. G is glad not to have an official fan club either:
    I think it is best that no official ST club exist. There is too much danger of the kind of dictatorial pronouncements, attempted censorship, and control of fandom that goes on with the SWars club and within SW fandom.
  • Carol F bemoans the lack of LoCs and communication:
A friend wrote me recently regarding the lack of fandom response (namely Letters of Comment) to her novel she published in January- While she has sent out over 300 zines since that time, she has received only one note from a reader commenting on her novel. My friend is both disappointed and discouraged, and has lost her incentive to do any more zines or to write for other zines. Considering the nature of fandom writing and publishing, her response is very understandable. LoCs (postcard size or more; pro or con) are the fandom writer's payoff for all the hard work, soul searching, financial chaos (and we all know that publishers can't live on the pittance they receive from their zines, if they make any money at all!) and uncountable hours the writer has spent creating the zine. Is fandom changing? Lessening? "Complacency" is frequently fatal to a communications-oriented phenomenon like fandom; when we stop communicating with each other, there is no fandom left. When good writers like my friend lose their desire to communicate because their labors have gone unnoticed, fanzines die. Fan writers and publishers don't work for money—they labor long and hard to share...and sharing is a two-way street.

  • J. Elizabeth G writes of Trek reading material:
    I am just now beginning to collect ST fan fiction, and have already discovered that genre's superiority to the pro fiction that has been published thus far. But ...I intend to continue to purchase the pro literature - because of its ready availability and because, not having seen an episode of the series since 1977, I am indeed "desperate for ST fiction to read - no matter how poor." Let me emphasize the words "ready availability;" for those of us new to fandom it can be discouragingly difficult to locate sources of privately published fan fiction. And that fiction can be uncomfortably expensive to acquire. To the new, or isolated, or financially constrained ST fan, the pro novels being published by Timescape...are a Godsend.
  • more on a previous comment on "Black Fire" and of pro books in general from Mary Ann D:
In regard to [S.L. R's] criticism of Black Fire: I agree that it was caustic—perhaps unnecessarily caustic. It was certainly not constructive. On the other hand, Ms. Cooper, by publishing that book as a professional, set herself up for it. She even asked for it. Unfortunately, the lady's attitude has in the past seemed to me to be: "I'm a professional at what I do; don't complain to me, because you're not a professional, and therefore your thoughts about my work are worthless." In my opinion, the novel was not a shining example of Treklit—pro or otherwise. Along with Death's Angel and one or two others, it should never have seen print. (In my opinion. I require no one to share it.) That it did see print in its present form is not Ms. Cooper's fault. Dave Hartwell wasn't doing his job. He is a fine editor when it comes to general SF, but the line of Trek novels is Pocket Books' stepchild. The books make lots of money for them, and they have to put almost no effort or expense into producing the series. It's no place for inexperienced fiction writers to begin because they'll get no TLC from the editorial department at Pocket Books. The publisher's attitude is demonstrably, "Why should we care?"

  • Lisa W comments on pro books:
    I solved my difficulty with the pro Trek books the same way— by not buying them. But people kept telling me that THIS book was different, head and shoulders above the rest, and mostly, I have been disappointed. And I realized that the fact that I kept buying these books, given the horrible things I'd read in the past, meant that I really wanted to see good Trek in pro form. I want to pay $3.00 for a book containing the equivalent in stories to about $20 in fanzines. I want the folks who love ST but aren't in fandom to see what good ST fiction is about. I've heard complaints about "Trekkies" who don't seem to know how to read, but per haps they would be more interested in reading if they had easy access to books on their favorite subjects.... I know that Timescape editors are not Trek fans. But that's no excuse. They could easily find a dozen fans who would love to read manuscripts submitted to them and give their opinions. They would have no trouble getting excellent advice on what good Trek is. If they bothered. And I don't see that they're even bothering to edit the Trek books they publish to make them sound like they were written by pros.
  • Carol F comments on pro books:
I agree that the professionally published ST books are the pits, despite the money they make for Pocket Books. One would think that any publisher would try to get hold of the best writing in any category—not this inane pap obviously hacked out for the money. (After reading BLACK FIRE I was left with doubts that Sonni Cooper and I ever watched the same ST series.) Since Pocket Books refuses to read or accept unsolicited manuscripts, and since most fan writers do not have literary agents to handle their work, fandom doesn't have much of a chance to get its best writing even looked at, much less published (the Murdock book notwithstanding—how did that happen?). Perhaps we should focus our attention on persuading Pocket Books and editor David Hartwell to give unrepresented writers a chance. If they devised (necessarily strict) guidelines for submission, some of fandom's fine writers could help them recover their reputation, and ST pro books would hopefully improve.

  • Dorothy L has an issue with division and vocabulary:
    I, too, thought the term "mundane" for non-SF fans was pretty cute, and relatively harmless. But when you propose to equate Trekkers and- non-Trekkers with the idea of US and THEM, I have to voice my objections. Perhaps you have not fully thought through the implications of elite "in" groups as opposed to scorned "out" groups. Sound like Jr. High? Your own examples of "Americans and foreigners" and "Christians and heathens" are provocative enough. Now consider these US and THEM terms: Whites and niggers; American GIs and Gooks; Master Race and Jews; Moral Majority and Everyone else. You get the idea. Why lower ourselves by implying that anyone who is not a ST fan is a "jerk" or "Herbert"? Star Trek fans don't need any special words to separate and distinguish ourselves. "Trekker" is special enough for me.
  • Debbie G comments on LoCers:
Teri's comment that "a very small percentage of INTERSTAT's readership actually submit LoC's" got me to wondering if there are fundamental personality differences between the writers and non-writers. I assume that most LoCs come from people like me—those who tend to have very strong opinions and feel irresistably compelled to share their views. This can be a good or bad trait, depending on whether the person who possesses it has learned to communicate in a civilized manner. If he hasn't he becomes obnoxious; he is, in short, "opinionated." Another thing we have to watch out for (I know I do) is being dogmatic—believing that "my opinion is the only right one." This is where a lot of the rude remarks come from, when the writer stubbornly refuses to see anyone else's point of view... Despite what I just said, I have to agree that rude comments can be very funny.

  • Cindy MaC writes:
    I enjoy the lively exchanges and although I sometimes think there should be a little less name-calling and fewer personal insults, I must admit that some of that "You're entitled to your own opinion...but of course you're wrong, you're a jerk and I'm not gonna play with you anymore!" stuff can be the most fun to read. There is nothing quite as entertaining as someone who, lacking the grace to concede a point or grant another the right to a differing opinion, defends their own opinions with sour grapes instead of reason.
  • Carol C wishes for more Chapel in a zine:
Does anyone know what happened to Juanita Salicrup and her CROSSROADS series? She made a Chapel fan out of me with her superb writing. It was such a disappointment when installment 4 didn't make it into the last issue of STARDATE: UNKNOWN. Juanita had planned a CROSSROADS COLLECTED and sent out one progress report, now she won't even answer SASEs.

  • S.L. R offers up an explanation, and an apology that really isn't, about "Black Fire":
    Admittedly I was rude and nasty concerning Ms. Cooper's tool "Black Fire". The letter was written in a fit of pique and all my pent up anger poured forth. My distress has not lessened, however, since the writing of said letter. The villain is not Sonni Cooper. One cannot and should not edit or critique one's own work. The fact that it was published in its obviously un-edited state makes me believe that someone at Timescape is not doing the job they get paid for. Maybe I expect too much, but at least someone there should have given it one good read-through before they sent it to press. Oh, and remember when I said that my dog found it delicious? Well, I guess I was a little premature. The next day he threw up all over the rug.
  • Mary Ann D takes what she can from Trek's inconsistencies:
Inconsistencies in Trek are legion. Some of the best fan stories have arisen from attempts to reconcile these inconsistencies. As a writer, Iu se what ever a given story needs in terms of facts or characters mentioned in the series or films. For instance, "Omega Glory" is rather widely accepted to be one of the worst episodes, but it still gives us a wonderful villain—Captain Tracey, and the interesting little fact that Spock can make telepathic "suggestions" at a distance of several feet without touching his subject or focusing his hands. Even "Spock's Brain" has some useful ship's procedures/capabilities stuff while they're trying to track the alien ship that stole the title object. I'm unwilling to ignore any episode from which I can glean bits and pieces to construct a story. I'm even unwilling to suggest that we ignore the animated episodes, silly as I think some of them were. To do so would mean losing Arex and M'Ress, among others, and I like them.... I have done my job if, as a writer, I make whatever elements I use in my stories believable, "canon" or not; if, to use the old SF joke, I have sufficiently disguised the zippers on the tentacles of my aliens. But if too many of my readers see the zippers in the seams of my imagination, then I'd better do some extensive revision.

  • Carol F addresses Bev L:
    Thank you for your comment on THE BLOODSTONE. Re your remarks about copying zines, the problem exists when people copy to sell and make a profit on other people's work. There is no reason I can see why individuals should not be able to Xerox an out-of-print zine for their own use; I regularly recommend that solution to fans who write for my OoP zines. But we can't afford to permit some few opportunists to make multiple copies of zines they had nothing to do with, just to make some bucks themselves—that's dishonest and unfair to everybody. Putting out fanzines is more than a "hobby," and if those who produce the zines can't count on "financial gain," or should not, as you suggest, why should the pirates be allowed to do so? It takes me two years to produce a good fanzine (three years in the case of NIGHTVISIONS), and the pirate spends an hour or so over a Xerox to produce 25 copies he/she will sell for $50 each—where's the justice in that? (This latter incident prompted my original letter to UT.)
  • B. J. P writes:
First of all, character suicides are as entitled to the First Amendment as other people are. Second of all, you're as entitled to censor as anyone else. Compile a list of the chronic character assassins who use INTERSTAT as a forum for rabid antics, especially the so-called Trek fans who spend their full time trashing Trek, the Trek-as-Victim fans. This should only take three or four issues for regular offenders. Then simply avoid those letters and turn the pages very carefully. You'll find out all these people have to say from the fierce rebuttals by people who ate their stomach linings reading the drivel without any loss of lining yourself. On occasion, when properly fortified—liquor not required—read the offenders' letters. If they still trash Trek to put the stereotype of the Southern Gentleman on self-destruct or continue to destroy their own self-esteem, read them when you're fortified again—preferably several months later. In my own free time, I can read what I please. Nowadays, there are three classes of letters besides the above that I wish I hadn't read: raging diatribes against the above letters, raging diatribes based on faulty facts, and raging diatribes against K/S.

  • Mary Ann D would like to see way less conflict in this letterzine:
    To those of you engaging in personalities and ad hominem arguments: Why don't you write to each other, privately, and spare the rest of us? It's boring! And you, too, are managing to cause pain, which disturbs and saddens me. When you respond to a dig in kind, and publicly, you simply perpetuate the fights, most of which should never have started in the first place. You make the party of the second part feel honor-bound to defend him/herself, and you drag others in, as during one of those barroom brawls in western movies or in "Tribbles." If all of this mud-slinging seemed to be improving mutual understanding, I wouldn't complain. But it is not. It is driving wedges. I realize that this sort of thing happens within any large and varied family at times, but as a steady diet it's not pleasant. I do not look forward to INTERSTAT as much as I used to because of it. By all means, state facts as you see them; by all means, state your opinions and disagree with the opinions of your brothers and sisters. But please, do not malign the intelligence, morals, and ancestry of those who don't see things your way. In doing so, you only damage yourselves.... Then perhaps [Bobbie H] wouldn't be requesting censorship, which is anathema to most of us.

Issue 69

Interstat 69 was published in July 1983 and contains 18 pages.

cover of issue #69, Mike Brown
  • Howard Weinstein tells fans that if they abide by the fan-proposed boycott of pro books, Association for Readable TREK, they will miss out on a new pro book by Ann Crispin called "Yesterday's Son":
    I know it's a damn good book—and real STAR TREK—because I was lucky enough to read the manuscript. I asked Ann if I could write the introduction for the book and she graciously said yes...Lisa and Julia get no argument from me when they complain that not all the pro STAR TREK novels are as good as they might be. But have we forgotten that not all of STAR TREK's TV episodes were great? The third season is best forgotten, isn't it? And even during the first two seasons. Gene Roddenberry occasionally presided over an episode that didn't work. That's the nature of any series—there is inevitable variation in quality. But that's no reason to boycott the whole series, is it?
  • Maria V is looking for fan fiction:
The reason I am writing is: to get someone to tell me where I might find some of the fan fiction that I keep hearing about. I've been a Star Trek fan since 1966. But until last month I didn't know there was any ST fiction around (except for the pro novels). I had no idea that there was a whole world of fandom and fanzines out there just waiting for those lucky enough to find out about them. The only way I could get an occasional bit of ST would be through the pro novels. So I eagerly awaited each new one. I must admit, most of them have glaring faults in them, and have to be taken for what they are worth. But at least they have kept ST alive for me. When no reruns were being shown, they were all I had.

  • Trina M. A also buys the pro books out of desperation:
    Yes, ST books will sell, no matter how poorly written they are. Just 6 months ago, I was a ST admirer unaware of ST fandom. I had, and still have, an insatiable appetite for anything ST. I still read any ST book I can get my hands on. After all, poor ST is better than no ST.
  • Brett B comments on "Black Fire," the pro book:
I agree that Black Fire was a sort of fun novel, although it was horrendous.

  • Judith G addresses two fans, Carol F and Bev L, on copyright and profit:
    You say that putting out a zine is "more than a hobby," but you don't tell us what it is, if not a hobby. It's not a charity and it's not the government, so I guess you must mean it's a business. The difference between putting out a zine as a hobby and as a business has nothing to do with how extensive, intensive, or costly the editor's efforts are, nor how sound or poor her business judgment — it lies only in her intent to make a profit. If publishing a fanzine is "more than a hobby," then your question to [Bev L] should be stood on its head. If (as all of us would agree) it's wrong for zine pirates to profit from the work of others, then how can it be right for a fanzine editor to use STAR TREK, the copyrighted work of others, for her own personal gain? Sauce for the goose and all that.

Issue 70

Interstat 70 was published in August 1983 and contains 22 pages.

cover of issue #20, M.S. Murdock
  • there is no interior art
  • there is a ballot for TrekStar Awards #3
  • there are many comments about the pro book boycott proposal, see Association for Readable TREK for those
  • there are comments about the leaked script controversy, see Minefield for those
  • there is an announcement that fan, Carol Becker, has passed away, her friend Jan M. M writes:
    Of all the zines she bought and subscribed to, I think she got the most enjoyment out of INTERSTAT. We decided early on that it was ridiculous for both of us to subscribe, so I let my sub lapse. Many of our most enjoyable nights were spent discussing this zine. It was always eagerly awaited, but never so eagerly as when one of us had a letter inside. Those fen who replied to her thoughts in INTERSTAT and in personal letters gave her a great deal of joy. Our friendship did range far beyond Trek - to books, ideas, religion and politics, and problems both mutual and personal. But Trek and INTERSTAT always remained at the heart of it. One of the last four zines she ordered arrived and was read a day or so before her stroke, two are out in limbo I guess, and one zine arrived the day she died. Her last INTERSTAT arrived the day after her death. I know she read the last pro novel but we never had a chance to talk about it. There was no rush; summer was coming and we always had more time to spend together when school was out. My half-made plans of renting a VCR and Trekking out with Carol and another friend, and Rusty's plans to shanghai Carol to Return of the Jedi, as she did me, will not be carried out. ST III will be released if all goes well in June of '84, one year after Carol's death. I intend to be in line for the first showing, alone or with Rusty, to brave the noon sun and heat because the goal is worth achieving. I know Carol will be sitting beside me watching the resurrection of Spock - a resurrection that she absolutely wanted and expected. I will miss her most on the drive home - to my house and not as tradition has always dictated to hers - when she won't be there to laugh or cry, babble or argue, hug. Instead, I imagine I will be grimly surprised that a whole year will have passed since she died... I have lost a friend, someone I love. I miss her more than I could possibly say.
  • Margaret A. M comments on another fan's comments:
Quo usque tandem abutere, [name redacted], patientia nostra? Who is [name redacted]? Is she animal, vegetable, or mineral? From her letters—monothematic, repetitive as falling hail, deep as a scrap of cellophane—one can deduce that she is enraptured with her own fan image as Star Trek's self-appointed hair shirt—for at any-and-every opportunity she whiffles through fandom's tulgey wood, burbling like the Jabberwock. Thank heaven for all the beamish boys—and girls—who take the vorpal blades of their intellects and carve snicker-snack! her verbiage into its primal state—confetti. How can anyone take her malicious maunderings seriously? Of course, as a fan, she deserves to be accorded the same privilege as everyone else—that of having her words and opinions included uncensored—but does she deserve the courtesy of a reply? Courtesy begets courtesy—and so far as I can see, [name redacted] has begat none. So, let her blather on and on and on and on—ad infinitum. Eventually she will run out of words, or venom, or steam, or whatever energy powers her generators—or more likely—she will run out of readers and I'm sure no greater tragedy could occur to one of her unbridled audacity--or ego.

  • Linda S speculates on Vulcan sexuality:
    I have another question about Vulcans. The general fan consensus seems to be that Vulcan males are potent at all times, not just during pon farr. Amanda is generally offered as justification for this idea—what normal human could stand to go 7 years without attention from her (his) spouse? This is probably true of normal humans, but I'm not sure it has anything to do with Vulcans. Suppose Amanda isn't a normal human, that she's one of those eccentric folks who don't like sex? If Vulcan men are only good for once every seven years, that would be a powerful incentive for a woman with low sex drive to marry one. She'd certainly get along much better with such a being than with a normal healthy human male. Or suppose Amanda does like sex, but still loved Sarek, and he loved her enough to allow her to take care of her physical needs with an outside party? If he was liberal enough to marry a human in the first place, he might well have been liberal enough to allow for radical adjustments in the relationship. A man who cuts his son off for 18 years because of a difference of opinion doesn't sound like he'd be that mature, but it's possible for a person to be very stubborn in some areas and very relaxed and reasonable in others. For instance, he might go along with Amanda's having a lover if Vulcans aren't particularly hung up on sexual fidelity. I suspect thev are, since their culture seems patriarchal and sex hangups go with that territory, but we saw so little of Vulcan there's just no way to be sure—they might not be patriarchal after all, or they might be but not be hung up on fidelity. Or, suppose Amanda's normal and Sarek isn't? Maybe he has some hormonal imbalance resulting in permanent potency.
  • Sally F addresses comments by Mary Lou D in an earlier issue:
What makes you so sure that Carol conspired to deliberately get pregnant by Kirk? Isn't it possible that they, at that time, happened to be one of those rare unlucky couples whose contraceptives malfunctioned, and that Carol might have been a woman who had serious misgivings about aborting the fetus? Those people exist today; who says they wouldn't exist in the 23rd century? To me, Carol was a level-headed woman who saw that any permanent, close rela tionship with Kirk was impossible at that time: he was centering his life around his ship and his career. I give her credit for not settling for that type of marriage.

  • Tony L. W. also addresses Mary Lou D's comments:
    When told of your ridiculously hilarious ideas of the Carol Marcus/Jim Kirk relationship earlier this year at Trekkon '83, Bibi Besch just laughed...she did not portray the character of Dr. Marcus in that light, as an "ultra possessive career-and-self-centered female." Where do you read, or tell me—did I miss the portion of TWOK where Dr. Marcus is portrayed like this? I think not. It is Bibi's idea—and many others' also—that David was an "accident". Carol hadn't wanted a son at that time, but it happened and she decided to go through with the pregnancy/birth, etc.; perhaps morally she felt that it was wrong to have an abortion. Who knows? But these ideas certainly make more sense than the garbage you have been continually spouting-off to fandom.
  • Lucia J comments on pro books:
I suspect that some people are afraid to see the crew in roles that differ from the roles we knew in the series. In the past, people complained that the books had no continuity. Then someone came up with the idea of alternate universes. I think it is a good theory, as it allows the different writers to put characters into different roles. I know that sometimes the roles are somewhat remote from the original characters, but with each writer comes a different view of a character. The writing team of Marshak and Culbreath has received a lot of criticism because of their complex plots. As a team, Marshak and Culbreath can make more input into a story. I enjoy their stories precisely because of the depth they put into the relationship between Kirk and Spock. Even in Triangle the relationship between Spock and McCoy is revealed in more depth. I like to think that M. & C. are more psychological in their plots. And since I enjoy that style of writing, I will reread their stories for the sheer pleasure of them. I like the way they let the reader view the deep friendship Kirk, Spock and McCoy share. I also appreciate the way that Sondra and Myrna have shown the special affection and empathy that Spock and Kirk have for each other. After all, with all the mind- melds they have used together they would develop a closeness that would be more than crewmembers would normally share. It is more like the friend you've know all your life and who knows all about you: the friend that you've told all your secrets and dreams to. And that is a friend you can love. There doesn't have to be any kind of homosexuality intimated. Spock's reference to Kirk as his T'hy'la is as a friend/brother, not as a lover [2] I don't expect my dissertation to change anyone's mind, but I just feel that Sondra and Myrna need some praise about their work.

  • Gennie S comments on pro books:
    Lisa Wahl suggests that we boycott Timescape books. I've got my own solution: I don't buy the pro novels new. I get them second hand. That way I'm not paying the publishers for them, and I still get to read them. It isn't that I wouldn't buy them new, it's just that I never can find them in this small town, and besides, I'm cheap. Someone sent me BLACK FIRE or I wouldn't be reading that yet.
  • Melissa M comments on pro books:
First of all, I would like to join in the praise for the new ST novel by M.S. Murdock, Web of the Romulans. I have read almost all of the pro novels, and have enjoyed only four of them, and two of those were marginal. So imagine my stunned surprise to read a really good, well-written, exciting ST novel that was REALLY ST! Wonderful! I sympathize with efforts to get publishers to publish good ST novels, but I see no point to a boycott. I plan instead to write in praise of all good ST novels, and to complain about the bad ones.

  • Daniel W comments on pro books:
    As for the ongoing argument over pro novels, I had to admit that I've liked a great deal of the pro novels. (Entropy Effect, Vulcan!, and The Price of the Phoenix to name a few.) However, I also agree with someone's statement that Pocket Books should hire Trek fans as readers. Certainly the company is hoping that more people than just Trek fans will buy the books, but that doesn't mean that they have to flagrantly disregard what Star Trek means to do so. Books like The Klingon Gambit should never have been allowed to be published.
  • Barbara P. G addresses Harve Bennett:
At this point I have given up hope of ever again seeing a Star Trek movie that does not offend me—one with a good plot, decent characterization, science that is not obtrusively horrible, etc. I have only one heartfelt plea left for you: Please, please, do not completely destroy the essence, the very soul, of Star Trek. Leave out the campiness, the bad taste, the repetitive plagiarism, the gimmicks, but mose especially leave out the excessive, genocidal, meaningless violence. Remember that there are more intelligent, inventive ways to deal with the "villains" of your movies than always blowing them up. Thank you.

  • Linda S addresses Judith G about fans' script approval:
    Were you serious when you said that you wanted fans to have script-approval rights? If so, I don't see any way it could be possible. We can't even agree on what constitutes "real" ST, let alone what constitutes good ST (I'm sure that somewhere there is a lonely soul who eagerly awaits reruns of "Spock's Brain...)- Even if it were possible, it would not be desirable. Although I am a strong consumer advocate, I don't believe that consumers should have as big a voice in the making of movies as in the making of cars; the stakes are different; it's a comparison of apples and oranges.... Making comments is fine, but wanting approval rights is getting a bit carried away. The idea is also just plain unfair. Weren't there screams of outrage from some Star Wars fans when George Lucas demanded that their fanzines conform to his approval? Sauce for the goose...
  • Barbara P. G addresses Judith G about fans' script approval:
Yes, yes! Now that is a movement I could support: to give fans some script approval rights. However, it would have to be fans, plural. Considering Bjo Trimble's input on and comments regarding the last movie, I would hate to think that someone with that kind of attitude would have a substantial say in future movies. I also wonder if it would be feasible and helpful to Paramount, considering the vast divergence of opinion on just what constitutes good Star Trek, for you to do another opinion poll, this time concerning what fans (1) most want to experience (not just see), and (2) do not want to experience, in future movies.

  • Jean Lorrah has news:
    I have news: Paramount has approved my Star Trek pro novel, THE VULCAN ACADEMY MURDERS, and I have a contract with Timescape to finish writing it by February, 1984. Interesting things are happening these days—it's possible for the "forbidden" topics of previous years to get approved. I hope all of you will be sure to read YESTERDAY'S SON by Ann Crispin, which should appear from Timescape this August— it's about Spock's son by Zarabeth! And of course, Ann is a trufan. The themes fans have been yearning to see professionally published for years are finally getting into print. My agent sent my novel proposal to Timescape only after warning me, "They never approve anything set on Vulcan." But they did! While Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are main characters (I'm not that dumb!), so are Sarek and Amanda—and the whole story except for Chapter One (in which I wreck the Enterprise) takes place in and around ShiKahr, mostly at the Vulcan Academy of Sciences. If any of you are thinking, "I've heard about that novel somewhere before," yes, it's the book I once intended to write as a sequel to THE NIGHT OF THE TWIN MOONS and publish as a fanzine. However, I got too involved in pro sf writing to write it as planned, so when the opportunity to submit a pro Trek novel arose I got out my notes, did massive revisions to legitimately involve the Big Three in the plot (they weren't in my fan plans), and gave it a try. It paid off!
  • Eric A. S addresses Interstat's editor:
Keep up the good work! I've learned a lot from you and Shirley Maiewski about myself and about fandom. I've learned that no matter how hard one tries to satisfy those who will never be satisfied, it is really the silent majority to whom one's devotion must lie, for the silent majority are those who never criti cize or complain, who never judge or convict, and who never bite or burn others with their words. The silent majority are those who have learned the true meaning of IDIC and never travel far from its path. Likewise, there are those in fandom whose words are heard often, and for the most part they deserve our devotion also. I, for one, hope to recall that thought more often when in the future I feel my blood boiling from the unkind things I hear and see in INTERSTAT, and fandom in general. I've tried hard to turn over a new leaf, and I hope others will also.

  • Gennie Summers writes of a zine (unnamed) review that she found hurtful:
    I recently read a fanzine review which distresses me. Not that I haven't read the likes of it before, but this time it concerns a friend of mine, and her writing. I'd like to know what other fans think about reviews which use terms such as "garbage which could only be the product of an immature mind," and "a sample of the worst Treklit in fanfiction." I feel that sort of personal insult is hurtful and unnecessary. It is one thing to criticize a piece of fiction; it is another thing entirely to attack the writer personally and call names. I don't think zine editors ought to print such reviews, as they are not helpful and certainly may be harmful. There are better and more constructive ways to do a review. It is for this very reason that I have not tried to submit a story for publication until recently, until I felt I had developed a thicker hide through publication of my artwork.
  • Vel Jaeger addresses Alice J. M about a previous letter:
I'm glad that you're evidently having a good time with your Alliance for William Shatner, but I'm rather confused. Didn't you know that an authorized club already exists? Your letter makes it sound as though there is no other outlet for Shatner fans. Mr. Shatner has an official organization, one which he not only authorizes, but works with very closely. If you don't choose to participate in it, that's your prerogative, but please don't make it sound as if the William Shatner Fellowship doesn't exist! It's very alive and well. In any case, you might also consider a different name for your newsletter—KOBAYASHI MARU is the name of a fanzine that has been in the works for nearly a year, and has been listed in DATAZINE & UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR for quite some time. Some are bound to be confused.

  • Eric A. S tells another fan, Astra, that it was smart to read Interstat for seven months before writing a letter:
    like they always say, "test the waters first." When I first started getting INTERSTAT I jumped in with both feet, and there's sharks in them there waters! When the bite started getting worse than the bark (i.e. negative letters being sent to me directly, instead of INTERSTAT) I stopped writing—but I've never stopped reading.
  • Carol F addresses a letter in an earlier issue by Judith G about zines and copyright:
Yes, [Judith G], zine writing/editing/publishing is more than a "hobby" for many of us: it's a labor of love, with due emphasis on labor. It's also an expression of the need to share with others our feelings, thoughts and fantasies; it's a job of work that, though it does not and cannot provide financial support, does provide many the opportunity to display creative talents and give vent to creative impulses that are not salable or possible in the mundane world or the market place... It is many things to many different people, and it is always a creative endeavor, despite your allegations to the contrary. You say, "It's not a charity and it's not the government, so I guess you must mean it's a business"—I say your scope and understanding must be very limited indeed if "charity," "government," and "business" are the only categories you could think of, other than "hobby." How sad for you, considering that you are also an editor of ORGANIA. The term "hobby" implies, and is frequently defined as a "pastime"—that definition does not even begin to define what zine editors do or why they do it. That zine editing can also be a hobby does not mean it is only a hobby, something done to pass time and provide pleasure. Zine editing certainly has its "charitable" aspects, and "business" aspects—and it was astute of you to notice that it's "not the government" (I can agree with that). No, Judith, my years editing, writing and publishing did not set me up in a business for profit—nor any other editor, I'm sure. And if publishing STAR TREK fanzines means our original treatments of ST copyrighted themes renders our copyrights invalid, then all of fandom has been operating under an illusion for 16 years— including the editors of ORGANIA. Your zine, if you'll remember, also carries a copyright notice; considering your enlightened "knowledge" of the law, why???

  • Judith G writes a letter on copyright:
    Recently, I wrote a personal statement in UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR on copyright law and "piracy" of fanzines. I apologize
 for writing to INTERSTAT to clarify that statement; but to judge from the responses that appeared in UT, it generated more heat than light. "Piracy" of STAR TREK fanzines potentially violates at least two sets of copyrights (in addition to Paramount's): the editor's and the individual contributors'. The editor's copyright covers her own editorial contribution to the zine (compiling, editing, layout, etc.) while the contributor retains the copyright in the underlying work (unless she's agreed to transfer it to the editor). (See 17 U.S.C- 201 (a).) For a copyright owner to enforce her copyright against a "pirate," she must, of course, have a valid and enforceable copyright in the first place. If her STAR TREK fanzine infringes Paramount's copyright, she cannot enforce her own. That's because the copyright in a "derivative work" is valid only if the derivative work does not infringe the copyright in the "parent" work. In the language of the statute, "protection for a work employing pre-existing materials in which copyright subsists does not extend to any part of the work in which such material has been used unlawfully." 17 U.S.C. 103 (a). Some lawyers, including the legal department of Lucasfilm, Ltd. and the copyright law professor I had in law school, think that ALL media fanzines use SW or ST "unlawfully." As SW fans have heard ad nauseum, I think that non-profit fan fiction, published as a hobby, is not unlawful, but rather a "fair use" of its parent media product (see 17 U.S.C. 107). Rut even I have a hard time swallowing the idea that a fan editor who clears a net profit of, say, 40 to 50% on a STAR TREK fanzine, is making only "fair use" of STAR TREK. The commercial character of the use is one of the factors a court must consider in determining whether a use is "fair" or infringing. 17 U.S.C. 107 (1). [much snipped]... Some editors have accused me of giving aid and comfort to zine "pirates," for some ulterior purpose of my own. I think this is an example of the "shoot-the-messenger"syndrome. First, I've never said that I thought "piracy" was right or should be tolerated. A theft of stolen goods is still a crime. Moreover, even if the editor's copyright isn't valid, the contributors' copyright usually are (hot to mention Paramount's), and they can still enforce them. And incidentally, I think that zine "piracy" represents a very real harm to authors and artists. Authors and artists have a strong interest in preventing inferior reproduction of their work and its distribution into markets they did not intend it to be sold in when they submitted it to a fanzine. Second, nothing I've said provides any defense to piracy of fanzines published as a hobby, and not for commercial gain: the great majority of zines. What I did suggest is that an editor who wants to prevent "piracy" of her zine should refrain from "piracy" herself.... I should emphasize that I'm writing ONLY about editors (or author/editors) who make a substantial profit on their zines — and there are some who do, in fact, earn as much as 40 or 50% profit, after all the costs of production (including postage, mileage, and interest on the loan to pay the printer) have been accounted for. Then there are editors who sell their own zines at auction prices after the zine officially has been declared "out of print": I heard of one recently who sells copies of her own zine, which probably cost about $8 to produce, for $125. I'm NOT writing about the average fan editor who winds up with a surplus of a couple hundred dollars because the post office surprised her and delivered all her zines. [Diana K] wrote in UT #19 that what I said about fans who turn their zines into a "lucrative commercial venture" applies to any fan who is "guilty of earning a few bucks on a zine," and that this "imperils everyone's copyrights." "Earning a few bucks on a zine" does not constitute a "lucrative commercial venture;" and I think Diana was trying to set up a straw man for the sole purpose of knocking it down. Perhaps it's easier to deal with straw men than to confront the argument I actually made. Also, nothing I say can possibly "imperil" anyone's copyright. The validity of an editor's copyright is governed by federal statute. It doesn't become more or less valid because of what I say in UT. (Nor is ignoring the law going to protect anyone's fanzine.) [Devra L] apparently thought 1 was misinformed about the expenses zine editors have and how little most zine editors actually make on their zines. I am all too well aware on both counts (especially whenever I receive a statement from my credit union), and I certainly wasn't referring to editors like Devra — whose reputation for integrity is impeccable and who puts out some of the most affordable zines around. Still, I don't see why editors need a financial reward for their tribulations. Authors also put blood, sweat, and tears into their work, as [Mary Ann D] pointed out in I#69. Isn't producing a thing of beauty (and surely, every proud editor/parent thinks her fanzine is a thing of beauty) its own reward? I edit a fanzine, and it never occurred to me that I should be paid for having fun. If you don't enjoy it, don't do it!
  • Barbara P. G has these comments regarding why more fans don't write LoCs:
I am amused by the current discussion concerning why more fans, particularly INTERSTAT readers, don't write LoCs for publication. It is pretty obvious, after all, that most people do not care to be told to "go jump in a lake" when their opinion happens to disagree with the majority, and they do not feel that kind of comment to be intelligent, civilized, or enlightening. Nor do they want to receive "hate latters" in the mail if they happen to criticize someone else's favorite actor, zine, or BNF; or risk the boycotting of their fannish output, ostracism and other such social pressures. As long as some fans continue to ignore the spirit of IDIC, and try to wipe the floor with the rest of us, there won't be that many who dare to express their opinions openly.


  1. ^ from Beyond Antares #23
  2. ^ a reference to The Footnote