Klysadel Universe

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Title: Klysadel
Creator: Fa Shimbo (see Anji Valenza)
Date(s): 1971-?
Medium: original fiction
Fandom: Furry
External Links: WBM link to klysadel.net
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Klysadel is a furry original science fiction universe.

"Those who were around when Furry fandom was starting up from the late 1970s to the early 1990s will remember Fara Shimbo and her Klysadel stories, told in over a dozen fanzine text stories and comic strips, about Wargentin College on the Moon several thousand years in the future, and its bizarre faculty and students mixing humans, talking animals, and Furry aliens, notably the satamuri (roughly a cross between cats and baboons). Shimbo also entered paintings of her characters in the Art Shows of the first couple of Furry conventions. Then she dropped out of fandom."[1]

It was originally published in various zines, and was put online at klysadel.net[2] for some years, until the author dropped the website.[3] Collections are still available though through a CafePress store.[4]

The Creator's Comments in "Snow on the Moon" (1978)

It was the crystal city that did it, actually; but I'd been drawn to science fiction since ... well, I can't remember when. My earliest pleasant memories include, in the main, scraps of Planet Patrol. Fireball XL6 and Superman; movies like Destination Moon, Angry Red Planet and The Day the Earth Stood Still (let me -date myself for you; I was bom in 1953, Year of the Dragon. Aquarius.) I moved from television to comic books as soon as my mother decided I had enough sense not to eat the latter. Comic books were my undoing; by the time I was four I had established myself as the family hermit, sitting for hours at my hallway desk, drawing comics of my own. But I never took any of this seriously.

That is, until I saw the crystal city, I was on,the verge of knowing how to read. My mother was reading this particular comic book aloud to me, translating whatever words I didn't understand. It was an issue either of Superman or Action. Superman was fighting Brainiac; I don't remember the plot. But somewhere within the book there were two "frames, one of which I remember quite distinctly, which depicted this crystal city, the capital, I guess, of some alien world. That city was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

I treasured that issue to death. And from that moment on, I was writing my comic strips in dead earnest. From that moment on, the future of my fantasy life was set. And now, almost a score of years after that initial shock, I have a crystal city of my own, peopled by characters some of whom are relics of old imaginary playmates. This is the Klysadel and its people, the Kheveh.

I sat down at my desk that fateful day, back when I was but five or six, and began designing my own world, from scratch, I thought at the time. Now I can see more clearly all the old in fluences that shaped it then. And the newer ones which have all helped to shape it now; years of college, fans, fanzines, conventions, movies from Robinson Crusoe on Mars to Stars Wars... everything from 8th Man to Asimov, and, of course, the comic books to which I am still loyal. It was not until last year, in 1977, when I could finally say that at last the structures of the Klysadel were in every way as. I wanted them to be.

As for you, the reader, I can only assume you like it as well, or else you'd not be spending good money on this thing. And although the universe itself is what I wan't it to be, my actual writing, of course, leaves much to be desired. There are stories in here which were embarassing to type up; but they were all well received when they were published, so I have tried not to alter them too much.

So here, then, is the Klysadel thus far. Along with the actual stories are included background material from the eight or is it nine now? — volumes of background material here in my apt. Even though I can't write music, I've included some of the music found in the stories, as well as other diabolical tidbits which might alleviate the most common complaint about the Klysadel series, that it's difficult to follow for those with only a one-or-two story background.

I hope after you read this that you all will feel that you've gotten what you've paid for. Between outings I am always open to suggestions and ideas; but don't try to get in touch with me dur ing the outings. During my outings I haunt comic-book stores and hucksters rooms of comicons, searching through the boxes for a certain magazine, which I'll recognize on sight, and for which I'd be willing to pay almost any reasonable price. Just for the chance to see if that original crystal city is still the most beautiful thing in the universe.

Star Trek Content Was Later Tossed Out

In Snow on the Moon (1978), the author explains her connection to Star Trek fandom and how it was a planned hook to get readers:

All the stuff which I wrote when I was tirading against the "Prime Directive" and those who "fought to uphold it" — that is, the ST related stuff I'd written, was out.

I no longer want even to remember that I once inserted ST characters into my universe, even though doing this was what made my stuff "salable" to the only people who seemed interested in it at the time, the trekfolk. Not that I'm not grateful that they published it at all; no sir, for unless they did I'd have no reason to be writing this now, for there'd be no anthology; sf fandom does not have an outlet for a new writer who writes long stories. But unfortunately, many people now think I'm an ST writer— PLEEEZ, this is not the case. I was trying to get your attention, folks, and now that I have, he he he, well, welcone to the world of sf for some of you out there, and I have accomplished that which I set out to do.

2008 and The Future

In 2008, Valenza/Shimbo, creator of Klysadel Universe wrote:

Well, after all these years, I finally dropped the Klysadel website. I doubt I'll put it up anywhere else.

Of all the things I've done in my life, I think what I'm proudest of are those stories and art. But if "The Future" was unlikely when I first wrote them, it's just plain impossible now. The radical overhaul I would have to do to the universe to make it even plausible at this point would ruin it utterly, I think.

Oh well, it was a good run. [5]

A fan, Kay Shapero, responded:

Nobody writes about "The Future" - we all write about "A Future", and the one thing we can be sure about The Future is that it will drop things we weren't expecting on us. Look at Venus Equilateral - vacuum tubes, sliderules, and social conventions we dumped years ago. It's still a lot of fun to read. I'll admit to being most curious about what we're going to be playing with when Charles Stross' version looks quaint and dated.. but I don't doubt it'll happen.

There's no need to modify the Klysadel universe; like all fiction it always was an alternate and the big thing about alternate universes is that they don't match ours. This doesn't make them any the less enjoyable.


Another fan, Amy Harlib, said:

Couldn't agree with the previous commenter more!

Please don't give up on Klysadel. I just love those stories and the art and it's a wonderful invented alternate universe. No need to worry about whether it realistically extrapolates from this world as long as it is internally consistent within its own world which of course it is! I will always treasure all the Klysadel zines which I do have in hard copies, thank goodness. Love,


Some Klysadel Works

Fan Comments

I want to make one fairly general comment on "Voices On The Wind", mostly because I was reminded of it by a LoC in 37. I'm glad to see that you're printing sf in WS; I like the increased diversity of the 'zine.- However, I found "Voices On The Wind" hard to read, for the same reason that I have had difficulty with other stories in the Klysadel universe: not that they are appearing irregularly and in different places, as one reader assumed the trouble to be, though it might help if they were all together in one place. My problem is that the reader is being asked to accept too much alienness, beginning with the vocabulary, with out any sort of human reference to help interpret all this information. I suspect any story that has to give a glossary and an explanation of the various characters — it seems to me that the author could have taken a little more trouble and included the necessary information in the body of the story; and it never hurt to cut down the amount of foreign vocabulary required (this rule was drummed into me in high school composition classes), alien as well as simple Earth-foreign. Now I am not exactly a new reader of sf — I've been reading it for over 16 years — so I think my difficulty with the Klysadel things is not a result of not having developed the mental set yet; I think it's a result of there not being any human reference within the stories. Constructing alien worlds and universes is a wonderful intellectual exercise — I've done it myself — but a story is no more than an intellectual exercise if there is no way for the reader to relate to the world in human terms; if everything is alien, including the characters' motivations, then the reader can admire the technical quality of the story, maybe, but not really get into it. For anyone but the author to understand what is going on or feel anything about it, it is usually necessary to bring human beings into it somehow so that we can at least have their reactions to identify with (the other alternative is to make the aliens in question basically human, and that is a less satisfactory answer); fiction is about people. There is good reason why little or no sf exists that is entirely alien, without at least one human as a focal point for the reader: nobody would read it. With a completely alien world, the author faces another barrier between herself and her reader: to be true to her own conception, she really should not use human metaphors, or the 'real' world intrudes on the created one. Unfortunately, this results in incomprehensible characters doing incomprehensible things for incomprehensible reasons.

Anji has a very interesting world constructed; I think she needs to concentrate on making it more accessible to the reader. [8]