Late for Breakfast/Issues 30-31
Late for Breakfast 30 was edited by Carla S. and contains 46 pages. It is undated, though a fan talks of it being "spring" and another fan says she is writing at "the end of June." These dates would both be in 1996.
With everyone being such prolific letter writers of late and wanting to print the winners of the STIFFIE awards in this issue it has meant that the number of pages again are higher than I expected when I was calculating postage costs. I do NOT want to cut letters so have changed the typeface and margins to get a little more in each page and for this issue have also cut the editorial page. I did try cutting out the lines between paragraphs and using an indent but to be honest I found it too difficult to read and I went back and changed it all again.Apologies also for the lateness of the issue but the disk I had the formatted version on corrupted and I had to redo all the work which takes some time. As I will be in the US on holiday from the end of September to the end of October I have been forced to give a shorter time than usual for hand-written letters and those on disk - 23 September. This means these can be posted off to Cushy before I leave. Email letters directly to Cushy have until mid October which gives her time to get the submissions typed/collated and sent to me for printing but as I will not be back in this country until early November do not expect the issue out before the end of November. No topics either this time - you all seem to find plenty to say without them!
- there is a con report for a con called Forever South, see that page
- a review of the pro book "The Priest" by Thomas M. Disch
- a review of No Holds Barred #12, see that page
- a list of the 1995 STIFfie Award winners (the editor of Late for Breakfast says she is miffed that GAZ won for best informational when it hadn't even been published for two years, and fans were not getting their monies worth)
- there is a list of fan internet sites:
- Andy Robinson (Garak) Cardassians Fan Club http://www.math.macalstr.edu/~pmokros.garak/html http://www.kulac.ac.be:80/student/wina/derudder/garak
- Cardassians Fan Club http://members.gnn/com/cardassia/prime.html
- DS9 Pages with links http://www.tut.fi/-pekka/trek/html
- Due South pages with links http://www.ozemail.com.au/-klyons/dsouth/ds__au.html
- Mitch Pileggi (Skinner - X-Files) http://www.tpoint.net/Users/rmayhall//main.html http://www.pe.net/-mpeb/mpeb.html
- David Duchovny http://www.egr.uh.edu/-escco/DDEB.html
[Sandi]:At the speed with which computers and the Internet are proliferating. I don't think many of us will remain unconnected very long. And as to the idea that this latest toy will lose its novelty, think telephone, radio, television, etc. It seems that anything that expands our communications horizons stays with us forever.
[Sandi]:Before I get stuck into points raised last issue, can I take a few lines to set the record straight over a comment on my own letter which I think may have been misinterpreted. Apparently, my suggestion that we 'out' ourselves before someone else does it for us was read by one or two as my intention to rush to the nearest tabloid with an armload of slash zines. WRONG! I was simply trying to point out that, as slash is now readily available on the Net, we need to be careful. I know, in theory, access is restricted - but tell that to people who have had their bank accounts raided by unscrupulous 'hackers'. It is a proven fact that as technology becomes more advanced it becomes easier to bypass the safeguards, and with children as young as 5 being taught computer literacy I'm sure it won't give an industrious tabloid slug too much of a headache to find his way to the information. The press are aware of the existence of slash, after all, even if it is only in Trek. Does that make it clearer?
[Sandi]:Should we expect the same standard in stories down-loaded from the Net as we do from hard copy zines? Absolutely we should, or the quality of fan writing as a whole is going to go right down the pan because it's so much easier to just type up your thoughts and hey presto! post them on the Net I'm not saying everyone would do it, but how long before speed and accessibility override quality and attention to detail? At present quality control rests with the editors and zine producers, but anyone with access can post an unedited story on the Net. And I would argue that down-loaded fiction is free'. Don't you have to pay connection fees and monthly rental? It will be interesting to come back and have this conversation again in a year's time, in the light of people's experiences. Personally, I prefer to have a hard copy zine in my hand. Being on the move a lot, it's easier than trying to find time to sit down in front of a computer.
[Mashuma]:If power levels in a male/male relationship have to be negotiated, why do so many writers devote so much time to portraying the participants as being equal? Well it is a recurring theme in slash fiction. Personally, I prefer it when there are differences in age, background, social standing, even rank, as it can make for some imaginative writing, especially if the one who would normally be regarded as the more passive partner is actually seen as the more dominant behind the bedroom door. But is it so easy to to tip the balance when there is a pronounced equality already existing between the two? There was a time when the 'two halves o f the same whole' premise predominated, both in fandom and in the on-screen relationships. Like Starsky & Hutch. For a long time after, every slash relationship (outside of Trek maybe) was expected to frill within the same parameters, giving the impression (untrue) that this was the only way that slash could be justified. Heaven forbid that one should be consistently shown as the dominant partner. Unfortunately, the pendulum does occasionally swing too far the other way, giving rise to the portrayal of Illya, Doyle et al as wimps, inclined to fits of the vapours at the drop of a jock strap.
[Mashuma]:Latest word is that Bill Hupe's business will be taken over so, maybe, zines will stay relatively easy to order. The other story I heard at Mediawest is that one reason that he is taking advantage of moving, to move out of the business is that he is afraid that printing costs are going to soar in the near future and Internet and zines on disc will drive printed ones out of business. I really hope this is not true. Sitting at a terminal is not my idea of a relaxing way to read.
[Dragon]:Re Net, personally I feel the same way about this as about TV, people are responsible for what they choose to read. Parents are responsible for what their children read. If something is clearly marked as porn or slash or death stories or whatever, someone who reads it anyway has no right to complain unless the thing read was not as advertised. Isn't there some way to mark stories on the Net so that unsuspecting tans do not read them? If they do and get upset, well I'm not unsympathetic (I have been there and had that done to me). As for the newspapers getting the news. Isn't that too late?? I thought they already had gotten a hold of this news. How many people do you suppose are out there wondering if they are the only people in the world who like to picture Spock and Kirk in bed together? I found slash by a lucky and unpredictable accident and many years after I would have liked to and I sometimes went to cons! How many would be fans do not and just do not have an easy way to find out slash exists and is available.
[Dragon]:Before I went on the Net, I definitely felt I was missing out on a lot of slash stuff that I thought was available all over the place and that I would be able to get easily once I was on line. Once I was on though I found surprisingly little in the way of slash fiction. I was fortunate that the first time I went surfing I found the Forever Knight fiction site, one of my favourite shows. This did indeed have an erotica section with some slash. After that though there was a period when I could find very little. Now I know it's supposed to be who you know and all that, but the only thing I found this really applied to was the slash discussion list. I was more interested in the fiction and seasoned internet users who were friends were still looking themselves. The only site that people seemed to know about was a Star Trek one and frankly my days of reading K/S are over. I was only later to discover that this and other ST sites had some novel length Q/Picard stories on them and some Garak/Bashir that appealed. Desperate for more stories I began to search and then I started finding other sites. Basically what I am saying is that it just takes time to find what you want and then hopefully you can pass info on to other fans as they join up. Yes, there is a lot of dross around and yes, I think many of the authors could well do with some editing, but I have also found some gems. I would not have my Mulder/Skinner stories, my Q/Picard or my Forever Knight. These are all posted with the permission of the authors as far as I am aware and I can't see the harm in that. People will still buy zines, I know I do, and fans will still pass stories on to people who have no Net access. I agree totally that stories should not be put onto
[Dragon]:Net sites without the author's permission, but then the same occurs when zines are photocopied and passed around, although I will admit that the Net would reach a wider audience. I cannot say that I have ever seen a story that doesn't have a header from the author making it quite clear that they are happy to have it on the net, but I am sure that there are some unscrupulous people out there. It's a dilemma as to whether stories that have been posted to the Net should then be put into zines. On one hand you have the people whose only chance to read them might be in a zine, and on the other hand the people who will feel cheated if they buy zines to find stories the have already read. The only way round this I can see is if publishers put in their ads that a story has been available through the internet. I posted a story to one of my fiction groups on the net and a zine publisher has asked if she can use it for her zine, so people are using Net stories. I agree with you whole wholeheartedly about the Email. Most of the people I contact abroad are on the net and it makes life a hell of a lot easier and much more immediate.
[Dragon]:I don't expect the same standards for free stories off the Net, but I HOPE for good standards and you do find them from some authors. There are people writing for the Net who are very good, and other people whose stories might not see the light of day anywhere else. When I buy a zine though I expect that the text will be fairly accurate and typo free and that the editor will not try and sell me complete dross. This is not always the case of course, but I would feel more hard done by if I'd paid out cash and got a load of old rubbish.
[O'Brien]:What attracts me to fandoms? I must be a real dyed in the wool slash slut or something as most of the shows I like I am attracted to because of the slash possibilities. There are some that I like without slash, such as the X-Files for instance, but I don't want to read zines based on the show or get into the fandom side of things.
[O'Brien]:I've mailed slash zines to Canada, Great Britain, Germany and Australia. There are no blatant illos (no busy penises) in my zines, but a customs inspector wouldn't have to read very far before he might come across an 'objectionable passage'. Objectionable to him, of course, not to me. I've never been aware of any of my zine packages being opened, but if they were, and if an inspector deemed the zine unfit to enter his country, then I'm assuming he would simply trash it. But, as I said, I don't know the laws in each country. I would hate like hell to learn that somebody I had sent a zine to had been fined (or otherwise punished) because one of my 'pornographic' zines was addressed to them. I have mailed some fairly explicit Xerox copies of gay 'scenes', particularly explicit pages from gay calendars, to several friends in Great Britain. It's my recent understanding that I seriously broke the law when I did that I don't want to break the laws, and I certainly don't want to get me or anybody else in trouble, but I chaff at archaic restrictions that limit my freedom to share with friends.
[O'Brien]:Yes, Bill Hupe is out of the zine agenting business. I talked to him on the phone recently, as he agents several zines for us, and he's currently in the process of settling all his accounts and turning the whole business over to Peg Kennedy, and a new partner of hers. He explained that he was getting out of the zine business for several reasons. First, he said, because his wife is a doctor and has accepted a position in a new practice in a very small town in another state, and he doesn't want to start his zine agenting business over again in another location, and have to explain it all to new friends and neighbors and postal workers. But he also said that the main reason he was quitting was that he is simply tired of being threatened and hassled. He explained that there are several fans, or groups of fans, who have harassed him for years, including filing legal action against him, and he's simply and finally fed up. I can't argue with any of his reasons for giving up his business, but I think it will be fandom's loss. I think he has performed a valuable function. He has certainly made things easier for me for the past year and a half. I sent him masters, and he did all the work, including taking my zines to numerous cons, and eventually he mails me a check. Bill didn't mention any health problems to me, although we heard that was one of the reasons he stated at MediaWest Con. RAFFERTY and I expect to give our full support to Peg Kennedy as she takes over, and we wish her the best.
[Bagheera]:I'm not a Wet crawler yet, although we hope to be soon. I know there is tons of fiction available to be downloaded, but frankly I don't have a whole lot of hope that it will be worthwhile or interesting or well-written. I'm not sure why I feel that way, except for the old adage that you get what you pay for. Thus, if something is free, how much can it be worth, and how good can it be? Over the years, I've paid a lot of money for zines that turned out to be poorly written, poorly edited, poorly printed to the point of being almost unreadable, or which contained a gazillion typos (which drives me nuts!). But since I paid good money for them, I always expected them to be good. My expectations are very low for stories circulating freely, perhaps because I've got a bunch of friends in Bodie/Doyle fandom and I've read some of those circulating stories, and I've seen first hand how badly they needed editing. Basically, I assume that when a story appears in a zine, it has been edited and made to be the best it can be, but when I see a story circulating freely, I assume that the author just wants to share it with friends and hasn't taken the necessary time to polish it or have it edited. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, and I may have to retract these words when RAFFERTY and I get connected to the 'Net. However, all the above notwithstanding, I do think that we fans are so desperate for something new to read about our "favorite guys" that we'll happily accept any reading material.
[Jeffers]:I agree with you that slash writers and readers are probably more wary nowadays of pornography laws and exposure, perhaps because the slash market has grown so much. Originally I would assume it was just K/S but now nearly every series has someone who sees a slash possibility in it. I disagree about outing ourselves because I reckon whether we do it or wait for The Sun or some such to do so, the reaction from outside fandom is going to be the same; so why not put it off until the latest time - never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you.
Re the internet Although I'm not currently a subscriber to an internet service at this time, I do have a few comments to make on this subject Several friends have told me that there are people who are sending out slash material into the 'General Public' portion of the internet. I don't know if this was sent out for a general feedback/reaction from their 'friends' on the Net or not. (Is this what you call outing?)
Personally, I'd be careful about doing this. You never know who is reading your material once it's been put out 'publicly'. There are a lot of people out there who have no sense of humour. At least when you buy a zine from a dealer (in person) you have the option and should have the knowledge of what you're getting ahead of time.
Maybe I'm paranoid, or just that I come from a time when many writers and artists (2-D and 3-D) were worried about repercussions from using copyrighted characters/ideas, for just playing in their universe of choice. The studios would often try to take you to court for this, 'copyright infringement' whether or not the studio in question even held any copyrights at all. To those who live in the States; haven't you noticed that it's becoming a National Pastime to sue anymore?I do have to agree with you strongly that there may soon be a strict crackdown on anything remotely 'pornographic' on the Net. Although I don't see anything wrong with slash material, as you've not damaged anyone it's just fantasy for the eyes and mind using your favourite characters. I do think that true pornography, ie kiddie porn and such, will just go on as it has for so long, underground, (I have very strong feelings about sex of any kind that isn't between consulting adults, and feel that sex with children is just about the lowest you can get), while something as non-damaging as slash will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
[Jeffers]:It would be nice to be able to download those stories you want in the fandom you want but there already exists a two-tier scenario within fandom in general. Those who are able to easily access the stories and zines they want by either knowing someone who produces them or is able to get to cons where they can procure them, and those who are either new to fandom in general or are unable to get to cons and don't have the contacts. I've forgotten how many times I've sent out letters of inquiry on a zine to editors only to have them be ignored. (Before you ask, yes I included SASE's with the inquiries). These people often were suggested as The person to contact within the fandom that feeds my 'bones', by someone else.
I don't really think that the availability of zines on the internet affects attendance at cons. I think the lack of attendance at some cons is more due to cost and the difficulties with some con committees getting information on their event. Either they don't advertise or advertise in a small local area or screen their 'membership' so thoroughly that unless you've got three people to vouch for you, you can't get any information. I always thought cons were where the fans consciously gathered to meet each other to talk (sometimes for the first time face to face) and have fun?From my own 22 years experience in general fandom I've seen a lot of changes. Memberships remain fairly reasonable, but if you agent your own work in the Dealers' room the fees are getting outrageous. Add the cost of the hotel room (if you can get one...) travel expenses and food (I assume we all eat during cons) it's quite a pile of money. And that's for those of us who live in the country where the con is being held. Folks who live out of the country and off continent also have to factor in time off their jobs for travel time and such. Lots of money! before you even get to the event.
[Rafferty]:Other changes: I have e-mail now, and text-based access to the Net which at least makes everything faster. E(lite)- mail is fast I admit; it's great for emergency communication and cheaper than a phone call. I'm on a mailing list and I check it every morning over my breakfast Pepsi.... I'm a mail junkie, and e-mail is exactly like junk food: fills the craving but is short on nourishment. A nice hot meal or a paper letter is what's needed: and thank you, MASHUMA and MORTICIA , for the meat and potatoes of the last month.
Writers, please don't give up. Write your stories. It takes time and hard work. I can read about 500 pages a day but I can only write about 10 pages a day. Publish your stories in whatever forum is available. Listen to your readers and your editors. Learn the rules. Break the rules. Learn what works best for you. Decide what produces the best story you can produce. Don't be afraid to try. And don't be afraid of criticism; use it or ignore it. Some people will love your story and others won't. Do your best.The way to improve writing skills is to practice. Fandom is a great place to practice. If you have a story in your head, write it down. If you submit it to a zine and it's rejected, submit to another zine. If that doesn't work, print the thing yourself. No matter how good or bad a story is, some readers will love it and some readers will hate it. In Starksy and Hutch fandom I consider Graven Images to be the finest work produced for story, characterization, power, style, symbolism, and message. O'BRIEN hated the story. Sometimes it's just a matter of personal taste.
[Ann]:I heartily agree with your comment to TARLAN that it's unfair to refer to British fanzines as being shabbier than their US counterparts. For the most part I think British zines are troubled by the simply fact that the cost of producing a zine here in the UK are much greater than in the US. On the other hand, I think British fanzine producers see the whole 'business' of fanzine production in a completely different light to their US counterparts.
[Ophelia]:It still amuses me to find homophobic slash fans, and as for the ones who protest long and loud that their slash heroes aren't gay because they don't/haven't made love to anyone else (as in any other men); and then you'll be reminded that up until that fateful moment when Doyle fell in love with Bodie, or Kirk with Spock etc. etc. they had LOTS of nice (my emphasis) heterosexual relationships. We do not yet live in enlightened times...
[Jem]:When I wrote my first slash story - I wrote it with the aid of about six cups of tea whilst hiding under the kitchen table (since there was no-one else in the flat at the time I don't know what good I thought that would do). I wrote it all in one go, in a great rush and once I'd finished I couldn't believe I'd written something like that and I didn't look at it again for the next three days. But once I got over the shock that I could write this stuff- wow it was a real thrill!
[Jem]:I can't contribute to questions touching upon the Internet side of life - and it's becoming embarrassing, since I have access, it's just that I don't use it much. Connected but Unplugged, to create a new category for the In-Betweens like myself. The reason I don't cruise the Net much is quite simple: time. I don't know how all you people manage, but between working full-time, reading zines, writing (expansively), feeding my cat and the rest of the what-nots in life, I just can't seem to find the time. Circuit stories in general: I'm picky with all kinds of material I read, whether printed in zines, made available through randoms or scribbled on the next bathroom wall (not that I've discovered any, but wouldn't that be a nice way to occupy the mind...). There are certain things I expect from a story, and I don't see any reason why different standards should apply according to the manner of publication. To contradict myself, however, I have to admit that yes: I can get pretty desperate for fiction, meaning I'll read any Han/Luke story I can get my hands on, no matter how much I squeal and squirm in the process.
Here's a heartfelt Thank You! for helping me clarify for myself why - like you - I don't get turned on by reading slash involving two women. Yes, I think power levels come in a lot. Whatever the (constantly shifting) realities are, power is still identified as male, and the challenge in envisioning an equal relationship stems from the awareness that power levels will have to be negotiated before any such thing can happen. On such an abstract level, all those excluded from power (women, minorities etc.) are equals already, so there isn't much of a challenge there. More than that, I think there's the pleasure of empowerment that we female writers receive from doing with to our male heroes whatever we want: in that respect, slash certainly is subversive - and as such, it's fun! Which already answers your question - in part: Why would I have less trouble identifying myself as female in a slash context? Well, I discovered at a rather early age that most of the labels attached to the gender I happened to be born with didn't sit all that well with my individual character. I found out that most of the things boys were encouraged to do came natural to me, and most of all I wanted the independence and liberty. I didn't really identify with being male though, but with an idea of masculinity (that rather obviously doesn't conform to the ideas men have about their own gender) which ultimately turned out to be an alternate vision of identity and relationships, I suppose. Slash taught me that this is a female concern for good reasons and that I'm not alone in fantasizing about a different kind of love. The reason I can identify with a female point of view is the subversive possibilities straight males don't really have - and believe me, I'm beginning to feel sorry for them, since they miss a lot of fun. However, most of the points you suggested do apply as well. In the context of an almost exclusively female community, some things go without saying because they're understood - I don't need to mention them, explain them in my stories etc. And you're right that the 'neatfemale stuff slash characters can do would lead to inappropriate labeling in mainstream fiction: the mixture of toughness, passion, tenderness, introspection would be considered totally unrealistic, not Utopian, and there's a difference. And what you've said about your characters being neither entirely male nor female is almost exactly how I feel about it. They're a mixture of female experience (mine) and the cultural standards of masculinity I work with.
[Jem]:I've been addicted to email from day one. While I don't make much use of my Net access (it certainly would draw too much energy and interfere with my writing), I couldn't live without email anymore, and it would have been virtually impossible to publish my zine on schedule, without the option of sending material to the US for last-minute proof-reading in a matter of hours. I still write ordinary letters though, and often enough there's little difference between letters to be sent by snail mail and those I'll email. But it's so wonderful to be able to make quick inquiries and receive an answer from someone on the other side of the globe within a day.
[Jem]:I enjoyed the fact that Star Wars has such a strong female lead, and precisely for that reason I was disappointed that Leia ceased to be the independent, headstrong character she used to be as soon as she'd become involved with Han. She was literally kissed into the background! By Return of the Jedi, she's reduced to 'the woman at General Solo's side': she doesn't initiate action anymore, doesn't point the direction the way she did in the first movie, she's little more than Han's sidekick (not to mention the slavegirl outfit, the flimsy rag-dress and the close association with all those cuddly teddy-bears...). That really annoyed me long before I developed ideas about Han and Luke. In addition, and again unlike you, I don't see any kind of development in their relationship: Han very obviously tries to charm the princess he considers a challenge, and later on seems pleased with where it got him (though by that time, every spark of passion has long disappeared). Leia deserves better than his 'I know' from the carbon pit, and the later role reversal doesn't really make up for it either: Han's avowal of love in Jedi never struck me as particularly passionate. Okay, to cut this short, suffice it to say that I don't feel the Star Wars creators did Leia a favour by giving her Han for a lover: to me it feels more like they twisted her totally out of character.
[Lindar]:Yes, I'd heard about Lucas' woefully successful efforts to smother all deviant fan fiction. While I respect his talent, I don't see that anyone - Lucas, Roddenberry, or whoever they may be - has the right to dictate people's private fantasies. If fan fiction were written according to what the producers of the shows allow, there wouldn't be much of it around, and not much interesting stuff either.
[Annie]:My view on slash becoming more universally known to fandom and the general public is easy. I want everyone to know it exists, so that eventually it will become an accepted aberration, no more strange than straight fandom writing hurt/comfort about Kirk and Spock. It may not happen within the next few years, but perhaps in ten. I don't think that's too optimistic a viewpoint, considering how swiftly public opinion changes. TV producers, writers and actors already publicly acknowledge its existence, and a large number of straight fans have heard about it, even if they are not personally interested. The only fly in the ointment is the fact that slash is now so widely available on the Internet that everyone, including minors, have easy access. Although on the whole it must be good to reach a wider audience, this seems to me like slash shooting itself in the foot.
The *other* reason for time slipping away from me is that for a while there, I have become a real 'Netjunkie' - the entire process can be quite addictive, something I had discounted when told about it by others, but I rapidly became a believer!
Well, my emotions have run the gamut about the Net since I joined in mid January - from wildly enthusiastic, to bitter, to older and wiser. Personal experience has taught me one thing: In the beginning, LURK much and post LITTLE! You can put your foot squarely in your mouth and have your words and thoughts utterly misinterpreted, and it's quite a shock when you're blasted from all sides for something you never intended to convey. Being rather the sensitive sort, it has seemed to me that the Net tends to attract people who enjoy being rude under the guise of 'healthy discussion'. Of these people and the lists who shelter them, beware. As far as how the Net affects slash fandom and fanfic, I agree with most of what has been written by others in issue #29. The majority (not all, certainly) of fanfic I have read on the Net is nowhere near the quality of stories we are accustomed to seeing in most established slash zines. I have experienced at least one discussion/fiction list where nearly all of the writers have found slash only through the Net. They have little or no knowledge of printed slash, slash conventions, other slashfen, or even gen fandom; all they know is what they hear in their own insular Net-world. Someone will write a 'story' in about an hour,and post it to the List. It is nearly always a PWP which is little more than a 'drop your drawers' sex scene; often the pair is fairly out of character, and there are usually misspellings and grammatical errors galore. Once the story is posted, everyone else on the list will write the author praising their effort to the skies, even though it's crap. In rare instances where constructive criticism may be offered (and I'm not talking about myself here), or someone offers to edit in the manner of a zine editor, the Net author will usually not be interested, and will say so. Heck, all of their Net friends have told them their story is wonderful, why should they listen to someone who tells them it needs work? Now, I know this isn't true of all Net authors or all lists - but it's true of quite a few of them. HARLEM's comment about the writing style of Net authors is entirely valid. I don't think long-time slash fans who are accustomed to reading well crafted and edited zine stories have much to fear from the majority of Net authors, at least in terms of quality. As HARLEM said, I only keep about 10% of what comes to me, in terms of Net fic - most of the rest of it is definitely sub-standard. As FERRET said - I do see stories that have a great deal of potential, if only the authors would work with an editor. But, I think there's that issue of 'instant gratification' again - if authors get a lot of positive feedback from other inexperienced authors/fans, why should they listen to anyone's suggestions for improvement? Please understand, I am generalizing - I don't mean to imply that I think all Net fiction is lousy - I get a lot of enjoyment out of authors whose work I've learned to search out over time. The major plus of the Net, for me, is being able to 'chat' with people all over the world who share my slash and fandom interests. I have a wider sense of connection with slash fans, which I didn't have to the same degree before. I have found that the longer I'm involved with the Net, the more my posts tend to be to individuals and not to an entire list. In the beginning, you want to do it all, but reality does intrude in terms of time and personalities. The Net has also been an invaluable source for learning of the publishing dates, addresses and prices of new zines. In the last month, I've ordered twice as many zines through the Net as I've ordered in the last two years, before I was on-line. As for the last question, regarding stories downloaded from the Net - I personally do expect the same standards as from zine stories, but I rarely find them.... And this reader is not so desperate for stories that she'll accept anything from the Net - although I do think this is true of the home-grown Net fans.
[Annieru]:Re the internet - I am totally hooked on to it. Janet Street-Porter go suck a lemon! For my two penneth worth I would say that I really enjoy it - find it a very easy way to keep in touch with my friends over the waters in Australia and America and have made lots of new fan 'friends' through it. I do not wish to seem hard or unfeeling but it seems to me that the people who complain about the internet are the ones who don't have it. For this I am sorry as I would like everyone to have access to this wonderful thing - but then on the other hand I wish we all earned pots of money so we could afford to buy all the zines we wanted, or we all worked for super companies who had wonderful computers/photocopying facilities etc that we could use. There has always been inequality in fandom and I think there always will be. I feel it is up to the ones who do have access to stories etc to try our best to pass them on to people who don't. Same as -how circuit stories were (and still are?) being passed around from friend to friend.
I'm addicted to both e-mail and the Web. So I guess that colors my comments. I find it interesting that many (it seemed) of those who are unhappy with things are not connected at all. It seemed strange to me. I saw the Internet as a way to find more fiction, talk to more people,and find out about more shows - how could that be bad?
I do, of course, realize that censorship is a threat. But I also realize that there are a number of people in this world who are publicising themselves MUCH more actively on the Internet than slash fans are, and seem to be getting away with it quite freely. (That was one of the reasons I stopped reading the newsgroup for Star Trek adult fiction -- the "Call now for free sex lines" discussion posts outnumbered the stories 5 to 1 it seemed. I don't want to belittle anyone, and I hope I'm not going to, but I want people to realize that there are a number of ways that slash fans socialize on the Internet, and most of these ways are just as 'secure' as a letter or phone call. The majority of my slashy interaction goes on through e-mail. An e-mail message is just as secure as a fax or phone call.Yes, people can break into an e-mail message illegally. They can also tap your phone illegally, and steal mail from your mailbox illegally. With the number of e-mail messages floating around out there, the chances of some Authority Figure opening up mail from me that contained pornography is exceptionally small. I consider the benefits far in excess of the risks.
The World Wide Web is a much more 'public' way of conveying info, and we don't advertise our slash material openly in that forum. Anyone with a web browser can. drop into any web page (again, with all the pages out there, it'd take a bit of searching to find it, but there are search programs that would help). I have allowed a notice along the lines of "Slash fiction available; age statement required" and our PO Box address to be posted on a slash web page, but I figure that something that subtle isn't going to become a test case in the courts. :)
I take privacy seriously, and am concerned at the rise in Religious Right feelings here in the US, but I'm also not going to allow that fear to quash my interaction with my friends. By far e-mail is my most common method of exchanging adult material, and I'm very satisfied with its safety.As for the quality of fan fiction posted to mailing lists and archives, well.... I was in Professionals fandom for years, and as far as I can see, the ratio of dreck that I didn't enjoy is about the same for net fie as it was for circuit stories. And I didn't have to pay 4 cents a page to copy the net fic! I've seen some wonderful stuff, and I've had some wonderful discussions with other authors, so from my point of view, the net is not hampering creativity at all. It's just evolving in new ways. Yes, getting fiction that has not been spell-checked is annoying, but I can live with it. If it were a choice between not getting it, and skipping the typos, I'll take the typos.)
Late for Breakfast 31 was edited by Carla S. and distributed in the U.S by Kathy Resch.
It was published in very early 1997 (the editor had been aiming for November 1996) and contains 35 pages.
Contributors include: J H Watson, Edgie, Lindar, Bagheera, Rafferty, Tom, Dragon, and Carla.
The issue has two newspaper clippings including: "No Buddy Way!" (source not specified) and "Couples joined in same-sex unions" by Jane Meredith Adams (from The Sacramento Bee). There is a full-page ad for a magazine called "Wolf Watcher."
A little less than half of this letterzine is photocopied ads for zines, mainly slash ones.
Topics of letters in this issue include some detailed discussion of several due South episodes, British terminology and how it differs from American, male multiple orgasms, World Con, LA. Con in Anaheim, California and its ban on homoerotic art, "Americanizing" zines, watching gay porn videos, and more.
The editor, Carla, writes a long letter about this being the last issue and why, and states personal reasons and the loss of the ability to produce and print this letterzine at their place of employment. They offer up the letterzine's subscriber list to anyone who would like to take over with a new letterzine. They end with:
From the letter by Carla:I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in LfB over the years including Sue Jenkins who started it all. Particular thanks must go to CUSHY who has done the typing for the last half dozen issues - without her I could not have continued for the last year and a half and particularly the last year when the letter section became so massive. Mostly though I must thank all the contributors to LfB - without you there would have been nothing to produce!
I am sorry that the letterzine has finished in this way but it is impossible for me to do anything else with the situation I am facing at work. Getting this issue out was a miracle in itself and I can only hope that the copying is to a reasonable standard.Lastly, I would like to thank all the people who have become friends through LfB - it is you who have kept me sane over the years, and I hope our friendships will continue. Thank you all.
From the letter by Lindar:
I said my thank you's in the editorial so I will be using what's left of the space on this page to make a couple of comments on fandom.Fandom is changing as the years go by which is, I think, due to the number of men becoming involved. Where the fandom is still predominantly women, it seems to have changed less but where there is a large influx of men such as with the sf shows like B5. I think it makes a difference - there are fewer zines around for a start which is what most of the people I know in fandom are primarily involved in. The Internet has also changed things. People are more in touch both with what's going on in the show (so you know what's going on before you see the show) and with other fans and so cons become less attractive as well. The length of time a show stays on air seems to have diminished over the years (even of good shows) which makes fandom more difficult too. Will the changes kill it off? My answer has to be no. It has been and will continue to be a large part of my life and I hope to continue conversing with many of you in other forums.
From the letter by Bagheera:It has occurred to me to wonder if zine distributors such as those in America who print from supplied masters, realise that making a profit beyond covering their expenses is not really legal. Most slash and straight zines actually state somewhere in them (or it is understood anyway by the purchasers) that they are non-profit making publications. This is the only way we writers can get away with using characters which are copyright to film/tv studios or other authors. If anyone comes down on me I can show them my accounts and prove that since I started publishing my own zines a few years ago I have made a substantial loss, and I'm only likely to break even in the distant future. I don't mind this, I do it for pleasure, but if anyone goes into the zine business purely for profit or expects to make a living out of it, I think they should stop and think. The fact that so many zines are now being advertised on line has alerted the studios and made them realise that an underground fan activity they didn't bother much about, has now become very public.
From the letter by Bagheera:I haven't had any zines intercepted in years but it did happen two or three times, and I got a letter from Customs and Excise to say that I could claim the zines but it would lead to court proceedings as it was against some Act of Law or other which they quoted. I suppose if unclaimed they are destroyed. I heard that your name can be put on a 'suspects' list and future mail may be more likely to be inspected, but I haven't had any problems for years now.
From the letter by Bagheera:Interesting comment on Due South's failure to run to a 3rd series. I see your point of view, but believe that while annoying by their inclusion the girlfriends wouldn't prevent fans writing F/V: they'd just go in an alternate line as they've done in other series, most notably Star Trek where I've even read K/S stories which got around the fact of Kirk's final demise.
From the letter by Bagheera:Re your wish to see Fraser get hurt in a story, I have read a few hurt-the-guy type in Due South fandom and Vecchio is always the one to suffer a beating or the inevitable (in slash stories) rape. It's very annoying since I like Ray more, and I'd like to see Benny suffer too. We already know Ray is vulnerable and has emotions that are open to hurt, but it would be interesting (and perhaps more of a challenge to the author) to see how Fraser reacted to rape. Surely that - would get some reaction from him - he is so stiff and upright (get your minds out of the gutter!) that's it's incredible. On another unrelated note (told you I could talk for hours on Due South). I like his dark uniform better than the red which is somehow more of a caricature, but he's best in plain clothes - jeans and leather jacket, and looks as if he could be more easily rumpled - get to it, Ray!
From the letter by Bagheera:
Re your comment about the WOW! aspect of slash wearing off. It can re-occur when you find a new slash random as it did for me with Due South (as if you hadn't all already guessed it). Actually, I find I take sudden urges for reading various fandoms, and for a couple of weeks or more I'll read nothing but Pros orB7 or H/W etc, then suddenly stop and not want to read anymore of that particular random for months. The one permanency is K/S which always has a zine out of the filing cabinet.
From the letter by Tom:I have said before that I don't think slash should be outed, whether it be now or in ten years. And I would be dubious about "gays are becoming more acceptable in society". I can only speak from what I see and hear around me, but there is no acceptance of gays or island girls (great phrase EDGIE!). Derogatory terms such as poofs, queers, fags, fairies, nancy and dyke are still used when the subject arises, not that it often does. And the Churches (Protestant and Catholics are united in this attitude) do not endorse it either. The opening of a transvestite clothes shop was stopped by a protest organised by the church. Sneers and contempt make up the conversation about respected gays, and there's a leprous unclean, unclean aspect to being gay, at least in the minds of heterosexuals. Even reading about it would be considered a perversion, so I certainly don't want anyone to know of the enjoyment slash fictions brings me. Probably you are in a more open, relaxed society.
From the letter by Tom:[I]t is perfectly acceptable to say that you don't like and won't use the 'God's eye point of view' third person style of writing, you hate and despise it, you find it irritating and it makes you dizzy ... but you are incorrect to state that it is "wrong". It is clearly described in every English grammar and 'how to write' book I have been able to access for reference, and that style has been used by writers as diverse as Dickens, Dean R. Koontz and Sergeanne Golon. When used by a competent writer it forms a necessary function in certain types of fiction.
From the letter by Tom:
One of my treasures from the con is a VBS picture of Nelson and Crane in uniform, Crane's right arm is around Nelson, Nelson is holding Crane's right hand, and Crane is smiling so brightly he could light up Chicago. Heavy sigh.The only drawback to this year's world con, as tar as I know, was the Art Committee's decision to not display homo-erotica art. I wondered as we toured the art show why there wasn't any, but didn't find out until late Sunday what had happened. Jeers and more jeers to a science fiction group that practices censorship.
From the letter by Tom:
Why do the Canadians or the British or the Australians have to be as good as the Americans? Who died and made us Grace Kelly? And who defined good? Why do British writers and/or publishers do the extra work of "Americanizing" their zines? Why is it wrong for a story written by a British author to sound British? Are American readers so lazy or so arrogant that we have to be spoon fed by writers from other countries? Who made the rule that fanzines had to be done to American standards? All the countries represented in these pages and some that aren't have contributed to the body of world literature. When compared to Britain, U.S. history isn't even long enough to be compared. Why should writers with that history be concerned with pleasing an American audience?As we grow closer together as a world community, we don't want to lose the things that make us different. When I choose reading material, the author is of primary importance. In an oversimplification, if I have to choose between two zines, one by an author I know and one by an author I don't know, I'm going to choose the author I know. My criteria for favorite authors runs towards powerful writing that encompasses the richness of his or her background and incorporates that into the story. When I read a story by a British author, I don't want it to read like it was written by somebody from Texas. I want to experience the British philosophy, history and heritage.
From the letter by Tom:I've been watching gay porn movies since the early 1980's. Some are good, but most are dreadfully boring. We've watched more than a few on fast forward. Long time favorites include everything Jack Wrangler did including Gemini. It contains a gloryhole scene where the music blaring in the background is Don't Give Up On Us sung by David Soul. This movie is a keeper for any Starsky & Hutch slash fen.
From the letter by Tom:A question to the group at large: How do you feel about people under eighteen in your slash fiction? How do you feel about your favorite slashy characters as children exploring their own sexual identity? I am not advocating the exploitation of children but I would like to see us explore this issue in a logical, mature fashion. If we cannot agree on a definition, then how can we argue with the religious fanatics who want to run our lives. Remember, I am a mother and a grandmother, so I've been through some of this -- and not always too successfully.
From the letter by Dragon:I would like to repeat your comment from #30: "I do not wish to seem hard or unfeeling but it seems to me that the people who complain about the internet are the ones who don't have it." That was a polite and rather necessary kick in the pants because I think you may be right. I had Genie a couple of years ago and found it so boring I gave it up. Then last December we picked up the virus from some place and the internet seemed to be the most likely place. Between those two experiences, I wanted nothing to do with the 'net and refused to have my computer plugged into the phoneline. However, I am now connected and trying again, for the sake of argument if nothing else. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and if any of you can help me find my way around, please contact me. I rather feel like a freshman at UCLA. I made it and I can make it work, but it would really be helpful if someone showed me around the campus. By next issue I should have had time to form opinions regarding the on going discussion about the internet. I will admit that I like e-mail. When I finish this letter I can just send it to CUSHY. I don't have to go to the post office, pay the ransom we call postage, or worry about the floppy being stomped into a million pieces.
From the letter by Dragon:
Well, you know by now that I am a BIG SAAB fan like yourself. That Colonel McQueen, yum, yum. What is it about these big authority figures that gets to me? Don't know, don't care, just keep them coming. Unfortunately for me, all the slash fiction that's coming out via the net, apart from the odd story, is Cooper based. For some reason that totally escapes me because even I can see he's not a particularly attractive character, I want West and the Colonel to get it on more. Trouble is, even when they do, it's just sex and their hearts are <really> given to Cooper Hawkes....
[much snipped]Oh, I do love Forever Knight. I don't think this Kindred, The Embraced is a patch on it. It just doesn't have the same darkness although I do like the nosferatu clan. I don't see any slash pairings that appeal after one viewing, but maybe with time. I do think Lacroix is a superb character and Nigel plays him- - perfectly. His obsessive passion for Nick is so obvious and I love all that hand holding they do and the things Lacroix says to him. I just wish Lacroix was in every episodes. For me it's his relationship with Nick that's the best thing in the show and the episodes where he is in it a lot are the best ones I feel. I just discovered a lovely new slash random thanks to some stories I found on a net site. I loved the film, Interview With A Vampire even though I have never taken to the books that much. I love Louis and Lestat and the possibilities of that relationship, so the fan fiction is a nice extension of that. Lestat is such a brat, but an attractive brat and he does seem to love Louis.
From the letter by Dragon:No, I think Janeway is just 'going steady' with this guy she left back on Earth, not married. I suppose that leaves them free to suggest that something might occur between her and Chakotay, although god forbid that it should happen in the Star Trek universe where no one seems to have sex. Don't get me wrong, I watch them all in their various guises, but I just wish they'd hop into bed once and a while like real people. Even when Paris and Janeway finally have sex, it's as lizard things and they seem pretty blase about the whole event. If I'd had a few baby lizards by a 'man' who up until then was only my subordinate, I don't think I could have just brushed it off. This is a show that seems to breed a lot o f hetero fan stories, although there are quiet a few F/F around. I have seen quite a few Paris/Kim ones on the net sites, but they really don't interest me. I did download the one that had Q in it though as he's madly in love with Picard, even though he has sex with Paris. Well, even an omnipotent being has to learn somewhere I guess.
From the letter by Dragon:Oh yes, I hate those 'Garak is a wimp' type stories too. He may play the unassuming tailor, but everyone knows that is far from the truth. He's a Cardassian for god's sake. I want to know he really cares for Julian, but I don't want him crying and going girlie just because he's in a sexual relationship with another man. This implies that any man who fancies another man has to be this way, which is patently untrue, but perhaps makes the writer more comfortable. Who knows, I just know that's not what I read slash for .
From the letter by Dragon:
[The name "AJ"] reminds me of my Simon and Simon days) I know quite a lot of lesbians who are very into slash, both writing and reading, and seem to get turned on by the thought of two particular men in bed together. I find this very interesting in that I don't get the same pleasure from reading about two women having sex. The only way I enjoy this is thinking of myself receiving the pleasure, but not that I'm getting it from a woman particularly. When I'm reading M/M slash I suppose I must be doing the same thing, only I am attracted to at least one of the pair, so I enjoy this more. What do you feel when you read M/M slash?Do you switch off to the fact that it's a man? I'd be interested to hear.
From the letter by Dragon:I don't know how I manage the time to 'cruise the net' either really, but it can become addictive when you're looking for that site just over the next hill. The thing is, you find yourself collecting slash fiction and not getting the time to read it... It accumulates on your hard drive and eventually you print it out. Since my printer has just gone, I cant even do that at the moment. I just hope they deliver new ones quickly.
From the letter by Dragon:Here, here, I find something very sexy about Lacroix lusting after Nick and Nick himself doesn't do a thing for me. I agree, Lacroix had a face like a boot, but boy, what charisma. You mentioned Skinner. You should not mention this man in my presence, just like you should not mention Michael Ironside or Colonel McQueen aka James Morrison. it. Enough said. My heart cannot take it
From the letter by Dragon:You were talking about a Forever Knight/Due South/X-Files crossover slash story. One has been done already and is still continuing off and on. It's called Purity Control or American Gothic (it has two titles) and if you don't have it I can send you a copy. Part one covers all three randoms pretty fairly with Due South having the edge. The second part though is primarily Due South with a bit of X-Files. At the moment it's only available on the net and I don't know if Jenny Riddle who has written it intends to ever publish it properly. It's very dark though, so be warned.
[Regarding the 'net], If people don't want or like the idea, that's fine, but I love it and wouldn't want to be without it.