Marion McChesney

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Fan
Name: Marion Catherine McChesney
Alias(es):
Type: Fan author, Zine publisher, Convention organizer
Fandoms: Star Trek, Blakes's 7, Starsky & Hutch, Man From UNCLE, Wiseguy and Highlander.
Communities:
Other:
URL:
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Memorial portrait by TACS

Marion McChesney was a writer, poet, zine publisher , and a con organizer.

She chaired the first ClipperCon conventions (1984-1989) and other actor guest cons including Shore Leave, Fan Out a mixed media convention (1990-1991) and later a multi-media slash convention, ConneXions.

Her first zine, Vault of Tomorrow, was a long running K&S friendship fanzine, the recipient of several awards, and according to Verba, "ever-popular."[1] Her B7 gen zine series, Powerplay 1 - 7, were beautifully illustrated, often "by her good friend Suzan Lovett, the lady who introduced her to B7."[2]. After Universal Translator stopped publishing, she and Sandy Zier edited an adzine called Communications Console. Later she fell hard for Man from Uncle, and started the MFU zine Classified Affairs and a multimedia zine called Awakenings under the name of Markate Press, at least partially because she'd just fallen hard for Wiseguy, and needed a place to publish her first Wiseguy story, "Story of My Life." (The final issue of Awakenings was published posthumously, and titled The Tribute Issue.) After her death, her zines were agented by In Person Press with the permission of Marion's family.

Other MFU fanzines she published:

Other Star Trek zines she published

In her (and Bev Volker's) honor, Farpoint Convention has started the Volker/McChesney Awards, given for individuals or groups who have served fandom over the years in important or unique ways. As part of their annual SIZZLER Awards, ConneXions also gave out a Marion McChesney Award, theirs for best new fanzine editor.

She died in June 2000 at the age of 57 of a heart attack.

Memories

  • Nancy Kipax said of her, "she brought her truck to the Shore Leave Dead Dog party and offered free ice cream or anything else on the truck to everyone there! My young sons thought she was Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy all rolled into one!" [3] and "Marion was one of the easiest and most delightful people to work with, no stress, just a lot of fun. She was equally comfortable and unassuming whether she was dealing with a 15-year old boy at his first convention, or one of the loftiest guest stars to grace our stages. She embraced IDIC as a total way of life. Marion was taken from us all too soon."[4]
  • "I'm terribly saddened by Marion McChesney's death. Marion's Trek zine, VAULT OF TOMORROW, was one of my favorites. She was always most kind to me all those years ago when I was a lot younger and a lot more...fiesty. I'll always cherish my memories of Marion and her fanzines."[5]
  • "Marion was a fixture at "Shoreleave" for many years. She was a wonderful pioneer in the world of fanfiction and fan-run conventions. I feel sorry for the people who never encountered her, she was a very sweet person." [6]
  • "I'm sorry to hear of her passing as well. She was definitely instrumental in the development of Star Trek fanzines, and produced some excellent and memorable ones."[7]
  • "I just got word by email that my good friend Marion died. She had just finally had the back operation she's needed for a long time. She attended MediaWest con over Memorial Day, and was feeling wonderful. And now....Marion introduced me into to world of fandom. I know a few people here understand that...for the rest, imagine a bunch of Trekkies for every show. She was the lead for the one fan convention I attend every year in Baltimore. I was proud to help her out, and she was a mother figure to many of us. I can't imagine attending Connexions next March without her there to sign me in. Goodbye, Marion. Thank you for making this newbie feel welcome."[8]
  • "Marion helped to run Shore Leave and had started the Clippercon convention. She no longer came every Saturday night [to The Contact Group gatherings]; even though she still worked on the conventions, her interests had drifted from Star Trek and when I met her she was currently interested in fairly recent British scifi show called Blake's 7, sort of like Star Trek set in a dark, evil universe, and I had no interest in it. Marion was fun, she had an easy laugh and seemed to like and be liked by pretty much everybody, including a lot of the guest stars. After a few years she felt the need for a change and moved to Los Angeles, where she hung out with LA fans and some of the actors she’d met at the conventions..... Sometimes I called Marion in California and talked about my new interest, and I guess my love for MFU fandom was contagious, because she became a fan too. When she moved back to Maryland, we became closer than ever. We talked on the phone all the time and roomed together at Shore Leave....Marion died a few weeks after the convention in June of 2000. That was the last year I went to the convention. It just wouldn’t be the same without my partner in fandom.[9]
  • "I was saddened by Marion McChesney's sudden death this last June 2000. As far as I know, POWERPLAYs 1-7 were her only B7 genzines. She had been active in several fandoms throughout her life. In Star Trek, she produced the long genzine series VAULT OF TOMORROW which many people loved. Marion was, also, associated with several cons over the years. I think POWERPLAYs 1-2 are among the best B7 genzines around, mainly for the stories and the art, much of it done by Marion's good friend Suzan Lovett, the lady who introduced her to B7. Marion's own B7 poetry and stories were, also, good, and I enjoyed them. I preferred her poetry to her prose, though. I normally don't read B7 poetry because so much of it is awful, in my opinion. Marion's poems are always thoughtful and different. It would be hard for me to pick a favorite one. Her poetry and the art that goes with it are highlights to me of the POWERPLAY series. I have reread the poems in the first two POWERPLAYs, my personal favorites of the series, many times. If you do not own any POWERPLAYS, I strongly suggest you start hunting for them, preferably originals so that the wonderful pencil art shows its full glory. But, if you can't get the originals, then reprints or even copies are better than nothing. The art quality will be dimmed or lost, but the poetry and stories will still be as wonderful. I met Marion in Los Angeles about five years ago on several occasions. She was a fun person to talk to and be around. Some friends of mine had just talked to Marion at MediaWest Con less than a month before she died. One of them said that she had no enemies because she was nice to everyone. I think Marion had a special place in her heart for Michael Keating, because, if I remember correctly, she told me that at one con she paid $400-600 (I forget the exact amount) to have breakfast with him. And she didn't regret having spent it. My last contact with Marion had been via letters about a year or so ago. I bought the original Lovett that is the cover to POWERPLAY 2. It's a gorgeous Blake as knight fighting a dragon. It is now a precious possession of mine. Every time I reread a POWERPLAY or look at my wonderful Blake in armor, I will remember Marion fondly." [10]

References

  1. Verba, Joan. Boldly Writing. F T L Pubns, March 26, 2003, pg 72
  2. Joyce Bowen's obituary for Marion
  3. Entry: 1980 -- A Time of New Beginnings, from Nancy Kipax's LJ
  4. Entry: Farewell, Dear Fen: In Memorium, from Nancy Kipax's LJ
  5. Randy Landers post in Marion McChesney, VAULT OF TOMORROW in alt.startrek.creative dated June 22, 2000.
  6. Kathryn Robair's post in Marion McChesney, VAULT OF TOMORROW in alt.startrek.creative dated June 23, 2000.
  7. Joan Marie Verba's post in Marion McChesney, VAULT OF TOMORROW in alt.startrek.creative dated June 23, 2000.
  8. While you're praying for people..... dated June 22, 2000; reference link.
  9. Star Trek, U.N.C.L.E., Lansing and MI-O8 at the Daily Kos by JamieG dated October 30, 2012;reference link.
  10. Joyce Bowen, at Judith Proctor's site