Mary Jean Holmes

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Name: Mary Jean Holmes
Type: Fan Writer, Fanzine Editor, Filker
Fandoms: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Back to the Future, The Real Ghostbusters
URL: Shadowstar: the Creative Archives of Mary Jean Holmes (archived version)
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Mary Jean Holmes has been active in media fandom since 1978 as a prolific fan writer, a fanzine editor, and filk writer. She was editor of the Star Wars fanzine Shadowstar, and published and illustrated several zine Star Wars novels, including Illuminations and Turnabout. In 1986 she branched out into other fandoms, including Lord of the Rings and The Real Ghostbusters. She has published fanzines under the name of Alvyren Press.

In 2000, Holmes explained her role in writing fan fiction and publishing fanzines:

"I've been aware of [fan fiction] since the 8th grade, in 1966, when groups of kids at the school I attended used to write and trade stories in their genre of the moment," she explains. "At first 'Man from UNCLE' and later 'Star Trek'." Having written more than fifty fan fiction stories, almost half of them novel-length, in five different genres that include Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Ghostbusters, and Back to the Future, Holmes boasts impressive credentials. Interestingly enough, her reputation in the "fanfic" world is such that recently, on E-Bay, a copy of her out-of-print Quantum Leap"-Back to the Future crossover, Outatime, sold for more than one hundred dollars... when one can download the story for free off the Internet.)'

Eventually, the homespun tales — mostly revolving around Star Trek — were mailed from fan to fan, and the "fanzine" was born. Most were published by fans and sold at cost directly to the audience. Holmes herself learned of fanzines in 1972, during college at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, when she helped publish one sponsored by her school's English department.

A member of the [fanzine] staff was familiar with several fanzines being published in other parts of the country by science fiction clubs," says Holmes. "Most didn't feature fan fiction, but several published occasional short stories and poetry based on books or television, primarily Lord of the Rings and Star Trek.

Holmes began to publish her own quarterly fanzine, Shadowstar, in 1979, a year after she started to write her own fanfic. Shadowstar continued for 15 years before escalating publication costs put a stop to it. [1]

A 1984 Chronology of Star Wars Fiction

In the zine, Illuminations, Holmes included a chronology of fiction.

CHRONOLOGY: (the order of all MJ Holmes' SW stories, as of 12-1-84)

"The End of the Dream" (5667/5690)
"Runaway" (5672/5692)
"Reflections" (5678)
"Lost in the Shuffle" (5679-80)
"Free at Last" (5680/5691)
"Star-Kindler" (5680)
"Laugh It Up, Fuzzball" (5681/5693)
"A Difficult Touch" (5682)
"Deathmasque" (5690) [inc.]
"Odyssey" (5691)
"Double Paradox" (5691)
"An Insignificant Gift" (5691)
"The Reluctant Rebel" (5691)
"A Chance to Live" (5692)
"No Place Left to Run" (5693)
"Field Promotion" (5695)
"A Light from the Dark " (5695)
"Conjuncture" (5695)
"Fire of the Mind" (5697)
"The Proving Ground" (5695/5701)
"A Very Private Vendetta" (5701)


Lord of the Rings:

Back to the Future:



  1. ^ Self-Made Sequels: Fiction By Fans, by Kristen Sheley, October 2000