Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Snow White

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Snow White
Interviewer: Franzeska Dickson
Interviewee: Snow White (Kathy S)
Date(s): February 25, 2012
Medium: audio recording
Fandom(s):
External Links: Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview Snow White
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

In 2012, Snow White was interviewed at Escapade as part of the Media Fandom Oral History Project.

The length: 12:32:00.

For more information about the origins of this interview, other interviewees, where it is housed, contact information, suggestions regarding future interviewee candidates, and how to become volunteer interviewer, see the Media Fandom Oral History Project page.

Some Topics Discussed

Excerpts

I originally got into fandom in around 1988 through Blake’s 7. Blake’s 7 was being shown on our local PBS station, and I made a contribution to PBS and one of the things that I received was a Blake’s 7 fanzine: Magnificent Seven. Or Magnificent Tails #7. And I noticed… I was quite taken with it; it was something that I had never seen. I thought that the writing was extraordinary and I noticed in the back that there were LoCs, letters of comment. Wanting to reach out to the community, I sent a LoC and more or less invited someone from Southern California to contact me, and Lee, who was very active in the Southern California fandom, did in fact contact me and we made arrangements to meet for lunch.

She brought me some samples of fanzines, and not knowing if I was interested in slash, she asked me if I wanted some slash, and I said, “Slash?”, and she said, “Yes, you know, as in K/S.” And I said, “K/S?”

And she said, “you know, as in K slash S,” and I said, “K slash S?”, and she said, “You know, Kirk and Spock doing it together.”

I thought of that for all of about three seconds and I said, “Okay, I can see that,” because prior to that I had read The Price of the Phoenix and The Pride of the Phoenix, which were slash-lite, for want of a better term, professionally published Star Trek novels. So Lee, after giving me what seemed a carload of zines, mentioned that they had a group that got together every month at different people’s houses and they would sit around and talk about Blake’s 7, ‘cause at this point it was a Blake’s 7 community. We decided to name ourselves, and it was BBC—Blake’s Bunch of Californians. There were at that point in time around eight or nine people but slowly over the years it expanded, more people would come in and you would make contacts. We were having a meeting at Kathy R. and she said, “Oh! I have a friend who lives nearby [D] who publishes Man from Uncle zines.” So, [her friend, D] brought some of her zines over and we fell on them like a ravening hoard and, incidentally, found a new member of the group.

And as I say, as we made contacts and people heard about us. It grew and grew. People would come in, people would drop out, people would move to the East Coast, more people would hear about us. They would move down from Northern California and they would be put in contact with people down here, and at some point, it just became the Slashbashers group. More or less when the Internet was in its infancy, we moved it online. Then is when it sort of became the Slashbashers group. And at our highest point we probably had thirty-five members but not everyone came to every meeting. I remember one time we had a meeting at my house and, as with most gatherings, there’s an ebb and flow of people and we had twelve people in my very small kitchen all standing around discussing whatever the hot topic was.
The beauty about the Southern California Slashbashers is that it’s more about… it’s about fandom, but it’s also about friendship. It’s about the friendships that you make in fandom, and you keep forever. Yes, the common thread is fandom, and usually slash fandom, but not necessarily slash. If someone doesn’t want to be in slash, that’s alright, you’re a fan. That’s really all that matters. One of the real founding movers of the Southern California group was Lily Fulford, who… unfortunately, we lost Lily a couple of years ago. But Lily was a font of sharing. She was into Professionals, and she had probably every circuit story, every zine that was ever put out in the fandom, and she was very generous about lending this out to people. That’s one of the hallmarks of, I think, not just Southern California fandom but fandom in general. It is this willingness to share, to share our passions, to make it available to new fans...
One of the women that lived in San Diego started the Slashbashers online. And then, of course the ProsLib - Frances in New York, the Hag, runs the Pros Library. Prior to that there was the paper Circuit Library, which I’m sure you’ve gotten many stories on. That was a wonderful experience. It was actually before they started publishing zines; people wrote stories and passed them to friends. I was in Professionals and you would hear about a story coming out. Waiting to Fall was a circuit story, and you would hear, “Waiting to Fall’s in the country!” — it was being written in England — “chapter one through nineteen is in.” And then, a couple of months later you’d hear, “Oh, chapter twenty to twenty-six is in the country” or, finally, “Oh, it’s done, it’s done”, and you would scurry around in your network to get your copy. You would go to ZCon, and [SF Diva] would show up, and she’d say, “Oh, I have Meg Lewtan’s Jigsaw Puzzle.” She would have one or two copies and we would make a mad dash down to Kinko’s or the local copy shop. And I think one of the truest statements ever made was during a discussion online and the moderator asked the question, “What do you think was the technology that has advanced fandom the most?” and people were saying computers and everything, and Shoshanna came on and said, “The copy machine”. [laughs] And certainly in the early days of most fandoms, pre-zines, it was the circuit stories that made their way around the country, and if we hadn’t had those wonderful copy machines, I think fandom would have not expanded as quickly as it did.
I started publishing, with the permission of the original publishers, doing reprint copies of Master of the Revels and Harlequin Airs, because they were such outstanding zines and they only had a limited run of three hundred, and once those were gone, they were no longer available to newer fans. And I felt that that was a shame, so I started putting out the zines on an as-ordered basis. I have subsequently more or less stopped, because costs have gotten prohibitive. Someone wanted to order one from England and I figured out the cost—with postage and everything—was going to be about forty dollars, and that’s, you know, that’s getting a little expensive.
...the Southern California group is still going strong. We still meet every month, the core group now is — we’re down to about fifteen or eighteen, still sharing, still talking about fandom. When we get together, we talk about fandom, but we talk about other things, things that interest us. One of the women is very much into costuming, so she will bring examples of her current costuming and we share. We share life and I think that’s what’s really important about our group: we share life, we share our passions, we share the good times, we share the bad times, but we’re there for one another. We’re a support group, we’re family. I’m probably closer to people in fandom than I am with some of my own family, and I think that is what fandom is, not just the Southern California group, but fandom in general. I’ve made lifelong friends on three continents, and it’s an experience that I would never, ever give up, because it has enriched my life. It has given me an appreciation for the world, the wider vision of the world, and I think that, more than anything, is the true value of fandom. And it makes you look at yourself; it makes you realize what is truly, truly important, and to be able to share on many, many levels. So that is what fandom is and what the Southern California fandom is.