My Name AIN'T Mary Sue!

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Title: My Name AIN'T Mary Sue!
Publisher: ITK Press Executives
Editor(s): Julie Evans and Kimber Norquest
Date(s): 1993-1994
Medium: print zine
Fandom: multimedia
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

My Name AIN'T Mary Sue! is a gen, perhaps het, anthology.

A One-Time Planned Sister Zine

At one point, a sister zine called "My Name AIN'T Mary Sue: Special Gay/Lesbian Issue" was planned, but it was not published.

According to a submission request in Southern Enclave #38 in 1994:
We're currently seeking stories featuring gay and lesbian Mary Sues for a special standalone, one-time issue. Note: This is not a slash project! We are looking for the same kind of innovative and thought-provoking characters and plot-lines that are the standard for every issue of MNAMS.


From issue #2:

My Name AIN'T Mary Sue! is an amateur, not-for-profit fanzine publication created solely for the entertainment of sci-fi/fantasy/media fans like ourselves. All rights revert back to the original authors upon publication.

ITK Press does not intend to infringe upon any copyrights held by any person or corporation whose titles and characters appear within these pages. If you're concerned that we may be making money off of your ideas, rest assured that we invariably end up in the hole. But we have a wonderful time playing in your backyards, and we thank you for tolerating us.

Issue 1

cover of issue #1

My Name AIN'T Mary Sue! 1 was published in January 1993 and contains 164 pages. It contains no interior art.

The editors mention that this zine began in "an introductory newsletter, published back in August 1992."

The zine has many, many acknowledgments. One of them: "All women in fandom everywhere — for breaking the mold! Whoever wrote that old Lt. Mary Sue story that started it all -- please "come out" and join us!"

  • Acknowledgments (1)
  • Kimber's Editorial (2)
  • Julie's Editorial (3)
  • The Tapes of Eddy Sin by Autumn Lee (Simon and Simon) (5)
  • Cat's Paw (or, "Pussycat, Pussycat, Where Have You Been?") by Cheshire de la Croix (War of the Worlds) (17)
  • The Shadow by Jon Cephas (Star Wars) (23)
  • Only a Child by Julie Evans (Star Trek: TNG) ("Author's Note: The following is a re-worked and expanded excerpt from my unpublished novel, "The Prisoner," in which the character of Jessica Kozel is introduced. It appears in the novel as a flashback to help clarify the source of the tension between Picard and Kozel.") (31)
  • A Darkness in the Woods by J.L Hallmark (Twin Peaks) (39)
  • Quiet Fire, (An Excerpt from Harrison Blackwood's Journal), by Anonymous (War of the Worlds) (43)
  • Congratulations, It's a Mary Sue! part 2 by Kimber Norquest (Star Trek: TOS) (49)
  • Red Carpet Treatment by Karen Rhodes (Hawaii Five-O) (53)
  • The White Tiger by Pat Ames (Land of the Lost) (59)
  • Kendra's Lament by Amy Butzlaff (Hawk the Slayer) (77)
  • That Old Black Magic by Cinda Gillilan (Miami Vice) (reprinted from Doin' the Job #1, also in Black Magic #1) (93)
  • Tellin' It LIke It Is (letters of comments]], one of them is the essay I still haven't seen a good definition of a Mary Sue) (139)
  • Pure Nonsense and Blatant Self-Indulgence:
  • About the Authors: pages 155-164

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

This past weekend, Hugo-award-winning science fiction writer C.J. Cherryh and protege Jane Fancher were guests at the 18th annual Atlanta Fantasy Fair. Being extraordinarily nice people as well as brilliantly creative, they let us corral them in the bar for two hours Friday to discuss everything from the American educational system to philosophy and writing. Ms. Cherryh taught Latin and Ancient History for 11 years, and Ms. Fancher's background is in anthropology, though they've both delved into physics and related sciences.

What you might be most interested in, though, is a comment Ms. Cherryh made at a panel they did with Stephen R. Donaldson on "Interstellar Contacts." The remark applied to characterization in general. She allows for the fact that some writers are great idea" people, and that they can produce a readable product focusing on a concept. But in her estimation, to write a really good novel, you must present intriguing and believable characters. And to do that, "You have to become your character. That means you live, breathe, and think that character. It means if you have a being with arms like an ape, it's going to cross them behind its knees and not at the butt." Colorful analogy aside, she went on to talk about how you can't accurately set up and describe a situation unless you can understand the motivation of the characters involved, and to do that, again, you engage in role-playing. Shove your own principles and values aside, and become the mass murderer/imp/abused child/what-have-you. And she proceeded to relate how her poor secretary's had to put up with her moods while she generates some of her more detestable personas.

Rather makes "Mary Sue" seem tame, doesn't it? [1]
I wish you luck with the zine, and with the idea... personally, I'd like to see you keep the smaller format... maybe run it as a letterzine. I'll bet there are other folks out there like me who would like a place to vent, to trade ideas, to get some validation for our work... I'd like to be able to ask others, "Is this going too far?" "How can I work in a skill with exotic weapons?" and a hundred more...[2]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2, Jonathan Cephas

My Name AIN'T Mary Sue! 2 was published in 1994 (1993 is on the cover, but 1994 is the copyright inside) and contains 223 pages. All the art, including the cover, is by Jonathan Cephas.

From one of the editorials:

The last time I released an issue of this zine, life still made sense. Of course, that was a long time ago. Much longer than I ever intended, I assure you. To all of you who were expecting to see this issue back in June, I can only say that reality sometimes has a nasty way of intruding upon the joyful business of fanzine production. And every now and then, a usually brilliant and productive editor is forced to withdraw temporarily from "the scene," in order to take stock of situations and develop a new plan of action for survival in the mundane world.

So just to bring you all up to date, my soul-searching has resulted in a (probably somewhat reactionary) move to Washington, DC, a job [snipped], a couple of brief and ultimately fruitless romantic encounters, and very little time left over each day for the important things like writing, zine editing, and shameless promotion.
  • Ye Editorial: Sex and the Fine Art of Selling Out (or, In Case You're Wondering Why the Zine is Late) (i)
  • Ye Co-Editor's Page

Section 1: The Mary Sue Stories

  • Seven Nights in Sammystown by Cheshire de la Croix (War of the Worlds) (1)
  • Ghosts of the Past by Autumn Lee (Simon and Simon) (37)
  • The Laughing Vulcan and Her Plants by Kimber Norquest (Star Trek: TNG) (63)
  • It Happened in Atlanta by Amy Butzlaff (The Highwayman) (71)
  • The Dark: Even in His Youth by Johnathan Cephas (not listed in the table of contents) (Star Wars) (85)
  • A Silence Between Warriors, TNG by Ann Rogers Dodd (Star Trek: TNG) (95)
  • And the Bones Came Together (Or, "You've Got the Right String, but the Wrong Yo-Yo") by Cheshire de la Croix (War of the Worlds) (97)
  • Phoenix by Karen Rhodes (Hawaii Five-O) (137)

Section 2: Tellin' It Like It T-I-Is (LoCs)

Section 3: Pure Nonsense and Blatant Self-Indulgence

  • I'll Be Home For Christmas (or Picard's Worst Nightmare), part two by the editors (1)
  • Mary Sue Speak: Or "How to Understand Your Editors the Next Time You Run Into Them Around the Con Suite!" (a personal glossary of many in-jokes and terms regarding fannish terms) (9)
  • Who Do You Think You're Calling a Con Slut?, essay about women, clothing, and consent (13)

Section 4: Shameless Promotion/The Ad Section


  1. ^ from a letter of comment in "My Name Ain't Mary Sue" #1
  2. ^ from a letter of comment in "My Name Ain't Mary Sue" #1