No Different Flesh

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Fan Club
Name: No Different Flesh
Dates: 1970-1971
Founder(s): Linda A. Stanley, L'Shaya Salkind (Daimon)
Leadership: same
Country based in: U.S.
Focus: The People (Zenna Henderson)
External Links:
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Founded in May 1970, No Different Flesh was a fan club for fans of The People, a series of stories by Zenna Henderson.[1]

From Impulse #2: "No Different Flesh is a Gathering honouring Zenna Henderson's People, with her full ok. Dues are $1.00. There are four publications including the Yearly Record of the People (fan contributions welcome), 2-colour stickers and more. SASE for application and more."

From the No Different Flesh recruiter issue, dated May 10, 1970: Attention all People! Do you Remember the Home? Can you Lift? Platt?? Sort??? Have you any of the Persuasions and Designs? Then rejoice!!!!! This Gathering has been called in the hopes that we can contact as many of Us as possible to form an ultimate Group!

Recruiter Issue, May 10, 1970

LIFTING DEFIES GRAVITY!!! (but what's a little gravity among People?!)[2]
To those of you not familiar with Zenna Henderson's People, let me very briefly state just exactly what and who the People are. The People are from a far-off world known simply as The Home. Before their planet's total naturalistic annihilation (a foreseen cataclysm), they hastily built escape vessels and fled their world. Most of these vessels landed on an uninhabited planet (referred to as the New Home), in another galaxy, far from their own. But one vessel got off course and wandered into a different system entirely -- ours. Because the ship entered into the atmosphere at such a tremendous speed, the People were forced to abandon it and flee to the Earth's surface in their own individual life-slips. They landed scattered over Arizona, and, during the span of several generations (we assume they arrived at the end of the 19th century or possibly in the early 20th), the People lived a painfully sheltered existence, away from all who were not the People; and some individuals (we don't know how many) were so separated during the Crossing that they grew up never knowing that there was another Group. And yet they yearned always for the Home, the racial memory burned too deeply within their souls to ever be forgotten.

"Since they possess special powers of telepathy, telekinesis, etc., which would be regarded with horror and terror by normal terrene natives, theirs is a story of the conflict between their desire to conform to Earth standards, and their slow recognition and acceptance of their special identity." - Alfred Bester, Fantasy and Science Fiction.

The two volumes that tell the story of the People (Pilgrimage and The People -- No Different Flesh) are concerned with the struggle these special beings had in finding the Group from which their parents or grandparents had long been separated. They tell of the Outsiders who were taken into the hearts of the People, and of the struggle they had to keep their true existence a secret.

So... a new Group of the People is now being formed. Are there any of you out there?? NDF is open to anybody who wishes to join, so are you listening, world?? THE PEOPLE ARE HERE!! Dues are 50c yearly and will cover our printing costs only. This is entirely a fan project and non-profit intended.

Bulletins will probably be issued four times a year. Poems, drawings, etc. will be most welcome! With any leftover funds we shall supply members with two-color stickers with Peopleish sayings, such as PLATTING TWISHERS CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS.

Now then! Anybody wishing to contact more of Us are urged to write our In-Gatherer, LySra T'Shaya/2766 Cady Way/Winter Park, Florida 32789 and she will be happy to send you a list.

Assuming Character Identities

Those persons wishing to assume an identity from either book are welcome to do so! The identities already assumed are as follows: Valancy Carmody, Bethie Merrill, Karen, Jemmy, Perdita Verist, and the Francher kid.

Those of you who earlier expressed an interest in this Gathering are, of course, under no obligation to continue, but if you'd like to, we'd love to have you!

Each member will receive handmade by us a Certificate of Membership, which you may enthusiastically eat, smell, sleep with, or even hang on your wall, or whatever is your "thing"!

I have recently been getting mail from people who are finding it difficult to obtain both the Pilgrimage and No Different Flesh. After checking with various local book stores, it is my understanding that NDF is temporarily out of print, so hang tight, everybody. It will probably be issued in another printing soon. Meanwhile, I do have a few on hand, as well as the Pilgrimage, which has just been released in a fifth printing. Pilgrimage sells for 75c and No Different Flesh for 60c. If you would like to try ordering direct from the publishers, the address is:

AVON BOOKS, MAIL ORDER DEPT. 250 W. 55th St. New York, New York 10019 (include 10c per copy for handling; allow 3 weeks for delivery)

We have a proposed Symbol of the People, created by LySra and myself. It signifies the Stream of Oneness, which ties the People together to form an inseparable bond.

All interested Persons are now urged to write: Valancy Carmody (LAS) 1531 Bonnie Doone Terrace/Corona del Mar, California 92625. C'mon, Peoples! Let's get it Together!!![2]

NDF received Henderson's approval after assuring her that she wouldn't have to do anything as Honorary President:

May 10, 1970 - Dear Member: I am choosing this way to write you to avoid having to explain the same thing over and over to each of you individually. Anyway, I have some great news!! We have just received full approval from ZENNA HENDERSON for our organization! To the best of her knowledge we are the FIRST to have formed such a fan organization in honor of The People!!! She wrote a very nice newsy little letter, and I am sure that everybody will be happy to learn that very soon a fourth book of hers will be published, containing miscellaneous stories, including another one about The People! Watch for it soon![3] ...

The membership application form asked for name, birthdate, hair and eye color, hobbies, People alias if any, and whether you were available to serve on committees or contact other fans.

Stickers for No Different Flesh, printed by Lawndale Press ca. 1970. The Nimoy one is from the LNAF.

The 2-color stickers came from Lawndale Press, a Chicago-area small business, a popular source for club and zine address labels. Lawndale cheerfully put any slogan desired on red-bordered white labels with blue printing in a variety of fonts. These labels were a very familiar sight in fandom at that time. NDF's labels included Up With People!, Old Baldy Gave the People A New Beginning, moonlight in glowed silver, Time, Patience, Believing and Love, and Stream of Remembrance Ties the People Together.

The emblem for the club looked like a stylized, cross-shaped star. It was actually meant to represent streams of memory joining together and becoming a river.

Upon joining, one was asked to take a name and identity as one of the People. Most chose a name from the books, such as Thann, Lytha, Jake, etc., although some preferred other Biblical names in keeping with the spiritual themes in the canon.

The difficulty with contributing to NDF is that no one was sure what to submit. There was no fan fiction. There were some poems and art. An article described the canon stories and tried to establish continuity where Henderson had written "the Persuasions and Designs" in one story and "the Gifts and Persuasions" in another.

NDF essentially died after the second newsletter. The Yearly Record of the People never appeared.

The People fan fiction

There are very, very few People stories in fan fiction. Henderson wrote with a unique voice and point of view that is difficult to emulate. Fan writer Parhelion's novella Moab has been cited by Henderson devotees as excellent. It maintains and expands the spirit of Henderson's stories while introducing concepts that need to be addressed within The People's conservative framework.

References

  1. The People: No Different Flesh was the title of Henderson's second anthology in this series.
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named recruiter
  3. This would be Holding Wonder, published by Avon in 1971. The People story was "The Indelible Kind".