Open Letter by the Gang of Six Regarding Courts of Honor

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Open Letter
Title: Open Letter by the Gang of Six Regarding Courts of Honor
From: The Gang of Six
Addressed To:
Date(s): 1987: published in Not Tonight Spock!, Datazine, TREKisM, Universal Translator, Communications Console, Interstat, perhaps others
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
External Links:
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There was much fannish communication regarding the Star Trek: TOS zine Courts of Honor and it extremely rocky road to publication. Below is just one example of the series of open letters, some by Syn Ferguson (the author), and some by those stepping in to make this novel become available to all.

For much more on this topic, see Courts of Honor, Not Tonight, Spock!.


This Open Letter was printed in several zines, two being TREKisM #54 (fall 1987) and On the Double #4 (August 1987):

In April 1986, at Idicon, we had the painful task of making the first public announcement that Syn Ferguson was bankrupt and that she had gafiated, leaving many unfilled orders for her long-awaited nove COURTS OF HONOR. We stated then that we intended to try to re-issue COH, and that Syn Ferguson had agreed to turn over her manuscript to us -- on the condition that we would attempt to raise enough money to publish her novel and then make it available to fandom on a non-profit basis. Our goal has now been achieved. But we know that our faith in COH and our collective fund-raising efforts would not have been enough -- by themselves -- to accomplish this. We had help, and now we want to thank publicly -- for the record -- the others who contributed to making our new edition of COURTS OF HONOR a reality. First of al I, we thank the people who sent pre-orders to Walking Carpet Press. Without those orders, the new edition would not exist. We further thank everyone who sent us letters of encour- agement, and those who sent statements of support to Information zines. We thank the Idicon (1986) and Four~Play and Beyond (1987) con committees, for giving us program time. We thank the Shore Leave con committee (1986) for letting us sell donated art works to raise funds for the new edition. We thank Rodney Bonds (Shore Leave) and Marnle Strom (of the WHIPS) for special help. For printing our statements, we thank Teri Meyer of INTERSTAT: KathE Walker, Steve Walker, and Joyce Thompson, of DATAZINE; Susan Bridges and Linda Deneroff, of UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR; Vel Jaeger, of TREKisM, Marion McChesney and Sandy Zier, of COMMUNICATIONS CONSOLE; and Sarah Leibold, of NOT TONIGHT, SPOCK. There are several special people whom we thank for Individual contributions. Judith Gran (Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia) gave us legal advice at the very beginning, when Mary Ann Drach was negotiating with Syn Ferguson. We owe Judith much appreciation, for good suggestions and caring support. We are deeply grateful to Suzan T. Lovett, whose beautiful iIlos were originally Intended to appear with COURTS OF HONOR. Suzan allowed them to be published as an art portfolio in NOME 9, along with new poems based on COHo She created additional illos at our request, covering scenes from the second half of the novel. Her lovely and evocative works helped us, we know, by attracting more attention to COURTS OF HONOR. Besides all this, Suzan donated original art which we sold to raise money for the new edition. The Gang of Six thanks the distinguished science fiction writer Joanna Russ, who donated zines from her personal collection to help us raise money for printing COHo We thank Patricia Frazer Lamb -- for encouraging Joanna to contact us, and for other help. We render special thanks to Rhea Brainerd, who sent an unsolicited cash contribution at a time when our collective morale really needed a boost. Rhea, we love you and we miss you. Get well quick, now -- and thank you, again and forever, from all of us. To GRT Book Printing, of Oakland, California, we are grateful for doing a rapid, efficient, and reasonably priced printing job. The other members of The Gang of Six thank our fearless leader, Mary Ann Drach, for guiding this project to completion. We think that, if it had not been for Mary Ann's sustained encouragement (and for Mary Ann's talent as an editor), Syn Ferguson might perhaps not have finished writing COURTS OF HONOR in the first place. We believe that it was Syn Ferguson's confidence in Mary Ann -- and Mary Ann's willingness to negotiate with Syn -- which made our project possible. Because she knew and trusted Mary Ann, Syn was willing to trust the rest of us, whom she did not know. Mary Ann, we love you. And we thank you, always -- not just in our capacity of the rest of the Gang of Six but on behalf of all of fandom. There is another person whose contribution should properly be acknowledged here, because she too is entitled to our gratitude -- and to our sympathy. In more than one way, Syn Ferguson has been responsible for the existence of our project. Without Syn, there could not have been any effort to re-issue COURTS OF HONOR (nor, alas, would one have been needed). Therefore the Gang of Six is grateful -- finally -- to Syn Ferguson. We are grateful to her for writing a superb, inspiring, beautifully-crafted novel, an achievement she completed under conditions of extreme poverty and deprivation. We are grateful to Syn Ferguson because she did not mereIy gafiate and disappear, once she knew that she couId no longer avert bankruptcy. We are grateful that Syn reached out to us, then, and asked for help. By trusting the Gang of Six, she made it possible for us -- with the aid of others who are mentioned here -- to restore COURTS OF HONOR to its rightful place as one of the treasures of fandom. So we thank Syn, at last, for not allowing COURTS OF HONOR to vanish into oblivion. We thank her, for enabling the six of us to carryon her effort to give this unforgettable book to the Star Trek community. Thank you, Syn -- last but never least, and with all our hearts -- from the Gang of Six. Live long and prosper, Edi Bjorklund/Alta Brewer/Victoria Clark/Mary Ann Drach/Caren Parnes/Barbara L.B. Storey "The Gang of Six" -- May 1987.