Outlands Chronicles

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Zine
Title: Outlands Chronicles
Publisher: Phantom Press
Editor(s): Christine Jeffords
Date(s): 1983-1987
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Wars
Language: English
External Links: [1]
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Outlands Chronicles is a gen Star Wars zine. It ran for four issues and had a difficult start.

Submissions

There was an ad asking for submissions in the May 1981 issue of Jundland Wastes. Then, there was a notice in the May 1982 issue of "Jundland Wastes" explaining the zine's status:
Due to circumstances too numerous and awful to mention, 'OUTLAND CHRONICLES' will be indefinitely delayed, 'MATTHEWS COLLECTED' has been cancelled, and 'ALTERNATES!' is entirely in Chris Jeffords' hands (also indefinitely delayed). Persons who sent reserves for 'OUTLANDS CHRONICLES' and 'MATTHEWS COLLECTED' will have their checks returned as soon as possible. 'ALTERNATES!' material is being held--drop Chris a line if you want yours returned. Due to the ghu-awful delay of OUTLAND CHRONICLES (with no end in sight, True Believers!) any contributor who would like her material returned so she can submit it elsewhere is welcome to it; just send me a large enough envelope and sufficient postage, and it can be yours. [1]

Issue 1

cover of issue #1, Cathye Faraci

Outlands Chronicles 1 was published in 1983 and is 130 pages long. It contains 12 stories and poems. Art by Cathye Faraci (front cover), Wendy Ikeguchi (back cover), and Gennie Summers.

  • Chase to Karmark by Charles Garofalo 5 (Han figured his troubles were over when he escaped from Jabba the Hutt. He was wrong.)
  • Millenium Falcon by Kathryn Agel (39)
  • A Spark of Darkness in the Light by Scheherazade (41) (Set after the revolution, written from Han's point of view, in the middle of Alliance political maneuvers against those who prospered under the empire. The author identifies and characterizes the Empire supporters.)
  • Search by Christine Jeffords (47) (What were Han's other friends doing while he was preserved in carbonite? A "Brighter Universe" story. A Mari Sevenstars story.)
  • Search Suite by Christine Jeffords (67)
  • Where No Corellian Has Gone Before by Karen Miller (71) (A "mind dialogue" wherein Ben contacts Han, who's still in carbon freeze and who fights to the end against the 'old man's' craziness and leads Han's mind to Luke.)
  • Don't Cry for Me, Princess Leia by Jeannie Webster 77)
  • An Interview with Harrison Ford by Editor (80) (transcribed from a radio talk show)
  • Smugglin' by Kathryn Agel (83)
  • A Visit to Corell by Helen Montgomery (85) (an article about Han's world, has descriptions of the climate and various vicious beasts that live there.)
  • Year of the Dragon by Eva Albertsson (89) (You always knew Han was a devil with the ladies. But did you ever wonder about his very first experience? It is a story about 13-year old Han Solo and his 6-year old sister, Bethi, on a summer visit to their country kin, one of whom is 14-year old Zera, who becomes Han's first love.)
  • Kisman Mountain Song by Christine Jeffords (117)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

OC generally has neat, clear typing and few typos, but there ace a few pages which could have benefited from better centering as some of the inside margins ace too close to the binding. The nicely stylized title typefaces are attractive. OC is an all-Han issue but the editor stresses that she doesn't intend OC to be a specifically Han zine. She has a good selection of stories and art, starting with 'Chase to Karmack" by Charles Garofalo. "Karmack" is one of the very few stories that combine action/adventure with characterization. The former does predominate, occasionally to the detriment of the latter, but generally, it's a wonderful tour-de-force about Han's escape from Jabba and his subsequent adventures with Imperials, Boba Fett, a cowardly doctor and a near-empty, vulnerable rebel base. Wanda Lybarger's illos are very apt for the story. They are filled with action, reaction, stark black and white contrast and a sense of humor. "A Spark of Darkness and Light' by Scheherezade is part of a series, one of the few that has captured me. It's set after the revolution, written in Han's point of view, in the middle of Alliance political maneuvers against those who prospered under the Empire. The author intelligently identifies and characterizes the Empire supporters. Wendy Ikeguchi's illos are fitting, as they are dark, rough, strongly indicative of the danger the Alliance is in. The one unsuccessful story in OC is, sadly, the editor's. I say "sadly" because she put together such a successful zine that the one story she wrote for it should have had OC's general quality of exciting diversity and sensitivity. "Search", however, by Christine Jeffords, generally lacks this quality. It is nice to see a sympathetic portrayal of Lando, however; it has some good original ideas about aliens, and the writing, though rough, has obvious talent. I especially liked certain word choices, like "the door slid arthritically..." But other than that, the rest of the story doesn't ring true. The main character is Mari Sevenstars, a recurring character in Jeffords' 'Brightstar" series. She is an "Azaeli" with—we are repeatedly told--a fierce and sometimes dangerous temperament. Han is her "swordbrother" and she sets about to organize a galaxy-wide search for Han, who is still in Jabba's clutches. (OC was published before the release of ROTJ, by the way.) The problems come with the subplot, which resembles a soap opera. Here, Han's real lady is a Jedi named Skye, with whom he's fathered a child. He really doesn't love Leia, but was only trying to test her to see if she really has a heart and, if so, to "open her up" so she can give her love to Luke. Han doesn't appear well at all in this version of things. In this role, he's merely an officious, arrogant and presumptuous manipulator, playing with Leia's feelings, probably misunderstanding her totally, as well as Luke. Sevenstars, who feels loyalty and protectiveness to Han's "woman", takes it upon herself to whisk Skye away from the evil clutches of princess Leia, Skye's rival. Can anybody honestly imagine Leia Organa being so petty and vicious that she would hate a rival so much as to endanger her and her unborn child's life? As for the characterizations. Sevenstars, for all that we're told that she's something to fear, doesn't seem at all frightening, just a busybody. Skye is nothing but a pitiful little martyr who always has to be taken care of. I haven't formed an entirely negative opinion of Jeffords' series, because I have only read this one story. She has a good alien character, but she should take care to flesh her out more. Lin Stack's illos for "Search" are a little too uniform. One of Stack's illos, though, is heart-tugging: Chewie holding Han's newborn son who's busily tugging at the Wookiee's fur. Karen Miller's 'Where No Corellian Has Gone Before..." is fascinating, if a little too sentimental in places. It's a 'mind dialogue' wherein Ben contacts Han, who's still in carbon freeze and who fights to the end against "the old man's' craziness, and leads Han's mind to Luke's. The interplay between Han and Ben is funny and warm. Between Han and Luke, it is poignant. Ikeguchi's illos are two of my favorites in the zine. "An Interview with Harrison Ford" (accompanied by Lybarger's adorable stationery drawings of various HF film roles) is much too short; I wanted more! The editor transcribed it from a radio talk show. I don't know if too many people realize how really intelligent and articulate Harrison is. "A Visit to Corell" by Helen Montgomery is an intriguing article about Han's world. The most interesting are the sections about the rigors of the climate and the various beasties waiting to eat you. Unfortunately, it ends just when it gets even more interesting, with a few tantalizing generalizations about the inhabitants. Perhaps the best story in OC is Eva Albertsson's 'Year of the Dragon, a story of 13-year-old Han Solo and his 6-year-old sister, Sethi, on a summer visit to their country kin, one of whom is 14-year-old Zera, who becomes Han's first love. Although I found the traditional family roles a bit provincial, the story itself has its own reality and life because Albertsson writes well, vividly and sensitively. Despite the fact that Han and Zera are the principles, my favorite has to be Bethi, whose characterization is honest and funny. There are some hilarious moments here, especially with the kids' droid babysitter who, under Albertsson's skillful hands, comes to life. I sympathized with the indignities he is made to suffer under Corell's brutal climate, devouring bug-eyed monsters and the kids' own rewiring job. This is a funny, warm, engrossing story but there were two problems. There is
 precious little description of all the
 dangerous creatures and the ending is a 
bit questionable, Zera, who all along has
 been a tough, outspoken, imaginative girl
 becomes properly silent, almost subordinate, to her new boyfriend. Han does all tbe talking while she just "smiles indulgently' at him. Martynn's illos of Han and Zera don't really look like teenagers; they more resemble 20-year-olds. But she does a convincing face for Han as a young boy. Gennie Summers has some hilarious cartoons throughout and Cathye Faraci has a stunning, almost surrealistic cover of Vader. I can't describe it in words. Buy the zine and appreciate it for yourself. [2]

Issue 2

cover issue #2, Wanda Lybarger

Outlands Chronicles 2 was published in 1983 and contains 130 pages. Christine Jeffords. The front cover is by Wanda Lybarger.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

Besides having a hilarious bunch of cartoons and puns, two gorgeous covers by Lybarger (front) and Stasulis (back; tho her figures of Luke and Leia are a bit short), OC2 is even finer than the first issue. Jeffords has some wonderful material here and she very skillfully spreads out long and short pieces that make the reading comfortable and non-draining.

"Chase to Dagobah" by Charles Garofalo is the second in an action/adventure trilogy wherein Leia is kidnapped by pirates while Luke, still on Dagobah, unconsciously summons the pirates, Han and Vader to the planet. There are escape and chase scenes, fights and verbal arguments, plus some fine characterization of the Big Three and the author's own wonderfully distinctive band of smugglers. Best of all is Yoda and his encounter with Leia, Han and Chewie (except I don't think he would refer to the Princess as a "royal shrew"). Yoda's lines are a bit confusing at times but he is in good, whimsical, beleaguered form. I've never had so much fun reading a SW story. "Tne Turning" by C. S. Armitage is a powerful short-short that tells of what would have, happened to Han, Leia, Chewie and Lando had Luke indeed turned to the Dark Side for real in ROTJ. "The Hatch" by Ann Wortham...ah... gives us a nice little interlude between a drunk Han and his equally drunk father-in-law. "Personal Business" by Kathryn Agel is a somewhat dull entry into her "Starbird's Children" series concerning Han's comforting of his sister whose husband has just died. Perhaps I affected by this because I'm new to the series but I do feel that the story in itself lacks an element of feeling. "Left Hand Jedi" by Susan Matthews is an excellent piece about Han's Force-sensitivity. The best scenes here are when Luke recognizes Han's talent and when Vader analyzes Han's category of Force-use as in a 'gray side of the Force; and so mutable that within the very individual, depending only on the circumstances, it could range from the angry passion of a thunderhead to the serene blue-gray mist of a perfect pearly seagem..." And more; Vader recognizes in Han "at least two parts convert to the Sith Lord's principles, to the so-called 'Dark Side'—or complement—of tne Force..." That Matthews can write well is nothing new to fandom. As to the story's premise, I have no trouble entertaining the possibility that Han has Force talent but there are a lot of instances in all three films where his guesses and assumptions are wrong... "While We're Apart" by Eva Albertsson and Christine Jeffords is part of the latter's "Brightstar" universe and tells us the story of Han's Jedi lover, Skye, who leaves him on a pretext of jealousy (she sees him kissing an old female friend) because she has a vision of his death occurring while she's present. She reasons that without her presence, he can be saved. Han, of course, searches for her to no avail and hears that she has died [she hasn't). Unquestionably this is a superbly written and developed story with an undeniable pull on the reader's interest. I see two problems, however. Skye, whose relationship with Han is a strong, binding, powerful one of "recognition" doesn't come across as real. I have little trouble reading fanfic with women other than Leia as Han's mate but I do like to get to know them. Skye, however, never comes across as more than words on a page. Secondly, the entire story (the zine's longest) is based on a silly misconception. Instead of doing the right thing and telling Han what she's seen, Skye deceives and hurts him, demonstrating she doesn't trust him, and flees instead of analyzing the vision and realizing (as she does later, but the reader has done it from the start) that the "future is always in motion." As a Jedi, she should know this. We can't feel for Han's grief over her "death" when we know she's alive and behaving very foolishly. In this universe, Han and Skye are each other's true, destined mate. Yet because of the above failings, tnis doesn't really sink in. (I should state that this is only the second "Brightstar" story I've read.) yet the story's strong writing pulls you along, despite the few failings in believability (even though I am basically opposed to these extreme dependency relationships).

"The Initiation" by Christine Jeffords is an early "Brightstar" story (and I believe a reprint) and extremely affecting. It concerns Han at 15 stowing away on board a smuggler's ship and his. experiences as a "green horn spacer. Jeffords' writing is lucid, tight and very vivid. Jeffords creates the setting of the freighter and its crew in remarkable detailed completeness. I genuinely felt as if this ship existed somewhere and I could recognize it if I saw it. There are wonderful incidentals like the ship's two mascot animals (little furry mouse-like creatures) who are somewhat telepathic. I disagree with Jeffords" presentation of smugglers (everyone in SW fandom wants to make Han and his friends out to be humanitarian and practically angelic) but, nevertheless, the people in the story are strong and memorable. The action scenes where Han outwits a bunch of pirates is rivietting and abundantly convincing. This is a very atmospheric story.

The fullest, most complete illos are Lybarger's and Stasulis" with their strong depth and symmetry. Both truly illustrate the stories they illo. Martynn's illos for 'Left Hand Jedi" surprised me. Her work is always lovely but often stiff and not truly illustrative. While they're still not really complete, two of them (one of Han, the other of Luke) actually had motion and naturalness of form. It's a damned good zine. But can you afford the price? I assume Jeffords can't find cheaper printers. unfortunate, but I can't all good conscience recommend you shell $15.75 for a 190+ page zine. it is an excellent issue so I leave it to the buyer. [3]

Issue 3

front cover of issue #3, Nancy Stasulis
back cover of issue #3
page one of a 1985 flyer for issue #3
Outlandschroniclesflyer-2.jpg

Outlands Chronicles 3 was published in 1984 and is 186 pages long.

From an ad in in Far Realms #6:
OUTLANDS CHRONICLES #3: Yes, there will be Another I Our third issue is planned for December release. Already accepted: the second in Ann Wortham's "The In-Laws" series; an adventure of Darth Vader on Earth (yes, we said Earth) by Virginia Tul- ly; the Justice" vignettes by Linda Knights; a new story in the Dark Lords cycle by Carol llines-Stroede; an unusual cross-universe tale by Roberta Rogow; another in Martie Benedict s famous Han Solo adventures; two stories by Patricia D'Orazio; art by Nancy Stasulis, Suzy Sansom, and Shayne McCormick; still more word search puzzles by Lynda Vandiver; and the second BRIGHTSTAR COLLECTED reprint by Chris tine Jeffords, Jubilee's Daugliter," with all-new art by Wanda Lybarger. To reserve: $3.50 and SASE. All deposits will be placed in escrow until we go to press.
  • The Mailbox by D. Readers (2)
  • The Brightstar Universe Scorecard by Christine Jeffords (8)
  • The Race by Ann Wortham ("Second in the "In Laws" series.") (9)
  • Alderaani Wind by Kathryn Agel (15)
  • The Collection by Kelly Hill ("Young Han Solo figured that a continent ruled by women would suit him jiist fine. He soon learned better.") (16)
  • Word Search Puzzle by Lynda Vandiver (27)
  • Luke's Dilemma by Roberta Rogow (29)
  • Blind Justice by Lynn Garcia ("The last stand of one Jedi Knight against Darth Vader.") (31)
  • Song of Corellia by Kathryn Agel (35)
  • Dah by L.A. Carr ("Suppose Vader had managed to kidnap his infant son soon after Luke's birth..?") (37)
  • Dark Lord's Lament by L.A. Carr (49)
  • Refugee by Liz S. ("Trev Leggett, Corellian pilot, confronts a loss.") (51)
  • Pre-Nuptial Jitters, Corellian Style by Jacqueline Taero (61)
  • Star Wars Crossword Puzzle by Marci Erwin (62)
  • A Trip to Chansie by Linda Ruth Pfonner (64) (A rebel mission to negotiate for a new base turns unexpectedly dangerous. "It was just going to be a simple in-and-out mission for Han Solo: deliver the Princess and the Alliance Council to Chansie...Sure it was!")
  • Justice by Linda Knights ("A series of vignettes tracing the Turning of Anakin Skywalker.") (82)
  • Along the Road by Kathryn Agel (91)
  • Jedi Scrambler by Marci Erwin (92)
  • A Parting of Friends by Karin L. Zygowicz (97)
  • Heavy Mettle by Martie Benedict ("Going back to Jerook after his encounter with a jealous husband on his last visit was definitely not one of the best ideas Han ever had.") (98)
  • Change of Ownership by Jacqueline Taero (106)
  • Encounter & Questions by Patricia D'Orazio ("Two encounters of Luke Skywalker, Jedi-in-training, and Arokelth Fett, younger sister of Boba.") (109)
  • Saucy Spacer Lad by Mary Teel (114)
  • Gambit by Carol Hines-Stroede ("Sequel to "Pas de Deux" (SKYWALKER-6), In which Rownin and Darth Vader finally cross sabers.") (117)
  • Two Poems by Gail Small (131)
  • Vacation by Kate Birkel ("What if Han hadn't been there when Hoth was attacked?") (132)
  • The Kessel Run: a Smuggler's Song by Roberta Rogow (140)
  • Midnight by Mary Teel (141)
  • Trick or Treat by Virginia Tully ("You saw Darth Vader walking down the streets of your town on Halloween night, what would you think? This story tells what Darth thought about it." (142)
  • Jubiliee's Daughter by Christine Jeffords ("Flying aboard Lonnat Hovan's Thun

derbolt, 18-year-old Solo becomes involved in a one-night stand that gets slightly out of hand...Second in the "BRIGHTSTAR COLLECTED" Reprints.") (169)

  • art by Shayne McCormack (back cover) and Nancy Stasulis (front cover)

Issue 4

cover issue #4, Martynn

Outlands Chronicles 4 was published in 1987 and contains 166 pages.

References

  1. from Jundland Wastes #9
  2. from Southern Enclave #4
  3. from Southern Enclave #5