Panning for Pyrites

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Title: Panning for Pyrites
Publisher: Mary G.T. Webber
Date(s): 1989
Medium: print
Fandom: multimedia
Language: English
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front cover

Panning for Pyrites is a gen multifandom anthology of poetry previously published in other zines. The poems are by Mary G.T. Webber. This zine was published in Australia.

Blake's 7 is the dominant fandom in this zine; its content totals 25 pages.

Other fandoms: Blade Runner (4 pages), War of the Worlds (2 pages), Beauty and the Beast (4 pages), Hardcastle and McCormick (2 pages) and Magnum PI (10 pages)

  • The Legend (Blake's 7)
  • Interior Monologue: Gauda Prime (reprinted from Orbit #7 and Rerun #5) (Blake's 7)
  • The Legacy (reprinted from Powerplay #6 [not #5 as stated in credits]) (Blake's 7)
  • Evening: Gauda Prime (reprinted from Interface #7 [not #4 as stated in credits] and Rerun #5) (Blake's 7)
  • Blake: The Reasons (revised reprint from Orbit #7 and Rerun #5; "with thanks to G. Thomas for final edit") (Blake's 7)
  • Avon: Perihelion (reprinted from Rerun #5) (Blake's 7)
  • Execution (Blake's 7)

B7 art:

  • Tony Rogers
  • Suzie Lovett "The Legacy;" foldout
  • Sue Campbell

Sample Interior

Reactions and Reviews


I probably have no business doing this, since my work is also in the line and it might smack of nepotism, but I wanted to cast an enthusiastic vote for a collection of poems reviewed elsewhere in this publication, Panning for Pyrites. I don't care for poetry in zines, because, apart from very rare exceptions, I can't find poetry—or poets—in fandom. Mary G.T. Webber is a poet. She'd be a gem in any company. [3]
It has long been an assumption that if you prefix a noun with the word 'fan,' you should be prepared to purchase a product of inferior quality. More attention given to production values, quality of content, and presentation by editors, artists, and writers has made a dent in this connotation regarding fanzines, fanfiction, and fanart. Fanpoetry, however, is a category that most readers and editors greet with derision and sometimes justly so -- the American school system does not teach love or appreciation of poetry. We're taught that it is pretty, but useless; it has no place in a society where income rates higher than ability. We are not taught the difference between good poetry and bad, how to read it, how to write it, or why to love it. Granted, there are a handful of good poets in fandom, but then fandom tends to be slightly more educated than the general public. They create poetry... and where do they publish it? Many editors openly admit that they nothing about poetry, so their editorial policy is to print everything they receive, or no poetry at all, or poetry that other people tell them is 'real good.' And what kind of presentation can a poet hope for when poetry is printed in tiny, illegible fonts for 'artistic' purposes, used to fill white space at the end of a page, rarely accompanied by artwork, or rewritten by the editor because 'it's too long to fit the page'? So, why should a fan even read poetry in a fanzine? Because 'Panning for Pyrites' has been written, edited, and published by a poet, not only for those people who love poetry, but for those people who would like to love well-written, well presented poetry. The production values are exceptional -- a heavy parchment cover with a light parchment interior, clean and crisp printing, layout that is a joy to behold, and fine reproduction of artwork (including one fold-out). The price of Pyrites doesn't' begin to cover the financial cost of producing this zine. What a concept -- selling a zine for less than it cost to produce! Can that mean that is a truly labor of love? Twenty-two of Webber's poems, eleven which have been reprinted in other zines, are presented, each receiving the care and attention it deserves, from intricate layout to exceptional illustration. The media covered include ST:TNG, ST:TWOK, STIII-TSFS, Bladerunner, WOTW, B&B, Magnum P.I. and Blake's 7, yet the poetry often succeeds in transcending the original reference and reflects the universal experience. 'The Prospectors,' for example, reverberates with the call to exploration that so many men and women have heard throughout history and, in so many lines, conjectures widely on who these people are and why they answer. The art is by Sue Campbell, a beautifully reproduced portrait of Captain Picard in the foreground and Chuck Yaeger at the back, reminding us that the call is still being answered., and will continue to be answered for many years to come. A screened portrait of Dr. McCoy from ST:TWOK accompanies 'Curriculum Vitae,' both portraying a man who serves the Federation, yet who also serves humanity in the best way he knows best, the slow, easy, humane way of his upbringing. 'The Legend,' a recounting of Blake's rebellion and his end, also should be singled out -- written in a heroic fashion, the poem is surrounded by a celtic border, suggest that the elements of the story are part of a human experience older than we'd like to think. The editorial mentions the universality of emotion, how we wish we could separate the pain of loss of love, guilt inherent in our actions, and the eternal striving of the heart for perfection. Those ideas gain form in the images of 'St. Mary's: Memories,' 'Human,' ' Playback: Mac,' and many of the other poems presented here. Having a copy of Suzie Lovett's Blake's 7 piece, 'Legacy,' is worth the cost of the zine -- the picture is a unique combination of dozens of images, a new one found each time you look at it. Also impressive is the illustration Sue Campbell has done for 'Execution'; faces and portions of bodies jumbled together, part of one another and yet separate unto themselves, sharing in the finality of death. Poetry is subjective -- your favorites may be different from mine, and rightly so. In any case, there will be several poems whose words and images will wander around in your mind for days, perhaps years after you've read them, whether it be Vincent's realization that a pretense of humanity by oneself costs far less than when another is involves, or the 'Lamentation' of McCoy's after Spock's loss, which can easily apply to anyone who has lost a friend or family to that dark beyond. 'Panning for Pyrites' contain GOOD poetry, words and images that delight men's souls and give our lives meaning. Yes, it's worth the price, worth far more in fact... it's a limited edition. When people ask what fandom is, take this off the shelf and show them; tell them it is a fanzine with fanart and fan poetry. And maybe their assumptions about the connotations of the word fan might be changed for the better. [4]


"The proof that "good" fannish poetry isn't an oxymoron. Each of these puppies is illustrated. Expert and lavish presentation (parchment cover, saddle-stapled, offset, screening....My God, I think I ruptured something!).[5]


It's poetry. And artwork. That's right. No fiction. No stories, vignettes, missing scenes, novellas, etc. Just poetry and art. And I wouldn't give up this zine for any price. In fact, I have two copies of it, just so I have a spare. Mary showcased fan poetry (real poetry, not the prose-busted-up-into-lines that passes for poetry in the minds of many fans) with creative, artistic layout and gorgeous artwork from many of fandom's best (including an amazing B7 fold-out illustration by Suzan Lovett). [6]


  1. by Susan M. Garrett from Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine? #1
  2. by Susan M. Garrett from Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine? #1
  3. by Suzan Lovett from Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine? #1
  4. from Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine? #1. The reviewer, Susan M. Garrett, gives it "5 trees." The reviewers in "Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine?" rated zines on a 1-5 tree/star scale.
  5. From Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine? #4
  6. comments by kslangley at What was your first fandom?, August 28, 2016