Pillow Talk (slash letterzine)

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Zine
Title: Pillow Talk
Publisher: Spyderwritings
Editor(s): Spyder
Type:
Date(s): 1998-2000
Frequency: 4x a year
Medium: print
Fandom: multimedia
External Links:
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Pillow Talk was a slash British letterzine published by Spyderwritings in the late 1990s. Each issue was to feature a different fandom.

Members of the Britslash mailing report receiving the first issue in October 1998: "'Lovely letterzine, with a beautiful colour photo of Jim and Blair from the Sentinel on the front. It's got letters, fiction, info, zine reviews, ads, etc."

The initial plan was to have four issues a year; it is unclear how many issues were actually published.

A fan in early 2000 comments in Discovered In A Letterbox on this zine, concerned that both the market, and the Internet, will make it difficult for slash letterzines: "There is already a good multi-media letterzine available - "Pillow Talk" - each issue of which features a different film or TV series pairing. Also, are there enough people interested in slash to support two m/m letterzines? What with slash fans still being in the minority and things like the Net being around?" [1]

Issue no.1 (1998:Oct)

Cover of Issue no.1
  • Editorial (1)
"The idea behind Pillow Talk is to provide a slash forum on any fandom. Ideas, reviews, letters, adverts (in fact, just about everything) will always be welcome. I would also like to mention that this is a letterzine and without any letters it's going to be a bit thin. I've more than I expected [in] this issue, but don't forget to keep those comments coming in! As this is the first issue, most of those contributions are from me, so if you want to get rid of me do have a go at sending something in.
  • Letters (2)
  a subscriber writes:
" For me Stargate SG-1 the series has definite slash possibilities for O'Neill and Daniel. First, based on the fact that Spader (Daniel) hero-worships RDA in real life, in fact, Anderson was his inspiration for becoming an actor. Secondly, the two characters both suffer from the "lost wife" syndrome, and are unlikely to be seriously attracted to other women. Thirdly, - have you seen the way they care about each other! There are such a lot of scenarios where one or the other of them is missing or injured, there's no doubt about the angst O'Neill suffered in that episode when Daniel was believed to be dead and they had his funeral. It's just written for slashers."
  Another subscriber writes: 
"Most gracious editor, thanks for the flyer. It'll be great once again to have a m/m slash letterzine. I've not been able to find another one since Late For Breakfast closed down. I'm looking forward to reading the review of The Sentinel as I've never heard of the series. Though the photo on the flyer looks very pretty."
   A subscriber writes:
"In your flyer, you asked what the fuss was about concerning The Sentinel. Well, they are two drop dead gorgeous men who live, eat, work, (and if we have any say in it 'sleep') together. They touch, hug, gaze lovingly at each other and set the screen on fire within minutes of meeting! Let's be honest, no gives a monkeys about the plots (who said what plots? Go stand in the corner!)."
  • Description of The Sentinel with synopsis of premise, episode guide, and actors' bios. (7)
  • Con reports for LLAP 1 and Red Rose Convention. (16)
  • Review by Spyder of Fumbling Towards Ecstasy by Cherilyn and HG. (17)
  • Review of the multimedia slash fanzine, This Happy Breed of Men, This England by Spyder. (18)
  • Book review of the novel Gaywick by Spyder. (18)
  • The agony U.N.C.L.E. by Fruitcake, a satire of advice columns. (19)
  • Three films nominated as slashable film: Black Rain, The Fugitive (1993), and Treasure Island (1990). (21)
  • A description the musical duo, Air Supply, and their music which is described as very slashy with lyrics of two of their songs. (23)
  • Camera Obscura - description of the TV series, The Highwayman, with episode guide. (25)
  • Waiting, an Equalizer story by Spyder (28)
  • Freefall, a Miami Vice story by Spyder. (32)
  • Psych(o)mania - Waking to the nightmare, a UFO story by Fruitcake. (38)
  • Topics for next issue, Slash - fiction or fantasy? In these days of political awareness, AIDS and so on, just how much realism should, do we put into our writing? The featured fandom is UFO.


Issue no.2 (1999:Jan)

Cover of Issue no.2
  • Editorial (1)
  • Letters (2)
      A subscriber writes:
"Thank you very much for the first issue of Pillow Talk. I enjoyed it very much. Is slash fiction or fantasy? Just to be difficult I think it's both! I like a certain amount of realism in stories, but as long as the characters are right, the situations tend to take care of themselves. I do find it curious that some characters lend themselves more to alternative universes. Bodie and Doyle seem to turn up almost anytime and anywhere, but for example, I've never seen Blake and Avon anywhere other than their own universe. (Though other characters pop in from time to time, Star Trek, Even Citizen Smith, once!) As far as safe sex is concerned, if a story is set in a contemporary situation then a nod towards safe sex is a good idea, though I don't find it essential. What I do think is important is that if the author is going to include it then they should get it right. I recently read an X-Files story where the author had the characters using a condom for oral sex. Very commendable and very unusual in slash fiction. She then had them using copious amounts of olive oil for lubrication. Oh. dear. There are condoms available that can be used with oil based lubricants but they are extremely expensive and relatively hard to find. Overall I think we should be aware of the issue but we don't have to labour it. I've not yet read a slash story where someone catches AIDS and I'm happy to keep it that way."


   A subscriber writes:
"I was glad to find I'm not as out of touch as I thought I might be, even though I've never even heard of The Sentinel. I Have been keeping up with Stargate SG-1 and, like most of the contributors to issue !, I have grown rather fond of the O'Neill/Daniel premise. As Lindar says, they just seem to care about each other so much, do all (well, almost all) the things that have us shifting a series out of the mainstream and into slash. There have been some token attempts at suggesting a relationship between O'Neill and Carter, but they never really got off the starting blocks, thank heavens, and now that line of thought seems to have been reduced to something of an in-joke. Daniel has an annoying habit of blundering in where angels fear to tread - I've lost count of the cock-ups he caused - but O'Neill seems to be ready to forgive him anything for the price of a smile. If that ain't love, what is? Daniel is the clam in O'Neill's stormy life. O'Neill is Daniel's 'grounding' in the true tradition of slash fiction, two halves of a whole."
    A subscriber writes:
"Hey, I actually remember the series 'Highwayman', faintly, but I have seen it.I'm not sure about Automan, though I know I've seen a slash story on it. This chapter is fun! I also like having short stories in the zine. All here were from series I like, though not the pairings I prefer. But what's life without variety. Now what was it about UFO that I liked so much? And I sure liked it. I still remember that I used to count the hours before the next episode. That I like science fiction helps a lot. And it was those outfits, the silvery things with the purple anti-static wigs on Moonbase, sleek cars on Earth, a cool and fearless leader, women who had jobs to do. When I watched the first time, I had never heard of slash - I was very young. My favorites were Commander Straker and Lt. Ellis from Moonbase. I was very sorry that they never got together."


   a subscriber writes:
"First off, many congratulations to Spyder for such a terrific issue 1 - wasn't it great. Well laid out, legible, and with pictures too. I for one hope it continues in this vein. And it's so great to have real letterzine on paper rather through the internet. Believe or not there are some of us out there who do not possess a PC or have internet access - and it's not always a matter of choice either - such considerations such as space and finance are often important. Anyway it's great to have something tangible on paper that we can participate in. As well as feeling ostracised (I'm still on my soapbox) due to lack of internet I also do not have cable or satellite TV so there are quite a few series which have/are/will pass me by so SG-1 for example means nothing to me whatsoever but I'm sure there'll still be plenty in PT that I can relate to."
  • Overview of the British TV series, UFO with episode guide. (11)
  • UFO, an unbiased review by Fruitcake. (15)
  • The Agony U.N.C.L.E., a satire of advice columns by Fruitcake. (16)
  • Fire and ice - slashy movies by Lipgloss Loll: Ice cold in Alex, The Towering Inferno, Ice Station Zebra. (18)
  • Slashy music by Lipgloss Loss: Justin Hayward and John Lodge's 'Blue Jays. (20)
  • Phwoarr - Jean Reno. This is a new feature dedicated to those men who just seem to have 'it' whatever it is. (21)
  • Initial voting results for the Best slash film ever as well Favorite slash pair. (22)
  • Chakotay/Paris on the internet; a review by Lipgloss Loll. (25)
  • Review of the UFO slash zine, Circles. (26)
  • A review of the multimedia slash zine Where the Lightning Strikes by Spyder (27)
  • Alter Egos no.3, the multimedia slash zine is reviewed by Spyder. (27)
  • Camera Obscura, an overview of Automan with episode guide. (30)
  • The Russian straw affair, a Man From UNCLE story by Fruitcake. (32)
  • Watch the shadows, a V poem by POM. (43)
  • Storm Lord, a Professionals piece by Spyder. (44)
  • Featured fandom next issue will be Stargate SG-1. The topic - we all love boy/boy slash, but what about girl/girl?


Issue no.3 (1999:Apr)

Cover of Issue no.3
  • Editorial (1)
  • Letters (2)


    A subscriber writes:
Okay, girl/girl slash. The trouble with this is that I've only recently found any female characters interesting enough to draw my attention, Bu then, it's only been in the last few years that the t.v. companies have started giving us real women, who get on with what they have to do without screaming, crying, swooning at the slightest sniff of a man or having a nervous breakdown when they break a nail. Females in the 60's were fashion accessories for the likes of Napoleon Solo, in the 70's the disposable 'lurve' interest for Starsky & Hutch, and by the 80's had degenerated into power-hungry bitches with six foot wide shoulder pads. I suppose an inventive mind could have done something with Uhuru/Rand, and then was always a whiff a strong whiff of g/g between Rose and Sarah in 'Upstairs, Downstairs', but only since the mid-90's have we been given the likes of Janeway, Dax, and Seven of Nine.


   A subscriber writes:
Ooooo, 'Stargate SG-1. (pause for rubbing together of hands and mutterings of oh-boy-oh-boy-oh-boy.) Yes, soooo good pretty much sums it up. I'll try to add something more but I tend to get a bit incoherent whenever Jack O'Neill and Daniel Jackson get mentioned. Let's see if I can stop dribbling for a moment and steady my trembling fingers. Jack and Daniel are - well, they just so - oh! - and then there's the eye to mouth flicker thing that Jack does and omigod, then he hugs him. Oh, and Jack hits the car window with a hockey stick when he thinks Daniel is dead and -.


  A subscriber writes:
Girl/girl slash. I read a bit in K/S and B7 but they were only short and not particularly explicit. I've read a number of lesbian detective stories, some of which were excellent, some so PC their pips squeaked. I tended to skip the relationship and sex scenes because they didn't press my buttons. Given a choice I would rather read about two gorgeous blokes lusting after each other while they angst away - until they live happily ever after. That said, Fraser and Carter have a wonderful chemistry, and I definitely see them as a couple. I'd happily read any fiction about them.


  A subscriber writes: 
Female slash hasn't captured me - yet. Maybe it's because there is no real 'mystery' in the heart/mind/body of another woman for me to discover; maybe none of the heroines I've encountered so far (Buffy, Nikita, Sam Waters, Capt. Janeway, even B'Elanna Torres) have real problems dealing with her emotions or seems close to incapable of accepting the kind of unconditional sweep-you-off-your-feet love - even from another woman - I like in slash stories; maybe the right story to convince me of the merit of girl/girl slash just hasn't been written yet and my lack of imagination won't let me see the possibilities. Maybe the discussion in Pillow Talk 3 will open my eyes?
  • Overview of Stargate SG-1 with episode guide and cast bios. (11)
  • Update of voting for best slash film and favorite slash pair; The Fugitive and Gerard/Kimble are in the lead. (17)
  • Reviews of the play, Les Miserables and TV series, Queer as folk. (19)
  • Two nominated for Phwoarr, Dukat from DS9 and Richard Dean Anderson (20)
  • Camera Obscura: A description of the series Street Hawk. (22)
  • Crush,a Stargate SG-2 story by Cherilyn. (24)
  • A quiet night in, a Stargate SG-1 story by HG. (29)
  • Nights, winters, years, A Stargate SG-1 story by Sandi (30)
  • The Dance, part one of a Stingray/City of Angels story by Spyder. (36)
  • The topic for next issue, why slash?


Issue no.4 (1999:Sum)

Cover of Issue no.4
  • Editorial (1)
  • Letters (2)
     A subscriber writes:
Fell I should say a few words on this issue's topic - why slash? The number of conversations I've had with friends on this subject - we've never once reached a satisfactory answer. Is it perhaps the flip side of the male thing of liking to watch two women together - a well known and widely accepted concept - but it doesn't really explain why this should appeal to either sex. Or is it that slash is just what we'd like men to be really like? But then that doesn't really account for this deep almost pathological need in us that only this one form of literature can satisfy. Oh, heck, I don't think I know at all - I just know that I have to keep doing it. One thing though, years ago when I began reading slash a friend once said to me that once I 'crossed over' from gen to slash there would be no going back and I've found this to be true. I now find non-slash unsatisfying and irritating. Does anyone else experience this?


  A subscriber writes:
Topic: Oh, geez. I've been trying to figure out why I like slash for years - without much success. And since I've started to see slash it became more and more frequent and nearly natural to put the characters in a show I like into a slash relationship. The first show where I had the boys share more than the adventures was, of course, Star Trek, Kirk/Spock. What's so fascinating about it? I'm not sure. The characters I slash always are friends who have to depend on each other, usually saving each other's life on a regular basis. There is a deep trust between them, and going that step further and sharing not just confidences but also bodies doesn't seem to be extraordinary. Most characters are from action series (at least I can't think of any other at the moment), so there is also the fact that they know and understand the pressures and dangers of the job, more than an outsider could. And isn't it nice to have two pairs of strong arms doing the comforting, and no Mary Sue, who is so much smarter and fitter and more beautiful than one's self to get between?


  A subscriber writes:
Moving on to the topics... Why slash? After 25 years I still haven't clue. Maybe it's because I can't stand run-of-the-mill m/f romance novels where the woman is always portrayed as weaker/submissive (same reason I can't read this in slash, my guys have to be equals). On the other hand, maybe it comes out of the fact that I raised myself on a diet of Biggles, Hornblower, RL Stevenson 'et al' and not the books girls are supposed to read (anyone remember the 'Cherry Ames' books about a nurse?) My pet theory is that I relate better to men than women - and I'm not talking sexually here. Comes from always finding myself working with female airheads. Now, if I could work with the likes of you lot, I'd be a happy puppy, but I get a non-stop earbashing of diets/gardening/soaps/hubby's smelly feet.. I also love to dig into people's minds, find out makes them tick (as at least one of out there knows, psychoanalse Grantaire, she said - sheesh!) Most men keep the emotions locked up inside, writing slash gives me a chance to explore them. That's why the stuff I write is emotion- rather than plot-driven. If I can dismantle a character and rebuild him, and leave the reader feeling emotionally drained at the end of it, I've done what I set out to do. Okay, so I could do the same with m/f but the impetus isn't there because women display their emotions more readily. A lot of the time it comes down to emotional versus physical. A lot of people complain there's too much sex on TV, and I actually go along with that because most of the time it's sex without the emotional connection, which to me is boring (when it comes to the physical I'd rather be a participant than a voyeur). In the shows I find find myself slashing there always a strong emotional thread, a bonding between characters, on which the physical can be built. I don't see myself as putting media characters into gay relationships because the relationship is already there. I'm just taking it that one step beyond what TPTB decree is acceptable television fodder.
  • The Agony U.N.C.L.E. by Fruitcake (11)
  • The slash film - ever - The Fugitive and the Favorite slash pair - Sam Gerard and Richard Kimble. (12)
  • A review by Spyder of Perestroika by Elizabeth Urich. (14)
  • Book reviews by Spyder: Thornapple by Chris Hunt and Mignon by Chris Hunt (14)
  • Camera obscura: An overview of the TV series, Stingray, with episode guide. (16)
  • City of dreams, a Beauty and the Beast story by Spyder (19)
  • Next issue topic: Your favorite vampire and what it is that makes them so damned sexy and slashy.



Issue no.5 (1999:Aut)

Cover of Issue no.5
  • Editorial (1)
  • Letters (2)
      A subscriber writes:
Seriously, I wouldn't read vampire fiction out of choice and I can only assume it's the intimacy of neck-biting which makes them sexy. This said, I do have a favorite vampire-hunter. His name is Pearse and he's a Catholic priest. He sings like a fallen angel, imitates a cat to perfection, looks good in drag, fills a thong like no man in existence, stomps and sulks and rages and spits occasionally, has a full license to drive a wheelchair and goes swimming in his shoes. Ahem.


     A subscriber writes:
Thanks so much for the four issues of 'Pillow Talk" which I loved. The discussions are fascinating. the featured series idea works very well, the pictures with captions are funny, there have been some wonderful stories. I don't know if this would work or not but can I suggest something I would like to see? It follows on from the featured series section - what about if you suggest two or three fandoms for the upcoming newsletter and people tell you their all-time favorite stories for that fandom? People could write a short or long paragraph, saying why a story is so good and, if possible, where to get hold of a copy. On the subject of appealing vampires, I loved Jack from 'Ultraviolet', although as vampires go he was fairly lightweight. I'm not normally a fan of the Hollywood heartthrobs but I thought Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt were pretty hot together in 'Interview with a Vampire'. As to why vampires are appealing to use I think Anne Rice probably has fair bit to do with it! I mean, when the first black and white vampire films came out the vampires tended to go for virginal women; now one of the major connotations for vampires is the homoerotic aspect. They're also good for exploring the darker side of slash - the more grim violent side to desire.


   A subscriber writes:
So what makes me like some vampires and not others? There is this part of mystery, the danger that is implied in their strength and need to feed. And all that experience gathered in their long undead existence. The problems you encounter when you can only go out at night. I like good stories, and an unusual twist thrown in doesn't hurt (like being able to walk in the daylight right after feeding). A certain amount of mystery and fantasy is okay, but it shouldn't go into that soul traveling, telepathic power stuff, that's too far off for me. There is a series of Miami vice stories about them being psychic vampires. The story ideas are often good, but I always skip when the mind melding stuff starts - that's something I want to keep with Mr. Spock. And simply letting lose a blood bath doesn't do it for me either. Like in 'From dusk till dawn' - though I loved watching the Clooney character --all the time I was waiting for him to take off his clothes to see what the whole tattoo looked like - he never did. Darn.


   A subscriber writes:
Okay, I do watch Buffy avidly; but that's in spite of not because of the vampires. (Angel, you'll get get your soul back - again - soon, I hope so you're the exception to this rule.) In a more positive vein: I like a lot of the vampires created by fandom writers, for example just about all of those presented in Dyad - the vampire stories. They might be watered down (would you call that 'bloodless?) but they're much more likable heroes - just my type. MerLyn's 'Psychic vampires' conquered my heart immediately, even though the story lines seemed to turn darker in the follow up' Hungry Hearts.' I don't think I have a favorite vampire. (Isilwath managed to make even Lestat and Company look good in my eyes with her story 'Deadly Allies'). Generally speaking I could at least tolerate to really come to care for every 'bloodsucker' who either doesn't feed on humans or at least leaves them alive and doesn't think of them as something like nutritious low lives.' But what is the attraction? the teeth? I do not think so. The undead thing? Well, that could be the first step to living happily ever after, I guess... Seriously, (more or less at least) passionate kisses on the neck do look very attractive on screen. And some actors/actresses sport these nice long swanlike extremely suckable necks.. Add the way they bare their throats in ultimate surrender, almost begging to be taken - might be a primal response, but the appeal is obvious, isn't it?
  • Phwoarr - Nasir (10)
  • An overview of Robin of Sherwood with actor bios and episode guide (11)
  • The editor's favorite vampire books with quotes and reviews: Immortal blood by Barbara Hambly, Fevre dreams by George R.R. Martin, and The Vampire Lestat/Queen of the Damned/Tale of the Body Thief by Anne Rice. (17)
  • Great moments in slash:Stargate SG-1 'The serpent's lair', The Champions - 'Desert journey', Treasure island, Black rain, Stargate SG-1 -'Need', Inspector Morse -'Masonic mysteries'. (19)
  • Two reviews of Lewis Collins in the play, Dangerous corner by J.B. Priestley. (20)
  • A review by Spyder of the fanzine Rhythm and Blues (22)
  • The trilogy, Door into Fire, Door into Shadow, Door into Sunset by Diane Duane is reviewed by Spyder.(22)
  • The website, The Blue Champagne website, is reviewed by Lipgloss Loll. (23)
  • The fanzine, Blind Spot by Elizabeth Stuart and Victoria Grant, is reviewed by Lipgloss Loll. (25)
  • The TV series, The New Professionals, is reviewed by Spyder. (26)
  • Warthog's story competition; write a 500 word story with the following words:immortal, aubergine, boing, violin, ministry, peacock, salubrious, biscuit, therapy, and thrust. (27)
  • Shhh, genius at work, a Stargate SG-1 story by Warthog.(27)
  • Beneath the stars, a Robin of Sherwood story by Spyder (29)
  • Sherlock Hood and the Not Very Big Dog from Baskerville Forest, a 'bit of everything' story by Spyder (35)
  • Next issue fandom is The Professionals and the topic; is slash porn or just fantasy and do we care if it is?


Issue no.6 (2000?:Win)

Cover of Issue no. 6
  • Editorial (1)
  • Letters (2)
     A  subscriber writes:
Is slash porn or just fantasy? I think it's both! Do we care? Not really, I just know I enjoy it. There are stories that cross the boundry for me, e.g. such things as, I'm afraid, the incest that was being discussed last issue, so I avoid them. It occurs to me that as slash writers we should be careful though - my dictionary gives the derivation of the world pornography as 'the writings of harlots'. Hmmmm
   A subscriber writes:
Sure, some slash is porn, just as some straight fiction is porn. Some isn't. Slash fiction covers a whole gamut from delicate love story to pure raunch - in other words, there are as many different types of slash fiction as there are of literature generally. There's 'Romeo and Juliet" and there's "Debbie does the Delta Quadrant'; there are Wuthering Heights" and there are seething depths. Just because slash is romantic (or sexual ) fiction about men doesn't make it any more or less pornographic than the equivalent about a heterosexual couple. It isn't the fact of being slash that makes it pornographic - or not, as the case may be. My dictionary defines pornography as 'explicit description or exhibition of sexual activity in literature, films, etc. intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic feelings", which is about as clear-cut an answer as anyone could hope for. If it contains explicit sex and the reader gets a charge out of it, that's pornography. No explicit sex, emphasis on the aesthetic, it isn't. Since in my opinion explicit sex is not a necessary part of a slash story - I look upon it as an optional extra - not all slash is porn. Does it matter? I dither about the answer to this. It certainly matters to those who object to slash fiction, but they assume it is all pornography (complete with the infamous 'tendency to deprave and corrupt') and aren't keen to have the truth pointed out to them. I doubt whether it matters to any of us reading and writing in the genre, because my impression of slash fans generally is that they are confident of their own preferences not to care how anyone else chooses to categorise their reading matter. The time is long past when slash writers feared the knock on the door from the Obscene Publications Squad or a writ from Lucasfilm. (I have been threatened with both these, but sadly nether materialised).
    A subscriber writes:
Well, I have come across this question before and can't really answer it since I still don't have a clear knowledge what porn is. The letter of the law is no big help, and they probably vary from country to country, anyway. So I just have my personal feelings to go on: porn for me is when it is sex just for the sex with no care about who the parties are. That does not necessarily include PWP, since good ones let the understanding of the characters shine through. I guess some stories would be porn, those really get lost in the clinical description of the act, without any story line and when the persons are interchangeable, and have in some cases no more character than inflatable toys. So I do care, but just in so far that I like my stories to have some kind of story line or some typical situation for my heroes to be in. I don't care for anonymous sex scenes. I can rent a movie for that, it even has pictures in boring detail.
  • Overview of The Professionals with actors' bios and episode guide (12)
  • Spyder's favorite Pros stories with affectionate reviews:Unfinished Melody, Master of the Revels, Rediscovered in a Graveyard, and Doctor on the Squad. (19)
  • One day on DS9; a DS9 Crowbar competition story by Lipgloss Loll (21)
  • Grader's finest asset, a Fugitive Crowbar competition story by HG. (22)
  • Warthog's 500 word challenge, a Professionals Crowbar competition story by Cherilyn. (23)
  • Vegetable plot, An X-Files Crowbar competition story by Wulfrith. (24)
  • Get Real, slash and Lifestyle programming by Lipgloss Loll. (25)
  • Ronin (1998); a review of a slashy film by Spyder. (27)
  • A review by Wulfrith of Love Conquers All. (28)
  • Phwoarr - Chow Yun-Fat. (28)
  • Confusion, a Thief Takers story by Elanor. (33)
  • Topic for next issue - Is the internet killing fandom?


Issue no.7 (2000:Oct)

Cover of Issue no.7
  • Editorial (1)
"Sadly, I have decided that the next issue of Pillow Talk will be the last. This is for various reasons. First, the lack of contributions has made it more and more difficult to put together the kind of letterzine Pillow Talk started out as. Secondly, fandom is changing and much as I love the internet, the damage it has done to the fandom I knew when I started out makes me want to take a step back. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, my life has changed, too. Both Warthog and myself have much more responsible, time consuming, jobs than we did when I started Pillow Talk. Warthog works shifts so I am using the time I spend on my own to do up our house. Between, wallpapering, painting, joining, tiling, and plastering, I just have time to put together this kind of letterzine any more."
  • Letters (2)
       A subscriber writes:
OK, first off - the Internet question. Well, as someone who has only just got online I find that it certainly makes it quicker and easier to get access to slash material and to communicate with other people BUT I haven't made any real friends through it so far, to me it's still very impersonal; I mean, you just have no idea who you're talking to. I can see how it can/is having an effect on zine production but as for fannish gatherings there's no way it can ever replace the sheer pleasure of being in a room with lots of other like minded individuals watching videos, exchanging story ideas, drinking wine and just generally having s good time, in other words the whole business of sharing with other fans which for me is the best thing about it all."
       A subscriber writes:
"But as I see it, ad access to the internet spreads the number of fan gatherings will reduce, it'll be cheaper to get together on the internet rather to go to fan gathers. So as the number people attending fan gathers reduces they're likely to become fewer and more expensive which isn't going to please the fans who like meeting other fans face to face. I'm not saying the internet should stay out of fandom, it does have its place. But finding that place shouldn't come at the expense of either fan gatherings or the fans who don't have access to the internet."
        A subscriber writes:
"To start with the topic of the issue, "Is the internet killing fandom?' I don't know about killing exactly, but it's certainly changed it. I don't know that it's just the internet though; I think it's something less specific than that. When I started out lo these many centuries past there was only one kind of media fandom - Star Trek. You were a Trek fan or you weren't. End of story. If you were a Trek fan you might also be a K/S fan, but you mentioned it very carefully and made contact with other K/S fans the way spies made contact in cold war movies - you used code, you didn't discuss it in public, you kept your zines hidden. Being a K/S fan was a risky business, people were so violently anti the whole thing that you ran the risk of being ostracised from clubs and groups if anyone found out about your secret. Gradually, everything changed. Star Wars, Starsky and Hutch, Blake's Seven and The Professionals all came along and people were a lot quicker to see the slash possibilities in them. Stories began to circulate and zines to be printed. Then there were things like Robin of Sherwood and Knight Rider, and Miami Vice and The A team and a lot of old series which began to be re-shown when satellite TV started up. Suddenly there were dozens of fandoms with their slash counterparts and instead of being locked in to being a K/S fan for ever and ever you had the choice of spending six months in S/H and then moving on to Blake/Avon or what ever. At the same time there was a gradual easing of society's attitudes towards gay relationships and famous people began to 'come out' which meant that slash fandom didn't have to hide. It became easier for slash fans to contact one another. Admittedly this was not a smooth path, but the trend on the whole has been towards a more tolerant attitude. I remember being told some years ago that I would never see two men share a romantic kiss on prime-time TV in my lifetime; it was only a about two or three years after that point that I actually did!Well, the floodgates were open. Slash fandom fragmented and multiplied like amoeba or bacteria. Whatever your fancy is, you can now get a story to match it. You want Luke/Vader s/m you can find it; Giles/Angel, Teal'c/Daniel, Mulder/Krycek, vampires, torture, AU, romance.. it's out there. The problem is, though, that with people finding so many different areas of interest in slash there is no longer any common denominator .. which is why the trend in print zines has been towards multi-media. Zine sales have declined not because fandom has lost interest but because the interest has grown exponentially and diversified. Whereas you might get fifty or a hundred enquiries for a new zine ten years or so ago, now you may get five - and that's because the 'missing' forty five are off in areas of fandom that don't overlap. Each one of them is writing fiction which she shares with maybe seven or eight friends who may be in seven or eight different countries. So, although the internet has certainly contributed towards the decline of print fandom, I would suggest it's been the mechanism rather than the instrument; the way, rather than the reason. Slash fandom, by achieving its aim of becoming more widespread, has become so diverse that it is now less cohesive. The ripple effect has reached so many people at the edges of the pool that they are unable to see the centre. There is nothing that can be done to reverse the trend, unfortunately. To change metaphors, the genie will not go back into the bottle.
  • The road to Oz, how I travelled from Disneyland to the Emerald City by Lipgloss Loll. A review of the TV series,Oz. (14)
  • Spyder's recommendations for really good slash websites; The complete kingdom of slash, Slash fiction on the net, Minotaur's sex tips for slash writers, and the Android's dungeon. (16)
  • Lyrics to the following slashy songs; A Different corner by George Michael, When you say nothing at all, No matter what by Boyzone, Devoted to you by The Everly Brothers, As long as you love me by The Backstreet boys, and Let it be me by The Everly Brothers. (18)
  • Perfect scoundrels episode guide by Lipgloss Loll. (20)
  • Things you learn from slash by Josephine Darcy (24)
  • A review of Alter Egos 2 by Spyder. (26)
  • A review of Strange Days Indeed by Spyder (26)
  • Shadows of the mind, the first of four UFO stories by Spyder. (27)

References

  1. from DIAL #12