Shadowstar

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You may be looking for Shadow Star, a Blake's 7 zine.

Zine
Title: Shadowstar
Publisher: Alvyren Press
Editor(s): Mary Jean Holmes
Date(s): 1980-1994
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: multimedia & Star Wars
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
a 1983 flyer

Shadowstar is a gen multimedia zine with heavy Star Wars content. It was edited and published by Mary Jean Holmes.

From the title page of the second issue: "Shadowstar is a not-for-profit fan publication dedicated to the proliferation of science fiction and fantasy literature and art."

It ran for thirty-four issues from 1980-1992. It was originally a quarterly publication and was pretty consistent in that schedule, remarkably so considering its long run.

The series had several regular features. One of them was the essay series Shady Thoughts.

Regarding the Title

From the second issue:
"That's the Shadowstar."

Someone asked me, "Why Shadowstar?" Well, if you will note the design at the top of this page, you will see a little ship whizzing by. That's the Shadowstar, a starship designed

and dearly paid for by certain characters in a Traveller game I'm involved in. The name sounded right, so, when I was looking for a 'zine title, I used it. I'm not proud. Since I devised the nomen for the ship, I had no qualms about using it again. It fits.

A 1983 Statement by the Editor

Holmes wrote a response to the essay Shady Thoughts: "Why Do You Waste Your Time Writing This Stuff?" in issue #10:

What [many people] object to is my choice of subject matter. "Gosh, you write so well -- why do you waste all that time writing Star Wars fiction? Why don't you write something original, so you can get it published professionally? So you can make money?" Maybe it's their personal concern for the state of my finances, but I rather doubt it.

[snipped]

I have been actively involved in fandom for eight years. In that time, I have seen enough of this subculture of ours to determine a number of general characteristics about fans. Their interests are wide-ranging in scope, their minds often open, their intelligence and perception above average. They are natural-born debaters and natural-born crusaders. Many also have an annoying tendency to be presumptuous snobs, of a sort, the kind who believe it their fannish birthright to be a critic -- and I don't mean the term in its intelligent, complementary sense -- of anything and everything that somehow falls within the border of SF land. I have had my works lambasted by progressive-thinking feminist fans who never even read them; I have seen entire groups made pariah by other groups who have decreed their interests "childish"; I have watched the Fannish Family I entered those eight years ago take a turn I do not like and cannot stomach for much longer. When my own friends begin to turn against me, I know something's gone seriously awry.

Okay, I'll admit, I've seen certain groupie-sorts become persistent to the point of obnoxious, but not all of them have been fans of the media. The disease is present on both sides. No area of fandom has remained untouched, and the spread of the virus is sad to see. It's slowly strangling and killing something that was once a noble effort, something was proud to be part of. I'm not proud anymore.

Perhaps that's why I turned to writing fan fiction, and becoming a fan publisher. Somewhere, I nurture a fledgling belief that, here in the pages of Shadowstar, I can preserve for replanting at some future time the open-minded flexibility that I once loved in fandom. Maybe I'm wrong, and the effort is futile, but I refuse to believed it until I finally am forced to surrender the dream to the grave.

Until them, I intent to keep writing -- and yes, I intend to continue printing -- fan fiction, be it Star Wars, Star Trek, Pern, or what have you. There are more than enough pro-'zines and publishers to sate the tastes of those who want nothing but original fiction; there are few sources of good fan fiction. Shadowstar -- and hopefully myself -- will strive to be one of them.

General Fan Comments

1982:
I wanted to get down in black and white that I thought Shadowstar to be one of the better story-zines around. Too often story-zines start out great and slowly dribble into the merely averages replacing stories with zine reviews, con reports, and book analyses. Nothing against the last three forms, but a zine that purports to be a fiction-writer's testing ground should not dilute its efforts. I've got plenty of review- zines and fan-news-zines to draw from for other info. Shadowstar has been a very pleasant haven of fiction in the seas of egoboo blurb writers. And I'm not saying this because I've written stuff you saw fit to print. Yeah, I write to get egoboo, but I don't write all that much. I'm too busy reading. Thankfully, this zine never pubs only one kind of style or format, so I never get too bogged down by novelette after novelette after novelette-... Nor is all the poetry or short fiction entirely pun-inspired. Nit-picky people like me are happy to note that Shadowstar — even when it does an all SW issue —— doesn't end up as 150 pages of the same stuff. There was a very good blend of humorousness and scary as well as pensive material.[1]
1982:
...You certainly must have noticed how your editorial leadership and philosophy are drawing what seems to be an ever-increasing number of super talents to your magazine. And what makes it great is that even though I'm sure you can't but have noticed it yourself, other people are picking up on the Shadowstar phenomenon and letting you know what a fantastic magazine it is, was, and will be for what appears to be quite some time yet to come. You've got the magic, whatever it may be. [2]
1983:

One complaint — I don't like to see Shadowstar heavily over-balanced with Star Wars. I like SW, really I like it. And now and then, I really enjoy a well-written original SW piece with a fresh idea, such as "A Chance to Live," "Remembrance," or "A Night on the Town," and I don't really mind when you devote an entire issue to SW fiction as you did with #6, but too much of a good thing is just too much! Two, even three (if you count the serialized novels) pieces in a single issue is not bad, and should surely satisfy your SW-starved readers. And you did start out that way, as witness issues #1 and #2. Somewhere along the way, though, I guess rumor started that Shadowstar is an SW fanzine with some extra stuff thrown in. I'd much rather see it as a variety fiction-zine with some SW thrown in.

[The editor]: My basic opinion is and always has been that I can print only that which I am submitted... For the record, "Shadowstar's" present official position is that the 'zine will remain a blend -- perhaps a 50/50 mix -- of original fiction and derivate. We are a periodical of stories concerning others' worlds, be they new universes or old. So long as. I keep reviewing well-written SW stories, I will print them; I refuse to exercise censorship of this nature, as I personally abhor such arbitrary condemnation in other fans. I've always maintained that there's room enough for a wide range of interests in fandom; there will always be room for it in "Shadowstar." Besides, guys, I guess I'm a Wooker, anyhoo.... [3]

Issue 1

front cover of issue #1, Mary Jean Holmes
back cover of issue #1, Bernadette Krebs

Shadowstar 1 was published in Winter 1980 and contains 70 pages.

From the editor: "This first issue is dedicated to Joy Harrison for renewing my urge to see it done, and to George Lucas, for providing me with so colorful a universe and cast of characters with which to first try my hand at derivative fiction."

From the editorial:

Welcome to this first issue of SHADOWSTAR, what I (and others) hope will be a quarterly 'zine of SF and fantasy prose, poetry, art, and occassional articles. The product of many hours of thought, work, love and fanzine reading, we intend this publication to present a wide variety of material, touching on all the areas of fannish love from the purely original to the derivate.

[snipped]

Read on. Enjoy. Respond. And, for the Force's sake, SUBMIT. I want to keep this 'zine as high in quality as I can; I'd also like to hear from you all, in whatever way your hearts may desire. Just remember to keep it clean.
  • From the Editor (1)
  • Shady Thoughts: Who is the Other? Theories I've Encountered by Mary Jean Holmes (2)
  • Don't Ask!, story by Karen Pauli, art by Mary Wood (original fiction) (5)
  • Soulmates, story by Bill Roper, art by C.H. Burnett (original fiction) (10)
  • The WindyCon Blues, con report in filk form, by Kyym Kimpel (See Con Reports:1980.) (13)
  • Who Seeks Retribution, story by Mary Wood, art by Wood and Mary Jean Holmes (original fantasy) (14)
  • An Introduction to Elvish Script, article by Thindlas of Edhelond (27)
  • Mating Flight, story by Judy and Todd Voros, art by Mary Jean Holmes ("Note: This is a story written in a parallel universe, wherin Canth flew Wirenth. At Ista Weyr (in this universe), there are several women who have impressed fighting dragons.) (Editor's note: The enclave of Pern fans that calls itself Ista Weyr is, in a way, similar to the Lost Weyr idea. Ista is based in New Orleans; this story appeared simultaneously in its publication, with different art, and appears here with the kind per mission of both author and editor. Because the story was handled by two different editors, it's quite likely that our editing may differ. Sorry, Judy and Todd.") (Dragonriders of Pern) (30)
  • Starflight to Faerie, poem by Leah Fisher, art by C.H. Burnett (38)
  • Meet Chrysophyr, Interstellar Agent, idea by Joy Harrison, art by Marge Ihssen (39)
  • Double Paradox, part one of a Star Wars novel, story by Mary Jean Holmes, art by Joan Zweber and Holmes (40)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

Excellent first effort (if it is...?). Many goodies herein. I did not know that Bill Roper wrote "ose and morose" fiction as well as filk. He seems happiest when he's being heartbreaking; I think the man needs help! No — wait a minute. If he gets cured, we won't get any more songs like "Space is Dark" or "The Destroyer," and no more fiction like "Soulmates." Let's let him suffer — for purely selfish reasons.

"Don't Ask!" by Karen Pauli. Really good! It's not always easy for a fan to think like a mundane, and that was done charmingly.

The cartoon on page 12 is my favorite.

I tried several times to read "Who Seeks Retribution" by Mary Wood, but I couldn't. I'm not sure why. It may just be because I'm unfamiliar with the culture. I hope to get to it— but it took me over a year to get into Fa Shimbo's Klysadel series, too. Now I love it.

"Mating Flighf'was delightful. Judy and Todd Voros do understand the Weyrs and the dragonri- ders, which some people who write about them do not. Wonderful.

"Starflight to Faerie" by Leah Fisher is a beautiful poem, and it can be sung to several tunes; my favorite for it is Sharon Porath's tune for "Time and Stars." And it may be about Han So lo, but it needn't be. It applies to every sailor, every wanderer the worlds have ever spawned. [4]
I loved Part One of "Double Paradox." I like your style and your characterizations. I've read too many SW stories with basically good story lines and plots that were ruined because the author obviously rushed through it, not giving enough background, detail, and dialogue to make the story really work. This is definitely NOT the case with "Double Paradox." Your descriptions are just right, neither too lengthy nor too brief. The dialogue is wonderfully in character! And I must thank you for your portrayal of Chewie as what he really is: Han'a best friend and comrade, an intelligent being who is a major influence on Solo — and for not shunting him into the background as if he were a mere 'droid! Chewie's character is too often slighted in fanfiction, and it makes me crazy! Oh, and that Han-Leia "kiss" scene on the Falcon, VERY, in character for both of them. Yes, yes, YES! They really do like each other, but God forbid they should let other people know it! [5]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2, Mary Jean Holmes and L.S. Juliano
back cover of issue #2, L.S. Juliano

Shadowstar 2 was published in Spring 1981 and contains 70 pages.

From the editorial:

I want to thank the people who've given me such favorable comments regarding issue #1. If they'd been slightly less specifically directed towards me, I'd've been inclined to put in a letters column. Maybe someday. I'm grateful not only for the praise, but also for the fact that all of you put up with the ghastly printer's error that effected the latter half of the 'zine. Fortunately, the screw-up affected only my story, so there was no great loss.

I would also like to thank our dear Uncle Samuel for returning us enough of our tax money to purchase this neat new Olivetti Lexicon typer. The old Smith-Corona was on its last legs, no doubt about it.- Now, if I could only find a genuine italic element for it...

For those of you who are looking forward to the conclusion of "Double Paradox," I hate to tell you this, but this issue's installment is only number two out of four. Sorry, but the blasted thing is an honest-to-Force novel, not a novella or novelette. In her letter. Amy Dobratz asked if I thought I was George Lucas. No, Amy, I don't (I should only be so lucky. I could use half his money, and his talent). What I am is long-winded. I can't write simple short stories very easily. My mind tends to take the most uncomplicated plot idea and make a full-blown novel out of it. And take heart (or be warned): this isn't the end. My husband has coerced me into writing a full trilogy of SW based novels; "Double Paradox" is only the first (he's sadistic, that spouse of mine is. He knows I find writing derivate fiction a chore, since it's so tough to keep everything reasonably consistent with the original concepts). The second novel (yes, it's done) is called "A Chance to Live," after a quote from SW. The third has barely been begun. The two latter works may or may not appear in Shadowstar; I'll have to - see how I feel about it when the time comes. There are these 2'x4' paintings illoing the second novel lying around our apartment, however...
From the editor, comments on the fannish politics, differing ideas and control, and disappointment:

Now for the not so nice diatribe.

In 1974, I made my first contact with organize fandom. In those days, there was a certain innocence to the whole affair, as we were all people who'd lived too long without kindred spirits with whom to share some of our most far-flung ideas and flights of fancy. We hadn't yet lost our sense of wonder then; fandom as a whole was still a joyous experience for us all.

Unfortunately, no innocence lasts forever; I experienced this first when our numbers as a group swelled to the point that we could no longer meet in the basement bar at the local university. When we became at last an organized SF club, we were forced to make a break with an old friend in order to preserve our integrity as a group. The experience was not precisely pleasant, but, like the innocents we were, we healed quickly.

Time and the years brought new experiences, new friends, new responsibilities. From a beginning core of three people, our fan group grew within a period of two years to nearly a hundred. And, like the physical growth of adolesence, the sudden growth of our pubescent organization was fraught with pain, both bittersweet and agonizing. It began simply, with a desire to repay our friends in other cities for the conventions we'd attended by giving one of our own. It was a noble thought, and was labored over nobly for several years, until our no-longer-fledgling group contracted a disease that has been the death of all-too-many fannish concerns: Politics.

If I sound bitter over it, it's because I am. Friends were made, to be sure, but many more were lost or alienated over that cancer; and like cancer, it spread, to everything we had touched in our innocence, and corrupted it. Perhaps too poetical, perhaps too naive— but, the fool that I am, I still believe in innocence. I retain my sense of wonder. I see in fandom a group of people with a common dream, a shared goal, a folk with aspirations that rise far above the merely mundane.

But then, all too often, I look at these people, gathered together under the title of club, corporation, association, and see the mud of competition, jealousy, and pettiness clinging to their feet. It cements them with an unbreakable bond to the earth and dooms them to nothing but empty daydreams.

Call me naive, idealist. Still, it hurts me to watch friends hurt each other, stab each others' backs, simply for something as foolish as political power. To me, no influence is worth friendship, and no business concern is as priceless as the stars.

I look at things now, more mature than I was those seven years ago, and I weep.

But I also hope.
  • Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Shady Thoughts, an editorial column by Mary Jean Holmes (two topics: trying to discern who is "The Other" by Tarot cards, numerology, and the I Ching, and the ugliness of fannish politics (specifically as they relate to an unnamed convention that has just occurred) (2)
  • Munday: a do-it-yourself participatory memoir by E. Michael Blake (4)
  • Transfer Student by Kathryn Sullivan (original science fiction) (7)
  • The Gofer's Lament by Bernadette Krebs (20)
  • A Night on the Town (from the Misadventures of Luke Skywalker) ("an episode from a Star Wars based Traveller game") transcribed by Mary Jean Holmes, with the artistic assistance of Scott Paulson and Pete Miller (21)
  • Dragonflight? by Karen Pauli (27)
  • The Cult of Diomedes by Larry S. Juliano (The Shadow) (30)
  • Double Paradox, part two by Mary Jean Holmes (Star Wars) (39)
  • art by Mary Jean Holmes (front cover, with Larry S. Juliano), Anne Davenport, Mary Wood and Bernadette Krebs

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

"Transfer Student" by Kathryn Sullivan. The art on the title page is gorgeous. L.J. Juliano has real talent. I hope to see some of his/her/its artwork at a con soon. But please, not until I have some money! The story is a corker. Sstwel a marketing major? Fantabulous. More than that, all I can say is, why couldn't it've happened to me?

"The Gofer's Lament" by Bernadette Krebs is all too true. I've gofered for more cons than I know, including Noreascon II and Denvention II (which last one needed all the help it could get — volunteers damn near ran that whole con — I never saw any one who would admit to being committee, except the completely neutral lawyer on the weapons panel). And, unlike many poems that allegedly are songs, this one actually scans and fits the tune. Congratulations.

"A Night on the Town" by Mary Jean Holmes.

A familiar theme: I got an A in a creative writing class by presenting as unvarnished truth — well, it was! the Tale of a D and D expedition I had participated in at an SCA revel the weekend before.

Your story is good, too. I'm not going to read it until I feel better, though. The end is so graphic!

The cartoon on page 26 is sick! I love it.

"Dragonflight?" by Karen Pauli is a lovely twist on the pink elephant story. Wonderful.

I cannot deal with "The Cult of Diomedes"— I can't get interested in the Shadow. But Juliano's artwork in spectacular, especial ly the illo on page 34. [4]

Shadawstar #2 was wonderful. Wish we could have a "transfer student" like the one in the story here at MSU. Life on campus would never be the same.

"Munday" was perfect— really captures the spirit of the post-con blaaas.

"Dragonflight?" was also wonderful.

I've never read THE SHADOW before; I only know the barest outline of the character, but "The Cult of Diomedes" was quite intriguing..

And of course, the Star Wars stuff was great. "A Night on the Town" was cute (a Star Was Traveller game? I'd like to know more about that) and I'd love to see more "misadventures.'

Are you sure you don't want to just print the rest of Double Paradox in the next issue? You really do know how to leave a person hanging on a good story! [4]

Issue 3

Shadowstar 3 was published in Summer 1981 and contains 69 pages.

cover of issue #3, Mary Jean Holmes, Mary Wood, Larry J. Juliano
back cover of issue #2, Larry J. Juliano
From the editorial:

To the relief of a number of you, Double Paradox is near its conclusion. Novels two and three (respectively titled A Chance, to Live. and No Place Left to Run) now rest, completed, on my bookshelf, awaiting my decision as to what to do with them. I'm moved, therefore, to ask this of my readers: do you want me to run them in Shadowstar? If I can find artists willing to try their hands at illustrating them, I'll consider it, if interest runs in that direction.

I had intended to make a few comments here concerning the business of editorial duty and privilege, but have decided to save it for a better time. Instead, I'd like to make a few remarks about this past summer. Reflecting upon it, I find that I spent a lot of time at the movies. And really entertaining ones, at that. None of this "slice of life" or "cinema verite" stuff that I find so horribly depressing. I adored Raiders of the Lost Ark (I never expected Harrison Ford to display that caliber of acting ability; but I do suppose that maturation will come inevitably to the truly talented), and, though I've not yet seen them, know many folk who found Superman II, Escape from New York, The Howling, Excalibur, Outland, An American Werewolf in London, Clash of the Titans, and Lord only knows how many others immensely entertaining. I even discovered that, after more than thirty viewings, The Empire Strikes Back can still make me cry. It's encouraging. Although I knew that the studios plan on marketing more of the "ordinary people" type of films this fall, I'm delighted to see that movies as genuine entertainment (as opposed to social statement) has come back in style. Bravo to all thoss intrepid filmmakers, writers, and actors! You've made the movies a place where I can, once again laugh, cry, cheer, and enjoy myself.

There's always hope.

  • A Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Shady Thoughts: Terrans Will Be Terrans by Jean Danielsen (addresses the editorial in the previous issue regarding the ugliness of fannish politics (specifically as they relate to an unnamed convention that has just occurred) (2)
  • Seran by Joy Harrison (Dragonriders of Pern) (5)
  • Picking Nits in Fan Fiction, article by Karen Pauli (10)
  • Doctor Who and the Energy Beam, part one, by Paul Gadzikowski (Doctor Who) (13)
  • Goodbye, Jenny by Kathryn Sullivan (original science fiction) (25)
  • The Empire Plot by Larry Juliano (The Shadow) (28)
  • That Elegant Scruffy Look, article by C.R. Illinois Jones (39)
  • Double Paradox, part three of a Star Wars novel by Mary Jean Holmes (Star Wars) (41)
  • ads (69)
  • art by Steve Casey, Jean Danielsen (interior back cover), Anne Davenport (interior front cover), Paul Gadzikowski, Mary Jean Holmes, L.J. Juliano (back cover), Kyym Kimpel, Mary Wood

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

"Seren" by Joy Harrison. Beautiful title page! The story is the wish fulfillment dream of every fan of Pern. We all wish we could be Seren.

The article "Picking Nits in Fan Fiction" by Karen Paul! is admirable, as is the editor's addenda. Unlike the book, in the movie, we all remember, Leia never says her name or her father's in the holographic message. She greets Obi-wan with "General Kenobl" and a small bow. "Years ago, you served my father in the Clone Wars." That is enough of an introduction. Kenobi knows who her father must be, and, therefore, who she must be. He is visually Impressed. Later on in the message, she mentions Alderaan, but never exactly what her father's or her own positions are. Or were.

"Doctor Who and the Energy Beam. It struck me as being entertaining, and certainly not boring! It was a little rushed in places, such as the stop at Darrin and Smanatha's. But not uninteresting. I also've never seen The Prisoner (except the last episode, which made no sense at all when seen in isolation...), so I could not judge that section for worth. I'm looking forward to the continuation.

"Goodbye, Jenny!" by Kathryn Sullivan. Nice, Very nice. Makes me glad I'm not a twin — I'd start worrying about losing her.

"The Empire Plot" by L.J. Juliano. Same comment as for the Shadow tale in #2.

"That Elegant Scruffy Look" by C.H.(Illinois) Jones. All I've got to say is, "Who're you calllin' scruffy-lookin?I"

Double Paradox part 3. Arrrrgh! This as is bad as Warped Space. #39 and the end of "Resurgence," with Han bleeding to death in that alleyI How can I live until December with Han having just blown his Zaidan cover and gotten caught, with Vader only hours out?l All right, all right, maybe he's not caught. Yet. But if he kills that trooper and runs for it, he'll either lead the hunt right for Luke and Aliana, or, foxlike, lead 'em right away. Either way, Han's dead. Arrrgh. How can you do this to me?l Arrrrgh!! [4]
Issue #3 was magnificent. The reproduction was faultless. #2 was a fanzine that pushed the levels of excellence to new standards, but #3 went beyond the level of being an excellent fanzine to putting profession magazines to shame. Your cover... a combination of pictures was ingenious. [4]

Just a note to thank you for Shadowstar #3.

I think this is the best one yet. I've loved everything I've read, but I haven't read everything yet. My sister said she didn't really like the Doctor Who story... but then, she's a perfectionist when it comes to the Doctor. . . [4]

Issue 4

front cover of issue #4, Mary Jean Holmes and L.J. Juliano
back cover of issue #4, Mary Jean Holmes

Shadowstar 4 was published in Autumn 1981 and contains 79 pages.

From the editorial:

Sometime in the near future, Alvyren Press intends to publish all of Double Paradox in a single volume. Additional art is being sought for this printing. Please contact me if you'd like to contri bute.

Please forgive the dearth of artwork in this issue. A desire to keep the price at a reasonable level, a lack of available artists and other factors contributed to this. However: Larry Juliano has informed me that he intends to make up for his lack of art in next issue's final installment of the Shadow tales. And my pleas for illustrators will, with fortune, not go unheeded.
  • Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Remembrance by Bernadette Krebs (Star Wars) (2)
  • An Insignificant Gift by Mary Jean Holmes (Star Wars) (6)
  • A Promise Made by Judith Ann Gaskins (Logan's Run) (14)
  • Vicious Circles by Kenneth Goltz (original science fiction) (24)
  • A City on Its Knees by Larry Juliano (The Shadow) (27)
  • Free Verse by Kyym Kimpel (Star Wars) (38)
  • Doctor Who and the Energy Beam, conclusion by Paul Gadzikowski (Doctor Who) (40)
  • Lonely by Kathryn Sullivan (original fiction) (50)
  • Double Paradox, conclusion of the Star Wars novel by Mary Jean Holmes (Star Wars) (52)
  • Ads (79)
  • art by Jean Danielsen (interior back cover), Ann Davenport (interior front cover), Paul Gadsikowski, Mary Jean Holmes (front and back cover), L.J. Juliano (front cover with MJH), Kyym Kimpel, Mary Wood

Issue 5

Shadowstar 5 was published in Winter 1982 and contains 67 pages.

front cover of issue #5, Mary Jean Holmes
back cover of issue #5, Mary Jean Holmes

It is dedicated to "all my fellow editors of fiction fanzines, with sympathy." The editor also gives thanks "once again to J. Kimpel for loan of her typewriter while the infamous Black Hole was on the blink."

  • Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Shady Thoughts: In Defense of Media Science Fiction and Fan Fiction by Mary Jean Holmes (2)
  • Penumbra, Letters from Readers (3)
  • Homecoming by Joy Harrison (Dragonriders (7)
  • Shadows, Gremlins and Murphy's Law by Karen Pauli (original science fiction) (15)
  • Hot Stuff by J. Robert Holmes (original science fiction) (27)
  • Damon's Legacy by Mary Wood (original fantasy) (30)
  • The Shadow Strikes by Larry J. Juliano (The Shadow) (36)
  • A Chance to Live, part one of a Star Wars novel by Mary Jean Holmes (Star Wars) (45)
  • Ads (67)
  • Art by Steven Casey, Jean Danielsen, Anne Davenport (interior front cover), Mary Jean Holmes (front and back covers), L.J. Juliano (interior back cover, also interior), Kyym Kimpel, Karen Pauli, Carol Paulson, Mary Wood

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

Ever since you agreed to print my Shadow fantasies, I had a degree of trepidation concerning the possibility of your taking flak for printing "crime fiction" in a publication that your readers might feel should be reserved for Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, et al. There is even another fanzine editor who dreamed of publishing a zine devoted to fan-fiction with the thirties-type adventure/detective theme. The zine finally came out to the tune of one of those fanzines about fandom, with the absence of any fan fiction. From what he has told me, I think the editor changed his initial idea into what it finally turned out to be because he felt more fans would snub his thirties idea. He definitely felt that fan "snobbishness" would ignore his efforts, or deride them. So he gave in to the snobbishness. His zine is a good zine, but it's not what he was to do. I've come to really respect your ideas and abilities because of your fantastic work on Shadowstar, and I sure hope you haven't gotten any static be cause. you had the guts to run a series of stories that seemed totally unrelated to the mainstream of fandom today. The reason I say this is because I felt you were on the defensive in your #5 editorial. I know that so far, some readers and you like my art, but I'm still uncertain as to the reception the Shadow stories have received.

[Editor]: Not to worry, Larry. Your stories have been as well received as your art... That editorial was not prompted because of flak I received from any readers of Shadowstar on anything printed therein. It came, rather, from a rather vociferous and -- unfortunately -- tactless local who recently went on a vendetta agains media-oriented anything: fanzines, writers, artists, or fans. Since I firmly feel that all fans have the right to exist, especially when they aren't harming anyone --and, in some cases, perform a great good -- I was moved to express those feelings in my editorial column. Any form of fandom which ignores and/or looks down on others has, in my opinion, no right to exist. [6]

Issue 6

cover of issue #6, Mary Jean Holmes

Shadowstar 6 was published in Spring 1982 and contains 134 pages. The art is by Jean Danielsen, Anne Davenport (interior cover), Mary Jean Holmes (front cover), L.J. Juliano, Kyym Kimpel (interior back cover), Karen Pauli, Carol Paulson, Jay Sinden, Mary Wood, Joan Zweber (back cover).

  • Letter from the Editor (10
  • Shady Thoughts: Further Comments and Editorial Reaction to "Who is the Other?" by Linda Ruth Pfonner (a response to Shady Thoughts: Who is the Other? Theories I've Encountered) (2)
  • The Revenge of the Editor (4)
  • Penumbra, Readers' Letters (6)
  • Getting Away from It All by Karen Pauli (12)
  • Challenge by Leah Fisher (21)
  • Triptych, three songs by Mary Jean Holmes (220
  • Images in Ice by Mary Wood (24)
  • Tibanna Sunrise by Alan Golias (27)
  • Lady in the Night by Susan Walker (41)
  • To Wooka by Linda Ruth Pfonner (Han and Luke go on a rebel mission to Chewbacca's home planet.) (42)
  • The Royal Wedding scripted by Mary Jean Holmes (76)
  • Cell Thoughts by Bernadette Krebs (80)
  • It's Not My Fault by G. Llewellyn (Leia gets a spanking from Han.) (81)
  • Death and the Princess by Leah Fisher (86)
  • Me an' My Shadow (from The Misadventures of Luke Skywalker and Friends) by Peter A. Miller (88)
  • Letters from a Homesick Wookiee by Joei Kimpel and M.J. Holmes (95)
  • Sanddreams by Roberta Stuemke (99)
  • A Chance to Live (part two of a Star Wars novel), by Mary Jean Holmes (103)
  • ads (134)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

I've finished reading Shadowstar #6, and, like I once said, every succeeding issue gets better. L.J. Juliano's artwork is beautiful, he's definitely a man of the shadow touch (probable pun intended). Will he be doing any more Shadow stories?

Mike Goodwin, watch out! Karen Pauli's coming in fast on the outside lane. How long before she decides to publish her own cartoons? Also liked "Getting Away From It All."

The other stories and poems were good, but the novels you're writing are hard to put on an equal basis with them, so I won't. I don't think Tal Westar is dead, and I have the feeling Han is the person he talks about in one chapter. Like he said: "Too many coincidences."

Since my singing voice is about as good as Luke's, I didn't try to work out how "Triptych" was sung. I read them as poems, although it tends to lose some of the feeling that would exist if one heard them sung.

I agree with you in "The Revenge of the Editor." Han couldn't be the Other. I don't have any idea who it is, either, but Han Leia, and Lando are at the bottom of my list. We'll just have to wait for May 27, 1983 for the answer, because you just can't second-guess George! [7]

Like it? I love it!

I never saw the SW Christmas Special, and had no trouble accepting "To Wooka" by Linda Ruth Pfonner. The characters grew! And that's most important....

When I saw the picture at the end of "It's Not My Fault!" I was afraid of another "Leia gets spanked" story, but I was pleasantly surprised. Leia was perfectly in character, and did she ever deserve what she got! I wish the story had been longer!

Comments about the Other: You stated you believe the Other must be Luke's Mother — I disagree, for some of the reasons you already pointed out. There was no foreshadowing, and there isn't enough time. I have speculations:

#1: It is Han. Even if he's not able to deal with the disciplines of training a Jedi requires, he is "outside the matrix," and has already shown he can beat Vader — look what happened at the 'Death Star — he wasn't expected.

#2: Luke's father will surface. I'm not fond of this idea, but hen, I'm not Uncle George.

#3: Obi-Wan is Luke's father. Why would he stick around the desert all those

years? It was stated in TESB that it's sometimes difficult to read the future. Perhaps when Obi—wan said Vader killed Luke's father, he was referring to the Death Star? [7]

I've held my silence long enough — now I have to write. I've been a reader of Shadowstar since issue one, which is a pretty good record, considering I'm not a great fan of fanzines. I find the majority of them are poorly done and aimed at too specific an audience for my tastes. Although I love Star Wars,, horror movies, and SF and fantasy literature (especially the works of Tolkien, Kurtz and McCaffrey), I can't say I'm particularly a fan or "groupie" of any one of them. I like variety and I like quality. Shadowstar has both.

I get bored with most fanzines quickly because they're so restricted in the topics they deal with. I think you 'zine is the only one I've read which doesn't "specialize" in any one fan group. It's true there does seem to be a preponderance of Star Wars derivative fiction it, but I think that's because a lot of space is devoted to your novels. Still, all in all, except for issue #6, you've kept a balance of SW and "other" fan fiction.

I also think it's important to have a vehicle for original fan fiction -- after all, where do you suppose future authors of SF and fantasy are going to start out, the market being what it is? I don't know of any other fan publication that encourages original fiction that's not based on professionally published words or media. Bravo!

[snipped]

Lo and behold, my $4,00 wasn't wasted. [7]

Here I thought "Getting Away From it All" was going to be one of those "funny thing happened to me on the way to" stories (like "Images in Ice" which was very good, too). Karen proved me wrong, however, with a story both politically complicated and elegantly solved. And she says she doesn't understand politics! Watch out world, if she ever decides to run for office!

"Tibanna Sunrise" helped fill in a SW story line gap with a totally plausible motive behind those lines from TESB concerning Lando's administration of Bespin and his relationship to Han. It might be fun and equally interesting to hear some other peoples' favorite theories on the how, why, and wherefore of their exchange in TESB...

The idea for family-sects of Tactalke seems very well-developed and could happen in a universe which subscribes to the IDIC philosophy. "To Wooka" nicely expanded our knowledge of several Imperial cultures at once (even though some of them do not appear in the copyright versions of SW). Except for getting a little sentimental in tone. Pfonner's story was very satisfying.

I'm still wishing I had been able to witness the Royal Wedding myself, but circumstances... However, I was consoled by having Karen fill in odd comments on the script and the way it turned out on stage.

G. Llewellyn has my sympathies for the treatment Han gave Leia in "It's Not My Fault." Jnyone can take just so much, and sometimes, I can't believe how forbearing Han is toward his rebel allies. I would have thought anyone who thumbed his nose at the Empire the way he does would be tempted mightily to do the same to the rebels — especially when he has to deal with hotshots like Luke and Leia who are at least five years (ten years?) his junior.

[...]

A Chance to Live. How are they going to get out of it THIS time? Seriously, though, I enjoy reading your novels -- even in parts -- because they are well worked-out. I know how you slave over getting the motives and the words Just right, and how you get your friends roped into doing critiques under the guise of proofing.

And now, onto the poetry and other stuff... My analysis of the poetry in Shadowstarr makes me feel the quality was rather uneven. Mary Jean's "Triptych" shows her genius for songwriting, but as some of the lines are in a difficult meter, I rather wish I had the melodies printed with the songs. However, despite that, I quite enjoyed them, except for "Reply," which had an aw ful lot of numbers in it (that his mercena ry side showing?). I felt "Lady in the Night" and "Cell Thoughts" would have worked better as prose poems rather than free verse.

Anything else that I haven't commented on in Shadowstar #6 is beyond my ability to express appreciation. People who can stay in character for protracted letters amaze me. I've only done it myself under extra ordinary circumstances. "Sanddreams" was the only piece outside of my own "Challenge" that dealt with Vader and Kenobi. Interesting that Stuemke took Kenobi's part and I took Vader's. Sometimes I think your serendiptitious fillers are all works of the Force. I don't know the family his tories of the principal SW characters well enough to know all the implications of "Sanddreams," but I enjoyed the story, any way.

As to who the Other is...I've always rooted for Chewie or Artoo, but Artoo was ruled out in TESB by his inability to register the Force, and Chewie has too much of a sense of humor and cynicism to allow him self to become ruled by it (not that humor and cynicism aren't compatible with the Force, but I doubt Chewie's brand of it is). Luke's mother, huh? Hmmm...except we have n't met her yet in any form. Han, eh? Possible.. .maybe even probable... He does have to get out of the carbonite in one piece (or at least in one functioning piece). Well, we'll know soon enough with Revenge of the Jedi coming next year.

Thanks again for a fairly upbeat issue (considering that our five favorite heroes are subjected only to those wounds and predicaments expectable in the normal course of war). Very little of the superevil villains and their superevil plots in this issue.[8]

"Letters From a Homesick Wookiee" was cute. I like Chewie as a character, even though he's often totally ignored in a lot of fanfiction. These letters give us a little insight Into the Wookiee mind. Chewie's affection for Han is apparent; he's very tolerant of his partner's childish behavior — he's seen It before and knows that it's just Solo's way of reliving the boredom of a forced stay in the Medcenter. It's also clear that Chewie loves Malla and Lumpy, though he doesn't have opportunity to see them.

"Me an' My Shadow" was...enjoyable. It wasn't really what I'd call a story, nor was it a vignette. However, it was interesting. I particularly liked Han telling the story, first person. I've only seen that done once before, and it didn't come off well at all. Peter Miller did a good Job in that respect, and I also liked the verbal interchanges between Han and Chewle. They were humorous and in character.

"Sanddreams" — Had this been any longer than two pages, I probably wouldn't have read it. Ya see, I'm Just really tired. of all the seemingly endless versions of The Fight between Skywalker Sr. and Darth Vader. Even though each author's version is slightly different and, of course, each author has his/her own style, they still read remarkably the same! I did like Roberta Stuemke's style, from what I could tell in a two-page selection, and I'd love to read something else by her — but not about Ken-obi or Skywalker Sr., please !

"The Royal Wedding" — I only wish I'd seen J.R. at the con! I'd like to know what Scruffy looks like! My favorite line is "I now pronounce you chained for life."

"Getting Away From It All" — Yea! A Leia story! Not only that, but it takes place after Star Wars. With rare exceptions, most Leia stories I've read are oh-so-boring Leia-growlng-up stories. Not near enough has been said and written about the woman Leia Organa — in my opinion, she's much more interesting than the child or teenager. Which leads me to my only gripe about the portrayal of Leia in this story: she keeps referring to herself as a "girl" and that doesn't sound right to me. Though she's young, Leia hasn't been a "girl" for years! She's much more mature than any girl could ever be, and I doubt that she would think of herself in that manner. And I definitely can't imagine Leia loving fancy parties, shopping for pretty clothes and, GASP! gossiping with the other girls. Is Karen talking about the same Leia as the one in the movies and books? I think not.

"Images In Ice" — This is cute. I like the author's style very much. However, I do have two slightly negative things to say about it. First, Luke tells the princess "I think you're really something. To me, that smacks of 1980's USA. And anyway, I've always hated the ambiguous nature of that expression. Second, the ending was disappointing. I thihk it would've been much more effective if the princess had, like the others, thrown a snowball at the icy Oarth Vader and had perhaps succeeded in knocking off a vital part of his anatomy (now wait a minute — get your mind out of the gutter — I meant his head) where the others had failed. The blaster was too easy; not nearly as satisfying as knocking the ol' boy's head off with a snowball! Oh, and I almost forgot — I really liked Leia's feeling uneasy about Luke's obvious infatuation with her, Luke sees what he wants to see in the princess, and Leia is smart enough to realize this. Han, on the other hand, sees Leia for what and who she really is...and likes her as a person as well as a potential lover.

"Tibanna Sunrise" — How nice to see a Lando story. I liked it, up to the point where Lando has to try to get back the Bespin navatape from Calbot. Because Lando had a reputation for being a con artist, I would've liked to have seen him have a more prominent role in the con itself. As it was, Dally had the starring role — not Lando. But more importantly, I thought the circumstances of the story did not support the reality of a con game. Why couldn't Lando simply steal the tape or hire someone to steal it for him?

"To Wooka" — I loved itl The characterizations were excellent and the dialogue was wonderfulI My only reservations concern the "sharing" sequence between Han and Luke at the end of the story. It wasn't the "sharing" itself, but the way. it was written that I didn't feel comfortable with. I had to read it through two or three times to understand and differentiate between what they were actually "saying" to each other and what they were thinking to themselves... Anyway, it was a bit confusing; overall, however, It was a very enjoyable story.

"It's Not My Fault" — Let me make this perfectly clear...it is not the author or the author's style I'm picking on. I do not like the purpose behind INMF — that is — to give Han an excuse to spank Leia! I'm sure there are people who think that this IS a cute idea or she deserves it, but I am definitely not one of those people. I find the idea of a grown man spanking a grown woman neither amusing or erotic. In my opinion, Han would NEVER do such a thing, and Leia Organa would not hesitate to kill any man who would even so much as make the attempt! This is a Let's Humiliate Leia story. [8]

Issue 7

Shadowstar 7 was published in the summer of 1982 and contains 102 pages.

The

front cover #7, Mary Jean Holmes
back cover of issue #7, L.J. Juliano

The art is by Lee Christopherson, Jean Danielsen, Ann Davenport, Tim Eldred, J.R. Holmes, Mary Jean Holmes, L.J. Juliano, Kyym Kimpel, G. Llewellyn, Karen Pauli, Carol Paulson, and Mary Wood.

  • Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Shady Thoughts: Tolerance in Fandom: an Endangered Specie? by Mary Jean Holmes (2)
  • Penumbra, Letters from Readers (4)
  • Mammoth Alpha (Part One) by Tim Eldred -- comic book story. (Star Wars) (9)
  • Irregulations by Lee Christopherson (original SF) (21)
  • "A Song From Luke". Archived from the original on 2002-03-10.  by Linda Ruth Pfonner--A filk of Rudyard Kipling's "Bridge-Guard on the Karroo." The events of Star Wars: A New Hope from Luke's perspective. (Star Wars) (24)
  • The Silence of Emotions by Martha Stricklin (Star Trek: TOS) (26)
  • Effort Under Fire by Kenneth Goltz (original SF) (37)
  • Dragon, Guardian of Xanadu by L.J. Juliano -- comic book story. (original superhero) (43)
  • The Proposal by Mark Walton (Star Wars) (50)
  • The Day, poem by Marcia Brin (Star Wars) (56)
  • The Plato Patrol by Bill Roper, et al (original superhero) (58)
  • Sandcastles by L.J. Juliano (69)
  • A Chance to Live (part three of a Star Wars novel), by Mary Jean Holmes (70)


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 7

I enjoyed "Mammoth Alpha." Why? I'like comics. "The Silence of Emotions" was good. It dealt with a topic I've never read anything about before. I loved "The Proposal" and the way they tried to explain things to Luke. (Banthas, huh?

"The Day" by Marcia Brin was great. I've had the pleasure of reading some of her works before and enjoyed them immensely.

"The Plato Patrol" was interesting and that's all I'll commit myself to at the moment. I'll say this: it was different. Now, to the biggie, A Chance to Live, part three. I loved it, do you hear (or should that be read), loved it.

I found out that some of my ideas about it were right. Tal does know Han (now, if only I could figure out what will happen in 'Revenge of the Jedi". I have a few theories about part four, but I'll only mention one. Han makes a wig for Leia out of his beard and that leads us to your next novel. [9]

I Just read Shadowstar #7 and, as usual, it was terrific! This issue seemed to have a lot of new writers and illustrators (well, new to me — maybe not to you). I don't know where you've been digging these people up, but I suggest you register a claim — you're striking gold, lady!!

Let's take Tim Eldred, for example. This guy's good. His opening installment of "Mammoth Alpha" was beautiful. He even draws Dad Well (it seems most humans have j trouble drawing Wookiees, for some reason). < He's definitely got talent! It looks like L.J. Juliano may have some competition in - the comic-art department.

This is not to say Larry's been outmatched. "Dragon, Guardian of Xanadu" shows Mr. Juliano has an equally well-crafted yet totally different style. I have only one complaint about "Dragon," and that's his use of snakes. Why can't people use scorpions or Ceti-eels or other deadly creatures in their stories? But snakes! WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE SNAKES? I HATE snakes...but I enjoyed Larry's piece a lot, anyway. If there does happen to be a competition between these two excellent artists, I hope it's of a friendly nature and takes place on the pages of Shadowstar, with a victor never to be chosen. That way, I can continue enjoying both artists' works forever.

I also hope to continue enjoying the art of Anne Davenport, Lee Christopherson, Karen Pauli, and Jay Sinden, along with Jean Danielsen, Carol Paulson, Kyym Kimpel, and Mary Wood (of course, the editor's own art goes without mention as she would more than likely edit out any compliments paid her artistic capabilities when this letter goes to be typed, anyway — praise does tend to embarrass you, doesn't it?). All of these fine artists and many more whose neunes weren't mentioned here in order to conserve space have presented me with great interpretations of people and places and instances as they see them. My thanks go out to each and every one of you for showing me — pictorially — the wondrous worlds and beautiful peoples the writers of the stories, poems and such have penned.[9]

Issue 8

front cover of issue #8, Mary Jean Holmes
back cover of issue #8, Mary Jean Holmes

Shadowstar 8 was published in Autumn 1982 and contains 131 pages of Star Wars, original fantasy and original science fiction.

From the editor:
You may notice there's an awful lot of SW stuff again this issue. I thought about apologizing for it — we are supposed to be general SF/fantasy publication, after all — but changed my mind. I'm not sorry. Not only am I an admitted Wooker, but I can on ly print that which is submitted. So listen up, readers and writers: if you want to see more of the original stuff — which I personally wouldn't mind a bit more of, too — you'll have to submit it. Lee Christopherson, Kathy Sullivan, and Larry Juliano have done a splendid job in keeping me supplied with variety — Misty Lackey and Cathy Cieminski show promise of joining those ranks as well ~ but I can't expect them to do it forever. So please, please — if you've got anything SF or fantasy — in any vein — try to send it this way. I'd appreciate it.
From a fan letter in the zine:
I'd like to thank everyone who said such nice things about "To Wooka" in #7's letter-col. That was the first story of mine to see print — though by no means the first one I wrote... it was gratifying to know that perfect strangers liked my writing as much as my mother and my roommate do. They're the only other people in Buffalo — as far as I know — who'll read fanlit. The other fen are above that sort of thing, y'know. And my mom's a closet fan. I've discovered something about having your name in print; not only does it look real nice, but perfect strangers come up to you at Worldcons and go, "Hey, I read that story of yours in Shadowatar #6!
  • Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Penumbra, Reader's Letters (including one that discusses, and dismisses, the book "Murder-Con") (2)
  • The Holiday Silly Section:
    • Merry Xmas to All! by Misty Lackey (12)
    • Listen Up, Fuzzball by Mary Jean Holmes (16)
  • Volunteers by Lee Christopherson and Cathy Lee Cieminski (25)
  • To the Future, a Song by Mary Jean Holmes (28)
  • Mammoth Alpha (conclusion) by Tim Eldred (29)
  • Form Letter for Readers of Fiction Fanzines, satire by Karen Pauli (59)
  • Time by Marcia Brin (60)
  • High Corellian by Roberta Stuemke (62)
  • Lessons by Susan Walker (76)
  • Link by Katrhyn Sullivan (78)
  • A Chance to Live (conclusion of a Star Wars novel) by Mary Jean Holmes (85)
  • Stormtrooper Training School by Debra Sears (131)
  • ads (132)
  • art by Lee Christopherson, Jean Danielsen, Anne Davenport (interior front cover), Tim Eldred, Mary Jean Holmes (front and back covers), L.J. Juliano, Misty Lackey, Lumpawarump, Carol Paulson, Mary Wood

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 8

This issue proves you guys keep getting better: in layout and graphics as well as in submissions .

"Merry Xmas to All" by Misty Lackey shows that Misty has hitherto unsuspected talents! Nicely crafted.

"Laugh It Up, Fuzzball." My faanish Ghod, what a shaggy dog story! And the comic at the end...! Eek. That's the only possible thing Han and Spock could have in common, aside from their popularity with panting females (tho' I never liked Spock as much as Kirk — breaking through Spock's armor always seemed to be, A. excruciatingly painful for him and B. not worth the extraordinary effort involved),

"Volunteers" by Lee Christopherson and Cathy Cieminski. The scientific gobbledey- gook served its purpose, and all scienti fic jargon sounds like gobbledeygook to me. And then I thought it was going to end like Bill Roper's "Space is Dark," and I didn't need another downer. But it ends beautifully, and your song fit perfectly. I want to hear the tune, badly.

"Mammoth Alpha" by Tim Eldred. Part two kept up the classy lines of part one. Excellent art — averages higher than the Marvel comic. The plot moves fast, and the ending is just the kind of shenanigans I expect from our favorite Corellian, tho' I would venture to guess that, after their escape from Hoth, Han will never again trust the Falcon's hyperdrive quite that implicitly. It also occurs to me that, considering the appearance of hyperjump in both films, it doesn't quite work that way. But I'm just nit-picking. The story is exciting and self-consistant.

"Time" by Marcia Brin. This is a poem. The entire page. And it reconfirms my opinion as one of fandom's best writers.


"High Corellian" by Roberta Stuemke. Very nicely designed plot, and I love some of her narrative comments, like her initial description of Viatha: "booted and axmed, and as hard and tough-looking as Han himself, only prettier." And, on page 75, "He knew the rest of the excuse, but it Was one he'a never been able to voice, either." That's nicely put, ana states an unsayable fact as well as it can be stated.

[...]

"Link" by Kathryn Sullivan. Fascinating tale. I object, on general principles, of people making Dobermans the bad guys (my grandmother raised 'em for years), but I admit it's a very graphic and efficient way to describe the aliens. It seems a little odd that canine-like slavers could get their hands on Darko- van matrix jewels, but nothing is impossible.

A Chance to Live. I love the title page illo! Leia looks like a gypsy princess. Luke looks pissed off. [Editor: He does???? Oh, jeez, that wasn't what I was intending to draw, but I guess no one's perfect. Sigh...]. Their encounter, with requisite blood and profanity, is wonderful. It does inspire a certain alter nate scene: what if Luke hadn't been able to stop her from braining Han with that rock? Can you imagine the ribbing he'd have to take if he'd actually lost the fight? Heh, heh, heh.

You handle Han/Tal marvellously; just the right touch of friendship and hostility. Tal is very consistant; he's Han's opposite/complement. Where Han will know instinctively or not care. Tal will stop and consciously rationalize or reason it out. Tal's major problem may have been as simple as an over-active imagination — he could, all too easily, imagine the worst, most horrible eventualities, and that would make anyone hesitate. Han, I think, has a more disciplined imagi nation. He doesn't let himself think about what might happen; he busies himself with preventing those horribles and arranging things the "proper" way. All in all, a terrific novel, much as it drives me nuts to have to wait a year to read the whole novel. I can hardly wait for #9. [10]

A bit of comment of the 'Murder-Con letter: as far as the "profan-trufan" thing goes, apparently nobody has ever told Ray Bradbury about them; he published a fanzine for years, before anybody bought his stuff! Most of the pros I've talked to say that's how they got practice in the craft of writing. This nerd (Purtill, the author of "Murder-Con") evidently needs some of that practice. I suspect the reason he sold the thing is that some accountant at Doubleday pointed out the opportunity of sucking $$$$$ from both the SF crowd and the mystery mavins at the same time.

Moral: you want to get published? Be the first writer to submit a Torrid Romance/Space Opera (I can see it now — Love's Blazing Blasters). The alternative is a Regency/Sword and Sorcery (Conan the Nonesuch) or a Gothic/Occult/Fantasy (Satan's Unicorn) . Wanna bet we find copies of Murder-Con in the 3/$1 bin at K-Mart before six months is over? [11]
Eldred's layout are a knockout. His page ten actually gave me the feeling of being in the theater, watching the scene on the big screen. Talk about feelings — did you have any nightmares after working on the drawing for "Time?" When I opened the envelope and saw that drawing on the cover, it made my skin crawl. It still gives me a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Your graphic is a perfect example of how art can create its own context of felt experience and go straight for the jugular whether one is familiar With the Star Wars mythos or not. The pained, silent agony etched in the face...that hand totally in shadow a- gainst the white uniform. Wow! But this was supposed to be the holiday is sue, wasn't it? Oh, well, there was always Lumpy the Wookiee. [10]
Concerning the novels: I especially enjoy the fact that you maintain the characters' personalities true to the movies, and you write fairly concerning all characters. Never slighting or putting down one in favor of another, as some fan writers are guilty of. I admit to being a Han Solo fan in particular, but I don't like seeing Luke or Leia made to look like fools. They certainly aren't. [10]

Issue 9

Shadowstar 9 was published in Winter 1983 and contains 114 pages. The art is by Lee Christopherson, Jean Danielsen (back cover), Mary Jean Holmes (front cover left), L.J. Juliano (front cover right), Misty Lackey, Karen Pauli, Carol Paulson, and Mary Wood.

cover #9, L.J. Juliano and Mary Jean Holmes
back cover of issue #9, Jean Danielson
flyer for issue 9 printed in Pegasus #6
From the editorial:
First and foremost is the Virtual Dearth of Art. Lack of personal time, no new volunteers, missed and forgotten promises, and the loss of yet another local artist Were all contributors to this lack. Now, I personally can put up with a minimum of illustration, but for those of you who can't, I have only one suggestion: HELP ME FIND ARTISTS. I in particular, I have a crying, sobbing, begging, pleading need for those who are willing to illustrate derivate fiction, i.e., the Star Wars stuff. I simply can't do it all by myself. Combating chronic illness, running a house, publishing, editing, typing, etc. the 'zine, working on other art and writing and such deplete my time horribly. HELP!!!
  • Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Penumbra: Readers' Letters (2)
  • Sandcastle by Lori J. Juliano (8)
  • Last Dark Lord by Roberta Stuemke (12)
  • Graduation Day by Misty Lackey (26)
  • Pleasure Cruise by Linda Ruth Pfonner and Karen Klinck (31)
  • Oh, Convention by Jean Danielsen (filk to the tune of "Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore") (47)
  • History of Rheta, first in a series of articles by Mary Wood (48)
  • Fairy Tale (part one of two) by Debra Sears (From the editorial: "I'm morally certain some intrepid fanzine buff out there is going to dub the a-foresaid "Fairy Tales" a #3 in the Barbara Wenk Theory of Post TESB Fan Fiction (see Warped Space #44). This may be applicable to the first half, true, but the end is a definite twist on Barbara's prediction. It even threw me for a loop.") (51)
  • Poems by Karin Zygowicz (78)
  • Out of the Frying Pan from the adventures of the Dragon by L.J. Juliano (66)
  • Apology Accepted by Janice Bratton (72)
  • Lady, Do You Weep by Karrin Zygowicz (78)
  • No Place to Run, part one of a Star Wars novel by Mary Jean Holmes (79)
  • The Mary Su Fan Fiction Blues by m.j. holmes (113)
  • Ads (114)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 9

"Last Dark Lord" by Roberta Stuemke. This story is well-arranged, and keeps everything in its place. I can see the potential for people to gripe that it is oh-so-fortuitous that all those people should end up together; the only response to that it that the Force moves in myster ious ways. All stories are stories about coincidences; what if the Jawas had not sold C3P0 and R2D2 to Owen Lars? Luke would still be a moisture farmer.

Also, please, people! Consider how many people object to "trash" stories, as in "trashing" a character. I know, 'cause I trash Han regularly (see my stories in Shadowstar #6 and #9) and I'm going to trash Indiana Jones just as conscientiously in the new issue of Facets. All please note what Roberta has done to Luke in this story! Sure, Han gets shot, but that's just to irritate him and worry Leia. Luke is the one who is being tortured in this tale, just as he was in TESB; tortured emotionally and spiritually, which hurts more and is harder to bear than the purely physical pain we fan writers often put Han through. What could hurt Luke more than to find his true father only just in time to lose him again? The battle of the Powers is very well done; anyone who has ever tried can tell you how difficult it can be to explain the action in a psionic battle, and Roberta creditably does two simultaneously! The ending nicely short-circuits all the Luke-is-jealous-and-hates-Han-for-winning- the-Princess permutations that grow out of TESB like kudzu on Rapid-Gro.

"Graduation Day" by Misty Lackey. This is a lovely rite-of-passage tale, which could have been over-written, which wasn't. I probably would have overwritten it to the point of active nausea.

"Pleasure Cruise." Hmmm. I like the illo; it's your basic "squash Han" pic.

"Oh, Convention!" by Jean Danielsen. Precisely, my dear Watson!

"History of Rheta" by Mary Wood. At last! Now I can go back and reread "Who Seeks Retribution" and "Damon's Legacy" (issues #1 and #5) and maybe really understand What's going on! Nicely complicated, isn't it? Makes Fa Shimbo's Klysadel universe look.

"Fairy Tale" by Debra Sears. I hate serials, I really do. So, I have to wait until MediaWestCon to find out how this is all going to come out, hm? A'right, I'll get you for this! Yes, that is a threat — after all, Kari is completely defenseless... Still, this first half of the tale is good enough to make me pant and slaver and threaten for the conclusion. I especially like her explanation of the Half-Worldes.

Poems by Karin Zygowicz. Lovely.

"DRAGON: Out of the Frying Pan" by Larry Juliano. Uh-huh. Here he goes again. None of this makes any sense to me, but it all will, obviously... May is too long to wait! All I can do now is admire the artwork and the lovely craftsmanship of the tale.

"Apology Accepted" by Janice Bratton. Another thaw-Han story, this one as peaceful and serene as "Fairy Tale" is exciting. The jokes are good — Mary Jean, you said this is a PG-rated fanzine! Shame on you! But I like it.

"Lady, Do You Weep?" by Karin Zygowicz. Interesting imagery; it had never occurred to me that Han might suspect that his friends would give him up for dead, but it's as logical as any other assumption.

"No Place Left to Run" by Ye Editors. A'right, you. I'd really be upset with you if you hadn't let me read the rest of the rough draft at Capricon. as it is, I'm still upset, because I want to reread it, and parts two through four are in Milwaukee, and I'm in Buffalo! The less said about this, the better!

"Mary Su Fan Fiction Blues" by you again. Hmmm. If I didn't know you'd written this before you read through some of the stuff in my slushpile, I'd be tempted to take this personally. That illo is great. Poor Han. The trouble is, at least in my trash-Han stories, he always ends up winning in spite of whatever reverses I place in his path — that's usually why he gets so thoroughly trashed in the first place: it makes his victory that much more impressive. Besides, Han, you know we wouldn't bother unless we loved you. [12]

I just finished reading #9 and I had to sit down right now and write you. This is your best issue yet! The Virtual Dearth of Art did not detract from it in any way, and what was there was of the finest quality. Jean Danielsen's exquisite ladies give rise to the most delicious ideas for plot lines.

Whatever the case, the combination was superb with "Sandcastles." The style for "Dragon" reminded me of the old "Dick Tracy" strips, Which I always read on Sunday right after "Prince Valiant." Nice job.

I especially like how you draw the princess. Most original and most be lievable. You make her look like a real woman instead of a childlike china doll. Rendering like that is quite rare.

"Fairy Tale" was precious. I read it after a weekend of very high stress, and I really needed a good chuckle. Only two things bothered me: the name Andromeda, although the shortened version was great, and the line on page 57, paragraph 2. Do Corellians' circulations flow backwards? Last I knew, you felt for a pulse in the carotid artery, rather than in the jugular vein. Sorry about the nit picking. I'm looking forward to the con clusion. What Will Leia think of this "Fairy Godmother?"

"Pleasure Cruise" was also a joy to read. The art was superb, of course. The suspense Was carried through from beginning to end with great skill, and the characterizations were right on the mark through out. Poor Han.

"Graduation Day" was sad and sweet. Wish I understood more of the background. Are there to be more Dawntrader stories? I've been a sucker for sentient

ships for some time. Anne McCaffrey's Helva stories are some of my very very favorites. If part one is any indication, "No Place to Run" will be one of those stories to be saved for eons and reread, and reread, etc. etc. Excellent! I loved it. The characterizations are perfect, but what really makes it work is the pacing. That's the really hard .talent to develop, and you certainly have done it to perfection in this piece. [12]

I bought a copy of SHADOWSTAR #9 at Capricon last February. I meant to write to you then, but the 'zine was laid aside and buried under a bunch of other stuff. (Neat, I'm not.) I found it again after JEDI came out, and I was looking for Star Wars stuff to read.

Just a comment on a few things. Han sure gets beat on a lot in these stories, doesn't he? Doesn't anyone ever pick on Luke? I admit, Han gets it in the SW movies, too, but Luke suffers so well. Okay, I'll admit it — I'm a Luke fan. I can't help it, I like cure blonde little kids. That's why I married a 6'4" Dark Lord.

I had a little problem accepting "Plea sure Cruise." I just find it hard to believe security would be so lax on a Rebel Base. I could see one psycho/ assassin slipping by, but six of them? And Leia and Dodonna and Wedge not knowing who else they could trust on the Base? The other thing that bothered me is, after one attempted assassination in the sick bay while Han is out wandering around, security was so non-existent, it let the rest of the men burst, fully-armed, into Han and Luke's room! I know they knocked off the guards outside, but they shouldn't have even gotten close. Why wasn't there anyone else in the room watching Han and Luke? I'd best calm down, it wasn't real, it's only a story. ((Ed: Ah...bmm...well. Seeing that I didn't write the story, I can't really answer your questions -- maybe Linda and Karen will care to take the shot. At any rate, I suppose this story is a good example of "Willing Suspension of Disbelief." If that elusive something clicks for the reader at the beginning of a story they never seem to notice the small flaws and logical inconsistencies. Obviously, it clicked for me on "Pleasure Cruise." I never even noticed these points until you brought them to my attention. Ahh well... And as for the question of why people don't beat up on Luke...maybe after seeing TESB, the writers felt sorry for him???))

I really like the art in Juliano's strip, and you draw a real cute Luke. [13]

Issue 10

Shadowstar 10 was published in Spring 1983 and contains 128 pages.

front cover #10, Mary Jean Holmes and L.J. Juliano
back cover of issue #10, Mary Jean Holmes
[From the editorial]:

Last week, I listened to the final episode in the National Public Radio version of "The Empire Strikes Back." Now, When NPR did "Star Wars," they used the 6 1/2 hours they had well. They expanded the story, gave us more background, more detail, real meat to chew on. It was admirable, giving the listener a feeling of freshness, of hearing something really new. Not so with "TESB." Not only were the 10 episodes dismayingly short — averaging 20 minute — they were padded with bits of non-nutritive filler, pure junk food. Daley couldn't even come up with new catch phrases; he lifted at least two directly from his novels. And...aw, let's be blunt. THE WRITING STANK. When I listened to Episode One, I thought, "Well, listen to this! The actors have gotten better! No whiny Solo! No panting Princess! This is going to be good!" Unfortunately, while most of the acting improved, the writing took a nose dive. As the weeks wore on, I grew more and more dismayed. Then came the capper: the "Dinner on Bespin" scene, where ol' Darthie tells us in disgusting detail everything he's going to do before he does it. I nearly whoopsed my cookies. Come on, guys! I could've written it better! And I hate to say it, but Brock Peters' overacting only made it worse. It just wasn't Vader. "See how your guns flies across the table and into my hand??????" Why didn't the reaction to this feat come out of Han's mouth? It would've made more sense, and sounded better. After this, I had terrible visions of the torture and carbon freeze scenes. I was sure Vader was going to stand there and give us the blow-by-blow. Not so. He saved it for later, in his fight with Luke. GAGGG!!! I'm not the greatest afficianado of Mr. Daley's works, but this was terrible, even for him. J.R. tells me I ought to sit down immediately after comes out, write a radio play for it, and send it to Lucasfilm. He figures anything's gotta be better than what they did with "TESB," and I've had a measure of success adapting short stories to the stage. Maybe I will. This last radio play was an immense disappointment. All things considered, I left wondering if Luke even knows that anything happened between Han and Leia. Perhaps he doesn't, and, given the rest of the play, maybe he's better off that way.

I'd like to give the following awards to persons in that cast: Billy Dee Williams for the Most Overacted first scene (the way it came out, we expected him to say something trite like "Slap me five, brother"); Brock Peters for the Most Overacting by a Performer who should've known better (he was much better in the NPR SW), and whoever did the voice of Yoda for the Best Imitation of a Horse.

Do I sound rather harsh? Maybe I'm being a little extreme. It's just that some people seem to think that if it bears the words "Star Wars," I'll love it instantly. Actually, I'm far more critical of the things I love; I expect more from them. After the commendable job they did with SW, it was sad to see the things they did — or didn't do — with TESB. I was very disappointed. Better luck next time, guys.

That's about all. As of this writing, it's about a month until the release of Return of the Jedi. Despite my disenchantment with NPR' s "Empire," I still await the next film with bated breath.
  • A Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Penumbra, Readers' Letters (2)
  • Shady Thoughts: "Why Do You Waste Your Time Writing This Stuff?" by Roberta Stuemke (7)
  • The Choice by Lori J. Juliano (10)
  • Alderaan Lady by Bernadette Krebs (filk to the tune of "Indian Lady") (12)
  • Immortal Adversary by Mary Jean Holmes (13)
  • Fly Free by Karen Klinck (26)
  • Bounty Hunter, song by M.J. Holmes (27)
  • The History of Rheta, part two by Mary Wood (28)
  • "After Wooka". Archived from the original on 2002-03-10.  by Linda Ruth Pfonner (part one) (sequel to "To Wooka") (30) (After facing considerable obstacles, the Millennium Falcon returns to the Rebel Base, only to find that the Rebellion believes her crew to be traitors.)
  • The Metalloids by L.J. Juliano (53)
  • Sandcastle by Lori J. Juliano (61)
  • I Saw Talla Again Today by Marcia Brin (62)
  • Night Lord by Misty Lackey (64) (Long before the invention of Vader, Dark Lords of another nature walked the Earth, and not all of them were evil.)
  • Fairy Tale, conclusion by Debra Sears (72)
  • Someone is Watching by Kathryn Sullivan (84) (Something evil is stalking the galaxy espers, and it's up to Janice to find it and destroy it.)
  • Impression by Karen Ann Weikert (93)
  • Cantina Customers by Karen Klinck (filk to the tune of "Please, Mister, Please") (94)
  • No Place Left to Run, part two of a Star Wars novel by Mary Jean Holmes (95) (As the novel continues, our heroes discover another threat, sabotage, treacherous enemies, and the bounty hunter on Ord Mantell.)
  • ads (128)
  • art by Mary Jean Holmes (front and back covers), L.J. Juliano (front cover), Kyym Kimpel, Gwen Llewellyn, Karen Pauli, Carol Paulson

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 10

Well, you did it. I don't know of any other 'zine that has- had ten regular issues of high caliber, as SHADOWSTAR has proved to be. Plain and simple, I love it, and that's not because the editor had deigned to publish a few pieces of my writing and filks.

I guess I'll carry this thing cover to cover. The front cover collage is, as usual, marvelous. My favorite is "It Broke." ((the frontpiece from "After Wooka," part one.)) (How I wish I'd had the credits to bid on it at MediaWest*Con!) The new graphic you're using is nice, although I have to get used to them, after nine issues of the old ones.

As usual, I enjoyed the LoCs, and the incidental illos that accompany them are terrific.

Shady Thoughts covered something that I've had to combat ever since I started writing fanfic. Try explaining fanfic and derivate fiction to a college creative writing instructor! It's a lost cause. So, I just let the nasty comments go in one ear and out the other as much as I can.

"Choice" is a good piece to begin with. I really enjoy writing that makes you think, and Ms. Juliano has done well with this short-short.

Oh, gee, "Alderaan Lady." Who is this Miss Krebs, anyhow? Thanks for making it look so good.

I want to see more of the Annals of the Tavrenese. I could get lost in such a world and not come back. Origi nal fiction is a major reason I like SHADOWSTAR. Maybe I'll even get up the nerve to submit my Drennar universe stories . . .

"Bounty Hunter" made a hit with a friend of mine who admires Boba Fett to distraction. When can we have the music to it? ((Ed: As soon as I have the time and facilities available to sit down and cut a tape of my 30-odd SW songs. Issue #2 of The Perpetually Incomplete Fi Iksimer is supposed to be a tape- with-words-and-chords sort of things, but alternately, time constrictions and budget problems have prevented it. So, real soon now...))

"The History of Rheta" is a good article. I want to see more of this, if possible. I really enjoyed the Rheta stories that have been printed in past issues, and hope to be given more in the future.

Hmm, more serials. That's not fair. You finish "Fairy Tale," and give us part one of "After Wooka." Grr.

I'm running out of time, so I'll have to be really quick with the rest. No Place Left to Run is definitely the best of the novels so far. Keep up the good work.

Mr. Juliano's artwork, both incidental and in the "Metalloids" is fantastic. "Night Lord was interesting. Is there going to be more of this vampire to be seen in future issues?

"Someone Is Watching" is a very nice piece. I was wondering if we'd get to see more of Janice and Apson. The poetry and filks were terrific, and up to the high standards of the 'zine.

Marcia Brin's "I Saw Talla Again Today" was one I liked in particular. It's logical that Han would have had other women in his life that meant something to him, and the loss of that woman could be a factor in making him what he is.

Keep up the good work — I'm waiting eagerly for #11. [13]

I just got back from MediaWest*Con, where I picked up my very first issue of SHADOWSTAR ~ #10. I am very im pressed with the mix and caliber of writing in your 'zine, and am looking forward to #11. "Immortal Adversary" was a very enjoy able story. I'm glad you had the oppor tunity to include it. I read this story while I was sitting, waiting for the play Amadeus to begin, and I thought I'd scream when the lights went down. Luckily, I got to finish the story at intermission. Hope we'll see more of your original.work.

I found "After Wooka" extremely enjoy able. I loved the relationship develop ment between Han and Luke, and the jealousy of Chewie. Can't wait to see how this one ends up! Of course, now I'm going to have to order #6, to read "To Wooka."

I'm afraid I didn't understand "The Metalloids" at all, but "Sandcastles," which followed, was real nice. Marcia Erin's poem about Talla was real nice, too. "Night Lord" was different — and enjoyable. I liked it. "Fairy Tale," on the other hand, was so con fusing. This one was too far out for me, I'm afraid. "Someone Is Watching" was kind of spacy, too — but good, real good. It was scary and tense writing — just perfect for the story. And, of course, there's No Place Left To Run. I was very impressed with this story, but again, I have to wait to find out what happens. No fair! I especially liked the characterizations of Han and Leia, although Luke seems like a bit of a twit when he chews

Han out. [14]

I totally agree with Shady Thoughts and your reply. I've only been in fandom a little over three years, but I've already encountered people of the type you mentioned. It was especial ly brought home to me at Chicon last year. Although I enjoyed the con in general, nowhere have I encountered such cliques as I did there. The gap was especially noticable between printed SF fans and media SF fans. Why can't people forget their differences and concentrate on what they have in common? Ah, well, fandom — like true love — never runs smooth.

"The Choice." I must have been half asleep when I read it — I didn't understand it. What was the choice? Where did the illos fit in? Your other works are fantastic, Lori. I'd like to hear from you on this. < ref> from a letter of comment in "Shadowstar" #11</ref>

Kathy Sullivan — the next H. P. Lovecraft? Her story was something else, wasn't it? I think she should do more stories with a horror I slant. She exhibits a grit I've not noticed in her other writing.

SHADOWSTAR #10 was another long- awaited dream-come-true. Every thing was super, but "Someone Is Watching" had to be the gem of the issue.

While I'm on the topic of horror, vampire stories are the most worn- out genre. Talk about overworked subject matter! Of course, this is only my opinion. That's why I can't understand why I liked Misty Lackey's "Night Lord." I think I was fascinated with the thief and- healer ideas. The final understate ment about the graves neatly ended the tale. I assume Misty did her own art? It reminded me of Japan ese animation style. I forgot to write in my last letter the thing that I wanted to say most about #9. I loved the short poems. I think the idea was a unique and refreshing touch. The poetry it self had a big idea all in a neat and small package. It was nice to be able to not have to spend a long time reading to get to the end of a short story or a novel. I hope that this feature of SHADOWSTAR will be repeated in each issue to come.

Thank you for making Shadowstar #10 a reality. [13]

Since I haven't said it before, I very much appreciate your sure hand on my rough spots. 1 type so badly and so slowly that I nearly despair over the uneven bits — yet I can't bear to go through ALL THAT AGAIN and try some thing else. Beautiful editing job on "Night Lord!"

If you really think (from the mailbag) that people want to see more Dawntreader stories, in the words of the late Jimmy D., "I've got a million of 'em!" They're roughly based on the Andre Norton universe of The Last Planet et al, plus a few embellishments of my own.

I absolutely loved all of #10 (as per usual). Must say that I see no problem in writing derivate fiction; ultimately, all fiction is derivate — we are our roots. You'll notice that, though my stuff is supposedly "original," it owes tons to Tolkien ("Merry Xmas"), Andre Norton ("Graduation Day"), and Fred Saberhagen ("Night Lord"). The piece enclosed ((this issue's "Were Hunter")) owes its entirety to the song/video by Duran Duran,"Hungry Like the Wolf." So, as my postdoc friend Di (the direct inspiration for Diana Tregarde) says, "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke." Or, in translation, "If you don't like what I'm doing, ignore it or shut up about it." ((Ed: Actually, I would prefer to expand it to "Ignore it or write what you like yourself." To quote Henry Higgins: "If you can't appreciate what you've got, you'd better get what you can appreciate." This could apply well to many of fandom's anti-media people. Just because one person chooses not to "waste" his or her time in a certain pursuit doesn't make the pastime worth less or somehow invalid.)) [15]

Issue 11

Shadowstar 11 was published in Summer 1983 and contains 156 pages.

front cover #11, L.J. Juliano and Mary Jean Holmes
back cover of issue #11, Jean Danielsen
  • Letter from the editor (1)
  • Shady Thoughts: Our Writer's Guidelines: An Explanation by Mary Jean Holmes (2)
  • Penumbra (4)
  • Prelude by Roberta Stuemke (original science fiction, Traveller's role playing game) (11)
  • The Contest, introduction of a contest for Star Wars fic based on an illo, winner planned to be printed in issue #14) (20)
  • A Friendly Place by Misty Lackey (Diana Tregarde first appeared in "Merry Xmas to All" in Shadowstar #8.) (22)
  • Word Search Puzzles by Lynda Vndriver (26)
  • Shifting Sands by Lori Juliano (original fantasy) (28)
  • "After Wooka". Archived from the original on 2002-03-10.  by Linda Ruth Pfonner (part two) (sequel to "To Wooka") (Star Wars) (33)
  • After After Wooka by Linda Ruth Pfonner ("The following segment was not originally a part of this story. However, after urging by both the editor and other readers at MediaWestCon, Linda graciously provided this addenda, to answer a few burning questions: what happened to Major Sandor and the cat? To this end, we present what I refer to as: After After Wooka.") (Star Wars) (56)
  • They Wait, poem by Kathryn Agel (Star Wars) (62)
  • The Dragon by L.J. Juliano (The Shadow, comic) (63)
  • Wisdom, a Song by Mary Jean Holmes (68)
  • Were-Hunter by Misty Lackey (In a letter of comment in this issue, Lackey wrote: "The piece enclosed in this issue ("Were Hunter") owes its entirety to the song/video by Duran Duran,"Hungry Like the Wolf."") (70)
  • The Fall of Castle Merrimac by Rosalinda Arias (original fantasy) (73)
  • Magic-Bringer, poem by Karin Zygowicz (83)
  • The Parting by Carol Paulson (84)
  • Chameleon by Misty Lackey (sequel to "Graduation Day" in issue #9) (86)
  • No Place Left to Run, part three of a SW novel by Mary Jean Holmes (Star Wars) (91)
  • Think Art, poem by Lori Juliano (119)
  • art by Jean Danielsen (back cover), Anne Davenport, Mary Jean Holmes (front cover), L.J. Juliano (front cover), Kyym Kimpel, Misty Lackey, Karen Pauli, Carol Paulson, Mary Wood

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 11

"Sick Humor" may very well describe those certain cartoons (poor Kermit!), but definitely does not apply to the rest of this very nice issue!

Thanks for printing your writer's guidelines. It is helpful for any potential submitter to understand the rules of the game, so I'm sure many will appreciate this inclusion. I'm also sure it will help you as well. One editor on the east coast has finally pub lished her guidelines, mainly to eliminate hand written manuscripts! Some people know the basic rules, but a few must feel that an amateur editor isn't worth certain considerations. Publication of such guidelines should straighten out similar misunderstandings.

Best of luck to you! Penumbra was fascinating, as always. People sure do give you a lot of well-deserved compliments! Are you still embarrasssed when you print them, or are you finally discovering that all those people can't be wrong...?

Misty Lackey is proving to be quite a prolific and good writer! I couldn't help but think of Piers Anthony while reading "A Friendly Place," although Anthony's nightmares are much nicer beasts. Sun Nyun Moon wouldn't, I think, take too well to the spelling of his name, however... "Were-Hunter" was excellent, and although a bit short, kept me satisfyingly spellbound, awaiting the out come. Nice ending, that! "Chameleon" was also quite entertaining. There will be more of Darla and Dawntreader, will there not? Misty must keep writing! ((Ed: Don't worry, she hasn't stopped. There'll be more. Will there ever be more...!))


"Shifting Sands" was cute, but shifted a bit too much for me. I can't determine the connection be tween the mews and the children. I loved "Think Art," also by Lori. How thought provoking...I'm creative, therefore I am? Lovely stuff!

L.J.Juliano's (not to be confused with Lori, natch!) art continues to impress and amaze me, even after seeing it regularly in SHADOWSTAR and occasionally in DRAGONLORE. I still can't figure out how the guy does it! Did you know he also draws a monthly comic with some friends, too? I mean, Larry is obviously destined for greatness. I'd love to see some of his works in color — any chance of that happening in SHADOWSTAR? ((Ed: Not in the near future. The cost of color separation hereabouts is circa $500 per page, plus printing costs, which are absolutely outrageous. Someday, perhaps, but not in the foreseeable future.))

"Wisdom" — a beautiful poem. Thanks for writing and sharing it with us. The illustration accompanying it was also very nice.

Does Rosalinda Arias hail from Wisconsin? I can't help but relate the name of her castle to Merrimac, WI. Regardless of where she lives, I loved her story. A nice blend of fantasy with just a touch of SF — not enough to intrude, but enough to aid and enhance...very nicely done. Her description of the planet Eckqua "made entirely of crystal and glass. There were no dark places there..." makes me wonder if she has heard of ECKankar, commonly called ECK. ECK is all light and love and crystal colors, too. Interesting.

All in all, an extremely fine issue, and I look forward to many, many more! I have just one question; As a writer, artist, costumer, singer, musician, actress, editor, friend-co- many, and wife, too...do you have time to wash the dishes. If so, how do you fit it in!'[16]

I like the slightly new-and-improved graphics, but you've been so tantalyzingly close-mouthed about the new ones you're still working on, that I'm really getting very interested in seeing them. I hope they show up soon — I want to see what excites you so much.

Penumbra; Wonderful! Controversy! Criticism' People who actually think about what they're reading! I will confess that I did get a little irritated at some of the comments aimed at our story "Pleasure Cruise."

[...]

"Prelude" by Roberta Stuemke. Magnificent! Tell this girl to try submitting this tale or anything else she has of this caliber to a pro-zinel Pacing, structure, plot, all perfectly assembled. And the ending is excellently done. I'm running out of superlatives, already!

page 18; I've loved this cartoon since I saw it at MediaWest. I'm glad to have my own copy of it, now. Thanks for printing.

"A Friendly Place" by Misty Lackey. Very plausible; I've been told that the Spiritualists really do believe that there is no evil Beyond — as if Hitler's soul could have been made beneficent, just because he died! Surely, if there was no Evil, how could we define Good? The Universe is a Balance between the Light and the Dark. I like the ending of the story, too — it fits the tale well. Excellent.

"Shifting Sands" by Lori Juliano. Title page is lovely. The story is wonderfully crafted; such a command of the language I wish I had! But I didn't understand it at all. What do the two mews have to do with the two children? And what did the old man have to do with the unicorn?


"After Wooka": yes, well. Subtly edited; nicely illustrated... "After After Wooka": In my own defense, let me point out that this was written very quickly after MediaWest, where people all jumped pn me, wanting to know what had happened to Major Sandor and Raksha. I'll admit I was touched that so many people were concerned about my cat; she's not really very likable.

"They Wait" by Kathryn Agel. Very touching. One could argue fine points, like Han doesn't have golden eyes, they're hazel, and Leia's aren't sable, they're dark brown, and sable means black or dark brown with a black overlay. But it doesn't matter. The poem is lovely. And the illo isn't bad, either.


"Dragon" by Larry Juliano. This is weird, I always look at this serial, mostly because the artwork is so striking; I have no idea what's going on, and I can't figure it out, no matter how many times I reread it. Oh, well. The art alone is enough to justify its existence. But is that one creature on page 66 supposed to look so much like H.R. Giger's Alien?

"Wisdom" by M.J. Holmes. Lovely, simply as a poem. Next time I see you, I'd like to hear you sing it. Please? The illo isn't a bad portrait, but the shadows are so dark, it's hardly recognizable as our favorite little blond hero. Not that he locked terribly blond in RotJ...

"Were-Hunter" by Misty Lackey. Very nice turn on the usual theriomorph stories, thoroughly ambiguous on all the details, except the important ones. Wonderful!

[16]

Fan letter time!

Got #11 in the mail, right on time (which is amazing, because the Postal Disservice lost all four packages of manuscripts I sent out the week after Labor Day — good thing I stopped sending originals).

Spent a very enjoyable evening devouring same from front to back, no pauses.

"Prelude" was different — I liked it quite a bit; I've had music speak to me before this, my self ("Coq d'Or Suite" to be precise), so I know whereof Roberta Stuemke speaks.

I thought the last time I read something by Lori Juliano, that she reminded me a bit of Ray Brad bury — now, after "Shifting Sands," I'm sure of it. "After Wooka" definitely turned me on — I'm a sucker for psi-meld stories, and Linda Pfonner handles the subject very deftly.

I found the blend of magic and (presumably?) tech nology in "The Fall of Castle Merrimac" rather intriguing. Is there more? ((Not at the moment, sad to say,)) "The Parting" was perfect. Not too long, not too short, a lovely little gem.

Oh, yes — your own multi-parted magnum opus. Damn you for leaving us high and dry at the end of each issue, anyway! Now I'll have to wait until Christmas to find out what happens next! Grr!

Since no one ever seems to mention the poetry, I will. Darn good, all of it, but particularly, "Think Art."[16]
I'm a tad jealous of Misty Lackey's "Night Lord" story. I've often wondered if a story couldn't be done showing a vampire to be as human as a living person (not counting DC Comics' Andrew Bennett of the "I Vampire" series), but could never come up with a working plot. Thank the Force there's someone else in fandom who had a similar thought, but was able to do something about it. [16]

I will admit that, at first, I thought I might be turned off by the media-based Star Wars stories. I am currently working on a Doctor Who story, and I have great appreciation for those writers who are able to tap into the characters of another, and give them deeper charac terizations than hoped for in books or film. An excellent job overall. I especially liked "After Wooka;" the writing and situation were totally believable and well-done.

I find it ironic that the poem following my story, "Magic Bringer," was by Karin Zygowicz, the same person who first encouraged me to submit "Castle Merrimac." I'm glad that she did suggest it. After trying to submit this story to all of the major science fiction/fantasy magazines and getting nothing but rejection slips, your acceptance letter came as a bringer of joy. It is a great boost in my writing hopes and it helped to just affirm my own thoughts of, "Hey kid, you're not such a bad writer, after all." Thanks again.[16]

Issue 12

Shadowstar 12 was published in Autumn 1983 and contains 157 pages.

The art is by by Mary Jean Holmes (back cover), L.J. Juliano, Kyym Kimpel, Wanda Lybarger, Martynn, Mary Wood, and Joan Sweber (front cover).

front cover #12, Joan Sweber
back cover, Mary Jean Holmes
[From the editorial]:

There are many things I could say about this issue and its contributors, not the least of which might be that, among them, I seemed to have had another conspiracy on my hands. Virtually everyone who submitted prose sent manuscripts in excess of forty pages. Hence, this might be dubbed the "It Threatened To Turn In to a Monster" issue.

Within these pages, you will find many unusual points of view (including several non-related pieces with virtually that exact title). Linda Ruth Pfonner's Decoy (which, I know from first-hand experience, was written well before we knew a single, solitary thing about Return of the Jedi) is a fascinating post-Empire epic that is likely to spark a tiny bit of healthy controversy. Why, you may ask? Largely because it is the first (and, possibly, only) exception to my rule concerning R-rated profanity in SHADOWSTAR. Linda, I felt, structured the plot, the tension, and the mounting emotions in such a fashion that she thoroughly justified her single usage of an obscenity I find all too over-used, these days. While the story itself remains PG, I determined that it would be an editorial cop-out and — plainly and simply — an all-too-obvious sanitization to alter it. Perhaps some of you won't agree. Read it, and we'll see.

Continuing in the Highly Unusual Department... While Mary Wood's "Crossed Wires" isn't strictly a pure SW story, it does a marvelous job of crossing two universes that, on the surface, seem entirely incompatible, but, in their philosophical and thematic cores, are remarkably similar. I won't say whose universe she employs here (I don't want to spoil any surprise it might hold for those who are familiar with both mythoses, and read this column first), but I can say this: if you haven't read the stories from which Mary draws her secondary universe and characters, for the Maker's sake, go out and find them! The author (whose name you will find in the copyright segment on the contents page) has written some of the most marvelous works of contemporary fantasy, and they're well worth reading.

[...]

By the time this reaches most of our regular readers, the holiday season will be uoon us, or just past. It s been a year of highs and lows for all of us, both creatively and mundanely, of changes, advances, setbacks, gains and losses. But, in spite of all the hard times I know so many of us have suffered through, here we are, at the end of the year, still in one piece, and largely looking up. All things considered, I find it rather strangely appropriate that this, our holiday issue, be devoted to a Saga which by the admission of its Creator and the evidence of our eyes, is nothing so much as a paean to the noble side of man. As Carrie Fisher said in the recent television special, "Science and technology have advanced the art of today s creature movies, but, like Star Wars, the best of them succeed because they celebrate the human spirit. And, in an era in which we have all, to some degree or another, become victims of systems and governments and machines and conglomerates, that simple, basic reminder of what we all are and can be is both timely and welcome. The Ewoks said it best: "Celebrate the love."

Peace, happiness, health and prosperity to you all. As we look forward to a significant year; I remain yours in the Force.
  • A Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Penumbra, Letters of Comment (2)
  • Rovan by Marcia Brin (reprinted from Carbonite Maneuver where it was part of "Four Preludes, and One Short Epilogue on Han Solo or After the Empire Struck Back.". Four of these stories (but not "Rovan") was also in Bright Center of the Universe #3. "Rovan," and the other four stories were discussed in Han and Leia in Fanfiction.) (8)
  • Crossed Wires by Mary Wood (Star Wars/Deryni) (14)
  • Point of View by Kathryn Agel (45)
  • Star-Kindler by Mary Jean Holmes (46)
  • Spacer by D.L. Miller (64)
  • "Decoy". Archived from the original on 2002-03-10.  Part 1 by Linda Ruth Pfonner (After being rescued from the carbon freeze, Han is accused of being an Imperial spy, and his past is revealed.) (65)
  • A Different Point of View by Ann Wortham (88)
  • Fatherhood? by Lynda Vandiver (101)
  • Hi-Tech Sideways Comix Presntes: Color and Create an Adventure! by L.J. Juliano (102)
  • Jedi Junkie, filk to the tune of "Junk Food Junkie," by M.J. Holmes (105)
  • Remembrance by Pat Molitor (106)
  • Obligatory Sick Cartoon (124)
  • No Place to Run, conclusion of a SW novel by Mary Jean Holmes (125)
  • ads (157)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 12

I loved SHADOWSTAR #12! My favorites in it were "Crossed Wires" by Mary Wood, "Remembrance" by Pat Molitor, and your No Place Left To Run. I really enjoyed "Crossed Wires!" I have never read any of the Deryni tales, but I plan to do so in the future. Morgan and Duncan are interesting characters, the story was well-written, and Luke was given a good role in this tale. He wasn't presented as being perfect (which he isn't), but neither was he presented as weak, indecisive, or neurotic (which he also isn't). I thought Morgan and Luke made a good team.

Pat Molitor's "Remembrance" was well done. I enjoyed the flashbacks Into Darth Vader's past. It makes sense that the encounter between Luke and Vader on Bespin would have an impact on Vader, as it did on Luke. Pat Molitor's characterization of Vader is very believable and it made me feel more sympathetic toward him.

I enjoyed all of No Place Left To Run. It was an exciting adventure story. Thank you for giving Han and Luke equal roles! Your characterizations were very well done. Your story is a joy to read.

I also liked Marcia Brin's vignette, "Rovan," the poem "Jedi Junkie," and the cute back cover. The front cover wasn't bad, either, by the way. The sick cartoon was definitely that![17]

My compliments on a fantastic SHADOWSTAR #12. I loved "Crossed Wires" — I've long been a fan of Katharine Kurtz's Deryni universe, and Che story was a lovely melding of that and the SW universe. I wouldn't mind reading more stories along this line (that's a hint, Mary).

"Star Kindler" was excellent. You've given us some good insights into both the Wookiee culture and the Han/Chewie relationship.

When I saw the illo that accompanied my own piece, I nearly fainted! I got a Martynn! Thank you for gracing my work with the work of one of my favor ites. I'm flattered that you think I deserve it.

And now, a word about Decoy, cliff-hangers, or any continued stories, drive me absolutely bonkers! It's bad enough, having to wait only three months for each SHADOWSTAR; can you imagine what waiting for RotJ did to me? And now, I have to wait six months for the end of this one? ARRGGH!

I think I'll send a fair of hungry firelizards to visit you — at least until you print the rest of the story. Would that get it into print any fast er? Anyway, the first third was very good, even though poor Han got it again, and I don't mind the use of that certain four-letter word at the end. It fit. After all, after what Solo had been through, what would you expect him to say? "Oh, darn"?

No Place Left to Run — very nice, and I don't have to wait to see how it ends. Thank heavens!

All in all, a very nice issue. I liked the larger size. I'm glad to see Wanda Lybarger in SHADOWSTAR. Like Martynn, she's another one of my favorites, and I can't get enough of her work either. [18]

SHADOWSTAR #12 was another good issue. I guess I'll comment on the contents in order, so this will make more sense (oh, gods! What's the world coming to the day I make sense?).

"Rovan" by Marcia Brin: What can I say? I love this lady's work.

"Crossed Wires" by Mary Wood: I enjoyed this story, even though I'm not familiar with the other universe. I've seen Che books, but have never read them. I'm going Co have to put them on my list of books to read.

"Point of View" by Kathryn Agel: very nice.

"Star-Kindler": Before I tell you what I think, are you going to get embarrassed on me? I enjoyed it. Aside from the fact that I like Wookiee stories, the emotions expressed are real. Wanda Lybarger's art complimented the story nicely.

Decoy by Linda Pfonner: It's a good start. I'm looking forward to the other two parts. I have a question — or, rather, my mother does. It says, "Close only counts in explosions and sex." How does close count in sex?

"A Different Point of View" by Ann Wortham: Possi ble. The Emperor probably did Chink he was doing the right thing.

"Fatherhood" by Joyce Devine and Lynda Vandiver: I love it!

"Jest in Fun" by Ann E. Huizenga: Sticky Wicket, indeed!

"Remembrance" by Pat Molicor: A good piece of writing.

page 124: Love it! Where would the world be without sick humor?

No Place Left to Run: After reading part three, I was ready to kill, but now that I've read the rest, I guess I won't. I'd tell you what I thought of it, but you'd just waste your time blushing, so I won't.

page 156: Does this have something to do with the letter to Lumpy?

The back cover's cute, too. [18]

I was in the midst of a bad case of the pre-holiday doldrums when #12 arrived; I was immediately — though briefly — cheered. I opened it up, saw Marcia Erin's name in the table of contents, and skipped the lettercol to immediately feast on her tale. Gods, did I cry...! "Rovan" has to be one of the most beautiful, poignant, heart rending tales ever written, fanlit, reallit, anywhere. I read it twice, used half a box of Kleenex, and then I very carefully paperclipped those pages together so I wouldn't see it accidentally. I'm not as depressed, now, but I still don't think I'm up to reading it again, yet. It's too sad...I'm tearing up as I sit here at work and type this! Onward...

"Crossed Wires" by Mary Wood. Very nicely done. I've loved the Deryni tales for years; Mary has done a wonderful job of keeping Morgan and Duncan in character, as well as the SW people. She had Han perfect. "Hey, if you want tact, talk to Leia. She's the diplomat, not me." I think the hardest thing to do to write cross-universe tales is to find a way to cross them chat doesn't sound contrived. Mary did a very nice job of that.

"Point of View" by Kathryn Agel. SHADOWSTAR prints some of the best poetry in all of fan- dom: this piece fits right in. And Martynn's illo fits the poem very nicely.

"Star-Kindler" by Ye Editore. Oh, goody! Another of those illuminations to your between-ANH-and- TESB trilogy. I remember this one vaguely from that stack of stuff you let me read at Capricon last year; it's much better than I remember. Did you re-write it much? I read an awful lot of stuff that afternoon; I don't trust my memory of it.

This is a classy little tale, and it does fit in with the Han Solo we've seen on-screen. The Wookiees' culture as portrayed is self-consistent and very sensible; I can easily see how upset Malla would be at Chewbacca's absence at such an important event, and it is not unthinkable that the entire village would blame Han, even unreasonably, for being the reason Chewbacca could not make it in time. A good story, and it's fun to read, especially at the end — so that's how Lumpy got his name! *giggle*

"Spacer" by D.L. Miller. Another nice piece of poetry, with a lovely Juliano illo to go with it.

Decoy. Well...again, I compliment you on your subtle editing, Mary Jean. If I didn't know this MS practically by heart, I never would have noticed the minor changes you made. Thank you for not sanitizing the end of Part One; I don't think anything less violent would have properly expressed Han's total disillusionment and fright.

"A Different Point of View" by Ann Wortham. Hmm...interesting...probably very close to ex actly what the Emperor WAS thinking.

"Fatherhood?" by Joyce Devine and Lynda Vandiver. This one is thoroughly hysterical, all the way through, though I'll admit to a few favorite scenes: the obvious one, of course, is Chewie bedecked with ribbons, but the boys in Han's cabin watching (undoubtedly XXX-rated) holofilms is even better, as is the way the boys get him to squirm by mentioning that book they found there called Planet of Passion...

"Jest in Fun" by Ann E. Huizenga. Cute, Ann, real cute.

[snipped]

The puzzles on page 101 are fun — thanks, Lynda! — and Kyym's cartoon is very funny.

"Hi-Tech Sideways Comix..." by L.J. Juliano. Here he goes again! The art's good as always.

"Jedi Junkie" by MJ Holmes. I heard you sing this one at Capricon, and I loved it then. Thanks for printing it. Yummy!

"Remembrance" by Pat Molitor. Very good! Very consistent and very plausible.

No Place Left to Run by Ye Editore. Ah, finally! The conclusion! Sure, I read this piece in rough draft at Capricon last February — but that was a long time ago, and I had to read it fast, and I was constantly being interrupted by people — we were in the middle of the dealer's room, remember? Most satisfactory ending! Nicely done. I'm glad that you pointed out that Leia never would have sabotaged the powerplant if she thought it would seriously endanger the populace of the city; she would have found something else to use as a diversion for their escape, or she wouldn't've escaped at all. She's not a fanatic. The difficulties involved in coping with the transmorph are vividly portrayed; Leia's response is perfect. I'd've decked the Corellian, too, under those circumstances.

"Sorry, Leia..." This cartoon reminds me of one of Wanda Lybarger's — I think it was in FACETS — with a startled Han turning around to find a knee-high Hoka (female) dressed as the Princess (ear-Danish and all) wrapped around his boot, while another Hoka (male) dressed as the Corellian pirate sits and sulks to one side. Caption was, not precisely, a girl with big ideas. *giggle*

The bacover is nice; the caption is obviously Han speaking. Exuberant after the victory, right, Luke? Uh-huh...

All in all, a very good issue, but then, all issues of SHADOWSTAR rate at least a "very good."

I've never seen anything but quality work, here. Keep it up! [18]

I have a few comments to make about the recent Star Wars SHADOWSTAR. As much as I admire your combining talents on the cover, I think the recent one was probably the greatest since SHADOW- STAR #1. I couldn't believe that you didn't do it (although the style is markedly different from #1, I still thought it was you). The unity of the image and immediacy of meaning were expertly expressed. What I think you should watch out for, though, is the shrinking of your title. "Shadowstar" should occupy more space.

"Rovan" was the sharpest piece of prose I have read in a long while. Decoy is the type of story I find intriguing because I keep seeing the probable potentials for what's going to happen to tease me on. I didn't appreciate Han's foray into the verbal realm of bi-labial fricative excessiveness. But I can live with that before I can accept Luke Skywalker in a "berserker rage." It's kind of like trying to picture Beaver Cleaver as a chain-saw murderer. The quality of the drawings in SHADOWSTAR i^ increasing at a pheno menal rate. I loved the way you drew the Princess on page 156, and some of your drawings in

"No Place Left to Run" make me wonder if you, too, have recently discovered duo-shade board. [18]

AGAIN! You're remarkable...not only getting zines out on time on a regular basis, but terrific! I honestly cannot find anything negative to say about SHADOWSTAR #12, and as usual, it makes me look that much more forward to #13.

"Remembrance" by Pat Molitor and "Crossed Wires" by Mary Wood are two stories with plot lines I m usually not interested in. However, both stories were excellent, and held my interest all the way through. Where do you find such marvelously talented people? I guess talent attracts talent.

Your letter column is one I always enjoy reading, particularly the letters from Lumpy. And he says he has no talent! I would like to read a story by this young Wookiee; I'm sure his prose would be just as interesting and humorous as his letters. Therefore, encourage him all you can.

You are one of the few authors who has the talent tor combining her own universe with that of George Lucas remarkably well. You always maintain the essence of the characters (from Artoo to my lovable Corellian) with warmth, insight, and growth. And although I enjoy the Alternate Universes (can't wait for the next installment of Decoy by Linda Ruth Pfonner), it is the original movies that got me interested in SW fandom in the first place. Therefore, my favorite stories ~ and those I can read over and over — are those that involve the major characters as the focal point. This fits with the way you develop your own characters; they are easy to hate or love, and fit along so well with your stories, plots, and SW characters. Every- time I read your fiction, it makes me curious as to everything that has gone on before, the things you make reference to. Do you have a story planned on what actually happened to Han at the Imperial prison world?

Although I enjoy quite a few other writers immensely — Marcia Brin, for instance -- with most of the others it is so easy to tell who their favorite character is. You treat each so marvelously that one wouldn't even be able to guess which one is your favorite.

"Don't Ask!" is delightfully funny, and "Who Seeks Retribution" is a well-constructed fantasy with a background that reminds me of Katherine ' Kurtz s world of the Deryni, "Munday" ~ oh how very apt. Transfer Student is excellent and my favorite story in the zine.

[snipped]

Now, about the editor's own stories. Very nice! You really know how to keep the suspense going.

I never guessed at Zaidan's malady [in Double Paradox] — the way you handled it, I figured he was going to turn out to be (dare I whisper it?) g-a-y — or, at the identity of the Force user, until both were revealed. Now, you've got me wondering at the identity of Chewie's captors(?) in A Chance to Live — though I think I've guessed that Tal will turn out to be an old classmate of Han's, which is why Luke is getting twinges about him. Your portraits of Han, Luke, and Leia, with their mutual interaction, are accurate, and one thing I especially like is how you get them into different sets of clothes (I think the Alderaani court dress in ACTL is very attractive, even if Han doesn't!) [18]
All I've got to say is that it's a good thing I got the Autumn Issue [#12] — I was about to DIE waiting to read the conclusion of No Place Left To Run, Well, Fearless knows how I feel about her writing — I said it all in my Xmas present to her! (Well? Do you have the chutzpah to print it?) As for the rest of the issue, well, darn it all people, what I'd like to know is how on earth do you manage to be so creative and yet so true to the feel of the SW characters? I certainly can't! No fair! [19]

Issue 13

Shadowstar 13 was published in Winter 1984 and contains 120 pages.

cover #13, Mary Jean Holmes, Wanda Lybarger, Mary Wood
  • Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Shady Thoughts: On Being Edited, A Reaction by Roberta Stuemke (2)
  • Penumbra (4)
  • The Message by Joyce Devine and Lynda Vandiver (12)
  • Return of the Jedi by Marci Erwin (17)
  • Graylands by Roberta Stuemke (18)
  • Under the Night Sky by Deborah S. Busse (27)
  • Odyssey by Mary Jean Holmes (28)
  • Whose Lucky Day? by Judith Ann Gaskins (59)
  • Within the Ice Palace by Rosalinda Arias (62)
  • Masks by Misty Lackey (63)
  • Puzzle: Word Search by Lynda Vandiver (77)
  • Forgotten Hero by Ann Wortham (78)
  • The Payoff by Kathryn Agel (part of Starbird's Children Universe) (80)
  • Mr. Gannet, poem by Mark Wallace ("a study in science-fiction nonsense") (84)
  • Star Wars Hide and Seek, crossword puzzle by Marci Erwin (85)
  • "Decoy Part 2". Archived from the original on 2002-03-10.  by Linda Ruth Pfonner (After being rescued from the carbon freeze, Han is accused of being an Imperial spy, and his past is revealed.) (87)
  • Puzzle: Word Search by Lynda Vandiver (86)
  • Ads (121)
  • art by Mary Wood, Wanda Lybarger, Mark Wallace, Mary Jean Holmes, Jean Danielsen (back cover), Anne Davenport, Brian Lane, Melody Luke, Lumpawarrump, Martynn, Carol Paulson, John Sies,

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 13

You're right — the new headers are well worth the wait. They're magnificent. I especially like the one for "Shady Thoughts." Speaking of "Shady Thoughts": Roberta Stuemke expresses my opinions of being edited much more succinctly than I. I have had limited experience in this, but I seriously think it only reasonable of an editor to request changes in a story, if she feels it necessary to make the story fit the 'zine. The writer should comply or withdraw the story — I've done both. I withdrew a story from a 'zine several years ago because the editor's questions and requested changes were, in my opinion, thoroughly asinine. I found another editor who did not object, and the story has been printed. I'm happy. Certainly, sometimes major rewrites are necessary, and the writer generally finds them painful — the tale is a child-of-mine, and making changes is like operating without anesthetic. But it's not fatal.

"The Message" by Joyce Devine and Lynda Vandiver. Nicely crafted tale; I especially like Han's attitude — teasing Leia, but deadly serious about his obligations to Chewie.

RotJ Maze by Marci Erwin. Nicely done, and it was a challenge, especially since I didn't want to mark up the 'zine.

"Graylands" by Roberta Stuemke. Sheesh! Roberta, submit some of this stuff to a prozine, will ya? This one would fit at FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, I should think.

"Under the Night Sky" by Deborah S. Busse. This is a lovely poem, and the mermaid is beautiful, too, Carol.

"Odyssey" by Ye Editors. I like this one whole bunches. Especially the part about Han going crazy. The illustration of Han running from the remote is priceless. The one of Lumpy sleeping beside Han is adorable. The Corellian's hesitant explanation to Lumpy about his criminal career (admirably honest he was, too!) was beautifully done. Applause! "Whose Lucky Day?" by Judith Gaskins. That's sick. That really is.

"Within the Ice Palace" by Rosalinda Arias. It's odd, but it's beautiful.

The pages of Misty Lackey's "Masks" were shuffled in my copy [oops!], but at least they were all there. This is a worthy successor to the other wonderful tales of Darla Killian and the Dawntreader. I like the Zacathian, Suteth; he's sweet. I even liked Derek, eventually. The ending is well handled. More? Soon?

"Forgotten Hero" by Ann Wortham. I'll bet JR liked this one; it's a lovely vignette, delineating Wedge very succinctly. He's an easy character to forget, but he is a necessary part of the background to the SW universe.

"The Payoff" by Kathryn Agel, As a rule, I object to stories saddling the Corellian with kin, especially younger female kin who follow him into space. Cara Solo stands up against my unreasoning prejudice fairly well, although this isn't much of a story — it's just a teaser, designed to get us hooked. The next story in line had better be in SHADOWSTAR! I do like those little critters that Cara has with her; I've always wanted empathic friends.

"Mr. Gannet" by Mark Wallace. This is very neat. Giggle.

SW Hide and Seek by Marci Erwin. Very complicated, again, especially since I do try to do it without a pencil.

Various kriss-krosses by Lynda Vandiver. These are always fun.

Decoy. Well, yes. I love the illustrations; they look just right. In response to a comment someone made: Chewie calls Han "captain" because that's how he thinks of him. He also calls him "partner." And sometimes, "brother." He calls Luke "Walker-in-the-Sky" because that is how the name "Skywalker" translates into Wookiee. Chewie has always preferred to call Han by nicknames; Han has always resisted allowing the relationship to become too personal. It hasn't stopped them from becoming the very closest of friends; this is just a facade that Han preferred, and Chewie went along.

So much for #13 — a perfectly delightful issue of my favorite 'zine. I'm looking forward to #14. [20]

Once again, it's fan letter time. Y'know, one of these days, it'll dawn on Our Fearless Editor that the reason I write for this 'zine is so I can get contributors' copies — the budget won't always stand the strain of an extra expense — and then I'll be in trouble.

Moving right along...

[snipped]

Where was I? Oh, yes. Winter [#13]. Think I'll work back to front — no matter that I knew damn well Han wasn't gonna get bumped off; that didn't stop me from biting my knuckles over Decoy, part two. Greatly enjoyed "The Payoff," seeing as I've got a soft spot in my heart for lady warrior-types. And you've got another gem in "Forgotten Hero" —I've always felt rather sorry for . the guys who not only don't get the girl, but don't even get a Hero's Funeral. "Whose Lucky Day?" made me absolutely cringe — I Just went through a whole week like that at work! "Odyssey" is lovely, MJ, and I can see that both Darla and I have rather underestimated the power of a Lumpy! Good job on "Graylands" — Roberta didn't take the easy way out of the "horribly irredeemable nasty female sorceress." Good stuff, that. "The Message" was just plain cute — not meant derogatorily, mind you. I happen to like cute things (puppies, kittens, baby Wookiees). I dunno about that Misty Lackey, though. Too 'ose for words... [21]

Issue 14

Shadowstar 14 was published in Spring 1984 and contains 136 pages.

front cover of issue #14, Mark Wallace and Mary Jean Holmes
back cover of issue #14, Wanda Lybarger
flyer for issue #14, printed in Far Realms #6
From the editorial:

This next announcement is unique in the history of this fanzine, and is probably the one and only time I'll ever find it necessary to make it. We don't need prose contributors for #15. We seem to have gotten a rather large influx of new writers just after issue #14 filled up, not to mention stuff from our regular contributors (including L.J. Juliano and Kathryn Sullivan, whom some readers may have missed these past few issues). Now, poetry is still fine, as is anything very short, and we do need illustrators and cartoonists, so please, if you're interested in trying your hand at illustrating something, let me know ASAP. With summer approaching, I look forward to "vacation' (meaning the longest gap between issues), and would just as soon see everything dealt with early, so I can enjoy the break.

This does NOT mean we aren't taking submissions; indeed, come #16, I'm sure to find myself at a lack again. All it means is that anything sent between now and July will probably be held for the Christmastime issue. The #15 deadline for art and short pieces will remain July 20. Okay?

Also, I'm promising myself- that my next novel, Lost in the Shuffle (which is maybe two-thirds complete), will be finished and ready for serialization by next issue. The odds are good that it will be, so, if there's an artist out there who might be interested in illustrating a Han and Lando story, in whole or in part, please let me know.
  • A Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Shady Thoughts: Another Look at "On Being Edited, A Reaction", by Wanda Lybarger (2)
  • Penumbra (4)
  • Night Moves by Misty Lackey ("Diana Tregarde faces a nameless horror who stalks and kills in the streets of New York, and her only help is a benevolent vampire...") (10)
  • The Contest (18)
  • Winner #1: The Black Mountain by Roberta Stuemke (20)
  • Everything in Life is Temporary, Ain't It? by Marci Ewin (28)
  • Field Promotion by Mary Jean Holmes ("The battle is over, the Emperor destroyed, but, two days later, not all is quiet on the Alliance front...") (29)
  • Haiku by Kathryn Agel (45)
  • High Line by Misty Lackey ("In their endless search for a Patrol Base and employment, Darla and the Dawntreader meet an unusual man...and his even more unusual stories...") (46)
  • Shadowed Sight by Linda Knights ("Captured by a former Imperial Jedi-killer, can Luke hope to escape before he himself is destroyed?") (52)
  • The Wedding Trip by Joyce Devine and Lynda Vandiver (61)
  • The Lykonian, part one by Mike Winkle (65)
  • Obligatory Sick Cartoon (72)
  • Valley of the Shadow, part one by Pat Molitor ("Following the death of his father in the battle over Endor, Jorann Piett finds himself besieged by nightmares, and his quest to explain it takes him first to Luke Skywalker, then, ultimately, to the world of the Sith, where a terrible secret awaits him...") (78)
  • Limericks by Ann Huizenga (84)
  • World Walker by Misty Lackey (98)
  • "Decoy". Archived from the original on 2002-03-10.  Part 3 (the conclusion) by Linda Ruth Pfonner (After being rescued from the carbon freeze, Han is accused of being an Imperial spy, and his past is revealed.) (103)
  • Puzzles by Lynda Vandiver and Marci Erwin (101)
  • ads (136)
  • Jean Danielsen, Marci Erwin, Mary Jean Holmes (front cover), Wanda Lybarger (back cover and one illo that previously appeared in Jundland Wastes), Martynn, Karen Pauli, Carol Paulson, John Sies, Mark Wallace (back cover), Mary Wood

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 14

I enjoyed Roberta Stuemke's "The Black Mountain." I can understand why it was one of your winners. It was creative, and it was an interesting sequel to her "Last Dark Lord." I liked "Field Promotion," too. Wedge deserved his new appointment and promotion. My favorite story in #14 was Pat Molitor's "Valley of the Shadow." I can't wait to read the next part of the story. Jorann Piett and Ariel Merriad are likeable characters. It was nice that Leia finally found a friend she could talk with and share a project with (Ariel and her plans to reintroduce plants and animals on the planet Damaris). I enjoyed Luke's conversation with his father, too. "Worldwalker" by Misty Lackey was cute. It was a different kind of Mary Sue story. (Gee, what did you say to Luke, Mary Jean?)

I didn't like Linda Ruth Pfonner's novel. Decoy. It started out well enough in #12. It was an interesting idea to have Han marked with an Imperial code number. Unfortuantely, it went downhill from there, in my eyes. It ended up following the same, old, much over-done pattern that so many other stories in other 'zines do: that, despite terrible injury, Han manages to 1). save the day, 2). win the girl, 3). discover his hidden Force talents, and 4). make Luke look foolish. In addition to looking foolish in this story, Luke is also made to look very self-centered and rather nasty. Near the end of the story, Pfonner has Luke say to Han, "Up until yesterday, I was so jealous of you, I could've cheerfully killed you — except that it would've hurt Leia, and I love her." I believe that line is totally out of character for Luke! I can believe that he could be jealous, but jealous enough to "cheerfully" kill?!! Ho way!!! I don't think Han, Leia, Lando, Chewie, or most especially Luke could have "cheerfully" killed anyone — not even an enemy, let alone a best friend! I'm sorry, but I'm afraid that this story was another example of where Luke's character gets dumped on in order to further build up Han's character, and I DON'T APPRECIATE THOSE STORIES!! If you want to build up a character, fine, but don't tear down another character to do so!

[Editor: I find this situation rather interesting, since the two authors you seem to be fond of (Pat Molitor and Mary Wood) are both Lake fans whom I had to brow-beat a bit in order to stop them from portraying Luke as in infallible person. At any rate, I have this to say in defense of Linda's story: first off hers is an alternate universe taking off from the end of TESB and going on into the future^ Now, while I firmly believe that the Luke we know at the end of ROTJ would not behave in quite this manner, Luke at the beginning of Decoy has yet to go through the confrontation with his inner Dark Side. Since, in Linda's tale, it is plainly not to be his battle with Vader, I have always believed that it was his almost consuming Jealousy that took its place, in this story. Look at Luke on the DEATH STAR in ROTJ; we see any of a number of moments when he is poised on the brink of falling into the Dark, very obviously of a mind that he could cheerfully do away with either Vader or the Emperor or both. To me, it has never been a sign of nastiness or denigration on the author's part when Luke makes that statement to Han rather, it's a sign of personal growth and inner maturity that he could and does admit to his blackest thoughts. He faces his Dark Side, and goes past it.
Secondly, this was not intended as . a story of Luke's quest to vanquish Vader, Luke's personal growth, Luke's acceptance of loss in love. Linda intended it to be Han's story, and, since that was her intention — and her right — that is the basis on which we, the readers, should accept it. If personal tastes and preference don't coincide, then I recommend the reader just skip over it. At any rate, virtually nothing is known of Han Solo's past. That very sense of the unknown, of mystery, makes him a very fertile ground for the imagination. He has that same 'je ne sais quoi' that many characters both past and present have to spark imaginations. There's nothing wrong with it, and that very lack of concrete knowledge is bound to produce some very wild speculations. Regardless of my oersonal beliefs (which I express in this issue's SHADY THOUGHTS), as an editor, I try to divorce myself from the controversy and simply look for the merit of the story itself, and I found this one well-written and well-considered, from a rather technical point of view. Whether or not Linda's speculation is Lucas-truth is beside the point; it is internally consistent, and the characters behave, for the most part, as they would, given the circumstances and context of the story. It doesn't really matter what the fans choose to believe. For all we know, Han may turn out to be nothing more than he appears — a common pilot and smuggler who throws in with the rebellion — perhaps much more. This is up to Lucas to decide. Meanwhile, I find it neither harmful nor disturbing to see healthy debate and "what if?"s circulate, especially those that are presented with talent and interest.
Lastly, Linda's Decoy draws a great deal of its flavor from Frank Herbert's Dune. This is not at all objectionable, since, by his own admission, Lucas was also influenced by this classic. The fact that Linda chose to tell the tale of the leader of the Sardaukar rather than that of Muad'dib is her prerogative. The reader's is to pick and choose from what is offered. If, however, a reader happens to dislike it because of personal bias, that in no way lessens the writer's effort. The only other suggestion I can offer is: if you don't like what's being published, why not try writing some of your own? Perhaps your point of view could best expressed that way, and others could appreciate it better.
I do not offer these comments out of sarcastic, angry, or malicious intentt if any offense is taken from them, I sincerely apologize. Howevers since the items presented in any publication are ultimately the choice of the editor, I feel compelled to defend my selection of what I found to be an excellent story. Had I deemed Decoy objectionable on either the basis of character or plot, I would not have hesitated to reject it. However, in my readings of other 'zines, I have seen equal guilt on both sides of this question. Supporters of Han who portray Luke as a hick, or want him to fall to the Dark so that Han can save the universet and fans of Luke who either ignore the character of Han completely, or portray him as habitually drunken, dense as a black star, or, in general, crude in comparison to shining Luke. I prefer neither situationt hence, the stories I will choose to present in SHADOWSTAR offer, in my opinion, acceptable depictions of both characters. Individual story emphasis, however, remains the domain of the author.] [17]

I refuse to comment on the Lykoniad, because I'm already several chapters ahead of you folk — Mike brings us the new ones every other week. I'll just say you're in for a lot more than you realize, at the moment.

I also refuse to comment on this Lackey person — why do you print her stuff, anyway? If anybody is slightly confused, though, chronologically, "High Line" comes before "Masks."

"The Black Mountain" had me fooled for a bit. I never pegged Han as an exorcist — or would "medium" be a better term, I wonder? Can't wait to see the other contest winner, since this was first-rate.

Justice triumphs in "Field Promotion." A good tight story, and a darn good read. "Wedding Trip" was absolutely priceless. It's very hard to write humor, and this was pulled off beautifully. Threepio's character come through clear as anything — the fussbudget!

And finally, the last part of Decoy! Good work, good ending. Very satisfactory. But what I'd like to know is how Han managed to get Leia preggers when he seemed to spend so much of his time in sickbay. Is there something about that sickbay you're not telling us, hmm?

I may not be able to live until September and #15. [22]

You truly amaze me! I know I have said this before, but the more I read of your SW writing, the more I enjoy it. Your story lines and characters just fit right into George Lucas' universe so well. I know you get embarrassed easily, but you have become my favorite writer of SW fiction. I hope you never stop writing. Just like George, your writing has humor without being slapstick; suspense with believability; you stir the imagination, and always leave the reader wanting more. I can hardly wait until this coming winter for your Illuminations. I'm sure I won't be disappointed, as I do favor that good-looking Corellian.

"Field Promotion" was extremely clever, and proved that, even when you're dealing with a minor character from the SF universe, you make them believable and human. The conclusion to Decoy was quite enjoyable, even if Han seems to get quite black and blue in all of Linda's writings. [You noticed that, too...?] Actually, I enjoy it; my tastes run along the same lines as Linda's, and she does always have a happy ending.

I think you made an excellent decision by adding your Junior Editor to your staff. However, I do wish he would take a line from his Senior Editor and write a story or two on his adventures with Dad, Han, and Company. His point of view is quite enjoyable. [17]

Issue 15

front cover #15, L.J. Juliano, Mary Wood, Mary Jean Holmes, Wanda Lybarger
back cover of issue #15, Martynn

Shadowstar 15 was published in Summer 1984 and contains 157 pages.

From the editorial:

You may note a general lack of illustrations this time. This is not entirely due to the long delays, but primarily because this monster was getting out of hand. Since I have vowed to never publish an issue with an in-person price of more than $10, it was a tough task keeping the length (and cost) down. I hope no one's terribly disappointed. We've tried to make up for the general dearth with some top-notch stuff. I hope we succeeded.

This issue may also have one of the shortest PENUMBRAs to date. It's rather puzzled me that we've had virtually no LOCs, of late. I hope that doesn't mean interest is flagging...?
  • Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Shady Thoughts: A Theory to Explain the Universe (According to George Lucas) by Mary Jean Holmes (2)
  • Fuzzy Thoughts: On Wookiees and Fan Fiction by Lumpawarrump, Junior Editor (4)
  • Penumbra (7)
  • Sundering by Jeanine Hennig (Star Wars) (12)
  • Valley of the Shadow, conclusion by Pat Molitor (original fantasy) (16)
  • The Lykoniad, part two by Mike Winkle (original fiction) (40)
  • Setting Up Housekeeping by Joyce Devine and Lynda Vandiver (Star Wars) (45)
  • Nightblade, the Continuing Adventures of the Dragon by L.J. Juliano (original comic) (49)
  • After Endor by Kathryn Agel (contest winner) (part of Starbird's Children Universe) (Star Wars) (56)
  • Crossword Puzzle by Marci Erwin (68)
  • Flashback to a Nightmare by Linda Ruth Pfonner (contest winner) (Star Wars) (69)
  • Conversation with a Unicorn, poem by Karin Sygowicz (101)
  • Dreams and Nightmares by Misty Lackey (Dawntreader and Darla) (102)
  • The Crocked Corellian by Karen Klinck (Star Wars) (115)
  • The Proconsul by Sean Linderman (original science fiction) (119)
  • Aros by Rosalinda Arias (original fantasy) (122)
  • Obligatory Sick Cartoon: "If I only had a hand." (129)
  • Change of Heart, vignette by Ann Wortham (Star Wars) (130)
  • three poems by Chris Smith (131)
  • The Oklahoma Weedwhacker Massacree, filk by Misty Lackey (132)
  • Lost in the Shuffle, part one of a Star Wars novel by Mary Jean Holmes (133)
  • ads (158)
  • art by Martynn (back cover), Jean Danielsen, Anne Davenport, Marci Erwin, Mary Jean Holmes (front cover), Jenni, L.J. Juliano (front cover), Wanda Lybarger (front cover), Virginia Rogers, John Rides, Mark Wallace, Mary Wood (front cover)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 15

SHADOWSTAR #15 is, as usual, excellent, and if I don't necessarily agree with every storyline, I do feel all the stories are well-written and enjoyable. Anyway, if all fan fiction read with the same point of view, it would get pretty boring. I enjoy diversity when it is well-written, with believable characters.

Jeanine Hennig's "Sundering" — I am also a fan of Jeanine's. In fact, her 'zine (FAR REALMS) was the very first fanzine I ever read. I innocently picked it up one time, the cover caught my interest, not even knowing what was in it. Jeanine and her "Catalyst!" series got me hooked from that moment I Not being a part of that universe, "Sundering" presented a different point of view. I have read a few stories of late dealing with Luke's and Leia's birth, but this was the first one that presented an interesting twist of fate; it starts one to thinking. Although it is hard to imagine that Ben would deceive his own daughter, who would have believed that he would've lied to Luke about his father? [Ed: I would've. Jedi or not. Obi-wan, like all the others, is only a fallible mortal -- like Anakin, like Luke.., Of course, I know not everyone thinks the way I do...] I like Jeanine's concept that Ben is Luke's maternal grandfather, which therefore makes Owen Lars Luke's real uncle. It makes sense.

As of this date, I have not finished reading part two of "Valley of the Shadow" by Pat Molitor. As the majority of this story deals with a character that is not in SW, I have a little difficulty finishing it, although I do plan on reading it, since I enjoyed part one. I'll therefore hold my comments on it. [Ed: Hm. Y'know, I'm beginning to get more and more comments of this type coming across my desk, SW fans who have little interest or difficulty in reading SW stories that do not deal with the characters we all know and love (or hate). I've always thought this was so the fans are more Interested in reading about the people they already love, and aren't always interested in hearing tales about people they don't know at all-- which is why my own fan fiction has and will always deal with those people and/or characters who are somehow intrinsically connected with them. This is not to say I dislike peripheral stories, such as Pat's (obviously, or I wouldn't print 'em); it's just interesting to see my assumption proved true. As Mr. Spock would say, fascinating.

I really enjoyed "After Endor" by Kathryn Agel. She uses her own character, Cara, very well, and fits her in with the other SW characters, as if she belongs. I look forward to her "Starbird's Children" stories in 'zines whenever they appear. She has taken ROTJ and has gone on. I enjoy it when writers develop their own universe, as it enables me to get to know the characters better with each new story I read — kind of like Star Wars. Another thing that I admire is that, although it is clear that Han is perhaps the main emphasis in her universe, she keeps each character on target and shows a respect for their strengths and humor. Although I doubt that we will find that Han has a sister in George Lucas' version, Cara brings with her an extension of Han's prior life and lets us see the "marshmallow" middle of Corellians in general! Though this story did not have a great deal of real action or plot, it did let us see the growing love and friendship between all the SW characters, particularly Luke's and Han's mutual respect and caring, not only for Leia, but for each other. I do feel that the relationships revealed in ROTJ are viable and important. The only problem is that the film did not expand on the emotional sides of those relationships. That is where fanzines can do so much for the Saga and add the depth that George Lucas did not. Kathy does this well, with a light hand and a sense of humor.

"Flashback to a Nightmare" (aka "N'ot a Scratch" — good subtitle; Linda showed great restraint this time around in keeping our Corellian in one piece!), was a good selection for your co-winner. Linda took your rendering and used her unusual imagination to make it come alive. Sometimes, I think Linda has a little devil in her pen. Ogrini — how despicable, UGH! By the way, are they any relation to your Phryllian monks in A Light from the Dark? [Not as far as I know; Linda's got a nasty streak all her own...] If there is anything to quibble with in the story, it's that I can't quite picture Han as a politician or Senator. Tact was not his strong point. I'd think more along the lines of him playing an active role in the new Republic's starfleet (can't you just see a whole fleet of souped-up x-wings?), as opposed to arguing with a lot of stuffy politicians. I would think his verbal battles with Leia would be enough! However, the rest of the story did hold up well and were, for the most part, in character. Although Linda's Han may seem a little too sentimental for some, I feel that softer side has always been there, even in the movies; he just keeps it covered up, and Linda lets it out. I particularly liked his quiet and awed reaction to Leia's pregnancy.

My personal view is that, if George Lucas does favor us with a final trilogy, it will be this child/children of Han's and Leia's that will be the focus.

Back to "Flashback." I enjoyed the action, and found Leia's and Han's growing relationship to be tender and full of mutual admiration. Linda did a remarkable job of bringing your illustration to life, and fit all the pieces of the picture into the story in a natural, unforced way. Wanda's illos, while different from yours, fit well with the story; I was grateful that Linda recruited her. Her art always adds so much to a story.

I love both yours and Wanda's art, and, although your styles are different, they both always display emotions and action, and the characters are identifiable. It's a tribute to you, Mary Jean, as an artist and storyteller that your contest could come up with two such well-written, thought out, and different storylines to one illustration. I've seen other such contests in 'zines that received little or no entries. Your art, like your writing, spurs the imagination and leaves the reader wanting more.

Talking about illos, the back cover by Martynn was beautiful. It caught the essence of the ending of ROTJ.

"The Crocked Corellian" and "Setting Up Housekeeping" were both good pieces of humor and easy reading. In regards to "Setting Up Housekeeping" — Leia can get a little pushy at times, but then, can't we all! Although I don't see Han giving in so easily — he may have a soft center, but he's not a pushover — I did enjoy the way that C3P0 actually looked to him for salvation — another first!

"Change of Heart" by Ann Wortham was an extremely well-written and touching vignette. At times, many such short pieces leave me feeling unsatisfied, but when they are good, they are very, very good. It isn't often someone can say so much with so little — a true sign of talent.

I'll leave most of my comments on Lost in the Shuffle until I've read more. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that, before your novel is over, we might be meeting Lando and the Falcon. Although we've all read many stories featuring the young, impulsive, reckless, and foolish Han Solo, I have a feeling that LITS isn't just another adventure, but will show us one of those experiences that made him into the man we see in the SW Saga; not perfect, but someone who has always learned things the hard way. Those are usually the lessons we learn best, anyway; thinking with out hearts instead of our heads — such as Han does in LITS when he signs the contract to help Chewie — can sometimes get one into trouble, but it's what makes us human (thank God!). I guess the trick is learning the right balance. Han's later cynicism is most likely the result of bouts with "heart-over-head" that left him hurting as an older Solo. But it's that same kind of emotion that compelled him to stay with Luke and Leia, and finally showed him that yes, it can hurt, but it's also what leads to the best things in life. To roe, this is what all the SW characters are learning. The main thing is to remember, perhaps, is that as soon as we think we've got the balance right, something or someone else will probably come along and teach us a new lesson!

Finally, I would like to say that, to bring such love, thoughtfulness, and humor (humor is the ingredient that keeps us all sane) to your writing, it has to be there in abundance in the first place. And thank God you have the talent that allows people like me — who may never meet you in person — to share it!

Well, this is about the longest LoC I've ever written, and I hope I didn't embarrass myself by going on and on. I don't always express myself in words as well as others do. I guess that's why you write and I buy. Thank you all for sharing![23]

I really liked your editorial in #15; I like your opinion of the Lucas/official version of the SW universe. It's very consistent with the films, and that's all that really counts. It's our job as writers to match our stories to his world, and not vice-versa. Your chemistry-set analogy actually set the characters in their proper places very neatly. It's often difficult to recall that the Saga is equally co-dependent on all its major characters. We could have had an equally ubstantial tale without the droids (the Lady knows I cheered when they blasted C3P0 on Bespin!), or without Admiral Piett, or without Lando being quite the person he is. But the Saga without Han? or Luke? or Leia, or Chewie, or Vader, or Ben? or the Emperor? or even Uncle Owen? No, it would have been much diminished. All are needed. It does a writer good to re-examine this fact periodically. Sometimes, for the sake of a particular story, certain characters are intentionally shuffled offstage — see my story in #15 for a prime example. Not every scene in the Trilogy has all the characters in it. But the shuffling-off must be consistent with the characters, and their presence in the lives of the people they're not with must be preserved.

I find myself more and more becoming irritated by the fan-writers who, for reasons of their own, must introduce facets from other universes, such as Pern or Elfquest, into the SW universe, and change all the personalities of the SW characters to fit the introductions. I especially object to stories that make our Trio helpless, while some new, introduced character sweeps in out of nowhere to save the day. That's cheating. If your introduced character is that powerful a personality, then he/she/it deserves a universe of his/her/its own. Don't clutter up the SW universe — it's cluttered enough as it is. [Ed: Oh my. It's good to hear someone who shares one of my opinions concerning fan fiction, I have no objection to stories that describe brief or humorous crossovers between universes -- again, I wouldn't print 'em, if I did — but I do object to those that require serious permanent alterations to one side or the other in order to accommodate the cross. My strongest objection to "new characters" in fan stories are those in which the writer has created a character of his or her own, and changes the already established personalities andlor relationships between the pre-existing characters to strengthen or permit the introduction of the newcomer(s), That smacks of Mary-Su-ishness. I have no qualms about stories set in the SW in which the created characters have adventures of their own — witness this issue's "Honor's Price"; the ability to craft an interesting story set in a known universe that does not require the pre-established characters in order to captivate an audience is its own art. But when the new comes in and outshines the. old at the old's expense... I do a slow burn every time I read such tales. Of course, this is only my opinion, but I find I can stomach only so many incursions into extreme "alternate universes."]

Whew. Forgive the soapboxing. I've been reading some extraordinarily peculiar 'zines lately. Of course, I may have been equally guilty of such things as I vehemently decry, but I hope not. I try to minimize such wholesale plagiarism. Of course, Mary Jean, you're convinced that I modeled the Sekadavar of Decoy after the Sardaukar of Herbert's Dune. The names are intentionally similarly sibilant; their functions as a group are clearly similar. Yet I think Herbert intentionally dehumanized both the Sardaukar and Fedaykin; they were both fanatically loyal groups of followers. My Sekadavar object to the label. Also, I cannot find any significant parallel between Han Tharsen and Captain Aramsham. I borrowed the concept of a clan of bodyguards, but I did not steal the Sardaukar. [Ed: And I don't believe you did, either. I merely meant to point out that you, like Lucas, have paid homage to Herbert's classic in your story; in fact, I find it singularly appropriate that you did, considering that Lucas himself admits to a certain influence and homage-paying in his universe. (Really, if one stops to think about it, one can find parallels between many of the Dune characters and those in Lucas Saga. But I will not get into that here; I could write a long dissertation on the matter.) There's nothing wrong in making nods to one's roots and influences in one's writings; I do it frequently, myself, and not always with finesse (take Skred in LITS, for instance).]

I think the reason I wrote Decoy as I did was in response to all those people who were getting so vehement about how Han was really just a petty criminal who got swept into the Rebellion by accident, and that Luke is the Prophesied Hero, so of course, Luke gets to save the day and get the girl. In reality, things never work out quite that neatly. Sure, SW is a fairy tale, but only in its structure. The detailing is modern. Han is the dash of strong reality, sharp as a handful of freshly-ground ginger root, against which Luke often perceives himself as a Pawn of Destiny. Han's successful attachment of Leia only encourages Luke's perception of himself as outside the bounds of normality.

Okay. Enough. Onward to the rest of the 'zine!

"Fuzzy Thoughts." Nicely done, for a first effort — which it isn't, really. And you know that I agree with Lumpy on this; I try to treat Chewie like the elder brother and foster father that he really is as much as I can. It's just that sometimes, it isn't always easy. Sometimes, I have to get rid of him (and Luke, and I nearly always dispense with the droids!) in order for Han to stumble around on his own. He'll never learn to watch out for sharp things if Chewie is always there to dull the danger. The best adventure stories are those in which the hero learns something, whether it be an external fact or a new potential within himself. Stress forces the learning, and security is the antithesis of stress.

"Penumbra." Well, the consensus on Decoy seems to be about two to one for, so I'm happy. Even the one letter that didn't express approval (I only cried a little, she fibbed) had a valid objection, not against my story individually, but against all the trash-the-hero stories she's been reading. But that's like someone who recently grumbled that there were too many matriarchies in fantasy literature, when there is not a scrap of evidence that there were ever such things in reality. The answer, of course, is that fiction often compensates for reality, if we can call the Lucasfilm productions "reality" of a sort. I write mostly about Han because there is so much space there to work with. We know almost nothing about him, except for what we actually saw on the screen. So the writers get to play with him. I'm hesitant to play so fast and loose with Luke, since he's Lucas' protagonist, and Lucas is obviously taking him somewhere. I don't like my stories to flagrantly violate what we see on the screen. Decoy and most of my fiction was written before ROTJ, and concerned what happened to Han when he was defrosted. I wrote them because we didn't know how Lucas was going to treat the rescue. One thing I'm rather proud of was that I, too, regularly made the defrosting 95% perfect — he usually suffered frost-damage blindness immediately after the melt, although I'm at a loss to explain how his vision could have healed itself, as Lucas said it did. But that's a minor point.

To the fiction!

"Sundering" by Jeanine Hennig. Lovely, lovely piece, so full of foreshadowing echoes... We've all read many versions of Luke's birth, and, since we found out about the twins, Leia's, too... Yet this one feels right, proper...

"Valley of the Shadow," part two by Pat Molitor. I've always had trouble with Pat's stories. They're good; there's no question that the girl can write. But they're all about Imperials that I really have no interest in, and I have so much difficulty dealing with that dichotomy — a good story about people I dislike — that I can't really give an honest evaluation. Sorry.

"Setting Up Housekeeping" by Joyce Devine and Lynda Vandiver. Hysterical. Utterly. 'Nuff said.

"Nightblade" by Larry Juliano. I'm confused. And that's all I'm going to say!

"After Endor" by Kathryn Agel. I like this cycle, and this story's fun to read. I just wish they were numbered or something, and I knew where they all were...

"People and Creatures Crossword" by Marci Erwin. This was fun. I xeroxed it at work, and we had loads of fun doing it. Good job!

"Flashback to a Nightmare" by me. Well, yes. I was rather pleased to be named a co-winner ("Black Mountain" was a neat story!). This one started as a series of fragments, and I decided as an exercise in self-control not to trash anyone, especially Han. Much to my amazement, I succeeded. You say you have a corps of Professional Naggers, Mary Jean? I have only two — you and Wanda Lybarger. But Wanda nags good. That's how she got to illo this story; I admitted to her that I was writing an entry in your contest, and she wanted to read it, so I sent her a copy of them.

"Conversation With a Unicorn" by Karin Zygowicz. Beautiful, just beautiful.

"Dreams and Nightmares" by Misty Lackey. This one is lots of fun! I love Duke! I sometimes wonder if Darla and Dawn and Derek and Duke isn't carrying alliteration a bit too far, but, hey, it's all fun!

"The Crocked Corellian" by Karen Klinck. Karen's my housemate, and I've read this story a lot over the past three or six years; it's been floating around here since 1978 or thereabouts. I don't think I'll say anything more than that.

"The Proconsul" by Sean Linderman. Sean is a good friend of mine, too, and I returned the arm-twisting it took to get me to submit by swiping this ms from her desk and mailing it to you. I think it's a neat piece, regardless of the fact that I cannot like Alaris any more than I can Jorann Piett.

"Aros" by Rosalinda Arias. Beautiful work; it seems a shame that the prozines really don't have a place for stories like this; it deserves professional publication. Obligatory Sick Cartoon. Very sick. Very.

"Change of Heart" by Ann Wortham. Except for the jarringly inappropriate phrase "in her heart of hearts," this is a magnificent story. Poetry by Chris Smith. Very nice.

"The Oklahoma Weedwhacker Massacree" by Misty Lackey. Lady, you are one warped person!

Lost in the Shuffle by Ye Editore. Hmph. If you hadn't sent me the entirety of this particularly vicious trash-Han piece, I'd've just had to come swoopin' down on you to snatch it right out o' your disk drive. That's a terrible place to end a segment! Gods, it hurts to see him hurting like that — and I don't mean the cracked jaw! And people tell me I torment the hapless Corellian — And it does go on for longer, too! [23]

Issue 16

Shadowstar 16 was published in Fall 1984 and contains 121 pages. This issue did not print any letters of comment.

front cover issue #16, Mary Jean Holmes
back cover of issue #16, Mary Jean Holmes
From the editorial:

I may be entirely possible that this issue presented us more knotty last-minute problems than any other to date, despite its lack of exceeding length. Murphy's Law strikes again; because we had so very little time in which to prepare both this and ILLUMINATIONS, it simply had to be a proverbial pain-in-the-klarn. Remember that choke-a-bantha issue we had last time? The 170 page monster? This time, the problem was reversed. Once everything was typed up and printed, we found ourselves coming dreadfully short of anything akin to a decent page count. We kept adding and adding and adding, and still, things came up short.

In retrospect I can see three major reasons for why this is so: A. the average length of the contributions intended for this issue was relatively short, B. the extremely tight lead-time between this issue and the last forced a virtual dearth of art; most artists find it tough to fit things in on a two-week deadline, especially when they and I live some hundreds of miles apart, and C. unforeseen difficulties forced the withdrawal of one of the more lengthy pieces from this issue.

Speaking of both B and C: although we indicated last issue that this publication would include the first part of "Honor's Price" (from The Pirate and the Lady) by Christine Jeffords and Eluki bes Shahar, an art snafu forced us to put it on hold. Hopefully, the matter will be cleared up by #17, so that we can bring you the start of a truly fascinating tale. Our apologies to both the readers and the authors. I just hate when things like this happen.

Well, all these problems aside, we have a marvelous diversity of short tales for you this time, both humorous and tragic. Brevity in no way lessens the quality of these pieces, and we hope you enjoy them all.
  • A Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Shady Thoughts: An Open Letter to George Lucas by Dorothy P. Freda (2)
  • A Christmas Carol? by Mary Jean Holmes (Star Wars) (3)
  • Cry Havoc! by Misty Lackey (original fiction?) (11)
  • "Star Lord" and "Other Times," two poems by Chris Smith (15)
  • The Loremaster's Apprentice by Kathryn Sullivan (original fantasy) (16)
  • Allies by Roberta Stuemke ("Not all the entries in our recent contest were winners, but, as I said, they were all good. Here we have another of Roberta s, the one that didn't win. She asked my permission to set it in the post-ROTJ universe I had devised, and I happily conceded.") (Star Wars) (18)
  • word search puzzle by Lynda Vandiver (24)
  • The Lykoniad, part three by Mike Winkle (original fiction) (25)
  • Over the Rainbow? by Misty Lackey (Includes a bit of Tuckerism: "Once again, this submission, like its predecessor ("Worldwalker", SHADOWSTAR #14), was not in any way solicited ('cept maybe for saying "yes" when the author asked if she could send it). Although it might have been better-suited for publication in one of our other 'zines (due to its specific subject matter), we include it here in part to balance off the incredible morosity of Misty's submission "Cry Havoc!" and in part because of the editor's "oblique" inclusion within it (hey, I get a name this time!). The plot thickens.") (Diana Tregarde/Indiana Jones) (44)
  • Space Lover's Puzzle by Marci Erwin (crossword puzzle) (50)
  • Interlude in the Kilghard Hills by Mary Frances Zambreno (Stars Wars/Darkover) ("The following is a story set in an alternate universe -- combining versions of two different universes -- neither of which should ever have been permitted within a half-mile of each other. Still, one can't help wondering...") (52)
  • Anakin, poem by Pat Molitor (Star Wars) (60)
  • I am a Jedi, illo by D.L. Miller (Star Wars) (62)
  • Selkie, Selkie by Misty Lackey (Diana Tregarde) (64)
  • Name Game, word search by Marci Erwin (68)
  • You Can Fool Some of the People... by Karen Klinck (Star Wars) (70)
  • Let it Be a Tombstone by Kenneth Goltz (original science fiction) (73)
  • It's Not My Fault, poem by Ann Wortham (78)
  • Luke Skywalker's Response to "The Mary Sue Fan Fiction Blues" by Jacqueline Taero (A response to the "Mary Su Fan Fiction Blues," which appeared in Shadowstar #9) (Star Wars) (79)
  • An Evening with a Solo by Joyce Devine (Star Wars) (80)
  • Carbonized Corellian, poem by Marci Erwin (Star Wars) (83)
  • The Coming of Darkness by Terry O'Brien (original science fiction) (84)
  • Lost in the Shuffle, part two of a Star Wars novel by Mary Jean Holmes (Star Wars) (89)
  • ads (122)
  • art by Mary Jean Holmes (both covers), Wanda Lybarger, Martynn, Karen Pauli, Carol Paulson, Virginia Rogers, John Sies, Mark Wallace, Mary WOod

Issue 17

Shadowstar 17 was published in Winter 1985 and contains 144 pages.

front cover from issue #17, Mary Jean Holmes
back cover from issue #17, Wanda Lybarger, as also used as art for Final Act of Love as it was printed in Bright Center of the Universe #5
From the editorial:

Herein you will find the first of two parts of "Honor's Price," by Christine Jeffords andd Eluki bes Shahar. Unfortunately, you will not find the artwork by the artist who was originally intended to illustrate it. It's been a very perplexing and frustrating matter; I blame no one in particular for the snafu (except, perhaps, the Post Offal, which has a fondness for eating certain of my letters), and apologize to both Chris and Eluki, as well as to that ill-starred artist, and you, the readers. I would've loved to see her work grace these pages — and I'm certain it would've enhanced everyone's enjoyment of the story — but I also felt it unfair for the authors to face numerous delays in publication because of an unpredicted and unpredictable foul-up. Hence, Mary Wood and I took on the task at almost literally the last minute. It's an excellent tale, and I hope this compromise is satisfactory all around.

Speaking of quirks in the realm of art: while going through our collection of orphaned "fillos" — scattered independent bits of artwork used to fill dreaded White Space — I found that we're accruing rather a large number of excellent pieces that haven't found homes for one of three reasons: A. beautifully narrative though they might be, they'd been drawn completely at whim and hence have no story to go with the ; B. when their accompanying stories went to press, they'd been bumped for space reasons or such; or, C. the stories they do go with will, for various reasons, never be published. (How's that for a run-on sentence?) Ergo, you will find at points throughout this issue (and most likely in the next few, as well) drawings that look like they should be part of some story, but aren't. (Case in point: the drawing on page 27 was done for my story "Field Promotion," but circumstances prevented its publication. And that drawing on the back cover... shame on you, Wanda!) Enjoy them.
  • Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Shady Thoughts: Why I Like Reading/Writing Fan Fiction by Misty Lackey (2)
  • Fuzzy Thoughts, tongue-in-cheek essay by a wookiee about why fans are now more excited about the Ewoks than the Wookiees (4)
  • Penumbra (6)
  • Ties of Life -- and Death by Jeanine Hennig (chapter in the Catalyst series) (Star Wars) (12)
  • Companion by Melody Luke (science fiction) (28)
  • The Hearth Calleth, poem by Paula Freda (30)
  • Star Wars Double Trouble Puzzle by Marci Erwin (35)
  • Alien, poem by Paul Freda (reprinted from "Small Press Writers and Artists' Organization Showcase" IV, 1984) (36)
  • Not for Burning by Misty Lackey (science fiction) (37)
  • Honor's Price, part one by Christine Jeffords and eluki bes shahar (part of the Brightstar Universe) (Star Wars) (47)
  • Imagine and Ride Other Wings, two poems by Chris Smith ("Imagine" was originally published in "SPWAO Newsletter" v.6 n.5, 1984) (74)
  • Jedi Character Hunt by Marci Erwin (75)
  • Looking Glass by Mary Frances Zambreno (76)
  • Flights of Fancy, poem by Paula Freda (reprinted from "Labyrinth" -- spring 1983) (83)
  • The Lykoniad, part four by Mike Winkle (science fiction)(83)
  • Lost in the Shuffle, part three by Mary Jean Holmes (Star Wars) (97)
  • ads (157)
  • art by Jean Danielsen, Mary Jean Holmes, Jenni Hennig, Misty Lackey, Melody Luke, Wanda Lybarger (back cover), Martynn, Karen Pauli, Carol Paulson, John Sies, Mary Wood

Issue 18

Shadowstar 18 was published in Spring 1985 and contains 170 pages.

cover of issue #18, Mary Jean Holmes
  • Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Penumbra (2)
  • A Midsummer's Nightmare by Misty Lackey (6)
  • The Price of Amber by Roberta Stuemke (25)
  • The Price of Amber by Paula Freda (34)
  • Fire of the Mind, part one by Mary Jean Holmes (36) (winner of a 1986 Fan Q)
  • Thoughts of Love by Marci Erwin (67)
  • The Princess and the Pirate by Ellen Randolph (reprinted in Sanctuary) (68)
  • Word Search Puzzle by Lynda Vandiver (73)
  • Honor's Price, conclusion by Christine Jeffords and eluki bes shahar (part of the Brightstar Universe) (Star Wars) (74)
  • Obligatory Sick Cartoon (105)
  • Revelations by Ann Wortham (106)
  • Star Words Puzzle by Marci Erwin (108)
  • Special Delivery by Mary Frances Zanbreno (111)
  • Word Search Puzzle by Lynda Vandiver (133)
  • Showdown by Lynda Vandiver (133)
  • Lost in the Shuffle, conclusion by Mary Jean Holmes (137)
  • ads (170)
  • art by Mary Jean Holmes (both covers), L.J. Juliano, Wanda Lybarger, Martynn, Karen Pauli, John Sies, Sandra Williams, Mary Wood

Issue 19

Shadowstar 19 was published in Summer 1985 and contains 194 pages.

cover of issue #19
  • Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Penumbra (2))
  • Crucible by Misty Lackey (8)
  • Special Delivery, part three, Coreillian Holliday by Mary Frances Zambreno (21)
  • Reject by Misty Lackey (51)
  • Alderaan Dawn by Mary Jean Holmes (52)
  • Dark Lady by Ann E. Huizenga (54)
  • The Lykoniad, part five by Mike Winkle (56)
  • Saga Star Search Puzzle by Marci Erwin (78)
  • Fire of the Mind, conclusion by Mary Jean Holmes (79)
  • Poetry by Chris Smith (111)
  • A Good Knight's Rest by L.A. Carr (113)
  • Temper, Temper by Lynda Vandiver (114)
  • The Twin Bond by Kathryn Sullivan (120)
  • Past Imperfect by Pat Nussman (160)
  • A Single Tear in the Eye of Night by Stephen Studach (162)
  • Question by Pat Moliotr (173)
  • Maiden Flight by Lori Juliano (174)
  • The Labyrinth of Darkness, part one by Paula Freda (175)
  • Obligatory Sick Cartoon with Limerick (175)
  • Afterword (194)
  • art by Mary Jean Holmes, June Edwards, L.J. Juliano, Judith Low, Wanda Lybarger, Martynn, Karen Pauli, John Sies, Mark Wallace, Sandra Williams, Mary Wood

Issue 20

Shadowstar 20 was published in Winter 1986 and contains 160 pages. It is all Star Wars.

cover of #20, Mary Woods, Mark Wallace, Mary Jean Holmes
  • Letter from the Editor (1)
  • The Ugliness Without by Paula Freda (2)
  • Locked Room by Mary Frances Zambreno (7)
  • Second Chance by Misty Lackey (25)
  • Knight Dreams by L.A. Carr (29)
  • A Question of Intention by Lynda Vandiver (31)
  • Lando by Paula Freda (34)
  • Not a Hero by Marci Erwin (35)
  • Natural Resouces by Tom N. Traub (36)
  • The Lykoniad, part seven by Mike Winkle (40)
  • Characters, Creatures and Places of TESB, puzzle by Marci Erwin (72)
  • A Very Private Vendetta by Mary Jean Holmes (73)
  • Circle of Love by Mary St. Cyr (117)
  • Old Friends? by Misty Lackey (122)
  • The Labyrinth of Darkness, part two by Paula Freda (139)
  • ads (162)
  • art by Mary Jean Holmes, L.J. Juliano, Wanda Lybarger, Martynn, Karen Puali, John Sies, Mark Wallace, Mary Wood

Issue 21/22

Shadowstar 21/22 was published in Spring/Summer 1986 and contains 244 pages. It has some Blake's 7 content, other fandoms unknown.

cover #21-22
  • Letter to the Editor (1)
  • Shady Thoughts: On Challenger Incident by Mary Jean Holmes (3)
  • Penumbra (5)
  • Solstice by Veronica Wilson (12)
  • Who Ya Gonna Call? by Misty Lackey (15) (The Real Ghostbusters)
  • Word Search Puzzles by Lynda Vandiver (14)
  • The Privilege of Her Burning , part one of two by Christine Jeffords and eluki bes shahar (part of the Brightstar Universe) (23)
  • Dreaming of Dragons by Mary Frances Zambreno (49)
  • The Unveiling by Paula Freda (57)
  • The Windkin by Kathryn Sullivan (58)
  • No Returns by Pat Nussman (64)
  • On Falcon Wings by Kathryn Agel (part of Starbird's Children Universe) (65)
  • Conan the Corinthian by Georgette E. Howard (75)
  • The Lyknoiad by Mike Winkle, (78)
  • The Real World by Jacqueline Taero (101)
  • Jedimania by Pat Militor (102)
  • Journeyer by Karin Zygowicz (108)
  • Slow Dancing by Ann Wortham (109)
  • Obligatory Sick Cartoon (112)
  • Allegro Non Troppo by Mary Wood (113)
  • Tomorrow is the Past by Misty Lackey (138)
  • Musings by Karen Weikert (144)
  • Deductions by Leah Rosenthal and Ann Wortham (145) (reprinted in The Bizarro Zine #1)
  • To the Rescue by Marti Schuller (149)
  • Uncertain Surrender by Barbara Gardner (158)
  • Happily Never After, part one of three by Mary Jean Holmes (159)
  • Deathless in Merredhall by Roberta Stuemke (198)
  • All in the Family by L.A. Carr (210)
  • A Tear by Barbara Gardner (214)
  • A Light Against the Darkness by Ellen Randolph (reprinted in Sanctuary) (215)
  • The Labyrinth of Darkness, part three of four by Paula Freda (220)
  • The Lazy Man's Trilogy Puzzl by Marci Erwin (242)
  • ads (244)
  • art by Kevin Duncan, Marci Erwin, Mary Jean Holmes, L.J. Juliano, Judith Low, Wanda Lybarger (back cover), Martynn, Carol Paulson, Leah Rosenthal, John Sies, Kathy Sullivan, Mark Wallace, Sandra Williams, Mary Woods

Reactions and Reviews

See reactions and reviews for A Light Against the Darkness.

Issue 23

Shadowstar 23 was published in 1986 and contains 177 pages. The cover is composed of art by Mary Jean Holmes, Dani Lane, Mark Wallace, and Mary Wood.

back cover of issue #23, Jean Kluge
front cover #23, Wanda Lybarger
  • Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Penumbra (3)
  • Fuzzy Thoughts, letter to the editor by Malla (Chewbacca's wife) (Star Wars) (7)
  • A Ghost of a Story by Paula Freda (Original fiction) (11)
  • A Call of Atlantis by Thomas M. Egan (16)
  • A Circle of Sonnets by Elizabeth Merrick (Star Wars) (17)
  • You Look Marvellous by Leah Rosenthal and Ann Wortham (Blake's 7) (20)
  • The Womp Rat that Ate Mos Eisley by Jacqueline Taero (Star Wars) (29)
  • The Privilege of Her Burning, conclusion by Christine Jefford and eluki bes shahar (part of the Brightstar Universe) (Star Wars) (30)
  • Star Wars Number Maze by Marci Erwin (52)
  • Witch's Vengeance by Albert J. Manachino (Original fiction) (53)
  • Haiku by Kathryn Agel (Star Wars) (59)
  • Cry of the Banshee by Kathryn Agel (Star Wars) (60)
  • Night Fears by Karen Weikert-Weston (Star Wars) (61)
  • The Return of the Contest (62)
  • Troubleshooter by Misty Lackey (Diana Tregarde/Grimjack) (64) [24]
  • Happily Never After, part two by Mary Jean Holmes (Star Wars) (78)
  • Ultraworld: Tarrant by Pat Nussman (Blake's 7) (121)
  • Promise of a Dream by Marti Schuller (Original fiction) (122)
  • A Dream Came True Today by Marci Erwin (Star Wars) (123)
  • The Lykoniad by Mike Winkle (Original fiction) (124)
  • Luke, Ten Years After by Jacqueline Taero (Star Wars) (144)
  • Powerplay by L.A. Carr (Star Wars) (145)
  • The Labyrinth of Darkness, conclusion by Paula Freda (Star Wars) (155)
  • Word Search Puzzle, Creatures in ROTJ by Lynda Vandiver (177)
  • ads (178)
  • art by Kevin Duncan, Mary Jean Holmes, Jean Kluge (back cover), Dani Lane, Wanda Lybarger, Carol Paulson, John Sies, Mark Wallace, Mary Wood

Issue 24

Shadowstar 24 was published in 1987 and contains 208 pages. It is almost all Star Wars.

cover #24, Dani Lane, Mary Jean Holmes, Mary Wood and Mark Wallace
Avenue of Amenities by Lauralee R. Braun, rough draft form
Avenue of Amenities by Lauralee R. Braun, rough draft form
  • Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Penumbra, Letters from Readers (2)
  • Home by Catriona Campbell (23)
  • Echoes in Silent Company: Leia by Jacqueline Taero (31)
  • Return of the Jedi Puzzle by Marci Erwin (32)
  • Firefall by Pat Nussman and Jacqueline Taero (33)
  • Lady Vader by Amy Sue Seier (36)
  • From Father to Son, part one by Janice Lamel (37)
  • I Hope She's All Right by Paula Freda (64)
  • Obligatory Sick Cartoon (65)
  • Light of the Storm by Mary St. Cyr (66)
  • A New Age Dawning by Marti Schuller (74)
  • Deadly Interlude by Veronica Wilson (91)
  • Fire and Ice by Lynda Vandiver (94)
  • Longafter by L.A. Carr (95)
  • Who Dares? by Barbara Gardner (99)
  • Avenue of Amenities by Lauralee R. Braun (This story was written in 1985, see images of it in its rough draft form.) (100)
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation by Ursula Sandmann? (name blurred) (133)
  • Tamarina by Paula Freda (134)
  • I Won't Be Walkin' Out that Door by Kathryn Agel (139)
  • Are You Really Mine? by Marci Erwin (140)
  • Rim of the Universe by Roberta Stuemke (141)
  • The Last Perfect Person in the Galaxy by Violet Nordstrom (159)
  • Ask Me Again Sometime by Paula Freda (164)
  • Obligatory Sick Cartoon (166)
  • Happily Never After, conclusion by Mary Jean Holmes (167)
  • Captain Needs by Paula Freda (208)
  • ads (209)
  • art by Kevin Duncan (back cover), Mary Jean Holmes, L.J. Juliano, Rozalyn Levins, Wanda Lybarger, Carol Paulson, John Sies, Sandra Williams, Mary Wood


Issue 25

Shadowstar 25 was published in Summer 1987 and contains 167 pages.

cover #25, Wanda Lybarger, Mark Wallace, Mary Wood
  • A Letter to the Editor (1)
  • Obligatory Sick Cartoon (2)
  • Penumbra (3)
  • Birth of Darkness, Birth of Light by Marti Schuller (9)
  • Strike Watch by Kathryn Sullivan (18)
  • Daddy by Mary Jean Holmes (25)
  • Know About Leia? Word Search Puzzle by Marci Erwin (44)
  • Alone Again by Misty Lackey (46)
  • Mixed Doubles, part one (46)
  • Mixed Doubles, part two (59)
  • A Day at the Emperor's Court by Veronica Wilson (61)
  • The Intangible by Paula Freda (64)
  • Dark Intruder, part one by Barbara Drake (70)
  • Poem by Paula Freda (85)
  • Someday by Catriona Campbell (86)
  • The Lykoniad, conclusion by Michael Winkle (91)
  • Found Her, Have You, Son? by Paula Freda (111)
  • Understanding by Liz S. (112)
  • The Return of the Contest Winners (117)
  • Pictures at an Exhibition, part one by Mary Frances Zambreno (118)
  • Requital by Jacqueline Taero (134)
  • All Over Again by L.A. Carr (135)
  • From Father to Son, part two, by Janice Lamel (141)
  • Musings on an Identity: Luke by Jacqueline Taero (166)
  • Musings on a Name: Leia by Jacqueline Taero (166)
  • Ads (167)
  • art by Mary Jean Holmes, L.J. Lybarger, (front and back covers), Karen Pauli, Carol Paulson, John Sies, Mark Wallace (front cover), Sandra Williams, Mary Wood (front cover)

Issue 26

Shadowstar 26 was published in Spring 1988 and contains 226 pages. 65% Star Wars, the rest Real Ghostbusters, Airwolf, Jules Verne.

front cover issue #26, Mary Jean Holmes, Mary Wood, L.J. Juliano, Margaret Purdy-Dean
back cover of issue #26, Sandra Williams

The art is by Mary Jean Holmes (front cover), L.J. Juliano, Wanda Lybarger, Margaret Purdy-Dean (front cover), Mary St. Syr, John Sies, Sandra Williams (back cover), Mary Wood (front cover).

From the editor: "We need submissions.... For those of you who might be sitting on Blake's 7 material: though I myself am remaining strategically neutral on the subject, we're getting more and more people expressing interest in the 'zine who are also looking for B7 stuff. I'd be happy to oblige them (I do have people around who can tell me what's in character and what isn't)..."

  • A Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Pictures at an Exhibition, conclusion by Mary Frances Zambreno (Star Wars) (3)
  • Missing the Silence by L.J. Juliano (original science fiction) (28)
  • Things that Dreams... by L.A. Carr (Star Wars) (33)
  • Beyond the Maelstrom, part one by Michael Dayne Winkle (Jules Verne) (37)
  • High-Tech Man, filk to the tune of "I'm an Old Cowhand," by Mary Robertson (66)
  • Dark Intruder, conclusion by Barbara Drake (Star Wars) (67)
  • Alone, poem by Lynda Vandiver (84)
  • Vehicles of the Star Wars Saga Puzzle by Marci Erwin (85)
  • Adventures in the Life of Opal, story in illos about a horse by Sandra Williams (86)
  • Spy Trap by Roberta Stuemke (Star Wars) (17)
  • Decisions by Misty Lackey (original fantasy) (138)
  • Jedi's Return Quaze Puzzle by Marci Erwin (146)
  • Runaway by Mary Jean Holmes (Star Wars) (147)
  • Common Ground, poem by Lynda Vandiver (160)
  • A Distant Voice, part one by Mary St. Cyr and Margaret Purdy-Dean (Star Wars crossed with some sort of elves) (161)
  • Two Poems by Thomas M. Egan (187)
  • Old Women in the Park by Paula Freda (reprinted from "Affaire de Coeur") (188)
  • From Father to Son, conclusion by Janice Lamel (Star Wars) (192)
  • How to Handle a Villain, to the tune of "How to Handle a Woman" and Six Foot Eight, to the tune of "Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue", two filks by Mary Robertson (226)

Issue 27

Shadowstar 27 was published in Spring 1988 and contains 185 pages.

cover #27, Margaret Purdy-Dean, Mary Jean Holmes, Mary Wood
  • A Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Shady Thoughts: Star Wars and the Road to Middle Earth? by Thomas M. Egan (2)
  • Penumbra (4)
  • Journey's End by Misty Lackey (13)
  • Mother by Catriona Campbell (20)
  • Destiny by L.A. Carr (21)
  • Beyond the Maelstrom, part two by Michael Dayne Winkle (24)
  • Avon by Mary Robertson (46)
  • Reflection by Ann E. Huizenga (47)
  • Stereotypes by L.J. Juliano (48)
  • This Could Be the Start of Something by Janice Lamel (50)
  • Martian Whimsy by Thomas M. Egan (53)
  • A Distant Voice, conclusion by Mary S. Cyr and Margaret Purdy-Dean (55)
  • Sorry, Sweetheart by Paula Freda (88)
  • Pandora's Box by Mary Jean Holmes (91) (The Real Ghostbusters)
  • Between Yesterday and Tomorrow by Lynda Vandiver (118)
  • Morning Glory by Paula Freda (119)
  • Stranger by Ann E. Huizenga (123)
  • Double Double Jedi Trouble Puzzle by Marci Erwin (125)
  • Reality Games, part one by Linda Ruth Pfonner (126)
  • Dream-Vision by Marti Schuller (152)
  • Oyarsa by Thomas M. Egan (162)
  • Chance Encounter by Kathy Agel (161)
  • Another One? by Alyns Lawchilde (162)
  • Graven Image, part one by Mary Wood and Mary Jean Holmes (163)
  • But That Was Yesterday by Lynda Vandiver (183)
  • ads (184)
  • Obligatory Sick Cartoon (back cover)
  • Mary Jean Holmes (front cover), L.J. Juliano (front cover), Wanda Lybarger, Linda Ruth Pfonner, Margaret Purdy-Dean (front cover), Mary St. Cyr. John Sies, Sandra Williams, Lynne Alisse Witten, Mary Wood (front cover)

Issue 28

cover #28

Shadowstar 28 was published in 1988 and contains 201 pages. The art is by Mary Jean Holmes, L.J. Juliano, Wanda Lybarger (back cover), Karen Pauli, Linda Ruth Pfonner, John Sies, Diana Stein, Mark Wallace, Sandra Williams and Mary Wood.

The content: 70% Star Wars, the rest Real Ghostbusters, Airwolf, Jules Verne.

  • Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Penumbra (2)
  • Swan Song by Misty Lackey (10)
  • Night Dance by Amy Sue Zeier (25)
  • Where's Lea? by Paula Freda (25)
  • Beyond the Maelstrom, part three by Michael Dayne Winkle (32)
  • The Whole Truth and Nothing by L.J. Juliano (49)
  • The Best Things in Life by L.A. Carr (53)
  • The Great Selkie by Mary Jean Holmes (65) (The Real Ghostbusters)
  • Mind Games by Mary Frances Sambreno (97)
  • Jedi Doozey by Marci Erwin (106)
  • Firedancing by Roberta Stuemke (108)
  • Reality Games, part two by Linda Ruth Pfonner (124)
  • The Empire Strikes Out by Carol Marshall and Catriona Campbell (156)
  • Tool of Evil by Marti Schuller (160)
  • Graven Image, part two by Mary Wood and Mary Jean Holmes (171)
  • Luke, Before the Rebellion by Amy Sue Zeier (201)
  • ads (202)

Issue 29

cover of issue #29, Mary Jean Holmes (lower part), Mary Wood (upper part)
art by Mary Jean Holmes for "The Holly and the Dryad"

Shadowstar 29 was published in Autumn 1988 and contains 114 pages. The art is by Mary Jean Holmes, Mary Wood, L.J. Juliano, Wanda Lybarger, John Sies, Diana Stein (inside front cover).

It contains Real Ghostbusters, Star Wars, and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea fiction.

  • Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Memorial Day by Mary Wood (2)
  • "One Magic Night". Archived from the original on 2002-03-10.  by Marti Schuller (Luke is instructed by the ghostly image of Ben Kenobi to go to the Terra System and this time he MUST take Han along. What awaits them on this unknown world is beyond their wildest imaginings.) (5)
  • Tell Me a Story by Kathryn Agel (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) (reprinted in Below the Surface #5) (35)
  • An Imperial Christmas by Pat Molitor (42)
  • Beyond the Maelstrom, part four by Michael Dayne Winkle (43)
  • Rachel Was Special by Paula Freda (72)
  • Half-Second Thoughts by L.A. Carr (75)
  • The Holly and the Dryad by Mary Jean Holmes (76) (The Real Ghostbusters)
  • Luke's Wish by Pat Molitor (114)
  • ads (115)


Issue 30

Shadowstar 30 was published in Spring 1989 and contains 149 pages. The art is by Mary Jean Holmes (front cover), L.J. Juliano, Wanda Lybarger (back cover), Carol Paulson, Sandy Schreiber, John Sies, Diana Stein (inside front cover), and Mary Wood.

It was the winner of a Star Wars 1990 Fan Q Award.

cover #30, Mary Jean Holmes
  • Letter from the Editor (1)
  • The Legend by Marti Schuller (2)
  • The Little People by Kathryn Agel (part of The Starbird's Children Universe) (23)
  • Starshower Dreams, part one by Linda Ruth Pfonner (25)
  • Dream a Little Dream by L.A. Carr (50)
  • The Forgotten by Catriona Campbell (52)
  • Obligatory Sick Cartoon (72)
  • Han and Leia by Paula Freda (72)
  • Turning Points, part one by Janice Lemel (74)
  • The Deadly Deception by Deborah Kittle (102)
  • Graven Image, conclusion by Mary Wood and Mary Wood

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 30

[The Forgotten]: ....masterfully authored... I found this story a sensitive, insightful and extremely stirring account of members I seldom considered before Treena's skills called my attention to them. Being a child of the Viet Nam era and having lost a friend to that horrid waste, Treena's story struck a chord deep within that still flinches like an old wound. Superb writing and better reading. I strongly urge especially our younger members to seek it out. [25]
[zine]: SHADOWSTAR #30 has, besides Marti's "Legend" story, "Star Shower Dreams" by Pfonner... Han is shipwrecked on a fascinating planet with neat culture/beings delineated and mysterious as to just where the planet is located... very lyrical. It also has the conclusion of "Graven Image" by Woods/Holmes. A very exciting post-ROIJ story of Luke beginning to set up his Jedi school amidst much suspicion and doubts from some quarters, Han and Leia and their relationship and their troubles in setting up the new government. They throw in a lot of good comment and speculation on what Pat and Jacqueline inquired about in re nonhumanoid/human status. Wrap it up in good characterizations and intrigue. Parts 1 and 2 are in issues #27 and #28, respectively. [25]

Issue 31

Shadowstar 31 was published in Summer/Fall 1989 and contains 150 pages (60% Star Wars 20% Real Ghostbusters, 20% Jules Verne.) Art by Sandy Schrieber (back cover), L.J. Juliano, Wanda Lybarger, John Sies and Mary Wood.

cover #31
  • Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Beyond the Maelstrom, part 5, by Michael Dayne Winkle (3)
  • Diptych by Paula Freda (32)
  • Baby Boom by Mary Jean Holmes (38) (The Real Ghostbusters)
  • Truth, and Consequences by L.A. Carr (69)
  • Starshower Dreams, conclusion by Linda Ruth Pfonner (73)
  • The Omega Factor by Terry O'Brien (100)
  • Turning Points, part two by Janice Lamel (119)
  • ads (150)


Issue 32

Shadowstar 32 was published in 1990 and contains 146 pages. It is 85% Star Wars 15% Jules Verne. The art is by Mary Jean Holmes, Wanda Lybarger (back cover), Sandy Schreiber, Sandy Williams and Mary Wood.

cover #32
  • Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Penumbra (2)
  • Poturna by Marti Schiller (14)
  • Star Wars Word Seeker: Empire by Marci Erwin (38)
  • Beyond the Maelstron, part six by Michael Dayne Winkle (39)
  • What It's About by Paula Freda (61)
  • The End of the Storm by Mary Jean Holmes (62)
  • The End of the Dream by Mary Jean Holmes (62)
  • The Love Harp by Paula Freda (84)
  • Come Tomorrow by Catriona Campbell (88)
  • Lords of the Heart and the Assassin Droid: part one by Paula Freda (97)
  • Turning Points, part three by Janice Lamel (118)
  • The Traveling Saleslady and the Farmer's Nephew by L.A. Carr (145)
  • Smugglers's Rules by Amy Sue Zeier (146)
  • ads (147)

Issue 33

Shadowstar 33 was published in 1992 and contains 170 pages.

The front cover is by Mary Jean Holmes and Mary Wood. The back cover is by Wanda Lybarger. The interior illos are by Wanda Lybarger, and Sandy Schreiber.

  • A Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Lords of the Heart and the Thief of Soul by Paula Freda (Star Wars) (2)
  • Shadow Hunting by Roberta Stuemke (Willow) (18)
  • Aftermath by Mary Jean Holmes (sequel to Turnabout) (Star Wars) (54)
  • Beyond the Maelstrom, part 7 by Michael Dayne Winkle (66)
  • Turning Points, Part Four by Janice Lamel (Star Wars) (96)
  • Destiny's Design by Marti Schuller (Star Wars) (122)
  • At Very First Sight by Mary Jean Holmes (Back to the Future) (133)


Issue 34

Shadowstar 34 was published in summer 1994 and contains 51 pages. The front cover is by Bruce Bond. The back cover is by Wanda Lybarger. The interior art is by Sandy Schriber and Mary Jean Holmes.

It was the winner of a 1990 Star aWard for MULTI MEDIA ZINE (containing SW).

  • A Letter from the Editor (1)
  • Past Sins: Shadow on the Rock by Paula Freda (Star Wars) (2)
  • Dreams by Barbara Peake (Indiana Jones) (21)
  • These Days by Kathy Agel (Star Wars) (25)
  • Conjuncture by Mary Jean Holmes (Star Wars) (26)
  • Time by Kathy Agel (Star Wars) (54)
  • The Further Misadventures of Luke Skywalker and Friends by Mary Jean Holmes (Star Wars) (55)
  • Zimbabwe by Paula Freda (Indiana Jones) (64)
  • Reflections by Catriona Campbell (Star Wars) (90)
  • Beyond the Maelstrom, conclusion by Michael Dayne Winkle (Jules Verne) (99)

References

  1. ^ from a letter of comment in "Shadowstar" #8 (1982)
  2. ^ from a letter of comment in "Shadowstar" #8 (1982)
  3. ^ from a letter of comment in "Shadowstar" #10 (1983)
  4. ^ a b c d e f from a letter of comment in "Shadowstar" #5
  5. ^ from a letter of comment in "Shadowstar" #6
  6. ^ from a letter of comment in "Shadowstar" #6
  7. ^ a b c from a letter of comment in "Shadowstar" #7
  8. ^ a b from a letter of comment in "Shadowstar" #8
  9. ^ a b from a letter of comment in "Shadowstar" #8
  10. ^ a b c from a letter of comment in "Shadowstar" #9
  11. ^ comments by Misty Lackey, letter of comment in "Shadowstar" #9
  12. ^ a b from a letter of comment in "Shadowstar" #10
  13. ^ a b c from a letter of comment in "Shadowstar" #11
  14. ^ from a letter of comment in "Shadowstar" #11
  15. ^ from a letter of comment by Misty Lackey in "Shadowstar" #11
  16. ^ a b c d e from a letter of comment in Shadowstar #12
  17. ^ a b c from a letter of comment in "Shadowstar" #15
  18. ^ a b c d e from a letter of comment in "Shadowstar" #13
  19. ^ from a letter of comment by Misty Lackey in "Shadowstar" #14
  20. ^ from a letter of comment in Shadowstar #14
  21. ^ from a letter of comment by Misty Lackey in Shadowstar #14
  22. ^ from a letter of comment by Misty Lackey in "Shadowstar" #15
  23. ^ a b from a letter in "Shadowstar" #17
  24. ^ fail_fandomanon: FFA DW Post # 388 - Re: Why didn't anyone TELL me?, Archived version (March 10, 2016)
  25. ^ a b from Southern Enclave #24