Southern Enclave/Issues 11-20

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Issues 01-10 · Issues 11-20 · Issues 21-30 · Issues 31-40 · Issues 41-54

Issue 11 (March 1986)

cover of issue #11
fan-created diagram of SW fan types
  • online here
  • contains 68 pages
  • a fan contributes a diagram of the types of SW fans, along with some analysis
  • poems and reprinted articles from newspapers about the Challenger space shuttle accident
  • Clones and the Collapse of the Pre-Imperial State by Liz S., essay
  • The Private Life of a Jedi, part three, by Jeannie Hennig, essay
  • A lengthy interview with Tom Voegeli by Pat Gonzales (Tom Voegeli is Vice President of Minnesota Public Radio Productions, which did the STAR WARS and EMPIRE STRIKES BACK radio productions.)
  • a review of From a Certain Point of View #1, see that page
  • art by Ronda Henderson, Cheree Cargill, Carol Finch, Sandi Finch, Danaline Bryant, Judith Low
  • newspaper clippings
  • a fan writes of the value of Star Wars as its own thing, and of the future:
    I've been wondering about this penchant of comparing the SW trilogy to (and forgive me if I seem to exaggerate) every piece of English literature in existence. It seems to me that all these comparisons are intended to convince the researcher more than the reader that SW is a good thing, a cause, almost. If SW can't stand on its own as a body of work, then it doesn't deserve to. The "If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it must be a duck" syndrome doesn't apply here. If a work—not necessarily SW -- 1s not internally coherent, eminently satisfying, and Inherently integral, it don't mean diddly how much one tries to compare It to another body of work. I don't mean to say that the SW trilogy Isn't coherent or satisfying or integral; I leave that to others to argue. But I get tired of arguments that go nowhere in terms of analyzing the whys and wherefores of the trilogy itself. I once raised the question in JUNDLAND WASTES (one of the later issues) just before RETURN OF THE JEDI premiered, as to the future of SW fandom if JEDI (a) answered all our questions, or (b) proved dissatisfying. Perhaps an Interesting topic now for SE readers would be a discussion of the status of our fandom and where we want to take 1t and ourselves. Let's broaden the discussion, guys. We've argued the movies to death without changing most people's minds, but where do we go from here?
  • a fan wants some info:
    Quick, someone clue me in to the Slow Boat to Bespin incident. I just recently bought a second-hand copy of Guardian with those two stories (which I loved). What was the stink?
  • a fan has these comments about George Lucas and the well-behaved fan in regards to the article Question Authority:
    A tip of the Malkin hat to Jenni, Samia and Mary for having the courage to publish their Question Authority guest editorial. That's exactly what GL says to do, but when we do, he doesn't like it. How else can this be interpreted but as a slap in the faces of his greatest fans? I mean it when I say his greatest fans, too. I personally have nothing but admiration for the man who overcame all kinds of problems to become a famous movie director and producer and creator of SW. But, my admiration ends at the point where he throws that admiration back in our faces and treats us like brainless deviants—unimportant brainless deviants at that! After all. what have we fen ever done but give him tons of free publicity? As I've said before, the man could do with a good lo-o-ong discussion with Gene Roddenberry.
  • another fan comments on Question Authority:
    ...That's how I felt all along. it goes before and beyond the "Flap" of a few years back. The Official Fan Club exists to control the audience. Fandom, as we know it, is a portion of the audience that does not want to be controlled, can't be controlled, in fact, and that worries Lucas.
  • a fan jokes about her rise and fall:
    Most new fen are intimidated by Big |Name Fans when they first join a fandom. I know that I was. When I found myself included in that category simply because I editted [1] a SW zine, I had to stop and think why I still felt like the same person I was before the zine. And then, shock of shocks, to rediscover myself among the simple "fans" when I stopped publishing my zine-I don't know if my heart can take all this! To reach the fannish heights, only to be thrust back down again. Hells, if you can't even be a big fish in a small pond, what's left in life? Sigh.
  • a male fan comments on being a guy in Star Wars fandom:
    [Lin S. W] said something on males in fandom that rings true (at least on a personal level).. We guys do get a lot of ridicule and little to no support for fannish interest. I was at GL's target age for SW in '77 (IS), as were most of my friends. We are entering our mid-twenties now, and a gap exists inside the "old gang." Some of those guys I knew who were just as die-hard SW fans as I have totally forgotten the Saga or at best catch it only on cable or when I drag them to it. Some of the reasons are due to age; SW is looked on as something "kiddish" and they have "matured" since then. This has really created a rift with ore old friend and a small nucleus of die-hards like myself. It is a shame, and I think it is typical of most guys. SW (or Trek or comics or whatever) was fine while they were in their teens, but there are many forms of peer pressure to act "manly'1 and not cling to the forms of entertainment you enjoyed when you were young. Peer pressure can also, I feel, be blamed for discouraging other related interests like writing, drawing, and collecting of memorabilia. The cliches about guys being put off by anything academic (like writing) are more real than not. Just ask any guy how long it has been since he's read a book. My father has read only one since high school - thirty years ago! (And that was on handicapping horse races.) Thank the Maker there are exceptions.
  • a fan has some things to get off his back:
    I find Cheree's explanation on why she censored my LoC in SE#9 both peculiar and unconvincing. For one thing, what she eventually did print was a little more...intense, by my remembrance. When I first typed it, It did look a bit strong, so I changed things around on the paper. Perhaps Cheree paid too much attention to what I marked out and not what I submitted for publication. I received Cheree's letter two days before SE #10. That's not what I call discussing the matter. The tone of her letter seemed to be "I'm the editor and I can do what I please! If you don't like it, do your own letterzine!" If this were a regular fanzine, I would have no problem with this attitude. But this is a letterzine, and its function is communication. If you start filtering what goes in SE then its integrity has been breached. Perhaps SE should be mailed with a ribbon around it saying "sanitized for your protection." There are two reasons I brought this up in SE. First, Joan Shumsky did not talk to me, let alone print those portions of my LoC. Censoring me is bad enough, but ignoring me at the same time is insulting. I would very much rather to have dealt with this issue in SCOUNDREL, but Shumsky doesn't have the courage to deal with her actions face-on. The other reason was that I was fed up with all the sideways comments on the matter. Before Sandra told me exactly who she was talking about. I thought it was another letterzine. I can understand why Sandra didn't mention names, but I think it's best to deal with each other directly and up front, whenever possible. I am beginning to distrust the term "personal attack". It's starting to take on the air of jargon, of an all-purpose catch-phrase. It's used most often when someone doesn't like what is being said, or used clumsily where more exact words could be used. I've used the term before but now I'm swearing it off.
  • a fan has some historical perspective:
    I've been finding it very interesting to wade again in the pool of SW fandom through reading SE #9 and #10, after being "high and dry" for more than a year. I'd pretty much gafiated, partly because of all the Luke vs. Han nonsense after ROTJ came out that resulted in my acute allergy to SW letterzines, but mostly because of a radically altered life situation... However, I did keep up some contact with SW fandom through personal correspondence; and as I've now settled into my new life I've felt the urge to dip in once more, though I'll probably never again plunge in head first. Now I feel strangely like both a neo and a long-time SW fan simultaneously, giving me a rather schizophrenic perspective on the conversations in SE. The neo in me is asking what the devil are you all talking about? The long timer who's taken a vacation is marveling--and excited—at all the new names In SE...SO SW fandom is still growing! Looking at the letters as a group, a few of them remind me of a line from a recent episode of my favorite TV series: "Not only isn't Armstrong playing with a full deck, he can't even find the card!" [2] But most of the letters seem to reflect more balance and common sense than was apparent in the SW fandom immediately post-ROTJ, and than goodness, a wonderful sense of humor.
  • a fan writes about the conflicts between traditional SF fandom and media fandom:
    Yes, I scratch my head about the Media vs. SF fandom rivalry, too. Any type of rivalry puzzles me -it's such a non-growth emotion. However, this one is quite real and one you're like ly to run up against the longer you stay 1n either fandom--or both, for that matter. I was in the N3F's apa for a brief while, and in my first contribution mentioned that I'd written for ST and SW zines since 1976, although I planned to try my hand at writing material original with me from now on. One of the other apa members, a BNF well-known for his dislike of media fandom, congratulated me for "escaping" media fanzine writing, since 1t tends to "stunt a writer's growth". In my next apazine I wrote him a couple narrow-margined, single-spaced pages assuring him that, far from stunting my growth, media fanzines provide a place for new writers to learn their craft and get feedback, even if they're not ready to be professionals, and that I probably never would've known I could be a creative writer if not for media fandom (high school sure didn't do it for me). In the next mailing after that, he didn't answer even one word to all my verbiage, which led me to believe he didn't want to admit that media fandom might not be a vast wasteland after all—but couldn't come up with any valid counterarguments. He's that sort of person. And there are a lot more like him in SF fandom. I'm afraid there's little we can do about it.
  • more on SF and media fans:
I tend to "see" media fandom as more creative-more artistic--than SF fandom. Too, SF fandom seems to be more "organized" to my way of seeing. There are more "clubs" and the cons seem to be more oriented to the making of money than do cons such as MediaWest which is a fan's con. I am fond of both fandoms, but I do consider media fandom to be my first fandom and my primary home. Is not jealousy and insecurity the usual basis of most disputes and animosities? If a fandom is "different", it does not mean it is worse or less worthy, only that it 1s different. I enjoy different fandoms. They help to make a many faceted reflection with prism lights dancing in front of the mind's eye. It would be nice if each would honor the other. Communication between the two is one way to start this process. This way each can learn there are "good" people within each branch of the tree.
  • more on SF and media fans:
The hard-line SF fans do know about written media fan material but they reject it as unoriginal, uncreative, and so on--without reading it, of course. Mostly, I think, they reject it because our fan writing doesn't meet their definitions or their interests. Another problem with their perception of media fans is that there are at least two separate groups of people who might be called "media fans", but they see only one group. There's us, the "active" fans who write, draw, publish fanzines, and attend cons—all the usual things an SF fan might do, only with a slightly differing focus. Then there's a much larger group, generally younger and sometimes obnoxious, who show up at cons, often in costumes from a movie or TV show, but otherwise don't participate in random or care much about it. Because the basis of their Interest in SF is the visual media, they are also "media fans." Because there are more of them and they're more visible than we are, they tend to subsume the entire category of "media fans" In the eyes of some SF fans. It's also my personal belief that many of these kids, 25 years ago, would have been obnoxious young print SF fans-read some of Harlan Ellison's exploits as a teenage fan!--and that part of the dislike directed at them, and us by confusion, comes from fear. That is, the new young fans aren't coming into mainstream SF fandom but Into some sort of media fandom, and SF fans of the older sort are afraid their fandom may lose importance or die out entirely.
  • more on SF and media fans:
Goodess knows, mediafen have no corner on fannish vendettas. The self-called trufen have been writhing in a particularly nasty quarrel (which has every earmark of a personal attack and reprisals thereunto) this last year over Trans Atlantic Fan Fund administration, for instance, complete with some of the most vituperative, nit-picking and generally boring commentary I have ever seen addressed to innocent bystanders, in zines or anywhere. Media-fen have been at least arguing over ethics, esthetics and personal tastes in something approaching the abstract (even if it didn't always stay there). There are worse things to debate over, as I hope we can avoid having to prove for ourselves.
  • regarding fannish involvement:
Another reason for the downtrend in zines is probably because the pace of life has become generally more hectic. As I mentioned before, one reason I've gone partially inactive is because my career has taken a major upswing and as a result has consumed much more of my time- the pursuit of tenure, and all that. I don't write anywhere near the number of letters I used to, LoCs or personal. Just call me Burgeoning Mundane. And I'm not the only one--I know of any number of the "Old Guard" who have had no choice but to go from FIAWOL to FIJAGH. And a fairly unimportant hobby, at that. But some of us still hang on to the old magic, as much as possible, anyway. Ideas for stories are certainly not the problem-one only has to read SE to see there are more than ever!
  • a fan asks a question:
I ask it sincerely because I really don't know the answer. What do fans want from Lucasfilm? "Fans" I define here narrowly as "people engaged in active, fanzine-oriented SW random." "Respect" is not specific enough. What is an acceptable demonstration of respect, if it isn't being demonstrated now? What do fans want to see in the newsletter? There are lots of complaints about what everyone doesn't like, but seldom any positive suggestions. My own biases, and probably my position as well, are well known. First, I don't think Lucasfilm disrespects fans, though it doesn't always understand media fandom. Second, there are at most 1,000 SW fans in the sense defined above (and that's stretching it), and a combined attendance of less than 25,000 at all the SF cons Lucasfilm sends representatives to during the year, while the SW fan club has 250,000 or so members. It is naive at best and arrogant at worst to expect Lucasfilm to cater to us. STAR WARS does not exist for the benefit of SW fandom; fandom is secondary to SW. To suggest that George Lucas must make more SW movies, whether or not he wants to, just so that SW fandom will continue, is, to be blunt, to attempt to hold him creatively hostage to the desires of a thousand or so people.
Thanks for mentioning the two items In October's WRITER'S DIGEST. Did you also see the letter to the editor In the December issue that A. C. Crispin wrote in response to the article? Seems Crispin took rather a strong exception to being used as an example of fanzine writers turned pro. She took great pains to point out that she only had two stories printed in fanzines, neither of which had been originally written for that purpose. What really bothered me, though, was her cautioning prospective pro writers against writing for zines. Her reason was, to quote: "...writers lose the habit of creating their own characters and settings. I've seen promising writers get "trapped" in genre fanzine writing and forget their original ambitions." Personally, I wonder just how much fan fiction she's read to make such a sweeping generalization. I can't think of any really good fan writers who don't create their own new characters and settings for stories. Even when just using the "given" characters, all writers have slightly different perceptions of the characters, making their characterization different from another author's. Quite frankly, it sounds to me like another variation of the SF/Media flap, looking down on media fans because they don't sell their work. Another thing that strikes me on re-reading her letter is that she differentiates between "prestigious, non-paying semi-pro zines, such as that edited by Jessica Amanda Salmondson, and media fanzines." [The editor interjects: Would it be sour grapes to point out that her first two books were a STAR TREK novel and the novelization of "V? Hrumph...]
  • regarding ownership of SW, vision, and a fan's right to write:
    The SW characters were created by George Lucas. No one can deny that. He gave us a world that many of us feel "at home" in, looking at the screen and saying, "I belong there!" Some say that this gives him absolute rights over what is written about his characters. Some disagree. Some say that writers should stick as much to the original storyline as possible. Some like to deviate wildly into their own heads, bringing out meanings that they see and want others to see. Be that as it may, we all write and put what we. feel the characters are into the writing. Does this, therefore, make the characters Lucas' or ours? I have seen so many versions of Han. Luke and Leia that I've lost count. All are different in their own ways. Whether they conform to the events of only one of the movies, or two, or all three, the characters are changed by what we put them through in our writing. They attain different characteristics. They become part of us- Therefore, we start out with Lucas' characters, and make them into our own. For example. Karen Ripley's Luke is close in many ways to "my" Luke, but they are not the same and never will be. Or take Marcia Brin's Han and Cheree Cargill's Han. Totally divergent in many ways, but still the same basic man that was started with. Who is to say whose characters these people end up being? And who can judge what we do to these characters which become, in a very true sense, "ours"? I'm not talking about the characters that are created in the author's mind to interact with the "main" ones. I am talking about the ones we are given in the SW trilogy. The characters made up are in every sense the author's own, and if s/he wants to make them have sex with a turnip, suffer from extreme wimpage, or kill everyone in sight, that's his or her own business! The main question I'm asking here, and throwing open for honest debate, is whether or not the "established" characters can be considered "ours." The attitude of "this is mine, and you can't play because you'll take it away from me" can be taken entirely too far. Credit for creation is something no-one can take away from another. The knowledge that you have done something, even if only In your own mind, is proof enough-there shouldn't be any squabbling. If someone wrote something about my character that I didn't agree with, I doubt that I would care. After all. that's not my character, after all, if they are doing something with the character that, in my opinion, would never happen. It is someone taking the name of my character and putting it on someone else's body. There are, of course, thousands of arguments to repeat or refute all I've said. Well, bring 'em on! I want to hear some ideas that either clash or correllate with my own.
  • a fan encourages some LoCs for artists:
    In hopes of spreading nice feelings of this sort around. I think it would be great if "honorable mentions" were extended to artists, too. You know those under-appreciated people who convert ugly, unaesthetic white space into a joy to behold. Art ists definitely do not get enough support. Ask any artist. Just being asked can make an artist's day -- it's an expression of interest... Or ask an editor who's desperately searching for someone to do artwork for a zine. I realize that many of us would like to wriggle out of commenting on artwork, plead ing lack of expert1se--but c'mon, that's just an excuse. We're quick enough to comment when a zine doesn't have "enough" art! You like an illo, or you don't. A picture resembles a known character, illustrates a scene from a story, makes you giggle (cartoonists arc especially neglected), or snivel or it doesn't. If you like a piece, say so; maybe the artist is just waiting for a few kind words.
  • regarding comments in the previous issue about the perceived scarcity of LoCs sent:
    Re your comments on the scarcity of LoCs—I found, when I got my first batch of zines, that I didn't want to stop and write letters. I wanted to read! Then when they were all finished, I thought, "There's plenty of time, I'll write later." Well, now it's later and my memory being as pathetic as it is, I can't remember what I wanted to say. So now I have to start over again, review the zines to refresh my memory if I want to write--and now there's no time left. I've decided that from now on, I'll not let myself start reading the second zine *til I've LoC'ed the first! toCs didn't really seem that important--after all, who's going to miss one little letter? But I guess they do add up. I know I'd like a little feedback, pro or con, on anything I contributed.

Issue 12 (June 1986)

cover issue #12
  • online here
  • a filk about Media*West by Cheree Cargill
  • contains 54 pages
  • Media*West photos of fans
  • Consumer's Corner with a complaint about payment sent for a zine which was never received
  • art by Cheree Cargill, Judith Low, Carol Peters and Ronda Henderson
  • newspaper clippings
  • a lengthy letter about BNFs and fans' right to characterization of canon characters
  • a letter complaining about SW fans being treated badly by "fan liaison" Maureen Garrett at Boskone (science fiction convention in New England)
  • discussion about the mainstream media's unfair coverage of fans and why fans are weary of being this portrayal
  • discussion on stereotypes and the element of truth
  • much, much, much discussion on who "owns" the fandom and the rights of SW fans
  • a mention of the The Dark Lord, the graphic Swedish story that got George Lucas all riled up about fanfiction
  • lots of discussion about LoCs: their style and function
  • submission requests for some zines that never got off the ground ("All That Jazz" [A-Team], "Baron of Bespin" [Star Wars], "Khael" [Harrison Ford], "One from the Heart," "Not Just Luke," and "Once Upon a Blue Moon" [Star Wars], "1.21 Gigawatts" [Back to the Future], "Perfect Fusion" [75% SW and 25% other], "The Millennium Falcon Casebook" [Star Wars], ["The Wolfhawke Tapestries" [Ladyhawke] and many more.
  • a fan writes:
    What do I want from Lucas film? To be left alone, mostly. I felt uneasy about their request that every fanzine send four copies to four different places. George could never admit to reading a fanzine, so why ask for a copy? Did BANTHA TRACKS ever explain what a fanzine was or recommend any to its members? (They did reprint an article out of SKYWALKER. Big deal, it never happened again.) Not that it would have done us much good, as the majority of the OSWFC members are still in kindergarten. Lucas film/OSWFC has nothing that I truly want. They give us nothing but trinkets and very little useful information, yet treat us in a very condescending manner. All I have to say to Lucasfilm is: Don't Tread On Me!
  • comments on SF, Trek, and SW:
    I have to admit that sometimes I feel as isolated in my liking for SF in media fandom as I did staring at all those magazines with their covers that insinuated MEN-ONLY in the 50's. In Trek fandom, you'd be laughed out of the letterzine (or worse, scorned) for putting the SF, the trek to the stars aspect of the program, ahead of the characterization; ghodforbid you should suggest that the Holy Trio weren't the end-all and be-all of the series. I truly feel that the presentation of the mechanicals in SW is as important as many of the character aspects fandom discusses endlessly. The current exploration of droid status is one reflection of that importance; also of note is the feeling of comfort with high-tech that SW assumes. I remember reading an article In, I think MOTHER JONES, back in '77, wherein an author normally only slightly paranoid about high tech/robots found himself feeling as comfortable with C3PO and R2D2 as he did with his telephone; the author then reflected that Lucas was one of the first people, after years and years of advanced tech machinery being presented as either gods or The Enemy, to assume that we will be as comfortable with our future tools as we are with our current tools. That Lucas was the first to recognize that human use of its tools in the future will be just as casual and careless and common as today. That the future is already here.
  • a fan comments about BNF:
    I think trouble arises when BNF is taken as a complimentary status rather than simply a descriptive one. Anyone who is mentioned a lot 1n fannlsh circles is a Big Name Fan. no matter whether those mentions are in the realm of "isn't s/he a great writer/artist/person?", or, more like "Have you heard about the crazy letter/ antic so-and-so came up with this time?" Also, a BNF can exist solely in the minds and psychic experience of those who talk about her; the real person may be totally ignorant of such status. For example, my name is known to a lot of fans because a lot of fans have read my stories, but I don't go to that many cons, and am isolated socially on the Northwest Coast. Yet I have been amazed at reports of things I have said to, and done with, people I've never met. not even in letterzines. Now I can put my feet in my mouth as quickly as anyone, can be as pig-headed as any fan; I really don't need a "BNF Maggie Nowakowska" out there somewhere complicating matters for me. A corollary to this phenomenon is the fan who thinks that someone's BNF status means she has the right to access that BNF anytime she wants to, and that that BNF has an obligation to "perform" for those who have decided they are fans of the BNF. Somewhere along the way the pleasantry of "BNF's" recognizing (for example) the way their notoriety can help mitigate the awkwardness of neos has turned into an obligation of the BNF to welcome all to her circle of friends or to risk damnation if she doesn't. This is not to say that there are not snippy people who discover their BNF status and run with it as far as they can (and then some!); but I have seen too many people castigated for simply not meeting another fan's expectations of them. And perhaps the people who give the term its worst connotations are those who desperately want to be BNFs, always coming across as obnoxious attention-getters, never understanding that the acquisition of such a term depends not on them, but on fandom at large. Self-aggrandizement is seldom attractive.
  • a fan is fond of the characterization holes in the movies:
    I have to disagree with the criticism implied by saying that Lucas simply wanted to "forget about characterization" in the SW saga. Part of what makes SW so appealing is its ability to adapt to thousands and thousands of individual personalities and world-views. If the movies had been as deeply characterized as some fans want, their appeal would have been limited to those people who agreed with that particular interpretation of the characters. As the movies are now, they allow an incredible amount of diversity in interpretation. SW is a modern-age fairy tale, a story that is internalized as fairy tales are. The incredible diversity, the often contrariness, of fan-lit Han Solos, each true to the author's vision of SW. is a measure of how Lucas succeeded in his goal. My Han is true for me; yours is true for you. This can be only if Han's character is originally presented as broadly as possible. A good example of problems that could arise is the demand for a wedding at the end of JEDI; I think my image of SW Han would have been totally destroyed if that convention had been tagged to the man. As it stands, those who want a wedding can imagine one; I can picture, instead, a relationship for Han and Leia that is less traditional, one that answers the needs I have.
  • a fan comments on ownership:
    I come down hard on the side of ultimate creator rights in how his/her creations are presented. Although I feel that the range of interpretation of characters is wide enough to embrace a fandom determined to create its own fiction, I do think that a creator has the right to say what a character would not do or be. It is not enough, for me, to say, well, once someone changes the character's behavior that new character is not my character; in etnology, there is a saying, bad drives out the good, to indicate how one meaning of a word can overwhelm an established meaning, narrowing, sometimes distorting the original word's meaning. The word "mistress" is a common example. It started out meaning a married woman, a woman in charge (like a master), and has come to mean an unmarried female lover supported by a male. A writer's creations are her legacy. I believe she has the right to determine what that legacy, however small, however limited her awareness, will be. Jenni, you are correct when you quote all the various pictures of Han drawn by fans. All are legitimate because Lucas has sketched a broad canvas, designed to have the colors filled in by his audience. But I believe he has the right to say what Han isn't in an effort to hold true to his vision, to his legacy. For example: I have a female character who I have seen described in ways that vary from a nut case to an admirable heroine (I don't think she's a nut case, but then I also have my doubt about her admirable status!). I don't mind these various representations, but if someone started presenting her as a traditional terran female, if someone started trying to present her as 180 out from what she is, I would object loudly. Why? Because (1) she is my creation, brought to life by me and as a certain character, AND is my legacy, a representative of my talent. I have the right to say what she is not. (2) Because there are some aspects of a character that define that character in such a way that to change it is to change the character irrevocably, and if that changed character comes to be accepted as the originally created character, then the original creation has been damaged. And (3) because the artist has a duty to every other dreamer in human history to fight the notion that anything and everything is for sale. There is a line between interpretation and distortion. It is not rigid; it may not even stay in the same place. But so long as the creator is alive, I believe she should fight for the integrity of her/his creation. If I create a character who believes in one, personal, omnipotent god and someone changes that character into an atheist, and if the audience comes to accept the second presentation as real, I have lost one of my children. Again, this is not to damn interpretation. This is to ask that a creator's Intention, the spirit of the piece, be respected; that people honor the labor, love, sweat, and hope for communication that go into the creation of a story, a piece of art, of music; and that people recognize that art 1s part of the human creator's soul, part of her perception of truth, however mundane, homey or innocent.
  • regarding some history:
    Once upon a time a zine-ed sent a story to Lucasfilm because the z1ne-ed feared they might object to it. But Lucasfilm said It was okay to print the story, and the zine-ed did. Enter a Swedish fanzine called DARK LORD that published a sado-masochistic Han/Vader story. Lucasfilm screamed. This stupid rag, not even an American zine, started a chain reaction that has muddied the waters between us and Lucasfilm to this day. Maureen Garrett sent out letters threatening to shut down all fanzines, not just the SW zines. They over-reacted terribly and the whole thing was just pathetic. A personal result of this mess. I don't trust Lucasfilm, could care less about the apparent dissolution of the OSWFC, and my opinion of George Lucas was tarnished, if not exactly damaged. George thinks he owns us, simply because he "permits" us to publish fanzines. Me just can't grasp the idea that he can't or shouldn't control everything about him. I really don't want to dredge up this debate again. Our legal status is debatable and uncertain; the only way to find out would be in court, and I'm not eager for that to happen. But I'll kick the dead dog just once more and say this. These movies are indeed GL's "toys", but this is our "backyard"! If George wants to throw a tantrum and run off with his toys, that's fine with me. There are other things in life.
  • a fan requires certain characterizations:
    I...think that the fan writer has plenty of leeway and can be quite creative when writing about Lucas' characters without destroying the characters' basic personalities, because all of the Big Three are complex individuals. They can be unpredictable at times and are capable of surprising us. (Part of their charm, I think!) Also, because each person perceives things a little differently, the Han, Luke, and Le1a of different fan writers will have a slightly different flavor to them. That. I don't mind. However, when any of the major characters is portrayed totally inaccurately--as incredibly weak, cold or foolish, or as an evil Dark Sider, I am immediately turned off by such stories because the character is totally alien and I can't accept him or her as being Luke, Han or Lela. Also, if one character 1n a story is purposely degraded in order to make another character seem more wonderful, I do not enjoy those stories either. Lucas' characters complement one another, help one another, and love one another; they don't compete with one another for supremacy. So, I guess my answer is that the characters are Lucas' and I prefer them that way.
  • more on the use of characters:
    I think we have the "right" to borrow these guys--but we also have a responsibility to take good care of them and do right by them when we use them. (Okay, Hennig, stop snickering! I know how you'd like to "use" these characters, you pig!) ((Ed: Another stray thought regarding "fan" versions vs. "real" versions of media characters. ST fandom has been around for an awful long time and Strekzines are as numerous as ever, a vast portion of them consisting of the K/S type stories and universe that were created in the hiatus between series and movies. I don't think there has ever been a problem separating all the fan adventures from the "real" stuff seen on the screen, despite the fact that there was a lapse of nearly fifteen years between the TV series and the first movie. Maybe we're making a mountain out of a molehill here regarding SW fan writing, as well. Perhaps, if the first trilogy is ever made, it will be like ST -- no matter what we, have written, George Lucas' version will always be the Real Thing, just as Gene Roddenberry's ST is Real STAR TREK. And, regarding the use of "Star Wars" in popular terminology, whether Lucas likes it or not, his characters and terms and universe have thoroughly permeated our culture and, despite hard-line copyright laws, there is an element of "popular domain" regarding them. And, after all, didn't Lucas say right off that he had set out to create a new mythos for our generation? So, now that he's succeeded, I don't think he has much room to gripe about it.))
  • done for love or money:
    Personally, I never had any ambition to write professionally, and I consider myself a mediocre fan writer, but the experience has been invaluable in terms of personal growth and development. Putting down fan writing as "stunting" and otherwise unworthy of a person who has some creative ability has never made any sense to me, and it never will. Maybe It's an outgrowth of the overall attitude that anything done for money 1s good, anything done for love (or fun) is not (rather like the attitude that still prevails, that women's work in the home is worthless because it isn't paid, and that any job done primarily by women can't be worth much socially because it's low-paid—of course, there's the vicious circle problem here, too, but that's something else).
  • a fan has a long, long letter about fans' portrayal in the media:
    The media don't generally pay attention to fans... but when they do, their coverage is so distorted, so selective, and so unrepresentative, that many of us would prefer no coverage at all.

Issue 13 (September 1986)

cover of issue #13
  • contains 44 pages, there are 22 very long LoCs
  • art is by Carol Peters, Judith Low, Sandi Jones, Cheree Cargill, and Ronda Henderson
  • list of the 1986 Fan Q winners
  • an interview with Harrison Ford, transcribed by Carolyn Golledge
  • a full-page flyer for the SWZine Library
  • a newspaper clipping about MediaWest*Con, newspaper not identified, other short clippings
  • a letter from a fan who mainly compares the book and the movie Dune to Star Wars
  • the editor of Southern Enclave explains she will have to cut back on zine production:
    However, somethin's gotta give and the bigger zines are it. It has become impossible to do a quarterly newsletter and two full-size zines a year. Financially, I am still in debt for TREMOR #3 and SE#12. SE will have to go to a less expensive format until that debt is paid off. I cannot and will not print another large zine until that debt is paid off in full. SE itself runs around $500 an issue to print, not counting postage, which usually comes out of my own pocket. Therefore, CHOICE PARTS may be delayed until the spring--! can't tell yet. A TREMOR IN THE FORCE #4 will be pushed back even further. If finances permit, I will certainly publishing early as possible. However, the bottom line of a1l this is that I can only afford to publish if the zines pay for themselves. This year, they haven't and I must clear the red ink before placing myself in debt again.
  • there are many many mentions of fans' unhappiness with the Star Wars Official Fan Club, its closure, and the firing of Maureen Garrett:
    It seems everyone has had bad dealings with Lucasfilm It is sad when the supposed liaison makes fans feel about two inches tall. I wonder if this is one of the reasons she was "let go"?
  • another fan writes:
    Now that the Official Star Wars Fan Club is going down the ol' tubes, does this mean that the guidelines could possibly be lifted? And mayhaps there will be Star Wars cons?
  • an LoC from Ming Wathne who says she is a neofan:
    Being a neo-fan in zinedom and a neo-neo to the letterzine world, I feel a little like the lady who started to tiptoe across a puddle and found herself up to her ears in a pond. I have no idea what I am doing, but I'm going to try.
  • a fan is frustrated about not knowing who won the recent Fan Q Awards, which are printed in this issue:
    MediaWest has come and gone and I still have no idea who went home with the Fan Q Awards. I have corresponded with several of SE's readers and they're as deep in the dark as I am.
  • Han a virgin?:
    ... wouldn't it be fun to see a story in which our cool, self-confident, full-fledged Jedi Knight had to explain to a lady that he'd never had a lightsaber lesson?
  • on fanworks and money:
    Pat and [Chris C] continue the discussion on the sometimes differences between writing-for-pro and writing-for-fun. I think the disdain many have for "amateur" lit can be traced back, at least, to Dr. Samuel Johnson with his "No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money", from BOSWELL'S LIFE OF DR. JOHNSON. Add that attitude to our culture's use of money to describe a person's worth, and you end up with non-profit writing being considered worthless (even for blockheads!). Or suitable only for women... Poetry, for example, which makes very little money in our culture, is considered effeminate by many. Sometimes, when I can't reconcile my own feelings on the subject, I think of fannish writing as folklore. Like folk songs and folk tales, fanlit fills a need of our social group, it grows and changes with that need and with time and the concept of marketing it does not apply. And just as the concept of growing and catching what we eat, weaving and sewing the clothes we wear, providing directly for our survival has given way to working for money so we can buy what we need to physically survive, so, too, food for mental thought has passed out of the hands of those who use it directly into the hands of those who sell it back to us. What we fans provide for ourselves is self-entertainment, a mighty rare beast these days.
  • a fan remembers a cruel LoC:
    Good advice on how to criticize fan fiction. I'll never forget a LoC I saw, about three years ago, in which one fan called another's story "unbelievably wretched." I cringed for the total stranger who had written the story. I was brand new to zine fandom and almost didn't get involved in fandom at all, after reading that LoC. There's always a tactful way to say, "I didn't like it," and it's been my experience that tact takes a bit more intellectual excerices that cruel remarks to.
  • a fan is fond of a metaphor:
    Loved your comparison of fan writing to the unpaid job of housewife. I think it's great when a fan writer goes pro because I assume that's what he or she wanted to do, and had the talent to do so, but for many, writing is simply a hobby. Ridiculing fan writers is a bit like ridiculing people on the dance floor because they aren't professional dancers.
  • a fan discusses "out-of-character":
    In fan fiction, SW characters often do and say things we've never seen them do and say on screen, but I don't feel that authors deliberately take our heroes, heroines and villains out of character. Each of us has his/her own sincere beliefs regarding how a character would behave in the new circumstances of a fan story. Perhaps the more talented writers do this in a more believable way (thus causing less or no objection), but I sincerely doubt that any writer sets out to present us with an unrecognizable Luke, Han, Lando, whoever. When reading what seems an "unlikely" scene in someone else's story, it might help to remember the words of a certain wise Jedi. Many of the truths we cling to...
  • a fan addresses another regarding characterization:
    I can see your point about "creative ownership", but I really don't think it applies to fandom as we know it. If someone goes out and makes a movie or publishes a novel using a character not of his/her own creation in which the character is presented differently than the original, then I would say that applies to "creative ownership" because it affects a large audience. There are copyright laws to prevent that, anyway. In fandom, it is understood by most that the interpretation of the character is that of the writer, not the creator. Only a small amount of people see the stories anyway.
  • a fan doing a close viewing:
    Anyone ever notice how, in the medal ceremony in SW, when Han gets his medal, his eyes follow upwards kind of slowly from Leia's cleavage to her face, and Luke (sweet kid that he is) his eyes go from his boots straight to Leia's face?
  • on fanfic and "rights":
    On "Whose fandom is it, anyway?", I directed most of my comments at the rights of a fan to go pro by writing fiction based on (in this case) GL's SW universe. Basically, I feel we do not have that right legally, but feel we should be allowed to put out zines. Maggie Nowakowska brought out a very valid point in her LoC that expands this question. She's created a character in her fiction and she would not want anyone else using it in a way she would think inappropriate for the character. That is well within her rights. I'd suggest anyone who wished to use another fan's creation to first write to that person and ask permission, then when the piece is written, send the creator a copy for approval. If at any time the creator says s/he does not want you using their character, it should end there. That is just plan good manners. To use someone else's creation in a way the person does not approve would be like borrowing your neighbor's car and then entering it in a demolition derby. But doesn't Lucas deserve the same consideration we would give another fan? I, myself, have written several stories, never once having received permission to do so from GL or LFL. Am I employing a double standard? Yes, I am. My defense is that the impression I get from LFL is that they don't mind fan stories and fanzines published on a limited scale with the goal of break even at best. As far as I know, LFL has never come out in public and announced that SW is open to anyone who wants to do fanfic on it. They'd be cutting their own throats if they did, but they do know of us and have not taken steps to stomp us out (or if they once did, they don't anymore). To me, that says what I've said above: As long as you aren't making a buck from it, we'll look the other way. Another aspect of this question I did not address was Alternate Universes. I strongly agree with [Marlene K] that if a fan's story strays too far from the way the characters were created by Lucas, my interest is diminished. Indeed, my main basis for judging another's story is how "right" the characters feel. Also, if you want to compliment one of my stories, just tell me the characters came across exactly as they did on screen, for that is my ultimate goal--to recreate the characters as GL did and to expand on them in a way he'd approve. In my LoC last time, I said "an author has every right in the world to tell stories as s/he wants, and I'll argue to the death anyone who tells me I cannot." I still believe that. If you want to write a story, even if you are portraying the characters 100% different from how we've seen them in the films, you should have that right. On the other hand, I care very strongly for our heroes (and our villains) and I take it badly when I see them "trashed." To me, it is an insult, and I wonder how someone can consider themselves a fan if they won't accept the characters as they were created by GL. The classic case is in TREK fandom with the K/S fans. I never even got a hint that such an idea could be fathomed, until I found out there was an entire branch of fans who subscribed to that thought. Never have I called for these fans nor for alternates in general to be banned, and for one basic reason--freedom of expression. If they want to write their stories, even if I don't approve, it is their own business, just as much as my stories are my business. No one said I had to read them--and I don't. When I come across alternates in my zine reading, I will give them a try. If they are good, I'll finish them; if not, I'll go onto the next story. Good ones are of the thought experiment kind, "What if...?" Bad ones trash the characters, and to me say the "fan" is not a true fan and wants something different. Different categories of alternates include ones where a new character has been created and placed into an existing universe or an entirely new cast has been created, and I've not included those types in the above discussion. Personally, I'm not interested in other characters unless they are fabulously written. For me to view a character as an equal to one of GL's, it has to be as good as they are, and that rarely happens. Should alternates be allowed in public along with all the other types of fanfic? Yes. Even the ones that could be viewed as an insult to the spirit of whatever they ^re based on? Again, as long as no one is getting hurt, I don't see why not. K/S stories did not turn me off TREK (never read 'em. never will), so they've done me no harm, it is up to the individual to decide what type of fanfic s/he wants to read. A caring editor should make it clear if a story/zine is an alternate, especially if it could be viewed by some to be offensive. That way, people who do not want to read them don't get ripped off. To wrap this all up, all I'm saying is we can have all types of stories, but let's keep our own houses clean. No one wants LFL to step in and try to wipe out zines (especially all us who enjoy them.)
  • a female fan addresses a male fan:
    Read Cheree's editor's note to you on page 19; then go and re-read it again. Fine. Now do we have an understanding? The paltry sum we pay for letterzines barely pays for paper and postage; all the time and work Cheree donates on her own. This forum is a privilege, not a right. I've had the misfortune to try to decipher some of the hand-written and just plain poorly typed letters exchanged in the zine business, and believe me, what she does is a miracle: she makes a coherent letter-zine out of all these letters, and she does U on time, four times a year!! Better walk ten miles in her Adidas before you take potshots at the job she does. And as an aside, if you continue to refer to women fen with patronizing terms like "sweet -cakes", Tim, I'd guard more than my pancreas if I were you!!
  • on writing:
    If writing ceases to be fun, and -- horrors!-- becomes "a job" to be done, then I think the writer has lost something of value in their life. We all have had the experience of "having" to write something, starting right in there with grade school reports and term papers. Remember how much that was?! That's why fan writing is such a charge; imagine chafing to write something, just champing at the bit to write something, because you really want to? If fan writing ever ceases to inspire that in me, I would stop writing it.
  • its in the bones:
    .... Lucas-film and fandom, especially when contrasted to ST fandom: I was a ST fan long before SW existed {although never in an organized fashion), and maybe IDIC is embedded in my fannish bones; or maybe I was just born to Question Authority!
  • another Golden Age:
    Well, so far, as near as we can tell, the death of the OSWFC has not made much of a ripple in fandom's pond. Just how important were these guys, anyway? Gossip columnists seem to be a better source of information [it all was always denied by LFL anyway--even when it was true!]. Maybe we will enter a new Golden Age of Fandam. I'm heartened to see many new zines proposed, some of them all-SW. My interest in the genre has not faded at all, and in addition, I have found new interests in other media fandoms. (It's all those darn zines! They get me hooked on TV shows I never even watched before!!) I wouldn't hold my breath and hang from a tree waiting for the next trilogy; but you know darned well, if it were announced tomorrow, fandom would be willing and ready! Which is more of a tribute to fandom than LFL.
  • some numbers, and ultimately, just a ripple:
    I was wrong about the membership of the SW fan club in my LoC' in SE#10, At the time I wrote, it was actually closer to 35,000 than 250,000, which I didn't know until later; the higher number was the peak membership. The drop in membership was one of the main reasons Lucasfilm dropped the fan club (if, in fact, it is actually and officially dumped), along with all its other "anci1lary functions" (personnel, publishing, marketing--al1 the administrative functions that take, rather than make, money). The point I was making still holds, though: our fandom is too small a percentage to much influence Lucasfilm's behavior towards fans in general.
  • no Hugo Award please, we're mediafans:
    ...there is yet another subject in which I strongly suspect I do not agree with most fans. That is the nomination of UNIVERSAL TRANSLATER for a Hugo. I do not think it should have been nominated, and I did not vote for it. It's not that I don't respect and like UT; I do. It is very good at what it does, and it's immensely useful to everyone in media fandom. However, it is not a "fanzine" in the sense that either SF or media fandom defines a fanzine. It should no more be nominated for a fanzine Hugo than the Barnes and Noble catalog (which is also excellent for what it-does) should be nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. That's my philosophical point. More pragmatically, this nomination is not winning us any points with SF fandom. It's not the bloc voting aspect -- that's happened with SF fanzines, and in at least one case won the fanzine the Hugo -- so much as our credibility. A lot of the SF fans who dislike media fans ridicule our fanzines without ever having seen on: now that a sort of media zine has made the Hugo ballot, these people feel that they were justified in their ridicule. Even some fans who were sympathetic have lost sympathy in this regard. There has been an ad campaign among SF fans urging a boycott of the fanzine Hugo altogether. I'll agree that this is childish and reflects badly on the fans mounting the campaign. (I also think there's more than UT involved: there's also a costuming fanzine on the ballot, and the editor of one of of the SF fanzines has been on the opposite side of some fannish feuds, including a current one, from almost everyone who signed the ad.) But if part of the point of the campaign for the nomination was to make points with SF fans (or to get some sort of revenge on them), as I get the impression it was, it's not working. Better to try it with something that's at least representative of what media fans consider an excellent and typical fanzine — GUARDIAN, for instance, or even SOUTHERN ENCLAVE itself. I want to repeat that I mean no denigration of UT or its editors here, and I'm sorry if they're hurt by any of my comments. I respect their efforts and their achievements, and I am personally glad for them that they were nominated, although I am philosophically opposed to the nomination.
  • a male fan uses some comics fandom history, and logic:
    Psychiatrist Frederic Wertham tried to destroy the comics industry during the 50's, and he wrote SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT to this effect. According to him, comics turned children into rapists, homosexuals/lesbians and juvenile delinquents. WONDER WOMAN was "a crime comic which we have found to be one of the most harmful." Regarding Batman and Robin: "They constantly rescue each other from violent attacks by an unending number of enemies. he feeling is conveyed that we men must stick together because there are so many villainous creatures who have to be exterminated. Sometimes Batman ends up in bed injured and young Robin is shown sitting next to him. At home they lead an idyllic life. They are Bruce Wayne and 'Dick' Grayson. Bruce Wayne is described as a 'socialite' and the official relationship is that Dick is Bruce's ward. They live in sumptuous quarters, with beautiful flowers in large vases. Batman is sometimes shown in a dressing gown. It is like a wish dream of two homosexuals living together." Batman and Robin were no more or less homosexual than the boys who read them. Dr. Wertham kicked up a lot of dust back then, appearing at a Congressional hearing on the effects of comics on youth, and resulted in the formation of the Comics Code Authority. If we apply what you suggest, Maggie, then why doesn't everyone "know" that Batman and Robin are gay? Or that Kirk and Spock are gay? Or that Han and Luke are gay?[3]
  • more pastures for this fan:
    Good media sf comes along so rarely that it hurts. Good multi-story (episode) sf even more rarely. I was in TREK fandom for many years before it started to wear thin for me. SW came along just in time with its huge universe and many characters to watch developing. Fan stories keep both ST and SW alive for me now and will continue to do so. I can happily say the same with my new sf infatuation — BLAKE'S 7, if you haven't already guessed. 52 episodes, a whole Galaxy to work in (plus the "unlovable" Andromedans from the galaxy next door) and several regular characters to watch develop and work on in stories (there are still two episodes I haven't seen. Sigh.). All this and British accents, too!

Issue 14 (December 1986)

cover of issue #14
  • online here
  • contains 48 pages
  • "Talking With David Prowse" -- interview by Michael Stubbington and Shaun Dawkins
  • a flyer and announcement for The Fanzine Archives: A Library for the Preservation & Circulation of Fan-created Material, though at that time it was called "The SWzine Library"
  • a review of the filk album Divine Intervention, see that page
  • a fan writes of "character owning":
    Legalities aside, I own my Luke and you own yours. They're probably not all that much like George's Luke anyway. Each of us sees the characters in his or her own Luke is really a part of me, just like Cheree's Han is a part of her. I, too. try to keep my characters close to George's universe, but it can't be done perfectly for a couple of reasons. Firstly. I doubt any of us would bother to write about people we don't have a personal relationship with. Luke is more real to me than you are--not just because I've seen his pictures (I've seen your picture. too). but because through the stories and poetry I write. I know what he thinks about, what he did between the scenes George showed us. where he went after ROTJ. What I don't know is where George took him when he wasn't on screen. And. that's the second reason. Only George can really fill in those gaps for hisLuke and only he should. I suspect, though (guilty pleasure?), that George's Luke is as precious to him as mine is to me and that may be why he tries to guard him so carefully. I would mind if someone took one of my original characters--only because then the character would change--wou1d become the product of someone else's fantasy. It wouldn't be the same character at all. anymore, in my eyes. Then. unless I didn't care much about the character anyway. I'd be compelled to think to myself, "my So-and-so would never do that." Even if I nodded and smiled or looked the other way. Fortunately, I doubt I'll ever have the problem!
  • a fan writes of whumping:
    ...there are a bunch of "trash the hero" stories and I often wonder if we aren't trapped into seeing if we can't top the last one we read. Why do we read them? Because we love the characters, we will read almost anything that deals with them and because the writers are so incredibly inventive about getting them out of those scrapes. The ones that really bother me are the ones where the hero gets trashed permanently--mentally or physically. I can get through most any- thing if the hero comes out of it somewhere in the grey areas of "normal."
  • regarding BNFs:
    I was lucky. I met fandom through a BNF and most of my fannish friends have their names bandied about on a regular basis, so they don't awe me in the least. It is my observation that being a BNF is a thankless, dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it. Well, I'd like to thank them. Thanks for bringing me home. Thanks for helping me to realize that all those awful secrets I had in my mental closet were normal. Thanks for taking me into the fold even though the only thing I had to offer you was a love of the saga. Thanks for being generous with your fannish treasures, for sharing them with me until I could acquire my own, and thanks for sharing your hearts. You are all very special people. Last but not least, thanks for not minding that I don't list your names. I'm trying to protect your reputations and anyway, you know who you are.
  • a fan comments on her experience with a BNF:
    I once tried to contact one in my area, only to be told never to contact her again-- that she doesn't talk to people she hasn't been introduced to first. So much for trying to be friendly. Wonder if we're talking about the same BNF? Write me. or call me. I'm curious.
  • a fan comments on another's comments in an earlier issue:
    I love your concept of fanlit as folklore! It certainly is an art of the "folk", created to fill our needs for self-expression, a whole dif- ferent category from making money. Crafts, needle- work, and other hobbies fall into this category. too, I think... I've decided, furthermore, that "good writing" is very much a subjective thing. I know many cases where stories I've loved, and thought well- written, were panned by a fellow-fan, or vice versa. And finally, I can think of numerous stories that I've loved for their originality. exuberance, characterization. etc. that may not have seemed very well-written. In other words. I agree. good writing is not necessarily a criteria with this folk art. If I wanted to read Hemingway. I know where to find him!
  • regarding folklore:
    I liked your thoughts on calling fan fiction folklore. I think that through writing my own fanfic. I have gained a whole heck of a lot of knowledge and ideas. For one thing. I have become a different type of reader. Rather than reading for the pure pleasure of it. I now find myself asking. "What is the author trying to tell me?" I find that I am not as happy with some of the types of reading material I was reading before.
  • a fan writes about how fan lit helped him learn to enjoy writing:
    Are there any writers out there who writing in school and only got into it through fandom, because of a certain movie/series? That's the case with me. I am an extremely private person, and always hated those assignments (especially in high school) where I would be told to write about some- thing--good, bad, important, funny, or whatever--in my own life. That scared the hell out of me. I think the first assignment I ever enjoyed was to write a short story in my Gothic literature course in college. By coincidence, the prof was a terrific SW fan, so we got along great and considered each other good friends (rather than teacher/student). That college fiction assignment and now fanlit allow me more freedom. Real experiences, if I choose to write about them, can be included without anyone knowing if they are real or imagined.
  • a fan writes about female SF writers:
    Most of the SF I read shows people's reactions to unnerving, difficult, exciting, dangerous, etc., situations; it's very stimulating and educational for me to see how these characters handle these problems, and I can't get into SF that doesn't deal with this in part, because if anyone is in a difficult situation, the way they feel about it governs the way they handle it, right? Well, if concepts and characterizations are a result of more women writers, I'm all for it!
  • a fan writes:
    Sorry to hear SE and TIF are causing a financial burden on you. Cheree. You put in too much work to have that headache as well. The less expensive format for SE will be a tiny sacrifice to keep the zine going. With SCOUNDREL's last ish almost here. SE will be the only forum of its quality left. If there are others of its caliber around. I don't know of them. but would gladly subscribe if someone lets me in on their existence. For now. it's up to us to keep this great forum open.
  • a fan comments:
    your last paragraph made me look strongly at what I've commented about fanlit. especially alternate universes (AU's). In nearly every case of AU stories it surely is the author's sincere interpretation of the characters. what they perceive GL is trying to convey. My looking on a particular AU story as "trashing" the characters is colored by my p.o.v. as a reader. The author is fighting all my biases. likes and dislikes. resulting in stories where I don't like how the characters are handled being labeled "trash". In that, I am playing his- tory. deciding who's the hero and who's the villain (to make a little analogy with part of my letter above). Chances are you'll never see me review fanlit. My bias are too strong to make me fair. If I like something. I love it, but if I don't. WATCH OUT!
  • from a fan who feels SW fiction is in a rut:
    Have we, in mainstream SW. said all that we have to say? Now, before you all blaze at me, sit down and THINK. There can only be so many "Han and Luke and Leia go out on a mission and get caught and..." stories before it gets to where you're saying the same thing over and over. So, after that, and after other stories that use only the main characters. you have the choice. Quit, be redundant, or add your own characters. So, we're getting into alternate universe time. (I know, EVERY story is an alternate in the basic way, but I'm not talking in that line now.) TREK had to go the way of alternates, as well. Have we reached that point in SW? Not that there's anything wrong with it, other than confusing neos who try to catch up on these alternates that have been going for a while. But maybe it's time that we took a fresh look at what we're here for, and why. Re- evaluate.
  • regarding the Hugos and media zines:
    There has been a lot of bru-haha over UT being nominated for the Hugo. I have never been more incensed than when I picked up a copy of a Texas fan organization newsletter and saw them rip up the fanzine category just because one of the zines was a costumers and the other media. Well, needless to say, I won't join THEIR club! I can agree with Bev in principle on her opinion of UT's nomination , tho' I was glad to see SOMETHING get the nomination in fanzines. But I'm really annoyed at this 'holier-than-thou' attitude that many 'straight' SF fans seem to have. Hypocrites. Oh, they mouth big. and they say "peace" and "let's have a space program!" with all the rest, but they're all talk. It's unfortunate. How are fans to say they're "ahead" of it all when we can't even live together from such splitting up?
  • a fan comments on why we read and write a certain genre:
    "Get stories" are the backbone of the antagonist stories. The "we against them". The "them" can be a gobble monster from outer space, or a sand storm. The fascination is that quarter gram of sadist found in all of us. The thing that makes you worry a sore tooth, bite at a hang nail, rub a healing scar or grin in triumphant relief when you swat a pesky fly. We all have good cries over sad endings, but in most cases, the happy and triumphant winning over adversaries are the more popular, and the greater the adversary, the greater the satisfaction.
  • another fan also comments on Get'ems:
    Why do we write "get 'em" stories? That's a subject that's been around a long time! (Looking through my stacks of letterzines the other night. I found the subject of "gets" right up front in the first issue of JUNDLAND WASTES, March '81. And I'm sure I'd find plenty more on the subject in my old HALKAN COUNCILs from ST fandom. Fascinating reading, old letterzines. Wish I had the time to go through them all and index the rise and fall of discussion subjects, and to chart when major turnovers in contributors occur and how long it takes for a subject to surface, submerge, and resurface.) A possible theory is that we like to see characters in an ultimate max situation. one which pushes them to the limit, because we prefer to play out, to "practice" if you will, such terrible experiences before similarly emotional times might happen to us. How a character experiences bad times, surviving or dying honorably, suggests both a template for our own actions, and gives us hope that we might also act properly in such situations. There are also all the other psychological explanations. For example. many of the injuries fen impose on character after character, in all the different fandoms, are classic castration symbols. I never really quite bought such interpretations until I got into fandom and found the same injuries repeated time and time again, no matter the universe of a particular fandom, and always to the male characters. Maybe there are a lot of women around who need to "erase" the provided male image and rebuild it (to them) in a more pleasing fashion Or, in a different vein (sic), maybe there are a lot of physically and emotionally abused folk among us who (whether they realize it consciously or not) can't believe in, or identify with a hero, until he is battered. Or maybe this is all psychobabble hogwash. This long-time-around subject is also a very delicate one.
  • a fan write of get'ems:
    I've always felt that the "get 'em" or hurt/comfort stories were written to provide a situation in which nurturing is acceptable in a male-dominated society... and by that, I don't mean fandom but society at large, the one in which we all grew up. Our heroes are Real Men, who keep going despite sickness, injury, or adversity, leaving the Little Woman at home to tend the babies and generally stay in the background. But, our generation of women does not find that acceptable. We have moved out into our men's world and are having to operate on their terms in order to function. That means wehave to be Real Men, too, and our nurturing or mothering instincts have to be suppressed in order to be thought acceptable by the men with which we are now competing. However, in our fan stories, we have a subconscious chance to play out those instincts, by first causing our Real Hen to be hurt and helpless, then pulling them through with our love and caring. It's the basis for all those Mary Sue stories, since many of us are still suffused in the Little Woman tradition taught by our mothers. That is, no matter how dog-eat-dog is the world of our men, home and wife/mother should be a haven of comfort and rest. And that may be all a bunch of psychobabble, too. but that's my impression of the subject.)
  • a fan comments on the popularity of get'ems:
    I think we got into just such a discussion on a panel on "hurt/comfort" at MediaWest*Con. And I think the general consensus was that the reason poor 'ol' Han, or A.J., or Indiana Jones always gets mashed up is that it's a tried-and-true plot device to allow one golden thing to show: true emotion. "Get" stories allow both the "gettee" and the "comforter" to reveal the kind of feelings for each other that they presumably "couldn't" under more mundane circumstances. Too bad that in this world, as well as in the worlds we have the power to create in our fiction, that we feel compelled to nearly kill someone before we can allow them to reveal what they are feeling. It would be fun [and a challenge!] to see some authors tackle the "NON-get" true-emotions story.
  • a fan writes of past George Lucas attempts and controlling certain types of fantiction:
    Lucasfilm never tried to shut down fandom or prevent the publication of fanzines; they did try to prevent the publication of R- or X-rated fan fiction. True, they never gave carte blanche to all comers--as Matt pointed out, that would have been cutting their own throats --but in the first year after ANH came out, they verbally assured us that fanzines were OK, even encouraged them, though they were reluctant to put anything in writing, and they defended fans and fanzines to 20th century Fox when Fox wanted to prohibit fanzines outright. (GL did not then, and may not still, own all rights to ANH.) "They," in this case, were Craig miller and especially Gary Kurtz, producer of ANH, who personally explained fanzines to Fox. (I know about all this, by the way, because the fanzine in question was SKYWALKER 1; had anybody been the test case for the legal wrath of Fox over fanzines. it would have been me.)
  • regarding ownership and copyright:
    Regarding the discussion of the rights of artists, I'm definitely in the minority. In the pro world, I agree with copyright law, which defines a creator's rights as only extending to exclusive control of profits. That's why I never took seriously LFL's attempts to intimidate fandom and control zine content. There'd be no legal force to back it up. However. if LFL ever came down on those few fans who profit from their zines, I'd be fully in agreement with their position. I've always found it interesting that fandom turns a blind eye to those fans who profit from zine publishing (and they do exist--I've seen and heard actual proof), but hollers all over the place when fans publish stories they or LFL consider offensive. A personal friend of mine who publishes a very good zine (not SW) has registered herself with the IRS as a small business. She was quite open about it, saying. "Yeah. I got the idea after talking to a lot of zine editors at a couple of cons." Of course, the artists, writers, poets and everyone else who has input in her zine never see a penny of the tidy little profit she makes. Not only is her activity infringement on legal copyright owners. but it is artistic theft and exploitation, not to mention illegal. I know that it is much more common to lose money on zine publishing than the opposite (I myself have just started experiencing that with my own little letterzine, POWER OF SPEECH, for which I've had to charge a ridiculous price and still can't break even). But I do know that far more offensive than what fans do get upset about--the supposed "moral" rights of pro artists. Matthew Whitney asks that we give GL the same consideration that we give each other. But I simply can't put pro and fan art on the same level. Once a work of art has been disseminated to the public and all legal copyrights and trademarks registered. it is "mine" (if I like it) to appreciate in the way that I wish, and no one has the right (legal or moral) to stop me unless I begin profiting from that appreciation. For fans, however, I do think people should ask permission to use characters and ideas from other fans' writings. I consider that a moral duty because we are not pro, after all. Yet in both the fan and pro art world, an artist will sometimes create something so universal in nature, so widely accepted, that we forget who originated it. Indeed. the identity of the creator loses its significance because it has become part of the general culture. This happened in ST fandom with Kraith, with many fans writing stories that made mention of purely Kraithian ideas as if they were canon. GL's attempts to monopolize ownership of the SW trademark is a good example of an artist's inherent limits to control his/her work. Once something has become an entrenched part of the culture. I don't believe the originator has anymore rights to it. GL's massive artistic ego made him launch on a rather silly and futile lawsuit to maintain hegemony over a phrase that. simply through cultural assimilation. was no longer his anyway. if it ever really was. I don't believe there are absolute boundaries of artistic control. and anyway GL should be flattered that his invention has become so deeply rooted in American culture. That's a risk artists take when they turn pro. If you want to make something you create popular. then you take the risk of losing some control of what you have created. If what you have created has enormous cultural impact. people will feel free to use it in the manner they wish. And that's as it should be. An artist creates for an audience, not him or herself. Once you make the decision to share your art, even in fandom, you are giving up part of it. That's a natural human occurrence that no law can stop. All the law can do it assure your monopoly over profit.
  • regarding slash suggested in past shows and now in modern main-stream journalism:
    In the 60's, it certainly seemed like "everyone" knew Batman and Robin were gay. As an old 50's Batman fan, I was infuriated with the way B&R were presented in jokes, and on TV, not because of homophobia, but because of what I felt was misrepresentation and because of all the sniggering that went on. And you'd be surprised at the strength the K/S business is gathering in nonfannish circles; it was discussed lengthily in a local paper's article on female erotica/pornography. Further. "/" seems to have become an expected development in a new fandom; one of the first five things I hear about a new fav seems to be about who's/who. Why. I'm not the person to say; no one has done it with characters that I can believe in as of yet, and my taste doesn't run to the heavily romantic writing that seems to pervade "/". However, Joanna Russ has a supportive essay on the subject in her book, MAGIC MOMMA, TREMBLING SISTERS, PURITANS AND PERVERTS. You might find it interesting.
  • a fan would like to see more zine comments:
    I very much agree with your comments concerning comments on zines in SE. Most people who buy zines don't LoC them (I'll be the first to admit. I LoC only a small fraction of the zines I read each year!). And the "professional reviews" of zines often leave a lot to be desired; besides, there just aren't enough of them to cover all the zines published every year. I, too, would like to see more comments about the stories, art, articles, and poetry in specific zines--even if it is just to say, "Hey. I read this fantastic SW story about that very same theory in such and such a zine, by so & so!" Many writers and artists operate in a frustrating vacuum, especially if they are new and just starting out. Feedback!}... what kind of zine "reviews" [do] fans want [?] I think most of us just want the sccond kind, the "what kind of story was this, and whut was it about, and why I liked it" kind of review. Frankly, the first kind of review, the dissectlon of the craft of writing method, is often over employed in fandom, by people of dubious qualification and ability. And, what's worse, it often falls to really give the fan any useful information about just what the heck the story was about, and whether or not the particular fan would enjoy it! And all of us can write the second kind of review, an added incentive when we are trying to spread more information about more zine stories to other fans.
  • a fan writes of zine, taste, and variety:
    I agree with your comments about what attracts you to a particular fan story. If the characters don't "feel right," no amount of elaborate plotting or technical skill can draw me into the story. Unfortunately, each fan has their own idea of what feels "right" about our favorite characters!! (After all, look at all the fuss kicked up after ROTJ by some fans, complaining that George Lucas got the characters wrong!!) After a while, you get to recognize what zines and which authors mesh with your own point of view. And if once in a while you make a mistake and pick a zine that just doesn't "fit"--well, trade them off and move on. It has always been a matter of encouragement and good cheer to me that there are so many zines that I have any particular interest in! That means that there are a heck of a lot of zines out there that appeal to people with very different views than mine; and that means that fandom isn't such a homogeneous group after all. Matthew, you mentioned K/S as a facet of fan literature that you personally had no interest in. Yet, as you note, there is a huge segment of fandom out there that really eats it up! I think that's great [the diversity, not just K/S--although I enjoy K/S as well!], and it's part of the "good health" of zinedom. Diversity is essential to keeping fan fiction alive; no matter what little facet of media fandom you write about, there are probably people out there who want to read about it. Look at me: As well as SW fan fiction, I enjoy reading and writing in fandoms of many other kinds, including the fandoms where I've never even seen the 'parent program' [STARSKY & HUTCH]; fandoms where reading the fanfic got me to watch the 'parent program' [REMINGTON STEELE, SIMON & SIMON]; and fandoms where ther are no 'parent programs'! This explains why I am usually broke. and spend all my time. reading zines!
  • a fan writes of his part in a con skit:
    It was about midnight at ConFederation and I got shanghaied into a SW parody of somebody's. I came in the middle of part one (of four). They were trying to record it at the side of a still noisy convention floor, and they needed male voices for the male parts, so three of us guys ended up playing a cast of thousands. It was a very strange play, with most of the SW characters landing on Earth and attending a SW convention, and Darth & his stormtroopers blast everybody they can at the con, and Luke & Leia & Han take Mark & Carrie & Harrison and everybody who worked on the films to the Rebel Base for their own protection, and George shows STAR WARS and EMPIRE to the Rebels, and almost all of the cast (including Frank Oz who always car- ried around Miss Piggy) went to Dagobah to do Jedi aerobics, and... It was 3AM when I called it quits, in the middle of part four, and last I knew, Wedge was having a pasta food fight with three earth women.
  • regarding slash:
    I have to agree with you to a certaln extent. As long as the characters come within the pre-defined behaviors their creators set up for them. I'm more inclined to stick with the story. And, yes, more inclined to say it is. or is very close to. being successful. Sometimes, however, I'll find a story where the character has been improved upon and I don't mind that one bit. Usually, those improvements are still within the pre-defined behaviors and are a logical step forward, not a far-flung deviation. I too will not read a K/S story nor will I read a S/K (Solo/Kuryakin) or a S/S (Solo/Skywalker) if offered up. Such stories justdo not fitinto the behavior of any of the characters. If someone else wants to read them, fine. it's their perogative to do so. I just want to be warned in advance such a story is coming up. so I can skip it.
  • a male fan writes:
    Yeah, I know I'm not a lesbian. The round-about point I was trying to make was how can women, be they straight or lesbian or bi-sexual, know what they are writing about when they write "/" fiction? They write Kirk and Spock as if they were two lesbians. That's probably why straight and homosexual men regard K/S with amusement and/or revulsion. I'm not against K/S or any other "/" fiction, I want you to understand. I just think it's weird.
  • this fan is not a fan of the ghost:
    Fantasy is just not my mode either. If fact, the only part of SW I did not care for was the ghost-like reincarnation of Obi-Wan. I felt this could have been handled in a different way. At least Voda and Anakin had the decency to stay dead until the final shots of JEDI.
  • regarding Howard the Duck:
    I'll tell you, tho', Lucas can't say NUTHIN' about smut if he's got a duck doin' it with a human! *snicker*
  • a fan is angry and writes:
    Your last comment to me was nasty and in poor taste. If "sweetcakes" was patronizing to you or anyone else, then that was not my intention, and I think that should have been apparent to you.

Issue 15 (March 1987)

cover of issue #15
  • online here
  • contains 38 pages
  • fans are assuming that this will be the last issue of this letterzine, and many are mourning its demise, others talk about it taking a long hiatus and will welcome it when it returns
  • "Star Tours" by Melanie R, a report of her visit to Disneyland in Anaheim to see the Star Wars attraction
  • the editor writes: "I am issuing a last call on back issues of SOUTHERN ENCLAVE. Cut-off date for ordering back issues will be June 1. 1987. After that date. they're going in the trash. They've been piling up in my living room for three years now and it's time to clean house! Issues 4 through 14 are currently available for $2.00 each."
  • there is a letter from the editor of Rogue's Gallery saying that unless a new editor is found, that this zine will be discontinued; the editor adds that a new editor, Cynthia L. Smith, is taking over
  • a fan says the star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Harrison Ford campaign has been derailed:
    I've run into a problem with the Star Fund for Harrison Ford and wanted to tell you about it because you've always been so supportive of the effort. Pat McQueeney, Harrison's manager wanted to clarify that the fund was started solely by Becky Novak and I and that no way was she soliciting funds for it, to make it clear that it was a fan effort. I don't know why she felt it was necessary but nevertheless she wrote to Joann Emerson of ROGUE'S GALLERY stating that the idea was mine. Joann evidently printed it with or without comment. Anyway. the feedback has been totally negative. I have always claimed Pat McQueeney has known about the Star Fund, which she does, and the Walk of Fame Committee notified both she and I when Harrison's nomination was accepted on July, 8 1985. and that there was no objection from Pat concerning the effort to obtain a star for Harrison. There is no objection from Pat. She simply doesn't want anyone to think she's soliciting funds for it because cause Harrison wouldn't approve of her doing that. She wants the star to come totally from his fans. Anyway, people have written to me asking for their money to be returned, some of them stating that they believe I've spent it on Lord knows what, rather than the fund. I'm sending refunds back, of course, with a copy of the notification of acceptance and, as much as I can, ignoring the personal slander. Joann will not let me make any statement in her publication. so I am left high and dry. All I ever wanted to do was honor Harrison with a star that he has earned and deserved. I still feel Harrison deserves it and, though it is meaning all this nasty mail, I am not giving up, no matter how much people pull out. I know there have to be others out there who want this for him as much as I do, especially after his brilliant performance in MOSQUITO COAST.
  • a fan asks the editor:
    Is this really the last issue of SOUTHERN ENCLAVE, Cheree? I sure hope not. I can understand your wanting to take a well-deserved break from the pressures of zine editing (especially to have a baby!), but hope that when things slow down again for you that you decide to return to putting out SE. I'll certainly miss it, if you don't. One fact is an absolute, though. Your health is more important than any zine, so I'll back up any decision you decide to make. You've done one hell of a lot for SW fandom and I thank you for it.
  • regarding fannish burn-out and splinter groups:
    I don't really think that fandom is split anymore into smaller fandoms than it ever was before. Even back in the ST days. there were several fandoms in existence. We SW fen are probably just more conscious of this now. because there are more of the so-called media fandoms than before. Personally, I'm all for this. Being in more than one fandom, while rather expensive sometimes (depending on how involved you are) does have a tendency to keep you from becoming tired with anyone fandom (at least in my own experience) as fast as you might if that was your only interest. In fact, I was suffering from serious SW burnout over this past year, but found that becoming involved in Blake's 7 fandom has helped me to reawaken my interest in SW! And that, I imagine, will keep me from getting tired of B7. And, of course, there's always Elfquest, Pern, Darkover, ST, Indiana Jones, Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who and any well-written slash stories I can get my grubby hands on. SW was never a gigantic fandom, but it will probably go on existing very nicely along with all the other fandoms that have existed or come into existence since SW did.
  • a fan believes other fans have a right to canon character ownership, but only so far:
    Good point about each fan writer owning their own version of whichever movie charac- ter they write about. Just as we all have our own interpretations of what we are watching on the screen, we can't help but write our stories to fit that interpretation (unless we are deliberately changing things for a alternate universe story).
  • a fan addresses hurt/comfort and sex:
    Out of all the personal opinlons of the reasons why people write "get 'em" stories, yours was the one that struck the proper note wlth me--that the author is trying to show her/his ideas about how the hurtee's loyalty, courage and ethics will stand up under terrific stress. I also agree that some writers have a tendency to get carrled away with the suffering and/or tortures involved. The SW Showcase zine of these many years ago was a prime example of this with poor Han being put through excrutiating torture in graphic detail. Blah, yuk! I've also noticed that the same people who have heart attacks over any sex at all being ln a fan story have no compunctions about putting their favorite fictional characters through the tortures of the damned. I wonder what a psychologist would make of that little gem of knowledge.
  • a fan discusses slash and questions its appeal:
    Your remarks to [name redacted] about "/" zines make me wonder how it is that men relate differently to each other in a loving relationship than women relate to each other in like circumstances. I've also always wondered why people need and enjoy these types of relationship stories. As far as I'm concerned. people may read and write whatever they enjoy; I just think it would be interesting to analyze why these stories are so satisfying to some of us, in the same way that we all discussed "get" stories in the last ish of SE.
  • a fan can take a lot, but...:
    I'm inclined to agree with you in that I can take almost anything in a story as long as there is a "happy ending" or something even remotely resembling it. As long as nobody dies or goes crazy, I can handle it.
  • a fan writes:
    Well. I think fandom is sort of on hold at the moment. A lot of people who were involved early on have dropped out, but others have replaced them. My interest certainly remains, but I can understand why people might want to move on. To all those who are still printing SW zines, as long as you do, I'll continue to read them. I don't feel stories have deteriorated in quality, at least not those I've read. As to whether fandom is splintering, it seems to me it's always been somewhat fragmented, with everyone having their favorite characters, Imperials vs. Rebels. etc. To tell the truth. I feel somewhat out of touch with what is going on in fandom because I don't have as much contact with other fans as I would like. For instance. I've never been to MediaWest. but I'm about to remedy that.
  • a fan wonders:
    I'm not sure there really is a demise of SW fandom. There still are a lot of SW zines out there (more than I can read. let alone afford to buy). I also see new names pop up in both zines and letterzines. Is it possible that SW fans have expanded their interest in SF/F. therefore the concentration isn't as noticeable? In other words, those fans are still there but not focusing solely on SW? I know this is true in my case. I was an SF/F fan lQng before SW hit. The demise of good stories? No. not that I've noticed. I still see a mix of bad. mediocre and good. Could it be you saw this as a result of burnout? I know I get critical when I suffer burnout.
  • a fan got tired of "straight" SF:
    I've been annoyed over the attitudes of some "straight" SF fans for some time. Just because media tends more toward characterization and "opera" doesn't mean it can't be enjoyable. I've read some straight SF that I got very tired of very fast. When an author has to explain every little gadget and every function of every concept then it's time to say enough fiction. A good SF story should take science concepts as a matter of fact, something the characters take for granted. An explanation of a scientific concept should be left for the appendix or notes pages. [Ed: That's exactly what I love about vintage Heinlein. His stories were written as if the reader knew intimately the world in which the story was set. He didn't have to you that the inside of a spacesuit smelled like dirty socks --you byghod knew it to begin with!]
  • a fan writes about a then-current topic:
    The seeming demise of SW fandom. This seems to be a matter which a lot are talking about recently. Is SW fandom dying? The first time I ever heard that question was a while back in STARLOG, and I think that it put the question into many people's heads. Some perhaps are answering yes to the question. while others may even say it is already dead. I disagree emphatically! Nothing that has affected people as much as the Saga has will ever die. SW has a strong following that won't let it--ever! What we are seeing right now is a lull. Enthusiasm for things flow in cycles. A high point of intensity cannot be maintained. but rather will slowly diminish until something sparks it again and it will swing back up. You can see it in many things. The careers of musicians are classic cases. Elvis was on the top of the heap for years then began to make those crappy movies. Meanwhile. the Beatles invaded and captured the spotlight. In the late Sixties. Elvis staged a comeback while the Beatles drifted from our attention. Things cooled off a bit for both until the deaths of Elvis and John Lennon. Again, interest in them went through the roof (a sad postscript, but a fact). And there were lesser peaks and valleys in those two cases. That's what SW is suffering now. I feel. Just a low point before another upswing. It's only natural. The last film was four years ago, during which time we've seen a lot of other great pieces of SF/F which we have enjoyed. Personally. I cannot remember ever being so high of STrek (due to III and IV) and have discovered Katherine Kurtz' Deryni novels. Both take some of my attention away from the SW universe. Not that SW has diminished, but now it must share my time with other subjects. It is good that the question if SW's popularity may be faltering has been raised. It is something we should be consciously aware of. The most active members of fandom--the zine readers, writers. artists. editors. etc.--are the ones who keep the following alive by spreading their enthusiasm to other fans. Let's keep the Force strong!
  • on fandom:
    The splintering of fandom. Unfortunately, this is a natural growth. Not everyone likes all or the same parts of anyone interest. Most obvious in the SW fandom is the fracture between Han fans and Luke fans. Fortunately, in SE it seems like just about everyone accepts each other's likes and dislikes and can debate not who is better but (and this is what's important) what makes each character unique, his/her motivations. meanings behind thlngs. and all the rest. The lesson teaches itself: spl1n tering is natural. but not desirable. As long as we remember we are in fandom for the fun of it. It doesn't have to break down into "we" and "they" camps.
  • a fan writes of fannish camps and how it stunts creativity and conversation:
    I agree with your assessment of the aftermath of the great "trash Luke campaign" of recent years. It has made all of us who are even marginally Luke fans very gunshy of bringing up anything negative about the poor guy! We have hesi- tated to comment on Luke's many ambiguities and flaws--much of what makes him a really interesting and sympathetic we didn't want to present any larger a target than he already was. I. too. am fasCinated by the "Darkness" in Luke. his possibly 1ess-than-platonic feelings toward Leia. his frustration at working inside the struc- ture of the Alliance. etc. But until recently. to bring up any of these topics in a SW 1etterzine was like painting a bullseye on the poor guy and shoving him out onto the firing line! Let's hope all that is over now. and we can all discuss Luke's flaws as Luke (why should the anti-Luke fans have all the fun??) instead of being forced [hah!] to defend every little belch and scratch! Hey, maybe we can even discuss Han's flaws, as Han fans!? Would be great, wouldn't it?
  • variety in fiction and what constitutes an alternate universe:
    After four years with no new info from Lucasfilm to feed our fannish fires, those fires are dying. What surprises me is that few people try to get out of the rut. (I'm guilty of this, too.) For example, lots of people have started writing how-Anakin-fell stories. Why doesn't anyone write about a mission Anakin went on for the' Jedi? Or his navigating days? Why don't more people write about the "little" people in the STAR WARS galaxy? (It's a big galaxy, after all!) They could write about a family's struggle to accept a son's decision to join the Rebellion after being raised on a pro-Imperial planet. That isn't creating an alternate universe, in my opinion. It's expanding on the one we were given.
  • zines and profit:
    Regarding turning a blind eye to fans who profit from fandom, specifically zine publishing-- I'm not ignoring them!--I just didn't realize they existed!! If I'd known, I'd try to find out how they do it! I've been steadily losing money in zine publishing for going on four years now, with no end in sight! Are there really fans who are making money on this? How?? I agree wlth you 100%; anyone who is doing this for profit is not only treading on thin ice legally, but is morally skating the edge, since we are all winking at the copyright laws in this "business". If I were one of the legal copyright holders, I would be very upset to find someone making a profit off my characters and creations. I really didn't think this problem existed. What can be done? Boycott their zines? Turn them in? I think that would be opening a can of worms all of us could do without. All we need is to dredge up the same kind of paranoia that flourished during the great Lucasfilm flap! I think the logical starting point would be with the people who make this person's profits possible: the people who contribute to the zine, and the people who buy it. If you know someone is cleaning up on a zine, perhaps you should inform the people whose names are connected with it, and see if they are aware of it?
  • the editor of a zine jokes:
    If you think WOOKIEE COMMODE #3 offended you, wait until you see WC#4! The nude centerfold, the special "/" section, the "Trash Everybody" portfolio--oh, I'm just kidding! But it will be good--good and offensive!
  • a common comment about ROTJ:
    I think that scene where Luke informs Leia who she is, is one of the more poorly botched scenes in ROTJ. Some of it may be been edit ing, but the whole scene was awkward and stilted. It's one of my favorite scenes in the film--because that's all we get! But it could have been so much better. As for what kind of "mental gear shifting" Han was doing in that scene where Leia informs him Luke is her brother, I thlnk that scene was a little awkward, too. It may be that it just takes hlm that long to stop thinking of Luke as a rival, and to make the necessary mental adjustment to think of him as Leia's kin. From his slow uptake, maybe he was hoping Leia would choose Luke instead! Just kidding!
  • a fan talks of fannish changes:
    I speak as a SW fan, as a SW zine editor/publisher, as a SW fanfiction author, and as a fan of other genres as well. As far as I'm concerned, SW fandom is not dead--but it sure is changing! A lot of the "old guard" of SW fandom has moved on, either out of fandom entirely, or into other genres. Many of them just drifted out, but some have gone out with a bang--sometimes due to pressures in "real life" or problems wlth the fandom. For whatever reason, they're going or they're gone, and with them goes a lot of the "machinery" and the experience that built SW fandom up and kept it running so hot for the last 10 years [Zounds! Has it really been that long??]. We still have a lot of "newer" fans who have come into SW fandom in the last few years. and are relatively new to zines, cons, etc. Overall. I think the number of SW fans has steadily decreased since Lucasfilm has denied that there will be any more films. But there is still a lot of interest there; and I think there always will be. even if there never is another film or book or comic. Heck. look at all the GONE WITH THE WIND freaks there are--they even have cons and newsletters and hucksters--and all they had was a movie and book. fifty years ago! So, I don't think SW fandom is dead. and I don't even think it will die; but it will have to get a lot leaner and more committed if we are to continue to see SW zines. SW programming at cons. etc. I've mentioned before what I call the "Yuppization" of SW fandom. Lots of us have left active fandom, zine publishing. etc. to pursue the rest of our lives; we're getting promoted, moving, getting married, having babies, and--surprise!--generally unwilling or unable to continue to devote all this time and money to an endeavor whose only reward is emotional, not financial.
  • a fan addresses another:
    I've just subscribed to the Trek letterzine INTERSTAT and a friend has given me about 20 back issues. I've noticed that you're a regular contributor. Just wanted to say it's nice to see a familiar name. Sort of like going to Outer Mongolia and running into your next door neighbor!
  • speaking of slash and comics:
    I was up too late at night when I wrote that no one "knew" Batman & Robin were gay. I should have known better. But I think it makes my point stronger, in a way. Do you think B&R were harmed by the assumption on some people's part that they were gay? Beyond not being taken seriously for years, I mean. I understand that a Big Time TV evangelist once held up a copy of the X-MEN graphic novel. "God loves, Man Kills" and denounced it as the work of the Devil. The X-MEN comic is still selling quite nicely, despite mediocre writing as of late. I really find it hard to believe that "/" fiction, as it exists now, can cause any trouble for us. or even say anything that the mundanes aren't already saying to themselves.
  • a fan writes of slash:
    True. "/" fic can be weird! To me, I guess it would depend on how it was done. Haven't read any stories where Kirk and Spock come across as if they were lesbians, but then am not really into ST, so can't really voice a valid opinion in this regard. As I've never tried my hand at writing "/". I don't know how they do it either! Maybe there's someone else out there who can enlighten us?
  • Maggie Nowakowska writes of the fanzine library:
    I'd like to thank everyone who has inquired about the SW Fanzine Lending Library. The best laid plans never shake down until in operation and your patience--as I rewrite the order form yet one more time--is appreciated! We're beginning to query universities and colleges about placing the zine collection; if anyone out there knows of a worthy scholastic institution with a SF/popular culture/ women's studies library, let Bev Clark [know].
  • a fan questions fanfic:
    Your questions about fanlit address perenniel worries about the subject. Is fanlit merely indulgence within another person's universe. a filling of the gaps necessarily left in the original narration, a stroking of emotions stirred by the original and still a bit hungry? If so, then I would suggest that fanlit does indeed have a natural lifespan with recognizable recipes for stories. If, as in the case of SW, a major plot development is a rescue, then rescue stories will predominate as the fans seek to recapture the excitement of the flight. If romance figures in the plot, those involved will be put through all the variations of a romance that the fans can imagine. Vignettes will fill in the places the original author did not elaborate; "what ifs" will pop up, and a variety of alternate story lines will appear for those who feel their "favorite" needs more/different/specific exposure. There is nothing wrong with this pattern of fanlit, but as you pointed out, it has limits, it runs out of gas. it gets repetitive.... The alternate universes--stories that take the original and build on it, developing plot implications and carrying them on to logical ends--often wander far afield from the emotional draw that the original had; to be a STAR TREK fan was not necessarily to be a "Kraith" or a "The Weight" fan. These stories are written not only as fannish exhultations of the original universe, but also because something in that original fired a creative spark in the alternate's author; something made that author try a hand at some secondary creation. These efforts of fanlit have their own breath or life, their own span of time to exist and entertain; and they can pop up anytime in the original fandom's lifetime, although they may not get the exposure they would have had they appeared in the beginning of a fandom's enthusiasm. I'll go out on a limb and suggest that being a fan of the universe presented in an original creation makes an author more inclined to write alternates, while a fan of the original character(s) will follow the development of fanlit described first. One life (or two persons' lives, as in a romance) can only encompass so much activity, can only experience certain milestones once; can undergo just so many emotional crises before that person changes and risks becoming something other than what was originally admired. If "And they escaped into the night sky, weary but alive" or "And they married and lived happily ever after" is the purpose of the story, there's nothing to write afterwards. Now, each of us has some kind of story that she loves to read over and over; nothing wrong with that. But greater fandom does move on after a while. On the other hand. lf "And s/he was always searching for greater knowledge/another way to help/the beauty of each living day" for an example, is the goal of an author's exploration. the story will never end.
  • regarding communication:
    I think you should keep in mind that you can't know somebody from letters, or even from phone conversations. Nothing can replace eye contact or physical presence when building a friendship, or just trying to get a point across. Has anybody considered the time-slip that a letterzine effects on conversation? We are all talking at once and past each other.

Issue 16 (September 1987)

cover issue #16
Southern Enclave won a Fan Q!
From Southern Enclave #16 (1987), Maggie Nowakowska's somewhat tongue-in-cheek suggestions regarding fanfic labels. On Sept 22, 2013 she wrote:"These are from the days when some zine readers became vocal about the specifics of story/zine content. This was a tongue-in-cheek response to the intensity of those discussions. The three advisory examples were offered to zines that wanted to assure some readers that none of such fanfic appeared in their pages (so zine-buyers' budgets could be allocated accordingly*). I clearly forgot to substitute a different symbol for the repetitive Cross-Universe: remembering complaints from even earlier days, I should have included one labeled "Drinking." To be fair, zine prices were zooming into the $20-$30 dollar range by then (instead of $5-$10), and people were becoming less willing to pay the higher prices for a zine (by mail; sight unseen) that could turn out to be filled with stories outside the buyer interest areas."[4]
  • a fan writes:
    I enjoyed issue 15; the lack of acrimony was a relief. The last year has been much easier on my blood pressure when I read SE. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, I just don't like when their authors shove them down my throat as the only opinions. The last few issues everyone has been exchanging ideas without all the nastiness. That is appreciated from this reader.
  • a fan comments on get'em fiction:
    Two of my biggest objections in fan writing are the kind of "get" stories in which the character involved is put through all kinds of tortures in graphically disgusting detail and any kind of story where the characters are so romantically fantasized that the ending to the story is totally unacceptable even as a fantasy. I mentioned a story in the SW SHOWCASE zine of several years ago (in my last letter to SE) in which Han was brutally tortured (his toenails were ripped off slowly, for ghod's sakel). I can understand a writer wanting to vicariously nurse a favorite character back to health, but why describe such horrible treatment so graphically if you aren't getting some kind of kick out of it yourself? (I'll probably get zapped for saying this, but it's how I feel about it.) In a Bodie & Doyle story I once read, one character was a physical wreck and the other a psychological wreck, yet we were supposed to accept that both would recover enough to return to active duty. No way within the perimeters given. This is pure fantasy growing out of a seriously realistic subject.
  • a fan writes of fanfiction and its constraints and freedoms:
    At least fanzine writers don't have to worry about contradicting Lucas official plotlines; I've always been surprised that zine writers have endless possibilities for stories, but settle in the same old ruts. If I read one more "the morning after the victory on Endor" story, I'll scream. (Of course, along will come an inventive story that will make me eat my words.) I rather agree with Maggie Nowakowska's analysis, that fan writing tends to be repetitive over time, responding to personal preferences for characters and events. We're rather in a catch-22 situation; for fan fiction to develop, the characters have to move forward and change, but then they won't be like the characters we love and lust over, so we don't want to read that type of fiction. So we stay close to the frame-work of the films and write the same things ad infinitum. But several writers are extending the boundaries of the SW universe, particularly Carolyn Golledge and Ellen Randolph. So, there is hope. (Ed: Let's not forget Jeanine Hennig, Mary Jean Holmes, Pat Nussman and [Liz S.], Marcia Brin, Carol Hines-Stroede, and Patricia D'Orazio, all fine writers, each developing her own universe.)
  • a fan writes of fandom endurance:
    As to "burn out" in fandom, it could just be a rechanging mode. We all have other activities and events in our personal lives that sometimes remove us from the fray for a time. But the ember is there. Once it is lit within the being, it never really goes out. It lies under the surface just waiting to burst into flame once more. Once a fan, always a fan... As to fandom maybe not being as strong in the SW arena as it once was or will once more be: could this not be simply getting to the core element of the fans once more? Could it also not be somehow an expression of the "me generation" aura? SW does not concern itself with the welfare of one over the many. It has a character who has a superficial air, a camouflage of not caring, but has a center of deep caring. It is a film of commitment, not to the self, but to others and to causes. In this way, maybe it is simply no longer a saga for our times. Do people care any longer about the large issues or are they too immersed in the self to make the effort to see about the welfare of those about them? Maybe the transformation of the character of Han Solo is something which makes people uncomfortable. They might see the selfishness which has become a part of our lives to be nothing in the overall picture. It does not lead to growth. It leads to a stagnation of the self. The self needs to reach out to others and to be part of the lives of others before it can reach its true potential. This was shown in the depic- tion of Han Solo and it showed how he could only be whole and healthy and himself when he allowed others to enter into his being. As to new ideas in fiction of the fan type: The concepts are the same in almost every story, just different variations on a theme. The over- layer makes the theme different, but is it really? Was the SW film itself really that different, or was it a variation on a Kurosawa theme? One of the Locers to TB has shown how Lucas had seen Kurosawa's works and discussed one of Kurosawa's films that had a princess and a theme very much like what SW was to be. The human condition does not change. The archetypes remain as they are within us. Our needs remain the same -- companionship, love, belonging. Any good work will contain these things. These are the main elements that link us together and allow a story to reach to a greater audience than mere superficial action would allow. It also enables it to become a part of the audience. I am not drawn to SW because of the action/ adventure, no more than I was drawn to STAR TREK because of such things. I really don't even like the title STAR WARS. It says something which the films do not. The films are really about over- coming the need for war. Warfare exists when failure of the spirit exists. When that spirit and the idealism behind it holds sway, there is an ability to co-exist with others of differing ideas and beliefs. When that spirit becomes diseased and feels it cannot stand the invasion of other idea cells into its system, it tries to kill them and, in the process, kills itself by a portion. Is that not what the film gets into?
  • a fan finds the SW fandom future a bit dismal:
    I agree that SW fandom is in a "lull", but, unlike the Beatles and Elvis, the chance of there being an upswing for SW is very slim at best. Okay, so George Lucas said at the 10th Anniversary Con that there will be more movies, but WHEN?I I'm certainly not holding my breath for said movies to be made, but even if he does eventually get around to it, it could be too latel The biggest movie audience, teenagers and young adults, may not have even grown up with SW like today's young audience has by the time Mr. Lucas starts thinking about SW again. He'll realize this, as well, and that will probably keep him from ever finishing the saga since it all boils down to how much money he'll make at the box office. The way I see it, if he doesn't start on the next movie within the next three years, SW fandom WILL die, and he'll never do anymore movies.
  • Ming Wathne writes:
    SW fandom dying?--being a fairly new fan, this is somewhat difficult to comment on--having said that here is my comment. Probably the greatest problem for a new zine (SW) fan is getting to be a fan. With no central information source as STAR TREK has (I do not con- sider the Official SW Club to have filled that position; it was mostly a commercial organiza- tion), the greatest difficulty is finding out there is a SW fan world out there. Next, to make contact with the people who will help you guide your first faltering steps into that world. If you do not have access to a club that has zine interests, or know authors/editors, it can be a difficult experience. I consider myself extremely lucky. Corellian luck was working overtime when I first made contact. My floundering around finally connected with a very fine lady who helped me greatly to find zines (or warned me off some) and to try and ignore the sometimes rude reactions to my sometimes dumb inquiries. 95% of the people I have had the fortune to correspond with have been incredibly kind and helpful, but there were just so many things about fanzines I did not know or understand, it would have been a disaster if my first contacts had been one of the dastardly few. I might not be a fan. After all, us new ones are trying to make up for many years when we did not know about the zine world. As for the zine stories deteriorating, at least from the represen- tation I have of the older things, the percentage of good material is only improving.
  • a fan writes of SW as an onion:
    I disagree with your statement that "we aren't saying anything new about (SW) subjects." If nothing new were being said, why are we writing to/reading this zine'? (Not to mention what it means to those just discovering fandom or even the films themselves.) True, we have a very limited subject if you get out the stop watch and clock screen time, but that ignores the best factor about the SW films, that they possess such grand scope and can be viewed on so many levels and layers (the onion analogy) that it'll be a long time before we really run out of anything to say. Also, remember who you're talking to here, Tim. No one can dissect and analyze a subject more than a die-hard sf nut.
  • a fan writes:
    Yes, I'll keep buying, reading and enjoying SW zines as long as they're published, too! I don't think the quality of the stories has deteriorated, either, but, rather, that as there are fewer SW zines, there is propor- tionately less of everything, including top-drawer material. I can think right now of at least half a dozen SW writers whose work sends me into transports, and that's pretty good for only about 6 to 10 extent SW zines! Seems a good time to mention that the artwork seems to me to be getting better and better. Let's keep up this trend, folks!
  • a fan is all about fannish diversity:
    I whole-heartedly agree that being involved in a variety of fandoms can be enriching. You learn some things in one fandom and share them back and forth, thus shedding light in a new way, and keeping them all fresh. My newest fandom is Robin Hood (plug, plug). It's really fun to have some fresh interests to enjoy while SW fandom is "retrenching". I also agree that SW fandom isn't dead until lie down in that coffin.
  • a fan doesn't mind small forays into non-SW topics:
    All this reminds me of your editorial, where you mentioned about straying from the topics of SW. I'm afraid I only half agree with you. I agree about religion and politics. In the past couple of issues, I've gotten so tired of religious and political arguments, that I've skipped entire paragraphs of people's letters. I've even skipped Sandra Necchi's entire letters. I'm sorry, but I did not buy a year's subscription to SE to read a three page letter about the ups and downs of the government and the press. However, minor strayings don't bother me at all, such as discussing non-SW sf. Before I began reading SE, as a matter of fact, I had never read any fantasy books and I'd read very few non-SW sf books, with the exception of ST. Reading other people's comments about them, though, has gotten me to read and get hooked on THE DRAGONRIDERS OF PERN, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, CRYSTAL SINGER and KILLASHANDRA, and DARKOVER. If it weren't for minor strayings, I might never have read these books. And, wow, what I would have missed! As Matthew said, "splintering is natural". It's just the big "chunks" that are harder to get around.
  • a fan has this report of a recent pro SW con she attended:
    I said I would write after the Con (SW that is). It was very good (the content), even if a little sparce). But the management was incredibly amateurish. In fact, most amateur cons I have been to were better. There were no ID badges, no room outlay, no bulletin board -- in other words, no way of knowing where you were at or of finding anyone you might have been trying to meet or getting in touch with. The Lucas talk was so over-crowded that, at first, they were going to keep some of the people out. I think they changed their minds when they saw just exactly how angry people were, but it was no help to this person. The latecomers had to stand and there is just no way this person could stand for an hour and a half in one place. The same could be said about the memorabilia room. The lines were so long, you had to stand for an hour sometimes to get in, some- times longer. It never seemed to occur to the dimwits to extend the viewing hours, as they did with the sales rooms -- the only trouble was, they forgot to tell the people who were hand stamping that they were going to open the rooms earlier. Can you imagine hand stamping (STANDING IN LINE AGAIN) for three days for those who had purchased in advance so another 1/2 to 3/4 hour gone every day. Also, because the programming was so very sparse, they played the movies (all 3 SW) in the middle of the day -- so, of course, you missed other programming, and either the copy of SW was bad or they did not test out their equipment because the sound was very bad. The projectionist was not too much better. The sales rooms were excellent, at least the products were. There was a big and varied choice for once and even some zines (this is rather rare here on the Southwest coast) but the sales rooms were so tiny in most cases, just getting in and out was a chore. I had a good time, but was rather surprised Lucas tied himself up with a group that has such a poor rep in the con world. Many of the people I talked to said, if SW did continue with this group, there would probably never be a second one. go in cycles. Now, of course, if there were a new SW movie, it would swing upward very rapidly.
  • Ming Wathne writes:
    Now, as for being a fan of the SW universe, I seem to be a fan of many universes developed by fans. I don't really have much difficulty, shifting from the various views of the fan universes. We all, after all, have our own ideas of how the characters will react, but I am not at all happy with the authors that simply use the SW universe to develop completely strange characters and call them SW. Like anything else, there can be exceptions, but I feel in most cases, the fans are not being dealt with fairly when stories of this type are advertised as SW with no explanation.
  • regarding profit from fan works:
    I guess my response to this is: give specifics. Lots of us have heard lots of rumors, and we've heard them for a long time. it's time we brought them into the open and discussed them. Some of them may prove to be misinterpretations. For instance, a zine editor operating with a business license is not necessarily making or intending to make a profit. In some states (including, I believe, California), to open a bank account in other than a personal name -- the name of a fanzine -- you have to have a business license from the city or town. I never had any bank accounts in the name of SKY- WALKER or a press name for that reason. Very expensive zines may mean that the editor has a limited selection of (expensive) printers avail- able to her, or that she's somewhat naive about the mechanics and costs of producing a zine, not that she's trying to rip off fans for her own financial gain. For anyone's information, SKYWALKER 5, if it ever sells out,-will make a profit of between 25 and 50 cents a copy. Considering that the first four SKYWALKERs all lost money, SKY 4 quite a bit (due to last-second increase in printing costs), this will mean that over the entire course of the zine, I will still not quite break even. which is, after all, what I expected would happen.
  • a fan writes of profit:
    On the general discussion on zine producers who are making a profit at the fans' expense, rather than settling for break even -- are their contributors getting paid? If not, how honest is that'? I don't want to accuse anyone ('cause I don't suspect anyone) or open any raging debates, but if an editor is making $ off others' work, I hope they don't sleep well at night.
  • a fan writes of his visit to MediaWest:
    I had a fine time this year at MediaWest; it wasn't as low-key as it was the last time, with more plays, better costume competition, and a general mood of tomfoolery. I myself was in "The Relic Man" play, as a lawyer and paper plane pilot (and when my mother saw the video tape of the play, she started calling me "Wrong Way Blaes"). I think I enjoy the plays at MediaWest, seeing them and occasionally being in them, most of all. It's like a live fanzine. Speaking of fanzines, I found quite a few unexpected gems this time around. A SHADOWCHASERS zine, a couple of AIRWOLF zines, and I think I must have died and gone to heaven when I found a FROM U.N.C.L.E cross-universe zine. And, after six years of attending this can, I finally remembered to bring my swim trunks and took a dip in the pool and hot tub. I do hope that the art auction can be held within a reasonable space of time next year. I was in the dealer's room when someone dropped the news about the next SW movie, but I was at the far end and the news had to trickle over to our side. New Trek, new SW; things are looking up.
  • a male fan has a zine proposal:
    I think you or someone else should produce an official S.M.U.T.T.I. fanzine. It's a dirty job but somebody's got to do it. I have some extremely nebulous plans to produce an adult portfolio of STAR TREK art, but I'm not in touch with enough artists yet; I've drawn out a list of 24 possible subjects for such a portfolio, so it wouldn't just be full of K and/or S (Mary Sue gets her place, along with the Enterprise.)
  • a fan writes of SW fandom and zines:
    This year's MediaWest was great fun and I bought another stack to add to my zine collection. I did notice that quite a few of the SW zines are ceasing publication!FAR REALMS, OUTLAND CHRONICLES, CIRCLE OF LIGHT, ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE DAGOBAH. Burnout seems to be a highly contagious disease in fandom. And, unfortunately, as zines fold, the outlets for fandom are fewer and fewer, and those writing SW fiction will turn to other things or bury their stories in drawers. The next few years should be very interesting to see how well SW fandom survives. So SOUTHERN ENCLAVE is even more important as a connecting link. I hope it can continue if in an abbreviated form. This is a good time to announce that A TREMOR IN THE FORCE 4 is open for contributions, as is CHOICE PARTS 2. Although I'm taking it an issue at a time, I have no intention at the current time of shutting down my SW zine! Let's see some material from all you folks out therel By the way, did you know that what we're doing has a respectable and legitimate name now? It's called "desk-top publishing." It's becoming big business now.
  • a fan would like fanfiction to be as free as any to explore themes but would like some labels:
    [regarding Carolyn G's] comment that fan fiction should be able to embrace genres as pro fiction does. For myself, I have long wished stories were identified as "action/adventure", "relationship", "wish fulfillment", etc. The subject came up year ago when "/" stories began to appear regularly, but it got lost in accusations of "censorship" because of the subject material. People who wanted "/" stories identified as such were subject to all kinds of accusations. However, with the changing times, "/" stories tend to be so identified these days. It would be nice if we also had some way of knowing which other "genre" a zine's stories tended to be; or if a zine were fairly well represented, which stories were which. It cer- tainly would help when buying the zines blind, as many of us who don't regularly get to cons (or go at all) must do through the mails. (Yes, there's the good chance that a person will miss a story that's really good in a genre she doesn't usually buy, but good stories tend to get talked about and she can look it up among her friends. Meanwhile, she won't have spent more money than she can afford on zines that aren't really interesting to her. Some people like any story with SW characters in it; some prefer to stay away from fandom's version of, oh, say, bodice rippers; some don't want death stories, or violent stories, etc.) Hey, I can see it now -- international fanlit label!
  • there is some continuing discussion of a topic very rare in this fandom at this time:
    You may be opening a very serious can of worms by asking why some fen like to read and/or write slash stories and also your question about how a loving relationship between two men may differ from one between two women. I've seen very little written in any fandom involving two women but plenty between two men, so I'll stick to that subject. As far as a relationship differing between male or female lovers, I don't see why this should be so. I can see lots of men not allowing themselves to get into a serious relationship with another man for fear of being dragged unwillingly out of the so-called closet or because they have been totally brainwashed by society into not believing that an honest male-male permanent relationship can really exist. But, if one does develop that lasts for a long time to a lifetime then it's probably for the same reasons any other male-female or female-female relationship of the same sort would develop -- either the two men involved are in love (love is love, no matter who it's between) or the two are simply comfortable together. What has the sex of either person involved got to do with it? They are simply two people who are right for each other. For this reason, I can as easily read a slash story as a "straight" sex story and enjoy it as much. The sex of the people involved doesn't really matter, as long as the people involved are right for each other. In return to your question as to why such stories should be satisfying to some of us, I ask, why shouldn't they be? And, in answer to your question I say that I like these fictional characters as individuals, and I like to see them happy. I'd enjoy a good Han/Luke story as much as a good Han/Leia story or a good Blake/Avon story as much as a good Blake/Jenna or a good Avon/Cally story. You'll note my repetition of the word "good". My biggest objection to slash writing is not the subject matter, but that so much of it is so poorly written!
  • a zine ed talks about LoCs:
    I keep getting asked about is LoCs; usually it's less a question than a comments "Gee, I loved your zine, but I don't know how to write a LoC..." You mean there's a way to write a LoC?? Uh-oh... I must be doing something wrong, then! Any set of comments on a zine is a LoCs There is no right or wrong way to do it! Some people seem to think that if they can't comment on everything in a zine, or if they can't say something nice, they shouldn't write a LoC. Wrongol We love all sorts of comments, including negative ones (how else can we tell if we've offended people??). And there's no magical format for writing a LoC (this is not a book report, guys!!); just jot down whatever comes to mind. All I ask is that people put their names somewhere on the letter or the envelope, and their addresses; we might have ten readers named "Pat"!
  • a zine ed talks about contributor's copies of zines:
    There seems to be a lot of confusion about contributor's copies, mainly, who gets 'em! I think there are a lot of different policies out there, and sometimes they even vary from issue to issue of the same zine (depending on the size and expense of the zinel). Ideally, all contributors received a free copy of the zine, postage paid. The key word is "ideally"... When the zine assumes heroic proportions, and the costs mount wildly, somehow it doesn't always seem possible to send a free issue to, for example, a fan who contributed one poem -- and lives in Denmark! (Overseas postage is a killer, usually costing more than the value of the zine; I love it when overseas contributors offer to reimburse me for postage!!) I think to avoid misunderstanding (which seems to be the reason this question kept coming up), contributors should make it a point and ask what the policy of the zine is. Zine-eds don't aIways remember to tell every contributor, so ask! With the WC, we try to give a free copy to every contributor -- but sometimes (the old "one poem" case), we just can't justify it. Then we offer a half-price or something similar. And, as I said, we really appreciate the understanding of our overseas fans. After all, if we go bankrupt, there won't be a zine anymore!
  • a fan has this plea:
    One thing I would really like to see in SE is some comments on fan-fic. I have a real vested interest in this topic. Let me explain. I have for the first time, this zine season, a long story in FAR 9. This story has been shared with many of my correspondents (a few who are most relieved that this thing is finally in print and I won't have to bore them about it anymore). Anyway, I now realize what kind of effort goes into creating a lengthy story and I would like to have some kind of feedback from my fellow fans as to what they thought of it. We are getting perilously low on SW zines and there aren't many places for writers and artists to get feed-back. If you don't want to put your comments into a LoC, you could always write directly to the author or, if you don't know the address, I am sure that any zine editor would be more than willing to forward a letter to the author. Like I said, this is a very selfish request but I know that many of those with whom I correspond have echoed the same sentiment. Sometimes we feel that our work goes to the editor and is then sucked into a black hole, never to be seen or heard of again.
  • a fan says it's not the money:
    I also liked your comments on why we devote so much time to fandom. I too do all of this for the emotional reward. I have enough in my life to give me other rewards, but have for many years longed to find a group of people who could feed my emotional and intellectual wants for talk about SW. If I thought too much about the amount of time that I put into "Shadow of Desire" (FAR REALMS 9) and the fact that I was "paid" for it with a contributor's copy, I would have my critical self all over me for "wasting" my time. But when I hear from someone that they enjoyed it, or re-read it and see how it has grown over the last two years, I get an inner reward that no money could buy. I suppose it is that I do look at it as more of a personal expression than a means to any monetary end.
  • a fan has a dream, set to music:
    I have this recurring dream; I'm in the dealers' room, with a box that seems to hold an endless supply of inch-thick, color cover fanzines. I'r.l tossing them behind me, saying, "They're free! Free! Take one! They're FREE!!! And everyone has this beautiful smile on their faces as the zine falls into their hands. My feet aren't touching the floor, I'm just floating through the aisle, and there is harp music in the background.

Issue 17 (December 1987)

cover issue #17
  • why, a fan asks, is it so hard to drum up interest for the minor characters in shows:
    In both SW and ST fandom, the "Big Three" form the core of their appeal. Now I'm very much interested in Kirk & Spock & McCoy and Luke & Han & of course Leia, but there is so much that fascinates me about the people in the background, the Jan Dodonnas and the Kevin Rileys, the Wedge Antilles and the Montgomery Scotts. But supporters of the supporting cast have a harder time connecting with each other and producing in fandom. Advertise in a few other fanzines that you are producing a Han zine, or a Spock zine, and the bulk of fandom will at least check you out. But the market is a bit tighter for an all-Wedge zine (something I'd like to see, by the way). I'm running the Hellguard Social Register (for Saavik and Romulan fans) and I've mailed out an incredible number of flyers, with less than 4% return. In the "Fan Network" section of STARLOG. I actually got what amounted to half a page, color, listing the HSR. So far, only about 12 have responded to that listing. Yet I hear TREK fans complain that the Romulans have been neglected in the movies even as the Klingons are over-used, and Saavik came in with almost 10% of the "Favorite Character" question in the last BEST OF TREK poll. I have no doubt that I'll eventually OF TREK poll. I have no doubt that I'll eventually get off the ground, but does anybody have any idea why it is so hard for...let's call them sub-fandoms form? And is anybody out there going to edit that wedge fanzine?
  • regarding MediaWest and a VCR tape:
    Is your MWC tape the official one they were advertising? I sent a SASE for info, but haven't heard anything on it. The "Repo Man" skit was WONDERFUL! Anybody know where it'll be published? I didn't get a copy of the script for the (Fan Q winning!) "Search for Spock" skit and deeply regret it; it was also super.
  • a fan writes about another's pseudocide:
    First, thanks for the letter in the notes. That situation turned out to be extremely distasteful. It seems that the death notice was in real it, a hoax. Ann Carver was a pen name. The whole thing was really a nasty business. I have since received the money back, but it has left a very bad taste.
  • regarding taste:
    Now, as for the graphic treatment of Han in the SHOWCASE zines...wel1, some don't like slash, some don't like brutality. I can deal with either, as long as the story is well done; and, since I could enjoy either, I guess you could say I get a kick out of it.
  • a fan asks for a bit of focus on older fiction:
    As for zine reviews! A really great idea and, like you, I know what I like so I am mentioning a couple of great older stories. If you have not read them. find a copy Of MOS EISLEY TRIBUNE #2 and read Ellen Blair' s "Metamorpheus." it'll give you the shivers. And. if you like new characters, read Chris Noel's "A House in Flames" in LEGION OF LIGHT #2. These are both great stories.
  • as always, bad press for fans:
    My main comments this issue concern this article I just ripped out of my current (Sept.-Oct. issue of FILM COMMENT. Kind of sobering, eh? I think it's extremely interesting, not from the standpoint of information about George Lucas, or the future of the STAR WARS films, or even the future of SW fandom, but from the standpoint of a non-SW fan's perception of SW fans. We don't come off looking too good, do we? In fact, this guy makes us sound like a bunch of nuts! Of course, we all know there are a lot of...eccentric people in fandom, SW and other; but I don't think most of us like to consider ourselves crazy, or out of touch with reality. Personally, I like to consider myself someone with a fairly...loose grip on reality! But a grip, nonetheless! Just as television and newspaper reporters who converge on WorldCons always pick the absolutely weirdest fans to interview and photograph (the almost classical Vulcan ears with the Dr. Who scarf, or the 250 lb. woman in the chain mail bikini), this author seems to have slid headlong into a wall of rather bizarre SW fans, and—perhaps feeling a mild concussion coming on—never probed any further... Too bad; I think there were some extremely bright, realistic, and articulate SW fans at that convention (I know several people who went who fill that bill nicely), and he never met or talked to them. An article like this makes one understand why poor George Lucas usually feels like running screaming from SW fans.
  • a little fannish cross-pollination:
    So, what does everybody think of the new TREK? There's been just the pilot as of this writing, but though I had a few twinges of "Umm, haven't I seen this plot before?" and I miss having a Vulcan around the house, I enjoyed it. But it's kind of a shock to see a Klingon on the bridge of the Big E! ((the editor interjects: My 2 cents worth—I think it's kind of dull, actually. I miss Kirk's bravado-style of leadership. Picard's too much of a wimp. I don't think it's logical (pardon me) to have children/families on board a military vessel and I don't like Wesley or any other super-genius-type snot-nosed kid. I do like Data, the android. Tasha Yar, and Ryker. I think I could get to like Worf, the Klingon (if he were ever given anything to do), the lady counsellor (can't think of her name) and even Georgi. I think there are a lot of problems to be worked out with the show. All in all. it does seem like STAR TREK 28: THE SEARCH FOR A NEW PLOT. I console myself with the thought that it may get better. After all, I wasn't too enamored of the original ST back in 1966 until about mid-way through the first season. But wasn't that cameo by the 137-year-old Admiral McCoy priceless?!))
  • a fan ponders burnout and the future of SW fandom:
    I like your summary of the reasons SW has such wide and enduring appeal, at least for the letter-writing fans. As to why the fandom seems to be less strong than it had been, you may be right about the "me generation" element, at least to some extent. But I think there's more to it than that. The core of SW fandom, those who locked into SW at or near the beginning, are getting older. gaining more personal responsibilities in the real world we all live in; and while involvement m the fandom started at a high level of intensity, there's only so long such intensity can be maintained in a single area. "Burnout" is not just a "mundane" phenomenon. But taking a less intense part in fandom doesn't necessarily mean that a person has lost the capacity to reach out to others, to see the human race and the world as interrelated, to grow personally. It may simply mean that some people are finding other outlets. Or they might feel that as far as they are concerned, the discussion of various aspects of SW, including analogies with the real world, have gone as far as possible and it's no longer interesting to take part—I'm willing to bet that some of those who seem to have dropped out are maintaining at least tenuous ties with SW fandom, reading the zines even if they don't participate with LoCs or other contributions. But even if they've left completely, that doesn't necessarily mean they've joined the Reagan "revolution" completely or even in part. Expressions of ideas and feelings may change even if the ideas and feelings themselves don't. I can't speak of fanfic ideas because I haven't read much fanfic of any sort in the last year or so (several fanzines are still sitting in my "to be read" pile) simply because I have so many other things to read, and do. SE is the only fan publication I read regularly (SW fan, that is), and that because I find the ideas and exchanges so fascinating, whether I have time to comment or not.
  • a fan addresses Ming Wathne:
    I'm glad to hear that you've had such a positive experience with your late entry into SW fandom. Even at this late date, I can appreciate your comment about the difficulty of getting to be a SW fan in the first place—I lucked out years ago when I met a couple of people at a science fiction con who were planning a special SW issue of the Trek zine and they put me onto a few names and addresses. I'd known for years that Trek zine fandom existed, but had no idea (in the summer of 1978) that there were SW zine fen also. Not being a Trek fan of any sort, I just wasn't hooked into the network at that point. (Of course. I was also lucky in that I was into sf cons already, otherwise I never would have run into the editors — actually I'd met them through costuming at an earlier con, and it was at the summer con they mentioned their planned project). And I second your thanks to Maggie and Co for setting up the zine library--they're providing a real service to fans who came in late. Thanks for the report on the SW con in LA. I'd been rather regretting that I couldn't go, but after reading your comments. I 'm just as glad I didn't go, after all. I've heard and read similar comments on other "professional" cons for Trek and Dr. Who. The basic problem is that the fans put on cons for the love of the subject, as a big meeting/party for a lot of friends to get together for a good time, and the pros are in it strictly for the money, with no understanding at all of fandom of any sort. "Two different worlds we 1ive in..."
  • a precursor to warnings and tags:
    Finally, I LOVE your emblems [see previous issue for image]. I'd really like to see them taken up, either in ads or in reviews; of course, in many cases, several would be needed. I can see a review with 1-4 of any given symbol indicating emphasis on various aspects...(snicker) (I never said I was nice!).
  • another fan writes of the labels proposed in the previous issue:
    I think Maggie Nowakowska has hit on a great idea for labeling fan stories according to type. Very clever insignias. Anyone going to use them?
  • a fan explains some terms for another:
    "Fen" has been around many years as a plural form of "fan." In sf fandom, "filksong," while definitely filling a need, started as a typo in a fanzine and was immediately adopted as a useful and typically fannish term. As for "mundane", it's often used as a derogatory term (any "in group," especially one that feels it's looked down on, has some way of distinguishing "us" and "them", if only as a defense mechanism), but it's also a very convenient non-derogatory shorthand for non-fans. I use it both ways; I hope my tone Indicates clearly which meaning I'm applying; more often than not I use it simply as shorthand, when speaking with fans-Actually, I met the term first in SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), which I joined at the same time as the local sf club, and in the SCA context it made a lot of sense, maybe more than the sf context. On the other hand, the non-fannish side of life is pretty mundane (read ordinary, run-of-the-mill) compared with fandom, either sf or SW.
  • a male fan comments on get'ems and a fan's earlier letter:
    On "get" stories, you definitely have a valid argument. Fortunately, I have never read a story that was so graphic that it repulsed me or seemed as if the author had been getting some perverse kick out of it. There's no way I'd stay with a story that did come across as too "sick", and you can take that to the bank. I've a pretty tough skin and am not squeamish about violence, but there is a BIG difference between a story that has violence for a specific, justifiable, useful reason, and one that is sadistic or perverse.
  • a male fan comments on slash:
    On "/" stories, I want to comment, but I don't want to paint myself out as a bigoted, closed-minded person, either. My big complaint with "/" stories, be they K/S or H/L or whatever, is that the authors, in my opinion, are denying one aspect of a character and replacing it with one that is contrary. Lucas never came out and said that Luke and Han are straight, heterosexuals, and even if he did, people can change (especially if an author wants them to). They do project an image that they are straight, though. Assuming so, why deny that "fact"? To do so would be equivalent to writing a non-force-user as a full-fledged Jedi. (My view of the Han-as-Jedi idea has been well established, both here and in SCOUNDREL.) Should a deeply religious person be written as an atheist? A political liberal as a conservative? An environmentalist as a resource-abuser? I say no. It is a denial of part of the character, a substantial part that makes the character what he/she is. If you're an author who wants to show a strong, intense bond between two males, you don't have to have them in the sack together to do it. (I suspect much "/" fiction is written by women as an easy way to fantasize about two of their male heroes in a sexual encounter, without splitting them up and adding female partners.)
  • another male fan comments on slash, and homosexuality:
    As a concept, love may be universal, but how love filters through our genders and affects our sexual relationships, that is another matter. Relationships between gay men are not the same as with gay women. The relationships between gay men tend to be rather intense and more often than not short-1ived. Lesbian relationships, comparatively, last much longer.
  • these comments are by a female fan and address get'ems and slash:
    I was very interested in what [name redacted] had to say about hurt/comfort and also about slash. stories. I second her opinions one hundred percent. I'm glad she mentioned the particular story which had offended me. It involved graphic torture with very little plot justification. I believe this type of story should not be classified as hurt/comfort: there is no comfort! This is what sometimes irritates me when I'm referred to as a hurt/comfort writer—the thought that I am categorized in with graphic torture writers, who I agree. Michelle, certainly seem as though they must be getting some kind of kick out of writing blow-by-blow descriptions. As for slash, it's not my pick, but I have nothing against its inclusion in adult zines. Certainly I applaud your comments that love between two people is not necessarily dependent upon their sex.
  • regarding trib copies of zines:
    On the topic of zines and such, I am very grateful to the editors who not only printed stories of mine, but gave me a free contributor's copy to boot. Only in America! To demand a free copy of an editor would be presumptuous, especially for only a short contribution. A pal of mine was asked by her ed for an additional contribution, on top of the short vignette she'd already accepted, in return for a free copy. That was very fair, she felt, and she did send in another piece. Other editors may want to try a similar policy.
  • fan has this advice for others regarding zine submissions:
    On waiting for a response from a zine ed about whether you've been accepted, please let me add an embarrassing story. I'd not heard from an ed for what seemed like a 1 ong time (over a month and a half, as I recall), so I assumed she'd forgotten about me and I sent the piece out to another editor. Just after that the first ed contacted me and said she was willing to accept the piece. If only I'd waited or written to her first, waited a week for a last chance reply, then had sought another editor. Needless to say, I felt I had eqg all over my face and apologized to the first ed about the mix-up and for wasting her time. So, please don't be a dummy like me--if an editor is overdue (at least a month), drop them a 22d note that you've been waiting and, if you don't hear by such and such a date (remember it takes 3-4 days for first class mail to cross country—each way), you'll offer the story to another editor. Give the ed time, but, if all else fails, it's the squeaky wheel that gets the oil.
  • a newcomer to zines:
    It all sounds so familiar! My ignorance regarding zines at first was unbelievable! The first SW zine I ever heard of was WOOKIEE COMMODE. I saw an ad for it in STARLOG in late '84. but all it gave was the name of the zine and an address to send a SASE to. I had no idea what a zine was, so I wrote to Mary Urhausen asking her to send me a copy of the zine In the SASE I'd enclosed. Imagine my surprise when she wrote back and I discovered what a zine was and, even more shocking, the price! Ha! But, luckily. I found someone shortly after that incident who patiently answered all my questions and even listed several SW zines for me to look into, including SE.
  • a fan comments on her own writing and compares it to others':
    Oh, and before I forget, thanks to all those who have praised my work, but in all honesty (NOT modesty), I must agree with Cheree. I consider my stories to be basically action/adventure. Any political or cultural references are generally in there simply because I couldn't avoid them. There are several writers who amaze me with the amount of thought that goes into the background detail and also the ramifications for future directions in SW. Ellen Randolph, Mary Jean Holmes, and Patricia D'Orazio come immediately to mind. The sheer volume of their work is incredible as is the three-dimensional quality and reality of the vast number of new characters they create. In all honesty, I'm not in the same ball-park. I do not mean that I consider my work lacking in entertainment, just that it is different and I don't think it has near as many man, er, woman-hours behind it.

Issue 18 (March 1988)

  • contains 36 pages
cover issue #18
  • many newspaper clippings
  • a fan writes of writing and the rewards of tribbing, plus technology!:
    I LOVE seeing my work in print and hoping that somewhere, someone I've never met is reading my thoughts, my words and reac ing to them--whatever that react i on may be. Don't you? It's also a terrific way to get zines at no cost. Now for a question of my own: Does anyone besides me still write their first drafts out longhand or does everyone in the world besides me own a word processor?
  • a fan wants to know something:
    I just wanted to add one note to one of [T B's]' observations. In his comments to [M M], [T] generalizes that relation-ships between gay men tend to be intense and short- lived, whereas relationships between gay women tend to last longer. In my experience, with the gay people I know, [T's] generalization doesn't hold up. Maybe I know some really unusual gays, but with my friends, the men's relationships have been longer-lived and more stable than the women's. Since many gay men and women have at least at one time in their lives been involved in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex, there may be a tendency to fall back on the old and inaccurate portrayals of men being driven by their glands and women being motivated by their hearts, when it comes to relationships. I don't think those old stereotypes hold up any better for men and women in same-sex relationships than they do for men and women in heterosexual relationships! Certainly in fanfic, same-sex relationships between men are usually por- trayed as being quite stable, even if they are "intense"! Since we have very little precedent for female same-sex relationships in fanfic, it's hard to say if women are accorded the same view. That brings up an interesting subject: Why is there so little "slash" fanfic in SW? I know at least some has been written--I've seen it! Some of it is very imaginative and well-done, too. But compared to other fandoms (and not just ST), it seems to be a sub-genre without a home! Certainly, no one has come out with a zine devoted to it (at least, not that I'm aware of; if there is such a zine, I'd love to see it!). Is the influence of the infamous Lucasfilm brouhaha still so widespread? It certainly suppressed "straight" sexually-explicit SW fanfic; only now are we beginning to see that come out of the closet ("'groan!'" bad pun!). I'm not saying I want to see SW fandom go through the kind of schism and upheaval that K/S wrought on ST fandom; but I'm curious why SW slash, even though it's being written--and written by some extremely good writers--isn't finding a publisher. Are we still looking over our shoulder for The Men From Lucasfilm? Or do we think no one out there will and read it...heh heh heh--come on! You know they'll buy and read it!
  • a fan asks about burn-out:
    Writers get it; editors and publishers get it; just plain fans get it. It can affect everything from keeping just one person from actively participating in fandom, to the fold- ing of entire zines and conventions. Unfortunately, in the past it has also all-too-often been used as an excuse for monetary mismanagement. There prob- ably aren't too many fans who have been active in fandom for several years, especially if they buy a lot of zines, who hasn't been "burned" themselves at 1east once by the "zine-ed burn-out" cop-out. Sometimes, whether or not a fan is really burned-out, it has been used as an excuse for why your deposit, or even full payment, on a zine has vanished--and the zine will never see print. Some fans, in their enthusiasm for their favorite genre, have gotten in way over their heads, committing time, energy and money that they just di dn' t have to some gradiose project that never had a realistic hope of survival. If they'd just be honest, instead of citing "burn-out", as if that absolved them from all financial and moral responsibility! This is the kind of thing that gives all of fandom, espe- cially zine publishing, a black eye. I can understand burn-out; I've felt a little "scorched" a few times myself, both professionally and in fandom. But I can't understand or tolerate using burn-out as an all-purpose excuse for irresponsible behavior.
  • a fan addresses how some fans view Leia:
    I'm going to go out on a feminist limb and argue with some of the ways Leia is discussed. First, the assertion that we never see Leia at work. Cripes, we seldom see the woman except at work. She's working on the Death Star; she's work- ing on Hoth; she's working on Tatooine and on Endor. The only place she isn't obviously working is Bespin, but I'll lay you dollars to donuts her senatorial/Alliance brain is on overdrive the whole time there. Just because we don't get to be voyeurs regarding her and Han's relationship, doesn't mean we haven't seen her involved in any meaningful activity. Further, if her kisses with Han are chaste and imply her as yet unachieved potential as "a woman in love", then Han's kisses are likewise chaste and therefore imply the same thing, his as yet un- achieved potential as a "man in love." Now, if that sounds a bit silly regarding Solo, I suggest that it sounds the same regarding Leia. If the implication is. such about both of them, fine, but let's dispense with the double standard that a woman's passion is only fulfilled in copulation. While I'm being picky, there was nothing wrong with Leia's weight in the first movie; by the third movie, I wanted to sit her down to a nice meal of gravy and ice cream. She looks drawn and altogether too thin; I certainly hope her alliance with Han works the way get-togethers here on earth often work--by returning a few pounds she didn't need to lose. Last, the senator isn't liked because American women are taught to be competitive with each other to a ridiculous degree. Guys can be competitive and still like and admire someone who is as accom- pl ished as Leia. If a guy actively disl iked Han Solo for reasons comparable to the reasons the article gives for gals disliking Leia, people would consider him immature and laugh at his envy. Hell, the guys who really dump on Luke immediately earn sideways gl ances and "methi nks they protest too much" awards. However, it's "understood" if a girl I (and I use that term on purpose 'cause I can't imagine an adult woman having such problems) dislikes Leia because she's so accomplished. The notion that a woman cannot be admired for her human talents, only envied if she has found a man to give herself to, belongs to darker ages than this. I don't know of a single strong, capable-of-supporting-herself fan adult who happens to be female who dislikes Leia for reasons such as "she doesn't have to redo her lipstick or recomb her hair."
  • more on Leia:
    I suspect that Leia is a threat to some fans because of her independence and lack of subservience to the "feminine" ideal which says that women are supposed to be sweet. quiet. gentle. deferential to men. and get their way by manipulation rather than direct action. Leia takes charge. and takes no nonsense from men--and gets away with it! When A NEW HOPE came out in 1977, that was something new on screen., and hard for a lot of people to deal with (there were more than a few locs in zines in the next year or so referring to her as a bitch or words to that effect). Since then, while feminism and new ideas about women have taken hold, there's still a strong undercurrent of feeling that women should be "feminine" in the old-fashioned sense no matter what, they do for a living, and women who don't fit that ideal are threatening to both women who do try to fit. and to men who can't deal with women who consider themselves men's equals. I suspect that at least some of the dis1ike stems from insecurity-- here's a woman who doesn't conform to the feminine ideals that so many of us grew up with (and that many of us did manage to reject) yet she has the admiration and respect of the men she deals with. including a couple of men who are the idols of one hell of a lot of women of various ages. If she can get away with being independent, assertive, and totally competent and still have a couple of hunks falling at her feet, where does that leave the women who try to be properly feminine according to the way they've been taught all these years? Personally, one of the aspects of ANH I liked best was Leia-- FINALLY, a major female character who was strong, independent, and accepted for what she was, with no apologies.
  • a fan questions whose vision of a character is "correct":
    Should the intention of an author override the perceptions of the audience? If Roddenberry never intended for Kirk and Spock to be perceived as lovers, does this make those who do "wrong?" Nicholas Meyer was once asked about the political slant of one of his book/movies. He replied to the effect that what the audience thought about the film, poli- tically or otherwise, was more important than whatever he attempted to present. Zines are almost pure audience response, and a portion of that audience perceived K/S, or some other "/" fiction. It is a matter of "a point of view" rather than a "right" perception or a "wrong" perception. I reject most "/" fiction for the same reasons you do, but the only people I'm liab1e to bump heads with are the K/S ladies who think their perceptions are the only right ones.
  • more on slash:
    I'd say your conment on "/" and easy fantasizing by the authors makes sense but I'd like to add some other possibilities. Men can have a very intense bond, with physical aspects, without being sexual in nature, sure. But let's face it; sexual expressions is, one of the strongest expressions within the range of physical expression. (Of course, the range of sexual expression goes from quiet and tender to intense passion.) We have been exposed by television to much "male imagery" in terms of bar brawls, gun-slinging, deaths in war, etc. They aren't doing very nlce things to each other, are they? Even in football or those terrible fights they seem to be experiencing in hockey these days.... I wonder if "/" is sort of the psychic yearning of the other side of the coin... images of men in physical contact of love and/or passion. erotic delight, creative of good feelings (hopefully). not bad ones. Also. it may be a projection if "they" can learn to be more accepting of themselves, "they" can become more accepting of or tender towards "us" (women). (Look at all the wife-or girlfriend-battering that goes on. Yes. I know some women do it to their man but it's much rarer.) I also think it's an out-growth of the women's movement in terms of women exploring all kinds of erotic enjoyment that we'd never thought of or CERTAINLY never brought out into the light of day. Some men enjoy looking at pictures or reading of two women making love, so why not vice versa? And I'm sure there are lots of women who might or might not admit they enjoy "/", as well as looking or reading graphic (well-written. please) tales of men and women together. I remember reading a conment from a psychologist to the effect that we are inundated everyday with pictures or descriptions of almost every kind of human activity, but hardly any visual/descriptive acknowledgment, celebration of one of the most vulnerable, intense experiences in our lives. Instead, it's relegated to the back rooms, "smutty" bookracks; and, as Jung's theory would suggest, since organized Judeo/Christianity is mostly on the strict puritanical side in its allowance of sex/erotica and squashes it down, then it's bound to come back to us in strange ways. I don't think "/" is strange. I'd say "/" would turn some people's hair white because it (gay sex) explores/implies that aspect of sex for pleasure's sake (of course, in there, there are other aspects of care, conmitment and, Tim, I've read many a reversal of the examples you mentioned last ish). And for the orthodox religious views tied up strictly with marriage/sex/procreation, "/" would be an abomination. (Don't get the idea I don't think marriage and children aren't a "sacred" state, but children, when they are really wanted for themselves, not so much for hidden reasons, status, social or religious "duty". And I think the single or childless states consciously and freely chosen as possible by these persons is a "sacred" state, too. Sometimes it's just hard to untangle your messages from someone else's.)
  • a fan welcomes another to the fold:
    You are definitely not alone. I know of a woman locally who honestly believed she was the only person who ever wrote fan stories, in her case, based on DARK SHADOWS. She was even in therapy to find out why she was so different. Then she met a fan...
  • a fan writes:
    False death notices of fans are, unfortunately, not unprecedented. It seems odd, but apparently someone saw the example of another fan (Jani Hicks) and rather than thinking. How Weird!, thought instead that it was a Neat Idea (shades of Ollie North!). There are times when I wish media fandom were as upfront with its soiled linen as SF fandom is. We really don't talk to each other in public about the dark side of our fandom and thus end up leaving new fans--and not so new but out of the mainstream fans--vulnerable to unscrupulous fans about whom we could have warned them.
  • a fan comments on a recent article, and that sometimes they are too close to fandom to see certain things:
    Such as the undercurrent of fannish identification with Lucas as opposed to with Lucas' Mary Sue character, Luke. Such as the fact that FIAWOL and [FIAGDH affects media fandom as much as SF fandom. Such as the fact that Lucas doesn't want us to worship him like Trekkers have Gene Roddenberry and that this is Good. I think we need to step out of our shoes every once in a while and see ourselves as others do, if only so we can react to them with understanding. I know I'm not weird, not eccentric. and I wear the accepted business disguise in the office, but if you asked the people I work with, I'm sure they'd reply that I was totally Off the Scale. It helps me come to terms with my mundane life if I remember that, like it or not, I, am strange to people who really don't have more in their lives than their work, who they're going drinking with on the weekend, who's sleeping with whom among their friends, and 4 to 5 hours of TV watched every day. I've actually been advised, on the quiet, that people at work are jealous of the fact that I'm not forced to sit in on the local gossip sessions at lunch hour 'cause I've got plenty to do instead (write letters to fannish friends. work on fannish projects, read, read and read), and are resentful of the realty that I don't need to be social with co-workers. whether I like them or not, because I have a full social life of my own outside of Boeing. If anything, articles like this one remind me to be kinder to mundanes. Many of them do have an inkling of what they're missing, but are so compelled by conformity that they never break out of their "normal" prisons.
  • a fan explains one of the SW Lending Library procedures:
    The SW Lending Library insisted on editorial permission to circulate zines first, as a matter of courtesy to the fannish editors, and second, because we make a photocopy of each zine requested and circulated that instead of the original zine. You just don't get printed material past a reputable photocopy shop without proof of permission.
  • regarding zine farr:
    I almost never read a zine cover to cover. In fact, I have a few zines from MediaWest*Con II that I haven't touched yet; it was the first time I had ever been in a room with so many zines and I went a bit wild, buying some zines that I would later wonder what I bought them for. And the zine room was half as full as it is now.

Issue 19 (June 1988)

cover issue #19
  • online here
  • contains 58 pages
  • The Return of Anakin Skywalker: The Eschatology of Star Wars by Bev Clark, essay reprinted from Scoundrel #7
  • art by Judith Low, Carol Peters, Danaline Bryant, Melanie Guttierrez, and Sandi Jones
  • some Media*West photos
  • a lengthy personal statement regarding a disagreement between two fans (Sandra and Kris), the editor writes: "I do not know either of these ladies or have any idea what the quarrel is between them. I will print the rebuttal than the subject will be closed, as I have no intention of allowing a letter war to run in these pages."
  • many newspaper clippings, most about the movies Willow and Howard the Duck
  • a fan writes:
    Agree with you about the female competition in "/" stories. Replace the female with a male and do away with the competition.
  • another fan wants the goods!:
    You have seen "slash" fiction. Where? Wherel? I have seen only one story, and, for that general type, it was generally well done. Some rather obvious holes in the story, but not as ridiculous as most of the type. Being a Fan Zine Fan who practically absorbs stories through my skin, I would like to see some of this material others have "seen" or "heard" about.
  • regarding slash:
    As far as I can tell, I would say that the only big difference between heterosexual and homosexual relationships is that a long-term gay relationship isn't very likely to end in marriage, since same-sex marriages are illegal in all 50 states, and religious leaders willing to perform the service aren't all that common. Anyway, this state of affairs leads to less permanence in gay relationships than in straight relationships. Not only do outsiders feel that the relationship is unlikely to last for a long time, but this view spreads even into the gay community. Same-sex relationships are also taken less seriously, at times, than "normal" relationships, for similar reasons, "lover" being a more casual word than "spouse". The feelings involved in a long-term homosexual relationship being, of course, no less strong than those found in any other form.
  • a fan writes of slash:
    As to K/S fiction, I stated when it first started and will continue to voice the familiar words of "I may not agree with what you say but will support until the death your right to say it." Actually, I don't mind K/S fiction as an alternate universe type of thing. Heck, I've even written something that appeared in THE NAKED TIMES and may do such a thing again. I see KIS fiction as simply being an extrapolation upon a theme. ST fiction has been around for a whiLe and there are times when different branches are needed to keep the tree well shaped and healthy. Long may ALL branches of fandom flourish!
  • regarding who slash is "written for":
    I know one gay fan who has read his fair share of fanzines, including K/S. His feeling was that most of it was badly written, and out of touch with the gay male. If K/S were written by gay men for gay men, it would Look at whole lot different. But "/" fiction is written by women, be they heterosexual, bisexual, or lesbian, and they write about what they feel, not what they know. "/" fiction fills a need in some fannish women's lives, but these are not realistic relationships they are writing about; they're not supposed to be. And that is the point I've been trying to make.
  • a fan hints at copying zines:
    The Zine Library set its own rules--and while I might have wished it otherwise, I was happy enough to get what I did. It was a terrific help for my zine collection (I am pushing 300 at this time). I am very grateful to the people who took their time and spent their energy to do this.
  • another fan thanks others:
    With you, I too thank all the authors-editors, and artists who have continued to make SW live. I love to read SW (either that or I am a masochist, since I now have over 325 zines....). So thank you, all authors, editors, artists and poets and puzzle makers for the many hours of enjoyment you have given me.
  • a fan comments on sexual mores and her support of Leia:
    The so-called "feminine" idea that grew out of the '60's was about as valid as saying all women have black hair. Biology and eco- nomics mandated much .of the so-called sexual behav- ior on both sides. Many of the so-called freedoms of today are simply because of the fact that progress is being made in controlling child bearing and child care. In reverting to a national type of modified tribal existence for child care, women are free to do other things, as they no longer have the responsibility of caring for the offspring, while the male provides the wherewithal to keep the family going. The reaction to Leia under the foregoing society would be expected. It is society that of- ten dictates sexual roles and technology that often changes the society. Control child bearing, and you change society. Personally, I think Leia is one heck of a woman.
  • a fan speculates on SW fandom:
    It was interesting to see, in the latest two issues, how many people talked about the "death" of SW fandom. It seems like there has been a shake- out of sorts in SW fandom. Several of the early" hard-core fans have burned out. Long-running, well-known zines have folded. A great deal of the early drive and excitement has faded. As a long- time fan, I've seen it and wondered at the causes. I believe there are several reasons why SW fandom may have bottomed out recently. The first, and most obvious, is the lack of fresh material from Lucasfilm. Fen are still hoping that the series will be continued on film, but George Lucas has not shown any great desire to resume work on the saga. The most realistic hope fans have is that Lucas will overspend on Skywalker Ranch and be forced to return to the Saga for infusions of major cash. Lucasfilm demonstrated its lack of interest in SW by disbanding the Star Wars Fan Club after several years of profitable organization. This excellent method of maintaining and/or reigniting interest in the movies has been completely abandoned. Nor have publications been forthcoming from Lucasfilm. No more Han Solo or Lando Calrissian books, nor anything else about main characters. Some fans have expressed a desire to see Lucas' legendary nine notebooks of background material published. If this appeared, it would certainly stimulate greater interest and excitement. However, I don't think we'll ever see them--first, because I doubt they exist, and second, because (assuming they do exist), Lucas is not interested. What does this all mean to fandom? It means easy access to material has been closed off. It means there is no definitive word being handed down from atop Skywalker Ranch. It means that fans will have to reach within themselves to perpetuate the Saga. Some fans have been perpetuating the Saga since 1977. For 10 years, they've reached within themselves to present their dreams, ideas, and products of their imaginations in print to us. In 1988, many of them are burned out. Some have acquired families, homes, new or better jobs, and have had to decide what was really important in their lives. No person can be faulted for that. The result, though, is a lull in major fannish activity. All this has led me to wonder, reluctantly, if SW fandom is dying a natural death. A few recent issues of SE made me wonder if I was a prophet before my time, since every other letter seemed to be asking the same question. Then I read that a STARLOG article had prompted the debate. Well, hearing that STARLOG started it all was reassuring. I dropped my subscription a few years ago when the editor made some comments I thought were sexist and demeaning, and lost all respect for the publication then. So, if STARLOG said it, it was probably wrong. Secondly, seeing all the letters in the last issue of SE was very reassuring. Several people wrote to say that they were new fans and had just discovered SW. Hurray! New blood!
  • a fan has found her niche:
    I too feel that others may envy fans their escapes and ability to savor the "unusual." Perhaps there'd be more of us if others cpuld learn as we have that it's all right not to follow the norm or bend to the accepted behavior set by nameless, faceless masses. I used to view fans of ST in skeptic wonder myself, but once fired by SW and bolstered by the knowledge that intelligent, mature individuals made up 90% of fandom, I found a world of joy that had been closed to me before. Not to mention finding an outlet for my long frustrated, pent-up writing hunger. Fans should remember to extend a sympathetic hand to the "mundanes." You never know when one might turnout to be a closet fan.
  • this fan isn't looking for anything deeper from "Father George":
    Maybe I'm a minority, but I enjoy the SW saga as an epic space fantasy, filled with interesting characters and human con- flicts eventually overcome. Sort of a fairytale for all ages in space. All the deep philosophical delving into Mr. Lucas' reasoning only lessen the enjoyment for me. Of course, we all have indivi- dual perceptions of the Force and the heroes' fut- ure, etc. and fine. Sharing our ideas can be fun and enlightening, but trying to find absolutes behind the creation of the saga without knowing Mr. Lucas' thoughts is a bit like trying to describe God. No two will ever fully agree. And as a writer, I find even with my humble efforts, readers sometimes see things that even I wasn't consciously aware of. I'm sure we fans see much more than Mr. Lucas may have intended. It's a saga of films, not religion, folks.
  • a fan comments on personal technology:
    I also write my fan lit long-hand, then have to type the final draft. A word processor is still years away at best, though I doubt I'll ever be able to justify the cost to myself for just fannish pursuits
  • regarding fanzines:
    The article in #17--"As Time Warps By"--has inspired these thought patterns. Too, I notice how the author uses preconceptions on what "fanzines" are in his article as well. When an apparently knowledgable fan appears on the scene to impart some information, the author assumes fanzines to mean the likes of STARLOG. Most SF fans look down on that magazine and would not be caught with an issue in their house. For someone to judge SF or media fanzines based on that slick presentation geared to mass appeal is not cognizant enough of the issue on which they are writing to make an intelligent decision on whether to feel uneasy about it or not. Yes, there are some fans who base too much of their life on fandom, but this is true of all hobbies, be it golf, computers or fandom. Too, there is certainly a lack of investigative reporting when it is stated that "even the passionate Star Wars fan doesn't take its mythology all that seriously. That would seem to negate numerous discussions within the pages of this letterzine alone, not to mention some excellent fan writing. No, fans don't put me so much at unease as those who put down words in professional magazines which people tend to take as being as infallible as those words written down in stone for Moses.
  • the editor comments on her use of clippings in the letterzine:
    I've never had a problem about reprinting clippings and have never had any qualms about doing so. Perhaps a group of copyright lawyers fighting it out in court could narrow it down to the hair's breadth of the law, but it seems to me that clippings released to a mass audience such as in newspapers and magazines go into the public domain and therefore royalties are not due in such instances of reprints. We are, after all, not making a penny's profit on our zines so there aren't any profits/royaLties to pass along... There will always be doomsayers out there who aren't having any fun out of life and are determined that the rest of us won't either!
  • a fan recounts her 1986 reaction to George Lucas' 1981 attempt to control zine content:
    My first contact with the Big LFL "brouhaha" was finding my first zine (EMPIRE REVIEW) which contained a reprint of Maureen Garrett's two letters going out to zinedom/publishers 5 years AFTER the fact. I just reread them and, well, yeah, they do sound scary, legality-wise. (The zine was from '81 and I was reading it in '86, first time.) I could feel the "effect" of "looking-over-the-shoulder-itis", see it perhaps still being a factor....I also admit to having a streak of nose-thumbing since my views definitely seem to diverge from the LFL PoV. I'm not sure where the "line" is drawn by LFL from the stories I've read over the past year and a half. I haven't been offended. Was anyone ever hauled off into a legal suit by LFL over this issue? [5] The Swedish (?) story I heard vaguely described sounded like something that might've offended me, especially if it went on and on. But in SF, I've read some pretty rough stuff in service of the plot, so? Who knows? There are things that do offend me or make me react strongly against them.
  • regarding future movies and head canon:
    I want to see all nine films because it just looks so darn great up on the screen. But I'd settle for books nicely, thank you. But if he doesn't do it, it's frustrating not to see the author/midwife complete the story since he started it. But I subscribe to the conflicting feeling of I'd really want to see his completion of the story I've gotten off on author's other endings and beginnings and felt them to be solid in each of their versions. I think fanfic has generated strong creativity and essences (as the "other" Melanie said); if they didn't believe in their own versions as they (the writers) wrote them then there's be no way we would feel the stories' realness.) So I carry several SW universes around from George's to others' and my own in my head and each, with all their inconsistencies to one another, feel real to me.
  • a fan in conflict, and off-topic:
    BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is one of the mushiest shows I have ever seen. I hate mush! I love BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. I'm so confused!!

Issue 20 (December 1988)

cover issue #20
  • online here
  • contains 44 pages
  • "Star Wars and the Power of Myth" by Maggie Nowakowska (article that reviews the PBS special which features Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell discussing Star Wars)
  • a listing of the 1988 FanQ winners
  • several crabby letters about returned checks and zines never received, including one long personal statement
  • newspaper clippings
  • art by Judith Low, Melanie Guttierrez, Carol Peters
  • many letters address the possibility of redemption for Darth Vader
  • a comment about the The Dark Lord, the graphic Swedish story that got George Lucas upset about fan fiction, see The True Force
  • the editor writes:
    Welcome to the 20th issue of SOUTHERN ENCLAVE! It is rattier mind-boggling to think that the little letterzine I started in 1984 to take up where JUNDLAND WASTES was leaving off should Still be going strong! We've seen a lot of fans and issues and information pass through these pages. We've seen friendships burgeon outside of SE's pages; we've, unfortunately, seen a few friendships die because of hot topics that generated vehement opinions among some, but for the most part people have been amiable and open-minded and the discussions have been entertaining and informative. We've seen "old-timers" drift off to other fandoms or just plain gafiate, but there always seems to be new fans out there just waiting to jump on the bandwagon and thrilled to discover that they aren't the Last Living SU Fan in the World. Welcome all.
  • the editor writes about reprints of her zines:
    In June, while reading through the ads in the back of SOUTHERN LIGHTS #4, I was startled to come across a full-page announcement from De-Van Press that they had decided to stop offering xerox reprints and that the xerox masters of all the zines they had were FOR SALE! As I had never authorized such a sale of my xerox masters, I immediately fired off a letter to Lynda informing her of such and demanding that she cease and desist such sale and return the TREMOR masters to me. I received a quick letter back from her in which she said that she and Joyce had decided not to sell the xerox masters after all, but she did not return the masters as I had requested. All told, it took an exchange of correspondence between us and the threat of "action" from me, before the masters were finally returned in October. I have dropped her ads from SOUTHERN ENCLAVE and informed her that I will no longer run any ads for any of her zines. While I am not accusing [Lynda] of zine piracy, something that is rampant throughout fandom at the moment, I feel compelled to warn readers of this so-called "zine sale". Be aware that NO ONE is authorized to offer xerox reprints of any of my zines except myself. If you come across anyone doing so, please inform me so that I might take action. Thanks!
  • a fan comments on slash, a rare occurrence in this letterzine:
    from the "old guard" to a new group of fans. I don't exactly put myself in that "old guard" (since SW fandom was well established before I ever even became aware that there even was such a thing as organized fandom for any. genre!), but I'm starting to feel a little more geriatric when I look at these new young fans! [Sally S] noted in her last LoC that in STAR TREK fandom, the emergence of K/S fanfic marked a cycle of "extrapolation," a variation upon a theme. I agree, and I think maybe some of the same sort of thing is now happening in SW fandom. Not that I see a great surge--er, thrust--er-- . Well, let's just say a great volume of slash fanfic in SW (and more's the pity, I say); but I think there's definitely a revolution going on in SW fanfic writing. We have a new wave of fans writing, and many of them are tackling subjects of a different nature, or from a different angle, than fanfic of the old guard. If, like in ST fandom, this new cycle marks the plateau before a resurgence of general interest in SW fandom, I'd be more than happy. And I love seeing the new fans, with their new "universes" and new ways of looking at the Saga, displaying their ideas in print. All it takes is enough of the "old timers", people who know the nuts & bolts of fanfic publishing, to get these new writers off the ground. Then, in the future, perhaps they will be doing the zine publishing--and we can sit around and read their zines! In a slightly convoluted segue from that topic: Ming Wathne asked about SW slash fiction--specifically, where it could be obtained! Unfortunately--or not--l don't know of any source of SW slash lines; everything I've read--and certainly everything I've written!--has been distributed in an under-the-table fashion. There is a sizeable volume of work available, if you know someone who knows someone who knows someone... The axe of Lueasfilm still hangs heavily over our heads, I guess; or perhaps it's fear of the disapproval of our fellow fans? I've written slash in several fandoms, and enjoy reading it in most any fandom. I'm not even going to qualify that to "good" or "well-written" slash, Like most people do; I like an occasional wallow in even "bad" slash! In most of the genre I'm interested in, it's the very concept of a slash relationship that intrigues me; even a poorly-written story can add something to the dimensions of that concept. Besides—there's not enough good slash writing to keep up with the demand for it! Oddly enough, K/S is not one of my big interests, though. I suspect maybe it's because I don't see that relationship as being "alternate universe" enough to even qualify!
  • a fan writes:
    As for the conflicting reports on gay behavior of friends, it's best to keep in mind that there are various attitudes touard "living the gay life" and simply having a lover of the same sex does not necessarily mean you follow any particular life style. Some people mean "gay" to imply a commitment-free, sexually-diverse experience and those folks often find fannish slash literature hysterically funny, ridiculous and unrealistic; others have no problem with conventional attitudes touard commitment and monogamy. I have known gay men who gave readings of fannish slash lit uith attendant commentary, mostly derisive and full of explanations of why what he just read was hogwash and impossible; I also know one half of a committed couple that loved the romantic aspects of the stories since "you don't usually find that in men's literature" <this was a few years ago, before the current spate of novels, and 1 do have to admit that his husband, who was about 10 years younger, thought the stories pretty silly). Anywho, the reason for all this discourse is to suggest that the experiences reported by Tim and Mary and everyone else who has commented on the subject are equally correct; there simply is no one "gay" relationship against which all can be judged, just as there are no two heterosexual relationships that are the same. By the by, Susan and 1 are a conventional couple, monogamously together 10 years this fall, which has to be some kind of record--not for a gay couple, but for two highly-opinionated writers of totally diverse styles!
  • regarding SW's popularity as a fandom:
    SW dying? Well, checking back on some of my first printed zines, I find that 85-90 pages were a BIG zine. It was very rare to have one 200 pages long. Now 150 up to 300 pages is the average. It only seemed reasonable that if you have more pages, you might have fewer lines. There is no doubt some shaking down, but not as much as one might be tempted to think. If there was any doubt in my mind, it was quickly put to rest at MediaWest. Despite the new and great interest in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, SW was still getting a healthy amount of attention, surpassing I think both BLAKE'S 7 and the new STAR TREK. [Samia] outbid me for a beautiful piece of SW art (it's blasters at 20 paces, Samia, and I get first shot) and almost all the SW pieces got really respectable bids. There really is a great interest in the SW universe. It just needs stirring up once in a while.
  • a fan "educates" another:
    Regarding [Lynette L's] request for help in obtaining issues or copies of issues of certain zines--I hope she and everyone reading, and possibly responding to, her request realizes that making a copy of any zine without the publisher's permission is a NO NO of Biblical proportions!" That's outright theft of the publisher's and the writers' work. The correct procedure, if you're looking for a particular zine, is to write the publisher [and someone who has that particular zine can furnish you with the name and address, as can many other sources--like ads in letterzines!] and see if copies are still available. If not, you can either ask the publisher if they have allowed the zine to be copied, either by a zine copy service, or by individuals. If the answer is yes, you're in business, providing you can find another fan with the line who is willing to do the legwork for you, or send you their copy to be copied. If the answer is NO, however--that means No! If you make an illicit copy of a zine, that is outright stealing a zine! I realize these rules of good manners are sometimes not followed; and I'm certainly not accusing Lynette or anyone else of violating them' (I happen to know Lynette is quite a dedicated and true fan!) I'm just saying that to ignore these rules willfully, makes you a subhuman piece of slime--er, will not make you any friends among zine publishers or fanfic writers!


  1. ^ ironic typo
  2. ^ from a Remington Steele episode
  3. ^ True. Dr. Wertham believed that not only did Batman and Robin's adventures contain gay cues, but that their relationship was obviously homosexual even to child readers. Cultural reviewer Will Brooker revealed in his book Batman Unmasked that gay men had told Wertham in interviews that they saw Batman as gay; he did not make it up. Cultural reviewer A. David Lewis puts Wertham's work in context at Seduction of the Insolent (or, Retraction of the Innocent) at Sequential Tart, vol 6, issue 1, January 2003.
  4. ^ Private email sent to Morgan Dawn on Sept 22, 2013, quoted with permission.
  5. ^ No.