Southern Enclave/Issues 41-54

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Issue 41 (Spring 1995)

cover of issue #41
  • online here
  • contains 68 pages
  • contains the third part of The Incomparable Jundland Wastes, reprinted from Alliance. A complete copy of Maggie's history of Star Wars letterzines can be found here as a pdf file
  • info on SW zines in the year 1983 (69 zines are listed as available, with 11 coming soon and 36 planned; 35 fanzines were out of print)
  • the first issue to list readers' email addresses, rather than home addresses
  • a discouraging message Arwen Rosenbaum via AOL about how to get a SW Tie In novel published
  • art by Cheree Cargill, Z.P. Florian, Debbie Kittle and Judith Low
  • newspapers
  • a copied ad for a Lucas Arts computer game called "Tie Fighter"
  • a flyer for Eclecticon 1995, Straight Blake's #1, A Tremor in the Force #8, Lair of the Blue Falcon
  • discussion of pro books vs. fan fiction (are they important? do we judge them by different standards than fan fiction? are pro novels canon?)
  • a con report "On November 13, 1994, we had a one-day SW con. As far as I know this was the first SW con ever in the U.K. It was held at a cinema called "The Venue" opposite the Elstree Studios. The event was called "The Elstree/Star Wars Day". The guests were Dave Prowse, Kenny Baker, Mike Edmonds and Jeremy Bulloch."
  • many comments and in-jokes about "Dead Bothan"
  • submission requests for zines that never got off the ground: "Tattooine Dreams" [zine dedicated to Luke "Keep it clean, please"] and "Years of Fieldwork" [Indiana Jones fiction from the "O.S.S." series by Jeannie Webster and Sally Smith.]
  • the editor encourages people to vote in the STAR aWARdS:
    Unlike the nominating process for the Fan Q's, which occasionally seems like a BNF popularity contest, the STAR aWARdS were designed so that everyone who'd had anything in a SW zine the previous year would be eligible. Don't vote for someone just because you recognize their name; vote for your favorite story, poem, art, etc.! If you think the same people win every year, have you exercised your power at the ballot box and voted for someone else? Vote! Vote!! Vote!!!
  • a fan writes:
    Is Chewie male? Damned straight! He's the sexiest one I know!
  • regarding The Incomparable Jundland Wastes:
    Thanks so much for presenting the history of SW fandom! I enjoyed reading it; but on the other hand, it make me kind of sad. Because of all that bickering, how many new writers were turned off by SW? I hate to think of all those ideas that were lost... I know my reaction would've been - had I joined in fandom at that time - forget this! If! want abuse, I'll go to the Division of Motor Vehicles and renew my license for fun! I just hope it never happens again!
  • regarding "The Incomparable Jundland Wastes":
    [It] remains interesting to one who was not in fandom then. Too bad those dated articles are still able to conjure tender nerves, but perhaps it will serve to warn we relative newcomers away from past mistakes.
  • regarding "The Incomparable Jundland Wastes":
    I especially enjoyed Maggie's second chapter of SW Fandom's growing pains. And pains they were. She mentioned we still "live with a legacy of hesitation." Perhaps that's more of a blessing than a curse. When reading these letters, we can't see the person's facial expression and we can't hear the tone of voice so it can be easy to misconstrue a meaning especially if the reader had a bad day. We don't need another "civil war."
  • regarding "The Incomparable Jundland Wastes":
    I keep reading your Jundland Wastes history with interest. In some ways, nothing has changed. But that whole Church of Ford thing... talk about idiocy on an epic scale! It's hard to believe this was perpetrated by alleged adults. Judging by some of the comments quoted, there were plenty of folks in need of serious psychological help. I sincerely hope that these fanatics do not get back into this scene. 1 know, it sounds terrible, but I think that we could all do without such viciousness and venom spewing forth from those in dire need of a life.
  • regarding "The Incomparable Jundland Wastes":
    ...many thanks to Magpie Nowakowska for another installment in SW fan history. That was the first thing I read, and it's as engrossing as any thriller! The "Han/Luke uproar" and the subsequent total misrepresentation of the intent of several fan authors with regard to these characters (notably Maggie's excellent ThousandWorld series) answers my question of the previous SE re why story reviews/analysis have dropped off in letterzines in recent years, i.e.fear'. That's a shame.
  • from the author, regarding "The Incomparable Jundland Wastes":
    I'm grateful for the thoughtful response to the articles on Jundland Wastes as well. It's very difficult to address issues that one was personally involved in — and I'll be curious to see the reaction to Part II, since it includes a more intense level of involvement for me. Even reading it a few years after I wrote it, which was ten years and more after all the controversy happened, the old emotions are still there, waiting to catch fire. I guess all a person can do is try to make clear when she is editorializing; I hope I have done so.
  • regarding "The Incomparable Jundland Wastes":
    Thanks for the "Golden Age" recollections and excerpts. Fandom would be hard-pressed to find a more capable chronicler. It also provides valuable insight into the current occasional tribal flares, perhaps forcing some to reevaluate their own pristine, righteous motives (moi included — taint none without sin, but equilibrium of a sort is desirable for some cohesiveness — another opinion expressed; hah!).
  • a fan writes of some fannish history:
    Post '91-er perspective. Though I didn't read zines until 1992, SW never really went away for me either. But for those of us not in zinedom, there was no way to keep in touch with other SW fans. There was no Internet, no America Online, no comic book lettercols. So, I, like a lot of other people, went around believing I was the only person who gave a Bantha's behind about SW. There was nothing to draw me or other fans together! SW fandom was so underground in the late '80s, not even folks in other fandoms knew about it, and I knew quite a few active Trek fans. When the RPG came out in 1987, I believed I was the only person in America who bought it. I devoured each sourcebook as it came out, as it was one of my few-connections to the SW universe, one of the few things, that in my mind, kept it alive. The day that Heir to The Empire came out was one of the happiest days, for me, in so many years. And when I got that book, 1 was also sure that I was the only person in America who bought it. But things started to happen when that book became a hit ... Dark Empire came out months later, to be followed by more "official" SW stuff. I hadn't seen anything like it since I was 14, and neither had a lot of other folks 1 had come to meet later on when CSW #6 published my letter 2 years ago. For a lot of them, the comics and novels, if not the RPG. did bring the "old days" back. Some of these guys subsequently started reading zines and writing their own stories — this includes a good number of contributors to Snowfire, people I have referred to other zines, and in our own presence, Brian and Amanda. They may refer to events, people, places, etc. from the pro material, but everyone puts his or her own spin on things. We may like the new material, but we are also creative beings with our own views and perspectives. We are not stupid, brainless little robots.
  • a fan writes of her dislike of Kevin Anderson's portrayal of Luke in a recent pro book:
    Boy, do you want a whole list? No, I've tried to block that nightmare from my mind... However, two strong points pertain to two-year-olds being "safe(r)" from Dark Side influence (Anderson must not have children!) and the naming of one of the children Anakin. No way do I ever, ever, see Han or Leia even contemplating such a thing P-L-E-A-S-E!!
  • more on pro books and fanzines:
    [I] agree with your comments about the merits of fanfic v. pro, but a fan by definition is a fanatic i.e., someone who will want to read any and all SW material. Non fandom fans who are currently devouring the pro novels will surely begin to look elsewhere for more and may thus discover fanzines. Then they can decide which they prefer, and we'll be selling more zines! The bottom line is good or bad, the new material is refocusing attention where we want it! I can only partly agree with the LOCer who said had she not discovered fanzines she'd have thought the pro books wonderful. I began writing my own SW fiction in 1984 because, aside from a notable few, most stories were not exactly my preference, i.e., focused on Han/Leia and/or adventures with all 4 major characters. If I'd read only the pro books, aside from [Truce at Bakura], I'd have had even more an urgent need to write my own! If they were all like Truce I'd certainly have been happy enough, except that I want many many more than pro publishing could produce, So as I said, it seems to me fanzines are going to be collecting a lot of new readers because of the pro books.
  • regarding pro books:
    As for the pro novels, unfortunately we have clashed on this. I'll admit, you're right; were these stories written by unpaid fans making an honest effort to express their vision of the SW universe, I probably wouldn't be so verbal with my opinions out of mutual respect. On the other hand, I resent being told that these stories are "canon" and that mine are a waste of time and effort. No fan would be so rude. If these "pro" authors lack the courtesy to respect their fellow writers and reading audience (keep in mind who kept SW alive all this time so that they'd have something to sell today),! hardly think it's fair to demand respect in return. That's not how respect works.
  • regarding pro books:
    : I approach the pro novels the same way I approach a fanzine — in good faith, hoping for the best. I thought that one of the pro SW books was terrific, some were merely tolerable, and I threw one across the room in disgust. This is exactly the same as my reaction to fanfic — some garners a shrug and a yawn, some I cherish forever, and some goes crashing against the nearest wall. As for criticism, I will admit to using a double standard. I'm reluctant to criticize a fan writer who is motivated simply by love of the SW universe. I bloody well will criticize a pro writer who has been paid for his or her work (plus taking $25 out of my pocket) if I cannot recognize the canonical characters and/or find plot holes the size of the Death Star. If that constitutes bias, so be it. I do try to be specific in my criticism and to justify my reactions, detailing the reasons and the basis for them. If someone else loves the same book that I despise — fine. That's what makes horse races.
  • re pro books and later canon:
    Pro developments in the SW universe are going to be a problem whether or not anyone is prejudiced against the pro novels. For a fan like me, the pro books are just cheaper-than-fanzine alternative fanlit. The only developments/characterizations/plottings that 1 feel I should be expected to know are what's on the screen. (Godsheknows, it's impossible enough to find people who agree on what happened in the movies, even when they were sitting, watching, at the same theater, the very same showing!) If I start reading fanlit that assumes knowledge of those pro developments, I'm going to be irritated unless the Story states up front that it is based on the movies and a particular pro novel. And yet, a person cannot deny that the new wave of fans are full of people that consider the novels as much SW as the movies. Who's to say who's more world of SW fandom the last few years, just like Trek has. There's not going to be as much common ground as before.
  • re pro books and later canon:
    By some criteria the pro books are more "real" than fan fiction. They are blessed by the creators/ owners, however casually. In the remote chance that Lucas ever does produce the last trilogy, I'm willing to bet he'll feel little obligation to adhere to anything set down in the current line of books. How "real" will they be then?
  • re pro books, fanzines, and A.C. Crispin:
    You mentioned A.C. Crispin has a SW novel in the works. I can't say I'm all that enthusiastic. Writer's Digest once suggested that fanzines were a good place for beginning writers to learn their craft, and cited Crispin as someone who got their start in zines. Crispin fired back, that anything of hers published in a fanzine was not originally written for that purpose, and that writing for fanzines would probably stunt your growth as a writer. Pardon me if I hold a grudge.
  • regarding the involvement of TPTB in fandom:
    Paramount set a precedent of sorts by ignoring Trek-zines, gen and adult. But legally that doesn't extend to Lucasfilm. To be fair, copyright/trademark law can be dicey for both fans and copyright holders. I feel the ideal situation for both the studios and the fans would be to publicly not acknowledge each other, but discreetly pay very close attention to the other. A studio should not feel obligated to any sort of fan pressure, but they would be stupid to ignore fans who support them. 1 don't care much for studio interference in fannish affairs, even unintentional interference. Not long after The Wrath of Khan, a prominent ST letterzine became aware that Harve Bennett was a subscriber. The change in everyone's behavior was not pretty. I suppose it boils down to respect and understanding, on our part as much as theirs. It's a shame most studios don't want to understand us, let alone respect us.
  • a fan writes of Jundland Wastes:
    If you'd really like a peek into SW fandom's past, check out the old newsletter Jundland Wastes. I know that's easy for me to say, since I managed to find the entire set in excellent condition for about $10 (Oh, for the days when fans were dumping their collections dirt cheap!). I'd suggest getting in contact with Ming Wathne at the Corellian Archives... She probably has the entire set in her collection. If not, drop a note to me and I'll see what I can do. The newsletter will give you a good idea of the kind of nail-biting, hair-pulling and name-calling that went on between the fans and Lucasfilm, and between the fans themselves. (To think that the two versions of Slow Boat to Bespin helped to spark off SexWars here in the U.S. They're rather tame by today's standards.)
  • the joys of a print zine:
    Definitely in agreement with you on the subject of hardcopies. Viva las printing presses! Reading something with weight and presence and character is one of my all-time heartfelt joys, right up there with listening to vinyl LPs, taking long walks, and cooking in a cast-iron skillet.
  • does writing fanlit actually work as therapy?:
    whether fanlit actually work as therapy. (Sometimes it works too well and we lose really good writers as they move to the next step of their development.) I know I can certainly read back through my own work and track the development of ideas and responses that affected my life years ago. And, of course, mere play is a very proper application of writing therapy!
  • a fan comments on a communication platform:
    Absolutely, computer bulletin boards are a time sink and decisions must be made, or else the days extended to 48 hours each. Also, the BBS are not places to leave/receive deep and long thoughts. They're great for networking and schmoozing and human contact (yes, I mean human — I've been touched in heart-warming ways by many people on the nets). But the thoughts evaporate and you find yourself repeating yourself every month or so. For fact gathering, they are powerful tools, but for thematic development and thoughtful discourse the BBS are made of teflon.
  • regarding differences in cultural, and generational, fan assumptions:
    Dark, fatalistic heroes who flame out at the end aren't terribly American heroes; they aren't social successes and don't wed/tame easily. Just look at the way fans reform /explain away/make nice the darker characters that do show up in fandom; even Avon in B7 had to be "explained... I described the current argument over Han's status/criminal behavior to a local 21-yr-old SW fan, someone who came back to the movies in her late teens because of the pro books and comics, someone for whom, she reminds me, all the pro stuff it SW. My friend was very uncomfortable with the idea of Han as a criminal. Intellectually, she agreed that Han probably "had a history" that is not squeaky clean; emotionally, she desperately wants Han to be a real good guy. without baggage that has to be explained. But, I protested a la Liz' arguments, he does A, B and C and you know as well as I do that A, B, and C are criminal behavior. We talked around and around the subject for a while. Finally, we figured out that, as someone who had been only 4 years old when SW first appeared and who grew up in the city in the 80s and 90s, her definitions of good guy, and criminal, are very different from mine. Very different. My friend's definition of good guy/hero includes a degree of violent, and legally questionable, behavior that my generation didn't expect in heroes. Would Little Joe Cartwright growl. Make my day? Would Matt Dillon chortle, hasta la vista. Baby, as either blew the baddies away? For audiences of the '60s, protagonists who foreshadowed Dirty Harry, et al, were even called anti-heroes. When did you last hear that term, save in a video catalog listing. The way I interpret my friend's observations is this: because heroes were allowed more latitude in the late 70s and into the 90s, absorbing behavior that once had to be "explained" for Han, criminals became, by definition, really nasty. For my younger friends drugs are crack and junkies, not low-level THC highs and hippies. Guns are something the neighbor kids carry, not a sleek sexy symbol for a spy or a Peace-Bringer for the sheriff. Alan studied SW in film class and found it quaint, for heaven's sake; and Yolanda worries about drive-by shootings on her walk home from the bus stop after classes. Alan and Yolanda don't need to rationalize Han's behavior. Of course he's armed. Of course he kills Greedo. Of course his business dealings are simply smart dealings. He's the hero and he's fighting for my side and my continuing good life in the way it's really done. Alan and Yolanda automatically exclude Han from really criminal behavior and don't need our boomer lines in the sand. Reality seems to support this development -- it's reasonable that my friend doesn't want Han, whom she likes, associated with serial killers, drive-by shootings, or vicious drug dealings. But, if a new fan reads older fanzines, or a story by a writer who still uses a fuzzier vocabulary, Han's extra-legal activity can easily be misread as a level of hard-core criminality that the writer didn't (Frankly, my friends' definition of a good guy disturbs me. I don't want the good guys to be the equivalent of Han in ANH's cantina, shooting Greedo under the table. I want Han to be borderline, to be changed by his experiences with Luke and Leia into the Han we see in ROTJ, a softer, laughing man. I don't want good guys who don't regret being turned into killers, even of really nasty bad guys. But, then, I'm an early Boomer.
  • a fan comments regarding "zinelegging":
    There's so much controversy going on here that I felt I just had to say something. I'm really in two minds about all of this. Personally, as a writer, I would prefer to have my work read and circulated, even if that involved fans sneaking xeroxes of stories, etc. Text is text, after all. However (and this is a very big however!) as an editor I can understand the objections. Running a 'zine is a financial burden, and it's only through taking orders that this kind of burden can be eased (particularly if, like me, you have about eight or nine foreign contributors to pay for... ). Losing orders in this way is a blow to the finances, believe me, and jeopardizes future issues. In addition, there are the sensibilities of the artists to consider. Text may be text, but the reproduction of the art is something which suffers through successive generations, and it's just not fair for the artists to have to put up with that! As for dealers making a fast buck out of circulating pirated 'zines, well. I don't really think there's anything more to be said on the matter — only that it stinks! But, if people genuinely can't afford to buy all the 'zines that are going, should we really be giving them the cold-shoulder because they're copying stuff which they wouldn't otherwise be buying anyway? I mean, we do our best to keep costs down as much as we can so that the price is kept low and the circulation is maximized and if people are making illicit copies then at least they're interested enough to do so. It's a difficult problem, and one which I don't think has any real satisfactory answer.

Issue 42 (Summer 1995)

cover of issue #42
  • online here
  • contains 66 pages
  • "Children of the Jedi by Barbara Hambly," a book review by Z.P. Florian. Talks about how pro novels can't, or are not allowed, to question or talk about some important, complicated things, something that fanzines and fanfic can.
  • Character Biographies from the SW Screen Saver by LucasArts, compiled by Judith Yuenger
  • "The Seven Deadly Sins of Fandom", from The Fantastically Fundamentally Functional Guide to Fandom by Susan M. Garrett, reprinted in Southern Enclave with permission
  • the 1994 STAR aWARdS winners
  • "The Sky's the Limit," by Laura Virgil, a report of a talk at the Art Institute of Dallas given by two LucasArts employees
  • art by Tim Blaes, Debbie Kittle and Cheree Cargill
  • many STAR aWARdS photos
  • A Look a the SW Doll Display by the Dead Bothians
  • this issue has a long con report for 1995 MediaWest*Con
  • discussion about the "improved manners" of recent LoCs and how this was good (less hurt feelings) and bad (people don't bring up as many interesting topics)
  • a review of Blue Harvest from "Spectrum Magazine": see that page
  • a fan writes:
    The high quality fanfic spoiled me, too. I think that's true in all fandoms; the pro novels, maybe because of the restrictions placed on them, just don't deliver the emotional satisfaction that fanfic does. Fanfic is open to anything and everything; pros don't have the same latitude fans have... Finding pro novels unsatisfying was what sent me looking for zines, and nothing will ever replace fanfic in my heart.
  • on hard copies and the joy of a good book:
    Ahh, the serendipitous joy of kicking back with a treasured volume (possibly a signed edition!). Pure heaven! But, I believe we're on the doorstep of a new era. It seems reasonable to guess that affordable laptop computers with CD-ROM, or reader/player versions without the full computer capabilities, will be here within a decade or so. Instead of "books," we'll be buying/renting CD-ROMs from our favorite authors. While that seems cold, less "romantic" than books, think of the forests it'll save. And those CD-ROM players could double as news sources via the internet (or whatever). Think of the savings in newspaper! It'll take a bit of time before the system will feel right, but I look forward to it.
  • a letter that mentions Boldly Writing:
    I hear from Joan Verba that she has written a history of fanzines, with emphasis on Trek since that's her area of interest, has had the ms. vetted by Debra Langsam and Paula Smith, and has sent it to Dell. Let's hope for the best! Joan was always one of the level-headed ones.
  • on the subject of Jedi kids:
    Is there anyone else out there just as fed up with all this Jedi children garbage as I am? Can't stand to hear or read one more line about the oh-so-happy-and-Force-gifted Solo family or Luke the teacher. Is it just my unpresuming impression or are the pro- and antagonists of the original SW taking a back seat now to all kinds of "new and improved" characters that lead us farther and farther away from what the canon was all about? Instead of Han, Leia, Luke, Pert, Antilles and all the other beloved characters, we get Zip, Zap and Zilch, the Boomerang Fisheries who of course are all Force sensitive and clearly disguised clones of Palpatine, Vader and Hillary Clinton! Blah! And if we do get "our heroes", what do we get? A wimpy, whining Han. A weak, taking-the-easy-way-out Leia. Threepio as babysitter... And what's more, this is not to be considered simply a spoof or "alternative universe". No, those folks out there in pro writers' land actually mean what they say. Gimme your hat, Piett... I wanna puke in it!
  • would a reading a fanzine make one a fan?:
    Re: "real zines" vs. fanzines. It may also largely depend on what quality the first fanzine a person gets his/her hands on is. A very well made one (Wookiee Commode, Tremor and so on) can be a real attention getter. A mediocre or even a bad one can be a major turn off. Trouble is that for instance the leading (only?) German SW fanzine contains almost no stories, but just fanclub news about club meetings and musings on what Lucas will do next. The few and far between "stories" are tiny affairs written in such an awful style that one feels reminded of 3rd grade school compositions or the attempts of very young girls to fantasize about their fave Rock/Pop music stars (how she meets him "accidentally" and how he falls immediately in love with her ... the works!). Now, such a fanzine will certain not get new fans interested in fanlit. And then there are those who do not read fanfic because (I'm quoting a German H. Ford fan): "It would destroy my personal fantasies about the man!" Oh, well...
  • regarding pro books and fan writing:
    I don't wish to flog a dead tauntaun, but I have a couple more comments on the pro-fiction ballyhoo. At this point, those who don't like the novels for whatever reason probably won't change their minds. The same goes for those who are enjoying them. I'm just tired of the whole "they're not real fans because they're pros" litany. Making (hat kind of judgment call just because you didn't like a particular book or comic is unfair. I'm even more bothered though, by the implication that the people who do like this stuff and want to set their stories within that continuity framework aren't "real fans" either, and that their stories will certainly be bad. What a great way to make new writers feel welcome. If a story is bad, it's due to lack of experience, lack of writing skills, an idea that really didn't work, and sometimes, editors who don't care enough to ask their contributors to revise/improve their stories before publication. It's not because somebody decided to include Mara Jade.
  • regarding "the totally whacko anti-Luke rants that appeared in the final issue of Jundland Wastes":
    Those were almost beyond description. One letter was so bizarre, I actually fell over laughing. It's unbelievable folks would invest so much into their pet theories and beliefs in a movie (of all things), they'd go ballistic when it doesn't turn out they way they wanted it to. It kind of reminds me of Misery. The moral of the story? It's real important to keep an open mind on what the future (or past?) holds in the SW universe. I really hope JW isn't an indication of what will happen when Episode One rolls this way around.
  • regarding the recent STARaWARds:
    If there is a bias, it's on the part of the people who are doing the voting. Let's face it, the democratic process is at least partially a popularity contest. This is true of the Oscars, presidential elections, class president elections, etc. It's human nature to want to vote for (if not yourself) the zines and writers one is more familiar with and more comfortable with, and there's really no fair way to change that. One can't force those who only want to read stuff about Han to buy and like all the Luke zines, and you can't require those who have been in fandom a long time to read what's-her-face's new zine. (And, I might add, it's not as if the Star Award winners are doing crummy work, either). If anyone out there wants to make the Star Awards more "fair," then you've got to vote. If you don't vote, then you've got no one else to blame but yourself if that darned zine won for the zillionth year in a row. I heard only 50 people voted for the recent awards. I voted within the first year I started reading this stuff, so being new isn't an excuse. for me, I know there have been a few grumbles about the fairness of the Star Awards from some quarters. To some, it might seem like the same people and zines win every time, and that newer writers or lesser-known zines don't have a snowball's chance on Tatooine of ever winning any recognition. To a degree, this may be true. However, as an editor of two "little zines" and a writer who has been in this game only three years, I really think that you've made the whole voting process as fair as anyone could reasonably expect to make it.
  • this fan is optimistic:
    I don't know if you'll be disappointed by the next 3 movies. I won't be. This is Father George's vision and I look forward to where it will take me.
  • a fan writes of a revelation she had at MediaWest*Con:
    [While] over all the new SW zines), I had the sudden realization (was sort of like a lightsaber activation) that for me, the Star Wars experience had lost all its "boundaries", the dividing lines that fans impose upon themselves. Hmm-mm, this will be difficult to explain. We make a conscious choice of what or whom to dislike/exclude in SW, be it one of the three films, the West End books, fan fiction, the characters, music, the novelizations, whatever. We place those restrictions upon ourselves. In previous issues of SE, I myself, have gleefully trashed several of the aforementioned (film, books and character) pointing out all the things that 1MO, were "wrong." ("I'm not really interested in your opinion, Threepio.") But, at MediaWest — and this will sound tritely maudlin— I was surrounded by the real, true spirit of SW Fandom. It didn't matter who was a Lukefan, a Han fan, who liked Vader, who liked this movie better, or didn't like that book at all. We were all SW fans, all with our own unique, individual interpretation of the story, yet, still ONE. It was a special moment, bringing with it a profound sense of unity and belonging. I realized there was no "wrong." Star Wars, I've decided, is like pizza ... even when it's bad, it's pretty good and bad is still better than none at all. There was a time when SW fandom had nothing but its own stubborn perseverance and love for the story to keep it alive. Now, we're positively inundated with "stuff". New music, toys, collectibles and GASP, even new movie footage! Who ever thought that miracle would happen? Yet, at one point, I was guilty of actually griping about the paucity and choice of the scenes to be added, instead of reveling in the opportunity to see them at all! So, okay, some parts of some of the novelizations should be used to line the bottoms of mynock cages, but there are good parts as well. Scenes, characterizations and lines of dialogue that 1 could see and hear as vividly as the films. This goes for anything with the SW name on it. Fan fiction, Ewok cartoons, the infamous SW Christmas special, etc. Poinl is (at last, I hear you say), I'll take any SW, anyway I can get it, and thank the Maker that it's out there, no matter if it comes from Wolverton, from the fans or from Lucas himself.
  • this fan has no desire to go pro:
    ...I hate to disappoint you, Carolyn, but after much consideration, I've decided not to attempt to write for West End Games — though I'm flattered that you considered me (I'm ignoring the fact that you've pretty much asked everyone in fandom:)). As much as I enjoy a challenge when I write (filling a gap properly — i.e. revealing some new tidbit of info or twisting a perspective, without changing future events — isn't easy), I find the guidelines for West End Games far too restrictive — even suffocating. I mean, what a way to kill creativity. I don't want to write color-by-number stories. Besides, my inspirational urge is rare and fickle— if I spent what little time and energy I have on producing something in which I have little invested interest, I'll have none left for fanzines. I'm probably alone in feeling this way, but I have no intention nor desire to eventually "go Pro". Sure, S600 would be nice, but then I start thinking "That means I'll have to buy that new SW zine!" I know, with $600 I could buy at least 30 zines, but that's not the point. I like seeing my work illustrated in fanzines. I also get direct, often instant feedback, and that's something I know I'd lose by going Pro. I enjoy writing about elements in the SW saga that intrigue and inspired me (namely the romance, an element that Lucas, et al, would just as soon ignore), in my own admittedly unique way. SW is the only thing in my life so far that has ever touched me to the point that 1 had to create something. Since then I've tried writing regular fiction/poetry, and none of it has ever come close to the quality of my fannish work — and that's saying a lot. So let me ask you this? Which would you rather I write?
  • a nod to Marion Zimmer Bradley:
    It seems rather snobbish of A.C. Crispin to knock fanzines if she's appeared in them herself. I'd rather hear about pro writers like Marion Zimmer Bradley who not only encourages fanzine writers but helps them to become pro by having them write stories in her Darkover universe that she publishes professionally. [1]
  • another fan comments on A.C. Crispin:
    IRYC (in re your comment) of holding a "grudge" against A.C. Crispin for her comments about fanfic stunting an author's growth, let me add that she's not very high on my list of respected authors. At the '89 WorldCon (Boston) she was on a panel with Carmen Carter and Jean Lorrah. Of the three, only one author tactlessly stood recently published books of hers before her on the table, and spent most of her panel discussion time advertising which of her novels the fans could buy, where to find them, suggested retail price ... I exaggerate, but not by much. Carmen and Jean were delightful speakers, and I felt a real bond with these fan authors who "made it" into the pro ranks. Crispin's hard sell of her own books turned me off so much I've never bought another of her books (and she was among a handful of my favored ST novelists at the time).
  • regarding differences of opinion in LoCs:
    You're certainly right about the improvement of manners in LoCs since the old days. Rather than manners, though, I think what I meant about "hesitation" in fans since those controversies erupted was this: a reluctance of fans to bring up subjects — however legitimate — that they suspected would upset others. I remember an awful lot of people saying, either in letters or in person, that they would have loved to talk about A or B, but feared the feedback or "starting another feud." For a while there, the discussions became amazingly bland. Ideas had come to be seen as totally personal preferences, and you can't discuss preferences the same way you can ideas. I suppose it's the old pendulum swing reaction, from one extreme action to its opposite extreme. I wouldn't natter on about this but for a couple reactions to the current debate over Pro SW fiction. In her LoC, Pat Nussman says she's more than willing to shut up about her disappointment in/criticism of pro fiction if the debate causes too much controversy. What a loss that would be! Pat is an excellent writer and a responsible critic; whether a reader agrees with Pat or not, the reader is certain to acquire new information on the subject for having read Pat's opinions. Let's all engage hesitancy when we're tempted to be judgmental, certainly, but never when simply presenting ideas that might be controversial. I firmly believe that we can disagree with each other 100% (okay, 98% since we all like SW enough to LoC) without slipping into the ad hominum/attacks, or insults and exclusionary behavior, of the old days.
  • Maggie Nowakowska writes:
    By the by, this is strictly an unofficial comment, but I was told by SW Fanclub folks long ago that Slow Boat To Bespin simply got caught up in the troubles because it came out at the same time as the stories that really fried the LF lawyers. My contact expressed regret because, as you noted, the stories weren't really challenging, even by early 80s standards.
  • a fan comments on pro writers and past fan writing:
    I suspect there'd be a long wait for much talk from the fan-turned-pro. I still hear reports of very strong prejudice against fanwriting from the pro market. Some people advise that you never admit to writing fanlit if you want to write pro. Some just say that cutting your ties is sufficient. Seems a leftover from SFzine days when there was indeed a market for anyone's writing and therefor those who only published in fanzine were perceived as those who couldn't write good enough for pro. Of course, in media fandom there wasn't a legitimate market for years, but the old prejudice of "fanlit [equals] bad writing" seems to persist. Some have made the break, but the reports I've gotten have been hard to hear. Sure, a few pros have shown up in zines (Diane Duane, for one), but 1 remember a lot of trepidation over those appearances, especially before people became established in their pro careers.
  • a fan comments regarding the last MediaWest*Con:
    The dealers' room seemed to offer less diversity of goods than sometimes in years past. I don't recall seeing the same quantity of costume jewelry offered, or elegant stuffie dragons, or clever sculpie critters, or general craft items, as in prior years. I'm not complaining, just observing. The emphasis seems to be returning to zines, and that has always been my primary purpose in visiting the dealers' room anyway, so I be happy camper. There were still a few tables decked with pretty sparklies — and it was possible to find neat non-zine goodies from private room dealers, as long as one's feet (and time) held out. The Art Show, okay, so, where's the SW art? Other than that minor quibble, I have to say there was a heckuva lotta good stuff. I encourage everyone to celebrate the return of Karen River to the MWC art show. Karen's work is as strong as ever, and in addition to more common graphics media, she has added engraved stone (marble and granite) to her repertoire. (I asked — she is doing commission work on headstones nowadays as a side line to her regular job.) Would we could all be so creative. Not to mention, ah, strong.
  • a fan writes:
    The idea of an underage kid being caught with an adult zine gives me the willies, even without factoring in the Wrath of Lucas. Heaven help us if one of those Big Time TV evangelists were to get a hold of a slash zine. We must be discreet!
  • after attending MediaWest*Con, a fan who has been away from the fandom for a while comments about The Incomparable Jundland Wastes and comments on the hurt and division it documents:
    I also am amused at myself that one of the major sources of wonder and astonishment to me at MWC was that all over the place I saw Impies and Rebels, Church of Fordies and Luke sites, Leia-lovers and Vader-vamps, sitting together, talking, and even during or after the Great Blaster Battle smiling and joking with each other and not just their "own", as it were. And it wasn't just the new Fen either: I saw several old "enemies" sitting in quiet conversation — together! — over a meal or two at the Hummingbird. Almost more than seeing my own old buddies, seeing these "old" antagonists being friendly and intermingling like the adults they finally are moved me greatly for reasons I have no words to explain, except that it always hurt me to be held at arms' length by several people I wanted very much to get to know better, solely because I was notoriously — and erroneously — relegated to the Imperial Vader camp, when in fact my friends and I were very fond of all the characters — except the Ewoks, I admit. We always wondered whether those involved in the all-too-real hostilities were aware that this was, after all, fiction. Carol Hines-Stroede once remarked that she was always on the brink of telling these parties to get a life. SW was and still is one of the centers of my real (as opposed to Mundane) life, but I am not about to denigrate anyone over their preferences, since there are better things to fight for (and about). Actually, I wonder how much of it started out as pretend teasing, and turned ugly when it got out of hand...? It does happen: people become oversensitive to teasing — especially when it's somewhat rough or repetitive — and the surly or defiant pretend response becomes more and more real? Whatever went before, I'm glad it seems to be over this time around, but not surprised: 18 years of life can tend to mature some of us into sadder but wiser — and more tolerant — individuals. Pity it doesn't work that way for everyone.

Issue 43 (Autumn 1995)

cover of issue #43
  • online here
  • contains 64 pages
  • "Adventure has a New Name at Disneyland: Indiana Jones!" by Lisa Cowan (article, "Not since STAR TOURS in 1987 have the magicians of at Disney Imagineering and the magic of George Lucas been so successfully combined."
  • "Fanzine Terminology and Types of Zines" by Susan M. Garrett from reprinted from The Fantastically Fundamentally Functional Guide to Fandom, used with permission
  • "Mark Hamill Appears at Dark Horse Comicon" report by M.J. Mink
  • Character Biography compiled by Judith Yuenger from the SW Screen Saver by LucasArts
  • art by Gerald Cotty, Z.P. Florian, Cheree Cargill
  • newspaper clipping
  • a map of Wyoming that shows famous peoples' homes
  • discussion about whether "Jedi bashing" is on the rise and the fragility of Republics
  • a request for submissions for a letterzine that never made it off the ground: "Marking Time" (about Mark Hamill, to be in both English and German)
  • on the complaint of "It's Only a Movie/Get a Life:
    I suspect that we're all missing the real reason for all the excitement. The movies are only red herrings - the excitement comes about simply because we're people involved with each other. We told ourselves that we were just gathering to talk movies and TV shows, but we were actually creating a community.
  • tech talk:
    Adding my 2 [cents] to the topic of early zine efforts... while I never tried to edit, my early writing was all done on a manual Smith-Corona portable, with erasable paper. Gack. While I've not graduated up to a real computer yet, I cannot imagine trying to do any sort of writing on anything less than the word processor {Brother WP- I400D) I now use.
  • more tech talk and a look into the future:
    ... there's no argument that computers have had an enormous affect on our lives, and I'm not knocking them (I'm about ready to sell my soul for one in fact) but there is still a long way to go before it can compare to the invention of the printing press. For example, has the literacy rate gone up or down since the advent of the PC, as compared to books? How many people claim to have developed cancer from the radiation given off by a good book? Then there's the question of cost: (1) How many households actually have a PC? (2) How many people regularly buy a new release in hardcover, when they average $20? How many cringe at the price, even as (hey do so? (3) Despite constant talk of how the cost of production of Compact Disks has gone down, why hasn't the price of a typical music CD ($14) dropped in the past 10 years? Can we safely assume that the same will happen with CD-ROM "books"? (4) How much would a new release on CD-ROM cost, $20 or more? Who hasn't complained at one time or another that they remember when books cost only $3.99, or $2.99, or even (imagine!) $.99? How ready are you to rush out and plop down $20 or more for the latest fast-read pulp by Crichton, Koonz or King? (5) Will we have to accessorize? The most I've ever bought in order to read books was a bookmarker. Finally, yes, the technology may save a few trees, but the plastics, metals and various other compounds used to make a CD aren't exactly grown in the backyard either. All in all, I agree fully with the value of containing entire encyclopedias and dictionaries on disk, but as for sitting at a desk in front of a glowing screen in order to relax with a novel, it will never compare to reclining at the beach, in the living room, or late at night in bed.
  • regarding awards:
    I wanted to add my two cents worth on your comments re the STAR aWARdS. Judy has given every writer, artist, poet and publisher out there a wonderful gift by working so hard on the awards. It infuriates me when I hear even a hint of discouragement or sour grapes. Yes, I've been very fortunate to have won, but even if I had not, I would find the award well worth working toward earning. Judy is one of the least biased, most fair-minded people I've ever had the good fates to meet and her efforts should receive a resounding ovation from every SW fan. More voters are needed, but I won't preach to the believers I know are in SE. I just wanted to say "Hear! Hear!" to your remarks.
  • thoughts on Leia:
    So you think some fans resent Leia because she's smart, beautiful, rich, powerful, brave, has handsome heroes panting after her, and only weighs 20 lbs?? Nah. Not possible. But all those attributes do make her difficult to relate to!
  • some fannish joy:
    Yes, MWC is the true spirit of fandom, and this last one really had the loving spirit, in the Cantina. We were all children of the same God. It was warm and fuzzy and wonderful. Those who feel any kind of animosity toward BNFs or the handful of perverted Dirty-sider Force users, should come to MWC to understand that all can find room in the SW nest. Not only we like SW, we also like each other. You can really get to know a person once you've met him/her all dressed up in feathers and glitters and high boots or bug-masks and such and shared a wild dance in the cantina. You read her writings and think she is Vader personified, all arrogance and power, and when you finally meet, you might run into this petite, blushing girl or a funny-looking grandma of seven. And it is good ... we are not alone. Next year, again... And yes. Star Awards is getting larger, snazzier. I'd mention here about the VOTING — those who think if s all a conspiracy, grab a buck, buy a stamp and vote. Stamp out the old fogies who've been voting up to now, swamp Judy with votes for what you like and see who wins! Fandom is the only real democracy, use it!
  • regarding slash zines, exposure, and age statements:
    There are tons of slash zines around, no TV evangelist ever mentioned any of them. And I do ask for age confirmation when I sell my zine. Kids under 18 usually don't have checkbooks, and there is something about a kid's letter that tips me off. But I don't get Garbage subscriptions from kids. Whoever asks for it, knows what it is. God forbid I'd sell it to a kid.
  • a fan calls pro fic "definitely an alternate universe," another one says:
    The difference between pro and fan lit? Maybe I expect too much from a person who gets paid for writing (from the misconception that if I'm having fun concocting my — however mediocre ramblings — a pro author must have fun, too when writing SW stories). What I miss most in pro lit is the lack of feeling. Stories are written about what a character does or what happens to him, but not about his feelings, his beliefs, his self-justification for his actions. Fan lit, on the other hand, does not remain "on the outside looking in", but dares to go inside the fictional characters. Of course, I'm fully aware of the fact that it is extremely difficult to write anything of interest when restrictions of the most severe kind apply. So who knows how I would do (probably fail miserably!) under the given circumstances. But nevertheless, what the pros are cooking is too often lacking in the spice department. As you so cleverly put it: Mundane fan writing.
  • a fan addresses another fan who'd described herself as "only a consumer":
    ! Consumers are gold, consumers are audience, consumers are good! We are working for you, we are here to please you, worship you, we want your input, your feedback, your subscriptions, your locs, God bless you, may your numbers multiply rapidly.
  • regarding a current in this letterzine: going pro and West End Games:
    West End games, going pro. I tried. So far, no answer, I recently sent them the stuff. I don't find the gaming aspect restrictive, because I am a rabid RPG player on my computer, and the stats weren't entirely new to me. Besides it was fun to present some of my zine-story characters (the infamous Xalnodest) in a playable form. Still, they can reject it, or they might want to change it in ways I won't accept. Going into the pro field would give us a bit more say in what the mundanes receive. But yes, I do feel a tad guilty about it,and no, it's not as good as my fan work, although the Adventure Journal is not as bad as the Zahn books. And those guys at West End might really need writers who have a "feel" for SW. OK, wait until they reject my work and listen to me talking about them then!
  • a comment on headcanon, and on Luke and his having a partner and children:
    I want to thank you for your kind compliment on my writing and, yes, I believe I am the only writer who incorporates a sterile Luke into my galaxy, so I plead guilty. The fun of SW is agreeing to disagree, however. My Luke doesn't have to be yours and vice versa. A well-written story should be enjoyed even when the characters aren't 100% the reader's versions. Don't you agree? I wrote "The Emperor's Revenge" years ago because I was a little tired of the then popular and overly saccharine stories involving Luke and family. Had the stories been more than thinly disguised Mary Sue's, I might never have been so inclined, but I was in danger of developing diabetes from some of that stuff! I am not anti-family. I've been married nearly 26 years and have two grown sons of my own. However, I will take umbrage that for Luke to have "personal happiness" requires him to many and procreate! I have many friends who have never married and still have a full, happy life. The lack of a family does not deprive them of "joy, humor, compassion, laughter and balance", as you imply. I think you do an injustice to all singles who choose to remain so — sterile or otherwise, real or fictional.
  • more on Luke and a family:
    ... the family-less Luke, there are valid arguments either way. I don't think, though, that Luke's life would be empty and bitter without a family. Having a family is no guarantee of "joy, humor, compassion, laughter, and balance"; indeed, a great many people find that their families provide just the opposite. There seems to be a fallacy in this world that says having a family ensures happiness, while being alone dooms one to a life of loneliness and unfulfillment. Not true. Luke, like many people, may be perfectly content to be alone...
  • a fan asks about The Church of Ford/Cathedral of Luke terms and another fan explains:
    After ROTJ came out, a fierce debate arose in SW fandom between a group of fans, who were rabidly devoted to Harrison Ford and thought Han was the real hero of the trilogy and that Luke had fallen to the Dark, and another group of fans who were just as passionately putting forth Luke Skywalker's cause. It descended rapidly into full-scale war and turned very ugly. SW fandom is still suffering the repercussions of it. Let's leave it dead and buried -- where it belongs!! [2]
  • a fan reminds others of perspective:
    Well, the SW group is really trying to get new fans involved, but it is sometimes an uphill battle, and, Maggie, please contact me about Scoundrel. The Library does not have a full set, and neither do I. And thanks for your ideas on the POV of older fans and what they got out of the films. Trying to fit modem day interpretation on previous eras is ridiculous. Like asking Henry Ford why he could not see that his model T could use a Turbo engine. What we saw, what we experienced, what we got out of the movies were all seen through our years of living, our experiences, and our cultural upbringing.
  • a comment on odor:
    Thanks for printing "The Seven Deadly Sins" and its accompanying list for con-goers. Finally, someone admits that common yet rarely-mentioned fan problem, lack of hygiene! Many times I have nearly died from being near some of these stinkers in a congested and poorly ventilated dealers' room. So please, everyone, urge your "hygienically-challenged" friends to bathe before attending a public event such as a con; if if s a medical problem, tell them to see a doctor.
  • a reference to The Incomparable Jundland Wastes:
    I'm glad you got a chance to read all the Jundland Wastes. I don't think the truly outrageous can be reported successfully — people just won't believe you short of publishing the damn things, and then you just look like someone who can't let an embarrassment die. Also, I knew most of the crazies in random back then. We all did; fanzine fandom wasn't that big and airfares were a lot cheaper so you met everyone at the yearly cons. You would watch someone whose obsession with being a BNF was pathetic and you learned compassion, or at least the ability to walk away and find your own excitement. And years later, it wasn't worth the effort to antagonize friends of friends all over again.

Issue 44 (unknown content)

  • unknown content, can someone provide?

Issue 45 (Summer 1996)

cover of issue #45
  • online here
  • contains 62 pages
  • "Telephone Courtesy OR How to Make Enemies Without Even Trying" by Susan M. Garrett (reprinted from The Fantastically Fundamentally Functional Guide to Fandom: "Most fannish business is conducted by mail or in person. This is by unspoken agreement between fanzine readers, contributors, and editors. Fandom could probably continue quite well had Mr. Alexander Graham Bell never been born, albeit with a lot more money spent on postage. The rules for telephone usage are quite simple. The most important thing to remember is that phoning is a privilege, not a right." AND "Never ever go to directory assistance for a number."
  • a MediaWest con report by Judith Yuenger: "This year's MediaWest was different from others that I have attended in the past. It seemed to be more of a Relaxacon than anything else. There was still the Dealer's Room feeding frenzy although this year it didn't seem to be quite so frenzied."
  • a list of the Star Awards winners
  • a review of "City of Bones," a pro novel by Martha Wells, review by Z.P. Florian
  • Character Biography of Wedge Antilles and Biggs Darklighter, compiled by Judith Yuenger, from the SW Screen Saver by LucasArts
  • "A Personal Statement" by Nora Mayers (obituary for Gene Kelly)
  • "Special News Release for those on the GEnie Information Network"
  • new subscription rates
  • lots of discussion on whether Leia and Han would name their son Anakin: everyone said they couldn't see this happening
  • MediaWest photos
  • there is a con report for "VISIONS - WDCA 20" -- a pro media con organized by a local independent TV station held in Lanham, Maryland on March 24, 1996
  • readers comment on how they are using computers for the first time
  • submission request for a zine that was stillborn: ("See You at Rendezvous," a one-shot zine about Wedge Antilles)
  • a fan is pretty pessimistic, ans some would say for good reason:
    Lucas won't really make the prequels. Everything that has to happen seems terribly depressing. Let's be real, he could have had those things out years ago if he was really interested in doing it. We're just getting strung along so LFL can make more bucks. I also ask everyone reading this to pray that I'm wrong, 1 want to see those new films, no matter how depressing, and 1 don't care about waiting for special effects. String up a few spaceships with fishing line, but tell me a good story about characters I want to believe in.
  • a fan speculates on the future:
    As for comparing SW to Arthur, we can only hope ("only hope", get it?) it lasts as long. Maybe someday some historian will dig up a box of old zines and set off on a quest for Luke's grave, or the Holy Lightsaber.
  • computers!
    As for getting online being a help... my kingdom for a computer and the knowledge to use it!
  • computers!
    Well, I finally broke down and joined the computer age! I bought a computer the last day of 1995, and I love it. This is my first computer-generated LoC. It certainly is a lot easier to do them this way than to do them by hand.
  • a fan is creating a role-playing game based on Highlander, one she sent the preliminary plan to:
    They in turn informed me, "Thank you but we've already hired a gaming company to produce a Highlander game, sorry..." Well, this game turned out to be the Highlander card game, which as most of you know is nothing like a role-playing game. I've decided I still want to put out my game (of which the writing is finished) but instead of having it produced professionally, I'm going to do it up like a zine and sell it at conventions. It may never happen but my hope is that someday a copy will fall into their hands, they'll like it, and contact me about finally putting It out professionally. (I've been told this happens a lot in the gaming world...) It will be produced at absolutely no profit (what zine is?). But it really needs artwork and lots of it. I'm looking for 5-10 artists to produce a total of about 50 pieces of art. All artists will get a free copy, of course. If interested, send a SASE for more information on what I'm looking for and for submission requirements. (And if any of you are interested in buying a copy when it's done, send a SASE for a flyer.)
  • pro novels and all new material from Lucas:
    Well, hasn't this topic stirred it up among us all? I'd like to say that I could sit on the fence on this. But, I can't. The materialistic side to Lucasfilm has tarnished the Saga for me. Ii seems it's all about money — yes, 1 know that films were made to make money, but they're gotten greedy. And, as a fan, I feel exploited, or rather my pocket. I just can't persuade my pocket to part with any cash for the new novels, basically because 1 don't want to spend any more money on trash! I'm not against new materials, new ideas — I love fan fiction, after all — but the stories are pretty awful, the characterizations just feel wrong. I stopped after Truce at Bakura (which I quite liked) because when 1 read the blurb on the books, none appealed to me. It's my own personal choice and i don't berate those who do like them, or those who want to write pro SW. I just feel the fun isn't there anymore. Also, unlike fan writers (and I include those of us who have been writing pro-SW) most of the authors are writing for money — not out of love for the saga and its characters. There's no passion in the books.
  • a comment on Fandom and Profit and differing mediums:
    Oh, I fully understand that artists have to be ab!e to sell their work at the MWC auction. But why is it that "floating heads'", obviously lifted from photos are what sells best? And why is it that previously unpublished art seldom includes publishing rights? It seems to me the publishing rights should be listed as "negotiable" if the buyer spends $$$ on a work and would like to use it in a zine s/he publishes, and the artist still gets a contributor's copy of the zine. Why should the artist object? Something could be worked out.

Issue 46 (Autumn 1996)

cover of issue #46
  • online here
  • contains 48 pages
  • "A Buyer's Guide to Fanzines OR How to Not Drop $200 in a Hurry" by Susan M. Garrett (reprinted from The Fantastically Fundamentally Functional Guide to Fandom
  • "Star Wars as Fairy Tale" ' by Lisa Cowan (article reprinted from "Mythcon" with permission. At Mythcon XIV, held at Scripps College in 1983)
  • "An Interview With Mark Hamill" transcribed by Chris Graham
  • Character Biography of R2-D2 and C-3PO: compiled by Judith Yuenger from the SW Screen Saver by LucasArts
  • art by Nancy Stasulis, Gerald Crott and Z.P. Florian
  • "Star Wars to Be Re-Leased in January 1997" by Andrew Hindes (from an internet article)
  • more discussion on whether pro novels are canon
  • Star Wars on the Internet:
    During the past few months, I discovered SW fans and SW fan fiction on the Internet. I would very much like to bridge the gap between the two fandoms. Many of the online fans had never heard of fanzines and [, at least, did not realize that there was a whole library of fan fiction on the Internet. I recently wrote a very short piece for Dune's online newsletter that MJ Mink mentioned last issue. In it, I listed fanzines and fanzine editors for the online fans to contact and I posted the address of Ming's fanzine library. Some of these fans were very excited to learn about the existence of fanzines. I know that I felt like a kid in a candy store when I first found the fan fiction page online. I would like to extend an invitation to all of you to try some of the online fan fiction for yourselves...I really suggest that you give some of the stories a try. The nice thing about online stories is that they are totally free if you have free Internet access and only cost a few minutes of download time if you don't. If you like a story, you can print it out for yourself. If you don't like it, you can simply delete it. The other nice thing is that you can contact the author directly through e-mail as soon as you finish reading it if you wish, while ideas and reactions are still fresh in your mind. Every author that I have contacted so far has sent back a response. As with all other authors, they enjoy and appreciate feedback. Some of these authors now share chapters of works in progress or whole stories as they complete them. It is really nice to find the surprise of a story, a chapter of a story, or even a whole novel attached to apiece of e-mail now and then! I do find it interesting that many of the authors of the online fiction that write post ROTJ tales do use some of the events and characters introduced in the pro novels in their stories, while most of the authors who write for fanzines use only the events and characters of the films themselves usually. Please don't let that fact stop you from reading these stories! You will be missing out on some truly fine and very enjoyable SW fiction.
  • on pro books:
    A lot of people, online and off (myself included a number of times), have been highly critical of the pro books. Even many of the authors of online fiction who have utilized characters and situations from the pro fiction have criticized much of it. Yet I'm glad that the pro fiction exists and I'm glad that a lot of other people are interested in reading stories about the SW characters that I love. I also must admit that with only one exception (The Crystal Star, which in my opinion has no redeeming qualities!), I have found something enjoyable or creative or interesting or well-done about all of the pro novels. All (with the exception noted above!) have been worth reading. It's true that I often find that I wish the pro authors would have done something differently or had done a better job with a characterization, but I'd rather have the books available than not, and I'd rather read them With that said, I also don I think that the pro books are canon. I think that if George Lucas ever decided to make his third trilogy someday, he will do things his way and ignore what has been written in the novels. (I actually doubt that he has read any of them himself.) I look at the pro hooks as another SW universe to enjoy. Ellen Randolph had one universe. Maggie Nowakowska wrote her own totally different and complete universe. Jeanine Hennig had another, Marti Schuller has yet another, as does Louise Turner, as does Carolyn Golledge, as does Mary Jean Holmes, and so on. All of them have been unique and, while I have liked some better than others, I have gotten enjoyment from reading all of these universes and many other ones. None of them were or are totally perfect, but I'm still glad that I had the opportunity to read them. I feel the same way about the pro books. I have heard some people in SE mention that they have not read the pro books and that they don't care to do so. That is, of course, your right. I'd just like to humbly suggest that you keep an open mind and not totally dismiss them without even giving them a try. If you can afford the time and the money, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised to discover that many of them are fairly good. Some of them may even give you other ideas for writing your own stories, which may end up being vastly better than what some of the books have to offer. This has been the case with some of the stories written by online SW fans.
  • more on George Lucas and canon:
    Your reaction to "The Essential Guide to SW Characters" [a book Southern Enclave readers appeared to detest] is much the same as mine. I wish I hadn't bought it. LucasFilm may have dropped the policy of making a distinction between canon and non-canon material because maybe they can't tell anymore. If the books remain consistent, they take on an authority of their own (despite the fact that George could up and say it's all wrong at any time). But how would we feel if there was no continuity between any of the novels and comics? It's a "catch-22" for both us and Lucasfilm.
  • a male fan comments about another male fans remarks about slash in the previous entry about how he thought slash meant excessive violence:
    There have been a few times when I've had to try and explain fandom/fanzines to family or acquaintances and I worry if I should try to explain "slash". I don't think I ever have to anyone mundane, but one friend and contributor to my zine, who I finally talked into coming to a MediaWest, got an eyeful in the dealer's room and hasn't been back again.
  • one fan's journey to, and within, fandom:
    My story is much the same, only my "illumination" was due to ST fandom. I grew up in a small, close-knit town and was considered somewhat of an oddball and/or nerd because I still enjoyed ST and science fiction in high school. I was terminally shy and self-conscious as a result of the criticism from family and schoolmates I received, so going to college and into a more open-minded crowd was liberating. But I still felt like the last living ST fan in the world, until one day I ran across a classified ad in fantasy & Science Fiction magazine which said "Star Trek fan wants to hear from others." I immediately wrote to the address in Michigan and started a correspondence. That lady introduced me to Margaret Basta who introduced me to fanzines. I was enthralled! Never in my life had I seen anything like them! I began writing to every address I could find and that led me to Helen Young in Houston, who had just taken over the Star Trek Welcommittee. I also started a ST fan club in Dallas and wrote to the local newspaper about it. I got about 40 responses from local people, including Laura Virgil, who it turned out strangely enough, was in one of my college classes! We've been best buds ever since. ST fandom eventually led me to SW fandom and the rest, as they say, is history. What sort of life would I be leading now if I'd never discovered fandom? I expect that I'd be a repressed housewife, probably divorced from a small town cowboy-type who would never understand my interests or longings, miserable, depressed and trying to pinpoint that yearning I kept feeling for "something else."

Issue 47 (Winter 1997)

cover of issue #47
  • online here
  • contains 64 pages
  • "Star Wars Roars Back Into the Theaters" is some fans' reports of seeing the movies on the big screen for the first time since the first release
  • "Ordering Zines by Mail OR Waiting by the Mailbox" by Susan M. Garrett from The Fantastically Fundamentally Functional Guide to Fandom, "Buying zines through the mail usually goes smoothly if you take the extra time to prepare a complete and readable order. Never ask an editor to provide you with a copy of one story from a zine - it's rude. If you do have a problem getting a zine, follow through with some polite correspondence and give the editor time to correct the situation before trying more drastic measures. Whether or not you use prepayment is up to you, but better to be safe than sorry."
  • "The Archetypal Hero" by Lisa Cowen (reprinted from "Mythcon")
  • "An Interview with Mark Hamill" from USA Live (TV) transcribed by Pat Grant
  • Character Biography of Owen and Beru Lars and of Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin from the SW Screen Saver by LucasArts, compiled by Judith Yuenger
  • convention announcements for DragonCon and MediaWest
  • for the first time in this letterzine, a listing of several internet Star Wars websites
  • newspaper clippings, one which reports Carrie Fisher was asked to lose ten pounds for the role
  • discussion about "internet writers" using characters from pro novels while zine writers didn't
  • discussion about how Han Solo gets emasculated in the pro novels, becoming a "cardboard-nanny" with too much patience and too many children
  • art by Tina Bentrup, Cheree Cargill, Gerald Crotty, Z.P. Florian, Judith Low, Nancy Stasulis
  • regarding pro novels:
    Why am I so totally uninterested in the pro novels and comics? I can only say that they just don't seem to capture any of the spirit of SW. Now I'm not blaming the writers necessarily since they are handicapped in that they can't use Vader or the Empire very much. But I would say that most of the stuff I've read is rather ponderous, there's not much zing to it, There should be more of die cliffhanger element in these stories. Actually, I'm not realty sure. I keep trying to analyze why I'm not interested in them but 1 can't come to any conclusion.

  • more discussion on Greedo or Han firing first:
    And, there is one other thing that I completely disagree with — having Greedo shoot first. What's the point of that'.' Softening Han's image? Making him less of a bad guy so kids can look up to him more? Ridiculous! The trilogy is just as much about Han's character's growth as it is Luke's. Han is transformed from, lei's face it, a criminal, to a fully reformed member of society. The coldblooded manner in which he shoots Greedo helps emphasize this point. It also sets up the contrast between him and Luke. When Luke gets pushed around by thugs (Dr. Fvazan and Walrus Man), he is helpless, and needs Ben's help. Han, on the other hand, isn't even flustered. By the end of ihe trilogy, Luke isn't so helpless and Han isn't so ruthless anymore. So, in terms of character development, this is truly a pivotal scene.
  • the internet:
    Aside from not being hooked up to the Internet (and will not be for a very long time to come), 1 must admit I do not really like the idea of turning out stories via the net. There is already enough piracy in the fanzine business. How can we make sure that stories are not stolen or willfully distorted by mean-spirited folks? Computers make manipulation a cinch.
  • more on technology:
    I took the plunge right before Xmas and bought WebTV so now not only can I get e-mail (my address should be in with the others) but can now cruise the WWW and I'm loving all this instantaneous communication even overseas.
  • more on technology:
    Gee, I wish 1 had the ability to go on-line! It sounds like you are all having so much fun! I am not on-line yet but hope to be someday. There is a chance I might be by next June. You mentioned that it was interesting that most on-line authors use stuff from the pro-novels and most fanzine authors don't. I have a theory about that. Fanzines have been around since the movies came out and the authors are used to writing with only the movies in mind. Even new writers, who will read a few zines before submitting a story, will lend to write in a similar vein. Whereas the on-line services are quite new, and as you said, most of them have never heard of a fanzine. So the only post-movie literature they've been exposed to is the pro-material and so they have all the new mateiral fresh on their minds and go with it.
  • there's fanfiction on the computer?:
    Go ahead, pour salt into my wounds. I already feel like a dinosaur because I don't yet own a computer, but to learn that there's actually fanfiction online and I can't access it is adding insult to injury.
  • a fan speculates:
    OK, and here comes a (admittingly very sleazy) "what if regarding the breaking-up between Anakin and Ben. What if Ben had more than just a religious interest in the young man he was training? What if Kenobi, thought of as a pious old monk living in celibacy, was actually suffering from the Michael Jackson syndrome? What if he just couldn't stand the thought of Anakin lusting for a gorgeous woman and maybe even planning on having a real family of his own? Yeah, I know it's far out and certainly not what old man Lucas has in mind for his prequels, but it would make for an awfully interesting storyline...
  • feeling lost:
    I find myself agreeing with a lot of what you have to say, and I must say that I really identify with the comment, "In some ways, though, I feel lost in this new SW galaxy..." Me, too. I feel like, even though I don't like them, I now have to go buy all the books and read them, just so I know what everyone else is talking about. I feel like here we are, the "older" fans, who have been around writing stories, putting together zines and running clubs, and keeping the Saga alive all this time, and now a whole new generation has come along, stepped in and taken over, and changed everything. I guess I feel sort of... obsolete! *shudder*
  • George Lucas took too long...:
    I agree with you. It will be hard to please most of us (regarding the next movies). On one hand I feel sorry for Lucas... We've all developed such ideas of how things were in time before S W:ANH — count the number of fans and that's how many different preconceived ideas there are — that he is going to have as many people dislike the movies as those how like them. On the other hand, it's his own fault for taking so long to do them that he gave us the time for our imaginations to run wild. I'm going to try to go in with as open a mind as possible.
  • regarding for-profit cons:
    I share your disappointment with pro cons. Your main complaints were with "Infinite Visions" but I feel as strongly about Creation Cons. This "IV" does sound really bad though. You're right — all any of them are interested in is the Almighty Dollar. At Creation Cons the stars were only signing photos you buy at the convention. I've never run into the regular vs. preferred tickets. It seems like this is their way of saying "If you're a real fan, you'll pay extra and get their autographs." I find this ludicrous and can't believe the stars we know and love are going along with this! Many fans earn poor salaries and it takes everything they can save just to afford the expense of tickets and hotels, not to mention the outrageous entry fees, and then to have to shell out more money for pro photos or preferred tickets... it's really sad that fandom has come to this. The fan run conventions are becoming fewer and farther between, and they're the only ones worth going to. I miss the days of walking around a con and bumping into your favorite star, say in the dealers' room, and being able to actually talk to them. As for autographs, if there are just too many people at the con to sign for all of them, why not schedule two or three autograph sessions, and hand out (free) tickets to each one so that you can attend only one session, and that way it would shorten the lines and give them a break in between. The pro cons are fulfilling their goals of taking over. I no longer will attend them. I boycott them. No loss, they're not much fun anyway. I think if more fans would boycott them to the point of nearly putting them out of business, then and only then would they listen to our complaints. The Dollar talks. Boycott pro cons, no matter who's the guest! And be sure to write the stars with your complaints. If they began to get lots of mail on this, maybe they'd start backing the fans too. Unfortunately, many of the fans are new to fandom, and have never been to a fan run convention, and don't know what they're missing. So they probably wouldn't want to get involved in a fan-wide boycott.
  • on becoming a fan:
    You mentioned that your "illumination" came from Star Trek. Well, having been in the 7th grade when ST first aired, ST was also my first fannish interest (not counting Oz as mentioned above because I was so young at the time. We only played out the story and didn't create our own Oz stories.) Anyway, a much younger friend of mine recently asked me what it was like being a ST fan back then during the time it was being aired for the first time. I told him — speaking for myself, of course — it was much different than now. You just didn't let people know that you watched, much less enjoyed, the show. The kids in school would simply taunt you endlessly. They would embarrass and humiliate you the best they could. As I recall, most fans, at least those of school age, were pretty much closet fans. We didn't have the vast fan groups to go to for moral support and intelligent discourse. That didn't really start up until the mid-to-late 70's. Luckily, I was in college by then and found a small group of like-thinkers.
  • why so few women in SW fanworks?:
    I think the reason why our present gender stereotypes sometimes get transferred to SW is that we saw so previously few women in the trilogy (and, to be sure, Han's machismo adds its share). Leia is more or less a woman on her own, and the mere fact seems to speak for itself. That is to say, if all the women of that galaxy (or even only Alderaani women) had Leia's toughness, self-assurance, and fiery temperament, we could expect to see more female pilots, mechanics, political leaders. All the more 1 was disappointed to see Leia slide back towards a more traditional image of femininity by ROTJ. But perhaps we can blame it all on the Empire and assume that Imperial policies actively blocked women's paths into traditionally male domains — ?

Issue 48 (Summer 1997)

cover of issue #48
  • online here
  • contains 62 pages
  • "The Jedi and the Empire Both Strike Back" -- fans' reports of seeing it in the theater for the first time since its original release
  • "How to Read an Adzine OR The Old and the Useless" by Susan M. Garrett, reprinted from The Fantastically Fundamentally Functional Guide to Fandom : "Adzines are one of the best ways to track down zines that you'd like to purchase or submit to, but even those innocent, or not so innocent, listings have their pitfalls. If an adzine listing is old, it is virtually worthless."
  • "News Flashes" -- "passed along from the Internet" by Sue Zahn, a collection of SW quotes and info gleaned for computer-less fans
  • "Star Wars and Tolkien" by Doris Robin, reprinted from "Mythcon"
  • "You Might Be a Redneck Jedi If..." submitted by Sue Zahn
  • a review by Z.P. Florian of the pro novel "The Paradise Snare"
  • the 1996 Star Award winners
  • photos from the 1996 Star Awards
  • MUCH discussion on why having Greedo shoot first is bad
  • newspaper clippings and an article from "Entertainment Weekly"
  • more discussion of pro novels:
    I too feel lost in this new SW galaxy ... I am partially envious of those with time and will power to read the pro-novels. Sometimes I feel I'm being left out of the loop, wondering if I'll end up a grumpy old dinosaur lamenting for the good old days of fandom when we had only the novelizations and 'Splinter' ["Splinter of the Minds Eye"].
  • discussion about zine fic vs online fic:
    With some exceptions, they [online fics] haven't had the benefit of editors. They have no artwork, and you can't cuddle up with them! I read 'Net stories from different fandoms, but I prefer a zine every time. There's no comparison between sitting at your computer and reading stories (or even printing them) and holding onto a thick, solid zine, laughing at fiIks, admiring iIIos, flipping back to your favorite parts of the stories, etc.
  • online wonders and horrors:
    I've heard, too, that on the Internet, people circulate stories written by others, stories they change at will and put on the net. Who else knows anything about this? Re: what if Kenobi lusted after Anakin? What if it was the other way around? What if the student wanted to possess the teacher completely and Kenobi refused the bond, not wishing to be both father and lover for the boy who could accept anything less than everything?
  • more problems with the internet:
    Internet stories have bigger problems than the possibility of being stolen or distorted by people other than the writer. Willi some exceptions, they haven't had the benefit of editors. They have no artwork, and you can't cuddle up with them! i read 'Net stories from different fandoms, but 1 prefer a zine every lime. There's no comparison between silting at your computer and reading stories (or even printing them) and holding onto a thick, solid zine, laughing at filks, admiring illos, flipping back to your favorite parts of the stories, etc.
  • this fan is... intrigued... no, perhaps not:
    Vader/Palpie? Eeuuueww! That's so twisted I can almost see it. Not that I want to. Pardon me if I hope this subject is passed over in fan-fic.
  • some fans have gone from complaining about lack of canon material to too much:
    Unfortunately, I do see a rift of sorts developing in SW fandom over the prequel. It already exists on a lesser level with those who only accept the first films. and those who accept the novels, role-playing material, and so on. However, I believe that if we maintain our tolerance for all aspects of SW fandom, we'll survive. For instance, I don't read the pro novels nor do I read the comics or roleplay, but I also don't have a problem with those that do or who incorporate that material into their fanfic writing - so long as they accept my right to follow only the films in my views and my writings. Where I see trouble looming is if we allow no room for individual expression, insisting that there is only one absolute "right" galaxy.
  • what is canon?:
    Re: what is canon and what isn't. Actually, the ANH novelization was written by Alan Dean Foster for George Lucas. Gary Kurtz said that the novelizations of the movies are not canon at the SF Worldcon in Boston in 1980. Things at LF may have changed since then, but I lend to go with what was said at the time, especially since Kurtz was asked specifically about the movie novels (I was sitting only 3 rows back from him and heard the exchange quite clearly). As a fan, I prefer to go with the movies only since they leave the most room for the imagination to roam about.
  • too many muscles, and sex and audience:
    I hate the Fabio-shouldered new action figures. Small heads, big muscles. Re: Can Jabba have sex with Leia? He certainly thinks so. Doesn't he say Leia will soon learn to appreciate him? Certainly he doesn't mean being appreciated as her accountant or something equally innocent. Whether Jabba has the same equipment as a human, I doubt it, but he must have something, unless all Hutts are clones. Re Cheree's comment that the guys should step aside to discuss this kind of stuff when ladies are present, some of the ladies will perhaps resort to eavesdropping in that case.
  • Han or Greedo?:
    Most of us seem to agree that Han not shooting first is a sick idea. He's staying alive in places that Kenobi calls "a little rough", and for God's sake, if you are facing a hit man who has made very clear that he's there to (a) rob you (Greedo was ready to take the money and let him go or shoot him anyway?) and (b) kill you — shooting first is the only sensible option. Han's hand-play high on the wall was an obvious ploy to distract Greedo's attention from his other hand on his blaster. They don't want to show the kiddies someone who shoots first, but that's what a Jedi is for, to show that it's the good way, using the Force only for defense. Han is not a Jedi. At the beginning, he's "quite a mercenary", the whole story is that he evolves into something better. Show to the kiddies that it is possible to become something better than what you started out with. If all characters start out as angels, what is the message to those who need to know that good is not born but develops. You have children there in the theaters who think of themselves as criminals: they need a hero who's not much better but gets much better.
  • regarding sex, pleasure, and dignity:
    Sure, Jabba could have sex with Leia. You just have to accept a definition of sex that moves beyond "male/female, insert-this-there in a manner that can lead to reproduction in our own species." As if that were the only way to intense pleasure, physical or otherwise. As if it were even the only way human males and females stimulated each other. Fondling Ferengi ears might not turn on a human, but the Ferengi will have no complaints. Lots of people do things for other people that don't particularly stimulate the doer in a raw, physical way ... but do grant pleasure in the giving/watching/control. And Jabba could easily force a human to give him pleasure; threats can be very encouraging. I'm more convinced that he gets his jollies by manipulating humans in an area that causes humans great distress: sexual em harassment- It's a measure of Leia's character that Jabba's attempt lo strip her of dignity by pulling her into that skimpy outfit didn't work — and it tells us a lot about Leia's attitude toward her body, her sexuality, her definition of self.

Issue 49 (unknown content)

  • unknown content, can someone provide?

Issue 50 (Summer 1998)

cover of issue #50
  • online here
  • contains 54 pages
  • It is the 50th Edition and the editor writes about the upcoming movie and tolerance for new ideas and new fans:
    Well, can you believe that we're finally here at our 50th issue? Hard to believe that I've been doing SE for fifteen years now and that it's still going strong! Southern Enclave first appeared in September of 1983 after the demise of Pat Nussman's Jundland Wastes. I felt that there should be a Star Wars letterzine and I thought I could do one. My train of thought was, 'I'll just type up letters and print them. How hard can that be? Well, it wasn't long before I found out. Return of the Jedi had debuted just a few months earlier and their was a hot and heavy debate raging in fandom primarily between two groups of fans, one of which was made up of ardent Harrison Ford/Han Solo supporters and the other of which felt just as strongly about Mark Hamill/Luke Skywalker. It became known as the Church of Ford/Cathedral of Luke Affair. Animosity, name-calling and highly-charged accusations ran amok, despite my attempts to keep things on an even keel, when I attempted to calm feelings, I was attacked as condoning censorship and playing favorites. By the 5th issue of SE, I was ready to call it quits and declared that, if both sides didn't cool it, I would shut SE down after the next issue. Thankfully, they did but emotions still ran high for several more issues until several of the more vocal members stopped writing to SE and went their own way. Fandom learned a very, very painful lesson with that incident and as a result, I think Stars Wars fandom has become the most polite, considerate and tolerant fandom around. People are still free to adamantly disagree with someone's opinion, of course, and sometimes they do, but there has not been another letter war like that one and I think we're all better off for it. Rereading those letters today, fans who were not involved in the war and who have come into the group since then generally just shake their heads in bewilderment and say, "What was their problem? It's only a movie!" The whole incident came about because, between TESB and ROTJ, a lot of fans had decided exactly how the story should end, who "The Other" was, whether the Empire would fall or not, etc. When ROTJ didn't follow then plot lines exactly, they reacted by protesting loudly and vociferously. I hope we can avoid the same reaction when Chapter 1 is released next year. I don't think opinions are quite as deeply-seated as before, but — and let's change fandoms completely here — we should strive for the Vulcan ideal of IDIC — infinite diversity in infinite combinations. That letter war was only one of the many threads of discussion that went on in these pages over the past 15 years. People have joined us for a while, left to pursue other things, and then come back "home". Some faithful regulars have had letters here since the very first issues. We have come to know and love each other, friendships have been born here, and a few friendships have died as a result of disagreements. Someone described SE as a "convention on paper" and it has seemed to become our communication lines between MediaWests. We just continue the discussions we've had in one place or the other.A few years ago, we came to realize that SW fandom had broken into small groups and it was widely held that SW fandom was dead. A number of us didn't believe that and we made a concerted effort to unite all those fragmentary groups into a community of fans with mutual interests. We were wildly successful and SW has been the major fan group at MWC for about the past five years. Unfortunately, this past year, we've noticed that group activity is dwindling again, as evidenced by lack of fan panels and workshops. I hope that next year will turn things around again and that we can reactivate the interest in SW and recharge our enthusiasm.
  • "The Letterzine OR The Gift of Gab" by Susan M. Garrett, reprinted from The Fantastically Fundamentally Functional Guide to Fandom: "The letterzine is only one of the many types of publications fandom produces and is often a hybrid - part article, part fiction, part poetry, part illustration, but always, at the very heart of the publication, are the letters. Letterzines can be fonnal, conversational, critical, inspirational, antagonistic, informational ... but a good letterzine is seldom, if ever, dull."
  • "The Emperor's Advocate, a Minority Viewpoint" by David Bratman (reprinted from "Mythcon") -- "Lucas gets away with a lot, and it's that makes the SW saga work. While it might not, and probably would not, work in a novel, it succeeds in the movies."
  • words to the filk "The Star Wars Cantina" (author unknown)
  • an ad for "Stellar Occasion" a multimedia science fiction and fantasy con held in Dallas in September 1998
  • a report on the Star Awards by Judith Yuenger
  • a list of the 1997 Star Awards winners
  • Meet the Southern Enclave, a list of contributors, contact information and short bios
  • regarding the Internet:
    Fanfic on the Net. I haven't personally gone there to read anything but I know several folks who do and it seems many writers are young and their writing styles show it. Besides, with zines still to read, I haven't had time to cruise the sites. But what I hear is enough to make me not want to rush to the web sites.
  • an offline fan comments:
    I too am without net fandom. Knowing there is "stuff" out there [ can't get to is so frustrating. I've used a friend's computer to do some searching, but it's difficult not having the ability to look at my own leisure. And I would be totally lost without illos! At MW this year, I attended a fanfic panel of about 20 people of which I was the only person without internet access! How awful! After the panel, people were asking, "How do you keep up without being online?" I felt like a carnival freak! I worry that fandom will move too much to the internet before all of us can catch, up. I hope and believe that fanzines themselves will not become extinct. Even printing stories off the net and keeping them in binders just doesn't seem like it could be as exciting as holding a zine, but then, I've not had the opportunity to compare. In favor of internet fandom, costs would be dramatically cut in production and purchase, and that would be a big factor for me.
  • a fan struggles with wanting to know more, but not wanting others to know more:
    I haven't gotten one of those free e-mail accounts that you can have without owning a computer, yet. Then I could E-mail from the library. You actually can, here. A librarian taught me early on when they got the system, but you can't get answers back. No way could they afford that. I've only managed to do it, send something once, then I couldn't seem to get it right again. But f 11 try again, when I'm at a library where they don't take your last name, [f it's a problem, I don't want it traced back to me, and 1 added in my post that the receiver could not e-mail me back.
  • regarding the new trilogy:
    As long as we can all have our alternates (and George can have his), there'll certainly be no rift in the fandom over the prequels. But maybe there'll be an entirely new SW prequel fandom? Anakin fans with little interest in Vader (especially if A should tum out to be blond)? Naturally, the prequels will influence our perception of the original trilogy, but if some of us don't like them in part or in their entirety, it's not going to stop anyone from sharing their ideas, writing their version of events, I hope. I guess I don't quite see what the function of a 'canon' is, ultimately. If fan fiction deviates from the official storyline, it's called 'alternate universe', but that doesn't affect the quality of the writing or the enjoyment that can be derived from it. While we all love the first three movies, we also have our individual perception and preferences, and the same is going to be true of the new trilogy.
  • regarding SW fandom this time next year:
    Agree with you about the potential fractures in fandom at this time next year. This is GL's vision and though we have all taken it and made our own worlds out of it, I hope we've learned tolerance for each other's views and opinions. I don't want a repeat of history. I am so anxious to see the first chapter. I know GL will give us hours of delight. And yes, Cheryl I will be the first in line to see it!!!  :)... I can honestly say I am ecstatic that SW is once again in the limelight. My young nephews are in love with the Saga and their aunt Debbie loves shopping for SW toys for them and putting them all together :) It's a wonderful time to be a fan!
  • fears of a rift and sharing:
    No, I don't expect everyone to agree with my version of the SW universe. I just fear anything that could cause a major rift in the fandom, I guess. I've seen the Trek fans splinter into so many groups that it concerns me. But change is inevitable in life and fandom isn't excluded — unfortunately. [I have] conflicted emotions over the "rebirth" of SW interest I, too, felt a tad disappointed at our fandom suddenly belonging to one and all again. Granted, SW has always been a part of our culture since its premiere, but this new phenomenon was something else. It reminded me a bit of, say, a friendship. One person is very popular, then for one reason or another falls into momentary disgrace. A handful of loyalists remain, staunchly defending their friend. Something else occurs, and once more the person is elevated to high standing and surrounded by the multitudes It doesn't lessen the value of the loyalist friends by any means, but they aren't united by their solitude or solidarity in the face of adversity any longer. Does this make any sense? Perhaps, to be completely honest, I just don't like sharing. Our fandom has seemed an intimate little pond for some years now and suddenly we're in an ocean once more, (smile).
  • mixed feelings about a bigger fandom:
    Your comments about the popularity of SW were definitely not schizo! I know of several of the "old guard" who feel just the way you do. Personally, I appreciate folks finding the fandom, but at the same time, I feel some kind of protectiveness about it. I think all the merchandising is a contributing factor. It's a form of exploitation which I'm frankly torn about; it's nice to have lots of SW goodies to choose from, but there are times I wish there wasn't so much out there.
  • a prevalence of slash zines?:
    What I noticed this year was that most of the slash seemed to be in the main dealer's room while a good many of the "straight" zines - especially the SW zines- had moved up to the room dealers. So maybe the perception that there was more slash at MWC is just that-- perception. There are fandoms whose primary thrust (you should pardon the pun) is homosexual relationships between the characters in various combinations and they seem to produce a lot of zines. Personally, I find slash pretty boring after the initial shock value wears off On the other hand, a sexually explicit story doesn't bother me — I've even written a few — but it needs to have the same criteria as any other story - good story line, character development, believability, etc.))

Issue 51 (Autumn 1998)

cover of issue #51

Issue 52 (Winter 1999)

cover of issue #52

Issue 53 (2000, unknown content)

Issue 54 (2000, unknown content)


  1. ^ See Marion Zimmer Bradley Fanfiction Controversy for more on that.
  2. ^ for more, see The Luke/Han War
  3. ^ May the Force Be With You.
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