Susan Matthews

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Fan
Name: Susan Matthews
Alias(es): SRM, Susan R. Matthews, Susan Scribens
Type: fan writer
Fandoms: Star Wars, Blake's 7, Dracula (1978), Star Trek, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and Battlestar Galactica
Communities:
Other:
URL: Susan R. Matthews at SFF.NET
https://www.susanrmatthews.com/
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Susan Matthews wrote for a number of gen zines in the Star Wars and Blake's 7 fandoms. She was the winner of a 1982 FanQ in and a Star aWard in 1995. Matthews was quoted in the article, Where the Boys Are.

Matthews wrote a series of fanzine stories called Ragnarok. She pulled them from publication in order to rework the stories into a professional science fiction novel. The work was published as the Jurisdiction series.

In 1982, she was nominated for a FanQ award and submitted the following bio to The Annual Fan Q Awards Nominations Booklet:
"I've been passively involved in media fandom since 1967, when we came back from [overseas] to Televisionland - and Star Trek, The Man from UNCLE, the Time Tunnel, and Dark Shadows were on. In the winter of 76-77 I picked up Vulcan Reflections at a Waldenbooks...Virginia, and wrote to the address inside; Devra Langsam sold me Spockanalia and Masiform D, and suggested that I write to Lori then still just Chapek). The Miscellania section in Warped Space opened the world I'd read about in The World of Star Trek. I bought zines enthusiastically for about a year. In the spring of 1978 I saw Star Wars, and Shari K. took me to Disclave; I began contributing to Star Wars zines. My first publication credit is actually to R&R VI/VII, however (under an assumed name). I have been contributing regularly to Star Wars zines and general media zines since July of 1978, when Warped Space printed my first Star Wars poem. In addition to Star Wars fanlit, I have written and had published material dealing with The Man from UNCLE, Dracula, and Battlestar Galactica, and am presently also involved in producing material in the Blake's 7 universe."

Interview

Zines Susan Matthews Work Appears In

Against the Sith | Alderaani Imperative | Bright Center of the Universe | Brother of Shadows... and Son of the Light | Docking Bay | Dracula | Empire Star | Falcon's Flight | Guardian | Imperial Entanglements | JediStarDarkFalconKnight | Kessel Run | The Mos Eisley Tribune | Outlands Chronicles | Powerplay | R & R, using a pseud | Shadow | Skywalker | Southern Seven | SPICA | Straight Blake's | Time Warp | A Tremor in the Force | Warped Space | Xenozine

The Ragnarok Stories

Matthews' Ragnarok was a series of ST fanzine stories that featured the original character Andrej Koscuisko. They appeared in:

  • Galactic Flight #3 (1980) -- "The Devil and Deep Space," co-authored with Christine Jeffords
  • Galactic Flight #4 (1980) -- "Second Round"
  • See My Master's Patronage (December 1981) for fanfic in honor of the original character Andrej Koscuisko in the "Ragnarok" series

In 1981, Susan Matthews announced in a number of zines that she was pulling her from publication in order to rework the stories into a science fiction format in an attempt to sell the collection as a professional SF novel. She detailed this decision in A Personal Statement from Susan Matthews.

In Issue 17 of the zine Universal Translator, Matthews wrote a letter complaining that she has heard that a fan using the name Inclination Press out of Tsaile, Arizona was reproducing and selling Ragnarok stories with Martynn's artwork without authorization:

The unauthorized -- and bitterly resented -- reprint of Ragnarok material is not to be confused with the 'Matthews Collected' that Jeffords and bes Shahar had offered. That idea didn't work out, and there were no printings.

A fan who lived in that town reported in Jundland Wastes #13 that she did some detective work, going to the post office in Tsaile, Arizona and questioned them. "This is a very small post office and one would take note of anything that isn't addressed to a person's name or the Navajo Community College," and they'd seen nothing sent to or from "Inclination Press," making this fan remark, "If the unauthorized reprints are originating from Arizona, they apparently aren't coming from Tsalie.

The Ragnarok series was retitled The Jurisdiction and was sold in the late '90s. The first book, An Exchange of Hostages, was published in 1997, with the seventh book being published in 2017.

Preview of An Exchange of Hostages:

A promising young surgeon, Andrej Koscuisko has come, with great reluctance, to study at a military orientation center adrift in black space. Against his will, he will train here to serve as a "Ship's Inquisitor" — a vocation that runs counter to his deepest moral convictions.

During his tenure, Andrej will earn the devotion of his personal slave. He will gain the grudging respect of the Station Administration. He will make a deadly enemy of his fellow student. He will learn a frightening truth about himself. And ultimately, he will be forced to sacrifice all that he holds dear…

As a professional writer of science fiction, Matthews has published the following statement on fanfiction of her works:

It's (almost always) a compliment when someone wants to write a fan-story based on something I've written. And you can write fan fiction based on the Koscuisko novels and other things I've written, under the following circumstances:

You have to license your work as derivative, non-commercial fiction under the Creative Commons umbrella.

You can't make any money off fanlit you've written in the Jurisdiction story-line/universe.

You have to post an attribution identifying the source material, together with a statement that that I own the source material (grin). An example of the required attribution? “The source material for this story, including the universe in which it is set and the characters whomever, whomever, and whomever, is copyright by Susan R. Matthews. This story is licensed under the Creative Commons as derivative, non-commercial fiction.”

In doing so, you waive any rights to your fanlit, which means that you can't sue me if I write something that you think looks altogether too much like your fan-story in the future and accidentally make a million dollars (I should be so lucky). I'm not going to be out there looking for ideas to steal; I have enough of my own, honest. This protects me against accidental cross-pollination, and serves as your acknowledgement that Great Minds Think Alike — we may come up with the same idea independently of one another, because that's the way it is.

I'm not going to read your fanlit (or if I do, I'm not going to admit having done so). I won't comment on your fanlit in any case. Don't post about your fanlit to my blog; don't contact me about your fanlit. It's not because I don't love you or appreciate your investment in my novels/characters; it's because I'm just not going to get into that. I'm saving all my energy for my own original content. You can share your fan-story with other people in appropriate forums, just not in this one (grin).

And bless you for loving my work enough to want to write more about it, even though I will never know.[1]

References

  1. Matthews, Susan R. "Fan Fiction Policy". Under Jurisdiction. Retrieved May 8, 2019.