The LOC Connection/Issues 01-20
The LOC Connection 1 was published in January 1989 and contains 6 pages.
The LOC Connection 2 was published in February 1989 and contains 6 pages. Twenty-six authors are listed as subscribers.
The LOC Connection 3 was published in March 1989 and contains 11 pages.
From the editor:
I am very happy to say that THE LOC CONNECTION has successfully survived its "probation period". There is enough interest in it that I will continue to keep publishing it as long as that interest is maintained. When I began this letterzine, I thought it would only be about 2-4 pages long each month. Every issue thus far has exceeded that expectation. So, while I'm very pleased with the response the letterzine has generated, the cost of xeroxing makes it necessary for me to begin charging for subscriptions, beginning with the April issue. The rates are listed above. Please note that you must still send SASE's in addition to the subscription price. If I have any SASE's on file for you, I've enclosed a note. Also with the April issue, I will be sending out a survey in order to get a handle on the readership's thoughts concerning TLC thus far. My own curiosity, as well as suggestions and comments from subscribers, are the motivation behind it. The survey will have questions on such things as the anonymity policy (Do you think it does or doesn't work?), the pros and cons of printing comments on stories that aren't by authors on the List, opinions on how to write a good LoC, etc. If anyone has other concerns they would like to see addressed in the survey, please let me know.
There were LoCs about As I Do Thee #9, #10, Star Trek #1, #2, #5, #17, One Night Stand #3, #4/5, KSX, Charisma #2, #3, Within the Mirror #1, Shades of Grey #, Crossroads, Day of Vengeance, Desert Heat, Consort #1, Fetish, T'hy'la #3, #7, Naked Times #20, Act Five #1, Daring Attempt #3, Oath of Bondage, The Price of Freedom, Sojourns, Matter/Antimatter #6, The Way of the Warrior
The LOC Connection 4 was published in April 1989 and contains 8 pages. There are 28 authors listed that receive this zine. This is the last issue where the LoCs were printed anonymously.
The Anonymity Policy—This is the biggie. When I decided to do this letterzine, I thought the anonymity policy would help generate more LoCs. For one thing, some readers are understandably shy about giving an author an honest assessment of her story, as they are afraid the author may take any kind of criticism too personally, no matter how gently or constructively that criticism is presented. Also, I felt the anonymity policy might bring new, shy readers out of the closet, who may feel that their comments can't possibly be as important as comments by established Big Name Fans. In short, my presumption was that authors would rather have comments anonymously, than no comments at all; and since a letterzine of pure LoC's would depend solely on the readers' participation, I wanted to do everything I could to make things easiest on the readers. When I sent out the mailer announcing TLC last November, the first few responses were supportive of the anonymity policy. Since then, I've heard very little about it from subscribers, except for a couple of contributors who would prefer to have bylines; and in those situations I've let the individual authors know who commented on their stories. In any case, I was getting enough LoC's that I began to wonder if the anonymity policy was really necessary; and once TLC was the subject of some criticism in ON THE DOUBLE #10, more subscribers have come forth and said that it would be fine with them if comments were no longer anonymous. As you can see from the survey, I'm interested in how the removal of the anonymity policy would effect the LoC's that contributors have written. If it has no effect on the great majority of the contributors, then the May issue will have bylines. A possible compromise would be to have pseudonyms for those who do not want their identities revealed. (The important thing in this situation is that the contributor would have to continue to use the same pseudonym for all her comments. There could be no switching back and forth between pen names, or from a real name to a pen name.) Please note that if TLC does change to using bylines, all the prior rules will still be in effect; i.e., I still will not print any comments that I feel are personal attacks or that are in any way malicious.)
The LOC Connection 5 was published in May 1989 and contains 10 pages. It was in this issue that names of the LoCers were printed. The editor included many fans' remarks regarding the pros and cons of anonymous comments.
The editor reminds fans to keep on topic and reiterates the purpose of this zine:
I want to remind everyone that one of TLC's rules is that a LoC cannot comment on another LoC. Now that TLC has bylines, it may be tempting to begin a LoC with something like, "I agree with Jane Smith's comment in the last issue that 'Slave's Passion' was a unique and well-written story. However, I don't agree that Kirk behaved believably when he took command from Spock." While this example is fairly harmless, I wouldn't publish it. TLC is meant to be a one-way street from reader to author. It is not a medium for 'roundtable discussions', or friendly chit-chat between subscribers. I'm a real stickler about this because I don't want contributors to stray away from discussing the actual stories. Once contributors start a 'conversation' amongst them selves, it's very easy to drift off to other subjects.
Comparing Stories. I will not print any direct comparison of one story against another. For example: "Jane Smith's story, 'Hot Balls' was pretty good, and certainly better than Mary Jones' story, 'Munchy Nuts', which had a similar plot." I feel that "Hot Balls" should be evaluated for its own attributes, or lack of such, and should not be judged by how well it stacks up against "Munchy Nuts" or any other story. I will allow a comparison if both stories mentioned are by the same author, but I don't want to encourage this method of evaluation. Also, I have allowed a comparison or two in past issues of TLC, when the second story mentioned was merely to clarify the contributor's viewpoint; but, again, I don't recommend this. If you find yourself mentioning another story in a LoC other than the one being commented upon, stop ask yourself if it's really necessary to bring the second story into your comment.Generalizations. I've had to edit a few LoCs in the past because the contributor started out commenting upon a certain story, then switched to discussing a generality about fandom or K/S writing, so that by the time the comment ended the contributor had gone off on a tangent and was no longer talking about the story itself. Remember, TLC is intentionally formatted so that individual stories (or poems, or art) have the center stage. THE LOC CONNECTION is not the place to discuss such topics as how K/S writing has gotten better or worse over the years, why K and S should or should not be considered 'gay', what such-and-such an episode was really about, whether K and S have a connecting door between their bathrooms or share the same bathroom, etc., etc. If there is some aspect about K/S fandom or writing that you want to discuss, there are plenty of other letterzines that serve that purpose. Of course, I will allow some leeway for a contributor taking a few sentences to give some background information if she feels her viewpoint needs explaining. But if you find yourself becoming rather long-winded while writing a comment, please stop and ask yourself if you're still discussing the story [you started] out to discuss.
The editor includes some excerpts from the recent survey she'd issued about anonymous LoCs:
The lack of an anonymity policy wouldn't affect my Iocs at all... The anonymity policy doesn't bother me because I don't feel it's necessary to know who wrote the opinions. It's only necessary that the opinions be clear and intelligent.... I know that there are many people who are afraid that they will be ostracized for openly making comments that are in the slightest bit critical.... As far as I can tell, this fear is totally baseless, but there is very little I can do about people who want to believe such a thing without evidence.... I would still definitely want to encourage reluctant contributors by allowing pseudonyms.
If there were no longer any anonymity policy, I'd still write letters, but I fear they would be a little less helpful, more pussyfooting.... Bylines do make the reading perhaps a bit easier, as you learn what one person likes and dislikes and can balance their criticism or praise.... I see little difference between pseudonymity (?) and anonymity. People do whole zines, editorials, etc., under pseudonyms, and see nothing wrong with it, so why is it worse to write a few letters anonymously?...
I don't think that doing away with the anonymity policy would influence content in any way.... People should be willing to stand by their comments and be responsible for them. The use of a pen name is irrelevant.
Overall, I think I favor the anonymity policy. I think it probably does take some of the fear out of criticizing the story. And at this time, contributors (or the editor) do seem to be doing a responsible Job balancing their comments. My main problem as a writer with the anonymity policy is that I don't know if the comments on my stories are from one or more readers. To me it matters if it is three readers who dislike my three stories or it is one person who dislikes the three....
What is happening now is that I read LOCs, looking for particular viewpoints and writing style. I ask myself, 'gee, who wrote this?'.... It leads to guessing games as to who wrote the LOCs. I can see where a LOC would be erroneously attributed to a certain person where in fact, someone else wrote it. This could even lead to misunderstandings. Having by-lines would clear up this guessing game. It would not effect my own LOCs in any way. Well-known, consistent 'fan names' would be acceptable to me. For truly 'shy' people, they could be allowed to assign themselves a special pen-name for LOC CONNECTION as long as they retained the same name for each issue.... I have heard several people say that they will refuse to participate in LOC CONNECTION as long as this policy is retained. Using by-lines will most likely bring in more people than it would scare away.
The only reason I would want to know the name of the LOC writer is to say thanks for the input. If adding bylines is going to cut down on the LOC's received, I'd say leave it as it is. The idea is to get feedback. Pseudonyms don't stay secret for very long anyway, bit if it makes 'shy* contributors more comfortable, I say sure.
The editor's final decision:
My decision is that TLC will now have bylines, and all comments in this issue have a byline. Pseudonyms will be allowed, but the contributor must state clearly to me that she wants a certain name used for her comments, and what that name is. I am also insisting that contributors stick to a consistent byline—whether it is her real name or a pen name. In the case of pseudonyms, I don't care what name is used; i.e., if it's a name used elsewhere in fandom, or a name made up specifically for TLC. When using real names, I will print the contributor's address, unless otherwise requested. For pseudonyms, I won't print the contributor's address, unless otherwise requested. (For reasons of space and time, I will only print each contributor's address once each issue. The address will appear beneath the contributor's first comment for that issue; any subsequent comments will only have her name.
The LOC Connection 6 was published in June 1989 and contains 5 pages. This issue contained a ballot for the Surak Awards.
It has LoCs about Naked Times #21, Shades of Grey #1, As I Do Thee #1, #10, #12, T'hy'la #7, Charisma #5, Off Duty #1, #2, Fetish, Within the Mirror #1, First Time #18, #21, Matter/Antimatter #6, One Night Stand #4/5.
The LOC Connection 7 was published in July 1989 and contains 10 pages.
The LOC Connection 8 was published in August 1989 and contains 9 pages.
There are LoCs for Naked Times #9, #19, #21, #22, #23, Counterpoint #1, Consort #3, Daring Attempt #5, #6, #7, As I Do Thee #10, #13, Way of the Warrior #2, Off Duty #2, Fever, One Night Stand #4/5, Within the Mirror #2, and Charisma #3.
The LOC Connection 9 was published in September 1989 and contains 10 pages.
There are LoCs for Naked Times #17, #21, #23, Off Duty #2, First Time #4, The Air is the Air, As I Do Thee #1, #5, #11, #13, Matter/Antimatter #6, #7, Charisma #1, #5, T'hy'la #5, Desert Heat, In the Wilderness #1, Daring Attempt #1, Still Another K/S Zine, Greater California K/S, KSX #1, Way of the Warrior #1, #2, Consort #1,#2, Oath of Bondage.
The LOC Connection 10 was published in October 1989 and contains 9 pages.acafans was one of fandom's own. From the editor:
Welcome to issue *10 of TLC. I want to pass along the name and address of a University of Arizona graduate student who is doing a thesis paper on television fandom. If you, or anyone you know, would like to assist her by filling out a questionnaire, please contact: Cinda Gillilan.
This issue contains LoCs for KSX #1, #2, Way of the Warrior #1, Matter/Antimatter #7, Counterpoint, Charisma #5, Naked Times #12, First Time #12, #13, #15, #17, Charisma #5, Off Duty #2, Impact, Sojourns.
The LOC Connection 11 was published in November 1989 and contains 9 pages.
It has LoCs from Out of Bounds, Greater California K/S, Charisma #2, #4, First Time Overflow, As I Do Thee #1, #2, #3, #4, #8, #7, #9, First Time #1, #6, #11, #14, #17, #19, Shades of Grey #4, Nocturne, Out of Bounds, Again, Out of Bounds, Too, Matter/Antimatter #7, T'hy'la #3, Naked Times #22.
The LOC Connection 12 was published in December 1989 and contains 7 pages. There are 43 authors listed as subscribers, though a number of them are pseuds for the same people which skews the total.
It includes LoCs for First Time #14, #18, #23, Matter/Antimatter #7, Crossroads, Crystal Clear, Fetish, Charisma #3, Naked Times #22, T'hy'la #3, #4, #6, Nor No Man Ever Loved, The Price of Freedom, Within the Mirror #1, Sojourns, Shades of Grey #3, As I Do Thee #12.
The LOC Connection 13 was published in January 1990 and contains 5 pages.
The LOC Connection 14 was published in February 1990 and contains 8 pages.
It contains LoCs for As I Do Thee #3, #12, #14, Fever, California K/S 4 Play, Within the Mirror #3, Broken Images, Charisma #5, Naked Times #8, #14, #18, #22, #23, Mirrors of Mind and Flesh, Off Duty #2, First Time #20.
The LOC Connection #15 was published in March 1990 and contains 7 pages.
The LOC Connection 16 was published in April 1990 and contains 5 pages.
This issue contains LoCs for Between Friends, T'hy'la #8, KSX #1, Final Frontier #2, Way of the Warrior #2, #3, As I Do Thee #6, #14, Naked Times #12, #21, First Time #21, #24, Charisma #7, Act Five #2.
The LOC Connection 17 was published in May 1990 and contains 8 pages. Most of this issue is a K/S bibliography of fiction published in 1989, compiled by the editor.
This issue is rather short, as I received few comments, which is understandable in light of the current drought of new zines. In any case, its small size has allowed me to include my bibliography of the K/S stories that were printed in North American zines in 1989. I hope it will be helpful in filling out the nomination forms for the Surak Awards. The deadline for nominations is July 15th. There should be a supply of nomination forms at Cali-Con, and I hope to have some available next month. Of course, nomination forms can also be obtained directly from the Surak Awards... There is no charge for nominations, but its mandatory to enclose a SASE with your request.
The LOC Connection 18 was published in June 1990 and contains 8 pages.
It contains LoCs from Off Duty #1, Nome #10, Out of Bounds, As I Do Thee #14, Matter/Antimatter #6, #8, Scattered Stars #1, Naked Times #22, Daring Attempt #7, First Time #7, Amazing Grace, Crossroads.
The LOC Connection 19 was published in July 1990 and contains 8 pages.
"With the demise of Treklink, and On the Double having turned into little more than an adzine, I have been considering expanding TLC to include a 'discussion' or 'mailbox' column. This would be a place where subscribers could debate topics concerning K/S, where authors (if they desired) could answer questions asked in a LoC on their story, where tips on writing LoCs could be presented, etc. The LoCs would still be the most important part of TLC, and I would want the new column to support the LoC section, not overwhelm it. I would also like to include a section giving information on K/S zines that are currently available, as well as those seeking submissions---not ads, per se, but a brief listing. No matter what changes take place, TLC will remain a monthly publication, and it will also maintain its 'plain Jane' appearance (i.e., no graphics, borders, double columns, etc.).
The LOC Connection #20 was published in August 1990 and contains 14 pages.
It is with some degree of self-consciousness that I welcome you to issue #20 of THE LOC CONNECTION. I received so many LoCs this month that, when added to those held over from last month, I would have had to hold over a whole issue's worth of comments if I would have retained the old format. In addition, I was anticipating TLC getting larger in the future anyway, because of expanding its content (more on that next time). Reduced type and double columns seemed the only way to go. So, here we are. My primary concern is that some may find the smaller typeface difficult to read. If it's a serious problem, now is the time to let me know. Otherwise TLC will keep this format.
There are LoCs for Counterpoint #2, #3, Yet Another K/S Zine, Of Course Another K/S Zine, As I Do Thee #15, First Time #2, #11, #24, #25, Alexi, Naked Times #10, #24, Matter/Antimatter #7, #8, Otherwhere/Otherwhen, Charisma #9, Beside Myself #2, The Long and Winding Road, Within the Mirror #4, The Price of Freedom, Portraits, Between Friends, Shades of Grey #5, The Way Home, T'hy'la #8.[[