Twin Suns

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Title: Twin Suns
Publisher: D'Ego-Boo Press, originally called "OtherWhen Press" (as per a 1980 flyer)
Editor(s): Jani Hicks
Date(s): 1980-1982
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Wars
Language: English
External Links:
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Twin Suns is a Star Wars gen fanzine.

a 1979 flyer from ReVisions #3
a 1980 flyer from Pastaklan Vesla #6

It ran for three issues. According to a flyer printed in Starwings #1, Jani Hicks was planning to release a fourth issue of Twin Suns at the 1983 MediaWest*Con.

Twin Suns and "The Controversy"

The fanzine ceased publication in response to concern over censorship from Lucasfilm that arose when Maureen Garrett, head of the Official Star Wars club, sent a cease and desist order to the publishers of another fanzine, Guardian, claiming that issue #3 of the fanzine had violated the informal policy of George Lucas to tolerate fan fiction, provided it was not 'pornographic." [1]

Boldly Writing documents the fall-out: "Many Star Wars fans protested, calling such an action "censorship," while other Star Wars fans, particularly ex-Star Trek fans who left because of K/S fanzines, applauded the action. In any event, two issues later, in letterzine Forum 16, Maureen sent another letter, which stated, "we hope you understand that our policy is an exercise in OWNERSHIP not censorship... Lucasfilm supports the publication of Star Wars fanzines."

Nonetheless, a letter in the same Forum issue, and in Jundland Wastes #5/6, Jani Hicks indicated that the clarification did not reassure:
I cannot, I will not live with censorship backed by threats of litigation when I have acted, and continue to act, in good faith with the copyright owners. I am willing to abide by voluntary controls; I will not comply with the Rule of Gold -- the one with the gold makes the rules. Therefore, and sadly, I announce the retirement of D'Ego-Boo Press from active fandom subsequent to the publication of Thunderbolt and Twin Suns #3. After that time, I will be writing, editing, publishing and buying nor more professional or amateur Star Wars material, including fanzines. I would hope that a few hardy souls would make the break with me, but I advocate no boycott or other action against Lucasfilm, since that would not speak well of fandom and its intentions. Nor would I presume to dictate to the fannish conscience; we are more than capable of making our own individual moral decision. I have made mine, and I do invite anyone feeling likewise to follow the dictates of their own inner voices... In less formal terms, my decision to retire was influences by a comment from a friend. 'Remember the Clone Wars?' she asked. I nodded. She ended, 'The Clones won.

See also: Open Letter to Star Wars Zine Publishers

See also: a zine that was stillborn due to this conflict, Scoundrel.

Issue 1

cover of issue #1

Twin Suns 1 was published in May 1980 and contains either 160 pages or 125 pages (offset reduced, one insert).

  • Heads, I Win, Tails, You Lose" by Kelly Hill, illustrated by Martynn
  • Ghost in Far Sector by Susan Matthews, illustrated by Pam Kowalski (IS there something in Far Sector? Han never did find out.)
  • No Time for Our Sorrows by Ronni Sacksteder, illustrated by Joni Wagner (Leia's life on Alderaan couldn't have been that empty.)
  • Long, Long Way from Home by Michelle Malkin, illustrated by Daphne Hamilton (Leia's missing in action, Luke's in the pits, and Han's beside himself.)
  • Child of the Lightning by Rose Wolfe, illustrated by Lisa Mason (Ever hear of a psi-blind Jedi?)
  • Hail and Farewell by Christine Jeffords, illustrated by Paulie Gilmore (The last rid to Kashyyyk... for everyone concerned.)
  • cartoons
  • a finish-this-story
  • Definite Mother of a Star Wars Trivia Quiz
  • poetry and filks by Paula Block, Beth Bowles, Linda Stoops, Bernadette Krebs, Doug Everman, and Helen Brunotte, including "Collected Works of Obi-Wan Kenobi" by Angela-marie Varesano
  • much, much art by Martynn, Angela-marie Varesano, Susan W. Perry, Kevin Lewis, Paulie Gilmore, and Linda Stoops

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

[Ghost in Far Sector]:

Susan Matthews' Ama Epeel in "Ghost in Far Sector" (TS #1) is at the far end of the age spectrum covered here, a grandmother nearly sixty years old, acting as a spy and courier for the Alliance after years of freelancing. She is a pilot with her own ship, a fighter and a thoroughly competent individual who commands respect by her ability and performance. Escaping the Imperials with a vital tape, she was seriously injured and her ship was crippled to the extent that she now has power for either life support or a signal beam, but not both. She coolly chooses the beacon to ensure the tape's retrieval, and is nearly dead when Han almost accidentally locates her. [2]
[Long, Long Way from Home, 1991 comments by the author]: ...there are fanzine editors to beware of. Unfortunately, the only way to learn who they are is generally through personal experience. Such editors may say they won't edit without your permission. but they don't always keep their word. I once had a story printed in TWIN SUNS. It was my very first Star Wars story and it was pretty awful. The editor and I had settled in letters that she had pretty much a free hand in everything but dialogue. The dialogue was not to be touched, since that was how I heard the characters speak in my head. She agreed. Don't ask how, but this editor managed to take a bad story and make it even worse. Plus, she forgot her promise and changed the dialogue all over the place. Her excuse was editor's prerogative. What she meant was that she could change any-thing she damn well pleased in anyone's story and if they didn't like it, tough. [3]
[zine]: One of the biggest things going on in this zine is its great variety in appearance and material. All of the artwork is high-quality and well-reproduced, including an astonishing number of fandom's best artists. The different type faces are lamented by the editor, but they prevent the monotony of reading that often plagues such lengthy zines now matter how good they are. Of course, what we're most concerned about is not how it looks, but how good the stories are -- so onto the stories. The first, 'Heads, I Win, Tails, You Lose' by Kelly Hill, is a nugget of Han's background in the framework of a story told to Luke in a bar by Han and an old pal. Complete with smugglers, hijackers, and a friendly fight or two, it's a diverting short with the mercenary freighter pilot we all know and love. It won't make fanzine history, but most readers should enjoy it. Next comes, 'Ghost is Far Sector' by Susan Matthews. Susan's unique, fanciful writing style is always a treat, though as a story, this one falls something short of her best offerings. Far Sector is a Bermuda Triangle of Interstellar Space and a rebel agent is lost there. Han is about to pass through the area in hyperspace, but despite his avowed disbelief in spacer's situations, he refuses to search for the agent. However, he's practically forced to, under circumstances that make him as well as Chewbacca doubt his sanity. The concept of Far Sector is handled with consummate care. You can't prove anything about its alleged properties by this story, and that's how it should be. Also, the Alliance business, though important as the background situation, is strictly subordinate to the plot. Susan never bores you with minute details that have no bearing on the story... The characterizations home in straight and true. As minor characters, Luke and Leia come across well, especially Leia, who is frosty but not defrostable. Ama Epeel, a newly-created secondary character is interesting and enigmatic, with just enough hints dropped about her past to make readers curious. Chewbacca, co-star to Han's lead, is a fine counterbalance; steady, logical-minded and concerned... As a spacer, Susan's Han is cautious and methodical, yet he displays a certain intuition... 'No Time for Our Sorrows' by Ronnie Sacksteder gives Leia plenty of time for her sorrows. Ronni handles Leia's character extremely well, but solves her problem a little too conveniently. The same happens in "Long, Long Way from Home by Michelle Malkin. Han and Luke are treated with great sensitively as they deal with a nearly shattering event. Unfortunately, a 'twist' keeps them from having to continue dealing with that event. Luke does learn something, but it's not what hte story was trying to teach him. 'Child of the Lightning' by Rose Wolfe is a delightful, moving piece taking place 150 years after Star Wars. It gets off to a slow start due to the necessary background history involved in such a jump, but the actual story has a good pace and vivid imagery. It concerns a few Jedi of the New Order (begun by Luke and Leia) and reincarnation; a young girl is having a flashback to an incarnation during the Rebellion, and the job of the other Jedi is to nurse her though it and bring her consciousness back alive, sane, and possibly growing because of the experience. The last story, 'Hail and Farewell' by Christine Jeffords is largely a contrivance, theorizing on the mysteries of Bobba Fett and setting up animosity for him from Han and Chewbacaa with the inevitable 'I think we'll meet him again,' at the end. However, it is not without its vitues. Christine takes what we saw of Kazhyyk (Chewie's home planet) on the Star Wars Holiday Special and extrapolates a believable ecology and society without spending too many words on it. Her characters take on their usual fanfic characterizations, but if there's nothing unique about them, there's nothing outrageous about them either... It's logical and well-timed throughout... Despite my nitpicking, Twin Suns is one of the best zines on the market, in both appearance and content and few will regret buying it. [4]
[zine]: Well, well, another top-notch SW zine. Our ever-growing fandom has ac
quired quite a few of them lately.
 Twin Suns isn't perfect, of course, but
 it does a good job of shooting for per
fection. All artwork is excellent, 
layout is clean and attractive, and the 
stories ought to satisfy any SW fan's
cravings for interesting tales about 
Our Heroes. Kelly Hill's "Heads, I Win; Tails, You Lose" is a well-written short story about how Han acquired one of his (male) smuggler friends. Martynn's accompanying illos are terrific (of course), especially her portrait of an antogonist who resembles an artichoke, of all things. "Ghost in Far Sector" by Susan Matthews (does she contribute to every SW zine, for heaven's sake?) tells of a rescue of an Alliance agent who is marooned in a decidedly spooky area of the galaxy. Susan sets the eerie tone quite well, but I was a bit let down to find that nothing really spooky happens to Han and Chewie. All the build-up, the tales of weird things that happened to spacers in Far Sector, remained only legends after all; Han's erratic actions had a tangible cause. I must applaud Ronni Sacksteder's "No Time For Our Sorrows" for the fact that it is primarily a Leia story — truly a rarity in SW fanfic. Unfortunately, not a whole lot happens as far as the plot movement goes; the story drags just a bit and is a little too wordy, in my opinion. The end is interesting, though; a person is found among a group of Alderaani refugees who is of importance to Leia. Since this is a serial story, it'll be interesting to see where Ronni goes with this. Joni Wagner's illo at the end of "No Time..." deserves special note — it's an excellent portrait of Leia. Michelle Malkin's "Long, Long Way From Home" is a study of Luke's and Han's relationship, with Han acting as Big Brother/Shoulder-To-Cry-On to a grief-stricken Luke. Michelle handles this well — Han is kept in character; he makes some mistakes in his role of "counselor," but manages in the end to to help Luke despite his inexperience in psychology. "Child of the Lightning" by Rose Wolf, is unusual, to say the least. It is set 150 years after the Luke/Han/Leia era, and shows the Jedi as having evolved into pseudo Catholic monastic orders in some of its branches. Combine this with Eastern reincarnationist theory, and you've got one... unique... story. Rose's style of writing is tongue-in-cheek, and she certainly has original ideas — someone ought to turn her loose in Star Trek fanzines. The Mularski award for best story of the zine goes to Christine Jeffords, for her "Hail and Farewell."... Anyway, in this tale, Luke, Han, and Corin Organa (Leia's brother in Chris' and Mark Walton's SW series (Galactic Flight) accompany Chewie in a visit to his family on Kazhyyyk. While there, Boba Fett shows up, searching for Han, and a truly tragic event results. Chris describes Kazhyyyk's enviornment so well that I had absolutely no trouble visualizing it. I very much liked her portrayal of Luke, also — he's resourceful and courageous, very believable as a future master Jedi though still capable of mistakes and not fully mature yet. So many fen stories show Luke as a hopelessly naive kid overshadowed by Han that I have to give this story an A+ for the Skywalker characterization alone. Other features that serve to round out Twin Suns are the poetry by Linda Stoops, Angela Varesano, Paula Block, Beth Bowles; excellent artwork by Pam Kowalski, Daphne Hamilton, Paulie and others; a trivia contest, a writing contest, a questionnaire; and more. This zine is recomnended, despite the steep price -- Chris Jefford's story alone was enough to make it worth my money, and all the other contributions were, to use a cliche, icing on the cake. [5]

Issue 2

front cover of issue 2, Martynn
flyer for issue #2, printed in Against the Sith #9
flyer for issue #2, printed in Legends of Light #1

Twin Suns 2 has the subtitle, "Tattoo" was published in 1981 and is 148 pages long, offset, reduced. The front cover is by Martynn, the back by Amy Falkowitz, foldout by Joni Wagner.

  • Revolution Trilogy (2 pages)
  • Welcome Aboard by Eva Albertsson (8 pages) (Devanna Marongh has talents that can do the Rebellion great service -- Chewbacca knows more about them than anyone) ("winner ("The only entrant -- but that doesn't reflect on the fine quallty of this story, of our Finish This Story contest. Devanna Maronkh has some talents that can do the Rebellion great service -- and Chewbacca knows more about them than anyone. Can he verify her methods?")
  • Creatures of the Force, a multipage art portfolio by Amy Falkowitz with narration (11 pages)
  • Some Call You Rebel by Jani Hicks (24 pages) (also in Revisions #4) ("Begun in "Revisions" but completed and significantly emended for this printing." An old friend of Han's comes to his rescue in her hour of need, and her association with him costs her dearly.")
  • The Source Of Courage (3 pages)
  • He Remembers All Too Well (2 pages)
  • Chinese Fire Drill by Anne Elizabeth Zeek and Barbara Wenk (62 pages) (part of the "Circle of Fire" series) (discussed in Han and Leia in Fanfiction) ("The Rebellion is short a few hundred ships after Yavin 4 -- including its transport fleet -- and they hire an old friend of Han's to procure them. The Alliance isn't asking her to spy; lt's only asking her to steal!")
  • poetry and filks by Linda Stoops, Beth Bowles, Roseann Magda, Karen Klinck, Eileen Eldred, and Beverly Lorenstein
  • art by Amy Falkowitz, Susan Perry-Lewis, Joni Wagner, Gordon Carleton, Eileen Eldred, Dot Sasscer, Paulie, Angela-marie Varesano, MRO Ludwid and Phil Foglio

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

[Chinese Fire Drill]: Lythne Rimwar of Anne Elizabeth Zeek and Barbara Wenk's "Chinese Fire Drill" in Twin Suns #2 is a former lady of the Imperial Court turned freelance thief, considered by those who should know as one of the best. Apparently she is also an old friend and possibly colleague of Han's, who comes to her for help with a computer break-in, an operation which she runs according to her own specifications. Along the way she gives Luke a valuable lesson in vital details of such a job. (One interesting characterisitic of Luke and to a great extent of Han: in fanfic they're as willing to learn from women as from men!) [6]
[zine]: Twin Suns 1 debuted at last year's Mos Eastly Con to great acclaim and rapid sellout. Now at last comes Twin Suns 2 to disprove the old saw that a sequel is always inferior to the original. Layout is consistently excellent in this fat new zine; though reduced, the type is crystal clear, and there is not an inch of waste space anywhere... The front cover, a Martynn piece that is as beautiful as all Martynn-pieces, looks as if it would be the next focus for a 'Write-a-Story-to-Match-This-Illo' contest. The back cover has a Phil Foglio cartoon on the inside and a splendidly romantic Amy Falkowitz pen-and-ink, Jedi (K)nights' on the out. Contents include two long stories ('Chinese Fire Drill' which takes up, with art, fully 40% of the zine), the completed 'Finish this Story' from issue 1, and a large assortment of poetry and short pieces. Eva Albertsson's conclusion to 'Welcome Aboard' will sunrise no one who has chanced to read some of her privately circulated Hanstories. It is a deft, humorous, yet poignant little tale with a totally unexpected closing twist, and all the most surprising when one contemplates that English is not Eva's native language. The editor's in-house contribution is 'Some Call You Rebel,' a half-reprint, half-continuation of a story originally begun as a two-part serial in Revisions #4 (ReV 5 having not a appeared to due to a decision to discontinue the zine). It is the story of Han's encounter with an old friend (flame?), the spacer-lady and unwilling Carcarodiati (member of an order of highly-trained paid killers) Kallani. As a hurt/comfort story it's a double threat, since not only is Han injured and cared for by Kallani, but Kallani returns the favor by being picked up for questioning (under drugs) by some old business rivals of Han's, coming out temporarily blinded and so full of toxins that she has to be taken to the Rebellion to be cleaned out. Keallani is an interesting character with a number of uniqueness -- for one, she refers to a daughter, Reenie, now living elsewhere with her old Captain -- and the glimpses into her background and training are vivid and fascinating... Both Han and Luke are well-drawn -- Luke refreshingly mature!-- and the Paulie Gilmore art is generally of good quality, especially of Luke and Kallani. This story is from Jani's 'Tales of the Contraverse' cycle and definitely leaves itself open to a sequel. But the capstone of Twin Suns 2, and the thing that makes it really worth the price, is Zeek and Wenk's 'Chinese Fire Drill.' Set immediately after the destruction of the Death Star (what a relief to your reviewer to find that people are still writing and publishing between-the-movies even a year after TESB!), it is billed as 'A Circle of Fire Story' and is fast-moving all-adventure story that takes Han, Luke, and Leia to the planet Dardael, where Han intends to pay his debt to Jabba while his young friends try to obtain ships with which to evacuate the Massassi base. Along the way we are introduced to Lythen Rimwar, an expert and high-class thief whom Leia recognizes as having been 'Lady Laelling... Velizy... Imperial Society's darling'; ex-Senator Pers Alterman, a throughly slimy entity so corrupt that even the Senate itself couldn't tolerate him, who attempts to rape Leia and is killed by her; and the beautiful and deadly Aithne, lieutenant and good right hand to the absent Jabba, making a return appearance following her introduction in 'The Cincinnatus Caper' in Time Warp #3. The pace never lets up in this marvelously exciting story, and the characters are well-handled: original ones deftly drawn and convincing, borrowed Rebels true to their film portraits yet obviously beginning to develop into what they will be in EMPIRE. Luke's chillingly just-in-time use of the Force as he accompanies Lythne on a break-in of Imperial Headquarters, Leia's abilities to defend herself savagely when threatened yet feel sickness and guilt afterward, and Han's delightful ability forms all sorts of niggling little jobs such as turning on lights, adjusting thermostats, changing video channels. The art is by HRO Ludwig -- deft, delicate line drawings in which Luke and Leia look like themselves, Lynthne when first encountered is properly slinky, a furious Aithene in a jumpsuit and jackboots reminds your reviewer of Emma Peel, and Han in disguise is at once tantalizingly strange and naggingly Hannish. Incidental art for this issue, by Dot Sasscer, Angelmarie Varesano, and the excellent Joni Wagner, is of high quality and well produced. On the whole, Twin Suns 2 is well worth your money... [7]
[zine]: The first thing you will notice when you pick up this zine is the very beautiful artwork that is evident everywhere you look. There are actually only three stories in this issue. The first, 'Welcome Aboard.' is a winner for the 'write a story to match the picture contest.' The editors tell us that the author who wrote this story did son as a second language. It's written in English... The story is a Han and Chewie story I found delightfully unpredictable. 'Some Call You Rebel' has Han, Luke and Chewie involved with a half Corellian female pilot who is an old friend of Han's. She is an interesting character with special training that puts her somewhere between Boba the Fett and a Jedi. At least that's the impression I go. Really enjoyable. Last, but not least, is 'Chinese Fire Drill' which tells us how Han could possibly not have payed off Jabba the Hut when it was the only thing he had on his mind all the way through SW. This is a very long, complex, well-written story. While I disagree with the characterizations of Luke and Leia at times, it didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the story. My only reservations with this zine is purely personal preferences. I found there are too many filks and poems. They are all very good, but I really started looking for a story after flipping through pages of art portfolios and then poems, etc. I usually read a zine all the way through front to back giving everything a thorough reading, but I couldn't do it with this one. However, where it counts, the stories, this zine is very good. Layout, printing, and all the little things that make up the look of an individual piece of work are excellent. [8]
[zine]: TWIN SUNS III falls short of expectations established by its predecessors. The contents range from fair to excellent, but the layout is poor and seme stories lack polish that could have been prevented with more editing. However, the majority of the contents are redeeming. There are several pieces which make the zine: "Proving Ground," by Eluki bes Shahar; "Someone to Talk To," by Carol Mularski; "Revenant," by Anne E. Zeek; and an humorous piece, "Dateline: Mt. Trumbull," by Linda Stoops. There is the pleasant return of Jasper Vader the Convention Cat and the excellent cartoons by Eluki bes Shahar. I especially liked the cartoons accompanying the editorial, particularly the Lucas Star Wars Club cartoon. Other than Eluki's cartoons, there are no memorable pieces of artwork. The artwork on the whole is good, just nothing that takes your breath away. The cover by Gordon Carleton is clever for a zine with the title TWIN SUNS. "Proving Ground" is an excellent story that is well paced, with solid character development. The majority of the players are characters created by Eluki. She is most successful with intertwining her own characters with the established ones of the Star Wars universe. Her character is a person who has normal emotions and reactions that make sense. No emotion comes out of left field but, through the use of stream-of-consciousness, is a normal extension of the situation. In summary, a very tight piece of literature. "Someone to Talk To" falls into the universe created by Carol Mularski. The story takes place immediately after the end of The Empire Strikes Back. It is a logical extension of Luke's confusion after his dealing with Vader. Again we meet Luke's cousin, Kaili. The story does well by both Carol's and Lucas' universes. "Revenant" is the full fleshing out of the idea presented in the vignette of the same name, published by Anne in TIME WARP 4. It is a well spun tale. The details are presented slowly, adding to the unraveling of the story. The reader experiences the same frustrations as the leading character. Like the main character, I, too, don't want to believe. The ending hurts and will leave you thinking about the story for days. Anne paints a pessimistic future; one that could happen. Certainly one that I hope does not. It is not a hurt/ comfort story, but a possibility. Two other pieces of literature had potential, but just do not hit the mark. These are "Knight Errant," by Samantha Blackley, and "Hunter's Moon," by T.S. Weddell, "Knight Errant" suffers from over-descriptive phrases forced together, causing the story to stumble. The idea has its own irony, but is almost lost in Samantha's style. "Hunter's Moon" has its verbose descriptive passages, but suffers mostly from a lack of direction. It just begins. There is no preface as to what has gone before. The story was very good, but if you haven't read the other parts, you'll wonder what you missed. My favorite story was "Where the Heart Is." I laughed all the way through it. I could just see Kirk 'the jinx' visiting an unsuspecting Vulcan. The artwork ranges from good to excellent. Chris Grahl's drawings are excellent: Kirk and Spock on the front cover, McCoy on the back. I enjoyed the poetry, although I confess I'm no judge since I prefer stories. [9]

Issue 3

cover of issue 3, Gordon Carleton (A flyer said the original four color covers were cancelled when the printer told the publisher it would cost an extra $500.

Twin Suns 3 was published in 1982 and is 144 pages long. Artwork by , Daphne Hamilton, Linda Stoops, Martynn, Joni Wagner, Bernie, Wanda Lybarger, Eluki bes Shahar, Meredydd, Carol McPherson, Lee Reynolds, and Gordon Carleton.

  • Knight Errant by Samantha Blackley, illustrated by Martynn -- a vignette showing Han's chivalrous spirit (7 pages)
  • Proving Ground by eluki bes shahar, illustrated by the author -- if you liked Heinlein and Norton when you were a kid, you'll love this (besides, the hero is, well, interesting) (19 pages)
  • Dateline: Mt. Trumbull by Linda Stoops, illustrated by Eluki bes Shahar — it's round, and blue, and watery, and hangs in the sky like a cloudy orb on a moonless night (2 pages)
  • Decisions by Rhiemmenth, illustrated by Linda Yamashiro -- two old friends, some questions, and a fateful choice (2 pages)
  • Someone to Talk To by Carol Mularski (part of her "Desert Seed Series), (illustrated by Carol McPherson) -- Luke comer to grips with his parentage and his memories (11 pages)
  • The Turning of Tocneppil by Beverly Bishop, illustrated by Dot Sasscer -- a little story of Darth and Leia's, uh, previous acquaintance (9 pages)
  • Hunter's Moon by T.S. Weddell, illustrated by Wanda Lybarger -- Han and Luke have a strange encounter at a harvest festival. (11 pages)
  • Revenant by Anne Elizabeth Zeek, illustrated by Jackie Dunster -- never mind; whatever I tell you about this one you won't believe anyway. (31 pages)
  • Rebirth, An Elsequel (2 pages)
  • Games, Word Search and Puzzles (4 pages)
  • poetry and filks, along with the music by Irene Shafer, Marcia Brin, Elisabeth K. Frim, Maggie Nowakowoka, Roseann Magda, and Jenni

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

[Revenant]: It was one of the first fan written stories I'd read when I began buying SW zines. A reviewer had said "Revenant" would "haunt the reader for days," but it haunted me considerably longer. Dunster's full page illo for that story is also one of my favorite pieces of artwork. [10]
[zine]: This issue of "Twin Suns" represents a real improvement over the first two issues--and that is saying quite a bit. I and II established Jani Hicks as a source of competent, well-crafted stories and clean, professional-looking production, but III is even better. Aside from a disconcerting tendency for initial letters (and an occasional central letter) to disappear mysteriously into oblivion, the reproduction is excellent: crisp, clean, and legible in spite of the reduction. It is a good-looking zine that shows off its visual and literary contents to advantage. "Knight Errant" by Samantha Blackley is a dead-pan and sly tongue-in-cheek bit that neatly skewers a whole school of fannish fantasies, and has a rollicking good time in the process. Interstellar Moonies? Galactic Gothicks? Whatever. This will tickle anyone who has waded through the usual treacly gothic romances. "Proving Ground" is a better-than-average action story by Eluki bes Shahar in very much the spirit of the original movies, and is to be commended for its unusually plausible Leia, who can actually be recognized as the same character we see in A New Hope. The hero, Sundance, bears a suspicious generic resemblance to a certain Tatooine farmboy Hero-of-the-Rebellion, and ful- fills the same function of carrying the action forward and stumbling through to success against ridiculous odds by a combination of native ability and pure dumb luck. This one is simply for fun, but it's well done. The idea behind "Dateline: Mt. Trumbull" is cute, although a moment's reflection will indicate that it is impossible if SWars actually takes place in a galaxy far away and long ago, as George assures us. However, if George is fudging the time factor, I'm going to get very nervous. I must admit to a personal fondness for "Hunter's Moon" by T.S. Weddell, based on my own interest in folklore and the mythic roots of SWars. The author makes a solid and generally successful effort to reconcile the connection between our own universe and the SWars one and produces a story based on Celtic myth and vampire legend which is logical and romantic in both, and is emotionally convincing. The tone can only be described by the overused words "bittersweet" and "poetic"-- overused but accurate in this case-- and the ending will remind SF readers of the classic story "Shambleau", which is based on the same theme. Again, the characterization of Han and Luke is believable, and the friendship is underscored in a way which is satisfying but not sentimental. The three major stories in this issue ("Someone to Talk To" by Carol Mularski, "The Turning of Tocneppil" by Beverly Bishop, and "Revenant" by Anne Elizabeth Zeek) are all notable for the sort of clever ideas that make the reader say, "Ah-hah; this is interesting--now what is the author going to do with THIS?" The three stories achieve varying degrees of success in exploring their premises. "Someone to Talk To" deals with the plausible idea that Luke has been influenced more than he realizes by his confrontation with Vader, and picks up neatly on the ambiguity of his ·encounter in the Magic Tree: Luke here is clearly showing a taint of the Dark Side and the way he reacts to his discovery is the point of the story. It may be too much to ask that the author resolve the problem she has stated (perhaps the point is intended to be that there no resolution, at least at this point), but I feel the story would have been more satisfying if she had at least made the attempt. As it is, "Someone to Talk To" leaves me with an uncomfortable feeling of incompleteness. "The Turning of Tocneppil" is nearly unique (not quite) among fan stories in considering the economics of the rebellion, a dull but vital element, rather than the flashy surface heroism so beloved by Lucasfilm and the Saturday Matinee School of Fanfic. Not only that, but the author gets it right. Unfortunately, the solid background is obscured by an implausible melodramatic plot that has Leia (and her girlfriend Eltene) galloping through a James Bondish spy story like a combination of Nancy Drew and an underage Mrs. Peel, in a highly unconvincing fashion. Too bad; this one could have been as seminal as if the author's plot logic had matched her backgrounding. The unquestioned prize of this issue is Anne Zeek's "Revenant". What "Honor Binds Me" did to infuriate/delight/outrage/intrigue fans last year, this story will do, on a much deeper and more complex level, this year. If this story doesn't get some kind of a powerful reaction out of you, you are probably taking a vacation in carbon-freeze yourself. As with so many of Zeek's intricate and brilliant intellectual puzzles, much of the point of this story is lost in the plot (which unfolds with the multilayered twists and turns of a fanfic version of Deathtrap is described. But the characterization is subtle, realistic, and complex, the background impeccable, the storyline solid and even gripping in a way unusual in so cerebral a piece. Altogether, this 10 a story which will undoubtedly create a sensation, one you will probably hear discussed many times. If for no other reason, buy III for "Revenant". Brief comments on the rest of the zine: the poetry is standard stuff, generally inoffensive if not particularly interesting. The same may be said for the art: adequate basic Martynn, Eluki, and Lybarger, a highly-disappointing Wagner, some rather wooden and amateurish McPherson, and illos for "Revenant" by Dunster which are more preliminary sketches than anything else: good but rushed. All in all, there is notion that continues to improve and to remain among the top few must-order zines on the market. No zine is perfect, and neither is this one, but it avoids all the more usual pitfalls, and its faults are those of human fallibility, not those of shoddy production or inept editorship. Definitely among the best of this year's crop. [11]


  1. McCardle, "Fan Fiction: What's All The Fuss?".
  2. from the 1982 essay Visible Women
  3. from Southern Enclave #31
  4. rom Jundland Wastes
  5. from Alderaan #10
  6. from the 1982 essay Visible Women
  7. from Jundland Wastes #2
  8. from Datazine #13
  9. from Universal Translator #17
  10. from a reader's LoC in Southern Enclave #13
  11. from Jundland Wastes #10