Writers in Fandom: The Fanzine Scene: Interview with Fern Marder

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Writers in Fandom: The Fanzine Scene: Interview with Fern Marder
Interviewer: vclaszlo (Nick Sorbin) at Renderosity
Interviewee: Fern Marder
Date(s): June 27, 2005
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Zines, U2
External Links: interview here, Archived version
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Writers in Fandom: The Fanzine Scene is an interview with Fern Marder.

The focus of the interview is Marder's long-time involvement in fandom, her collaboration with Carol Walske, the zines they produced together, and their involvement with "rock fandom" and U2.

Some Excerpts

Carol and I met (of course!) at a small Trek/media convention in NYC in 1973 when I spotted her name tag and went over to compliment her on what was one of the first published Nu Ormenel stories "A Klingon Heritage." About two years later, she contacted me when some zine people we knew were planning a two-zine set, one fiction and one non-fiction, with articles on how the universes for those worlds had been built. I had been recommended to her as a good person to help write a section on language, since her Nu Ormenel universe had multiple languages, complete with grammar, alphabets, etc. While we were working on the technical article, Carol was telling me about a plot problem she was having with the story to go in the fiction volume. I suggested a fix for the problem and we were suddenly collaborating on the story, "Broken Sword," the first story to get our shared byline. We each subsequently also wrote on our own, but the majority of our fiction writing was co-authored after that.

We mostly stopped doing zines because "mundane" life got in the way. We had both worked our ways up in our careers and you can't (or at least we chose not to) try to do both ... zining is extremely time-consuming when you are both creating the material and running the publishing/mail order company. We stopped submitting our work to other zines, and stopped publishing zines for sale in the '80s. When we did The Cavalier (the Buckaroo Banzai zine), it wasn't because we were interested in going back into publishing, but more that the fan club really wanted a good fanzine to come out, and we were uniquely in a position to help them. Likewise, we threw together our Robin of Sherwood zine, Another Time, Another Place, when I was going to sing at a ROS convention. It would have felt very strange to arrive at a convention without a zine to sell.