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By Kaas Baichtal on Saturday, April 8, 2000 - 10:11 pm: Edit Post

This area is for discussion of Gen of the Week's weekly, or sometimes not so weekly, column.

By Yon on Monday, May 15, 2000 - 11:00 pm: Edit Post

The new one is great!

Top 10 Reasons Klyd Farris disappeared -- LOL!

I favor the spontaneous combustion theory, myself.

By Kaas Baichtal on Tuesday, May 16, 2000 - 12:48 pm: Edit Post

I'd have to my personal favorites are #4 and #5. I would say #3 also, but as much as the idea of Riyyh seducing Klyd appeals to me, I just can't get behind the rutabaga thing.

By Ann Marie on Tuesday, May 16, 2000 - 1:17 pm: Edit Post

I like #7 ... watching a household making a real profit might have caused his self combustion.

btw ... I love Gen of the Week. I think it's my favorite part of the Pens.

Ann Marie

By Yon on Tuesday, May 16, 2000 - 7:01 pm: Edit Post

Yeah, I like #5 too.

By Eliza on Tuesday, May 23, 2000 - 4:59 pm: Edit Post

Top Ten Things a Third Order Donor Really Doesn't Want to Hear????? Where is this one? I can't find it in the archieves anywhere.


By Mary Lou on Tuesday, May 23, 2000 - 8:42 pm: Edit Post

Let's see. How about:

#10: "The Controller wants to have a little chat with you about your job performance. By the way, his Donor was just reassigned..."

By Jocelyn on Tuesday, May 23, 2000 - 11:03 pm: Edit Post

Top Ten Things a Third Order Donor Really Doesn't Want to Hear

Where is this article? I am also confussed!

By Mary Lou on Wednesday, May 24, 2000 - 8:17 am: Edit Post

And then there's

#9: "Did you know that when you put these Farris-safe lotions on non-Farrises, they cause painful...Oh, dear, I _am_ sorry."

By Eliza on Wednesday, May 24, 2000 - 6:11 pm: Edit Post

#8: "Due to the Donor shortage we have had to reassign you to Hajene * (a 2nd). I know you have heard about the unfortunate situation on his record, but he DOES promise to be more careful this time..."

By Kaas Baichtal on Wednesday, May 24, 2000 - 8:13 pm: Edit Post

Hmmm... I guess I'll tackle #7.

#7: "To reduce pilferage by unauthorized personnel, all donuts on executive munchie trays will be replaced with low-fat wheat germ bagels."

By Eliza on Wednesday, May 24, 2000 - 10:31 pm: Edit Post


By Lemon on Wednesday, May 24, 2000 - 10:35 pm: Edit Post

#6: "Due to space constrants the indoor plumbing will be solely for the use of all First and Second order Channels and Donors. There is a fire bucket outside in the courtyard for any other personal."

By Eliza on Thursday, May 25, 2000 - 12:14 am: Edit Post

#5: "....and then the junct Farris said "Well, you will do for an entree!" "

By Mary Lou on Thursday, May 25, 2000 - 10:03 am: Edit Post

#4: "I know treating this patient is likely to be fatal to the attending channel. However, all of the Firsts are busy writing up their monthly reports, so you're elected!"

By Eliza on Thursday, May 25, 2000 - 4:36 pm: Edit Post

#3: "We need to take some samples of lateral tissue for our experiments and the Controller said you weren't busy..."

By Jocelyn on Thursday, May 25, 2000 - 5:43 pm: Edit Post

I thought it was "Top Ten Things a Third Order Donor Really Doesn't Want to Hear"


By Eliza on Thursday, May 25, 2000 - 6:20 pm: Edit Post

Ah well, so we are adding to it....

By Jocelyn on Thursday, May 25, 2000 - 8:19 pm: Edit Post

S'okay by me, but I still haven't seen the original article.


By GoW on Thursday, May 25, 2000 - 9:49 pm: Edit Post

There is no original article. It existed only by implication and the joke was in the responses themselves. Sorry if you were confused. {GoW}

By Mary Lou on Friday, May 26, 2000 - 7:31 am: Edit Post

#2: "The Controller's transfer went well, and he decided he wanted to work off his CDs with you."

And the #1 thing that a Third (Donor or channel) does _not_ want to hear:

"Congratulations! You've just Qualified Second."

By Jocelyn on Friday, May 26, 2000 - 8:42 pm: Edit Post

You would think I would be used to being out of the loop by now. Thank's GoW for clueing me in.


By Eliza on Saturday, May 27, 2000 - 12:55 am: Edit Post

OK, what's a CD? Probably something obvious *grumble, grumble*

By Kaas Baichtal on Saturday, May 27, 2000 - 9:04 am: Edit Post

Ahem... coital deprivation. [blush]

By Yon on Saturday, May 27, 2000 - 9:31 am: Edit Post

I guess we are at #0:

"Ah, Hajene Skinner decided you would be the perfect candidate to test his experimental program to increase Donor sensitivity through aversion therapy. You may have to shave so he can attach the electrodes properly."

By yon51 on Saturday, May 27, 2000 - 10:04 am: Edit Post

Addendum re: CD.
I wonder if JL's ideas about CD, (and her very early story "Channel's Exemption" is about the only written story I know of where she explains much about this) are directly linked to the "Gay Channels Heads Explode" ideas. From what I can see, a simple roll in the hay doesn't alleviate the problem. The channel has to actually fertilize a viable ovum in a willing partner. Therefore, heads might explode not only in gay channels but also infertile ones . . .

By Yon on Saturday, May 27, 2000 - 12:42 pm: Edit Post

Addendum re: Addendum.
I may be getting CD and imprintation confused here.

By Eliza on Saturday, May 27, 2000 - 6:00 pm: Edit Post

Shesssh!!!! Do Doners suffer from CD too? Maybe *THAT'S* what's wrong with me!!!!

*runs away and hides*

By Eliza on Friday, June 2, 2000 - 4:12 pm: Edit Post

There are obviously a lot more then 10 things that a 3rd order Donor doesn't want to hear, by the look of things!

In the "offical" list, I have to say that #10 is my favourite, but I can certainly relate well with #8. Not that Zoe ever says anything like that to me, but there have been times in my past...

As to the last little tit bit, I've known cars with minds of their own! I think I'm on Eartha's side.

By Jocelyn on Friday, June 2, 2000 - 9:44 pm: Edit Post

I have just read the "Official" list and want to say that the Gen of the Week is truly a twisted individual (my kind of folks). I only have one knit to pick ... where do you get the selyn for the ambulatory battery?

By Eliza on Saturday, June 3, 2000 - 5:58 pm: Edit Post

Channels load it up. They get the selyn mostly from general order donors.

But that's not saying that thirds are useless. They perform a very useful service in the community. They keep the third order channels off our backs!

By Jocelyn on Sunday, June 4, 2000 - 9:08 am: Edit Post

While they carry the entire Tecton on theirs. Remember in UZF The First and Seconds went on strike but the system didn't fold. It teetered along on the backs of the Thirds.

Just an aside. Shear weight of numbers.

Tread lightly for you tread upon someone's head.


By Eliza on Sunday, June 18, 2000 - 6:20 pm: Edit Post

Ahhhh, the dog in the manger. Yes, I recognised the ______ fanzine immediately! Personally I think that GOW was a little soft on them! Any fanzine that ignores the fans fiction for years on end should be classed as "dead and buried". I wonder how the editor of that particular fanzine would like her fiction to be "lost" and then ignored for over a year?

Good one, GOW, keep on keeping people up on their toes!

By Jocelyn on Sunday, June 18, 2000 - 4:50 pm: Edit Post

Hee, hee!!

All I can say is that I am dying no longer. The stories I have read on the Pens are as good as any I've seen. So I feed the need to read here and don't worry about _____.

Ahhh!! How do you spell relief? S E C R E T -- P E N S!

By Eliza on Sunday, June 18, 2000 - 11:44 pm: Edit Post

LOL!!!!! I love it :)

We have a new moto :)

By GoW on Saturday, August 5, 2000 - 8:12 pm: Edit Post

Where I can get a copy of the "official" newsletter Eric Berlin quoted on the List? This was regarding KL and the delay in processing of CZ submissions. Thank you in advance. {GoW}

By Anonymous on Saturday, August 5, 2000 - 11:40 pm: Edit Post

My heart goes out to KL in her current difficulties, but I do find timing of the new CZ story (after a delay of what, a year or more?) interesting.

By Eliza on Wednesday, August 9, 2000 - 3:18 am: Edit Post

I've just been looking though the slush pile of the "offical" S~G email list. What a load of.....

(for anyone interested it's in the archeves at )

Let's look at this, and if ANYONE wants to tell JL about it, I'd be absolutely THRILLED if you did... She probably needs to know, although of course she already does know and just choises to ignore it...

Quote from JL
"Below Ann Marie says "some people have had a piece in sub for six
months" -- who? what piece?"

Well, Zoe, for one.

Quote from JL
"As far as I know every word we've been given has been posted within
days of the final draft being sent in."

Yeah? Well they had 'Dear Diary' and 'What would you do' for 2 years before I could convience Zoe to give up waiting and post them to the SP.

I know that other people have had similar experiences.

By Eliza on Wednesday, August 9, 2000 - 3:55 am: Edit Post

Heehee, I just realised what I was reading. This month on the SG list so far the biggest topic of conversation has been SP.

By Kaas Baichtal on Wednesday, August 9, 2000 - 9:23 am: Edit Post

A careful examination of the titles that haven't yet scrolled from the "recent additions" will reveal another work that had originally been accepted by CZ.

That author held out for quite a while, even though she was already submitting other materials to the Pens. Finally she gave up hope that CZ would ever use the work.

It seems peculiar to me to squander something as precious as people wanting to be in CZ, and even preferring it to the Pens. What purpose does it serve to abandon such contributors, and then publicly deny it?

I am sure that many who might have submitted to CZ have been turned off by learning what happened when other people attempted it. And I don't just mean delays, either.

I don't have anything against CZ personally. But in my honest opinion, they're shooting themselves in the foot, and have been doing so repeatedly since about 1998. From the looks of the recent emails -- and the fact that the Secret Pens item was censored from the permanent posting of the Perspectives newsletter -- it's not about to stop anytime soon, either.

tell a friend about this conversation

By Ann Marie on Wednesday, August 9, 2000 - 9:48 am: Edit Post


I'm glad you caught JL's denials on the list.

Honestly, I did not want to name and names in public. Another point is that I will not debate with someone who uses the tactics JL did in her letter. That combination of bald denial and aggressive provocation is exactly what destructive cults use to cover up their activities. The only reliable way not to get sucked under by such groups is to not play the game.

The whole "tell me who" routine is what people like Reverend Moon do to sucker marks in. Once you answer who, they give excuses why that one is different and you end up unable to get out of the morass. It looks reasonable on the surface, but underneath is a rather involved quagmire of accusation and counter-accusation. I won't touch it with a three meter pole.

The purpose the public denial has is to keep the followers in line. If the 'cult' leader says that no one has been denied timely publication in CZ, then the majority of the followers will turn on the person who said otherwise because they believe their leader, not the person who the leader is talking to. It's a relative of the 'big lie' which works quite well in U.S. politics. If the person who stirred up the 'cult' leader falls silent, then some of the followers will go away from the discussion and think about it because the leader is disarmed by the lack of an opponent. The leader needs a target to be able to spin the public stories they use to generate their power.

Rebutting the cult leader is a loosing game. All it does is muddy the waters until someone gets hurt, usually the followers of the leader because the leader takes out their frustrations on their followers. This sort of group dynamics is rather ugly and painful to observe.

What I see is happening is someone's reaction to finding out there is an alternative and running back to mama/leader/guru/master and stirring up a hornet's nest. Happens all the time. I shoulda kept my mouth shut and walked away. Mary Lou had already done a nice job of straightening the confused person out.

Ann Marie

By Yon on Wednesday, August 9, 2000 - 3:30 pm: Edit Post

What has me most perplexed is how the "New Beginning" story got added to CZ #13 when
* the editor was out of commission
* the story is full of grammatical errors that have not been fixed
* the name Doreen Dabinett appears nowhere in the list-serv archives. If she is a fan from long ago, as JL says, it must be really, really long ago.
* many completed and accepted submissions (as noted above) from active current fans have never been posted

By Ann Marie on Wednesday, August 9, 2000 - 3:58 pm: Edit Post

Yes indeed, D'Yon ... I thought it very strange indeed "New Beginning" got posted the instant the editor went out of comission. Particularly given how badly edited it is. I probably shouldn't throw stones, my own editing being what it is, but given the length of time most stories end up sitting at CZ I was rather miffed at them letting out something so poorly edited, mostly because Karen doesn't need a piece, nominally edited by her, with so many glaring errors in public.

My excuse for a lack of polish is I'm no editor. I write. This is what I do. And I write fast. If I stop to edit as I write I end up with a horrible mess on my monitor and can't get anything out. Quite honestly I leave it to my nonexistant editor to clean up the glitches. Which in my case means releasing stuff which isn't editorially perfect. *shrug* I've heard some quibbles, but as people keep asking me for stories, I figure I do well enough and keep plugging at it. If people say the editorial errors are so bad they no longer enjoy the stories, then I'll get my editing skills up some until the balance of attention goes back to the story rather than the editing.

My own best guess, and this is rather nasty, is that "New Beginning" is exactly the sort of story JL is looking for and she slid it by Karen. This is, admittedly, a malicious rumor from my own head only, but it is the only thing I can think of. I can't see Karen letting a piece like this into CZ. Other than the fact it is structurally sound, I can't see anything to recommend it. There are no differentiable characters, no showing, and indefinate third PoV. In other words '70's style SF to a 'T'.

Ann Marie

By Kaas Baichtal on Wednesday, August 9, 2000 - 5:05 pm: Edit Post

Cheryl Wolverton had outlined a space-era S/G story at one point. The first chapter, at least, was co-written with JL. I wonder what ever became of that?

I, too, noticed the poor editing on the new story. I think posting it would have made a better statement, given the timing, if it had been impeccably edited.

But who knows, maybe more things will be posted and CZ will be a real fanzine again.

By Betsy on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 12:03 am: Edit Post

Sad thing is, "New Beginnings" has promise. But it was tough to read thanks to the typos and other editorial problems. BTW, Ann Marie, your stuff has its glitches, but *not like this*. Not enough to interfere with my enjoyment.

My guess is, KL didn't edit it, because she is busy coping with her own household disasters. The question is, who is the author and where did she come from, out of nowhere?


By Anonymous on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 3:01 am: Edit Post

Is it possible that this story has been pulled from the "archives"? Possibly this author is a long ago fan, and this story was writen long ago.... Which sounds about right for the "glacial speed" of CZ!!!!

By Jocelyn on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 10:20 pm: Edit Post

Okay, time for my two cents worth.

While I can personally climb up on the stump and scream about how ill I was used by CZ, I won't go after a fellow fan writer to do it. Someone put their heart on the line and wrote a story. That someone may have been a teenager at the time or this may have been the vision that they received from what was available in this universe at the time.

Flame the Powers That Be but aim carefully, there are innocent bystanders in the way.

One of the reasons I came to the Pens was that everyone was welcomed and no one poured acid on the work of anyone else. From what I have seen of the piece the grammatical errors wouldn't be considered errors in some parts of the world. I haven't finished the story yet so I can't argue one way or the other for it's content.

Well, now that I've burnt this bridge as well, I guess I'll be leaving now.

By Kaas Baichtal on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 11:02 pm: Edit Post

Uh... sure thing, Jocelyn. BTW, the other day I suggested that we (in fact, specifically you) start a subtopic in General for commenting upon the story itself (as opposed to CZ's handling of it, which is what is under discussion here). If you sincerely care for the feelings of the author, taking the time to write a long and thoughtful reaction to the story itself would probably be more constructive than ranting at people who are talking about something else, and then flouncing out dramatically. Just my 2 cents.

By Yon on Sunday, August 13, 2000 - 12:30 pm: Edit Post

The negative comments arise because CZ claims to be an "edited" fanzine publishing only work of high quality. People submit to CZ are often required to rewrite their stories until they conform to canon, match simegen guidelines for plotting, and, yes, have correct spelling and grammar.

The Pens, on the other hand, accepts "unedited" submissions. People post work when they are ready to show it to other people. Kaas does NOT go over the stories with a blue (digital?) pencil and demand re-writes.

Yes, stuff gets posted here by teen-agers and beginning writers. Some of it deviates from canon, or has grammatical errors, plotting problems or other flaws. People here accept those flaws as that writer's best effort and usually hold off on serious criticism unless the person specifically requests it. The Pens is operating under a totally different set of guidelines than CZ.

People are angry because CZ has violated its own rules in posting the "New Beginnings" story without proper editing. People who were forced to adhere to CZ's rules to post, or, even worse, did not have their work posted even AFTER they had followed all the rules, feel cheated.

By Jocelyn on Sunday, August 13, 2000 - 6:17 pm: Edit Post

Hello Everyone,

For everyone I have offended -- I am very sorry. My heart got the better of my head I'm afraid.

And yes, Kaas I will comment in depth on the story itself at some point but as I said before I have not finished it.

Perhaps this story was the ice breaker for the backlog of other work that seems to have clogged up the CZ pipeline. One may only hope!!

By Betsy on Sunday, August 13, 2000 - 8:14 pm: Edit Post

Hello, Everyone,

Actually, I wasn't criticizing the author of 'New Beginnings'. It has a lot of promise. And yes, sending out stuff you've written takes courage. I was frustrated, not because I expect stuff to conform to canon (obviously I don't) but because the kind of errors I ran across are the kind of things a spell checker and a little attention can deal with. For the most part, folks who post to the secret pens clean up that. I don't complain about grammar or plotting or any of that. My comment was based on what I know of KL -- she would've cleaned up the typos and spelling errors. So it all seems a little weird, but that's no insult to Ms. Dabinett, who wrote a story that captured my attention despite all the editorial glitches.

I didn't mean to start a flame war, folks. I was just commenting on the weirdnesses, 'cuz KL is a good editor.

Blessed be,


By Yon on Sunday, August 13, 2000 - 9:29 pm: Edit Post

I agree, Betsy. I thought "New Beginnings," was a fun read and if it had simply been posted to the Pens I wouldn't have said a word.

But when JL describes a story as "VERY VERY VERY good" and its author as "not only talented but supremely skilled as a writer," then I expect something on the level of Eskalie & Tallin or the Frevven stories.

I doubt that KL reviewed the copy; I have edited a few publications in my time, and the glitches would be unacceptable even in a student newspaper.

By Betsy on Monday, August 21, 2000 - 12:02 am: Edit Post

Guess what! The second part of the Dabinett story is up as part of the new CZ issue. And it is almost typo free and much better spell checking was done too. Interesting...

Blessed be!

By Ann Marie on Monday, August 21, 2000 - 11:02 am: Edit Post

The thing from me is that this story was portrayed as the epitome of S~G fanfic. *ahem* I'd have never said a thing in public if this were posted on the pens unless requested. There are more than a few technical problems. I would classify this story so far as a good start on learning to write, and showing a great deal of promise, but not ready for semi-professional publication.

The second part has been spell checked, but still not copy edited! There are way too many they're/there/their type errors for a professional quality piece of work, which is what CZ proclaims they publish. Karen has never done such a sloppy job of editing from any of the other things I've seen her work on. I truly feel bad for both the writer and Karen.

There is no good done by praising someone for work which is plainly and badly flawed by current standards. True, beginners make beginner mistakes and I am certainly not perfect, nor is anyone else, but it only does more harm to say someone is great rather than showing them how to improve. Holding up a piece like this as superior, harms the future efforts of whose work it nominally is. And in Karen's case, no one hiring an editor would want someone who makes the sort of errors seen in these pieces.

Ann Marie
*who throws stones, but only into the river*

By Anonymous on Wednesday, December 20, 2000 - 9:44 am: Edit Post

Well, the GOW may have a point about the new World Controller's Donor, but I understand said Donor is in rather frail health. How do the WC's skills as a cardiologist compare with his skill at governing? Also, I understand that the new WC can barely speak Simelan, much less any Gen language. His position requires a certain amount of diplomatic appearances--what if he mortally offends foreign officials by repeatedly mispronouncing their names? His Donor's got to sleep sometime, after all.

--Hanging in Suspense Like a Chad

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