(Note: These are excerpts from the original newsletter that was published on this date. The Queen's Own address has been updated. The current President of Queen's Own is Herald-Mage Adept Danya Winterborn. For more information, see http://www.dragonlordsnet.com/qo.htm.)
Dear Misty Fans,
Enclosed with your newsletter is an eletrostatic window decal, your holiday greeting from Misty and Larry.
The following letter is also from Misty and is especially important to all of you who like writing in Misty's worlds:
"Hi folks. I'm about to bring the cold, cruel, mundane world into our fun for a moment, because several things have happened recently that make it very important that I do so.
"The subject here is 'rights,' by which I am referring specifically to my legal rights as a creator of the works and worlds you all are enjoying. Let me first explain copyright as it pertains to all of you and your written work and fanfiction.
"First of all, you may not be aware of it, but I am rare in permitting people to write fanfic based on my work. Many authors and agents feel it confuses copyrights enough that they do not permit it at all. For an example, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and her agent are so adamantly against it that they have SUED (yes, with lawyers and court costs and all the rest) both a publisher of fanfic and a filk publisher for publishing works using her characters when permission had been explicitly denied. The writer and publisher have been REQUIRED by the result of the suit to place apologies in several major mundane publications such as Publisher's Weekly. I don't know if any of you are aware how much such an advertisement costs; suffice it to say it is somewhere in the area of a thousand dollars. And that is only one of the magazines where this publisher has been required to place such an ad.
"Having established that I am a Good Guy for letting you play in my sandbox, following in the footsteps of my mentor Marion Zimmer Bradley, let me continue. Some folks have been horribly incensed because I asked, politely, that you not post Valdemar fanfic over in Prodigy, because that service lists itself as a PUBLISHING SERVICE and not an information service, and it is a FOR PROFIT entity. This was to protect YOU. If my agent or publisher decided that this fanfic was in violation of my copyrights, they could very easily sue YOU, your parents if you are a minor, your school if you were using a school machine ...at the very least you would be required, after paying several thousand dollars in legal costs, to pay several more thousand dollars in apology-ads in major booksellers publications, just like that fanzine publisher. I doubt many of you have that kind of money to throw away; I certainly don't. And I am afraid that there would be nothing I could do to call off my agent; in areas where my rights---and HIS future income ---are concerned, HE has every rigiii to vigorously protect those rights. Be warned; this Has already happened TO ONE FANWRITER AND PUBLISHER.
"It becomes more confused because Prodigy is an electronic service and this laps over into the area of 'electronic rights' about which there is a great deal of confusion. Because of the confusion, my agent prefers to err in the direction of being conservative and protectionist. This also goes for 'MUCKS' or 'MUSH's. He is flatly NOT PERMITTING any electronic role-playing of any kind, whether it is on a not-for-profit or for-profit service. So there it is--NO VALDEMAR MUCKS. No Earthset (the Bardic Voices world) MUCKs. If he finds out about it, and he will eventually, you will get first a 'cease and desist' letter from the agency's legal department--and so will the net you are on. The Sysops will not be happy with you about this. If you continue, you will probably be slapped with a lawsuit. If you are a minor, you will probably see your college fund go down the drain. If you are not, paying the out-of-court legal costs alone will set you back several thousand dollars. This is something I have no power over; we are not only talking about MY income, we are talking about my AGENT's income, and he is not going to tolerate anyone cutting into it. With the advent of the Electronic Arts books, we now have a real possibility of commercial computer games; start talking about a Nintendo version, and you really run into large money. My agent cannot afford to let one person get in the way of that.
"To add to the confusion, the 'Bookman' is looking more and more likely all the time. So books are no longer being thought of as published in the traditional format. Now here is when it cuts REAL near the bone for me. If one of you, in all innocence, messed up my electronic rights, I could be completely be shut out of the books-on-disk market for all current series. And, ten, twenty, or thirty years down the road, when all books are coming out on disk, you will have not only ruined my income, you will have prevented others from experiencing the same pleasure you had in discovering my work. Now, I can write anything; I could turn around and write romances if I had to. But it would put a lot of hardship on me---and it would mean NO MORE VALDEMAR BOOKS. Ever. And if you think I'm being crazy, ask yourself how many vinyl records you've seen for sale lately, aside from in thrift stores. The record industry was ready for the cassette and CD. We have to be ready for the digital book. Many companies are already writing electronic publication INTO THEIR CONTRACTS even though they aren't doing it yet. This represents MAJOR money to my agency, and they DO take it seriously and they WILL take legal action to protect it.
"The likelihood that this would happen over my work was less in the past. Now, because of something that has happened to Marion Zimmer Bradley, it is MUCH more likely to happen now. Those of you who have access to the Darkover Newsletter can see her latest letter, "Holes in my Yard." The short form is that a person wrote a fanfic novel about the period Marion planned to use for her next novel. Marion liked some of the Person's IDEAS (Not the writing, which was not professional quality) and offered the Person a sum of money and an acknowledgement for the use of the ideas. An interchange ensued, in which the Person was extremely unreasonable. The result? Betsy Wollheim of DAW has said that under the circumstances she cannot publish the book Marion had already begun. Marion has begun requiring release forms for all Friends of Darkover anthologies, and is returning unread all fanfiction. She may even end the Darkover anthologies altogether. My agent is also Marion's agent, and he is now (justifiably) far more paranoid about fanfic. Electronic fanfic is only worse.
"So I am going to require a release from those of you who wish to participate in the electronic fiction CATs, and I am not sure yet what to do about paper fanfic. MUCKs, MUSHs and other electronic games are not being allowed. Paper gaming is fine as long as you do not try to sell it. If you have some product based on my work that you think you can sell commercially, it must be licensed through the agency. Before you attempt to sell it, you MUST obtain a licensing agreement. The Agency is Scott Meredith Inc, in New York City. (Attn: Mr. Russell Galen - Scott Meredith Literary Agency - 845 Third Avenue - New York, NY 10022) Limited sale, such as for works of art, will continue to be permitted without a license. Mass Market, such as large print-runs or T-shirts, decks of Tarot cards, or an Atlas, must be licensed.
"Sorry to bring the cold, cruel world in here, but let me put it to you this way before any of you decide that I am being unreasonable, paranoid, or a control-freak. Would you walk into my house and take one of my pieces of jewelry? Would you help yourself to my bank account? Would you sit down to dinner with me at my invitation, engage me in pleasant conversation, then as soon as the meal arrived, take my plate away from me? That is precisely what you would be doing by deliberately messing things up for me. STEALING from me, after I have let you into my world. There is no graceful way to put it.
"I don't know if you folks have any real notion of how relatively little a full-time writer makes. I am not Stephen King; I don't even have a tenth of his money. I could make EXACTLY the same by going back to the airlines as a programmer. I would rather not; I like writing, and I disliked programming.
"I don't have to let you in my world. I could be like Yarbro, and forbid it entirely. I don't want to deprive you of the kind of pleasure I got from writing Darkover and other fanfic. I like having you in my sandbox. All I am asking for is a little courtesy and consideration.
"This piece may by downloaded (or photocopied) and posted to any other systems you choose, with my permission."--Mercedes Lackey.
A further note from Misty and Larry: " . . . Well, rather than chuck out 20-page Author's Notes full of claims of how much we like fans & like to do right by 'em, we practice it and don't crow about it much. The whole fanfic situation is an example of that; we know how much happiness it brings fans, and we like to nurture that joy.
"The legalities of it all are just business---and I would VERY much like to thank you ALL for being so kind and understanding about it.
"It speaks well of you, and reassures us that we're doing the right thing by devoting some of our (arrgh! too little!) time to pursuing a few good solutions. Thank you!
"Just bear with us until we get an Official Policy thingie nailed down on it. Hugs!"--Misty & Larry
The decision has been made that you MUST sign a release form for any work created in Misty's worlds that you intend to share with others. Since many QO members are not interested in writing fanfic I am not including the release form in the newsletter. For a copy, send a SASE to the QO address. You need a release form for EVERY story set in Misty's universe that you write, even those you send me as part of your Herald requirements. Just send me a SASE, sign the release as soon as you get it, and mail it to Highflight.
You can't hide from Mundania, folks, and Misty and Larry MUST be business-wise in order to make a living. Protecting their rights is merely the sensible thing to do. If you feel they've rained on your parade don't let that ruin your fun. You can still play but now you need an umbrella and boots. It's Misty's universe, she makes the rules.
The awards ceremony for the Science Fiction Book of the Year was held October 29th. Javanne Kramer shares with us Larry's report on GEnie:
"Tonight I accepted the SF Book Club Book of the Year award on behalf of Andre Norton; for the acceptance speech I simply quoted the dedication of the book: `To the fans, Past, Present, and Future.' Misty accepted the award on behalf of herself. "It was delightful, really; the awards were at the Four Seasons. Afterwards we went to the Russian Tea Room for good food & hedonism . . . "(an' we've got the prettiest crystal award..for it! It's about 10" tall, in the shape of a hardcover book, with the ELVENBANE logo etched into it. What fun we'll have with ELVENBLOOD!)
"By the way, if anyone's interested in an ILLUSTRATED EDITION OF ELVENBANE, write to TOR immediately! We had a very interesting conversation on the subject while in NYC . . . < smiiiile >
"Oh..anyone interested in an illustrated guide to Alanda, the Bardic Voices world? Write to Baen Books."--Larry, The Feather'd Illustrator
Watch for Misty's Sacred Ground, a "dark fantasy mainstream crossover novel", Wands of Fury, and The Robin and the Kestrel (Bardic Voices 2), in December/January.
Many of you lucky folks have already read Wing Commander: Freedom Flight, written by Misty and Ellen Guon. (It's finally available here.) The release date for When the Bough Breaks, written with Holly Lisle, has been changed to February. After that, look for Fortress of Frost and Fire: Bard's Tale 2 in April.
You can send holiday greetings to Misty and Larry at their business address: HIGHFLIGHT [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.]. Letters and cards can always be sent directly to the Highflight address rather than asking DAW or me to forward them. (You can write to any author in care of his/her publisher. Mail is forwarded.)
Write to Firebird Arts & Music [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.] for ordering information on Larry's interior illustrations in Winds of Change and any of Misty's books. Firebird carries all of Misty's books and tapes and many other treasures. Send a #10 SASE with 52 cents worth of stamps for a copy of their new catalog. (If you have ordered from Firebird within the past two years you are on their mailing list and should be receiving a catalog soon.) You can place an order with Firebird by calling [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.]. If you get the answering machine, leave your complete name and address and/or phone number! For sale now is the Jody Lee cover print of Winds of Fate, as well as the cover prints of Oathbound, Oathbreakers, and all three Magic books. The Concordance for the Arrows books will be available within a month or two; Juanita and Buck Coulson will soon finish the Herald-Mage Concordance, too. The Shadowstalker tape is a "work in progress" with a Winter release date.
If you are a SFBC (Science Fiction Book Club) member and would like to see them offer even more of Misty's books, write to them at [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.]. If you would like a membership form so you can join SFBC, send me a SASE. The current offer is six books for $1 plus shipping and handling, and the obligation to buy 4 more books within 2 years.
SEND A SASE WHEN WRITING FOR INFORMATION ON A CON! SEND A SASE WHEN WRITING FOR INFORMATION FROM ANYONE IN FANDOM! Convention committees (and editors, and fan clubs) are under no obligation to answer mail that does not include a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope!
I hope you like to plan ahead. We're going to have a "Misty-Con" sometime in August of 1994 in Nashville, Tennessee. The con, called High Flight One, is being organized by the Misty fans on GEnie. Misty and Larry will be Guests of Honor, and Ellen Guon and Josepha Sherman plan to attend. The GEnie group invites you all to think of this as your convention; this is the first official QO con. We need your help to make it work. Buy a presupporting membership now for just $5; reserve a dealer's table for just a $10 deposit Ideas for programming are welcome. Send your financial and moral support, and your ideas, to [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.].
Misty and Larry are making very few con appearances next year but here is info on cons where you'll find other Misty fans:
BamaCon 7 is sponsored by the University of Alabama's Fantasy Game Club and will be held March 18-21 at the Sheraton Capstone Inn and the Bryant Conference Center. The special guest is Jonathan Frakes of ST:TNG. For more info, write to QO member Coy Stout [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.].
CrackerCon 2 is also March 19-21, in Jacksonville, Florida. Guest of Honor is Ben Bova, Artist Guest of Honor is Jeff Adams. Misty and Larry and I had a great time at last year's CrackerCon; these are friendly- hospitable people. Send a SASE to CrackerCon [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.] for registration info.
Magic Carpet Con I offers a rare chance to meet Andre Norton next May 7-9 in Dalton, Georgia. Memberships are only $18 if you buy before 12/31/92. Send a SASE to QO member Betty J. Law [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.] for registration information.
Alternate Realities VI is being held at the Tate Student Center at the University of Georgia January 15 & 16. This is a gaming con but the committee is attempting to expand their program to include other interests. If you are interested in leading a panel on Misty fandom, editing a zine, filk, or some other aspect of SF/F fandom, write to Christopher D. Weinman [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.].
Tess Wade of TMR Enterprises is offering The Valdemar Fashion Books. The first book, in packet form, will be available after December 15th. It consists of 36 pages of black & white fashion drawings, scale patterns, sewing and materials information, and a color picture of Misty in garb, as well as information on Valdemar and its people. For more information and pricing, send a SASE to TMR Enterprises [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.].
Jody Lee's latest cover print, Winds of Fate, is magnificent! QO members may purchase it directly from her for only $30 plus $3.00 shipping and handling. Send your orders to Jody A. Lee Illustration [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.]. Be sure to identify yourself as a QO member to get the special price.
We have handouts for aspiring Heralds, Healers, and Bards, and instructions on how to work for Herald-Mage status if you are already a Herald. [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld. The handouts are now online at http://www.dragonlordsnet.com/qohandouts.htm.] and specify which handout you are requesting. Ask for a release form too if you expect to write a story. [Ed. note 2004: The release is available online at http://www.dragonlordsnet.com/qomlrel2.htm.] If you have completed Herald-Mage requirements, [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.].
FYI: 1.) A candlemark is the equivalent of an hour. 2.) If you roll for a gift and get the same number three times you have that gift triple-strength. For Mindspeech, for instance, that means you can send and receive messages all over Valdemar! 3.) Lake Evendim is fresh= water.
A bit of nagging:.Misty's books are FICTION. Fantasy/Science Fiction books are for fun and relaxation, not instruction. They are not intended to be magic handbooks. Di Tregarde is a witch and Andre is a vampire because it makes an interesting story; Misty is NOT suggesting you change your religion or your diet. Here in Mundania is where we live and make our most important decisions. FANDOM IS FOR FUN! Please don't let it become an obsession.
Brightest blessings on you all. Thank you for your tolerance of my bumbling ways and for your appreciation of what I do manage to accomplish. Queen's Own had to be low on my list of priorities as I struggled with packing, moving, and unpacking. I've thought of you all, but I haven't taken time to answer much mail and I do apologize, Also, I have an uncomfortable feeling that I've misplaced a box of QO mail. If you sent me a fan message before November first and it hasn't appeared yet, please try again. I TRY to enter fan messages, member news, and persona information in the order I receive it.
A warm welcome to all our new members; I'm delighted by how many of you "oldtimers" have stayed with us. You all deserve better than the attention I've given you, and my New Year's Resolution is--once again--to get organized.
I wish you good health, good friends, good books, and time to enjoy them all. Happy holidays!
From Stephanie Wong: "A mage has wrecked havok in the village of Rocky Ford. Herald Marlys Tatena'sa N'toka'he must follow him to the Forest of Sorrows, and defeat him before his destruction becomes too great . . . Heynna is a wyvern hunter, traveling through the Pelagirs to deal with the wyvern who come into conflict with humans. She's been called to the village of Magorge to relocate a wyvern, only this one is more difficult than usual . . . DISCOVER WHAT HAPPENS IN ARROW'S MESSAGE Vo1.3 #3, now on sale. Subscriptions are US $4/iss (40 pgs) or $15/yr (quarterly); Canada $4.50/iss or $17/yr; overseas $8/iss or $30 yr. If paying by check or m.o., make them payable to [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.]."
From Lavina Cheung [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.] re a local chapter for the VA/MD/DC area. "No, we (now I) still haven't come up with a name. Also the newsletter may end up costing nothing (maybe just postage, more later). But I'd like to tally up how many copies I'll need to produce. Please drop me a postcard or call me if you would like to be part of this. [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.]between 4:30 and 10:30 on weekdays; ask for Vina."
Treat your persona for Christmas. Identity cards, approved by Misty, Larry, and Judith ...For your Heralds, Healers, Bards, Shin'a'in and White Wind sorcerers, Each card is $2.00 (cash only, cannot accept stamps) including post and package. Order from Wendy Sparkes [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.]. Please remember to state which card you require and all details if you wish me to fill it in.
From Molly Walls to all Haven Sent (Texas QO) members: "Sorry about the delay but the Kingdom of Mundania tried to stage a hostile takeover of my life! However, I've won the war and things will soon be bark on track. And to all who've not yet joined, what are you waiting for? Send a SASE, or $4 to Molly Walls[Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.]."
From Vicki McElfresh: "Volume 2 Issue 1 of Companion's Rest should be ready by January 15th. I'll accept submissions until January 1; I need stories, poems, articles, and art. Back issues of the zine are still available for $1 and issue 6 for $2. The latest issue will be $4 or $12 for a year's subscription. Please note new address for ordering or guidelines: Vicki McElfresh [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.]."
From Jenilyn Smith: Tales-Men is done and ready for January mailing. Come to the grove where the old storyteller tells of Sorceress and Swordswomen, Heralds, and more, with columnists to answer your questions. Sit beside me, listen, and enjoy. Send $4 to Jenilyn Smith[Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.].
Anyone interested in becoming a part of The Dragon's Fang, a Robert Jordan Wheel of Time fan club, please send a SASE to Anna Clower [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.].
From Jennifer Wilson: Night Songs, a new zine dealing with the fantastical and mystical, needs your aid. Because of a lack of contributions, the release of issue #1 has been changed to mid-January. Deadline for submissions is December 31. Night Songs will be a quarterly, with each issue 30-40 pages and $4-$5. All who are interested, send your SASE to Jenna [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.]. Help a couple o' Heralds be recognized--contribute today.
Anyone want help, suggestions, or just to "talk shop" about designing various things in and around Fantasy and Sci-Fi? Need some help on Heraldry? Got a design for a spaceship but don't know where to put the crew's quarters? How about some interesting stationery? I'll help, advise, or create if I can, what you ask. Write to Rod Landreth [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.]. I run on SASE power so be sure to send one.
Patience Sibeal [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.] has general guidelines for folks who want to contribute to zines or become a zinc editor. For the new and improved mentor-letter, send Sibby a long SASE with 52 cents postage. Also, she needs "some brave Americans and Canadians who are, willing to answer a brief poll." Send a SASE and she will quickly send the questions. She adds "It's really important and I hope some people can help me out." If you'd like a 12 page list of zines from other fandoms, send her $1.00 and remember to include your address!
Do you sneak into the library, wander aimlessly through the shelves, not find what you want; and leave without asking for help? No, this isn't a librariophobic support group, it's an offer for reference help. Ask me your questions, and I will do my best to find your answers. Please enclose a legal-sized SASE with your question and send to Jennifer Waterford [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.].
Heyla from Pern Mentor Hannah Blair [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date info. withheld.]! Being Pern Mentor is going rather well, aside from the few letters that disappeared into the great beyond. If I haven't written you, my sincere apologies, and please try again. I'm trying to be infallible and it's not working. Kris Porter - have I written you? Your letter is here but I can't remember if I answered it. Thanks much to all who sent Weyr addresses and/or SASEs along with your queries:
[Ed. note 2004: Content withheld.]
Queen's Own [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date content withheld.], for 9 issues of the newsletter. Sending out only nine issues per year will let me keep the dues at [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date content withheld.] and still nearly break even. Please make checks payable to Queen's Own in US funds only--my bank charges me $10 to cash a foreign currency cheque. Y ou may pay [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date content withheld.] if you wish. The $8 fee covers the cost of printing and mailing; I have no -objection to your sharing a newsletter. Check the date on your address label to see when your membership ends.
Queen's Own is the official Mercedes Lackey Appreciation Society. Our purpose is to share our enjoyment of Misty's worlds. We are a fan-run not-for-profit organization not a business. Our address of publication: [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date content withheld.]. This newsletter is published solely to inform and-entertain the club's membership; no infringement of anyone's copyrights is intended.
Next Mailing Day: January 9; call [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date content withheld.] for directions.
Editor, President, Dogsbody, Housemother - Judith Louvis [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date content withheld.] (Call only before 10 pm and let it ring.)
Archivist and Organizer extraordinaire - Patricia Riggs, [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date content withheld.]
Herald-Mage Registrar - Guardian of the Web, [Ed. note 2004: Out-of-date content withheld.] (Send proof of completed I-Ierald-Mage criteria directly to the Web address, not to NJ.)
Mailing Day Helpers (last issue) - Barbara Leflar Jackson, Cheri Lombardi.
A proverb from Brenna Farmer: If wsshes were horses, the Shin'a'in would be out of business and the Heralds would have to direct traffic!
Queen's Own is the official Mercedes Lackey Appreciation Society. Our purpose is to share our enjoyment of Misty's worlds. We are a fan-run not-for-profit organization, not a business. Our address of publication: P.O. Box 749, Laguna Beach, CA 92652 USA. This newsletter is published solely to inform and entertain the club's membership; no infringement of anyone's copyrights is intended.
Newsletters are published on (or near) the first of each month.
Editor/President Herald-Mage Adept Danya Winterborn (L.A. Malcor; AOL-IM SN Shashtah; Legend@malcor.com)
Mercedes Lackey does not receive mail at the Queen's Own address. Fanmail to Mercedes Lackey and releases for fan fiction should be sent to:
c/o High Flight Arts and Letters
P.O. Box 2970
Claremore, OK 74017
Herald-Mage Adept Danya Winterborn
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