The Crystal Rose Lending Library

Open once again!

Yes, our virtual doors are open and fans may wander the stacks of this treasure-filled room. Over 800 fanzines in hard-copy are available for borrowing.

I'm Carole W. - the Library's new custodian. We have a new website and the collection is now online. Thanks to the efforts and generosity of Jackie N. and JoAnn B., the Qfer has been incorporated into the Library's card catalog. The zines may be viewed, sorted, studied and ordered through a shopping cart, thanks to Elaine S. and her mighty technical skills. The BatB Family is truly impressive - everyone involved volunteered their skills and support.


After I unpacked the 37 boxes of zines, the first question I had for JoAnn was this: Which zine was The First? She went to work, searching for that information, but the answer wasn't clear-cut. Several zines were published in 1988, some with the month noted, most without. It was impossible to ascertain which zine was the absolute first.

I imagined it would be very interesting to read the earliest stories, particularly those written before the second season aired, and indeed it has been. More than once, enchanted fans foretold - if not actual episodes - the theme and emotion of scenes to come. The characterization is fascinating and in some cases, more satisfying than what the screenwriters delivered. (Father, for instance, isn't always so ... reluctant ... when it comes to Catherine.) Predictive of Vincent's revelation of the dark river, writers saw Vincent retreat to the depths - to brood, to heal. And some stories were truly prescient. Well before we saw Season Two's Remember Love, at least one writer created a get-away-to-the-country story for Vincent and Catherine. Even before Promises of Someday aired in Seaon One, before we ever knew Devin, one writer saw a young Vincent glorying under the stars at the Central Park Carousel.

If you'd like to take this journey through fan fiction history, start with a zine from this list, all published in early to mid-1988.

Above and Below, Vol. 1
The Book of Secrets, Vol. 1
Cascade of Dreams, Vol. 1
Heartsounds, Vol. 1
Mirrors, Vol. 1
Safe Places, Vol. 1
Tunnels, Vol. 1

Are you intrigued by the story of Vincent at the Carousel; do you want to know who accompanied him on that evening? Read Barbara Storey's What My Heart Will Be from Tunnels 1. Catherine and Vincent's trip to the country - Wintertide by Lorraine Bartlett, possibly the first written account of such a journey - can be found in Above and Below.

As the Library site evolves, I hope to regularly spotlight a zine, so watch for these mini-reviews. And I had a crazy idea - to chart the early fanon. When did we first hear of a hidden chamber behind the falls? Who first named Catherine's mother? Who placed the first unlit lantern in the passageway as a symbol of requested privacy? That project might prove impossible, at least difficult and likely inaccurate, but still ...


I hope you'll visit often and borrow repeatedly. I had no idea what was out there, but when I stand in the Library's little room, lined floor to ceiling with filled shelves,
I realize my reading adventure has just begun. You come too.


The Stacks! A remodeling of my spare-room closet.


ZineCats - The Guardians - atop the boxes, lounging in the Tennessee sunshine.
They watched over it all until the shelves were ready.

My two cats, atop the stacked boxes, lounging in the sun.


Click HERE to visit the Crystal Rose Lending Library
(link will open in a separate screen).



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