About Shadow Chasers and the Site


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About the series Shadow Chasers
In 1985, Kenneth Johnson brought Shadow Chasers to life on ABC-TV. Opposite the juggernauts Magnum, PI and The Cosby Show, Shadow Chasers never really had a chance to capture and sustain an audience large enough to keep it on the air. The series ended before all the episodes were shown in the US - the "Lost Four" episodes (Cora's Stranger, Blood and Magnolias, Curse of the Full Moon and Ahead of Time) were acquired off military television in Europe. But despite such a short list of episodes, Shadow Chasers has spawned a prodigious amount of fan fiction.

The premise is fairly simple. Stuffy college professor wants grant to study even stuffier anthropological theory. Uptight department chair has funky hobby in the paranormal, and likes pulling the chain of stuffy college professors. So, she assigns said professor to investigate her pet projects. On his first assignment, he meets never-been-stuffy-in-his-life tabloid journalist. Skeptic meets Believer, and partnership ensues.

As Mr. Stuffy, Jonathan MacKensie fervently tries to avoid being sucked into the realm of the weird that Mr. Tabloid, Edgar "Benny" Benedek, inhabits. But Benny won't take no for an answer, and despite himself, Jonathan frequently finds himself wondering ... could it be real? Could there really be something there? All the while, Uptight Department Chair Doctor Juliana Moorhouse loathes Benedek while all too often finding herself drawing identical conclusions based on the available evidence. A match made in heaven or hell? Sometimes, that's the fun of it.

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About Mary Bloemker
I wrote this tribute to MaryB when she passed away, to announce her passing to various fannnish lists. MaryB knew so many people in so many fandoms, I couldn't hope to track each person down to let them know that we had lost her.

I have sad news to share about Mary D. Bloemker, known to many as "MaryB." Mary passed away on September 19, 2009, following the latest in a series of strokes. Mary is survived by four sisters and a brother, numerous nieces and nephews, multiple Feline Overlords (her term for her beloved cats), and a lot of friends in and outside of fandom.

I first met MaryB at August Party (Star Trek con) 1976, where she was running registration for the con. That meeting literally changed my life, and I would never have stuck with fandom if it hadn't been for meeting Mary. She was my best friend for over 30 years. And like everyone else who was close to her, I'm finding the world to be a bit off its axis right now.

MaryB was a lifelong Trek fan, but she loved many shows and films. She was a fannish pioneer in many ways, publishing one of the earliest multi-media zines, The Vaslovik Archives, based on the non-Trek work of Gene Roddenberry. Over the years, Mary published several issues of the zine. She also headed up Main Mission Alpha, a Space: 1999 fan club, for several years. When MaryB discovered Blake's 7 at the 1980 Worldcon, she tracked down videotapes of the series, and promptly set about getting me hooked on the show - because I had the only VCR in the group. As a result, we - a well as our many friends who got sucked into it with us - became members of the underground Blake's 7 movement, helping to create a fandom in the US long before the show ever aired here - and this in the days before the Internet, torrents, cheap long distance, or even Amazon.uk .

MaryB was also an early adopter of the online community. When most people hadn't even used a computer yet, MaryB was active on BBSes. She got me online with GEnie back in the early '90s, but by that time, she'd been online for years, notably on Playnet, a service through whom she met many friends she'd kept through the years. MaryB loved technology - she'd frequently call me asking me to talk her out of buying some new toy. And an hour after we got off the phone, she'd call me back to describe her new toy anyway. She was wonderfully generous - often the old technology she'd just replaced would quickly be boxed up and mailed to another friend who didn't yet have that capability.

MaryB was also a huge Doctor Who fan, and published the zine Faces of Time for several years. She enjoyed time travel stories even without benefit of TARDIS (especially Voyagers!), and later published The Temporal Times.

Mary's greatest fannish love was Shadow Chasers, a small paranormal dramedy from 1985, created by Kenneth Johnson (The Incredible Hulk, V, Bionic Woman, Alien Nation, etc.) and produced by Imagine (Ron Howard and Brian Grazer). Mary's body of work in the fandom was not only prodigious, it was often brilliant and sometimes deeply cathartic. At times, it almost seemed like she was single-handedly carrying the standard for the show, always seeking to interest new fans and keep the fandom going. She maintained the Shadow Chasers homepage up until very recently, and was in the midst of writing another story that sadly she never finished.

Mary was a terrific artist, and often much in demand back in the '80s. She also enjoyed other hobbies, including genealogy, miniature dollhouses, and her embroidery sewing machine. Mary was always inquisitive, loved to learn, and had a great eye for editing - she had an uncanny knack for zeroing in on plot holes and discrepancies, and she was always my favorite editor.

I also had the pleasure of publishing MaryB's work, in Blake's 7 (Avon's 8 stories), Tomorrow People, Space: 1999, and of course Shadow Chasers fandoms. Her amazing ability to come up with entire plot scenarios overnight - literally, some of her best stories came to her in a dream - combined with her excellent narrative style made her an editor's dream as well.

MaryB's frequent partner in crime in Shadow Chasers fandom was former roommate and long-time friend Mary Fall Wardell. Mary Fall Wardell will be reviving her outstanding Shadow Chasers zine, Shadow Chasers Express, to publish an issue in tribute to Mary Bloemker. For more information about the zine, or to pass on condolences, contact Mary Fall Wardell at mary@mmj-ent.com.

MaryB owned a Shadow Chasers discussion list on Yahoo that is unfortunately locked - Mary had set it to all posts require moderation, so we're unable to post or use the list. I've set up a new list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shadowchasersonline. The list is set to require approval of members, but there are three moderators for the list (me, Mary Fall Wardell, and Sheila Paulson), so no one should have to wait long to get onto the list. If you're interested in Shadow Chasers, I encourage you to join us on the list. Please note that the list is gen only.

Unfortunately, eventually MaryB's domain http://www.shadowchasers.tv will expire. I will be taking over maintenance of the Shadow Chasers Home Page when that happens. I'll be building updates of MaryB's pages on my own domain at http://www.debwalsh.com/shadowchasers/ over the next few weeks.

I've set up a memorial blog for people to post stories and memories of MaryB at http://celebratemdb.blogspot.com. I hope anyone who knew her will take the time to stop by and add their comments to the blog. MaryB requested no services, and so there is no online funeral home guestbook to sign. This blog is intended to fill that void. As a small group of us have been dealing with the news of Mary's passing this past week, and talking about how she impacted each of us, I've been most amazed at how many generous and unexpected ways MaryB touched many people's lives. If you were lucky enough to know her, please come share.

Please pass on to other lists or people whom you think would want to know about MaryB, and thank you!

FYI, you can reach this Shadow Chasers Home Page both through http://www.shadowschasers.org and http://www.debwalsh.com/shadowchasers/. In addition to the memorial blog - which, unfortunately, very few people have added to - you can also view MaryB's personal pages at http://www.shadowchasers.org/maryb/, and learn more about her fannish work at Fanlore at http://fanlore.org/wiki/Mary_D._Bloemker. I'm still trying to figure out how to link all of the work MaryB did over the years to a single name - she published as Mary Bloemker, Mary D. Bloemker, M.D. Bloemker, MaryB, and of course there are all the ways that people could misspell her last name. If anyone is savvy about Fanlore, I'd appreciate your help to tweak her listings so that we can get a consolidated page on her. Eventually, I would like to ensure that we have full links to Mary's entire body of fannish work.

The thing I have learned - as if I hadn't known it before - is that despite the difficulties Mary's health presented her, she continued live and love life fully. She was a amazing lady, and I'm honored to have had her as a friend.

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About the Shadow Chasers Home Page
This web site is the result of a lot of years of loving care by Mary Bloemker, with considerable contributions from friends Mary Fall Wardell and Sheila Paulson. And the occasional assist from me, your new webmistress. I wish MaryB were still here to maintain this page that she worked so hard on over the years - as I've been updating the links and cleaning up pointers, I've been continually amazed at the sheer amount of effort she put into this. It's made me feel so much closer to her, and at the same time, made me miss her all the more. This was always a labor of love for MaryB, and it is in her honor that we'll continue to have this page available on the net. It was MaryB's wish that the focus of the page remain gen in nature, and I will continue to honor that.

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About Shadow Chasers Fandom
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About Your New Webmistress, Deb Walsh
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