Tai-Pan Literary & Arts Project
The Tai-Pan Literary & Arts Project is a non-profit organization founded for the purposes of publishing quality anthropomorphics, inspiring contributors, and fostering creative skills.
Created in 1988, the project publishes the Tales of the Tai-Pan Universe fanzine. Stories in the fanzine chronicle the adventures of the inhabitants of the anthropomorphic space opera shared universe. The framework of the universe is literary: art and fiction are published with an eye toward telling compelling stories and developing believable characters within an overall continuity.
Contributing members create the characters, write stories using each others’ characters, and illustrate their adventures. Tales of the Tai-Pan Universe is published twice a year. Writers and artists who meet the contribution requirements create the characters who inhabit, and the planets visited by, the ships of the universe:
- the pirate ship, Iktome
- the luxury cruise liner, Quantum Lady
- the university/science vessel, Ramanujan
- and the merchant ship, Tai-Pan
The project was first conceived by a group of seven friends (Whitney Ware, Mark Allen Davis, Keith Alan Johnson, Gene Breshears, Julie Rampke, Alan Chapman, Joe Bohnen) around a table at a Denny's restaurant late one night during the Northwest Science Fiction Convention, Easter Weekend, 1988. Whitney Ware was unanimously proclaimed editor and project coordinator. After four years of recruiting writers and artists, designing and re-designing the universe itself, creating a beginning cast of characters, and plotting many stories, the project finally published its first fanzine (originally titled simply Tai-Pan) in 1991.
Due to a decision by one contributor to try to use characters he had created in a comic book published by another group, the first issue was revamped and re-issued in 1992. At that time the editorial board consisted of:
- Whitney Ware, Publisher and Editor
- Jackie Duram-Nilsson, Production Artist
- Chris Nilsson, Production Coordinator
- Julia Rampke-Breshears, Mark Allen Davis and Keith Alan Johnson, Story Editors
- Scott Hungerford, Project Secretary
- Gene Breshears, Technical Consultant
- Alan Chapman, Technical Consultant.
The original editor resigned late in 1994, and the remaining editorial board members reorganized. Gene Breshears became Editor-in-Chief in February, 1995, and produced a new issue of the re-titled 'zine in March of the same year.
In 2000 the project formally incorporated as a not-for-profit organization. Legal and financial management is handled by a separate Board of Directors, leaving the Editorial Board free to concentrate on artistic and literary matters.
The most current issue of the "Tales of the Tai-Pan Universe" is #49, published in December of 2011.
As of 2012 the Editorial Board consists of:
- Gene Breshears, Editor-in-Chief
- Keith Alan Johnson, Treasurer & Associate Editor
- David Dailey, Mark Allen Davis, Kristin Fontaine, Chas P.A. Melville, Associate Editors
- David Dailey, Jared Roberston, C.D. Woodbury, Copy Editors
- Jeff Cornish, Specialist Editor: Technology
- Sky Oxford, Specialist Editor: Graphic Design
- Michael Yust, Production Assistant
- C.D. Woodbury, Specialist Editor: Audio Projects
- Kathy R. Coleman, Jeri Lynn Cornish, Bill Koonts, Consulting Editors