Diamonds and Rust

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Zine
Title: Diamonds and Rust Collected
Publisher: Kzinti Press
Editor:
Author(s): Mary L. Schultz & Cheryl Rice
Cover Artist(s): Gee Moaven
Illustrator(s): Gee Moaven
Date(s): 1977, 1978, see article
Medium: print
Size:
Genre: het
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
front cover of Diamonds and Rust by Gee Moaven
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Contents

Diamonds and Rust Collected is a much-discussed and controversial het 247-page Star Trek: TOS novel consisting of a series of interrelated stories written by Mary L. Schultz & Cheryl Rice and edited by Jeff Johnston. The extensive art is by Gee Moaven.

Contents

Diamonds and Rust table of contents page
from Implosion #3, the editor's rundown of the TOC, note that it differs slightly from the list on this page. Perhaps "Dawn's Left Hand" was retitled from "Snowbird."

The stories in this collection were written and published in fanzines over a two year timespan, but are gathered here in (hopefully) chronological story order.

  • What Memories Can Bring (The Other Side of Paradise #2)
  • How Long the Night, How Bright the Stars (Tal Shaya #3); (The Other Side of Paradise #2)
  • spinoff Night Creatures (Alpha Continuum #1)
  • To Each His Own (Alpha Continuum #2): (McCoy becomes involved in a very unfortunate situation with his daughter that leaves him emotionally shattered.)
  • Idols I Have Loved (Alpha Continuum #2): (Chantal, the mysterious new Security Chief on the Enterprise, tries to help McCoy recover his mental health.)
  • Year of the Cat (Alpha Contiunuum #4)
  • Undone (Millennium)
  • Avant-Propos (Warped Space #20)
  • The Story So Far (Warped Space #23)
  • Treasure (Warped Space #23) (Chantal is assigned to throw a surprise birthday party for Christine.)
  • Dressed to Kill (not previously in a zine)
  • Treasure (Warped Space #23)
  • No Special Hurry (from Alpha Continuum #4), as the second volume of the series was never written, the authors wrap up loose ends and summarize where the tale was intended to go)
  • Love's Lines, Angles and Rhymes (not previously in a zine)
  • None to Pity (not previously in a zine)
  • Ondine's Curse (not previously in a zine)
  • Phoenix (not previously in a zine)
  • Dawn's Left Hand

Gallery

Publication History and Description

It was three years in the making, and much of the content was published in other zines previously to being in the complete main volume.

back cover of Diamonds and Rust by Gee Moaven
The Diamonds and Rust series finally saw print as a collection in 1978, although the copyright notice said 1977. Jeff Johnston of Kzinti Press gathered and mimeographed the set of stories that Mary L. (Mandi) Schultz and Cheryl Rice had written. The volume ran 247 pages. The set of stories was highly controversial among some fans, because of its Mary Sue aspects; among others, because of the adult treatment of various (heterosexual) topics. [1]

The Dedication

To my Immortals, my Squirrel, and my Oldfan for their support in myriad ways; To William Shatner and Cornelia Sharpe in all their glories for simply existing; To the D&R followers for their support; To the D&R detractors for giving me determination; To that moment years ago for first urging me to put pen to paper; To the Walking Wounded everywhere because they'll understand and feel it; and especially to CDR. [2]

The Writers Comment

an ad for the zine in Spectrum #31
flyer in Warped Space #26/27

Mandi Schultz introduced the second story (August 1976):

The purposes of the story, beyond just the fact that I/we enjoy doing it, are many. My initial concept was to write a Kirk series, something done only once in fanfic, to my knowledge, because I feel he's the unsung hero, the man in the hero suit always passed over, since the majority of fen seem to be preoccupied with Spock and the Vulcan mystique. I also wanted to write a real Kirk, not the man in the hero suit, but rather a three-dimensional person not only I but also the readers could relate to. Due to the nature of a television script, I've always felt that Kirk didn't come across too well; he seemed very shallow and undeveloped as a person. I wanted to present a person compleat--a man who thinks and suffers as well as participates in snappy repartee, a man who has problems and neuroses as well as the gift of leadership. If my notions amaze you, try watching a few episodes focusing on Kirk and I think you'll understand. I realize that to fit my own speculations, I've had to invent a lot of background and trivia of my own, I feel my "universe" is no more, but certainly no less, valid than any other one created in Trekfic. This is also the story of two people, Kirk and Chantal, their relationship, and how they handle—and mishandle—their lives and their problems. I hesitate to call it a romance although there are and will be romantic elements. However, if you're looking for a "ove conquers all" type of story, you might as well put this down and read MISFIT because you won't find it here... It's Chantal's story too, and occassionally there is naturally some prolonged focus on her—such a story follows this. Obviously there's no prototype for what your average everyday alien female secret agent is going to be like, and we all know that much of the Star Trek ethos/mythos seemed based on 20th century mores and standards rather than the 23rd's, but honestly I wasn't that preoccupied with it. I sincerely feel that she isn't an alter ego because we diverge too often to be related very closely. She is her own person, liberated without requiring a movement, with her own problems. She's also a lover, a cop, a liar, a saboteur, a prostitute, and above all, a lady with a mission she'll let nothing—including love—stop her from for very long. [3]

One of the writers of "Diamonds and Rust" called it a 'tale of survival." (July 1977):

D&R is a lot of things. It's a romance, a mystery, an adventure, an allegory, a morality play, and maybe a little magic, wishful thinking, and sublimation as well. I tend to question that very last one, tho. Even our fantasy world is not perfect, no Paradise by any means. As [fan's name] put so well in her [previous article in this zine], you have to constantly bear in mind that this is not the Kirk of a 3-season series. This is the 5th year Kirk, and he is a man whose balance is shifting. I take exception with those who think this cannot happen... It can for someone in Kirk's capacity as Captain. Psychiatrically, I guess you could call it 'executive burn-out.' It is possible, even if you operate under the assumption that Kirk has been a paragon... [This] is what's happening to Kirk in our series, and what we intend to show is how it happens, with some emphasis on why, and how he will survive it. Kirk has an obsessive personality, his preoccupation with his ship and crew only serve to display this. Yes, but you say, that's what makes a good captain... But no one can operate/function only so long at warp 9 before you start to burn out.... Kirk didn't need Chantal to trigger his crisis, he would have had it anyway in our universe. But obviously she's going to complicate matters... But he has Spock and McCoy, you say. My answer is 'but does he?'... If you're into the relationship and that's your thing, that's fine. It's not my thing, and you're not liable to argue me into a change of mind any more than I am with you. I'm not trying to, I'm simply telling you where D&R comes from. I don't go wild over the relationship becoz I don't think there's anything special about it. (I know, everyone over at the Contact editorial offices just fell over dead.)... Technically, Kirk and Chantal ar the worst possible match. But love happens... It is hard to describe Chantal, particularly without giving away a great deal of the story. All things considered, she is not a marysue... I think we'd need a lot more perfection overall for her to be that... What you are seeing in D&R is survival. Yes, it's a get'em story in that respect becoz they're going to do everything but jump through hoops emotionally before we're finished with them... We're going to show them survive quite a lot and come out of it intact, perhaps even, as they say, better persons for it altho that cliche is so awful I shudder as I type it... And that is more explaining of D&R than I've done in a long time to anyone at all. [4]

Gafiation

After the publication of Diamonds and Rust, Mandi Schultz gafiated from Star Trek fandom.:
Mandi Schultz is having a zine sale. SASE for list. Also, some of Gee Moaven's art, including most of the illos for Diamonds and Rust... For the information of those of you who have sent SASEs [about 'Moonshadow']: Mandi Schultz' 'Moonshadow' is a PRIVATE publication and NOT for general distribution. Whoever let the cat out of the bag was wrong in doing so. Please stop asking about it. Mandi and Gee Moaven have gafiated from Trekdom, so says Mandi. [5]
Mandi later elaborated:
My gafia has nothing to do with whether or not D&R will be finished. I certainly do not need to be an actifan to accomplish that. In fact, considering how long volume I took to complete, ideally I ought to be confined to my basement for the duration. Those interested in more D&R should send a SASE to Cheryl Rice or myself... Any further D&R will NOT be scattered through other zines. Cheryl and I are currently evaluating various methods of its future disbursement. And we'll be happy to tell those who are interested as soon as we have it all figured out. [And] please, folks, I am not Gee Moaven's mother. If you have something to say or ask of her, write to HER, not me. [6]
There was also more on the author's activities in 1978 issues of Interstat where, a fan took another to task for suggesting "a little censorship."
I am deeply distress at the implication in [Mary Lou D's] letter (I#7) that she become the guardian of all of our ST morals. The trouble with people who advocate "a little censorship" is that they never know where to stop. [Ms. D] took it upon herself to personally try to stop publication of the Diamonds and Rust series of stories last year (written by Mandi Schultz and Cheryl Rice and published in various zines); not content with expressing her disapproval of certain elements of the tale, she sought to have the zines who carried it make apologies to their readers for doing so. The upshot of these activities was to drive Schultz and Rice completely out of ST fandom, wounded by the vituperation visited on them, and presently represented only by the recent publication of the D & R Collected, Volume I, Kzinti Press. (Every fan who approved/hated D & R owes it to him/herself to read the whole first third of this novel, to see the individual stories in perspective, without the background of warring LOCs.) [7]
A fan responds to the above statement:
Come now, if Rice and Schultz didn't believe in their work enough to continue in fandom despite all obstacles, where does anyone get off blaming [Mary Lou D] for their gafiating? I seem to remember sending some suggestions to Schultz a while back when Diamonds and Rust was submitted to DELTA TRIAD. I read the entire series. To me, it just didn't click—but I didn't say "Don't write it anymore." And I also spoke out against Rice and Schultz' recent story in ALPHA CONTINIUM 2 on incest that was added to the D & R series as an apparent afterthought. Why, I don't know; it served no purpose that I could see. And now you're denying [Mary Lou D's] right to protest in other areas. Who said you had to do as she wishes? No one is forcing you to follow her ideas. I make up my own mind as to what I do; if I agree with Mary Lou, fine; if I don't, that's fine too. [8]
Cheryl Rice herself responds:
Does anyone know how © fan stories really stand? — legally I mean. We © all the D & R stories, sent them into Washington D.C. and filled out the papers and paid the fee & all. ST is a topic of Interest to a lot of fan writers, tho I must admit I don't know why Guinn has his/her feat hers so ruffled over the problem. Final thing — I'm sure [Dixie O's] motives were the highest, but she is totally wrong in saying [Mary Lou D] drove Mandi & I out of ST fandom. We are going on with the series due to public demand as the saying goes. The best estimate I can make as to when volume #2 will be out is— eventually. Mandi is limiting her fan activities to the series but this has as much to do with changing interests as to Dodge's machinations. She & [Gee M] produced a 400+ page, lavishly illustrated STAR WARS series, Moonshadow [9], and has now moved on & is working on a series of Saturday Night Fever stories. All this in addition to work on the new D & R. I'm still in Welcommittee, had a story published in the latest Warped Space and last week at a local SF con helped staff the ST room. I've hardly been "driven out of ST fandom." I think it is a mistake to come down too hard on Mary Lou — after all, it must be terribly embarrassing to her to have ranted & raved so wildly only to find that no one with the slightest amount of good sense paid her the least bit of attention. After watching her succeed only in making a spectacle of herself— I think the true Christian attitude to take is deep pity. [10]

A Second Volume?

In 1978, Mandi wrote of a possible second volume, but it never came to be, at least not in zine form.

As for volume two -- much of it is done, but there remains much to be done, especially since we are both working on other projects as well. The best estimate as to when it will be ready for public consumption is 'eventually.'" And "Everyone interested in volume 2 should send a SASE to Mandi Schultz as soon as possible. Publication will be somewhat innovative, and there won't be a 3 year wait to see more of the story. Flyers available soon. Jim and Chantal return. [11]

In late 1978, the series may have succumbed, in part, to paid employment and and two Bay City fictional cops:

'Diamonds and Rust v.2' has been unavoidably postponed for a while due to Mandi Schultz's time being more profitably (at least monetarily) spent on her pro writing. Also, I've developed a great, if belated, interest in Starsky and Hutch... I'm interested in any material on them... especially the ever elusive first issue of Zebra 3. [12]
In late 1979, Cheryl Rice wrote:
Due to personal reasons, Mandi Schultz and I have decided that it will be impossible for us to finish the complete 'Diamonds and Rust' series. We have been sending this information out in the several hundred SASEs we've received from readers... since it is possible some may have gotten lost in the shuffle... I wanted to use this more public way of notifying people, too. In answer to quite a few letters I've gotten on the subject, I'd like to say that it isn't a problem of finding a publisher. Basically, it's just that Mandi can't afford to write for free anymore. Also, thou' it has been suggested that we write a 1 or 2 page outline of what happened in the rest of the story and send it to readers who'd been left in mid-plot, that won't work. There would have been at least 400 pages more, with a horde of new characters, and there's no way to reduce all this to an outline that makes any sense. I've explained the rest of the story in persona, and it takes me at least 20 minutes. We do regret this, but real life problems and responsibilities do have a way of intruding on even the most beguiling of fantasies.

In 1980, Cheryl Rice had a story published in Alpha Continuum #4; while "No Special Hurry" is not the aforementioned 400 pages she thought it would require, the story wraps up loose ends and summarizes where the tale was intended to go.

Reactions and Reviews in Warped Space

There are many, many, MANY LoCs in Warped Space #25. In it, Mandi Schultz and Rusty Hancock each wrote letters in defense and explanation of the stories. In a later edition of Warped Space, the editor shuts the debate down:
I am herein declaring the 'Diamonds and Rust' discussion/debate closed, as of this issue and, and will not print any more LoCs on the subject, as I feel that D&R has received more than adequate and varied comments within the pages of this 'zine! [13]

Other Reactions and Reviews

While some fans wrote they enjoyed the series, more fans wrote of their dislike, citing boredom, unbelievability of character, and an abhorrence for the Mary Sue elements. Fans also disliked what they felt to be a flawed Kirk, one whose attention strayed from the Enterprise, and from Spock. Many fans also took issue with "the Joanna incident," in which Dr. McCoy goes to bed with an aggressive young woman who, unknown to both, turns out to be his daughter, Joanna. [14]

See reactions and reviews for To Each His Own.
[How Long the Night, How Bright the Stars]: Superspy Chantal Caberfae is recovering in Sickbay from a knee injury and a life-threatening reaction to a painkiller. She holds court, telling stories, until Kirk arrives and scares everybody off. McCoy, disturbed by Kirk's recent displays of foul temper, manipulates Kirk and Chantal into therapeutic conversation with one another. Not a lot of point to this one, but then, there doesn't have to be. The writing and characterization, as always, is good, though still waxing eloquent over figures and wardrobes. [15]
[Idols I Have Loved]: Chantal obtains treatment (that is, brainwashing) for McCoy from her espionage organization so that he can remain in his post. The doctor she takes him to, her old enemy/friend Brandy Burns, insists on payment with sex, which about gives her a breakdown herself. McCoy, unaware that he is being treated with hypnotism and psychotherapy, naturally falls in love with her, at which point she drops him and they quarrel. Chantal wants out of her Enterprise assignment, as she is growing too close to the crew. It is disturbing to see McCoy dragged through the wringer of his daughter’s death; it is much more disturbing to have him behaving normally and pursuing romance with another young woman just two weeks later. But again, the writing is compelling. [16]
[Year of the Cat]: Kirk and Chantal pining for each other, with Kirk telling himself "the way to get over a woman is to have her" and Chantal regretting having to lie to him all the time, until she finally comes to his bed. [17]
[No Special Hurry]: Diamonds & Rust series - wrap-up. Editorial notes that Diamonds & Rust was supposed to be a multivolume series. Volume 1 was published, but volume 2 was never completed. In this story, the authors wrap up loose ends and summarize where the tale was intended to go.] Kirk and Caidan indulge in verbal, drinking and physical sparring over Chantal. Caidan hates Kirk because he's the only one superspsy Chantal ever loved back. Chantal has once again lied to Kirk and left him, supposedly to go along -- as honor demands -- as slave to an alien messiah who happened by just in time to save the galaxy from some evil plot involving creation of a black hole and... uh, well... I'm sure it would have been a roller coaster. Again, while I don't care for Chantal, or the premises and plots of these stories, the excellent writing makes them all palatable. [18]
I don’t quite know what to think of these. On one hand they are annoying Mary Sue tales. On the other... well, the story-telling is suspenseful and compelling, and the writing good when not dwelling on the perfections and wardrobe of heroine super-spy Chantal Caberfae. [19]
There come times when one must make sweeping generalizations, justify one's prejudices, create necessary pigeon-holes for square-peg in round-hole theories. So here goes: At its very best, be it blues or rhythm and blues, be it old gangster films or the works of science fiction masters from Heinlein to Fish, or Andy Warhol's art; American popular art is characterized by vitality and deliberate trashiness, by a nearly innocent corruption that simultaneously repels and endears, by purity and rawness of emotion. Melodrama is never far away. The in-ness of American popular art gives promise of telling those who seek out its mysteries where, in Tom Wolfe's phrase, the Right Stuff is and of what it consists. But, it never relinquishes the funky, elemental obligation of revealing where the bodies are buried. With the above in mind, I turn to the world of Chantal Caberfae and her once and future lover, James Kirk. The twisted and tarnished angels of DIAMONDS AND RUST come to us fro- a tine as incompatible with human decency, as crippling, indeed horrifying as our own time. Chantal and Jim grab for the brass ring on their lives' little merry-go-round; and, Oh, God, is that ring ever made of brass! They seek a moment of shared sublimity and end up praying separately to whatever demented, minor god they still acknowledge that their grubby secrets will not, not surface, and that somehow, in their hour of honesty and abandon, their isolated hearts will not break. They are like Bogart and Bergman in CASABLANCA, and ever so much more like the real, drop-dead, romantic pair of that film, Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains. Mandi Schultz and CheryL Rice have vested the DIAMONDS AND RUST universe with a basic sleaze that in its way is as irresistible as Hemingway's incompleteness, Vonnegut's innocence, or Billie Holiday's addiction. Chantal and Jim know, centuries hence, the dark, off-key, off-color worlds of Scott Fitzgerald, Lou Reed, and Edward Hopper. And through all their trials, the ghost of a half-forgotten old Viennese Jew, Sigmund Freud, who loved all who struggle in emotional shadow, observes the apparently doomed lovers as they learn the awful realities of the endless, unforgiving human condition. (See "Year of the Cat," AC 4 and "Night Creatures," AC 1) With a strained sort of mercy, Schultz and Rice give us a postlude to DIAMONDS AND RUST in AC 4, a moment in time shortly after the V'ger incident. It will not do. It is not enough. Who the Hell is Yang —The Target? What tawdry Gotterdammerimg was acted out on Cappela? When will the lovers meet again? What a terrifying reunion! Chantal and Jim are getting older, not better. (See "No Special Hurry," AC 4) No matter, like Yoko and John's occasional messages during the seventies (and now Yoke's), any message from Action Central is better than none at all. And a message from Hell is infinitely more exciting than anything a heavenly choir might transmit. [20]
Fans who register objection to the what-if K/S relationship should be particularly delighted to see the evidence of devoted heterosexual commitment on the part of Kirk, since the absence of women they love is the greatest weakness of the extensive stories carried in zines devoted to Kirk’s and Spock’s deep friendship. This is not to say that Kirkers are not going to groan over what looks like the certain destruction of his trust, love and confidence in this Mata Hart of the future, surely, one of the most deceitful and devious heroines of fanfic.... [21]
When I first got involved in fandom in the 1970s, the Mary Sue du jour (that is, a character widely labelled and criticized as such) was Chantal of the 'Diamonds and Rust' series. Chantal is a mysterious Capellan woman with long, flowing tresses 'the color of starlight' who boards the Enterprise as Chief of Security, re-organizes the ship, befriends everyone aboard (except Spock, of course), beds Kirk and even moves into his quarters. Her exploits are too numerous to mention. [22]
Mary Sue, with adult hetero material. This is a series of spy thrillers with super agent Chantal Caberfae, a Capellan/Human hybrid, posted as Security Chief on the Enterprise as her cover. Chantal is icy and aloof, pursuing her own prey while also improving mortality rates and efficiency in Security. In many ways she is an annoying Mary Sue; she is beautiful, the authors spend a lot of time describing her wardrobe, she is an expert at everything, and one wonders how the ship ever functioned before she came along. I do not like her, and I do not like the portrayal of Kirk in these stories - he is rather ineffectual and more inclined to make goo-goo eyes at her than figure out what she really is. However, I find the stories - at least the two I have read involving a conspiracy around McCoy -- quite compelling. The writing is good, the characters vivid, and the plot bold, not to say shocking. [23]
Strange things are going on in the sub-world of 'Adult Trekfic.' It seems that one of the stories in the Diamonds and Rust series has a rather unusual plot device: Dr. McCoy goes to bed with an aggressive young woman who (surprise!) turns out to be his daughter, Joanna. Through a series of credibility-stretching writing tricks, no one knows who the other one is until the fun is over. (No, I don't know the name of the story, or where it was published.) [the incest story this fan refers to is in also in Alpha Continuum #2, and a set of two stories, "To Each His Own" and "Idols I Have Loved."] The results are what you might expect: Joanna kills herself, and Dr. M is 'shattered' (not necessarily in that order.) But what really makes this interesting is from where the heaviest negative comments are coming from: some of the well-known fen who applaud the Kirk-and-Spock-go-gay trash. Frankly, I'm surprised at the reactions I've been hearing about this stuff. After all, the rushing about to jump on the Homosexuality-in-Trekfic bandwagon, I thought it would take nothing less than Captain Kirk going to bed with a Great Dane to get a rise out of people. And, disturbingly, they are not just going after the story, but doing a hatchet job on the author as well. I heard she is being called things in print that aren't even used on crooked convention organizers. Bad scene. [24]
Mimeo, 247 pp., comes with holes punched and rings. SASE for prices. This zine consists of fourteen medium-to-long stories written by Mandi Schultz and Cheryl Rice, some previously published. I would like to suggest that all of the enjoying/complaining readers of Schultz' and Rice's D&R tales take another look at them in perspective, now that they have been collected into Volume I of three, and appear here in novel form. Previous consideration of the whole story and its handling of the ST characters was under great handicap, as they appeared here and there, out of order and months apart. Not only has the group been tied together chronologically but extrapolating stories have been added, and the development of the Kirk character builds up into what is surely one of the most mature and well-rounded considerations in ST fanfic. The tragic McCoy/Joanna "incident" fades into just that as the whole story is seen, is relegated to its proper minor part, like that of Amanda's gang-rape in Kraith, for instance. Who now holds that against JL in the giant-screen scope of Kraith legend? Spock remains somewhat ham-handedly presented, but he is also a minor character in what is essentially a strong secret-spy heroine's tale of accidentally falling in love with the Captain of the E, and drawing him almost absent-mindedly into her own orbit and away from his starship career. Fans who register objection to thewhat-if "K/S relationship" should be particularly delighted to see the evidence of devoted heterosexual commitment on the part of Kirk, since the absence of women they love is the greatest weakness of the extensive stories carried in zines devoted to Kirk's and Spock's deep friendship. This is not to say that Kirkers are not going to groan over what looks like the certain destruction of his trust, love and confidence in this Mata Hari of the future, surely one of the most deceitful and devious heroines of fanfic, as Volume I ends and they head for shore duty on Capella. Anyway, it is an engrossing love story, and I hope other parts of the novel will also be published to tell us how it carne out. D&R could just become one of those classics in fanfic, showing one logical extension of the lives of light-hearted ␣ mid-30's space adventures, and fandom will be the poorer for it if we never get to see the rest. SASE to Mandi Schultz... to declare your interest in future volumes, In presently in the works. [25]
[referring to the D&R stories in Alpha Continuum #4]: There come times when one must make sweeping generalizations, justify one's prejudices, create necessary pigeon-holes for square-peg in round-hole theories. So here goes: At its very best, be it blues or rhythm and blues, be it old gangster films or the works of science fiction masters from Heinlein to Fish, or Andy Warhol's art; American popular art is characterized by vitality and deliberate trashiness, by a nearly innocent corruption that simultaneously repels and endears, by purity and rawness of emotion. Melodrama is never far away. The in-ness of American popular art gives promise of telling those who seek out its mysteries where, in Tom Wolfe's phrase, the Right Stuff is and of what it consists. But, it never relinquishes the funky, elemental obligation of revealing where the bodies are buried. With the above in mind, I turn to the world of Chantal Caberfae and her once and future lover, James Kirk. The twisted and tarnished angels of DIAMONDS AND RUST come to us from a time as incompatible with human decency, as crippling, indeed horrifying as our own time. Chantal and Jim grab for the brass ring on their lives' little merry-go-round; and, Oh, God, is that ring ever made of brass! They seek a moment of shared sublimity and end up praying separately to whatever demented, minor god they still acknowledge that their grubby secrets will not, not surface, and that somehow, in their hour of honesty and abandon, their isolated hearts will not break. They are like Bogart and Bergman in CASABLANCA, and ever so much more like the real, drop-dead, romantic pair of that film, Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains. Mandi Schultz and Cheryl Rice have vested the DIAMONDS AND RUST universe with a basic sleaze that in its way is as irresistible as Hemingway's incompleteness, Vonnegut's innocence, or Billie Holiday's addiction. Chantal and Jim know, centuries hence, the dark, off-key, off-color worlds of Scott Fitzgerald, Lou Reed, and Edward Hopper. And through all their trials, the ghost of a half-forgotten old Viennese Jew, Sigmund Freud, who loved all who struggle in emotional shadow, observes the apparently doomed lovers as they learn the awful realities of the endless, unforgiving human condition. (See "Year of the Cat," AC 4 and "Night Creatures," AC 1) With a strained sort of mercy, Schultz and Rice give us a postlude to DIAMONDS AND RUST in AC 4, a moment in time shortly after the V'ger incident. It will not do. It is not enough. Who the Hell is Yang —The Target? What tawdry Gotterdammerimg was acted out on Cappela? When will the lovers meet again? What a terrifying reunion! Chantal and Jim are getting older, not better. (See "No Special Hurry," AC 4) No matter, like Yoko and John's occasional messages during the seventies (and now Yoke's), any message from Action Central is better than none at all. And a message from Hell is infinitely more exciting than anything a heavenly choir might transmit. [26]

A Mary Sue?

I've talked before about Chantal Caberfae's qualifications, or lack of them, for genuine Marysuehood... One of the most abhorred and criticized qualities of Lt. Mary Sue seems to be her way of attracting all the available senior officers on the Enterprise, who then founder on her shores... While rereading 'Each' and 'Idols' [two chapters in the zine Alpha Continuum #2] recently, I realized there were several references to Chantal's powers of attraction and the effect she seemed to be having on various male characters. Aha, I said to myself, I see where some of the slings and arrows are coming from. The Captain is smitten... but that's part of the hub of the plot. But Cdre. Caidan, her immediate superior, is also fascinated by her skill and grace on the parallel bars, as well as by her general physical appearance... Brandy Burns at one point suggests marriage. Dr. McCoy appears almost enchanted by her at one point. She would seem to be raging through the coterie of surrounding males like an out-of-control brushfire. She can have anyone she wants. A maiden's wish fulfilled! Or is it? Let's look again. Cdre. Caidan may think all sorts of complimentary things about Chantal, but it has never stopped him from sending her out on one dangerous mission after another... not the kind of assignment one would expect from a tender lover, is it?... Brady Burns [speaks from] anger, lust and confusion.... McCoy has the best excuse of all and the most demeaning for becoming fixated on her -- he's sick. It's a fairly simple case of psychiatric transference due to her having been instrumental in effecting a cure for his depression... Altogether, does this really sound like the blind devotion...? One adoring suitor says, in effect, 'You're lovely, m'dear, but I have this little job for you to do that will only involve a small risk to your health, life and/or sanity, because I do so love it when my hand-picked protege makes me look good.' Another puts it bluntly, 'I want your body.' A third is clutching desperately to a life raft for his own sanity. Now, I ask you -- would any self-respecting Mary Sue put up with such attitudes? No more than Kirk and McCoy would've been able to maintain their attitudes toward Chantal -- if they'd known her completely. Mary Sues are out in the open -- it's an essential part of their natures. Chantal is far more of an iceberg, and makes one very glad the Enterprise isn't' running on the Canard line. [27]

Chantal's Physical Origins

We discovered her at the movies... It was almost a classic incident of turing slowly to look at each other and saying in unison, 'My God, that's her! [The actress] was Cornelia Sharpe, and she was indeed perfect for the purpose. The movie was 'The Last Man' [it's actually called The Next Man]; in it, Miss Sharpe was given the opportunity to be an agent, an assassin, a temptress, and a high fashion clothes horse who wore everything from furs to ball gowns to a suntan and a sheet, and looked appropriately gorgeous in all of those things." The author adds that Sharpe could "not act her way out of a paper sack, but all I needed was her exterior." She adds that Chantal's tone and timbre are those of the actress Maria Schell [Vond-Ah in the 1978 Superman film] and that Chantal's accent belongs to a little known Russian-born actress named Victoria Federeva. "whose debut -- and swansong -- seems to have been a Medical Center episode. [28]

Parodies

Diamonds and Rust has been parodied or mentioned in parody many times.

  • The zine, Revisions #2, has a story called "Diamonds and Rust." "...(no, not that one!)" by Jani Hicks, art by Martynn.
  • "Flame Gems and Lust" by Justa Knutt is a parody in Pegasus #2
  • Warped Space, the very zine that includes segments from the original series also printed a parody/responsefic two issues later: It was called "Rhinestones and Mush, Treasure Chest." One fan remembers:
    There was a very long, never finished Kirk/Mary Sue saga called 'Diamonds and Rust' which featured a statuesque, gorgeous Mary Sue named Chantal Caberfae. I remember that Kirk was absolutely besotted with her. It was accompanied with some highly romantic illustrations. Someone wrote a wickedly funny satire called 'Rhinestones and Mush', published in Warped Space # 25, which was complete with cartoons by Gordon Carleton satirizing the art by showing Chantal as practically sparkling/glowing with Kirk being depicted as basically her lapdog.

References

  1. from Boldly Writing
  2. from Mandi Schultz
  3. from the introduction to "How Long the Night, How Bright the Stars" in Tal Shaya #3
  4. from Implosion #6
  5. from a personal statement in Scuttlebutt #6 in 1978
  6. from Scuttlebutt #7
  7. by Dixie O in Interstat #9
  8. from Ingrid C in Interstat #10
  9. It is unknown if this was ever published.
  10. from Interstat #10
  11. from Scuttlebutt #8
  12. from a comment by Mandi in Scuttlebutt #11
  13. from Warped Space #26/27
  14. These two stories are in Diamonds and Rust, as well as Alpha Continuum #2. They are titled "To Each His Own" and "Idols I Have Loved."
  15. from Karen Halliday's Zinedex
  16. from Karen Halliday's Zinedex
  17. from Karen Halliday's Zinedex
  18. from Karen Halliday's Zinedex
  19. from Karen Halliday's Zinedex
  20. from a review of some of the short stories in Alpha Continuum #4 printed in Universal Translator #10
  21. from the 1978 issue of Mahko Root #2
  22. from Soho Workshop
  23. from the Zinedex
  24. from Probe #11
  25. from Mahko Root #2
  26. from Universal Translator #10
  27. a fan writes in Implosion #6
  28. from Implosion #5
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