[zine]: The second K/S ever to appear in a fanzine was printed in Diane T. Steiner's SENSUOUS VULCAN, in Sept. 1977. This zine was one of the first of the really beautiful, ambitious, and elaborate zines, done entirely offset, and it set the pattern for many zines to come. The cover, a gorgeous erotic pencil portrait by Alice Jones, shows a blonde (Chapel?) swept up into Spock's arms, sharing a kiss. It is expensive and difficult to obtain an original copy of SENSUOUS VULCAN. Photo copies, probably unauthorized, are also expensive. At least try to borrow a copy to read; it is a zine you shouldn't miss. In "Long Way Home" by Eileen Roy, Kirk is on shore leave, in a tavern, on an unreliable, savagely beautiful planet. He is drunk and tripping out on an incredible combination of alien concoctions. But he is happy; he has discovered that he is really not going crazy, because Spock arrives to collect him and drive him back to the base, over the planet's unstable terrain and through the turbulent atmosphere. When a rock slip causes their "rock-sled" to crash, and Spock is knocked momentarily unconscious, Kirk has time to contemplate his uninjured friend, stroking one eyebrow. He admits to himself his love and desire for Spock, and considers all the problems involved in seduction and relationship. He decides in favor of what might be read as a "slow seduction". Spock awakens, and they Leave the ruined rock sled, supporting each other, walking slowly back to the base. This is a lovely little story, a vignette almost, full of word-painting and atmosphere, and not a bit of sloppily over-ripe sentimentality. "Interlude" by Maggie McClendon, is a nicely written idyll, somewhat spoiled by an ending just a trifle too sweetly sentimental and overdone (to my taste). Spock, with Kirk who is recovering from a broken leg and exhaustion, are taking three weeks of shore-leave on Andrion, a benign and beautiful planet with harmless, unusual flora and gauna, and a strangely hypnotic, soothing and healing aura. One morning, Kirk tells Spock that Andrion reminds him of his childhood, and confesses his urge to go skinny dipping. He asks if Spock ever feels the urge to do some thing uninhibited; he replies "yes", softly, but does not elaborate. Kirk strips and runs through the grass to the lake, urging Spock to follow suit. They reach the lake, spend a moment contemplating each other's naked beauty the "magic" of Andrion's aura is mellowing Spock considerably then they dive in. The water proves to be unusually buoyant and silky-slippery, with a unique and oddly lulling musical tinkling, encouraging them to swim and play in it, and encouraging odd thoughts .... Suddenly Kirk realizes Spock has become badly chilled and needs help. Holding him in his arms, Kirk swims rapidly for the nearest shore. Their clothes are too far away to help (funny how these things happen, isn't it?!), so Kirk begins to rub Spock down briskly, to warm him quickly. As he gradually returns to normal, the stroking turns into a massage. Both men acknowledge the pleasure of it, wordlessly admit to each other their pleasure, and what they both want. They begin a gentle, dreamlike lovemaking, finding joy in discovering the particular sensitivities of each other's bodies. They press and rub against each other until they reach orgasm. Afterwards, they sleep. Kirk awakens first, with a sunburned back, and tells Spock, "I love you... Who'd'a thought —a sensuous Vulcan!" The next weeks are spent in love and sharing. When the time comes, neither wants to beam back up to the ship, and Spock has a moment of misgiving that Kirk is feeling shame at their actions. But Kirk presses a small flower lovingly in his palm, saying, "Beauty is its own reason, Spock." Later, Spock contemplates the flower, and The Meaning Of It All in his quarters, and concludes that "... the reasons they suddenly no longer needed... only each other... because we are..." (Perhaps this is just too foggily sentimental/metaphysical for me, but I believe that so weak an ending harmed an otherwise charming tale.) Gayle F's justly famous "Desert Heat", the first story in her "Cosmic Fuck" series (with Gayle's illos also printed in flaming red!), hardly needs summarizing. If by some strange mischance you haven't read it, get it now; don't miss it! It is passionately loving, erotic, strongly and beautifully written, with no excess verbiage or sentimentality. "Desert Heat" was reprinted in Delia Van Hise's NAKED TIMES #2, in 1979, with the illos in black ink, and with one bad typo, the kind that changes the meaning of a sentence of paragraph. Xeroxes are probably still availablefrom the editor. "Beyond Setarcos" and "Night of the Dragon", the second and third parts of the Cosmic Fuck series appeared in THRUST in 1979, also illustrated by Gayle. The fourth and final part, "Between Friends", illustrated by Connie Faddis, appeared in OBSC'ZINE #3, May 1978. You will notice that the final part apparently appeared before parts two and three? Well, it didn't really happen that way, I remember quite clearly reading the final part last. I cannot account for the discrepancy in dates. SENSUOUS VULCAN also contains many excellent illos by many artists, notably Alice Jones, particularly her chained nude Spock, Gee Moaven's "Nightingale Woman", Marty Siegrist and Karen Fleming's brooding Spocks and Sareks, some relatively unpolished but interesting early Merle Decker and Nan Lewis, some mood pieces by Diane Marchant, Gerry Dowries, Sandra Gent, Ellen Kobrin, Frankie Jemison, and Jane Aumerle. And a number of excellent non-K/S adult stories. SENSUOUS VULCAN may well have the highest percentage of very well-written stories of any zine ever published, and a marvelous variety of unusual tales, too. The excellent "An Economy of Memories" by Connie Faddis, concerns a mission undertaken by Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, to negotiate a trade for an important medicine with some very strange aliens on a strange and unpleasant planet. In actuality they were lured to the planet to serve as sex partners for a strange but highly valued creature (in "pon farr"), which provides the aliens with an otherwise unobtainable substance all-important to their well being and economy. (The aliens reproduce by budding, and so are unsuitable sex partners themselves.) The extremely unpleasant mating takes place through trickery, and their resistance proves useless. The aliens treat their injuries, remove the memory of it, but fail with Spock, who expediently agrees not to mention it in his report, since it could only harm Kirk and McCoy, and because the aliens give him an extremely valuable cure, basically for free. "The Way of a Warrior" and its sequel, "When Legends Fall Silent" by Karen Louis, is a Spock/T'Pring "Amok Time" alternate universe story, in which Spock remains on Vulcan to mate with T'Pring, believing Kirk killed, and suffering greatly from T'Prings uncooperativeness, he decides to execute T'Pring ritually. After many painful events and feelings, he finally gives T'Pring to Stonn, and gives his unborn child to their care. They leave the planet, and Spock returns to Kirk and the Enterprise. It is a well-written story, but I find it rather tedious, and a "downer." Its resolution seems rather weak and in adequate. "The Changeling" by Lora Rene, is notable for being probably the first "female James Kirk" story. Spock is the captain, in this alternate universe, and Jamie Kirk is first officer. She requests a transfer. Spock asks for an explanation, and she confesses her love for him. He, too, confesses his love, and they decide to bond but first, Jamie coaxes Spock into making love, of course! Sounds familiar, doesn't it?! "Nil Desperandum" by Frankie Jemison, is a tiny tongue-in-cheek K/S vignette which concerns Spock, and an increasingly tense and ill-humored Kirk, marooned on a planet for three months. Embarrassedly, Kirk finally confronts Spock: "How much do you know...about ...the human...cycle....?" "Vulcan Bride" by Johanna Cantor is a vignette concerning bondmates, S'tev and T'lal, during pon farr, and how they adjust sexually. Another vignette, "Just Desserts" by Alice Thompson, has Christine getting exactly what she was asking for and not much liking it either, serves her right! "Thy Gracious Dews of Solace" by Juanita Salicrup, is a kind of get-Spock/lay-Spock story, is one of the first "slavery" stories, and has a somewhat anti-K/S premise. Prior to the beginning of the story, Spock is captured by Klingons, tortured to the "edge of his reserves", drugged, and sold to a wealthy Orion with an exotic taste for dark male sex slaves. Chained, but not yet mind-wiped, Spock is raped by his owner. To Spock's final shame, he responds sexually to the rape. A visiting Federation trader sees his plight, learns his identity, and of the impending mind-wipe. Appalled, he manages to spirit Spock away to a Starbase, where he is debriefed and hospitalized. In a few days he is reunited with his friends and returned to the Enterprise. (All of this takes place in flashback.) Five weeks later, Spock is still plagued by a recurrent dream wherein he rapes another male only afterward discovering that it is Kirk. Work and mental discipline are ineffective at stopping the persistent dream. Because of its content, he finds it impossible to confide in Kirk or McCoy. In the ST universe of this story, humankind still feels revulsion toward homosexuality (well, it is possible, after all), and on Vulcan "it was invested with even greater horror and shame than the joining of man and woman", and perpetrators are ostracized from society. And so Spock, to whom "the entire subject of his sexuality was still a rankling agony" ever since pon farr, is now on the verge of a breakdown. After he is rude to Uhura on duty, they talk; she can see how disturbed he is, and offers to help, but of course Spock claims he is all right. The grew take shore leave on Argelius. Spock stays aboard, but he is restless, plagued by the dreams and by doubts about his sexuality. He finally beams down, walks the streets aimlessly, and is accosted by a prostitute. Absently, he allows himself to be coaxed in accompanying her. She offers "a bed for the night." In spite of his distaste, he nearly talks himself into having sex with the woman, but finally pushes her away... Uhura, meanwhile, has canceled her triste with a lover who proved crude and inconsiderate, ripping her gown in his unseemly haste. Furiously, she leaves and runs into.....Spock. She helps him to the rustic cottage which she had rented for her ill-fated triste, tends his wounds, gives him tea, comfort and understanding, and finally gets him to confess everything. She offers him help, gently allays his fears, and seduces him. Spock reacts with enthusiasm, his fears and uncertainties gone. (There is a nice sex scene at this point if your taste runs to heterosexual love.) They plan to spend the remaining two weeks of shore leave together in the cottage "convalescing." "Mr. Spock, Would You Care to Dance?" Toni Cardinal, is a lighthearted lay-Spock romp. The Joy Bringer by Clare Bell is a rather odd member of that "strange alien sexuality and Vulcan rites" ilk. Spock makes love with an alien woman—and brings joy to all! I found it quite unconvincing and rather disjointedly unsatisfying. Nightmare in Black" by Bren Harper is rather more a Kirk story, and a horror story, than anything else. It ls very well done, with a nice Kirk & Spock relationship. A statue of Miscere ( Little kitten") with Bast, the cat goddess, at her feet, is brought aboard the Enterprise. By some ancient magic or science—the statue comes to Life, a succubus in the body of a beautiful woman, who forces Kirk to make Love with it again and again then tears his soul away in the final submission. Spock hears his mind-cry and tries to help, but the succubus takes over, fogs his mind and memory, and tries to turn him against Spock The next night Kirk is attacked again, and cries out mentally to Spock. He helps Kirk fight the succubus, and wins though he is severely clawed by the all too realistic illusion of a giant cat.