Beside Myself

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Title: Beside Myself
Publisher: Merry Men Press
Date(s): 1989-1996
Medium: print
Genre: slash
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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Beside Myself is a slash Star Trek: TOS anthology.

From Media Monitor: "A well illustrated anthology zine exclusively written by Robin Hood and her assorted pen names."

The summaries below are by Gilda F.

Issue 1

cover of issue #1, The Southern Cross -- "Covers, covers -- what can one say except not to drool on this magnificent drawing of two Kirks. No one does it better than Southern Cross." [1]
back cover for issue #1 by Southern Cross

Beside Myself 1 was published in June 1989 and contains 171 pages. The covers are by The Southern Cross. The interior art is by Caro Hedge, Chris Soto, Kay Wells, Shellie Whild, Jackie Zoost.

From the editorial:
... I'll talk about all the lovely art I've filtched [sic] over the past year: Art I've held onto for my zine, or knew it would fit well. I was honest (shut up Alayne!) about not taking all the good stuff... most of the time. And then when I was being honest, I was being a ra... an enterprising editor and forcing Kay Wells to work and work and work. She even came out here to visit and I made her draw! Now that's dedication! Chris Soto is here as well (even though I did release her for a weekend furlough). Caro Hedge with her beautiful borders and Shellie Whild with the suburb [sic] interpretations of an authors [sic] thoughts. I thank them all for coming through, (something I think they all like to do....).

This is the true zine of the pen names: We're having a funeral for these ladies. At the present, I have 33 pen names. It's time some... disappeared. Now don't be embarrassed that you raved about FT 8 'Time Enough', it was my first writing effort (and for those of you who didn't like it f... y..!) Anyway. Why do we use pen names? Most for the obvious reasons. That's not my reason. I use them because I like to read your honest comments, (and because if you didn't like it, then someone else wrote it, not Robin Hood).

Okay, so I have to say something about the stories: There's some you'll not be fond of and some you will (definitive, ain't I?) Hopefully more of you will like than not. LOC's are needed just as always. Just because my ego is healthy (SHUT UP ALAYNE!) doesn't mean I don't need my strokes. (Yeah, Michael) I wrote these stories over the last year. And, depending on your response, there may be another; if I can come close to these covers.

Speaking of which: The Southern Cross. I wrote BESIDE MYSELF a long time ago and thought; 'who could I get to do the idea justice?' I hope you're pleased. I certainly am. I look at my two guys nightly hanging over my bed, in gold and green decadence and drool. The boyfriend didn't turn a hair when I first brought them home. Asked only if I was going into something new. I laughed. Men are such sweet naive things, aren't they? At least he's accepting....

Enough said: Read! LOC's Remember!
  • The Night Men - Carol Turner (As Kirk takes command of the Enterprise, he has an immediate attraction to his Vulcan science officer.) (1)
  • Beside Myself I - Robin Hood (When Kirk is split by the transporter, he finds his strength only when in contact with his other self.) (10
  • Stone Cold, poem by Robin Hood (22)
  • The Dark and I, poem by Robin Hood (23)
  • Curse, poem by Robin Hood (23)
  • Night Folds, poem by Robin hood (25)
  • Cloud Dragons - Carolyn McTarrell (Kirk and Spock are sent to investigate a planet where the last scout party returned nude, and unable to remember anything but intense pleasure.) (26)
  • Time Burns, poem by Pam Smith (49)
  • Dragon Slayer - Kathy Tipton (Kirk tries to apologise to Spock for what he said to him in order to drive out the spores of Omicron Ceti Three.) (50)
  • Whistling - Sue Cameron (Kirk flees into a deep cavern after being bitten by a venomous animal, and talks to himself about his feelings for Spock in order to keep awake after coming to his senses so that he can be found.) (64)
  • Willow Bend, poem by Robin Hood (80)
  • Wild Garden, poem by Robin Hood (81)
  • Autumn Longing - Kathy Tipton (Spock ponders their lives together as he waits for Admiral Kirk to return to their home at the end of the day.) (82)
  • The Hour is Fire, poem by Jane Fury (85)
  • The Careful Stranger - Jane Fury (novella) (While Kirk is on Earth for shoreleave, Spock flees to Vulcan when he enters pon farr.) (86)
  • Legend's Rest - Ellen Thacher (After the fal tor pan, Spock discovers that Kirk suffers through nightmares of Spockʼs death every night.) (156)
  • Legend's Rest, poem by Robin Hood (169)
  • Golden Boy, poem by Sara Rodale (170)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for Legend's Rest.
See reactions and reviews for The Night Men.
See reactions and reviews for Beside Myself I.
See reactions and reviews for Cloud Dragons.
See reactions and reviews for The Sixth Happiness.
See reactions and reviews for Dragon Slayer.
See reactions and reviews for Whistling.
See reactions and reviews for Autumn Longing.
See reactions and reviews for The Careful Stranger.

Issue 2

front cover of issue #2, DEW
back cover for issue #2 by DEW

Beside Myself 2 was published in June 1990 and contains 157 pages. The covers are by DEW. The interior art is by Dragon, Kay Wells, Chris Soto, Shellie Whild, SBL, Carol Hedge, Susan Dundas.

From the editorial:

I've had two bitches... er, editors. One (myself) a nagging, ragging, annoying, picky, lazy hellion, the other (Regina) sent from somewhere to tell me the bald, nasty truth. If you like these stories thank her, if you don't... hmmmm, well I guess you can blame me.

There will be NO read that NO more issues of this zine. I found with writing for my own zine, I've had to BUY zines when I have been accustomed to getting contributors copies. I'm far too cheap in this age of expenses and I'm going to write for my... supper from now on.

All of the enclosed stories are original with the exception of Dreams Within Dreams. It's a reprint from Kahntinuing Saga. I've reprinted it because very, very few fans actually got their copies of that zine, and those of you who did, read a non-edited version of this story. Enough said.

Many thanks to Kay Wells for her wonderful interpretations of Beside Myself II. It takes great talent (guts, fortitude... stupidity) to attempt following TSC and to do it in such a resplendent manner. She's one of the fastest, most talented and shortest people (Chris Soto being the other) friends in fandom and I don't know what I'd do without her.

Artists are hard to come by. They fall by the wayside, crisp with burnout, lack of attention, lack of loc's, lack of appreciation and that's all our faults. Dragon (ever faithful and talented), Shellie Whild (laying burning in the Aussie Outback as we speak -- whimper, snivel ((I know, I know, Shellie, nothing is sacred. And Yes, I will try ANYTHING), to get you back)), SBL (as bi-talented as they come and going crazy trying to mix into ten different fandoms as [sic] once), and Chris Soto (who's aging and shrinking as we speak), They all (actually we all need strokes -- any kind) need to be told how you feel about them. Being the kinky, er... kind souls that I know you to be, I'll get a basket for the loc's I KNOW you'll be working on.
  • To Bell the Cat - Lisa Joas (Kirk discovers that, not only did Sylvia rape Spock by morphing into a large male, but that she has invaded the Vulcanʼs body and is now fighting for control of it.) (4)
  • Ice & Fire, poem by Robin Hood (21a)
  • Dreams Within Dreams by Robin Hood (After Kirk and Spockʼs minds are unintentionally invaded by aliens, the after-effects are dreams of each other as their buried desires are given life.) (22)
  • Lost Lamb, poem by Robin Hood (43)
  • The Sleeper Wakes - Pam Smith (Spock remains in a coma weeks after being injured in a collapsed building, even though he is totally healed.) (44)
  • The Soul of Dreams, poem by Cassla Williams (56)
  • Springtime & Tears, poem by Robin Hood (57)
  • Butterfly Wings - Karn Wills (Thinking their captain is asleep, McCoy is able to get Spock to confess his feelings for Kirk as they explore a new life form on a pleasant planet.) (58)
  • Fire Sprite, poem by Robin Hood (67)
  • Beside Myself II: To Those Who Wait - Robin Hood (Spock journeys to the M/U to discover the reason for Kirkʼs anger and depression since returning from there.) (68)
  • Trea'ath by Kathy Tipton (Sarek comforts Amanda as they watch Spock, just reborn after the fal tor pan, remember Kirk.) (96)
  • Vulcan Baiting by Carolyn McTarrell (Kirk finally decides to use his body to try to seduce Spock.) (100)
  • Tinder, poem by Robin Hood (105)
  • Black Rain by Chris Waken (Stranded with an injured Spock, Kirk unknowingly releases his soul to the planet and enters a coma they are unable to pull him from when he and Spock are rescued.) (106)
  • IDIC, poem by Pam Smith (141)
  • Morning Star by Ellen Thacher (Spock teases his lover out of sleep, his need for his bondmate reflected back by the now awakened Kirk.) (142)
  • Brighteyes, poem (155)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

See reactions and reviews for The Sleeper Wakes.
See reactions and reviews for Morning Star.
See reactions and reviews for Dreams Within Dreams.
See reactions and reviews for Vulcan Baiting.
See reactions and reviews for Butterfly Wings.
See reactions and reviews for To Bell the Cat.
See reactions and reviews for Trea'ath.
See reactions and reviews for Black Rain.
See reactions and reviews for To Those Who Wait.
[art by Kay Wells on page 155]: This scene from STIII:TSFS has been done numerous times before, but I've never before seen it depicted with so much texture. The expressions on all three characters look very alive and real. Sarek is particularly well portrayed. [2]

Issue 3

front cover of issue #3, DEW

Beside Myself 3 was published in 1992 and contains 148 pages.

  • The Morning Moon - Wheaton Buckly (Walking together between negotiation meetings on a forest planet, Kirk and Spock accept their love for each other.)
  • The Jaws of Night - Kathy Tipton (M/U: After their run-in with Janice Lester, Kirk recognizes his need for Spock.)
  • Crystal Wall - Kathy Tipton (Spock dreams of three Kirks who all die, causing an emotional upheaval that McCoy must help him work out, and Kirk must help him work through.)
  • Star God - Carol Turner (A/U: Kirk lands on a backwater planet, and is aided by a Vulcan who comes to mean a great deal to him as they fix Kirkʼs ship and grow closer.)
  • The Color Green - Carol Turner (M/U: After meeting the Kirk of this universe, Spock is unable to resist his own. Mirror universe S & M story, with Mirror Kirk taunting and sexually threatening Mirror Spock, who finds it arousing.)
  • Dear Devil - Susan Delon (After he rescues a marooned Spock, Kirk finds the courage to confide his feelings after talking to one of the inhabitants who befriended the Vulcan.) (Spock is stranded on a planet where he becomes their pet, honored, beloved devil. When Kirk finally finds him, one of the aliens encourages the captain to declare himself to the Spock. He does, and is received joyfully. Fade out...)
  • Beside Myself III - Robin Hood (Another transporter split, but this time it's Spock who's torn in two: a Vulcan and a Human. And it is the Vulcan that Kirk is most drawn to.)
  • COVERS by DEW.
  • ART by Cat, Deeb, Dragon, Elizabeth Kay

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

See reactions and reviews for The Morning Moon.
See reactions and reviews for The Jaws of Night.
See reactions and reviews for Crystal Wall.
See reactions and reviews for Star God.
See reactions and reviews for The Color Green.
See reactions and reviews for Dear Devil.
See reactions and reviews for Beside Myself III.
[zine]: This is a K/S zine. On an alien planet. Kirk and Spock have the chance to talk, to discover where their relationship is going. The Mirror characters find that trust and commitment are possible. Spock's visions during a psycho-scan reveal a problem to be shared - and resolved. In an alternate universe Kirk lands on Vulcan to meet and rescue a mute, outcast Spock. In conversation with an alien leader, Kirk learns a lot about himself and Spock. Kirk had always wanted to see a more 'Human' Spock: a transporter accident grants his wish, but is it the Human or the Vulcan Spock he needs?

I was impressed by the variety of stories in this zine; they presented ideas and raised questions, rather than being merely a catalogue of bedioom scenes, and I found several new ideas to consider. The sexual detail is not overwhelming; although it is quite explicit in a few places, most of the stories do not go into specifics.

The cover illos are clever, the front cover being a nude of the 'Human' Spock, the back cover a rear view of the Vulcan. However, you would want to be careful if opening the zine at the breakfast table. [3]

Issue 4

Beside Myself 4 was published in May 1996 and contains 149 pages. Stories and Poetry by: Robin Hood, writing as Kathy Tipton, Sue Cameron and others. Artwork by: Fiona Graves, Kathy Stanis, and Chris Soto.

back cover of issue #4 by Shelley Butler, "Next to You"
front cover of issue #4, Shelley Butler, "Beside Each Other." See The K/S Press #1 for this artwork's history at Worldcon
From the editorial:
Again? Didn't I say once, many years ago that I'd retired all these damn pen names? What the hell happened? Well... there aren't as many zines out there as there once was... I had some Ideas lying around... ok, zooming around... TV surfing was getting exhausting... my life was on hold until my house sells ... I had some great, specific artwork... Shelley was bugging me... ok several people were bugging me ... I was bored at work… who isn't? AND I needed a project to keep me busy Okay, that's enough excuses for now. Hope you like what you find here, I know you'll like the art, something eh? Ms. Soto has outdone herself, Ms. Graves, Ms. Stanis, Ms. Dundas and Ms Butler. You see I get to choose the best Selfish but there you have it, my middle name.
  • Amber Lanterns - Sue Cameron (Kirk follows Spock to another dimension, where the inhabitants of the planet Spock was surveying plan to keep the Vulcan.) (4)
  • To Alfalfa, With Love... - Ellen Thacher (After everything is finally settled between them, Kirk writes a love letter to Spock.) (26)
  • The Nettles - Carol Turner (In the middle of the night, Spock goes to Kirkʼs cabin when vague feelings of unease disturb his sleep.) (32)
  • Touch the Masterpiece - Sue Cameron (After meeting once on Vulcan as youths, Kirk is interested in more than friendship when Spock welcomes him as the new captain of the Enterprise.) (40)
  • Always in Mourning - Carol Turner (A/U: Awakened by the arrival of Terrans to his planet, Spock finds that, during his long sleep as a vampire, all life on Vulcan has died and that his only hope is the young, fair-haired member of the expedition.) (52)
  • Dance in the Shade by Kathy Tipton (After Kirkʼs “death” in the Nexus, Spock travels to an alternate universe to enlist the aid of his bondmateʼs counterpart to save their galaxy.) (70)
  • Shall We Dance - J. Mercedes (At a diplomatic function, Spock takes the initiative and picks Kirk as his dance partner during a “blind” dance.) (90)
  • Beside Myself IV: Ruby Sands - Robin Hood (Kirk and Spock travel to Vulcanʼs past to clear up the mystery of why close varients of their names, Spʼock and Jamʼes, exist in that time.) (98)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

See reactions and reviews for Amber Lanterns.
See reactions and reviews for To Alfalfa, With Love....
See reactions and reviews for Dance in the Shade.
See reactions and reviews for The Nettles.
See reactions and reviews for Touch the Masterpiece.
See reactions and reviews for Always in Mourning.
See reactions and reviews for Shall We Dance.
See reactions and reviews for Ruby Sands.
[zine]: I gave a lot of thought as to how to express my feelings for this zine. But the one emotion I kept experiencing was joy. Joy in these characters— a celebration of Kirk and Spock from the point of view of a wide-eyed, brand new K/Ser, right? Well, not exactly. As most of you know, Robin has been active in K/S fandom for many years, yet you'd never know it from this zine. Each story is fresh and new. imbued with such love and joy of Kirk and Spock that they just fill your heart with emotion. I'm serious—it is so amazing that Robin is still able to capture that innocence of pleasure that we all felt the very first time we read a K/S story. This supposedly jaded, seen-it-all writer should be pretty tough by now. No—these stories are soft and tender. loving and gentry humorous, filled with some of Robin's trademark poetry. Along with all the feelings are some damn fine plots and situations. I'm not saying it's all perfectly written, but it just doesn't matter. I enjoyed each story and for the most part ended up ignoring the writing flaws.

AMBER LANTERNS is the first story, surprisingly so as I think it's too harsh to begin the zine. Still, it's a strong story of Kirk and Spock as they beam down to a planet and Spock disappears. Kirk discovers he's trapped in another dimension by aliens and through the psychic joining with an alien lieutenant, watches as Spock is beaten and raped. It's pretty graphic, but there are wonderful feelings of intense love as Kirk desperately saves him.

TO ALFALFA, WITH LOVE is small, clever story written as a handwritten letter from Kirk to Spock about their relationship. This story really grew on me and has a unique charm. Kirk is at his feisty best and his attempts at revealing his feelings are neat. At first I didn't care for the title, but when I read the closing, I understood it and loved it.

THE NETTLES opens with Spock watching Kirk as he sleeps. Kirk has a dream wherein he and Spock are kidnaped by aliens and tied up and tortured. However we don't learn of the dream first hand. It's done in a unique way as Spock discovers what the dream is about by questioning a semiconscious Kirk. Spock realizes that Kirk is dreaming about protecting and caring for him and I loved the quiet excitement that Spock felt.

TOUCH THE MASTERPIECE is a delightful story of Spock coming to an art exhibit and seeing a golden Kirk, who. in a little twist, is an attache to an ambassador. Wonderful moment as Spock is smitten by this vision and beautiful writing like: "It was most unnerving. I took refuge in dignity." Adorable moments like: "Finally and truly I know what my mother has always called tongue-tied. She was correct How she would have enjoyed this moment. And how grateful I was that she was not present." Vivid electricity sparks between them and there's a delightful surprise at the end as their destinies intertwine. "My heart bloomed into the experience." Definitely one of my favorites.

ALWAYS IN MOURNING is Spock as an awakened vampire. Beautiful, haunting poetic language abounds— "My eyes grasp the dark eyed gaze watching from the silver glass. I see a man of eons past blended with a ghost from a cloudy future."

DANCE IN SHADE concerns the ribbon time thing in an alternate universe. Lots of angst and a bittersweet, poignant ending that I was glad was an alternate universe.

SHALL WE DANCE is a lovely little metaphoric story about Kirk and Spock dancing together. I have always loved the image of them dancing together- elegant in tuxedos. " 'I will take you. Jim. And you will take me.'" Oh boy.

RUBY SANDS is a long and intriguing story, very complex, of Kirk and Spock going back into Vulcan's past to discover-their alternate universe selves. They travel out into the desert (nicely depicted) in an attempt to bring the warrior Kirk and Spock together and set the time line straight. Despite some difficulties of not quite being sure where they are or how they got there. Robin creates a wonderful depiction of the band of warriors and the tribes along with very exciting trials and tribulations as K and S go on their journey. Wait, there's more! Some wonderful art work— Susan Dundas drew an illo accompanying a -story showing naked K and S bound and chained.

Fiona Graves did a gorgeous portrait of Kirk with an intricate and beautiful border. Kathy Stanis graces us with Spock with a wondrous expression as Kirk lifts his uniform tunic..mysterious and sensual as we only see the back of Kirk's head. And what an expression on Spock! Kathy beautifully captured a truly sublime moment. Chris Soto drew an elegant Spock in cape and tuxedo (one of my favorite things). His expression is noble yet there's an openness to it. Of course I imagine he's looking at Kirk from across the room. BESIDE MYSELF IV is such a fun and involving read from one of our treasures of fandom. I highly recommend it. [7]


  1. ^ from Come Together #14
  2. ^ from The LOC Connection #19
  3. ^ from IDIC #28
  4. ^ from Come Together #32
  5. ^ from Come Together #32
  6. ^ from Come Together #32
  7. ^ from Come Together #32