California K/S

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Zine
Title: California K/S
Publisher: Noel Silva
Editor(s):
Date(s): 1984-1986
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre: slash
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

The California K/S series of zines are big, solid zines (200+ pages) with color covers, interior art, poetry, and of course, lots of stories, all edited and published by Noel Silva. Many of her tribbers were also from southern California, and put out zines of their own.

Some summaries below are by Gilda F.

The First Issue: California K/S

California K/S was published in June 1984.

front cover of issue #1, Caren P. This image has been marked as sexually explicit and has been minimised. -- "Talk about an eye-catching front cover! All that skin! For those of you who aren’t fortunate enough to have seen this particular masterpiece by [Caren P.] (those of you who have are probably still breathing heavily), the cover features a completely naked Jim and Spock kissing. Kisses are especially hard to do and this one is quite nice, but frankly the last thing I’m looking at are their mouths. Have I mentioned the lovely shading of their skin? I’ve always thought that Spock has a perfectly lovely rounded butt, and it’s displayed to perfection here, along with his double ridges, which are just starting to take notice of what’s in store for them within a very few minutes. And can you believe that it was a very long time before I realized that Kirk’s nicely-veined and thickened, uh, penis and, uh, accoutrements (I especially like the accoutrements) are also not only visible but giving adequate reason for why some ancient societies thought phallic worship a very worthwhile occupation. Not us, of course. We’ve moved beyond that. Haven’t we? Have I mentioned the glorious shading up Spock’s back, or the lovely tension in Kirk’s arm as he leans back on it the better to lean forward into pressing his mouth to Spock’s? Or the utterly delightful way his right leg is raised slightly and bent at the knee, the better for his t’hy’la to lean upon it. Seems to me to be a wonderful position that should be repeated frequently. Somebody owns the original of this picture! If you’re reading this, would you consider mentioning me in your will?" [1]

It has novellas by Alayne Gelfand and Kathy Resch and stories and poetry by Meg Fine, Ruth Kwitko Lym, Tere Ann Roderick, Noel Silva, TACS, Jan Sullivan, Robin Hood, Laura, Wendy Rathbone, Georgia Barnes, Sandra Gent, and Virginia Green.

The art is by Caren P, Gayle F. (back cover), TACS, Artemis, Sharon Garinger, Marilyn Cole, and Georgia Barnes.

  • I'd Prefer an Aspirin by Meg Fine (3)
  • Continuum by Ruth Kwitiko Lym (art by Artemis) (4)
  • A Song of Love by TACS (art by TACS) (6)
  • San Francisco is a Beautiful Lady by Tere Ann Roderick (art by Maureen B.) (10) (Together after VʼGer, Kirk wants a night out on the town together to seduce Spock, but their future, though clearer, is still unsure.)
  • Soul Searching by Noel Lee Silva (art by Sharon Garinger) (40)
back cover of issue #1, Gayle F. This image has been marked as sexually explicit and has been minimised.
  • Soliloquy by Jan Sullivan (art by Marilyn Cole) (41)
  • Secret Garden by Robin Hood (44)
  • Rain by Laura (44)
  • Before Ever the Sea by Alayne Gelfand (art by TACS) (45) (Kirk and Spock are both raped while on the Roman planet, creating a barrier between them when both try to hide that fact from each other, both afraid of how the other will react.)
  • Thoughts Before Kolinahr by Wendy Rathbone (103)
  • T'hy'la Lost by Wendy Rathbone (103)
  • The Shape of a Vulcan by Wendy Rathbone (104)
  • Devil by Wendy Rathbone (104)
  • The Brave by Robin Hood (105)
  • Come by Robin Hood (105)
  • K/S-vs-J/S-vs-K/X by Georgia Barnes (art by Barnes) (106)
  • Tapestry of Two Lives - Kirk by Meg Fine (114)(This poem won a 1985 K/Star Award)
  • Kirk and Spock Portrait Gallery by Caren Parnes (119)
  • Tapestry of Two Lives - Spock by Meg Fine (126)
  • Vampires by Wendy Rathbone (art by Caren Parnes) (131)
  • Turning the Other Cheek by Sandra Gent (133) (Kirk and Spock stay with Spockʼs mother while the ship is in drydock over Vulcan, with plans to tell her of their bond.)
  • A Bond of Fire by Noel Lee Silva (art by TACS) (142)
  • A Snowball's Chance in Hell by Virginia Green (144)
  • "Beyond the Barrier" by Kathy Resch (art by Marilyn Cole) (146) (Sent with another starship to check out a disturbance near the edge of the galaxy, all the telepaths on both crews are attacked by a psychic energy, causing Spock to break his bond to Kirk.)
  • And Truth is a Bitter Wind by Meg Fine (222) (While being taken to a starbase, the commander of a destroyed Romulan ship comes to learn the ways of the Federation and of the bond between the Enterprise captain and first officer.)
  • Return by Robin Hood )252)
  • More Than Friends by Wendy Rathbone (art by Sharon Garinger) (253)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for Beyond the Barrier.
See reactions and reviews for San Francisco is a Beautiful Lady.
See reactions and reviews for Before Ever the Sea.
See reactions and reviews for Turning the Other Cheek.
See reactions and reviews for And Truth is a Bitter Wind.
See reactions and reviews for K/S-vs-J/S-vs-K/X.
[the art by Caren Parnes]: WOW—what can I say, I just got this zine in the post this morning, having bought it very cheaply second hand, I had no idea this art was in this zine and now I feel I have a real bargain. Caren P is certainly one of the very, very best artists that our fandom has. These few pages of art have three matching pairs of portraits of Kirk and Spock, a colour one, a TOS one and a movies one. The best technically, though they are all good, is the colour one of Spock, you can see the very texture of his hair and skin even down to the scar on his cheek! These colour pictures look like photo's of the art which have been stuck in separately, they are glued on to the zine. I am amazed they are still there after so many years! There is also a fantastic one of the movie Spock, how Caren has captured that slight smile in his eyes I'll just never know, looks like its done with a pencil wash, a hard medium to control and very well handled. I think this might be my favourite picture of Spock ever yet, though I have so many favourites! The TOS portrait of Kirk is a very good likeness indeed, the movies one I think even more so. Again Kirk eyes are very striking as they look up and away (at Spock?). Kirk is so hard to draw, but looking at these pictures of him by Caren, I stop trying to see how another artist has handled it and just appreciate the picture as a whole, they are that convincing! Now even if every story in this zine is a disaster I am delighted to own it for those six pages alone! [2]
[zine]: What a pretty zine. From the beautiful pencil front cover to the delicate inked back cover, the art in this zine is nice! All of the stories and poems are nicely bordered, and the colored pencil portraits of Kirk and Spock are almost worth the cost of the zine by themselves. Wonder of wonders, the stories pretty much live up to the art. There are only 6 stories in the zine, and most of them are between 30-80 pages. Good long meaty stories. The poetry is clearly marked on the Table of Contents. Much of the poetry is nice and long as well. It is nice to see whole coherent pieces come together in a story or poem, instead of the fragments that many of us put to paper. I can definitely recommend this one. None of the stories herein are likely to become known as classics but they are good solid stories, written with close attention to the characters. There is a consistent feel to the stories as well, denoting a strong editorial hand at work—nice to see! There is wide variety in the relationships shown as well. Two of them are first time, one is a tell Amanda, and three long term relationship stories. The only bad part about this review is that I borrowed the zine, and now that I've finished reviewing it, she's going to make me give it back. Now I'll have to go and buy my own. [3]
[zine]: From the front cover (a gorgeous Caren Parnes nude lip-lock) through the back cover (one of Gayle F‘s beautifully intricate fantasy pieces), California K/S is a delight. ... In the middle of all this wonderful fiction [see individual articles for this fan's comments] is a gorgeous Caren Parnes portrait gallery bracketed by "Tapestry of Two Lives: Kirk" and the follow-up, "Tapestry of Two Lives: Spock" by Meg Fine. The original zine has two color plates, one of Kirk and one of Spock, set in parenthesis of two pencil drawings each of Kirk and Spock. Simply lovely.

Sprinkled throughout the zine are handfuls of poetry by such poets as Ruth Kwitko Lym, Noel Lee Silva, Jan Sullivan, Robin Hood, Wendy Rathbone, Meg Fine, TACS and Virginia Green. My favorite poetry is a group of four brief yet to-the-point poems by Wendy Rathbone. Each is a vivid image, each is fit into a tight capsule of neatly chosen words. The four-lined "Thoughts Before Kolinahr" reads: "Fire clouds bloom in the distance./Time is disjointed./Long hair scrapes my neck./I think of starships and the past." As with most of Wendy‘s poetry, this is direct yet evocative of so much more than mere words. Also throughout the zine is some glorious art by Artimus, TACS, Maureen B, Marilyn Cole, Georgia Barnes, Caren and Sharon Garinger. My favorite pieces are the first and last pencil pieces by Caren in the portfolio, both of an older, more world-weary Kirk and Spock. But for illustration value, I have to say that I‘m most impressed with the pieces TACS did for my story. Call me prejudiced but there you are.

This is a collection of work from some of the best writers, poets and artists K/S ever saw, all of them from California. All in all, a great read. [4]

The Second Issue: Greater California K/S

Greater California K/S was published in 1985 and contains 194 pages and 9 stories.

front cover of issue #2, Gayle F -- "How to describe the covers of this 194 page zine produced in 1985? First, they‘re Gayle F. Second, they‘re full color. Third, well, it‘s actually one piece split in two to make the front and back covers and there are strategically spaced Birds of Paradise all over the back cover. Kirk‘s on the front cover with the most blatant cover-hither look and Spock is on the back cover with an 'Oh yeah? No, you come here' look. It‘s one of the most beautiful K/S covers I‘ve ever seen. Vivid color reproduction, quality A+." [5]
back cover of issue #2, Gayle F

It has stories and poetry by Ruth Kwitko Lym, Kathy Resch, Dovya Blacque, Natasha Solten, Artemis, M.E.B., Alta, Patt, Ann Carver, Donna Vanderlaan and Alexis Fegan Black. The art is by Georgia Barnes, Marilyn Cole, Gayle F, Caro Hedge and Maureen B..

  • The Human Kind of Love by Indra (Kirk is ordered to temporarily take command of an all-Vulcan ship while Spock sees to the overhaul of that shipʼs computers.) (3)
  • Possibilities, poem by Kathy Resch (45)
  • A Question of Trust by Jan Sullivan (Spock is angered when McCoy, accidently learning that Spock and Kirk are bonded, and he reacts badly.) (47)
  • The Universe, poem by Ruth Kwito Lym (53)
  • Tease, poem by Kathy Resch (54)
  • An Exchange of Ideas, Survivors, Child of the Mind, poems by Dovya Blacque (57)
  • Charisma by Natasha Solten, also in Charisma #1 (After his personal logs from the five year mission are illegally published, Kirk fears Spockʼs reaction to what he was written concerning their friendship and Kirkʼs feelings for the Vulcan.) (59)
  • Dream Dance, poem by Natasha Solten (77)
  • When the Night has been Lonely, poem by Artemis (78)
  • And the Road Has Been Long, poem by Artemis (79)
  • Night in Winter by Tere Ann Roderick (Kirk is withdrawn and depressed and Spock finds that even with oneʼs bondmate one sometimes has to talk things out as they do when Spock wakes one night to find Kirk up.) (80)
  • Unsolicited Invitation, poem by M.E.B. (107)
  • Forever Fire by Robin Hood (Spock talks Kirk into returning with him to Sarpedionʼs past to supply Zarabeth with things to make her exile easier.) (93)
  • From Choice by Vivian Gates (A/U: Just as Kirk is getting his doctorate, his servant Spockʼs time of indentureship is ending.) (111)
  • Merlin, Puzzle, Soul, Vulcan, poems by Alta (91)
  • Nivar, Kirk & Spock, poem by Alta (92)
  • Arguments Can Be Fun, poem by M.E.B. (107)
  • Heat, poem by Natasha Solten (125)
  • Control, Me Too, A Possibility, poems by Patt (127)
  • Lights, Easy Love poem by Patt (128)
  • Before I Sleep by Ann Carver (Kirk fears he is “tempting the gods” when, after being bonded to Spock for 6 years and having the Enterprise, he feels that he has all one could wish for.) (129)
  • Storm, Whispers, poems by Ann Carver (130)
  • Are There Stars, poem by Alexis Fegan Black (144)
  • In Shame's Wake by Dovya Blacque (Spock is distressed by what is revealed when, taken over by Kolos, they have a conversation with Kirk about jealously and desire.) (146)
  • Premonition, Is Logic the Answer, Observing, poems by Donna Vanderlaan (164)
  • Seed of the Triad by Marilyn Cole (When Kirk and Spock beam down to an arctic planet, Spockʼs telepathic abilities accidentally kill the male of the last of his species but with Kirkʼs help is able to take his place is creating a "child" with the last female.) (166)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

See reactions and reviews for From Choice.
See reactions and reviews for Charisma.
See reactions and reviews for The Human Kind of Love.
See reactions and reviews for A Question of Trust.
See reactions and reviews for Night in Winter.
See reactions and reviews for Forever Fire.
See reactions and reviews for Before I Sleep.
See reactions and reviews for In Shame's Wake.
See reactions and reviews for Seed of the Triad.
[zine]: Gayle F did the cover for this zine which should tell you something about it right from the start. Add to that the fact that her artwork is done in color and you know you have a zine here worth reckoning with. "From Choice" written by Vivian Gates is an original "alternate universe" story. Here we have our Kirk as a Professor of Archeology and Spock is his indentured servant. Instead of offering us a Spock who is confident and self assured, we have a Spock who is down in his luck with no self-reipect and no place. to fit in. Kirk is a compassionate person who takes Spock under his wing offering him emotional support and a future. This is a very touching story and I hope that Ms. Gates writes a sequel to it. I would love to come back and visit the Kirk and Spock she created just to see how far they've gone. "Charisma" by Natasha Solten shows us what it would be like if Kirk's personal logs were printed in book form. What would Spock's reaction be to this? Here's your chance to find out. By exposing Kirk's inner most feelings we are able to see how the two of them move closer to a much more intimate and satisfying relationship. "The Human Kind of Love" by Indra gives us a situation which is suppose to be Kirk's worst kind of nightmare. He is assigned to be the captain of a ship full of Vulcan's. Because he feels so incompetent as he is, he strives to be Vulcan like. This wears him down mentally and physically... and as we all know 'Humans aren't Vulcans' anyway. So how come Kirk didn't know this?? Why does Mr. Spock have to explain it to him. Why is Kirk so self-conscious? I just don't buy the fact that our Kirk would be this insecure of himself. Anyway, I did find the concept interesting, even if it was unlikely. The best story for me in this zine was done by Marilyn Cole. Not only does she do wonderful artwork (you can see it all thru this zine) but she writes as well. "Seed of the Triad" was touching, moving, well-written, well-edited, original and intense. An alien is put into the position of being the "third". We are offered some interesting Vulcan philosophical ideas and well as some highly erotic encounters. This is a must read done by quite a talent. GREATER CALIFORNIA K/S comes highly recommended. Noel Silva knows how to put together a good fanzine. [6]
[zine]:It was the artwork that first attracted me to this zine, & while I wouldn't buy a zine just for the artwork, it certainly helps. It has gorgeous color covers by Gayle F and a noteably fine art portfolio by Marilyn Cole. As if proving her artistic competence weren't sufficient, Marilyn Cole provides us with a brilliant story in this zine called "Seed of the Triad". This is a first time that arises in the context of a triad with an alien. What doesn't this story have? It's well-written, it's original, it's emotionally intense, it's highly erotic and it contains some interesting Vulcan philosophical concepts. I would be hard put to find a flaw. What particularly struck me was that Marilyn was able to show us a sexual encounter that had broad philosophical implications without preaching. Plot and theme are well-integrated and I was amazed by how much occult symbolism I found in "Seed of the Triad". I don't know whether the author intended it or not, but this is another level at which the story can be read. For those who are interested, I've written a separate easay on the occult symbolism in this story. Send me a SASE and I'll mail you a copy. The Marilyn Cole story in itself would be worth the price of the zine, but there's also a really good story by Vivian Gates. Her story, "From Choice", takes place in an original AU in which Kirk is a Professor of Archaeology and Spock is his indentured servant. Vivian shows us how this came about convincingly and the emotional interaction is quite moving. In this story, Spock is a man who has hit bottom. He has no self-respect and only a marginal place in any society. I loved reading of how Kirk began to restore Spock's self-image and of the ambitions Kirk had for Spock's future. It would be wonderful to see a sequel to this story. If Vivian would be so good as to write one, we would find out how far this Spock was able to progress and how much acceptance he was able to attain. "Charisma" by Natasha Solten is also good, though I have one technical nit-pick. The story revolves around Kirk and Spock's reaction to the publication of Kirk's personal logs in book form. I was under the impression that books are no longer published in the 23rd century and are quite rare. Even now many authors send their book manuscripts to publishers on disc for computer access. It's only a matter of time before the first novels are released in disc form, and eventually that may well be the only form. Otherwise, "Charisma" shows us a Kirk and Spock moving toward first time intimacy in an emotionally satisfying way. I have another nitpick about Tere Ann Roderick's "A Night in Winter". Toward the end we are told that Spock is T'Pau's heir. This is merely mentioned and has nothing to do with the plot. However, in the context of a mainline Trek situation where Spock has hardly spent any time on Vulcan since he entered Starfleet Academy, I find the idea that Spock is T'Pau's heir preposterous. Even in the unlikely situation that T'Pau is merely a ceremonial figurehead, she wouldn't permit Spock to stay in space and endanger himself. She would use her famous influence to ground Spock so fast it would make even his Vulcan head spin. I don't believe for a minute that T'Pau is only a figurehead, though. Vulcan has no need of figureheads and a figurehead would scarcely command the power that T'Pau exhibits in "Amok Time". Therefore, I assume she has a significant leadership position on Vulcan which has specific duties and which requires training for anyone who succeeds her. It would be logical for her successor to spend a great deal of time at her side watching how T'Pau performs her office. Spock as a man who has dedicated himself to Starfleet, couldn't do this. So he is an entirely inappropriate heir to T'Pau, and I can't accept that he would be given such a position. Authors pay attention to details before you make careless statements such as this one. By far the least convincing story in GREATER CALIFORNIA K/S is "The Human Kind of Love" by Indra. I an willing to give this story credit for an interesting concept, but that's as far as I will go. Kirk is assigned to command a ship crewed entirely by Vulcans. It is observed in the beginning that this would be Kirk's worst nightmare. I disagree. He's supposedly the best Captain in the fleet. If he is, then commanding a Vulcan crew would present a challenge to Kirk but Kirk enjoys challenges. He would be confident from the outset that he could win their loyalty, as he won Spock's. It would just be a matter of finding the right style and approach. Kirk has the ability and the intelligence. He could do it within a week. Instead we are presented with the unedifying spectacle of a floundering Kirk who has nearly destroyed himself physically and mentally attempting to be Vulcan when he surely knows he can't be Vulcan. Even if Kirk didn't have the intelligence to realize this, Spock could easily have foreseen the consequences of such an attempt and warned Kirk not to try it before the assignment ever began. Kirk would have seen that he could be respected for what he is, and I doubt that Spock would really have needed to point it out to him. Thinking that he must prove himself in Vulcan terms implies a sense of human inferiority and a lack of self-confidence that I would be readier to believe of Spock than Kirk. This story underestimates both Kirk and Spock rather seriously. I wish Indra had thought out her concept with more thoroughness before she sat down and wrote. Not every story in a zine can be brilliant or even good. I am usually glad to recommend a zine if it contains one good story, but this one is exceptional for the proportion of noteable stories within its pages. Yet the great wonder of GREATER CALIFORNIA K/S is Marilyn Cole. Anyone who doesn't get to see her art work and her superb story has been deprived of an extraordinary experience. [7]
[art and poetry]: Poetry in this issue comes from [Kathy Resch], Ruth Kwinto Lym, Dovya Blacque, Natasha Solten, M.E.B., Patt, Ann Carver, Alexis Fegan Black and Donna Vanderlaan. Once again I have to pick a poem by Natasha Solten as my favorite in the zine. The final stanza of 'Heat' reads: 'Heat is a trembling in the limbs/and heart, when you are near,/squeezing all thought from the void of mind/until only sensation is left,/an intense and thrilling pleasure/in expectation of forbidden touch.' Lyrical and vivid as always.

Art, aside from the remarkable cover by Gayle, comes from Georgia Barnes, Marilyn Cole and Maureen B – and there‘s another illo by Gayle inside. My favorite piece is a Maureen B piece for my story (and I‘m not choosing it because it‘s from my story but because I think it‘s lovely), 'In Shame‘s Wake', on page 150A. Also inside is a gorgeous portfolio of Marilyn Cole art. Marilyn‘s art tends toward the fantastical or AU side of things so I find it surprising and refreshing that the last piece in the collection appears, at least to me, to be 'our' Spock even though he‘s in chains! Very, very nice.

Overall, an excellent read. A really cool flash-back for me to read, stepping back in time 25 years to this wonderful collection of classic K/S. [8]

The Third Issue: Still More California K/S

front cover of issue #3, Marilyn Cole
back cover of issue #3, Marilyn Cole

Still More California K/S was published in 1986 and contains 160 pages. Art by Marilyn Cole, Gayle F, Maureen B., Alexis Fegan Black, Wendy Rathbone, and Shellie Whild.

  • The Same Old Story by Gloria Jean Oberste (IC)
  • Before I Left by Donna Vanderlaan (1)
  • The Meaning of Joy by Donna Vanderlaan (2)
  • A Modicum of Magic by Indra (Spock is abducted from his bondmateʼs cabin and taken to a magical land.) (3)
  • I Promise by Chris Waken (33)
  • Twilight Rising by Chris Waken (34)
  • Love Itself Must Rest by Tere Ann Roderick (Kirk takes a desk job after mistakenly thinking Spock is going back to Vulcan permanently two months after VʼGer.) (36)
  • The Silent Stars by Robin Hood (Just as Kirk and Spock become lovers and plan to bond, Spock is called upon to act as a healer for a Vulcan in pon farr whose mate is not near but Kirk misunderstands when he discovers them together.) (70)
  • Black's Gold by Donna Vanderlaan (76)
  • Decision by Nima (79)
  • Isolation by Alta (A/U: Kirk wins the slave Spock in a card game but changes his mind about selling him after seeing the conditions in the slave market.) (80)
  • Wishing by Tere Ann Roderick (96)
  • About Love by Tere Ann Roderick (97)
  • Where are You Tonight? by Donnna Vanderlaan (98)
  • Sea Thief by Vivian Gates (an A/U Kirk is brought into Captain Spockʼs cabin when he is found stealing from the shipʼs stores.) (100)
  • As I Held You by Donna Vanderlaan (109)
  • The Longest Day by Dovya Blacque (110)
  • One Hell of a Night by Donna Vanderlaan (Kirk and Spock are caught in a sudden storm while on a planet survey and take refuge in a house that reminds Kirk of a haunted house out of a movie, a comparison that they find is closer than they first thought.) (111)
  • Gv'Tha Fra V'Tan by M.E.B. (129)

Art:

  • Marilyn Cole (front and back covers)
  • Gayle F
  • Maureen B.
  • Alexis Fegan Black
  • Wendy Rathbone
  • Shellie Whild (inside back cover)

The Fourth Issue: California K/S 4 Play

front cover of issue #4, Maureen B.
back cover of issue #4, Gayle F.

California K/S 4 Play is undated and is 226 pages long. It contains 25 stories, poems and illustrations.

Stories and poetry by Flora Poste, Angel C. Soie, Robin Hood, Cybel Harper, Judi, V.B., D.A. Martin, Alta, Faille, Liz Ellington, Venisa I. Duvetyn, and Nima.

Art by Gayle F., Chris Soto, Marilyn Cole and Maureen B..

  • Fair Exchange by Sarah Shrader (A post-STIV situation, after Kirk's trial for the destruction of the Enterprise, where Spock accompanies a depressed Kirk to his beach home outside of San Francisco. The Vulcan helps the human re-dlscover their relationship and overcome his guilt over all that has happened.)
  • Just by Looking by Angel C. Soie (a post-STTMP vignette where Spock demonstrates his newly-developed telekinetic powers to Kirk while the two are getting ready for bed.)
  • A Night of Rain by Robin Hood (a short piece and presents an aged Kirk waiting for Spock to come home.)
  • No Other Touch by Cybel Harper (It concerns Spock accompanying Kirk on shore leave, as the captain is feeling guilty over a recent, traumatic mission. )
  • After the Fall by M.E.B. (64 pages)
  • Revenge by D.A. Martin (a Klingon holds a phaser on captives Kirk and Spock and orders them to make love to each other. They are rescued before things get too serious, but they soon continue on the ship.)
  • "Living" In America by Faille (post-STIV situation where Kirk reflects back on he and Spock's two "first times" as Spock helps an inebriated McCoy back to his cabin.)
  • Patterns by Liz Ellington (Kirk and Spock each separately tell McCoy about their feelings for each other.)
  • New Beginnings by Venisa Duvetyn (invisible aliens secretly prompt Kirk and Spock to act on their feelings, as the resulting sexual activity helps to ensure the fertility of the alien race.)
  • The Eighth Day by Indra (34 pages long, sequel to "Romulan Code, Romulan Regrets" (by Jessica Daigneault), which appeared in Daring Attempt #3. "The Eighth Day" begins eight days after the explosion in the prison which injured Spock. Kirk and Spock must now try to continue with their lives and hope that Kirk is really as resigned to their forced bond and sexual situation as he claims to be.)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

See reactions and reviews for Fair Exchange.
See reactions and reviews for Just by Looking.
See reactions and reviews for A Night of Rain.
See reactions and reviews for No Other Touch.
See reactions and reviews for After the Fall.
See reactions and reviews for Revenge.
See reactions and reviews for "Living" In America.
See reactions and reviews for Patterns.
See reactions and reviews for New Beginnings.
See reactions and reviews for The Eighth Day.
[zine]: This 226-page zine is put together with a curious mixture of flair and conservatism. The title pages for each story are nicely decorated. The titles for each of the poems aren't bolded are even done in enlarged type. The nonreduced typeface is clean, but the pages themselves seem rather plain, with a lot of white around the margins. There are only three interior illustrations, but they are splendid examples of Chris Soto's and Marilyn Cole's talents. The front cover of my zine has an erotic illo by Gayle F, the back cover a beautiful illo by Maureen B. According to the table of contents, [Maureen B's] illo should have been on the front cover and [Gayle F's] on the back. Of course, the most important, thing about any zine is the quality of stories, and I'm afraid I found most of those in this zine to be rather mundane and unmemorable. "Fair Exchange", by Sarah Shrader, is a post-STIV situation where Spock accompanies a depressed Kirk to his beach home outside of San Francisco. The Vulcan helps the human rediscover their relationship and overcome his guilt over all that has happened. I had some problems reading this in that I sometimes wasn't sure if "he", "him", or like" referred to Kirk or Spock, and I always find it distracting when the narrator refers to Kirk as "Jim". I also thought this story tried to cover too much psychological ground with its brief flashbacks. "Just by Looking", by Angel Soie, is a post-ST:TMP vignette where Spock demonstrates his newly-developed telekinetlc powers to Kirk while the two are getting ready for bed. There isn't much point to it, but it was rather amusing. Robin Hood's "A Night of Rain" is another short piece and presents an aged Kirk waiting for Spock to come home. This vignette was intense and captivating at first, but, unfortunately, it fizzled out when the author suddenly got a carried away with exclamation marks. [Cybel Harper's] "No Other Touch" is another story that seemed to fizzle out at the end, but otherwise It was probably the most touching story in the zine. It concerns Spock accompanying Kirk on shore leave, as the captain is feeling guilty over a recent, traumatic mission. This story was very well written, but the way Kirk and Spock discover their truth was too trite for my taste. "After the Fall", by M.E.B., is the longest story in the zlne (64 pages), and I may have enjoyed it a lot more if it hadn't been so difficult to read and wasn't yet another "Spock brainwashed and turned into a slave" story. The difficult reading stemmed from the fact that the author uses almost no transitionary phrases to get the reader from one scene to the next. This results in reading that is choppy and leaves one with the feeling that the story is being told in short cuts. Another annoying trait was that the author kept referring to Kirk as 'the young captain". I didn't see the point in constantly reminding us of his age. As for the story itself, it begins after 'The Paradise Syndrome" and presents a Kirk who hasn't quite recovered from being zapped by the oblisk, and who is therefore blaming Spock for the death of his wife. Spock resigns from Starfleet via an admiral on a starbase and obtains false identification, so no one can find him, and gets a job in engineering on a lowly freighter. He is raped by an officer on the ship over a period of time, escapes, then is captured by slavers. Thankfully, we aren't given the details of his drugging, brainwashing, and slave training. He ends up at a brothel on a planet of cruel aliens. Eventually, he is rescued and transported to Vulcan, where the healers there are able to help him not only recover from his ordeal, but to acknowledge the tentative link that had developed between he and Kirk before he left the ship. I thought Kirk's characterization was off throughout most of the story, and he came across as rather childish at times. The one aspect of this story that I did like was the Vulcan healer, Selek. He was a well-developed character-warm, gentle, and caring, but still Vulcan. Overall, this novella had too much 'tell" and too little "show" and could only have benefitted from some good editing. "Revenge", by D.A. Martin, is an unoriginal plot where a Klingon holds a phaser on captives Kirk and Spock and orders them to make love to each other. Thankfully, they are rescued before things get too serious, but, of course, they soon continue on the ship. If nothing else, this story was erotic. Faille's "'Living' In America" is a humorous, plotless post-STIV situation where Kirk reflects back on he and Spock's two "first times". Liz Ellington's "Patterns" was one of the best stories in the zine, and presents Kirk and Spock each separately telling McCoy about their feelings for each other. The doctor's initial reaction to Kirk's confession, which came first, was unprofessional and cruel, but otherwise this story was well told and had a tender, moving sex scene. "New Beginnings" is a light-hearted read where invisible aliens secretly prompt Kirk and Spock to act on their feelings, as the resulting sexual activity helps to ensure the fertility of the alien race. I enjoyed this story and its tender sense of innocence. My favorite story in the zine was the last piece, 'The Eighth Day", by Indra. It is a 35-page sequel to "Romulan Code, Romulan Regrets" (by Jessica Dalgneault), which appeared in DARING ATTEMPT 3. I've always thought of the latter as a very intriguing and memorable story, and while the sequel doesn't have the same degree of intensity, it Is still a good read. The Eighth Day" begins eight days after the explosion in the prison which injured Spock. It is a difficult time for both Kirk and Spock, as the two must now try to continue with their lives and hope that Kirk is really as resigned to their forced bond and sexual situation as he claims to be. The conflicts within both characters-and between them-are very well depicted. They finally come to a point where those conflicts seem to be resolved, but then the two are rescued, which changes the situation completely, as they must now return to an environment where Spock's rape of Kirk's mind and body can only be viewed as the worst kind of crime. This is a thorough, satisfying story and one that, despite it all, has a happy ending. In short, CALIFORNIA K/S 4 PLAY is difficult to recommend, as it contains little that is unique or unusual. Fans of "Romulan Code, Romulan Regrets" will probably want to purchase it for 'The Eighth Day" alone, but the K/Sers who skip it won't be missing much. [9]

References

  1. from The K/S Press #40
  2. from The K/S Press #101
  3. from Not Tonight, Spock! #8
  4. from The K/S Press #161
  5. from The K/S Press #162
  6. from Datazine #41
  7. from Not Tonight Spock! #12
  8. from The K/S Press #162
  9. from On the Double #7/8