Dagger of the Mind

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Title: Dagger of the Mind
Publisher: Fern Marder and Carol Walske Press
Editor(s): Fern Marder & Carol Walske
Date(s): 1980
Medium: print zine
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links: listing in Star Trek Zinedex
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
front cover of Dagger of the Mind, Carol Walske
back cover of Dagger of the Mind, Carol Walske

Dagger of the Mind is a 156-page gen Star Trek: TOS anthology edited by Fern Marder & Carol Walske. Three full page illos by Alice Jones. Front and back cover by Carol Walske. Other art by Mei-Moi Lee, Nan Lewis, Fern Marder, P.S. Nim and Kyrol Waters.

From the Editorial

So you want to do a Star Trekzine. .. Or. .. What are we doing out here negotiating with all these humans, Vulcans, etc. . .

Dagger has been quite an experience. After producing mostly in-house projects, we suddenly found ourselves out in the brave new world of a general Trek con tribution zine. As usual, this zine just sort of snuck up on us. After nine months of publishing six Nu Ormenel projects and editing two zines for friends, we found ourselves talking randomly about general Trekzines. That was September of '79. Two weeks and a large phone bill later [1], we had a writers' draft deadline of December 31. Artwork in April. Publish in May. Aargh! There've been a lot of conferences. A lot of sharing. We've learned a lot. We hope we've taught a little. There were good days and bad days—praise bet o those contributors who helped us through those bad days… We hit an unusual problem in March: our page-count estimate had climbed to a frightening 192 pages. That's 96 sheet of paper. The heavy-duty stapler will only staple 93 sheets. And we were still editing copy. Carol did some fast figuring and the typing format was revised (again!) to accommodate more copy per page. We made it. We consider ourselves extremely fortunate in the stories we received for Dagger. We set out to balance the zine in terms of characters, themes, and moods. Our contributors were wonderfully cooperative. We asked for — and got — a story each for Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Uhura, and Vulcans, Romulans, and Klingons. And Venturians. We did not realize it—or plan it—at first, but it soon became apparent that Dagger was going to be something of a 'universes' zine. All of the stories included in Dagger were written by persons who have written and/or writing many other stories. In most cases, the stories here are related to or are part of the writer's own outlook on Trek— their own universe or character series. The stories here are, therefore, a sampling from a rather large body of literature produced by the authors and, as such, will be for some readers an impetus to seek out related stories in other places. To facilitate this, the last page of the zine is a list of the authors and their mailing addresses. We urge our readers to write to the authors to inquire about the availability of these other stories. The poetry for Dagger came in— unusual and equally diversified. And some was written on those 'up' days or 'down' days of putting the zine together. We tried to get our writers involved in the pairing of artwork to the text. We're grateful to the artists who came through for us in grand style on comparatively short notice.

And to everyone involved in putting Dagger together—thank you for putting up with our kinds of madness.

The Contents

The Authors Describe Their Universes

From the zine's last page:

  • Ingrid Cross: "A McCoy series'' — There's a lot more to the doctor than just a Georgian drawl. It takes a lot of heart and strength to give as much as McCoy gives."
  • Mindy Glazer: "Tales of Feldman -- a raucous view of a starship at the mercy of its enterprising Jewish ensign."
  • Winston A. Howlett: "The Swahili series--Uhura's heritage and her rising career in Starfleet. This is one officer who will never again be 'frightened.'"
  • Leslye Lilker: "The Sahaj universe—At the age of 10, Sahaj's first words to his newly met father were, "Take your logic and shove it widthwise!" Spock has not yet recovered."
  • Fern Marder and Carol Walske: "Nu Ormenel--Honor, revolution, Dassion; strong conflicts among strong people; bonds of family and love—all these are a Klingon's heritage."
  • Juanita Salicrup: "Gift of the Masters of Time is not a 'series' story per se. However, Juanita's Spock and Christine series, Crossroads, offers further insight into the Vulcan's character and interactions in a very real world."
  • Jean L. Stevenson: "The Seasons of the Dance--Each movement in the dance of life teaches the Vulcan people more about who they are and what they are to be. Spock and T'Pring have only just begun their pas de deux."


Reactions and Reviews

See reactions and reviews for Gift of the Masters of Time.
See reactions and reviews for The Bronze Cord.
See reactions and reviews for Afro-Disiac.
See reactions and reviews for Equal Time.
See reactions and reviews for And All My Days Before Me.
  • "Gift of the Masters of Times" / Crossroads Series. Long after the deaths of Kirk and McCoy, a disabled Captain Spock is contemplating his future when some genies... oh, er, Time Masters... offer to reward his basic wonderfulness by granting him one change in time. He chooses to rescue Zarabeth. An interesting dilemma and resolution.
  • "Equal Time" / Feldman Series. Kirk has had about all he can take of Christmas and its equivalents among his religiously diverse crew, when a suggestion box appears. Entertaining.
  • "To Lead, To Follow" / Vulcan History Series. A Surak tale.
  • "And All My Days Before Me" / McCoy Series. Two years after "For the World Is Hollow," Enterprise heads for the Yonadans' new planet, as promised, and McCoy and Natira must decide what to do about their marriage. Good Spock & McCoy characterization without smarm, and a realistic dilemma and solution for the couple.
  • "A Winter's Dawn" / Nu Ormenal Series. A story of Kor's life and death.
  • "Afro-Disiac" / Uhura Series. Uhura, her lover Tai, McCoy and Tonia Barrows find themselves fleeing a mob after failing to interpret local gestures on shore leave. Witty writing, and a nice touch is that Howlett never does explain the mystery signals.
  • "Soliloquy" / Poem. McCoy contemplates the irony of being the last survivor of the three, Kirk and Spock having died protecting him. Vivid, with the very interesting point that McCoy may have "sealed his fate" - his much-feared loneliness - by letting his friends view him as more defenseless than they.
  • "The Sun-King's Shadow" / Romulan Cytherean Cycle Series
  • "The Bronze Cord" / Sahaj series. Two years after Spock has taken Sahaj from his foster father Jeremy Gill to put him in the care of Sarek and Amanda, Gill has become ambassador to Vulcan in hopes of being near the boy again. Enterprise is taking him there, and all the crew conspire to keep Gill and Spock from coming to blows. Delightful writing, excellent characterization for both the new and familiar players. Nice touch in this one is the game of Olympic Chess that runs through Gill's mind at opportune moments throughout the story. [2]
[zine]: The outstanding fanzine of the year, in my opinion, was "Dagger of the Mind" ... The editors gathered talented, popular fanzine writers who wrote Star Trek fanzine series, and asked each to write yet another story in their series for this publication. Juanita Salicrup wrote a story in her "Crossroads" series, Mindy Glazer from her "Feldman" series, Jean L. Stevenson from her Vulcan society series, Ingrid Cross from her McCoy series, Fern Marder and Carol Walske from their Nu Ormenel series, Winston Howlett from his Uhura series, Anne Elizabeth Zeek from her Romulan Cytherean Cycle series, and Leslye Lilker from her Sahaj series. All were first-rate tales. [3]
[zine]: Most of the stories in this zine are out of some series or another developed to express an author's viewpoint with regard to some character, race, or event -- whether pre-existing in Star Trek or grown up in the author's mind. A series exists because the author has found she hasn't finished what she had to say in one story; and a series builds by accretion, as she throws more and more into the works. Eventually, either the author gets tired and drops her series, as Jacqueline Lichtenberg with Kraith, or someone else picks it up, as Jean Lorrah did Kraith, or it becomes such a conglomeration of obscure references nobody can understand it, as... Kraith. A good series never dies; a good series is accessible at any point to the new reader. This means that, while a newcomer might willingly go back and read the previous works in the series, his understanding is not precluded if he doesn't. In Dagger there's an offering from Ingrid Cross' McCoy series, Mindy Glazer's Tales of Feldman, Winston Howlett's Swahili series, Leslye Liker's Sahaj universe, Jean Stevenson's Seasons of the Dance, Ann Zeek's Cytherean Cycle, and the editors' Ormenel. If you are hooked on any of these, buy the zine; you'll enjoy it. The less indiscriminate reader, though, might find herself at loose ends in some of the stories. The editors and writers don't tell you what went on before... Marder and Walske's piece, 'A Winter's Dream,' is probably the best in the zine as well as the easiest to get into. They explain in context the concepts and characters introduced in this segment, as Kor turns over his sword of the Ormenel to his son Karass. Less clearly explained are the events in 'Afro-disiac' by Winston Howlett -- we never do find out why the natives of Breesia were so restless. 'And All My Days Before Me,' though smoothly written, is something of a shaggy dog story; McCoy goes through a lot of mental gyrations over his relationship with Natira that suddenly on the last page he finds were not necessary. 'Gifts of the Masters of Time,' 'To Lead, To Follow,' and 'The Sun-King's Shadow' were of different degrees of impenetrability: 'Gift' because Salicrup never used one word where ten would do. 'To Lead,' because its cast of thousands was next to impossible to keep straight; and 'The Sun-King' because it was written like the King James Version of The Lord of the Rings. The stories are not bad; it is only the way they are told which makes them murky... 'Equal Time,' yet another Christmas-on-the-Enterprise story at least does have a note of originality. Said note is supplied by Ensign Feldman in a plea for holiday ecumenism. It's cute. 'The Bronze Cord' differs from Lilker's Sahij stories in that the cooed-over destruction perpetrated by the brat is all off-stage, as is Sahaj. But the adults are all still moon-struck mental multi-paras who talk about literally nothing but Sahij. On the good side, there is some background on the only sympathetic character (to my mind, anyway), the kid's 'unnatural' natural mother, T'Marr. 'Sail the Wind' was up for a Fan Q in the poetry division; it came by its nomination honestly... Most noticeable about Dagger is its nice, clean layout and rather impressive art. [4]
[zine]: This excellent 'zine is a talent showcase for some of fandom's most interesting writers, poets, and artists on the subjects they know best. Most of the writers are noted "series" or universe writers, and you can consider this a sampler of their work. You'll probably find a series worth following up on. Mailing addresses for the individual writers are listed at the back to facilitate this. I believe that this sampler is sufficiently important to discuss each story briefly. "Gift of the Masters of Time", by Juanita Salicrup -- Before the story starts, Spock returns the focusing crystal to the Masters of Time in an adventure that costs Kirk's life and permanently disables Spock. The Masters come to Spock and offer him a reward -- to change one incident in the past. The ethical and logistical implications of the choice constitute the story. "Equal Time", by Mindy Glazer (Tales of Feldman) - Christmas on the Enterprise will never be the same after its Jewish ensign has her way. "To Lead, To Follow", by Jean L. Stevenson (A Movement in the Seasons of the Dance) --This is a hauntingly beautiful tale of pre-Reform Vulcan which establishes the culture which so needed Surak. The central character is T'Klea, the am'di or Mother- who-speaks-to-god. The god is a waist-high pillar of rough-hewn mountain rock that goes everywhere with her nomadic tribe. Through T'Klea, the god attempts to change a warlike nomadic tribe into peaceful agriculturalists. You won't forget this one. "And All My Days Before Me", by Ingrid Cross (McCoy Series) -- It is five years after FOR THE WORLD IS HOLLOW AND I HAVE TOUCHED THE SKY and McCoy follows Natira to Yonada II to make the big decision. "A Winter's Dawn" by Fern Marder and Carol Walske (Nu Ormenel Series) - The last days of Kor, the Klingon revolutionary. "Afro-Disiac", by Winston A. Howlett (Swahili series) -- Uhura's beauty causes a riot on shore leave. "The Sun King' s Shadow", by Anne Elisabeth Zeek (the Cytherean Cycle) - A fairy-tale version of "The Enterprise Incident". "The Bronze Cord" by Leslye Lilker (The Sahaj Universe) -- In this universe - Spock has an illegitimate son Sahaj who resulted from his seduction by the Vulcan ambassador to Ventura, T'Marr. Sahaj was virtually neglected by T'Marr, and if it wasn't for a neighbor, a human, the Ambassador Jeremy Gill, Sahaj would have grown up totally unloved. T'Marr also kept the existance of the child secret from Spock for ten years, until her death, when guardianship reverted to Spock. It was not love at first sight. This story takes place some time after Spock assumes the guardianship of Sahaj. It relates the first meeting of Spock and Ambassador Gill, the new Terran ambassador to Vulcan. He wishes to resume his close relationship with Sahaj, but will Spock allow it. Sahaj is far too human as it is. [5]


  1. ^ It was $72.98.
  2. ^ Halliday’s Star Trek Zinedex (TOS) - Title Index, Archived version
  3. ^ from Boldly Writing
  4. ^ from Warped Space #46
  5. ^ from TREKisM #16