Deep Grope

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Zine
Title: Deep Grope
Publisher:
Editor(s): Ann Looker
Date(s): May 1977
Series?:
Medium: print
Size: A4
Genre: explicit het, parody
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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Front cover, Apollo gives the finger to The Big E, art by Robin Hill

Deep Grope is a 50 page het explicit parody anthology published in England in May 1977.

It is a sister zine to Alnitah and eight other "Gropes".

Contents of Deep Grope

Gallery

The Gropes

Reactions and Reviews

The first sight of the, cover for Deep Grope should clue you into the type of contents to be expected, even if the title has evaded you. Deep Grope is a pornozine. Gasp! Swoon. I know ... not here in River City?! Actually, t'ain't all that bad at all. There are some things about British fanzines that are just endearing to begin with. First is the size which is about eight and a quarter inches wide and not quite twelve long... a nice readable size. Reading digest-sized zines with micro-reduced offset can get to be a pain. Another thing that folks in the U.S. would probably consider quaint is the English spelling of words, like colour, flavour and a few others. Actually gang, they invented the language, not us, so it's our language that should be considered a bit strange. England gave the world the English, language and the Industrial Revolution; we gave the world McDonalds and orbital nuclear bombs. So who's perfect? And looking at Deep Grope I can say that it measures up pretty well to many of the "domestic" brands of the same ilk. "She-S-Ka Oa," by Kit Vee is one where Spock is stranded on a planet that is being surveyed. From this point on the story seems suspiciously manipulated. Spock is discovered by a Vulcan-like woman who just happens to be in the same vicinity of the crash, eyen though she could have been anywhere else on the planet. And of course, Spock, goes into pon farr and you-know-who offers to you-know-what and they fall deeply in love, or as deeply as Vulcans allow. Although this may be a trifle idyllic, the ending is in sharp contrast and leaves the reader with quite a jolt. A few shorts fill the center pages of the zine such as "Once Upon a Dream," a small vignette detailing one of Chapel's fantasies. There is a poem called the "Craven" fashioned after Edgar Allan Poe's most famous one. The Rude Bit of the Little Vulcan God" by Val Colledge who did the other poem, is a rather generalized humorous poem about the crew & ship. Groping to numbers is a, uh ... different sort of filler. One of the highlights of the zine is "Spock's Inflamation," by Margaret Draper, art by Gordon Carleton. It is a spoof on Kraith with a few gags pulled from the plots of various episodes as well: It's very well done, and the illos add just the right touch. "The Hectic in my Blood," might be called a vampire story, of sorts at least. Spock is infected with a virus 'that produces in its victims a condition much like vampirism, although it, was never stated that they had to keep out of sunlight, whether they could live forever on the blood of their victims or if the ol stake through the heart bit was the only way to kill one. Anyway, Spock chooses Kirk as his victim and must decide whether to die from eventual loss of blood, kill Spock to save himself, or risk death for both by choosing to undergo an ordeal on a a planet called Sulhail Hadar whose heat is enough to kill the virus in Spock but unfortunately manages to kill most of the victims who attempt the ordeal. The plot might have suffered a bit because of addition of the vampire stuff ... makes it seem oh, somehow a bit hokey, but the final few sequences build to a nice ending that would have satisfied any script writer for the show. In all, a fairly good fanzine for the price, considering the postage price involved. Not as "slick" as most American zines such as Menagerie or Warped Space whose same catagory is probably the type that Deep Grope would be classed in; and also not as dirty as you might expext from the title. [1]
Hilarious cover on thish is Apollo giving the finger to the E in mid-sky, bacover a comment on Spock's anatomy. The zine wavers between an incredibly funny Margaret Draper satire on Kraith called 'Spock's Inflammation' to be followed, they say by Volume XXIV 'Kirk's Constipation.') and almost serious good piece of fiction by Audrey Baker called 'The Hectic in My Blood.' The latter has to do with a vampire virus that inhabits Spock, causing him to seek out his nearest and dearest to gnaw on -- and in this case, Kirk. Their problems with this affliction and the stalwart and forthright handling of the only cure almost make up for a weak and trite ending. Another story, 'She-Es-Ka-Da' contains my favorite current line in ST fiction, said about Spock: 'She-es-ka smiled, threw him onto his back, and mounted him.' Various highly original verses, 'Groping to Numbers' (a picture to color) and good cartoon, complete this zine. Highly recommended. [2]
All are long out of print and difficult to obtain. I sincerely hope that #8 won't be the last, since I quite enjoy the sly humor and artwork, and the offbeat but mature writing. You won't find any too serious/dramatic, overwritten, overly sentimental, sophomoric tear-jerkers here. The editor herself said, in the "Editor's Postscript" to SON OF GROPE: "...the zine as a whole is not meant to be taken seriously, though certain individual stories may bring a tear to the eye, a lump to the throat, a wrench to the gut, or up yesterday's dinner! GROPE began as a light-hearted romp and, I hope, will continue in that spirit. The stories and poems...do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor nor are they intended to present a workable Star Trek universe—not even I think that the big E can function with its First Officer permanently on heat!" Some American readers may find some of the British writing hard to get used to. It should be noted, too, that the majority of stories are not K/S. In this case, the ability to appreciate Infinite Diversity certainly pays off! [3]
DEEP GROPE... contains three stories, two vignettes, & a marvelous portfolio, "Artigrope", of classical art & poetry parodies. The front cover, in purple & black, is a Robin Hill cartoon of the ENTERPRISE heading toward a giant hand, which is giving the middle-finger-raised sign. The dialogue balloon says: "Apollo who?" Robin also did the back cover (2 more cartoons) & much of the interior cartoons & ilios; they are quite good in an understated way. "Spock' s Inflammation", by Margaret Draper, is a marvelous Kraith-parody, a must-read for anyone familiar with but critical of the Jacqueline Lichtenberg, et al, Kraith series. For a reader unfamiliar with Kraith, much may be confusing, but it's still an amusing story, & may encourage readers to sample Kraith. This story was to have a sequel, "Kirk's Constipation", in a later issue of GROPE. It is illustrated with marvelous Gordon Carleton cartoons--a perfect choice! There isn't too much of a coherent plot- but in this it resembles some of the more interminably continued aspects of Kraith. It begins with a non sequitur: Kirk has difficulties lighting the sacred Vulcan idlomputt (to make Spock's morning tea), & reflects that this Warder-Liege relationship is a tricky business. In the next "chapter", Spock commits a grave breach of etiquette by suddenly leaving the Conference on the Future of the Federation -- because he sat on the hedgehog-prickly Herissian ambassador...who is really a surgically altered Klingon agent. To save Spock's life & enable him to succeed in his duty as representative of the khytikhatt (don't ask!) & help all-Vulcan Confirm the Promiscuity, Kirk, McCoy, & the beauteous, self-sacrificing Lt. Marisoo (who was obviously intended to be next in the long line of Spock's Kraithish bondmates--who always die) must perform the ancient Ritual Of Placement (they decorate a Christmas tree, then concentrate on it). The hedgehog falls off of Spock's posterior, & he revives, but Marisoo of course is killed. Kirk returns to his quarters only to discover that the Kruthiblc (idlomputt) is missing! (To be continued indefinitely,..) "She-S-Ka Da" is yet another lay-Spock pon farr story, this one set on an alien, female-dominated planet of Vulcanoid people, called Vul-Ka. Ironically, she is killed by a Federation ship, & Spock, mistaken for a Romulan, is imprisoned in a freezing cell. Kirk rescues him, of course. "Once Upon A Dream" is a vignette wherein Chapel's machine-induced fantasies concerning Spock are interrupted before they conclude satisfactorily. In another vignette, "Hybrid", a female from the ENTERPRISE beams down to an alien planet under survey, and gets raped by an alien creature, beams back up to the ship with the rest of the crew, but runs away & hides somewhere on the ship, pregnant. She is McCoy's cat, but you don't know that until the last sentence. "Artigrope.. An anthology of priceless gems from our cultural heritage... contains a takeoff on Poe's "The Raven", wherein Kirk bewails the fact, that McCoy has insisted that he completely give up sex, for his health, & Spock is helping enforce the ban. "The Rude Bit of the Little Vulcan Cod" is a poem/story in which Sulu's girlfriend tells him jokingly that she wants the "rude bit" of the statue in Spock's quarters as a gift. But it is an accursed undertaking... Then there is "Groping-to-Numbers", which tells you how to color a nude Spock illo, in verse—such as "This is the chest, & little round tum, / Colour them plum." There are also two humorous parody-illos: "The Creation of Vulcan" after Michaelangelo, & the marvelous "The Death of Kirk" (the original was called The death of...well, some British naval officer". Can someone supply his name?) Kirk's dialogue balloon says, "Kiss me, Spock!" And last, as well as least, the origropi waterproofed waste disposal bag is given, complete with instructions for folding. But the best thing about this issue of GROPE, & the next issue also, is the long K/S story by Audrey Baker. In "The Hectic in My Blood", Spock visits a Vulcan colony-planet in order to conduct some tests on a new device. A dust storm traps him and T'Sia, a colony scientist, alone together in their hut. While Spock sleeps, T'Sia leans over him & breathes up his nostrils for a few seconds, which renders him unconscious. Then she opens a vein in his arm & drinks his blood. It is a sexual experience for her; she reaches orgasm. After it is all over, she explains to Spock that she is a vampire, as are all the colonists, infected by a virus that lives in the air of their planet. The "virus" forces its infected hosts to drink the blood of others & infect them as well. There are only two cures: to starve the virus to death—but not even Vulcans can resist the desire to feed—or to be taken to the fiery furnaces of Sulhail Hadar, which will force the virus to leave its host. But no one who ever tried this cure has yet returned: the virus drives the infected ones mad so that they struggle with & destroy their helpers & themselves. She tells Spock that "The one thou goest to bite will be the one to whom thou art most drawn. So men feed from women & women from men...", any man who pleases them. She explains that the virus only infects Vulcans, & warns that any alien upon whom Spock feeds will die—unless he feeds upon an already-infected Vulcan. Only the person whom Spock trusts the most & to whom he is the closest—his victim, in other words—can take him to the fires of Sulhail Hadar. Spock asks if it must be a woman; T'Sia awkwardly explains the sexual aspect... [three pages of dense description snipped] ... I must admit that I appreciate the fact that Audrey never descends into maudlin, mawkish, overdone dialogue, & always lets Kirk's & Spock's actions speak for themselves. Other fannish writers might have had, for example, Kirk & Spock endlessly discussing the coming trip to Sulhail Hadar, or their course of action when they arrived, thus weakening--crippling--the action & the entire story. She does not try to squeeze a situation for everything it is worth, exploiting it & the reader, & thus she manages to write a strong, pointed tale, full of emotion the more genuine because it is not spell out in every detail. I hope that one day we may be privileged to read all her stories that have never been used in a zine. [4]
DEEP GROPE, from Ann Looker, $3.00 by air, $2.00 surface. SASE + IRC for more info. Adult. Thish starts off with "She-S-Ka Da", a variation on the overworked theme of "Spock goes into pon farr while marooned on some godforsaken planet with an unwilling/unsuitable/eager partner." She-S-Ka belongs to the last category, though some effort has been made to give her more personality and independence than the average Mary Sue. Unfortunately, the author undoes her good work at the end, when the heroine perishes tritely in a landslide and a sadder-but-wiser Vulcan returns to Duty, Honor, etc .. "Once Upon A Dream" is a pointless "Shore Leave" vignette that does the Chapel character less than justice. "Artigrope" is a kind of short survey course in Western art, Trekkishly "improved and embellished: Val College's "The Rude Bit of the Little Vulcan God" and Anon.'s "The Death of Kirk" are the best of a good lot. "Spock's Inflammation", though, is incapable of improvement, a short masterpiece in its own right. Margaret Draper hasn't missed a one of Kraith's weak spots: Spock's Silent Suffering, Kirk the Cosmic Dum-Dum, the Supererogatory Superiority of Vulcan(s), Beautiful, Telepathic Lt. Marisoo: " a simple lay-figure herself, she, of course, passionately admired the brilliant First Officer whose subtle intellect, telepathic genius, encyclopaedic knowledge and ability unerringly to add two and two (even without the aid of the giant computer of which he was master), made him the cynosure of Star Fleet, the focal point of the Federation, and the subject of endless sentences of adulation similar to this one." And it goes on like that for six whole pages. The Carleton illos accompanying are simply wicked. This is followed by the zine's heavy piece, Audrey Baker's "The Hectic in My Blood." It is an unusual Kirk/Spock story, and a rather ambitious one, dealing competently with the Freudian implications of vampirism. It's never satisfactorily explained, though, why the conditions of the 'cure' cannot be duplicated outside Sulhail Hadar, and the demonstration of Kirk's willingness to follow Spock into Hell is rather too literal--the devils are unnecessary and add nothing to the story. On the whole, a smoothly written honorable effort. DG ends on a light note with "Hybrid", an extended one-liner best described as "kitty porn". The illo shocked my cat, who is a Feline of Breeding. Recommended. [5]

References

  1. from Spectrum #34
  2. from Scuttlebutt #3
  3. from Not Tonight Spock! #8
  4. from Not Tonight Spock! #10
  5. from Mahko Root #1