Diamonds and Rust

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Zine
Title: Diamonds and Rust Collected
Publisher: Kzinti Press
Editor:
Author(s): Mary L. Schultz & Cheryl Rice
Cover Artist(s): Gee Moaven
Illustrator(s): Gee Moaven
Date(s): 1977, 1978, see article
Medium: print
Size:
Genre: het
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Diamonds and Rust Collected is a much-discussed and controversial het 247-page Star Trek: TOS novel consisting of a series of interrelated stories written by Mary L. Schultz & Cheryl Rice and edited by Jeff Johnston. The extensive art is by Gee Moaven.

Jeff Johnston of Kzinti Press gathered and mimeographed the set of stories that Mary L. (Mandi) Schultz and Cheryl Rice had written. The volume ran 247 pages. The set of stories was highly controversial among some fans, because of its Mary Sue aspects; among others, because of the adult treatment of various (heterosexual) topics. [1]

Controversies

The zine and its stories were controversial for a number of reasons. In fact, discussion about this zine and its contents took up a lot of space and spirited energy in the letterzines of its time; fan commentary often seemed bigger than life, not unlike "Diamonds and Rust" itself!

At least one of the authors gafiated after its publication citing, among other things, being tired of the controversy and being misunderstood.

While some fans wrote they enjoyed the series, more fans wrote of their dislike, citing boredom, unbelievability of character, and an abhorrence for the Mary Sue and/or self insertion elements. Fans also disliked what they felt to be a flawed Kirk (over-shadowed and weak), one whose attention strayed from the Enterprise, and from Spock.

Others disliked the main character, Chantal, and what they thought was her manipulation. Some fans objected to the fact that Chantal was fan casted. Fans also complained of being confused by the stories, citing their publication over several years, and in many zines. Other fans objected to its sexual content.

Many fans also took issue with "the Joanna incident," a story in the series titled To Each His Own. In that story, Dr. McCoy has sexual intercourse with an aggressive young woman, something which leads to tragedy. [2]

The "Diamonds and Rust" series began in the zine Warped Space, a publication that had previously hosted the controverisal Landing Party 6 series. The LP6 series starred Sadie Faulwell, a character that many fans had strong mixed feelings about for many of the same reasons they had issues with "Diamonds and Rust."

See fan comments regarding "Diamonds and Rust". See fan comments regarding "Sadie Faulwell".

Contents

Order in Which the Stories Took Place

Order in Which the Stories Were Published

The stories in this collection were written and published in fanzines over a two year time span, They are gathered here below in (hopefully) chronological story order as they were published. Keep in mind that some dates precede others; this is likely due to the fact that some stories were submitted to zines that took a LONG time to see print, something that put the reading order out of whack. This confusing and sporadic publishing schedule was one of the complaints that fans had about the series.

The Diamonds and Rust series finally saw print as a collection in 1978, although the copyright notice said 1977. Jeff Johnston of Kzinti Press gathered and mimeographed the set of stories. The volume ran 247 pages.

  • 5) Undone (Millennium) (1977)
  • 6) Avant-Propos (Warped Space) #20 (1976)
  • Treasure (Warped Space) #23 (1977) (Chantal is assigned to throw a surprise birthday party for Christine.)
  • Diamonds and Rust collected volume is published (1978)
  • Year of the Cat (Alpha Contiunuum #4) (1980)
  • (wrap-up) No Special Hurry (from Alpha Continuum #4) (1980), as the second volume of the series was never written, the authors wrap up loose ends and summarize where the tale was intended to go)

Stories in the series that were not published in previous zines but appeared in the collected issue:

  • Dressed to Kill
  • Love's Lines, Angles and Rhymes
  • None to Pity
  • Ondine's Curse
  • Phoenix
  • Dawn's Left Hand (possibly retitled as "Snowbird")

Publication History and Description

a September 1976 flyer printed in The Clipper Trade Ship #12

It was three years in the making, and much of the content was published in other zines previously to being in the complete main volume. The Diamonds and Rust series finally saw print as a collection in 1978, although the copyright notice said 1977.

From a 1977 flyer:
A Kirk-oriented series of stories by Cheryl Rice and Mandi Schultz, illustrated by Gee Moaven, and now presented by Kzinti Press -- Capt. James Kirk and Lt. Chantal Caberfae -- they have more then love, they have secrets, disappointments, aspirations, problems, a suicide, a conspiracy, and an impending galactic disaster. DIAMONDS AND RUST is a romance, a mystery, and an adventure with a science fiction flavor. More than that, it is the story of two people, Jim and Chantal - how they meet, how they fall in love, how they handle and mishandle their lives, their problems, and each other - and how they survive.

This summer of 1977, Kzinti Press will publish the first volume of DIAMONDS AND RUST, a collection of the first fourteen stories. Some of these have appeared in such fanzines as TAL SHAYA, THE OTHER SIDE OF PARADISE, ALPHA CONTINUUM, and WARPED SPACE - others will appear for the first time in this volume. It will contain over 200 pages.

Now you can reserve your copy of the first collected volume of DIAMONDS AND RUST in advance by sending $2.00 (check or money order made payable to Kzinti Press, please - cash sent at your own risk) to Kzinti Press, P.O. Box 8554, Toledo, OH 43623.

IMPORTANT! be sure to enclose a business-sized self addressed stamped envelope with your advance reserve so that we can notify you when the first collected volume is ready to be mailed. At that time we will inform you of the remaining cost needed to order the first edition, and you'll be given the information of the postal rates as well.

Order now! It will be a limited edition. [3]

The Dedication

To my Immortals, my Squirrel, and my Oldfan for their support in myriad ways; To William Shatner and Cornelia Sharpe in all their glories for simply existing; To the D&R followers for their support; To the D&R detractors for giving me determination; To that moment years ago for first urging me to put pen to paper; To the Walking Wounded everywhere because they'll understand and feel it; and especially to CDR. [4]

Gallery

The Writers Comment

an ad for the zine in Spectrum #31
flyer in Warped Space #26/27

Mandi Schultz introduced the second story (August 1976):

The purposes of the story, beyond just the fact that I/we enjoy doing it, are many. My initial concept was to write a Kirk series, something done only once in fanfic, to my knowledge, because I feel he's the unsung hero, the man in the hero suit always passed over, since the majority of fen seem to be preoccupied with Spock and the Vulcan mystique. I also wanted to write a real Kirk, not the man in the hero suit, but rather a three-dimensional person not only I but also the readers could relate to. Due to the nature of a television script, I've always felt that Kirk didn't come across too well; he seemed very shallow and undeveloped as a person. I wanted to present a person complete--a man who thinks and suffers as well as participates in snappy repartee, a man who has problems and neuroses as well as the gift of leadership. If my notions amaze you, try watching a few episodes focusing on Kirk and I think you'll understand. I realize that to fit my own speculations, I've had to invent a lot of background and trivia of my own, I feel my "universe" is no more, but certainly no less, valid than any other one created in Trekfic. This is also the story of two people, Kirk and Chantal, their relationship, and how they handle—and mishandle—their lives and their problems. I hesitate to call it a romance although there are and will be romantic elements. However, if you're looking for a "love conquers all" type of story, you might as well put this down and read MISFIT because you won't find it here... It's Chantal's story too, and occasionally there is naturally some prolonged focus on her—such a story follows this. Obviously there's no prototype for what your average everyday alien female secret agent is going to be like, and we all know that much of the Star Trek ethos/mythos seemed based on 20th century mores and standards rather than the 23rd's, but honestly I wasn't that preoccupied with it. I sincerely feel that she isn't an alter ego because we diverge too often to be related very closely. She is her own person, liberated without requiring a movement, with her own problems. She's also a lover, a cop, a liar, a saboteur, a prostitute, and above all, a lady with a mission she'll let nothing—including love—stop her from for very long. [5]


Upon the publication of Treasure in Warped Space #25 (May 1977), Mandi Schultz wrote:
have never disputed the fact that "Treasure" is a vignette, and as I said when I submitted it to you, I thought you ought to have it in WS if you wanted it since it came before "Avant Propos" which you ran, even though it's not in the most desirable order. I have stressed I-don't- know-how-many times that what everyone is seeing scattered all over zines are chap ters of a novel and one that is 3-4 vol umes long. I have to admit to being most confounded by the souls who have been irate over not knowing the entire plot after reading the first few chapters. If the various Eds chose to not make that fact blatant, there is nothing we've been able to do about that. We were Just very grateful to the Editors who went out on limbs with us printing any of it since it's a new series by people who were not known in the Treklit field very well. I'm still grateful to them.

Cheryl and I are both regretful of the fact that we caused such a problem scat tering the chapters all over. I don't think anyone has considered the fact that it was the only way to get them in print. Because neither Cheryl nor I were able to put out an entire zine of them ourselves. I am a fulltime housewife and parent of a hyperactive child — any one of you out there who is chief cook and bottlewasher can attest to the time that involves. Aside from that, it takes time to write this stuff since Cheryl and I are a state apart, not neighbors or anything conven ient. I am also involved in other fanac that takes my time. Producing the collected volume was considered virtually impossible until Kzinti Press approached us with the offer, and that was only within the last 6 months or so. Until that time we were relying on fine people like yourself, Signe and Amy, Cheree Cargill, Marty Siegrist and Tina Henry to print us. Obviously, once a story is accepted by an Editor, there is no way to control its release ... zines get delayed, or they are Just scheduled in a certain way, and there was no way we could arrange for the stories to appear in 9rder. I do think however that the zines that carried the various chapters are fairly popular zines that most everyone orders anyway.

At any rate, "Treasure" was never in tended to be any more than a vignette — it's Chapter 6, for those who need reference .

I thought the contrast between Rose Marie Jakubjansky's and Luba Kmetyk's comments about Chantal's characterization was extremely noteworthy. I was elated to see the latter's grasp of what we are doing. Thank you, LK.

I've said so much on our characterization of Kirk that I feel like I'm repeat ing myself so if you've heard this before, bear with me. I'm not sure what the prob lem is beyond subjective taste — you either like what we're doing with him or you don't, but we maintain that it valid. You are not seeing a Kirk in D&R that you saw in the episodes, this is af- ter them. You are supposed to be seeing a man falling apart — he's having a very common crisis for a man in his high-pow ered position: executive burn-out. He's falling apart at the seams. He would have done it without Chantal, but she is cer tainly edging him into it more quickly. Yes, it's a good thing he has pull-on boots because he can't tie shoelaces. Nor is he capable of being a good captain any more, and eventually even he will realize that, and give up the job for what he thinks is something better. Of course it's a mistake, of course loving Chantal is a mistake — they're supposed to be. I realize a lot of people reading D&R don't know me from Eve (or the serpent) and don't know where I am personally com ing from with all this. The constant theme in D&R is survival. That was what first gripped me so tightly in Trek — the survival element. That we had survived without sacrificing much of our humanity. We didn't have to be perfect to survive. Nobody has to be. When we reach perfection we can all recline and let someone plant daisies on us — perfection does not exist in walking-around-alive humans.

D&R is, more than anything'else, the story of two imperfect people struggling to survive amidst a lot of other things and people militating against them. It is the story of Chantal and Kirk and how they handle, and mishandle, their lives, their problems and each other. Nothing exists, or happens, in a vacuum. I don't know if people realize that there is a definite difference in being allowed the grace to simply live one's life — as opposed to the necessity of having to survive it. Kirk and Chantal are surviv ors, they're part of the Walking Wounded of life — and the background we've created to validate that seems pretty sturdy.

I am uncertain as to where anyone got the idea Chantal is perfect since she is far from it. She certainly doesn't think she is. She isn't even very beautiful[6]
One of the writers of "Diamonds and Rust" called it a 'tale of survival." (July 1977):
D&R is a lot of things. It's a romance, a mystery, an adventure, an allegory, a morality play, and maybe a little magic, wishful thinking, and sublimation as well. I tend to question that very last one, tho. Even our fantasy world is not perfect, no Paradise by any means. As [fan's name] put so well in her [previous article in this zine], you have to constantly bear in mind that this is not the Kirk of a 3-season series. This is the 5th year Kirk, and he is a man whose balance is shifting. I take exception with those who think this cannot happen... It can for someone in Kirk's capacity as Captain. Psychiatrically, I guess you could call it 'executive burn-out.' It is possible, even if you operate under the assumption that Kirk has been a paragon... [This] is what's happening to Kirk in our series, and what we intend to show is how it happens, with some emphasis on why, and how he will survive it. Kirk has an obsessive personality, his preoccupation with his ship and crew only serve to display this. Yes, but you say, that's what makes a good captain... But no one can operate/function only so long at warp 9 before you start to burn out.... Kirk didn't need Chantal to trigger his crisis, he would have had it anyway in our universe. But obviously she's going to complicate matters... But he has Spock and McCoy, you say. My answer is 'but does he?'... If you're into the relationship and that's your thing, that's fine. It's not my thing, and you're not liable to argue me into a change of mind any more than I am with you. I'm not trying to, I'm simply telling you where D&R comes from. I don't go wild over the relationship becoz I don't think there's anything special about it. (I know, everyone over at the Contact editorial offices just fell over dead.)...

Technically, Kirk and Chantal ar the worst possible match. But love happens... It is hard to describe Chantal, particularly without giving away a great deal of the story. All things considered, she is not a marysue... I think we'd need a lot more perfection overall for her to be that... What you are seeing in D&R is survival. Yes, it's a get'em story in that respect becoz they're going to do everything but jump through hoops emotionally before we're finished with them... We're going to show them survive quite a lot and come out of it intact, perhaps even, as they say, better persons for it altho that cliche is so awful I shudder as I type it... And that is more explaining of D&R than I've done in a long time to anyone at all. (although Gee draws her looking gorgeous — this part of Kirk's illusion — he's in love, remember? "Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind and therefore is winged cupid painted blind.") and other characters have pointed that out. Even Chantal has stated that she has the kind of looks other women love because they're so easily discounted by close scrutiny. Beyond her looks she isn't perfect either — she does her chosen work, being an agent, exceedingly well because that's how she stays alive. She too is going through her own version of Kirk's execu tive burn-out. No one can function at peak, at warp 9, indefinitely, and if you disagree with that, take a look at a local group therapy session, or a local AA meet ing. You'll see all kinds of people who fell apart under pressure, as well as people who function extremely well in tough jobs but who come home at night and go slightly mad until they have to get heir facade together for the next day. But people like that cannot function in definitely, some kind of breakdown is in evitable. Kirk is not god, and he is not perfect. After years of functioning at full-steam, he's long overdue for a little psychological shake-up. So is Chantal, for that matter.

And that is why this is not another "happily ever after" tale. Kirk and Chantal are wrong for each other — that's a very important spoke on the wheel of the plot. While it may be said that a person with problems can only find understanding with another person with problems, that doesn't mean they're the ideal match. The only thing two people with problems get when they get together is twice as many problems as they had before. On the whole. Kirk and Chantal are the worst possible match. But don't you see, that's the point. Kirk is grabbing on for dear life, so to speak — and what will happen to him when the golden girl turns out to be no more than cheap glitter? Kirk's gone from life preserver to life preserver all his life — when he falls apart on the Enter prise, he has Chantal to pick him up. But what will happen when she gives out on him and there's nothing to grab onto but whatever he has in the way of sheer force of character stored up within? When he has nothing, when everything is taken away or abandoned — then what does he do? Isn't that virtually the shining hour of any person in that position — indeed, the shining hour for humanity as a whole, really — that the human, flawed though he is, can often survive ever so much more than he thinks he can?

I really do not feel like opening an other debate over my ideas about the Kirk/ Spock(/McCoy) relationship. Anyone inter-- ested in my views can write me personally and I'll explain them. At least not this time around. Let it suffice to say that it does not exist excessively in D&R. No, I do not support it. If we want to line up and play continuity theory I can back every example everyone has shown so far to prove it with something that could disprove it if accepted. Obviously, some people accept that it exists — I do not, at least not to the extent in which it's been deified in Treklit. But as I said. Trek's appeal to me was and is based very largely on the survival element. I under stand that the relationship appeals to others t didn't grab me, and I never felt the urge to make of it any more than was shown in the episodes. I personally feel that people have latched on to various things in the episodes and enlarged them to suit this need. I don't do that. So be it. I think we're entitled to our opinions. But what I/we think about it is explained very carefully in our series and, if I might point out, even Kirk is a little amazed with what he deduces about it after thinking it over.

As for Spock being jealous ... this is the conclusion Kirk, wearing his lover's rose-colored glasses, has drawn. Although I am anything but a Spockfan, let's face it, Spock Is no slouch. While he has no facts to shove under Kirk's nose, he knows there's something wrong with Chantal, and he has some pretty good ideas on what she is doing at least to Kirk. Spock and Chantal are definitely involved in a kind of power-play — which one of them can pull the strongest and offer the greener pas tures will win.

People, this is not Wonderland or Oz, these things happen in real life — and the driving passion everyone-seems to have to see all Treklit written in a setting resembling the Garden of Eden just leaves me nonplussed. The glory that Trek is its believability, its presentation of a believable future based on our present reality.

As to D&R being an "alternate universe" — isn't any Treklit with characters added from the author's or authors' imaginations essentially written in an alternate universe? I never thought anything else. When I read Treklit I merely suspend what ever there is to the "givens" and take the piece before me for what it's worth as it's stated.

It would seem to me that on many occasions Kirk has played "round table" in the briefing room with all the dept. heads, listened to everyone (and then went on to do precisely what he was going to in the first place) — but the fact remains that he always seems to consult with dept. heads. Chantal a dept. head despite the rank of Lt. (It's kind of like ... oh, say you're an Md. and enlist and they're going to put you in charge of a hospital, so they give you a rank in line with your position.) As far as Security is concerned. Kirk is almost obliged to at least check out what's going on with her, and if it's a Security matter he ought to be listening to the Security Chief no matter what Spock or any of the other line officers has to say — since one would assume the Security Chief knows his/her stuff. Of course, we have a rath er unique problem considering the attrition rate of Security people on the Enterprise. All things considered, I'd say it's about time someone got into that Dept. and taught them how to survive ... as well as teaching Kirk that you don't order those little people with red shirts and phasers by the carton.

I really had to laugh- over the idea that Kirk is not swayed by beauty alone. We could go episode by episode over all his women to answer that one. Yes, so you'll say, well, he's just someone who likes women. Of course he does, he's vir tually obsessed (here you have to ignore the fact that he's the hero of a tv series and has to have a romance a week if we're going to play the game in earnest) — but the fact remains that the obsession came from somewhere. Of course Chantal is someone he would rather make love to than be in love with — at least that's what he keeps telling himself. It is that cool, detached aura that both holds him at a distance as well as lures him in. He's falling apart inside and she isn't — whatever she has that makes her a surviv or while he's floundering appeals enor mously. He's still that lovable little ol' MCP in this respect — that conquer ing that exterior in bed might also guarantee controlling it.

Of course she's not the type of woman he would fall in love with — but he doesn't know that. All he knows is what he sees and he's lucky he can sort that out. Even Chantal admits that what she has presented to him is only a portion of herself, a portion she knows will appeal to him.

They really do love each other, and perhaps that's the saddest part of it. Despite all her treachery, she loves him very much, but she is completely incapable of having an honest relationship with someone who would be as close as a lover — and there is her mission that he can't know about. He loves her, but even if she was telling him the truth it's wrong be cause he's expecting too much both of her and their relationship. No one can be everything to someone else — it's not only impossible, it's also a terrible burden to place on a person. But the fact remains that love is not allowed the luxury of choice — love simply happens and those involved try to figure out a way to survive it. As I said, this is not intended to be a romance a la LOVE STORY. If you want happily-ever-after, you can read SHOWCASE for that. Nothing in reality is ever 100% perfect or wonderful. Man is not intended for Eden, not in this life time at least, this one or the Trek universe we're writing in.

So in conclusion, all I can say is, "Read on." Sure, we're taking him apart neurosis by neurosis. We're going to do the same to her. Then we're going to put them back together again and see if they've learned anything from it. Like I said, folks, have a heart — this is a 3 (we're hoping to avoid the 4th) volume novel. Kirk and Chantal have only just begun. [7]

A Second Volume?

In 1978 and 1979, Mandi wrote of a possible second volume, but it never came to be, at least not in zine form.

Mandi's comments in July 1978:
As for volume two -- much of it is done, but there remains much to be done, especially since we are both working on other projects as well. The best estimate as to when it will be ready for public consumption is 'eventually.'" And "Everyone interested in volume 2 should send a SASE to Mandi Schultz as soon as possible. Publication will be somewhat innovative, and there won't be a 3 year wait to see more of the story. Flyers available soon. Jim and Chantal return. [8]
An ad in October 1978:
DIAMOND [sic] AND RUST Volume II -- please send SASE to Mandi Schultz [address redacted] or Cheryl Rice [address redacted] as soon as possible for details. Publication and distribution will be somewhat innovative, so we need to know how many are interested in following the story. There won't be a three-year wait to see more of the story. D&R II -- the legend continues. [9]

Comments from early 1979: it appears the series may have succumbed, in part, to paid employment and and two Bay City fictional cops:

'Diamonds and Rust v.2' has been unavoidably postponed for a while due to Mandi Schultz's time being more profitably (at least monetarily) spent on her pro writing. Also, I've developed a great, if belated, interest in Starsky and Hutch... I'm interested in any material on them... especially the ever elusive first issue of Zebra 3. [10]
In late 1979, Cheryl Rice wrote:
Due to personal reasons, Mandi Schultz and I have decided that it will be impossible for us to finish the complete 'Diamonds and Rust' series. We have been sending this information out in the several hundred SASEs we've received from readers... since it is possible some may have gotten lost in the shuffle... I wanted to use this more public way of notifying people, too. In answer to quite a few letters I've gotten on the subject, I'd like to say that it isn't a problem of finding a publisher. Basically, it's just that Mandi can't afford to write for free anymore. Also, thou' it has been suggested that we write a 1 or 2 page outline of what happened in the rest of the story and send it to readers who'd been left in mid-plot, that won't work. There would have been at least 400 pages more, with a horde of new characters, and there's no way to reduce all this to an outline that makes any sense. I've explained the rest of the story in persona, and it takes me at least 20 minutes. We do regret this, but real life problems and responsibilities do have a way of intruding on even the most beguiling of fantasies. [11]

In 1980, Cheryl Rice had a story published in Alpha Continuum #4; while "No Special Hurry" is not the aforementioned 400 pages she thought it would require, the story wraps up loose ends and summarizes where the tale was intended to go.

A Mary Sue?

I've talked before about Chantal Caberfae's qualifications, or lack of them, for genuine Marysuehood... One of the most abhorred and criticized qualities of Lt. Mary Sue seems to be her way of attracting all the available senior officers on the Enterprise, who then founder on her shores... While rereading 'Each' and 'Idols' [two chapters in the zine Alpha Continuum #2] recently, I realized there were several references to Chantal's powers of attraction and the effect she seemed to be having on various male characters. Aha, I said to myself, I see where some of the slings and arrows are coming from. The Captain is smitten... but that's part of the hub of the plot. But Cdre. Caidan, her immediate superior, is also fascinated by her skill and grace on the parallel bars, as well as by her general physical appearance... Brandy Burns at one point suggests marriage. Dr. McCoy appears almost enchanted by her at one point. She would seem to be raging through the coterie of surrounding males like an out-of-control brushfire. She can have anyone she wants. A maiden's wish fulfilled! Or is it? Let's look again. Cdre. Caidan may think all sorts of complimentary things about Chantal, but it has never stopped him from sending her out on one dangerous mission after another... not the kind of assignment one would expect from a tender lover, is it?... Brady Burns [speaks from] anger, lust and confusion.... McCoy has the best excuse of all and the most demeaning for becoming fixated on her -- he's sick. It's a fairly simple case of psychiatric transference due to her having been instrumental in effecting a cure for his depression... Altogether, does this really sound like the blind devotion...? One adoring suitor says, in effect, 'You're lovely, m'dear, but I have this little job for you to do that will only involve a small risk to your health, life and/or sanity, because I do so love it when my hand-picked protege makes me look good.' Another puts it bluntly, 'I want your body.' A third is clutching desperately to a life raft for his own sanity. Now, I ask you -- would any self-respecting Mary Sue put up with such attitudes? No more than Kirk and McCoy would've been able to maintain their attitudes toward Chantal -- if they'd known her completely. Mary Sues are out in the open -- it's an essential part of their natures. Chantal is far more of an iceberg, and makes one very glad the Enterprise isn't' running on the Canard line. [12]

Chantal's Physical Origins

We discovered her at the movies... It was almost a classic incident of turing slowly to look at each other and saying in unison, 'My God, that's her! [The actress] was Cornelia Sharpe, and she was indeed perfect for the purpose. The movie was 'The Last Man' [it's actually called The Next Man]; in it, Miss Sharpe was given the opportunity to be an agent, an assassin, a temptress, and a high fashion clothes horse who wore everything from furs to ball gowns to a suntan and a sheet, and looked appropriately gorgeous in all of those things." The author adds that Sharpe could "not act her way out of a paper sack, but all I needed was her exterior." She adds that Chantal's tone and timbre are those of the actress Maria Schell [Vond-Ah in the 1978 Superman film] and that Chantal's accent belongs to a little known Russian-born actress named Victoria Federeva. "whose debut -- and swansong -- seems to have been a Medical Center episode. [13]

Parodies

Diamonds and Rust has been parodied or mentioned in parody many times.

  • The zine, Revisions #2, has a story called "Diamonds and Rust." "...(no, not that one!)" by Jani Hicks, art by Martynn.
  • "Flame Gems and Lust" by Justa Knutt is a parody in Pegasus #2
  • Warped Space, the very zine that includes segments from the original series also printed a parody/responsefic two issues later: It was called "Rhinestones and Mush, Treasure Chest." One fan remembers:
    There was a very long, never finished Kirk/Mary Sue saga called 'Diamonds and Rust' which featured a statuesque, gorgeous Mary Sue named Chantal Caberfae. I remember that Kirk was absolutely besotted with her. It was accompanied with some highly romantic illustrations. Someone wrote a wickedly funny satire called 'Rhinestones and Mush', published in Warped Space # 25, which was complete with cartoons by Gordon Carleton satirizing the art by showing Chantal as practically sparkling/glowing with Kirk being depicted as basically her lapdog.

Gafiation

After the publication of Diamonds and Rust, Mandi Schultz gafiated from Star Trek fandom.:
Mandi Schultz is having a zine sale. SASE for list. Also, some of Gee Moaven's art, including most of the illos for Diamonds and Rust... For the information of those of you who have sent SASEs [about 'Moonshadow']: Mandi Schultz' 'Moonshadow' is a PRIVATE publication and NOT for general distribution. Whoever let the cat out of the bag was wrong in doing so. Please stop asking about it. Mandi and Gee Moaven have gafiated from Trekdom, so says Mandi. [14]
Mandi later elaborated:
My gafia has nothing to do with whether or not D&R will be finished. I certainly do not need to be an actifan to accomplish that. In fact, considering how long volume I took to complete, ideally I ought to be confined to my basement for the duration. Those interested in more D&R should send a SASE to Cheryl Rice or myself... Any further D&R will NOT be scattered through other zines. Cheryl and I are currently evaluating various methods of its future disbursement. And we'll be happy to tell those who are interested as soon as we have it all figured out. [And] please, folks, I am not Gee Moaven's mother. If you have something to say or ask of her, write to HER, not me. [15]
There was also more on the author's activities in 1978 issues of Interstat where, a fan took another to task for suggesting "a little censorship."
I am deeply distress at the implication in [Mary Lou D's] letter (I#7) that she become the guardian of all of our ST morals. The trouble with people who advocate "a little censorship" is that they never know where to stop. [Ms. D] took it upon herself to personally try to stop publication of the Diamonds and Rust series of stories last year (written by Mandi Schultz and Cheryl Rice and published in various zines); not content with expressing her disapproval of certain elements of the tale, she sought to have the zines who carried it make apologies to their readers for doing so. The upshot of these activities was to drive Schultz and Rice completely out of ST fandom, wounded by the vituperation visited on them, and presently represented only by the recent publication of the D & R Collected, Volume I, Kzinti Press. (Every fan who approved/hated D & R owes it to him/herself to read the whole first third of this novel, to see the individual stories in perspective, without the background of warring LOCs.) [16]
A fan responds to the above statement:
Come now, if Rice and Schultz didn't believe in their work enough to continue in fandom despite all obstacles, where does anyone get off blaming [Mary Lou D] for their gafiating? I seem to remember sending some suggestions to Schultz a while back when Diamonds and Rust was submitted to DELTA TRIAD. I read the entire series. To me, it just didn't click—but I didn't say "Don't write it anymore." And I also spoke out against Rice and Schultz' recent story in ALPHA CONTINIUM 2 on incest that was added to the D & R series as an apparent afterthought. Why, I don't know; it served no purpose that I could see. And now you're denying [Mary Lou D's] right to protest in other areas. Who said you had to do as she wishes? No one is forcing you to follow her ideas. I make up my own mind as to what I do; if I agree with Mary Lou, fine; if I don't, that's fine too. [17]
Cheryl Rice herself responds:
Does anyone know how © fan stories really stand? — legally I mean. We © all the D & R stories, sent them into Washington D.C. and filled out the papers and paid the fee & all. ST is a topic of Interest to a lot of fan writers, tho I must admit I don't know why Guinn has his/her feat hers so ruffled over the problem. Final thing — I'm sure [Dixie O's] motives were the highest, but she is totally wrong in saying [Mary Lou D] drove Mandi & I out of ST fandom. We are going on with the series due to public demand as the saying goes. The best estimate I can make as to when volume #2 will be out is— eventually. Mandi is limiting her fan activities to the series but this has as much to do with changing interests as to Dodge's machinations. She & [Gee M] produced a 400+ page, lavishly illustrated STAR WARS series, Moonshadow [18], and has now moved on & is working on a series of Saturday Night Fever stories. All this in addition to work on the new D & R. I'm still in Welcommittee, had a story published in the latest Warped Space and last week at a local SF con helped staff the ST room. I've hardly been "driven out of ST fandom." I think it is a mistake to come down too hard on Mary Lou — after all, it must be terribly embarrassing to her to have ranted & raved so wildly only to find that no one with the slightest amount of good sense paid her the least bit of attention. After watching her succeed only in making a spectacle of herself— I think the true Christian attitude to take is deep pity. [19]

Reactions and Reviews

Reactions and Reviews in Warped Space

Rusty Hancock: It is certainly unjust to judge what are intended as chapters of a much, much longer work by the same criteria as one would use for short stories. Of course chapters may seem like vignettes — they are. Although some may stand alone quite well, others do not; they may serve mainly as lead-ins or fillers or any number of things. There is nothing wrong with that. The fact is that for a variety of reasons, it was not always made clear to readers that what they were reading was only a part of a whole. Sometimes the problem was simple lack of space; and at first there simply existed no coherent summary with updatings as each story saw print. With other editors, printing summaries and lists of wliere other episodes appeared in print was presented as an option — which they chose not to exercise. It is not quite in line with the facts to decry as simple carelessness of contraction what is, in actuality, authorial intent. No matter what a reader thinks about the fact that a chapter ends "up in the air," it is sometimes simply unavoidable — and will probably be resolved later. We are, after all, discussing a serialized novel, which will possibly run into 3 volumes and encompass something like 600 - 800 pages. It isn't realistic to expect much of anything to take final shape within 20 or 30 pages.

Much exception is taken with the essential characterizations of Kirk and Chantal, as though Schultz & Rice were unaware that the man they were construct ing was acting in a particular way, and that those actions would grate on the nerves and sensibilities of people who saw him in another way. The ladies aren't idiots — except perhaps for allowing the serialization of D&R chapters before the collected volume came out. They were aware of what they were doing, with both characters. Of course this Kirk is getting to the point where he "shouldn't be trusted to tie his shoe laces, let alone fly a starship ... " An exploration of the Kirk who evolved during the years after the completion of the first 3 years of the famous 5-year mission is central to the novel — and he IS evolving, not just degenerating into imbecility and psychological impotence. Volume I simply does not yet concern it self with his rise from the ashes. That, I suspect, is the problem: unlike the ALTERNATE UNIVERSE ((FOUR)) Kirk, who makes horrible mistakes, suffers terribly because of them, and even attempts suicide (all of which elicited surprisingly little negative comment from the people who are nauseated by THIS Kirk), the D&R captain is seen going to hell in much greater detail. We aren't just told about it, we are shown it, we hear it, in agonizing detail. If you don't like the idea to begin with, this painstaking dissection of his gradual dissolution is going to hang your nerves out on the fence — as one lady said, it will grate against you "like fingernails on a black board." It's supposed to. It's really no fun watching the mighty fall — unless they're Hitlers. He's not even Ozymandias. King of Kings. He's just one man, in a pretty responsible position in his corner of the world, but the Federation can survive without him. The only person who really can't survive without Kirk is — Kirk himself. D&R is essentially the story of how he comes apart at the seams, welds himself together, and flies on — bloody but unbowed. Honest to god. It's more than the epitome of the "get Kirk" story with a big dollop of Mary Sue thrown in.

That brings me to Chantal. She's been described as just another Mary Sue, only Capellan this time. So let's start with that. She's Capellan. In answer to the statement that she's "the most gorgeous, irresistible wonder-woman ever to board the Enterprise," I can only say, remember Eleen? She was nothing if not gorgeous. They do grow a few terrific-looking women on Capella 4. And they're considered to be much stronger physically than humans. There is much psychological strength to her as well, but that is balanced by enough other traits that it's impossible to call her a paragon. She is not made strong for the sole purpose of tearing Kirk down to ground level or lower, nor is his dissolution necessary to make her appear calm, competent and capable. He does not meet Chantal and suffer sudden collapse as though she were a one-woman heart attack. Groundwork is laid within the early parts of the series for the fact that Kirk has been experiencing cracks in the concrete of his "tough" personality; Chantal may be said to be a catalyst, but not the sole cause. It's more fun, if you can avoid choking on that word, to watch someone react to oth er people than to simply sit in the corner of his cabin muttering to himself, going quietiy and solitarily batty. Hence, Chantal. "It would be out of char acter for Jim to give Chantal priority ov er Spock, as far as decisions go"? Yes, I suppose so. That's part of the point. He isn't functioning as well as formerly. There are undoubtedly times when he shouldn't listen to her, but does anyway. In "Idols," for example, both of them realize that the mind-meld Spock reluctantly performed (or attempted) on Joanna McCoy wasn't the best solution, even though she pushed for it in the face of Spock's objections — and got her way. She doesn't admit it aloud — Kirk does all the talking — but she probably knows it. Not that she cared about Spock's feelings that much. On the positive side, remember that she IS a Dept. head — possibly the 1st Chief of Security we've ever been shown. Of course he listens to her about security matters. That's her job.

Perhaps the "tv-Kirk" would have had second thoughts about Chantal as a love object. The Kirk of D&R has them too — and third and fourth thoughts — and is still ensnared. He isn't the earlier Kirk — he's a man whose balance is shifting. We've seen this before — on the air — in Naked Time, in Enemy With in , in Paradise Syndrome. Those were different Kirks indeed — but no one got all hairy about them (probably because they.were viewed as temporary aberrations — they all went away — Captain Hyde obediently crawled back into the bottle at the end and became another victim of the insidious 60-minute solution). Perhaps the same thing will happen to Sweet Baby James — give Schultz & Rice a little time, they've got 2 volumes to go. Nowhere do they give you specific author ial comments (author as God) that Chantal is the perfect mate for Kirk. Actually she isn't. She isn't Reena, Miramanee, or Edith Keeler. She's far more complex than the first, more subtle than the second, and more devious than the third. Nobody intends her to be like them, and the assumption that she's a character who misfired because she didn't "measure up" to their sterling qualities is quite simply wrong. Kirk may even make false assumptions himself — after all, his judgement is slipping in lots of areas. He may have a moment of comparing her to Edith, but that doesn't mean she IS like her, or that S&R intend her to be. She is precisely what Luba Kmetyk calls her — someone you can both like and dislike, because she's multi-dimensional — and her dimensions range from the base to the admirable, with lots of levels in between. If I were a raging Kirkfan, I probably wouldn't like her either — but please be careful to separate the intentions of the authors from the opinions of the various characters within the series. The two things do not always move congruently — which is literarily valid, no matter what one's opinion of said characters is. [20]
Gordon Carleton:

In response to Rusty Hancock: Is it unfair to judge chapters of a longer work by the same criteria as short stories? Not if they are clearly marked as such and are printed as a whole or sequentially in a given publication. However, if they are printed as fragments in a number of publications, out of sequence, then one cannot expect the reader to grasp any continuity of story or plot that carries over from section to section. We are not discussing a serialization, because a serialization implies regularity of publication. Can you Imagine a professional novel being serialized by appearing in five or more different magazines, each magazine with a different chapter? Publi cation of any given magazine, fannish or pro, cannot assume carryover readership from any other publication. As such, any "chapter" in a continuing work published under these circumstances should be in short story form — in other words, complete unto themselves as well as relating to each other. A vignette, you say? Then why do they all have that lead-in paragraph "Jim & Chantal ... They have more than love in a series of stories by Rice & Schultz"? The word "stories", to me, implies more than a series of scenes out of context.

If it said "a continuing story" (note use of the singular) I might believe you. However, since it says "stories" I expect to get a story. Is that really asking too much? The characterization of Kirk as a wet noodle does, indeed, bother me (and I am not a Kirk fan!). Your explanation that is s a different Kirk, beyond what was telecast, just doesn't work. Why, then, weren't there signs that he was decaying? The characterization of the animated ST Kirk (much of which was "established" as after "live" ST time by stardate) was much the same as the other three seasons. There is a difference between evolution and regression. The D&R Kirk seems to have regressed to adolescence.

In reference to the characterization of Chantal as a Capellan Mary Sue, yes, I do remember Eleen — as a beautiful woman of strong will, temper, and personal pride. The only thing she and Chantal have in common is their height. As you say, Chantal herself does not believe she is beautiful. Can you imagine the wife of the Teer thinking that? Outwardly, Chantal acts rather Vulcan, while inside she is seething with indecision — very odd feelings indeed for a race of people who prize personal strength and dignity above all else. Whether or not she can be classified as a "Mary Sue" depends largely on your definition of the prototype. Chantal as "illuminated" by Moaven (most illustrations I have seen do not seem to follow descrip tions in the stories, or vignettes, or whatever they are) is a cover-girl type with a model's face and figure. This (since I presume the illos are approved by the authors) and the uneven characterization of the Capellan lead me to believe Chantal is an idealized projection, if not of the authors then at least of a combined ideal female prototype with gothic over tones. That's Mary Sue enough for me. I am not a raging Kirkfan, but I don't like her — because I can't believe her.

Poor Spock suffers as badly as Kirk in characterization. In all the aired ST I can remember there is no indication of Spock being jealous of Kirk, anywhere from command of the Enterprise to any of his relationships with women. Whenever Kirk got into difficulties with either interest, Spock's interest was in Kirk, helping him to reach his top level of efficiency again. Spock never seemed to have time for jealousy I also don't care if she is a head of a department — Spock is second in command. Just by office and rank, Spock's opinions must carry more weight. (By the way, we have seen another Security Head — Giotto in "Devil In The Dark.") Please don't write of the TV-ST characterizations as "60-minute solutions." They aren't much different from 60 page solutions or 2 volumes-to-go solutions. One must end what one is doing when one's time is up.

What I have read of D&R does not strike me as literarily valid because it never earns my suspension of disbelief. I have preconceptions of STAR TREK characters from watching STAR TREK. I don't know where the D&R authors get theirs. In response to Mandi Schultz: I'm sorry you don't have the time tqpublish your work properly," but couldn't you have made an arrangement with one of the folks that originally published the first D&R fragments to publish the whole thing at once instead of scattering it to the four winds of fandom? It would have solved the whole story vs. vignette problem.

Your "survival element" as your main interest shouldn't blind you to the other lements that were established in the aired ST episodes. Just because I like science blue doesn't mean I want Kirk and Scotty to wear it. You also say how other writers enlarged the Kirk/Spock/McCoy relationship to suit their needs and that you don't do that — after stating this "survival element" was your key motivator, that strikes me as discordant. One uses what one sees. So all Treklit written with additional characters is an alternate universe? Carried to its logical end, does this mean every aired ST episode by a different writer is an alternate universe? Do fan stories that cross fictional alternate universes (by this definition) create a dimensional interphase or a third alter nate universe altogether? Somehow, I rather assumed that if you were using STAR TREK characters you were writing in the STAR TREK universe unless specifically stating otherwise. If not, someone's Spock with purple blood and green hair who likes to tap dance on the bridge is as valid as the aired ST Spock. I don't believe it is. No, I do not require a "happily ever after" ending, but how about an ending? D&R may not be intended as "Love Story," but does it have to take as long as "Days Of Our Lives"? Is Chantal's secret my stery mission really to see how long the thing can be stretched?

Quite simply, "Treasure" bored me. It was not a story. It did not make me want to read more, because of the fact that it should have had a plot in itself. I pre sume that if I read the other pieces that have been published I would still be as uniformed as to what's supposed to be going on. Let me know when you get to the plot. [21]
Dixie G. Owen: I was stunned at the amount and variety of the resistence to the D&R series — I guess it is natural to expect the Spock-adorers to adamantly resist any story that relegates him to a peripheral role, but to do it on the basis that it cuts into the old Kirk/Spock/McCoy trio love feast is inconsistent with the information we got from the original series. I thoroughly enjoy all the imaginative what-if sexual areas being explored by some fine writers of today in STfic, but it wasn't that way, guys — the personalities as set forth in all three years pointed firmly to heterosexual inclinations for the Big Three.

Therefore, and whereas — the five-year tour on the E could readily be likened to a similar hitch in military service today: deep and firm friendships, and yes — love, in a sexless sense — are formed and their benefits enjoyed in the form of companionship, loyalty and concern. But how much is one five-year period in the life-time of the average man? Put it in perspective — back they go to the REAL world, where for most of them reality consists of following their natural instincts to take a wife and raise a family. It is no accident that the kind of love a man feels for his wife and children far outweighs that which he feels for his boyhood companions or servicemen friends. No matter how good the intentions, a man turns away from his former friends as he becomes more and more absorbed in fulfilling the role that nature intended. Unless, of course, latent homo sexuality comes to the surface, and the two men (3?) find happiness together. And the latter course is all that could happen to mature males out of that turgid, in tense hand-holding sort of fiction that went on in zines prior to the taboo-breaking one from Alaska.

Back to D&R — so Kirk can recognize that he is getting tired of the constant responsibility and repetitive meetings with aliens, Klingon and Romulan fights, and the usual hassle of a starship Captain; he can actually see that there will come a time when he will be willing to consider seeking a quieter more secure life — and in the back of his mind has always been the thought that he would marry some day, and that the rest of his life would be spent somewhere safer. Of course he never anticipated falling seriously in love with a member of his crew, but the excellent build-up stories have detailed how it might very well happen. As for his weak nesses — they were there all the time, but his command image obscured them as long as his motivation was strong enough^ After all, even a macho needs comforting some of the time.

I like D&R, as anyone can plainly see — it has been something of a strain having to read chapters out of order, and sort of piecing the story together, but it is worth it. I look forward to seeing the whole thing together in the collected volumes, and, I might point out, when the stories can be seen as a whole, not just one chapter a month high-lighted (or 2 sometimes), Kirk's weaknesses will not seem so uncharacteristic, but merely as part of the character study. After all, this is not a ST trio story — but the study of a mature man-woman relationship, with intriguing stop-offs for mystery, adventure and espionage. [22]
In the next edition of Warped Space, the editor shuts the debate down:
I am herein declaring the 'Diamonds and Rust' discussion/debate closed, as of this issue and, and will not print any more LoCs on the subject, as I feel that D&R has received more than adequate and varied comments within the pages of this 'zine! [23]

Other Reactions and Reviews

Individual Stories

See reactions and reviews for To Each His Own.
See reactions and reviews for Idols I Have Loved.
See reactions and reviews for Year of the Cat.
See reactions and reviews for No Special Hurry.
See reactions and reviews for Night Creatures.

The Series: Unknown Date

[series]: When I first got involved in fandom in the 1970s, the Mary Sue du jour (that is, a character widely labelled and criticized as such) was Chantal of the 'Diamonds and Rust' series. Chantal is a mysterious Capellan woman with long, flowing tresses 'the color of starlight' who boards the Enterprise as Chief of Security, re-organizes the ship, befriends everyone aboard (except Spock, of course), beds Kirk and even moves into his quarters. Her exploits are too numerous to mention. [24]
[series]: Mary Sue, with adult hetero material. This is a series of spy thrillers with super agent Chantal Caberfae, a Capellan/Human hybrid, posted as Security Chief on the Enterprise as her cover. Chantal is icy and aloof, pursuing her own prey while also improving mortality rates and efficiency in Security. In many ways she is an annoying Mary Sue; she is beautiful, the authors spend a lot of time describing her wardrobe, she is an expert at everything, and one wonders how the ship ever functioned before she came along. I do not like her, and I do not like the portrayal of Kirk in these stories - he is rather ineffectual and more inclined to make goo-goo eyes at her than figure out what she really is. However, I find the stories - at least the two I have read involving a conspiracy around McCoy -- quite compelling. The writing is good, the characters vivid, and the plot bold, not to say shocking. [25]
[series]: I don’t quite know what to think of these. On one hand they are annoying Mary Sue tales. On the other... well, the story-telling is suspenseful and compelling, and the writing good when not dwelling on the perfections and wardrobe of heroine super-spy Chantal Caberfae. [26]

The Series: 1977

[series]: Strange things are going on in the sub-world of 'Adult Trekfic.' It seems that one of the stories in the Diamonds and Rust series has a rather unusual plot device: Dr. McCoy goes to bed with an aggressive young woman who (surprise!) turns out to be his daughter, Joanna. Through a series of credibility-stretching writing tricks, no one knows who the other one is until the fun is over. (No, I don't know the name of the story, or where it was published.) [the incest story this fan refers to is in also in Alpha Continuum #2, and a set of two stories, "To Each His Own" and "Idols I Have Loved."] The results are what you might expect: Joanna kills herself, and Dr. M is 'shattered' (not necessarily in that order.) But what really makes this interesting is from where the heaviest negative comments are coming from: some of the well-known fen who applaud the Kirk-and-Spock-go-gay trash. Frankly, I'm surprised at the reactions I've been hearing about this stuff. After all, the rushing about to jump on the Homosexuality-in-Trekfic bandwagon, I thought it would take nothing less than Captain Kirk going to bed with a Great Dane to get a rise out of people. And, disturbingly, they are not just going after the story, but doing a hatchet job on the author as well. I heard she is being called things in print that aren't even used on crooked convention organizers. Bad scene. [27]
MANDI SCHULTZ AND CHERYL RICE are collaboration on a series they call DIAMONDS AND RUST, It is a Kirk-series, and a very good one, too. Mandi, particularly, has a very unique view of Kirk, and it's worth your while to read the series. As of right now, there are bits of it scattered through just about every zine in fandom, but in March, work will begin on a collected version. You might want to contact Mandi about that time for more info. Gee Moaven illustrates the series. [28]

The Series: 1978

[series]: Mimeo, 247 pp., comes with holes punched and rings. SASE for prices. This zine consists of fourteen medium-to-long stories written by Mandi Schultz and Cheryl Rice, some previously published. I would like to suggest that all of the enjoying/complaining readers of Schultz' and Rice's D&R tales take another look at them in perspective, now that they have been collected into Volume I of three, and appear here in novel form. Previous consideration of the whole story and its handling of the ST characters was under great handicap, as they appeared here and there, out of order and months apart. Not only has the group been tied together chronologically but extrapolating stories have been added, and the development of the Kirk character builds up into what is surely one of the most mature and well-rounded considerations in ST fanfic. The tragic McCoy/Joanna "incident" fades into just that as the whole story is seen, is relegated to its proper minor part, like that of Amanda's gang-rape in Kraith, for instance. Who now holds that against JL in the giant-screen scope of Kraith legend? Spock remains somewhat ham-handedly presented, but he is also a minor character in what is essentially a strong secret-spy heroine's tale of accidentally falling in love with the Captain of the E, and drawing him almost absent-mindedly into her own orbit and away from his starship career. Fans who register objection to the what-if "K/S relationship" should be particularly delighted to see the evidence of devoted heterosexual commitment on the part of Kirk, since the absence of women they love is the greatest weakness of the extensive stories carried in zines devoted to Kirk's and Spock's deep friendship. This is not to say that Kirkers are not going to groan over what looks like the certain destruction of his trust, love and confidence in this Mata Hari of the future, surely one of the most deceitful and devious heroines of fanfic, as Volume I ends and they head for shore duty on Capella. Anyway, it is an engrossing love story, and I hope other parts of the novel will also be published to tell us how it came out. D&R could just become one of those classics in fanfic, showing one logical extension of the lives of light-hearted space adventures, and fandom will be the poorer for it if we never get to see the rest. SASE to Mandi Schultz... to declare your interest in future volumes, presently in the works. [29]

The Series: 1981

[series]: There come times when one must make sweeping generalizations, justify one's prejudices, create necessary pigeon-holes for square-peg in round-hole theories. So here goes: At its very best, be it blues or rhythm and blues, be it old gangster films or the works of science fiction masters from Heinlein to Fish, or Andy Warhol's art; American popular art is characterized by vitality and deliberate trashiness, by a nearly innocent corruption that simultaneously repels and endears, by purity and rawness of emotion. Melodrama is never far away. The in-ness of American popular art gives promise of telling those who seek out its mysteries where, in Tom Wolfe's phrase, the Right Stuff is and of what it consists. But, it never relinquishes the funky, elemental obligation of revealing where the bodies are buried.

With the above in mind, I turn to the world of Chantal Caberfae and her once and future lover, James Kirk. The twisted and tarnished angels of DIAMONDS AND RUST come to us from a time as incompatible with human decency, as crippling, indeed horrifying as our own time. Chantal and Jim grab for the brass ring on their lives' little merry-go-round; and, Oh, God, is that ring ever made of brass! They seek a moment of shared sublimity and end up praying separately to whatever demented, minor god they still acknowledge that their grubby secrets will not, not surface, and that somehow, in their hour of honesty and abandon, their isolated hearts will not break. They are like Bogart and Bergman in CASABLANCA, and ever so much more like the real, drop-dead, romantic pair of that film, Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains.

Mandi Schultz and Cheryl Rice have vested the DIAMONDS AND RUST universe with a basic sleaze that in its way is as irresistible as Hemingway's incompleteness, Vonnegut's innocence, or Billie Holiday's addiction. Chantal and Jim know, centuries hence, the dark, off-key, off-color worlds of Scott Fitzgerald, Lou Reed, and Edward Hopper. And through all their trials, the ghost of a half-forgotten old Viennese Jew, Sigmund Freud, who loved all who struggle in emotional shadow, observes the apparently doomed lovers as they learn the awful realities of the endless, unforgiving human condition. (See "Year of the Cat," AC 4 and "Night Creatures," AC 1) With a strained sort of mercy, Schultz and Rice give us a postlude to DIAMONDS AND RUST in AC 4, a moment in time shortly after the V'ger incident. It will not do. It is not enough. Who the Hell is Yang —The Target? What tawdry Gotterdammerimg was acted out on Cappela? When will the lovers meet again? What a terrifying reunion! Chantal and Jim are getting older, not better. (See "No Special Hurry," AC 4) No matter, like Yoko and John's occasional messages during the seventies (and now Yoko's), any message from Action Central is better than none at all. And a message from Hell is infinitely more exciting than anything a heavenly choir might transmit. [30]

The Series: 2000

Mary Sues become the object of parody when they are too blatantly a projection of the author's fantasies, when the Mary Sue character's exploits are not *earned* by any signs of ability or character or accomplishment that shows up in the story. In this kind of story, the author has taken the easy route to getting her character on the Enterprise and bedding down the ST character of her choice.When I first got involved in fandom in the 1970s, the Mary Sue du jour (that is, a character widely labelled and criticized as such) was Chantal of the "Diamonds and Rust" series. Chantal is a mysterious Capellan woman with long, flowing tresses "the color of starlight" who boards the Enterprise as Chief of Security, re-organizes the ship, befriends everyone aboard (except Spock, of course), beds Kirk and even moves into his quarters. Her exploits are too numerous to mention. [31]

The Series: 2004

The heroine of Rice and Schultz' "Diamonds and Rust" series, Chantal Caberfae, steps somewhat out of the Mary Sue boundaries. Still younger than her shipboard love interest Kirk, she is nevertheless not a teenager, nor is she subject to the teenage anxieties usually associated with Mary Sue. However, in the Mary Sue vein, during the course of her multi-part adventures she saves McCoy's career and beds Kirk. A strong hint of the story's and the character's proximity to the soap opera genre is in the introductory text: "Jim and Chantal...they have more than love." [32]

The Series: 2012

...not since Chantal Caberfae have we seen a character of this amazingness. That was an old Trek thing with a Mary Sue, and the joke going on about her was that she was on an espionage mission for some secret reasons, she didn't know what it was, because it was written as a serial and the writers forgot the ending. It was written as a serial. It was published in chapters? And chapters would show up all over the place and the writers probably knew what they were doing and had originally been creating suspense, but then they forgot the ending. But there were all of these clues going on and I had already read about sixty-seven chapters, and they didn't know what the hell the secret mission was, what her amazing alien race was, who had been responsible for doing the extensive genetic engineering on her to give her her fabulous powers and how it was she had managed to be raised a total amnesiac. Yeah, they spaced on all of that, and so no one ever found out... Yes, it's why you should always plot. In case you forget where you were going, okay? But they never finished it either. [33]

References

  1. from Boldly Writing
  2. "Idols I Have Loved" is the direct sequel to this story.
  3. from The Clipper Trade Ship #16
  4. from Mandi Schultz
  5. from the introduction to "How Long the Night, How Bright the Stars" in Tal Shaya #3
  6. from Warped Space #25
  7. from Implosion #6
  8. from Scuttlebutt #8 (July 1978)
  9. from The Clipper Trade Ship #22 (October 1978)
  10. from a comment by Mandi in Scuttlebutt #11 (Jan/Feb 1979)
  11. unknown source, possibly Datazine
  12. a fan writes in Implosion #6
  13. from Implosion #5
  14. from a personal statement in Scuttlebutt #6 in 1978
  15. from Scuttlebutt #7
  16. by Dixie O in Interstat #9
  17. from Ingrid C in Interstat #10
  18. It is unknown if this was ever published.
  19. from Interstat #10
  20. a letter of comment by Rusty Hancock in Warped Space #25
  21. a letter of comment by Gordon Carleton in Warped Space #25
  22. a letter of comment by Dixie G. Owen in Warped Space #25
  23. from Warped Space #26/27 (1977)
  24. from Soho Workshop
  25. from the Zinedex
  26. from Karen Halliday's Zinedex
  27. from Probe #11
  28. comment by Jean Kluge in Fantasia #1
  29. from Mahko Root #2 (1978)
  30. from a review of some of the short stories in Alpha Continuum #4 printed in Universal Translator #10 (1981)
  31. from On "Mary Sue" and "Lay" Stories by Judy Gran (2000)
  32. Mary Sue Gives Birth, Baby Undergoes Sex Change: The Role of Star Trek Fan Fiction in the Creation of Star Trek: The Next Generation; Archive ("At the Internet Review of Science Fiction". A history of the concept, analyzing Wesley Crusher and James Kirk as Mary Sue characters") (2004)
  33. Fan Fiction Oral History Project with Jacqueline (2012)