For There is Much to Dare

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Zine
Title: For There is Much to Dare
Publisher: Chained to the Typewriter Press
Editor:
Author(s): Susan Crites
Cover Artist(s):
Illustrator(s): none
Date(s): February 1993
Medium: print zine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Language: English
External Links: part one
part two
part three is offline!
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

For There is Much To Dare is an adult het 71-page Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel by Susan Crites. There is no interior art.

Written after just six episodes had aired, the author thinks it was the first DS9 fic printed. The print zine is certainly the first all DS9 zine printed,.

The story required an age statement to purchase.

Combating Zine Piracy

[from the print zine]: Each copy of this zine is individually signed by the author. If you don't have an original signature, please do not deal with that person. We have to sell enough of these to make back the investment or we can't go on to put out the next zine! And yes, that thing that looks like the cat sneezed while the writing was happening IS the author's signature!

From the Author

About the Zine

From the author:
[from the print zine]:

The most peculiar romance you're going to read for a while...

This novel was written during the first six weeks after DS9 premiered. Subsequent episodes might reveal details which make this immediately Not Right. Please, after that point, regard it as an alternate universe and enjoy it anyway! This is a plain old-fashioned romance. It is told from Odo's point of view. It is also, just a a tad, a Mary Sue. It's also extremely funny. And kinda sweet... Please don't order if you are offended by the thought of a relationship between a human and somebody who retires to a pail at regular intervals.

About the Canon, Being Jossed, Music...

[from the print zine, included in online version]:

Every kind of writing has its tricky bits, and doing this DS9 story was no exception. When you decide to start speculating in great detail about a show you've only seen a few episodes of, you're courting disaster. That's assuming, of course, that you define disaster as Getting Caught Diverging from the Canon. It's not my definition. (Trust me, I know disaster, and that's NOT it.) Oh, sure, I'll be exceeding the legal happiness limit if it eventually turns out I haven't gone outside the officially established lines while coloring this. But it's a big universe, with room for lots of differing ideas. Being alternative doesn't bother me, and I hope it won't bother you. (For the record, I'd seen the pilot and all six episodes up through "Dax", plus read the novelization by J. M. Dillard, by the time I was done with the rough draft, in case you wondered.)

[snipped]

The other type of equation is what I'm working with in this story. The most interesting characters are walking equations with a lot of unknown variables, and some of us writers can't resist the urge to solve for those X's, Y's and Z's. One of the ways you solve this kind of equation is to plug in possible values, or information, for the unknown quantity, then work the equation to see if you get an answer that makes sense. (There is rarely just one answer, kind of like real life.) Once you get two or three good sets of answers, you can graph them out and draw lines that give you even more answers, until you've got the whole thing figured out and settled to everyone's satisfaction.

I'm going to translate from Mathese to English now, and in passing show how this story isn't (well, tries hard not to be) a "Mary Sue". For anybody who's new to fandom, I should explain that the primary indicator for a classic "Mary Sue" story is where the author and the heroine are virtually identical, to within two or fewer digits in their Social Security numbers. They are also, in an amazing stroke of luck, the perfect match for whatever tv character the author is interested in. They usually either marry the hero or die nobly, often both.

I designed Allita, the other half of this romance you're about to read, using the reciprocal theory I just talked about. (The decision on how good I am at guessing what characteristics to substitute for unknowns is to be made by the readers, with apologies in advance to those who think this approach is much too clinical for real romance.) She and I don't have all that much in common, or at least no more than writers generally have with the characters they create. I admit there are some similarities. We both have builds you could charitably call short and stocky. Neither of us are drop-dead beautiful, or even give-you-a-mild-headache beautiful. I'd like to think I am similarly open-minded, and I have a tenuous claim to being a musical performer, since I was once a backup singer for an amateur band formed by our bus factory. We did local dances, company parties and the occasional road trip to appear at industry conventions. (Yahoo, right?)

I picked music as a career for Allita because of knowing just that little bit about the field. Also because I took one rather unspecific line Odo says and interpreted it as meaning Odo, on the whole, likes music. Some kinds, or at least isn't dead set against it in general. Probably. So, anyway, Allita got to be a singer. I could have made her something else, like a welder, but it would have been a much harder story to write. And in solving equations, you want to use Least Common Denominators. Don't go for 64, when 2 will do nicely.

About the music in the story: At one point, I'd had it in mind to personally write any song quotes I used. Then I said, "Naaaah." So, with the exception of the first verse of the Starfleet Anthem (which, by the way, can be sung to 'Ode to Joy if you should care to do so), the quoted songs are real, but unidentified. Just for fun, we decided to have a little contest. See how many of the song bits you can guess—just send in a copy of the quiz sheet! (We'll figure out a Valuable Prize if anyone actually enters.) [1]

From the Editor

[from the print zine]:

NATTERING FROM THE EDITOR: Not sold to anyone under the magic age of 18!

This is the warning and the explanation. Chained to the Typewriter does put out some slash zines. This is not one of them. However, we are dealing here with sex between a humanoid form and a person who is not humanoid. This is kinda different, folks, and if you are in any way offended by the unusual, please pass this one by.

On the other hand, this is a rather sweet love story, and if you like a happy ending....

Summaries

From an ad in Media Monitor #34:
From Odo's point of view, the story of a singer who gets stranded on DS9. Odo becomes involved in getting her a job at Quark's, and a romance develops.
From the author's website:

This is a story I wrote in a mad frenzy of passion after falling in love (with a resounding crash) with the (then) brand-new show Deep Space 9 in general and Odo, that crusty and secretly angsty shapeshifter, in particular.

My friend and I were then doing fanzines--just like a webpage, but actually printed on actual paper. :) This story is long out of print, but I happened to still have the disks and was able to convince my proud modern beauty of a computer to decode the old data.

I have gritted my teeth and made no alterations except for very obvious typos. This is pure 8 year aged in the bottle me.

Here is the preface which appeared in the zine. It's a bit weird--if it seems way too bizarre, just pass it by. The storyline isn't nearly as opaque. [2]

Gallery

Planned Sequel

From The Plain and Simple Zine #10 in 1997:

The last two stories In this zine were originally supposed to be in another zine. It was untitled, but the theme was to be adult DS9 stories--and we had the paperpicked out for the cover! Not slash, although slash could be an element. I wanted stories which dealt with adult issues in ways that other zines did not. I had an excellent line-up. Susan, who wrote the first DS9 novella/zine ever, was providing me with a very funny sequel to For There is Much to Dare. Janet Alex had a story idea, and so did Eros, and DVS. It was looking fantastic-and long!

Everything then proceeded to go south in the proverbial handbasket. Janet Alex reported [personal details redacted] and would not be able to write the story. Eros wrote a story, and then the show promptly killed off the character. DVS was having trouble with her story but it was okay, she had another idea and was sure it would make the deadline. Then Janet wrote to say she thought she could do the story she had in mind anyway. DVS was moderately disgusted when her story turned into a garden-variety slash story, but it was okay, she had an idea for yet another one. Fortunately, there was no fixed deadline for this zine, as at that point it had been in the works for 2 years.

But wait, there's more. Susan got frustrated with the entire show of DS9 as the seasons went on and they matched her character, Odo, up with-well, you know who. And she was distracted by the discovery of the Internet and the 300 pages and still counting X-Men series she started. I still had high hopes of bullying the story out of her right up to the point where she [personal details redacted].

Then DVS confessed that she was having trouble with her story—The Nurse Novel is the working title- and it wasn't going to get done for months. We'd been working on aspects of this zine for almost 4 years.

Exactly then, it became clear that factors were conspiring to make the 10th Plain and Simple Zine the last of them. We decided to put everything we had on hand into this last zine (which won't be really the last if DVS ever comes through with the Nurse novel. Cross your fingers....), make it a double issue, and go out with the flags waving.

Thank you all for your support, your patience and your LoCs. We hope you enjoy the zine, and especially the dessert at the end!

Reactions and Reviews

1993

... a wonderful Intimate Adventure novelette which is a love story told from Odo's point of view with the most gorgeous shapeshifter sex scene I've read in a long time. But it's too short. I was left wanting to know everything that happened next. I highly recommend this one. [3]

1995

This is a love story, and as such it is a very successful story, provided you like happy endings. Allita, Odo's love interest, is an itinerant singer who finds herself stranded on DS9 with no money and no job. Odo helps her gain employment singing at Quark's. Allita is a remarkable refreshing character in that she is not physically perfect, somewhat too short and stocky, and not nearly what would be considered gorgeous, but is honest and open-minded about her relationship with the shapeshifter. Her interest appears to be one of personalities and not simply curiosity about a relationship with a radically different species. In very careful detail, Ms. Crites examines this relationship from the first inkling of interest, to the agreement to become sexual, to publicly acknowledging their bond. In the beginning, Odo does not know what he wants from himself or from Allita and the author shows a keen understanding of human nature and the insecurities of a new and developing relationship as she helps Odo discover exactly what he does want. Odo finds his reaction to this human female puzzling, and he and Allita cautiously feel their way into the relationship. Odo is somewhat concerned about her acceptance of his true physical nature as well as the perception of his involvement with a human female by the rest of the population of DS9. To make any romantic encounter believable, for Odo, for a human, or for any of the variety of humanoid species we have encountered in the Star Trek universes, it is necessary for the writer or actor to create a feeling of empathy with the character. Without that empathy, there is very little interest in what happens to a character. In order to create the necessary emotional response in the reader, the author must ascribe human feelings and emotions to even nonhuman species. If our alien character's reactions were too alien, we would not identify with their emotional involvement. Ms. Crites makes Odo uncertain enough about his reaction to Allita to make us aware that what he is feeling is very new to him. She also describes his internal physical responses in such a fashion that we recognize and understand what he is experiencing, yet are aware that it is a distinctly nonhuman reaction. Ms. Crites never assumes Odo is incapable of feeling the same emotions humans feel. Although far more reserved than many humans, and not always certain of the meaning of his own responses, Odo is most certainly responsive. Though he swears he has never known a feeling called "passion" he discovers, to his delight, that in his natural state he is quite able to feel intense passion. The author has written a beautiful, plausible love scene between Allita and Odo which blends wonderfully into the ongoing development of their relationship, showing an interspecies sexual relationship in which one partner is not human and does not maintain a human shape. The scene is tastefully developed and while not the focal point of the novella, certainly is one of its most well-written scenes.

Perhaps the greatest problem I had with this novella is the detail. Though there are some wonderful passages of conversation between Odo and Allita, there are moments when the story begins to drag. Ms. Crites's perception of the budding romance was wonderful, and each scene in itself was beautifully played out, but I found myself looking for more, something to play around the growing relationship, some sort of conflict external to the personal internal conflicts, to counterbalance the love story. While the author was very careful to avoid the classic "Mary Sue" character during the creation of Allita, and I found Allita to be well-balanced and believable, she was almost too easy. She was immediately attracted to Odo and he to her, and the rest of the 71 pages was just a matter of working out the details. There was never any competition for Allita's affection though it was implied that every male on the station considered her desirable. There were, in my mind, not enough roadblocks to the successful union of these two characters, but then, I believe in making life difficult for my characters. However, if you are interested in crawling inside Odo's mind and looking at this human female through his eyes, I recommend this novella. Ms. Crites does a wonderful job. If you are looking for action, pass on this one. If you want to see the Doctor, ditto. Bashir's only scene is one in the infirmary when Odo becomes concerned that physical contact with Allita in his natural state might harm her (though I found the author's speculation about Odo's physiological makeup during this scene quite fascinating). The rest of the time Bashir's role is remanded to one-line references, none of which were complimentary, such as the "overbearing human" with the "silly eager face."

This is most definitely not an ensemble story, but a very strong, single-character novella—one author's "what iffing" about a situation that is quite likely to rouse a great deal of debate over the years. [4]

References

  1. online version
  2. online version
  3. from the back cover of the zine, blurb by Jacqueline Lichtenberg
  4. from Multi-Species Medicine #14