In the Wilderness

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Zine
Title: In the Wilderness
Publisher: Village Press
Editor(s):
Date(s): 1986-1994
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre: slash
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links: Village Press homepage
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In the Wilderness is a British series of slash Kirk/Spock Zines published by Village Press.

The fanzine won the 1987 Surak Award for 'Best Fanzine Editing.'

From the Publisher

Via the website:

Way back in 1982, two fen looked up from the zines they were reading, looked at each other and said, 'Hey, we can do this too!' And they did. They had the stories - two each! They had the technology - an elderly electric stencil printer (100 copies per minute) that went berserk when you took your eye off it. Most of all they had the enthusiasm. And so they wrote a zine. They called it THE VOICE 1 and they sold it. So they wrote some more. Kate came and they kept writing. Frances came and ... Finally after 5 issues, they said, "This is fun let's ask more people." The VOICE wasn't big enough so along came IN THE WILDERNESS (ITW for short) - all 7 of them. [1]
From the editorial of Heroes in the Wilderness:
The origin of the title of this series IN THE WILDERNESS can be found in the story of John the Baptist (St. Matthew's Gospel) and was meant to express something of the difference that the editor felt lay between her interpretation of K/S and the popular vision at the time (the 1980s.)

Age Statement

From the publisher's website: "We do not need to know your age to buy Village Press zines. However, we reserve the right not to sell Village Press zines to anyone whom we consider would not appreciate the zines as they should be appreciated."

Sister Zines

Issue 1

In the Wilderness 1 contains 134 pages and was published in 1986. The art is by A.H., Caryl Sibbett.

cover of issue #1
From the zine:
In the tradition of 'The Voice' this zine is a product of Anglo American cooperation and I should like to thank everyone who made it possible. As usual we are interested in your critical response but we are also concerned with your reaction to the ideas put forward in the zine. Hopefully these ideas can be argued independently, outside the context of the story and generate new ones, 'Spock/Kirk would never do that ' at once provokes the obvious response, 'What would he do?' And there you have a new story, or at least an interesting correspondence. All comment will be forwarded to the individual authors.

Summaries by Gilda F.:

  • The Dissolution by Eva Stuart (The ship Lt. Kirk is a passenger on is rescued by the Enterprise, reuniting him with his lover from the academy. Spock Prequel: The Test. Sequel: The Puzzle.) (1)
  • Honours Even by Kate Daniels (Due to Sareksʼ manuevering, Kirk and Spock are called to Vulcan to further his plan of forcing them to become bondmates. Prequel: The Night Before. Sequel: By The Book.) (13)
  • Else It Was Never Yours by Vivian Gates (Spock requests a transfer when he realizes what it is he wants from Kirk.) (26)
  • Winter Child, poem by Meg Fine (42)
  • The Golden Rule by Elizabeth Clark (Humor A/U: Spock orders a slave, but he doesnʼt get quite what he asked for.) (42)
  • Yesterdays, poem by Ellen Kobrin (47)
  • Aubade, poem by Flora Poste (48)
  • Their Solitary Way by Frances Rowes (Their time with the Minarians has Kirk thinking that his and Spockʼs love affair is doomed by his lack of telepathic ability, but itʼs his fear of bonding that must be ultimately overcome: Prequel: To Be a Help Meet For Him in The Voice #5.) (49)
  • Of Intangible Love Songs, poem by Meg Fine (86)
  • An Election Year by Jennifer Ferris (Caught up in the annual budgetary fighting, Kirk must also deal with Spockʼs distress over his part in continuing Vulcanʼs lack of children by bonding with his captain.) (87)
  • Earthbound, poem by Flora Poste (98)
  • Not A Loving Cup by Linda Frankel (On a world populated by people from ancient Greece by the Preservers, Spock attempts to prevent that worldʼs Socratesʼ death. Prequel: The Pursuit of Love.) (99)
  • Galaktoe, poem by Linda Frankel (102)
  • Like a Tear Cast In Stone by Kathy Resch (A Vulcan female recently posted to the Enterprise has difficulty accepting human behavior and Spockʼs seeming betrayal of Vulcan by bonding with Kirk.) (103)
  • The Price, poem by Ellen Kobrin (116)
  • Loyalty Binds Me by Vivienne Rivers (Kirk and Spock go after an ex-security man who has been sent through the Guardian by Klingons to 15th century England. Prequel: With the Crown Comes the Arrow. Sequel:The Road To Hell.) (117)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for The Dissolution.
See reactions and reviews for Honours Even.
See reactions and reviews for Else It Was Never Yours.
See reactions and reviews for The Golden Rule.
See reactions and reviews for Their Solitary Way.
See reactions and reviews for An Election Year.
See reactions and reviews for Not A Loving Cup.
See reactions and reviews for Loyalty Binds Me.
See reactions and reviews for Like a Tear Cast in Stone.
Here, the hammer fell quite unequivocally on the side of a favorable review: nine varied stories with some five pieces of poetry. Eva Stuart's "The Dissolution" brings Kirk and Spock back together again after a mutual agreement to terminate their previous relationship for the good of ambition and career. Following their reunion, they both find the need to forge ways of remaining together. As Pike tells the Vulcan: 'Some Captains can only command alone, others need...a balance for perfection.'" "Honours Even" by Kate Daniels, finds the Vulcan High Council conspiring to bring Kirk and Spock together in a 'warrior union', unaware that they are both already bonded. I really chuckled at this one. Vivian Gates' "Else It Was Never Yours" is your superior first timer - if you ignore the years of celibate love that existed before physical expression arrived. The delicate matter of their coming together is dealt with with gentleness and slow caution; truly appropriate to the depiction of the two men's tangled emotions, feelings which require order before being permitted release. A well-handled, tight exploration of the K/S beginning. "The Golden Rule" is hilarious. Enough said! "Their Solitary Way" involves the Enterprise with a cultural delegation of Minarins, the race of "Empath" fame. Whilst Spock and Kirk try to find their own balance, McCoy becomes attracted to a Minarian, Zephyr, and is attempting to confront and control his own feelings. As an empath, Zephyr would find it difficult and painful to have a relationship with a non-telepath; a problem that appears to be directly mirrored in Kirk's relationship to Spock. It seems that the Minarians, by their very nature, affect the three men in different ways and force each to face inner truths. Sensitively handled material. "An Election Year" is simply not my kind of story and "Not A Loving Cup" which follows it and is apparently a sequel to "The Pursuit of Love" in VOICE 2, although well-written, was too short to hold my attention or interest. Another voyage back into time to correct Klingon interference is the theme of "Loyalty Binds Me" but without doubt, my favourite of this zine is "Like A Tear Cast In Stone", narrated in the first person and which competently deals with the thoughts and growing awareness of a Vulcan female, Lt. T'Prayd. At first scornful of human emotion and feelings, she learns through Spock and his relationship with Kirk, to reach out and grow. I thought this a touching and thoughtful piece of work. Of the poetry, I enjoyed Meg Fine's "Of Intangible Lovesongs" and Flora Poste's "Earthbound." Overall, an excellent collection, well worth a read! [2]

Issue 2

front cover of issue #2, A.H.
an action shot!

In the Wilderness 2 was published in the UK in 1989 and is 148 pages long. The cover is by Ann Humphry and there are no interior illos.

From the editorial:
Welcome to the second issue of "In the Wilderness." This time we have concentrated on prose fiction and we hope we have provided a variety for your pleasure. We have tried to not only provide different kinds of stories but also to create new insights into the characters, directly, by parallel and by comparison. We are interested in your reactions to the characters and also to the ideas put forward in the stories. In fandom, a story is unique to its writers but it is also the product of a common imaginative experience. It is complete itself and just as importantly is a springboard for comment and discussion. The writers of ITW offer their stories in this spirit and are not adverse to criticism. In fact, one writer said of her own piece that it was cloaked in an embarrassing thin fabric of coincidence. All comment is welcome and if requested will be forwarded.

From the editor's notes:

For chronologists the following is a list of sequels and prequels. "The Puzzle" is a sequel to "The Dissolution" (ITW 1). The events of "Enigma With Variations" fall between "Progress" and "The Choicest Gift" (The Voice 5). Lieutenant Asia Arnscom and Ensign Ka'atra Traven, who feature here, first appeared in "A Day in the Life" (The Voice 3) and later in "Lie Down With Love" (Nome 11). The Asla/Ka'atra stories in this issue by Eva Stuart begin immediately after "A Day in the Life" and run in sequence. They were first published in "touched", edited by Jane Carnall (not now in print) and are reprinted here by kind permission of the editor. "The Rescued" in the same series by Kate Daniels makes its debut here. "Choice and Chance and Change" is a sequel to "Through a Glass Darkly" in "The Unique Touch" 2 edited by Jane Carnall, in which the Mirror Spock finds during the meld with 'our' McCoy that the Doctor is his mind-match. After McCoy has returned to this universe, Mirror Spock sets out to secure his own McCoy as bondmate, an entirely logical choice. The story ends: "... and they lived happily ever after. No, they didn't. This is the beginning of the most stormy relationship in history.

Summaries are by Gilda F.:

  • Winter Term by Kate Daniels (When the healing process for injuries Spock sustained when a phaser blew up in his hand doesnʼt go well, Kirk leaves the ship to stay with the his friend during his convalescence.) (1)
  • The Puzzle by Eva Stuart (Sent to the last session of command training, Spock is elated to find that Kirk has managed to have his own scheduled for the same time: Prequel: The Dissolution.) (19)
  • Doomed Dessert Story by Patricia Forrest (The crew canʼt seem to find a recipe for the dessert Kirk wants on his birthday.) (32)
  • The Lion and the Lamb by Eva Stuart (One of Kirkʼs security guards compares her and her loverʼs situation to Kirk and Spockʼs.) (36)
  • Honeymoon by Frances Rowes (Spock takes Kirk to Vulcan in the hope that his home planet can work past the fears Kirk has concerning their relationship, fears that must be overcome if they are to bond.) (38)
  • Concessions by Eva Stuart (Spockʼs security guard learns a lesson in loveʼs responsibility when Kirk is injured and she thinks itʼs her own lover who is hurt.) (93)
  • Enigma with Variations by Eva Stuart (While the Enterprise transports Sarek and Amanda on a diplomatic mission, Amanda tries to work out the problems that keep her distanced from her son.) (96)
  • The Rescue by Eva Stuart (Kirkʼs guards donʼt know whether to go to their captainʼs rescue or not when he gets involved in a bar fight. Sequel: The Rescued.) (115)
  • The Rescued by Kate Daniels (Spock is astonished to learn that the brawl Kirk was involved in was a test of the captainʼs security team. Prequel: The Rescue.) (118)
  • Perilous Journey by Felicia Forrest (Humor: Spock learns the power of humans.) (123)
  • Choice and Chance and Change by Jane Carnall (Non-K/S story) (126)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

See reactions and reviews for Winter Term.
See reactions and reviews for The Puzzle.
See reactions and reviews for Doomed Dessert Story.
See reactions and reviews for The Lion and the Lamb.
See reactions and reviews for Honeymoon.
See reactions and reviews for Concessions.
See reactions and reviews for Enigma with Variations.
See reactions and reviews for The Rescue.
See reactions and reviews for The Rescued.
See reactions and reviews for Perilous Journey.
See reactions and reviews for Choice and Chance and Change.
[zine]: The zine is a mix of first time and continuing relationship stories and one Spock/McCoy story.

WINTER TERM by Kate Daniels. I like Kate Daniels stories and this one is no exception. Spock has been injured and sent to Castro V11 for medical rehabilitation. McCoy discovers that all is not well there and Kirk determines to find out what is going on. Somehow or other, he manages to get himself appointed to the university staff as a lecturer in history. Towards the end of his stay he is awarded the Masvo Prize for historical studies and Spock is forced into reevaluating their relationship. The ensuing discussions between Captain and First Officer about their future are spirited, funny and touching. The only problem I have is whether it would really be that easy for a Starfleet captain to take time off to go and be a history lecturer on what would surely be regarded as a whim? Would Kirk really have that amount of influence? However apart from that the story works for me. Kate Daniels has a way with words and I, for one, would be pleased to see a new story by her any time she wants to write one.

THE PUZZLE by Eva Stuart. This is part of an established relationship series in which Kirk and Spock met at the Academy. In this episode, which concerns the 'command training' that Starfleet sees fit to inflict on its command grades, Spock and Kirk get the chance to be together for a while; Kirk meets Sarek and considers the question of trust between himself and Spock; Spock eventually gets excused the training and the author provides a valid reason as to why Spock never told Kirk that Ambassador Sarek was his father. I must say that I would rather like to read Eva's version of what Kirk might have said to Spock when he did find out!

THE DOOMED DESSERT STORY by Felicia Forrest. An amusing short story about the menu for Captain Kirk's 40th birthday dinner and Scott's vain attempt to discover the recipe for the dessert the Captain wants. As usual it's Spock to the rescue.

THE LION AND THE LAMB by Eva Stuart. An episode in the series about the women who act as Kirk's 'personal security' team where Asia tells Ka'atra that she has asked for a transfer out of security.

THE HONEYMOON by Frances Rowes. A long story in which Spock takes Kirk to Vulcan with the intention of introducing his lover to his family. An interesting if not always pleasant view of what it is to be a Vulcan and Kirk and Spock learn a few things about each other that they might well have preferred not to know. The section where Spock has to baby-sit a sehlat cub is nicely done and provides a welcome relief to the harsh rule of 'Tradition'.

CONCESSIONS by Eva Stuart. Another piece about Asia and Ka'atra in which Asia reviews her thoughts and feelings after a landing party goes wrong.

ENIGMA WITH VARIATIONS by Eva Stuart. The Enterprise transports Ambassador Sarek to Taiz where he is to sign an agreement that will allow the Federation to build a starbase there. Kirk and Spock discover that Taiz is actually home to two distinct races, one of whom, the Bralk, is unknown to the Federation. Then they find out that the planned starbase will occupy a site that is sacred to the Bralk. Sarek, Spock and Kirk attempt to solve the problem but really only succeed because of Taizan guard who belongs to 'hit first' school of thought. As well as the more obvious adventure story Eva has written about the changing relationships between people. In this case she looks at the relationship between Amanda and Spock but also to some extent the those between Amanda and Sarek and Amanda and Kirk. I like this aspect of Eva's stories as although I enjoy a good adventure/mystery I also like being made to think about the characters and their reactions to each other.

THE RESCUE by Eva Stuart. This is the first of two related stories. A seemingly inconsequential bar brawl breaks out and Asia and Ka'atra wade in to rescue Kirk. He is less than grateful for their intervention but later that day turns up to apologize for his lack of graciousness.

THE RESCUED by Kate Daniels. This story fits into the middle of the previous one. Kirk attempts to explain to Spock just why he was involved in a brawl and Spock manages to express his opinion of Kirk's actions without becoming insubordinate. An enjoyable couple of stories. The scene in the Radclffye Bar is well-done as is the conversation in which Kirk tells Spock why he was fighting.

PERILOUS JOURNEY by Felicia Forrest. An interesting little vignette in which Spock finds out just how dangerous a human can be for a Vulcan.

CHOICE AND CHANCE by Jane Carnall. This is a Spock/McCoy story set in the Mirror universe. It concerns the setting up alliance between the senior officers on the Enterprise and the methods by which the alliance is obtained. It also tells the story of the first few days of McCoy and Spock's bonding and McCoy's doubts and fears. A well-written story that is worth a read even if you do not subscribe to the possibility of a relationship between Spock and McCoy.

All in all a good collection of stories that is thought-provoking, humorous, even sad. The plots are generally believable and for me characterization is, in the main, spot on. As usual with Rosemary's work the zine is well-produced and is definitely on my 'read again' list. [3]

Issue 3

In the Wilderness 3 was published in 1993 and contains 130 pages. It contains no interior art.

cover of issue #3
From the zine:
Welcome to "In The Wilderness Three", which we hope you will enjoy. We would like to introduce a new writer, Patricia Roe, who makes her debut with a substantial story, "It Takes a Year". "Without Benefit" by Eva Stuart is set within that author's universe but some years before the most recent adventures as chronicled in "The Extremists". For background reference, the author was reading "Foucault's Pendulum" by Umberto Eco at the time of writing.

The quotes are excerpts, the summaries below are by Gilda F.:

  • Without Benefit by Eva Stuart (Called to testify in a case against Starfleetʼs chief prosecutor, Kirk and Spock become a news item when the press uncovers their relationship. "Spock was already out of bed, adjusting the room light. Jim threw back the clothes and followed him to the window. "Let's greet the day with a merry cry of - oh, shi…!" The big picture window was filled with blinding light --- Spock could just make out something that resolved itself into a human form in climbing suit and jet boots before the flash from the holo camera blazed and blazed again.") (1)
  • Rank Privileges by Jane Carnall and Atropos ("Damnit, Spock! Kirk was treading water and trying to kick off his boots. "Why aren't you wearing a swimsuit? Didn't Vulcans ever invent them?" "Captain, Vulcan is a desert planet. Why should we invent anything as illogical as a suit for swimming in?" … Mr. Spock, have you ever heard the proverb, 'Dangerous as a wet Vulcan'?") (21)
  • It Takes a Year by Patricia Roe (Spock is drawn into an affair with a colleague that almost destroys his with Kirk who he blames for the accident that sends the woman into a coma, just as he and Kirk are rebuilding their love affair after Spockʼs infidelity. "I was scared Spock … so damn scared, I didn't know what to do - didn't know what I'd done that had made you - " "What you had done?" Spock blurted out incredulously. You have done nothing. All was as it should be … Elisa suddenly became part of my life …") (27)
  • Three Extremely Short K/S Stories by Jane Carnall (102)
  • What Price Peace? by Kate Daniels (18 years after the peace treaty, Kirk and the Enterprise are sent to make sure it holds when the Organians decide to destroy the planet and its “inhabitants” they used as a front. "Very well then, why are you putting your command at risk on this mission?" "Who said I was? Sarek? … You keep coming up with information I don't have … want to tell me what's going on?" "No." Spock left no room for doubt about that.") (103)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

See reactions and reviews for What Price Peace?.
See reactions and reviews for Without Benefit.
See reactions and reviews for Rank Privileges.
See reactions and reviews for It Takes a Year.

Issue 4

In the Wilderness 4 was published in 1994 and contains 180 pages. It has a frontispiece by Caren Parnes and other art by Ann Humphrey. The front cover is by Fiona Graves.

cover of issue #4, Fiona Graves
frontispiece to issue #4, Caren Parnes. One reviewer commented: "... love the art here, how Jim touches him barely, and Spock's reaction."[4]

The summaries are by Gilda F.:

  • The Encounter - Eva Stuart (A mission to the planet of the delicate and beautiful Susurra, who communicate by colour. A death and a sacrifice offered. Kirk and Spock fight for their careers and their relationship. Prequel: The Resolution. Sequel: A Dawn Shall Come) (also in It Takes Time on Impulse #4)
  • There are Always Alternatives - Patricia Roe (Interactive K/S - the ultimate in multiple choice!)
  • David - Sarne (Spock learns the tragic consequences of jealousy when The Enterprise rescues an elderly scientist and his young companion, whose attraction to Kirk does not go unnoticed by Spock.)
  • Once More with Feeling - Patricia Roe (What does a Captain do when his Beloved is immersed in Spectral Analysis theory, Spectral Analysis Comparison, Spectral Analysis Tests ...? Kirk is counting on the music of Tchaikovsky to redirect Spockʼs attention from his research back to his bondmate)
  • Not Passion's Slave - Jane Carnall (Alternate Universe Spock/McCoy!) (Non-K/S story)
  • O, Thou Perfidious Vulcan - Kate Daniels (The perils of a Vulcan betrothal especially if the Vulcan in question is already married! When Spock is unexpectantly summoned to Vulcan he finds that his family has lined up a fiancee for him, heedless of the fact that he and Kirk are lovers.)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

See reactions and reviews for The Encounter.
See reactions and reviews for There are Always Alternatives.
See reactions and reviews for David.
See reactions and reviews for Once More with Feeling.
See reactions and reviews for Not Passion's Slave.
See reactions and reviews for O, Thou Perfidious Vulcan.

References

  1. the publisher's website
  2. from Not Tonight, Spock! #15
  3. from The K/S Press #19
  4. Denise Dion's post to K/S Zine Friends Facebook Group dated October 1, 2012, quoted with permission.