|Publisher:||Susan Burr and Penny Warren|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TOS|
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Mahko Root and Early Slash
She remarks in a later review in Stardate: Unknown #4 that the second issue "will contain four short stories on the K/S relationship."
The K/S stories in the second issue are the last six in the zine, the ones by Katy Young. They form the series Yea, Though I Walk.
Mahko Root 1 was published in January 1977 and contains 96 pages. There were 500 copies printed.
The primary raison d'etre of any fanzine should be to entertain its editors and readers. Despite the hassles with the typewriter company; despite the bank's confusions ("Dear Miss Mahko Root, We wish to thank you for opening a checking account with us..."); despite the hours spent gnawing our nails up to mid-humerus, wondering if the Post Offal had lost X's manuscript or Y's artwork, and becoming progressively more certain that it had; despite a good many more frights and petty frustrations ("What do you mean, you've lost the illo?!?!?!?!), we've enjoyed putting MARKO ROOT together. And we hope you'll enjoy it, too.
But enjoyment isn't all there is to MR. This zine has two purposes that go beyond entertainment. First, we want to provide a forum for the free exchange of ideas, a place where unthinkable thoughts can be shared, dangerous visions communicated. There are not and never will be, any restrictions on subject matter in this zine. The only limiting factors will be set by the contributors' abilities to convey their ideas, and the readers' willingness to consider them with open minds. None of the stories included here is intended as the last word on its subject, none is so presumptuous as to claim to reflect the only truth. Each is a possibility, a hypothesis advanced through the metaphors of the STAR TREK characters and universe. If yon agree with a particular proposition, fine. If you disagree, that's fine, too. (If you express your dissatisfaction in a story, and it comes up to snuff as story, the chances are good that we'll want to publish it. Hint.)
Debate is the testing and tempering crucible of any idea. Laissez aller, faites vos jouex, and like that.
Secondly, we want to help new writers and artists get into print. There won't be any slackening of standards, or any "allowances" made, but if we feel that a manuscript has potential, we will try to help the author to get it into shape to be published. Preferably, of course, in MAHKO ROOT.Speaking of manuscripts--stories submitted to MARKO ROOT need not be on unusual or controversial topics. We will accept and print one or two 'plain vanilla' pieces each issue, but they will never make up the bulk of the zine. Manuscripts should be typed, double spaced (except for poetry), on good bond paper. If you don't want to trust your masterpiece to the mails, a clear Xerox is acceptable; themnafax is not. Art should be in black and white, with no grey tones (except for screens), and no larger than 8" x 10.... Nothing will be returned un- less it is accompanied by an appropriate envelope and postage.
- Editor's Page (2)
- Twenty Years After by Sheila Clark (3)
- Do Not Go Gentle by Jane Aumerle (4) ("What has gone before: in Bev Volker's "When the Time Comes" (Contact III), Kirk discovers that he has ectoneuralitis, an incurable degenerative disease of the central nervous system. It is usually fatal within six months of onset, but destroys the victim's mind long before it kills him. In con- siderable distress, Kirk asks Spock to let him die with dignity, and Spock reluctantly agrees. In "Not Yet Time" (C III), Spock, acting on a sudden perception of Kirk in danger, rushes to the Captain's cabin. He is, howev- er, too late: Jim has committed suicide. As he is berating himself for his own sad negligence, Spock realizes that he is being shaken; he wakes up to find Kirk bending over him, still very alive. Spock has been having a nightmare. He tells Kirk then that he and McCoy have been researching a possible cure, but had not told him about it because they did not want to raise false hopes. Kirk then returns to his cabin and puts away the scalpel he had been about to use on himself when he became aware that Spock needed him. "Do Not Go Gentle" takes place about two weeks later.")
- In Search of Meaning by Trinette Kern (13)
- Vulcan Beckons by Trinette Kern (14)
- Time Before and Time After by Mariann Hornlein (15)
- Exposure by Sheila Clark (19) (reprinted in Computer Playback #4) -- Sheila's web page says this story mistakenly says it appears in Computer Playback #2. It is also in Home to Roost #3 -- that editorial mistakenly says an issue of Classified Assignments)
- Love Song to a Starship by Trinette Kern (27)
- Tomorrow is Today by Jean Stevenson (28)
- Touch by Susan Burr (31)
- Mission, part 1 by Theresa Holmes (32)
- Where Logic Ends by Trinette Kern (55) (song, reprinted in Starsong)
- Insid'er Spider by Paula Smith (56)
- Share the Joy (filk) by Trinette Kern (61)
- Sans Notre Bonne Chance by Jean Stevenson (62)
- Meld by Susan Burr (64)
- Send in the Clowns by Trinette Kern (65)
- ... And Dust to Dust by Gerry Downes (66) (the author considers this a K/S story, see review below.)
- The Dreamer by Susan Burr (90)
- Reviews by Jane Aumerle (91) Deep Grope, Kraith Collected, Menagerie #12 and #13, Stardate: Unknown #3, Warped Space #28, Obsc'zine #2, see those pages
- reviews by Jane Aumerle of the pro books Planet of Judgment, The Price of the Phoenix
- "Pull Out the Plug, Spock" (95)
- Writing (Mainly) Contest (96)
art from issue #1, Gerry Downes, the title page for ... And Dust to Dust
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1
See reactions and reviews for Do Not Go Gentle.
Mahko Root turned out every bit as beautiful as I expected. The art and layout are superb, the writing thoughtful, sensitive and provocative. Poetry by Shelia Clark, Trinnette Kern, Susan Burr, and Paula Smith, elegantly funny "Insider Spider" and "Do Not Go Gentle" by Jane Aumerle is beautifully touching -- the accompanying illo by Connie Faddis evoke the meaning of love perfectly. "Time before and Time After" by Marianne Hornlien is a sensitive pre and post-Amok Time story -- sex may be good, but love is better. 'Exposure" by Shella Clark illoed by Susan Armstrong is a gripping tale of friendship and survival. "Tomorrow is Today" a whatever happened to John Christopher story, aud "Sans Notre Bonne Chance" an alternate universe Where No Man story are both imaginative works by Jean Stevenson. Theresa Holmes' "Mission" is a fast-paced adventure in the Trek Universe that will be continued in Mahko II. It's hard for me to say anything about "Duet to Dust" because I wrote and illoed it. A fan asked me to try a story where the Kirk/Spock premise was just part of the background, not the main story, and this was the result. I liked it when I wrote it. And after I got Mahko, I sat down and read it again. Know what? I still like it. 
MR is one of those new generation 'controversial topic' zines, but in this first issue there is nothing really upsetting controversial -- not really a vanilla ish, more like strawberry. 'Do Not Go Gentle' gets things off to a big start, and is the best fiction the zine has to offer. The story deals with the demise of JTK, and is professionally handled. 'Time Before and Time After' is really two stories in one, and concerns itself with the episode 'Amok Time.' The only thing that keeps TB (the first part) from being straight and meaningless porno is TA (the second part) and in this context makes for an unusual if not interesting story. The zine's poorest inclusion is 'Exposure' which simply needed more work. Then is the major vanilla piece, 'Mission.' This is simply good fiction without the need of controversy. Using her character, Branfield, she sees how far a man will go to save the universe. 'Dust to Dust' is the last major piece. This is a K/S story of a very different kind and to understand it, your really need to read it. Two short and excellent pieces in this issue are 'Tomorrow is Today' and 'Sans Norte Bonne Chance.' Then Paula Smith has a very interesting and humorous poem 'Insid'er Spider.' The art, though plausible, is not outstanding.... I found MR to be a promising new zine that will undoubted keep getting better. I recommend this zine to everyone. 
Mahko Root' was a surprise; the 'over 18' clause made me expect a thorough pornzine, but much of MR is not sexual. It is, in many cases, mature or controversial, and some of the fiction is sexually-oriented. A very good ish -- an interesting collection of material; 'Twenty Years After,' a 'Private Little War' poem by Sheila Clark makes a point; 'Do Not Go Gentle,' a story by the talented Jane Aumerle which ends the trilogy of Kirk-with-a-fatal-illness stories started in Contact #3 -- this good story has some tragic, and excellent, Faddis illos. Also includes 'Time Before and Time After', 'Mission', an extra-Enterprise ST saga by Theresa Homes; assorted poems and songs; a delightful Posmithi poem 'Insider Spider,' a chilling 'Where No Man Has Gone Before' short by Jean Stevenson; and a very interesting Gerry Downes sci-fi/Enterprise story, 'And Dust to Dust' -- the story itself is good, and has a few interesting subtleties... Well worth the money. 
[Name redacted] did a review of 'Mahko Root' in which she mentions Jane Aumerle's story, 'Do Not Go Gentle,' a the end of a 'trilogy of Kirk-with-a-fatal-illness stories started in Contact #3.' I'd like to correct that statement. The 'twin vignettes': 'When Time Comes' and 'Not Yet There.' were NOT written as part of a trilogy. I purposely left the end undefined so that the reader could supply his own, thus the speculation as to whether Kirk died or not was part of the effect. Jane decided that he did and wrote her excellent interpretation and published it in 'Mahko Root.' However, that ending is no more or less valid than anyone else's fantasy. I have no objection to anyone writing or ending or spin off of any of my stories, but I do not want them mistaken as part of the original author's intention. 
MR is a notable first effort from a new pair of editors, beautifully laid out, with stunning new graphics and art by some of fandom's finest. There are some choice stories in this one, ranging from the short 'Tomorrow is Today' by Jean Stevenson, about a Captain Christopher who lives to see his favorite prediction come true, to the first chapter of of 'Mission'... Aumerle's 'Do Not Go Gentle' is guaranteed to hold you enthralled to the end whether you agree with the outcome or not. 'Dust to Dust' by Downes is the only piece in the zine that hits at the K/S 'relationship' so famous in underground fandom at present. Actually, the incident detailed has no connection with the remainder of the story, and while I enjoyed it for what it was, to me it appeared to be simply added as an afterthought to an otherwise action-adventure story in the ST manner. MR will probably quickly sell out and become a collector's item. 
Mahko Root 2 was published in September 1978 and contains 114 pages. The front cover is by Signe Landon. It has art by Signe Landon, Gerry Downes, Mary Ann Emerson, Nan Lewis, Leslie Fish, Theresa Holmes, Gordon Carleton, Randy William Ash, Patti Thompson, Carol Davis, Gayle F, Gil Smith.
OFF THE WALL.... ....otherwise known as The Price of a Handful of Matzo Balls ; because this, Gentle Read- er, is where you have to pay for the soup. Let's get a few things straight. MAHKO ROOT is intended as a free and open forum for some of the more controversial ideas making their way around fandom and society in general. It is a vehicle for thede- bate, through fiction, of issues which affect all our lives. We expect that the discus- sion will occasionally become heated, and that disagreements will develop. That's fine. A differing opinion gives one something to push against, a boundary mark for his own belief. Sometimes, and at the very least. Other times, it acts as a warning signal. And at still others, whether one agrees or not, it can increase his understanding, of himself and those who are different. That's better. That's what we hope the stories in MAHKO will do. That's what any good story does, whether it's Star Trek, Starsky & Hutch, sf, or "mainstream". That's why setting limits on subject matter is not only undesirable but dangerous. Restrictions on debate are restrictions on thought. Restrictions on thought are restrictions on self. We do not approve of or condone them. This magazine, accordingly, is open to all viewpoints. It will remain so. All we ask is that those viewpoints be expressed in well-constructed fiction, ie., fiction in which the polemics do not get in the way of the story. The argument should arise from character and situation, not from an imposed standard. And personal attacks--by anyone, on anyone--will not be tolerated. Truth be known, we are astonished and dismayed that they should be tolerated in any publication. Attempts to discredit ideas through attacks on the morals, manners, and general level of civilization of those who hold them--particularly when those attacks are founded in demonstrable misrepresentations--are not, in our view, legitimate. Name- calling proves nothing, unless it is the name-caller's unwillingness or inability to en- gage in rational thought. We would like to see it stopped. And let every godly man say amen. Louder. So much for the pronouncements ex cathedra editorialis... We will now shut up. Enjoy.
- Off the Wall, editorial (2)
- Lamentations by Gerry Downes (3)
- Unknown Thing by Stephen Bangs (4)
- A Private Conversation by Alice Thompson (6)
- Looking In by Katy Young (13)
- Touch by Toni Cardinal (14)
- Gemini by Katy Young (16)
- Mission, Part II by Theresa Holmes (18)
- Spake the Argelian Soothsayer by Pat McCormack (41)
- On Pon Farr by Dotty Barry (42)
- Dragons Aplenty by Randy William Ash (43)
The slash series by Katy Young:
- The First Mile by Katy Young (slash) (52)
- Almost Home by Katy Young (slash) (60)
- Around the Next Corner by Katy Young (slash) (65)
- Being Lost is Worth the Coming Home by Katy Young (slash) (70)
- A Place to Dwell by Katy Young (slash) (85)
- My Rest Forever by Katy Young (slash) (103)
- Pull Out The Plug Spock by Dixie Owen and Jane Aumerle (113)
- zine reviews by Dixie G. Owen and Jane Aumerle (108), Sehlat's Roar #5, Menagerie #14, Fantasia #2, Stardate: Unknown #4, Diamonds and Rust, Thrust, Zebra Three #1 and #2, and Solar Sailors, see those pages
- acknowledgments and Rag Tags (114)
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2
See reactions and reviews for Yea, Though I Walk, the slash series by Katy Young.
[zine]:MR II is delightful. It opens with a poem by Gerry Downes that will just about rip you apart, and goes on from there. There is a short Spock/Christing story by Alice Thompson that's not quite as good as you'd expect it to be, and two long stories per se. One is the second part of 'Mission' which I must confess I haven't read yet. The other is a series of short stories by Katy Young, in conjunction with her three stories in Star Canticle, can rightfully be called a novella. The Young series entitled, 'Yea, Though I Walk,' is an exploration of the development of the K/S relationship -- one of the best I've ever read. More to the point, it is an exploration of the development of Kirk's every-growing, ever-changing character, and an excellent treatment of that theme and the age-old question of 'What, REALLY is love?' There is no particular explicit sex, but the sexual side of the relationship is certainly central, and very important, to the theme. It is excellently written and beautifully executed. The rest of the poetry and artwork range from adequate to excellent. Most notable are the poems by Katy Young and Toni Cardinal, and Nan Lewis' and Gerry Downes' art. The graphics are excellent throughout. It is hoped that 'Mahko Root' will be around for a long time. 
Mahko Root #2 is a zine featuring a wide variety of story viewpoints.
It begins with "A Private Conversation" by Alice Thompson. Chapel and Spock finally get a chance to express themselves, with Spock seeming to suggest that he might have considered Chapel as a solution to his first pon farr if they had not diverted to Vulcan. Very well written and worded.
"Mission" Part 2 by Theresa Holmes is an unusual series with a Vulcan Captain Bran-field of the Lexington, which is permitted to he taken over "by the Klingons. Branfield is from a Christian ethic background and is very pacifistic, except when he reverts to the catlike ferocity of his ancestors. To be continued.
The last six short stories are of a K/S series by Katy Young (with one great [Gayle F] illo). They jump from the first meeting of Kirk with his First Officer (whom he can't stand) to when their five year mission is done and Spock has been given a promotion to another ship. Here, although the feeling is there, the dialog seems a bit out of character, for in those five years, they have never been able to talk of their friendship at all, then at the last minute Kirk tries to express himself and get Spock to stay by saying he loves him and can't do without him, and Spock replies in kind. I might imagine the uptight Vulcan to be a bit more reticent and roundabout in his reply at this stage. But these are nicely done stories, a good beginning. No explicit love scenes.This issue also features a number of dragon illos by Randy Ash, and some beautiful portraits by Nan Lewis. Also a number of poems. This will be the last issue. 
Issue 3 that Never Was
A third issue was planned for publication in 1979, though this issue never made it off the ground. An ad in the back of Mahko Root #2 listed the plan:
"[Issue #3] will include more of 'Mission'; "The Third Stair," a sidebar to Alternative by Gerry Downes and Laurie Haldeman, illoed by Gerry; "Warp Seven" an honest to goodness Star Trek existentialist short by Barbara Greenwood; a full color (we hope) Gayle F of Spock and Miranda with interp; "Homo Factus Est,' by Jane Aumerle; and "Coventry Cafol" a segment of Jane's K/S series. Plus poetry by Dotty Barry and Pat McCormack, reviews and other goodies."
The editor had this short note in Forum in the spring of 1980: "There will be no 'Mahko Root III." I'm still getting SASEs, and one or two random submissions from time to time. I would like to save a bit of effort and postage by letting everyone know this."
- Mahko root on the Memory Alpha wiki
- from Stardate: Unknown #4
- from The Sehlat's Roar #5
- from Scuttlebutt #5, the statement about 'the trilogy' is disputed in 'Scuttlebutt' #6
- from a personal statement by Bev Volker in Scuttlebutt #6
- from Scuttlebutt #5
- A riff on "The Price of a Handful of Snowflakes" in ...A Handful of Snowflakes and Other Trek Tales.
- from Scuttlebutt #12
- review by Gloria-Ann Rovelstad in The Clipper Trade Ship #28, also in Universal Translator #2