|Publisher:||Susan Burr and Penny Warren|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TOS|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
An Early Submission Request
From Warped Space #23:
MAHKO ROOT, a new fanzine, is looking for well-written, well-characterized Trekfiction on unusual and controversial themes. Deadline for submissions is 1 April 1977. S.a.s.e. for more information, and submissions (please include a s.a.s.e. with all mss.) to: Susan Burr, P.O. Box 94, Laredo, TX, 78040; or to: Penelope Warren [redacted] Laredo, TX, 78040. Note: some stories in MAHKO ROOT deal frankly with mature subject matter. It will not be for sale to persons under 18.
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 art is by Gerry Downes, Theresa Holmes, Mary Ann Emerson, Patti Thompson, Connie Faddis, Carol Davis, Ann Leonhart, Sheila, Patti, and Susan.
From the editorial:
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 (reprinted in Computer Playback #4) -- Sheila's web page 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) (19)
- 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 (song, reprinted in Starsong) (55)
- Insid'er Spider by Paula Smith (56)
- Share the Joy (filk) by Trinette Kern (61)
- Sans Notre Bonne Chance byJean Stevenson (62)
- Meld by Susan Burr (64)
- Send in the Clowns by Trinette Kern (65)
- ... And Dust to Dust by Gerry Downes (the author considers this a K/S story, see review below) (66)(reprinted in Relay #3)
- The Dreamer by Susan Burr (90)
- Reviews by Jane Aumerle Deep Grope, Kraith Collected, Menagerie #12 and #13, Stardate: Unknown #3, Warped Space #28, Obsc'zine #2, see those pages (91)
- 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)
from issue #1, Gerry Downes, the title page for ... And Dust to Dust
from issue #1, Dover Clip Art and Mary Ann Emerson
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1
See reactions and reviews for Do Not Go Gentle.
See reactions and reviews for And Dust to Dust.
[zine]: 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. 
[zine]: 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. 
[zine]: '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. 
[zine]: [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. 
[zine]: 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. 
[zine]: This first issue is dedicated to Gerry Downes , appropriately enough; like STARDATE : UNKNOWN, MR's first issue is astoundingly good, In fact, for its variety and graphics work, I think it surpasses S:U. "And Dust to Dust," by Downes, is one of the reasons aside from a little gratuitous K/Sing, the story is a well-done tragic tale of Jason and Mela Duncan on a sentient planet. Theresa Holmes' "Mission" is the extra-Enterprise story of one Jerry Branfield, a Jesus freak who out-Kraiths Kraith as he rather in-comprehensibly loses the Lexington to the Klingons. But it's readable and makes me want to read Part II, if only to see whether Branfield shapes up. The illos are excel1ent. In fact, the graphics are uniformly superb, and the other stories and poems quite good. Contents - 4. Graphics - 5. $ Worth - 4. 
[zine]:This zine will not be sold to anyone under 18 and a statement of age must accompany all orders, MR contains K/S material (shame, shame) I don't know what just caused me to type that, but I'm sure it has some significance, I recommend MR and it contains fiction by Young, Thompson and Holmes, art by Davis, Thompson, [Gayle F] (wow wow, hot stuff) Downes, Emerson, Lewis, Ash, Smith, Landon, Holmes, Fish, and Carleton, poetry by McCormack, Downes, Young, Cardinal, Bangs and Barry. 
[zine]: The lead story in this zine is "Do Not Go Gentle," by Jane Aumerle. The title, appropriately taken from a quote by Dylan Thomas, is the opening for this chapter. I say chapter, since this story is a continuation on another story in Contact III. This predominantly involves the ordeal Kirk goes through being stricken with a fatal, debilitating disease; and the last few scenes from his deathbed. It's nice to know that nihilism is alive and well in Treklit. The story is very nicely illustrated however with two Faddis works.
"Time Before and Time After," is based around the episode "Amok Time," and, as the title implies, it's a before and after story. This isn't much more of a study of the way Spock felt about the whole thing. There is a dream sequence inside that may be a bit too explicit for some people tho. They'll never film that for a prime time showing.
"Exposure," by Sheila Clark occurs on a glaciated planet called Thyle. While visiting the scientific post there Spock turns up missing and the Captain leads a search party after him. I was rather disappointed that there wasn't much more to the story than that, although there are a few nice accompanying illos by Susan Armstrong.
Following this is a small but interesting account of the life of Captain Christopher from "Tomorrow is Yesterday." "Mission," written and illustrated by Theresa Holmes, is the beginning to a longer story that will be continued elsewhere. It takes place on board the Lexington, and mostly involves the First Officer, Commander Branfield, as the protagonist of the story. The meat of the plot develops while the Lexington is orbiting about a colony planet that has apparently been evacuated. The Captain and a security team beam down to investigate. Just then the scanners detect three ships moving in. The Captain on the planet orders Branfield to investigate. If this sounds like something from the opening scenes of "Arena','" you're close but no cigar. It turns out to be the Klingons lurking in the wings, rather than the Gorns. The Lexington is suddenly hemmed in and outnumbered. Despite evasive maneuvers they are forced to surrender and be boarded. Right about here is where the story ends. What a place to leave us hanging. I have a feeling the best complications of the story are yet to come, so be looking for the next segment of this story, and hope it won't end up serialized like "The Weight" was or fandom could be forever reading it.
The final lengthy piece inside is "And Dust to Dust," by Gerry Downes. It occurs on a planet called N'braxis, a "steamy, slimy muck of a planet" grown over with dense jungle. While the Enterprise is visiting in order to conduct routine physicals of the scientific party there, one of the two scientists comes up missing. A search party is organized to find the missing person, but soon develops into the extraterrestrial equivalent of the search for Bigfoot, with an interesting, but not totally unexpected, conclusion. A very good story in all. One of Ms. Downes' better efforts.There are a few other shorts and fillers: poems, filksongs, et. al. The artwork inside is of a wide range, but very well printed. The editors have found a printer that can give them extremely rich blacks, and it's a joy to see it for once in a fanzine. Really, the whole zine is excellent for a first effort. I'm sure the next issue of Mahko Root will bein the front of the pack in the fanzine running in 1978. 
[zine]: The first thing to notice about this zine is its marvellous layout. Some of the stories may deal with mature themes, but there is nothing offensive in its contents, in any form. There are some very thought-provoking stories, and highly competent artwork.
"Do Not Go Gentle" by Jane Aumerle is basically a tale of suffering and sorrow, accompanied by;sensitive and exquisitely appropriate Connie Faddis art.
There are two 'before' and 'after' Amok Time short stories, with original, computer-flavored artwork by M.A. Emerson. A vignette by Jean Stevenson, is the alternative to "Where No Man Has Gone Before", and it will chill you to the bone — you may not enjoy it, but you would be glad you've read it. There is a beautiful, elegantly spun narrative poem, giving you a glimpse of spider's life under no-gravity conditions (!) by the unpredictable Paula Smith.
"Exposure," by Sheila Clark, tells the story of Spock lost in arctic surroundings, as Kirk and McCoy search for him. "Dust to Dust", perhaps the best story Gerry Downes has ever written — a skillful and mysterious story of a sentient planet. On the lesser list, "Mission - Part 1", by Theresa Holmes, which is to continue into further issues, a saga involving the crew of the Lexington. "Mission" is not bad, provided you don't mind some religious monologue being none-too-subtly thrown at you.Plus poetry and other short stories; Mahko Root is a very interesting 'zine, so if you want to spend about $4.00 plus postage, buy it! 
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.
From the editorial, which also expressed the desire to run this zine into at least five issues:
OFF THE WALL.... ....otherwise known as The Price of a Handful of Matzo Balls ; because this, Gentle Reader, 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 the debate, through fiction, of issues which affect all our lives. We expect that the discussion 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)
from issue #2, Gayle F
from issue #2, Leslie Fish
from issue #2, Nan Lewis
from issue #2, Lamentations - art & poem by Gerry Downes
from issue #2, Mary Ann Emerson
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. 
This second issue, unlike the first, does deserve the over-18 clause, — altho non-explicit, not all may find the slant of Katy Young's series to their liking. If you don't care for too much Kirk-Spock, pass this one up.
The 'zine presents six of Katy's short stories, the first of which is possibly the best view of Kirk's first months aboard the E. She writes with superb fluency, but some readers may object to the direction taken after the second story.
"A Private Conversation" by Alice Thompson is a fair and intelligent treatment of Christine Chapel; refreshingly different from so many stories that fail to do justice to this character; gracefully illoed by Signe Landon.There is some very nice artwork and poetry. And "Mission - Part 2" continues, but you won't get too much out of this if you don't like extra-Enterprise characters. Recommended for the Kirk/Spock fan, otherwise up to you.
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
- review by Paula Smith in Menagerie #14
- from Randy Ash in Falcon's Lair
- from Spectrum #35 (1978)
- from Spock #18
- 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
- from Spock #18