Nuages

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Zine
Title: Nuages
Publisher: Checkmate Press
Editor(s): Karen Bates
Date(s): 1983-1988
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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Nuages is a het anthology series that focuses on Spock and Christine Chapel. The stories are by Karen A. Bates, as is the art.

The zines are an odd size: 7 x 8 1/2.

General Reactions and Reviews

Karen has created four completely separate and distinctive ST alternate universes, and has written several stories in each. While I'm not particularly fond of her 'Guardian' universe stories (all the characters seem manipulative and disagreeable and, and anyway, time paradox stories give me a headache.), I find the other three complex and fascinating. Her 'Mirror, Mirror' universe Christine Chapel is alarming and amusingly different, and may just be my favorite original character in fan fiction. IN addition to running stories in these four 'worlds,' Karen also includes other ST fiction and poetry and some nice artwork. Her women are the strongest and most original that I've found in Trek fiction. [1]
I have come across the single best fanzine ever written with her as the main character. Sometimes she may share her limelight in the stories with another ST character, but she is always in the center of every story. These original and very well-written stories are the NUAGES series. There are 5 of them with the 6th one coming out about now. In these Nuages stories, Christine is a slave for 10 years. Saves the ENTERPRISE from sure destruction. Is Spock's co-spy in their Romulan spy mission. Lives on a colony planet with several others and faces several life-threatening adventures along with her husband Spock and his child, then she becomes pregnant with Spock's child. Is killed and comes back time and time again due to Spock's wife (in another life) tampering with the Guardian and is one of the 3 sole survivors of the ENTERPRISE when all the time sequences finally come together. Is head of CMO as her mirror/mirror image in the alternate universe and is considered a very deadly and capable woman in that universe. In ALL of these stories, Christine is a woman unto herself, not dependent on anyone but her own intelligence, and proves time and time again she has what it takes to be a leader as well as a right hand woman to another leader. [2]

Issue 1

cover of issue #1

Nuages 1 was published in April 1983 and is 125 pages long.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

This is a fairly short zine and is not the standard 8-1/2x11 format. There is no cover art. There are four fairly lengthy stories -- actually only three since the first and second stories form one continuous story. In this story ('Guardian'), the Federation has just survived a devastating war with the Romulan/Klingon alliance and Spock has gone to the Guardian of Forever to bring Christine Chapel back from the past where she was killed. What happened to Spock in the years while Christine was dead is told in flashbacks leading up to the climax when Christine and Uhura have to return to Vulcan's past to prevent Spock's murder. The next story, 'A Season for All Things,' has Christine leaving the Enterprise to accept an offer to continue Roger Korby's research. The research leads her and an investigative team to a planet in a fairly unexplored part of space where she must deal with the mutinous action on part of her team. 'Reasons' again has Christine leaving the Enterprise and takes place after ST:TMP. She joins a group of colonists going to a newly discovered planet. Later, when Captain Kirk is killed, Spock and McCoy also become part of the colony. Christine had left the Enterprise to try to learn to live without Spock in her life, and now she must face the situation again which is complicated by the presence of Spock's wife. The last story is one focused on the Mirror, Mirror Christine and it is to be continued in the second issue of the zine. There is not a great deal of artwork but what there is is good, though it is done in a style very similar to Ann Crouch's. No zine seems to escape typos, and this one is no exception. The writing is varied -- sometimes it goes very smoothly and sometimes it is very rough. If you like Christine and Spock stories, you will probably enjoy this zine. [3]
I found the entire zine to be phenomenally depressing. In 'Guardian 1,' there is a big war and the Federation is almost destroyed. Spock goes back via the Guardian of Forever to get Christine who was killed in an attack ten years earlier. Prior to this, he had been having an affair with Uhura. (Just about everybody that was on the Enterprise is dead, including Kirk. In fact, Kirk is dead in all these stories.) The best line in the in the story is Uhura's: 'Why did you go back to get somebody you couldn't stand to be in the same room with?' Why indeed? I think this something we'd all like to know. This drags on with endless complications... The end result is that Spock realizes he can't stomach Christine and takes her back via the Guardian to die as she did ten years before. By the time you get to the end, you're hoping he'll stay with her if only to get rid of him and this lamentable story. And I'm a Spock fan! [4]
NUAGES 1 is a collection of six short stories and some poetry about Christine Chapel. "Guardian: Part One" and "Guardian: Part Two" comprise a story In two parts. The Federation is at war with the Klingon-Romulan Coalition. Why does Captain Spock go back in time through the Guardian of Forever to save Christine's life in battle? Doesn't he already have enough trouble handling his Vulcan wife T'naari and his mistress Uhura? In "A Season for All Things," Christine decides to leave the Enterprise. She has been offered residency as a full professor by the University of Epsllon Canaris II to continue the research of the late Roger Korby. Little does she suspect that she will soon be fighting for her life on an obscure planet as her archeological expedition is undermined by professional jealousy. "Henoch" is a post-RETURN TO TOMORROW story which adds details to the episode storyline. In "Reasons," Christine leaves the Enterprise eventually to become a colonist on Calico. You could probably imagine her surprise when Spock and his pregnant Vulcan wife also turn up as colonists. "Christine/Christine" Is set in the MIRROR/MIRROR universe. Her counterpart is ruthless and scheming. An orphan, she worked her way up from a street profession through beauty, bribes, assassination and talent to become McCoy's replacement on the Enterprise. How will this affect Spock's plans to overthrow the Empire? What about Mar 1600? I like this zine. I always like stories about Christine with decent storylines in which she is depicted as a competent professional instead of a twit. In all the stories, she is depicted as having a full life beyond her obsession with Spock and her duties as Nurse Chapel. In some of them, she even gets her man, and on her own terms. Despite its odd size, the zine is attractive. The print job is good and the layout is good. The artwork is good and reproduced well. Only one story is not complete in this issue, "Christine/ Christine." It is continued In NUAGES 3. Rated PG. It is nice to see a zine of this size and price available. I am a busy person, and I get tired of zines that cost a fortune and take a month to read. [5]

Issue 2

front cover of issue #2
flyer for issue #2

Nuages 2 was published in May 1984 and contains 126 pages. It contains a single novel called "A Story of Survival" by Karen A. Bates. 7 x 8 1/2.

From a flyer:

The Enterprise is accidentally propelled across time and the universe, leaving most of the crew dead and Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Chapel stranded on an uncharted planet.

KIRK—Claws his way up the ranks and eventually leads the great hordes of the north in the final battle in the thousand year war against the Walled Cities of the Empire.

SPOCK--Sold into the Arena, he fights for the coveted sword of freedom. As leader of the slave rebellion, he is held responsible for their actions with his life.

McCOY--As personal physician to the Emperor, he joins the elite nobility, but is forced to choose between the lives of his wife and family and that of the slave leader, Spock.

CHAPEL--Stripped of name and identity, Christine must survive as a branded Woman of Pleasure, but it is only the beginning of the nightmare as her self respect and dignity slip away...

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

NUAGES 2 contains the complete novel, "A Story of Survival" by Karen Bates. The Enterprise was ordered to monitor a distant star about to go nova. Alas, Kirk orders "the ship away from the imploding star too late, and the ship is flung back through time and space.

Massive damage has been done to the ship. But the damage to the crew is greater. Crew members have regressed ten years in age, and many of them are dead and dying. Spock and Christine head the research effort to find the cause and cure. The cure turns out to depend on Chrysaline, which is in short supply on the Enterprise. the ship limps to a nearby Class M planet with a Humanoid population which seems to be divided between a culture similar to that of Imperial Rome and a nomadic tribal culture. The two factions have been at war for a thousand years. A landing party consisting of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Chapel, Miggs, and Baker is beamed down to obtain Chrysaline. An ion storm blows up, stranding the landing party. When the Enterprise does not return when the ion storm is over, the landing party relocates. They are attacked by imperial slave traders. Miggs is killed. Kirk is left for dead, and the rest are carried off. Will they survive? Will the survivors be reunited? Will the Prime Directive be upheld? Will the Enterprise return? "A Story of Survival" is not a pretty story. Chapel, McCoy, and Spock have rather nasty experiences as slaves. I don't buy Spock's decision to fight in the arena as a symbol, but the rest of the story is reasonably credible if you don't mind the flagrant disregard for the Prime Directive. In this it is really no worse than some of the episodes. I rate the storyline R, not because it is gross or explicit (it is neither), but because it deals with aduIt themes.

The zine is an odd size but it does not affect the readability the print job jor the text is good, but the illustrations are a bit faint for my taste. The illustrations are not backed by print. [6]

Issue 3

cover of issue #3

Nuages 3 was published in September 1984 and is 133 pages long. It is a continuation of issue #2.

  • Guardian: Part Three (36 pages) (The strands of time are such tenuous threads, not to be taken lightly. What is in the past, must remain there, history cannot be changed…or can it? Spock is seeking his peace, but the Guardian can sometimes be a gate to hell)
  • Pictures Without Words (12 pages)
  • Reasons: Part Two (26 pages) (Calico was a wonderful planet, ideal for the five year old colony. They were the only ones on an otherwise uninhabited planet. What was the mesmerizing voice that whispered alluring words of eternal life, yet enticed the colonists to death one by one)
  • Moments (6 pages)
  • Christine/Christine: Part Two (24 pages) (Vulcan now rules the Empire, but the hold is tenuous. Sarek has claimed the throne and declared his legitimate son, Stonn, as successor, leaving Spock as an outcast. Still in command of the Enterprise, Spock becomes the target of a jealous Stonn and a vengeful Uhura)
  • Excursions (24 pages)
  • In My Opinion..., poem by Karen A. Bates, reprinted inThe Women's List #1 in 1986 (1 page)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

NUAGES THREE is one of a series of at least four fanzines written Ind illustrated by Karen A. Bates. The form and format is eye appealing and its size - 7x8.5 inches-allows easy handling. However, the resulting reduction in the size of print lay make it difficult for some readers to enjoy to the fullest degree. The stories are primarily ST oriented, but there are two short offerings in the Buck Rogers universe and one about Indiana Jones. Almost all are set in 'the past versus the present vein of writing. Part Three of GUARDIAN deals with the pieces of Spock's lives as he traverses between timelines in his futile attempts o right all the wrongs done by T'Naari, one of many female characters, who at one time or another, was one of many lives or lovers. T'Naari is a strange character for the Trek universe. She is/was a Vulcan and a Starfleet physician, but she is/was also a very vengeful person who was intent on traveling the timelines of the Guardian to destroy everything Spock valued, such as the ENTERPRISE, Spock's other wives and lovers, his friends, and even his life. Another 'wife' is Litini, a Romulan Commander, who also defies many fans' concepts of what RomIulans really are. Like the previous Romulan Commander in Spock's life, Litani succumbs to Spock's charms, but then she turns against her own people to defend and protect him for herself. In a flashback, these reasons why are revealed. Both Uhura and Christine Chapel are woven throughout the plot line as competitors, even rivals of severe proportion, for Spock's affections. Yet the story indicates that Spock satifies neither of them. Even T'Pring is left out -- again! Part Two of REASONS gave me a good feeling. McCoy, Spock and Christine are part of a colony beset by murder mystery of very serious proportions. Spock and Christine are married; -they are raising Spock's daughter by a former marriage to T'ira. Young Beth is lured from the house by the murderous entity and McCoy becomes the accused perpetrator of the heinous crimes. Although this is the second installment of a larger story, it is a complete story in itself. The variable action and intriguing plot line is typical Trek. I enjoyed it very much. CHRISTINE/CHRISTINE takes place in the "Mirror/Mirror" universe which offers a very different picture of the interests of Spock, Uhura, and Christine Chapel. This episode is Part Two of a longer story, but it does manage to stand well by itself. The theme is what the reader expects it to be--how to beat rivals and gain favors--but the manner in which this is done is well written and (if you'll pardon the pun) fascinating. I must admit, I liked this venture, too. Some good artwork and a few short, short pieces round out this fanzine. I believe that it would be better in the standard 8x11 size (to fit in the bookshelf with all the other zines) but the editor's choice doesn't detract from its overall value. [7]
NUAGES THREE is a collection of stories and art by Karen Bates. Three are sequels to stories In NUAGES ONE, and don't stand alone well.

"Guardian: Part Three" is a sequel to "Guardian: Parts One and Two." In this story, the federation has been defeated by the Klingon/Romulan Coalition. The plot twists continue to be Byzantine. But anything involving several people using the Guardian of Forever to achieve conflicting results tends to be complicated. Add to that Spock's active sex life with all kinds of trouble from various wives and lovers ... If you are adept at keeping time lines straight, you will probably enjoy this one. "Pictures Without Words" is a collection of five illustrations. Subjects include McCoy, T'Pring, and Spock from STAR TREK, Logan from LOGAN'S RUN, and Apollo from BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. The artwork is good and reproduced well. No print on the back sides. "Reasons: Part Two (the dreamers)" continues Christine's adventures on the colony planet Calico. Five years have passed and Christine and Spock are married and raising his child Beth from his marriage to T'Mira. One of the colonial children runs away and in the course of his travels awakens a psychic vampire which soon wreaks havoc on the little colony by causing a rash of apparent suicides. Will McCoy, Christine, and Spock be able to save the little colony? Variants on this plot have been done before. "Moments" is a collection of five one-page post-episode vignettes. Not bad if you like this kind of stuff. "Christine/Christine: Part Two" continues the adventures of the "Mirror/Mirror" universe Christine who is definitely on her way up in her universe. She forms an uneasy alliance with Captain Spock, bastard son of Sarek, leader of the successful Vulcan overthrow of the Empire and the new Emperor. How high will she rise as Spock reacts to treachery on the Enterprise and his half-brother Stonn's assassination of Emperor Sarek? Definitely an excursion into the not so goody-goody side of Nurse Chapel. "Excursion" contains three previously published short stories, two from the BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY universe, and one INDIANA JONES story. The latter, "Forgetting," is quite good.

This type zine is almost an anachronism today. It is a medium sized, medium priced showcase for one author/illustrator in the day of the gigantic, expensive anthology zines. The overall quality of the zine as regard to content and reproduction is good. [8]

Issue 4

cover of issue #4

Nuages 4 was published in May 1985 and contains 132 pages. It is a continuation of issue #3.

"Several months have passed, during which Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Chapel have been experiencing a period of transition and adjustment. Soon, though, Starfleet sends Spock and Chapel on a mission to regain stolen plans before they fall into the hands of the Romulans. For them, it may be a race with death. For Kirk and McCoy, it is a battle of wits against sabotage and assassination on board the Enterprise."

  • Synopsis (3)
  • Fagreeti (5)
  • Trellen (69)


Issue 5

cover of issue #5

Nuages 5 was published in May 1986 and contains 182 pages. It has an art portfolio by Karen Bates, no other interior art.

  • Dream/Reality (3)
  • Memories (5)
  • Point of View (18)
  • Suicide (21)
  • Moments (29)
  • Obsession (A woman's obsession for Kirk may destroy the enterprise before the truth is discovered.) (36)

Reason III (The colony is restablished, not knowing that the Klingons have chosen Calico for the Outpost.) (40)

  • Pictures Without Words (art portfolio by Karen Bates: Kirk, Scott, Kirk & Khan, Jim, Valeria, Spock's women) (67)
  • Guardian IV, the conclusion (While Spock tries to rescue Kirk, Uhura uses the Guardian to find the ship before the final battle.) (81)
  • Conclusion, The Trackers (130)
  • Christine/Christine part 3 (A transporter malfunction exchanges the Federation Christine with the Imperial Christine.) (140)
  • Rainbows and Dragons
  • Excursions (162)
  • Flights (164)
  • A Matter of Honor (166)
  • Trust Me 1(73)
  • Terminator (2) (176)
  • Shadows (181)

Issue 6

cover of issue #6

Nuages 6 was published in July 1988 and contains 133 pages. The only inside art consists of maps at the beginning of the first & their stories.

  • Prologue 1
  • Full Circle 9
  • Curiosity is a Dangerous Thing 127


References

  1. from The Women's List #1
  2. from Treklink #13
  3. from Datazine #27
  4. from Treklink #9
  5. from TREKisM #45
  6. from TREKisM #46/47
  7. from Datazine #35
  8. from TREKisM #46/47