Quartet (Star Trek: TOS zine)

From Fanlore
(Redirected from Quartet Plus One)
Jump to: navigation, search
Zine
Title: Quartet
Publisher: Ceiling Press
Editor(s): Deborah Kay Goldstein & Carol Lynn
Date(s): 1975, 1987
Series?:
Medium: print zine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links: Quartet Plus Two
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
cover of issue #1

Quartet is a gen Star Trek: TOS anthology.

Quartet Plus One was the first publication. When one of the stories in that issue, "Ni Var," was printed in Star Trek: The New Voyages, the zine was then reprinted at "Quartet."

A dozen years later, the contents of the first two zines were printed, this time with a re-working of "Ni Var," which the author now called "The Thousandth Man."

General Review

QUARTET, a Sarek- Amanda universe created by Claire Gabriel, a professional author, is one of the most well-written pieces of Trek fiction yet published. It is, deservedly, a classic. All four stories are well-crafted, with excellent character development and motivation. [1]

Quartet Plus One

cover of issue #2, Pat Foley

Quartet Plus One was published in August 1974 (reprinted: January 1975) and contain 112 pages. It was edited by Carol Lynn and contains the content of the previous volume plus an additional story. Art by Roberta Brown, D.L. Collin, Pat Foley, Doug Herring, Pat Foley, and Gee Moaven.

The editor's dedication in the preface: "To the IBM Corporation, which fouled up four days running, trying to deliver the typewriter -- then delivered two typewriters in two days."

  • Notes on 'Yesteryear' D.C. Fontana (87) (She writes at great length about this episode of the animated series. "I'm sure when it was announced that my Star Trek animation script, 'Yesteryear,' was about Spock as a boy and included his sehlat, a lot of fans thought I'd sold out to a kiddy show. Now that the episode has been on the air, I hope that notion has been disabused... I would like to say in closing that I will not entertain long (or short) discussions -- verbal or written about 'Yesteryear.' The work stands as is, and it is my final word on Vulcan."

Reactions and Reviews: Quartet Plus One

See reactions and reviews for Ni Var.
See reactions and reviews for The Decision.
[zine]: Wasn't THAT a beautiful experience? I adore that pumpkin-headed alien, and the final story, 'Ni Var,' dealing with Spock split into his two natures was a masterpiece. It's a toss-up as to which of those will appear in that 'Best Writing' thing that's being planned, but I'm sure part of will appear. [2]
[zine]: Quartet is an invigorating new zine by a writer new to ST fandom until recently. The zine is a collection of stories that deal with Spock's parents and Spock himself. Read in sequence, the five stories unfold into a very enchanting view of Spock's personal and immediate family history. I believe the editors might have done better to number the stories as chapters so they would be read in sequence. As they are, listed in the contents as individual stories a reader might be tempted to start with any one of them. This might disrupt the feeling you obtain from reading this zine from front to back. The first story is the one I have the most trouble accepting. Although I have never seen a writer in ST fanfic that can write with such flair as Claire, the plot of the first story is exceptionally irritating. To describe it briefly, Amanda falls in love with Sarek only to be abducted by aliens who wish to disturb a conference held on Vulcan for political reasons. Rather than Amanda's father arriving on board the alien ship with the ransom, Sarek arrives and saves the day, and he returns with Amanda and marries her. If I hadn't have read this in old SF books and seen it on TV SF flics a hundred times, it would have been acceptable. There is just something, way back in my mid that finds a few of Claire's plots unpalatable, but I would whole heartedly recommend it just the same. Following the five stories is a one and a half page letter from D.C. Fontana which stands as her last word on Vulcan. The zine has a very readable format, interesting titles and artwork. If you're too cheap to buy it, borrow it from a friend... Claire's writing abilities (if not her story construction) make this very enjoyable reading. [3]
One of my favorite past times is reading; I read for many reasons - for knowledge, for entertainment, for company; to change a mood. The night I sat down to read Claire Gabriel's fanzine, QUARTET PLUS ONE, I was in need of all.

I had read two stories of QUARTET PLUS ONE previously and therefore already been acquainted with the quality of Claire's writing, but even my expectations were superseded as I finished the quintet. As a whole, it is one of the finest collections of short stories of this genre I have read to date.

The Quartet of the magazine are stories dealing specifically with (Mr. Spock's parents) Sarek and Amanda, from their pre-marital relationship to each other and the integral supporting characters in the story, up through Spock's fifteenth birthday. The "One" named "Ni-Var" is a story apart from the series, with the center of focus being Spock, Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Engineer Scott, a dying scientist and a strange machine that creates psychological pain for the characters of the story.

The first of QUARTET PLUS ONE, "The Garden of Earthly Delights", was a psychological drama, a love story and an action-adventure woven together with a webwork of created visualizations so clear that I actually became involved to the point of taking on the mood and tone of the story - I alternately paced the floor, laughed with glee, went to the bathroom, rubbed down gooseflesh and wiped a tear. It has been long since such emotions have been evoked simultaneously in me in such rapid succession.

"Lessons" next in the series, dealt with Sarek and Amanda after they are married and before Spock is conceived. It is in this story that I find the one aspect of Sarek and Amanda's relationship that I wish to comment on. In one scene of the story, Sarek and Amanda are lying in bed together and the author has depicted the scene as one filled with tension. In the course of her private thoughts, Amanda's telepathic shields drop and the feelings that come pouring into her mind are Sarek's. Claire describes this as Amanda's involuntary intrusion into Sarek's mind.

First, I question the strength of Amanda's telepathic shields initially. From all given information in this story and the previous one, I assume that Amanda's telepathic capabilities could be compared to Sarek's in strength as a cat could be compared to a bull elephant. Granted she is learning, with Sarek's tutalege and their linkage. Still, I cannot believe she is capable of beginning to shield herself against Sarek should he choose to penetrate her mind. He knows her limitations and therefore, logically would not, under any circumstances, allow himself to break down her tenuous barriers without her prior consent. It would be counter to Surak's Construct, which states that privacy and dignity are of primary importance in a Vulcan's life. (Let it be noted here that I am taking Jacqueline Lichtenberg's interpretation of Surak's Construct and applying it in this circumstance, basically because I find it a good interpretation and it is also the only interpretation I have read. Should Claire have her own interpretation that would allow the intrusions, then my argument could be invalidated.)

Nor can I see Sarek in such a state of agitation that a neophyte in telepathy and Vulcan mental disciplines (as Amanda admittedly is) could read his thoughts. His sense of dignity of self and value of privacy would exclude him from such an undisciplined casting off of his mental barriers. It could be possible with a young Vulcan child but not with Sarek. After years of marriage during which time Amanda undoubtedly grew in telepathic skill, Sarek was still capable of shielding

Amanda undoubtedly grew in telepathic skill, Sarek was still capable of shielding his thoughts from her, even though he was in severe pain from a heart attack. ("Journey to Babel") Outside of that, I found "Lessons" warm and intimate.

Previous critiques have been written in BERENGARIA on "The Decision" since it was also published in that magazine so I see no point in repeating them here. I found the same continuance of warmth and intimacy present in "Lessons". The story centers around the difficulties Amanda has during her pregnancy and closes with Spock's birth.

In the fourth of the series, named "Metamorphsis", an alien being, a Zethan named Mimbi is the focal point of the story. (Mimbi was introduced initially in "A Garden of Earthly Delights"). The alien acts as a mirror for Amanda's own feelings in both stories, and to a lesser extent, that of the other characters. The story also gives the reader a glimpse into Spock and Sarek's relationship as father and son. The scenes that are painted after the Zethan is transformed are very well done.

The ONE, "Ni-Var", is a unique story in that it takes a well used science fiction story idea and creates a whole new story in which the authoress incorporates the other author's ideas and contrasts them to her own. This type of presentation is a dangerous one in the literary sense of the word, because it allows the reader to find discrepancies in the author's story. In this particular case, the story not only held up, but was enhanced by the contemporaries. An excellent action story in itself, it also had tremendous psychological insight especially between Kirk and the two Spocks. One relationship that particularly interested me was between Spock and Scott. Scott emerges as a warm sensitive human being, in a way that wasn't even attempted on Star Trek properly.

On summation, I wish to add that my personal reaction to the stories could be entirely different from others, and I hesitate making positive statements or giving overt praise for fear of building up QUARTET PLUS ONE so high that all who read it will be disappointed by it not living up to their anticipations. In my estimation, it is worth the praise, and hopefully those who read it will appreciate this writer new to the science fiction world. [4]

Quartet

Quartet was published in 1974 (reprinted: January 1975) and contains 89 pages. In 1981, the publisher sometimes referred to it as "Quartet Alone." It is a collection of Sarek and Amanda stories by Claire Gabriel. Edited by Deborah Kay Goldstein, Ceiling Press. Published 1975. Printed offset, 3-hole punched, brad bound.

Art by Roberta Brown, D.L. Collin, Pat Foley, Doug Herring, and Gee Moaven.

Further stories in the series were published in Interphase #4 and in Bantam's Star Trek anthology book Star Trek: The New Voyages. Both can be found online here.

Contains the following stories, all by Claire Gabriel:

Reactions and Reviews: Quartet

See reactions and reviews for The Decision.
[zine]: This is undoubtedly one of the best ST zines ever published, from the standpoint of good storytelling and excellent literary style. The first three are primarily Sarek and Amanda stories; the fourth tells of an accident young Spock experiences in his 11th year; the last takes place on the Enterprise, exploring at some depth the relationship between Spock and James Kirk. No summary can possibly do justice to these stories, but they are a delight to read and re-read. The author may be unknown to most ST fans; one of the stories, 'The Decision,' appeared first in Berengaria #3. In the preface, she tells us that she has written mainstream fiction for several years, but has just lately become involved in writing SF and ST fiction. We hope this is the first volume in a long series. Claire Gabriel could easily rival Jacqueline Lichtenberg as the major ST fan writer if she keeps this up. For those how haven't read 'Notes on "Yesteryear" in Babel #5, it's a must for a full understanding of that episode. [5]
[zine]: This zine consists entirely of five stories by Clarie Gabriel and 'Notes on 'Yesteryear' by D.C Fontana. The stories are all very well-written and the art is varied in style and all well-done. The first story is about Sarek and Amanda's difficulty adjusting to living on Vulcan. The third is about Spock's birth and the difficulties involved...In the fourth story, Spock, age 11, leads a delightful alien empath, Mimbi, on a trek across the desert. The last story shows Spock fractured into his Vulcan and human halves ('Enemy Within'-style) and unwilling to trust Kirk and McCoy with the knowledge of what has happened to him. The stories are strong on characterization, well-conceived, and have strong emotional appeal. Highly recommended. [6]
[zine]: A reprint of Claire Gabriel's four stories about Sarek-Amanda, Spock, Vulcan... many newer fen may want to get a copy after hearing about it so often. It's a fine collection; Claire write well, convincingly, and creates her own-flavored Sarek and Amanda, not quite Kraithish, not quite Lorrahish. Definitely worth reading, and there's an interesting footnote page from D.C. Fontana. [7]
These are Sarek and Amanda and Spock stories. It's got nice art too, I can vouch for that. Total of pages is 89, although there is a note on the table of contents page that states (a little confusingly): "Please note that pages 2 and 57 through 86 have been deleted from this edition." What I see when I look for those pages is....No page 2. Page 1 is backed with an illustration title page for the first story "Garden of Earthly Delights", and the first page of the story is numbered "4". There is NO MISSING PAGE of the story, there just isn't a page 2 in the zine. There is no page 57 either, page 56 is the last page of a story with an illustration, the back of that page is blank, the next page is the title page for the story "Ni Var..." mentioned above. It runs to page 86. Was there another edition where this story was pulled? Does this edition have the table of contents from one edition, but have the story intact inside? I don't know. In an attempt to figure it out, I read two of the stories in this zine. I am not a zine reader. Yet I couldn't put the thing down! In fact, I only put it down when my daughter yelled for "Mommy" and I had to go tend to her... and I was reluctant even then! Very professionally and well written, in my humble opinion. [8]

Quartet Plus Two

cover of Quartet Plus Two

Quartet Plus Two was published in 1987 and contains 112 pages.

The entire text of Quartet Plus Two is here: Quartet Plus Two, Archived version.

The author's comments regarding "Ni Var," now titled "The Thousandth Man":

The last story in this volume is the original manuscript of "Ni Var".

"Ni Var" was published professionally in Star Trek: The New Voyages (Bantam, 1976). It was about half as long as "The Thousandth Man," had one additional scene and a number of other changes that were necessitated by the exigencies of professional publishing. More important, a number of scenes in the original manuscript were drastically cut or eliminated altogether.

I did some of this editing myself, and the editors of The New Voyages did the rest. The result was generally much tighter and more closely knit than the original manuscript, but it was not the same story.

"The Thousandth Man" is the manuscript as I originally drafted it. I have asked that it be included in this volume because some of the readers of both versions have indicated to me that the additional material in the first draft enhanced the emotional impact inherent in the situation around which the story was created. Two scenes in particular -- one between Spock and Kirk and one between Spock and Scotty -- seemed to give the story an added dimension for many readers.

It is not uncommon these days to see variations of the same sf story published under differing circumstances. The most obvious example is the short story or (more frequently) novelette that is published in a magazine and later becomes part of a novel. In some cases, the separately copyrighted novel may even have the same title as the shorter piece.

I have chosen to re-title the original manuscript "The Thousandth Man" in order to avoid confusion and to emphasize that it is not the same story as the New Voyages "Ni Var." Happily, I feel that the latter title is as representative as the former was. [9]

The author's comments regarding "First Contact":

This story appeared originally in 1977, in Connie Faddis's extraordinary fanzine Interphase 4. I felt privileged that Connie accepted the story, and I was proud of it.

I still am. But in re-reading it before it was reprinted here, I realized that there are some things that need explanation.

I wrote "First Contact" in 1975, when I had only seen "Where No Man Has Gone Before" once, almost two years before. Frankly, I had forgotten that Spock was not the First Officer at that time, and also that McCoy was not Chief Medical Officer. More important, I had completely forgotten the shouting, smiling Spock of those early episodes.

And so I wrote the story as you see it here. Mark Piper does not appear, and Gary Mitchell is not yet a member of the Enterprise crew at the time "First Contact" takes place. McCoy is the ship's doctor, Spock is its First Officer, and I characterized him as he became later on, after Leonard Nimoy's artistry had led him to Spock as we all learned to know him.

When I realized the mistakes I had made, I was tempted to rewrite "First Contact" so that it would conform to 'the canon.' But I decided against it. If this isn't how it 'happened,' it's how I believe it should have happened. If I were writing the story for the first time today, having seen the first season shows twice within the last four months, I might write it differently. Or I might not write it at all -- because it was the Kirk-Spock relationship as I depict it here that generated "First Contact" in the first place.

One final thought. The penultimate scene in this story will strongly remind most fans of a very similar scene from 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I have no explanation for this. [10]
From the editor:
Thirteen years ago, Quartet Plus One was published. Although it was Ceiling Press Publication #10, that [issue] included several reprints of Kraith volumes, and truthfully, I blush in retrospect for its plain and primitive layout. When Plus One 'Ni Var' was published in Star Trek: The New Voyages, 'Quartet' (alone) came out and sold slowly and steadily until it sold out two years ago. Last year, I got a Macintosh. About 30 seconds after booting Pagemaker for the first time, I turned to my business partner (not Deborah Goldstein, for those who remember our long and fruitful collaboration but... Aimee) and said, 'I want to do a fanzine!'" Soon after, I heard from Claire Gabriel, who after a 10-year gaffiate, wanted me to reprint 'Quartet' with two additions. I got all excited, but then realized that if I really used my desk top publishing system to the max on just those stories, the poor old 'Quartet', typed on a rented IBM machine in 1974 would look nearly readable by comparison. So, with the addition of a lot more artwork from the Kraith files, I limited myself to the same, old format. Sigh. All that publishing power gone to waste. However, I did correct most of the typos. Unfortunately, 12 point Courier on the Macintosh reduced to 70% is not exactly the same as 10 point pitch Courier 72 reduced to 70%. The quick-eyed among you will no doubt be able to spot the retyped paragraphs. I'm sure they aren't nearly as distracting as the typos they replaced. Continuing the Kraith tradition of at least one howler typo per zine, 'Quartet' had one (now mercifully corrected)... See if you can spot the place where Spock looks at Kirk with what is now 'compassion' and what used to be 'passion.' Sorry about that, Claire.

Reactions and Reviews: Quartet Plus Two

1988

[zine]: QUARTET PLUS TWO (112 pages) came out in 1987, but most of the stories in this fanzine were first printed earlier. These six stories, all by Claire Gabriel, are well worth reprinting. The author has a very smooth, readable style, and has some good science fiction touches in her work.

The first story is about how Sarek and Amanda came to marry. Those familiar with Jean Lorrah's work will find a very different perception of Amanda here, though it is an equally well-characterized one. This Amanda is eighteen years old, specializes in history, and comes to Vulcan with her Commodore father and his alien (Zethan) companion, Mimbi. Mimbi is an outstanding, memorable character, and fits in the story line nicely. The second story is of Sarek and Amanda's newlywed days; the third story is about Amanda's pregnancy; the fourth is about an 11-year-old Spock. My only minor quibble with the fourth story is that I question whether a Vulcan would carry a lethal weapon when, for the purposes of this story, a stunner weapon would serve as well. Otherise, the story is very good. The fifth and sixth stories are about Kirk and Spock. I appreciated the author's subtle, unsentimental approach to Kirk's and Spock s friendship. The fifth story is set at the time when Kirk first comes to the ENTERPRISE. The sixth story is a revision and expansion of an earlier story of the author's, "Ni Var," and deals with the complications that follow when Spock is split into two entities, one all-Vulcan, the other all-human.

The last piece in QUARTET PLUS TWO is a two-page article, "Notes on Yesteryear" by D.C. Fontana, well worth reading for its insights on Vulcan culture in general, and Spock*s family in particular. [11]

1994

[zine]: Quartet Plus Two is another golden classic from Star Trek's past. This zine was originally published in 197S and reprinted in 1987. All six stories (hence the name) are written by Claire Gabriel and follow a sequential time line from Amanda and Sarek's first meeting to a story set aboard the Enterprise. Quartet is edited by Deborah Goldstein and Carol Lynn, is 112 pages long and includes numerous artwork submissions. These range in tone from delicate pencilled drawings to stark, bold etches and add a great deal to the zine. "Garden of Earthly Delights" is set on Vulcan as Amanda's fattier and Sarek straggle to set up the original Federation fleet. Sarek and Amanda are deeply attracted to each other and Amanda soon finds herself in an unusual courtship that seems to be taking place without words. Serving as an interested observor is a delightful character named Mimbi. Mimbi is a Zethan and his mode of speech and interesting descriptive phrases add both a touch of whimsy and an alien tone to the story. As the story reaches a danger-packed conclusion, Sarek and Amanda finally reach the "logical" conclusion that their destiny lies together. The action of "Garden of Earthly Delights" is fairly predictable and not very engrossing. The characterization is so finely drawn, however, that the reader is drawn into the story. Sarek is particularly well written. Claire Gabriel provides many terrific insights into Sarek's mind and actions and yet Sarek never steps out of character. Great title and an especially amusing ending. "Lessons" continues the story of Sarek and Amanda as she attempts to adjust to live on Vulcan. Shortly after her marriage Amanda has a Genetic Synthesizer injected into her arm to aid in conception and carrying of a child should she become pregnant. Amanda is desolated, however, to discover that she has not conceived and that Sarek is relieved. She draws the conclusion that she is simply not worthy in Sarek's eyes to be the mother of his child regardless of her suitability for marriage. Have no fear though, "Lessons" resolves all these issues delightfully and ends on an upbeat note. What I loved about this story were all the terrific little scenes between Sarek and Amanda: Amanda instructing Sarek on the definition of sulking, Sarek's "What am 1 going to do with you Amanda" look, Sarek's explanation of who is suitable for marriage, and the first shared touching of fingers. Rereading this story restored my strong image of Sarek that was diluted somewhat after the awful Next Generation portrayal of his illness and death. This is Sarek as he was meant to be and will always be in my mind. "The Decision" focuses on Amanda's pregnancy and the danger of using the Genetic Synthesizer, introduced in "Lessons," is again emphasized. Although the situation seems hopeless (if the Genetic Synthesizer malfunctions the child would probably survive and Amanda die, if the child is transferred to an artificial gestation unit he will probably die), Sarek holds true to the Vulcan saying that there are always alternatives and comes up with a solution that leads to both Spock and Amanda's survival. This story also contains some gems, including Sarek's first view of Spock and an interesting characterization of T'Risl, Amanda's doctor. "Metamorphosis" moves ahead in time to Spock's childhood. Mimbi, the Zethan from "The Garden of Earthly Delights," is visiting and as Sarek's time of Port Farr draws near, he volunteers to accompany Spock on a grueling desert trip. This interlude of pleasant companionship turns tragic, however, when an exhausted Mimbi falls asleep at his post and is killed by an attacking L'Mnnlyn. Although badlv wounded, Spock manages to kill the ferocious animal and is astonished to discover that Mimbi has changed into a ball of glowing light. In this form, Mimbi stands guard as Spock falls into a healing trance and regains his strength. When they finally reach home, Mimbi returns to the stars and the home he has longed for. "Metamorphosis" is the strongest story of the group and explores many aspects of Spock's personality. A brief encoxmter with a young mischevious boy named Jimmy at a museum is pure delight. Spock's mastery of his grief over Mimbi's death is well written and draws the reader into the scene with sharp intensity. Gabriel uses brief sentences and half-formed phrases to beautifully suggest Spock's pain, confusion, and determination. The final scenes as Amanda and Spock adjust to Mimbi's departure lend a deep poignancy to the reader since Mimbi has already become a dearly loved character. "First Contact" moves ahead in time once again to Kirk and Spock's first meeting on board the Enterprise. Although this area has been explored often by fanzine writers, Gabriel does manage to include some nice touches in a standard story. I especially liked the scenes were Spock bids a silent farewell to Captain Pike by lightly touching Pike's jacket in his room. Quartet Plus Two closes with a longer story entitled "The Thousandth Man." This story has been published in Bantam's The New Voyages under the title "Ni Var." Gabriel has restored some original scenes that were cut and rctitled the story. In this story, Spock is ruthlessly divided into two different people by a scientist while on landing party duty. Both Spocks beam aboard the Enterprise and attempt to fulfill their duties without the crew knowing what has happened. One Spock is relentlessly logical, the ultimate Vulcan, and the other is soft, sentimental and emotionally human. There are several scenes along the lines of "what's going on with Spock?" as he is first brutally cold and then friendly. Kirk eventually discovers the truth and the rest of the story focuses on the two Spocks and Kirk's developing friendship with each of them. Spock is ultimately restored and life resumes its normal pace. I liked the way Gabriel closed with Kipling's lines "One man in a thousand, Soloman says, will stick more close than a brother.. .But the Thousandth Man will stand by your side, to the gallow's foot — and after. My final score for Quartet Plus Two is 75 points. The artwork receives 20, 20 to the writing (I liked the earlier stories with Sarek and Amanda better than the later ones), 25 for ultimate value — I originally paid $11.00 — and 10 points for the production. The zine was originally produced on an IBM selectric and the typeface is not the easiest to read. There are some beautiful fonts on the story titles but the overall layout could have been improved upon. If you enjoy Gabriel's writing style, you'll enjoy Quartet Plus Two. If you are looking for variety, however, this type of zine is not for you. There were some terrific zines produced in the early days of fandom and are still well worth reading by fans today. [12]

2012

[zine]: I'll be straight up with you: I don't tend to like zinefic. But these stories are charmingly written things, with consistent characterization and nice prose. My favourites of the series are the first four stories, which follow Amanda, Sarek, and eventually Spock as they learn to make a life together on Vulcan. (The last two stories continue that journey of life-making as an adult Spock meets Kirk and their Enterprise adventures begin.) If I have to choose a single favourite, the standout is "Metamorphosis," which provides Spock with a delightfully proper narrative voice and a developing understanding of the world around him and his place within it. Highly recommended for a lazy afternoon. [13]

References

  1. from Time Warp #1
  2. from The Halkan Council #7
  3. from Spectrum #18
  4. from a review by Carmen Dexter in Berengaria #6, reprinted in "Berengaria" #5/6
  5. from The Halkan Council #8 (July 1975)
  6. from The Halkan Council #8 (July 1975)
  7. from Scuttlebutt #7
  8. from a 2015 eBay seller
  9. The Thousanth Man Quartet Plus 2, Archived version
  10. First Contact Quartet Plus 2, Archived version
  11. from Treklink #12
  12. from STARLink #31
  13. ar posting her review in the Dreamwidth community fancake on April 2, 2012