Shades of Grey (Star Trek: TOS zine)

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Title: Shades of Grey
Publisher: MKASHEF Enterprises
Editor(s): Dovya Blacque
Date(s): 1986-1990
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links: Shades of Grey at Mkashef's site
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Shades of Grey is a K/S slash anthology dedicated to menage a trois relationships in Star Trek between Kirk & Spock & another, not usually a permanent 3-way relationship, except sometimes with McCoy.

Ads and Summaries

A submission request:
SHADES OF GRAY - now accepting submissions of fiction, poetry & art based on trios; preferably centered on Kirk & Spock with your choice of third party. Let your imagination run wild; this is K/S, so let's see some of those stories you have shoved in the back of your drawers & closets. Start at an episode, mix your universes (though carefully), whatever! Please include SASE, editor will reply as quickly as possible. Menage a trois live!! No "Mary Sues"! [1]
Summary from the publisher:
These zines contain same-sex, menage a trois relationships between Kirk and Spock and third parties including Leonard McCoy, Zefram Cochrane, Marlena Moreau, K'T'lk and other, original characters. SOG is presented in the spirit of IDIC in the same vein as In Triplicate: with logical, believable reasons behind each relationship.

Comments by the Editor: 2014

Well, I also did a series called Shades of Grey, which was a ménage zine. K/S/third party. And a lot of them turned out to be McCoy, and I am a McCoy fan. I'm kind of known as a McCoy expert fan in fanwriting. When some girls got together to do a— It's called Legacy — It was like a four-volume, three-hundred-page each, interviews, stories, articles, thing. They contacted some authors, and asked, "Here's a list of subjects. What would you like to do?" And when I got my email, it had the story that, it said, "Kirk and Spock get together because of something McCoy does." And it was highlighted. I said, "Do you want me to write the McCoy story? Yes." So I did. So there were a lot of McCoy stories in the Shades of Grey, but there were a lot of women, as the third party, aliens as the third party, a Klingon at one point. I picked up on Zepham Cochrane from the original series — not from the movie — Glen Corbett, not what's-his-name from Babe. He was a very good-looking man, so I thought, "Oh, I don't know, mix them up." So, I did three stories based on that. But yeah, there were some, y'know, those female steps in— Not— I tried to stay away from Mary Sue stories and I think I succeeded, but yeah, it was kind of like, "Come on. Do whatever third party you want." [2]

Issue 1

cover of issue #1

Shades of Grey 1 was published in 1986 and is 178 pages long. [3] It has art by Gayle F and Chiya.

From the editorial:
WARNING!!!! This is your last warning as to the contents of this zine: THIS ZINE IS BASED ON SAME-SEX, MENAGE A TROIS RELATIONSHIPS. There. Now anyone reading after that is doing so at their own risk and on their own responsibility. Actually, I'm very pleased with the way SHADES OF GREY turned out. I really didn't think I'd get the response I did; it was wonderful. Not only did the submissions come in, they were all well written, convincingly plotted, and (pardon the expression) logical within their framework. I don't think any one of the stories in SOG pushes or goes out of its way to bring the 3rd party into the K/S (in most cases; relationship. That's not to say there aren't some unusual stories here, there are. And I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Will there be a SHADES OF GREY #2? I honestly don't know. It depends on you. Do you like the idea? Do you like the zine? Would you buy/read another issue? When you're done reading SOG, let me know the answers to those questions and my own question will be answered. MANY people have written asking if there will be a sequel to IN TRIPLICATE. Once again, I don't know. Right now, both Natasha and Dovya are very busy with other projects. We have discussed a sequel and, if we hit on a brainstorm, the sequel will be written. It was the response I received to IN TRIPLICATE that got me going on SHADES OF GREY. So, you owe the zine you now hold in your hands to your response to it. All your comments were passed along to the authors who have asked that I thank you for them...I also thank you. One more word: This zine is presented in the spirit of IDIC. Tolerance, understanding and compassion are all items sadly missing from a great part of the world. I like to think that we, as STAR TREK fandom, can do our bit toward building a world where STAR TREK and its ideals has some chance of becoming reality. Okay, time for me to shut up so you can get to the meat...uh...text of the zine! Here's to STAR TREK IV...may it be wonderful.
  • Trois by Robin Hood (i)
  • A Gift of Crystal by Robin Hood (K'T'lk and Kirk discuss human sexuality, particularly homosexuality. But Kirk finds this a difficult subject, so K'T'lk invites Spock to join the discussion.) (3)
  • Windchimes by Lisa Joas (15)
  • A Friend in Need by Yvonne De Chine (16)
  • The Naming by Andrea Arat (43)
  • Mish'I'Ya by Cyrni Asher (a sequel to "The Naming") (52)
  • La'Yan, part 2 by Dovya Blacque (part #1 is in Act 5 #1, part #3 in Shades of Grey #4) (Only a few days left before the ship reaches Starbase and Zefram Cochrane finds himself growing closer and closer to Kirk and Spock... and Kirk and Spock find the same happening to them. The strange and immediate affinity between the three reaches the point of a lifetime decision: does the relationship remain as it is... or does it develop further?) (61)
  • Three-Sided Circle by Tere Ann Roderick (89)
  • Who Follow Other Paths by Tere Ann Roderick (90)
  • Empire Persuasion by Angel C. Soie (Having sent the other Kirk back to his own universe, Spock and Marlena Moreau have to face their own Kirk and the new thoughts which the other put into their minds. Marlena has a plan to win Kirk over to their new way of thinking which rides on the fact that Kirk has a habit of watching his first officer on the Tantalus Field... especially during his most private moments.) (101)
  • Two into Three by Alexis Fegan Black (120)
  • Against the Odds by Tere Ann Roderick (132)
  • Shi'Jarae by Jo Scott-Ross (How can McCoy convince his bondmate that they must take precautions in case he can't fulfill Spock's needs during his next pon farr? While on shore leave with Kirk, the subject of the bondmate's problem is illustrated in the most serious of manners. Sequel: Shared Silences) (133)
  • In Orbit by Dovya Blacque (178)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for A Gift of Crystal.
See reactions and reviews for A Friend in Need.
See reactions and reviews for The Naming.
See reactions and reviews for Mish'I'Ya.
See reactions and reviews for La'Yan.
See reactions and reviews for Who Follow Other Paths.
See reactions and reviews for Empire Persuasion.
See reactions and reviews for Two into Three.
See reactions and reviews for Shi'Jarae.

It was interesting. All of the stories were various types of threesomes. Kirk and Spock with McCoy, with Cochrane, with a prostitute, with another Vulcan, etc. I liked the premise of the zine. I liked some of the stories. It was interesting having the dynamics of different types of threesomes examined. A great variety of possibilities (some more likely than others) were presented. Kirk, Spock, Kirk and Spock, or even a third party as initiator. A threesome as the beginning of their sexual relationship, as in the story where Kirk takes Spock to a prostitute for Pon Farr and Spocks needs the mental and then physical intimacy with Kirk. Or there were several stories where Kirk and Spock brought in a third party after their sexual relationship had been going on some time. Some of the situations seemed awfully far-fetched and out of character, but all in all it was an interesting theme that hasn't been sufficiently explored in the past and the zine while a little disappointing was still worth the money paid.

I have great hopes that the next issue (if she decides to it) will be much better because the writers will have had more practice with the theme. [4]
[zine]: SHADES OF GREY is a "K/S, menage a trois" zine. Yup, Kirk, Spock and a third party physically or emotionally involved with one another. To my surprise, there's not one story in this zine that doesn't work, doesn't have a, pardon the word, logical reason or reasoning behind the relationship. This is a good zine! A GIFT OF CRYSTAL by Robin Hood continues a conversation begun in Diane Duane's THE WOUNDED SKY between Kirk and the crystal spider, K'T'lk. She's very interested in human sexuality and Kirk, to his own bemusement, is very apprehensive to answer her questions ... which turn to Spock and their feelings toward each other. This is not a technical 'menage', but it certainly is an emotional triangle; a story that is very well-written, a plot that is ' pulled off' to perfection. A FRIEND IN NEED by Yvonne De Chine is a different twist to the old problem, how does Spock solve his lack of Bondmate when he enters Pon Farr? Kirk's solution is practical, amiable, even fun, and turns out to be more revealing than either Kirk or Spock had imagined. The third party here is an intelligent, admirable female, one who doesn't intrude on the relationship, the electricity between Kirk and Spock but only adds to it. There is a great 'flavor' to this story, a feeling of atmosphere, of texture and weather and emotion let loose. This is a highly sensate story. THE NAMING by Andrea Arat is a very unusually written story. This is told, first person, by the third party, a Haden who has no name ... and will have no name until Spock gives it to him. Haden, as Kirk calls him, is gifted with foresight, he knows what will be and how things will be before they happen. This is a strange story, the ending is left a bit ambiguous and, I feel, out of character for Kirk and Spock, but it is an interesting possibility and was fun to read. LA'YAN -- PART 2 by Dovya Blacque is the sequel LA'YAN which appeared in ACT FIVE, SCENE ONE. Having read the original story, I found the sequel to be lacking a bit. The tension between Zephram Cochrane and Kirk and Spock builds to a breaking point in this sequel and is admirably dealt with, the love scenes are inventive and tender, but it just doesn't quite hold up to the first part of the story. I enjoyed PART 2, but couldn't help feeling let down a bit by it, something that happens quite often with sequels. WHO FOLLOW OTHER PATHS by Tere Ann Roderick involves Kirk and Spock with McCoy. We find a very settled in domestic trio one evening and get to listen in as Kirk and Spock tell McCoy of how they first came to know they wanted him to join them in their intimate sharing. I would have liked to have scene the story of the discovery written instead of being told about it, but this story is good and I enjoyed it. The bickering between Kirk and Spock is almost as good as the more typical bickering between Spock and McCoy. This story felt real. EMPIRE PERSUASION is one possibility of how the Mirror universe Spock and Marlena Moreau might have dealt with their captain upon his arrival back to his own universe, Spock and Marlena decide to join forces, to join the growing resistance movement and decide the best way to sway Kirk over to their way of thinking is for Spock to seduce him. This is a cunningly humorous piece, very erotic, and generally a lot of fun. TWO INTO THREE by Alexis Fegan Black is another Kirk, Spock, McCoy story. In this one, we see the beginning sparks between all three of them over Spock's sick bed. What amused me the most of what I call Alexis' use of what I call 'Spock humor,' that dry sort of wit he carries around with him. The author puts to good use this wryness to work while we watch the realization dawn on all three men. The writing is excellent, as with all of Alexis' stories. SHI'JARAE by Jo Scott-Ross is the most daring and, I feel, best story in the zine. This is a story dealing with a bonded Spock and McCoy and the Vulcan custom of Vulcan males bringing a third party, the Shi' jarae, into their relationship to serve the bonded pair in Pon Farr should one of them die or be unavailable for the remaining partner. It is no surprise at all to find just who ends up being Spock and McCoy's Shi' jarae, but the manner in which the choice is made and the reactions to that choice is what makes the story. Joe is a wonderful spinner of tales and made even this slightly unlikely premise sing with life and beliveablity I would love to see what happens next! There are six poems in SHADES OF GREY, IN ORBIT by Dovya Blacque (an IN TRIPLICATE poem) are the best. THREE-SIDED CIRCLE by Tere Ann Roderick and TROIS by Robin Hood stand out also. There is only one illustration in the zine. It's a beautiful Gayle F. of Kirk in the shower. This one makes up for any lack of art. The covers are shades of grey! The story borders are stylized designs that give the zine a coherent, well-planned, decorative look. This is a handsome zine as well as an excellent read. [5]
[zine]: Since I am the only vocal adherent of triad stories in NTS, it seems, I am also the most appropriate reviewer for SHADES OF GREY. Its opponents aren't likely to read it much less review it. So it remains for me to tell the other triad fans whether I think this is a zine worth buying. My answer is a most definite yes. The crowning ornament of the zine is "La'Yan Part II" by Dovya Blacque. It is the sequel to "La'Yan" in ACT FIVE, SCENE ONE and deals with the concept of a committed triad between K/S and Zephrem Cochrane. The reason why I find this idea so attractive is because I believe that both Kirk and Spock are heroes, and that they could only love a man who is on a similar level of greatness. Cochrane's doubts about his ability to keep up with 23rd century technology reminds me of Jerry's doubts in TIME OUT OF MIND by Keith Donovan and Nathan St. Germaine. Jerry didn't have Cochrane's stature, which make shim less convincing in comparison with the inventor of the warp drive. Cochrane outclasses any mundane computer genius. The internal conflicts brought about in Cochrane by all those years of isolation are generally well-portrayed in the story. There is a helpful introductory plot summary of the first part of "La'Yan" for those who haven't read it. Speaking of plot summaries, the general plot summary of "A Friend In Need" by Yvonne de Chine sounds terribly unpromising, yet this tale is surprisingly good. I would normally be prejudiced against any story about Spock resolving his pon-farr by going to a whorehouse, but the characters and events portrayed here are scarcely normal from the 20th century perspective. Imagine a society where a woman who used to be an Intelligence operative can become a prostitute as if it were any other profession with no stigma attached. Let us further imagine men treating prostitutes with respect for their competence. It is true that Elizabeth, the prostitute in the story, is treated as a sexual object. That's her job. That's what she contracted for. She didn't contract to be humiliated and abused as prostitutes often are in this society. I consider it rather wonderful to see Kirk and Spock treating Elizabeth as a human being. They may be in the midst of discovering their need for one another, but that doesn't mean they have to trample all over the rights of anyone else in their vicinity as I have seen in some K/S. "A Friend In Need" avoids misogyny and transcends formula treatment of heterosexual encounters in K/S stories. I was impressed with it. I was impressed in quite another way by "Empire Persuasion", a Mirror story by Angel Soie. Other writers might do well to examine this story to learn how to do a piece that is explicitly erotic and well-plotted at once. It isn't necessary for a story to be only one long sex scene in order to have an erotic impact. This one succeeds very well in that quarter without abandoning the narrative function. And again I was glad to see that misogyny was avoided in this story as well. This zine has a really good track record with regard to female characters. In "Empire Persuasion" Marlena is shown to be strong, intelligent, passionate and sympathetic. She is a real woman and not a cardboard figure. But where are the K/S/Mc stories, you ask? Don't worry. SHADES OF GREY has three of them. The best written of these is the moving "Two Into Three" by Alexis Fagen Black. There is an inspirational maturity in Kirk here. The jealousy that mars the other two K/S/Mc stories is avoided. This wasn't their only fault. "Who Follow Other Paths" by Tere Ann Roderick ignores the most basic rule of writing—show, don't tell. The real story here took place about ten years before the narrative begins. Tere shouldn't have had Kirk, Spock and McCoy sitting around and talking about what happened ten years ago. That's backassward. It destroys drama and immediacy. The third K/S/Mc story, "Shi-Jarae" by Jo Scott-Ross, has the virtue of being more original in its focus than the other two, but Spock is portrayed as remarkably insensitive and unsympathetic. The stories dealing with the theme of Kirk and Spock interrelating with a member of a third species were the weakest in the zine. "The Naming" by Andrea Arat, and its sequel "Mish'i'ya" by Cyrni Asher needed far more development of the alien third partner in order to be convincing, it is unclear to me why Kirk and Spock would love such a being. The idea of K/S being part of a group marriage is fascinating, but insufficiently explored. "The Naming" and "Mish'i'ya" read like fragments of a novel, and I'd much rather see the whole thing completed instead of jagged pieces that don't quite fit together. The other story in this alien set sounded promising. On the surface, a tale about Kirk, Spock and K't'lk, an alien from Diane Duane's novel, THE WOUNDED SKY, should be an astonishing revelation. Yet instead it was disappointing. For one thing, "A Gift of Crystal" by Robin Hood isn't a triad story at all. It's K/S being nursed along by a third party—a concept which I've always found somewhat dubious since it assumes that Kirk and Spock can't manage by themselves. This is a rather demeaning attitude toward our heroes. It also occurred to me that if Kirk and Spock had melded according to Spock's "natural instinct", as ne puts it in this story, the need for a nursemaid would have been erased, and then goodbye alien. The whole sequence of events in "A Gift of Crystal" struck me as totally superfluous. Don't get me wrong. Just because I criticized some of the stories in SHADES OF GREY In negative terms doesn't mean it isn't a good zine. Remember that this zine is an experiment, and an ambitious one at that. Considering how much easier it is to produce an ordinary, formula zine, the editor deserves kudos for courage. She and the others involved in SHADES OF GREY are still groping toward the formation of a triad genre. It is all very new and exciting for those of us who have looked forward to this for a long time. This is only a beginning, and for a first effort turned out extremely well. Several of the stories were exactly as good as I hoped they might be—which is saying a great deal. Zines like SHADES OF GREY make me optimistic about the future of K/S. If later issues can live up to the standards of this one, they will contribute toward a spirit of growth and diversity that must be kept alive. [6]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2

Shades of Grey 2 was published in 1987 and is 249 pages long. It was nominated for a Surak Award. It has some sparse art art by Susan B. Leonard, as well as some clip art.

From the editorial:
...this monster... uh... zine turned out a lot longer than I'd planned. Soooo, everyone who ordered BEFORE JULY 30, 1987 will not have to pay the new price. The $18.00 US on the original flyer that you received from me holds for those flyers only or any order received before July 30, 1987. I'm really sorry that I have to raise the price of this zine to $20.00 US; $25.00 Europe; $30.00 (ouch!) Pacific. I should have planned better; I should have rejected a story or two... but which ones? Since I'm not certain there will be a 3rd issue of S0G, I couldn't hold any of the stories over for the next issue. And Tishen's novella kept getting long er....
From the editorial:
Through the correspondence I've received regarding S0G #1 and IN TRIPLICATE, I've become aware of a problem concerning K/S/Mc. Several people have written to me, or told me at conventions: "I just don't see De Kelley as a sexual being" and/or "I just don't see McCoy as a sexual being". I have a problem with this. I understand it, but I'm surprised at the viewpoint.

First of all, aren't all beings (most beings) sexual beings? Why would Mr. Kelley or Dr. McCoy be any different? Especially seeing as they are both very human. Secondly, I know many people see Mr. Shatner and Mr. Nimoy when reading K/S, something I don't (can't) do. While I am very... ahem... visual, I tend to see K and S as abstracts of the actors, illustrations or less. So, I understand when someone says they can't see Mr.Kelley involved in such a relationship.'s not Mr.Kelley...or Mr. Shatner or Mr. Nimoy we are writing/reading about. It's Kirk, Spock and, at least in this zine, McCoy. I think there should be a definite distinction between the characters and the least it might make the K/S/Mc premise a bit easier to swallow if not enjoy.

I suggest an experiment: everyone make up an image of what McCoy looks like and keep it in your head while reading these stories. I think you might enjoy them more... unless you're as crazy about De Kelley as I am. (Have you seen pictures of him when he was young? Yummmm!) Then it doesn't matter even if you do picture Mr. Kelley... which I don't. Anyway, it's a suggestion, something Natasha Solten and I came up with to help us write IN TRIPLICATE. (We really had some problems with some of the images we were creating!)
  • Cornerstone by Robin Hood (After the events with Rayna, Spock is haunted by his actions and becomes lost in troublesome dreams which take both Kirk's and McCoy's special brands of caring to bring him to himself again.) (3)
  • Room Enough by Roberta (16)
  • To Love, and Love by Merita Seda (Kirk finds himself falling in love with a beautiful woman who also happens to be very close to Spock. Through a series of complications, Kirk and Spock find themselves sharing much more than just the rest of their lives.) (21)
  • Shared Silences by Jo Scott-Ross (49)
  • One Good Turn by A.L. Hughes (An old friend, too much to drink, a practical joke taken a bit too far, and Kirk and Spock find themselves facing long buried emotions in the bed and arms of said old friend.) (61)
  • Awakening by Dovya Blacque (75)
  • Mutual Obsession by Dovya Blacque (77)
  • At My Back by Dovya Blacque (78)
  • After the Battle by Dovya Blacque (79)
  • Those Eyes by Dovya Blacque (81)
  • Shore Leave by Dovya Blacque (83)
  • Night Watch by Dovya Blacque (84)
  • After You've Touched the Sky by Mara-Lyn Cade (Kirk and Spock, already lovers, decide to help their depressed friend by offering him their support, their caring, their love.) (85)
  • In Threes by Jane Fury (94)
  • The Heart of the Beast by Dovya Blacque (97)
  • Legacies by Tishen Tirare (A mission into Earth's past through The Guardian of Forever to stop a Klingon from destroying the earliest seeds of what will become Starfleet, leads Kirk, Spock, McCoy and ENTERPRISE's Security Chief on a chase through Time to land in the middle of the sinking of the Titanic.) (119)
  • On the Way by Bonita Kale (248)
  • Loved Last Night by Sharon Delon (inside back cover)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

See reactions and reviews for Cornerstone.
See reactions and reviews for Room Enough.
See reactions and reviews for To Love, and Love.
See reactions and reviews for Shared Silences.
See reactions and reviews for One Good Turn.
See reactions and reviews for After You've Touched the Sky.
See reactions and reviews for The Heart of the Beast.
See reactions and reviews for Legacies.
[zine]: Imagine my surprise when my copy of SOG #2 arrived and I found it to be 250 pages long. After realizing it wasn't a phonebook resting on my door step, I hauled SOG into the house... I never thought of myself as someone who would like 'menage' stories. Then I picked up IN TRIPLICATE and found I had a more open mind than I'd thought. And since I enjoyed SOG #1 okay, I thought I'd give #2 a try and I'm very glad I did. The cover this time is beautiful. It's the same basic 'shades of grey' as SOG #1, but this time the stripes are vertical, and the cover has been printed, and the grey tones are really lovely. It's a simple cover, but very striking. Inside, is a wide variety of stories, all based on the somewhat general definition of 'menage a trois' the editor seems to invoke. CORNERSTONE is the first of several K/S/Mc stories. This is a post REQUIEM FOR METHUSELAH story and deals with both Kirk's and Spock's confusion and feelings of betrayed and betrayer. Of course, McCoy is needed to explain things to our two confused boys... only to become confused himself when he and Kirk try to wake Spock from a nightmare. This is a a warm story if a bit contrived, and I found the ending a bit of a cop-out. This story feels like a 'menage' story that didn't want to be a 'menage' story. But it turned out well. ROOM ENOUGH is another K/S/MC story that isn't really a 'menage.' It's more the possibility of a 'menage' story. This is four pages of dialogue only between Kirk and McCoy about how each of them sees the relationship between them and Spock developing... or not. Nice, but not very satisfying... to me or, it seemed, to the characters. TO LOVE, AND LOVE is undeniably a 'menage' story. This time the third party is a half-Vulcan named at different times Taroh and T'Roh. When she comes aboard, Kirk can't understand why he is so drawn to her. They become very close very quickly, and finally, Kirk tells Spock he wants to marry her. Well, Spock has a little surprise of his own concerning T'Roh... and T'Roh has an even bigger surprise for both of them. This is thoroughly enjoyable. The female character doesn't get in the way of the K/S relationship as they sometimes do. I even myself liking her, and I wasn't' at all disappointed in the final outcome of the story. SHARED SILENCES is a sequel to Shi Jarea which appeared in issue #1, and was my favorite story in that issue. I was very disappointed that that sequel here didn't hold up next to it. This is a very short story that precedes both JOURNEY TO BABEL and FOR THE WORLD IS HOLLOW... It's a bit confusing, not very clearly written and jumps around too much for me. But I did feel for and with the characters, so it wasn't a complete failure. Perhaps if I hadn't liked the original story so much, I'd have liked this one better. ONE GOOD TURN is another 'menage' with a female character, but this one is more on the whore-ish side. Her name is Kenzie, and she's a starship captain in her own right. She and Kirk are apparently old friends and she has also known Spock and McCoy for some time. On shore leave, the three men from the Enterprise run into Kenzie and they all get drunk, the two human men and Kenzie taking delight in teasing Spock until Kirk and McCoy refuse to help Kenzie out of a tight spot. In retaliation, Kenzie gets Spock to pretend a sexual interest in her and they walk off into the night. What happens next when they are alone is a surprise not only to Spock but to the reader, and is very sensual. When Kirk comes looking for his Vulcan friend, things only get better. This is a very physical story, there's little emotional satisfaction until the end when Kirk and Spock finally have some time together... I did find the female character intrusive here, but that's how she's supposed to be, I think. AFTER YOU'VE TOUCHED THE SKY, aside from having one of the best titles I've come across is another K/S/Mc story and takes place after FOR THE WOLRD IS HOLLOW... This reminded me very much of Gayle F's Between Friends, though it holds up very well on its own. This time, instead of Kirk and Spock planning a rendezvous with McCoy, Spock and McCoy plan one with Kirk... sort of. It's quite complicated and entertaining and a very enjoyable story. THE HEART OF THE BEAST is my second favorite story in the zine. It begins with log entries from each Kirk, Spock, and McCoy and moves into Spock revealing to Kirk that almost losing McCoy to the Vians has made him realize just how much he cares for the doctor. Kirk tells him that's because he's in love with McCoy. That surprises Spock, but not as much as Kirk making his own revelation that he, himself, loves Spock. The only thing now is to convince McCoy. This is a very warm story, cute in parts, hard in parts, and completely satisfying by the end. This is Dovya at her best... again. The second half of the zine, literally, is one long story by a new writer, Tishen Tirare (couldn't be a pen name, could it?) called LEGACIES. This isn't really a 'menage' story at all, but it does involve more than one person in several different mental links. This is a time travel story that takes McCoy, Spock, and the Enterprise's Chief of Security, Madenia Sandecker, through the Guardian of Forever to chase Kirk who's been abducted by a Klingon agent. Their trip takes them on, pardon the pun, a collision course with the Titanic and a young relative of Maddie's. The historical material in this story is excellent and very accurate. Tishen did her homework and she did it well. This is a visual feast for anyone interested in historical tragedies or anyone just fascinated by luxury and opulence. LEGACIES is also a study of three men and their reactions and emotions when someone new is thrown in between them. This has some wonderful heterosexual scenes, especially between Spock and Maddie. The tangle of emotions and physical desired, and fears, and concerns, and love is remarkable. This is a gem, not to be missed, even if you don't like 'menage' situations. This story alone is worth buying the zine, and I can't imagine it being offensive to anyone... As for the art, the only illustrations in the zine accompany Dovya's poetry. None of the stories are illustrated. But it is visually a pretty zine. The story borders are unobtrusive and the graphics are clean... At $20, it is a very good buy, and I recommend it highly, even if you aren't usually given to buying this genre of zine. [7]

Issue 3

cover of issue #3
inside back cover from issue #3, inside back page, artist is Sherry Veltkamp

Shades of Grey 3 was published in 1988 and is 202 pages long. Front cover by Dovya Blacque. Inside back cover by Shelly Veltkamp.

  • Editorial by Editor (3)
  • Invitation to the Dance by Robin Hood (art by Dragon) (5)
  • The View from Yesterday by Addison Reed (Captain John Christopher found many strange, unusual and wonderful things aboard the starship from his future, but none stranger or more confusing than discovering the unusually wonderful relationship between the starship's captain and first officer.) (6)
  • Xenopolyamoria by Linda Frankel (art by Jacquelyn Zoost) (15)
  • Voyeur by Tishen Tirare (Lieutenant Commander Athina Ma'Kir was fascinated by the large relic that called itself The Guardian of Forever... but even more fascinated by the story the Guardian revealed of "the flesh and bloods" who had come to its planet before her.) (16)
  • The One Who Returned by Linda Frankel (45)
  • Heart in Hand by Cybel Harper (art by Jacquelyn Zoost) (47)
  • Only for You by Martha Selena Brown. (Testing the strength of their bond over distance, Kirk takes a diplomatic assignment planetside while Spock takes ENTERPRISE on another mission. Unfortunately, Vulcan biology isn't always considerate of Time and Space.) (Art by Kay Wells) (48)
  • Consequences by Martha Selena Brown (Kirk, having returned from his mission, finds the tension between Spock and McCoy unbearable. Something has to be done.) 69 (art by Jacquelyn Zoost) (69)
  • Song of Solitude by Doyva Blacque (art by Jacquelyn Zoost) (103)
  • Trinary by Robin Hood (art by Dragon) (105)
  • Of Marriage and Mating by Merita Seda (sequel to To Love and Love, SOG #2) (Kirk and Spock think their marriage to Taroh is the best thing ever to happen to them... until she springs a heretofore unimagined surprise on them.) (106)
  • The Pressure of Presence by Linda Frankel (167)
  • Silent Gestures by M.L. Badger (After Minara, both Kirk and McCoy are haunted by the torture and subsequent mercy of the Vians. Though Kirk and Spock are bondmates, neither human can deal with the after effects alone.) (art by Shellie Whild) (168)
  • Bones by Dovya Blacque (202)


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

See reactions and reviews for The View from Yesterday.
See reactions and reviews for Voyeur.
See reactions and reviews for Only for You.
See reactions and reviews for Consequences.
See reactions and reviews for Of Marriage and Mating.
See reactions and reviews for Silent Gestures.

Issue 4

front cover of issue #4
back cover of issue #4

Shades of Grey 4 was published in 1989 and is 164 pages long. The front and back covers are by Dovya Blacque. The inside art is by Shellie Whild (all but one) and a single piece by The Southern Cross.

From the editorial:
This is quite possible the last issue of SOG. I know, I know. You're all thinking: "That's exactly what she said about AS I DO THEE, too!" But this time, I'm very serious... probably. The problem is that I got so few submissions for this issue that I had to bribe myself into writing the 3rd installment of La'yan and hit Faris over the head to make her write something for me, too. In other words, I only had two stories submitted to me for SOG #4. So, if you want there to be a #5, you'll have to send submission. It will also help if you let me know if you think SOG has run its course or if you want to see more issues published.
  • Editorial (3)
  • The One Apart by Starr Copeland (4)
  • Barracoon by Robin Hood (Having disappeared during shore leave, Leonard McCoy turns up in the most unlikely of places. His two best friends, who find him after extensive searching and much worry, are faced with a McCoy they've never known before -- a McCoy who has no idea who they are.) (5)
  • La'Yan, part 3 by Dovya Blacque (This is the 3rd, and final, installment to Dovya's story about Kirk and Spock's relationship with Zefram Cochrane which began in Act 5, Scene 1 and continued in SOG #1. While on Earth, having put in his request for assignment to ENTERPRISE, Cochrane is approached by many representatives of Federation worlds, all eager to talk to this living legend. All the new beings he meets fascinate Cochrane, but none more than Sarek of Vulcan. Meanwhile, Kirk and Spock try to deal with their new relationship, McCoy's building jealousies, and their mutual sense of loss at Cochrane's continued absence.) (25)
  • Untitled by Starr Copeland (56)
  • Surprise! Surprise! by Marita Seda (Stuck patrolling on the boarder of the Neutral Zone, Kirk and Spock anxiously await word of T'Roh's pregnancy, only to be given the surprise of their lives when, finally, they manage to join her on Vulcan. This is the 3rd installment to Merita's series which has appeared in past issues of SOG. It ties up loose ends, opens new possibilities, and brings the three bondmates together for some wonderful shared moments.) (57)
  • Shades of Grey by Faris Vincent (The deaths on Drakmon were no one's fault; McCoy did everything he could to save the billions of people inflicted with the strange plague. Everyone knows that truth, everyone except McCoy and Starfleet Command. Isolated in a Starfleet compound on Earth to await the outcome of Command's investigation of the situation, Kirk, Spock and McCoy struggle with their own guilts and one another's too-vivid memories.) (127)
  • The Third Side by Dana Austin Marsh (163)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

See reactions and reviews for Barracoon.
See reactions and reviews for La'Yan.
See reactions and reviews for Surprise! Surprise!.
See reactions and reviews for Shades of Grey.
See reactions and reviews for The Third Side.

Issue 5

front cover of issue #5
back cover of issue #5

Shades of Grey 5 was published in 1990 and is 180 pages long. It has art by Sherry Veltkamp (one piece) and Ayn Grayam (most).

From the editorial:
Okay, okay, I know you're getting tired of hearing it, but this really is the final issue of SOG... for two years. We're taking a little vacation, going on hiatus, as it were. Putting these last two issues together have been like pulling the proverbial bad tooth. Everyone wants to read the zine, but I can't find enough people to write for it. So, you've all got two entire years in which to dream up and write wonderful new menage a trois stories. If, in those two years, anyone has questions or needs some feedback on a story that's in the works, please feel free to write or send me the story to look over. I'm still here waiting to help in any way I can.
  • Editorial (3)
  • Contemplating James Kirk by Bonita Kale (4)
  • Ramasq City Stud by M.L. Badger (Some shore leaves just don't seem to go as planned... Kirk and McCoy find themselves in a sumptuous suite in Ramasq City with nothing to do but play an odd game of poker... things begin to get interesting when Spock shows up and decides to stay with his friends... to keep them out of trouble.) (5)
  • The Trust of a Friend by Dallance McCassland (39)
  • Sitting in the Fire by Tere Ann Roderick (40)
  • A Significant Contribution by Dovya Blacque (There was no reason to return Captain John Christopher to Earth; his wife was already pregnant with their son when the captain had his run-in with the starship from his future. But, despite the words Spock spoke to him, he does find he has something to contribute to the universe.) (41)
  • Ambiguity by Tere Ann Roderick (77)
  • Eat Your Heart Out, Ansel Adams by Jane Mailander (79)
  • If There's One Thing a Vulcan Can't Deal With by Dallance McCassland (84)
  • Rescue by Greggia Seta (Leonard McCoy, despondent over his lady leaving ENTERPRISE, finds himself taken in hand by his two best friends and shown that, even though they're lovers, Kirk and Spock still care about him and need him in their lives.) (85)
  • A New Worry by Dallance McCassland (114)
  • T'hy'lee by Gena Moretti (When McCoy and Spock crash-land their shuttle craft on an uncharted planet, the last thing they expect to have to deal with is the Vulcan going into pon farr while out of reach of his bondmate, James T. Kirk. But that's just what happens. When returned to their normal lives, new dynamics have been set in motion... and no one's life will ever be the same as before.) (117)
  • I Never by Tere Ann Roderick (178)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

See reactions and reviews for Ramasq City Stud.
See reactions and reviews for A Significant Contribution.
See reactions and reviews for Rescue.
See reactions and reviews for T'hy'lee.
See reactions and reviews for Eat Your Heart Out, Ansel Adams.
[zine]: To my great disappointment, the editor begins this issue with an editorial stating that #5 is the final issue of SOG, at least for several years. If this is true, I will miss this zine as it is the only one of its kind and has always been something I've looked forward to reading. Issue #5 is, perhaps, the best issue to date, beginning with RAMASQ CITY STUD by M.L. Badger. On shore leave, Kirk and McCoy find themselves dumped by their dates (for each other) and alone in a lavish hotel suite with nothing to do but play strip poker for the utterly tacky clothes they're wearing and get drunk on some alien wine. To complete the party, Spock, shows up to make sure the two humans won't drink themselves into oblivion and, as with all the stories in SOG, the three of them end up sharing more than a game of strip poker! But, when they do play cards, it is one of the most delightful card games ever! Ms. Badger once again creates with her excellent writing a complex, believable, touching story. A SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION by Dovya Blacque is the only story in this issue that is not K/S/Mc. Here, we find Captain John Christopher trapped on the ENTERPRISE with no valid reason to be returned to his time as his son has already been born when his is intercepted by the ENTERPRISE's tractor beam. It starts with Spock who finds his feelings toward Christopher not only approaching obsession but echoing a similar obsession he has for Kirk. Turning to Kirk for help, Spock discovers there's room for more than one such obsession in his life. For me, this is one of the more believable scenarios utilizing an established character from the series as I saw quite a bit of empathy pass between both Kirk and Christopher and Spock and Christopher in "Tomorrow Is Yesterday". Ms. Blacque picked up on that same empathy and manipulated it into something very beautiful to read. RESCUE by Greggia Seta gives us a McCoy who is so distraught over his lady friend transferring off the ship that he's turned to alcohol for comfort and his behavior has deteriorated to a state that has Kirk and Spock extremely concerned for his welfare. Insisting McCoy accompany them on short leave, Kirk and Spock offer the doctor love and understanding and begin to heal his wounds. The end of the story is way too perfect too sweet and pat for my taste, but the first three-quarters of the story works very well and was very enjoyable. 'T'HY'LI' by Gena Moretti is something I've read before: McCoy and Spock, stranded on a planet when Spock enters pon farr, have to turn to each other to save both their lives. In this case, Spock and Kirk are already lovers when this happens but Spock accepts McCoy into his life as his "T'hy'li", his "lover-in-need". The interesting part of the story is watching Kirk come to terms with this and seeing a wonderfully affectionate relationship develop between Spock and McCoy. Ms. Moretti has taken what could have been a stereotypical situation and turned it into the best K/S/Mc stories I've read. The writing is very clear, the plot is never weighted down with excess baggage. This is a very good story. Also included are some wonderful poems, not the least of which is "Contemplating James Kirk" by Bonita Kale. Offerings by Dalance McCassland and Tere Ann Roderick are also quite pleasing as is a longer, prose piece by Jane Mailander titled "East Your Heart Out, Ansel Adams". At first glance, this seem just too silly for words. But as I read along, I found the honesty between the characters very touching. And no one else could have pulled something like this off as well as Ms. Mailander has! Art is sparse, but present, represented by Ayn Grayam and Sherry Veltkamp. The cover, drawn by the editor, is very lovely. If this truly is the final issue of SHADES OF GREY, then it is a fine tribute to the first four issues. It's so much better to end on a peak than in a valley; SOG #5 is definitely a peak! [8]


  1. ^ from Not Tonight Spock! #11
  2. ^ Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Alayne Gelfand (2014)
  3. ^ Agent With Style's website lists "Open Relationship" by Tere Ann Roderick on page 200. This is in conflict with how many pages the original publisher's website says this zine has, which is 178 pages.
  4. ^ from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #20
  5. ^ from Datazine #43
  6. ^ from Not Tonight, Spock! #15
  7. ^ from On the Double #5
  8. ^ from Datazine #63