Summer's End (Star Trek: TOS zine)

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Title: Summer's End
Publisher: D.T. Steiner
Author(s): Diane Steiner
Cover Artist(s):
Date(s): 1974, 1976
Medium: print
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
Language: English
External Links:
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Summer's End is a gen ST:TOS novella by Diane Steiner.

This story was mentioned in The Development of the Kirk/Spock Relationship: Its Foundation in Fan-Fiction (1978).

Published in Two Sections

first page of the first part in “Metamorphosis” #1: note this is either a fan-created copy with added art, or it is the "limited-run art-folio" that Steiner commented upon in the notes to the second part of the fic in "Metamorphosis" #2.
last page of the first part in “Metamorphosis” #1; note this is either a fan-created copy with added art, or it is the "limited-run art-folio" that Steiner commented upon in the notes to the second part of the fic in "Metamorphosis" #2. Two clues to that point to the latter: the page numbers do not match the original zine, and there is an illo added (signed "SH").

This intense hurt/comfort, Kirk & Spock relationship novella was published in two sections.

The first appeared in the fanzine “Metamorphosis” #1 (1974); the second in “Metamorphosis” #2 (1976); both published by D.T. Steiner.

It was originally meant to be a trilogy; as per Steiner's notes at the end of part two: the third part was to have been titled "Fall of Darkness." It was never published.

Discussed and Remixed

This story was discussed in To Slay or Not to Slay: Why We Write 'Get-em' Stories -- & Love 'em!.

A “side story”, “Mid-Summer” by Carolyn Venino, was published in “Beyond Orion” #1 (1977, Carol Hunterton, Editor). A sequel, “Fall of Darkness” was announced but never materialized.

The second part of this story was part of the inspiration for The Price of Freedom. [1]

Theme and Summary

“Summer’s End” added the element of Stockholm Syndrome, a psychological condition in which the captive identifies with the capture. The incident in Stockholm from which the syndrome takes its name occurred in 1973, a year before publication of the first portion of this novella.

A summary: The Federation and the Romulan Empire are on the verge of war. After Spock is captured and tortured by Romulans for military information, he is discovered ill and irrational on a Federation-controlled planet. He’s returned to the Enterprise, still barely aware of his surroundings. Kirk is anxious for Spock to be healed and restored to his former self. Starfleet is determined to find out what Spock told the Romulans and why they set him free. It’s quickly discovered that Spock is now under the control of the Romulans – and his forced betrayal of Kirk and the Federation may destroy everything.

There were a number of 1970s hurt/comfort stories which deal with Vietnam-inspired POW/MIA (prisoner of war/missing in action) themes. “Home is the Hunter”, by Bev Volker and Nancy Kippax is another; that novel deals with the aftermath of Kirk’s capture by aliens, captivity, torture and rescue.

Author's Comments in 1976

In 1976, Steiner commented on this story in her editorial to Metamorphosis #2.

META — containing the longest (in duration) two-part story in fandorm. A distinction I could do without, but one cannot deny the facts. Boring excuses later....

Not only is this META's Bicentennial issue, I was thinking of calling it the Death and Insanity issue—likelihoods which could be ascribed to the editor as well as the contents (especially after you see them)! But I'm sure each of you have your own cherished expressions for the fanzine that left you hanging on the cliff's edge with Spock precisely...ah...some time ago. True to form, and not to be outdone, the characters have done it again. (Don't blame me, I only work for them!) "Summer's End" is not the END, as it were, but the first story in a lengthy trilogy.

NOW WAIT! Before you get out the tar and phasers feathers, let me make one thing "perfectly clear." You won't have to wait years for the next story, because it will be published elsewhere. So there!


And now, time out while the editor sobs and bitches a little! You may notice that "Summer's End" is strangely lacking in illustrations. I had planned them and thought I had them, but agreed artist folded on me at the last minute due to personal problems, leaving me with no option but to publish it without illos (save one, thanks to Mary Emerson! I am going to have it illoed yet, then will print a limited-run art-folio for those of you who may be interested. SASE if you're interested in more particulars on the project.

One more thing re. "Summer's End": I'll provide a Zerox of Part I at cost to anyone who may want it. Part I ran twenty-two pages; I can Zerox copies for 5 cents per page currently; please add approx. 60 cents for postage; if it's less that that, I'll return it with the copies. I intended to prologue Part I here, but discovered that there were so many things I'd have to bring into it the prologue would have been as long as the story (well, almost). Since META I is permanently out of print, offering a Zerox of Part I is the best solution to the problem that comes to mind.

Reactions and Reviews

Unknown Date

Coming out after, 'The Logical Conclusion, 'Summer's End' is not that impressive as a get 'em, and Spock's eventual recovery is tedious and drawn-out. And to add aggravation, it's not even the end of the story. Grrr... another lengthy wait for the next part? ... Meta #2, altogether, is a classy, well-written zine with some of the best writers and artists around. [2]


At last! META 2 is available at last, and with It, part II of the longest two-part story in fandom, SUMMER'S END. It was well worth the wait, believe me! Diane has a rare talent to write the ultimate "get" stories SO well, that you suffer every instant with the characters. [3]


I don't have a love affair with violence despite what you may think. I hate to be hurt... I could easily never write another vio1ent story and still get most of what I want to say across, but when I write, I try to make you feel what the characters feel. If you are reading about sex, I try to make you feel that sex; if you are reading about the characters triumphing over adversity, pain, or injury, I try to make you feel along with the characters. It's not a gratuitous love of hurting the characters, but to make the audience feel along with them. It's like "Summer's End", D.T. Steiner's constant torture had a purpose — she broke the audience along with Spock. There was no question by the end that Spock wouldn't have broken; I myself was counting the pages of the torture long before it was over because I couldn't take much more. Another story might have made me skeptical that Spock, our Vulcan would've broken, but not that one. One of my greatest regrets was that that was never finished. So that we could see how K & S ultimately triumphed. [4]


It's one of those gen classics liked my K/S fen. It's very intense and traumatic. It would have made a great movie. [5]
To make me believe one of my heroes has broken, a writer had better come up with something with the emotional impact of, say, "Summer's End" by Diane Steiner. She broke Spock beautifully, and I bought every emotion she laid on the page. It was so wonderful I wept with and felt every iota of Spock's pain. He was physically and mentally racked by the Romulans and then, worst of all, suffered the agony of the damned when he realized he had betrayed Kirk. [6]


  1. ^ from A 2005 Interview with Kathy Resch.
  2. ^ a review from an unknown zine
  3. ^ from Off the Beaten Trek #2
  4. ^ from. K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #8
  5. ^ comment by Gayle F on Virgule-L, quoted with permission (June 20, 1994)
  6. ^ comment on Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (November 3, 1994)