T'zad'u

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Zine
Title: T'zad'u (there is much confusion regarding the title of this zine due to the font on the front covers. Even though it appears to read "T'zab'u', this is incorrect.)
Publisher: The UK Group and D. DaBinett
Editor:
Author(s): Doreen Dubois and K.S. T'Lan
Cover Artist(s):
Illustrator(s):
Date(s): undated, though the publication date was 1982
Medium: print zine, fanfic
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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cover of part #2
cover of part #1

T'zad'u (NOT T'zab'u despite what the font on the front covers looks like) is a slash K/S Star Trek: TOS novel written by Doreen Dubois and K.S. T'Lan and edited by D. DaBinett. It was published in the UK in two volumes that contain 426 pages total. It contains illos by Marie A, Gayle F, Susan Wyllie, Fiona Graves, Roo, Virginia Lee Smith, and others. It required an age statement to purchase.

Awards

This zine won a 1988 "Federation Class of Excellence" Surak Award.

Mentioned Before Publication

In Duet #5, Doreen DuBois mentions that she hopes it will be published in "the autumn" and says that it still has no title.

In "Duet" #6, Doreen DuBois titles it "The T'zad'u," and says that it will "be fully illoed, and due to the length of this 'epic' will be put out in two parts... Zine One in October, and Zine Two in December (before Xmas) this year."

Summaries

Summary from one distributor: "T'Zad'U as defined by the encyclopedia of Vulcan Words, compiled by Skol Sharinda of the Andorian Academy of Learning means: The Most Binding of all Vulcan Oaths, sworn only after much thought, and never entered into lightly, as violation brings punishment to all the Clan. This is the story of a oath given by Spock to his mother Amanda, and the unfolding of the Kirk and Spock Relationship. It's a deep exploration."

From Gilda F: "James Church is instantly drawn to Captain Spock when heʼs posted to the Enterprise, unaware that heʼs known the Vulcan before."

Collaboration and Point of View

T'zad'u was written by D C Dubois and K S T'Lan, who could be called the founder members [of The U.K. Group]. As I remember, one of them wrote all the bits done from Kirk's PoV, the other the bits from Spock's. [1]

Gallery

Reactions and Reviews

This one lingers in my mind. A strange tale, but somehow it works. KS T’Lan was perhaps the best of the British K/S writers—certainly she’s one of my favourites. [2]
This must be the biggest K/S novel there is. There are 428 pages to read, and although a little long now and then, I became never bored. Kirk is given a 'second chance'. He has grown old and is still not able to react upon his feelings for Spock. Because of his age he is retired but he longs terribly for the stars. Spock gives him an opportunity to regain his youth... Kirk will be the same physically, because altering the bone-structure is not possible, but the memories of his life as James Kirk will be whipped totally. He will get false memories of a childhood on Vulcan instead. Spock has to swear T'zad'u, the oldest and most sacred oath on Vulcan, not to contact Kirk in his new life, nor to tell him anything about his past. Spock accepts to give his friend a new life. And so he arranges James Kirk's death and begins the life of James Church. This is where the real story starts. Church is as hungry for the stars as Kirk was, and we follow him through his years on the Academy, where he discovers his bisexuality. Just as Kirk he has many affairs, both male and female. There is one difference: he has no desire to command and loves to be submissive. Graduated from the Academy he is assigned to the Enterprise II under command of Captain Spock. They meet, of course and when the story continues they become friends and lovers and even bondmates. That is not an easy way and they have to move past numerous obstacles to reach their goal. There are some lovely details of Vulcan life. The whole story is written with love for the planet of Vulcan and the Vulcan way of life. Because Church grows up on Vulcan he is well known with Vulcan customs. He even likes to meditate and doesn't like alcohol. He is happy to become Spock's second in command. It is a nice long read, this story, but still there are a few elements I don't like. Church only looks like a very young Kirk. When he comes aboard the Enterprise he is about 22 years old but looks years younger. Spock is about 73 Earth years then and still a youngster to Vulcans. Church has too little in him from the old James Kirk. Outwardly he is James Kirk, but inwardly he is someone different, formed by the Vulcan memories planted in him. He doesn't remind me of Kirk at all, but for the risky things he does. I would have liked to see Church look like the young Kirk, acting with the same stubbornness, energy, and need to command as Kirk. Church is brilliant at the Academy, of course, the same as Kirk, is just a womanizer as Kirk, but there is no desire to command a starship of his own, to take decisions, to take the responsibility for the lives of more then 400 men and women. I think Church is only a pale reflection of some aspects of Kirk. He is not the intriguing person Kirk is. Spock is grown adult. He has learned a lot from the past and is easier with his human halve. Apart from that, this Spock is a rather dominant one, with raging emotions concerning Kirk/Church. He has difficulties keeping his vow to Vulcan and, never allowed to bind with his love, he is torn inside when Church asks him to bond with him. Some good scenes when Church met an old McCoy, married and happy now, but not recognizing him. When he is finally at McCoy's deathbed, a sad, moving scene, something triggers his memory. You can tell a lot about this story. There are a lot of details. The secondary characters are very good described, both the Vulcans and the humans. There is a lot of sex. Some good and some boring, yes, I d didn't know it was possible, but at some time I found the sex boring; just too much of it. As so many stories, you have to read this to enjoy it fully... Thanks to the authors for a tremendous piece of work." [3]
In a nutshell; Jo Ann and I found an original TZADU and I got all excited and had to relate the stony to her while waving my hands frantically as I am wont to do. "So there's Kirk who is dying and in order to be saved, he's got to be regenerated and made young again, but the terrible price that Spock has to pay is to take the vow of "T'zadu" and never reveal the truth to Kirk no matter what, and poor Spock has to suffer horribly as he is now captain of the Enterprise and Kirk is there and Spock loves him so much, but can't say anything and it's so heart-wrenching and so sad and then the whole rest of the novel is [more enthusiastic hand-waving] lots and tots o' sex!" And so Jo Ann clutches her treasure to her bosom as we walk through the dealers' room and encounter Jenna. So we're all enthusiastic and we say, "Oh, look what we have—TZADU. And Jenna raises one eyebrow and proceeds to tell the story of Kirk whom she feels is totally out of character and how Spock has to take this vow, but it's really structurally incomplete and the infrastructure is on a disjointed literary plane with the author's intent which misconstrues the integral focus and then for the whole rest of the novel [and here Jenna rolls her eyes in disgust] there's nothing but sex. [4]
Do you like to read K/S but wish you didn't? Do you feel guilty about those zines tucked away in the bottom of your underwear drawer? Do you want to be cured?Then this monumental Victorian novel is for you! Short on plot, but crammed with erotic incident, it ranks up there alongside such 19th century classics as My Secret Life . Herein, the authors have finally answered the question: Is it possible to have too much sex in a K/S story? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! T'Zad'U's only saving grace is that outside of their names, the characters bear absolutely no resemblance to those invented by Gene Roddenberry and lovingly perpetuated by fan writers. Having got that off my chest, let me say that while I have read and enjoyed many stories by the same authors in D. DaBinett's Duet series, I have been consistently disappointed in their novel or novella efforts. I understand that editorial input is at a minimum and pieces get printed more or less as in order to get the Duets and other titles out in a matter of months rather than years, as seems to be the U.S. custom. Still, the sacrifice in quality is apparent over the long haul; there must be a way to improve writing and still keep up the production schedule. T'zad'u is a Vulcan custom seemingly designed to get everybody in more trouble than it is worth. In volume one, Spock buys the aging Kirk rejuvenation by swearing the aforementioned oath, T'zad'u, that he will never try to see Kirk nor ever disclose what was done. Old Admiral Kirk is reconstituted as a teenage Jim Church and grows up on Vulcan with Vulcan foster parents. He has no memory of his former life and a lot of phony memories of his childhood planted by Vulcan scientists as part of the rejuvenation process. After discovering gay sex in school, Church winds up on Captain Spock's ship. They become lovers at the drop of a boot, but Spock heroically refrains from breaking his oath even though the mechanics of this deception make young Church cross and promiscuous. They make Spock silly. Most of volume 2 is concerned with how Kirk/Church gets his memory and his identity back and what he does with this information (nothing useful). There was a germ of a good idea here but once the characters got into each other's briefs it vanished. If you buy the idea that if he had to do it all over again, JTK would have grown up a sniveling twit (a sniveling twit with a Vulcan upbringing, that is), then you will have no trouble with the main premise. But, Vulcan lovers, don't preen yourselves too quickly, because this Captain Spock couldn't successfully command the San Diego/Coronado ferry. It's a good thing that the 'Enterprise' has no mission since the two senior officers are fully occupied trying out different positions in all the briefing rooms. If the other crew members are on board, they have less to do than usual, and Dr. McCoy is simply a prop, a wooden plot device, which serves a purpose and then, thankfully, I am sure, dies. For the first time, I feel considerable sympathy for that headquarters bunch who railroaded Kirk and Spock in The Rack, it may be they really had the right idea. [5]
This K/S story comes in two parts, each occupying a separate zine. A four hundred and twenty-eight page epic which deserves recognition as a masterpiece of perseverance and steadfast endurance. It would be difficult and grossly unfair to the two joint authors to try and summarise the plot in any way accurately, doing credit both to the subtle interplay between characters and the overall interaction between personal drama and background adventure. However, a short summary might prove interesting to readers. The plot opens by introducing a young Starfleet Cadet named Church. The Academy not only trains him for his first assignment in space but also acquaints the human with the pleasures of sex, both with females and males. He is assigned to Enterprise II where Spock is now Captain. It is made clear from the start that Kirk had been pronounced dead six years ago and that McCoy no longer works for Starfleet. The story follows the development of the relationship between Church and Spock; a tempestuous association that is hampered by Spock's past and his previous unsatisfactory rapport with James Kirk. For those of you now mentally retreating in horror at the thought of our Vulcan seriously and most deeply involved with another human, rest assured, this is a K/S zine. Spock does not abandon his love for Kirk nor his newly acquired lover. I say no more. If you can afford the initial financial outlay (1982 prices stood at approximately £10 for the two parts, in Britain), the zine's well worth the money in my books. Read the zine and see what I mean! [6]
T'ZAD'U, aside from its unpronounceable title, is a much more ambitious zine than K.S. T'Lan's NOR NO MAN EVER LOVED, although it is identical in its blue covers, and stapled and lumpy black plastic tape binding. (Does Great Britain not produce any better tape? The first time I saw a British zine, I assumed it was very old. It would be helpful if the date of publication were added to the title page of British zines but I digress), The story sets out to describe the exploits of a young Lt. Church, and, although the sex play begins quite early, we begin to wonder whether K and S will ever put in an appearance until they are mentioned in passing as 'the famous friendship of Captain Kirk and his Vulcan first officer' and later in the story we find Captain Spock is older and Admiral Kirk is dead. It is also revealed that, although Spock loved and desired Kirk, Kirk could never unbend his macho image to submit to Spock, to express his own love. Next, we discover that Kirk is not dead, but Spock had taken him to Vulcan and had his aging friend rejuvenated, to begin a second life, all memory of his past wiped away. This was possible only under condition of the t'zad'u, a solemn vow that Spock would never contact Kirk again, or reveal his past to him. Simple enough, until the reborn Kirk appears as a young Ensign on Spock's ship and they fall in love. Spock knows, but is unable to reveal Kirk's identity or bond with him or have a complete relationship, as it would open the secrets of his mind. Partly in compensation, they have an incredibly creative, varied, and satisfying sex life. I don't recall a zine with as many well-written sex/love scenes that managed to avoid the common K/S problem of becoming redundant and boring. When they are not happily screwing away, however, they do "suffer" quite a lot and have a lot of misunderstanding. On the minus side, Kirk seems to have an inordinate number of head injuries. If this were real life, I suspect he would have become a vegetable. He also has some close shaves and some very unpleasant s/ra run-ins with baddies to please all you hurt/comfort folks. Again, this zine is "veddy British," full of funny colloquialisms that sound (to my American ear) very un-Kirk and un-Spock like. I enjoyed the use of all the Vulcan terms, prose and poetry, all translated in footnotes. I especially liked the way Kirk's experiences being "raised" a second time on Vulcan had helped him to understand Spock's native language and culture, and changed him enough to make them perfect partners. This an ambitious and well executed zine, although the "suffering" part (part l) was slightly better than the "happily-ever-after" part in part 2. This zine also contains one porniest pon farrs on record with enough hot parts to please the most jaded K/S fan. [7]

References

  1. from an email by Bluewolf to Mrs. Potato Head, September 2014
  2. from A 2007 Interview with Valerie Piacentini
  3. from The K/S Press #27
  4. from The K/S Press #36 -- a fan describes finding a copy of the zine at Shore Leave #21, illustrating how two different people can have diverging opinions about the same story
  5. from Not Tonight, Spock! #1
  6. from Not Tonight, Spock! #1
  7. from Not Tonight, Spock! #4