The Bloodstone

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Title: The Bloodstone
Publisher: Pulsar Press
Author(s): Carol A. Frisbie, Susan K. James, Merle Decker
Cover Artist(s): Merle Decker
Illustrator(s): Merle Decker, calligraphy: Diana King
Date(s): 1983
Medium: print zine
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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The Bloodstone is a 220-page gen Star Trek: TOS novel by Carol A. Frisbie, Susan K. James, and Merle Decker. The art is by Decker, and the calligraphy is by Diana King.

cover by Merle Decker -- "The cover art alone is worth the price." [1]


"Kirk and Spock are stranded on a world of medieval danger and intrigue, swords, and strange psionic crystals. Friendship/hurt/comfort themes. Rated R (some adult material; scenes of necessary violence." [2]

"Kirk and Spock are stranded on a medieval Darkover-type planet rife with war. Kirk is badly injured; Spock falls under the effects of a psionic and dangerous crystal known as the Bloodstone. Their fates are uncertain, and they have only each other to help them survive. This novel has strong characterizations and graphic hurt-comfort themes, emphasizing the deep relationship between Kirk and Spock."[3]

The "Soundtrack": from "Conan the Barbarian"

Included in the zine was a description of the "soundtrack" the zine editors' envisioned for this story.

an addendum tucked into the zine

While we were in the early stages of writing THE BLOODSTONE, we happened upon a soundtrack recording that fit the mood and themes of the novel so perfectly that we promptly adopted the music as a score for the novel. We thank Basil Poledouris for his beautiful soundtrack to CONAN, THE BARBARIAN (MCA 6108) — if you own the record and would like to share our source of inspiration, listen to each band with these revised theme titles in mind (they are not in chronological order):

Side One:

Main Theme: The Sword of the Ram
Camarthen Rides
Maldon: The Twin Hawks
Good Times...

Side Two:

Friendship Theme: Kirk and Spock
Battle's Eve
Tournament/Parade of Lances
Spock's Vigil
Idrel Regained/Victory!
Kirk's Despair: Winter to Spring

We hope you enjoyed THE BLOODSTONE, and that you will send us your comments, pro and con. We'd love to hear from you!


Reactions and Reviews


A quick recommendation for you. THE BEST ST novel I've found to date, and NOT one of Timescape's, to be sure. "The Bloodstone," by Carol Frisbie, Susan James and Merle Decker, is far and away the most well-written of ANY ST novels I have read, whether they be "fan" or "pro". The authors created a magical kingdom, and I was almost sorry to finish it—like waking up from a pleasant dream, and wishing I could relive it! The drawings by Merle Decker only add to the pleasure of reading this delightful story, in its beautiful format! I would gladly have traded ALL my other ST novels for this one work of art! I realize not EVERYONE will be this enthused about "Bloodstone," but it certainly is worth anyone's time! Thanks to Carol et al for their wonderful work!!! [4]
THE BLOODSTONE is excellent! Of the few fan novels I've read, this is the best. Certainly no other has so much empathy and love. Once started, it's hard to put down. When done, you dearly wish there was more (even though it has a satisfactory ending). Oh to have more stores with such feeling, magic and excitement. [5]
Add me to the list of people who bought Bloodstone after the mention in INTERSTAT. The plot, while not unique, is very well handled indeed. And visually it is a wonder, of a quality to make the near legendary Interphase look like it had been done on an office copier. [6]
A strange crystal transports Kirk and Spock to a medieval world where they become pawns in a power struggle between opposing factions. The authors have created a complex and fascinating alien culture peopled with interesting characters. The writing is exception: believable dialog, clear and detailed descriptions, and good pacing. The artwork is outstanding; the cover is simply splendid. Words alone won't do it justice. Layouts are very attractive throughout the zine, including a border around every page to simulate a manuscript. There are some explicit sex and violence scenes, so an age statement is required, however, I dound the scenes to be in good taste for the most part. In spite of all its wonderful qualities, I was disappointed in this one, but only because I felt the characterizations of Kirk and Spock were 'off.' It is not a K/S zine, but Spock still moons over Kirk like a heartsick adolescent and is jealous of every association Kirk makes. Kirk is at once too sensitive and too callous: he decides he cannot bring himself to kill others in the grand 'young man's first real taste of war' tradition, even if it means his friends are going to be killed, which makes me wonder what he's going to do the next time a Klingon warship shows up, but beds a young gypsy girl, and then feels sorry for her because she's only 16. Good thing for Miri, she didn't look a couple of years older. I freely admit this is probably a personal prejudice on my part; I never cared for Spock in Spock Enslaved, either, for much the same reason. 'The Bloodstone' is beautiful and lovingly done; the cover art alone is worth the price. You could do a lot worse than to buy this one. [7]

I knew THE BLOODSTONE was going to be a good one the moment my copy slid of the heavy manilla envelope. The zine itself is beautiful with a three color cover printed on heavy linen stock. The interior is equally beautiful. The text is printed in blue-black ink on heavy white paper. Each page has a decorative border with the page number printed in a little picture of a knight and charger at the top of the page. The print is small, but not reduced, and fills the page almost to the border - a good tradeoff between readability and economy. It is profusely illustrated with lovely line and stipple drawings by Merle Decker, The print job for both text and artwork is first class. THE BLOODSTONE is a Star Trek sword and sorcery adventure novel. A landing party beams down to the source of a "disturbance" on Zeta IV, an inhospitable planet with a warlike population at an Early Middle Ages developmentdevelopment. They materialize at a ruined temple to the sun. Spock picks up what appears to be a fist-sized piece of quartz. Alas, the stone is a powerful malevolent psionic booster, and Spock becomes imperfectly keyed to it. Kirk comes to Spock's aid as the stone comes to life, and both are thrown through an interdimensional warp to an alternate universe. Tellas is as fertile as Zeta IV is barren. They materialize at a temple to the moon called Blackrood.

Unfortunately, their arrival does not go unnoticed. On this world psionic booster rocks are used by the natives. They are called moonstones, and the one that Spock picked up is a notorious moonstone called Idrel, or the Bloodstone. (Later we will find that it was "cast into the Void" because it was so dangerous.) It's arrival is sensed, and the rulers of Maldon Hold, Lord Sarmund and his twin sister Sorrel, send a party to Blackrood to take Idrel and it's master into protective custody. Kirk and Spock go quietly as Spock is quite incapacitated by his contact with Idrel. The twins wine and dine them. It soon becomes obvious that Spock does not have control over Idrel and that Kirk and Spock are not the kind of people the twins can use in their forthcoming war of aggression. There is only one thing to do - slit their throats and cast Idrel back into the Void before it can fall into the hands of their enemy, the Duke of Albane.

Kirk and Spock escape but are overtaken by an armed band from Plaldon Hold. Kirk is seriously wounded. Spock runs amok and kills with pleasure, but the armed band seizes Idrel. Spock carries Kirk to Cragheath, a local monastery where Kirk receives primitive medical treatment and Spock learns to use moonstones. Spock soon learns that he must recover Idrel to return to Zeta IV but to accomplish this he must become embroiled in the local civil war. How will he square this with the Prime Directive? Will he be able to master Idrel if he recovers it? And even more important, will Kirk live long enough to make the return journey?

THE BLOODSTONE has a lot to recommend it. The plot deals with the Kirk/Spock friendship with emphasis on the popular hurt/comfort theme. Spock is delightfully possessive and protective of Kirk, and Kirk good-naturedly puts up with mother Hen Spock most of the time, but does manage to sneak off and sow a few wild oats. The local culture is based on Northern European Medieval feudal system, which while it does not show much originality, is traditional with this type of story. The authors develop the characters, culture, and conflict with more grace and thoroughness than is usually found in fan-written works. I hate to reveal plot details besides setting up the conflict, but I must mention that the climax in which Spock wields Idrel in battle is absolutely spectacular. I haven't seen anything this good outside of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series. THE BLOODSTONE is a MUST READ.

It is only fair to warn you that this zine has lots of violence, blood, and gore, and a couple of steamy heterosexual sex scenes which make THE BLOODSTONE rated R, but no age statement is required. It is also only fair to warn you that Carol Frisbie a.k.a. Pulsar Press usually makes a small print run with no reprints, so this expensive treasure could be out of print if you wait for a second opinion. [8]


The secrets of the Circle from Rhiannon's Wheel to Blackrood are kept from mortal men. The powers they wield are manifold and dangerous. Coupled with 'Irdel' a man may command all the forces of his Universe, both good an evil. Two warriors from another time are caught in this trap, unable to find a way out. Accepting their fate, each strives to help the people of Diath: One with military means, the other by intellectual means. Neither is totally successful. They simply do not fit into this word. When the military one is badly wounded the concern for continuing his life consumes his friend but he recovers for a time. So they help Rannulf fight his war and resume his rightful place as ruler of Oaith.

This Arthurian style story is good, well-plotted and real enough to hold interest until its end. But it does not need 23rd century visitors to succeed. The authors obviously wanted to write Kirk and Spock into this style and situation. In this effort, they have failed, for each man has lost his essence in the transfer. They are not real. Their calm acceptance of their fate is out of character. Spock especially, his human side dominates his actions. Throughout the story, we only see flashes of the persons we know them to be when the ending comes it is curiously flat. For each has left something behind but neither is willing to fight to regain the knowledge given them. The circle wheel imprisons everyone. For the style of the story. Merle Decker has given us very real illustrations based on Victorian concepts of the Legend. I did find it disconcerting to have Gabreath resemble pre-Raphaelite pictures of Jesus Christ. [9]


The names of the authors alone should tell you that you are in for a treat. And what a treat! First published in 1983, it is already considered a 'classic' and if I were a castaway on Desert Island Zines it is certainly one of the six I would choose to have with me!

Basically, it concerns Kirk and Spock's adventures on the 'mediaeval' AU planet on which they find themselves after Spock discovers a curious stone with some rather unusual properties. not the least of which is its ability to take control of his mind. With the Vulcan virtually non compos mentis, they are soon in trouble. They are set upon and in the ensuing fight, the stone is stolen and Kirk critically wounded.

Spock and a near-to-death Kirk are given sanctuary at Craigheath, which is maintained within a psychic shield by a brotherhood of powerful telepaths, who are able to control 'moonstones'. Each stone acts as a kind of psychic amplifier to the person attuned to it, giving augmented powers, which may be used for good or evil. Here, in this monastic setting, as Kirk slowly regains his strength, Gabrath. the Master, teaches Spock to tune in to 'his' stone — Idrel, The Bloodstone — the most awesome stone of all.

It turns out that Gabrath is the brother ol Rannulf, a powerful lord who asks him to add his formidable mental power to his own, more conventional might in the decisive battle against the evil Sarmund. who now has Idrel in his possession. Although Kirk is far from recovered from his wound, he and Spock join the campaign and as he throws himself wholeheartedly into acquiring the necessary knightly skills, in typical Kirk-fashion, Spock becomes less and less happy about his enthusiastic attitude towards the forthcoming fight. This culminates in an emotional climax for the pair as Kirk asks, wearily, "Do you think me a killer?" After the battle, Kirk suffers a relapse and it is clear he will soon die if a way is not found to return him to his own universe… Kirk and Spock's brooding, off-centre relationship is disturbing at times, reassuring at others and almost scalding in its intensity. Spock is protective to the point of possessiveness but whether this is the result of the long hours watching over a close to death Kirk, or whether this traumatic experience merely brings it to the surface, is a moot point. Kirk's sufferings make him appear so very vulnerable but the familiar indomitable spirit still shines through, despite his failing body.

Kirk has his token women, too, though they seem to serve as sounding boards for his and Spock's feelings, rather than to further the plot. Believe me, this brief resume hardly scratches the surface of this evocative, multi-faceted zine. There are many more richly-described characters, emotions and action galore, plus a liberal sprinkling of magic to help keep you enthralled from beginning to end. It may not be easy to lay hands on a copy, presumably because people do not want to part with them but persevere, it is well worth the effort, I promise! [10]


  1. ^ from Datazine #27
  2. ^ from an ad in Universal Translator #20
  3. ^ from an ebay seller
  4. ^ from Interstat #69
  5. ^ from Interstat #71
  6. ^ from Interstat #73
  7. ^ from Datazine #27
  8. ^ from TREKisM #30
  9. ^ from B.A. News #28
  10. ^ from B.A. News #41