The Price and The Prize

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Zine
Title: The Price and The Prize
Publisher:
Editor(s): Gayle F (and principal artist)
Date(s): 1981, 1986, there was a 150-page 1995 authorized reprint by As You Like It Press
Series?:
Medium: print zine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Trek, Kirk/Spock, Star Trek: The Original Series
Language: English
External Links: The Price + Art (author site)
The Price + Art (K/S Archive)
The Price + Art (PDF)

Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

The Price and The Prize is a 124-page K/S anthology.

It was the second zine Gayle F published and illustrated; her first was the K/S novel Mirrors of Mind and Flesh.

"The Price and The Prize" is lavishly and explicitly illustrated with Gayle's drawings. There are three other pieces of art by Laurie Huff, Michael Verina, and Pat Stall. Art has been included on Fanlore with the publisher's permission.

One interesting note: the zine was referred to in several issues of STW Directory as "One Price and One Prize." It is unknown if this was a typo or the originally submitted title.

Now Online

The Price, including all the fanart, is now available online in PDF, epub and MOBI format and is archived at The Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive and the author's website:
"The rumor is true! I have Syn's okay to bring the spectacular classic Kirk/Spock novel Courts of Honor to the internet, along with Suzan Lovett's gorgeous original illustrations. The project is extensive -- the original novel was over 600 pages -- so there is no firm release date, but we're reaching the final stages. In the meantime, here's the story that came before Courts, also complete with its beautiful original art by Gayle F. "The Price" was originally printed in the zine The Price and the Prize."[1]

The Price Series

The Zine's Two Anchor Stories

The zine was named for the two long stories that anchor it.

  • The Price by Syn Ferguson, (prequel to her novel Courts of Honor). A newcomer to the Enterprise awakens troubling feelings in both Kirk and Spock. Before they have a chance to resolve things, Kirk sends Spock on a difficult mission from which the Vulcan will not return unscathed.
  • The Prize by Ray Newton, a famous early Kirk-as-slave-story, and Ancient-Vulcan story. On a Vulcan where Surak's Reforms never happened, the warrior Spock acquires a Human slave.

Complete TOC

Summaries by Gilda F.

Covers

Art has been included on Fanlore with the publisher's permission.

cover of 1st edition, with a rectangular "fig leaf"
Cover of 1st edition, 1981. Note: Marked as sexually explicit; minimized.
Cover of 2nd edition, 1986
Back cover by Pat Stall -- "I love Pat Stall's art. Almost every drawing I've seen is unique, each expressing a specific scenario, and very expressive of mood. Also, it seems she never idealized their bodies, if you like that sort of realism. This one is a lovely private moment, showing a deep, comfortable intimacy. They're standing, clothed, and Kirk is behind and with his arms around Spock, his head on Spock's shoulder. Their hands are entwined. Spock seems to be speaking, and Kirk is just staring off and listening...." [2]

Gallery of Art by Others

The vast majority of art in "The Price and The Prize" was by Gayle F, but there were a few pieces by other fans, including the back cover (Pat Stall) and the frontispiece (Laurie Huff) and the inside back cover (Michael Verina).

Gallery of Art by Gayle F -- Non-Explicit

Gallery of Art by Gayle F -- Explicit

Most copies coming into Britain were seized by Customs because the pictures and art were sexually explicit.

Inspired Works

The Prize has inspired other fans to create:

Some Reprints

In 1981, Gayle places an ad that says: "'The Price and The Prize' is sold out as a zine. I've put together some unbound, coverless copies, part offset, part xerox." The price of this 'The Price and the Prize' was $10, first class. [3]

In 1986, the zine was reprinted with new cover art. "Gayle F has generously offered to bring out a limited second printing (18 illos 123 8 1/2 x 11 pages, 65% reduced) with new cover art. The cost is in line with the zine's classic stature, and any profits will go towards COH's deficit." [4]

Censorship and Customs

Also see Print Zines and Customs.

Most copies coming into Britain were seized by Customs because of the explicit content. There were some reports that a disgruntled Star Trek fan, disapproving of slash, alerted UK customs to be on the lookout for packages with the publisher's return address.[5] A friend of Newton's explains that:

Ray Newton lost her contributor's copy. The first she knew was when a Customs letter arrived saying that a packet sent to her had been seized.

She decided to visit Customs and ask about it, dressed in her soberest working clothes. As she tells it, it was hilarious.

She asked about the letter, explaining that a friend in America sometimes sent her Trek stuff, and she couldn't think of any reason why *Trek* stuff should be seized; that that was all she ever got from America.

The Customs man was elderly, and clearly trying to spare her blushes as he tried to explain, without actually *saying* anything explicit, that the zine had been seized because it was pornographic - pictures *and* text. Of course, he said, she could appeal, but they would fight the appeal; she asked if she could see the zine, to decide for herself if it was something she would *want* to get and he said no; that any appeal had to be made blind. It did, after all, assume a - er - uh - sexual relationship between the *male* characters, and - er - did she understand what that meant?

At that point, having decided that "I should do, I wrote some of it" would be an inappropriate response, she retreated, agreeing to accept the expertise of the Customs men in respect of the zine.[6]
From A 2007 Interview with Valerie Piacentini:
I was really excited about The Price and the Prize—I never expected [The Prize] to be a featured story. When I had word the zine was ready I started counting the days waiting for my copy, but instead I received a letter from HM Customs and Excise saying that a packet addressed to me from America had been seized by Customs on the grounds that it contained obscene material. Since the packet was marked as a gift, they assumed it was not something I was trying to import, so no action would be taken. If I had any questions, I could contact the Customs office. I realised it must be The Price and the Prize, and wondered if there was any way I could manage to get hold of the zine, so I decided to visit the office. First thing was to make sure that I looked ultra-respectable, so I dressed up in my best librarian-on-the-way-to- a-meeting outfit. At the office I was lucky enough to be dealt with by a really nice, grandfatherly officer, who couldn’t have been kinder. BUT. He was adamant that the magazine, as he called it, had been confiscated because it contained illegal material. He said that I could appeal against the seizure, but Customs would contest the appeal. Could I, I asked, see the magazine to decide if I agreed it was obscene, and decide if I wished to contest the seizure? Ah, well, no, that wasn’t possible; once the decision had been taken, no one could see it, so if I wanted to appeal I’d have to do so “blind,” and the appeal would involve appearing in court to claim that it was legal—but there was no way I could know whether it was legal or not. Talk about Catch 22! I said that I couldn’t understand; an American pen friend sometimes sent me Star Trek magazines, but I really couldn’t imagine that they’d be obscene. He said that yes, it did seem to be about Star Trek, but it dealt with an “inappropriate” relationship, and contained obscene pictures. Bless him, he was really concerned about my supposedly innocent mind; did I understand what it was about? I didn’t have the heart to reply, “I should do— I wrote some of it.” All I could do was say that there had to have been a misunderstanding, and no, I wouldn’t contest the seizure. (I would have liked to, but as a librarian working occasionally with children, I didn’t dare take the risk. At that time homosexuality was still illegal in Britain...) It turned out that someone who was rabidly anti-K/S had alerted British Customs that this “obscene” material was being sent into the country, and they seized everything with Gayle’s return address on it. Believe me, if we’d ever found out who she was.... Subsequently we learned that one copy of the zine had slipped through the net, but all others were seized. Eventually I did get my copy, sent a few pages at a time, as letters with different return addresses; several others who ordered it did much the same thing, so most people got their zines—eventually. However, apparently anything with Gayle’s original address, even letters, was opened for quite some time thereafter, even though she only sent innocent material under her own name after that. I did hear, though I don’t know if it’s true, that Gayle changed the cover illo in later copies. The very explicit original cover might have been the reason Customs made the judgement. (Editor’s Note: Yes, a later edition of The Price and the Prize had a completely different cover.) As an aside, the law here used to be what we called the Mull of Kintyre standard in my course on censorship and obscenity. The Mull is a peninsula off the west coast of Scotland. The rule of thumb at that time was that in a male nude, if the penis was at an angle greater that that of the Mull, it was considered erect, and therefore obscene; a lesser angle was okay.
The seizure did not go unnoticed. In a 1981 issue of the UK letterzine STAG the editors wrote:
We've had more word on The Price and the Prize (see zine ads page). More people have now received seizure notices from Customs. This is the first time that any explicit zine has been seized (although we know that some 'adult' zines have been opened in the past) so...!!! One Scottish buyer of the zine went to Glasgow Customs after receiving her seizure notice to ask what was wrong with the zine, wearing her most innocent expression, and everyone she spoke to went scarlet ... the chief official she spoke to trying to tell her without saying anything compromising just why he had condemned it. He did manage to explain that it was about ... er ... Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock ... er ... having an affair, and that the pictures left nothing to the imagination. That must be one Customs man who has a whole new outlook on ST! He refused to let her see the zine to decide whether she felt it was worth appealing against the seizure, and after she said that she accepted that, he ended up giving her a long tale about the trials and tribulations of a Customs officer's life. It was from her that we received the first notification that this zine had been stopped. [7]
The editors of STAG added in that same 1981 issue:
It should be noted however that Customs have stopped copies of this [The Price and The Prize] coming into the country and have confiscated several. A lot of othor people are still waiting for word of the zine either arriving or being seized by Customs - there has been silence for about a fortnight since the first seizure notices went out and we know Gayle sent out all the pre-orders at the same time. The possibility exists that othor explicit K/S zines might also be seized by Customs in the future. All such zines are therefore ordered at your own risk. ANYONE wanting to put out a zine - Gene Roddenberry and Paramount have never apparently objected to zines. it is too late now for Paramount to object to series-based zines, at least, since several of the episodes have been issued, apparently completely legally, on video and film, so it seems safe enough to go ahead and put out a zine without asking anyone's permission first. There is nothing to stop anyone putting out their own zine - however it is advisable to put in a copyright disclaimer similar to the one we put in Log Entries.

Luckily, this was the only blanket seizure of K/S zines in the UK, although fans reported in various UK letterzines for many years thereafter that their packages had been opened and, on occasion, a few individual zines would be confiscated. Future shipments of the Price and the Prize were mailed from a different location.

About Slavefic

The Prize is AU BDSM slavefic. According to the author, "there was quite a bit of debate at the time as to whether slave stories were valid - some people took the position that Kirk and Spock would never take part in such a relationship, whatever universe they were in, or that if they did, Spock would immediately want to free Kirk."[6]

She took the view "that in a slave-based society, it would be so normal for Spock to own slaves (even Kirk) that it would take a considerable period of inter-relationship with someone strong enough to make him really think about the consequences of what slavery did to the psyche of the slaves for him to learn to change his opinion."[6]

In "The Prize" she tried to show the evolution of the relationship and the process of learning through Spock's eyes. She also thought that "in such a society simply freeing one member of a slave race would be very dangerous for that slave, since he would not have even the meagre protection that the rules of ownership afforded. First the individual had to change, then gradually society."[6] The author wrote a sequel to "The Prize," in which K & S left Vulcan, but it was never published.[6]

Reactions and Reviews of the Zine's Content

See reactions and reviews for The Price.
See reactions and reviews for The Prize.
See reactions and reviews for Turnaround.
See reactions and reviews for The Brothel.
See reactions and reviews for One Flesh.
See reactions and reviews for Taaz Avine.
See reactions and reviews for Night Takes Pawn.
See reactions and reviews for In Any Universe.
See reactions and reviews for Circle of Fire.
[art]: This zine featured some very stylized artwork that, at first, seemed strange to me, but grew on me to the point where I found much of it erotic. I loved Spock's hairy chest and the little sensual details such as the clasped hands. I did however find that I was glad I hadn't personally encountered some of the very large erections! The back cover with Kirk leaning on Spock, his arms around Spock's shoulders is incredibly sweet. [8]
[zine]: No kidding, this zine has already been banned in Scotland, and it probably wouldn't stand a chance in Boston. Not only is this collection of stories K/S -- it's S/M, and B&D, and Rtd:x, and all them other adult anagrams. This is whips 'n chains, forced sex, and just about everything short of coprophagy. If you're the type who needs warning, take note: here be sexual dragons. So, yup there's pornography here. The two 'Love Slave' folios, containing five vignettes and short stories, are little else but porn. They're fun, but if you want redeeming social value, stick to Peter Rabbit. Three of them, 'The Brothel.' 'Night Takes Pawn,' and 'In Any Universe' are about alternate universe Kirks and Spocks, so they're entitled to act unlike 'our' Kirk and Spock, which they do. The other two, 'Circle of Fire' and Taaz Evine' as well as non-folio stories 'One Flesh' and 'Turnaround' are less extreme in characterization -- Kirk at least seems to his strengths, Spock retains his ambivalence between emotions and logic and does not act like Rhett Butler. 'The Prize' is the most extreme with respect to characterization: in an alternate universe where Vulcans are galactic mercenaries and humans serve as 'pleasure slaves,' Spock wins a bet wherein Kirk is the kitty, and eventually they fall in love and bond. However, this is the most arrogant and insensitive Spock I've ever seen. He's almost Romulan in his nitpicking over personal honor, and though he finally plights Kirk his troth, he still daren't defy his society enough to claim his beloved as a free man, and makes him wear the slave collar. And this Kirk is such a towering tower of mush that he lets him... but there's still 'The Price.' which is a prize. Syn Ferguson's novella is not pornography -- at worst its erotica, and in final analysis, it's a Ghood Story. This is worth the price of the zine. Shall I mention the quintuple phase plot... the beautifully delineated people? The loveliest thing about Ferguson's work is how she made characters and events larger than their mere reality. They fit into the story without causing it to degenerate into purple prose; this is a story of people -- and of symbols, and both levels work. The saddest, brightest, most sensitive section is its last, wherein Kirk pays the final price for his love: that love itself. Deeply moving... The illos are startlingly beautiful, even the few whose stark contents are giggle-making, but we expect no less from Gayle F. [9]
[zine]: Because this zine aspires to be a classic, this review may well trespass into the realms of 'critique' simply because a review is insufficient when dealing with a classic. Before forging ahead into the area of artwork and writing, it should be mentioned that from a technical standpoint, the quality of TPATP is superb. In other words, the titles, nifty framing borders on each page, print clarity, lack of typos, spiral binding, and art reproduction enhance the overall aesthetic appearance of TPATP. Artwork is a prominent feature of this fanzine. There are 26 Gayle F illustrations --heaven for Gayle F fans such as myself. The work included ranges from the more normal illustration to those intricate and erotic creations that characterize her style. In addition, there are some extremely stylized phallic representations and abstract works sprinkled throughout. The work she had done for TPATP will provide a K/S fan with an enormous amount of visional pleasure. Shatner and Nimoy should look so good! As an avid Gayle F fan, I find it hard to say anything else but that her work here is excellent. For those ardent admirers of the Kirk/Shatner derriere, the cover of TPATP is a must, though I must admit it isn't one of my favorite illustrations. But, try as I might, I can not select just one favorite... TPATP is a feast for Gayle F fans. There are also three pieces of art done by guest artists. I greatly admire the work of each but here in TPATP their contributions are somewhat disappointing. Laurie Huff has drawn an interesting Kirk and Spock in Shogun Japan. The Michael Verina work is simply not one of his best in terms of Kirk and Spock although the overall illustration is lovely. Pat Stall's picture is on the order of that on the cover of Nome #2. If you like that cover then you will like this piece of work. Something about them bothers me so I find them not as captivating as the work she has done for Naked Times. Despite these comments, the illustrations are hardly poor. There is not much to say about the stories except that, like the artwork, they are excellent.... Many of these works are short and done in conjunction with the Gayle F illustrations and comprise the 'Love Slave Portfolio.' A variety of alternate universes are visited within the confines of the folio. Each is as exotic and erotic as the others. Two of the works in the folio are the only discordant notes in the zine. The problems with both is that authors have a vision of the framework/background for the story. Because they are so familiar with what they write, they have omitted details that are needed by a person outside that background universe. 'Circle of Fire' and 'Taaz Avine' are well done but necessitate more detail to be clearer. Finally, the title works. 'The Prize,' like others [in] Naked Times, is set in the unreformed Vulcan world he has created. Kirk/Spock are woven into a well- fabricated world that is easy to visualize because of his ability to transcribe this world of his mind into the one the reader can share via the printed page. It is a very captivating story. 'The Price' is probably the best-written story in the zine. Mere words do not do it justice. It would encroach upon a plot each reader should discover if more were said here. The other stories in this zine capture the imagination and entertain. 'The Price' does more -- it moves the reader, touches the sentiments. Like all of its heroes (Spock, Kirk and T'Serek), it is indeed a story worthy of love. If you are a K/S fan, you already have the zine. If you are trying to decide to decide whether to buy the zine, a few things should be pointed out. This zine is quite explicit in word and picture. It is, however, a classic in the K/S genre. To miss buying the zine would be a loss. [10]
[zine]: A sensual delight, this elegantly beautiful creation is the creme de la cream of zines exploring the sexual relationship between Kirk and Spock. It is a must for the K/S fan, and well worth the money... As it should be ideally, the artwork is of equal importance to the fiction, and could stand on its own, telling its own story. The front cover and interior illos, all by Gayle F, are of professional quality, and are varied, imaginative, sensitive, and erotic. The other covers are by guest artists. Pat Stall's lovely back cover, by Michael Verina, is a perceptive fantasy in the style of Aubrey Beardsley. The only failure in the zine is the Japanese 'Shogun' imitation by Laurie Huff, which is cold, unfeeling, stiff, expressionless, and pointless. 'The Prize' is alternate universe story, which takes place on a Vulcan that never reformed when Kirk is brought to be enslaved by Vulcan warriors and is won by Spock in a wager. Possibly the best story of its kind, it is well-plotted, colorful, and very erotic. 'The Price' is a first time story with considerable depths of characterization, and a marvelous lack of the over-emotional maundering unfortunately typical of so many K/S stories. Kirk, Spock, and the author's created characters are all interesting refreshiingly strong, heroic yet plausible. Well-seasoned with a science fiction plot of the alien menace variety, if it is an excellent story despite some serious flaws. The middle section is told from the viewpoint of a minor but very interesting character that is later dropped cold. The narrative tends to wander off on a tangent, which slows down the action. The ending will be very difficult for most fans to swallow. It makes certain assumptions about Spock's sexual cycle which are not consistent with the ideas of Fontana, Roddenberry, and Sturgeon. It is hard to decipher just what Syn's theories on the subject are, which makes the story murky and unsatisfying. The most interesting problem is the K/S relationship, creating only on the last page of the story, it is neither explored or resolved. It reads like the first quarter of a novel, not a complete story, and cries for a sequel which apparently will never be written. The first in Jane Aumerle's K/S series, 'One Flesh,' is finally printed here. It serves as prelude and explanation to the second and third part which appeared in Thrust several years ago. It is unfortunate that the entire triptych could not have appeared together in one zine; it has difficulty standing on its own. A short-short by Ferguson, an amusingly erotic prose-poem by Leslie Fish, and an assortment of excellent vignettes concentrating on the Kirk-as-a-love-slave theme complicate the zine. They are all interesting, erotic, and well-written with the exception of Eileen Roy's vignette, which is somewhat obscure and insincere. Some are quite original, particularly the Ferguson and Gayle F's pieces. This zine is not to be missed. Since this is Gayle's last zine, it is an experience which can never by repeated, duplicated, or outdone. [11]
[zine]: There is a darkness, a price to be paid in full. A concept not much imagined or explored in K/S—pon farr is a seven year cycle. In between cycles there is no desire, no possibility to mate because his race prohibits it, not out of any social or cultural tradition, but because nature so ordains. The idea leaves an open field of exploratory possibilities. Possibilities I don’t think have ever been examined before. In its way, very attractive. [12]
[zine]: It is virtually impossible to adequately review THE PRICE AND THE PRIZE, especially in a zine newsletter geared for the general reader. Yet without going into detail, the first thing that strikes one on openinq this zine is the absolute quality. It is both an artistic and literary masterpiece and everything, from layout to type to binding, is first class. It is easy to see that the editors strived for perfection and that they refused to cut corners. It is truly an art zine in that it is filled with full page, very extremely detailed drawings by [Gayle F] and also by three of the best artists in fandom, Laurie Huff, Michael Verina III and Pat Stall. The art is beautiful, staggering, exquisite and always in good taste (if a little extreme!). It's the consistent incredibly beautiful art that makes this zine a pleasure to pace through. As for the stories, they are all well-written, imaginative (an understatement) , exciting, fast-moving, and some are very touching as they explore the possibilities inherent in the K/S premise. The only fault I found (and that is a minor one) are the few typos which got by the proof-reader. But the stories are so engrossing, it is doubtful if most people will even notice them! This is not just an adult zine, it is an enlightened adult zine, an adult zine for adults with very open minds and imaginations and few inhibitions (at least when it pertains to the fantasy world of K/S). This zine is not for the faint-hearted, nor would I recommend it to anyone who has not had a lot of background reading in K/S material. This is certainly not an introduction to that premise which has caused so much controversy in fandom. THE PRICE AND THE PRIZE is very much escapist fare. It is absolutely and totally beautiful, a masterpiece in the zine world. I just wish the rest of the world had the opportunity to see and share in Gayle's fantastic art the way that we, in Star Trek fandom, have been able to do. [13]
[zine]: Compared to most people in fandom I came late to Trek. When the show originally aired, I watched it and liked it and immediately forgot about it. One day in 1980, I think, a friend of mine sent me THE PRICE AND THE PRIZE to read. It was wonderful erotica and I thought of it as little more than that. I hadn't even seen all the original Star Trek episodes. But, those two guys were certainly interesting and a racing pulse is not to be ignored. I wanted to read more. [14]

References

  1. killabeez. The Price, by Syn Ferguson, 05 October 2010. (Accessed 05 October 2010)
  2. from The K/S Press #31
  3. from Universal Translator #10
  4. from an ad in Datazine #38
  5. Morgan Dawn personal notes, based on conversations with K/S fans in the 1990s.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 The Foresmutters Project. Commentary & Historical Background: The Prize by Ray Newton (Accessed 30 December 2009)
  7. Editor's note in STAG issue #46 (1981).
  8. from The K/S Press #19
  9. from Warped Space #46
  10. from Datazine #12
  11. from Datazine #12
  12. from The K/S Press #26
  13. from Universal Translator #9
  14. from The LOC Connection #41