The Sensuous Vulcan
|Title:||The Sensuous Vulcan|
|Publisher:||Love Child Press|
|Editor(s):||Diane T. Steiner and Kay Houston|
|Date(s):||September 1977, second printing March 1978 (by Hypatia Press)|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TOS|
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From the editorial: "As I was putting this zine together, an oft-repeated line to Spock within it began to assume more significant proportions each time I encountered it. In several stories or poems and at least one cartoon, Spock is advised to "Relax and enjoy it." Wise words. An exhausted ol' editor's ad vice to you as well. Relax and enjoy it!"
From the Editorial
"If all else fails, there's always self-abuse!" Who said it? I did, just now. These are words to mark well if the idea of publishing your own fanzine ever enters your head! Of course, we all know what "self-abuse" is an euphemism for and what happens to you if you do it. I'm not sure which now, but I think the insanity struck a little ahead of the blindness....
You know that part of the blooper reel from "Is There in Truth No Beauty" where Miranda Jones comments that they've come to the end of an eventful journey and that inveterate jokester Shatner says, "I don't know what you've been on, but..."? That pretty well sums up how I feel as this mammoth project winds up--l ike I've been on a trip, or must have been when I thought up the idea to begin with. Like all trips, real or imagined, it's had its ups and downs, good parts and bad parts.
In fact, as it wore on, it began to assume the awesome proportions of a QUEST, complete with companions lost along the way, hazards to overcome, a dragon or two, a wise mentor, crossing the wasteland (searching for artists), the final test, and lastly, victory and catharsis.As I sit here contemplating what amounts to approximately 375 pages of regular-typed copy, I'm not only amazed at stil l being alive but reasonably pleased with the whole effort. As always, things could be just a little better--more artwork on a couple of the stories would have been nice, more thorough editing in a few places, two poems I wanted to do for spare illos, which would not be forced under the restrictions of the time allowing.
Regarding How Long This Zine Took to Create
And while we're on the subject of that last... A few people have gritched rather poignantly about the long gestation of this fanzine. Most of you, while waiting patiently, for which you have my gratitude, have probably wondered why it was taking so long. For the patient ones, I offer an explanation. The reason is that there is only one person doing the shit, work on this end--me; no coolie labor, save one, no collators, no mailers, no addressers, no everything-elsers but me, except for two helping hands (flying fingers) from one busy soul and friend. Kathy Penland managed to type five stories around an impossibly harried personal schedule, for which she has my heartfelt thanks, not to mention probably rescuing what little was left of my sanity to save.
The point is, it takes time, gentle readers, to put out a fanzine of the quality I wanted, with the writers and the artists I wanted to have in my zine. (You have no inkling of how much time unless and/or until you do it.) Time for the writers and artists to find time in their busy lives to do the stories and artwork. Time for me to edit the stories and for the invariable letters to go back and forth between me and those writers; time for them to rework things if necessary; time for the work to come back in the mail. Time for it to get to the artist and he/she to illustrate it and send it back. Time to redo it if there's a problem; ex. Nan Lewis had to do another scratchboard illo, for a purely technical, not artistic, reason. Time to type the zine, to do the titles, the layout, to proof it, etc. Time for the printer to work it into his schedule, and finally, time for it to get to you in the mail.
If it's so much work, etc., why doesn't she get some help, you may ask? I'd love to; any volunteers? I'm sure there must be lots of ST fans in the area [of Idaho]; the show is very popular here. But I've met few fans here old enough to work on a zine like S.V.!--or if old enough, with the inclination to do such drudge work. People from other small cities or towns and rural areas may Grok what I'm pointing out; those from large cities with organized fan groups, etc., can count your blessings.
Because of my location problem and the time and money it takes to do these things, I've decided not to do any more zines. I would rather devote whatever free time I have to writing, anyway. Unfinished projects abound, both literary and otherwise. I have two novels in differing stages of progress, and my trilogy, begun with "Summer's End", to finish. Plus myriad ideas dying to be written. I'll still be around, just going back to the hermitage to get something done for a change.
METAMORPHOSIS is out of print for good, and when these copies of S.V. are sold out, there won't he any more reprinted. I will probably continue to handle SPOCK ENSLAVED, at least for awhile, now that it's back in print at last. If not, T-K Graphics will still be carrying it.I must thank the writers and artists ("or their efforts, their talents and their collective patience in waiting, some of them quite a while, to see their work in print. From a writer's-point-pf-view, I know how hard that waiting is. One wants to see one's work "ezined" immediately, if not sooner. So thanks again, one and all, for your understanding.
Regarding Leonard Nimoy and the Movie
Before I comment on the contents of the zine, I want to bring up a subject dear to my heart. Enclosed within this zine, you will find a flyer on the status of Leonard Nimoy's return to Stafi T^cfe, or shall we say, his lack of return. The depressing whys and wherefores of why not. Please read it closely if you care ahout seeing Stafi Tfiek return with as much of the quality of the origin al as possible, if you care about Leonard, or Spock, or hopefully, all three.
You will see that Leonard was not, ever, never, offered a continuing role in the new series, only two guest appearances out of the entire season. (I heard Leonard's speech at the ST America Con, at which he said all the things on the flyer, and more.) Leonard said that he wants to play Spock in the series, is willing to act in the series, but for some reason known only to God and Roddenberry (and perhaps, Leonard) he was not even contacted about it. Not one word about a weekly role. Why?
It boggles the mind. But if you want to see Leonard on the "new" Star Trek, all is not hopeless. Please WRITE to all the people listed on the flyer, not just to Roddenberry alone. Con your friends and family into writing. I know, it's the same old spiel, and I'm just as tired of writing letters as you are. But if you look back at the letter-writing campaigns of the past, we haven't done too badly. I guess the main question is whether you consider it worth fighting for or not. In the over all scheme of the universe, it won't matter either way, true; on the other hand, cemeteries are very peaceful places. Whether you file it under Man's Search for Meaning or something to keep you off the streets, please take the time to write at least one letter. It is not too late if you act at once.
Studio flack would have you believe that it is already too late for the whole season, that all the scripts are written and that it is now impossible to write Spock back in at this "late date." Not only does this contradict what Gene said in a letter to Karen Verna dated only Sept. 21, in which he said, "...Although it is now probably too late to negotiate and rewrite Nimoy into the opening (emphasis mine) show, I would be very pleased to have him confirm his availability for the balance of the series." (Leonard had publically declared his availability, to his fans, to the media, and I am certain to Paramount as well. So what are we to think? Who is the Sith Lord in all of this?)
[snipped]The point to all this is that it's not too late, on either side. If the new series is made without Leonard, then it is for a deliberate reason, not some unavoidable situation, and I think it would be in our ultimate best interests to find out WHY, if possible. In the meantime, there is something you can do if you want Star Trek as it was, with Spock, or not at all. But first you must believe in your own worth, that you do, indeed, matter, and that there is something you can do about the problem. Remember that on a higher level it's always been the dreamers who have given the most of benefit to the world--the inventors, the scholars, the scientists. If faith can move mountains, figuratively-speaking, surely an avalanche of letters can topple some of the dummy-front walls at Paramount and perhaps clear the cobwebs from a few minds in the process.
General Comments on the Zine Contents
Meanwhile, back at the zine... Looking at its overall context, I think I may have misnamed it, but at the time of its conception I had no idea of what kinds of stories would arrive in the mail.
I think that out of thirteen stories I have four where Spock gets it on with relatively little hassle. I can only print what I receive, but I do feel that, on the whole, the stories I have are realistic, that given Spock's nature, he is not going to be falling into bed with the greatest of ease.
As you read these stories, you may be delighted, confused or maybe even dismayed by the vast diversity of opinion on what makes Spock and/or other Vulcans tick, sexually-speaking. Presenting as many and varied viewpoints as possible within the space and submissions permitting was the raison d'être of this zine. I wanted this type of format, which would be limited only by the range of material I received, not by my own personal views. The point of personal views is also a good one to remember while reading the zine. The work of each writer and artist is his or her own per sonal statement and applies only to that separate work. Appearing in the zine does not equal their necessary and automatic agreement with every other premise as well. It should be an obvious point, hut you might be surprised by how many people make that assumption. The only person responsible for the overall context of the zine is me. Yet even I don't agree with all points of view expressed within. My agreement isn't necessary; what is, is providing as many free forums of expression as possible. There are other zines doing this as well and I wish them a long and successful run. S.V. is a one-shot effort, but I think it also has its unique and valid statements to make. I do not expect you, the reader, personally to agree with every one of them. As I said, no one else, including the editor, does. But freedom of expression for one is freedom of expression for all. Otherwise it is not freedom at all, but the familiar tyranny by one group or groups over others. Expressed either verbally or non-verbally as, "We will expound our views and proselytize you, but you will not be allowed to do the same because we have determined that our way is the only way or at least the best way, for you as well as us, and we, after all, have greater numbers than you, and we we have the weapons of enforcement to shut you up!"Such a mind-set hardly jells with the ideals promoted by Star Trek, and if such is your mind set, then I don't know what you're doing with this zine in the first place, and what could possibly interest you in ST in the second. The Anita Bryant's of the world contribute nothing to human/huttian understanding. Just imagine what an 'assest' they'd be if we ever do encounter a truly alien species.
Specific Comments on the Zine's Contents
On that Ellisonesque note, I'll get on to the stories.
Our first story, "Vulcan Bride," by Joanna Cantor, takes the Vulcans' community-and-group- structured society to its extreme but logical conclusion. It's an alien and hopefully, thought- provoking premise.
In "Just Desserts," Alice Thompson marks another Vulcan (and human) truism on life. That "having is not always so pleasing a thing as wanting, after all."
"Long Way Home," a delightfully written vignette by Eileen Roy, points out some of the pitfalls along the way to getting there.
"The Way of a Warrior" is a "What if.." permutation on my favorite episode, written by one of fandom's best known authors, who has chosen to play the Masked Writer game for employment reasons. I think it's one of the finest things the Masked Writer has ever done, but then I admit to being partial to the milieu and situation of the story.
Another Masked Writer has given us yet another type of "What if..." in "The Changeling." The premise of this story seems to leave no middle ground; it'll either infuriate or fascinate you. It may not be your bag of cookies, but it's a big universe out there and the possibilities, as they say, are endless.
"Thy Gracious Dews of Solace," from the pen of Juanita Salicrup, pairs a couple which I person ally find appealing together, and provides a fresh departure from the more common speculation of who she is attracted to and whose bed she is warming.
Toni Cardinal shows us all how to dance, Vulcan-style, in "Mr. Spock, Would You Care to Dance?" It's a number that's hard to find but oh-so-memorable if you can manage it. I think this story is ^un and I will personally "get" anyone who calls it a Mary Sue story. Attention to Trista's style will prove she is no Mary Sue.
"Nightmare in Black" may seem a somewhat strange departure in a zine called THE SENSUOUS VULCAN, but I think you will agree that it is effective in displaying yet another side to the large question of sexuality. A multi-faceted subject, indeed, as newcomer Brenda Harper ably demonstrates. (Brenda, by the way, is doing a ST genzine called KALEIDOSCOPE and is still in need of more stories and illustrators. If interested, write her at Box 274, Eden, Idaho, 83325.)
"Desert Heat," [Gayle F's] excellently structured viewpoint of the K/S sexual theme speaks for itself and needs no introduction from anyone. It is part I of a four-part series, which con tinues in Carol Frisbie's THRUST zine (parts II & III) and Lori Chapek-Carleton's OBSC'ZINE III (part IV). If the theme interests you, you will find "Desert Heat" an important story/statement in the continuing discussion of that premise.
Clare Bell's "The Joy Bringer" contains another intriguing concept, one which the Vulcans, with all their grim self-imposed restrictions, richly deserve, and probably need worse than any other race that comes to mind! This story is extracted from a much longer work and provided a real chal lenge to Clare in making it stand on its own, with no other explanations. I think she did a master ful job of adapting it and thank her for sharing it with us, despite the problems.
Connie Faddis" story came about because I complained to Connie that I wanted/needed/longed for a story about truly alien sexuality. Didn't have to be Vulcan at all, says I. Give me something in the mode of P.J. Farmer. "An Economy of Memories" is the result. (I would ask!) It's not a nice story, but it does make a valid point about folks and their sexuality. Repressed souls, Vulcan and otherwise, might do well to take heed. Connie's story can be viewed as a parable--that the good ol' sex drive, repressed, can lead to some horrifying consequences. Lacking that outlet for their psychic energy, most sentient beings will go to any length to get some excitement in their lives! As an aside, witness the Wyrrdens. Observant creatures on both sides of the persuasion, will recognize the frenzy characteristic of and inherent in any old-time religion!
"Cooling One's Heels" might be subtitled, Day of Reckoning. As Leslie Fish so talentedly conveys, everything has its price, even, and perhaps especially, love.
(In)-Famous mystery author "Karen Louis" returns in a final appearance in "When Legends Fall Silent." Her encore performance may provide a welcome surprise for the problem-weary reader.
Finally, the zine ends on a gentle, sensuous and happy note with a story appropriately titled, "Interlude." It's done by a closet-writing friend of mine who is not really named Maggie McClendon at all! "If only all all life were a garden..." - as I'm sure someone must have said once. I found this story wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable, which are two of the things I think sex should be, and why I chose it to close the zine.
Of course, I can't overlook the fine poetry, either, and the names of the artists herein, each and everyone, speak for themselves. All of the artwork, I feel, is far above the average, for which our multi-talented artists deserve full credit. Getting good artwork was one of my priorities for this zine. It was also its bane. Not because there aren't many first-rate artists in fandom, but because there aren't enough of them to go around for the number of zines in print. So, it took a long time to get the artwork together, but I think you'll be satisfied with the results.
You may note that I don't have a story included. It's not because I don't have anything to say about the subject of Vulcan sexuality, but rather because I didn't have time to finish anything along with working on the zine. It became such a monster that not only didn't I have time for my own projects but I had to drop writing commitments to other people in order to complete the zine within certain imposed deadlines. I feel worst about bumming out on Signe Landon, not once but twice, and owe her a public apology for whatever problems it caused her. The first idea I had for a story for her was a promising one, so fertile in fact that it burgeoned from a novella into a novel, neither of which Signe was prepared to handle. The second story, to replace the overgrown first story, is still languishing in bits and clumps, unfinished for lack of time. Signe says she got too much material for TOSOP #3, anyway, but I do feel bad about the situation and hope to correct it in the future. It was a matter of taking on too much for the amount of time I have to spend on ST projects.
The Cost of the Zine
Lastly, the cost of this zine is more than I had anticipated or wanted to charge. But this time I had expenses not incurred with METAMORPHOSIS. This time I had to rent an IBM typewriter, at a cost of $80. Not to mention the long-distance calls between editor and writers and artists. Plus, I opted to use the more expensive 60pd. paper, instead of the usual 20pd.,for a better looking zine. And I decided to be brave and try some color work for the first time. And the press-type costs more than last time. And all the supplies and mailers and postage expenses have gone up. You get the picture.
Some Controversy Regarding a StoryThere was controversy regarding the story "The Way of the Warrior." Leslye Lilker wrote a personal statement that the author had used a name that was Lilker's own creation:
In this zine appears a story, 'The Way of the Warrior,' by Karen Lewis. The author used 'Valjn'd'jt,' the name of Sarek's home in the Sahaj universe, despite a request not to... I read the story before publication, and for my answer to 'The Way of the Warrior,' please read 'Nivar to a Desert Rose' to appear in The Other Side  
The artwork is by Alan Andres, Clare Bell, Pat Bradshaw, Linda Cappel, Edith Crowe, Merle Decker, Gerry Downes, Mary Emerson, Amy Falkowitz, Gayle F., Karen Flanery, Leslie Fish, Doug Herring, Virginia Jacobsen, Alice Jones, Signe Landon, Nan Lewis, Diane Marchant, Gee Moaven, Kathy Penland, Marty Siegrist, Laurraine Tutihasi, and Joni Wagner.
- Nightingale Woman, poem by D. T. Steiner (2)
- There's Always Self-Abuse: Editorial (3)
- Vulcan Bride, story by Johanna Cantor (reprinted in Relay #1) (7)
- Just Desserts, story by Alice Thompson (11)
- Long Way Home, Kirk/Spock story by Eileen Roy (reprinted in Relay #1) (14)
- Kirk's Plea, poem by Ellen L. Kobrin (19)
- The Way of a Warrior, story by Karen Lewis (38) (See section above on the controversy regarding this story.)
- Loving Commands, poem by Gerry Downes (39)
- The Changeling, story by Lora Rene (40)
- Nil Desperandum, story by Frankie Jemison (45)
- Thy Gracious Dews of Solace, story by Juanita Salicrup (46)
- The Prisoner, poem by Sandra Gent (64)
- Mr. Spock... Would You Care To Dance?, story by Toni Cardinal (reprinted in Relay #1) (65)
- Poetry by Frankie Jemison (69)
- Nightmare in Black, story by Bren Harper (70)
- Desert Heat, Kirk/Spock story by Gayle F. (As he is left to gather up a scientist and his experiments, Spock enters pon farr with Kirk the only other person on the planet. The sequel is Beyond Setarcos. (83) ("Desert Heat" is an early, influential K/S slash pon farr story... and the first in the Cosmic Fuck Series and later in Naked Times #2. Desert Heat was first published in The Sensuous Vulcan in 1977, but was written and circulated hand-to-hand earlier.)
- Nova, poem by Barbara Richley (93)
- The Joy Bringer, story by Clare Bell (part of The Elder Brother universe) (94)
- Bonded Couple: First Pon Farr illo and poem by Amy Falkowitz (115) (not listed in the table of contents)
- The Blooming, poem by Frankie Jemison (116)
- An Economy of Memories, story by C.R. Faddis. gen (Kirk, Spock and McCoy are tricked into mating with a hideous creature by its keepers who get away with it by blackmailing Spock, the only one of the three who remembers the attack.) (also in Nome #7) (118)
- Disputation, poem by Jane Aumerle (128)
- Speak to Me, poem by Barbara Richley (128)
- Cooling One's Heels, Kirk/Spock story by Leslie Fish (129) (a sequel to Shelter and Poses)
- Haiku, poem by Frankie Jemison (132)
- Credo, poem by Jane Aumerle (132)
- When Legends Fall Silent, story by Karen Louis (133)
- Dreams Are Illusions and On a Distant Shore, poem by Sandra Gent (140)
- Cheap Thrills: Limericks by Steiner, Lubkin [Leslye Lilker's husband], Kobrin (141)
- Interlude, Kirk/Spock story by Maggie McClendon. During R&R on the planet, Andrion, Kirk and Spock discover and explore an until now unadmitted attraction to one other. (142)
Reactions and Reviews
See reactions and reviews for An Economy of Memories.
See reactions and reviews for Cooling One's Heels.
See reactions and reviews for Thy Gracious Dews of Solace.
See reactions and reviews for The Joy Bringer.
See reactions and reviews for Interlude.
See reactions and reviews for Long Way Home.
See reactions and reviews for Desert Heat.
[zine]: Kay Houston mentioned the zine we're co-editing, The Sensuous Vulcan, and asked for submissions. She forgot to mention two points. This zine will attempt to deal with some new, publicly unexplored themes and ideas, as well as some familiar ones. We want some DIFFERENT ideas here, so don't be shy. ANYTHING is welcome, except sado-machoism and the NO PLOT lay-Spock scenarios. We don't care about viewpoint, but Spock should be featured in the story somehow, as the title suggests. For the timid, we have an interesting policy. Stories can be pennamed, anonymous, or for the brave, carry their creator's real identity. We feel we will get more realistic stories this way, and we absolutely guarantee anonymity for those who wish it. Format will be quality offset, with inside illos (who'd like to illustrate some stories?), and will probably run to 125 pages. 
ine]: In September 1977, the Editor of Love Child Press, D.T. Steiner, put out one of the classics of Trek fanzines: THE SENSUOUS VULCAN. Copies are traded and read everywhere throughout fandom and a few can still be found for sale at prices up to $50.00 per copy. Although the title of this 150 plus page volume hints at the adult content, the impact of the varied offerings of short stories, long stories, poetry and art must be FELT, as well as read, to be fully appreciated. What's in THE SENSUOUS VULCAN? Spock, naturally, and most of the other characters from the ENTERPRISE, Vulcan, and many new faces. There are scenes of danger, of serenity, or respite, and of total confusion. Sensuality, sexuality, and sex abound, but contents of pure and delicate love between sensual beings are also seen. Readers of THE SENSUOUS VULCAN will find nearly every type of sexual encounter described within its covers, ranging from mindless rape through sexual innocence to the kind of love that does not require sexual expression. Spock is involved in the vast majority of these situations, often without the ability to control his situation or with such marginal control that he is easily overpowered by his sexual partner. In at least one instance a youthful Spock is seduced in a pleasant garden. In another, a rapacious alien ravages him completely after doing the same to Kirk and McCoy. In a few stories, Spock is the aggressor who uses his partner in an out-of-character sado-masochistic manner. And in still another setting, Kirk becomes the aggressor over Spock under the guise of "duty". However, there are three pieces that stand out, Three that make this zine the vaule that it is... and I urge you to read and enjoy them. First is "Thy Gracious Dews of Solace," written by Juanita Salicrup. Spock has returned to the ENTERPRISE after being severely abused and injured by the Klingons and the Orions. The trauma had caused several mixed experiences and misplaced conclusions in Spock's mind, conclusions which were slowly undermining Spock's health, sense of self, and his sense of masculinity. Although he tried to resolve his own problems, he found himself taunted by an uncaring woman, and he fled in total mental collapse. Enter Uhura, who cared for his immediate needs for shelter and nourishment, then listened to him with compassion. And what followed such love as that? What else? Therapeutic sex, of course. Doesn't everyone need a therapist like Uhura? "The Joy-Bringer," written by Clare Bell, is a wonderful tale of Vulcan mysticism, sexuality, anatomy, and love. A Starfleet physician, T'Prann, recognizes Spock's pain as pon farr. Although she is not bonded to Spock, she decides that it is her duty to sate him in order to perserve the crews of the ENTERPRISE and the T'PAU AVREENA. She brings to Spock the ancient teachings and rituals, which enhance the pon farr for both of them. Spock learns much more about his own anatomy and the physical structures of the Vulcan female, the complicating factors that make Vulcan love very special. Only after their ritual lovemaking is completed, do Spock and T'Prann learn that Spock has telepathically transmitted his pleasure to every other being, Terran and Vulcan, on both ships. Now, is that love? Or is that love, folks!?! The third poetic story that struck a deep chord was written by Leslie Fish --"Cooling One's Heels." Spock is temporarily in command of the ship and, outwardly, he speaks with every member of the crew, giving orders, requesting ship's status, et cetera. But his mind is not on his work. Inwardly, his emotions are spinning, tumbling in wild imaginative thoughts, because Jim Kirk lies in sickbay, desperately fighting for his life. Spock would rather be with Jim, but McCoy won't let him. So the bridge of the starship, the love of Jim's life, is Spock's only solace. Through the jumbled concepts that assail him, Spock fights to keep control. He is determined to show the crew his strength and calm. But it is extremely difficult. Spock's struggle with love as an idea, then an emotion, and finally, a reality is the struggle we all must admit to and face on a daily basis, be it with friends, family, spouses, or T'hy'la. Love is a bond, but not bound by fetters of thought or structure. Through THE SENSUOUS VULCAN and all the other zines of Trek fandom, lay we always keep it S0! Sensuality, sexuality, and sex are positives in any progressive society, and, as such, it is better to enjoy them wholesomely, than not. The three authors cited above have given us Trek views of sex with love, love with sex, and love that is pure and delicate in its own light. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Live Long, Love Often and Prosper. 
[zine]: Finally, the long-delayed zine from D.T. Steiner is in print. Still with problems: printing (especially rockon art) is sometimes on the poor side. Cover is not particularly excellent... I'd say passable. Diane's editorial is interesting. There are a few mistypes and missing credits that bothered me (the cartoon by Leslie Fish was my idea -- I gave her the lines to do.) Best stories in the zine, both quality of writing and quality of the story: Gayle F's 'Desert Heat' (long awaited, a very erotic/graphic K/S story and first of four, illoed by Gayle), Juanita Salicrup's 'Thy Gracious Dews of Solace' (almost opposite in the 'moralistic' attitudes from Gayle's, but well-written and excellent characterization of Spock and Uhura), and Clare Bell's 'The Joy Bringer' (lovely and different version of Vulcan, er, physiology -- and wait until you find out WHAT the 'joy bringer' means -- this is from Clare's own ST universe, which is very well-conceived). Other stories range from fair to good, with Karen Louis' two-parter ranging close to the top. And an excellent 'honor' story illoed by [Gayle F] by Faddis. A bit expensive at $8.25 first class but generally good material. 
[zine]: Yes, it's finally been printed, and yes, its the classiest erotic-focused trekzine I've ever seen. it has style, grace, perspective -- top quality all the way, from the layout on down through the order the work appears in. A partial list of the contributors should say it all -- Steiner, Cantor, Thompson, Roy, Kobrin, Downes, Rene, Jemison, Salicrup, Gent, Cardinal, [Gayle F], Faddis, Aumerle, Fish, Emerson, Flakowitz, Herring, Jacobsen, Jones (oh, the Alice Jones nudes of Spock -- *sigh*) Landon, Lewis, Marchant, Moaven, Penland, Siegrist, Wagner .... It might be possible to review this zine and not say things like 'the most beautiful fanzine ever' I but I sure don't know how. My favorites are the Kirk/Spock offerings of course, but it's !ll good. And it holds up on rereading ... and rereading -- it's been worth waiting for, and expect a wait when you order it. My copy is a contributors, the ones I've bought for friends have not arrived yet, but it's worth any trouble you have to go to to get this one. I'll treasure this zine always." 
[zine]: The second K/S ever to appear in a fanzine was printed in Diane T. Steiner's SENSUOUS VULCAN, in Sept. 1977. This zine was one of the first of the really beautiful, ambitious, and elaborate zines, done entirely offset, and it set the pattern for many zines to come. The cover, a gorgeous erotic pencil portrait by Alice Jones, shows a blonde (Chapel?) swept up into Spock's arms, sharing a kiss. It is expensive and difficult to obtain an original copy of SENSUOUS VULCAN. Photo copies, probably unauthorized, are also expensive. At least try to borrow a copy to read; it is a zine you shouldn't miss. In "Long Way Home" by Eileen Roy, Kirk is on shore leave, in a tavern, on an unreliable, savagely beautiful planet. He is drunk and tripping out on an incredible combination of alien concoctions. But he is happy; he has discovered that he is really not going crazy, because Spock arrives to collect him and drive him back to the base, over the planet's unstable terrain and through the turbulent atmosphere. When a rock slip causes their "rock-sled" to crash, and Spock is knocked momentarily unconscious, Kirk has time to contemplate his uninjured friend, stroking one eyebrow. He admits to himself his love and desire for Spock, and considers all the problems involved in seduction and relationship. He decides in favor of what might be read as a "slow seduction". Spock awakens, and they Leave the ruined rock sled, supporting each other, walking slowly back to the base. This is a lovely little story, a vignette almost, full of word-painting and atmosphere, and not a bit of sloppily over-ripe sentimentality. "Interlude" by Maggie McClendon, is a nicely written idyll, somewhat spoiled by an ending just a trifle too sweetly sentimental and overdone (to my taste). Spock, with Kirk who is recovering from a broken leg and exhaustion, are taking three weeks of shore-leave on Andrion, a benign and beautiful planet with harmless, unusual flora and gauna, and a strangely hypnotic, soothing and healing aura. One morning, Kirk tells Spock that Andrion reminds him of his childhood, and confesses his urge to go skinny dipping. He asks if Spock ever feels the urge to do some thing uninhibited; he replies "yes", softly, but does not elaborate. Kirk strips and runs through the grass to the lake, urging Spock to follow suit. They reach the lake, spend a moment contemplating each other's naked beauty the "magic" of Andrion's aura is mellowing Spock considerably then they dive in. The water proves to be unusually buoyant and silky-slippery, with a unique and oddly lulling musical tinkling, encouraging them to swim and play in it, and encouraging odd thoughts .... Suddenly Kirk realizes Spock has become badly chilled and needs help. Holding him in his arms, Kirk swims rapidly for the nearest shore. Their clothes are too far away to help (funny how these things happen, isn't it?!), so Kirk begins to rub Spock down briskly, to warm him quickly. As he gradually returns to normal, the stroking turns into a massage. Both men acknowledge the pleasure of it, wordlessly admit to each other their pleasure, and what they both want. They begin a gentle, dreamlike lovemaking, finding joy in discovering the particular sensitivities of each other's bodies. They press and rub against each other until they reach orgasm. Afterwards, they sleep. Kirk awakens first, with a sunburned back, and tells Spock, "I love you... Who'd'a thought —a sensuous Vulcan!" The next weeks are spent in love and sharing. When the time comes, neither wants to beam back up to the ship, and Spock has a moment of misgiving that Kirk is feeling shame at their actions. But Kirk presses a small flower lovingly in his palm, saying, "Beauty is its own reason, Spock." Later, Spock contemplates the flower, and The Meaning Of It All in his quarters, and concludes that "... the reasons they suddenly no longer needed... only each other... because we are..." (Perhaps this is just too foggily sentimental/metaphysical for me, but I believe that so weak an ending harmed an otherwise charming tale.) Gayle F's justly famous "Desert Heat", the first story in her "Cosmic Fuck" series (with Gayle's illos also printed in flaming red!), hardly needs summarizing. If by some strange mischance you haven't read it, get it now; don't miss it! It is passionately loving, erotic, strongly and beautifully written, with no excess verbiage or sentimentality. "Desert Heat" was reprinted in Delia Van Hise's NAKED TIMES #2, in 1979, with the illos in black ink, and with one bad typo, the kind that changes the meaning of a sentence of paragraph. Xeroxes are probably still availablefrom the editor. "Beyond Setarcos" and "Night of the Dragon", the second and third parts of the Cosmic Fuck series appeared in THRUST in 1979, also illustrated by Gayle. The fourth and final part, "Between Friends", illustrated by Connie Faddis, appeared in OBSC'ZINE #3, May 1978. You will notice that the final part apparently appeared before parts two and three? Well, it didn't really happen that way, I remember quite clearly reading the final part last. I cannot account for the discrepancy in dates. SENSUOUS VULCAN also contains many excellent illos by many artists, notably Alice Jones, particularly her chained nude Spock, Gee Moaven's "Nightingale Woman", Marty Siegrist and Karen Fleming's brooding Spocks and Sareks, some relatively unpolished but interesting early Merle Decker and Nan Lewis, some mood pieces by Diane Marchant, Gerry Dowries, Sandra Gent, Ellen Kobrin, Frankie Jemison, and Jane Aumerle. And a number of excellent non-K/S adult stories. SENSUOUS VULCAN may well have the highest percentage of very well-written stories of any zine ever published, and a marvelous variety of unusual tales, too. The excellent "An Economy of Memories" by Connie Faddis, concerns a mission undertaken by Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, to negotiate a trade for an important medicine with some very strange aliens on a strange and unpleasant planet. In actuality they were lured to the planet to serve as sex partners for a strange but highly valued creature (in "pon farr"), which provides the aliens with an otherwise unobtainable substance all-important to their well being and economy. (The aliens reproduce by budding, and so are unsuitable sex partners themselves.) The extremely unpleasant mating takes place through trickery, and their resistance proves useless. The aliens treat their injuries, remove the memory of it, but fail with Spock, who expediently agrees not to mention it in his report, since it could only harm Kirk and McCoy, and because the aliens give him an extremely valuable cure, basically for free. "The Way of a Warrior" and its sequel, "When Legends Fall Silent" by Karen Louis, is a Spock/T'Pring "Amok Time" alternate universe story, in which Spock remains on Vulcan to mate with T'Pring, believing Kirk killed, and suffering greatly from T'Prings uncooperativeness, he decides to execute T'Pring ritually. After many painful events and feelings, he finally gives T'Pring to Stonn, and gives his unborn child to their care. They leave the planet, and Spock returns to Kirk and the Enterprise. It is a well-written story, but I find it rather tedious, and a "downer." Its resolution seems rather weak and in adequate. "The Changeling" by Lora Rene, is notable for being probably the first "female James Kirk" story. Spock is the captain, in this alternate universe, and Jamie Kirk is first officer. She requests a transfer. Spock asks for an explanation, and she confesses her love for him. He, too, confesses his love, and they decide to bond but first, Jamie coaxes Spock into making love, of course! Sounds familiar, doesn't it?! "Nil Desperandum" by Frankie Jemison, is a tiny tongue-in-cheek K/S vignette which concerns Spock, and an increasingly tense and ill-humored Kirk, marooned on a planet for three months. Embarrassedly, Kirk finally confronts Spock: "How much do you know...about ...the human...cycle....?" "Vulcan Bride" by Johanna Cantor is a vignette concerning bondmates, S'tev and T'lal, during pon farr, and how they adjust sexually. Another vignette, "Just Desserts" by Alice Thompson, has Christine getting exactly what she was asking for and not much liking it either, serves her right! "Thy Gracious Dews of Solace" by Juanita Salicrup, is a kind of get-Spock/lay-Spock story, is one of the first "slavery" stories, and has a somewhat anti-K/S premise. Prior to the beginning of the story, Spock is captured by Klingons, tortured to the "edge of his reserves", drugged, and sold to a wealthy Orion with an exotic taste for dark male sex slaves. Chained, but not yet mind-wiped, Spock is raped by his owner. To Spock's final shame, he responds sexually to the rape. A visiting Federation trader sees his plight, learns his identity, and of the impending mind-wipe. Appalled, he manages to spirit Spock away to a Starbase, where he is debriefed and hospitalized. In a few days he is reunited with his friends and returned to the Enterprise. (All of this takes place in flashback.) Five weeks later, Spock is still plagued by a recurrent dream wherein he rapes another male only afterward discovering that it is Kirk. Work and mental discipline are ineffective at stopping the persistent dream. Because of its content, he finds it impossible to confide in Kirk or McCoy. In the ST universe of this story, humankind still feels revulsion toward homosexuality (well, it is possible, after all), and on Vulcan "it was invested with even greater horror and shame than the joining of man and woman", and perpetrators are ostracized from society. And so Spock, to whom "the entire subject of his sexuality was still a rankling agony" ever since pon farr, is now on the verge of a breakdown. After he is rude to Uhura on duty, they talk; she can see how disturbed he is, and offers to help, but of course Spock claims he is all right. The grew take shore leave on Argelius. Spock stays aboard, but he is restless, plagued by the dreams and by doubts about his sexuality. He finally beams down, walks the streets aimlessly, and is accosted by a prostitute. Absently, he allows himself to be coaxed in accompanying her. She offers "a bed for the night." In spite of his distaste, he nearly talks himself into having sex with the woman, but finally pushes her away... Uhura, meanwhile, has canceled her triste with a lover who proved crude and inconsiderate, ripping her gown in his unseemly haste. Furiously, she leaves and runs into.....Spock. She helps him to the rustic cottage which she had rented for her ill-fated triste, tends his wounds, gives him tea, comfort and understanding, and finally gets him to confess everything. She offers him help, gently allays his fears, and seduces him. Spock reacts with enthusiasm, his fears and uncertainties gone. (There is a nice sex scene at this point if your taste runs to heterosexual love.) They plan to spend the remaining two weeks of shore leave together in the cottage "convalescing." "Mr. Spock, Would You Care to Dance?" Toni Cardinal, is a lighthearted lay-Spock romp. The Joy Bringer by Clare Bell is a rather odd member of that "strange alien sexuality and Vulcan rites" ilk. Spock makes love with an alien woman—and brings joy to all! I found it quite unconvincing and rather disjointedly unsatisfying. Nightmare in Black" by Bren Harper is rather more a Kirk story, and a horror story, than anything else. It ls very well done, with a nice Kirk & Spock relationship. A statue of Miscere ( Little kitten") with Bast, the cat goddess, at her feet, is brought aboard the Enterprise. By some ancient magic or science—the statue comes to Life, a succubus in the body of a beautiful woman, who forces Kirk to make Love with it again and again then tears his soul away in the final submission. Spock hears his mind-cry and tries to help, but the succubus takes over, fogs his mind and memory, and tries to turn him against Spock The next night Kirk is attacked again, and cries out mentally to Spock. He helps Kirk fight the succubus, and wins though he is severely clawed by the all too realistic illusion of a giant cat. 
I got into slash peripherally and accidentally in my early teens, when I was sold a copy of "The Sensuous Vulcan" and read the first story, by Eileen Roy I think, about Kirk being blasted drunk in this bar on this very odd molten-type, rock sliding planet. He's looking at Spock, who's driving the groundcar, and it hits him -- "Spock and I. I love him...it could happen... *we* could happen." Before that time I hadn't thought of it. When he thought of it, I realized that not only could it happen, but that it *should* happen!Well, later in the zine came "Desert Heat", part of [Gayle F's] Cosmic Fuck Series if that gives you any clue to its content, and I needed no more persuasion. 
- "The Other Side of Paradise's" author was Juanita Salicrup, and one would assume Lilker gave that fan official clearance to use the name 'Valjin'd'jt.'"
- from Scuttlebutt #5
- The Foresmutters Project. Bibliography of early, early K/S (accessed 31 August 2009)
- From The Halkan Council #11 (October 1975)
- from Datazine #35
- from Scuttlebutt #5
- from Stardate: Unknown #4
- from Not Tonight Spock! #6
- comments on Virgule-L by Michelle Christian, quoted with permission (November 8, 1993)