The Voice (Star Trek: TOS zine)

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See also Voice (disambiguation) for more zines of this title.

Zine
Title: The Voice
Publisher: Village Press
Editor(s): Rosemary Wild and Eva Stuart
Date(s): 1982-1986
Series?:
Medium: print zine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

The Voice is a series of five Kirk/Spock slash zines published by Village Press in the UK. Unusual for K/S fandom at the time, the zine series focuses on established relationship stories as told by Sheak, Rivers, Daniels and Rowes. There is also a strong emphasis on plotting and subtle character interactions, with little in the way of explicit sex scenes or purple prose. No AU or death. The whole series is known for a certain more literary quality of story.

From an ad in Datazine #28: "K/S that's a little different -- no A/Us, no pon farr, no slaves, no death! Instead, stories with their roots in the series universe... emphasis on character and intriguing plots... an established relationship, its pleasures and problems."

Fan Reaction

One fan expresses her opinion not only on first time/established relationship stories, but also on cultural differences she sees:

I know that what I like most to read is the story of their continuing relationship. First Time stories are terrific, and I am writing one myself, but the adventure of the Enterprise, within the context of a new relationship for Kirk and Spock continues. Those few stories which have been written of this time in their lives are too often frivolous sex romps, delightful to read, but without substance. The people who write THE VOICE zines from England have the right idea, as all their stories deal with the established relationship, and seem to be serious examinations of the problems our two night confront. I have a problem with English stories though, and can't really enjoy them. Maybe it's just their different cultural viewpoint (and boy, sometimes it seems soooo different!), but the vast majority of English stories seem depressing to me. [1]
Another fan comments:
I really like that zine. The stories are always about something significant and the contributors are some of the best fannish writers I've seen. In regard to characterization, however, I think that English restraint serves them best when they are portraying Vulcans. Spock really is often like an Englishman, but Kirk is not. Sometimes seeing a stiff, proper and formal Kirk bothers me when I read English K/S. In American K/S conflict often happens between the characters because Spock prefers to be indirect and restrained while Kirk prefers to be more direct and frank. In English K/S both the characters are indirect and restrained. Sometimes this makes for magnificently subtle relationship scenes, and other times the low key nature of the exchange robs English K/S stories of drama. [2]

Issue 1

cover of issue #1

The Voice 1 was published in 1982 and is 77 pages long.

From the editorial:
The idea for this zine evolved in long, animated discussions between the Editor and friends, during which we determined that the type of K/S story that interested us most and which seemed rather difficult to obtain, was to quote 'The Voice' flyer, "established, 'this universe,' 'relationship' i.e. the investigation of the pleasures and pressures of a long-standing partnership. We felt that among A/Us, pon farrs , slaves et al, this is a somewhat neglected form of K/S. Also we hoped that it would provide a rich field for development and characterisation, so in the Trek tradition of 'putting one's typewriter where one's mouth is! - here are the first results for your perusal.

The actual presentation of the zine is as unambitious as possible on two counts: firstly, inexperience and secondly natural bias. I admire beautiful artwork in other zines but my greatest interest is fiction. However, my thanks go to sympathetic and enthusiastic artist friends for their contributions and to all those who have encouraged with kind With regard to 'Perversions of a Theme', we have broken our own rule here and this is an AU of a very well known A/U! We hope you will take it in the spirit in which it was intended, "They do but jest, poison in jest - no offence in the world!"

Optimistically, we would like there to be another 'Voice' - the ideas are there - we 'shall consider it'

Summaries below are by Gilda F.:

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for Pour Deguiser Leurs Pensees.
See reactions and reviews for Back of the Mirror.
See reactions and reviews for The Student.
See reactions and reviews for That Looks on Tempests.
See reactions and reviews for Perversions of a Theme.
See reactions and reviews for Opinions.
See reactions and reviews for The Legacy.
See reactions and reviews for The Birthday.
[zine]: Personally, I'm inclined to think of THE VOICE as "the thinking K/S fan's zine." If you can only appreciate a story if it has oodles of explicit sex, then this isn't the zine for you. If, on the other hand, you crave intelligently written stories about the captain & First Officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise & the fascinating relationship that they share, then you won't find a better zine than this & all subsequent issues. There are no A/U's, Mirror Universe or slave stories. Nor are there plotless sexual fantasies. What you have here are stories that explore the difficulties 2 diverse beings can face in a multi-racial--& often hostile--universe; the love & respect for each other that they share; their failures, (yes, they are fallible beings & not supermen), & their victories; indeed all aspects of their relationship are explored in intricate detail & are a joy to read. I only wish that more authors wrote stories like these. "The Student" - Eva Stuart. A Vulcan student named Soril is studying at Starfleet Academy; he is having trouble understanding Humans & deeply respects & admires his teacher, Spock, who is spending a term there lecturing in computer science. Soril has had a particularly difficult childhood & Kirk's arrival at the academy precipitates a crisis for the young student when he realizes that the Vulcan teacher, whom he has unwittingly fallen in love with, is actually bonded to an emotional, if highly respected, Human. This is the kind of problem which only a relationship as unique as that which Kirk & Spock share could create & ultimately they must bear the responsibility for the effect that knowledge of their love has on the life of the young Vulcan. Their solution is arrived at jointly as, indeed, all important decisions should be. "Pour Deguiser Leurs Pensees" - Vivienne Rivers. My French is practically non existent, but I think the title means "for their disguised thoughts". (Vivienne, forgive me if I'm wrong.) Kirk & Spock are spending a short sojourn at the Institute of Politics & Economics on Starbase IX. They have been together for 15 months & are feeling mellow & content with each other & free of the burning need to rip each other's clothes off & fling themselves into passion at every opportunity. Both feel that the time is right for them to bond when they unexpectedly meet up with an old girl friend of Kirk's & her son, Timothy. No prizes for guessing who Timothy's father is! The story deals with Kirk's feelings of guilt due to his failure to admit the truth about Timothy to Spock, who is, in turn, feeling insecure. Kirk's guilt also stems from the fact that, at first, he wants no part of his son. There are some wonderful moments in this story, e.g. Spock's public reply to Kirk's address to the students wherein he rips to shreds half of Kirk's solutions to problems faced during the 5 year mission. Kirk's subsequent (& understandable), sullenness is very funny. They grow to a new understanding of each other & their relationship is strengthened immeasurably by their experience. "That Looks On Tempests" - Vivienne Rivers. Shore leave for Kirk & Spock is interrupted by an urgent call from Starfleet. Kirk's nephew, Peter, has become captive of an obscure religious sect & it is up to Kirk & Spock alone to rescue him. Kirk's pose as a man down on his luck enables him to join the group & Spock subsequently helps both Kirk & Peter to get away from the commune. There is only one snap: the sect keeps its followers by addicting them to a powerful drug called veralkalin & both Kirk & Peter are now addicts. What follows is a harrowing experience for all concerned as Kirk suffers the debilitating effects of withdrawal while Spock supplies the drug to Peter, (Kirk's own order forbids Spock giving him any), during an arduous mountain trek to the nearest city. What disturbed me about this story was Peter's use of the terms "nancy boy", "fag", "fruit" and "queer" and I sincerely hope that terms as insulting & derogatory as these will be archaic & obsolete by the 23rd century. Otherwise the story is enjoyable. "Perversions of a Theme" - Billie Mclver. This story is the odd one out in the zine. Presumably it's meant to give some comic relief between the more serious stories. It is a 1 1/2 page vignette set at the start of the "Variations on a Theme" universe. If you enjoy satire written in rather black humour then you may appreciate this. The title says it all. "The Legacy" - Eva Stuart. Though it is not stated this story is a sequel to "Love's War" in CLASSIFIED ASSIGNMENTS 2 and it helps greatly to understand this story if you have read the latter. In "Love's War" Kirk & Spock went into Klingon territory disguised as Romulans to help a young Klingon king, Kriton. Kriton's childhood friend, protector & Military Governor, Kyleth, committed suicide. Now in "The Legacy" the king is alone. He sends for Kirk & Spock to help rescue his wife for, if it becomes known to the general populace that his wife has been kidnapped, he will lose their respect. The mission proves hazardous for all concerned. To give away too much of the plot of this long, poignant story would be to ruin it. Suffice it to say that it si written with care & attention to detail equalled by few. The psychological aspects are, as always, intriguing with the characters learning more of themselves & how to assuage their feelings of guilt, both real & imaginary. This is also the first story set in the house of Aulos, a place where they can be alone together & be themselves--two beings in love--on a planet where IDIC prevails. "The Birthday" - Eva Stuart. Kirk is alone in his San Francisco apartment feeling depressed because it's his birthday & McCoy comes by with a bottle of Romulan ale to cheer him up. Sound familiar? Fortunately, reality in this instance is far different. I only wish that the reality of this vignette could have been in TWOK. In addition to the stories there are also 2 anonymous poems, "Back of the Mirror" and "Opinions", both of which are interesting. There is also "The Wall", a page of humourous little cartoons by Vivienne Rivers, which is rather cute. It is also a regular feature of each issue. Outside of "The Wall" there are only 2 illos in the zine. Both are by Ann Humphrey & are attractive while enhancing the mood. I only have one quibble with this zine, admittedly a small one, but I think it bears mentioning & that is the fact that it has paper covers instead of card & paper has a bad habit of pulling through staples. That aside I highly recommend THE VOICE for the consistently high standard of the stories, the lack of typos & because it portrays Kirk & Spock as the intelligent, mature, caring people that they are. [3]
[zine]: This is a K/S zine containing 6 stories and 2 poems by various authors. The editor has included what she describes as a list of related reading. These are basically non-SF novels containing some element of gay relationships and while I'm not sure how relevant they are to the Sf-devoted reader I feel the inclusion of this list reflects the amount of care and consideration that has gone into this zine. Editorial policy is to include no Pon Farr, slave or death stories, and with one tongue in cheek exception the zine holds to this. All the stories are of a high standard and the basic Kirk/Spock relationship is examined in depth. My favourite stories are "Pour Deguiser Leurs Pensees" in which we are treated to the sight of Spock babysitting a human child, and "The Birthday" which is almost a ghost story in which Kirk is "haunted" by what might have been. There are more zines in the Voice series and if they are as good as this I look forward to reading them. [4]

Issue 2

another version of the cover of issue #2
cover of issue #2

The Voice 2 was published in 1983 and is 89 pages long. The illos are by Ann Humphrey and Vivienne Rivers. Limericks by Jan Barton. It contains an early mpreg story.

  • The Pursuit of Love by Eva Stuart (On a planet seeded by the Preservers, Spock comes to understand and accept his love for Kirk as they study the Grecian society there. Prequel: Unto the Day) (1)
  • With the Crown Comes this Arrow by Vivienne Rivers (Spock talks Kirk into returning to help the Scalosians, even though he is aware that his lover had slept with their queen. Prequel: That Looks on Tempests. Sequel: Loyalty Binds Me) (8)
  • The Still Centre by Eva Stuart (To help a crewman framed for a crime, Kirk and Spock go undercover in a gay enclave to find the diplomat responsible for the frame. Prequel: The Visit Sequel: The Legacy) (24)
  • The Third Alternative by Billie McIver (mpreg, Kirk wants to have a child so he talks Spock into letting McCoy do the procedure that will allow Kirk to carry one.) (43)
  • Those Who Favour Fire by Vivienne Rivers (13 pages) (While on Organia, Spockʼs reaction to the mindsifter brings to the fore his feelings for Kirk, who, reciprocating the feelings, takes Spock as his lover. Sequel: With Cords of a Man) (54)
  • Conflicts by Eva Stuart (Problems arise when Spock disagrees with Kirkʼs assessment of a planetʼs request for UFP membership) (67)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

See reactions and reviews for Those Who Favour Fire.
See reactions and reviews for The Pursuit of Love.
See reactions and reviews for With the Crown Comes this Arrow.
See reactions and reviews for The Still Centre.
See reactions and reviews for The Third Alternative.
See reactions and reviews for Conflicts.

Issue 3

The Voice 3 was published in 1984 and is 89 pages long. Illos by Ann Humphrey and Caryl Sibbett. The graffiti "wall" is by Vivienne Rivers.

another version of the cover of issue #3
cover of issue #3
flyer for issue #3, printed in Beyond Antares R-Rated #5
editor's note from issue #3, click to read
  • The Gateway of the King by Eva Stuart (18 pages) (Sent back to ancient Egypt by the Guardian, Kirk must fix the change in history dealing with Alexander the Great. Prequel: A Day in the Life (or The Sun Rises). Sequel: The Student.
  • A Day In The Life by Eva Stuart (15 pages) (Kirk spends the day on survey duty while Spock grapples with a problem presented by a security team. Prequel: The Legacy. Sequel: The Gateway of the King.) (In 1985, a story called "The Lion and the Lamb was published in "touched" #5. Author's Note in "touched": "The two characters of this story originally appeared in "A Day in the Life," in a K/S zine called The Voice #3 and although I hope this is self-contained, Asla's interview with Spock can be found there. I was always curious as to what Lt. Armscom and Ensign Traven said to each other afterwards and am very grateful to "touched" for letting me find out." There appear to be further stories in this series in later issues of "touched.")
  • With Cords of a Man by Vivienne Rivers (8 pages) (On the first night back of the Enterprise after leaving Organia, Kirk and Spock set the parameters of their new relationship. Prequel: Those Who Favour Fire. Sequel: Mending Walls)
  • Winter Storm by Eva Stuart (14 pages) (Waiting for a transport to take them to a conference, Kirk and Spock are arrested on a planet intolerant of same-sex pairing. Prequel: The Solution. Sequel: The Visit)
  • Mending Walls by Kate Daniels (14 pages) (Kirk, still mending from the knife wound taken during the Babel conference, must send Spock to attempt the rescue of a kidnapped diplomat. Prequel: With Cords of a Man. Sequel:Pour Deguiser Leurs Pensees.)
  • ...Time Followed by Eva Stuart
  • By the Book by Kate Daniels (13 pages) (Vulcanʼs disapproval of their bonding creates problems for Kirk and Spock whenever the need arises for them to be on that planet. Prequel: Honours Even Sequel: Jim's Little Secret)
  • The Road to Hell by Vivienne Rivers (8 pages) (Spock is upset with Kirk for his actions regarding the Defiant and the Tholians. Prequel: Loyalty Binds Me. Sequel: Such Are the Gates of Paradise.)


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

See reactions and reviews for A Day in the Life.
See reactions and reviews for Winter Storm.
See reactions and reviews for The Gateway of the King.
See reactions and reviews for With Cords of a Man.
See reactions and reviews for Mending Walls.
See reactions and reviews for ...Time Followed.
See reactions and reviews for By the Book.
See reactions and reviews for The Road to Hell.
[from the editor]: Dear K/S readers - is the art of the LOC dead? For some months, I've England been sending out THE VOICE III (not to mention the VOICE I reprint). Lovingly printed, carefully collated and posted out - to a vaccuum. Hardly a whisper! Are we good, bad or just downright mediocre? I suspect the LOC may have fallen in to some disrepute recently, as one COMMUNICATOR reader put it, 'LoC seems to equal LoPraiae'. Now praise is pleasant to get but reasoned criticism is much better. (So long as it is reasoned. The 'I don't like this story because I don't like stories with Klingons, etc' does not really help.) In a way, it is sufficient praise that someone has taken your zine seriously enough to put pen to paper. Little notes that say 'I liked this issue, when's the next?' are nice but not entirely stimulating and it becomes increasingly difficult to be creative in isolation. Is there anybody out there? It's lo-o-o-nely over here! [5]

Issue 4

another version of cover of issue #4
cover of issue #4

The Voice 4 was published in 1985 and is 111 pages long. It has two pieces of art by Caren Parnes.


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

See reactions and reviews for Such are the Gates of Paradise.
See reactions and reviews for The Visit.
See reactions and reviews for Jim's Little Secret.
See reactions and reviews for The Resolution.

Issue 5

cover of issue #5

The Voice 5 was published in 1986 and is 93 pages long. The single piece of art is by Caren Parnes.

From the editorial:
Welcome to The Voice 5. With this issue we welcome a new 'voice', Frances Rowes.

You will notice that Vivienne Rivers' work does not appear here. This does not mean she has abandoned us. She is merely 'resting' and her background help has been invaluable. I should like to thank her and all those who worked so hard to produce this zine. We have again (as in 'In the Wilderness') broken our own 'rules' and you will find within a pon farr story. As before the reason is the cheerful, not to say light hearted, treatment of the theme. For completists a chronological listing of stories by The Voice authors appears at the end of the volume.

As usual we are deep in that rare genre, established relationship and we welcome comment on that or any other topic, from one line to a full critique.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

See reactions and reviews for Progress.
See reactions and reviews for To Be a Help Mate for Him.
See reactions and reviews for He's Got a Little List.
See reactions and reviews for Shield and Defender.
See reactions and reviews for A Dawn Shall Come.
See reactions and reviews for Break Through on Wrigley's.
See reactions and reviews for The Choicest Gift.
[zine]: Although American K/S fans and those that write K/S across the Atlantic both write in English, there are cultural differences that make what these two groups of fans produce quite distinct. It would be interesting to find out how did overseas K/S fans perceive American K/S. I can only speak about my reactions as an American to their output. In "Progress" by Eva Stuart, it seems to me that Eva has made the English traditions of reserve and understatement work to their best advantage. Reserve and understatement are characteristic of Vulcans, and "Progress" is a quintessentially Vulcan story about the relationship between Spock and Sarek. The story handles the father/son conflict with such subtlety, yet without sacrificing dramatic intensity. What Spock and Sarek had not said to each other reduced me to tears. Few Americans could have written with such insight into the Vulcan manner of interpersonal relations because most Americans were brought up to relate to one another with far less restraint. "Progress" is a masterpiece. It richly deserved the Surak Award which received. Its sequel, "The Choicest Gift" seemed far more typical and predictable, however. All the unstated conflicts that gave "Progress" its power were brought into the open in "The Choicest Gift", thus dissipating the effect. Frances Rowes showed her gift for portraying inner divisions in "To Be a Help Mate For Him", in which Kirk's necessarily harsh enforcement of quarantine during a plague on New Paris caused him to compare himself to Kodos. Reading about how Kirk works out this self-image problem with the help of Spock in quite fascinating. Kate Daniels does remarkably well in both her stories. "He's Got A Little List" is a thoughtful portrayal of McCoy dealing with misgivings about K/S. "Breakthrough on Wrigley's", on the other hand, is a charming humor piece poking fun at Vulcan prudery. Humor often works by incongruity and this story certainly leaves us with an incongruous picture. As a whole, THE VOICE 5 is quite a display of talent Though it lacks the sophisticated graphics of the best American zines, THE VOICE can always compete on the basis of the quality of its fiction. Although it's nice to get a zine that looks polished and professional, I feel that the stories are the most important thing about a zine. So I say bravo to THE VOICE for maintaining literary excellence as its most important priority. [6]

References

  1. from The LOC Connection #30
  2. from The LOC Connection #31
  3. from Not Tonight Spock! #11
  4. a review by Gary in The Unique Touch #2
  5. from the editor of this zine in a letter to Not Tonight Spock! #7
  6. On the Double #11