Tower of Terror

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Star Trek Fanfiction
Title: Tower of Terror
Author(s): Jennifer Guttridge
Date(s): 1972, 1978
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
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Tower of Terror is a Star Trek: TOS story by Jennifer Guttridge.

The story was discussed in Star Trek Lives! (1975).

Publishing History

It was published in the print zine Tricoder Readings (1972, in two parts).

The story was reprinted in Archives #1 (1978) with new illustrations by Hans Dietrich.

Inspired Fanworks

There is a sequel to this story in Beyond Orion #2 called "Descent" by April Valentine (from the flyer: "...reveals the Kirk/Spock relationship at it tortured best.") (July 1977). [1] [2]


A Hurt/Comfort story where Spock has to rescue Kirk on a planet where cold, rain, corrosive acid, monsters, fire and more as an alien presence tries to destroy them both. The alien's motive for this torture: "Let us say that my reason is to find the measure of the man."


From the reprint in Archives #1 (1978) with new illustrations by Hans Dietrich.

Reactions and Reviews


Jennifer Guttridge's Tower of Terror graphically describes tortures inflicted on Spock by an alien in order to find "the measure of a man"... This type of story sets up an artificial situation in which the protagonist is forced to explore his or he inner self. Tower of Terror dwells at great length and in exhaustive detail on the physical traumas, yet in the end it fails to "find the man", for it is obsessed with the suffering and neglects to examine the inner Spock or to allow him to question his own motivations. In fact, the only motivation we are given for Spock's enduring this abuse is his need to "rescue" Kirk, who may not even be in danger. The reader is left with gratuitous violence, but a lack of insight into either Spock o the being "testing" him, who appears to be a flagrant sadist. Ms. Guttridge writes a powerful superficial scene, but as psychological drama, Tower of Terror is a failure. A pity. [3]


  1. "'Descent' takes off where Jennifer Guttridge's 'Tower of Terror' in Tricorder Readings #2 and #3 stopped six years ago. If you caught that, there's not too much point in reading 'Descent'; it is a recap, plus Kirk Realizing What Spock Sacrificed. [The author] is a good writer of emotion -- see 'For Cyrano' in thish -- but this one missed the cosmic boat.
  2. It is unclear if this sequel was written with permission from Guttridge. If it wasn't, then there is some irony here: see The Rack by April Valentine and co-author and the wank that ensued when an "unauthorized sequel" was written for that story.
  3. from To Slay or Not to Slay: Why We Write 'Get-em' Stories -- & Love 'em! (1976)