Dragons (Star Trek: TOS zine)
See also Dragon (disambiguation).
|Medium:||print zine, fanfic|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TOS|
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Dragons is a 170-page slash Star Trek: TOS novel published in the UK. It is by Joanne Summers.
Summary from Gilda F: "Stranded in a planetʼs far future, Kirk and Spock become part of a Warrior group that allows the love affair between them that, in Starfleet, was about to drive them apart."
Reactions and Reviews
My guess is that very few K/S fans have even heard of this 1990 British novel. It's pretty obscure. A friend and 1 have been searching for it for a while, not even knowing if it was a novel or anthology, when we suddenly found it in another friend's collection. In the wonderful way of this fandom, she graciously lent it to us.
I'm glad I read it. It's unique. It's a long, solid novel, written with considerable skill. But if I don't sound terribly enthusiastic, it's just that I'm primarily puzzled. If you read this story as a K/S effort, it's... okay. Almost but not quite satisfying in terms of the relationship. If you read this story as a science fiction/historical effort, it's pretty good. I have the feeling the author wasn't really committed to either way to approach her work, and as a consequence neither emerged with any conviction.
Kirk and Spock and two security guards who are women are returning in a shuttlecraft from some planetary conference. Suddenly the Enterprise disappears, and they're forced to return to the planet, which has also radically changed. You never know for sure what's happened, although Kirk occasionally asks Spock to speculate: time shift, either forward or back, or a move to another universe. Whatever, they're in a world that has been decimated by a disease that's killed many more women than men. The technically advanced world K and S left is now almost feudal, with the few women kept secluded and artificially inseminated, and many of the men are scouts/warriors who protect the cities amidst vast wastelands, and also occasionally raid their neighbors for more women.
Add to that the presence of a second race, the "wraiths", who happen to be Vulcanoids who are quite similar to but not exactly like Spock, who live in the wastelands, and who are feared almost, enemies of the cities, and you've set up a very interesting world.
The problem is that the author never really exploits the situations she presents. One example is that the two women who crash land on this world with K and S disappear into a city center early in the story and are only peripherally heard from again once. We are never presented with anything from a women's point of view, although the potential is vast. And I find it very peculiar that K and S basically dismiss their crew, for whom they're responsible, from their minds.
This happens again and again. There's an exciting rescue from the shuttlecraft when some sort of sand worm attacks it and the crew. I kept expecting to see the worms show up in a significant way later, perhaps in the climax, but they're just another feature in the landscape most of the time.
Then there's character development. The author does some atypical things with Kirk. He and Spock predictably enter the warrior corps, and they make absolutely no attempt to find their way "back", wherever that might be. They adjust to their new environment with considerable ease, and the author never lets us see Kirk yearning for the stars, for the life he left behind. Incredibly, two - thirds of the way into the story, K and S discuss what they would do if the Enterprise came back for them, and Kirk says he wouldn't go back. He's perfectly content where he is, taking orders and loving Spock, (Well, I can almost understand part of that. I'd be pretty content loving Spock too! But, heck, there is more to life. Sometimes.) This is not the dynamic captain I know and love.
Early in the story, Spock is out on patrol with another man, S encounters some plants that produce temporary pon farr symptoms. Although Spock and Kirk have been intimate, they haven't progressed to penetration yet. Because this is an almost exclusively male society, these warrior guys know all about that, and the warrior - companion in this case actually has a great affection for Spock. He helps Spock through the situation in the expected way, teaching our Vulcan a great deal. When the two of them return to Kirk and the first warrior's lover on patrol, everybody, somehow, is completely aware of what has happened. Although Kirk wrestles with his feelings for about one - quarter page, he ultimately decides that since he loves Spock, he is happy about what happened because Spock is happy. And heck, he loves the fellow who helped him out. He's not going to succumb to petty jealousy.
The implications are clear. The author clears the way for an open sexual relationship between our guys, makes the emotional boundaries among the four men unclear, I kept expecting Kirk to go off with somebody, or a menage scene, or some way that the true affection among the four to be expressed physically, (these other fellows were admirable men), even if it were by some sort of rescue scene in a battle. (Of which they were many towards the end.) But the thread was never taken up, and confusingly, once Kirk decides on monogamy isn't what he wants or will insist on, both Kirk and Spock become strictly monogamous in a society that certainly doesn't demand it.
One thing that I admire about this story is that it manages to weave Kirk and Spock through the many twists and turns it takes; it doesn't abandon our guys for other characters. That's a relief, for even though the plotline is very interesting, I can read other books for this kind of story. I read K/S for Kirk and Spock. And even though there wasn't nearly enough, er, intimacy between the two to satisfy me, at least they were primary characters.This emphasis is on Spock, his changes, and I'd recommend it to thoses who can read it with an open mind. 
Have you ever heard of a K/S novel called Dragons? Most fans haven’t, but it was published in 1990. It’s by Joanne S. and it’s English, so there wasn’t much circulation in the U.S. The American and the European branches of the Kirk/Spock Zine Library have copies, though. (If you are interested in the library, go to www.beyonddreamspress.com and click on the link for the library at the top.) I found Dragons to be a really different kind of story because there are science fiction elements to it that aren’t present in most other K/S novels. In it, Kirk and Spock are stranded for the rest of their lives on a planet much more primitive than they are accustomed to, but where a relationship between them is possible, even honored. In Starfleet, that relationship was about to tear them apart. I found there to be somewhat less emphasis on Kirk and Spock than usual in this novel, but it’s so different that I think it’s worth a read.