The K/S Press
|Title:||The K/S Press|
|Publisher:||Beyond Dreams Press|
|Editor(s):||Shelley Butler & Jenna Sinclair until 2007, then Shelley Butler & Kathy Resch (issue #133-present)|
|Medium:||print, then print and email, then email subscription only (November 2011)|
|Size:||varies, but usually about 36 pages|
|External Links:||archived link to the K/S Press website|
Contact info: catalenamara at yahoo dot com (put here by the contact person).
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
The K/S Press is a long-running Star Trek letterzine and review zine specifically for Kirk/Spock fandom. It is impressive for many things, including its general civility; the dust-ups, letterwars and personal attacks that often punctuated other letterzines were very largely avoided.
The K/S Press is available in both a print and an email version and averages 36 pages per issue. As of November 2010, the 170th issue was being sent out. Rather than purchasing one issue at a time, "members" buy a full-year subscription. In addition to the monthly letterzine, the subscription includes access to The K/S Library, which lends out more than 150 out-of-print zines to members (mostly K/S, some gen Trek) through the mail (from both European and American branches).
As a Forum for Information, But Also for Socializing
"The K/S Press" contained many letters of comment from fans regarding K/S information and observations, but it was also a venue of fans getting to know each other and socializing. Around mid to late 2010, the "Roundtable" letters and fans' comments had dissipated to almost none, and the zine became more of a newsletter of factual information regarding cons and zines. The chatty back-and-forth content has perhaps moved to online forums and other venues, or hopefully, not simply waned.
See these subpages for details about individual issues, including quoted opinions and summaries of fannish views on topics current then, and now. Excerpts are posted on Fanlore with the permission of the publisher.
Straddling a Place in Time
The K/S Press was the first Star Trek letterzine to have been published before and after the "arrival of the internet," and this was a topic that its many readers vigorously debated.
As The K/S Press was getting started in the the mid-1990s, another controversy erupted. Trek fans who had no prior knowledge of traditional print fandom started posting Trek stories, based on all the ST series, to the Internet. At first, there were only a few K/S stories, but as that number grew, printfen started taking notice. At first, some weren’t very welcoming of Internet K/S, partly because they feared it would attract too much attention from the “suits,” just as anti-K/S fen a decade before had feared that K/S would bring down Trek fandom. There was also the concern that online K/S would mean the end of zines. Some printfen, on the other hand, embraced K/S on the ‘net and welcomed new writers in any medium. For a time, this caused a rift in print fandom, which was reflected to some degree in the letterzines of the day. The KSP was in an ideal position to reflect that uneasiness among its readers, who were primarily from the zine world. 
Some Fan Testimonials
For just a moment, let's examine what this remarkable newsletter does. It helps us decide what zines we might like to purchase, and to locate stories we've been looking for for years. it gives us a chance to help each other with our writing, providing the constructive criticism that is the lifeblood of a community of writers. It gives us a chance to praise and support authors, poets, and artists -- the "payment" K/S writers love even more than cash…. well, almost as much as cash. It helps us go to conventions we don't have the time or money to attend. It helps us buy vids that take our breaths away and give us hours of pleasure. It tells us what we can look forward to reading, a chance to sell zines and items that others will enjoy and will help make room in our houses for more K/S, and a way to get zines and tapes from two KSP libraries that is as close to free as we can make it. And oh yes, perhaps its most important function; it provides a forum for K/Sers from all over the world to connect with, share, and learn from each other. Countries have the United Nations, we have the K/S Press. 
To know that I am connected to all my K/S sisters all over the world, to share this Divine Obsession with all of you, is truly a wondrous thing." 
I am so thrilled with this letterzine. It is a thing of beauty and so full of useful information to get me in trouble! 
This zine was the winner of a 1996, 1997, and 1998 STIFfie Award.
Other K/S Letterzines
- Not Tonight Spock! (June 1984-Winter 1987)
- On the Double (November 1986-January 1996)
- The LOC Connection (January 1989-December 1993)
- Come Together (January 1994-August 1996)
- The K/S Press (September 1996-present day)
For other letterzines, see List of Letterzines.
About the Title
From the first issue: "We are having a contest for the best title for your newsletter. The K/S Press remains our working title until we choose the best title from your ideas! The winner will receive a full year's subscription to The K/S Press!" There was never a mention of a name change again, and the title of the letterzine remained as it was on the first issue.
It had varying subtitles, A Forum for Most Everything K/S, A Forum for All Things K/S, A Forum for Almost All Things K/S, and A Forum Close to All Things K/S.
Each issue had some regular features: "Tricorder Readings" (story and art reviews), "Heartbeats" (fan bios), "Best of the Best," (fiction excerpts), "Roundtable" (LoCs), forthcoming zines, zine submission requests, want ads, and additions and listings of the The K/S Library (both US and UK branches).This letterzine was preceded by the letterzines, Come Together and The LOC Connection. Two similar letterzines are S and H (Starsky and Hutch) and Southern Enclave (Star Wars).
The K/S Press is impressive in the number of very detailed fan reviews of numerous stories, poems and art found in zines. Some reviews and comments were only a few sentences long, but the majority were several paragraphs, and many went on for multiple pages. The reviews were, for the most part, very balanced in scope and opinion.
From the Flyer
According to The K/S Press publisher's flyer:
- We're looking for reviews of stories, artwork, and poetry from both print zines and online fiction. Reviews can be short or long, and be for brand new work or old favorites. Find out when new zines are published, share your favorite online links and websites, trade opinions in free-wheeling discussions, check out the latest K/S want ads. We also have the latest information on K/S conventions. Each issue features one of Liz's Episode Commentaries - a TOS episode seen through slashy eyes, complete with delightful screencaps.
Originator of an Award
Originator of a Zine Library
The K/S Press sponsors The K/S Library, a zine library for members.
The Press Goes All Digital
In November 2011, the KS Press announced that it was going all digital. Issue #182 was the last print issue.
Special Announcement: To our loyal and wonderful K/S Press subscribers: The K/S Press is now officially going only email! This decision has been a long time coming as we have struggled mightily with our finances to keep the print issues coming. We’ve kept the price steady for quite some time, even as postage and printing prices have increased. But, faced with the prospect of yet another postal increase in January, we’ve come to the decision that we can no longer afford to print and mail out the issues. So now, after many years of print, we finally will be all electronic.
Many print subscribers have been making the switch to email over the past couple of years. We have sent emails or letters to everyone who is still subscribing to the print edition. We’ve heard back from most of you, and of the people we’ve heard from, almost everyone has been willing to switch to an email subscription.
To the people we haven’t heard from: Please get in touch via email or postal mail. We’ll be happy to switch your subscription from postal mail to email and pro-rate accordingly. Or, if you’d like a refund, let us know.
This issue will be our last print issue.
- ...the days of finding a discreet print shop to have the monthly issue printed without anyone actually reading what was in print, let alone see any artwork or photos!
- Then the real work began of carting the heavy boxes home; stapling the issues myself to save money; printing up the address labels; stuffing the envelopes; stamping and addressing; carting the heavy boxes to the post office and hefting them onto the counters to get them mailed which included custom forms for overseas; and not to mention keeping all subscribers listed, organized and current.
- Then, a new era began with Kathy and the email subscribers and a blessing of Robin Hood, who took over the printing and mailings.
- So, in a bittersweet change, we announce the K/S Press to be all email, all the time.
Yours truly, Kathy, Shelley and Robin
- Print fandom is my culture and I’ve been very pleased to keep The K/S Press available in print for as long as practical. But as much as I love the print format, attention must be paid to reality. The world is going digital, and now The K/S Press will be all digital too.
- Thank you, all of you, for coming along with us on this journey, and we hope to see you here for many more issues to come.
- Saved email flyer from Zinelist dated December 7, 2008. Accessed February 14, 2009.
- from The Legacy of K/S in Letterzines: The K/S Press: 1996 to the Present
- from a reader, issue #120
- from a reader, issue #49
- from a reader, issue #6