Killing Time (Star Trek tie-in novel)
For other works with this title, see Killing Time.
|Creator:||Della Van Hise|
|Medium:||tie-in novel, print|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TOS|
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After years of fannish whining about how horrible pro Trek books were, and how fans could do it better, a prolific K/S writer and zined and publisher sold Pocket Books her Trek manuscript. This book was Killing Time, a Star Trek tie-in novel by K/S writer Della Van Hise, published in 1985.
While not outright slash, "Killing Time" definitely depicted a Kirk and Spock closer than most pro Trek books did.
Killing Time is also notable for the publisher mix-up that resulted in there being two editions released, the first being much more slashy than the second.
From the book: "A Romulan time-tampering project leaves the Enterprise (and the rest of the galaxy) in an alternate dimension, where Kirk is an embittered young ensign and Spock is a besieged starship commander. Together they race to escape the plotting Romulans and return to their original timeline, before the unforeseen effects of the Romulan project destroy the galaxy."
Other Fan-Written Fiction Star Trek: TOS Pro Books
- Star Trek: The New Voyages (1976, 1978)
- The Price of the Phoenix (July 1977)
- The Fate of the Phoenix (May 1979)
- The Prometheus Design (March 1982)
- Black Fire (January 1983)
- Triangle (March 1983)
- Web of the Romulans (June 1983)
- Yesterday's Son (August 1983)
- The Vulcan Academy Murders (November 1984)
- Killing Time (July 1985)
- The IDIC Epidemic (February 1988)
- Time for Yesterday (August 1988)
"Killing Time": The Fanzine
Some fans believe that the pro novel started out as a proposal for a zine. In 1981, a fanzine titled "Killing Time" was listed "In the Planning Stages" (to be available in early Fall 1981) in Datazine #12, and an expanded ad was placed in 1983 in T'hy'la #2. This fanzine was eventually retitled Time Out of Mind and sold in that form.
From the Datazine #12 ad:
'Killing Time' by Keith Donovan and Nathan St. Germaine, edited by Della Van Hise, published by Pon Farr Press. PFP is proud to be able to offer a new ST novel, which we feel will offer the best of several worlds. It deals with a Jim Kirk and Spock from an alternate time line who accidently discover themselves stranded in our time line with no way home and several obstacles to overcome just to stay alive. Having been marooned on 20th century Earth for four years when the story begins, Kirk and Spock discover that they must enlist the aid of select humans in order to pilot the Enterprise back to their own universe, and even so, their chances of survival are slim. It is told from the point of view of Jeremy Karlsen, a NASA technician who becomes involved in their cause and finds his own life crumbling around him as a consequence. It also details the relationship which develops between Kirk and Spock, offering perhaps a more painfully realistic view of two men stranded out of time and out of place. Certain K/S elements are included so an age statement is required. ALSO, BE ADVISED THAT KILLING TIME IS SET IN AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE (of sorts), so the characters are often different than the aired-Trek heroes.
For many years there was a matter of some confusion regarding the connection between the zine Time Out of Mind and the pro novel sold under the title Killing Time. In 2012, one of the authors of Time Out of Mind clarified the relationship between the two works: "The fan novel [Time Out of Mind] is its own creation with its own cast of characters, none of which appear in "Killing Time." It was written before the novel "Killing Time."... Never was "Time Out Of Mind" even a template for the pro novel...."Time Out of Mind" was simply another, separate time travel story.”
The Plot of Killing Time: The Book
The novel is classic fanfic, concerning a Romulan plot to travel back in time and change history. This results in an alternate universe where Spock is the captain of the Enterprise and Kirk is a drug-addicted ensign, with massive amounts of angst on the part of both misplaced men.A few quotes from the original printing show that the subtext was barely sub:
"Why do you care?" Kirk asked at last, meeting the Vulcan’s eyes. And Spock felt himself weaken under the human’s scrutiny. He glanced away from the intense hazel globes. But the stakes were too high to permit intimidation to interfere with logic [...] The Vulcan shivered, glancing forlornly across the room to the discarded shirt. Yet he knew that no amount of clothing could cover his psychic nakedness; Kirk could strip him to the marrow with a single question. "I can offer no logical explanation," he replied truthfully.
In seven years as command of the ShiKahr, [Spock] had never met a human who could arouse such forbidden feelings, who could wrestle emotion from him as easily as turning on a light.
The Publisher Mix-UpIn August 1985, the editor of Interstat wrote:
Teresa Nielsen Hayden summarizes how there happened to be two editions to this book:UPDATE ON KILLING TIME & ISHMAEL: The initial print run of "Killing Time" was 150,000 and it sold very well. But because of questionable material therein, Pocket Books has reissued the Van Hise novel and the revised edition is now being shipped. Look for it soon. And contrary to rumor, ISHMAEL, by Barbara Hambly, has not been pulled from bookstore shelves by Pocket, and there are no plans to do so. (Some of the above info courtesy of Eddie Egan.) 
Paramount Studios loathes K&S, and when the MS was sent for approval someone there marked all those passages for deletion. Time passes; Pocket prints 250K copies and ships out some 100-150K of them [before they notice they're still there]. Killing Time's been on the stands for a while now, and even though Pocket is pulling every copy it can lay hands on, and shredding the copies in their warehouse, it's much too late to get them all back. Apparently, somewhere in the period circa Mimi Panich's departure from Pocket and Karen Haas's arrival, an unidentified and gremlinish hand went through the MS and carefully marked `STET' next to all the passages Paramount has asked to have deleted. 
Fans have wondered for years who that helpful hand might have belonged to. The situation led to a small wave of K/S writers who someday hoped to be pros changing to writing under pseudonyms. (See also Fans Turned Pro.)
Differences Between EditionsIn an undated explanation, one fan writes:
A fan in 1986 offered up this summary:There are at least fifty changes from the first version to the revised version, some as short as a single word, others as long as a paragraph or two. Most of the excisions involve scenes in which there is physical contact between Kirk and Spock (for example, describing the warmth of Spock's hand on Kirk's face during a mindmeld). But there was also a sentence that described Spock's realization that Kirk was the person Spock was meant to spend his life with. Copies of the original can still be found in used bookstores and at conventions, so this book isn't completely lost yet. If the cover has raised letters for the title, it's likely to be the original; if not, check anyway, because at least some copies without raised lettering have the unexpurgated text. Better yet, just check page 41 for a passage that begins, "I understand that you were probably playing with dolls and wearing lipstick until you were twenty!" That appears only in the original. 
The first difference is on page 26. In the original, Kirk touched Spock's hands and Spock put his hands on Kirk's shoulder. Not so in the new release. The second difference is tnat Kirk's drug addiction was made less severe in the approved version; more like someone who has prescription sleeping pills and cannot live without them. Thirdly, Spock's pon farr was handled more delicately in the new edition. Finally, in the last chapter of the first release, Kirk says, "You may be the only Federation citizen to be sued by the Romulan Praetor for child support" while the words "child support" were deleted from the new version. 
Later printings of the novel removed the most obvious slashiness, though plenty still remains. More information on the different printings and a comparison of the original and censored text can be found here.
Killing Time's Author Comments on the Different Editions
In October/November 1985, the author explained why there may be different versions of the novel:
The author wrote an open letter in April 1986 that was published in Interstat -- see Open Letter by Della Van Hise Regarding "Killing Time" -- an excerpt:"There have been a variety of rumors concerning Killing Time, most of which are quite amusing... In a nutshell, the unedited manuscript was inadvertently put into print. As most writers are probably aware, a book goes through many different stages in pre-production... Killing Time had at least three different editors at the publishing house, plus an addition editor at Paramount, plus the copy-editor. Each of those editors is responsible for certain aspects of the publication... To my understanding, what happened was that an earlier version of the manuscript went into print -- a version which did not reflect the changes requested by one or more of the editors. After the book was in print and headed for the Best Seller's list, the error was discovered... Regarding the rumor that it was 'pulled because of questionable material,' to my knowledge, this simply isn't accurate. I've also heard that it was pulled because the plot was too close to the fourth movie -- a rumor which is among the funniest to date. In my personal opinion, and not to reflect upon the views of Paramount, Pocket Books or anyone other than myself, there is 'questionable material' in any publication -- as well there should be. If all writing was done by formula and told us what we already know, then nothing is done to advance the characters or the imagination or the readers. In addition, I would also like to point out that most people see exactly what they want to see. If someone went looking for 'questionable material,' in Killing Time, they could find it... Just as beauty is in supposedly in the mind of the beholder, so is questionable material." 
As to "the truth about KILLING TIME," it is simply this: The wrong manuscript was published, yes. And there are several reasons as to why this happened. As some of you may know, KILLING TIME was with Pocket Books for over four years before it was eventually put into print. And a lot can happen in four years. World governments can change power several times during that time span. So can editors and editorial assistants. And, in all that confusion, manuscripts have a tendency to be shuffled around, pages can be lost, entire chapters can be sent to Libya instead of Paramount Pictures, and the writer could be involved in 87.006 other projects by the time the book goes into active production. KILLING TIME had 4 different editors from start to finish. And a different editor is at Pocket Books now. At any rate, when I received the corrected manuscript from Karen Haas, her accompanying letter stated: "If there is anything crossed out in black, it was in some way objectionable to Paramount and should be edited accordingly." The key word is "If". I read through the manuscript, and found one seemingly irrelevant passage crossed out in such a fashion — a reference to Kirk's face reddening because of some statement McCoy made. My immediate reaction upon completing the read-through was, "Hmmmm. Paramount let the crack about the Red Shirts get through, and maybe we're finally going to see more books where the characters can talk like real people instead of using expletives like, 'Oh, darn,' or 'those horrible, nasty Klingons,' and so on." Since there was the one thing crossed out, I had no reason to assume that anything was amiss. 
The Author Sells Copies of the First Edition
Starting in 1987, the author began selling copies of the novel’s first printing in fan published adzines.
A 1987 ad in Datazine #50:
I have a very limited supply of the (infamous) first printing of the 'Killing Time' (the professional novel), complete with the 'good stuff' later edited out... signed by the author. 
A 1987 ad in Communications Console #4:
"The controversial professional Star Trek Novel! These copies are the original first-printing edition from PocketBooks, before subsequent editorial changes were made by the publishing company &Paramount! Signed by the author! Supplies limited." 
In 1988, the author began offering copies of the original manuscript. From an ad in On the Double #8:
"The original manuscript as first sent to PocketBooks. After years of controversy, see for your self what changes were made between the original MSS and the first printing of the professional Star Trek book. Signed by the author." 
The Rumored K/S Version
"The 1983 tie-in novel Killing Time by Della Van Hise was and still is thought to be originated as Slash Fic about Kirk and Spock. The truth is, according to author Della Van Hise, the original printing was from a non-proofed, and therefore "not approved by Paramount" manuscript accidentally sent to the printer. Paramount discovered this and ordered the first printing run pulped. An edited second printing came out shortly thereafter wherein most changes were minor single sentence or word changes. But this led to unstoppable rumors that an original K/S version of Killing Time exists. The author says, "There is no such manuscript." 
An example of this debate can be found on the Orion Press website:
"Once Pocketbooks’ editorial staff realized that this novel had been printed with K/S material (allegedly by mistake), it was quickly pulled and replaced with an expurgated version. It was subsequently learned that Della van Hise released the deleted, sexually explicit K/S scenes (along with others) to fans of that genre, allowing the readers to see the naughty bits which had been excised. Pocketbooks purportedly learned of this, and put an end to it."
In a 2011 interview Della explains:
"I also discovered that the reason my professional Star Trek novel was pulled after being on the shelves for a few weeks was because one of those adamant anti-K/Sers took it upon herself to bring it to the attention of TPTB at Paramount that 'Della Van Hise is a K/S writer! gasp· And there is another version of Killing Time that is outright homoerotica!' Well, nothing could have been further from the truth. Yes, I was a K/S writer (never tried to hide it ) but there never was or will be an 'alternate version' of my pro book. If people chose to see overtones of K/S in it, maybe it's because there were overtones of K/S throughout Star Trek itself."
Reactions and Reviews: Killing Time
- Vicki H (September 1985): I was very disturbed by the inset in the last INTERSTAT concerning Killing Time. It seems that Pocket Books and/or Paramount has seen fit to revise the book and reissue it because of "questionable material therein." Now just what constitutes "questionable material"? Having read and reread the book, I am at a loss as to what is objectionable. I thought the book both innovative and well written. If Spock can't put his hand on Kirk's shoulder without sexual overtones, if they can't express any affection or trust without jeopardizing their macho image, then we are all in trouble. I don't want to see Star Trek fiction become blatantly explicit, but if Kirk has to keep one foot on the floor  if a female enters his cabin, then we all ought to drop a shawl over our suggestive piano legs and shelve Trek between Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries. I thought Pocket was going to become more adult oriented. If they want to promote shoot 'em ups space westerns with a "villain of the week," they can keep their books and I'll save my money for a good fanzine. It is a pity that Pocket can't get it through their heads that good authors such as Crispin and Lorrah, who know how to write good Trek novels, could do more for sales than such epics as Shadow Lord or timidly revising Killing Time. I think the whole thing smacks of censorship. 
- Ruth Berman (September 1985): Also at the party  we had a reading aloud of the passage in most questionable taste of KILLING TIME. We all agreed that the taste was indeed questionable and the answer to the question should probably have been No in the first place. I skimmed about in the book afterwards, and noticed that aside from questionability, the book is an example of extremely bad writing, in the very first sentence. Kirk wakes up from a nightmare with "something akin to fear clinging to the side of his throat." Now I ask you. There must be many fan writers who could write that badly, but I suspect that most fan editors would do a better job of editing. I notice that [Jo W] mentions this book as an example of a pro-novel that does change the Star Trek universe (I#91) — but it doesn't really. Presenting an alternate universe isn't the same thing as changing "the" universe. I think I'd disagree with the suggestion Jo made that placing one's spirit in someone else's mind and the presence of T'Lar are examples of the influence of fan fiction on Paramount's script writers. The transference of Spock's spirit into Christine Chapel ("Return to Tomorrow"), the soul-exchanging machine ("Turnabout Intruder"), and Jack the Ripper's body-hopping ("Wolf in tho Fold") and the presence of T'Pau as a Vulcan high muckety-muck are probably sufficient explanation. As for KILLING time, it must be in the running for Worst-Ever-ST-Novel. 
- Karen R (October 1985): As for all the brouhaha about Killing Time, the word hasn't got out to B. Daltons Booksellers, evidently. I had not had the dough to buy the book for a few months, then when I did go looking, couldn't find it. Thought I'd missed out on what could become a valuable collectible if the rumor is true. However, when I did happen upon an apparently just-received stock of the book in B. Daltons, I wondered (and asked the clerk) if it was the "expurgated version" or the "unexpurgated version." she looked at me like I was from Orion, and I explained the rumor to her. Her reply was that if there was anything like that afoot, they'd have received a notice about pulling the books off the shelves. The imprint on the verso of the title page cites it as a "First Printing, July 1985," so it appears to be the original (and probably only) version. Rumors, rumors, rumors! 
- Jo W (October 1985): Fortunately, I have an unaltered copy of Killing Time. After reading it I am mystified as to what all the fuss is about. To be sure, it was more adult than your average Star Trek novel, but I found it to be a welcomed change of pace. Finally, the characters were treated as the mature adults they are instead of as over-grown children. To avoid such subjects completely would be illogical. After all, even the Greek gods sometimes indulged their pleasures. Why Killing Time, and why now? Did someone at Pocket Books finally ask for a translation of pon farr and, as a result, get a lesson in Vulcan biology? We may never know. If they saw fit to alter Killing Tine, can Dwellers in the Crucible be far behind? Though I have only started this latest star Trek novel, it too has sone more adult references. Will they see fit to alter this one too? To make it fit for more juvenile consumption? Though I would not like to see the bed-hopping common to most Soap Operas invade Star Trek, such subjects delicately handled and used as a vital part of the story, such as was the case in Killing Time, may be just what we need. 
- Alexis Fegan Black (November 1985): On other more "general" TREK news, I'd like to ramble around about the recent censorship of a certain STAR TREK novel. In case there's anybody out there who hasn't heard, KILLING TIME was temporarily out of circulation because of a mix-up at the printing end. Apparently the wrong version of the manuscript was inadvertently put into print — which resulted in one hell of a hullabaloo at Paramount and Pocket Books when the error was discovered. According to rumors (from an extremely reliable source), the book was pulled out of circulation for awhile because it allegedly "alluded to the possibility of a homosexual relationship between Kirk and Spock". Gasp! Who would have believed it! Who would believe it! I've read the book myself (about a dozen times…), and from my own personal standpoint, there's nothing vaguely resembling a Kirk/Spock relationship anywhere in the book, unless, of course, we begin to suspect the dear boys because of their friendship. At which point, we'd better start suspecting every male on the face of the Earth (or other world) who has a close male friend. I've also heard from a hell of a lot of K/S fans who say they've looked for K/S and can't find it, so... I think the David Gerrold's of the world have made a lasting impression on the powers that be at Paramount… Now… I also have it on good authority that some rabid anti-K/S activist is responsible for about 99.9% of all the hassle with Killing Time. Some people make it their business to send fanzines to Paramount. 
- Dorothy L addresses Ruth Berman (December 1985): Which passages in KILLING TIME (page numbers, please) did you find "questionable"? I have read the book, and while it was not one of the best pro novels I've ever read, I was puzzled as to what could have produced such a strong negative reaction as in your I#95 letter. I'm sure other people are curious about this as well. If the book's author reads INTERSTAT, perhaps she will see fit to comment and set the record straight. 
- Stephanie T (December 1985): I am in the "juvenile" age group, and I did read both "Killing Time" and "Dwellers in the Cruci ble." I was surprised, not shocked, but just surprised when reading some of the contents in these books. Besides those certain areas, they were both tremendous books,but was the rest necessary? I agree, the scenes in" Killing Time" did seem to be necessary. After all, pon farr is a natural occurance in Vulcan life, and it could not be controlled by Spock. But the fact that Clante in "Dwellers" had slept in every bed from here to Antares didn't look like the morality in Star Trek that I am used to. As you realize, most of today's teenagers wouldn't give them a second glance, but I did. I hope that nothing more "adult" is written into the professional ST novels—adults can read it somewhere else besides Star Trek.
- Cheryl A. B (December 1985): I'd heard talk about the recalling of "Killing Time." But that's what I thought it was: talk. So I didn't pay any attention to the rumor. After all, the book was number 5 on my local bookstore's best seller list at the time. Unfortunately, it is no rumor. The second printing of "Killing Time" has indeed been censored. Regardless of how one feels about the story's plot line or the writing quality or the writer, everyone should feel something about censorship. One would suppose this novel went through several editors on its way to the print shop, so why wasn't something done then before it hit the stores? If it was questionable in print, then wouldn't you assume it had to be questionable in manuscript? For those Doubting Thomas's out there, the way to tell first printing (un-censored) from second printing (censored) is on the copyright page. Below the line which states when the first printing was out (July, 1985). There is a series of numbers 10 through 1. If the 1 is there you have the first printing. If the 1 is missing—10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2—then you have the second printing. If you're looking for some publisher acknowledgement of the change, forget it. There is none. Just the printing history. One only has to compare the two printings to see the changes. Page 304 "His eyes closed, and he took a deep breath as the warmer-than-human hand settled against the side of his face." This was cut entirely from the second printing. First printing: "For a moment, there was only the euphoria associated with the meld...but that surrealism faded as his mind's eye suddenly opened." Second printing: "For a moment there was only the surreal quality associated with the meld." The first printing had the emotional quality that we are used to seeing between these two men on the screen. One cannot deny the emotional intensity and the degree of caring between Kirk and Spock during the death scene in THE WRATH OF KHAN and all through THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK. Whoever took the red pen to the novel consistently cut out the scenes that showed any physical contact between the two men. Having seen all of the movies, the changes made at the end of this book, specifically 292-294, seem rather perverse. Has Hollywood homophobia found its way into the editing halls of Pocket Books? 
- Arden J. L (December 1985): This does not mean I am not aware of how to manipulate language, however. Ruth Berman, you hit the nail on the head! Killing Time is very definitely an example of extremely bad writing. Face it, there are two general categories into which fanzine writing falls: stories written for fanzines, and fanzine writing. The first category includes well-written, plausible stories in which the author has paid considerable respect to detail and characterization. Examples of these stories can be found in Star Trek: The New Voyages. The second category involves stories in which a character can wake from a nightmare with "something akin to fear clinging to the side of his throat," to use Ms. Berman's example. (Having been the victim of an aspirin that decided to dissolve in my throat instead of my stomach, I really pity poor Kirk. Imagine having an intangible emotion stuck down there. Yaargh!) In my opinion. Killing Time is an example of pro-publishing fanzine writing. (The second category.) Where was the copy editor on this one? For one thing, the plot was hardly original; it contained every convention ever conjured up in fanzine writing. (Name the story: the author wants the characters to, but they wouldn't do that normally. Presto! Our heroes find themselves in (drumroll) ... an ALTERNATE UNIVERSE. Name the story: due to highly unusual circumstances, Spock goes into a premature pon farr. Fortunately, there is a woman nearby to ease his suffering. Once again, it's (drumroll) ... the ROMULAN COMMANDER. God, does that woman do anything else besides chase after the Enterprise? Moreover, the alternate universe was not alternate enough. If the Vulcans were in control of the Federation, and Starfleet, then shouldn't they be more bellicose than in the "real" universe? Also, if Captain Spock can act as a psionic rapist and literally force himself on his crew, would he necessarily regret his actions afterwards? Especially if they had such a beneficial result for his victim (Kirk?). Why did McCoy's personality not change at all? Shouldn't everyone have been affected to some degree? The whole fabric of the universe was supposedly altered, was it not? There should have been a number of differences, I think. Another complaint of mine is the amount of physical affection that was exchanged between Kirk and Spock. No, this does not mean that I'm reversing the position I took about Uhura's Song. I still submit that Spock doesn't cringe when he helps fellow crewmembers to their feet after a shaky ride on the Enterprise. He helps Kirk to his feet, and accepts the same help from Kirk, in return. The other forms of touch between Kirk and Spock, however, are special—because these moments are rare. When these men touch, it is a significant, meaningful gesture. In "And the Children Shall Lead," Kirk was at his most vulnerable. It was the combination of Spock calling to him and accepting Kirk's need to literally cling to him that enabled Kirk to set aside his fear. Likewise, after his contact with V'Ger, Spock needed to feel the touch of a friend. Kirk understood this, and was there for him. Kirk does touch Spock affectionately from time to time, but it is just that—a light touch, nothing more. The constant affection between the two men in Killing Time cheapens the significance of their touching. I'm sorry to see this happen. The last point I want to bring up is the use of language. (Sorry, I'm also a copyeditor.) Ms. Berman is quite right—Kirk's nightmare is a nightmare! Having Kirk wake up in a cold sweat would have been far more effective than having fear cling to his throat. Moreover, I thought that if Dr. McCoy bounced on his toes one more time, he was going to sprout wings. Also, Captain Kirk should not say, "I dunno." It is a subtlety that should be made in print in order to set Kirk, a figure of authority, apart from his officers and crew. Spock would say, "I do not know," Ensign Kirk could say, "I dunno," a yeoman or security guard would say, "I dunno," but Captain Kirk should say, "I don't know." Dialogue should serve as a device for characterization. Ms. Van Hise should learn this. So, Ruth Berman, if you want to nominate Killing Time for Worst-Ever-ST-Novel, I'll be willing to second the notion. 
- Karen (1985):
I read this book four months ago, right before I went into Basic Training. It was and one of those hard to put down books, and I managed to read it on the plane before I even got to the Reception Station at Fort Dix. I was fascinated (to coin a phrase from one of my favorite characters) by the idea presented in the book, that a single event changed in the past can change the course of history in the entire galaxy. It also made a good deal of sense that history could not be changed without also causing a lot of changes to occur in the lives of people of the future. In KILLING TIME, history was changed by a ship of Romulans who knew both the real and the changed course of history. But the people who were most affected by the change started having conflicts within themselves -- they "remembered" the other history. And, as a result, many of these people started to go insane, especially among the Romulan population. The Federation people, Kirk and Spock among them, mainly had bad dreams at night, but these dreams also haunted their waking hours. It was finally decided by the Romulans that they had to undo what they had done in order to resume the real history, and prevent their people from all going insane. With the help of the now-Captain Spock and Ensign Kirk, the Romulans do manage to change history — back to what it originally was. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It shows that no matter the well-meaning or evil intent of changing history, it doesn't always work out for the best. In fact, changing history will probably never turn out the way you want it to. It could be that changing history a decade or so back wouldn't have that much effect on the present, but attempts to change history centuries in the past would definitely have a detrimental effect on the present, especially if the people involved weren't killed outright, or never born, just changed in little or big ways. I imagine it we had examined the world that the living Edith would have produced, we would have found the same situation people unable to cope with what they had become. I rate the book an 8, mainly because we get to see our favorite characters in different roles. 
- a fan (1985):
I just finished Delia Van Hise's Killing Time -- the latest Pocket "pro" novel. Please, please do a campaign to kill sales for this book. It's all the worst K/S cliches: Kirk is a love object, an incompetent who would be a hopeless loser without Spock to prop him up; the minute Kirk and Spock's eyes meet "across a crowded room" they know. And, of course, everybody else knows -- even the lowliest Romulan knows "these two" belong together. (Low violins on the word "together.") The plot is standard K/S fare -- an alternate universe where, separated, each has sunk or risen to his rightful level -- Spock is a Captain, Kirk a hopeless misfit, a drug addict, unpopular, mistreated -- given a last chance by being stuck on Spock's ship as a lowly ensign. Spock takes one look at that "golden hair" (never mind that it's brown) and "lovely hazel eyes" and his heart goes "boom-boom-boom." It's done so cornily (standard K/S, I warned you) that it's only fit for reading aloud to mock! There are Romulans about, to provide an enemy, a semblance of a plot, and to keep the censors at bay -- a quickie pon farr on Spock's part, solved by a quickie with the Romulan Commander (of "Enterprise Incident" fame). She's now a big deal in Romulan politics, but women are really discriminated against there (never mind that this directly contradicts the series) and she kidnaps Kirk to blackmail Spock into playing games with her (besides the one.- mentioned above). Kirk and Spock, of course, have an instant telepathic bond (we delicately avoid any suggestion of sex in this context) and Kirk signals Spock with it. So, our resourceful hero rescues his golden-haired darling just in time for a quick flurry of action before we restore everybody to their "proper positions" in the universe as we know it. I could spend another page listing the reasons why Van Hise's background set up makes no sense -- suffice it to say, her logic won't bear any inspection. What keeps Marshak and Culbreth marginally decent is that they have better sense -- they verge on K/S but see it as a partnership of "mythic" proportions -- not an unequal love match. It affronts me that Pocket published this -- I have no objection to K/S as a genre, so long as it stays where it belongs -- as a genre, not as published, authorized Trek! Please encourage your readers, to avoid this book!
- In 1985 a Trek zine publisher noted that K/S writers hoping to publish professionally should keep the challenges the novel faced in mind (1985): As most of you have undoubtedly heard by now, the professional Star Trek book, KILLING TIME by Delia Van Hise, was temporarily unavailable because of hassles with Paramount and PocketBooks, What you might not know is that this was caused primarily because of "K/S" — and the misunderstanding of it which runs rampant at Paramount. Basically, for anyone who has read some of the pro Trek books, it's easy to see that "allusions to K/S" are a lot more prominent in other books than they were in KILLING TIME. So why was KT singled out? Mainly because the author had an involvement in K/S writing and editing which went back several years rather than because of the content of the book itself.
- Star Trek pro book writer A.C. Crispin (February 1986): (1) The truth about KILLING TIME is that Paramount originally approved the book in an edited form, and that somehow (nobody seems to know exactly what happened) either the unedited version got sent down to the composers to be translated into galleys, or somehow the edited-out material was restored to the galleys through a misunderstanding in the composing department. Whichever reason applies, the books were printed containing material that Paramount had deleted from their approved version of the book. When the error was discovered, Pocket ordered the books recalled, and the ones still in the warehouse shredded for hamster bedding (this indignity happens to most returned books). The galleys were redone and a new printing ensued, with the edited material deleted this time around. That's what happened. As to what the edited-out material was, and why Paramount found it objectionable (as well as my personal opinion of the quality of the writing), I can't comment, for obvious professional and ethical reasons. A close study of both versions should give folks a pretty good idea of what's going on. And, for those of you who are screaming "censorship!" it isn't at all. The book was purchased contingent upon those changes being made — that they were not made in the first printing doesn't alter that fact. First-time authors don't have many rights in these matters, but Ms. Van Hise could have said "no," and that would have been the end of it (and of her book being published). So, no matter how she personally felt about the editing, Ms. Van Hise obviously agreed to the changes. My reaction upon hearing about the boondoggle was to race out and buy a dozen copies of the first printing. I figure they'll be collector's items someday. (So anyone who wants one can send me $5.00 plus two 22-cent stamps and I'll mail 'em one.) 
- Linda S (February 1986): H I skipped Killing Time myself, mainly because my eye caught that infamous sentence on the first page; I wasn't about to waste 3 bucks and 2 hours on 300+ pages of that sort of thing. (My reaction was, Kirk was lucky it wasn't an ice cube. Ever swallow one? OUCH!) Your summary of the plot makes me glad I passed it up. For one thing, I loathed Commander Birdbrain, that sexist caricature of a woman In power, from the first time I saw "The Enterprise Incident," and try to avoid any material In which she appears. I'm with you; it beats me why some people aren't happy unless Kirk and Spock are constantly pawing each other. I'd think they'd have other things to do with their hands—work, maybe. I doubt that Starfleet is paying them to turn the bridge of the Enterprise into a massage parlor. 
- Regina M (March 1986): In I#98, [Arden L] wrote that "the plot was hardly original; it contained every convention ever conjured up in fanzine writing," Having read a large number of zines the past six months, I can't disagree with you. However. when I read the novel back in June, I had never seen a fanzine, and felt the story was very fresh and original. In fact, it was — and still is — my favorite of the pro novels. I don't think Pocket Books would be publishing ST novels if they thought the only people who buy them are fanzine readers. There are a lot of "non-fandom" Trek fans out there who's only tie to the show "beyond the screen" are the pro novels. My point is, I think it was unfair to criticize the novel for being similar to a zine story. Granted, Arden was writing a letter that was being read only by other fanzine readers, but I think those who have been in fandom a long time forget there are a lot of people who love Star Trek, but know nothing of clubs, zines, conventions, etc. (Of course, some choose not to get involved. But there are others who are not active in fandom because they simply don't know how to get into it. I had a tough time learning how to obtain fanzines. The information simply isn't accessible to the general public.) The "personal" flavor of Killing Time, and the more open affection between Kirk and Spock, was new to me at the time I read it. I enjoyed it a great deal, and I'm sure many other non-zine readers have similar feelings. [Cheryl B] wrote of some of the changes in Killing Time in the second printing. I believe her letter gives the impression that mere sentences were cut here and there. That Is the case through most of the book, but chapter fourteen was slaughtered! There are over five hundred words deleted from this chapter, which I'm sure most will agree — whether or not they liked the book— that it was a critical chapter in the story. I can't help but imagine the scenario five or ten years from now: People who loved ST VI or VII, or who just discovered the series reruns, decide to collect the usual books and memorabilia. They get wind of the book that was "pulled off the shelves because it contained questionable material." Of course, these new fans will feel they must obtain a copy of this forbidden work. They finally do, and pay a collector's price for it. Then they sit down to read all the questionable parts, and are deeply disappointed to find that these parts really aren't "questionable" at all! I find this scenario humorous, sad, and inevitable. 4. Obviously, I'm not happy with the original version being pulled from the shelves, but I'll take that up with Pocket Books. I offer the following advice for those who have not read the book, or only read the second printing: If you are a person who is warmed by the affection between Kirk and Spock, do yourself a favor and try to obtain the first printing. Otherwise, stick with the edited version. You won't be missing out on ouch, except the intensity of the confusion felt by both Kirk and Spock in chapter 14. 
- Mary F. G (May 1986): I have seen and read a lot of comments about KILLING TIME and I want to say at the start, I liked it. It was interesting. Ms. Van Hise is a talented writer and I look forward to future offerings. I really wonder why everyone seems to jump on the "Get Della" band wagon. What is their motive? I really believe that the attitude of those critics are reading much more into her book than is there. I speak of the first printing that was pulled off, re-edited and reprinted. With no background other than the movies and the series to go on, I can imagine what people are thinking. They wonder what all the shouting is about. Those of us who have read Ms. Van Hise's non-pro novels and stories should not read into the book more than is there. I can't find anything offensive about it. If one reads more than is there into the novels, why hasn't someone made a comment on the two heroines in DWELLERS IN THE CRUCIBLE. They are much like Kirk and Spock, they are of different origins, but their friendship is just as intense as our heroes. It could also be interpreted in the same way as Kirk's and Spock's seems to be. Is the reason, perhaps, that Ms. Bonanno hasn't ever wrote one of THOSE novels before her book was published? I think this homophobia is nonsense. Where will it lead? Or has it already led to censorship? Will we live to see the day that our heroes can no longer speak of their friendship, or even touch? Will the words love and friendship no longer be part of future projects of Star Trek? These concepts and feelings were there in all the movies and the series. Why has all of a sudden this beautiful friendship become something dirty? This love and friendship has expressed itself in many ways. Wasn't that what Star Trek: The Search for Spock was all about? What Kirk and the others would do, what they would give up for their friend? In the series, didn't Kirk take a chance of wrecking his own career to save Spock's life? Did not Spock even endanger the Enterprise to save Kirk's life? Is that not love and a spirit of self-sacrifice that led to Spock giving up his life for his friends, including Kirk? What has happened to change all of that? All I ask is that we not let our imaginations run away with us and read something into books and novels that isn't there. Let our heroes acknowledge their friendship, yes, their love for each other. I think the world needs more love and friendship. The spirit of self-sacrifice is sadly lacking today. Will Love and friendship go the same way? I say it will if every time our heroes touch each other or speak of friendship the audiences go into mass hysteria. This is not a pro or con K/S letter; it is a pro Love and Friendship letter. If anything changes this basic concept of Star Trek, then we will all be the losers. 
- Michele A (May 1986): It was great to have the record set straight in last issue regarding KILLING TIME. I wondered how and why someone else was speaking for Delia Van Hise a couple issues back; the fact that the author of the letter ran right out and bought a dozen copies to sell at a profit was very telling though. Of course, I was as curious as the next person about what really happened concerning the publishing of that book, but I'm much more appreciative of the information coming straight from the source instead of someone not even involved. Also, thanks to Della for her kind words at the end of her letter to all of us folks still trying to hold on to the Trek "dream." 
- A.C. Crispin (May 1986) comments on comments she made in February 1986: I never made any "veiled negative comments" about the quality of KILLING TIME. I made no comment, for precisely the reason stated. Whether it's in front of con audiences, or in INTERSTAT, I don't comment on the other pro Trek novels. (I believe I may have said I enjoyed THE VULCAN ACADEMY MURDERS, because Jean is a personal friend and "enjoy" is a pretty inoffensive term.) I don't comment not because I don't necessarily like them, but because I don't think it's right to do so in a public forum. I generally keep my opinions, both positive and negative, to myself, unless I'm speaking directly to the writer involved. I want to publicly apologize to Della Van Hise. I didn't realize you were an INTERSTAT reader, or I would have kept silent. The version of the KT story I recounted was told to me by Karen Haas, and, as you say, was apparently correct as to the bare facts. But you are right, of course — I shouldn't have theorized as to your motives, thoughts, or actions. The only reason I said anything was to make the point that your book had not been subject to censoring by Paramount after it had already been published. What happened was obviously just one of those things, and I reiterate my sincerest apologies and wish you the best of luck with further books, in or out of the Trek universe. I hope we meet someday, so I can beg your forgiveness in person. 
- Ann C (June 1986): Holy Moly! [DWELLERS IN THE CRUCIBLE] makes KILLING TIME seem tame in comparison. Just because a writer has written one of THOSE novels doesn't mean he/she can't write straight Trek. I found KILLING TIME to be a good novel and I enjoyed it. Wish I could say the same about them all.
- Jan M. M (August 1986): I thought KILLING TIME and DWELLERS IN THE CRUCIBLE (that is the excrement with the two female "peace-keepers," is it not?) stank!! Perhaps all four of these characters can find an alternate universe to dwell in. They don't belong in this one, but they are definitely soulmates.
- Kristen Brady (1986 in Universal Translator #30 and posted years later to Orion Press): Killing Time, by Della Van Hise, is a fascinating mixture of the good, the very good, the quite excellent, and the utterly and irrevocably out of line. If you are familiar enough with the Trek underground to associate the name of the author with various K/S publications, then you can begin to understand what I mean when I state that Killing Time is sissified K/S in a glossy, soft-soap package made commercially palatable so as to be acceptable to a general audience. There is nothing blatant, of course—well, not patently blatant anyway, although the pseudo-sexual symbolism approaches the downright over at times—perhaps ‘explicit’ is a better word. There is nothing truly explicit, of course, and Ms. Van Hise—when she is not riding on ecstatic waves of "intense hazel globes" and "fathomless black eyes which (seem) to reflect starlight"—is not an incompetent writer. On the contrary, this novel has a lot going for it—almost enough, in fact, to make one forget that the major plot device used—"a Romulan time-tampering project"—is identical to the one used in the novel immediately preceding this one (Ishmael, in which it is the Klingons instead of Romulans who dabble In time-tampering). In both instances, the idea is to obliterate the Federation by traveling backwards in time and making sure that certain individuals who will ultimately be responsible for the Federation’s eventual emergence are "removed." But unlike Ishmael—where the evil plot is foiled by Our Heroes, the Romulans actually succeed early on in the novel with their plan to alter the shape of the universe, and it is up to you-know-who to put everything back the way it was "before the galaxy hurtles toward total destruction!" Killing Time opens with a strange, recurring bad dream which manifests itself to various members of the Enterprise crew. In this dream, Spock is Captain and Kirk is an ensign on board an Enterprise which is not quite the Enterprise. Kirk attempts to pass if off as edginess, due to the fact that the Enterprise has been patrolling the Neutral Zone in which there have been reports of increased Romulan Fleet activity (also, certain intelligence agents are missing and there is talk of some Romulan time-travel experiment), but it betties clear that something is truly wrong when increasing numbers of people admit to having the same disturbing dream and even Spock is affected. Before there is time to investigate fully however, Ensign Kirk wakes up one day on board the V.S.S. ShiKahr, Captain Spock, commanding. But all is not as the Bad Guys hoped it would be. The scheme turns out to be partially successful in that there is no longer any Federation in the ‘Second History,’ but there is a Vulcan Alliance, a thing very similar to our own United Federation of Planets, as a matter of fact. This is not welcome news to the Romulans (it is a well-known fact that Romulans have more respect for Vulcans, their distant ancestors, than they do for Humans), so in effect, they consider themselves to be worse off in the Second History than they were in the First. But the Praetor has a plan… Meanwhile, the Good Guys have figured out, that something is definitely wrong—a Galactic Menace Alert, no less, is in effect. It would seem that the First History still exists somewhere in the ‘molecular memory’ of the universe. It becomes apparent that the mind can reach beyond the physical boundaries of universes, however, because the minds of individuals who existed in both histories are "seeking their natural environment," which is, of course, the First History. In other words, the time displacement is causing a psychic disturbance which will inevitably, and in a very short time (two weeks!), render everyone in the Second History—an entire universe—insane. Along the way to the inevitable happy conclusion, there are some twists, some surprises, and of course some complications—but what is basically a very intriguing concept is never allowed to unfold to its potential because it is constantly being forced to compete with what can only be termed heavy-handed homoerotic goo such as the eyes-locking-together stuff, the melding-of-the-gold-and-blue stuff, the "he(Kirk)-is-even-deeper-in-your-blood-than-Vulcan" stuff, the two-who-are-one-entity stuff. I should think this would all be extremely bewildering to anyone who was unaware of the K/S aspect and just reading it ‘straight’ because it does tend to interfere with the basic story. And there is more: the forced mind-link Spock perpetrates on Kirk at one point is nothing less than a type of rape ("ebony-black eyes stabbed through hazel-golden pools"), although, of course, Kirk is not really as reluctant as he seems to be at first. The entire thing culminates—or should I say ‘climaxes’?—in a scene in which the alternate universe Kirk and Spock, in order that the real universe Kirk and Spock may assume their rightful realities, in their last action before dying together (as necessity dictates—I don’t think I’m giving anything away by stating it), meld their minds together so that they are linked as they go out. Together. The symbolic sexual implications of such a set-up are hard to ignore, especially after having been so enthusiastically fueled by all the two-who-are-one jazz. To conclude, Killing Time as a pro-novel, is a failure. The thing would have been much better had it been written as straight action-adventure, without the K/S element; it also would have been better had it been written as straight K/S (if indeed there is such a thing as "straight K/S"), which of course would have made it an entirely different story. Whatever the author’s reason for doing it the way she did (and I believe it was a conscious decision), it just doesn’t work. It doesn’t work as straight Trek, and it doesn’t work as K/S. Killing Time is not merely the work of a K/S writer whose basic K/S instincts cause her to be carried away when attempting to write straight Trek—Ms. Hise is a much writer than that. The inclusion of the K/S aspect in the novel was a deliberate choice, and one which remains unfathomable to me. But I do know this: the disappointment I experienced with Killing Time was all the more intense because I realized that with one whole hell of a lot of editing, this novel could have been one whole hell of a lot better.  
- a fan comments on the lack of K/S in the book, and the author of the book responds (1987):
At my first reading of that novel, I was not yet a K/S fan. In fact, I didn't know K/S existed. I was just a fan enjoying a very well-written ST novel. Then I head about the controversy and, having become enlightened to K/S, I re-read the noel. I still think, even searching for K/S, that there was none to be found. Sure, someone with an active imagination could insert K/S motives between the lines and behind the scenes. But they weren't there, in black and white, to be read. Perhaps the controversy grew out of the fact that the author has written K/S material. Maybe "Killing Time" was originally a K/S story. That's beside the point. The novel that I read was not K/S." The editor notes: ""Killing Time' was never written as a K/S novel either as a fanzine or otherwise. No other version exists." 
- also in 1987, the fan who prepared a line by line comparison of the changes made between the first and later editions comments:
Although I can understand to some extent some of the changes that were made, some were major mistakes - that of Spock's inner turmoil regarding the unasked-for meld with Kirk. The editing goes against Spock's character and that should not be allowed. If at all possible, endeavor to acquire a copy of the original. It is a much easier story to read - it flows instead of jerks. To Della, an excellent story and my congratulations on having it published. 
- Surreysmum writes (wrote in 1988, posted in 2010): Now why does Ms. Van Hise's name sound so gosh-darn familiar? I have the feeling that she has written far more inflammatory stuff than this mild and rather interesting tale of time-travel/alternate universe. Because of time-tampering by the Romulans, the crew of the Enterprise find themselves haunted by dreams (shades of Strangers From the Sky) and then slip into an entirely different universe where Spock commands the ship and Kirk is a lowly and embittered ensign. Introduction of the first K/S element: Kirk out of power, under the command of Spock. (O implacable females!) However, even in this strange universe, the two of them recognize each other in some strange way, and confirm the "real story" through mindlink. Introduction of the second K/S element: telepathy as symbol of sexual conjunction. Together, they restore the original version of history, and fade unselfishly into oblivion (mindlinked of course) so that their alternate selves and the universe generally may continue to exist. Third K/S element: cosmological importance of K/S relationship. Then of course there is the constant dwelling upon the emotional state of the two men, and the introduction of the lady Romulan commander, who seems to hold some great fascination for the K/S crowd (vid. Marshak and Culbreath). The time-shift brings "pon farr" on for Spock (rather gratuitously, I thought) and he - or rather his alternate self - actually sleeps with the lady commander to get rid of it. There are two "new" characters: Richardson, who fills a sort of "buddy" role for Kirk (the ensign) in exile, and S'Parva, a telepathic canine-girl whose chief functions in the book seem to be 1) to illustrate Richardson's Romeo tendencies (incidentally Richardson calls Kirk "Juliet"!) and to push Spock telepathically into dealing with his "pon farr." Did you like it, Morag? Oh come on, give me a break - of course I liked it! 
- Michael Zachayus writes (1989): All is normal aboard, the USS Enterprise. And yet Captain James T Kirk dreams strange dreams at night. In hours, a kind of inexplicable oppression overwhelms him, and his First Officer, Spock, also appears preoccupied. One night Kirk feels suddenly drowned in nightmarish eddies, crosses to the mirror— and startles awake in his quarters. All is normal - nothing but a nightmare. Ensign James Kirk gets up, checks that everything's normal and his roommate is still sleeping before injecting himself another dose…. Aboard the Romulan vessel, the First Officer bitterly points out the failure of yet another manipulation of space-time: this alternate universe artificially created one more time brings the Romulan Empire no victory over Vulcan. There is no Federation, but as was bound to happen, the Vulcans dominate this galaxy and have ferociously defeated all Romulan offensives. The Praetor will have to face tough disappointment. Ensign James Kirk is the drudge of his brutal roommate, but he keeps fighting him with snarling courage. The increasing quarrels at last reach the ears of Captain Spock, who summons the Ensign - who does not obey. During his Academy years in the Command sessions, one night he has forgotten everything about, Kirk was charged with the murder of his Vulcan teacher and submitted to mental torture (of Dagger of the Mind), which left him forever a broken man, without establishing either his innocence or his guilt. When Captain Spock sees Ensign James Kirk before him for the first time, he has the strange impression he has always known the young Human. Inexplicable, unaccountable phenomena occur more and more. One lieutenant goes berserk, almost blowing up the whole Starship when he couples matter and antimatter. The spectre of pon farr haunts Spock mercilessly, and he feels his reason slipping inexorably away through his fingers. The maddened lieutenant, before dying, appears to have doubled brain waves. For Dr. McCoy and the Captain all facts converge towards a sole possible explanation; their own universe and another one are about to telescope together - they run to their doom. It is Killing Time. In the face of this strange and terrible embittered ensign, Captain Spock, although he has no time to lose, tries to pierce the defences of the Human and to make friends with him, at the very moment when the universe is disintegrating horribly all around them. Kirk rebuffs the amicable advances of his captain, who, hurt and maddened, suddenly imposes a mindmeld on the Ensign— and the truth is then totally revealed. Every being whose function differs in both universes is doomed to madness and to death. Those whose function remains identical (like McCoy) have just a little more time. In the meantime, the Praetor - Thea herself (Enterprise Incident) - has projects for her old enemy Spock whom she intends to trap thanks to his sole weakness - James Kirk. Her purpose is to have Spock proclaim Surak's edicts and to return to the crucial point where this doomed universe was born, and impede the murder of one of the founders of the Federation - thus destroying before its appearance a whole world that should never have existed… It is bewitching and it is poignant, this dream-and-reality game, of what is and what could have been, the scaring consequences of a single deed - the murder of a man - the shrilling laughter of madness and of time, the extraordinary link between two souls, losing one another and then finding one another again even at the end of the world; the texture of the universe or the texture of a beating heart - a one and only mystery. There is a deep and hurting irony bathing all the novel from beginning to end with the red glowing of death and time. The disappearance of Kirk and Spock under the cold and unreachable stars, following their ultimate sacrifice. How strange. A strange novel, a strange fate; like shadows too quickly swept away by the wind. 
- Joyce Devlin writes (1989): A story based on a dream by our own Kirk and crew which slips them into an alternate dimension of reality due to the Romulans tampering with time, A second history of what might have been true had the Romulans succeeded in doing their dirty trick. The story starts off with our Kirk and crew having dreams in which Kirk is not the Captain of the Enterprise, but an ensign. The Enterprise is not called Enterprise but 'Shikahr'. Spock is her Captain, Chekov is her First Officer, McCoy in her Doctor- and Scotty is her Chief Engineer. Confusing, well we find in this story that Spock meets Thea the Romulan who incidentally manages to save him during a pon farr, among other things. Lured into a Romulan trap after Kirk is kidnapped, Spock finds out they have to free themselves from both their captors and their altered selves to save the universe from total destruction. I felt this book had a tendency to hint on the subject of K/S as I found several passages trying to turn in that way, giving us a good hint as to what could have happened if the story had been allowed to develop as it wanted to do. Reasonably well written and followed. I do not like picking faults with other people's work but I felt the story wanted to go off in another direction and at parts into K/S. It is a good story however and if one likes alternate universe stories one will find the slip into the other universe quite uniquely done as you end up there with warning but unexpectedly, a reasonably good read with a twist in the tail at the end. 
- a fan writes (1991): Killing Time by Della Van Hise (pro ST novel #24, 1985) which one can buy "censored" in stores or uncensored as a genzine from Pon Farr Press is NOT K/S. I do believe Ms. Van Hise has gotten into loads of trouble because people think it is K/S. It's a WONDERFUL story. I was lucky enough to buy the pro novel before some imbecile who disliked words such as "bullshit" and "naked" (SHOCKING!) "censored" it. The original version and rewritten version are both good. I prefer Della's original because it's more detailed about how they are "one" - mentally NOT PHYSICALLY. This book has absolutely no homosexual contact between Kirk and Spock. It's one of the few "pro" novels that's memorable. It's not K/S, but it's still good. 
- Camille Bacon-Smith examined the fandom communities reaction to the novel in her book Enterprising Women (1992):
The appearance of Killing Time disturbed many fans. Community members who do not generally object to K/S were concerned about the allusions to sexuality-allusions that occur not specifically in the content but in the language Van Hise used to express content, and which language is read as sexual in the group. Fanwriters worried that the book would call undue attention to their own works. Both the fans of the genre and those who object to homoerotic fiction in the community protested within the community and to the publisher. Pocket Book pulled the book and issued a revised edition in which all the quotations but the first given here were deleted or extensively revised. A number of other smaller scaled excisions-referring to pliant flesh and psychic nakedness-stripped the book of its more obvious markers, although enough remain to cue the regular K/S reader that the book situates linguistically in that genre.
- in her book Boldly Writing (1996), Joan Marie Verba offers her memories of the novel, and of fan reactions in Interstat:Killing Time got the most press, mainly because Pocket Books accidentally put the initial version of the manuscript into print instead of the edited version. The initial version, the first printing, nonetheless sold 150,000 copies before the revised second printing came out. Fan reaction was mixed. In September, Deborah L. Bruno said, "Killing Time...may be a somewhat familiar theme, but it is well-handled, and brings out some interesting ideas. The alternate Kirk and Spock are well-drawn and believable." In the same issue, Ruth Berman said, "Killing Time...is an example of extremely bad writing...it must be in the running for Worst-Ever-ST-Novel."
- mattb123 writes (2001): Although the premise of the story is promising as the story progresses the plot seems to become uninspired and the storyline fails to have very compelling "twists and turns" which you'd like to see in Trek (as well as most other fiction for that matter). Furthermore, I did not think the development of the characters "Captain Spock" and "Ensign Kirk" were as satisfying as they could have been. "Killing Time" does provide an interesting "version" of the Romulan Commander from the Classic Trek episode "The Enterprise Incident". I say a "version" because I believe different Trek novels have had varying treatments of her fate after that episode. For the most part I wouldn't recommend this novel unless you are a Romulan die-hard. While not terrible, I'd give it about a 4 on a scale of ten, which is why I gave it 2 stars. 
- Rabbi Yonassan Gershom writes (2001): The reason this book is out of print (and so few fans have read it) is because it was yanked off the market for being "in bad taste" around the time that Roddenberry began cracking down on Trek novels that he personally didn't like. (In the mid-1980s. See chapter 17 of his biography, "Star Trek Creator," for more on that aspect of Trek history.) At any rate, the very idea of a censored Star Trek novel was so intriguing to me, I just had to track down a copy and read it! The plot opens with a number of Enterprise crewpersons having some very disturbing dreams. In the case of Kirk and Spock, they both have the same dream, in which Spock is captain of a starship that's not the Enterprise, and Kirk is a young ensign aboard that same ship. As it turns out, the dreams are really bleed-throughs from another universe that was created by Romulan time-tampering. The Romulans, in an attempt to go back and change history in a way that would eliminate the Federation, have created Second History -- and it's not stable. On a deep subconscious level, many people in Second History are still linked to First History (the original timeline) and, in cases where their roles are not the same in both worlds, the disparity is causing insanity. And its spreading. If the original timeline is not restored soon, the whole universe is in danger of going mad. What might be offensive to some people is that Ensign Kirk of Second History is a pretty messed-up character. He's a bitter young man who gets into fights with other crewmembers, has spent some time in prison (although, it is pointed out, the evidence used to convict him was was circumstantial and he maintains his innocence), and was drafted into the Fleet against his will. (The draft is one of the differences that Second History introduces.) He's also misusing a dream suppressant drug to try and stop the nightmares. This is certainly not the way we want to see Our Hero portrayed -- but then again, it fits the plot. I mean, if the Romulans really want to put the Federation out of commission, wouldn't it make sense to get the highly-competent James T. Kirk out of the picture? Besides, we've seen Kirk acting "weird" before under various alien influences, so why would this scenario be any worse? There's also an element of "there but for the grace of God go I" in this story, making us realize that, given the wrong circumstances, anybody's life can take a bad turn. And it can also be righted again. Eventually, the Second History versions of Kirk and Spock figure out what's happened. (A nice touch is that this is accomplished by a mindmeld that taps into the deep friendship between them in First History, which still links them on the subconscious level.) Ensign Kirk quits the drug cold turkey, gets his life together, and helps Spock try to figure out a way to save the universe. To tell you any more would be a spoiler, except to say that this book is well worth reading --- that is, if you can find a copy. 
- the agent for many of Della's Star Trek fanzines wrote this about the novel:
It is interesting to note that Della Van Hise was also the author of the professional STAR TREK novel, Killing Time - a book which was deemed "too hot to handle" by the powers that be, and recalled by the publisher for its now-infamous hints of a romantic relationship between Kirk and Spock. The first edition still exists in its original form, for those lucky enough to have obtained a copy prior to the recall, and shows the reader a glimpse of what Ms. Van Hise later turned into a much more revealing and delightfully vivid depiction of the love and sexuality shared by these two beloved characters. As Alexis Fegan Black, Ms. Van Hise wrote over 15 novels, a multitude of novellas, short stories.
- a fan expresses puzzlement over the two versions of the book (2004):
My favorite Star Trek novel, though, is Killing Time by Della Van Hise. I can still read that one, and I admit that I enjoyed it even more after learning that the original printing had been pulled and edited to remove the supposedly "slashy" K/S bits. Which, by the way, still puzzles me, because I got hold of a later printing out of curiosity and discovered that they'd cut only the physical contact in certain scenes, but left all the mind-melding and telepathic bonding and expressions of deep friendship intact. It was, in other words, okay for them to declare their profound and special relationship, but not to be touching each other (well, okay, there was the one part where Spock was lying on top of Kirk, but the rest of it was hand-on-the-shoulder stuff) while they did it. Weird.
- Zauberlehrling! writes (2006): I read this book almost on one day. It is really thrilling, especially all about the time-thing. The idea of a parallel-universe always fascinates me. The story is quite fast reading and you get all the pictures you need in your head to see how the reaction of the charakters would be. The most I liked (as a K/S-Shipper) was the special bond between Kirk and Spock. It seems like the author took that fact as something you must not discuss about it, because it was seen all over the years in the show and the movies. And I think she was right. The most important of it - it worked. Alright, it is a book for fans of Star Trek. But I think that no one else read book about Star Trek beside Star Trek Fans... 
- a fan discussed and reviewed the book (2009):
...during my lunch break every day I diligently read some Killing Time to, well, kill time. I know you're eager, so let's get the styrofoam boulder rolling.... LET US BEGIN THE BEGUINE. Book starts off talking about the crew's whacked-out sleeping patterns. Spock goes and talks to Kirk and they both admit insomnia and fucked up dreams. Kirk's eyes are hazel and twinkling, as usual, and they have this kind of awkward banter back and forth trying to find out what the dreams were about and as the reader you're like OH MY GODDDD THEY'RE DREAMING ABOUT EACHOTHER AAAA then Kirk deflects and asks if Spock's eaten yet so they get ready to go food up. 
- a fan artist was inspired by the novel (and the discussions surrounding the novel) to draw art pointing out some of the parallels between the 1985 novel and the newly released Star Trek (2009) movie (2009): So, I read this Star Trek novel... 
- a fan in 2009 writes: ... if you want a really slashy official book, the ultimate is Della Van Hise's KILLING TIME. If you haven't read it you're missing out the moment of a lifetime. Kirk and Spock spent the whole book having heart-to-heart discussions, mind-melding, and they are blatantly presented as soul mates. The first printing of the book was apparently released by "mistake", made from an earlier draft, and it was so slashy that Pocket actually RECALLED.THE.BOOK. so they could edit it before releasing it again. Get your hands on the original version of you can - there are still some going around. It has the title in raised gold lettering, instead of the flat yellow of subsequent printings. I make it my mission to get as many people to read this book as I can :-D. 
- Charles writes (2009): An alternate history Star Trek. I really loved Mirror Mirror, the alternate Star Trek Universe in the original series and so I was primed for another such adventure. Pretty enjoyable, even if it isn't quite the Kirk and Spock we know and love. 
- Mrs. J. Proctor writes (2010): This is very frustrating book, mainly because I want to shoot the person who failed to edit it properly. There are places where the writer uses words incorrectly, substituting a wrong word for the one she actually means. The point of view, especially early on, hops around like a rabbit on steroids. At one point, it even managed to change mid-sentence. The author has a real aversion to the word 'said', using an entire Thesaurus of increasingly improbable words to describe the simple act of speaking. Science doesn't get much of a look in either. Sonar in outer space? There's some glitches in the time travel plot as well. All of which is doubly annoying , because I actually like the story. There's some good original characters (and some good female characters) and the Kirk/Spock relationship is as close to slash as you're likely to get in a mainstream novel. Although McCoy is probably the character who has the most spot-on dialogue. I would have rated this book higher if it had been properly edited - I could have done a much better job. However, even with all its flaws, I'll probably keep it. 
- Natasha writes (2010): This book was actually one of the best Star Trek books I have read so far. (About 20or so) The beginning was kind of corny, before the alternate universe takes over, but from then on it's a blast. There's enough action to keep the story moving, with enough character interaction to keep me extremely happy. I enjoy a good Spock/Kirk FRIENDSHIP story, and that's what this brought. Although some might argue this could be viewed as slash, (meaning homosexuality) I don't view it that way. The book was that of the bond of brothers through the screw-ups of Romulans. It was immensely personal and sweet between Kirk and Spock getting to know each other and feeling uncomfortable meaning to much to a stranger. I can understand why Roddenberry banned this book because it doesn't show Kirk as the hero he is, but I like a flawed hero, and all too often we don't get to see that flawed side of Kirk. No character can be pristine and survive the public, and this proves it. If you can get your hands on a copy, DO IT. It was the best decision in a Star Trek book I've made thus far. The review at the top that has "censored" in the title convinced me to buy it. Please do, you won't be disappointed. 
- a tumblr post, one fan laments (2012):
I'm gonna crrrrrrrry....My edition of “Killing Time” isn’t the original version super-slash-filled version.... UGGGGGGGHHHH. I mean, the 2nd version is said to still be somewhat slashy, but I’d really love to have the original thank you.... I’m gonna go cry now. WHY COULDN’T THE FIRST EDITION BE THE ONLY ONE??? WHY CAN’T YOU JUST LET ALL THE FEELS BE AS THEY SHOULD? Also, would anyone be willing to sell me an orginal copy? No? Okay. Sensitive shipper problems.
- Trek writer Nathan St. Germaine offered a take on rumors regarding the novel (2012):
The pro novel called "Killing Time" was written AS gen for Pocket Books (no slash version ever existed, nor was the first edition recalled because of "romantic subtext, merely it was reissued due to an editorial snafu at Pocket Books itself) and it was never an edited or "filed" version of a fan story. 
- from Datazine #12 (1981).
- November 26, 2012 e-mail to Fanlore from Nathan St. Germaine.
- Pg 121, Killing Time
- Pg 174, Killing Time
- from Interstat #94
- Ansible. Ansible 44, 1985
- from Star Trek: The Lost Books, post by Steve Roby
- from a letter in The Propagator #17
- "Many people have asked about the story of "what happened with KILLING TIME." Suffice it to say that the whole lengthy story of exactly what occurred is told in Della's essay in Naked Times #10. Now, with this list of changes, we now present to the readers of OTD, we hope this gives a more complete picture of the transition of KILLING TIME from the "way it was" to the "way it is." from On the Double issue #5, 1987.
- lexx_the_flex: "Homoerotic Star Trek Novel "Killing Time" - uncensored vs. censored", posted 28 Sept 2009 (last accessed 22 Feb 2010)
- from Della Van Hise in Datazine #38
- from Interstat #102
- from Datazine #50, ad submitted by Della Van Hise
- author's ad in Communications Console Vol. I, issue #4 (1987).
- author's ad in The Zine Connection #14. This author ad also appeared in On the Double #8 (1988).
- [TV Tropes page on Ascended Fan Fic accessed November 26, 2012.
- Orion Press editorial note on the Killing Time book review here, accessed November 26, 2012.
- From Three Letter Words: OMG by Kit Hammonds.
- a reference to the Hays Code
- from Interstat #95
- she refers to a get-together at Joan V's house to celebrate the finish of The Genesis Aftermath
- from Interstat #95
- from Interstat #96
- from Interstat #96
- from the editorial in Naked Times #8
- from Interstat #98
- from Interstat #98
- from Interstat #98
- from Interstat #98
- from TREKisM #46/47
- from The Propagator #12
- from Not Tonight Spock #12
- from Interstat #100
- from Interstat #100
- from Interstat #101
- from Interstat #103
- from Interstat #103
- from Interstat #103
- from Interstat #104
- a review by Kristen Brady at in Universal Translator #30; later reposted to Orion Press, accessed October 26, 2012, references link
- Three years later in On the Double #10, the author of "Killing Time" comments on this review and wrote: "I know from experience that people will occasionally attempt to attack a writer's work through what I would consider a more personal attack. (i.e. the "review" of KILLING TIME that appeared in the defunct publication, UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR). I have since found out who wrote that review, and that it was intended as an attack against me rather than against the book itself. Apparently this person was going through some rough personal times and was lashing out at everybody who got in the way. I just happened to "get in the way" that time. And while I would have welcomed hearing this fan's comments to me, I wasn't interested in reading them under the guise of a review when her complaints were, in the end, entirely personal.
- from On the Double #3
- from On the Double #5 (1987).
- from Goodreads by Surreysmum, written in 1988, posted in 2010
- from IDIC #5
- from IDIC #6
- from The LOC Connection #30
- page 238 Enterprising Women.
- Boldly Writing page 70, referring to comments in Interstat.
- from Amazon by mattb123
- from Amazon by Rabbi Yonassan Gershom
- About the Authors page at FanzinesPlus, accessed November 26, 2012.
- comment The New Voyages dated 2004.
- from Amazon by Zauberlehrling!
- 2009 review of the book, for more see a Recap of Killing Time/WebCite (with macros) by stablercake, on ontd_startrek
- from marymonroe at 
- from Goodreads by Charles, posted March 2009
- from Amazon by Mrs. J. Proctor
- Goodreads by Natasha, posted May 2010
- I'm gonna crrrrrrrry plaguedbyinsanity's tumblr post dated Jan 2012.
- November 26, 2012 e-mail to Fanlore from Nathan St. Germaine.