Kirk Loves Spock

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Press Commentary
Title: Kirk Loves Spock
Commentator: D. Trull
Date(s): 1999
Venue: parascope.com
Fandom: Star Trek
External Links: Kirk Loves Spock (Wayback)
Kirk Loves Spock.png
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Kirk Loves Spock is an article about slash fanfiction.

Even though Kirk and Spock have been officially retired from active Starfleet duty, their voyages still continue in a whole different final frontier: the fertile imaginations of faithful Trekkers. Star Trek is one of the top subjects of fan fiction, amateur stories written about popular characters from movies and TV shows that are distributed via fanzines and the Internet. Some fan fiction hews close to its source materials, but writers often veer off in bold new directions, heedless of the neutral zones of continuity and copyrights. For instance, there is an entire subgenre devoted to taking the friendship of Kirk and Spock to its ultimate expression -- by making them into lovers.

The article makes a good attempt at explaining slash and the history of the genre. On the definition of slash:

One FAQ list defines slash as "fan-written fiction that posits that characters of the same sex from a media show are sexually involved with each other." The name derives from the practice of indicating the initials of the characters who get intimate in a given story, such as "K/S," or Kirk "slash" Spock. The term has also been intellectualized as having connotations of "slashing" into the hidden subtext of conventional pop culture iconography and so forth. Fan fiction about speculative romances between characters of opposite sexes is called "het," or "gen," which I guess means "general" or "generic."

On the history of the genre:

Slash first appeared in printed fanzines in the 1970s, and the genre has found an ideal medium in the online world. There's even a Yahoo! category devoted to slash. It's generally agreed that the first slash ever written was based on Star Trek. While other science-fiction and adventure series have become the predominant material for slash, including Starsky and Hutch, Miami Vice, The X-Files (think Mulder and Skinner), and a futuristic British series called Blake's 7, the classic homoerotic pairing of Kirk and Spock remains a perennial favorite.

The prevalence of first time stories in K/S fandom is mentioned the article gives an excerpt from Good Lovin by Greywolf the Wanderer as a "fair example of K/S".

Like most commentary on slash fans at that time, the article says that "by all accounts, slash is by and large written by women, for women. And they're mostly heterosexual." Then it asks the Why Slash question and finds its own lengthy answers.

Sources at the end of the article: Fan Fiction on the Net; Star Trek Slash Archive; New Scientist; "Pass the Crisco, Spock," Patricia Scheiern Lewis.

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