A Lesson in Perspective

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Star Trek Fanfiction
Title: A Lesson in Perspective
Author(s): Connie Faddis
Date(s): 1976
Length:
Genre: het, gen
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
External Links:

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A Lesson in Perspective is a Star Trek: TOS story by Connie Faddis. It has art by Gayle F.

It was published in the print zine Warped Space #20 and Relay #3.

Summary

"Connie extrapolates on what effect being confined to Janice Lester’s body would have on someone as caught up in being male as Kirk. Physical and psychological trauma from the transference and Janice Lester's hatred sends Kirk spiraling into depression and impotence. McCoy makes matters worse by plying him with aphrodisiacs on Wrigley's, sending him in search of relief he eventually finds in a drug den and causing a complete breach between Kirk and McCoy. Kirk ends up spending shore leave on secluded New Seattle with middle-aged, lively nurse Sajis Caffrey (who is a very appealing new character). All manner of things go wrong, but Kirk comes out of it right again." [1]

Author's Comments

In comments from the panel at SeKWester*Con, Too in 1977, Faddis said that she had trouble writing Janice Lester in this story because she did not like or identify with Dr. Lester and did not want to:
If you're gonna get into [writing fanfic], you're going run into deep emotional scars... you're going to run into characters that are difficult to write not so much because you can't get that out, but because you don't want to get it out -- because then you are going to have to deal with it. [2]

Gallery of Art: from Relay

Gallery of Art: from Warped Space

Reactions and Reviews

Unknown Date

Post-Turnabout Intruder. Physical and psychological trauma from the transference and Janice Lester's hatred sends Kirk spiraling into depression and impotence. McCoy makes matters worse by plying him with aphrodisiacs on Wrigley's, sending him in search of relief he eventually finds in a drug den and causing a complete breach between Kirk and McCoy. Kirk ends up spending shore leave on secluded New Seattle with middle-aged, lively nurse Sajis Caffrey (who is a very appealing new character). All manner of things go wrong, but Kirk comes out of it right again. A good read. [3]

1981

If you are looking for a story of thrills and adventure which ends happily ever after. Kirk getting the gal (or Vulcan), then this is not it. The story is set in the period immediately following the body transference with Janice Lester, and is a skilful exploration of Kirk's readjustments to his own self image and sexuality at that time.

There are harrowing encounters with a former lover, Janice herself and, after McCoy's ill advised efforts to help, with an android prostitute. None of them offer Kirk the simple understanding and acceptance of himself as a person, rather than a man, that he craves.

He finally resolves his problems with the aid of middle aged Nurse Sajis Caffrey - not necessarily in the time (and Kirk) honoured fashion!

I find this story makes bitter and unpleasant reading in places. I have read it several times now and still find that the second half has a tendency to drag. This may be because I didn't ever really feel close to the character Sajis Caffrey, who plays a major part at that stage. Although I appreciate that the healing process was necessarily a slow one for Kirk I still feel it was too long in the writing. Nor do I entirely subscribe to the view of Spock being incapable of helping his Captain because of the 'nature' of the problem - but that is a personal bias and can be a subject for discussion.

As it is 'A Lesson In Perspective' is a brave and deeply thought out effort at analysing the possible psychological sequelae of such a traumatic event in the very masculine James Kirk's life.

The illustrations are by the excellent. Roo's suffer slightly because of the technical difficulties of printing drawings using her particular style of shading...

Incidentally, I would not advise opening your copy on the train or in any other public place! [4]

1982

I've got to admit that the story I really like is 'Lesson in Perspective.', Nowadays it's hard enough to find a different angle to write and the thoughts Kirk must have had and what it really actually felt like to be Janice Lester must have been traumatic. Let's be honest, being a woman is nothing like being a man!I Though I'm curious about the overall effect that would have happened if Janice/Kirk had assaulted Kirk/J would he have been able to reason that out? So I really enjoyed that story, maybe because I'm such an avid Kirk fan and like to see him pulled apart now and again. [5]

1984

And there is "A Lesson in Perspective" by Connie Faddis, an excellent story in which Kirk is suffering from the strong after affects, including impotence, of his unpleasant sojourn in Janice Lester's body. McCoy's attempted cure only exacerbates Kirk's problems, but all eventually is worked out with the aid of some curative shore leave and a motherly nurse. It is well illustrated by Gayle F in a style not recognizably hers, but lovely nonetheless. [6]

References

  1. from an unknown source, an introduction in one of the zines?
  2. panel notes transcription form the SeKWester*Con, Too program book
  3. from Karen Halliday's Zinedex
  4. from Communicator #1
  5. from Communicator #2
  6. from Not Tonight, Spock! #6