|Publisher:||Unrepressed Press & Shoestring Press|
|Cover Artist(s):||Pete Fisher|
|Date(s):||written in 1977, published in 1983|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TOS|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
The book was originally written in 1977. 
A solid science fiction novel set in what could be the "real" ST universe. Kirk is torn between his duty to a Federation that isn't what he believed it was & his growing love for a mysterious man from the past. Spock must come to grips with his all-too-human jealousy. Tho not K/S in the usual sense, BLACK STAR is an important prequel to a later novel to be written by Pete Fisher and Pam Rose that will be K/S.
From the Editorial
I first came into contact with Pete Fisher in January of 1983 shortly after reading his pro novel, DREAMLOVERS. The book had shocked, delighted, and intrigued me enough to write him a letter expressing my admiration for his honesty and talent. I was also panting to read the Star Trek novel he had mentioned writing. He responded with a happy openness that made us close friends in an amazingly short time.
Until he met me, Pete had never read a fanzine or or been involved in active fandom other than attending a Star Trek convention held in New York in 1976. When I suggested printing BLACK STAR as a fanzine, he was delighted at the idea of other fans reading his work. Excerpt for some updating on his part and the usual editing involved in any zine, BLACK STAR remains very much as it was originally written over six years ago.This year Pete has continued the story in a novel entitled WORMHOLE . Unrepressed Press has plans to print this along with a third part which he has given me permission to write. (I just love to do sequels!) Anyone interested should please send a SASE for price and availability.
"It was during 1976 in a series of Star Trek conventions that the Star Trek Phenomenon really began to crest and enter a higher order of magnitude, which is why the Klingons picked this period for their subversion. Their plan was to so thoroughly discredit Star Trek and everybody associated with it that its fans would turn against the show and kill the new 'religion' before it spread."
"The Klingons firmly believe that if humanity hadn't had Star Trek to help it through the Bad Years, the species would have destroyed itself by the turn of the century, leaving this whole region of the galaxy ripe for Klingon expansion. They seek to change history and create an alternate future in which humanity simply doesn't exist. It is a carefully calculated attempt at temporal genocide." "And a catastrophic riot at the Hilton convention would be just what they need," Kirk mused grimly. "Precisely. But their plans went far beyond that. If they failed to completely kill the Star Trek Phenomenon, they planned to co-opt and subvert it to their own purposes, twisting its influence so that it would speed the species' demise."
"Diabolical!" muttered McCoy, rubbing his fist into the palm of his hand.
"To this end," Spock continued, "the Klingons set up the Star Trek '76 Convention to compete with those being organized by the true fans, who, I can assure you, put on conventions very different from the one we have just experienced. Through lies, trickery and the free use of a great deal of money, they convinced the program's performers to appear at their convention, thereby lending it a spurious legitimacy. They then proceeded to make the affair such an incredible 'rip-off and 'con job,' to use the appropriate 20th century terminology, that even the most blindly loyal Trekkers would become infuriated to the point where they would be driven into a bloody riot. But the Klingons simply did not understand the fans. The completely underestimated them. Sofar, their plan has failed."
"I'm glad to see five centuries have produced a bit more sexual liberation than we had in my time."
[Uhura replied] "Not so. The pleasure planets are exceptions. In most UFP territory, things are a lot less liberated. I know, because the 20th century is one of my hobbies. Listen, Brother: the Federation is busy spreading through our region of the galaxy in order to protect it from Klingon domination."
Duke nodded. "Making it safe for human domination?"
"You got it. If you're going to be an expansionist culture, you need a huge birth rate, so you prohibit sex for mere pleasure and don't tolerate sexually free people, especially women like me who don't see having a dozen children and maintaining a household as their main reason for existence. Shit, if I weren't a spacer, I'd probably be dead of boredom or working as a leisure-aide in one of these domes. Believe me, the era of liberation you were living in during the sixties and seventies passed very quickly when we got into space in a big way. Non-reproductive sexuality is verboten on most Federation planets—and people are conditioned to accept that as a natural state of affairs."
Duke looked confused. "But most of the people I've met—"
"Spacers are different. Hell, if you want to marry and settle down and raise kids, there are better places to do it than on a starship. The service tends to be quite free, quite gay."
His eyes sparkled. "Really?"
"Sure... I'm bisexual myself." She looked at him closely, trying to gauge his reaction.
"Well, Sister, I guess I'm in the right place, 'cause that makes two of us."
"I had my suspicions." Her white teeth flashed in the candle light as she smiled provocatively.
"But if you spacers are so free and easy, how come there's no sex aboard the Enterprise?"
She laughed uproariously at the notion."No sex—" Finally she got her mirth under control. "If you'd been aboard a little longer, you might have had some pleasant surprises. How do you think we keep ourselves entertained on those long treks through space? Basket weaving? People keep fairly quiet about it...for a lot of reasons."
Duke] settled back to listen. "Okay, I'll bite. Who are you,then?"
"My real name is Mary Sue Sussheim."
Remaining silent, he heard her out, his doubt and amusement beginning to fade. Her usual poise and self control almost gone, her speech halting, she told him that while she had been attending a Star Trek con in Chicago a very strange thing happened—even stranger in a way than what happened to him. In the middle of Bill Shatner's appearance, it had seemed to her that he had ^ looked directly at her, and, for a moment, she'd felt herself literally swept away by her love for him.
"I used to have a crush on Mr. Spock, but that was when I was younger, about fourteen. I was an outsider like he was, brighter and different from the rest. I guess he was sort of a father figure. But as I got more mature, I realized that the feelings I had for Kirk were very different."
"How old were you when this happened?" "Seventeen."
"Are you kidding?"
"It was no joke, believe me. I was a freshman in college; nearly a genius in math."
Returning to her story of the Chicago con, she explained that when Shatner looked at her, she'd been struck by an attack of vertigo. She fainted. When she woke up, she was aboard the Enterprise in Yeoman Brand's body. She had no idea what had happened to the real Killian Brand, whether she'd had the 'horrible luck' to be switched into the body of a seventeen- year-old Mary Sue Sussheim or had simply vanished.
At first she'd been terrified and totally disoriented, but it didn't take long for her to realize where she was.
"I know I could have questioned my sanity, but I've always had a good grip on reality. The first thing I thought was that I was dreaming, but everything was too convincing, and I...just didn't wake up. Besides, when you watch Star Trek and read as much science fiction as I have, time warps and personality transfers seem very familiar. Before I had time to think the whole thing through, the door buzzer sounded. When I finally figured out how to open the damned door, there was Captain Kirk, wanting to know why I hadn't shown up for my regular duties or answered the intercom calls."As soon as I saw him, it was all over. I was so shook up and thrilled I could hardly speak, much less try to explain what happened. By that time, I didn't even want to. I wanted to stay. I mean Bill Shatner is a gorgeous man, but the real Captain Kirk....he's another dimension entirely. You've seen him: you know. All I could do was stand there gaping.... [snipped] Just look at him. How could I help it? It's worse than ever. Maybe Bill Shatner is some kind of weird focal point, or maybe I just wanted out so bad and loved the real Kirk so much... I don't know. However it happened, I'm here, and what I feel for Jim Kirk is real, too."
Duke, sans beard, totally amazed Kirk the following morning.
God. He looks more like Rocky than ever.
Collecting their camping gear, they beamed down to an isolated wilderness dome that Kirk knew would offer them the best chance of privacy. The woods, a dark, glossy green in the orange daylight, were lush, nearly semi-tropical, their riotous growth assisted by the radiative globes spaced in the upper regions of the dome.
When he first saw the camping equipment that he was assured was extremely simple by 25th century standards, Duke felt inept and useless, but once they started to set it up, he found his hands working as if they'd been there before. Soon they'd established themselves comfortably near the edge of a secluded section of forest fringing a pool whose waters mixed serenity and turbulence at the foot of a waterfall that had carved and sculpted ageless rock into stupendous dragon teeth before cascading down fifty meters to the blue-green depths.After a light lunch, they smoked some Deneb Blue and lazed about beside the pool on sun-baked rocks,chatting, laughing and sharing tall tales, until the afternoon heat invited them to strip, dive, swim and play in the cool, clear water and in the frenzied foam at the foot of the falls. Afterwards, they stretched out on the rocks to let the caressing breeze dry and warm them. Muscular limbs spread to embrace the sunlight, eyes closed, droplets of water glistening on smooth, taut flesh, Duke couldn't be ignored.
"It won't be the end, Duke," Kirk whispered. "I won't let it be. I'll come back for you."
Time, which once had stopped for them, now closed inexorably in on them. "I guess I should go now," Duke said at last.
Kirk didn't answer. He held the man he loved all the more tightly, as if making a desperate attempt to convey all that he felt in one final gesture. Then he straightened and wiped his eyes.
"Will you come with me to the transporter room?"
"No. I couldn't stand to watch you go out of my life."
"Then it's goodbye, Jim."
"I won't say goodbye either."They stared at each other for one long, last moment. Then, without a word, Duke turned and walked alone through the corridors of the Enterprise to his destination.
Reactions and Reviews
Pete Fisher's fan-fic novel *Black Star* is another example [of Mary Sue and lay stories]. The protagonist is a gay male trucker from the 20th century who's accidentally beamed up to the Enterprise while attending a Star Trek convention and becomes Kirk's lover. As is clear from Fisher's discussion of "Black Star" in his pro novel "Dreamlovers," he had had no exposure to fan fic at the time he wrote "Black Star," yet the novel bears the unmistakeable stamp of the Mary Sue archetype. But in its depth and originality and the quality of the writing, it transcends it Mary Sue-ish (Marty Saul-ish?) origins.
Despite all the differences between Pete Fisher and the average female STAR TREK fan (assuming for the moment that there is such a thing), I was struck by the mixture of identification and sexual attraction in his feelings about Kirk and Shatner. As I said before, I think his attitude is very fannish. The way he divides his persona between Duke (an alter-ego, idealized version of himself) and Kirk (a sex object whom he also desires to become) reminds me a lot of fan lit. So I wonder: is the love we feel for Kirk and Spock, the love we imagine them feeling for each other, really love we are blocked from feeling for ourselves? Is the ultimate goal of our K/S fantasies, really to become what we want ourselves to be? What do you think of Pete's answer, fellow K/S fans? 
One's first impulse is to dismiss Black Star as little more than a male version of the infamous Mary Sue formula, and indeed in large measure, that's precisely what it is. But this novel length zine does not deserve such easy dismissal; it is too skillfully written, too emotionally complex. the story follows 20th century Duke Delaney through his encounters with time paradoxes, rebellious computers, Klingon saboteurs, gods of assorted colors and temperaments, and of course, Kirk and Company. The author has combined elements of drama, parody, action and philosophy, with an almost painful self-conscious eroticism. And in a clever opening sequence, he interweaves the fantasy of ST with the reality of ST fandom, giving new meaning to the phrase 'Paramount is a Klingon Conspiracy.' Not by strict definition of K/S Black Star does contain a same sex relationship and explicit passages. The format is simple but handsome, with an unusual and interesting cover illo by the author, no cover art. This is an unusual, somewhat disturbing, adult novel and well worth reading.
I agree with most of your views on what a Kirk/Spock relationship would be like in "real life." (Real twenty-third century life, that is.) Parenthetically, I thought your interpretation of Kirk's sexual proclivities was quite similar to Pete Fisher's in BLACK STAR, and I also found Fisher's views pretty convincing on an intellectual level, that is. Alas, we fans are not pure creatures of intellect. 
I finally finished Blackstar myself and felt kind of lukewarm about it for largely the same reasons. The casual abuse of both strong drugs and alcohol by "the finest ship in the fleet" while in potentially dangerous situations really horrified me, though. I don't want my heroes to be junkies! 
I, too, tried to read Black Star. You are obviously a very disclipined person. I only made it to page 17. 
I heard from a friend of a friend back in the 80's that a K/S fan and her gay male friend wrote a certain novel -- I don't want to say the name -- slashing Kirk with an original male character. The authors printed 900 copies of the zine. Interest in the zine was practically zilch, because most K/S fans had no interest whatsoever in reading about Kirk with anyone other than Spock. Even I myself resisted buying it, since it wouldn't fit into my "true" K/S collection. Years later, according to my friend, stacks of those zines were still all over the authors' house. The financial loss must have been devastating. But, really, they should have known better. Obviously, they didn't "get" the point of why there was so much interest in K/S. Fans wanted to read about the love they knew and trusted, not just about a beloved male character having sex with another man.
- From the papers of Peter Fisher lists: "Manuscript “Black Star” Science fiction (Star Trek) novel January 1977 459 pages." -- Peter Fisher Papers
- from the publisher's ad in Universal Translator #20
- from Not Tonight, Spock! #1
- "Wormhole" is listed here
- Judith Gran. "remarks".
- from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #6 (1983)
- from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #8
- from Datazine #30
- from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #10
- from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #11
- from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #11
- June 1999 comments at Venice Place