Boys of Summer

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K/S Fanfiction
Title: Boys of Summer
Author(s): Mary Ellen Curtin
Date(s): 1998
Genre: K/S
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
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Boys of Summer is a Star Trek: TOS K/S story by Mary Ellen Curtin.

It was first posted at ASCEM.

Reactions and Reviews

The story has the "feel" of a music video, that rather "distant," objectifying perspective plus the torchy emotion (longing, lust, nostalgia, uncertainty whether the beloved loves you back) that pop music seems uniquely suited to express. Music videos have a fascinating aesthetic -- They tend maintain more "distance" than a typical film, I suppose because in a music video we hear the story from the music rather than from the characters themselves, and because the camera tends to objectify the characters. I liked the way that Mary Ellen controlled the distance in the story and gave it the sense of a camera turning this way and that, of the director/narrator showing us what she had deliberately designed for us to see. If I had to classify the narrative style I'd say the control of distance made it reminiscent of Hemingway or Malraux, allowing for major differences of time, place and culture, of course. The way that an almost uniform distance was maintained throughout the story gave the few moments in which the narration moves closer to the characters a very powerful impact by way of contrast. I'm thinking of the passage in which Spock sees Kirk with the boys and thinks (not quoting here, can only paraphrase from memory) that they all bear Kirk's mark, but for him, Spock, the mark cut deeper than most. That was a knock-out line that derived even more force from the way it was delivered in that distant, "objective" narrative voice. [1]

I loved this story, Mary Ellen. Truly loved it. After a while, all fanfic begins to blur together in my already-blurred head, but this one will always stand out crystal-clear even though it's been a while since I read it. It's so unique, and I loved everything about it--the characterizations, the setting, the mood... and I think that I'm probably one of the people who had to confirm afterwards with you who Ben really was. But to me, that's part of the fun--you have to figure out who is who based on the guts of the story itself. In other words, I'm really glad you didn't hit us over the heads with it. Also, I *definitely* wouldn't call this story a/u! It's so far outside of the Trek universe that it's not even a/u, imo. Mary Ellen, I hope you know that when I was writing "An Eye for an Eye," I thought constantly of this story and how you made it work outside of all things Trek. Yes, I received not a little heat for putting Kirk and Spock in Appalachian Kentucky of the 1800's, and for making them Kirk-and-Spock but not really Kirk-and-Spock, but I didn't care. To me, that was the whole point of the story. And I think that the same applies to yours--don't try to turn them into Kirk and Spock of the Enterprise, because they're not, and that's the beauty of the story. Wildcat, hoping this makes sense [2]

Oh! Bonk! (hand hitting head) I did know Ben was Spock but would you believe I never put the names *together*? Ben Spock! OK, Jane, get that clue bus ticket.

Thank god someone pointed this out to me. But Doc, what's the point of associating those two guys? I mean, it's not like Spock is portrayed as an authority on child rearing. Why're they being associated? I do remember when I first read the story asking you who this Ben guy was--I think I missed the section you quote, but now that I reread it, it still seems to me to need more Spockiness if that's the only place where you're leaving crumbs. For the inattentive reader, or cross-series reader, that description of hair and sweater could equally apply to Bashir, Chakotay, Kim, and maybe even Riker--we almost never see Spock's hair doing anything (that famous Vulcan hair-gel I believe we discussed a couple weeks ago). Hair moving around in the wind definitely does not conjure Spock for me.

Which isn't to say I didn't like the story--I did like it, and I liked Kirk especially in it. But Spock puzzled me a bit. [3]

To me, it was so far outside Trek that it wasn't even a/u; it was some other animal entirely. I'm not sure that I can explain this (and I seem to be doing a pretty bad job explaining myself recently even on things I thought I could explain), but to label it a/u would mean that I plucked the Kirk and Spock that we know and love from the Enterprise and set them down in Civil-War-era Kentucky. Actually, this was another version of them entirely--as I wrote it, I thought "What if they'd been born back then? What sort of people would they have been? How would the circumstances of their births shape their personalities?" I never thought, "Through some twist of fate, Kirk and Spock find themselves living in another time." I know that it *seems* a/u, but if I'd labeled it that, it would have put a spin on it that I didn't want. I figured that it was obvious what I was doing simply from the summary alone: "Two boys, one from the town and one from the hills, form a close friendship in mid-1800's Kentucky, but their bond is sorely tested by events beyond their control." Automatically, the reader knows that I've taken them outside of the "canon" universe (more on that in a minute), and to such an extent that I've gone far beyond what I typically think of as an a/u. [4]