Classified Assignments

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Zine
Title: Classified Assignments
Publisher: Janet Hunt
Editor(s):
Date(s): 1981-1982
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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Classified Assignments is a slash Star Trek: TOS anthology published in the UK. It required an age statement to purchase.

Some summaries below are by Gilda F.

A Fan's Comments: 1987

From a Star Trek: TOS, Professionals, and Starsky & Hutch fan:

Like most of the stories I've read ... most slash stories are "first time." To my admittedly limited knowledge, the only writer who has set up a "continuing relationship" series is Eva Stuart (ST in Classified Assignments and different Voice issues). The excellence of these stories is proof of the appeal that can attend such an exploration of a relationship, and the timeline on her stories ranges from academy to second five-year mission. (The separation - Spock to Gol and Kirk to the Admiralty - does not occur in her universe.) What is particularly satisfying is that her male bonding is the subject to the kinds of stresses that will happen in the best of pairings. Adds a dimension of reality which most first times lack. Despite my own predilection for happy endings, "and they lived happily ever after" just isn't true! (And the ones that see us at our worst are the ones we trust to love us in spite of ourselves.) [1]

Issue 1

cover of issue #1

Classified Assignments 1 was published in 1981 and contains 114 pages. Artwork by: Ann Humphrey, Tim Groome, Caz, Roo. Stories and Poetry by: Eva Stuart, Vivien Young, Valerie Lowe and others.

  • Unto The Day by Eva Stuart. Art by Ann Humphrey (20 pages) (Pre-K/S: The deaths of Edith and his brother Sam leave Kirk depressed as Christmas nears, especially since it seems to him that Spock is withdrawing from him. Sequel: The Pursuit of Love.)
  • Star Trek - The Radio Programme by Tony Cullen and Tim Groome. Art by Tim Groome. (11 pages)
  • They’re Not Cages Anymore by E. Hardcastle. Art by Caz (15 pages) (GEN After leaving the Elba colony, Kirk relates to McCoy his own fatherʼs ordeal with mental illness.)
  • The Final Test by Vivien Young. Art by Roo (3 pages) (After Spock dies in a shuttlecraft crash, Kirk fights to follow his bondmate into death through the bond.)
  • The More Complex The Mind, the Greater the Need for Play by Nancy Harvey. (3 pages) (GEN: On the Shoreleave planet, Spock conjours up his childhood pet, I-chaya.)
  • The Sun Rising by Eva Stuart. Art by Roo (27 pages) (Sent through the Guardian on a trial run, Kirk picks the time of Alexander for his and Spockʼs journey: Prequel: The Anniversary. Sequel: Loveʼs War)
  • Diplomatic Relations by Tessa-Jane Greebling. Art by Tim Groome. (4 pages)
  • Changes by Vivien Young. Art by Roo (18 pages) (Kirk resigns from Starfleet when they try and ground him after VʼGer.)

Poetry:

  • Puff Puff by Beryl Cleveley
  • The Agony I must now endure by Eva Stuart
  • Kirk and Khan by Tim Groome. Art by Tim Groome.
  • The Awakening by Eva Stuart
  • Poetry by Eva Stuart. Art by Tim Groome.
  • When Thou has done, Thou hast not done by Eva Stuart. Art by Vivien Rivers
  • Spock Transformed by Valerie Lowe
  • The Starry Feeling by Valerie Lowe

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for The Sun Rising.

See reactions and reviews for Star Trek - The Radio Programme.

[zine]:

'Classified Assignments 1' is a new collection of Star Trek stories, plays, poetry and art. Highlinhts include a Star Trek Radio Programme by Tony Cullen and Tim Groom which has been written in the 'Goon Show' vein. The show stars Capt. Kayak, Mr Spot and Dr 'Scones' McCoy. Readers not acquainted with British radio shows or slang may miss some of the jokes, but it is a very funny story.

4 outstanding stories require special mention:

"They're Not Cages Anymore" -- examines Capt. James Kirk's insight into the minds of the insane through personal experience. After the visit to Elba II, James Kirk flashes back to his own childhood and his father's mental illness and the impact his father had on his ambition to go into space. The story shows a new facet to the character of Kirk.

"The More Complex the Mind, the Greater the Need for the Simplicity of Play" -- a light story that involves Spock's return to the Shore Leave Planet - where he meets a friend from the past.

"The Sun Rising" -- Kirk and Spock return to the 'Guardian of Forever for a historical investigation of Alexander the Great. For ease of close examination and since Alexander has always, been a special hero to Kirk, Kirk decides to take part in the victory games following the conquest of Tyre. The theme is the examination and comparison of the relationships of Alexander and his companion, Hephaestion, and Kirk and Spock. Since this story carries a mild thread of K/S, the inner thoughts are mostly of Spock try inn to understand how Hephaestion deals with his love for Alexander so he may apply it to himself and Kirk. 'The Sun Rising' is full of action in the arena and on the battlefield, and the descriptions of the Alexandrian era are very colourful . It is an interesting idea.

"Unto the Day -- a Christmas Fantasy, is a well written holiday story with a touch of the past with a visit of the ghost of Christmas Present and a touch of the future with the magical granting of everyone's most secret wish. Spock's secret wish is granted but it begins a strong inner conflict to understand the complex relationship of himself and Kirk. The descriptions are very artistic. Ann Humphrey's artwork is outstanding.

This zine does include some sexually explicit relationships and should be read at the the readers discretion. Some of these include: 'Diplomatic Relations which covers a very, very close encounter of Kirk and a Female KIingon Ambassador in the ShuttIecraft.

'Changes' is a post V'ger, K/S story which begins when Kirk resigns from Starfleet and Kirk and Spock come to terms with their love for each other. Spock resigns too and chooses to follow Kirk wherever he goes, forever.

The material used is weIl-compiled, proofed, and published with some fresh ideas and insights into the characters of Kirk and Spock. The art contributions by Ann Humphrey, Tim Groome, Caz and Roo should get a special mention.

Reviwers note; Even though this mixture of straight and sexual material is different, it may prevent the reading of notable straight material by Star Trek fans not wishing to buy K/S sexually explicit material.

Stories 84%, Artwork 10%, Poetry 6%. [2]

[zine]: In a departure from her series of reprint zines (COMPUTER PLAYBACK, RELAY, K/S RELAY), Janet Hunt presents here an assortment of original fiction and poetry. The serious treatments are leavened with several dollops of humor and a generally above average level of quality is maintained. Some pieces contain sexually explicit scenes and several deal with K/S relationships, making an age statement necessary. The bulk of the material consists of prose—four meaty stories, a medium length parody and several short pieces which are.predominantly light in tone,,The poetry includes several fine efforts hy both Stuart and Young. However, Groome's "Kirk ; Kahn", with the complex indirection of its imagery, may not be to everyone's taste. While not overly abundant, many of the illos are striking. Ann Humphrey's pointillistic delicacy is hauntingly expressive, Roo's portraits are, as ever, masterful. And her classic accompaniments for "The Sun Rising" step out of antiquity to embellish..the story perfectly.

Eva Stuart stands out in several excellent pieces. Her handling of the K/S relationship is mature and keeps very much to character. "Unto the Day" maintains a fine tension throughout. Although the device which brings self-knowledge seems rather artificial, the results are beautifully rendered and believable. "The Sun Rising" presents the tentative balance evolving between Kirk's and Spook's differ ent and equally strong personalities in counterpoint to the Alexander-Hephaestion theme. Too few writers have focused beyond the "first time" to deal with the necessary adjustments, the give and take essential to any sustained and sustaining relationship, Here the difficulties of protectiveness versus independence, fear versus freedom are revealed with sensitivity, Eva is a talent to watch, turning an already skilled hand to poetry or prose.

"They're Not Cages Any More!"'fills in some emotional background on J.T.K. by tying in to the aftermath of "Dagger of the Mind". At the same time it manages to illuminate the Kirk/McCoy relationship a bit—personal and professional. That is a topic often glossed over. Many authors have examined the Spock/McCoy equation, and K/3 has become a genre unto itself, but few aside from Volker and Kippax have delved into the K/M side of the triangle.

Generous helpings of humor lighten the mix. "Star Trek - The Radio Programme", uses a familiar format to take some friendly jabs at many of our favorite cliches. Some jokes are strained, and a few were not obvious to one bred on "the other side of the pond", but for the most part they are pulled off - with a wicked tongue-in-cheek.

And after reading "Diplomatic Relations" there is no doubt that the English sense of humor is deliciously decadent. Tim Groome's Kirk illo is perfect!

Nancy Harvey does a delightful,Spock on the Shore Leave Planet vignette. And Vivien Young's "Changes" picks up the thread of the movie to. follow Kirk's eventual confrontation with Admiral Nogura and his renewed and changing relationship with Spock. There are some perceptive portrayals here in situations which could easily have developed along these lines.

All in all, CLASSIFIED ASSIGNMENTS is a worthwhile effort, especially if one is interested in some thoughtful insights into personalities. The next issue is eagerly anticipated. It will have a high standard to meet. [3]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2
table of contents issue #2

Classified Assignments 2 was published in 1982 and contains 142 pages. Art is by Ann Humphrey, Lesley Crowther, Tim Groome, and Roo.

From the editorial:
I do hope you are going to enjoy Classified Assignments 2 (or Class Ass as a friend calls it!). A lot of hard work and love of ST has gone into these stories and I would like to thank all the authors and artists for their imagination, hard work, rewrites and patience....

There is a rumour going around that I am giving up fandom and my zines, as with most rumours this is totally untrue (I suppose some strange folks just get their kicks making things up) and I hope to have another Computer Playback and Relay out later in the year. "I say hope because deadlines have to be flexible and I won't spoil the ship for a pennyworth of tar.

I already have material for CA3, I don't know when it will be ready, the stories I have are super and if you would like to send a s.a.e., I will send you a flyer when the zine is published.

  • The Anniversary by Eva Stuart (Kirk is being persuaded into taking a desk job as the 5 year mission comes to an end, while at the same time trying to deal with the feelings for Spock he has finally admitted to him: Prequel: The Sun Rising.) (4)
  • Mother, How Can You… by Eva Stuart (23)
  • Cartoon (24)
  • The Merkin Legacy by Tessa-Jane Greebling (25)
  • Learning to Live by Elaine Oldham (33)
  • To Catch a Falling Star by Liz Abraham (34)
  • Prelude by Elaine W. (Pre K/S: As Kirk takes command of the Enterprise, his need for a friend draws him to Spock as they both begin to lower their emotional shields.) (35)
  • Behold a Pale Horse by H.M.V. (43)
  • I Will Remain by Ann Smith (48)
  • After Kahn by Tim Groome (47)
  • The Decision by Vivien Young (Spock decides to leave Gol after his mental contacts with VʼGer and Kirk.) (49)
  • Such Sweet Sorrow by Jo Martin (A/U: Kirk and Spock have love for one night in a Federation intolerant of homosexuality.) (54)
  • Rumour? by Vicky Davidson (67)
  • Insurance by S. Meek (68)
  • The Solution by Eva Stuart (Kirk is unsure about leading another 5 year mission until his bondmate comes up with a plan to show him their future: Prequel: Patterns. Sequel: Winterstorm.) (71)
  • Who Needs More? By Elaine Oldham (79)
  • Denevan Mirror by Jo Martin (M/U: Spock, strapped in sickbay after being blinded, has a welcome visitor.) (80)
  • Night of Plak Tow by Vivian Young (Humor: Kirk sees Spock through pon farr.) (84)
  • To Ride the Winds of Time by Liz Abraham (89)
  • Compensations by S. Meek (90)
  • Standing in the Shadows by Ann Smith (93)
  •  ? by Vicky Davidson (94)
  • Love’s War by Eva Stuart (Kirk and Spock are sent undercover disguised as a Klingon and a Romulan to help the leader of a Klingon planet: Prequel: The Sun. Sequel: The Legacy) (95)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

[1982]:

The firs tissue of 'Classified Assignments' set a high standard, so No. 2 was awaited eagerly, yet with some trepidation. Would it hold to that previous level? You bet; again there is a disclaimer regarding the existence of some sexually explicit material dealing with same sex relationships - so if you are upset by the K/S premise, this may not be for you. The sex is muted for the most part, however, more implied than described.

The bulk of the material this time around is solid prose. Eva Stuart takes honours for her sensitive handling of relationships played against a substantial plot. The two longest stories in the zine are hers. 'The Anniversary' is a somewhat different "first time" story skillfully enough done to make T'Pau a sympathetic character.

'Love's War' has an already established, though still new, K/S relationship in counterpoint to a tragic stillborn one between the hereditary ruler of the planet Chare and the Klingon military governor. Kirk and Spock are sent as advisors and become involved in the fast moving chain of events. Still early in the forging of their combined identity, still struggling with the problems posed by a lack of time and opportunity to devote to each other - a product of their chosen lifestyle - with uncertainty and insecurity ever looming, they face the added burden of Spock having to confront the dark side of his Vulcan ancestry which is brought into focus by the uncurbed violence of the Charean culture. In addition, there is the responsibility they bear for involvement in the political situation. It is a well written, thoughtful story. The illos by Ann Humphrey mate well with the story whether presenting a scene or framing the text vith decoration evoking an alien culture.

The events of ST:TMP cast a long shadow in several of the stories. "The Decision" by Vivien Young explores Spock's thoughts upon failing to achieve Kolinahr and his subsequent decision to seek out his answers by confronting V'ger. Jo Martin's 'Such Sweet Sorrow' is an explanation for the separation of Kirk and Spock upon completion of the five year mission based in an alternate universe. It is coherent and fits into the flow of events. While saddening to envision a future where bigotry holds sway, realistically the possibility is all too evident. The feeling of an alternate universe setting is carried out by the alterations of uniform in the illos by Humphrey, which fit in well. 'The Solution' by Eva Stuart is another explanation of the events of ST:TMP - this one quite original in concept. I found it a subtly crafted integration of the novel with this alternate storyline possibility and much to my liking.

A light touch is provided by a couple of stories, a vignette or two and the inclusion of a number of cartoons scattered throughout the zine. It is a welcome touch to balance things cut a bit. Personally,Tessa-Jane Greebling far fetched humor in 'The Merkin Legacy' is not terribly amusing. 'Night of the Plak Tow' pokes fun at all those rapturous pon farr tales. (Who ever said K/S people take their premise too seriously?)

The poetry is, more often than not, more truthfully a concise prose presentation, as is the case in most Treklit. Still, it is not bad.

The proportion of artwork has increased this time around, and is often impressive. But aside from some of Ann Humphrey's efforts, it consists almost wholly of portrait studios. Again that is the prevailing situation in Treklit.

Several other things should be mentioned, among them 'Denevan Mirror', a plausable interpolation to the events of 'Operation—Annihilate' in the mirror universe. The thread of that Spock's thoughts while lying in sick bay, blinded, is very perceptive. 'Insurance' by Sue Meek is a lovely bit of wit well suited to a Vulcan. 'Behold a Pale Horse', however, is chilling and plays a rather nasty trick on the reader with almost no prior warning, 'Prelude' is Elaine W.'s treatment of that tentative stage of feeling each other out at the beginning of a personal as well as a working relationship between Kirk and Spock. While presenting some nice insights in the course of Kirk's introspection, there seems to be a slight discrepancy with the tenor of the opening scene of 'Where No Man' which supposedly has already transpired. There the two appeared to be playing chess, comfortably together with some easy byplay between them.

Overalls this zine ranks well above average, with depth of plot and characterization combined. Keep up the good work. [4]

[1985]:

It had a delightfully high percentage of good stories and one that I found really excellent. If this is what English zines are like I want to see more.

I was most impressed with "Such Sweet Sorrow" by Jo Martin. It's an unpleasant alternate universe in the extreme. Homosex is strictly forbidden in Starfleet and Fleet has its very own inquisition machinery to sniff it out. This is frighteningly well-motivated and vividly shown. It's also quite contemporary in the issues it deals with. Gays and lesbians being subjected to aversion therapy or having their minds destroyed is very real to me. It happened to an ex-lover of mine. And gays are gang-raped and tortured in prisons — here and now. This is very gut-level to me.... It's a story I might have written and I wish I had. It also begs for a sequel. I wonder if there is one.... If there isn't, I'd love to write a sequel myself. I must get in touch with the author. This is the kind of K/S I want to read. It's a downer, but it's important that people know that the persecution of gays and lesbians exists, is continuing and is horrendous. I also like the extreme heroism of Kirk and Spock in this universe. It moves me more to see them fighting the powers that be than to see them fitting in with a supposedly Utopian status quo. I love revolutionaries and I have a soft spot for martyrs in a great cause.

Speaking of revolutionaries, I'm sure everyone in this apa knows how much I like Klingon revolutionaries, so when I found a story about them in CLASSIFIED ASSIGNMENTS 2 I was instantly prejudiced in favor of it. "Love's War" by Eva Stuart is unquestionably a good story. I loved the Klingon "/" in it. However I had a problem with Spock's over-reaction to "Klingon savagery". Spock had seen Klingon violence on Organia that would "make this look like a folk dance" to use a Kirkean phrase, and he didn't start going through agonies of identification on the basis of Vulcan's past and need to re-integrate himself. It could be argued that bonding with Kirk makes Soock more vulnerable and less stable. This argument is basically anti-K/S. If we don't believe that the K/S bond would make Spock stronger and more integrated, then why are we writing this stuff? Because we think it's the worst thing that could possibly happen to him? That kind of negativity bothers me. Nevertheless. I'd still recommend this story. It's one of a handful of really good Klingon stories.

I got a kick out of "The Solution", also by Eva Stuart. It challenges one's notions of reality. From now on I'll think of "The Solution" every time I see ST 1, which I exoect to be mercifully seldom. [5]

References

  1. ^ from Tell Me Something I Don't Know! #3 (March 1987)
  2. ^ from Communicator #1
  3. ^ from Communicator #2
  4. ^ from Communicator #7 (Oct 1982)
  5. ^ from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #16