|Editor(s):||Corrine Bass and Elizabeth Terre, and possibly just Corrine after issue #17 or so|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TOS|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
It won a STIFfie Award in 1994.
Description from On the Double: "A gathering place for K/S readers and writers, published on the 5th of every month. Will contain 5-15 pages, format to be decided with each issue. ... contents: LOC, Soapbox, Spotlight (Autobiography of individual K/S readers), First Contact (a way to meet other K/S fans in your area), Fantasies, Recruiting (new and proposed zine ads), Quartermaster (personal adds... and ad and fan conventions)."
Other K/S Letterzines
- Not Tonight Spock! (June 1984-Winter 1987)
- On the Double (November 1986-January 1996)
- The LOC Connection (January 1989-December 1993)
- Come Together (January 1994-August 1996)
- The K/S Press (September 1996-present day)
For other letterzines, see List of Letterzines.
This zine won a 1994 and a 1995 STIFfie Award.
The First Issue's Editorial
Welcome to the first issue of COME TOGETHER. I wanted to spell it Cum Together but Elizabeth thought that was tacky. (I love puns, and all word games.) Thank goodness that this is a cooperative venture. My hat is off to Regina for the fine work that she did for so many years on THE LOC CONNECTION.
COME TOGETHER is a different publication although many aspects are the same as Regina's. We will be changing the way COME TOGETHER looks as we experiment with all the wonderful aspects of WordPerfect 6.0. Let us know what you like and dislike.
Naturally we accept submissions whether on disk, typed, longhand, or printed. Please send your telephone number along with your submission in case there is a problem. (I am pretty good at deciphering handwriting, but just in case I can't it would really be helpful to double check with you.)K/S'ers at the blonde's home, and were immediately told to do so. The support has been great - Thanks a lot guys!
From issue #3:
Another question concerning pen names was asked. You can sign any name you wish to use as a pen name any time you feel it is appropriate. If you want to use more than one in your letter, just sign the review with the pen name you want for that review.
Come Together 1 was published in January 1994 and contains 13 pages.
- reviews for content in Charisma, As I Do Thee #1, T'hy'la #14, First Time #37, Otherwhere/Otherwhen #3, Against All Odds, Within the Mirror #8
Come Together 2 was published in February 1994 and contains 19 pages.
- comments about the material in Within the Mirror #8, Charisma #13, #17, #18, Kaleidoscope #1, T'hy'la #12, #14, Naked Times #31, Otherwhere/Otherwhen #3, The Voice #2, Scattered Stars #4, see those pages
- a fan comments on the announcement that Bill Hupe has the masters and will, with permission, publish many of Pon Farr Press's zines: I am delighted that Bill Hupe has ameliorated the Pon Farr Press problem. Fans do want these zines, but most people have experienced the Pon Farr Press mail order delay, and have been unwilling to wait that long. Ethical fans like me have been getting Pon Farr Press zines at cons, but unethical fans have been pirating Pon Farr Press zines and using the delay as an excuse. Now they don't have that excuse. Bill Hupe's mail order service is excellent. Let's hope that there's a good deal less piracy as a result of his agenting of Pon Farr Press zines.
Come Together 3 was published in March 1994 and contains 20 pages.
- there are comments regarding Kaleidoscope #1, Charisma #13, #17, Against All Odds, No Greater Love, T'hy'la #14, Naked Times #22, K/S Collected, First Time #38, Within the Mirror #8, The Voice #2, Counterpoint #9, see those pages
- fans discuss K/S recommended fiction for a new fan; one fan says the best writing is in now out-of-print zines; another one makes a list and adds: I think buying just one of each of the listed 10 anthology series would give a beginning reader an overview of K/S as well as letting her decide which series she prefers to pursue further when time (and money) allows. (Just buying the 6 novels and 10 anthologies new will cost somewhere between $230.00 and $320.00.)
- a fan comments on her experiences at the recent Creation Con in Los Angeles; one comment: They also showed the best Kirk and Spock music video I've ever seen. If the Creation people had realized how absolutely K/S it comes across, they probably wouldn't have done it.
- fan describes how she has to go undercover when the in-laws visit: We give them our bedroom. My closet has become not only a shrine to Spock but also the repository of all my K.S and ST stuff. Unfortunately, while my husband's tolerance for the "divine obsession" is great, it does not extend to having it out and in evidence in the house. (He even helped me frame your artwork, [name redacted] with a wry remark, "Who said we don't spend meaningful quality time together?" He was kidding. I think.} Not willing to blow their image of me as a proper loving wife, helpmate and mother to their perfect grandchildren, all of it has to be moved before their visit. Out comes all the novels, pro books, con memorabilia. Out come the scrapbooks. Out come all the stories I've written. They would get the joke of my nom-de-porn even if no one else does. Out come the five huge boxes of zines. Now I am ready to tackle the art. Out of the closet, (literally)...
- a fan has this take on declining media zine sales: Many may disagree, but I can see reasons for declining zine sales by this press which are independent of the copying controversy. (I don't want to down play that or suggest that it isn't adversely affecting editors and fandom.) Each press reflects the style and tastes of the editor. People who order First Time publications, for example, know the stories will have a happy ending. Pon Farr Press tends to favor stories where Kirk and/or Spock interact with a third party, sometimes to the point where they are merely supporting characters. In addition, a strong Spock and a submissive Kirk have become almost a trade mark of those publications in recent years. I read somewhere that current polls of young movie goers and Trek fans now show Kirk as the most popular character. In the past it was Spock. What I'm getting at is simply that tastes change and a decline in sales may just be reflecting that. I personally don't like weak Kirks. I know submission is not a sign of weakness; it can relieve pressure of command, but story after story on the same theme flat turns me off. Even Ms. Black's powerful and evocative prose can't make that storyline interesting to me in every zine. Since this storyline is Pon Farr's "specialty", I tend to order just one zine a year or, more likely, buy from a fan sale. So what we may be seeing is newer fans with a different perception of the characters who budget their money by buying other types of zines first.
- a fan writes of safer sex, the future, and whether she thinks Kirk and Spock would practice it: I truly hope that AIDS is cured much sooner than the 22nd century. In "Omega Glory" Dr. McCoy says that they have not yet cured the common cold. The common cold, like AIDS, is a viral disease that is caused by a rapidly mutating virus. Evidently the Trek 22nd century still doesn't have a good handle on this kind of viral infection. It seems perfectly reasonable to me that, if the common cold has not been cured, neither has AIDS. Even if AIDS has been cured there is another good reason to use safe(r) sex in the Star Trek universe. AIDS is not the only venereal disease in the galaxy. It's probably not even the worst one. And they pop up all the time, just like AIDS came out of nowhere. With the amount of sleeping around Kirk does, he's likely to be one of the first people to pick up whatever is around. Not to mention he has a tendency to skip his regularly scheduled physical where presumably McCoy checks him out for this kind of stuff. I feel it would be most illogical for Spock, especially in a story where they have no monogamous commitment, to take such a risk. I also feel it would be rather unloving of Kirk to expose him to it.
- a fan went to Escapade and is mystified about something: Well guys, I went to Escapade this year and the second time is lots better than the first! A number of reasons: I know a lot more people now after more than a year in fandom. Also, there were more K/Sers there. And I'm more familiar with multi-media. That doesn't mean I like it any better. I still can't understand for the life of me, IDIC notwithstanding and all that, why anyone would prefer two ordinary men - (take your pick: there are countless pairings) over Kirk and Spock. I mean look what K/S is -not just two men (excuse the expression, but this is really where it's at for the most part) fucking, but a whole range of experiences that we draw upon: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and yes, sexual. And from what I've seen, heard and read - the biggest draw to any other slash fandom (why do you think they call it "slash"?) is sex between the two men. Okay, romance is somewhere in there, but not by much. I am not expressing this to put anyone's taste in zines or TV or fandom down. Honestly, some of my best friends are (gag) Pros fans, but I can see so much in K/S that I don't see in anything else, that it makes me want to explore why others leave K/S to join something else. To my knowledge, K/S was the first fandom of its type and evidently set the precedent for all the rest that followed. But why would anyone want to give up all the extraordinary beauty, intelligence,feeling and depth of K/S for two ordinary men fucking?
Come Together 4 was published in April 1994 and contains 20 pages.
- there are comments regarding KaleidoScope #1, Charisma #13, #17, First Time #7, #38, No Greater Love, Scattered Stars #5, Matter/Antimatter #11, Counterpoint #7, As I Do Thee #20, Naked Times #31, The Voice #4, see those pages
- a fan questions the presence of disease in the far future: ... where do you draw the line between realism and fantasy? vision of the future created by Gene Roddenberry. Within those parameters, medicine will be quite advanced. If one still decides that there will remain the threat of AIDS, how does that translate to K/S? Does Kirk or Spock get the disease? Do they always wear condoms? If AIDS, then why not cancer? Heart-disease? Leukemia? If colds, than why not AIDS. If headaches, than why not brain tumors? Not addressing a contemporary issue in K/S doesn't mean that one denies the truth of reality. There is no guilt to bear because one shares a vision of the future that is better than the present. And it certainly doesn't mean you are turning your back on those with AIDS. I resent being told that I have "trouble" acknowledging "the threat". I have no difficulty with reality and concerning AIDS, I have two close friends who are dying from it. So if a writer wants to decide that there's AIDS in the future and it's their responsibility to address it, fine. It doesn't mean I have to read it.
- another fan adds: ...I certainly think it's fine for you or anyone to write a K/S story or stories with the premise of safe(r) sex practices being necessary, and I can find it interesting reading (if it is otherwise interesting reading), but I sure don't think we need to make it K/S canon. I'm sure that's not what you intended to imply anyway... My personal assumption for K/S is that AIDS is not a given. AIDS and any other type of health hazard of any kind, sexual or otherwise, certainly has a place in futurist stories, but I will not assume any of it as a fact of life. If included with all the other contemporary problems we like to "solve" in our ST-K/S writing, I see an AIDS-type situation as simply another relevant scenario we can write about, along with violence and overpopulation and the environmental mess and all the -isms.
Come Together 5 was published in May 1994 and contains 20 pages.
- includes comments about material in Against All Odds, Matter/Antimatter #11, Way of the Warrior #6, First Time #7, #38, No Greater Love #1, Naked Times #30, #31, Off the Wall #2, Charisma #17, #18, Scattered Stars #5, see those pages
- a fan writes a con report for RevelCon, see that page
- a fan comments about an article called "Star Trek Fandom as a Religious Phenomenon"  and was unhappy: While this article brought up some interesting questions, such as "Is fandom a religion?* and "Is the way we think about religion changing in the late 20th century?", I found myself pretty pissed off at the author. Early in the article he acknowledges that women fans function differently from men (women have a zine community, men have a computer network). After making this point, however, he goes on to interview mostly men. He then draws his conclusions from these interviews and acts like it applies to all of fandom. For instance, he talks about the formation of a canon as being part of the religious things that fans do. However, he doesn't even mention the reading between the episodes that K/Sers and other women fen do when they are developing a canon. Makes me think about Elaine Pagels' ideas about how and why women's writings got left out of the New Testament.
Come Together 6 was published in June 1994 and contains 18 pages.
- comments about As I Do Thee #20, First Time #37, #38, No Greater Love #1, Naked Times #31, T'hy'la #7, Scattered Stars #5, #6, see those pages
- there is a very long and moving "Bio-Line" (autobiography) by Kathy S.
- a fan writes: ...I decided to try an experiment. I brought my copy of Nightvisions to rehearsal one day, and asked one of my gay friends to read a little of it and tell me what he thought. (I didn't tell him what it was about.) Well, that afternoon, he brought it back to my dressing room and said, "I don't know where the hell you get that stuff, but it doesn't have ANYTHING to do with the way gays behave." Period. End of subject. In fact, he was really kind of pissed. Well, I already knew that!... and I began to wonder. Does K-S have a following within the gay community? I'd be real interested to hear from any zine eds out there -- I thought K-S was something we gals had all to ourselves, so to speak...
- a fan describes a run in with the cops: I have one of the largest collections of K/S zines in the UK, upwards of 250. They are also housed in my bedroom closet and in drawers under the bed. A few months ago I had reason to call out the police when a theft was discovered. Two officers came to my house, one of each gender. During the course of questioning they mentioned they might need to search the premises. After a lot of throat clearing and blushing I admitted to having a large collection of pornographic material. As it happened they weren't bothered about that, but the lady proved most interested when I told her about it and said she would view "Star Trek" with new eyes in future.
Come Together 7 was published in July 1994 and contains 12 pages.
- comments on the contents of First Time #38, Covert Action, T'hy'la #15, No Greater Love #1, Speed of Light, Naked Times #13, #32, Scattered Stars #4, #5, #6, KSX #1, #2, Matter/Antimatter #11, see those pages
- there is much discussion about the relationship between gay men and slash
- a fan writes: "Just don't ask a certain friend of mine about the sad saga of trying to enter her songtape in the MediaWest Music video contest two year in a row. Her language wouldn't be appreciated."
- a fan comments on the panels at Worldcon: Well, I got the preliminary... program for Worldcon, and there are at least 10 panel suggestions that could relate to slash, including "Beyond K/S: Gay Aspects of the Star Trek Universe," "All About Slash," "Slash Fan Writing," and "Women Who Write Gay Characters" (a repeat panel from ConFrancisco last year.) This compares to one panel suggestion last year. So I guess is out of the closet, so to speak. 
- about gay men and slash: Re gay men. When I moderated the one slash-related panel at ConFrancisco last year, I met some gay men who are interested in slash. What is probably the largest publicly available collection of slash was donated to the MIT Science Fiction Club Library by a gay man, and there were definitely men in the audience who were interested in the subject. However, K/S is so different from standard gay porn (or regular gay stories, for that matter) that I doubt whether many gay men would be interested. The reactions of my gay male friends to the concept of K/S have ranged from mild interest to irritation. I would never give slash to a gay man without finding out how he felt about the concept of women writing erotica with gay male characters.
Come Together 8 was published in August 1994 and contains 20 pages.
- there are comments and reviews for content in Amazing Grace #2, First Time #38, Matter/Antimatter #11, T'hy'la #13, #14, #15, Scattered Stars #6, Naked Times #32, Within the Mirror #9, see those pages
- there are some con reports for Shore Leave, see that page
- a fan makes a plea: My closet has been the shrine of K/S. I have some great old zines! All the people I've ordered from have been very kind and rapidly fill my order except one. who happens to be my favorite, author zine. I've written to her several times and received a reply "that my zines are in the mail" but I've never received an answer. I have ordered over S200.00 in zines from her starting from Oct. 93 to Jan 94. I've been told that her press is late, but a year late? I have asked for my zines or my money back, but so far I've been ignored. I would like for other K/S fans that have bad this problem with Pon Farr Press to write and let me know how to get a response from [A F B] and how long it's taken to get their zines. I may be upset with her, but her writing and novels are very good! She's kept me waiting for 10 months to read "Off Duty 1 & 2" and others are too numerous to mention. I realize that there's been fire, plagues and earthquakes Since Oct '93 in Cailf. but 10 months is too long!... I could have gone into withdrawal over this as I live in OK. which is "The Bible Belt Capital of America". I tied up this money which could have been sent to Bill Hupe to get her zines from him instead I was trying to be loyal to her as my favorite Authoress of K/S Erotica. I would like to see any other stories, tales or comments from anyone who has had a similar problem and how to resolve it. I hope [A F B] reads this LOC and sends my zines. That would keep me buying all her zines and novels forever! An [A F B] fan in OK. awaits her lost order! Please send them before I go into PON FARR! 
- a fan looks at the past and writes of her hopes for the K/S future: During June I had been reading the first few issues of NOT TONIGHT SPOCK. Issue #5 was right after 1984 Shore Leave, There had been a really nasty flyer that went around at SL, denigrating many K/S zine editors, and so this was discussed in #5. Distressing, that crap like that went on. Also I noticed that quite often the tone of the LOC's and other writings in NTS was so blatantly negative. There seemed to be people who felt they and only they had the patent on what K/S should be and were intolerant of other ways. It's interesting to look back to K/S ten years ago, from our perspective now. I know I am a "new" K/S'er and I don't know the whole story of what was going on, but I like to think we've broadened, gotten more inclusive, perhaps simply more tactful if nothing else. Or more easy with ourselves and with life so that there is no reason to even bother with being bothered by someone else's ego trips. K/S is strictly for pleasure, as far as I'm concerned; serious ego-conflicts taint the beauty of it. My only experience is with TLC and CT [Come Together, this letterzine] (and it seems to me Regina instigated and we have continued to uphold a fine policy of keeping personal vendettas out of our letterzine. I don't think I'm being naive, but I think we can make K/S be the place in our lives where we leave behind all that conflict.
Come Together 9 was published in September 1994 and contains 14 pages.
- there are comments for material in Matter/Antimatter #11, Scattered Stars #6, As I Do Thee #21, Within the Mirror #9, First Time #19, #39, T'hy'la #14, see those pages
- the editors write: First of all, we wish to apologize to anyone who was offended by any of the words that were used inappropriately here in this newsletter. It was not our intention to hurt anyone. Carolyn S, thank you for your offer to do a K.S Bibliography (or 1993; we did have a response from Joanne S which will appear here now. Joanne, thanks and the 1994 offer sounds good, again thanks. We are going to have to start enforcing a limit of 1700 words per LOC. Remember if you want your address published with your Letter of Comment, you have to give us permission, we will not take the responsibility to do so on our own.
- a fan boycotts the recent Trek movie: Speaking of dying and Kirk: I think I've decided not to see the movie. The only possible form of protest is money. The studios, producers and bigwigs don't care about anything else, fuck artistic integrity. And especially, fuck the fans. They'd put the guy hanging out on the street corner in the movies if they thought it'd bring them the bucks. So they can't have my seven dollars, but the most important thing to do is to write to them to tell them that this is what I'm doing. Otherwise, that loss of seven bucks is only because maybe I was stuck in traffic and couldn't get to the theater in time. But don't think I'm not curious! Boy, I'm sure sorry I'm going to miss Kirk dying in Picard's arms, saying something like: “It was fun.” Excuse me? It was fun? I guess Spock is off on a vacation somewhere, certainly not actually thinking about Kirk! So I'm going to do what I've done before, which is consign all this to some alternate universe somewhere and get back to watching the episodes.
- a fan explains that she writes Letters of Comment because it is part of the bigger K/S world to show interest and analyze the fiction as it is done for love: If I critique a story that has lots of weaknesses, I'm not saying to the author that her writing sucks the big one and she'd better stop now while she's ahead. I'm saying that there are aspects of the writing that don't work for me (and I can't continually say "for me" or "in my opinion" because that's what it is, anyway!) and that next time the author writes, maybe it might be helpful. Besides, would any of you prefer just fluff pieces of LOCs where all that was said was "This is a really good story"? I'm constantly questioning myself and others to make sure that nothing I say is too harsh, too opinionated or too anything, because I would never want to hurt anyone or stop someone from writing K/S just because of my own stupid opinion. And if I've learned anything in all my years on this planet, it's that there will always be someone who won't like what you've done or won't like you.
Come Together 10 was published in October 1994 and contains 16 pages.
- there are comments about the material in Scattered Stars #16, Within the Mirror #9, First Time #38, #39, KSX #1, #2, T'hy'la #4, #7, #15, Command Decision, The Cosmic Collected, Naked Times #16, #18, #32, Hearts of Fire, As I Do Thee #21, Speed of Light, Private Possessions, Psychic Storm, Amazing Grace #2, see those pages
- The editor writes that, according to a USA Today article dated September 16, 1994 called "Beam Them Up," a painting of Spock and Kirk kissing while engaged in "sexual bondage" was one of about twenty displays in a University of Oregon art gallery that administrators ordered curtained off. Ironically, the show was intended to celebrate free expression.
- a fan gives a short con report for the last Worldcon: Worldcon was a lot of fun. Unfortunately the planned slash panels didn't materialize. I guess there weren't enough volunteers. So I ended up on a bunch of library in the future panels (boring!) and the safe-sex panel. The strangest moment was on the safe-sex panel. I was a panelist with [S B] and [P J] (Canadian content) and Ctein (token gay male). We got into a discussion about virtual sex and how impersonal it seemed to those of us on the panel. A woman in the audience asked if someone wanted to comment on the impersonalness of fellatio. I gulped. We all stared at the ceiling. It's one thing to talk about these things theoretically. It's another to talk about what you actually do or don't do in bed (especially when your partner's in the audience). The moderator asked Ctein if he wanted to answer. Fortunately he was willing to (and had some experience to speak from - not all gay men do). I have no idea what this woman was after. Fortunately she chose not to pursue it. The most Star Trek moment was when I nearly bumped into a fully armored Klingon coming out of the green room. I decided it was not a good day to die, so I backed up and let him go first. The most disappointing thing was that there was no fan fiction in the dealers room. I don't just mean no slash or no gen ST, I mean no fan fiction at all. I thought there would be some Canadian publishers there, but there was nada. I hope the British fans are planning to do something in Glasgow next year.
- a fan writes of a zine publisher and ties it into changing levels of fan's level of patience regarding receiving zines: ln all my time in K/S fandom, and in my own personal experience, I have never heard of anyone not actually getting their zines from Pon Farr Press. Maybe they had to wait a while, but they always got them. And I've heard that in the past, waiting a long time for one's order was common. It was generally common practice for publishers to send out orders after a number of months. Maybe we expect more these days what with computers and mail-order catalogues. We're used to ordering merchandise through the mail and expect that company to get it to us in, what, 6 to 8 weeks, or something. Now, granted, 8 or 9 months is too long to wait for just about anything, but from what I've heard, it happened with lots of other publishers, as well. But, the main point here is that there's a vast difference between procrastination and thievery, thank you.
Come Together 11 was published in November 1994 and contains 14 pages. The editor notes there are 75 subscribers at this time.
- contains comments on material from First Time #36, #38, #39, On the Edge #2, Dragons, Way of the Warrior #7, KaleidoScope #2, T'hy'la #3, #6, #15, Five of Hearts, Private Possessions, Taking Command, Oasis, Imaginary Lines, Vagabonds, Within the Mirror #9, As I Do Thee #21, see those pages
- this issue has a ballot for the STIFfie
- a fan comments about the recent dust-up regarding a certain zine publisher, and of how times change: For what it is worth, I personally have never had a problem with [PF Press], and although I have heard some people complain about late zines from that publisher, the longest I ever waited for a zine from [P F Press] was five months. That's nothing compared to the three years I waited for a popular gen zine in the 70's. And you needed bifocals to read the damn thing! (Remember ditto machines?) I'm going on about this because I notice that so often we fans talk about publishers only when we perceive some problem with them, rather than acknowledging them for the tremendous service they provide to fandom.... I for one want to correct my habit of taking these wonderful people for granted. The zine publishers are the heart and soul of our fandom; without their commitment, we'd have no stories and art, no forum for communicating with each other, no K/S!
- a fan comments about "slow zines": The last time I had to wait more than a month for a zine (rare, these days!), a friend reminded me about the typical turnaround times in "the old days" (the 70's and early 80's), and I quieted down. After all, zines are published by people who have jobs, families, and other interests, and they don't earn a living from this labor of love. They have to fit zine editing, publishing, marketing, etc., into their busy lives. Back in the 70's, I waited about three years for one zine order and a year and a half for another, and I often heard fans complain about orders that never arrived at all. This situation is no longer common in fandom; we're used to getting our zines very quickly. I used to think my own and others' impatience was simply that we were 1) hooked on K/S and needed our fix, and 2) spoiled by a few publishers who send orders very quickly (and God bless them! but not everyone can do that). Now it occurs to me that there's another reason: since the 1970's, the mail - order industry has taken off. It's huge, efficient machine now. You can watch an infomercial or home - shopping show, or get a catalog in the mail, call a hotline at any hour with your credit card, and basically have your gizmo or thingamajig in a week or two. So many of us are blissfully accustomed to this method of shopping that I'll bet we forget that fandom is different. It doesn't have the billion - dollar industry behind it or the phone banks of operators waiting to take your call. Remember the days when you had to sent a check and a SASE for a zine that was basically a twinkle in some editor's eye? If enough money was received to bankroll the project, the editor could proceed, and then maybe a few years later, you'd get your zine. Sometimes you got a notice that you had to send more money. And too bad if you moved in the interim, because all fourth - class mail wouldn't follow you. These days, publishers charge enough to support the next project so we don't have to wait three years for zines. (I mean reallyl I shudder to think some of us might resort to reading Pros or watching "Battlestar Galactica" reruns.) Now some K/S publishers are so efficient that they make others who are still playing by the old rules -- i.e., sending stuff when they can -- look sluggish, when in fact everybody publishing K/S right now makes earlier fandom look like a slow starship to Andromeda. I am not complaining about the publishers who fill orders speedily. I am grateful for them, love them, think they deserve Starfleet commendations, etc. But I'd like to see us fans stop trying to measure other publishers by the same yardstick - it just doesn't work. We fans need to be more patient when we have to wait for a zine. I'm not directing this comment at anyone in particular; it's just that I heard some strident notes in the August issue that bothered me, and I heard some similar grumbling at Shore Leave, and I want to ask that we stick together as a group and not call names or make unjustified accusations against each other, K/Sers are already a small enough, oppressed enough group that fighting among ourselves can only be counterproductive.
- about LOCS and her views of K/S: The LOC's and the reviews help me to locate a zine, a story, or a novel that deals with the K/S relationship in an honest and loving manner; that is true lo the K/S of Star Trek. I get very turned off by the graphic torture and character rape that some writers employ- These reviews direct me to those writers who love K/S as much as I do. I enjoy the K/S relationship when our heroes are men of strong principle, character and honor. When they are capable of being warm, safe, protective, comforting, compassionate and honest friends. The K/S I love are gentle, sensitive, erotically sensual but share strong passionate feelings for each other long after the flames of Pon Farr are dying embers. I love the story when the mind link brings a soul/katra depth of love that will endure after the stars 'n dust. And a love that transcends time and space, that's the type of story I'll read and buy again and again. All my 400 zines are a testament to this concept.
- on fannish isolation and what one fan did about it: It gets very lonely here in Oklahoma without any support from K/S friends. That is why CT is so very important to me. It decreases my feelings of abandonment. So I have to hide my K/S collection of zines in my great grandmother's antique trunk and read them alone late at night while my [conson]sic, keeps vigil until I'm through. I've collected some lovely ST artwork and openly display it; but my erotic works are still in my closet. But they will be coming out into places of honor when my teenager goes away to college, very soon!... I decided to join some of the ST fan clubs, I've been deciding on which ones are interesting. I'm trying to locate and correspond with any K/S fans who are members of The Klingon Strikeforce or Klingon Defense Force based in Kansas MO? I joined these clubs to share in ST experience. I hope to meet sisters who share aspects of K/S, ST IDIC and SF conventions. Right now I'm trying to construct a personality profile for my persona. She is a Romulan - Vulcan hybrid and has been raised to serve the Klingon Empire, She is an Ambassador from the Klingon Empire to the Romulan Star Empire and is based on Romulus. This is a very interesting project and time consuming since I don't know any female Klingons in Oklahoma who could help. So if there are any female Klingon Warriors or Diplomats who can explain to me a 24th century Klingon Female Rom/Vul fusion's perspective, I'd like to hear from you. Part of my project is to develop a personal history, house line, parents, education, battle colleges!?), wars, honors, and prizes taken!?). Ships I've served or commanded and diplomatic posting I've served on. If it sounds interesting, drop me a line. I know there is someone out there who can advise or direct me on Klingon culture. Let me know.
- a fan has had some success tracking her ordered zines down: The editor of PFP read my LOC in the August issue and contacted me and I was able to receive my zine order. Not only did AFB contact me by letter, but she phoned me to personally say how upset she was to know that other people besides myself had not received their orders due to postal problems. [AFB] sent my zines by Priority Express and sent me a complementary zine for my long wait. I appreciated this gift which I will read many times. For anyone who still needs to get in touch with her; I find that registered mail works best. The postage to mail the letter is more, but your letter gets through.
Come Together 12 was published in December 1994 and contains 17 pages.
- contains comments on material from Scattered Stars #5, #6, First Time #34, #35, #36, #40, Within the Mirror #4, #8, #9, No Greater Love, T'hy'la #12, #15, The Price of Freedom, KaleidoScope #2, Way of the Warrior #7, Amazing Grace #2, Where Angels Fear, Out of Bounds,“The Kiss”, First Time #6, see those pages
- this issue has a rare item, a movie review Generations (ed. note-1994) – it starts out with: An overblown, bloated elephantine version of a limp Next Generation episode, complete with all the features you have come to know and love about Rick Berman’s universe.
- a zine ed asks for guidance: Every so often, I read in a story LOC that such and such 'should have been edited out". It has come up in reviews of stories in my zines as well as others. I have also heard, in private conversation, all manner of complaints about certain zines as well as compliments about others. This leads me to ask COME TOGETHER Editors as well as its readers if they believe there is a legitimate need for LOC's about the work of zine Editors. How well did she choose and edit her material, make use of illustrations, graphics, white space, etc? Pricing and promptness might also be touched upon. It has been my experience that Editors seldom get much feedback. If more of us heard additional comments concerning what you liked and disliked about our zines. we could work harder to improve them. One need not tackle all of the items above; just the ones that apply to the particular zine that you are writing about.
- a fan writes of a hidden gem :I just spent a wonderful three-day weekend at the MIT Science Fiction Club Library going through William Shawcross' collection of slash. To the best of my knowledge this is the largest publicly available collection of media fiction anywhere. There are almost forty boxes overflowing with slash from various fandoms, the majority probably being K/S. He also has apazines, essays, loc zines, lots of Darkover stuff and a lot of British and Australian zines I had never heard of, let alone seen. The students at MIT who run the library were helpful and very interested in seeing that the collection is preserved and accessible, a concern near and dear to my librarian's heart.
Come Together 13 was published in January 1995 and contains 20 pages.
- contains comments on material from As I Do Thee #15, Within the Mirror #9, First Time #19, #36, #38, #39, #40, Kaleidoscope #2 , KSX, Charisma #14, The Mystic Bond, Scattered Stars #6, The 25th Year, Where Angels Fear, see those pages
- a fan has this to say about K/S fandom: One wonderful benefit from this "divine obsession" is new and great friendships with women I never would have met otherwise. This has been, and continues to be, female bonding at its best. It's certainly an odd feeling to meet and talk with women friends who know nothing of K/S and who wouldn't like it if they did. It's funny, but I think K/S is so great that sometimes I can't understand why every woman doesn't just automatically go nuts over it!
- a fan offers her opinion about the movie, Star Trek Generations,: I left the movie in quite a state—stunned, withdrawn, teary, not sure which feelings I wanted to feel.... It reminded me of the times in my life when someone very close has died. When I would be going about town, all these people were just out and about doing normal things; they could not know that I had just had a devastating thing happen. This is being poetic, but I felt like I had slipped into another universe, one without James T. Kirk. Except that’s not true of course. To me it can be as if I just read one of our K/S A/U death stories. I read it then forget it if I can’t handle it. But I can’t seem to help it; it does feel tragic to me; the end of an era. Except, (reminding myself again) I’m not going to look at it that way. As to what makes a lot of people angry, that is, Berman & Co. moving Star Trek away from the original with such a casual disregard, well that’s the way it is. I cannot say I have the patent on what ST should be. There are so many people who are totally into what ST is now, so there you have it. We’ve known that for a while now... I have already started my “ST7” story* my version. I have a million ideas and feelings. I imagine lots of others of us clamoring to write such stories. I hope so. I know some people will want this movie just ignored, but I feel the need to re-write it, for me... So my head’s heading way out, busy with scenarios, with all the expressions of my love for Kirk and Spock. And I’m thinking about how what I just experienced, our captain’s death, will affect all of us, will change our K/S, whether we try to ignore it, or integrate some semblance of this story into our ideas about how K&S’s future might go. (Already today, I’m having a hard time getting a fix on the Mirror Kirk I’m writing, with that scene echoing in my head.) I feel such love for K/S, for everything it means inside me—and for the wonderful friendships, to share times such as this with. I feel a passionate rush of doing K/S to alleviate my sorrow...
- about late zines: A short note regarding late zines. It seems lately a lot of people accept a long term of delivery. Well, if I get a letter/card where the editor tells me, she received my money and I'll get my zine in 6 or 12 months and it really arrives at this time - it's ok. But when I order a zine, send my money, (and about $26.00, - or so is a lot of money for me!) and I don't hear anything for months, I don't know if a.) my money is lost in the mail and my order never received by the editor, b.) the zine is lost in the mail or c.) the editor has simply no time to sent it now. If you're thousands of miles away and not able to phone (language, phone rates), waiting is terrible! I'm so glad, there are editors who understand this and I wish to thank them! Robin Hood, Kathy Resch, Dovya Blacque, Emily Adams, Sandra Gent. I have gotten a lot of zines from all of you and I have never had a problem. Thank you. K/S is a big part of my life and your zines mean a great deal to me.
- this fan offers technical advice to zine eds: Editors, please consider leaving the backs of your illustration pages blank! Type showing through, even faintly, is a distraction to the viewer. For some delicate pencil renderings, it just about kills impact of the illo. Artists who do pencil work and editors who publish it should be aware that the printing process normally loses a fair degree of detail. The halftone camera has a particularly difficult time in picking up the delicate grays of graphite pencil. Therefore, my suggestion would be for artists to do your illos somewhat bolder than you'd normally expect them to look. You'll find that the published version won't look as washed out as some may have appeared in the past. Several years ago, there was a series of zines advertised as "no frills" zines. These had the normal mix of good and bad fiction and poetry, but no graphics or illustrations. The price of the zines was correspondingly lower because the editor was saved the costly extras of halftoning, "clip art" borders, etc. However, recently, I've run across a few zines with absolutely no illos, not even on the covers of some. I had ordered them through the mail and there was no mention in the flyers that these were what we used to consider "no frills" zines. Except in this case, the price was not reduced. It was the same as other zines in the series with illos. Since zine publishing is supposed to be a not-for-profit venture, I question the morality of charging $20.00 for 120 pages of xeroxed type. If Kathy Resch can sell a beautiful zine like T'hy'la #15 with color covers, for $20.00. why do we stand for others ripping us off? Or do these issues not matter to most readers as long as the fiction is there?
Come Together 14 was published in February 1995 and contains 14 pages.
- contains comments on material from KaleidoScope #2, Beside Myself #1, Matter/Antimatter #11, First Time #16, #38, In the Wilderness #4, Way of the Warrior #7, Scattered Stars #6, see those pages
- a fan offers her gratitude: Kathy Stanis' CT 1994 Index was absolutely super. What an excellent job Kathy did and all I can say is it must be the ideal (or perfection that is aspired to) I dare anyone to find one single typo or error. Truly a work of art! (In addition to being eminently practical.) I have already referred to it when I had a question about what story was LOCed.
- about the importance of LOCs and of zines, plus a little guilt trip: You are so right about how it feels at times to be faced with having to do a "book report". But, this is K/S, and it's our baby and needs to be nurtured.... But, I must mention something that I don't think I've stressed enough before -- that's readers and all of us who buy the zines which keeps all the publishers going. In truth, the actual buying of zines is the single most important thing to do! So, dare I say, that if you never contribute a word, that's fine as long as you buy those zines). I've heard from some of our best publishers that their sales were way down last year. So, LOCing or not. without all of us purchasing those zines, there won't be any K/S. I take it back about writing being the life-blood of K/S. Buying zines is the life-blood, instead. I know 20-odd bucks can be a lot, but you'll spend that money knowing it will help keep K/S the extraordinary thing that it is. And if you don't buy. there're won't be any.
- a fan comments about zine art decisions: I completely agree with her about leaving the backs of the art page blank. It's so much better and hopefully one side of one extra page won't amount to any more cost to the publisher. And I would hate "no frills" lines. Lower price or not, a large part of the pleasure for me is the look of the zine. I enjoy the artwork and graphics and design almost as much as the stories. I would loathe to be faced with only plain, xeroxed zines, no matter what the price. And I speak not only as an artist, but as a zine collector of hopefully, one day, only original K/S zines.
- regarding awards and faith in them: I have a question. Just how many people participate in the Stiffies and Fan Q? I've given up on Fan Q and have my doubts about Stiffies, Do you know you can nominate as many items per category as you wish ?? For instance, you can pick ten best K/S short stories for the Stiffies. I think it's nice you are not limited to one, but unlimited choice seems strange. I really don't think many people even nominate. Perhaps someone who knows can write about the Stiffies in future CTs.
- about fan expectations and "progress": I noticed a few have commented on how things were "in the old days'. I understand that things were slow back then and I believe that publishers were doing more than just publishing zines. There were families and other work that took priority, then. Now publishing zines has become a business. Like it or not, when a publisher does this for a living, it's a business. So, it has to be treated as such. You have a priority to your "customer", just as much as to your family. In running a business, a customer comes first. You can't ask people to consider buying what you are selling and take your time getting it to them. I'm in business for myself, I understand how important the customer is. Times have changed since the 70's and we all have to move with them. We have grown up since the 70's and don't accept some things like we used to. I'm not putting anyone down at all.
- one current topic in this letterzine was of whole zine reviews, rather than of single stories, and some fans' fear of alienating or offending the sources of their fiction: Reviews of [whole] zines? Wouldn't that be like biting the hand that feeds us, so to speak? I'm with Carolyn, I don't want to intimidate some long suffering editor out of the zine business. There are so few as it is.
- another fan comments: On whole zine reviews: I vote in favor of including them. Like [J S C], I'm surprised this should even be an issue. Whole zine reviews have been a staple of fandom ever since I can remember (and that's a long time!) It's the idea of publishing LoCs on a single story that is a relative innovation. I don't think an "Agony Booth" , format would work well for whole zine reviews, for the reasons that feature never really took off in The LoC Connection [was that it] put writers "on the spot" in a focused way that must have been uncomfortable for some, and it forced readers to write LoCs on schedule, which is a hardship for many. There's nothing wrong in listing those editors who would like to receive comments on their zines; I don't think there should be a rule that LoCs should be limited to those editors, but readers might like to know which editors are most interested in comment. In general, I would like to see a much broader range of comment in CT including not only whole zine reviews but thematic reviews (reviews of several stories on a common theme) and review articles. This can easily be done without invidious comparisons between authors.
- regarding "reviewing" zine eds and what a zine ed's role was: There's a sense in which every review of an author's or artist's work is a review of the editor's work, as well. An editor isn't just a publisher; her job is to work with the author to make sure her story is the best it can be. However, the reader can't always distinguish the editor's contribution from the author's. The editor is usually the only person who knows for sure what the author's original draft looked like, what changes she asked for, and what changes the author agreed (or refused) to make. In spite of these caveats, reviewers of single stories could perhaps be more helpful to editors by being on the lookout for "editor issues" problems in a story that the editor should have attended to, like structure and grammar-as well as "author issues" like characterization, plot and style.
- this LOC is unique for two reasons: it is the first time in this letterzine that an author uses a specific pseud for a specific letter, and because it raises a relatively new topic in K/S fandom -- the warning: What's the deal about the sudden upswing In stories dealing with child sex (particularly K or S being victimized as young boys) and gratuitous violence in K-S? I don't like it not one bit, and here's why - Women are far too often the victims of sexual violence, either as children or as adults, to be glorifying it in what is supposedly our own forum. I purposefully am signing this letter with a pseudonym because I don't want to start getting hate mail I realize that there are probably a lot of different views on this subject, and hey, it's a free country and everything. I'm not suggesting censorship. I just wish more LOCS and reviews would point this sort of thing out so I would know before I bought. Failing that, a warning label, or a separate publication for those who get into that sort of thing? The one thing I don't like about buying K-S is that if you get something that you really hate (like something with a child sex story in it), you can't send it back. I understand the publisher's point of view - having a "get your money back" plan does open the system up for a lot of abuse, like widespread illegal copying - but there should be some kind of system. Any ideas? Let's beef about it - I mean, I really am not saying "clean up K-S", that would be a misnomer and it certainly wouldn't be any fun. What I am saying is, I would not be opposed to the editors coming up with some sort of code word to put on publications containing child-sex stories, or something of that sort that would keep me from wasting my hard-earned dollars on what I consider to be trash. I mean, look at "The Big Three". Courts, Nightvisions, and Broken Image; - prime time K-S but none of this weird stuff.
- a fan is enamored of the new technology and speculates on its use: I'd just like to say that I am really getting into this 'America Online" stuff, not that it's all that interesting in itself, but what I was thinking is how utterly cool it would be if there were some place where us K-S gals could go online and talk. It doesn't have to necessarily be America Online, but just somewhere where those of us with computers could get online, like say maybe once a week, every Tuesday night at 10:00 or something like that, and all chat about K-S for a half hour or so while drinking a cup of decaf. What do you guys think? Write in and let me know. Actually, I've heard all sorts of cool rumors - rumors about "K-S music videos" and that sort of thing, and it got me wondering if some of the more "advanced" K-S folks had already got something like that going. Wouldn't it be cool to talk live with, say, Shelley Butler online? We could get her to down-load some of her famous artwork. Boy, wouldn't that be juicy?
Come Together 15 was published in March 1995 and contains 16 pages. The editor admits to a goof: the Biolines (autobio) from the last issue had the wrong fan's name on it: "Susan called to say that she does have a life, and that although Robin Hood's life sounds interesting, she would not trade hers. So apologies to both ladies."
- contains comments on material from Command Decision, As I Do Thee #21, Matter/Antimatter #11, Scattered Stars #6, First Time #25, #35, #39, #40, KaleidoScope #2, Charisma #19, Courts of Honor, T'hy'la #3, see that page
- fans are wondering about this thing, the Internet: I for one am not on America On-Line or anything close. Sure it would be fun to have on-line K/S get-togethers, but would it be private? Aren't these like public things anyone can tune into?
- there is a lot of discussion about a statement in the last issue, one that stated that fanzine publishing has now "become a business": I agree with you about publishing being conducted as a business. That is not meant to imply that it is a big money making venture! Only that fan endeavors have grown and changed over the years. It's not longer someone stapling together a bunch of xeroxed stories and sending them out to whomever. Now we've got the likes of Bill Hupe who runs a fabulous fan publication business and publishers who produce professional-looking zines that are sent all over the world. If it's not treated like a proper business, then these days no one will want to buy. They can go elsewhere with their money and get prompt delivery and good quality.
- more about the legality of zines, and their "professionalism": ... media fanzines must not become a business. We risk our very existence as a fandom by making it a business. For those of you who aren't aware of this, publishing fiction based on Star Trek is illegal. It violates U.S. copyright and trademark laws. I suspect that it also violates the copyright laws of other countries who are signatories to the Berne copyright convention. The reason we don't have Paramount breathing down our necks, threatening us with law suits is that we have a tacit agreement with them that we will not cut into their profit. That means that making one's living from zine publishing or even calling for boycotts of Paramount products is a really bad idea. If Paramount ever feels we're a threat, they can and, I'm sure, will shut us down. Secondly. I doubt that any of the media fan publishers are actually making a living publishing zines. I work with one of the largest zine collection in the country at my library (not just media fanzines or sf zines, all kinds of zines), and I am in touch with a lot of zine publishers. Most zine publishers lose money on their zines. Most of the rest break even. Only a very few are able to supplement their living with the money they make on their zine. I don't know anyone who makes The third thing I'd like to say is that I don't want zine publishing to be a business, and I don't think most of the rest of us do either. Fanzines were conceived of in the 1930's as a way people who were spread far apart could get together and share ideas about science fiction as a hobby. In addition to that, it became a forum where neophyte artists and writers could hone their skills. Nobody minded too much if stuff wasn't perfect, because nobody was paying for the writing or the art, just for the paper, ink, copying and postage. However, if zine publishing becomes a business, this will have to change. If the zine publisher is making a profit, then the writers and artists who are responsible for the work that actually sells the zine are entitled to a cut. And we have professional writers and artists among us who certainly deserve to be paid for what they're doing. But we also have people who write as a hobby or to share their ideas with others who have no intention of being professionals. If 2ine publishing becomes a business, these people are likely to find it harder and harder to get their material published. And I think the lose of their voices would be a lose to us all.
- a fan comments on two things: warnings, and no frills zines: A couple of remarks directed toward zine editors. Although I would not agree with Kayla that stories with child-sex are trash, I do consider them somewhat dangerous to own under the current political regime and certainly dangerous to obtain by mail. I'd be happy if you informed your readers ahead of time when material has characters who are under the age of consent engaging in sexual activity. (Of course, a lot of you already do on your zine announcements, which I don't always write for or read carefully, so maybe I need to take more responsibility here too.) Also if you want me to buy more zines, the zines are going to have to be cheaper. Much as I love the art work, I simply can't afford to buy more than five or six zines a year at $20 a pop. I'd like to see more of a mix of no-frills and really nice collector's editions.
- a fan relies on letterzine such as this one: I use CT comments to make decisions. My budget is very limited. Why should I buy this zine and not another? So if you liked a story and want to encourage me to read it, then get my attention by telling me how it stands out. I don't need to know every detail of the plot, just tell me something that's unusual about it. Sometimes an editor will produce an effective flyer that makes the zine sound intriguing, but most K/S zine flyers are not effective. This is an old pet peeve of mine. The typical quote montage flyers don't work. The quotes that are chosen usually make the stories sound like any number of other similar stories. This is why I rely so much on CT.
- a fan comments on zine awards: Thanks for the information on how to vote for the Stiffies. Last year, I was confused as to how to vote and I only nominated one item in each category. Except, I think being able to nominate so many must water it down, wouldn't it? And as far as the Fan Q awards- it seems to me from what I've heard, that K/Sers are essentially out of the competition. Besides, I believe that any award that recognizes "Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea" as the pinnacle of excellence in fan writing is not for me. So let's make a run on the Stiffies! K/S really needs to be represented and recognized.
- a warning: I would like to make a request re comments about the work of editors. Let's be civilized. I'm sure [D L] remembers the bad old days when comments about white space, rejection letters or pricing were viewed as accusations and taken very personally - -dividing K/S fandom into warring camps. Regina Moore did not make stringent rules in the LOC CONNECTION about what we could comment on and how we could comment because of arbitrary personal preference. Those rules were very successful in restraining bitter feuds. It would be nice to think that we have all matured since then. We need a rational discussion of editing, but I don't want to see it degenerate into mudslinging. Remember to make remarks about the strengths of each editor. Don't just criticize their flaws.
Come Together 16 was published in April 1995 and contains 12 pages.
- contains comments on material from Charisma #19, First Time #40, #41, KaleidoScope #1, The Prince, see those pages
- where are the guys?: I think K/S is pretty much the eminent domain of the female gender. I know there's a rogue guy or two out there, but this is really meant for women.
- about the statement a few issues ago about there being 75 subscribers to this letterzine, plus a warning: Don't worry about the numbers of K/Sers! First of all, that's only the subscribers to Come Together. I know of a number of people who don't subscribe (curses on them —may their mothers find all their zines with explicit Gayle F covers in their closet). Also, I spoke with someone who has been actively involved in K/S practically since its inception, (since the time of the beginning...) and she gave a much, much larger number (world-wide)* However, it seems the ranks have lessened over the years. But a far greater problem facing K/S is not so much the numbers, but the lack of buying. An awful lot evidently do not buy zines. either rely on borrowing or buying zines that are still available from the original publisher. from private sales. Don't misunderstand, there's nothing wrong with buying zines from a private collection when they are unavailable from the publisher. And borrowing, I guess, is fine if done only occasionally- But if both those practices grow and continue to deplete the orders that a publisher receives, it will be financially impossible to publish. I'm not addressing the issue of Xeroxing, as that is a whole other ballgame—illegal, unethical, immoral and besides that, it's wrong.
- about changing times: I think the sexual nature of Star Trek, itself, has changed quite a bit. Changed not only just by the passage of time, but mostly by (dare I say it?) Next Gen. All that rampant sex going on in that series (well, semi-rampant and for the most part hetero) helped open up the doors. And that led the way for more expression of sexuality on Deep Space Nine. Who can forget that "Kira and her double" episode? Can you imagine something like that having been in Classic Trek? Wow. imagine Kirk meeting his twin and wanting to have sex with him?!!
- K/S fans, like fans everywhere, assumed that those who subscribed to the letterzines of the time, pretty much made up the totality of organized fandom -- the Internet was the beginning of certain fractures, or at least it revealed, other ways fans gathered. A fan comments on a recent article  she'd read in the Los Angeles Times: It was an interesting article about certain universities that are featuring classes about Star Trek. Then, as I was reading, I came to this part: 'Some fans use on-line computer connections to offer their own 'Star Trek' story lines, which go so far as to link the macho Capt. James T. Kirk of the original series and the Vulcan Spock as gay lovers.' I wonder what on-line connection they're talking about?
- fans feel the world open up a bit more: I seem to remember someone in CT bringing up the question if publicity might harm K/S I hope not. But, truthfully, you never know what might happen if it appears this is too widespread or obvious. Paramount might change its laissez-faire attitude. On the other hand, would it help to swell the ranks? It seems we would like others to know about K/S, but we've still got to be careful.
- this fan feels that while fans in the past could be pretty rotten to each other, they will behave themselves now: Please put to rest any fears of our discussion about the work of publishers and editors turning nasty or ending up like the "bad old days". I have heard about the problems and feuds and personality clashes of a while ago, but I truly believe it's a different atmosphere now. We cherish this thing called K/S and even if we might have some minor complaints or differences with anyone or anything in K/S fandom, we only want it to thrive. It serves no purpose to tear down what we love so much. Every K/Ser I've spoken with would rather forget and put aside any personal problems rather than cause trouble.
- responding to the legality of fanzines: There is actually a provision of copyright law that makes K/S zines legal so long as they are non-profit. It's called "fair use." Fair use was intended for such things as teachers xeroxing articles for the classroom, but it applies to any non-profit use of copyrighted material. Fair use doesn't exist for our benefit. It exists for the benefit of giant corporations such as Paramount that don't want to spend money on litigation if there is no profit involved. Without profit, pursuing copyright violators simply isn't worth their while, Lucasfilms found this out the hard way when they considered prosecuting STAR WARS slash, and then dropped the notion like a hot light saber . I wouldn't worry about Paramount coming after us. None of us are ever likely to get rich from K/S. This brings us to the much misunderstood matter of some editors making "a small profit" on their zines. Those editors who do charge more than the cost of the issue use the excess as front money for the printer so they can get out their next zine. They do this because they are getting very few advance orders. Advance orders have declined precipitously because few fans are willing to trust editors in the aftermath of several scandals in which editors solicited money for a zine that never appeared. This is a reality of zine publication. It means that some editors can't continue to publish without charging more than each individual zine costs. The only way prices will ever go down is if the trend against advance orders is reversed. It is important to point out, however, that these editors aren't really making a profit. If a business plowed every dollar it made back into the business, no one would call it a profit-making venture. If this happens on a regular basis, the business is considered a failure. Fanzines are not a failure because they are produced for love, not profit.
Come Together 17 was published in May 1995 and contains 15 pages.
- contains comments on material from Naked Times #14, Daring Attempt #2, Command Decision, First Time #40, #41, Day of Vengeance, Charisma #19, Amazing Grace #2, Scattered Stars #7, KaleidoScope #2, The Prince, Within the Mirror #9, see those pages
- there is a con report for Creation Con, see that page
- there are more reminders by fans that zines are the life-blood of fandom: I was very encouraged to read the reviews, in the April issue, of stories by brand new K/S authors, and a novel by a K/S veteran who hadn't written K/S in a white. These seem to indicate a resurgence rather than a dwindling fandom. But anybody who cares about fandom's longevity should be buying zines as often as possible. Shelley's right. We are the only ones who can support this fandom. If zines die of attrition, the vast majority of fans who are not writers will have no K/S. I sympathize with those who have trouble shelling out S20 for a zine. But that's probably close to what they cost to produce.
- a fan addresses the current discussion about the pros and cons of increased visibility of K/S: Most of the American public would probably consider a K/S "expose" a big yawn. They've heard it all before. Your beloved probably doesn't know that there have already been many exposes and articles on K/S -- wasn't there one in LA Weekly that showed graphic [Gayle F] art? K/S is fairly common knowledge among reporters and writers who cover the media SF beat, and an explicit K/S story was once read live on the radio (in Australia). I agree with you: K/S is mainstream. You and I can cite many articles that mention the love between the characters. Shatner and Nimoy talk openly about it. The spiritual side of K/S is understood. It's the jump from 'buddy love" to a sexual relationship that scandalizes some people,but by now think Americans wouldn't be surprised.... Those folks who are translating the Bible into Klingonese. Now that's a story!
- a fan attempts to calm others' fears about her decreased visibility: Now please let me allay any suspicions that I might now or in the near future contemplate gaffiating from K/S fandom and writing in (perish the thought!) other fjndoms. It got around to me that a few of my K/S friends were speculating along those lines, wondering why I wasn't writing my usual torrent of K/S literature. Theatre was the major reason; besides, I was writing all last year, I just didn't write much, and I finished only one story. However, I have been working on K/S fiction all this time. Part of the problem is that I'm studying fiction writing, learning to improve my writing, because I want to write fiction professionally. The learning process has forced me to slow down and do more thinking about each project. My standards for my own work are higher now, so I can't churn stuff out the way I used to. But I am not going away from fandom anytime soon. It occurs to me that if people who know me wonder whether I'm about to gaffiate, then maybe many fans wonder about other writers whose bylines have been scarce. Does it mean fandom is vanishing? I don't think so. Some of us have just been busy with life, and we're fitting fandom in where we can. Some of us are busy writing K/S novels and haven't had time for short stories lately. 
- a fan speculates on the number of K/S fans, as well as why there are fewer zines published than in the past: In 1988 editors were making zine runs of 250 to 300 copies per issue and selling them within a year. Slash fandom had not splintered into the tiny fandoms that exist today. (Forever Night, Highland, The Wild Wild West, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea etc.) Due to the splinting, and boredom of the fans jumping from one fandom to other, K/S fandom has grown smaller. Editors have reduced their run to 150 to 200 for a first run of a zine to accommodate the shrinking fandom base. I believe that with the advent of the Professional fandom, where for the first 5 years, the only way to have anything to read was to use the "Library." Copying from the Library was the only way to have stories, because they were very few published zines in this fandom. Copying did not seem like such a bad idea to many fans, and unfortunately it was carried over to other fandoms. And in 1990 when many of us faced a downsizing in our professions, something had to give in our budgets. Usually it was a hobby. Zine sales stalled, and have never recovered from the "non-depression" of the early 1990's. Fans learned how to share their zines with each other in order to get their fix, and instead of each fan buying the same zine, a circle was formed in order to have the most zines for the money. 
- a fan, [J S C], tells of her K/S journey: I suffered the slings and arrows of being a Trek fan in the days when it was definitely not cool. I discovered zines at my first convention, in 1976, and immediately fell in love with them. I read genzines (I was only 16), then adult zines and many, many "K/S friendship* zines (which were my favorites), even a few that crossed the line into hurt-comfort (not my bag). I had heard about K/S early on, probably in 1978. At least I suspected its existence back then, owing to some suggestive artwork I saw at a con. But I never got interested. Didn't mind it, just thought it would be a big yawn. Obviously I blew that call. Anyway, back then I never actually got around to reading any of the stuff. Then, in early 1992. I was looking for zines at a con and found nothing but slash zines there. So I flipped through them, and happened to read one paragraph of a story that had Kirk and Spock so far out of character that I immediatety thought "Just goes to show they can't be lovers and stay in character." I didn't buy the zine, went on to filking and other interests, and pretty much forgot the incident. Except at the oddest times, the thought kept buzzing at the back of my brain: "I wonder if I could write a K/S that keeps them in character? If I really understand the characters the way I think I do, and if I really can write, I could at least find out whether it can be done. It was a challenge I couldn't turn down. I started scribbling a little story in my notebook, writing so illegibly that only I would be able to read it, shocked at myself the whole time. To my surprise, the characters sounded like the Kirk and Spock I knew, and they had no objection to playing a love scene. I was mortified. I was actually embarrassed about writing it, not only because it was homosexual and therefore taboo, but because in all the Trek fan stories I had started, abandoned, and stashed in my file cabinet, I had never actually written many erotic scenes, and any I had tried were pretty tame, at that. Something about putting our characters in intimate situations on paperjust bothered me. me. I know anyone who has read my work will probably find it hard to believe that I was so uptight about this so recently, but there it is. (Vulcans don't lie.) This first attempt at K/S was pretty tame, too; first kiss on the last page. I actually blushed when writing it. and I didn't tell my husband what I was doing for about two months. When I finished the thing, I left it in the notebook, but I soon began carrying the scene further in my head. Next thing I knew I was writing part 2, which started with the uniforms coming off. Thus began my depravity.
- a fan questions an earlier statement about "child sex" and excessive violence in K/S as a reason to self-censor or warn: Child sex" in stories? Huh? I haven't seen any either, unless you're including stories with teenagers (around the age of consent). I know of no K/S stories that glorify or espouse sex with children; that's far from what K/S is about, I'm wondering what you saw. As for gratuitous violence, if it's gratuitous (i.e., totally unnecessary), the editor should have taken it out. Again. K/S stories with gratuitous violence are rare; I can think of a few, but most were published a long time ago. Usually they're just plain bad stories, the gratuitous violence is only one symptom of the overall bad writing. Violence that is integral to the story, even if you may not like it, is by definition not gratuitous. I don't think you'll see many warnings on flyers, because if publishers really think something is beyond the pale, they probably won't print it in the first place. Your best bet is to read reviews in CT religiously; if a story includes something that someone finds repulsive, at least one reviewer is likely to point it out. And ask your fan friends about stories and zines, I'm with Kathy in that K/S should remain uncensored.
- more on warnings: On your comments to Kayla, I find myself very torn. I agree with you completely that I don't want authors or editors self-censoring, or worse being overtly censored by the fans, I also found your plea for taking personal responsibility and just not read things you find objectionable very compelling. However. I also am very sympathetic to Kayla's position. If there's something you know you'll never like, why should you have to pay $20 for a zine only to find it contains stuff you consider really disgusting. Some statement by the editor in their flyer that certain stories may be straying into areas some people find objectionable seems to ma to be a reasonable compromise, though it does seem to play into the current mania to label and rate everything.
- and a fan "clarifies" another's earlier statements on fair use: I personally can't see how the fair use provisions apply to publishing K/S at all (Anybody out there want to make a case for it. I'm listening. Obscure interpretations of the copyright law are a professional interest of mine.) The damages provision (which was designed mostly to protect libraries making copies for interlibrary loan) is a disincentive for Paramount to come after us, but it doesn't make what we're doing legal. While I don't think Paramount could actually stop slash, they could, given sufficient motivation, drive us so far underground that LA Times article will look like an alternate reality.
- a fan has these observations about the Creation Con held on March 17-19th in Pasadena: I was prepared all along to love Kate Mulgrew and Captain Janeway unconditionally, but a lew things about Kate now have turned down my heat. I saw her twice at this convention. The first day, among other things, she was asked something about feminism. She replied, as she has stated in print (prefacing with "OK, ladies, you can get out your phasers") that she is not a feminist. OK, not really a problem, although I believe she, and most women, don't want themselves associated with feminism because they don't understand it, don't know how to separate the underlying philosophy from the radical tactics with which most people identify it, and because it's a thing that might make them not be liked. She also said, neither is she a conservative, nor a this nor a that, she's just Kate Mulgrew. Fine. The woman who asked the question asked her something further on that subject, pressing the issue, and she pointed out how even this interchange was causing tension, and she didn't want to relate from a place of tension. The next day she was asked the oft-asked question, "When is Voyager going to deal with gay/lesbian themes?* Her answer was a bit off, in my opinion, considering everything that Star Trek is, and I will get to it in a minute; but what was worse was the audience reaction as soon as the words "gay/lesbian" were out. Hisses, boos, groans. It made my heart all constricted at the time, the sadness, which of course is nothing new to me that Trekkers can be so intolerant. I know what goes on the real world, but it's too bad that it goes on there too. I know it was only some number of vocal fans who reacted so negatively; I know there are macho Trekkers, asshole Trekkers. religious fundamentalist Trekkers, etc, but I wish there weren't. I wish they could see they're not getting it. It's astonishing, this worst taboo, sexual orientation, that people just can't deal with it- Can you imagine an audience booing the mention of people of color or single mothers being more represented in ST? Anyway, Kate's answer didn't fill me with pleasure either. I realize she. and anyone asked this question, was being put on the spot; maybe she was even caught off guard regarding something she hadn't even thought about. I also realize she has to be as careful how she identifies herself with gay/lesbian as any gay/lesbian has to be because of the media and her tenuous position as she perceives it. I think she could have answered more diplomatically for all concerned, however. Patrick Stewart and others have managed to answer that question by highlighting the importance of tolerance, etc.
Come Together 18 was published in June 1995 and contains 19 pages.
- contains comments on material from Scattered Stars #7, Obsc'zine #3, Broken Images, Naked Times #14, In the Wilderness #4, First Time #40, #41, KaleidoScope #2, The Prince, Fetish, see those pages
- a fan comments on slave/master stories and a specific zine: Being as I am a slave/master story aficionado. I would like to make a few comments about this scenario. In such a story, either Kirk or Spock willingly submitting to slavery is a loaded dilemma. If, indeed, Kirk or Spock do decide to go along with the program, there had better be a good reason. "Willingly" is a tricky description. It does not necessarily mean that Kirk or Spock find being a slave fine and dandy. (Although.. that is a valid scenario, and before you start throwing Saurian brandy bottles at me, I shall attempt to explain it later.) [for more of this review, see Command Decision
- fans drum up excitement for the upcoming Shore Leave: Explicit K/S Filksong Review as performed by [J S C] and [J S]. All this should take place deep in the heart of the night out in the courtyard on Saturday night. And no one should miss this— [R H's] K/S Party And Art Exhibit Extraordinaire (!!) taking place out behind the swimming pool on Friday night. This is our own party. Highly explicit art show, good food and all K/Sers together. And we don't have to rearrange any furniture.
- more Shore Leave enticement: Ohmygod. I just realized this is the last issue of CT most of us will see before Shore Leave. Our last opportunity to lasso any stragglers who haven't decided about coming. Please, please come. The K/S reunion at Shore Leave is one of the high points of the year, and missing it would be tragic. Some of you expressed a wish to live in Kathy's K/S village. Well Shore Leave is our chance to live in that village, if only for a weekend. There's nothing like the instant kinship of K/S fans, nothing like meeting "sisters" and feeling like you already know them though you've never seen them before. There's nothing like the crowd of us in the restaurant or the bar or the patio, having the time of our lives and making all the other people, especially the men, wonder just exactly what we're onto (or what we're on) that they haven't got. What else? Robin's party. The art. The filks (modest, ain't I). The K/S jewelry Deeb promised to bring (this is your reminder, Deeb). The vintage zines in the dealer's room (which Jenna will beat everyone to; however, the good news is she already owns most of them). The new zines that are premiering at Shore Leave. And by the way, there is a Star Trek convention going on in the same hotel (what a coincidence). But the biggest attraction is the people, the friends we only get to see once a year, the friends we've never met. Now I'm all verklempt.
- fans enthusiastically debate fair use and copyright: I always find the copyright discussions interesting. At the risk of sounding like a scofflaw, I'll put my two cents in. Copyright law is all well and good for many purposes, but in some ways it's gone way out of line. America has lawsuit fever, and I can't wait to see the fever drop. I used to work for a publisher of civil jury verdicts, and I've seen abuses you wouldn't believe. And attorneys who brag about them, unconcerned with the miscarriage of justice, only concerned with the fact that they won big bucks for the client (therefore for themselves). I do not mean to accuse all or even most lawyers of this, but there are enough of them out there to tarnish the profession. In this modern climate, people have taken to trying to copyright and trademark all sorts of things. And anyone who tramples on those "rights" is supposed to owe reparations. What's so insidious about this, especially where it concerns literary characters, is that copyrighting such characters is an extremely new idea. Much of human literature owes its existence to the fact that one could not "own" characters, even if one invented them. Further, sometimes a character transcends its original medium and becomes a cultural icon or even a myth. Thank goodness we didn't have copyright laws in the past, or there'd be no Arthurian legend, no Dracula in all his permutations, maybe no other vampires at all. Spock and Kirk are now in the cultural icon/myth category whether Paramount likes it or not. And now people talk about whether it's okay for us women to write our nonprofit stories about these characters and share them amongst ourselves. My answer? Good thing Shakespeare didn't have to pay royalties to the Greeks for classical myths and histories and Milton didn't have to pay royalties to the Hebrews for the creation story, eh? Not to mention all the characters in both that Shakespeare, Milton, and the other good old boys changed, updated, and messed around with. This modern idea, that one may not borrow another's characters, is not supported by the history of Western literature, and I would assume not by Eastern literature either. I don't recall hearing that Roger Zelazny had to pay royalties to India for using their gods in Lord of Light despite all the scandalous things he did with them. But it's interesting that now that there's this subversive underground culture of women who are daring to define themselves and their sexuality in a new way that men have no control over, and that has no reference to how we've been taught by male-dominated society to express ourselves (if we must) borrowing modern mythical characters is somehow "illegal." Even though, as with most women's ventures, it makes absolutely no money for us, therefore symbolically has no value in the male-dominated culture. Morality and the law are often parsecs apart. I say fanfic is not wrong, and the law should be changed. Anybody who's forgotten just how subversive and threatening to the status quo K/S is should go back and reread Joanna Russ' marvelous article "Another Addict Raves About K/S." That's my subversive contribution for this month.
- on some fannish separation: Of course homophobia in Trekdom is relevant to K/Sers. If it weren't for homophobia, K/S wouldn't exist as a separate genre. It would be published is what we now call genzines, There wouldn't have to be separate fandoms for slash if stories dealing with homosexual relationships were treated in the exact same way as stories dealing with heterosexual relationships.
- this fan remembers/misremembers  Re the STAR WARS slash imbroglio - I was in correspondence with the author of the STAR WARS slash story that inspired the cease and desist letter  from Lucasfilms. I have never been a STAR WARS fan, but I believe that it's important to protect slash fiction on any front where it's threatened, So I wrote to Lucasfilms myself protesting the action and the author later informed me that Lucasfilms backed down and apologized. They also invited both the author and the editor  to the premiere of RETURN OF THE JEDI. Based on this sequence of events, and the fact that profit has always been Paramount's main concern, I think it is highly unlikely that Paramount will ever take action against K/S.
- more discussion on fair use and copyright -- this is a very small excerpt from a much, much longer, very technical letter: I don't think [L F] confused the "fair use" doctrine with an altogether different rule pertaining to damages. To recap, you stated a couple of issues ago that you believe K/S fan fiction is "illegal," i.e. copyright infringement; Linda responded that non-profit fanzines are a "fair use" rather than an infringement. I agree with Linda. Under the "fair use" doctrine as interpreted by the courts, noncommercial uses of copyrighted materials, especially those that do not copy the work literally but transform it in a new creative work, generally have been held to be non-infringing. Indeed, in Sony Corp. of America v. Universal dry Studios, 464 U.S. 417, 451, 456 (1984), the U.S. Supreme Court held explicitly that a noncommercial use is "presumptively" fair. The presumption of fairness means that the court cannot find infringement unless the copyright owner can prove that "the particular use is harmful, or that if it should become widespread, it would adversely affect the potential market for the copyrighted work. The "fair use" doctrine is not limited to uses of copyrighted material for educational, scientific, or research purposes; many uses for pure entertainment have been found "fair" by the courts. Each case must be judged individually according to the four statutory "fair use" factors... If Paramount were to sue a K/S fanzine publisher, I believe the fundamental issue to be tried would be the effect of K/S zines on the market for licensed Star Trek products such as commercially-published novels and new TV series and films. If I were representing the zine publisher (I tend to approach legal issues as a litigator, since that's what I do in mundane life), I would try to prove that: a) In almost thirty years of unrestricted, unregulated fanzine publishing. Star Trek fanzines have never commanded a market of more than a few thousand purchasers. For K/S zines, the figures are much lower. The tiny market for K/S fan fiction means that the copyright owner will never license it even if for some unlikely reason Paramount wanted to get into the slash business.
- fans are generally bothered and angry about Kate Mulgrew's comments at a recent con about the complete dearth of same sex couples in Star Trek canon: After reading [K S's] account of Kate Mulgrew's question and answer session, I am extremely disappointed in her and in the producers of Voyager. At this rate, the Star Trek shows will be probably be the last on TV to have gay characters, when they should have been the first. I'd like to know what "controversial" and "delicate" issues Vovager is dealing with that take precedence over gay/lesbian issues. I sure haven't seen any on the show so far. Do they think viewers are still reeling in shock from seeing a female captain? A Native American first officer? Or is it the staggering sight of a Klingon-Human hybrid in Engineering? Since I agree so wholeheartedly with Kathy's [a fan] comments about Ms. Mulgrew, I was a little disconcerted to read her plea for keeping K/S in the closet thai followed those comments. Isn't there some inconsistency in this? How can we expect the producers of the TV series to deal openly with gay issues when we ourselves do not want to be open about our interest in those issues? Besides, I think this particular horse has been out of the barn for some time now.
- more on Kate Mulgrew's statement: I was interested in [K S's] report on Kate Mulgrew's comments at Creation. I wonder what Mulgrew would have said if someone in the audience had told her that Trek has missed the boat because the first science fiction series to include a regular bisexual character is going to be BABYLON 5. BABYLON 5's producer, J. Michael Straczynski has promised this to gay organizations and his latest publicity release ways he's going to deliver next season. Trek may have given us television's first interracial kiss, but Rodenberry's pioneering spirit is dead. Trek is no longer on the cutting edge.
- and one more comment on the Mulgrew comments at Creation Con: As to the audience response to the question on gay/lesbian themes, I feel for your poor constricting heart, and I agree with your dismay. What can I say? We have to make our own pockets of tolerance, teach through our example, hold fast to our own ideals, try to communicate them because fairness and understanding minds are important. Remember how the early K/Sers had to deal with an angry fandom? There's a hilarious short story by Devery Helm in one of the 'Another K/S" zine series that mentions how she was accosted at a convention, accused of writing "those" stories. That tale is funny, but I bet it wasn't really funny for the active fans in the late seventies and early eighties who were truly treading into forbidden territory. I honor them and their determination, for they helped create what is enriching my life so much now. Kate Mulgrew is way off base if she thinks the Star Trek legacy isn't about dealing with delicate issues amid conflict. Or, if that's the way Voyager is going to go (and I haven't been too impressed lately), then they've lost a viewer.
Come Together 19 was published in July 1995 and contains 14 pages.
- contains comments on material from T'hy'la #16, Fetish, First Time #20, Daring Attempt #3, Command Decision, KaleidoScope #2, see those pages
- a fan points out that "copyright" laws don't just protect those who write the canon: As per JS's comment that the laws should be changed, I'm not so sure I agree. I really don't want just anybody able to use my characters, especially not while I'm alive. It's easy to pick on Paramount because they're so large, but the law protects us as writers too.
- a fan writes: Everyone; Just wanted to pass on some disturbing news that recently reached me. One of our most consistent and enduring zine editors is thinking of ceasing publication due to lack of orders and more importantly, lack of interest. Jean Hinson, who publishes Way of the Warrior and The Zine Connection among others, under the name FireTrine Press is considering getting out of fan publishing. Hows about sending a SASE for some flyers, If not, how about just dropping her a line to tell her how much you have appreciated her zines in the past and want her to continue.
- a fan comments on Command Decision and about "her Spock": You bring up a really interesting question of what characteristics are important in heroes. For me survival is not an important part of being heroic. My heroes tend to give up things, especially their lives, for other people or for their principles. When I'm trying to come up with story ideas, I have trouble keeping Spock alive. He's always starting a fast or walking out into the desert over some Vulcan principle or other. So if I had been writing Command Decision, he would have starved to death in the first couple chapters because he has no clear duty to perform, no particular hope of escape and Kirk is betraying him into doing things no Vulcan would ever consider. The fact that the author doesn't even have him consider this, makes him not Spock for me. But if he was Spock enough for you, great.
- and a fan tries to explain the difference between blatant visibility of K/S and the careful reveal: I'm not advocating staying in the closet per se. The ST or entertainment community is one thing; I just don't want to share K/S with the general public, with nasty dangerous people with guns in other words. Just like as a lesbian, I didn't flaunt it in redneck country, but in 'civilized' places it's a whole other thing. I think I know what this has to do with for me personally, I've always liked being on the fringes, the underground, what have you, doing something outside the mainstream. I guess I consider K/S another thing for the select few (not meaning exclusive; anyone who loves it is welcome) and I don't need anyone's acceptance to do it. But I don't want anyone's bad vibes either.
Come Together 20 was published in August 1995 and contains 18 pages.
- contains comments on material from Scattered Stars #7, First Time #42, KaleidoScope #1, see those pages
- a proposed zine is canceled: "By Blood Forever Bound," a K/S vampire novel by Alexis Fegan Black -- "all deposits have been refunded as of 10 July 1995."
- there are several con reports for Shore Leave, see that page
- a fan describes her fannish journey: In the 80s my friend and I went to a meeting at San Diego State University, that was supposed to be a Star Trek fan club. They did show a pirated blooper reel of Star Trek. In looking around, I decided that this was not the group for me - too many pocket protectors. However Dee and I did get information about a Creation Convention taking place up in Los Angeles. We went and I experienced my first dealers' room and zines. $20.00 for a Xeroxed copy of fan stories, when the professional novels were going for $3.50. Give me a break! Besides. the zines looked really amateurish. In December 1987, BF called and wanted to know if I wanted to buy a friend of hers zine collection. Her friend was a nun who had decided to go back to her order. Without thinking about it I said yes. The first zines I read out of the boxes were called Mind Meld and Vaults of Tomorrow. Then I picked up a really fat zine and started to read it. It was all about a transporter accident that sent Jim Kirk to a different reality where Spock was the captain, and Vulcans were the dominant rulers. I was really getting into it, then the bonding scene hit me. It was so well written, that I accepted that premise and just kept going. The novel's name was Broken Image. I then read everything that the Sister had which was 90 percent slash.
- there is more discussion about Fetish: I'd like to thank both [J G] and [B A] for their comments on K/S stories in which one of the partners is a teenager, though I'd like to point out to Judith that this isn't "a fairly recent trend." There have been stories of this nature throughout the history of K/S. I would be willing to discuss them all in detail in private correspondence. This topic is of particular interest to me so I have paid close attention to all stories dealing with this theme. I agree with [K S] that teenagers are not "children," but neither are they adults. They are in a liminal stage caught between childhood and adulthood. For some teenagers this very liminality is stressful. They don't understand what's happening to their bodies or their emotions. They find it hard to adjust and this makes them extra vulnerable. Such teenagers certainly can be abused in sexual relationships. How can they handle sex when they don't understand themselves? I grant that some teenagers are mature enough to handle sex and consent to it meaningfully, but others clearly aren't. I don't believe that there is a magic age when teenagers attain this maturity and I do believe that teenagers who can handle sex should have the freedom to consent to it, but this is a highly sensititve issue. Those who write K/S stories in which one partner is an adult and the other a teenager need to grasp all the ramifications involved in order to deal with such a retationsip resposibly. Sone K/S writers have done this and I haven't been offended by their stories, but others have been extremely offensive. FETISH isn't even the worst example, only the most visible one.
- more on Fetish: Re: "FETISH". I was mad at McCoy! Poor Spock loved this young Kirk and he did nothing bad to him. In fact if was Kirk who tempted Spock. This was no child abuse - Kirk was no child and he gave himself willingly! I hope this discussion will not discourage our K/S authors from writing stories with teenage Kirks/Spocks! I've read a lot of them and I love them.
- more about copyright and Fair Use: [J G's] argument for the legality of K/S utlizing the fair use doctrine is very elegant, and I do think that K/S is transfromative by its nature because the K/S relationship represents a transformation change in the characters by itself. They aren't shown in such a relationship in the series or the movies. We might interpret them as moving toward K/S, but that is only our interpreation. There are millions of people who have seen Classic Trek who don't share this interpretaion at all. We have transformed the material with our special K/S viewpoint. Thus it can be argued that we don't write K/S simply to save the labor of creating something new, but because these particular characters in this transformative relationship have a special appeal for us. Regarding the issue of trademarks - Lucasfilms trademarked every single character in STAR WARS, but neither Kirk nor Spock has been trademarked by Paramount, so I don't see how this could be a problem for us.
Come Together 21 was published in September 1995 and contains 20 pages.
- contains comments on material from KaleidoScope #3, First Time #42, T'hy'la #16, Within the Mirror #10, see those pages
- there are con reports for Shore Leave, see that page
- there is a con report for Closet Con, see that page
- how this fan reconciles: I realize in what way mainline stories affect me more than A/U. I definitely enjoy A/U stories, but there is nothing like a mainline K/S first time for me. Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise and his Vulcan First Officer Spock—these specific characters are the epitome of all that makes us love Star Trek, striking chords of relevance to our times and resonating in various ways with the particular make-up of K/S'ers. Lots has been written about this, about Star Trek as our mythology, and this is just a simplification, but they are archetypal figures, incorporating what we see as the best, and other varied aspects, in "humanity." So, for these two persons, these incarnations of these two spirits (also, for these two beautiful men) to come together in the way we have them do...well, it makes my heart soar.
- there is more discussion on the topic of "child sex," the zine Fetish, the age of consent, and power imbalances: I still haven't seen stories that I think glorify or espouse it. But of course that's my interpretation. For example, I don't think of teenagers who are around the age of consent as children in that context. I do think it was a good thing for you to raise this issue, because now reviewers will be more sensitive to it (I know I will)., and now that we all understand there are people who have a real problem with, say, a 16- or 17-year-old Kirk having sex with a 30-year-old Spock, we'll be able to point that out in reviews. Although I think if you look at reviews in CT and back issues of The LoC Connection, you'll find that many reviewers have already called attention to similar questionable issues. I haven't read even half of published K/S, and I'm aware that what bothers one reader will not necessarily bother another. That's why I said it would be very hard for editors to try to print an advisory on any zine. An editor could print the advisory that Billie suggested—"certain stories may be straying into areas some people find objectionable" — but that's a very general statement. In fact, since all K/S stories postulate an intimate, usually homosexual relationship between Kirk and Spock (two super-masculine cultural icons), one could argue that such an advisory should exist on all K/S zines. And, in fact, most zineds do print such a warning at least on their flyers.
- more on Fetish: Why didn't fandom raise more questions about that novel? I guess the novel didn't offend me because the author wrote circles around the issue, trying to justify it, and I am usually willing to suspend my disbelief for good writing. So maybe I suspended my offense, too, and so did others? I loved the novel, for reasons that had everything to do with the fine writing and nothing much to do with Spock's having sex with a 16- or 17 year-old Kirk. (Which is what happens in the novel, so anybody whom that offends should steer clear of it.) I personally didn't think of Cadet Kirk as a child because the author pointed out that he was physically an adult, and his actions in the actual sex scenes seemed to demonstrate that he was both physically and emotionally ready for a consensual sexual experience. I guess if I'd thought of him as a child it would have bothered me a lot. As for his vulnerable state of grief, the author made it clear that the first incident was pretty much an accident on Spock's part—he was telepathically overwhelmed and emotionally confused so that his mind responded to the Kirk he loved, the older Kirk. He had no intention of taking advantage of the younger man. I've always given the author the benefit of the doubt on that scene because the editor (Robin) has explained to me how she made the author rewrite that scene to justify it, and how she wanted the author to do even more in the way of justification. Why did Spock do it a second and a third time? The author hinted that it was because he just couldn't say no to that strong, charismatic personality (remember, it was Kirk who initiated the action all three times). Was what Spock did wrong? Maybe. Although we were never told what the age of consent on Earth (or Vulcan) in the 23rd century was. As a reviewer, I felt that the author justified Spock's actions just enough to get me to read on, and I was caught up in the rest of the story—after all, the situation created a doozy of a problem for Spock and the older Kirk. Come to think of it, I suppose Jenny could have made Kirk, say, nineteen or twenty. But then she'd have had to justify why he was still a virgin at that age. The ostensible reason given in the novel for McCoy's not bringing Spock up on charges was that Spock convinced McCoy of his telepathic confusion in the first incident. And, I assumed, that McCoy realized that Cadet Kirk was of the age of consent. Further, Spock wiped Cadet Kirk's memory not so Spock couldn't be prosecuted, but for Kirk's protection, and so that history would not be changed. So the author danced around the subject just enough to lull me into ignoring it or tolerating it, and overall the story was so well written that I didn't really care. Of course, I've always thought of Cadet Kirk as an adult, albeit a young one, so maybe that's the crux of the issue. Anybody who thought of him as a child would have to wonder about Spock's actions, as McCoy did.
- more on Fetish: Linda makes a good point in her comments about Fetish—she says that Spock goes unpunished. Which, if he did commit an offense, should be pointed out in the novel. As someone recently said to me, the presence of violence in a novel is fine as long as it's pointed out that violence is wrong. Of course, depending on how explicitly it's written, I may be so disgusted by the violence that I don't want to read it, no matter how good or moral the story is. I'm guessing this is what Kayla was basically saying. She would like to know ahead of time if a story has child sex in it, because she finds that subject so distressing that she doesn't want to read about it even if it's portrayed as wrong. That is a valid response to fiction.
- about controversial subjects in fanworks: On the issue of disturbing/potentially offensive subjects in K/S: Fanfic is a place where we can explore all sorts of issues, and in K/S, in particular, we often pull out all the stops. Some writers find this freedom therapeutic: they can explore personally disturbing issues in this relatively safe environment with characters we all know—therefore, in a language we all understand. All sorts of uncomfortable and "offensive" issues are covered regularly in K/S: not only sex with underage persons, but rape, incest, S&M, B&D, slavery, torture, hurt/comfort, violence, murder, infidelity, betrayal, menages a trois, orgies, etc., etc. I hardly think the fact that we write about these things means that we are espousing or glorifying them.
- a fan brings up a cyclical subject: I would like to ask all the readers of CT if you would be interested in forming or establishing our own awards. The name, the balloting, the awards and everything would be created by us. But the most important feature would be that it's only K/S. Pure and simple. Any thoughts? Could we get it together by the end of the year? I, personally, can't volunteer for another project. I have so many K/S things going, I could not take on another. But I'm hoping someone does want to organize it. The idea is that the award would be more (how shall I put it?) sophisticated? Personal? Important? I wasn't in fandom years ago, but I'm imagining something along the lines of the Surak Awards. Something with taste and polish. Something with a literary and artistic feel. What do you think?
Come Together 22 was published in October 1995 and contains 14 pages.
- contains comments on material from Fetish, First Time #28, #40, #42, KaleidoScope #3, California K/S 4 Play, Promises to Keep, Within the Mirror #10, see those pages
- regarding the current discussion on warnings: I would be against any kind of warning by editors concerning underage sex K/S stories. As JS eloquently pointed out last month, there are lots of types of stories in fandom that would be considered very objectionable in mainstream fiction. We deal with out-of-bounds subjects in K/S, and I don't like the idea of any restrictions on our creative explorations.
- more on underage characters: I'd like to extend the discussion on underage sex in K/S stories just a bit. I'm one of those fans who has read 98% of all the K/S that's ever been written, so I feel I can safety say that we're talking about a very small number of stories. There are a few in the Duet series, a few in Before the Glory, a scattered number of "when they were both cadets at the Academy" stories, the English novella Gemini by Janice MacDonald. The most visible example is what we've been discussing in these pages, Fetish by Jenny Starr. But there really are very few underage sex stories in K/S. I am guilty of writing one of them. I wanted to make Kirk sixteen, but I made him seventeen instead, and involved him in non-consenting homosexual sex. I didn't want to offend my readers, and I figured that few readers could object to the age part of it, although some might be disturbed by the rape aspects. I'm liberal on this subject. There's a huge difference between a child and sex, and a teenager and sex. Of course, non-consenting sex should always be disturbing, and especially offensive if it involves a child, but I'm far less disturbed if we're dealing with a character over the age of fourteen.
- a BNF fanartist describes her feelings about her art selling at auctions: There's a mini-dilemma for me concerning auctions and the selling of my art. I love my sister K/Sers. I would give away my art if I could! But, needless to say I can't. In truth, I probably wouldn't be doing the art if I couldn't sell it. Because of the time involved, the expense involved, the effort involved and my own professional status as an artist, I must make something. Also, if the truth be known, I'd have to sell each piece for $1000 minimum to make back what I put into it and receive a marginal profit. In the fandom market, unless I had a license maybe, this kind of pricing is impossible. So, of course, I'm really doing it out of love for K/S. It sure ain't for the money. So here's these auctions and all my friends are bidding and I'm anxious anyway because the idea of my artwork "up for bids" becomes a validation of my self, and then there's my friends, and then there's the need for money! It's not easy because I want everyone to be happy with their artwork and get a bargain. At the same time, I want to come home with loads of dough so that I can prove to [my husband] , my family and friends who think I just draw "Star Trek" that this is a legit money-making venture.
- a fan asks for transformation permission: Ladies, I have a favor to ask of you. From time to time, over the years, I've run into poetry that's screamed at me to base a story on it. [L F] has generously given me permission to use any of her work that triggers an idea. Would the rest of you poem writers be annoyed if I used your ideas, part of your work, or sometimes even your entire poem in a story? I would do my best to give you credit.
Come Together 23 was published in November 1995 and contains 15 pages.
- contains comments on material from KaleidoScope #3, First Time #4, #42, T'hy'la #16, Command Decision, Scattered Stars #3, #7, The Mystic Bond, Promises to Keep, Within the Mirror #10, see those pages
- the editor writes: While I was at Z Con, the hot topic of conversation was the Internet. Apparently someone sent out over the Internet a slash publisher's address without permission. There were some repercussions that made the editor decide to stop publishing the zine. So please think twice and ask permission before sending out information about the editors! 
- a fan comments on, well, comments: Now K/S would have gotten along just fine without me, thank you very much, but I would have missed this wonderful, new creative outlet more than I can say. It is still an incredible thrill for me to see a story of mine in print, and one that I would not willingly deny to anyone. I am primarily thinking of that one person out there who has written a K/S story but is afraid to submit it because of harsh reviews, because she is convinced her effort isn't good enough to measure up to the level of criticism we've been handling out lately. I want to read that story! I want her to experience the pleasure I have received in exploring the love between these two wonderful characters. In this day of K/S zines folding one after another, when those editors who are left go begging for stories, can we really afford to discourage anyone?
- on fanworks as offspring: As [S B] pointed out last month when speaking of her art going up for bid at the Shore Leave Art Auction, her art is a validation of herself, at least equally so are the stories we write. Whether consciously or unconsciously, we bare our thoughts, our feelings about life and love, with every K/S story we write, we let others have a peek into our minds and hearts, we say things in our writing that we would never be able to express in any other way. Someone once told me the following a long time ago, and I try to remember it with every LoC I write: "When you write a negative LoC you are saying/Boy, is your baby ugly.
- more on feedback: I wanted to talk about... our own tolerance for each others work, and the need we have to support one another at the same time that we are giving each other honest feedback [S B] and [K] talked about the same thing, but with slightly different viewpoints. Given the close nature of some of the friendships in this fandom, and given everyone's desire to have more and better K/S, it seems we have set ourselves a very difficult task. I feel as if I walk a thin line with every review I write. But I will vote for kindness to each other every time, and I have sadly read some recent reviews that I feel crossed the line into unacceptable criticism. There IS a way to critique any work without being cruel without making the author feel stupid! All of us love K/S and no one should be made to feel small because they don't write fantastically well.
- more on feedback: Please, fellow-fans, I am not trying to tell others how to write their reviews, nor am I suggesting that we soft-pedal our critical comments. I admire the tough-minded critical analysis I've read in these pages, and I'm often astonished at the depth and acuity of CT reviewers' comments, I regard myself as a tough critic, too. I also realize how difficult it is to avoid hurt feelings even when our comments are made with the most impeccable objectivity. Some authors will react personally whenever their work is criticized; after all, it's their baby. Nevertheless, I think that if we can avoid unnecessarily personal and hurtful comments that add nothing to a review, we should try. Anyway. I intend to.
- regarding a fan's question in the last issue: If a poem or other K/S piece inspires you to write your own story, fantastic! If possible, credit might be given in a footnote at the end of the story, or maybe In a comment above the title. If you honestly can't remember where the inspiration came from, I don't see this as an impediment to writing anyway. We all want more, more! K/S and this problem shouldn't stop you! But if you actually QUOTE from that poem in your own story, then I think it's imperative to give credit to the author. You've got to acknowledge that those words aren't yours. If you've got a real problem tracking down author and zine why not publish a plea in CT citing the lines and asking for the author to step forward so you can give her due credit. Or drop me a line; I remember a lot of K/S!
- a fan explains a shift in her brain: I have come to realize that my point of view of Kirk and Spock has changed. When I first got into 'this K and S thing,' as [my husband] calls it, I felt very strongly that Spock was the dominant one and Kirk was the submissive one. Of course, as you know, I didn't mean aggressive or weak. When I wrote, I always had Spock be the big strong Vulcan guy who would take what he wanted and Kirk would be it. But a strange thing started happening. I got to know them better. As I continued writing and exploring their characters, they became more alive to me. They would take over certain scenes, do certain things that I hadn't planned on them doing, and acting a certain way that I hadn't figured on. Part of this awareness came about because I started writing from Spock's point of view. Before that, I had always written from Kirk's point of view because I felt I knew him better. But as I read more, heard more and talked to others about their ideas, I started getting inside Spock's head. When I wrote from his point of view, although rough at first (I still find it much more difficult). I really began to understand him. Then the dynamics between them started shifting It was no longer the big strong, powerful Spock protecting, seducing and (ahem) penetrating cute little Kirk. Now there was more balance.
- a fan writes: [J S C] points that K/S is a safe arena (or exploring controversial issues that may cause offense is a very important one. This was not always the case- Every one of the issues that JS Lists has been considered taboo by some K/S editors at one time or another. Over time the atmosphere in K/S fandom has become more open and there are fewer taboos. I consider this a vast improvement, I don't want to interfere with the freedom or creativity of K/S in any way. I just think that if I'm going to read a story that deals with a disturbing theme, I would prefer that the writer examines it thoughtfully and sensitively. A thoughtful and sensitive story is a better one. It is also less likely to offend.
- about the recent controversy in fandom about Paramount requiring Star Trek fan activities to pay for licenses: [About] how we could be affected by the licensing of conventions? Being licensed by Paramount would be expensive and only promoter run cons operated for profit such as Creation would be able to afford. Creation Cons already don't allow the sale of fanzines. If the fan run Trek cons where zines are sold such as Shore Leave continue to operate without a license in the face of a Paramount directive. Paramount could sue them. They may succeed in shutting down these cons. This means that the only cons where K/S could be sold would be multi-media cons which wouldn't require a license from Paramount because they aren't Trek cons. If Paramount moves against the fan run Trek cons, folds like Bjo Trimble and Jacqueline Lichtenberg could remind them that if they hadn't founded the first fan run cons creating a following for Trek cons, there wouldn't be any profit oriented Star Trek cons for them to license. In the early days Paramount was very grateful for the existence of fan run cons which promoted Star Trek without costing the studio anything. Fans built this playground and now Paramount wants to forbid us to play in it without their permission. Such ingratitude! Do they want to take an ax to the very roots of fandom?
Come Together 24 was published in December 1995 and contains 13 pages.
- contains comments on material from First Time #31, #38, T'hy'la #6, #14, Scattered Stars #5, #7, Matter/Antimatter #8, Promises to Keep, Twin Destiny #2, see those pages
- there is a con report for Creation Con, see that page
- a comment about the on-going discussion about British-isms in K/S fiction: It's not about being a problem or not liking them or not understanding them. The issue is that Kirk and Spock don't talk that way. They aren't British. They aren't American, either, for that matter.
- at least one fan is still having trouble receiving zines or refunds from [P F Press]: I must report that in the last 10 months I have written three letters to [name redacted] trying to get zines that I paid for in August 1994 sent to me. I have mailed several politely worded letters by regular mail, certified mail and certified mail, return receipt requested. I am sure that at least the last letter was received, since the return receipt was sent back to me. I have received no answer to my letters, no zines, no refunds, not even an excuse. Hopefully I am the only person remaining who is still having problems with this publisher. However, if there are others out there, I don't recommend wasting any more postage trying to get a reply.
- there are a lot of comments about feedback, this one focusing on the classic fannish argument that brings up the need to have a thick skin: On the subject of criticism, I really wish we could all get past thinking of our writing as "our baby." The absolute first thing that a writer must learn to do, if she wants to write better, is to be able to step back from a piece of her own writing and see it with the same detachment she views other writing. That way she can learn to analyze its weaknesses and strengths. If a writer does not learn to do this, that writer cannot get any better. She may be good or lousy, but she will never be any better than she is now. When someone criticises your work or even you as a writer, they are not really talking about you or your story. They are really discussing the kind of story they ideally want to read. You have to be able to step back from whatever they seemed to be saying about you, and ask yourself "What kind of story did this person want" and "Is that the kind of story I want to write."
- a fan discusses the suggestion of review favoritism: I resent any inference that I would be one who would write glowing reviews for my friends, but not for the authors I don't know personally. I would never do that— I challenge anyone to go over all my LOCs and find any such mutual admiration society. I write reviews of stories as I see them—and the only adjustment I make is as I explained above. It's kind of ironic that it was only a little while ago that CT was being accused of being 'too inbred,' And don't think either that I would rather spout my own seIf-centered, stupid opinions rather than encourage K/S writers! If encouraging writers means only saying how much I liked the story, then so be it- I don't need to spend hours and hours of my time reading and taking notes and formulating my reviews and typing it up and submitting as many LOCs as I can every single month, if it discourages anyonel Believe me, if someone else wants to write as many reviews as I have, then please do so.
- about LOCS: I write LOCs for a number of reasons, one is that I have always believed authors want to get feedback on their work. When I've seen reviews and comments on my work, critical or positive, I have always appreciated it. I've learned from it. That doesn't mean that I don't feel emotionally connected to what I write! I'm very emotionally connected! My stories are as much my babies as anyone's! But if I let critical comments stop me, then I wouldn't be doing anything in life, let alone writing K/S! Hell, we're not talking the New York Times Book Review, here!
- some stats: For those who like to play with numbers, here are a few I gathered from the last six issues of Come Together''. Warning: This survey is strictly quick and dirty. There are no tests of inter-rater reliability, statistical significance, content validity or standard error. In fact, I didn't even double-check the numbers. And the figures are probably way out of line just because I don't know all the pen-names who are really the same person. The last six issues contained LoCs by 17 different reviewers on works by 62 different authors and artists. (I excluded whole zine LoCs from the survey). However, 85% of the LoCs were written by seven reviewers, all of whom are also prolific K/S writers and artists. In fact, those seven fans created over 30% of the works reviewed during this time period. I rated the LoCs on a five-point scale from very positive to very negative. Another warning: These were my own judgments. I should have used a panel of neutral outsiders. However, I did develop a set of operational criteria for each point on the scale, I found that most LoCs were positive: 49% very positive, 27% positive, 16% neutral, 7% negative and only 1 % very negative. However, when I looked at the LoCs written by the seven 'prolific reviewers" (PRs for short}-those who collectively account for 85% of the LoCs**on one another's work, I found that those LoCs were significantly more positive than the average. For example. 70% of the LoCs written by one of the PR's on a work created by another PR were rated "very positive/ compared to only 38.5% of the LoCs written by one of the PRs on a work bv a non-PR author or artist. With only two exceptions, all the LoCs rated "negative* or "very negative" were written by one of the PRs on a non-PR author's work. What's the reason for the difference? A plausible hypothesis is that the PRs simply produce better work than the non-PRs, Or, the difference could have something to do with the role that our most prolific writers, artists and reviewers have played in shaping our common aesthetic. I owe the idea of a common aesthetic
- a fan contemplates anal sex, power, and experience: And quite the opposite of [S], I seem to often have Kirk (to put it overly simply) being the one who penetrates, not the one who is penetrated, because I can see him as having difficulty with allowing penetration. I would not necessarily see him as the cute little love-receptacle of Spock's, as [S] said, because to me. Kirk was always about fucking around. That's what he does; that part's easy for him, whereas being penetrated can be an emotional challenge for him. But that's just scratching the surface of all the ways Kirk and Spock can interact. It just depends on what story I want to tell about them, and I like to try it all.
- about One True Character: I know we've all talked about this before, but there are different aspects of being a Spock-person or a Kirk-person. Either you are "being" that character, or you are "loving" that character. Being a Spock-person means I am Spock, and so I love Kirk. But being a Spock-person also means I love Spock, so I get to be the one who loves Spock also, so am I a Kirk-person too? All of the above.
Come Together 25 was published in January 1996 and contains 10 pages.
- contains comments on material from First Time #4, Cheap Thrills #2, Scattered Stars #4, #7, Courts of Honor, The Sound of Rain, Act Five #1, No Greater Love, Within the Mirror #9, see those pages
- a fan discusses the role of the editor: When I got started on my notes about the stories I set aside for critiques, I noticed that most of my criticisms were about matters so minor that I thought sending them in to CT would be petty. [C S's] guideline about focusing on the two most central problems was of great assistance in helping me to decide what to discard. I think that writers would benefit most from critiques dealing with problems involving the story's concept, the plot or the characterization. Nitpicks about background details that aren't important to the concept or the plot probably aren't terribly beneficial. I also think that stylistic infelicities, grammatical errors or misspellings are the responsibility of the editor. I would never mention those in a critique directed at the author. So as of now I'm completely caught up on critiques of stones by PRS ( to use [J G's] abbreviation) that I have read and which I thought needed comments.
- another fan comments: But I confess—there are plenty of times I read stories that have lots of writing flaws in them and I still enjoy the heck out of them. There. I guess that's the nature of K/S for me. Most of the time, it's the emotional impact that makes the difference. Of course, good solid writing makes a huge difference, but for the most part it's just K/S itself that has the biggest effect on me.
- a fan commiserates with another's earlier letter: No, you are unfortunately not alone with our problems with [P F Press]. I ordered several zines from AFB and most of them I got, but my last orders (four zines) from the end of 1993 never arrived. And no, I didn't get a reply to my several letters either, although I have for each one the return receipt, I ordered the zines a second time from Bill Hupe. I hate to lose money. (I don't have so much of it and ordering zines from Germany isn't exactly cheap either, but I love K/S and the K/S fandom). but after the "hundredth" letter without reply I lost hope and gave up, I wouldn't have minded as much, if there would have been a reply. Perhaps an open letter to fandom or such a thing? It wouidn't bring the lost money back, but it would have been a response. So my only consolation for you is unfortunately "you are not alone." I know that is only a cold comfort. And fortunately there are several reliable editors and I love ordering from them, because I know I will always get the zines I order from them.
- a fan responds to an earlier survey and why it she feels the results were skewed: Concerning Judith's impromptu survey of the LOCs written recently... I generally will not write a review of a story that I don't like. If there isn't something to compliment about a story, why embarrass the author with a tirade and only negative reactions? Writing reviews isn't always easy, especially if I'm trying to make a real contribution to the author by my analysis of her story. I have to reread the story, make notes, put together the analysis, rewrite it. I won't waste my time or effort on a story that hasn't captured my imagination. It simply isn't human nature to do so. My gut feeling is that most reviewers work in a similar way. and that could be the primary reason why there are so many mostly positive reviews published in Come Together.
- more continuing discussion over the recent fan survey by [J G]: I thought Judith's statistics were very interesting. It seems we have a very large silent majority. Are you being silent because "prolific reviewers" always get to the zines first, and there's nothing left for you to say? Or are you afraid to make waves by disagreeing with these women who have read so much? I personally think it would be a lot more interesting if we had more people with different ideas reviewing. If anyone's interested in my ideas on community aesthetics, drop me a line, I know a lot of of people don't like K/S analyzed to death, so I won't bore you with it here. We've been talking a lot about what writers get out of the reviews, but there are other reasons to read and write reviews. I personally read reviews so I know which zines to buy or avoid. I don't have the bucks to buy everything that comes out, and I find it hard to choose things I like even with the reviews. Another aspect of reviews (and one of the reasons I suspect the PR's are so prolific) is that writers can learn a lot about what to do with their own writing by looking closely at what other writers have done. Writing a review is a really good way to make yourself sit down and look at why something works or doesn't.
Come Together 26 was published in February 1996 and contains 12 pages.
- contains comments on material from As I Do Thee #4, #10, First Time #3, #42, One Night Stand #4/5, Choices, KSX #2, see those pages
- a fan includes this small tutorial: :-) (<—this, BTW is a smiley if you read it from left to right: it means the above statement is not to be taken so seriously as to cause offense, very useful on such places as the Internet.)
- the editor comments: I have been asked if I have an e-mail address. The answer is no -- but I will soon -- I just got up enough nerve to start playing on the Internet and am seeing which service I like best. Any suggestions? Also -- if you want to start putting your e-mail address along with your comments. I wonder how the new law that Congress passed will effect the slash groups on the Internet?
- fans are increasingly commenting on a lack of zines and fiction, and a lack of LOCs about those zines: I'm finding out more and more how much I enjoy even the most flawed of stories. Obviously, the reading experience would be best if the story were written well, then we'd get the maximum reading enjoyment, n'est pas? But, there's always something in a story—a look, a moment, a line—that makes it worthwhile. I would be so upset if someone didn't write a K/S story because they thought they couldn't write it well enough. There is no "well enough" in my opinion. We need more K/S writers now. People are podding and publishers are stopping. This is ironic in light of the increase in interest. There are lots of K/Sers out there—all across the country (and the world!) that we don't know about or who don't know about us! And something interesting that I have been discovering through correspondence, often, I have thought I was the only one who felt a certain way, but I wasn't. This is another reason why your LOCs or just comments are important.
- this fan attempts to explain, and to educate: I need to point out that the classical canons of literature, going back to Aristotle's Poetics or even earlier, are explicit attempts to codify the most effective ways to evoke powerful emotions such as joy, anguish, pity and terror from the reader or the audience. Some fan fiction delivers sentimentality rather than the passion and pain, the angst of wrestling with profound human dilemmas that we associate with classical drama. Personally, I respond most deeply and powerfully to fan fiction (or any other kind) when it shows growth and change in the characters-particularly moral, ethical and spiritual change. That's why stories of redemption or reconciliation are so powerful. But such a story needs a dramatic structure that can support it. I enjoy the kind of story I call the "70-page vignette"--composed of lots of conversation and interaction and an adventure or two to bring the characters' feelings to the surface-but those stories don't move me as deeply as a true drama. Actually, one of the things that makes K/S fiction unique is that even the most hackneyed stories tend to show growth and change in the characters as they commit to a permanent relationship. So I don't think the dramatic canons are incompatible with K/S. Just as K/S authors have reported that they found their writing even more satisfying as they paid more attention to point of view, so I suspect that some K/S authors would find it satisfying to write a story within the framework of a solid dramatic structure.
Come Together 27 was published in March 1996 and contains 14 pages.
- it contains comments on contents of Beside Myself #2, First Time #7, #43, Fever, Counterpoint #9, KaleidoScope #4, Promises to Keep, Taking Command, T'hy'la #16, see those pages
- there is a con report for Escapade, see that page
- a fan brings up the support she gets for fandom at home: I'm blessed with a husband who tolerates my obsession even thought he doesn't understand it at all. To be truthful, he thinks it's very strange, but if it make me happy.... Sometimes when I'm in my room writing, he'll come to the door, peek in and say, "Are they doing it yet?" Lately, my response seems to be, "They haven't even met yet."
- there is an Open Letter from Dovya Blacque; part of it reads: MKASHEF Enterprises has not and cannot assume responsibility for any order considered "outstanding" or pending with PON FARR PRESS. However, MKASHEF is offering the following information: "PON FARR PRESS has filled all orders received. From the many letters Alexis Fegan Black has received regarding lost orders, she is estimating that approximately 140 zines have been lost. She has also narrowed the time period of these losses to two particular, large mailings she did in July 1994 and December 1994. "As of August 1995, PON FARR PRESS is out of business. It is bankrupt. There is no money. However, Alexis has every intention of re-filling all orders which have been lost. At the moment, she is unable to take much action as, stated above, there simply are no funds with which to print any replacement zines. She will replace all zines for which she has received copies of canceled checks within the next 12 months [the letter was undated]. This will be a slow process simply due to the lack of money available.... "These orders will be filled through MKASHEF but not by MKASHEF. Again, I do not and cannot accept any responsibility for whatever remaining business anyone has with PON FARR PRESS.... "Anyone who has worked with MKASHEF in the past knows I honor all orders I hope my track record will be enough for everyone to extend to me the respect of acknowledging my word as confirmation regarding Alexis and her actions concerning her zine business. There is nothing underhanded or dishonest going on here. Alexis feels bad that the situation has become so complicated and has every intention of making all commitments good as soon as one of the many writing projects with which she is involved comes through. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
- the creation of a zine is compared to a shared meal: You talked about writers who write stories to get "free zines" What writers always need to remember is that the zine isn't really free. All the people who pay for the zine are chipping in to buy the writer a trib copy. It's like a potluck supper, some people bring stories, some bring art, some bring editing skills, and the rest of us chip in money so it can get published. Then we all share the result. Just as no one would bring burned brownies to a potluck, a writer shouldn't send a story that has major problems to a zine. If a writer does do this and the editor decides to publish it. I think it is perfectly reasonable for the other people helping with the zine, which includes the people who buy it, to complain.
Come Together 28 was published in April 1996 and contains 10 pages.
- contains comments on material in First Time #7, #43, KaleidoScope #4, T'hy'la #3, see those pages
- fans continue the conversations they've been having in this letterzine about allowing visibility of their K/S interest to others: Another subject I've always had this feeling, another reason why K/S'ers are special, and it came up recently, so I'll share it with you. I met with a woman I went to high school with, a lesbian, and I realized that telling her about my K/S involvement was like "coming out," so even if she didn't especially dig the idea of K/S, she could still dig where I'm coming from and how I feel about telling her. That's one of the things I love about K/S women, "straight" K/S women, is that, if you've come out about K/S to anyone, you understand the experience of coming out, as gays and lesbians understand it. Of course it seems a misnomer to call straight K/S women straight. A more creatively crooked group of people I've never known. Sorry if that offends anyone; that's meant as the highest compliment whether you like it or not. Or is a lesbian-bisexual complimenting a straight woman on having enlightened sensibilities something like men saying "she thinks like a man" and thinking that's a compliment to us? I'd better quit while I'm ahead.
- a fan writes of LOCs and of how more fans need to pick up the pencil and write: We need more K/S writers. We need more zines. So if you've even had just an idea for a story, try writing down just the idea. Don't worry about how its written, just get it out on paper. The hardest part is getting the words out. Once you've got those pesky words out, then you can fix them. That was advice I got from a K/S writer (a good one) a long time ago. Also, this is important for everyone to know—a big part of the joy of K/S is the discussions we have about stories. LOCs are like discussing stories with other K/S'ers. It is so fun and we all get the pleasure of learning more about writing. So maybe we should look at LOCs in that light In addition to discussing stories, commenting on LOCs is educational, as well. Finding out what opinions others have of stories and discovering certain aspects that they saw that you might have missed is great fun! Besides, I'll never forget the excitement and thrill that I felt when I saw my first story in print I might as well have won the Pulitzer prize! The story happened to be pretty bad, but who cared? I was a published author! So try it!
- at least one fan complains about a zine ed's actions at a recent con: I must say I was very surprised to learn that [P F Press] was at Escapade offering zines at a discount I had understood from the letter from [M Press] that there were no zines. Just today I received an acknowledgement of receipt of my canceled check and notification that I am on the list of people who need zines. I have volunteered to take any three zines and not to wait for the three I ordered. Yet I sit here with no zines while others were able to get zines at a discount Perhaps [Ms. B] is attempting to raise money for the postage to send out the replacements for the lost ones. I can only speculate about this since the only communications I have received about this matter have been from [M Press]. If she is trying to raise money for postage, it seems very strange to be offering the zines at a discount I would think that she would want to make as much money as she can while holding onto as many zines as she can. That way she will have both postage money and zines, and she could start straightening things out I'm sure other people with lost zines would be happy to take substitutions. However, if she raises postage money with the discounted zines but doesn't have enough zines to send out, she's stuck raising money to reprint zines. Well, hopefully she has this all figured out Maybe ones are even now in the mail, winging their way to people who have been waiting for them a long time. If they are not and if no one else has a reasonable explanation of this behavior, I will be forced to conclude that somebody's brownies are burning.
Come Together 29 was published in May 1996 and contains 10 pages.
- it contains comments about material in T'hy'la #3, #16, Nome #9, Greater California K/S, Choices, KaleidoScope #4, Charisma #17, First Time #7, #29, #43, see those pages
- a fan describes the time (awkward, unsuccessful) she told her mother about her interest in K/S, and also about finding a new print shop for the zines she illustrates: Another favorite tortured time was recently when I had to break-in, so to speak, a brand new printer for my art work. I spent a few weeks agonizing over the scenario including wondering if it were possible to pay or heavily bribe someone to do the deed for me. Alas, no such person could pretend to be my agent or something, so in I marched, highly explicit (well...homosexual Star Trek) drawings in hand. I whipped them out and proceeded to talk a mile a minute and act casual as though these were renditions of houses or something. The guy said nothing. Not even 'Well, what are these? Star Trek or something?" So I didn't say anything either. Then I left without looking at his assistants who were craning their necks over the counter. Actually, it was only when I went to pick up the drawings later that he asked me "Are these for advertising?" I don't know why I said yes. Can you imagine? Advertising? Like what?
Come Together 30 was published in July 1996 and contains 8 pages.
- there are comments about the content of Beside Myself #4, As I Do Thee #9, Within the Mirror #3, KaleidoScope #4, Scattered Stars #4, Mirror Reflections, Naked Times #4/5, First Time #43, see those pages
- a fan comments on a story by Joanna Russ called "Invasion" in the January 1996 issue of "Asimov": Long time K/S fans will recongnize this as being similar to Janet Alex's "Invasion" published in T'hy'la #4. The names and one sex have been changed. Still a great story.
- a fan comments on the story "Maureen Birnbaum on a Hot Tin Roof" by George Alec Effinger in "Fantasy & Science Fiction" (8/96): In this a/u story Blanche DuBois and Stanley Kowalskl (from Streetcar Named Desire) are living together with their Yorkshire terrier, Stella. Their favorite bar is a place called the K-slash-S. I don't think Maureen Bimbaum understands Blanche and Stanley's little secret, but the astute slash fan will. Kirk and Spock never show up, but K/S fandom is mentioned quite prominently.
- on the topic of LOCS: Look at old zines: There was a lot of amateurish art. I think, people (I mean us simple fans) who see this, will say "Boy. I can do this, too!" and they will do it! People who read perfect stories and look at professional art will say "I can't do it. I'm not good enough. I'm a simple fan." And they will not submit anything. Very disadvantageous were also the many bad LOC's (I think e.g. of [A H]). A lot of people have fear to submit anything, because of the reaction in LOC'S. Remember, K/S is hobby, fandom, fun. Why has the grammar or the writing style to be perfect? Why can't a Spock have too big feet or a Kirk the wrong looks? ... Oh, I know, I'm not good, but it takes many hours to draw a picture and it is done with love. And I don't see why editors publish zines without or with less artwork, when they can have some. Hell, it's fandom, it's fun! And who cares if [A H] doesn't know the right grammar as long as she tells us her terrific plots! Even in CT is this professionalism now. "How to write a perfect LOC." If this continues, "normal" people won't write LOC's anymore! What about some simple rules: criticize the plot and "unclear sentences, not the author and her abilities. Don't hurt, embarrass or offend someone. And above all remember this is fandom, hobby, fun! The few perfect writers and artists are not able to support all the many zines all the time! K/S fandom needs more writers/artists. So if the editors don't encourage the simple fan and reader to do something, K/S will die in the future!
- a zine ed writes: For a long time now, response from the readers of slash zines has been dropping off, yet everyone I know says that there is a shortage of new zines. One of the reasons for this apparent anomaly is that there is a severe shortage of dependable advertising forums, probable due to a falling off of subscriptions (the reason for my cancellation of TZC) Another reason might be that there seems to be a new generation of zine readers, who are too impatient to wait a few weeks (we used to wait YEARS) for a new zine, so they buy only at cons, The problem with that is that not all zine editors attend cons any more; we can't afford it. The mail is our only contact with our readers. I suspect that are other reasons for the lagging response from readers, such as the pirates ( an old problem), and now I understand that transfer of stories is taking place on the Internet. Zine editors (and zines) are becoming an endangered species. I'll spare you a lesson on the economics of zine production - ask any zine editor what it takes to produce a new zine, But for those of you who weren't around when zine fandom began: I've said this before, but I'll say it once more - Production and readership is a symbiotic relationship; one can't exist without the other.
- a fan clarifies a point in a previous review and comments on Christian symbols in a story: I feel the need to respond to something that [L F] said a few months ago in her review of Promises to Keep. Thanks so much for your comments, [L]. I appreciated them. However, you mentioned a problem with the crucifixion symbolism not being appropriate to Spock. Actually, I couldn't agree with you more, especially since the event you mentioned took place in Kirk's head, not Spock's- (I believe [L] was specifically talking about the dream Kirk has where he is executed between two other criminals.) I really didn't commit the egregious error you accused me of! I don't think a Vulcan-raised person would dream in Biblical terms, either. Actually, there is dual Christ symbolism linking Kirk and Spock, if you care to look for it. The stuff with Kirk is much more overt, such as the dream, but Spock falls three times in the corridors of the Loxtheneth'nar. as Christ did on his walk to the crucifixion There's other Christ symbolism too. for each of them, part of which occurs towards the end when the religious and the water metaphors come together in the baptism scene at the end of the pon farr. I was trying to imply, through subtext, that the link between our guys was not totally dead, and one of the ways I did this was to draw the Christ comparison for both of them. Another way was through the way Kirk's first dream, on the ship, ends, and how Spock's dream sequence begins.
Come Together 31 was published in July 1996 and contains 7 pages.
- it contains material from Crossroads, First Time #19, #22, #23, Naked Times #3, Within the Mirror #3, see those pages
- from a fan: Sometimes I approach my writing of Kirk and/or Spock not so much in terms of being true to their characters (since this is open to some amount of subjective interpretation), as with a mind to exploring, saying "what if" That's why it doesn't bother me in my K/S reading, either, to read them portrayed so many different ways. Just for instance, I don't say, "Would Kirk cross-dress?" but rather, "What if Kirk liked to cross-dress? I can see, though, that there are probably people who would be bothered by playing so loose with these characters. If we didn't keep fairly true to center, we wouldn't be writing Kirk and Spock anymore. But I think we mostly do, mostly within agreeable parameters. Here's an example: I've sometimes wanted to write Kirk (early in his admiral years) as a self-absorbed, alcoholic asshole. This isn't Kirk we actually saw on screen, but it doesn't take much of a stretch for me to see him this way, if it would be useful to dynamics I want to explore in a story. Linda Frankel seems to call such variations on character, a/u versions of the character I suppose that's right and that, as she says (I think), K/S is basically an a/u anyway.
Come Together 32 was published in August 1996 and contains 14 pages. Though there is no official signing off or mention of its end, this is the last issue. There must have been much discussion and work done by fans, however, as this zine was immediately succeeded by The K/S Press just a month later.
- there are several con reports for Shore Leave, see that page
- comments on material in T'hy'la #17, Beside Myself #4, First Time #29, #44, Captives, KSX #1, Scattered Stars #8 (07/1996), see those pages
- a fan questions the lack of zine ads, especially in regards to Way of the Warrior #8: I'm confused re Jean Hinson and Way of the Warrior 8. "I announced the readiness for print of Way of the Warrior 8 last February. Since then, I've received 8 orders and no inquiries." This is a quote from the Editorial of the Zine. I myself read the ad for the first time in June CT, which I got, like all the others, along with the July issue. Because I had no information about new zines lately, I mailed a lot of SASE's to different editors and got a flyer for this zine in July - nearly together with the ad in CT. So where was that ad in February? Is there an adzine I don't know? Apparently the others, aside from 8 people, don't know it, too. Why didn't Jean Hinson announce the zine in CT? I think that Way of the Warrior are wonderful zines, and I think a lot of people would buy them. As far as I know CT is the only letterzine for K/S fandom and I thought I would find ads for all new zines there. So, please, editors, place your ads in CT when a new zine is out. We, the readers, are not telepaths! We can only order if we know about new zines!! 
- a fan comments on the recent tone of this letterzine: I agree with many of the thing said in the last two issues of CT. I despise nasty criticism. I have read some reviews that would have reduced me to tears if they had been about me... Some fans are terrible toward their fellow fen.. I understand it's far more vicious on the net. We do need criticism. That is the only way we improve. BUT all criticism needs to be done graciously. I'd say that if you REALLY dislike something, then you shouldn't criticize it because you're going to have trouble doing it kindly. Or if you do criticize it, make it brief. (If you dislike the author personally, then you shouldn't write a criticism at all.) People can learn more from two paragraphs listing problems than from three pages because too much criticism simply overwhelms people - even constructive criticism.
- a fan comments on the departure of a BNF zine publisher: I fear somedays that my two fandoms are dying - classic ST & K/S and Blake's 7 & B/A. (some people would say I have four fandoms. but I don't divide gen and slash because I buy both.) I fear Bill Hupe's leaving fandom may be another nail in the fanzine coffin unless Peg Kennedy can manage to successfully take over. It's a huge job. By the way, now you'll have to pay for flyers from Peg. $1.00. You include the extra $1.00 on your order to be sure of getting the next flyer. I have no clue if Peg is going to continue Bill's practice of selling used zines or of taping shows for people.
- a fan writes of the internet and zines: I'm not on the net. If I were, my 14 year old daughter and husband would be watching what I was doing, I don't want to download stories (or zines) or boot zine disks or whatever else one does on the computer. I want a paper zine I get through the mail I can read in bed and then stash in on of the zillion boxes I have in my closet. Yes, I'll pay $20 for a zine, I know paper costs, Postage is $3 and up to $7 overseas. Stupid question here... doesn't computer paper cost? Don't you have to pay $20 for ink cartridges that last a month? Aren't there computer service monthly costs? Does the phone company let you off free? Plus, doesn't it cost you plenty to buy the computer which is outdated as soon as you get it-and good for perhaps two years before self-destruction and taking everything stored on it into computer heaven?? Just why does everyone think zines on computer is so much cheaper?? Does the computer bind the zine together and add a nice hard cover? I certainly wouldn't want to mess with 150 pages that were loose. It's a nuisance to hole punch stuff and put it in a notebook. What happens to the art? K/S fans, if you think K/S is dying, just be thankful your other fandom is B/A. I'd guess you have twenty K/Z zines ( or more to every B/A zine being produced now.
- in "Sociology of Religion," v.55, #1, pp 27-51, author is Michael Jindra
- see issue #10 for an update on this topic.
- The editor of Come Together responds: "Bill Hupe at Shoreleave said that he is aware of the problem. and will contact the editor of Pon Farr Press and se if see will give her permission for him to fill orders that she has not. Unfortunately it is well know in K/S fandom that you do not buy from PON FARR PRESS through the mail. Here's hoping that Big Bill can help everyone that has been stiffed."
- In October 2012, Mrs. Potato Head contacted this library and asked for any information they had on media zines. Their response was prompt, friendly, but ultimately discouraging. These zines/material may still be available at this library, but they are not cataloged in any way albeit for a possible, primitive filing system; unless you know what you are specifically looking for, there is no way to explore or verify this library's holdings unless you physically go there.
- The Agony Booth was a feature of The LOC Connection where fans wrote in about their opinions/retrospective of the the work of a single author.
- dated Wednesday. March 15. 1995 It is entitled "Trekking Through College: Boldly Going to College as Topic for Discussion
- There are no cases of this that fans know of. For issues regarding explicit het fiction, see Open Letter to Star Wars Zine Publishers by Maureen Garrett
- Actually, this was often one of the first sort of statements fans tend to make when they are slowly backing away from a beloved fandom: the long goodbye..
- for more on this topic, see Why Fewer Zines? Was It Just the Internet?
- There was never any dust-up about slash fiction and LucasFilm, at least discussed or mentioned in any letterzines or other places of fannish discourse. This fan very likely is mixing the "slash story" up with Slow Boat to Bespin, a fairly tame (at least by today's standards) het story. For more info see Open Letter to Star Wars Zine Publishers by Maureen Garrett.
- It was not a cease and desist letter.
- If this fan is referring to Slow Boat to Bespin and the zine Guardian, then these fans were Anne Elizabeth Zeek and Linda Deneroff.
- See: Zines and the Internet: Visibility
- the editor of Come Together adds: "Just a note -I have to constantly on the lookout for new zines then I beg, plead for the editors to send me the ads for the zines - [K R] are you reading this? She has two new wonderful zines out!! The non response of editors is also holding up On the Double as new zines ads are not being submitted.