Gayle F

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Fan
Name: Gayle F
Alias(es): Sylvia Knight [1]
Type: writer, zine editor, zine publisher, fan artist, vidder
Fandoms: Star Trek, Blake's 7, Wiseguy, others
Communities:
Other:
URL: at the K/S Archive
a 1979 self-portrait from Starborne
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Gayle F was hugely influential in early Kirk/Spock fandom. She wrote some of the classics of that time, such as Mirrors of Mind and Flesh, edited, illustrated and published The Price and The Prize, and other K/S zines.

Her illustration style was very stylized yet lush, and she moved easily between simple portraiture and elaborate and sometimes explicit story illustration. K/S stories of the time often posited unusual versions of Spock's alien genitalia, and her art often reflected them -- she even made a famous paperdoll set with different sets of Vulcan penises.

She continued doing cover art for zines long after she stopped writing or publishing zines of her own.

Later, Gayle started vidding, both with Tashery Shannon and alone -- she was an early slash vidder in Blake's 7 fandom. After a multiple year hiatus, she reappeared primarily as a Wiseguy vidder in the late 1990s, collaborating with Lynn C. and later Morgan Dawn.

She is still active as an invited guest at K/S cons.

Interviews

Fan Comments

Gayle's zines are all among the most beautiful and most carefully-produced works ever to come out of fandom. She herself was probably the leading K/S artist of her day, often using a highly stylized Art Nouveau or Aubrey Beardsley style that is both flowing and extremely explicit. [1]
... the first time I ever saw GF, I looked across a room and saw a woman in a flowing patterned dress with a filmy overdress that was also patterned, so that as she moved the two patterns slipped over each other to make an ever-changing, intricate moire; and I said to myself, "That has got to be GF." And indeed it was! (None of the patterns involved delicate flowers with penis stamens, though.) [2]
And may I just say, in no uncertain terms, that you have not *lived* until you've seen [Gayle F's] art. This woman was/is a fucking genius. Her drawings of Kirk and Spock are explicit, mythical, transcendent and completely mind-blowing. [3]

Her Debut in 1976

From Interphase #2:
cover of the Interphase calendar, Gayle F's debut in a fanzine
The extra chunk of paper that fell out of the envelope... is the Special Calendar Supplement... Let me mention right here that the calendar is only available as part of the zine; it is not available separately. [Gayle F], the artist whose illustrations make the calendar so special, has been on the periphery of fandom for a while, but this is, I believe, her debut in a fanzine. Gayle is a multi-talented and remarkably imaginative person (you will probably be seeing her excellent fiction in zines soon, as well as her dynamic artwork), and it is with wide-eyed, 'goshwow' gratitude that I'd like to publicly her welcome to fanzine fandom.

In Her Own Words: 1982

In 1982, she was nominated for a FanQ award and submitted the following bio to The Annual Fan Q Awards Nominations Booklet:
"I've been involved in Star Trek Fandom since 1976, as artist, writer, and editor. I published THE PRICE AND THE PRICE (with Syn Ferguson), and MIRRORS OF MIND AND FLESH. My work has appeared in my own fanzines and numerous others, among which are NOME, INTERPHASE, SUN AND SHADOW, GALACTIC DISCOURSE, THE CAPTAIN'S WOMAN, THRUST, OUT OF BOUNDS, T'HY'LA, NAKED TIMES, COMPANION, CHEAP THRILLS, DUET, R & R, and THE OBSC'ZINE, among others. .. I live with a marvelous husband and two cats .... I have degrees in Art and Creative Writing. I love film, literature, Fantasy and Mysteries, Astrology and Tarot, costumes, gourmet cooking, and gardening. And cats."

In Her Own Words: 1994

I am, not surprisingly, a fan of both [erotic stories and erotic art], if both are well done. To me, a good slash drawing would capture an emotional mood, and not just be a depiction of body parts. While I often see erotic photos or paintings that are not slash that I find erotic because of the sculptural quality of the pose or the beauty of the skin tones, even though I can't see the faces of the people, I much prefer to see the faces, the expressions of the slash couples, and would find the same beautiful pose far less erotic in a slash context. There are a lot of poses from gay mags that I never used for my own slash art because of this. But as an artist, I've also learned that if you are working from a particular figure in a photo that it can only be altered a little from it's actual form to fit the character that you wish it to be, and it's hard to find both a pose you like combined with a body type that is believably the character that you want to draw!

I agree with [T] about the idealization of the bodies. While I don't want to see a unbelievably perfect body on a character that I like, I see nothing wrong with trying to draw them at their best. Most of the actors looked their best at their slimmest, and I generally picture the characters bodies at the actors best, though I will follow the aging of their faces more accurately. Kirk, Sonny Crockett, and Vinnie, to name a few, all looked best at their most slender. In the case of Blake's 7, I certainly think that Blake and Avon are in better shape than Gareth Thomas and Paul Darrow. Cally and Dayna are making sure that they stay in shape. Although I picture Spock with a similar body to Leonard Nimoy's, I imagine him with far better muscle tone and more grace in movement. Leonard Nimoy had very graceful gestures, but didn't move all that well - how many Spock fans have a Spock that runs like Nimoy?

With few exceptions, like Avon, who is a clothes horse, I don't find what the characters wear all that sexy. I'd rather see either an explicit nude, or a fantasy AU (or combo). I do like good portraits, that convey a lot of emotion and/or character. Like Doro, I also will sometimes build a fantasy based on an intriguing piece of art. Suzie Lovett often does wonderfully evocative work that stirs the imagination.

[T] and I were talking, and agreed that in a badly written story, there are still usually bits and pieces that the reader could carry off and transform to their liking. But a badly done piece of art is right there in your face, not looking like the characters. It's just a matter of degree, however, as the more poorly written a story is, the more difficult I find it to visualize the characters as they appear on screen. I tend to see them from a greater and greater distance and more nebulously. In a good story, I am closer to them and they are far more vivid.

So, I like good erotic art, and I also prefer my stories explicit as well. While I certainly appreciate all the skillful building of erotic tension that comes before the characters fall into bed, I definitely feel cheated if the author does not develop the sex scene with the same care. I think the sex scenes can and should continue to investigate the characters emotionally. Whether or not there is an ongoing tension in the erotic scene would depend entirely on what the circumstances are. A first time story, no matter how sweet, still has the "How are they going to deal with this?" question to supply tension.

[A] felt that the sizzle of love denied was more potent than that of love consummated (I really HATE the stories where they NEVER get together). I don't agree with that myself - but what about the sizzle of love denied, then consummated, then denied again? The intensity of the consummation only increases the desire. Most of the series slash stories evolve around an ongoing series of conflicts - probably a central one that isn't resolved until the end about one of the characters ability to commit to the other, and whatever other ones keep the plot moving and, hopefully reveal some interesting aspects of the characters as we share their passionate relationship. I agree that Sandy's favorite scenario is a very potent one - hiding the Longing for Love behind a facade of animal lust. Given the different sexual acts, combined with the characters attitudes toward what is happening, there are many, many possible "first times" - the first time they do some specific thing can become a new first time when they know that they love each other, or when one character has done it for the other, but not vice versa. And there are so many possible different moods for the characters to express in bed. When I got into K/S, I never expected to branch off into other fandoms, but one of the fun things about it has been to discover how differently the different characters would make love. On the other hand, I admit that it's damn hard to find new ways to describe the same acts and emotions - there just aren't enough words! But I can always find a few things new and different to do, just because the characters are new and different, and relate to each other differently than the other slash couples. Or my response to what they do will be different. [4]

In Her Own Words: 2013

Gayle F: How did I get into fandom, as fandom, as opposed to being a fan of Star Trek. I saw the first—maybe a year and a half of Star Trek when it first came out and I was a fan, but then I didn't have a television for a long time. And in the '70s, the ladies upstairs had a TV and were watching Star Trek, and I went up and watched all these re-runs of things I had never seen, and I fell in love with Spock all over again. And at the same I found a book called Star Trek Lives, and discovered there was such a thing as fandom, and wrote to Jacqueline Lichtenberg. And she gave me addresses, and I wrote to those people. And I started writing stories. I think I was writing stories before I wrote to the people, because I was in love with Spock! But—... Seventies sometime. Seventy-four or –five. 'Cause I went to a convention in '76. [5]

Notable Stories

Cosmic Fuck Series, a series of formative early Kirk/Spock stories:

Gayle also published two K/S novellas, illustrating them with all her own artwork:

She also published The Price and the Prize an anthology of K/S stories.

Notable Vids

Data's Dream, aka Flight Dreams, (to the song Orinoco Flow) -- absolutely exquisite multimedia vid of SF and F shows, framed by Data. Originally created on vcrs, but remastered in the early 2000s on computer. Most of the source wasn't strictly media fannish, but of course, there's enormous overlap between media fandom and SF&F fandom. Many fans have said this is the most beautiful vid they've ever seen. A streaming version can be viewed by contacting Morgan Dawn here.

Gayle also collaborated with other vidders: most often Tashery S. as part of the Shadow Songs vidding collective. But also:

Gallery

Gayle F has given blanket permission for her art to be used on Fanlore. (See the talk page before making changes to image size.)

Sexually Explicit Art

References

  1. January 27, 2000 comments at ASCEML by a member of Foresmutters Project
  2. Sexuality and slash fandom (2007 post), shoshanna
  3. ASC, April 1998
  4. comments on Virgule-L, quoted with permission (April 22, 1994)
  5. from Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Gayle F and Caren P (2013)
  6. From my personal collection 1979,