K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits)/Issues 11-12

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K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) Issues
Issues 001-002 Issues 003-004 Issues 005-006 Issues 007-008 Issues 009-010 Issues 011-012 Issues 013-014 Issues 015-016 Issues 017-018 Issues 019-020 Issues 021-054
Zine
Title: K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits)
Publisher:
Editor(s): Central Mailers: BH (#1-#12), NS (#13-), DM (1988), LB (1993), BA (1997-1998)
Type: APA, letterzine
Date(s): 1982 until at least 1998 (as print), however, it also moved online in 1996 to become K/S Circle
Frequency: supposedly every two months but was more erratic than that
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) is a Kirk/Spock slash apazine.

There were 54 issues published between 1982 and 1998.

Issue 11

K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) 11 was published in November 1984 and contains 71 pages. The deadline for the next issue is December 15, 1984.

Four members have dropped out: KS, PD, BC, CAT, but the apa has gained five new members: TB, DCL, SHN, NLS, and MF.

There are 12 tribs by 23 members.

The tribs: SHN (The Dialectic), JG (Unity of Opposites), RKL (Ruth's Riteings), TB (Stellar Drift), TGK (And in this Corner... #11), LF (Lavender Diversity), DCL (Perpetually Amazed), NLS (To One and All in This APA), BPG (Ad Astra #6), AC (General-Inane-Mumblings), MF (Another Fine Mess #1), BH (For the World is Horny and I Have Touched Spock's Thigh #8)

Fanworks and other:

  • a chapter of "Rebirth" by JG
  • there are many comments about The Letter That Interstat Wouldn't Print and Fandom's Lost Idealism, see those pages
  • brochure from the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.
  • By the Stone Ezel, part three, fiction by LF
  • a reprint of a poem by Joe W. Haldeman called "Saul's Death, Two Sestinas"
  • a reprint of a review by Harlan Ellison of the recent Star Trek film, printed in the September 1984 issue: "Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction"
  • an update from BPG about her controversial story Love Slave's Song, see that page
  • untitled ni var by CH
  • Shore Leave Blues, or When the Green is Greener, poem by MF
  • Companion, poem by MF (from Naked Singularity)
  • Shadows on the Ice, poem by MF
  • The Driving Lesson, or Shore Leave After Iotia, poem by MF
  • a clipping of an article from The Door County Advocate in Sturgeon Bay, WI called "Mr. Sulu helps turn gloomy weekend into delightful one," the author was John Enigl (unknown date)
From BH:
The audience actually laughed when Kirk kicked Kruge off the cliff...I wonder if you would explain to me exactly what it is about Kirk's "I have had enough of you" line that is so "great!" Personally, I find it to be truly disgusting in a really basic and gut-wrenching way; it goes against every philosophy STAR TREK ever embraced and what it did to the character of James T. Kirk is nothing less than character rape (a major violation). I always block my ears when that part comes on, but I can still see him mouthing the words and it just makes my stomach clench up.
From BH:
It seems like a lot of people are down on Interstat lately. I really think that zine could use an extensive rehauling myself. It simply is not the forum for 'fan comment, analysis and reaction' it once set out to be. It reads more like the monthly newsletter for the Harve Bennett fan club. And the way that people address each other has really become horrendous, I think. The art of expressing one's opinions logically and honestly without the need to preface one's comments with rude, crude, snide and nasty little put-downs has become almost extinct.
From BPG:
I've seen and heard several things lately that lead me to believe than a schism of sorts may be occurring in K/S fandom — and I don't mean between pro- and anti-movie fans. The kind of story appreciated, and the kind of viewpoint of straight and lesbian K/S fans often seems quite different, and bisexual K/S fans stand somewhere in the middle, nebulously. Note the letter in NTS in which the non-straight fan comments — not particularly approvingly — on why the straight K/S fan likes K/S, intimating that the reasons the non-straight fan has are somehow better and "purer". Anyone have any thoughts on this??
From BPG:
In your comments to [CH] about all the wonderful qualities ST fans supposedly have, I certainly agree that "Some of the most incredibly cruel and callous behavior I've seen anywhere I've seen in fandom," I'm sure everyone is going to jump on me for saying this, but I have never seen a group of people who pat themselves on the back so much for being so wonderful — with so, little justification, I have never noticed that the tolerance and sensitivity was better than average — perhaps less — and I'm not so sure about intelligence & ideals, either. I would say that, compared to other groups of people I have been involved with intensively (musicians, artists, SF fans. Mensa members... intellectuals, university people, political/radical activists, and others), that ST fans are very considerably less sophisticated and knowledgeable, certainly less cosmopolitan and therefore tolerant in outlook, and have little strength of character, integrity or ethics, or honesty in many cases. Any set of people who like to cluster into little protective subgroups, playing pecking-order games within, and using ostracism, boycotting, and techniques worthy of the Mafia to separate themselves from outsiders, definitely are destructively immature, and rather pitifully silly. It would be nice if the fans who perpetrate this kind of stuff were at least honest about it to themselves] (I am not referring specifically to [CH] here, or anyone else.) I don't think those four attributes describe women either. This society has forced women into a particular mold of passive unassertiveness, dependence, deviousness and the meanness of spirit, pettiness, and feelings of inferiority compensated by preten tiousness and snobbery, that make the four attributes mentioned nearly impossible to achieve. Sorry, but it's true, exceptions notwithstanding.
From BPG:

A review of Star Trek: The Search for Spock appeared in the September The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, in the column "Harlan Ellison's Watching", Does anyone know what it was that turned Harlan against Shatner? It must have been something truly ferocious. Harlan seems bent on carrying on a feud as spiteful, nasty, destructive and catty as some of the worst in fandom — particularly K/S fandom. He felt obliged to refer to K/S fandom [1], but at least didn't actively belittle it as Gerrold does.

By the way, I read the K/S reference in Gerrold's book, which presently has every one up in arms, and did not find it half so offensive as his liberal doses of sexism. He obviously hates and distrusts women, and is size-prejudiced as well — with his huge-female-intimidating-the-actor/producer/whomever which he mentions several times. One would think that in David Gerrold's reality no one was ever intimidated by a huge MAN! Or a small, wiry, mean one, either.

Perhaps Gerrold had an ulterior motive for mentioning K/S the way he did: to intrigue the uninitiated into sampling K/S perhaps. After all, [personal speculation redacted].

[snipped]

Some things are notable [in the review by Ellison, clipping included in this apa]; the "cult" following, which I am beginning to suspect is synonymous with "women" (TV Guide referred to "cult" also, in reference to people who enjoyed watching "Cagney & Lacey" on TV), Also, the use of "mini-fandom" with regard to a fandom which is probably larger than SF fandom — and probably overlaps it quite a lot. Speaking of the 44% unfamiliar with ST, Mr. Ellison seems to have lost his point somewhere in the shuffle, but I think that he can't understand why anyone not already infected with the ST-virus could possibly like the movies. Well, it's a common enough fault; not understanding that there can be valid opinions other than your own, and not seeing that there might be virtues to something you consider not good enough for you.
From NLS:
I know that this name David Gerrold has been a thorn in some peoples side for a while now since Mr. Gerrold's new Star Trek book came out with #The Revised Edition|the comments he made about K/Sers. Well, folks, Mr. Gerrold couldn't help but hear good things about the K/Sers at world con in L.A. It seems that some friends of mine (not into K/S and male) where sitting at one of the eating tables in the dealers room when Mr. Gerrold came over to talk to his friend Kerry O'Quinn of Starlog who was also sitting at the same table (big tables) when a young kid came over to Mr. Gerrold and asked him about costumes. Mr Gerrold then started to cut this poor kid down about the costume he was wearing and told the young kid he had it all wrong and should try and make something better. Now at this time my friend [R] told me that he knew I didn't have any love for Mr. Gerrold but he wasn't going to be influenced by my dislike for him, but when he heard what was going on with the young kid [R] couldn't hold back any longer, he leaned across the table in front of Mr. Gerrold to another one of our friends and asked, "[P], are you going to that K/S party they are having on Saturday night, I hear it's going to be one of the best parties at the con. I know a few of the K/Sers and they are all really nice people." That was just the first time that Mr. Gerrold would hear about K/Sers. Every party or anytime someone saw him at anytime someone would mention about how great K/Sers are. Mr. Gerrold heard about K/Sers for the full 5 days of the World Con.
From TB:
Does anybody know of any Star Trek bulletin boards for computers? I don't have a computer yet, but communicating with other fans would certainly give me some incentive to get one.
From TB:
I have been surprised at the number of comments I have seen that are critical of Vonda Mclntyre's novelizations, Some of the criticisms I think should be blamed on the fact that she doesn't usually have a final script when she writes the novels, I enjoy her subplots, and forgive the continuity mistakes, since very little Star Trek has no errors on that score.
From LF:
At this point, I know of six pro Trek novels that I consider better than most fan fiction, and four that I think are better than the best fan fiction. You've been reading mediocre stuff or your taste and mine are totally at variance. I suspect so because I think that Yesterday's Son is contrived and therefore badly written. If it were not for the content which gives me a sentimental attachment to the book, I would rate it below mediocre books like Corona, because it's inept. Corona is at least decent hack work. Crispin has a way to go before she's a competent writer, but she does have a sense of characterization even if she has none for plotting. This is a sign of hope for the future because my favorite pro Trek novel was written by a pair that started off as much worse writers than Crispin, and they've come so many light years beyond their first efforts that it is mind-boggling. The Phoenix novels had potential for some of their ideas, but their plotting and characterization was so atrocious that it was hard to believe they had gotten published. Because I was interested in Marshak and Culbreath's ideas, I kept reading them hoping they'd improve. The Prometheus Design was somewhat better, but still not a good novel. Then came Triangle, and I was staggered. It was so excellent. I still consider it the best Trek novel published thus far. I admit the fact that it deals with a sexual triad raises it in my estimation. There are very few good books about triads that aren't fatally marred by jealousy and this is the best one I've seen. Triangle is on my top ten favorite novels too. It also ought to be pointed out that Marshak and Culbreath have always had a strong sense of the K/S bond. Their books have been the closets to K/S in spirits of all the pro Trek novels and Triangle is no exception. Other pro Trek novels that have impressed me are "The Search for Spock" [novelization], My Enemy, My Ally, and The Final Reflection. All these are better than the best fan fiction. "The Tears of the Singers" and The Wounded Sky are better than most fan fiction. So is Yesterday's Son for that matter.
From LF, addressing BPG:
"Paramount's Pap" -- I don't understand how an otherwise intelligent and talented individual could invest so much energy in "Official Star Trek" as if that's what counts. I don't care what Paramount does. I'll use what I can use and through away what I can't, I still have my own mind and imagination. The zines still exist and alternate universes are infinite. Relax. Forget about Roddenberry's wrongs whatever they may be and Bennett's treasons. From the point of view of the active fan writer, they have no importance. We created ST fandom as it exists now, and we have total control of ST in our zines. Let them go to Hades in a trans-warp drive hand basket even if it contravenes the laws of physics and continue to do your own thing in ST.
From LF:
Re Shatner and Nimoy on K/S - I have heard nothing about Nimoy's attitude, but I have information from Carol Frisbie about what happened when Shatner saw K/S materials while she was working with Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath on Shatner's bio, WHERE NO MAN. His reaction was more or less positive. Also see WHERE NO MAN for a rather extraordinary pro-K/S statement from Gene Roddenberry. [2] Beware Great Bird. Roddenberry speaks [about K/S] wIth forked tongue.
From LF:
Those of us who have computers aren't necessarily rich. My roommate who has the computer would never have gotten it if his parents hadn't died leaving him with a sum of money that he probably should have invested, but technology is important to fans. Fans invest in the future. So he bought a computer and now he's poor, but at least he has the computer that he always wanted.
From JG:
More food for thought in your comment, "people eventually grow out of fandom when they finally get enough of whatever it is they need." [snipped] To say that when you get what you need from fandom you then will move on, implies you have someplace else to go, and also that the need that brings you into fandom, can be satisfied within fandom. Both of which are iffy, I'd say, at least for the fans for whom fandom is "home" and yet seem so unhappy when you see them at cons.
From JG:
About fans being "real characters," sometimes to the point of being unable to fit in with non-Trek contemporaries and unwilling to compromise our ideals -- I agree about fans being real and intelligent, but as for not fitting in with our non-Trek contemporaries, I guess that depends somewhat on your reference point. For myself, I can't really say I don't "fit in" with the non-Trek people I interact with regularly; and yet I do feel that I, and they, are "real". The people I work with, especially, are brilliant, idiosyncratic (to the point of being slightly bonkers), and so hopelessly idealistic it isn't funny. I've been criticized much more in fandom for being "idealistic" than I have in "mundane" life. And I have met some people in STAR TREK (fans who've been in fandom a lot longer than I have) who are just about the most cynical, unidealistic people I've ever met in my life. I guess what is really at the bottom of my mind is that absorption in fandom can sometimes be a way of avoiding "real" people, as well as of meeting them, strange and paradoxical as that may seem.

[snipped]

If fat people are drawn to fandom merely be cause they're a "variation on the expected norm," then why aren't there more minorities and more people with disabilities in fandom? Why is fandom basically a white, middle-class, non-disabled subculture? I think it's especially interesting that there aren't more disabled people in fandom. (There are some, of course, but not in disproportionate numbers.) It is quite common for people with physical disabilities to have rich fantasy lives. Physically disabled women, in particular, tend to focus more on developing their minds than on their physical appearance when they are growing up. Thus you'd think they'd be prime candidates for fandom. Maybe they aren't because they have a movement of their own.
From SHN:
Greetings. My friend [JG] invited me into this apa, saying "You don't have to be a real K/S fan to be in the apa." This I did not know. After reading various issues of this thing every time I visited the [Gs], I decided it would be a fun thing to join. So I called [BH], got some general info, and here I am. I have no idea how long I'll be here, since I'm an impoverished graduate student, living with [JG] and [redacted]. I'm quite impressed with the level of discussion here. I so wish "mainstream" ST fandom had an intelligent, enlightened vehicle like this. I mean, can you imagine people in INTERSTAT talking about Spock's balls!? I don't know if that's "intelligent" or "enlightened," but it sure is fun! After reading one issue of NTS, I've come to the conclusion that K/S fen are not only more enlightened about the world, but they also have no compunction against questioning the gods at Paramount about what they're doing to our beloved show; whereas mainstream ST fen will take anything the bigwigs throw at them. If it has the name "STAR TREK," the same faces, a tribble, a Klingon, and the self-destruct countdown from "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield," then, why, of course, it just has to be STAR TREK!
From SHN:
what am I doing in a K/S apa? If you've been reading INTERSTAT since before 1980, you might recall my strongly anti-K/S letters in there. My old position stemmed from anger at what I interpreted to be an unfair conclusion about a beautiful friendship. I thought: Jesus, can't two guys be friends anymore without someone putting them in bed with each other? I'd read only a few pieces of K/S lit — the usual stuff: a couple of OBSC'ZINE issues, Leslie Fish's two famous pieces ("Shelter" and "Poses") and some other pieces chat I can't just now recall. When I became friends with [JG], and later [BL], two very pro-K/S fen, they quite rightly pointed out to me that my argument was often used as a pretext to hide anti-gay prejudice. I was sincere in what I felt but I began examining my own attitudes aboutit. I said to myself: you have these beliefs about equlity and democracy, and spend a lot of time and energy protesting for them. What's your real reaction toward gays? Up till then, it had all been very intellectual. I knew several gays and lesbians at school and found them to be truly fascinating, wonderful people. But that wasn't enough, I realized that if I hated the K/S premise so much, there must be some questionable attitudes behind it. So I did a huge rethink. One night, a local theater was showing TWOK again, and [JG] and I [went]. I had made a promise to myself that I would watch the film with the K/S premise in mind, right in the forefront of each scene where Kirk and Spock were present. Then it came to the scene where Spock wishes Kirk a happy birthday, and they both stand, facing each other, looking at each other very intently, BANG! It hit me! It was right THERE! I couldn't BELIEVE it!! I can't tell you enough what a shock this was to me! I just suddenly saw this overwhelming,, incredible love sparkling between them that did indeed go beyond platonic friendship. I literally felt them holding in check what they felt for each other, felt their desire to reach out to each other, and embrace longingly. So I suppose right then and there, I became a semi-K/S fan, I say "semi" because I still seem to have a bridge to cross. This comes to the fanfiction. Sometime this year, I'm going to devour a whole lot of K/S fanfic and look at it very deeply. Right now, however, I still have trouble believing the fanfic. I've read a little more, mostly [JG's] stuff, Leslie Fish's "Sunset and Evening Star" (which I adored!), the stuff that was in ORGANIA.

[snipped]

Whether this is a failing on MY part or not is your guess as well as mine. Maybe it's my inability to get aroused at reading same-sex lovemaking. Then too, there is my hysterical reaction toward anal sex [snipped]. All it means to me is extreme, horrible pain, so that it's all I think about. Certainly I know other people aren't like me, but I can't identify with the pleasure the characters are feeling in such scenes,
From SHN:
I'm considering publishing an irregular ST/media zine called POWER OF SPEECH (tentative title.) Details aren't even finalized yet. Not much is. It's just an idea I have swimming around in my head. Send in all Locs on whatever topic you desire. To get the ball rolling, consider these questions: what do the ST films mean to you as a ST fan? Compare them to the series. Have the films changed ST fandom in any way? How? Discuss the films in depth, what SFS said to you. Etc. Any other topics on ANY subject is welcomed! No partisanship toward the "stars," the producers, you know. And GUARANTEED NO CENSORSHIP!!!
From SHN:
To address your comments re my censored LoC to INTERSTAT: Teri's rejection letter to me was not a personal communication. When you send in a story or poem to a zine editor, and that zined rejects your submission, that is an official communication written in the "public" role of that zine's editor/publisher. The reason Teri's letter sounded personal was due to her inability to be civil. That's her doing. But that letter is as public as a Letter to the Editor. There were subsequent communications between Teri and myself on the matter, parts of which I wish I could also publish, but those are indeed personal. I would need her permission.

You also seem to skirt the issue of censorship. Bottom line: is it right for ANY letterzine editor to censor a submission because she doesn't agree with it, or because (in the editor's estimation) it will offend some Hollywood personage? That is the issue at hand. And you don't have to try to guess Teri's reasons — she states them quite clearly in her letter. My LoC was a defense of GR and the only portion of it that could possibly be construed as a negative statement against him was my argument that GR has little influence in Hollywood. I don't see that being such a horrendous statement that it should be censored, but Teri could simply have edited that one line out. Isn't this what an editor is supposed to do?? The basic thrust of the LoC would have remained essentially the same.

Teri had three issues before the film came out to edit it (or send me the LoC back so Icould edit it). She also had the same amount of time to publish [JG's] LoC. Revising it herself would have been objectionable as well, but at least it would have shown some slight responsibility on her part toward printing all opinions she receives. I had to write her three times to get the LoC back. By the time she finally sent it, the film had already come out, and she could use the excuse of "discussion on the third film taking precedence." Teri has also had another letter of mine (on another subject entirely) on her desk for a year now. She said she would print it. She hasn't. Which leads me to believe that I am now completely barred from INTERSTAT, since not even that mild, inoffensive LoC on zine reviewing can seem to find its way in the zine. Yet she does find the time to print letters from people who get published in the zine constantly, often with very boring LoCs.

Your admiration for Teri stems from the incredible job she does of getting out a monthly publication in such quality packaging. Fair enough. But what does that have to do with her editorial policy? Several governments put out nice looking publications that are cheap and frequent and that censor thoughts at the drop of a comma. And Teri does have a large staff. The issue isn't the physical production. What about the content? Whether Teri is infallible or not isn't the point. No editor is. But a letterzine editor owes something to her subscribers/readers that a regular editor of a fanzine doesn't: a fair, consistent, unbiased policy. Teri does not provide this. Whether she puts out a nice-looking product while holding down a family and job is beside the point.

[snipped]

As [CH] says, Teri's priorities lie with the big guys at Paramount. She has no compunction against printing vicious personal attacks against fans (lines like "She's so full of manure.") But say one tiny little thing against the big guys, then she gets nervous. As for defending Barbara Gordon, I don't see why anyone who is by so many people would object to my public defense of her arguments. I've often disagreed with the tone in some of her letters, but I've often disagreed with the tone In many others, including my own. I wrote that letter because I was sick and tired of the disgusting attacks against Gordon, and their frequency, and Teri's apparent glee in printing them. Everyone engaged in the old ad hominem type of arguing, attacking the person, and not the position. The issues Gordon raised were quite sound. My LoC was much more than "I agree with Barbara" response. Gordon's points were becoming obscured and all I wanted to do was discuss the things she was bringing up.

You may also be interested to know that I sent a copy of my censored LoC to GR, along with a long cover letter. I asked him to simply tell me if publication of the LoC would, as Teri claimed, hurt or offend him. (I also objected to Teri's presumption in protecting, and speaking for GR.). He wrote back with a wonderful, detailed, two-page letter and unfortunately I can't divulge what he said. He asked for confidentiality. But I can say that I wonder how Teri rationalized to herself some of the things he said in there. You see, he sent a copy of the letter to her as well. And I wonder now what would be her excuse against printing the LoC, besides the discussion on the film.
From SNH:
I didn't think [the characters] Styles and Esteban were "nerds" exactly, or even effeminate. But they were obviously unimaginative, bureaucratic, boring do-nothings. They belonged behind a desk. Starfleet must really be screwed up if they put someone like JTK behind a desk and those guys running ships.
From SNH:
I think your definition of Mary Sue is too limiting. To me, a Mary Sue story can be written by a fairly competent writer. [JG] is more forgiving on this issue than I am. I see nothing wrong in putting yourself in a positive light in a ST or SW story (or whatever). What I object to is having the other characters suddenly lose all their intelligence and capabilities because they're all too busy admiring the MS character. I'm a zine reviewer, and if a writer is new, I try to be patient and understanding. I try to analyze the writing style and compliment whatever good ideas there may be in the plot. But the flawless MS character just ruins a story's potential. Frankly, I can't stand her. Of course, there are some "almost Mary Sues" that are quite forgivable. The first that comes to mind is Mary Schmidt's T'Parven/DomilynFerrant/Lynx character in her novel GEMINI LYNX. The character has enough complexity and only a few slight, superficial MS characteristics so that she's generally quite an interesting construct.
From SNH:
I miss seeing portrayals of women friendships! I've tried CAGNEY & LACEY but I can't forgive them for what they did to Meg Foster, a fine actress and a woman who really wanted to inject some fine radical ideas into the series. When Sharon Gless came along (she's a good actress too, but much too mainstream and unimaginative) the show became very subtly sexist. I love Tyne Daly as an actress as well, but her attitude is much like that of Gless. I recently read somewhere that Gless wants to "soften up" Cagney and have her commiserating over being single. She says single career women really worry about that. I'm only 24 so perhaps I haven't lived long enough to worry about such things. But I just can't identify with Gless' concerns for her character. The writers on the show seem to enjoy getting Cagney all hot and bothered when some macho creep comes along. It's a very condescending portrayal. I like John Karlen as Lacey's husband, tho. For DARK SHADOWS fen out there, you may recall Karlen as the hapless, suffering Willy Loomis, Barnabas' servant (slave, really.) It's a switch in characters for him, and the role he plays is, from what I've seen, quite admirable. I'm still hungry for strong women friendships on TV, film, fiction, whatever. I'd love to see what a good writer could do with it. Unfortunately, most people think women friendships can be dull. I think that's due to the way they've been portrayed.
From SHN:
Your reply to [JG] about h/c reminded me about my own fantasies where I'm hurt and someone I want comes to me. Of course, such fantasies necessarily skirt the pain I'd have to go thru to get to the comfort! For me, that makes them very silly, and too self-indulgent. When I first started reading zines, I enjoyed the Kirk-Spock h/c but it very quickly became boring. I can't even bear to pick up one of those zines now. It's simply too contrived and unimaginative for me. I don't fantasize these things very often and many times, they don't deal with physical pain, but with some deep emotional hurt. (When I was younger, in desperate need of attention, I fantasized these things much more often.) Only when I'm horribly depressed does an occasional h/c image come into my head. Usually, however, my fantasies are very sexual and often involve some tall, dark, gorgeous male.
From SHN:
The Mary Sue will always be something to avoid, as far as I'm concerned. I can't enjoy reading about these characters. Neither do I care about them. I doubt serious condemnation of MS is hurting anyone's emotional development, as you suggest. Perhaps writing a MS into a story IS part of the love-leaming process, but I can't see how I as a reader should tolerate them. Writing these things is different from publishing them. I myself wrote one of them when I was 13. She was Lt. T'Lee Saranded'on, ship's historian, brilliant, beautiful, 3/4 Vulcan, cousin to Spock, had a wise old human grandfather called Matthew Scheer who influenced her life so much so that she managed to find a balance between her human and Vulcan traits. Still, she wasn't the main character. Neither did I have all the canon characters (not even one of them) in love/lust with her, altho they all admired her for her abilities. When I dare to reread that thing again, I marvel at my restraint at not having them gush over her. In fact, I included a lot of MS characters of my friends' own invention, their own alter-egos. I didn't send it anywhere to be published. But, yes, I will admit to you that if a desperate zined came to me and asked to publish it, I would have given it to her like a shot. Now, I thank Ghu/Foo Foo/Cthulhu/Rassilon/the Preservers/the Force/etc- that it never did see print. I would think that people would be glad later in life not to have these things published. You want to put yourself in a story, go right ahead. I do it all the time. But be a little subtle about it, and make me CARE about the character. Make her interesting. And don't make the canon characters suffer.
From SHN:
Yes, Joan Shumsky IS censoring [in Scoundrel, a Star Wars letterzine]. She recently censored an article I sent her which tried to refute the Church of Ford's argument about Luke's quest for his father being only personal. I discussed my own family s experiences in Brazil, since they're politically divided, and apparently she's a super right-winger. It was necessary to mention (in a line or two, no more) part of my family's opposition to US policy in our country and my own agreement with that position. She said she loved "her" country too much to allow that in her zine. Bizarre. Then she intimated no further articles or LoCs of mine would be welcomed in her zine. Plus she may be stealing three issues from me, since I sent her three pieces which she printed, and doesn't seem to realize she owes me contributor's copies for them. There are just some people out there who should NOT be publishing letterzines, period. I hear I'm not the only one she's done this to.

Issue 12

K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) 12 was published in February 1985 and contains 96 pages.

cover of issue #12

The central mailer, BH, wants out. If no one takes over this apa, then it will fold.

The zine has 15 tribs by 20 contributors.

Two fans (AC, WR) have officially dropped out. Three fans are off the docket for failure to pay/contribute (MB, SL, PM). One fan (PD) has rejoined.

BPG mentions the zine she is creating with a secret pseud: "RING OF SOSHERN (which according to NTS will be published in the zine ALIEN BROTHERS)."

Fanworks:

The tribs: CH (Lamartian Lune], PD (Redford Rambling), DD (Just Words), SBS (Ears Only #10), DL (Perpetually Amazed), LF (Lavender Diversity #4 and #5), TGK (And in This Corner #12), NLS (Noel's Ramblings), BL (Imagine), TB (Stellar Drift), BPG (Ad Astra #7, CD (Final Frontier -- From the Suburbs), GSD (Activated K/S Gene #4), JG (Unity of Opposites)

From BH:
Hi. Guess what? If there's no one else out there who wants to take a stab at CMing this thing then this issue of KIS and KS will wind up being the farewell issue. (How's that for short, sweet and right to the point?) To explain, I've just reached the point where the apa is more work than it is fun. My zines always suffer for it because I can never seem to find the tile to reply as extensively as I like; and that 's because the CM part of it takes up so much time. With the way I operate, when it gets down to the wire I usually only have tile to do one or the other--complete a zine or get the apa out, and if you can't get the apa out there's really no point in getting a zine out. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I don't wish to retire completely from the apa. I'd like for it to continue and I'd like to be a part of it, but I'd like to see someone else take over.

[snipped]

...whoever takes over is completely free to make whatever changes in the format she feels are necessary. Also, I would certainly be glad to help out in any way I can during the transition period. End of speech.
From JG:
Ellison hasn't been reading much K/S lately, or he'd know it is likely to be the other way 'round. [1]
From JG:
On doers vs. dreamers: I agree that the dreamer's role is an important one and should be valued. I don't think the fan I quoted placed a negative value on "dreaming." She identified a second personality trait she saw in ST fan, i.e. passivity (seeing yourself as the effect rather than the cause of events which take place around you). Doers vs. dreamers is not the same thing as active vs. passive. You can be an active dreamer (a creative and original thinker who influences the minds and actions of others) or a passive doer (a soldier who blindly follows orders). There are, of course, active doers (the James T. Kirk model) and passive dreamers (people with a heavy fantasy life which has gotten stuck in neutral).
From JG:
You suggest that fans don't write about fat characters because "when you create a character you pick the traits that are essential to the story to characterize that individual." I'd be very surprised if this is in fact what you do. Even if your characters are as flat as Dickens' or Jane Austen's, you have to include some non-essential characteristics, especially physical descriptors or else your scenes are not going to be very vivid. I know I've described characters as "slim," so why not describe a character as "fat" once in a while?
From JG:
Regarding your comments about the Ardrey-Morris brand of sociobiology. Personally, I found it disconcerting to read a whole series of ST books (Marshak's and Culbreath's) based on that school of thought. I guess it shows you can see anything in Trek if you want to.
From JG:
Re Harve Bennett's STAR TREK vs. the series: Your comparison of the flaws in the original series with those of the movies is not wrong, but neither does it address the values some fans see in the original STAR TREK series but not in the Harve Bennett version. I guess those values either resonate for you, or they don't.

One factual comment: You say that GR had his chance at total creative control in ST:TMP. No, he didn't, not by a long shot. In Hollywood, creative control is in the hands of the director in terms of technical division of labor, and in the hands of those who are bankrolling the film in terms of practical reality (since they call the shots and can hire and fire those who are doing line production work). If you've read "The Making of ST:TMP," you know that GR had no control over the script or the way the film was directed and edited — three areas of fatal weakness. Ultimately, those who make STAR TREK movies are responsible to the Paramount and G+W muckety-mucks, whose only interest in STAR TREK is as a valuable "property."

I think the difference in the way the Starfleet bureaucracy was portrayed in the series and the recent films mirrors the difference between the 1960's and the 1980's. In the 1960's, the young people who made up STAR TREK'S primary audience were highly critical of government and authority but not totally alienated There was room for "the best and the brightest" in the JFK and even the LBJ administration, and in those days the U.S. government was doing a few things that appealed to our youthful idealism (enacting social programs and active defense of individual rights). ST:TSFS mirrors 1980's privatism: we don't expect anything positive from government, we just want it to leave us alone. Kirk isn't battling Starfleet over the fate of the planet, as in the old days: he just wants them to leave him the hell alone so he can go look for Spock. Someone writing in Interstat this month commented on Kirk's new focus on "me, me, me." As a K/S fan, of course, I like the attention to the "private" dimension of the characters lives; but as a fossil of the 1960's, I am uncomfortable with a STAR TREK which presents privatism as the solution.
From BPG:
If I bribed you, or twisted your arm , or maybe even threatened your life, would you let me see the letter Roddenberry wrote? [3] I 'd give anything to see it! And I can be very, very discrete; I'd never tell anyone.
From BPG:
Believe me, I don't devote hardly any energy at all to Paramount's pap. Unfortunately, I believe you have the wrong idea; if you ignore it, it WON'T go away. "Official" Star Trek is here to stay — and corrupt. All you need to do is read [TB's] letter in K/S #11 [3], or any issue of INTERSTAT, and you'll see. You are in the definite minority; most fans are profoundly affected by Bennett's Bullshit in the ST movies. You cannot stick your head in the sand like an ostrich and pretend it doesn't exist, nor can you wish it away, nor can you exist alone, in a vacuum, with just your "mind and imagination" and nothing else, nor can you avoid being influenced by it to some extent. At least, I can't. Frankly, my interest in talking and writing to other fans, or reading fanzines that perpetuate Paramount's phony Trek is minimal. I want the real thing or nothing. It's pretty unrealistic to expect a media-based fandom to exist long if its "media" program is destroyed. We certainly do not have total control of ST in our zines; Bennett has influenced those, too.
From BPG:
Gerrold seems like such an insensitive boor (but maybe I'm being terribly unfair) that I'm sure it would take more than what you describe to phase him. Did you happen to attend the "eulogy" given him at the bury-Gerrold festivities at Worldcon?? The most interesting parts were Diane Duane's "eulogy" — she concluded that perhaps he was killed by "those K/S fans" (a look of extreme distaste accompanied this) [personal info snipped] Tee,hee! And Gerrold doesn't like K/S! Hypocrite.
From BPG:
I have been resolutely avoiding the temptation to write INTERSTAT again, about that course Bennett is teaching at UCLA, specifically his contention that Star Trek is all about the conflict between Good and Evil. That is such a horrendous misinterpretation of the nature of ST, that it makes me VERY annoyed. Bennett continues to prostitute ST, turn ing its essence into just an other mediocre Star Wars, designed to appeal to a mentally-deficient child. I am firmly resisting the temptation [to write that letter]. Meyer wouldn't publish it anyway, no matter how I watered it down. She removed every reference to Bennett in my last several letters. It began to be a game: I would ask her please not to turn INTER STAT into a Harve Bennett fan-club, and every time she would remove the request.

God, do we need an impar tial, intelligent forum!

About the rude put-downs in fans' comments to each other, you are quite right. I guess people don't care how boorish they make themselves look. And yet, they don't understand that there is nothing wrong with criticizing Bennett's writing and his ideas (for example), and nothing wrong with disliking the movies and saying so, They persist in confusing criticism with character assassination.
From BPG:
Who showed Teri our K/S APAzine??? Do we have a fink in our midst?
From BPG:
My artwork has been carelessly lost in the mail or destroyed by editors too self-righteously sloppy to find out m the correct method to mail art. They have even ignored my instructions, because they "knew better" and, like little tin gods, didn't want to be told what to do — even though it was to our mutual benefit.

I now mail out instructions for mailing, with my art. I now guarantee satisfaction with my illos, or I will redo them until the editor is satisfied (something else I thought would be obvious to any edit or, but isn't).

It is possible to forgive ignorance easily — but only if the person is willing to learn. Militant, unrepentant ignorance is not forgivable.... It is really practically impossible to deal with such persons positively. Believe me, I know; I tried. Someday, I should show you some of the correspondence I have had with these persons. If I told you some of the utterly dishonest and cruel things they did, you simply wouldn't believe me.

[snipped]

The INTERSTAT smear-campaign toward "terrible Gordon" spilled over into a lot of other places too, and still influences fans negatively. You can even see the irrational reactions and extreme hostility which it caused to be focussed on me in this very APA-zine, the 3rd or 4th issue, right after I wrote my AD ASTRA #1 for the 2nd issue. It is certainly an object lesson in character assassination and the channeled destructive-ness of even the piddling fannish "power of the press." Eventually , numerous mindless individuals were reacting like they had been stuck with a long, sharp needle every time I opened my mouth, regardless of what I said. Fans would even disagree with their own strongly-held beliefs if they thought I happened to be espousing those same ideas. At the end, most people were paying no attention at all to what I actually said. They only knew it was WRONG, no matter WHAT it was. Many didn't bother listening at all. They went right ahead and castigated me for things I never ever said, or even hinted at. That was when the worst and most meaningless of the "she' s garbage" letters were being published by Teri. And most fans just kept right on salivating to her stimulus, like Pavlov's dogs.

[snipped]

One fan accused me, in INTERSTAT, of conducting a vendetta against her — when I was in Europe for six weeks! (She had a baaaad sense of timing, for sure!) Several times now, recently, I have heen accused of saying things in personal letters, which I not only never said to ANYONE, but I never even wrote a letter to that person at that time! Now, this cannot he explained away as someone misunderstanding what I said, so I can't understand how it could happen...unless someone is forging my name on letters. How else could it be explained? I have also been accused of being involved in other things, like the "Naked Doubles" flyer. In this case, I'm almost certain that I know who started this rumor, and it is likely that this person is the instigator as well, is responsible for the flyer, together with, possibly, some of the people who wrote letters decrying it to various fannish publications. It seems that a fit of extreme jealousy caused her to do this.

[snipped]

There are some very jealous, over-competitive people in fandom, who are not entirely sane. They feel that the only way to promote themselves in their little K/S-kingdom is by destroying the fans who stand in their way, the people who, they think, are preventing them from being fandom's finest, best-known, most popular writer/artist/ editor/con-organizer/club big-shot/lNTERSTAT opinion-influencer/whatever. Personally, I'am just not interested in playing their kind of power games; I have other fish to fry (Mrs. Malaprop, where are you?I) And I DON'T make a practice of parodying my own words, exaggerating and distorting them, as that flyer did.

[snipped]

I've received some real winners lately that deserve reflecting badly on their writers/perpetrators — like the venomous and perfectly awful one I received from one of fandom's "sweetest" and most respected artists.

In KHATRU, an SF fanzine, Marion Zimmer Bradley recounts details of her trial in which some very private letters to and from her female lover were read in court by the prosecution. She comments that she hadn't known that private letters could be made public and used in that way. Neither did I!
From BPG:
The only interesting news I have this time is that I spoke to someone who bought the Bennett/Nimoy ST IV script outline at the big Dr. Who Con here. If I can discover which dealer sells it (does anyone know?), I'm going to buy a copy. I can't remember all of the secondhand and sketchy rundown I got on it, but Kirk is either court-martialed or threatened with court-martial; Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew go off in a ship to fight the Klingons, but they get in deep trouble, are captured or something of the kind. Kirk rescues them, and is thereby exonerated, and redeems himself. There's a rumor going around in Great Britain, that everyone dies this time EXCEPT Spock! Hell, I certainly wouldn't put it past Bennett, but I think the truth of the matter is that everyone is is lost, presumed captured or blown up by the good ole! Klingons -- those all-important Forces of Evil, so dear to Bennett 's heart.
From TB:
[Regarding Open Letter to K/S Fandom by David Gerrold (1984)]: I will say I am more troubled by the reference I read to authorities "monitoring" his mail at his own request. Anyone have a more complete story? His comments on K/S may simply represent an author's defense of another author's imaginary universe; i.e. he may feel that it is not acceptable for people to manipulate other people's characters any way they like. On the other hand, Gene Roddenberry probably doesn't mind much, and may even be a bit bemused by the whole thing, as evidenced by his comments in the novelization of ST: TMP. I think this indicates Gene's basic inner security, as he is so open to new ideas, and you have to be secure to be so accepting.
From LF:
On Gerrold and K/S -- I just saw the new edition of The World of Star Trek and looked up with Gerrold had to say about K/S. He did have one good point. Much K/S is offensive or laughable to gay men (depending on their attitude). One response to this is K/S isn't written for gay men. It's written by women, for women. On the other hand, I personally would prefer to see a real gay relationship in K/S. It would carry more conviction and would be an improvement from the literary standpoint. However, when Gerrold tells us to adhere to the rules of the creator Star Trek, he is being downright amusing. For one thing, he ought to tell Have Bennett that. It's only polite. Arrgh! Second, what are we supposed to here to? That ingenuous footnote that revers to an evolutionary impossibility (i.e. the silly assumption that Vulcans only have sex once every seven years) which D.C. Fontana has denied? (Dorothy Fontana is certainly a creator of Trek.) But what about that pro-K/S statement Roddenberry made in Where No Man? Third, even if we are to discount that statement (though I don't see why; The Great Bird said it himself. He didn't put out the words in the mouth of a fictional character, and he was quite clear and direct about it.) I write my K/S stories in an alternate universe. Neither Roddenberry nor anyone else has anything to say about what happens in my alternate universe.

[snipped]

Writing fan fiction in the Darkover or the Sime/Gen universe: The authors like fan writers who are imaginative and want to find a way to go beyond set limits. They feel that this is helpful to them. It gives them welcome feedback and makes their universes richer. Of course, they could have another attitude like that of Gerrold. I wouldn't write in the universe of an inhospitable and close-minded writer. That, in my opinion, would be that writer's loss.
From LF:
"Kindred Spirits" [NOT this apa, but instead the gay, professional SF anthology recently published] -- I hear that the human in the gay male couple was meant to closely resemble George Barr's lover rather than Kirk. In any case, the editor was incompetent. He exercised piss poor judgment in choosing a good proportion of that anthology. Some were homophobic and some weren't gay or lesbian at all. Then there was the misogynist lesbian story. I reviewed it at length for APALAMBA, and I sent a copy of my review to the publisher.
From LF:
I sure would like to see a good proportion of gay men in this apa. Their input might improve K/S stories.
From LF:
I am puzzled by [some comments here] that a fanzine that publishes only letters should not have an editorial polity. If I were editing a letterzine, I would publish only the most controversial letters because I like debate, but that's not everyones cup of tea. Some people hate debate. I've known many fans who quit apas because they encounter disagreement and find argument too upsetting. To me, this is a strange viewpoint, but I know that it exists and I don't want to deny people the right to believe that way.
From LF:
I personally disapprove of Teri's editorial policy, but I think she has the perfect right to have one. This is not censorship. Censorship would be if an outside authority like Paramount came to Teri and told her what she can and cannot print. Teri is choosing not to offend Paramount, but I haven't heard that Paramount has exercised control over her in any way (i.e. threatening legal action as Lucasfilm has been known to do via Maureen Garrett).
From LF:
I remember reading Harlan Ellison's response to the idea that Batman and Robin were lovers. "Some people have a one-track gutter." I wondered why Harlan puts sex in the gutter? Why is a relationship that does not contain sex inherently more "beautiful" than one that does?... This is an attitude with wide philosophical implications. It isn't just a matter of homophobia, though that is part of it. It is also anti-sexual and contemptuous of the entire physical plane in general.
From DL:
You are right about Joanna Russ' fascination with K/S. Another fan has mentioned to me that Russ feels that K/S fanfic is the only genre of fiction that is written in "female." It represents,to her, women's attempt to explore the possibilities in a relationship of equals, something that is generally unavailable to women in this culture. Obviously, K/S is also an ideal relationship which we seem to be exploring to its limits as well.
From DL:
Some physical disabilities are not as visible as others — and those who have them are not likely to reveal them except to close friends. So, my guess is that there are more disabled fen than most people would assume.
From DL:
I won't give away too many "biggies" before the article in NTS appears about the results of the K/S Questionnaire, but here is an interesting little finding: Of the NTS readers who have replied so far, over two-thirds of them are firstborn or 'only' children. That is way out of proportion to the general population. What it indicates about K/S fen, I haven't a clue. Anyone care to speculate?
From CH:
David Gerrold wandered Worldcon trying to get news of K/S editors and their address. Does anybody know what this man is up to?
From PD:
Had a marvelous time at world con, got to attend one of [NS's] K/S parties. Also got to sample one of her famous drinks, "Green Vulcan Come." I'm not sure what the secret is but if I had a Vulcan who came like that, my knees would have callouss.
From PD:
I have a statement to make. I am becoming rapidly tired of fans snipping at each other and writing awful letters in letterzines. If a person draws and [their drawing] is printed, if a person writes [a story] and it is published, it is an accomplishment that not many people achieve. Let them rejoice in their achievement and give them credit for their efforts even though it does not please everyone. If you state your opinion about their work, and it cause pain, you would do better to keep your pen in your pocket for it made you no greater in fandom, it only diminished you. I agree that there have been many horrible stories, artworks, and poetry in Trek zines, and I feel I may have contributed some of them, but we all learn and fandom is a place to try your wings hopefully without recrimination.
From SBS:
Regarding Interstat, I think the real bottom line is: Is Teri slanting Interstat? Obviously she cannot be expected to print every letter she gets — the subscription price of Interstat can only cover the printing and postage on so many pages. Suppose she gets 300 letters in a given month, including 200 about ST3 which can be broken down into 50 flat out negative and 150 positive in varying degrees. If she can only fit 50 letters into the issue, does she include 8 or 9 of the negative reviews along with 25 of the positive ones? If so, she is giving her readers a fair picture of opinion in fandom. (Well, at least the opinion of those who bothered to write them down and send them in.) The fact that the other 41 or 42 unfavorable letters don't see print doesn't mean their writers have been censored, any more than the 125 other approving writers.

I can sympathize with the authors whose letters were left out (It's fun to see your name and ideas in print!) since it has happened to me, too. And I have a tendency to look with a very jaundiced eye on the letters that are printed which express views similar to those in my letter, since it was their competition that I lost to. My letter was better than hers. I made that point better than she did. That about that clever metaphor I came up with? etc. Eventually, though, my common sense forces me to acknowledge that it was the editor's responsibility to select the letters she thought were best, so it is her criteria of style, wit, and clarity that latter, not mine.

...whether or not a given letter with a certain viewpoint is printed doesn't matter if others with similar views are. In very broad terms, your letter was pro-GR and anti-HB. Have letters lke that been printed? They sure have. In equal proportion to the number Teri receives? I can't say. But my impression of Interstat, based on having read 50 out of 84 issues, is that it is an open, fair forum — which means I will give Teri the benefit of the doubt.

I can't understand your saying that attacks on "little" people are allowed but the 'big guys" are protected. We must have been reading different magazines. Seems to me quite a few letters attacking HB and WS and LN and Paramount and so on have been printed, For example, (I can t recall the issue number or the writer) one phrase that sticks in my mind was "Harve Bennett can't write for shit".

[snipped]

Some people have been claiming that Interstat is virtually a monopoly. That may be so, but it didn't come about because Teri has an exclusive contract with all the printers in the world, or has cornered the market on paper or has forced [the Post Office]] to deliver only her publication. It's because she has been willing to work at it for seven years, investing her time and trouble, and because her subscribers have decided that Interstat is a publication worthy of their money and LOCs. Now you have decided to start a letterzine of your own, which means you will have to be the one to provide a forum "without censorship" and yet "not allow personal attacks", to try to stretch your pages to include all the letters sent you no matter how many you receive or how lengthy they are, to print letters espousing views that you find wrong or offensive. Not to mention the simple drudgery of typing and laying out your zine, dealing with printers, keeping track of finances and subscription records, addressing the copies — all the while keeping to your publication schedule. I wish you luck. I your zine turns out to be even half as good as Interstat you will have done a very good job.
From SBS:
Well, the nasty topic of censorship raises its slimy self again. To tell you the truth, the more I think about it the more complex it seems. In a sense, every publication starts out by barring certain ideas merely by defining what it will cover. For example, consider the ads in Datazine soliciting stories. Most of them include conditions: No K/S; No death stories; No alternate universes: No Christine stories; No explicit sex; No Vulcans — haven't actually seen that one, but you get the idea. I think the editor has a right to set the parameters of her publication. If I can't find a home for my story about the alternate universe Christine coming to this universe and killing Kirk in a fit of jealousy when she walks in on a blow-by-blow (nice choice of words, eh?) K/S sex scene —- well, that's too bad, but it isn't censorship. I may have a right to express my ideas but I don't have a right to force an editor to give me the space to do it in. Similarly, the readers have no right to try to force an editor to print or not print anything, and the editor has no right to force any person to read what she has chosen to print.
From SBS:
I've wondered if one of the reasons we have such a turnover of members [in this apa] is that there is too much agreement. Have you noticed there seems to be a pattern to the short-term members' contributions? They do an introzine telling how thev came to read K/S and spelling out exactly what they think that relationship is. Then they may do a second zine, talking a little about such perennial topics as bonds and where Vulcans keep their balls, and then they vanish, (it's sort of like you stand up at a revivalist meeting and profess the faith, followed by a few weeks of regular church-going, and then a lapse into your old ways.) The question is, why does this happen? Do you suppose it could be because they aren't being attacked for their beliefs? If they've had to screw up their courage -- to come out of the closet, as it were -- and they're all set to defend their ideas against skeptics and nay-savers, it might be flattening to meet universal agreement (at least, of the general themes.)

References

  1. ^ a b Ellison referred to it as "a flourishing underground of soft-core Kirk-shtups-Spock pornzines."
  2. ^ Chapter 6 - The Man Who Invented a Universe : Roddenberry, the common ground. Page 145 -- "... As I've said, I definitely designed it (the Kirk-Spock relationship) as a love relationship......Also, dramatically, I designed Kirk and Spock to complete each other" GR. Page 147-148 -- "There's a great deal of writing in the Star Trek movement now which compares the relationship between Alexander and Hephaistion to the relationship between Kirk and Spock....." authors. "Yes," Gene says. "There's certainly some of that with - certainly with love overtones. Deep love. The only difference being, the Greek ideal - we never suggested it in the series - physical love between the two. But it's the - we certainly had the feeling the affection was sufficient for that, if that were the particular style in the 23rd Century." (He looks thoughtful.) "That's very interesting. I never thought of that before."
  3. ^ a b Referring to the supposed letter Roddenberry wrote in reply to a fan regarding The Letter That Interstat Wouldn't Print.