K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits)/Issues 17-18

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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:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) is a Kirk/Spock slash apazine.

There were 54 issues published between 1982 and 1998.

Issue 17

K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) 17 was published in December 1985 and it contains 73 pages. The deadline for the next issue is January 26, 1986.

There are 15 tribs (two from the same person) from 26 members. Two members have dropped out: (MVD and CP).

cover of the issue #17

Tribs: AB (Tail Recursives, LF (That K/S Essay), CW (Gentlebeings), LB (Out Standing in a Field), EB (Milwaukee Mafia Missive), JPW (Walker's Wisdom), MF (Another Fine Mess #3), DM (Zute's Identical Twin Sister), BPG (Ad Astra #10), LF (Lavender Diversity #10), LF (Lavender Critique - zine reviews), PD (Furin #3), SS (Starsailing with Sandy), JG (Unity of Opposites), CD & PH (From the Suburbs)

Fanworks and other:

  • That K/S Essay by Linda Frankel
  • Summation, poem by Flora Poste (in the Courts of Honor universe)
  • a reprint of "Intercepted Transmission" and "For the Record, a Statement to the K/S Press" from Daring Attempt
  • Moonflower's Sorcery, poem
  • chapter one of Secrets and Scandals, fiction by LF
  • a review of One Night Stand #3, see that page
  • the lyrics to "Darkness," filk by Jordan Kare, sung by Julia Ecklar from "Space Heroes & Other Fools"
  • This issue contains a one-page trib/flyer from two zine editors; it is an extremely angry, crudely written rant against BPG that takes her to task for Naked Doubles, for threatening fans with legal action, for her perceived paranoia and disingenuous threats, and more. One complaint: [BPG] is a fan "who rats to the PO about our private world of fandom..." The flyer begins with "[BPG], show this to the postal inspector!!"
From JG:
No, I certainly don't think fans who have experienced wounding and ostracism in mundane life are justified in taking out their frustrations on other fans. And I agree that the strategy of ignoring such a person risks triggering and escalation of her tactics until she absolutely forces people to pay attention to her. it is indeed a Catch-22. What is needed, perhaps, is a strategy of "selective reinforcement," that is, responding with plenty of "strokes" to positive behavior and ignoring the negative variety, so eventually she learns what will be rewarded with attention.

[snipped]

Ideally, of course, fandom should be able to give people who suffer from feelings of insecurity and ineffectiveness in "mundane" life the support and strength to overcome those feelings. It should, but often it does not. In fact, although I've often heard ST and K/S fandom referred to as a "support group," I wonder sometimes whether it really does perform that function. The basic task of any support group is helping its members solve their problems on the outside. Fandom, in contrast, some of its members, seems to serve as a refuge or safety value that allows them to escape their problems temporarily rather than seek solutions.
From JG:
Since becoming involved in fandom, I've been told that: - Fans are insecure. - Fans feel inferior. - Fans have no self-confidence. - Fans are alienated. - Fans have little that they value in their lives apart from STAR TREK. - The purpose of STAR TREK fandom is to assuage and compensate for those feelings and not to bring together people who share the ideals of STAR TREK. And God forbid that fa dom should ever have anything to do with translating those ideals into real life!

These observations were just a puzzling irritant until recently, when I read the essay "Power and Helplessness in the Women's Movement," in Joanna Russ' MAGIC MOMMAS (the book with the essay on K/S). I recognized in Russ' description of the internal dynamics of women's groups much that I have seen in fan dom. Russ' thesis is that women are heavily socialized to believe that a woman must never be effective for herself. This leads women to act out one of two roles when they come together in groups: the Trembling Sister and the Magic Momma. The Magic Momma "pays for her effectiveness by renouncing her own needs"; the Trembling Sister is allowed to feel and express her own needs, but she pays for it by "an enforced helplessness which requires that somebody fill her needs for her, since she's not allowed to do so herself."(MM at 45-46).

[snipped]

Perhaps fandom actually encourages Magic Momma-ism/Trembling Sister-ism more than other women's groups, because the very purpose of fandom is enjoying ourselves and indulging in our own fantasies -- things that traditionally women are not "supposed" to do. (We've always been much too busy working to make others happy to have time for any thing so frivolous.) So, perhaps women fans feel they really shouldn't be spending all this time on something that has no virtue other than that it makes us happy. To redeem ourselves, we overemphasize our own helplessness ("we're only doing this on Paramount's sufferance") or we work slavishly at fanac for others, convinced we can never do enough for them.

Not only does STAR TREK not seem to cure fans' feelings of helplessness and ineffectiveness, but the converse is actually the case. Ultimately, fans' feelings of insecurity begin to affect even their perception of STAR TREK itself. STAR TREK was about a community of people living active, joyful lives of growth and discovery, people driven by ethics and social responsibility and respect for others. STAR TREK was not "Emotional Cripples in Space." Yet, increasingly, fan fiction portrays it as that -- choosing to characterize Kirk and Spock as lonely, neurotic, unable to feel deep love or commitment except with difficulty.

Of course I'm not talking about all fans or most fans. That should go without saying.
From JG:
Re "publicity" of K/S: There is something going on here that doesn't quite meet the eye. Why this sudden fear of Paramount among people who've been selling their zines openly at cons for years -- just a few blocks away from Gulf & Western Plaza, yet? How come the anti-publicity people never were worried about Paramount before. And if they fear Paramount, why IS it that they don't seem to have any interest in actually investigating what Paramount thinks? I'm more than a little uncomfortable with people who speak as though Paramount were about to crack down on us any moment, as If that were Gospel, without offering a single shred of evidence of Paramount's intentions. The legal doctrine you refer to Is called estoppel. I've just written a column on it for NTS, so I don t think I'd better take up too much space here with that discussion: briefly, I agree that it would be difficult for Paramount to successfully challenge the publication of a K/S zine right now. The reason is not that someone sent a copy of one K/S zine (THRUST) to Paramount years ago and they decided not to prosecute in itself, that would protect only THRUST. But Paramount knows generally that large numbers of ST and K/S zines are being published, that there is a whole industry, so to speak, of zine publishing based on Star Trek. Their acquiescence in the larger phenomenon of zine publishing IS what protects us.
From JG:
Re your question, how up-front are we about our interest in K/S, I addressed the part about co-workers in my apa last time. I am up-front with friends, spouse, parents and children. What kinds of reactions do they have? My kids think K/S is funny at best, boring at worst. My husband seems to think that, as hobbies go, K/S is rather distinctive, that it has a certain flair. My father, a conservative businessperson in Houston, breathed a huge sigh of relief when he found out I was into STAR TREK. He considers it to be one of the few "normal" things I do. (He does not consider civil rights litigation to be something "normal" people do.) And of course you were right there when my mother-in-law began devouring the Joanna Russ article in NOME (she thought of the K/S premise herself, years ago). The most common reaction I get from "mundane" friends to the revelation of K/S is mild interest for about ten minutes or so. Many folks (especially feminists and women's studies buffs) find K/S fandom interesting as a socio-cultural phenomenon. But very few are able to work up enough interest actualiy to read a K/S story.
From PD:
You mentioned that you were disturbed by the direction K/S fandom was taking. So am I, but not for the same reasons. When I started to read Star Trek literature years ago, it was for fun and pleasure. When I started reading zines it was for the same reasons. I read K/S in particular because the stories are about two rather unique men and the love and loyalty they display for one another, (and for McCoy). I do not expect sociological and/or psychological tracts, or platforms for social change. Of course, the best stories may have these levels and that is to our benefit but to criticise them for lacking deep social significance is a bit odd. That's like criticising an orange for not being an apple. I get the feeling that groups which have particular axes to grind want to take over the genre for their own purposes. Not fair guys. These stories are for fun, unless I'm totally out in left field about the intentions of the writers I have talked to and have heard discuss their work.
From PD:
The big zine event of the fall is that "Courts of Honor" has been completed. I sent in my order and got a nice reply from Syn that said it will be 6-10 months before she can get a copy out to me because earlier orders have to be filled. I certainly under stand this and can wait that long to OWN a copy but I will die of frustration if I have to wait that long to read it. So — I hope to borrow a copy from someone in the meantime and save my life.
From LF:
If ST lost the audience that wanted Heinlein style SF, it gained a whole new audience that SF had never previously attracted — women. More women became interested in SF through Trek, than had ever had interest in SF before. Frankly, I don't have much use for SF the way Heinlein or Doc Smith used to write it in the '30s, '40s and '50s. That's what's labelled "space opera", by the way. "Space opera" means a concentration on gadgetry, hokey action plots and cardboard characters. STAR WARS is the best contemporary example of it. In giving the characters pasts and human complexity, ST transcended "space opera".
From LF:
I'm not sure I agree that Harlan's script [for "City on the Edge of Tomorrow"] was in all ways better. The trouble is he went into mundane detail on the Kirk-Edith Keeler relationship which didn't quite fit in with the large scale passion image that the episode did project in the aired version. Harlan made Edith seem ordinary and her relationship with Kirk cliched. Roddenberry's aired version wisely avoided telling us very much about Kirk's relationship with Edith, so we could imagine Edith as a heroic figure and not lose the sense of wonder with which fans have surrounded the relationship with Edith. I like the establishing of the alternate universe that Harlan does in his version. I also like Harlan's teaser. (A teaser is the scene that goes before the theme music and the opening credits. For me, the main value in the publication of Harlan's script is that it showed me the basic structure and format of scripts for TV, This is useful information to have.) Drugs on the Enterprise don't bother me. That sub-plot lent a certain interest. ( Well, at least Paramount has been consistent over the years in their anti-drug stance. I understand that drugs was one of the things taken out of KILLING TIME, though I haven't seen the second version yet. The first is excellent.

[snipped]

Watch the aired version of "City" and you'll see that Kirk did choose to save Edith and Spock stopped him in the Roddenberry version as well, only Roddenberry did it much more subtly -- another strength of the aired script. To me, it is believable that Kirk would choose love over duty if Edith really is something special, really is the only woman who can be seen as Kirk's equal in any universe. I don't believe Kirk would do that for Harlan's Edith, however. That is the essential dramatic weakness of Harlan's "City", Kirk is a hero, therefore I demand that anyone he falls in love with must also be of heroic proportions —l ike Spock, for example.
From LF:
Re "honesty" and "abrasiveness"- What is honest about calling someone else's comments homophobic is that I did not shrink from analyzing their implications. Implications are unwritten assumptions. We often need to look beyond the surface, beyond what people say about themselves to see the patterns underneath, so that they can be changed. If I don't have the right to analyze people's words for homophobia, then neither do feminists have the right to analyze everything for underlying sexist attitudes. After all, President Reagan never said that he was a sexist, and probably has said that he really loves women many times. Therefore no one should ever have any right to say that the implications of any of his statements are sexist. I'm sorry, but that would set back feminist theory rather seriously. I firmly believe we do have a right to pass judgement on the beliefs of others. You have the right to disagree with me about my analysis, but I have a hard time dealing with the claim that I should never analyze. I try to see the implications of everything I and everyone else writes and you see it as my "twisting your words" and feel that I am "abrasive". That is your perception. I don't see myself that way. Believe it or not, but I am regarded as a reasonable person in some circles.
From LF:
Re EZEL— I believe that you are quite correct in this observation and that the story as a whole needs more from Spock's viewpoint, I know the thought process by which Spock changed his perspective on Kurnara in various stages, but I'm not showing this to the reader. I intended EZEL to be a Kirk viewpoint story. He is the tragic hero in conflict, Spock is the pillar of strength and certainty. That's why I stayed away from showing Spock's thoughts, because an honest portrayal of anyone's thoughts will show that s/he isn't always strong and certain. Thank you for your comments. When EZEL finally appears in print it will be substantially different from what this apa has seen.
From BPG:
About [NLS's] outburst, well, I wasn't even going to mention it, but.... As far as leaving the APA, no way! I have been in it from the beginning, and I have no intention of leaving. [NLS] has no right to tell me or anyone else to do such a thing. Nor does she have any right to insult or threaten any one at all, particularly not in this APA.

Her comment was positively one of the ugliest and most uncalled-for things I have seen in a very long time — even in fandom. I would very much like to be assured that I will never see such a thing again in these pages. I protest most strongly against her actions; never, never again do I want to see such a thing here. If this APA is going to turn into Screaming Insults and Halfassed Threats we all might as well call it quits here and now. Does anyone else want to read such nastiness and ugliness?? I can't imagine why! Let us have peace, please!! Can we all agree, here and now, to put a stop to this before it gets out of hand? I sincerely hope so! And that's all I intend to say on the subject.

[snipped]

I reserve the right to object, scream & shout, complain bitterly, etc.,when anyone attacks me. So if I was really attacking [R] when I complained about her attacking me, well then, so be it. (It was probably more defensive than anything.)

[snipped]

I wish that the extraordinarily nasty behavior in K/S fandom would get the perpetrators blackballed. But the perpetrates are always members of a clique, and that clique supports them in everything they do - as long as, of course, it adheres to the clique's "party line".

[snipped]

You know, the worst thing about fandom is that if you are accused, you are automatically guilty. There is no recourse, no appeal. If you have a clique to support you, at least you can fight back effectively. Without one, you are guilty and will suffer the consequences. Of course, the objective is to force people out of fandom, to lessen the competition, and make the remaining competitors look better — the ones who started the whole nasty mess in the first place.

Yes! [NLS] misinterpreted my comments! I am very impressed that you were willing to go back to the original comments, analyze them, and then see that for your self. Most fans would not be able to do so, and would be all too willing to condemn, depending on their particular clique.
From BPG:
I have been having some serious problems with my mail. After living in the same place for almost 11 years, for the first time I am not receiving things, and my outgoing mail has also been lost. Probably there is a thief in my local P.O. station. This started happening in about April, though it took me awhile to notice it, and it is still going on. So, I am trying to mail things from a different neighborhood. If you have not received something from me which you should have, please write. At least two batches of checks & M.O.'s, and two parcels were lost, and I am trying to replace those as soon as possible, so please be under standing if I owe you anything. Thanks!
From BPG:
About the mafia-like tactics in fandom, believe me, you don't know the half of it! What I have heard first hand, and what I have experienced myself, has led me to be EXTREMELY cautious of getting involved with any fans, particularly in the "slash" fandoms. A good part of the reason that people drop out of one fandom and join a different one is an attempt to escape these tactics — but it never works for long.

I have had to hire a lawyer to handle the threats and insults I have received. He cannot understand why I don't drop fandom like an overripe turd. (sorry). I am really sorry to have to say it, but fandom does seem to have become a place for very unpleasant and sick people to gather into cliques and play God, persecuting any "outsider" who happens to be different.

I gratefully accept your apology. (You are, I think, the only person in fandom who has ever apologized to me for anything — but not the first one who should have done so!)

However....I absolutely deny that I made disparaging comments about an editor, any editor, and certainly never in print! (I am NOT an idiot!) I also categorically deny that I ever made disparaging comment about her zine or her policies. Please! My comments were analytical. There is one BIG difference there.

You know, I am sorry to have to say this, but sometimes I think fans have problems understanding English. I say one thing, and I am accused of saying something ENTIRELY different; I go to all kinds of time and trouble to carefully phrase everything I write, and all my efforts are for naught. Fans ascribe all sorts of implications and connotations and emotions to my comments which are simply not there at all.

I have never, never had so much trouble being understood as I have in fandom, and I do not know what to do about it. I am becoming convinced that it doesn't matter what or how I say something? It will always be misunderstood in fandom. That is one of the reasons why I stopped writing for INTERSTAT, and why I don't even try to communicate with some fans. And I am not the only one who has this problem; I know of at least two others.
From BPG:

Might I also say that I found the tone of your contribution, [CW], a little less pleasing than it might have been, especially for your first contribution. I would recommend more tact and discretion (I realize that you are not accustomed to writing APAs). Please regard this as a friendly suggestion, and know that there is NO emotional overtone to this at all, except possibly for a very slight wariness, and some trepidation, because I am hoping that you won't take this suggestion amiss and jump on me next APA.

[snipped]

I am really surprised at you, [PD]. I thought you had more sense than that. How could you possibly believe that it is OK for anyone to have temper tantrums in this APA? Or do you mean that some can say whatever they please, but others cannot?! I am offended and hurt at the unfairness of your comment. I thought we were friends.

[snipped]

If, indeed, I caused anyone to drop out of the APA, [JG], and that was not just a convenient excuse for laziness, I would certainly NOT be the first person to have done so, as I think you know. If people care so little about belonging to the APA that they leave in a snit because of some petty disagreement, then I don't think they could withstand the free exchange of opinion in the APA for long anyway; sooner or later they would leave. Actually, there someone who may have left because of me, and frankly I cannot find it in my soul to feel sorry about it. It is hard to feel sorry for someone who is a crook, stealing both from her former friend and from other fans, and even the U.S.P.O., in a way. It is hard to regret losing a hypocrite and liar.

I think that it is really unfortunate that the only recourse we have against such people in fandom is a letter to UT or DATAZINE, and that, even with irrefutable proof of their wrongdoing, there is no way to stop them from doing it again to other fans.

Your idea of ignoring such people only condones what they do, I cannot agree with you that that is an effective strategy against such fans.
From BPG:
Concerning privacy regarding this APA, actually, I don't care if it is shown to K/S fans and sympathizers. What I very much object to is its being shown to complete outsiders or fans who have no sympathy with K/S. Selected parts of it could be shown, I suppose. For example, I gave [NLS] outburst to my lawyer, and I didn't even like to do that. As far as I'm concerned, K/S is nobody's business but our own. Since you can't even ensure that APA members won't show the zine to the wrong people, you CERTAINLY can't ensure that an outsider (even if a K/S fan) won't! Therefore, I really think that we should keep this as private as possible. Of course it would be vmreasonable to expect it to be completely private.
From DM:
I think we are all getting a little too paranoid about David Gerrold and K/S. Yes, there are a lot of people out there who do not share our enthusiasm for K/S and would rather that it did not exist or was at least considerably more underground than it is. So what? No lawsuits have been filed, and so far as I know no one has been professionally harassed. We all know that a K/S author and editor has even been able to publish a pro trek novel. I was also getting a little paranoid when I included The the open letter in my zine. I can't imagine what possible harm could, come from being identified as a K/S reader or artist or writer (other than severe embarrassment) . As for the editors, they have not been harasses as the result of their publishing activities in the past, and I can't imagine that is going to change anytime soon. The zines have such such small print runs and appeal to such a limited audience that they really are not suing over.
From BPG:
I think the thing I object to most when you mentioned "real" gay relationships in "stroke" fiction, is the likelihood that this would result in a modern-type "gay" story set in the ST universe (sort of like Rosemary/Eva's stories, only MUCH more so). And I can really do without that. For one thing, it's likely that things will be different in one way or another in the future. For another thing, in such stories it is all too easy to ignore that SPCCK IS AN ALIEN. Therefore, even if ST was set in the present, their relationship could certainly not be like any other two gays. As it is, too many stories ignore that fact. To my mind, even in the beginning, it was always far more important that Spock was an alien biologically & culturally, rather than that Spock & Kirk were both males!!
From DM:
I don't think that it is so much a question of K/S being "repressed" as it is of some of the fans (myself included) finding it difficult to be upfront about an interest so related to sexuality. A lot of K/S is flat out pornograpy, and that is just not the most socially acceptable interest around. This is also a very embarrassing interest. I have a friend living temporarily in Maryland who is currently cut off from zines except for what I can xerox. So I stand at the xerox machine at Thrifty drugstore dutifully copying stories and praying no one sees the [Gayle F] illos. Even writing this apa [on my boss' computer] has been extremely embarrassing as my boss has come in to check on my progress several times, and boy did I not need him to read the last paragraph. We are in a self-imposed ghetto and will remain there until everyone is free to be as open as they wish about all aspects of sexuality without fear of condemnation or humiliation. Or in other words, until hell freezes over.
From DM:
I'm a lot concerned about the increasingly snide and nasty remarks that our assorted members are directing toward each other. It also seems that we are letting some very petty grievances get in the way of our mutual interests and friendly communication.

I assume that we are in this apa because we all enjoy K/S and we want to talk about it and other aspects of fandom with the few people who are interested in and sympathetic to it. When I first got into K/S, I immediately started talking to all of my fandom friends about it . Surprisingly, they were not real supportive of my new interest - I was therefore thrilled when I found out about the apa. I joined so that I could talk about K/S, other slashes, zines, and Trek with some like-minded people, not to nit pick over rules and regulations.

As I understand the rules, you pays yer postage and you gets yer apa. To stay a member you must also send in a zine every third issue. I have not seen anything written by the cm that would indicate that there are any other ways to be dropped from the apa. [NLS] plainly stated in #15 that she would keep sending [BPG] her apa as long as she kept up her postage; she did not throw her out or make any attempt to do so. Except that it gave us something else to squabble over -- who really gives a shit if the cm answers a comment directed to her personally when she reads, especially when it is so insulting to her.
From JTW:
At Creation Con, I greatly enjoyed Leonard Nimoy's talks (both days). He really is a very fine speaker and his memories of the past 20 Years of Star Trek were wonderful and extremely funny - he has a very unSpockian wit!! I also enjoyed Majel Roddenberry's talk. The Costume Contest was very nice and a very dear friend of mine won First Place! The lady who did T'Pau was good; however, I felt that if she had taken more time selecting her litter bearers, she really could have been a lot more effective.
From CW:
I like explicit art in, and, on my zines. Unfortunately my writing shows my tastes, rather sharply. I am attempting to soften my style but it's tough. People either say they love it or its too harsh, with nothing in between and no suggestions. I realize that there are times when explicit art it can prove...ah...touchy...ticklish etc. but I am not blessed (or plagued) with children and I'd never attempt to read one of these zines at work.
From EB:
If you have been waiting for COH for a long, long time and have not yet received your copy, I know the reason. Poor Syn is collating these and putting them together and sending them out all by herself -- taking about an hour per zine, so that means she can only mail out ten or twenty every week. It certainly is a pity that she's not getting volunteer help with the collating. She says she didn't have it done commercially because that would have added five dollars to the cost of each copy.

Here in the midwest we have collating parties, which are a low-cost way of doing the work and having fun at the same time. If you have a zine to put together—and enough space to do it in — you invite a bunch of friends to help you, and all you have to do is feed them and provide floor space for them to sleep on — and a free copy of the zine, of course. Collating a zine that's thick and that has been done in a large printing hard work, I'll grant, and conducive to backaches. But the whole experience is fun, too.

But the whole experience is fun, too. I've done collating for Galactic Discourse, Don't Tell It to the Captain (twice), and for some of Lois Welling's reprints. Collating Captain the first time was a real experience, because of where we did it -- at a big Standard Oil research facility in Illinois, in one of the corporate conference rooms. We had to be checked in and out by security at the gates, and they searched our cars when we left.
From AB:
I like McCoy too. My only quarrel with K/S is that I feel that McCoy is often given short shrift in K/S stories. Ever since I first watched the series, I've thought of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy as a triad. (I never would have come up with K/S on my own because of this.) I just finished Valley of Shadow - Fear No Evil, and There Are Three from Odyssey Press. I particularly liked Valley of Shadow because of the McCoy-Spock conflict/resolution.
From AB:
I was interested in your statement that you are "concerned about the direction of this fandom." Are you even in this fandom? Your comments in NTS would suggest not. As I recall, you said you considered yourself an outside observer. Please explain your interest in K/S fandom if you are not yourself interested in K/S. Also, given your statement that you have not read much K/S, I'm not sure I like your attempts to critique the genre. In my opinion, in order to critique a genre intelligently, one needs a fairly broad base upon which to draw. At the risk of sounding catty, I might suggest that if you still feel qualified to critique K/S, you examine your own story. You criticize others for not having enough characterization, but I didn't feel you had enough yourself.
From AB:
I have two comments regarding your comments about [VC's] concern about K/S and the media. First, I don't think it's Paramount she is worried about. I think it is the reaction of groups like the (Im)Moral Majority. Second, I was there when [VC] was talking. I remember you standing there, but I don't remember you disagreeing with her. In my humble opinion, if you weren't willing to say something to [VC's] face, you shouldn't bring it up in an APA she does not belong to. (If you did indeed speak to her when I wasn't there, my apologies.)

Issue 18

K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) 18 was published February 1986 and contains 69 pages. The deadline for the next issue is March 25, 1986.

There are 14 tribs from 26 members. The CM wrote: "STATUS LOG: I'm glad to say that no one over the Holiday have dropped out."

cover of the issue #18

Tribs: PF (Pat's Proofings), T'P (The Paws That Obsesses), CW (Gentlebeings), TGK (The Dragon's Lair #17/18), MLC (I'm a Doctor, Not a Speechmaker...), DCL (Perpetually Amazed),LF (Lavender Critique #2- zine reviews), JG (Unity of Opposites), PD (Furin #4), AC (Texas Trek), LB (Out Standing in a Field), DM (Jute's Identical Twin Sister), LF (Lavender Diversity #11), C (Seacat Traces).

Fanworks:

  • illo by PF (Robin Hood-ish Spock in a tree), submitted to First Time #5
  • The Seven Year Twitch, filk to the tune of "Stewball," by CW
  • a con report by MLC (Creation Con held in San Francisco, Saturday, November 16 and 17, 1985; the emphasis was on the talk by DeForest Kelley in The Emerald Ballroom in the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway) that began with "I'm a doctor, not a speechwriter" -- "DK started the session by reading aloud his ode to Star Trek, "The Big Bird's Dream", which he wrote in 1977. The poem was well received by the fans, but especially by those who had never read or heard it read before."
  • some clippings of cartoons from Mad Magazine
  • reviews of the zines Daring Attempt #3, Broken Images, and The Voice #1, In Triplicate, see those pages. The reviewer wrote: "I bought a bunch of zines with part of my royalty advance for a Darkover novelette I just sold to Marion Zimmer Bradley. (Most of the rest went to the purchase of a new printer.)"
  • A Ritual of Power: Occult Symbolism in "Seed of the Triad", an essay about a fic by Marilyn Cole that is in Greater California K/S, the essay is by LF
  • a flyer for the fan activist group Star Trek Fans for Peace (leaders are Lee Heller and T.J. Burnside)
  • Secrets and Scandals, part two by LF
  • a flyer for APA Lambda (printed on a dot matrix printer)
From DM:
I share your hope that that Joanna Russ' essay will not become the "gospel" of K/S interpretation. It would be fantastic if her essay sparked an ongoing discussion and analysis of K/S and K/S readers. I don't agree with either Russ or you completely on why we like K/S. I think there are a lot of different reasons involved, some fairly grim.

One, the obvious, two men together is an appealing straight female erotic fantasy, with not necessarily any deeper significance.

Two, although not ideal, K/S does provide a place to explore gay and lesbian interests in a Trek context. It would be nice to see more American stories with Kirk and Spock affirmatively gay and not two otherwise straight men caught in the throes of an uncontrollable passion.

Three, men in a slash relationship are equal in a way that men and women are not and perhaps can never be. I just read a Starsky/Hutch story in which Starsky after suffering years of sexual teasing and harassment retaliates by tying him up for several days and repeatedly rapes and assaults him. In this story and in slash in general, rape and other forms of violence are understandable, forgivable, and at least potentially reciprocal. As we live in an era of tremendous amounts of violence towards women (high rape rates, 505 of all marriages involved domestic violence) these stories provide a very safe alternate universe for our sexual fantasies.

Four, the one thing I really dislike about slash is that it does present a very strong message that the only relationships of value are sexual. Kirk and Spock can't be merely best friends and captain and first officer, they must also be lovers. Starsky and Hutch can't be just best friends and partners, they must also be lovers, too. If the only relationships that we really value are sexual, what does that say about how we value the platonic relationships we have with each other? Are women really so brainwashed, that they believe that love and sex are the only things of value in this world?

Five, despite the above, I really love slash. Truly. Honestly. K/S. S/H. B/D. H/J. Etc.
}} From DM:
I was very interested in your comments about fandom being a kind of support group even though it does not seem to help participants fare more competently in the real (mundane) world. You are right, fandom does make a great escape from the real world, with its totally different criteria for success. Fandom merely requires that you participate enthusiastically, it does not on the whole judge you on the type or quality of that participation. The group dynamics of fandom are fascinating. Think about your fandom friends. What do they do for a living? Are they married or single? Rich or poor? Gay or straight? Do you know? Do you care? I can't think of any other group where it is possible to maintain serious, caring relationships with people and have it be so totally irrelevant what they do for a living. One other very positive aspect of fandom is that it does encourage people to be creative. Fandom is a place where you can easily experiment with lots of different creative mediums with lots of enthusiastic support. How many of us have tried our hands at writing or drawing solely because of our fondness for zines? Or editing, calligraphy, filking, or costuming? I learned silkscreening through fandom, never would have thought to try it on my own
From DM: :
I'm beginning to feel that I must lead a charmed life (in fandom anyway), I haven't had any of the negative experiences you describe, [BPG]. People in fandom, especially zine fandoms have been incredibly friendly, generous, and open to me. My hopes that you will meet fans that are as terrific as the ones I've been fortunate enough to meet.
From DM:
All of my friends in fandom know of my interest in K/S, in an effort to find other K/S people I told everyone. Didn't find any K/S people that way though. My employers know of and enjoy my fan dom activities. One of my employers (straight male) has read my contributions to the apa and seen a couple of zines so he must have a pretty good idea what K/S is, but he has made no comment, and I'm not gonna ask what he thinks. No one that I know outside of fandom knows about K/S ( so far as I know) let alone my interest in it. I'm very active in my church, and I haven't even told them about fandom. I'm not sure why I'm reluctant to tell outsiders (mundanes) about it, I honestly have not gotten any real negative responses.
From DM:
I'm always very dissatisfied with stories that leave McCoy out. The relationship is definitely a triad. Even if you don't accept McCoy as a potential lover for Kirk and/or Spock he is a part of that relationship as a very close intimate friend whose positive or negative feedback to Kirk and Spocks relationship would surely influence if not their physical relationship then their attitudes toward their relationship. I had mixed feelings about In Triplicate and the whole menage premise. I don't honestly see McCoy sexually involved with K or S, not the way I "believe" in the K/S premise. But if he was, the plot in In Triplicate gives the best possible reasons for it.
From DM:
I read so much K/S last year that I got really burnt out on it and for several months stopped reading it in favor of other slashes. Have just read Broken Images and am back to K/S with a vengeance. I thought all alternative universe stories took place in the mirror universe. Apparently I was mistaken and will have to go back and check out all the a/u stories I skipped in my zines.

I've been reading a lot of S/H and have also very recently introduced to H/J and B/D. I know that [L] and [J] also read S/H, does anybody else?

Those of you who embrace other slash fandoms beyond K/S, does it seem to follow a linear progression? That is, that K/S leads to S/H which leads to H/J which leads to B/D and then on to anything and everything else? That's how it's been for me and the few people I've talked to about it.

I'm very interested in reading some stories in some of the smaller slashes.

I think I've got a line on some Uncle stories and I've read some Battlestar Galactica, Hawaii 5-0, and Star Wars, but that's about it. Does anyone know of some other stories, I would especially like to get my hands on a Hardcastle/McCormick. I've heard they're out there but can't find them.
From LB:
I hope I don't come across as shallow, but I really am not interested in J. Russ's pseudo-sociological essays on Trek and K/S. I don't think she's that wonderful a writer in the first place, and it kind of annoys me that she seems to being set up as the feminist voice of K/S Trek. Basically, I think that anything created will show the signs of the culture that it was created in, but so what.

I take from it what nurtures me and leave the rest. If I know what it is I like, I can more easily fill my needs. On the whole, I'm not into psychoanalyzing fiction characters.

Also, my concept of wrigint is that the writer is sort of throwing seeds in the wind, and what seeds are thrown and why is not the reader's business. Where they land and what they grow into is not the writer's business.
From AC:
I agree about the paranoia that seems to be active in K/S fandom now. At the time Thrust was published, Paramount's legal dept was given a copy and declined to do anything about it. I don't think they can start anything now, precedents and all that. Maybe [JG] can add legal opinion on that. I think the most trouble would come from the USPS and then only if the person receiving a copy of a K/S zine complained. Actually David Gerrold and his 'friends' are doing us all a big favor. His frequent public statements about it have brought many new fans into the fold that would otherwise have not known about us. Thanks, David. Keep up the good work!
From AC:
I joined the apa to talk about K/S and Trek in general. Talking to other K/S'ers is one good way to get a feel for what kinds of stories they would like to see and that's a big help in my writing. I do get a burnout on K/S once in a while after I indulge too much, but I drop back and read some good gen Trek for a while and then go back to the boys. That helps me a lot to keep my interest up.
From PD:
I think we've been a little spoiled in this area. I don't think anyone around here cares very much whether or not we read K/S, (unless you run into someone who is trying to "save" you the way I did in the breakfast line at a con once). I'm not sure this is true in other parts of the country. (People who live in other parts of the country can correct me if I'm wrong.) It is also possible that people who write, or who aspire to write professionally, may not want their names on K/S material just in case there is a problem. This is understandable since main stream writers do the same thing when they write erotica or out right pornography. I personally read K/S material anywhere I happen to be because I know everyone around me thinks I am a little strange already. I'm a musician after all.
From PD:
Yes, I did read zines at work. This was during the period when I was attending a class in Title XVI of the Social Security Act, (eight hours a day for ten weeks). You can probably see how one might resort to reading zines after a certain period of lectures about this subject, especially since I already knew a great deal of the material. I put the zines inside my manuals. They were both gen and K/S. A few people got a little startled when they looked over my shoulder but most of them ended up asking if they could read them.
From PD:
I saw the New Year in with other "Star Trek People", and that is certainly a nice way to start the year off. Of course, there is a myth that what you are doing at midnight you will do all year long; and I was, of course, talking about K/S. This is what is called a self-fulfilling prophecy. 1985 will always be a standout year for me though, because that is the year that I went from a solitary ST and K/S appreciator to a fan who associates with other fans. It has been great fun to correspond with people who live in England, Canada, Germany and many different areas in the U.S. There are lots of ideas floating around out there.
From JG:
I read [L's] comments in NTS that you refer to, and I understood her to say that she felt an "outsider" to K/S fandom because her concerns differ from those expressed by most K/S writers she has read. I didn't read her to say she was not interested in K/S. Obviously, anyone who cares enough about K/S to write it in a "vacuum," without knowing there are others who share that interest, can hardly be anything less than a fan. You can love K/S and not be exactly on the same wavelength as other K/S fen. Actually, I'm amazed at how many fans I've met in the last eight years -- including some of the biggest of the BNFs — who take pains to emphasize their own "differences" from other fans. Science fiction fans tend to be deeply individualistic, I guess. When I did a questionnaire survey on this question some years ago, I got many responses saying "Fans don't have anything in common except their common love of STAR TREK." Although I suppose some of us are closer to the "mainstream" of K/S fandom than others, I don't think we should shut out or dismiss those whose interests in K/S are different from the average.

To critique K/S you don't necessarily need to be widely read in K/S literature. In fact, I think it's more helpful to have a strong background in literature, period. The laws of composition and effective writing are the same in and out of K/S. Is K/S really a "genre" in itself? Can't K/S be written in may genres: action adventure, romance, humor, tragedy, whatever?

The ability to recognize good literature and the ability to deliver it are different skills and talents, hence critics aren't expected to be good creative writers themselves, although they can be.
From JG:
Is there any evidence that the so-called Moral Majority care about K/S -- or ST -- one way or the other? In the early days of K/S fandom, we had our own "moral majority" in ST fandom. They were on the defensive from the beginning, never did much of any thing besides write fevered letters to INTERSTAT, and eventually just faded away altogether. How MM types who don't give a damn about STAR TREK one way or the other could threaten us any more than those folks did, and what their motive would be, I can't imagine. It seems to me the average MM type would not find STAR TREK congenial, and hence would have little interest in preserving STAR TREK from K/S "corruption." Paramount at least has standing to sue K/S fans, even if it couldn't win; the MM doesn't even have that much. To be honest I just don't think non-STAR TREK fans are likely ever to have the interest in K/S to motivate them to attack us.
From JG:
I'm not pessimistic about openness about K/S in the long run. Back in the 1960's, explicit heterosexual material was just as firmly in the closet as so-called "gayporn." I'm not exactly an admirer of Playboy, but Playboy's approach to sex -- i.e. surrounding it with middle-brow discussion and respectably conspicuous consumerism -- did break down some taboos. Playboy and its ilk have made nudity and genitalia into coffee-table material. I hate to think K/S must remain in a "self-imposed ghetto". K/S certainly has more aesthetic merit and literary content than Playboy, and it doesn't display its nudes like so many slabs of meat. It irks me to think that K/S, which speaks so strongly to women, should not be considered socially acceptable, while the porn geared to males in Playboy, is. But if we ourselves don't consider K/S socially acceptable, who will? Come on, folks, let's get out of the ghetto! We need our March on Washington!
From JG:
Re your comment on groups with axes to grind taking over K/S: which groups specifically are you referring to? I must admit I'd like to see more treatment of social and political themes in K/S. I may even have said so publicly. But how can any group of fans take over the genre? Fan editors will always be free to publish whatever their fancies dictate. And with the plethora of K/S zines nowadays an author can count on being able to publish her story if it's even half-way readable.
From JG:
I agree with you about the Edith Keeler of the original and aired versions of "City." I also think the decision to make Edith, in the aired version, a kind of 20th-century female counterpart of Kirk, was very right. Once it was established that Edith and Kirk shared the same ideals and "spoke the same language," as Edith said, there was no need to go into details of the relationship. The viewer can accept that this is the great love of Kirk's life because after all, she's his alter-ego. The Edith of the original version was very different from Kirk, a sort of pure, saintly type. One reason I think Ellison felt he had to include more details of the relationship was that it wasn't as immediately obvious as in the aired version why Kirk would fall deeply in love with some one like that.
From JG:
I agree that Russ's macroanalysis of K/S should be followed by microanalysis of individual stories and writers. I don't think Russ said that female K/S fen regard male-male relationships as superior to female-female or female-male ones. What she did say, I think, is that we lack a common or consensual mode of discourse in which to write fiction about women as heroes and equals of men in romantic relationships. That is so even if we are living such relationships in real life. Russ's second point, in her MAGIC MOMMAS essay, is that K/S lit includes sexualizations of situations that have historically been imposed on women. She argues, I think, that K/S lit expresses both our "liberation" and our "oppression." It is neither unambiguously one nor the other. In my opinion, Jean Lorrah's NTM stories do not transcend the limits that Russ wrote of so eloquently. To me, there's something vaguely domestic about her Sarek and Amanda, even if they aren't supposed to be.
From DCL:
I cannot agree with your conclusion, [BPG], that fans who differ from the group can't stand their ground alone and survive. I do not belong to a clique, and I feel no pressure to do anything I'd rather not do, or keep quiet when I feel the need to speak out. If there was ever a campaign to boycott me or my fannish output, I did not feel its effect. My zine sold out in three months. I have no trouble getting my work published. Anyone who prefers the frantic type of herd mentality of the cliques you describe has my sympathy. That zined you mentioned who's afraid to express ANY opinion publicly because she "KNOWS" everyone in her area will ostracize her has let her fear of criticism paralyze her to the point that she's just some clone of everyone else's expectations. Her "original, unconventional" ideas might have greatly improved fandom, but nobody benefits if she's too much of a moral coward to even express them.
From DCL:
Thanks for the info on COURTS OF HONOR, I'm glad you explained why it was taking so long for Syn to mail the zines out. Why in the world did she opt for half-size pages, thereby doubling her collating task? I was also disappointed to hear that there are no internal illustrations. But I'm sure that the writing will more than make up for these minor shortcomings. Syn became one of my favorite ST writers instantly when I read "Freedom is Standing in the Light"and "Valley of Shadows." Such skill in storytelling ability is a rare gift indeed!
From DCL:
APA has been in a great deal of flux lately. People drop in and out, or fail to submit zines regularly. I find it disconcerting to attempt having a conversation with someone who may disappear at the next instant. It does absolutely nothing for in-depth discussions that require sustained participation over several issues. I appeal to everyone who is here now (or who is considering joining) to try to stick it out for longer than a couple of issues, and for heaven's sake — CONTRIBUTE! Don't sit back waiting for others to talk to you. Reply to anyone who does. Start a conversation or introduce a new topic that interests you. There is enough intelligence, talent and energy here to make this APA the most stimulating forum that anyone could wish for if each of us is willing to put out some extra effort.
From PF:
Fellow K/S & K.S.ers, I'd like to extend a heartfelt apology and a smidgen of explanation. I haven't been in the last two issues for a lot of reasons, part of which are outlined above, but mostly because I've found myself in a complete quandry. The first issue I was a part of was #15, and when I received it I stayed in a state of shock for several weeks. When my head began to firm up again, I found myself unable to respond due to a total lack of understanding as to what the hell was going on in the APA. Have you ever walked into a room filled with people, all talking at once and felt as if the batteries in your hearing-aid had just conked out? Well, that's sort of how I felt. I got into this zine through [NS's] flyer and, never having seen one of them before, I was at a complete loss as to what was being talked about. Now that I've got a few issues under my belt, I feel better able to contribute something. At least, I'm not completely overwhelmed. But it sure would have been nice if I had been aware of some of the topics that were under discussion.
From PF:
Regarding the idea that artists should present rough drafts of proposed work for approval by an editor before doing any final work on the drawings. This sounds fine in the abstract, but to me, at least, it also sounds totally unworkable. The amount of time involved is only one drawback, but I think it's a major one. By the time an editor and an artist finish going back and forth with changes, corrections, additions and deletions, months will have passed and the zine will, no doubt, be much later than is desirable. Not to mention the frayed nerves and tempers of the individuals involved. I'm just getting started as a zine artist, but it seems to me that an editor should request work on the basis of past performance (or samples sent for consideration if the artist is· unknown) and then trust the artist to do her best. If there is any major disagreement, most artists will probably be willing to make changes (where possible) or simply withdraw her work. After all, there are a lot of zine editors looking for art, so there shouldn't be too much trouble to place a rejected drawing somewhere else. (I won't turn loose of a drawing I, personally, am not happy with, so a difference in taste doesn't mean the work isn't acceptable to someone else.) The editor can also shop around at that time for new artwork. No one should feel they are under compulsion to accept work that doesn't come up to their standards, or completely re-do a drawing that has had a lot of love lavishecl on it. It isn't fair to either one, and besides it's a royal pain in the ass to have to sepnd hours re-drawing something you thought was finished. Once I'm finished with something, I'm finished! I don't mind making small changes, but a major re-working isn't likely to come out well due to my being totally bored with it.
From PF:
Regarding the movie "Enemy Mine" -- For some reason, it reminded me a great deal of Trek, and.I kept seeing K/S in it. I ran out today and bought the book. Haven't started it yet, though. David Gerrold's name on the cover as co-author almost made me change my mind, but I wanted it too badly to let the thought of his getting a few of my pennies stop me.
From PF:
Explicit fan art? I love it in and on my zines. I go out to lunch once a week, and I always take a zine with me. Since I don't want to cause any little old ladies to have heart attacks, I cover an explicit zine with a manilla folder or some such, and I always use a business size envelope as a place marker. That way I can hide any explicit inside art from prying eyes and still enjoy myself in a public place without causing a panic. I'm sure most of the ladies in the APA are clever enough to come up with something similar.
From PF:
I know what you mean about being blown over by having a total stranger trust you with precious zines. I've had the same.reaction many times when I've been the recipient of such generosity. But, since I loaned all my Jean Lorrah zines to a new-met 'friend' last February and I haven't heard from her since, I'm re-thinking my own acts of largess. I suppose I'd better call her (again) and this time demand (nicely) that she return my property. It's enough to sour you on lending things. I've always been very, very careful to return borrowed items on time so as to keep my priviledge. I guess I just expect others to have the same ethics I do.
From PF:
Loved your party at the Con in October. Wasn't that management ridiculous, though! Getting so upset about 20 or 30 people in a two-bed room! Seriously, I can't understand why he was so upset. It wasn't even 9:00 pm yet, and on a Saturday to boot. I guess they don't have many conventions staying there.
From PF:
For God's sake stop boasting about having read "Courts of Honor". The rest of us poor fools who have been waiting, more of less patiently, for up to three years may just gang up on you and nail your hide to the wall. I can wait to read it, but not if I'm teased beyond my patience.
From PF:
Please don't misunderstand what I have to say, [BPG]. It is not meant as an attack, only a plea for clarification. There seems to be a great deal of ill feeling coming from you directed to most of fandom .in general. I have been active in fandom for only about 2+ years, but I am quite well acquainted with many of California's K/S writers and editors. You seem to feel that there is some kind of conspiracy aimed at you, but I must confess that I've never heard of any such goings-on. I freely admit that I've heard some rather acrimonious statements about you, but never, in my hearing, has there been any effort to create any kind of united blackball against you or your work. Your statements in [previous issues] the APA, at least the little I've read, sound very bitter. Also, I don't believe 'you can be aware of how vicious some of those statements can sound to people who have to place their interpretation on them, since they can't hear the tone of voice they should be read in. Also, you keep saying.that you are tired of all the controvercy, yet you, and you alone, keep bringing it up. Perhaps you are responding to comments made to you in private correspondence, but if so, you should not be using the APA to answer back. We don't all understand what's going on. There are many new members in the APA, and I'm sure I speak for at least some of them when I ask you to give us a blow-by-blow full explanation of this issue, or just let it die. You have made a significant contribution to zinedom in general and K/S in particular, and I feel you should fully air your side of the story. Please be assured that I bear you no ill will, and I only write this out of a desire to see some harmony descend on fandom and this APA. I know how exciting a cat-fight can be when it is aimed at someone far away, but I also know how much it must hurt when it reaches the ears of the innocent victim. (Please note: I am not pronouncing you either innocent or guilty on any issue. That is hardly my place or intent.) You have my honest respect for the considerable body of work that you have given to zinedom, and I address this to you mostly out of curiosity. But you have only yourself to blame if you feel I'm being nosey. To change the subject, I thoroughly enjoyed the poem, and I want to thank you for your offer to notify me of the publication of the second half of your story.