K/S Tonight!

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Zine
Title: K/S Tonight!
Publisher: Enterprising Press
Editor(s): Linda Biggs
Date(s): 1985
Series?:
Medium: print zine
Size: digest-sized
Genre: slash
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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cover by Caro Hedge
interior art by Ann Crouch
interior art by B.P. Gordon

K/S Tonight! is a Star Trek: TOS slash 40-page digest-sized anthology. Edited by Linda Biggs, Enterprising Press, 1985. Printed offset, folded and center stapled, 40 pages. Art by Caro Hedge, Barbara Gordon, and Ann Crouch.

It was a fiction supplement to Not Tonight Spock!. The plan was for it to be bi-annual, but this was the only issue printed, possibly due to Linda Biggs' decision to no longer co-edit Not Tonight Spock!, or possibly due to the harsh, some felt unfair, review it received in Not Tonight, Spock! #9.

From the Editorial

Welcome to the first issue of K/S TONIGHT! I hope to have this mini-zine available on NTS' "off" months mainly because we all need MORE K/S to read and also to help me keep my sanity when production deadlines come around. Speaking of deadlines... if any interested writers, poets, or artists would like to contribute, please do!! I am already planning issue two which will be out the beginning of June; issue three is due in August. I especially need fiction contributions—any length. Artists, please contact me for more specific information. Readers, if you would like to send LOCs, I will print as many as I can on a space available basis. Please remember to keep your criticisms on a constructive level. About this first issue... I realize the artwork (illos) is almost non-existent, although Barbara G. and Ann's reprint saved that part from complete oblivion (many thanks!), which was due to getting TWIN DESTINY to the printer and finishing the latest edition of NTS. However, while I intend to keep the covers free of explicit illos — in case you want to carry and read the zine on the bus or at work — I do have plans for the inside back cover and, of course, for centerfolds that you can remove if you wish. That will be coming up in issue two. Beginning with the poem below, the three pieces by Vivian Gates are dedicated to Ann Crouch for they were inspired by Ann's "Virgin" T-shirt illo of Spock which was originally printed in TWIN DESTINY #1 and is reprinted here (with Ann's permission).

Content

  • Editorially Speaking (1)
  • Unicorn Bait, poem by Vivian Gates (1)
  • Virgin Territory, fiction by Vivian Gates (Spock intrudes on Kirkʼs camping with a message from Starfleet, but ultimately another message is delivered when Kirk notices the earring stuck in Spockʼs clothing.) (3)
  • Untitled poem by Vivian Gates (6)
  • Loving Thoughts in Transit, poem by Kirk (7)
  • A Bull Session, fiction by Vera Barga (Spock uses the erotic dancing of an alien culture to begin changing the way Kirkʼs sees Spock and what might be possible between them.)
  • In the Glade by Jane Mailander (Kirk and Spock look for a private spot. Inspired by Gayle F's illo in Naked Times #3) (8)
  • Rain, poem by Patt (20)
  • The Inquisition, fiction by Beverly Danielson (While Kirk is questioned by the elder of Vulcan, Spock is grilled by Starfleet regarding the rumors that the two men are lovers.) (21)
  • Happily Ever After?, fiction by Heather Whitefield (M/U: Vulcan secedes from the Empire, threatening Spockʼs position on the Enterprise.) (24)
  • Accepted Definitions, poem by Lyon (29)
  • Questions, poem Robin Hood (30)
  • Answers, poem by Robin Hood (30)
  • Leila, fiction by Fiona James (A/R: Leila takes Spock to be infected by the spores and is surprised, and disappointed, by the results.) (31)
  • Peace, poem by Noelle Harrison (40)

Reactions and Reviews

As a silent consumer of K/S for over 5 years, the topic for this issue of NTS's Observation Deck has moved me to write this review of K/S TONIGHT almost as a response to the question "Are the zines you're reading now what you want?" In a word, this fan is not getting what she wants; K/S TONIGHT highlights the reasons why. Ostensibly, K/S TONIGHT is billed as a bi-monthly fiction supplement to NTS. Based on the ads, I assumed it would involve at least some of the staff of NTS & while not comparable, would be of the same general caliber of NTS. Such was not the case. The only NTS person involved (beyond artists) was the "editor" Linda Biggs. Despite what I considered somewhat misleading advertising, I read the zine & was disappointed with its content. What upset me most was not the generally poor quality of the material (although, it did not please me) but the lack of editing, typically one of the chief problems present in many zines today. I found myself thinking that truth in advertising should be extended to publishers who call themselves editors. If this material WAS edited, then Biggs would do well to find herself a ghost editor.

Technically, K/S TONIGHT is fine. It's interior graphics & layout are pleasing. The print quality & size was certainly okay. Typos were infrequent. The plain, take-on-the-bus cover with its candles for supposed late night reading is clever. Art Is generally absent, there being only border work & 3 illos in the zine. One illo is the inspired Ann Crouch "Virgin" Spock originally printed in TWIN DESTINY I. There is a small Caro Hedge unicorn with a cock for a horn that is cute. The third illo is a Barbara Gordon, mirror universe Kirk & Spock drawn in her usual out-of-perspective style.

The poetry in the zine is its best feature although It ranges greatly in quality from evocative to trite. Unicorn Bait by Vivian Gates & another, untitled, by her, both inspired by the Ann Crouch illo are cute, evoking a smile from the reader (which is much more than can be said of her story, similarly inspired). Loving Thoughts... ln Transit - If you enjoy the Harlequin version of K/S, then this poem by "Kirk" will thrill you. I find her dialogue effusive & overdone which is unfortunate because the concept the language is attempting to convey is a good, solid idea, a sweet romantic notion even, that gets lost in the flowery flow of syllables. Rain by PATT is my choice for best poem, best piece in the zine. Simple, everyday words effectively create a gentle yet vivid image & feeling in the reader, evoking that sense of love Kirk & Spock have for one another & that we have for them. Accepted Definitions by Lyon is an interesting poem that on first reading left me with a distinct sense of neutrality; it was okay, A second & third reading, however, made me realize that I liked the tone of the piece which captured Spock rather well. The accompanying border illo of two interlocked IDIC symbols by Caro Hedge was lovely. Questions & Answers by Robin Hood were rather trite in their cliched imagery & too melodramatic. Both deal with Omicron Ceti III. In the first, Kirk confesses that he can't possibly continue on without Spock & further, he doesn't care about anything else, a premise I find rather unacceptable for the Kirk who continually worries about his ship & its crew. The accompanying piece was not as histrionic but the author lost my attention when she refers to Kirk as the "thing" missing from Spock's life. If a poet can find no better word to use than thing, then the poet ought to consider another type of writing. Peace by Noelle Harrison Is a lovely idea, well executed with simple, effective sentences , The piece is greatly harmed, however, by the author's use of endearments unbecoming any but Barbara Cartland characters. I find it impossible to picture Kirk saying into a pointed ear, "Good night, my love." or Spock whispering into the night, "Sweet dreams, t'hy'la." or maybe it's the other way around.

There were six stories in the zine, each in need of both story & line editing. A few would have benefited from tactful refusal and/or massive rewrites. Virgin Territory by Vivian Gates was based on the Ann Crouch illo. In fact, the story was dedicated to Ann; I'd have been upset if I was Ann. Basically, It Is a shore leave, first time story. It is competently written, although I fail to understand how a rainstorm soaked Spock to the bone when he was apparently dressed for the occasion; the metaphors are a bit overdone as when a cock is referred to as weeping rock & the grammar & punctuation could have been improved In places. What is missing from this story, what is so disturbing, is is the lack of any sense of love between the main characters. Kirk & Spock literally fuck each other & then settle into a sleeping bag for a night of tender lovemaking. I suppose my negative reaction to this story revolves around the cold way the two men use each other & then turn blythely to expressions of love. It seems a difficult way to begin a relationship. I can't possibly stretch my conceptions of the characters to envision them in this story. I felt as if I was reading about two men, not Kirk & Spock. If you like the manner in which Vivian Gates continually gives the K/S relationship a cynical, hard edge where there is, in fact, little ground for love to grow, then you'll like this story; it's typical of her style. Bull Session by Vera Barga is a first time story that takes place in the midst of a planet-side diplomatic mission. It's story line is thin & well-worn as well as boring; there is little to recommend it. The characterization & dialogue are equally shallow. In fact, Spock's dialogue Is so stilted that it becomes comical where it is not meant to be. The characterization is so bad that the reader has to wonder if the author has seen many episodes or ever thought about the characters. Spock chews grass, Kirk moos like a cow, Amanda utters such phrases as "shit scared" & McCoy appears to be a disgustingly crude parody, particularly when he is discussing the fact that when Spock returns from an evening with a woman, he is wearing a cheese eating expression. In The Glade, another shore leave tale is by Jane Mailander; It is based on an illo from NAKED TIMES 3 which was not reprinted. Hence, the story loses much of its impact. Although technically well enough written, & focused on the pleasant idea of two lovers taking a shore leave together, the piece suffers from several "plot" flaws that tend to overwhelm the positive. Kirk & Spock are searching for a remote spot Kirk viewed from an aircar. They push through briars & brambles with Spock toting a blanket. I found myself wondering why they couldn't have simply beamed to this choice area of solitude. We are given no reason why they can't beam which weakens the impact of the story. It's fine to make characters struggle, but readers need reasons for the struggles as do the characters. In fact, the way the story is written, there is a rather sadistic edge to the Kirk character that he would deliberately inflict this on Spock. Then, there is a problem with the spot Kirk selects. It is a large rock. I find it difficult to believe that any blanket will render any rock soft enough for even 5 minutes of sunbathing. For me, these are 2 major problems & in a 2 page story...both should have been caught by an editor. The Inquisition by Beverly Danielson is a dialogue that takes place between Kirk & Vulcan Elders & Spock & a Commodore. Both are being told their relationship is improper in the collective eyes of Vulcan & Star Fleet. The piece contains every 20th century cliche & stereotype concerning gays & the supposed effects of their lifestyle which sadly points up the shallowness of the piece. Even the punch line of Kirk & Spock not yet being involved physically was predictable & has been done before. Happily Ever After? by Heather Whitefield Is a mirror universe story. If this piece had gone to someone who'd have edited it & made a few suggestions, it could have been an excellent story. At it is, it loses its dramatic impact because it really isn't finished & it does need line editing. To me this is truly sad a story with so much uncapitalized potential. The mirror Kirk ostensibly turns on Spock to save his lover from certain death after Vulcan had ceded from the Empire. Spock finally leaves, believing that Kirk truly didn't love him. Sad, but how much more gut-wrenching this story would have been if Spock had been allowed to see through Kirk's ruse, & yet carry out his own charade by not letting Kirk know he knew what Kirk was doing. It would have been a romantic tale of lovers sacrificing that love so each could live. It would have made any reader cry. As it was. I cried for the lost opportunity. Leila by Fiona James is an alternate version of events on Omicron Cetl 3. The story is well written & has some interesting twists such as the fact that the spores make the victim express love for the one he/she Loves. Hence, Spock reacts to his bondmate, Kirk; it is they who climb tress & watch clouds. The story Is nicely done & well thought out. I realise that this Is a rather lengthy review of a zine that is only 40 pages long, for a zine that is ostensibly a "quickie". But even "quickies'* are supposed to be satisfying; this zine is not unless you're not particular about the K/S you read. To be fair, there are several good poems & the decent stories I mentioned. But, the bulk of the zine suffers from an all too familiar lack of editing which results in the perpetration of stories with shallow characterisations, improbably scenarios &plot lines. Borrow a copy to read those few good pieces. [1]
As a personal comment I found the review by [M W] on K/S TONIGHT [in Not Tonight Spock! #9] to be very harsh, & I also considered it unfair. From the ads, I understood KST to be an inexpensive 'zine' with the type of short stories which are often found included in other l/z's but having them under a separate cover. I thought - & still think the idea was excellent & that the finished produce WAS value for money. Rarely have I disagreed so much with a review & this is the first time I have ever felt the need to reply to a review. Don't get me wrong, KST was not perfect, but I would have expected many of the minor problems to have been ironed out in time, & I feel that the loss of KST deprives writers of a showcase for shorter stories & readers of an inexpensive & reasonable zine. [2]

References

  1. from Not Tonight Spock! #9
  2. from Not Tonight Spock! #10