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Title: Kraith
Creator: Jacqueline Lichtenberg, though it's a shared universe (albeit very, very controlled)
Date(s): 1970 (created)
Medium: fanfic (originally all print zines)
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
External Links: Kraith Wikipedia Article
Kraith at SimeGen

Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
cover of Kraith Collected issue #1. The drawing is an artist rendering of what the Kraith chalice looks like

Kraith (pronounced like "wraith"[1]) is a very well-known, early Star Trek: TOS alternate universe. Its original creator was Jacqueline Lichtenberg. The series imagines Vulcan culture and telepathy, and in later episodes features a telepathic and empathic bond between James Kirk and Spock.

Media scholar Henry Jenkins explained that Kraith "reconstructed Star Trek from several different generic perspectives, including mythic adventure, courtroom drama, mystery and spy intrigue". Kraith's notoriety is such that articles on Wikipedia were created on the subject, as well as a separate category on Star Trek fanfictions.

While the series is gen, later stories came to cater to a number of (by now) well-established fannish kinks and thus may be considered idfic – fiction with a direct appeal to the basic emotional drives of the author, reader, or both. The first Kraith story was Spock's Affirmation, and it was originally published in the fanzine T-Negative #8 in 1970.

Kraith fiction, by Lichtenberg, and other fans, appears in many zines, as well as in Kraith Collected volumes. Some of the fiction is now also available online. While it is a shared universe, Lichtenberg kept a very strong hand in its formation. She controlled topics, editing, and content.

Kraith, deeply embedded in early Trek fandom, was a topic for satires, parodies, responsefics and "unofficial" fanworks. See Satires, Parodies, and Responsefic for some examples.

The First Kraith Story

Vulcan as portrayed in Kraith was not the first image of that world created by fans. Devra Langsam, Joyce Yasner, Sherna Comerford and others wrote numerous speculations on Vulcan culture and society for Spockanalia. Dorothy Jones Heydt had been discovering/writing about Vulcan culture and language since 1967, and her now well-known ni var poem "The Territory of Rigel" appeared in the first Spockanalia. Her Dorothy and Myfanwy Series, which introduced ideas about Vulcan language and society from the perspective of an Earth xenolinguist, began appearing in the first issue of T-Negative in 1969. She put considerable effort into creating details of a Vulcan language, and several fan writers picked up on and used it in their own stories.

The first Kraith story appeared in T-Negative 8, in August 1970. Partly due to the near-professional quality of Lichtenberg's own writing, partly to her vividly realized settings, fairly well-drawn characters and tightly plotted storylines, and partly to fans' hunger for any and all information about Vulcan, Kraith assumed enormous popularity and importance almost immediately. Where Jones-Heydt's stories were more like aired-Trek episodes -- they took place mostly aboard the Enterprise and focused on people and events -- Kraith went "behind the scenes" to the intricacies of Vulcan culture and society. At the time, this was what most fans wanted to see.

The Origins of Kraith

There are several origin stories for Kraith.

Kraith as Writing Exercises

In Star Trek Lives!, published in 1975, Kraith is described as "originally started partly as practice assignments for a writing course." According to an unnamed source (probably Lichtenberg herself) on the Kraith website, the writing course was the Famous Writers School, now defunct.

The Classic-Trek Kraith Universe was originated by Jacqueline Lichtenberg, after she had become a professional writer with her first published story in the January 1969 issue of If Magazine of Science Fiction .... Kraith was originated as a series of homework assignments for the lessons of the Famous Writers School fiction course. Ordinarily, students are not expected to produce a connected body of work in response to the homework assignments, but Jacqueline Lichtenberg did because she just plain wanted to write Star Trek -- and because there was a budding fanzine market for the stories.[2]

Kraith as a Star Trek Sequel

From a 2003 chat with Jacqueline Lichtenberg:

But after Trek was cancelled, that's when I got mobilized. I was so incredibly outraged -- they had cancelled the world!!!! That was simply not acceptable. So I wrote a short -- incredibly short -- piece for Spockanalia (the first ST paper fanzine) called Mr. Spock On Logic.[3] After that came Ruth Berman's T-Negative and it was just sitting there so skinny and small[note 1] -- and I just had to write story for it, so I did, and it became Kraith. My Kraith series became quite famous -- it's even featured with Jean's Night of the Twin Moons fanzine in the New York Times Book Review.[note 2] The stories were scattered over every single zine being published at that time.[note 3] And then other people began sending me Kraith stories (it's alternate universe TOS -- finishing the saga that had been truncated by cancellation) There was so much Kraith around and it got so hard to get all the pieces that at a ST con some fans were sitting behind me (didn't know who I was) discussing that sad state of affairs and I turned around and said hello. That was the genesis of Kraith Collected -- the first ST fan stories to be "collected"... [4]

As a Script: "Remote Control"

In 1968 Lichtenberg wrote a script, intended to be submitted to Paramount for Star Trek, entitled "Remote Control". It was published in issue #1 of Interphase and subsequently reprinted over two issues of Pastaklan Vesla.

"This script was written for the Star Trek series in late 1968, and unfortunately never got beyond the agent-seeking stage because the show was canceled several weeks later. 'Remote Control' was aimed not at the TV audience but at ST's creators. Even if read and rejected, it should have pointed out 'Logic is Beautiful'[note 4] as a viable fiction premise. After Ruth Berman decided not to print RC [in T-Negative] in script format, I decided to offer her a 'Logic is Beautiful' story in narrative, and Kraith #1 was the result."

A longer and more detailed version of this origin story is told in the introduction to the first Kraith Collected.

"I cast about and discovered that I had now gained the freedom to use some really radical ideas about Vulcan in narrative form. I had developed these ideas privately over the past seasons but felt that they were not potentially commercial despite their obvious truth. I had some misgivings about whether fandom would be able to accept anything so radical, but I judged that, if there were to be no more new shows, it was time to infuse some new blood into fanzines. I resolved to use some of my tame, commercial ideas mixed with some wild surmises that I felt had dramatic presence enough to be interesting. "I had been reading a great deal in STrekzines that supported notions in sharp opposition to my conceptions. I resolved to make my story into a counter statement, proving once and for all that the johnny-one-notes of fandom had been blind to reality. If my story served no other purpose, it would stir up enough controversy to spark some original thinking which had been conspicuously absent."[5][note 5]

Kraith as "Star Trek plus Darkover"

Lichtenberg credits Marion Zimmer Bradley with many of the ideas behind Kraith. An anonymous article on the website describes Kraith as having been conceived specifically because Lichtenberg had noticed Bradley had done no writing for the show. (Apparently Gene Roddenberry asked Bradley to write a Star Trek script and she turned him down.) The article claims that the Kraith Premise is "Star Trek plus Darkover" in that it includes Bradley's "laws of ESP" (presumably this refers to the definitions and limitations of the laran gifts).

The resemblance to Darkover is particularly noticeable in Kraith Vulcans' use of psionic devices and the hints of what the ancient, pre-Surak Vulcan "Top Of World" culture was like. The idea of a telepathic aristocracy, of leaders being those who could coordinate and channel other telepaths, and of pon farr originally being related to the blooming of a particular flower, are all similar to ideas found in Darkover.

Lichtenberg was also said in this article to have conceived Sime-Gen by combining Darkover elements with Star Trek's various Effects as noted in the book Star Trek Lives!. [6]

In 1974, Lichtenberg wrote:

I have reason to be "up" on the Darkover series, because the Kraith series does, indeed, attempt to fill out the already obvious parallels between Star Trek and Darkover. Anyone really interested in pursuing this should try to get a copy of The Gemini Problem (by Marion Bradley's husband Walter Breen)...[7]

In 1978, Lichtenberg wrote:

To my way of thinking, ST is a poor imitation of Darkover written from the Terran Empire point of view, casting Vulcans as Darkovans, then proceeding to write very badly indeed. (That's not to say ST was badly written; I am here comparing TV to narrative, which is apples to oranges.) ST attempted to present to the viewing public a smorgasbord of sf themes, questions and concepts. It ALMOST succeeded, but was cancelled before it could really get going. (You all know, of course, that ST actually got the official ax at the end of second season; third season was a lame duck, which is why it went sour.) This cancellation hit my frustration limit, and I then proceeded to take ST and add to it the missing Darkover themes (to the dat deedee dah dah adding the duht DUHT),[note 6] producing what has become known as the Kraith Series (SASE me for info). Be it here known that MZB is NOT a Kraith fan, though she does tend to be partial to Simes.) [8]

In the foreword to The Keeper's Price (1980), Marion Zimmer Bradley played down the supposed relationship between Star Trek, Kraith and Darkover, claiming that Kraith originated as an independent paracosm of Lichtenberg's which she mapped onto Star Trek as a method of practice writing:

Not until women saw Star Trek did they start identifying themselves, just as young children did, with the heroes and heroines of that universe. They were too old to put on Vulcan ears and Enterprise T-shirts and play at being Spock, Kirk, Uhura, and their friends[note 7], so they wrote stories about them instead. And, in a wave of amateur fiction, completely unlike any phenomenon in science fiction history, these stories somehow got published in amateur magazines. There were hundreds of them; or let me amend that; there were thousands, though I have only read a few hundred. And when they were sated with Star Trek, many of them turned to Darkover. I don’t agree with Jacqueline Lichtenberg that ‘Darkover is just an advanced version of Star Trek for grownups.’ I was never that much of a Star Trek fan,[note 8] and not till after I knew Jacqueline did I ever learn much about the phenomenon of Star Trek fandom. Jacqueline, driven like myself, one of those who created her own fantasy world in her teens and transmuted it into a professional series as an adult, used Star Trek fandom, calculatedly (as I used the fanzines built around the old pulp fiction) as a way of learning her craft and getting her early writings in print... [9]

In 1978, Bradley talked about encouraging beginning writers to develop their own unique styles, said "one of the first things I ever wrote to Jacqueline was that she would never do anything worth doing, professionally, until she got out of Roddenberry's Star Trek universe and started creating her own." [10]

"Kraith" and Sime~Gen and Star Trek

Kraith as Worldbuilding Exercise

In an interview in the National Fantasy Fan Federation ( publication for June 2010, Lichtenberg said that what she'd viewed aired-Trek as lacking were worldbuilding elements, specifically those related to mysticism and/or religion.

While I loved what [the Star Trek producers] had accomplished, I felt it was sloppy, incomplete. The worldbuilding was conspicuously lacking . . . [This] irked me no end because it would have been easy and cheap to fix. It would lose the TV viewing audience though . . . . I didn't know that many of the things Roddenberry did "wrong" were things he did on purpose because of his humanistic philosophy. He was a very open-minded man, but he had a blind spot where SF was concerned because of his philosophy. . . [note 9]

In anthropology and archaeology courses, I had learned that every culture on earth somehow has a slot in its archetype list for some kind of mysticism. [note 10] Until you fill that spot in, you don't have a realistic construct within which to tell a story.

At that time (before the movies, just two of the three seasons having run on TV), we didn't have those wonderful scenes on Vulcan that we got with the films. So I looked at my shelves of SF books, thought about all my most favorite authors (some of whom wrote scripts for Trek), thought about what was "wrong" (i.e. sub-standard by SF novel criteria) with Star Trek, and decided to fix it in a fanzine story. . .

I really thought everyone would understand what was missing. . . . I figured everyone else would come up with all sorts of other things to fill that empty niche in the worldbuilding, generating a zillion additional Trek universes to play in.

So I took Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels . . . and mixed them up with Star Trek (shaken, not stirred) and produced a Vulcan culture -- in a multicultural world only hazily sketched beyond that -- and told a story to illustrate what you could have if you didn't pull your punches on worldbuilding.[11]

Kraith as "Intimate Adventure"

Some fans feel that the real hero of these Kraith stories is Vulcan itself. Jacqueline Lichtenberg sees it as the story of Spock's life and the impact that friendship with Kirk had on Spock and thus the history of the Federation. "Had they not bridged that species gap in a telepathic bonding, the Klingons would have won."[note 11]

This brings into play Lichtenberg's "Intimate Adventure" idea, that a truly realistic story must include an emotional dimension. Calling "Intimate Adventure" a separate genre, she talks about it in terms of characters facing emotional challenges -- admitting to shortcomings, striving to overcome fear, etc. Characters become "real to one another" as they become aware of each other's emotions. The difference between this and an ordinary adventure story is that the Intimate Adventure shows the hero learning how to relate to others. "Instead of weapons of combat ... the protagonist must weild [sic] the weapons of Life -- emotions, psychology. The protagonist must solve the problem faced in the world outside the Mind with the weapon of Emotional Honesty within the Self and within the Relationship."[12] In a 2007 News from the Crypt interview, Lichtenberg revealed that Intimate Adventure "is in fact a plot archetype."

However, Lichtenberg's own stories (and most other Kraith stories, with few exceptions) are constructed as conventional narratives, with plots that move characters from point to point. While feelings and emotions (including Vulcan emotions and how they are expressed) play a vital role, they are not the focus of the tales.

Outgrew Its Original Nest

In 2017, Ruth Berman explained how the series "out-grew" her zine series, T-Negative:

Jacqueline Lichtenberg’s Kraith stories – I published the first several of these in T-N and found them impressive. As Jacqueline went on, they were getting longer and required more background knowledge of all of them to be understood, and I didn’t think I could cope with continuing to publish them and still have room in T-N for other people’s stories, so I asked her to find another set-up for them, where they could be stand-alone publications and the impact of the series as a series would be clearer. I think it was at that point that Kraith fandom developed as a fandom, and I didn’t have much involvement in it after I’d stopped publishing the stories. [13]

Shared Universes and Other Effects

Development into a Shared Universe

Subsequently many others have written and drawn in the Kraith universe along with more works by Jacqueline Lichtenberg, that form a large "canon" for this 'verse. There even exists a Kraith Creator's Manual as guide for people who want to write in it as well as an Understanding Kraith reference zine. [14] There are also further Kraith alternate universes that branch off from the main, i.e. AUs of the shared AU.

See Kraith Round Robin for a detailed look at how the 'official' Kraith stories were to be created and published.

Kraith was deeply embedded in early Trek fandom, and was a topic for satires, parodies, responsefics and "unofficial" fanworks. See for some examples.

Kraith Creators: A 1972 Roster

This roster from 1972 is a veritable list of BNFs of the time, and illustrates the clubbiness of this shared universe. It is also a peek into a Kraith's past that had yet to achieve a nearly-impossible level of intricacy. From the Kraith Creator's Manual:

The following is a partial list of Kraith Creators and Kraith Critics. Since the Kraith Critics have begun to write stories into the Series, I will not attempt to differentiate (some of them seem to be on the verge of changing sides, and one person can argue either side).

Ruth Berman, Editor of T-Negative, publisher of the first Kraith story and of the main series. She wrote the first Kraithlet written by someone other than Jacqueline, and has since written a second one. Both stories are sharply focused, well-taken criticism of Kraith.

Anna Mary Hall, Anna is one of the most exciting writers to appear on the ST scene, and her addition to Kraith has certainly demonstrated her talent.

Carol Lynn, Editor of Kraith Collected and the Kraith Creator's Manual. Along with Margaret & Laura Basta, Carol has the distinction of being one of the first Kraith Interpreters, people whose dogged pursuit of Kraith concepts has qualified them to work independently.

Deborah Goldstein, One of the most enthusiastic Kraith readers, and co-editor of the Kraith publications. Also an enthusiastic fan of the SIME series, and a budding Kraith author.

Laura Basta, Editor of Babel, and possibly the best writer currently turning pro. Definitely someone to watch closely.

Pat Zotti, Editor of The Voyages. Pat has created an alter-Amy [Amy Bedford] for the Kraith Series and plans a series of perhaps as (sic RBW many as) 6 short stories regarding Kraith-Amy and Ssarsun, and McCoy’s ultimate future in the Kraith Series.

Lori Dell, Lori is writing a magnificent story regarding the reason why the Trantu was sent out. Her story bears directly on many of the important plot developments of Kraith. She’s also developing Vulcan Children in depth.

Doris Beetem, Editor of Eridani Triad. Doris has written several vignettes onto the Kraith background. Although the events of her stories cannot be accepted into the Series proper, they might have occurred in an alternate Kraith universe, and they are certainly of interest to any Kraith reader. Maybe she will write into the series next time. Cheer her on.

Joyce Yasner, One of the hardest working Kraith Critics, Joyce has pursued the definitions of the definitions and refined her objections repeatedly until the insights gained have been of utmost benefit to all of us. We hope to bring you at least one essay and possibly a story by her in the near future. She’s got plenty to say.

Rusty Hancock, Rusty was slaving away at a Disaffirmed-type story when she finally got KC1. She says she stayed up till 4:30 AM reading Kraith Collected, and the next day dashed off a Kraithlet which we hope to bring you eventually. She’s working deep in Vulcan history, at the time of the first kataytikhe. Very exciting.

Sondra Marshak,The best has been saved for last. Sondra became interested in Kraith obliquely, looking for material on Kirk and the Kirk/Spock relationship. She was dissatisfied with Jacqueline’s treatment in the early stories, but hung in there until she begged a copy of "Spock’s Nemesis" in manuscript off Jacqueline. It took many months of wheedling, cajoling, and conniving to get her to reveal herself for the superb writer she is. She made some additions to Kraith V which should further Kraith’s reputation for being controversial. She is co-authoring a book on Star Trek fandom with Jacqueline, and she has consented to co-author several SIME novels during the next few years. Jacqueline wishes to take this opportunity to inform Sondra that she has earned the title of Kraith Interpreter. As the Kraith literature piles up, it gets harder and harder to earn that title.

In addition to the above 11 contributors, there are several people who have expressed an interest in writing some Kraith but who have not yet done so. Therri Moore, Linda Lawson, and Jeannie Peacock are three of these. There is a rumor that one other person is actively working on a Kraith story or two, but that person hasn’t declared him/herself yet. [ed. since the above was written the ranks of the creators have swelled to 18. I’m pleased to welcome Robbie Brown to the ranks as #18.]

It is simple to join the Kraith Creators. All you have to do is to create some Kraith, send it to Carol Lynn or Debbie Goldstein, with a carbon to Jacqueline for the master files, and you are a Kraith Creator.

"Procedures for Submitting a Kraith Story"

From 1977, the introduction in Kraith Collected #5 by Jacqueline Lichtenberg:

Many people have said to me, "I'd really love to write a Kraith story, but I just don't write as well as you people." My answer, "Neither do we." All of the stories you read in Kraith are the product of many minds besides that of the author. Most have been rewritten patiently over the period of perhaps a year or two before the submitted version met Carol Lynn's standards. And occasionally, even after all that, the story will go back to the author for one more reworking before it gets published. So if you are persistent and can take criticism, you can probably do a Kraith story. If you want to try it, here are the steps in order.

For more from Kraith Collected #5, in its entirety, broken into three segments, see images:

A fan in 1992 explained:

There were a lot of stories plotted for the Kraith series which never actually did see light of zine, and for that I feel the editorial stance must take a lot of responsibility; their stated policy was as follows: the story was read by the editors, and returned with much criticism and a request for a rewrite. If the writer was thick-skinned enough to accept this and did a full rewrite, the same procedure was followed again… and maybe even again! Their claim - their boast, even, stated in one editorial - was that some of their best stories had been rewritten enough that they told a completely different story from the one the writer had originally set out to tell! [15]

About the Kraith Shared Universe -- from an Official Contributor

In 1977, Daniela Kendall (an admitted pseudonym for "one of the Kraith Creators,"[16]) wrote a long article in Probe #11 in which she addressed fans writing in the Kraith universe, both "officially" and 'unofficially," as well as the mechanics of the Kraith Round Robin, the institution put in place to edit and approve fans' additions to the official timeline. She also expressed concern about the number of non-Kraith stories that included references to the Affirmation, the "Vulcanur" language, etc. as if these were canon, taking for granted that they were established.

"It is no coincidence that there are no other major Vulcan universes in ST fandom. This is not to say that Jacqueline Lichtenberg, or even the team of Kraith writers set about making that the case. Kraith Vulcan is now not only the major Vulcan series, with the major Vulcan universe, it is now becoming the accepted standard for ST fandom. One needs only look at The Starfleet Handbook, Special Issue: The Aliens of Star Trek, which presents Kraith Vulcan as fact. [note 12] The only indication that the material they present is from Kraith is the fact that there is a separate article by Lichtenberg, on Surak's Construct (Kraith's interpretation of the meaning of the Vulcan salute) and that there is an acknowledgement in the front cover of the zine to the Kraith Creator's Manual. However, there is no indication that the "facts" cited are from a separate fan series. One may suppose that, here again, all fandom is supposed to recognize Kraith when they see it.

"Probably the best reason that the original Kraith stories and articles deterred other Vulcan-orientated work is the simple fact that they were superbly written. There is nothing better for eliminating competition than having the best product. Competing with Kraith and its large, vocal fan following was quickly deemed not worth the trouble it would cause. . .

"Lichtenberg's Kraith begat other people's Kraith and Alternate Kraith... [The Kraith being written today] is, in many cases, a third, if not fourth generation product... Names and incidents from Kraith are incorporated into stories at random... The Kraith series is one of the best examples of what can happen when fandom embraces one of its own too closely. There is on an 'open season' on Kraith. Everyone is throwing 'Kraithisms' into their stories. In some cases they ask permission to do so. In other cases, the writer really isn't aware that something he/she has assumed to be a 'fact' about Vulcan society is really a Kraithism. In most cases, the writer simply assumes that he/she may make reference to a Kraith person, or more usually, a Kraith concept, because all of fandom accepts it...

"Plagiarism: I wish I could find another word to accurately define one of the most unfortunate aspects of Kraith's expansion. I have heard it referred to as 'borrowing,' 'sharing,' and so forth. It is none of the above. There are three different ways in which plagiarism is being employed. The first, is the widespread use of Kraith ideas in other works. This is not 'doing honor to Kraith by accepting it as gospel,' it is trading off someone else's creation, rather than doing something original...

"The second way works in the reverse. Situation: a well-known fan writes a very good story about Vulcans -- a single story, not part of any series. A prominent Kraith writer reads the story and decides it would be nice to write a sequel to the story -- a sequel based on Kraith. The story gets written, in the course of which many of the ideas the first author was presenting became distorted to fit the Kraith mold. Mercifully, the Kraith writer in this case had the integrity to send the story to the original author, who immediately told the writer in no uncertain terms that the story was not to be published anywhere...

"The third and most direct form of plagiarism is that, whether the stories are officially accepted by Lichtenberg or not, people have been and are writing Kraith stories. This occurs without the permission, or sometimes even the knowledge, of Lichtenberg and the Kraith editors..."

"In many cases, there are stories of inferior quality being printed under the Kraith name, which in the long run, may harm the reputation of the series. It means that there are stories whose concepts do not exactly coincide with those in the authorized Kraith series..."

"A well-known fan published an excellent story in a quality fanzine. The story was based on Kraith, with full acknowledgment... The author pointed out that all of the original Kraith material is not copyrighted. It was published in zines like T-Negative which did not copyright its stories. Even the Kraith Creator's Manual and the first four volumes of Kraith Collected are not copyrighted. The net result of these trusting ways is that, at least in legal terms, the original stories and concepts in the Kraith universe are in public domain." [17]

In Probe 12, Winston Howlett reported that the article, intended to stimulate discussion about issues in fan fiction and publishing, had received favorable responses from the general Probe audience, but that "With the exception of Ms. Lichtenberg, Ms. Segal and one other person, reactions received from Kraith creators -- in person, by phone, by mail, and in other publications -- were less-than-logical and sometimes bordering on the inane. The subject is closed."

There is a line in the Kraith dictionary/compendium, Understanding Kraith, partly dedicating the work to "Winston Howlett and ‘Daniela Kendall,’ who made it all necessary."[18]

Characteristics of Kraith

Vulcan Culture

In the Star Trek The Original Series episode "Amok Time", Kirk and McCoy remarked on T'Pau's officiating at Spock's wedding as indicating that Spock's family was extremely important. In Kraith, the family is part of the First Realm, a dynasty that has existed from the time of Surak.[note 13]. The Realm is not a place but a status in which Vulcan Traditions are passed on in an unbroken line from Surak, with youngest sons being trained by their grandfathers. There are only three First Realm families left; Spock's, T'Pau's, and Soled's. The Second Realm involves men who received their training from people other than their own grandfathers, and so on.

Before Surak, leaders were men who could draw lots of people together telepathically to unite them as a group mind. Called kataytikh (pl. kataytikhe),[note 14] this ability turned out to be genetic and they started breeding for it with arranged marriages.[note 15] By Spock's time the kataytikhe's task is to perform the "Affirmation of the Continuity" in which every 51.237 standard years, a group of no fewer than 57 people are telepathically drawn together by a kataytikh in order to pass on Vulcan cultural and social values. The Kraith is the chalice from which participants drink water during the ceremony. A woman with the kataytikh gene is a sterile Daughter of Tradition (T'Pau is one of these) and her life is devoted to public service. A Vulcan who misses the Affirmation is effectively outcast.

Spock conducts his first Affirmation in the first Kraith story, Spock's Affirmation. In Spock's Mission Sarek, captured by Romulans, misses the Affirmation but is able to "trans-affirm" in a unique situation during his rescue (explained in the author's endnote). In Ruth Berman's "The Disaffirmed" a young Vulcan scout who missed the Affirmation prepares for a unique life outside Vulcan tradition, and asks Uhura to be his wife; Spock explains exactly why the boy is now considered a non-person in Vulcan society. An alternate universe Kraith story, "Equity" by Joyce Yasner, describes three explorers who miss the ceremony and subsequently seek asylum on Earth after being told they will have to be sterilized.

Kraith also provides details as to just why Spock's father Sarek was opposed to his entering Starfleet rather than the Vulcan Science Academy. [note 16] Spock was one of the last male heirs of the First Realm. He would have duties which required his presence at home. He might not be able to get back in time for the Affirmation. Also, his half-sister T'Uriamne possessed the kataytikh gene and was therefore sterile, a Daughter of Tradition. It was therefore extremely important that Spock marry and have children -- hopefully a son whom Sarek could train as a kataytikh -- so that the First Realm would continue. This is why Spock's betrothal to T'Pring took place at such an early age. If Spock were to go into Starfleet, he might be serving on a ship when he went into pon farr and unable to get back to Vulcan in time.[note 17] Naturally, Sarek and Amanda didn't mention any of this in "Journey to Babel" because (as Spock revealed in "Amok Time") the pon farr is a deeply personal thing and Vulcans do not speak of it.

Kirk and Spock's Relationship

Due to contact with telepathic aliens including several mind-melds with Spock, Kirk begins to develop telepathy[note 18] [note 19] and subsequently must study on Vulcan to learn to control it. For personal as well as political reasons Spock and his father Sarek take this opportunity to adopt Kirk and welcome him into Tsaichrani, Vulcan society and culture. During Kirk's period of study he enters a hierarchical "Warder-Liege compact" in which he has to obey Spock without question. (In the Kraith novel Federation Centennial, Spock is under arrest for defending himself in a bar fight while Sarek is suspected of murder, and agrees to a Warder-Liege where Kirk is the Liege in order to gain time to clear his and his dad's names.) As amateur author Sondra Marshak became involved with Kraith she used the Warder-Liege to introduce more explicit D/s ideas along with other power kinks. In a later episode, Joan Winston's "The Maze" (Metamorphosis 2, August 1976), there is punishment spanking of Kirk by Spock, in would be called domestic discipline fic in modern labelling practices).

Lichtenberg believed that Kirk becoming telepathic was one of the concepts of Kraith that would be far beyond the comprehension of most fan readers. She believed that Spock's Nemesis (Kraith IV), the story in which Kirk first realizes his incipient telepathy, would never be published. In the Author's Note at the end of Spock's Mission, Lichtenberg reveals:

...the climax of [Spock's Mission] is not meant to be understood on first reading. It must be reinterpreted in the light of Kraith IV [Spock's Nemesis]. However, at the time I wrote it, I thought that IV would never be published. I didn't believe that fans would be able to accept the premises of IV involving Kirk.

Other Relationships

a Kraith chalice, hand made and displayed by a fan wearing a Vulcan themed robe at a Kraith room party at Equicon in the 1970s

One of the themes of Kraith is Spock's search for a truly fulfilling mate. It is assumed all the way through the series that Spock will mate with a female and have children by her, especially considering his heritage.

A fan writes in 1992: "Even Kraith - probably the archetypal alternate universe zine - was basically a find-Spock-a-wife series - he lost at least three during it!"[15]

In "Spock's Affirmation" he meets the beautiful and gifted T'Rruel, a master of the ancient art of tokiel. T'Rruel is also a bigot with a pronounced dislike for alien races, including Earth people.[note 20] She and Spock later form a matrimonial bond out of desperate necessity having nothing to do with personal attraction. T'Rruel immediately becomes pregnant, and cannot adjust her body and mind quickly enough to be able to participate safely in the Affirmation. She dies offscreen.

In "Spock's Mission", we are introduced to Tanya Minos (or T'Aniyeh), a Greek telepath who was raised on Vulcan. Spock knows her of old and has long wanted to be her husband, but she believes herself to be too emotionally unstable. She has periodic bouts of depression and is willing to risk suicide in "Secret of Groskin". Finally she accepts his offer, only to die a few episodes later. Apparently Lichtenberg was going to introduce a fourth wife for Spock who would be his best complement, but that was about the time Sondra Marshak came aboard, and plans for this woman's introduction were permanently shelved.

Many adventures await us before Kraith VI, and sometimes I wonder if we’ll ever get there. According to the original plan, VI was to be the story of Spock’s final selection of the mate with whom he would live happily 'ever after' and by whom he would have children. (With Sondra along for the ride, though, things may get a bit hairy there.) Kraith VII is a complex novel set entirely on Vulcan and pits Kirk and Spock against Romulan-instigated germ warfare. T'Pau dies in that story, and T'Uriamne and Spock clash in the final and ultimate confrontation. But that wasn’t enough for Sondra. She had to have repeated and infinitely complex battles fought between T'Uriamne and Spock before that ultimate, decisive clash."[19]

Kirk is described in "Challenge" by Eileen Roy, an alternative universe Kraith story, as having been involved with a "Denebian pleasure flower" who had two children by him. Later when she found better work she sent the kids to live with Kirk on Vulcan and they become his responsibility. In a mainstream Kraith novella, Spock's Pilgrimage, where Kirk visits an alternative timeline, he is somewhat attracted to T'Uriamne, who is warmer and less bigoted there. In that and other stories co-written by Marshak, Sarek speaks several times of the necessity for Kirk, as his adopted son, to be bonded to and marry a Vulcan woman. [note 21]

Joyce Yasner's "Equity" introduces Saida Bh'mar, Samijahr Malhotra, and T'Eris Purjda gat-Malhotra, and describes their relationships to one another with a brief glimpse of Vulcan everyday life.

Slash, or Lack Thereof

There is no homosexuality depicted or mentioned in Kraith. Vulcan is described as extremely underpopulated. Vulcans don't use contraception or abortion for this reason. It can be assumed that if there are Vulcans who are gay, they will marry (or be required to marry) opposite-sex partners so they can have children.

Some K/S fans privately wondered if the universe had a pre-slash element. They felt that the stories were written by fans who didn't believe K/S was in character (or the fanwriters were not allowed to suggest it), but were trying to scratch the same itch.

They also pointed to the fact that Kraith writers took great pains to create complex and well-rounded female characters to be Spock's wives (T'Rruel and T'Aniyeh (Tanya)), only to realize that they just weren't right and had to be killed off. In the Kraith universe, Spock's relationship with Kirk overshadowed any relationship he (or Kirk, for that matter) had with a woman.[20] This was especially true after Sondra Marshak came aboard for Spock's Pilgrimage in Kraith Collected 4 (her influence is clear in the preceding novella, Spock's Decision; by Lichtenberg's account she wrote large portions of the second half):

[Spock's Decision was] completed just two years ago and has yet to see print. During that time it has gathered a bit of moss---in the form of several flashback scenes added by Sondra Marshak. These are the first words of Kraith actually drafted by Sondra. And then I made additions to her additions.[21][note 22]

Lichtenberg had had significant plot reasons for the deaths of T'Rruel and T'Aniyeh, and had not killed them off merely because they "just weren't right". Each was wrong for him in her own way, as T'Pring had been in the series, and Lichtenberg intended from the beginning to depict a fourth wife.

Many fans wrote stories set in the Kraith universe, or using Kraith terminology, without attempting to submit them as part of the official Kraith canon. At least two of these stories, Frankie Jemison's "Kirk's Decision" and "Aftermath", published in Obsc'zine 1 in 1977, were K/S narratives.[note 23] A follwup review in Obsc'zine 2 detailed exactly why slash is inconsistent with the depictions of Kirk and Spock in the Kraith universe:

... it is fondly believed by many that one passionately loves or hates the KRAITH universe and that there is little or no neutral ground. I disagree. The KRAITH universe is whole and complete in itself. Given Lichtenberg's stories, it is possible to extrapolate the solution to a given number of situations. This makes the KRAITH universe very strong. ... I believe that there is a tendency to use the terms of this universe in stories which do not fit the KRAITH universe, and I find the process distressing. "Aftermath" is a good example of this use of KRAITH terms in a non-KRAITH universe. "Aftermath" sees Spock in love with Kirk, desiring him sexually. Spock ends up admitting this to Kirk and obtaining (or so is the implication of the ending) his desire. But in the KRAITH universe, Spock could never come to such a state. He has affirmed the continuity and represents his family on the high council (instead of T'Uriamne). As the series progressed, Spock became more and more Vulcan and certainly more respected and revered there. It is illogical that in such a universe Spock could come to view Kirk as an object of sexual desire. It is also difficult to perceive of the KRAITH Kirk involved in such a situation. I am not trying to attack a Kirk/Spock sexual relationship in general. It is just that when an author uses terms from a particular 'alternate universe', that author ought, in my opinion, be limited by the boundaries of the universe that the terms imply. I don't believe that a homosexual relationship for Spock and Kirk is legitimate in the KRAITH universe, and I therefore object to certain aspects of "Aftermath" ...[22]

Kraith and Its Relationship to Canon Star Trek

From Bill Hupe's catalog: "The definite classic Trek zine series... winner of the first Surak Memory Alpha Award. Kraith is a series of stories and articles exploring Vulcan culture and its interaction with the Human-dominated United Federation of Planets. This series extrapolates from the 'givens' in the original Star Trek series to create a truly alien Vulcan, the discovery of the depth of differences between Vulcan and the Federation, and the cultural dynamics of the interface provide the background. Point of interest: points of contention with Kraith fans about this series: a Vulcan cessionist movement, an ancient Vulcan psychic technology, Sarek having a son with a Vulcan princess, and the symbolic destruction of the Enterprise have now all been established via the classic movie series and the TNG episodes through Gambit 2."[note 24]

This is no coincidence. In the 2010 N3F interview, Lichtenberg stated that many years after her initial contact with Roddenberry, pertaining to Star Trek Lives (this had to have been in 1973 or 1974), she was told that "there were copies of Kraith in Roddenberry's offices while they were working on the early movies, and he was asking people to read them."[note 25] She claimed that elements of the films which are similar to events in Kraith stories were not copied, but were things "any trained writer" would realize were inevitable. Among these were that the Enterprise had to be destroyed, Spock had to die and be reborn -- "undergo a mystical death experience to remain valid" -- and that he had to have a sibling.[11][note 26]

Many early fan writings had postulated siblings or half-siblings for Spock despite Dorothy Fontana's insistence that he had none. In Kraith, Sarek's first wife was a Vulcan woman, T'Yuzeti, who is never described nor appears in any of the stories. Their daughter, T'Uriamne, was not a rebel but a traditionalist. She led a secessionist movement to pull Vulcan out of the Federation and cease all contact with alien races, believing this was the only way to preserve Vulcan culture.[note 27] In the two-parter Spock's Argument, Spock returned to Vulcan with his fiancee Tanya Minos (T'Aniyeh) to oppose her proposals. A formal session of Vulcan's Guardian Council takes place and is described in minute detail.

The Enterprise was established as having been destroyed (literally unraveled) and replaced early in the series. Anna Mary Hall's A Matter of Priority tells the story of that tragedy.

There is no Kraith story in which Spock dies and is resurrected.

Lichtenberg on Concrit: "The Negative Value of Positive Input"

In 1993, Lichtenberg addressed fans in Information for Would-be S/G Writers regarding another one of her created universes. While her advice was for Sime~Gen fans in particular, it displays her views on constructive criticism for fan writers, the "payment" for zines, thin and thick skins, egos, "real writers," and her views on the purposes of amateur fiction.

The Negative Value of Positive Input.

To a serious writer, even one who hasn't sold yet and may choose to never attempt to sell, positive input has no value whatsoever and is a waste of time to read. It's the seemingly insightful fingering of the flaws that the real writer is starving for. And that's what I (and all the editors and agents I know, as well as most of the writers I know) dish out.

Therefore, a lot of my criticism is couched in acid-tipped language. If there's nothing complimentary to say, I use scathing rebukes and searing putdowns to make my points.

I have a reason for this and it's not cold, uncaring cruelty. It's the cauldron in which professionals are tempered. It is how I was taught, and the very pain is really the only teacher. No pain, no gain. It's true. Writing is about pain, human pain, emotional and physical pain, because without the pain there can be no pleasure. No one who is afraid to hear the truth about their product will ever make a good writer.

AZ and the other zines do not "nurture" any writers. Writers are not made by nurturing. They are made by truth, craftsmanship and discipline. They are made by honesty, not by "positive input." Anyone who can be discouraged from this craft should be discouraged. Writing is something you do because you can't not do it. It's not something to do for glory. Tender egos should not be nurtured because if they do get so full of "positive input" that they think they can write, they'll be doubly devastated by the first truth that comes from a professional editor. Positive input only makes that moment of truth unutterably destructive.

After you've gone a few rounds with me, and you begin to see a positive comment on your mss, however small, fleeting or irrelevant, you know it's the truth and not any kind of salve for your ego. You know you did it!

When I was writing Kraith, twenty years ago, I had letters in every zine that carried my stories begging and begging for negative input—I had tons of letters of positive input that did me no good whatsoever. The oniy letters of any value were those pointing out where my stories failed, not where they succeeded. Stories succeed for different reasons, but they fail for the same reasons: plot, conflict, thematic disunity, etcetera.

I have no trouble getting along with people who are wholly and totally incompatible with me, and I welcome with open arms S/G stories that are incompatible with my own biases and themes. I've worked with many ST and S/G writers who are now better than I will ever be, many of whom will never, ever submit anything for professional sale. I have no problem with that.

But I am a professional and the S/G zines are amateur publications. The only way we can pay contributors for their work is with access to professional level criticism, plus publication in a zine that has become known for its rigorously high standards. AZ is an expensive addiction for our readers and so we try to deliver a product that meets their highest expectations. Many of the stories we've published actually exceed the minimum standards necessary for professional publication—and that's why we are now beginning to see so many of us breaking into professional print. And I expect more to come.

I often circulate mss submitted to me among several other S/G writers for their comments, so don't be surprised if your ms returns to you via people you don't yet know.

No beginning writer can learn anything of substance from a non-writer. Most other beginning writers have little input of value. But the more criticism a beginner has taken, the better their output comments on other mss. I have beginners comment on other beginners for their own benefit—to make them articulate the lessons I've been harping on— not for the benefit of the one receiving the commentary. I tag mss to be circulated to particular writers for reasons having to do with the particular writing lessons each of the pair is wrestling with, I tag mss for exchange because of their subject matter, theme, or technical flaws. I wouldn't waste a serious student's time on irrelevant nonsense that isn't pertinent to what they are currently learning. I match up people who have something valuable to exchange.

So if you're willing to participate in this admittedly difficult and challenging experience, we're willing to have a go at your ms. Maybe, just maybe, you'll live to see your own words in print!

This attitude echoes and was in part shaped by Lichtenberg's apprenticeship with Marion Zimmer Bradley. See also Marion Zimmer Bradley as a Mentor to Other Fan Writers, Dianne Sylvan's Vampires Saved My Soul...after Marion Zimmer Bradley tried to kill it (WebCite), and Lichtenberg's Marion Zimmer Bradley's Influence on the Sime~Gen Universe.

Kraith Backlash

Also see: May You Live Long and Prosper: Kraith Open Letter by Jacqueline Lichtenberg.

Too Influential, Not Fannish

Some fans felt that Kraith had become too powerful, too influential, and that it was not fannish for its creator to appear at conventions alongside the "official" creators of canon. Joel Davis, in a guest editorial in Odyssey #3 (January 1979), writes about his feeling that it was wrong for fan writers, no matter the quality of their work, to be treated at these conventions as "pro fans", as Star Trek creators equal to Roddenberry, Shatner, Nimoy, Gerrold et al:

I put the major blame here on the cons [conventions]. These are mainly pro cons [professionally organized conventions] that do this and I don't expect them to know any better.
But a portion of the blame can also be laid at the feet of [these "pro fans"]. They should know better. They should know that they never sold a story outline or a teleplay to Star Trek, yet they allow themselves to be advertised as Star Trek pros. This is false advertising.... And still another portion of the blame can be laid at the feet of fandom as a whole. There is a terrible inertia building up and it's continuing and increasing every day. It allows this sort of thing to happen and even flourish. Yet why is it that nobody has ever said anything about it? Noninvolvement? Or just a wish that "they made it and I can too and I want my piece of the pie when I get there"? Is that it? I don't know.[23]

Others felt there was a double-standard within Kraith: it had become so popular, it was being treated as fanon, if not canon, and was inching closer to becoming a product of TPTB [24] that it had become something that fans didn't need Lichtenberg's permission to use.

Fan Fervor

Other fans were alarmed at the fervor of Kraith fans. Deb Walsh remembers her first con, August Party: "... it's a little scary, because people are really serious about this stuff! At our dealer's table, I'm sitting right next to a very nice lady who gets pretty weird when she starts talking about being "inducted into Kraith." I know nothing about this, and I'm starting to edge toward the exit." [25]

Spock as a Superhero

Some fans complained that in Kraith, Spock had become a sort of superhero. A "lucid essay" responding to this topic was included in Kraith Collected #6, a single page with two small drawings.

Fandom Rigidity and Control

Some fans also bristled at the controls Kraith's creators insisted upon, citing the rigidity and time vetting fiction through the Kraith Round Robin. They disliked what they felt to be an overly controlling, micro-management of the concept, feeling that it stifled creativity and wasn't fannish. "I am vaguely upset by the assumption that when one person has put all that effort into a Star-Trek oriented civilization, that person then owns it. I have no quarrel with the gals and guys who create their OWN universes. What bugs me is when someone takes over a portion of the ST universe, stakes a claim on it, and says in effect: 'This is the way it is, forever, do not try to contradict me.'... Are Jackie Lichtenberg's the only Vulcans?" [27]


May I ask if you're a Kraith fan? I've gathered as much from reading the series in Berengaria and Christine's Decision. I find the series objectionable -- after reading "Christine's Decision", I boiled over. Why doesn't Jacqueline Lichtenberg and cronies just admit that Kraith is racist literature? I'm referring to the put down of humanity which is so prevalent in Krath.

Poor Chris -- I can see no reason why she should be such a horrendous match for Spock. She's gut intelligence, guts, and can view herself objectively. But why does she get left out? Only because she doesn't pretend to be Vulcan -- take Tanya who was the most neurotic, mental dingbat I've seen in fan literature. But Tanya was acceptable, only because she pretended she was Vulcan. As a result, her subconscious subjected her to crying jags and outbursts from repressed feelings. She was unstable and totally irritating -- but that was an acceptable mate?!!?

Why don't Kraithers admit that they're pushing Vulcan supremacy at the cost of everything else, Earth, especially? Amanda -- I gave her credit for more insight and understanding, but all she did was nod, nod, "Yes, Sarek. Yes, Sarek. Chris is a real dildo, Sarek." [28]

Sex and Violence

The editors of Kraith Collected explained some their views on sex, violence, and Star Trek Lives!:

We read, and enjoy, nearly every fan publication in every media fandom that we find. But we are increasingly disturbed by the trends that we see running across all fandoms. Kraith is an oddity these days. You hold in your hands a fanzine that has neither descriptive sex nor wanton violence, nor even a blatant 'hurt/comfort' story to thrill the heart. Not that we have anything against sex, violence, or hurt/comfort stories; it just seems that few stories are being written these days that don't fall into these categories. Personal and emotional growth is not necessarily best accomplished to the accompanyment [sic] of tears, screams, groans, blood and orgasm. We think that's because it is much easier to write blood and sex than it is to write characterization and plot, that so many people try to substitute one for the other. Blood only comes in so many places and consistencies. Sex can only be done in so many places and ways. The search for more and different sensation is the road to decadence and, considering that STrek fiction as a whole has only been around for 15 years, we're a little young for that. We can't possibly have exhausted all the plots and permutations that don't call for sex and/or violence. The subtle shades of meaning, the various levels of maturity that can exist within a person, the evolving steps and plateaus of multiple friendships cannot be conveyed by the Magic Christian school of writing ("He/she blanked his/her blank". The movie called it participatory pornography). If half the energy and inventiveness that went into thinking up new and different tortures or different convoluted ways that Kirk and Spock can do it with each other or the rest of the crew went into other channels of plot devices, there might be more stories out there that are worth buying. Now all stories that don't contain sex and/or violence are not necessarily good ones. We hope we never go down on record as thinking that. But a little variety in the types of stories that are written would be an awful welcome relief to these particular individuals. The thing we disliked most about the book Star Trek Lives! was the harping on the theme of sexual and violent stories in the section that described fan fiction. Maybe the fans who found us through that book think that that is the way it has to be done. We hope not. There were good stories then that didn't depend on sensationalism, and there are good stories now. [29]

Sociological Exploration in Kraith

Lichtenberg stated that one of her goals in writing Kraith was to point out problems in aired-Trek concerning the assumption that the Federation (i.e., the United States) and its values were "better", and that Kirk (i.e., a white, American male) was going around "correcting" societies that didn't meet with his and the Federation's personal values. She went into this in some depth in a scene from the Kraith novel Federation Centennial, in which a conference takes place with the aim of improving Federation attitudes, diversity and inclusion of non-human member species. Kirk is asked a number of increasingly discomfiting questions about his Prime Directive violations by an Andorian ambassador; Spock follows up with the observation that the Federation, like 20th century America, tends to "sell its values with its merchandise". The novel further explores the need for accommodations for Federation member races who are not from Class M, earth-like planets.

In the story following the novel, Spock's Argument, the Vulcan governing council has conducted an investigation into the theft and recovery of a kraith chalice being transported on a Federation ship, and determined it had received inadequate security. It had been treated merely as a priceless antique, with no concern for its importance to the preservation and continuance of Vulcan culture. Without a kraith, the Affirmation can't happen, and (at least) 57 Vulcans would be expelled from society. In addition, a kraith has psionic properties which allowed it in the proper hands to be converted into a deadly weapon. So important was this incident that the investigative board recommended that Vulcan secede from the Federation immediately. Spock trained his then-fiancee Tanya Minos, a human who had studied on Vulcan, to present an argument against the proposition using tokiel, an ancient art form of sophisticated dance-language combined with holographic technology.

Many fans may have been unprepared for these assertions. Lichtenberg said she believed at the time that only a handful of people would ever be able to fully understand her ideas.[30] However, the editorial in Spockanalia 3, published in 1968, had voiced nearly identical concerns about the series, and in 1973, gay Jewish Star Trek creator David Gerrold in his book The World of Star Trek had already explicitly and at some length delineated the problems with having the Enterprise being the galaxy's policeman, bringing " truth, justice and the American Way" to alien worlds.

Lichtenberg herself acknowledged that fan concern about Terran domination of Starfleet went years back.

Jennifer [Bankier, writing in T-Negative 24 (September 1974)]'s statement, "One cannot help suspecting that Jacqueline Lichtenberg's apparent assumption that humans dominate Star Fleet, if not the Federation as a whole, is correct" also needs a bit of qualification. This assumption is made in Kraith, but it predates Kraiths appearance on the Star Trek fan scene by a very long time and was not original with me. Kraiths assumption that this is the case is in response to other fan writing indicating they thought it to be true. It is true that while we have aired evidence to support this assumption, there is no concrete evidence contradicting that assumption. However, given the benefit of the doubt, Kraith assumes that the "human domination" is quite unconscious, unintentional and unmalicious. Humanity is pictured more like an exuberant bull in a china closet than as a malevolent devil out to homogenize the universe. A little education and maturity is all that's needed to right the current wrongs. Nobody but a human can appreciate just how tall an order that is, though.[7]

A Personal Statement in 1977

Jacqueline Lichtenberg issued a personal statement in 1977 that addressed the lack of progress in further Kraith fiction:

At cons, people are always asking if I'm going to finish Kraith. Since I've become so wrapped up in writing Sime novels, for money, people assume I've abandoned Kraith. This is not so. Right now, Kraith is thriving more vigorously than it as in years. It is true that I have not written Kraith VI -- the next major story in the series. This is the reason: After Ruth Berman rejected 'Kraith V - Spock's Decision' for TNeg, it was taken by a zine which folded before it could be published -- that took a couple of years. Finally it was published in Berengaria and then in Kraith Collected. In the meantime, I had stopped writing Main Kraith because there was no sense going on until the intermediate stories had been written and published. (you all know how hard Kraith is to understand as it is, without making it worse.) I was willing to give the Kraith fans time to digest what I had done and write their own stories into the series. I have had two groups attempt to 'finish' the series, and neither has produced copy they want published as Kraith. (I'm still will to let somebody try.) Right now, I don't have much time or energy for Kraith other than supervising the Kraith Robins. But as a policy statement, I want to say that Kraith will be finished. I will write Kraith VI, VII and VIII if nobody else does. At this point, it appears nobody else will. But I must warn you, there will be a distinctive difference in the style of future Kraith that I write. I have been working with Sondra Marshak, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Jean Lorrah... all of this and more will go into Kraith VI when I write it, and there's no telling if that will be good or bad. The structure of Kraith may not stand the strain! [31]

"A Call for Papers" in 1980

From the editorial of Kraith Collected #6 in 1980:

At this time, we feel that we should put out a general "Call for Papers". Jacqueline Lichtenberg, knowing how patiently her fans have been waiting for the rest of Kraith, cleared two full weeks of her schedule this past summer. She planned to write the detailed outlines for the last Kraith stories. Those two free weeks never materialized. Her publisher sent her two galleys to be corrected, so that the books could go to press. Since professional commitments must come before fanish activities, she used up those two weeks. And she hasn't had any free time since. If there is to be any more "Kraith Collected", then it must come from you fans.

Some Examples of "Non-Official" Kraith Stories

  • The zine series Variations on a Theme takes up after "Spock's Pilgrimage" and follows the adventures of Commodore Spock from the alternative universe.
  • Deborah Laymon's 2010 fanfic fragment, Justice and Mercy, drawing on the facts presented at the assembly in Federation Centennial, depicts a Terran attorney who seeks to file a civil action against Starfleet in the name of a Vulcan friend and co-worker.

Satires, Parodies, and Responsefic

Eel-Bird Banders' Bulletin #1, art by Gordon Carleton for "For Your Affirmation..."

The Kraith Universe has inspired many fans to take on Kraith in their own ways, both with responsefic and in various parodies and satires.

  • "The Affirmation", "The Betrothal", "The Marriage" and "Confrontation" by Sheryl Roberts in Kraith Collected 5. Combining a satirical view of Kraith with typical clichés and situations from various types of Star Trek fan fiction, romance novels and a bit of Darkover thrown in, these stories were actually taken seriously by some early reviewers and derided as Mary Sues.
from "Spock's Inflammation"; art by Gordon Carleton
  • "For Your Affirmation..." by Joyce Yasner is a satire which compares a Kraith Affirmation to a Star Trek convention. "Are there any human endeavors that even remotely resemble Affirmations? Of course there are. Every year for the past several years thousands of Star Trek fans have gathered regularly to affirm their commitment to Star Trek. These events are called Star Trek conventions." She goes into considerable detail to compare Affirmations to conventions in terms of logistics; how will participants get there, how will the accommodations be arranged, how long can they expect to be there, etc.[32]
  • Spock's Inflammation" by Margaret Draper (a Klingon agent, disguised as the Herrisan ambassador, gets stuck to Spock's butt) [33]
  • The zine, The Holy Quail, had "the main purpose of which was to publish a horrid little poem I'd written and to get in a few swipes at the Kraith people." [34]
  • Crate Collection, by Guinn Berger (topic is fan stories and Spock's propensity to marry a woman and then become a widower, satire with a focus of Kraith), printed in WXYZine #1 (March 1978)
  • Difference, the first story in the Delphian Chronicles, a series of works by Theresa Holmes that were later reworked as original fiction.


Reactions and Reviews

Unknown Date

Oh, my, where to begin... I do not care for the Kraith universe, myself - it strikes me as the same weird and unappealing vision of Spock that was in the early "professional" Star Trek novels from Phoenix. Spock is both mean and arrogant, and apparently in true command of the ship. The Vulcan culture is highly ritualized and gaudy, and not particularly admirable. Van Hise strikes perhaps a more balanced note: "... one of the most well known alternate universe Trek fiction series. It involves a universe in which Spock becomes Kirk's liege and Kirk is bound to follow Spock's instructions and orders to the letter. The series is controversial and highly detailed." [35]


Being asked to review Kraith Collected is like being asked to describe "The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe" -- it is what the title implies. This is the first in an intended series of collections of Jacqueline Lichtenberg's patchwork Vulcan epic (with additional entries by Ruth Berman, Doris Beetem, Anna Mary Hall, and Pat Zotti; artwork by Roberta Brown and Therri Moore). The Kraith, for those of you who just tuned in, is the Vulcan Holy Grail; it is recovered before the series even begins, and returned to Vulcan (for ceremonial destruction) early on in the game, but the attendant tangle of philosophies forms the framework for the subsequent stories. (Those of you who prefer straightforward and-then-Kirk-shoots-the-monster Treks will not care for Kraith). I enjoyed my first couple of exposures to the series, but Ms. Lichtenberg now admits (in the preface) that she was giving it to us slow and easy at first, hoping to addict everyone before they realized how complicated things were getting. I'm afraid I started to slip along with the third installment, but there are plenty of fans upon whom this devious strategy did work. The main complaint, I think, against the Kraith stories (and they are, if anything, controversial) is that they portray such an alien Spock. (This obviously is not going to sit well with the under-that-facade-he's-sickeningly-human school of Spockfen.) Although 'alienness' should be no indictment of any portrayal of a character with (after all) pointed ears and green blood, it does seem to me to be a valid complaint that the Lichtenberg Spock lacks the compassion (or perhaps I should say the relatively obvious compassion) of Leonard Nimoy's portrayal. He is completely bound up in Tradition. He is, then, a different Spock, although perhaps an equally valid one. All this discussion is beside the point, however, since the protagonist of the Kraith series is neither Spock nor the Kraith, but rather Vulcan: the Vulcan people, their folkways, mores, traditions, philosophies and art forms. [36]


... I seem to be finding myself on the fringes of several heated arguments about the Kraith series. There appear to be a number of vehemently anti-Kraith fans and rabidly Kraith-is-truth fans, and that these people find themselves so emotionally-charged by the controversial stories is a source of both worry and amusement to me: Worry, because there some hard feelings floating around, and amusement, because the argument is so RIDICULOUS, either direction. how can fans take Kraith so seriously? Kraith is just ONE interpretation/extrapolation of ST and Vulcans. It is successful because it is proficiently written, lush in plotting and settings, and eminently entertaining, but by no means is it without flaws, nor is it the last word on Vulcans or Vulcan society. The people who point out its flaws, and the people who defend it, are neither 'right' or 'wrong'; they have different viewpoints that fit their individually unique fantasies. Criticisms should be taken in the spirit of (hopefully) improving the writing, but those same criticisms should be delivered with some respect for other people's fantasies. Given the time, energy, talent and imagination, any of Kraith's critics ought to be able to provide an equally entertaining and valid ST universe of their own, and I very much would enjoy buying and reading them. But, since we live in a far-from-ideal world, I don't imagine the feuding is going to stop. I just hope no one expects me to spend so much time listening. [37]

KRAITH could be subtitled "Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Jacqueline Lichtenberg's Ideas of Vulcan, and We're Afraid to Ask!" KRAITH is a series of stories about Spock and Vulcan. In these stories the Vulcan we saw on ST is lost in tangle of ritual and haunted by mysticism. If Roddenberry and Co tried to use KRAITH Vulcan, they would strangle on the mass of detail in it.

KRAITH subscribes to the idea that Spock is the be-all-and-end-all of ST and Vulcan is the hub of the Federation. One wonders how the KRAITH Kirk ever got through Star Fleet Academy without Spock to lead him around by the hand and wipe Jimmy's runny little nose. Scenes are staged so that any character who isn't a member of the in-group (Vulcan) or unless they happen to be agreeing with Spock.

Why am I mentioning KRAITH? Two reasons. First, it's extremely well-written. Second, KRAITH stories are virtually unavoidable; they turn up in some of the unlikely zines.

Some people agree with KRAITH; some disagree -- usually violently. KRAITH is a very influential part of ST fandom.

If you want to try KRAITH and don't want to jump right in with the Collected Volumes, try "Spock's Affirmation", the beginning of the series, in T-NEGATIVE #8. Also, in ERIDANI TRIAD #3, there is a an uncollected story called "Bonding," Lichtenberg's description of how Spock and T'Pring might have been bonded for marriage. [38]


If T-Negative is ST's longest-running zine, Kraith is the longest story. It has gone on now for around half a million words and has close to 20 different authors. It is an alternate universe ST, not like Roddenberry's view, and resembles a soap opera at times. Parts of Kraith are among ST's best fiction — "McCoy's Vision" and "Spock's Pilgrimage" in particular. Each volume around 65 pages, very small print, offset. [39]


Kraith is excellent SF, but no way is it ST. It falls flat on Its face as ST because of one thing; if Spock is as important to Vulcan as Kraith implies, no way is he ever going to be allowed to leave the planet and risk his life in any profession as dangerous as Starfleet. [40]


Kraith is eminently incomprehensible. (At one point they put out a small booklet, Understanding Kraith which explained all the terms, etc. used in it. I can't say it helped much... For myself, I think that anything that can't be understood from context or a simple footnote ought to be avoided.)

I have always felt that Kraith was good SF but not S.T.; the characters have always seemed to me to be out of character and although I'm a Spock fan, I've never cared for the 'Kraith' Spock. And if Spock's family is as important to Vulcan as 'Kraith' makes out, no way is Sarek going to be allowed to marry a Human in the first place and absolutely no way is Spock going to be allowed to leave Vulcan and risk his valuable life in space. (Mark you, I've never entirely gone along with 'Vulcan Tradition' anyway; it seems to me that a logical race will abandon a custom once a logical reason for it no longer exists. Though it's a useful peg to hang a story on, and I make no apology for making use of "Vulcan Tradition" on occasion in my own stories - though never to the Tradition-ridden extent of the Kraith Vulcan.)

What I would like to know is how they can afford to put out zines the length of each volume at the prices they do? [41]


'Spock's Pilgrimage' is prefaced by a message which basically says; I can make it complicated but boy with Sondra Marshak's help I can make it incomprehensible.' Not strictly true as it happens. [42]


Thanks for sharing the article by Camille Bacon-Smith, "Spock Among the Women"; thoroughly enjoyed it. Being pro writers, it's understandable that Jean Lorrah & Jacqueline Lichtenberg comprise the majority of discussion — but I would like to have seen some of the other long-time fan favorites as well (Connie Faddis, for example). Personally, I find most of KRAITH excruciatingly boring; any story that requires research to understand and a glossary at hand loses me instantly. Not to say they aren't well written, they simply don't hold my interest. [43]


Ah, the good ol' Wulcan Soul Bowl series.... Wasn't there a parody/skit about this where the Kraith was played by a large hotel ashtray? :) [44]


The writing varies a lot, and many people hated it, but I liked a good deal of it, and it was going after a more SciFi approach in creating a believable Vulcan culture. It's monstrous of course, and I don't know if it's still available. [45]


Personally I think it is K/S wannabe. In other words, written by someone who doesn't believe K/S is in character, yet she was trying to scratch the same itch. [46]


I think the biggest problem with Kraith was that the writers in that universe took it all - all the ritual - so totally -seriously-. I mean, groups of - what was it, 50+ Vulcans gathering every 45.88 years to 'affirm the continuity' or the universe would crumble? And any Vulcan who, for whatever reason, failed to participate, was sort of expelled from Vulcan society, no matter who they were? 'Do not live long and prosper'.

I remember reading somewhere that JL described it as a series designed to get Spock a wife. Well, he lost three of 'em; a bit careless, that. [47]

I think part of the reason Kraith was virtually unreadable (aside from the sheer pomposity of the writing) was that there seems to be a some confusion as to what stories are in what order and there were too many authors. I went through my Kraith Collected series and found two different listings of the stories... Personally, I think they did rather well considering that they did this only with snail mail (no internet then). There are also a number of stories in all volumes that aren't listed because the creators decided they weren't part of the official series but published them anyhow. For instance, all of Volume V is considered 'Kraith A/U' so there are no stories from KCV indicated in the chronologies. [48]

Order of Stories

There are also a number of stories in all volumes of Kraith Collected that aren't listed below because the creators decided they weren't part of the official series but published them anyhow.

All of Volume V is considered 'Kraith A/U' so there are no stories from KCV indicated in the chronologies.




Chronology from KCV (published May 1977)

  • aI Stories coming before I IA Stories coming after a main series story
  • I Main series stories IA(1) stories coming after IA but before IB
  • AI Stories coming during a main series story
  • cI untitled, Joel Davis (?)
  • bI Sundered Duties, Frances Zawacky, L. Deneroff, J. Bielowicz KCVI
  • aI Immovable Object, Morgan Ives
  • I Spock's Affirmation, Jacqueline Lichtenberg KCI
  • AI untitled, Jan Snyder (?)
  • IA Shealku, Lichtenberg KCI
  • IB Zyeto, Lichtenberg KCI
  • IC Yehaena, Lichtenberg (unwritten)
  • ID A Matter of Priority, Anna Mary Hall KCI
  • IE The Lesson, Lichtenberg (outline only, KCM 1)
  • IF Ssarsun's Argument, Lichtenberg KCII
  • IG The Way Home, Hall KCI
  • IH T'Alyen -- A Christmas Story, Theresa Holmes
  • II Spock's Mission, Lichtenberg KCI
  • II(1) Learning Experience, Jean Sellar KCIII
  • IIA T'Zorel, Lichtenberg KCI
  • IIB The Disaffirmed, Ruth Berman KCI
  • IIC Operation Transplant, Lori Dell
  • IID Temporary Addition Duty, Beverly C. Zuk
  • IIE Initiative, Lictenberg KCIV
  • IIF Ni Var, Claire Gabriel (sold to Bantam Books for Star Trek: The New Voyages: "there is a Kraith version for which Jacqueline Lichtenberg wrote a scene, somewhat different from the Bantam version, yet they won't let us publish it."
  • IIF(1) Kirk Beams Down, Lichtenberg
  • IIG Diana, Pat Osborne (first Draft only)
  • BIII To Be a Part, Ellie Bach
  • AIII The Tanya Entry, Pat Zotti KCI
  • III Spock's Argument, Lichtenberg KCI
  • III(1) The Obligation/Through Time and Tears, J. Lichtenberg, J. Winston KCIII
  • IIIA Federation Centennial, Lichtenberg KCII
  • IIIA(1)unwritten but reserved, Lichtenberg
  • IIIB Secret of Groskin, Lichtenberg KCIII
  • IIIC Coup De Grace, Lichtenberg KCIII
  • IIIC(1)Coup De Partie, Lichtenberg KCIII
  • IIID Ju'nfreya, Carol Lynn and Deborah Goldstein
  • IIIE Operating Manual, Hall KCVI
  • IIIF The Galileo Affair, Sr. Leo Frances (may be renumbered IIIA(2) )
  • IIIG What Are Telepaths Made of, Morgan Ives
  • IIIH A House Divided, Frances Zawacky, Deneroff
  • IV Spock's Nemesis, Lichtenberg KCIII
  • IVA The Safrik File, Paula Smith
  • IVB The Selet File, Beverly Clark
  • AV Bones' Vision, Roy
  • V Spock's Decision, Lichtenberg KCIV
  • VA Christine's Decision, Sharon Emily
  • VA(1) One Fingered Symphony, Roy
  • VB reserved but unwritten, Eileen Roy
  • VC reserved but unwritten, Connie Faddis
  • VD Spock's Pilgrimage, J. Lichtenberg and S. Marshak KCIV
  • VE The Maze, Winston KCVI
  • VI An Ediface of Value, Lichtenberg
  • VII Spock's Challenge, Lichtenberg
  • VIIA T'Uriamne's Decision, Sondra Marshak
  • VIIB H'L'Vingrey, Lichtenberg
  • VIII Spock's Memory, Lichtenberg
  • The Satherik Affair, Theresa Holmes, lingerdeath series, unnumbered.[49][note 28]


Chronology from KCVI (published December 1980)

  • aI Stories coming before I IA Stories coming after a main series story
  • I Main series stories IA(1) stories coming after IA but before IB
  • AI Stories coming during a main series story
  • bI Sundered Duties, Frances Zawacky, L. Deneroff, J. Bielowicz KCVI
  • aI Three Steps Behind Him, Eileen Roy KCVI
  • I Spock's Affirmation, Jacqueline Lichtenberg KCI
  • AI
  • IA Shealku, Lichtenberg KCI
  • IB Zyeto, Lichtenberg KCI
  • IC Yehaena, Lichtenberg (unwritten)
  • ID A Matter of Priority, Anna Mary Hall KCI
  • IE The Lesson, Lichtenberg (outline only, KCM 1)
  • IF Ssarsun's Argument, Lichtenberg KCII
  • IG The Way Home, Hall KCI
  • II Spock's Mission, Lichtenberg KCI
  • II(a1) Sarek's Meditation, Jean Lorrah KCVI
  • II(1) Learning Experience, Jean Sellar KCIII
  • IIA T'Zorel, Lichtenberg KCI
  • IIB The Disaffirmed, Ruth Berman KCI
  • IIC Operation Transplant, Lori Dell
  • IID Temporary Addition Duty, Beverly C. Zuk
  • IIE Initiative, Lictenberg KCIV
  • IIF Ni Var, Claire Gabriel (sold to Bantam Books for Star Trek: The New Voyages): "there is a Kraith version for which Jacqueline Lichtenberg wrote a scene, somewhat different from the Bantam version, yet they won't let us publish it."
  • IIF(1)
  • BIII To Be a Part, Ellie Bach
  • AIII The Tanya Entry, Pat Zotti KCI
  • III Spock's Argument, Lichtenberg KCI
  • III(1) The Obligation/Through Time and Tears, J. Lichtenberg, J. Winston KCIII
  • IIIA Federation Centennial, Lichtenberg KCII
  • IIIA(1)Warder Liege, Lichtenberg KCIII
  • IIIB Secret of Broskin, Lichtenberg KCIII
  • IIIC Coup De Grace, Lichtenberg KCIII
  • IIIC(1)Coup De Partie, Lichtenberg KCIII
  • IIID Jh'nfreya, Carol Lynn and Deborah Goldstein
  • IIIE Operating Manual, Hall KCVI
  • IIIF
  • IIIG A House Divided, Frances Zawacky, Deneroff KCVI
  • IIIH With All The Wisdom I Can Summon, Richard Plazza (unwritten)
  • IV Spock's Nemesis, Lichtenberg KCIII
  • AV Bone's Vision, Roy KCVI
  • V Spock's Decision, Lichtenberg KCIV
  • VA Christine's Decision, Sharon Emily KCVI
  • VA(1) One Fingered Symphony, Roy KCVI
  • VB
  • VC Days of Future Past, Cynthia Levine KCVI
  • VD Spock's Pilgrimage, J. Lichtenberg and S. Marshak KCIV
  • VD(1)
  • VD(2) Kirk's Triumph, Deneroff, Lichtenberg, Frances Zawacky KCVI
  • VE The Maze, Winston
  • VI Spock's ___________
  • VII Spock's Challenge, Lichtenberg (unwritten)
  • VIII Spock's Memory, Lichtenberg (unwritten)

From Karen Halliday's Zine Index

From Halliday's Zinedex: Kraith originally appeared in the following zines (order is chronologically in the storyline, not by date of writing): [info from WXYZine #1]

  • Kraith I: Spock's Affirmation (Lichtenberg) T-Negative #8, August 1970. The events leading up to Spock's first Affirmation ceremony.
  • Kraith IA: Shealku (Lichtenberg) Impulse #4 A straight-ahead murder mystery which illustrates the unfairness of Starfleet rules about telepaths.
  • Kraith IB: Zyeto (Lichtenberg) Starbase Omega A short story where we see how Vulcan disputes are resolved.
  • Kraith IC: Yehaena (Lichtenberg) (listed as 'unwritten' on Lichtenberg's website)
  • Kraith ID: A Matter of Priority (Anna Mary Hall) An alien virus which infects bacteria dissolves the polymers that comprise a majority of the equipment, uniforms, and the Enterprise itself. The entire ship is literally unraveling, and because the problem is extremely contagious, Starfleet orders the Enterprise scrapped.
  • Kraith II: Spock's Mission (Lichtenberg) T-Negative 10, April 1971 Spock's father, missing and presumed dead, is located in Romulan space. Assisted by Lt. Tanya Minos, a human educated on Vulcan and serving as interpreter for the Medusan navigator Thilien, Kirk and Spock prepare to rescue Sarek.
  • Kraith IIA: T'Zoral (Lichtenberg) Impulse #3. A Starfleet cadet who is half Vulcan and a Daughter of Tradition has applied to renounce her Vulcan citizenship, planning to live as a human. Her attempts to behave as one, however, look like bad imitations, and because she is extremely beautiful, her courtesy to male crewmembers is seen as flirting. After an attempted date rape by Chekov (!), Spock talks her into reversing her decision.
  • Kraith IIB : The Disaffirmed (Ruth Berman) T-Negative 15, May 1972. A Vulcan scout who missed the Affirmation, realizing he will never be a true Vulcan again, prepares to lead a uniquely separate life and asks Uhura to be his wife.
  • Kraith IIC: untitled (possibly also called 'Operation Transplant') (Lori Dell)
  • Kraith III: Spock's Argument (Lichtenberg) T-Negative #12, October 1971 (says, June 1970). The theft of a Kraith chalice leads Vulcan's governing councils to propose that Vulcan secede from the Federation.
  • Kraith III: Spock's Argument Part 2 (Lichtenberg) T-Negative #13, December 1971. In this story we learn of the existence of T'Uriamne, Spock's half sister by Sarek's first wife, T'Yuzeti. Spock and Tanya, now bonded, plan to use an ancient Vulcan art form to illustrate their argument against secession.
  • Kraith AIII: The Tanya Entry (Pat Zotti & Lichtenberg) Voyage II (same timeframe as III). Logs kept by Tanya's roommate Amy Bedford about her conversations with Tanya and why she should/shouldn't marry Spock. Amy is a half-Lythian empath who in many ways foreshadows Troi. She was a character Zotti created for her own, non-Kraith stories. Here, she witnesses Tanya's struggles with identity and with her inability to accept "normal human mating habits" such as sexual assault. Tanya is also portrayed in Doris Beetem's "Won't You Walk A Little Faster?" as being repeatedly assaulted and harassed on prior assignments.
  • Kraith IIIA: Federation Centennial (Lichtenberg) Federation ambassadors, officials and other personnel meet on Babel to discuss changes to the Federation and Starfleet in respect of the many alien member cultures. Saboteurs stir up antagonism, Kirk and Spock go to work to solve a murder.
  • Kraith IIIB: Secret of Groskin (Lichtenberg) On a world where they are supposed to make First Contact, the landing party runs afoul of the rules and are mistaken for "animals", incapable of logical reasoning. Spock convinces them differently, aided by a Vulcan psionic artifact he has inherited.
  • Kraith IIIC: Coup de Grace (Lichtenberg) When a crewman is infected with kye-fi-par -- the Vulcan version of rabies -- on a specimen-gathering mission, Spock knows a mercy killing is the only logical recourse. Lichtenberg calls this "the single most embarrassing story I’ve entered into the Kraith chronology... I still consider that story a total failure. In some ways I wish I’d never written it; yet it does serve a purpose of sorts."
  • Kraith IIID: Coup de Partie (Ruth Berman) Berman's answer to "Coup de Grace". A Vulcan geologist exploring the same planet is badly injured. When his wife brings him to the Enterprise in their scout ship for medical assistance he turns out to have kye-fi-par. This time Dr. McCoy insists on looking for a cure. Lichtenberg's comments on both stories illustrate what she was trying to do with "Coup de Grace" in the first place.
  • Kraith IIID: Ju'nfreya (Carol Lynn & Deborah Goldstein) ?
  • Kraith IV, Pt. 1: Spock's Nemesis (Lichtenberg) T-Negative 16, July 1972 (says January 1971) On a planet of proto-Vulcans, the landing party encounters a dangerous psionic artifact which traps Lt. Minos.
  • Kraith IV, Pt. 2: Spock's Nemesis (Lichtenberg)T-Negative 17, August 1972
  • Kraith V: Spock's Decision Berengaria 2, January 1974; Voyages III (Lichtenberg-Marshak) The Enterprise investigates a dark star, which has unexpected effects.
  • Kraith V-A, V-B, V-C: Never written. They were supposed to detail the adventures of the Schillian Ssarsun after he makes Captain.
  • Kraith V-D: Spock's Pilgrimage (Marshak-Lichtenberg); Kirk's training as a telepath on Vulcan is underway, and we see part of his daily life. The Spock of an alternative universe -- a Commodore, whose Kirk has died -- attempts to kidnap "our" Kirk to replace him. The Pilgrimage of the title refers to "our" Spock's journey to an utsulan, an immense psionic structure that allows emotions to be donated as energy, to be recalled later. Spock uses this energy to rescue Kirk from Commodore Spock in the alternative universe.
  • Kraith V-D(2): Kirk's Triumph (Linda Deneroff, Jacqueline Lichtenberg & Fran Zawacky); The episode with the dark star, the death of T'Aniyeh and the journey to the alternative universe have exhausted Spock and rendered him psi-blind. Kirk continues with his telepathic training, attempting to overcome a terrible psychic imprint from the stolen kraith chalice back in Episode 1. The story is how he does it in order to save an injured Schillian child, the son of his tutor. He is now considered to have graduated and can return to his life on the Enterprise.
  • Kraith VI: Spock's Command (Lichtenberg) Never written.
  • Kraith VII: Spock's Challenge (Lichtenberg) Never written.
  • Kraith VIII: Spock's Memory (Lichtenberg) Never written.


  1. ^ The original T-Negative was neither skinny nor small. Reprint editions, however, were done in reduced type to economize on paper and printing costs.
  2. ^ Lichtenberg is referring to Camilla Bacon-Smith's article "Spock Among the Women", Nov 16, 1986. Kraith is described at length as an example of a "story tree". Jean Lorrah's Night of the Twin Moons and The Vulcan Academy Murders are also described.
  3. ^ Not really. Most Kraith was published in T-Negative, with a few stories appearing in Impulse, Grup and Pastaklan Vesla. Articles about Spock in the Kraith universe appeared in Spockanalia and Tricorder Readings, and later, Babel.
  4. ^ "Logic is Beautiful" was first proposed, not in those words, by Stephen Whitfield in The Making of Star Trek: "Vulcans long ago concluded that emotion was dangerous, set about to repress it and replace it with logic. Century after century, through practice and custom, they repressed emotion until they became almost incapable of it. Logic became breath, sensation, as uplifting and delightful as the emotion it replaced." The "is beautiful" came from pop slogans of the period, riffing off the Black is Beautiful movement.
  5. ^ It is difficult to ascertain exactly what Ms. Lichtenberg meant by her references to "gaining freedom", "obvious truth", "johnny one-notes" and "reality". Presumably, she is talking about fan writers who created stories that resembled episodes of the series, while she was writing longer stories and novellas that stood on their own and would not have worked as episodes. She may also be referring to the fact that she gave Vulcans, and Spock, much greater telepathic abilities than they displayed in the series. It is also possible that this is an oblique reference to slash, although this was supposed to have happened in 1970, years before the slash premise took over ST fandom. All Vulcans in Kraith are straight and there is no abortion or birth control, because Vulcan is underpopulated.
  6. ^ Perhaps she is a fan of John Ruskin.
  7. ^ Obviously she'd never been to a convention.
  8. ^ According to Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Marion Zimmer Bradley was one of the professional science fiction authors who was asked by Gene Roddenberry to write an episode, and she turned him down.
  9. ^ Gene Roddenberry was an atheist. He believed that humanity would grow out of the need for God and religion as we matured as a species. According to Brannon Braga, Roddenberry wanted the Star Trek universe to reflect this by denying all forms of religion and mysticism, which he saw as symptoms of a "defective brain". The advanced civilizations they visited had to be atheistic too; every time a religious society was depicted, it was cultlike and tyrannical. When Kirk in "Who Mourns for Adonais" says "Mankind has outgrown the need for gods", he adds "We find the One quite adequate" only because NBC's Standards and Practices office insisted that he say it.
  10. ^ See Lin Carter's Imaginary Worlds (Ballantine, 1973) for a brief diatribe on the need for depiction of some form of organized religion, temples, priests etc. in fantasy literature (as opposed to expressed belief and/or actual presence of deities), and finding them inexplicably lacking in J.R.R. Tolkien's oeuvre. The Silmarillion had not yet gone to press, and Carter may have changed his mind after reading it and the Westernesse material in the Books of Lost Tales, which were published before Carter's death in 1988.
  11. ^ She never says how or why the Klingons would have won; perhaps that was supposed to be in a future Kraith tale that never got written.
  12. ^ While The Starfleet Handbook was a fan publication, not professional, it was a resource for the show and it was published by Geoffrey Mandel, an artist who helped create Pocket Books's interstellar reference work Star Trek: Star Charts, worked as scenic artist on the Star Trek: Voyager and Enterprise series as well as the film Star Trek: Insurrection.
  13. ^ Kraith never gets specific about when Surak lived and wrote the Construct which revolutionized Vulcan civilization. In the Enterprise episode "Awakening", if you want to take that as canon, Surak lived in what would be Earth's 4th century A.D., about 900 years before the time of Star Trek TOS which is supposed to take place in the 23rd century. Various fan writings have Surak living anywhere from 1000 to 2000 years before.
  14. ^ According to Joan Verba, fan writer Joyce Yasner asserted a firm belief that this word was pronounced "katydid".
  15. ^ In Diane Duane's Spock's World, which has some influence from Kraith, the arranged marriages began as a way of breeding for "The Eye", the protective inner eyelid from the TOS episode "Operation: Annihilate". Some time later arranged marriages were also used to breed for certain telepathic traits.
  16. ^ One version of how this happened is told in the story Sundered Duties by by Jackie Bielowicz, Linda Deneroff and Fran Zawacky.
  17. ^ Which is, of course, exactly what happened.
  18. ^ Actually portrayed on the show in the episode "Obsession", written by Art Wallace. In "And the Children Shall Lead", written by Edward Lasko, Kirk reacts with severe anxiety to unseen energy disturbances in a cave on the planet.
  19. ^ Sondra Marshak also used this idea in her novel The Prometheus Design and Claire Gabriel has Kirk able to make brief telepathic contact with Spock in The Thousandth Man. Spock tells him later that telepathy can be a learned skill.
  20. ^ If that had been T'Rruel up on the tokiel platform in "Spock's Argument", she'd have been dancing for secession.
  21. ^ Marshak went into detail in Star Trek Lives! about her plans to explore the implications of Kirk marrying a Vulcan, flatly in terms of a dom/sub relationship: "A warder-liege with Spock is one thing. But what about one with a Vulcan woman? What if Vulcan women are as strong or nearly as strong as Vulcan men? (Wouldn't they have to be to survive the pon farr?) What if they are much stronger than Kirk? What happens when Kirk meets T'Uriamne, and finds himself totally in her power... legally?" She seems to have written a draft of this story, as she showed it to William Shatner during the interviews for Shatner: Where No Man... and bluntly asked him if it turned him on sexually.
  22. ^ An apology from Carol Lynn: "Both 'Spock's Decision' and 'Spock's Pilgrimage' should have come originally with both Jacqueline's and Sondra Marshak's names. Sondra, I'm sorry. I never meant to forget you. Volume Four was finished in a rush, as usual, because the typewriter was due back at IBM. [Kraith Collected editors used IBM Selectric typewriters to ensure high quality reproduction. These incredible machines cost upwards of $600 to $1000 (or about $5300 in today's money) and most individuals rented them from IBM.] Add we were simply not used to the idea that anyone but Jacqueline was writing Main Series Kraith. So the same mistake can't possibly happen again, we now write both the title and the author on the first page of every story we type."
  23. ^ The form "[character]'s [action]" in titles was typical of Kraith stories, and given that "Aftermath" was reviewed in terms of Kraith, it is logical to assume that "Kirk's Decision" was likewise meant to be set in the Kraith universe.
  24. ^ "Gambit", a two-part Star*Next episode, featured a group of privateers who raid archaeology sites. There is a Vulcan woman, Tallera, among them, and one of their goals is to find a particular Vulcan artifact. Tallera tells Picard of a "small but growing movement of extreme isolationists on Vulcan. A group that believes contact with alien races has polluted our culture and is destroying Vulcan purity. This group advocates the total isolation of Vulcan from the rest of the galaxy and the eradication of all alien influences from our planet... There was even a time when we used our telepathic abilities as a weapon. A time when we learned to kill with a thought." She is referring to the Stone of Gol, saying "it is a psionic resonator, a device which focuses and amplifies telepathic energy." This is straight out of Kraith and the psionic devices used by the pre-logic "Top of World" Vulcan government.
  25. ^ In a letter published in issue 3 of Spockanalia, Roddenberry specifically named Spockanalia as "required reading" in the Star Trek offices. There's no written confirmation he did this with other fanzines and we don't know who told Lichtenberg this, but it's very likely.
  26. ^ If this is true, the "trained writer" was more likely to have been Harve Bennett than Roddenberry. Roddenberry hated the destruction of the Enterprise in The Search for Spock and called it a "foolish piece of waste": "I don't know what they gained by losing the Enterprise, other than a moment in a film. The Enterprise was really one of our continuing characters." (Reported by Joel Engel, quoting Susan Sackett's unpublished Star Trek: The First 25 Years, in Gene Roddenberry: The Man & the Myth Behind Star Trek (Hyperion, 1994).
  27. ^ T'Uriamne and her coldly rational secessionist movement, conducted entirely within Vulcan law, could not have been more different from Sybok's raucously emotional pirate-escapade. A very similar secessionist movement is the basis of the main plotline in Diane Duane's Spock's World (1989), again led by someone with close ties to Spock and strong personal reasons for pulling Vulcan out of the Federation.
  28. ^ The "linger death" is how a Vulcan in pon farr dies if he can't get home or can't relieve the condition through combat or marriage. It is "a slow and painful death. Kraith suggests that this is the reason the normally life-loving Vulcans allow the duel to the death at the ceremony of Koon-ut Kali-fee. "It is better to die quickly in battle, through loss of the challenge, than to suffer the agonies of the Linger Death." Deborah Laymon's 2010 Kraith fragment Justice and Mercy describes a Vulcan suffering the linger death.


  1. ^ Email from Jean Lorrah to Carol Pruitt, dated 8 April 2021
  2. ^ Who Created Kraith at
  3. ^ "Mr. Spock on Logic" appeared in Spockanalia 4, April 1969, online copy at
  4. ^ StarTrekFans.Net from a chat with Jacqueline Lichtenberg, 8 March 2003, accessed 9 May 2012
  5. ^ Author's Preface to Kraith Collected Vol. 1.
  6. ^ The Kraith Premise, author unknown (possibly Jean Lorrah).
  7. ^ a b Jacqueline Lichtenberg, from a letter in T-Negative [25, December 1974].
  8. ^ from Darkover Newsletter #12
  9. ^ from the foreword of The Keeper's Price (Daw, 1980)
  10. ^ Darkover Newsletter
  11. ^ a b Jacqueline Lichtenberg, interviewed in The National Fantasy Fan, vol. 10, no. 2, June 2010.
  12. ^ Intimate Adventure Defined at
  13. ^ from Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Ruth Berman
  14. ^ Kraith Creator's Manual (accessed 21 Aug 2009)
  15. ^ a b Sheila Clark, "Fanzines 1966-1991", in IDIC #20, p. 65, entire zine online.
  16. ^ Possibly Linda Deneroff.
  17. ^ Daniela Kendall, "Inside Kraith". In Probe #11, 1977.
  18. ^ Judith Z. Segal, Understanding Kraith. Entire text online at
  19. ^ Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Preface to "Spock's Pilgrimage", Kraith Collected 4. Kraith VII was never published, and likely never written beyond the outlines.
  20. ^ Morgan Dawn's personal notes from conversations with K/S fans in the late 1990s.
  21. ^ Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Author's preface to Spock's Decision in Kraith Collected 4.
  22. ^ from a LoC in Obsc'zine #2
  23. ^ Joel Davis, "The Things to Be". Essay in Odyssey 3, January 1979. Judging by the date, this is as much or more about Kraith contributor/creator Sondra Marshak and her writing partner Myrna Culbreath than it is about Lichtenberg.
  24. ^ See Lichtenberg's reference above to Roddenberry using Kraith as a source as the films were created.
  25. ^ My Life in Fandom
  26. ^ No relation to Demi Hamm's "Super Vulcan" parody in Menagerie 3.
  27. ^ from The Halkan Council #25
  28. ^ from a letter of comment by Becca O [Becca Oroukin] in Berengaria #5, August 1975.
  29. ^ from Kraith Collected #6 (1980)
  30. ^ "The concepts are radical and very strange. Not one in five hundred would be able to accept them." Author's Preface to Kraith Collected Vol. 1.
  31. ^ from Scuttlebutt #2
  32. ^ from Eel-Bird Banders' Bulletin #1
  33. ^ a story in Menagerie #12 and Deep Grope
  34. ^ from the editorial of Eel-Bird Banders' Bulletin #1
  35. ^ from Halliday's Zinedex
  36. ^ from T-Negative #20 (May 1973), a review of the first issue of Kraith Collected
  37. ^ from a well-known writer/artist/zine publisher in The Halkan Council #8 (August 1975)
  38. ^ from Karen Fleming in Sol Plus #1
  39. ^ from Gerry Downes in Stardate Unknown #1
  40. ^ from the LoC section of Enterprise Incidents #7 (1979)
  41. ^ from Communicator #8
  42. ^ Review in Communicator 15, January 1984.
  43. ^ from Vel Jaeger in K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #24
  44. ^ comment on Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (July 16, 1993)
  45. ^ comments by Gayle F at Virgule-L, quoted with permission (July 17, 1994)
  46. ^ from a fan on a K/S mailing list, quoted anonymously (March 6, 1999)
  47. ^ from a fan on a K/S mailing list, quoted anonymously (March 7, 2000)
  48. ^ from a fan on a K/S mailing list, quoted anonymously (March 7, 2000)
  49. ^ Kraith Chronology at simegen.
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