Legacy Interview with Natasha Solten
|Interviews by Fans|
|Title:||Legacy Interview with Natasha Solten|
|Fandom(s):||Star Trek TOS, slash|
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In 2007, Natasha Solten was interviewed for the zine Legacy.
Leonard Nimoy Association of Fans had a thick yearbook with fascinating stories, articles, poems and ads. I loved it and immediately joined just to get more info on Star Trek and its fandoms. Through that I found an ad for the adzine Universal Translator. I found out about the existence of fanzines in general and was fascinated. I was probably about 15 when I first started reading Trek genzines, and also had my first gen story published. I was not yet ready for the adult zines and there weren’t many that I recall seeing ads for until I was around 18 (1978) and besides you had to be 18 to order them. Apparently, all that was very underground anyway, and people publishing adult stuff were pretty secretive about it. I had read some of what was called hurt/comfort, but I don’t think I knew that was what it was called. I loved the chemistry between Kirk and Spock on the show and had entertained thoughts on my own of them being “closer than friends” because they were so incredibly loyal to each other, but in my teenage years I felt a little ashamed for wanting them to have more than a friendship. I thought I was the only person on Earth who might entertain such an outlandish idea! But to tell you the truth, I did think of it, and all on my own at quite a young age, without knowing others were actually writing something they called K/S. This is leading into your next question, so....
I cannot speak for others who developed the first zines. I was not there. The zines existed before I ever knew about them. But I can say I had K/S ideas in my little Trekker teenage mind before I ever knew there was anything called K/S. The stray thought that these ideas involved homosexuality never really bothered me. If the subject was dangerous or taboo, to me it was only because it was “adult” and/or “explicit.” I got into Trek very young. It, along with a well-educated environment, taught me I.D.I.C. for lack of any better way of putting it. So gender in a loving relationship was never an issue for me, or any wall I had to breach. It was just plain love between Kirk and Spock, and that could not be denied. It was the explicit sex parts that I think, at 18, I had to slowly grow used to. Some of it was a little shocking...not the acts, actually, just the explicitness of the writing. The only porn I’d ever seen was adult magazines friends secretly show other friends in the darker shadows of slumber parties. I had really never read any. Anyway, all that said, I was not there for the early development of the first K/S zines, but I can say I freely embraced the stories when I discovered them, since the idea was really not new to me. I believe the very first K/S zine I ordered was “Thrust,” although I remember getting Gayle F.’s “Between Friends” at the same time which involved mainly three-way explicit sex, and very little plot, between Kirk, Spock AND McCoy. I certainly don’t recommend that as a starter zine, and definitely not for an 18 year old. I could not take that one seriously for a long, long time.
I think it is a fascinating kind of leap of evolutionary thinking, and not an insult to gays, that so many K/Sers wrote about Kirk and Spock doing any and all kinds of unmentionable things with each other, but fought hard to NOT label them as homosexual. Stories of bonding and marriage still didn’t convince the K/S fans to use that label. It is not because of prejudice, but I think in spite of it. I think Star Trek itself, if a person embraced its philosophy, taught principles of a kind of open-mindedness that saw people as people and not just labels. Also, K/S writers saw this relationship as special, not one of a series of affairs Kirk or Spock might have. And therefore, the specialness meant that this relationship defied labels and boundaries. So writers were able, with glee, to write about Kirk and Spock “in character” and not have too many discrepancies pop up. It seemed believable that Spock could love Leila, and Kirk could love Ruth, in the past, and that they could find each other and not have their pasts conflict with that. In an idealogical world, two people in love would be just that, and whether man/woman, man/man, woman/ woman was a non-issue. To write in that kind of future milieu was, for me, a wonderful thing. I think this topic is important to address in a history of K/S because it was and is a different kind of thinking because it is, after all, in the future and science fiction.
I read one or more of Mary Renault's Alexander the Great books] long long after I was into K/S. The story of Alexander the Great himself never influenced my writing. But I do recall some people liked to compare Kirk to Alexander and Spock to Hephaistion, and I can see a kind of mirroring in the characters. And from what I know of the time period of Alexander, it was actually fashionable for men/warriors to become lovers. It was not taboo and for example, the way skinny models are the “in” thing in the U.S., homosexuality was “in” in Alexander’s time period. But in the 70s and 80s, in the U.S. it was NOT fashionable to be gay, and still isn’t although there is more awareness and rights. K/S had to be underground. So it would make sense that the K/S fans might embrace the Alexander stories because that past, like the Star Trek future, erased the homosexual taboos and again they were freer to explore that idea with those characters and an open mind.
Reactions and Reviews
- from The K/S Press #133