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Title: Nightvisions
Publisher: Pulsar Press
Author(s): Carol Frisbie & Susan K. James
Cover Artist(s): Signe Landon
Illustrator(s): Signe Landon, Merle Decker, and Gayle F
Date(s): zine-1979; K/S Archive-06/2012
Medium: print zine, online
Size: zine-250 pages; The Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive-104,513 words
Genre: slash
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links: The Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
cover of an original image, artist is Signe Landon
front cover (common copy), the back cover is blank

Nightvisions is a very early Kirk/Spock slash novel written by Susan K. James and Carol Frisbie. It has interior art by Merle Decker, Gayle F and Signe Landon. The back cover of the zine is blank.

An excerpt from this novel was published in the zine Thrust, (1978) , as the story “Nightjourney”.

This zine was often discussed, highly desired, and a popular item at auctions. A fan in the UK in 1985 said of the auction at Sol III: "... two male bidders were buying for re-export and sale to the US (Nightvisions can still command $200 there)." [1]

Despite this popularity, there were no printed reviews of this zine until a single one was published in 1981. A fan in 1980 wrote: "Did you know, for example, that the novel, NIGHTVISIONS, quite popular, sold out, never received a printed review." [2]

Its Place in K/S History

It is one of the first K/S full standalone novels published—Mirrors of Mind and Flesh was another novel published in 1979.

A Question of Balance was published in 1980.

All three of these novels were preceded by Alternative: The Epilog to Orion in 1976.

Thrust was the first all K/S anthology published.


Our heartfelt thanks to our friend, Pam Igo. She has shared our dreams, and the labours of our love, and with her help NIGHTVISIONS came to see the light of day. And to Merle — She knows why, and we won't forget...


Kirk is blinded, and Spock decides to leave Star Fleet to be with him.

Non-Explicit Gallery

Explicit Gallery

Inspired Works

Reactions and Reviews


To answer all of you who have asked why I do not review various zines that I advertise, the reason is quite simple. I do not believe that a review as such is entirely a good or a sensible thing where a fan zine or story is concerned. Why? Because it can only be 'one fan's opinion' and nothing more. Unless you know that person very very well indeed, and know without a doubt that her or his tastes coincide with your own then the result as far as you personally are concerned is useless. Many Moons ago, when I was young and naive, I read a review in an American zine which said (from memory) that a particular zine was in the reviewer's opinion, 'uninteresting, unimaginative, extremely far-fetched even for a ST story and no way would this particular young lady recommend this particular zine,' in fact she was so adamant in her opinion, and as I was extremely short of funds at the time, and did not want to send for any U.S. zines that would not prove worthwhile for me, I almost didn't send for it... then, because I am an extremely 'independent' type of person, who likes to make my own mind up about things when possible, I was intrigued, and thought, surely a zine can't be that bad?? So, (almost too late,) I decided to send for it. By the same post I then received a letter from a friend who's opinion I do value highly, and she said 'buy this zine... the zine? Nightvisions. 'Which I still rank as one of the top best three ST KS stories ever written bar none. So if I had taken full heed of that young lady I would have missed one of the best KS stories yet written. I am not saying that these people aren't genuine in what they write, but it is, and can be, nothing more than their OWN PERSONAL OPINION. [4]


As K/S stories go, it's in a class of its own. In fact, there are so many good things about it, it's hard to know where to begin.

The plot must by now be well known, but to recap briefly: Spock returns to Starbase 9 after a Vulcan pilgrimage, unaware that Kirk has been blinded on a second mission to the Tholian sector, and finds Kirk apparently permanently ensconced in a beach-house there. Attempting at first to hide his disability, Kirk pretends he has left Starfleet because he wants to marry 'before it's too late', but Spock soon guesses his secret, and the resulting story, set mainly on the Starbase, chronicles both their efforts to come to terms with Kirk's blindness and the sexual and emotional ties which grow between them.

The injuries Kirk receives have also left him with a legacy of unpredictable and potentially dangerous attacks during which he can haemorrhage and lose consciousness, and the medical side of the story (utilising McCoy to the fullest advantage, is particulary well handled, showing a deep understanding and sensitivity to the physical and emotional effects of blindness. The problems of being sightless in a sighted world are beautifully highlighted through descriptions of the treatments which Kirk has to endure and his unwilling dependence on Spock and McCoy. In his blindness, Kirk for once is portrayed as being in a sense more 'alien' than Spock, with all the personality problems that implies, and it's fascinating to see the other side of the coin and to appreciate how the writers succeed in making both Kirk and Spock believable within these new roles. And it's unusual to find a situation where Kirk, rather than Spock, has a 'closed in' personality, instead of his, usual openness, and where Spock is forced to draw Kirk out of self-imposed isolation and back into the real world. The conflict in the story arises from this, and from Kirk's stubbornness and unwillingness to burden Spock with his disability, and from Spock's doubts as to whether his continued protective presence is hindering rather than helping Kirk's progress to independence.

The K/S relationship happens slowly, allowing time for a heightened physical awareness to grow between them, compensating for the loss of sight, long before they become lovers. It's the most convincing and touching interpretation of K/S I've ever come across -- lyrical and romantic, yet still believable.

There are so many scenes which stand out, it's hard to single out specific examples, but some of my special favourites are: Kirk waking up alone and afraid in hospital after a near fatal attack, not remembering how or why he got there, and of Spock being there to comfort him; an idyllic bicycle ride in the countryside; the first physical encounter in a moonlit bedroom, and, in particular, the lengthy part of the story which takes place on Vulcan. I'm not usually a fan of 'K/S set on Vulcan' stories where writers always seem to get bogged down in ritual, but 'Nightvisions' is an exception in this case, as it is in so many others. The Vulcan scenes are presented so evocatively, and with such a strangely believable alienness, that they vrork supremely well.

Critics of 'Nightvisions' might say it is overly romantic - perilously close to the K/S equivalent of a 'Mary Sue'. All I know is it rings true for me, and I don't normally go for sickly sweet stories - K/S or otherwise.

I have only two criticisms (well, nothing's perfect.). The first is of the Starfleet section of the story dealing with Kirk's temporary return to Starfleet to help out in an advisory capacity. This part of the story is handled less than satisfactorily for me. I understand why the scenes were included, and they are important as a means of illustrating Kirk's bitterness and even his self-pity at that stage, but they jar somehow and act as an unwanted intrusion. Perhaps that's because up to that point the writers have succeeded in creating such a special mood, and these scenes break that mood.

My second criticism is of the ending. I'll probably get shot down in flames for saying this, but I wish Kirk hadn't regained his sight at the end. (I'm sure everyone must either have read the zine by now, or at least know the plot, so I shouldn't think I'm giving any great secret away). I can't help feeling it would have been more effective for Spock to continue to be 'Kirk's eyes' as he has all the way through the story.

Notwithstanding these two criticisms, 'Nightvisions' is an abiding joy, and my all-time favourite zine. If by any chance you haven't read it yet, beg, steal or borrow a copy as soon as you can - you won't regret it. [5]
I tried to read 'Nightvisions'. (Was the final scene originally in 'Thrust'? I'm sure one of the drawings came from there). Believe me, I tried very hard! Having heard several people say they enjoyed it, I wanted to see why. With a totally open mind I started...only to stop quite sadly when I reached the part where Spock finds out that Kirk is blind. Because in that one scene Spock was so out of character (even if you try to read it as an A/U story) that I could no longer read it. The scene runs something like this: After talking to Kirk, Spock leaves but he feels something is wrong with his Captain. He returns unexpectedly and sees that Kirk is blind. Kirk hears someone and starts wandering around the garden calling "Who's there?" Spock, seeing how helpless Kirk is has to leave because he is so upset. Quite touching really... Spock can't stand the sight of his captain handicapped for life so he has to get away, has to have time to think. But in doing so he leaves Kirk wandering in a garden with a swimming pool!!! Never would Spock, if he felt anything for Kirk, leave him in such a potentially dangerous situation no matter how upset he felt. Sorry, but exit one story back to its's one person who did beg/ steal/borrow a copy and regret it. [6]
I feel that NIGHTVISIONS is still one of the most believable and well constructed K/S theories. The portrayal of Sarek and Amanda's reactions to the bonding between K & S has always impressed me as a far more logical response, especially from Sarek. Too many stories have him so violently opposed, in some extreme cases he sounds like a Vulcan version of Archie Bunker. [7]


While I agree with you about some stories getting carried away concerning the bonding (such as Amanda doing everything but handsprings), I still prefer NIGHTVISION'S Sarek in that regard. He accepts the relationship calmly, rationally — finding it logical due to the sterility factor which he surmises was the reason behind T'Pring's challenge. He also admits (to himself) the fact that he LIKES Jim Kirk. It was a nice touch. Amanda on the other hand has problems dealing with the discovery...going through various phases of incomprehension, ."shock, anger. Eventually she comes to terms with it simply because it's the only course of action left open to her. You have to read the novel to fully appreciate each character's feelings. It was excellently handled. [8]
I thought NIGHTVISIONS was OK, but I don't really care for hurt/comfort. Also, in "mundane" life I'm involved in advocacy for disabled people: "disabled doesn't mean unable," as the slogan says, but h/c lit of this type takes a positive delight in making the characters disabled and unable. It's not that it isn't a valid theme to explore, it's just that it isn't where my own head is at. [9]
When I first read "Nightjourney," I didn't like it very well. So it took some time before one of my friends persuaded me to read Nightvisions. I started it reluctantly, but it is now one of my favorites. The whole novel has a much better "feel" to it than the piece that was in Thrust. The only negative comment I have about it is that I think it ended to early. There should have been more to balance out what had gone on previously. But I have this feeling about a lot of K/S novels, so that is not a significant negative. [10]


This 250 page novel has attained near-legendary status since its publication in 1979 and it is well deserved. It opens with Kirk in virtual retirement and seclusion, under McCoy's care on Starbase 9, having been blinded in an encounter with the Tholians. He is not dealing well with the affliction, and attempts to send Spock away without letting him know about it. This gambit, of course, fails. Spock settles in to care for Kirk in a luxurious seaside home, complete with a loyal Andorian housekeeper. Conflicts arise between Spock's overprotectiveness and Kirk's fierce need to retain at least an illusion of his old independence, complicated by a gradually growing physical awareness of each other. They become lovers, against a background of McCoy's search for a cure for Jim's condition, and his growing apprehension concerning the symptoms of ongoing damage and possible death. The contrast between the fear and worry about Kirk's condition, and the happiness Jim and Spock experience in their new relationship is heartrending and expertly suspenseful The climax (excuse the expression) of the story takes place on Vulcan, where the three have gone for Kirk's further treatment. Jim and Spock have become bonded by this time, and when Jim suffers a cerebral hemorrhage and is dying before their eyes, Spock attempts to mind-meld-and die-with him. Saved by Sarek s emergency healing meld, Kirk undergoes a cliffhanger of an operation and barely comes out of it--still blind. They return to the house on Starbase 9, and Kirk resigns himself to a lifetime of blindness and dependence upon Spock--unnecessarily, as it turns out, since there is a typically satisfactory Trek style ending. However, the authors expertly keep up the suspense until the very last page, which contains a magnificently emotional scene, In which Kirk regains his sight with the aid of a sightmeld with Spock. I defy anyone to read it and remain unmoved. The initial seduction scene in this novel appeared in THRUST, under the title NIGHTJOURNEY. [11]
I disliked it very much. The characters were so out of character and the writing was sloppy and saccharine and full of cliches. I didn't like it. But that's only my worthless opinion. [12]
At last, someone whose opinion of NIGHTVISIONS I share. I too found the characters hopelessly out of character. Kirk and Spock both suffered from terminal wimpiness, except when Kirk was being a spoiled brat. The novel's attitude toward blindness bothered me. I do think that blindness is something a well- balanced person can learn to cope with — and that Kirk, with his confidence and strongsense of self, would learn to cope with it. Surely he must have considered the risk of becoming physically or mentally disabled when he chose a Starfleet career. [13]


I have to put my two cents in about what readers consider classics in the K/S novel realm. Over and over again, people mention the novel NIGHTVISIONS.

This never ceases to amaze me, for it is one of the poorest K/S novels I've ever read in my 12 years of being a fan. I'm not saying it's the worst K/S I've ever read, I'm simply pointing out that the word "classic" does not appear to fit it well. [14]
NIGHTVISIONS is a classic, because many people consider it so -- and that is what makes a classic. Frankly, I was very disappointed when I read it. I paid $50 for it which, of course, didn't help me feel any better! [15]
I read THRUST when it was first released. It was the first K/S anthology. It contained a bunch of routine first times and pon-farr stories which felt routine to me even then, and "Nightjourney", the story on which NIGHTVISIONS was based. "Nightjourney" stood out because it was different from the others. Now NIGHTVISIONS seems much more routine than it did when I first read it. I had complaints about "Nightjourney" at the time, however. I wrote a LoC asking the editor why it was so full of romantic cliches. Didn't she realize that made the story predictable? The concept of the K/S relationship presented in many stories has become more sophisticated over the years. There is far less reliance on cliches. The K/S writers are thinking about relationships and/or basing stories on their own experiences. [16]


I enjoyed this classic first-time novel in which Kirk must cope with blindness caused by an alien weapon. A serious K/S critic would potentially find a lot of complaints with this story: it takes K & S off the Enterprise and out of their daily lives, the science fiction story with the Tholians is mostly ignored or happens offstage, Spock gives up his career for Kirk without a thought (so does McCoy) -- and there's arguably not enough justification given for that early enough -- yet I found this book a good read, regardless. This is a fan story, pure and simple, a chance to see our characters in new circumstances, ones they'd never have gotten in the classic series. It's a 'what-if,' not just another episode, and that's one of the niches many of us look to fan fiction to fill. With that caveat, and the note that some of the story echoes the hurt/comfort themes so popular a few years ago -- it's really a love story. Kirk's to and acceptance of his blindness provides the central focus, but his relationship with Spock provides a deeper, more emotional undercurrent, and it's the relationship story that I remember most after closing the book. [17]
Nightvisions hasn't held up for me either. I liked it then, but fan novels have continued to improve... [18]


I guess, in reality, I do like some h/c, but the hurt can't be anything permanent, and the comfort has to be enough to more than make up for the hurt.

Even in Nightvisions, which I enjoyed generally, Kirk FINALLY regains his sight, and then a few pages later is the end of the story!! After a whole novel of him being blind! Granted K and S were having sex during most of the novel, but it is clear that when Kirk regains his sight, that their relationship is going to have to readjust, and that is just not shown, so the ending is very unsatisfying to me. I wanted to see them joyful together without the blindness and the spector to death hanging over them. And I wanted to see a lot of that. There was certainly not enough to make up for all the agony of the novel. [19]


Ahh, NightVisions. Hurt/comfort even I could enjoy. Man I loved that novel. The tension when Spock has realized Kirk was lying to him, and he rushes back across the base to stand in Kirk's room and listens to Kirk going, 'is someone there?' and realizes Kirk is blind. The horror Spock feels when Kirk starts to convulse and Spock doesn't notice, (he thinks it is just from the sex!) followed by his exquisite embarrassment when McCoy realizes what they'd been doing... The wonderful eroticism of the sight-melds, and Gayle's incredible drawing of the two of them in the room on Vulcan... And I haven't read the novel in years. [20]


The story started out with Kirk going blind, and continued with events designed to help him regain his eyesight. Meanwhile, Kirk and Spock consummate their love affair. I found this an outstanding story; the authors offered a multi-dimensional approach to the plot and characterization in addition to the sexual encounters.[21]


Nightvisions is a novel that was published way back in the earliest days of our fandom, in 1979... Considerably later than that, when I was in the first flush of collecting K/S zines and didn’t know a menage a trois from a Mary Sue, a collector from whom I was buying recommended the novel to me if I could find it somewhere. “Why?” I asked. “So much love,” she replied. I’ll never forget her statement. I’ve only ever seen two original Nightvisions; I suspect it is hoarded by those who treasure it. One was at a convention, and the dealer wanted $125 for it. No way! That’s the highest priced zine I’ve ever seen. The original is staple bound and has a silver cover. But fortunately I found a friend who had a good copy (which means that someone actually committed the sacrilege of unbinding the zine and putting it through a copy machine page by page!) and I read it early in my K/S-reading career. It’s this copy that is now in The K/S Revolving Library...What follows is a plot synopsis and some small commentary, so if you’re one of those who hasn’t read it and want to, read no further! Nightvisions opens with a gripping, poignant scene. Spock is returning from a month-long leave on Vulcan, but he’s been ordered to Starbase 9 to speak to Kirk. He can’t understand why the captain is not on the ship, and he can’t understand the permanent-looking dwelling where Kirk awaits him on the patio. “… I have a sprained ankle…,” Kirk explains why he doesn’t rise from the lounger. Seeming distant, frequently looking away from his friend, he tells Spock that he’s left the Enterprise and that he’s going to be marrying an Admiral’s daughter in a private ceremony. He’s recommending Spock for command of the ship. Then he basically dismisses Spock, who slips away with “slow and uncertain steps.” But our Vulcan is not to be fooled. He uses the computer to discover the woman in question married several months previously, rushes back to Kirk’s beach house on the ocean, and sees Kirk sitting at a desk before an open window. Though Kirk lifts his despondent head and looks straight at Spock, he asks “Is that you, Bones?” Spock has discovered the awful truth: Kirk is blind. Kirk has been the victim of a new weapon used by the Tholians, and despite Starfleet Medical’s best efforts so far, no cure has been found for him. The blindness is complicated by violent seizures that hold the potential for brain hemorrhage and death. Now Kirk is on medical leave on the Starbase with McCoy, who’s taken a new research assignment that all understand is a sham: he is there for his friend Jim Kirk. The captain did not want to entrap Spock in the same darkness in which he resides, and he knew his only chance was to fool Spock into leaving him on the starbase without knowledge of the blindness. But once the truth is out, there is no question. Spock will stay, and so he takes up residence in the guest room in Kirk’s beach house, while McCoy resides nearby...[Much] later, information that Spock has gained about the functioning of Kirk’s optic nerve through the sight meld brings new hope for research, and the trio moves to the advanced medical facilities on Vulcan. They stay with Sarek and Amanda, and there’s some interesting scenes that reveal Sarek and Amanda’s relationship, and the history of Spock’s clan and the house on Vulcan. Most stirring is a scene that takes place one night between Kirk and Spock in the equivalent of the house’s “family chapel,” where they make love in the room lined with mirrors... Nightvisions provides a thoughtful Kirk characterization that’s difficult to put down. In my mind, it’s definitely a K/S Classic, but it does have its drawbacks. There are huge sections where motivations are told and now shown, and that’s pretty deadly to the rhythm of any novel. Especially, the transformation of Spock from barely tolerated companion to treasured lover is really abrupt, almost as if the authors simply wanted to get on with their story, to the sex scene, and couldn’t be bothered to write what was needed. I never can get over the lack of logic in Spock and McCoy staying with Kirk, Starfleet allowing them their change of assignments when it is transparent what their true intentions are... [22]


Like most of this early stuff, it was extremely well written and edited, but the story was lacking in terms of detailed sex. (Most new fans would get into K/S, find out about all the old stuff, pay a supreme price for the old stuff, and then read it and find out it wasn't anywhere near what they really wanted -- the newer stuff was more what they'd had in mind. Though I think NIGHTVISIONS was unique in that it hit a lot of fans' favorite zines list for many years, because it was so well done.) [23]


The first ever slash zine I read was Nightvisions. I remember opening it and my mouth hanging open as I flipped through [Gayle F's] illustrations. :)[24]


I think Nightvisions is one of the very best K/S zines I’ve ever read. As well as being satisfyingly long, it is lavishly illustrated and a wonderful character study of Kirk as he struggles to cope after suffering a devastating and life altering injury during an attack by a Tholian in the Enterprise transporter room. It is beautifully written in a wonderfully lyrical style, which is truly a pleasure to read, yet at the same time there is plenty of action and angst and the pace never seems to flag. It is also a wonderful portrayal of Kirk’s strength of character as he struggles to adapt and come to terms with what has happened to him and his courage and determination to overcome whatever obstacles he faces in his struggle to adapt and retain his independence although he can no longer command the Enterprise. It is also a wonderfully tender and romantic love story, as Spock proves time and time again his devotion to and love for Kirk, even when he tries to drive him away. Kirk’s gradual realisation of how much Spock means to him and their eventual transition from friends to lovers and bondmates is beautifully done with some lovely and erotic love scenes along the way in a truly magical setting.

[much snipped]

The scenes back on the Starbase on the beach in the moonlight are wonderfully lyrical and nicely set up the conclusion that follows. My only very minor quibble is that I would have liked to have seen how the crew back on the Enterprise reacted to the news of their new commanding officer! All in all, if you enjoy angsty h/c type stories and an excellent portrayal of Jim’s strength of character, not to mention a wonderful love story, this one is highly recommended and well worth reading. [25]


I know opinions are mixed about this zine, but it was a fascinating tale well told. [26]


  1. ^ from Communicator #23
  2. ^ from Nancy Kipaxx in Writing the Fanzine Review
  3. ^ as per a review of Sun & Shadow in Warped Space #46
  4. ^ from the editor of Orbit 30 #5 12/1981
  5. ^ from Communicator #5 (May 1982)
  6. ^ from Communicator #5 (October 1982)
  7. ^ from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #1
  8. ^ from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #2
  9. ^ from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #2
  10. ^ from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #6
  11. ^ Not Tonight, Spock! #3 05/1984
  12. ^ from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #7 (January 1984)
  13. ^ from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #8 (January 1984)
  14. ^ The LOC Connection #39 03/1992
  15. ^ The LOC Connection #40 04/1992
  16. ^ The LOC Connection #41 05/1992
  17. ^ The LOC Connection #59 01/1993
  18. ^ comments by Sandy Hereld on Virgule-L, quoted with permission (April 5, 1993)
  19. ^ comments by a fan on Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (July 24, 1994)
  20. ^ Sandy Herrold's review to the Virgule-L mailing list October 1995, quoted with permission.
  21. ^ Boldly Writing: A Trekker Fan and Zine History, 1967 - 1987, by Joan Marie Verba
  22. ^ an excerpt from a truly massive review in The K/S Press #10 06/1997
  23. ^ 1999, fan named [R], started.txt Venice Place, accessed 12/15/2010
  24. ^ comments from The Pits Mailing List, quoted anonymously (March 26, 2004)
  25. ^ The K/S Press #119 08/2006
  26. ^ A 2007 Interview with Valerie Piacentini