Northern Star

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K/S Fanfiction
Title: Northern Star
Author(s): Susan Douglass
Date(s): 1989
Genre: slash
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
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Northern Star is a Kirk/Spock story by Susan Douglass.

It was published in the print zine T'hy'la #8.



"James restlessly turned his body on the bed. He had always felt he had achieved his greatest happiness in Lord S’pock’s house, giving himself willingly. Then why had he felt that moment of pain and struggle when S’pock had taken him tonight? Why had he cringed under Spock’s thrusts? No, he suddenly realized. He had not cringed. The flame revolt had risen inside him, if only for a brief moment. He had rebelled."

Reactions and Reviews

"The Northern Star" - I like this new author very much. Though I've been left feeling I wish her stories were longer, this one was probably the most complete (though I'd still love a sequel). Certainly not the most pleasant story to read, but intense and sincere. Though we're given very little background detail, there is a strong sense of time and setting. I felt like I was there, experiencing the joy, rebellion and anguish.[1]
I'm not a slave story fan, but I like the way this one points out that love does not compensate for slavery—or rather, that real love can't exist with slavery. S'pock's turning Kirk over to S'tonn for the night is a shocker, and exactly the sort of thing a slave owner would do. I didn't think sticking all the other Trek characters in the story added anything, though. For me, it subtracted. At the beginning of the story, I accepted its premises (the slave society, and Kirk as S'pock's slave). And the mention of Surak later seemed plausible. But when, well into the story, Sulu and Uhura and Saavik turned out to be in this time and place also, I couldn't suspend disbelief any longer. It all seemed too coincidental. Maybe, though, it's an accepted convention of this kind of story. I also had a problem with "assuage" used of a person instead of a pain. I looked it up and saw it could be used that way, but it sure is jarring. I did like this story much better than slave stories in which master and slave live happily as such. In some ways that's the ultimate error. [2]
What a strange and intense story. I found myself reading it several times just to experience the author's wonderful imagery. Kirk's status as a slave, who accepts his position at first, is hard to read even though Spock is his master and, supposedly, treats him well. By the end of the story much has changed and, after wanting to strangle Spock, I found myself rooting that they would eventually find each other again. [3]

This is the sequel to “House Of One Thousand Jewels” and James is now with Lord S’pock. And now— James is experiencing stirrings of freedom. Even though it’s great with Lord S’pock, James remembers his childhood (“son of field slaves on a giant corn farm on Terra”—don’t you love it?) and being taken from his mother.

Again—oohhmygodd...the peacock feather!

Pavel, a household slave, had told James of a band of humans living free out in the desert and who are fighting to end slavery. Then Hikaru shows up—an escaped slave of nasty ol’ Lord S’tonn—and tells James about the rebel band “Order of the Northern Star” and that James should come with him. He says James is only a possession and that he should go “to a place where you’ll be valued for your self rather than merely your beauty.” (and James is quite the beauty.)

But James doesn’t want to leave S’pock because he’s in love with him. That is, until the big banquet where S’pock has to have sex with T'Pring so there’ll be an heir and James has to have sex with S’tonn because he’s a slave and he has to.

James feels betrayal (rightfully so) and later asks S’pock to set him free. When S’pock says no, James realizes he must escape even though he still loves his master. This is all done with wonderful tumultuous emotions and a neat moment when S’pock gives James a golden necklace.

The epilogue is very cool -— Uhura and Saavik have formed a warrior bond (yeah!—the women!) and along with Surak are spreading the word. Spock goes off to find James and to be equal with him, which imparts the anti-slavery message, but with their love for each other.

I wish there was a sequel to this story, too!

Rats. [4]


  1. a letter of comment in T'hy'la #9
  2. from The LOC Connection #24
  3. from The LOC Connection #15
  4. from The K/S Press #21