Not Tonight Spock!
|Title:||Not Tonight Spock!|
|Editor(s):||Sarah Leibold and Linda D. Biggs, then just Sarah starting with issue #10|
|Date(s):||June 1984 -1987|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TOS|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Letterzines at the time tended towards the crudzine end of the spectrum; they weren't much to look at but got the job done. Not Tonight Spock! was clean, nicely laid out, and chock-full of features. A given issue had articles (what we would now think of as meta), interviews with prominent K/S writers and editors, reviews of recent K/S zines, art, cartoons, K/S trivia or puzzles, and of course, letters. The editors were both American, but even in the first issue, letters came from fans in Australia, England, Canada and Scotland as well as all over the US.
There were fifteen possibly sixteen, issues. All were printed offset, folded and center stapled.
While some letterzines rewarded subscribers who wrote prolific letters, free copies for Not Tonight Spock! contributors were limited to those who provided reviews, articles, and interviews.
- Not Tonight Spock! (June 1984-February 1987)
- On the Double (November 1986-January 1996)
- The LOC Connection (January 1989-December 1993)
- Come Together (January 1994-August 1996)
- The K/S Press (September 1996-present day)
For other letterzines, see List of Letterzines.
From the First Editorial
Welcome to the premiere issue of NOT TONIGHT SPOCK, an information and letterzine devoted to the K/S concept. This is a new venture for Enterprising Press, and we hope that you all receive as much enjoyment from reading it as we had putting it together. It is a publication which came out of a devotion and love for K/S that we, one fairly new devotee and one 'veteran' (and we won't discuss who is who) were very pleased to discover is shared by many others across the country and around the world. We hope NTS will become the place for all K/S fans to share thoughts, ideas and opinions concerning our 2 favorite guys as well as a place one can drool over what's available and what's proposed in K/S zines. We want to emphasize that this is very much a fanzine. A zine like NTS, more so than any other type of zine, stands or falls on how involved its readers become in its contents. So please, don't hesitate to become an active part of NTS.
In the first issue, the editors stated that they reserved the right to edit contributions (generally for length), "in which case you would be notified and/or consulted, time permitting." They also stated that "our policy is a forum for all fans to express themselves. However, we are not here to provide an arena for personal combat between fen who disagree. Reactions to all of a an issue's contents are encouraged and welcome, but any really sarcastic remarks, cruel personal comments, backbiting, etc., will be promptly edited out."
- #1 (January 1984): The word slash is used twice in the first issue. Once by the editor (who went back to using "/" in the next issue) and once by a columnist (who then used "/" throughout the rest of that column).
- #3 (May 1984), in an interview: "I have a basic problem with the proliferation of "slash fandoms.""
- #5 (September 1984): in an interview: "The K/S premise seems to me to leap right out of the screen, but I can't call myself an objective observer. From early childhood days I loved the slash concept. When I used to watch "Man from UNCLE" I concocted the juiciest fantasies about Illya and Napoleon -- and this was even before I even heard the word homosexual. I also loved Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. But when in my 20's I started watching 'Trek' it was like finding pure gold."
- #11 (November 1985), the editor writes: "Finally, a brief reminder to anyone interested in submitting zine ads to NTS. The policy is that the zine must be K/S-oriented, have a heavy K&S relationship emphasis or be a slash zine in another fandom. Ads for other newsletters will also be accepted. Unfortunately, space limitations make it impossible for me to accept all zine ads."
This zine, however, has the honor of being the first published fanwork to use the word "slash" as in verb form. From an ad in #5 for Warriors/Lovers: "Are you tired of zines just dedicated to K/S, S/H or H/J? Is your imagingtion [sic] whispering: "What about the other slash pairs in history, films, fantasy, horror, & TV?" Well, Slashers, rejoice! Presenting: Warriors/Lovers by The Theban Band/Saffo Press! For more info [redacted] Keep in mind -- this will not be your ordinary "/" zine!"
The Last Issue
There were fifteen issues, possibly sixteen.In issue #15, the editor wrote:
Greetings! I'm sure many of you had all but given up hope of ever seeing this next-to-last issue of NTS. However, here she is in your hands and I do hope you enjoy it.... I thank you for your patience in waiting for this issue... There will be one more issue of NTS. Which, barring anymore unforeseen obstacles or crises, should be out the beginning of May, 1987. We do hope to have a few extraspecial touches in that final issue that will insure that NTS will close up shop with a satisfied sigh if not fireworks and war whoops.
Not Tonight Spock! 1 was published in January 1984 and contains 36 pages.
- Editorially Speaking (1)
- Observation Deck (issue topic: Do you perceive K/S as an equal relationship/partnership?) (3)
- Headache #1 (column by Sharon F, topics: K/S and other slash topics) (11)
- From the Library Computer (zine reviews) (15) Scandals of Shikahr, Nor No Man Ever Loved, T'Zad'U, Still Out of Bounds, Old Friend, see those pages
- Not Tonight, Spock! Interview with Victoria Clark & Barbara Storey, see that page (19)
- HEAD-lines by The Dawn's Early Light ("The Incredible Towering Passion Spear Meets the Massive Rose-Gold Stiletto," some short fiction parodying euphemisms for male sex parts) (23)
- Personal Log (LoCs/reader comments) (25)
- Some Thoughts on Alexander and Hephaistion (article) (29)
- Con News (30)
- Rec Room (a lengthy logic puzzle in narrative form called "The Best Laid Plans," the answer could be procured by sending the creator an SASE) by Susan Beth Schnitger (31)
- A K/S Writers Guide to Male Part Euphemisms "Compiled (in the wee hours of the morning at Shore Leave #5 by Betsy L. Barr, and Pamela A. Perry
- K/S Zine Trivia Contest (34)
- Star Trek Moods (35)
- Classified Ads, including one for "Whips and Chains" which was never published, see Proposed Zines (37)
- Crew Assignments, zine ads (interspersed)
Some Excerpts and Highlights:
- a fan explains how she discovered K/S fandom and how it has affected her life: “I’m not exactly sure of when I first heard of K/S, but I do know when I gave the concept my first serious thought: immediately after reading page 22 of Gene Rodenberry’s novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. For the Great Bird of the Galaxy himself to create a brand new term for the relationship between Kirk and Spock—and to include the word ‘lover’ as one of its multilayered meanings  —lent unmistakable credence to thetheory. And Admiral Kirk’s footnote on the ‘rumors’—penned, of course, by Roddenberry—was a delightfully ambiguous, sly, teasing affirmation of the fact…. I didn’t get around to seriously watching an episode until ‘Shore Leave.’… As the shows marched on, I witnessed many incidents too numerous to mention: pieces of a puzzle that fit together to portray a most beautiful picture of an inescapable conclusion: Kirk and Spock love each other. How deeply they love each other! It takes my breath away. The many instances of proof are subtle—sometimes almost subliminal—for if they were not, the love story of Kirk and Spock would overwhelm even the most casual viewer…. it took me 17 years to find it. The finding of it, however, leaves Star Trek forever changed. Every episode now is an excursion into knowing glances, touches never completed, and sacrifices denied. Episodes I previously didn’t care for—‘The Apple’ or ‘Catspaw’—take on a new charm when watched for evidence of K/S. Even the world is different. Familiar songs take on a different meaning because I hear the words being sung by Spock to Kirk; words of longing, of loyalty, words of love. Poems about friendship reflect back to me the unspoken promises in their eyes. From Shakespeare to Garfield, I seem to find celebrations of K/S everywhere. As they became a part of each other, so their love has become a part of me. It warms me. It pleases me. It makes me smile.
- from the Alexander/Hephaistion article: After a good deal of (Trek inspired) reading, both fiction and non-fiction, regarding Alexander, I'd come to regard Hephaistion as somehow essential to the story. He was Alexander's lifelong friend and companion, always at his side.... In Trek, we have zines where Kirk and Spock have a friendly, loyal, yet basically working relationship, zines where the brotherhood theme, and/or hurt/comfort is explored and K/S zines in varying degrees of explicitness. In character.
- from "Headache #1" which discusses equality between Kirk and Spock, recent proliferation and perceived lesser quality in K/S zines, how Starsky & Hutch zines now reflect an early stage of early K/S zine fandom: ...let me shift to S/H and H/J for a moment. S/H have, I think, a fairly equal relationship in much the same way that K and S do. H/J is a bit different in that, at first, J was by far a weaker, less equal character, but as the series has developed, J has grown beyond the confines of the original movie character; he has in many ways come to share a relationship of equals with H. Let me again change course and talk about what I really want to discuss... I'd like to talk about this equality in the context of comments I have heard about S/H and K/S stories. Many of us have recently delved into S/H fandom and I have heard, of late, that many consider the stories being written for S/H to be what they would like to see, in terms of quality, for K/S. In part, I am sure this comment touches on the fact that some of the best, but only some, writers are writing for S/H and not K/S. I think, however, tangled up in this, is the thought that K/S are not being written as equals, that one or the other is a jerk, and that S/H is being written the way K/S SHOULD be written. I There are, I think, several reasons why it seems that K/S is not being written I the way many would like to see it written. As the auction prices of classic K/S zineL indicate, there is an enormous demand for K/S and a number of new zines have sprung up to fill the void and satisfy the demand (there are at least 10 K/S American/Canadian zines available or in progress; three years ago there were barely half that number). This proliferation of zines has necessitated a growth in the number of women writing K/S; not all of these writers have an equal amount of talent, which, considering the fact that zinedom is an amateur effort, is not only understandable but to be desired. If we were all producing professional quality stories with each effort, there would probably be no fandom since it seems that once authors begin to write for fun AND profit, the profit motive relegates fun, which is what fandom is supposed to be, to the proverbial back burner. Part of the intrinsic charm of zinedom is that not everything is perfect; in imperfection (and the amateur status) there is a great deal of freedom to explore characters and situations, to, in fact, bend, twist both plot (of course, who would want to disrupt a good K/S sex story with plot??) and characters. Zines were a playground for many who went on to be professional writers and hopefully, many more will spring from the rich environment of creativity zines provide for those able to take advantage...[much more about the proliferation of K/S zines]... Now, what has this to do with S/H? S/H zines are at the stage K/S zines were several years ago. There are very few short story oriented S/H zines, and the editors can afford to be very selective and they are. Many of these stories have made their way around a close knit fandom in one form or another before being committed to paper. The result is a higher ratio of really fine stories and poems. This is a fandom about to move into the early part of a phase where the number of zines proposed increases and the result will be what it has been in K/S more stories, many of them not as good and some better than the classic ideal stories in short, the quality of the material will be more uneven than it is now... One final comment in this sermonette if you are so damn upset by what you read— go to the typewriter and try to write that classic, well-crafted story with characterizations everyone will agree with, with plot, and just the right amount of sex. If you don't already know it, you will find out just how hard it is to write the stories and poems that fill K/S zines.
- also from "Headache #1," a comment on why the Harry/Johnny universe is so tight and fun, as well as a jab at another fan (name redacted here, but included in the original text) the columnist felt was acting in a hypocritical way: H/J is a well written, consistent universe precisely because there is only one editor putting out the material and she can be selective. This ensures that H and J fuck at least once a page. If you haven't read H/J, I urge you to try it it really fun. An aside if any of you happen to be at a con and hear [R R] babble on about how terrible "/" fandom is, how disgusting the zines are, etc., please ask her how she can say this and with a clear conscience write H/J.
- from the interview, Victoria H. Clarke and Barbara L.B. Storey answer the question "How do you view K/S fandom today? How do you think it has changed or evolved in the years since K/S has "gone public" and the 2 movies have been released?": Prior to the release of the first ST movie, K/S was treated in a very private way by most of its aficianados, who felt that it was a possible alternate universe that should not be forced on those who found it: objectionable, for whatever reasons. When K/S "came the closet" via page 22 of Roddenberry's novelization of ST:TMP, it seemed to become more acceptable in the mainstream of fandom—after a brief skirmish--and various developments followed. Now, when new people enter fandom, they are introduced to K/S much earlier than before, and, we think, accept it with less difficulty. We are personally uncomfortable with the direction K/S fandom is taking today. In our opinion, it has largely become a vehicle for vicarious fantasy of a bizarre sort (sadism/masochism, slave/master themes, and other forms of violence) that bears no relation to the characters of Kirk and Spock as they were presented in the episodes and films. We trust that people will understand that this is our personal opinion, given in response to a question from the editors of this zine, and should be taken as such. Our "public" reaction to this type of K/S writing is simply not to print it in our zine [Nome].
- a fan comments on the TOTM (Are Spock and Kirk equal in their relationship with each other?): I can think of plenty of stories where they don’t appear to havean equal partnership…for most of the story. The point is, by the end, the apparently weaker partner (usually Kirk by virtue of his lesser strength and lack of telepathic abilities) proves himself to have as strong a personality as the apparently stronger partner. Come to think of it, Spock asa slave does seem to beweaker than Kirk as a slave…but that’s a whole new subject. …Real life proves that most marriages are not an equal partnership, even when they appear to be, and biological accident ensures that where sex is concerned, one partner takes, the other gives. In K/S both partners giveand take. …With K/S they didn’t start with sex. They started with love and went on to sex as an expression of their attachment to each other…. Kirk and Spock are both themselves and allow each other to be themselves too. …And one last word—K/S is monogamous, whoever writes it. A zine full of heterosexual stories, written by different people, makes them the most active bigamists in the business, passionately in love with half a dozen different women in the course of the zine…. And I think that that monogamous quality is also a major attraction.”
- another fan's view on K/S equality: “I do perceive K/S as an equal relationship, but perhaps that merely begs the question, ‘what is an equal relationship?’ ‘Equality’ is anincredibly slippery concept to define. My own rough and ready definition of ‘equal’ is ‘having the same effective opportunity to make the same choices and accomplish the same results.’ However, I think ‘equality’ in a relationship must be approached operationally, in thecontext of the partner’s daily lives…. Sex: My favorite erotic portrayal of Kirk and Spock is Gayle F.’s. She portrays them as two strong, equal, and equally masculine, partners…. In early K/S stories, there was a tendency to have Kirk play the ‘masculine’ role. Now we’ve swung almost to the opposite extreme…. Jobs:To a certain extent, we ignore the problemof whose job would have priority in case of conflict because we feel that‘Kirk’s destiny is the Enterprise, but Spock’s destiny is Kirk.’ In fact, I doubt it could be that simple. Spockis a brilliant scientist and is bound to have intellectual and professional needs besides his need for Kirk. And though I agree that Kirk is Spock’s destiny, I don’t like a solution to the career problem that places one of the two partners in a classically ‘feminine’ role. I think there is a deeper reason, though, behind our tendency to disregard the career problem. Kirk’s fixation on his own career and his ship is a typically masculine obsession. Aswomen, we are used to balancing our career goals against the needs of the persons in our lives; and in case of conflict, we often givepriority to personal needs, because we know that other human beings are truly more important than our own career. Spock probably knows this, too—not because he is a subservient female but because he is a supremely logical andnon-egotistical person. Kirk, on the other hand, has a streak of egotism and vanity that occasionally allows him to put his needs ahead of others’. Perhaps many of us find Spock’s attitude more admirable than Kirk’s; hence, we don’t want to change him to make him more like Kirk…. And I believe Kirk would, if he had to face the issue clearly, realize that Spock’s career is just as important as his own. I’d love to see a story which showed him going through an evolution where he gradually came to the point of being able to sacrifice his career for Spock. It would be hard to write it believably!…
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1
'Not Tonight, Spock’ is a unique information and LOC zine aimed specifically at the growing K/S audience and offering discussion and commentary upon this phenomenon. The layout is simple and attractive, an editorial policy actively encourages reader feedback and participation. Of the several open forum columns, ‘Observation Deck’ is perhaps the most intriguing; it focuses upon a single discussion topic, that of the zine’s first issue bing ‘Do you perceive K/S as an equal partnership?’ The answers elicited are complex, thought provoking and moving. The premiere issue also features an interview of the zine editors/author Victoria Clark and Barbara Storey. Also featured is are clever commentary on the use of sexual euphemisms, reviews of fiction zines, and a Spock centerfold by Barbara Gordon. And the pages are rich with ads for published and proposed K/S zines. Perhaps the zine’s single flaw is the column entitled ‘Headache #1,’ authored by Sharon F; although well and intelligently written, her analysis of the present state of the K/S genre is seriously flawed by references to non-ST ‘/ zines and the frequent use of private in-jokes. NTS is a must buy for the K/S affectionando or for any ST fan wishing to learn more about the phenomenon. 
Not Tonight Spock! 2 was published in March 1984 and contains 36 pages. It includes an interview with Darien Duck. The topic for discussion: What constitutes romantic action in the K/S universe? What can Kirk do for Spock, or vice versa, or they do together, to make you say, when you have finished a story, “Isn’t that romantic?
- Editorially Speaking (1)
- an announcement for the new K/Star Awards (for zines published in 1983) (3)
- Observation Deck (issue topic: What constitutes romantic action in the K/S universe? What can Kirk do for Spock, or vice verse, or they do together, to make you say, when you have finished a story, "Isn't that romantic?") (4)
- Headache #2 by Sharon F (9)
- Not Tonight, Spock! Interview with Darien Duck, see that page (12)
- The K/S Completist by Khrys Nolan (a section in which a fan writes about long-out-of-print, little known, or little published zines and stories with a K/S theme. This issue's topic was the very earliest of K/S fiction, A Fragment Out of Time, Grup, and includes a VERY long and detailed plot summary of The Ring of Soshern) (15)
- From the Library Computer (reviews of Duet #6, Nor No Man Ever Loved, Mixed Metaphors, and If Freedom Fall?, see those pages) (19)
- U.S./Canadian Zines (ads) (21)
- British/Australian Zines (ads) (25)
- Personal Log (LoCs) (27)
- Head-line by The Dawn's Early Light (some light narrative parodies about the use of descriptive language and the senses in K/S fiction: this one about: "Once upon a time, there were five little senses; touch, taste, sight, smell, and hearing. Their names were Velvety-Smooth, Honeyed-Cream, Rose-Gold, Tangy-Spice, and Gasp.) (32)
- Star Trek Moods (cartoon) by Joy March Fox (35)
- Rec Room by Susan Beth Schnitger (cryptograms) (36)
- Classified Communiques (personal ads) (37)
- art and borders by Ann Crouch, Joy March Fox, and Caro Hedge
Some Highlights and Excerpts:
- regarding "Headache #2" and its current subject of romance in K/S: Is it possible to have romance in the K/S universe, the TREK universe for that matter? Did the Eugenics War and other such abominations extinguish the flame of romance that began with Cervantes, picked up speed in ROMEO AND JULIET and continues today in such films as HANOVER STREET? Given aired TREK with its military premise, the need for practical people in space, etc., it is possible that the romantic notions of today do not follow Humans about the galaxy. It is equally possible that romance is alive in the 23rd century only in a poet's heart and hence not terribly visible in the series. I do think, however, that thanks to Roddenberry's love of Shakespeare, a case for romance in the series can be made... Assuming for the moment, then, that there is a sense of romance in the series, and that it is possible on this basis to interject romance into the K/S relationship, an interesting question arises. Just where and from whom did Spock derive his sense of the romantic? Certainly computer tapes, even of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's work, would not tell him all he needed to know. Would he learn it from observing Kirk's behavior with women (let's hope not), could he have asked McCoy (can you see the good doctor's response when Spock pops in and asks about the nuances of romance???), maybe he consulted Uhura? Or perhaps he called up Amanda (I rather like the notion of them having a heart to heart about how to use romance to keep the man of your dreams in your bed). There is also the question of whether Kirk could use romance solely for the sake of pleasing his lover and not as a tool. He has a true flare for the tragedy of roomance (that scene in the engine room in WRATH is a fine example), but can Kirk be downright romantic?
- a fan responds to the TOTM which had asked what constitute romance in K/S: …First is humor…the inclusion of subtle, gentle humor in dialogue and action…. Secondly, I enjoy tenderness. I realize both Kirk and Spock are physically strong, powerful men and that, perhaps is what makes tenderness between them so attractive…. I like the image of two men secure enough in their strength and masculinity to not fear tenderness. Thirdly, I enjoy seduction. Nothing makes a K/S story more erotically delightful than a good seduction…. [M]y favorite seductions take place in privacy when they are free from worrying about prying eyes…. Considering my three favorite elements in a K/S story, what could be more enjoyable than a humorous, tender seduction? …
- another fan writes of romance in K/S: …I don’t think I everhave said of any story ‘Isn’t that romantic?’—on the other hand, I have been known to say ‘Nice,’ which I suppose is much the same thing…. I can enjoy explicit sex with the best (or worst?) but I don’t count that as romantic. It’s the quiet understanding, the companionship that provides that….
- another fan, Leslie Fish, writes of romance in K/S: What do I find ‘romantic’ about K/S? Not a whole hell of a lot, and that’s why I like it. [she sums up romance in female genre novels in a sharp and unflattering way.]…If any man tried to treat me the way Romantic heroes commonly treat ‘their’ women, I’d punch his darkly-handsome-broodingly-rich front teeth out! …The reason I enjoy K/S (besides the fun of seeing two gorgeous males for the price of one!) is that the lovers there are equals…[There follows Leslie’s impassioned thoughts on the unequal distribution ofpower in society.] …I hate Romance!
- more on romance in K/S: …My favorite ‘romantic’ action between Kirk and Spock occurred in ‘Ice Capades’ by Linda White (Companion 2). Kirk slides hishalf-finished bowl of salad toward Spock. The Vulcan then takes Kirk’s fork and with it finished the salad. That simple action bespeaks an intimacy far deeper than the mere sharing of a bed….
- a fan writes of what K/S and this letterzine mean to her: “With the production of Not Tonight, Spock! I feel that K/S fandom has acquired a long overdue recognition and a much-deserved importance in the world of Star Trek. To sum up the effect of the zine on me, the words “exhilarating” and “transfiguring” come to mind…. How can I tell you of the warm feeling of shared understanding those letters gave to me? A secure feeling of belonging to that admirable group, of knowing that when I sit alone in front of my television set, exclaiming over those subtle looks and touches that Kirk and Spock are exchanging, that I am not really alone….
- this issue has a long, long personal statement/letter from Della Van Hise regarding Pon Farr Press and the long, long delay in getting zines and other correspondence out. She mentions she is having to re-do Naked Times #4/5 part two, see that page
Not Tonight Spock! 3 was published in May 1984 and contains 44 pages.
- Editorially Speaking (1)
- The Medusian's Box (2) (a new feature—that they would be providing alist of writers and artists who use pseudonyms, and anyone wishing to send a letter to those people could send it to NTS to be forwarded.)
- Observation Deck (discussion topic is "What is your favorite K/S scene or moment from the series or movies?") (3)
- Headache #3 by Sharon F (11)
- K/Star Award Nominations (14)
- Not Tonight, Spock! Interview with Carol Frisbie, see that page (16)
- A Working Relationship/Space Age Hornblower (article) by Cassie Dalton ("Kirk has been called a Space Age Hornblower. In the Horatio Hornblower books (18th, 19th British Naval adventure novels by C.S. Forester), Hornblower and the First Officer Bush have an interesting relationship, that curiously mirrors a good deal of the Blish interaction, conversations, and behavior between Bridge officers. (Although in character, Hornblower has a blend of Kirk and Spockian traits, being both outwardly formal and inwardly lively and observant.) Hornblower and Bush are ever concerned for each others welfare in danger, (Hornblower seeking Bush out in hospital and gently caring for him when the latter is wounded behind enemy lines.) Hornblower teases Bush, while envying his first officer's stoic attitude in a sea battle. Bush is always hovering to anticipate and provide assistance a half-smile is often bestowed on Hornblower whom he greatly respects. Often Bush struggles between formality and discipline and a friend's concern for Hornblower's constitution.") (20)
- The K/S Completist by Khrys Nolan (21) (this issue: information about dealing with zine sales and auctions, for those fans seeking to complete their collections with out-of-print zines. Also, a story description of “Nebula of Orion” (written and published by Gerry Downes in Stardate: Unknown #1) as well as a story synopsis of Gerry’s zine, Alternative: Epilog to Orion.)
- From the Library Computer (reviews of Broken Images, What is Honor?, Locusts and Wild Honey, Nightvisions, Thrust, Mirrors of Mind and Flesh, see those pages) (24)
- The U.K. Connection by Heather Whitefield (28) (Duet #9, Locusts and Wild Honey, and Re-Mix, see those pages)
- Personal Log (LoCs) (30)
- Book Trek (recommended books) (36)
- K/S Zine Trivia (37)
- Rec Room by Susan Beth Schnitger (38)
- Star Trek Moods (cartoon) by Joy March Fox (40)
- HEAD-lines by The Dawn's Early Light (41)
- Classified Communiques (personal ads) (44)
- art and borders by Ann Crouch, Joy March Fox, Caro Hedge, and The Southern Cross
Some Highlights and Excerpts:
- a fan in the UK's comments illustrate the limiting factor of physical distance: I for one would be interested in participating in a round robin story, should one be started. Admittedly, I can foresee certain problems connected with my being on the wrong side of the "Pond", but I'd still like to join in.
- regarding pseudonyms, and "mixed" zines: First, of all, pen names. I agree with Karla that some people are in a job situation (or their husbands are) where it could be a mistake to let their own names be known. However, I also think that where a writer also writes 'straight' material, it's a good idea to use a pen name for one or the other. Even if Jeannie Bloggs makes no secret of the fact that she writes K/S as Jaggy Bones, Star Wars as Gay Snobe and Battlestar Galactica as Bonnie Jay, readers who like her work will know by the name which particular theme she's tackling in story X. I think this can be quite important as long as some editors put out media zines and also mix / stories with 'straight' ones. (On that theme I also think it is a mistake to mix K/S and heterosex in one 'adult' zine, because people who like the one don't necessarily like the other.) Personally, I tend to avoid mixed media zines; they're dear enough without having half of the content material that you don't want to read, either because you don't like the series involved or because you don't know it.
- a fan comments on McCoy in the K/S relationship and on threesomes: …My only sadness is when I read about McCoy being depicted as so misunderstanding of any possible K/S relationship…. McCoy and Spock have such a complex, balancing relationship that if the good doctor ever found himself in the situation of joining ‘em, that’s fine too. Someday I know he will/did.
- another fan also comments: By the way, I’m a McCoy fan and would really like to see more ‘/’ stories with McCoy either as a part of the relationship or having a more important part in a K/S relationship—is anybody writing that kind of story?
- a fan writes of why she likes K/S and that she is sometimes bothered by other fans' assumptions: …As a gay writer in fandom, I have my own views about K/S…perhaps my own sexual preference enables me to view K/S from a somewhat different level. Too often I hear gay sex referred to as ‘kinky.’…Many heterosexuals feel that gay sex is somehow ‘weird.’ By weird, I mean that gay sex is different from the sex heterosexual couples have. I think that this is the main thing that distresses me about K/S writing. Gay sex is no different from straight sex, except that the body you’re having sex with is the same as your own. …I fully believe that the reason why K/S is so much in demand, is that most of the stories are read and written by ‘straight’ females. Since a man’s body turns them on, what better than having two male bodies at once?… I admit I love K/S primarily because most stories show the homosexual relationship in a favorable light. K/S usually emerges as a caring, loving, respecting relationship, and that should be the ‘norm’ inany relationship.
- a fan writes expresses dismay over emerging trends in K/S fiction: First is the recent trend toward graphic violence; a new wave obsession with savage sadism and the rapture of gore…. Give me the good old Contact days of back-to-basic hurt/comfort…. In h/c, pain always had a purpose; it sanctioned the need for touch. And we all know where that eventually led to… Now, though, pain has become the focal point of the entire story…The fine art of fiendishness, delights of dismemberment, bestiality, and radical sexual perversion while being held captive by a crazed lunatic just aren’t part of the reason I like K/S…
- a fan expresses her relief at a K/S-only space: Congratulations on 'Not Tonight, Spock'. After years of patronisation: "K/Sers are at liberty to write what they want - don't get me wrong, I've got several gay friends - but I think it's disgusting..." (you know the sort), or downright hostility, it's nice to subscribe to a 'friendly' zine, where people are more or less on the same wavelength.
- a fan comments on early K/S and some fan writers: There were far too many things to reply to in the second issue but the real delight was the article about Jennifer Guttridge. New Voyages and The Price of the Phoenix were the first books I read in Trek (hotly followed by Leslie Fish's "Shelter" and "Poses" - how can she claim not to write romance?). I think Marshak and Culbreath first sowed the seeds of K/S in my mind - and as we all know, they've subsequently chickened out - or at least, that's how I read it - but Jennifer Guttridge confirmed it in "The Winged Dreamers". It has always been a great source of disappointment for me that I missed the inception of K/S but to find that she wrote one of the earliest K/S stories and that we can no longer get hold of it is frustrating in the extreme. I'm just grateful that we could share some of it. Can't anyone do a 'Jennifer Guttridge Collected'??
- a fan rates some television shows on their levels of "slashability": ... let us proceed to the series in question: STAR TREK, STARSKY AND HUTCH, THE PROFESSIONALS and MAGNUM FORCE. Considering each in turn, they can be ranked in terms of the series with the most evidence for a "/" relationship. STARSKY AND HUTCH is number one in this regard. There is a great deal of physical contact, obvious affection and a definite attempt on the part of the actors to portray two french kissing homosexuals opps that's a line from the blooper reel — to portray two men who dare to care. STAR TREK places second. There are some moments in the episodes that are SOOOO K/S, that I'd like to know who was responsible for them—the script, the director, the actors, and that magic, that chemistry and interplay (must be the chemistry, didn't Bill admit that he and Leonard have loved each other for years?). THE PROFESSIONALS ranks a distant third. (I msut [sic] admit to making this judgment after seeing only the 6 episodes Darien Duck so graciously loaned Central Ohio and Lower Michigan). I am a confirmed fan of Doyle-he of the cute derriere (although Paul Michael still has the best in my book and Shatner can't be left behind), curly hair, twinkle in the eye, nice chest (Freddie's, though, is much better). There is not a lot to construe or misconstrue in this series. In fact, I felt as if I were seeing a late stage in a relationship, one in which the principals had been lovers but had taken other lovers even though they remained close friends and linked to one another in such a way that whither the one went the other would go. Of course, then there is that scene in the bowling alley when Bodie's hands managed to grope all over Doyle's body. MAGNUM FORCE (as the source for Harry/Johnny) is fourth, mostly by virtue of the fact that the fandom springs from one look in the middle of the movie. (One must applaud the writer of H/J for finding a way to make Johnny, a cold blooded killer a sympathetic figure that's fine writing folks!)
- Editorially Speaking (1)
- K/Star Awards Winners (2)
- Observation Deck (issue topic, Do you believe Kirk and Spock are gay? -- Responses ranged from: yes, no, variations of “depends on the definition of gay” and “labels should be meaningless by then” - a few fans thought it an irrelevant question.) (3)
- Headache #4 by Sharon F (20)
- Mailbox (22)
- Not Tonight, Spock! Interview with Kathy Resch, see that page (23)
- K/S Completist by Khyrs Nolan (27)
- From the Library Computer (reviews of Day of Vengeance, Kirk Enslaved, What is Honour?, Naked Singularity, T'Zad'U, see those pages) (32)
- The U.K. Connection by Heather Whitefield (35) (She reviews Tangled Web, Romulan Exchange, House of Flame, and The Alternate Factor, see those pages)
- The Medusian's Box (36)
- Personal Log (LoCs) (37)
- He Is Risen? by Cassie Dalton (48) ("I was wondering if the K/S aspect had been heightened by the WOK movie ending? In noble attempts to solve (via fan fiction) the WOK ending, it seems that many people (who might, perhaps, not have considered this before) have been concerned with not so much "getting-Spock-alive-again", as in "restoring-Spock-to-Kirk." Giving Kirk back his soulmate, bondmate, life's partners, etc. People have been writing explanations, sequels, and resurrection sagas, in fan fiction with all the fervour of the New Testament gospel writers, or some mystical Eastern Sadhu, postulating the reincarnation of his god... There's even been the agnostics/atheists who have gone on detached to write stories without Spock! Terrible! I applaud all these fanfiction attempts to create a resurrection and restore Kirk and Spock to togetherness. To engender the K/S status quo. My own favourite is the McCoy "remember," which has all the hallmark of a commanded sacrament, and I'm sure Bones will regard and treasure it as such, he's the custodian of the Return.")
- Star Trek III Movie Reviews (49)
- HEAD-lines by The Dawn's Early Light (52)
- Star Trek Moods (cartoons) by Joy March Fox (54)
- Rec Room by Susan Beth Schnitger (55)
- Book Trek (recommendations) (56)
- Classified Communiques (personal ads) (57)
- art and borders by Caro Hedge, Barbara Gordon, Ann Croch, Joy March Fox
Some Highlights and Excerpts:
- a fan's remark on Hurt/Comfort: In my opinion, H/C, afterall, is just socially acceptable S&M.
- a fan addresses the issue of "gayness": …If ‘gay’ is taken to mean ‘experiencing (able to experience) sexual desire for a person of one’s own sex,’ then I imagine K/S fans would have to agree that Kirk and Spock are gay (at least in their K/S universe). If ‘gay’ is taken to mean ‘experiencing (able to experience) sexual desire for persons of one’s own sex, then I would argue that Kirk and Spock are both potentially gay. I think it is likely that Kirk has in the past, and may in the future, be attracted to men other than Spock. He’s a widely traveled starship Captain, who is often called upon to play diplomat, so it’s his job to be tolerant and cosmopolitan. And he’s gregarious by nature. I suspect he’s had sexual encounters with beings of various species and gender. The situation with Spock is different because of his emotional reticence. I tend to see Spock as too emotionally vulnerable (‘brittle,’ as Leslie Fish so aptly put it in ‘Shelter’) to have partaken of a relationship anywhere near as close as the one he shares with Kirk. And I think a good degree of closeness would be necessary before Spock would willingly and knowingly respond sexually to another man (or to another woman, for that matter). Even so, and much as I hold Jim Kirk to be unique, I think it’s at least possible that Spock could respond to another man with whom he shared a friendship. The sexual closeness would not be nearly as difficult to establish as the friendship, in my opinion. The idea that Kirk is the only one who can melt the heart of our Vulcan and rouse his desire used to seem very touching to me, but this ‘Only One’ theory has since come to seem unflattering to the relationship, as if Spock hasn’t chosen to love Kirk, but has rather responded to him mainly out of desperate need. If we define ‘gay’ more narrowly as ‘experiencing (able to experience) sexual desire only for a person or persons of one’s own sex,’ then I would argue that Kirkand Spock are not gay. They have both responded sexually to women inthe series, and I think they’d be likely to continue to do so after the development of a physical relationship between them (not that they’d necessarily act on these attractions)….
- another fan expresses her opinion about Kirk and Spock's sexual orientation and the label of "gay": …If Spock and Kirk are gay, then it totally lessens the special impact, and unexpected beauty of K/S…. K/S is unique, a one-off, a human/alien contact that surprised them both. Not gay, but nevertheless, lovers! If you add any latent ‘gay’ leanings to oneof them (while it may provide an interesting story format for a writer to work around) it lessens and diminishes the whole premise. It becomes less amazing.
- more from another fan: …K/S may not be about men at all—straight or gay. Written for the most part by women for women, K/S is a way of talking about women—what we find sexually exciting, erotically stimulating, emotionally satisfying. K/S allows those of us who are interested to focus on two extremely attractive male bodies—to have them both at once—and to acknowledge our physical needs and responses. But it is the depth of the emotional commitment, the intensity of their feelings, that provides a turn-on that seems to be—at least in this culture—a particularly female phenomenon…. . So the K/S relationship may be same-sex by default rather than because of a specific interest in ‘gay’ issues, drawing us by its concentration on which is important in a relationship between two persons. And that becomes its own kind of turn-on….
- another fan, this one male, writes: …I am indeed that rarest of birds: the male K/S fan…. …Are Kirk and Spock gay? How do I answer? Much depends on who is asking the question. My Kirk and Spock would not classify themselves as gay. They are in love certainly, but that does not make them gay. They have had gay experiences, but that does not make them gay. They have had gay fantasies, but that does not make them gay. None of these together make them gay. At least not in the sense of a primary label. The reason for this is that a person’s sexual preference forms such a small part of the total person that it does not justify making it a primary classification by which we define this person…. And should someone read or hear about K/S and ask us: ‘Are Kirk and Spock gay?’…And let us have the wisdom to answer simply: ‘Kirk and Spock are in love.
- another fan thinks that Kirk and Spock are both bisexual: Kirk, while having a remarkably high failure rate in his relationships with women, does exhibit a marked sexual preference for women…despite the presence of his potential same-sex partner—Spock…. [W]hile none of these relationships became permanent, I think this is due to the fact that Kirk simply and consciously places his career and desire to be in space exploring above emotional relationships and their concomitant ties…. When he met Spock who empathized with his commitments to career and space exploration, a love developed that became so great it overcame Kirk’s desire to place his career ahead of a relationship; in ST 3 Kirk sacrifices his career and starship for Spock…. Spock also has little trouble feeling affection and attraction for women even though Kirk is present…. And then there is pon farr which as a biological/genetic imperative virtually assures heterosexuality in Vulcans…. Spock is, I think, likely to make a conscious choice of partners that is based on the logic of love…. Because both are open to new experiences, because they are able to explore beyond the boundaries of their own previous experience, the K/S relationship is possible even though the characters are essentially heterosexual. The relationship takes on a special quality; their love is so attractive because it demands personal growth, reaching beyond themselves to grasp something unique.
- more on sexual orientation: That rather depends on how you define your terms. If being gay means engaging in a same-sex encounter one or more times during your life, then in most stories if K and S aren't gay at the beginning, they almost certainly are by the end. (This definition may be operating in an S/H story in which Starsky reveals to Hutch that he's "been gay" before meaning only that he has been with a man upon occasion.) I suspect, however, that most people would consider "gay" to refer not to a one-time sexual experiment but to an innate personal orientation towards partners of one's own sex. And by that definition, most K/S authors indicate that they do not think Kirk and Spock are gay... the majority of K/S stories focus on how the respect, admiration, friendship, and affection of the two grows into a love which they eventually discover (with greater or lesser degrees of resistence) has a strong physical component. In K/S it is love without consideration of gender preferences which initiates the physical relationship (even in the most severe throes of pon farr Spock is most often shown as being drawn to Kirk not from lust for his Captain's rose-gold body, but from that previously suppressed love which has produced a heretofore unrecognized bonding link). In this way K/S is both similar to and different from "/" universes. Both S/H and H/J, for example, occur in more familiar territory late-20th-century North America and their authors tend to feel a need to deal more directly with the whole issue of gay vs. "straight." In some stories this may take the form of having one of the partners determine that he is (and has been) homosexual, and has developed an attraction for his friend (thus allowing them to go through the endless agonies of remorse and guilt and longing and repression and will-he-won't-he, should-he-shouldn't-he that make up so much of all '/" stories). Even in these universes, however, the strongest emphasis is on the importance of caring and commitment and loving which finds physical expression in a sexual union and in many stories the characters themselves declare that the question of being "gay" is totally irrelevant as explicitly stated by both Harry (who assumed he was straight" for 40 years) and Johnny (who assumed he was gay because he had always gone with men, even though there is some question as to whether that was from internal inclination or external pressures); "Falling in love with a man isn't so different from falling in love with a woman you just have to learn the mechanics."  Or as Starsky thinks to himself in another story, the commitment and caring had always been there; this new marvel that made his blood sing was just frosting on the cake." 
- more on sexual orientation: The anti-K/S fen are partly right in that there is a certain amount of K/S lit that portrays Kirk and Spock as "gay," that is, which projects certain attitudes and behavior patterns common to the contemporary gay subculture onto thera. That may reflect the author's own sexual fantasies or problems she (understandably) has with contemporary heterosexual culture. Nevertheless, fans, who portray Kirk and Spock as "gay," or who embrace any and all "/" fandoms just because they deal with "gay" relationships, are ultimately reinforcing our society's tendency to label,classify and segregate people on the basis of sexual preference. In that sense, some K/S fans have a lot in common with the anti-K/Sers. In sum, my answer is that Kirk and Spock aren't "straight." I devoutly hope that nobody in the 23rd century is "gay," "straight," "white," "black," "disabled," "able-bodied," "mentally ill," "well," or any of the other labels we've concocted to separate and divide ourselves from one another, to conceal the human qualities we all share in some measure. Please, well-meaning fellow K/S fen, don't tell me (for my own good, of course), "that there will always be labels." If I believed that, I wouldn't be a STAR TREK fan, much less a K/S fan.
- a fan comments on what she felt to be negative remarks about a topic in the last issue: …[T]he interview last month with Carol F. got my goat. I personally am tired of the condescending attitude of some of the so-called original K/S writers and editors. Do we dare to write anything since we wouldn’t use as much care or thought in our stories as the great early writers!!!! After going back and rereading some of the early stories where ‘more care and thought’ went into them, I quickly realized that some (and note that I did not say all) were about the worst stories I have read, and the best K/S stories and novels are recent. Good and great stories have been done and will continue to be done. As to the comment "and are veering off occasionally into some strange direction. S/M and B&D and alternate universes where violent rape is a matter of course....but does it have much to do with Kirk and Spock?" K/S was also accused of not really being about or having to do with Kirk and Spock. When the stories are well done (and there are many), every situation could be believable, about Kirk and Spock and about some aspect of their character.
- a fan tells of an ugly scene at UFP Con 1984: Mr. Gerrold conducted the auction, which combines the sale of charity items with zines of all types, including K/S, and which is held in the main convention hall. During the proceedings, Mr. Gerrold picked up a copy of Thrust and said, ‘I find this kind of literature…annoying to say the least.’ He then flourished the cover (there were small children near the front of the audience) and gave mock readings at 50 pence a time to derisive laughter from some sections of the audience. Other sections made their disapproval plain and Mr. Gerrold apologized for having given offense (his expression). However, the auction continued the following day and the same thing happened. The words ‘filth’ and ‘perversion’ were used in connection with K/S zines including Alternative: Epilog to Orion and K/S Relay. Mr. Gerrold read brief extracts from Sun and Shadow in a suggestive manner, intimating that this was a K/S zine. The same implication was made in the same manner of Precessional. The whole manner was exceedingly unpleasant, casting a shadow over the whole con….
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4
: Years back, there were many letters in "Not Tonight, Spock" and zines in the K/S APA that could be crudely boiled down to "I'm not *really* into homosex, I just really love Kirk and Spock and love to see them loving each other." The not-so-veiled implication being that their interests were nobler than those who were reading the stories for the sexual charge.
The usual evidence they offered to prove this was that their interests were strictly limited to this particular couple, not just any two good looking men.
At the time, I sort of agreed with them.This, of course, was before I fell for a certain man in black leather and studs.... And got interested in his relationship with a certain curly haired idealist..... 
- Editorially Speaking (1)
- Observation Deck (issue topic: What fanzine story standsout in your mind that epitomizes your thoughts on the K/S relationship? Why? This TOTM generated only two responses.) (3)
- Headache #5 by Sharon F (5)
- Not Tonight, Spock! Interview with Beverly Sutherland, see that page (7)
- Not Tonight, Spock! Interview with Cynthia Drake, see that page (7)
- K/S Completist by Khrys Nolan (15)
- From the Library Computer (review of As I Do Thee #1, see that page) (18)
- The U.K. Connection by Heather Whitefield (20) (reviews of Never and Always with Lighter Shades, and Mirror Reflections, see those pages)
- Personal Log (LoCs) (22)
- The Ultimate Movie by Cassie Dalton (34)
- Star Trek III, reviews (35)
- Head-lines by The Dawn's Early Light (40)
- Star Trek Moods (cartoon) by Joy March Fox (42)
- Rec Room by Susan Beth Schnitger (43)
- Classified Communiques (personal ads) (45)
- art by TACS, Ann Crouch, and Joy March Fox
- photos from the recent Shore Leave
Highlights and Excerpts:
- many letters addressed the Naked Doubles flyer which was distributed anonymously at Shore Leave; this is one example: Just a short not this ish to comment on one event at Shore Leave this year. I speak, of course, about the vicious flyer NAKED DOUBLES (never thought I'd use that word in association with Star Trek). When non-fan friends ask "What's the attraction of these cons, and why do you spend all your time wrapped up in Star Trek?", I usually cite the wonderful people I've met & the feelings of friendship & warmth I've experienced in fandom. I'd have a hard time explaining this one. Such tactics as this attack on some of the most creative & hardworking people in Trek fandom cannot be allowed to damage what so many have built over the years. Its author has no place in Trek or any other fandom.
- a fan is happy with a touch of some diversity: A General Comment: If we haven't already, I'm sure that soon we'll be seeing in NTS, letters complaining about references to other fandoms such as "This is a K/S l/z... we don't want anything else." I'd hate to see us limited in this way. From different backgrounds, we've all become K/S fans through various routes, and such diversity can only enhance our appreciation of the relationship between Kirk & Spock. There are l/z's for most fandoms now, where detailed discussions can be carried on, but personally, I find it interesting & worthwhile to compare & contrast Kirk & Spock with other strong male couples/partnerships in the other fandoms--such as S/H, H/J, & B/D.
- a fan writes in of her anger and dismay regarding where she sees K/S fandom heading: I'm sick to death of misled fans and zine editors trying to smash my K/S ideal. As one editor said when asked why she printed and wrote violent, sad, S&M so-called K/S stories, "Because that's what reality is..." Exactly, my dear! You hit the nail square on the head! You're printing reality -- not my K/S dream. I have reality every day, up to here. Who needs more of it when trying to escape? Unless, of course, S&M is your dream. Then, in the spirit of IDIC, you're welcome to it. Only don't try to foist it off on unsuspecting fans under the sneaking guise of true K/S prose. For as another famous lady once said, "I don't want realism, I want magic...I don't tell truth... I tell what ought to be the truth". And now I'm beginning to learn from a friend of mine that we fans who are seeking a pure rendering of our K/S ideal, can make certain we get it. Simply by writing and asking each zine editor about the quality and content of their zine stories. Of course, the flyers give us an indication. But further, in-depth inquiries will give us more answers. Just come out and ask if there's violence or tragic endings included. That way we won't be throwing good money down the drain for crap which is passing for the real thing. Yes, the remedy is simple and it takes precious time. But it's up to each one of us to keep the K/S dream alive and clean, not let it be trampled in the mud by people who believe in, and even revel in, the rot of the world. I know I'm going to try. Because the K/S idea, my dream if you will, is very precious to me, and all that I have to keep that reality at bay.
- a zine editor apologizes: To all who ordered 'To Invite the Night': it is finally in print, and all pre-orders were either picked up at Shore Leave or mailed in July/August... Now to the apologies: yes, I was over a year and four months late. Although there were a lot of reasons, there are no real excuses. I know a lot of you were unhappy, and I don't blame you... I can only hope the zine was good enough to make it worth your wait. I started this project with a lot of unrealistic expectations of my capabilities. Be assured that now I know better. I like to write stories. But I write slower, much slower, than I could have dreamed possible. And then, everything else takes time, too, which I hadn't much taken into account at all... The responsibility was and is only mine; please throw all brickbats at me. Lezlie Shell, and then Barb Lewis, only took on editing, not production, not record-keeping, not letter-writing, not getting the thing finished. Furthermore, when all orders for TITN are filled, and all other copies are sold, Atavachron Publications will be going out of business. There will be no reprints, no xeroxes, other projects, or sequels... Again, I apologize for my lateness, and have the absolute gall to request your reactions to the story.
- a fan submits the form letter sent to her by David Gerrold in response to her letter to him, one which was signed by twenty-five fans: [For more on this issue, see Open Letter to K/S Fandom by David Gerrold]: Dear [Ms. G] Thank you for taking the time to write and share your thoughts. I appreciate your candor. Let me be equally candid. The people who created STAR TREK neither share no endorse the belief that Kirk & Spock are gay lovers. Indeed, two of the most aggressive promulgators of this belief have been barred from the lot and from the offices of those who produce ST. Furthermore, those who publish ST books now have a policy of specifically avoiding even soft-core K/S material; those who write these kinds of stories will find it increasingly difficult to sell them. Of course, if it pleases an individual to believe that Kirk and Spock are lovers, it is unlikely that anything I or anyone else may say would change their mind, and it would be wrong to try. A person is entitled to his/her own beliefs. However -- the active dissemination of the K/S interpretation of ST is something that Paramount would very probably view as damaging to their property — and the studio will act to protect their property. One last note: Because of the content of several recent ltters [sic] (some of it related to K/S) I have asked to have my fan mail monitored and examined by appropriate legal agencies. K/S fans are welcome to continue writing to me, of course, but unfortunately, because of the actions of a few irresponsible individuals, all correspondence on this issue will have to be included and turned over. You are welcome to share this information with any K/S fans you know. Sincerely, David Gerrold P.S. In answer to your question about IDIC, I find it difficult to believe that IDIC includes Sado-masochism and sexual humiliation. If so, I must have missed something... 
Not Tonight Spock! 6 was published in November 1984 and contains 42 pages.
- Editorially Speaking (1)
- Observation Deck (issue topic: Why are you a K/S fan? What do you find most appealing about K/S?) (3)
- Headache #6 by Sharon F (10)
- Not Tonight, Spock! Interview with Diana King in which she talks of her views of K/S and whether there will be a sequel to Captives), see that page (14)
- Duty Roster (editor's column) (18)
- K/S Completist by Khrys Nolan (20) (She discusses early K/S fiction, though makes a number of errors, most of which she corrects in issue #7)
- The U.K. Connection by Heather Whitefield (24) (a con report for Galileo Con '84. An excerpt: "Con auctions are a favorite haunt of mine and here adult material was segregated from general ST material and auctioned separately. Prices were low compared to past cons. Now, I know this doesn't please everyone, but I, for one, jumped for joy and pounced on two long-desired zines with Tom's enthusiasm for Jerry. Good USA zines are always in demand at British cons. The sales rooms were a disappointment, and I had to resort to individuals privately selling zines in order to obtain most of what I sought. This is a shame since I love browsing through amateur material and felt somewhat deprived of all sustenance.")
- From the Library Computer (reviews of Still Another K/S Zine, Out of Bounds, Again, As I Do Thee #1, To Invite the Night, see those pages) (25)
- Personal Log (reader comments) (28)
- Head-lines by The Dawn's Early Light (36)
- Star Trek Moods (cartoon) by Joy March Fox (38)
- Rec Room by Susan Schnitger (39)
- Classified Communiques (personal ads) (41)
- art and borders by Ann Crouch, Joy March Fox, and Caro Hedge
Highlights and Excerpts:
- a fan writes about the separation between the actor and the character: My own attitude to the K/S debate and the actors is What has it got to do with them? I am sure that those individuals who insist on trying to involve the actors, Paramount, etc with K/S are not capable of telling the actors and characters apart. I loathe William Shatner, I can just about accept the TV Kirk, and I usually enjoy the fan fic Kirk: but I don't think William Shatner IS Kirk, only that they have a physical resemblance. In my mind what , what Kirk gets up to has nothing to do with Shatner (same with the other characters) and I don't believe even the creator of the characters can have total control over a character -- everyone's interpretation of that character is different. I'm sure 'my' Kirk is nothing like Gene Roddenberry's idea of Kirk. I don't think Shatner has the stamina for a K/S relationship, as for H/J -- I don't think they're human; how many times in a night?!!!!!!
- a fan writes about slash and characterizations in different fandoms: Each "/" fandom has, or should have, at its core, the love relationship between two people involved. But each "/" fandom also holds a different creative challenge for the writer... In the ST universe, the challenge, for me, is to create a totality of circumstances to reveal some facet of a character or the relationships the three main characters share. That is why I often write fuck stories—and why I often like good ones—because I know the characters are enjoying themselves, they are having fun and so did I in writing or reading the story. Writing in the K/S universe can, if I may border on the sacrilegious for a moment, be a bit like playing god. The appeal of Starsky and Hutch, for me, lies in the open closeness of the characters. And, in reconciling that with the restrictive environment they live in, not only in the sense of them being cops but in terms of today's social values. I do think though, that many writers of S/H have tended to focus on the question of sexual preference. For K & S, gay is a difficult label to apply because Spock is a Vulcan from a different value system and both are men of the galaxy. With S & H, that label can allow for the production of great stories as the characters come to understand them selves, each other, their love. I tend to see Hutch as gay despite his marriage. Starsky is a heterosexual who may have bisexual tendencies which come to the fore when he accepts his love for Hutch. But I must admit that it is fun to change this scenario—to make S & H more like K & S in that both were primarily heterosexuals who find the love they share so compelling that they risk everything for it. I elaborate on this because I see in S/H stories a tendency to focus on this question and the permutations of sexual preference rather than on the much larger, potential S/H universe which includes cop plots, LA's weirdness and the like. I think this may be, in small part, why there is a writing crisis in S/H fandom. Maybe now that so many stories dealing with the issues of sexual preference and the revelation of true love have been written, writers can move on to the fascinating universe there is to play with if one writes S/H.
- the same fan writes of the transitioning the four main fandoms of the time are experiencing: I wonder if each new fandom doesn't extend what we learn. K/S was the beginning. It often did, and still does, focus on sex/sexual preference. Many stories never stretch beyond these topics (which is fine if the underlying aspirations weren't for a "real" story). S/H seems to have carried on the tradition yet, because the characters were so open with their Love, there were more stories that didn't just focus on these issues. With H/J, the issues were resolved immediately and became rather lame plot lines so other stories were written. In B/D we see the next stage, one we'd like to see K/S in. One where the issues of preference and sex are not so important. What is important is getting and keeping the characters together in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, till death do they part (with K/S there is the wonderful opportunity to realistically extend the relationship beyond "death"). Maybe we're on the verge of closing a circle. Writers who've begun in TREK, moved through S/H and into B/D may come full circle and bring that maturity as writers back to K/S. As a result, there may be more maturity in the characterizations we see in K/S if these writers can be lured back into the universe. Ultimately, I think some will gafiate back because they will see from writing other characters new challenges that Kirk and Spock's more mature versions present. In stories such as "Resting Place" and "Cycles", we see a more mature form of writing and characterizations; the characters are living the life they've chosen. The challenge is one of stressing their commitment and seeing if the love can endure. I think that eventually other writers may see this sort of challenge in K/S again.
- a fan responds to the TOTM: I am a K/S fan because I find a sense of ‘rightness’ about the relationship that is so often missing in other fiction. Most writers seem to find it impossible to portray a relationship in which passion, tenderness, understanding and respect are the cornerstones of the characters’ interaction. Between Kirk and Spock, these emotions are as natural as breathing…. Next comes the question of fidelity. This does seem very important to the K/S writer or fan, to the point where Kirk will ask for the bond although he is aware that it will eliminate any chance to change his mind. In fact, Kirk chooses to be compelled to exclusiveness, he wants it so badly. I find this very attractive… I’ve heard K/S dismissed contemptuously as ‘female fantasy’ because ‘gays don’t act that like that’…It’s interesting that if the male ideal of paradise is an unending sexual orgy, the female ideal should be of a tender, committed, lasting relationship….
- another answer: …But what I think is the main attraction of K/S…is the total commitment of the characters to each other…. Even without a bonding, in so many stories Kirk says that he is committed to fidelity because he loves Spock—andthat, I think, is the main attraction K/S holds for me. For the most part, the stories are monogamous and fidelity is of paramount importance. The fact that they are both strong men also makes a relationship between them one of equality. In their service lives, Kirk is the leader, but that is because of his rank; in their personal lives they are equal….
- a fan responds to the TOTM: …For me Kirk and Spock’s relationship epitomized that: perfect understanding without the sacrifice of individuality. Two completely different individuals, with everything that word implies—different backgrounds, values, needs, personalities, expectations, who nevertheless understand the value of each in their totality…. A lot of it has to do with the concept of bonding. I get very violent when I read storiesabout either of my boys with someone else (male or female), but male more so. I think part of the reason is, I have come to envision the ‘ideal’ K/S relationship as onethat is totally monogamous. Given the bonding as it has been popularly portrayed, we have the makings of the ideal love/sex relationship in which one literally is another person—taking the idea of total understanding a step further to total unity, yet again without the sacrifice of identity.
- Sandy Herrold wrote: Why am I a K/S fan? Heck if I know! A year ago I watched the show every time it was on but had never heard of fanzines. I moved in with ... my current roomate, and she forced me to buy fanzines. (Well... not really) I liked the first couple I read, but for the price of zines, you have to love them. Then I read my first K/S. All I know is, now I spend 30-50 dollars a month on K/S, and have just gotten started. When you consider my monthly income is less than $450 (I'm a student), that's quite an investment. But back to the question. Why K/S instead of Doctor Who or straight Trek or Harlequins? Part of it is LOVE, but most of it is EQUALITY. Today you can't write a book about a male and a female in a totally equal relationship. It just wouldn't sound right. Maybe in my (hypothetical) daughter's time, but not now. You can find books about people who truly love each other in any book store, but not about strong equals. In the stories I love best Kirk and Spock are equal. They split the male and female atributes between them. Kirk is the emotional irrational one, but he's in charge, Spock is the logical one, but he's the one with fertility cycles. As a bisexual myself, I see those who have chosen to admit their homosexuality - whether to just to themselves, or to the world - as marked by this process. Gay means being out of step with the hetero society as much as it means same gender sex. It is impossible to be gay now, without reacting against the straight world, because they're act so strongly against gays. Because Kirk and Spock never go through that process of reaction I can't see homosexuality per se as being relevant to them or their relationship. K/S shows a world where they can act on their similarities (and differences), instead of reacting to what the world thinks about their similarities. They are just lovers.
- another fan responds to the TOTM: …The facet of the relationship that really appeals to me must be their total suitability for each other…. The other factor, of course, must be the exclusivity of the relationship…. From Kirk’s point of view, he is loved by a man who is not only devoted to him…but in whom he can trust implicitly without even so much as a second thought. From Spock’s point of view, he finds himself accepted, drawn in, by a man he admires and respects and who is brave enough, despite his heterosexual reputation, to cast all labels and barriers aside to cleave only to him….
- another fan writes: Why people are drawn to this admittedly bizarre hobby is beyond me. Haven't you all said "Why me? Why couldn't I have become obsessed with something dull, safe, clean, and uncontroversial like needlepoint, stamp collecting, or mutal funds?" There is a certain factor of embarrassment involved. Look how many people can't even use their own names. Hard enough to explain/defend being a Trekker to anyone, let alone get into this! ("Kirk and Spock do what?! ... Excuse me while I move to another table...") I suspect a certain percentage of us may at heart be brilliant, dissatisfied, creative, troubled, solitary sickos... but then again, I have absolutely nothing upon which to base this, and everyone I've met in K/S is warm, friendly, relatively normal-appearing, Mom, apple pie, etc, except for a certain shared tendency toward watching a man's pants instead of his eyes. I enjoy K/S very much. I like to read it, like to write it, like to think about it, like to discuss it in forums like this one. It seems so normal to me now that I forget it's 'dnice. Hot, but nice.
- and finally: …Kirk and Spock were strong enough to see that they loved and that love they shared was too precious a commodity to be wasted. They were strong enough to accept that love in the face of outside pressures and in spite of their own past reluctance to acknowledge…. In in the sense of 2 people who happen to be men…having passionate sex because they are deeply (no pun intended) in love with one another. The sex isan extension (again, no pun) of their affection. It’s a physical statement of giving and trust. (How can anyone not be aroused by Spock, a being whose life isbuilt around control, surrendering every shred of control when he makes love with Kirk; there is no more uncontrolled moment than that of orgasm. The mere thought of that gift must be enough to make Kirk mushy inside and hard outside.)
- Dawn's Early Light addresses the fannish topic of The Bond in Star Trek fanfiction: …Way back on aired Trek, Spock explained his link with T'Pring thusly: ‘One touches the other in order to feel each other’s thoughts. In this way our minds were locked together.’ Fandom latched on to this nifty concept and the bonding phenomenon was born. Early K/S writers felt the idea was too good to pass up since Kirk and Spock had already shared each other’s thoughts, but to date, only in the line of duty. Bonding seemed like an ideal way to further the relationship, the theory being that if two minds are locked together, the accompanying bodies will naturally follow suit. At first, the stories remained faithful to the original description, and the bond was portrayed as a mental commitment—embedded deep within the subconscious—that linked Kirk and Spock together. They were ‘aware’ of each other, could sense what the other was feeling, but that was about it. From there, imaginations began to run amok until the various interpretations of the bond have grown downright mind boggling for not only Kirk and Spock but for the readers as well. What had begun as a means of expressing the mental closeness between a certain starship captain and his telepathic mate has, for the most part, evolved into a method of communication that makes Mission Control look sick by comparison. The bond gradually developed into a handy-dandy, personalized broadcasting system with infinite range and built-in radar….
- a fan admits to falling into another fandom: Finally, as a recent, rabid covert to S/H fandom, I agree with Darien's letter and humbly apologize to Sharon for bitching about Freddie. Everyone in K/S seems to be taking on second and third fandoms (are they like mortgages? No, but you need one to afford them! Ar Ar...Humor...a difficult concept.) I see parallels between SH and KS and may even discuss them in writing here at one point.
- a fan comments on the recent commentary generated by David Gerrold's anti-slash remarksOn another matter, the persons that accuse a K/S writer or reader with some kind of public disease as though we should all hide in the closet, must themselves be afraid that it will rub off on them. I find that the certain actions of a well known ST writer to be childish. The extreme reaction he takes to a very small part of fandom writing seems out of proportion. A panel I attended at a con seems to think that the new series has tones of same sex in the story line. I wonder if this writer knows this about his books. I only wonder because of the writer's hard stand against that type of sex. Everyone has the right to believe as they will, but we must all defend those rights or they will disappear. My liking of K/S stories harms no one, the only harm would be when certain people would want to make me feel guilty for liking K/S.
Not Tonight Spock! 7 was published in January 1985, printed offset, folded and center stapled, 36 pages. Art by Caro Hedge, Carol Swoboda, Joy March Fox, and Ann Crouch. Contains discussions about K/S, fanzine reviews, how to finance your zine, puzzles and cartoons. It also contains a "Legal Column."
- Editorially Speaking (1)
- Observation Deck (issue topic: What would happen if the pilot for ST was written today and began with Kirk and Spock being lovers—how would this effect the episodes?) (3)
- Headache #7 by Sharon F (7)
- Duty Roster (editor's column) (10) (zineds answer the question: "Do you finance all or part of your zine through orders taken before printing? How many pre-orders can you expect to get before going to press?")
- Right to Relief by Judith Gran (12) (a new column by a fan who is a lawyer: she addressed the issue of whether fan art portraying Kirk and Spock violates any rights of the actors who play the parts. Examining it under the common-law “right to publicity,” Judith concluded that if Shatner’s and Nimoy’s contracts give them the right to control or collect royalties from Paramount’s licensing of their images, then the actors also may have a right to control fan artists’ use of their images (for commercial purposes). However, she also noted that this licensing right may lodge with Paramount instead, and “fan art may properly be Paramount’s beef, but not the actors.')
- K/S Completist by Khrys Nolan (13) (a review of Obsc'zine #1, see that page)
- From the Library Computer (reviews of Naked Singularity, Starry Seas, Earthly Planes, Nome #7, see those pages) (17)
- Critic's Corner (in-depth reviews) (18)
- Personal Log (LoCs) (21) (one interesting note: a fan writes that she has several of Jennifer Guttridge's underground stories, ones never in a zine, and is willing to let folks know of their plots -- by agreement with the author, though, she is unable to recopy them for others)
- Star Trek Moods (cartoon) by Joy March Fox (33)
- Rec Room by Susan Beth Schnitger (34)
- Classified Communiques (personal ads) (37)
- art, borders, and cartoons by TACS, Caro Hedge, Ann Crouch, and Joy March Fox
Highlights and Excerpts:
- a fan answers the TOTM -- how would the aired series be different if Spock and Kirk were established lovers?: Assuming that the series is still being madefor TV, we couldn’t expect much in the way of steamy sex scenes. And I think K & S would still be ‘all business’ while on duty. But, since the question assumes that the premise of a same-sex relationship between TV characters has become acceptable to TV producers and audiences, we could expect an occasional kiss or embrace, an intimate moment cuddling in bed, getting dressed in the morning or after making love. Having said all that, I think I’d prefer that Kirk and Spock not be identified as lovers at the time of the pilot, but that they become lovers sometime in the course of the series. Let Kirk have his ‘City’ and Spock his ‘Amok Time.’ Let their feelings progress, as they did during the actual series, from friendship to deep love. Let the love and yearning and sexual tension between them build up and finally be consummated in a hitherto missing episode. Now, the question is, where in the course of the original series should that episode be inserted?
- a fan relates to others a phone call she recently had with David Gerrold: According to David, he didn’t want to mention K/S in the revised edition of The World of Star Trek, feeling it best left ‘underground,’ but did so at the urging of his editor who encouraged him to write his impressions of the genre. He also stated that he doesn’t really care about K/S (an opinion he said is shared by Gene Roddenberry) and that he has no vendetta or campaign going to stop K/S. His main objection to K/S seems to be to the violence and sexual humiliation, the S&M elements, in some stories…. He mentioned that homosexuality between male fictional duos is not a new idea and has been suggested between such pairs as Batman and Robin, Starsky and Hutch, etc. His concern was not necessarily for Kirk and Spock, that we are defaming them, but for Star Trek. He stated that he has been writing ST in one form or another for nearly 20 years and feels responsible toward it and its fans. He seemed most concerned that no one and nothing adversely effect ST in any way…. He expressed an admiration for fan writing, stating that some of the more recent professional novels were written by people who started in fandom. He has no desire to curtail or stop fanzines, I don’t even think he wants to stop K/S. He came across to me as a person genuinely concerned for ST. David did mention that there is some concern at Paramount over K/S and that it is not impossible that the powers that be at the studio may take some action to stop K/S in the future. While this is something I am not going to worry about until it happens, I would like to suggest that editors and writers remember who they are writing about, that we watch the violence and not let it get out of hand. Kirk and Spock deserve respect and, while I fully understand the unpleasant situations anyone can get into in the course of life, they don’t deserve some of the perverse situations they have been put into by fandom. I don’t mean to dictate to anyone what they should write, I only wish to suggest that everyone be aware that fandom, K/S fandom in particular, is being watched closely by people who could possibly cause us quite a bit of trouble, and I don’t mean David Gerrold. I have no need, no desire to defend David, he does a fine job of doing that himself. And, in fact, I still disagree with what he wrote. But he and I came to an agreement to disagree with no hard feelings on either side. I found his willingness to do so quite refreshing. There is nothing objectionable about writing to someone stating your opinion, even a negative opinion, but can’t we try to extend thecourtesy we are asking of David by allowing room for his point of view? He spoke to me with respect and an open willingness to listen. In my view, that’s the basic spirit of Star Trek. What more can we ask of anyone?
- a fan apologizes for her letter in a previous issue, one where she complains of the murder, rape, and general mayhem in current K/S zines: My point, and it was badly stated is that we fans who do not want to face the harsh realities that some are turning out, should have some sort of warning before we spend our money for S&M zines. I am far from alone in this feeling. But I am alone when it comes to searching out that information. In other words, I understand that I am probably not going to get that warning and, as with everything else that is worth the trouble, the burden of finding that bit of gold among the dross is on me, the individual. I am not longing for dull, constant-sex K/S zines, and I realize that some sort of action must be included in the stories. But I always hope for a little more than Kirk rapes Spock, Spock rapes Kirk, Klingons torture or rape everyone. My last letter was written in the heat of anger, after I had wasted $45 for zines that left me with a sick, empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. Of course, I'm aware that everyone would not have reacted that way. It was just me. I've already expressed to [the editor] my regret at having sent that letter and at having contributed to the complaining atmosphere of issue #5. Now I'm expressing it to the readers. But I am not apologizing for being human and having an instinctive revulsion to violence, for that is me, too.
- the fan who wrote the column "The K/S Completist" put together a list of early K/S published zine fic:
- 1974 -- A Fragment Out of Time in Grup #3 (though she still errors with the title, calling it "To Invite the Night"
- 1976 -- the first entirely K/S zine ever published was Alternative: The Epilogue to Orion, in June 1976 -- several "proto-K/S stories were in More Grope, October 1976, -- Shelter in Warped Space #20
- February 1977 -- The Green Plague in Son of Grope, March 1977 -- Poses and several poems and stories in Obsc'zine #1, May 1977 --"The Hectic in My Blood" by Audrey Baker in Deep Grope, August 1977 -- various poems and vignettes in Obsc'zine #2, September 1977 -- Desert Heat and several other stories in The Sensuous Vulcan
- 1978 -- the first all-K/S anthology was Thrust, May 1978 -- "The Lost Decade" by Audrey Baker in The Gropes of Roth and "Between Friends" by Gayle F, as well as other stories and poems in Obsc'zine #3, September 1978 -- several K/S pieces in King Grope
Not Tonight Spock! 8 was published in March 1985. Printed offset, folded and center stapled, 36 pages. Art by Caro Hedge, Barbara Gordon, Joy March Fox, and Ann Crouch. Contains discussions about K/S, fanzine reviews, sexuality in K/S fiction, puzzles and cartoons. On the cover: "Second Annual K/Star Awards."
- Editorially Speaking (1)
- K/Star Awards (2)
- Observation Deck (issue topic) (3)
- Headache #8 by Sharon F (7)
- Right to Relief by Judith Gran (10) (She wrote of the fandom-related implications of a 1984 Supreme Court decision that found videotaping of televisions programs to be “fair use” and not infringement of copyrighted material.)
- Sexuality in K/S Fiction: Sensuality vs. Genitality by Linda Frankel (11) (Explores “sensuality vs. genitality” in K/S fiction, including “This Deadly Innocence” by Leslie Fish, “Nightjourney,” a story in Thrust by Carol Frisbie and Susan James, and the stories of Teri White.
- K/S Completist by Khrys Nolan (13) (summarized some issues of Grope)
- The U.K. Connection by Heather Whitefield (17) (reviews of Twisted Labyrinth, Duet #10, and Tangled Web, see those pages)
- From the Library Computer (reviews of Naked Singularity, California K/S, see those pages) (19)
- Personal Log (LoCs) (21)
- Head-lines by The Dawn's Early Light (28) (She mentions the good editors and "Gafiation Crisis of 1982-1984" (K/S fandom), due to migration to other fandoms and those “losing the will to persevere in the face of overwhelming competition from a once small subspecies known as the Non-Editing Editor. This group has managed to thrive lately by adapting to the unstable conditions created by the K/S Readers’ insatiable demand for quantity over quality…")
- Star Trek Moods (cartoon) by Joy March Fox (29)
- Rec Room (games and quizzes) by Susan Beth Schnitger (30)
- Classified Communiques (personal ads) (36)
- art, borders, and cartoons by Ann Crouch, Joy March Fox, Barbara Gordon, Caro Hedge
Highlights and Excerpts:
- from "Sexuality in K/S Fiction": …On the one hand, the writers understand the significance of genital acts to man, and there seems to be an assumption that the relationship is not complete unless there has been oral or anal intercourse…. Yet, on the other hand, most of the writers are women and believe with the majority of women that caressing and cuddling are really significant…. This ambivalence is highlighted in two stories by Teri W. that appeared in Thrust… Spock’s need is for a genital act that will consummate his pon farr… However, Kirk shows the value of intimacy by kissing Spock and saying ‘That was for us.’ It is the kiss that represents the love between them, not the pain-ridden intercourse. Teri W.’s stories say to us that although intercourse is necessary, the real significance for a relationship is in sensual closeness…. The winning out of sexual affection over violent sexual expression [pon farr] seems to be desirable to K/S fans as well as to the writers. Many fans are expressing the fear that other values are asserting themselves in K/S fiction through rape, slavery and sado-masochism stories. Yet I find that even in stories whichdeal with these themes, the author is clearly rejecting them and asserting the value of tender affection in opposition. So K/S remains in accordance with the majority view of women that sensuality is the highest form of sexual love.
- a fan comments on "old" and "new" K/S fanfiction, and to the early pass around stories by Jennifer Guttridge: About SENSUOUS VULCAN, well, every one to their own taste. While there were things in it which I didn't particularly like, still, in general I often prefer the early stories, particularly early K/S, to the current output. And I prefer a bad story to a boring one. To my taste, so much of what is written today is bland, repetitive, and unoriginal. It is may be more polished and accurate. But still: boring! Grrrr!—Do I have to buy a ticket to Scotland and twist your arm to see those stories of Jennifer's?! It would certainly be a shame if they were lost forever, which is all too likely to happen with only one (or even a few) existing copies. It would be everyone's loss. I wish something could be done to preserve them, and even publish them.
- a fan writes writes of erotica, pornography, the current flap with David Gerrold, and female empowerment: When I first saw the revised WORLD OF STAR TREK I was both annoyed and amused at his [David Gerrold] inclusion of K/S in the "dark side" of ST, his somewhat condescending references to the "K/S ladies," and his odd assumption that as diverse a literature as K/S consists primarily of stories focusing on s/m and violence. However, I wonder at your [an early fan who'd correspondence with Gerrold] need to "reassure" him that not all K/S fen "approve" of this type of story. Certainly not all readers enjoy all kinds of stories, nor should we expect that they would. But why couch reference to this variety of taste in terms of approval and disapproval? That seems a bit defensive, and we shouldn't have to defend our fantasies, whether among ourselves or to the outside world (yes, I know that's easier said than done). It's also worth noting that dominance/submission stories—with varying amounts of violence—are not peculiar to K/S. Recent studies on women's erotic fantasies point out that a definite portion of the female population respond to such scenarios (often with a great deal of embarrassment or concern—"does this mean I really want to be raped?"—though the authors of the studies agree that this should not be interpreted as an invitation to real-world violence). Without going into the complexity of this issue, my point is that there is a surprisingly wide range of erotica to which a variety of women may respond. And in K/S especially—written, edited, and read almost exclusively by women with no intermediaries such as publishers or advertisers—it is unlikely that any thing has been forced upon us by a male establishment out to make money from putting down women (as mundane foes of "pornography" assert about their targets). These are our fantasies, and if we don't all share all of them or find that each one meets our individual needs, they are still genuine and important. (As a matter of fact, I think many of the so-called s/m stories often are ways of exploring in symbolic language a significant K/S theme: the necessity, as another fan has written, for both Kirk and Spock to become willing to experience "the dangers of emotional and erotic vulnerability," in order to undergo a personal transformation which will enable them to achieve true intimacy and equality in their relationship.)
- fans responded to the TOTM: ...whichever scenario you prefer, I think it is telling that some form of virginity is nearly always a part of our vision of K & S. There’s a kind of Cinderella (or Snow White/Sleeping Beauty) quality about it—some day the handsome prince will come and awaken his beloved to Life….
- another fan answers the discussion topic: Kirk, definitely not!…He might possibly be new to same-sex sex, but again I doubt it…. But I don’t see him as having entered into a long-term relationship with a male before Spock, or as having loved a man before. …I don’t see him [Spock] having casual sex for sex’ sake with anyone, male or female. Discounting outside influence, of course, when hewasn’t in control of the situation. I think he has always been drawn to Kirk, realizes heloves him, but won’t do anything about it. He’s been brought up to feel that sex is for reproduction and to associate it with Pon Farr, which he fears…. He’s definitely ‘virginal’ as far as knowing how good sex can be when shared between two people who love each other…. Only when the worldly Kirk shows him what sexual sharing can be, doe he realize that sex is not a thing to be feared.
- more, this one from Sandy Herrold: I have so many scenarios. They are all self-consistant, but they all contradict each other. I have no problem with them both having loved other men before, though I don't think it was anything more than experimentation to Kirk. I can see Spock having loved other women, especially Zarabeth ...my favorite scenarios are when Kirk has never done it with a man, and neither has Spock. They are both so self-conscious about hurting each other, and very cautious. It makes all the tentative first moves even more tantalizing and sweet…
- another fan writes: For the purposes of this articles, I am defining "virgin" as not having been with another man, not another partner.... One of the most unique and endearing qualities of the Kirk and Spock relationship to me involves what I’ll call here, for want of a better label, the ‘dynamics of reticence.’ Both Kirk and Spock, each in their different ways, had strong reasons to resist becoming too emotionally involved with one another. Some of the most powerful moments in the series relied on their acting on an intensity of feeling which was in direct conflict with the proper course or action for either their inherent training or the circumstances they found themselves in (recall Kirk’s emotions in ‘Amok Time,’ ‘Operation Annihilate,’ ‘The Immunity Syndrome,’ ‘Is There In Truth No Beauty,’ and God forbid, even ‘Spock’s Brain’; Spock’s emotions in ‘Tholian Web,’ ‘Amok Time,’ ‘Plato’s Stepchildren,’ ‘Devil in the Dark,’ ‘The Apple,’ ‘Deadly Years,’ ‘Turnabout Intruders,’ the list for Spock goes on and on). The magic here for me is that they both go against an established pattern of behavior for the sake of the other. This is especially attractive when considering Spock who has grown to adulthood without allowing any being to really ‘touch’ him until Kirk—either metaphorically or physically. It is a much more attractive concept to me than imagining he’s been fucking his way around the galaxy with males and females alike. That just removes the special circumstances that make Spock’s relationship with Kirk so unique. In my view of their universe, even the women in Spock’s life only got close to him when he was not in ‘control,’ although I do believe he has experienced sex with women…
- about LoCs, communication, and the quality of recent K/S fiction: I agree with her statement that "one of the primary problems with K/S today (is that) there are fewer and fewer stories that make you feel good when you're finished reading them." Her opinion that this is due to the dearth of creative interaction between writers and editors, and between readers and writers, may be true. But what can be done to remedy this situation? I'd be thrilled to be able to read some "works in progress," but I don't know any writers. (Well, I correspond with a few I occasionally, but I don't know them.) The idea that editors/writers need more and better LOC's is probably true, but there are several roadblocks to this. First of all, do editors really want feedback if it's not positive?
Not Tonight Spock! 9 was published in May 1985. Printed offset, folded and center stapled, 44 pages. Art by Caro Hedge, Joy March Fox, and Ann Crouch. Contains discussions about K/S, fanzine reviews, writing K/S fiction, sexuality in K/S fiction, puzzles and cartoons. It encourages fans to vote in the K/Star Awards.
It was announced that Linda Biggs was leaving the editorial staff after this issue.
- Editorially Speaking (1)
- Observation Deck (issue topic: "What, in particular, appeals to you in a K/S zine? For example, do you look for specific authors, artists, editors, or type of story, etc.? Are the zines you’re reading now what you want?") (2)
- Headache #9 by Sharon F (11)
- Right to Relief by Judith Gran (15) (This issue addressed illegitimacy as a legal concept (relevant to Kirk’s son David.)
- Sexuality in K/S Fiction: Genital Size by Linda Frankel (16)
- K/S Completist by Khrys Nolan (18) (reviews Obsc'zine #2 and Obsczine, see those pages)
- The U.K. Connection by Heather Whitefield (22) (reviews of The Protege and Diversity, see those pages)
- From the Library Computer (reviews of Dreams of the Sleepers, Time Out of Mind, As I Do Thee #2, First Time #1, Duet #11, K/S Tonight see those pages) (24)
- Personal Log (LoCs) (32)
- Head-lines by The Dawn's Early Light (39) (“K/S Sniglets”: “words that should be in the old reliable trek dictionary…but aren’t.”)
- Star Trek Moods (cartoon) by Joy March Fox (41)
- Rec Room by Susan Beth Schnitger (42)
- Classified Communiques (personal ads) (45)
- art, borders and cartoons by Caro Hedge, Ann Crouch, and Joy March Fox
- this issue has a two open letters: Open Letter to K/S Fandom by David Gerrold and Open Letter to the Editors of All K/S Zines & All Other "/" Media Zines. The second letter was also printed in Universal Translator #27 and Datazine #36.
Highlights and Excerpts:
- from Sexuality in K/S Fiction: Genital Size -- about genital size and why it isn’t dealt with in K/S fiction. She suggests that “cocks are central to male sexuality,” that this “places men in competition with each other over their genital endowment.” She also suggests that cock size is particularly of interest to some gay men as a symbol of masculinity. “For K/S writers to show either Kirk or Spock so openly craving masculinity by voicing interest in cock size may be too uncompromisingly a statement of gayness for them…. It is Spock’s Vulcan restraint that allows the writers to evade the issue…. Spock would logically argue why the size of genitals is irrelevant to enjoyment of sex…. It might be entertaining indeed to see such a discussion between the two men in a K/S story, but such a frank treatment of a genuinely gay issue requires an overcoming of unrecognized homophobia in K/S writers…. “
- a fan takes up the discussion topic: …When I first got into fandom…the zines I was weaned on…were K/S and relationship zines like Thrust, Sun and Shadow, The Price and the Prize, Galactic Discourse, in short some very polished zines editorially, artistically, and literarily…. so much of what I’ve read lately is merely a Kirk/Spock version of Barbara Cartland with a generous dose of copulation thrown in… What do I look for in a K/S zine? Among the ‘series’ zines there are some which I will always buy sight unseen because of the qualitythe editors have produced in the past (Nome, Galactic Discourse, T’hy’la, Another K/S Zine series for examples). The first element I am interested in is good writing: I would buy a zine with a Vivian Gates or Suzan Lovett story in them no matter what other material was included…. First and foremost, then, good writing is what I look for. Strange opinion for an artist, huh? Don’t think I don’t appreciate a polished zine editorially and artistically. Take a good look at a recent Galactic Discourse (I recommend 3) or Organia. Every page is laid out with an eye for design with beautiful (and beautifully reproduced) artwork, graphics, borders, etc. Photographs of color nebulas, high quality paper, perfect bound…and these editors charge the same as everyone else for their zines. Of course graphics can never hide or cover a lack of basic material, but everyone loves to look at a beautiful zine over a cheaply thrown together one. I recently got my first look at original Interphases. Connie Faddis started that series in 1975, folks! Color covers, fold-out art portfolios, beautifully designed pages, and fantastic stories. The mark of an artist (and a writer, for that matter) really show in the editorial hand of that zine. I MISS that kind of quality in what is being printed now.
- another fan likes the new zines better: For the most part, I am very pleased with the zines that are coming out now. They are beautifully printed and bound. With the quality of Xerox machines now available, even photocopied zines are far superior to the older zines. The stories, art, and poetry are excellent.
- another fan finds that more is less: I would say that as a general rule I am getting what I want in fewer and fewer zines. As always there are exceptions. The fact that ‘/’ zines seem to proliferate so easily would seem to indicate that the essence of what originally drew people to K/S is now being diluted by rather less than thoughtful writing, so much so that a fair amount of present K/S could apply to any S/H, etc. stories….
- another fan echoes the dismay at proliferation of K/S fiction and sameness; she also comments on art: A great deal of the artwork in zines is very pleasing with the likes of Caren Parnes, Southern Cross and Suzan Lovett as illustrators but even so I wouldn't buy a zine purely for its illos. This does bring me to a personal gripe: is it possible for editors to make clear, in their ads, just exactly which hat their contributor is wearing - for example, is Ellen Kobrin writing a story or a poem; is Suzan Lovett illustrating or writing? It does make a difference, especially with the pound at $1.20! I would say that as a general rule I am getting what I want in fewer and fewer zines. As always there are exceptions. The fact that "/" zines seem to proliferate so easily would seem to indicate that the essence of what originally drew people to K/S is now being diluted by rather less than thoughtful writing, so much so that a fair amountpresent K/S could apply to any S/H, H/J  etc. stories.
- Sandy Herrold writes: My favorite zines? What a great topic! I talk about this all the time, to any friend - fellow K/Ser or not - as will stand still for it. If I put down as much as I'd like to, you won't have room for anyone else's comments this month. 1st, the longer the better. I love novels and novellas. (Little quibble here — only in fandom do you have works advertised as a novel at 60-90 pages. Really guys, if you must list it as a novel, make good and sure you list the page count prominently - otherwise, it is deceptive advertising, and poor practice. Nuff said.) Of course a novel is not the same as a zine full of connected stories in the same universe, whether by the same author or not. A novel has minor climaxes all leading to a single major climax, which is the central point of the story. A set of connected stories all have major climaxes (no pun intended), which may or may not be working towards one central point. (I know, that is a horrible definition. I'm not an english major.) 2nd, I loved ST fiction - pro and fan - long before I ever heard the premise. My favorite stories are usually ones where, of course they are lovers, and we see their closeness, but they get on with saving the galaxy and going where no man has gone before. If at the same time, they put in wonderful sex, and closeness so special I nearly cry - so much the better. When I read Broken Images, I kept wishing that it could be sold as a pro novel, and when I read "My Enemy, My Ally", (Pro ST, by Diane Duanne - nice lady, even if she is a David Gerrold protege), I kept thinking how much more fun the novel would have been if they'd been shown as lovers. I love pictures (even piss poor ones) that illustrate the narrative. I have personal likes and dislikes of the most prolific K/S artists, but I'm glad there are so many. (Another digression. I don't like some artists, so when I review zines that they are in, I usually don't comment on their work at all. It just doesn't seem fair.) I don't think that Gayle F does "my" Spock and Kirk at all, but I love what she does anyway. Most of her stuff is very nice, and a few of them are fanfuckingtastic - pun tended. I really can get into a carefully done A.U. By that I mean an obviously different universe, where the influences on the young Spock and Kirk were different, causing them to be different in minor or major ways. I do not like stories where - as far we are told - the universe is the same as aired (or movie) trek, and they do not act the same at all. If you want Spock to cry everytime Kirk frowns at him, fine, but show a reason why he would do that when "our" Spock did not. I AM TIRED OF G0L STORIES! I agree totally that that is why he left, and came back acting so funny, but I never want to hear it again. You know, that really is funny. When I first heard the premise and read a few stories, I said yes, it's fun to read, but it is all an alternate universe. It wasn't until I read a few Gol stories, and realized that the first movie finally made sense to me, that I accepted K/S as the "real" universe (take that as you will). But if we haven't done everything possible with that plot, we've come real close. I feel almost as strongly about shore leave stories. Unless you have something very original to say, please avoid these. Most of the good stuff has been mined from the idea. Saddest of all to say, I even find myself less enamored of 1st time stories. Certainly I don't feel that it has been played out as a topic, but I find very few of them that speak to me anymore. It is not that I think that the newer stories are worse, certainly not, I just think that I have already read most of the angles. Again, I guess if you are going to do this type of story, you should have something new to say, and not just cover old ground—unless of course, you are sure you can do it better than it has been done before. (I always recommend a second opinion at times like these.) (Here we get controversial.) I love a good bondage, or even rape scene. I was crushed that Whips and Chains didn't get off the ground. And despite all the comments about violent stories recently, I know I'm not alone.
- a fan is becoming disillusioned with the state of K/S fiction and zines: I am no longer satisfied by much of the K/S I read. Because there are so many zines which sell quite well, I've begun to realize that perhaps today's fan reader, writer, editor has a set of expectations that differ considerably from mine... The expectations [scenario, characterization, insights, editing, etiquette,] I've just tried to elucidate were born of reading the classics & the many other excellent stories & poems that were written in the early days of this fandom. That many of my expectations are not being met by much of today's material doesn't mean that more classics aren't out there, waiting for their moment or that really fine stories & poems are totally missing. The list of materials nominated for the K/Stars contains work just as good if not better than some of the older material. It's the struggle to find it that depresses me, makes me wonder if many fans have ever read the early K/S material in COMPANION, THRUST, NIGHTVISIONS, ALTERNATIVES 2/3, NAKED TIMES 1-3, etc. Do many of you know what is lacking in much of today's K/S? In reading back over this, I think I see why so many gafiate. Expectations are not being met, writers receive no encouragement, no inducement to better their work. It's a rather stiffling atmospehre. I know I have no incentive to finish the 5 K/S stories & 2 long poems languishing in my notebook, half-completed. My recent correspondence with new editors makes me think I'm seriously out of synch with newer fans; my expectations do seem very different. I begin to empathize with Apollo when he went to join his god friends.
Not Tonight Spock! 10 was published in August 1985. Printed offset, folded and center stapled, 40 pages. Art by Caro Hedge, Joy March Fox, and Ann Crouch. Contains discussions about K/S, fanzine reviews, sexuality in K/S fiction, puzzles and cartoons.
First off, I want to definitely clear up any confusion that may still exist about NTS. The zine is most certainly NOT going out of business. I received a number of letters, from fans in various parts of the country, stating they had heard that the zine was folding. I have absolutely no plans for retiring NTS. If & when that happens, you, the readers, will be the first to know, & you will read it in these pages. My thanks to those who wrote & informed me of the rumor & who gave their help in refuting it.
- Editorially Speaking (1)
- Winners of the K/Star Awards (2)
- Observation Deck (issue topic: Do you believe that “bonding” is essential to the K/S relationship? What is your conception of what “bonding” entails both mentally and physically?) (3)
- Headache #10 by Sharon F (10)
- Right to Relief by Judith Gran (13) (Gran takes on David Gerrold's open letter in the last issue and refutes the legal claims within it.)
- Sexuality in K/S Fiction: Internalized Homophobia by Linda Frankel (15) (Frankel takes on the issue of homophobia in K/S fanfiction and cites several stories (Desert Heat and Beyond Setarcos by Gayle F, "The Lorath" by Ray Newton, and "The Wise One" by Fiona James). She concludes with: "In the last analysis, the personality reintegration that is required by accepting homosexuality within yourself is a long and difficult process…. Eventually, Kirk and Spock can move beyond internalized homophobia, but there are no miracles and no simple answers that will get them there. When they finally do reach the goal of self-acceptance, they appreciate it all the more than if there had been no obstacles along the way. I salute the writers who show Kirk and Spock as maturing and changing human beings")
- K/S Completist by Khrys Nolan (17) (review of Deep Grope, see that page)
- The U.K. Connection by Heather Whitefield (21) (a review of Hidden Desires and Aftermath, see that page)
- Personal Log (LoCs) (24)
- Head-lines by The Dawn's Early Light (38)
- Star Trek Moods (cartoons) by Joy March Fox (39)
- Rec Room by Susan Beth Schnitger (40)
- Classified Communiques (personal ads) (41)
- art, borders, cartoons by Joy March Fox, Caro Hedge and Ann Crouch
- there is much about the centerfold in issue #8 by Barbara Gordon, as well as a number of responses to Open Letter to K/S Fandom by David Gerrold
Highlights and excerpts:
- regarding the TOTM and bonding, a fan had this to say: …As far as whether bonding is essential, I’d be forced to say that it would depend largely on the K/S relationship as it’s being approached in any given story…. I do believe bonding (in whatever manner readers might choose to interpret it) would be a vital part of a serious relationship between a Vulcan/Human or Vulcan/Vulcan…. As to the physical implications of bonding, here’s where I part ways with some K/S fans. In essence, I do not feel that a bond must be ‘exclusive.’ There are always extenuating circumstances wherein one or both parties might want or even need a sexual encounter with another person. The old pon farr scenario is one example. Spock’s not going to risk his own life (and maybe Kirk’s as well) if he’s trapped on some backwater planet with no one but Christine Chapel. Granted, he might not like the inevitable, but I think he’d sacrifice his own feelings in the matter in order to preserve the dual-life which belongs not only to him, but to Kirk as well. On the other hand, Kirk’s a starship captain, and what we’ve seen on aired Trek seems to indicate that he’s often ‘required’ to seduce tribal priestesses and haughty rulers in the line of duty. So, for what it’s worth, I don’t think that a K/S bonding automatically means that they can only make love with one another—or even that it means they’d only want to make love with one another. In my ‘version’ of the bond, there is such total security that both parties would take that giant leap beyond petty sexual jealousy and understand that the physical body is really just one aspect of a much larger picture….
- more on bonding: Whether the bonding is essential to the K/S relationship depends on how you perceive their relationship. If they are close friends the bonding would not be essential, but if they are mates it would be. AMOK TIME establishes that Vulcans are bonded to their mates & I feel that as a Vulcan Spock would need & want the bond if he had a mate. I believe that Kirk would want the bond too since part of love is the need for mental & emotional as well as physical intimacy with the beloved & what could be more intimate than being able to "see" into someone's mind? I think the bond makes the mates always aware of the presence of each other. The bond does not invade mental privacy but it does allow the perception of the well being of the beloved as well as the sending & receiving of telepathic messages.
- another fan addresses the topic: I understand bonding to mean a mental relationship between the two,as to me K/S immediately implies a physical relationship. I sometimes like to read a story where they have no commitment to each other, other than having a good time, & in that light they would not be bonded. However, if they have an exclusive physical relationship then by the end of the story I like to see them bonded. I don't care how long it takes or how fraught the path is, but not to be bonded by the end of the story implies to me that there is not total commitment & I'm a real romantic at heart, even in slave stories. Bonding must be the ultimate expression of a relationship - physical AND mental commitment, & to me is the ultimate expression of their love.
- another fan writes: The bottom line is that the bond is a more sophisticated, more articulate, more adult version of the security blanket. Since we can’t have that wonderful safeguard in our own lives, we’ve bestowed it on Kirk and Spock…. In a rambling sort of way, this brings me to whether the bond is ‘essential’ in the K/S relationship. I think it is a special gift we’ve given them, one we felt will make their relationship stronger, and even more loving—something we want for them and for ourselves. The bond allows their love to be special because through it, they can become life-long companions. They will have fidelity, the pizzazz of always being euphoric about one’s lover, etc. I don’t think the bond is essential, for they would be lovers and companions regardless, but the bond transforms their romance, intensifies it, gives it an extroardinariness because they know, without doubt, what they mean to one another, how much they love one another, just how strong their commitment to each other is; there are no lies between Kirk and Spock. The bond itself makes the K/S relationship so unique. That’s why you can’t take any Stallion story about Larry and Joe and call it a K/S story. Those two men can never be one the way Kirk and Spock can. Through their bond, Kirk and Spock can truly join, become one entity; they can actually be a part of the other; they belong to one another in a special way no two Humans can….
- a fan apologizes for her long absence from this letterzine, but explains she has been distracted: You see, it was summer—can it be almost a year ago?—I went to a con, I met a man...two men, actually, one dark, the other fair, both policemen, & fell in love, & there's just never seemed to be enough time for anything anymore—any thing including writing, reviewing, reading K/S, reading S/H, writing to friends, several fan clubs, letterzines, plus there were the 2 kids, the broken typewriter, the new VCR, a new job, another new job — Frankly, I don't know how y'all do so much! But, all my dabbling into S/H, H/J, S&S, etc., around, still thinking about K/S.
- a fan expresses her feelings about where K/S fanfiction is heading: I thought at first K/S was just losing its appeal for me when I read several of the latest zines, but other friends had the same reaction to those works—the stories just weren't very good, or the whole zine just wasn't very good, sometimes annoyingly so. The recent explosion in K/S publishing has resulted in a decline in quality, but I don't think early K/S writing was better than recent stuff. Early K/S was tentative, experimental. Today's K/S, the best of it, is much deeper, more complex, more 'grown up.' Sometimes I worry that every possible thing has already been done. But then it becomes not what the writer says but how she says it, the novel & personal twist to the first time, the shore leave, the pon farr, the bonding, the death story, etc. Old wine in new jugs.
- a fan explains her connection to K/S: I have always felt like an outside observer in K/S fandom. This is only partly because I am a lesbian & not sexually turned on by K/S. My approach to K/S has become rather Vulcan. Originally, I wrote K/S in a vacuum without knowing that there were zines that actually published the stuff. I wanted to explore issues important to me as a gay person within a STAR TREK context. When I finally did stumble upon K/S fandom, I discovered that the motivations & assumptions that the writers & fans had were quite different from mine. So I reacted like Spock, "Oh, this is a fascinating phenomenon. I wonder how it came about." Thus my role is that of K/S scholar. My primary interest in K/S is analysis.
- this fan takes issue with some of Linda Frankel's column in the previous issue: I do think many women who read & write K/S are quite ignorant of the real gay world & hence may simply not know just how much men think about cock sizes. Certainly they wouldn't hear it from the men in their lives. But, ignorance is a far cry from "unrecognized homophobia". I think too, you must accept the fact that we really aren't writing about gay men. As the discussion here in NTS pointed out, most of us see Kirk & Spock as bisexual or basically heterosexual men who fell in love with one another. Certain gay issues of today do not translate into the concerns of K/S. Besides, I think one reason we see & know about gay sexual issues & non-sexual ones, too, is because they talk about those issues. In reality, however, many of those concerns are the concerns of men in general. For example, one persistant theme I see in gay fiction is the desire for children - that's not just a gay issue. Many men want children. With gays, it's an issue because society would deny them the right to children. Before you tell us that gay issues have not surfaced in K/S, please define what those issues are & whether or not they are "gay" issues exclusively. I think you'll find many of the concerns of gay men with finding & keeping men they love, with keeping the romance in their relationships, with having children, etc. are in fact being dealt with in the K/S relationship... a Unrecognized homophobia is the least among them, although I will not deny that I do think there is some homophobia among K/S fans. I think ultimately you will find that many concerns of gays are the same as the concerns of us all - we're all looking for someone to love, to love us.
- fandom's growing pains, and the proliferation of fannish choice is addressed by a fan: the reason you are no longer satisfied by much of the K/S you read is because of a problem endemic to fandom—not just K/S fandom. Bodie/Doyle fandom is new now, but as more fans gravitate to it, & become entrenched, forming their own little feuding cliques, the very same thing will happen. Zine editors will begin using only their friends' work, & boycotting their "enemies". This will result in the same slovenly zines & dull stories. Editing will become a lost art again. The problem is with fandom, not with K/S. Certainly, the B/D stories I have read have little to recommend them; they were never edited, & are patently private wish-fulfillment, plotless & colorless. B/D fandom's only virtue is its newness. It too will become dull in time. Fandom gets what it deserves.
- a fan comments on Sandy Herrold's letter in a previous issue, one about rape fantasies and the private nature of such scenarios: When you mention fans' concern about the political Washington correctness of our fantasies, you hit the nail on the head. I understand from friends of mine more up on current issues than I that pressure to revise one's fantasies into "correct" scenarios is not unknown in feminist circles (whether that pressure is external, from strongly opinionated compatriots, or internal, from a woman's own self-doubting introspection). But fantasy—where the individual is in control of her own experience--should be a safe zone where we have permission to explore any & all erotic & emotional "possibilities." So far "/" fandom has provided that freedom, that safe zone, & it would be incredibly sad if permission for some of those explorations were now withdrawn.
- a fan comments on another's discussion of homophobia in K/S fiction: Your reference to "unrecognized homophobia" in K/S writers is certainly intriguing, & may have substantial merit. There are lots of stories which explicitly state that K&S aren't "gay," but just happened to fall in love with each other as individuals regardless of gender preferences. And perhaps these writers (& readers—note the responses to the Observation Deck question "Are K&S gay?" in an earlier NTS) do protest a bit too much. But I also think that it's important to realize that K/S is not gay male erotica. It is written by women, addressed to women, & its erotic concerns are not male (straight or gay) but female. And I don't know of many women (straight or gay) who get hung up on cock size. I definitely enjoy the descriptions of Kirk's & Spock's bodies, including their cocks & balls & buns & so on, & as they make explicit love to each other, I am able to participate in & get off on that physical experience (including that "classic image of fellatio" you mention), to have them both at once, as it were. But whether or not Kirk or Spock are depicted asgenuinely gay is fairly irrelevant to my enjoyment of those erotic scenarios. And, of course, the denail of any intrinsic homosexuality in K or S makes the focus of their relationship the intense emotional communion between them, & that appears to be a turn-on of a different sort, but one which is essential to the K/S universe.
- a long-time zined offers up an opinion about fans' opinions on the perceived lack of quality in recent K/S fiction: Having been an editor for many years, it's easy for me to see the changes which have come about. In many instances, I think that a lot of writers have simply gotten bored — not with K/S itself, but with writing & especially with plotting. It's easier, after all, to re-tell a story than it is to create a new one. Gods know, most K/S writers have been guilty of that, & in itself, there's nothing wrong with wanting to tell a story in your own way. The problem comes when telling a story in a different way doesn't improve the story or make it memorable in some way which is unique unto itself. As a writer, I can understand this syndrome all too well. It's much easier to expand on someone else's framework than it is to lay the foundation & pour the concrete yourself. On the other hand, it's not always easy or even possible to live up to the "feeling" that this idea created in the first place. For example, I've read a lot of crashed shuttlecraft stories wherein K&S become lovers. But none of them will ever replace Leslie Fish's [Shelter[SHELTER]]. Same with DESERT HEAT. It's fine to write a pon farr story, a crashed-shuttle story, a first-time-on-the-ship story. What's important is that the writer do something unique with the idea itself. And it is possible. I do not subscribe to the idea that K/S is dying because we've all run out of ideas. What I do see is that a lot of writers are getting laxy with their imagination. Another problem comes with the fact that many of the new writers seem to feel that an editor's only responsibility is to print their story as is, no changes, no suggestions, no comments, period, end of argument. It's hard enough putting out a zine without this kind of added burden, & many editors will simply buckle under & do as the writer says. The result is a zine which contains stories with loopholes big enough to pilot a starship through, dialogue that sounds more like Sleepy & Sneezy than Kirk & Spock, & poorly plotted material that needs to see the insides of a typewriter about 3 more times before coming into print.
- more on fanwriters and changing expectations: It seems that many K/S writers just want to see their story in print. And that's one of the biggest problems K/S fandom is facing today. When the integrity of the characters suffers, or when a story's structure is weaker than the fabric of Tholian space, then perhaps an editor's responsibility is to reject that story outright if the writer is not amenable to suggestion & constructive criticism. A lot of the sado-masochistic stories which have been making the rounds recently would never have seen print in the "good old days of K/S-dom."
Not Tonight Spock! 11 was published in November 1985 (undated; content is the clue as to the month) and contains 39 pages.
Please note the deadline for the next issue. I realize it is rather short this time but I very much want to get NTS back on a regular schedule and so would like to get #12 out before the end of the year. I will be assuming responsibility for publishing another letterzine in a different fandom the beginning of 1986 and want to get them on a coordinated time schedule to ease the workload as much as possible. I apologize for any inconvenience this causes any readers. Regular columnists - please note - this deadline also applies to you - SORRY! Finally, a brief reminder to anyone interested in submitting zine ads to NTS. The policy is that the zine must be K/S-oriented, have a heavy K&S relationship emphasis or be a slash zine in another fandom. Ads for other newsletters will also be accepted. Unfortunately, space limitations make it impossible for me to accept all zine ads.
- Editorially Speaking (1) (The editor explains that due to a number of RL issues, a number of the regular features/columns are absent in this issue.)
- Observation Deck (issue topic: Do you feel that Kirk & Spock would explore, as part of their relationship, all aspects of sexuality, including S&M?) (2)
- Headache #11 by Sharon F (7)
- Rec Room by Susan Beth Schnitger (11)
- Kirk/Spock Survey Results, part 1 by Judith Gran and Dorothy Laoang (12) (The original questionnaire was included in the September 1984 issue. Two stats: respondents' age range was from 19 to 73 (average of 34), and all were female)
- Sexuality in K/S Fiction: McCoy: Support of K/S by Linda Frankel (16) (The column discussed McCoy’s support of K/S, with reference to such stories as Leslie Fish’s Shelter, Poses, This Deadly Innocence; Alexis Fegan Black’s Decisions (Naked Times #2); Teri White’s An Anguish to Pay (Naked Times #1), Gerry Downes’ Alternative Book 2/3, and (on the opposite view), Time Out of Mind by Nathan St. Germaine and Keith Donovan)
- The U.K. Connection by Heather Whitefield (18) (reviews and comments on Bitter Sweet Resolve, The Halls of the King, see those pages)
- Reviews from the Library Computer (20) (reviews of T'hy'la #5, Nome #8, The Voice #1, see those pages)
- Personal Log (LoCs) (26)
- Classified Commiques (personal ads) (39)
- cover by Caro Hedge, other art by Ann Crouch and cartoons by Joy March Fox
Highlights and excerpts:
- a fan decries the need, suggested by some, to refrain from publicizing K/S because of assumed negative consequences: …Let’s also talk about what we might gain from publicizing K/S. First, an influx of new K/S fen into fandom…. Second, enrichment of the lives of persons who otherwise might never have known of K/S fandom’s existence. Third, reinforcement of our influence with Paramount (I suspect Paramount is already playing up the ‘male bonding’ theme quite consciously, but it doesn’t hurt to remind them of our interests.) While trying to ‘educate’ David Gerrold would be an exercise in futility, I’d like to see his audience education on what K/S is really all about… To feel ambivalent about telling others we enjoy reading and writing K/S is understandable, but let’s not blame ‘society’ for what essentially are feelings of personal embarrassment. How to reconcile our interest in K/S with our ‘mundane’ lives is something each of us has to resolve for herself. Those who wish to conceal their K/S activities have the option to use a pen name. It is absurdly restrictive to ask all K/S fans to behave like members of a secret society merely to protect those few who are too embarrassed to reveal their involvement in K/S to others, yet can’t quite bring themselves to use pseudonyms…. …Unless you give better and more precise reasons for refraining from ‘publicizing’ K/S, vague imprecations about the ‘harm’ we will visit on ourselves will be ignored, at least by those of us who naturally and instinctively integrate K/S into our lives, who have no desire to practice our hobby in a ghetto.
- Sandy Herrold answers the TOTM: I think that K&S would explore all aspects of their sexuality, including S&M? Fascinating question: To even begin to answer it, I have to digress for a moment. How many of you have read SCANDALS OF SHIKAHR? That many? Good! Remember the dating game take off (between chapters 5&6), where Spock has to choose between CONTACT Kirk, DUET Kirk (& some other Kirk, I forget?). Well, some authors' Kirk and Spock [say?] yes certainly, and many authors' Spocks seem to go along with anything that makes Kirk happy. Now do I think my idealized version of K&S would do that? Well - my Kirk has tried almost anything once or twice. He'd never tried actual intercourse with a male before Spock, but he'd been in group scenes where getting or giving say a blow job perhaps was no big deal. Yes, I'm getting off the track here. I think Kirk [has] already tried it and found it wasn't really for him. It would never really occur to Spock to bring it up as an idea. I do think there are times when Kirk just allows himself to be passive before Spock's greater strength, just as I feel Spock (probably too often) lets Kirk have it all his way once in a while. Actual' S&M, probably not, or not for long. (But if they did - I'd want to watch.)
- another fan addresses the discussion topic, citing both personal disapproval and a fear it gives fodder to what she feels is the persecution K/S fandom: Personally, I see no reason why K&S would want to engage in S&M practices anymore than any "normal" being would. By that, I guess I'd have to say that I view S&M practices as a perversion. Sorry, call me a dinosaur, call me a prude, but I honestly cannot see how genuinely hurting another being could bring pleasure to anyone. Of course, there are those who would say there's a fine line between pain and pleasure, and I think there's a big difference between "real" S&M and "make-believe" S&M. For example, is bondage S&M -- particularly if both parties agree to it? Probably not, since binding someone usually isn't fatal -- unless, of course, the bonds are applied to the neck and the recipient is dropped from a tree limb. On the other hand, there are very real forms of S&M which do cause physical and emotional harm, and which simply don't have any place in the K/S universe as far as I'm concerned. Again, there's a difference between fantasy and reality. If the two boys want to "play" master/slave, that's okay by me. But if and when the writer begins to take that premise seriously -- to the point of cruelty, degradation, humiliation, and rape, I think it's gone too far ... mainly because it isn't in line with the characters of Kirk and Spock (as I know them). There have been far too many "rape Kirk" or "rape Spock" stories in recent years, and this is something which I feel gives justification to the opponents of K/S.
- a fan opposes S&M in K/S, and she also brings up the external and internal pressures of approval: Mainly, I think it's a matter of stepping back into aired TREK, and looking at the characters -- particularly if you're even considering writing an S&M K/S story. If we want to keep K/S believable and enjoyable for the majority, I think it's vital that we try to keep the TREK "ideals" alive in our writing. In TREK, we saw the love and respect the characters had for one another. At no time did I ever see any indication that either party enjoyed -- or even had the potential to "enjoy" hurting the other.
- another fan struggles to understand: Those limits surely fall somewhere between consensual s/m and that which is not. Consensual s/m is entered into by two (or more) knowing adults who understand what will happen, who anticipate its happening. Consensual s/m is role playing that can be stopped if either partner wants that. While I do understand this, I have yet to empathize my way into the mind of the person who needs, wants some of the more violent/humiliating situations I've read about. I confess to not understanding the painful road to pleasure. Non-consensual s/m truly frightens me. It makes me drag out the judgemental labels wrong and sick. I simply don't understand it. I'm afraid my own musings about s/m in general make it difficult to focus s/m in relation to K/S or any of our "/" fandoms.
- a fan speculates on the S&M topic: Gee, I wonder. Don't we all do it on some level or another? Withholding sex, affection, speech, comfort? Intense foreplay that is prolonged beyond the comfort zone, could in some ways be considered sadistic and/or masochistic. Or is it only called S&M when it reaches a certain degree?
- a fan brings up S&M as it is portrayed in The Professionals, a fandom that is making a bigger and bigger footprint in "Not Tonight Spock!": As an aside for anyone interested in the other "/" fandoms, Professionals, in particular, I think there is a great deal more implied and actual consensual and non-consensual s/m contained in the corpus of Bodie/Doyle stories. Bodie, especially, seems to be thought capable of very sadistic physical behavior. Doyle is the master of sadistic psychological behavior. And yet, in the majority of stories where s/m creeps in, the two, much as K/S in their slavery stories, do reach a level of parity through lvoe, respect and very frank communication, often punctuated by physical violence.
- another fan brings up The Professionals, a fandom a number of K/S fans are gravitating to -- she responds to another fan's comment on : It is true that much of what you see in B/D is unpolished, etc., but that is the nature of the fandom to date. The crucial difference is you don't pay big $$$ for a zine with nothing in it you like. I suppose the day will come when B/D too will wane, but until then, I intend to enjoy it as much as I enjoyed K/S. 
- from the column by Linda Frankel, "Sexuality in K/S Fiction": I wanted to write about K/S/M this time. But I still haven't read any. So I decided that my topic would be the reaction of McCoy to the K/S relationship and the role he plays in supporting it. Because (loveable) curmudgeon though he is in the overwhelming majority of K/S stories that I've seen McCoy does accept the K/S relationship and can be fiercely loyal in its defense. He usually exhibits less homophobia than either Kirk or Spock often show. This is probably because his training has made him more objective about sexuality. Yet in "Shelter" (originally in WARPED SPACE 20 and reprinted in K/S RELAY 3) by Leslie Fish, McCoy is far from professionally objective. He utilizes Freudian analysis to attempt to determine the causes of Spock's attraction to Kirk. I find this speculative psychoanalysis patronizing and oppressive. McCoy never asks himself why he prefers women. Heterosexuality is not seen as mysterious or in need of investigation. It is homosexuality that needs to be explained. The fact is that no one fully understands how people come to have any sexual preference. Any objective treatment of the question would recognize this. "Shelter" is deservedly regarded as a classic, but the story would be even better if McCoy showed any realization that homosexuality isn't a special case whose etiology needs to be determined like an illness. In most stories McCoy's acceptance of K/S isn't based on his professional views. Rather it's firmly bound up with his feelings of friendship for both men. Because he cares about Kirk and Spock, he wants their happiness and will fight for it even when the main obstacles are Kirk and Spock themselves.
- in response to a fan complaining that new fans were ignorant of the classic zines, and another fan pointing out that those zines were elusive and often unavailable, this fan brings up the idea of a lending library: What we need is a K/S lending library with xeroxes of all of the old zines and each new one as well. A person could then send postage money and get the copy to read. Once finished, it'd be sent back for the next new fan. What we need is a selfless person to perform this mission, to get the copies, etc. Anyone interested?
- a fan addresses the "Sexuality in K/S Fiction" column topic of homophobia in the previous issue: Your comments on homophobia in "The Wise One" and in The Lorath" are interesting, but remember the competition parameters; we were given a situation - in a K/S zine - where a sick Spock had fled to Ancient Vulcan. The obvious reason was that he was retreating from his realisation that he wanted Kirk (what else but sex would Vulcans be so ashamed of?); and given Kirk's track record with women in the series, it was also reasonable to assume that Spock would believe that Kirk would not respond to him. I'm not saying that it was impossible to have come up with a different reason (even in a K/S zine) for Spock's retreat (I am bonded to T'Pring; it is a betrayal of my bond with her to seek out someone else?) - but since the story obviously had to be K/S... You're a writer; can you come up with a different reason for Spock's retreat? Possibly those 'He will not understand; he will reject me' plots are reflecting 20th century prejudices and attitudes, but they do provide a basis to hang a plot on.
- what goes around, comes around: I would like to comment about [D D's] complaint about the expense of K/S zines. I wonder if there would be a market for a much cheaper high quality mimeo zine. With a mimeo and an electro-stenciler you can run art--just not in color. Just thought I'd throw out the idea.
- there is an announcement by Flora Poste regarding a long-awaited and controversial zine: would like to take this opportunity to tell readers of NTS that Syn Ferguson has finished writing COURTS OF HONOR, & that the end result of her efforts is wonderful. I know because I have read the entire novel in manuscript, as a member of the proofreading team appointed by Syn's editor. The finished manuscript will go back to Syn very soon, and it should be at the printer's in short order. (I'm writing this in early August.) COURTS OF HONOR is a magnificent achievement. It's staggering in length (more than 600 pages), and Syn needs every bit of that length to tell a story which has a real SF premise and which is extremely complex, suspenseful, and -- as one would expect of her work -- very beautifully written. After reading COURTS OF HONOR, I can certainly understand why it has taken so long to complete. Work of this quality simply requires a long time and great care: it can't be dahsed off at lightning-fast speed. Work of this quality is more than worth the wait, too, no matter how long that wait turns out to be. COURTS OF HONOR will create an absolute sensation in Trekfandom. I don't think that anything on this scale has ever been attempted before -- and Syn Ferguson's novel succeeds on so many levels, too -- as Trek, as SF, as K/S,as literature, finally, of a quality that other zine writers will have go very far to equal, and that none of us are likely to surpass. Rejoice! Rejoice! It's almost here!
Not Tonight Spock! 12 was published in January 1986 and contains 34 pages.
Welcome to a new year of NTS. There is lots of news this time around so lets get right down to business. First, and most important, I want to announce that NTS will be going on a brief hiatus after this issue. The next issue, #13, will be published in May rather than March. A number of factors have contribued to this decision. I am in the process of looking for a new printer, which takes time. The zine has recently lost 2 of its columnists, and I feel the need to do a bit of regrouping on the "Features" front. Also, as some of you may know, I am in the midst of starting another letterzine in another fandom, and I feel the need to make sure their schedules will mesh as smoothly as possible. Please be assured that NTS is most definitely not going out of business.
- Editorially Speaking (1)
- Observation Deck (issue topic: "Do you think the Kirk and Spock we see in the three films are logical extrapolations from the characters as they appear in the series? Are the movie characters mature representations of the series characters?") (2)
- Headache #12 by Sharon F (5)
- The K/S Completist, zines by Krys Nolan (8)
- Right to Relief by Judith Gran (12) (Judith responded to the question: "Several years ago, a copy of a K/S zine was sent to Paramount’s Legal Department, yet the corporation chose not to prosecute. Has Paramount thereby lost the right to enforce its Star Trek copyrights against K/S fan fiction?" -- part of her answer: " “I believe that Paramount, which indisputably has known of the widespread publication of Star Trek and K/S zines for many years, indeed is estopped, by its implicit consent to the publication of our zines, from successfully prosecuting K/S zinesright now…. Estoppel is not a general waiver or abandonment of copyright…. Nor is estoppel a permanent bar, for all time, to prosecution of copyright infringement claims…. Paramount can announce, ‘OK, Star Trek fans, we’ve condoned your infringement in the past, but from now on, it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy. After June 1, 1986, anybody publishing a Star Trek zine is going to land in court.’ If that were to happen, older zines would be protected by Paramount’s past acquiescence, but potential publishers would be on notice that their zines are vulnerable to suit….”)
- Sexuality in K/S Fiction: The K/S/Mc Triad by Linda Frankel (14) (The authored covered the topic of a Kirk-Spock-McCoy triad, with reference to stories by K.S. T’Lan (Two's Company in Duet IX), Ann Carver (What are Friends For? in Daring Attempt #3), a poem by Tere Ann Roderick (“First Thought" in ”Daring Attempt #1), and In Triplicate by Natasha Solten and Dovya Blacque. At the end of the article, Linda says she is a “convert to K/S/Mc,” suggested that some fans writing these stories were less enlightened than she apparently would have liked them to be: “…Fans show the coming together of the triad as a difficult problem in the stories and poems I have read. The major obstacle is the idea that a bonded relationship should or must be monogamous. Exclusivity is a prevalent prejudice in K/S, and the initially excluded partner whether it be McCoy or Kirk reflects the pro-monogamy bias of the readership. The excluded partner is sure that he can never be includedbecause he has no concept for a relationship that is not monogamous.”)
- The U.K. Connection by Heather Whitefield (17) (a review of The Gropes of Roth, see that page)
- Short Fiction Section (19) ("Incompatible?" by Elwyn Conway, "Teach Me That" by Alice Mills, "Not Tonight, Spock" by Mary Woodruff)
- Reviews from the Library Computer (21) (a review of Greater California K/S, Consort #1, Nome #8, see those pages)
- Personal Log (LoCs) (25)
- Classified Communiques (personal ads) (33)
- art by Caro Hedge and Ann Crouch
Highlights and excerpts:
- a fan answers the discussion topic: Are the movie characters logical and mature representations of the series characters? Yes, yes, YES! The changes in Kirk, Spock,and to a lesser extent, McCoy, make them seem so real. I couldn't stand Kirk in the series until I saw his vulnerability in WOK. Now, I enjoy the series more than ever. It's neat seeing them all so young, and knowing how fate is going to lay out their cards in their futures. I love the characters in the series, but I love the characters in the movies even more.
- a fan tackles the topic: In my opinion, Kirk is not in any way a logical extrapolation of the Captain we saw on TV. In ST-TMP he might have been more businesslike (more like a senior officer, someone said to me) but my immediate reaction to him was that his manners and his attitude towards his men had deteriorated - badly. In addition, ST-TMP showed clearly that Kirk and made a big, big mistake in accepting promotion; at the end he got the ship back and we're left with the impression that he has resumed his rightful rank. WOK assumes that he managed to make the same mistake again. Kirk is not that stupid. In WOK he is also made out to be...I can only say somewhat irresponsible. Whatever he may or may not have been in the series, he was never irresponsible.
- another fan's opinion: In some ways, I do see the K&S of the movies as logical extrapolations from the series — which is, in other ways, too bad. My enjoyment of the characters in the original TV Trek came from the fact that the boys were young and learning — much as their audience was. Kirk and Spock were filled with wonder, with awe, and had an aura of being hungry for knowledge, new adventures in the great unknown. And while we all grow (and yes, *sigh* grow older), I can't help feeling that the K&S of the movies sometimes come across with the "bored with it all" look as opposed to the "wonder of it all" look we saw in the series.
- a fan does some tabulations: Over the last 11 issues, we've had 3 artists produce 6 centerfolds; 10 people have at various times produced columns/features on a semi or regular basis; 8 people have been interviewed; 15 people have sent in reviews, many at least 3; and 54 have written into the Personal Log - 26 of those 54 have not been involved in any other aspect of NTS. Those who've used the Personal Log more than once have written in an average of 2.8 times. Overall, half of the subscribing readership has actively participated in producing material for the pages of the zine. That means nearly 100 of the 200 of you have contributed to NTS. Of all the other letterzines, none has such a level of involvement on the part of its readership. You might also be interested to know that our subscribing readership is at least double that of any letterzine, except perhaps INTERSTAT. The bottom line is that your continued interest and participation makes NTS the zine it is; we all share in the celebration of NTS' second birthday.
- regarding the discussion topic from the last issue, S&M: There were numerous misconceptions about s/m in the OBSERVATION DECK responses in NTS#11. First, I would like to comment on [A F B's] statement that bondage can't possibly be s/m because it isn't fatal. If s/m practices necessarily led to death, there wouldn't be any masochists left in the s/m community. They'd all be dead.
- a fan writes Finally, I would like to say to [name redacted] that I love "The Wise One". It remains one of my favorite K/S stories. I'm not saying that no one should ever write stories in which Kirk and Spock express attitudes that represent internalized homophobia — quite the opposite. Characters who show prejudice and then reach beyond it demonstrate real growth. I appreciate this whenever I see it.
- a fan disagrees that K/S fandom should be purposely revealed to the bigger world: I feel compelled to comment of [name redacted's] letter in NTS-11. While it would be splendid to agree with her, I think she is living in cloud cuckoo land. Joe Public is not ready for the concept of K/S and our problem is that we, cushioned as we are, not only find this difficult to accept but also to remember. [Name redacted] may have a circle of acquaintances who, because of their profession have 'seen it all". I, too, work in a profession where nothing should shock so imagine my chagrin when I received my copy of "The Front Runner" back from a colleague with the words: "I enjoyed most of it except for the pornographic bits." Pornographic? "The Front Runner"? It was then thatI began to realise how much I had taken for granted... Apart from this, I am rather wary of people who wish to campaign on my behalf. I consider that when we give letters, stories or poems to someone in K/S, we do it in trust, if [name redacted] wishes to publicize K/S let it be with her own stories, not mine, unless permission is asked and given. We over this side of the Atlantic have already had experience of one who does not believe in pen names or in being 'ashamed' of K/S, who has printed her subscribers' real names and addresses in her publication without their permission - that sort of publicity I can do without. Consider yourself lucky in America - the land of the free - but also consider us here in Britain where the Obscene Publications Act precludes the sending of pornographic literature through the post and the definition of obscene depends on how the magistrate of the day defines it. And pardon me for saying it, but there are quite a number of stories about that we would have difficulty persuading the general public were about a positive, loving relationship; so let's not get carried away.
- a fan comments on pro novels, censorship, blacklisting, and mentions that some anti-K/S fans have sent TPTB K/S zines, something that has caused Paramount to back off on showing any strong friendship in the movies -- all things that will lead to diluting the franchise and chasing away future fans: I hesitate to bring up the subject matter of censorship, however, after a recent event in fandom I think it has become important for K/S fans to realize just what is going on in the hive mind at Paramount and other such places. As most of you have undoubtedly heard by now, the professional Star Trek book, KILLING TIME by Della Van Hise, was temporarily unavailable because of hassles with Paramount and PocketBooks, What you might not know is that this was caused primarily because of "K/S" — and the misunderstanding of it which runs rampant at Paramount. Basically, for anyone who ahs read some of the pro Trek books, it's easy to see that "allusions to K/S" are a lot more prominent in other books than they were in KILLING TIME. So why was KT singled out? Mainly because the author had an involvement in K/S writing and editing which went back several years rather than because of the content of the book itself... I can't help but think that this attitude has been caused by a very vocal minority which happens to have a lot of "big names" associated with it. David Gerrold comes immediately to mind — someone who basically used the public forum of his book to attack K/S and K/S fans, and caused both to come off sounding perversions. Well, guess what, folks? We're not pervies, and the sooner we make Paramount et al aware of that fact the sooner we're going to be able to relax a little. Basically, Paramount is interested in the almighty dollar and I've heard from a lot of non-K/S fans that they are angry because Paramount has "deliberately downplayed the friendship between Kirk and Spock." Translated, that seems to mean that no one has an an objection to Kirk and Spock doing a mind meld or openly discussing their friendship... In a nutshell, it seems to mean that Paramount is trying to satisfy the majority. And in trying to do so, they're satisfying no one completely... While I am not advocating taking K/S into a public forum (i.e. mass media or even panel discussions at conventions), I do feel it's important for K/S fans to make it known that the "moral majority" attitude currently employed by Paramount is leading to dissent on both sides of the K/S issue. In other words, Paramount has obviously let opinions from David Gerrold influence them to such a degree that we are starting to see a "crack down" on any kind of affection between Kirk and Spock in the professional field. On the surface, this might not seem too terrible, but keep in mind that the pro format is going to reach far rnore people that fanzines. And if the movies/books become so homogenized that K&S become arms-length-acquaintances, I can't help but think that Star Trek itself is going to lose a lot of potential fans and Paramount is going to lose a hell of a lot of $$$. We don't have to get radical, but we do have to make Paramount aware of the potential damage they face by adhering to the stringent, out-dated thought patterns of censorship, bigotry and prejudice. I'd like to think that new Star Trek fans will come along every day; but if the trend continues as it's starting, I think we're going to find ourselves very much alone within the next ten years- So, let's do something before it's too late.
- increased visibility of K/S and an acafan's book makes this fan alarmed: Joanna Russ' Magic Mommas, Trembling Sisters, Puritans, and Perverts and its analysis of K/S... am I right in assuming this is a book in general distribution? If so, I find the prospect disturbing... whether it's a 'loving, fascinating' analysis or not, it still amounts to drawing public attention to K/S in the same way David Gerrold and the Australian radio debacle did. I don't believe K/S and the greater proportion of its adherents need or want publicity of whatever tenor.
- a fan comments on Another Addict Raves About K/S: More on Joanna Russ—read the analysis of K/S' appeal in NOME #8 and it sure had some valid points...especially about the 'relationship between equals'. I do, however, think it overlooks some ASPECTS OF THE APPEAL OF K/S...or at least how it appeals to me personally. Don't know about y'all but I find K/S as well as B/D, S/H, H/J, gay male fiction and even some gay 'porn' — both written and visual (completely unlike hetero porn) — can be an incredible sexual turn on for me. If hetero women are 'sexually frustrated' as Joanna points out, I think one of the biggest appeals of gay sex (both male and female) is 'the grass is greener' aspect...not only from the relationship of equals standpoint, but also the suspicion/envy of how much more gratifying sex would be with a same sex partner... without all the incredibly difficult communication and compromise problems of differing sexual needs and expectations we experience. How often do we find words like 'he knew exactly how and where to touch' in '/' fiction? I for one find that aspect incredibly appealing.
- this fan is curious: Following directly from the fantasy aspect, I think an area of productive study would be to follow an author's entire body of stories (a difficult task given the plethora of pseudonyms) and plot the POV...I have a theory that, nothing the ultimately unsatisfactory nature of 'mary sue' universes, the protagonist often substitutes for the author as the sexual and emotional 'receiver' of the 'sexual object' of the author's fantasy life, i.e. if an author is sexually attracted to Kirk, she will tend to write from Spock's POV and vice versa. Authors, am I completely off base here???
Not Tonight Spock! 13 Edited by Sarah Leibold, published 1986 (probably July). Printed offset, folded and center stapled, 36 pages. Art by Caro Hedge and Ann Crouch. Contains discussions about K/S, fanzine reviews, sexuality in K/S fiction, puzzles and cartoons.Fantasies by Beverly Sutherland (Nome 8), Alternative 2/3 by Gerry Downes, Those Who Favour Fire by Vivienne Rivers (The Voice 2), Echoes by Alexis Fegan Black (Naked Times 1), Romulan Code, Romulan Regrets by Jessica Daigneault (Daring Attempt 3), Poses by Leslie Fish and Agostino (Obsc'zine 1), The Human Kind of Love by Indra (Greater California K/S), This Deadly Innocence by Fish, (Naked Times 3), Broken Images by Beverly Sutherland, Time Out of Mind by Nathan St. Germaine and Keith Donovan, and Enslaver Enslaved by A.T. Bush. (Daring Attempt 3). The article also discussed whether anal intercourse/degree of pain, and its portrayal as the grand finale sex act. Our “... culture subscribes to the belief that fucking is the only sex that counts…. [T]he idea that penetration is the central sexual act is common in K/S. Everything else is seen as foreplay….”)
- From the Library Computer (review of As I Do Thee #3)
- The U.K. Connection (reviews of Duet #13 and The Voice #4)
- the second part of the K/S fan survey by Judith Gran and Dorothy Laoang were published
- a fan writes at length of what she considered the “survival of K/S”— referring to the rumors that a love interest for Kirk or Spock would be introduced in the next film. ("…[W]hatever they do in the movies will not affect me that greatly…. When I no longer find them acceptable, I’ll stop going to them and I’ll certainly stop thinking of them as part of my K/S universe…. “)
- Headache #13 by Sharon F (Sharon discussed, by way of Starsky and Hutch, Miami Vice, and The Professionals, where “the characterizations of Kirk and Spock come from.” “Think about the way the characters look at one another, look to one another for silent support. Think about the times they’ve touched, how they share personal space, how often they invade one another’s personal space. Think about how they act toward one another, play to each other. Those subtle elements are what gives life to our ‘/’ universes.")
- a fan wrote a very angry letter addressing what she saw as a trend, as well as Linda Frankel's column about McCoy in the last issue. This fan was upset over: ...the latest cheapening of our K/S ideal, this bastardized concept called ‘threesomes’ which is making rounds. …You forgot about commitment, Linda. You forgot about trust and loyalty to one ideal and one man…you fly in the face of logic when you say that it strengthens the bond to separate it into pieces…. K/S is an ideal of perfection, Linda, one embodying every element of goodness, love and honor that anyone could ever want or need or hope to find. You cannot alter those elements. You cannot add to them orsubtract from them, because then that would be changed and everything it stands for would be lost. In other words, you cannot improve on perfection. Why, indeed, would you want to? Embellish it, yes; create around it, of course, but attempt to dilute its essence? Never…. You speak of the monogamous K/S bond as a ‘problem’ to be surmounted. How very wrong you are! That purity of devotion is the nugget of gold for which all of us searched so diligently, and found so fortunately those many years ago. It is the well-guarded, precious heart of the K/S dream. To find you advocating the ripping out of that heart, the cutting of it into pieces and the flinging of it into the gutter of present-day values is more than I can bear…
Not Tonight Spock! 14 was printed in the fall of 1986 and contains 36 pages.
As all of you long time (and not so long time) readers are aware, NTS' publishing schedule has been quite erratic for the past year. This has occurred, in large part, because of increasing demands on my free time and my own growing interest in other fandoms and fannish pursuits. Although some things were of a short term nature and are now finished, I still find myself with far less leisure to devote to the zine. Consequently, I don't feel I can give NTS the time and attention it deserves. In view of this, I have reluctantly decided to discontinue publication of NTS. The final issue will be number 16 to be published January/February of 1987. This will allow an issue to be devoted to the fourth film. Now seems a good time to end the zine for a number of other reasons as well. Among them, the fact that reader interest in contributing to the zine has experienced a definite decline in the past few issues and there will still be a K/S letterzine available, that being Pon Farr Press' ON THE DOUBLE. There is a note with this issue indicating when your subscription expires. If you wish to renew, do so only through issue 1&- which I promise to make as special as I possibly can. Right now, I'm looking forward to seeing how you all vote in the K/Stars. The results will be printed in #16.  One last note, publishing NTS has been one of the best experiences of my life, I'll miss the zine and most of all my contact with all of you who have been so supportive and kind throughtout NTS' existence.
- this issue has a logic puzzle called "The Aurora Rings"
- Sexuality in K/S Fiction: Anal Intercourse Prolonged er uh Continued by Linda Frankel
- there is a personal statement from Kathy Resch in which she says she is taking over all transactions regarding the payment, publication, and mailing from Syn Ferguson for Before the Glory
- there is an interview with a fan named Sandy S
- a review of Bigot! Brother! Bondmate!, see that page
- a review of Krisis, see that page
- there is an open letter from the Gang of Six, see Open Letter by the Gang of Six Regarding Courts of Honor
Highlights and excerpts:
- a fan describes how she found K/S via the Best of Trek series, which led her to trying to find some pro books, which led to her writing Interstat, which led to getting some fellow Canadian pen pals: I had only read KRAITH and SPOCKANALIA. One pen friend started to send me her zines to read and naturally I soon got hooked. I was aware of K/S and my only reaction had been "Yuk!". Who got me hooked finally on K/S? This same pen friend mentioned in a letter that the next batch of zines she was sending would contain a K/S zine (she was interested in my reaction). I promptly forgot the warning and was thoroughly engrossed in an excellent zine called BROKEN IMAGES before I realized that it was K/S. I discovered that fact the same time that Kirk did in the story. There's nothing like starting with the best! I decided that K/S was okay in Alternate Universes but I was not sure how I felt about it in 'our' universe. I felt that if K/S could attract such good writers as Beverly Sutherland it should be worth trying some more and" before I knew it I was well and truly hooked. Why am I attracted to K/S? That's a toughie. My first instinct is to say "be damned if I know!" The fact that two species were involved never concerned me although I'll admit to a slight prejudice against same gender sex. Initially I had liked the idea of a Kirk/Uhura romance but I have yet to read a decent story of that genre. The only person who seems to have written good Spock/Christine stories was Juanita Salicrup. It finally dawned on me why most of the various 'love affairs' depicted in the series seemed so shallow - these two beings belonged together. The K/S stories I prefer show an equal relationship without losing sight of the obvious differences between K&S. Even stories that start out showing an unequal relationship do not necessarily end that way. For real escapism I confess to enjoying some enslavement stories, the best of which I feel is Ray Newton's "The Prize." Even though Kirk does not change outwardly, as far as he and Spock are concerned they are equal, although different. I suppose most of us look for a relationship, based on equality, but where individuality is not lost.
- a fan writes of her interest in K/S: There was no individual who got me hooked on K/S—unless David Gerrold counts, as it was in his revised THE WORLD OF STAR TREK that I first heard of it. I was attracted to the idea immediately, though I wouldn't dare admit it to myself. I tried to tell myself the whole idea was repulsive, but when I got my hands on my first K/S zine nearly a year later, I had to confront the truth about how I really felt. The question "Why am I attracted to K/S?" is much more difficult to answer. I've always been drawn to strong male friendships... a male expressing feelings still makes me go, "Wow!" And when gentle, tender emotions from one man are expressed toward another man, it multiplies the "Wow" feeling geometric ally. In short, I find it very, very heartwarming. I'm sure there are a myriad of other reasons why I and others are attracted to K/S, but I've yet to see a theory that explains the obsession adequately. I do know that when Kirk and Spock curl up together at the end of a story, it makes me feel that all is right with the world. K/S is the only "/" fandom that I am interested in. I did read a S/H zine once out of curiosity—I had loved S&H as a teenager—but I didn't care for it much. For those of us who are only interested in K/S, I feel the answer must lie in the fact that ST is science fiction, thereby allowing such fascinating aspects as mindmelds and bonding to be included in the stories. Other"/"fandoms are confined to the reality of the 20th century. 
- a fan writes: The first episode I saw was "Balance of Terror", and it caught my imagination immediately. I liked the way the story handled the enemy; I liked Spock's reaction to Stiles. But for a long time I found the relationship between Spock and McCoy more meaningful than the relationship between Kirk and Spock. As the series continued, I found myself respecting Kirk less and less; admittedly, I blamed the script writers for it, but Kirk's amours, especially in the third series... well, it reached a point that as soon as I knew there was a female guest star, I shuddered, I do not - cannot - trust any man whose romantic life is so varied and apparently indiscriminate. Interestingly, it was one of the animated episodes that made me respect Kirk again - when he actually turned down a girl. (All in all, I don't think much of most of them - there was a certain lack of credibility about some of them and the best of them had too much plot for the length of episode.) I discovered fandom about four years after I discovered Trek, and it was about a year after that that a friend mentioned K/S, Although I've always liked stories revolving around male/male relationships, my initial reaction was utter disbelief; in terms of even if Spock would, Kirk's varied romances said that he wouldn't. However, she lent me a couple of stories and I subsequently tracked down a few more, written over here around 1970. I found them... interesting, but unlikely. Then I forgot about it for two or three years. Then K/S zines made their appearance. This time round, I had rediscovered some respect for Kirk, and I wanted to retain that. And K/S by its very nature meant that Kirk stopped womanising. It provided a monogamous relationship between equals… threesomes are a bastardized concept and not the material of which K/S is made. Mv ideal is monogamy and fidelity; I despise men who play the field.
- a fan found K/S through her roommate's zines: I was finished with classes one day and wanted to re-read a story in one of her zines. I knew where she kept the zines so I went through looking for that particular zine when, lo and behold, I found one she hadn't showed me before - NAKED TIMES. The cover kind of caught my eye, so I started reading it. This was getting very interesting. And I I got up and looked back in the box and there were two more zines. This really thrilled me. I sat down and read for over two hours. I was sitting there in the middle of NAKED TIMES 2 with NT1 and NT3 laying beside me when my roommate, Beth, walked in. I looked up, gave her a dirty look, said, "You've been holding out on me," and went back to reading.
- a fan writes: In 1977 during a conversation with my lover, we independently conceived the K/S premise. I wrote a play, which eventually became my novelette, "By The Stone Ezel" (DARING ATTEMPT 5). AT the time I thought K/S was a private fantasy. I was thoroughly enamored with the concept from the moment I first discovered it. I thought the relationship of those particular two men was utterly perfect. It also gave me a way to express things that were important to me as a lesbian—things that I didn't feel I could say in Trek gen fiction. I also thought that the image of men loving each other, instead of competing with each other or killing each other, is a healing and hopeful theme for humanity and I still feel the same way. How did I find out that there were other people writing K/S? Would you believe it was through Jacqueline Lichtenberg? I think that a lot of fans have given her a bad rap and nderestimate her openness to other viewpoints. I had written her a letter complaining about the homophobia in her first novel. Her response was sensitive to my concerns and contained a flyer for THRUST, a K/S one-shot which had just appeared at the time. Ordering THRUST grew into a correspondence with Carol Frisbie, the editor, and expanded into correspondence with others who were writing and pubbing K/S. My attitude toward K/S zines has fluctuated over the years, but I am as enthusiastic as ever about the K/S premise.
- a fan writes of a long, long personal fannish journey and includes this: How has TREK and K/S affected my life? Both are so interwoven with my life, it's hard to separate the strands. K/S gave me a new goal - to be a writer. It gave that goal a direction, to write stories with an emphasis on gay love. TREK gave me IDIC to live by, it gave me K&S, two characters who will be forever dear to me, who will be with me no matter where I go. But most of all, TREK and K/S have given me my closest friends, people whose love and support mean more to me than I can tell them. If not for TREK, I would not have found the aforementioned people and my life would be poorer. I love you all.
- a fan writes about threesomes and monogamy: In response to [two names redacted] in #13, I hope that IDIC will rule, allowing room for their kind of fan and mine. I have nothing against monogamy per se. What bothers me is intolerant monogamists that refuse to admit the right of other people to alternatives. I could demand an end to scenes of venomous jealousy between Kirk and Spock that mar the relationship and are personally disgusting to me, but I won't because I know that there are some fans who enjoy such scenes. I agree with [name redacted] that the K/S relationship is precious. I don't agree that expanding their commitment to include a third partner lessens it in any way. You see, I know from my own experience that love isn't a finite resource as [name redacted] seems to think it is, and that it is possible to love two people at once. I mean love and ongoing commitment—not promiscuity with "assorted whoseits". Because so many people deny the possibility of a committed triad that works, I think it's particularly important to celebrate it—especially when the third partner is McCoy. K/S fans write about the unique chemistry between Kirk and Spock, and ignore the fact that McCoy plays a really important role in their lives. There is a reason why fans outside K/S see them as The Big Three. Their qualities balance each other. With one gone, the other two would be lessened. As a unit of three they are unique. The K/S/Mc triad has a powerful attraction for a significant minority of fans because we feel that McCoy belongs with Kirk and Spock—just as they belong with each other. I know that some K/S fans who have sensed how integral McCoy is have felt something missing until the emergence of K/S/Mc. [Two names redacted] are free to disagree. They don't have to read triad stories, IN TRIPLICATE and SHADES OF GREY are clearly labeled in ads. No one who doesn't wish to pursue this interest has to order them.
- more from another fan about threesomes: I want to add my voice to yours as one who is concerned about the degree of K/S/Mc material popping up in "K/S" zines. While I have enjoyed some of these three-way stories as a diversion from the norm, they are not what I want to run into when I pay my fifteen bucks (and often more) for a K/S zine. Of course, everyone has the right to read and write whatever they want, but I for one am asking that K/S/Mc be kept out of the zines that advertise themselves as being "K/S". Those who want to read and write about the trio can create their own zines. (A couple have already done so.) It is a mistake to assume that anyone interested in K/S is going to automatically embrace K/S/Mc. It can make for some interesting sex scenes, but I have a heard time seeing the point when the K/S/Mc stories themselves admit that McCoy, no matter how much sex he has with his two friends, will never be a part of the special relationship Kirk and Spock share.
- a fan writes of K/S as an alternate universe: I'd like to thank [name redacted] for her wonderful letter. There was K/S before there were Trek movies, and I believe that K/S can survive anything that may appear in them. My own approach to K/S has been that it's an alternate universe. This doesn't mean that K/S is illegitimate. In fact, it is the best way I have been able to establish the legitimacy of K/S to gen Trekkers—people who really don't see K/S in the series. OK, so this is an alternate Kirk and Spock with as much right to exist as KRAITH or NTM. I don't need to project K/S into Paramount sanctioned Trek or into gen Trek fan fiction. Disputes about the "real" Kirk and Spock make utter nonsense when you realize that we're talking about fictional characters. The beauty of their being fiction means that we can evolve alternate lifepaths for them. It's possible for us to write of Kirk and Spock as lovers, and other people can write about them marrying women and settling down separately to have fifteen children apiece. Both are valid. If K/S is an AU we can take as much or as little from the movies as we like. We can ignore them, if necessary, as [name redacted] suggests. Perceiving Trek in terms of alternate lifepaths is an exercise in infinite diversity. I believe that Trekkers can meet that challenge and that K/S will be enriched by it.
- this fan is not afraid of the movies: I think we are worrying for nothing over whether the upcoming film will make any difference to K/S. Does "City" or "This Side of Paradise"? The episodes that postulate "more than common" loves for Kirk and Spock we treat now as our inclinations take us: we dislike them, we ignore them, we absorb them into the K/S cannon - and K/S goes on. A love interest for either Kirk or Spock we can treat as simply 'necessary' as in the past or we can ignore it. I agree it's a pity if Paramount have a 'gays under the bed' phobia but tearful protest won't help our image either!
- a fan writes of her discovery of K/S: [It was] an inseparable mixture of delight and deep embarrassment. "What kind of weird person am I to think this stuff is so terrific?"... If so many others like it, I can't really be so weird— or at least we're all happily weird together. It validates my own feelings. In accepting my positive reactions to something that until then had been outside my experience, the letters and issue topic contributions in the first few issues of NTS (I began with #3) were very helpful... [re: is K/S as vital now as in the past]: Not sure I have a long enough perspective to compare. Preparing my K/Star nominations recently brought home to me how much good K/S we enjoyed in 1985—at least 29 zines containing much good fiction and art, including a few promising new writers and artists. On the other hand, I am disturbed by some recent trends* Two of my favorite K/S authors--K.S. T'Lan and Vivian Gates—have apparently stopped writing K/S for reasons that seems valid to them but disappointing to me. Others, such as Devery Helm and Darien Duck, aren't writing either, and Beverly Sutherland is not writing much or very frequently, if at all. Are there enough new good writers to replace them? I wonder, and hope. And it remains to be seen what the fiasco with Syn Ferguson and COURTS OF HONOR will do to our fandom… Aside from some people I wish were still writing and illoing K/S who aren't, the major change I'm aware of (and could do without) is the trend toward threesome stories. My K and S don't need anyone else in their relationship; I prefer its exclusivity. Too many other aspects of their relationship exist to be explored in fanfic— it doesn't need the sensationalism of threesomes to retain its interest and vitality for fans—at least not for me. The other trend seems to be that very few zines are being produced anymore except in California. Don't Know why, or whether it means anything, but Where's the rest of the country.
Not Tonight Spock! 15 was published in Winter 1987 and contains 36 pages.
- the TOTM for this issue is: "What impact has TREK, K/S in particular, had on your life?" which a number of fans address
- lists the K/Star Award winners
- this issue has an interview with Linda N
- a fan writes a personal statement which states she is not a crook: "I feel I must respond to the statement made by [name redacted] in DATAZINE #43, since she states she has been talking about me, and threatens to give my name out on request as being unethical or something."
- the editor sets up the discussion topic for the last issue (which may not have ever been published): "I stated in the editorial for #14 that this last issue would be devoted to ST: THE VOYAGE HOME. Sooo, what did everyone think of the film? Do you see it as "true Trek"? Do you feel there is any K/S in the film? Comments, please!"
- Sexuality in K/S Fiction: First Time vs. Established Relationship by Linda Frankel
- the editor of Alien Brothers writes a personal statement, see that zine's page
- a review of Chi-Sen-Yai, see that page
- a review of In the Wilderness #1, see that page
- a review of Shades of Grey #1, see that page
Highlights and excerpts:
- a fan comments on the TOTM: What "impact" (apart from being involved in a zine of the same name!) has Trek and K/S had on my life? First, let me tell you, in answer to last issue's question, that I got hooked on the whole K/S concept when a new friend in California (where I was visiting at the time as part of a 1983 WSF weekend) showed me a story entitled "Changes" by Vivien Young. W-O-W! I had been a Trek fan for quite a few years, but THIS was all new to me! Unlike some other people in fandom, I was not turned off by the fantasy that these two men were romantically involved. It never occurred to me that this was a 'homosexual' relationship. I was able to see beyond that... way beyond. In fact, I have some dear friends in fandom who stubbornly point out to me that this concept is merely homosexual pornography and nothing more! It's like they can't see the forest for the trees. (Their loss.) Truthfully, I feel sorry for them. They are missing out on a wonderfully romantic, ideal, erotically stimulating (...sigh), loving relationship...not to mention some great reading! That unique alien/human life Kirk and Spock share, plus the added bonus of being able to bond and mind meld, is about the bestthing to happen to sex and love in a longtime! (...and I'm happily married for 17 years!!)
- another fan addresses the TOTM: My response to the topic this time is very - well, negative, and I'm only really writing one because I promised myself that I would try to respond every time. I only missed once, and that was due to circumstances outside my control. K/S has had pretty well no impact on my life at all. I wouldn't like to say that I've made any additional friends because of it, nor have I lost any, even though some of my friends are very strongly anti-K/S. Writing it-not that I've been terribly prolific - has been interesting enough but not what you might call soul-gripping. Trek in general? Well, yes, I suppose that it has had some effect on my life. I've made a lot of friends courtesy of fandom, it's taken up a lot of my time and a lot of my money (without Trek I'd be a whole lot richer - wouldn't we all?). But at the same time, for me, fandom is not necessarily a way of life; it's a hobby, a time and money consuming one, but still just a hobby.
- about the TOTM: What a question! Yes, I guess you could say Trek and K/S have had an impact on my life. It's introduced me to a lot of friends I wouldn't have otherwise, some of them good, close friends who are very important to me. Trek and K/S have also, I'm sure my husband would agree, kept me off the streets. Maybe I'd better explain that! I don't have a job outside the house because my husband runs a company in New Jersey and shows up in San Diego every two or three weeks for a weekend, which pretty much makes me what amounts to a single parent. My stay-at-home status worked out pretty well when our kids (two boys) were younger, but they're now nineteen and seventeen... My involvement with Trek and K/S have given me an outside interest, and over the last year or so they've helped me look at the changes that're taking place in my life a little more dispassionately. I'm not saying the changes are bad! Life is full of changes, and they're a normal part of growing up and growing older.... Trek and K/S have given me a few heartaches, too, I'll have to admit, and a myriad number of headaches (which sort of goes along with being a zine editor), but the credits far outweigh the debits. Not that I've been keeping track!
- a fan writes of her introduction to K/S: My first introduction to K/S came when I saw an ad for Thrust about ten years ago. I remember reading the ad and experiencing an unbelievable thrill. This concept of love between Kirk and Spock was what I had been feeling but never consciously named.... Four hours later I finished and once again Trek was changing my life. My subsequent interest in other "/" fandoms and in gay literature and non-fiction stemmed from that evening... My first reaction was fantastic! It would have been interesting to have had my blood pressure taken during that first four hour reading. I couldn't stop thinking about it for several days. It was as if I had discovered this unbelievably wonderful thing that I wanted to share with everyone and I couldn't.
- a fan writes:When I came in to K/S fandom in 1976, most of the "classics" had just been written. Several excellent pieces followed in the next few years as more writers became intrigued by the K/S premise. But I feel that a plateau reached around 1982-83 and a decline has begun. Not that there isn't some good K/S still being written because there is. But I feel that much of what is being published today is of lesser quality than before. The fact that so many fans have gravitated to other fandoms is proof of this... As anything becomes larger it tends to lose the intimacy of the small group. Today, there are so many writers and artists that most people never get the opportunity to interact with them. Thus feedback becomes less and less for these people, especially since LOC's seem to be a thing of the past. But one positive change I see is more of a tolerance for K/S among the straight fans. They still may not like the idea but at least the fighting of the earlier days seems to have abated.... One of the things I dislike about some of today's stories is this desire to deal with rape and violence. Granted the old hurt/comfort stories often used violent means to achieve their goal but that was the only way they could bring Kirk and Spock together. In K/S that is no longer a problem because we can let them love freely. So I don't see the necessity of using violence in the stories. One trend I like in newer material, particularly in Alexis Fagen Black's work, is the emphasis on psychology and character motivation. This gives many stories an added depth lacking in some earlier works.
- a fan artist has an apology: I would also like to take this opportunity to make a general apology to editors I have been working with, and specifically [Judith G], [Rosemary W] and [Robin H], for either my extreme procrastination or outright defaulting on projects I am involved in. My excuse must be that finding a job and place to live have to take priority over Trek. Again, I am sorry to have disappointed anyone, and hope to be on a more regular schedule for the rest of the year.
- a fan comments on the interview in the last issue: I must take issue, however, with Sandra's perception of the early zines as having been of higher quality because there were fe..er of them. Fans tend to call early K/S "classic" because it was first. The themes that are: now tired formulas were new then, but L don't see that the general quality of tiie writing was really superior to what we see today. The zines then had the same number of poor and mediocre stories we're seeing now. Good and excellent stories have always been comparatively rare. Yet now we have a few writers from that period who have stuck with K/S, and have vastly improved in their current output due to greater skill and experience. It only stands to reason that this would happen since writing always improves with practice. The new writers who are establishing themselves in K/S zines now have the potential of becoming as good as the old reliables we all know and love if they work hard at it. I also maintain that K/S has matured in its themes over the years, and I welcome this. I think we have room for optimism about K/S's future.
- a fan comments on reactions to Kirk/Spock/McCoy fanworks: A vocal group of K/S "purists" seems to be engaged in an attempt to shout anything written on the theme out of existence, or at least into a ghetto of its own. I've read complaints that the theme constitutes a "bastardization" of the K/S idea and that "McCoy...will never be a part of the special relationship Kirk and Spock share." With all deference to these writers and their personal views of the Star Trek universe, I have to wonder: What the hell have these people been watching? Because it surely is not Star Trek as I've known and loved it. I suspect these letters wouldn't have hit such a raw nerve with me if they'd simply stated that the writers didn't care for this material. Obviously, K/S/Mc (as with K/S) is not going to appeal to everyone, and those fans are certainly within their rights to say so. But a disquieting attitude underlies some of these letters, an attitude which, unfortunately, runs through much of the K/S fiction I've read and which is, in my view, the only serious distortion K/S has made in the Star Trek universe. This distortion consists of a deliberate belittlement of the importance of McCoy's relationship with Kirk and Spock and strikes at what is to me (and, I would venture to guess, a majority of other Star Trek fans) an integral part of what Star Trek is: the Friendship or Triad of Kirk, Spock and McCoy. I shouldn't have to defend the idea that McCoy belongs in the Kirk/Spock friendship. (And I could do so at length with a plethora of material any reasonably knowledgeable fan could cite, starting with the powerful Kirk/Spock/McCoy episode "The Empath.") Quite frankly it pisses me off to see McCoy shunted off into a category of "assorted whoseits," as if the Triad were nothing more than a figment of a few heretical writers whose nasty, sensationalistic imaginations are running amuck. As to just who is at variance with the Star Trek universe, I suggest that these critics put their K/S fanzines aside for a moment and watch the series again with an objective eye. (Start with "The Immunity Syndrome.")... The K/S/Mc motif has always been knocking at the door of the K/S universe, much as many K/S writers have tried to ignore or explain it away. McCoy is the only other character who can really be termed a regular in the K/S universe. But his place in that universe has been an enigma; the writers have not been able to dispense with him, but neither have they hit on a consistent, believable treatment of the character or where exactly he fits in. Almost invariably he comes out flat, unconvincing, more of a walk-on figurehead than the real McCoy. (One unfamiliar with the generic Trek universe might get the impression from much of the literature that it is McCoy who is the dispassionate man of logic and Spock the emotional sensualist.) I refuse to believe that this is because the writers can't handle the character; more likely the problem is that they can't handle the Kirk, Spock, McCoy friendship. None of them has really come to terms with the Triad as it exists in the series, the movies and mainstream Trek fiction. ... I agree that the problem probably is the difficulty that most people in our society have in accepting a menage a trois as a potentially strong and viable way of relating sexually. Many of the letters I've read protesting the inclusion of a third party in the K/S relationship seem to be objecting to the concept of threesomes in general, and not the K/S/Mc concept specifically. I'm not discussing here those stories involving Kirk and Spock with another third party besides McCoy, nor do I want to get into a discussion of the pros and cons of monogamy per se (as valid a topic for discussion in any progressive literature as that of homosexual bonding). I do want to protest a mangling of an important part of the Star Trek ethos in the name of monogamy. The Big Three existed as a unit almost since Star Trek's inception. (Deforest Kelley's second season move into the opening credits tellingly symbolizes his importance to the Friendship.) Fans can scream about a "bastardization" of the K/S concept, but in a more fundamental sense the bastardization occurred a long time ago with the arbitrary lopping off of one limb of the Triad in order to force the K/S relationship into an idiosyncratic ideal of monogamous fidelity.
- a fan addresses another's previous letter: In response to [full name redacted's] charges of 'sexism' and 'ageism' with reference to my last letter to NTS, I must protest. On the matter of 'sexism', I confess I was writing only from my own personal knowledge when I referred to K/Sers as 'sisters'. Personally, I haven't heard of any K/S 'brothers' out there, but if they exist, I'm delighted. And the minute I see a letter from one of them protesting my 'sexism', I will hasten to apologize. As for the charge of 'ageism', believe me, Eva, I'd be thrilled to admit to being as young and inexperienced as you suggest. Alas, such is not the case. I assure you that I've been around long enough to qualify as an experienced voice when I say that by the time you've been having sex with the same someone for twenty or so years, it's not going to have quite the excitement it did when you were younger. Would that it did! If anything, I plead to a touch of too much reality in my outlook, Perhaps, Eva, you're guilty of a touch of too much idealism? Or perhaps just selective memory? If you've found the same keen edge of physical excitement after 20 years with the same person, I heartily congratulate you. Such has not been my experience.
- Linda F's regular column, "Sexuality in K/S Fiction," has this topic "First Time vs Established Relationship." Some excerpts:
Unlike many critics, I prefer to declare my biases in advance. I started out being strongly prejudiced in favor of established relationship stories. I believed that the established relationship story would tend to be more original and interesting. I was sure that any rational person would agree with me, and thought that the reason why so many fans wrote first times in the early zines was because every fan had their version of the first time which each of them needed to get out of their systems. Surely after they did that, they would proceed on to other stages and facets of the K/S relationship. Yet, it seemed to me that writers in K/S hadn't done this and for reasons that I couldn't discern were fixated on first times. Enter the crusader to tell all the
backward barbariansfan writers to repent nower...uh stop writing 99% first times and try writing established relationships now and then. In this context, it is wise to remember the teaching of Socrates that everything you think you know is wrong. The ramifications of the first time and established relationship issue are not so simple. I have written this article and the one following in the next issue in an attempt to analyze the much more complex truth of the matter.... When I corrected my totals by eliminating stories from atypical zines, I came up with a distribution of approximately 60% first time stories and 40% established relationship stories. I realized then that my mind had exaggerated the number of first time stories. While they do constitute the majority of K/S, they don't dominate the field as overwhelmingly as I thought... What about the idea that first time stories will tend to less originality than established stories? Let's face it, formula stories will always tend to dominate in every genre. They are easier to write and many readers seem to enjoy them. Yet my analysis doesn't bear out the theory that established relationships stories are inherently more original. In fact, my sample showed that there were fewer original stories among those that were established relationship, than there were among the first times. An impartial analysis of established relationship stories shows that there are formulas there as well, and these formulas are very much in evidence in the writing of established relationship stories. While it is true that the established relation ship concept has a great deal of potential for originality, this potential is largely untapped. Instead the writers generally have recourse to the following formulas: [she lists seven standard formula tropes and how a writer could make it less expected]... What about original first times? Adherents of the established relationship story might consider that a contradiction in terms. This is far from true. I con sidered approximately 30% of the first time stories I examined original and non- formula. Yet one thing I discovered about many (though not all) original first time stories, is that the ideas that made them original didn't require a first time framework. They could just as easily have been written as established relationship stories. The question I had at that point was: Why weren't they? Why were so many writers conceiving of their unusual K/S themes in terms of the first time story, rather than the established relationship story that I believe has more potential?
- The Dawn's Early Light's column this issue discusses Trek zine titles:: Where did it all go wrong? When did K/S zine titles stop reflecting TREK roots? Why I can remember back in the early days of Amateur Trek, when fandom was little more than a remote wilderness waiting to be challenged. Early settlers—writers, artists, poets, and zine editors—began bringing their ideas, their impressions, and their fantasies to this incredible new world and staking claims. It was an adventurous era. After a few years (circa the late 1970's), certain bold pioneers began exploring an unchartered area located on the outskirts of so-called viable trek, just southwest of the Hurt/Comfort Zone. It was known as K/S territory, a raw, rough, almost uninhabited region full of lush opportunities and enticing promises. These brave, creative souls, armed with little more than dedication to the unique premise and a love for lust, defied public outcry against settling the newfound concept. Many felt that K/S would never last. However, one of the earlier excursions—the Storey and Clark Expedition—began in January, 1980 and is still continuing today. Orthodox Genzinites (the Jerry Falwells of Fandom) vigorously argued that a question of morality was at stake. Other conservatives thought that K/S was simply far too radical to ever be come a certified fandom. (Of course, some of them still feel this way and refuse to acknowledge it even now.) But I digress.... I am talking about the demise of the once honored, now sadly neglected as the territory has been colonized, custom of titling K/S zines so that their relationship to TREK is clearly visible, so that they have roots in the show. Titles today have no ethnic background.
- see the glossary term, T'hy'la
- from Datazine #30
- which story?
- which story?
- a comment at Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (September 29, 1994)
- the letter's recipient points out that "Once again, Gerrold has chosen one part of a whole to focus the spotlight on. I am by no means an advocate of the more S&M-type K/S stories. Neither am I a person who judges what is within the definition of IDIC and what isn't, using my person likes & dislikes to make those judgements. By it's very nature, IDIC must include anything two consenting adults choose to partake in as part of their lives. IDIC does not mean "Infinite Diversity from Infinite Combinations providing those combinations aren't unacceptable to the masses".
- from the artist in Not Tonight Spock! #10
- from a fan in Not Tonight Spock! #10
- Perhaps a typo and probably means H/J.
- These comments are quoted and commented upon five years later in a letter in Short Circuit #3.
- Some fans felt that the original Star Trek fiction was vastly superior to current Trek offerings due to superior editing, fans' patience and perfectionism. Professionals fans felt the same about much of their older fiction, later bemoaning, as fans tend to do, the decline in quality as there became more fiction available. It is interesting to see how different fans' perspectives play out, both in where they were on the arc, as well as possible differences in two fandoms' cultures as per an early zine culture (Star Trek) and the circuit tradition (Pros).
- In the zine, "#17" is typed, crossed out with a pen, and "#16" written in by hand.
- She goes on to write many stories in Starsky & Hutch, The Sentinel, and a few in Twin Peaks.