Sharing the Sunlight

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Zine
Title: Sharing the Sunlight
Publisher: Merry Men Press
Editor:
Author(s): Jenna Sinclair
Cover Artist(s): Chris Soto
Illustrator(s): Chris Soto
Date(s): 1991
Series?: yes
Medium: print zine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Trek/The Original Series, Kirk/Spock
Language: English
External Links: Sharing the Sunlight at the K/S Archive, zine's page at Merry Men Press
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Sharing the Sunlight is a Kirk/Spock 181-page slash novel written by Jenna Sinclair and published by Merry Men Press in 1992.

The cover and interior art is by Chris Soto. It is used on Fanlore with the permission of her fannish executor, Kathy Resch.

From The Zine Connection #34 (1995): "A story of intrigue, full of plot, and most important... love. Come with Kirk and Spock on an adventure of scandal, strife, drugs, conscription, and romance. See what it really takes to make this relationship work. FULL of Chris Soto's art. "

Series

cover of second edition
front cover by Chris Soto

From the Editorial

editorial page showing how the editor used all available margin space for more words...
I have been in love with the Star Trek universe and its characters for twenty-five years now. I wrote my first 'novella' in the seventh grade. Over the years I wrote sporadically, mostly in my head, never, ever satisfied, knowing that there was an elusive 'something' I was unable to grasp. But then I discovered K/S! Unbelievably, it took me a good twenty-three and a half years to do it! I felt as if I had been working on a puzzle all that time, and finally the pieces flee naturally into place. Like just about everybody else, I became obsessed. In six months, I read about 200 zines (yes, I was broke and suffering from eyestrain), and then I sat down to write an established relationship short story, as a way of saying 'thank you' to all the K/S authors, artists, and editors who had given me so much pleasure. That story refused to be written, and this first time novel came flowing from my pen instead. The first 120 pages were composed on a 25 year old typewriter which lacked a 'k,' a '/', and a '-'. You try writing a novel with Kirk, Spock, and other fairly essential words without a 'k'!

Available Online

It is available online through the K/S Archive: Sharing the Sunlight.

Summaries

From the publisher: "A story of intrigue, full of plot, and most important, love...come with Kirk and Spock on an adventure of scandal, strife, drugs, conscription, and romance. See what it really takes to make this relationship work."

From Gilda F: "Kirk and Spock work toward a relationship that is jeopardized when they are taken prisoner while investigating a remote installation."

Gallery

Reactions and Reviews

Unknown Date

This was Jenna's first fic and it shows, in that the prose is less polished than the other fics of hers I've recced, and Kirk and Spock do get a bit girly and are prone to long conversations about Our Relationship. Nonetheless, it's long and plotty, the UST in the early part is exquisite, the sex - especially Jim's simply-expressed wonder when he takes Spock for the first time - is blisteringly hot, and damn, if this woman's least polished effort isn't still better than almost anything else in the Universe. [2]

1992

[art]: Each one is special and I can't say which of them I like most! Sometimes I draw too, but when I look at these pictures, I have to put my pencil away, because it's impossible for me to meet this skill! [3]
A K/S novel from a new writer, edited and published by Robin Hood, Merry Men Press. Most of us have seen the ads which almost always come across as calling this K/S zine of the year. So, I took an evening and devoured it. The verdict? It's good. Very good. But the best zine since the invention of xerox machines? I doubt it. As a first effort, it is outstanding. It's got action-adventure (and plenty of it) and lots of friendship themes, and finally, steamy K/S as expected, but after a complex and believable establishing of a relationship between Kirk and Spock. The problem I found with Sharing the Sunlight is that it certainly seemed to meander quite a bit and I had a hard time keeping from skipping a few pages here and there, and it was quite predictable in some places. I certainly expect to see Sharing the Sunlight up for a FanQ, next year, and it will deserve it as it is certainly among the best K/S efforts this year, but I doubt it will stand up so well through time, especially as we see more work from the author. [4]
I have so many thoughts and feelings about this 180- page, double-columned novel that it's hard to know where to begin an analysis of its strengths and weaknesses. And that is my first complaint. This was such an insightful, richly told story that I read it over four evenings' time. While there's something to be said for a story that can't be put down, I enjoyed the fact that there was so much to SHARING THE SUNLIGHT, allowing one to really get into it and not feel compelled to rush through. Also, the chapters were nicely structured -- each a story of its own that made for logical stopping places. So often with K/S stories — even novels -- I have difficulty remembering what I've read just hours (sometimes minutes!) after reading it. No such problem here. I never had trouble getting back into the story once I picked the zine up, and upon completing the novel, I found myself still reflecting upon it days later. There was little about it that was a rehash of what has been done before. It was truly its own, unique tale, and I highly recommend it for that reason alone. Without a doubt, the structure of the plot was this novel's greatest strength. The reader is treated to a gradually unfolding problem, which becomes more and more complex with each chapter. Then the tide turns, and as the novel begins to wind down, various solutions to the central problem are slowly revealed. The reader never forgets that Kirk and Spock are on a starship in the 23rd century, with a multitude of responsibilities, The universe doesn't stop just because they have acknowledged their feelings for each other. There are still Orions to fight, lives to save, problems to solve. This was more than just an excellent K/S novel — it was an excellent novel. Nevertheless, despite all the above virtues, SHARING THE SUNLIGHT still had flaws, some more bothersome than others. One of the more minor things was the excessive use of exclamation marks. Sometimes they interrupted the mood; other times they were simply unnecessary. I'm one who feels that the reader's imagination can provide the appropriate emphasis and inflection for various sentences most of the time....Thankfully, this problem decreased as the novel wore on; it was most noticeable during the Prologue... As for the storyline itself, I was amazed that the primary conflict contained so many elements similar to today's problems -- drug addiction, domestic goods versus foreign goods, racism, the necessity for understanding other cultures, etc. The plot simply felt real. The dramatic parts were dramatic, the transitional parts went smoothly, the characters behaved believably, and the suspense built with each corner turned.... I would recommend SHARING THE SUNLIGHT to those who feel K/S never has any plot; to those who feel novels too often contain new characters who become more important than Kirk or Spock; to those who feel zines no longer contain value for their cost; to those who feel the minor characters never receive any attention; to those who wonder if Kirk and Spock ever have work to do; to those who are tired of rape in their K/S; to those who.... I guess it's safe to say there isn't any K/Ser whom I wouldn't recommend this novel to. [5]
It has been a practice of line, not to critique stories I have directly done illustrations for; you might say I just wanted to steer clear of any allusions to nepotism. But in this case I feel compelled to say something about SHARING THE SUNLIGHT. The one important factor that drew me to K/S is that of relationship. And this story emphasizes relationship. This is a love story that is very mature and slow in development. There is nothing rushed, nothing contrived; we see here two very adult responsible males with complex thought processes and a dedication to duty and to others. This is the Kirk and Spock I see in my mind when I read K/S. Each page is written with meticulous detail, here is an author who knows her Trek. Spock's personality in particular is quite on target. He is strong, intelligent, noble, yet beneath there are insecurities in constant flux. The metaphor of a wall keeping Spock from breaking through those insecurities was unique and striking. I rejoiced with them both when that wall finally did come down. Kirk is very much the captain, the authoritative figure, but never authoritarian. He doesn't push Spock or himself into a relationship that he knows means so much to both. He gives Spock the space needed to work out the insecurities that have been built up over a lifetime. And in doing so. confronts his own self-doubts. There is patience here and a gentle handling of their evolving love. The elements of drug abuse and xenophobia struck a very contemporary cord. Finding T'Pring and Stonn working for the Johnson Combine was an added surprise. The story flowed without any snags. I found the writing very professional and the plot credible and logical. This is a novel with depth, it allows us to get into the minds of Kirk and Spock and allows us a peak at their most intimate thoughts. One almost feels themselves a voyeur, but a welcome one. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who wants to read an engrossing, intelligent, and excellently written novel (and who doesn't)? [6]

1995

I have long awaited this next installment in Jenna's Sharing the Sunlight universe, and may I say at the outset that this novel did not meet my expectations. It exceeded them! Jenna has woven a wonderful tale fraught with chilling suspense, exciting action, and heart-tugging emotions that reached way down inside and touched me where I live.

Promises is my favorite kind of story, the kind that can be read on many levels, and I have already noticed, on second and third reading of several parts, nuances of theme and sub-text that I missed the first time around. This is not to say that the story cannot be enjoyed as a straight action/adventure tale. It most certainly can, but this novel is written with such exquisite depth, such marvelous forethought: Jenna has provided a very rich textural experience for the reader, one that cannot help but filter down, imbuing the prose with additional layers of meaning.

It is now seven moths after Sharing the Sunlight. and several threads left hanging from that novel and later stories have been tied up while new ones are left dangling. McCoy has been told about Kirk and Spock's new relationship, and his reaction is not quite what they expected or desired. And not only McCoy, but the bridge crew as well. No longer does either Kirk or Spock wrestle with indecision about the wisdom of gorging an intimate relationship. That is behind them. The relationship is a reality, dnd they express it as two mature adults would, they are totally committed to one another. And then tragedy strikes. I love that after all the soul searching Kirk has done in the past, he faces this new challenge without the slightest wavering in his conviction that they will weather this new stofm together. This is my captain! And Spock is equally well-drawn. He must face the prospect that he will live the rest of his life stripped of all that makes him Vulcan. In one of the best scenes in the novel, Kirk comes upon Spock in the ship's handball court where he has been destroying the balls by systematically slamming them into the wall until they explode. The tension between them is incredible as Kirk convinces Spock to face what he has lost, while still being wary of the power of the Vulcan's seldom unleashed strength.

During the course of the novel Kirk makes promises, some of which, for the first time in his life, he is unable to keep, and is forced to accept a new view of himself, Spock. their relationship, and the way he looks at life.

There are so many things to praise. One example is the concept of la'sarr, the ability to control one's partner during intercourse, a sign that a natural bond is beginning to form between them. Great idea, it sounds perfectly logical and completely Vulcan, doesn't it.

The author has always written action scenes especially well, and now there are more of them than ever before. So many memorable ones: Spock's capture and torture. Kirk's inevitable rescue, the opening scene of horror, Spock's pon farr, just to name a few: all of these had me turning pages in a frenzy...

The mind meld scenes are particularly beautiful, but did cause a small problem for me. Both Kirk and Spock have found such ultimate satisfaction within the sanctuary of the meld, and I do understand Kirk's pain at the contemplation that he may never experience it again, but he seems to dwell overly on it. After what his lover has been through, he is fortunate to have Spock with him at all. He seems just a bit too sorry for himself that now they will perhaps have to love each other merely as humans have been loving each other since time began, I would rather have seen him concentrate more on the half full glass then the half empty one.

I also was slightly confused about the bond. I was sure that they haven't yet bonded until several passages made it seem as it the bond had already been formed, so I had to go back and reread to clarity this. (They haven't)

Also, after all the trauma both go through in this story I could have wished for a slightly more upbeat ending. Let me hasten to add that the novel does end on an optimistic note, but the author had put me through an emotional wringer by this time, and while I found the ending satisfying, I needed just a bit more. If it was Jenna's intention to make sure I tuned in for the next installment, she need not have worried. I'll be there.

But these were very minor stumbling blocks and totally subjective. Nor did they diminish my pleasure in this extraordinary work. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the wonderful art that added greatly to my enjoyment of the novel, Shelley Butler, Caren Parnes. and Chris Soto have outdone themselves once again. They deserve separate reviews, and will get them as soon as I can come up with more superlatives.

To sum up, I found Promises to Keep a totally captivating reading experience. This wins my vote 'or novel of the year, hands down, I urge those of you who haven't as yet bought your copy to run, not walk, to your checkbook! [7]

Normally I am only a consumer, but I was so impressed by Jenna's new novel, that I had to sit down and write a LOC.

I really loved this novel, it's the best K/S that I have read in a long time. It is written in a style, that reminds me of a professional writer. It was so exciting to read, that if Attila the Hun and his men would have ridden through my living room, it would have been an impossibility to put the novel done. Sometimes it seems as if I was really a part of the novel, not just an observer. The emotions of the characters were so strong, it was like a flowing river, which carries you with it, rather you are willing or not.

I was suffering with Spock about the loss of his telepathic abilities, could feel his frustration and anger. I could also understand McCoy's angry reaction to the news of their relationship after being left out for seven months. Sometimes it was an emotional roller coaster. Their inner struggles were portrayed so very well.

The whole zine is a wonderful combination between action/adventure and a romantic love story, with the romantic side often heartbreaking.

One of my favorite scenes is the "Pon Farr" at the end. I am a fan of pon Farr stories anyway and this one was so realistic and so much in character. Spock denying his need in the line of duty until it's almost too late and Jim's determination to bring Spock through come hell or high water and to achieve this all by himself.

Page 204: There is not the smallest note of insecurity in Jim's reassurance to Spock. Then his frustration (and later anger at himself) about learning that he would not be able to save Spock alone, but has to seek help. Speaking of frustration: Jenna, how could you let the novel end the way it dose??? Poor Spock with only his time sense back and a still broken bond!! Please put our guys out of their misery as soon as possible. Pack your things, travel to a lonely island and write, write, write!

To put it in one sentence: It was a wonderful, satisfying read! [8]

This is a good Trek story — our intrepid crew in all their honor and ingenuity, interacting with imaginatively depicted cultures. A good mix of action and introspection. Rich and authentic; no cliches of character, event or sentiment.

I didn't always care for so many POV's, even though properly done. But at the same time, because of the changing perspective, we got a nice three-dimensional look, like a Kaleidoscope. The close-in perspective was nice also, allowing us to really observe, experience and feel.

This author is brilliantly imaginative and/or a good researcher The whole story is very inventive as to details of place, culture, even things and names. There is a very interesting group-mind culture, I never felt I found loopholes in her depiction of their reasoning and ways. And her expression of the inner landscape throughout the novel is impressive.

I know we don't use TNG as canon, but I liked the idea in one of their episodes where the Federation had no intention of admitting a planet or system until its divided factions had resolved their differences between themselves first. This was such a divided culture, and so I wondered about the Federation really considering their admission.

As to the main plot it seems there is a race of beings scattered throughout the quadrant who are causing trouble of a mental variety. Isolated incidents are connected. Finally it is the Enterprise crew who bring the whole problem to a head and resolve it, at no small danger to themselves.

But what I like best (surprise) is Kirk and Spock. I love that the worst thing that could happen to Spock, and to their relationship, happens— and so convincingly. Heartbreaking. I read with apprehension to see how they would get out of this one.

Kirk and crew are ordered away from a planet where they were unable to resolve the people's situation — the mission was a failure. This theme. Kirk's feeling of failure runs through the story. Promises he couldn't keep.

Their love is rich and sweet, and plenty of long drawn - out hot deep sex - Really beautiful mental communion. Wonderful mental/meld/bond stuff, lots of it I would call definitive.

I adore the parts from Kirk's POV, that we get to experience Spock as Kirk experiences him, Spock's passion is so beautiful. Vividly described sensations; just excellent.

A beautiful passage of Kirk's thoughts when Spock tells him the bond is forming. First, thinking about Starfleet's hypocritical stand re officers marrying, etc., and that all of Command will know JTK loves a man, loves sex with a man. And then after that, a strongly written moment, thinking about all the love he has for and from Spock—it made me cry.

Spock's thoughts and meditations are just wonderful; the metaphoric elements of his foray into love. On Vulcan sands, rain, a river... Lovely.

Sex in the meld is gorgeous. Only 35 seconds in real time, but pages and pages for us. I enjoy Spock's thoughts about what "nature never intended," etc. He has defied nature to find happiness.

Other characters are vividly drawn, each with unique and recognizable characteristics. These are not just throwaway characters. Besides her continuing character, Hunyaday, we are made to know and trust these other crew characters, because they find themselves later in a close situation with Kirk and Spock, where Kirk and Spock have to trust them.

Hunyaday is promoted to lieutenant; the youngest ever. Her being a brilliant young upstart almost seems to take away from Kirk, for me. Like I'm jealous of her getting the same kind o* attention I want him and only him to have....

A sub-story involves Komack bugging them about attending an awards ceremony. But they'd rather slay around the quadrant, figure out what's wrong and help Out Their connection with Star fleet (when they'd rather be out in the far reaches forging their own path) in a way connects them with real life," with whatever contact we Earth-bound mortals might have with our heroic, space-faring representatives. So this Starfleet stuff, albeit bureaucratic unpleasantry, is something we can relate to. It might foil their higher purposes, rub them the wrong way, but at the same time it's a realistic touch to connect us with them.

Well, I guess I'm glad JS waited through all those stories while I got mad at her for not having Kirk and Spock tell McCoy about their relationship. Because now that they do tell him, McCoy's response is a central element to this novel. All in all. Kirk and Spock telling him doesn't go well, and this rift between the three, particularly between Kirk and McCoy, makes lor satisfying drama throughout the rest of the novel. Kirk feels uncomfortable with McCoy now, like McCoy is judging him — can he be captain and lover?

Not to mention McCoy's feelings- I really liked these parts, his personal logs. Nothing superficial about his responses. This was really rich, all the feelings and analysis he goes through about this. And I agree with him; I think it poor judgment on Kirk's and Spock's part to not tell him sooner. I would be hurt and insulted and everything else also.

Such a good use of McCoy's having been mentally raped by Mirror Spock. The thought of Kirk and Spock doing that really disturbs him, as it reminds him of the worst experience of his life. So he does not think this is a beautiful part of their relationship. To Kirk, melding is the best thing ever, the closest thing to heaven he'll ever know. But McCoy has such an aversion to mental intrusion. I also don't feel Kirk treated McCoy's feelings on this issue very sensitively.

So Spock is injured, his mind assaulted. All his telepathic abilities gone, maybe forever. The growing bond was broken. Terrible, devastating. His senses, perceptions, spatial orientation, also affected, even having to learn to walk and talk again. A mild meld with a Vulcan healer restores his motor and speech functions, but who is he now, without his Vulcan abilities? Oh, tragic, tragic.

From here on, we start to learn that all the weird stuff on the planets and a ship they met up with, might be connected, and the key is there somewhere to Spock's injury and to the potential of his recovery.

There is lots of thought-provoking stuff. Kirk's and Spock's feelings about their relationship now that Spock is not who he was. And which is healthier, acceptance-of-what-is or hoping-for-what-might-be? As if all this isn't enough, here comes the beginnings of pon farr. Without the bond, a horrible prospect.

And plenty of jeopardy, vvith Spock and McCoy taken hostage, the Enterprise in danger from these mind-control people, and Kirk & Co. working exhaustively both to find Spock and McCoy and to save the ship.

Once reunited, though not by any means out of danger, with Spock in pon farr. the situation simply cannot be hidden from the others crewmembers. So now these few others also know about the relationship.

The rebels and their agenda, all of that, all get resolved. It's not just politics as usual; it has to do with their psychic natures, their spirituality. A very imaginatively conceived people.

And meanwhile there is hope for Spock's regaining his abilities, and thus the bond being restored. And of course for the Three to be reconciled.

What a pleasing reading experience; and beautiful art. [9]

1996

(word of warning here, she may be a bit "sweet" for your tastes, but a very good writer -- this is the first of her stories in a continuing universe -- she writes a continuing relationship so she can explore characterization) [10]

1998

Sharing the Sunlight is enjoyable, it's thoughtful, it's coherent. It's also great Star Trek as well as great K/S, due in part to its extremely ambitious and complex plot. Let's face it: this is about as far from PWP as it gets! I love the way the events of various aired episodes are used to advance both action andcharacterization. The min melds in "Specter of the Gun" form a believable basis for one of the major themes of the novel, and then the reference to "Whom Gods Destroy" at the end of the prologue is perfect—a single, beautifully constructed sentence which speaks volumes. It's wonderful that it stands on its own without explanation, allowing the reader to recall the episode and use that understanding as a bridge between Kirk's state of mind in the prologue and his possible future. Later, the identity crisis precipitated by the events of "Turnabout Intruder" is very effective as the catalyst for Kirk's discovery of the sexual nature of his feelings for Spock. Another Trek element I admire is the attention to the reality of life aboard a starship. In this, however, the author goes well beyond simply using details to add interest to the story. The mid-mission review, the Engineering-Maintenance rivalry, the integration of non-human crew, the lack of opportunities for junior officers which figures in later stories—all these things serve as major plot elements. In the cases of the non-human crew and the junior officers, the author has chosen to deal with some major failings of TOS. It seems to me that there are three ways for a fan writer to approach these deficiencies: 1) ignore them, 2) write an "enlightened" setting with corrections already in place, 3) write the story of how the problems are recognized and solved. The third approach is also the most difficult, which is partly why I consider the plot of Sharing the Sunlight so ambitious. This Kirk is a captain with a ship to run; his officers and crew are people with jobs to do! Personally, I like this. If I had a complaint, it might be that all these elements, plus the K/S situation, plus the Johnson Combine story line make for an overly complicated plot. Still, I have to admire the vision that could conceive it in the first place... The overall writing style is very enjoyable, especially in the early chapters. Again I have to mention the excellent dialogue, which is supported by some very lucid descriptions and a nicely varied vocabulary... Another thing I really appreciate is the firm foundation of friendship established for Kirk and Spock's sexual relationship. I find few things more disappointing than first time stories in which Kirk and Spock meet and almost immediately end up in the sack, with no apparent motivation or growth of feeling. By contrast, the "astonishing affinity" followed by friendship which is so evident in aired Trek makes their love here entirely believable...The sex scenes are all nicely steamy, thank you! I especially enjoyed their first and last times together. Their second encounter struck me as a little too chatty, however. Kirk's dialogue there also seemed rather too casual, almost flippant at times—about the only place in the entire novel where I found the dialogue somewhat out of character. All in all, Sharing the Sunlight is wonderfully loving K/S, not to mention a truly impressive writing debut! [11]
It is very difficult to review such a great story as this. It is a thrilling adventure, a romantic love story and a psychological novel all in one. It all starts with the mindmelds Spock was forced to use on McCoy, Scott and Kirk in the Melkotian version of the gunfight at O.K. Corral. Discussing these meld during one of their occasional evenings the three of them spend together, Kirk finds out that he is the only one who found the meld with Spock pleasurable. This sets him thinking about his relationship with the Vulcan. In the meantime there is a conspiracy fromsome humans with the Orions to get the Federation free of all non-humans. The Enterprise is in the middle of it and when a range of murder-attempts have been made at the non-humans aboard the Enterprise, the investigation takes serious ways. They have todeal with interstellar drug smugglers and allies who do not trust each other. In the meantime the relationship between Kirk and Spock develops from mere friendship to a love affair. Both have to learn to deal with a permanent sexual relationship. Spocklearns to deal with his feelings without completely losing his Vulcaness, and Kirk is helping him with that. Their relationship has its ups and downs; there is little time for them to spend alone and it is just very lovely written how they deal with that and how they deal with their surroundings, because neither of them wants their relationship be known, yet That gives a nice scene, when one night Kirk is heading for the automatic pharmaceutical dispensing unit, carefully not to draw attention, to getsome lubricant. He even put some pants on with pockets in it, so he can put the tube in it, unseen. He doubts a moment about the quantity they will need.... This is just an ordinary scene out of every day. It makes you a witness of the events, makes it all very realistic and that is what the whole novel is. It is a description of the daily events of two people who happen to fall in love. That those people are Kirk and Spock and are living on a starship makes things very, very interesting.... Add to that some very hot sex scenes, and a new universe is born. There is a lot to read here, about 180 pages and the art is Chris Soto on her best Jenna has written more stories in the Sharing the Sunlight universe, and you can easily get addicted to them. I hope to read them all. I have just one advice: sit down comfortably, take your time and READ IT!!! [12]
This is an amazingly well-crafted novel—I can hardly believe it was Jenna's first K/S! She has a keen sense of structure, often pulling back at key moments, jumping ahead, and then revealing what happened in flashback for dramatic effect. This is so much more effective than simply telling the story chronologically! Her use of third person POV is skillful, too, as she shifts smoothly among the characters, depending on whose insights—or lack of them—will best tell the story. Although the narrator most often reflects Kirk's POV, we often see major events or revelations through Spock's eyes, as well (and we see more of his POV later in Jenna's series). The responses of other characters, too, mainly to Kirk and Spock, are shown with various effects; for example, McCoy senses something is going on ("What the hell did Jim and Spock have up their sleeves now?" 104) but can't quite figure it out, which adds a touch of humor—since we know exactly what is going on. I enjoyed that McCoy here is not the all-knowing healer who brings them together; in fact, he won't learn of their relationship for many months. One of my favorite things about this novel is how Jenna brings Spock and Kirk together. Many authors' scenarios are exciting or dramatic or fun, often using pon fan or close proximity as a catalyst, or showing one of them suppressing deep feelings until the other finally finds out and reciprocates. In STS, the way they come to profess their love seems so completely in character to me; insightful men, they both realize their friendship is changing; honest men, each acknowledges and analyzes this change within himself: and courageous men, they speak the truth to each other about these new feelings, sensing and trusting that the other feels the same. The entire novel is suffused, more than anything else (tension, angst, even eroticism—of which there is plenty!) with bone-deep love.... In discussing how Kirk and Spock become lovers in STS, I don't mean to suggest that this is the main plot of the novel. In fact, what struck me early on is that the plot itself is not centered on bringing the two together as lovers; that happens about halfway throughthe book. Rather, the plot involves intrigue, revenge, xenophobia, and power, offering plenty of action and introducing some new characters who will play important roles in Jenna's sequels. (We even meet T'Pring and Stonn again, in the least artificial use of them I've come across in K/S.) I enjoyed seeing Spock and Kirk work together in their professional relationship on the mission and strive to balance that with their new intimate relationship. So while the plot is exciting in itself, it is very well-integrated into the novel, raising themes that are at the core of K/S and echoing and developing their love.... [13]
First, the bad. I have never read any K/S story that had more discussion, rumination, contemplation and talk by and between Kirk and Spock about being together. I know it is not an easy decision, and I would loathe a story that portrayed their joining as simple. But, here, the two of them discuss every single nuance and inflection before and after they do anything, to the point of distraction. If Kirk wants to put his hand on Spock's shouider, he asks him first, then gets an answer, then debates it, then worries if it's the right thing to do, then finally, does it then worries if he should have done it, then asks Spock if it was okay, then worries about it some more. And it happened this way for just about every move they made. They even had a long discussion about how they had to meet to have a discussion! Finally. they are sleeping together, but the mood is so cute, that it lacks passion. Examples of this are "Wanna cuddle?" and "put his head against his shoulder." I'm sorry, but "cuddling" and "snuggling" are not one of my grand images of our intrepid heroes. I'm not saying the sex should not be real, but those sorts of descriptions weaken the characters...Then we come to the concept of "friends. " Kirk and Spock both referred to each other as a "friend." They called each other a friend, they thought of each other as a friend, they had lengthy (again) discussions of their friendship. I know Kirk and Spock have a deep, abiding respect and loyalty to each other that manifests itself into friendship. I'm not certain I am able to explain exactly my reaction to the constant referral of being a "friend", but it seems to make it ordinary for me. "Friends" are ordinary (and realistic, I know), and "lovers" are extraordinary. "Friends" are a little bit dull, and "lovers" are exciting and forbidden. Then, there's some unattractive descriptions of Kirk and Spock. Especially "hairy legs' and "hairy arms". Again. I'm sorry, it may be true that Spock has hair on his legs, but do we need it described? You see, this is a fantasy world filled with heroic characters, yes, with flaws, and yes, with human qualities. But, when I read of them as if they were my neighbors down the street, it destroys the magic and the bigness, for me. It can be reality, but it's extra reality. Also, generally, I felt it was vastly over-written. I know some people loved the detail and nuance, but the plot got so bogged down with thoughts and discussions, that I didn't care what happened with the Orions or the drugs or anything. Now, for the good. Overall, it was very professionally written. It had the quality of words, expression of characters, plot and action, that denotes professional. Even if I would have cut the hell out of it, I greatly admired the ability to write it! The scene on p. 120 of penetration was very good, both for the sexuality and the characters. The scene of Spock hanging off the cliff was filled with suspense. The use of the Marines as an example of two very masculine men in love was insightful. I enjoyed McCoy wondering what was going on with Kirk and Spock. Very realistic life aboard the ship, with just enough technical jargon to enhance the picture. In closing, perhaps I would have enjoyed it more had I not read such glowing reviews, as maybe I was more disappointed than I should have been. Let's put it this way. I appreciated SHARING THE SUNLIGHT, but I didn't love it. We each have our favorite types of K/S. mine's a little rougher and stronger. I would be absolutely remiss, if I did not applaud the gorgeous, sublime, perfect artwork by Chris Soto. It enhanced the story so beautifully and interpreted the characters with precision. [14]
SHARING THE SUNLIGHT makes me angry that there isn't a pro market for K/S, for if ever there was a novel that deserves a wider audience, this is it. This story is so well written, flows so effortlessly, combines excellent characterization, great dialogue, firm command of setting and detail along with an exciting plot, that there is almost too much to praise. Especially good is this author's portrayal of Kirk. No matter how much he cares for Spock, he never lets it interfere with his command responsibilities. When Spock is stricken by the drug TNT during an extra-vehicular check of the Enterprise's hull, Kirk fights his panic, remains on the bridge, and forces himself to use his command knowledge and intuition to solve the problem and save Spock's life. Also memorable is the scene where Spock realizes he is being overcome by illness that he later identifies as a dose of TNT. It is typical of the care taken in the writing of this novel. Nothing rushed. Nothing hurried. Every scene is fully detailed and explained. I found it difficult to put down SHARING THE SUNLIGHT, even when I found myself reading it at 3:00 in the morning in spite of the resultant headache. One minor quibble -- I felt the last several pages added nothing to the story and were superfluous. Chris Soto's art (beautiful, as always) added immeasurably to my enjoyment of the novel. The wonderful illo of Kirk holding a sleeping Spock facing page 33 was my favorite. I loved the serene expression on Kirk's face. This novel was truly a labor of love, and the baby is beautiful! [15]
This novel is a good, long, wonderful read. I especially enjoyed the shopping trip, when they have acknowledged their feelings only internally and are sure physical intimacy is coming. The author does a great job of getting them into their pants and back to running and saving the galaxy. She also does an excellent job of getting them out of their pants and into that intimacy we all love. I hope there'll be a sequel -- it seems to be open for one. It's hard to believe that this was written by a new author. It's authentic Trek and deeply moving. More please. Jenna. Chris. Soto's illos are beautiful and enhance the story. They're also very erotic (mostly). [16]

1999

Okay, I confess: I’ve been reading Jenna’s “Sharing the Sunlight” series out of order and have only recently read the novel which started it all. Because I had enjoyed the later installments a great deal, I approached Sharing the Sunlight with very high expectations. I was not disappointed. This is a wonderful novel. Sharing the Sunlight is a first-time story, but it is also an absorbing tale of intrigue and bigotry in which the K/S relationship is set within the context of a much larger world. Jenna pays a great deal of attention to detail. Her descriptions are clear enough to catapult the reader right into a scene, whether she is describing the beauty of a solar system as seen through the eyes of our favorite Vulcan or Kirk’s delight when he realizes that the “tiny, crinkly lines” around Spock’s brown eyes are there because the Vulcan is in the habit of smiling with his eyes. (And, of course, we know that most of those Vulcan smiles have been aimed at Kirk.)

As M.E. Carter mentioned in her December, 1998 review, Jenna also pays a great deal of attention to the reality of life aboard a starship. Whenever a writer takes that approach, there is always the danger that the wonder of the K/S relationship will be buried beneath a mountain of mundane information, but Jenna pulls it off. In fact, the day-to-day realities of life aboard the Enterprise are recounted in a way which makes the whole story seem more solid and real. Since my favorite K/S tales have always been those which seem the most plausible, I really liked this approach.

But the heart of this story is the K/S relationship. The love between Kirk and Spock permeates every page. This isn’t infatuation or fascination with novelty or Kirk’s out-of-control hormones propelling him into the sack yet again; it’s the real thing—abiding, deep, and true. This is love built on the strong foundations of friendship and mutual respect. This is a relationship which is deeply enriched by sex but which is not based upon sex. Don’t get me wrong: lust is a factor here and Kirk and Spock are great in bed together. But they’re great in bed together not just because they have interesting, fully functional equipment and nice healthy sex drives, but because they really love each other. You have the feeling that no matter what obstacles are put in their way these two are going to find some way to relate to one another on every possible level. If one of them had been hatched as a horta and the other born as a human or Vulcan, they still would’ve managed to figure out a way to satisfy each other emotionally, intellectually, and, yes, even physically.

It is probably impossible for love to ever be truly, completely selfless, but the love between Kirk and Spock in this novel comes as close to that ideal as possible. And yet, this story does not come off as some impossible fantasy of love, but as a very real possibility in a less-than-ideal world. This one will continue to give you pleasant dreams long after you’ve finished reading it. [17]

As a part of my autumn vacation experience, I decided to give myself a special treat by indulging in Jenna Sinclair’s “Sharing the Sunlight” series. I’d read the pilot novel, but not the collection or the last entry and wanted to experience them together. It seemed only fair to begin at the beginning and review them all together. If you’re reading this in the December issue, you’ll know that I was unable to read that much wonderful material in such a short time and have submitted my review in installments. I’ve left it to the editors to decide.... SHARING THE SUNLIGHT began rather languorously, but not so slowly as to lose my attention. It’s so very detailed, and what begins as great concentration on minutia gradually emerges as exactly what you require to understand the complexity of the relationship. Evolving amid daily starship routine and in spite of a growing Orion threat, a mid-mission ship’s review and a changing crew component, love comes shining through.

Before you know what’s happened, you’ve been quietly and skillfully engrossed in the plot and altogether captivated by the going on between captain and first officer.

At this point I must mention that to keep so many plot lines going simultaneously and managing to do it in a way that is easy to follow is quite a feat. But don’t forget at the same time you’re plunged into a conspiracy you are privileged to witness some of the finest lovemaking ever put to paper. This is a tremendous undertaking.

At the precise moment your romantic mind declares it’s had enough of Orions and suspicious conglomerates, you are given a rare and special glimpse of what’s going on behind closed doors. Sometimes it’s open declarations of newly discovered love, other times careful explorations of the flesh, frequently a joining of minds unlike you’ve witnessed before. There are instances when it’s comfortably warm, like an old chenille robe on a chilly morn and times when the searing heat of coals long-banked threaten to kindle a firestorm.

SHARING THE SUNLIGHT courageously defines the path to be followed. [18]

2000

I read Sharing the Sunlight and Promises to Keep out of order, but it really didn't matter. Sharing the Sunlight is a beautifully written story of how Jim and Spock finally get together, but it is so much more than that. It is plot filled, expertly written story with lots of unexpected twists and turns.

At one point in the zine we get to see another same- sex couple and how their feelings for each other work as a very positive force in a military unit. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing this different approach toward homosexuality in a military environment. When one of the pair dies, it gives Kirk ample time to think about what it would be like losing Spock. Later, in one emotion packed scene this is what he almost does. I sat on the edge of my seat during this scene, having trouble reading. Itwas painful. Butvery well- written, as I've come to expect from Jenna.

Sharing the Sunlight is Spock and Kirk getting to know each other sexually and emotionally. The story deals with how they try to build a relationship between the two of them who are so fundamentally different in many ways. They struggle to satisfy both the mental needs of a Vulcan and the emotional needs of a human. We get to follow Spock and Kirk's fight to incorporate this new relationship between them with their work on the Enterprise. A task that is not always easy to accomplish I read this zine not in one go, but in short bursts, as I felt that I wanted to stop and think about the things Kirk and Spock went through as their relationship developed. It's a fanzine that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is wonderful to see a story like this so slowly building and with so much passion and love between the boys.

I have only one quibble with parts of the story and that is the fact that Kirk sometimes comes off as a bit too giriy. Granted, part of Kirk's charm is a bit of flamboyance and a certain amount of femininity. It's what makes him charming, and this trait comes through well in the story itself. However, duringthe intimatescenes between Spock and Kirk I sometimes feel that Kirk's language gets a bit too flowery. [19]

2001

I'm not surprised at Jenna's skill in weaving a very compelling story in "Pacing the Cage" and her attention to creating characters which read "true." Her Sharing the Sunlight series has been read and re-read multiple times. Jenna's vision and ability to create such a multi-faceted story with such a complex and fascinating plot is awe- inspiring. She has a real talent for character development.

Her in-depth understanding of Kirk and Spock comes across extremely well. And I love yourcharacters—I'd love to read more about Irina and Audrey in particular! I am keeping an eye out for any new STS offerings. And I am waiting somewhat impatiently for the 3rd novel (hint, hint!). [20]

2007

I consider Sharing the Sunlight as close as possible to my ideal zine. It tells a developing story engaging all emotions in turn; Kirk and Spock are shown as I love to see them, fallible but very real men; there is something new to discover each time I read it; the construction of the story, the sheer literary quality are a joy to read. It’s my “Desert Island” zine, and an object lesson to every aspiring author. [21]

References

  1. from The LOC Connection #45
  2. from Recs by Rhaegal
  3. from The LOC Connection #43
  4. from Bill Hupe in The Trekzine Times v.2 n.2/3
  5. from The LOC Connection #43
  6. from The LOC Connection #44
  7. from Come Together #22
  8. from Come Together #22
  9. from Come Together #22
  10. comment by Caren Parnes, comment at Virgule-L, quoted with permission (March 4, 1996)
  11. from a much, much longer review in The K/S Press #28
  12. from The K/S Press #25
  13. from a much, much longer review in The K/S Press #25
  14. from The LOC Connection #45
  15. from The LOC Connection #45
  16. from The LOC Connection #45
  17. from The K/S Press #34
  18. from The K/S Press #40
  19. from The K/S Press #49
  20. from The K/S Press #59
  21. from A 2007 Interview with Valerie Piacentini