Spock's Decision

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Star Trek Fanfiction
Title: Spock's Decision
Author(s): Jacqueline Lichtenberg
Date(s): 1971, 1974, 1976
Length:
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
External Links:

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Spock's Decision is a gen Star Trek: TOS story by Jacqueline Lichtenberg. It is part of the Kraith Universe.

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It was printed in Kraith V in 1971 with additional scenes on Vulcan by Sondra Marshak in 1972.

It was reprinted in Kraith Collected #4 in 1974 and in Berengaria #2, and was sold as a separate fanfic in 1974 by the publisher of Berengaria. See ad image.

It was then reprinted in a special issue of Berengaria in 1976.

Author's 1973 Introduction to Spock's Decision

From the preface to the story in Kraith Collected #4:
Here is a story which was completed just two years ago and has yet to see print. During that time it has gathered a bit of moss---in the form of several flashback scenes added by Sondra Marshak. These are the first words of Kraith actually drafted by Sondra. And then I made additions to her additions. It was an exciting and stimulating experience. I hope more of the Kraith Creators will be doing things like this.

Way back in 1971, DECISION was scheduled to appear in VOYAGES #3. It has yet to materialize (but just might.) The reasons it did not appear in T-Negative are multiple. For the most part, Ruth just couldn’t go this far out on the Kraith limb with me. But also, the story has several structural flaws (which I am loath to correct since it would mean tearing the whole thing down and rebuilding it) as well as creating in some readers a feeling of wearisome and pointless repetition of things already said in Kraith. Much criticism has been leveled at this story. It is the criticism I thought Kraith IV, (NEMESIS) would attract and didn’t. Puzzling and instructive is life.

The original Kraith Series conception called for I, II, & III to form a unified novel with IV, V, & VI being the sequel novel, VII standing alone as a novel, and VIII being the denouement or tag ending. So V isn’t really a "story" in its own right, but only the bridge or middle part of what was conceived as a single work. V doesn’t have a proper fictional "beginning," nor does it have an "ending" (it just sort of peters out if you look at it as a story, but if you consider that you ought to turn the page and find a blank page titled "Part III" then turn again and find a new chapter titled "Spock’s Pilgrimage," then you won’t feel quite so disappointed, I hope.)

Many people have urged me to write the scene between Ssarsun, Spock and the Elders at the end of DECISION. It actually was in the original story outline. But when I got to it, it no longer seemed appropriate. I’m hoping one of the Kraith Creators will do it for me. Any volunteers?

As always, we are interested in your opinions of this story, and there is a question I’d like you to see if you can answer. "What is Spock’s Decision? Or, why do you think this story was titled Spock’s Decision in Kraith? Which of the decisions he makes here is the One of significance to the Kraith themes? [1]

A Personal Statement in 1977

Jacqueline Lichtenberg issued a personal statement in 1977 that addressed the lack of progress in further Kraith fiction:
At cons, people are always asking if I'm going to finish Kraith. Since I've become so wrapped up in writing Sime novels, for money, people assume I've abandoned Kraith. This is not so. Right now, Kraith is thriving more vigorously than it as in years. It is true that I have not written Kraith VI -- the next major story in the series. This is the reason: After Ruth Berman rejected 'Kraith V - Spock's Decision' for TNeg, it was taken by a zine which folded before it could be published -- that took a couple of years. Finally it was published in Berengaria and then in Kraith Collected. [2]

Riffs and Remixes

Reactions and Reviews

Typically convoluted Kraith thing. Kirk is esper-shocked, as is most of the crew to a lesser extent, due to some space phenomenon. He and Tanya are somehow linked, Tanya dies of the shock. Spock takes over just about all ship functions, telling McCoy how to treat everyone (with Theragin derivative) and Scotty how to make the engines go and so forth. Spock keeps Kirk alive, barely, by invoking the Liege-Ward programming that had been installed in him when Sarek adopted him (huh? - anyway, he appears to have been on Vulcan for some kind of training, and one thing must have led to another...). This puts Kirk in a slave relationship to Spock - who seems to really get off on it.[3] When they get away from the danger zone, Kirk has to be taken to Schillia for emergency psionic treatment by the local aquatic folk. Later he will have to go to Vulcan for more Vulcan discipline. (Hmmm) A Schillian about to become a starship captain asks Spock (with his amazing telepathic prowess) to help him consult the Oracle. For some reason, this is going to require Spock's retirement. But he agrees. They do. And the Enterprise goes on to Vulcan... more tripe no doubt to follow. Don't get me wrong; Jacqueline Lichtenberg can write a good story, and if you enjoy gaudily ritualistic, patronizing Vulcans, you'll like hers. [4]
Just received the Berengaria Special Issue and I'm about half way through. Since I just finished Kraith III, "Spock's Decision" was of special interest. Having also recently read House of Zeor with Jacqueline Lichtenberg and I consider Federation Centennial one of the finest pieces of Science Fiction I have ever read, I find myself in genuine awe of this kind of talent. [5]

References

  1. from Kraith Collected online
  2. from Scuttlebutt #2
  3. Ah, Sondra.
  4. from Karen Halliday's Zinedex
  5. from an LoC in "Berengaria" #8