Summer of Love
|Title:||Summer of Love|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine Scattered Stars #4.
"While in San Francisco with his mother, Jim Kirk meets and falls in love with an unusual young man but finds out that his new lover-to-be is an alien when they reunite after exchanging letters for several months."
Reactions and Reviews
I'm one of those people who aren't into nostalgia, it's not my thing, man. Like dig my meaning? But this story brought back so many memories for a moment (or at least while I was reading this story) I was back in jeans, paisley blouse, fringed vest, moccasins, hair down to the waist, love beads and listening to Ravi Shankar. Spock is a Vulcan secretly on Earth to study its culture and trying to locate the whereabouts of a coapatriot who has broken the Vulcan equivalent of the Prime Directive. And a very young Kirk as a budding flower child. (I got a kick out of mentally comparing this innocently boyish Kirk, who is into free love and 'do your own thing,' with the over 30, stalwart, conservative Captain of "Way to Eden.") This is a very a/u a/u story. Cool man, like Far out! Yet it was charming and either the writer did a lot of research (if she isn't old enough to remember that time or has total recall (if she was). The details of the life and times and music and lingo is bitchen. A chance meeting between Kirk and Spock in a San Francisco cafe sets off the course of events. What happens in between their first meeting and when Kirk and Spock finally come together, during that summer of love (in more ways that one) is a trip. This is a fun read and very sexy, very well written. My only quibble is that I wish the author could have shown us how Sybok interacted with the commune and not given it to us second hand. And my final question is: Did I really used to say 'Groovy?' 
It's a really nifty idea to have Kirk and Spock wandering around Haight Ashbury in the sixties. I also loved Kirk's comparison of Spock to Superman, Unfortunately, the a/u premise is hard to swallow. How do you explain Kirk and Spock being born three centuries early? This would be especially difficult to accomplish in Spock's case because he's such a unique genetic mix, or were Sarek and Amanda also born early? How did that happen? Why complicate matters this way? Time travel would have been the simplest explanation for the presence of these characters in the sixties. I would have liked this even more as a reincarnation story about sixties incarnations of Kirk and Spock with different lives and different names. Reincarnation would have fit right into the background, since gurus and mysticism were part of the sixties atmosphere. It wasn't necessary to posit an a/u at all. I had another problem with this story. Why did Vulcan send such an inexperienced First Contact Specialist to Earth alone? That doesn't sound very logical to me. It would have been a First Contact team with senior First contact Specialists to assist Spock. 
I swear l was re-reading this story so I could LOC it. when on the TV news was an item about how this very date was the 30th anniversary of the summer of love in San Francisco!
How more timely can it be as I review this extraordinary story? And this happens to be one of the author's first stories—a wonderful achievement. It opens where we meet Spock, an incognito extraterrestrial, sitting in a cafe in the North Beach district of San Francisco, circa 1960's. The scene is so vivid—we see all the people through his eyes as he sits and ponders how he got there.
I love his history—his mother had stowed away on the first contact Vulcan vessel that had come to Earth. Eventually she married Sarek and conceived Spock. Later there's a second expedition to Earth and Spock is part of it He decides to come to Earth to find himself. So sixties! So Spock!
I loved the detailed description of his attire, including a wonderfully Spockian comment about how much he likes the "densely woven material" (jeans) and how he's not wearing any underwear!
Spock had decided to strand himself on Earth, knowing that the Vulcans should return in ten years or so. He finds lodging in an old house with an equally old landlady. There's such a cute little memory that he as of when he first met this kind lady as she was struggling with a trash can: "Spock immediately provided her with assistance—careful not to do anything so foolish as lift the can with one hand. Then I will not soon forget the scene where Spock first lays eyes on Kirk, who has come to the cafe with his mother The scene is so electric and they talk and feel the vibes between them.
They don't get together right away, which is one of the unique qualities of this story. A large part is while they journey over long distances to finally be together, but the story is definitely balanced between being together and not being together, which is very satisfying. Their journeys are filled with a feel for the times (like Kirk with a flower in his hair), gorgeous landscapes (Stanis really knows her West Coast!) and terrific language that she writes so well. There's a through-line as they travel: "He thought of Spock" and "He thought of Kirk". It is so beautiful.
I loved the scene with Joe, the Indian driving Spock part of the way. "Where are you from?" "San Francisco." "Where are you really from?" "Vulcan." Joe accepts that and drives away!
And there's also an adorable running comment of "Were you at the Human Be-in?" and how they both had missed it.
You feel the sweet tension building as they travel to be with each other. They finally meet at the Monterey Music Festival. They drive up the coast in Kirk's truck—you can just about smell the ocean, it's so vivid. I loved the moment when they had to pull over and have their first kiss while the waves crashed on the cliffs! They camp out and Spock reveals to Kirk that he's an alien from another planet. The scene is wonderful, but Kirk accepts it so readily with practically no question that I felt Spock might as well have told him he was from Europe or something. But I loved that Kirk compares Spock to Superman—"a mild-mannered man of steel"!
So hilarious when Spock says: "It bums my trip." And in the scene with Jeff when Spock is finding out about Sybok, Jeff thinks Spock must be a professor or something by the way he talks, so Spock interjects: "If that's cool. I mean."
A couple of difficulties in the story were first, Kirk's kind of do-nothing character He had no real ambition, wasn't so smart and I couldn't really see a leader in him. But I think he was presented in the context of "the summer of love", that this was a lazy, ethereal time in which to live.
Second, the whole situation with Sybok really should have been left out—it didn't add to the story and wasn't developed enouah at any rate. But these things did not rob me of my pleasure and enjoyment with this story. So many things in it are memorable and the beautiful space ride culminating in the bittersweet ending (with a touch of mystery—what will happen to them? Sequel! she cried.) was marvelous."Summer Of Love" is another one of those stories that must be read by all self-respecting K/Sers.