The K/S Press/Issues 001-010

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The K/S Press 1 (September 1996)

The cover of Promises to Keep, art by Shelley Butler which impressed the air duct guy
  • a fan describes someone's visit to her house:
    Last week, two repairmen were in my house and one of them came into my dining room, which is covered with Trek memorabilia. He twisted his hands, lowered his head and muttered that he was a Trek fan, too. 'I like the guy with the visor,' he said, speaking to the floor. 'And I like the robot, a little. But what I really like,' he pointed up and at the original cover of Promises to Keep that I have framed on the wall, 'are those two fellows Kirk and Spock. Do you like them, too?' Needless to say, he did an excellent job installing my air ducts, and I kept him supplied with lemonade throughout the day.
  • a fan writes:
    I must relate to you my recent experience with prejudice and injustice. This experience is all about my becoming complacent about K/S. I literally forgot that people out there are against the very idea of Kirk and Spock as lovers, let alone homosexuality... all was fine -- it wasn't really a very big secret. Maybe just a little secret -- like from my mother or my father or my real estate agent... also, for a long time now, I've been associating with the inner circle of K/S -- not too many of my other types of friends or acquaintances. Well, into the vast auditorium of the WorldCon art show I marched -- suggestive drawings in hand and [my husband] at my side, blithely ready to hang my art for all to see. We had a great time arranging, designing and preparing the art on the panels provided... After two hours of work, we headed down to the front desk and were met by one of the art show directors... who
    one of the art pieces banned at Worldcon, the cover of Beside Myself #4 by Shelley Butler
    informed us that three pieces were taken down and that I would not be allowed to show them... One piece that was removed... was the cover of Beside Myself which shows Kirk, in a white shirt, standing next to a long-haired Spock with arms crossed over a bare chest, looking forward... [The next day, in the end, a total of] five pieces out of eleven had been taken down and there was no negotiation. I expressed my utter dismay at the... surprising parochial, narrow-minded and ridiculous attitude that prevailed here, especially in the light of the huge, full-color paintings of big-breasted nude and semi-nude women in extremely sexual positions. I pointed out that in none of my artworks is there any genitalia or any compromising positions. The most extreme drawing showed Spock holding Kirk against his chest, but certainly no explicit sexuality -- only love and caring. One of my favorite comments was made by a guy with a beer belly and very bad breath who insisted that in one drawing, 'The looks on their faces was like they just had sex.

The K/S Press 2 (October 1996)

  • contains 27 pages
  • has LoCs for Captain's Log: Vaia, Captives, Choices, Correspondence, The Doctor's Indiscretion, Enid Pulver and the Romulan Invasion, Every Dog Has His Day, "Journey's End", The Legend, A Meditation on Leaving, No Brighter Moment, Never and Always, The Prince, No Witnesses, Prism, A Shot in the Dark, The Small Slave, Spindrift, Stranger than Fiction, Their Hearts' Revenge, The Tirizan, Unto Which Holy Estate, What Price Security in the zines First Time #44, Captives, Way of the Warrior #8, KaleidoScope #4, T'hy'la #17, Nome #9, First Time #34, #36, #43, #44, The Prince, Scattered Stars #8, Amazing Grace #3, Counterpoint #5, and Icefire, see those pages
  • a fan writes:
    I agree that zines on line is basically a poor idea. I'm reminded of the late 1800's, the magical new technology, electricity. They were so enamored of it they couldn't stop making every gimmicky thing they could: bowties, etc. Also, just because we can do such a thing, it does not follow that we must. Too many of these conveniences are mainly just making our lives too speeded up for our own good.
  • a fan writes of alien genitalia:
    As to whether a Klingon's penis would be "huge and knobby." I first came across the description of an alien penis (it wasn't a Klingon's) as featureless in, I think, an Ellen O'Neil story. The phrase stuck with me. When it came time to describe a Klingon cock, naturally I thought ridges and maybe knobby because that would match the facial knobs etc., that the movie and Next Gen Klingons have. But then I thought that there would be a negative, and more insightful comment made about Klingon sexuality if I used the term "featureless," especially in relation to the rape of Henderson. So that's what I used because I was trying to reach beyond what was expected and make a comment about the scene as well. But if you didn't see that, that means I didn't write it the way I should have....
  • a fan decides to not read a zine based on the title:
    I’m sure I’ll be missing some excellent stories, and no harm to Dorothy Laoang, but I flatly refuse to buy anything called Amazing Grace. Why? Ever have a cinema full of people burst out laughing when it’s played? On bagpipes no less, without the bag having been filled with air first. At a funeral while you’re trying to slide under the seat in sheer embarrassment at the inappropriateness of it? A Christian hymn played at a Vulcan funeral is about as appropriate as Onward Christian Soldiers at the funeral of the chief rabbi in Jerusalem or the Ayatollah Khomenei. Even if it was supposed to be Scotty’s personal tribute! It’s found its way into a supplementary hymn book now, but when STII came out, it was best known in this country either as a folk/country and western type thing sung by Andy Williams or as a pop tune played by the Scots Guards. It was on the repertoire of all the folk singers but not in churches and it rates second lowest on my list of all-time hated tunes. Or second highest if the most hated is counted as number one. If a CD had 19 of my favorite songs on it and Amazing Grace was the 20th, I wouldn’t buy it. Yes, I know that’s paranoid.
  • a fan writes:
    So now I'm trying to write this Gorn story that everyone is eagerly awaiting. (That is meant to be sarcastic!) It's about the Gorn captain who kidnaps Kirk and rapes him (or tries—I won't give anything away!) and maybe Spock saves the day. Okay, the secret's out! All this because I'm sexually attracted to the Gorn. So my favorite response was from Terri who said that I had to make it a Mirror story because she didn't care if the Gorn raped the Mirror Kirk, just not our Kirk. Well!
  • about the subject of K/S art:
    WS and LN suing over artwork. Many years ago there was an illo in a gen zine (I can’t remember its name, but I think it was put out by Diane Steiner. Was it Metamorphosis?) that shows K and S in bed, naked at least to the waist, S with his head on K’s chest, and K hugging him. It was from the story sheer Hurt/Comfort, but it looked K/S. Someone back then got that illo autographed by both WS and LN. It sounds to me more as if someone on the World Con committee was getting his knickers in a twist over the idea of nude or semi-nude men. I mean, heaven forfend that women see bare male skin in artwork (unless you are talking muscle-bound superheroes who are so out of proportion, they are laughable)! [1]
  • a fan writes about negativity in LoCs:
    Writers might not feel so badly about criticism in LOCs if they realized that it doesn’t affect all readers the same way. More than once, I’ve been persuaded to read a story by negative comments in an LOC. I may see the aspects of the story that the LOC writer criticized very differently. This happened when I read [Jenna S's] comments on Worlds Apart. Until I reached Jenna’s criticisms of the final third of the novel, I was unsure about it. One of the things that bothers me about the way some fan fiction treats incest is that recovery is too rapid. In fact, the trauma of incest may emotionally cripple survivors life long. No matter how much Kirk loves Spock, the K/S relationship can’t realistically cure him, all by himself, if he has been traumatized by childhood sexual abuse. So, Spock’s continued damaged state in the last third of the novel was actually a sign to me that M.E. Carter may have a good grasp of the psychology of incest. It is also realistic that Spock retreated into victimhood when the perpetrator once again appears on the scene. This is caused by flashbacks which can be either conscious or subconscious. So ironically, it was Jenna’s negative comments that persuaded me to place Worlds Apart at the very top of my zine wanted list. I’ll be ordering it next month as my own birthday present to me.

The K/S Press 3 (November 1996, content unknown)

The content of issue #3 is unknown.

The K/S Press 4 (December 1996)

  • contains 31 pages
  • has LoCs for After Effects, Along the Way, Alternatives, Dealers in Kevas and Trillium, Divorce Vulcan Style, A Kirk by Any Other Name, The Land of Tears, The Last Straw, No Better Mirror, Masks, No Brighter Moment, A Mutual Fascination, "No Brighter Moment", One Night, Prism, Reason's Way, Rock of Ages, Rainy Day, Swan, Think of the Future Tomorrow, Velvet Deceptions, Sight Unseen, Stranger Games, Venus Descending, What We Have Written, Who Would Have Thought?, Worlds Apart in the zines KaleidoScope #5, The Way of the Warrior #8, T'hy'la #3,#17, Consort #2, As I Do Thee #2, #3, First Time #11, #20, #21, Within the Mirror #10, Scattered Stars #8, see those pages
  • there is a bio of a fan in the "Heartbeats" section
  • a fan proposes a K/S fiction and art annual award like the STIFfies. She volunteers to make the ballot.
  • there is a long con report for FrisCon
  • there are many letters from fans who say they prefer/require happy endings, that real life has too much pain and ugliness. Some fans remember death stories they read long ago that still haunt them and not in a good way.
  • a fan writes in that she ordered zines from Pon Farr Press, received the cancelled check but no zines. The editor of the letterzine says,:
    Pon Farr Press is out of the fan-publishing business. To put it delicately, a lot of people have also experienced what you have and have not received satisfaction. You can try to contact Mkashef Press if you want.
  • about the famous green penis suit:
    At the last Shore Leave con several of us sat at the feet of a long-time Trekker who told us how things were at the old K/S cons "back at the time of the beginning." One of the acts performed involved lovingly colored penis suits (one in daring dusky rose, one in ever popular, enticing olive) interacting in a lively dance set to music no less, until both the dance and the penises came to a logical climax.
  • a fan writes of the computer age:
    The difference between pre-computer and computer as far as putting out zines; no one would argue that changed our live. Embracing the e-way doesn't have to do with age, but inclination. Also money. For communicating, researching, etc., it's wonderful; but will it extend to "zines"? Physical zines are a treasure; time will tell if "books" will endure in the face of electronic media. Captain Kirk would hope so.
  • a fan compares some zines today and of the past:
    I also have read in recent letters about another issue, and that concerns allowing amateurs more access to having works published in zines. I am an artist myself, but when I see some of the artwork in the zines of today, I know I could never do anything like that. And the stories themselves! Take away the K/S, and these stories could be published as pro-novels, and knock the socks off anything that’s out there. But when I look through my old zines, some of the stories are so bad, and the artwork! (when there was any.) As a matter of fact, my favorite K/S story, An Inhabited Garden by Cynthia Drake has artwork that make Kirk and Spock look like children (Kirk especially looks terrible!). But you have to give these people credit, they established the building blocks of what we have today.
  • a fan talks of changing formats for fiction submissions:
    I have read where editors will only accept stories that are on disk or typed, or have some other strict criteria for submission. Personally speaking, I have an idea about a K/S story I would like to write that I’ve been thinking about for about a year, but if I do it, it will be in longhand, as I have neither the time nor the patience to do it any other way. After all, I work on a computer all day at work, the last thing I want to do is come home and type some more! But there’s really no point in doing it if I can’t have it published, unless it’s submitted a certain way. Perhaps that is another issue that needs to be discussed. After all, as Spock would say, a culture that does not grow and change, stagnates and dies. I never want that to happen to K/S. It has been a very special (albeit secret) part of my life for fifteen yeas, and I can picture myself as a 90 year old woman wearing spectacles, and sitting in a rocking chair and reading issue #2,222 of First Time that I’ve just received in the mail. I can only hope that vision comes true.

The K/S Press 5 (January 1997)

  • contains 31 pages
  • has LoCs for The Air is the Air, Alone, Along the Way, Another Man's Poison, Assumptions, Covenant, Compensation, Freedom is Standing in the Light, The First Christmas, Learn to Love, The Message of the Heart, Like a Song, A Personnel Matter, Lotions and Potions, The Matchmaker, Valley of Shadows, Prism, "Reminiscence", Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea in the zines As I Do Thee #5, KaleidoScope #5, Sun and Shadow, Consort #2, Vault of Tomorrow #13, T'hy'la #5, #17, Naked Times #4/5 #1, Scattered Stars #8, Kan't Stop Laughing, Beside Myself #4, Final Frontier #2, see those pages
  • there was mention of the "logistics of an e-mail subscription," more info about exact cost and method to follow
  • the artwork in this issue is reprinted from Stardate by Gerry Downes, but the editors were unsure of the artist. Gerry herself? Or Alice Jones? [2]
  • there is a long, thoughtful letter on the appeal of "unhappy" endings
  • a number of tributes on Mark Lenard (the actor who portrayed Sarek) and his recent death
  • readers nominate some favorite lines from zines on various topics
  • contains a LoC index for all contributions to Come Together and The K/S Press in 1996
  • mentions a computer disk by Jo Savage that lists 95% of all K/S authors, zines and stories; she says she will print it out for those who are "computer-impaired"
  • a fan writes that she is very upset about the way they treated Shelley Butler at World Con regarding her K/S art
  • from the editor:
    Does anyone NOT want to use 'The K/S Press' on the return address of the letterzine? We've had two requests to delete our name, and we'll be happy to do this for anyone who would rather keep the term K/S a secret.
  • contains a ballot for the Philon Awards:
    We'll still be distributing ballots for the Stiffie Awards as well, but many K/Sers wanted a return to our own recognition of our own talent, and so The Philon Awards are born.
  • a letter by a fan who writes that the fandom needs to be more supportive of new writers:
    If I had been as harshly dealt with as some other authors, I would have ended my attempt to participate... K/S should be literate but it is not literature. It is fan fiction. If wanted to read stream of consciousness, I'd read James Joyce... I read K/S for something I get no where else, the love between Kirk and Spock... I've read a lot of K/S in the past six years and never have I put a story down because of its misuse of grammar, tenses or point of view. These things have made me laugh, groan or shake my head but have not lessened my delight in a story if filled with love, compassion, and commitment, I have, however, put down a which was technically perfect but wasn’t K/S. Dot all the i’s, cross all the t’s but if it misses the heart and soul of what makes a story K/S then I don’t care to read it.
  • a fan writes:
    I recently purchased a computer and plan to sign onto the Internet before December is over. Does anyone know where I can find K/S, adult, or even Star Trek on the Internet? I’ve heard it’s out there but I have no idea how to go about finding it since I’ve not done this before. According to what I’ve been reading, I guess everything has a web (?) address and I think those are what I am looking for.
  • the editor provides some web site addresses, and notes:
    I don’t know how much of it is accurate, as I have never tried to find Star Trek on the ‘net. I’ve heard that what Trek slash there is out there, is mostly Voyager pairings, with a sprinkling of Next Gen and DS9, with very little K/S at all... Have I typed in some directions to a Wiseguy or Professionals slash site, above? Shudder.
  • a fan writes of transferring K/S art from the zine Out of Bounds, something she had purchased at Shore Leave:
    The art is by The Southern Cross for the great story Break Thou My Sanctuary by Janet Alex. I had quite a time getting that art safely to Oklahoma through the Bible Belt airports. I had to put it inside a large poster of Trek I got in the dealer’s room! I went through 3 airports, buses, rerouted through two other airlines before arriving in Oklahoma.
  • there is a very short letter from a zine writer:
    There is one thing I would like to 'wonder' about and that is why do reviewers feel it necessary to completely review the plot of a story? As a writer, I hate seeing a story I labored over reduced to a nut shell, as a reader, I hate it even worse. This is especially true of ending and “plot twist” revelations. Praise - yes. Criticize - yes. But why ruin it for everybody by telling all?

The K/S Press 6 (February 1997)

  • contains 34 pages
  • has LoCs for Alone, Along the Way, After Effects, Baby, Decision Time, In the Dark, Endgame, The Insane Root, Mirror, Mirror On the Wall, The Missing Piece, The Mountain High, Not All Who Wander are Lost, Our Side of the Mirror, Prism, The Price of Freedom, Quirk of Fate, Tiger by the Tail, Stranger than Fiction, Twenty Questions, When Rain Comes, WHIPS in the zines KaleidoScope #5, First Time #40, #43, #45, Within the Mirror #11, #13, T'hy'la #4, #16, Scattered Stars #8, The Price of Freedom, Companion, see those pages
  • fan writes that she composes filks and poems in her head while she washes dishes and keeps a tape recorder in the kitchen for that purpose
  • fan comments she is not the only one who thinks Courts of Honor could have used a tighter edit (lose 200 pages and several plot lines)
  • a fan comments on how many Trek fans and K/S fans look down on and sneer at K/S stories that are romantic and explains how this is wrong
  • a fan writes that her husband doesn't care what she reads and has no objections to the K/S zines laying around, but he objects to any K/S art hanging on the wall in the house
  • a Stiffie Award ballot is included
  • how to pronounce Philon Award -- it's "Fee-Lawn,” with the final syllable having a very soft 'n' sound."
  • includes the first music video review! "Star Trek Music Videos" by Chris Soto, it was first reviewed in Come Together, it is 15 vids, gen and K/S, some songs used: "In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins, and features the battle between Kirk and Khan in Star Trek II, as well as original scenes from Space Seed, I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables, tells the story of Kirk’s loss after Wrath of Khan, Right Here Waiting by Richard Marx, deals with the events in STIII, along with several scenes from the classic series, This Time sung by Neil Diamond. The song is about a second chance at love, and features scenes from The Voyage Home, One Hand, One Heart by Neil Diamond, has scenes from "Amok Time,"
  • announces that the next issue (March) will also be available by e-mail ($12 for one year, $10 for six months)
  • fans talk about the Star Trek loot they got for Christmas
  • a fan's long story about getting another fan who lived closer to the store to buy the last two Star Trek dolls at Kay Bee Toy Store:
    I thought I knew what friendship was. It’s pushing your captain out of the way and taking the poison flower thorns yourself. It’s diverting the ship to Vulcan even though it will probably cost you your career. Right? Wrong! It’s going to the mall and buying these dolls...
  • some Heartbeats bios for several fans, one from Germany who says her husband "knows" about K/S, writes the checks for her zines, is happy that she's happy, but doesn't know how explicit the fiction is and doesn't read English well but:
    ...he doesn't like gays very much, not that he condemns them, but it's simply not his way of life. I think this is a form of IDIC; he has his dislikes, but he never wants to change people, he just accepts what is... The reason, why I've never told him how explicit this stuff is, is that this is my own thing, my very private, very beloved thing, which I want to keep for myself, which I want to protect... I need this private space.
  • a German-speaking fan says she got her first K/S zine in 1988:
    [My] English knowledge from school was gone and I sat there zine in one hand and dictionary in another... Soon If found other K/S fans/pen pals, and we exchanged copies. Now, please don't kill me, but in those days we were VERY thankful for copies. Nobody had any addresses from editors, there were only these very old copies (hardly readable with missing pages and without covers) but it was K/S!!!
  • The editors write:
    Welcome once again to this monthly gathering of K/S energy. A special welcome to new subscribers, who hail not only from the United States but from Canada and Germany and England as well. We are truly an international group who span the globe. Sort of like Starfleet.
  • fan from England writes:
    To writers, editors and readers: Please can someone explain the appeal of violence, rape and sadism in K/S? I absolutely hate it and avoid any zine I know to contain stories with these elements - and there are more than a few [missing word?] them up a few years ago... and why is it so often Spock the Beautiful who gets done over? Leave him alone!
  • a fan writes that she is much less likely to accept an unhappy ending in a novel than a short story:
    If I’ve invested all my time and effort into identifying with the characters and situations in a novel, followed them through so much of their lives and so many pages, there is no way that I’d be able to accept a depressing ending with any equanimity at all. I bet I’d fly into a royal rage that the author had so deceived me.
  • a fan explains:
    While I definitely do not like death stories, or stories that deal with the emotional or physical separation of the guys, (I just skip ‘em; there are some I’ve had in my closet for years, by excellent authors, and I just have no desire to put myself through the trauma of reading them), the happy ever after endings of some first time stories are not always completely satisfying to me, just as most death stories are very disturbing. I always want to know “what comes next?” That’s why I write in a series, because this way I get a more natural mixture with stories that really have no endings. There’s always another day to wake up to, to live and love and struggle for happiness. For us and for Jim and Spock.
  • a reader comments:
    Shelley commented (last ish) that punctuation and writing rules can be forgotten as long as there is plenty of emotion, sex and eye contact. Possibly, though I think that an editor should at least correct grammar and spelling - it’s part of her job if she is a complete editor. However, one thing does irritate the hell out of me - incorrect homonyms.
  • a writer says reading this letterzine, as well as some others' stories, helps her with writer's block. She jokes:
    Ah, such guilty pleasure and sloth, to read the fruits of others' labors instead of wrestling with my own fruits.
  • fandom and the internet -- a comment by Killa:
    It seems that just in the last couple of months the number of Classic Trek (and K/S) fans on the net seems to have increased dramatically. Just within the limited circle of people I correspond with, several difficult situations have arisen. We have all tried to resolve these situations as best we can, but it seems to me that there are areas where fan-etiquette and "nettiquette" come into conflict. If a writer posts a story to the internet, he or she faces some hard choices. The alt.startrek.creative and alt.startrek.creative.erotica newsgroups provide a wonderful forum for getting instant reader feedback, and lots of it. But what if the writer also wants to publish the story in a zine? Is it fair to the editor of the zine? What about the reader, who's buying the zine and may have read the story on the net already? It's not that big of a fandom, and as more people get online the chances of this happening will increase. I posted a story on the net last year, never intending it for a zine. But an editor approached me after the fact and asked if she could have it. I said yes. Now I am writing a sequel, and I'm really stuck. I want to post the sequel on the net too, because I promised it to the internet audience months and months ago. But if I do so, I really need to repost the original story! I feel bad possibly taking sales away from the zine editor--but I posted it to the net first. Now I'm wondering if, from now on, I should refrain from posting my stories on the net to avoid this happening again. Should I have said 'no' when the editor asked me? Do I have to choose? I know I'd be annoyed if I paid a lot of money for a zine full of stories I've read. On the other hand, the sheer numbers of responses you get from net readers are awfully nice. But the last thing I want is for zines to disappear! What's a net- savvy writer to do?... What does anybody think is the right solution?
  • a reader says:
    I agree with [N C] that discouraging criticism has become a problem in K/S fan fiction. But I don't think the answer is to hold fan authors to lower standards. Perhaps this is just my bias as someone who is basically a reader and critic of fan fiction, not a writer, but I'm uncomfortable with the suggestion that criticism of fan fiction should be watered down simply because the writers are amateurs... I'm also uncomfortable with the notion of a dichotomy within fandom between critics with high standards and writers with lower standards. As a critic, I think that is far too flattering to those of us who write LoCs. We need to remember that just as fan authors and artists are amateurs, so fan critics are amateurs. If fan authors and artists lack expertise, then fan critics lack it in spades. Yet whenever the issue of discouraging criticism is raised within fandom, someone is sure to respond that critics are merely trying to set decent standards within fandom and authors who find their comments discouraging are simply being thin-skinned. In my opinion, this construct, which takes as given that critics are always objective and dispassionate and that it is only authors who are not, masks the reality of many LoCs that have appeared on these pages.
  • more on criticism and LoCs:
    I think it's great that writers are looking closely at aesthetic issues such as point of view and writing style, and developing a firm set of aesthetic preferences to guide their own writing. But it's one thing to be clear about one's own aesthetics in one's own writing, and quite another thing to apply them arbitrarily to judge the work of an author who may simply be writing a very different kind of fiction. It's like judging Jane Austen for not being Ernest Hemingway. Perhaps for this reason, a fan recently remarked in a posting to the alt.startrek.creative newsgroup that authors are not always the most objective analysts of other authors' writings.
  • more about the art of review:
    Ironically, some of the most "literary" stories in fan fiction have been the least popular. I can think of at least one story, Frances Rowes' "A Deltan Decameron," that was trashed in the LoC zines a few years ago for being too literary, and the author hasn't published any K/S fan fiction since. Sometimes I wonder to myself, if the great writers of Western literature wrote fan fiction, how would their work be received? Not well, I fear. Madame Bovary would be criticized for shifting point of view; Middlemarch for "telling, not showing." Reviewers would say that Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov needs to be trimmed by at least a third, that Joyce's Ulysses lacks a proper ending, and that Hemingway's novels "rob" us of closeness to the characters. Contemporary authors would fare no better. Reviewers would find that Marilyn French, Alice Walker, and Joyce Carol Oates suffer either from too much talk, not enough action, or from too much telling, not showing, or from shifts in point of view and unhappy endings.
  • a fan recollects meeting Mark Lenard at a 1981 British con called Aucon:
    Mr. Lenard was intrigued by the whole idea of fandom, especially why. Why were we fans? Why did we write? Did we write that? Now, there were several young children still around, and this was 1981. So we lied valiantly. Of course we didn’t write that! Next morning, a small determined group located him and ‘confessed.’ He laughed hugely and hugged and kissed us all.

The K/S Press 7 (March 1997)

  • contains 32 pages
  • has LoCs for Academy Aftermath, Along the Way, Assumptions, Brothers in Time, Baby, Chapter 37, Covenant, Evil's Playground, A Friend in Need, "First Course", The Gorn Story, Journey's End, Learn to Love, Lotions and Potions, Male Bonding, Mindsifting, On Which to Build, Quirk of Fate, Resting Place, A Shot in the Dark, Tiger by the Tail, Twenty Questions, When Rain Comes WHIPS, Worlds Apart in the zines Scattered Stars #8, Kaleidoscope #5, Consort #1, Amazing Grace #3, First Time #45, T’hy’la #17, Within the Mirror #11, Daring Attempt #7, Another K/S Zine, Worlds Apart, Heroes in the Wilderness, Shades of Grey #1, see those pages
  • a request for LoCs: "Don’t you want to tell that author how much you loved that story and how much you want her to write again?"
  • some info on technology: “Just a little reminder for those submitting on disk, which we love. Our processing program in WORD 6 or WINDOW 3.1.”
  • a con report for Escapade #7
  • on happy endings: "In a short story, I can accept an unhappy ending that still has hope for improvement in circumstances, but in a novel, I definitely need an upbeat ending."
  • fan recalls a very early K/S zine in Australia, one that predated Alternative. "It was spirit-duplicated and by the time I saw it, a lot of the print had faded to unread ability."
  • a fan dislikes reading fiction on the internet and lists various reasons: you can’t read a computer screen in bed and sometimes stories don’t download well. "I doubt there’s very much cross-reading between Internet readers and zine readers anyway."
  • many fans comment that they don’t like traditional romance pro novels but enjoy K/S
  • much discussion about LoCs and how much of the plot line should they give away, how much detail should they include
  • a reader say: "I’ve decided to get myself a pseudonym like everyone else, partly for fear of embarrassment and partly for the sheer cloak-and-dagger fun of it."
  • the start of K/S Day:
    [Andi L] wrote to us [the editors] with a terrific idea that we thought we'd pass on to you. She says: 'You know how the closest Monday to Lincoln and Washington's birthdays is now a national holiday called Presidents' Day? Well, Shatner and Nimoy both have their birthdays in March and the closest Monday is March 24, so how about seeing if the K/S crowd wants to declare our own private national holiday of K/S Day or something... and then everyone could come up with some way to celebrate it (like only eating pink or green food that day or watching an episode for new K/S moments or something) and then ask everybody that wants to write in and tell what unique thing they thought of to do to celebrate the day?" So we would love to hear from all of you what you did (or might have done) to celebrate K/S Day, Monday March 24th!
  • a fan comments:
    May I second or third the statement, ‘I’m used to reading K/S with the eyes of a fan, not those of a critic?’ I do get irritated after a while when someone starts taking sentences apart. It is the story most of us are interested in, not the writing style. If the author conveys the story intelligibly, elicits the desire emotion reaction, and involoves the reader in the story, it’s all that’s needed. Literature (capital L, the kind people read years after the author dies) has one set of rules, the rules of grammar. Beyond that is imagination and skill.
  • fan writes:
    There isn’t nearly as much violence, rape and sadism in fanfic nowadays as there was a few years ago, or it seems to me. One excellent K/S writer, K S T’Lan, dropped out of K/S fandom and moved over to slash Professionals because she didn’t like the way the stories were going, but they did improve again.
  • a zine editor writes:
    I should like to have stories that haven’t been on the net – simple fact of needing to sell enough zines to finance the rest. But when a print run is sold and any immediate reprints, I don’t see why the story should appear on the net. It’s possible the two readerships are distinct, and I have a feeling the feedback from the net might be rather different than the usual zine readership.
  • a zine editor remarks:
    This problem of amateur writing standards has been with us since the beginning, but there is one fixed fact: money changes hands for zines. In these days, quite substantial money, and the reader has a right to expect a standard comparable with what her pounds or dollars would buy in a bookshop… Readers can always vote with their money, but we’re dealing with a scarce sought-after product here, and the readers’ sometimes desperate needs must not be exploited.
  • a writer explains what makes a story a K/S story:
    It contains some sort of intimacy between Kirk and Spock whether it be sexual, emotional or telepathic. I consider Precessional, a gen novel by Laurie Huff, profoundly K/S because it contains intense telepathic intimacy between Kirk and Spock. Obviously, Paramount feels the same way as I do because they pulled the original edition of Killing Time by Della Van Hise and removed the telepathic intimacy between Kirk and Spock.
  • a fan contemplates the internet and sees a value for possible zine submissions:
    I occurs to me that since online fan fiction is not edited and feedback can be obtained through email, there is an opportunity to use the internet for the purpose of workshopping stories before they are submitted to zines… Using the internet to obtain feedback on stories that aren’t quite ready for publication would be beneficial to the writers and could potentially raise the quality of zine submissions.
  • on the subject of violence and “ravishment”:
    Any violence, sexual and otherwise, is bad. Period. But in most K/S, I believe there is a form of ‘violence’ that isn’t ‘real’ violence. It is a form of fantasy termed ‘ravishment.’ The fantasy of being overcome, of having to surrender, and being swept away. And in K/S, this fantasy takes on a wonderful ‘safe’ form with two big strong men who can’t really het hurt like women can.
  • a writer responds to Killashandra’s query in the previous issue about posting stories to the internet:
    Posting K/S stories on the internet can, with a very high potential, kill K/S fandom. It’s as simple as that. I understand the big thrill at finding out from all those people that they liked your stories. But is that why you write K/S? We, meaning those of us who write exclusively on paper get lots of feedback from LoC writers. As a rule, the responses are varied and insightful… I also find that actually seeing my story in print in an immense thrill. I have said before that it makes me feel like a published author. Of course I love receiving comments from others about my stories. But I would know more trade having my stories printed in a gorgeous K/S zine for a thousand internet accolades, than I would give up K/S fandom. I understand that you basically only know the internet as a means for K/S fandom rather than the many years of zines which have been the only game in town… but DON’T POST YOUR STORIES ON THE INTERNET. Because zines will disappear. Posting your stories on the internet will eventually destroy K/S fandom.
  • a comment about the Stiffie Awards:
    Myself, I don’t plan to participate in those awards. In previous years, I put a lot of effort into the nominations and voting, but now that we have our own K/S awards, I don’t care about those others – those not involved in K/S in other words – voting for K/S nominees… If all known K/Sers vote in the Philon Awards, then why duplicate our efforts in the Stiffies?
  • some more thoughts on the STIFFIE Awards:
    Those of us who have participated in the past have wondered about the impact of the other slash fans who may or may not vote in our category. For example, perhaps a slash fan whose primary fandom is Blake’s 7 has only read one K/S zine during the year, and in addition to voting for all her B7 stories, she’ll vote for the K/S she’s read. From hearsay, this might be happening not only to K/S in the STIFFIES, but to other fandoms as well, since we might be tempted to vote for a stray Prosstory we’ve read when we are not familiar with the rest of what was published in Pros that year.” She goes on to strongly encourage K/S fans to continue participating in the larger slash fandoms by voting in all available awards. “I don’t belive in isolation. By our vigorous participation in the STIFFIES, everyone will know that K/S is alive, well and thriving.

The K/S Press 8 (April 1997)

  • a fan explains an earlier comment, and comments on feedback:
    I want to clarify something I said in the January issue. I guess I left some of you with the impression that, in general, I would prefer a novel with an unhappy ending over a short story with an unhappy ending. But what I was trying to say is that I might have a problem with an entire collection of short stories with unhappy endings. In the case of the novel, one would be dealing with only one unhappy ending, as opposed to, say, half a dozen unhappy endings. In reading a whole series of unhappy endings, I think I would either become depressed or else would be anesthetized by the first couple of unhappy endings; once that had happened, subsequent stories would lose their effect. I don’t want to give anyone the idea that I would refuse to read a collection of stories with unhappy endings; it’s just that I don’t think I’d want to try to take in the whole thing in one sitting. I enjoyed Killashandra’s and Judith Gran’s insightful remarks in the February issue on the importance of distinguishing between literary criticism and personal preference. It’s easy to see how the two can be blurred; a reviewer might well have the same emotional response to a poorly written story as she has to an unhappy ending—in either case, for her, the story is diminished or even ruined. But reviewers have to keep in mind that they are reviewing the piece not for themselves, but for others... if a reviewer just happens to wish that a story had had a different ending, or doesn’t like a story simply because it’s set in the mirror universe, or because she can’t stand stories which deal with death or old age, then I think it’s important for that reviewer to remember that there is a fair chance that other readers with different preferences might enjoy the story.
  • regarding happy endings in fanfic:
    And that thought brings me back to something else I said in the January issue. At that time I provided a list of suggestions on how to deal with a tragic ending: thinking of the unhappy story as being part of an alternate universe, reading a story with a happy ending as an antidote, or writing your own “happy” sequel. In retrospect, and in light of some of the replies in the February issue, I’ve realized that I was probably a bit glib. I wasn’t trying to lightly dismiss the effect which an unhappy ending can have, and I wasn’t trying to pretend that those suggestions would be helpful for every person in every case. While I still think that my original suggestions might be helpful in certain cases, I now realize that I neglected to mention what is probably a much better and more useful suggestion: go back to the story and try to see beyond the obvious unhappiness of the unhappy ending. There are probably very few K/S authors who write an unhappy ending for the sole purpose of depressing their readers. Often, if you step back and consider the story as a whole, you will find that it contains some other message; sometimes you will even find a subtle message of happiness and hope.
  • a fan writes:
    In this fandom we are all dependent upon one another. When you discourage another fan—a writer, an artist, an editor/publisher, or a reader—you are taking the chance that that person will abandon the rest of us, taking her contributions and talents with her... No one is perfect, and, with the proper sort of criticism and encouragement, both new and established writers can improve. If someone produces a bad story one day, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are doomed to do so forever. Similarly, writers who are currently interested in one sort of K/S won’t necessarily maintain that particular interest indefinitely: a good writer (or artist) who produces a sad or tragic work today may very well end up producing a wonderfully upbeat and happy story or portrait at some later date. Someone who is into alternate universes now may later want to explore the “real” universe. Someone who is currently fascinated with K & S as old men may later want to take a look at their youth. And no matter what you, personally, like right now, believe it or not, that could always change.
  • a fan writes about miniskirts and sexism:
    ...back in January when I mentioned a “backlash” against feminism, I wasn’t talking so much about the culture of the 60’s as I was about the culture of the fictional universe portrayed in the original series. In that context, I think the miniskirts and certain details of plot and dialogue all combine to create a somewhat sexist environment. History is not a straight line, so, in my own mind, I’ve explained the sexism in the fictional TOS universe with the “temporary backlash” theory. To be more precise, I envision the characters of TOS as being engaged in the process of crawling out of the depths of the temporary backlash, since they have women in the crew, Kirk and Spock seem to respect and trust Uhura as a colleague, and we do see the occasional female lawyer or scientist. Furthermore, by the time of the movies they appear to have made additional progress against sexism. (One quick question: I’ve always thought we should blame the network (rather than Roddenberry) for the miniskirts and other evidence of sexism in TOS; in “The Cage,” the women wore pants and the first officer was female. Did I miss something?)
  • a fan wants to clear something up:
    Lest the fen descend on my neck for copying a story out of a zine, I have to mention that I loaned Elinor my own copy of Resting Place. A copy, I might add that was sent to me by Robin, whom I certainly trust to know when a zine is out of print and therefore ethical to copy.
  • a fan encourages others to keep K/S on the minds of other fans:
    I would urge those of you who haven’t contributed nominations to the Stiffie Awards to consider doing so for next year. Like Jenna, I think it’s very important to make sure we maintain a presence as K/S fans. I’ve always been proud of the fact that we’ve furnished a full slate of nominations for the awards so that others can see that K/S is still a viable, vibrant force in fandom.
  • a fan writes of K/S Day:
    What I Did On K/S Day: I wore my "Top Ten Reasons Why Captain Kirk is Better Than Captain Picard" T-shirt to work. Explained to my co-workers that this is a day of national significance for Star Trek fans, sort of like President's Day. Did not elaborate further. Laid plans to gather the votes to make this a paid holiday next year. Other things I did to celebrate K/S Day: (1) "Talked" on-line with other Star Trek fans. (2) Looked at cards and photos of Riverside, Iowa, sent by fellow K/S fans, and vowed to send my own next year. (3) Wrote reviews for the K/S Press. (4) Wrote a vignette based on a chat among K/S fen concerning what the term "Captain's Log" really means. (5) Wrote comments on a K/S fan-friend's story. (6) Made a contribution to a worthy K/S cause. (7) Did some "mundane" work that I hope will bring the Star Trek future just a little bit closer.
  • a fan comments on excessive violence in fanfic, saying that she'd been seeing way too much of it:
    This might be, as [Fiona J] says, because some I have read were actually published some years ago when such themes were more common. I do also understand that these things do happen in real life and that realism in a particular story may require them. [H/C]] fiction can indeed be as bad if not worse in wallowing in pain and suffering. I have never been able to fathom why an author's favourite characters should come in for a severe bashing. I once asked someone whose (unpublished) fiction I'd read, what was the point of all the blood and guts (including a stomach churning—and I'm not normally queasy—description of major field surgery without anesthetic). She simply answered "We like it!" with a grin. She did say she wrote a lot during difficult times in life. Perhaps her favourite was a safe outlet for aggression? I think the crux of my complaint is in the word "wallowing". Whilst I heartily dislike graphic violence, especially sexual violence, I can just about see that it could provide a pretext for a dramatic or deep story about recovery from trauma or the extent of friendship (e.g.: Home is the Hunter— a gen H/C zine from the Contact people). But page after page or incident after incident, is in danger of turning the reader into a nasty kind of voyeur... Explorations of power in K/S are necessary and intriguing—how Spock obeys Kirk as captain if as bondmates they are equal and as a Vulcan he is mentally and physically superior—the dynamics of a relationship between two such strong individuals. I think it's even more important in Mirror stories, but agree with Debbie that authors too frequently take the easy way out and portray either Mirror Kirk or Mirror Spock as sexually violent or sadistic/masochistic. I've stopped reading Mirror zines altogether for exactly that reason (and probably missed good non-nasty stuff).
  • a fan writes of The Gorn Story:
    a few thoughts: First, a reiteration of the rape versus ravishment discussion concerning my Gorn story. I did not mean to show or imply that Kirk liked what that ol' nasty Gorn was doing to him. I tried to make it clear that Mirror Kirk likes sex a whole lot and that his body is extremely responsive. As an added incentive, he was thinking powerful thoughts about Spock. I want to make it totally clear that I know the diference between rape and surrender/ravishment and I would never even think of writing Kirk or anyone enjoying being raped. I repeat: I know what real rape is—I did not, nor would I ever—write anything about anyone being raped and liking it. But let's say, for the sake of argument, that I wanted to write about Kirk being raped and liking it because I'm an ignorant fool who doesn't understand what rape is really all about and I think it's fun. Isn't this what we all get to do? Isn't this what K/S is all about? We should have the freedom to express to the absolute fullest whatever we want. After all, lest we forget, K/S itself is considered extremely subversive and pornographic by most. We become complacent and think it's fine and dandy and nobody minds—but they do! I found that out at World Con loud and clear. [3] Many people are deeply offended by K/S. So if there is a subject matter within K/S that offends you, that's not a good thing, but hopefully there will be LOCs that will steer you away from those stories. And I'll put myself on the line again...I can't believe that some years ago I actually wrote a story that involved a whip handle up Kirk's ass while he was on stage in a big sex show. Not exactly on your best taste list, but I was allowed to express it and it didn't hurt anyone except cause me mucho embarrassment. But I'm glad I wrote it and I'm also glad it's in Mr. Atoz's vault to be sure.
  • regarding violence, this fan writes:
    About violence in K/S. I don't want to right now get into a thing about violence, but I'll just say I sure don't mind Kirk and Spock roughing each other up a little bit. It seems "fighting" is one of the ways boys and men relate to each other, and not just in purposeful sport, but in the heat of some emotional impasse. As long as they're equals. We could argue that they're not, because of Spock's superior strength, but we can manage to work around that... And as others have also said, I personally haven't found enough offensive violence in K/S to really be concerned about it.
  • Regarding the concern that internet posting will kill K/S, a fan writes:
    My, but this idea is breeding like tribbles! Economists would disagree. Before the station is overrun, consider this: The people who emailed me in response to the posting, wanting to buy zines (which I also prefer, old time fan that I am). If I *hadn't* posted that old vignette of mine on ASC just before Escapade, they wouldn't have known K/S was still around and I wouldn't have had the opportunity to give them info for K/S Press because they were lurking and I wouldn't have known they were there. I bet others who have posted retreads (aka stories previously published in zines) have had similar experiences. Certainly, as with anything, there is some risk. Remember what Kirk said about risk? "Gentlemen, risk is our business". I think it is ours too, by association. The internet is our final frontier and there is new life in it. So long as those of us who wish to post write one tale for a zine to balance every one that is posted, the risk that zines will 'disappear' remains minimal.
  • another fan comments on online K/S:
    I have been reading the recent discussions on the newsletter about K/S fiction being online - and whether or not this would replace or even considerably damage the entire fandom. I'm a new K/S fan (though a Trekker for over 25 years), a habitual Net Surfer, and for whatever it's worth, I think the Net can be a friend - than a foe - of K/S. The possibility of zines disappearing because of an influx of "free K/S stories online" is very remote. But on the other hand, tapped and used the right way, K/S online can bring more fen into the fold - and we're talking global. You see, it was only through the Net that the wonders of K/S reached me at the other side of the Pacific. Prior to that, I had heard about K/S for a very long time which, unfortunately, were mostly negative ones from the mainstream Star Trek press. The criticisms were not leveled at the quality of the stories or the artwork which some of the ST mainstream even conceded as excellent, but at the idea per se of K/S. All that negative publicity only fueled my curiosity, but there was no way to satiate it because I didn't know who or what to contact in the good old USA. At the time, even the mainstream ST organizations like Welcommittee and the International ST Fan Club didn't seem to be a good idea. Until only about a year ago when Slash Fiction and Fandom trickled into the Web. But even then, there were only a handful of K/S - the rest of ST Slash focused on the newer versions like TNG. Now among that handful, there were only 2 or 3 good stories, namely Killashandra's "Ghost in the Machine" and "Turning Point" - but they were really GOOD enough to turn me around, hook me into K/S, and set me on what I called my K/S Quest. It was a tough six months. I searched the Web, every ST and Slash link imaginable, even the newsgroups.But at an average, you can only find one new K/S story online a month - and the quality was not necessarily good. I also tried looking for zine E-mail addresses, but no such luck there. Frustration was a very mild term - it's like I found this really good stuff, wanted more, and can't seem to find anything anywhere. Finally I tried my last card, swearing to quit if it didn't work. Got my nerve to find the E-mail of the few K/S writers and fans whose names I saw online and wrote them, begging literally, "Where do you get this stuff? Where do you order? How much? How?" It took another couple of months but one writer - incidentally, again Killashandra - who gave me the E-mail of the zine publishers. Now, though not as frequently as my US counterparts, I am already into zine ordering. And coming from one who lives overseas, that's saying a lot... In case you're wondering what the whole point to this is: One would really have to be serious re K/S fandom to go through this.
  • regarding K/S online:
    There is a concern that "free K/S online" can hurt the zines because everybody would want to have their stories for free and not buy the published ones. At this point, this is a remote possibility. First, as one Roundtable writer pointed out, many fen would still want to experience the pleasure of reading their K/S zines in their bedroom or living room rather than squinting at a computer. Nor can the artwork translate into online graphics. I staunchly agree with both points. These are two distinct print advantages that online cannot replace. Second, the scarcity online is still a wasteland - and the stories that get posted are really not of zine quality. YET. Because other ST fans who may not yet be zine- published-writers but who can write well are beginning to post their K/S stories online. It's still just a trickle, but if the interest builds up, it can very well become a substantial wave. Now this might be where the "danger" comes in. Since fandom is a network and not one monumental organization (though Paramount might wish otherwise), there simply is no way to control these newbie writers, let alone telling them, "Just write for the print zines!" For all the inconveniences, i.e. accessing a.s.c.e, online does have its own unique inexplicable magical appeal to those who do frequent it. Simply getting feedback is just one of them. You meet with other fens, brainstorm with them, talk endlessly about them with your favorite characters, write and read your own stories, etc. And there is something to be said about finding and reading a new K/S story online. Now the online appeal hints of a large market, something that the K/S print zines can tap into. "Lost fans" as I once was. New burgeoning writers. More important, potential fans who may not even know what K/S is all about if not for online. As I said, most of the new fans I met online agree on one thing: we would not have been hooked if it were not for the really good stories that Killa wrote. So, for all the danger that the Net supposedly represents, why not just use it to your advantage?
  • a fan's suggestion for controlling and shaping online K/S:
    First, don't alienate these new writers. There's only a few of them anyway. Eventually, if they are serious enough, they'll write their really long stories for the print zines. The shorts they can reserve for online. IMHO, that's the most practical thing to do since it takes a really long time for a writer just to post an average K/S story online. Second, tap the market and build on the small following that's already online. Find out who these new fans are then lure them into the prints. While you'll have the usual freeloaders who don't want to pay for anything, you'd still be able to get a hardcore group that will subscribe. Bottomline, an enlarged market may even generate revenues and improve business. As to the practical steps for the second suggestion: 1) You'd need a "bait" to lure the new fans in or even tempt them to come out in the open and identify themselves via the newsgroups. If they go via the latter, their E-mail is there for future contacts. A bait is a story - a good one to keep them salivating. The online writers who post the "shorts" are the appetizers. For the main course,you'd need a really good zine-quality story. There is a way to do this without harming the zine publishers or the zine writers. 2) Since these two groups are in contact anyway, come up with an unofficial agreement as to whether new K/S stories online by the established writers can be published in print or not. That way, those who don't agree with said agreement know the risk they're getting into. 3) What you put online as bait are stories already published but only from the defunct zines. Let the K/S TPTB select the stories or get permission from the writers. That way, no one gets hurt. 4) Make sure that these posted stories only come out once a month or every two months. That way, the market is fed but still wants more. Keep them dangling. 5) Watch for the feedback in the newsgroups and the chat sessions. If there's no feedback, "plant" one. Use an anonymous post saying, "I read this new story on the Net and it's good or it sucks..." In either case, someone is bound to comment eventually - and someone will comment on his comment. You'd find out the E-mail addresses of potential subscribers. You'd also know the state of the market, guiding you as to whether or not to post more stories or junk them altogether. 6) Contact the ones who seem interested - but do it as a friend, not as an official representative of K/S fandom. Start as a friend and talk about all the things that interest you. After screening them to see whether they really are serious about fandom or not, then start talking about the print zines, K/S Press, etc. As I said, these are all suggestions, IMHO. Please don't get mad at yours truly, a newbie K/S fan. Believe me, I am "serious" about my fandom. But I wouldn't have discovered it if not for the Information Highway. [4]
  • a fan writes of the internet:
    One thing I noticed about the discussion about fanfic on the Internet was that, with one honourable exception, everyone who stated disapproval also stated that they weren't on-line. Shelley, I noticed that you drew a distinction between LOC's and "Internet accolades", may I ask why? (Jess: The distinction was not one of content, the distinction was only one of paper versus electronic. Sorry for the misunderstanding.—S.B.) When I posted a story on the net, the response I got was as "varied and insightful" and helpful as anything I ever got in a LOC, if not more so. It was also a home for a story that I thought was so weird nobody would like it... Now I'm as big a fan of hard-copy zines as the next chap but I don't see why it has to boil down to an either/or. Why can't we just treat the Net as another zine? Yeah, a lot of it is junk and I wouldn't recommend getting on-line for the fiction but, as a by product of other Internet use, it's fun. You will find the occasional gem amongst the dross, you'll "meet" some great folks and it will open your stuff to a potential audience of millions, at least some of whom will take the trouble to write to you and tell you what's right (and what's wrong) with your stuff.
  • Jenna S writes about K/S and the internet:
    My primary goal is to keep K/S alive, thriving, even expanding. For me, that means keeping K/S zines alive, supporting the wonderful editors who produce the zines. I will do anything I can to prevent zines from being attacked. However, not only do I want K/S to grow, I also think that it’s impossible to turn back technology. The internet is here to stay, and there is a huge fan community who access it every day. We are in a delicate situation: our fandom is slash, and there are still many people who find same-sex relationships very offensive. We can’t be obvious on-line, just as we have never been obvious in print... Also, we’ve got to be careful about Paramount. We’ve all heard the stories of Paramount closing down some web sites, or asking them to be modified, when they use original Star Trek content, of any kind... And yet, I know from personal experience that there are fans such as Juliet who have read K/S on the net and are hungry for more. A few of The K/S Press’s loyal subscribers answered our call for referrals a few months ago with e-mail addresses of folks they’d met on the net. I’ve contacted many of them, and several are now new subscribers. So, where does that leave us? I am AGAINST wholesale posting of K/S stories to the net. I agree with Shelley that this will spell doom for the zines that have sustained us for many years, not to mention that fact that many, many fans do not have access to a computer or the internet. Where does that leave them if the stories were to migrate to only electronic access? I am FOR using the internet, as Juliet suggests, to make it possible for fans to find K/S fandom. Posting a few older stories, from out-of-print zines, with the permission of author and editor, seems to be a reasonable idea to me. A very limited number of stories, but with a path that can be followed to print K/S fandom. (How to establish this path? I’m online but I don’t do much surfing, so I’m not sure of the answer) I DO NOT give my permission for any of my work to be posted on the internet. [5] This is such a delicate subject, and I’m not sure that a consensus is possible. One person can take it into her hands and cause quite a problem. That’s both the charm and the danger of the internet. Let’s keep talking about this. I think there are many folks who would just as soon keep things quiet, keep the fandom the size it is, and not run the risk of exposure. I would understand their attitude, and welcome people with that opinion to write in and tell all of us what you think.
  • a fan comments on genderswitching in fic:
    Kirk-or-Spock-as-female stories can be a cop-out if written by someone who doesn't value homosexuality in its own right, who views it as a second- class citizen to heterosexuality. But if we go past that, there is fascinating potential for character development in these scenarios, as long as Kirk and Spock in their natural selves come through in the end... I would say, agreed, that turning one of our men into a woman defeats the purpose of K/S. However, the Janice Lester incident did happen to Kirk, and thus to Spock, and I continue to find their responses to this event a fascinating thing to explore.
  • a fan writes of keyboards and handwriting:
    Interesting that you (and others) also write your K/S stories longhand. I hadn't thought of it until you said it, but it's true that maybe we who type for our work, especially in areas like business or law, might be too formal at the computer (and perhaps saying more than necessary, also). I certainly find my longhand writing much more free-flowing in a creative and/or emotional sense than at the computer. But that's just me. I'm so comfortable wherever I'm writing, and don't have to go to a certain area and turn something on or off. Although if I had a laptop I'd probably like that a lot. I have to laugh at your saying it slowed you down, though, to write by hand. My vision since I was a girl was of writers needing typewriters because the words came so fast their handwriting couldn't keep up. I found out quite otherwise once I started writing stories, though. My words do not come faster than I can write them by hand, so it's not like I need the computer because of that. My stories, that is, I write at a longhand pace; but I couldn't possibly do correspondence or LOC's and such by hand.

The K/S Press 9 (May 1997)

  • contains 30 pages
  • has LoCs And Everyone in Their Time, The Cook, The Captain, His Lover and The Gourmet, Baby, Forbidden Colors, Hovering, Logical Decisions, Manna, Looking Outward Together, "Love and Logic", The Measure of Success, On Our Beach, A Political Marriage, A Privacy of Storm, Quirk of Fate, Setting Sun, Rising Star, Star Tripper, A Strange and Beautiful Flower, ...And in this Dream, A Thought for Christmas, The Wall, What is Truth?, When Rain Comes in the zines A Gathering of Blacque, Heroes in the Wilderness, First Time #4, #5, #9, #45, Naked Times #17, The 25th Year, Against All Odds, Progressions, see those pages
  • the editors say:
    plans for The K/S Press's Friday night party at Shore Leave are continuing. We are still looking for folks willing to contribute to our entertainment. Anyone who'd like to help out with the food and/or drink, please contact [names of two fans]. Anyone who is a subscriber to the The K/S Press is invited... If you can vouch for a friend, she's invited, too. We'll be keeping fairly tight control over who is admitted because we want to be discreet.
  • a fan writes:
    I recently tried to explain K/S to my sister, who was completely grossed out, stating she did not have any interest in gays. I tried to explain my viewpoint, that Kirk is not gay, neither is Spock, they are merely in love, but she does not understand. I think it was best said by a fan on a message board, who wrote something like, what if you met your soulmate, and that person, by chance, happened to be the same sex as you? In my favorite stories, Kirk is not attracted to men, only Spock, and vice versa.
  • from a fan in Germany:
    On the burning subject of K/S and the internet. Some of my thoughts: 1) The internet (incl.e-mail) is such a wonderful invention. It's bringing people together who would never meet otherwise. You can talk and ask questions and get the answers within hours instead of days or weeks. Urgent information reaches people in time. The world is at your command. Fun - so much fun! 2) Many people don't have the money to buy a computer and to take part in all this. Many people don't have the mind for all these technical things. And some people don't have the privacy to use the computer for K/S (which isn't the kind of stuff you read usually together with the family or work fellows...). 3) I fear, that with the internet now two fandoms are developing! The people with computers, who are chatting via e-mail, who are eading stories from the net, who get their information from mailing lists. And the people who don't have computers or who can't use computers for K/S. I wouldn't mind if K/S fans were thousands of people, but the few we are... The Editors need people who are writing for their zines and people who buy their zines. Those who read stories in the net and are writing for the net maybe are lost for our beloved zines. 4) People without e-mail seem to be nowadays far away from the main-fandom. Only few people are writing real letters - e-mail is much more fun. Right, but what about the rest of the world?) I fear PARAMOUNT. If they actually SEE K/S, on the net, they may use their highly paid lawyers! Well, we can't -and we won't- turn back technology, but we should think of all this while using the net.
  • another fan says:
    On the subject of K/S on the internet. I read a lot about law and censorship, etc., with regard to the internet, and it's a potentially troublesome situation. While there are a lot of problems inherent in it, I also think the net is marvelous and I personally appreciate the anarchy and all the redefinition going on, the e-speed evolution. But my real problem with the net and K/S is, I just can't think of these K/S groups as being private. With more and more of those busy little censorship engines merrily chugging away, actively searching out things to censor from children's eyes, surely all the K/S on the net can too easily be tapped into, and some of those mothers would love to bring the wrath of god down on us. Not to mention the anonymity which creates a fertile ground for ugly people to cause trouble, which those people, who are usually homophobic, love to do; and worse of all is, of course, Paramount, who doesn't even want sweet little 15-year-old nerdboys doing common Star Trek stuff on the net, let alone us and our subversive K/S. I also prefer, as [fan's name] said, keeping K/S quieter. Shit, I remember being bothered that K/S was mentioned in a TV Guide special magazine a few years ago, for just anybody in the supermarket line to read about. Now I don't mind the general public knowing about K/S (except with the net, the general public's knowledge-gathering ability is raised to a fine art), but I don't want distracters and those inclined to cause trouble to know where to find it. As far as that goes, and although this really isn't the issue, I feel like, who needs the general public, the philistines, to even know about K/S. I don't need or want any respectability lent to these activities. I don't mind being underground about it at all; I prefer it.
  • a fan writes:
    As far as the potential problems with posting K/S stories to the detriment of zines, it really struck me when [fan's name] mentioned the names of our publishers; it made my heart hurt. Five, count 'em, a mere five. A very precious five we owe so much to, not the least of which is to keep them going and keep them happy. I have to laugh at this: The net-stories discussion reminds me of all the hassling going on ten years ago or so about people photocopying zines. We'll work this out, too, no question about it, with some fun and craziness along the way and probably some angst, too, and it will keep on evolving and coming up again in one way or another, and in ten years some more new K/S'ers will look back on this time and trip out at what we were hassling about.
  • more from a fan about online fiction and zines:
    I can only speak for myself, but my own experience as a reader and zine purchaser tells me that zines are in no danger from the Internet and that, if anything, online communication is revitalizing fandom and stimulating interest in zines.... Before I began accessing the net, I had the same stereotypes about posting online that many fans have expressed here. Those stereotypes evaporated quickly when I learned what a rich, intense experience it is to communicate on the Internet. Yet online fan fic has not kept me from ordering zines. I've downloaded a number of K/S stories that have appeared online since I've been reading fan fic in the newsgroups and on the Web; sometimes I read them on the screen, sometimes I print them out for bedtime reading. While it's true that the overall quality of fan fic on the net is lower than the quality of fan fic that appears in K/S zines, some truly exceptional K/S fiction has appeared on the net. K/S authors whose works I've read online include Killashandra, Susan Legge, Greywolf the Wanderer, and T'Rhys, and I know at least one excellent gen writer who seems about to make the leap to K/S... Killashandra's novel "Bitter Glass" is one of the single best pieces of K/S fiction ever written, in my opinion, in scope, grandeur, characterization and quality of the prose, it invites comparison with Courts of Honor, and that's the highest praise I can give.
  • a fan writes:
    Even if I'd read all the stories in the zine online, I still would buy it. As others have written, the need to touch and feel a published zine, gaze at the art to your heart's content, take pleasure in the layout and format of stories and poetry on the printed page, enjoy the texture of the paper and the quality of the binding and printing, share it with friends and keep it in your bookcase and read over and over just cannot be satisfied by an electronic file. I wonder if some fans who worry about the Internet assume, erroneously, that an elasticity of demand exists between zine fiction and net fiction. Under that assumption, zines and net fiction are like butter and margarine, with net fiction as the cheaper alternative (margarine) that has the potential to drive out demand for the costlier, but higher quality alternative of zines (butter). Of course, some consumers will buy butter and ignore margarine no matter what the differential in price, simply because of personal taste. But where demand is elastic, strategies that ignore consumers' self-interest and try to preserve the market for the more expensive product by sheer exhortation -- e.g. urging consumers to avoid margarine out of loyalty to butter -- are doomed to failure. Even more hopeless is the strategy of exhorting producers not to produce margarine.
  • from a fan:
    To people who are worried about exposing the slash content of K/S to the Internet community, I would remind you that slash has been appearing on the Internet for years without incident. Before that, the existence of K/S was publicized by books and articles in media studies, and K/S zines were sold publicly at the huge conventions that used to be held years ago in New York and Los Angeles. My travels on the Internet have shown me just how "mainstream" K/S has become and how many people outside fandom know about it.
  • about happy endings:
    To me, a story with a happy ending that is pulled out of a hat to satisfy readers and is not justified dramatically by the story, is a kind of cheat. Not all stories in which the happy ending is achieved by some sort of deus ex machina fall into this category, of course. For instance, in the novels Passages and Nightvisions, Kirk suffers a seemingly irreversible loss early in the novel, spends most of the novel trying to deal with it, and at the end is miraculously cured. However, these stories are not so much about Kirk's disability (amputation and blindness, respectively), but about the relationships he develops and the changes that occur in his life as a result. Once that drama has run its course, no need exists for Kirk to remain disabled, and the miraculous cures are dramatically appropriate. In Nightvisions, Kirk's blindness serves as a catalyst for the development of the K/S relationship, and once Kirk and Spock become bondmates, Kirk doesn't need to remain blind. On the other hand, a happy ending in a story like Leslie Fish's "Decensus Averno," which is about Kirk's and Spock's death and how the rest of the crew respond to it, would be wholly inappropriate.
  • about internet fic and quality:
    The internet lends itself to short stories. I have nothing at all against short stories, but I do not want K/S novellas and novels to disappear. As I mentioned above, the net is probably not the best place for K/S artists to display their work. It is also accessed by a much wider audience, and there will therefore be pressure to avoid extremely graphic scenes, the most controversial topics, and the weirdest settings and plots. The almost instant feedback might be addictive for some authors, luring them into concentrating more on quantity than quality so they can get their next “fix” of feedback. Also, I question the value of a lot of the feedback. I may be wrong, but I have the feeling that readers on the internet will have a tendency to read a story and then immediately send off e-mail in response. Personally, I’d rather people took the time to think about something I have written before sending me their reactions. Because of all of this, I am afraid that, over time, the internet could change the way K/S authors write, turning a genre which is rich in experimentation into something formulaic and boring. Again, an example from history may help. In the early years of television, there were some really very excellent shows. (Star Trek itself is a good example.) But as time passed, quality suffered. Today, while there’s still some good material on TV, the truth is that the medium as a whole falls far short of its potential.
  • a fan writes:
    Yes, printed zines are expensive. But so are computers and internet accounts. Someone who can afford to buy, say, six zines a year, may not be able to afford a computer and an internet account. Sadly, this is, in many ways, already a country of haves and have-nots. Do we really want to add K/S to the list of small luxuries which are unavailable to those of modest means?

The K/S Press 10 (June 1997)

  • contains 25 pages
  • has LoCs for About Time, Dating Game, Charisma, Fantasy Out of Hand, Manna, Fragile Barriers, Mercy In the Desert I Learned of Heat, La Ronde, A Moment's Surrender, Noon Tomorrow, Oh What a Tangled Web, Out of Eden, A Political Marriage, Setting Sun, Rising Star, To Protect and to Serve, Skeletons in the Closet, Two Solitudes, Sounds of Silence, What is Truth?, When Rain Comes, Without Guilt, WHIPS, Yin and Yang in the zines Naked Times #17, Consort #2, Charisma #1, First Time #1, #2, #4, #10, #18, #45, Heroes in the Wilderness, KSX #2, T'hy'la #4, Within the Mirror #11, Amazing Grace #3, and Nightvisions, see those pages
  • a fan writes:
    K/S is many things to many people. When I first started reading zines I divided stories into either gen and K/S with a very firm line between the two, i.e. sex or no sex being the deciding factor. Over the years my idea of what makes a K/S story has blurred. It’s the emotional intensity and the commitment between Kirk and Spock that make a story K/S.
  • a fan writes:
    When I first started to collect K/S, I thought they had the coolest stories around because they went beyond the surface level of gen zines, but as I collected more of them they were all pretty much the same lots of sex and not a whole of of substance. Those were some of the early K/S zines, but as time goes I've notice that the quality of the stories has matured quite a bit, but sex scene still plays a major part and being used as filler for stories. Many a times after reading a first time, I always wonder what happens after, but not a lot of writers follow up on it. There is just so much smack the smack (lips that is ) and bump the bump a person can read before it gets overused and becomes old. Like you, I do enjoy the ones where a hint or a suggestion will do. I have to admit, while established relation stories are rare, they can be quite a gem when it's written well... I think that stories being written today have move away to some degree from traditional K/S equals lots of variations of hot sex to more character development in bondmate stories or first times... I hope that as time goes by K/S stories will have a more balance of first time and established relationship stories, more about the K/S characters and less about the their acts because the novelty concept of Kirk and Spock between the sheets is not so novel anymore.
  • about Kirk and Spock being gay:
    There has been much discussion of this. My feelings are totally open about it. I love reading stories, such as many of Vivian Gates' stories, where Spock is homosexual. On the other hand, I also like stories where Kirk enjoys a taste for men, too, however, it somehow seems that Kirk would sleep with anything. But I don't see either of them as living a "gay" lifestyle as we are familiar with it. I guess I see them as being more open in their sexual orientation because I view the future as being more open to all things sexual. I can't see how it couldn't be—what with countless new planets and races and beings. I imagine it would be very difficult to hold onto a narrow view of sex with so much variations around. At any rate, regardless of their sexual orientation (most likely bi-sexual anyway), I completely agree with [a fan's name] that primarily it's each other they're really interested in.
  • the K/S Library is born:
    How can fans with limited funds discover the great pleasure that’s to be found in reading some of the classic, out-of-print zines that are so hard to find? For a long time I have pondered establishing a K/S Revolving Library, and now looks like the right time. I searched through my own collection and came up with several duplicate, out-of-print zines. Another friend graciously added several more, so we’re starting with a basic selection of eleven zines. These zines... are available for borrowing by any subscriber to The K/S Press. Just write and ask, and if they’re in the stacks, they are yours to enjoy for a period of one month. Jenna will pay postage initially, and ask that you reimburse her when you send the zine(s) back to her. Until we build up the collection, please limit yourself to just three zines at a time.... This whole procedure requires trust. You trust me to be a good, reliable librarian, the entire K/S community trusts the borrowers not to keep the zines and to return them on time in good condition, and I trust the borrowers to pay me back for postage! But I know this can be done.

References

  1. a reference to the dust-up regarding the covers of Beside Myself #4
  2. Gerry Downes is the artist.
  3. She references the cover of Beside Myself #4, see The K/S Press #1 for more information.
  4. The editor responds: "I am certainly not "mad' at you or anyone! Goodness, I'm coming from my love for K/S! You have some excellent suggestions—however, things don't always go according to plan and that's a mighty big plan. I would love it if on-line K/S flourished—safe and out of harm's way, that is—just not at the expense of our precious, ever-dwindling zines. We just can't forget the danger of public exposure of K/S."
  5. She has posted her work to at The Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive.