The K/S Zine: The Time of the Beginning 1976-1985
|Title:||Title on the article itself: The K/S Zine: The Time of the Beginning 1976-1985.
Title in the table of contents: Zines: The Time of the Beginning: 1976-1985.
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TOS|
|Topic:||early K/S zines|
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Back in the days of the mist-shrouded past, back when the local Xerox was a hand-cranked mimeo machine, back before internet communication was even a gleam in a dreamer’s eye, a woman pressed a handful of typed pages into another woman’s hand, leaned close, and whispered, “Check out the scene on page 34.” In fact, I have no doubt that lady caveperson Oga once fantasized about those two dashing and divinely handsome dudes Grog and Phlog doing it down and dirty in a dark hidden corner of the cave. Why think of just one gorgeous man when you can think of two? And “slash” was born.
Slash denotes a written or drawn sexual relationship primarily, but not exclusively, between two men. It is written primarily, but not exclusively, by and for women, the majority of whom are heterosexual. The men in these stories are recognizable media heroes with a plethora of admirable traits, usually larger than life, and certainly capable of the intimacy most women want in their own relationships. Today there are many slash fandoms available to readers. You can thrill to Bodie and Doyle getting it on, feel your heart palpitate along with Starsky and Hutch, or even pant along with Frodo and Sam. Well...different strokes for different folks, as we used to say. Good slash does far more than titillate, far more than serve prurient purposes, however. It is also about how we relate to each other; it’s about emotion and closeness and acceptance and the redeeming power of love. It was all there from the beginning. The best slash fandom was also the first slash fandom. Let me tell you about K/S.
K/S, shorthand for a sexual relationship between Captain James T. Kirk and his half- human science officer Spock, has been explored in over five hundred fanzines (short for fan magazines) to date. But before K/S existed at least in written form, there was K & S, stories of their relationship as friends and fellow officers in what are called “gen” zines, or zines suitable for reading by a general audience. These are mostly action-adventure stories, many of which rely heavily on hurt/comfort to drive the plot. Kirk is wounded on a mission, and Spock needs to care for him under terribly dangerous circumstances proving his loyalty and love for his captain...or vice versa. Two men from different worlds, different cultures, become as close as brothers. These stories first appeared in the late sixties and were included in anthology zines such as Tricorder Readings, Interphase and Stardate: Unknown from the early ‘70s. And Contact, perhaps the most influential of all K & S relationship zines.Although Gerry Downes’ Alternative: the Epilog to Orion is the first-stand alone K/S zine ever published (1976), fans had noticed and imagined that a more intimate relationship existed between James T. Kirk and Spock of Vulcan almost from the very first aired episode of Star Trek. It certainly wasn’t long before K/S stories were being written, mimeoed and quietly passed around from hand to hand. Very quietly.
Reactions and Reviews
I loved the way the sections on eighties K/S zines was written – through the eyes of a couple of thirsty K/S fans from that era. I was one of those very thirsty fans during that time, having just gotten on board this particular train, and I had no idea there were so many zines published in a single year! How did I ever manage to pay for them all? It was such an exciting, exhilarating time and the thrill of it is captured well in these articles. Also, it supplied many suggestions for stories I want to go back and read again. 
- from The K/S Press #132