The Premise

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The Premise is an older term used to discuss slash, or more specifically characters, and "do they?" or "don't they?".

As stories about Kirk and Spock as lovers started to appear in Star Trek fanzines, conversations both pro and con K/S appeared in Star Trek letterzines and letter columns.

The entire controversy was unofficially titled "The Premise", as in "I don't believe in 'the premise', but I don't mind those who do" or "I can't stand how all the good writers have started writing about 'the premise'."

The phrase was used by both sides of the debate throughout the late '70s, and had occasional use in early fannish discussion in Starsky and Hutch and other older fandoms.

A 1994 use (fairly late) was for the Holmes/Watson zine Friend of My Heart: "This zine contains explicit same-sex scenes and will not knowingly be sold to anyone under the age of eighteen. An age statement is required with all orders/inquiries. Please do not order if you object to the premise."

Examples of Use

  • Perhaps the earliest use in print was in The Halkan Council #12 (November 1, 1975). In a review of Grup #4, a fan writes: "Diane Marchant wrote an article on the Kirk/Spock homosexual love affair premise that’s been buzzing around fannish conversations for at least a year. The idea is an interesting permutation, but Diane’s argument fails to convince because she failed to document her evidence thoroughly, and there’s a tone of 'dirty old broad getting her rocks off, heh heh' that distracts from the argument and debases the premise."
  • From S and H #4 (November 1979), a reader comments on the acceptability of the S/H relationship. "Why must we argue? Most of us can remember the rift in ST fandom over this very issue. Can't we have both sides? There will be S/H relationship stories whether we like it or not. If you can buy the premise, or at least contain your objections long enough to the basic storytelling a chance, buy the zines. If it offends you, don't."

See also