The LOC Connection/Issues 51-60

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Issues 01-20 · Issues 21-30 · Issues 31-40 · Issues 41-50 · Issues 51-60

Issue 51

The LOC Connection 51 was published in March 1993 and contains 9 pages.

front page of issue #51

This issue has an autobio from Sylvia Bond.

From the editor:
To any K/Sers who find Arena's 750 word limit a bit stifling (and anyone else who may be interested): I strongly recommend joining KINDRED SPIRITS, the APA of K/S fandom. (APA stands for Amateur Press Association). The entire zine is much like TLC's Arena section, except that it's much larger and more informal. The only charge is for postage, and the only requirement for membership is that one submit a contribution (called a "zine") to the APA's "Central Mailer" at least once every three issues. You must send enough copies of your submission for all active members. (There's usually 20-25 members; right now the APA is down to 16 and looking for more.) Therefore, rather than being "printed", KS is simply a compilation of all the members' contributions, stapled together with a cover. KS is distributed bimonthly, and there is a wide variety of discussions, all branching out from the K/S concept. It's a great way to get responses to your own ideas, and to participate in K/S related conversations.

It contains LoCs for T'hy'la #8, #12, Consort #3, Counterpoint #9, First Time #6, #22, #34, As I Do Thee #19, Naked Times #22, Imaginary Lines, Charisma #16, Scattered Stars #4.

Some excerpts from "Arena," the fan discussion section:

The discussion of filk songs lead me to wonder if there is a market for taped stories about K/S? Would zine editors get upset if stories were used from their zines? Just wondering.
I want to relate my impressions and experiences of my first slash con. Actually, as I had been forewarned, it was mostly multi-media, with some K/S, which formed the basis of my experience. It was about 125 people, almost all, I believe, from the surrounding Southern California area, so it may not be realistically representative of fans. I hope not. Here's why. There was a pervasive feeling that they were tired of K/S and turned to other fandoms to participate in. And we're talking some pretty unusual interests, fandoms that one really has to stretch one's imagination to extrapolate any slash material. But, the surprising thing was that most of the dealer's tables were K/S publishers and zines. I understand that a lot of people have been into K/S for many years, so perhaps that explains their needs for a change. I haven't been into it for that long, and it's been an even shorter time that I've been writing and now doing art work. But, I feel VERY strongly that K/S has UNLIMITED POTENTIAL. It is so deep and so multi-faceted, that the possibilities are endless. After all, it started all this slash, so it stands to reason that it would be the most complete. Also, there is not one other show that has such a strong basis from which to extend into slash. Yes, one can invent all one wants from anything, but I maintain that K/S has TRUTH in the original shows. There's so much to work with, from the characters to the writing, that's why it started. Now, I know I don't need to defend K/S, and that's not what I mean to do, I'm just responding to the people who dismiss it or even put it down. NOTHING does it for me as does K/S, and as I wrote to a fellow K/Ser: GIVE ME K/S OR GIVE ME DEATH! (or at least, extreme torture!).
My first exposure to K/S was through Leonard Nimoy himself, during a convention in Denver. My sister and I stood in the back of the main hall, listening to him speak. Man, was he funny. Anyway, some guy further back asked if Leonard had heard about or read any K/S. I wouldn't say the crowd went wild, but their reaction was quite vocal. My sister melted against me in a puddle of embarrassment. I, of course, was in the dark. His answer? Yes he had and no he hadn't. No avoidance or embarrassment. Stout fella. In response to my confused inquiry, my sister dragged me to the, that year at least, prominent K/S booth. I like to fancy it was Robin herself there, with her photos, erotic art and about a zillion zines. I remember being somewhat shocked: a naked Kirk, Spock and Kirk together, etc. I saw one print, since acquired: our boys (Indians) clasping hands in a blood- brother ceremony. The pull of K/S escaped me then, but that image, that bonding, stayed with me. Then, about a year ago, I went to another convention. I decided I would try K/S. After three zines, I decided to write some. There's only three stories so far, of the longish meaningful variety.
It isn't a number of women with whom Kirk is intimate that makes it exploitative. He allows them to believe that he loves then when he has no such feelings. If he thought that women mattered, he would respect them enough to be straightforward. He would explain that he couldn't make any kind of emotional commitment, and then the women would be walking into the relationship with their eyes open. Kirk also never really needed to seduce a woman in order to succeed in his mission. There were always other ways of accomplishing his goals. Yet Kirk preferred the seduction method because his charm made it so easy for him to use his body to achieve his aims, and I'm sure watching women succumb to his appeal fed his vanity. I like to think that Kirk matures through K/S and puts his sordid history with women behind him.

Issue 52

The LOC Connection 52 was published in April 1993 and contains 10 pages.

front page of issue #52

This issue contains LoCs for T'hy'la #12, Counterpoint #6, #9, First Time #20, #27, #34, Never and Always with Lighter Shades #1, Nor No Man Ever Loved, Within the Mirror #2.

Some excerpts from "Arena," the fan discussion section:

I find it most uncomfortable that I have to agree with you regarding the rather hostile attitude of some people toward K/S lately. This is very disturbing and puzzling to me. In the past few years my friends and I have also attended slash cons where, if you are a K/S fan, you are made to feel like an old-fashioned dinosaur or someone completely out of touch with the latest fandom sweeping the country. A friend told me that, last year while attending a panel discussion at a con in Southern California, she was actually afraid to admit being a K/S fan because of the critical comments of others. In fact, this attitude upset her to the extent that it was one of the reasons we decided not to attend this year's convention. What's going on? Is it just a few mean-spirited people with, shall we say, 'strong' opinions. Is the concept of IDIC outdated? Why can't we all co-exist peacefully? Maybe it has to do with fact that K/S is, I think, still the most popular fandom and this makes it open for condemnation. It is true that most of the dealers do primarily sell K/S zines. And they must be selling enough to keep them creating more year after year. (For this I am grateful.) Maybe K/S fans don't feel as though we need to defend ourselves. (Are we the silent majority?) But perhaps it's time to answer back when someone finds it necessary to disparage our favorite twosome, implying, of course, that there's something wrong with those of us who still (and always will) love and treasure K/S for the enjoyment it's brought us over the years.
I'm really surprised that anyone would think, as they put it, that there is a "dearth of new zines" as I can't keep up with the new ones coming out, let alone the quarter of a million past zines that I haven't read!
I really enjoyed [name redacted's] bio. I love what she said about seeing Robin's table filled with K/S zines! I remember when I first saw some of those zines with their covers, and how I wanted to read them, but, literally, I was so embarrassed that I couldn't even stand at the table lest someone think I was actually INVOLVED with them! So I would casually walk by, glance at whatever I could, then circle the dealer's room again. Robin said they'd see these people doing that, and would take bets on how soon they'd see them again. I told her one of those people was ME!
re sexuality and sex roles in Classic Trek — I think that what is actually shown in the series is what is most relevant. If we take factors, such as censorship, which are external to the series into consideration then we risk altering Trek beyond recognition. Judging from interviews, Gene Roddenberry was a pretty conservative man when it came to the issue of conceptualizing gender, imagining that he would have created Kirk as a '90s sort of guy if it hadn't been for censorship is definitely wishful thinking. If you want to explore alternate Kirks whose views of sexuality and gender are similar to your own, that's fine. Yet a Mainline universe Kirk may seem jarringly out of character if very basic Kirk traits that we see in the series are radically changed. In K/S we are walking a tightrope. We are trying to define characters who are living a lifestyle that would not be acceptable to the characters as they are portrayed in the series, yet at the same time we want them to be recognized as Kirk and Spock. We are positing that one factor in their personalities has been changed -- their sexual preference. In order to maintain believability, we need to preserve as much of their remaining traits, attitudes and values as possible without sacrificing the K/S relationship.
I attended Revelcon in Houston with a group of friends in March, and thought my experiences there would be of interest to K/S people, especially in light of what [name redacted] wrote last month about Escapade. Revelcon is a media convention with the emphasis on fanzines and slash. Both last year and this year I was really worried that my exclusive interest in K/S would prevent me from enjoying the convention. I shouldn't have worried. I found that there is a pervading affection for and knowledge of K/S in almost all the attendees; most of them came to their current fandoms through K/S. There was a strong K/S presence in the dealer's room, in the costume/cabaret contest, even some in the art show and video contest. (Last year, a K/S tape won first prize.) This year the K/S presence, in terms of fans who counted it their primary fandom, was considerably stronger than last year. My friends and I hosted a K/S get-acquainted party, and though I feared nobody would come, quite a few people did. The party was a great success, and led to further contacts with other K/S fans. Like [name redacted], I have a terrible fear that K/S will die out just as I'm discovering it. I want to help keep it alive. But if Revelcon is any indication, I don't think I need to worry. And just look at the number of truly excellent new writers who have been published in the last year or so, people with excitement, verve, and a fresh perspective.
Has anybody read Henry Jenkins' book Textual Poachers? Jenkins is an Assistant Professor at MIT, and a fan. He examines fandom as a valid social phenomena, and constructs arguments for fans' motivations that take us well beyond the "geek" and "nerd" stage. There's an interesting chapter on Slash, entitled, "Welcome, Captain Kirk, to the world of bi-sexuality.' Other chapters cover filks, songtapes, and general fan writing. I think Jenkins comes very close to understanding what fandom is about, although I disagree with some of his conclusions, and the emphasis he places on some motivations. For instance, I don't consciously write K/S because I'm striving to create a new version of sexual politics, or to "thumb my nose at the world." Both those motivations are present, somewhere way down deep in my psyche, but really I write because I love these guys and their world, and writing is the best way that I can share that world. Jenkins talks a lot about the difference between male and female fans, and the fact that the slash relationship we write about is really an idealized version of what women wish relationships were like, but he misses the point. Feelings are what its all about. At least, in ay opinion. I'd be interested in hearing from other fans who've read this book. There was quite a discussion of it and other academic works as Revelcon; there was a great deal of resentment of this invasion and analysis of fandom, and a fear that we could lose something very special. I have mixed feelings on the subject. It would be nice to understand what makes me tick, but I wouldn't give up fandom for the galaxy.

Issue 53

The LOC Connection 53 was published in May 1993 and contains 10 pages.

front page of issue #53
The editor writes:
This is an official announcement that the December 1993 issue of THE LOC CONNECTION will be the last of the letterzine, This decision was a long time in coming and there are many aspects of producing this publication that I will miss. But after what will be 60 consecutive months of publication, I am ready to retire from my editing responsibilities. I am taking this announcement with seven issues still retaining in the hope that at least one other similar publication will be ready to take TLCs place by January 1994. And I hope very much that any such endeavor will be devoted exclusively to K/S, as the fandom is large enough to support its own letterzine, and it deserves such. TLC still has 100 subscribers, and the survey results published last year indicate that there are an additional 20 or so readers who do not subscribe directly. I have received nothing but encouragement during my 4 1/2 years of editing TLC, and I can't thank everyone enough. However, I feel that I've had my run, and now it's time for someone with more energy and enthusiasm for K/S to take this opportunity to launch any similar project they may have been considering. I will not be turning TLC over to another editor, as I feel any such editor should start fresh with their own publication, and not have my ghost looking over their shoulder.

There are LoCs for Amazing Grace #2, Naked Times #10, #15, #19, #29, #30, First Time #34, KSX #2, Psychic Storm... and other K/S stories, The 25th Year, Candlelight and Flames #2, Daring Attempt #1, Charisma #16.

An excerpt from "Arena," the fan discussion section:

... about the Jenkins' book: The other one is Enterprising Women by Camille Bacon-Smith. This is, also, at times, massively off the mark. Despite the intriguing title, the bulk of the text concerns fandoms other than K/S, and at one point, the author refers to slash as "dangerous"! Evidently, she talked to some fans and writers who were pretty far out in left field, who needed a BIG reality check! Textual Poachers shares some similar problems. A treatise needs to be written, perhaps from the "inside", more in-depth interviews done with a larger segment of fans, writers and publishers. But, still, I share [name redacted's] doubtful feelings about having this thing analyzed AT ALL. While it's sort of fun seeing such a book in the mainstream bookstore, lending it an ersatz legitimacy, in truth, I don't want too close of an examination that might destroy the "magic" of K/S. I'd rather DO IT, than READ about IT. I'd rather curl with a good zine than analyze it to death. I'd rather discuss K/S with fellow K/Sers than read some report by an outsider (or maybe "outworlder"?) Sharing it with others is a lot different from explaining it. [1]

Issue 54

The LOC Connection 54 was published in June 1993 and contains 16 pages.

front page of issue #54

This issue has an autobio of Jenna Sinclair.

It contains LoCs for Naked Times #11, #16, #30, #34, Nome #7, Counterpoint #9, Amazing Grace #2, T'hy'la #10, Broken Images, Within the Mirror #7, As I Do Thee #19, Way of the Warrior #5, #6, First Time #22, #34, Charisma #13.

Some excerpts from "Arena," the fan discussion section:

Now I have to stay after class and write on the blackboard, one thousand times: I WILL NOT MAKE FLIPPANT REMARKS IN TLC. I WILL NOT MAKE FLIPPANT REMARKS IN TLC. After making my flippant remark in TLC about not having NAKED TIMES 16. I have received 4 copies. I want to thank all for your generosity, it was totally unexpected, but XEROXING WILL GET YOU A LONG SESSION IN THE AGONY BOOTH! Either that or you'll be forced to join PROS fandom. (No! No! Anything but THAT!) I know some sent me the entire zine and some just the story, but xeroxing can really hurt K/S, maybe destroy it! After all, where do we draw the line? Is just one story out of the zine okay? Why not two? Can I xerox just FIVE copies for only my friends? Why not TEN? See what I mean? I already sent my money and ordered the zine from the original publisher, it's only right. I like a bargain as much as anyone, but I know what publishers have told me about xeroxing. And it's ALL bad... Everyone should try to read issue #22, May/June of THE ZINE CONNECTION. Reprinted there is an open letter to fandom from Alexis Fegan Black concerning xeroxing and a letter about the problem from Bill Hupe. This is an extremely grave problem and please learn about it. We can't let K/S die because of a handful of greedy, thoughtless people
zine pirating and copying: All attendees at Revelcon this year were sent copies of letters from fan editors Bill Hupe and Leah Rosenthal claiming that the wide spread incidence of copying in-print zines could drive them out of business. Bill represents a few K/S presses Also, Alexis Fegan Black wrote an open letter to The Zine Connection saying that she had sold only three copies of her latest novel IMAGINARY LINES at the con, and accusing attendees of copying it instead. She says that the widespread practice of copying may drive her out of business. Ladies, I don't have any answers to the massive problems this issue raises. I am confused about where to draw the line. What of selling used zines? What of copying only one wonderful story from a friend's zine? What of lending zines to a friend to read, and not knowing whether they are copying or not?But I do know one thing. I want the currant crop or K/S editors to stay in business, and anyone who copies an in-print zine is doing a disservice to fandom, and ultimately to themselves. I'm not the one who's publishing the zines. The editors are. If I want fandom to continue, I've got to support the editors who produce the product I crave, and that means supporting them with cold hard cash. The issue is not black and white. Many people claim that K/S zines are overpriced. Maybe zines wouldn't be copied so much if they cost $15 - $17: we'd probably lose the slick presentation that we're used to. Others, including me, complain about excessive white space, large type and less value for their money than they expect. When you compare zines, it's hard to pay $18.00 for just over a hundred pages of large print when $20.00 will get you an extra hundred pages of reduced print. But just because you're not buying doesn't mean you're copying.But these are peripheral issues. I encourage everyone not to purchase copied zines when the originals are still available from the editors. Jean Hinson and FireTrine Press is threatening to sue known zine pirates who produce large quantities of illegal zines for sale. I shudder to think of what will happen if she tried to enforce a "copyright." How do we keep Paramount out of the courts? Do we really want K/S in the limelight like this? We stand to lose much more than the few dollars anyone might save through making or buying a copy.

Issue 55

The LOC Connection 55 was published in July 1993 and contains 10 pages.

front page of issue #55

This issue has autobios from Judith Gran and Helen Edwards.

This issue contains LoCs fro First Time #35, Charisma #16, Naked Times #30, Way of the Warrior #6, Within the Mirror #7, Beside Myself #3, Scattered Stars #4.

An excerpt from "Arena," the fan discussion section:

As a K/S writer, I have discovered one of the PEAK MOMENTS in life is actually being able to see my work (complete with all its strengths and weaknesses) in print. In the 'outside' world, the possibility of ever having anything of mine published is extremely remote. The world is full of people who think they can write the great American novel and there is very little space for them. But, here in fandom, EVERYONE is welcomed and accepted) Here, everybody gets to try writing and gets to see something of theirs published. It is an INCREDIBLE feeling -- just to know that people are actually reading something you've written, there's nothing like it in the world?

Issue 56

The LOC Connection 56 was published in August 1993 and contains 18 pages. This issue, and the remaining issues of The LOC Connection, are dedicated to fan Jean Schnedler who passed away in July 1993.

front page of issue #56

There are autobios by Kathy Daughtrey and Sharon Wenzel.

This issue contains LoCs for As I Do Thee #19, First Time #22, #27, #31, #33, #35, #36, Beside Myself #3, Naked Times #30, Scattered Stars #3, #4, #5, Interlude, Way of the Warrior #6, Within the Mirror #1, #7, Amazing Grace #2, Counterpoint #8, #9, Consort #3, Candlelight and Flames #2, T'hy'la #12, Naked Times #7, #19, #30, Mirrors of Mind and Flesh, Nightvisions.

Some excerpts from "Arena," the fan discussion section:

[Two names redacted] were eloquent about how zine pirating hurts editors and endangers K/S publishing as a whole I want to add that this practice is also a grave offense against the writers, poets, and artists. This is our hard work you're stealing. It's bad enough we can't be paid for it because of the nature of the genre; please, don't blast the deck out from under our editors. I write nonaction professionally, but my K/S stuff takes up more actual writing time. And effort. One day I decided to calculate the relative value of the time I spend writing K/S. So I whipped out my desk calculator.... At the rate I'm paid for technical writing, an article as long as my most recently published K/S story would be worth around $9000. At a fair rate for fiction, a piece that long would weigh about about $1500. I don't mean to suggest that my or anybody else's K/S stories are worth those amounts... but that's relative rate of my writing time. I could write an extra technical article in less time than I spend writing a K/S story. My point is that our work is worth being treated as something of value even though I can't be paid for, and is worth being respected for the time and attention we give it. I won't even attempt to put a comparative dollar figure on the work and time (not to mention money) our editors put in soliciting, reading, editing, formatting, and printing contributions. Zines are the lifeblood of this fandom: our premium 'product.' We have got to treat this product, and each other, as honorably as we possibly can. [Name redacted] wondered if one should draw the line at selling used zines. I don't think so. Selling and buying used books is not a violation of copyright. It's a perfectly ethical practice, and is environmentally sound. And so many of us collect zines and keep them that I don't think selling used ones hurts editors. But copying in-print zines... is unethical, whether it's one page or a hundred that you're copying. So is knowingly supporting zine pirates. Please, let's hold ourselves to the high standards that our two favorite guys would hold themselves to. Would they steal another's work in this manner? Let's not dishonor ourselves or destroy K/S fandom just to save a few bucks.
I have no one to judge by but myself, I know for positive certain sure that one, even two years without printing any new zines would not even slightly dent my interest in K/S. Nor would the fact that I would be writing without any where to send my stories for a couple of years evan slow me down. Would it affect you differently? What if those who buy from the pirates were shown what they're doing? They don't seem to have figured it out yet. Perhaps something that that would open a few eyes. I know life has a way of moving in with something else if you leave a little space for it. We probably wouldn't get all our editors back and maybe we would lose some of our writers, but something has to be done. I'm not certain lawsuits are the answer. As [name redacted] said: Do we really want K/S in the limelight and to force Paramount to see what ware doing? I know they all know about us, but can they keep turning a blind eye if we draw too much attention?

Issue 57

The LOC Connection 57 was published in September 1993 and contains 13 pages. This issue has a flyer for Come Together, this letterzine's successor.

front page of issue #57

There is an autobio by Melody Price.

This issue contains LoCs for Charisma #13, #16, #17, T'hy'la #9, KSX #1, First Time #31, #35, #33, #36, Twilight Trek #2, Way of the Warrior #6, Naked Times #30.

Some excerpts from "Arena," the fan discussion section:

To everyone in general - I think some of us, including me, have forgotten IDIC. We must remember we are a minority, and we should stick together. There's room for all types of stories and all types of writers. I know that's easy to forget when you've just spend $20 on a zine and the writer you dislike has a really long story in it. Some of you don't like S/M. I love it. What you may consider porno, I may find delightfully erotic. An original plot you praise, I may not like because I think the characterization has been totally skewed to fit the plot. A novel you praise as one of the top ten, may make me go running for a "barf bag." Remember that if someone wrote it, and someone published it, that there must be people who like it... Therefore, we (and this includes me) should be sure to be tactful in our criticisms...
About pirates and pirating: I have no solutions. We should try to buy directly from presses when we can afford it, and then secondly only from KNOWN people for used items. Of course, it may be some of these known K/Sers are pirates. How is someone like me who buys via the mail to know?
Speaking of K/S and its meaning, a fellow K/Ser sent a wonderful articulate article to me by a Joanna Russ called "Another Addict Raves About K/S." Not only did I enjoy it despite my extreme reservations about too much analysis and over explaining, but whan I gave it to my totally-non-understanding-about-K/S husband and he read it, a big lightbulb want on over his head and he said and I nearly quote "Now I see and l wish I could have someone like a Spock or a Kirk in my life." Is that incredible? So if anyone wants a copy of this, I decided it's got to be shared -- just send me one dollar to cover the postage and I'll send it to you.
About the pirates. I, too, think the practices described in recent publications are beyond the pale. I hope that those who do such things will stop before the fandom is gutted. Various sorts of pirating have been going on for years in fandom. In fact, my first experiences with pirating come from EDITORS, years ago. Art was copied or traced from my work and then used (I've never figured out why I WANTED an art credit for a stolen border, when it looked that bad!), and a story was printed without my permission. Then, the classic Trek zine had sold for over 15 years, went all at once from five or six orders a month to five orders in a YEAR. We traced that down to unauthorized copies being sold at conventions, but we never managed to do much about it. Even today, some neo is paying $8 at a convention for a zine they could get from us for $6.50. In this case, the pirates aren't even pretending to do a service for the fandom by selling at a lower price! I would like to suggest that if the pirates continue, that K/S fandom switch to the circuit fandom that B/D fandom uses. I was absolutely amazed when I first wandered over to that fandom, I was rather soured on K/S at the time. Five of my stories in a row had been turned down by K/S editors, and yet stories I didn't like were filling zines. It was frustrating to buy a zine for ($15 (high in those days!) and not find one story in it I liked. It was bearable if the zine came as a contrib copy, although that made me feel odd as well, as if I was luring folks who liked my stories to buy a zine which they might not ordinarily buy. Anyway, there I was, in B/D fandom, and I found that all the stories were - free! You traded them around, you copied them if you liked them, and if you didn't, you just passed it on. It saved money. It gave you collections you were happy to read. There were central libraries you could join for a modest fee and borrow stories — thousands of them. The advantages to me as a writer were, 1) no editor to change my words. It stood or fell on what I did, I never did like doing rewrites, even when the editor was completely right about the need for the change (and some editors wanted changes that took more time than writing the story did), 2) Adequate feedback - not as much as zine fandom, but then I often only got one or two LOCs passed on from an editor on a story in a zine. Either folks didn't write them or the editors never sent them, 3) My stories stayed available for a longer time. B/D fans still comment on things I wrote five years ago, 4) I got to know many more writers personally in that fandom. In K/S, I would seldom know who the people were who write the stories I shared a zine with. There wasn't a place like TLC where authors could exchange ideas, at that time if zines fail, I would like to suggest that K/S people take up this
 forum. It has disadvantages. It is a writer's thing, there isn't any place 
for art if there are no zines. The author doesn't even get the tiny
 recompense of a contributor's copy. It's like throwing your story into the
 unknown. And at the time on the circuit, you get bad xeroxes with the
 tops and bottoms cut off because someone was careless with the 
copying eight generations back! However, you can't steal what is being
 given away.
At the risk of pissing someone off, I'd like to address a pet peeve of mine, "EDITORS". Most of them are gems. They work very hard to put out a quality product for no gain but the satisfaction of putting print to paper and hope it's appreciated. It is. very much. And it's usually sent out m a timely manner. But!!! Of course there's a but; there are an arrogant few who think once they receive the money, it doesn't matter when they send the zine out. After all they worked hard and it costs money to put out a zine. Not to mention the many obligations that they have. That's all very true. There is something else that is equally true. Fans also work for their money. We also have many obligations to fulfill, and when we send for a zine, it's with the understanding that we aren't donating to a charity. When a zine is listed as ready for sale it shouldn't take a year to receive it. If there is a problem, a simple note to the fan stating the problem isn't too much to expect. Waiting months on end end, having your inquiries go unanswered can spell the end of zines as well as zine pirating. Most fans are loyal but we're not fools. Editors that continually send out zines many months after receiving their money, or not at all, will lose their customers. That doesn't help fandom or other reliable editors anymore than zine pirating does. I in no way condone zine pirating, neither do I condone accepting money without delivering the product. Each is interpreted as stealing! To the very few editors whom this concerns; please think about practicing what you preach.
All I need to do these days, it seems, to fully appreciate K/S writers, is pick up one of the recent pro novels. One shining example of marvelous fiction in the true tradition of Star Trek and an its incumbent glory was that piece of literary genius called "Windows on a Lost World." I was mesmerized, wowed, thrilled and spilled as Captain Kirk gets 
turned into a crab. Spock of course, doesn't give an Andorian hoot-owl
 if Kirk runs around all by himself at night there on the planet and blithely 
beams back to the Enterprise to ostensibly get a good night's rest. What insight! What emotion! What crap! I remain infuriated that these professional authors, culled from the best, with rigorous requirements and lots of politicking, get to have published some of the worst, most poorly written, uninvolving, bland, plotless, stupid works that is supposed to resemble Star Trek at least minimally, and we, the buying public, get to read the stuff. It is absolutely beyond belief and THANK THE HEAVENS FOR K/S!
Having ventured into other fandoms with some of the media zines. K/S still holds my major interest. The only other pairing I can accept seems to be that of Crocket/Castillo on MIAMI VICE. I did watch the show and they did have a ceratin rapport. Nothing like K/S of course. The Kirk/Spock relationship is unique even without the sexual aspect. Although after reading CONTACT, GALACTIC DISCOURSE, and some of the other relationship zines, one gets the feeling there must be more to their friendship. The only thing left is the sexual. By then K/S seems a natural progression.

Issue 58

The LOC Connection 58 was published in November 1993 and contains 11 pages.

front page of issue #58

There are autobios for Barbara Taylor and Claudia B.

This issue contains LoCs for Charisma #13, #16, #17, #18, First Time #22, #31, #34, #36, #37, Naked Times #30, Within the Mirror #7, #8, Scattered Stars #5, Against All Odds, Amazing Grace #2, Way of the Mirror #6, Consort #3.

Some excerpts from "Arena," the fan discussion section:

Those rip-off artists are not only stealing from the editors, they are stealing from the contributors. As they have not asked permission from an editor to 'reprint' their zines. they have not asked permission of the contributors to reproduce their work either. Thieves come in various guises under different names, but it is still theft. [Name redacted] wonders how this problem can be stopped or severely curbed. Suggestion: When a zine pirate is spotted at a convention selling a certain zine(s), what if a contributor or group of contributors to the legitimate zine confront the pirate and loudly proclaim that they as contributors only gave permission to the original editor to publish their work and not the zine pirate, and that as a consequence she/he is selling stolen material. Than said contributors should demand to have their story, poem or art back, even if it means the pirate has to tear out every page in the pirated zines that contain the work of the protesting contributors? That would put a crimp in their sales wouldn't fit? The pirate may not do it, but it would sure embarrass the hell out of them and make everyone in the dealer's room aware of who they were. And consequently it would discourage anyone who was thinking of patronizing the pirate (whether knowing or unknowing) to decide not to buy from them. Think about it, would anyone like to have it known that they bought stolen goods? Also, if one is not a contributor to the original pirated zine, just a fan.,..what if they walked over to the pirate's table, thumbed through the zine, and very innocently in a very loud voice said things, "Fake. You want how much for this? But it's xeroxed, the artwork is barely visible, the printing is bad, this is a terrible, shoddy piece of reproduction, you can't be the original editor! Are you one of those crummy zine pirates I've been hearing about? Hey man, you're trying to rip me off?" Yeah. know, it's kind of a crude strategy, but I'm a believer in confrontational justice.
I myself have been wrestling for over ten years with combinations of shame, undying love, and confusion over this whole 'slash' premise. Where does it fit in with the literary scope of things? What niche are we unknowingly filling? Is homoeroticism necessarily a 'gay' thing? Do I waste my time writing it? The answers have often eluded me, but recently I've had a few insights that it's taken me over a decade to learn. One is that there is a big difference between 'slash' fiction and 'gay' fiction. In gay fiction, you know before ever turning to chapter one that the characters are gay, that they are going to be involved in gay relationships, that their lives in contemporary society cannot help but reflect that gayness and that will most probably be addressed in the book. In slash fiction, you do not have these 'givens.' The writer must take on the challenge of convincing the reader that it's actually possible for a straight person to function healthily and happily in a gay relationship and still not necessarily become gay. This concept is impossible for many people to understand. The concept of bisexuality still eludes both gay and straight members of society. We enjoy labels too much. We like to categorize ourselves. But by breaking the conditioning of categorizing the self, and by learning that love can come in many forms, that the packaging (male/female) is truly less important than the rapport, the love, the caring, I think we've broken traditional gender barriers and have discovered a deeper, more fulfilling truth in the human condition. That's what slash fiction does. So many people think it's only about sex. Many people think gayness is only about sex. It's not. Though most slash is erotic in nature, the sex most often comes from a different place than strictly, carnal lust. That also makes it different from 'gay' sex, which is often initially oriented carnally (as is heterosexuality!) and always toward samesex, and why, I think, the false myth that being gay has to do with only sex remains in our society. Exploring the theme that love comes in many forms is one that has been done so often in science fiction (the alien, the hermaphrodite, the other male, female, other) that I find nearly 100 percent tolerance toward slash from the both pro and fan science fiction community. Over the years, the only intolerance (other than by outright bigots) I've run into has come from other Star Trek fans (and David Gerrold). This does not speak well for Trek fans in general, and I hope this changes In the future.
Regarding pirating. I have several theories to present. One is that pirating harms zines more than in the obvious ways. I think pirating reduced the number of LoCs. People didn't write the editors of the zines they had stolen, thinking that in some way their theft might be known (some editors keep fantastically detailed records and this wasn't an entirely baseless reaction). Fewer LoCs meant more people feeling as if they were writing in a wilderness, which meant more drift into other fandoms. Theory two is that the circuit fandoms may have harmed the zine fandoms. Fans who had only known the free stories saw nothing wrong in copying zines. These people only copied the stories they liked. It wasn't this wholesale nastiness going on now, but it may have put the crack in the dike. Another theory I have, and it is an unpopular one, is that the editors themselves encouraged pirating because they were putting out poor products. I'm not talking about the quality of the stories (although some, in their haste to put out another zine, seem to have included some very uneven story offerings), but about great wads of white space, in white margins, double spaces between paragraphs, ten point type and poor layout. I myself didn't turn to pirating when I kept running up against poor values in zines. I just stopped buying them. Oddly, though, I think some fans seemed to think that it was alright to steal if the product wasn't good. I am not saying all editors put out poor products deliberately. I'm saying that some did, and it reflected on all editors. One never knew, until a zine had gone into several issues, what was coming when you ordered it. Zineds offering good products suffered from the practices of those who did not. I have heard some editors say (quite accurately), that it costs a hell of a lot to put out a zine. Contrib copy costs, printing, art half tones, ribbons, convention table costs (it can be expensive if you try selling at other than fan cons - I once went to a convention where the concom wanted $200 for a table! All they had selling, of course, were the pro dealers, all the fans were cut out). The editors are right, it costs much more than fans think to do a zine, especially a fancy one. But the editors will have to make a decision as to what is important. Will they offer a $25 zine with all the bells and whistles which fewer fans can afford, or a trimmed down version with the same stories for $15? Or will they offer nothing. Another unpopular truth Is that some editors were making not only the tiny profit which was always considered acceptable, but some were making giant profits. Not all, not oven a quarter of the editors, but just enough so that fans did feel ripped off and 'justified' in their minds for taking what wasn't theirs. There is, of course, NO justification for this, it is totally wrong. If an editor wants to charge big bucks, for darn little, fine. You vote with your pocket book. You don't buy it. It is WRONG to buy it and then recoup part of your money by selling xeroxes to friends. There is a real irony in this whole situation, in that as more and more K/S fans drifted into B/D, they wanted to see a more familiar form of stories (with art!), and many B/D zines are springing up. This is causing the circuit to suffer to the point where I have had discussions with fans as to if the zines are killing the circuit! I don't want the zine form of fandom to perish (I put out zines myself, after all!) but if the bad girls kill it, I would like to see if it were possible to start a circuit. The thought of fans with no place to send stories, and no place to GET stories, is unthinkable! If we don't want 
that to happen we have several choices. Police ourselves is what we
're trying to do now. If it doesn't work, I'd like to go to option two,
 change. Above all. I don't want fandom to die.
As far as doing circuit fandom instead of having zines, the option feels completely unacceptable to me. Working with editors has been a very good experience and I have learned so much from each one. Rewriting notwithstanding, the editors at the very least impart valuable feedback from a fan perspective and from a professional writing perspective. To entirely dismiss the experience of working with an editor because of having to make changes in one's story is a shame. Authors are free to disagree with any editor and if it remains a disagreement, one gets to go elsewhere. 1) Concerning feedback, I realize she didn't have TLC then but now we do. And we seem to be getting lots of valuable feedback that would be absent with circuit fandom. I spend a lot of time and energy writing LOCs for authors and readers and I enjoy it a great deal - I wouldn't do it with the circuit format. 2) About stories staying available for a 'longer" time, there are plenty of LOCs on stories from many years ago. A lot of effort is made to LOC not only current ones, but past ones, as well. 3) As I've reported here, I've gotten to know so many authors and readers and fans in K/S from all across the country! Zine fandom certainly is not lacking in that! 4) NO ART? Help.... 5) Having five stories turned down much be very frustrating and upsetting to say the least. But I seriously doubt if that would happen now. I personalty know publishers are eager to have stories, will take any story (within reason) and if it needs work will spend a lot of time with the author helping to do those dreaded rewrites. And if the story is impossible for one editor, she can go to another who will print it. 6) Just because someone buys a zine for a particular author doesn't mean that the rest of the zine is worthless. Few are "lured" to shell out $20 just for one story anyway. The entire look of the zine is important, as well. And of course, don't forget; one woman's favorite is another woman's yuck! I have discovered some fabulous gems by unknown (to me) authors in a zine that I would never have known to buy. I shudder to think what K/S would be like for me without zines. Without beautifully produced, nice looking, good quality zines that are a pleasure to read and even more of a pleasure to write for. The answer is not to give in to pirates and turn to circuit fandom. The answer is to do everything possible to keep these hard-working editors end publishers in business so that K/S won't fall! REMEMBER THE THREE "R'S' WRITE, READ AND BUY! If we all do at least one of these things, K/S will continue.
In context of K/S, I think a circuit would be valuable as a bunch of friends who circulate their manuscripts among one another in order to get comments before submitting them to zines. I'd especially love a circuit to workshop unfinished stories that have problems. I have a K/S story that I haven't been able to finish in some time. Yet shifting the entire fandom into story circuits wouldn't work at this stage. K/S fandom is much too large for circuits. If all we had were circuits, you would only know about the stories your friends had written, or which they had heard about. You couldn't necessarily get hold of a story you wanted to read unless you knew who was circulating it. A new fan would be in a worse position than someone who'd been around for a long time because new fans would have fewer connections for getting involved in circuits. There also wouldn't be very many new K/S fans because K/S could only spread by word of mouth. You couldn't find out about it in adzines or pick up a zine at a con. Obviously, there would be nothing like TLC either. I am not opposed to story circuits, but I think they have limited use. By the way, I am aware of two attempts to start a K/S circuit and both faded for lack of sufficient interest, if you want to start a K/S circuit, put me down on your list. I'd love to be involved.
I've heard some anxious discussions that declare that the end is near for K/S, its imminent demise attributed to the lack of new readers/authors/editors/zines or to the growing segment of established fans diversifying into other fandoms, or the rising cost and decreasing value of zines, or illicit copying, or whatever. Admittedly my experience is limited, but I don't think the concern is justified. Like any other community, the community of fans is always changing as old faces vanish and new ones appear. But I think the commitment to K/S remains unchanged, and is as vigorous as ever. I know K/S will always be alive for me, and hope that I always have will of you to share it with as well.
I discovered K/S more by chance. I bought some older zines from a German ST club and there was a heated discussion on K/S in the zine. The discussion was interesting, but what on earth was K/S? So, I went on reading and what I read sounded very interesting. The first story with the label "K/S" on it, I read in the same zine. I liked this story a lot, although today I wouldn't call this story K/S anymore. It was more about a deep friendship between Kirk and Spock, but there weren't any sexual suggestions in it... Although there are some good German K/S stories, on the whole I prefer the American K/S stories. The German clubs/editors are perhaps a little too careful in my opinion. It seems the K/S fandom in Germany isn't so far advanced up to now. But this is logical, because ST on the whole isn't known here as it is in the States.

Issue 59

The LOC Connection 59 was published in November 1993 and contains 12 pages.

front page of issue #59

It contains LoCs for Within the Mirror #8, Charisma #13, #16, #18, KaleidoScope #1, Scattered Stars #5, Courts of Honor, Covert Action, First Time #31, #35, #37, Naked Times #31, Nightvisions, Way of the Warrior #6, Matter/Antimatter #8.

Some excerpts from "Arena," the fan discussion section:

I have written stories that evoked no comment at all and have been disappointed (severely depressed). Moving to a circuit would remove the little feedback we get now and would, I think discourage new writers.
Having recently attended Farpoint (formerly OktoberTrek), I was involved in an incident that pertains to the recent discussion about zine pirating. Being quite used to rummaging around in the K/S boxes of zines kept far under the table and carefully out of sight. I was thrilled to discover two of Alexis Fegan Black's novels, OASIS and VAGABONDS that I had been meaning to read..... Clutching them in my hot little hands I rushed back to the room and proceeded to dig right in. Postponing my pleasure just a little while longer, I started with the editorials in with Alexis states that to prevent pirating she has printed the zines on GREEN paper. My copies are on WHITE paper! Filled with righteous indignation. I don my shining armor, mount my trusty steed and charge back to the table where I loudly proclaim I HAVE PURCHASED PIRATED ZINES! I DEMAND MY MONEY BACK!! HOW DARE YOU DO THIS DASTARDLY THING!!! By now a crowd was gathered, aroused no doubt by the scent of blood. The woman behind the table calmly informs me that, of course, she will return my money, but these are official reprints put out by Pon Farr Press. At this point someone tells me that this is Peg Kennedy. To my dread I recognize the name. Peg Kennedy is associated with Bill Hupe a reputable zine dealer I have dealt with many times through the mail. Hemming and hawing, I back my way out of the dealers' room, tail tucked quite neatly between my legs. My bruised tail will heal, (I do tend to leap before I look), but if Bill Hupe is selling pirated zines - which I somehow doubt - fandom needs to be apprised of this fact. If, on the other hand Alexis has forgotten to add a postscript to her reprints, this fandom also needs to know. How can we protect our editors and insure our steady supply of K/S zines if they don't give us a hand?

Issue 60

The LOC Connection 60 was published in December 1993 and contains 10 pages.

front page of issue #60
From the editor:
Contrary to what some have assumed, I am not disappearing from fandom, nor from K/S. While I am still somewhat jaded on reading and writing about these two special characters. I will be subscribing to COME TOGETHER — and may even contribute something on occasion. After being so invoked in this fandom, I'm hardly about to dismiss it so easily. I want to keep following the ins an outs, the comings and goings, enthusiasm and concerns, of the so-special people who have made K/S such an important part of all of our lives. I wouldn't even rule out the possibility of writing K/S again in the future. For now, my writing efforts are concentrated in S/H (Starsky/Hutch) fandom. While writing stories in that fandom is new for me, appreciating the show is not: and, in fact, goes back some 17 years. I've been asked if I'd do a S&H letterzine, but I have no energy for tackling such a project though I do lament the lack of LoCs in that fandom, as in the various other non-K/S fandoms. I hope, if nothing else, TLC's existence has emphasized the importance of feedback. I wish the COMING TOGETHER folks well, end hope you will support them as avidly as you have me.

This issue has autobios by Andrea J. and Barbara Walczyk.

There are LoCs for First Time #34, #35, #36, #37, KaleidoScope #1, T'hy'la #14, Against All Odds, Otherwhere/Otherwhen #3, Naked Times #31, Within the Mirror #7, Charisma #17, Scattered Stars #5, Consort #2, K/S Collected.

Some excerpts from "Arena," the fan discussion section:

When I first joined, I chafed a bit at the restrictions that Regina imposed on the reviews. Why so picky, I asked myself? But as the months went on I began to perceive some of the wisdom behind the rules. I've seen other letterzines in other fandoms, and talked with friends who have been deeply invoked in them. Have you noticed how TLC lacked the sense of acrimony that was the downfall of other publications?
I would see to see more variety in the stories. Compared with stories from other fandoms, especially THE PROFESSIONALS, [K/S] is lacking in imagination. In that universe [Pros], there are all kinds of stories set from Norman England to a future time; letting them be all kinds of people - doctors, writers, even dancers, magicians and sheiks and the writers include the roles played by these actors in their writings, as well. Something else I realized when I compared these two fandoms was that there are astonishingly few novels in [K/S] fandom -- what do you think is the reason why this is so?
I became a fan of Star Trek when it first aired, developing a huge crush on Mr Spock, which, I'm pleased to say, is still going strong. Although I attended my first con in 1974, it wasn't until 1988 that my interest in Trek really passed beyond the superficial. A local television station began broadcasting classic Trek at midnight, five days a week One night during a bout of insomnia, I tuned to watch "Journey to Babel." I was immediately hooked. I watched all seventy-nine episodes at least three times. I began reading The Best of Trek series of paperbacks and then moved on to the novels. In 1989, I attended my second con and discovered fanzines. A fan at the Welcommittee table who was selling used 'zines, quizzed me on my preferences: Kirk, Spock, or McCoy? When she discovered my passion for Spock and all things Vulcan, she sold me Jean Lorrah's NTM series along with Jane Land's superb novels KISTA and DEMETER. I plunged into the world of 'zines, scrambling to collect out-of-print issues, especially anything focusing on Spock. I fell in love with Claire Gabriel's evocative stories in SIMPLE GIFTS and Leslye Lilker's Sahaj tales. I read my way through the Kraith universe, and acquainted myself with countless "Mary Sues." Just as my enthusiasm for 'zines had peaked, I acquired a copy of THE SENSUOUS VULCAN and read Gayle F's "Desert Heat." I began a second round of 'zine collecting immediately! Finding K/S is difficult in New York, so I've inured myself to what seems like an endless wait for packages to arrive from California.
In this last issue of TLC, I'd like to say again how wonderful it's been to meet all of you though the pages of this letterzine... I wish all of you the happiest of holiday seasons, and may we all 'Come Together' again next month.

References

  1. from The LOC Connection #53