The Weight

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Star Trek Fanfiction
Title: The Weight
Author(s): Leslie Fish
Date(s): 1976-1979
Length:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
External Links:

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The Weight by Leslie Fish is a lengthy and controversial Star Trek: TOS story first serialized in many issues of Warped Space between 1976-1979.

The novel features many original characters, an alternate universe/mirror universe, anarchy, and commentary on gender.

One of the main characters was an "alternate-Kirk" named Jenneth Roantree, who was described by Fish as Kirk's "female analog" and "alter ego." Another original character was "Quannechota Two-Feathers." In May 1977, Fish wrote:
I designed Jenneth and Quanna to be strong female characters because I was a trifle annoyed at some of the mental and emotional light weights that often show up as heroines in Trek literature (including the aired episodes!), and wanted to show what a strong and mature female character could do in the ST universe. Making Jenneth Kirk's alter-ego is a way of making her unexpected character strength more readily (and quickly!) understandable in the genre. [1]

Fans generally had very strong feelings about "The Weight"; some of the adjectives they used in their letters of comment were: disturbing, emotionally crushing, magnificent, exhilarating, marvelous, and uncomfortable. One fan said the art made her want to vomit. Read these and many more fan comments.

In 1988, the chapters, along with additional content, including material from Enterprise Incidents #7 and #8, was collected into a standalone print zine called The Weight Collected.

"The Weight" won a 1977 Fan Q Award.

Summaries

A journey back into time thrusts Kirk and the Enterprise into an alternate universe where the Federation never formed, and space is ruled by Romulans. Somehow, Kirk and Spock must repair the damage to the space time continuum, with the aid of their alternate universe counterparts. A seminal work. [2]
"The Weight" is a sequel to "The Sixth Year" and concerns the Enterprise's time-travel assignment to discover what had happened to the lost city of Chicago in the 1980s. "The Weight" picks up where "The Sixth Year" left off -- with Kirk left along on an abandoned Enterprise, after sabotage had changed the past, and the future. Kirk is discovered by a group of Anarchists who see him as their ticket to a better life, and he comes to see them as his means of restoring his time-line. Kirk and the Anarchists restore, time, but what will happen when the Anarchists discover that Kirk has lied to them about almost everything concerning the universe in whey they now find themselves? [3]

Original Chapter Titles

  • The Weight: The Lighthouse-Keeper and the Cannibal Train," or, "You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here (part 1) (originally printed in Warped Space #17)
  • The Weight: We're Jim Kirk, Fly Us (part 2, section 1) (originally printed in Warped Space #19)
  • The Weight: Bad Moon Rising (part 2, section 2) (originally printed in Warped Space #21)
  • The Weight: They Told Me, ‘Cheer Up, Things Could Be Worse,’ So I Cheered Up, and Sure Enough, Things Got Worse (part 2, section 3) (originally printed in Warped Space #22)
  • The Weight: Tiptoe Through the Tulips: They Just Might Take a Hunk Out of Your Leg (part 3, section 1) (originally printed in Warped Space #24)
  • The Weight: Study Questions for A Nervous Breakdown (part 3, section 2) (originally printed in Warped Space #25)
  • The Weight: Cold Wind to Valhalla (part 3, section 3) (originally printed in Warped Space #26/27)
  • The Weight: City of the Winds, or, It's Sister Jenny's Turn to Throw the Bomb (part 4) (originally printed in Warped Space #29/30)
  • The Weight: Because Something Is Happening Here and You Don't Want to Know What It Is, Do You, Mr. Spock? (part 4 section 2) (originally printed in Warped Space #35/365)
  • The Weight [no subtitle] (part 4, section 3) (originally printed in Warped Space #39)
  • The Weight: If You Really Are My Brother, Then You'd Better Start To Pray (part 4, section 4) (originally printed in Warped Space #41)
  • The Weight: Judgement Night (conclusion) (originally printed in Warped Space #42)

Two related, background articles by Leslie Fish were printed in "Warped Space" #23. They were titled: "On Anarchists & Their Communities" and "...Music, Tantra, & Dancing Anarchists."

Origins of The Weight

the first page of a 41-page manuscript (written in 1978) for one of the stories in "The Weight"; the 12-page epilogue for this was written by Jim Van Hise and was printed in Enterprise Incidents #7
"The Weight" is based on "The 6th Year," a story by Ed Zdrojewski in Warped Space #3:
[one fan's description]: Kirk & co. get a weird message, originating well outside the galaxy, asking them to send a starship to "Chicago" at the signal's point of origin to verify historical data. For untidy reasons, they embark into the past to find out what it's all about. (In this universe, the Earth was set back into an agrarian, anarchic society by biological war and the melting of the ice caps; industrialization survived only on the Moon, from whence conquerors later took back the Earth and the Federation was born.) Now a new crop of Enterprise cadets turn out to be plotting to change history and keep Earth agrarian. One gets a phaser to an engineer, resulting in Earth defeating the Lunar invasion and remaining agrarian. Spock and McCoy, meantime, are stranded in dead Chicago - but get inadvertently scooped with up with the city by extra-galactic archaeologists who put them in hibernation until their own time. They disappear before they get there. Enterprise returns to her own time, where: there is no Federation; they find McCoy a true country doctor. All but Kirk beam down to live out their lives; he resolves to stay aboard and single-handedly fend off the Klingons when they come. [4]

The Role of Song Lyrics in the Story

the song lyrics, published in Warped Space #42

The story also contains a lot of song lyrics. It opens and closes with these song lyrics:

Take the load off, Manny,
take the load for free;
Take the load off, Manny,
and you put the load,
put the load right on me.

A Sequel?

In 1980, there was talk of a sequel -- some discussion is in the LoC section and the editorial of Warped Space #43.

From the editorial: "And Leslie Fish has stressed to me that Part 2 of "The Weight" consists of a series of interrelated short stories, complete in themselves, so they will start appearing in future WS issues whenever Leslie gets them going."

In 2017, Fish discussed this sequel:

The sequel [to "The Weight"]? Well, it was going to be called Roantree’s Progress, and it was going to follow one that Jenneth Roantree, after she woke up in the sick bay of the Enterprise and probably wanted to wring Kirk’s neck, but also what happened to the anarchists. Do you remember the planet of the, name of the episode of the human immortal who bought himself a whole planet and tried to create an immortal mate for himself and couldn’t quite do it? Remember? What was the title of that? Gideon, right? Gideon-something. [5]

Well, I had the Anarchists with their cranky, outdated ship, but still one that they understood and could repair, and with all the records on the Enterprise. Getting through Gideon’s World. I remember the starting sentence: The only man sat in a room. There was a knock on the door, and he goes to answer the door, says “who’s there?” and a voice says, “I pulled quantum [garbled] today.” So the Anarchists team up with Gideon. He gets a family, a community, and better [garbled] to [garbled]. Meanwhile, Roantree winds up going to [garbled], and she brought Spock through there. I had this wonderful scene where she is sitting a table with her now-short hair, mostly pulled into a short ponytail and her Star Fleet uniform, and there is a little aside there about, she has big breasts and she’s not used to 23rd century styled brassieres so she makes her own, and she is sitting at a bar, contemplating her fate and her future when up walks—damn! I can’t even think of her name! Carol Whatever the, the one who traded sexes with Kirk or who traded bodies with Kirk in that episode? [6]

Dr. Carol Something. Anyway. She walks into the bar. She has apparently been let out of the nuthouse for good behavior. She walks into the bar, sees what she thinks is Kirk and starts railing at him about “Well, at least I made you understand the degradation of being a woman!” Roantree figures out early that she thinks she’s talking to Kirk and plays along. So when the woman gets to that point, she says, “I’ve done even better than that. Actually, I had a lot of fun!” She rips open her Star Trek suit, rip, pull, rips open her bra and boom! Boom! Which is guaranteed to draw eyes, and says, “See? I understand it all! I got a cunt, too, and I’m having a hell of a lot of fun with that,” whereupon the nutty doctor turns around and runs away screaming. (laughs) And Roantree says to the rest of the crowd, which is staring, as she pushes her breasts back into her homemade brassiere and pulls her shirt, “Nutty as a bird!” or “Poor loser!” “Sore loser!” I had other individual scenes planned and plotted out, but as I said, I forgot to write it. It’s been 30 years now. Wow! [7]

Inspired Works

Comments from the Author

1977

To all my critics; thank you very much. "The Weight" is something of an experiment for me, and I never know how fandom is going to react to some of the weird places I'm going with it, so it's very gratifying to get so much favorable commentary. [8]
I hope my characterization of Kirk can remain up to your enthusiastic evaluation; he's got some heavy changes to go through yet. Admittedly, I designed Jenneth and Quanna to be strong female characters because I was a trifle annoyed at some of the mental and emotional light weights that often show up as heroines in Trek literature (including the aired episodes!), and wanted to show what a strong and mature female character could do in the ST universe. Making Jenneth Kirk's alter-ego is a way of making her unexpected character strength more readily (and quickly!) understandable in the genre. [9]
I'm glad you liked the Solstice Rite — and yes, I did do a lot of research on it, primarily the GOLDEN BOUGH by Frazer and THE WHITE GODDESS by Graves. As for the hallucinogenic sequence, well, no, I'm not into Furst and Hamer that much, I'm afraid; I've just done a lot of dope. Heh! Yes, it really is like that!... the Solstice Rite did more than simply neutralize Kirk's death-wish; it gave him, literally, a new life, free of old guilts. Of course, this new life has its share of problems — and guilts — which add significantly to the future plot, but the "rebirth" angle can add some important details. [10]
"The Weight" is a science fiction story whose major "science" is sociology, or particularly, social-psychology. The focus is not on a particular character (although much of the plot is seen through Kirk's eyes) but on the interaction between characters and their societies. The tension between Kirk/Jenneth/Quanna is a micro-cosmic representation of the clash between their cultures — a clash that's building toward a head-on collision. I'm delighted that somebody caught that; I didn't know if I'd made it noticeable enough. Glad you liked the articles, too; for me they were pure fun—I did a huge mess of research for the series (on music, Anarchism, magic and Anthropology), and I'm delighted to share it. [11]
[Addressing Paula Smith]: "Bernardo de la Paz"? Uh, thanks, but I hope not; if you'll recall, at the end of THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS (Heinlein, for those of you who haven't read it — and please do!), de la Paz was unable to keep the newly-independent Moon from repeating the same mistakes as Earth — the Lunies set up a government, and the resulting society was enough to make the surviving hero consider moving out to the asteroids! If I'm preaching Rational Anarchism, I hope to be a bit more successful than that. Hmmm, perhaps "Rational Anarchism" is a redundancy: irrational Anarchists, in my experience, are either hypocrites about their Anarchism, or else they don't live long. Glad you liked the article, though. Tell ye what, since you've read up a little on the subject, how would you like to tackle a side-plot of "The Weight" that I just plain don't have time to explore? Namely, how did the Anarchists back on 6th-Year Earth deal with the Romulan invaders? Now that cultural clash and resulting changes should be fun to play with! Bear in mind that there are still at least two colonies of pro-science Anarchists on Earth (the remnant of High Harbor, and what's left of the Enterprise settlement), and Luddism may become distinctly unpopular after a few encounters with Romulans. Also, consider that this post-Eugenics War Earth has a few bacteriological and radio-Iojgical surprises lurking here and there. Earth is destined to change big, but the Romulans may just have bitten off more than they can chew. Want to try it? Be my guest. [12]
Well, I'm happy that you like the way "The Weight" is structured; really, that was deliberate. I knew, when I started writing it, that "The Weight" would have to be serialized. A few conferences with Ye Editor gave me some idea of how long each segment would probably be, and I aligned the incidents and development accordingly. It really helps to have the kind of editor who can work with like this! [13]

1979

As to why Kirk has a female analog with a different name instead 'of simply never having been born', why what's in a name that makes it a matter of life and death between universes? In a different culture, people could have different naming systems. Why female? Well, aside from making the plot interesting, why not? Whether a child gets an X or Y chromosome is a 50-50 proposition; we've already seen one alternate universe where Kirk is still male, so the odds are that in the next one he'd be born female. As for women's rights still being an issue in 200 years, look, it's been an issue for 100 years already! Prejudice against Blacks has existed for only 400 years, and it's taken a century to overcome it this far, and we're still not out of the woods on that one; how much longer do you think it will take to overcome a prejudice which has infected Western civilization for 1400 years, at least? Besides, prejudice against women is one of the 'givens' of the ST aired episodes, so like it or not we have to deal with it— explain it, or write around it — but deal with it. If we throw out one ST 'given', where do we stop? Sure there'd be some open-minded people left on Earth, but the majority of adventurous and open- minded people would have gone to space — for the same reasons that such folk got in covered wagons and headed west in America — and that would have an effect on the culture left back on Earth. [14]
Since everybody seems to have figured out who Quanna is, there's no harm in telling; Kirk hasn't guessed because he wants to believe she's Miramanee, and Spock hasn't guessed because his Vulcan pride won't let him see any thing familiar in a 'savage, warlike barbarian' Human. Haven't you ever thought, watching ST, that Humans seem remarkably apologetic for themselves in front of Vulcans — or other aliens for that matter? And that the aliens — particularly Vulcans — are quite pleased to agree? [15]
Wow, where to start? Well, artwork: I checked over the illos you mentioned and can't understand what you find wrong with them....Your choice of unfavorite "The Weight" illos in 29/30 leaves me puzzled, too. The problem with p. 109 was over-heavy inking (printer's fault) 'rather than drawing, and I can't see what the complaint is with p.105 or 100. The drawings on p. 111 and 112 I thought were two of the best I'd done in that issue — clear, crisp, no distortion, no imbalance. What bothered you about these illos? I think the ones on p. 84, 86 and especially 89 were much worse artistically, and the one on p. 107 was much more gruesome. Wot gives? Still dunno why my art horrifies you. Is it because of the similarities to Andrew Wyeth? Or to S. Clay Wilson? [16]
What's the point of 'taking' Kirk apart, piece by piece'? No, it's not to make him an Anarchist (the Anarchists themselves aren't trying; they simply assume that he already is one, and treat him accordingly).. All I'm doing is making him think seriously about a lot of his basic assumptions, and showing what Kirk would be like if he lost all his regular props — his crew, his rank, his authority, his vanity, his touch of arrogance, his full strength ship firepower, his Federation law, and his back-up from Star Fleet. What's left of the marvelous Captain Kirk when he can't bully anybody? Well, he still as his courage, his sharp wits, his personal loyalty, his dedication, and his ability to love. Not bad, I'd say. 'Why couldn't Kirk have been a man in this universe?' For one thing, because he's been a man in every other universe we've seen, and the odds of genetics insist that he's got to come up female sometime soon, 'So small a difference ... an X chromosome instead of a Y', as Kirk him self noted. For another thing, making this Kirk female allows for a lot of comment about ST's — and society-in- general 's — attitudes toward women. Need I say more? Why make Jenneth Kirk's alter ego at all, you ask? Because half the fun of the story is making Kirk take a long hard look at himself, the way he had to in "The Enemy Within", which is something he wouldn't voluntarily do without a living mirror in front of him. As for 'shoving all those people down on a new planet ... and forgetting about them as fast as possible', heh! Heh! (Hmm, does sound mid-Karloffian, doesn't it?) Wait and see! How can one 'deal with a shipful of people used to discipline and sick authoritarian procedures'? By example. If he hollers "Fire in Engineering" the rest of the crew is going to feel pretty embarrassed if they don't know how to do anything but sit around with their thumbs up their while the shaggy backwoods men grab fire extinguishers and clatter down to the engine room; a few such shamings and even a crew of Big Brother devotees would go so far as to try thinking for themselves. How would you maintain something like the UFP with Anarchism? Kirk's 'vicious attack on his "twin"' was not meant to show 'how frightfully "inept, stupid and bloodthirsty" Kirk "used" to be' — it's meant to show how Kirk feels about that version of himself. Consider: he's spent 9 miserable months kicking himself for that disastrous mistake, now he has a chance to vent that fury on something besides his immediate self, and (to top it all off) Kirk-1 has just blown away one of his rescuers. Reason enough? Moving on — how/why could Quanna 'get arrested on Vulcan for what she's done'? She didn't like the contact with Spock any more than he did, she performed the rite for the sole purpose of putting Kirk back together, and she did give Spock fair warning. Spock's reactions are his own problem — though they do have a bearing on what follows. As for a good screw taking care of Kirk's troubles, it only took care of one of them — and besides, he got hypnotized, chanted over, and a good beating as well. Hardly the average screw. Glad you got some giggles out of this installment; wait 'til you see the next one (Hee! Hee! — a la Peter Lorre.)- [17]

2017

My anarchist’s opus. It started with this story about a sixth-year [garbled] who wrote it appeared in Warp Space, and I just couldn’t let that go. I could think of the solution. A lot of my friends accused me of being a man in disguise because, as [garbled] explained it, “You think like a man!” “How’s that?” Well, men usually, when faced with this situation, a bad situation, women will usually sympathize, and men will think of practical solutions.” (garbled) We had covered the same ground about five times when he made that comment. I said, “Yeah, I do think of solutions! I mean, what’s the point of simply going "'Ooh wee ooh mooey gooey’? I mean, like, what’s the solution?” So, okay here’s Kirk stuck in an alternate timeline with no crew, no dilithium crystals, no way of getting back. How would I get him back? I add to the plot right away, and the author of the sixth year had made a mistake assuming that the Heritage Society who would be anti-science, anti-technology, and I knew better because I knew an awful lot of real [garbled] who were certainly not at the time. So the solution presented itself, and again, I wrote the first chapter, and it was meant to be a freestanding story. It ends. How’d he even get out? Again, the fans loved it, and said, “Go through the whole thing. Show us what [garbled].” I did. It had turned into a serial, and it lasted nearly two years. Hmm. I had fun checking Anarchist’s Theory and Practice by the end of the story. I actually had a sequel planned, but real life intervened, and I never got to write it.

Well, Warp Space had a fairly long publishing skid, but, as I say, real life intervened. I was, among other things, I was working with the Union. I was trying to get somewhere with my art. I was beginning to get somewhere with my music, and I was short on time. I typed ["The Weight"] when I could, and of course, I was short on money. This was over the time when I was planning to get out of there and go to California. I was beginning to get into my filking. I was beginning to go a lot of conventions, and I was simply short on time. I had a chapter for each edition as it came out. As I recall, they were two or three months apart, and I actually missed a couple of issues, an issue here and there, because of things of being moved out of one apartment and into another quickly and losing a job. Stuff like that. Real Life has a habit of intervening, and it does even now.

[...]

The Weight, as I said, I wrote it when and how I could. I’d finish a chapter, sleep on it, come back the next day and edit it, and then send it to Lori Chapek, and she would do her own second edit and then send it back to me to re-edit, which took more time since it was all done by mail, and then I sent it in. Either she’d publish it as is, or I’d send it back to her, and we’d go through the process again. All of this contributed to the slow serializations of The Weight.

Sample Pages from "The Weight"

Leslie Fish created extensive the art for "The Weight." A selection, used with Fish's permission, is below.

Reactions and Reviews

Unknown Date

[About "They Told Me, ‘Cheer Up, Things Could Be Worse,’ So I Cheered Up, and Sure Enough, Things Got Worse” a section of The Weight by Leslie Fish] The dull saga continues. Well, okay, it's not that dull. Still somehow seems plodding to me - maybe because I know Leslie is touting an Anarchist utopia & I'm having trouble buying it. Or maybe because Spock & McCoy are dead. Anyway, in this installment, a bunch of people have gotten killed trying to get the dilithium from the moon; Kirk has lost an eye and suffered brain damage but gotten some dilithium so now they can go, but not fast enough to do the sun thing, so they have to head for the Guardian instead, and Jenneth is plotting to keep the E's crew from grounding Kirk due to the blindness. Oh, and *all* the Anarchists plan to go thru the Guardian to kill the baddie and restore the timeline. And Kirk's Anarchist lover is pregnant. All in all, this should be fun, but somehow just isn't. [20]

1976

"The Weight, Part I": I like it, but at this point I'm not sure why; perhaps because it's well-written, and Jenneth is a good character, though I wonder why Kirk alone should have an alter-ego of the opposite sex, and what bearing this fact might have on the deliberations about changing universes, especially since Jenneth's people are concerned with the moral and philosophical aspects of the change. I do hope we see some more of the Anarchists and their way of life; actually they seem to be semi-Anarchists, like the ones in LeGuin's THE DISPOSSESSED.

I have one quibble about the story: I cannot go along with Leslie's idea that the crew of the Enterprise would blame Kirk so much for the disaster that they refused contact with him. After all, it wasn't really his fault, though he blames himself, and the Enterprise people are fair. The reaction Leslie shows is childish, and not very useful, either. The crew might blame Kirk for a while, until the shock wore off, but I hardly think they would abandon him so completely, nor abandon the Enterprise itself so quickly; they're not the type of people to despair easily, or they wouldn't be on the Big E at all. It's perfectly plausible for Kirk to blame himself; he does it all the time, even when he isn't totally at fault; in this case, much of what happened was beyond his control, except in retrospect. He sees his actions as reflecting errors of judgement, but he can only so suppose in retrospect; at the time he had no way of knowing what would happen, and could only act in his usual fashion, as presumably he did—i.e., there would normally have been nothing wrong with Pennington going off on her own for a bit. The situation seems especially ironic because a solution apparently exists ... Had the crew stayed around long enough to calm down and get over its despair, somebody surely would have thought of it, probably Scotty ...

Ah well, but this is Leslie's story, and I'll have to wait for the next WS to see how she will handle things. [21]
I loved "The Weight" even if I can't stand Leslie Fish's choice of music. One line that hit me, since it sounds so much like a con, "I took pictures till my film ran out..." Of all the tormented-Kirk-I-did-it-all-wrongs" I've had the misfortune of reading, it stands out head and shoulders. More, more! [22]
I was extremely annoyed with the ending of "The Sixth Yearn WS 3, but figured it was way too late to write a LoC on it. If the only two vital crewpeople the Big E was missing were Spock and McCoy, why the hell didn't Kirk and Scotty simply flip the ship back into time again and fix things? Sure, they'd have to track down the alien ship with Spock and McCoy aboard, but that's no problem. The time-space loop might've been a trifle difficult with out Spock, but we all know that Scotty can handle technical disasters the way Bones handles medical ones. The ending was dramatic, but unsatisfying. We saw how the crew reacted to Kirk's 'losing' their world in "City on the Edge of Forever." They sympathized. Leslie's epic is very interesting. Her Kirk is quite good, and so is the peek into an alternate future, but I'm a little dubious about some of her premises. First of all—I don't think a ship can function on a town-meeting basis. OK, the crew trusts the Coordinator to make decisions, they talk it over afterwards, but I have an un comfortable feeling that there would be a point where one person or another wouldn't agree, wouldn't be willing to let her decide. (If it was a situation where lives were at stake and the other individual sincerely believed the Braider was making a terrible mistake ... ) And Jenneth comes to the same conclusion herself on p.29—"Screw the town's paranoia—it's my responsibility and my crew" and there i_s time to ask her crew, but she doesn't!

Oh, well. I'm just rather unsure about the Anarchists. From what I've read, anarchy is a total absence of rule of any kind, at best "co operation of free men" and at worst a philosophical justification for terrorism. Leslie's anarchist society sounds more like the Greek republic to me, where every Citizen (her honorific to Kirk) had a say. I cannot believe that a society under siege would be so loosely run as to be called Anarchistic. I personally doubt the human animal is a creature who can cope with anarchy very well. There are just too damn many people who want to be told what to do, who refuse to be responsible for their own actions. In an underpopulated world, ok, but not where you have 4 billion people rubbing elbows. It would mean survival of the most vicious, no holds barred ...

One last thing I take exception to: "Cannon-ball-sized breasts." D'you have any idea how LARGE a cannonball is? Poor Jenneth. No wonder she calls it "the weight." [23]
The great piece in 17 (no pun reference to its size intended) is Leslie Fish's "The Weight." Marvelous. I, too, had been dissatisfied with the way "The Sixth Year" had concluded, 'though I thought it good at the time. But Leslie did something with her dissatisfaction and it came out beautifully. I didn't want it to end, and then was very much relieved to read that this is part of her "Kirk series." Finally, I sprang to my feet applauding wildly at the note in your editorial that there will be some serious Spock stories in upcoming issues. Yes, I_am one of the millions who feels keenly any slight upon the Vulcan Marvel ... Finally, thank you so very much for all of WS. It's very impressive and deliciously frequent. [24]
Actually, "The Weight" was an excellent story--and I look forward to more in the series, if series it be. Fish has done a remarkably good job on characterization, which, tho' it off- times fringes on the incredible, yet never is unbelievable, if ya catch my meaning, if you get my drift. The italics and caps might have been a bit overused, for it is a sneaky and barely legitimate way to get plot points in. It worked, but I wish she could have found a way around all that logging and Kirk-soliloquizing. Fish's own drawings were more suited to the piece... [25]
The Weight: very interesting speculation. Kirk comes off in character most of the time, though I don't think he would go to pieces that much. Either more or less, but not that much. Jenneth should have been prettier in the picture. [26]
The Weight by Leslie Fish is the major feature of this issue. It concerns a mission the Enterprise has had in the past. Somehow, something goes wrong, the past is changed and the ship is left without enough power to return to the present. Kirk is left alone on his ship and after 3 1/2 months, he's ready to go off the deep end from simple isolation. Then he finds evidence of the last vestiges of technology on the planet and helps them in their fight against the barbarism that is now rampant over the planet because of the mistake the Big E has made in the time line. Leslie hasn't mastered the technique of playing temporal parcheesi. There are a few inconsistencies. One major fault is that her own characters far outweigh Kirk. This isn't a Star Trek story, but a temporal science fiction story thinly disguised to fit into a Trekzine. The Kirk she shows is plausible but Leslie hasn't taken the time to develop the situations or character so that he is believable. It ends with a good twist but the weaknesses and construction of the story keep it from becoming a truly great pice of fanfic. [27]

1977

... "The Weight" does get better and better. This story is one of the two or three best treatments of Kirk I've ever seen, and the best Trek novel of any kind to date. Leslie handles her characters, her symbols and the English language with rare skill and understanding. Her Kirk — brave, proud, flawed and contradictory —is a wholly believable human being. The same is true of Jenneth Roantree and Quannechota Two-Feathers, who are possibly Trekfic's strongest female characters—strong in their own right ... [28]
And then there is "The Weight," which seems to get better with every installment ... In the Sun-Hero ceremony in particular there were mythological elements from all over the world, yet they have been combined to make a consistent, unified ritual. And it is very powerfully written, too; up until the end of the scene I really believed that Kirk was going to be a living sacrifice, a literal Year-King. So did he, apparently. And I think that Leslie has hit upon an excellent symbol for the Kirk she is portraying, in two ways. One, his belief in his impending death satisfied his rather Puritanical need to be punished for what he considers his misdeeds, thus returning his universe to its proper form. And second, the death/rebirth symbology is very powerful in itself and if Kirk really felt himself a part of the ritual, and obviously he did, then it could be a personal symbol for him, and allow him a rebirth purged from the I guilt he still felt, and the feelings of in adequacy. As Year-King, he becomes symbolically a new person, and a symbol of new life and prosperity for the culture, and perhaps literally a new person as well. In fact, he is a stronger character in this section, once the attempt at suicide is past (and I'm not sure that would be characteristic of Kirk even in despair; he's a fighter. Allowing himself to be killed as part of a ritual is something else, especially as it's being done by outside agents)... [29]
["The Weight"] is becoming too long and heavy, and taking up too much creative space! [30]
"The Weight" continues marvelous. How come you surround it with such twitty accompaniment? Po' Block. She's the only one who can handle it. [31]
My major love is "The Weight." Not only is this the best Kirk story I've ever read (what ALTERNATE UNIVERSE 4 could have been), but it's an excellent science fiction story of an alien society/ universe. So many ST stories concentrate on the psychological interactions between the main characters that very few create a new society in depth. The story benefits greatly from the author's obviously well-thought out and researched ideas on the structure of anarchistic society (as evinced by the articles in WS 23 — more, please!), and the Sun Hero sequence had me crawling through not only Graves' White Goddess, but also Eraser's Golden Bough and Campbell's The Mask of God and The Hero With A Thousand Faces. Such scholarship can only improve a story. I could go on and on, but don't want to bore you. Let me simply say that until "The Weight" I thought there were two kinds of good ST stories — the ones I nodded at complacently saying "yes, that's the way it would be" and the ones I tore my hair out disagreeing with (like "The Logical Conclusion" or "The Mirage" — something like NTM would be in the first category). Now I have a third category — stories that get me deep in the gut because they're so right, with a depth of insight I can appreciate even if I can't create it myself. Kenneth and Quanna are marvelous female characters and the Kirk/Jenneth/Quanna relationship is a psychological masterpiece. you know, it's such a powerful story I could read any of the installers all at once, but had to pick at them slowly, reading a passage here and there for a few days, before I could absorb the whole thing. In brief, a masterpiece. [32]
Of all the Rational Anarchists to come down the pike in the past decade, none could be a finer successor (predecessor?) to Bernardo de la Paz than Leslie Fish. "The Weight" is the epic it is because Fish not only writes about real people, but real ideas, knowing the limits of a philosophy, but making it work, and showing it working over a wide (1 million miles!) range of humanity. "On Anarchists" is the sort of thing that would be deadly at twenty paces in any other hands: an explanation of "why I wrote what I wrote." But again, the real ideas bring it off. It also helps that Fish is a fantastic writer. [33]
Leslie Fish has a two-page section about her anarchist society in The Weight, and the background of the story. For followers of the story, this is an enjoyable and entertaining insight into the framework upon which the story was laid. [34]
The plot gets thicker and thicker. Here I thought Kirk was developing into an anarchist; now, suddenly, he wants to turn Quanna into a monogamist? I really wonder if she'll adapt — or if she'll get the chance to adapt? I don't need a choked ritual fire to predict disaster for a wife of Kirk's. The interplay of Federation-Anarchist ideas among the other crewmembers is intriguing, too. Especially the disturbing premise Scott raised at the end: that Spock appears to be irreplaceable ...[35]
I was a bit disappointed in Part III, Section One of "The Weight," and have succeeded in figuring out why. The Kirk/Quanna marriage occurs a little too easily, too smoothly — the reasons Kirk wants the marriage are clear and well done, but the Anarchists' (Jen, Quanna and Sparks) motives are complete unknowns. I was origin ally thrilled with the idea of the triple marriage of Jenneth, Quanna and Sparks, foreseeing a whole new set of possible twists in our old friend the Kirk/Spock relationship. So far we've had a lot of Jenneth/Quanna and Kirk/Quanna, moderate Jenneth/Sparks, minuscule Kirk/Sparks (look, if Sparks loves Jen enough to marry her, he's got to feel something for Jim), but no Sparks/Quanna visible yet. I really felt the need of a scene in which Jen, Quanna and Sparks discuss the possibilities of the marriage. Do you realize that at the end I wasn't even sure whether or not Quanna divorced Jen and Sparks, before marrying Jim?! On the other hand, the scene on the bridge when the space amoeba is encountered, with Kirk and the Anarchists functioning so smoothly together, command bouncing back and forth while DeSalle twiddles his thumbs, and the later scenes with DeSalle admitting to his "subversive" thoughts and Kirk's handling of that are superb! Although it did occur to me that part of the reason that Kirk would have sent DeSalle to Sickbay eight months ago but did not do so now, might simply be that eight months ago McCoy would have been there while at this moment M'Benga would have been handling DeSalle's problem and subconsciously at least Kirk certainly doesn't trust him the way he would trust Bones. But the scene is an 'excellent illustration of certain basic attitude changes in Kirk (hell, the whole series is an excellent illustration of such changes!). Part III promises to be very interesting — I can't wait to see the Kirk/Scott interview coming up, and in general I can't wait to see the further exploration of Scotty's current dilemma, not to mention Jean's forked tongue ...[36]
"The Weight, 3:1" is as fantastic as usual (Background music; Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah). Having previously enthused over punch lines, sociology and characterization, I would now like to say a few words about titles and plot development, not necessarily in that order. First, of all the serialized stories I have ever read, this one is most superbly adapted to that mode of publication — people who are waiting until the whole thing is published to read it are really missing something (shift to Beethoven's 9th). This may have escaped the notice of some people, but problems in the real world take longer to deal with than the hour of a TV show or the evening it takes to read a novel, and dealing with them is not a smooth process; especially in the case of deteriorating systems. [personal information snipped] The serial publication of "The Weight" adds to the suspense and tension and realism of what is already a very suspenseful and tense and realistic story — and there are very few stories written in any genre, pro or otherwise, which sustain a deteriorating situation well enough to tolerate serialization much less be embellished by it in this way. On the choice of titles: as one who finds it easier to write a 30 page story or invent a whole planet complete with astrophysical data, languages, religions, cultures and ecosystems than to come up with a decent title for a story once writ ten, I am awed by the apt and imaginative titles (or subtitles, rather) applied to the various sections of Leslie Fish's magnum opus. "Tiptoe Through The Tulips; They Might Take A Hunk Out Of Your Leg" is as arresting as "I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream." Eondhidsedho! How I envy that woman's ability as a writer. I'm really looking forward to the next installment of "The Weight" ... [37]
... "The Weight" continues to be excellent reading and one of the best ST series. I've seen. It does raise some questions, though. For one, why haven't the Anarchists figured out, from their study of the computer tapes on the Enterprise, that the universe Kirk is from has governments, and military organizations? It's all there in the ship's library computer, and they have been studying it ever since they boarded. Leslie never really does explain that. The story also raises some interesting ethical questions. The Enterprise crew is guilty of a gross deception by not warning the Anarchists just what kind of a universe they are taking them to, of course. They obviously recognize this, and it does bother them, as shown by the conversation between Uhura and Chapel concerning Roantree. But what about the ethics of the whole project? They are all assuming they have the right to go back to the Guardian and change history again, even though if they are successful it will mean the end of the universe they now have, and in effect, the death of everyone in it. I can see the Enterprise crew's desire to get back to their own time, but if I were one of the Anarchists, I would have grave misgivings. How will it profit them to arrive in Kirk's uni verse? Even if they can find counterparts to the people they left behind, the counterparts won't be the same, and won't accept them. I think I'd rather have the world I know, with all its faults, than take a chance on a radically different one. And that's certainly a choice I have no right to make for someone else. Another mystery to me in this series is, why are 100 crewmen of the Enterprise so intimidated by 42 anarchists? They act like the odds were the other way around. Somehow, it just doesn't ring true. While I'm not anxious to see the end of this epic, since I'm enjoying it very much, I do hope that it will have an end in the foreseeable future. I can think of at least two other continued series in STrek lit that just abruptly ceased, without ever finishing: Kraith, of course, and Federation and Empire, from the old BABEL 'zine. Then, there are a few others going at the moment which may or may not get neatly wound up. But of the current ones. The Weight and Jean Lorrah's Epilogue are the only ones I really care about finishing. Also Alternate Universe 4, if the authors happen to write another volume. That's one of the perils of 'zine reading — you never can be sure if there is even going to be a conclusion to these major epics.[38]
... I'm hooked on "The Weight." Les lie Fish's story has got to be the "Dune" of Treklit ... A brief sampling of things I like in "The Weight": 1. Putting Capt. Macho through childbirth and the death of those children, 2. Forcing Kirk to experience sexual intercourse from the female view point and hinting strongly that male jealousy of female sexual capacity is the nitty-gritty reason behind the institution of marriage, 3. Forcing us to look upon Starfleet as something more than a shining example of goodwill. Also, I've always suspected that Sulu was the man in UhuraUhura's]] life, not Kirk. Remember the look he gives her when she takes over navigation in "Balance Of Terror", and all that sexy stuff on the bridge in "Mirror, Mirror"? If they can do it in one universe, why not another?

[snipped]

Do you think Leslie can keep her story going long enough to get Kirk through menopause, too? [39]
Reading this issue's episode of "The Weight" brought to my mind how quickly ST fans, and writers, adopt conventions (no pun intended). Kirk's feelings about himself in regard to the Janice Lester incident. as postulated by Leslie Fish tally completely with those in Faddis' "A Lesson In Perspective" in v 20. Can't you see it now? Soon there will be those among us willing to swear that it was Kirk's conversation with Janice in Sickbay after the mind-exchange was broken that led to many of our Captain's past and future "flip-outs". We can add that to all the Kraithian elements so much a part of fan writing, and the recurrent, emphasis that McCoy's unhappy marriage was due to his neglect. All of which brings me to something I've wanted to complain about — another, much less enjoyable kind of repetition. That is, the apparent increase in material being repeated in several 'zines. ... I have a comment to make on the D&R series which drew such flack this issue ... I agree ... that both Kirk and Spock are ruthlessly and brutally massacred in the series. In fact, I read it with mounting rage and frustration. But I continue to read it, and in fact, have ordered the collection (That sort of reprinting I approve of.). There is something there that compels me to continue — it is rather like The Arabian Nights, with Scheherazade weaving tale after tale, always stopping before she is quite finished, keeping the reader needing that next episode — hoping maybe this time the web will be untangled. That is good writing, I think. Leslie Fish has to be the master of that sort of witchcraft, however. "The Weight" continues to build, and I, for one, am slowly going insane waiting for its resolvement. But oh, the delicious agony. If I were handing out awards, I would give this series first place for great Trek fiction ... [40]
'The Weight, part III' by Leslie Fish is continued in this issue in a cautious upswing of mood. Leslie partially retrieved the 'Feds are idiots, anarchists are perfect' impression she left in the last part. Unfortunately, the placing of her last illo gave away her punch-line. This zine comes out so damned often (that was a loving curse, Lori) that it is very expensive to keep your subscription up to, but WS is one of the zines that knits Trekkers together. [41]
What amuses me most about all this worry over Kirk's character in D&R is that none of it surfaces with regard to the poor old half-blind, drippy-haired skinny ex-Captain staggering around coughing his lungs out in "The Weight." He is also female-dominated, people. It is to Fish's great credit as a believable writer, of course, reflecting her careful build-up of his paralyzing guilt and lonely near-madness that preceded his present state, that apparently permits this unquestioning acceptance of events and behavior that customarily stir anarchy in our own hearts ...
"The Weight" -- This heavy piece should better be retitled: "The Wait," 'cause that's what you do... wait for the next installment. The continuing saga of a bedraggled James T. Kirk and his counterpart in an alternate universe who just happens to be female. Leslie seems to be loving Kirk to death. So far, he has lost one eye, has a badly scarred face and a bad case of the "Wheezes" which sounds very much like TB. In this installment, we meet Sarek and learn a little about the Vulcans of this universe and the Big E reaches the time planet which seems to be their goal. [42]
"The Weight" — my main complaint is that Anarchism doesn't work unless everybody is crazy the same way together; one derf, one oddball, one clod who doesn't have the sensitivity to think your way and the whole system falls apart. In their own way the Anarchists are just as ruthlessly totalitarian as any other single- minded group. For all their so-called freedom, it is their way or none. The only reason the Enterprise crew go along with them is to get back into their own time-line. Frankly, I think the crew is being pretty forbearing with these types, and while their self-discipline works only as long as they can argue every point around, there will eventually come a day when someone has to give an order, and everyone has to obey it immediately, no matter what their personal feelings are. Authoritarian? You bet your bippy, luv, but when the Romulans attack you don't argue, you obey orders! The other thing that bugs me about "The Weight", much as I admire it, is the tacit assumption that ALL power is evil and ALL power corrupts . . .[43]
... I am not, appearances to the contrary, a fanatic-McCoy-freak — in fact it is my interest/fanaticism for the character of Kirk in fanfic which led me to this side query. Specifically, where is McCoy in such Treklit epics as "The Weight", for example? I don't mean where physically. I know what happened in the Big E's timeline and in the Anarchists'. Leslie mentions barely a paragraph of narration in which one McCoy dies and the other remains "an old country doctor". The whole of Kirk's mourning, his loneliness and his searching is then delegated to Spock, without, it seems, another thought for Bones. I hope no one, including Leslie, mistakes my intent. I am questioning, not criticizing. I think "The Weight" is one of the most articulate, most sensitive and intelligent stories I have read in and out of sf/ST lit. My question is only on the near-absence of one of the central characters of ST — if McCoy is what he has been called — Kirk's closest confidant, his human-conscience, his most reliable, non-competitive friend, why doesn't the Kirk in "The Weight" even mention McCoy to the Anarchists? He lovingly describes Spock ... why not Bones? [44]
One thing I've wondered about "The Weight" (aside from how did Kirk right off know it was Sarek rather than the Romulan Commander from "Balance of Terror"?) ... how come when people get shredded in fanzine stories nobody ever thinks to dump them on Omicron Ceti what ever and let the spores regenerate them? (One thing the on air ST did not lack was the deus ex machina and the easy out ... ) If it can grow back appendixes that have been surgically removed, it should be able to handle a measly eye ... and scarring due to a miscarriage also. [45]
I love it. Now there's a juicy example of cultural clashes, ethical dilemmas and real ideas to get one's mental teeth into. The only point I find a bit hard to accept is the magnitude of the difficulty Kirk & Co. have with the Anarchists' customs. For a group that's been exposed to as many alien cultures as they have they seem to be overreacting quite a bit to a culture which isn't even new to them, but comparable to others in Terran history. I also find it a little hard to believe that there are no anarchist societies in the whole damn galaxy. "It's a big galaxy." Plenty of planets have been encountered by the Enterprise crew which aren't under Federation, Klingon or Romulan control. The point that Starfleet has all the goodies, technologically speaking, is well taken, however.

I am really looking forward to the culmination of this saga (although I hate to see it end) because of the potential effect of the Anarchists' ideas on the Enterprise crew and the Federation itself. I am one of those who has always had mixed feelings about Starfleet because of its military aspects, and the conversation between Uhura and Christine has made me mighty curious about how this is going to turn out.

And gloriosky [46], how marvelous it is to encounter such strong and well developed female characters (male ones too, for that matter). Devoted fan that I am, I still find much to cringe at every time I see those dear old reruns. I don't know how many professional women who act like such twerps in 1977 and I expect things to have improved a whole lot by the time of STAR TREK. That's one of the things I like most about fanfic — the way most fan writers have quietly gone about creating positive, competent female characters and further developing those given to us. I doubt it's coincidence that most of the writers are women, but it's a trend I'm pleased to see.

Despite the minor quibbles mentioned above, I think "The Weight" is one of the best examples of ST fiction I've yet seen it really does deal with those things I don't find as often as I'd like: cultural conflict both social and political ethical dilemmas, etc. [47]

1978

Leslie's story is highly detailed and often emotionally crushing. She makes these new characters move and breathe and live in a way which many professional writers simply cannot. Her portrayal of Kirk is both characteristically correct and stylistically beautiful. In THE WEIGHT we come to know other characters which soon become as important as Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest of the crew. Though we are introduced to many characters in several fan fiction serials, Leslie's portrayal of Jenneth Roantree, Quannechota , Sparks and the rest of the Anarchists is far superior to anything I have yet to encounter.... For any newcomer to fan fiction, THE WEIGHT is re-commended reading, as it is not only an action/adventure story, but it also has all the elements of a psychological thriller not to mention being probably the best character study of Kirk ever to be done. Though I am not personally a Kirk fan, I have thoroughly enjoyed every last word of THE WEIGHT, and am anxiously awaiting the remaining installments. Leslie's accompanying artwork is also to be highly complimented on its mood setting qualities as well as fine technique. [48]
The D&R Kirk -- who did sound and act like a pimply school-boy in "Treasure" -- grabs me more than The Weight Kirk. I went into shock when I saw him in drag [49], and only recovered to be confronted by that ghastly Crown-of-Mirrors. And now, it's tuberculosis. Thanks a lot, Leslie Fish! Don't get me wrong: as a story, I think "The Weight" superior to the D&R series, whose cloak-and-dagger style of writing makes for less intense reading. I enjoy both. But I prefer the dejected Kirk of D&R to the mangled Kirk of "The Weight." And if you really want the truth, I prefer the Alternative Universe 4 Kirk to either of those. As I said before, that's a question of personal opinion. I will say that as a straight story, "The Weight" is definitely superior to anything I've read so far in ST fandom. Except maybe Kraith.. My other problem -- and the first is gagging from time to time at Kirk's and/or Jenneth's appearance -- is that I haven't read Part I, or II and can't tell who is who, or whatever. I'm abjectly grateful to have been told, at least, that Kirk is Jenneth and Ann Bailey is Scotty's sister. Do you have a list somewhere, or is one supposed to be looking right and left for doubles and relatives? [50]
Something about "The Weight" this time disturbed me ... I've been following it like a maniac all these months, and the whole time it seems to have been building up to the climax of reaching the Guardian and going back to change time ... So, they finally did it. Just like that, and I realize that the story's nowhere near over, even. So here I am left hanging for yet another issue. I guess the only thing I can attribute it to is Leslie's" writing skill, the fact that I get so worked up over the thing ... But I was REALLY psyched up for a definitive climax this time! Anyone who values his mental health should steer clear of "The Weight" — it can turn even normal, well-adjusted folks into absolute neurotics.[51]
I just hope I live to see the end of "The Weight". That's not a shot -- the longer it takes, the more it builds. And the better it becomes. I'd really rather have it serialized, because as [E M G] pointed out in WS 25, "The Weight" definitely does actually benefit from serialization, and those who read it all at once will miss something — and I for one don't want to miss that kind of suspense. After all, half the fun of the series' long run is that it can be savored, not just scanned ... ... Something that bugs me about "The Weight" is the way the terms "time-line" and "universe" are used interchangeably. I should assume, I guess, that the universe that resulted from Pennington's gift is physically the same universe as Kirk's home universe, except that events are altered. OK — suppose it isn't? What if the Guardian is actually a portal to alternate universes in a physical sense as well as a temporal one? (What I mean by this is that, for example, assuming the "Mirror, Mirror" universe was the result of a definite turning point in history having gone the "wrong" way: The American Revolution(s) being suppressed, Germany winning one of the World Wars, Russia winning the Cold War, anything — and that had caused the Mirror universe to evolve as it did — if you could use the Guardian to alter time in just the right way so as to bring about the Mirror universe, and did, you actually wouldn't be "recreating" the Mirror universe in your home time-line, you would be transporting yourself into the Mirror universe, while your home time line has not been obliterated, is in fact whole, sound, and intact, except that you aren't there any more to see it!). So what does this have to do with any thing? Well, imagine this scenario: while still in "The Weight" universe. Kirk, Anarchists, and whoever else is coming down to the Guardian and go back to Chicago and successfully stop Pennington. The Guardian, in the act of returning them to the resulting 23rd century, re turns them (along with, hopefully, Spock and McCoy) to Kirk's home time-line — that is, the Federation universe as it stood while Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the landing party (during "The Sixth Year") were investigating Chicago (from the viewpoint of those aboard the E) but with out the effects of Pennington's gift. (Federation is one universe. Anarchy another.) What happens, from Kirk's point-of-view, is that they have returned to his home time-line, the Federation. They beam up to an Enterprise with her full crew of 400+, none of whom are aware of what Pennington did, the resulting time line, worldwide anarchy, and Roms on the rampage. As far as Kirk knows, all of that has been non-made. And he does retain his memories. But ... [52]
This installment of "The Weight" was a definite improvement, though that was a very sneaky teaser as the story's ending. Sets us up for the next scene very nicely. Spock did raise an interesting point about Kirk's action in warning his younger self setting up a time paradox. Made me wonder. There is a theory that alternate or parallel universes are connected in some way. That events that happen in one have an effect or will be duplicated in the other, depending on the potential the event has for affecting drastic changes in the time-line. In all these universes one central one would be the starting point or matrix of the others, thus having the greatest potential for change. Since the Guardian of Forever is capable of almost anything dealing with time and universes, is it possible that in stead of sending Kirk back in time to change the events back to normal in his own timeline, it sent him back to the matrix universe to prevent it from happening in that one and thus creating the pattern that affected the other universe time-lines, including Kirk's?[53]
I read "The Weight" segment from WS 29/30 and then was inspired to re-read the whole thing (including "The Sixth Year"). I'm assuming (hoping?) that that was not the end of the saga — because there are too many loose strings all over ... to wit: 1) the domed city of Chicago is still out there — that's where it all started. Who sent the mysterious message, and why? 2) Problems with the "original" (the ones who were swiped with Chicago) Spock and McCoy — they couldn't have just disappeared like that — they, should have been "buffered" by "sub-space" ("The Sixth Year"). Conservation of (Temporal) Reality screwed up? Where are they? Corollary — there should be three McCoys running around loose out there — the "original", the "innocent" (beamed back to Enterprise after Kirk one-eye changed time-lines), and the old country doctor on Anarchist earth. And, two Spocks. Quanna is the "3rd" "Spock". This I suspected for a long while (evidently, Uhura did, too), and she is a Grayson (Quanna Marie Grayson Two-Feathers). 3) What happens to the Enterprise personnel who didn't go through the Guardian? 4) Where did Kirk one-eye (really much more sympathetic than the original) go? (I would like to think that somehow he was taken to the Dome-ship where Chicago is, and originated the message which started it all — and so bring about his own existence ... I adore circular stories.) [54]
"The Weight" finally made some sense to me. I missed most of the be ginning and didn't know about parallel universes, etc. I especially enjoyed it because the setting is my own Chicago. By the way, future shock strikes again, because the library no longer contains books. They've all been moved to a new library and the old building has been restored as a "cultural center". So there wouldn't have been any books for the Anarchists to steal (if that's the right word). Or maybe in their universe, or the ST universe (oh, heck, you know what I mean) there are still books in that beautiful old building.[55]
When is "The Weight" going to end? Its magnificence, combined with the suspense, is driving me slowly nuts.[56]
The highlight of WS 29/30 was "The Weight". Leslie did her usual fine job with this chapter until she reached what should have been the climactic scene. Then things started falling apart fast. OK, I can accept the sick,, dying Kirk having a very negative viewpoint on his old self, and the derogatory way he sees himself. What I can't buy is Kirk's making a mistake on that phaser, and killing Sparks accidentally. Nor can I buy his hysterics and his general teen-age behavior when confronted by his one-eyed self. That just does not ring true at all with aired Trek. OK, for some reason Leslie needs to get rid of one of her characters. But she also needs a plausible way to do this, not by having another character behaving in a totally uncharacteristic manner. After all, this is not the first time Kirk has seen one of his people killed while on a landing mission. It is the first recorded time he hasn't been able to set his phaser correctly, though! Uh-uh. This does not work at all, and in fact, sets the unreal tone of the whole following scene. Belief was forfeited just to provide a hook for a tantrum by old one-eye.

Take a close look at that scene. First we've got Kirk killing a man he only meant to stun. Then we've got him going into some sort of trance, crouching and muttering to himself instead of swinging into some sort of action. Now this man is action-oriented, whether it's the right action or not. It isn't like him to sit and mutter ... he'd save that for when the emergency is past. Then he could mutter to his heart's content!

Next, old one-eye, who's barely able to totter about with the help of two able-bodied people at his side, is lunging, dashing, and ramming his fist into the other Captain ... who is in excellent health, by the way ... and the Captain is knocked down by the force of that mighty blow? Now righteous anger is a powerful force indeed, but this is stretching credibility. Still, I might have bought it, except that the Captain looks up at this emaciated form towering over him and ... flinches? Doesn't try to get up?

This is too far out of character, and the whole scene gets lost as I argue ferociously with the author! Whatever his faults. Kirk is a stubborn, arrogant, self-confident commander. Not a hysterical teenager faced by an angry father.

The scene could have been so much more powerful if Leslie had just left the original Kirk with half of the strength she's given Jenneth!

Leslie goes on to redeem the chapter, however, with that powerful final scene after the departure of the Enterprise crew. And that last section could not be bettered! [57]
The story's still good, the writing excellent. But ... what was so wrong with the original Kirk, that Leslie Fish had to take him apart, piece by piece? (Literally, limb by limb.) It seems to me that she turned him inside out simply to make him fit her anarchistic view of society 'as it should be'. Which is a neat idea ... except for the fact that Kirk is not an anarchist. Re member "Way To Eden"? "Whether or not you recognize authority, on this ship, I'm it." Kirk said that. And meant it. In no way could his personality be so altered that he would agree that the an anarchists' way is best. Leslie probably realized this herself, because she proceeded to wear him down and make him more amenable to new ideas, by taking off an eye first, then crippling a leg, poisoning the old lungs, etc. In that state, how can the poor man think clearly? I mean, in his place, I'd think: "Jenneth's all in one piece, so she mus.t be doing something right!" And promptly convert to anarchism.

Another thing. I object to, is Jenneth herself. Do I object! While the idea of alternate time-lines is intriguing, the necessity of the sex-changes themselves aren't clear to me. Why couldn't Kirk i, have been a man in this universe? And — an illo of Quannechota suddenly opened my eyes: Spock in drag. After I'd recovered consciousness, I wept for an hour — Spock also? It seems to me that we (women) are kicking ourselves in the butt, when we have so much trouble producing strong, believable ST females that we resort to appropriating the best male characters. Did the anarchist leader (pardon me, 'braider') have to be Kirk's female alter-ego? (I suddenly have this wild urge to call her Mary Sue Kirk.)

Did her Indian side-kick have to be Spockette? Wouldn't two new females have been much more effective, and much less (stomach) upsetting for the readers? Or was this whole story an elaborate excuse for finally getting Kirk to Spock honestly? I'm getting carried away, be cause this is beginning to read like the ending of a SOAP episode. If Fish was trying to convert Kirk to anarchism, I don't think that it was necessary to involve his 'sister'. I don't mind her (Fish's) trying to convert him — even though I think it's a lost cause: my idea of the logical conclusion to this piece is Kirk 'getting back together' and all those people down on a new planet where they can be as anarchistic as they like ... by themselves. And for getting all about them as fast as possible! His bossiness is an important part of his personality; not one of his nicer traits, I agree, but an important one to a starship captain. Will Leslie Fish tell me how he can deal with a shipful of people used to discipline and "sick authoritarian procedures" if he stays that sweet, lovable, weak-kneed anarchist he's become? "Now listen here, lovers, there's a fire down in Engineering. What are we going to do about it?" I'll admit that it's a crude, simplistic example, but you get the point, don't you?

I like the story. I would've loved it if it hadn't been for Jenneth, Quannechota and sundry Crown-of-Mirrors. I think it's a cop-out to befuddle Kirk that way with family problems and so many injuries. Fish is admitting that he wouldn't have bought any of that anarchistic jazz in his normal state of physical and mental health. (I think I'm starting to sound like Hitler: it's not that I'm against anarchism per se, I'm just against it for Kirk. It's not right for him. I wouldn't mind trying it for myself, although I have my doubts about its working. And I don't think you can have something like the United Federation of Planets with anarchism.) I don't think Fish much likes Kirk, either. She's sort of remodeled him to fit her own patterns. Trouble is, I liked him as he was. So will she please put him back together according to Starfleet's instructions booklet?

On the red-hot subject of homosexuality in ST: I'm not a rabid Anita Bryant supporter. Neither am I a flag-waver for the Gay Liberationists' Movement. I simply accept the fact that there are people who are homosexuals, and there are people who are heterosexuals. Period. But, I do not consider Kirk and Spock to be homosexuals. I draw my own conclusions from the best possible source: aired STAR TREK. Kirk is heterosexual, Spock is the closest thing to a neuter that I can think of. I'm getting a little tired of all those "Kirk lays Spock" essays. I don't go crazy when I find one, but I don't read any by choice. They have to trick me into it. Even though the Kirk/Jenneth/Quanna approach is a new one, it still doesn't grab me. Well, the IDIC principle is valid here too, I suppose.

I very strongly object to ol' one-eye's vicious attack of his ... er ... 'twin' (particularly that bit: "his stupid, fatuous, innocent guts"). A very crude way of showing how frightfully "inept, stupid and bloodthirsty" Kirk "used" to be. Uncalled for, and quite unnecessary. I rest my case. [58]
And, of course, for an example of what I mean by evolution of characters mandated in fiction, and a case of what marvels can come from this, we have a rather Fishy tale. There is a very strong temptation to cry out in the middle of reading the latest chapter, "Spock, you twit. Look at Quanna, and then look in the mirror already. To quote "City", "I am a fool.") Very strong notion he should have reached the truth already. And why isn't Kirk suspecting anything? Why don't the Anarchists meet up with Khan and his batch of Playdoh-boys? How about Mirror "The Weight"? And Juggeth Roundthigh can play a dulcimer and sip dandelion wine during her coffee break in the vast bureaucratic maze in which she works ... Can the Guardian send one over to the Mirror-Universe? Why not?[59]
In this installment, Kirk ties the two alternate timelines together through the Guardian of Forever and brings the anarchists through the corrected timeline. The shock of merging both the alternate universe Kirks into one body is too much for the captain and he retreats into catatonia... One technical quibble: Leslie does not credit many of the lyrics which she quotes in her story, many of which are heavily copyrighted... Although this may be Leslie's decision, omitting the credits is a copyright violation and makes YOU liable, Lori, because you printed it that way... In general, the only thing that is worth your time in the zine is the segment of Fish's story, and handful of decent illos... you don't like The Weight, you might want to wait until the next issue of WS to subscribe...[60]
"The Weight" — well, Sheila and I had been wondering if Quanna was the Spock alternate. [61]
"The Weight": Gahrhk! I knew Leslie Fish wouldn't let Kirk come back to point one. After all, it's hardly worth her while to drag a character through months of misery and actual physical/mental suffering, just to allow him to remain the same person he used to be — a person Fish doesn't happen to like much, incidentally.

Quite a neat trick to have the two time-lines merge through Kirk. A bit hard on Kirk, yes, but after all, what mercy can he expect from Leslie Fish? I suppose I must be thankful that he got his eye back, lot the scars, limp and brain damage. Never mind the tuberculosis and mental strain: it does get them taken care of, finally — and now!

I'm actually going to miss old Crown-of-Mirrors: he reminded me of the theme song from one of the Disney series: "Scarecrow, scarecrow ... "

Physical regeneration notwithstanding, it seems that Kirk is not through suffering yet (another turn of the screw in 38?). At least, I can see that Spock will have some difficulties of his own fairly soon. Already has them, in fact — I'll bet Quannechota could get arrested on Vulcan for what she's done.

Is it gross to point out that underneath all the sociological coating and numerous sub-plots (as in: 'Uhura: power-groupie'), the main 'moral' of this story is a good screw will put all your fears to rest'? (Or most of them, anyway.) As far as I can tell. Fish hasn't made the 'new' Kirk an anarchist after all, which is reasonable as well as clever of her (I can only take so much). I must admit that I got to laugh several times while reading this segment. That's a switch: I usually read "The Weight" in grim, horrified silence.

The 'fight' between the two Kirks was gripping: incredible writing. I was hanging on by my thumbnails ... All right, I give up: I may not agree with all (or most of) Fish's premises and if a ideas, but I sure am addicted to "The Weight". I'm already trying to figure out what happens next. [62]
Maybe it isn't fair for me to comment on "The Weight" since I first read it in 26/27, read 24 and 25 later, and consequently had trouble making sense of the story, but I don't like it. I think Jim Kirk would try to find a way to put time right without bringing 41 people (it might have been 57) into a universe in which there is no place for them. I don't understand how Kirk and Spock can have female analogues with different names, instead of simply never having been born. I don't agree that women's rights would still be an issue 200 years from now. Granted, women were not equal to men in the aired episodes, but that was a reflection of the times and can be ignored by fans writing today. I also don't like the idea that all the more open-minded Terrans are space travelers. We'll need people with vision on Earth, too, and I think they'll be there. Finally, I don't understand why the Guardian is given a personality. It certainly didn't have one in "The City on the Edge of Forever." [63]
Brief comment on the latest installment of "The Weight": it had me enthralled — I could not put it down until I had finished it. The tension building up toward the eventual discovery by the Anarchists that their new universe is not what it is made out to be is getting unbearable. I'm also glad to see Kirk coming up from the depths at long last. [64]
Trek fiction has more possibilities than are currently being realized, since it is concentrating so much on one type of story (the character story); there are still open areas of Trek for fan writers, in which they can create sf stories — "The Weight", for instance, is Trek, but it is also excellent sf, and manages to convey the impression of a world beyond the immediate circle of the characters (in some recent stories, I've noticed, it's hard to tell even that there is an Enterprise beyond the characters of the stories), let alone any wider world. If some Trek writers and fans are shifting their attentions to SW (though I suspect that in most cases, it's just a matter of adding an interest), it may be because there is, at the moment, more possibility for variety in SW than in Trek. [65]
... I found [Warped Space] 37 and 38 to be somewhat disappointing. For one thing, the long-promised conclusion to "The Weight" was in neither. For another, the contents were grade school/Jr. High level, except for perhaps three stories. The feature format seemed to be one of my usual complaints about most fan stories — too short, little plot, almost fragments — postscripts to be tacked on to STAR TREK or STAR WARS episodes. What is there, in most cases, is well-written, but appears underdeveloped or unfinished. "Tega Run" in #38 was one of the better ones. The most adult reading in either issue was "Warped Communications". [66]
"The Weight", or as it should be spelled, "The Wait". I had Quanna pegged by the third installment, by the way — the who's who game is fascinating. As for who GETS who, that's also going to be fun. Can't wait for the end of the blasted thing — do you folks realize that it started in 1976? [67]
I have little to say about Leslie Fish's "The Weight", except that, as she's written it, I think the change in Kirk's character and attitudes are logically presented and fascinating to watch. Everyone's commenting on her changes in Kirk; hasn't anyone else been struck by some of her other marvelously atypical for-Trek-fiction characterizations? Uhura as a slightly calculating and hard, ambitious woman rather than the sweet, warm, gentle lady she's usually taken to be; Christine Chapel as the strong, clever, intuitive, interesting person Uhura's usually written, rather than the simpering weakling usually shown — M'Benga as a good doctor, technically, but an absolute idiot when it comes to doctor-patient communications. And my own favorite reversal, Scotty as a demon-haunted second-rater, who knows his limitations and his failings and is tortured by them. Not particularly pretty, but very human and acceptable as she's written it. What can I say? I love her stuff, I read it in awe, amazement and joy, and I can't wait for more. And I love her illos. I'm a would-be artist with no training and her illos usually cause me to weep with despair over my own, even as they bring joy over their excellence. To have seen an artist grow and improve over several years-worth of WS was great![68]

1979

On to "The Wait, Book 35, Chapter 120, Section 5B, Paragraph 57Z@4 ... " Leslie Fish has told us that "The Weight" is part of a trilogy. I keep getting the strange feeling that, like Kirk with the Anarchists, she is holding something back. Come on now, Leslie, confess: this latest installment really takes us halfway into Volume 2! Or is Volume 2 going to involve those strange species mentioned in "On The Rim"? Kirk's repeated references to the Rim in this installment are highly suspicious ... Aside from that, I loved the sequence of the unarmed ship throwing rocks and such ... it's a pity Federation tractor beams have no tight focus, though. If it has high-powered tractors with fine focus and a fast on-off switch, an "unarmed" merchant ship can take the plates off an enemy as if it was peeling a banana; perhaps that's why the Feds didn't build in the fine tuning, though I am a little confused about why tractors go through shields when nothing else does, especially since deflector shields and tractors ought to be the same sort of thing but with a different focal length and the polarity reversed ... I devoutly hope that some of the tension that's been building up will dissipate a little in the next installment when things start hitting the fan ... all this suspense has got to be bad for the collective blood- pressure of the WS readership. Besides, if all these anarchists are as smart and quick on the uptake as they're cracked up to be, there is no way The Secret is going to last much longer. Even allowing 30 or 40 pages of fireworks when Spock and Quanna find out they're each other and another 10 pages of delay for other people's soliloquies, the cat should be let out of the bag in the next chapter ... I can see it now: "Mother of mares! The bastards have a government!"[69]
Speaking of the devil, we get to "The Weight" (my hat's off to whoever said it should be called "The Wait"). Great, as usual. Star Fleet gets its usual share of lumps (don't any fans like the organization? No, I don't either — they may call it Star Fleet, but it's still the Army). Funny as hell, this time. I'll be sorry to see it end — if it ever does, which I'm beginning to doubt. This installment is one of the best, in my book. Laughing like crazy at the dumb "male" conversation on p. 66 one minute and saying "the lousy pigs" aloud the next, upon discovering what planet the Anarchists were being "given" certainly is good mental gymnastics (I also discovered how strangely the Anarchists grow on you). I used to think of them as "that bunch of weirdos who make Kirk's life a hell on Earth." But I got very angry with Star Fleet about that ship and that planet. So I guess it's official, I like them. They're still very weird, though. Where was I? Ah, yes, back to laughing, with McCoy's "because of the disease". How hokey can you get? McCoy ought to be recycled. One question only — how much longer can the dread secret be kept? I expected it to come out ages ago. ... P.S. to Beverly Clark, who doesn't follow my line of reasoning. Doesn't surprise me, nobody does, not even me. Seriously, what I meant was, Jenneth Roantree and Quannechota are the only truly strong, believable, totally "together" (despite awful living conditions) women I've ever read about in ST fiction. And those two great women happen to be Kirk's and Spock's alter-egos. That's what I think is enough to make you scream. The comment was directed towards Trek fiction, not the characters themselves. Presumably the opinion was badly stated. P.S. to Leslie Fish: what bothered me about your illos? I suppose I am a little (or a lot) "straight", but seeing [File:Warped3435-15.jpg a naked, female Spock standing over Kirk's bed, looking like "it"'s about to whip him with a Christmas tree leftover, is a bit unsettling (WS 35/36, p. 87)]. I have nothing against the art, per se. It's original and quite good. It's the subject matter that leaves me numb. Now that I reflect on it, it's actually quite funny — you say you can't quite grasp what I find "wrong" about pp. 105 and 109 in WS 29/30: I can tell you; it's not the art, or the inking, it's Kirk himself, lying on the ground in a drugged stupor, his Crown-of-Mirrors on, with his grinning "sister" looking on, a pipe of God-knows-what between her teeth (p. 105) and Kirk standing like a scarecrow over the downed figure of his twin, who somehow looks positively vicious, like a corrupt officer, the kind that sells military secrets to the enemy in order to be able to furnish an opulent nouveau riche palace. You see — mea culpa — I am so used to thinking of Kirk as "an officer and a gentleman, sir". My mistake; he isn't even one. We all know he'd do just about anything to get out of a tight spot ... [70]
I actually force-read quite a bit of "The Weight" this time around. I still come up with the same opinion. I admire the skillful and monumental plot development. The bold art style is well-constructed even if Quanna looks more like Spock than Spock does and neither one of 'em looks quite right. The Spock on p. 57 is the best so far. And I still can't believe a fussy, jealous, intolerant Spock — the Vulcan who put up with everyone from Eden-seeking rebels to the Horta; the Vulcan who showed little possessiveness toward Kirk when faced with such threats as Edith Keeler, Rayna, and others. I will admit to being intrigued as to the resolution of the whole mess. May be BSG could pick up Jenneth & Co. on its way through. She and Starbuck deserve each other ... [71]
Egad. When is Spock going to catch on to Quanna's identity? That illo on p. 45 — whew, if looks could kill! This is our Mr. Spock? Brrr — wouldn't want to meet him in a dark corridor. But Kirk — he has grown into such a different, but better person; questioning Star Fleet's "ethics", dying inside each time he has to twist the truth for the Anarchists. I'm learning to admire him all over again. I also like the characterization of Chris Chapel — she's a real person at last; no longer a lovesick simpering stereotype ... I hope she is half that well-portrayed in the movie — that much would be a vast improvement. [72]
I really don't have anything to add to the discussions on "The Weight". I enjoy Leslie's work mostly because she can make me interested in a situation despite my usual lack of interest in Kirk-in-throes stories competency and imagination are virtues in my book, and Leslie has 'em.[73]
I was going to say that it's kinda nice not to see any more of "The Weight" in the zine. but Paula just informed me that it's going to be back in the next issue. *sigh* It was a pleasant respite. (Not that I don't like Leslie's writing, you pro-Fish-ers; she writes extremely well. It's the subject, matter I disagree with. Or perhaps it disagrees with me. Like this cocoa. Po, what's in this cocoa?) [74]
"The Weight" makes me uncomfortable, exhilarated, depressed, angry (sometimes all at once) but that's because there's real meat to it. The same's true of Kraith, despite its very real faults — it dealt with some really substantive issues. Aside from such juicy topics as sexism/bureaucratic stupidity/excessive militarism/Terran domination/ad infinitum in the Federation, here's that whole exceedingly juicy can of worms, the Prime Directive. [75]
Pardon the pun, but the heaviest story in years is "The Weight". I could go on for hours about it, but I'm running out of paper. The characters are superb; Jenneth is marvelous, so completely and undeniably competent. When she walked in on Spock (it was supposed to be the other way around, but our cool Vulcan was the edgy one) clad only in a towel, the tension could've been cut with a knife. The Enterprise crew is showing sides of them selves that they didn't realize they had. Kirk as an ex-juvenile delinquent? Why not? He has plenty of disrespect for convention even now. Christine talking with McCoy is the high point in my book. Majel B. would approve. The artwork is superb and matches the serious tone. The illo on p. 57 comparing the Jim/Jenneth pair and the Spock/Quannechota pair is the best so far. I'm eagerly awaiting the finish, and yet it's going to be frightening. Congratulations, Leslie, and may your end match the beginning. [76]
As far as Leslie Fish is concerned, I think "The Weight" is the best I've ever seen in ST fiction (except for a few episodes, which are not really comparable). I'll like it even better when I have it all in one piece.... Leslie is a brilliant writer. I happen to love her existential gestures toward political looniness (I've been extremely active in politics for 16 years). She almost tells it like it is -- I mean the sheer madness of organization politics. She's tough; so is the world. [77]
And of course, there's chapter four part 4 of 'The Weight,' in which Spock discovers something the reader has known since August 1977. There are some nice scenes in this section, notably Uhura's talk with Roantree; next issue is supposed to finish off the series, whereupon the whole series will be reprinted in its entirety in a separate volume. Something to look forward to. [78]
I thoroughly enjoyed issue #41 except for the continuing story of "The Weight". I've read other installments and I find the whole story uncomfortable and awkward. Maybe I'm not political enough to enjoy Roantree and company. [79]
It's now more of an infliction than an installment, but I dutifully read it out of curiosity, respect for Leslie's story-telling abilities (verging on long-windedness, when she gets into the sociology or feminism rut), and sheer disbelief as to how anyone could warp Spock's character to any greater extent (even if it is "Warped Space"). It may be a milestone (millstone?) in TREK fanlit, but I for one will be glad when "The Weight" finishes its lengthy run. [80]
===1980===
Concerning "The Weight": clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap pause clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap yay clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap encore encore clap ... [81]
*sigh* I hate to sound like a sour grape, but I personally feel the conclusion of "The Weight" was rather weak. Somehow the tension ceased to hold and it came off seemingly rushed. Granted the earlier installments are a hard act to follow, but I found myself really disappointed in the way the conclusion was handled. It was the logical conclusion and one the story should have come to to remain true to the characters. Don't ask me what exactly is wrong — I can't tell you. It just "feels" wrong. I suppose lack of solid "evidence" to back up my claim invalidates the statements. And no, I couldn't do better myself. The artwork was some of Leslie's best so far as the series goes and the one scene of Jenneth's hair being shorn will remain a personal favorite for a long time to come. [82]
Honestly, I am very relieved to see an end to "Dead Weight". The story was fine and the characters good, but all in all, it was terribly ponderous. You needed a mental plow to get past some of the passages. Much as I like Leslie Fish (contrary to what Roberta believes), I feel her best work is in music, and should stay there. I vote "no" on part 2 of "The Weight".... Strangely enough, I'm not a fan of Dirty Nellie. She annoys me, being non-institutional in nature, and I rather like institutions. Maybe that's why I hate "The Weight".... Now that "The Weight" is through, maybe we'll see some new stuff for a while. [83]
Oddly enough, the last segment of "The Weight" is the first one I've read -- and I didn't feel like I'd walked in in the middle of a conversation. The only previous explanation I'd had was that Jenneth was in some way an alternate-Kirk, and the piece did not ramble as I had been warned it might. Leslie's illos are all her own, in an unmistakable style that some folks don't like, but that I find darkly appropriate for the subject matter. I will probably wind up getting a copy of "The Weight, Collected" — and my friends will be surprised, because I have screamed for the last ten months that "I don't read TREK!" The social ethics involved spoke very loudly to a Survivor of the Campus Sixties, and I think I'll probably run home tonight and read the rest of what I've got of the story. [84]
"The Weight", finally over?!? I must admit to being shocked by the ending. How ironic! I thought the Anarchists were realists, judging from the past 3 installments. But their ideas about treatment of people who make errors really take the cake! I sincerely hope the Anarchist has a good grip on his or her own self-worth, otherwise the blow will really be crushing if he or she makes a minor error and loses his or her position as a result. Wonder how many people have been displaced in such a way? Evidently they don't believe in second chances! How realistic is it to expect a leader to never lead them wrong? Are the Anarchists so sure that Jenneth would have persisted in her errors if she had stayed at her post?

I also wonder what will happen when they come across a pro-Federation person who isn't a total idiot like Komack, or the weak squeamish ones the orienting Science Team appeared to be. I'm also surprised — well, I will be — if Komack accepts the cock-and-bull tale Mendez fed him. If I were a cautious Admiral, I'd try to run a careful check on the Federation people who had interactions with the Anarchists. People like Kirk, Scott and Chapel may prove to be the real insurrectionists.

It's been quite a series. My vote is in favor of the serial approach for the next parts of the trilogy. I also hope it includes a glimpse at what happens with the roving Anarchists — especially Quanna. Can &he really be totally indifferent to the fact that her lover Jenneth is in exile? On other interesting detail I noticed: Jenneth (on p. 52) condemned Kirk and Federation of living by the lie that "might is right". Yet in the crucial voting scene, (p. 58) Bailey did not alter her decision from death to exile until after Quanna had posted herself beside Jenneth while brandishing a throwing knife. The threat was clear, and Quanna voiced no arguments or appeal to common sense, just a silent threat of force. [85]
I've been waiting for what seems like a year to read the conclusion of "The Weight". Hah! If that was a conclusion, I'm bright blue! All Leslie did in that installment was let the Anarchists know just how the deck was stacked. The real fun is just ready to start now! For one thing, when Jenneth wakes up, she's going to have trouble deciding who she wants to kill first, Jim or Spock! Seems to me, Jim would be just a little peeved with Star Fleet Command, too. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to learn he plans to make life as unpleasant as possible for them. (Like maybe ramming his twin down their collective throats as a starship captain, possibly?) I'd love to see him try it, providing, of course, he can get Jenneth to cooperate. She's likely to be a bit peeved with him! I'd also love to see a scene where Spock tries to explain Jenneth to Sarek! Come to think of it, I'd rather like to see a scene between Sarek and Jenneth! If Jim has any sense, he'll do his damnedest to keep those two as far apart as possible! If he can't manage that, he'd do well to find himself a bomb-shelter! For some reason, I suspect Sarek and Jenneth would suffer a severe personality clash! I most definitely hope to print further sections of "The Weight" in WS. Not only have I become rather attached to it, but it's nice to find something you know you will enjoy for certain! This doesn't necessarily mean I believe the characterizations in "The Weight" any more than I believe them in KRAITH, but like KRAITH, I find the story so well-written that I go along with it. Frankly, I don't see Spock quite as nervy as Leslie portrays him, but I do enjoy her devious mind!

I find that I can enjoy a wide variety of STAR TREK universes without necessarily going along with any one of them completely. This is one reason I've enjoyed even the K/S stuff I've read, even though part of me simply refuses to see that pair in such a context. I've noticed the controversy on your letter pages and I'm afraid I don't really understand what the fuss is all about. If the material offends people, why do they read it? It's like television — if you don't like it, turn it off! I don't believe it, but some writers (Leslie Fish, Gerry Downes, and Susan James in particular) write what can only be called love stories. I think it is this element in their tales that I find so enjoyable.

I must confess, on occasion I would like to see" a story written by one of these writers which pairs Kirk or Spock up with women who could be considered a true match for them. I admit to a slight curiosity concerning their ability to write as enthralling a tale as the ones they have already produced. I suspect that this may be one reason I find Jenneth and Quanna so interesting. If Spock could keep from shying away from her, his involvement with Jenneth could become quite interesting. (Wonder how Kirk would react; don't you?)[86]
"I can't believe 'The Weight's the whole thing!" At last. And much as I com plain habitually with each LoC about various aspects of said tome, I'll glibly admit that Leslie tied up the loose ends and accomplished the denouement with a flourish. I do, however, have reservations as to the logic or believability, given "The Weight's" previous format, of the Anarchists leaving Roantree behind at the end. As a writer's ploy its genius is unquestionable though, bringing the story full-turn in a sort of "Alternative Factor"/TIME AFTER TIME twist. The artwork was particularly good in this installment, too — especially the lovely Christine on p. 46. Now that the series has come to a momentary halt, after all is said and done, regardless of my personal interest in the piece being only marginal, "The Weight" certainly deserves the title of classic in the annals of fan TREKlit. [87]
As for "The Weight" — wow! I don't agree with all of Leslie's interpretations of the Enterprise's finest, but she's cruelly consistent. [88]
WHAT DO WE SAY!!?? You mean you want to put us through that again? Having got this off my chest, I can turn around and say I wouldn't mind if part 2 of "The Weight" was serialized (only in WARPED SPACE, mind! I don't feel I can start hunting around to find out where Chapter 3 was published, and then manage to get hold of it only to find then that I haven't received Chapters 1 and 2 yet. This may be a bit warbled, but I'm sure you get my drift). So, in clear print, yes, I would like WS to continue publishing "The Weight", even though the end of part 1 really threw me off balance — I won't comment on it be cause it was so different from what I'd expected that I don't know what to say. [89]
*sigh* I hate to sound like a sour grape, but I personally feel the conclusion of "The Weight" was rather weak. Somehow the tension ceased to hold and it came off seemingly rushed. Granted the earlier installments are a hard act to follow, but I found myself really disappointed in the way the conclusion was handled. It was the logical conclusion and one the story should have come to to remain true to the characters. Don't ask me what exactly is wrong — I can't tell you. It just "feels" wrong. I suppose lack of solid "evidence" to back up my claim invalidates the statements. And no, I couldn't do better myself. The artwork was some of Leslie's best so far as the series goes and the one scene of Jenneth's hair being shorn will remain a personal favorite for a long time to come. [90]
Honestly, I am very relieved to see an end to "Dead Weight". The story was fine and the characters good, but all in all, it was terribly ponderous. You needed a mental plow to get past some of the passages. Much as I like Leslie Fish (contrary to what Roberta believes), I feel her best work is in music, and should stay there. I vote "no" on part 2 of "The Weight". [91]
Leslie Fish has, at last, gotten to the main action. I wondered how she'd get Kirk and Roantree's situations reversed ... But I didn't really think that Kirk would be so tongue-tied while Jenneth was quite the opposite. She doesn't seem able to see things from his point of view at all — yet. It'll be easier to tell the strength of Leslie's tale once it's read without months between episodes. But — I'd rather see parts 2 and 3 serialized in WS as part 1 was. Already I'm trying to figure out how Kirk will get Jenneth as much freedom as possible and where and when the Galilei and Co. will show up again. These folks have got a lot to learn. C'mon, Leslie, show us where they're wrong as well as where they're right! [92]
Oddly enough, the last segment of "The Weight" is the first one I've read -- and I didn't feel like I'd walked in in the middle of a conversation. The only previous explanation I'd had was that Jenneth was in some way an alternate-Kirk, and the piece did not ramble as I had been warned it might. Leslie's illos are all her own, in an unmistakable style that some folks don't like, but that I find darkly appropriate for the subject matter. I will probably wind up getting a copy of "The Weight, Collected" — and my friends will be surprised, because I have screamed for the last ten months that "I don't read TREK!" The social ethics involved spoke very loudly to a Survivor of the Campus Sixties, and I think I'll probably run home tonight and read the rest of what I've got of the story. [93]
"The Weight" — wow! I don't agree with all of Leslie's interpretations of the Enterprise's finest, but she's cruelly consistent. [94]
"I can't believe 'The Weight's the whole thing!" At last. And much as I com plain habitually with each LoC about various aspects of said tome, I'll glibly admit that Leslie tied up the loose ends and accomplished the denouement with a flourish. I do, however, have reservations as to the logic or believability, given "The Weight's" previous format, of the Anarchists leaving Roantree behind at the end. As a writer's ploy its genius is unquestionable though, bringing the story full-turn in a sort of "Alternative Factor"/TIME AFTER TIME twist. The artwork was particularly good in this installment, too — especially the lovely Christine on p. 46. Now that the series has come to a momentary halt, after all is said and done, regardless of my personal interest in the piece being only marginal, "The Weight" certainly deserves the title of classic in the annals of fan TREKlit. [95]
I've been waiting for what seems like a year to read the conclusion of "The Weight". Hah! If that was a conclusion, I'm bright blue! All Leslie did in that installment was let the Anarchists know just how the deck was stacked. The real fun is just ready to start now! For one thing, when Jenneth wakes up, she's going to have trouble deciding who she wants to kill first, Jim or Spock! Seems to me, Jim would be just a little peeved with Star Fleet Command, too. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to learn he plans to make life as unpleasant as possible for them. (Like maybe ramming his twin down their collective throats as a starship captain, possibly?) I'd love to see him try it, providing, of course, he can get Jenneth to cooperate. She's likely to be a bit peeved with him! I'd also love to see a scene where Spock tries to explain Jenneth to Sarek! Come to think of it, I'd rather like to see a scene between Sarek and Jenneth! If Jim has any sense, he'll do his damnedest to keep those two as far apart as possible! If he can't manage that, he'd do well to find himself a bomb-shelter! For some reason, I suspect Sarek and Jenneth would suffer a severe personality clash! I most definitely hope to print further sections of "The Weight" in WS. Not only have I become rather attached to it, but it's nice to find something you know you will enjoy for certain! This doesn't necessarily mean I believe the characterizations in "The Weight" any more than I believe them in KRAITH, but like KRAITH, I find the story so well-written that I go along with it. Frankly, I don't see Spock quite as nervy as Leslie portrays him, but I do enjoy her devious mind! I find that I can enjoy a wide variety of STAR TREK universes without necessarily going along with any one of them completely. This is one reason I've enjoyed even the K/S stuff I've read, even though part of me simply refuses to see that pair in such a context. I've noticed the controversy on your letter pages and I'm afraid I don't really understand what the fuss is all about. If the material offends people, why do they read it? It's like television — if you don't like it, turn it off! I don't believe it, but some writers (Leslie Fish, Gerry Downes, and Susan James in particular) write what can only be called love stories. I think it is this element in their tales that I find so enjoyable. I must confess, on occasion I would like to see" a story written by one of these writers which pairs Kirk or Spock up with women who could be considered a true match for them. I admit to a slight curiosity concerning their ability to write as enthralling a tale as the ones they have already produced. I suspect that this may be one reason I find Jenneth and Quanna so interesting. If Spock could keep from shying away from her, his involvement with Jenneth could become quite interesting. (Wonder how Kirk would react; don't you?) [96]
I don't care for it, at least as Star Trek. I think Leslie would have been better to have written it as a straight SF story without trying to include ST characters. The thing is, as I'm sure you know, a reviewer judges to some extent on the basis of his/her personal preferences. No matter how hard you try to be objective it isn't always possible. To me, "The Weight" is that much wasted effort as an ST story because Kirk is, to all intents and purposes, on his own, separated from McCoy and Spock; Quanna, as a Spock analogue, is not the same, especially since he thinks she's Miramanee. I gave it a fair try; read my way right through it (although I did have to get photo­copies of some of the earlier episodes from a friend) but found myself more and more inclined to scan as it went on. [97]
===1984===
That explanation of Leslie Fish and The Weight and how she used the story to move message struck a true note, for in my own case, it explains why I never read all the series. I think I read 3 or 4 longish sections before I gave it up. It was not only the frustration of reading a massive work in dabs, but the message seemed to conflict with the story, to fight with it. I wonder if the effect would be the same if I could sit down and read the thing all the way through?... Anyway, if Leslie was suckering us into reading her political position with this story, she failed in my case, became I could not see these people as characters from Star Trek, and I finally gave up. She did get it in the story in Fesarius -- I enjoyed that one tremendously, despite the Harlan Ellison clone, even though her views don't precisely match mine. [98]
No one told Leslie that they were dying to read a story on anarchism; quite the opposite, many fans moaned and groaned throughout the entire "Weight". But that doesn't mean that Leslie didn't know her audience or tailor her work to fit it. She was brilliant enough to know that she would probably not get that many to read what she really wanted to write about—her politics, so she tied it to a story that everyone hated. I forget the name of the story that originally started the whole thing off and I'm too tired to go look it up, but Leslie said -- I know a way out of this. And everyone who was depressed by the story said: oh yeah, show us. And Leslie took everyone on a merry chase right through her politics. She could've written a simple little story to get them out of that situation, but she used it for her own purposes. I have always applauded her for reading her audience right, for manipulating them right into reading what she wanted them to read, despite the fact that they protested all along the way, and for writing a damn fine story. But that doesn't mean she didn't know exactly what she was doing or that she was sitting back saying this Is the story I'm writing for me. Leslie didn't need to lecture herself on the subject. By your definitions that should've made her a hack writer, because she just didn't write what she wanted to write about--her politics but stooped to using a vehicle in which to couch her message.[99]
===1988===
I have just finished reading -- in its entirety, at one sitting -- THE WEIGHT Collected: & Other Stories, a must for fanzine readers. I had planned to read a story or two on a lazy Saturday (after a late night of sushi and conversation) but ended up reading it all! I couldn't put it down. I was drunk on it, possessed! Written primarily by Leslie Fish (and including "The 6th Year" by Ed Zdrojewski, which inspired "The Weight"), these stories hold together as a continuous novel rather than as the sequential short stories it purports itself to be. The plot uses such devices as time travel, alternate realities, and even "Mary Sue." However, it also postulates daring ideas on gender and identity, on sexual relationships and friendship, and even on politics: the stuff of great fiction, speculations all too often edited out of Pro-Trek fiction. Although I don't agree with some of the ideas espoused in this work, I applaud them when they are so eloquently presented. There is good characterization too, especially for those of us "hurt/comfort" fans for whom Kirk is never so beautiful as when he suffers. In this collection he suffers magnificently: he becomes gaunt, scarred, emotionally tortured, and half blind. There is one scene in particular which exemplifies this: Kirk desperately needs to cry (he has reason to) but due to his stubborn will and ideas of self, he is unable to. His tortured body trembles and racks with the sobs he cannot, dare not, express. I defy anyone to read this with dry eyes. I should mention the illos (by the author, Leslie Fish): they are powerful and fully integrated into the storyline. In themselves they are strong and vaguely medieval -- relying on heavy, bold lines to reveal the underlying essence of those depicted. They are not "pretty," but have a beauty that will involve the viewer long after closing the pages of The Weight. Some negative aspects include three different typists and typeface; the quality of the zine tended to deteriorate toward the end -- I could see paste-up edges and even editing notes. But these are minor flaws and easily forgiven, given the volunteer nature of fan fiction. Another negative was the use of song in with the narratives -- enjoyable when recognizable, disconcerting when unfamiliar. I discovered in the credits that some songs were unpublished and unrecorded: foul! No Fair! Bloody hell! I wonder if T'Kuhtian Press would release "The Weight: The Album"? [100]
As you can see, it is almost all Fish. Her story starts with Kirk alone in the ENTERPRISE, orbiting an Earth that isn't his. Partly because of a goof-up by Kirk, the timeline has been changed. Humanity is now almost entirely planet-bound, and science is suspect. Anarchy—principled anarchy— is now the rule on Earth. Kirk, suffering almost terminal guilt, meets up with a group of space-minded anarchists, among whom is his own analogue in this reality. To get his own reality back, he must have the help of these people. They are willing; they think as science- minded humanity must be an improvement. What they don't know, and what Kirk must keep them from finding out, is that in his reality, governments still exist and have power. I really enjoyed this one. The anarchists aren't just us in funny clothes; they are truly different. The effects they have on the ENTERPRISE people are well-imagined. The whole thing is convincing, with unexpected twists and turns whenever you think you know what's coming next. The author's illustrations are lively, moody, and strong. The writing is as good as I hoped, but I hoped a lot, after paying out the cost of two or three other zines. But it's the size of three or four other zines. Maybe it depends on whether you like Leslie Fish. I do. Rating — PG-13 to R? Age statement not required. Detail fades below the waist. [101]
===1990===
After a time displacement accident which left Spock and McCoy dead, the entire crew of the Enterprise is stranded in an alternate time line, unable to get back to their own universe. In brief, the crew deserts Kirk and sets up camp on Earth 200 years from now -- the Earth which would have been the earth of the Federation, but which isn't anymore. Kirk feels that if he could somehow get back his own time line, there would at least be a possibility of setting things straight once again. Even though the crew (and Kirk) are in their own time, they are not in their own universe. The universe in which they are stranded (due to Kirk's error in judgement) is a society which has shunned science. This is one of the few pieces of fiction admitting that Kirk, Spock or any of the regulars could make a mistake. At any rate, Kirk discovers, quite by accident, a group of Anarchists who befriend him. Essentially, they help him see there is still a chance of getting back to his own time, even though he has all but given up hope. The problem? The Anarchists shun leadership, and Kirk knows they certainly would be out of place in his universe. He must find a way of 'balancing' things so that no one comes out on the bottom in the end. In the parallel universe, all of Kirk's people have doubles in this new time line. Kirk's double just happens to be a woman, Jenneth Roantree, leader of the Anarchists. Jenneth is essentially Kirk, in another time, born into the body of a woman. The way Kirk discovers she is his double is astonishing and humorous as well. [102]
Leslie's story is highly detailed and emotionally crushing. She makes these new characters move, breathe and live in a way may professional writers simply cannot do. Her portrayal of Kirk is both characteristically correct and stylistically beautiful. In The Weight we come to know the other characters, who soon become as important as Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and the rest of the crew. Though other fan fiction serials introduce us to many new characters, Leslie's portrayal of Jenneth Roantress, Quannechota, Sparks, and the rest of the Anarchists is far superior to anything else I have encountered. [103]
===1992===
Fish combines action-adventure sequences, political and theological debates, romantic and sexual encounters, communal rituals, and folk songs, along with a diverse array of other generic materials, into a complex and compelling narrative of Kirk's attempt to regain his ship, his crew, and his dignity following a disastrous time travel experience. Her novel offers insight into the psychology of the major characters and a compelling critique of the program's ideology. The Weight begins with mild grumbling about bureaucratic incompetence and ends with all of the regular characters verging on open revolt against Federation authorities. If official Star Trek novels are required to return the characters to the place where they began, to introduce no dramatic changes to the narrative format, Fish fully exploits the freedom of fan writing to change all the rules of the game; Fish takes obvious pleasure in systematically dismantling the fictional world and gradually remaking it in alternative terms. Fish also manages to introduce a cast of original characters, including several strong and heroic women, whose motivations and actions prove as intriguing as those of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Despite all of these changes, Fish remains faithful to the core of the series, making frequent references to program history as a basis for the characters' histories and motivations. [104]
===1993===
Yes, "The Weight" is good enough writing to carry its anarchist politics — in part because it devotes a good deal of space to developing non-Enterprise characters whose beliefs demonstrate Fish's points. She shows the Federation as perhaps too villainous in contrast, with the familiar Enterprise characters caught in the middle trying to do their best, which accords with ST's ideals. Note that what Fish does not do is convert Kirk into a committed anarchist (though she shows his a/u analogue as one). [105]
===2007===
Based on a short story by Ed Zdrojewski, it separates Kirk and the rest of the Enterprise from Spock & McCoy, who are presumed dead by sudden catastrophe in Earth's 20th century. Phaser technology had been introduced far before its time, and the Enterprise returns to a future not its own, this Earth is an agrarian anti-technological society. This is an Earth without a Federation, no contact with Vulcan or any other alien culture. With power levels dangerously low, a decision is almost made to disperse the crew into this different Earth (most of the crew have already left) when sensors discover a jury-rigged rocket taking off for the Moon & about to break up in the atmosphere, the Enterprise manages to rescue part of this crew & find that they are the last survivors of the last scientific community on Earth, who were desperately hoping to make it to the Lunar Colony that they hope against hope still exists. This is a universe where almost nobody is who they appear to be. Many of the characters we know from the original TREK universe aren't even the same sex in this one, and Kirk is one of the last to figure out who is who. This novel was published originally as MANY chapters in MANY issues of the anthology, Warped Space. It took me YEARS to collect all its parts. When the novel version was announced, I was one of the 1st to send a check & preorder it. Very few more than those preorders were printed. [106]
[About "They Told Me, ‘Cheer Up, Things Could Be Worse,’ So I Cheered Up, and Sure Enough, Things Got Worse” a section of The Weight by Leslie Fish] The dull saga continues. Well, okay, it's not that dull. Still somehow seems plodding to me - maybe because I know Leslie is touting an Anarchist utopia & I'm having trouble buying it. Or maybe because Spock & McCoy are dead. Anyway, in this installment, a bunch of people have gotten killed trying to get the dilithium from the moon; Kirk has lost an eye and suffered brain damage but gotten some dilithium so now they can go, but not fast enough to do the sun thing, so they have to head for the Guardian instead, and Jenneth is plotting to keep the E's crew from grounding Kirk due to the blindness. Oh, and *all* the Anarchists plan to go thru the Guardian to kill the baddie and restore the timeline. And Kirk's Anarchist lover is pregnant. All in all, this should be fun, but somehow just isn't. [107]
===1976===
"The Weight, Part I": I like it, but at this point I'm not sure why; perhaps because it's well-written, and Jenneth is a good character, though I wonder why Kirk alone should have an alter-ego of the opposite sex, and what bearing this fact might have on the deliberations about changing universes, especially since Jenneth's people are concerned with the moral and philosophical aspects of the change. I do hope we see some more of the Anarchists and their way of life; actually they seem to be semi-Anarchists, like the ones in LeGuin's THE DISPOSSESSED.

I have one quibble about the story: I cannot go along with Leslie's idea that the crew of the Enterprise would blame Kirk so much for the disaster that they refused contact with him. After all, it wasn't really his fault, though he blames himself, and the Enterprise people are fair. The reaction Leslie shows is childish, and not very useful, either. The crew might blame Kirk for a while, until the shock wore off, but I hardly think they would abandon him so completely, nor abandon the Enterprise itself so quickly; they're not the type of people to despair easily, or they wouldn't be on the Big E at all. It's perfectly plausible for Kirk to blame himself; he does it all the time, even when he isn't totally at fault; in this case, much of what happened was beyond his control, except in retrospect. He sees his actions as reflecting errors of judgement, but he can only so suppose in retrospect; at the time he had no way of knowing what would happen, and could only act in his usual fashion, as presumably he did—i.e., there would normally have been nothing wrong with Pennington going off on her own for a bit. The situation seems especially ironic because a solution apparently exists ... Had the crew stayed around long enough to calm down and get over its despair, somebody surely would have thought of it, probably Scotty ...

Ah well, but this is Leslie's story, and I'll have to wait for the next WS to see how she will handle things. [108]
I loved "The Weight" even if I can't stand Leslie Fish's choice of music. One line that hit me, since it sounds so much like a con, "I took pictures till my film ran out..." Of all the tormented-Kirk-I-did-it-all-wrongs" I've had the misfortune of reading, it stands out head and shoulders. More, more! [109]
I was extremely annoyed with the ending of "The Sixth Yearn WS 3, but figured it was way too late to write a LoC on it. If the only two vital crewpeople the Big E was missing were Spock and McCoy, why the hell didn't Kirk and Scotty simply flip the ship back into time again and fix things? Sure, they'd have to track down the alien ship with Spock and McCoy aboard, but that's no problem. The time-space loop might've been a trifle difficult with out Spock, but we all know that Scotty can handle technical disasters the way Bones handles medical ones. The ending was dramatic, but unsatisfying. We saw how the crew reacted to Kirk's 'losing' their world in "City on the Edge of Forever." They sympathized. Leslie's epic is very interesting. Her Kirk is quite good, and so is the peek into an alternate future, but I'm a little dubious about some of her premises. First of all—I don't think a ship can function on a town-meeting basis. OK, the crew trusts the Coordinator to make decisions, they talk it over afterwards, but I have an un comfortable feeling that there would be a point where one person or another wouldn't agree, wouldn't be willing to let her decide. (If it was a situation where lives were at stake and the other individual sincerely believed the Braider was making a terrible mistake ... ) And Jenneth comes to the same conclusion herself on p.29—"Screw the town's paranoia—it's my responsibility and my crew" and there i_s time to ask her crew, but she doesn't!

Oh, well. I'm just rather unsure about the Anarchists. From what I've read, anarchy is a total absence of rule of any kind, at best "co operation of free men" and at worst a philosophical justification for terrorism. Leslie's anarchist society sounds more like the Greek republic to me, where every Citizen (her honorific to Kirk) had a say. I cannot believe that a society under siege would be so loosely run as to be called Anarchistic. I personally doubt the human animal is a creature who can cope with anarchy very well. There are just too damn many people who want to be told what to do, who refuse to be responsible for their own actions. In an underpopulated world, ok, but not where you have 4 billion people rubbing elbows. It would mean survival of the most vicious, no holds barred ...

One last thing I take exception to: "Cannon-ball-sized breasts." D'you have any idea how LARGE a cannonball is? Poor Jenneth. No wonder she calls it "the weight." [110]
The great piece in 17 (no pun reference to its size intended) is Leslie Fish's "The Weight." Marvelous. I, too, had been dissatisfied with the way "The Sixth Year" had concluded, 'though I thought it good at the time. But Leslie did something with her dissatisfaction and it came out beautifully. I didn't want it to end, and then was very much relieved to read that this is part of her "Kirk series." Finally, I sprang to my feet applauding wildly at the note in your editorial that there will be some serious Spock stories in upcoming issues. Yes, I_am one of the millions who feels keenly any slight upon the Vulcan Marvel ... Finally, thank you so very much for all of WS. It's very impressive and deliciously frequent. [111]
Actually, "The Weight" was an excellent story--and I look forward to more in the series, if series it be. Fish has done a remarkably good job on characterization, which, tho' it off- times fringes on the incredible, yet never is unbelievable, if ya catch my meaning, if you get my drift. The italics and caps might have been a bit overused, for it is a sneaky and barely legitimate way to get plot points in. It worked, but I wish she could have found a way around all that logging and Kirk-soliloquizing. Fish's own drawings were more suited to the piece... [112]
The Weight: very interesting speculation. Kirk comes off in character most of the time, though I don't think he would go to pieces that much. Either more or less, but not that much. Jenneth should have been prettier in the picture. [113]
The Weight by Leslie Fish is the major feature of this issue. It concerns a mission the Enterprise has had in the past. Somehow, something goes wrong, the past is changed and the ship is left without enough power to return to the present. Kirk is left alone on his ship and after 3 1/2 months, he's ready to go off the deep end from simple isolation. Then he finds evidence of the last vestiges of technology on the planet and helps them in their fight against the barbarism that is now rampant over the planet because of the mistake the Big E has made in the time line. Leslie hasn't mastered the technique of playing temporal parcheesi. There are a few inconsistencies. One major fault is that her own characters far outweigh Kirk. This isn't a Star Trek story, but a temporal science fiction story thinly disguised to fit into a Trekzine. The Kirk she shows is plausible but Leslie hasn't taken the time to develop the situations or character so that he is believable. It ends with a good twist but the weaknesses and construction of the story keep it from becoming a truly great pice of fanfic. [114]
===1977===
... "The Weight" does get better and better. This story is one of the two or three best treatments of Kirk I've ever seen, and the best Trek novel of any kind to date. Leslie handles her characters, her symbols and the English language with rare skill and understanding. Her Kirk — brave, proud, flawed and contradictory —is a wholly believable human being. The same is true of Jenneth Roantree and Quannechota Two-Feathers, who are possibly Trekfic's strongest female characters—strong in their own right ... [115]
And then there is "The Weight," which seems to get better with every installment ... In the Sun-Hero ceremony in particular there were mythological elements from all over the world, yet they have been combined to make a consistent, unified ritual. And it is very powerfully written, too; up until the end of the scene I really believed that Kirk was going to be a living sacrifice, a literal Year-King. So did he, apparently. And I think that Leslie has hit upon an excellent symbol for the Kirk she is portraying, in two ways. One, his belief in his impending death satisfied his rather Puritanical need to be punished for what he considers his misdeeds, thus returning his universe to its proper form. And second, the death/rebirth symbology is very powerful in itself and if Kirk really felt himself a part of the ritual, and obviously he did, then it could be a personal symbol for him, and allow him a rebirth purged from the I guilt he still felt, and the feelings of in adequacy. As Year-King, he becomes symbolically a new person, and a symbol of new life and prosperity for the culture, and perhaps literally a new person as well. In fact, he is a stronger character in this section, once the attempt at suicide is past (and I'm not sure that would be characteristic of Kirk even in despair; he's a fighter. Allowing himself to be killed as part of a ritual is something else, especially as it's being done by outside agents)... [116]
["The Weight"] is becoming too long and heavy, and taking up too much creative space! [117]
"The Weight" continues marvelous. How come you surround it with such twitty accompaniment? Po' Block. She's the only one who can handle it. [118]
My major love is "The Weight." Not only is this the best Kirk story I've ever read (what ALTERNATE UNIVERSE 4 could have been), but it's an excellent science fiction story of an alien society/ universe. So many ST stories concentrate on the psychological interactions between the main characters that very few create a new society in depth. The story benefits greatly from the author's obviously well-thought out and researched ideas on the structure of anarchistic society (as evinced by the articles in WS 23 — more, please!), and the Sun Hero sequence had me crawling through not only Graves' White Goddess, but also Eraser's Golden Bough and Campbell's The Mask of God and The Hero With A Thousand Faces. Such scholarship can only improve a story. I could go on and on, but don't want to bore you. Let me simply say that until "The Weight" I thought there were two kinds of good ST stories — the ones I nodded at complacently saying "yes, that's the way it would be" and the ones I tore my hair out disagreeing with (like "The Logical Conclusion" or "The Mirage" — something like NTM would be in the first category). Now I have a third category — stories that get me deep in the gut because they're so right, with a depth of insight I can appreciate even if I can't create it myself. Kenneth and Quanna are marvelous female characters and the Kirk/Jenneth/Quanna relationship is a psychological masterpiece. you know, it's such a powerful story I could read any of the installers all at once, but had to pick at them slowly, reading a passage here and there for a few days, before I could absorb the whole thing. In brief, a masterpiece. [119]
Of all the Rational Anarchists to come down the pike in the past decade, none could be a finer successor (predecessor?) to Bernardo de la Paz than Leslie Fish. "The Weight" is the epic it is because Fish not only writes about real people, but real ideas, knowing the limits of a philosophy, but making it work, and showing it working over a wide (1 million miles!) range of humanity. "On Anarchists" is the sort of thing that would be deadly at twenty paces in any other hands: an explanation of "why I wrote what I wrote." But again, the real ideas bring it off. It also helps that Fish is a fantastic writer. [120]
Leslie Fish has a two-page section about her anarchist society in The Weight, and the background of the story. For followers of the story, this is an enjoyable and entertaining insight into the framework upon which the story was laid. [121]
The plot gets thicker and thicker. Here I thought Kirk was developing into an anarchist; now, suddenly, he wants to turn Quanna into a monogamist? I really wonder if she'll adapt — or if she'll get the chance to adapt? I don't need a choked ritual fire to predict disaster for a wife of Kirk's. The interplay of Federation-Anarchist ideas among the other crewmembers is intriguing, too. Especially the disturbing premise Scott raised at the end: that Spock appears to be irreplaceable ...[122]
I was a bit disappointed in Part III, Section One of "The Weight," and have succeeded in figuring out why. The Kirk/Quanna marriage occurs a little too easily, too smoothly — the reasons Kirk wants the marriage are clear and well done, but the Anarchists' (Jen, Quanna and Sparks) motives are complete unknowns. I was origin ally thrilled with the idea of the triple marriage of Jenneth, Quanna and Sparks, foreseeing a whole new set of possible twists in our old friend the Kirk/Spock relationship. So far we've had a lot of Jenneth/Quanna and Kirk/Quanna, moderate Jenneth/Sparks, minuscule Kirk/Sparks (look, if Sparks loves Jen enough to marry her, he's got to feel something for Jim), but no Sparks/Quanna visible yet. I really felt the need of a scene in which Jen, Quanna and Sparks discuss the possibilities of the marriage. Do you realize that at the end I wasn't even sure whether or not Quanna divorced Jen and Sparks, before marrying Jim?! On the other hand, the scene on the bridge when the space amoeba is encountered, with Kirk and the Anarchists functioning so smoothly together, command bouncing back and forth while DeSalle twiddles his thumbs, and the later scenes with DeSalle admitting to his "subversive" thoughts and Kirk's handling of that are superb! Although it did occur to me that part of the reason that Kirk would have sent DeSalle to Sickbay eight months ago but did not do so now, might simply be that eight months ago McCoy would have been there while at this moment M'Benga would have been handling DeSalle's problem and subconsciously at least Kirk certainly doesn't trust him the way he would trust Bones. But the scene is an 'excellent illustration of certain basic attitude changes in Kirk (hell, the whole series is an excellent illustration of such changes!). Part III promises to be very interesting — I can't wait to see the Kirk/Scott interview coming up, and in general I can't wait to see the further exploration of Scotty's current dilemma, not to mention Jean's forked tongue ...[123]
"The Weight, 3:1" is as fantastic as usual (Background music; Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah). Having previously enthused over punch lines, sociology and characterization, I would now like to say a few words about titles and plot development, not necessarily in that order. First, of all the serialized stories I have ever read, this one is most superbly adapted to that mode of publication — people who are waiting until the whole thing is published to read it are really missing something (shift to Beethoven's 9th). This may have escaped the notice of some people, but problems in the real world take longer to deal with than the hour of a TV show or the evening it takes to read a novel, and dealing with them is not a smooth process; especially in the case of deteriorating systems. [personal information snipped] The serial publication of "The Weight" adds to the suspense and tension and realism of what is already a very suspenseful and tense and realistic story — and there are very few stories written in any genre, pro or otherwise, which sustain a deteriorating situation well enough to tolerate serialization much less be embellished by it in this way. On the choice of titles: as one who finds it easier to write a 30 page story or invent a whole planet complete with astrophysical data, languages, religions, cultures and ecosystems than to come up with a decent title for a story once writ ten, I am awed by the apt and imaginative titles (or subtitles, rather) applied to the various sections of Leslie Fish's magnum opus. "Tiptoe Through The Tulips; They Might Take A Hunk Out Of Your Leg" is as arresting as "I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream." Eondhidsedho! How I envy that woman's ability as a writer. I'm really looking forward to the next installment of "The Weight" ... [124]
... "The Weight" continues to be excellent reading and one of the best ST series. I've seen. It does raise some questions, though. For one, why haven't the Anarchists figured out, from their study of the computer tapes on the Enterprise, that the universe Kirk is from has governments, and military organizations? It's all there in the ship's library computer, and they have been studying it ever since they boarded. Leslie never really does explain that. The story also raises some interesting ethical questions. The Enterprise crew is guilty of a gross deception by not warning the Anarchists just what kind of a universe they are taking them to, of course. They obviously recognize this, and it does bother them, as shown by the conversation between Uhura and Chapel concerning Roantree. But what about the ethics of the whole project? They are all assuming they have the right to go back to the Guardian and change history again, even though if they are successful it will mean the end of the universe they now have, and in effect, the death of everyone in it. I can see the Enterprise crew's desire to get back to their own time, but if I were one of the Anarchists, I would have grave misgivings. How will it profit them to arrive in Kirk's uni verse? Even if they can find counterparts to the people they left behind, the counterparts won't be the same, and won't accept them. I think I'd rather have the world I know, with all its faults, than take a chance on a radically different one. And that's certainly a choice I have no right to make for someone else. Another mystery to me in this series is, why are 100 crewmen of the Enterprise so intimidated by 42 anarchists? They act like the odds were the other way around. Somehow, it just doesn't ring true. While I'm not anxious to see the end of this epic, since I'm enjoying it very much, I do hope that it will have an end in the foreseeable future. I can think of at least two other continued series in STrek lit that just abruptly ceased, without ever finishing: Kraith, of course, and Federation and Empire, from the old BABEL 'zine. Then, there are a few others going at the moment which may or may not get neatly wound up. But of the current ones. The Weight and Jean Lorrah's Epilogue are the only ones I really care about finishing. Also Alternate Universe 4, if the authors happen to write another volume. That's one of the perils of 'zine reading — you never can be sure if there is even going to be a conclusion to these major epics.[125]
... I'm hooked on "The Weight." Les lie Fish's story has got to be the "Dune" of Treklit ... A brief sampling of things I like in "The Weight": 1. Putting Capt. Macho through childbirth and the death of those children, 2. Forcing Kirk to experience sexual intercourse from the female view point and hinting strongly that male jealousy of female sexual capacity is the nitty-gritty reason behind the institution of marriage, 3. Forcing us to look upon Starfleet as something more than a shining example of goodwill. Also, I've always suspected that Sulu was the man in UhuraUhura's]] life, not Kirk. Remember the look he gives her when she takes over navigation in "Balance Of Terror", and all that sexy stuff on the bridge in "Mirror, Mirror"? If they can do it in one universe, why not another?

[snipped]

Do you think Leslie can keep her story going long enough to get Kirk through menopause, too? [126]
Reading this issue's episode of "The Weight" brought to my mind how quickly ST fans, and writers, adopt conventions (no pun intended). Kirk's feelings about himself in regard to the Janice Lester incident. as postulated by Leslie Fish tally completely with those in Faddis' "A Lesson In Perspective" in v 20. Can't you see it now? Soon there will be those among us willing to swear that it was Kirk's conversation with Janice in Sickbay after the mind-exchange was broken that led to many of our Captain's past and future "flip-outs". We can add that to all the Kraithian elements so much a part of fan writing, and the recurrent, emphasis that McCoy's unhappy marriage was due to his neglect. All of which brings me to something I've wanted to complain about — another, much less enjoyable kind of repetition. That is, the apparent increase in material being repeated in several 'zines. ... I have a comment to make on the D&R series which drew such flack this issue ... I agree ... that both Kirk and Spock are ruthlessly and brutally massacred in the series. In fact, I read it with mounting rage and frustration. But I continue to read it, and in fact, have ordered the collection (That sort of reprinting I approve of.). There is something there that compels me to continue — it is rather like The Arabian Nights, with Scheherazade weaving tale after tale, always stopping before she is quite finished, keeping the reader needing that next episode — hoping maybe this time the web will be untangled. That is good writing, I think. Leslie Fish has to be the master of that sort of witchcraft, however. "The Weight" continues to build, and I, for one, am slowly going insane waiting for its resolvement. But oh, the delicious agony. If I were handing out awards, I would give this series first place for great Trek fiction ... [127]
'The Weight, part III' by Leslie Fish is continued in this issue in a cautious upswing of mood. Leslie partially retrieved the 'Feds are idiots, anarchists are perfect' impression she left in the last part. Unfortunately, the placing of her last illo gave away her punch-line. This zine comes out so damned often (that was a loving curse, Lori) that it is very expensive to keep your subscription up to, but WS is one of the zines that knits Trekkers together. [128]
What amuses me most about all this worry over Kirk's character in D&R is that none of it surfaces with regard to the poor old half-blind, drippy-haired skinny ex-Captain staggering around coughing his lungs out in "The Weight." He is also female-dominated, people. It is to Fish's great credit as a believable writer, of course, reflecting her careful build-up of his paralyzing guilt and lonely near-madness that preceded his present state, that apparently permits this unquestioning acceptance of events and behavior that customarily stir anarchy in our own hearts ...
"The Weight" -- This heavy piece should better be retitled: "The Wait," 'cause that's what you do... wait for the next installment. The continuing saga of a bedraggled James T. Kirk and his counterpart in an alternate universe who just happens to be female. Leslie seems to be loving Kirk to death. So far, he has lost one eye, has a badly scarred face and a bad case of the "Wheezes" which sounds very much like TB. In this installment, we meet Sarek and learn a little about the Vulcans of this universe and the Big E reaches the time planet which seems to be their goal. [129]
"The Weight" — my main complaint is that Anarchism doesn't work unless everybody is crazy the same way together; one derf, one oddball, one clod who doesn't have the sensitivity to think your way and the whole system falls apart. In their own way the Anarchists are just as ruthlessly totalitarian as any other single- minded group. For all their so-called freedom, it is their way or none. The only reason the Enterprise crew go along with them is to get back into their own time-line. Frankly, I think the crew is being pretty forbearing with these types, and while their self-discipline works only as long as they can argue every point around, there will eventually come a day when someone has to give an order, and everyone has to obey it immediately, no matter what their personal feelings are. Authoritarian? You bet your bippy, luv, but when the Romulans attack you don't argue, you obey orders! The other thing that bugs me about "The Weight", much as I admire it, is the tacit assumption that ALL power is evil and ALL power corrupts . . .[130]
... I am not, appearances to the contrary, a fanatic-McCoy-freak — in fact it is my interest/fanaticism for the character of Kirk in fanfic which led me to this side query. Specifically, where is McCoy in such Treklit epics as "The Weight", for example? I don't mean where physically. I know what happened in the Big E's timeline and in the Anarchists'. Leslie mentions barely a paragraph of narration in which one McCoy dies and the other remains "an old country doctor". The whole of Kirk's mourning, his loneliness and his searching is then delegated to Spock, without, it seems, another thought for Bones. I hope no one, including Leslie, mistakes my intent. I am questioning, not criticizing. I think "The Weight" is one of the most articulate, most sensitive and intelligent stories I have read in and out of sf/ST lit. My question is only on the near-absence of one of the central characters of ST — if McCoy is what he has been called — Kirk's closest confidant, his human-conscience, his most reliable, non-competitive friend, why doesn't the Kirk in "The Weight" even mention McCoy to the Anarchists? He lovingly describes Spock ... why not Bones? [131]
One thing I've wondered about "The Weight" (aside from how did Kirk right off know it was Sarek rather than the Romulan Commander from "Balance of Terror"?) ... how come when people get shredded in fanzine stories nobody ever thinks to dump them on Omicron Ceti what ever and let the spores regenerate them? (One thing the on air ST did not lack was the deus ex machina and the easy out ... ) If it can grow back appendixes that have been surgically removed, it should be able to handle a measly eye ... and scarring due to a miscarriage also. [132]
I love it. Now there's a juicy example of cultural clashes, ethical dilemmas and real ideas to get one's mental teeth into. The only point I find a bit hard to accept is the magnitude of the difficulty Kirk & Co. have with the Anarchists' customs. For a group that's been exposed to as many alien cultures as they have they seem to be overreacting quite a bit to a culture which isn't even new to them, but comparable to others in Terran history. I also find it a little hard to believe that there are no anarchist societies in the whole damn galaxy. "It's a big galaxy." Plenty of planets have been encountered by the Enterprise crew which aren't under Federation, Klingon or Romulan control. The point that Starfleet has all the goodies, technologically speaking, is well taken, however.

I am really looking forward to the culmination of this saga (although I hate to see it end) because of the potential effect of the Anarchists' ideas on the Enterprise crew and the Federation itself. I am one of those who has always had mixed feelings about Starfleet because of its military aspects, and the conversation between Uhura and Christine has made me mighty curious about how this is going to turn out.

And gloriosky [133], how marvelous it is to encounter such strong and well developed female characters (male ones too, for that matter). Devoted fan that I am, I still find much to cringe at every time I see those dear old reruns. I don't know how many professional women who act like such twerps in 1977 and I expect things to have improved a whole lot by the time of STAR TREK. That's one of the things I like most about fanfic — the way most fan writers have quietly gone about creating positive, competent female characters and further developing those given to us. I doubt it's coincidence that most of the writers are women, but it's a trend I'm pleased to see.

Despite the minor quibbles mentioned above, I think "The Weight" is one of the best examples of ST fiction I've yet seen it really does deal with those things I don't find as often as I'd like: cultural conflict both social and political ethical dilemmas, etc. [134]

1978

Leslie's story is highly detailed and often emotionally crushing. She makes these new characters move and breathe and live in a way which many professional writers simply cannot. Her portrayal of Kirk is both characteristically correct and stylistically beautiful. In THE WEIGHT we come to know other characters which soon become as important as Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest of the crew. Though we are introduced to many characters in several fan fiction serials, Leslie's portrayal of Jenneth Roantree, Quannechota , Sparks and the rest of the Anarchists is far superior to anything I have yet to encounter.... For any newcomer to fan fiction, THE WEIGHT is re-commended reading, as it is not only an action/adventure story, but it also has all the elements of a psychological thriller not to mention being probably the best character study of Kirk ever to be done. Though I am not personally a Kirk fan, I have thoroughly enjoyed every last word of THE WEIGHT, and am anxiously awaiting the remaining installments. Leslie's accompanying artwork is also to be highly complimented on its mood setting qualities as well as fine technique. [135]
The D&R Kirk -- who did sound and act like a pimply school-boy in "Treasure" -- grabs me more than The Weight Kirk. I went into shock when I saw him in drag [136], and only recovered to be confronted by that ghastly Crown-of-Mirrors. And now, it's tuberculosis. Thanks a lot, Leslie Fish! Don't get me wrong: as a story, I think "The Weight" superior to the D&R series, whose cloak-and-dagger style of writing makes for less intense reading. I enjoy both. But I prefer the dejected Kirk of D&R to the mangled Kirk of "The Weight." And if you really want the truth, I prefer the Alternative Universe 4 Kirk to either of those. As I said before, that's a question of personal opinion. I will say that as a straight story, "The Weight" is definitely superior to anything I've read so far in ST fandom. Except maybe Kraith.. My other problem -- and the first is gagging from time to time at Kirk's and/or Jenneth's appearance -- is that I haven't read Part I, or II and can't tell who is who, or whatever. I'm abjectly grateful to have been told, at least, that Kirk is Jenneth and Ann Bailey is Scotty's sister. Do you have a list somewhere, or is one supposed to be looking right and left for doubles and relatives? [137]
Something about "The Weight" this time disturbed me ... I've been following it like a maniac all these months, and the whole time it seems to have been building up to the climax of reaching the Guardian and going back to change time ... So, they finally did it. Just like that, and I realize that the story's nowhere near over, even. So here I am left hanging for yet another issue. I guess the only thing I can attribute it to is Leslie's" writing skill, the fact that I get so worked up over the thing ... But I was REALLY psyched up for a definitive climax this time! Anyone who values his mental health should steer clear of "The Weight" — it can turn even normal, well-adjusted folks into absolute neurotics.[138]
I just hope I live to see the end of "The Weight". That's not a shot -- the longer it takes, the more it builds. And the better it becomes. I'd really rather have it serialized, because as [E M G] pointed out in WS 25, "The Weight" definitely does actually benefit from serialization, and those who read it all at once will miss something — and I for one don't want to miss that kind of suspense. After all, half the fun of the series' long run is that it can be savored, not just scanned ...

... Something that bugs me about "The Weight" is the way the terms "time-line" and "universe" are used interchangeably. I should assume, I guess, that the universe that resulted from Pennington's gift is physically the same universe as Kirk's home universe, except that events are altered. OK — suppose it isn't? What if the Guardian is actually a portal to alternate universes in a physical sense as well as a temporal one? (What I mean by this is that, for example, assuming the "Mirror, Mirror" universe was the result of a definite turning point in history having gone the "wrong" way: The American Revolution(s) being suppressed, Germany winning one of the World Wars, Russia winning the Cold War, anything — and that had caused the Mirror universe to evolve as it did — if you could use the Guardian to alter time in just the right way so as to bring about the Mirror universe, and did, you actually wouldn't be "recreating" the Mirror universe in your home time-line, you would be transporting yourself into the Mirror universe, while your home time line has not been obliterated, is in fact whole, sound, and intact, except that you aren't there any more to see it!).

So what does this have to do with any thing? Well, imagine this scenario: while still in "The Weight" universe. Kirk, Anarchists, and whoever else is coming down to the Guardian and go back to Chicago and successfully stop Pennington. The Guardian, in the act of returning them to the resulting 23rd century, re turns them (along with, hopefully, Spock and McCoy) to Kirk's home time-line — that is, the Federation universe as it stood while Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the landing party (during "The Sixth Year") were investigating Chicago (from the viewpoint of those aboard the E) but with out the effects of Pennington's gift. (Federation is one universe. Anarchy another.) What happens, from Kirk's point-of-view, is that they have returned to his home time-line, the Federation. They beam up to an Enterprise with her full crew of 400+, none of whom are aware of what Pennington did, the resulting time line, worldwide anarchy, and Roms on the rampage. As far as Kirk knows, all of that has been non-made. And he does retain his memories. But ... [139]
This installment of "The Weight" was a definite improvement, though that was a very sneaky teaser as the story's ending. Sets us up for the next scene very nicely. Spock did raise an interesting point about Kirk's action in warning his younger self setting up a time paradox. Made me wonder. There is a theory that alternate or parallel universes are connected in some way. That events that happen in one have an effect or will be duplicated in the other, depending on the potential the event has for affecting drastic changes in the time-line. In all these universes one central one would be the starting point or matrix of the others, thus having the greatest potential for change. Since the Guardian of Forever is capable of almost anything dealing with time and universes, is it possible that in stead of sending Kirk back in time to change the events back to normal in his own timeline, it sent him back to the matrix universe to prevent it from happening in that one and thus creating the pattern that affected the other universe time-lines, including Kirk's?[140]
I read "The Weight" segment from WS 29/30 and then was inspired to re-read the whole thing (including "The Sixth Year"). I'm assuming (hoping?) that that was not the end of the saga — because there are too many loose strings all over ... to wit: 1) the domed city of Chicago is still out there — that's where it all started. Who sent the mysterious message, and why? 2) Problems with the "original" (the ones who were swiped with Chicago) Spock and McCoy — they couldn't have just disappeared like that — they, should have been "buffered" by "sub-space" ("The Sixth Year"). Conservation of (Temporal) Reality screwed up? Where are they? Corollary — there should be three McCoys running around loose out there — the "original", the "innocent" (beamed back to Enterprise after Kirk one-eye changed time-lines), and the old country doctor on Anarchist earth. And, two Spocks. Quanna is the "3rd" "Spock". This I suspected for a long while (evidently, Uhura did, too), and she is a Grayson (Quanna Marie Grayson Two-Feathers). 3) What happens to the Enterprise personnel who didn't go through the Guardian? 4) Where did Kirk one-eye (really much more sympathetic than the original) go? (I would like to think that somehow he was taken to the Dome-ship where Chicago is, and originated the message which started it all — and so bring about his own existence ... I adore circular stories.) [141]
"The Weight" finally made some sense to me. I missed most of the beginning and didn't know about parallel universes, etc. I especially enjoyed it because the setting is my own Chicago. By the way, future shock strikes again, because the library no longer contains books. They've all been moved to a new library and the old building has been restored as a "cultural center". So there wouldn't have been any books for the Anarchists to steal (if that's the right word). Or maybe in their universe, or the ST universe (oh, heck, you know what I mean) there are still books in that beautiful old building.[142]
When is "The Weight" going to end? Its magnificence, combined with the suspense, is driving me slowly nuts.[143]
The highlight of WS 29/30 was "The Weight". Leslie did her usual fine job with this chapter until she reached what should have been the climactic scene. Then things started falling apart fast. OK, I can accept the sick, dying Kirk having a very negative viewpoint on his old self, and the derogatory way he sees himself. What I can't buy is Kirk's making a mistake on that phaser, and killing Sparks accidentally. Nor can I buy his hysterics and his general teen-age behavior when confronted by his one-eyed self. That just does not ring true at all with aired Trek. OK, for some reason Leslie needs to get rid of one of her characters. But she also needs a plausible way to do this, not by having another character behaving in a totally uncharacteristic manner. After all, this is not the first time Kirk has seen one of his people killed while on a landing mission. It is the first recorded time he hasn't been able to set his phaser correctly, though! Uh-uh. This does not work at all, and in fact, sets the unreal tone of the whole following scene. Belief was forfeited just to provide a hook for a tantrum by old one-eye.

Take a close look at that scene. First we've got Kirk killing a man he only meant to stun. Then we've got him going into some sort of trance, crouching and muttering to himself instead of swinging into some sort of action. Now this man is action-oriented, whether it's the right action or not. It isn't like him to sit and mutter ... he'd save that for when the emergency is past. Then he could mutter to his heart's content!

Next, old one-eye, who's barely able to totter about with the help of two able-bodied people at his side, is lunging, dashing, and ramming his fist into the other Captain ... who is in excellent health, by the way ... and the Captain is knocked down by the force of that mighty blow? Now righteous anger is a powerful force indeed, but this is stretching credibility. Still, I might have bought it, except that the Captain looks up at this emaciated form towering over him and ... flinches? Doesn't try to get up?

This is too far out of character, and the whole scene gets lost as I argue ferociously with the author! Whatever his faults. Kirk is a stubborn, arrogant, self-confident commander. Not a hysterical teenager faced by an angry father.

The scene could have been so much more powerful if Leslie had just left the original Kirk with half of the strength she's given Jenneth!

Leslie goes on to redeem the chapter, however, with that powerful final scene after the departure of the Enterprise crew. And that last section could not be bettered! [144]
The story's still good, the writing excellent. But ... what was so wrong with the original Kirk, that Leslie Fish had to take him apart, piece by piece? (Literally, limb by limb.) It seems to me that she turned him inside out simply to make him fit her anarchistic view of society 'as it should be'. Which is a neat idea ... except for the fact that Kirk is not an anarchist. Re member "Way To Eden"? "Whether or not you recognize authority, on this ship, I'm it." Kirk said that. And meant it. In no way could his personality be so altered that he would agree that the an anarchists' way is best. Leslie probably realized this herself, because she proceeded to wear him down and make him more amenable to new ideas, by taking off an eye first, then crippling a leg, poisoning the old lungs, etc. In that state, how can the poor man think clearly? I mean, in his place, I'd think: "Jenneth's all in one piece, so she mus.t be doing something right!" And promptly convert to anarchism.

Another thing. I object to, is Jenneth herself. Do I object! While the idea of alternate time-lines is intriguing, the necessity of the sex-changes themselves aren't clear to me. Why couldn't Kirk i, have been a man in this universe? And — an illo of Quannechota suddenly opened my eyes: Spock in drag. After I'd recovered consciousness, I wept for an hour — Spock also? It seems to me that we (women) are kicking ourselves in the butt, when we have so much trouble producing strong, believable ST females that we resort to appropriating the best male characters. Did the anarchist leader (pardon me, 'braider') have to be Kirk's female alter-ego? (I suddenly have this wild urge to call her Mary Sue Kirk.)

Did her Indian side-kick have to be Spockette? Wouldn't two new females have been much more effective, and much less (stomach) upsetting for the readers? Or was this whole story an elaborate excuse for finally getting Kirk to Spock honestly? I'm getting carried away, be cause this is beginning to read like the ending of a SOAP episode. If Fish was trying to convert Kirk to anarchism, I don't think that it was necessary to involve his 'sister'. I don't mind her (Fish's) trying to convert him — even though I think it's a lost cause: my idea of the logical conclusion to this piece is Kirk 'getting back together' and all those people down on a new planet where they can be as anarchistic as they like ... by themselves. And for getting all about them as fast as possible! His bossiness is an important part of his personality; not one of his nicer traits, I agree, but an important one to a starship captain. Will Leslie Fish tell me how he can deal with a shipful of people used to discipline and "sick authoritarian procedures" if he stays that sweet, lovable, weak-kneed anarchist he's become? "Now listen here, lovers, there's a fire down in Engineering. What are we going to do about it?" I'll admit that it's a crude, simplistic example, but you get the point, don't you?

I like the story. I would've loved it if it hadn't been for Jenneth, Quannechota and sundry Crown-of-Mirrors. I think it's a cop-out to befuddle Kirk that way with family problems and so many injuries. Fish is admitting that he wouldn't have bought any of that anarchistic jazz in his normal state of physical and mental health. (I think I'm starting to sound like Hitler: it's not that I'm against anarchism per se, I'm just against it for Kirk. It's not right for him. I wouldn't mind trying it for myself, although I have my doubts about its working. And I don't think you can have something like the United Federation of Planets with anarchism.) I don't think Fish much likes Kirk, either. She's sort of remodeled him to fit her own patterns. Trouble is, I liked him as he was. So will she please put him back together according to Starfleet's instructions booklet?

On the red-hot subject of homosexuality in ST: I'm not a rabid Anita Bryant supporter. Neither am I a flag-waver for the Gay Liberationists' Movement. I simply accept the fact that there are people who are homosexuals, and there are people who are heterosexuals. Period. But, I do not consider Kirk and Spock to be homosexuals. I draw my own conclusions from the best possible source: aired STAR TREK. Kirk is heterosexual, Spock is the closest thing to a neuter that I can think of. I'm getting a little tired of all those "Kirk lays Spock" essays. I don't go crazy when I find one, but I don't read any by choice. They have to trick me into it. Even though the Kirk/Jenneth/Quanna approach is a new one, it still doesn't grab me. Well, the IDIC principle is valid here too, I suppose.

I very strongly object to ol' one-eye's vicious attack of his ... er ... 'twin' (particularly that bit: "his stupid, fatuous, innocent guts"). A very crude way of showing how frightfully "inept, stupid and bloodthirsty" Kirk "used" to be. Uncalled for, and quite unnecessary. I rest my case. [145]
And, of course, for an example of what I mean by evolution of characters mandated in fiction, and a case of what marvels can come from this, we have a rather Fishy tale. There is a very strong temptation to cry out in the middle of reading the latest chapter, "Spock, you twit. Look at Quanna, and then look in the mirror already. To quote "City", "I am a fool.") Very strong notion he should have reached the truth already. And why isn't Kirk suspecting anything? Why don't the Anarchists meet up with Khan and his batch of Playdoh-boys? How about Mirror "The Weight"? And Juggeth Roundthigh can play a dulcimer and sip dandelion wine during her coffee break in the vast bureaucratic maze in which she works ... Can the Guardian send one over to the Mirror-Universe? Why not?[146]
In this installment, Kirk ties the two alternate timelines together through the Guardian of Forever and brings the anarchists through the corrected timeline. The shock of merging both the alternate universe Kirks into one body is too much for the captain and he retreats into catatonia... One technical quibble: Leslie does not credit many of the lyrics which she quotes in her story, many of which are heavily copyrighted... Although this may be Leslie's decision, omitting the credits is a copyright violation and makes YOU liable, Lori, because you printed it that way... In general, the only thing that is worth your time in the zine is the segment of Fish's story, and handful of decent illos... you don't like The Weight, you might want to wait until the next issue of WS to subscribe...[147]
"The Weight" — well, Sheila and I had been wondering if Quanna was the Spock alternate. [148]
"The Weight": Gahrhk! I knew Leslie Fish wouldn't let Kirk come back to point one. After all, it's hardly worth her while to drag a character through months of misery and actual physical/mental suffering, just to allow him to remain the same person he used to be — a person Fish doesn't happen to like much, incidentally.

Quite a neat trick to have the two time-lines merge through Kirk. A bit hard on Kirk, yes, but after all, what mercy can he expect from Leslie Fish? I suppose I must be thankful that he got his eye back, lot the scars, limp and brain damage. Never mind the tuberculosis and mental strain: it does get them taken care of, finally — and now!

I'm actually going to miss old Crown-of-Mirrors: he reminded me of the theme song from one of the Disney series: "Scarecrow, scarecrow ... "

Physical regeneration notwithstanding, it seems that Kirk is not through suffering yet (another turn of the screw in 38?). At least, I can see that Spock will have some difficulties of his own fairly soon. Already has them, in fact — I'll bet Quannechota could get arrested on Vulcan for what she's done.

Is it gross to point out that underneath all the sociological coating and numerous sub-plots (as in: 'Uhura: power-groupie'), the main 'moral' of this story is a good screw will put all your fears to rest'? (Or most of them, anyway.) As far as I can tell. Fish hasn't made the 'new' Kirk an anarchist after all, which is reasonable as well as clever of her (I can only take so much). I must admit that I got to laugh several times while reading this segment. That's a switch: I usually read "The Weight" in grim, horrified silence.

The 'fight' between the two Kirks was gripping: incredible writing. I was hanging on by my thumbnails ... All right, I give up: I may not agree with all (or most of) Fish's premises and if a ideas, but I sure am addicted to "The Weight". I'm already trying to figure out what happens next. [149]
Maybe it isn't fair for me to comment on "The Weight" since I first read it in 26/27, read 24 and 25 later, and consequently had trouble making sense of the story, but I don't like it. I think Jim Kirk would try to find a way to put time right without bringing 41 people (it might have been 57) into a universe in which there is no place for them. I don't understand how Kirk and Spock can have female analogues with different names, instead of simply never having been born. I don't agree that women's rights would still be an issue 200 years from now. Granted, women were not equal to men in the aired episodes, but that was a reflection of the times and can be ignored by fans writing today. I also don't like the idea that all the more open-minded Terrans are space travelers. We'll need people with vision on Earth, too, and I think they'll be there. Finally, I don't understand why the Guardian is given a personality. It certainly didn't have one in "The City on the Edge of Forever." [150]
Brief comment on the latest installment of "The Weight": it had me enthralled — I could not put it down until I had finished it. The tension building up toward the eventual discovery by the Anarchists that their new universe is not what it is made out to be is getting unbearable. I'm also glad to see Kirk coming up from the depths at long last. [151]
Trek fiction has more possibilities than are currently being realized, since it is concentrating so much on one type of story (the character story); there are still open areas of Trek for fan writers, in which they can create sf stories — "The Weight", for instance, is Trek, but it is also excellent sf, and manages to convey the impression of a world beyond the immediate circle of the characters (in some recent stories, I've noticed, it's hard to tell even that there is an Enterprise beyond the characters of the stories), let alone any wider world. If some Trek writers and fans are shifting their attentions to SW (though I suspect that in most cases, it's just a matter of adding an interest), it may be because there is, at the moment, more possibility for variety in SW than in Trek. [152]
... I found [Warped Space] 37 and 38 to be somewhat disappointing. For one thing, the long-promised conclusion to "The Weight" was in neither. For another, the contents were grade school/Jr. High level, except for perhaps three stories. The feature format seemed to be one of my usual complaints about most fan stories — too short, little plot, almost fragments — postscripts to be tacked on to STAR TREK or STAR WARS episodes. What is there, in most cases, is well-written, but appears underdeveloped or unfinished. "Tega Run" in #38 was one of the better ones. The most adult reading in either issue was "Warped Communications". [153]
"The Weight", or as it should be spelled, "The Wait". I had Quanna pegged by the third installment, by the way — the who's who game is fascinating. As for who GETS who, that's also going to be fun. Can't wait for the end of the blasted thing — do you folks realize that it started in 1976? [154]
I have little to say about Leslie Fish's "The Weight", except that, as she's written it, I think the change in Kirk's character and attitudes are logically presented and fascinating to watch. Everyone's commenting on her changes in Kirk; hasn't anyone else been struck by some of her other marvelously atypical for-Trek-fiction characterizations? Uhura as a slightly calculating and hard, ambitious woman rather than the sweet, warm, gentle lady she's usually taken to be; Christine Chapel as the strong, clever, intuitive, interesting person Uhura's usually written, rather than the simpering weakling usually shown — M'Benga as a good doctor, technically, but an absolute idiot when it comes to doctor-patient communications. And my own favorite reversal, Scotty as a demon-haunted second-rater, who knows his limitations and his failings and is tortured by them. Not particularly pretty, but very human and acceptable as she's written it. What can I say? I love her stuff, I read it in awe, amazement and joy, and I can't wait for more. And I love her illos. I'm a would-be artist with no training and her illos usually cause me to weep with despair over my own, even as they bring joy over their excellence. To have seen an artist grow and improve over several years-worth of WS was great![155]

1979

On to "The Wait, Book 35, Chapter 120, Section 5B, Paragraph 57Z@4 ... " Leslie Fish has told us that "The Weight" is part of a trilogy. I keep getting the strange feeling that, like Kirk with the Anarchists, she is holding something back. Come on now, Leslie, confess: this latest installment really takes us halfway into Volume 2! Or is Volume 2 going to involve those strange species mentioned in "On The Rim"? Kirk's repeated references to the Rim in this installment are highly suspicious ... Aside from that, I loved the sequence of the unarmed ship throwing rocks and such ... it's a pity Federation tractor beams have no tight focus, though. If it has high-powered tractors with fine focus and a fast on-off switch, an "unarmed" merchant ship can take the plates off an enemy as if it was peeling a banana; perhaps that's why the Feds didn't build in the fine tuning, though I am a little confused about why tractors go through shields when nothing else does, especially since deflector shields and tractors ought to be the same sort of thing but with a different focal length and the polarity reversed ... I devoutly hope that some of the tension that's been building up will dissipate a little in the next installment when things start hitting the fan ... all this suspense has got to be bad for the collective blood- pressure of the WS readership. Besides, if all these anarchists are as smart and quick on the uptake as they're cracked up to be, there is no way The Secret is going to last much longer. Even allowing 30 or 40 pages of fireworks when Spock and Quanna find out they're each other and another 10 pages of delay for other people's soliloquies, the cat should be let out of the bag in the next chapter ... I can see it now: "Mother of mares! The bastards have a government!"[156]
Speaking of the devil, we get to "The Weight" (my hat's off to whoever said it should be called "The Wait"). Great, as usual. Star Fleet gets its usual share of lumps (don't any fans like the organization? No, I don't either — they may call it Star Fleet, but it's still the Army). Funny as hell, this time. I'll be sorry to see it end — if it ever does, which I'm beginning to doubt. This installment is one of the best, in my book. Laughing like crazy at the dumb "male" conversation on p. 66 one minute and saying "the lousy pigs" aloud the next, upon discovering what planet the Anarchists were being "given" certainly is good mental gymnastics (I also discovered how strangely the Anarchists grow on you). I used to think of them as "that bunch of weirdos who make Kirk's life a hell on Earth." But I got very angry with Star Fleet about that ship and that planet. So I guess it's official, I like them. They're still very weird, though. Where was I? Ah, yes, back to laughing, with McCoy's "because of the disease". How hokey can you get? McCoy ought to be recycled. One question only — how much longer can the dread secret be kept? I expected it to come out ages ago. ... P.S. to Beverly Clark, who doesn't follow my line of reasoning. Doesn't surprise me, nobody does, not even me. Seriously, what I meant was, Jenneth Roantree and Quannechota are the only truly strong, believable, totally "together" (despite awful living conditions) women I've ever read about in ST fiction. And those two great women happen to be Kirk's and Spock's alter-egos. That's what I think is enough to make you scream. The comment was directed towards Trek fiction, not the characters themselves. Presumably the opinion was badly stated. P.S. to Leslie Fish: what bothered me about your illos? I suppose I am a little (or a lot) "straight", but seeing [File:Warped3435-15.jpg a naked, female Spock standing over Kirk's bed, looking like "it"'s about to whip him with a Christmas tree leftover, is a bit unsettling (WS 35/36, p. 87)]. I have nothing against the art, per se. It's original and quite good. It's the subject matter that leaves me numb. Now that I reflect on it, it's actually quite funny — you say you can't quite grasp what I find "wrong" about pp. 105 and 109 in WS 29/30: I can tell you; it's not the art, or the inking, it's Kirk himself, lying on the ground in a drugged stupor, his Crown-of-Mirrors on, with his grinning "sister" looking on, a pipe of God-knows-what between her teeth (p. 105) and Kirk standing like a scarecrow over the downed figure of his twin, who somehow looks positively vicious, like a corrupt officer, the kind that sells military secrets to the enemy in order to be able to furnish an opulent nouveau riche palace. You see — mea culpa — I am so used to thinking of Kirk as "an officer and a gentleman, sir". My mistake; he isn't even one. We all know he'd do just about anything to get out of a tight spot ... [157]
I actually force-read quite a bit of "The Weight" this time around. I still come up with the same opinion. I admire the skillful and monumental plot development. The bold art style is well-constructed even if Quanna looks more like Spock than Spock does and neither one of 'em looks quite right. The Spock on p. 57 is the best so far. And I still can't believe a fussy, jealous, intolerant Spock — the Vulcan who put up with everyone from Eden-seeking rebels to the Horta; the Vulcan who showed little possessiveness toward Kirk when faced with such threats as Edith Keeler, Rayna, and others. I will admit to being intrigued as to the resolution of the whole mess. May be BSG could pick up Jenneth & Co. on its way through. She and Starbuck deserve each other ... [158]
Egad. When is Spock going to catch on to Quanna's identity? That illo on p. 45 — whew, if looks could kill! This is our Mr. Spock? Brrr — wouldn't want to meet him in a dark corridor. But Kirk — he has grown into such a different, but better person; questioning Star Fleet's "ethics", dying inside each time he has to twist the truth for the Anarchists. I'm learning to admire him all over again. I also like the characterization of Chris Chapel — she's a real person at last; no longer a lovesick simpering stereotype ... I hope she is half that well-portrayed in the movie — that much would be a vast improvement. [159]
I really don't have anything to add to the discussions on "The Weight". I enjoy Leslie's work mostly because she can make me interested in a situation despite my usual lack of interest in Kirk-in-throes stories competency and imagination are virtues in my book, and Leslie has 'em.[160]
I was going to say that it's kinda nice not to see any more of "The Weight" in the zine. but Paula just informed me that it's going to be back in the next issue. *sigh* It was a pleasant respite. (Not that I don't like Leslie's writing, you pro-Fish-ers; she writes extremely well. It's the subject, matter I disagree with. Or perhaps it disagrees with me. Like this cocoa. Po, what's in this cocoa?) [161]
"The Weight" makes me uncomfortable, exhilarated, depressed, angry (sometimes all at once) but that's because there's real meat to it. The same's true of Kraith, despite its very real faults — it dealt with some really substantive issues. Aside from such juicy topics as sexism/bureaucratic stupidity/excessive militarism/Terran domination/ad infinitum in the Federation, here's that whole exceedingly juicy can of worms, the Prime Directive. [162]
Pardon the pun, but the heaviest story in years is "The Weight". I could go on for hours about it, but I'm running out of paper. The characters are superb; Jenneth is marvelous, so completely and undeniably competent. When she walked in on Spock (it was supposed to be the other way around, but our cool Vulcan was the edgy one) clad only in a towel, the tension could've been cut with a knife. The Enterprise crew is showing sides of them selves that they didn't realize they had. Kirk as an ex-juvenile delinquent? Why not? He has plenty of disrespect for convention even now. Christine talking with McCoy is the high point in my book. Majel B. would approve. The artwork is superb and matches the serious tone. The illo on p. 57 comparing the Jim/Jenneth pair and the Spock/Quannechota pair is the best so far. I'm eagerly awaiting the finish, and yet it's going to be frightening. Congratulations, Leslie, and may your end match the beginning. [163]
As far as Leslie Fish is concerned, I think "The Weight" is the best I've ever seen in ST fiction (except for a few episodes, which are not really comparable). I'll like it even better when I have it all in one piece.... Leslie is a brilliant writer. I happen to love her existential gestures toward political looniness (I've been extremely active in politics for 16 years). She almost tells it like it is -- I mean the sheer madness of organization politics. She's tough; so is the world. [164]
And of course, there's chapter four part 4 of 'The Weight,' in which Spock discovers something the reader has known since August 1977. There are some nice scenes in this section, notably Uhura's talk with Roantree; next issue is supposed to finish off the series, whereupon the whole series will be reprinted in its entirety in a separate volume. Something to look forward to. [165]
I thoroughly enjoyed issue #41 except for the continuing story of "The Weight". I've read other installments and I find the whole story uncomfortable and awkward. Maybe I'm not political enough to enjoy Roantree and company. [166]
It's now more of an infliction than an installment, but I dutifully read it out of curiosity, respect for Leslie's story-telling abilities (verging on long-windedness, when she gets into the sociology or feminism rut), and sheer disbelief as to how anyone could warp Spock's character to any greater extent (even if it is "Warped Space"). It may be a milestone (millstone?) in TREK fanlit, but I for one will be glad when "The Weight" finishes its lengthy run. [167]

1980

Concerning "The Weight": clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap pause clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap yay clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap encore encore clap ... [168]
*sigh* I hate to sound like a sour grape, but I personally feel the conclusion of "The Weight" was rather weak. Somehow the tension ceased to hold and it came off seemingly rushed. Granted the earlier installments are a hard act to follow, but I found myself really disappointed in the way the conclusion was handled. It was the logical conclusion and one the story should have come to to remain true to the characters. Don't ask me what exactly is wrong — I can't tell you. It just "feels" wrong. I suppose lack of solid "evidence" to back up my claim invalidates the statements. And no, I couldn't do better myself. The artwork was some of Leslie's best so far as the series goes and the one scene of Jenneth's hair being shorn will remain a personal favorite for a long time to come. [169]
Honestly, I am very relieved to see an end to "Dead Weight". The story was fine and the characters good, but all in all, it was terribly ponderous. You needed a mental plow to get past some of the passages. Much as I like Leslie Fish (contrary to what Roberta believes), I feel her best work is in music, and should stay there. I vote "no" on part 2 of "The Weight".... Strangely enough, I'm not a fan of Dirty Nellie. She annoys me, being non-institutional in nature, and I rather like institutions. Maybe that's why I hate "The Weight".... Now that "The Weight" is through, maybe we'll see some new stuff for a while. [170]
Oddly enough, the last segment of "The Weight" is the first one I've read -- and I didn't feel like I'd walked in in the middle of a conversation. The only previous explanation I'd had was that Jenneth was in some way an alternate-Kirk, and the piece did not ramble as I had been warned it might. Leslie's illos are all her own, in an unmistakable style that some folks don't like, but that I find darkly appropriate for the subject matter. I will probably wind up getting a copy of "The Weight, Collected" — and my friends will be surprised, because I have screamed for the last ten months that "I don't read TREK!" The social ethics involved spoke very loudly to a Survivor of the Campus Sixties, and I think I'll probably run home tonight and read the rest of what I've got of the story. [171]
"The Weight", finally over?!? I must admit to being shocked by the ending. How ironic! I thought the Anarchists were realists, judging from the past 3 installments. But their ideas about treatment of people who make errors really take the cake! I sincerely hope the Anarchist has a good grip on his or her own self-worth, otherwise the blow will really be crushing if he or she makes a minor error and loses his or her position as a result. Wonder how many people have been displaced in such a way? Evidently they don't believe in second chances! How realistic is it to expect a leader to never lead them wrong? Are the Anarchists so sure that Jenneth would have persisted in her errors if she had stayed at her post?

I also wonder what will happen when they come across a pro-Federation person who isn't a total idiot like Komack, or the weak squeamish ones the orienting Science Team appeared to be. I'm also surprised — well, I will be — if Komack accepts the cock-and-bull tale Mendez fed him. If I were a cautious Admiral, I'd try to run a careful check on the Federation people who had interactions with the Anarchists. People like Kirk, Scott and Chapel may prove to be the real insurrectionists.

It's been quite a series. My vote is in favor of the serial approach for the next parts of the trilogy. I also hope it includes a glimpse at what happens with the roving Anarchists — especially Quanna. Can &he really be totally indifferent to the fact that her lover Jenneth is in exile? On other interesting detail I noticed: Jenneth (on p. 52) condemned Kirk and Federation of living by the lie that "might is right". Yet in the crucial voting scene, (p. 58) Bailey did not alter her decision from death to exile until after Quanna had posted herself beside Jenneth while bran dishing a throwing knife. The threat was clear, and Quanna voiced no arguments or appeal to common sense, just a silent threat of force. [172]
I've been waiting for what seems like a year to read the conclusion of "The Weight". Hah! If that was a conclusion, I'm bright blue! All Leslie did in that installment was let the Anarchists know just how the deck was stacked. The real fun is just ready to start now! For one thing, when Jenneth wakes up, she's going to have trouble deciding who she wants to kill first, Jim or Spock! Seems to me, Jim would be just a little peeved with Star Fleet Command, too. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to learn he plans to make life as unpleasant as possible for them. (Like maybe ramming his twin down their collective throats as a starship captain, possibly?) I'd love to see him try it, providing, of course, he can get Jenneth to cooperate. She's likely to be a bit peeved with him! I'd also love to see a scene where Spock tries to explain Jenneth to Sarek! Come to think of it, I'd rather like to see a scene between Sarek and Jenneth! If Jim has any sense, he'll do his damnedest to keep those two as far apart as possible! If he can't manage that, he'd do well to find himself a bomb-shelter! For some reason, I suspect Sarek and Jenneth would suffer a severe personality clash! I most definitely hope to print further sections of "The Weight" in WS. Not only have I become rather attached to it, but it's nice to find something you know you will enjoy for certain! This doesn't necessarily mean I believe the characterizations in "The Weight" any more than I believe them in KRAITH, but like KRAITH, I find the story so well-written that I go along with it. Frankly, I don't see Spock quite as nervy as Leslie portrays him, but I do enjoy her devious mind!

I find that I can enjoy a wide variety of STAR TREK universes without necessarily going along with any one of them completely. This is one reason I've enjoyed even the K/S stuff I've read, even though part of me simply refuses to see that pair in such a context. I've noticed the controversy on your letter pages and I'm afraid I don't really understand what the fuss is all about. If the material offends people, why do they read it? It's like television — if you don't like it, turn it off! I don't believe it, but some writers (Leslie Fish, Gerry Downes, and Susan James in particular) write what can only be called love stories. I think it is this element in their tales that I find so enjoyable.

I must confess, on occasion I would like to see" a story written by one of these writers which pairs Kirk or Spock up with women who could be considered a true match for them. I admit to a slight curiosity concerning their ability to write as enthralling a tale as the ones they have already produced. I suspect that this may be one reason I find Jenneth and Quanna so interesting. If Spock could keep from shying away from her, his involvement with Jenneth could become quite interesting. (Wonder how Kirk would react; don't you?)[173]
"I can't believe 'The Weight's the whole thing!" At last. And much as I com plain habitually with each LoC about various aspects of said tome, I'll glibly admit that Leslie tied up the loose ends and accomplished the denouement with a flourish. I do, however, have reservations as to the logic or believability, given "The Weight's" previous format, of the Anarchists leaving Roantree behind at the end. As a writer's ploy its genius is unquestionable though, bringing the story full-turn in a sort of "Alternative Factor"/TIME AFTER TIME twist. The artwork was particularly good in this installment, too — especially the lovely Christine on p. 46. Now that the series has come to a momentary halt, after all is said and done, regardless of my personal interest in the piece being only marginal, "The Weight" certainly deserves the title of classic in the annals of fan TREKlit. [174]
As for "The Weight" — wow! I don't agree with all of Leslie's interpretations of the Enterprise's finest, but she's cruelly consistent. [175]
WHAT DO WE SAY!!?? You mean you want to put us through that again? Having got this off my chest, I can turn around and say I wouldn't mind if part 2 of "The Weight" was serialized (only in WARPED SPACE, mind! I don't feel I can start hunting around to find out where Chapter 3 was published, and then manage to get hold of it only to find then that I haven't received Chapters 1 and 2 yet. This may be a bit warbled, but I'm sure you get my drift). So, in clear print, yes, I would like WS to continue publishing "The Weight", even though the end of part 1 really threw me off balance — I won't comment on it be cause it was so different from what I'd expected that I don't know what to say. [176]
*sigh* I hate to sound like a sour grape, but I personally feel the conclusion of "The Weight" was rather weak. Somehow the tension ceased to hold and it came off seemingly rushed. Granted the earlier installments are a hard act to follow, but I found myself really disappointed in the way the conclusion was handled. It was the logical conclusion and one the story should have come to to remain true to the characters. Don't ask me what exactly is wrong — I can't tell you. It just "feels" wrong. I suppose lack of solid "evidence" to back up my claim invalidates the statements. And no, I couldn't do better myself. The artwork was some of Leslie's best so far as the series goes and the one scene of Jenneth's hair being shorn will remain a personal favorite for a long time to come. [177]
Honestly, I am very relieved to see an end to "Dead Weight". The story was fine and the characters good, but all in all, it was terribly ponderous. You needed a mental plow to get past some of the passages. Much as I like Leslie Fish (contrary to what Roberta believes), I feel her best work is in music, and should stay there. I vote "no" on part 2 of "The Weight". [178]
Leslie Fish has, at last, gotten to the main action. I wondered how she'd get Kirk and Roantree's situations reversed ... But I didn't really think that Kirk would be so tongue-tied while Jenneth was quite the opposite. She doesn't seem able to see things from his point of view at all — yet. It'll be easier to tell the strength of Leslie's tale once it's read without months between episodes. But — I'd rather see parts 2 and 3 serialized in WS as part 1 was. Already I'm trying to figure out how Kirk will get Jenneth as much freedom as possible and where and when the Galilei and Co. will show up again. These folks have got a lot to learn. C'mon, Leslie, show us where they're wrong as well as where they're right! [179]
Oddly enough, the last segment of "The Weight" is the first one I've read -- and I didn't feel like I'd walked in in the middle of a conversation. The only previous explanation I'd had was that Jenneth was in some way an alternate-Kirk, and the piece did not ramble as I had been warned it might. Leslie's illos are all her own, in an unmistakable style that some folks don't like, but that I find darkly appropriate for the subject matter. I will probably wind up getting a copy of "The Weight, Collected" — and my friends will be surprised, because I have screamed for the last ten months that "I don't read TREK!" The social ethics involved spoke very loudly to a Survivor of the Campus Sixties, and I think I'll probably run home tonight and read the rest of what I've got of the story. [180]
"The Weight" — wow! I don't agree with all of Leslie's interpretations of the Enterprise's finest, but she's cruelly consistent. [181]
"I can't believe 'The Weight's the whole thing!" At last. And much as I com plain habitually with each LoC about various aspects of said tome, I'll glibly admit that Leslie tied up the loose ends and accomplished the denouement with a flourish. I do, however, have reservations as to the logic or believability, given "The Weight's" previous format, of the Anarchists leaving Roantree behind at the end. As a writer's ploy its genius is unquestionable though, bringing the story full-turn in a sort of "Alternative Factor"/TIME AFTER TIME twist. The artwork was particularly good in this installment, too — especially the lovely Christine on p. 46. Now that the series has come to a momentary halt, after all is said and done, regardless of my personal interest in the piece being only marginal, "The Weight" certainly deserves the title of classic in the annals of fan TREKlit. [182]
I've been waiting for what seems like a year to read the conclusion of "The Weight". Hah! If that was a conclusion, I'm bright blue! All Leslie did in that installment was let the Anarchists know just how the deck was stacked. The real fun is just ready to start now! For one thing, when Jenneth wakes up, she's going to have trouble deciding who she wants to kill first, Jim or Spock! Seems to me, Jim would be just a little peeved with Star Fleet Command, too. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to learn he plans to make life as unpleasant as possible for them. (Like maybe ramming his twin down their collective throats as a starship captain, possibly?) I'd love to see him try it, providing, of course, he can get Jenneth to cooperate. She's likely to be a bit peeved with him! I'd also love to see a scene where Spock tries to explain Jenneth to Sarek! Come to think of it, I'd rather like to see a scene between Sarek and Jenneth! If Jim has any sense, he'll do his damnedest to keep those two as far apart as possible! If he can't manage that, he'd do well to find himself a bomb-shelter! For some reason, I suspect Sarek and Jenneth would suffer a severe personality clash! I most definitely hope to print further sections of "The Weight" in WS. Not only have I become rather attached to it, but it's nice to find something you know you will enjoy for certain! This doesn't necessarily mean I believe the characterizations in "The Weight" any more than I believe them in KRAITH, but like KRAITH, I find the story so well-written that I go along with it. Frankly, I don't see Spock quite as nervy as Leslie portrays him, but I do enjoy her devious mind! I find that I can enjoy a wide variety of STAR TREK universes without necessarily going along with any one of them completely. This is one reason I've enjoyed even the K/S stuff I've read, even though part of me simply refuses to see that pair in such a context. I've noticed the controversy on your letter pages and I'm afraid I don't really understand what the fuss is all about. If the material offends people, why do they read it? It's like television — if you don't like it, turn it off! I don't believe it, but some writers (Leslie Fish, Gerry Downes, and Susan James in particular) write what can only be called love stories. I think it is this element in their tales that I find so enjoyable. I must confess, on occasion I would like to see" a story written by one of these writers which pairs Kirk or Spock up with women who could be considered a true match for them. I admit to a slight curiosity concerning their ability to write as enthralling a tale as the ones they have already produced. I suspect that this may be one reason I find Jenneth and Quanna so interesting. If Spock could keep from shying away from her, his involvement with Jenneth could become quite interesting. (Wonder how Kirk would react; don't you?) [183]
I don't care for it, at least as Star Trek. I think Leslie would have been better to have written it as a straight SF story without trying to include ST characters. The thing is, as I'm sure you know, a reviewer judges to some extent on the basis of his/her personal preferences. No matter how hard you try to be objective it isn't always possible. To me, "The Weight" is that much wasted effort as an ST story because Kirk is, to all intents and purposes, on his own, separated from McCoy and Spock; Quanna, as a Spock analogue, is not the same, especially since he thinks she's Miramanee. I gave it a fair try; read my way right through it (although I did have to get photo­copies of some of the earlier episodes from a friend) but found myself more and more inclined to scan as it went on. [184]

1984

That explanation of Leslie Fish and The Weight and how she used the story to move message struck a true note, for in my own case, it explains why I never read all the series. I think I read 3 or 4 longish sections before I gave it up. It was not only the frustration of reading a massive work in dabs, but the message seemed to conflict with the story, to fight with it. I wonder if the effect would be the same if I could sit down and read the thing all the way through?... Anyway, if Leslie was suckering us into reading her political position with this story, she failed in my case, became I could not see these people as characters from Star Trek, and I finally gave up. She did get it in the story in Fesarius -- I enjoyed that one tremendously, despite the Harlan Ellison clone, even though her views don't precisely match mine. [185]
No one told Leslie that they were dying to read a story on anarchism; quite the opposite, many fans moaned and groaned throughout the entire "Weight". But that doesn't mean that Leslie didn't know her audience or tailor her work to fit it. She was brilliant enough to know that she would probably not get that many to read what she really wanted to write about—her politics, so she tied it to a story that everyone hated. I forget the name of the story that originally started the whole thing off and I'm too tired to go look it up, but Leslie said -- I know a way out of this. And everyone who was depressed by the story said: oh yeah, show us. And Leslie took everyone on a merry chase right through her politics. She could've written a simple little story to get them out of that situation, but she used it for her own purposes. I have always applauded her for reading her audience right, for manipulating them right into reading what she wanted them to read, despite the fact that they protested all along the way, and for writing a damn fine story. But that doesn't mean she didn't know exactly what she was doing or that she was sitting back saying this Is the story I'm writing for me. Leslie didn't need to lecture herself on the subject. By your definitions that should've made her a hack writer, because she just didn't write what she wanted to write about--her politics but stooped to using a vehicle in which to couch her message.[186]

1988

I have just finished reading -- in its entirety, at one sitting -- THE WEIGHT Collected: & Other Stories, a must for fanzine readers. I had planned to read a story or two on a lazy Saturday (after a late night of sushi and conversation) but ended up reading it all! I couldn't put it down. I was drunk on it, possessed! Written primarily by Leslie Fish (and including "The 6th Year" by Ed Zdrojewski, which inspired "The Weight"), these stories hold together as a continuous novel rather than as the sequential short stories it purports itself to be. The plot uses such devices as time travel, alternate realities, and even "Mary Sue." However, it also postulates daring ideas on gender and identity, on sexual relationships and friendship, and even on politics: the stuff of great fiction, speculations all too often edited out of Pro-Trek fiction. Although I don't agree with some of the ideas espoused in this work, I applaud them when they are so eloquently presented. There is good characterization too, especially for those of us "hurt/comfort" fans for whom Kirk is never so beautiful as when he suffers. In this collection he suffers magnificently: he becomes gaunt, scarred, emotionally tortured, and half blind. There is one scene in particular which exemplifies this: Kirk desperately needs to cry (he has reason to) but due to his stubborn will and ideas of self, he is unable to. His tortured body trembles and racks with the sobs he cannot, dare not, express. I defy anyone to read this with dry eyes. I should mention the illos (by the author, Leslie Fish): they are powerful and fully integrated into the storyline. In themselves they are strong and vaguely medieval -- relying on heavy, bold lines to reveal the underlying essence of those depicted. They are not "pretty," but have a beauty that will involve the viewer long after closing the pages of The Weight. Some negative aspects include three different typists and typeface; the quality of the zine tended to deteriorate toward the end -- I could see paste-up edges and even editing notes. But these are minor flaws and easily forgiven, given the volunteer nature of fan fiction. Another negative was the use of song in with the narratives -- enjoyable when recognizable, disconcerting when unfamiliar. I discovered in the credits that some songs were unpublished and unrecorded: foul! No Fair! Bloody hell! I wonder if T'Kuhtian Press would release "The Weight: The Album"? [187]
As you can see, it is almost all Fish. Her story starts with Kirk alone in the ENTERPRISE, orbiting an Earth that isn't his. Partly because of a goof-up by Kirk, the timeline has been changed. Humanity is now almost entirely planet-bound, and science is suspect. Anarchy—principled anarchy— is now the rule on Earth. Kirk, suffering almost terminal guilt, meets up with a group of space-minded anarchists, among whom is his own analogue in this reality. To get his own reality back, he must have the help of these people. They are willing; they think as science- minded humanity must be an improvement. What they don't know, and what Kirk must keep them from finding out, is that in his reality, governments still exist and have power. I really enjoyed this one. The anarchists aren't just us in funny clothes; they are truly different. The effects they have on the ENTERPRISE people are well-imagined. The whole thing is convincing, with unexpected twists and turns whenever you think you know what's coming next. The author's illustrations are lively, moody, and strong. The writing is as good as I hoped, but I hoped a lot, after paying out the cost of two or three other zines. But it's the size of three or four other zines. Maybe it depends on whether you like Leslie Fish. I do. Rating — PG-13 to R? Age statement not required. Detail fades below the waist. [188]

1990

After a time displacement accident which left Spock and McCoy dead, the entire crew of the Enterprise is stranded in an alternate time line, unable to get back to their own universe. In brief, the crew deserts Kirk and sets up camp on Earth 200 years from now -- the Earth which would have been the earth of the Federation, but which isn't anymore. Kirk feels that if he could somehow get back his own time line, there would at least be a possibility of setting things straight once again. Even though the crew (and Kirk) are in their own time, they are not in their own universe. The universe in which they are stranded (due to Kirk's error in judgement) is a society which has shunned science. This is one of the few pieces of fiction admitting that Kirk, Spock or any of the regulars could make a mistake. At any rate, Kirk discovers, quite by accident, a group of Anarchists who befriend him. Essentially, they help him see there is still a chance of getting back to his own time, even though he has all but given up hope. The problem? The Anarchists shun leadership, and Kirk knows they certainly would be out of place in his universe. He must find a way of 'balancing' things so that no one comes out on the bottom in the end. In the parallel universe, all of Kirk's people have doubles in this new time line. Kirk's double just happens to be a woman, Jenneth Roantree, leader of the Anarchists. Jenneth is essentially Kirk, in another time, born into the body of a woman. The way Kirk discovers she is his double is astonishing and humorous as well. [189]
Leslie's story is highly detailed and emotionally crushing. She makes these new characters move, breathe and live in a way may professional writers simply cannot do. Her portrayal of Kirk is both characteristically correct and stylistically beautiful. In The Weight we come to know the other characters, who soon become as important as Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and the rest of the crew. Though other fan fiction serials introduce us to many new characters, Leslie's portrayal of Jenneth Roantress, Quannechota, Sparks, and the rest of the Anarchists is far superior to anything else I have encountered. [190]

1992

Fish combines action-adventure sequences, political and theological debates, romantic and sexual encounters, communal rituals, and folk songs, along with a diverse array of other generic materials, into a complex and compelling narrative of Kirk's attempt to regain his ship, his crew, and his dignity following a disastrous time travel experience. Her novel offers insight into the psychology of the major characters and a compelling critique of the program's ideology. The Weight begins with mild grumbling about bureaucratic incompetence and ends with all of the regular characters verging on open revolt against Federation authorities. If official Star Trek novels are required to return the characters to the place where they began, to introduce no dramatic changes to the narrative format, Fish fully exploits the freedom of fan writing to change all the rules of the game; Fish takes obvious pleasure in systematically dismantling the fictional world and gradually remaking it in alternative terms. Fish also manages to introduce a cast of original characters, including several strong and heroic women, whose motivations and actions prove as intriguing as those of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Despite all of these changes, Fish remains faithful to the core of the series, making frequent references to program history as a basis for the characters' histories and motivations. [191]

1993

Yes, "The Weight" is good enough writing to carry its anarchist politics — in part because it devotes a good deal of space to developing non-Enterprise characters whose beliefs demonstrate Fish's points. She shows the Federation as perhaps too villainous in contrast, with the familiar Enterprise characters caught in the middle trying to do their best, which accords with ST's ideals. Note that what Fish does not do is convert Kirk into a committed anarchist (though she shows his a/u analogue as one). [192]

2007

Based on a short story by Ed Zdrojewski, it separates Kirk and the rest of the Enterprise from Spock & McCoy, who are presumed dead by sudden catastrophe in Earth's 20th century. Phaser technology had been introduced far before its time, and the Enterprise returns to a future not its own, this Earth is an agrarian anti-technological society. This is an Earth without a Federation, no contact with Vulcan or any other alien culture. With power levels dangerously low, a decision is almost made to disperse the crew into this different Earth (most of the crew have already left) when sensors discover a jury-rigged rocket taking off for the Moon & about to break up in the atmosphere, the Enterprise manages to rescue part of this crew & find that they are the last survivors of the last scientific community on Earth, who were desperately hoping to make it to the Lunar Colony that they hope against hope still exists. This is a universe where almost nobody is who they appear to be. Many of the characters we know from the original TREK universe aren't even the same sex in this one, and Kirk is one of the last to figure out who is who. This novel was published originally as MANY chapters in MANY issues of the anthology, Warped Space. It took me YEARS to collect all its parts. When the novel version was announced, I was one of the 1st to send a check & preorder it. Very few more than those preorders were printed. [193]

References

  1. ^ from "Warped Space" #25
  2. ^ from Media Monitor #14 (1997)
  3. ^ summary at the top of some chapters, this one from Warped Space #39
  4. ^ The Zinedex
  5. ^ "Requiem for Methuselah"
  6. ^ “Turnabout Intruder”
  7. ^ from Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Leslie Fish
  8. ^ from "Warped Space" #25
  9. ^ from "Warped Space" #25 (May 1977)
  10. ^ from "Warped Space" #25
  11. ^ from "Warped Space" #25
  12. ^ from "Warped Space" #25
  13. ^ comments from a letter of comment in Warped Space #28
  14. ^ from "Warped Space" #41
  15. ^ from "Warped Space" #41
  16. ^ from "Warped Space" #41
  17. ^ from "Warped Space" #41
  18. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #37
  19. ^ from Warped Space #40
  20. ^ from The Zinedex (2000s)
  21. ^ an LoC from "Warped Space" #18
  22. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #18
  23. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #18
  24. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #18
  25. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #18
  26. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #18
  27. ^ from Spectrum #26 (1976)
  28. ^ comment by Penny Warren in "Warped Space" #23
  29. ^ from an LoC by Beverly Clark in "Warped Space" #23
  30. ^ comment by Leah Rosenthal in "Warped Space" #23
  31. ^ comment in "Warped Space" #23
  32. ^ a letter of comment by Lubya K in "Warped Space" #24
  33. ^ a letter of comment by Paula Smith in "Warped Space" #24
  34. ^ from Spectrum #32
  35. ^ from an LoC by Sally Flanagan in "Warped Space" #25
  36. ^ from an LoC by Luba Kmetyk in "Warped Space" #25
  37. ^ from an LoC by Elise M. Grasso in "Warped Space" #25
  38. ^ from a letter of comment by Pat Gildersleeve in "Warped Space" #26/27
  39. ^ from a letter of comment by Amy Tedford in "Warped Space" #26/27
  40. ^ from a letter of comment by Patti Thompson in "Warped Space" #26/27
  41. ^ from Scuttlebutt #2
  42. ^ from Delta Triad #4
  43. ^ comments from a letter of comment in Warped Space #28
  44. ^ comments from a letter of comment in Warped Space #28
  45. ^ comments from a letter of comment in Warped Space #28
  46. ^ "Gloriosky" is a reference to A Trekkie's Tale.
  47. ^ from a LoC by Edith Crowe in "Warped Space" #28
  48. ^ by Christopher Randolph in Enterprise Incidents #6 (1978) in The Many Faces of Fan Fiction
  49. ^ Fish responds in the next issue of "Warped Space": "Kirk in drag" ... ? Hmmm, not even Jenneth wears a dress, but hang in there; it's due to get weirder yet."
  50. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #33/34
  51. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #33/34
  52. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #33/34
  53. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #33/34
  54. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #33/34
  55. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #33/34
  56. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #33/34
  57. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #33/34
  58. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #37
  59. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #37
  60. ^ from Spectrum #37
  61. ^ from a fan's LoC in Warped Space #37 (1978)
  62. ^ from "Warped Space" #37
  63. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #37
  64. ^ from "Warped Space" #38
  65. ^ from "Warped Space" #38
  66. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #40
  67. ^ from "Warped Space" #38
  68. ^ by Roberta Rogow in "Warped Space" #38
  69. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #40
  70. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #40
  71. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #40
  72. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #40
  73. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #41
  74. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #41
  75. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #41
  76. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #41
  77. ^ from Enterprise Incidents #7 (1979)
  78. ^ by Paula Smith in Scuttlebutt #14
  79. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #41
  80. ^ from a letter in "Warped Space" #42
  81. ^ from an LoC by Paula Smith is in Warped Space #43 (1980), the zine in which the last chapter was originally published
  82. ^ from a letter in "Warped Space" #43
  83. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43
  84. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43
  85. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43
  86. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43
  87. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43
  88. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43
  89. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43 (1980) , the zine in which the last chapter was originally published
  90. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43 (1980) -- Warped Space #42 is the zine in which the last chapter was originally published
  91. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43 (1980) -- Warped Space #42 is the zine in which the last chapter was originally published
  92. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43 (1980) -- Warped Space #42 is the zine in which the last chapter was originally published
  93. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43 (1980)
  94. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43 (1980) -- Warped Space #42 is the zine in which the last chapter was originally published
  95. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43 (1980)
  96. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43 (1980)
  97. ^ from Enterprise Incidents #8 (1980)
  98. ^ from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #9 (1984)
  99. ^ from. K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #8
  100. ^ from TREKisM #59 (1988)
  101. ^ from Treklink #14 (1988)
  102. ^ from Trek Fan's Handbook, chapter by by Christopher Randolph (1990)
  103. ^ from Trek Fan's Handbook by Jim Van Hise, 1990
  104. ^ Henry Jenkins, Textual Poachers, page 177-178 (1992)
  105. ^ comments by [B T] in Strange Bedfellows #2 (November 1993)
  106. ^ From an ebay seller in 2007
  107. ^ from The Zinedex (2000s)
  108. ^ an LoC from "Warped Space" #18
  109. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #18
  110. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #18
  111. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #18
  112. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #18
  113. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #18
  114. ^ from Spectrum #26 (1976)
  115. ^ comment by Penny Warren in "Warped Space" #23
  116. ^ from an LoC by Beverly Clark in "Warped Space" #23
  117. ^ comment by Leah Rosenthal in "Warped Space" #23
  118. ^ comment in "Warped Space" #23
  119. ^ a letter of comment by Lubya K in "Warped Space" #24
  120. ^ a letter of comment by Paula Smith in "Warped Space" #24
  121. ^ from Spectrum #32
  122. ^ from an LoC by Sally Flanagan in "Warped Space" #25
  123. ^ from an LoC by Luba Kmetyk in "Warped Space" #25
  124. ^ from an LoC by Elise M. Grasso in "Warped Space" #25
  125. ^ from a letter of comment by Pat Gildersleeve in "Warped Space" #26/27
  126. ^ from a letter of comment by Amy Tedford in "Warped Space" #26/27
  127. ^ from a letter of comment by Patti Thompson in "Warped Space" #26/27
  128. ^ from Scuttlebutt #2
  129. ^ from Delta Triad #4
  130. ^ comments from a letter of comment in Warped Space #28
  131. ^ comments from a letter of comment in Warped Space #28
  132. ^ comments from a letter of comment in Warped Space #28
  133. ^ "Gloriosky" is a reference to A Trekkie's Tale.
  134. ^ from a LoC by Edith Crowe in "Warped Space" #28
  135. ^ by Christopher Randolph in Enterprise Incidents #6 (1978) in The Many Faces of Fan Fiction
  136. ^ Fish responds in the next issue of "Warped Space": "Kirk in drag" ... ? Hmmm, not even Jenneth wears a dress, but hang in there; it's due to get weirder yet."
  137. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #33/34
  138. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #33/34
  139. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #33/34
  140. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #33/34
  141. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #33/34
  142. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #33/34
  143. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #33/34
  144. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #33/34
  145. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #37
  146. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #37
  147. ^ from Spectrum #37
  148. ^ from a fan's LoC in Warped Space #37 (1978)
  149. ^ from "Warped Space" #37
  150. ^ from a fan in "Warped Space" #37
  151. ^ from "Warped Space" #38
  152. ^ from "Warped Space" #38
  153. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #40
  154. ^ from "Warped Space" #38
  155. ^ by Roberta Rogow in "Warped Space" #38
  156. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #40
  157. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #40
  158. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #40
  159. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #40
  160. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #41
  161. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #41
  162. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #41
  163. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #41
  164. ^ from Enterprise Incidents #7 (1979)
  165. ^ by Paula Smith in Scuttlebutt #14
  166. ^ from a letter of comment in "Warped Space" #41
  167. ^ from a letter in "Warped Space" #42
  168. ^ from an LoC by Paula Smith is in Warped Space #43 (1980), the zine in which the last chapter was originally published
  169. ^ from a letter in "Warped Space" #43
  170. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43
  171. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43
  172. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43
  173. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43
  174. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43
  175. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43
  176. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43 (1980) , the zine in which the last chapter was originally published
  177. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43 (1980) -- Warped Space #42 is the zine in which the last chapter was originally published
  178. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43 (1980) -- Warped Space #42 is the zine in which the last chapter was originally published
  179. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43 (1980) -- Warped Space #42 is the zine in which the last chapter was originally published
  180. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43 (1980)
  181. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43 (1980) -- Warped Space #42 is the zine in which the last chapter was originally published
  182. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43 (1980)
  183. ^ from an LoC in Warped Space #43 (1980)
  184. ^ from Enterprise Incidents #8 (1980)
  185. ^ from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #9 (1984)
  186. ^ from. K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #8
  187. ^ from TREKisM #59 (1988)
  188. ^ from Treklink #14 (1988)
  189. ^ from Trek Fan's Handbook, chapter by by Christopher Randolph (1990)
  190. ^ from Trek Fan's Handbook by Jim Van Hise, 1990
  191. ^ Henry Jenkins, Textual Poachers, page 177-178 (1992)
  192. ^ comments by [B T] in Strange Bedfellows #2 (November 1993)
  193. ^ From an ebay seller in 2007