Trilogy (Star Trek: TOS zine)
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"Kirk has finally come to terms with Spock as his lover when a poison administered to both by the Klingons causes physical distress in Kirk but may be the death of Spock."
Reactions and Reviews
'Trilogy' is a full length story by Jenny Elson dealing with the beginning of the K/S relationship, its strengthening by trial and its eventual triumph. Kirk comes to the relationship almost unexpectedly after a pleasant evening of music and talk in Spock's quarters. Then reaction sets in and with it guilt and fear. Kirk must come to terms with these and mature in the process before he is ready to begin a warm and loving partnership. Indeed the strength of 'Trilogy' lies in its evocation of this love and warmth.
The other main purpose of the story is to create a valid place for McCoy in what is, after all, a one to one relationship. The Doctor examines his feelings; jealousy, fear, envy and by the strength pf his friends' affection is slowly drawn into a deepening structure - a trilogy. I think that, on the whole, the author succeeds in this, although I find the culminating affirmation of oneness in Spock's ancestral home, a trifle forced, as also some of the other trilogy references.
The linked main thread of the plot, which also involves McCoy, is the illness which affects Spock and the Doctor's efforts to combat it. This provides the action for much of the story and another strength is the author's clearsighted dealings with sickness. She makes very sure that the reader knows that illness is neither romantic nor sentimental but messy and unpleasant. Perhaps though, this desire for accuracy spills over too deeply into everyday life, and I find the preoccupation with toilets and showers rather intrusive (why must they wash every time? Yes, I know but I'm not sure we need to be told each time they do.).
The account of the deepening love between the two is sensitively drawn and the 'explicit' sequences are sometimes erotically beautiful. However, I have one possibly minor quibble, which may leave other readers quite unmoved, and that is the author's treatment of music and poetry. Both are made to sound vaguely beautiful and something like cultural candyfloss. Whereas I believe that both grinding disciplines in pursuit of hard attained perfection; the products of diamond clear thinking, not something faintly woolly and romantic. And this leads me to my one true criticism of an otherwise worthwhile zine - facets of the author's style. I do not know if the M.S. passed through other hands before printing, but it seems to me that another editorial voice would be of some help in the tightening up of style in places. The elimination of work repeats and redundant phrases that spoil the tension of the writing, for example. At the same time the overuse of non-words' (non descriptive, that is) such as, 'beautiful', 'lovely', 'poetic' 'soft,' 'golden' 'glow', could perhaps be limited, eliminating the resultant slackness in style.However perhaps this is over-carping. The zine has a good balance of plot and relationship and conveys an intense sexuality with love (sometimes neglected in K/S). Possibly the author could now develop this further against another plot, I should be interested to see the results. 
I bought, and have since sold, a copy of "Trilogy." You didn't miss anything. 
I don't always have a fondness for the short English K/S novels, but some really stick in my memory, and Trilogy is one of them. At just under 100 pages, I'm hard pressed to call this a novel; ifs more like a novella according to my personal definitions. But it was published as a stand alone zine sometime in the eighties, I think. There isn't any publishing information at all inside, so it's hard to say when it came out and impossible to identify the editor/publisher.
But I like it nevertheless. The story starts with Kirk pondering how the previous night he and Spock had made love for the first time. It hadn't been planned, it just sort of happens, and he isn't sure that he can handle it. There's some angst for several pages while each man avoids the other, with McCoy making comments in between introspection, and then finally the fellows succumb to the inevitable. Eventuallythey bond.
But the main part of the story has to do with Kirk being captured by Klingons, rescued by Spock under perilous circumstances, and the aftermath of this sequence of events. It seems that while they were captives, both Star Fleet officers were subjected to hallucinogenic drugs by the Klingons, and while Kirk's system can be purged of them, the drugs in Spock's system cause him to enter a slow decline.
Many months pass while McCoy scrambles to find a cure for the first officer. Eventually all three of them—Kirk, Spock and McCoy—go to Vulcan where Spock is finally cured.
There's a nice interlude with Kirk on Vulcan, before Spock gets sick, while Kirk is recuperating from the torture inflicted by the Klingons. He learns to really know and value Sarek and Amanda, and they honor him by accepting him as a second son. Then he tells them he and Spock are lovers, and they accept without much fuss. So when he and Spock and McCoy return to Vulcan for Spock's treatment, which resembles chemotherapy, ifs a sort of homecoming.
Some thoughts about the way this story is written. I've often noted that some authors get over difficult plot points very quickly. For example, Kirk's disappearance is handled entirely off stage. That is, we never do actually see or meet a Klingon, and we are never privy to whatever it was that Kirk suffered at their hands. When Spock goes off the Enterprise to rescue Kirk all on his own, presumably following the bond, we, the readers, stay on the ship with McCoy and live through that time from his point of view, and that only lasts a few paragraphs. This story would have been immeasurably enriched, in my opinion, if these sequences had actually been written out The writer cheats by not fully developing this section of the story fully; it is the impetus for everything that follows in Trilogy. There are some hints and comments here and there about how Kirk hates the Klingons so much for what they'd done to his bondmate (Spock suffers for several months from his debilitating illness), that he is concerned that he will erupt into hatred. If the capture and rescue scenes had been written out in real time, this subplot could have been more folly developed. It would have really added to the depth of Kirk's character.
The title of the novel refers to McCoy's role in Kirk and Spock's relationship. I am of the opinion that the author hadn't quite figured out herself whether she wanted to write a menage story or not. Several times McCoy asks himself if he wants to share in his friends' sexual relationship, once he even gets an erection while with them in an emotional moment, and each time he backs away and tells himself he isn't that kind of person sexually, and that ifs just that he's lonely and hasn't had sex for a while. And then he turns his back on the possibility. But he, and the author, keep coming back to the same question: does he want to sleep with them or doesn't he? Clearly he's ambivalent, even though with the end of the story the author emphasizes friendship.
This story is a little bit different from some other English novels of the same type in that there is quite a bit of explicit sex in it, and it isn't violent at all. Very loving, in fact. Probably too loving, for my taste. I don't quite see Kirk and Spock being quite like this, but it isn't too far off the mark of a valid characterization, and it's easy to just let yourself go along with the flow of the story.I see that neither branch of the library has this zine. I'll try to remember to copy it and send it to both, as it really is, in my opinion, worth reading. It's quite different from the typical American K/S being written at the same time, and quite different from K/S being written now, and I find that really interesting.