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It was published in the print zine First Time #50.
This story was nominated for a STIFfie Award.
"Kirk is at a captain's conference when Spock, going into pon farr, comes to his bondmate."
Reactions and Reviews
This small story, just six pages long, is by a familiar poet, one who won the KiScon poetry contest last March. But I ask myself, is she really writing prose here? Because this marvelous little story comes across like poetry to me, it is so beautiful.
I like just about everything here, from the presentation, the shifting povs, the subject matter. The story is told in segments titled “The Past is...” and “Prelude” and “Midnight Watch” and others. Each is a small scrap that tells us the story of how it is that Kirk is receiving Spock’s pon farr in Admiral Nogura’s almost-palatial residence, immediately after a meeting of captains. The only ones there are Kirk, Spock, and Nogura, and a mouse. Nogura functions as an angel, watching over events that are outside the bounds of heaven...or perhaps they set the boundaries for it....
I especially like the “Midnight Watch” section. Here’s a good example of what caught my attention. “How difficult to bear all the desperation with which life itself is fought for and won, focused on a single joining, repeatedly sought. I had not expected to experience anything more demanding than Command, than those decisions and the visions that haunt my dark hours. I was wrong.
“No Spock, no! Not like this! Let me do something else for you. I’m must too sore.”
Aw, shucks, quoting it doesn’t do it justice, you’ll just have to read this piece to get it all in context.
One small element I did not like about this story was the very small role of Winona Kirk. Too omniscient for my tastes. But I loved it when Spock enters a room afterwards—where Kirk and Nogura sit— and Spock sits next to his lover, his salvation. “Without thinking, I reach to hold Jim’s thigh. This shocking breach of protocol passes unacknowledged.”I’d better stop quoting, my instinct is to relay the entire story here. But read this, it is quite beautiful, I think. 
A gorgeous story with an intimate and tender quality. I’ve enjoyed SR Benjamin’s poetry, but I believe this is her first prose.
The idea in the beginning of the “Captains’ Summit” was such a cool one. The idea was so great that I wished it had been expanded, although I know that’s not what the story was about. It’s about Spock going into pon farr and Nogura being there like a guardian angel to offer his mansion as a private and secure place for Kirk and Spock to consummate their bonding—also a great idea. The Nogura here is a warm and spiritual character, steeped in Japanese tradition (I adored the use of the Japanese word “wa”, meaning harmony) and he’s not only their superior, but a close friend. The only difficulty I had was in the beginning scene when Nogura was talking with Kirk. I had no clue what they were discussing and I kept rereading it thinking I’d missed something. It was only later that I found out it was the offer of Nogura’s mansion. I loved when Spock comes into the great hall and tackles Kirk and tears his clothes off, but I’m not sure how I felt about the POV of the mouse. All this in a relatively short story (I wouldn’t have minded it being a lot longer, it was so good.) along with a gorgeous description of a Vulcan tapestry: “Like the regal flowers that grace the gardens, the weave is alive with a vibrant wash of colors recalling the lush desert in bloom after a rain.” Isn’t that beautiful?So many really good images and one of my favorite things in K/S—cosmic sex—that is, sex on a cosmic level. I just love the sweeping heroic qualities of Kirk and Spock’s love. 
I like this author’s poetry, so it’s probably not too surprising that I also like “World’s Embrace.” As Jenna pointed out in her LOC in the February KSP, this story reads like poetry. It consists of a short, untitled, introductory section and six additional, titled sections. The author succeeds in gracefully covering a lot of ground in just under six pages—an accomplishment due, in part, to the image-rich, poetic style.
Here’s one paragraph I especially enjoyed: “The talking had been the pathway. Kirk had spoken in an exuberant moment, guard lessened by the inviting rich growth all around them. He had told how much Spock meant to him. The Vulcan for his part had replied in cryptic kind, as was his habit. And both had stopped to gaze out over the burgeoning fields, where the officers heard full well the sexuality that was whispering there in the interplay of fields and sun, their child the full harvest nearing birth.” I also love the dialog immediately following the above paragraph: it seems very much in character for both men, particularly Spock.
Another especially enjoyable paragraph comes at the beginning of the section entitled “Taking Stock.” Here, the poetic style works just perfectly for Spock’s thoughts. I’d quote it here, but I think it’s better read as part of the entire story. There are a few problems in “World’s Embrace.” Several phrases are a bit too flowery for my taste, bordering on overkill. (For example:“...an incandescent explosion of wind, sky, and the lush harvest...”). And the “Prelude” section seems a bit uneven. Some parts of this section are very, very good. But other parts read more like prose than the rest of the story. And Kirk’s joking around and the description of his mother’s reaction to the K/S relationship seem out of place.But these problems are easily overlooked in the context of the story as a whole. “World’s Embrace” is certainly one of those stories you will want to read over and over again: the beautiful images painted by its many wonderful, poetic passages are too enjoyable to experience only once.
- from The K/S Press #42
- from The K/S Press #44
- from The K/S Press #44