Star Trek XI fanfic loves and peeves
What do you love about Star Trek XI fanfic? What do you hate? What little details drive you up the wall? Got any canon tidbits to share, so people will be able to include them in their fics? Suggestions on writing better fics?
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CaptMacKenzie

Ugh. That idea drives me up the wall more than anything. As the characters were originally conceived, they were VERY close friends, true...that would NEVER think of those particular kinds of "benefits." But the K/S popped up anyway, tho it was a barely-there undercurrent in fanfic for the OOLLDD-schoolers like me who held true to the Original Series... but now it's all over the place! -- and with far less reason for being so, as the Kirk & Spock in the new movie with the new actors have hardly any chemistry when compared w/Shatner & Nimoy's scenes together.

So what gives, really? I'd love to understand the matter, once and for all. I've never understood the desire to take fundamentally hetero characters, wrench them out of the mold into blatantly OOC parameters, and have them bed each other. Is it really just a bunch of fangirls expressing the naughty desire to see two handsome guys in bed together? I mean, seriously?

Everybody complains about lemons in other circumstances -- especially us Trekkies. We're notorious about reaming the PTB up and down for continuity errors, and especially for writing plot-points that we feel don't "fit" the characters that we sometimes think WE treat better (and understand better) than their creators. I've seen very passionate arguments along those lines over the years. But why do they let this stuff pass by w/o comment ... or even write K/S slash themselves? As far as I'm concerned, it's a serious obligation as an author to be true to these fabulous characters. To take a major part of who they are and turn it into something else entirely is to create a whole new character, who is most assuredly NOT the "real" Kirk or Spock. And if you're going to do that, why write in the Star Trek universe? Why not just create your own, original characters, rather than butcher somebody else's. Not that I'm trying to flame, here -- just putting my bluntly honest opinion out there for you to comment on.

I really would like to know what motivates K/S writers, and how in the world they could even come up with the idea in the first place. I wouldn't have imagined that pairing in a million years if left to my own devices.

8/20/2009 #1
Elliot Spears

Usually, I avoid debates like this come Hell or high water. They just aren't my thing.

So I probably just won't indulge in a debate over this, just for reasons of my own sanity, but I will indulge your query as to what attracts me (as a K/S author and fan) to the pairing. All I ask is that you respect my own personal reasons, as I am going to share some stuff that I generally wouldn't, especially not in a debate setting.

There are a lot of things that draw me to it, but I'm just gonna outline the main aspects.

First (mainly referring to the dynamic of the new movie) -- the idea of working through the dynamic of two people who have that much friction between them, whose personalities clash that dramatically. Exploring that dynamic, figuring out what makes tick, deconstructing it, and then playing with it. And playing with the concept of how that sort clash can slowly develop into something...different. That's a really, really short explanation of that part of it for me.

Secondly (and this one is probably fairly unique to me) -- I have spent a lot of time studying (from an academic standpoint) the effect of military or military-like situations on male sexuality. Now this is not to say that 'the army turns you gay' (most of my studies have focused on the difference between homosexuality and homosexual behaviour and the interplay of those notions with conceptions of gender -- i.e. masculinity and femininity). Military-related male sexuality can have as much to do with heterosexual longings (satisfied through means of prostitution, masturbation, correspondence with loved ones, and so on) as with homosexual. But anyway, that's a whole other topic for a whole other time and place. Basically, I am interested in the dynamic between two intimate males involved in the dangerous missions and deep (and not necessarily sexual) bond required in their line of work. And what can develop out of that. Now, obviously, these assumptions are not even close to perfect with Starfleet as the setting because it is not, quite obviously, an all-male institution. That just sort of serves as a vague inspiration for me, a springboard if you will. More like a behind-the-scenes thing that nudges me towards male-male pairings within the fandom, rather than a concrete reason for it.

I could go on with a lot more, but I shant bore you.

Really, I am open to almost any pairing heterosexual or homosexual (barring incest/underage stuff) given that the dynamic between the two characters has been portrayed in a believable and creative manner. And K/S is not the only pairing I enjoy and frequent read in the TOS and Reboot fandoms. I love Spock/Chapel, Spock/Uhura, Kirk/Uhura, Scotty/Kirk and McCoy/Kirk. I also enjoy reading fan fictions that contain no romantic or sexual plotline at all.

What really gets me (and not just in this fandom) is when fans/authors refuse to consider the possibility of any other pairing. Now that really bothers me.

8/21/2009 #2
Carshall

Very well said Capt Mac. I've never understood the need either to change hetro characters into lovers.

9/21/2009 #3
GiveTheDevilHisDue

I agree with you. I'm not a huge fan of SpockXKirk at all. However, I think when a fice explores their relationship and brings out funny or cute things in them, I like that. Even in TOS they had a fun friendship. And in Wrath of Khan & Search for Spock their friendship was shown in a much more dramatic way. I just wrote a fic that could be viewed as borderline slash, but that wasn't my intention at all. I believe when you have a pair of friends with such a stong bond like Spock and Jim you have people that view it in an almost "lovey-dovey" way. Personally, I think they have more of a strong "Bromance" going on.

If you watch some episodes like "Shore Leave" (where Jim thinks Spock is giving him a backrub:p) and "Amok Time" (where Spock has a bit of a...mating problem) there relationship is brought out in an almost intimate way. So, that's where I have a tolerance for that kind of idea. Yes, in some cases their is definitely a close, borderline intimate relationship between the two. Smut, lemon, kinky whatever...is bad. I don't want to read that about anyone quite frankly, and I especially don't want to think about it with Spock and Jim. Ew.

But here's the great thing about Star Trek. There really is no canon. It gives you some free range in couples. There are definitely hints, though. SpockXChapel, BonesXChapel, KirkXUhura, SpockXUhura, and yes, some could find a little SpockXKirk, just to name a few. That's what I think people need to understand. There is NO CANON (No. Jim and Uhura's kiss does not count, it was under the influence of mind-controlling aliens). You can just about go anywhere with it. So, do I like Spock and Jim having a merry old time as two homosexual lovers? Not really. But I do appreciate a good, fun story that can be borderline slash you really look into it. Either way, they're a great pair of friends:)

Mkay I'm done.

9/27/2009 #4
chackers

I agree that the interactions between Kirk and Spock in the 2009 movie is hardly any basis for K/S. However, in TOS, there are tons of snippets and subtext which might provide, for shippers, evidence to SUGGEST a relationship between Kirk and Spock, platonic or otherwise.

I've never understood the desire to take fundamentally hetero characters, wrench them out of the mold into blatantly OOC parameters, and have them bed each other.

It is obvious from their interactions with women (ESPECIALLY KIRK), that both characters are FUNDAMENTALLY heterosexual. But you are ignoring the fact that sexuality is fluid, most people are not definatively hetero or homosexual. Most men who identify themselves as heterosexual have had homosexual encounters. You also cannot ignore the possibility that they might be bisexual.

It is established within canon that Kirk and Spock have a very strong bond, with Kirk going to great lengths to save Spock, something, I might add, he never did with the usual "woman of the week". Also, many episodes, such as Amok Time are heaped with homoerotic subtext. This was, supposedly, intentional. Hence, I would not go as far as to say that such a scenario is "blatantly OOC".

But why do they let this stuff pass by w/o comment ... or even write K/S slash themselves? As far as I'm concerned, it's a serious obligation as an author to be true to these fabulous characters. To take a major part of who they are and turn it into something else entirely is to create a whole new character, who is most assuredly NOT the "real" Kirk or Spock.

I understand that you feel very passionate about these characters, but the "real" Kirk and Spock? What gives you the authority to singlehandedly determine what is the "real" Kirk and Spock? Different people have different interpretations, or takes on the same characters and their relationships. We can take the same canonical evidence and come to drastically different conclusions, your interpretation is not necessarily "more accurate" or "more right" than someone elses.

And if you're going to do that, why write in the Star Trek universe? Why not just create your own, original characters, rather than butcher somebody else's.

Honestly, I do not think that K/S butchers Star Trek and it's characters. To quote Gene Roddenberry himself on K/S:

"Yes, there's certainly some of that—certainly with love overtones. Deep love. The only difference being, the Greek ideal—we never suggested in the series—physical love between the two. But it's the—we certainly had the feeling that the affection was sufficient for that, if that were the particular style of the 23rd century."

He believes that such a scenario is possible. That is not to say that they are getting it on, but such an interpretation would be as valid as anyone elses. Futhermore, Star Trek is about breaking boundaries, as seen by the first inter-racial kiss shown on TV. A bisexual take on the main characters and open-mindedness would be very much in the spirit of Star Trek.

12/29/2009 #5
empty-phaser

yeah, I've never seen Spock and Kirk as a couple--idk I just don't but what I hate a lot is when ppl say that Spock and Uhura hardly have any chemistry at all--hello?!in the movie they were all over each other!! some of the fics of K/S are extremely gross :/

1/3/2010 #6
samanthasgal

I hate all the k/s stuff. Of course, it seems like every fandom I get into devolves into nothing but slash. It's highly annoying. I don't mind the occasional slash fic but it's really frustrating when every single male/male friendship gets turned into a romantic pairing anymore. It totally ruins the dynamic and one is inevitably turned into, well, a "girl" type character. They get too weepy or clingy or just plain ridiculously cheesy. I can't count how many characters that I love are completely stripped of what is appealing about them in the first place in order to fulfill some OOC fantasy. Of course, I don't like the Uhura/Spock fics either. I didn't really sense much chemistry between the actors and I'm not interested in pairings very much anyway. I prefer team dynamics and friendships to romance any day in movies like these.

1/7/2010 #7
Blond Gamer Girl

Thank you for posting this topic. I thought that I was the only one disturbed by this. I just don't get pairing two straight characters together. However, I will point out that I have nothing against gay characters. If someone wants to have gay themes why don't they just make two OC's? I did that in a subplot to add dimension and to show gay folks in a positive light which sometimes the media fails to do.

1/23/2010 #8
DB2020

I guess I'm the first pro K/S commenter here… or in the minority...

I can only speak for myself when it comes to slashing two characters who are not romantically inclined towards one another in the canon, so there are a lot of motivations left unspoken for.

On a purely fangirl level, I love putting two hot guys together (same reason a guy might like to see two hot girls going at it). It's a preference, plain and simple. It's not really any different from shipping a heterosexual pairing. Yeah, homosexuality isn't the norm by today's standards and the STXI universe doesn't really take a stance on it, since it would have nothing to do with the storyline. Kirk's a ladies man, we all know that, but that only speaks to his preferences as an individual, not to everyone else's. I also think that with alien races around every corner, there is a huge opportunity to say that different alien cultures view gender biases a moot. TOS certainly had its say on men being with women, but that's more a reflection of the 1960s than an established canon norm for future cultural behaviors.

That said, in my opinion, shipping Kirk/Spock together is no more outrageous than shipping Kirk/Gaila, Uhura/Scotty, or any other heterosexual pairing (with the exception of Spock/Uhura since STXI made that an established canon). See my point? The issue of them being straight isn't as credible an argument to everyone. There is no question that the canon portrays them as two straight dudes. I've read some fics that try and spin things as Kirk being bisexual, and that he wouldn't be opposed to sleeping with men, since he's all about the sexing. Despite being a fan of slash, I find this doubtful, but it works for some people. Same thing goes for Spock. I think the mindset is, just because they are shown with women doesn't mean they're strictly heterosexual or opposed to the idea of men being with men.

I think there is an element of being a romantic idealist and simply saying that love knows no gender. That Spock and Kirk care about each other so much that when things get physical, they don't hold gender against each other. Honestly, it's probably the type of reasoning that only works on fans interested in seeing them together in the first place, so it seems ludicrous to readers who can't conceive of someone who is heterosexual being anything other than heterosexual.

As for K/S being this huge to-do in fanfiction, I can only speculate. First, TOS did provide a lot of slashable material. Nothing overt, and it was stuff more likely to be taken as them being really good friends, but there was certainly more depth to their relationship than to anyone else's. I believe K/S was the first ever slash pairing in fanfiction (at least with regards to fanzines and actual publications). I'm going off Wikipedia, so I could be wrong. This makes K/S a major cultural phenomenon for the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. It's so big now because it was the first, and has been around for so long. It's no surprise that with STXI, we see a revival in this. A new generation that was never interested in TOS, suddenly has an interest. Long time K/S writers suddenly have a new world to play with, new fans of pair have a wealth of fanfiction to pore over and use as inspiration.

Yeah, being best friends forever doesn't mean you want to sleep with each other, but Kirk and Spock's relationship as captain and first officer is iconic. They're the original dynamic duo for crying out loud (I'm probably wrong on that, but they are a dynamic duo and famous because of it).

For every argument anyone might make on why they would never get together, there is an equally sound argument on why they would. It's just opinion and speculation, and a whole lot of fan crazed imagination.

I could argue that Kirk's behavior in STXI displayed an unstable inclination towards self-destructive tendencies and pathological necessity to reaffirm his manhood by hitting on women like a boozehound. That same angsty, lashing out behavior could be conceived as a closeted homosexual struggling to conform to cultural norms. Military setting (at least when he joins the fleet). Anyone want to get into the "don't ask, don't tell" policies?

Someone else could argue that Kirk's behavior is simply the result of having no father figure, an abusive stepfather, and absentee mother. He comes from a broken home and lives with the burden of being compared to a hero father. He acts out, a genius with no place to channel his energies, and who resents the world.

I could argue that Spock's scenes with Uhura were passionless. If he responded to her kiss, it was because he needed physical comfort after what happened. He didn't seek her out, she sought him out. He showed more passion and vulnerability around Kirk than anyone else (bridge-strangulation scene).

Someone else could argue that Spock being involved with Uhura in the first place says a lot since Vulcans don't do casual sex. That he wouldn't have sought her out for comfort because he was Vulcan, and that her actions showed an intimate and sincere knowledge of him. His reactions to Kirk were intentionally provoked, not a natural response. That he tried to strangle Kirk implies that the last thing he feels for Kirk is passion, but rather hate.

I'll stop here because this post is dauntingly long. The debate still goes on…

2/26/2010 . Edited 2/27/2010 #9
GiveTheDevilHisDue

Very good point. To completely contradict what I said a while back, I've grown accustomed to several slash pairings after searching the fandoms:) For example, Spock/Kirk, Bones/Kirk, Joker/Scarecrow, Harry/Draco, etc. etc.

While some view the kiss in the lift between Spock and Uhura as passionless, I see something more there. Spock is probably the most awkward lover in the world...but at the same time very intimate. You have to remember that Spock just lost his mother and home planet. Forgive me for sounding frank, but if that happened to me I'm sure as hell not going to have a full-on makeout session with my boyfriend, no matter how well he means. However, I think there is a hidden and subtle passion that Spock and Uhura share that Saldana and Quinto capture very well.

On another note, Spock and Kirk share more bromance than intamcy in Star Trek XI. I stand by what I say here. Original Series and its films were the only ones with a strong intamcy between the characters. XI? Not so much. They had a great team work and friendship. Keep in mind that this was the beginning of Spock and Kirk meeting each other and it takes the entirety of the film for them to truly work together. There was hate and resentment between them, but not much love. Possbily the next film (2012 baby!) will demonstrate some more of the original Spock/Kirk relationship. Still, I like this interpreation of it just as much as the other.

That is all for now. Off to the Batman fandom! *Crazy spiral cartoon transition*

2/28/2010 #10
DB2020

I definitely agree that there is a huge disparity between the "intimacy" that can be found in TOS and what's in STXI. I think the most obvious reason for this is that in TOS, Kirk and Spock have already known each other for several years and already have a great working relationship. I'm still in the middle of watching TOS, so I don't know the details of their first meeting, but I'm assuming there was never any cause for friction or animosity like in STXI.

Like you said, it's clear that STXI can't have Kirk and Spock being best friends forever… since they don't really know each other, and they sort of got off to a rocky start (that's a huge understatement. I mean seriously, poor Kirk had to put up with so much from Spock).

I think another issue with STXI is that with different actors you have different chemistry. Shatner and Nemoy lit the screen up with their chemistry (not romantic). Quinto and Pine were great too, but I don't think it was the same… or perhaps just not intended to be the same kind of chemistry. They weren't supposed to be close, so naturally their chemistry onscreen reflected friction, not bromance.

I'm also really excited to see what the next movie brings us. I'm hoping we'll see Kirk and Spock working closer together as true friends. And while I love Uhura and thought she was awesome in the movie, I'd like a little less of her being portrayed as Spock's girlfriend and more of her being a genius communications officer. (I'm not certain, but I think in the novel, she never ran after Spock to kiss him in the turbolift, but stayed at her station doing something important. The movie sort of reduced her to the girl, instead of the officer. I should start a thread on that point… maybe later).

2/28/2010 #11
Elliot Spears

Don't worry, DB2020, I posted a pro-K/S comment (see above) quite some time ago. You're not alone. :P

Honestly, I'll read any pairing that's well-written; K/S is just a preference. And I've read many that have been very, very believable. I've never really gotten the whole idea of 'ship-wars' (the serious/viscious ones, I mean). Someone else's pairing preference has never made me uncomfortable -- if I don't like it, I stay out of that part of the fandom. If it's unbelievable (for me, anyway) I don't read the stories. But debating the canonical potential of a specific pairing is also a fun rhetorical exercise.

I believe K/S was the first ever slash pairing in fanfiction (at least with regards to fanzines and actual publications). I'm going off Wikipedia, so I could be wrong. This makes K/S a major cultural phenomenon for the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s.

As far as I know, you are correct. Fan fiction, of course, has been written for centuries, albeit in a much different form, under various different names, and on a significantly smaller scale. Numerous academic studies are now being written about the dawn and proliferation of modern fan fiction (some focusing specifically on slash fiction) and on its importance in popular culture. Discussions of K/S fan fiction are often the focal point of these inquiries, as the oldest traceable example of modern slash fiction. So really, K/S is not at all a new concept, and I actually find it rather surprising that some people are so shocked by it (regardless of whether or not they object for whatever reason).

2/28/2010 #12
Captaingeek

In the 2009 movie I'll admit that there was nothing suggesting a relationship but they had just met each other for God's sake! In TOS there wasnt a single episode without some hind or something. I do hate when people stick to only that pairing cause other pairings do exist. But I think some authors pull it off and keep them in character, but not everyone can do it. I personally dont like Spock/Uhura cause they're making out in public and Spock would never do that. If anyone got the characters wrong it was the writers of 2009!

6/7/2010 #13
dinger

I too have trouble understanding why fanfic writers seem to pull these characters into sexual relationships that simply don't ring true in the original character. I think the fun and the challenge is writing the depth of friendship and the brotherhood/sisterhood and the _hood between men and women not involved in a relationship that would exist on a ship. You simply can't go into battle worrying about your lover working on a different part of the ship. It destroys morale and could potientially lead to your death if your mind is not on the task at hand during the battle. Sex and all of the question marks that make the relationship fun and exciting is extremely distracting in the battle ready environment. And these people have spent years training, giving their best, to be a part of the best ship. They are not going to let anything jepordize the mission.

To me, m/m pairings with sexual overtones is the easy way out of the complexities of a bond much deeper than one you would find in a sexual relationship. It shows that the author has no understanding of the environment and is simply trying to manipulate the characters to their whims. It's like comparing mushrooms to truffles. One everyone is familier with to the point of being common, the other is complex, exotic and out of reach for many. That is what makes the friendship aspect so compelling. What lies deeper within the human spirit? What would possess a person to go to such extremes that he would throw himself out of safety into almost certain death to save a man whom he barely knows from a grizzly death over Vulcan? Why would Kirk do that for Sulu? It wasn't for sex! It was for a higher ideal. We are shipmates, I've got your back and we'll face death together. I'll give everything I've got. Are we getting so far away from that knowledge that the only thing we can think of is sex?

6/7/2010 #14
Elliot Spears

dinger, while I agree with some of your points -- particularly that writing friendship/comradeship is harder than romance -- you seem to be insinuiting that same-sex relationships are about nothing more than sex. As someone with homosexual family members and dear friends, many of whom are in long-term, monogamous and spiritually deep relationships, I must attest to the fact that such an assumption is grossly misled. To exemplify: two of our dear family friends are two older gentlemen who have been together their entire adult lives. Now in their late 80s, I'm sure that sexual aspect of their relationship is far less than in their youth, and yet their emotional and spiritual connection remains truly moving. They are not only romantic partners, they are life partners, and certainly, a deep bond of friendship (in the absence of a fitting stronger word) runs between them. Thus, a skilled author could explore much of the same sentiments you are describing in a story with a romantic edge. It just takes more talent.

6/7/2010 #15
dinger

Orit Petra; Your experiences are the minority of the homosexual contacts of mine. While I have had family members in long-term, same sex relationships well into their 90's, I must say her partner was a mean spirited, viscious woman who hated children and attacked me whenever my parents were not around. But my family member was content, and I was happy for her, but I stayed far away from her partner whenever possible. I've had men telling me how their partners were beating them, and witnessed a female officer in the Navy who was stalking a married female cadet. The cadet did not want to complain because she did not think the command would see it as sexual harrassment and would instead come after her. I have also seen men at their partners bedside, meeting the most basic needs while their partner died of AIDS. It was heartbreaking while inspiring.

What you are describing is what I see as the bonding aspect, which can be present in marriages (and unfortuantely, too often is not these days), friendships, workforce relationships and leadership. I don't think it matters what your sexual orientation is. It transcends the act of sex. You don't have to have sex to experience it. I think is something McCoy, Kirk and Spock share deeply, which makes Star Trek so facinating. But most of the pairings of the slash I have read often focus on the sexual side, and too often, the pettiness of a relationship break up and how it screws up the command. It is awful, and in my honest opinion, unrealistic. From my experience working in a military command, the good ones, the awe-inspiring leadership chain, work so well together because sexual relationships (sometimes marriages) are so far down on their priorities as to not be seen. And yet these folks are always developing relationships and bonds with the people they are leading. If they ever are indulging in a sexual relationship, it is not observed in the ranks. The ones who were -and this is has been my experience- were ineffective, and eventually relieved of command. Not directly because of the sex, but because of the effect it had on their leadership.

I agree, "a skilled author could explore much of the same sentiments you are describing in a story with a romantic edge", and I hope someone is inspired to do just that. But it is a difficult task, and I have yet to read a slash that accomplishes thus. And I would love to read one that hints at that romantic edge without falling into mind numbing details of the actual act. A friend of mine once said, "There is nothing more overrated than sex, or more underrated than a good bowel movement". Made me laugh before it made me think.

Actually, one of the big themes throughout history is the loneliness of command. How, in essence, the captain is married to the ship and not any one crew member. It is hard to find it today in the fan fiction files.

6/10/2010 #16
Elliot Spears

First, thanks for replying intelligently. I was afraid I'd get a gay-bashing, homo-hating answer so typical on the internet.

I must say though, that neither mine nor your experiences with same-sex couples are representative of the whole, and I figured that that was implied and obvious in my above response. Same-sex-desiring individuals experience the same relationship troubles and triumphs as heterosexual ones, and are ultimately individuals -- some will be hateful and abusive towards their partners, some will be dedicated to crafting a healthy and deep relationship that lasts the rest of their lives, some will not be interested in a relationship at all.

Also, you stated: "What you are describing is what I see as the bonding aspect, which can be present in marriages (and unfortunately, too often is not these days), friendships, workforce relationships and leadership. I don't think it matters what your sexual orientation is. It transcends the act of sex. You don't have to have sex to experience it." This is essentially the point I was making above, only I was attempting to demonstrate to you that homosexuality and deep, bonded relationships are not mutually exclusive, which is what I feared you were implying in your previous comment. I just wanted to mention this because gays and lesbians are so often typecast as shallow, promiscuous, sexually-disturbed deviants who only care about sex and sexual acts.

I am also not so naive to believe that sex is a prerequisite for "the bonding aspect," and I am certainly aware that deep relationships are often not sexual at all. My life (and sexual) partner have a deep bond based on far more than sex. If anything, sex is just another way of expressing our emotional and spiritual relationship. If for some reason we were no longer able to indulge in a sexual relationship, our relationship and friendship as life partners would continue. I also share similarly deep, but non-sexual bonds with long-time friends and family members.

Per fan fiction: I, too, would like to see more stories that "[hint] at that romantic edge without falling into mind numbing details of the actual act." They are painfully few, but honestly, that's okay with me because Star Trek: TOS explores it extensively. Fan fiction is, essentially, a way for fans to write out what they don't see on the show. If that's shallow, poorly written sex, they can go ahead. I just won't read it. After all, fan fiction is just that: fan fiction. While it's great to find that rare gem that gives you exactly what you want, fan fiction is just a sideshow of the real deal, and it's tiresome when people take it too seriously. The themes that you describe are better found in the main attractions -- in the books, movies, shows, and et cetera being produced by the truly talented. That said, I don't think fan writers should be safe from being called out for churning out utter crap. If they put up for the internet-public to see, they've tacitly accepted the possibility of criticism.

I will plug one story, however, that comes close to your stipulations -- i.e. a same-sex relationship story that leaves out the crude details and explores a deeper relationship. While not perfect and unfortunately not finished, Lanaea's Home is one of the better-rounded ST slash stories out there. It's archived here on FFN.

6/10/2010 #17
dinger

I had hoped to read the story you plugged prior to replying, but at 33 chapters, it's going to take a few days.

I think we both have good and valid points about the lifestyle(s) we are talking about. What the original poster was lamenting in this post was that the OC's were not paired in any way, and when they were paired it was with someone of the opposite sex. Chapel had Roger, Kirk had his flings, as did McCoy to a (much) lesser extent, but not with each other. The thing with homosexual or heterosexual is that both deal with the same root word, and it is an act. Sex. And it seems the fanfiction arena is innundated with them - most in the slash. And it is frustrating. But you are right in that better works will be in the books, ect. But a ship does not run on people obsessed with sex. What is so fun about Kirk/Spock/McCoy is that it is a bonding of three with others orbiting (Chapel, Uhura, Chekov, Sulu) and successfully completing the mission. When the focus is on the slash, so many writers are missing the original grouping that just worked so well.

I'm tired from a long day of building in the heat, and doubt I am presenting my thoughts coherently, but I wanted to reply.

6/12/2010 #18
Elliot Spears

I'm also at the end of a long day, so I'll try to be concise. (And no worries, you're thoughts were articulated clearly. :-P)

And yeah...we're wonderfully far off topic from the OP, but that's the beauty of a forum. Anyway, I won't lie to you, I love my slash. I really do. But I prefer it meaty and well done, no sexual innuendo intended. At the same time, I love so-called 'het' pairings and genfic. Well-written, believable characters is really my top preference; the pairings come after and are definitely optional. However, I love my TOS just the way it is. And per the reboot, which is the section this forum is for, I certainly don't want to see Spock and Kirk go bang each other in the Captain's Quarters in the next instalment. This whole Spock/Uhura thing killed me enough as it is -- not because I'm a diehard K/S fan, but because I liked my ST: TOS pairings-free, and, like you said, command and romance are rarely compatible. For me, that's what fan fiction -- the less serious side of it all -- is for. I love the dynamic between the crew in TOS, and yes, romance upsets that. But for me, that upset is interesting and engaging in fanfiction -- in a setting where, in a sense, it doesn't count, and doesn't upset what I enjoy about the actual show.

I do have one thing to point out though: the 'sexual' in hetero- and homosexual does not in fact refer to the act of sex. It refers to the concept of sexuality, which is deeply interrelated to the act of sex, but certainly not wholly defined by it despite its linguistic root. Sexuality encompasses a broad array of concepts ranging from sexual preference to how someone perceives themselves as a sexual being to medical concerns involving sex organs. If sexuality were limited to the act of sex we'd live in a horribly mundane world. For example, for various reasons, a person may not be able to have or may not want to have sexual intercourse with their partner, but may be able to partake in other physical-sexual acts or emotional-sexual acts. For example, they might cuddle with their partner and tell them how beautiful or alluring they look. Sex need not be the end result. Relatedly, someone might identify as hetero- or homosexual and yet never engage in the act of sex. To illustrate, one of my dear friends from university is considering entering a sisterhood. She identifies as heterosexual, but has never had sex, and should she join a sisterhood, will vow never to do so. Yet she knows that she is sexually attracted to the opposite sex, regardless of whether or not she desires intercourse with a man. From an academic standpoint, studies of sexuality can encompass anything from an examination of sexuality in advertisements to the chemical-hormonal responses that occur in the brain during expressions of sexuality or acts of sex. Anyway, I hope that is at least a bit clear. Like you, I am afraid that I'm too fatigued to be properly coherent. Also, apologies for the detour, but as someone currently working on research involving the history of gender and sexuality, I couldn't let that one go by.

Finally, I wanted to thank you for a really interesting conversation thus far, and let you know that Home is indeed a Kirk/Spock fic that will involve a romantic factor between the two of them. However, there is nothing explicit, and everything is handled in a surprisingly sane way, and one that is, at least, sensitive to the crew dynamic portrayed in both TOS and the reboot. Also, she does explore their relationship in a life-and-death situation in which far more than their own lives are at stake. In all honestly, reading it has spoiled me to the extent that I haven't read K/S in a good long time because all the rest pales horribly in comparison.

6/12/2010 #19
dinger

Real quick, then you may enjoy shoreleave's CMO Confidential. I haven't read her rewrite, but the first was very well done.

6/13/2010 #20
dinger

Real quick, then you may enjoy shoreleave's CMO Confidential. I haven't read her rewrite, but the first was very well done.

6/13/2010 #21
letsplaypretend

i actually like spock/uhura *ducks* but it's mostly because that means spock/kirk aren't a pairing, and ugh, but that's been overdone to the extreme.

and... yeah, i'm going to rant about that. sorry. i tried to think of a different way to change that, but it's not happenin'. XD

seriously, though, i get that spock/kirk (spork to me haha, because i think that's hysterical) has a lot of basis in TOS (i watched most of those episodes, and sat through all the really bad lines and crappy scenery, so i do have some idea of what i'm talking about *flail*) but still, you guys, this IS an AU. jj abrams admitted it. can't we be a little creative here? putting spock and jim together, from the movie, which is what this fandom is based on, anyway, doesn't make sense.

look at it--the only REAL interaction they had was when

-spock accused jim of cheating and tried to get him thrown from the academy, but succeeded in getting him put on academic suspension (not that that stopped jim);

-had very obvious animosity towards him when he was named XO, which, by all rights, means shut the hell up with your goddamn prejudices, spock, and pay attention--Pike obviously thinks he's worth something. instead of doing that, he chose to disregard everything his XO tried to tell him. imho, when you are captain and you have a first officer, it doesn't matter what happened before. you have a responsibility to listen to each other. neither of them did that.

-marooned him. 'nuff said.

-throttled him. again: 'nuff said.

-at the end, (and i realize this could be taken as spock not being willing to let kirk go die alone, but hello, he just tried to kill the guy. it was probably a psuedo-suicide attempt.) disregarded his orders and went with jim onto the narada.

while this is turning into a rant, I DONT GET THIS SPORK THING.

like has been said above, it's not about them being two heterosexual men. i personally ship mccoy/jim or jim/uhura (just wrote a fic that's K/U, actually...) but something about spock and kirk together just confuses me, in this fandom. if it was the TOS fandom i would be fine with it, because, really, there's some serious UST going on there. but in this... it's wildy OOC. and i don't understand *shrug*

12/29/2010 #22
DB2020

I hope it doesn't seem like I'm picking on you. This is the second time I've replied to one of your comments. I'm just throwing in my two cents.

The notion of Kirk and Spock being together is essentially canon. Maybe not a physical love, but as soulmates. That's how Rodddenberry envisioned their relationship. That's where the term "t'hy'la" came from. The term was created for Kirk and Spock.

A couple quotes from the man behind it all:

"…I definitely designed it as a love relationship. And I hope that for men…who have been afraid of such relationships…that they [Spock and Kirk] would encourage them to be able to feel love and affection, true affection…love, friendship, and deep respect. That was the relationship I tried to draw. It's quite a lovely thing where two halves make a whole."

— Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek Lives, about Kirk and Spock

"There's a great deal of writing in the Star Trek movement which compares the relationship between Alexander and Hephaistion* to the relationship between Kirk and Spock - focusing on the closeness of the friendship, the feeling that they would die for one another..."

[Roddenberry]: "Yes, there's certainly some of that - certainly with love overtones. Deep love. The only difference being, the Greek ideal- we never suggested in the series - physical love between the two. But it's the - we certainly had the feeling that the affection was sufficient for that, if that were the particular style of the 23rd century."

(lifted this quote from BondSlave's post in this same forum)

I'm sure there are more instances of Roddenberry talking about the relationship between Kirk and Spock.

It's easy to see how fans see them as being together.

1/10/2011 #23
letsplaypretend

i'm not offended ;) i think it's interesting to hear other people's point of view.

in regards to what you're saying--i never said i thought it wasn't canon, so long as it was in the original series. that is totally obvious to me, and i completely agree.

my point(s), however, were in the 2009 canon, it's not. for one thing, the only pairing that could really be considered canon (among the new enterprise crew, not counting the parents, of course) would be spock/uhura, potentially one-sided kirk/uhura.

and yes, i do understand the hypocrisy in my being a kirk/mccoy fan, when i'm pointing out the non-canonical (is that even a word? sorry--it's late here, and i'm not entirely sure what the word should be for that o.O)

anyways, i completely get your point, and when i read TOS fanfiction, i consider kirk/spock to be a completely canon relationship. it's only in the 2009 'verse that i believe it to be illogical.

...no punnishness intended.

1/10/2011 #24
DB2020

Certainly the 2009 canon restarted everything in a very different way. Kirk and Spock obviously had a bumpy (understatement) start compared to the original. However, Abrams still intended to preserve the same level of friendship and love that they eventually developed in TOS. We won't see much of it until the next movie(s) come out. But Abrams' canon always meant to keep the element of "t'hy'la" between Kirk and Spock (forgive me for using that term. Much as I like it, it's so overused in fanfiction that I don't like using it myself). The fact that Spock Prime still loves Kirk (STXI-Kirk), and pushed STXI-Spock to go with Kirk, pretty much guarantees they'll still become best friends, brothers, and soulmates. Whether that means romantic love is obviously up for interpretation.

Anyway, there's too much open for interpretation to ever settle on a definitive answer. To me, the Spock/Uhura canon is pretty much how Abrams initially intended it to be, which is just a plot device. In an interview, and I'll have to find the quote, Abrams admitted that they threw Spock together with Uhura because they needed someone (anyone) to comfort him after losing his planet. The love interest was a byproduct of Spock not being able to turn to Kirk for comfort, since they weren't friends at the time. I'd also point out how they replaced McCoy with Uhura (sad face) for the sake of appealing to a male audience, and all that jazz. I still think Uhura's kickass. I just don't appreciate how she was reduced to "the girlfriend" role for the sake of giving support instead of being the awesome bamf that she was from TOS. But I hear Saldana is training up for the next film, so she'll probably be contending then.

The final thing I'd add about STXI 2009 canon versus TOS canon, is that Spock Prime hypothesized that the new timeline was trying to get back on track. Hence the crazy coincidences of that happened. By the end of the movie, we already know Kirk and Spock are going to be good friends. It's reasonable to say that other areas of the timeline will streamline with the original. I.e. Uhura and Scotty might get together like the original canon. But who knows, maybe STXI gives us more Kirk/McCoy as soulmates (two haggard halves who find each on a shuttle) than Kirk/Spock.

1/11/2011 . Edited 1/11/2011 #25
The Nameless Stranger
Hey. I just wanted to tell that your opinion matches perfectly with mine. Thank you for expressing it! :) PS: i even like the proverb you used as a name. Damn you! ;D
8/9/2011 #26
The Nameless Stranger

I agree. i have nothing against slash couples (when they are well-made), but this whole ""they're friends, let's make them lovers" thing is getting a bit annoying. From where should we start? Sherlock Holmes and Watson, House and Wilson, Kirk and Spock....Ok guys. Certainly, you can interprete their relationships as romantic if you think so, (that's what fiction is about anyway; creating stuff from your favourite show/movie/book), but let's keep it civilizised, and not insist on the 'canonness' of a pairing, when it's obviously not canon.

8/9/2011 #27
Black-Dranzer-1119

To start off with, I am a K/S fan, but mainly because of the original series and movies, rather than the recent movie. Star Trek XI, despite its focus being Kirk and Spock, began their relationship with antagonism and they only begin to come to an understanding at the end of the movie, on the Narada. There is not enough evidence for me to pair them together in this movie, because antagonism is not the reason I like this pairing. To be clear, as I like it based on the original series, not Star Trek XI, it is not because I like pairing two good looking men together just because, since, well I sort of get why people find William Shatner as Kirk attractive, I just find Leonard Nimoy's as Spock only interesting looking and not particularly attractive. Now as your question seems to extend to the original series, not just Star Trek XI, I will tell you why I support this pairing and there are many reasons, so I will list the main ones.

From Gene Roddenberry

1. T'hy'la: This term originated in the novelisation by Gene Roddenberry and was used by Spock in reference to Kirk. T'hy'la means 'friend, brother and lover' and because of that, this term is interesting since it can be seen as vague or very specific as to what type of relationship the two have. The fact that this term is Vulcan and Vulcan's are usually so specific is interesting, unless it was created pre-Surak when logic wasn't as highly regarded.

2. Comparison to Alexander the Great and Hephaestion:

Interviewer: "There's a great deal of writing in the Star Trek movement which compares the relationship between Alexander The Great and Hephaestion to the relationship between Kirk and Spock focusing on the closeness of the friendship, the feeling that they would die for one another." Gene Roddenberry: "Yes there's certainly some of that, certainly with love overtones. Deep love. The only difference being from the Greek ideal, we never suggested physical love between the two in the series. We certainly had the feeling that the affection was sufficient for that, if that were the particular style of the 23rd century."

This interview occurred one year before the release of the first Star Trek movie and I agree that there was no suggestion of physical love between the two at that point. The point is that Alexander the Great and Hephaestion were said to have been lovers and not only was the comparison not denied by Gene Roddenberry, he stated that they 'had the feeling that the affection was sufficient for that'. As homosexuality was not accepted at the time it was created, my interpretation of the final section is that, if homosexuality (though I am not saying they are homosexual as I believe them to possibly be bi/pansexual) was accepted in the 23rd century, then they had affection sufficient enough for it to be the same as Alexander the Great and Hephaestion.

3. Designed to complete each other:

We [the interviewers] tell Gene [Roddenberry] something of our recent interview with Bill [Shatner] and Leonard [Nimoy] - touching on the Kirk-Spock relationship, and Nimoy's feeling that Kirk was essential to Spock's life: "I know you've told us you designed that relationship as 'Two halves which come together to make a whole'. Is that how you still see it?" [Roddenberry]: "Oh yes. As I've said, I definitely designed it as a love relationship. I think that's what we're all about - love, the effort to reach out to each other. I think that's a lovely thing. Also, dramatically, I designed Kirk and Spock to complete each other - and in fact, the Kirk, Spock McCoy triad to be the dramatic embodiment of the parts of one person: logic, emotion, and the balance between them. You cannot have an internal monologue on the screen, so that is a way of personifying it, getting it out where it can be seen - that internal debate which we all have within. AND I designed Kirk and Spock, as I told you, as dream images of myself, the two halves. But in terms of the characters, yes. That closeness... absolutely."

The concept of two people as halves of a whole is the definition of soul mates, which goes back to Greek mythology when it was believed that human's were originally created with four arms and legs, but was slip apart by Zeus and condemned to spend their lives searching for their other half. This concept of soul mates is strongly tied to romantic ideals, which links in with the previous quote about Alexander and Hephaestion.

From the episodes

1. The back rub scene A.K.A Shore Leave: In this scene it is made obvious that Kirk is pretending to have a sore back while talking to Spock. He then assumes that it is Spock giving him the back rub and appears annoyed when this is not the case, as Spock moves into his line of sight and Kirk gives up the pretence of having a sore back. This shows that Kirk had deliberately created a situation to try and get Spock to touch him, in what can be considered an intimate way, in a public space. Friends do not create situations deliberately so that the other friend will touch them.

2. City on the Edge of Forever:

Edith Keeler: I still have a few questions I'd like to ask about you two. Oh, and don't give me that "questions about little old us?" look. You know how out of place you are around here. Spock: Interesting. Where would you estimate we belong, Miss Keeler? Edith Keeler: You? At his side, as if you've always been there and always will.

This is interesting as Keeler says they are both displaced, when according to her, Spock is exactly where he should be, unless she means more than physical location. To belong at someone's side doesn't always mean physically and so is often used in a romantic context.

3. Operation-- Annihilate!: The main one in this one is its link to the previous one, which is 'The City on the Edge of Forever'. During that episode Kirk states:

"Let me help. A hundred years or so from now, I believe, a famous novelist will write a classic using that theme. He'll recommend those three words even over I love you."

This sets up a precedent, which makes it interesting that Spock uses those exact words in the next episode. It is not necessary for either to know that meaning of those words as romantic, as the viewers are expected to know it.

4. Devil in the Dark: Spock, for the most part of this episode is determined to keep whatever is killing the people alive and simply capture it, as killing is against the Vulcan way. It isn't until Kirk is potentially in danger that Spock changes his mind and is seen as panicking, to the point where Kirk is being more calm and logical about the situation than Spock is, refusing the repeated requests for it be killed.

5. Amok Time: Now this episode nearly deserves a heading all to itself and I have read an essay entirely devoted to this episode and how it relates to Spock and Kirk, so I will try and keep it short.

a) Spock's hands: When Spock tells Kirk about pon farr, Spock's hands shake and the closer Kirk gets the harder they shake, until he is forced to grip his stylus with both hands to keep them still. This may be due to the large amount of adrenaline he has due to the need to mate and he is preventing himself from attacking Kirk or it could be the desire to mate with Kirk. The next time we see Spock, he seems to have calmed down a great deal, but how is not explained (and I won't go into since there is a whole other theory about what happened involving Kirk and empathy) and his hands are steady when he meets up with Chapel, which may be because he isn't threatened by her or desires her, what it isn't is because he knows they are heading to Vulcan since Chapel tells him this.

b) Plak Tow: Spock manages to pull himself out of it for long enough to try and convince T'Pau, not Kirk, to not allow him to go through with it. Which is interesting because Kirk is under no obligation and Spock would have had to kill him to win (once again, there is a essay that explains this better than I can), so I have to wonder if there was more to it than Kirk ever found out about on screen since it would have taken more control and effort than has been previously demonstrated by a Vulcan, or at least that is what I gathered from T'Pau's reaction.

c) The reunion: Spock, seeing Kirk was almost 'too' happy and expressive for Vulcan when he found out about Kirk's fake death and the fact that he was prepared to surrender himself over something he clearly had no control over shows how important Kirk was to him

From the Movies

The Motion Picture (As the novelisation was written by Roddenberry, I will be using evidence from that in this section)

1. Kolinahr: We are never given a reason why Spock chose to pursue it, only that he believes his human half is the cause of his pain. This pain is linked to Kirk as he is the only one Spock specifically says farewell to. 'Jim! Good-bye my . . . my t'hy'la. This is the last time I will permit myself to think of you or even your name again.' Spock considers his biggest loss is that of Kirk, even over his love for his mother. Spock's attempt at kolinahr ultimately fails because of Kirk, because when he joins with T'Sai he hears Kirk's thoughts. He is then told that his answers are else where, but the questions he has are never given.

2. The answer or the med bay scene: From what is communicated verbally, Spock's answer is for the most part, straight forward and that is, that there is no beauty in pure logic and emotions are necessary as logic on its own is useless. It is where Spock is vague and the non verbal communication part of this conversation that raises questions. The vague verbal statement, 'This simple feeling'. This is the only line spoken, but it is accompanied by extended eye contact and hand holding which Spock initiates deliberately. This alone is interesting as Vulcan's do not approve of physical contact, even between husband and wife (which are restricted to two finger contact in day-to-day situations) and so this can be seen as being rather forward. After Spock says his line Kirk places his other hand on top of Spock's and with the barest smiles, he nods and Spock nods back and I am left wondering what is missing and that is any verbal acknowledgement as to what was just communicated so discreetly. It has been suggested that during the period between the series and the first movie that Kirk has confessed his feelings to Spock, thus Spock leaves to pursue Kolinahr and it was not taken well and in this context this can be seen as the beginning of a romantic relationship between the two.

Wrath of Khan

1. 'Friendship':

'You are my superior officer, you are also my friend. I have been, and always shall be yours." - Spock to Kirk

To me, this quote doesn't quite match up with his later quote 'I have been and always shall be your friend.' In the first quote, Spock is saying Kirk is his superior officer and his friend and...? If he is saying he will always be Kirk's friend that is a bit repetitive. If he had instead said, 'you are also my friend as I have always shall be yours', the separation of statements would be gone, but it sounds to me more like he is saying he belongs to Kirk, not simply that he is his friend.

2. Death:

When Spock is dying, Kirk and Spock seem to be trying to get to each other, even though there is glass between them and I have little doubt that Kirk would have been holding Spock if it had been possible. This is what made it so heart breaking for me, the desire to touch each other one final time and not being able to and it is only when it is seen from Kirk's side of the glass you can see how far apart they actually are. Later when Kirk is talking to David he admits to never having faced death like this. At this point he had faced Tarsus IV, lost crew members, old friends, his brother and sister-in-law and none of these compare to the loss he feels when Spock dies.

Search for Spock

1. Kirk: He is prepared to do anything to bring Spock back, even if it was only his body and it cost him dearly, but Kirk considers Spock a part of himself. He describes Spock friend as "the noblest half of myself" and declared that Spock's immortal soul "is my responsibility, as surely as if it were my very own." This belief is carried though to his conversation to Sarek later on after losing his son and the enterprise and he does not appear to regret the actions he took.

Sarek: Kirk, I thank you. What you have done is...

Kirk: What I have done, I had to do.

Sarek: But at what cost? Your ship. Your son.

Kirk: If I hadn't tried, the cost would have been my soul.

Spock: Due to the lack of scene's together as well as well his loss of memory. It is interesting though that his first memories were of Kirk, specifically, Kirk's first name as the first on screen memory after recalling the moments before death and yet not entirely connected to the other memory.

That's pretty much it, or at least the main ones that I can be bothered writing about. The thing that gets Kirk/ Spock fans, apart from the things I mentioned, is the eye contact held a bit too long, the casual touches despite the Vulcan aversion to them and the tension between friendship and Spock and Kirk relationship. I hope that has helped you understand a bit about why we like the pairing. For me, seeing them as being in love isn't out of character, but an acknowledgment of the tension between them. If it helps, they could possibly be in a solely homoromantic relationship, as it is possible to be in a romantic relationship without sex and it not be simply a 'friendship'.

8/14/2011 #28
Superpixel

In response to the the original post, what I see in K/S originates from the first and best (and longest) fanfiction I've read in this fandom: Observations by jAnon (http://anon-j-anon.livejournal.com/30674.html)

To the point about how STXI Kirk and Spock aren't much of a basis for a romantic relationships, most K/S Reboot fanfiction I've read isn't actually based on their interactions in STXI. It's more inspired by their bond in TOS and writing how they perceive that relationship to develop (some time after the events of the film) in the alternate universe.

@dinger: The Things You See and The Way You See Them by Danahid (http://danahid.livejournal.com/10199.html#cutid1)

8/23/2011 #29
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