Star Trek: The New Voyages, 2

Star Trek: The New Voyages, 2 - Sondra Marshak, Myrna Culbreath [These notes were made in 1983:]. The ladies strike again! Although, in fact, two of the stories this time around are by men, the dominant sensibility of this volume is - even more strikingly than the last - that peculiar insistence on personal emotion which reaches its absurdest (and most gratifying) extension in "K/S". Here, this being a commercially published work, we have no such physical absurdity (and gratification), but there can be no doubt that a good many of the author(esse)s are playing with fire. This is particularly true of both entries by Marshak & Culbreath themselves. In one, co-written with Nichelle Nichols (!), the lightly-treated, frothy little story is largely underpinned by Spock's nurturing and protective instincts about Kirk (M & C's contribution, I think) and the whole plot is centred around a Captain-in-towel/Uhura confrontation (obviously NN's). In the other, the entire crew of the Enterprise except Spock is switched in gender, and JTK is damned near raped by the Klingon commander. To balance these, there are several straight adventure-type stories which would translate well (better, I think, than any in New Voyages 1) into TV episodes. And there is the usual sprinkling of so-called poetry, not terribly distinguished. What is clearer this time around is how much this stuff owes to the fanzine mentality, and to that particularly obsessive dwelling on the ST universe - not the mechanical, technical universe which gives science fiction its name, but the simpler, more ideal world of ST emotion, where loyalty and love exist as unadulterated as in adolescent fantasy. Perhaps there is the real attraction of this otherwise not terribly distinguished stuff.