Date: 01/01/2021 5:14 PM Title: Part 1
I am from the 1980s era of fandom. Lockdown here in Britain has found me rereading my old zines but also searching the web for new material. I wish this were in print....a quaint concept I know but I would love to be able to turn its pages. I read this long into the early hours of the morning often with tears running down my face. I know I'm going to have to read it again but I'm not sure I can face it. It is unbearable. I remember writing something vaguely along the same lines way back when but oh my goodness this knocks it into a tin hat. Killa, this is so much more affecting than erotica (which I enjoy as much as the next person). I could have screamed with frustration at times and definitely sobbed my way through the meeting of the old shipmates. In my time we spent pages trying to explain why Spock went to Gol. This story supplies as good a reason as any I've read. But when I think of the joy Kirk and Spock took in each other during the first five year mission....I can easily see that when it came to an end things would prove impossible. But I still wanted to shake them both until their teeth rattled. Such intense emotions so tightly repressed. Marvellous stuff. Without doubt one of fanwritings masterpieces. Congratulations.
What a lovely comment. Thank you so much—both for spending time with this story, and for sharing your thoughts. At one time, I did have plans to release this as a zine, along with fanworks from other authors and artists who found some resonance with this story. Life (and finances) intervened, but I appreciate the thought very much!
I found Star Trek in the 80s as well, though it took me another 12-13 years or so to find fandom. The main reason I started writing was to try and find other people who loved Kirk and Spock. When I joined internet fandom (late 1994) there weren't any K/S stories online, and only a tiny handful (literally, I could count them on one hand) Classic Trek stories. I decided to try writing something to see if I could find any other fans. Turns out, that was a good idea. :)
Date: 05/08/2017 12:41 PM Title: Part 1
That was a rather sad story. On one hand I wanted to give up because I couldn't stand this misery between the two anymore and on the other hand I couldn't read quick enough to see what happens next.
Very good story.
Thanks so much for sticking with it. I used to write such sad stories back then!
Date: 10/19/2014 4:37 PM Title: Part 3
This story left me utterly breathless, it is so sad, but so touchingly beautiful in its careful language and the realism of the suffering, the blindness and lost occasions, the misunderstandings. I was almost certain you would leave us without any hope to see them reunited and am really grateful for the last paragraphs. They ease the weary soul of a reader who has relived with Spock all those decades of dancing around each other. So well conceived and well written, thank you so much for sharing!
Thank you so much. I appreciate you reading it and taking the time to comment, more than I can say.
Thank you so much. I appreciate you reading it and taking the time to comment, more than I can say.
Date: 06/05/2012 5:02 AM Title: Part 1
This review has been a long time coming, so I apologize in advance for the insane rant! As I was just telling (read: gushing to) a friend recently, this story rips your heart to shreds and only puts it back together at the very end. Once I start reading it, I can never stop until I marathon the whole thing, or I'll feel depressed the rest of the day. I inevitably tear up or cry at least a half-dozen times, and often have to look away from the screen and shake my head silently because a particular scene is too overwhelming.
And the best part is, it's so affecting because it's so damn plausible. There is literally no time at which I have to suspend disbelief, not even for a second, because there isn't a single explanation or character action that doesn't ring true. In fact, this story overrides my happy "they-bonded-after-TMP" headcanon for days after I read it, because my brain insists this version of events makes the most sense out of anything. Obviously they spent their entire lives in a state of denial, drifting apart on their chosen paths, and were both quietly miserable for it.
You fix everything that bothers me about the Trek movies. You juggle a million factors - marriage, resentment over a friend’s absence, loneliness, duty, self-sacrifice, repressed emotions - and weave them seamlessly together. This story has a level of respect for the characters that canon itself often fails to capture. Major and minor characters alike feel like real people, complex and conflicted. It's as if they've come right off the screen in the best possible way. You get into Spock's head like no one else I’ve read. You balance his emotional and logical sides with perfect honesty – I can hear Leonard Nimoy’s voice narrating the whole way through. The way you handle death and separation is both sensitive and insightful, and as a reader, the emotions of these men are so raw at times it feels like getting punched in the gut.
You also have this incredible way of conveying the rhythms of everyday life, and the significance that single encounters and random chance can have on a relationship. Kirk and Spock really hurt each other and make mistakes in this story, and the reader is never compelled to take sides because no one is right or wrong. There can be no apology in a case of constant misunderstandings and unspoken feelings. That's a rare quality to come across in any kind of fiction with interpersonal conflict.
In summary, this isn't just one of the best fics I've read, but one of the best stories, period. This is a story I'd feel comfortable directing a non-K/S Trek fan toward and saying "read this with an open mind, and you just might get it." Hell, you never even label their feelings, and the ending is almost ambiguous enough that it could be interpreted as an intense but platonic friendship. Then again, as you responded to another commenter, do labels like platonic and romantic even matter here? I don't think so. You make it pretty clear the love between Kirk and Spock is transcendent - not just of labels, but time and space itself. You’ve enriched the whole fandom with this fic, and often I think to myself “If I can write Spock and Kirk half as well as Killa someday, I’ll have it made.”
Date: 04/19/2011 5:27 PM Title: Part 1
Killa - wow. Just - wow. One of the finest stories I've ever read, in any genre. I've been in floods of tears for most of the second and third installments, and the ending has just set me off all over again. By turns poignant, beautiful, heart-wrenching, funny, familiar - and, in places, almost unbearably sad. Where you describe Kirk's naked agony at Spock's death, I actually had to leave the story for several minutes (the longest I was able to stay away at any point!) because I was crying so much! It fills in the private side of the public grief that we see hints of in Khan and The Search for Spock - which I anyway find incredibly moving, without seeing the depth of personal loss that he tries to conceal. McCoy's gentle comfort was just beautifully, beautifully rendered.
I absolutely agree with one of the comments you've made in response to another review - "I do believe that the love story between Kirk and Spock is so much more than sexual, and some days, I prefer to think sex has almost nothing to do with it. That isn't to say I don't think they loved each other in all ways, but it's easy for me to believe the physical might be an afterthought for them." That's exactly how I feel about K/S - the K/S evidenced on screen, the sheer depth and power of their love, which we see time and time again evidenced between the two men. And you've captured it perfectly. Oooh I've gone on and on a bit here, forgive me - I'm just incredibly moved by this story and I intend to read it and re-read it once I have a chance to recover my emotional equiblibrium. This story ought to be canon.
Thank you so much for your kind and heartfelt response to this story. It makes me happier than I can say to know that this story is still affecting people fifteen years after I wrote it. Thank you!
Date: 10/30/2010 8:38 PM Title: Part 1
Killa, you are a lifesaver. For the past few years I have been caught up in RL situations, and even though the JJ Abrams movie got me excited, it was a surface kind of feeling-- yay, our characters are back and with a bit of time, I got intrigued that maybe this new vision would keep my interest. But the depth between the original characters was lacking. This weekend I decided on a whim to go back to some old favorites, and thought I would re-read Bitter Glass, which I remember knocked my socks off the first time. Very rarely does a story envelop me like a duvet on a cold winter's night-- this one did, again. Even knowing the outcome, that familiar warmth, heart trilling, tear jerking sensation came upon me, and more than once. Your stories always have a positive physiological effect on me, truly the sign of a gifted writer. This one shines for the reasons others have eloquently mentioned-- characterizations spot on, angst, no need for erotica to get us emotionally aroused. You have accessed the pulse of the K/S fanfic phenomenon into which you have so firmly re-entrenched me. If I ever leave fandom again for any length of time, I know you will pull me back in as you have today. Thank you!!!!
Author's Response: I can't thank you enough for this kind feedback! It means the world to hear that you enjoyed this story, and I'm more grateful than I can say. Thank you!
Date: 07/28/2010 7:19 PM Title: Part 1
This was amazing. Not just as a romantic story, but also as a story in its own right! It absorbed me from the start, and (naturally, considering the nature of the tale) was crying by the end. I registered just to say this, so I'm sorry I can't think of much else to say! Well done, anyway, great work, and I'll check out that book you used for Saavik's background stuff! (: And thank you!
Thank you, you are so kind to register just to tell me you enjoyed the story. I'm so glad! That's wonderful to hear, and I really appreciate your comment.
Date: 06/17/2010 11:24 AM Title: Part 1
Sometimes when I'm reading fan fic, a little voice in my head reminds me that I am playing in the land of make-believe. There was never a moment in this novella when I felt that way. In my mind I have created neat categories for my books: literature (stuff that I should be reading) and mindless brain candy (stuff I read and feel guilty for enjoying). When I finished this piece last night after 5 hours glued to my chair, it defied my categorization. I am blown away by this story. So poignant, so powerful, I was completely emotionally engaged. Remarkable writing, remarkable author. Thank you Killa.
Oh, dear -- somehow I missed receiving notification of this comment. You are lovely and kind -- thank you so much for your comment!
Date: 12/04/2009 6:42 PM Title: Part 1
Good Lord, I don't know where to start.. Killa, I don't think I'll ever be able to find the words to describe properly how your stories (and this one, together with Cover of night, in particular)make me feel. I honestly think you are the best author in all the K/S fandom.. It is not just your style of writing (which is, by the way,superb), it's.. I really don't know how to explain.. The fact is that you, among all the authors I've read, are the only one who really understood (imho) the truest core of the relationship between these two extraordinary guys and who achieved to perfectly express it in heartwrenching, breathtaking stories that fit in effortlessly with the canon. I don't know how you do it. Maybe it's your style, maybe it's your terrific grasp of the characters and their psychology, the fact that you managed, here, to include ALL of them (both from the series and the movies) keeping a perfect and yet so delicate equilibrium.. "Cover of night" almost killed me (I could not eat for days) and "Bitter Glass" is making me relive that exquisite torment.. I always knew it would have been the definite K/S story for me.. I'm glad I was not mistaken. You gave the most exhaustive and realistic and intense and astonishing explanation of this relationship that I ever read. One of the things I love most about it is.. that it is not erotica. You know, I sometimes feel that most stories, focusing just on the physical, belittle this friendship.. There is so much more than mere sexual attraction.. They are two kindred spirits, the two halves of the platonic apple, two souls destined to be side by side in every time and in every place. They are the Gilgamesh&Enkidu of the 23rd century. They complete each other. Their relationship is so complex that even the world "love" doesn't encompass it.. I really think that Roddenberry understood all this and tried to give his explanation inventing the word "thy'la".. And I think that only you, Killa, achieved to give this wonderful term the best expression it could ever get. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Live long and prosper.
Good Lord is right! Thank you so much -- I don't know what to say, but I'm really pleased that the story spoke to you, and thank you for reading it. You are very, very kind. I do believe that the love story between Kirk and Spock is so much more than sexual, and some days, I prefer to think sex has almost nothing to do with it. That isn't to say I don't think they loved each other in all ways, but it's easy for me to believe the physical might be an afterthought for them. It's funny that you mention Cover of Night, as I suppose that story sort of came from the opposite place. *g* But that's the amazing thing about these characters -- the connection between them is so strong and complete that I think its expression can take infinite forms. Maybe those two stories in particular express my dissatisfaction with something in the movies, where I feel an essential wrongness or case of missed connections that needs to be righted. I suppose the idea of one of them being drawn into a crisis like the one Spock is embroiled in here is one way I imagine that missed connection happening. It's all too easy to see how two men who spend their lives trying to make a difference might give up their own true heart's desire in the process. I'm rambling, but your comments were so thoughtful that they got me thinking about Kirk and Spock and what it was that compelled me to write such heartfelt stories about them. I think my newness as a writer was painfully obvious, but one thing I have to admit is that I poured my heart into these stories, and it means a lot that you found some satisfaction in them. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Also, your comment came on my birthday. Thank you for the amazing birthday present. :D
Good Lord is right! Thank you so much -- I don't know what to say, but I'm really pleased that the story spoke to you, and thank you for reading it. You are very, very kind. I do believe that the love story between Kirk and Spock is so much more than sexual, and some days, I prefer to think sex has almost nothing to do with it. That isn't to say I don't think they loved each other in all ways, but it's easy for me to believe the physical might be an afterthought for them.
It's funny that you mention Cover of Night, as I suppose that story sort of came from the opposite place. *g* But that's the amazing thing about these characters -- the connection between them is so strong and complete that I think its expression can take infinite forms. Maybe those two stories in particular express my dissatisfaction with something in the movies, where I feel an essential wrongness or case of missed connections that needs to be righted. I suppose the idea of one of them being drawn into a crisis like the one Spock is embroiled in here is one way I imagine that missed connection happening. It's all too easy to see how two men who spend their lives trying to make a difference might give up their own true heart's desire in the process.
I'm rambling, but your comments were so thoughtful that they got me thinking about Kirk and Spock and what it was that compelled me to write such heartfelt stories about them. I think my newness as a writer was painfully obvious, but one thing I have to admit is that I poured my heart into these stories, and it means a lot that you found some satisfaction in them. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Also, your comment came on my birthday. Thank you for the amazing birthday present. :D
Date: 12/02/2009 7:32 PM Title: Part 1
This story is a masterpiece!You have plucked these characters off a television screen, out of fiction, and made of them living breathing people. Their pain becomes my pain, their tears--both shed and unshed--become my tears.
Bitter Glass touched me in so many places.
Thank you writing this superbly crafted story and for letting me see inside the hearts and minds of two men I love.
Thank you, hon. Long ago, your response to this story meant the world to me, and that's still true.
Date: 12/01/2009 12:23 AM Title: Part 3
This was one of the best written stories I've ever read in my life. It was heartwrenching. The timing was perfect. THe emotions where so raw and real. I am able to see certain moments in the movies with a new light. You are an extremely talented author, and I feel blessed to have read something so fantastic. I learned something about writing from reading this.
Thank you for that amazing journey, Killa.
Thank you -- I can't really thank you enough for taking the time to comment. What wonderful and kind feedback! It's so wonderful to hear that the story had meaning for you -- thank you.
Date: 10/25/2009 9:15 PM Title: Part 1
I just wanted to say how completely wonderful this story is. It's absolutely amazing - broke my heart completely.
You really are one hell of an author!
Thank you, you are very kind. I'm really glad this spoke to you. :)
Date: 10/25/2009 4:23 PM Title: Part 1
I was up until 2am last night reading this story, all the while amazed, infuriated, and so very moved. You've addressed every single issue between Kirk and Spock that has troubled me these last 25 years. I parted ways with Trek back in 1995 saddened and rather disgusted by Kirk and Spock's fates until JJ Abrahms lured me back. It's been a bittersweet reunion and I've spent the subsequent weeks and months swimming in years of missed fics, noting the changes in perception in fandom of how Kirk and company are viewed.
Bitter Waters especially impresses me--in addition to being masterfully written, well thought-out, and wonderfully mature and epic in scope and grasp--in that it shines an unflinching light on the one aspect of Spock that seldom sees the light of day in fanfics: he's a tragic figure and (I really *hate* to admit this) more than a little pathetic. So much intelligence and love around him yet what's his ultimate fate? Self-delusion, needless self-denial, a fool's errand to an ungrateful Romulus that ends up ruining decades of his professional credibility, and in STIX even more grievously pathetic as it leads to the oblideration of Vulcan.
Spock is now the ultimate orphan, fate has punished him as much as it can, taking everything he once held dear. The niggling worry that Spock (and Kirk) had gone wrong set in back when I watched The Undiscovered Country for the first time and turned to full-fledged alarm when Picard felt entitled to shake his finger at Spock, lecturing him on his filial obligations. Frankly, I'm offended for Spock (and Kirk). He deserves better. It's like no one at Paramount, nor the actors themselves, has stepped aside from the material to realise just what bitter fate they've assigned to two of pop culture's most beloved characters. Or maybe they do but have decided that tragic equals interesting, profound, whatever.
Thank you so much for posting this story, Killa. You're a very talented writer and superlative Trek fan. Bitter Waters was a real vindication for me. If I owned Trek, I'd make it required reading for Nimoy, Shatner and anyone else involved in writing future movies, with the firm order: fix it.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and for your wonderful, thoughtful feedback. I really can't thank you enough. You reminded me of the original genesis of this story, which was born out of an ongoing conversation Beth M. and I had about what TNG had done to Spock, and how unsatisfying we found his eventual fate. It spun off into this story and Beth's "Masquerade" and its sequel. In the process, we talked a lot about what kind of woman Spock might have ended up with (if Picard's reference to Sarek's son's wedding was, indeed, about Spock) and how that might have affected his career and his relationship with Kirk.
You're right, it is unbelievably tragic to think that his rather doomed mission to Romulus might have eventually ended in the destruction of Vulcan. As time has passed, I've found it easier and easier to ignore the later movies and TNG when I think of the original series characters (especially Generations, as the internal logic of the Nexus is nonexistent). But I'm glad this story provided some validation and diversion. :) Thanks so much for your comment!
Date: 10/22/2009 10:27 PM Title: Part 1
I registered just to tell you how amazing I find this story. The characters are believable, Spock sounds like Spock, the story is very well crafted and the whole thing actually just made me weep, and I read it for the third time.
This is truly a wonderful story, and I thank you for writing it. I will definitely read it the fourth and the fifth time.. it is a masterpiece.
Thank you so very much for this! You made me smile. I'm really glad you liked it!
Date: 08/21/2009 11:36 PM Title: Part 3
Dear god, but that was spectacular. How you portrayed the characters, the wonderful narrative, the way you played with the time line, dipping back and forth into the past and present...I am absolutely floored by it. And humbled to have had the pleasure of reading such a masterpiece.
The pacing was spot on. The overall cohesiveness of the piece was incredible. The reader barely saw Kirk for the first 20,000 words, but he was so undeniably there that it boggles the mind. The bond, pon farr, the theme embodied by the Vulcan warrior pledge that carried through all the way to that beautiful final scene...this comment box doesn't have the character capacity to express how much I enjoyed this.
Fangirling is not something I do. But this...Thank you so much for writing and sharing it. It was beautiful.
What an incredibly kind and generous comment. I'm so grateful you took the time to let me know you enjoyed this, and I don't know what to say! You are very kind.
Date: 08/05/2009 3:11 AM Title: Part 3
This was amazing. You have ALL the ST_TOS characters nailed. Not one voice, motivation, mannerism is out of place, which is astounding! The work you've obviously poured into this is staggering!
The highs and lows have just about rung me out to dry - I've used half a box of Kleenex on the lows and giggled like a nut-case through the high's...my fav high being Kirk telling Spock to had over the baby, David. The voice and humour was pure Kirk.
Their love in your story seems right out of “Romeo and Juliet”. Between misunderstanding, duty, death, life and Starfleet brass they've danced their entire love for each other to the tune of others. Beautiful.... but definitely needed a tissue warning. Thank God, it had a happy conclusion!
This writing is stunning in it's construct, style and thorough understanding of ALL the characters, their dynamic's, quirks and histories and the universe they inhabit.
Many thanks for one hell of a ride and telling such a very human story of life, love, lose and friendship that changed they course of history. =3
Wow, thank you so much for this incredibly kind and generous feedback. I don't know what to say -- you are very kind and I really appreciate it. I'm so glad you enjoyed the story.