The Foresmutters Project

Mary Ellen, Doctor Science, MA

Commentary & Historical Background: Poses by Leslie Fish

"Poses" is the sequel to "Shelter", which was originally published in Warped Space XX, dated October 1, 1976. Warped Space was put out by MSUSTC, the Michigan State University Star Trek Club. XX was the second X-rated issue of Warped Space to be published, #X being the first. After that the X-rated zines spun off to become the Obsc'zines, in the first issue of which "Poses" appeared. There is a separate FSP commentary page for "Shelter".

Anyone who remembers reading "Poses" in its early years and who has information, insights, or reminiscences to offer, please post them; or send your comments to Doctor Science ( and I'll collate them for posting.

The story was originally published as written by Leslie Fish and Joanne Agostino. It is being posted here with the permission of Fish, the principal author.

Here are excepts from LOCs (letters of comment) in the letter column of Obsc'zine #2:
"The first time I ran across this theme, I found it beautiful and believable."

". . . wholly creditable. More sex-based than 'Shelter', it nevertheless conveyed the *love* perfectly."

"And 'Poses'! This sequel's so great,
enough praise my brain can't create.
I love it! You've said
all the thoughts in my head."

. . . "but must virtually every piece of art depict a lurid sex act? Also, I've found that these stories lack any semblence of a plot. Why can't the sexual goings-on be intertwined with some sort of story? Just describing, in a detailed manner, sexual acts, seems a little tacky."
editorial comment by Doc: this is *not* the historical origin of the term "PWP", which seems to have been, uh, formalized at a con c.1984. But clearly the term describes something that was observable from the start.
"Fish has opened up a whole new game with her description of the strange alien arrangement, one which I hope she will explore further, so to speak."

"Spock would have trouble dealing with the establishment of an acknowledged bond with Kirk, Kirk would have trouble dealing with the 'homosexual' aspects of the situation . . . but might be able to deal with a telepathic/emotional bond only in terms of sexuality . . ."

"Perhaps I'm just too much of a thoroughly heterosexual female, but these gay stories turn me completely off. It's more than just a dislike on my part. It seems to me to be a total mischaracterization." . . . Leslie Fish can write a good story, and make it interesting, but the basic premise of the story is just a bit too much." . . . "Maybe this fad will soon run its course . . ."

"I object strongly to the theory that my dad and Uncle Jim have engaged in a homosexual relationship. They're *friends*, not lovers, and it's because of Ms. Fish's outstanding story 'Poses' that I must hide the OBSC'ZINE when it arrives. Although it was well-written, absorbing, and, if one were to accept the premise, quite believable, my grandfather would not approve".
The above comment is from an original character, clearly Spock's child.
"Fish and Agostino show great psychological insight in these stories and express in fictional form the importance of integration."

In the letterzine Interstat #33 (July, 1980) Leslie said:
that bridge-scene in "Poses" was meant to be a satire on male attitudes; K&S are acting like a couple of fumbling adolescents -- precisely because this is a form of "romantic" involvement they've never dealt with before, just like a couple of horny virgin adolescents dealing with a regular heterosexual "first love". I suppose I should have made the parallel a little stronger, since not many people seem to have caught on, even when I later had Kirk come right out ("come out"? Oy!) and accuse Spock of making him "The Girl in a bad romance". Well, y'can't win 'em all.
Doc here: Another clue that LF didn't mean her stories to be taken without irony is when Kirk worries that he's acting "out of character." That phrase was the refrain of the early anti-K/S reaction, and provoked LF to her harshest rhetoric.

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