Killing Time Is Killing Me

Title: Killing Time
Author: Della Van Hise
Notes: Killing Time is notable for existing in two editions. First, the original edition, which was accidently published with a, shall-we-say, unexpurgiated draft, one Paramount had most certainly not approved. The second edition is the final Paramount edit, which the publisher quietly used for all subsequent printings. I didn't discover this, but when I found out, of course I bought both.

Rating (on five star scale): **

Killing Time. Where to begin?

The title, of course, is a problem. It sounds like it means "time to kill" as if it were one of those hideous J.M.Dillard novels. Actually, it's a pun, i.e. "killing *time*." Except that it really doesn't have much to do with the story. Yes, the story involves time travel, but that's about it. And if you are expecting any humor in this story, I'm afraid it's quite lacking.

I'll give it to you straight: this novel is the most blatantly K/S of all the Trek novels published by Pocket. Since K/S is on the list of strict no-no's in the publisher's guidelines, it will come as no surprise that Della Van Hise has never sold a book to Pocket/Star Trek since. The other reason is because she can't write and her book sucks.

The only people who actually like _Killing Time_, as far as I know, are K/S fans. Even they don't like it *that* much, describing it as "K/S lite" (most K/S fans keep a healthy dose of NC-17 in their diets, so KT reads like an extended tease) and dismissing the plot. As well they should. The plot is crap, the characters only appealing to hardcore slash fen. I hated it, that's all I have to say about it.

When I say this book is K/S, some of you may be a bit skeptical. I'm sure some of you are thinking "Pocket doesn't publish K/S." Well, this book is so K/S that I read the *edited* version several years back, when my only exposure to K/S was basically that I had heard of it, and I recognized that I was reading slash right away. I didn't particularly appreciate it either. Having recently come out and chock full of attitude (particularly a sneering attitude towards slashers) I snagged on a particular paragraph (which I'm too lazy to look up just now) which seemed to indicate that homosexuality for Kirk and Spock was a black hole that would suck them in and destroy them both. That pissed me off greatly. I feel a little silly now, because on rereading I find that I somewhat misunderstood the book. I don't think it's homophobic anymore, but it still sucks.

I've read some really great slash stories. This is not one of them. It reads like a slash cliche. Spock is captain, Kirk an ensign (dead giveaway right there). Kirk doesn't know Spock--yet he does! They were *meant* to be together in any universe. (Cue: Awwwww!) The Romulan Commander--guess what--turns out to be the Praetor. Now there's a plot twist that puts KT right in the bottom of the barrel of Trek books right there. The infamous Romulan Commander of course gets somewhat Mary Sueish, and she has an even more Mary Sueish sidekick. Romulan society is made out to be a farce. There are several groan-inducing scenes of 1980's feminist reverse-chauvinism, ie men are stupid, women are geniuses, women can have male sex slaves too. (Oh yeah, that's also orientalism and a slash cliche as well. Drois dans un coup!)

Well, if you've ever wanted to see Kirk and Spock burn for each other in the pon farr (not that they actually do it, of course) in an official publication, this book is for you. Otherwise, god, this book sucks shit.

Page created 01.02.2003. Copyright 2003 Hypatia Kosh.