RatingsThe guidelines of FictionRatings are helpful. Their ratings are divided into:
- K: "Content suitable for most ages."
- K+: "Some content may not be suitable for young children."
- T: "Contains content not suitable for children."
- M: "Contains content suitable for mature teens and older." and
- MA: "Contains explicit content for mature adults only."
A Word or Two about GratuitousnessI steered clear of PWP (Porn Without Plot, sometimes called Plot, What Plot? particularly when referring to gratuitous violence rather than sexual situations). The works here may have characters removing their clothing (or someone else's), they may fire phasers or disruptors or wield daggers, and they may use language not intended for mixed company. But none of the characters in the works I reviewed did so without a purpose. This is not just a splatterfest of killing for the sake of piling up a body count. And it is not the Trek equivalent of the pizza delivery guy just showing up and suddenly finding himself in the midst of an impromptu orgy. Harsh words are sometimes said by these characters, or harsh deeds are performed. Bodies move together in rather adult ways. I doubt most people would find many of these stories appropriate for young children. And that is all to the point of Adult Trek. This is not Trek for children and it is not Trek for panting teenagers. This is Star Trek for grown-ups.
Three Can Be Better Than Two
Dozing in Decon by Bluetiger
For T'Pol, there's more than one possibility for romance. By the time Captain Archer and Commander Tucker are brought back from a kidnapping, something's changed for good. PaulineM's What Lies within Lies Between is rightfully rated MA for explicit sexual situations.
SlashIn After Rain by Mr Smith, Captain Archer shows he has a rather particular and unexpected talent. Rated T for the situation more than anything else.
Mr Picard's sweet Eight Letters, Three Words, One Meaning brings Captain Picard together with a young bartender. Rated MA for explicit scenes.
Section 69's From the Depths explores a very frightened Armory Officer pushed to his limits. Who does he think of in his darkest hours? Rated T for some situations.
T'Pol's Secret by Bluetiger
When Trip and T'Pol talk a bit after a certain intimate act, the questions begin to pile up in the humorous exploration, Questionably Yours by Aquarius. This short story is rated T for the specific circumstances more than anything else.
Unrequited love is finally requited, but only in the midst of adversity. Prisoners of Hope, by Kathy Rose, adds a new dimension to the end of the third season of ENT. Rated T for some violence.
Worf and Jadzia share some very intimate moments in Ginomo's Homecoming. Rated M for explicit acts.
In Sorrow, Shared, Honeybee explores a rather visceral reaction to tragedy. Rated MA for the explicit situation.
But it's not all angst. A little fun goes wrong, wrong, wrong in Aquarius's humorous Afternoon Delight, another story rated MA for explicit sex.
ConflictOf course sex isn't the only reason for a more "adult" rating. Lil Black Dog's Ripples explores what would have happened if Doctor McCoy had not been available for Spock's wedding. This harsh look at an alternate fate is rated T for violence, and won the January 2011 "It's a Wonderful Life" challenge on Ad Astra.
The horrific crime of genocide is explored in Jean-Luc Picard's chilling Anvil of the Gods, an exploration of just what the Dominion does to a species that it considers a threat.
In D'Storlin, a taunted hybrid child is pushed too far, with tragic consequences. What people can do to each other can sometimes be far worse than what any enemy does. Rated T for implied violence.
Rush Limborg's From Risa With Love
brings action and old-style James Bond heroics to the Deep Space Nine era, as Dr. Julian Bashir goes from holodeck fantasy intrigue to the real thing. But all is not as it seems, as a mysterious woman toys with our hero's heart and the Orion Syndicate threatens peaceful Risa. Rated T for some violence and implied sexual situations.
ConclusionFor those of us who like a little spice with our Trek, the field remains rich and dynamic. I can't wait for next year, can you?