Ms. Joanna Russ,
Hello my name is Richard, a student at the University of Oregon. I have been reading some of your papers that the UO has in the special archives. Of particular interest to me have been your unpublished works. I have read two Kirk/Spock stories and a stage play of The Hobbit. I have to say you are an excellent writer though I suppose that much is obvious. I particularly like how you depict the characters in Star Trek. In my opinion the best part of the Star Trek show is the acting between the main three characters. While at many points in the show, the writing is weak the actors carry the show regardless. You have captured that sense of humor and friendship perfectly in your writing of your Kirk/Spock stories. As I rewatch some of the original Star Trek episodes, it is hard not to imagine that the slow smiles and knowing looks between Kirk and Spock are the beginning of an as of yet unspoken relationship. But I have to say my favorite part of the story has to be McCoy. From his perspective, you see a good man struggling with realizing that his bigoted assumptions on homosexuality are completely wrong. McCoy’s journey from bigotry to understanding culminates in him apologizing to Kirk and Spock and asking for their forgiveness. It is beautiful. Coming from a more conservative part of Oregon I have many friends from high school who are good people but have some particularly intolerant views on homosexuality. I wish that they could undertake the journey that you have written for McCoy in your short story.
All gushing aside I should probably ask you about your opinions on the gender roles depicted in the world of Star Trek as I am writing a research paper on that topic. Star Trek seems to elevate the status of women slightly over what it was in the 1960’s but not all the way to equality. I would also like to hear your views on Tolkien’s work as I have found nothing from you on his work other than the aforementioned stage play. I think it highly unlikely that you will respond to this letter but if you do I would be thrilled. I would have you know however that after this class I will be reading more or your works for pure entertainment when I have the time.
Richard C. Cramer