Fandom: Star Trek Reboot
Pairings Included in Manifesto: Spock/Uhura mostly, with a little Spock/Gaila thrown in there.
Spock is what I would consider a perfect example of the "new action hero"; a guy who is intense, serious and immensely intelligent but who is also physically superior (in this case, 3x stronger than a human) and can lay down the law when the situation calls for it.
What makes him such an interesting character to explore? Well, first of all, he is literally a unique individual as the product of a human mother and Vulcan father. It is generally assumed that he is the first and in his time, only, half-Vulcan half-human, which leads to all sort of angst and internal conflict of logic vs. emotion. In the film, he is depicted as an outsider on Vulcan who is constantly judged for his human ancestry. But what makes him a great character is that he refuses to be a victim. When the older kids talk crap about his parents, Spock responds with his fists. When the board members of the Vulcan Science Academy make note of his "disadvantage", Spock rejects them and takes off for Starfleet. He overcomes prejudice by being an overachiever, but he is not immune to human emotions and flaws in spite of his devotion to logic. He becomes romantically involved with a cadet, despite being her superior officer and former instructor. He was ruthless and insensitive against Kirk in the disciplinary hearing. Yet just hours after he witnessed the destruction of his planet, he was also ready to sacrifice his own life to save Earth. He's a brilliant man of logic who at the same time can also wipe the floor with anyone who crosses him.
These things also make Spock a very interesting half of a ship. His relationship with Uhura has all sorts of fun goodies - forbidden love, secrecy, being from "different worlds", potential disapproval of parents and society, Vulcan possessiveness, mind melds and telepathy, Pon Farr craziness and of course, the hotness. Uhura is a strong willed, emotional human woman who can handle Spock's complex nature. I imagine a large part of what appeals to him about her is her willingness to accept him as he is, unlike most people he has encountered in life. And what's more appealing that a man who is seemingly cold on the outside but only reveals his softer side to the woman he loves? That's like the dream! Their relationship is sure to be challenging but ultimately they must feel quite strongly about each other to have risked their careers and possibly disobeyed Starfleet rules to be together.
When Star Trek premiered in the summer of 2009, quite a few articles and blogs took note of the surprising sexual appeal of Spock. Even though the character has always been a sex symbol for some (as explained nicely in this NPR piece), the new film took it to a broader general audience. And well, who can blame them? Just take a look at all the pretty!
Fic Rec #1: A Compass Wouldn't Help At All
Link: A Compass Wouldn't Help At All
Why This Must Be Read: This is a very interesting AU in which Spock actually became the Captain of the Enterprise and it may be one of the best character studies I've ever read. The relationship between Spock and Uhura is beautifully done, as is the developing friendship between Kirk and Spock. It also really gets at the differences between the old Spock and the reboot Spock, who many people seem to feel is perhaps too aggressive and ambitious to play second fiddle in this universe.
Fic Rec #2: Malaika
Why This Must Be Read: This is a story from Uhura's POV but also beautifully illustrates Spock and how their relationship might work. It just feels incredibly intimate and despite the challenges of their relationship, it's easy to see why these two people love each other so much.
Fic Rec #3: His Very Self
Pairing: Gen with a bit of Sarek/Amanda
Link: His Very Self
Why This Must Be Read: This is a lovely little story about Spock's childhood and how he was raised by his parents. It's just a brief glimpse into their life as a family but it perfectly captures the vulnerability of young Spock and the conflicting parenting styles of Sarek and Amanda.
Fic Rec #4: Dance Like Nobody's Watching
Link: Dance Like Nobody's Watching
Why This Must Be Read: I actually recommend all the stories by salr323 (her most popular is Miscommunication) because they feel incredibly true to the Spock/Uhura that was seen in the movie. This story is another from Uhura's POV but I think her perspective is the most intimate look at Spock and how he deals with the tragic events. It also takes into account the judgments and disapproving feelings of others, and why they ultimately don't matter to Uhura.
Fic Rec #5: Letting Go
Link: Letting Go
Why This Must Be Read: First and foremost, this story is incredibly hot. It also features an interesting dynamic between Spock and Uhura, while exploring the logic vs. emotion conflict that is always present for him. Although I'm of the camp that believes Spock is hardly innocent or timid in sexual matters, I think this story does a good job exploring some of Spock's hesitancy without making him out to be prudish or naive.
Fic Rec #6: Boldly Go: Twenty Sentences
Link: Boldly Go: Twenty Sentences
Why This Must Be Read: This is a series of one sentence "stories" each inspired by one word. They're really just beautiful and pack so much into a single sentence. They're funny, sad, romantic, sexy and everything in between.
Fic Rec #7: Synthesis
Pairing: Spock/Uhura, Sarek/Amanda
Author: Kristen Elizabeth
Why This Must Be Read: This is a beautiful story about all the trials Sarek and Amanda went through to have Spock, and then ties it to Spock and Uhura's own addition to the family. It's quite sweet and heartbreaking to see everything Spock's parents had to go through to have a child, and it really makes you understand why Spock is such a special individual, as well as how strong his parents were in bringing him up.
Fic Rec #8: Home
Why This Must Be Read: Given everything that happened in the movie, you gotta have some angsty fluffy comforting between them. And even though Spock has all the reason in the world to be emo, I like when authors know how to strike a balance between his angst and his control, as opposed to depicting him as too emotional. This story just shows that Uhura gets him and also makes nice use of the mind meld, which is always a plus.
Fic Rec #9: Company
Author: Mistress Maxwell1
Why This Must Be Read: This is a short piece that's entirely Spock's thoughts about his relationship with Uhura. It really does a perfect job of showing how I imagine Spock would fall in love - it just happens and he has no way to stop it. It describes kind of mundane everyday things in a way that shows how Spock has let her into his life and how that kind of eases his doubts about himself.
Fic Rec #10: Favored
Why This Must Be Read: Pretty much just for the extreme hotness. I also like it when stories that involve sex make note of how Spock is so much stronger than a human and kind of has to hold back a bit. Even if it's just a small mention, I think it speaks volumes about their physical differences and the fact that Spock is not just a guy with a pointy eyes, but actually an alien.
Fic Rec #11: In the Name of Science
Pairing: Spock/Gaila, implied Spock/Uhura
Link: In the Name of Science
Why This Must Be Read: I usually don't read pairings that go against Spock/Uhura but Spock/Gaila is one that I could potentially be down for, as like a pre-S/U friends with benefits thing. This story basically has Gaila getting a test drive before Uhura seals the deal with Spock and I love how nonchalant Gaila is about everything. The pairing is not very common but hey, they're both hot aliens so why not?
Fic Rec #12: Tempest
Author: La Voz de Alma
Why This Must Be Read: There are lots of good 'how they got together' stories, but I loved that this story takes place in one night and yet it still manages to convey the history of the characters. Even though it's separated into chapters, it's really all one big story and meant to be read in one sitting. There's also some really lovely literary influences in it. Also, it's hot.
Fic Rec #13: Order
Why This Must Be Read: A lot of fic involving Spock tend to be kind of serious and angsty, but he also has the potential to be playful and funny. This story is sexy, cute and very amusing in that kind of nerdy Spock way.