Arabian Nights (Professionals zine by Pamela Rose)

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See also Arabian Nights (disambiguation).

Zine
Title: Arabian Nights
Publisher: Manacles Press/The Presses
Editor:
Author(s): Pamela Rose
Cover Artist(s): KOZ
Illustrator(s): Suzan Lovett
Date(s): published 1992; archived online in 2003
Series?: no
Medium: print zine; now also online
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Professionals
Language: English
External Links: on the Circuit Archive

cover by KOZ
flyer printed in What If... -- "AVAILABLE MAY 1992 (earlier if enough pre-orders received)"
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Contents

Arabian Nights is a slash AU Professionals novel by Pamela Rose, originally published by Manacles Press and later put online at the Professionals Circuit Archive. Its 172 pages, 620 K, and circa 113,000 words long.

The zine's disclaimer: "This is a work of fiction and any similarity to reality is a dreadful accident."

The zine sometimes appears on fan's Desert Island lists.[1]

The cover and numerous interior illos (approximately 22) of the original print zine are by KOZ. The zine posted on the Pros Circuit Archive does not include the art by KOZ, but has a illo by Suzan Lovett which is archived here.

From the Author's Preface

Okay, I'll try to explain how this story came about. I suppose it's a lesson on the pitfalls of being a smartass. A long time ago (the spring of 1986), at IDICon in Houston, I thought it would be cute and clever to put a piece of art in the artshow. My artistic abilities are nonexistent, so this seemed an amusing way to make a point about inequity in fandom. So I drew two stick figures on a piece of typing paper, matted and entered it in the artshow under the title "Sour Grapes." Attached was a little note explaining that, as a writer, I could not legally sell my fan stories outright, but if anyone saw the deep, underlying passion and romance in the above illo, I might feel compelled to write them a short story. To my total amazement and mortification, it received enough bids to go up for auction. I may be the only person to receive $125 for two stick figures on typing paper. I wonder if Picasso started out this way? In any case, guilt had kicked in big time by that point, so I was more than willing to do anything the purchaser wanted. This is where I learned payback is a bitch. The story request? "I want to see Bodie as a sheik and Doyle as his captive. Kind of like the movie 'Sahara' with Brooke Shields. And I want them to make love on a horse.

Gallery

The zine contains approximately 22 black and white interior illustrations by KOZ. Below is a small representative sample. Art by KOZ has been included on Fanlore with the publisher's permission.

Summaries

The story is set in the 1890's in London, where Raymond, youngest son of the Doyle family and the too gentle black sheep, too, is sent to Arabia in order to no longer bother his father - wanting to draw for a living certainly isn't something a Doyle should do. When he gets captured by sheik Bodie it soon turns out that the arab, while well educated and suave, is still a wild son of the desert at heart who takes what he wants ... even if it is Doyle. In order to save a friend young Raymond accepts a cruel deal, not knowing that he is accepting his own future, also. A year later Raymond, freed of his obligations, is able to leave, to pick up the shards of his life - but does he even want to live? [2]
An alternate universe novel with a Victorian setting in which young Raymond Doyle is sent to Arabia as aide to a diplomat and meets his fate in the exotic figure of Sheikh Bodie. The novel was written for a charity event in which the winner got to ask for what kind of story she wanted; hence, this novel isn't Pam Rose's usual type. [3]

Reactions and Reviews: The Lovett Art

The Lovett print was posted with the online story and does not appear in the print zine. This illo was also used as the cover of Chalk and Cheese #13. Seeing the two images posted side-by-side gives one an example of the differences in reproduction quality, display choices, and venue to which fanart is subject.

[Comments from some fan LoCs in "Chalk and Cheese" #14]: "Well, it ain't exactly my favorite Lovett piece, and I'm not into the Arabian Nights schtick (though the Pam Rose story did provide a nice fluffy Lansing-to-LAX read), but you gotta admit that is an awfully nice-lookin' horse."

And "Did I say lovely cover? Well, this one nearly got me into trouble. I was on my way to visit a friend when I picked the zine up from the post office and naturally wanted to read it at once. So I opened the envelope and the old lady sitting beside me nearly jumped out of her seat. I guess next time I'll look first before I open it in public, but I was used to the more 'chaste' covers from C&C and didn't suspect anything like it. Nonetheless, I love it!"

And "A Suzi Lovett cover to die for! Almost makes me wish I were more of a Bodie fan - except we see a heck of a lot more of Ray."

And "Liked the cover, but the bottom part (Doyle nude) should have been inside the zine; some of us have nosy relations and friends..."

Reactions and Reviews: The Print Zine

Like a good Harlequin Romance novel, this story sucks you into the author's fantasy world and barely lets you escape at the end.

An A/U set in 1892, where Bodie is a sheikh and Doyle his captive, this story may have the two lads not working for CI-5, but they are completely in character. Wonderful secondary characters add to the tale and what you get is the ultimate Desert Prince kidnaps and woos his virgin captive scenario, where battle of wills occurs, the lovers part and are reunited -- eventually.

The dialogue is fresh and hot, plus the idea of Bodie as a sheikh...cold shower anyone? This is truly a classic novel in Pros fandom. (Plus if you can ever get your hands on a copy of the novel in zine format, do. I have it and the art alone is worth the money I spent for it because of the Suzan Lovett illos). [4][5]
Oh, yes, Bodie as a sheik...this is one very enjoyable AU for our Lads :)[6]
Pros newbie here. I liked that a lot. The series is long, action-packed, and angsty, with smut and lurve lacing through it. Desert sagas aren't a kink of mine (because that fantasy doesn't push any buttons--the reverse in fact). But this tale was well worth reading. Very good rec--thanks.[7]
This story is available on the Net at the Professionals Circuit Archive. I read it there first, and so fell in love with it that when I heard it was being re-printed as a zine I knew I *had* to have it! This story is about a young 19th century lad named Raymond Doyle, age 17, who is sent to serve as an attaché at a British foreign outpost in Arabia. There he is captured and made the slave of the powerful Sheik Adu Bodie al Nassar bin Jafarr. This story is epic, spanning ten years, and explores a complex relationship of love and need, and asks the question "Who is the slave and who is the master, when love is involved?" Oooooo! Also, this zine contains some *gorgeous* drawings by Koz. A *must-read*! [8]
This story is about a young 19th century lad named Raymond Doyle, age 17, who is sent to serve as an attaché at a British foreign outpost in Arabia. There he is captured and made the slave of the powerful Sheik Adu Bodie al Nassar bin Jafarr. This story is epic, spanning ten years, and explores a complex relationship of love and need, and asks the question "Who is the slave and who is the master, when love is involved?" Oooooo! Also, this zine contains some *gorgeous* drawings by Koz. [9]
I probably first read this novel the year it was published - 1992 - in (shush!) a photocopied version. Did I love it? Yes, yes and yes, from the artwork by Koz to the wonderful, absurdly romantic story. Like the author, I think Bodie makes a wonderful sheikh - move over Rudolph Valentino! The story starts in the year 1892 and comes to its conclusion in 1898. In the beginning, nasty old Uncle Cedric forces a timid young Raymond Doyle to join the diplomatic service. Much against his will, he is shipped off to Arabia, where he meets his first real friend, Zachary. While looking round a market, Doyle encounters a handsome stranger who, unbeknownst to him, has one of his men follow Doyle when he leaves the market-place. Later that night, he comes calling, climbing up to Doyle's balcony and stealing a kiss ... which is rebuffed, leaving Bodie (for it is he!) to go off and sulk in his tent. Then, as the saying goes, the story really starts. Through various misadventures, Doyle finds himself lost in the desert with his wounded friend, is rescued by the handsome sheikh, then confronted by a dreadful choice between virtue and duty... The whole thing is a rollicking, romantic read - just suspend your disbelief and enjoy! [10]
Very enjoyable in a grandiose type of way.[11]
I actually keep thinking that I shouldn't like this story, but... I do. If I tell you the premise of it, you'll no doubt think that you shouldn't like this story either, but the author does, I think, a fabulous job at keeping the lads in their B/D personas, even if they're playing completely different characters altogether - an Arabian sheik (Bodie) and an inexperienced, innocent young Englishman (Doyle). And yes I know, it sounds as though Doyle is going to be a wilting pathetic creature beside Bodie's strength and wisdom, doesn't it, but actually it's nothing like that at all.Doyle is, indeed, relatively submissive at the start of the fic, giving in to the whim of his overbearing uncle despite an initial flash of temper and courage, but in showing us that one outburst, Pamela Rose alerts us almost straight away to the fact that this really is Ray Doyle - just one that's been brought up in a completely different world, with completely different experiences to CI5-Doyle - and thus a different way of dealing with some things. There's a strong feeling though that this young Doyle has still got his growing up to do, and that he's going to grow up into CI5-type-Doyle through the course of the story. Which he does. And after all, we've never seen CI5-type-Doyle at age 17 either, so we don't know that he didn't start out submissive... well, except for that whole "cutting up a kid when I was just a kid meself" thing... *g* Anyway - Bodie is a dark, mysterious, and rather arrogant Arabian sheik, but we find out very quickly that he too is longing for something more than the desert, and I think it's these hints that help settle me in for what really is a very alternative-universe story! I know that they're going to end up very like "my" lads in the end, somehow, and that leaves me free to relax into the story. And it's a gorgeous story! It may not be exactly historically accurate, and there may be one or two not-quite-Brit-isms there, but it's beautifully written - focussed in on the characters, but with some lovely descriptions of the desert and its inhabitants, a jolly good set of "baddies", and some nice supporting original characters! It sort of sweeps me up every time, and even though I have read it a few times now, the pleasure isn't dimming at all - a very good sign! It is an AU story, but I kind of get the impression that everyone dips their toes in eventually (I used to swear I never would, but now... *g*) and I think this one will be a pleasant surprise to those who do! It's all about the romance of the situation too - the lads, and the desert, and the tragedy of both their lives so far - but it's not a soppy romance by any means, the lads are nothing less than two men who happen to fancy other men. It's a brilliant cross between romance and adventure, and I really do recommend it... *g* [12]
The dog is unwalked, the laundry is undone and my exams are unmarked.. and why? Because I'm a third of the way in and I can't stop reading, not for all the perfume in Arabia. [13]
...you must read Arabian Nights. Especially since you like Professional Dreamer. Yeah, it's a potentially naff concept, and it really shouldn't work. But it totally does! It's a zine I pull out at regular intervals to re-read bits of, but I always end up reading the whole damn thing again. [14]
I ended up [re-reading] the whole thing from start to finish in one sitting! I loved it. Against my AU resistant gene, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Bodie as a sheikh worked far better than I thought it would, Doyle just *grew* into being Doyle before our very eyes, and the setting was as exotic and enticing as you would expect. She did a marvellous job with it. [15]
Yes, I did enjoy this one a lot - despite its being very bodice-ripper-ey in places, with the long-lost grandson and all! - because it was very well written and above all because I absolutely could recognise Bodie and Doyle in this, the people they would have been in these circumstances - which I think is a remarkable achievement. Great desert, fantastic horses and horsemanship, great courage and honesty in the face of overwhelming adversity ... much wonderful characterisation here, which made it for me - not at the very top of my AU list, as it were, but a great sweeping story successfully showing their development across different countries and over time. In contrast, just thinking about what you said elsewhere recently about HG's Hunted by Devils (I think?) - I read the whole epic because it was well crafted (and because you'd recc'd it *g*), but in all honesty it never really grabbed me because in this case I couldn't really recognise them - well I couldn't recognise Doyle, especially; the Bodie-clone Kilroy was closer I felt, but Doyle was never really there for me and I didn't feel really engaged as a result. [16]
This is the very first Pros zine I ever bought. I admit, I have problems with some of the things that happen but it doesn't stop me from reading this one. I've recently re-read it and still enjoyed it, even after reading many other AUs. In fact, this AU is much better than many I've attempted.

It's true we start out with a young Doyle who bows to the whims of his family, but we soon find out he's finding his feet in the world. Given the time and setting, I can accept this Doyle's differences. And I love Bodie most of the time. He was raised in a society where any weakness is not tolerated, so he also has a lot of changes to make.

I'm not crazy about the long separation, but I read through that and pretend it's just a few months! *g*

All in all, I like the story, the setting, the romance, and making love on horseback. [17]
I had/have a bit of a problem with Doyle being younger than Bodie, because he isn't, but... turned out I could live with it! It's a great zine... and oh yes for the sex on horseback! *sighs happily* [18]
I had (and have) great resentments against AU. And I was somehow persuaded to try it.

(shooting2kill is to blame... ;-)) - and to my surprise I found it very enjoyable. Although the circumstances have absolutely nothing to do with the CI5 world, I can find Bodie and Doyle in it. And it's strange in an very romantic way! - Bodie as a sheik is the ne plus ultra of romance...

Just look at that picture of Suzan Lovett, and you know what I mean! [19]
I adore Arabian Nights, it's so beautifully and vividly written. Like you, it sweeps me up; I'm transported to Arabia where I get completely immersed in this fantastic adventure story.

The part where Bodie and Doyle first meet in the market is *so* gorgeous, one of my favourites, and as for Bodie as a sheik...::fans self:: 'nuff said!

It's quite angsty too, I tend to sob my way through a lot of it, but that's probably just me! *g* [20]
Definitely a sweeeeeping sage of sun, sea, sand and sex! I think it was the following quote from Sebastian's Wonderful Tonight which first prompted me to read Arabian Nights and once I'd read it I couldn't forget it - it stayed in my mind and I was hooked for several more readings...

Saying no was off. He was slipping hazily back into fantasy, the echoes of a dream still with him. Bodie a sheik, come to his tent in the middle of the night, to ravish him; yeah, that was a good one. The darkeyed, silent stranger would be merciless, despite his struggles. In the bed, he struggled.

I love the beginning, the setting in the desert, Doyle's struggles with his manly pride and his inability to resist Bodie, Bodie's struggles with nearly everything....east meets west and the inevitable clash of values, the other characters are strong and actually interesting in their own right and it's all so wonderfully escapist and a great story to read if you're fed up or it's raining....have I said enough? [21]
I read this one a while back and even though I found the beginning a little slow, once Bodie entered the picture, I fell in love with it! I love him as the dark, mysterious sheik. And it's wonderful to read about Ray as he grows from a submissive young man, into a strong, sure-of-himself adult. This is now on my list of favorite stories, and I would defnitely rec it to anyone who hasn't read it yet! [22]

References

  1. Close Quarters: Desert Island Episode/Zine/Fic dated July 18, 2009; reference link.
  2. Fanzine Reviews, accessed 2.15.2011
  3. Zine info on The Hatstand, accessed September 20, 2009.
  4. This fan must have this zine confused with another one, as the print zine did not contain any Lovett art, much less more than one.
  5. from a 2004 comment at Crack Van
  6. from a 2004 comment at Crack Van
  7. from a 2004 comment at Crack Van
  8. Raonaid's Zine Recommendations, Archived version
  9. 'Zine Reviews, accessed 2.15.2011
  10. from DIAL #14
  11. alicambs Professional Recs, Archived version
  12. Zine Rec - Arabian Nights by Pamela Rose by byslantedlight, June 23, 2008.; WebCite.
  13. 2008 comments at CI5hq; archive is
  14. 2008 comments at CI5hq
  15. 2008 comments at CI5hq
  16. 2008 comments at CI5hq
  17. 2008 comments at CI5hq
  18. 2008 comments at CI5hq
  19. 2008 comments at CI5hq
  20. 2008 comments at CI5hq
  21. 2008 comments at CI5hq
  22. 2008 comments at CI5hq
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