Gentle On My Mind

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Title: Gentle on My Mind
Publisher: The Nut Hatch
Author(s): Kathy Keegan, Joana Dey
Cover Artist(s):
Date(s): 1987-1994, 2001
Series?: yes
Medium: print
Fandom: The Professionals
Language: English
External Links: Life Goes On at the Circuit Archive
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.


cover of unknown issue

Gentle on My Mind is a controversial series of Professionals slash Disability Fic novels by Kathy Keegan. The last book, #6, was written by Joana Dey.


One fan's summary:
For folks who don't know the story: This starts out with Ray Doyle having been in a horrifically bad car accident, resulting in massive physical trauma, including brain damage. He's immobile and requires weeks, possibly months, of physical therapy to regain his physical strength. He also loses much of his memory, and his mental faculties are severely curtailed; his mental age when the story opens is around 7-9.

Early on, Bodie assumes responsibility as Ray's caretaker and legal guardian, and soon after he also renews their sexual relationship.

As the story progresses, Ray gains more mental ability, until he's mentally in his mid-teens or so, and forges a new life for himself with a job and his relationship with Bodie and friendships with other people.

The author wanted to tell a story about how brain damage may change people, but it doesn't make them useless, or turn off their emotional or physical needs. They're still capable of being vital members of society and of having relationships. And that is the story she tells -- it's very clear that she wants that message to get across, and it's one that resonates for a lot of people. [1] [2]

The Series

  • Gentle on My Mind #1
  • Gentle on My Mind #2
  • Gentle on My Mind #3
  • Gentle On My Mind #4 (printed in the zine, Encore!)
  • Gentle on My Mind #5 (printed in the zine, Encore!)
  • Gentle on My Mind #6 (Life Goes On by Joana Dey)
  • Omnibus #1 (contains books #1, #2, #3)
  • Omnibus #2 (contains books #4 and #5)

From the Writer

From the editorial of the second volume:
No few people have said they were very moved by the concept (the original idea belongs to "Pegasus," an Australian writer)...

Yes, to answer a most-asked question, the characterization of Ray was difficult to produce and based on what we saw and fell in love with in that old Mel Gibson film from Colleen McCullough's book, TIM...

Another area of discussion about the original story (and this seems to have been widely talked about), was what is the morality, the propriety if you like, of a person of Ray's position of having a love life? To me, it is supremely simple. He isn't a a child, no matter that he's had this accident. He's a man; and he's in love. To refuse him love would be like shutting a plant from the light -- kinder to inflict physical cruelty than subject him to mental and emotional torment, surely? I thought so; I still think so -- and Ms McCullough's book went to a very great length to make this point, that her character of Tim was a man and a man in love, irrespective of what nature had done to him.


From chapter/novel one," page 8. Doyle's mental age is between 7 and 9, his physical age 34:

"[...Bodie] turned to see Ray, clad in the green brush cotton, stretching brown, supple limbs over his head.
"Tousled and ridiculously beautiful with the innocence of the very young, he came to be cuddled and wanted to be kissed too. Bodie had held him so rarely since the accident, and crushed him in a fierce embrace until he yelped. "Mum says I have to go to bed now?"
"Bodie says so too," Bodie said firmly. "You couldn't stay awake down there." He kissed the soft, smiling mouth again. "You taste of toothpaste."
"Can't taste you at all," Ray complained. "Shoulda kissed you before." He gave another huge yawn. "M'tired." But he cuddled closer, holding on tight. Bodie's hands stroked every inch of smooth bare back, petting the lovely, muscular little buttocks, too late realising that Ray was becoming aroused. "M'awful hard, Bodie," the husky voice murmured against his neck. "Hurts a bit. Sort of aches. Do I have to do it in the bathroom like usual?" The green eyes were anxious as he lifted his head. "I do that so Mum won't know."
"Abruptly Bodie could barely speak. "Oh, sweetheart, you don't have to hide that from me, do you? What would you like?"
"Remember--" Ray was rosy and breathless. "D'you remember the way we used to play in bed, before? I miss it something awful. Get all hard just remembering what we did."
"Of course I remember," Bodie said huskily. "I remember all the time, and it makes me just as hard. We'll play like that again when we've moved house. But for now... We can play a little bit, but only if you're quiet. Promise to be quiet? If Mum hears she'll get an awful shock, won't she?"

Reactions and Reviews

In my experience of the fandom, pretty much everyone had an opinion about it (whether they'd read the stories or not, just based on the fairly detailed discussions), and the conversations about roamed all over the place, in all directions. [3] [4]
There were parts of this that I liked; Jane can tell stories. I did read all five parts, so obviously it's not in the "I can't read this" category for me. But I also found that it exaggerated the stuff I dislike most about Jane's stories (a Doyle who *must* be younger than Bodie, a Doyle who's fragile and practically helpless, a Doyle who's physically small, etc.). And the focus on the sex is rampant; they hop into bed all the time. Ye gods, it's a wonder nothing fell off. (Sex with Bodie is one of the very few things Ray remembers, by some strange coincidence. Yeah.)

A story with a literally de-aged Doyle and an adult Bodie having boatloads of sex all over the place would squick me, but I'd just stop reading. This one is made worse, in a way, by the fact that it's presented on the surface as "Ray's not a child, he's a man", because while we're told that Ray's a man in a man's body who is coping with sudden disabilities, with Bodie saying that he knows he can't treat Ray like a kid, we're also watching Bodie belie that in action all the time.

Not only does Bodie pretty consistently treat Ray like a kid, the language and imagery around Ray is intensely juvenile. Bodie refers to him as "poppet", "my precious lad", "my luscious lad", and so forth; even when Ray's former co-workers at CI5 ask after him, Bodie says things like "my lad's doing fine" -- he would never have said that before Ray's injury, and it's infantalizing in its possessiveness. When Bodie looks at Ray, there may be a mention of silver hair or furry chest to "prove" to the reader that Ray's an adult, but it's followed by a mention of big eyes filled with a child's trust, or how appealing his boyish cock is, or his boyish erection, or how much boyish energy he has, or how boyishly slim he is, and how he is "ridiculously beautiful with the innocence of the very young".

I can't even deal with the idea of a hairy, approaching-middle-age man having a "boyish cock" or a "boyish erection", particularly one who's spent his life in macho environments and thus would have been in for endless ribbing if that were truly the case. (Although at least, thank goodness, she didn't go so far as to say he literally had a tiny little wee-wee because his genitals never matured from early boyhood, like I've seen poor Illya get saddled with.)

The "boyish energy" struck me as toddler levels of energy in at least one scene. Ray has spent months in hospital recovering from severe physical trauma, and more months at home doing little more than sleeping, and yet he manages to run Bodie into the ground, leaving him exhausted while Ray frolics merrily away. Bodie may not have been in training for much of Ray's recovery (iirc, he was doing mostly desk work), but he was sure as hell not letting his muscles atrophy, and should have been in vastly better condition than Ray. The whole thing read like a dad coming home from the office to be faced with a rambunctious three-year-old. But three-year-olds and thirty-year-olds have very different bodies, and very different energy levels (even ignoring the whole recovering-from-trauma thing). And this scene didn't take place when Ray was mentally 7 or so; more like mentally 12.

Because even as Ray ages mentally, Bodie continues to think of him as a child -- "the 12-year-old", "the 14-year old", etc. -- and continues to be attracted to those very young aspects of him.

And to top it all off, Bodie takes control of Ray's life -- when Ray gets out of the hospital he's in his mother's and sister's care, but Bodie fairly quickly winds up being his legal guardian and caretaker early on (for no reason I can see - his mum seemed perfectly capable of continuing to care for him, as did his sister). So there's a squicky parent/child vibe going, too.

It's whiplashy, as the two stories Jane is telling are in constant conflict with each other. And it's creepy, too, because while this isn't exactly pedophilia - Ray has the body of a man in his mid-30s -- it has pedophilic signifiers all over it, and the implication is that since Ray technically is not a prepubescent child, it's totally okay to describe him as one and linger on how attractive that is. Ergh, I'm squicking myself out writing this. Jane wants to have her cake and eat it too, basically; she gets to indulge in a pedophilic fantasy while insisting it's all about adults, and anyone who sees anything pedophilic in it is wrong to do so... [excerpt snipped, is included above]

The first chapter... was the worst for me, opening as it does when Ray can barely speak and barely think, and where the assumed age after a fair amount of recovery is all of 9. It got a little better in the later chapters as he "aged", but not by much. It didn't help that he regressed again at one point, from a mental 15-16 back to 14. Jane's constant dwelling on his assumed age and the attributes that went with it were really offputting for me.

So in the end, while I appreciate the story she was trying to tell, about brain damage not meaning dead or nonfunctional, I was far too squicked by the underlying attitude to enjoy the story at all. [5]
I'd heard about those stories years ago, but only in vague terms, which was enough to totally squick me and leave a permanent EWWWWW! in my brain at the mere mention of the title. Reading your more detailed review? OMG, I had no idea they were THAT gross. My stomach's actually queasy now. [6]
Back in the day, I loved Jane, unreservedly. Your review reminded me of a lot of the problems I had when I tried to reread GOMM -- when the sequel came out, about 10-12 years ago. [7]
I was never able to finish reading GOMM back in the day. I was lucky enough not to have promised anyone a response, so when I got too squicked I could just bail.

I think you're more than fair, contrasting the progressive story she's apparently trying to tell (brain damage doesn't equal uselessness, etc.) with the adult/child story she actually shows (zoicks). I don't think I would have been quite so evenhanded--given what seemed to be a complete abandonment of realism, I never got a good sense of story #1 at all. It was as if that was just gestured at vaguely as she proceeded into the depths of story #2. Because if she really did want to write about how a brain damaged person is still a member of society with an adult's needs and rights, why is the 'brain damage' so patently, iddishly fantasy-fictional?

I mean, as you say here: Jane's constant dwelling on his assumed age and the attributes that went with it... the real-life concept of "a mental age of #X", as I understand it, is actually shorthand, reflecting a more complex reality of changes in certain brain functions, reactions, attitude, etc. It doesn't mean that somehow someone becomes #X again in its original (or stereotypical) entirety. But Ray does, he "becomes" a unified, perfectly-regressed 9 (or whatever), and progresses in a unified, perfectly re-enacted process. Each of his assumed age ranges is easy to pin down, happens all of a piece, and brings with it a parcel of sexually-fetishized attributes. This sort of thing seems to shuck any faithfulness toward story 1 in favor of nothing but story 2. And story 2 didn't seem to have any of the positive potential elements of story 1.

Now, granted, I don't demand--and never have required--some kind of specious verisimilitude in my slash. But I do think that actually telling story 1 would require at least some, and the story doesn't bother, which led me to infer that it really wasn't about story 1 at all.

(And really, where my verisimilitude-jones does come out all the time is when presented with the sudden shrinking/fluffifying/ unacknowledged de-aging of a character. Doyle is NOT TINY. He is NOT FRAGILE. He is OLDER THAN BODIE. Etc. So when he almost-inevitably is shown turning his giant tear-filled eyes and trembling lower lip up up up to Big Butch Bodie... well. You know how I get. So this story, which, on top of the other things that squicked me, basically makes a huge meal of this process as the entire main premise... er. No thanks, I couldn't possibly, I'm full.) [8]
I have read a vast amount of fanfic, both from zines and on-line sources, in several fandoms, and I have to say that this story is the best that I have ever read.

I have just finished re-reading it for the third time, and I know that it is something I will read again and again. If for some reason I had to get rid of all of my zines and could only keep one story, it would be this one.

From page one of Chapter One until the final page of Chapter Five it is a love story. A love story that has deep love, commitment, friendship, romance, passion, sharing, equality, tenderness, plots (both a main and several sub), partnership, humour, intensity, tension and great sex. It shows Bodie and Ray very much in love, and very willing to show that love. But in many ways, this is almost too simplistic a definition and description, as it shows the bad as well as the good. It shows the pain as well as the pleasure; the heartache as well as the joy.

It is a devastatingly simply story: Ray has a car crash that nearly kills him. The doctors believe that he will either die, or if he survives then he will be a vegetable. He does neither. He survives and is not a vegetable. However he is affected; his brain bled and various functions, part of his memory etc., are damaged/lost.

It is a story about Ray re-learning, and Ray growing up.

I confess that when I knew the brief outline of this story, that I was bothered by the thought of Bodie going to bed with a child. However, for me Kathy never makes me feel that. It is true to say that Ray is always mentally under the age of consent--both for heterosexual sex, let alone homosexual sex. Yet the child aspect never bothers me, because Ray is not a child.

Yes, Ray has forgotten a number of things and has to re-learn them, i.e. reading, and his life prior to the car crash, but even these things are not completely forgotten. The one thing he never forgets is Bodie and his life with Bodie, even though most of the details have been forgotten. They had been lovers for quite some time before the crash, and for Bodie to deny Ray would have been cruel. Ray does recall snippets of his life before the crash, and these snippets come out at the oddest of times, and get more frequent as the story goes on.

Kathy manages the whole story, the whole concept of this man re-growing, re-learning, in such a sensitive, open, caring, honest manner, that you do not see Ray as a child. The Ray you see is part of the Ray you see in the series; correction it is part of the Ray I see.

For me Ray Doyle is a vulnerable, in some ways almost innocent man, who hides a lot behind his clever wit, quick temper and idealistic streak. He is also hard and harsh and sharp, yet it is tempered with the gentler side. It is the gentle side of Ray that we see in Gentle on My Mind. We also see the idealism is still in place.

Bodie of the series is very overtly protective of Doyle, and this continues in Gentle on My Mind, it just gets taken to another level. And Ray is as fiercely protective of Bodie as he is in the series, only now he is if anything more overt about it.

Just as when they were partners they are very much the centre of one another’s world. They are protective, possessive, loving, caring, playful and equal. Yes Ray is Bodie’s equal, because equality can take many forms. It does not just have to mean equal in strength, speed, equal number of times one takes the lead in lovemaking.

Equality is all about what works for each and every individual couple. Equality is about giving and taking, sharing, understanding, and ultimately no two couples will be equal in the same way.

I cannot fail to see that, in spite of Ray’s handicap, they are an equal couple. They would both die for one another, kill for one another, fight for one another, just as we see in the series. Neither would want to live without the other--especially Ray.

Ray learns so much that he is able to return to work, first outside of and then inside of CI5. And his relationship with Bodie is completely open and above board for anyone and everyone to know about. We see a lot of CI5, see the changes it undergoes, and see how Bodie fits into these changes. We see Bodie adjusting to a new partner, Murphy, and how he comes to trust Murphy and work well with him.

We meet a number of original characters in the story, as well as series based ones, and Kathy does a marvellous job with all of them. They become real people, not just names and descriptions on a page. We see them several of them from the beginning of the series, right the way through. We meet Ray’s family--his mother, sister and uncle. Cowley, Murphy and Macklin become key players from the series, especially the first two, but we also see Susan, Towser and a handful of others. Probably the most important original character is a man called Peter, an old friend and colleague of Bodie’s whom Bodie hires to go and live with them to look after Ray in the early days, and then later to drive him around and generally just be around. All of these people are, or become, very much a part of the Bodie/Ray life.

The story is not without a handful of faults--if we want to get really picky. Yes, there are Americanisms; there are a few inconsistencies (usually to do with Ray’s age, but then it is not an exact science anyway, and at any one time people are only really guessing at his age), contradictions, a few typos and spelling errors. But where they do exist, they are minor, and given the length of the story it is not surprising.

The zines were published by the Nut Hatch Press in Australia. Gentle on My Mind One Two, and Three are available as separate zines; Four and Five are available both as a zine on their own, or as part of Encore One and Two. The layout of the zines is good, there is a well-balanced amount of white space, and the quality of the paper, binding and covers is excellent.

I cannot recommend this story highly enough, because it does give me everything that I want from a story. It is the ultimate in a love story, but a love story with so many layers that you come across a new one each time you read the story. Moreover, calling it simply a love story is far too simplistic; it is that and yet so, so, much more. [9]
Gentle On My Mind 1-3, the series that dares to ask the question, Would Bodie be just as happy if Doyle's pretty outside came wrapped around an IQ of 5? and answers it, Yes![10]
I must admit that I love the GOMM series. Of course, Doyle is radically changed from the agent we know and love, but in their own way the GOMM stories tell a beautiful love story and for me is great comfort fic. GOMM #4 is the shortest of the 5 stories in the series by Kathy Keegan. Ray is working for CI5 as a therapist, is still growing up mentally, and is learning to deal with various life situations including homophobia from an unexpected source. I enjoyed the device of Bodie reading entries in Ray's diary, giving insight into the mind of his lover. However, I found this the weakest story in the series in that there is little real action to relieve the mundane day-to-day happenings in the lives of our heroes. [11]

Similar and Reaction Fanworks

  • One fan wrote a story as a reaction to (Gentle on My Mind) and included Jim and Blair in similar circumstances. A Magical Christmas by istia is "a crossover with The Sentinel and a mild parody of the Gentle On My Mind series of zine novels about a brain-damaged, childlike Doyle and his (squicky!) relationship with his guardian, Bodie... I wrote this story in a frantic, incredibly fun two-day rush as a birthday present for a friend. I was later told there's an actual story [the zine is Changes] about a brain-damaged Blair, but I've never seen it; I was never in the fandom, just watched most of the episodes. I threw in Jim and Blair just to double the fun and because my friend enjoyed them at that time." Another fan reccommends this story, saying: "A crossover with The Sentinel and a mild parody of the Gentle On My Mind series of zine novels about a brain-damaged Doyle made me snort with laughter, possibly because it highlighted all the things I dislike about the GOMM scenario." [12]

Issue 1

Gentle on My Mind 1 was published in 1987 and contains 125 pages.

cover of volume #1

Issue 2

Gentle on My Mind 2 was published in 1988 and contains 170 pages.

Issue 3

Gentle on My Mind 3 was published in 1990 and contains 167 pages.

Issue 4

Gentle on My Mind 4 was published in 1991 and contains 153 pages. It was in Encore! #1

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

I must admit that I love the GOMM series. Of course, Doyle is radically changed from the agent we know and love, but in their own way the GOMM stories tell a beautiful love story and for me is great comfort fic. GOMM #4 is the shortest of the 5 stories in the series by Kathy Keegan. Ray is working for CI5 as a therapist, is still growing up mentally, and is learning to deal with various life situations including homophobia from an unexpected source. I enjoyed the device of Bodie reading entries in Ray's diary, giving insight into the mind of his lover. However, I found this the weakest story in the series in that there is little real action to relieve the mundane day-to-day happenings in the lives of our heroes. [13]

Issue 5

Gentle on My Mind 5 was published in 1994 and contains 198 pages. It was in Encore! #2.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

Gentle on my Mind 5

This is the final installment in the GOMM series written by Kathy Keegan... As 111 pages of the zine are devoted to this fic, it satisfies my penchant for long stories. Ray is now 14 or 15 years old mentally and is holding down a job as a physical therapist at CI5, while Bodie continues to work as an agent, albeit a married one with a limited number of dangerous assignments. Much of the action takes place at Ray's Uncle Albert's farm in Dorset, a setting familiar to anyone who has read the earlier GOMM stories. Ray and Bodie come to the aid of an unfortunate boy.

One thing that I found very boring in this story is Bodie's various interviews with Dr. Ross in his attempts to understand how his partner's mind works now; much psychobabble ensues. However, the excellence of the rest of the story more than made up for it. [14]

Issue 6

Life Goes On: Chapter 6 is a 104-page novel by Joana Dey and a continuation of the series. It was published by IDP Press in 2001.

cover of issue #6, "Life Goes On"
Summary of Life Goes One from a distributor, Agent With Style:
A final chapter which stands alone, written by Joana Dey with permission from Kathy Keegan. After tragedy strikes the Doyle family, Ray has to deal with the loss, while Bodie is forced to realise that Ray is at last an adult once more. It takes up where Chapter Five left off, but it is not necessary to have read the first five chapters in order to understand this one and enjoy it thoroughly. There is a short synopsis of the first five chapters at the front of the zine to acquaint the reader with how the characters came to be where they are.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

I have no idea how her sequel was received, strangely. When I was reading through the convos on Pros-Lit looking for my posts and that excerpt, I noticed at least one fan of GOMM saying she hadn't liked the sequel because it was too different; Joana had brought Ray forward more in age and ability, made him more independent, and the dynamic had changed too much for that fan. So I suspect it may have been too much of a middle ground - people who disliked the original wouldn't read it because they would have no reason to want to pick it up, and people who loved the original wouldn't get the same emotional hit off it. It's a pity, if so -- she put so much into that! But like you, I couldn't even read it. I do not want to go back to that universe, ever. [15] [16]
I actually sold quite a few "Life Goes On" seeing that is was such a ... um... different universe *G* My Ray was different as much as he was because, while I liked the hurt/comfort of the original GOMM, the 'youngness' of Ray bugged me. I loved writing it, and even now I'll get the odd email about it. It's one of those "to each his own" universes :-) [17] [18]
... I'm no fan of the original work, though I have read it. Whatever your take on Gentle, however, I highly recommend this sequel. The zine is well presented, well edited, well illustrated and, most important of all, well written. It's an excellent example of how good fan writing can be when time and effort are put into the work. For example: I found insights into human behaviour that left me breathless. So skillfully worked into the plot and character development that at times I missed them consciously while absorbing them at another level, and I found myself going back, re-reading and saying "wow!' This is fanfic at its best: multi-levelled and complex. No spoilers, but the one detail that I liked the best was the "personification" of 4.5 in Doyle's mind as a guide to-more responsible (brave) behaviour. Such a lovely touch. The plot works. It's complex enough to satisfy while not taking away from the immediate issues of Doyle's mental level and Bodie's burdens and responsibilities. The artwork is far more then mere re-representation. These are drawings that let the viewer play with interpretations and not just "see" pretty men. The illos fit each phase of the text well, though I'd have liked more "Bodies." The "Doyles" are just right for the story, and the artist lavished attention on fine details, giving an innocence around the eyes that fit the character perfectly. The things I did not like were necessary to keep faith with the original, so I won't speak to that. All in all a great fannish read. [19]

Omnibus 1

Gentle on My Mind Omibus 1 was published by Nuthatch Collective. It includes the first three chapters.

From the flyer:
"This series of novels is so well-discussed that almost no introduction is necessary! Whole discussion groups have dissected these stories ... and a majority of readers have loved them.

GENTLE ON MY MIND features a scenario ... is it a/u? We don't think so ... in which Ray Doyle has been involved in a car write-off, and suffered severe injuries. He's brain damaged. A lot of his memory has gone, and his "problem solving" abilities are jeopardized. Ray is "intellectually challenged," and with Bodie's help, he's fighting back. His mental age in the first novel, which takes place right after his release from hospital, is around seven years ... and the situation is problematical, because although Ray's brain has been damaged in the accident, his body is that of a man of 34. He's a passionate, adult human being, not a child. How does Bodie cope with this?

Some (uninformed) readers assumed that Ray is actually a child, and that Bodie's relationship with him could be categorized as assault or abuse! This is so far from the truth, we can't imagine where these readers got the idea. A hour before the crash, Ray was a man, and an adult .. .the crash damaged only his brain, not his body! Some of his memory is blank, but not all, and if Bodie is to turn away from him because his problem-solving capabilities are reduced ... isn't that cruelty?

These are fascinating, and often difficult questions, and they've been fueling discussion groups since the first novel appeared in 1987!

Newly released from hospital, Ray goes home ... to a new home with Bodie. Their friends from CI5 are most supportive, especially when Bodie is still at work, and in harm's way. Ray's uncle invites them for a short holiday on the farm "out west," and Ray rediscovers motorbikes. Slowly, he's regaining a sense of self and purpose, and filling in the blanks in his memory, with new memories. But Bodie's job brings trouble for them both, and before this chapter is out there's been danger, Bodie is injured, and Ray has learned the hard way how to "think on his feet" all over again.

This chapter: 125pp, illustrated with photographs, many rare.It was Originally published in February 1987; it is also still available as a stand-alone zine.

Here is the "holiday in Rome" chapter, where the high point of the story is the two weeks in Italy where Ray's horizons are broadening. He's working again, at a sports club — Bodie just gives him all the space and "rope" he needs to stretch every day, go as far as he can, grow and learn. And then some men CI5 are searching for turn up at the very club where Ray is working... the plot thickens fast! It was originally done in late 1987, and illustrated with photos. This Chapter is around 170pp, and is also still available as a stand-alone zine.

In this chapter, Ray really is getting his feet back under him. He's spending more time at, and with, CI5, and he's studying for a new job, under the watchful eye of George Cowley. Imagine Ray and Macklin as pals and allies! But Towser is not so nice to be around, and Bodie's work is taking him into danger. Ray is "awake" again, and learning to deal with the fact that Bodie does a dangerous job ... in fact, it's Bodie who's not happy about it! This chapter dates from around 1990. It was 180pp, illustrated with photos, and is also still available as a stand-alone zine. Please email! The three chapters together form a book of 450pp, which is presented in hard-covers, braid bound — same format as the FLESH AND STEEL OMNIBUS; also the same size and price! Remember,two further chapters of GOMM were produced a little while after these three. They came out in 'the computer age' and were done in reduced type and two column layout. These last chapters appeared in the ENCORE! issues, in

1991/92, and we now gather them together under their own cover, to accompany the omnibus volume.

Omnibus 2

Gentle on My Mind Omnibus 2

Summary from the flyer:
"The final parts in the GOMM tale, by Kathy

Keegan. The final two chapters of the GENTLE ON series have been lifted out of the two ECNORE issues for your convenience, and they package beautifully as a zine on their own, making a fourth GOMM issue...

GENTLE ON MY MIND, CHAPTER 4 It's Christmas ... and Ray is back at work. He's developing in every way, and not only is he "aware" of women, well, women are aware of him too! Bodie is amused, but the situation blows up when a girl makes a heavy pass not at Ray, but at Bodie. Meanwhile, Murphy's about to become a father, and Brian Macklin, Ray's good friend and sometime tutor, is ailing. The problem runs in families. It's arthritis, and the situation with Towser is not making Brian's life any easier. Feel-good fiction at its best and more to come ... don't mis Chapter Five in ENCORE 2!

GENTLE ON MY MIND, CHAPTER 5 Ray and Bodie are back at work, full time ... busy, productive, positive and optimistic. In fact, they're working so hard that the time has come for a good vacation. They take the opportunity to go out to Uncle Albert's farm, where Ray has his horse, and where Bodie finds he has the mixed feelings that come from difficult memories. And then ... as always, trouble. Albert is having trouble with petty thieves, but even he couldn't suspect the culprit. So Bodie and Ray do some detective work, and they uncover a snakepit of trouble that will land Bodie in an emergency room ... and Ray behind the wheel of a car, driving on the open road, for the first time since the accident where he almost died. This is the final chapter in this best-loved of Kathy's stories: novel-length.

170pp, unillustrated (there's just no space for photos, sorry! The text of this issue is crammed in with a shoe-horn. They're big stories in a small space)."


  1. from Arduinna
  2. WebCite arduinna's review.
  3. 2011, from Arduinna
  4. WebCite arduinna's review.
  5. from Arduinna's Dreamwidth journal, 2011/WebCite.
  6. from Klia at Arduinna's Dreamwidth journal, 2011/WebCite.
  7. from meri_oddities at Arduinna's Dreamwidth journal, 2011/WebCite.
  8. from dorinda at Arduinna's Dreamwidth journal, 2011/WebCite.
  9. from DIAL #23, see also here
  10. Sandy Herrold repeating something she overheard to the Virgule-L mailing list dated April 19, 1993, quoted with permission.
  11. from Metabolick at palelyloitering, August 2007
  12. from alicambs-recs, accessed 26 September 2012
  13. from Metabolick at palelyloitering, August 2007
  14. a review by Metabolick of the story in the zine Encore! #5 at The Hatstand
  15. from Arduinna
  16. WebCite arduinna's review.
  17. from Arduinna Dreamwidth journal, comment Anonymous, who reveals later is the author, Joana Dey
  18. WebCite arduinna's review.
  19. from DIAL #18
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