Homosapien

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Zine
Title: Homosapien
Publisher: Oblique Press/Homosapien Press
Editor(s): Julie "Stew" Bozza/Julien
Date(s): 1991-
Series?:
Medium: print, zine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: multimedia
Language: English
External Links: online review of the zine
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Contents

The Homosapien series of zines were m/m slash, edited by Julien, from Australia. They were clean but simple -- fairly similar to Manacles and Oblique Press zines, but commonly including flyers for zines from other presses, an old SF zine habit.

As postage from Australia to the US is expensive, Julien originally had them agented in the US by Manacles Press; currently they are available from Kathy Resch.

Art has been included on Fanlore with the publisher's permission.

From an ad in Zine Scene: "A multi-media multi-literature slash zine brought to you by the people who gave you Samurai Errant (who believe that slash can't be celebrated in a closet). It sings! It dances! It shocks and delights! Its imaginative contents are guaranteed to stimulate even most the jaded of slash palates."

Issue 1

cover of issue #1
flyer, click to read story summaries

Homosapien 1 was published in July 1991 and contains 152 pages.

Artwork

  • Tim Howe
  • Jocelyn Munro

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

[zine]: The zine has 154 pages of text, of which 143 are devoted to stories and art. Although there is some white space, including blank lines between paragraphs, the type is small, clear, and dense. Typos are not a problem.

The zine has thirteen pieces by eight authors in eleven fandoms; one of those entries is a multi-fandom listing of undesirable slash pairings, another is in the form of a graphic story, and a third is a poem. The covers are red card and the zine has a comb binding. The other fandoms are Booker; Edge of Darkness; Eroica; Buckaroo Banzai; Nightflyers; Wiseguy; Blake's 7; Simon and Simon; the multi-fandom list; and Greek myth. There are some illos, including one small one of Bodie and Doyle that doesn't grab me.

HOMOSAPIEN has two Pros stories, both by Stew. JUST WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT is twenty-three pages and EVERY RISK YOU TAKE is twelve pages. They're the reason I bought the zine and the reason I keep it. Stew is a writer whom I generally like, though I usually wish she'd delve a little deeper, go a little further. Both of these stories, though, while somewhat slight, are satisfying enough to draw me back.

JUST WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT is set in the future. Bodie and Doyle, partners for twelve years, have just moved on from being active street agents to Administration; they're now acting as recruiters and joint Assistant Controllers to Cowley. This charming story deals with their handling of this change in their working lives along with the much bigger one of abruptly realising they have feelings for each other that go beyond being partners and best friends. It's a first-time story set when Doyle is forty.

The story would be straightforward if it weren't for the problem of Bodie's homophobia. Doyle accepts the alteration in their personal lives with equanimity, but Bodie struggles to come to terms with his new image of himself and Doyle. All the story's tension and interest resides in his reaction to the discovery of his feelings and how he works matters out.

EVERY RISK YOU TAKE is an AIDS story. Like all of Stew's stories, however, it has a happy ending; to anyone familiar with her work, the ending is never in question. This story is also--another characteristic of much of Stew's work--a first-time story. The author notes this story was the first she wrote, which may explain the number of familiar elements it contains--ones familiar both in Stew's work and as fandom cliches. For instance, the issue of self-identifying as gay is part of this story just as it is of Just When You Least Expect It. While the previous story deals with their moving into middle-age and yet discovering feelings for each other, this one charts their coming to terms with a major change in their relationship in the midst of a frightening health crisis.

Stew captures the emotional turmoil as the characters deal with the double-whammy of possible AIDS and newly recognised feelings:

"You know what sort of mate you had in me, Ray?If this was a bullet targeting you, I'd step in the way. If I could give you my blood and take yours, I would." Bodie paused, chest heaving to draw breath. "You want to throw me out tonight, Ray? Fine." But though he willed himself to turn, to set his hands on the doorknob, the locks, he couldn't. He stood, aware of his heart pounding, his blood racing, his body aroused to the point of bursting. And aware of Ray, only inches from him, all fey beauty, muscled sexuality, wildness to match his own. (p. 107)

"Fey beauty" is one of the cliches I mentioned, but I can live with it. There's also a lack of graphic sex in either story, which is another Stew characteristic that doesn't bother me, but might not meet other readers' requirements. Stew doesn't mine angst from situations in the way some authors do more deeply, but I usually enjoy the situations she sets up, and these two stories are no exception. Just When You Least Expect It is a particular favourite of mine amongst her work. [1]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2

Homosapien 2 was published in May 1992. It was also known as Homosapien, Too.

  • You are Receiving this Zine Because
  • The Right Place to Be by Arcane Annie & Stew (Professionals/Booker) 6 (Bodie quits in a huff after an Operation Suzie, and is too embarrassed to go back; Booker has quit somewhat similarly. Seeing how stupid the other's foolish pride looks, they both learn things about playing roles and 'what really matters.')
  • Do Blonds Really Have More Fun? by Barbara T (Eroica/Man From UNCLE) 24 (Set at a time when Solo and Kuryakin are having some problems. Major Klaus Von Dem Eberbach asks Eroica to help him with a job he is undertaking on NATO's behalf for U.N.C.L.E., which involves breaking into the safe of a rich Italian who was formerly a lover of Eroica. Eroica and Illya Kuryakin do the housebreaking while Napoleon Solo and the Major keep the homeowner busy elsewhere. Their job done, Illya and Eroica dally in the homeowner's large bed. )
  • Why Shouldn't It Be Me? by Jane Carnall (Myths and Legends) 29 (It has two biblical characters in it, a vignette with no overt slash content. A scholar named Matthew hears a wise Rabbi speak and vows to follow him.)
  • Burden of Dark by Stew (Batman) 30 (A young vagabond named Jesus is caught at the scene of a crime and Batman beats him up. Later Batman takes him home to Wayne manor and takes him in overnight. Jesus wants to become the next Robin. Batman has sex with him, then denies it happened and turns him out.)
  • Nightflyers by Tim Howe (Nightflyers) 34 (a graphic narrative)
  • With All My Symbiotes by Susan Douglass (Star Trek: TNG) 38 (femslash) (Beverly Crusher falls in love with Ambassador Odan, as in "The Host", our first introduction to a Trill. As he switches host bodies, she has trouble adjusting. Eventually she accepts Odan in a woman's body.)
  • Those Who Hunt the Night by Emily Ross (Those Who Hunt the Night) 43
  • Brand New Day by Jane Carnall (Blake's 7/Star Trek) 44 (Blake's pod makes planetfall after Star One. Blake, drunk and despondent, teleports to Spock's vicinity. They talk. Spock finds him interesting and in need of care. He takes him home and to bed -- first not for sex, then for sex.)
  • Valmont by Stew (Dangerous Liaisons) 49 (Told in letters/diary-form, a retelling of the movie, "Dangerous Liaisons" all from Danceny's POV.)
  • Now There Was a Day by Arcane Annie (Damiano) 56 (Damiano and Raphael go for a walk and express their joy in existence. They kiss and express their feelings.)
  • Watch Song of the Congerie by Emily Ross (Original Fiction) 58
  • Hanging in Time by Y.J (Man from U.N.C.L.E) 59 (portrayal of the hurt-comfort syndrome in Illya)
  • Young Tor Skylow by Tim Howe (Star Wars) 61 (a graphic narrative)
  • Submissive It Ain't by Dawn Woods (The Professionals) 65 (Bodie and Doyle sort out who's on top and who's on bottom and how each handles it.)
  • Puppeteer by Bryn Lantry (Blake's 7) 69 (Everyone has multiple motives, and no one truly knows their own minds, much less understands their crewmates. A bit alternate, set sometime in the months before Star One but after Blake has already got the idea in mind, a character study of Blake and Avon.)

Artwork

  • Tim Howe
  • Bryn Lantry
  • Todd Parrish

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

[zine]: Before Michelle Christian joined the list, I did the lion's share of the reviews (boy, and am I glad she came along). I was looking at the archives recently, and found this review of mine in very first post of this list.... (Almost exactly 4 years ago--this list started Oct 19, 1992).

Begin Review

I just finished a great Multi-media zine called Homosapiens Too. It has an interesting variety of fandoms and crossovers; even more important, there wasn't a single story that stunk (though I liked some better than others, of course.)

Page count is

  • Pros/Booker 18pgs (Bodie/Booker)
  • Erioca/Muncle 5pgs (Erioca/Illya)
  • Batman 4 (Batman/street punk)
  • Nightflyers 6+ (cartoon, from the movie)
  • TNG 5pgs (Beverly/symbiote)
  • B7/TOS trek 5pgs (Blake/Spock)
  • Dangerous Liaisons 7pgs (Valmont/Danceny)
  • Damiano 2pgs (from the R.A. McAvoy books)
  • MUNCLE 2pgs the usual
  • Star Wars 4 (cartoon, original characters)
  • Pros 4pgs the usual
  • B7 50pgs (Blake/Avon)

Perhaps I should mention at the there was a contest for most outrageous crossover pairing.

My favorites were:

  • The Right Place To Be (Bodie/Booker) by Arcane Annie & Stew--Bodie quits in a huff after an Operation Suzie, and is too embarrassed to go back; Booker has quit somewhat similarly. Seeing how stupid the other's foolish pride looks, they both learn things about playing roles and 'what really matters.' They also have pretty good sex.
  • Do Blond's Really Have More Fun? (Eroica/Illya) by Barbara T. This definitely is set at a time when Solo and Kurykin are having some problems. The crossover is a fascinating one, and it works. (Anyone needing Eroica explained, just e-mail me. It is a pretty new/small fandom, but growing fast.)
  • Brand New Day (Spock/Blake) by Jane Carnell. Follows immediately after Blake's pod makes planetfall after Star One. A great Blake, and if not a totally convincing Spock, it's close. Worth it for this scene alone.
  • Blake "What do you like?"
  • "Anal penetration,"
  • "Which way round?" Blake inquired.
  • "I am a telepath. It hardly matters. Whichever way pleases you."
  • Valmont (Valmont/Danceny) by Stew -is a romantic, but very plausible retelling of the movie Dangerous Liaisons, all from Danceny's POV. For any that have read the book, you know it is told solely in letters and diary entries, so this collection of Danceny's diaries is very faithful to the original feel. It is also an amazingly concise retelling, squeezing the movie into 6 1/2 pgs.
  • Submissive It Ain't (Pros) by Dawn Woods is basically just a sex story, but one firmly based in the very different personalities of Bodie and Doyle. Nice idea, beautiful sex, slightly weak ending.
  • Puppeteer (Blake/Avon) by Bryn Lantry is a convoluted but beautiful story where: the action is in the emotions, everyone has multiple motives, and no one truly knows their own minds, much less understands their crewmates. A bit alternate, set sometime in the months before Star One but after Blake has already got the idea in mind, this is a wonderful character study of Blake and Avon, with Vila and Cally in strong supporting roles. Not my favorite type of story -- I think I prefer something a bit more straightforward -- but undeniably compelling and well written.

The other stories weren't dogs either...

  • The Muncle story, Hanging In Time, by Y.J. is a very disturbing portrayal of the hurt-comfort syndrome in Illya,
  • The Batman story will appeal to anyone who liked "The Dark Knight Returns"
  • With All My Symbiotes - Susan Douglass- female slash.
  • Why Couldn't It Be Me has gotten a certain amount of press as "Biblical slash." It does have two biblical characters in it, but it is just a vigniette, and has no overt slash content.

A few caveats: I disliked the art in the first story, and was indifferent to the rest. I had a hard time reading the 2 cartoon sections; I thought the penning needed to be clearer, and the xerox needed to be darker for those sections.

With those few quibbles in mind, I recommend the zine highly. It has an interesting collection of stories set in an amazing variety of universes. The editor is joining a growing number of publishers in mention the word count -- 80,700, with 40,700 of it in Bryn's B7 story.

End Review

At the time I wrote this [review], there were just 7 of us [on the Virgule mailing list], and I didn't know Julien (Stew, back then) from a hole in the ground. But I still love (and reread) this zine... [2]

Issue 3

cover of issue #3

Homosapien 3 was published in September 1993 and is known as "Homosapien Trois."

  • Disclaimer by Stew (Special Agent Dale Cooper of the FBI files a report regarding the zine stating there is no evidence that "slash fans are seeking to subvert the government or the Constitution - they seem mostly harmless, from a national security point of view -- but I confess they may have had a subversive effect on my own tastes and inclinations.... Further, there is no evidence that the editor's or writers' intention was to break copyright laws in order to be malicious or to make money...In short, I see no reason to progress this within the Bureau as an official investigation....") (Twin Peaks)
  • Alcherings by Annie Stuart (My Own Private Idaho) 7
  • Flights of Angels by Debbie Hicks (Battlestar Galactica) 11
  • Catching Up by Stew (Indiana Jones) 19
  • Weills of a Summer Night by Barbara T (Eroica) 31
  • Never Pansies by Jane Carnall (Myth) 35
  • Hard, Harder, Hardest by Stew (The Hard Way) 37
  • Solo by Maggie Hall (The Professionals) 43
  • Look Away by Auntie Entity (The Professionals) 47
  • The Gentlemen Prefer Blonds Affair by Jane Carnall & Atropos (The Professionals/MUNCLE) 55
flyer for issue #3 from inside Backtrack #9, click to read
  • Married to the Job by Edwina Harvey (The Professionals) 61
  • Humble Beginnings by Auntie Entity (The Professionals) 63
  • The Do-It-Yourself Bodie/Doyle Story by Susan Douglass (The Professionals) 67
  • Lovemates by Jesse's Girl (Elfquest) 69
  • Midnight at the Lost and Found by Kari D'Herblay (The Three Musketeers) 75
  • Dale's Dance by Stew (Twin Peaks) 79
  • Fatalities by Bryn Lantry (Blake's 7) 99
  • Mephistopheles and the Hero by Bryn Lantry (Blake's 7) 102
  • A Riddle by Bryn Lantry (Blake's 7) 105
  • But, Batman...There is No Adventure by Arcane Annie (Booker) 107
  • Letters of comment from readers regarding previous issues.
  • Numerous fanzine and fan club ads

Artwork

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

[Solo]: The lads are living together as a couple. Doyle is reading on the sofa. Bodie tries to get him to have sex but D is too tired. B sits in an armchair and takes care of himself while he watches D, who despite himself is watching B pleasure himself. The description of B's masturbation is very detailed and erotic. [3]
[Look Away]: Bodie sustains a flesh wound to the groin, narrowly missing his important bits. The wound gets infected and requires frequent dressing changes. Doyle moves in with B to do the nursing. B has a hard time hiding the fact that he is turned on by D. He is uncharacteristically subdued; he doesn't want to get dressed, go out, or show any interest in sex. The CI5 doctor thinks that B shouldn't return to active duty until he's back to normal sexually. Cowley is worried about B. First he makes D buy B some Playboy magazines but it doesn't help. He then gives D money to hire a hooker for B! When it is finally time to take the stitches out D realizes what's wrong with B and gives him blow job. They admit they love each other. D uses C's money to take B out to a fancy dinner. They will now be a committed couple. [4]
[The Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Affair]: This is a B/C fic and Man From UNCLE crossover. Cowley meets Ilya Kuryakin (who is to attend a conference) at Heathrow. The lads are suspicious and follow him back to C's flat but C knows they are tailing him. They find out IK is C's old friend. Later B and C have sex and talk. B had been jealous of IK but is reassured he has nothing to worry about. [5]

Issue 4

cover of issue #4, Shayne McCormack

Homosapien Foreplay, also known as Homosapien 4, was published in 1996 and is 135 pages long.

  • A Warrior's Honor by Stew (Geronimo) 6
  • Return of the Knights by Jane Carnall & Atropos (Pros/Star Wars/ST:TNG) 13
  • Decisions by Stew (Seaquest DSV) 34
  • A Rare Find by Debbie Hicks (Real Ghostbusters) 41 (reprinted from Crossing the Streams #1)
  • The Reality of Freedom by Stew (Thunderheart) 55
  • Reunion by Stew (Thunderheart) 65
  • Dancing in a Whirlpool by Debbie Hicks (Pros/Lethal Weapon) 71
  • And All For Love by Anna Vie (The Three Musketeers) 75
  • Oz Didn't Give Nothin' to the Tinman by Debbie Hicks (Star Trek: TNG) 79
  • AWOL by Aunty Entity (The Professionals) 85
  • With Friends Like These by Quill (Due South) 93
  • Encounter by Stew (The X-Files) 107
  • The Last Dangerous Universe by Jane Carnall (Multiple fandoms) 112
  • Better Not Look Down by Arcane Annie (Booker) 117

Issue 5

cover of issue #5

Homosapien 5 was published in 1997, contains 136 pages and is subtitled, "Homosapien Filth."

Issue 6

cover of issue #6

also known as Homosapien Sux, was published in February 1999 and is 142 pages long, 120,400 words of fiction.

As had recently become style, warnings for the entire zine were gathered together at the back. The zine also included a small LOC section, including letters from Anja Gruber, Charlotte C Hill, Emma Hawkins, and Quill

Issue 7

Homosapien 7 has a cover by Suzan Lovett.

References

  1. froom Nell Howell at The Hatstand
  2. On October 12, 1992, Sandy Herrold reviewed this zine as part of the first post to the Virgule-L mailing list. It is quoted here with permission.
  3. by Metabolick at The Hatstand
  4. by Metabolick at The Hatstand
  5. from Metabolick at The Hatstand
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