Mojave Crossing

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Fanfiction
Title: Mojave Crossing
Author(s): Connie Faddis
Date(s): 1977
Length: 82 pages
Genre: gen
Fandom: Starsky and Hutch
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Contents

panoramic interior for "Mojave Crossing"

Mojave Crossing is an influential Starsky and Hutch story in the first issue of the gen zine Zebra Three. Written and illustrated by Connie Faddis, it is considered to be the first get'em story in the fandom. It is widely mentioned as the h/c fic that started it all.

This story won an Encore Award, a Huggy Award, and shows up on many fans' favorite lists; 1993 Virgule-L Fan Fiction Survey is one example.

The story begins shortly after the episode "The Set Up," with Starsky and Hutch and Terry Nash holed up in a hotel room, along with some Federal Agents, as they await the trial. Driven out by poison gas, a substance that affects Hutch more than his partner, the two escape and are on the run, where they join up with an OFC named Maggie Landis, an archeologist friend of theirs. They end up injured and are pursued across the desert, where great suffering awaits them.

Reactions and Reviews

issue #1, illo for "Mojave Crossing," by Connie Faddis
'Mojave Crossing' is a sequel to “The Set—Up”, in which Starsky and Hutch cleaned out a nest of contract assassins with high but unspecified political connections. Not surprisingly, the bad guys turn out to be renegade FBI agents, who are, also not surprisingly, set on preventing S&H from testifying against them. The upshot is a harrowing trek across the Mojave Desert in high summer, in the course of which Starsky is blinded, Hutch is horribly wounded, and Maggie Landis, surely one of the best— realized female characters in fan fiction, learns something of the nature responsibility——to oneself, to friends, to society. It is an intensely emotional story, that addresses the reader on all levels of response, brain, heart and gut. The author nevertheless remains in full command of her material throughout. The tenderness of the hurt/comfort scenes in both exquisitely controlled, and entirely free of the steamy sexuality which mars so many K/S epics of the Contact school. [1]
It isn’t easy being a fan when you’re male, at least to the extent that one might get involved without some people assuming you must be gay or weird. [This fan also writes that “Mojave Crossing” is the piece of fiction that got him hooked on fanfic. [2]
Many moons ago, before I knew fandom existed, my partner and I were writing all kinds of S&H. You name it, we wrote it—not particularly well, perhaps, but that's beside the point. And rarely did a tale get by without a good hefty dose of h/c. When you're gonna dent em, dent 'em good, was our motto—no way is Hutch going to cuddle him if he just tears a hangnail. Or vice versa. So Kick Hutch Week was followed by Stomp Starsky Week, and they and we got our jollies without any qualms of conscience on either side. Suddenly along came the Brave New World of Fandom, and we discovered there was a name for all this stuff. And we read 'Mojave Crossing,' and stopped writing h/c for a while, because we knew we couldn't top that. [3]
Besides the wonderful hurt/comfort, the life and death situation they're involved in, "Mojave" is an important episode in the lives of Starsky and Hutch. In it they learn what they mean to each other, and to express their caring in a way never before shown either in the aired episodes or in fiction. Because "Mojave Crossing" was published in the infancy of SH fanfiction, it has become the yardstick by which all other stories are measured. Another story with hurt/comfort, life and death situations and an expression of love between the characters seems like a repeat of what Connie did so well. To be equally moving and powerful and memorable, a story must go one step further, have the characters learn something else, change their lives in some other significant way, or it's just a rehash that pales in comparison. "Wilderness" is competently written and well-edited and though I don't think it's quite as powerful a story, it differs from "Mojave" and stands on its own because of the cop story format, because we explore Hutch's guilt over Starsky's grave condition. [4]
My earliest memory of the fan lit is lying on Connie Faddis's carpet in 1977. paging over the second draft of "Mojave Crossing" and thinking, what the hell is this stuff? It wasn't science fiction and it sure wasn't Star Trek. not even the K/S version. (Yet.) But since a quantity of people I liked to talk with were hoofing over into this new fandom, it was either hoof with 'em or forever hold my peace. [5]
It's difficult to pin down just one all time favorite. I'll always have a special feeling for the first ever SH zine, ZEBRA III #1, because of the unforgettable "Mojave Crossing" by Connie Faddis. At our Paul Muni Special con, the tenth anniversary of SH, Carol Davis and I gave out the "Encore Awards", so named because every piece of fanfiction, art, etc. since the beginning of SH fandom was eligible. And "Mojave Crossing" is the story that won "Very Favorite Story Over All". Everyone, whether you're into slash or non, can enjoy and appreciate this beautiful hurt/comfort story... I'd read this zine years before actually getting involved in SH fandom. [6]

References

  1. from Mahko Root #2 (1978)
  2. from S and H #11 (May 1980)
  3. from S and H #21 (May 1981)
  4. from Between Friends #7
  5. from Paula Smith in 1985 from the program book for The Paul Muni Special
  6. from Frienz #13
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