No Holds Barred

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Zine
Title: No Holds Barred
Publisher: Kathy Resch
Editor(s):
Date(s): 1992-2002
Series?:
Medium: print zine
Size:
Genre: slash
Fandom: multimedia
Language: English
External Links: Kathy Resch Fanzine page, Online Rveiews of No Holds Barred at The Hatstand, Archived version
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Contents

No Holds Barred a slash, multimedia fanzine.

Artwork has been uploaded to Fanlore with the publisher's permission.

Issue 1

cover of issue #1, Caren Parnes
flyer printed in Fire and Ice #2

No Holds Barred 1 was published in May 1992 and is 136 pages long. The cover is by Caren Parnes. The interior art is by Cat. There is a sample of Cat's art below, each showing a different artistic style.

  • Smoke and Mirrors by Melody C. (Wiseguy) 1. "And McPike stared down at his wrists to find them immobilized, to see them gripped tightly by large young hands. His mind was a whirlwind in his head, with love and thankfulness and forgiveness refused, the urge to cry forbidden. “You selfish bastard,” he whispered, yanking free his hands to clutch at handfuls of flesh and hair. "I cried with your mother. I cried at your funeral....I'm back there dyin’, dyin’ by the hour and by the inch. And then I get a message sayin’ that it’s from Vincent Terranova, though I knew for sure it can’t be. It can’t be, ‘cause my sweet Vinnie is dead.”
  • Making Nice by Cat Anesto (Blake's 7) 17. "Vila clutched the precious bottle to his heart, and still with a silly grin on his face, made his way to his quarters. Opening the door, he didn’t ask for the automatic lights. Any thief could move in darkness, couldn’t he? He put the bottle on the table, by touch, took a glass from the cupboard and put it next to the bottle. In the washing cubicle he rinsed his face and hands and said: “Lights on! The lights went on. He was glad he wasn’t holding the precious soma bottle, or he’d have dropped it. Lying on his bunk, wrapped naked in a sheet, was Tarrant. And the dumb clod was asleep."
  • No Fairies in Eerie by Joan Enright (Eerie, Indiana) 19
  • The Most Dangerous Game by Joan Enright (Simon and Simon) 24
  • Not Always Happy Endings by Robbie (Simon and Simon) 26
  • The Successor by Linda Frankel (Robin of Sherwood) 32
  • Love's Gentle Bite by Cat Anesto (Robin of Sherwood) 80
  • The Yeoman of the Guard by Barbara T (Robin of Sherwood) 88
  • The Second Time Around by Natasha Barry (Making Love) 90
  • Aftermath by Danielle Stewart (Renegades) 98
  • Spirit's Flight by Susan Douglass (Thelma and Louise) 101
  • Untitled by The Chronicler (Sherlock Holmes ) 104
  • The Homecoming by Ophelia (Sherlock Holmes) 106
  • To Wake From the Nightmare by Ophelia (Sherlock Holmes) 111
  • Akin to Love by Melody C. (Sherlock Holmes) 123. "Yet his eyes gently mocked me. ‘You saw no friend. “I have not?’ I asked, by then truly frightened, my blood pounding like fists across my veins. “You have not,’ he purred softly. “You have in fact frequented Dogs Isle Private Hotel, where rooms are let for half-crown a week. You tarried there till quarter past the hour at which point you quaffed your tea, freed your lodgings and paid the man with whom you slept.” As if my friend had suddenly caught fire, I shot to my feet and jerked from Holmes’ presence. “How dare you speak to me this way?’ I gasped, unthinking, unable to think. “How dare I?” Holmes seethed, slamming his pipe to the sideboard. ‘How dare you?"
  • Rising Tide by Rachel Duncan (Miami Vice) 135
  • Under Night's Calumny, Love Endures by Rachel Duncan (Man from U.N.C.L.E.) 136

Issue 2

issue #2, cover by Caren Parnes
flyer printed in Fire and Ice #2

No Holds Barred 2 was published in May 1992 and is 77 pages long. It contains only Professionals stories. It contains art by Anja Gruber, Mozart, Cat, Marilyn Cole and Cat.

From the editorial:
Welcome to the second issue of NO HOLDS BARRED - this one dedicated to Bodie & Doyle. As I stated in my flyers, I like to read a wide variety of stories, from the dark and serious to the frankly romantic, and the international group of contributors (from England, France, Germany and the U.S.) responded with stories that set their relationship against the gritty, realistic backdrop of their work in CI5 to some very romantic Alternate Universes. CAUTION: "Act Up" deals with AIDS.
  • A Rainy Night in Soho by Kitty Fisher - 7 pages. "Raising both hands, palm forwards, Ray stopped back and shook his head, ‘Bodie, it’s only me...’ 'Only you.' Relaxing a fraction, still brittle with tension, Bodie stood motionless; watching his watcher with eyes turned obsidian by the night. To Doyle he looked more enigmatic than the Sphinx. But then he smiled. ‘Yeah, it’s only you. Might’ve known; you’ve got a nasty habit of turning up whenever I least want to see you.”
  • Post-Stakeout by DVS - 5 pages. "Between one breath and the next, as I sprawled over my best mate and tried to keep his hot temper from ruining everything, as I babbled explanations to the men who looked down at us in confusion, my whole universe tilted. God knows what I said. I could hear the clatter of pins falling, balls rumbling towards them, I could hear my heart, and his. All I was really aware of were my hands. I touched him places I shouldn’t have, but my hands seemed to have moved on their own. "
  • Knee-Trembler by HG - 7 pages. "‘You have three days leave. Make good use of them” said Cowley as he finally dismissed them. Fierce green eyes seared into him. ‘We will,” said Doyle. His tone insolent, his raking gate moved to Bodie, who looked away. Doyle got to his feet. Thank you, sir,” said Bodie. But it was Doyle who led the way out of Cowley’s office, without pausing to check if he was being followed: the alternative didn’t seem to have occurred to him."
  • Song of a Fair Fugitive by Joan Enright - crossover with Ladder of Swords- 19 pages
  • Return to Skull Mountain by Joan Enright - 11 pages
  • Wading Through Years by Natasha Barry - 11 pages
  • Act Up by Nina Boal - 6 pages (deals with AIDS)
  • Indigo by Baravan - 9 pages
  • Limericks by Emily Ross - 1 page

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

[Song of a Fair Fugitive]: This is definitely set after the events of Ladder of Swords. But... it's also definitely set before Bodie joins CI5. Um. If it's actually Bodie. The Bodie character (here called William Andrew Phillip Colby) has been in the army for years and plans to join CI5. He returns to old stamping grounds in Wales and encounters violin sounds echoing up the valley. And meets DeMarco. I didn't get into this nearly as much as some of the others. I'm not sure how much more I can fairly say. There were other things too, but I will say that it probably would have helped if I had known that Lewis Collins had played a Major Colby in another film: The Commander. As things stood, I was simply baffled by why Bodie was called Colby and not sounding like my Bodie, and I couldn't get to grips with the copious backstory given to him, but perhaps that was all from the film too. I could also have done without one of the characters in Colby-Bodie's memories having three aliases and Colby himself having two - it was bad enough with Sullivan also being de Marco! I am not a very attentive reader at times and found myself getting too confused to enjoy it. Sorry. [1]
[zine]: Comments/Spoilers:

In "Indigo" by Baravan, Bodie tells Doyle a little about his time in Africa.

"Wading Through Years" by Natasha Barry is set in the future when Cowley is dead and Doyle is Controller. Bodie returns after some years away and discovers he must woo Doyle if he wants to reclaim him.

"Act Up" by Nina Boal is an AIDS story, with both Bodie and Doyle as gay.

"Return to Skull Mountain" by Joan Enright is an alternate universe story set in 1936, recounting Bodie and Doyle meeting again after years apart.

"Song of a Fair Fugitive" by Joan Enright has SAS Sergeant Bodie on leave in Wales before being seconding to a new organisation, during which he meets Don DeMarco, the circus character MS played in the movie Ladder of Swords.

"Knee-Trembler" by HG recounts Doyle's reaction when Bodie is nearly killed on an op. [2]
[zine]: No Holds Barred 2, which... wasn't so bad but was really mostly AU which I'm not fond of. And I wasn't keen on the premise of a couple of the stories, but that's just personal preference, I think. The Kitty Fischer and HG made up for it a bit though. [3]

Issue 3

cover of issue #3, TACS

No Holds Barred 3 was published in 1993 and contains 99 pages. It has a cover by TACS.

Artwork

Issue 4

issue #4, cover, "Peek-A-Bodie," by Marilyn Cole

No Holds Barred 4 was published in May 1993 and is 98 pages long. It contains only Professionals content.

The editor's note asks for contributions to be submitted on IBM compatible programs on either 3 1/2 or 5 1/4 disks -- and to send hard copy as well.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

See reaction and reviews for The Chameleon's Dish.
See reaction and reviews for Bodie's Letter.
[Feasting with Panthers]: So hard to choose which one of Kitty's Fisher's fics to rec here – but Feasting won out. It's a beautifully written, angsty, hot tale of what happens when the word "sometimes" gets lost. [4]
[zine]: Comments/Spoilers:

"Flashpoint" by HG is a first-time story set after a near-death experience on an op.

"Feating with Panthers" by Kitty Fisher has Doyle introducing his lover Bodie to BDSM.

"Blacksilver and Copper: A Love Story" by Joan Enright is an alternate universe tale in which Bodie is a wolf and Doyle is a dog.

"The Chameleon's Dish" by Kitty Fisher is set eight years in the future, after both Bodie and Doyle have left CI5. Bodie returns to Doyle, who spurned his love, the reason Bodie left CI5 years before.

"Bodie's Letter" by Ellis Ward is set in the future. When Cowley dies, both Bodie and Doyle, who were separated years before, discover Cowley manipulated their lives. [5]

Issue 5

No Holds Barred 5 was published in May 1994 and contains 169 pages.

cover of issue #5, Maureen B., 1994 Stiffie Award winner
  • Changing of the Guard by Kris Brown (Quantum Leap) 1
  • Bedtime Story by Leah S. (Quantum Leap) 11
  • Mirror Image Denouement by Kris Brown (Quantum Leap) 13
  • Al Through the Looking Glass by Kris Brown (Quantum Leap) 15 (A sequel to the final QL episode. Al goes through the accelerator to find Sam, and they begin to "simo-leap", with Sammi Jo as the hologram.)
  • Kissin' Kansas Cousins by Cat (Alias Smith & Jones) 36
  • The Night of Rapine and Revelations by Charles M. Clint (The Wild Wild West) 41
  • The Story-Telling Affair by Mary Millard (Man from UNCLE) 49
  • One Quick Look by Khylara (Man from UNCLE) 57
  • Why Me? by Airelle (Man from UNCLE) 58
  • Dust by Kitty Fisher (Man from UNCLE) 60
  • A Fine, Fine Day by Khylara (Man from UNCLE) 78
  • Into the Night by Robin Hood (Man from UNCLE) 83
  • Diamonds Dance by Robin Hood (Man from UNCLE) 83
  • Forgotten Smile by Robin Hood (Man from UNCLE) 83
  • Ashes by Kitty Fisher (Man from UNCLE) 84
  • To Banish the Forbidden by Linda Frankel (Robin of Sherwood) 87
  • Imitatio Christi by Linda Frankel (Robin of Sherwood) 88
  • Sunlight Psalm by Linda Frankel (Robin of Sherwood) 88
  • The Shouting Trees by Linda Frankel (Robin of Sherwood) 89
  • Exalted Intercourse by Linda Frankel (Robin of Sherwood) 89
  • Just for Ducks by Robbie (Simon and Simon) 95
  • Crockett's Choice by Ida Vega (Miami Vice) 99
  • First Contact by Jane Mailander ? 113
  • Before the Fire by Gloria Lancaster (Sherlock Holmes) 115.
  • Waterloo Bridge by Joan Enright (The Crying Game) 120
  • Memory of a Smile by Khylara (Star Wars) 130
  • Pull Off the Mask by Jane Mailander (The Crying Game) 131
  • Renfield by Brendan O'Cullane (Dracula) 132
  • Vinnie's Valentine by Vicuna Fury (Wiseguy) 135
  • Starguys by Gayle F (Wiseguy) 136
  • Butch and Sonny on the Lam by Marie Blackpool (Wiseguy) 142
  • Hard Truths by Marie Blackpool & Gayle F (Wiseguy) 144
  • Playing With Fire by Gayle F (Wiseguy) 159
  • To Thy Rest by Rachel Duncan (Hamlet) 169

Artwork

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

[Before the Fire]: [It is] probably the most astounding Holmes-slash zine story I have read. It is like the slash zine short story equivalent of Michael Dibdin's Last Sherlock Holmes Story--not in any overt way (Dibdin's story is certainly not slash) but because it is so dark, so striking and so powerful. It is difficult to say too much about this short and quite simple, but very nuanced story--at least not without stealing from its impact. But if you like your slash with deep shadows, and even deeper angst, don't miss this one. [6]

Issue 6

issue #6, cover by Phoenix

No Holds Barred 6 was published in May 1994 and contains 161 pages of all Professionals content.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

See reactions and reviews for The Pillory.
See reactions and reviews for Telling Marge.
See reactions and reviews for Baiting the Trap.
[regarding the Professionals stories]: A ST:TNG setting story with Bodie as a half-Cardassian and Doyle as a Ja'nai (a hermaphroditic species), a Bodie/Doyle 'Somewhere in Time' story, a Silk Stalkings/Professionals XOVER, a sweet romance story called 'Love is Wealth', and various other gems. Lovely! [7]
[zine]: Comments/Spoilers:

"Telling Marge" by Kate MacLean is a post-Backtrack story in which Doyle's anxiety about Marge Harper's advances on him leads to a misunderstanding with Bodie.

"English Silk" by Ruby sees Bodie and Doyle in Florida on the trail of an IRA bomber working with the detectives of Silk Stalkings.

"The Wounded and the Outcast" by Joan Enright is set in the Star Trek: The Next Generation universe, featuring Bodacet as a half-Cardassian fleeing his violent culture who falls in love with Raye, a deviant full male from a race of hermaphrodites.

"Dreams of Reality" by Too Loose is a supernatural AU in which pianist Philip Bodie is the reincarnation of his uncle William and has dreams of William's lover Ray Doyle, only to discover his own love in reality.[8]

Issue 7

No Holds Barred 7 contains all Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea fiction. It was published in May 1995 and contains 106 pages. The cover artwork is by Anja Gruber. Winner of the 1995 Stiffie award for best Science Fiction zine. It contains three novellas:

  • Those Crumbs of Heaven Time Can't Destroy by Lindar. (Lee Crane is thrown into the future by the effect of an experimental drug.) (winner of a 1995 (STIFfie Award) (page 1)
  • Owner of the One Hour by Lindar. (Lee Crane and Chip Morton, imprisoned by a criminal group, learn secrets about each other in the darkness.) (page 49)
  • Than All Else Ever by The Captain. (An encounter between Lee and Chip, while the Admiral is away, leads to an inebriated act of folly and guilty soul-searching for the two best friends. Can things between them ever be the same again?) (page 64)

Issue 8

issue #8

No Holds Barred 8 was published in May 1995 and is 96 pages long and contains all Sherlock Holmes fiction. It contains eleven stories in total, all Holmes/Watson. Authors: Ophelia, Mary Rose Watson, Jane Mailander, The Resident Doctor, Rosamund Clifford (poem), and Joanna (poem). Art by Cat.

  • Standing Stones of Poldhu by Rosamund Clifford 3
  • The Homecoming by Mary Rose Watson 5
  • Brighton Memories by Jane Mailander 9
  • The Comfort Blanket by Mary Rose Watson 18
  • After Moncrieff by The Resident Doctor 20
  • The Dream by Mary Rose Watson 28
  • Christmas Yet to Come by Joanna 35
  • The Changing Faces of Love by Ophelia 36
  • What a Lovely Thing a Rose is by Jane Mailander 60
  • Vous Et Nul Autre by Ophelia 61
  • Dr. Watson, Mr. Sherlock Holmes by Jane Mailander 97

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 8

The centerpieces of this 'zine are two long stories by Ophelia, both romantically inclined, both exploring the ups-and-downs of long-term relationships. Unlike the Friend of My Heart 'zines, these stories have more conflict as Holmes and Watson navigate past various obstacles to their relationship. My favorite scene between them is in 'Vous Et Nul Autre', when Holmes arrives on Watson's doorstep late one night after they have not spoken in weeks. Watson's pain and restraint are almost palpable. The other stories don't share this vision of the relationship. Indeed, every author takes a completely different view: Mary Rose Watson is sweet and supportive as always; The Resident Doctor is abrupt, with the usual brilliant one-liners; and Jane Mailander gets special mention for her 'Brighton Memoirs', an epistlary tale of unusual insight. The result is a 'zine with great variety and a less unified tone than most. The poetry is equally varied. Sonnets, filk, free-verse, and paragraph form all bedeck the pages; the interest this engendered in me (a person who rarely reads modern verse) was quite surprising. I never knew what to expect, but the standards were consistantly high. So if you're looking for a wide range of styles to sample, this 'zine is admirably suited. review</ref>

Issue 9

No Holds Barred 9 is 96 pages long and was published in May 1995. It contains black and white interior art by Sebastian Shaw and Cat. The editor's note comments: "Contributions may be submitted on IBM compatible programs, on 3 1/2" or 5 1/4" diskettes. Please send hard copy as well."

cover of issue #9

Issue 10

issue #10, cover by Marilyn Cole, Bodie/Doyle

No Holds Barred 10 contains all Professionals content. It was published in 1995 and is 156 pages long. It has a color cover by Marilyn Cole and two interior black and white pieces by Anja Gruber.

interior art #10, Anja Gruber
interior art #10, Anja Gruber

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 10

See reactions and reviews for On Guard.
See reactions and reviews for Torch Song.
See reactions and reviews for Harlequin, Harlequin.
[Somewhere There's Heaven]: Unusual but compelling story of Alan Cade, newly invested as the Chief Constable of Eastland, meeting a merc who calls himself Drew Phillips; the name is false and he talks of having lost the one man he would ever love, so all he can offer Cade is occasional sex and gentle affection. Yet for Cade, at least, the affair means more and we get intriguing glimpses of a deeper engagement in Drew Phillips as well, becoming involved despite himself.

I find the mysterious figure calling himself Drew Phillips paired with Alan Cade a beguiling combination. Despite never having seen The Chief or knowing a thing about Cade, I always root for him when I read this story, wishing matters could turn out the way he'd like them to and that Drew could also find some happiness. The author uses Cade effectively as the pov character, keeping Drew veiled from us as much as he is from Cade.

I've reread this story numerous times and never tire of speculating about Drew Phillips' mysterious past, his lost love (Doyle?--dead? or just not interested?), and whether Cade will ever get the steady relationship he longs for. While I like the air of melancholy and the sense of loss Drew evokes about his past, I've wished for more for the two of them each time I've read the story. Thus, I was totally juiced when a sequel, albeit unfinished, was published in 2004. [10]
[zine]: A note on editing: as far as I know, Kathy Resch doesn't edit the stories she publishes, or if she does edit, does so extremely lightly. Too lightly. There are numerous typos throughout, and some of the stories have shoddy grammar; some also have blatant Americanisms. The best approach is to take them as a group of circuit stories bound together as a unit with uniform typeface and good print quality. The quality of the writing in the stories themselves varies according to each author's skill at writing and self-editing.[11]
[zine]: One-sentence review: Borrow, don't buy, this zine for the Courtney Gray novella, and skim/skip the rest.

DESIGN/LAYOUT: Unpleasant art. The cover shows an over-stylized couple who are only barely recognizable as Bodie and Doyle by D's auburn hair. The two interior line drawings are just plain bad.

The font/layout is easy to read. I would have appreciated story title/author headings to help while flipping through the zine, especially as two of the page numbers listed in the Table of Contents are incorrect. Spelling and grammar errors were minimal (though surely a spellchecker would have caught "believee"?); the major problem was punctuation, especially in the Gloria Lancaster stories, where the comma faults were legion; my other pet peeve is when editors don't bother to change "--" into a proper em dash.

Faded print was another problem. Everything was readable, but the print would fade in and out on the page, which was distracting. Any responsible copy shop should be willing to reprint something which turned out like this.

THE STORIES: There were two things in general about the fiction here which bothered me. The first I'll call The B&D Factor: for much of the time, I felt as I was reading a multimedia zine, because I didn't know who the characters *were*. I had to wonder at points whether some of the authors had even seen much of Pros. I just didn't get a sense that I was reading about Bodie and Doyle.

The second thing I'll call the "lost love/another time & place" (LL/AT&P) factor. Actually, only 5 of the 10 stories have this thread in them. Still, by number 3, it got annoying. The problem with this type of story is that character motivation, in terms of the relationship, tends to be underdeveloped. The basic "LL/AT&P" story works like this:

Character A is attracted to character B. We find out that A & B either 1) knew each other some years ago, and had some kind of relationship, or 2) are reincarnated lovers, or 3) knew someone *like* the other person before. After some initial conflict, A & B wind up either 1) getting together again or 2) getting together again and then losing each other again.

This is a perfectly okay plot device; however, in most cases, the writer skimps on the development of the relationship. The attraction of the characters in current time is explained by the past encounter: they're together *now* because they were together *then*, and that's all the explanation we get. We rarely find out *why* they were attracted to each in the first place, beyond a vague physical thing. It's lazy, and it happens a lot in this zine.

GLORIA LANCASTER: three stories, "On Guard" (a slight AU with Doyle meeting Bodie in Africa), "You Dancing? You Asking?" (Bodie gives Doyle ballroom dancing lessons), and "Somewhere There's A Heaven" (crossover with "The Chief"). There is very little feel for the Bodie and Doyle characters in these stories, and the writer has a poor ear for language and dialogue. (Bodie to Doyle on ballroom dancing: "It's easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy." I'm sorry, but never in a million years can I hear Bodie saying something like this.) Two of them fall into the LL/AT&P category, and she does try to explain the attraction in one ("On Guard"), but ignores it in the other ("Heaven"). It was a struggle to get through these pieces, and I did actually give up about halfway through the third one due to her affinity for having the Bodie character refer to Alan Cade as "Honey" repeatedly. Just didn't work for me.

[See fanzine publisher's note below]

JANE MAILANDER: "Runagate", a post-"Fugitive" story. This *should* have been an emotionally intense piece, and it wound up feeling as flat as a pancake. The major conflict scene relies on exclamation marks for its effect - I counted fourteen of them in *one* column alone. When a reader gets hammered over the head like that, it's not emotional, it's merely irritating. Strong emotions develop from good character exploration and conflicts, not from punctuation. And this story didn't have good character exploration.

NATASHA BARRY: "Searching For A Bodie Plot" (AKA, searching for a story.) A pointless and boring exercise which consists of five pages of Bodie's thoughts.

KITTY FISHER: "Harlequin, Harlequin". One word: ZAX. Okay, more words: Another LL/AT&P story in which the attraction between the current timeline characters is unexplained except as a physical thing, until we find out at the end about the "other time and place" device. Only has the barest relation to Pros/B&D. An attempt at tragedy that just comes off as a PWP with pretensions.

AIRELLE: "What Dreams May Come" - a 2-page "old age/death" story which adds nothing to this idea. Been there, seen that.

JOAN ENRIGHT: "Harlot Street", an overly sentimentalized Victorian story, and another LL/AT&P piece. Doyle is an actor who keeps having dreams about Horatio/Hamlet's relationship; meanwhile, he's attracted to a policeman named George Godley who is investigating the Jack the Ripper case. We get a guest appearance by Oscar Wilde, too. Again, this story had no explanation for why the characters are attracted to each other, relying solely on the "soul-mates through the ages" thing instead. They loved each other then, therefore they love each other now. Okay, but *WHY*??? It also has no relation to Pros or Bodie and Doyle--if she hadn't used Doyle's name, I would have had no way of recognizing it, from her characterizations, as a Pros story. These guys could have been anybody.

RUBY: "A Little B&D" - a short piece which is supposed to be humor, involving a pair of antique handcuffs. Not funny, merely silly.

COURTNEY GRAY: "Torch Song", an AU novella with Doyle as a singer, based on the movie "Gilda", which I've not seen. Better written than anything else in the zine, but still disappointing. Maybe the plot and characters would make more sense to me if I'd seen the movie, but as it stands, the story doesn't do a good enough job of justifying the characters' motivations. The villain of the piece is particularly unbelievable, and there were many questions left unanswered. My biggest problem, though, was with the LL/AT&P scenario. B&D knew each other a couple years before, and had a relationship. We learn that they fought a lot. We never really learn why. We learn that the physical attraction between them is still there. But we never learn what *else* it is, beyond the good sex, that brings them together and sustains the relationship. Once again, the past relationship is used as a shorthand "explanation" for why these guys want to get together again, and once again, the *initial* attraction is never fully developed. So we are left scratching our heads at the end, thinking, "Well, okay, here it is a couple years later, and they still want each other. But *why*?" And I couldn't answer that.

NET RESULT: Disappointment. I'm glad I borrowed the zine instead of buying it. [12][13]
[zine]: NO HOLDS BARRED 10 is a Pros slash anthology that was published in 1995 by [Kathy Resch] and is still in print. It has ten stories by eight authors and 154 pp. There's a colour cover by Marilyn Cole of two men kissing; they don't look anything like Bodie or Doyle to me, but YMMV. Editing seems to be light and there are numerous typos and some Americanisms.

The stories as they appear in order:

ON GUARD by Gloria Lancaster. The two best stories in this zine are the first and last, and in themselves make the zine worth owning. This first one is an Origin story. Constable Ray Doyle, on a three-month sabbatical from the Met to do charity work in Africa, is rescued from near-death by a mercenary known to everyone only as "Soldier". We know who he is from the first sentence: "A voice, loud and ugly with an execrable Scouse accent", but he remains "Soldier" to Doyle until much later in the story when Doyle is recruited into CI5 and meets his partner for the first time.

At that point, the story becomes a charming first-time tale set in CI5. Bodie is a delightful character seen entirely through Doyle's eyes--a limited viewpoint the author skilfully expands through reader-knowledge (ie, we know it's Bodie while Doyle knows nothing about him). Bodie is protective, mysterious, fascinating, competent and the two of them together, in Gloria Lancaster's hands, are superb.

RUNAGATE by Jane Mailander. Set post-Runner, the story is told through Bodie's pov as he expects a bout of rough loving in the aftermath of near-death when he and Doyle get home. Not only expects, but is anticipating a good fuck to get rid of the adrenaline and clear the air between them. Instead, Doyle is moody and silent. After a revelation or two, a bit of a confrontation, and Doyle's having a weep, they do finally get to the sex.

The story is engrossing in its step-by-step revelations of what the characters are thinking, though the depth of emotion I would expect--and that I want--in this kind of story isn't there, and I'm sceptical about the reasoning in Bodie's final train of musing, which left me unconvinced.

YOU DANCING? YOU ASKING? by Gloria Lancaster. The second of GL's three stories in this zine is a light delight of a first-time story. Bodie teaches Doyle to dance so he can attend a fancy do with a Sloane Ranger type. Disaster inevitably (though not predictably--at least, I didn't catch on the first time I read it) ensues, Bodie gets the fall-out, and they re-emerge in a changed relationship. Unpretentious fun with nicely recognisable characters. Gloria Lancaster especially excels at portraying Bodie, but her Doyle is recognisable and appealing as well.

SEARCHING FOR A BODIE PLOT by Natasha Barry. Irritatingly written pap. This story is the one most in need of stringent editing, if not a wholesale re-write. Bodie, "the dark agent", spends a day off looking for something to read because his secret vice is reading. It takes a page-and-a-half to get us to the library, where he can't find a single thing, so off he goes to a bookshop. Where--surprise!--he stumbles on a "poofter" sex-manual. He's been thinking a lot about his partner--the "golli", the "moppet", "moist mouth Doyle", or the "sensuous tiger"--lately, but certainly never like that, until now. From first thoughts, it's only five minutes to an emergency wank in the toilet in a cafe. We get such sentences as "He castigated himself as he tucked himself back in, zipping the indiscretion closed."

This PWP is, however, only four pages long.

HARLEQUIN, HARLEQUIN by Kitty Fisher. A dark Zax story, moody and atmospheric. In a world where unauthorised sexual congress between Names and Numbers is illegal, Zax has an intense but tender affair with dark-haired, white-skinned Number M-6251. The scene-setting is excellent, the characters beguiling, the story compelling. This story can on one level be read as a kind of bildungsroman for M-6251 as he learns about love and acquires a name and independent identity.

Kitty Fisher does "dark" very well. Some of her dark is darker than others; this story is quite dark. I had heard that a sequel was being written, but also that it might never appear; I'd love to see one because I'm a wuss who pines for happier endings. :-) But even as a standalone, this story allows for the projection of an optimistic outcome. Or perhaps I'm twisting the ending to suit my own need for that glimmer of hope. Either way, it's an engrossing read.

SOMEWHERE THERE'S HEAVEN by Gloria Lancaster. This story details Alan Cade's bittersweet affair with a fascinating stranger called Drew Phillips. Who is Drew Phillips? There are hints and clues, but no solid evidence. An odd and tantalising AU story that drew me in entirely to the atypical affair. This story cries out for a sequel to resolve both some of the questions about Drew Phillips' past and the present-day situation with Cade, but it stands alone well enough and utterly intrigues me.

I've never seen an episode of The Chief, but this portrait of Cade connected with me emotionally.

WHAT DREAMS MAY COME by Airelle. Eighty-something Bodie visits the grave where Doyle, his lover of fifty years, was buried three months previously. In two pages, he recounts the salient events of five decades before toddling off to await his own death, at peace with the universe.

The story is slight and not terribly affecting. Bodie's feeling of loss comes through, but without any wrenching emotion. He communicates the peacefulness he feels to the reader, so this is a death story without an acute sense of loss or pain.

HARLOT STREET by Joan Enright. In 1891 London, Raymond Arden Doyle is an actor singled out for praise by none other than Oscar Wilde. On the darker side, his sister is a whore who is killed by Jack the Ripper, which brings Doyle into contact with Sergeant George Godley of Scotland Yard (for anyone who might not be aware, Lewis Collins played this character in the movie "Jack the Ripper"). Sergeant Godley turns out, conveniently, to be as gay as Mr Raymond Arden Doyle himself, though Godley is struggling to keep himself hidden in the closet.

Joan Enright writes mostly AUs, doing varying amounts of damage to the characters in the process. This particular story is one I reread occasionally, but without for a moment believing in the characterisation of Doyle. I haven't seen the movie, so I can't say how well this portrayal of Godley matches the actual character. The action keeps my interest--mostly--for the duration, but only if I surf over the various anachronisms and implausibilities with a wilfully blind eye. For some readers, it might not be worth the effort; for others, the flaws might not be bothersome.

A LITTLE B AND D by Ruby. Six pages of humorous fluff that actually manages to make me laugh--a feat, as intentional humour usually misses me by a mile (which is more my failing than humorous stories themselves). Even with the continual use of "Com'mon" for "Come on", and, yes, even though Murphy is referred to as "the Smurph", I chuckle my way through this one.

Mucking about at HQ after an op, Cowley's Best manage to handcuff themselves together. They then have various adventures and encounters while sneaking around on a mission to retrieve the key. Their eagerness not to let anyone see what prats they've made of themselves adds fuel to the, uh, rumours about them simmering in the air.

TORCH SONG by Courtney Gray. The longest story in the zine at 54 pages. Undercover to investigate a nightclub owner, Bodie is startled when the woman in question returns from a trip to Manchester with a new blues singer for the club: a man called Ray Doyle, who is also her new husband. Doyle was Bodie's lover on a previous op two years before, whom Bodie abandoned when that mission finished. As Bodie and Doyle work through their personal problems--the mutual attraction neither can deny nor control--the present operation takes various twists and turns around them.

Courtney Gray's writing probably needs no introduction. I like virtually every story she's written, and this is one I reread whenever I fancy an AU in which Doyle is an arty sort, and I enjoy it every time. One stand-out quality is the depiction of the woman, who is invested with her own history and complexity.

This story provides a fine wrap-up to a solid zine with several stories that appeal to me very much. [14]

Issue 11

No Holds Barred 11 was published in May 1996 and is 152 pages long. Artwork is by Caren Parnes (front cover) and with one interior black and white piece of art by Suzan Lovett. Fandoms include Miami Vice, Desert Peach, MacGyver, Sandbaggers, Wiseguy, Due South, and WWW.

NOTE: there are some zines floating about with an incorrect cover. These issues are labeled as #11, but are actually #12.[15]

The editorial discusses the publication schedule and planned future issues:
I'm bringing three isues of "No Holds Barred" out almost simultaneously - just like last year! # 12 is a science fiction/fantasy issue, featuring Garak/Bashir (Deep Space 9), Star Trek TOS (Spock/McCoy), Babylon 5, Forever Knight and Blake's 7. # 13 is an all MAN FROM UNCLE issue. # 14 is scheduled for July, 1996, and is an all QUANTUM LEAP issue. I am currently seeking submissions for a Garak/Bashir issue - deadline September 30, plus a Miami Vice issue, a Professionals issue, and a new Multimedia issue. Enjoy!
cover issue #11 by Caren Parnes

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 11

Lovett's nude Wiseguy art is a rarity in the fandom and incorporates her curved and romantic style. In the piece in issue 11 (not shown), Vinnie is seen spooning with Frank. For another example of a Wiseguy nude cuddling scene by Lovett, see the inside art from Sanctuary #1.

Issue 12

No Holds Barred 12 was published in 1996 and contains 134 pages. The zine contains one interior art plate (B&W) by Suzan Lovett.

interior art in issue #12 by Suzan Lovett -- the only piece of art in the zine, this piece illustrates Rebels and Mercs a rare cross-over between The Professionals and Blake's 7. In this scene Bodie and Blake are done in a fantasy style, one far, far away from the the city grit of Pros and the cold sterile space of Blake's 7. The drawing combining these two characters is most likely the only one in existence. One reviewer describes it as "Very sweet Blake/Bodie in an idyllic woodland setting. Too sweet for my tastes, actually, but it's a beautiful piece of work."[15]

NOTE: there are some zines floating about with an incorrect cover. These issues are labeled as #11, but are actually #12.[15]


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 12

Average to good B7 material, and the stories for other fandoms are generally enjoyable. Well worth considering. [...]

Rebels and Mercs - Catherine: Series 4 (possibly series 3) story about Blake at the time he's setting up the Gauda Prime base. His ship is forced down by the Federation, and he and his bodyguard (Bodie from The Professionals) are stranded for a day or two until it's safe for someone for someone to fetch them. One thing leads to another... Nicely written, and I enjoyed the sex scene.

Echoes of Remembrance - D Ramsey: PGP with Blake coming around in hospital after the shooting. He's drifting in and out of a light daze, and remembering an erotic encounter with a mercenary by the name of Bodie. The memory is triggered because he's attracted to Avon, who's straight, and the encounter with Bodie gave him the closest he was going to get to what he wanted. The story ends with the beginnings of reconciliation with Avon. I didn't enjoy this one as much - oddly, it was the layout that put me off, because the sex scene is in flashback and italics, and I found that this had a distancing effect as I read it.

Poison Ring - Susan Douglas: Jenna has been working as a smuggler after Star One, and has been recruited as Servalan's personal pilot - and bedmate. I just don't buy the basic setup [...] Lots of lovingly written consensual BDSM [...]. It's f/f, so it doesn't press my buttons, but I think it would be a good story for those with appropriate tastes. (review excerpt. read the full review at the link below)[15]

Issue 13

No Holds Barred 13 was published in May 1996 and contains 80 pages. It is an all Man from UNCLE issue, no iside art.

cover of issue #13, artist: Mozart


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 13

See reactions and reviews for The Post Gurnius Affair.

Issue 14

No Holds Barred 14 was published in February 1997 and contains 135 pages. It is an all-Quantum Leap issue. The front cover and back cover are by Anja Gruber. There is no interior art.

  • Sweet Comfort by Davina Pereira 1
  • I Dreamed Last Night by Leah S. 35
  • And After the Darkness by Lee Owers 40
  • Mellowing by Khylara 44
  • Promise to Keep by Dale Hobgood 45
  • Crazy Plans for You by Astrid Bootes 53
  • Night Thoughts by Khylara 75
  • Wishing Star by Lisa Martin 76
  • Another Year by Lisa Martin 78
  • Hazy Shades of Gray by J.D.Rush 82


Issue 15

cover of issue #15, Caren Parnes

No Holds Barred 15 contains all Star Trek: Deep Space Nine content. It was published in 1997 and is 168 pages long. It has a cover by Caren Parnes. Summaries are from the publisher.

  • Rule of Acquisition by Lydia (2 pages)
  • Dream Master by Joan Enright (5 pages)
  • Triangulation by Mary E (12 pages) (Being held captive by the Klingons is not the ideal way for Garak and Bashir to get to know each other better - especially when Miles O'Brien is their fellow captive.)
  • Just a Friendly Little Game of Darts by Joan Enright (8 pages)
  • The Healing by Karen Colohan (8 pages) (sequel to "The Quickening")
  • Jet by Mary Knasinski (21 pages)
  • An Occurrence at Shar River Bridge by Mary Knasinski. (5 pages)
  • Quid Pro Quo by Mary Knasinski (27 pages) (The newly-acquainted Garak and Bashir have disturbing erotic dreams about each other.)
  • This Heart by K. Ann Yost (10 pages)
  • Dark Thoughts on a Cold Night by Rosamund Clifford (6 pages)
  • Shades of Gray by Anne Fairchild (18 pages)
  • Worth Waiting For by Ida Vega (8 pages)
  • One Afternoon in the Replimat by Rosamund Clifford (2 pages)
  • The Busybody by Joanne Francis (Dax finds all sorts of surprises in Bashir's quarters) (7 pages)
  • Duet by Anne Fairchild (3 pages)
  • Peri's Loss by DVS (11 pages) (Garak schemes against Bashir's latest love interest, with surprising results).
  • Distant Dreams by Joan Enright


Issue 16

cover of issue #16, front cover, Anja Gruber

No Holds Barred 16 was published in November 1997 and contains 180 pages. Cover and interior art by Anja Gruber, interior art by India. The back cover is blank. Its content is all The Professionals.

  • Next Time by Irish (Bodie, undercover as an "escort' at a fancy party, piques the interest of Detective Constable Raymond Doyle.) (1)
  • Reflective Response by Jude (9)
  • Love of Art by Meridian (10)
  • Song of the Wild by James Kythe Walkswithwind (37)
  • Hunter's Moon by Rosamund Clifford (On assignment in the countryside, Bodie has a most unexpected encounter.) (38)
  • This Isn't Africa by Joana Dey/Dana Jeanne Norris (44)
  • Forever Since Now by Joana Dey (Bodie and Doyle investigate a series of gory murders, while discovering truths about themselves.) (45)
  • Fly Away Bird by Joana Dey (77)
  • Checkmate by Joana Dey (78)
  • Easy Out by Joana Dey (84)
  • I'm Still Talking by Joana Dey (85)
  • Watching His Mouth by Georgina Kirrin (Love, longing, and despair.) (86)
  • On Stand-By by Georgina Kirrin (89)
  • At the End, There Is Only Us by Ruby (An unexpected encounter with a key person from Bodie's past.) (93)
  • Drums, True Path by James Kythe Walkswithwind (114)
  • Lost Idealism by Joana Dey (115)
  • Alone in the Wilderness by Elessar - crossover with The Chief (Chief Constable Alan Cade meets a mysterious writer.) (116)
  • The Cynical Heart, Oblivion by Jude (129)
  • Twist of Fate by Dee (After disaster, what is left? A unique and riveting AU.) (132)
  • Jungles by Jude (181)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 16

This is another gem from [Kathy Resch's] stable of fanzines, packed with good, readable stories, art and poems. "Twist of Fate" by Dee is a cracking good A/U. The world ends and Doyle searches for Bodie in a strange but familiar world. Elessar s "Alone In The Wilderness" is a Pros/The Chief crossover which is a reasonable stab at explaining how Doyle became Cade. "At The End, There Is Only Us" by Ruby tells you a bit about Bodie's early background and the sister whom he never forgave for deserting him. KayCee's Doyle is risen to the heights of the nobility as the younger brother of Lord Doyle in her story, "Love Of Art." He is asked to help CI5 in a drugs case - only to ask for Bodie as compensation. . . Two poems by Danajeanne Norris deserve a mention: "Easy Out" and "I'm Still Talking" are about the reactions each man might have to the other's death and being left alone. In all, No Holds Baned 16 is a feast for the fanfic reader.[16]
I enjoyed this zine, if not quite as much as I've liked others in the series, and would recommend it to anyone not on a particularly tight zine-buying budget. (If I had to choose between this and others, for instance, I'd go for an Unprofessional Conduct or a Motet every time; perhaps a Roses and Lavender, depending on whether R&L 2 lives up the standard of R&L 1) With that in mind, then, this is more a survey of the zine's contents than a considered reaction to them. The first story, "Next Time," had B&D meeting for the first time under misleading circumstances; rather a sexy little encounter in a stylish nightspot, each of them escorting a lady. It opened very well but played out a bit too hurriedly for my preference - I felt it was a nice idea which hadn't been used to its full potential. And while there were flashes of insight, it was a little melodramatic in some of the emotional give-and-take. Enjoyable, though. "Love Of Art" was an A/U with an interesting premise: that Doyle, here a minor member of the aristocracy and wildly decadent artist, has Bodie assigned to him as combined bodyguard and spy. (Under the guise of the former, Bodie is supposed to find out if he is involved with the nefarious doings CI5 is investigating) I found it a pleasant read but was disappointed that the Doyle of this story wasn't really like the Doyle we know and love. Perhaps that's inevitable, given the very different backgrounds of the two fictional Raymonds; but I'd have been fascinated to see how far the characteristics of 'our' Doyle could have been mapped onto such intriguing circumstances... 'Hunter's Moon' opened with a strangely heightened meeting between B and D in the course of an op, resonant with moonlight and emotion. I can't say much more without giving away the ending but I enjoyed the story and thought the atmosphere, though a little overblown now and then, very appropriate. "Forever Since Now" was a very sweet B&D coming-to-terms with it all story, nicely interwoven with a case the two are working on. If you don't like sweet, you'll find this unbearable; I do, provided it stops this side of saccharine, and I was charmed b y this. "Watching His Mouth" (and its companion piece, 'On Stand-By") is the jewel of the collection. Together the pair take up only seven pages but they are, quite simply, perfect (And I suspect the simplicity is the reason for the perfection). Each is written from a single point of view - Doyle's in the first, Bodie's in the second - and consists of an interior monologue where D or B muses over his relationship with his partner. Nothing much happens. That's the beauty of them. The intensity of the emotional connection, the psychological truth of the way their minds are revealed to work - particularly Doyle's - was deeply satisfying. I read them very slowly and luxuriously; stopping often to smile in appreciation. If they'd been buttered toast I'd have been licking my elbows. Two for re-reading, definitely. "At The End, There Is Only Us" should have been more interesting than it was. With Bodie's long-lost sister turning up and a possible traitor in the offing, there was the potential for real page-turning stuff. As it was, the newly-discovered family connection was used not to explore Bodie's reaction to her (or Doyle's to him) but merely as a plot to usher in a rather wearying chase-and-shoot-out scenario. More importantly to the success of any story, neither of them sounded very much like B & D. When a story is told in alternate first person voices, any weakness in characterising those voices is particularly unfortunate. Here, the 'voice' not only didn't sound like whoever was supposed to be 'thinking' the narrative, it didn't seem to change with the speaker. Perhaps I'm being unfair - it can't have helped that this story shares zine-space with the Georgina Kirrin pair which used the same technique and got it spot on - but I was a bit exasperated when I'd finished it A pity, because it had the potential to be an excellent story. "Alone In The Wilderness" I found similarly disappointing, considering what a good basic premise the author came up with. Alan Cade (of The Chief) becomes suspicious of being followed by a dark-haired man with blue eyes. Guess who the two of them turn out to be? Right. It's ten years down the line and a lot of water has passed under the bridge since the CI5 days; a fascinating scenario, and one that really got my taste-buds twitching. But the author doesn't follow it up at all - the situation is just set up and explained. And I think that's why I got so annoyed with it I felt cheated, as if a wonderful treat had been dangled in front of me then snatched away. It could have been such an intriguing tale, with all sorts of stuff to explore about how their ten-year parting might have changed them and what effect it will have on their future relationship and whether scarred hearts can ever trust in the VinHnf>« 0f fate enough to rediscover what they once had before events conspired to part them. But none of this was touched upon. As a result, the story gives the unfortunate impression of petering out, rather than coming to a close. (And let's draw a veil over the ending, where a man's setting up house with a male Chief Constable was just stated as a fait accompli with no apparent recognition of any possible difficulties. Made me blink a bit, I must say). "Twist Of Fate," now this one I did like. It was a long A/U story (40+pp) by a competent author with an interesting premise which was treated well. The set-up at the beginning is that our world ends, very suddenly, and B&D are hurled into an alternate version of it It's not explained or dwelt on at length because Doyle - the pov character - is too busy trying to adapt to his new existence and work out what's going on. I liked this matter of fact approach; if you're going to have the end of the world, get it over with and get on to the good stuff, I reckon, and that's what the author does. I was intrigued by the idea and liked the concept of their having two different sets of memories, one from the old world and one from this new universe (they've jumped into personae which already existed there). It makes it possible for 'our' Bodie to accept the idea of loving Doyle quite easily. It's made more confusing, and poignant, by the fact that Doyle is on his own at the beginning and has to search for a Bodie who he can only hope crossed over with him. Their joy when they meet again - by frightening chance - was very touching. I also liked the Cowley of this universe; the author made him suitably mtimidating and that helped to underline the difficulty of their situation. My one quibble is that it ended too soon - I felt it should really have been a novella but was stopped before it could grow too big. As a result, some of the emotional charge built up in the course of events is lost when they actually get together because the situation is resolved too soon. But having said that, I ought to emphasise that the story didn't feel incomplete, exactly, it's just that I'd have liked more indication of how they were going to go on. And perhaps, more time with these two shaken, lost but competent people. The zine also included some good poetry by Jude and Danajeanne Norris. Usually I run screaming from free-form verse in less-than-professional hands but some of these were beautiful They did what poetry should do, le. drop you into a situation with few or no preliminaries and let you see and feel its reality. "I'm Still Talking", in particular, brought a lump to my throat with its deadly simplicity. In all, I thought NHB16 was a good read - only two stories I wouldn't have bothered with and three I've enjoyed. Put down in black and white like that, there doesn't seems to be a very high proportion of good stuff. (I suspect I've been spoiled by the Unpro series. Oh, for the days when I thought all zines were like that). Still, while I wouldn't say it was a sure-fire winner, I'd certainly recommend it as a very pleasant way of beguiling an evening. But take my advice and save the Georgina Kirrin pair for a treat.[16]
Comments/Spoilers:

"Next Time" by Irish is an alternate universe story in which Bodie, while undercover, meets Doyle, who is in the Met.

"Love of Art" by Meridian is an alternate universe story in which Doyle is the younger brother of Lord Doyle and an artist who meets CI5 agent Bodie.

"At the End, There is Only Us" by Ruby centres on Bodie's estranged sister told in alternating Bodie and Doyle first-person pov sections.

"Alone in the Wilderness" by Elessar is set ten years after the show ends and charts the reunion of Bodie and Doyle, in his new identity.[8]

Issue 17

cover of issue #17

No Holds Barred 17 was published in May 1998 and is 143 pages long.


Issue 18

cover of issue #18, TACS

No Holds Barred 18 was published in 1998, is 128 pages long and contains 6 stories. All the stories in it are from Star Trek/Deep Space Nine and mainly focus on Garak and Bashir. the cover illustration is by TACS.

  • A Second Chance by Annick Walker (Garak is convinced that the Doctor's interest in him is purely to fulfill human curiosity - but when Julian attempts to convince him this is not so, an outside danger arises to threaten them both...) 1
  • Brave New World by Mary Knasinski (Garak has many motivations when he undertakes plastic surgery to completely change his appearance - chief among them the opportunity to anonymously even old scores. But what he hadn't counted on was the reaction of those who know him... particularly Julian Bashir.) 34
  • What If? by Karen Colohan 63
  • Words of Love by Ida Vega 65
  • Delight with Pain Purchased by Chris Jones (Julian Bashir is very interested in exploring the wilder side of sexuality - but Garak's complete misunderstanding of his lover's desires may tear them irrevocably apart...) 69
  • Shadowed Mirror by Golden Dye (Gul Garak has a most intriguing prisoner... Julian Bashir from the Federation universe. But what happens when the captor falls in love with the prisoner?) 91


Issue 19

cover of issue #19

No Holds Barred 19 was published in 1999, is 143 pages long, and contains 11 stories. All the stories in it are from Star Trek/Deep Space Nine and mainly focus on Garak and Bashir.

  • Pinocchio by Mary Knasisnski (It's not Garak's nose that grows every time he tells a lie...) 1
  • Secret Agent Man by Janis C. 17
  • The Spy Who Loved...Me? by Karen Colohan 25
  • His Man Bashir by Mary E 32
  • Perfect by Karen Colohan (Post "Dr. Bashir, I Presume") 53
  • Meltdown by Anne Fairchild (This story is set "In Purgatory's Shadow/By Inferno's Light", and before "Dr. Bashir, I Presume") 61
  • Non Sequitur by Mary Knasinski 81
  • At 2100 by Kathryn Ramage 98
  • Just Another Discussion of Literature by Kathryn Ramage 100
  • Star-Crossed Lovers by Chris Jones 103
  • When in Disgrace With Fortune and Men's Eyes by Chris Jones (Zimmerman's questions are annoying, at first - but set in motion a chain of events which changes Bashir's life irrevocably.) 110


Issue 20

cover of issue #20

No Holds Barred 20 was published in 2000 and contains 102 pages. It is all Professionals content.


Issue 21

cover of issue #21

No Holds Barred 21 was published in 2001, is 205 pages long and contains 10 stories. All the stories in it are from Star Trek/Deep Space Nine and mainly focus on Garak and Bashir.

  • The Monster by Tany Z. 1
  • Irresistible Force by Kathryn Ramage 30
  • The Zoo by Mary Knasinski and Liz Williams 40
  • Nothing but the Truth by Ida Vega 57
  • Interesting Company by Andrea Evans 80
  • Starting Over by Annick Walker 115
  • Whiff of Suspicion by Ida Vega 121
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Vesuvia 131
  • Chronology by Miriam 169
  • For Those We Find Again by Valaria 175

Issue 22

cover of issue #22
frontspiece issue #22, Shelley Butler

No Holds Barred 22 was published in 2001 and is 178 pages long.

Artwork


Issue 23

cover of issue #23

No Holds Barred 23 was published in October 2001 and is 105 pages long. All the stories in it are from The Professionals. There is no interior art.

From the editorial:
"The Sting" is slightly AU; "Brotherly Love" much more so. "Demons of the Past" is CI5, as are Joanna's poems. "Wild Oats", which examines both Bodie's and Doyle's pasts, takes one or two minor liberties with canon, but otherwise is CI5. And for those of you who like warnings, "Safety" is quite intense.
  • The Sting by Elspeth Leigh (Since his meteoric rise to notoriety as one of Europe's top fashion photographers, Duncan was used to professionals – he could relate to their temperament and they to his. They understood craft and artistry, pacing and rhythm. This unit of green SAS men before him was anything but professional – at least when it came to modeling. He cursed whoever had come up with the idea of a pin-up calendar of Britain's elite forces – some retired Brigadier's do-gooder wife -and he vowed to tell his agent that Ray Duncan was out of the charity business as of the end of this project. Ray Duncan, famous and temperamental photographer, meets SAS officer Bodie.) (1)
  • Safety by The Hag (Nonconsensual sex. Has appeared on the internet.) (11)
  • Brotherly Love by Tavaran (Brother William popped his head round the pillar for a quick glance, and promptly felt his stomach turn over and his balls do an Irish jig. "Who is that?" he breathed, blue eyes gleaming with pure unadulterated lust. The view was, quite simply, stunning. A slender figure, a headful of exuberant reddish-brown curls that almost hid his tonsure, and a face that wouldn't have looked out of place in the murals on the church walls.... Heavens, he could be the Angel of the Annunciation himself… By the end of the week he'd discovered that the new brother was called Raymond, that he was an artist, and that he was here specially to paint the illuminated initials in the Abbot's great work, the Garendon Bible. He'd also discovered, rather more frustratingly, that Raymond was utterly immune to his manifest charms. And it wasn't for lack of trying.) (16)
  • Demons of the Past by Shorts (Flames licked around distorted metal and smoke swirled up and disappeared into the dark sky. The twisted wreck was the remains of Bodie's car. For a moment Doyle stood in shock, his heart wrenching at the sight... Bodie's past endangers his life.) (23)
  • Operation Tired, poem by Joanna Dey (40)
  • Wild Justice, poem by Lois Welling (41)
  • Wild Oats by Lois Welling (If Ray knew anything about his partner it was that Bodie didn't like entanglements or complications. You didn't have to know Bodie ten minutes to suss that out. And if Doyle could admit it to himself, he liked matters the way they were between the two of them. They did their job well and when the job was over they shut the door on the world for whatever time they had until Cowley called and it began again. Now Ray was about to change that, to open another part of his life… This complex story spans several decades. Bodie and Doyle learn a great deal.) (42)


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 23

See reactions and reviews for Safety.

Issue 24

cover of issue #24

No Holds Barred 24 is a Deep Space Nine anthology.

  • A Slight Case of Blackmail by Kathryn Ramage: (Set in the third season, not long after "Life Support." Sisko received a Cardassian datarod, which contains explicit images of Bashir and Garak...) (20 pages)
  • World's Apart by Ida Vega-Landow (9 pages)
  • Between Love and Honor by Ida Vega-Landow (This time, Bashir's spy scenario is real...) (21 pages)
  • The Cost of Love by Ida Vega-Landow (Q shows up, offering his help, it comes at a price...) (12 pages)
  • Surrender by Valaria - Garak, now 1st Prime of Cardassia, must deal with the repercussions of his publicly-acknowledged relationship with Bashir. A sequel to "Those We Find Again", published in No Holds Barred 21. (11 pages)

Issue 25

front cover of issue #25, Anja Gruber

No Holds Barred 25 was published in May 2002 and is 102 pages long. All the stories in it are from Sentinel. The front cover and one interior piece of art are by Anja Gruber. Another interior illo is by C.E. Mills.

  • To Dream of Emerald Fire by Rosamund Clifford (an epic shamanic poem) (1)
  • Watching Jimmy by Valaria (Jim Ellison was everything to Carolyn - mentor, friend, lover, husband, ex-husband. She knew no one understood Jim better than she—and that there were parts of him she could never share. She never imagined anyone else could unlock the secret of Jim Ellison, until Blair Sandburg enters the picture.) (5)
  • All The Things You Are by Joan Enright (Epilogue to Night Train) (49)
  • Believe by Gillian Middleton (A group of neo-Nazis have been creating ugly scenes around Rainier University Campus, and they target Blair with their hate...) (52)
  • Shamanic Acquisition by DVS (A routine traffic incident. Jim and Blair come to the assistance of a heart attack victim - too late. But the psychic experience Blair experiences will have a profound effect on the rest of his life.) (79)

Issue 26

No Holds Barred 26 is an all-slash, all Blake's 7 issue. It was published in May 2002 and contains 225 pages. The art is by Anja Gruber and Whitby27.

cover of issue #26, Whitby27
  • Virtual by Manna and Donna (Avon/Original Character): A sexually charged game of wits between Avon and Toreth, a Federation psycho manipulator. (1)
  • Visitation Rights by Amethyst Lane (Blake/Roj; Blake/Roj/Rashel; also, briefly - Blake/Jenna; Roj/Travis non-con): Blake's visit to the world where his clone lives brings unexpected consequences. (22)
  • A Spanking New Toy by Helen Patrick (Avon/Gan): Avon finds he unexpectedly shares certain of Gan's tastes... (35)
  • Backlash by Willa Shakespeare (just about everything you can imagine): This story starts with "Avon! Come here, I need you!" and then proceeds in all manner of unexpected directions. (46)
  • And Besides the Man is Dead by Helen Patrick (Blake/Bellfriar): When Bellfriar encounters Blake, he realizes the rebel has no memory of their previous acquaintance. (54)
  • Bulkheads by Oliver Klosov (Tarrant/Vila): Tarrant, recovering from a wound, finds unexpected help on his return to health. (61)
  • Control by Linda Norman (Avon/Dorian): Dorian's sadistic games have long since passed any point of return... (67)
  • Saracen Exile by Jade Day (Blake/original character): Ex-President Blake finds his only consolation in the arms of someone most unexpected. (78)
  • Before and After by Nova (Vila/Deva): When the worst has occurred, what happens to those left behind? (103)
  • Heartlands by Hafren (Avon/Vila): They both survived Gauda Prime, but how much is left intact? (112)
  • Roadmaps Like Shattered Lightning by Rosamund Clifford (Avon/Vila): Avon flees Gauda Prime, the bodies of his crew left behind. Left alone, going mad, he conceives of a daring plan... (133)
  • Tar(r)antella and Dancing with Death by Jade Day (Tarrant/Blake): Two rebels find unexpected comfort. (141)
  • Dancing with Death by Jade Day (152)
  • Hieroglyphics by Willa Shakespeare (Blake/Avon/Dayna) PGP. (Dayna) turned away from Blake. The only family she had left were prisoners of Blake's people, she had to remember that. She found herself glancing back at him, observing the rise and fall of his broad chest, the way the light picked out his wayward curls. Well, there wasn't anything else to capture her attention, was there? Besides, she ought to be studying Blake. He was the only one who could help her friends. To save Avon and Tarrant and Soolin and even Vila, she'd befriend the devil if she had to. (170)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 26

This is an adult zine, het and slash both. I have to be honest first: my default setting is A/B, so No Holds Barred, which is any partnership but A/B, has a harder job convincing me than, say, Fire & Ice does. Which means that if I do like a story here, it's liable to be very well written.The stories in this fall into 3 categories: ones I don't like, ones that are OK, and ones I absolutely love. In reverse order then:

Visitation Rights, by Amethyst Lane, I dislike partly because it has a lot of clumsy exposition - there seem to be pages of this, that and the other happened before you came in. And talking of the other, the sex, IMO, reads awfully mechanical and put in for its own sake. I didn't enjoy reading it and I can't believe they enjoyed doing it. It's a story set on the planet where Rashel and the clone went, and when Blake himself turns up the relationships get quite complicated without actually being very interesting.

There are 3 stories by Jade Day, Saracen Exile, Tarrantella and Dancing with Death, and they all leave me fairly cold for the same reasons. One, the voices don't convince (Blake saying "I'm sure glad I'm not"?). Two, there's far too much explaining people's motives and reactions. The dialogue and action should do that. Some of the ideas are potentially interesting - Blake having a thing with Avon's son and agonising about the age difference - but I don't think there's enough writing skill to capitalise on them.

Ones I liked:

Linda Norman's prose is a bit too purple for my taste but if you're ever going to be purple, a Dorian story is probably the place to do it. And at least "Control" made decadent, twisted sex games sound fun.

"Bulkheads" by Oliver Klosov, is a Vila/Tarrant, which means the greatest writer in the world couldn't actually make me believe in it, but the well-caught voices and plausible scenario meant I could accept it without worrying too much about that. (And the last sentence is very thought-provoking.) It's an odd thing that a story can have characters interacting in a way you doubt, and yet still be intrinsically true to them, so that you feel "I'm not sure they'd do that, but it's still them". I felt that also about Helen Patrick's "A Spanking New Toy" - I don't actually credit Avon and Gan with doing what they do, but it's still them, their voices, their characters.

"And Besides, the Man is Dead", Helen Patrick's other story here, is a "Blake's lost memories" one in which he and Bellfriar had had a thing, which Blake, when they next meet, doesn't recall, and Bellfriar feels he shouldn't remind him of. This is a fascinating idea. I think it could have wrung more angst out of Bellfriar's silence, but maybe it didn't want to. I'd also, as an angst fan, lose the last line, without which I think it's more searingly painful, but that's just my taste. There should be more Bellfriar fic.

Willa Shakespeare has two, "Hieroglyphics", a threesome of Blake, Avon and Dayna which I find inherently unlikely but which is written well, and "Backslash", which is hilariously funny but I'd ruin it if I said much about the plot.

That leaves three stars. "Roadmaps Like Shattered Lighting", an A/V by Rosamund Clifford, is probably too angsty for some but it pushes all my emotional buttons, plus I don't *care* how the time-travel works. Orac fixed it. Fine.

Manna and Donna's "Virtual" has the chilling OC psychomanipulator Toreth, plus an unorthodox Avon whom I've always found compelling and oddly believable. Must be the way they tell 'em. Just great writing.

And more in "Before and After" - well it's Nova, so no surprise. People surviving, making the best of things, rendering a sad world a bit better through mutual kindness. Very hushed, downbeat, utterly compelling. Deva/Vila, btw.

In the interest of completeness I should mentiion I'm in here too, with an A/V PGP trilogy called "Heartlands", but obviously I can't say any more about that.

Overall, though it isn't my favourite zine, it does have some of my favourite stories in it.[17]
My view of the zine as a whole is broadly similar to Hafren's [...] So four duds, and the rest are reasonable to excellent. I'd note for Dayna fans that given the dearth of decent Dayna smut, it's probably worth getting the zine for Willa Shakespeare's story even if the other pairings don't light your fire. I have some quibbles with the story, but those are personal taste.

Hafren and I have similar tastes, i.e. A/B and angst. So I particularly liked her story, a bittersweet PGP in which Vila is fighting for Avon's sanity, then his love. [...] Avon loves both [Vila and Blake], but in different ways, and feels guilty because Vila knows he's competing with a ghost. The triangle, and the emotional tangle caused by one of the three having killed another, is beautifully handled.

What little hope there is in the ending is a lot more believable because it *isn't* a happy ending - just one where they come to terms with their situation. [...] (excerpt of a review. read the full review at the link below)[18]

References

  1. from moonlightmead on December 5, 2012 at Day five: hello again!, Archived version
  2. from No Holds Barred at The Hatstand, Archived version
  3. comment by byslantedlight at [About not writing and zines, Archived version posted November 2005
  4. from Fanfic Recommendation Challenge - Feasting With Panthers, Archived version
  5. from The Hatstand
  6. by Emily Veinglory at Gay Sherlock Holmes: No Holds Barred #5, Archived version 18 July 2010.
  7. Zine Reviews FanFiction Story 'Zines, Mostly Slash Divider, Archived version
  8. 8.0 8.1 from The Hatstand
  9. see comments here
  10. 2010 comments by istia, prosrecs, Archived version
  11. from DIAL #15
  12. In 1995 Alexfandra posted this review to the Virgule-L mailing lit. It is reposted here with permission.
  13. The editor notes that immediately after this review was posted on Virgule-L Alexfandra's comments on Bodie's dialogue in Gloria Lancaster's "You Dancing? You Asking?" were immediately rebutted by a Pros fan from Liverpool. Source: Catalenamara's personal notes, accessed February 17, 2012.
  14. review by istia at No Holds Barred at The Hatstand, Archived version
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Helen Patrick. Blake's 7 - NO HOLDS BARRED 12, Archived version.
  16. 16.0 16.1 from DIAL #5
  17. by Hafren at Blake's 7 - No Holds Barred 26, Archived version
  18. Helen Patrick. Blake's 7 - No Holds Barred 26, Archived version
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