|Author(s):||Lorraine Bartlett & Laurie Haldeman|
|Fandom:||Starsky and Hutch|
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Wilderness is an influential Starsky and Hutch story that makes up the entire second issue of the gen zine Zebra Three. Written by Lorraine Bartlett & Laurie Haldeman, it is widely mentioned as one of the the h/c fics that started it all.
It is illustrated and edited by Connie Faddis.
It won an Encore Award.
From the authors in an ad in Datazine #6: "Hutch drags Starsky off on a backpacking expedition. It's a wonderful escape until Hutch is left facing the possibility that the price of his vacation could be Starsky's life!"
"Hanson didn't seem bothered by the rain or road conditions as he sped along the canyon road at nearly eighty miles an hour, the LTD not far behind. But suddenly the Mustang slid out of control as it hit a patch of gravel on a sharp turn. Hanson managed to steer out of the spin only after nearly driving over the edge of the embankment. Seeing this happen, Starsky tried to compensate at the turn, but was unable to control the heavier LTD as it started to slide out of control. "Here we go!" he yelled to Hutch, who was hanging onto the dashboard for dear life. Pumping the brakes and turning the steering wheel left, Starsky sent the car over into the oncoming lane, barreling toward a telephone pole."
Reactions and Reviews
As a forfeit for losing a bet, Starsky is obliged to accompany his partner on a back-packing trip to the mountains. Once away from the amenities of civilization (defined as johns, burritos and girls, poor Kenneth Clark), he falls violently ill, and Hutch must find help for him and deal with his own rampant guilt feelings. The characterizations are well—executed, and the prose, while it lacks the mature control and the polish of a Connie Faddis or a Lindner, is fluid and eminently readable. Rapid growth should come with experience. Indeed, one appreciates this piece not only For itself, but for the promise it bears of still finer things to come, the quality of which is glimpsed in the sequence in which Hutch administers an injection to a grousing-but-trusting Starsky, and in the final scene. “Wilderness” is a solid and entertaining read that kept me awake and turning pages until 3 a.m.; with my 'beginning—to-becoming-jaded tastes that is no mean feat. The art, all by Faddis is sparse but excellent. Both issues, highest recommended. 
"An innovative writer could, I supposed, find a new way to do it, or a variation on the message to deliver. But innovation & originality, they're rare. I have a feeling that we're all going to be gritting our teeth through a plethora of insanely written reiterations of Wilderness. Dreary, dreary. 
This is a wonderful Hurt/Comfort story, one of the best ever written. It concerns both of them going hiking in the mountains and running into danger. I don’t want to tell you the kind of danger because it would spoil the story. But this leaves you with the kind of a good feeling because you can just see this happening in your mind. It is set between the second and third aired seasons. 
With fewer that 15 S&H zines, my choices are somewhat limited. But I would have to say "Wilderness". It was one of the first zines I got my hands on, and I couldn't stop reading and re reading it for weeks. Reminded me of my favorite episode (SHOOTOUT), so that must have had something to do with it, too. 
Complaints About PiracyFrom S and H #12 (summer 1980), the publisher complains about fans xeroxing copies of Wilderness and giving them to friends:
In issue #13 of that letterzine, a zine editor replies:It’s made 50+ people who’ve been waiting for the reprint wait up to close to another year longer before I was willing to tackle the job again. It’s very easy to reprint a mimeo zine, if the stencils are intact, BUT how many of the readers actually realize the time/effort that goes into printing/collating/punching/bradding/stuffing envelopes/taping envelopes and taking an hour every week to have the zines individually weight at the post office? Why should I go through the trouble of printing/collating etc. for 10 people?" In the same issue, she says that she will "reprint Wilderness in July and August (probably July since the guarantee on the mimeo runs out July 30th, and if it’s going to break down, I’d prefer it does so before I have to pay for repairs.)" She writes that she is going to run off 100 copies and, "then Laurie and I are going to burn the stencils.
Good grief, Lorraine. I can’t imagine anybody sending another fan to jail [a reference a letter in the previous issue about copyright] for Xeroxing a zine. I’d rather write fifty letters of permission than try to sort through stencils after rigor mortis sets in. In fact, once 1-shot’s sold out, I’ll happily grant permission… and on that happy day, I will put a notice anywhere that’ll print it. Besides, saying that there will be no further reprints of Wilderness means that anyone who can’t live without a copy has to turn to the photocopier.
Some Art from the Story
cover of Zebra Three #2, by Connie Faddis, who also did all of the interior art
back page of Zebra Three #2, Connie Faddis
inside art by Connie Faddis, this piece was the winner of an Encore Award
- by Jane Aumerle, from a 1978 review published in Mahko Root #2
- from S and H #1. In 1979, fans were already complaining about the same stories being written over and over again. A fan, ironically this story's illustrator, notes that rescue/get'em stories seem to dominate:
- from a 2012 eBay seller
- from a fan listing her favorite SH zine, from Frienz #13