A Brother Helped is a Strong City

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Title: A Brother Helped is a Strong City
Author(s): Roy Smith
Date(s): 1981
Genre: gen
Fandom: Starsky & Hutch
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A Brother Helped is a Strong City is a gen Starsky & Hutch fic by Roy Smith.

It was printed in very early 1981 in Ten-Thirteen #1, and then a few months later again in Syndizine #1 with art by Karen River.

Parodied in Another Fic

The story by Sue Doughnym, "He Ain't Heavy, He's My City," is a parody.

Inspiration for Another Fic

This story was the inspiration for the controversial zine Decorated for Death.

A fan in 1982 wrote:
The story upon which DFD was based, dealt with a Los Angeles caught up in a multitude of problems, a city wherein the inhabitants killed for food and fuel. Outside of a few of us Angelenos who felt our fair city had been trashed unfairly (what's wrong with Petaluma, for heaven's sake?), the readers were exceptionally pleased. The authors had used their imaginations and forced us to do the sage. DFD took that premise and carried it even further, creating a hell-city, a place where man and nature had both gone mad. I'm not going to deal with the writing style, nor am I attempting to defend the author from criticism, what I want to discuss is the plotline. Incidentally, this is a story that caught me by surprise, I was not ready for my own reactions to it.[1]

Fan Comments


Roy Smith's "A Brother Helped Is a Strong City" examines what might happen to S&H in the not-so-distant future when the predicted earthquakes begin to hit L.A. Angelenos may not care for this one much, and I don't blame them. It's well-written, grim as the Reaper, but not entirely without hope. "Brother" also gives us a look at that rarely-seen inner strength that Hutch can have in a crisis, his concern for people-as-a-group that balances Starsky's personal survival instincts. Several stars to both stories.[2]
"A Brother Helped is a Strong City" [was a bad story] that never came together. Again, it's like being dumped into an alternate universe and never told that you are.[3]


Written by "Roy Smith" (Eileen Roy and Paula Smith), "A Brother Helped is a Strong City" (SH) is perhaps the best story in the zine. Excellent writing and a fine plot - concerning the breakdown of L.A. in 1982, with gas at $4 a gallon, and society generally crumbling - make for an engrossing tale. Amidst all this, Starsky and Hutch try to help a few survivors. It is the fine interweaving of this complex plot and the characterization that struck me. This is a very long, extremely impressive story (and I'm not even an SH fan!), and it should win some sort of Fan Q award next year.[4]


  1. ^ by Marian Kelly in Writing for Fandom (Plot is a Four Letter Word)
  2. ^ from S and H #19
  3. ^ from an LoC in "Syndizine" #3
  4. ^ from Universal Translator #21