A Short, Spotty History of S&H Fan Literature

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Title: A Short, Spotty History of S&H Fan Literature
Creator: Paula Smith
Date(s): 1985
Medium: print
Fandom: Starsky & Hutch
Topic: zines, fan fiction
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A Short, Spotty History of S&H Fan Literature is an essay by Paula Smith in The Paul Muni Special program book.

Some subjects discussed: history of S&H fiction, beginnings of slash fiction, the underground nature of fiction, fans using other fans' stories for inspiration, and common themes in the fandom.


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. There followed the quarterly excursions to Pittsburgh and Chicago and Columbus to crank out (sometimes literally) the latest mimeo zine: ZEBRA THREE, ME & THEE I, ONE-SHOT. Our vocabularies acquired new words and phrases like "scrod". "corflu". and "Die, you bastard!" We o.d'd on butterfly sandwiches and contracted blood poisoning from paper-cuts. Best of all, we got to read the stories as fast as they flew out of the Gestetner. Those were the days.
The key word in those days was "fluffle." That's when Starsky and Hutch emerge from the shadow of death or at least maximum hurt, clutch each other's leather jacket scrunchily, and groan, "I love you, babe." They did it in "The Fix", "Shootout", "Coffin for Starsky", "Bloodbath", and "Gillian", so why not in "Mojave Crossing", "Reprise", and "Copkiller"?
If you weren't one of the pioneer fans, then probably the way you entered this fandom was to visit a friend who either shoved a pile of zines (about a cop show forgodsake) into your hands, or shoved you in front of videotapes of select episodes. Within six months you were tying up the kids or taking the day off work to make a 300-mile trip to a longer-term fan's house to watch her collection of tapes, read her library of zines, or peruse her version of The Black Notebook. Right? The Black Notebook, by the way, is the big black three-ring binder, or expandable manila folder, or large cardboard box, in which are kept the early drafts, critique galleys, or complimentary copies of a fan's own or someone else's unpublished stories. The Black Notebook is an artifact of the second period of the fan literature, late 1980 to 1982, the hush-hush period. Not til The Professionals was there a fandom with as many unpublished or downright subterranean stories about. There were secret series, secret round-robins, even a secret letterzine for awhile in 1981. Most of this underground stuff was S/H, and the reason that it was so encrypted was the fear and occasional paranoia that Spelling-Goldberg would sue the writers. Hence "The Zine With No Name"; CODE 7 I. There are no editors, no artists, no writers credited in this 1981 publication. Other stories remained buried because their authors gafiated before they were finished. From time to time some incanabula surface, but sadly, most may molder away, in obscurity, forever.
Something slightly unusual about S&H lit is the relative commonness of prequels, sequels, and remakes or "missing scenes" for other S&H stories and the original episodes. Possibly this is because there are fewer stories to be told about two men in one city than about, say, a shipful of folks in a galaxy. The best known example of a story and its spinoffs maybe "The Brass Bed" by Billie Fowler, which inspired both Donna Mcintosh's "I Read It in the National Enquirer" (unpublished) and my own "Surrender" which in turn inspired Eileen Roy's "Fountain of Sorrow" and Cath A. Rine's "Right Between the Eyes"; three other unpublished stories on the same theme are "The Bound Blintz", "Revenge of the Bound Blintz" and "Bound Blintz: The Motion Picture", by an anonymous author. In the holocaust department, Roy Smith's "A Brother Helped Is a Strong City" was parodied in Sue Doughnym's "He Ain't Heavy, He's My City", and extrapolated into Jill Ripley's Decorated for Death (which Jody Lynn Nye and I parodied in "Demonstrated to Death".) Teri White followed Hopscotch with My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys and [S. Soliste] continued the characters in her three Vermont Avenue stories. [Jean C.'s] "Buried Treasure" brought about Jody Nye's "Up the Amazon", and after [Rosemary C] wrote "What's a Partner For?" Pam Rose joined her in "A Virgin in These Woods".