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Title: Backtrack
Publisher: Joanne Kerr, later agented/distributed through Bill Hupe
Date(s): 1989-1996
Medium: print zine
Genre: gen
Fandom: The Professionals
Language: English
External Links:
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a 1989 flyer printed in The Book of Strife

Backtrack is a gen Professionals anthology produced in Australia.

Issue 1

cover of issue #1, Marianne Plumridge

Backtrack 1 was published in 1989 and contains 126 pages.

The art is by Marianne Plumridge, Ruth Kurz, Sonja van der Ende, Kate Nuernberg, Bernice, and JJ.

From a flyer:

Lots of "first-time" stories in this issue: see how the various writers image Doyle and Bodie reacting when Cowley first teams them up; also see Bodie meet Doyle's niece and nephews for the first time. There's humour and whimsy, action and adventure, thoughts on death... and beyond.

  • Editorial (2)
  • Supper For Two by Susan Clarke (5)
  • Going My Way? by Susan Clarke (10)
  • Partners by Anne Richardson (13)
  • Partners, poem by Barbara Jones (14)
  • Happy New Year! by Tracy Webster (15)
  • Good Lord Willing by Susan Clarke (19)
  • Thrown in the Deep End by Ruth Collerson (31)
  • On Olympus Rocky Heights by Margaret Pitcher (51)
  • Absolution, poem by Barbara Jones (58)
  • In a Plain Brown Wrapper by Adam Jensen (59)
  • Thoughts For My Last Afternoon, poem by Margaret Pitcher (66)
  • The Breaker by Edwina Harvey (67)
  • Just Good Friends by Patricia De Voss (79)
  • Rain by Barbara Jones (83)
  • Blind Faith, poem by Barbara Jones (88)
  • Last Rays of the Sun by E.T. (89)
  • Vengeance is Mine by T.L. Webster (93)
  • Requiem, poem by Barbara Jones (124)
  • ads (125)

Issue 2

cover of issue #2, Marianne Plumridge

Backtrack 2 was published in March 1990 and contains 140 pages.

The art is by Marianne Plumridge, Kate Nuernberg, JJ, and others.

From a flyer:

In this issue, someone plays a practical joke on Bodie, and he's not happy; then Ray tries to borrow a civilian's ear for a high-speed chase, and gets more than he bargained for; and more family trouble as Rays nephews are mistakenly kidnapped. We also introduce the on-going sage of the "BodieCat Tales" -- who really adopted who?

  • Life's a Beach by Susan Clarke
  • Death's Wish by Margaret Pitcher
  • Bodie by Marianne Plumridge
  • Cowley by Marianne Plumridge
  • In the Wee Small Hours by Marianne Plumridge
  • Don't You Ever Call Me Lazy Again, Mate by T.L. Webster
  • Comfort (poem) by Sue-Anne Hartwick
  • Trust (poem) by Barbara Jones
  • Wolf Pack by Shayne McCormack
  • Matheson and King (poem) by Sue-Anne Hartwick
  • If Looks Could Kill by Helen B
  • Farewells (poem) by Barbara Jones
  • William Andrew Phillip Bodie: Fall Guy by Margaret Pitcher
  • Good-Bye, Tony (poem) by Sue-Anne Hartwick
  • Stranger Danger by Ruth Collerson
  • A Man of Steel (poem) by Valerie DeVries
  • Keats at This Hour (poem) by Helen B
  • Absence of Malice by Adam Jenson (story has a 1989 date on it)
  • Cowley's Lament (poem) by Valerie DeVries
  • Guardian Angel by Valeria DeVries
  • Justification by Stew
  • Last Will and Testament by Barbara Jones

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

[Wolf Pack]: As a public service to all "/" fans, I present here a list of the TEN WORST MARY SUE STORIES IN PRO'S FANDOM, AND HOW YOU CAN AVOID THEM. I'm not listing the author's names, though... in most case they've all ready done that themselves, and I can't see compounding the guilt. So, without further ado: [...] Another oh — so-perfect — and beautiful heroine, this time a KGB agent. Naturally,she does B&D's job so well, Cowley dismisses his men as bumbling idiots. Naturally, both guys are interested in Ms. Perfection... [...] [1]

Issue 3

cover of issue #3

Backtrack 3 was published in October 1990 and contains 140 pages. It contains fourteen stories and poems.

flyer for issue #3

From a 1992 ad in Zine Scene:

See Bodie and Doyle trapped in their own dreams; what happens when the loyalties of one half of a partnership come under question? See what happens when Bodie and Doyle encounter Riggs and Murtaugh on a busman's holiday in London. It's never dull. Stories and poetry by Susan Clarke, Tracey Webster, Stew, Ruth Collerson, Margaret Pitcher, and many others. Art by Marianne Plumridge (incl cover), Kate Nuernberg, Shayne McCormack, Anja Gruber.

  • Mock Heroics by Margaret Pitcher
  • Liberal Studies by Susan Clarke
  • Loyalties by Stew
  • One Last Perfect Day by Margaret Pitcher
  • Discovered (poem) by Sue-Anne Hartwick
  • Irreparable Damage by Linda Willard
  • Fall Girl, A Continuation by TL Webster
  • Lethal Doubles (aka Lethal Combinations) by Debra Hicks
  • Memories of Three Women: Ray Doyle (poem) by Sue-Anne Hartwick
  • Memories of Three Women: Bodie (poem) by Sue-Anne Hartwick
  • Bodie's Cat by TL Webster
  • A Walk Down Main Street by Marcia Brin
  • Fools and Children by Ruth Collerson

Issue 4

cover issue #4, Marianne Plumridge

Backtrack 4 was published in May 1991 and contains 130 pages.

The art is by Marianne Plumridge, Kate Nuernberg‎, and Anja Gruber.

contents issue #4, click to read

From a 1992 ad in Zine Scene: "Lots more action and adventure. More Kitten Tales as Bodie has to take Boadicea to work. See Ray break in a new flat, much to the neighbor's bemusement. And see the white powder taste test go very wrong."

  • Art Credits (2)
  • Editorial (4)
  • Variations on a Theme: "Ann"—poem by Sue-Anne Hartwick (6)
  • Cornflour Blues by Maree Celeste (7)
  • Joggers in Haloes, poem by Margaret Pitcher (10)
  • On the Outside Looking In, poem by Sue-Anne Hartwick (12)
  • Reluctant Partners by Stew (13)
  • Hooray for the Man of the West by Salazar (23)
  • Agent 3/7.5 by T.L. Webster (25)
  • Of Unrefined Mercenaries, poem by Linda Terrell (40)
  • And Rumpled Apollos, poem by Linda Terrell (40)
  • And the World Turns by Marianne Plumridge (41)
  • And Things That Go Creak in the Night by T.L. Webster (67)
  • Summertime, and the Living is... Easy? by T.L. Webster (71)
  • Good-Bye, Mickey, poem by Sue-Anne Hartwick (124)
  • Letter Column (125)
  • Advertisements (129)

Issue 5

cover of issue #5

Backtrack 5 was published in September 1991 and contains 104 pages.

It has twelve stories & poems by Susan Batho, Tracey Webster, Stew, Marianne Plumridge, Margaret Pitcher, Val de Vries, S., Ruth Collerson, and others.

The art is by Marianne Plumridge, Kate Nuernberg‎, Bernice Cuffe, Anja Gruber and others.

From a flyer:

This issue sees power-playing at a New Year's Eve party; tips on how to trash a hotel room and totally ruin your reputation; a couple of new cat tales; a poignant tale about going home; a violent encounter out of Bodie's past; and Doyle's nieces and nephews return. These and lots more to read and enjoy.

  • Cat by Margaret Pitcher
  • Resolution by Maree Celeste
  • Reverie of an Old Man (poem) by Sue-Anne Hartwick
  • Or Things that Go Crash in the Night by TL Webster
  • Bone Yard (poem) by Sue-Anne Hartwick
  • Take It to the Top by Salazar
  • Going Home by Marianne Plumridge
  • A Brief Encounter by Valerie DeVries
  • The Artist's Helper by TL Webster
  • A Lousy Thing to Be by Stew
  • Further Down the Track by Ruth Collerson
  • Susan's Lament (poem) by Sue-Anne Hartwick

Issue 6

cover of issue #6, Bernice Cuff

Backtrack 6 was published in April 1992 and contains 102 pages.

From a flyer:

See how just knowing Bodie can get a woman into more trouble than she'll ever want; see Doyle come to terms with Bodie's death, only to find... he's not quite death yet; see how one playful kitten gives CI-5, and Doyle, a Christmas party they'll never forget!; and the conclusion to the Middle East kidnapping affair -- with a twist. Stories by Marie Celeste, Tracey Webster, Sue-Anne Hartwick, Ruth Collerson, Valerie De Vries, Salazar, Stew, Margaret Pitcher, Shayne McCormack and others. Art by Bernice Cuff (cover), Kate Nuernberg, Anja Gruber, and Linda Cox Chan.

  • Dreams Of Butterflies by Margaret Pitcher (4 pages)
  • Invention of Gunpowder (poem) by Valerie DeVries
  • Amanda by Stew (11 pages)
  • Jungle Dead (poem) by Valerie DeVries
  • Vampire (poem) by Sue-Anne Hartwick
  • Pause For Thought by Maree Celeste (2 pages)
  • Mixed Signals (poem) by Valerie DeVries
  • Situation Resolved (poem) by Margaret Pitcher
  • Nightwings by Shayne McCormack (10 pages)
  • The Beginning (poem) by Maree Celeste
  • Scars (poem) by Sue-Anne Hartwick
  • Eastern Flower (poem) by Sue-Anne Hartwick
  • Deck The Halls With Chewed Leather by Marianne Plumridge and TL Webster (7 pages)
  • Light At The End Of The Tunnel by Ruth Collerson (51 pages)

Issue 7

cover of issue #7, Bernice Cuffe

Backtrack 7 was published in February 1993 and contains 134 pages.

The art is by Bernice Cuffe (front cover) and Anja Gruber. It contains cartoons by Karen Eaton.

From a flyer:

Lots more action and adventure. See the boys in a really sticky situation; see Murphy get his just desserts; see how Bodie explains his moonlighting to an annoyed Cowley; see how many times Doyle can get his foot in his mouth; and see Bodie's past catch up with him in a violent way -- with Cowley's help.

  • Stuck On You, fiction by Maree Celeste
  • Past Historical, fiction by Mirna Cicioni
  • Cupid's Helper, fiction by Margaret Pitcher
  • Error of Judgement, fiction by Marcia Brin
  • On the Up, fiction by Edwina Harvey
  • Nobody's Perfect, fiction by Valerie De Vries
  • Not-So-Shining, fiction Armour by Ruth Collerson
  • two poems by Ruth Collerson

Issue 8

cover by Shayne McCormack

Backtrack 8 was published in 1993 and contains 90 pages.

It is a single A/U story called Sphere of Influence, written and illustrated by Shayne McCormack, set mostly in Nazi Germany.

From a flyer:

It is a story of time travel set in three periods - current day, the lead-up to World War I and World War II. See Bodie and Doyle save the world as we know it, but in its usual inimical way, nothing ever goes just according to plan. See Bodie in the trace of his life and see Doyle play the last role in history a humanist could bear to play.

Issue 9

back cover of issue #9 by Shayne McCormack
front cover of issue #9 by Shayne McCormack

Backtrack 9 was published in 1994 and contains 100 pages.

The fiction is by Susan Batho, Maree Celeste, April P., Margaret P. and others.

  • The Typing Pool Strikes Back by April Pentland
  • The Typing Pool Strikes Back, Pt 2 - The Aftermath by April Pentland
  • Unwilling Partners by Susan Clarke
  • Home At Last by Valerie De Vries (poem)
  • Gates Are For Going Through by Margaret Pitcher
  • Sad Tomorrow by Valerie De Vries (poem)
  • By One of Cowley's Most Trusted by Taylor Brackman
  • Involvement by Valerie De Vries (poem)
  • Letter column
  • Pop Quiz by April Pentland
  • The Gift by Susan Clarke
  • Just Browsing by April Pentland
  • Rumours by Peighi
  • Nightwings 2: Discovered in a Laundromat by Shayne McCormack
  • By Any Other Name by Maree Celeste (won a 1995 FanQ) (this story does not appear on the table of contents listing)

Issue 10

cover of issue #10, Shayne McCormack

Backtrack 10 was published in March 1994. It is a 110-page novel by Ruth Collerson called "Innocently Employed."

This zine has a cover by Shayne McCormack.

The author's note:

Joanne said to me, "Write a note to explain how this story came into being." All right, Joanne, you asked for it.

This story was jump-started by a newspaper article I read some time ago about two teenage sisters who were tried and convicted of murder, but the case was later re-opened and they were proved to be innocent. I changed the supposed murderer to a man, and had him kill a woman - and then I thought, 'Why was she killed?' So I sat down and wrote a detailed plot outline and showed it to Joanne, who said, "I like it. Go for it."

At this point, a brief digression about how I write. Physically, on little bits of paper in all sorts of odd places, like doctors' waiting rooms, boring staff meetings and so on. Well, at the first draft stage, anyway; the first edit happens when I come to type it into the dinosaur, my old Apple He (which still does pretty much what I want it to). Literally, from go to whoa. I have the greatest admiration for people who can write a whole lot of complete scenes and then link them together to form a story. But I can't. I have to start at the beginning and go straight on to the end. (Except on rare occasions when Joanne says, "This is great, but it's not the beginning. How did it start?" Thanks, Joanne.)

And then all these stray characters who aren't in the plot outline walk into the story and demand to tell their bits. If I'm not very stern with them, they try to take over. The minor incidents may be based on things I've read somewhere, like the bit about the horsebox being flogged from the Home Office (a newspaper item). Or they may be based on something I've actually experienced, like the rector's wife digging her potatoes (that happened when we were living in a rectory when my father was doing a locum, and she turned up in a blue Morris Minor, wearing gumboots and complete with her own sack and spade). And then there's my friend who raises Devon Rex cats.... No story can possibly come from a vacuum. I can't help adding incidents I know about. They often get dragged out of my subconscious, and it isn't till I re-read it that I think 'Oh, yes, that's the thing that happened when....' Do other people write like this?

So, I keep writing till I get to the end. Sometimes I have to say, "How am I going to end this thing? I don't want it to go for another thirty pages!" (Joanne says, "If you do that we can't post it!") Sometimes she tells me how to end it, sometimes not.

Like Topsy, this story just grew and grew, and here you are. I hope you get a couple of hours enjoyment reading it.

Typing is all mine, and though both Joanne and I have proofed it several times, I apologise for any errors which have escaped the net. Also, the dinosaur doesn't always talk to the not-state-of-the-art printer properly, hence the funny top lines on some pages. I'm sorry about that too.

Issue 11

cover of issue #11

Backtrack 11 was published and contains 124 pages.

It has nine stories and poems by Marcia Brin, April P., Mandy, Valerie de Vries, Margaret Pitcher, Susan Batho & Jill G.

The art is by Bernice Cuffe, Anja Gurber, Liz H., and Mano A Mano.

It won a 1994 FanQ.

Issue 12

cover of issue #12

Backtrack 12 was published in 1996 and is 85 pages long.

  • Before I Wake (6 pages)
  • Dragon (10 pages)
  • Coffee Talk (6 pages)
  • War Wounds (22 pages)
  • Career Moves (31 pages)
  • Career Moves Part 2 (7 pages)
  1. ^ from Short Circuit #4 (January 1991)