Bene Dictum

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Title: Bene Dictum
Publisher: Oblique Publications
Editor(s): M. Fae Glasgow
Date(s): 1992-2002
Medium: print zine, online pdf
Fandom: multimedia
Language: English
External Links: Benedictum online
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Bene Dictum is a series of slash anthologies. The first and third issues have entirely Professionals content and the middle one is half Professionals and half Blake's 7 content.

"the BENE DICTUM series (well put, well said, well dicked)"

Issue 1 ("A Dickensian Christmas")

Bene Dictum 1 has the subtitle, "A Dickensian Christmas". It was published in February 1992 and contains 161 pages.

flyer for issue #1

All of the stories are by M. Fae Glasgow.

From the editorial, by the editor Caroline K. Carbis:
Why, we have been asked, begin a new zine series? Why Bene Dictum? Well, to be truthful, we delight in wordplay and we had been toying—naturally—with producing something called the "dick" series. In particular, the time of year, late October, suggested A Dickensian Christmas and we were off and running. Still, just plain "dick" didn't seem elegant enough, we needed a better overall title. Ergo, Bene Dictum—well put, well, said, and above all, well dicked. Who could resist? On to the next question: was it possible for one writer to produce an entire zine of Christmas themed Pros stories? "Dead easy," said M. Fae. The Glaswegian is nothing if not completely confident in her ability to produce. (Now 118,540 words of fiction later, she'd rather not have to write about Christmas for a while. Say, at least for another year.)

Now if you're familiar with the tone and content of a lot of what we publish, then you may be a bit surprised by this zine. Generally. it is lighter and more romantic, but you're not going to overdose on sweetness and syrup ("Baaah Humbug!"is full of Sturm und drang). Many of the stories are what I like to term 'cozies,' ('cosies' if you prefer the Scottish idiom) pieces where the focus is on the main characters (Bodie and Doyle of course) to the almost total exclusion of any secondary characters. In addition, the action is often confined to one setting or two, particularly a setting which cuts our heroes off from the outside world, isolating them physically and emotionally. In these circumstances the writer is forced to concentrate on psychology, motivation, and character development, something the Glaswegian excels at In addition to the 'cozy/ there are a number of themes which seem to run through most of Dickensian Christmas. Many of the stories deal with coming to terms with oneself, with one's own sexuality, and with love. M. Fae has also reworked or provided her own take on a number of popular Pros fanfic topics: Christmas (!), CI5 parties, undercover operations, teddy bears, and elves.

And then there is "Snowbound" which deals with partner rape. Or it doesn't deal with partner rape. It depends on which version you read; both are included. If rape offends you, read only the alternative series.
  • Shopping Days or Doyle (the) Copper Felt (Up)"-- (an elf story) (4)
  • Seeing is Believing or All Over Twist (lots of talking, no sex) (26)
  • Baaah Humbug! or Bleak House (35)
  • Jingle Balls or Hard Times (58)
  • Panting for It or The Artful Roger (70)
  • A Night at the Opera or The Pickwick Papers (90)
  • Snowbound, A Tale of Two Situations -- (has two endings, one unhappy "...The Worst of Times" and "Little Doyle" and the happy "The Best of Times") (105)
  • On Thin Ice or Skate Expectations (part of The Sports Series) (133)
  • Screwged or Nanny's Christmas Carol (146)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for Jingle Balls or Hard Times.



I found this zine to be one of the most best Bodie/Doyle anthology zines available. The stories all revolve around the Christmas season, yet are as varied as all the other seasons of the year. The stories range from light humor, sweet romance, angsty stories of coming to terms, hot sex tales. Plus a series which some will undoubtedly find controversial, which supplies the reader a choice of two difficult endings. I'll tackle the controversy first. The story is entitled 'Snowbound.' I begins with 'Nobody's Fault,' a first-person diary in which Bodie recounts his childhood where his father regularly beat his mother. Bodie learns to identify with his father as he grows up. The 'It Was' is set in third-person; Bodie and Doyle are adults, members of CI5. Doyle finds himself having fantasies of being taken and possessed by Bodie, who picks up on these desires and begins to act on them. Here is where the author has given the choice of two endings. The first ending is entitled 'The Best of Times' and recounts a fairly conventional scenario where Bodie and Doyle end up discussing their various desires and how they relate to their childhoods; then they have consensual sex. However, as the author states in the introduction, the other ending is the one the author intended to write.' I found the 'Worst of Times' to be the most well-written horror stories I've read. I don't want to spoil it by an explicit description. I don't normally like the sort of scenario presented, except that this time, the situation was taken to its logical conclusion, and so it held me in its grip. It's not Bodie and Doyle of 'strict canon.' but is a terrifying possibility. M. Fae Glasgow was brave in taking the story to the inevitable conclusion rather than veering toward the 'politically correct.' The ending diary narrative by Doyle is one of the most chilling pieces of slash writing ever written. As for the other stories, 'Thin Ice' as thoughtful and enjoyable as a gay 'coming out' story. 'Screwed' was a lovely retelling of the original Dickens classic. 'Bleak House' was a gripping story of coming to terms in a relationship, and the others were all nice romps. 'Bene Dictum' is highly recommended for any season of good reading.[1]

[zine]: All these stories are written by one of my favorite authors, Mae F. Glasgow. This ane is a collection of Christmas stories that are varied with humor, romance, and the festive glow. There are a few stories that are rather serious in nature, and intense with emotional problems. 'Snowbound' is a 4 parter that is a partner rape story ... but it actually ends up happy! Quite extraordinary, but then Glasgow is quite an extraordinary writer. There is a light S/M alternate to Parts 1 & 2 which I prefer because it deals so well with B & D's psychological state in dealing with sexuality ... without being dysfunctional, as they are presented in the rape sequels.

What I really like overall about Glasgow's writing, is that the fantasy aspect of romance is totally removed, therefore presenting a more realistic picture of how men really act and talk in romantic and/or sexual liasons. Someone told me, others have said to her that Glasgow writes like a 'man'. And still others have said to me that her writing leaves them cold, because of a lack of feeling. But again, I think it has to do with the lack of a romanticized writing style ... her style is more realistic in how men REALLY talk and think. Plus, her characterization with various motivations and lifestyles from story to story doesn't please everyone. I find it refreshing and quite vital to the growth of the writer. Fae writes about the psychological, not the romance. That's where her strength as a writer lies ... and I LOVE it![2]


[zine]: The following are my opinions and mine alone. If you disagree or agree with any of the following, please, please, *please* post your opinions. I may be a talkative little thing, but I never mean to intimidate. [zine info ommitted]Overall--Another one of my favorites. It's got kink, it's got fluff, it's got angst and gloom and doom and elves. All wrapped up in a way that only a certain Scottish nanny could do it. What's not to love? Okay, maybe one or two things... I have heard people complain before about Mfae's work as being too bleak and, more to the point, that the way she depicts the characters, particularly in Pros, as being too mean. Now, while I think that there are definitely times she goes to far in that direction, I still think that even at her worst, her depictions of Bodie and Doyle are more accurate than all the sweet and sappy "diddums" stories. You know, not just the hanging curtains stories, but the ones where they look longingly into each others eyes through the entire thing. And not just eyes, but moist eyes, their eyes are always moist. (Nobody needs Visine. I'm impressed.) And they call each other sweetheart, and honey and darling and, of course, sunshine every verse end. Gag. Anyway...

  • "Shopping Days or Doyle (the) Copper Felt (Up)"--It's the elf story. No, not just an elf story, but *the* elf story! Okay, while I find the idea of Colonel Peacock with *anybody* more than slightly nauseating, I love this story--and the story behind it. It's so, so--Doyle. And, honestly, it's the only way I'd want to see him in green felt and tights.
  • "Seeing is Believing or All Over Twist"--It's a communication kinda story. The two sit in a car on an obbo and spend the whole time talking. Okay, Doyle spends the whole time trying to get Bodie to talk. Well, it works. I think one of my least favorites in the zine, despite still being an excellent read. No sex, not fun enough and not enough angst. Not that it doesn't have any of the latter, but it just doesn't have the level I want from an Mfae story if I'm not going to have the first two.
  • "Baaah Humbug! or Bleak House"--Now, this is one of my favorites. Maybe because of the angst, maybe because, despite the subtitle, it's not *entirely* bleak. It also has some wonderful atmosphere that's set up before there's much dialogue and then maintained through the rest of the story. Nice and melancholy with the dash of hope that I like.
  • "Jingle Balls or Hard Times"--My favorite story in the zine. Okay, it's totally ridiculous, mostly improbable and all of that, but I love it. It's fun, I love a sozzled Ray and the idea that they seem to be the only ones who think they are hiding the fact that they get it on every time they get drunk enough. Which, I have to say, reminds me that I love Murphy's appearance, too.
  • "Panting for It or The Artful Roger"--Well, this is certainly different from your usual "Our Guys go to a gay venue (i.e. gay bar or resort). Same outcome, though, even if it's much better executed.
  • "A Night at the Opera or the Pickwick Papers"--This is one of those stories whose whole purpose seems to be the set-up for a pretty bad joke or pun. Anyone else remember one of the Nanny's Teddy Bear Tales involving Doyle's teddy? (No, not the one where he *wears* the teddy. In it's own odd way I found that oddly...appealing...*ahem*) Well, keep that in mind and you've got this. I think this kind of thing really doesn't work when you're mood is set for "stories". Not my favorite silly story, even in this zine.
  • "Snowbound or A Tale of Two Situations"--This, I believe, was the first split ending Mfae did. One goes to unhappy ("...The Worst of Times" and "Little Doyle") and the happy ("The Best of Times"). I thoroughly enjoy the happy and reread it quite a bit. I don't enjoy the unhappy one, but I think that's part of the point. While I find it a little hard to believe that Doyle would let him slip that far, it is on it's own, a very good depiction of an abusive relationship. And as such, is very disturbing. But I honestly like the whole idea of the "what if he had zigged instead of zagged?" situation, especially when either one is just as likely. And I am quick to point out that this stories happy ending really is a happy one, unlike Ms. Glasgow's stories in the last Bene Dictum, where I found the "happy" ending more depressing than the "Unhappy" one!
  • "On Thin Ice or Skate Expectations"--Another one that's slightly silly. But as with most of Mfae's silly stories, there is a base of honest feeling with them--and an edge. This was actually one of the reasons why I did not like the last ...THREE POUND NOTE as much: I felt that the jokes themselves became more of the point than the stories they were supposed to be around and for me, that made them fall flat. (I don't seem to have my copy of ...3 POUND NOTE or I'd be reviewing that, too. Okay,everyone breathe a sigh of relief...)
  • "Screwged or Nanny's Christmas Carol"--Certainly the most surreal story in the bunch. This falls in to the category of being just a little harsher on Doyle than I generally see him. But that's okay, as I've said before, I like Doyle a little mean. :-) But this one not only has Doyle only has Doyle playing the Scrooge, but an 18 year old Bodie as his Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present. (How many could resist the temptation to shag an 18 year old Bodie?) And you can guess who plays a very effective Ghost of Christmas Future. (Fortunately for those with weak stomachs, no shagging involved.) And have to say, I loved the gnome.
Well, I have to say that it's another fuzzy slipper, terry-cloth robe kind of zine for me. A reliable zine that I can curl up with and know I'll enjoy fully.[3]

[zine]: This zine had one of my favorite stories -- and one story that I thought was horrifc (yet engrossing, like a car wreck).

The "elf" story (see below) was a hilarious spoof of all of the elves storus -- but in a contempory setting.

Snowbound, on the other hand, took a familar fan dynamic -- Bodie and Doyle engaging in a little B/D, and took it to the exterme conclusion- when does the game end, and the real dysfucntionality begin. Not for the faint of heart.

But ah, the elf story..... [4]

Issue 2 ("Half 'N' Half")

cover of issue #2

Bene Dictum 2 is subtitled, "Half 'N' Half." It was published in 1995 and contains 174 pages.

Half the content was Pros and half was Blake's 7. All stories were nominated or won a Huggies or a STIFfies.

The Pros content:

The Blake's 7 content:

  • Open All Hours by M. Fae Glasgow Blake's 7
  • The Night Watch by Erszebet Bathory Blake's 7
  • Bothy by M. Fae Glasgow Blake's 7
  • Clean Slate by M. Fae Glasgow Blake's 7

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

See reactions and reviews for Pigs Might Fly.
See reactions and reviews for The High Road.
See reactions and reviews for Clean Slate.
See reactions and reviews for Bothy.
See reactions and reviews for After Ojuka.
See reactions and reviews for The Night Watch.
See reactions and reviews for Open All Hours.
[zine]: Aha, you've been reading BENE DICTUM: HALF 'N HALF. I just got that one on loan from a friend. Yeah, I've read a couple of (borrowed) Oblaque zines and found I didn't care for them either. Unlike you, though, I did quite like Clean Slate in BD. Well, except for the ending, but even that was better than I gather most of M. Fae's usually are. Didn't care for her other B/A in this zine, didn't bother to read her A/V, and would strongly recommend taking a pass on Erzebet Bathory's The Night Watch. Unless, of course, Blake-As-Happy-Rapist is your cup of tea, but I doubt that would apply to most of us. [5]

Issue 3 ("Noughts & Crosses")

cover of issue #3

Bene Dictum 3 is subtitled, "Noughts & Crosses." It was published in 1995 and contains 164 pages.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

See reactions and reviews for Wonderful Tonight.
See reactions and reviews for All You Need is Love.
See reactions and reviews for The Same River.
[zine]: Reviewer's disclaimer: Just my opinion, but...[zine info omitted] I'm *way* behind in discussing this book. When the zine first came out around Z-Con last year, it was a topic of great discussion on the list. Well, I had bought the zine, but loaned it to someone else before actually reading all of it. Here are my very belated thoughts.

Overall, this is a very strong, very dark entry in the Oblique library. If OBLAQUE V is the darkest, most depressing B7 anthology that they've put out (remember the Venery stories?), then this has to be the Pros equivalent. There are only three stories, each by a different author, and because of that, there is time given to each of them to get really in-depth. This is the meat many people complain about a lack of in some zines. But if this is meat, it's raw with blood dripping, for the most part--with one exception....

[See this fan's comments about individual stories on their own Fanlore pages.]

So, overall: Reading this zine would not be a good idea if this is the week you decided to stop doing uppers. However, this is a solid, well written zine, with three different styles and a nice balance all around.[6]

Issue 4 ("Heads & Tails")

cover of issue #4

Bene Dictum 4 is subtitled "Heads & Tails". It was published February 1999 and contains 20 X-Files slash stories by M. Fae Glasgow, 19 Mulder/Skinner, one Mulder/Krycek. It has 120 pages.

  • The Fox Who Cried Wolf
  • Movie Magic
  • Paper Hearts
  • Succor
  • Trinity
  • Band of Gold
  • Skintone
  • Skean Dhu
  • Post-Redux II
  • Teal Dreams
  • Beacon in the Night
  • A View from the Top
  • The Ice Queen Cometh
  • Kill File
  • Saving Walter S.
  • Mortal Sin
  • Torrid
  • Foxhole
  • A Proper Charlie
  • The Gift

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

It's been quite a while since I last did a review. Frankly, I've spent much more time reading stories on-line in the last year than I have reading zines and while I've read some enjoyable zines, I just haven't felt moved to write a review about any of them. But I feel the bug coming back to me--and I got several new zines this year at Escapade which just got to me. Before I get into it, the reviewer's notes.

Reviewer's Notes: I wrote a big ol' thing sometime ago to explain why I review and why I feel reviews in general are a helpful and integral part of fandom. If you want to see it, e-mail me privately. The short of it, though, is that the following opinions are free from me to you. How much salt you use with them is strictly between you and your cardiologist.

[zine info omitted]

I have often heard people comment on how many depressing stories Mfae writes. I can't say I've ever seen it. Sure, she's written some dark pieces, but considering the number of stories she's written on the whole, they aren't that large a percentage. At least, not the ones that I consider truly dark. I wonder if part of the reason she has this reputation isn't due to the number of these kinds of stories she's written, but their effectiveness. There's such a feeling to many of those stories that they hit me harder--and have a longer lasting effect on me--than 'dark' stories by some other writers.

That said, while this zine isn't particularly depressing--there are few unqualified unhappy endings in here--it's very definitely moody. Being a M/Sk fan, I can see why it's so, though. In M/K, at least for me, you have to work to convince me that they would trust each other enough to stick various portions of their anatomy out in the open in the presence of the other. If you can do that (and few who attempt to Skippy me, when I even actually try M/K, can), I can enjoy the story. But it lacks the inherent tragedy that I see possible in M/Sk. When M/K *don't* have a happy ending, it's not all that surprising; there's more work needed to give them a happy ending than there would be to give them an unhappy one. In M/Sk, though, it's different. These are two decent men on the same side of a battle. If you can see them together at all there's little within them that would stand in the way of their being happy with each other. They *should* be happy, be able to have the relationship they want (and we want them) to have. And therein lies the tragedy. Because the world in which they live almost irrevocably denies them the chance to be happy together. They have a relationship based on trust in a world where trust cannot and should not be taken for granted. They have careers and live in situations where there are so many external problems, any internal problems shrink to inconsequence.

That's not to say there aren't several stories in this zine, and in the fandom in general, which don't see the possibility of happily-ever-after. Just that in any story which deals with the reality of the universe Mulder and Skinner live in, it's hard to ignore. And I'm actually rather surprised that there aren't more stories in the fandom as a whole which have that darker quality to them. There are plenty of stories which give you unqualified happiness or unhappiness at the end, but little that give you either one, but with no guarantees.

"The Fox Who Cried Wolf" (3pp)--Mulder's a pushy bottom and Skinner has to lay down the law. Short pwp and very definitely the weakest story of the zine. Its only real problem is the fact that rather than being a story with a point, it seems to be more a point in story form.

"Movie Magic" (6pp)--Mulder does a PeeWee Herman. Well, if PeeWee had had a date. One of the things I love about Mfae's writing is that even in a pwp like this one, nine times out of ten you'll still get an extra little emotional/character kick (sometimes in the gut) that you don't get in a lot of pwps.

"Paper Hearts" (3pp)--There are three 'Scully finds out' stories in the zine, this being the first one. And guess which episode it's based on! An interesting idea that could have been a longer and more interesting story. (I wanna know what happens *after* they make the French Roast!)

"Succor" (8pp)--Mulder's been hurt (again), in more than a physical way (again) and Skinner tells him a story about Vietnam. Mfae's attempt at h/c might not satisfy a lot of fans of that genre, but it certainly made *me* happy.

"Trinity" (3pp)--A M/K/Sk story--sort of. It's actually a weird amalgamation of an experiment and an alternate version of the scene in "Tunguska" where Mulder takes Krycek to Skinner's apartment. It's told in present progressive tense (except a couple of times when it slips into present tense), which is not a favorite of mine, but it's definitely an interesting idea. I think it will almost definitely have more resonance with people, like myself, more familiar with penance/communion.

"Band of Gold" (5pp)--A story about being second best. Or not being. It's actually a quiet little story about Skinner and Mulder in a hotel room after another Traumatic Mulder Episode (tm). And about that little ring Skinner used to wear.

"Skintone" (4pp)--The note at the beginning of this one says that it was done after Mfae got sick of hearing the complaints about her liking Skinner: "But he's *bald*!" I happen to like bald men, though I don't think I'm quite as captivated with Skinner's head as Mulder is in this story. It's another one which has more point than story, but I enjoyed it a lot more than "The Fox Who Cried Wolf."

"Skean Dhu" (15pp)--Longest story in the zine and my favorite. It starts with Mulder having to bodyguard Skinner at a wedding. Nothing unusual, except that all the men, including Skinner, are in full Highland dress. It may sound like a fluff piece, but it certainly isn't. Plays to my kink for deliberate miscommunication beautifully.

"Post-Redux II" (3pp)--Winning the award for the most uncreative title in the zine. Mulder's distraught after the aforementioned episode and Skinner offers some comfort. It's amazing, really, how many stories are in here where we don't actually get any sex. But this one does have some interesting comments as to what Mulder gets out of his relationship with Scully (though what she gets out of their relationship seems a little sketchier to me, at times).

"Teal Dreams" (5pp)--A story that goes from sweet to bitter in just a few pages. A first time set after last season's finale, it should be fluffy, but it's ultimately not. Well, maybe if you didn't read the last page, you could pretend, but I'm too aware of where it's going to be able to kid myself. And I don't think I'd want to.

"Beacon in the Night" (6pp)--Skinner stops over for a little late-night comfort. Really, there's very little difference among the basic structures of several of these stories, but they have totally different feels to them.

"A View from the Top" (16pp)--Come on, you know you've been waiting for it: The long kink story of the zine. If you weren't waiting for it--either in anticipation or dread--then I can only assume you have no idea who Mfae is. One of the complaints I've heard about Mfae's writing in the past is that she will sometimes put the kink aspect over the characterization. In my case, 99.9% of the time the story will still work for me, even if I wouldn't normally believe that the characters would do what she has them do. She may alter my perceptions of the characters or just make me put my perceptions on hold for the length of the story. But in either case, her stories never seem to be Any Two Guys. They have character development, which you just don't see in all fan stories, let alone all fan *kink* stories. All of this is true of this story, which is one of the shiny, happy stories in the zine.

"The Ice Queen Cometh" (3pp)--Another of the 'Scully finds out' stories, this one involves her returning to the office late one night and getting an offer she probably shouldn't refuse.

"Kill File" (3pp)--The note at the beginning says that this one came from a challenge to write Mulder's worst nightmare. Not as icky as it could have been, but disturbing in far different ways.

"Saving Walter S." (4pp)--Skinner's own Christmas Carol. Just to prove to you that Mfae can do sweet with the best of them.

"Mortal Sin" (7pp)--This is a 'what if' set directly after "Gethsemane," so it shouldn't be too surprising that it's not a rip-roaring knee-slapper/feel-good kind of story. Affecting and depressing as hell.

"Torrid" (4pp)--Mfae does M/K! Heh, heh. Don't go looking for fun, though, if you're a M/K fan. Skippy has very definitely left the building. The story actually has remarkably little to do with Krycek, though, even though Krycek's in the whole thing. But that's not really a problem, considering what the story *is*. Not a problem unless, of course, you read a M/K story expecting a certain level of Krycek. Cryptic enough for you?

"Foxhole" (6pp)--Totally ignoring the awful pun in this, foxholes are places where you can find at least some safety in the most unsafe of situations. There are no guarantees, people do get killed in foxholes, but it's still a hell of a lot safer to be in one, normally, than not. Mulder finds a little of that safety with Skinner. Lovely little piece and one of a kind I would call a 'comfort' story: One that takes me to a place I'm comfortable. No guarantees are given for the future, but the dream that the future could be is still there.

"A Proper Charlie" (5pp)--The third and last of the 'Scully finds out' stories, this involves Scully's brother, Charlie, coming for a visit and shedding some light on Mulder and Skinner's relationship for Scully. Nothing wrong with the story, per se, but it wasn't one of my favorites. I got more than a slight Larry Sue vibe off Charlie.

"The Gift" (7pp)--What do you get the former Marine, Assistant Director, buff God of Surly who has everything? This is the problem Mulder has before he decides to just go take the top by the nips. The last story of the zine and a perfectly lovely way to end it. I know some will be squicked by it for no other reason than one little five-letter word, but being totally unbothered by that, I thought it was down right sweet. Okay, and not a little hot.

Overall, a definite good buy for any Mulder/Skinner fan, with something for just about everyone's taste. And even those which weren't to my taste as much, they still reflected good solid writing. In the end, the main thing I was disappointed by was the lack of longer stories. There was little I could just curl up and really get into because of that.[7]

Issue 5 ("Nanshoku & Other Tales of the Master and His Apprentice")

cover issue #5

Bene Dictum 5 is subtitled "Nanshoku & Other Tales of the Master and His Apprentice". It was published February 2000. It is a Phantom Menace slash zine with one novella and 17 Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan stories by M. Fae Glasgow. It has 136 pages (84,700 words).

Editing and design was by Caroline K. Carbis.

From the flyer printed in DIAL #13:
There are no true A/U settings in this zine. Much of it takes place more or less within canon as laid out by the movie. There is occasional usage of things established in the JedJ Apprentice novels, but not much. In a sense, most of the pieces are set nebulously in the last few years before the movie or sort of during the period of the movie. In another sense, the actual time-setting is often easily ignored and unimportant. M. Fae Glasgow, who has always been known for writing a lot of sex in the midst of her intensely emotional and relationship-charged stories, produces a lot less sex in this zine. Again, it is a real exploration of the nature of the relationship between this particular master and this particular padawan.
The editorial:

How do you read a zine? If I were to guess—based on anecdotal evidence—I’d say very few readers begin with the first story and work their way through, in order, to the end. I think a greater number of us will start by reading favorite authors or pairings or story types and then eventually read the other bits. But no matter how you do it, I’ve tried to give a couple of organizational options to this volume. First, one variable is eliminated: author. All stories were penned by M. Fae Glasgow. If you’re looking for a different writer, you will not find her here.

Second, consider slash pairings: umm. I seem to have eliminated that variable too. This is a Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan zine. No other couple is available for your prurient pursuits. Well, what about story types and themes? Ah, now that is something we can work with. You’ll note that I’ve grouped stories into sections. Don’t take these categories as absolutes, however. They’re either just general indicators or convenient organizational devices. The ‘Days’ category came together on the basis of title alone. Stories in the ‘Change’ section seemed to focus on transition and transformation of various sorts while ‘Froth’ is a recognition that these little bits are light and without a lot of substance to them. The ‘Endings’ pieces all mark the conclusions of things. Finally, the novel length story in the ‘Beginnings’ category leads up to a beginning, but it certainly takes a long time to get there.

These five categories don’t tell you how the zine is laid out. On the off chance that you’re a reader who begins on page 1 and goes straight through to the last period (or full stop, as M. Fae keeps nagging me), I realized there would be too much of a muchness to order the fiction this way. So, the stories from each category are sprinkled here and there. You’ll find short next to long, fully developed next to brief scene (noted by the term Scottish Trifleoo in this zine), and anchoring it all there is the title story ‘Nanshoku’ at the beginning and the very long story ‘Benediction’ at the end.

I ask again: how do you read a zine? In any fashion you wish.

Now for a few words about themes. It’s always interesting to examine the Glaswegian’s latest output and see what ideas she’s exploring. There’s always something that ties a lot of the work together. In this case, it’s reflecting on the nature of the master/ apprentice relationship. For M. Fae, this means an unshakable underlying assumption that our two Jedi have a deep attraction and love between them. (It’s a slash zine—you expected something else?) In some stories they act upon it; in others, they discuss why they should or shouldn’t be lovers. Sex isn’t the focus of every tale. And that is how it should be. Good slash is not dependent on hot sex scenes—as desirable and necessary as they sometimes are. No, good slash is dependent on the exploration of relationships. In other words, the stories in this collection rarely take us away from the Temple on Coruscant and they rarely bring in secondary characters for more than the most minor roles. You could lock Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon into their quarters and the tales would still work. The focus is on the interior lives and emotional development of our master/ apprentice pair and not on their adventures saving the galaxy. If you’ve read M. Fae’s writings before, you’ll know this is how she works. If her work is new to you, welcome.

Happy reading.

The summaries are from a flyer:

  • Nanshoku (5,129 words) - a last time story; no deaths; focus on the relationship; a look at the Samurai tradition applied to the Jedi; gentle sex; handkerchiefs recommended. (5)
  • Wordplay (4,659 words) - established relationship; a play on cliches that appear in Master/Apprentice fan fiction; extended sex; light tone. (13)
  • Leaving Tatooine (2,339 words) - an exploration of why Qui-Gon cannot yet accept Obi-Wan's wish for a sexual component to their relationship; a look at Qui-Gon's past, his failings and the choices he made. (21)
  • Just Another Day (2,609 words) - ordinary life for our two Jedi; sex included; nothing earth-shattering; light, pleasant piece. (26)
  • Chrysalis (1,507 words) - slight skewering of the fan cliche that Obi-Wan is so small; Qui-Gon's awakening to the change from cocoon to pupae to butterfly of Obi-Wan; seeing through new eyes. (31)
  • Monday Morning (2,332 words) - a relationship still in the process of being established; exploration of what it means to let loose the passions that Jedi are taught to hold in check; acknowledgment that this does not have to lead to the Dark Side. (35)
  • Scottish Trifles (a section of seven short scenes that are whole unto themselves or which could be parts of longer stories - but won't be written):
    • His Promise (884 words) - Qui-Gon insists he will keep his promise to Obi-Wan for time off together... just before the Jedi are called to mediate a dispute between the Trade Federation and Naboo. (40)
    • On Lessons and Lunch (1,250 words) - Obi-Wan teaches young padawans, explains the meaning of the beads in his braid, demonstrates sabre fighting with his master, and goes off to lunch. (42)
    • Accounting (570 words) - Obi-Wan inveigles his master into helping with the expense reports. (44)
    • On Day's End and Dinner" (665 words) - skewering the fan cliche of raping poor Obi-Wan. The Jedi are more powerful than you think and very well trained. (45)
    • Screwed" (1,287 words) - slight parody of the fan cliche of having sex in public (46)
    • Pyre (382 words) - Obi-Wan copes with his loss of Qui-Gon and with his change from padawan to knight by ritually burning his clothing and braid. A cleansing of the spirit (48)
    • Evening Entry (425 words) - an entry in Obi-Wan's journal. (49)
  • Ecce Homo (11,386 words) - translated from Latin, this means Behold the man. A major story. A first time. An exploration of how and why Qui-Gon would wish to see Obi-Wan as eternally an adolescent, and of how and why he would gradually awaken to the fact that Obi-Wan was an adult. Includes sex as it's a first time. (50)
  • Dirge (1,416 words) - a commentary on the movie's handling of Qui-Gon's funeral and of its treatment of Ani. Obi-Wan deals with Qui-Gon's death and comes to understand the true wisdom and greatness of Qui-Gon: trust your feelings. The Code cannot always be followed. Qui-Gon's love and wisdom flowing into Obi-Wan and saving Anakin in the process. (66)
  • From Secret Places (1,040 words) - through the medium of formalized punishment in some culture where the Jedi have a mission, Obi-Wan learns something of himself and of his relationship to Qui-Gon.Very short BDSM that looks at the why of it all. (69)
  • The First Time (1,993 words) - a first time story of a different sort of first time. Reveals something of the relationship between this particular master and padawan and points to where their future together will lie. (72)
  • Benediction (45,000 words) - an almost-novel. This is the heart of the zine. M Fae first began this last autumn when the M_A list was doing pon farr stories. It was supposed to be short and sweet Instead, it is a pon farr story (Obi-Wan in pon farr) but it is really the development of the relationship between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan leading to their first time. Lots of sex off stage. Lots of anguish and angst for Qui-Gon. Connection, intensification, bleed-through of emotions, recognition of desire, oaths of celibacy, virginity, stunting of emotional growth, the blossoming of love, love expressed, a bond so strong that it cannot be broken. Two adults coming to terms with what they mean to each other and what they are willing to sacrifice for each other. Sex (!) eventually. (76)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

[Nanshoku]: Actually, I'm not entirely comfortable recommending this, as while all the sex here is more than consensual, the age issue is just enough to mildly squick me. But considering the consensuality, the delicate preciseness of the prose, and how evoking this fic is, here on the list it is. Read...explanations of the samurai's "Beautiful Way" *coughs* or nanshoku as it is sometimes called, to better understand what the fic is basing itself on.(The Phantom Menace)[8]
See reactions and reviews for On Day's End and Dinner.
Oblique Publications now has almost all its zines online, including Nanshoku (coincidentally, the only Phantom Menace zine I own...), which, to my delight, is available in both a printer-friendly and a browser-friendly version. The web version is as pretty as the paper version, too. A whole zine full of M. Fae Glasgow stories should keep readers busy for a while. After a couple of read-throughs, one can also ponder the metafictional elements, as many of the stories can be read as commentary on, or dialogue with, common PM fanfic elements. Nanshoku and Benediction, first and last, tackle the theme of master/apprentice relations in quite different ways; I like Nanshoku best, considered purely as a story, so I suppose I must have a taste for the aesthetics of misery.[9]

[zine]: I am so going to get flamed for this, but here goes.

First off, I'm not refuting the fact that M. Fae is a good writer. Okay? Good. What I *am* saying is that many of her stories profoundly disturbed me, because of the subtext evident in the stories themselves. I should have known that a zine of Q/O stories written by an author who denounced chanslash TPM writers as sick and perverted (she did this at Escapade in February of 2000 - I know, I was there) while the title story of her zine *was* a very pro-chanslash story was going to demonstrate some very contradictory and illogical positions.

But ultimately, it isn't the polemical nature of the stories in this zine that bothers me the most. What upset me was the complete twisting of the characters I know and love into dark shadows of their former selves. My Qui-Gon wouldn't allow Obi-Wan to suffer horribly for months on end just because of a law that the Council wouldn't break - he'd snarl, "Sith take you all!" and leave the Jedi if he had to for the sake of *any* apprentice of his, but *especially* for Obi-Wan. My Qui-Gon wouldn't act jealous and immature when he saw Obi-Wan merely having fun training with another Jedi, and he certainly wouldn't be cruel to Obi-Wan and publicly humiliate him for it. My Qui-Gon wouldn't calmly end a tender love relationship with Obi-Wan just because the Council ordered it. He'd either meet Obi-Wan in secret, or leave the order. I don't see either of them having a love so easily put aside.

M. Fae's Qui-Gon is docile and obedient, doing just what the Council says. Hardly the rebel canon and fanfic proclaim him to be. She also writes him as sometimes emotionally unstable, and immature. Can you see such a person being 'the greatest warrior of the Jedi'? Nope, me neither.

But the most disturbing thing is what she does to Obi-Wan's character in one of her short stories. Obi-Wan, after being brutally gang-raped while on a solo mission for the Council, calmly returns home, tells Qui-Gon to stop fussing over him, and then informs Qui-Gon quite coldly that he needs to violently fuck Qui-Gon to get over his experience. Ick! I mean, I've read h/c stories where a rape victim needs tender loving afterward with someone they trust to get over it, but I've never seen a story where said victim decides to rape their beloved to 'recover' from the trauma. Rape victim becomes rapist. I cannot begin to tell you just how much this story disturbed me. This is Not the Obi-Wan that I know and love. This is a monster who sounds more like Maul or Vader, to tell the truth. {shudder}

So these characterizations were just unpalatable for me. Maybe I just think too much about what I'm reading. I don't know, since the reaction to this zine has been far and wide one of delight and praise. I don't pretend to understand it. I guess I'm just weird that way. I like fanfic stories to be about characters I know and love, not ones so different from canon and fanfic that I don't recognize them at all. And this zine isn't even supposed to be an AU - M. Fae says at the beginning that she wrote her stories so that they could all fit within the movie canon. I'd hazard a guess that M. Fae was so eager to uphold her theories about the Jedi, that she sacrificed realistic characterization to achieve her goals. The result is that I feel like I'm reading propaganda, not Q/O fanfic. Bummer.

I've gone on long enough here, but you can read more about what I have to say about this zine, including detailed spoilers, on a page of my first reactions to 'Nanshoku'.

One last note to the publishers who printed 'Nanshoku': Please, don't use weird fonts that are hard to read. I couldn't even read the title of the zine on the cover, and had to read it on the table of contents page. And *especially* don't use a weird font to start each opening paragraph of a story section and then print it in pale light gray on white paper. Hard-to-read-font + pale gray text on white paper equals frustration at inability to decipher much of zine. Also, this zine wins the award, hands down, for 'Most Confusing and Indecipherable Table of Contents Page'.[10]


Zine Recs: Nanshoku by M. Fae Glasgow. Absolutely loved this zine. It's a must for all Q/O lovers:-).[11]

Issue 6 ("Due Cut")

cover of issue 6
page from the zine

Bene Dictum 6 is subtitled "Due Cut". This all-due South zine is Fraser/Ray K by M. Fae Glasgow.

It was published in February 2002 (at Escapade) and contains 223 pages (68,800 words).

The zine is offset spiral bound and contains no art or poetry.

Award: 2003 Serious Duck nominee (Best Anthology).

This one is not available as free pdf.

The editorial:
M. Fae and I originally thought this was going to be an all Fraser/Kowalski zine.Then she sent me Echoes and we knew we had a third season zine instead.The stories are arranged chronologically by the episode they connect with, but they do not constitute any single universe or continuity of stories. The opening piece, Unboxing, could happen at many points during the Fraser/Kowlaski period, but since it's a kind of variation on Flashback, we elected to place it after Echoes. Some of the pieces are labeled as canon balls.They are stories extrapolated from a specific line or action within an episode. We leave it to the reader to determine which lines of dialogue or events were the inspiration. — Caroline K. Carbis, Editor
  • Echoes - a canon ball, set during Burning Down The House. (5)
  • Unboxing - a reworking of elements of Flashback, set nebulously in third season (14)
  • Drawing the Eye - a canon ball, post Spy vs Spy (87)
  • Holding On - after Odds (105)
  • Aftermath - a canon ball, immediately after Ladies Man (114)
  • Dance Away - during Dead Men Don't Throw Rice (118)
  • And Eating It, Too - a lead-in to Say Amen (137)
  • Out With the Old - during Call of the Wild (154)
  • Reaching Out - a canon ball, after Call of the Wild (220)


  1. ^ from The Zine Connection #17
  2. ^ from a fan in Short Circuit #11 (December 1992)
  3. ^ In 1998 Michelle Christian posted this review to the Virgule-L mailing list. It is reposted here with permission.
  4. ^ review by Morgan Dawn on CI5 Mailing List, (June 17, 1998) quoted with permission
  5. ^ from Rallying Call #17 (April 1996)
  6. ^ In 1996 Michelle Christian posted this review to the Virgule-L mailing list. It is reposted here with permission.
  7. ^ In 1999 Michelle Christian posted this review to the Virgule-L mailing list. It is reposted here with permission.
  8. ^ One Percent: Finding The Quality In Fiction; Wayback review of Nanshoku.
  9. ^ the flambeau factory: recommendations 2001
  10. ^ Raonaid's Zine Recommendations, Archived version
  11. ^ Amy Fortuna's Recs Page, Wayback: 16 June 2000. (Accessed 13 December 2015)