Code 7

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You may be looking for Code 47, Level 3, Authorization 10, a War of the Worlds zine.

Title: Code 7
Publisher: PS Press & Bound in Leather Press
Editor(s): Karen B
Date(s): 1981-1987
Medium: print
Fandom: Starsky and Hutch
Language: English
External Links: some stories from these zines are available online at the S & H Archive
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Code 7 is a series of Starsky & Hutch slash fanzines published in the 1980s. It was one of the first S/H zines published.

Code 7 was edited by Karen B (of ZebraCon fame); they were great zines, with a strong editorial hand, and some beautiful art.

All four issues were strong, but "Code 7" #4 was possibly the best S/H ever. It included stories by a Who's Who in Starsky & Hutch slash fandom of the time: Suzan Lovett, Chameleon, Terri Beckett, Jean Chabot, Belle Eyre, Lyndy Harding, Paula Smith, April Valentine, Pat Massie, Lynna Bright, Jody Nye, B.L. Barr, Leah S. and Katherine Robertson.

Karen wrote of this zine's beginnings in the program guide for CopCon (1983): "I met [Jean C.] and [Pam J.] at Mos' Eastley Con, and the three of us clicked and formed BOUND IN LEATHER PRESS. I'd been wanting to do an S/H zine for some time, and at that convention, CODE 7 was born."

The Political Climate

Anita Bryant as on a rampage, as portrayed in Pop Stand Express #10, artist Dar F. "I came all the way across this great country of ours to speak to you about this appalling 'Blue Video' section that stands like a blemish on the wholesome face of Pop Stand. Slash is a communist plot to destroy our heroes! And I'm here to whip this section into shape... oops, pardon me, but my leather undies are creeping up again..."

The early 1980s in the United States were rife with political and social turmoil. Phyllis Schlafly, Anita Bryant, Jerry Falwell, the Moral Majority, and what many fans referred to as the new McCarthyism was a reality. LucasFilm had hopped into the fray with Open Letter to Star Wars Zine Publishers by Maureen Garrett in the summer/fall of 1981, an event that had to have had a cooling effect on sex, explicit and otherwise, in fannish works. This is the climate from which the first issue of Code 7 sprang.

One prominent zine ed comments on "sensitive material" in her editorial of a how-to zine published in March 1982:

Almost anything goes in a zine. Despite the critics and occasional free-floating paranoia, there are no censors but yourself, and no pressure unless you care to acknowledge it. Some editors publishing relatively sensitive material prefer to advertise and sell privately, even anonymously (though this does void their contributors' copyrights). But it's the editor's own discretion that's the limiting factor in filling a zine. No one has yet sued anyone for printing any sort of S&H zine.[1]

S/H Fanfiction History

The novel, Forever Autumn, was the first S/H zine published. It was issued in the UK in March 1980.

Next, a single slash story was published in February 1981 in the second issue of Ten-Thirteen.

A single slash story, A Handful of Sand, was printed in September 1981 in Daily Reports #2.

It is commonly understood that the first two strictly S/H zines published in the U.S. were Code 7 in summer 1981, and Trace Elements in March 1982. Which one of these two zines was "first" includes a bit of semantics.

In December 1982, a fan wrote:

This [Trace Elements] was the first American S/H zine to come out from the catacombs, and for that reason alone the editors, [Billie Phillips] and Pam Rose, deserve a commendation. If there has been a lightening of the atmosphere surrounding the sub-fandom of S/H, it is due in large part to their taking the first public step.[2]

These contradictions regarding which was the first zine "published" may be due to the fact that the editors of Code 7 issued an announcement that the Code 7 had been canceled in S and H #22 (June 1981) while secretly publishing the zine without identifying information and distributing it to a select group of people.

Because Code 7 #1 was an underground publication (see Code 7 vs. Trace Elements), some fans consider Trace Elements as the first "published" US S/H zine.

A fan in early 1982 gives a wink to fellow fen regarding "Code 7": "I haven't seen that much S/H to date -- just one excellent zine (that doesn't exist, of course)." [3]

The Black Notebook

In 1985, a fan wrote about the fiction climate of the time:

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 emerged was there a fandom with as many unpublished or downright subterranean stories about. There were secret series, secret round-robins, even a secret letterzine [4] for a while 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 1. 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.[5]

The Long Road to Publication

The editor of Code 7 says the first issue is all filled up and any more submissions will go into a second issue:

That’s right – C7 is not planned as a one-shot. We’re going to keep with it as long as there’s an audience for quality S/H… and I have a feeling that’s gonna be a long time! We’ve made the decision to go off-set – and bankrupt, too, probably but whatthehell!! – and are still planning to have the zine for MediaWestCon next May. I’m accepting deposits of $5 to reserve a copy, plus a SASE for final notification. I want to repeat – and perhaps unnecessarily – that C7 and World, [Jean C.’s novel, are S/H. I’ve gotten some SASEs from people I had thought were against the concept, so I want to make sure there are no misunderstandings.[6]

In April 1981, the editor of Code 7 explains the reasons for a low profile:

On the subject of CODE 7, [D H] wondered last month, "What is everybody so afraid of?...people in this fandom trust each other." *Sigh* I only wish that were true. Unfortunately there are people out there—in fandom and out—who are ready, willing, and able to cause a great deal of trouble for anyone putting out an S/H zine. We have to be careful; we have to protect ourselves any way we can. And that includes placing restrictions on ordering, demanding age statements, and so on. It's a damn shame things have to be this way, but we have to deal with the realities. Editors of S/H have to keep a low profile. It's not because we want to. We have to. Enough said? [7]

In that same issue of the letterzine, the editor writes:

The 'hush-hush' business in S&H is taking place because there is a scrod in the trashmasher. There are individuals not 'in' this fandom, but interested in gaining influence over it, who would dearly love to do so on the impetus of a "morality" crusade. I'm not talking about anyone who's ever written to S&H [the letterzine, S and H]; I'm talking about cowards who don't have the courage to state their convictions in print but would gladly stab someone in the back in order to have bodies to climb on. And while it wouldn't be bright to state their names in print, they do exist and some zine editors must take precautions. Publishing under their own names is enough of a risk.[8]

In May 1981, the editor gives an update on Code 7:

We are trying our damnedest to have the zine done by MediaWest*Con, and things are on if you're coming to the con, count on picking up your copy there. I won't be hard to find, and you can always track me through [name omitted], who'll have a dealer's table. There may be a few extra copies for sale at the con, but don't count on that. And I assure you all, there will be no reprint, ever. One more thing--we had originally planned to print C7 offset, but the prices we were quoted here in Chicago are just impossible. So, we're xeroxing. Not, I hasten to add, the artwork; that will be done professionally. And a good quality xerox looks just about as good as offset, anyway. Just so there are no misunderstandings! [9]

There is an announcement regarding Code 7 in June 1981:

Due to technical difficulties, Bound in Leather Press regrets to announce the cancellation of Code 7 and All Our World in Us. We will be reimbursing all subscribers to Code 7 over the next few weeks. Our apologies.[10]

In the July 1981 issue of S and H, aside from a place in the list of canceled zines, there is no mention of Code 7.[11] But while there is no specific mention of Code 7, a writer takes other fans to task regarding off-screen/off-letterzine goings on regarding threats and legal action about slash, most likely alluding to the “cancellation” of Code 7, as well as a recently canceled zine, "Off Duty", that asked for submissions (“All universes, interpretations and orientations welcome”).

This next bit is… for those ladies [a zine editor who cancelled her zine due to anti-slashers, mentioned in the previous issue] she indirectly mentions in her letter, the ones who are attempting to bring the weight of ‘these precepts’ to bear in S&H fandom. I’m not going to mention any names. You know you are, and so do most of the rest of us… What I would like to do is suggest to you that you are hurting no one but yourselves. You cannot credibly threaten legal action against those who write or publish material not to your taste, whether it’s S/H, K/S, H/J or any other gay construction of a relationship. To win a copyright suit, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant has impaired his ability to profit from his literary property – and there’s no way that 100-200 copies of a privately published, privately advertised and privately sold fanzine are going to put Fox/ABC/Spelling-Goldberg in the red…. And what satisfaction do you derive from making such threats in the first place? Is the prevalence of your own point of view so important that you’re will to do active harm to others to achieve it? If so, it seems to me that there’s a certain lack of proportion involved. I mean, we’re talking about a television show…And there’s something else to consider. You’re not going to stop the writing of S/H, or its distribution. You can’t. That’s a stone fact.[12]

While they were never mentioned by name and only hinted at by definition, the fact that there were RPS stories probably privately circulating at the time added to the climate of fear and uneasiness. See Purple Banana Underground Stories.

Code 7 vs. Trace Elements

There is an announcement regarding Code 7 in S and H #22 (June 1981):

Due to technical difficulties, Bound in Leather Press regrets to announce the cancellation of Code 7 and All Our World in Us. We will be reimbursing all subscribers to Code 7 over the next few weeks. Our apologies.

The reason? According to some fans, "Code 7" was at the printers when Karen B heard that anti-slasher fen were threatening to send the zine to the stars and to the producers of the show. She pulled the zine at the last minute and removed all the names. When Pamela Rose and Billie Phillips heard that they were going to publish the zine without author's names, they felt the Code 7 staff were allowing themselves to be influenced by the anti-slashers, and they hurried their own zine, Trace Elements, complete with authors' names as a statement.[13]

The exact nature, scope and reality of the threat is difficult to ascertain. There were many veiled references in later issues of S and H about fans betraying other fans and how the anti-slash sentiment was driving good writers away from the fandom (or at the very least underground). (See S and H issues 21-30). Yet even those rumors were hotly disputed in later issues of S and H. (See issues 30-38).

In 2001, a fan wrote:

I was told that in SH during the letterzine era you're referring to, people *threatened* to send zines to the PTB and the stars, but I was told either it never actually happened or that the people receiving the zines so didn't care that it amounted to nothing. According to my source it was a tempest in a teapot that had repercussions in the fandom for years for no good reason (her words not mine). Immediately after Code 7 NO 1, the anonymous issue, came out, fans who thought this was an unnecessary reaction put out a zine complete with their full, real names on it and nothing ever happened. Yet, the fear alone kept many SH slashers from being open about publishing fiction while other people continued publishing fic and selling it at cons with no repercussions at all.[14]

The first issue of Code 7 was eventually published, but exactly when still remains unclear. Later issues of Code 7 were offered publicly in letterzines and authors and publisher info was included. In any event, because Code 7 #1 was an underground publication, some fans consider Trace Elements as the first published US S/H zine.

Somewhat ironically, Code 7 now is, and has been for years, available at Agent With Style.

A Peek into Production Hell

"Six Phases of a Zine" from Code 7 #1, click to read: "1. Enthusiasm 2. Disillusionment 3. Panic 4. Search for the Guilty 5. Punishment of the Innocent 6. Praise & Honors for the Nonparticipants" -- This is "Six Phases of a Project" -- The list was used in computer science in the early 1970s, and quickly spread to engineering and government projects.

From the editorial in Code 7 #2:

Yes, I know it's late. And it's tiny, too. I think that you, the readers deserve some words of explanation... Based on the number of flyers that went out, the number of people who bought the first issue, and several other things, I anticipated a print run of 150, of which I hoped to sell at least 125-130 immediately. Figuring the cost of printing and postage, the amount of $15 was arrived at. A bit steep, perhaps, but a base press of $12 for what was planned to be a 200-zine is not unreasonable. So, things proceeded merrily on their way, I began to type, and was halfway through the zine at the end of August. Then I started to worry -- the deadline for ordering was only ten days away, and I only had 82 orders. Which meant a more likely print run of 100, and the price-per-page goes up as the total number of copies goes down. And which also meant that assuming I'd sell all 100 copies, there wouldn't be enough money to even get the damn thing printed, much less pay for postage... Well, I cogitated and consulted, and came up with 4 possibilities: 1) somehow, somewhere get my hands on $500 (Beg? Borrow? Steal? Take it to the streets???) 2) raise the cost of the zine and assess each buyer an additional $3 or $4; 3) reduce the size of the zine by dropping something -- probably 'The Cost of Love'; or 4) reduce by reducing the print size. 1) was impossible 2) was unethical, and 3) was unfair, so I settled in on 4) as the logical source, which means starting all over again , that very night with the typewriter. *sigh* (I admit I also considered choice 5) - to say to hell with it all and drop kick the zine over the balcony and into the lake, but only for about a half an hour or so... I was facing two severe limitations: time and money. I wanted this to be out in time for Huggy eligibility -- all the contributors had been promised it would be after all. So there was little time to shop around outside the city; I had to make do with what was available here - which is 74% reduction. I'm sorry if it's difficult for some of you to read... but consider this -- by reducing the size of the zine from 200 pages down to 120, approximately $450 is being saved. And so I can pass a little of that saving onto you, in the form of $1. You can use it to buy a magnifying glass!

The Proposed Fifth Issue

There were four issues published, though Karen B wrote about plans for issue #5 and an issue #6: "In my editorial for 'Code 7, #3, I said that that issue would probably be the penultimate issue of C7... that #4 would be the novel, All Our World in Us... So much for prophecy."

Plans morphed: In the letterzine Between Friends #8, March 1985, the editors says:

It [Code 7 #3] had taken two years to put together, while working on ZCon at the same time (madness!). I was very burned out, and very much caught up in a brand-new obsession (B/D). Hence my remarks in the editorial. But, things have changed. I realized I wasn't quite ready to leave this fandom, not by a long shot. I still love Starsky & Hutch very much. But what I really wanted to do was a B/D zine...and trying to do two zines at the same time is impossible… so, the solution seemed to be a half-and half zine. Mixed media zines are certainly all the rage right now, and there is a tremendous amount of overlap between the two fandoms.

She asked for readers' preferences: Would they buy a half and half zine, or should she sell them in halves like the zine, Half You, Half Me? Many fans expressed their opinions, and in all letters but one, said they wouldn't be interested in The Professionals content, that they only wanted to read Starsky and Hutch material. In June 1985, the fifth issue of Code 7 was still planned as a half Pros, half SH zine. From an ad in Word on the Street #9:

Code 7 #5 now accepting submissions. Half S/H, half B/D, proposed publication July 1986 (Z-Con 6). No restrictions on subject matter, [however the] editor does not want stories that have made the rounds in B/D fandom. Also accepting SASEs for Code 7 #4, which might be out by year's end if author gets fanny in gear. [15]

Later, the proposed fifth issue of Code 7, was then planned to be an all-Professionals zine. There is a submission request in Who Do We Trust Times #7 in March 1987: "Code 7 #5 is still accepting submissions of any length. The only requirement is that all stories must be B/D. Planned for early '87."

Regarding a Professionals story, Fanny Adams said in a 1988 interview: "I am at work on a vampire story which was supposed to be in Code 7 v, but which will go on the circuit now that the zine has been canceled."

In the end, issue #4 became another Starsky and Hutch anthology in the Code 7 series. The novel "All Our World in Us" remained a widely-shared drawer fic, and there was no fifth issue of Code 7.

Fans Look Back

In 1993, a fan looks back at the evolution of slash in Starsky & Hutch fandom and writes:

A decade ago, some things were different. But that's ten whole years -- more. Remember the vulnerability which surrounded the publication of the first volume of 'Code 7'? That editorial preface reflected the discrimination (and the intolerance) of that time against a S/H zine. But that suspicion/confrontation was then. This is '93. We have moved. As Linda truly says, 'we have progressed -- to the point of mutual tolerance.' Those ancient questions feel less and less relevant.[16]

OK, But What Did The Readers Think?

In spite of, or perhaps because of, Code's 7 extensive back story, most readers were impressed with the quality of the writing and art.

In 1995, Michelle Christian posted to Virgule-L the following review of the overall series of zines, some ten years after publication. It is reposted here with permission:

CODE 7, Vol. 1-4--These were put out by Karen B. and I think she still sells unbound photo-copied versions of them. I still think that CODE 7 4 is the best S/H anthology zine ever, mainly because it contains what I consider to be the best S/H story ever, "A Fine Storm" by Suzan Lovett. It also has a one of Paula Smith's infamous Z-Con plays (1986), a story that mixes post-"Sweet Revenge" S/H, paganism, and Lovett illos, and several other well written stories. by such authors as Chameleon, April Valentine, and Leah S. (a kinda spooky story called "Deliver to Thee", which I think of as being THE S/H death story). It also has the distinction of having the only Hutch/Huggy story that I've ever heard of called "Take It Out In Trade" by Paula Smith.

Issue 1

cover of issue #1
TOC page of issue #1

Code 7, 1 was published in Summer 1981 and contains 184 pages.

Author's names were not included in the zine itself; author's names below have been added to this Fanlore page by cross-referencing them with stories that were later posted online or in other later zines.

Quote from the title page:

This is a privileged and private publication; it was sent to you because you know the value and the need for discretion. You are being trusted, if you misuse this trust, you will be harming not only the contributors but all of S/H fandom. Please keep this zine entirely to yourself! Thank you.

As of late 1982/early 1981, over 120 copies of this zine had been sold.[17]

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for The Fighter Still Remains.

See reactions and reviews for The Butterfly Bush.

[My Blue Heaven]: Concerning Kira, there was a story called "My Blue Heaven" in CODE 7, #1, I think, that had her accepting S & H's offer, and all three went to bed together. Hey, it could happen. [18]

[Souvenirs]: There was a S/H story in CODE 7 #1 called "Souvenirs" that was pretty good. It was about Starsky unknowingly having a son by Rosie Malone. They didn't know for sure that it was his, although his name was Michael, he had startling blue eyes, and thick, dark, curly hair. In the end, it turns out that he really wasn't Starsky's, but it was interesting to see him deal with the idea of possibly having a son. He had always seen himself with children, but he had come to terms with the fact that his relationship with Hutch ended that. Then he gets used to the idea and even starts to like it and Michael turns out NOT to be his. I thought that it was a fairly well written story (the best one in the zine) and it fit the characters nicely. Of course, then they had to go and write a sequel where he really WAS Starsky's kid and it just didn't do as much for me.[19]

[White Lies]: It seems to me there are too few academy stories. This one was a fine example of the boys meeting - both with prior m/m experience. It also absolutely cries out for a sequel.[20]

[zine]: I have no idea which Code 7 I read. Not only was it borrowed, but all the authors & artists names were blacked out, editor too. Was this standard procedure, or a quirk of my source? The zine had a story about dandelion chains, I think. [21]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2
another cover of issue #2
preface page to issue #2

Code 7, 2 was published in September 1982 and contains 120 pages. It contains art by Cheryl Frashure, Connie Faddis, Ruth Kurz, Jean C., Edith Crowe, Chris Ripley. Unlike the first issue of Code 7, writers, artists and the publisher were given full credit.

flyer for issue #2 (note the page count) "Any of you who didn’t receive one of the red flyers for C7, if you write to me immediately (if not sooner) you can still get a copy – but that’s it. I’m going to print the beginning of September, and will only be printing a few over the numbers of orders on hand. I know the zine is horribly expensive, but it will be worth it. Promise." -- from Hanky Panky #4

From the preface:

Dedicated to all the loyal and loving fans who encouraged, supported, contributed to and otherwise helped this project along its way... and without whose help it would have probably been out six months ago.

To read some of the editorial, see A Peek into Production Hell.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

See reactions and reviews for The Cost of Love.

[Hutch's Puppy]: One of my favourite SH stories is "Hutch's Puppy" (Code Seven, ii) by Madeleine Roper (a pen-name, I believe). It tells the story of what happened when Hutch takes home a lost dog. It's a very amusing story, the characterization is good and the relationship well-written.[22]

[Hutch's Puppy]: Although this is only a short story from the S/H zine CODE 7, I believe it deserves recognition, as it must be one of the most enjoyable S&H or S/H stories I've read to date. The author has captured perfectly, the characters and their personalities. The dialogue is superb - you could almost hear them speak it. This simple story of what took place after a stray dog followed Hutch home is poignant, full of love and at times incredibly funny. I guarantee that if you've even the tiniest sense of humour you'll be shaking with laughter at the very typical comments and very recognizable antics of Starsky. For those of you who base your S/H on love and understanding, this story is for you. Those not so keen on S/H will, I'm almost certain, enjoy it too. [23]

[The Talisman]:, angsty, sad, happy... and did I mention hot? Hutch loses his marbles a bit when Starsky goes out of town, and begins to get sexual visits in his dreams: first from a disturbing parade of women, and then from his partner.[24]

[zine]: I bought this zine new as a reprint edition of the original 1982 zine. It's certainly interesting how slash stories have changed over the years. However, the best story in this zine, and the bulk of its content, is Alexis Rogers' amazing novella 'The Cost of Love'. That story can be found online, along with all of Alexis' S&H stories, at the S/H Story Archive. In part because of that, I felt this zine was a waste of money. My main objection to this zine, however, is the fact that the print is *sooooo* tiny, fine-print tiny, that I almost went blind trying to read it! Now, I understand that the publisher had to make the type that small back in '82 to afford to publish the zine, but it irritates me that when they reprinted it 15 years later they simply photocopied it as-was, and didn't reset the type, which could easily be done by scanning the zine. I almost gave this zine a 'Skull and Crossbones' rating just based on eyestrain alone! Don't buy this unless you have *great* vision and a magnifying glass on hand! [25]

Raonaid's Home Page

[zine]: The trouble with producing a groundbreaking zine is that the second issue often has difficulty living up to the expectations raised by the first one. Code 7 by any other name would be considered an acceptable zine, but it’s not up to the level of its precursor. Still, it doesn’t exactly stink.

‘Secret Ingredients’ is probably the best piece in the zine for style, action, characterization, and emotion. Mama Starsky spitefully left out an essential ingredients to the Paul Muni Special recipe she gave Hutch, and Starsky perceives she realizes what he himself knows all too well – he is in love with Hutch. First-time stories are common in this fandom, but Soliste handles her setting, characters, and feelings unusually well.

Also fine stuff, as well as bawdy and delightful, are the two comedy pieces, ‘Buried Treasure’ and ‘Secrets.’

‘The Talisman’ is perhaps the only nonhumorous S&H story written in the first person that really works, for me at any rate. It is weird in the old sense but fascinating for its insight into Hutch’s view of the lovers he’s ever known or wanted.

‘Moon Glow’ is a slow, quiet vignette; Dottie writes excellent love scenes in the gentle, romantic mode. Her dialog is fine, although he narrative got a little purplish in spots.

‘Snap Decision’ is well-written, but Starsky’s snap decision to confront Hutch with Hutch’s gayness and then immediately go join him in it feels much too abrupt, given that it took him half an hour just to figure out Hutch’s expression in a photograph.

‘Hutch’s Puppy’: one could argue that Starsky may be more likely than Hutch to take in a stray dog, but her point of Hutch’s loving to rescue hard-cases is apt. It’s not badly written, but too cutsey for my personal taste.

‘Changes Impending’ is a post-SR first-time vignette, competent but not remarkable.

‘One Left Behind’ is a vignette in the Romeo/Juliet mode: as Starsky hovers near the grave in ‘Coffin.’ Hutch decides he will take his own life if Starsky dies. Not only has this been done before, the blows the point by identifying his poison as potassium chloride, which is, in fact, an over-the-counter salt substitute. However, the same author’s novelette, ‘The Cost of Love’ is far better. It’s plot is nearly that of Graven Images, but happening instead to Starsky; it’s tough days in L.A. (1973), what with S&H on a drug case, Vanessa divorcing Hutch, and Starsky going nuts with unrequited lust for his partner. Their mutual past in Vietnam is told through flashbacks, which are heavy on the mud and blood, and the plot is advanced with such devices as dream-poems and song lyrics. In tone, too, CoL is about as cheerful and upbeat as GI was. Where the novelettes differ most noticeable is in style and clarity. CoL is far more readable, but its style is leaden. [The] protagonist is perhaps saner, possibly because of his having had a lover during the war, Nathan Wise. But like GI, the plot’s resolution seems improbably abrupt; after years and years of the protagonists’ hopeless yearning, of committing murder for his beloved, of building his partner up into a personal god, the partner solves it for him, almost off-hand, by saying in effect, ‘Let’s fuck.’ I mean, there must be more to it than that. Yet CoL is decently crafted. The dialog sounds right and in character, the drug plot is good, and Nathan is an interesting character. The use of haiku at the beginning of each time-change section is intriguing, if a shade affected. Though it sometimes verges on stridency, CoL emotional power is of the highest in this fandom.

The poems in Code 7 are not first-rank, but they are unusually good… Most of the illos in the zine are by [Jean C., with a dark, sketchy quality about them, but though artists as diverse as Connie Faddis, Cheryl Frashure and Ruth Kurz are included, all the illos blend well stylistically; nothing clashes.[26]

[zine]: The zine is sold out, so in a way there’s not much point in reviewing it – but, the opinion at the con was that people enjoyed reading reviews to get others’ opinions. Okay – I’ve got opinions. This is probably the best of the genre published so far; there’s a variety in theme and style.

My own favorite was ‘Snap Decision’ because I enjoy stories that allow Starsky to use his intelligence. There are a few other pieces that were interesting from sheer originality – the wry bit of ‘Secrets’ and the X-rated ‘Night Gallery,’ although with the latter I have to wonder why the obviously mutable vampire was referred to as ‘she,’ (Is it just me, or is there a thread of ‘devouring female’ themes running through S/H lately? And why are women writing them?) I was glad to see Hutch deal with the creature himself.

C7 has humor, too, thank goodness: a Script Generator that covers most of the plots and permutations, and a very strange pirate tale. The artwork is somewhat uneven – there’s a lot of good work, but a number of pieces that do not seem to be the artists’ best work. This may have been due to lack of time… but several of the illos in ‘Cost of Love’ were not up to her standard….

‘Cost’ the major story of the zine, is probably the best thing the author has ever written. She obviously did her homework on Vietnam’s unpleasant working conditions… The story has good, healthy female characters as a balance to Vanessa’s Royal Bitch, and manages to give the conflict a satisfactory emotional resolution. It’s interesting and held my attention, and I think the editor would be given full credit for midwifery and minor authorship. However, the story is far from perfect. It has that delightful theme of Love-Your-Rapist, an idea against which I am strongly prejudiced. One might wonder If the actual Cost of Love is supposed to be one’s self-respect. Still, Vietnam was an insanity, and one cannot expect rational coping measures. Science fiction allows ‘one impossible thing’ in a story, and I think we can accept Starsky’s feelings toward Nathan under that classification. It is the author’s treatment of Hutch that is my major criticism – he is a character of convenience: helpless victim, damsel in distress, unconscious sex object, and then, with no explanation whatsoever, seducer. It makes no sense. He starts out homophobic and then drags Starsky into bed with him, with no perceptible reason for the change. (I refuse to believe that a case of hysterical amnesia would precipitate such a drastic change in attitude.) Hutch deserves better treatment. I think Cost might have benefited greatly from being published on its own after another rewrite or two. It’s a damned powerful idea, but it’s not quite soup.[27] (1982)

Issue 3

back cover of issue #3, Jean C. (copy)
front cover by Jean C.

Code 7, 3 was published in May 1984 and contains 118 pages. It has art by Sandra Chapman, Jean C., TACS, Edith Crowe, Maureen B., Connie Faddis, Carol Davis.

From the editorial:

You about to read what is probably the penultimate Code 7. There will be a volume IV -- the novel All Our World in Us -- which we hope to publish this autumn... Any issues beyond that are doubtful at this time. It isn't that I've gotten tired of Starsky and Hutch, or that I'm quitting fandom... but after six years of heavy involvement, six zines (three S/H, three S&H), I'm feeling a bit burned out these days...

In the first two volumes of Code 7, there was a preponderance of first-time stories, romantic stories, happily-ever-after stories. There are some of those in this issue as well. But something strange has occurred, and it wasn't planned this way. There seems to be a theme running through much of Code 7 III, a theme of loss and separation. It's as if many of the writers, having dealt with other aspects of the relationship decided it was time to see what would happen if one of them left... or died. Yes, there are death stories in here - several of them. (And don't be fooled by titles!) I'm not going to state which ones, because I don't want anyone skipping a story simply because 'it's a death story.' A death story need not be depressing, and I don't think any story in this zine is depressing. Some are sad, some are bittersweet, but none should leave you feeling depressed. This is not a 'downer' zine, okay?...

Another odd thing, the number of 'paired' stories. Again, not planned. Look at 'Crying in the Rain' and 'Circle's End', for example; 'Ebb Tide' and 'Time it Was'; 'Enchanter's Nightshade' and 'Death by Water.' All examples of different authors dealing with very similar themes, and quite fascinating, I think, to see how they do it... 'Death by Water' and 'Enchanter's Nightshade,' by the way, are probably the most unusual stories I've seen in this fandom yet. (They almost caused me to subtitle this zine 'Son of Strange Justice!!)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

See reactions and reviews for Ebb Tide.

See reactions and reviews for Crying for the Moon.

See reactions and reviews for Enchanter's Nightshade.

See reactions and reviews for Circle's End.

[Time It Was]: What mark does love leave on our lives, and what traces does a life leave behind? Short, and bittersweet, this story captures beuutiful anguish like few others. It's a tissue warning tale, but of the most wonderfully heartbreaking kind.[28]

[zine]: From what I can see, the trend these days in fanzine points to numerology and sexuality because both Code 7 #3 and 3-11 have numbers in their titles and hanky panky in their pages. The sum total of these zines is twenty-four. A randy numerologist reading these zines by the light of a patchouli scented candle can get her abacuses worth, if she just follows this simple formula: divide the sum total by 2 leanly-muscled cops, which results in a 12. That that 12 and divide it by 4 seasons. You get a Zebra 3. Multiply that 3 by 8 years on the force (and, may it ever be with us), and you should arrive at the original zine title of 24. In the old days, Starsky and Hutch had zines with words for titles and women for love interests. Now they have code-numbered romantic interludes with each other. But it still adds up the same whether they are platonic-hurt/comfort pals, or uncovered undercover cops. Not even uninteresting plots, unrealistic dialogue, or unusual sexual practices can divide their love.[29]

[zine]: ...and omigod, "Crying for the Moon" by Fanny Adams in C7#3. Whew! Guess I'll comment here on the new fanzines, if that's ok with everyone and even if it ain't. Code 7 03... better, if possible, than #2. Since I assume that most of the authors in said fanzines read HP, Rosamond Clifford, I think your REVELATIONS is the BEST-BAR-NONE "first time" story I have ever read. I LOVED it!!! Karen, you should see my TOC page... it's got comments in red pen all over it. Things like: "oh god!", xxxx (that's Revelations), "wow!", "I can't stand it", etc etc. I'll send you a personal LOC and the same goes for Terri and Elaine. The illos... wonderful... Hutch and his guitar, Starsky and his beard, Hutch and his Starsky, and vice versa, Starsky and his horns...[30]

[comments from an author]: Thought I'd have to take a moment to reply to a couple of comments that have been made about my contributions to C7iii. First of all, thanks to all those who either sent strokes or constructive criticism -- I like both, contrary to the beliefs of a few people who have been snapped at by me in one of my personas or other. I only snap at folks whose comments seem designed more to attract attention to themselves than to criticize constructively. Second, let me give you all a clue about "Death By Water" Don't try to dissect it, particularly on the first few readings. I designed it to be an emotional experience rather than an intellectual exercise. If you are determined to play hunt-the- quote then you'll miss the experience. If there is a message in it at all it is! Don't worry. Simple, no? Also, someone commented that the Starsky in "Crying for the Moon" seemed the archetypal little housewife. Not so, though being a housewife is an honourable profession. It is difficult to write anything domestic without having your readers immediately try to categorize -- Starsky the wash therefore he must be the woman type stuff. It doesn't work that way...honest. To those of you who were perturbed by such things; who seek to insert our heroes into traditional roles, try thinking of the relationship without the sex, a la roommates and the division of labour suddenly may seem a lot more sensible and a lot less a reflection on the sexuality of the characters.[31]

Issue 4

cover of issue #4 by Jean C.
flyer for issue #4

Code 7, 4 was published in 1987 (sometime during or before May, as a fan recalls reading it on the way home from MediaWest*Con [32]). The zine contains 203 pages.

It has art by Suzan Lovett, TACS, Merle Decker, Carol Davis, Jean C., Ruth Kurz, Karen Eaton, and Maureen B.

From the editor:

Several of these stories caused me to break my own rules... Like 'A Fine Storm.' This one broke the rule about no sequels -- it's a sequel to and inspired by a very good story by April Valentine called 'The Hours Between 4 and 9' which appeared in No Pants, No Badge, No Gun... 'The Sweetest Taboo' is April's sequel to AFS [the episode 'A Coffin for Starsky'], thus bringing it full circle. 'Take it to the Limit' and 'Starsky, Book of Revelations' broke the rule about not printing stuff that's already been seen. Some of you will have read these two stories some years back, but I think they will be new to most of you... 'Winter' broke all kinds of rules. It came in at the last minute, with no time for the usual edit-retype procedure, it's about half as long as it needs to be, it doesn't have an ending, just stops. But... it's one of the most powerful stories I've ever seen... House of Cards is my personal favorite in the zine, with its themes of magic, power and the Old Religion... Somewhere in the Night deals with a subject many of us, perhaps most, would like to ignore, but we are going to deal with S&H as real people living in the real world, then we need to think about scenes like this one.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

See reactions and reviews for It Was a Dark and Stormy Night.

See reactions and reviews for A Fine Storm.

See reactions and reviews for Winter.

See reactions and reviews for The Sweetest Taboo.

See reactions and reviews for Take it Out in Trade.

See reactions and reviews for House of Cards.

See reactions and reviews for Foster-child of Silence and Slow Time.

See reactions and reviews for Delivered to Thee.


CODE 7 #4 is a class zine like its predecessors. If this one is full of angst, that's because the authors wrote painful stories. They are presented well, and carefully interspersed with lighter stories and cartoons to relieve the weight of the drama. (Or are the heavier stories to relived the lights of "Scales of Just-As-Good"?) Whatever. Naturally, I enjoyed the artwork, from the technical perfection of Suzan Lovett to the utter delight of Karen Eaton, and everything in between.

And I loved the list on page 3!

Now to the zine itself:

FOSTER CHILD: Suzan doesn't stop with being a terrific artist. This brief story of hers is just not a bit ESP to think about, but a perceptive view of the inside of Hutch's head from two points of reference. Maureen's illo adds emphasis to the fear.

TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT: I'm so glad to see these stories at last in print. BALLAD is the perfect background for this story of self awareness and a relationship that knows no bounds.

HOUSE OF CARDS: An unusual story with lots of magic and love and all the intriguing things we like to read about. And Suzan's artwork... In each one they are touching. The moment with the flowers between them is my favorite -- the expressions, the tenderness not only of the hand on Hutch's face, but the one brushing the back of his hand. The drama in the two magical ones is enhanced by Hutch's single finger touch in one, his total support in the other amidst the unleashed power of his "antlered" partner.

FRIEND AND LOVER: Another Chabot jewel of thought. "Friend" is as important as "lover."

THANKSGIVING DAY: A gentle appreciation, a celebration of their love restored.

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT: This one is great fun! I love it not only for a magic story, but for a cat story. Not only would Starsky tease Hutch this way, but I've seen cats tease one another unmercifully. And Jean's cat illos are perfect, the angry cat, the smug cat, and the totally satisfied couple. I read this aloud to Fritz on our way home from MediaWestCon, and he loved it, too. He has cats, and knows.

FATA OBSTANT: Old style, ever new.

A FINE STORM: This story stands alone in all its painful power, but it is also nice to sandwich it between Martha's stories. If it was inspired by The Hours Between 4 and 9 then it is no surprise that it is turn inspired.

THE SWEETEST TABOO: Perhaps after all the pain and suffering in STORM, Martha felt the need to see the loving we knew was coming. STORM is tenderly illoed by Maureen, who caught both anguish and love in each one and Suzan's illo softens TABOO, bringing out the love more than the lust, showing that this storm is past.

BEGINNING TO SEE THE LIGHT: Carol's card-like illo is perfect for Jean's poem of inspiration.

TAKE IT OUT IN TRADE: This unusual approach to the Huggy relationship is warm, understanding, and possible. And Maureen's illo is lovely.

THE BEST I CAN: Another story inspired by the episode BALLAD FOR A BLUE LADY, which made both Hutch and Starsky suffer. The stories try to explain why and what they did about it all. TACS' drawings are energetic and erotic.

WHITE WHOLF [sic]: Speaking of energy and eroticism... this one I powerfully so.

WINTER: Wow! Lynna, did you have to destroy the world as we know it just to get the two of them tighter? Ouch! This is painful and beautiful. The important thing as always is that they are together. Carol's and Jean's artwork complement the pain and beauty, especially the last illo which is full of hope.

SCALES OF JUST-AS-GOOD: With my ears, having the words written down is a godsend. I can now recall the play as I saw it, reading the dialog I couldn't hear. And TACS' cartoons are also a reminder (along with my album pictures) of just how much fun it was, not the least of which was the expressions on Marian's face throughout the parody.

SUMMER '61: An interesting bit of sadness and belated understanding.

SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT: A subject that can't be ignored.

DELIVERED TO THEE: This one hurts too much. Good illo, good story, but too painful.

STARSKY: BOOK OF REVELATIONS: Again, I am very glad to see this in print at last. It is such a revealing story. (No shit, Sherlock.) And it reveals not only Starsky's struggles with himself and his own feelings, but their effect on Hutch, the fears he's had to live with seen through Starsky's finally opened eyes. And Suzan's loving illo captures the tone of their new beginning.

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT: The plot of this story isn't as important as the relationship development for S&H, of course, and since that's what we really read S/S for, it's okay. The TACS sketches capture the moments, too.

So we come to the end of the zine, then turn back to reread a few favorites, or look at a few beautiful illos. The best praise of a zine is that it is rereadable. [33]

[zine]: This is the zine that got me into the fandom. I think it's in point 4 type so bring your magnifying glass, you won't regret it. The Suzan Lovett story, A Fine Storm, is what actually roped me into the fandom, and I still get LOCs from folks to forward to Suzan about it. There's other wonderful stories in this zine, and all 4 of the Code 7 zines are worth having. Code 7 #1 was the first slash anthology published, and there was such controversy at the time, with anti-slash folks threatening to contact Spelling and Goldman, that the zine had to be published with no names in it. They're all still in print, available from Agent with Style. Many of the stories from these zines are on the archive, but many will never be since their authors have disappeared. A must in any slash collection.[34]


  1. ^ Paula Smith, from A to Zine
  2. ^ from S and H #37
  3. ^ from Hanky Panky #1 (January or February 1982)
  4. ^ A reference to Hanky Panky?
  5. ^ from Paula Smith in The Paul Muni Special program book
  6. ^ from S and H #17 (January 1981)
  7. ^ from S and H #20
  8. ^ from S and H #20
  9. ^ from S and H #21 (May 1981)
  10. ^ from S and H #22 (June 1981)
  11. ^ from S and H #23 (July 1981)
  12. ^ from S and H #24/25 (August/September 1981)
  13. ^ source: posts to Virgule-L, dated 1994, accessed May 1, 2011
  14. ^ Flamingo, June 27, 2001, quoted from VenicePlace on Fanlore with permission from Flamingo
  15. ^ "gets fanny in gear" is a clever pun which alludes to forward motion, as well as a pseud (Fanny Adams) for Dargelos, author of the long-awaited novel All Our World in Us.
  16. ^ from Frienz #22
  17. ^ so says the editor in S and H #38
  18. ^ from Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (Feb 2, 1995)
  19. ^ comments by Michelle Christian on Virgule-L, quoted with permission (October 29, 1994)
  20. ^ comment on VenicePlace, quoted anonymously (July 24, 2001)
  21. ^ from. K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #10 (1984)
  22. ^ from Frienz #15
  23. ^ from Shootout #1
  24. ^ a 2007 comment at Crack Van
  25. ^ "Raonaid's Zine Recommendations". 2004-02-27. Archived from the original on 2013-01-12.
  26. ^ from S and H #37 (1982)
  27. ^ from S and H #37
  28. ^ a 2003 comment at Crack Van
  29. ^ a review by Ima Fool from Between Friends #5
  30. ^ from Hanky Panky #13
  31. ^ from Hanky Panky #13
  32. ^ a comment in [[Tell Me Something I Don't Know! #4
  33. ^ from Ruth Kurz in Tell Me Something I Don't Know! #4 (1987)
  34. ^ Flamingo, August 22, 2003, who rated it among her top ten favorite zines, quoted from VenicePlace on Fanlore with Flamingo's permission