|Publisher:||Twisted Macha Press & Neon Rainbow Press|
|Fandom:||Alias Smith and Jones|
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Some General Comments on Slash, Alias Smith and Jones Slash, and of Devil's Hole
Alias Smith and Jones was a fairly small fandom, as well as one that a limited amount of slash material produced. Fans of the genre had to step lightly when asking each other if they would like to read AS&J slash, and in that sense it was kind of an underground sub-fandom.
There was discussion about "Devil's Hole" and slash in the zine The Outlaw Trail. Some excerpts:
As far as I know there is very, very little slash in Alias fandom. Brigid did a zine that includes all the old Alias slash (all 4 stories) and a few new ones, but I think that's the sum total of it. She's planning a second issue, if she can stories, but I have my doubts. It not my thing either, but she's a good friend and I don't hold it against her—often! She and my cuz [name redacted]  are into slash (they like straight fiction, too), so they've been dabbling in it with the series I've addicted them to.
I've been active in different fandoms for a total of about 12 years now though, and the fandoms for shows that have a strong friendship buddy element, such as WILD WILD WEST, MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., STARSKY & HUTCH, generally have a large slash contingent. I've never understood this, but there seem to be a lot of people who choose to see the characters as gay, even though the series stated otherwise. I think the whole thing got started when STARSKY & HUTCH first went on the air. There was a scene in the opening credits where there was an explosion and Starsky was blown forward and either Hucth caught him or the explosion threw him down on top of Hutch (anyone who has caught the show since it came on TNT, please feel free to correct me...) and a lot of the TV critics took that as meaning they were really lovers. They chose to interpret it in that way and wrote articles to that effect. I always thought they read too much into that scene and took it out of context... I could never understand what was so terribly wrong with the idea of two men being fast friends and being able to depend on each other, without being gay, for a while there, there seemed to be the idea that the only way this could be possible was if they were brothers. I don't care if it's out there as long as I don't have to read it. I know it's not a popular point of view in these tolerant times, but I personally do not like or buy into the concept of Jim and Arte, Napoleon and lllya, Starsky and Hutch, Riggs and Murtaugh (LETHAL WEAPON), Heyes and Curry, any team of buddies you might name, being secret gay lovers. I believe in the outdated concept that two men (or two women for that matter) CAN be partners, buddies, friends, can care deeply for each other, without being lovers. But then, I also belied people tend to have their minds in the gutter too much these days and try to read sex into everything.
I see by your notes that there are a lot of new western 'zines. I even see one that is supposed to be R rated. I would like to submit Winter Visit to that one (sort of gives something away, don't it?) but I don't like the word 'slash' on you description. If that means that the 'zine is going to have Heyes boffing the Kid, I want nothing to do with it. I was able to ignore the slash fiction you put in your 'anything goes'-type 'zine, but ASJ same sex stuff really bothers me! The one and only story I read about two paragraphs of turned me off to the whole thing. Of course, some of it is that in order to write the junk, you have to do this little thing called rewrite ASJ. It's easy enough to write a story with two people doing that, but it isn't Heyes and Curry. Can you verify whether they are planning true slash? If so, then I don't even want to see the 'zine, let alone add to it. Sounds like I have strong reactions to the stuff. Well, I don't think I would mind homosexual relationships appearing in a story—just not between a certain pair of good-looking western men. I wonder what the rest of TOT contributors think about this? 
Re your strong reactions to so-called slash… I haven't read any. I might like to see some just to know how slash-y it is. On principal, I don't care what anyone writes, I simply reserve my right not to read it And if it's badly written in the first place, I wouldn't waste my time. Otherwise, Live and Let Live, that's what I say.
I don't like the concept of slash either, but STARSKY & HUTCH has so much touchy-feely stuff in it, a lot of which is really funny, that you have to wonder if they were making fun of the idea at times. Somebody could make a hysterical music video with those clips if they could find the right song.
To each their own, of course. The first slash I was ever made aware of was about 15 years ago -- some friends were into the Clint Eastwood "Dirty Harry" movies, and one in particular in which David Soul played a "bad cop." Somewhere, someone in fandom started writing a series of stories about Harry/Soul character. I remember sitting at a friend's apartment and reading it out of sheer curiosity. The most memorable scene was Harry and whatsisname getting it on (in an anal retentive manner, if you catch my drift) on a bench in front of the Magic Castle at Disneyland with children looking on. My second viewing was an U.N.C.L.E. story (about the same time via the same person). It involved Illya being tortured by THRUSH. Of course, Napoleon had to rescue him and the only way the cuffs would come unlocked was through intimate physical contact. (Go figure. I don't remember the mechanics of the cuffs, just that's how it worked.) lllya had to admit to Napoleon that he had always been in love with him. I found it wholly unbelievable then and still do. I realize there's a real world and, as they say, "some of my best friends..." Still, if you've got a friendship—buddies, per se - I don't see that just because they're extremely good friends they automatically have to be gay.
I have only glanced at one slash ASJ story. I read enough of it to know that the author made the story work by changing the characters. If you use the names and some of the descriptions, it doesn't make it ASJ. I think the Devil's Hole fanzine description is a little less than clear. If someone wanted to make an R and X rated ASJ 'zine—with straight sex for Heyes and Curry—then I might be interested. Any other characters that want to be gay can be so, though I'm not exactly fascinated by intra-sex relations. For some reason I have the feeling that many women are interested in reading male to male and many men find female to female stimulating.
I'm not into slash at all, but I think there's a misconception that should be clarified. It is my understanding that the characters in slash fiction are not necessarily intended to be gay. In the TV shows and movies they are all clearly heterosexual, and I don't think the slash writers are changing them to make them gay so much as they simply want to take the partnership bond to a physical level. I heard an interesting theory about this at MediaWest this year. Someone told me Walter Koenig speculated once that some fans put a favorite character on such a high pedestal that no woman is good enough for him. The only person who is good enough is someone else they've elevated to the same high level, and that can only be the co-star/partner. I don't know how valid this is, but it sounds like there's some sense to it. [Name redacted] also had a reasonable idea, that maybe some writers use it as a shortcut to injecting some emotion into a story if they're having trouble doing that some other way (hmm, maybe I should try this after all!).
I do have to say that the title of one of the slash zines advertised in TOT is a scream - DEVIL'S HOLE! Really! Having read the title of that one, I immediately thought that RIDE 'EM COWBOY must be a slash zine, too. Apologies to Donna Pleasants! Then there's the menage a trois angle: JUST YOU, ME AND THE GOVERNOR. (Sorry, Cinda!) And certainly, the idea of western slash gives new meaning to the name "Big Mac." Then there's the cross-over angle, with "Ramrod Rowdy Yates" ... okay. Enough! (So I don't like Heyes & Curry slash. At least I've got a warped sense of humor to compensate!) Actually, there were lets of slash Starsky & Hutch videos around about 10 years ago. I was subjected to ail of them at an AS&J party back then and some of them were funny, I have to admit. Most were just stupid or disgusting.
One last thing... an issue has come up within AS&J fandom that we think you all need to be aware of. Cinda received a note in the mail, and has excerpted a section of it for your information: A fan found an AS&J fanzine in which Pete and Ben are portrayed as male lovers, etc. Have you seen such material? Anyway, there's talk of going to copyright holders to take some sort of action to protect Pete's and Ben's names. The zine in question is Devil's Hole, which we have advertised here in The Outlaw Trail. We're agenting the zine, know the editor and the writers involved, and had absolutely no problem with the contents. The reason we bring this up is to clear up a couple of points: Pete and Ben are not portrayed as male lovers. Heyes and Curry are, and as far as we're concerned the characters are not the same or equatable to the actors. If the stories had been written using Pete and Ben we wouldn't be agenting it. We believe that there's room in fandom for all viewpoints and interpretations. If we don't enjoy a particular kind of fan fiction we simply don't buy the zines and don't read those stories. We're not Trekkers, but we do embrace the IDIC principle. Therefore, if you find the slash ads in TOT offensive, please, feel free to let us know and we'll package them separately from the letterzine or not include them in your issue, but we refuse to be censored. We believe that a threat like this jeopardizes all of fandom, not just AS&J slash. If a few fans can dictate the appropriate content of zines based on their individual opinions, who's next? We think it's a shame that we have to be more fearful of ourselves than the Studios. We're hoping that the offended parties will calm down, think a little and allow everyone to read and write whatever they enjoy. After all, we thought that was what fandom was all about to begin with.
I lasted eight years in fandom before getting broad-sided in a fan war. Not fun. That's one reason Jody and I decided to air the AS&J slash thing up front. I respect those who don't like slash, those who do, and those who don't care one way or the other. I think this crew is a real live and let live bunch, and so far everyone's opinions have been respected, if not always agreed with, and that has been a real pleasure given the sh*$ Jody and I have been seeing in other fandoms.
- Deal by Debra Hicks—A first-time story. Long cool nights can lead to some pretty interesting decisions. (6)
- All the Reasons Why by Merlyn—Another first time story. The basic premise: why ask why? (5)
- Point of No Return by Tenaya—Not exactly a first time, but close. Kid Curry's just joined the Devil's Hole Gang, but he's got his sights set on another partnership. (17)
- Nights in the Wilderness by Tenaya—A story with some dark overtones, but balanced by the light of love worth fighting for. (33)
- Joker's Wild by Tenaya—You just never know what might make Heyes excited, but the Kid knows! (5)
- Hot Geezer by Joan Terri Janes—An almost-a-first-time story. Imagine a big bubbling pot, then toss in equal amounts of whiskey, passion, and adrenaline... Stir liberally and see what happens! (4) (won a 1996 FanQ)
- Out on a Limb by Joan Terri Janes—A first time story. When Heyes and Curry find just the right spot to camp, they're drawn into an exploration of their relationship. (9)
- Kitten Tracks by Nancy Platte—Heyes and Curry are long past their amnesty, their lives settled and good, but there's always room for more. (5)
- Through the Key Hole by Kai O'Thay and Smythe)--A crossover with The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Heyes and Curry are free men, and willing to help when they hear that Briscoe and Lord Bowler are heading into Devil's Hole after John Bly. What they didn't anticipate is Pete Hutton showing up... A gen version of this story was published in Just You, Me & the Governor #10. (10)
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1
Devil's Hole is an odd little zine. There were only five folks who wrote for it, but since it's debut at Media West '95 it has sold close to 30 issues, which is actually better than JYMATG these days. I don't know if there will be a second issue since the writers are all into other fandoms as well these days. Brigid said if she got the stories she'd do another zine, though. All of the stories in the first issue are slash.
Devil's Hole 2 was published in 1997 and is 95 pages long. It contains both slash and adult het. The cover art is by Linda Rendall.
- The Featherbed by Samanna Longbow—The Kid is hurt, but his recovery looks like it might be real interesting given his "nurses." (7) Adult
- The Red Strokes by Quale—A post-"Journey to San Juan" story. Michelle has to let the Kid go. (12) Adult
- Just Any Night by Vivian Darkbloom—A visit with Hannibal Heyes from the perspective of a saloon girl. (8) Adult
- Untouched Heart (by Catherine) Set in the Ella Hart universe. Heyes and Ella's introduction, right in the middle of a fight to keep them out of prison. (11) Adult
- Where the Danger Lies by Quale—Also in the Ella Hart universe. A saloon girl has her heart set on Heyes, but when she meets the Kid, she's not too disappointed. (9) Adult
- On Urgent Business by Catherine—A third story in the Ella Hart universe. Heyes arranges a weekend for himself and Ella. (13) Adult
- The Best Laid Plans by Curt Clitterhouse—Clem has a plan for Heyes and Curry that includes some interesting characters. (11) Adult & Slash
- The Real Thing by Mary Llewellyn—Heyes and Big Jim discover they share a secret. (8) Slash
- Tender Loving Care by Nancy Platte—When Heyes isn't feeling too well, the Kid has a plan worked out to make him feel better. (8) Slash (winner of 1998 FanQ)
- For Rachel by Caryn—A young woman has a chance encounter with Kid Curry, and the man does know how to make an impression. (9) Adult
- The Wanted Man by Sonja—Heyes takes refuge in the home of an old friend and has a most enjoyable visit. (15) Adult
- Always by Kathleen—Heyes is acting a little strange, and the Kid is determined to uncover the reason why. The question is, can he handle the truth? (10) Slash
- New Relations by Zane—Heyes is feeling depressed; the amnesty is taking forever. And then the dreams start... Thank goodness the Kid is there to help. (9) Slash (winner of a 2000 FanQ)
- A Different Kind of Poker by Squire—Heyes and Curry are lying low in San Francisco. And Heyes gets an education when he finds the Kid at a Chinese bathhouse. (10) Slash
- Cove Encounters by Squire—Silky knows Heyes and Curry's secret and send them on a special trip. (8) Slash
- Snowbound (by Kathleen) Getting snowed in with a man who's driving you crazy can lead to some unusual revelations. (5) Slash
- Turnabout by Duval—After nearly getting captured by a posse, the Kid makes his feelings known. (11) Slash
- Trust by Duval—The Kid's been shot and Heyes is fretting. If his partner survives Heyes is going to kill him. (5) Slash
- A Night in Bliss by Nancy—Fantasies come true in a town called Bliss. (6) Slash
Devil's Hole 4 is 118 pages long and contains adult het and slash. The cover is by Linda R.
- Interlude by Margaret Albrecht—The Kid has met an interesting young woman, who is more than his match in every way. (12) Adult
- The First Night by Catherine—Join Heyes and Ella for their wedding, and their wedding night. (10) Adult
- The Part Before We Say Goodbye by Catherine—Ella has to say goodbye to Heyes, again, but her methods are sure to send him off with some good memories. (5) Adult
- A Little TLC by Nancy Platte—Heyes is hurting after he and his horse take a tumble, but the Kid is there to help. It's amazing where a massage can lead... Originally published in One in Ten 5. (11 pages) slash
- Payback by Sweetcheeks—The Kid thinks Heyes deserves to be punished, but his methods are something the outlaw leader desires. Originally published in One in Ten 4. (4 pages) slash
- Make My Dreams Come True by Zane—Heyes thinks that the Kid is dead, and suddenly life isn't really worth living, but then his dreams come true. Originally published in One in Ten 4. (10 pages) slash
- Sweet Surrender by Sweetcheeks—Heyes is having trouble committing to his new relationship with the Kid, and Curry wants to know why. What he learns is Heyes' dark secret. Originally published in One in Ten 5. (13 pages) slash
- Missing Scene: Six Strangers at Apache Springs by J.M. Fotheringhay—Lucy lets Heyes know that she's interested in him, in a most blatant way. (3 pages) (adult het) light bondage
- Trust Negotiated by Pamela Bazemore—A woman who would like to have Heyes for her own, gets her wish - for a winter anyway. (12 pages) Adult
- Turnabout by J.M. Fotheringhay—Meet Victoria, a woman who has a lot in common with O. And she likes outlaws, especially two named Heyes and Curry. (2 pages) (adult het) light bondage
- Victoria's Secrets by J.M. Fotheringhay—Victoria is back and she has the Kid. (Poor Kid!) He gets an education he never knew he needed. (11 pages) (adult het) light bondage
- The Lesson by Vickie Martin—Victoria is back, again, and she has the Kid again. (Poor, poor, Kid!) But this time she uses Curry to get Heyes. Heyes, however, has a few tricks of his own to show her. (13 pages) (adult het) light bondage
Devil's Hole 5 is 79 pages and contains adult het and slash.
- Things Unsaid by Zane—Heyes is feeling guilty about not telling the Kid that he loves him. Sometimes actions speak louder than words. (10) Slash
- Chance Encounter by Sweetcheeks—Heyes runs into an old friend, who was also his lover. The Kid doesn't like the man, and when he learns the truth, he has a secret of his own to share. Originally published in One in Ten #6. (14) Slash
- The Night the Amnesty Came Through by Nancy Platte—The boys finally have their long awaited amnesty, and they are going to celebrate. Originally published in One in Ten #6. (12) Slash
- The Texan by Zerelda—The Kid runs into a bounty hunter, Vin Tanner (Magnificent Seven) who shows him a whole new meaning for a "hands on kind of a guy". (9) Slash
- Southern Retreat by Zerelda—Heyes and the Kid head south, trying to lay low, but they end up in the middle of a new kind of hatred. (14) Slash
- There Has to Be a First Time by Caryn Mayo—Heyes runs into the woman who took his virginity. (7) Adult
- The McKendrick Ranch by Zerelda—While working for McKendrick, Heyes gets to know his niece, better than he ever imagined. (5) Adult
Devil's Hole 6 has 64 pages and contains adult het and slash.
- Cabin Fever by Joan Terri Janes—Getting stuck in a snowstorm has some unexpected consequences for Heyes and the Kid. (7) Slash
- Shadow in the Moonlight by Keiko—In Devil's Hole, Heyes has an unusual encounter with an Indian that sets his thoughts racing about the Kid. (5) Slash
- Slow Boat to New York by Nancy Platte—The return trip from Europe has Heyes and the Kid renewing the more passionate side of their relationship. (8) Slash
- Ride by Zerelda—Some times a cowboy (or an outlaw on the lam) just has to ride for all he's worth... (9) Slash
- Life After Death by Caryn Mayo—Surviving their post-desert encounter with Danny Bilson has left Heyes in the mood to celebrate life, and love. (10) Adult
- A Long Way Home by Zerelda—Belinda Darby was a woman Heyes couldn't resist, but he was making a big mistake, because love wasn't the only thing on Mrs. Darby's mind. (8) Adult
- The Reservation by Zerelda—Josephine Browning is a widow, and a missionary, working on a Crow Indian reservation when Heyes and the Kid cross her path. For Heyes, the young woman's story, and her struggles to help the Indians, warms his heart and ignites his passion, but is their love meant to be? (11) Adult
- Actually, this fan and "her cuz" are the same person using a pseud.
- The Outlaw Trail #7
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- The Outlaw Trail #8
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- The Outlaw Trail #9
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- The Outlaw Trail #10
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- The Outlaw Trail #11
- from The Outlaw Trail #11