Down Under Express

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Zine
Title: Down Under Express
Publisher: Batho and Kerr Ink previously Clarke & Keating Ink
Editor(s): Joanne Kerr and Susan Clarke
Date(s): 1992-1996
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: The Professionals
Language: English
External Links: online review
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Down Under Express is a slash Professionals anthology.

There is one Special Edition of this series, and it is called Largesse.

Issue 1

cover of issue #1

Down Under Express 1 was published in April 1992 and contains 106 pages.

  • No Dominion by Anonymous
  • When Needs Must by Maree Celeste ("Doyle was in the shower, trying not to let his anger of yesterday fire him again. He ached comfortably in places where a man was meant to ache after such a night, and although that brought a smile to his face, it was more grim than pleased. He rubbed the soap into every part of his body, trying to wash something away. Yesterday. The flush of anger rose on Doyle's face. "Bugger Cowley," He retorted.'")
  • Merely Players by D'Arcy ("The whispers were followed by two almost simultaneous groans and some heavy breathing. Startled, Peters looked at Lewis and raised his eyebrows. "Just as well they warned us," Lewis said in reply. "I can understand they wouldn't want a tape like that floating around loose, even if it was made on Cowley's orders. People could easily get the wrong impression." 'Or the right one," snickered Peters. "There'll be mileage out of this later, if only to get back at Bodie for always winning at darts."'")
  • He Loves Cadbury Dairy Milk... by Trish Darbyfeld ("'He moved his arms experimentally, then cracked his eyes open and looked up at them cautiously. They were tied to the bedhead with two of his good silk ties. He looked down the bed. So were his feet. Bodie took a deep breath and yelled, "Ray!!" Doyle appeared in the doorway. He was wearing - Bodie blinked, re-focussed his eyes, and blinked again. Yes, he was wearing his leather jacket, tight matching leather pants, his silver chain, and— not much else. "You rang?" he said.")
  • Cold Hot Water Bottle by Peighi
  • New Year, New Discoveries, New Associations by Elene Rigby
  • History Repeated by Stew ("Eventually Doyle said, "I had a friend once - Kevin, his name was. In school, we were fourteen. For me, it was experimenting. I was too scared of girls to make the move on them; like they were a different species, so when he suggested it.... But in the end he turned out to be gay. I think I disappointed him." Doyle shook his head. "After all this time, he's still on my mind." Bodie let out a short laugh. "Funny, isn't it? History repeating itself - me falling for my partners - you disappointing your gay friends."")
  • Let Sleeping Dogs Lie by Wally

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

I really enjoyed DUE, a wonderful first issue. It looks as if this zine is going to be of the same quality of your other publications. All the stories were good -- it would be unfair to put any of them above the others. The characterisations were well done too.

There are now three or for Profs slash publishers in Australia, and I think this is a good thing, as competition for the fans' dollars will improve the quality of the stories. And as a writer I like to have lots of outlets for my work... especially ones that go overseas. [1]

'Bout time you did a naughty nookie PROS zine. This way, BACKTRACK can remain 'straight'. There are fans out there who don't particularly like slash but want to read PROS fan fiction. Now they've more choices.

Remarkable zine considering the time constraints put on the writers: "Hey, we're finally doing a nookie PROS zine, can you write a story and get it to Australia in a month?' Awk!

I didn't know until that moment that I could write sonnets. Oh, by the way, TA DEUM FOR TOMMY is NOT a sonnet.

Pretty even-handed selection in D.U.E. No one story really stands out - which is to say the quality is consistant. Although I found some stories derivative, the quality of the writing was more solid than some Yank tales. Less deathless prose and tortured metaphors. Cleaner, more realistic type writing.

Well, I did have a spot of trouble with HE LOVES CADBURY'S DAIRY MILK (and I love Cadbury eggs...). I never could get into silly S&M by chocolate. I prefer Kahlua and clothespins myself...

However, I must voice a complaint here, especially in view of our recent 'troubles' in Los Angeles: I was very disappointed in the stereotypically and off-handed way Jax was used as a thug to help set up Doyle as Qaridge's rescuer in WHEN NEEDS MUST. I consider it a disservice to Jax for one, and an unfortunate use of a Black man to instill fear into a white man. TV, movies, and fiction are just too full of 'ethnic' stereotypes like this. Besides, what ever happened to WHITE thugs? When I was growing up (once upon a time, before the Great Flood, when I went to school with Noah), the local Hhood was a leather-clad greaser with slicked back hair, dark glasses, a Harley and a switchblade — and he was WHITE. And gangs were Italian or Irish (and they massacred each other weekly). Suddenly the white world is being threatened by nothing but Blacks? Sorry, no. White crime is every bit as high; the Drug Trade is 85% White.

Okay, off my Politically Correct soapbox. I just would like to have seen a more positive use of Jax. Besides, I want equal time for White Thugs!

[2]
Being a new-comer to fandom, I am overwhelmed by the sheer size of written productions. I have taken to slash like a duck to water. I liked DOWN UNDER EXPRESS; although after a while I began to be ever so faintly bored by swollen glands and thrusting male buttocks, I deeply appreciated the sexual expression of love as the means whereby the relationship between the two men becomes a priority one, transcending all others- I also loved the expressions of mutual protectiveness, tenderness, and teasing. [3]

Issue 2

The cover of issue #2, note the hatstand.
1993 flyer for issue #1 and #2

Down Under Express 2 was published in 1992 and contains 116 pages. Illos by Anja Gruber, IanK, and Karen Eaton.

From the editorial]: This second issue of DOWN UNDER EXPRESS has a few more frills than the first one. Notably we now have some artwork, courtesy of two lovely ladies. Anja probably thought she had acquired back some of her spare time when BACKTRACK went from six-monthly to twelve-monthly this year. She responded promptly to my tentative request for artwork, and several of her pieces grace this issue. Thank you very much for helping us with our ever-expanding collection of fanzines. The other artist is Karen Eaton, a cartoonist of long standing, especially in Proffs fandom. I made the mistake of opening her package at work when It arrived. You think I would know better by now. I couldn't help but sit there rolling with silent laughter, trying not to look conspicuous. I couldn't even share them with anybody who wanted to join in the joke.

We would like more artists to give us a try as well. I still maintain a zine can never have enough of good artwork. Please humour me ... and you'll get a contributor's copy of the zine that your drawings appear in.

The stories In this issue are as varied as could be wished for by any reader. I think the only things not covered are those subjects requested not to be done in the first issue. I think the closest we came was a bunch of feathers, and since they were used for a suitably kinky purpose they were perfectly acceptable!

Wally has written an alternate universe Robin of Sherwood, and D'Arcy has written a very long and satisfying amnesia story. Mima and Katy are both fairly new writers and both have offered good easy-to-read stories.. Mima's is a brooding 'first time' story, and Katy's is one about deathless love - rather impatient and aggravated on Bodie's side but deathless all the same! Elene and Trish have both supplied short rather wicked pieces this time. Both have memorable lines but my favourite was 'Unfortunately, he laughed so hard ... he... fell with a thud to the floor, fortunately landing flat on his back.' I wince In sympathy at the damages Involved If he hadn't landed sunny-side-up.

Maree Celeste continues on her weird way in her latest slory. For years she has been writing not your average stories In Star Trek, B7, and especially Simon & Simon. Now she is writing weird in Proffs ... this time with an added gory touch. Thanks, for the truly wonderful mental images the shower scene invoked!

  • Editorial (1)
  • Next of Kin by Mirna Cicioni (3)
  • Silent Night by Katy Deery (9)
  • Radial Tuned Suspension by Elene Rigby (25)
  • Put to the Torture by Trish Darbyfeld (29)
  • Night Dreaming by Maree Celeste (31)
  • Hern's Other Son by Wally (49)
  • Never Forget Me by D'Arcy (59)
  • Letter Column (153)
  • ads (154)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

[art on page 7]:

Anja Gruber, I really like your artwork in DUE#2. Especially the portrait of Bodie on page 7. [4]

[zine]:

I'm looking forward to the next issue of DUE because I really enjoyed reading the first two. My favourites were New Year, New Discoveries...., History Repeated, When Needs Must and Next Of Kin. Silent Night was just a little to sad for my liking, but that depends very much on how I feel, when I'm reading a sad story. Maybe it had something to do with a movie I saw two or three months ago, featuring Mel Gibson. A friend of mine, who watched the film with me, was very glad about the happy end'. I just can't understand how someone could find such a conclusion happy. Of course they were together in the end, but what a waste of live! To age forty or fifty years in one week without the chance to really live them is something I find rather sad.

If I'm lucky, I'll have time tomorrow to start reading #3 and find out, why some of you liked Change of Mind so much. [5]

Issue 3

cover of issue #3, Anja Gruber

Down Under Express 3 was published in March 1993 and contains 106 pages. Cover and three interior illos by Anja Gruber. It won a 1994 FanQ.

  • Play by Axel Foley, III (part 3 of the "Card Shark series". "Shuffle" (part 1 ) and "Deal" (part 2) were published as part of the circuit library).
  • Test by Mirna Cicioni
  • A Matter of Issue by Jude
  • A Man for All Seasons by Wally
  • Mind Thoughts by D'Arcy
  • Change of Mind by CFP:
  • Life on the Edge by Jean Stroud


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

Comments/Spoilers:

"Play" by Axel Foley, III, recounts a strip poker game between Bodie, Doyle, and Murphy in which the stake is being fucked. Pairings are Bodie/Doyle, Bodie/Murphy, and Doyle/Murphy.

"Test" by Mirna Cicioni is a CI5-based story in which Doyle suffers doubts after a woman he's protecting on a baby-sitting op is killed.

"A Matter of Issue" by Jude is a first-time B/D story following Doyle's learning his girlfriend had got pregnant, and dealt with it on her own.

"A Man for All Seasons" by Wally is a post-Involvement story as the B/D relationship changes after Ann dumps Doyle.

D'Arcy's "Mind Thoughts" is a CI5-based story written in Doyle's pov, charting the evolution of his relationship with Bodie via events woven through various episodes.

In CFP's "Change of Mind", Doyle is kidnapped by East German agents, drugged and brainwashed into being homosexual, but fixates on Bodie alone once he's rescued. [6]


Issue 4

cover of issue #4

Down Under Express 4 was published in 1994 and contains 116 pages. Illos by Anja Gruber and Karen Eaton.

  • The Green Ey'd Monster by Anna Vie
  • Pulse by April Pentland
  • Roses by April Pentland - sequel to Pulse
  • Joint Tenants by CFP
  • Death Watch/Life Watch by Jean Stroud
  • Status Quo by Jude
  • Bodie by Susan Clarke - GEN


Issue 5

cover of issue #5, Anja Gruber

Down Under Express 5 was published in March 1994 and contains 86 pages. Cover and interior illos by Anja Gruber.

[The editorial]: Welcome to an almost - impromptu - issue of DOWN UNDER EXPRESS.

With April's next part to the PULSE series already in the file, and Maree working on what promised to be a fairly big story, we decided to attempt putting another issue together in time for MediaWest*Con 94. If it came together, fine, if not then we would keep it open until we had enough to put it out. If by magic - or good intuition - Jude must have known something was in the air, and in the mail came another story of hers with the message "hope you can use this'!

We took this as an omen and Maree put her head down, blocked out most of the outside world, and barrelled ahead with her own story. Cats, dogs, children climbed all over her, demanding attention and - shock, horror - feeding on a regular basis : she snarled and grumbled and waved her hand in the general direction of the kitchen, saying that they'd lived here long enough to know where everything was and would someone take that can opener off the dog he looks silly enough already without pretending be knows how to use it.

April's story, SYMPTOMS, is part three in the PULSE series. Part four will appear in the next issue of DUE, which shouldn't be too fax in the future if the current pace is anything to go by!

Jude's story is a short but interesting piece. I can have a malicious sense of humour, as well as justice, and I enjoyed the twist in this story. Apart from the injuries the 'heroine' sustained, I was plad Bodie was pissed off when he found out. My little mind voice said 'sec how it feels to be used like that, and remember it the next time you have to do the same thing'. A very nice piece.

I'm not going to say much about DOYLE, Maree's story. I don't want to be pre-emptive and I don't want to give anybody a bias before reading it. It's just about the tightest (read: neatest) story she has written to date, and I have no problems understanding why she became obsessed with it while it was under way.

Please write and let us know what you think of it and the other two stories, and the zine in general. We love the feedback.

The cover illustration is done again by Anja. The blend of saucy and a little humour is a constant delight. I love this one. I love the nipple! It just draws the eyes right to it, and you can't help but smile. I want to thank her espcciaUy, for being able to send it .... considering I said the next deadline was September and then moved it forward seven months. (I'm wondering how to tell her that the next deadline is still September!) Thanks again to Helen, our typist in-residence - or in-chains - who makes our production load a lot easier to bear, and to Gale Good, and Bill and Ann Hupe, our American agents. Thanks for all your help.

The next issue is open for contributions now. We need stories, poetry, scenarios, articles, debates, anything that's entertaining to read. We're interested in A/U, humour, 'first limes', death stories, stories about other CI-5 people -- not just B. & D. If you're in doubt (about content not quality) send it. Again steer clear of rape, incest, S. & M., torture, etc. unless they really are needed for the story. At the other end of the spectrum we'd also like to keep to a minimum elves, pointed ears and magic, children, and small furry animals unless you can do them with humour or a completely new approach. All printed contributions of three pages or more receive a contributor's copy, as is our usual policy. There's no letter column in this. There hasn't been enough time between issues to give anyone the chance to write. Please help us make up for it by sending your comments on this and any of the previous issues to us. We all enjoy reading them.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue.
  • Editorial (1)
  • Symptoms by April Pentland (sequel to "Roses") (3)
  • Moment by Moment by Jude (25)
  • Doyle by Maree Celeste (33)


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

Comments/Spoilers:

"Doyle" by Maree Celeste is set pre-CI5 with a Doyle/OMC pairing. Doyle falls for his murdered gay roommate's lover while looking into the killing. Bodie doesn't appear, but Cowley is in a few scenes.

April Pentland's "Symptoms" is a sequel to her duo of stories in Down Under Express 4: "Pulse" and "Roses". [7]


Issue 6

Down Under Express 6 was published in February 1995 and contains 120 pages. It won a 1996 FanQ. Cover and illos by Anja Gruber.

cover of issue #6, Anja Gruber
  • Clap Hands by HG
  • Tough Guy by April Pentland
  • A Hard Man by Jude
  • Music of the Night by Mandy
  • For a Second by Peighi
  • Lighten Our Darkness by D'Arcy - GEN
  • The Op by April Pentland (sequel to "Symptoms")


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

Comments/Spoilers:

"Clap Hands" by HG is a first-tiime story set in the CI5 world. After they get together, they discuss their previous relationship.

"Tough Guy" by April Pentland features Bodie and Doyle having sex in a flat they've just used for a stake out.

"A Hard Man" by Jude deals with Doyle's discovering Bodie is impotent, at least with a girl.

In "Music of the Night" by Mandy, Ann Holly's return puts a strain on Bodie's and Doyle's relationship as Doyle suffers conflicted feelings.

"For a Second" by Peighi is a Bodie/Cowley story set pre-CI5, told in Cowley's pov.

D'Arcy's "Lighten Our Darkness" is a gen story that recounts, via flashbacks, Doyle's story from the death of Syd Parker to Doyle's joining CI5, and Bodie's via flashbacks of Africa through to the aftermath of Wild Justice.

"The Op" by April Pentland is an SF AU in which Bodie and Doyle are infected by alien organisms from outer space that cause dire effects, but also lead to a change in their relationship. This story is the fourth in a sequence, all by April Pentland: "Pulse" and "Roses" in Down Under Express 4, and "Symptoms" in Down Under Express 5. [8]


Issue 7

cover of issue #7

Down Under Express 7 was published in 1995 and contains 116 pages. Illos by Shayne McCormack and Anja Gruber.

From an ad: "More tales of Bodie and Doyle from Australia. In this new issue you will find Serendipity by Jude, A Week In ... Africa? by Wally, Angel Street and Rose Cottage by April Pentland along with the Editorial and Letter Column. Art from Shayne McCormack, Anja Gruber, and Mano-A-Mano."

  • Angel Street by April Pentland
  • Rose Cottage by April Pentland
  • Serendipity by Jude
  • A Weekend in...Africa? by Wally


Issue 8

Down Under Express 8 was published in 1996 and contains 94 pages. Cover by Anja Gruber interior illos by Karen Eaton.

  • The Other Side by April Pentland
  • Mayday by Cynthia Coe
  • Bears Repeating by James
  • Writing in Progress by James

References

  1. from an LoC in "Down Under Express" #2
  2. from an LoC in "Down Under Express" #2
  3. from an LoC in "Down Under Express" #2
  4. comment in Short Circuit #13 (1993)
  5. from a fan in Short Circuit #15 (December 1993)
  6. from The Hatstand
  7. from The Hatstand
  8. from The Hatstand