Falconhurst

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Zine
Title: Falconhurst
Publisher: Nut Hatch Creative Workshoppe
Editor:
Author(s): Jane of Australia
Cover Artist(s):
Illustrator(s):
Date(s): February 1989
Medium: print
Size:
Genre: slash
Fandom: The Professionals
Language: English
External Links:
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Falconhurst is a slash 171-page Professionals novel by Jane. It is the twelfth zine published by Nut Hatch.

Interior illos consists of photographs.

"Falconhurst" was inspired by many things, including a fan's letter of comment, and the gay gothic novel "Gaywyck." [1][2][3] See The Author's Afterword.

This story also incorporates the circuit story The Legend of Eileen Fey.

See List of Professionals Fanworks by Jane of Australia.

cover of 1989 edition
cover of 1992 edition
a 1990 flyer

Distributed from an "Underground Press"

Not for general sale:

get it for a friend
get it from a friend...

Which means, please recommend us to your friends, because we do not use open advertising. We are a completely underground press and we rely on your word of mouth.

Please, under NO circumstances whatever copy the text of this book for the circuit. As you will read on page 3, our sales are failing badly, and soon we may have to shut up shop. Friends returning from the USA tell us our zines are all on the circuit over there — which is why we can't sell the copies we print. We have to stay solvent, and to do this, we need to sell copies. If YOU have a copy of this zine in your hand and are setting off to copy it for your friend, please remember... this could be our last zine, because of what you are about to do. HELP US!! Thanks.

Lost in the Mail

From a 1993 ad in Bill Hupe's catalog: "The entire first shipment was apparently lost in shipping. So a second and third shipment have already been sent -- approximate availability of both zines [4] is 6 weeks."

From the Editorial: The Cost of the Ribbon, and Other Zine Plans

Kathy Keegan gives fans an update on this zine, as well as others in the works:
It hardly seems possible that we can be putting together the twelfth Nut Hatch zine — but this is Number 12... What worries me (am I superstitious?) is the next one! The next zine is a little in doubt, however. Not to place too great a shadow over it, I would just like to mention that Nut Hatch sales have plunged to an all-time low (we lost about 30% of readers overnight), and we will probably delay another zine, in the interests of financial survival, and do some mailing of flyers!

What will the next zine be? We had intended it to be a Raven/Bodie collection, but due to the very limited response this idea drew, we have other plans. We had intended a second 'Fantazine', but this also drew only very limited response, so that also was tentatively set aside for some future date when skies are brighter. It would be safest to plan for CROSS MY HEART #5! The anthologies seem to be very popular, and we have quite a few short items that would possibly make for a nice zine... a MAGICKAL chapter, another RAINY DAYS episode, even a GENTLE ON MY MIND chapter. Please do drop us a line if you are interested in a zine of this sort --we could schedule it for mid-year! Meanwhile, before we get to CMH #5, there will be an... unofficial, sort-of zine, which means, a veryveryvery small print run item, for those people who DID want a Raven/Bodie zine! It was Barbie Jones who said, "if you even want to circulate the stories you have to type them, right? So why not do a little graphic work, and call it a sort-of zine?' Like the song says, 'don't worry -- be happy!' So, a sort-of R/B zine there will be, for the fun of it. Meanwhile -- this zine is typed, not computerised as promised. We did buy a computer printer, but it turned out that the ribbons to run it are so expensive ($17), and expire so fast, that it costs about 20c-30c per PAGE to print out the typing. That would blow the cost of Nut Hatch zines into orbit, so what we've done is jam the text in with a shoehorn... believe it or not, you lose nothing at all, read-wise, by having the zine typed rather than compacted into teenytype! And we inmates at this institution stay sane!

Here is FALCONHURST for your enjoyment, and if you would like information about: the upcoming Raven/Bodie opus and Cross My Heart #5, please write to us!
one of the many black and white screencap pages from the zine
sample text

Summary from the Flyer

The gothic thriller by Jane.

Bodyguard duty takes Bodie and Doyle to an old, isolated pre-Elizabethan country house called Falconhurst... There, they stumble into a mystery that has endured through the centuries ... an intrigue of love, tragedy and forbidden rites, past cruelties and present longings.

With winter closing down and KGB agents at hand, the CI5 men are alone; and all is not what it seems. The house, Falconhurst, itself seems to be their enemy — and their unlikely ally in all this is none other than Igor Kodai, who wasn't shot dead at the end of Stopover, but lived to be "debriefed" by CI5, which process could take a loooong time.

Save that Bodie, Doyle and Kodai don't seem likely to make it out of Falconhurst alive. The house ... or something in it ... is their enemy.

For many years, this modern Gothic was Nut Hatch's #1 Bestseller, a favorite since Ferbuary [sic], 1989! In fact, it was only the sixth or seventh novel ever published in the Nut Hatch list. We've deliberately not messed around with the layout or design: the 'magic' of the 'golden age' zines is that they were done with simple means and monstrous amounts of talent, energy and love. The group which produced these issues so long ago has broken up and gone; one of us has passed away and others are out of touch. The zines produced in the years 1987 to 1993, are their brain-children, their legacy, and our intention is to keep them available in the exact same form in which they were originally done, as a salue [sic], a tribute, to the 'old gang.'

The Author's Afterword

This book came out of a comment on a story I wrote a long time ago. It was THE LEGEND OF EILEEN FEY, and some of you might have read it. (Two points to make: one, good things come if/when you ever find time to write letters of comment, though no one ever seems to these days! Two, the original story was rejected by a zine, so I should like to extend to other writers some words of encouragement if you feel yourselves badly-done-to, or even wronged by editors. Editors are only people, and fallible: their opinions are not graven in gold, and your stories will doubtlessly be loved elsewhere, so don't give up, no matter what!!)

The magic in this book is all genuine — black as well as white, and I do not suggest that you try the black variety. It is actually rather dangerous to your sanity if nothing else! FALCONHURST owes to several other films and books. I don't want to set you playing 'spot the similarities,' because there really aren't any, but I should give credit where it's due... to The Changeling; The Hound Of The Baskervilles; The Legend Of Hell House; Fengriffin; The Snowstorm; Gaywyck; and to several episodes of a certain television show, most notably, 'Stopover'.

I urge you to watch 'Stopover' before reading this to satisfy yourself of one thing. Stop the picture on freeze in the moment Bodie shoots Kodai, and you will see that the bullet hits Kodai in a place where it will not kill him! Injure him — certainly, but kill him? See for yourself. I have shamelessly manipulated events springing off 'Stopover' to suit my own ends... forgive me, and please, enjoy the book.

Reactions and Reviews

Unknown Date

The novel FALCONHURST by Jane was published by the Nut Hatch Creative Workshoppe in 1989. It has 171 pp, of which three are front matter and seven consist of photocopies of photographs. The cover has an attractive design on heavy paper behind a plastic overlay. The interior layout and printing are acceptable for the most part, though the frame intrudes on the text on some pages in my copy and the general effect is busy; chunks of italic type used for quotations from journals and books accentuate the busyness. There are a fair number of typos.

I'm not a fan of Jane's writing, which should be factored into my comments. Since Jane's work is well-represented in a significant number of stories on the Proslib CD, each reader can easily determine her own response to this author's work. In particular, readers might wish to look at "The Legend of Eileen Fey" as that tale is partly incorporated into this novel.

Those who dislike Jane's writing will find in this novel familiar elements: shallow characterisation; a tendency towards didacticism; a startling percentage of international security agents who turn out to be bisexual; an over-abundance of sex scenes; and a tendency to tell the reader continually what's happening rather than showing us.

Those who enjoy Jane's work will find a story that hangs together fairly well and unfolds with a degree of unpredictability; a canonical secondary character used non-canonically quite successfully; a distinctive setting; slam-bang action scenes; and instruction in the fundamentals of wicca, paganism, and black magic.

The story is set post-Stopover with a difference: KGB assassin Kodai does not die when Bodie shoots him, but is taken into CI5's custody. Subsequently, Bodie and Doyle are both injured in an explosion at HQ. With a wounded prisoner and two wounded agents all to be accommodated, Cowley hits on the plan of sending them off to recuperate together at an old manor house masquerading as a CI5 safehouse--the Falconhurst of the title. What they discover at Falconhurst is a house haunted by ghosts and tainted by years of atrocities and the practice of Satanism; an elderly housekeeper who turns out to be more than she first appears and who manages the entire place on her own apart from the laundry girl--who comes from the village every morning to provide everyone with fresh linen; and a coven of local witches. Bodie and Doyle settle down, nurse their wounds, get to know and like their prisoner Kodai, discover wicca, and foul the sheets with joyous regularity and impunity.

One part of the novel I enjoyed was the way in which Bodie and Doyle begin their romantic and sexual relationship via a bet that Doyle--who believes himself to be straight--loses. Of course, having begun, the new relationship zips from zero to lightspeed in a matter of pages, but I enjoyed the sense of newness and exploration while it lasted. And while I didn't find it quite as romantic as I'm possibly meant to when Bodie tells his new lover, "You're unrapable [sic]! A rapist'd find nowhere to put it" (57) because Doyle's anus is so tight, that could be a failure on my part to get into the spirit of the encounter.

The other part of the novel I enjoyed was the way in which Kodai manages to triumph at the end, though that pleasure is ironic since the fast-paced, action-packed climax requires Bodie and Doyle to behave beforehand with egregious stupidity. The weather also plays a role and isn't quite in character for the English countryside, either.

The language and imagery are vintage Jane, as in Bodie's description of Doyle (spoken to Doyle):

Leggy as a Kentucky Derby winner. Hips like a boy. Walk like a professional whore. Shoulders that look wide because the rest of you's like a dancer. Then, muscles like springs and a chest like velvet.... Green eyes like a Seer.... Cock like a young stud. Bottom like a ripe peach

With the latter comments, Bodie is "teasing", but I couldn't see much difference from his serious remarks. Bodie, not to be left out, has a "velvet cock." Velvet body parts and boneless slumping dot the text, a stylistic tendency guaranteed to please some readers while alienating others.

Readers who enjoy Jane's writing, texts with supernatural elements, and value action over characterisation (with dollops of sex) might find this novel pleasant and rewarding. People less biased than I might even find it romantic. For those who enjoy the novel, there's a short sequel, "A Beltane Elegy", in the anthology Cross My Heart 5, also available from the Nut Hatch. [5]

1990

I adore the whole five-pound note sequence in Falconhurst by Jane. [6]

1997

Well, I can tell you about Falconhurst. It was the very first full length Pros novel I read and will always have a special place in my heart. If this makes you think I liked it, you're right! Here's a short synopsis (yeah, right!):

Set after the episode Stop Over, Bodie and Doyle start a sexual/romantic relationship (a bisexual Bodie bets Doyle that he can turn Doyle on, needless to say he wins). After they are seriously hurt during the bombing of CI5 HQ, Cowley sends B&D to recuperate at Falconhurst, the mansion that CI5 has recently acquired as a safehouse. He also sends along the recovering Igor Kodai(who it turns out, was only very badly wounded at the end of Stop Over), figuring Kodai doesn't have anywhere to go and B&D should be able to guard him. B&D develop a tenuous friendship with Kodai as strange events start occuring at Falconhurst (that's right folks, it's haunted). Isolated in the dead of winter, will Bodie and Doyle figure out the secret of the mansion before becoming permanent residents? What will they do when Kodai's friends show up? And who is the mysterious singing woman?

What can I say, I really, really love this one. If you like ghost stories and gothic settings (plus plenty of hot Jane sex scenes), you'll probably enjoy this too.

BTW, Falconhurst originated from Jane's circuit story The Legend of Eileen Fey. It's not just a revamped or lengthen version, but a story with a similar premise taken in a different direction. [7]
Jane tends to be much, much too much into Doyle worship for my tastes, but I did enjoy "Falconhurst." [8]

2009

The interesting aspect of fic involving the supernatural is how that lads react to it, since they are so self-sufficient and live in the here-and-now. The tension of one, or both, refusing to believe in the supernatural when it appears has got to be a good basis for fic.

I’m going to be really annoying and rec a Pros novel that’s out of print and isn’t online...

When a very discerning person foisted kindly lent this to me, I feared it was a naff medieval AU. How wrong I was! It’s a straight Pros story grounded in the aftermath of “Stopover”.

But alongside the CI5 action, it’s a haunted house story too. You wouldn’t expect a lot of restraint from Jane, and there’s some lurid Hammer Horror stuff (I’m sure that’s the effect she was aiming for), but there are delicate and poignant scenes too, and rather lovely description of the house and the wintry countryside.

Bodie and Doyle are charming and in character, with a small cast of likeable, rounded supporting characters.

Plus there’s loads of research into things like modern-day witches and runes, that Jane obviously enjoyed so much that she shares it with the reader in an appendix. : )

If “Falconhurst” should come into your hands, don’t judge the book by its cover.

[1] I’d put it online myself, if I had the time and resources. Maybe I’ll try anyway. [Edit: But not without consent, I hasten now to add!] [9]
I’d put it online myself, if I had the time and resources. Maybe I’ll try anyway. It'd be really really bad fandom netiquette to do this though - especially because when Jane flounced told us that she was leaving Pros fandom (via Zinelist Yahoo group) she specified that she didn't give permission to anyone else to archive it anywhere... Whether the permissions she previously gave still hold is open to debate, so you could try contacting Circuit Archive and see if justacat is interested in archiving it...[10]

References

  1. "GAYWYCK by Vincent Virga. Robert White is only 17 when he goes to Gaywyck to catalog its vast libraries. There he meets Donough Gaylord, Master of Gaywyck. Soon both are plunged into a web of love, mystery, intrigue, and vengeance colder than the grave. Another "hard to put down"-er. The first gay gothic love story written!" -- from a blurb (fan-written?) in Not Tonight Spock! #3
  2. Gaywyck at the author's webpage
  3. Virga, Vincent (1980). Gaywyck. Alyson Books. ISBN 978-1-55583-584-2. 
  4. The second title was Promises, Promises.
  5. The Hatstand, Archived version by Nell Howell
  6. comments by Alys in Short Circuit #3 (October 1990)
  7. comment on the CI5 List (January 29, 1997) quoted anonymously
  8. comment on the CI5 List (January 30, 1997) quoted anonymously
  9. Halloween fic by Jaycat92, October 29, 2009
  10. Halloween fic by byslantedlight, in response to Jaycat92 October 29, 2009