Forever Autumn (Starsky & Hutch zine)

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Zine
Title: Forever Autumn
Publisher:
Editor:
Author(s): Sue S and S. Meek
Cover Artist(s): Min
Illustrator(s): Min
Date(s): March 1980
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Starsky and Hutch
Language: English
External Links: cited here
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
cover by Min

Forever Autumn is the first slash Starsky and Hutch fanzine published.

It was published in England and has 133 pages. The zine's authors are Sue S and S. Meek. The cover and interior art is by Min.

The last page of this zine is a You are Receiving this Zine Because.

This story contains a lot of song lyrics by Justin Hayward and John Lodge, both imbedded in the text, as well as used at the top of various chapters. The story contains several fan-written poems as well.

Its sexual content is non-explicit: there is some kissing and fade-to-black sex. One would think that with all the times Hutch is beaten up, it would be a hurt/comfort bonanza, but this element is very drily described and not very much of an element. In fact, the entire story is very low on emotion, and incorporates a lot of "tell rather than showing," and often reads more like an disjointed outline than a fully-realized fic.

The story has a description in flash-back of Starsky and Hutch's first meeting, one that took place in Viet Nam where they served together, were involved in violent combat, and lived to tell the tale.

The story deviates from canon in that the episode Sweet Revenge never happens.

Brief Summary

The story opens with Starsky and Hutch not getting along, and it is left-over anger from the Kira situation. Starsky angrily tells Hutch he doesn't want to go to a Dodger's baseball game with him, but then feels bad about this, intending to go over to Hutch's house in the morning to apologize. He doesn't get this chance, because Hutch has subsequently been kidnapped by some bad guys in revenge for Hutch killing one of their brothers. Hutch is beaten and left for dead, but found by a hermit named Smokey and nursed back to health with his homemade tea in Smokey's culvert home. Hutch has amnesia from his injuries. Hutch gets a job at a rural gas station and works for a man named Bob. Bob give Hutch the name "Kid."

When bikers roll into the gas station to steal gas, they beat up Hutch and destroy the place. Hutch then moves on to L.A., and at one point, runs away from Huggy Bear in fear. Shortly afterwards, Hutch is picked up by the police who think he was involved in more biker violence. Dobey recognizes Hutch and when Dobey uses Hutch's name, Hutch's memories completely return. He has been gone four months.

Dobey calls Starsky who comes to take him home. It is that night, that they realized they love each other, and they have non-explicit sex.

Hutch, Dobey, and Starsky realize that the bad guys are still after Hutch, so they hatch a plan and capture them.

Kira makes an appearance at the end of the story in a scene reminiscnt of the last scene in the episode "Starsky vs. Hutch" at the bar. She tells Hutch she is thinking of opening up a clothing boutique, but is also interested in marrying a man with a lot of money. She says she wants to resume her and Hutch's relationship and hits on him. He hints he is now with someone, and she becomes scornful.

Hutch said, "I'm not married ... not in any legal sense of the word. I'm just ... spoken for."

Kira looked around in fury, wanting something to batten her frustrated anger to. She saw Starsky, standing a few feet away where Hutch couldn't see him. He was listening with a strange smile on his_face.

Connection. "Is it David?"

Not a heartbeat of anxiety or alarm, just a calm answer, "Yes, it's David,"

"I guess I never really had a chance with either of you, did I?"

It was Starsky who replied. "You had your chance, Kira ... but you blew it."

Hutch turned around and smiled at him. "Eavesdropper" he taunted.

Starsky grinned. "It was very interesting. Hi, Kira, how are you?"

"Hi yourself. And goodbye." She slipped from the barstool in one sinuous movement and left without looking back.

"Goodbye, Kira" they called in friendly chorus.

Starsky climbed onto the barstool Kira had vacated...

Starsky and Hutch tell Nick Starsky about their relationship, as well as Dobey and others, and people are almost uniformly supportive.

From an Ad

"[Forever Autumn] is an 'adult' Starsky and Hutch novel. It deals with the possible development of the relationship between Dave Starsky and Ken Hutchinson after the aired episode 'Starsky vs. Hutch.' It is a story of loss, discovery, and the birth of a love which, although fraught with difficulties and disasters, nevertheless cannot be denied." [1]

From the Editorial

From the introduction:

The 'Forever' Autumn started on August 19, 1979 with one of those innocent little remarks that cause so much trouble. 'I wonder if...'

Several exhausting months later, this is the result of that remark.

Forever Autumn is quite definitely a labour of love, and has ruled our lives since that moment. The logistics of co-writing a story with someone who lives ninety miles away still have us baffled, but somehow we did it, British Rail and their Klingon allies notwithstanding.

There is no intention to shock or upset in this story. We've put together one version of events after Kira, as we would have liked it to happen. we can't help it if we're crazy like that!

All the 'do they, don't they' arguments can be found in the pages of the S&H letterzine. This is our way of saying, 'Maybe they don't, but it would be nice if they did... and this is how it might happen.

Some of the Authors' Acknowledgments

The thanks that are due could probably fill several pages, but there are some people whose contribution just cannot bo ignored.

Doreen Dabinett, our mentor, for inspiring and encouraging us ... for pointing out a certain ad in 'Scutt' ... and for letting us loose in her house.

Pat Mitchell ... (l know Paddy de fois gras and 'this is not him.') for hospitality above and beyond the call of duty, and for her delightful 'Christmas gift',

Justin Hayward and John Lodge ... for beauty in music.

Janet Hunt, for homemade wine, videos, the mini-con, and the softest floor in the whole of England.

Penny Warren, for invaluable advice and encouragement. God bless.

May Jones, for being May Jones.

Jane Davis for ego-boo. Bless you Jane, you'll get your reward in heaven.

Marilyn, Tina, Joan, Pamela, Carol, Anne Lewis, Marilynne-in-Australia, Diana, Dave, and the Two Lunatics From Stockton for immoral support.

[snipped]

And to all our far-flung friends and S/H fans everywhere ... peace, happiness and ... ENJOY.

Dedication! Paul and David ... in years to come, when they talk about this (and they will) remember to tell them it was your idea.

Sample Interior

Post-Publication Comments from One of the Authors

Will There Be a Sequel?

In April 1981, the author writes S and H and says there will be no sequel. "I feel I ought to make clear is that the proposed sequel to FOREVER AUTUMN, 'The White Ocean,' does not and never has existed in any form other than a few scrawled notes, and will not at any time see print. I apologise to those few people who were kind enough to show an interest in it. The simple fact is that the S/H muse has totally deserted me..."

Original Issues and Permission to Copy

Shortly after the zine was published, one of the authors wrote: {{Quotation| Reader reaction to Autumn? In a word, phenomenal. We're all sold out, and those who have bought it, liked iL Any S/H zine could do much worse than an initial print run of 200-250. Inquiries are still coming in! People mostly made the same comments as those you'll have seen in the letterzlne. I crave the indulgence of the readers with sensitive natures ... it was indeed rather rushed at the end and went to piess in a less than complete condition. I've learned, my friends, how I've LEARNED! [2]

The Stencils

The editor notes in an issue of the letterzine, S and H, that the stencils were burned at Mini-Con in October 1980. As affordable photo-copying was still years away, this meant that, aside from the photostat mentioned above, new copies of this zine would be nearly impossible to recreate.

Deviation from Canon

One of the authors, Sue S, responded to fan comments regarding the decision to ignore the events of the episode "Sweet Revenge":
Dotty Barry, Penny Warren, and all those who took me to task for not referring to SWEET REVENGE in "Autumn", I, too, feel that any episode can be the jumping off point for a 'what-if' If the events of the story take a different course from the established series events, it automatically follows that they do so In a different reality/universe. To take a way out example, a fan-writer once suggest ed Kirk's sex-change in TURNABOUT INTRUDER on a permanent basis, and this evolved a series of sagas in which (s)he became pregnant, married, gave birth, etc. As I see it there are no limits in fan fiction. No one has the right to say you can't write this! The only judge of what one can publish is public opinion and even then it's not so much what you can publish as what you can sell. But the permutations are endless, and there are NO boundaries. [3]

Lack of Explicitness

[I] think the elements of sexual desire is secondary to the love involved. . .can see either partner becoming sexually aware of the other, but don't envisage lust as the main motivation for either relationship. This partly explains the lack of explicit detail in 'Autumn' . . .the other part of the explanations Penny, Connie., others- who asked/complained, is that I knew I was not equal to the task of writing it and rather than make a mess of it, I left it out altogether. [4]

A Dust-Up Regarding Age Statement

The creator of Forever Autumn writes that she has learned that a:
certain person, whose name I will not mention, ordered, paid for, and received a copy of Forever Autumn while under age… CONSIDERABLY under age. I know this was an exception as [F M-K] vetted my sales list and knew most of them. Okay, so FA was mild compared to many of the stories currently circulating: deliberately so as being a) the first and b) hopefully a slightly different approach after the white-heat of many later K/S offerings. [5]
The minor fan in question wrote to the letterzine later and explained:

This letter is addressed to all zine editors, present and future:

In regards to [Sue S's] letter in #16. I did order her zine FOREVER AUTUMN but didn't do as she claims. I ordered the zine under my mother's name. My mother Is the one who claimed that she was of age and she, of course, is. She is also aware of what she Is ordering. The envelope that the zine was delivered in is addressed to [I M], not [A]. I am 16-1/2 but am an emancipated minor. In matters such as this it gives me the rights of an 18 year old. I use my mother's name because I can't rightfully claim to be 18, and it is easier to use her name than to send a letter of explanation to zine editors every time I order a zine of adult nature. I hope this letter will be that letter of explanation. I will be attending UCLA College this next quarter, will have my own car in February, will have my own apartment In March, and will be working to support myself. However, my address will remain the same for tax purposes. My parents couldn't object even If they wanted to, and they don't. I would appreciate hearing whether the zine editors would prefer me to use my mother's name with a statement of age, or let me use my name with this letter of explanation. I hope this clears up any misunderstandings. [6]
A fan in a later letter responds:
As co-ed of a zine, I have to respond on the age-statement-minor issue. It's all very well acquiring FOREVER AUTUMN as you did, and I do not query your age, maturity, responsibility, or what ever. BUT in any situation where an author or editor demands an age statement because they feel that not to do so would be irres ponsible, that should be respected, not abused. In your case, okay, you are an emancipated minor, and FOREVER AUTUMN was not particularly explicit in sex or violence, but the age statement is not requested just to exercise the typewriter, or to give a zineanillicitattraction. Itisasmuchalegalnecessityas the copyright disclaimer, covering eds and auths from outraged parents, husbands, wives, lovers, priests, etc., etc., who might be inclined to do something drastic like suing, if they decided the contents were offensive in any way, and/or corruptive, or would stunt the growth of young and innocent minds. [7]

Reactions and Reviews

1980

This is, to my knowledge, the first published S/H story. It is a fortuitous beginning for the premise, in that the story is both dignified and credible, building up on the characters as they were presented in the series. It neither ignores the aired storylines nor digs for disguised meanings in S&H’s dialog or actions in the episodes, and yet extrapolates from what was presented in a way that leads the two men, and the reader, to examine their relationship in a new light. In FA, both Starsky and Hutch begin to feel the stress of confused sexual identities following their near-split during ‘Starsky vs. Hutch (the Kira incident), and for a time their denial and reactions during Hutch’s absence are not stereotypically manic, and this is one the story’s greatest strengths. There is an insidious, barely detectible disintegration, a slow death of the heart in Starsky that is more chilling for its cancer-like patience. The reunion is nicely understated, another innovation that sets FA above the ‘oh Starsky oh Hutch genre.’ And the seduction scene (which is in no way pornographic; two kisses are it, gang) is as tender and pleasing as any I’ve read in fanfiction of any persuasion. The style in the scene seems out of sync with most of the rest of the writing, though; do I detect the polish of a [name redacted] rewrite, here?... The resolution of the plotline (Hutch’s kidnapping, etc.) as well as the delicacy of the new relationship is adequately developed, but it all seems to be downhill after the beauty of love transfigured. A slight sequential problem is the absence of the events of ‘Sweet Revenge’ noticeable because of the conclusion of FA, Hutch is both underweight and sans caterpillar mustache – precluding the likelihood that ‘Revenge’ follows. (I understand that British fans were not accorded the opportunity to see the episodes in sequence in which they were aired in the U.S.) Purists of inter-episode integrity won’t find it hard to ignore this slip, though as it doesn’t alter the feelings shown in ‘Revenge’: love in terror of imminent loss is as devastating, no matter what the form of love…. Artwork in FA is sparse but, like much of the writing, understated and effective. Mimeo reproduction is decent. Altogether, Forever Autumn is hardly great literature, or even an elegant production, but it treats a controversial theme with respect and warmth, which makes it worth reading and passing along. [8]
Moi? Two kisses? Moi? Insulte! Nennl, M'amle, jamais, Jamais pasI The polish In FOREVER AUTUMN is entirely the two Sue's own. I am, however, the pervert who told them about Mr. Hutchinson and the nice Jewish boy. [9]
S/H vs. S&H — I don't care either way. It's something that Is so much a personal thing that its sole purpose for existence in fanfic is to stimulate the imagination. (Certainly stimulated mine!) It has provided an interesting experiment for fanfic writers — FOREVER AUTUMN, the first S/H zine I have read, handles the idea sensitively and with good taste—and will certainly provide more. Any concept that stimulates a writer to write is worthwhile. [10]

I'd like to hear from[Sue S] about fan/reader reaction to FOREVER AUTUMN. I like to think that we've grown enough to give this writer some space (and encourage

ment?) to do a S/H novel. And, I am.eagerly looking forward to the others-in-progress. But how about it. Sue? How' s the readership? [11]

I go along with [the zine] most of the way, but I'm still not convinced. What about, you ask - the S/H theme? No, no, no, I've accepted that idea for ages. But they couldn't live together. It wouldn't work. If anything would sour that beautiful friendship, living together in a permanent domestic arrangement would. I also think

there would still be girls in both their lives. [12]
After reading "Forever Autumn" I'm curious to hear what other fans thought of it. I enjoyed it and thought the S/H part was handled with very good taste. One thing I don't think would ever happen is for Starsky to give the Torino to Hutch. A friend (hi Joan) brought this to my attention. I hadn't given it much thought at first but the more I thought about it the more I realized she is right. How many other readers of this zine feel that the two Sues made Starsky have the more feminine role in the story? Hutch was the aggressive male. That's how it came across to me. After they had been together it was Starsky In the kitchen making coffee while Hutch stood and followed him around with his eyes. I realize it was Starsky's kitchen but I'm sure Hutch has made coffee there before. I'd like to know if the two Sues are more a fan of one of the guys over the other? I think it I had written this, I'd have done it the same way, being a Hutch more than a Starsky person. [13]
I've read "Forever Autumn" and really loved it, but a couple of things bothered me.... In my opinion notice any relationship the two would have would be as Teri Becket described another gesture to express the love they have for one another: I don't believe they'd be homosexual in any other way or with any other person. It's probably been brought up before -- but Alexander the Great and Hephaistion had that kind of relationship (from what I've read). They were married lo women and had female lovers, but nothing and no one could change the way they felt for each other-- and that feeling transcended all else even beyond death. Beautiful, I think. [14]
The standard of this zine is really excellent, but I' m not happy with the S/H theme. I didn' t really know what I was buying. [15]
One has to be careful with &'s and /'s these days! I used to make that mistake, using K/S all the time for speed -- luckily the people I was writing to didn't know either, so they intercepted my meaning correctly. I am indebted to [Sue S], [Sue M], and the rest of DobeyCon I (Hi pals, you've got a lot to answer for!) for explaining it all to me (After I bought "Forever Autumn," I may add! These business persons aren't daft!) You may gather I am not in favor of S/H. Or K/S. As for Han Solo and Chewie, or Hawkeye and B.J. references -- I don't feel well! This whole thing is getting out of hand, not to mention boring. What's the point? [16]

No, I didn't feel that the Two Sues assigned Starsky a more feminine role in FA. Male/female or consistent dominant/submissive role-adoption is rare among gay men, and the authors had obviously done their homework. The relationship as presented in Forever Autumn seemed evenly balanced. (In MURDER ONE, Hutch makes coffee for V anessa. Does this mean his wrist needs starching, or that she wears a leather bra?) It's always interesting, though, to note that when aired S&H do fall into role-playing, it's always Macho Man Starsky and Pretty Boy/Sweet Young Thing Hutch. They've done that number in THE BAIT — as a friend of mine remarked, Starsky looks like the pimp; Hutch looks like the merchandise — in THE ACTION and DANDRUFF and HUGGY & TURKEY. It's probably most blatant in SATAN'S WITCHES. Hutch buys the groceries, Starsky gasses up the car and sits drumming his fingers on the steering wheel, the very model of an impatient husband. Hutch cooks, Starsky lays uh, that is, builds, the fire. And Blondie's "Did you hurt yourself?" is delivered in the pure, prac ticed cadences of the bitch queen.

Left, dearie, left. [17]
NONONONONONO, sorry, but you've read us wrong! We're Starsky fans if anything, but like both equally (as one must to write S/H I think). The reason Hutch took the 'aggressive' role was because that's how it would have to be. When you've given the idea more than half an hour's thought, it's the only way for it to be. Please see [unclear word] it in a homosexual relationship there is generally NO 'female' role, and can you think of anyone who'd fit into a hypothetical female casting less than Starsk? If you'd read FOREVER AUTUMN again, you'd see that Starsky's emotional strength has deteriorated almost to nothing with Hutch's loss. Hutch's sudden return is almost as much of a wrench as his departure was. Starsk is emotionally drained, and ONLY Hutch has the strength to make the move here. In general terms, Starsk's almost dog-like loyalty would make him uber-protective of Hutch . . . he'd want to protect his partner EVEN FROM HIMSELF. Hutch's caring for Starsk is of a different order. It's no less genuine, no less THERE, but it takes a different form. Hutch will do what he thinks Is right for Starsk, make Starsk fit in with this if necessary. Starsk might give Hutch lectures, but he's got an odd kind of reticence about his place in his partner's world. I guess I'm not explaining this too well, am I? Anyone who's not certain what I'm on about feel free to give me kick in the tail, preferably verbally. . . [18]
Thanks for the further clarification on rorevcr Autumn. I'd interpreted it correctly, as it happens, but nice to know I got it right The effect on Starsky, after Hutch has been missing for so long, his gradual deterioration, emotionally and physically is very well conveyed. When Hutch comes back, at the point where Starsky has almost ac cepted the loss, Starsky's passive reaction is untypical, but perfectly understandable. He's numb with shock, wary of letting himself feel anything at all, playing a waiting game. Hutch,despite his ordeal, is almost the more rational. [19]

1981

Sue, Please forgive a flip remark designed more to malign the rising postal costs than your zine. Thanks to the Post Offal, FOREVER AUTUMN is the most expensive S&H zine I own. I never intend to hurt the author when I am lukewarm toward a story, but criticism always hurts. I've certainly received my share. Plenty is deserved, some is just opinion. Disregard mine if you wish. I admire all the caring and effort that goes into every zine. [20]
Having recently read FOREVER AUTUMN, I found it a good story; it even had a plot—most S/H don't. I'd like to make clear that I don't agree with this S/H theme but I read FA with an open mind, and it is caringly done. [21]

References

  1. from Datazine #1
  2. from the August 1980 issue of S and H
  3. Sue S in S and H #12 (June 1980)
  4. Sue S in S and H #12 (June 1980)
  5. from S and H #16 (December 1980)
  6. from S and H #17 (January 1981)
  7. from S and H #18 (February 1981)
  8. review by Connie Faddis in. S and H #10 (May 1980)
  9. Penny Warren in S and H #11 (June 1980)
  10. Terri Beckett in S and H #11 (June 1980)
  11. S and H #12 (June 1980)
  12. S and H #12 (June 1980)
  13. S and H #13 (August 1980)
  14. S and H #13 (August 1980)
  15. from a fan who was trying to sell her copy shortly after buying it: S and H #13 (August 1980)
  16. S and H #13 (August 1980)
  17. Penny Warren in S and H #14 (October 1980)
  18. Sue S in S and H #14 (October 1980)
  19. S and H #16 (December 1980)
  20. S and H #18 (February 1981)
  21. from S and H #19, March 1981