Free for All

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Zine
Title: Free for All
Publisher: Felix Press
Editor(s): Nansi Loser
Date(s): 1991-1993
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: multimedia
Language: English
External Links:
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Free for All is a slash multimedia anthology.

There were three issues.

Descriptions from Flyers

This zine does contain material with "adult" and sexual/erotic themes, such as stories that deal — sometimes in detail — with both straight romantic and "/" romantic relationships. All stories are clearly labeled regarding this sort of thing on the contents page.

The concept behind Free For All is very simple: It's a completely no-frills zine. We don't have any fancy covers, and there aren't any creative binding techniques, There aren't even any illustrations (though we will, very occasionally, run the odd cartoon)...

So, you're saying, WHAT DO WE OFFER? Good authors and interesting stories at prices that won't break you budget for the rest of the fiscal year.

Free For All is open to the characters/universe(s) of the author's choice. We love good fiction, and we're interested in making Free For All a fiction forum for any good short story, whether B/D, Earl/Major, Star Trek, Robin of Sherwood, or whatever. We also welcome stories with characters that are completely new, fresh out of the author's head. Complete story/submission guidelines are available for writers. It is probably a good idea to request a copy of them before submitting a story. Just send a request not and your complete address. [1]

Issue 1

cover of issue #1
illo by "Rolaine," portrays Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap and Sherman from "Peabody's Improbable History."

Free for All 1 was published in October 1991 and contains 121 pages.

It contains a single illo signed "Rolaine," but it is not credited.

It was 90% Bodie/Doyle.

From the zine:

FREE FOR ALL #1 is an adult fannish publication, and is not intended to infringe, in any way, upon copyrights held by any original or legal successor holders of relevant copyrights and/or trademarks in conjunction with any universe or character presented herein, whether such copyrights and/or tradmarks [sic] were held in the past, are held now, or will be held, to the end of the world. All stories and poems are printed here for the first time, unless specifically otherwise noted. Submissions and LOCS are encouraged and welcomed. Correspondence requiring a reply should be accompanied by a SASE. All correspondence will be considered for publication in Issue #2, unless clearly noted otherwise.

[...]

FREE FOR ALL #1 is dedicated to every fan whoever said "what if?" and had the courage to write that speculation down on paper...
From the editorial:

[...]

Now, some "editorial desk notes" — E.J. Pelham-Stewart's crazed TV series, which was planned for Issue 1, will now appear in Issue 2 — Eliza graciously agreed to make room for Walk A Different Path; Merlyn Smith got cold poetry feet at the last minute, and so, regrettfully [sic], her two poems will not be in this issue — however, I'm talking her into Issue #2!

For those who will ask, upon seeing that Anne Carr's novella Walk A Different Path is Part I of II — Yes, there is a Part II and Yes, it will be coming out in August, 1992 in FREE FOR ALL #2. I'm really pleased I was able to convince my longtime partner, Anne Carr, into finishing WALK. As many real "olde time" Pros fen know, Anne began writing WALK way back in 1984 (in fact all of Part I and some of Part II date from then) when she was still running the American Pros Story Circuit. She put the story aside about a year later, and despite many requests from fen who have read the draft of Part I over the years, she always resisted getting back into fan writing. I felt it was too good a story to go undone and be left sitting in an unfinished first draft form; after much discussion I was finally able to convince her to tackle the project of editing Part I and then finishing the novella. I think readers will find the story well worth the wait!

Issue No. 2 goes into beginning editing and production, etc. [...] FFA #2 is already about 1/2 full, but if you've got a story or a poem looking for a home, send it or them along! The zine is a definite "go" and will debut on August 31, 1992. The Press now has it's own computer set up and copying facilities are available to me, personally...

[...]

LOCS are not only welcome, I will probably (delicately) hound people for them. If they aren't forthcoming — remember, I know where you live! I don't wilt and become sullen if something is not liked — indeed, I would rather know what people thought didn't work and why. I will put all feedback into the production work on Issue #2.

I have some big "thank yous!" to hand out: To all the authors I approached and who said "Yeh, sure ~ here's a story!", a huge THANK YOU, because without them, this zine wouldn't exist. I'd also like to thank my good friend down under in Oz, Fiona Walker, for unstinting encouragement and enthusiasm over this project, even when she must have thought "Oh god, not that zine again!", every time she got a letter from me. Many thanks to Linda Terrell for critical and balanced input, support, and excellent writing critiques. Special Thanks to Sherry Zoeller for providing tons of reading material when I was getting back into Pros and lots of all around encouragement and to Lily Fulford, who - besides being an amazing writer - is a friend who always comes through above and beyond the call of duty.

And finally, the biggest thanks of all go to my partner and long suffering roommate, the aforementioned Anne Carr, who has had to live with a zine-crazed editor for the last year and a half, has done so uncomplainingly and with unreserved encouragement, enthusiasm and plain old hard work. Without her support and occasional raps on the head, I would not have been able to produce and maintain either this zine or my sanity!

BUT SERIOUSLY:

HUMOR:

  • The Commic [sic?] Strip Presents: The Bullshitters, Tonight's Episode: The Gay Serum by Stew (Pros, The Bullshitters) (29)
  • Dr. Beckett's Improbably Minute by Linda Terrell (Quantum Leap) (38)

WITH A LIGHT TOUCH:

  • Eye of the Beholder by Annie Tucker (Eroica) (44)
  • Sundae (On the Rug with Doyle) by Penelope Fitzjames (Pros) (88)
  • Bilbo by Lily Fulford ("This story comes from Lily Fulford's "Sugar is Sweet" Universe and falls in after the story "Summer in the City", and it is "/"."] (Doyle buys an LP with Leonard Nimoy's song "Bilbo Baggins" on it and drives Bodie crazy with it. Oddly, they are referred to as "Ray"and "Bodie" in the fic.) (Pros) (94)

OTHER WORLDS:

  • The Ghosts that Haunt Me by Merlyn Smith (Pros) ("This story is the first in Merlyn Smith's "Transformation" series. This Bodie and Doyle are very much grounded in the lads we first met on 'The Professionals', but this series explores what might have been occuring on another track....") (100)

ORIGNIAL POETRY:

  • Images 2, Haiku by Linda Terrell (115)
  • Buffalo Song by Linda Terrell (116)
  • The Horses of Avalon by Linda Terrell (116)
  • Eyes by Linda Terrell (117)
  • Adverts (118)

Issue 2

Free for All 2 was published in April 1993 and contains 109 pages. Many issues came with part of one "Walk a Different Path, part one" (28 pages) as a loose-leaf addition, which makes the page count of this zine confusing.

cover of issue #2

This zine was 80% Bodie/Doyle.

From the editorial:

Well, here it is at last, FREE FOR ALL, ISSUE #2. The final mix was somewhat different from what I'd anticipated, but, hopefully, everyone will find something to enjoy and will feel the zine was worth the wait. WALK A DIFFERENT PATH, PART II is here and while I may be biased, I think its excellent. KING HENRY'S WAGER is a must-read for fans of historicals and anyone who likes Tris and Alex (not to mention Bodie & Doyle). For fans of EROICA, there is a delightful story by [Barbara T], GREEN GROWS THE HOLLY (the Earl, as usual, manages to get his man). We have a first-rate original work by Linda Terrell that should make you stop and think and maybe shiver a bit, and as for the rest -- I hope you'll find it all comes under the heading "good read." A note or two: Merlin X. Smith was very unhappy with the way her second "Transformations" story came out — she didn't feel her writing was up to par and ended up pulling the story from this issue while it undergoes rewrites. I'm hoping she'll ease up on herself and let me prise it out of her for the third issue of FREE FOR ALL.

As usual, editing, where it has occurred, has been for grammar, punctuation, spelling; content was left entirely up to the authors. "Free For All" was and is designed to offer a variety of stories, both fandom based and original, as long as the writing was done well. And I think that particular standard has been upheld by every writer in the zine. AS ALWAYS...

LOCS are WELCOME. Zines can't exist in a vacuum. If you don't think something works -- tell me why! If you think something works, tell me why! I love sitting back and reading too, but in order to produce, writers need feedback. A final word about production delays: There will be a third issue of FREE FOR ALL. I had said that if I didn't have at least four submissions that I could use by July, 1993 , I wouldn't do another issue. Well, I have four subs that I'm going to use, to date, and expect to receive several more in the next couple of

months. HOWEVER, I am making a change in procedure. From now on, I will not advertise the future issues of FREE FOR ALL (or any other Felix Press publication) until the zine(s) is completely done, and I have a small initial print-run sitting in boxes, waiting to go. Therefore, starting with Issue #3, when you see an ad for the zine or read a flyer, be aware that it means the zine is DONE and IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE. I think this is going to be less wear and worry on me, and I think it will be far nicer for anyone who is ordering the zine -- because you won't hear about any of the zines until they are finished and ready to go out to you. This way you will not have to wait due to production problems.
flyer for issue #2
  • Walk a Different Path, Part 2 by Anne Carr (Pros) (part two, Bodie has left CI5 and begun a lucrative writing career. Doyle is still in CI5 and partnered with someone else. When Bodie finds out some info on some old Merc pals, he volunteers to give it to Cowley and subsequently work with Doyle a bit again.) (1)
  • Green Goes the Holly by Barbara T (Eroica) (It's beginning to look a lot like Solstice. Klaus is investigating am artifact's disappearance, so he automatically thinks of Dorian. He's right as usual, of course, but there are aspects he doesn't quite expect to this, has elves.) (35)
  • "King Henry's Wager" by E. J. Pellham-Stewart is an historical AU crossover with Tris/Alex (fandom names for RPS involving Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin). (Tris/Alex) (Tris is a nobelman in Henry VIII court. One night, he catches a thief by the name of Alex trying to break in to the palace. He bargains for the young man's life by betting the king that he can pass off the ragged thief as a noble at a court three months later.) (47)
  • Moving Day by Linda Terrell (original fiction) (97)
  • American Gothic (Tris/Alex) by Nancy Arena (a farmhouse and squeaky bedsprings) (99)
  • Blake, haiku by Linda Terrell (105)
  • Faded Guidons & Silent Bugles, poem by Linda Terrell (106)
  • In the Moon of the Fat Ponies, poem by Linda Terrell (107)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

Reviewer's disclaimer: These are my opinions, thoughts and typos. If you have a different view, thought or typo to share, I'd like to see them.

[zine info omitted]

The cover lists this zine as having come out April 15, 1993. I think I picked it up as a used zine either that year or the next. While the editorial mentioned that she was planning on doing another issue, I have never heard or seen either the first or third one since. Anyone have any idea if the third one came out and what the first and third issues might have had in them?

This is a pretty bare bones zine. Fairly plain cover, no artwork and a list of stories that would appeal to only a select few fen. Overall, though, despite some odd twists, it is a very nicely written zine.

"Walk a Different Path, Part II" (PROS) by Anne Carr--I don't think I've ever read Part 1, but I figured out a basic idea pretty quickly. This one starts out with Bodie having left CI5 and begun a lucrative writing career. Doyle is still in CI5 and partnered with someone else. When Bodie finds out some info on some old Merc pals, he volunteers to give it to Cowley and subsequently work with Doyle a bit again. It's actually got a bit of plot beyond the usual emotional rigamarole and actually avoids the sap inherent in it. I couldn't help but imagine Doyle bursting into a rousing version of "The Street Where You Live" at one point, but I'm pretty certain that's just me...

"Green Grows the Holly" (Eroica) by Barbara T.--It's beginning to look a lot like Solstice. Klaus is investigating am artifact's disappearance, so he automatically thinks of Dorian. He's right as usual, of course, but there are aspects he doesn't quite expect to this. While this story gets deliberately trippy (Mr. James as an elf? Save me!) it also manages to keep the characters recognizable in an unusual situation. I'm not sure I see Dorian as being this spiritual about anything outside of art or Klaus, but it is not pushed beyond a limit I can deal with. Not my favorite of her stories, but still a good one.

"King Henry's Wager" (Tris/Alex au) by E.J. Pelham-Stewart--There's something about the idea of an alternate universe Tris/Alex story that just seems to go beyond surreal for me. That said, I like this story. Okay, it steals blatantly from several different genres (historical, Pygmalion), but it never pretends not to! And for some reason, I find it both enjoyable and oddly endearing. Tris is a nobleman in Henry VIII court (actually, there relationship somewhat reminds me of Henry II and Becket, if a lot less, shall we say, intense). One night, he catches a thief by the name of Alex trying to break in to the palace. He bargains for the young man's life by betting the king that he can pass off the ragged thief as a noble at a court three months later. And, of course, in the interim, they fall in love. (Everybody say "awwwww!")

"Moving Day" (original) by Linda Terrell--I'm not sure what the point is of this or what it's doing in a zine of any kind, let alone a slash zine.

"American Gothic" (Tris/Alex) by Nancy Arena--The other, "real" Tris/Alex story. And I'm beginning to wonder at this fascination for farmhouses is for some fen. Bodie and Doyle have been in similar situations several times. This is hardly a meaty story, but it's fun, squeaky bedsprings and all.

So, all in all, certainly worth $10, if that's still how much it is and you can find it. [2]

Issue 3

Free for All 3 had an initial proposed publication date of March 31, 1993, but must have been published later than that.

  • The Strangest Things by E. J. Pellham-Stewart (Pros) (Doyle is turning 40 and finding it harder than he thought to come to terms with the fact that he needs ti make some life changes (while partner Bodie nobly refrains from throttling him...for the most part)
  • Walk-ins Welcome by Merlyn Smith (Pros) (second in AU "Transformation" series explores the question: Now that Raymond Doyle is back among the living and the curse broken- now what?)
  • fiction by Salazar
  • original poetry from Merlyn Smith, J.P. Ryan, T'alizan and Linda Terrell

References

  1. from On the Double #23
  2. In 1995 Michelle Christian posted this review to the Virgule-L mailing list. It is reposted here with permission.