Hostage to Peace

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Zine
Title: Hostage to Peace
Publisher: Nut Hatch
Editor:
Author(s): Wally
Cover Artist(s):
Illustrator(s): no art
Date(s): February 1994
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: The Professionals
Language: English
External Links:
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Hostage to Peace is a slash AU 155-page novel by Wally.

This zine contains no interior art.

The story was the inspiration for The Cook and the Warehouseman.

Author's Afterwords

Well that's it for another story, I hope it gave you pleasure. My thanks again to Pegasus for advice and editing - it is much appreciated.

While writing this story I have been watching the news stories as the war in what was Yugoslavia (ears people and lives apart. None of the combatants in that sad land seems to want peace, as they continue a war a thousand yeats old. And I wish that, somehow, there was somebody who could make them see sense.

This story is dedicated to Peacefarers of the future and to the hope that one may be found in the present. God speed their work.

Summary

The Hatstand's summary: "An alternate universe Bodie/Doyle novel with a science fiction setting. Bodie is a Peacefarer who can secure a crucial peace treaty with a certain planet only by agreeing to marry the ruler's youngest and favourite son, Raymond Doyle."

From the Nut Hatch Flyer

Hostage to Peace, the new B/D novel by Wally

Is it a romance? Is it science fiction? Or maybe it’s both Bodie, Peacefarer, visits Ilawa to help its ruler decide if the planet should give up piracy and join the Combine of Planets. Unknown to him, he is watched by Raymond, favourite son of Doyle, ruler of Ilawa. But before the treaty can be signed, Doyle demands one more concession from Cowley negotiator and Bodie’s boss.

Raymond wants Bodie. And what Raymond wants, Doyle will get for him.

If Bodie “loves peace so much that he will give a year of his life to impress my people with his talents, let him give a bit more to the cause”.

Cowley has no choice but to do as Doyle asks, even if it means manipulating Bodie. And Bodie has little choice but to accept: thousands will die if he does not. Against the lives of so many, the freedom of one man has little weight. Bodie loves Murphy of the dark eyes and gentle smile, not some arrogant, spoilt young princeling. But Murphy is to marry and Bodie has nowhere else to go.

This story, a romance set on a faraway and different world, tells how Bodie, proud and independent, comes to know Raymond as a man, not just a prince. But their joining threatens the stability of a world, and there are those who fear change.

There are villains in this story (as in any romance worth the name), hidden references to things said and done in the series (see if you can spot them!), lovers and friends. There is a world whose night sky is filled with silver and the memory of seagulls gliding the winds of a blue English sky, the sights and sounds of the river Mersey. For lovers of science fiction, there is genetic engineering and political theory, and a whole new society discover.

This is Bodie and Ray Doyle in a new incarnation. [1]

Reactions and Reviews

Unknown Date

Having read Helen Raven's The Cook and the Warehouseman, I was very curious about the zine story that inspired her: Hostage to Peace by Wally. And having read Wally's work, I have new respect for Raven. She did an amazing job taking what was a clumsily executed but very promising idea and turning it into a story that I think is one of Pros AU classics.

But credit must be given where credit is due, and while Wally was not a stylistically gifted writer, she did have one heck of an imagination.

So here's the basic story -- which Raven pretty much stuck to. Bodie and Murphy are Combine Peacekeepers (lovers and partners) who, as the story opens, are arranging a peace conference with an alien race called the Ilwa. The Ilwa were formerly ruthless pirates but they're now -- warily -- settling into civilized trade with an interplanetary confederacy that includes Earth.

The Ilwas are humanoid to all intents and purposes, but they have their little quirks like any powerful civilization. Prince Raymond, the favorite son of the ailing Ilwa king, happens to spot Bodie at the peace conference and he decides he wants him as his companion and bedmate. Bodie is still in love with Murphy, but Murphy is getting married, and since the Ilwa king says he won't sign the treaty unless Bodie agrees to bond with the prince...Bodie agrees and is soon over the moon -- literally if not figuratively.

Bodie and the prince spend some time getting to know each other on the journey back to Ilwa, and there are the usual bumps along the way. One interesting thing Wally did -- adding an element of conflict (that, sadly, she had no idea how to develop) -- was to keep Bodie in love with Murphy and very much just doing his duty by consorting with the prince. This is a potentially painful and angsty scenario that Raven didn't bother with (not that she didn't do plenty on the angsty side) and neither, ultimately, did Wally.

One of the major problems in Wally's version of the story is that Prince Raymond bears zero resemblance to Raymond Doyle. Raven's prince doesn't rank a lot higher on the 4.5 scale, but she does manage to create a fascinating creature -- alien-seeming and yet enough like Doyle to intrigue. Wally's Prince Raymond...well, we never do understand what it is he sees in Bodie, and midway to the planet he suddenly begins having grave doubts which makes him seem superficial and spoilt. In fact, he's pretty awful all around: arrogant, illogical, childish. So not only do we not understand what he loves about Bodie, Bodie's change of heart toward him is doubly inexplicable.

"Then we will eat and drink and dance," Ray said. He stood up and whirled around.

Somebody smack him. Yeah, so that pretty much sums up Prince Raymond. Bodie isn't quite the doormat here that he is in Raven's work, but he's a long way from the tough, effective peacekeeper I'd have liked to see in this sticky situation.

Another problem is that while Wally laid the groundwork for the alien civilization, she didn't do a lot with it. We learn that the Ilwa are "a treacherous race, violent and insane." But mostly they just seem…petulant and irrational. They do have a tendency to kill people when they don't get their way, but it's not as scary as it should be. Mostly just...wasteful. It's hard to imagine these aliens as the scourge of the universe. They're pretty ineffective as ruthless pirates go.

This regard for physical beauty was due to their warrior-like culture.

Huh? How does that automatically follow? Warrior cultures typically value scars and the signs of honorable seasoning in battle. There's all kinds of stuff like that in here. Stuff that just...doesn't make sense. On our planet we call that...weak writing.

Because Wally starts her story in a SF world and an AU universe, we don't have anything like the shock value we do with Raven's story which starts out with a recognizable Earth reeling from the news that there really IS life out there -- and guess who's coming to dinner?

Wally does touch on most of the elements that Raven later developed to such brilliant ends: the importance of personal body scent to the aliens, Bodie's sense of isolation, the confusing and embarrassing cultural differences, and the joining of spirits and minds through mating (which Bodie achieves -- apparently through the power of positive thinking -- in Wally's story).

Unfortunately, the main problem is that Wally was one of those writers who had terrific ideas without the chops to bring them off. The writing is stiff, exposition-y and clumsy with over-explaining and just plain goofiness.

His leg had reminded him that he had been waiting for something to happen. Maybe this was it.

Uh...or maybe not. To tell the truth, I wondered if perhaps English was a second language for Wally? There are myriad floating POVs and a zillion typos.

The lyrics to "We've Only Just Begun" are printed at the end of the story, which was probably the most alien thing about the zine. [2]

1997

I loved it. Well-written, and a Bodie I can like (ie not M. Macho with a poker face and nothing inside, but a real, flawed man, and very interesting.) [3]

1998

I dislike 99.9% of Wally's stuff, and liked this enough to re-read every couple of months or so. I thought it was better than the "re-do" from England; although I enjoyed that one too, I didn't keep it and I did Wally's. [4]

References

  1. ^ flyer
  2. ^ from JGL at The Hatstand, Archived version
  3. ^ comment at CI5, quoted anonymously (November 9, 1997)
  4. ^ a comment at CI5, quoted anonymously (1998)