Hyperion to a Satyr

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Bodie/Doyle Fanfiction
Title: Hyperion to a Satyr
Author(s): Sebastian
Date(s): 1985, 2002, 2003
Length: 81K
Genre: slash
Fandom: The Professionals
External Links: online here

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Hyperion to a Satyr is a Professionals slash Bodie/Doyle story by Sebastian.

It is in print in The Hatstand Express (fiction supplement #3) in 1985, Sebastian Collected in 2002, and was archived online in December 2003. The story sometimes appears on fan's Desert Island lists.[1] It is also a story on The 1985 Hatstand Express Top Ten Lists.

In 2008, fan artist shooting2kill combined photo-manips and text from the story. They can be read here[2] and here[3]

Summaries

"Chronicles the relationship between Bodie and Doyle from its beginning until the breakup of Doyle's relationship with Ann Holly, after which Bodie picks up the pieces.[4]

Reactions and Reviews

....(and who will join me in KILLING the author if she doesn't write a sequel?!) [5]
Sebastian is the best writer in Pros by a universe and a half. She does bleak. She pushes the character boundaries to their limits. But you always believe her Bodie and Doyle. This story charts their burgeoning relationship. The joy is in the tiny details - see the sharing the peppermint scene.[6]
Any list of the best writers in Pros includes Sebastian, and a number of her stories have been rec'ed already. I like her because while she always gives us glimpses of the tenderness and affection and deep attachment between the guys, and also their individual vulnerability, she also keeps them indisputably guys - tough and hard and not so good at communicating. Often her stories, especially the later stories, have some degree of angst and darkness, which I find appropriate to this fandom, and a melancholic-but-yet-uplifting feel to them (she's also written some that are far from uplifting, but being a happy-ending sort of person myself, those tend not to be my favorites). She also does good smut, by which I mean that it's in character, not cookie-cutter, and gives the reader insight into the characters and their relationship. Hyperion to a Satyr is probably my favorite of all Sebastian's stories. It's a gentle story, written in Sebastian's typical almost lyrical style. It has passion and heat, longing and despair, affection and tenderness and an unbelievably lovely resolution, the kind that leaves you smiling through tears. It's entirely in character; the relationship between the two feels genuine and so amazingly and beautifully intimate, and the story gives insight into Bodie's psyche, in particular, that I find realistic and believable. It's a moving and deeply, deeply satisfying story - a classic in the fandom.[7]
The POV switching irritated the heck out of me. And I had to really wrack my brain for what I remembered of the tv show, which my brain did not appreciate. And really, I groaned at Bodie being that obtuse but then I figured I could go with it - I mean back then we weren't all into soul-searching and trying to work out the meaning of every little twinge of emotion we all felt. And the POV switching continued to irritate me. And then I was at the end and felt terribly sad it was all over. So I read it again. [8]
Sebastian is my favourite Pros author, but this story isn't one that springs mind when I think of her. I enjoyed revisiting it.

I don't like the beginning of the story, as it contains one of my all-time squicks: the too-early "I love you". However, I generally trust your taste, so I pushed on and found the rest of the story much more believable. Bodie's realisations about his feelings for Doyle after Doyle became involved with Ann rang true, and were written with that beautiful intensity that Sebastian does so well. (In fact, I can only think of one or two DS-era authors who I think do that as well as she does - the one who springs to mind is Killa in Highlander.)...

I'll have to read the story again to understand the POV issues. Not being a writer, I'm not very aware of those sorts of technicalities. I'd be interested in a post on that topic. [9]
The too-early "I love you" isn't one of my big squicks, but I'm not a big fan of it, either. Part I of Hyperion was nice enough, I suppose, but it's definitely not what got to me. I started being reeled in during the scene on stakeout in the parking garage, in the car, but it was the final parts that did it for me. Like you say, Bodie's "enlightenment" had a very believable and poignant feel to it, unlike some stories with similar types of "oh my god I love him!" epiphanies, and yes, that beautiful, almost haunting Sebastian intensity.... it just makes me ache.

And I loved the way Ray reacted, and the scene in the bathroom, and Bodie's desperation, his feeling that now it's too late (the reverse of this, with Doyle having his realization and fearing it's too late, characterizes another of my very favorite of Sebastian's stories - it's called Perfect Day and it's in Unprofessional Conduct 1, but it's not online, unfortunately, because none of the material from the Unpro Conducts is online. Have you read it?). And I just love the last lines of the story ... she has an inimitable way with emotion; soft but never sappy, if that makes sense.

As for the POV issues - they never bothered me in this story. I'm not a writer either, but I made some effort to understand because a) I'm always interested in technical details, and b) I began to suspect that not everyone who doesn't adhere to tight third person limited could be wrong. I may in fact do that post one of these days - but I have a few posts waiting in the wings; the important one on Why I Love Smut in My Slash (!), as well as a number of fic reviews .... so much fannish stuff to do!![10]
I've recently been reading outside Pros a little, but I do tend to come back to the Lads for a late night read before bed. This week it's been Sebastian's Hyperion to a Satyr, a wonderful story. I've been rereading only a page or so a night, so plenty of time to ponder things like:

- why this particular title? It's a reference to Hamlet and this line... "So excellent a king, that was to this Hyperion to a satyr," ...but other than that, and possibly the idea of combining the two - but how I don't know - I've got nothing.

- POV switching, I see you - Sebastian flicks between them - more later in the story than earlier, although there are moments in the first part - "He was pleased that Doyle was going to be reasonable; for a moment there he'd thought he might be tricky" (which could be omniscient, rather than Bodie POV actually). With most writers I prefer a consistent POV, if they aren't technically proficient enough to manage the switching, but there are a few, particularly Sebastian, M Fae, Helen Raven, who can do it well. I absolutely don't find it intrusive here and (IMO) seems necessary to give us glimpses of what's going on in Bodie's head so we can relax and indulge ourselves in the final, gorgeous happy ending.

Oh and it's a very lush, sweet and sexy ending as well :) [11]
I love this story, as I do most of Sebastian's stories. It's gorgeous and interesting, deeply emotional (her speciality, really), and very satisfying. It's interesting what you say about POV. I agree that the story works well using both--switching from Doyle early on to Bodie later on, emphasizing Bodie's change. I would argue, though, that the line you quoted is a slipping POV, and not necessary. We're in Doyle's pov then, and could easily have had this thought of Bodie's slipped in later, when in Bodie's pov, to get that particular take on the early scene. Sebastian, particularly in her early stories, made a lot of technical errors, but the reader is so wrapped up in the gorgeousness of it all that it is easy to ignore/forgive/not care. *g* I love the revelation scene in this, when Bodie knows, finally, what he wants, and how he's blown it, and how that changes him. It's a really nice story, isn't it? [12]
I know many people in fandom don't care one way or the other about such things [as different POVs in a story}. *g* I do. So, for me that slippage takes me momentarily out of the story every time. I love the story, so I go back, but I certainly notice it as jarring. ETA: You know, upon further reflection... I think she is actually using omniscient in this story. By the last section, we're in both heads, aren't we? So, she's dipping in and out more or less throughout, although focused more on Doyle to begin with, and then Bodie later? It has been several years since I read this. Certainly, this story is one where omniscient works perfectly well--the characters are, indeed, thinking/feeling pretty much what the reader (and they themselves) think they are thinking/feeling. So, what I'm arguing above is moot.*g* It's not the same sort of omniscient that MFae does, with a strong narrative voice, but I think it is omniscient. (As opposed to slipping.) And trust Sebastian to use omniscient and still retain all the intimacy of tight 3rd. *g* [13]
... I agree, Sebastian writes us into both lads' heads, and I've never had a problem with that. It used to be just the way people wrote - I've shelves of books, by well-renowned authors, all of them writing this way. And it doesn't have to be the big storyteller narrative voice, like M.Fae Glasgow uses either - I differ from MsMoat in thinking that an author can very effectively use a single change of pov to convey something extra in the story, to take the reader to the place she wants them to be. But that is different to suddenly throwing us into someone else's head, which is how it feels when it's done badly... that's the author at fault though, not the technique per se... and that's also always going to depend on the reader, because what some people find effective and barely notice unless it's pointed out, other people will cry "foul" on... *g* [14]
Yeah - I remember the whole pov discussion really striking me when I came into fandom, because I'd never particularly thought about it before. And gradually realising that it really did seem to be a fanfic-based discussion (well, I'm sure it's out there in "literary" circles too! *g*) - that the vast majority of books I read and re-read dance in and out of perspectives all the time... I wonder if it's to do with the fact that as "amateur" writers, we're often still learning the ropes, and so discussing things like that is all part of learning the writing ropes (not that "professional" writers don't often need to learn to do things much better than some of them do!)? But of course, where anything's discussed, it can become "an issue", and suddenly people are laying down guidelines, and rules and all... As you say, nothing wrong with tight pov, but I'm just as happy with seeing different perspective.[15]
It's a gorgeous read.[16]

References

  1. Close Quarters Desert Island Episode/Zine/Fic dated July 18, 2009; reference link.
  2. WebCite.
  3. WebCite.
  4. The Professionals Online Library - Title List: H summary by Dagger.
  5. from The Hatstand Express #6 (1985).
  6. zendom story recs accessed September 14, 2012.
  7. from a 2004 comment at Crack Van
  8. from a 2004 comment at Crack Van
  9. from a 2004 comment at Crack Van
  10. from a 2004 comment at Crack Van
  11. 2012 comments at CI5hq
  12. 2012 comments at CI5hq
  13. 2012 comments at CI5hq
  14. 2012 comments at CI5hq
  15. 2012 comments at CI5hq
  16. 2012 comments at CI5hq