If Love is Real: Addiction

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Title: If Love is Real: Addiction
Publisher: In Person Press
Author(s): Flamingo
Cover Artist(s): Suzan Lovett
Illustrator(s): one black and white photo manip by April Valentine
Date(s): October 1999
Medium: print
Fandom: Starsky and Hutch
Language: English
External Links: online at the S&H Archive; also here, available as an ebook
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
cover by Suzan Lovett: "An Addiction to Flowers" -- winner of a 1998 Huggy Award -- [1]
manip by April Valentine

If Love is Real: Addiction is a slash Starsky and Hutch 154-page novel by Flamingo. The cover is by Suzan Lovett. It required an age statement to purchase.

Art samples are included with the publisher's permission.

Original Planned Place of Publication

Addiction was *supposed* to go in a zine -- Nightlight 3 -- but [April Valentine] simply didn't get enough other submissions and we both decided not to hold it up anymore. Even the art was originally done for Nightlight 3, and I asked Suzan if I could use it for the story. We never planned it to be a standalone, and I had no idea it would be long enough when I started it. So the fact that it is a standalone is simply circumstances. Likewise Risk originally was in one of the Nightlights, and other novels--stories long enough to be categorized by anyone as novels, not short stories--have been published in many zines and also serialized in zines. I mean it took me just as long to write Addiction whether it showed up in Nightlight or got published by itself. [2]

The Series

"If Love is Real: Addiction" is part of the If Love is Real Series.

From the Zine

From the title page:

This zine is lovingly dedicated to VenicePlace. Definitely the Nicest 'Hood on the Net with the most beautiful neighbors in the world.

From the Introduction by April Valentine:

It is my distinct pleasure to present this latest in Flamingo's powerful, 'If Love is Real' series, 'Addiction.' Through these stories, the author explores the feelings Starsky and Hutch have for each other, the ones they can acknowledge and act upon as well as those they try to hid, even from themselves. We've followed them through the academy, through Hutch's divorce and a lost love of Starsky's. They've touched with explosive consequences, and gone on to set rules about their relationship, what it is and what it can never be. But the episode, 'The Fix,' the fifth aired, represents their first real trial-by-ordeal as partners. Hutch's kidnapping and forced addiction to heroin puts the young cops to the test as men and as friends and sometimes lovers. Starsky cannot ignore Hutch's pain, cannot help trying to ease it, to lead Hutch back to himself. And Hutch hangs on to Starsky as anchor, rescuer, cherished friend and -- can he admit?-- desired lover. Starsky and Hutch exist in the world of 'me and thee' apart from others who cannot understand what they are going through. In the darkest reaches of Hutch's torment, Starsky can reach out to him. But when the wounds are healed and the world begins to intrude on the sanctuary of 'me and thee,' it is once again difficult to say if love is real. But we can say this isn't the end of the story.

From the introduction by Flamingo:

This story was written during one of the worst writer's blocks of my life. It definitely would not have ever been finished without the continual help and encouragement from so many of my friends who had a helluva lot more faith in me than I did in myself. Special thanks go to: Suzan for many things but especially for inspiring the dream; Martha, for her interest, patience, and faith that I'd complete the task when I had no faith in myself; Kath, Ro, Kelly, Glow, good buddy KayCee, Barbara Ann. Solo, SHaron, and all the helpful friends and fans who've encouraged me over Ihe years. Special thanks and remembrances go to my friend NancyT23 who died this year. Nancy discussed this story with me extensively and shared many ideas for it. I miss you, Nance.

The Art

In fandom, we have a tendency to lump all our stuff into one realm: stories. But just like some pieces of art are small, deliberately to make you focus in on them, and other pieces are huge, to make you stand back and feel the largeness of the idea they're representing, fiction is the same way. I remember seeing Georgia O'Keefe's famous poppy painting, the one on the cover of Addiction? It's little. It's always blown up huge on posters but in the flesh, it's a small piece. Then around a corner was this gigantic massive canvas that took up like three huge walls and could only really be appreciated from a certain distance. It was a skyscape as seen from an airplane, and that is *exactly* what it looked like presented properly. Up close, it was just a bunch of blue and white, but at the right distance you were suddenly *in* the plane looking out over the clouds. [3]

Reactions and Reviews

"Addiction" stands on its own as a phenomenal piece dealing with the fall-out from Hutch's brush with heroin in the episode "The Fix". There's a scene where they re-enact what happened to Hutch, but with Starsky playing the role of victim. Hutch tries to show his partner what addiction feels like and Starsky wants to understand, but they get more than they bargained for. It's sexually-charged and utterly compelling. [4]

I think I'll be etenally grateful to you, F; you're the one that got me addicted to S&H slash. When I found the fandom last July, I would only read Gen stories, because that was the way I knew The Boys. Then I read one of your "If Love is Real" series and I was hooked (pun intended). Your pieces are so powerful, lyrically and beautifully written, I had to concede the viability of the whole point of view. I can't thank you enough. This is one of my favorites, right up there with 'Total Eclipse of the Heart.' Thank you! [5]


  1. ^ The original art was for sale here at Partnersrmore
  2. ^ comments by Flamingo, March 2002, VenicePlace, quoted on Fanlore with Flamingo's permission
  3. ^ from Flamingo, VenicePlace, quoted on Fanlore with Flamingo's permission, March 29, 2002
  4. ^ a 2005 comment at Crack Van
  5. ^ comment by DP Patricks at Starsky and Hutch Archive, July 1, 2015