Late for Breakfast/Issues 24-25

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Issues 1-23 · Issues 24-25 · Issues 26-27 · Issues 28-29 · Issues 30-31

Late for Breakfast is a multi-fandom letterzine. There were 31 issues published between 1989 and 1997.

Issue 24

Late for Breakfast 24 was published in the beginning of February 1995 and contains 42 pages. It was edited by Carla S., who says the zine is moving from a Jan/Apr/July/Oct schedule to a Feb/May/Aug/Nov in order to accommodate MediaWest attendance. Many fans also comment about the editor's possible plans (mentioned in the last ish) to end this letterzine.

cover of issue #24
  • the editor thanks Edgie, the zine's only male subscriber: "He is unique being the only male subscriber and I'm particularly happy to have someone who can, with some authority, comment on some aspects of slash and/or gay lifestyles which has been of benefit to us all."
  • membership was running just over 50 subscribers
  • "Japanese Slash, New Things" -- recap
  • a review of Evasive Maneuvers, see that page
  • a review of a pro book called "No Escape" by Richard Herley
  • a review by Ferret of "Slashnet," see Virgule Mailing List
[editor, Carla]:
The letters, as you can see, form about 50% of this issue which is where I would like it to continue to be; the review section is expanding both in the type of item covered and in the people who are sending in reviews and I hope these trends continue. Sometimes I may hold a review over to the next issue because of lack of space but it will appear. A particular thanks to the people who have been sending me adverts for both UK and US zines. I still have quite a few as I had to keep the page count to about 40 but they are very welcome and I have already ordered several of the zines myself as I hadn't seen the adverts anywhere else.
[editor, Carla]:
Please let me know if you are unhappy about my printing the locations of subscribers - see my comments in [Janet E's] letter. I could either just print the town/county/state or the pseudonym as well. I sometimes wonder if people know there is another subscriber living nearby who may have lot in common with them. The biggest problem with a newsletter is that it is so infrequent and although letter writing helps, it is great to be able to chat to someone about common interests which is probably why so many subscribers like going to Cons.
[editor, Carla]:
Are there any War of the Worlds fans out there? I have had the show on tape for several years but for some reason fell in love (that should really be lust) with Paul Ironhorse and have been devouring everything I can lay my hands on connected with the show. I have been buying lots and lots of zines but am looking for other people I could perhaps borrow/loan zines to especially out of print ones. I am also trying to find some of the other It's not that I've grown tired of the fandoms I started in Pros and Starsky & Hutch just that there's so little new stuff about and so I started looking again at some of the others fandoms I read when I bought media zines. So far I have ordered 6 Hawaii Five-0 zines and a Garrison's Gorillas zine as well as 20 or more War of the Worlds. But where have all the Pros and S&H zines gone? I have bought a couple of S&H recently but it's been ages since I bought a Pros one apart from the ones from the stalwart publishers of Gryphon and Nut Hatch Presses - I would go crazy without these Presses.
[editor, Carla]:
Like you I've grown tired of a lot of gay fiction although I buy some now and again. The problem I found was that there was so little emotion between the characters and I miss that so much. Even a good hurt/comfort straight story can engender more emotion between the characters than much of the gay fiction I've read. If that's what gay readers what fine... but it doesn't suit me. I agree with EDGIE's comments that most men (gay or straight) find it difficult to accept romantic feelings - perhaps when that day comes sexuality will be more blurred; less black and white and people will stop being so anti-gay.
[Amelia]:
I'm surprised that people who look out for gay videos, expect to see something really exciting. I mean surely it's just like all those heaving sex scenes the BBC will pop into plays, that generally add nothing to the story and tend to make you wonder why someone with a body like that would want to display it for all to see. They have spots and pipe cleaner arms, well yes, I know 95% of us have bodies best kept under wraps but you'd think they'd at least find some decent ones to thrust into our living rooms! It's the men mostly, I'm afraid; the ladies are generally of decent dimensions but you get a lot of awfully flabby spotty guys. And no, I don't agree that it's real life and that makes it better. In real life you are presumably nuts on the man and don't care what his conformation is like. As it's a perfect stranger on the box, you tend to get distracted by his imperfections. Or am I the only one who feels this way?
[Dragon]:
Scully could easily be a man. There is nothing in the script that makes the character a female one, not even a romance with the hero, a wise choice I feel. How much better for us if Scully had been a man though. Then we could have made it a romance in the good old tradition of slash. The show has some genuinely creepy moments, especially in the two Tooms episodes.
[Dragon]:
It's different when writing of course, but then all of the slash pairings I like are not played as gay characters and I don't write them strictly that way. Of course, they are gay because they are in love and sharing a sexual relationship with a man, and yes, have most likely some history in thought if not in deed, but apart from that I don't want them to act that much differently than they do in the series because it's the way they act there that attracts me to them in the first place.
[Dragon|
Ah, Babylon 5. What is it with all the bad press this show has copped from the media? I think it's wonderful. I mean, I love the fact that we have a possible slash pairing in Sinclair and Garibaldi, even though Sinclair is now deserting us and going off into the sunset, but I also love the complexity of the plots and the continuing mysteries that run through it. The series is often likened to Deep Space 9, but I agree with ARTEMIS. That show has never really grabbed me, although the second series is better than the first. I'm an ardent Trek fan of both classic and Next Gen, but DS9 has never really felt like a Star Trek series to me and the people on the whole bore me rigid.
[Dragon]:
Music videos. Love 'em. Just got a couple of videos through that I asked for, mainly of Wiseguy, but one was the Revelcon '94 music video with various fandoms and it was great. A couple of the ones that won left me cold because they were of fandoms like The Untouchables in which I have no interest, but the Wiseguy one they did for the Roger character, Lives in the Balance by Jackson Browne, was fantastic. I also really enjoyed the Prof one, Something To Talk About by Melissa Etheridge. The first bit of fan music video I ever saw was on the end of tape on which someone had recorded something for me. It was a bit of Starsky & Hutch and I enjoyed the small snatch I got. Then I saw some B7. Now I think I'm hooked and I will definitely try for more, but first there are a few series like Forever Knight and Dark Shadows that I am hoping to get to see eventually. I do admire all the work that goes into getting the timing right, but I think I'll stick to making audio music tapes. Those are less work and enjoyable to do.
[Dragon]:
There are some wonderful B7 zines out there. If you prefer novels rather than stories I would recommend the [Melody C] ones, The Last, Best Hope and The Long Way Back. The first one is not really slash, but sets you up for the sequel that is. Both are very intricately plotted and you'll probably find things that you've missed on a second read, but they are very well written and the relationship between Avon and Blake is lovely and well balanced. Neither character seems to lose out to the other. And a happy ending too! There are lots more that are good like Careless Whispers, but there are too many to name them all. Unfortunately I don't know if the [Melody C] ones are in print. If you're based in Britain and interested in borrowing them I wouldn't mind loaning them to you though.
[Dragon]:
I like to have an actor in mind when I read fan fiction. It can also work against me though as I recently found out when reading an Alias Smith & Jones story. The writer stated at the beginning that the Hannibal Heyes she envisioned was Roger Davis, but that Peter Duel could be substituted if desired. Now I couldn't stand Roger Davis and couldn't change it in my head to Peter Duel. If she hadn't said that it was Roger Davis I would have quite happily read it none the wiser. As it was I didn't read the story at all. She had every right to state who it was she was writing about, but it might have been wiser just to leave it to the imagination in this particular case. Usually though I would agree that it's better to be able to picture someone in your mind's eye.
[Cory]:
The Bodacious Press/Otter Limits Press issue remains unresolved. I strongly object to their suggestion that I'm in the habit of sending zine editors only one IRC for information. As a matter of record, they've had 4 IRC's and 2 SAE's out of me, which is a lot more than I've had out of them. I was also totally unimpressed with their letter because none of their excuses had any relevance to my complaint. In the full text of the letter, much of which had to do with my order to them, they were full of fair words and promises, asking me to write again, and that my order would be sorted out and sent to me. So, like you, I wrote to them again. I even sent the letter registered post. That was in July. I have received nothing: no zines, no refund, no explanations. So much for their integrity.
[Lindar]:

Like you, I expected a rash of Casualty stories about Charlie and Ken, but as yet I've seen none. I can't think why. In my mind, Ken either returns or meets Charlie again outside the work situation, and makes a determined effort to become friends again, allaying Charlie's doubts by promising a simple friendship. Plenty of opportunity for this to turn serious as Charlie realises what we've known all along - he's just useless with women, and can really relax and enjoy a relationship with another man.

Does this lack of interest by writers indicate the theory put forth by several others? That we only enjoy slashing straight men? I've never watched Brookside, but I gather there were two gay men living together openly. Surely this should have promoted some stories of conflict, jealousy, or even simple hurt/comfort? I would love to see some gay screen characters I could write about, and I don't think I would find them any less of a challenge than two apparently straight men. The only problem is that one has to really adore characters to have the motivation to write, and until there are a bunch of openly gay detectives, SF heroes, and spies, there just aren't enough around to make the choice. And like ARTEMIS I want my heroes to be saving the universe, so we're all in for a long wait.
[Lindar]:
I can't quite envisage being only the hero or the partner of a fandom when I'm writing - or even thinking about them. I'm always both of them, or all of them if it's anything more than a twosome. I guess that's why I became a writer in the first place at the age of six. So I could be everyone and do everything I wasn't able to be/do myself. I don't find it at all difficult to inhabit both heads and both bodies at the same time during a love scene. Does this make me unusual?
[Lindar]:

I can't agree with your generalisation that slash is gay fiction written by women. Plenty of men write slash stories, and plenty of women write mainstream gay fiction. I think I ought to make a mention here of the true meaning of the word 'slash', which some of the younger writers seem to have forgotten.

Slash started in America in the sixties, and the first story - Star Trek - is definitely known. The word 'slash' is a verbalisation of the typewriter character "/", and to be correct, it should really be written as "/". It was a secret code among fan writers. A zine advertised as having stories with Kirk & Spock was straight, and one advertised as having Kirk/Spock or K/S (with the characters "slashed") implied there would be sex between these characters, and as they were both male, homosexual sex. One then wrote for details, and the premise was explained, and an age statement requested.

It therefore follows that slash relates only to taking existing characters from film and TV who are portrayed as heterosexual, and developing a sexual relationship between them. Anything else has to be classed simply as gay fiction. If you create your own characters with a male/male sexual element, then it can't be called anything else, regardless of how romantic or soul-searching the content might be.

I have no objection to slash being used colloquially in the way that has become accepted, as long as people are fully aware what it means.
[Lindar]:
I liked Death's Head and Equinox, but not as much as Ice Wind And Fire, which I positively adored. At the time I had no idea who the author was, or that the characters were based on Bodie and Doyle, [1] and the comparison never occurred to me. I thought the author was probably a gay man and the characters were totally imaginary. So to anyone who doesn't know the background, it's not at all obvious.
[Mashuma]:
Alas, Eroica is only a comic book and was never anime. No, no luck for Dorian. In fact, the author, Aoike, apparently decided that she liked the Major much better than Dorian and in the last books, he is a virtual walk on in the series that is named after him. Unfortunately, I do not believe that the translations available in English are strictly legal to buy. A friend is, however, trying to convince a company to buy the rights for translation. Eroica is not actually ended; there is no concluding episode, so who knows, someday there might be more. Maybe we do not want that, however. The author and artist of what is considered the first gay comic in modern Japan, Keiko Takemiya, wrote a final volume to Wind and Tree Song many years after what fans had taken to be the end of the series, and she killed off the most popular character!!
[Mashuma]:
Personally, I'd probably enjoy Bashir slashed with anyone, but I, too, am curious as to what Cardassians have under their clothes. That could be pretty interesting.
[Mashuma]:
There may also be something in the idea that what many gay men find attractive in a partner is not what female fans are looking for. There is a lot of emphasis on muscles in both Western and Japanese magazines which leaves me quite cold. At Comicate, a couple of lovely young gay men were selling their own fanzine in the slash (June) area of the hall. They were really cute and were having a grand time, just overwhelmed by all the women who wanted to chat or buy their zine. Well, I bought it too and the differences between it and the other June zines are noticeable and interesting. June zines are original slash stuff (yaoi) termed after the gay mag for women that has been running for years (sold in most bookstores). However, in common with Western slash, the characters tend to be prettied up some and, while there is less emphasis on relationships here than in the West (the visual media may have something to do with it), characters are almost always more than one-night-stands. The gay zine was contemporary, realistic and about a non relationship - a bathhouse pickup. The art emphasized muscular development, hair, sweat and short trendy haircuts (yuck). Interesting for my collection, but I won't pick up more. The two young salesmen were far nicer to look at than their characters.
[Tarlan]
I have to admit that I don't see this Bridger/Lucas relationship as other than father/son and it will take an awful lot to convince me otherwise. I would be more inclined to believe Ford/Krieg because of their constant friction or, as PAMINA said Bridger/O'Neill due to that interesting psychic connection. Speaking of seaQuest, did anyone else read that interview with the actor who plays Chief Crocker? I could not believe that they would drop characters merely because the producers thought they were too old!! One of my favourite characters was Krieg and he has been dropped for this reason. What I want to know is - TOO OLD FOR WHOM? I'll take him home with me any day of the week!
[Tarlan]
I'm another Blake/Avon fan rather than Avon/Vila. The reason is quite simply because I didn't really like Vila's character even though I knew he would come through for the group in an emergency. I just couldn't see Avon ever falling in love - or lust for that matter - with Vila. Avon seemed to exude a need to be dominated, like a child testing the boundaries of a parent's love. Vila would have failed at the first hurdle whereas Blake had a very strong, almost fatherly, personality.
[Janet E]:

The major problem with UK agents for overseas zines is space. There's no denying that. I've converted one bedroom into storage space for zines. We still have zines in two other rooms as well. Yes, in theory, I could carry larger, stocks but I'd need a larger flat too. It's also very difficult to know what is going to sell. I still have some of the zines Bill sent me when I first started agenting for him, while others sell as soon as I get them in. Quantum Leap was a good example of that last year but I now have a boxful which isn't selling. People have also said things along the lines of "Isn't it about time Bill sent you what you want?" Since these people never let me know what they want, I can't very well ask Bill for specific zines, plus, of course, he doesn't agent for every US publisher, so may not be able to get the zines anyway.

I have now set up a standing orders system. Hopefully, this will make it easier to know what my customers want, and also to ensure that the regulars get first priority on the zines they want. The system will work for people looking for out-of-print zines. The only problem now is having people tell me what they want. For some reason, I'm expected to be a mind reader....

My problems with US zines is finding what is available. I never get flyers just the zines and an inventory and Bill's list is pretty limited in zine content, for space reasons. What a lot of people do, before ordering zines from the States, is ring me first to see if I have the zine in stock. At present there are so many zines in stock, I'd probably have to ring you back with an answer, but I'm quite happy for people to do that.

My current list is over 30 pages long in eight point. That means people like CARLA are not going to be prepared to reproduce it in their newsletters, but I'm happy to send it to anyone who sends me a (large) SAE. As regards what is available from Bill that I may or may not have in stock, he does have a second agent who takes orders and sends them to him in bulk. The paperwork at present is pretty horrendous and I'd rather not make it any worse by duplicating effort.
[Janet E]:
Now that I have a photocopier, I'd be prepared to copy the relevant stories out of multi media zines for fans of only one or two fandoms. PROVIDED the editors agreed. I'd certainly have no problem with copying the relevant stories from my own zines, and am considering issuing Best of... zines once they are all back in print again, with one fandom per zine. I know [Brenda C] has done this for the US editions of her zines but I don't know of any other editor who has done the same.
[Felicity]:

I don't know if there's any difference between British and American writers when it comes to writing about sex. What I would say is that far too many slash writers seem to regard the sex as the be-all and end-all of the story. This is obviously partly true for first time stories, but I now get very bored with ploughing through pages of mechanical sex. I much prefer slash to straight stories because in the latter the relationship (as I see it) tends to be missing (and far too often there's a heroine who makes my teeth ache) but at least straight stories usually have £lot. I've got to the stage where I'd rather have less sex and more storyline. Far too many sex scenes are not well written.

What also bugs me is that writers all too often portray one of the partnership as a fragile flower, eg Doyle or Illya and that carries over into the sexual aspects of the story. It's not quite as bad with Bodie and Doyle - each usually gives as good as he gets - but poor Illya is forever being deflowered by big, butch Napoleon, just like something out of a bad romance.
[Felicity]:
Talking of which, I've just read an editorial in which it was mentioned that one of the editor's gay (male) friends pooh-poohed slash as bearing no resemblance to gay life, but he wanted to read it anyway. This is an attitude that has been mentioned before in LfB and elsewhere and I'm getting a little tired of it. No fiction I read bears any resemblance to real life. Moreover, if I wanted to read about real life, I'd read something factual, like a text book. If it is the romance in slash fiction that is the stumbling block, then I would suggest that, not all gay men want nothing but a succession of sexual encounters. Those who dismiss slash but want to read it are rather like viewers who call a television programme disgusting, having watched it all the way through just to make sure.
[Felicity]:
I disagree totally with [PAMELA'S] suggestion that a writer should indicate at the beginning of a story which actor they have in mind for their original character. First of all, they may not have had anyone in mind at all - if it's an original character, then he may be an amalgamation of different people's looks/ characteristics/attitudes. Or none of them. Secondly, the author should be clever enough to introduce all the information that needs to be known about the character into the story at various points, leaving the reader to build up their own picture. That is what fiction is all about. Slash fiction takes a short cut in that the reader, usually having watched the tv series or film, knows what the character looks like, etc. I have written an original character in a slash story and was interested to see that some readers identified him as being a particular character in a particular series. In fact he wasn't, barring a slight physical resemblance. Not that I minded, it's up to the reader what they make of an author's creation. And if they enjoy the story more that way, that's fine by me.
[Felicity]:

Am I the only person taken aback by the flyer concerning British slash awards with a previous issue of LfB? I have written my comments to the address given and hope they have been passed on to whoever has organised the awards but I did say I would raise the matter in LfB, so I am doing so.

I think what concerns me is that these are British zine slash awards, whatever is said about individual writers. Now I don't think that other awards in slash fandom are necessarily representative of slash fandom as a whole but they don't exclude writers on the grounds of which zine their story has appeared in. The awards I have heard of are American, but they have not excluded writers whose stories have appeared in Australian or British zines, whereas the awards under discussion exclude everything that isn't [British] [2] zine. A bit chauvinistic, I would have thought.

My other point is that there are so few presses/individuals producing slash zines in Britain, that these awards are going to look like a carve-up between this or that press. For example, how many of these presses produce multi-media zines from us to choose stories from? Two? I feel that does not reflect well on either the writers or the presses. Organisers, please reconsider.
[Annie]:
I only watch Northern Exposure occasionally, but it would be interesting to slash Ed with someone, he could definitely be interesting. I think I'm beginning to have a thing for Native American actors the more they appear on various American tv series and movies, I find most of them attractive!
[Annie]:

Regarding homoeroticism's appeal to many women, I think if the movie studios began to realize the size of their potential market, we would see more homoerotic movies on the big screen. (Fingers crossed!) I don't understand why straight men seem to have such a mental block about homoeroticism. Any of the magazines like Playboy, Penthouse, etc commonly feature photo layouts of women with women, and lesbian scenes have long been staples of heterosexual porn, so WHY can't they imagine that women would be interested in the reverse? Maybe it's just that they have to be

convinced that we'll pay to see it... Okay, who wants to print up T-shirts or buttons (badges) with "Slash Sluts" on them? I'll buy one of each!
[Annie]:
I was interested in your comment about writing the "obligatory first time" story so you could go on to "more interesting subjects". I much prefer to write first time stories, and I enjoy reading them more than the established relationship stories. There just seems to be so much more emotional material to work with, and I enjoy the challenge of actually getting the two characters to take the plunge. My hat (if I wore one) is off to writers of relationship stories though, as I think they're more difficult to write.
[Annie]:
I attended a Trek con with Siddig El Faddil (Dr Bashir) as one of the guests. I was surprised that within a space of no more than 10-15 minutes as he began taking questions, no less than four different people asked him questions relating to his character and Garak the Cardassian: Would they have more episodes together, and to quote one fan (a man, I think), "What's with you and Garak?" Well, after that question, Sid seemed decidedly disturbed. He blurted out "What do you mean? Well they're not a couple. They're NOT homosexual!" His emotional response prompted me to wonder: has he heard about and/or seen some slash and not liked it; is he straight and afraid rumors will take hold, or is he gay and afraid rumors will take hold? I mentioned a story I'd written to a friend and mentioned Garak, and the immediate reply was "oh, the gay Cardassian"... Up to that point I'd never thought about it, but since then I see what they meant, the character could definitely be perceived as gay. Interesting...
[Morticia]:
Hi everyone! Time flies - it seems like yesterday CARLA took over, and now the Hunt for a New Editor begins anew. Hope we will have as much luck as last time. I would miss LfB badly. Every time I watch the news I think the whole world is an asylum, but when I read LfB it comforts me that other sane people like me do exist.
[Ferret]:
Does anyone have the pages 25, 51, 76, 140, to Robin Hood's zine First Time 20? They were missing from my copy, and she has written to say she does not have them any more. Is there anyone who can help? I'll pay all costs.
[Ferret]:
Re X Files slash. There is one I've seen in Heroes 3 (not yet read it, sorry), but on the slash Internet there is a lot of talk about putting Mulder's new partner (male) into a slash relationship. Apparently, the new partner has disappeared again (now that Gillian Anderson has had her baby, Piper), but there may be stories popping up anyway. The last episode I saw, the Vampire one, looked great. Such great dialogue as Vampire: "Wouldn't you like to live forever?" Mulder: "Not if draw string pants ever come back into fashion!" What a dude. Have you all seen the episode with him in the red speedos? It looks as if he is becoming the new Sam Becket the way he is taking his shirt off every episode!
[Ferret]:
Is there any chance of getting a copy of any of those music videos you mention? I would particularly love Wind Beneath my Wings (K/S). I can trade you an Australian music video or two (have a wonderful version of I'm Too Sexy), and have a good video list. (Can accept either NTSC or PAL, but need to convert PAL into NTSC and might loose some quality if you are in the US). I enjoy fan music videos, but we don't see them here in Australia.
[Ferret]:
I agree with your comments, EDGIE, on gay vs slash fiction. I think that by becoming more emotionally involved with the characters, and seeing them in action on the screen, it can make the sexual elements of a story all that more intense. Reading gay fiction, it seems very ho hum when it's just a bunch of strangers bonking away, and I just don't have the cultural reference to enjoy it.
[Ferret]:
In my last letter, I said we had done a photo story on 90210, using the dolls and plasticine penises to be in Cohorts 1 (delayed due to bastard printers nearly going bankrupt and not bothering to tell me) - well, that's gone now to a new zine press that is trying to start up in Australia. I'll send news as it comes to light.
{Nina]:
Picking up on something LINDAR said last time about the differences between gay men and slash characters etc - all the gay men I've talked to about slash (about half a dozen) all think that it's a totally ridiculous idea as the majority of the writing doesn't bear even the slightest resemblance to a real gay life. In fact one or two have been angry and offended and have said things along the lines of "How dare you women write about this when you haven't the first idea what it is all about." and one person went even further and said that he thought slash writers were debasing the gay ethos by trivialising something so important to a lot of gay men. And to be honest I couldn't really think of a satisfactory response to that accusation either other than to promise I'd not mention it in his company again. (Carla interjects: I'm going to comment here as I don't know if I'll have enough space later on. They are entitled to their opinions but the fact is the slash is rarely meant to resemble 'real' gay life - most people accept it is a romantic ideal - as are many books about straight life and romance. And what is 'real' gay life? I read books and can't see anything resembling my. lifestyle at all - just because the slash lifestyle doesn't resemble theirs doesn't mean to say that there are not gay people out there who have a lifestyle similar to the ones written about in slash fiction. And of course the accusation that someone can't write about a situation unless they experience it, would probably invalidate 90% of books. Male authors couldn't justifiably write about female characters and vice versa and gay about straight. The fact that they don't like the lifestyle portrayed in slash fiction doesn't mean to say it doesn't exist!)
[Nina]:
I'm certain I read that B7 story ages ago where Avon and Vila had a child and in fact I have a horrible suspicion I used to know the author as well and I didn't have the guts to say how terrible I thought it was at the time. The whole idea was so ludicrous and nauseating! In my opinion if she wanted to explore the idea of a couple dealing with the birth of their child she ought to have chosen male and female characters and tried to keep some measure of credibility.
[Barbara]:
Re the gay fiction versus slash debate - I have to agree with everyone who says that there is more emotion in slash stories. I haven't read a lot of gay books - they're not easy to get here, so I usually wait for a visit to London and then break my arms carrying a load home - but most of those I have read have borne out this opinion. There are exceptions, though. Conduct Unbecoming, mentioned last issue, was wonderful. I couldn't put it down! I've also recently read Without Sanction by J M Roberts, another unputdownable which is so slashy I couldn't believe it. I love the historical novels by Chris Hunt, too, and apropos that, has anyone out there got a copy of Mignon they'd be willing to lend or sell me? I've been trying for ages to get hold of a copy without success.
[Bagheera]:
Re the premise of a straight man suddenly turning gay on account of his friend - I know some people hate it and it may be unrealistic, but I personally like it. It means they both come to the relationship equally untouched and unsure, so that it's a real first-time in every sense of the words. First-times are my favourite stories - I find established relationships sometimes boring, and sometimes they have less sex, which is important to me in a story. If they both have previous male-male experience, that's okay, but if only one has had it, then for me it must be my preferred character, as I hate to see him at any disadvantage - he must be at least equal if not in charge.
[Bagheera]:
I don't think of myself as either my hero or his partner. I identify with him, favour him as someone I'd like to know. But if I visualised myself as him, I couldn't control and manipulate the ideas as I do. I'd be a part of the stories then rather than an observer (and in life I favour being an observer rather than a participant). As an observer, I'm certainly not impartial though - even when I'm causing my hero anguish. I'm on his side totally. In my fantasies I'm like a puppetmaster pulling strings - I hate that analogy but offhand couldn't think of another. Personally I would hate to think I was being manipulated, but to achieve your fantasies you have to manipulate what happens, so I always have my hero in control or only temporarily vulnerable.
[Bagheera]:
Not that I wish to order gay books or buy them, but you are lucky to be in London where no-one probably cares that much about what you buy. Mind you. even in London, I'd feel strange buying gay fiction, but that's probably just me and my upbringing... I was recently at a con where somebody pooh-poohed the idea of really strong anti-gay attitudes existing today so that you have to hide your interest in it. She said that was 50 years out of date. As it was in response to a remark I'd made about the situation in Northern Ireland, it annoyed me that she should pontificate about something she knew nothing about. In [Northern Ireland] the word gay is anathema to virtually everyone, be they Protestant or Catholic. I suppose there may be one or two gay book shops (apart from the odd book in Dillons or wherever and even they don't have 'gay sections), but the idea of such a shop as dirty holds, and any type of sex-shop (eg a transvestrte clothes shop) is forced to close down by the religious lobbies. It's a very brave person who would admit to being interested in gay ideas. My family and friends know nothing of my interest, and if they did, I think it would break up relationships so that they could never again be the same. It's not just the older generation that holds these views. The younger generation may not object on religious grounds, but do regard gays as queers, faggots and suchlike uncomplimentary names. Gays are to be mocked or treated like lepers in case it's contagious. I know of men who disliked even frequenting a pub that was used only at night by gays - the men wouldn't even go in the daytime, and they're only in their 20's and 30's so can't be regarded as old stick-in-the-muds. An interest in reading slash would be considered most perverted. I'm not saying everyone thinks like that, but 99% do I'd reckon. So you lucky ones who live in a more open community or personally don't care about others' attitudes, spare a thought for those constrained by situation or upbringing.
[Bagheera]:
If I hear you say: "Why not write it yourself?" my answer is that then I'd know what was going to happen - no surprises, and I'd like to see what other people see in the characters; if they read them the same as I do.
[Bagheera]:
I think your gay friend was right about the differences between gay and slash fiction. Slash writers usually love to have some emotional agony in their stories, but I've never read any gay story that really contained any. Perhaps it's in part because the gay characters are sure of their sexuality, whereas in a lot of fan stories our heroes find it hard to think of themselves as gay; and indeed they're usually bisexual more than gay.
[Bagheera]:
Re the slash sluts (I know you were only joking) but I could never bring myself to contribute to a l/z so-called. It's bad enough some of the Press names - Manacles, Pon Farr etc. I nearly had a heart attack some years ago when an MFU zine arrived in an envelope stamped with Rose Tint My World and MFU slash.
[Bagheera]:
IDIC again - you're one of the number preferring established relationship, and I favour first-times. I know some people say there's only so many ways to get them together, and they find established relationships more interesting. However I like the excitement and emotion of a first-time and find most established relationships are less passionate. I've also seen in an established relationship story Kirk and Spock getting swamped by the intricacies of a political plotline and lost among a plethora of the writers' own home-grown characters: I don't like that either.
[Edgie]:

ANNIE, AYDAN, PAMINA, LINDAR: On the subject of seaQuest, I've decided that Lucas and Lt. Brody would make a more interesting couple than Lucas/Bridger. Not that I find anything wrong with May-December (well maybe October) romances, but the dynamics of a Lucas/Brody affair would seem to be less predetermined than a Lucas/Bridger one. Put a different way, there are any number of younger man/older man stories that would fit Lucas/Bridger just by changing the names! Lucas/Brody - now there's a pair of stud muffins! Also, there is enough distance between them in the storyline that they wouldn't bring much in the way of old inter personal baggage to a relationship.

Another downside to a Lucas/Bridger affair is that in the earliest episodes it is made quite clear that Bridger stands in loco parentis. While I don't have any problems with this for specific cases, many readers do. The only way I can see such a relationship working satisfactorily is if they were to first have sex anonymously, say in a dark orgy room that they have each gone to independently. (Bridger then recognizes Lucas' voice when he groans during orgasm, for example.) Or they are captured and forced to have sex (now where have we heard that one before?) and in discussing it later both admit to having liked it and wanting more.
[Edgie]:
My thought as to why you haven't seen a believable Simon/Simon first time story is that the first time,is likely to have occurred about the time the younger one was entering adolescence... This probably won't thrill many readers, though doubtless it thrilled them.

Issue 25

Late for Breakfast 25 was edited by Carla S. It contains 40 pages (28 of them letters and reviews, the rest are flyers and ads). It is undated, but published in 1995 sometime before May. The editor apologizes for the "tad lateness" of the issue.

This issue contains much discussion about whether to print subscribers' countries/very general locale next to their names.

cover of issue #25
  • a review of "Drawing Blood," the second novel by Poppy Z. Brite
  • a review of the pro book "Marine Biology. True Homosexual Military Stories Volume 4"
  • a review of Dyad #15, see that page
  • a review of Uncharted Waters, see that page
  • some commentary that may have been originally printed elsewhere but is not credited here; "The Slash Sluts Down Under fell in love with Babylon 5 and went totally overboard with the-huge range of possible pairings provided by this show." -- There is short discussion about "Two W ay Slash Male Pairings," "Two Way Slash Females," "Two Way Heteros" and "Three Ways Varied"
[Carla, the editor]:
And talking of messing things up, is anyone in Britain interested in taking over LfB from next year? So far no-one has contacted me and I really don't think I can cope with another year, much as I would hate to see it fold or go abroad. I've been having a bad year, so far, and have come to the conclusion that I have taken too much on in fandom. I hate not giving my best and disappointing people when they have taken the trouble to write to me but I am so far behind with correspondence at the moment I don't think I'll ever find my feet! Now some of you may be interested in running a l/z but perhaps don't have access to a cheap copier etc. so I'm more than willing to share the load with someone - perhaps you could take the subscriptions, answer letters and type the text of letters and I'll type the reviews, add the adverts and do the formatting, copying and distribution of each issue. As you'll only need to send me a disk with the typed letters and a list of subscribers for each issue you can be living anywhere in Britain. This would relieve my workload immensely and should still leave people about 6 weeks to get their letters and reviews in as I will only need about 10 days to do the rest of it. Please let me know if you are interested. If not this may be the last year of LfB.
[Carla, the editor]:
re there a large number of slash fans who like to see their 'strong' heroes dominated in a sexual relationship? I must admit on thinking about it, most of the characters I like show a dominant presence on screen - Bodie, Paul Ironhorse, Starsky, Avon, Castillo to name but a few and I love stories where they fall apart emotionally (although they have to recover and end up happy with their partner). Admitting that I like S&M stories, I always prefer it where these characters are the submissive rather than the dominant ones as well - does that say something about me or how I perceive the characters? Is it because they rarely lost control on screen (Starsky may be the exception to this) and the few times they did always made for the best episodes? Although most of us say we see these characters as being vulnerable - sometimes even more so than their partners, I often wonder did the writers on the shows or is it something we see that wasn't intended. They weren't meant to be blocks of stone but maybe the writers never intended them to have the vulnerabilities we seem to see. I'd be interested in what other readers think about this.)
[Jeffers]:
N No problem with printing my town's name, we're pretty small and my pseudonym keeps my anonymity intact. Like a lot of you, no-one in my family or very small circle of friends here locally, know of my involvement with slash, I would rather keep it that way. Religion is a big factor here, and if you're in the least bit different it can make life here difficult at best... It wouldn't surprise me in the least if there is still a Witch Burning Ordinance still on the law books around here.
[Jeffers]:
Is there anyone out there making music videos? If so, I have a couple of ideas for music pieces... How about Crystal Ship. Riders On The Storm and Unknown Soldier, all by The Doors. I would suggest Riders for a War of the Worlds and Crystal Ship for a Pros piece. Unknown Soldier could go for either series.
[Jeffers]:
I have to agree with the comment to ANNIE about writers portraying one half of a partnership as being fragile. I, for one, have never seen Illya as fragile, in any way, shape or form. Quite the opposite, I saw him as someone who knew what he wanted, how to get it, and was secure in who he was. If anything, it was Napoleon who didn't have a clue. Does this make sense?
[Jeffers]:
Thanks for the info on UFO. I didn't get into organized fandom until late 73 and Trek was the all. Found out quite by accident that there were some local UFO fans around, but by then, most of the interest had died out. I'd like to find some fans who would like to resurrect the characters and talk about possibilities with. Are you game?
[Jeffers]:

I've heard much the same from a couple of Lesbians, that slash material should only be written by Gays/Lesbians and read by the same. "You 'straights' don't have a clue about being or living a s a Gay/Lesbian person." I take this as a personal affront. I may not be gay, but I do have friends who

are, and their lifestyle isn't that different from my own, especially those who are in a lifepartner situation, no matter what they might think.
[Jeffers]:

I had to laugh about what you said about the title of zines both straight and slash. I had to explain the difference between the two to our partner who was living with us. He had grabbed the other l/z that I wasn't reading and began thumbing through it, reading the zine titles and Press names. (Now you have to understand that this is a man who for all his boasting is rather close minded on a male/male relationship situation.) "What's this slash stuff?" I know I got bright red, but managed to control my voice to answer him... I got the joy of seeing him turn red for a change, this from a man who if you believe half of what he says, has done everything and just may have invented some of it...

Personally, I've got to be careful with covers, as I've got a nine year old in the house. She appreciates Art, but there are some things that aren't appropriate for covers on zines. (Yes, there are some of us who have children...)
[H.G.]:
I was delighted when Alias Smith & Jones started it's re-run, less so to see how little they're together in the episodes I've remembered to tape. In the golden glow of memory they were always tucked up in bed together - when they weren't being tied up together. As in MUNCLE bondage seemed to feature heavily. But all in the best possible taste.
[H.G.]:
Over the years I've forgotten what slash originally meant. Like KITTY I've tended to use it as a blanket term for any fan fiction and enjoyable professional gay fiction (not that there's much of that around).
[H.G.]:
Picard/Q is the only slash pairing I can see in TNG. In my limited TNG reading I think I've seen every combination. Picard/Wesley was the worst, none were very credible, let alone fun to read.
[H.G.]:
You weren't the only person taken aback by the flyer for British slash awards. I agree wholeheartedly with your comments and would add that I've never understood the point of fandom awards; they always seem faintly ridiculous, and absolutely no guarantee of excellence - or even mediocrity.
[H.G.]:
The reaction of gay men to slash fiction is one I've heard since becoming involved with fandom in 1980; equally, I've never heard that the gay community has stopped reading it. Like CARLA I wonder what 'real gay life' is supposed to be. Is there only one universal truth, does political correctness eradicate individuality, or even rule in the gay community? I think not. What I would be interested in hearing is exactly what's wrong with slash fiction written by women. I presume it's nothing to do with character rape or lousy plotting etc etc. Can anyone help?
[Ferret]:
Babylon 5 has only just started showing here, so I had to go and get LfB 23 out to re read any comments I ignored the first time around. Having hated the new Trek Lite series and its spin offs (no Spock - no watch!), I held out no hopes for this show, and didn't even tape the first ones. It hasn't helped that Australia isn't showing all episodes either, but it's become the latest passion. We have all decided to call Garibaldi 'Biscuit' (after the English biscuits of that name) and we have all universally fallen in love. He's so chubby and balding and alcoholic and emotionally damaged - what more could one ask in a man? I'm trying to write a Sinclair/Garibaldi story, but it keeps degenerating into a Garibaldi/Londo. Ergh. It's all those, 'pretty shark', and 'cute, in an annoying way1 comments on Londo's behalf. They can be overweight and balding and drunk together. Oh, that all sounds so cruel, smack on the wrist for me. Would people who have watched more than I (which would be anyone elsewhere than Australia), tell me if anything has been said that would positively exclude Garibaldi from being a telepath? I have one story (with no Londo in it), to be printed in Cohorts Two. Due out late 1995.
[Ferret]:
The second season of X-Files has been quite disappointing. The stories are dull, and there were virtually no enjoyable slash possibilities from the new partner. Mind, I still watch it religiously.
[Ferret]:
As to your comments re Gareth Thomas and Paul Darrow - there is a very long story behind all of that, and I don't have all the details, but I can tell you a little bit of it. When Paul came to Australia, someone gave him a slash zine to autograph (there are some totally brain dead morons in fandom!). His wife and himself were both mortally horrified by this (someone said it even had a Gareth/Paul story in it), and he took some action. This basically meant that he took the American publishers of this zine to court. He lost his case on both of his action points. One, because he didn't have the rights to Blake's 7, and the people who do, don't care. His other point, that they couldn't use his face, failed, as it's not possible at this stage to copyright a face (if they were going to write about him, he didn't want himself to be drawn). Losing the case pretty much destroyed most of his faith in fandom, which he had previously enjoyed. He asked Michael Keating and Gareth to support him. As, at the time, Michael worked for him, he agreed. Gareth didn't, and stuck with fandom and making money from conventions. [3] For a long time, Paul did not attend conventions (I don't know if he does now, think he does), and it's taken a long time for him to regain his faith in fandom. I think the zine was given to him at Zencon, in about 1988, I won't mention the zine publisher's names. In light of the above, it is not surprising that he would NOT want to propagate any sense of friendship between Avon and Blake. I have no idea if Paul and Gareth are friends again at this time. This would also explain why Paul has said that under no circumstances would he reprise the Avon character (I'm sure a lot of money could persuade him though, if anyone offered). Even though I support slash as a freedom of expression, I think that thrusting it into the faces of the stars is a pretty stupid thing to do. Woah, that was all very long winded wasn't it?
[Ferret]:
One thing with X-Files, it can be crossed with just about any universe that takes your fancy. This, at least, gives a slash range. He could investigate the aliens in UFO, he could investigate the vampires in Forever Knight, the possibilities are endless. There is an X-Files slash (Mulder/Fox) in Heroes 3. Hmm. Not sure about this. It's a well written story, but the basic premise was a bit left of what I would like. I've down loaded about 400 pages of X- Files stories from the Computer Bulletin Boards, but as yet I haven't read them to see if they are slash. Some odd crossovers though, such a Scooby Doo [crossover] and Seinfield.
[Ferret]:
I agree, I'm less interested in old fogey K/S. Does that make us shallow? Well, it's just not so cute once they put on the pounds and their faces fall. Yes, that's definitely shallow all right.
[Lindar]:
I always imagined the LfB title meaning that one's heroes were late for breakfast because they'd been having sex when they woke up. Just shows how perverted my mind has become! Would the original editor please enlighten us?
[Lindar]:
I should think gay men's opinions of slash would vary as much as say a woman's view of Mills & Boon. Some love romance and escapism, some don't. EDGIE obviously likes slash and doesn't think badly of the women who write it, and the only local gay man I've ever loaned any to adored it. He made big eyes and said it was "so erotic", and was pleased to know I was a writer of such strange tastes. But I can see that some men would feel differently, just as some women object to men writing lesbian sex. But the old premise that one can only write from experience holds no water. Authors have seldom experienced everything they write about. It's the unique ability to describe it as if one had, which separates a good writer from a bad one.
[Lindar]:
So now I am waiting to see how Sheridan reacts with the gorgeous Garibaldi. Though I personally won't be publishing any Babylon slash - or straight - fiction in the near future. Straczynsky has requested that there should be none, in order to avoid the Star Trek fiasco where Paramount was sued by various fans who claimed that their ideas had been stolen. [4] And as Babylon's plots are already mapped out for the whole 5-year period, and any alteration would seriously mar the storyline, I am happy to go along with his wishes. It is definitely intended to run for 5 years and end there, no feature films, no books, no spin-offs, so I am more interested in helping to ensure we get to see the end.
[Dragon]:
Yes, Time Tunnel is about as slashy as they come. I mean we have a scientist who travels back in time to rescue his friend knowing that he may never make it back to his own time. And on the Titanic no less! I always felt that Doug had more of a thing for Tony than the other way round. Tony was more the rebel, the hothead. Doug the more caring, thoughtful one who thought the world shone out of Tony's... well, you get my drift. I can easily see that a very deep relationship would form between them as they are the only constants in their world as they travel from place to place and time to time. Think how frightened they must have been that something would happen to one of them and the other would be left to go on alone. It's like most difficult situations. You feel a lot better when you're not going through it on your own. Even if Doug and Tony had no sexual relationship before they started travelling they would naturally gravitate towards each other. I mean, what's the point of getting too friendly with anyone when you know that you'll only be there for a while, although Tony did want to stay with the girl in the Marco Polo episode. And wasn't Doug all against that. We slashers know why.
[Dragon]:

Have you read the B7 zine Beloved Adversary? It's straight but the only thing missing are the sex scenes, not any of the emotions between Blake and Avon. It's wonderful and I can't recommend it enough. It's available through [Kathy Resch] or Peg Kennedy and Bill Hupe. Like you, I only enjoy Blake-Avon stories and I don't usually bother with straight ones because in this fandom it's hard enough to be sure of getting a slash zine with Blake and Avon without trying for good genzines as well. I have had a few though that I've really enjoyed. The Log of the Hellhound was very good, but I only had some of those and never did manage to get it to the finish no matter how hard I looked for more.

I am in total agreement with your views on Vila and Avon. I just can't see Avon, one of the most fastidious men around, ever thinking that a Delta grade thief was good enough for him. Now I know that Vila wasn't the idiot he pretended to be, but I still don't see it as a meeting of equals and that's the only kind of relationship that I'd be interested in reading. After all, Avon did follow Blake in his fashion, something I can't imagine him doing with Vila.... Yes, I get bored very quickly with stories that have endless descriptions of the sex act on its own, not included in a longer story where you could get away with very descriptive dialogue. I'm much more interested in what they're thinking, how they feel, how much they love the other person, how afraid they are, that sort of thing. That is the reason I read slash too, because I want to know that the two characters love each other before I buy the zine. As I said above, with Beloved Adversary a very intense, obsessive love was apparent between Blake and Avon without them going to bed together and I don't mind the lack of sex at all. Fortunately although there were women in the story, most notably Soolin, neither man was interested in her although she did have a fruitless passion for Blake.
[Pamina]:
I was pleased to hear that the readership of LfB remains steady and that we aren't in danger of losing it to falling numbers. Even though I've been known to have a moan about the contents from time to time, I still think this is an important forum for slash fans because of its generalised nature. No fandom, and therefore no fan, is excluded in the way that they are from less open letterzines, and that's good. Let's hope it stays that way. As for changing the deadlines, I'm all in favour of the new timetable as it will dovetail nicely with my work schedule.
[Pamina]:
I've had this conversation with several people. Surely the final episode of QL negates the whole premise of the series? I may have got it wrong, but from watching the series and reading the books, wasn't it Al who kept the whole thing going while Sam was 'leaping', fighting to keep the project running when the Government wanted to shut it down? Also, wasn't it the loss of his wife that started Al drinking, and it was to give him a purpose in life that Sam brought him into the project. By changing Al's past and reuniting him with his wife, they took away the reason for his drinking, which in turn alters his relationship with Sam and takes away the reason for Sam to bring him into the project in the first place - ie Sam's compassion for a fellow human being who has been tossed on the scrap heap. Maybe they never even met, which poses the question did the project actually exist, or was it shut down the moment things started to go wrong. And in that case, what happens to all the things he put right? Do they all suddenly revert to their original state? It seems to me that the creators had written themselves into a very difficult hole here and there were really only two possible endings: a) Sam leaps home and falls into Al's loving arms or b) Sam never leaps home. Given that the former would be unacceptably controversial, it would appear they took the easy option.
[Pamina]:
I have to ask - does anyone know of any 90210 slash? I know, I know, it's very sad, but I promise it's not for me. My daughter and her gaggle of friends are desperate (they say) to read some (of course!) Brandon/Dylan slash, and the more explicit (UGH!!) the better.
[Pamina]:
The sad thing about the lack of spin off slash in Maurice is that there really is a lot of scope for exploring the characters of Maurice and Alex. Imagine Maurice trying to help Alex improve his reading, Alex trying to take some of the starch out of Maurice's stiff upper lip. What happens when the first flush of romance wears off and they become aware of how confining their world has become? Or the friction that might be caused by the difference in their up-bringing? There are just so many possibilities for putting a strain on their relationship. And if all else fails, there is always the tempting prospect of watching pretty Rupert Graves - purely in the cause of research, of course.
[Pamina]:
Oh goody! Someone else who sees the Kimble/Gerard relationship. I like your comparison with K/S, it does work. There is a wonderful moment when Gerard stops tearing out his hair and suddenly realises that Kimble is telling the truth, and that he has to help this man. You can see the lights come on. And that little scene in the car when he removes Kimble's handcuffs and hands him an ice pack was just so sweet.
[Pamina]:
As it would appear that in every letter I contribute to LfB someone manages to take something I've said the wrong way, may I offer the following... If you subscribe to the theory that we are all inherently bisexual, but that most of us choose to follow one path because the majority view bisexuality as fence-sitting and society demands that we make definitive choices in life, does that not mean that our romantic, sensitive bisexual slash heroes are more true to themselves than the characters in mainstream romantic fiction, be it gay or straight?
[Annie]:
I have an addition to the B7 having my baby files. There's a story in Resistance 8 which is based on (he fact that Avon is not human but from a planet of hermaphrodites! He becomes pregnant with Blake's child, carries the child lo term, then goes into labor and delivers, after which Cally annoyingly starts calling Avon "she". But then, maybe she has a point, with Avon nursing the baby (it's a boy by the way, named after Blake's dead brother)...
[Talan]:
Reading your comments I found myself agreeing that the most important thing about writing slash is not to change the characters when we take them one step beyond what has been portrayed on the screen. I've been disappointed by quite a few stories in the past because they have lost sight of the characters that had attracted my interest in the first place.
[Talan]:
How right you were to have a go at people who think you have to be gay to write slash. How very narrow-minded and dare I say, bigoted of them. If people only wrote about what they had personally experienced then we we would have no Science Fiction and no historic dramas. What a boring old world it would be without imagination!!!
[Edgie]:
The comments of your gay friends is quite appalling and, if you'll pardon the expression, their asses are sucking wind (as an old army sergeant used to but in). The number of gay males who will talk openly about their lifestyle, especially with women, is really very small compared to the total number of males who have homosexual experiences or who live in same-sex relationships. For the majority of these one might argue that women are sexually alien or even the enemy! Anyhow, the persons who made these comments are only speaking for themselves and their ilk, not the whole tribe. Ignore them and do whatever you feel comfortable doing (after all you're not doing it for them).
[Bagheera]:
I wonder are gay men able to tell when someone else is gay. What are the signs?
[Bagheera]:
Re Gareth Thomas and Paul Darrow - I always knew Paul and Michael Keating were very good friends, but I think any interviews then had Gareth and Paul friendly too. However, I was at a B7 con about 10 years after the series ended and Gareth definitely had problems with Paul's popularity. But I think he was generally a troubled man then - he got drunk despite the efforts of his ex-wife, who was attending in her capacity as make-up artist on the show. Jan Chappell (Cally) actually left early she was so disgusted with his behaviour and language around everyone including her young son and those of other attendees. A friend of mine actually saw one of the committee in tears over his behaviour which became increasingly loud and vulgar. I believe he did actually write an apology later, but I remember one US fan saying they'd never invite him over to a con.
[Bagheera]:
I think slashing straight men is more of a challenge than having an already gay couple. I took ages to take to slash Starsky & Hutch stories because they seemed almost too close, too perfect in their relationship somehow. That probably sounds funny considering we usually want to write or read about an ideal relationship, but perhaps I prefer to have to work for it.
[Bagheera]:
Afraid I have to disagree about Avon exuding a need to be dominated. I just can't see that myself. It's a little like the premise that Kirk must love being on the bottom all the time because he can then give up his stud and starship captain image. I agree he would enjoy occasionally leaving behind his image and responsibilities, but not all the time - being a captain is so much a part of his character. It's the same with Avon - he could surrender sexually to a lover, but not to the extent of needing permanent domination. This, of course, is just my reading of him, but if I'd seen that in his character I wouldn't have taken to him so much. I like all of my heroes to be in control.
[Bagheera]:
Yes to Bodie being more vulnerable than Doyle but no to having less sex in stories. In one recent zine, Kirk and Spock go off into the bedroom and then it's the next morning. They do this at least twice, so that there's no sex depicted at all. Now I know they were making love behind the closed doors, and I do enjoy a plot element to stories, but for me a slash story must have at least one explicit sex scene. As per LINDAR's definition of slash implies sex in a story and I feel ripped off if I don't get it in some form, albeit a quite mild one. If I wanted to read a sexless K&S story I'd read a good relationship zine, not a slash zine. I used to read relationship zines before slash and enjoyed them, but since slash they just don't have the same appeal. I keep wanting them to go that one step further, and find them frustrating. One example of this is The End of the Hurt/Comfort Syndrome - a classic story much loved by many fans. Well I loved the miniature fauna such as the minimoths, but I felt really cheated when, after much agonising and build-up it ends with Kirk asking Spock does he want to make love and the answer is yes, and then it says something like So they made love twice that night and again in the morning. Aargh!! I wanted to read about it, not just imagine. Okay, so not every sex scene is well written, and descriptions of green towers and lime sherbet fountains are more laughable than erotic; it's also off-putting if as you visualise it you realise it's physically impossible, and indeed some authors even forget to actually undress the participants! BUT a hot sex scene can really make a story more enjoyable - I'd go so far as to say it's virtually essential to my enjoyment of a story. Any of the zines or stories I kept all have sex scenes, and I sell any without sex scenes.
[Bagheera]:
I don't like feminisation of either partner, or the fragile flower syndrome. Nor do I like stories where a psychological problem is set up eg Kirk's rape as a child or fear of loss of control, and then takes 60 odd pages to be resolved - probably 55 of agony and 5 of solution. The characters just seem to repeat themselves several times, and then after going endlessly in circles getting nowhere, suddenly hey presto! a quick solution occurs, as if the author has become as tired and bored as me. I also heartily dislike stories based on any kind of child-rape trauma. Most of my reading is done for escape purposes and I don't want something too depressing that rocks the emotions, or something that leaves me feeling frustrated and cheated. It's like when you watch a film and then wonder why you bothered because the ending leaves more questions than it answers. I'm afraid (but why should I apologise for it?) I like my stories neatly wrapped up or headed in a definite direction.
[Bagheera]:
Someone has used Sometimes When We Touch for Blake/Avon [vid]. I have it on video as well as one for S/H. It works best for B/A and was one of the songs that actually convinced me that there could be B/A at all. At last, another person who stopped listening to pop songs in the 70's. My listening ended with ABBA.
[Judith]:
Gareth Thomas and Paul Darrow were firm friends during the making of Blake's 7. Any interviews dating from this period will probably emphasise the strong relationship between Blake and Avon. About six years ago they fell out, and this lasted for a long time. However, they are now friends again, and I, for one, am exceedingly cheered by this.
[Judith]:
On this side of the pond, I want to start a new Blake's 7 zine myself. I've produced three Blake's 7 genzines this last year, and now I want to produce an adult/slash zine. The American zines are great, but they're also very expensive. I've got a couple of stories in hand for Forbidden Star, and several more promised, but I'm looking for more. If anyone's in a writing mood, please send me a story. [name and postal address redacted] Email address 100031.604@compuserve.com. I believe editors are actually supposed to edit, so if you have a story that needs a bit of help, I'mwillingto give it. Sex can range from non-existent to fully explicit. I'm interested in the story, the characters and the emotions as well as the sex.
[Judith]:

Blake/Avon - yes, yes, every time! I'll read any other combo, but B/A is the one with fireworks. I don't know that Avon had so much a need to be dominated, as a need to have someone whom he could trust. Blake is fundamentally honest, and believes in looking after his own people. He won't let Avon down, and Avon, consciously or subconsciously, knows that. Unfortunately, Blake also has this revolution to run, which involves people getting in dangerous places and possibly getting killed. The problem for Avon, is can he love Blake without loving Blake's cause? Or does loving one, eventually lead to an understanding of the other? I think Avon also needed to be

trusted.
[Judith]:
I know what you mean about too much sex. There are some writers who can make every sex scene they write feel like something new and exciting, and there are some who can't. I know my own limitations. I stick mainly to writing the relationship and plot aspect of stories and leave sex to those who can do it far better than I can. Actually, one thing I've tried that can work very well, is co-writing a story. I've got a friend who does most of the sex scenes, and I do most of the plot. The results often come out better than either of us would manage alone. Does anyone else co-write stories? I've done this for both gen and slash, and I find it's a fun way to write.
[Judith]:
I'm inclined to agree with you about British slash awards. Why? For the totally selfish reason that although I'm a British writer, all my slash writing to date has appeared in US zines. (And the reason for that is because the first friend I made in slash fandom was a Canadian who recommended a lot of US zines to me.) Mind you, it's jolly hard to decide from reading a zine what the nationality of the writer is. The spelling of ass/arse is a clue, but not infallible. How do you count writers like M Fae Glasgow? Resident in the US, but who would be insulted at being counted anything but a Scot. Given the habit of so many slash writers of using pseudonyms (often multiple ones), how do you know who is who?
[Judith]:
Yes, I admit, I love Avon getting dominated too. Particularly in those stories where he's ready to strike back if Blake puts a foot just slightly wrong. Avon's more fun when he's dangerous (but with an Achilles heel). But I also love the really bleak stories that Sebastian writes where the relationship is balanced on such a fine knife edge that we all know it's doomed from the start. They both care desperately about each other, but they're each afraid to give the other too much emotional leverage.
[Judith]:

BAGHEERA: Fascinating how different people take different approaches to stories. You like to have your hero in control. I tend to land mine in situations where he has no control at all, or in situations where the control is illusory. Avon, let's face it, was intended to suffer. He's always at his most appealing when he's suffering. Emotional stress is a terrible thing to land on the poor man, and I love doing it! Wallow, wallow, wallow...

How did LfB get its name? Here's one guess. Our heroes get flung together under unusual circumstances one night. Next morning, after a suitably discreet row of asterisks, they are late for breakfast. 'Nuff said.
[Judith]:

Old characters? One of my favourite slash stories of all time is one of [Melody C's]. It's set long after Gauda Prime, and Blake and Avon are both distinctly older. The time factor allows them to know each other in ways that people can only acquire over years. They are older, more stable, more inclined to think about what they really want from life, and what they are prepared to sacrifice for it. It's a slower paced story

where they meet again after an enforced gap of many years. (In Fire and Ice.)
[Judith]:
I'd disagree with you about white space in Evasive Manuevers though. There's an empty line between every paragraph, and when you're paying for a zine, that makes a lot of difference, especially when it's large print, single column. JANET ELLICOTT has it at £14.50, but for £18, you can get Southern Comfort 8.5 which is at least twice as thick and doesn't have empty lines in it either.
[Kitty Fisher]:
Apart from addiction to the X-Files life has been pretty quiet recently. No decent slash has come my way (nothing new anyway), and almost no XF at all. I know that there will be, but I want it now and I can't write fast enough. I've seen the stuff on the Net but most of it was rather boring. Does being a slash fan make me too picky? Answer - probably.
[Minna]:
I've just discovered Night Court. And I've never had the experience of being two characters at once but the Harry/Dan pairing has me six ways from sundown. I've found I can envisage both partners quite easily and I think it's because they are such complementary characters. They need each other so much, something they didn't try to hide even on the tv version. They may not always like it that they need each other, but it always comes down to it in the end. I'm trying to write in this universe now so I'm just hoping I've got the mix right. We shall see.
[Minna]:
[[ If you object to the 'fragile flower' school of slash writing, stay away from Simon & Simon]] fan fiction, it'll make you sick. One of the main reasons I don't keep up with it any longer is the 'poor little A J' school of writing. I guess it's an easy trap to fall into, I'm probably guilty of it myself if I'm honest, but for some reason it got very silly in S&S zines. I did wonder if some of these people were actually writing about an adult male half the time.
[Aydan]:
No matter what your orientation a person can experience unrequited love. Slashing a media character (rather than an established gay character) means there are more tensions involved which makes a first time story interesting.
[Lexin]:
Well done FELICITY for pointing out (to me at least) why the comment "It's not like that in real life" is so damned annoying. Of course it isn't, it's fiction. I don't think we're writing/ reading gay porn, any more than people who want gay porn would turn to slash to get it.
[Lexin]:
[My dad has] read slash - he picked up a zine of mine one day while I was visiting. His problem with it was not the sexual element, or even the gay element, but the very basic fact that he feels it's an appropriation of another writer's work. To which I say: but this is how I see them. Other people share that vision with me. So what? The conversation is still (occasionally) going on.
[Gloria]:
LINDAR has raised a very interesting question about some of the authors seeming only to slash straight men. This really caught my attention and the more I think about it, the more I think it is true for me. With 'out' gay characters, there is so much less to explore, so much less imagination needed and frankly that means much less power - I like to be able to make my guys jump through hoops if I want. And it's the exploration and discovery of their feelings I like, the search for hidden motives and the meaning behind their actions; it's the subtext I'm interested in. With out characters it's all there on the screen so there just isn't that impact for me.
[Gloria]:
I have never read anything at all where it was big bad Illya beating up on poor defenceless Napoleon. It would be nice, just for a change.

References

  1. see Jane of Australia, Kathy Keegan, and Mel Keegan
  2. This was erroneously printed as "American" in the original issue, and corrected by the editor in the next issue.
  3. There are some inaccuracies in this account; see The Blake's 7 Wars.
  4. Huh? Is this true, or a fan-panic urban myth?