Legacy (Starsky & Hutch story)

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Title: Legacy
Author(s): Kathleen Gaitley
Date(s): 1980
Genre: gen
Fandom: Starsky & Hutch
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Legacy is a gen Starsky & Hutch story by Kathleen Gaitley.

It is in One Shot #1.

The zine it appeared in had this description in the editorial: "'Legacy' is set in an alternative universe a bit grimmer but more likely than most of us would want to accept."

Reactions and Reviews


‘Legacy,’ on the other had, succeeds so well it’s painful. Understand: I don’t like the story. I will be perfectly happy if I never see another piece of fiction on this theme again. But by damn, it’s good! What have here is Starsky’s refusal to a accept the idea that there can be life after Hutch, his retreat from human contact, and eventual redemption by another isolate. Characterization and psychology ar of a very high order… Not for nothing has love-and-death been called the Great Theme; it’s notoriously difficult to do well. Gaitely, though, handles is with insight and honesty… ‘Legacy’ takes the best-of-zine handily. [1]
With ‘Legacy, the reader does have to struggle. And it is well worth it. More, the story is honest with its premise. When is Hutch is wounded to death, there are no miracles – he dies, and Starsky’s comfort must come from within himself. That it takes a year, a strong and understanding partner, are also a part of this piece’s honesty. One flaw in this jewel is Huggy’s speech patterns: too long and too precisely grammatical. It’s not impossible for a writer to reproduce a foreign dialect accurately, but it does entail extra effort. [2]


Kathleen Gaitely has written one of the finest examples of SH fiction I have ever read. "Legacy" explores the depth of human devotion, as Starsk finds himself trapped in a limbo world of love and grief, following the death of Hutch at the hands of a knife-wielding punk. Despondent and uncommunicative, he shuffles his way through a succession of partners until paired with Sam Reynolds, a down-to-earth, black detective, who manages to crack the manic exterior to reveal the scared and lonely man lurking beneath. This story touched my soul. Frightening in it's realism—devastating in it's pain; Starsky's sense of hopelessness becomes a way of life, until life becomes "just something to do" while awaiting the end. But the path to salvation (contrary to what many SH writers would have you believe) is not a bullet in the head, but an acceptance of those things we cannot change, and a commitment to revitalizing the spirit that those who loved us cherished most. This is a somewhat darker, but no less valid definition of "Me and Thee." Thank you, Kathleen. Thank you. [3]


  1. from S and H #11
  2. from S and H #12
  3. from Between Friends #6