Legacy of Temptation

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Bodie/Doyle Fanfiction
Title: Legacy of Temptation (The Professionals fanfiction)
Author(s): Ellis Ward
Date(s): 1991, 2007
Length: approx 600K
Genre: slash. Bodie/Doyle
Fandom: The Professionals
External Links:
At The Hatstand
At The Circuit Archive

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"Legacy of Temptation" is a The Professionals novel written by Ellis Ward. It is a slash AU supernatural story with the pairing of Bodie/Doyle.

The story won a FanQ award in 1992 for Best Professionals Short Story/Vignette.

It was first published in Other Times and Places 2 by OTP Press in 1991. It was posted to The Circuit Archive on January 26, 2007. It is also posted at The Hatstand

The story sometimes appears on fan's Desert Island lists.[1]

This fic is one of the examples of "Third Wave" slash as explained in The Wave Theory of Slash.

Reviews/Reactions

Unknown Date

An intriguing AU horror story with Bodie as a computer professional and Doyle as an author of some somewhat familiar titles. *g* A good plot, clever use of suspense and a highly enjoyable developing relationship makes this an absorbing read.[2]

1992

I really enjoyed OTS 2. (Ellis Ward's story "Legacy of Temptation" was a wonderful story—the characters were so round and full. And the story plot was fabulous). [3]

Bodie the unwilling exorcist was outstanding in "Legacy of Temptation". I would kill to read more adventures, how about Bodie saving Murph?? Please let Ellis Ward know that everyone who reads the story, even non-Pro's fans loved it and would like to see more. Since magic exists unusual things could come crawling out of the woodwork both bad and good. Jane as usual has written a good story about a bad vampire instead of her usual good ones, an interesting change and one that read beautifully.

[4]
Once again, Ellis Ward provided the centerpiece of the zine [it was printed in]. this time with Legacy of Temptation. This one had me on the edge of my seat, and genuinely scared at times. Another author who writes Bodie well, too! The story seemed very realized to me, partly because of all the wrong assumptions, false trails and forgotten details along the line—these guys are human, after all. An excellent and involved storyline, superbly realised. Well done! [5]
Ellis Ward's LEGACY OF TEMPTATION was scary as being locked in a dark cellar overnight. Not only couldn't I put it down, I couldn't sleep. Dreamed about that horrible potato cellar! And once I was reading after 9:00 p.m., until I realized it was that dreaded time! Horrors. Lovely and believable B/D romance, too, but I wanted to be there for Ray's birthday present! Was rather looking forward to that. [6]
Now for my favourite [in the zine]. I will buy any zine will an Ellis Ward B/D story in it! Her stories just get better and better. Legacy of Temptration proved almost impossible to put down. First I could not wait to find out if this was a straight mystery or involved the supernatural. Then, when it became clear on that point, I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. The relationship, vrtiile secondary to the main story was handled very well and quite realistically. [7]
"Legacy of Temptation" (in OI&P #2) is my all-time favorite A/U B&D story. It's close to being my favorite, period. [8]
"Legacy of Temptation" by Ellis Ward was up to her usual standards—marvelous. I am insanely jealous of her talent, her skill at drawing both Bodie and Doyle, and her laser printer. This was delightfully creepy. I have occasionally snarked at a few people for stories which I've considered a love scene in search of a plot, but such is never the case with Ward. This is a great novella. I don't know why some professional publishing company hasn't snapped her up yet, but as long as she wants to write about a couple of Pros, I'll read it![9]

2007

Even though I've only read about 15 pages or so (I like to savour good stories) I'm so enjoying this long, cosy read that I thought I must mention it - I can't remember the last time I *have* enjoyed a long story quite as much. Thank you Ellis Ward for being Ellis Ward and writing some wonderful stories. And I think the remarks of my good friend byslantedlight that Legacy of Temptation ..... which is almost a whole fic of gorgeous foreplay is spot on. I think I *like* stories which are sexy, romantic and erotic throughout - ones which allow some scope for my fevered imagination - perhaps even more than one off steamy sex scenes (though I do like both), but if I *had* to choose between one or the other then the subtle eroticism of this kind of writing would win every time...[10]
There is something to be said for a fic in which the sexuality of each is just not an issue, can be taken for granted. I liked the fact - much as I thought I might not - that both Bodie and Doyle are established as 'gay' early on, so that Ellis Ward can concentrate entirely on the romance of it all. Yet she also keeps them intact somehow as a Bodie and Doyle I recognise.[11]
...the good thing is that there's plenty of other things going on too - it's a real story. I *like* to be kept on my toes wondering what's going on: who is Bodie, who is Doyle? What is Father Keegan to both of them? She takes just the right amount of time to reveal things, not giving the game away disappointingly early or dragging it out and making you wait *too* long - it's good.[12]
It is a "cosy read" somehow, isn't it, despite the big nasties. And I think you're right, as we read we're secure in our knowledge that whatever else happens, the lads are together - it's right and natural somehow, rather than just based on steamy sex. (Not that I have anything against steamy sex, as you know.) Even just 29 pages in (I had to go and check that I wasn't gonna spoiler you!) there's something just perfect about how Ellis Ward brings that inevitability into it...[13]
I *enjoyed* this one. It's the reason I got absolutely nothing done yesterday. I've been fairly ambivalent about Ellis Ward as being a pretty hit-or-miss writer, but this one was a major hit. Definitely in favour.[14]
I hadn't seen this before and I also stayed up very late to finish it,because I couldn't bear to put it down! And I think it will bear re-reading quite soon. I love Ellis Ward's writing, Harlequin Airs especially, she is so good at placing the boys into another world and making it believable and natural. Her Bodie and Doyle work for me. Wonderful...[15]
I've just had this from Sara's library and when I saw it thought "ouch, not an Ellis Ward fan", but I read it anyway. And LOVED it. It's wonderfully written and so true to life [16]
I'm more than half way through now, and savouring it piece by piece.. And I am not a fan of supernatural settings/themes in Pros, but wow she's making it work! [17]

2008

"Why this must be read: Because it’s time for some AUs this coming week. Pros is a fandom with an amazing number of AUs. Everything from Regencies to the Bastille, from Arabian deserts to spaceships, and from Victorian birdwatchers to trapeze artists. You name it, and chances are Bodie and Doyle have been there, done that, and got the scars to prove it.

And few transport them better than Ellis Ward. ‘Legacy of Temptation’ is built on a fairly simple premise. Bodie is a Computer Techie, Doyle is a writer of male/male romance novels ( yes, how delicious is that – and you wait till you see the titles of the books he writes:)) But Bodie has another sideline: investigating the paranormal. And Doyle has more than a computer bug fouling up his life and his house.. Cue a nail-biting ghost story wrapped around an engaging male/male romance.

The horror element is a delicious background. It’s creepy, vivid and downright scary at times, and makes for some truly terrifying confrontations. She builds up layers of mystery and atmosphere, all the while nudging Bodie and Doyle towards each other.

One of the things I love about this, is how their sexuality is not an issue. There’s no Sudden Onset Gayness to deal with as both characters are gay, so all she has to spend time drawing out for us is the attraction and the relationship, which she does with her usual flair for emotions minus the dramatics. It’s Bodie and Doyle, committed and in love, but still very recognisable as the lads while they go about it.[18]

2009

I'm another one who is a HUGE fan of this story. I adore Ellis Ward, and while I sometimes have a hard time with the paranormal in the world of CI5, this one works like a charm for me precisely because it's an AU, and because Doyle and Bodie are still completely recognisable as the Bodie and Doyle from the show. The ghost story is truly horrifying at times - she builds it up in true 'it's behind you!' style. And as a background to propelling the lads into each other's arms, it's perfect.

That's another thing I really enjoy in this, the central romance. She has a knack for nailing emotions without dramatics that I envy and love in about equal measure. I like the fact that both are gay in this, that their sexuality is not an issue, just their growing attraction, each for the other.

Despite the creepy chills, it's a genuinely warm and beautifully observed romance.[19]
Interesting! I liked all the detaily stuff about Bodie getting around London that day.

But confess I skipped some very detaily paragraphs about how computers work.

I like the way that, even in an AU, Bodie and Doyle look and largely behave just as they do in the eps, and Bodie's still ex-Army.[20]
I'm pretty much gen, but love a good story and this is a very good story.

I read this, recommended by the lovely Lorraine and I was spellbound by the story and the excellent writing skills of Ellis Ward. I love her physical descriptions of Doyle (you were right Lorraine) and I really like how creepy and suspenseful the plot is.

It starts off very convincingly in how and why they meet and the suspense grows and grows until you just know something is going to explode and oh boy, does it ever. There are so many nice touches along the way.

I loved loved loved how Bodie let an exhausted Doyle sleep on his leg at the beginning. If the motion of the car afforded Raymond Doyle the respite he so desperately needed, then that was what he would have. In fact, if he must drive all night to keep Doyle at peace, Bodie would happily do so.

Bodie being so thorough about checking all the paperwork and the house, his relationship with the catholic priest, how Doyle, being so fiercely independent was finally driven to seek help, were excellently scripted.

I really liked how the attacks got more and more intense the closer to his birthday and I liked how first Bodie did the rescue of Doyle and got him out the house and then later, Doyle did the same for Bodie. Double h/c. Perfect.

Only one thing puzzled me and that was at the end, with his father in the cellar. Did his dad have designs on his own son's body?

His puppeteer stood behind him, an arm slung round Doyle's shoulders, the other moving suggestively beneath the smooth fabric at his waist

As he spoke, his hand stroked Doyle's chest beneath the dressing-gown, gliding lower toward his abdomen.

Keeping himself still by main force, Bodie growled, "I would not let you have him before; do you seriously think I will let you harm him now?"

"You have no choice." The arm circling Doyle's throat rose caressingly. "It is a pity, I agree, for he has become a pretty thing."

If so, that's a hard thing for Doyle to accept isn't it? Blood and all that. But I can't think what else he may be trying to accomplish, and what he would have done, had Bodie not come into the cellar. It didn't seem to fit in with the rest of what we know about Timothy Doyle. But I may be just reading it wrong.

Ellis is very good at writing the care that they have for each other in a believable manner. At no time does it ever go overboard into mushiness and the gradual build up of affection is really quite beautifully done.

Yeah, I liked this one.[21]
Was just thinking that one of highlights of a Pros fic involving the supernatural would be the question of how the naturally sceptical CI5 agents would deal with it, perhaps being forced to question their scepticism, disagreeing fundamentally over it, etc.

Then this AU comes along and that isn't an issue at all - there's no question of either being sceptical by the time Doyle comes to ask Bodie for help. But it still works beautifully.

Similarly the gay issue. In an AU the dramatic tension of them being gay at all in a military/security environment in the 1970s doesn't apply at all. So there's room for simple, angst-free romance. sigh, maybe that's why I like some AUs so much.[22]
Small admission. This is actually why I like this one so much. To me, and it's just my own preference, an AU can have the characters not bogged down with CI5 accuracy. This way they can resemble the lads, and act like them, but they can be given their own history and identity. It works beautifully in this one, as someone said - gay in the first place, so the story isn't about the gay issue - but simply about two people who take us along on their journey of discovering each other and falling in love. Now that's romance. And a nice offset to the suspense and seat gripping horror of the story. My other two most favourite slash stories are AU as well.[23]
A lovely, long and truly haunted-house fic for halloween...[24]
I'd just read it for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I loved having an excuse to read it again!

I don't really know what to say about it, though, except that I thoroughly enjoyed it. For me, the most terrifying part was actually early on, when Doyle thinks that the hand he's holding is Bodie's...and it's not. *shudder*

And then there was the excellent horror-film ending, where you think it's all done (and the protagonists have some lovely hot sex)...and then you find out that it isn't over after all. When Bodie goes to open the bathroom door, and the knob just spins...I'm glad I wasn't reading that bit in class, because I'd not have heard another word of the lecture.[25]
I love this story. I love Ellis Ward. One of the things that made me giggle was the use of HG's story titles in it. Cute. I like when a writer gives a tip of the hat to things they love in stories even if nobody really gets the joke. It's nice and creepy and scary. What fun.[26]
I wouldn't normally choose to read stories about the paranormal - ghosts and stuff - but seeing as this was a Bodie and Doyle story *and* by a favourite writer I thought I'd give it a go and, no real surprise there then, I really enjoyed it! Especially the way she wrote about their falling-in-love: the early interest, the vibes and the mutual fascination - their 'growing attraction' as callistosh65 describes it above. I could have gone on and on just relishing that aspect of the story alone but I suppose that wouldn't have left much of a story.... Anyway, I thought she handled a potentially difficult subject with her usual expertise and I liked it a lot.[27]
I kind of galloped through the paranormal parts of the story just to come back quickly to the Bodie/Doyle bits... :-) BTW - I think that choice of jobs as computer expert and writer, is something I really could imagine as an 'after CI5' life for them! [28]

2010

An intriguing AU horror story with Bodie as a computer professional and Doyle as an author of some somewhat familiar titles. *g* A good plot, clever use of suspense and a highly enjoyable developing relationship makes this an absorbing read.[29]
I'm not terribly keen on supernatural stories, which usually do nothing for me. This one is an exception, a delicately textured AU novel in which Bodie is a student of demonology who helps Doyle rid his house of a malevolent ghost while the two of them fall in love. Ellis Ward's characteristic attention to detail is given particular play here and is a major part of why I enjoy this story. I love the way she paints scenes vividly, sketching in the background to give a full picture. This story is also well-paced with action and relationship threaded together in a nice balance.[30]

2011

Dear Pros Fans,

We are gathered to consider and discuss aspects of Ellis Ward's excellent story, "Legacy of Temptation." It is, to begin with, an AU. Now, with some AUs, you'll get one lad in CI5 and the other not, but in this AU, neither Bodie nor Doyle are in CI5. Indeed, neither of them works for a security agency, the military, mercenaries, the police, or any sort of authority group. I'd like to know--how does this angle work for you?

For myself, I find that Bodie's thorough-going search of Doyle's home, background, even going so far as to visit the grave of Doyle's mother to look for signs of defilement, suggest the sorts of activities that the two of them do in a more typical CI5 case. They are indefatigable when on the trail, and the hours Bodie spent turning Doyle's house upside down in "Legacy" are akin to that. In Pros, the two of them are investigators, following leads and tracking down sources, no matter how long it takes. In "Legacy", Bodie's crawling in attics, digging up potato cellars, and gathering information of all sorts. While there may not be an IRA gunman after them, they are certainly experiencing some sort of danger, and Bodie in particular takes a lot of action that may save them in the end. Of course, your impressions of this story may vary because Doyle is a lot more non-CI5-like; he's constantly writing, meeting deadlines, letting Bodie do the investigating while he's involved with his work life. They don't exactly feel like partners in this story--more like Bodie is leading, and Doyle helps out occasionally. Of course, some Pros episodes had that less-than-equal feeling too, but your impressions may be different.

One particular angle of the story that I like is the attention to detail that the author has, in virtually every part of the story. At the outset, Bodie meets Doyle (a second time) by making a service call to fix Doyle's broken computer. He nearly trips over an electrician, who is fixing a broken electrical socket. He explains the layout of all the sockets and appliances in the room, and how the circuit that blew should have taken out all things connected to the plug "according to everything I know about electrics." Although the story doesn't have to have him--Bodie soon enough will find out that there is something weird happening with Doyle's computer--the extra confirmation that there is something basically wrong with how the socket is working adds to the hidden menace that is growing, and also confirms Bodie's diagnosis that nobody (except a supernatural being) should have been able to mess with Doyle's computer as was done. You can see this attention to detail again in Bodie's trip around London via tube, when he wants to buy Doyle's books. The staff at Foyle's book store **WERE** notorious for their poor service and bad attitude, and the connection by tube to the second book store, Gay's the Word, are accurate, and complete (and both book stores actually exist). The details on what Bodie did to finally fix Doyle's computer, the nature of annual bank audits for small businesses, and much more come through fully in this story, making it feel real. There's a sense the author creates this entire world that you can step into, with doors, walls, people, smells, and everything in place, because it is so intricately explained in detail. I can *see* Doyle's home.

Another angle of the story that I appreciate (particularly given the age in which it was written and also when it was set) is the care given by both Bodie and Doyle to the possible consequences of unprotected sex, and living with what it means to be gay in a homophobic society. At the height of the AIDS epidemic, unprotected sex was tantamount to a death sentence. The story shows them explicitly talking about their status ("How do you test?") and what they know about their own health as gay men. While a lot of guys simply hopped in the sack, I can't see either of these guys taking that kind of chance, ever. What I like even more is that, as gay men, they don't have to be identical in their tastes: they disagree, and do this within the context of the story as part of a lengthier discussion so it doesn't feel forced. The disagreement is about whether it is better for gays to integrate fully (Bodie's comment about wanting to go to "his local, not his gay local" strikes me as something he would say and believe) or better for gays to have separate communities where their sexuality isn't viewed negatively (so Doyle prefers going to gay pubs and gay clubs, where he can be more accepted). This strikes me as a smart move by the author, and fits with my own ideas about how Bodie and Doyle would act upon (or hide) their own sexual natures.

One aspect of the story I find a bit harder to accept is how little sexual experience each man has--again, spelled out in the part near the dialogue "How do you test?" I have difficulty believing that Doyle is sitting in that house all alone most of the time--writing gay love stories, no less--but turns on like a raging inferno when he finally sees Bodie. The somewhat easy and overt sexuality that Bodie and Doyle exhibit in the television series seems to have gone missing. Of course, another missing element altogether is Cowley.

Of course, when it comes to the occult and demons, for this story, you simply have to accept that those things might exist. I'm not even a big fan of horror stories, but for whatever reason, this one works for me.[31]
I must admit I love this AU. This theme wasn't even remotely touched within the series, but Ellis made it feel like an episode. I see my Bodie and Doyle within the characters here. That is an important point in my book. The mystery story was fascinating, somewhat creepy at times, but sucked me in and I just wanted to sit and read it in one sitting.[32]

2013

This is one of my favourite stories...

I am able to see our B&D in the story. They have a lot of the characteristics that I see in the episodes, and so I am comfortable with them. Unlike previous Reading Room stories where I haven't recognised B&D, which throws me out of the writing, here they share some of the same (at times irritating) habits and speech patterns. Okay, so I still find this Doyle a teensy bit needy, but he's a reasonably strong character. It's all a little bit idealistic, in that Bodie is comfortably gay, can manage his work around looking after Doyle, Doyle has a sympathetic publisher, owns what sounds like a valuable piece of property etc etc but it's fic so I am willing to suspend disbelief and go with the flow. Also, I like the author and her writing style, which helps a lot.

I was okay with the supernatural element in this fic, given that I have to grit my teeth to read about the supernatural anyway. I didn't like the way everything went back to normal after the incidents, so the door is burst down one moment and after the witching hour is over it's back in its normal place - no. But on the whole, this held together for me and I was okay reading it.

I can't remember how I felt about the ending when I first read this fic, because that is such a long time ago and I have re-read many times since. Sorry *g*

Yes, I enjoyed the use of fandom story titles! Why not, when we all know them and what they're about? They made me chuckle.

Other comments - I was surprised when I thought about it that the whole thing takes place over a relatively short period. This in turn leads me to question the 'falling in love forever' aspect - after all, we have been here before with Ann Holly *g*. However, the writing whisks me through this speedy aspect so I don't really notice it.

I liked the supporting characters as well. I also chuckled at the IT aspects - I remember those days! [33]
Doyle could be a bit less needy, but I think his situation can easily account for that. I don't know how I'd react if I was being stalked by a demon. *g* And maybe because he's not in CI5, I'm less inclined to except him to be quite so self-assured when in danger. It's Doyle, just not the Doyle who faces death every day.

I hadn't noticed how short the time frame was at first, either. It was only while writing the review that I really became aware of the "day 1," "day 2," etc. count. Or if I did notice I've since forgot because, like you, it's been awhile since I first read the story and it is one I've read several times. But it does bring into question the whole falling in love practically overnight scenario. It's not a scenario I usually appreciate, and it's one of the big pluses of them working together in "reel" life. But maybe because the story is so well written, I could go with it and not let it bother me.

Oh, and I love the horror genre, so for me it's a plus! [34]
It's ages since I read this, but I really enjoyed it. Liked the characters very much, and they were definitely Bodie and Doyle enough.

I also liked the setting of a comfortable suburban 1930s house, not a haunted gothic mansion. Although generally I have no time for the supernatural for some reason I like it in Pros, like 'All the Queen's Men'. Maybe it's because the lads are so pragmatic and down-to-earth,and so effective - no (human) baddy gets the better of them - that I like to see them pitted against a force that is unnatural, illogical, unpredictable, intangible - that extra challenge.

In this one I found the ending rather overwrought, but I suppose that sort of denouement is part of the genre.[35]
In some ways the setting adds to the mood, because it's not a place where one would suspect such goings on. You think you're safe. *g*

And I like the idea that it would take something supernatural to pose any real danger to them, their being so competent and effective.

I didn't notice the overwroughtness (?) but that could be because I read quite a bit of horror and so am pretty used to it.[36]
One of my favourite Pros stories... *g*

Were you able to see "our" Bodie and Doyle in the story? I totally was. It feels strange to me that I did, because they're both in such peaceful, relatively passive jobs - Bodie a computer technician? Where did that come from? Okay, fiddling with guns in the show, perhaps, dexterous fingers... *g* He still has an exotic, violent background, though. And Doyle as a writer? Again, I'm never sure where that comes from - in the show Bodie's the one with words, whereas Doyle gets them wrong... He reads of course, so...? But Ellis Ward has kept the spirit of the lads, I think, which to me is more the magic of keeping them in character than having them do ep-based jobs. They're both strong-willed, with a sense of humour, and they have an immediate rapport and are obviously in love... *g*

And I do believe in their rush to love - the author hints to us straight away that there's an immediate attraction (and whilst we may or may not believe in love-at-first-sight, I think attraction-at-first-sight is pretty common!), the lads go through some intense experiences together, and the two things play into each other, so that in a relatively short space of time they both believe they're in love. Are they really? Well - are any of us, when we think we are, in that first heady rush? But some people go for the immediately declarations, and Doyle was like that in Involvement, so... My next door neighbour has declared something similar about his new girlfriend, and is talking about marrying her after only a few weeks of knowing her even, so it does happen that way sometimes. Whether it's ultimately long-term and true is a different matter, but whether people who fancy themselves in love believe it is at the time is different - and that's what we see in this story, what the lads believe at the time, and I love that we're right there with them as they think and feel it.

Did you feel that the supernatural element was adequately presented? Very nicely! I liked this - it fit well with "traditional" hauntings, but had its own twists and turns. I liked the "schedule" of the haunting, and its build up to Doyle's birthday. It was comfortably uncomfortable - it wasn't trying to be "new" or to shock me, it was just the story.

Were you surprised by the ending or did you see it coming? Erm... you mean that it was Doyle's dad and mum? I'm another person who's read it so many times since the first time that I'm not sure I can remember my original reaction! I think it felt right to me - it fit with the rest of the story, and with the build up, so I was neither surprised nor prescient, I was too busy being engrossed in the story itself! *g*

Did you enjoy her use of fandom stories as props in the story?

Absolutely - brilliantly done, especially in an AU. And Legacy of Temptation is one of the reasons I looked up Gay's the Word - though sadly they no longer stock Doyle's books... *vbg* I wouldn't want to see it done too often (see below for another example of that!) but it was fun to be drawn even more cosily into the story - the author making a link with her readers, a wee inside joke so that we could feel happy and part of the story. She wasn't being clever-clever, or making fun of what we all love, it was absolutely about author and reader and story all being... together. Part of the same community.[37]
What I am rather fascinated by is that you pulled out The story is presented in a sequence of days as being noteworthy, presumably somehow unusual (in fanfic?)? To me it was written in a natural, straightforward way, telling a story from beginning to end, with none of what I find the usually annoying going-backwards-to-show-us-what-happened-before-the-place-where-I-started-telling-you-the-story, which always just screams "plot device!" at me... *g* Playing with time can be really effective - as Jojo's Tomorrow's Life, for instance - but authors seem to be going through a phase where they think "I have to start the story at some exciting place, to keep my reader's attention" (fair enough) but then find that the only way they can actually let the reader know what's happened before then is via a flashback (or two or three or even more...) to what began the situation. I find it frustrating and boring to be dragged out of the story like that, as what seems a matter of course in new fanfic these days... which might, come to think of it, be why I might seem to prefer reading older fic, as someone suggested about me a while ago... *g* Flashbacks etc can be pulled off beautifully by a few writers, but more often they come over as obvious plot devices and I wonder why the author couldn't give us the information more naturally - and then I've started thinking about the quality of the writing rather than the story, and I've been dragged out and it's as good as all over... So I think they should be used reluctantly by a writer, and very carefully... and I'm so glad that Ellis Ward didn't go for that here! Anyway - so it was surprising to me that you actually note that Ward tells the story chronologically, starting with a day one and then just carrying on to the end of the story. For me that's how the vast majority of stories should be - it's the natural, most readable way of telling a story. I'm very curious about why you did describe the story that way, pointing that out? [38]
Were you able to see "our" Bodie and Doyle in the story? Did you feel that the supernatural element was adequately presented? Were you surprised by the ending or did you see it coming? Did you enjoy her use of fandom stories as props in the story?

I'm going to bunch these together and deal with them out of order. The second question: yes, undoubtedly. This seemed to be an absolutely classic horror story to me, complete with slamming doors separating two people who until then are coping effectively. It's very clearly supernatural. There's no question of "is it in their minds" or anything. Well, okay, there's the pair of them wondering if they have jointly imagined in, but the reader doesn't. The reader is convinced before they are, I think.

Which element of the ending do you mean, I wonder? I remember reading this for the first time, and the thing that surprised me was that the business with the book wasn't over and that in fact this apparently sinister reappearing book was an effect of a benign spirit, not a malevolent one. Is that what you're referring to? And I didn't see the construction in the cellar and the full-blown confrontation coming, no, not at all.

Our Bodie and Doyle... hmm. Sorry: not entirely. Not so much as I would have liked. It's a while since I read it carefully - I had to skim to catch up with the Reading Room schedule - so I may have missed things. Bodie's quite chatty with people, but Doyle is very solitary in this, and I think really Doyle is a little more gregarious. And they're both in such sedentary jobs: computers and writing. Surely they'd be bundles of nervous energy by 11am? On the other hand, they are combative and up-front, which is very them. I suspect the discussions about a gay lifestyle - Bodie's resistance to gay pubs and to settling into one little group that can be isolated from society at large, versus Doyle's enjoyment of the same things - probably fit into this question too, but I'm not quite sure how to relate them to it.

Fandom story titles: when I read it first, I didn't recognise the story titles, so it was only when I reached the end that I realised. I wondered why, I think. And presumed it was by way of a tribute, perhaps. I do still wonder why those titles in particular, I suppose, but only vaguely. (And they are lovely titles - Harmonious Tongues, great!) I suppose generally I associate this sort of thing with less serious stories. There's a Gena Fisher story where the names of half a dozen Pros zines are woven into the narrative, and once I realised what was going on, and that no, I was not going mad and it was far from a coincidence, they gave me a grin.

I'm still not keen on Pros and the supernatural, but I think this was far closer to classic horror than the others we've looked at, and as a horror, I think it worked well.[39]
... I do love this story so much, it's filled with love and understanding and friendship!

Rereading it for the third time I still found a few new beautiful things I learned. And I think the end is too long. Just by a tiny bit....and just imho.

Anyway, it'll still stay on my personal "Best of" list, because the lads are in there in all their glory, with Doyles snarkiness, his love and loyalty, his doubts and his thoightfulness. And Bodie with his disbelieve in anything but his partner, his love and his boyishness.[40]
I think we see "our" Bodie and Doyle in the story! I can't remember one moment when I thought that they were 'wrong'.

And I enjoy reading about their 'normal' jobs and the way they behave in every day life. Bodie is very believable as a computer expert, and why shouldn't Ray write good books?

I feel that the supernatural element was adequately presented, yes. I don't need the bloody horror thrill! The way Ellis Ward has done it is just my cup of tea. :-)

About the ending... Well, I have to confess that I've forgotten the ending.

So it must be 'ok'. Not impressing and not bad either. I try to pay more attention this time(I'm not yet through...)! [41]
I, too, found them very believable in their roles. I can easily see Bodie tinkering with his computers and Doyle busily typing at his desk. I'm hearing that a lot, that this isn't anywhere near the first time this story has been read. It certainly wasn't for me. But for some reason the "trick" at the end (I don't want to give it away if you haven't gotten that far,) has always stuck in my mind.[42]

References

  1. Close Quarters Desert Island Episode/Zine/Fic dated July 18, 2009; reference link.
  2. from alicambs, Archived version
  3. from an LoC in Other Times and Places #3
  4. from an LoC in Other Times and Places #3
  5. from an LoC in Other Times and Places #3
  6. from an LoC in Other Times and Places #3
  7. from an LoC in Other Times and Places #3
  8. from an LoC in Other Times and Places #3
  9. from an LoC in Other Times and Places #3
  10. from Noble Sentiments, posted January 2007
  11. from callistosh65 at Noble Sentiments, posted January 2007
  12. from Noble Sentiments, posted January 2007
  13. from byslantedlight at Noble Sentiments, posted January 2007
  14. 2007 comments at CI5hq; reference link
  15. 2007 comments at CI5hq
  16. 2007 comments at CI5hq
  17. 2007 comments at CI5hq
  18. This story was reviewed on Crack Van by callistoh65 on December 14, 2008.
  19. comment at the ci5hq review of The Reading Room - Halloween fic! dated Oct 29, 2009; WebCite; Archive.is (accessed April 17, 2013).
  20. comment at the ci5hq review of The Reading Room - Halloween fic! dated Oct 29, 2009; WebCite; Archive.is (accessed April 17, 2013).
  21. comment at the ci5hq review of The Reading Room - Halloween fic! dated Oct 29, 2009; WebCite; Archive.is (accessed April 17, 2013).
  22. comment at the ci5hq review of The Reading Room - Halloween fic! dated Oct 29, 2009; WebCite; Archive.is (accessed April 17, 2013).
  23. comment at the ci5hq review of The Reading Room - Halloween fic! dated Oct 29, 2009; WebCite; Archive.is (accessed April 17, 2013).
  24. review of The Reading Room - Halloween fic! posted at the ci5hq on Oct 29, 2009; WebCite; Archive.is (accessed April 17, 2013).
  25. comment at the ci5hq review of The Reading Room - Halloween fic! dated Oct 29, 2009; WebCite; Archive.is (accessed April 17, 2013).
  26. comment at the ci5hq review of The Reading Room - Halloween fic! dated Oct 29, 2009; WebCite; Archive.is (accessed April 17, 2013).
  27. comment at the ci5hq review of The Reading Room - Halloween fic! dated Oct 29, 2009; WebCite; Archive.is (accessed April 17, 2013).
  28. comment at the ci5hq review of The Reading Room - Halloween fic! dated Oct 29, 2009; WebCite; Archive.is (accessed April 17, 2013).
  29. alicambs Professional Recs, Archived version dated March 19, 2010.
  30. 2010 comments by istia, prosrecs, Archived version
  31. 2011 comments by fjbryan, prosrecs, Archived version
  32. 2011 comments by kirsserci5, prosrecs, Archived version
  33. 2013 comments at CI5hq; reference link
  34. 2013 comments at CI5hq
  35. 2013 comments at CI5hq
  36. 2013 comments at CI5hq
  37. 2013 comments at CI5hq
  38. 2013 comments at CI5hq
  39. 2013 comments at CI5hq
  40. 2013 comments at CI5hq
  41. 2013 comments at CI5hq
  42. 2013 comments at CI5hq