Liaisons (multifandom zine)
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Liaisons is a slash multifandom anthology.
Regarding the Title
Regarding Sharing/DuplicationFrom issue #1:
Borrowing and duplicating this zine for your own reading is frowned upon, duplicating it to sell to another for profit is punishable by a visit from my favorite hitman, Luigi 'the Lizard' Lazarini (10 arrests, no convictions). 'Nuf said.
Liaisons 1 was published in May 1991 and is 138 pages long. Phoenix is the front and back cover artist. From the zine: "Suggested by Forever and Ever...Amen by Sybil McKay. [a story in this zine]."
- Lonely Hearts Club by Morgan Calabrese (Alien Nation, Sikes/Marvin Gardens) (1)
- Friend, Not Foe, poem by Judith Ellison (Blake's 7) (5)
- Vestiges of Thought by Vivian Vandenberg (Star Trek: TNG, Picard/Q) (6)
- Odd Man Out, poem by Gene S. Delapenia (Blake's 7) (12)
- A Bit of Humor by Leah Rosenthal (Blake's 7) (13)
- Trick or Treat by Tenaya (Blake's 7, Avon/Vila) (14)
- The Road Not Taken by Sybil McKay (The Professionals, Bodie/Doyle) (20)
- Gentleness by Anna Parrish (Star Trek: TOS, Spock/McCoy) (34)
- Alone, poem by Gene S. Delapenia (Blake's 7) (54)
- Dancing in the Dark by Merlyn (Houston Knights, Lundy/LaFiamma) (55)
- Mirror, Mirror by Morgan Calabrese (Miami Vice, Castillo/Burnett) (63)
- Fatal Fascination, poem by Judith Ellison (Blake's 7) (73)
- Forever and Ever...Amen by Sybil McKay (The Professionals, Bodie/Doyle) (74)
- The Hands of an Artist by Adrian Alexander (Blake's 7, Blake/Avon) (97)
- The Healing by Kaveri Singh (Miami Vice, Crockett/Castillo) (107)
- The Bittersweet Affair by Clotilda Willard (Man from UNCLE, Solo/Illya) (119) (reprinted in Reclassified Affairs 2)
- The Story Teller by Adrian Alexander (Blake's 7, Avon/Vila) (130)
cartoon by Leah Rosenthal
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1
[Vestiges of Thought]: Bizarre and not very well written, with weird characterization shifts and not very realistic sex. 
[Forever and Ever... Amen]: Doyle shows up at Bodie's apartment in Paris 8 years after leaving CI5 and disappearing. A former enemy is out of prison and wants to kill them so they team up to thwart him. B had been married and had a son but is divorced. D is reluctant to answer questions. He had wanted to hide from B but B was looking for him so he could only do menial work and had to keep changing jobs. He finally resorted to becoming a fence for stolen art work and is rich now. B won't rest until D tells him why he left. D had been in love with B but knew B had been raped in Africa; he thought B would never accept his love so he left because he thought he could never have B. B is angry. He tells D he loves him and D only had to ask. They have sex but the next morning D leaves. D thinks he can't drag B along into his murky life and maybe get him killed. B returns to Paris but is depressed; he decides to find D no matter what. Just as he is leaving his apartment D shows up. They make up, realizing they must be together. 
The table of contents divides the stories into three sections: "Undercover Agents" (Pros and MUNCLE), "Space Cadets" (Blake's 7), and "Mixed Nuts and Assorted Sundry Bastards."
Regarding the illos: "Computer generated art by Kevin of Copy Central. Phoenix artwork printed by Dragon Press, Pasadena, CA."
- Leap of Faith by Elizabeth Urich (Man from UNCLE/Quantum Leap) (reprinted in Reclassified Affairs 1) (11)
- High Stakes by Bettina Sheets (The Professionals) (24)
- Baker's Man by DVS (Man from UNCLE/Starsky & Hutch) (30)
- Maolodaar Dreams, poem by Brendan O'Cullane (Blake's 7) (reprinted in Double Vision) (53)
- A Teddybare Tale by Caroline Dare (The Professionals) (54)
- Waiting for the Light by Lola (Man from UNCLE) (58)
- Fifth-Grade Ignorant by Brendan O'Cullane (Blake's 7) (68)
- A Statement of Affairs by Gloria Lancaster (The Professionals) (69)
- Hindsight by Jane Mailander (Blake's 7) (sequel to Benchmark) (82)
- Rumours of Life by Matilda Willard (Blake's 7) (91)
- Spy Time by Gene Delapenia (Blake's 7) (105)
- Eye of the Beholder by Matilda Willard (Author's note: "(a.k.a. SAFE SEX for those who saw the earlier version.") (Blake's 7) (106)
- Your Fondest Wish by Lynne Franklin (Blake's 7) (114)
- Plomo o Plata by E. Lapidae (James Bond) (120)
- Royal Academy by Jacquie Baham (Wizards and Warriors) (130)
- Outfoxed by Lysette (Zorro) (138)
- Sea of Love by Leda Mer (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) (151)
- Soft Asylum by Natasha Barry (L.A. Law) (175)
- Point of No Return by Tenaya (Alias Smith & Jones) (189)
- Untitled, poem by Gene S. Delapenia (Blake's 7) (103)
- The Other Side of the Coin by C. Montclair (Lovejoy) (204)
interior from issue #2, from "Outfoxed" Zorro
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2
See reactions and reviews for A Statement of Affairs.
See reactions and reviews for Eye of the Beholder.
Night Of The Cat by Caroline Dare: Post Private Madness. The lads lust after each other but won't say anything. Each goes home after the events at the reservoir but Bodie can't stay away from Doyle. He climbs onto D's roof and looks through his skylight where he sees D naked on his bed masturbating. D is fantasizing about B. B loses control and imagines himself as a great cat. He leaps through the skylight and attempts to rape D who weeps. B comes to his senses, backs off, and he weeps. They make love and spend the night together. The lab report to Cowley says that even a drop of ADX can be absorbed through the skin and cause hallucinations.
High Stakes by Bettina Sheets: Bodie has lusted after Doyle ever since they had once gone to bed together when drunk. B wins a poker hand where the bet was that Doyle must go to bed with him willingly. Hot sex ensues. B finds out that D really had won the hand but had folded because he wanted the sex too. They decide to try a relationship.
Statement of Affairs by Gloria Lancaster: Told from Doyle's point of view as he reminisces about his affair with Bodie on Cowley's wedding day. D loves B but B doesn't love D; they just have great sex. The lads are assigned to protect a woman; C falls in love with her. D visits her and they talk about their loves. B is jealous. B usually tops but lets D top. During the act D thinks he sees something different in B's eyes. Maybe B loves him?A Teddybare Tale by Caroline Dare: Doyle tells Bodie a bedtime story about Goldilocks and the Three Bares. Very cute. 
The cover art is Pros: a fantasy (and fantastic) colour picture by Suzan Lovett which inspired one of the stories. There are half a dozen black and white pictures in the text, one of which is a Pros picture. The zine is comb-bound and has two columns. The proof-reading is far from perfect: apostrophes leak into the wrong words at times, and there is quite a scattering of typos: "I want to say here forever", "randy old told", "it gauled him" - a beautiful "site" and so on. But I have seen lots worse.
Stories other than Pros involve Man from UNCLE (three - although one is a crossover with Quantum Leap and one a crossover with Starsky and Hutch), Blakes 7 (four stories and at least five poems); and one each for James Bond, Wizards and Warriors, Zorro, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, LA Law, Alias Smith and Jones, and Lovejoy. Most of which I know nothing about. Still. Despite meeting some of them the first time I ventured into multi-media zines. I like to think I know Blakes 7 okay. I know the James Bond books fairly well. And I know what Lovejoy looks like, but that's about it.
The zine is divided into three sections: the first mixes Pros with Man from UNCLE, the second is the Blakes 7 content, and the third is the one-offs. I could only find one of these online, so you'll have to trust my summaries on the rest. Uh-oh.
Night of the Cat, by Caroline Dare, 10 pages. Post Private Madness, Public Danger. Doyle, pining after Bodie, masturbates on his bed, unaware that Bodie, pining after Doyle, is watching through the skylight. Bodie drops through it, to Doyle's delight, and begins to make love to him, but too fast, and then there is sobbing on both parts before recovery. Copious cat imagery and allusions in this. All faintly hallucinogenic in atmosphere: note which episode it follows. Some people may consider the first part as noncon. I don't think I do, but I read noncon anyway. What I didn't like was the weeping. I was fairly critical of the dialogue and the long talking scene in a different Caroline Dare story in a previous review. This story has neither of those, and I like it a lot more. The very fantasy cover picture helps. If you read it as genuinely following on from the episode, you expect a bit more reality, I think; but if you have that picture in mind, well... Make up your own mind: it is on the CD, and also online: Night of the Cat.
High Stakes, by Bettina Sheets, 6 pages. Not on the CD. PWP (this is not at all a criticism, btw...) precipitated by a bet in a game of cards. Well, PWP until the last page, anyway, at which stage plot arrives and a nice twist. Enjoyed this.
A Teddybare Tale, by Caroline Dare, 4 pages. Demonstrating my open-minded approach to Pros fic, when I was reading everything I could find at break-neck speed, I think I must have seen the word "teddy" in the title and skipped it, because I don't remember this at all. With it in front of me, I actually read it. It's Bodie and Doyle, all bare and curled up in front of an open fire. Doyle offers Bodie an improvised and wildly pornographic variation on the story of Goldilocks and three "bares" and Bodie provides the actions. Bodie and Doyle don't talk as I imagine them (they are American, basically), and it's all a bit tender and sweet, but I like the idea, and I like the constant interruptions ("Who's telling this story anyway?") Again, on the CD.
A Statement of Affairs, by Gloria Lancaster, 13 pages. I wasn't keen on this when I read it originally, reading off a computer screen. Reading paper, I read more carefully. (Perhaps it's just that I think "You paid for this. Pay attention to it," when it's a zine!) And I like it more this time round. It's told in the first person. Doyle ponders his relationship with Bodie, moving between present day and episodes in their past, and how they feel about each other. Gets the feel of the time, with carry-out from the pub (I can't remember when I last bought carry-out drinks, but you could buy drinks to take home from the pub), and Shabbytat (I had forgotten this, we all called Habitat that then!) I like the idea that when the two of them have to protect a witness, the person in CI5 who falls for the witness is neither of them, and I very much like the portrayal of a relationship that works, but one of them wants more, and wonders whether he can see that more happening or whether he's fooling himself. And the sex is good too (back to the shallow end, yes). On the CD, and at the Circuit Archive: A Statement of Affairs, by Gloria Lancaster.
Leap of Faith, by Elizabeth Urich, Man from UNCLE/Quantum Leap crossover 13 pages. Sam has leapt into Napoleon Solo, and must persuade Illya to acknowledge his feelings for Napoleon. Which will be tricky, because Illya spots that Napoleon isn't Napoleon almost immediately. I think this was probably quite a good story (!) but I had to take heaps on trust - there's all sorts of reference to people and events which I presume are part of Man From UNCLE or Quantum Leap canon and which I know nothing about. It all hung together for me, just about, regardless.
Baker's Man, by DVS. Man from UNCLE/Starsky and Hutch, 22 pages. I haven't read a lot of MfU fiction, and what I have read has tended to portray Illya as smaller, weaker, and prone to insecurity and tears. This is utterly different, and I enjoyed it much more because of that. If Illya is angsting at the start, it is not his unrequited feelings for Napoleon - he's coping with that - but his homesickness for Russia and things Russian. Otherwise, this is an extremely competent Illya who can cope with everything from seducing someone to dealing with his partner thinking he is a pervert. This reassures me a bit about this fandom! Starsky and Hutch aren't a focus until the last of the three sections of the story, that set in the eighties. However, at least one of them is there earlier in the story too, and I presume S&H fans will guess who the young hustler is from the very start.
Waiting for the Light by Lola. Man from UNCLE, 11 pages. Napoleon is dead, and wondering what he is supposed to do now. He encounters Waverly, who explains that Napoleon's task is to rescue Illya from excessive grief. Napoleon hovers unseen as Illya mourns and attempts a dangerous mission to investigate the explosives that killed Napoleon. I have a personal dislike of ghost and supernatural stories and so wasn't keen on this, but that is pure prejudice on my part.
Hindsight by Jane Mailander. pages, A/V. Sequel to Benchmark, but stands alone. Allegedly. (I do think it probably helps to have read Benchmark.) Avon and Vila take turns dictating how the night will go. Avon likes to play slave to Vila's master, which is what we get in the opening scene; Vila wants something gentler and Avon doesn't want that. So Vila has to work out how to achieve this without wrecking things. I like the plot in the form that I have outlined it, but I personally really don't like the form of talking dirty they use, so I couldn't get into this myself.
Rumours of Life by Matilda Willard, 14 pages and a black and white illo. After the events of Rumours of Death, a desolate Avon makes a very drunken pass at Vila, who tells him to come back when sober. Weeks later, Avon does, for very gentle sex.
Eye of the Beholder, by Matilda Willard, 8 pages plus illustration. Avon, masturbating in front of a mirror. At some length. If this illo was of Bodie or Doyle, I would be in heaven, but in the circumstances, Avon will do fine :)
Your Fondest Wish by Lynne Franklin, 6 pages A/V. Declarations of love, a cry of inexpressible happiness, and then sex. And then tenderness and tear-bright eyes. Rather too fluffy for me.
Plomo o Plata, by E Lapidae (James Bond), 10 pages, Bond/Sanchez. Missing scene from Licence to Kill. Bond, newly working for bad guy Sanchez, wakes to find that the hand stroking him isn't a woman's. Bond is not remotely interested in the idea but needs to stay alive, so yields with great reluctance. If it's not noncon, it's certainly dubcon. We get his mental reasoning for why he's doing it (or why he's telling himself he's doing it), and Sanchez's thoughts. Don't remember the film, but there was enough background to follow it.
Royal Academy I by Jacquie Baham (Wizards and Warriors) 7 pages. This is a show that was completely new to me when I read this. To be honest, when I saw the title I thought it must be a role-playing game. I know, I will never make a proper fan, no. *Lots* of exposition: the first three pages are of Dirk Blackpool explaining to Vector about his past history with Eric Greystone. Blackpool and Vector are waiting for Eric to arrive, in order to rescue a princess. When he does, there is conversation. I'm not altogether sure I followed it properly. Either that, or I didn't get the punchline.
Outfoxed by Lysette (Zorro) 13 pages. If you know this series, I suspect all you need to know is: Zorro/Felipe. If - like me - you don't: Zorro has brought up a youth called Felipe as his own son. As Felipe reaches 21, Zorro finds he fancies him. He tries to give "time to think about marrying" advice but Felipe is not interested: he has fallen in love with Zorro instead. I'd like this a lot more if the foster-father element wasn't in it (and if the author decided: is Felipe actually 21, or is he "the boy", "the youth" and/or "the man-child" he is referred to as?) I get a strong sense of the characters here, even though don't know whether they're right.
Sea of Love by Leda Mer (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) 23 pages. Told in the first person by the admiral. The backstory involves a supernatural (argh!) element (ghostly submarine captain possesses the admiral and then Captain Crane) which has resulted in Crane having shared Nelson's thoughts and now being aware that Nelson fancies him. Crane makes a determined and successful play for him and there is a lot of sex, but then there are second thoughts and second-guessing and a row before a resolution. I have never seen this show. (Another one, yeah.) The details about the episode referred to confused me so I ignored them. It didn't seem to matter. The central events made sense.
Soft Asylum by Natasha Barry (L.A. Law) 14 pages. Specifically noted as fifth season at the start. Very very much about office relationships affecting each other. Heaps and heaps of references to the series. Which - guess what? - I don't watch and know nothing about! I mean, really nothing. (But I have heard of it! Progress!) I was lost. And I have no interest in the law or legal offices. So I skipped ahead, looking for sex something I understood. Alas for me - but possibly good for LA Law fans - this is in fact about the inter-relationships rather than the sex. The ones who end up having the deep and meaningful discussion are Victor and Michael Kuzak; Arnie also figures earlier. Don't know who any of them are. I suspect that if you know LA Law well, this works better.
Point of No Return by Tenaya (Alias Smith & Jones) 15 pages. This is a "how they met" story presumably set before the series. Jed Curry approaches Hannibal Hayes, wanting to join the gang, and is accepted. When Hannibal is attacked by mutinous gang members, Jed rescues him and they go on the run. With Hannibal injured, they need to hole up and Jed must tend him. Don't know this show either, but I had read one ASJ story before this one: also in a multi-media zine, and also by Tenaya. I enjoyed that, and I certainly liked this one. Available online: Point of No Return, by Tenaya.
The Other Side of the Coin by C. Montclair (Lovejoy) 7 pages. Lovejoy sees Eric being held down and beaten preparatory to rape in an alley, and rescues him, only to find that it was a consensual encounter. In the resulting heart-to-heart, Lovejoy decides that Eric needs to experience a gentler kind of loving. Mm. It didn't sound terribly likely in a Lovejoy sort of world (says the woman who thinks that undercover-as-gay is a perfectly reasonable Pros plotline, ahem) but perhaps it is..?
And that's it.
Phew. So overall impressions: I really was only interested in the Pros content (surprise) and the Blakes 7 content. I enjoyed the Pros, was less gone on the B7, and unexpectedly found a Man From UNCLE story (well, crossover) that I liked, as well as the Bond one.If all you want is Pros and you already have the CD, the only new content for you here is the six-page story and the very distinctive and pretty cover art, and if you have limited funds, six pages and a picture is probably not what you want to buy first. If you like other fandoms, obviously there's more for you. Although I suppose Man From UNCLE fans may feel a bit cheated that of the three stories, two of them are crossovers. I liked the Man From UNCLE story by DVS enough that I went out and found her compilation zine of Man From UNCLE stories, The Evergreen Affair and other UNCLE stories and thoroughly enjoyed that despite knowing nothing about the show. I must confess that I was fairly "meh" about - or actively disliked - a couple of the non-Pros stories in the zine, and would have quietly stopped reading them if I hadn't decided to review the whole thing. But I didn't expect to like - or even understand - everything in the zine, so that was absolutely fine by me.