No Holds Barred

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Title: No Holds Barred
Publisher: Kathy Resch
Date(s): 1992-2002
Medium: print zine
Genre: slash
Fandom: multimedia
Language: English
External Links: Kathy Resch Fanzine page, Online Reviews of No Holds Barred at The Hatstand, Archived version
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

No Holds Barred a slash fanzine. Some issues are multimedia and some focus on a specific fandom.

Artwork has been uploaded to Fanlore with the publisher's permission.

Short Version of the Fandom Contents

#1: multifandom | #2 The Professionals | #3 multifandom | #4 The Professionals | #5 multifandom | #6 The Professionals | #7 Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea | #8 Sherlock Holmes | #9 multifandom | #10 The Professionals | #11 multifandom | #12 multifandom | #13 Man from U.N.C.L.E. | #14 Quantum Leap | #15 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine | #16 The Professionals | #17 multifandom | #18 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine | #19 | Star Trek: Deep Space Nine | #20 The Professionals | #21 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine | #22 multifandom | #23 The Professionals | #24 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine | #25 The Sentinel | #26 Blake's 7

Issue 1

cover of issue #1, Caren Parnes
flyer printed in Fire and Ice #2

No Holds Barred 1 was published in May 1992 and is 136 pages long. The cover is by Caren Parnes. The interior art is by Cat. There is a sample of Cat's art below, each showing a different artistic style.

Excerpt from "Making Nice": "Vila clutched the precious bottle to his heart, and still with a silly grin on his face, made his way to his quarters. Opening the door, he didn’t ask for the automatic lights. Any thief could move in darkness, couldn’t he? He put the bottle on the table, by touch, took a glass from the cupboard and put it next to the bottle. In the washing cubicle he rinsed his face and hands and said: “Lights on! The lights went on. He was glad he wasn’t holding the precious soma bottle, or he’d have dropped it. Lying on his bunk, wrapped naked in a sheet, was Tarrant. And the dumb clod was asleep."

Excerpt from "Smoke and Mirrors": "And McPike stared down at his wrists to find them immobilized, to see them gripped tightly by large young hands. His mind was a whirlwind in his head, with love and thankfulness and forgiveness refused, the urge to cry forbidden. “You selfish bastard,” he whispered, yanking free his hands to clutch at handfuls of flesh and hair. "I cried with your mother. I cried at your funeral....I'm back there dyin’, dyin’ by the hour and by the inch. And then I get a message sayin’ that it’s from Vincent Terranova, though I knew for sure it can’t be. It can’t be, ‘cause my sweet Vinnie is dead.”

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for Akin to Love.

See reactions and reviews for The Successor.

Issue 2

issue #2, cover by Caren Parnes
flyer printed in Fire and Ice #2

No Holds Barred 2 was published in May 1992 and is 77 pages long. It contains only Professionals stories. It contains art by Anja Gruber, Mozart, Cat, Marilyn Cole and Cat.

From the editorial:

Welcome to the second issue of NO HOLDS BARRED - this one dedicated to Bodie & Doyle. As I stated in my flyers, I like to read a wide variety of stories, from the dark and serious to the frankly romantic, and the international group of contributors (from England, France, Germany and the U.S.) responded with stories that set their relationship against the gritty, realistic backdrop of their work in CI5 to some very romantic Alternate Universes. CAUTION: "Act Up" deals with AIDS.

An excerpt from "Knee-Trembler": "‘You have three days leave. Make good use of them” said Cowley as he finally dismissed them. Fierce green eyes seared into him. ‘We will,” said Doyle. His tone insolent, his raking gate moved to Bodie, who looked away. Doyle got to his feet. Thank you, sir,” said Bodie. But it was Doyle who led the way out of Cowley’s office, without pausing to check if he was being followed: the alternative didn’t seem to have occurred to him."

An excerpt from "A Rainy Night in Soho": "Raising both hands, palm forwards, Ray stopped back and shook his head, ‘Bodie, it’s only me...’ 'Only you.' Relaxing a fraction, still brittle with tension, Bodie stood motionless; watching his watcher with eyes turned obsidian by the night. To Doyle he looked more enigmatic than the Sphinx. But then he smiled. ‘Yeah, it’s only you. Might’ve known; you’ve got a nasty habit of turning up whenever I least want to see you.”

An excerpt from "Post-Stakeout}: "Between one breath and the next, as I sprawled over my best mate and tried to keep his hot temper from ruining everything, as I babbled explanations to the men who looked down at us in confusion, my whole universe tilted. God knows what I said. I could hear the clatter of pins falling, balls rumbling towards them, I could hear my heart, and his. All I was really aware of were my hands. I touched him places I shouldn’t have, but my hands seemed to have moved on their own."

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

See reactions and reviews for Knee-Trembler.

[Song of a Fair Fugitive]: This is definitely set after the events of Ladder of Swords. But... it's also definitely set before Bodie joins CI5. Um. If it's actually Bodie. The Bodie character (here called William Andrew Phillip Colby) has been in the army for years and plans to join CI5. He returns to old stamping grounds in Wales and encounters violin sounds echoing up the valley. And meets DeMarco. I didn't get into this nearly as much as some of the others. I'm not sure how much more I can fairly say. There were other things too, but I will say that it probably would have helped if I had known that Lewis Collins had played a Major Colby in another film: The Commander. As things stood, I was simply baffled by why Bodie was called Colby and not sounding like my Bodie, and I couldn't get to grips with the copious backstory given to him, but perhaps that was all from the film too. I could also have done without one of the characters in Colby-Bodie's memories having three aliases and Colby himself having two - it was bad enough with Sullivan also being de Marco! I am not a very attentive reader at times and found myself getting too confused to enjoy it. Sorry. [1]

[zine]: Comments/Spoilers:

In "Indigo" by Baravan, Bodie tells Doyle a little about his time in Africa.

"Wading Through Years" by Natasha Barry is set in the future when Cowley is dead and Doyle is Controller. Bodie returns after some years away and discovers he must woo Doyle if he wants to reclaim him.

"Act Up" by Nina Boal is an AIDS story, with both Bodie and Doyle as gay.

"Return to Skull Mountain" by Joan Enright is an alternate universe story set in 1936, recounting Bodie and Doyle meeting again after years apart.

"Song of a Fair Fugitive" by Joan Enright has SAS Sergeant Bodie on leave in Wales before being seconding to a new organisation, during which he meets Don DeMarco, the circus character MS played in the movie Ladder of Swords.

"Knee-Trembler" by HG recounts Doyle's reaction when Bodie is nearly killed on an op. [2]

[zine]: No Holds Barred 2, which... wasn't so bad but was really mostly AU which I'm not fond of. And I wasn't keen on the premise of a couple of the stories, but that's just personal preference, I think. The Kitty Fischer and HG made up for it a bit though. [3]


High quality printing, beautiful artwork (Cat, Marilyn Cole, Caren Parnes, Mozart)

Colour cover shows portraits of B and D. Funny cartoon showing Doyle looking very scruffy with open shirt and torn clothing, standing in a back street next to a garbage can and - with elf ears. He says: "Me, I can't see what's so bloody romantic about an elf!" 75 pages

A Rainy Night in Soho (Kitty Fisher) Doyle is desperate because Bodie has treated him recently as if he hates him. He tries to get Bodie to talk but he reacts only with acid comments. (High tension, I really enjoyed it!). One night Bodie runs out on him from a pub, Doyle follows him for a long time through Soho in the rain. After a long while they get into a quarrel and then Bodie kisses him suddenly. Solution for the strange behaviour: he wanted Doyle but was afraid of rejection (who could have guessed that...). BEAUTIFUL scene when they find out about each other's feelings on that street! And then they move to a dark side street and make love standing in a doorway. Very erotic and passionate. I love this story!

Post-Stakeout (D.V.S.) Seems to pick up on that episode (which I haven't seen unfortunately). Bodie has realized during a fight when he tumbled over Doyle and accidentally (really) touched him in a lot of private places that he desires Doyle. Told in the first person narrative from Bodies pov. They go to Bodie's place. Bodie tells him how sexy the dialogue between Doyle and another guy was when they dismantled the bomb. (Quotations: "Lever forward as I pull. Gently and smoothly." "It's coming, keep it coming." "Hold the tension while I take this screw out." "Have you got steady hands?" - Seems I should make sure I get to see this episode :-) ). Bodie seduces Doyle very nicely. I liked this one very much, too!

Knee-Trembler (H.G.) Established relationship. After an op in which Bodie did something stupid so he got almost killed and Doyle saved his life (may pick up on another episode that I haven't seen) they go to Doyle's flat where Doyle claims that Bodie's life is his because he saved him and makes love to him in a very passionate and possessive way (standing against a wall again. Why is this so erotic to me?? :-) ) Then they talk and come to terms about commitment in their relationship. More sex after that. (Quotation: "I want you. I want to bury my cock deep inside you. I want to watch your face when you come. Ride me?" whispered Bodie.) You can tell I loved this story. :-)

Song of a Fair Fugitive (Joan Enright) A/U. An ex-merc with the name William Andrew Philip Colby meets an Irish circus artist with the name Don DeMarco (Doyle by description) who is with a group of gypsies. They take to each other immediately, and DeMarco who has second sight sees that he will become Colby's lover. After some complications DeMarco comes with Colby to London and they both join CI5 under Cowley. Sex scenes fade to black. Too fantasy-like for my taste, but it's very nicely written, very romantic.

Return to Skull Mountain (Joan Enright) A/U. Bodie has met Doyle when they were 16 and they had a very brief sexual encounter (first love). Years later, Bodie is first mate on a ship and Doyle a famous actor. The captain of the ship hires Doyle to come along on a trip to the Southsea for some kind of movie or something. Doyle and Bodie recognize each other and confess they still love each other. No sex.

Wading Through Years (Natasha Barry) Cowley has died and Doyle is now head of CI5. Bodie has left the country for 4 years when Cowley died and comes back to visit Doyle now. Doyle has found out in the meantime that he is attracted to men and has a boyfriend with whom he hasn't gotten very far in the relationship because Bodie has been what he wanted all along. Lots of talking and confessions. Bodie tells Doyle he'll fight to win him back. Just when the situation is right and Bodie is about to plunge right into seduction the story ends. I couldn't believe it when I turned the page... Aaaaah! It is a nice story, though. (No sex)

Act Up (Nina Boal) Doyle gets infected with AIDS, drops out of CI5 and hides. After one year Bodie finds out by chance where Doyle is and that he is gay which he hadn't known before. He finds him and starts a relationship. This story depressed me and I personally don't like reading about two rubber-encased cocks rubbing against each other...

Indigo (Baravan) Established relationship between B and D. Starts and ends with sex scene. In between Bodie tells Doyle about his worst experience in Angola (when he was body searched by some Congo warriors who badly hurt him; rape-like experience). There is a lot of information about Krivas, DeCroot and Inga, persons who I believe were in an episode I haven't seen, so the info didn't make much sense to me. Also, the present with the sex scene and the talking about this particular part of Bodie's past didn't seem very connected somehow, so the story felt a bit strange to me.

I love the zine for the first 3 stories, the cartoon and the artwork. [4]

Issue 3

cover of issue #3, TACS

No Holds Barred 3 was published in 1993 and contains 99 pages.

The art is by TACS (front cover), Sebastian Shaw, Cat, and Anja Gruber.

  • Discoveries by Khylara ("I was leaping again, hurtling through time and space to God only knew when and where.... I found myself in front of an easel, pencil raised and another one between my teeth. My eyes widened as I took in the rumpled, pillow-strewn brass bed and the brunet lying in it, his eyes closed and his penis at attention. "Oh, boy," I breathed; what had I gotten into this time?") (Quantum Leap) (1)
  • Project Reprise by Kris Brown (Quantum Leap) (9)
  • Intimate Friends by Artemis ("'Damn you Holmes!" I exploded in a passionate fury. He lent back on his pillows and began to laugh, a humourless drug induced crackle, while I stood helpless in my rage, hating him for his mockery. 'My dear Watson,' he managed to splutter between fits of laughter. 'You really must forgive me... but... but you really do look too absurd.' It was the cocaine, I told myself, that made him speak and act so. He was not cruel by nature... 'Holmes!' I shook his arm and his eyelids flicked open again. 'I speak as a doctor when I tell you plainly that the dangers are legion... Should you miscalculate the dosage it will assuredly kill you...' Holmes closed his eyes again and turned his head away from me. 'Watson, it is of no account.' 'Holmes, how can you say that?' To my shame my voice shook. In the course of my speech my hand had somehow slipped down from his wrist to close over his, and he had made no move to disentangle it, now my strong fingers squeezed his for an instant, offering wordless comfort. 'I say it because it is so'") (Sherlock Holmes) (Watson-POV first time story) (12)
  • Old Ways by Ophelia (Sherlock Holmes) (Watson-POV established relationship story) (22)
  • Easy Money by Robbie (Simon and Simon) (26)
  • Friendly Persuasion by Robbie (Simon and Simon) (33)
  • To Shoot the Moon by Jane Mailander (Blake's 7) (37)
  • Staking a Claim by Ann Teitelbaum (Wiseguy) (50)
  • Promises to Keep, Too by Jennifer Hamilton (Scarecrow and Mrs. King) (53)
  • Royal Fool for Love by Linda Frankel (Robin of Sherwood) (62)
  • Rough Peasant Talk by Linda Frankel (Robin of Sherwood) (63)
  • Sir Guy's Defiance by Linda Frankel (Robin of Sherwood) (65)
  • The Kiss of Steel by Linda Frankel (Robin of Sherwood) (67)
  • Another Country by Joan Enright (At the Movies) (72)
  • Someone to Watch Over Me by Joan Enright (The Crying Game) (73)
  • No Greater Love by Joan Enright (The Crying Game) (75)
  • Witch's Brew by Elena Mora (The Crying Game) (77)
  • Weekend in New England by Khylara (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) (reprinted in Reclassified Affairs #2) (81)
  • Kissing Illya by Emmi Hesr Re ("'Really, Napoleon. This is nothing for you to concern yourself about.' 'But I am concerned, Illya. I want to know why you’re not comfortable around attractive women. Particularly women who find you attractive." Brown eyes stared soulfully down at him. 'But if you’re not interested in women, who then? Men? Or boys-' the blonde looked daggers but Napoleon smiled sweetly and carried on. 'your own age?" Illya slammed the file down on the desk, and folded his hands, rubbing his thumbs together. 'Napoleon, your curiosity in this matter is completely out of order.' 'But I’m your partner, the American stated the obvious, leaning over the desk until his nose was inches from Illya’s. 'You can tell me.' His voice was low, practised, just the right amount of pleading to get him his way. 'I could give you some lessons in technique, if you’re just shy...'") (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) (86)
  • Going Solo by Mim (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) (89)
  • The Illya Kuryakin Method by Mim (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) (91)
  • The Second Chance Affair by Mary L. Millard (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) (94)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

[To Shoot the Moon]: Finally, Jane Mailander's 'To Shoot the Moon' neatly ties together a bunch of the preceding themes - Jenna, now an independent free trader, rescuing Cally from Terminal; establishing a partnership based on pragmatic compromise, somewhere between Avon's get-rich-quick schemes and Blake's idealism; their practical and explicit discussion of sexual possibilies contrasted with Avon and Blake's unconsummated attraction where

'Neither of them was brave enough to say anything, much less do anything about it, and spent most of that energy tearing all of us apart with their fights.'

When Jenna asks, 'Are you in love with me?', Cally says, 'I don't know... I desire you. I think it's enough, for now' and Jenna replies, 'I've never had a moral code in my life... could you handle me going off with someone else when we drop ship?' [5]

Issue 4

issue #4, cover, "Peek-A-Bodie," by Marilyn Cole

No Holds Barred 4 was published in May 1993 and is 98 pages long. It contains only Professionals content.

The editor's note asks for contributions to be submitted on IBM compatible programs on either 3 1/2 or 5 1/4 disks -- and to send hard copy as well.

  • Flashpoint by HG ("Standed on the sofa, Doyle stared at the empty doorway where Bodie had stood a few minutes ago. He hadn’t been quite sure what Bodie had said before he left, nothing earth-shattering, he thought, but he was willing to swear he had heard the click of the door closing behind him. That was the sound which kept re-playing in his head, the sound of the door closing. Disbelief was slowly turning to anger. That Bodie should walk in, make the place his own, get his rocks off and then leave, as if nothing had happened. Sinking his head back, rubbing absently at a throbbing scrape on his elbow, Doyle stared blindly at the ceiling as he tried to subdue a growing sense of loss for something which had never been his. The worst part was the confusion: not that he had let himself be submerged, but that he had allowed Bodie to walk out on him afterwards. No-one controls Bodie hut Bodie. He goes his own way. It was my mistake to think we had the same destination in mind.") (1)
  • If Only, poem by Rachel Duncan (7)
  • Feasting with Panthers by Kitty Fisher (8)
  • Crumbs by Robbie (21)
  • art by Sebastian Shaw (22)
  • What Happened When Someone Let Murphy Be in Charge of Entertainment at the Annual CI5 Christmas Party by Ruby (24)
  • A Rose is a Rose poem by Rachel Duncan (28)
  • art by Karen Eaton (29)
  • Blacksilver and Copper: A Love Story by Joan Enright (32)
  • art by Baravan (39)
  • The Chameleon's Dish by Kitty Fisher ("'Eight years, and you’ve changed, sweetheart.' He watched the seated man, his mind cataloguing grey streaks in the ragged hair, a clipped beard flashed with white and gaunt shadows touching the sweater and jeans clad body. He looked enervated, afar cry from the Doyle of old who couldn’t even sit still without sparking energy... The drink suddenly too much, he remembered why he was here and pushing it away, walked silently over to the small table. He waited patiently. With closed eyes and lax muscles, Doyle looked almost asleep. 'Macklin would have had your guts for garters.' Doyle’s body tensed, eyes opening in a face suddenly drained of colour, skin stretched taut over bone. The reaction warmed Bodie’s heart. "Aren’t you even going to say hello?" Swallowing a painful desire to swear volubly Doyle found his voice. "Hello, Bodie." "Hello, Ray." Blue eyes met green and for a second, the eight years didn’t exist, and they looked at each other without pain and loneliness separating them. But it was only for a second... ...'Bodie?'") (40)
  • Bodie's Letter by Ellis Ward ("He took his mug into the lounge, eyeing the lock-box with the first twinges of uneasiness... Was it something that Cowley had not wanted him to see until he had died... Inside lay a large envelope. Across the outside, written in Cowley’s hand in bold letters, was a single name: Bodie. Doyle closed his eyes. Ten years. Images, long repressed but never eradicated, washed over him. Partners, friends, bedmates. They had been everything to each other ten years ago--nine years and eight months ago, to be exact.") (78)
  • Luring a Lover, poem by Rachel Duncan (98)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

See reaction and reviews for The Chameleon's Dish.

See reaction and reviews for Bodie's Letter.

[Feasting with Panthers]: So hard to choose which one of Kitty's Fisher's fics to rec here – but Feasting won out. It's a beautifully written, angsty, hot tale of what happens when the word "sometimes" gets lost. [6]

[Feasting with Panthers]: Why this must be read: Because the passion of this story melts me every time - Fisher's got a great sense of balance, B/D's love for each other weighing against their sheer lust weighing against the tangled way people's minds and hearts work. She makes BDSM work for the lads as we see them in canon - there are reasons they each have their own more unusual needs, and at the heart of those reasons is very clearly the fact that they love and need each other, even when it all starts to go wrong. I have absolutely no doubt, through this story, that the lads will be together in a year's time, in ten year's time, in another lifetime, and it's that sort of passion I look for in Prosfic. We begin with the lads solidly together, at a time when everything is perfect - except that there's something else Doyle wants, something else he needs. He'll live without it if he has to, for the sake of having Bodie at all, but if there were any way to let him know... and then there is, and Bodie knows, and takes to that need so easily... too easily... [7]

[Feasting with Panthers]: I don't know of any sequel to Feasting with Panthers. The story did not grab me particularly, but I thought the ending was ok, possibly because I've been reading Pros for about 6 years now and have seen plenty or reconciliation scenes. I did not miss getting one in this story. I like happy endings from time to time, really, but sometimes the anger and bitterness can be more varied from story to story than the reconciliation, which tends to be similar most of the time. I did not think of it as an incomplete story; it ended, and the reader is free to imagine any reconciliation she likes, or even one that does not work out if that's her pleasure. [8]

[zine]: Comments/Spoilers:

"Flashpoint" by HG is a first-time story set after a near-death experience on an op.

"Feating with Panthers" by Kitty Fisher has Doyle introducing his lover Bodie to BDSM.

"Blacksilver and Copper: A Love Story" by Joan Enright is an alternate universe tale in which Bodie is a wolf and Doyle is a dog.

"The Chameleon's Dish" by Kitty Fisher is set eight years in the future, after both Bodie and Doyle have left CI5. Bodie returns to Doyle, who spurned his love, the reason Bodie left CI5 years before.

"Bodie's Letter" by Ellis Ward is set in the future. When Cowley dies, both Bodie and Doyle, who were separated years before, discover Cowley manipulated their lives. [9]


[I] couldn't read #4 (the TB cover) after running into the illo for the wolf story, ["Blacksilver and Copper: A Love Story"]. Get this: Bodie is "Blacksilver", a wolf, and Doyle is "Copper", a half-dog/half-wolf cross. Ahem. Excuse me while I go visit the toilet.

B&D as animals--is there *any* excuse for this, other than writing while under the influence of really good hallucinogens? [10]

Issue 5

No Holds Barred 5 was published in May 1994 and contains 169 pages.

cover of issue #5, Maureen B., 1994 Stiffie Award winner

The art is by Maureen B. (front cover), Cat Anestopoulo, and Anja Gruber.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

[Before the Fire]: [It is] probably the most astounding Holmes-slash zine story I have read. It is like the slash zine short story equivalent of Michael Dibdin's Last Sherlock Holmes Story--not in any overt way (Dibdin's story is certainly not slash) but because it is so dark, so striking and so powerful. It is difficult to say too much about this short and quite simple, but very nuanced story--at least not without stealing from its impact. But if you like your slash with deep shadows, and even deeper angst, don't miss this one. [11]

[zine]: I've recently acquired a No Holds Barred (it's the one with the QL cover), which is enjoyable as far as I've read it. And the Heyes/Curry story looks okay, I'm just not sure which one is the horse... [12]

[zine]: I am enjoying it to the hilt.

The Moriarty/Holmes (Before the Fire) is foremost in my mind. The secret of being a good top is to have imagination, conviction in what you're doing and authority. No wonder so many people prefer to play the masochist. It is so much easier. I enjoyed the story very much, and Holmes' shame and his abject yielding was part of what I enjoyed so much. It could not have worked so well without there being a homosexual-cultural issue: otherwise, there would have been no reason for Holmes to abase himself so.

NIGHT OF THE RAPINE (Wild Wild West) (Charlie M. Clint): the tone is right for the time, and it's got the "weaker one" on top. That worked for me as well. The description of West's state of mind, I liked as well. It is also a story of abject yielding, but a friendlier one.

FIRST CONTACT (Jane Mailander): Guessing to the end: the punch-line of the (?/?) caught me by surprise, and I loved that.

QUANTUM LEAP: QL pushes al my buttons, so I devoured those stories. Except that I skipped the bits with Sammi Jo, because I have not seen those episodes yet.

ALIAS SMITH AND JONES (Myself): Aren't Heyes and Curry cute?

UNCLE. The STORY-TELLING AFFAIR (Mary Milard) and A FINE DAY (Khylara) were both nice, cute and interactive. Liked them.

WHY ME (Airele): One of the best stories I've ever read. It shows the scope of the genius of the mind who conceived it... Well, I loved the humour.

DUST; ASHES, (Kitty Fisher): Effective, moving, hard, has both dark and light. And as the first story ended, there was no hope that there was a way out of the dark. Ooooh. More.

CROCKETT'S CHOICE, by Ida Vega: I had to make an effort to finish it because Crockett and Castillo's motivations and ways of thinking grated on me. Crockett getting hysterical about letting Castillo go undercover? And such a cheap cop-out when he had to make a choice between Partner and Lover. But then, Castillo/Crockett is not a very hot combination for me. (but then, neither is West/Gordon, and I had to make no effort to finish that one.)

JUST FOR DUCKS (Simon and Simon) (Robbie): cute, real cute.

Robin of Sherwood (poetry) (Linda Frankel): Robin of Sherwood and Friar Tuck?????? And it WORKS?????? Maybe I've been in fandom too long.

WATERLOO BRIDGE (The Crying Game) Joan Enright: Now that was well written, and for that fandom, it needs to be, because it is all moods and inner thoughts and learning. I'm impressed.

MEMORY OF A SMILE (Star Wars) (Khylara): how very sweet. All the more enjoyable because Star Wars slash is not seen often.

RENFIELD (DRACULA) (Brendan O'Cullane): Nice, Nice, NICE, NIIICE!!!! At first I was doubtful, but it explains so much. How pathetic. Never thought I'd actually LIKE Renfield!

WISEGUY: the parodies ([Gayle F], Marie Blackpool) were brilliant, and the HARD TRUTHS and PLAYING WITH FIRE ([Gayle F]) got me real hot (but then Vinnie/Sonny pushes my buttons). Love the tactile descriptions on how it feels to have a cock into somebody else. Both precise and lyrical description of making love. Found it very effective, full of angst, forbidden love.

As far as I am concerned, this was a thoroughly enjoyable zine, and I'm very grateful it exists. [13]

Issue 6

issue #6, cover by Phoenix

No Holds Barred 6 was published in May 1994 and contains 161 pages of Professionals content.

The art is by Karen Eaton, Phoenix, Baravan, Sebastian Shaw, Cat, and Anja Gruber.

From the editorial:

This issue once again contains a wide variety of stories, from high romance to a death story which really twists the knife. There are CI5 adventures; a romantic AU novella, and crossovers ("English Silk" is crossed with "Silk Stalkings"; "The Wounded and the Outcast" is an AU based on characters and situations presented in an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation"). Two stories present polar opposite views of Cowley, from understanding-if-irritated on one hand, to Machiavellian evil on the other. What do I look for in stories? Emotional intensity. Good plots. Hot sex. Otherwise, let your imagination be your guide. Bodie and Doyle are at home in wildly varying universes: I'm pleased to present a few in this issue, and look forward to publishing more in the future.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

See reactions and reviews for The Pillory.

See reactions and reviews for Telling Marge.

See reactions and reviews for Baiting the Trap.

[regarding the Professionals stories]: A ST:TNG setting story with Bodie as a half-Cardassian and Doyle as a Ja'nai (a hermaphroditic species), a Bodie/Doyle 'Somewhere in Time' story, a Silk Stalkings/Professionals XOVER, a sweet romance story called 'Love is Wealth', and various other gems. Lovely![14]

Raonaid's Zine Recommendations

[zine]: Comments/Spoilers:

"Telling Marge" by Kate MacLean is a post-Backtrack story in which Doyle's anxiety about Marge Harper's advances on him leads to a misunderstanding with Bodie.

"English Silk" by Ruby sees Bodie and Doyle in Florida on the trail of an IRA bomber working with the detectives of Silk Stalkings.

"The Wounded and the Outcast" by Joan Enright is set in the Star Trek: The Next Generation universe, featuring Bodacet as a half-Cardassian fleeing his violent culture who falls in love with Raye, a deviant full male from a race of hermaphrodites.

"Dreams of Reality" by Too Loose is a supernatural AU in which pianist Philip Bodie is the reincarnation of his uncle William and has dreams of William's lover Ray Doyle, only to discover his own love in reality.[15]


I picked up NHB #6 at MW (the last all B/D one), liked one or two of the stories, disliked several, and thought one or two were ok.

"Love is Wealth" by Gloria Lancaster. I quite liked this one. It appealed to my fondness for happy endings, I thought the sex was good, and it was set after one of them had been raped. The only thing about it that bothered me was Doyle calling Bodie "William". Felt so weird to me. Otherwise it worked for me.

Baiting the Trap by D.V.S. This was a very short piece, mostly about Cowley's view of the lads. No sex, really not much of B&D, and it didn't do much for me.

The Pillory. All I can say is B/C. And ick! A nasty evil Cowley and a Bodie who trusts him over Doyle. And a dark ending. Bloody depressing!

Survival by Melanie Athene. Shipwreck and marooned story. Kind of cute and I found it a fun read.

Telling Marge by Kate Maclean. Little comment actually. It was ok but not inspirational. Nothing particulary stood out except that it seemed to lack sparks.

English Silk by Ruby. No sex, action-type story.

The Wounded and the Outcast by Joan Enright. I thought the idea for this was very interesting. Bodie as a half human half cardassian soldier and Doyle as a Ja'naii that was male and preferred men (of course). It does fit under the Doyle as a whore and Doyle in need of a protector stories but I thought that Bodie was done well (even if Ray was a little off to me).

Dreams of Reality by Too Loose. This one went a little too au for me. Bodie the pianist and Doyle the painter with relatives they dream about who looked like them and were lovers. It was a little weird and it was at times hard to follow the story. But I found the characters far away from how I see Bodie and Doyle and that was also very distracting.

So if you like soft, happy ending stuff, it's ok, otherwise borrowing it and reading a couple of them would be a better idea, I think.[16]

I skimmed it in the van. The long story is based on Somewhere In Time, and Bodie is a pianist. Not for the Pros traditionalist. The sex scenes read like 'insert sex scene here'. [17]

Issue 7

No Holds Barred 7 contains all Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea fiction. It was published in May 1995 and contains 106 pages. The cover artwork is by Anja Gruber. Winner of the 1995 Stiffie award for best Science Fiction zine. It contains three novellas:

  • Those Crumbs of Heaven Time Can't Destroy by Lindar. (Lee Crane is thrown into the future by the effect of an experimental drug.) (winner of a 1995 (STIFfie Award) (1)
  • Owner of the One Hour by Lindar. (Lee Crane and Chip Morton, imprisoned by a criminal group, learn secrets about each other in the darkness.) (49)
  • Than All Else Ever by The Captain. (An encounter between Lee and Chip, while the Admiral is away, leads to an inebriated act of folly and guilty soul-searching for the two best friends. Can things between them ever be the same again?) (64)

Issue 8

issue #8

No Holds Barred 8 was published in May 1995 and is 96 pages long and contains all Sherlock Holmes fiction. It contains eleven stories in total, all Holmes/Watson. Authors: Ophelia, Mary Rose Watson, Jane Mailander, The Resident Doctor, Rosamund Clifford (poem), and Joanna (poem).

The cover is by Cat. There is no interior art.

  • Standing Stones of Poldhu by Rosamund Clifford (3)
  • The Homecoming by Mary Rose Watson (5)
  • Brighton Memories by Jane Mailander (9)
  • The Comfort Blanket by Mary Rose Watson (18)
  • After Moncrieff by The Resident Doctor (20)
  • The Dream by Mary Rose Watson (28)
  • Christmas Yet to Come by Joanna (35)
  • The Changing Faces of Love by Ophelia (36)
  • What a Lovely Thing a Rose is by Jane Mailander (60)
  • Vous Et Nul Autre by Ophelia (61)
  • Dr. Watson, Mr. Sherlock Holmes by Jane Mailander (97)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 8

The centerpieces of this 'zine are two long stories by Ophelia, both romantically inclined, both exploring the ups-and-downs of long-term relationships. Unlike the Friend of My Heart 'zines, these stories have more conflict as Holmes and Watson navigate past various obstacles to their relationship. My favorite scene between them is in 'Vous Et Nul Autre', when Holmes arrives on Watson's doorstep late one night after they have not spoken in weeks. Watson's pain and restraint are almost palpable. The other stories don't share this vision of the relationship. Indeed, every author takes a completely different view: Mary Rose Watson is sweet and supportive as always; The Resident Doctor is abrupt, with the usual brilliant one-liners; and Jane Mailander gets special mention for her 'Brighton Memoirs', an epistlary tale of unusual insight. The result is a 'zine with great variety and a less unified tone than most. The poetry is equally varied. Sonnets, filk, free-verse, and paragraph form all bedeck the pages; the interest this engendered in me (a person who rarely reads modern verse) was quite surprising. I never knew what to expect, but the standards were consistantly high. So if you're looking for a wide range of styles to sample, this 'zine is admirably suited. [18]

Issue 9

No Holds Barred 9 is 96 pages long and was published in May 1995. It contains black and white interior art by Sebastian Shaw and Cat.

The editor's note comments: "Contributions may be submitted on IBM compatible programs, on 3 1/2" or 5 1/4" diskettes. Please send hard copy as well."

cover of issue #9

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 9

[Black and White]: I enjoyed your UFO story in No Holds Barred - but it needs a sequel! I wanna see Straker get the crap beaten out of him now! Like you've noticed, he looks good in black, don't you think he would great in a few straps of black leather? Hint hint hint? I was always curious about Paul Foster's masochistic tendencies, especially after that smile he gave when Straker hit him in Mindbender. [19]

Issue 10

issue #10, cover by Marilyn Cole, Bodie/Doyle
flyer for issue #10

No Holds Barred 10 contains all Professionals content. It was published in October 1995 and is 156 pages long. It has a color cover by Marilyn Cole and two interior black and white pieces by Anja Gruber.

From the editorial:

This issue once again contains a wide variety of stories - romance, humor, some tragedies, but plenty of happy endings too. There are CI5 stories and Alternate Universes. One story was inspired by "Jack The Ripper" and another by "The Chief".

What do I look for in stories? Emotional intensity. Good plots. Hot sex. Otherwise, let your imagination be your guide. Bodie and Doyle are at home in wildly varying universes; I'm pleased to present a few in this issue, and look forward to publishing more in the future.

  • On Guard by Gloria Lancaster (A young, idealistic Ray Doyle takes part in a charity mission in Africa - and is rescued from disaster by a mysterious soldier... -- ""Well, I thought you'd be dead or worse by now old son," the man said approaching on silent feet. surprising for someone of his build and size. Ray turned at once to face him, still jumpy. The man held out a hand in a gesture of apology. "Sorry, didn't mean to creep up on you, its just natural to be - erm - stealthy." "What's worse than dead?" Ray asked, feeling angry out of all proportion. "I dunno old son, now you ask, insane maybe? Hopped out of yer head on the local heeby-jeeby juice? Whatever," and he walked away purposefully. Ray felt almost outraged; this man had saved his life, brought him out of the fire, literally, and then just looked in on him casually and walked away.") (1)
  • Runagate by Jane Mailander (16)
  • You Dancing? You Asking? by Gloria Lancaster (33)
  • Searching for a Bodie Plot by Natasha Barry (33)
  • Harlequin, Harlequin by Kitty Fisher (37)
  • Somewhere There's Heaven by Gloria Lancaster (sequel is "Walk to the Paradise Garden" [20]) (50)
  • What Dreams May Come by Airelle (65)
  • Harlot Street by Joan Enright (67)
  • A Little B and D by Ruby (A pair of handcuffs and Bodie's twisted sense of humor wreak havoc. -- "Whatever else Bodie wanted of his partner lost some of its luster when the door to their tiny office opened and George Cowley loomed larger than life. Military trained, Bodie dropped into his usual 'parade rest' stance at the sight of his Controller. This was all well and good for Bodie; he stood there looking every inch a CI5 agent. But his movements had a different effect on his partner now that they were shackled together. So, with widened eyes, Cowley was treated to the apparent sight of Ray Doyle groping his partner's arse. Tangible proof of the rumours was not something he'd ever wanted to witness for himself.") (95)
  • Torch Song by Courtney Gray (On an undercover assignment, Bodie finds danger, intrigue, and a Ray Doyle he had never expected to meet again. An alternate universe story. -- "Later that night, as he stared sleeplessly at the ceiling of his small bedroom, Bodie struggled with the aftershock of seeing Ray Doyle again. Nearly two years of deliberate forgetting had vanished in an instant. He considered contacting Cowley and pulling himself off the op. To run while he could, before the situation became dangerously complicated. Again?") (161)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 10

See reactions and reviews for On Guard.

See reactions and reviews for Torch Song.

See reactions and reviews for Harlequin, Harlequin.

[Somewhere There's Heaven]: Unusual but compelling story of Alan Cade, newly invested as the Chief Constable of Eastland, meeting a merc who calls himself Drew Phillips; the name is false and he talks of having lost the one man he would ever love, so all he can offer Cade is occasional sex and gentle affection. Yet for Cade, at least, the affair means more and we get intriguing glimpses of a deeper engagement in Drew Phillips as well, becoming involved despite himself.

I find the mysterious figure calling himself Drew Phillips paired with Alan Cade a beguiling combination. Despite never having seen The Chief or knowing a thing about Cade, I always root for him when I read this story, wishing matters could turn out the way he'd like them to and that Drew could also find some happiness. The author uses Cade effectively as the pov character, keeping Drew veiled from us as much as he is from Cade.

I've reread this story numerous times and never tire of speculating about Drew Phillips' mysterious past, his lost love (Doyle?--dead? or just not interested?), and whether Cade will ever get the steady relationship he longs for. While I like the air of melancholy and the sense of loss Drew evokes about his past, I've wished for more for the two of them each time I've read the story. Thus, I was totally juiced when a sequel, albeit unfinished, was published in 2004. [21]

[zine]: A note on editing: as far as I know, Kathy Resch doesn't edit the stories she publishes, or if she does edit, does so extremely lightly. Too lightly. There are numerous typos throughout, and some of the stories have shoddy grammar; some also have blatant Americanisms. The best approach is to take them as a group of circuit stories bound together as a unit with uniform typeface and good print quality. The quality of the writing in the stories themselves varies according to each author's skill at writing and self-editing.[22]

[zine]: One-sentence review: Borrow, don't buy, this zine for the Courtney Gray novella, and skim/skip the rest.

DESIGN/LAYOUT: Unpleasant art. The cover shows an over-stylized couple who are only barely recognizable as Bodie and Doyle by D's auburn hair. The two interior line drawings are just plain bad.

The font/layout is easy to read. I would have appreciated story title/author headings to help while flipping through the zine, especially as two of the page numbers listed in the Table of Contents are incorrect. Spelling and grammar errors were minimal (though surely a spellchecker would have caught "believee"?); the major problem was punctuation, especially in the Gloria Lancaster stories, where the comma faults were legion; my other pet peeve is when editors don't bother to change "--" into a proper em dash.

Faded print was another problem. Everything was readable, but the print would fade in and out on the page, which was distracting. Any responsible copy shop should be willing to reprint something which turned out like this.

THE STORIES: There were two things in general about the fiction here which bothered me. The first I'll call The B&D Factor: for much of the time, I felt as I was reading a multimedia zine, because I didn't know who the characters *were*. I had to wonder at points whether some of the authors had even seen much of Pros. I just didn't get a sense that I was reading about Bodie and Doyle.

The second thing I'll call the "lost love/another time & place" (LL/AT&P) factor. Actually, only 5 of the 10 stories have this thread in them. Still, by number 3, it got annoying. The problem with this type of story is that character motivation, in terms of the relationship, tends to be underdeveloped. The basic "LL/AT&P" story works like this:

Character A is attracted to character B. We find out that A & B either 1) knew each other some years ago, and had some kind of relationship, or 2) are reincarnated lovers, or 3) knew someone *like* the other person before. After some initial conflict, A & B wind up either 1) getting together again or 2) getting together again and then losing each other again.

This is a perfectly okay plot device; however, in most cases, the writer skimps on the development of the relationship. The attraction of the characters in current time is explained by the past encounter: they're together *now* because they were together *then*, and that's all the explanation we get. We rarely find out *why* they were attracted to each in the first place, beyond a vague physical thing. It's lazy, and it happens a lot in this zine.

GLORIA LANCASTER: three stories, "On Guard" (a slight AU with Doyle meeting Bodie in Africa), "You Dancing? You Asking?" (Bodie gives Doyle ballroom dancing lessons), and "Somewhere There's A Heaven" (crossover with "The Chief"). There is very little feel for the Bodie and Doyle characters in these stories, and the writer has a poor ear for language and dialogue. (Bodie to Doyle on ballroom dancing: "It's easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy." I'm sorry, but never in a million years can I hear Bodie saying something like this.) Two of them fall into the LL/AT&P category, and she does try to explain the attraction in one ("On Guard"), but ignores it in the other ("Heaven"). It was a struggle to get through these pieces, and I did actually give up about halfway through the third one due to her affinity for having the Bodie character refer to Alan Cade as "Honey" repeatedly. Just didn't work for me.

[See fanzine publisher's note below]

JANE MAILANDER: "Runagate", a post-"Fugitive" story. This *should* have been an emotionally intense piece, and it wound up feeling as flat as a pancake. The major conflict scene relies on exclamation marks for its effect - I counted fourteen of them in *one* column alone. When a reader gets hammered over the head like that, it's not emotional, it's merely irritating. Strong emotions develop from good character exploration and conflicts, not from punctuation. And this story didn't have good character exploration.

NATASHA BARRY: "Searching For A Bodie Plot" (AKA, searching for a story.) A pointless and boring exercise which consists of five pages of Bodie's thoughts.

KITTY FISHER: "Harlequin, Harlequin". One word: ZAX. Okay, more words: Another LL/AT&P story in which the attraction between the current timeline characters is unexplained except as a physical thing, until we find out at the end about the "other time and place" device. Only has the barest relation to Pros/B&D. An attempt at tragedy that just comes off as a PWP with pretensions.

AIRELLE: "What Dreams May Come" - a 2-page "old age/death" story which adds nothing to this idea. Been there, seen that.

JOAN ENRIGHT: "Harlot Street", an overly sentimentalized Victorian story, and another LL/AT&P piece. Doyle is an actor who keeps having dreams about Horatio/Hamlet's relationship; meanwhile, he's attracted to a policeman named George Godley who is investigating the Jack the Ripper case. We get a guest appearance by Oscar Wilde, too. Again, this story had no explanation for why the characters are attracted to each other, relying solely on the "soul-mates through the ages" thing instead. They loved each other then, therefore they love each other now. Okay, but *WHY*??? It also has no relation to Pros or Bodie and Doyle--if she hadn't used Doyle's name, I would have had no way of recognizing it, from her characterizations, as a Pros story. These guys could have been anybody.

RUBY: "A Little B&D" - a short piece which is supposed to be humor, involving a pair of antique handcuffs. Not funny, merely silly.

COURTNEY GRAY: "Torch Song", an AU novella with Doyle as a singer, based on the movie "Gilda", which I've not seen. Better written than anything else in the zine, but still disappointing. Maybe the plot and characters would make more sense to me if I'd seen the movie, but as it stands, the story doesn't do a good enough job of justifying the characters' motivations. The villain of the piece is particularly unbelievable, and there were many questions left unanswered. My biggest problem, though, was with the LL/AT&P scenario. B&D knew each other a couple years before, and had a relationship. We learn that they fought a lot. We never really learn why. We learn that the physical attraction between them is still there. But we never learn what *else* it is, beyond the good sex, that brings them together and sustains the relationship. Once again, the past relationship is used as a shorthand "explanation" for why these guys want to get together again, and once again, the *initial* attraction is never fully developed. So we are left scratching our heads at the end, thinking, "Well, okay, here it is a couple years later, and they still want each other. But *why*?" And I couldn't answer that.

NET RESULT: Disappointment. I'm glad I borrowed the zine instead of buying it. [23][24]

[zine]: NO HOLDS BARRED 10 is a Pros slash anthology that was published in 1995 by [Kathy Resch] and is still in print. It has ten stories by eight authors and 154 pp. There's a colour cover by Marilyn Cole of two men kissing; they don't look anything like Bodie or Doyle to me, but YMMV. Editing seems to be light and there are numerous typos and some Americanisms.

The stories as they appear in order:

ON GUARD by Gloria Lancaster. The two best stories in this zine are the first and last, and in themselves make the zine worth owning. This first one is an Origin story. Constable Ray Doyle, on a three-month sabbatical from the Met to do charity work in Africa, is rescued from near-death by a mercenary known to everyone only as "Soldier". We know who he is from the first sentence: "A voice, loud and ugly with an execrable Scouse accent", but he remains "Soldier" to Doyle until much later in the story when Doyle is recruited into CI5 and meets his partner for the first time.

At that point, the story becomes a charming first-time tale set in CI5. Bodie is a delightful character seen entirely through Doyle's eyes--a limited viewpoint the author skilfully expands through reader-knowledge (ie, we know it's Bodie while Doyle knows nothing about him). Bodie is protective, mysterious, fascinating, competent and the two of them together, in Gloria Lancaster's hands, are superb.

RUNAGATE by Jane Mailander. Set post-Runner, the story is told through Bodie's pov as he expects a bout of rough loving in the aftermath of near-death when he and Doyle get home. Not only expects, but is anticipating a good fuck to get rid of the adrenaline and clear the air between them. Instead, Doyle is moody and silent. After a revelation or two, a bit of a confrontation, and Doyle's having a weep, they do finally get to the sex.

The story is engrossing in its step-by-step revelations of what the characters are thinking, though the depth of emotion I would expect--and that I want--in this kind of story isn't there, and I'm sceptical about the reasoning in Bodie's final train of musing, which left me unconvinced.

YOU DANCING? YOU ASKING? by Gloria Lancaster. The second of GL's three stories in this zine is a light delight of a first-time story. Bodie teaches Doyle to dance so he can attend a fancy do with a Sloane Ranger type. Disaster inevitably (though not predictably--at least, I didn't catch on the first time I read it) ensues, Bodie gets the fall-out, and they re-emerge in a changed relationship. Unpretentious fun with nicely recognisable characters. Gloria Lancaster especially excels at portraying Bodie, but her Doyle is recognisable and appealing as well.

SEARCHING FOR A BODIE PLOT by Natasha Barry. Irritatingly written pap. This story is the one most in need of stringent editing, if not a wholesale re-write. Bodie, "the dark agent", spends a day off looking for something to read because his secret vice is reading. It takes a page-and-a-half to get us to the library, where he can't find a single thing, so off he goes to a bookshop. Where--surprise!--he stumbles on a "poofter" sex-manual. He's been thinking a lot about his partner--the "golli", the "moppet", "moist mouth Doyle", or the "sensuous tiger"--lately, but certainly never like that, until now. From first thoughts, it's only five minutes to an emergency wank in the toilet in a cafe. We get such sentences as "He castigated himself as he tucked himself back in, zipping the indiscretion closed."

This PWP is, however, only four pages long.

HARLEQUIN, HARLEQUIN by Kitty Fisher. A dark Zax story, moody and atmospheric. In a world where unauthorised sexual congress between Names and Numbers is illegal, Zax has an intense but tender affair with dark-haired, white-skinned Number M-6251. The scene-setting is excellent, the characters beguiling, the story compelling. This story can on one level be read as a kind of bildungsroman for M-6251 as he learns about love and acquires a name and independent identity.

Kitty Fisher does "dark" very well. Some of her dark is darker than others; this story is quite dark. I had heard that a sequel was being written, but also that it might never appear; I'd love to see one because I'm a wuss who pines for happier endings. :-) But even as a standalone, this story allows for the projection of an optimistic outcome. Or perhaps I'm twisting the ending to suit my own need for that glimmer of hope. Either way, it's an engrossing read.

SOMEWHERE THERE'S HEAVEN by Gloria Lancaster. This story details Alan Cade's bittersweet affair with a fascinating stranger called Drew Phillips. Who is Drew Phillips? There are hints and clues, but no solid evidence. An odd and tantalising AU story that drew me in entirely to the atypical affair. This story cries out for a sequel to resolve both some of the questions about Drew Phillips' past and the present-day situation with Cade, but it stands alone well enough and utterly intrigues me.

I've never seen an episode of The Chief, but this portrait of Cade connected with me emotionally.

WHAT DREAMS MAY COME by Airelle. Eighty-something Bodie visits the grave where Doyle, his lover of fifty years, was buried three months previously. In two pages, he recounts the salient events of five decades before toddling off to await his own death, at peace with the universe.

The story is slight and not terribly affecting. Bodie's feeling of loss comes through, but without any wrenching emotion. He communicates the peacefulness he feels to the reader, so this is a death story without an acute sense of loss or pain.

HARLOT STREET by Joan Enright. In 1891 London, Raymond Arden Doyle is an actor singled out for praise by none other than Oscar Wilde. On the darker side, his sister is a whore who is killed by Jack the Ripper, which brings Doyle into contact with Sergeant George Godley of Scotland Yard (for anyone who might not be aware, Lewis Collins played this character in the movie "Jack the Ripper"). Sergeant Godley turns out, conveniently, to be as gay as Mr Raymond Arden Doyle himself, though Godley is struggling to keep himself hidden in the closet.

Joan Enright writes mostly AUs, doing varying amounts of damage to the characters in the process. This particular story is one I reread occasionally, but without for a moment believing in the characterisation of Doyle. I haven't seen the movie, so I can't say how well this portrayal of Godley matches the actual character. The action keeps my interest--mostly--for the duration, but only if I surf over the various anachronisms and implausibilities with a wilfully blind eye. For some readers, it might not be worth the effort; for others, the flaws might not be bothersome.

A LITTLE B AND D by Ruby. Six pages of humorous fluff that actually manages to make me laugh--a feat, as intentional humour usually misses me by a mile (which is more my failing than humorous stories themselves). Even with the continual use of "Com'mon" for "Come on", and, yes, even though Murphy is referred to as "the Smurph", I chuckle my way through this one.

Mucking about at HQ after an op, Cowley's Best manage to handcuff themselves together. They then have various adventures and encounters while sneaking around on a mission to retrieve the key. Their eagerness not to let anyone see what prats they've made of themselves adds fuel to the, uh, rumours about them simmering in the air.

TORCH SONG by Courtney Gray. The longest story in the zine at 54 pages. Undercover to investigate a nightclub owner, Bodie is startled when the woman in question returns from a trip to Manchester with a new blues singer for the club: a man called Ray Doyle, who is also her new husband. Doyle was Bodie's lover on a previous op two years before, whom Bodie abandoned when that mission finished. As Bodie and Doyle work through their personal problems--the mutual attraction neither can deny nor control--the present operation takes various twists and turns around them.

Courtney Gray's writing probably needs no introduction. I like virtually every story she's written, and this is one I reread whenever I fancy an AU in which Doyle is an arty sort, and I enjoy it every time. One stand-out quality is the depiction of the woman, who is invested with her own history and complexity.

This story provides a fine wrap-up to a solid zine with several stories that appeal to me very much. [25]

I liked the first three stories (two by Gloria Lancaster, one by Jane Mailander) in there just fine, with the usual reservations and nitpicks. [26]

Issue 11

No Holds Barred 11 was published in May 1996 and is 152 pages long. Artwork is by Caren Parnes (front cover) and with one interior black and white piece of art by Suzan Lovett.

Fandoms include Miami Vice, Desert Peach, MacGyver, The Sandbaggers, Wiseguy, Due South, and WWW.

The editorial discusses the publication schedule and planned future issues:

I'm bringing three issues of "No Holds Barred" out almost simultaneously - just like last year! # 12 is a science fiction/fantasy issue, featuring Garak/Bashir (Deep Space 9), Star Trek TOS (Spock/McCoy), Babylon 5, Forever Knight and Blake's 7. # 13 is an all MAN FROM UNCLE issue. # 14 is scheduled for July, 1996, and is an all QUANTUM LEAP issue. I am currently seeking submissions for a Garak/Bashir issue - deadline September 30, plus a Miami Vice issue, a Professionals issue, and a new Multimedia issue. Enjoy!

cover issue #11 by Caren Parnes
flyer for issue #11

Regarding the interior art: Lovett's nude Wiseguy art is a rarity in the fandom and incorporates her curved and romantic style. In the piece in issue 11, Vinnie is seen spooning with Frank. For another example of a Wiseguy nude cuddling scene by Lovett, see the inside art from Sanctuary #1.

Issue 12

No Holds Barred 12 was published in May 1996 and contains 134 pages. The zine contains one interior art plate (B&W) by Suzan Lovett.

cover of issue #12

The zine is online here.

interior art in issue #12 by Suzan Lovett -- the only piece of art in the zine, this piece illustrates Rebels and Mercs a rare cross-over between The Professionals and Blake's 7. In this scene Bodie and Blake are done in a fantasy style, one far, far away from the the city grit of Pros and the cold sterile space of Blake's 7. The drawing combining these two characters is most likely the only one in existence. One reviewer describes it as "Very sweet Blake/Bodie in an idyllic woodland setting. Too sweet for my tastes, actually, but it's a beautiful piece of work."[27]

NOTE: there are some zines floating about with an incorrect cover. These issues are labeled as #11, but are actually #12.[27]

a flyer for issue #12

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 12

See reactions and reviews for Poison Ring

[Something in the Air]: Nick meets Superman, and they find themselves made for each other. This was a delicious, joyful read. [28]

[zine]:The funniest slash I've read so far for B5 was in NO HOLDS BARRED #12. Janis Cortese has several stories here for different fandoms, but her most effective is "A Drunken Boink" between Marcus who makes a drunken dare with Garibaldi. [29]

[zine]: Average to good B7 material, and the stories for other fandoms are generally enjoyable. Well worth considering. [...]

Rebels and Mercs - Catherine: Series 4 (possibly series 3) story about Blake at the time he's setting up the Gauda Prime base. His ship is forced down by the Federation, and he and his bodyguard (Bodie from The Professionals) are stranded for a day or two until it's safe for someone for someone to fetch them. One thing leads to another... Nicely written, and I enjoyed the sex scene.

Echoes of Remembrance - D Ramsey: PGP with Blake coming around in hospital after the shooting. He's drifting in and out of a light daze, and remembering an erotic encounter with a mercenary by the name of Bodie. The memory is triggered because he's attracted to Avon, who's straight, and the encounter with Bodie gave him the closest he was going to get to what he wanted. The story ends with the beginnings of reconciliation with Avon. I didn't enjoy this one as much - oddly, it was the layout that put me off, because the sex scene is in flashback and italics, and I found that this had a distancing effect as I read it.

Poison Ring - Susan Douglas: Jenna has been working as a smuggler after Star One, and has been recruited as Servalan's personal pilot - and bedmate. Since Jenna had apparently cut her ties with the rebels, Servalan doesn't see her as a security threat. But Servalan has made one vital miscalculation.

I just don't buy the basic setup - I don't see Servalan giving that much trust to anyone who'd been involved with Blake, even if some years ago. But I can see the actual scenario as a distinct possibility with someone who wasn't a potential threat. Lots of lovingly written consensual BDSM (this is not a criticism:-). It's f/f, so it doesn't press my buttons, but I think it would be a good story for those with appropriate tastes. (review excerpt. read the full review at the link below)[27]


Well, having gone to Mediawest this year and having actually bought zines, I thought I'd contribute my two bits to the review section....

I have just finished a zine I would far rather burble over and which I really recommend, No Holds Barred #12, a multi media slash zine. This one came out just in time for Mediawest and I am really happy about it.

I'll admit that the main reason I picked it up is that it had Babylon 5 stories and I was desperate as there mostly were none, but while the Marcus stories are excellent, the others are just as good.

There are five Garak/Bashir slash stories and two, the same PWP but from different points of view are about the hottest sex scenes I've read in a while. They involve a cock ring with unusual properties. The other stories are good too, although I had some trouble with Garak as a recovering abused lover. Also in the zine are two Forever Knight stories; one from La Croix's point of view as he worries about his fledgling vampire, Nick, and disciplines same (for his own good, of course). The other one is just luscious and partners Nick in cross universe perfection the one being in the universe a vampire could probably not damage.

Of the three Blake's 7 stories, the two Blake/Bodie ones are at least unique and inspired the only illo in the zine (just about worth the price right there). However the third story with Jenna using Servalan as a sex slave in revenge for Cally's death was unpleasant ('tho a good comeuppance for S).

Last in the zine is an old Trek slasher but with Spock and McCoy. It is actually a good read.

Then, of course, there is my favorite of the BS stories. I am quite sure that Marcus would make just such an amiable, literate, boneless drunk. I could actually hear his voice saying the author's words. I'm impressed. [30]


NO HOLDS BARRED 12 (Kathy Resch, ed.) is 130 pages of m/m slash, with about 20 devoted to B7. ($15) The slash Involves Garak/Bashir, Spock/McCoy, various FK /, and various B5 /. I tried to read some and couldn't get any interest aroused-or even any other part of me. BUT the B7 is nice. The Suzan Lovett picture of Blake/Bodie (the only art in this) is very nicety reproduced, and if it's the same one that's been done in an older issue of RC. There are two B/B stories and one Jenna/Servalan. The J/S is "Poison Ring" (6 pp.) by Susan Douglas, a story I found enjoyable, but if you don't like bondage, you won't like it. It has some surprises in it. I gutted this zine for the B7, and sent the "remains" to a friend.

"Rebels and Mercs" (10 pp.) by Catherine [Now I wonder who she is ???] is the more developed B/B story of the two. And no, neither author, explains how Bodie came into the B7 universe. Avon is never mentioned in this story, but I assume if it's set before the fatal GP reunion...or that in this universe that never happened. It's a "feel good" story — you know the kind that's short on hurt and long on comfort. Nice.

"Echoes of Remembrances" (4 pp.) by D. Ramsey [Gosh, that name rings a bell.] is post GP Blake / with a haunted Avon watching over the man he's shot. A feverish Blake remembers an encounter with Bodle, and Avon listens. Good-but short. [31]

Issue 13

No Holds Barred 13 was published in May 1996 and contains 80 pages. It is an all Man from UNCLE issue. It contains no interior art.

cover of issue #13, artist: Mozart
a flyer for issue #13
  • The Post Gurnius Affair by Rosemary C (The Post Gurnius Series: A trilogy of stories that starts immediately after the Gurnius Affair: The Post Gurnius Affair, The Games People Play Affair, and The Playtime's Over Affair (the last two in Night Moves.) ("While Napoleon understands the nature of the job, and the reasons why his partner was forced to torture him. his nightmares tell a different story...") (1)
  • Napoleon's Dreams by Khylara (22)
  • The Nightmare Affair by Mary L. Millard (23)
  • The Fool Me Twice Affair by Psmythe ("A double has infiltrated U.N.C.L.E. - but just how far will his masquerade carry him?") (31)
  • Remembering by Khylara (37)
  • All of a Sudden by Khylara (41)
  • Miracles by Khylara (42)
  • Second Sight by Susan Devereaux ("The rescue was only the first step in Illya's recovery...") (43)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 13

See reactions and reviews for The Post Gurnius Affair.

Issue 14

No Holds Barred 14 was published in February 1997 and contains 135 pages. It is an all-Quantum Leap issue. The front cover and back cover are by Anja Gruber. There is no interior art.

front cover of issue #14, Anja Gruber
back cover of issue #14, Anja Gruber
  • Sweet Comfort by Davina Pereira (1)
  • I Dreamed Last Night by Leah S. (35)
  • And After the Darkness by Lee Owers (40)
  • Mellowing by Khylara (44)
  • Promise to Keep by Dale Hobgood (45)
  • Crazy Plans for You by Astrid Bootes (53)
  • Night Thoughts by Khylara (75)
  • Wishing Star by Lisa Martin (76)
  • Another Year by Lisa Martin (78)
  • Hazy Shades of Gray by J.D.Rush (82)

Issue 15

cover of issue #15, Caren Parnes

No Holds Barred 15 contains all Star Trek: Deep Space Nine content. It was published in May 1997 and is 168 pages long. The zine contains no interior illustrations.

It has a cover by Caren Parnes. Summaries are from the publisher.

The editor noted: "Welcome to "No Holds Barred" # 15, and thanks to everyone for their long patience, while I worked through all my computer difficulties and got up and running again - this issue was due out October of 1996, and now it's May of 1997..."

  • Rule of Acquisition by Lydia (1)
  • Dream Master by Joan Enright (3)
  • Triangulation by Mary E (Being held captive by the Klingons is not the ideal way for Garak and Bashir to get to know each other better - especially when Miles O'Brien is their fellow captive.) (8)
  • Just a Friendly Little Game of Darts by Joan Enright (30)
  • The Healing by Karen Colohan (sequel to "The Quickening") (38)
  • Jet by Mary Knasinski (46)
  • An Occurrence at Shar River Bridge by Mary Knasinski. (67)
  • Quid Pro Quo by Mary Knasinski (The newly-acquainted Garak and Bashir have disturbing erotic dreams about each other.) (109)
  • This Heart by K. Ann Yost (99)
  • Dark Thoughts on a Cold Night by Rosamund Clifford (115)
  • Shades of Gray by Anne Fairchild (133)
  • Worth Waiting For by Ida Vega (145)
  • One Afternoon in the Replimat by Rosamund Clifford (147)
  • The Busybody by Joanne Francis (Dax finds all sorts of surprises in Bashir's quarters) (7 pages)
  • Duet by Anne Fairchild (154)
  • Peri's Loss by DVS (Garak schemes against Bashir's latest love interest, with surprising results). (157)
  • Distant Dreams by Joan Enright (168)

Issue 16

cover of issue #16, front cover, Anja Gruber

No Holds Barred 16 was published in November 1997 and contains 180 pages. Cover and interior art by Anja Gruber, interior art by India. The back cover is blank. Its content is all The Professionals.

  • Next Time by Irish ("Bodie, undercover as an escort at a fancy party, piques the interest of Detective Constable Raymond Doyle.") (1)
  • Reflective Response by Jude (9)
  • Love of Art by Meridian (10)
  • Song of the Wild by James Kythe Walkswithwind (37)
  • Hunter's Moon by Rosamund Clifford ("On assignment in the countryside, Bodie has a most unexpected encounter.") (38)
  • This Isn't Africa by Joana Dey/Dana Jeanne Norris (44)
  • Forever Since Now by Joana Dey ("Bodie and Doyle investigate a series of gory murders, while discovering truths about themselves.") (45)
  • Fly Away Bird by Joana Dey (77)
  • Checkmate by Joana Dey (78)
  • Easy Out by Joana Dey (84)
  • I'm Still Talking by Joana Dey (85)
  • Watching His Mouth by Georgina Kirrin ("Love, longing, and despair.") (86)
  • On Stand-By by Georgina Kirrin (89)
  • At the End, There Is Only Us by Ruby ("An unexpected encounter with a key person from Bodie's past.") (93)
  • Drums, True Path by James Kythe Walkswithwind (114)
  • Lost Idealism by Joana Dey (115)
  • Alone in the Wilderness by Elessar - crossover with The Chief ("Chief Constable Alan Cade meets a mysterious writer.") (116)
  • The Cynical Heart, Oblivion by Jude (129)
  • Twist of Fate by Dee ("After disaster, what is left? A unique and riveting AU.") (132)
  • Jungles by Jude (181)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 16

This is another gem from [Kathy Resch's] stable of fanzines, packed with good, readable stories, art and poems. "Twist of Fate" by Dee is a cracking good A/U. The world ends and Doyle searches for Bodie in a strange but familiar world. Elessar s "Alone In The Wilderness" is a Pros/The Chief crossover which is a reasonable stab at explaining how Doyle became Cade. "At The End, There Is Only Us" by Ruby tells you a bit about Bodie's early background and the sister whom he never forgave for deserting him. KayCee's Doyle is risen to the heights of the nobility as the younger brother of Lord Doyle in her story, "Love Of Art." He is asked to help CI5 in a drugs case - only to ask for Bodie as compensation. . . Two poems by Danajeanne Norris deserve a mention: "Easy Out" and "I'm Still Talking" are about the reactions each man might have to the other's death and being left alone. In all, No Holds Baned 16 is a feast for the fanfic reader.[32]

I enjoyed this zine, if not quite as much as I've liked others in the series, and would recommend it to anyone not on a particularly tight zine-buying budget. (If I had to choose between this and others, for instance, I'd go for an Unprofessional Conduct or a Motet every time; perhaps a Roses and Lavender, depending on whether R&L 2 lives up the standard of R&L 1) With that in mind, then, this is more a survey of the zine's contents than a considered reaction to them.

The first story, "Next Time," had B&D meeting for the first time under misleading circumstances; rather a sexy little encounter in a stylish nightspot, each of them escorting a lady. It opened very well but played out a bit too hurriedly for my preference - I felt it was a nice idea which hadn't been used to its full potential. And while there were flashes of insight, it was a little melodramatic in some of the emotional give-and-take. Enjoyable, though.

"Love Of Art" was an A/U with an interesting premise: that Doyle, here a minor member of the aristocracy and wildly decadent artist, has Bodie assigned to him as combined bodyguard and spy. (Under the guise of the former, Bodie is supposed to find out if he is involved with the nefarious doings CI5 is investigating) I found it a pleasant read but was disappointed that the Doyle of this story wasn't really like the Doyle we know and love. Perhaps that's inevitable, given the very different backgrounds of the two fictional Raymonds; but I'd have been fascinated to see how far the characteristics of 'our' Doyle could have been mapped onto such intriguing circumstances...

'Hunter's Moon' opened with a strangely heightened meeting between B and D in the course of an op, resonant with moonlight and emotion. I can't say much more without giving away the ending but I enjoyed the story and thought the atmosphere, though a little overblown now and then, very appropriate.

"Forever Since Now" was a very sweet B&D coming-to-terms with it all story, nicely interwoven with a case the two are working on. If you don't like sweet, you'll find this unbearable; I do, provided it stops this side of saccharine, and I was charmed by this.

"Watching His Mouth" (and its companion piece, 'On Stand-By") is the jewel of the collection. Together the pair take up only seven pages but they are, quite simply, perfect (And I suspect the simplicity is the reason for the perfection). Each is written from a single point of view - Doyle's in the first, Bodie's in the second - and consists of an interior monologue where D or B muses over his relationship with his partner. Nothing much happens. That's the beauty of them. The intensity of the emotional connection, the psychological truth of the way their minds are revealed to work - particularly Doyle's - was deeply satisfying. I read them very slowly and luxuriously; stopping often to smile in appreciation. If they'd been buttered toast I'd have been licking my elbows. Two for re-reading, definitely.

"At The End, There Is Only Us" should have been more interesting than it was. With Bodie's long-lost sister turning up and a possible traitor in the offing, there was the potential for real page-turning stuff. As it was, the newly-discovered family connection was used not to explore Bodie's reaction to her (or Doyle's to him) but merely as a plot to usher in a rather wearying chase-and-shoot-out scenario. More importantly to the success of any story, neither of them sounded very much like B & D. When a story is told in alternate first person voices, any weakness in characterising those voices is particularly unfortunate. Here, the 'voice' not only didn't sound like whoever was supposed to be 'thinking' the narrative, it didn't seem to change with the speaker. Perhaps I'm being unfair - it can't have helped that this story shares zine-space with the Georgina Kirrin pair which used the same technique and got it spot on - but I was a bit exasperated when I'd finished it A pity, because it had the potential to be an excellent story.

"Alone In The Wilderness" I found similarly disappointing, considering what a good basic premise the author came up with. Alan Cade (of The Chief) becomes suspicious of being followed by a dark-haired man with blue eyes. Guess who the two of them turn out to be? Right. It's ten years down the line and a lot of water has passed under the bridge since the CI5 days; a fascinating scenario, and one that really got my taste-buds twitching. But the author doesn't follow it up at all - the situation is just set up and explained. And I think that's why I got so annoyed with it I felt cheated, as if a wonderful treat had been dangled in front of me then snatched away. It could have been such an intriguing tale, with all sorts of stuff to explore about how their ten-year parting might have changed them and what effect it will have on their future relationship and whether scarred hearts can ever trust in the [?]. Of fate enough to rediscover what they once had before events conspired to part them. But none of this was touched upon. As a result, the story gives the unfortunate impression of petering out, rather than coming to a close. (And let's draw a veil over the ending, where a man's setting up house with a male Chief Constable was just stated as a fait accompli with no apparent recognition of any possible difficulties. Made me blink a bit, I must say).

"Twist Of Fate," now this one I did like. It was a long A/U story (40+pp) by a competent author with an interesting premise which was treated well. The set-up at the beginning is that our world ends, very suddenly, and B&D are hurled into an alternate version of it It's not explained or dwelt on at length because Doyle - the pov character - is too busy trying to adapt to his new existence and work out what's going on. I liked this matter of fact approach; if you're going to have the end of the world, get it over with and get on to the good stuff, I reckon, and that's what the author does. I was intrigued by the idea and liked the concept of their having two different sets of memories, one from the old world and one from this new universe (they've jumped into personae which already existed there). It makes it possible for 'our' Bodie to accept the idea of loving Doyle quite easily. It's made more confusing, and poignant, by the fact that Doyle is on his own at the beginning and has to search for a Bodie who he can only hope crossed over with him. Their joy when they meet again - by frightening chance - was very touching. I also liked the Cowley of this universe; the author made him suitably mtimidating and that helped to underline the difficulty of their situation. My one quibble is that it ended too soon - I felt it should really have been a novella but was stopped before it could grow too big. As a result, some of the emotional charge built up in the course of events is lost when they actually get together because the situation is resolved too soon. But having said that, I ought to emphasise that the story didn't feel incomplete, exactly, it's just that I'd have liked more indication of how they were going to go on. And perhaps, more time with these two shaken, lost but competent people.

The zine also included some good poetry by Jude and Danajeanne Norris. Usually I run screaming from free-form verse in less-than-professional hands but some of these were beautiful They did what poetry should do, le. drop you into a situation with few or no preliminaries and let you see and feel its reality. "I'm Still Talking", in particular, brought a lump to my throat with its deadly simplicity.

In all, I thought NHB16 was a good read - only two stories I wouldn't have bothered with and three I've enjoyed. Put down in black and white like that, there doesn't seems to be a very high proportion of good stuff. (I suspect I've been spoiled by the Unpro series. Oh, for the days when I thought all zines were like that). Still, while I wouldn't say it was a sure-fire winner, I'd certainly recommend it as a very pleasant way of beguiling an evening. But take my advice and save the Georgina Kirrin pair for a treat.[32]


"Next Time" by Irish is an alternate universe story in which Bodie, while undercover, meets Doyle, who is in the Met.

"Love of Art" by Meridian is an alternate universe story in which Doyle is the younger brother of Lord Doyle and an artist who meets CI5 agent Bodie.

"At the End, There is Only Us" by Ruby centres on Bodie's estranged sister told in alternating Bodie and Doyle first-person pov sections.

"Alone in the Wilderness" by Elessar is set ten years after the show ends and charts the reunion of Bodie and Doyle, in his new identity.[15]

Issue 17

cover of issue #17

No Holds Barred 17 was published in May 1998 (the same month as #18) and is 143 pages long.

Issue 18

cover of issue #18, TACS

No Holds Barred 18 was published in May 1998 (the same month as #17) and contains 128 pages. It contains no interior illustrations.

All the stories in it are from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and mainly focus on Garak and Bashir. The cover illustration is by TACS.

  • A Second Chance by Annick Walker ("Garak is convinced that the Doctor's interest in him is purely to fulfill human curiosity - but when Julian attempts to convince him this is not so, an outside danger arises to threaten them both.") (1)
  • Brave New World by Mary Knasinski ("Garak has many motivations when he undertakes plastic surgery to completely change his appearance - chief among them the opportunity to anonymously even old scores. But what he hadn't counted on was the reaction of those who know him... particularly Julian Bashir.") (34)
  • What If? by Karen Colohan (63)
  • Words of Love by Ida Vega (65)
  • Delight with Pain Purchased by Chris Jones ("Julian Bashir is very interested in exploring the wilder side of sexuality - but Garak's complete misunderstanding of his lover's desires may tear them irrevocably apart." - A shorter version of this story appeared in "The Alternate Universe.") (69)
  • Shadowed Mirror by Golden Dye ("Gul Garak has a most intriguing prisoner... Julian Bashir from the Federation universe. But what happens when the captor falls in love with the prisoner?") (91)

Issue 19

cover of issue #19

No Holds Barred 19 was published in May 1999 and is 143 pages long. It contains no interior illustrations.

All the stories in it are from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and mainly focus on Garak and Bashir.

  • Pinocchio by Mary Knasisnski ("It's not Garak's nose that grows every time he tells a lie.v) (1)
  • Secret Agent Man by Janis C. (17)
  • The Spy Who Loved...Me? by Karen Colohan (25)
  • His Man Bashir by Mary E (32)
  • Perfect by Karen Colohan (Post "Dr. Bashir, I Presume") (53)
  • Meltdown by Anne Fairchild ("Author's Note: The story is set immediately post "In Purgatory's Shadow/By Inferno's Light", and before "Dr. Bashir, I Presume". Muchas gracias to Mary Eichbauer for her excellent beta skils and her help in "monument-toppling". Many thanks, winks and hugs also to the talented GoldenDye. Think of her to-be-published "Eyes Without a Face" as a prequel of sorts to this story.") (61)
  • Non Sequitur by Mary Knasinski (A sequel to "Quid Pro Quo" in "No Holds Barred" #15) (81)
  • At 2100 by Kathryn Ramage (98)
  • Just Another Discussion of Literature by Kathryn Ramage (100)
  • Star-Crossed Lovers by Chris Jones ("After several years of a very satisfactory sexual relationship with Garak, Julian decides his Cardassian friend would be the perfect person to explore s/m with. ("Delight with Pain Purchased," No Holds Barred #18) Too perfect might be a better description. The ensuing difficulties bring them closer together, though a spoken commitment is still beyond them. These events also help prepare them to survive the Jem Ha'dar prison camp. Three weeks after returning from that ordeal, Julian finds himself faced with another in the form of Dr. Zimmermann, inventor of the Long-Term Medical Hologram.") ("Note: Although this story stands on its own, it is part of the author's "Lovers in a Dangerous Time" series. It takes place about a month after the episode "The Wire" and about a week after the author's story "To Wrong A Friend" (Beyond the Wire #2) and several years before "Delight with Fain Purchased" in No Holds Barred #18.") (103)
  • When in Disgrace With Fortune and Men's Eyes by Chris Jones ("Zimmerman's questions are annoying, at first - but set in motion a chain of events which changes Bashir's life irrevocably. - Note: This is part of the author's "Lovers in a Dangerous Time" series. Our story so far: Shortly after the events of "The Wire" Julian Bashir attempts to find out if there is some way to salvage his friendship with Garak and learns that being a Cardassian's friend is a little trickier than he thought ("To Wrong a Friend," Beyond the Wire #1). Their friendship re-established, Julian continues his reading of Meditations on a Crimson Shadow and learns that Cardassians traditionally have sexual relations not only with their spouses, but also with their mentors and proteges — and people who are just friends can have sex too.") (110)

Issue 20

cover of issue #20

No Holds Barred 20 was published in August 2000 and contains 102 pages. It is all Professionals content.

  • Same Time Next Month by Elessar (1)
  • Both Ways, poem by Lizzie (20)
  • Getting It by Maiden Wyoming (21)
  • Before I Forget, poem by Jude (27)
  • Monitor, poem by Jude (27)
  • My Kingdom for a -- ? by Ginny (28)
  • Adoration, poem by Jude (29)
  • Midnight Plea, poem by Jude (29)
  • Something About Trust by Meridian (30)
  • Who Dares Win by Tavaran (43)
  • Diplomatic Immunity, poem by Lizzie (50)
  • A Child's Game by Joana Dey (51)
  • Bath Water by Meridian (74)
  • You Needed Me by Cassidy Collins (82)
  • No Such Thing as an Easy Op by Anne Higgins ("Author's note: In O'Yardley's We Three Kings (Unprofessional Conduct #8, Gryphon Press) a sheik with designs on Bodie says, "I have only to call in my servants, you know, and you will be given no choice in the matter." It's a throw away line in O'Yardley's tale, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. I apologize to her and to the reader for the similarity of the hotel set up.") (85)

Issue 21

cover of issue #21

No Holds Barred 21 was published in May 2001 and contains 205 pages.

There is no interior illustrations.

All the stories in it are from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and mainly focus on Garak and Bashir.

  • The Monster by Tany Z. ("Acknowledgments: to DVS for the penso leaf salad. Hers was among the first GaraklBashir fanfic I ever read. And many thanks to Jenny Shipp for permission to use her Sedi Jarelle character.") (1)
  • Irresistible Force by Kathryn Ramage (30)
  • The Zoo by Mary Knasinski and Liz Williams (40)
  • Nothing but the Truth by Ida Vega (57)
  • Interesting Company by Andrea Evans ("A note on "Interesting Company" by Andrea Evans. This story is set In her "Mastery" universe. (See ad at back of zine). "Mastery" Is a G/B zine; however, this story Is not. What it is is a compelling look at Cardassia, and the forces which made Garak the being he is.") (80)
  • Starting Over by Annick Walker (115)
  • Whiff of Suspicion by Ida Vega (121)
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Vesuvia (131)
  • Chronology by Miriam (169)
  • For Those We Find Again by Valaria (175)

Issue 22

cover of issue #22
frontspiece issue #22, Shelley Butler

No Holds Barred 22 was published in 2001 and is 178 pages long.


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 22

See reactions and reviews for Sugar Magnolia.

See reactions and reviews for The Other One.

Issue 23

cover of issue #23

No Holds Barred 23 was published in October 2001 and is 105 pages long. All the stories in it are from The Professionals. There is no interior art.

From the editorial:

"The Sting" is slightly AU; "Brotherly Love" much more so. "Demons of the Past" is CI5, as are Joanna's poems. "Wild Oats", which examines both Bodie's and Doyle's pasts, takes one or two minor liberties with canon, but otherwise is CI5. And for those of you who like warnings, "Safety" is quite intense.

  • The Sting by Elspeth Leigh ("Since his meteoric rise to notoriety as one of Europe's top fashion photographers, Duncan was used to professionals – he could relate to their temperament and they to his. They understood craft and artistry, pacing and rhythm. This unit of green SAS men before him was anything but professional – at least when it came to modeling. He cursed whoever had come up with the idea of a pin-up calendar of Britain's elite forces – some retired Brigadier's do-gooder wife -and he vowed to tell his agent that Ray Duncan was out of the charity business as of the end of this project. Ray Duncan, famous and temperamental photographer, meets SAS officer Bodie.") (1)
  • Safety by The Hag (Non-consensual sex. Has appeared on the internet.) (11)
  • Brotherly Love by Tavaran ("Brother William popped his head round the pillar for a quick glance, and promptly felt his stomach turn over and his balls do an Irish jig. "Who is that?" he breathed, blue eyes gleaming with pure unadulterated lust. The view was, quite simply, stunning. A slender figure, a headful of exuberant reddish-brown curls that almost hid his tonsure, and a face that wouldn't have looked out of place in the murals on the church walls.... Heavens, he could be the Angel of the Annunciation himself… By the end of the week he'd discovered that the new brother was called Raymond, that he was an artist, and that he was here specially to paint the illuminated initials in the Abbot's great work, the Garendon Bible. He'd also discovered, rather more frustratingly, that Raymond was utterly immune to his manifest charms. And it wasn't for lack of trying.") (16)
  • Demons of the Past by Shorts ("Flames licked around distorted metal and smoke swirled up and disappeared into the dark sky. The twisted wreck was the remains of Bodie's car. For a moment Doyle stood in shock, his heart wrenching at the sight... Bodie's past endangers his life.") (23)
  • Operation Tired, poem by Joanna Dey (40)
  • Wild Justice, poem by Lois Welling (41)
  • Wild Oats by Lois Welling ("If Ray knew anything about his partner it was that Bodie didn't like entanglements or complications. You didn't have to know Bodie ten minutes to suss that out. And if Doyle could admit it to himself, he liked matters the way they were between the two of them. They did their job well and when the job was over they shut the door on the world for whatever time they had until Cowley called and it began again. Now Ray was about to change that, to open another part of his life. This complex story spans several decades. Bodie and Doyle learn a great deal.") (42)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 23

See reactions and reviews for Safety.

Issue 24

cover of issue #24

No Holds Barred 24 was published in May 2002 and contains 80 pages. It is a Deep Space Nine anthology with an emphasis on Garak/Bashir.

Note: the table of contents has an error, stating that "Surrender" starts on page 91. It starts on page 63.

This zine has two illos: one by Anja Gruber and one by Thea Ruoho.

  • A Slight Case of Blackmail by Kathryn Ramage (Set in the third season, not long after "Life Support." Sisko received a Cardassian datarod, which contains explicit images of Bashir and Garak...) (1)
  • World's Apart by Ida Vega-Landow (21)
  • Between Love and Honor by Ida Vega-Landow ("This time, Bashir's spy scenario is real.") (30)
  • The Cost of Love by Ida Vega-Landow ("Q shows up, offering his help, it comes at a price.") (51)
  • Surrender by Valaria ("Garak, now 1st Prime of Cardassia, must deal with the repercussions of his publicly-acknowledged relationship with Bashir." A sequel to "Those We Find Again", published in No Holds Barred #21.) (63)

Issue 25

front cover of issue #25, Anja Gruber

No Holds Barred 25 was published in May 2002 and is 102 pages long. All the stories in it are from Sentinel. The front cover and one interior piece of art are by Anja Gruber. Another interior illo is by C.E. Mills.

  • To Dream of Emerald Fire by Rosamund Clifford (an epic shamanic poem) (1)
  • Watching Jimmy by Valaria ("Jim Ellison was everything to Carolyn - mentor, friend, lover, husband, ex-husband. She knew no one understood Jim better than she—and that there were parts of him she could never share. She never imagined anyone else could unlock the secret of Jim Ellison, until Blair Sandburg enters the picture.") (5)
  • All The Things You Are by Joan Enright (Epilogue to Night Train) (49)
  • Believe by Gillian Middleton ("A group of neo-Nazis have been creating ugly scenes around Rainier University Campus, and they target Blair with their hate.") (52)
  • Shamanic Acquisition by DVS ("A routine traffic incident. Jim and Blair come to the assistance of a heart attack victim - too late. But the psychic experience Blair experiences will have a profound effect on the rest of his life.") (79)

Issue 26

No Holds Barred 26 is an all-slash, all Blake's 7 issue. It was published in May 2002 and contains 225 pages. The art is by Anja Gruber and Whitby27.

cover of issue #26, Whitby27

The zine is online here.

  • Virtual by Manna and Donna (Avon/Original Character) ("A sexually charged game of wits between Avon and Toreth, a Federation psycho manipulator.") (1)
  • Visitation Rights by Amethyst Lane (Blake/Roj; Blake/Roj/Rashel; also, briefly - Blake/Jenna; Roj/Travis non-con) ("Blake's visit to the world where his clone lives brings unexpected consequences.") (22)
  • A Spanking New Toy by Helen Patrick (Avon/Gan) ("Avon finds he unexpectedly shares certain of Gan's tastes.") (35)
  • Backlash by Willa Shakespeare (just about everything you can imagine) ("This story starts with "Avon! Come here, I need you!" and then proceeds in all manner of unexpected directions.") (46)
  • And Besides the Man is Dead by Helen Patrick (Blake/Bellfriar) ("When Bellfriar encounters Blake, he realizes the rebel has no memory of their previous acquaintance.") (54)
  • Bulkheads by Oliver Klosov (Tarrant/Vila) ("Tarrant, recovering from a wound, finds unexpected help on his return to health.") (61)
  • Control by Linda Norman (Avon/Dorian) ("Dorian's sadistic games have long since passed any point of return.") (67)
  • Saracen Exile by Jade Day (Blake/original character) ("Ex-President Blake finds his only consolation in the arms of someone most unexpected.") (78)
  • Before and After by Nova (Vila/Deva) ("When the worst has occurred, what happens to those left behind?") (103)
  • Heartlands by Hafren (Avon/Vila) ("They both survived Gauda Prime, but how much is left intact?") (This story was originally posted to Liberated, an early online fic archive, but removed from online when it was submitted to this zine.) [33]) (112)
  • Roadmaps Like Shattered Lightning by Rosamund Clifford (Avon/Vila) ("Avon flees Gauda Prime, the bodies of his crew left behind. Left alone, going mad, he conceives of a daring plan.") (133)
  • Tar(r)antella and Dancing with Death by Jade Day (Tarrant/Blake) ("Two rebels find unexpected comfort.") (141)
  • Dancing with Death by Jade Day (152)
  • Hieroglyphics by Willa Shakespeare (Blake/Avon/Dayna) PGP ("Dayna turned away from Blake. The only family she had left were prisoners of Blake's people, she had to remember that. She found herself glancing back at him, observing the rise and fall of his broad chest, the way the light picked out his wayward curls. Well, there wasn't anything else to capture her attention, was there? Besides, she ought to be studying Blake. He was the only one who could help her friends. To save Avon and Tarrant and Soolin and even Vila, she'd befriend the devil if she had to.") (170)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 26

This is an adult zine, het and slash both. I have to be honest first: my default setting is A/B, so No Holds Barred, which is any partnership but A/B, has a harder job convincing me than, say, Fire & Ice does. Which means that if I do like a story here, it's liable to be very well written.The stories in this fall into 3 categories: ones I don't like, ones that are OK, and ones I absolutely love. In reverse order then:

Visitation Rights, by Amethyst Lane, I dislike partly because it has a lot of clumsy exposition - there seem to be pages of this, that and the other happened before you came in. And talking of the other, the sex, IMO, reads awfully mechanical and put in for its own sake. I didn't enjoy reading it and I can't believe they enjoyed doing it. It's a story set on the planet where Rashel and the clone went, and when Blake himself turns up the relationships get quite complicated without actually being very interesting.

There are 3 stories by Jade Day, Saracen Exile, Tarrantella and Dancing with Death, and they all leave me fairly cold for the same reasons. One, the voices don't convince (Blake saying "I'm sure glad I'm not"?). Two, there's far too much explaining people's motives and reactions. The dialogue and action should do that. Some of the ideas are potentially interesting - Blake having a thing with Avon's son and agonising about the age difference - but I don't think there's enough writing skill to capitalise on them.

Ones I liked:

Linda Norman's prose is a bit too purple for my taste but if you're ever going to be purple, a Dorian story is probably the place to do it. And at least "Control" made decadent, twisted sex games sound fun.

"Bulkheads" by Oliver Klosov, is a Vila/Tarrant, which means the greatest writer in the world couldn't actually make me believe in it, but the well-caught voices and plausible scenario meant I could accept it without worrying too much about that. (And the last sentence is very thought-provoking.) It's an odd thing that a story can have characters interacting in a way you doubt, and yet still be intrinsically true to them, so that you feel "I'm not sure they'd do that, but it's still them". I felt that also about Helen Patrick's "A Spanking New Toy" - I don't actually credit Avon and Gan with doing what they do, but it's still them, their voices, their characters.

"And Besides, the Man is Dead", Helen Patrick's other story here, is a "Blake's lost memories" one in which he and Bellfriar had had a thing, which Blake, when they next meet, doesn't recall, and Bellfriar feels he shouldn't remind him of. This is a fascinating idea. I think it could have wrung more angst out of Bellfriar's silence, but maybe it didn't want to. I'd also, as an angst fan, lose the last line, without which I think it's more searingly painful, but that's just my taste. There should be more Bellfriar fic.

Willa Shakespeare has two, "Hieroglyphics", a threesome of Blake, Avon and Dayna which I find inherently unlikely but which is written well, and "Backslash", which is hilariously funny but I'd ruin it if I said much about the plot.

That leaves three stars. "Roadmaps Like Shattered Lighting", an A/V by Rosamund Clifford, is probably too angsty for some but it pushes all my emotional buttons, plus I don't *care* how the time-travel works. Orac fixed it. Fine.

Manna and Donna's "Virtual" has the chilling OC psychomanipulator Toreth, plus an unorthodox Avon whom I've always found compelling and oddly believable. Must be the way they tell 'em. Just great writing.

And more in "Before and After" - well it's Nova, so no surprise. People surviving, making the best of things, rendering a sad world a bit better through mutual kindness. Very hushed, downbeat, utterly compelling. Deva/Vila, btw.

In the interest of completeness I should mentiion I'm in here too, with an A/V PGP trilogy called "Heartlands", but obviously I can't say any more about that.

Overall, though it isn't my favourite zine, it does have some of my favourite stories in it.[34]

My view of the zine as a whole is broadly similar to Hafren's [...] So four duds, and the rest are reasonable to excellent. I'd note for Dayna fans that given the dearth of decent Dayna smut, it's probably worth getting the zine for Willa Shakespeare's story even if the other pairings don't light your fire. I have some quibbles with the story, but those are personal taste.

Hafren and I have similar tastes, i.e. A/B and angst. So I particularly liked her story, a bittersweet PGP in which Vila is fighting for Avon's sanity, then his love. [...] Avon loves both [Vila and Blake], but in different ways, and feels guilty because Vila knows he's competing with a ghost. The triangle, and the emotional tangle caused by one of the three having killed another, is beautifully handled.

What little hope there is in the ending is a lot more believable because it *isn't* a happy ending - just one where they come to terms with their situation. [...] (excerpt of a review. read the full review at the link below)[35]

[Before and After]: The only thing I liked about this fic is that Avon got put against the wall for killing Blake. (This review will surely gain me a lot of friends in the fandom.) It was bold and quite cathartic. But of course, here it was because he wanted it - he’s too cool to just be shot, apparently. I can also add half a point for the homophobia thing - I don’t mind exploring this subject matter in slash, and don’t even mind portraying main characters as homophobic, it could be done in an interesting and nuanced manner, but here I felt like it was only somewhat interesting, but mostly felt forced and just made them too unsympathetic. Apart from that, it’s just way too similar to Love Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry, except now Deva is also dragged into the Not As Good As performance. [36]


  1. ^ from moonlightmead on December 5, 2012 at Day five: hello again!, Archived version
  2. ^ from No Holds Barred at The Hatstand, Archived version
  3. ^ comment by byslantedlight at [About not writing and zines, Archived version posted November 2005
  4. ^ August 13, 1993, quoted anonymously from Virgule-L
  5. ^ This story was discussed in (Re)Making Space for Women: A guide to f/f slash in Blake's 7 fanzines, an essay by Nova (2002)
  6. ^ from Fanfic Recommendation Challenge - Feasting With Panthers, Archived version
  7. ^ comment at Crack Van (July 14, 2011)
  8. ^ comments by Susan H on Virgule-L, quoted with permission (November 7, 1997)
  9. ^ from The Hatstand
  10. ^ September 9, 1994, comment by Alexfandra, Virgule-l, quoted with permission
  11. ^ by Emily Veinglory at Gay Sherlock Holmes: No Holds Barred #5, Archived version 18 July 2010.
  12. ^ from Barbara T in Strange Bedfellows #6 (1994)
  13. ^ from Strange Bedfellows (APA) #6
  14. ^ "Raonaid's Zine Recommendations". 2004-02-27. Archived from the original on 2013-01-12.
  15. ^ a b from The Hatstand
  16. ^ comment at Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (January 5, 1995)
  17. ^ from Susan H. on Virgule-L, quoted with permission (June 2, 1994)
  18. ^ review
  19. ^ from a fan in Late for Breakfast #27 (1995)
  20. ^ see comments here
  21. ^ 2010 comments by istia, prosrecs, Archived version
  22. ^ from DIAL #15
  23. ^ In 1995 Alexfandra posted this review to the Virgule-L mailing lit. It is reposted here with permission.
  24. ^ The editor notes that immediately after this review was posted on Virgule-L Alexfandra's comments on Bodie's dialogue in Gloria Lancaster's "You Dancing? You Asking?" were immediately rebutted by a Pros fan from Liverpool. Source: Catalenamara's personal notes, accessed February 17, 2012.
  25. ^ review by istia at No Holds Barred at The Hatstand, Archived version
  26. ^ from Virgule-L, quoted anonymously with permission (November 24, 1996)
  27. ^ a b c Helen Patrick. Blake's 7 - NO HOLDS BARRED 12, Archived version.
  28. ^ from Halliday's Zinedex
  29. ^ from Strange Bedfellows (APA) #15 (Nov 1996)
  30. ^ from Late for Breakfast #30 (1996)
  31. ^ from Rallying Call #19
  32. ^ a b from DIAL #5
  33. ^ Liberated, May 7, 2002
  34. ^ by Hafren at Blake's 7 - No Holds Barred 26, Archived version
  35. ^ Helen Patrick. Blake's 7 - No Holds Barred 26, Archived version
  36. ^ From the tumblr post Reviews of Some Nova’s Fics, Archived version, April 21, 2020