Paper Cut

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Title: Paper Cut
Publisher: A Cut Above the Rest Press
Editor(s): agented by Lexin in the UK and agented by Shoshanna in the US/Canada
Date(s): February 1998
Medium: print zine
Fandom: Highlander crossovers
Language: English
External Links:
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flyer printed in DIAL #5

Paper Cut is a slash multifandom 159-page anthology of stories by Jane Carnall. It contains mostly Highlander crossovers.

Fiction is available here.

Reactions and Reviews

Although it contains R/M and crossovers, it is nonetheless, to my complete surprise, actually wonderful (Except for the ST:TOS crossover - no one could make that work, I refuse to even contemplate wasting eyeball time on it <g>) It may contain the odd POV switch <g> but it's literate, it's well characterised, and most importantly - it's Jane Carnall. What more do you want?[1]
However, just as a note, if you're a Duncan fan -- the characterization may not be to taste. It's not a big deal for most people, but he glowers a lot, and is hell-bent on revenge in Married Dance; plus in running through the fire a lot of the plot hinges on how Duncan has been 'too soft' on Richie, and some of that comes off as hero bashing. Like I said, a nit for most people, but it could be a big deal for others. [2]
S P O I L E R (though only a little one) I didn't read Married Dance, but I did read Running Through the Fire. Even though I like Duncan a lot and the mere thought of M/R creeps me out, I enjoyed that story tremendously. I liked getting a very different perspective on Duncan, one that worked and was interesting even though it isn't necessarily mine; and I was amazed by the way a more meaningful relationship between Methos and Richie was made plausible to me even though I really, really, really didn't want to go there. Okay, maybe the fact that no actual sex happened helped a little. <g> [3]
Overall impression: Way cool Methos characterization stuff, tons of irony,

grammar and spelling fine, layout decent, and printing legible. (Which is more than I can say for my typing.) Weird to see all the Britishisms that pop up; not bad, just not what I'm use to seeing. No illos, if you're into that sort of thing. (Personally, I'm not.) Not a lot of Duncan, if pairing matters. No violence to speak of (But remember, my scale is somewhat slanted.) And kudos to the author for great use of Richie.

All the stories are by one author, whose style I happen to enjoy. Many crossovers, which I also happen to like. Many plot twists, which is cool, without a lot of rampant emotionalism. (For those that like rampant emotionalism, this zine may be a little bit 'dry.') Great use of daily detail. Very realistic, life-like in tone. An 'A'-List zine.

I'm a little weirded out by looking at individual stories, as I don't want to give away the plot twists, since they are at least half the fun. So I won't go over all of the stories in detail, just give a few notes:

1)"Run through Fire" is wild. Duncan can't do anything with Rich, and Methos keeps telling him how he should handle 'the kid.' So, to teach everyone a lesson, Mac leaves for a couple of weeks, putting Richie in Methos' care.

Not 'Adam Pierson's' care, Methos' care. There's a difference, and that difference is a joy to behold. <BG> And I refuse to say more than that, but this was my favorite story in the zine.

2) There's a B7 story, set in the HL universe, which I had to have a B7 fan explain to me. It's really short, and cool once I know what was what; someone else might need a translator as well.

3) The longest story, Marriage Dance is a TNG crossover, again with cool Methos stuff plus some wonderful intimacy bits. (I was feeling warmly affectionate toward all the characters by the time I was done, even though it took me a while to warm up to Bagoas, as I have never read "The Persian Boy.") This is the only story in which Duncan really appears, and he didn't seem like an idiot to me -- which is a plus in my book, because there are so many stories that go that way with him (see rant #27) -- but it might not satisfy the 'true' M/DM Fan [Methos/Duncan Fan], even though the guys have some *beautiful* moments together. I, of course, was too busy being involved in the Methos stuff (and the Picard/Bagoas stuff) to really think much about DM at all.

4) Don't be frightened by the story "3 immortals and a baby." I *know* it's got the b-word in it, and yes, an infant does make an appearance, but the story (stories -- there are 2 built around this event and a series is threatened) uses the baby as a 'characterization plot device', rather than as an object of adoration.

So, would I say 'buy it'? Well, it depends. If you're a Methos -obsessive, the answer is 'Hell, yes!' If you are M/DM oriented, the answer might be 'no.' (It pains me to say that, because I think the stories are good.) And if you are looking for something other than good writing, wonderful characterization, and clever plotting, something with a more intense emotional tone, I can't really make that call. At least give it a

look. [4]


  1. comment by Tritorella at Jane Carnall's Zine, November 2001
  2. comment by Rachael Sabotini at Jane Carnall's Zine, November 2001
  3. comment by Solo at Jane Carnall's Zine, November 2001
  4. In 1998 Rachael Sabotini posted this review to the Virgule mailing list. It is reposted here with permission.