S and H (Starsky and Hutch letterzine)/Issues 06-10

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Sneak Preview: while the bulk of the letterzine contributors strive to maintain a civil tone even amidst their disagreements, the dual topics of zine reviews and m/m continue to be the focal point of intensified debate. Many voices are raised in concern over what they perceive to be a too critical tone to some reviews. The review of the zine Hopscotch is repeatably held up as an example of this trend. On the topic of m/m, a few writers dryly point out that the anti-m/m fans may be jumping the gun in their opposition as no m/m zines have been published - yet. And one fan points out that it wasn't the existence of K/S that fractured Star Trek fandom, it was some fans inability to deal with the topic in a mature and rational manner. We also see the stirring of overseas fandom as Australian fans report on their activities and the first Starsky & Hutch convention in the UK, Dobeycon is mentioned.

S and H 6 (January 1980)

cover of issue #6, Trish
  • contains 48 pages
  • from a fan in the UK: "Here's my story: it all started last September when I was allowed a 24-hour loan of Zebra Three #4. Do you realize what that meant? Do you? Really, really? Truly, truly? A dream come true... On September 23, 1979, I actually held a fat, satisfying Zebra, and read it all day and all night, before having to return it to its loving owner."
  • an Australian fan recounts being very grateful for FINALLY being able to view season four, but the episode order is at the whims of the local television station
  • some Australian fans thank others for the sound tapes they were sent. "Snitch, Target, and Sweet Revenge -- beautiful!"
  • a fan speculates on S/H and concludes that if they did have a sexual relationship, it would probably go bad and the Hutchinson guilt would kick in, and that added to the amount of emotional involvement they already have with each other, adding that element would be tying too much of them together (she cites the scene in "Gillian" when Hutch freezes in the alley)
  • a reader writes:
    Which brings me to the question of S/H. I think most of us toy with the idea of getting them in bed together, but only because we want to enjoy their sexy bodies making mad, passionate love -- without having to share them with some other broad. I was pleased that most of the letters had the attitude of 'why bother to debate it, just keep on writing good fiction.' It certainly makes more sense to me than pseudo-intellectual dissertations on drinking from the same cup or tousling each other's hair.
  • a reader says that in the introduction to "the novelization of the ST movie, 'Captain Kirk' states quite clearly and unambiguously that he and Spock are not and have never been lovers. This has got to be a direct reaction to the fanfic on the subject."
  • a mention of Sherlock Holmes and m/m: "Sorry to say, but there are even Holmes/Watson stories about, both professionals and amateur, tho' the Baker Street Irregulars try to control it."
  • on the dawn of vidding, a fan writes of fanmixes: "Alot of people seem to associate certain songs with the men, their relationships, episodes, zine stories. I have always thought of 'Thank You for Being My Friend' as foremost. I know a lot of others that fit certain times in their lives, including the one mentioned in Australia, 'Sometimes When We Touch'. Can we make a list of songs that seem to fit the S&H world?"
inside art from issue #6, Ruth Kurz
  • a fan requests that "if the S/H relationship discussions must continue, could we use homosexual, gay, or non-straight? I dislike the terms, queer, queen and fag. It is insulting to a lifestyle that is merely different than ours."
  • a new subscriber receives her first issue and comments:
    I had hoped that I wouldn't have to endure the rehashing of the K/S premise, translated to S/H. If I, a woman, can openly, publicly, touch, hug --even kiss-- a long-time, very dear friend -- also a woman -- without being thought of as 'funny,' then why can't two men? But perhaps my opinion is colored by the very simple fact that this woman sees Starsky and Hutch -- especially Starsky --not as heroes and respectable do-gooders, but as (let's be honest about this, ladies) sex objects. No other actor can me me as horny.
  • reader hopes that fanon [not her word] wouldn't stifle creativity in SH fiction. "I hope the writers of these interesting stories don't all agree to use the same bunch of background details... that happened in Star Trek fiction, to my sorrow... one or two people created from the framework in the series vivid, detailed, very good universes and background, and pretty soon any differing ideas were being objected to... for me that ruined a lot of the fun."
  • fans tell horror stories of the editing and chopping of the episodes as they are being shown in their region: entire scenes are cut without rhyme or reason and there is no continuity
  • keeping in mind there are no m/m zines published yet: a reader makes reference to two she has heard are in the works. "As for the matter of S&H being homosexual, everyone has their own opinion, but for me they are not. That's it. I'll be reading BOP/TWCBH though, 'cause I always keep an open mind, but it'll be a bit hard to accept."
inside art from issue #6, Cheryl Newsome
  • another reader comments: "Something I find mildly amusing about the whole S/H discussion is that not one single story depicting Starsky and Hutch as lovers has yet been published. The situation will, of course, change over time, as all things do; when it does, and we all have specifics to discuss, the you-know-what will really hit the fan (pun intended)."
  • a reader writes about being displeased by fans' desire to have Starsky and Hutch be the most important people in each other's lives (not their possible future wives): "What kind of commitment do you women want from your men? Not much it seems. If your idea of a perfect marriage is to be a bedmate, baby-maker and homemaker, terrific. If you really want to be bare-assed, pregnant, and in the kitchen, fine. Because that's all either of those two men will require from you. Everything else he really needs he can from his partner."
  • fans are still discussing Solitaire, a story in Zebra Three #4 that deals with the episode "The Plague" and Hutch's thoughts on dying. One comment: "Please don't tell me 'Solitaire' is possible if Starsky is married. I refuse to believe he'd tie himself to an idiot [wife], and I refuse to believe his relationship with Hutch would be exactly the same [if he were married]. Something's got to give, folks. One or the other."
  • a fan is pleased with the tone of the letterzine, commenting on the controlled, civil exchange of ideas. '"We fans are intelligent enough to maintain the quality and thoughtfulness of hte letters written so far, and don't descend into a morass of 'them vs us,' I believe we will have a right to feel we can disagree without destroying our new and fragile fandom. True, the show has had fans for many years but fandom with its zines and letterzines if fairly new."
  • a subscriber rails in a lengthy, eloquent letter against the belief that fans should write "safe" stories. "Where in the name of heaven is there something that states we must only write what is either safe or familiar? To explore heretofore unknown situation and make them believable is the mark of a fine writer, yet should anyone discourage an up and coming writer simply because we don't agree with her story content?"
  • a fan says she can't afford a video tape recorder, but "I do have a cassette recorder and a reel-to-reel recorder and my brother has an 8-track recorder, so we're pretty well-covered in the sound recording department."
  • a fan writes: "Do they or don't they? I think I'm in the 'even if they did it wouldn't bother me one way or the other' group. I'd be willing to read stories on both sides as long as they were well-written."
inside art from issue #6, Ruth Kurz
  • a subscriber is confused by a number of things, only one of which is this: "I still can't figure out why or how all the interest in homo men got started in ST and S&H by 'women'. Do 'men' write stories about gay women as much?
  • this issue contains a VERY long letter by a writer and well-known, long-time fan named [J C] which thoughtfully psychoanalyzes both characters
  • a fan complains about the letterzine content: "How come we're not getting any comment on the zines around? Is fandom only limited to the show itself!?"
  • a status update on two zines, One Shot and the mysterious and oft-asked for Starsky and Hutch Concordance: "Early 1980, mimeo with some off-set or Xerox art possible. SASE to me. And as far as I know, [name redacted] is nearly finished with the Concordance."
  • a reader who went on to write S/H, says:
    I received a copy of a rough draft of a S/H novel from a friend, who wanted my opinion. I read it, and said, this is wrong. If it is to be done, it won't happen like this. So, I proceeded to write a love scene for said novel...I had so much fun... by totally involving my mind in an idea as wild as S/H, I was able to put other matters into perspective... and I learned a couple of things about Starsky and Hutch, the way you always do when you start moving characters around on paper. A physical relationship will not work for them. It will destroy Hutch. He simply can not handle it, and I can't stand the though of Hutch destroyed by his love for Starsky. That doesn't mean I have closed my mind to the relationship. I would like to see some other conclusions... to see someone else try. Let me know what happens and why. Write stories, not letters!
  • a subscriber says it wasn't the question of K/S that fractured ST fandom, it was certain fans' inability to deal with the topic in a mature and rational manner:
    So far, such childishness is pretty nearly non-existent in our little group. If the responses I've gotten for the Bird of Paradise ads are a fair indication, attitudes toward S/H range between rampant enthusiasm and reasoned willingness to give a different idea a chance. I think we have a right to be pleased with ourselves.
  • an update on Bird of Paradise: "The novel is presently in rewrite. With luck, we may get it into print in late spring or early summer of next year." [1]
  • the editor says folks are getting too verbose and could folks limit their letters to two or less typewritten pages, that the great do-they-or-don't-they debate seems to be getting boring to most so "maybe we can get on to something else... since only seven of the people who sent back the questionnaires said 'they do,' most of you out there are just talking (and agreeing) with each other."
  • a review of Crossfire, see that page
  • a review of Syndizine #1, see that page
  • a review of Dirtball Dispatch, see that page
  • a review of Blond Blintz Bulletin, see that page
  • three reviews of Hopscotch, see that page
  • RESULTS of a questionnaire (60 were sent out, there were 39 replies):
    • Starsky or Hutch fan? (Starsky [15], Hutch [5], both [15])
    • Is the show in syndication where you live? (yes [13], no [23])
    • Do you own a VTR? (15 [yes, 5 with VHS, 4 with Beta, 1 with V-Cord, 1 with Quasar, 10 with Audio Cassettes)
    • How old are you? (10-20 [3], 20-30 [21], 30-40 [12], 40-50 [3])
    • "Do they" or "Don't they"? (7 say they "do", 26 say they "don't), one person said, "They did, but they don't anymore, but they could."

S and H 7 (February 1980)

cover of issue #7
  • contains 44 pages
  • many fans complain about having to keep their letters at two pages or less as requested by the editors
  • one fan explains how “Sweet Revenge” is her favorite episode:
    What did I like about it? All of it, but certain scenes put me away. Hutch’s voice faltering as he tells Huggy how badly Starsky is hurt; the look on his face when he races around the Torino to see Starsky lying there, blood oozing out; the quiet, non-vocal scene where Hutch sits by Starsky’s bedside, his eyes searching toward heaven, his hand itching to reach out and hold his partner’s; sobbing in the bathroom… the empty space where a ping pong ball bounced next to the phone; the enourmous relief of Hutch when Starsky first opens his eyes. And the tag. That bed with Starsky was my camera’s favorite snapshot. The toast will forever be in my mind.
  • one fan explains how “Sweet Revenge” was her least favorite episode:
    I’m surprised, amazed, flabbergasted that ‘Sweet Revenge’ was the #1 best episode. Good Heavens, why? Please explain… I listed it on my #1 worst list… They had no spirit, no feeling for each other any more. Hutch looks serious all the way through, but not sad, not broke up, no feeling the part any more. Starsky gets shot and falls, does Hutch run to him? No. He just stands there! Switch to the operating room scene, he watches in silence, later walks in, doesn’t touch Starsk, just walks around, no grief, no acting… it was boring. Later when Hutch learns Starsk is alive, he doesn’t run to Starsk, he dances the nurse around!.. That last show was really depressing… If that had just seen that as my first show ever, I would have never become a fan.
inside art from issue #7 by DeAnn Lloyd
inside art from issue #7 by Cheryl Newsome
  • a fan says: "When a show lives, the characters are real and loved, but when it dies, it’s just another show. Thank goodness the reruns were on after that [the last show] or I might have quite fandom. Now reruns are off and I have no video. (Gosh, those things cost!) I was never a TV media fan. Our family never had a TV until last year, and I never missed it except for Star Trek. Would you believe I became a ST fan via reading all the Blish books?"
  • a fan was out of town and missed the Dinah Shore show (Dinah and Friends) and wants to know what were David Soul’s "comments on the gay issue."
  • a fan begs for the next Zebracon not to be in Los Angeles but somewhere in the Midwest. One reason: "If Spelling-Goldberg wouldn’t let Paulie put the guys’ pictures on T-shirts for a con in Chicago, what other kind of restrictions would be run up against if we held a con right there in their own backyard, where they could even sort of ‘drop by’ to check on things?"
  • a note on the proposed/perhaps partially written zine: "Assignment: Dave Starsky": “It is, or rather will be, available as part of a Br. zine. A SASE and 2 International Reply Coupons will get you the information according to a letter I got from Shirley Ann Cowden."
  • fans seemed to dislike the new show B.A.D. CATS. "It would seem humanly impossible to clone a show and totally leave out the charm. We watched the pilot – up until President Carter cut in with speech on Iran or whatever that night’s crisis was…"
  • a fan disagrees with another’s view that there’s a "distinction between ‘real’ writing and merely indulging fantasies:
    Let’s get serious, folks. All fan fiction is basically fantasy. Practically by definition. And there’s nothing wrong with it… The basic problem is two-fold. Most people can’t write, at least not as good as Marian herself or [name redacted] And a lot of fantasies don’t travel well. Ratting inside a head is one thing – out on paper where someone else is expected to pay $ to read them is something else. But even the very best S & H fan fiction seems to be the same thing over and over. How many times have we all seen the ‘A’ is kidnapped and ‘B’ hunts for him will crazy ‘C’ vows vengeance and there’s a big almost-dying scene in the hospital, but goodness and virtue prevail again and they off into the sunset in the Torino story?
  • a fan says "even ‘Wilderness’ (in Zebra Three) is never going to be up for a National Book Award. Personally, I’d rather read a juicy Mary Sue story than one whose plot revolves around forty new ways to slice up a cop."
  • a fan states she doesn’t think of Starsky as little, though shorter than Hutch. Nor, despite that line in the episode ‘Losing Streak,’ as a teddy bear.
inside art from issue #7 by Beth Browne
inside art from issue #7 by Signe Landon
  • a fan comments on the widely-diverging review of the zine Hopscotch: "proving the maxim about what makes a horserace and the one about the eye of the beholder reader, the premise raises an eyebrow. Can Starsky return to full active duty after the events of ‘Sweet Revenge’? In their universe, highly questionable."
  • a fan comments on some recent zine reviews in the letterzine:
    I’m glad to see people writing reviews, as it is an important part of literature. It is always easier to criticize something that to write it, and reviews are no exception… [name redacted] may be correct in her criticism of BBB and DD, but I think she was light on mentioning the good points. There are many in both zines, starting off with excellent reproduction at a reasonable rate… most of the stories are delightfully rereadable… I don’t find fault with the fact that three of the stories in ‘Blond Blintz’ have essentially the same theme. It is interesting to see three different authors handle a similar idea."
    She goes on to take issue with another fan’s review of Hopscotch:
    I was startled by [name redacted] breach of the cardinal rule never to reveal the entire plot in a review. I have to remind myself that not only our writers, but our reviewers are amateurs, and we must forgive their ignorance of the basic rules of professionalism in their eagerness to express themselves.
  • fan tells other fans to have some understanding about the poor reproduction quality in Crossfire. "She [the editor] was every bit upset and disappointed with the bleed-through as any of her readers were! After all, it was her time and money that was spent!... So please lay off [her] case."
  • while there is almost no discussion of m/m in this issue, a fan says, "On that unmentionable debate, my opinion is that: ‘they don’t, they never have, and most probably never will – but we’ll see."
  • fans talk fairly extensively about what song lyrics remind them of the show and the guys
  • a fan complains about another’s use of the word “feminist”: "The word isn’t some sort of synonym for ‘emasculating bitch’, and I’m offended when it’s used as an epithet."
  • about zine reviews:
    suspect we don’t see much discussion of zines/stories because we are all sort of touchy about poking at one another’s naked psyches. The interpretations of less-then-perfect S&H can range from politely noncommittal to downright painful, and there’s very little that’s perfect, since most of us are not. Don’t know about anyone else, but if I can’t say something good about a zine, I keep my opinions reserved to personal letters and conversations. Which, I think, is actually a disservice, because I believe in critical reviews… but don’t have the nerve to simply say something’s awful.
inside art from issue #7 by Betty de Gabriele
inside art from issue #7 by Signe Landon
  • a fan wants to ask fiction writers how they feel: "Would you prefer a detailed review, a general thumbs up/down, or a LoC in the privacy of your own home?”
  • the editor of Blond Blintz Bulletin and Dirtball Dispatch says: "Though I would’ve liked to have heard something a little more positive about [them], I want to thank [name redacted] for at least writing something about them. For all we know no one has ever gotten their copies! Though we have personally received a few letters saying you liked the zines, we don’t know exactly what you liked."
  • about the gay thing: "It’s getting boring… I think it is more important to discuss whether David is Jewish, Hutch is Episcopalian. That is what it is all about."
  • more about reviews:
    live to read reviews beause they are a discussuion…and I like to see my opinions either validated or disputed. I don’t read them… to decide whether or not something is ‘good’ or ‘well-done’ or whatever. They are opinions, nothing more. they can be helpful, or very hurtful. We are all amateurs here, and we all know the art form we practice. Zines and fan stories are not going to change, and I don’t think we want them to, really. They are an expression of our love, interest, addiction and mania… We are a family. A very small and intimate family. Do we want to risk alienating members of our own family, and hurt each other, for the sake of something that ‘should’ be done? Are they more help than hinderance? Serve a valid purpose?
  • about S&H and Trek fandom:
    I’ve been personally concerned and upset by the number of fan stories that are NOT being shared in the S&Hdom. I’ve seen, read and heard of a number of stories that will never be shared with the general readership. And they won’t be shared because because the authors are afraid they aren’t good enough, not up to some mythical standards. I think a lot of this stems from long-standing Trek fandom, which most of us were or are a part of, in which the standards are very high, now. But it didn’t start out that way. Trek fiction started out with stories written out of love, being shared with friends and intimates who were interested… then the reviews started, and the quality increased. To the point now, most of the Trek zines coming out are now almost pro quality… and all the authors who started out with really amateur stuff have gotten better and better. BUT in S&H fandom, we are faced with a few bit names, already pro authors who put out top of the line, story wise, and a few brand new neos who are inspired to write, but [are] deathly afraid to compete. And very little in the middle. And we are losing out… The opinion expressed to me, and to others, is that it is good we have Trek fandom behind us, so that we can maintain very high standards, and don’t have to repeat al the mistakes and immaturity of the early Trekkies, and can go straight to the high standards everyone thinks we should strive for. Personally, I want the poorly-written stuff as well as the pro. I want it all, because we are just not a big enough group to produce the volume of stuff that Trek does – to produce enough to keep me, at least, happy.
  • a fan says: "Help! I would like to purchase a cassette-sound tape of the S&H pilot (which I have never seen). Name your price!"
  • the editors thank folks who sent in some extra stamps
  • submissions are asked for another issue of Dirtball Dispatch and Blond Blintz Bulletin (a spooky, Halloween theme) to be printed in time for Zebra Con II (these zines never materialized)
  • forthcoming zines: Me and Thee #2, One Shot, The Pits #2, L.A. Vespers, Bird of Paradise, Then We Can Be Heroes, Zebra Three #5, and Forever Autumn (“an adult S/H novel, projected pub date of April 1980, about 100 pages with illios and poetry, age statement required”)

S and H 8 (March 1980)

cover of issue #8 by Signe Landon
  • contains 44 pages
  • there are 80 subscribers
  • discussion on why does “The Golden Boy” (Hutch) play those “prove you love me games” with “The Street Kid” (Starsky)?
  • a fan writes about reviews:
    I’m in favor of them. Easy for me to say because I’ve never [had] a review of my work. I guess I hope they will all be good, common sense tells me they won’t be. I’ll admit I wince sometimes when I read a review of someone else’s work that is particularly harsh, and wonder how I would react to one in which the reviewer gets ‘cute’ at my expense… None of us intentionally write bad stories… I believe that new writers should be encouraged. If a review is so harsh that it crushes a budding talent, it hasn’t helped anyone.
  • a fan likes the Trek/SH cross-pollination: "I’m thrilled to see so many familiar Star Trek names among the S&H fandom rank and file, and thrilled because experience can bring strength to a new fandom. Many have mentioned their experiences in Trek fandom and have learned the ‘ethics’ of participation through these experiences. We’re off to a nice start!"
  • a fan wonders: "Does a S&H devotion tend to drain a fan of emotional strength and drive or does it energize?"
  • the universally reviled new show, “B.A.D. Cats” comes up again:
    The truly horrible thing isn’t even that it’s how people who never watched S&H visualize S&H it. It’s that it’s how the people who made S&H visualize S&H. They [Spelling and company] never knew what they had, let alone how they ever got it, and they never ceased trying to whip Soul and Glaser into line, and make them shoot the show as fast and carelessly as any other Spelling show.
  • a fan applies some Jungian philosophy to I Spy, Starsky and Hutch and homoeroticism. Another fan applies “TA” (Transactional Analysis) to the characters.
  • wants to know what "must have happened between the trim, tan, yellow-blond, charming guy we left in ‘Deckwatch’ and the character that returned to us in ‘Discomania.’ Also, what would ever have possessed him to grow the mustache? Several authors have dealt/are dealing with the when’s and why’s of his shaving it off, but I haven’t seen any reasons why he ever gave the poor thing a home in the first place."
  • more about reviews:
    Since there are very few comments concerning the zines/stories in the letters, I think reviews are necessary. We seem to be a considerate and mature ‘small and intimate family’ (compare the S/H debate in these pages to the K/S debate in Interstat) and I hope criticism is offered with good intentions – to help the authors improve. As long as comments are directed to literary rather than personal flaws (some Trek reviews specialize in the exact opposite), I think they do, indeed, ‘serve a valid purpose’ and can be every bit as much ‘an expression of our love, interest, addiction and mania’ as the fiction itself.
  • the editor of L.A. Vespers says:
    Please keep the reviews as part of your format… And what is this sacred thing about amateurism? If I write a piece of drivel and don’t have the sense enough to know it, I certainly hope someone will tell me. Hopefully, that someone will be an editor BEFORE the story gets into print, but if not, then I don’t expect the readers to keep quiet and let me continue to make the same mistakes… If one wished to be read, then one must be willing to accept the reaction of the readers to that writing…It doesn’t matter if the author is a pro or a rank amateur, it’s the way of the world. If the only thing an author hears is uncritical praise… how in the world is she to grow as a writer? And who needs growth more than an amateur?
  • another fan votes for continuing zine reviews in the letterzine:
    They are important to me because they help me select which zines to by. While there aren’t a whole lot of S&H zines now, there may be soon, and I don’t buy zines unless I get some idea what they’re like. The ST zine reviews in Scuttlebutt was in immense help in selecting among the dozens of ST zine styles. I come from a very frugal family… My ST fandom changed that, and I found myself putting out $4 to $8 for a zine. Yikes!
  • a fan suggest this alternative regarding zine reviews: "So what about printing one critical to one praise for each zine review. That should give a balance. You mention the majority are critical? That surprises me as most reviews I read are usually positive. I only write reviews of zines I like as I don’t want to cut down anyone when they’ve gone through all that work for no money!"
inside art for issue #8 by Liz Wright
  • a fan, and zine editor, says about reviews and criticism:
    A lot depends on the personality of the reviewee. One might think anybody who writes and lets other people read the results, whether on an amateur basis or pro, ought to have a thick hide. But it doesn’t necessarily work that way… a few of us may have fragile egos, while still owning a fair amount of potential talent. Can they take the rough criticism if it comes? And if they can’t, will we be crushing an otherwise promising career? It’s not an easy debate. The pain from being trampled by a rapier-witted reviewer can be severe. You can play the ‘what do they know? I’m okay’ and survive anyway. Or you can flinch and let as much roll off your back and try to plod on. Maybe the best course for reviewers lies in a middle ground between honesty (for the benefit of the would-be readers) and kindness (for someone who’s labored long and lovingly and whose writing may not coincide with your wavelengths…).
  • more on reviews:
    On the subject: I’m all for them. I like hearing what other people have to say about things I’ve read, and a well-balanced reviews can be a boon to the author – meaning a review with constructive criticism. I would hope that any writer thick-skinned enough to even publish a story in the first place ought to be able to take some well-meant criticism and that vicious or pointless criticism shouldn’t be published!. You, [the editor], should be able to exercise you editorial prerogative there – if a review comes in that seems more hurtful than helpful, just don’t publish it.
  • a zine editor says:
    Should the reviews be cut? As a fellow editor, I say no. As a publisher, I say no. As a thin-skinned writer, I say no… however a number of the people I correspond with, and I, were rather upset with [name redacted]’s review of Teri White’s Hopscotch in issue #6. I can see that you were trying to be fair by printing opposing views on the subject, but I do not believe this was what I could call an objective review. Thank goodness we had the opportunity to read another opinion, or perhaps we would have missed out on a good story… Personally, I haven’t been thrilled with the reviews of my own zine Crossfire. Still, I’m not sorry I wrote it, or published it. It’s also not that important that a number of people don’t like it. It was something that I, as a writer, as a person, had to write. Sure, I was disappointed that the reviews weren’t raves, but I’m also disappointed that I’m not a millionaire, too.
  • a fan encourages others to get a hold of Naomi’s pass around Christmas-themed story
  • an offer from one fan for others about David Soul on the Christmas TV special: "I can provide a recording (a thirty-minute cassette. And I took four TV photos. If you’d like to see them, get a hold of me."
  • a writer comments about reviews and the amount of pass around fiction, asking folks to “toughen up”: "Seriously, my own appetite for S&H fanfic is insatiable, and it drives me nuts to know there are stories floating around out there that I may never see. Almost as frustrating: I’ve read a few of those hidden stories, some as good as many of the published stories, and they may never be shared with fandom. Sinful!"
  • fandom as a life-changer? "Are you kidding? My telephone bill has gone out of sight, I’m addicted to postage stamp glue, and my house always looks ‘well lived in’ because there’s always another letter to answer before I can get to the dishes!"
inside art for issue #8 by Liz Tucker
inside art for issue #8, portrait of Vanessa by Signe Landon
  • more on the supposed-thick skin of writers: "The reviews so far have seemed fair enough – I doubt if any delicate psyches have been permanently damaged. And after all, it would seen that if people could get up enough nerve to have a story printed they should survive a little criticism. And, speaking from personal experience, I can say that even a negative comment is better than none at all."
  • about the gift economy and profit: "My closest friend in Trek fandom has been selling pro to women’s magazines for a couple years. So far, she’s bought a car, a new Selectric, and put her son through private school with the money she’d been paid for stories that she has to deliberately keep to a lower level of competence than her fan work. She doesn’t necessarily enjoy it, but she simply cannot afford to write for free anymore."
  • Defending the harsh review, and reviewer, of Hopscotch in issue #6: "Anyone who is capable of the quality fiction and poetry that [name redacted] has produced is immune to charges of unprofessional conduct. If her reviews are too crudite (sic?) for some tastes, the problem isn’t hers."
  • a fan comments about the private fiction she has. "I agree we should share our closet fic. I know I have had a few myself and with the persuasion of friends, I dragged them out and rewrote!"
  • a fan catalogs Hutch’s shirts: "there’s the repulsive bowling shirt, the disgusting Don Ho shirt, the neat guitar shirt, the gorgeous black sweater…"
  • fans are bemoaning the absence of S&H in syndication in Franklin, MA; a fan says the local station "has a program called ‘Ask the Manager’ where you can write in and ask the manager of the station will answer your letter on the air… so far he hasn’t answered my letter. All he reads are letters from people demanding that he show reruns of ‘The Three Stooges’ which gives you some idea of the intellectual level of the people in this area… If it weren’t for this letterzine and occasional fanzines, I’d go into total withdrawal."
  • a fan brings up Star Wars:
    SW in a way is a branch of ST the way SH is. By that, I mean that many of the same people are involved, in fanzines, in cons, etc. Both groups have some very experienced fan writers from the ranks of ST, as well as artists and editors. Yet I see a lot more SW stuff being done. Perhaps this is just due to sheer numbers of people involved in the fandom. But I seem to get a lot of SW material by neos. Some stuff is not very good. Some stuff makes me want to grab a blue pencil and start editing. But the people are out there exposing their work to other fans.
  • an editor says that:
    in both fanzines and in this letterzine, I’ve seen some pretty destructive letters… Partners will print only constructive critiques... People are trying to develop a talent. Speaking from experience, we all walk on a shaky board. If people cut it off in front of us, we can’t go anywhere… any artist, or writer, no matter how slow from the start, is expressing something they feel inside... What you say is very important, but how you say it makes the difference between giving up or going on. I hope this opens a few eyes – or hearts.
inside art for issue #8 by Signe Landon
  • more on reviews: "This praise/criticism thing, it’s not quite a life and death matter. this is a fannish publication, and a bad review herein will not destroy a writer’s career."
  • about all the Drawer Fic out there:
    I’ve seen some unpublished stuff that was truly, truly awful, and really didn’t warrant the work of publication.But fergawds sake, folks, haven’t you ever heard of pseudonyms? You may be afraid to have something published under your own name, for whatever reason, but Jane Doe wouldn’t be embarrassed. I’ve done it myself, in S&H and in Trek. Most editors are scrupulously discreet about keeping such confidences. Of if you can’t find an editor that wants your story, publish it yourself. That was how Pegasus got started – Judi and I were afraid to send our stuff to anyone.
  • many more horror stories of episodes cut and messed up in syndication
  • the writer of the first m/m Starsky & Hutch zine, Forever Autumn, not yet released says:
    The S/H premise is reality to me. I’m not out to shock (there’s not explicit material in the zine) just to present the relationship as I, and my partner, see it. The relationship between Starsky and Hutch is presented as a kind of reluctant falling-in-love brought on by a crisis in their lives which in turn was precipitated by Kira… I have always thought they were one step away from the bedroom, if I can be so crude, and this book takes the leap.
  • more on reviews: "Few of us do real reviews, or intelligent reviews. Literary criticism is an art form, like the essay, the poem. When we fall short, we hurt deeply, and we don’t do much for the reader or the writer…. I’d rather not us hurt each other. But I DO think that new happenings and development of fanfic is vital to S&H. If we concentrate on the show only, we’re ignoring our own most noble response – imitation!"
  • a fan comments that reviews don’t really affect what she buys, because "I want to read everything I can lay my hands on. There’s just so little of it out there!” Another fan comments that a bad review has never stopped her from buying a zine, that her hunger for fic is too great. “If it’s S&H and it’s printed, I want it."
  • a prospective writer says: "By all means, tell what you really think of something that I’ve written, but please be gentle. And if you can’t be – if you’re going to say something that is going to make curl up in a closet and suck my thumb, well, I’m not that ‘tough’ myself, not yet, and although I’d ‘like’ to hear those comments, please put them in a personal letter so I can cringe in private."
inside art for issue #8 by Betty de Gabriele
  • the writer of the much-discussed negative review of Hopscotch in issue #6 responds: "Somebody fetch a priest… I was myself a little startled that she [name redacted] should venture into this area, since her own review of Promises demonstrates that the poor lady can’t distinguish between a review and a love letter, or between professional-level work… and a double-dip serving of saccharine sludge…" [regarding reviews]: "Where the rights of an author and a prospective reader conflict, the reader’s must take precedence." [name redacted] goes on to reiterate more reasons why she didn’t like the story -- Starsky wouldn’t have bailed out the boat with a coffee can, he would have used the pump… Hutch would have been raped in jail (seeing how he’s so pretty) and the guards would have had the first helping… picking at the name of a fictitious drug: "Blue Lady… as far as names go there couldn’t be many worse. Snow Queen perhaps. Or maybe White Hare." She proceeds on to other matters in much the same scatching vein.
  • art by Connie Faddis (cover), Trish, Jane Davis, Liz Wright, Betty de Gabriele, Kendra Hunter, Cheryl Newsome, Linda Walter, Beth Browne, Signe Landon, Liz Tucker, Ruth Kurz
  • zine review for L.A. Vespers “the second zine published west of the Rockies” (the stories are shorter, there are almost no get'ems, much poetry, doesn’t have much artwork.). The same review was published in Datazine #7 and Universal Translator #3. See the L.A. Vespers page for the review.
  • an artist begs for some photos of Papa Theodore
  • forthcoming zines are Casa Cabrillo due August 1980, Forever Autumn, Me and Thee #2, The Pits #2, Sins of the Father, One Shot, The Striped Tomato, Then We Can Be Heroes, Bird of Paradise
inside art for issue #8 by Trish
  • a editor winds it up by saying:
    There is a dark cloud on the horizon threatening to rain on this parade in the form of name-calling and in-fighting. This kind of bickering drove a wedge in Trek fandom, and folks, I don’t want to see that happen in S&H fandom. A couple of years ago, when I was just becoming active in fandom, the pages of Interstat were covered in trite by people who’s work I’d read and admired but behaving like a bunch of spoiled brats. I hated it – and I quite reading ‘Interstat.’ I don’t even know if it’s still being published, and the sad part is, I don’t care. I don’t want to see that happen to S&H. I love the letters and the discussion of episodes and meanings of different aspects… But I don’t want bickering and fighting. I want intelligent conversation.

S and H 9 (April 1980)

cover of issue #9, Connie Faddis
  • contains 48 pages
  • the editor says there are 100 subscriptions
  • the recipient of the previous issues’ harsh review writes:
    I’m happy about the love and caring that comes across on the pages with very few inconsequential exceptions… I must object to asking [the editor] to avoid publishing the more hurtful than helpful ones because it smacks of censorship and the need to protect the public. I believe she should print them anyway. The readers are intelligent enough separate the deliberately hurtful from the honestly helpful ones and they make the reviewer look more foolish than the reviewed.
  • a self-proclaimed closet writer is working on a novel in which Huggy Bear is featured that she hopes will be ready for ZebraCon. She begs for photos of the actor.
  • a reader rebukes another’s review: "The worth of a piece of writing is judged, ultimately, on style, plot and characterization – not the name of a freighter. I think you went a little overboard on Hopscotch."
  • a zine editor writes:
    I do not love having to fork out an envelope and stamp to send flyers to people who didn’t bother to send an SASE… It’s good manners to send a SASE… I don’t mind sending out one flyer at my expense but 20 of them adds up to $3, not including the cost of the envelopes. Cheap, am I? Count on it. So is every other editor. Speaking of which, since I was too cheap to have the zine collated and stapled… there is no place to walk in the house that isn’t piled with stacks of paper.
interior art from issue #9 by Ruth Kurz
interior art from issue #9 by Liz Tucker
  • a fan wants the zine reviews stopped:
    Not only can they be soul destroying to the writers who have shed blood, sweat, and tears to produce them but they can also prevent new writers from publishing their work for fear of what others might say. Therefore, we’d be biting off our noses to spite our faces if zine reviews continue to be published… I can honestly say that on my list for things for and against bringing out The Striped Tomato, on top of my list was criticism. I have to admit that if anyone tore my beloved story to pieces, I’d sit down, cry, and vow never to print another one of my stories.
  • a fan dislikes the episode ‘Sweet Revenge’ for a number of reasons, one of which is "I think by the fourth season, we were no longer watching Starsky and Hutch, but Glaser and Soul merely saying the words."
  • a fan pleads for the letterzine not to be turned in to "another Interstat.” The name calling and back-biting in Trek fandom is one of the reasons I’m not actively involved any longer… some of the reviews [in this letterzine] are more ‘attacking’ the author than criticizing the story."
  • a fan wonders:
    ... whether devotion to fictional characters and stories uses up emotional drive and energy… it seems that while it could be used on other creative activities with monetary, recompense, one gains much more from fan activities... [also] what caused you to be attracted to a show in the first place… when you graduate away from it, you will have increased self-confidence to deal with the real world’s problems. Participation in fandom for a fiction character is a temporary sheltering of new ideals. You can hardly lose by supporting a fictional character.
  • a fan is excited hearing all the songs that remind other fans of the show and imagines a fanmix: "How about sending a two hour music tape around and get most of them? Then, someone with a good tape recorder can make tapes for others?"
  • fan wants to know why there are so few "woman relationship stories… Would we as a woman’s fan group watch them or are we only geared to watching men? The only woman’s relationship show seems to be "Laverne and Shirley." I don’t watch it because it is to me, too silly."
  • a British fan mentions Dobey Con: "as far as we know, the nearest thing to an officially organized S&H con to be held in Britain." It was to be held “at Easter.
  • one of the authors of Forever Autumn writes that she is "… pleased at the way the S/H question is being discussed. There seems to be, on the whole, a mature, balanced attitude and discussion, instead of the side-taking and mud-slinging, a la K/S in Trek fandom. I hope it stays that way…"
  • a fan says she doesn’t have a big opinion about whether "they do or they don’t," but says, "publish all the S/H that you want… There will be at least one reader who will buy all that you can put out, as long as I have the money."
  • After reading issue #8, a fan is "feeling vaguely uneasy. Mainly because I’m afraid we are on the brink of dirty-fighting, name-calling, and back-stabbing. We’ve only been organized for two or three years now; I don’t think we can withstand this. I thought we had learned something from the rift in ST fandom. Maybe I was wrong."
  • a fan says: "as a fledgling writer, I need all the help I can get… but I also need encouragement. Don’t say my work stinks, or that I’m hung up on get’ems or happy endings. Tell me how to make my chosen type of story better."
interior art from issue #9 by Beth Browne
interior art from issue #9 by Trish
  • more on the recent conflict:
    Bickering and adamant stances won’t make converts among the squabble participants or the onlookers. Those of us who don’t get off on hostility… are chased away. We’ve got better things to do than watch stubborn personalities stomping each other… Shutting off no-win arguments isn’t cowardice. It’s common courtesy. Back off, and let other people have a right to their opinions… Agree to disagree.,, (When feelings get hurt and wheels are spinning, it’s pointless to keep hammering away – unless you get off on sadism.) It works fine. In your heart, you can cling just as tenaciously to what you believe to be the one, real true truth.
  • there is a lengthy, thoughtful letter by a long-time SF writer and editor (fan and pro) on differing writing and editing styles, how "insisting that everybody should be tough and like tooth-and-nail debate is not the solution."
  • a fan comments on the show’s women:
    St. Terry as a wife? I could never take her too seriously. Her obvious function was to die sweetly and lingeringly. .. That’s what I always liked about Kira – in some ways she’s a Class A Bitch, but at leas she didn’t have to worry about keeping her halo polished.” And “Everyone seems to think that a wife of either of our heroes would have to be expected to share her husband’s love with the other one. What if the roles were reversed? What if Starsky, say, were married to a woman with an extremely close attachment to a sister, cousin… Would it seem logical for him to think it was fine? Would we expect him to ‘love’ this other woman, too?
interior art from issue #9 by Cheryl Newsome
  • another reader takes the harsh review of Hopscotch by [name redacted] to task for being nit-picky about the wrong things, about it being unnecessarily personal and cruel and much more: "If we stuck to her suggestion that we only write what we know…then my S&H writing [would be limited] to the guys getting married and living in the suburbs and car polling off to a consulting firm every morning. Anybody out there just dying to read that particular story?" She finishes by saying, "We’re in this for fun. Sure, it can be a learning experience. Most things are. But there are and should be limits. [name redacted] stepped over those limits in her last letter."
  • A fan invokes Langsam's Law and explains it (“aka ‘Don’t Make Him Say That') and goes on to list a bunch of “rules” she uses when reviewing a story: Is the writer a neo, does the writer know basic English, is the plot stupid (“and is it supposed to be”), does the POV stay consistent, do the word choices match the style of the source text [not her word], is the plot as original as it can be considering the circumstances…
  • a lengthy essay by the editors called “In Defense of the Fourth Season”
  • question for next issue: Where are all the David Soul and/or Hutch fans?
  • a review of L.A. Vespers, see that page
  • a review of The Pits #2, see that page
  • a review of The Pits #2, see that page
  • a review of The Pits #2, see that page
  • art by Beth Browne, Jane Davis, Connie Faddis, Pat Harris, Kendra Hunter, Ruth Kurz, Joy Mancinelli, Cheryl Newsome, Liz Tucker, Linda Walter

S and H 10 (May 1980)

back cover issue #10, Connie Faddis
front cover of issue #10
  • contains 56 pages
  • there were 120 issues printed
  • reader suggests the letterzine have a “spin-off writing shop talk zine, "otherwise “we’re going to be comparing brands of typewriter ribbon and hints on how to re-constitute a write-out on a day when the supply stores are closed for inventory."
  • much discussion on the “Hutchinson Guilt Complex” and whether Starsky suffers the same. One conclusion: "Hutch’s hangup is assuming guilt for things he had no part in. Starsky feels guilty for things he was involved in and might, if things had worked out better, prevented."
  • a fan says she liked Hopscotch but felt that some of the language was “too strong,” she also is looking forward to reading Forever Autumn
  • a fan thought that [name redacted]’s review of Hopscotch was "rather harsh…The points she makes are probably valid, but for those non-writing readers (the majority), I’d venture to say, irrelevant… I honestly don’t think too many people have first-hand experience of California jails and what goes on in them, or the back streets of Hong Kong, or the best methods used to bail out the hold of a freighter."
inside art by Greg Franklin
inside art by Jeff Dixon
  • a fan says a British term for S and H slash is “S stroke H”
  • a fan says she just prefers to think of the fourth season as not existing, many say they love it, many have mixed feelings about it, and another one makes a compelling reason for a complete re-order of the episode’s airings, starting with “Starsky vs. Hutch.” All fans seem to agree it differs radically from the previous three seasons.
  • a British fan says three episodes were never shown in their original run in England: “The Fix,” “Murder Ward,” and “Savage Sunday.”
  • an artist corrects the art credits (three mistakes) from issue #9
  • a fan estimates that 80% of the people who write in S and H are Star Trek writers and fans, and that "some may disagree with me, but I don’t believe we’d have an organized fandom for S & H if it were not for the efforts of some Star Trek fans. I stress the word, organized, because there still would be S & H fans with or without Star Trek, but we wouldn’t be so close-knit and aware of each other as we are now."
  • a fan says she is adamantly against S/H because of "artistic integrity… I’ll save [explaining] that one for when we are better acquainted."
  • a fan writes: "There has been talk of someone writing a S&H vampire story for real. I would like to see this done, but only if they’re willing to do it right.” She goes on to explain that there are two kinds of vampires, one kind that are cold and emotionless and bad. The other kind is warm and sexual. “I want to caution you, if you do a S&H vampire story… if you want just friendship, be very careful."
  • a fan asserts that mustaches are grown to assert masculinity, and Hutch grew it when he felt that this masculinity was being threatened. He will, she said, shave it off when he "comes to terms with his emotional commitment to his partner and not a moment before."
inside art by Greg Franklin
inside art by Ruth Kurz
  • Dobeycon, the first British S&H con is coming up and for auction is a David Soul-signed ping-pong ball.
  • A fan has a letter where she says she doesn’t think they were “doing it” by the time “Death in a Different Place” aired, but that "they might have gotten around to it afterward… it remains an interesting possibility. Of course, I’d like to see stories dealing with the idea – can even think of a few plots myself—just to see how fan-writers handle the theme; I’ve noticed that there are quite a few very good writers in S&H fandom, and I’d just plain like to see them deal with such a complicated subject."' She goes on to comment on why there are so many excellent writers in S&H. She feels it has to do with Star Trek and the migration of writers. Then she asks, “Are S&H fans the only ones doing fan-fiction? If so, why? Is it just that ‘straight’ S&H fans somehow never thought of doing fan-fiction, while the ST/S&H fans have (again) had practice and experience in Star Trek fandom and therefore know what to do with their creative urges? Or is it the fans who’ve spent a long time analyzing Star Trek, and are therefore able to see depths and subtleties in S&H that non-ST/S&H fans miss?" She asserts: "S&H fandom owes an enormous debt to ST fandom. In fact, I doubt that S&H fandom would exist (certainly not in its present form) without the springboard of ST fandom." [note: she appears to not make a distinction between S&H and S/H in the abbreviation.]
  • a well-known and accomplished artist, [name redacted], writes:
    Apologies, to you and everyone else, for my drawings being merely competent, and thanks for you honesty. I virtually never get anything back but back-patting in fandom, and it makes objectivity difficult, even when I know my drawings aren’t that great. Unfortunately, and much as I wish it were otherwise, I simply don’t have the energy for every piece to be my best possible work, unless I do maybe one a week… sometimes, it’s all I can do to turn out something which is at least competent, but deadline, and not total trash. **Sigh** As with most things, it becomes a choice between quality and quantity, and I have to compromise somewhere.
  • many, many fans panned the show, “B.A.D. Cats,” but there is much mention by many about liking “Ten Speed and Brownshoe.” Fans compare it often to S&H. S&H is off the air, they need a new fandom
  • There is a second reference to S*H*I*T, a “Starsky and Hutch Infected Trekker"
  • folks discuss the differences between “groupie” and “fan”
  • a fan asks for some tapes of S&H eps to show in “the S&H suite at World Con
  • a non-m/m fan defends her previous use of “homoerotic” and compares it to “platonic love”
  • a fan writes a long, extremely-thinky letter about quality in fan fiction and how what fans write should have more than an emotional buzz, and strive every day to be as good as “Finnegan’s Wake.” She uses a lot of really, big words.
inside art by Cheryl Newsome
  • a fan says: "I want to encourage everyone to write, the mechanics of the story can be corrected after it’s down on paper, but the ideas and varying outlooks or interpretations of all the fans are our most precious fan resource and shouldn’t be lost out of fear to write." This letter is printed right after the long one by [name redacted], and offer a markedly different view on the support of fannish creativity and kindness.
  • a writer and fan comments about copying zines: "How about a word on behalf of buying zines while they’re still available? Sure, [a fan] bought one and sure you can get it xeroxed free at work, and sure you don’t mind owning a copy, but what about the gal who spent her hard earned case and time and gas getting the zine printed in the first place? I have watched many friends as they have struggled to rent mimeos and buy paper and stamps and bribe printers. Surely, the rest of us can save up the money for a zine. If you missed it, and it’s out of print, drop a line to the editor, ask if it’s okay to have a xerox made, and if not, well, that’s up to you. Nothing would discourage me faster than to learn that one copy of my zine has been cloned into twenty others… remember, non-profit doesn’t mean losing your shirt! If an editor/publisher doesn’t break even, why should she go to the trouble of doing another issue?" She goes on to say, "I am not referring here to scripts. The suppliers are making astronomical profits on toss-aways and often there is no other way to obtain them."
  • a writer says:
    Oh, about the S/H debate. Why debate? Write it. Make it as believable as possible, stay true to the characters, and let the fans decide whether you’ve actually done a good job. If the only reason you’re writing is to get them into the Torino for a quickie, forget it. That is simply K/S in the shuttle all over again. Or the transporter… or the mess hall… Be original, make it the elevator at the Bonaveture… takes only thirty seconds and is made of glass… might be interesting.
  • a well-known gen writer says she mostly likes Forever Autumn. While she thought the resolution was a little too easy, that there was a little too much “tell, not show,” that that it felt a little underwritten, she also felt "pleasantly surprised at how well a delicate theme was handled. They [the authors] did not do violence to the characters or turn them into simpering stereotypes. They were still recognizably S&H, though in transition, and the understatement let the reader fill in rather than drown in goo as in so may K/S efforts. This is how I hoped the idea would be handled – not perfect, not everybody’s cuppa, but written with dignity and affection."
  • the editor complains that the letters are too long and begs for folks to type them and correct their own spelling. She says the editors are committed to doing the letterzine until the end of the year, and that maybe “Mel” will take over then, she thanks one fan for a donation of envelopes
  • a review of Forever Autumn by a fan who notes there are only two kisses, no other sex. All in all: "Forever Autumn is hardly great literature, or even an elegant production, but it treats a controversial theme with respect and warmth, which makes it worth reading a passing along." See that page for more.
  • a con report of ClosetCon
  • a fan wants a copy of the SH story in Currents #1, will pay for a xerox copy of it
  • art by Beth Browne, Jane Davis, Jeff Dixon, Connie Faddis (both covers), Greg Franklin, Betty de Gabriele, Pat Harris, Ruth Kurz, Cheryl Newsome, Liz Tucker, Linda Walter, Kendra
  • NOTE: there is no ad for Bird of Paradise or Then We Can Be Heroes in forthcoming zines


  1. ^ note: this, and Then We Can Be Heroes are the only two slash zines that have been mentioned, at this point in time, as being in the works