S and H (Starsky and Hutch letterzine)/Issues 31-38

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Sneak Preview: The last seven issues may offer some insight into the abrupt cancellation of the letterzine when it finally returns to its original editors. Multiple letters contain bitter and caustic references to the ever present battles over zine reviewers and m/m fan fiction. Anti-slashers are called "witch hunters" while at the other end of the spectrum one writer sends a public letter of outrage when her work appears in a zine that contained a single m/m story. Fans that support critical zine reviews are called "unnecessarily unkind and cruel." In their defense, zine reviewers talk about how ‘honest’ zine reviews protect readers from wasting their hard earned dollars. The three zines that seem to be the major topics of discussion: Trace Elements, Decorated for Death and 10-13.

Oddly enough, there seems to be little support for fans who want to tackle the issue of homophobia and internal/external censorship in fandom head on. In fact, several zine publishers deny that the slash debate has influenced any of their zine publications, a fact that is directly contradicted by the underground publication of the first Code 7 just a year earlier. The secret publication of Code 7 may also explain those letterzine contributors who vehemently argue with one another over whether there is an "inner circle" of fans who are privy to receive select publications of fan fiction. There was, both in terms of m/m fiction (the first Code 7) and Starsky & Hutch RPS (the Purple Pages). Eventually m/m fan fiction would become more widely available as more zine publishers stuck to their guns and offered their zines to a wider audience. RPS would remain underground until 2007 when a new generation of fans would start writing and posting small quantities to their Livejournals and RPS would be formally accepted as a subject matter for the first Starsky & Hutch Big Bang of 2011. (See the RPS tag in the starsky_hutch Livejournal community).

Towards the end of its publication run the letterzine begins offering a series of well-written and informative essays on zine editing, creating artwork for zines, and zine production methods. This makes sense given that the number of new zines being published or being planned has increased exponentially.

And then, without warning, the letterzine ends. As Kendra explains a few years later in a letter submitted to the Between Friends letterzine: "When [S and H] returned to us, the contents were such that both Diana and I felt the only action that would remove the problem was the death of the letterzine. This was not an easy decision, but one we felt was right, and we still feel—after all this time--that it was the only possible solution."

S and H 31 (March 1982)

front cover of issue #31, Edith Crowe
  • contains 32 pages
  • contains a flyer for Zebra Con #4
  • there are no zine reviews
  • there is a report on TomatOZ
  • there is much discussion about the “Question of the Month: What episodes do the guys look their physical best in?” Two fans send in graphs, and one sends in a very humorous letter written in the style of a scientist’s dissertation
  • a fan writes of another fandom:
    Seems to me that there’s another fandom older than Star Trek, older than general science fiction fandom. It’s membership lists read most impressively, and include Franklin Roosevelt and Alexander Woolcott among other luminaries. Its journal has bee published quarterly for years now. The first works about this central character appeared in the 1890’s or so. Uh-huh: Sherlock Holmes. And it’s a fund fandom, despite its elegant and heated arguments. The Sherlockians have one of the best fandoms going, and I think this is due in large measure to the agreement amongst the that for whatever amount of time one spends in Holmes’ world, he is real. There is no such person as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; one refers to him as “Dr. Watson’s Literary Agent,” or not at all. To imitate that The Master is only a fiction character… is heresy and can getting you kicked out of a BSI meeting… I believe firmly that his amiable fandom has survived so long and so well because its members gleefully conspire together to perpetuate Holmes’ reality. We might learn something from that.
  • a fan comments on the separation of actor and character:
    I become uneasy when Hutch’s actions are attributed to the attitudes of David Soul, or Starsky’s vagaries are explained in terms of Paul Michael Glaser’s thoughts. I don’t think the PRODUCTION of S&H should intrude upon the UNIVERSE of S&H. You either accept S&H as real, or you don’t. And if you do accept it as real, and choose to write, draw or dream within it, then it seems to me to be grossly unfair to both the actors and the characters to drag either pair into each other’s lives.
art for issue #31, Cheryl Newsome
  • a fan encourages new fans to write to the letterzine:
    I’ve very glad I did… and feel I’m a part of fandom now! They’re really a great bunch of people, these S&H fen. Oh, sure, they get rough sometimes and fight like hell when provoked (pick up the right issue of S&H and you may think you moved in on a battle between fire-breathing dragons.) But when push comes to shove, (and in this fandom you can count on it) they’d give you the scales right off their backs.
  • a new fans says she sees "no signs of an “elite” or “inner circle."
  • a fan offers her support of the zine reviews:
    I’d like to say a word of defense of our esteemed lady critics. My hard-earned dollars are very carefully spent, and I am very much in favor of honest, well-written reviews. While I don’t always go by what a reviewer says, may I also say I have seldom gone wrong by following their recommendations. The overall integrity of this fandom and the hunger for quality writing keeps it from allowing shoddy work to go unnoticed. And I, for one, appreciate this.
  • a fan writes of the reviews:
    Tacky? You bet. Cruel? Definitely… Judging from some of the comments in the last few issues of the l/zine, I’m not the only one who’s upset by the unnecessarily unkind and cruel reviews. I know everybody’s entitled to their opinions, but isn’t that what LoC’s are for? As opposed to reviews?... How many of us in this fandom are ‘professional’ writers? A small percentage would be a safe guess. That means that most of us who write are amateurs, as in we do it for FUN. (Does anybody out there remember what FUN means?) In fact, I thought that was the whole idea of fandom. Fun. A hobby… For God’s sake, reviewers, lighten up! Of course we’ll all like to get the maximum enjoyment possible from the zines we read, but I don’t think anybody out there is shoot to be another Shakespeare… I just can’t see why a bunch of amateur writers should be subjected to the cutting, spiteful hatchet-jobs we’ve seen in the reviews lately… [These harsh reviews] will discourage new writers… They’ll just opt to keep their stories to themselves. Even if they love and enjoy writing – as a hobby – they would not enjoy it any more if they did go to the expense and trouble of publishing only to have their work torn apart by shrill, thoughtless reviews. New writers shouldn't be so sensitive, you say, so easily discouraged? Face it, reviewers, whether you think they should be or not, I’m sure lots of them are. There’s probably a lot of fine stories out there that’ll never see the light of day, because the authors have been so intimidated by reviewers who could have just as easily stated their opinions in a much kinder and more constructive way.
  • a fan snipes:
    How nice that [name redacted] remembers me so fondly. It made me feel quite guilty for almost entirely forgetting that she existed; the attempt to exorcise GI from my mind succeeded too well, as I apparently obliterated all memory of its author as well.” She adds: “ANYONE WHO WOULD STOP WRITING BECAUSE OF AN UNFAVORABLE REVIEW IN NOT A WRITER. It’s as simple as that. This is especially true of writers in fandom. Who on earth would stop doing something she enjoyed because an amateur critic chose to pass judgment?... Fan writing, by definition, is an indulgent activity. Each author tends to humor her own particular vice. For myself, the fun was [the author, at this point, has gone on to be minor pro writer] primarily the chance to experiment within a particular genre, while at the same time trying to reach a certain level of professionalism. According to those who know, I’ve done that. Other fan writers… use fandom to indulge other interests --- sex, sadism, romance, whatever. [Name redacted], of course, in her fiction indulges a highly developed sense of literary pretension. More power to us all… After all, if I had taken the honorable [name redacted] words at all seriously and junked my Smith-Corona, I would not have sold a novel.
graph for issue #1 by Amy, describing the fluctuating attractiveness of the two cops based on their hair length
  • fan weighs in on the quality of fanzines:
    I think we all want professionalism, but it is somewhat unrealistic to expect it all the time. Everyone has to learn. If a writer writes, rewrites, gets edited, rewrites, finds the most economical printer and makes every effort to give her very best, what more should we ask?
  • a fan tried to explain to a man why she was attracted to S/H:
    I was forced to analyse it to the point of realizing it wasn’t sexual at all. The nearest I’ve seen to a gay porn movie is an unexpurgated version of ‘Taxi Zum Klo’ and that didn’t do a thing for me. We love Starsky and Hutch, and the idea of them making love should be repugnant. Perhaps S/H stories on Mary Renault lines without the graphic details would be acceptable to the people who are so opposed to the idea?
  • fan complains about being labeled:
    I find myself in a bit of a dilemma. I have read S/H and just don’t like it – not because it offends my moral beliefs, but just because I don’t care for it – sort of how I don’t like certain types of stories with certain settings or plots. Now, I also find the whole concept of the Moral Majority and people like Jerry Falwell to be self-serving, opportunistic and dangerously manipulative – in short – contemptible. So, where do I stand in the current squabble that is going on in fandom? I can’t be placed in either group – those championing for freedom of speech and expressiveness or those standing up for restrictions and moral uprightness.
  • a fan writes: "I add my toast to the publishers of Trace Elements. I hope sanity and tolerance win out over witch-hunters."
  • a fan thanks others for a new experience:
    I would like to send many thanks to Connie F. and Jan L. for asking Pam and I to our very first Collating Party for the ‘UnZine.”… If this is what putting a zine together is like, I know why everyone says it is so hard to do. I mean, staying up late talking about the stories, getting up early to discuss what’s to be done next, then staying up late again going over artwork and deciding which one looks best where and finally rising early the morning of the deadline, and going over everything one last time. This is definitely hard work. Again, thanks for the experience of putting the “UnZine” together.
  • a fan wants to cut her ties with a zine in which she was published:
    As a writer with three contributions within the pages of Ten-Thirteen #2 under various pseudonyms, I wish to dissociate myself entirely from this zine. I further wish to make it perfectly clear that I had no idea that S/H material was going to be a part of this publication. Had I known, I would have withdrawn my contributions… [My pen-names]… were done for fun and not because I am ashamed of what I write. I have never made any secret of the fact that I have contributions in 10-13ii, therefore a number of people know that I am in there somewhere. It is this knowledge that has forced me to write. In the last month’s letterzine, Terri Beckett said that ‘from the first, we said that 10-13 would have no vetoes.’ Despite this statement, I have received private, written assurances from both editors that 10-13 would contain no S/H material. Chris Power’s letter to me advised me that this zine would be G-rated and ‘strictly straight.’ Terri Beckett’s letter to me states quite categorically that the S/H story I knew she had in her possession at the time was ‘definitely’ (her word) not gong to be in 10-13ii. BUT IT IS…When 10-13i came out in February 1981, I made it very clear… that I was worried about the fact that an S/H story, however innocuous, had been included in it. I stated at the time… that if S/H material was to be used in 10-13ii, then I should consider withdrawing my contributions. It was after I had voiced my concern that these written assurances were made to me. I did not, incidentally, know that there was to be an S/H story in 10-13i either. I let it go by without public comment because I thought it was partly my fault for not having made my views clear enough. I cannot do this a second time… This raises a vexing question… does a contributor to a zine have a right to know if that zine is to contain material that might possibly considered controversial, or might possible offend?

S and H 32 (April 1982)

front cover of issue #32, Edith Crowe
  • contains 44 pages
  • the letterzine will be edited from now on by the original creators
  • the results of the survey on Hutch's mustache: 6 like it, 11 hate it, 5 can't decide
  • the letterzine is taking bets on the gender and birthdate of the "Princess of Wales child due in June." The prize is a pick of these zines: Dirtball Dispatch, Blond Blintz Bulletin or Forever Autumn. The bids are $1 a piece and all proceeds go to the fan fund to get Tabby to Zebra Con #4
  • a fan comments on the good old days: "Not long ago, it was suggested in these pages that maybe they don’t make zines the way they used to. But they do! The magic hasn’t gone away. The latest zines I’ve read are L.A. Vespers and Decorated for Death. The old gratification is still there."
  • a fan writes about this fandom:
    From my first introduction to this S&H ‘family,’ I have never ceased to be grateful that there are people whose gifts enable them to verbalize and to communicate their creative insights into a unique series. ‘Fan-writing’ is a less-than-satisfactory designation for the stories I’m thinking about – somehow too narrow for the talent it refers to, but it will serve. And for me, the bottom line is always gratitude that such writing exists and comes my way.
  • the editor of the would-be zine, “Soapy Scenes,” has put it on hold indefinitely, and "there’s a good chance I’ll have to cancel it altogether." She says she has written most of her tribbers, but if there’s anyone she’s missed, she apologizes.
  • a writer comments on a fan’s letter in the last issue regarding disassociating herself with Ten Thirteen:
    I should like to say that I feel honored to be associated with 10-13ii, and more specifically with that story. It still hurts everything I read it. You reasons for not wanting the two types of stories printed together in the same zine still do not appear clear to me, but I am sure that someone, if not you, will clarify that matter.
  • a fan writes that "it seems that the “/ writers seem to be producing much better work now than the & ones. There soon won’t be any G-rated ones around. I think I’ll survive."
art from issue #32, Jane Bushnell
  • a fan comments about a zine tribber's rights:
    I think an author does have a right to known what else will be in a zine – at least in a general sense. I’ve been extremely irritated a couple of times by the company my story winds up keeping – not due to /, but to the quality of other stories, the choice of artist or artwork, or particular layout… personally, I enjoyed 10/13/ii, by sympathize with your dilemma.
  • a fan pokes fun at format: "Hey, White Spacers, ever thought of leavingoutthegapsbetweenthewords?"
  • there is some fannish discussion about Huggy Bear: "I’m beginning to have Machiavellian suspicions about Huggy Bear" is one comment.
  • a fan comments on Ten Thirteen and the subtle m/m in it: "'The Boxer’ is one of the good things about 10-13ii, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, (or [name redacted])."
  • a fan says that the shows are not being rerun in her area, and that "all we have to tide us over are fifteen poor quality video taped episodes which we guard with our lives. We get together at my house every Monday night to talk zines, ideas, and sometimes watch an episode." She pleads for there to be a video room at Zebra Con #4.
  • a fan who wrote the very subtle m/m story in the first issue of Ten Thirteen #1 writes:
    I think anyone who has read the letterzine will have known that Terri and Chris intended to put S/H material in 10/13ii, they have always made their position very clear on this subject and as the first issue contained a story with S/H references, it should have been obvious that they weren’t going to change their editorial policy. As the author of the story in 10/13i, I agree with [name redacted’s] of it, but I would still like to put in a word for Terri and Chris’ right to change the contents of a zine, even at the very last minute. I’ve no idea when they decided to put in the S/H story, but I know from experience as a zine editor that there are times when something has to be substituted in a tearing hurry. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading 10/13ii and by no means does the S/H story detract from [name redacted’s] contributions or vice versa. It is a very nice well-balanced zine with something for everyone, which is as it should be.
art from issue #32, Cheryl Newsome
  • a fan works hard to keep the actors and the characters they play separate, and is sure the actors do the same thing:
    Most actors are probably glad to be rid of the character… The most obvious example of this is Leonard Nimoy, who I suppose will never be free of Spock, and in Britain, Martin Shaw is doing his best to forget that Ray Doyle was ever invented. I have a lot of favourite universes and while writing or dreaming about them, I too prefer to forget that the actors who created them ever existed.
  • a fan takes another to task for a previous letter complaining about the content of a zine in which she had a story:
    Why didn’t you take up your beef with the Ten Thirteen editors privately? If someone contributes a piece of work to a zine does it give the author the right to determine the entire contents of that zine? I appreciate the lady did not want her stories to be associated with anything S/H, but the S/H was so mild as to go almost unnoticed. I could have understood her view better if all the stories, apart from [her] own, had been S/H in nature. Incidentally, if [name redacted] does publish under all those pen-names, who is going to know she’s even in the zine? Surely she could explain personally to her friends who are in the know, just how she stands and her feelings on the issue.
  • Again, money paid out dictates a level of enjoyment in fiction:
    Granted that we write fanfic for love of the characters and for fun. In most cases, the sharing of that love and fun depends on a cash payment – the purchase of a fanzine. I’ll stop reviewing on the day zines become free. Meantime, I think readers deserve to know whether they’ll get their money’s worth or get ripped off.
  • the editors of Ten Thirteen respond to the writer that wishes to be disassociated with the zine due to the m/m material. There is much about dates on letters, people making assumptions about each other and general miscommunication on both party’s part, and editorial right:
    She is entitled to her views on S/H, whatever they may be. As, it goes without saying, are we all. She objects, apparently, to her material appearing in the same zine as S/H. This is her right, of course. We very much wish we had known her view in this had not changed, so that we could have withdrawn her contributions. (We would not have withdrawn the S/H. We think we know brilliance when we see it.) But do contest that attitude. It has been very truly said, in these pages, that we have all read S/H without necessarily realizing it, in other g-rated zines. Does [name redacted] consider that there is some obscure kind of Guilt by Association that clings to all who appear in print where S/H rears its head? It’s the first we’ve heard of it.
art from issue #32, BAS
  • a reader responds to the m/m story, “The Boxer” in Ten Thirteen #2: "'The Boxer’ to me is not S/H. Compared to some I have read, this is nothing." Another fan agrees: "I’ve read 10/13ii…The only remotely S/H story in there is “The Boxer,” in which Starsky Yearns Tragically for his partner, in the secret depths of his own heart, and does absolutely nothing about it. Not even worth an R-rating. Big deal."
  • a new writer explodes over the issue of white space in zines: "You’ve done it. You’ve finally made me angry enough to write. Even the censorship and copyright issues didn’t get my goat enough to do that."
  • a fan says about the slash/censorship issue:
    What’s wrong with discretion is that it is driving fandom underground (where it can more easily be controlled by the elite.) It is preventing growth, driving away good people and prospective zines, and this we cannot afford. A shrinking fandom is a dying fandom. This ‘discretion’ is therefore as much a threat to fandom’s existence as the onslaught of the fear-mongering censorship that caused it.
  • many fans wrote up lengthy "biographies" of Starsky and Hutch
  • a fan writes about writing and has these rules:
    1. Everyone who reads your story knows the characters Just as well as you do, and will land on you like a duck on a June bug should you try to get away with anything. (Lesson One: Consistency.) 2. Your grammatical vagaries should not be inflicted upon an innocent and unsuspecting public. (Lesson Two: Literacy.) 3. If your work is too cute, too long, too short, too silly, too grim, too simplistic, too emotional, or too ANYTHING, you'll hear about it. Loudly. (Lesson Three: Avoid Self-indulgence.) 4. Ask yourself at the completion of your story, "What will Faddis-Llndner-Smlth-Kelly-Warren (or someone else whose opinion you treasure) think of this? and be guided thereby. (Lesson Four: The Discerning Audience.)
  • Bird of Paradise and Trace Elements are two zines listed in the "available soon" section
  • a review of 10-13 #2, see that page
  • a review of Decorated for Death, see that page
  • contains a Dobeycon #3 con report

S and H 33/34 (June 1982)

cover of issue #33/34, Ruth Kurz
  • contains 60 pages
  • Bird of Paradise and Trace Elements are two zines listed in the "available soon" section
  • art by Jane Bushnell, Jean C., Tabby Davis, Ruth Kurz, Kay McElvain, Debbie Sontag, Barbara Stanton, T'Vas
  • auction items for the Fan Fund are listed, Fan Fund Recipient is Tabby Davis, two items are an original Forever Autumn (starting bid $20) and Graven Images (starting bid $50)
  • a fan writes to complain she’s gotten no flak in the form of personal letters for her aggressive post (her very first letter) in the last issue:
    What, no hate mail yet?... I must admit that, when introduced to the letterzine about a year ago, my first thought was, ‘Hey, what a terrific fight. Can anyone join/” For twelve months, I restrained myself nobly, amid unladylike urgings from certain of my friends who enjoy seeing me take ‘em all on, one at a time…” She makes the observation that the letterzine fans here are very different from other media fans in one aspect: “Few people seem to be fans of a TV series called ‘Starsky & Hutch’. Instead, they are fans of two characters called Starsky and Hutch. There seems to be no discussion of any aspect of the programme other than the two central characters… No one wants to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the plots, to talk over the morality of the series or its social commitment, or exclaim with delight over the minor characters… there seems to be an unwillingness to codify and discuss what is actually on the screen…
art from issue #33/34, Debbie Sontag
  • a fan comments on Decorated for Death:
    I am stunned by the amount of favorable comment. Quite simply, setting aside the illogicality and bad science, it’s as badly written a zine as I have seen in the past year. I will tell [the author] that a sentence needs a verb and that piling on adjective and adverb on adverb does not make for good descriptive writing. What it needed was an editor with a blue pencil who was prepared to uses same as ruthlessly as possible, for there are occasional flashes which suggest that there might be some talent buried under the verbiage… Also, this zine is the best example I’ve seen of repressed sexuality of H/C. Pages full of Our Heroes falling into each other’s arms, drinking in each others’ looks – and even smell! – and confessing undying love would make a great stomping ground for a Freudian psychologist… I’m all for honest emotion, but one can have too much of a good thing. There seems to be an idea going the rounds in fandom that if a zine is experimental then it must be good. Come to think of it, there is also an idea that if a zine is long, it must be good. Neither is true.
art from issue #33/34, Kay McElvain
  • a fan writes to another fan:
    In response to your latest diatribe I have only one thing to say: I’m calling your bluff, [name redacted]. I’m challenging you to stop hinting around and just come right out and tell us who all these ‘bigots and fearmongers’ are. If you’re so certain there are all these people trying to kill off S/H zines, I think you owe it to the rest of us to name names. And the same thing regarding ‘power-hungry cliques’ you’ve started raving about… Put up or shut up, to use your own phrase. Tell us who those people are – if you can.
  • a fan complains of a reviewer’s choice of word for to describe poetry: {[quotation2|I’m a bit dismayed at what reads as a casual dismissal of the zines Ten-Thirteen poetry as ‘fillers.’ Some of us express our thoughts and feelings about S&H in few words than other, but the caring is no less genuine, even if the product is short.}}
  • a fan writes of reviews:
    I've been in fandom (ST & SH) for seven long years now, and I've never seen any reason to believe that harsh reviews do any harm… So, Famous Reviewer somebody—or-other doesn't like your zine? Don't worry; plenty of other people will. A bad review doesn't mean bad sales, either; I, for one, made the effort to by Judge and Jury just to see if it was as bad as a certain zine-reviewer said it was (it was), and likewise ordered L.A. Vespers #2 after reading a review that said it was bad (it wasn't). Indeed, a real panning can actually serve as free advertising.
  • a fan writes: "I don't really think I understand really about S/H. I mean what kid of a person would want to read a story about them in bed together? It’s awful to think about."
  • a zined writes:
    Well, it isn't white space [meant to] rip off: to rob...; to steal, to exploit? … but it seems to me that the problem with some of the reviews I've read in these pages has to do with the inadvertent extension of the review into forbidden waters. The harsh phrasing doesn't impress me, but a reviewer has the obligation to express her opinion of a work's merits in the manner she deems appropriate. However, a reviewer never has the right to talk about how the work came into being or to give reasons, negative or positive, as to why it exists. To say, this zine is not worth your money, is valid opinion and provides a service to potential and present readers (better yet, and of course, this zine was not worth my money — the purchaser can decide whether it's worth hers). To say, this zine is a rip-off, implies a deliberate attempt on the part of the editors to steal from the readers. That is not criticism; it's a not-too-well-considered insult. Or, on the flip side, to say, Jane Aumerle wrote Graven Images with love and care, is bullshit! She might have written each word with calculated disgust — and who cares! A review does not critique the writer; it critiques the work. Those of you who don't care for the reviews you've been seeing here, nothing's stopping you from doing some of your own. You know what you don't like to see in a review (obviously), and you're seemingly very concerned with the stifling of creativity — so go to. The reviews of GI alone are proof that L/Z goes for pro/con material; therefore, the pro (or, if you prefer, less harsh) reviews aren't there to be printed.
art from issue #33/34, Kay McElvain
  • a fan has some advice for reviewers:
    There are those who write and those who are writers. The labeling doesn't come from the outside world; it's something one does for (or to) oneself. I, for example, am not a writer; I write. Both groups have goals and standards, those standards very often differ in intensity. You cannot stop a writer from writing; you can stop a person who writes! My contention is that you need both in fandom — any fandom. If only the writers in S&H published and encouraged, the number of zine will drop drastically, then people stop creating because there's no where to put the stuff (the only reason TE exists — or will exist), and when the writers move on as writers must —there's no one left but a very empty-handed audience. Frankly, if S&H were my first venture into fan writing, and I were reviewed as negatively as has been done in L/Z, I'd take my ball and go home, too. It's not, and I walk onto this killing ground with full awareness; other people have not been so fortunate.
  • a fan takes another to task for what she feels are harsh zine reviews:
    These are people who will keep writing their stories, but they have confided to me that there is no way they would ever consider trying to publish now, after reading the wonderfully supportive and nurturing remarks found in the reviews in S&H #28 S&H #29. I know personally of at least one of the "better known" fans who will only write under a pseudonym now (and not because of S/H pressure, either), and there has been at least one zine, maybe more, whose sales have been unjustifiably hurt due to cruel, callous remarks by yourself and other reviewers. Stick your head in the sand if you want to, but there are people who've been hurt, and stories that will never be read, and this is fact. Whether these stories are 'fine’ according YOUR standards is another question, of course, but your opinions and those of other reviewers are not necessarily the actual fact. And I think that you, [name redacted], would have to agree that a reviewer does have an obligation to be as ethical and professional as possible; yet, I've read remarks from you that certainly paint you in much less-than-professional light. Referring to the stories in a certain zine as being written by "writers who can't write", and the reference to another story in yet another zine as "crap"... c'mon now. There just had to be a better way to express your sentiments there. I thought we were all civilized in this fandom. Well, most of us, anyway. I've said it before, but obviously I didn't make myself clear. so I'll say it again: It isn’t so much the content I object to in certain the reviews, as it is the tone.
art from issue #33/34, Debbie Sontag
  • several fans write that a zine called "Pushing the Odds” (to have been published by D D, and not the same as Pushin' the Odds) and “Off Duty” (the zine to have been published by F M K) were not cancelled due to anti-slash fans threatening to send the zines to the actors, but by lack of submissions AND that because “most fen who are soft-pedaling ‘/’ writing are doing so to avoid embarrassing the actors, not out of fear of any ‘Spel-Gol Monster.’"
  • a fan speculates: "Quite honestly, I shall be a lot happier going back to what I was doing before all this [defending her displeasure at her writing being included in a zine that included mild S/H] which was writing purely for my own pleasure and sharing it with the few people who have encouraged me."
  • a fan thinks:
    Much has been said (yelled) about rights in recent issues of the letterzine. Maybe the time has come now for people to be very much more aware of other people’s rights as well as acting upon their own. If everyone was a careful and punctilious about observing their fellow fan’s rights as they are about claiming their own, perhaps fandom would be a better place.
  • a fan writes: "I thought fandom was supposed to be fun."
  • an essay called "Why Review" by Paula Smith It starts with: '
    The function of the critic is this: to encourage good writing and discourage bad. The function of the reviewer is to be both a critic and a consumers' advocate on the worth of the zines she reviews. A reviewer points out in public whether a story works as a piece of art on bases such as craftsmanship, freshness of ideas, clarity of insight, depth and range of emotion, and unity of theme. A reviewer is usually the most vocal member of any writer's audience. There would be small reward in an author's striving after excellence, without the reviewer to laud publicly her efforts and to point out that she succeeded. There would be little point in expecting a mediocre writer to improve her work, without the critic yapping at her heels for her mistakes. A reviewer with an eye on her standards is a selective force for better writing, a goad for authors and editors to produce better quality, and for readers to appreciate good quality when it's given them.
  • an essay called "Publishing: Choice of Medium" by Barbara Green Deer. The opening paragraph:
    It's just not enough anymore to publish great fiction. Today's fanzine readers have come to expect the zines they purchase to be well-produced. With zine prices of S10.00 and more not uncommon, any zine purchaser's sense of consumerism is apt to win out over her burning desire to read more about her favorite characters. In the first days of fan zines, the publication of anything that was marginally readable was welcomed. But we've become more sophisticated now, especially in media fandoms where the high production values of our sources have come to be reflected in fanzines.
  • an essay called "How to Produce a Reproducible Picture" by Jean C.
art from issue #33/34, Tabby Davis
  • an essay called Writing for Fans (a very special genre) by Marian Kelly that starts with:
    Writing fan fiction has such a set of built—in dos and don'ts that it is a wonder more writers aren't busy plying us with stories. Why is there such a dearth of good material? Surely, given the rather bountiful information at hand, there should be dozens more Starsky and Hutch adventures to thrill and chill us. Instead, many of the submissions are trite, rather underdone exercises in amateur writing.
  • an essay called "The Art of Editing" by Karen B
  • a reprint of an article from The Arizona Times Union by Dick Dabney entitled: "As Manhood Image, are Wimps the Rage?"
  • two reviews of 10-13 #2, see that page
  • three reviews of L.A. Vespers #2 (one which has the disclaimer: "Truth in Package Disclaimer: I have a story in Vespers, not discussed above for obvious reasons, and Dotty is my good friend. Which is, of course, why I'd be the first to tell her if she'd fucked up."), see that page
  • two reviews for Decorated for Death, see that page

S and H 35 (September 1982)

  • contains 44 pages
cover of issue #35, Freda Hyatt
  • art by Jane Bushnell, Jean C., Lucy Cribb, Freda Hyatt and Debbie Sontag
  • the editors of Ten-Thirteen say there will be no issue three, that it will be replaced by Three-Eleven and that zine will contain both gen and /
  • there is an announcement that a fan, [A L], has passed away
  • a fan wants to know: "Why is the market for h/c and / almost entirely female? Why are the only lesbian ‘/’ stories of which I am aware written either by lesbians or by women who sexuality is in doubt?"
  • a fan writes about “good writing” and “fan writing”:
    I have in my possession a short story written by myself, which is so appalling , that the idea of allowing it to be published brings me out in a cold sweat. It is a horrendous, over the top, emotional wallow… Now, practically everyone who saw that story in the early days of Blake's Seven fandom gave it [an excellent reception]. Even when they saw its faults, they loved it in spite of them. Others simply adored it. I even received a phone call from a certain British BNF pleading me to allow to show it to the actors… Now, what all these people liked about the story… was the very fact that it was over the top, emotional wallow… The only people who enjoy those are committed fans of the series… Why? The answer seems obvious to me, because Science Fiction is my first love. To write it as it should be written needs originality, research, and a logical mind…If such a story can only be enjoyed by fans of the series, then it cannot be well written and it cannot be good SF. What it is is an emotional binge. S&H fans can enjoy that, but no one who does not already love the characters to distraction will do so.
art from issue #35, Debbie Sontag
art from issue #35, Freda Hyatt
  • a fan writes of Decorated for Death: "Agreed that DfD is flawed, the writing texture is rough, it needed a good edit, and the story isn’t technically S&H at all – but it’s such a pulse-pounding thriller of a good yarn that I’m looking to overlood a lot of its faults."
  • a fan writes that she thinks "some S/H seems to have SM overtones, which is totally out of character… Decorated for Death is full of people dressing and undressing (usually the clothing is leather, natch) and droolings over the touch and sight and sound and smell of our heroes whenever they get near each other."
  • a fan tells an author: "I ordered Judge and Jury well after the bad review, and enjoyed it anyway. Yes, it’s flawed; there are spelling and grammatical errors, the dialog and continuity are clumsy, and there are logic-holes in the plot. Nonetheless, I had fun reading it."
art from issue #35, Jane Bushnell
  • a fan takes issue with another’s description of S&H fandom as “small and basically non-hostile":
    You’re kidding! I’ve rarely seen an issue of S&H that didn’t have at least a couple of squabbles in it… Note the several head-ons occurring in this last ish, not even counting the Grande Dames sniping at yours truly. In fact, it’s been my experience that the smaller a fandom is, the worse the sniping and backbiting get.
  • a fan has visualizes Decorated for Death and Graven Images going up against each other or “best zine”:
    Wow, what a concept! Comparison would be tough, since they’re totally opposite in design; DfD tells a hair-raising story in slightly-clumsy language, while GI is a simple, and subtle, love story told in intricate, convoluted, lapidary prose. I think GI would have it on illos, but then, how many Connie Faddises are there? Also, the writer and illustrator of GI are practiced old hands, while the team that produced DfD are raw beginners. I’d be a tough comparison, so I guess I’m just glad that they’re to be judged in two different years.
  • a fan says of her trip to Great Britain last week: "I learned how fans sneaked The Price and The Prize past the censors in British customs, which tickled me to no end."
  • an zined writes that:
    Casa Cabrillo #2 is NOT cancelled, nor is it being suppressed for fear of some terrible retribution from the S-G Monster, INC, nor is it discontinued due to the existence of S/H fandom (although I must confess some mild irritation at receiving a couple of LoCs proclaiming CC to be ‘just full of S/H scenes. Just goes to show prove that if they wanna see it, they’re gonna see it, no matter what!). Anyway the status of CC is its sold out and Casa Cabrillo #2 isn’t in the works at this time.
art from issue #35, Jane Bushnell
art from issue #35, Debbie Sontag
  • a fan says:
    I, too, am aware of the ‘underground’ – fan writers who circulate their stories and poems only to those fellow fans who won’t nail them to a tree for being beginners or for actually daring to write stories without restraint (i.e. putting their fantasies on paper in all the glory) or for disagreeing in print with the BNF's ideas of what S&H are ‘really like.’ I’ve read quite a few of these stories, and I’m very sorry to say that many of them are darned good, and it’s a darned shame that they’ll never be shared with the rest of fandom… These aren’t the stories of two or three prima donnas who don’t want folks to edit or critique. In fact, most of them are almost begging for a little praise, a few intelligent thoughts on what they did right and wrong and how they can improve next time. There are about ten or fifteen developing writers that this fandom will probably never get to read. And it’s all because of n inhibition brought on by irresponsible reviews. Fact: One of the biggest reasons for the absence of Casa Cabrillo #2 is NOT a lack of good stories, or even fair stories that could be good stories with a bit more work – but the lack of permission to print them. I believe in reviews for the most part; when done right, a review can inspire a good writer to become a great writer; a bad writer to work on improving, and also serves to alert potential buyers to a ‘gem’ or a ‘rip-off.’ But there’s no excuse for some of the cruelty that I’ve seen in reviews in this letterzine. One review of a zine last summer made me actually cringe – and the critic didn’t stop at tearing the issue to shreds; she continued on in diatribe against the editor – an out-and-out personal attack. There was no excuse for that kind of review. In fact, it wasn’t a review. It wasn’t even good manners. The problem began with the first zine published in S&H fandom (Zebra Three). Its contents were poems and stories by experiences writers (mostly from Trek fandom), big names who’d already established themselves as ‘the best’ and who’d done their apprentice work in another fandom. Time and time again in the early S&H zines, they proved themselves with stories and poetry of the highest possible caliber. Our fandom is unique in that it did not evolve slowly – we started off with greatness, and there seemed to be no room (nor patience) for a beginner or mediocre writer, so slowly but surely, they dropped out of mainstream fandom and went ‘underground.’ That is, I think, was (and still is) our greatest weakness as a fandom.
art from issue #35, Jean C.
art from issue #35, Jane Bushnell
  • a BNF has learned that another BNF has sent out, what she believes, form letters using her name soliciting material for a new zine, and she says the fan did not have her permission to do so
  • many fans take issue with another fan who has gone pro and written an extremely dismissive letter to all of fandom as a part of her gafiate
  • Bird of Paradise (first advertised in issue #1 back in June 1979) is still on the forthcoming zine list, but Trace Elements has disappeared. While it is not listed in "available," one must assume it is now for sale/sold out
  • contains an essay called "How to Review" by Paula Smith
  • contains an article called "Offset Printing" by Barbara Green Deer
  • contains an article called "Illustrating a Story" by Jean C.
  • contains a tongue-in-cheek/satirical review of The Pits #3, an issue that doesn't exist. The "review" riffs on well-known story titles and BNFs.
  • there is a blurb added by the editors asking "whatever happened to Beth Patton and "Late Bloomer'?'"
  • the editors note that the "First Mention of S/H, or How the Term [slash] Was Coined" was by Lizabeth Tucker in issue #2 of the letterzine back in September 1979. [1]

S and H 36 (October 1982)

front cover of issue #36, Debbie Sontag
back cover of issue #36, Ruth Kurz
  • contains 36 pages
  • art by Jane Bushnell, Freda Hyatt, Debbie Sontag, Tabby Davis and Ruth Kurz
  • contains no ads as it hadn't received any by the time it had to go to press in time to be printed to send to Tabby in England
  • a fan writes of another: "In 35 issues of this l/z, I haven’t seen such blatant and uncalled-for exhibition of bad manners as your last letter…"
  • another fan agrees and writes:
    I have to say that your letter made me angrier than anything else I’ve ever seen in the letterzine. Considering some of the drek that’s found its way into these pages, that has to be something of a record. It’s not that I disagree with you on almost every point; it’s not that your letter makes clear that you do not possess the expertise to which you pretend. It’s not even that you have gratuitously, and ungratefully, insulted friends of mine. It’s that you are slumming. Every line of your letter oozes a self-satisfied intellectual vanity. Here we have a clearly superior type – a sf fan and self-proclaimed pseudo-expert on just about everything – who’s going to show those poor dumb S&H yokels how to do things right… Keep your muumuus, lady, and keep your missionary position. We’re set in our wicked ways.
  • a fan admits that her controversial [and trollish] letters are meant to stir things up: "I’ve always been the sort of person who turns over stones to see what is under them and pokes sticks in holes to see what might come out."
  • a fan warns others to "understand the difference between what you like and what is good, something I learned a long time ago being a Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea fan."
art from issue #36, Jane Bushnell
art from issue #36, Freda Hyatt
  • a fan writes about what she feels to be a fabled underground fiction paradise:
    I’ve had my share of unpublished stories torn to shreds, and I’ve done the same to any number of underground works.” She adds that: “The harder you play this game called ‘fandom,’ the more fun you get out of it, but I will never forget that it is a game. I get the impression that there are some of you out there who have lost sight of this fact. That is why I joined this affray – because I believe that the standards of English, and of writing in general, are far more important than any tv show.
  • a fan takes another fan to task:
    …Old thing, you may be hot shit in Media Fandom… but in S&H fandom, it appears, nobody knows you. I nearly lost it upon reading that were a devotee of Science Fiction and a Blake’s 7 writer at one and the same time; that’s kind of like preaching ‘scientific’ creationism and teaching evolution simultaneously. (For those fortunate enough not to know what I’m talking about, B7 is a charming British show whose answer to ‘Who do we trust?’ is “Nobody, sucker.” The series ended mercifully, with the closest thing it had to a hero gut-shooting his best friend over a misunderstanding.) At any rate, if your claiming a fondness for the show, best watch your step when casting aspersions on other peoples’ get ‘ems… You seem to want attention. Why not pick a fight with Penny?
  • a fan asks another: "Are you leaping into S&H fandom because you enjoyed the series, or because this looked like a nice fresh ground for your self-aggrandizing antics?"
  • a fan writes of “choosing” artists for her fiction:
    I wouldn’t want to have Gayle F illustrating my writing – she is a superb artist… but her baroque style just doesn’t look like the universe ‘my’ people live in…. A suggestion here, to the writer: Don’t expect the artist to draw exactly what you saw while you were writing… remember that you are trying to conjure when you write – and each reader sees your images differently. After the first shock of ‘but that’s not what I meant!’, look at the illos as though the story were not your own. You may be pleasantly surprised.
  • a fan notes that others should figure out from this letterzine is "that nobody ever changes anybody’s mind about anything."
art from issue #36, Jane Bushnell
art from issue #36, Jane Bushnell
  • a fan speculates:
    In this fandom, as in no other I’ve been associated with, a reviewer risks vicious and very personal attack for readers who disagree with her judgments. This ranges all the way from [name redacted] racist slurs, through the attempt to discredit a reviewer’s intelligence and integrity that charitistic of [name redacted] rah-rah girls to [name redacted] infantile vulgarity. None of it has ever scared a critic away from her typewriter or induced her to praise a poor zine. I doubt it ever will.
  • contains an essay called What and Whom to Review by Paula Smith
  • contains an essay called Writing for Fandom (Plot is a Four Letter Word) by Marian Kelly
  • contains an article called "Paste-Up" by Barbara Green Deer
  • contains an essay called Art for Yerself, Or: What to Do With It After It's Printed by Jean C.. The first sentence is "Sell it."
  • contains an essay called "Editing, Chapter II" by Karen B
  • contains a tongue-in-cheek essay by M. Rauch called A Lecture Upon the Canon which proclaims that Starsky and Hutch are both virgins,a statement on what we "see on the screen" as not being the entire picture. The essay is ultimately a sly support of the Starsky/Hutch sexual relationship.
  • there are no zine reviews in this issue

S and H 37 (December 1982)

cover of issue #37, Ruth Kurz
  • contains 40 pages
  • from the editorial:
    This year we have had fiction that has been published in the "standard" way and them offered for sale. We have also had zines which have been produced in a quantity decided by the number of advance orders. We have been told that zine publication is handled in this manner because of the high cost of printing and postage and that many editors don't have thousands of dollars they can afford to tie up in zines sitting around waiting to be sold. Where S/H is concerned, it seems there are two major opinions; (1) Those people who wish to write and publish openly and above ground; (2) Those people who wish to write and publish privately and discretely. Our personal opinion lies with the latter; however we acknowledge each opinion. We have in the past and will in the future publish ads for those editors handling S/H material -- IF THEY REQUEST THAT WE DO SO.
  • the editors say:
    The S&H Letterzine… is not an official institution around which fandom revolves, nor will it ever be. This letterzine is not the power structure of this fandom that some have suggested it is. We refuse to accept the honor that some wish to thrust upon the letterzine as an official decision-maker on whether a zine is published or qualifies for any sort of award… Due to the volatile personalities in this fandom, there are many items that are not given to us for publication because of who we are. Perhaps there is room in or fandom for an official publication of some kind – but we are not it and have no intention of ever being an official anything. But the kind of power that could be given to such an official publication frightens us , and we wish to have no part in any such official operation nor do we wish to see this fandom encompass such an idea or structure.
  • the editor suggest the show itself has been talked to death, so how about focusing on the stories:
    We all have read what’s currently available (there may be some zines that are currently available on a limited basis but enough of us read and enjoy them to make them worth discussing.) Times are hard, folks, money is tight, but discussion in these pages may/will help all share the stories.
  • the editors reiterate that they print every letter sent, every letter unedited, though plead guilty to the occasional typo for which they apologize
  • there are a number of letters discussing the difference between sexuality and sensuality and whether S/H is pornographic
  • there is a letter talking of the term wallow:
Anne had an idea for a ‘special’ issue of Liberator in which the stories would be deliberately over-sentimental. Rashly, I promised to contribute, but I didn’t want my ‘serious’ pen-name, Lillian Shepherd, associated with this enjoyable but awful genres. In the end, all contributing writers produced obviously false pen-names, the others being Winifred Dalgliesh and Oliver Plunkett-Rafferty. We were later joined by Oriole Alma Throckmorton. It was Anne Lewis who came up with the Ermentrude Postlehwaite and I added the Smythe. Oliver and Winifred later disappeared, but I retained E.P.S. for both ‘wallow’ and some humor. (Anne invented the term ‘wallow’ for over-emotional writing, and she will be remembered for that, if nothing else.) Primarily, it is intended as a warning that any story bearing the name is not to be taken seriously.

S and H 38 (January 1983)

cover of issue #38
art from issue #38, Cheryl Newsome
art from issue #38, Cheryl Newsome


  1. Tucker's comment in "S and H" #2 utilizes the term "/" as it relates to m/m in a published SH zine: "S/H? I'm not sure if I approve, but I will read it/them, simply because I will read anything on the two men. I have read some excellent K/S stories, yet I still don't concede the premise of a sexual relationship between them." But she did not use the word "slash." K.S. Langley has noted that the first use of the actual word was in issue #18 when a fan wrote: "Actually, my main complaint about S/H is the term 'Starsky *stroke* Hutch.' It is just too coy. I like *slash*. It sounds so masculine, like passion in the night and lust that strikes like lightning. *Stroke* sounds so cutesy. *Slash* sounds dynamic, dominant, daring, and exciting." She goes on to suggest, tongue-in-cheek” some other terminology: “SxH (Starsky loves Hutch), S!H (Starsky finds Hutch exciting), S$H (Starsky would buy Hutch anything), S?H (who knows and how cares?), S:H (it’s really none of my business), S#H (I don’t know how close they are, but if they are happy, what business is it of mine… or simply S=H or SH."
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