Sweet Justice

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Title: Sweet Justice
Publisher: Phantom Press
Editor(s): Christine Jeffords
Date(s): 1985-1986
Medium: print
Fandom: Simon & Simon and multimedia
Language: English
External Links:
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Sweet Justice is a gen multifandom anthology.

The majority of the content is Simon & Simon, but also Miami Vice, Hardcastle and McCormick, Remington Steele, Forever Knight, Magnum, P.I. and others.

Related Publications

Brothers in Arms: A third issue was planned but due to the fact that it was all Simon and Simon material, the editor started a new series called Brothers in Arms.

Simon & Simon Reader: There was also a 1987 related proposed zine called "Sweet Justice Supplement #1: The Simon & Simon Reader" with "It's the Waiting That Makes You Crazy" by Joan Bass [1], "A Quick Job for a Messenger" by Amanda Brock[2], "Hero" by L.A. Adolf[3], "Revenge Doesn't Change a Thing" by Elaine M. Batterby [4], "When I Grow Up" and "The Challenge" by Llaura Enright[5], "Vengeance is Mine" by Linda Knights [6], "Because I Understand" by Karen Eaton [7], and "Single Play" and "But There is No Path Through the Woods" by Janet Ellicott.[8]"

Issue 1

cover of issue #1, Laura Virgil
Laura Virgil
inside back cover of issue #1, Leah Rosenthal

Sweet Justice 1 was published in May 1985 and contains 196 pages. The art is by Laura Virgil, Leah Rosenthal, Mary A. Otten, and Kathy Lachenauer.

From the editorial:

Ever wonder how a zine gets started? This one got started when I became passionately attached to Simon & Simon, and slightly less so to Magnum, P. I., in November of 1983. I was already watching T. J. Hooker and Hardcastle & McCormick, plus Scarecrow & Mrs. King, and I knew, or quickly found out, that all of these, except possibly Scarecrow, had fandoms of their own. I also knew that Knight Rider and Remington Steele had the same. After a while I began to think, "What fandom needs is a good anthology zine devoted to the most popular cop and detective shows." And then I thought, "Well, why not try to do one?"

So I did.

I've been pleasantly surprised by the number of contributions I got, and by the amount of people who've shown an advance interest in buying .the zine. I have hopes that SWEET JUSTICE may become an even hotter item than my SW zine, OUTLANDS CHRONICLES. Rumors getting back to me have hinted that there's a lot of anticipation over this little gem of ours (mine and the contributors'), and I hope it's not misplaced.

Of course, I won't know for sure unless you LoC it. So please do. There will definitely be a SWEET JUSTICE #2: I already have another S&S story by Ann Leonhart, a Hooker adventure by C.G. Crater, and several Judy Darnell poems in hand, plus assorted items promised from people like [Rachelle S], L.A. Carr, S.C. Hall, Jean Thrower, and possibly Lisa Adolf. If anyone reading out there would like to try her hand at writing Simon & Simon, Magnum, Hooker, Steele, Miami Vice, Riptide, Hardcastle & McCormiak, Scarecrow & Mrs. King, Airwolf, Hill Street Blues, Knight Rider, Cagney & Lacey, Mike Hammer, Cover-Up, or Crazy Like a Fox, I want to hear from you! And if, when the new TV season starts in the fall, you find a new series that grabs your fancy (as long as it has to do with cops or detectives, of course), write and let me know about it. I can't publish a zine devoted to popular shows unless I know what's popular!

I want to take this opportunity to thank Leah Rosenthal for coming up with the title of the zine and for serving as Consulting Editor on the shows I don't watch; Cathi Brown and Gennie Summers for the series-title graphics; Ann Crouch for the extremely reasonable print quote; Cindy Shannon, Scott Clark, and all the other zineds and private fans who passed the good word; and, of course, everyone who contributed or bought.

  • Sweet Justice by Anne E. Batterby (Multimedia) (3)
  • An Errand for Laura by Elaine M. Batterby ("Laura Miles was an old schoolmate of A.J.'s and she wanted her missing brother found. But was Laura all she seemed to be?") (Simon and Simon) (4)
  • A Matter of Conversion by Jacqueline Taero (Simon and Simon) (16)
  • Shadow of the Heart by Cathy L. Bryson (Hardcastle and McCormick) (19)
  • After-the-Gas-Station Blues by Christine Jeffords (reprinted in The Brothers File) (Simon and Simon) (25)
  • The Stranger in My Mirror by Virginia Tully (Knight Rider) (29)
  • Who is Remington Steele? by Karen L. Mitchell (Remington Steele) (31)
  • Amanda by Sue-Ann Sarick (Scarecrow and Mrs. King) (33)
  • Amnesia by Sue-Ann Sarick (Scarecrow and Mrs. King) (35)
  • Steele in the Night by Stephanie Wardwell (Remington Steele) (37)
  • Namesake by CarolMel Ambassador (Remington Steele) (39)
  • The Waiting Game by Judy Darnell (Simon and Simon) (41)
  • One More Chance by Christine Jeffords (Simon and Simon) (43)
  • Report from the Set by Rebecca Walker (a fan visits the set and tells about it) (Simon and Simon) (46)
  • A.J.'s Side of the Nightmare by Elaine M. Batterby (Simon and Simon) (48)
  • Ransom for a Hawke by Teresa Sarick (Airwolf) (50)
  • With This Ring, I'll be Dead by Ann Leonhart ("An old flame of A.J.'s begs him and Rick for help when her husband disappears from their suite on their wedding night.") (Simon and Simon) (51)
  • Nightmares by Sue-Ann Hartwick (Simon and Simon) (85)
  • Midnight Lament by Stephanie Wardwell (Remington Steele) (87)
  • Riptide Episode Guide by Melinda Reynolds (Riptide) (91)
  • Steele Waiting by Jean Thrower (Remington Steele) 92)
  • Double Edge by L.A. Adolf (missing scene) (Simon and Simon) (95)
  • Cecilia's Lament by Sue-Ann Hartwick (Simon and Simon) (97)
  • Litany by L.A. Adolf (Simon and Simon) (missing scene) (99)
  • Middle Kingdom Steele by Nancy Gervais (Remington Steele) ("A mysterious attacker leaves Steele the victim of amnesia; and a cunning murder frame.") (103)
  • The Guessing Game by Jacqueline Taero (Remington Steele) (111)
  • Tug-of-War by Jean Thrower (Simon and Simon) (119)
  • Complaints from Andrew Jackson Simon by Teresa Sarick (Simon and Simon) (120)
  • A (Simon) Dog's Life by Jacqueline Taero (Simon and Simon) (121)
  • Hardcastle and McCormick Episode Guide by Melinda Reynolds (Hardcastle and McCormick) (123)
  • At Least Tonight by Judy Darnell (Simon and Simon) (125)
  • Remembered Steele by Stephanie Wardwell (Remington Steele) (127)
  • Desperado by Lizabeth S. Tucker (Hardcastle and McCormick) (128)
  • Living Shield by Jean Thrower (Simon and Simon) (144)
  • Report from the Set 2 by Rebecca Walker (a fan visits the Simon set during the filming of "Break a Leg, Darling" and "Simon without Simon." and tells what she saw there.) (Simon and Simon) (146)
  • Two Poems by Karen L. Mitchell (Remington Steele) (151)
  • Delirium's Dream by Carole G. Crater ("Hooker fights the strangest battle of his career in an effort to save Romano's life.") (also in Hooker! #1 and Shadow Dance #2) (TJ Hooker) (152)
  • Brothers of the Heart by S.C. Hall ("Eight year old A.J. is convinced he's not really a Simon at all, and Rick must help him find his balance.") (Simon and Simon) (156)
  • Rick by S.C. Hall (Simon and Simon) (165)
  • For A.J., My Younger Brother by Jean Thrower (Simon and Simon) (166)
  • For Rick, My Older Brother by Jean Thrower (Simon and Simon) (167)
  • View from a Distance by Ann Wortham ("Rick Wright struggles to deal with the death of his sister after the events of 'Distant Relative," and is caught up in a strange solo adventure.") (Magnum, P.I.) (168)
  • San Ysidro: 90 Minutes at McDonald's by L.A. Carr ("All Rick and A.J. wanted to do was to stop for a Big Mac... but the date was July 18, 1984 and James Oliver Huberty had gone hunting for humans.") (Simon and Simon) (176)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for San Ysidro: 90 Minutes at McDonald's.

The day I received my SWEET JUSTICE, I fixed a pot of coffee, settled in my chair with two cats tor company and read the zine from cover to cover. I don't know when I've spent a more enjoyable afternoon; I got absorbed in several adventures, kept the cat a happy and let the housework take care of itself.

From a reader's point of view I found the percentage of poetry to prose more than acceptable; longer stories with alternating shorter pieces and poetry makes for a well-rounded publication. I won't comment on the individual stories; if I did this letter could be longer than the zine, but the subject matter was well-handled, with good representation of the current favorites. There were few typos, the layout was easy to read, and the artwork was cleanly reproduced.

Now, on a more personal level, I want to thank two people: the editor, for accepting my contribution, and the artist for the illustration that accompanied "The Stranger in My Mirror."

Leah Rosenthal is a very talented lady who not only writes, but illustrates, both extremely well. As a beginning writer who has trouble drawing a straight lino with a ruler, I really appreciated the fact that she illustrated my effort. She must have read my mind, because her illo was exactly the image I saw when I wrote "Stranger." So, thank you, Leah, for the time and effort you put into our" submission. I may have given it voice, but you gave it image. Your illustration made Michael's soliloquy all the more effective.

And, most of all, thanks to Christine Jeffords for accepting "Stranger." Her willingness to have patience with new writers and her encouragement and suggestions are constructive and welcome. For someone just spreading her wings in active fandom, Christine has been a blessing. [9]

"Break a Leg, Darling"...I liked that. It's fascinating to hear first-hand stuff. "Ransom for a Hawke" has good images. "With This Ring, I'll Be Dead"...it was good, but...a bit too involved, and too much unnecessary detail...I got lost and tangled in detail. Good story though...plot- and character-wise. Loved A. J.'s getting shanghaied by Rick into dressing up as a girl - - Rick' s bride, no less.[10]

First, let me tell you that the "look" of the zine is great—very professional, great artwork, nice printing job and very few typos. (Sorry, I have a tendency to harp on typos—mainly because I'm jealous. I'm a self-taught typist (always peeking at the keyboard, but I do use all ten fingers when typing), and if it weren't for my Smith-Corona erasable cartridge, I'd never get anything decently typed. Two typos in an entire zine is like a perfect 10 in Olympic gymnastics to me—an almost unattainable goal, and as I mentioned previously, I'm envious of someone else's typing skills.)

Second, the Simon & Simon stories were all fabulous, but the best story in this zine has got to be "San Ysidro: Ninety Minutes at McDonald's." It was compelling. The writing was very detailed and in the back of my mind I could hear a clock ticking away the minutes until help could arrive. It felt so real because it was someone's real story, or a variation on it. And, yes, the epilogue really hit home—it is all too easy to write off a tragedy as someone else's problem, isn't it?[11]

Christine, I'll be honest, I'm not one for poetry—for related poetry, that is—but I have to make an exception In "After-the-Gas-Station Blues" and especially so for "One More Chance." Both these were emotionally draining and beautifully done. I could feel Rick's despair in "One More Chance," and since I'm very interested in life-after-death experiences, I was really intrigued by it. The other poems were good, but these two really touched me.

Lucy, I'm not going to write that mile-long title. You tryin' to give Cannell a run fur his money? I'll just call it "the McDonald's story" and I know everyone will know the one I mean. As I told you in a personal letter, I read this one first. Doesn't everyone start in the middle? Or I should say the end since it's the last story in the zine. You know, the tragedy of this real-life event never hit home to me until someone I "knew" was placed at the scene. You did an excellent job, Lucy, and I felt the horror that the victims that day must have felt. Excellent job! [12]

Issue 2

Sweet Justice 2 was published in May 1986 and contains 236 pages.

front cover of issue #2, K.S. Eaton
back over of issue #2, Ruth Kurz
inside front cover of issue #2, Shayne McCormack
inside back cover of issue #2, K.S. Eaton

The art is by Karen Eaton (front cover), Shayne McCormack (inside front cover), Ruth Kurz (back cover), and many other interior artists; they are listed on the title pages of each story.

From the editor's forward:

I think I see a pattern emerging here...

Hi. Your Faithful Ed. speaking. You know, the first issue I printed of OUTLANDS CHRONICLES was a fairly skinny little thing, done all in full-size type. The second was about half reduction and it was fatter even then. The third was almost completely reduction (except for the poems and one or two quite short stories). Well, here we are with SWEET JUSTICE #2 and it's a good 50% reduction, too! Like I said, I think I see a pattern. I suppose I shouldn't complain. After all, it shows that I'm trusted as an editor and that there's a demand for the kind of zine I publish. And the LoCs you'll find on the next few pages prove that SJ#1 did what it was intended to do—it found an audience, and it pleased the audience it found. I hope SJ#2 does the same.


This seems to have turned into the "Let's Beat on A. J. Simon" issue. I've tried to arrange the layout so it doesn't completely overpower, but as I've said once or twice before, I can only print what gets submitted. So if you find yourself bothered by the preponderance of "gets," all I can say is, write me something that isn't one! I'm now open to submissions for SJ#3, which will premiere at MediaWest*Con 7.


I accept work relating to any current TV series involving cops or detectives; if you're doubtful as to whether your favorite is Included, drop me a quick note with a SASE tucked in, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. I'm also considering opening the zine to past greats still near and dear to our hearts, such as Starsky & Hutch, The Rockford Files, Tenspeed & Brown Shoe, and the like. But, as this is written, 'considering' is the operative word. How do you, the readers and 'tribbers, feel about the idea? Remember, this is your zine too. Without you, it wouldn't exist. If you want me to expand its focus, I will. Just let me know.

On to specifics. I have have some good stuff here, Including the debuts of a couple of writers I think have immense potential. We also have a lot of #1's contributors back for repeat engagements. Nancy Gervais returns with an interesting new case for Remington Steele, one I consider particularly fitting for that debonair detective. L.A. Carr, my "little brother" from Florida, whose "San Ysidro" was possibly the most highly acclaimed piece in SJ#1, offers two short Simon pieces: a continuation of the filmed episode "A Significant Obsession" (for all those Simonfen who thought its ending too abrupt) and an original adventure based on her own experience (so she hints to me). Also doubling up is S.C. Hall, whose "Brothers of the Heart" was another great favorite with SJ#1's readers: this time she dips into the inexplicable with a pair of related stories concerning the Simons' encounters with...well, I'd better let you read them for yourselves. Jean Thrower has not only her usual fine poetry but a beautifully moody prose piece about A.J. Simon during Rick's service in Vietnam. C.G. Crater sends a second T.J. Hooker adventure, and Liz Tucker, the most prolific known fan of Hardcastle & McCormick, has produced a telling vignette based on "The Birthday Present" and Mark McCormick's first kill. E. M. Batterby turns from Simon & Simon to Riptide (and I'm glad to see King Harbor's finest p.i.'s getting some play in these pages) with some all-too-brief filler. Cathy Bryson has SJ's first Moonlighting piece (remember I asked you all to keep me up on what shows generate a fandom?). Also back are several of our poets: Judy Darnell, Sue-Ann Hartwick, the Sarick sisters. Debuting in this issue are no less than four new writers: B. L. Barr, who comes to Simon & Simon fandom by way of Starsky & Hutch and offers here a poem, a vignette, and a touching and timely story set during last year's Vietnam Veterans' Homecoming Day Parade in New York City; Llaura Enright, giving Rick's dog Marlowe a chance to be heroic; Brenda Anders, my own personal favorite S&S author, with a tense and emotional tale of a bank robbery gone awry; and Joan Bass, with "Vigil," one of the more painful and beautiful "gets" I've encountered in my fannish career. We also have Ann Leonhart back for another go-round with "My Brother's Keeper," and Melinda Reynolds, editor of BACK TO BACK, (a highly recommended Hardcastle & McCormick/ Riptide/The Racing Game zine), with an H&M novella that delves deeply into Milt Hardcastle's feelings for his pet parolee...and his parolee's for him. In the faction department, there's an episode guide to the first season of Miami Vice, and a painstakingly detailed rundown of the many players who've appeared two or more times (chiefly in different roles) on Simon & Simon. Then there's a vignette or three, describing which would give the plots away, and the usual reasonably copious art. (I apologize for the unillustrated state of "Pirates and Rain," "Night Visions," and "Night of the Hunters," but nobody seems to draw Hooker, and I just about exhausted the known S&S artists getting what I did.)

I also want to point out the poem on the facing page. Like "Sweet Justice" in #1, it says something about this crazy mixed-media fandom we're all in, and I'd like to continue having one such piece to set the tone for each future issue. So, if anyone out there can come up with a "theme" poem for SJ#3, send it along.

  • Multimedia by Jacqueline Taero (Multimedia) (3)
  • The Mailbox by D. Readers (Letters) (4)
  • Standoff by Brenda A. (Simon and Simon) (19)
  • Cast in Steele by Debra Talley (Remington Steele) (34)
  • Addison vs. Hayes, Round 50 by Cathy L. Bryson (Moonlighting) (36)
  • Easy Time by Sue-Ann Hartwick (Simon and Simon) (41)
  • Give and Take by Sue-Ann Hartwick (Simon and Simon) (42)
  • Trivial Steele by Nancy Gervais (Remington Steele) (43)
  • Brethren by M. Leigh Frank (Simon and Simon) (53)
  • Song of the Open Road by Jean Thrower (Simon and Simon) (54)
  • Waiting by Jean Thrower (Simon and Simon) (55)
  • Words Unsaid by Sue-Ann Hartwick (Moonlighting) (56)
  • Maddie by Sue-Ann Hartwick (Moonlighting) (57)
  • Winter Mist by Judy Darnell (Hardcastle and McCormick) (59)
  • Terror on a Quiet Afternoon by L.A. Carr (Simon and Simon) (60)
  • And Then Noogie Said by Judy Darnell (Miami Vice) (68)
  • A Significant Ending by L.A. Carr (Simon and Simon) (69)
  • Brief Encounter by Elaine M. Batterby (Riptide) (74)
  • Shadow Over My Shoulder by Jean Thrower ( Simon and Simon) (75)
  • Steele in the Family by Debra Talley (Remington Steele) (76)
  • Night Visions by Teresa Sarick (Airwolf) (78)
  • Night Visions by Teresa Sarick (Hardcastle and McCormick) (80)
  • Night Visions by Teresa Sarick ( Remington Steele) (81)
  • Night Visions by Teresa Sarick (Simon and Simon) (83)
  • Night Visions by Teresa Sarick (Riptide) (85)
  • Night Visions by Teresa Sarick (Miami Vice) (86)
  • Steele Here by Debra Talley (Remington Steele) (87)
  • Your Brother's Keeper by Ann Leonhart (Simon and Simon) (88)
  • Journal Entry by Elaine M. Batterby (Riptide) (105)
  • Only in Dreams by Carol Hillman (Simon and Simon) (106)
  • The Loss of Innocence by Lizabeth S. Tucker (Hardcastle and McCormick) (107)
  • Stormy Monday by Teresa Sarick (Simon and Simon) (111)
  • Around the Corner and Down the Street by Judy Darnell (Miami Vice) (113)
  • Letters I by Carlotta Vaughan (Simon and Simon) (114)
  • Letters II by Carlotta Vaughan (Simon and Simon) (115)
  • Just Another Saturday by Rachelle S. (Simon and Simon) (117)
  • Brethren by M. Leigh Frank (Simon and Simon) (119)
  • You Can't Tell a Judge by His Cover by Teresa Sarick (Hardcastle and McCormick) (121)
  • To Fly Like an Eagle by Judy Darnell (Hardcastle and McCormick) (123)
  • Pirates and Rain by B.L. Barr (Simon and Simon) (124)
  • When I Left by Carol Hillman (Simon and Simon) (127)
  • Episode Guide, First Season by Cathy Mason (Miami Vice) (128)
  • Musical Vice by Teresa Sarick (Miami Vice) (131)
  • Cecelia: Reverie by Judy Darnell (Simon and Simon) (133)
  • A Matter of Taste by Teresa Sarick (Simon and Simon) (135)
  • Relative State by M. Leigh Frank (Simon and Simon) (137)
  • Eulogy by Elaine M. Batterby (Riptide) (138)
  • Gray Skies and Deserted Sands by Jean Thrower (Simon and Simon) (139)
  • Racing Along by Teresa Sarick (Hardcastle and McCormick) (147)
  • You Get What You Pay For by Melinda Reynolds (Hardcastle and McCormick) (148)
  • Steele Framed by Debra Talley (Remington Steele) (182)
  • If There be Angels... by S.C. Hall (Simon and Simon) (184)
  • Angel of Mercy by S.C. Hall (Simon and Simon) (189)
  • Vietnam by Carol Hillman (Simon and Simon) (193)
  • Marlowe--a Hero's Tail by Llaura Enright (Simon and Simon) (194)
  • Repeat Players by Regina Dereov, et. al. (Simon and Simon) (200)
  • Night of the Hunters by C.G. Crater (T.J. Hooker) (206)
  • Noon, June, Spoon by Teresa Sarick (Moonlighting) (215)
  • Vigil by Joan Bass (Simon and Simon) (217)
  • Brethren by M. Leigh Frank (Simon and Simon) (240)
  • Repeat Writers and Directors by Christine Jeffords (Simon and Simon) (241)
  • Heroes Delayed, But Not Denied by B.L. Barred (Simon and Simon) (244)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

It took me at least two weeks to get through SWEET JUSTICE 2 but it was well worth the effort. You really did quite a job putting together such a thick zine.

For the most part I liked all the stories but...for some reason female authors seem to be bent on making A.J, suffer unnecessarily...I wish the fans would be just a bit more positive in their writings. ((Ed: I can't say I disagree with you, Sue, but if hurt/comfort is the bulk of what people send me, hurt/comfort is what I have to print, or I end up with a skinny little zine about the size of BACK TO BACK. At least in our fandom we don't seem to get Mary Sue stories, so be thankful for small mercies!))

"Multi-Media" by Jacqueline Taero echoed my thoughts exactly! There are so many multi-media zines and not enough time to write something about all the TV shows you would like to, It's hard to write on demand.

"Give and Take" by Sue-Ann Hartwick. I never thought of comparing Uncle Ray to Rick. But when you think about it it does make sense, I can see (that) if it wasn't for A.J. Rick would feel completely comfortable being a loner and a drifter. He did enjoy Ray's same tacky taste as he looked forward to his uncle's gifts.

"Winter Mist" by Judy Darnell is easily the best poem in the issue!

Also "And Then Noogie Said" was a good piece. After all, any poem about one of my fave MIAMI VICE characters has to be good as well as a surprise since his character is not used nearly enough in the show.

"Shadow Over My Shoulder" by Jean Thrower. It truly captures the carefree spirit of being able to travel without any restrictions.

"Only in Dreams" by Carol Hillman brought back memories of the S&S episode which (it) was based on.

(Also) "Vietnam" and "When I Left" — I may be a bit prejudiced since Carol is a pen pal but I found her poetry to be quite good. I was especially surprised at her keen insight about the Vietnam War and just how miserable it was both for the people on the battlefield and those left back at home...(and) at her empathy with us. (Even the Canadians, our neighbors, don't fully understand our obsession with Vietnam.)

"Around the Corner and Down the Street" by Judy Darnell is a good study of the friendship between the two Vice cops.

"Cecelia: Reverie" was a very different poem as I've never come across (one) written from Cecelia Simon's point of view.

"Letters" and "Letters II" by Carlotta Vaughan...(were) quite good as they touched upon a subject that I never before ran into. One never wants to tell all the horrid details so this was from a very realistic point of view.

Now on to the short stories...

"Your Brother's Keeper" by Ann Leonhart. I thought it was a bit much punishment the author put A.J. and Rick through, especially having Rick dragging himself along the road, face down! It was well written but I would have liked it better if at least Rick would have escaped injury. ((Ed. I think what Ann was trying to do was to show that if A.J. is in danger, Rick will not let anything stop him from giving, or getting help for his brother.))

"Standoff" by Brenda Anders. This was very well written, but I wonder why everyone insists upon depicting A.J. as a weakling. Come on, gals, let's write some positive stories for this cute hunk! ((Ed: Point taken, but, on the other handy if you were wounded that seriously, you'd probably get a little emotional too.))

Addison vs. Hayes, Round 50" by Cathy Bryson, caught the essence of the TV series MOONLIGHTING perfectly. The dialogue was straight from...an ML script. This show 1s not to be believed until you've seen it trying something entirely different every week!

Trivial Steele" by Nancy Gervais. There were lots of interesting characters (in) this story which always makes for a good murder mystery! Even though I do not usually look at RS I found myself quite enjoying this. ((Ed: It reminded me of a hybrid of two TV episodes I have on tape — S&S: "Family Forecast,” and RIPTIDE: Games People Play.”))

You might say I could be a bit prejudiced but I was proud of all my sister Teresa material...especially her vignettes "Night Visions."

"Gray Skies and Deserted Sands" by Jean Thrower was a very good piece. It logically explained why A.J. had been against the war, not only because his brother had been shipped off...but (because) his mother also influenced his ideas...It almost put a lump in my throat when I read about Kennedy and the hope of a nation...It truly brought back memories. I'm glad some people still feel this way.

"You Get What You Pay For" by Melinda Reynolds. This was good and well plotted out. I thought it was ingenious to bring back the character of Cadillac (whom, I must admit, I had completely forgotten about) ((Ed: shame on you! )). And I would like to thank Melinda for not putting McCormick through any unnecessary torture. (I don’t know about the rest of you but I hate to see my heroes suffer!)

"Angel of Mercy" by S.C. Hall. Curiously enough it reminded me a lot of a song "Camouflage" by the ex-lead singer of Wall of Voodoo but their song was very fantasy-oriented. It was a very interesting idea!

"Vigil" by Joan Bass. I felt the best part of the story was the love story between A.J. and Leigh!

"Heroes Delayed, But Not Denied" by B.L. Barr. The author really surprised me here when she casually wrote in Starsky and Hutch. I thought it was well done and not the usual obvious cross-universe story. ((Ed: The essence of good cross-universes Rick said of ”the essence of good undercover” in ”The Rookie” is authenticity! Or, more accurately, the ability to blend the two (or more) realities in an easy, uncontrived, natural way, so that it seems both inevitable and unsurprising that the characters should meet and interact.))

I always thought it was interesting how the artist’s idea for the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., was at first rejected until the veterans went to see it for themselves. They only identified with statues of fighting soldiers, like the monuments their fathers had been given to honor them for World War II. But when the men see the wall and find the name or names of dead comrades they feel the full impact of the suffering of the most violent war the US has experienced so far. ((Ed: And, more to the point, the dirtiest and most unpopular.)) I’m sure that by now even the staunchest critics of the Wall now see it as a fitting and unique memorial. ((Ed: Let me recommend here an article called ”The Wall That Heals” in the 'day 1987 Reader's Digest: anyone who has not yet read it should do so immediately, especially if she thinks there's even the remotest chance that she will one day want to write a story about any media character visiting the Wall.))[13]

I enjoyed SWEET JUSTICE #2 equally as well as the first. I want to thank you all, for making my reading so enjoyable by sharing with me your talent.

It amazes me just how excellently done the short stories are, as well as the longer stories. (Poems and other attractions too, of course.) I was actually able to see, hear, feel, and even in some cases taste what was happening...

I particularly enjoyed S.C. Hall's two stories, "If There Be Angels... " and "Angel of Mercy." I cried all the way through them. I am so glad someone put into words what so many of us know has happened to "the boys." Also "Vigil," by Joan Bass, I thought was excellently done. [14]

I was terribly disappointed by no artwork for my story. I had been so looking forward to it. ((Ed: At least I got you some for " Foreshadowings.” You wouldn't believe all the scrambling around it took, though! Seriously, I tried my best to get art for "Gray Skies," but art, as I have said before, is the zined's greatest headache, probably followed by the post office and the vagaries of printers.))

Also, a loose zine? That was a first. ((Ed: For those of you who didn't know, some early copies of SJ#2 were loose because I picked them up at MediaWest*Con 6, literally right off the press, and the printer had only just found out a night or two before that her stapler wouldn't go through them. I ordered screw-posts at my stationer, but special orders take forever there, and I thought I could at least get the contributors' and pre-purchased copies out and let the recipients punch them and put them in binders. This time, as you can see, I bought the posts ahead of time.)) I hope things work out better next time. Finally, some pages were difficult to read: too light. At least no pages were missing...

I can't complain about the stories, artwork, or poetry, though. I can honestly say I didn't dislike any. So, in no particular order:

"Easy Time" by Sue-Anne. Perfect rendition of Rick keeping A.J. "young." Lord, what a beautiful illo by Shayne!

"Give and Take," again by Sue-Anne—the parallel between Rick/A.J. and Jack/Ray was (well) shown, so was A.J.'s jealousy of the Ray/Rick bond, and his final understanding.

"Cecelia: Reverie" by Judy — perfect. The memories, Cecelia's still-strong love for Jack, enumerating her sons' differences and the way they love each other. Another fantastic illo by Shayne.

"Your Brother's Keeper" by Ann — I read this before and still enjoyed it yet again. Great h/c.

"Standoff" by Brenda was superb. Tense, yet humorous in spots with A.J.’s dry, "He lives in my yard" in answer to Maggie's query...The obvious parallel between Jack/Joey and Rick/A. J. was very good. I like seeing other brothers in Simon stories because, after all, it's the theme of the show: love between brothers. Typical was A.J.'s worry over Rick trying something and Rick volunteering as a hostage. Finally, the end scene where both brothers reveal their fears about covering each other was touching.

"Terror on a Quiet Afternoon" by L.A. Carr — tense and dramatic. Would make a good episode.

"Letters" and "Letters II" by Carlotta — probably exactly what they did: kept the pain out of the letters to spare each other.

"Pirates and Rain" by B.L. Barr — lovely telling of a childhood tradition, and showing love still exists.

"Heroes Delayed, But Not Denied," again by B.L. Barr — since I visited the Wall in Washington this summer, my appreciation of this story has increased. The Wall brings out powerful emotions: people actually talk in low voices, are respectful, and the shiny surface itself reflects peace and life.

"Relative State" by Mysti — argh! A twist ending I hope the series never uses! Well, now we've got ample proof Rick's a Simon: all ancestors (and currently living relatives like Wilbur and Orville) that are brother pairs are one brunet, one blond. ((Ed: Not to mention looking an awful lot like Rick and A.J....)) So there! Jack and Ray demonstrated that too. ((Ed: Something that just occurred to me: suppose, instead of John Astin playing Ray, they had given Macky a dual role, as Rick and as his uncle both? After all, JP has played their father.))

"If There Be Angels..and "Angel of Mercy" by S.C. Hall — I loved 'em.

"Only in Dreams" by Carol — definitely Rick. He showed us in "Double Play" he would rather die than lose A.J.

"Vietnam" by Carol again — definitely A.J. His hatred of the war that took Rick away from him, and his being reluctantly drawn to television, not wanting to see but desperate to see Rick at the same time.

"You Can't Tell a Judge By His Cover" by Teresa — the last two lines are my favorite. In "When I Look Back on All the Things" the Judge finds out what a "reliable witness" Melinda is. Is he wondering if he made a mistake sentencing Mark to two years in prison?

Loved all of Mysti's "Brethren" cartoons and Elaine's RIPTIDE vignettes.

"Vigil" by Joan is a good h/c story. Rick shows once again just how far-he will go to save A.J., and there was that terrifying moment when he thought A.J. had committed suicide.

I hope you get some takers for the SJ Challenge. Rowena Warner answered my "Nostradamus" question in...MORE THAN BROTHERS VI. Good job, too!

I liked the "Repeat Players" section. ((Ed: An expanded version will appear in DEAD LETTER FILE. See the 11 News from Phantom Press's release at the back of the zine.))

Oh, yes. "And Then Noogie Said" by Judy — good view of the Rico/Sonny relationship. I read every page in here and loved it all!

Long live SWEET JUSTICE! [15]


  1. ^ ended up in Subject: Adventure
  2. ^ ended up in Subject: Adventure
  3. ^ Either not completed, or published with a different title.
  4. ^ ended up in Our Favorite Things #1
  5. ^ Either not completed, or published with a different title.
  6. ^ ended up in Southern Comfort #1
  7. ^ ended up in Everything But the Kitchen Sink #1
  8. ^ Either not completed, or published with a different title.
  9. ^ from an LoC in "Sweet Justice" #2
  10. ^ from an LoC in "Sweet Justice" #2
  11. ^ from an LoC in "Sweet Justice" #2
  12. ^ from an LoC in "Sweet Justice" #2
  13. ^ from a letter of comment in Brothers in Arms #1
  14. ^ from a letter of comment in Brothers in Arms #1
  15. ^ from a letter of comment in Brothers in Arms #1