|Publisher:||The Nut Hatch|
|Author(s):||Jane of Australia|
|External Links:||The Hunting; The Hunting, Book One, Part One; The Hunting Book One Part Two; The Hunting Book One Part Three; The Hunting Book One Part 4; The Hunting Book One Part Five|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
More information on this series is at The Hunting Universe.
The Hunting is a "series of alternate universe fantasy Raven/Bodie slash novels and stories by Jane from the Nut Hatch Collective in Australia, comprising 20 stories across various zines." . Portions of the story were released to the Professionals circuit library and also inspired fan-made cover art.
For more information on this series, see The Hunting Universe.
Covers and Title Pages
- The Escape into Morhod
- The Death of Falcon
- The Hunting of Amber
- The Chrysalis
- The Warband Rides
- The Bonding of Two Worlds
From a Flyer
The massive, six-part epic where it all began, under one cover...
Here is the place it all began ... a summer's night in a place called Garth's Forest, on the human side of the Black Hills. A terrible battle has been fought between mortal enemies, and the humans won. Garth, the region's most powerful chieftain, has taken a prisoner — a warprize — who is literally worth his weight in gold...
The warrior, Bodie, arrives home to the stockaded town late one night, to find the warprize being exhibited in Garth's feasting hall. And to Bodie's complete astonishment, he recognises the young elf, though Bodie never knew his name.
Garth knows exactly who he has captured. The warprize is Raven, son of Wulff, the young chieftain of the most powerful clan of the elven Kith tribe. Garth sees the young man as a prize, invaluable in the endless war between the two peoples; Bodie, however, recognises Raven as the man who literally saved the life of an enemy in battle. The life saved waw [sic] Bodie's own.
So, how could Bodie stand aside and see the beautiful elven youth abused by Garth and his noblemen? He can't, and one night he steals Raven away, and they make their run for freedom, across the hills.
For Bodie this is a one-way trip. He knows he will be hunted till the day he dies for what he has done. For Raven, it is the gift of life, when he had fully expected to die.
The journey is ardous [sic], because at this time Raven is blind. It's a voice, a gentleness and kindness, he falls in love with ... and imagine his joy, to regain his sight at home in Morhod, west of the hills, and discover that his new mate is also a great beauty in his own right.
The first volume of THE HUNTING says Welcome to Morhod ... the story is vast, and impossible to synopsize here; but this is where you'll first meet Raven's human mother, Feyleen ... Bodie's first love, Kevin ... Kevin's 'boy,' Raphael ... the doomed Kith shaman, Falcon ... the great Kith shaman of eons gone by, Amber, who is the "Merlin" of this story ... and many more of the characters who drive the story through more than two million words of narrative.
BOOK ONE: THE HUNTING,Over 360 pages, now presented with many illustrations, and braid bound in the hand-crafted hard covers of your choice. 
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR STORY IDEAS?: That's a hard question! Some pop into my mind full-formed, some take weeks to work out. FLESH AND STEEL came from a fever dream, when I had 'flu a few years ago, and a story I'm about to write, "Callisto Switch" -- which has nothing to do with Xena, and is a pro SF story, incidentally -- popped into my mind one day in May, and I didn't "get the ending" that would make it work writing, till July! Some stories are 99% inspiration (like THE HUNTING), and others were worked out logically, step by step, without one iota of inspiration! In the latter case, I'll have "glimpsed a flash image," a scene from a story that I really, really wanted to write, but the story was the original sonofabitch, it would not take shape by itself. Where this happens, and where I genuinely want to write that story I glimpsed, well, it's time to put on your engineer's hat and CRAFT the story! 
Reactions and Reviews
This is a grand epic, approximately 400 pages in two parts, both available in the "Circuit." A third part (500 pages) is available from J.J. Adamson in Australia. This is set in an alternate, fantasy universe (like many Bodie/Doyle stories are). This epic details the many adventures of an Elven chieftain and his Human lifemate, perhaps only remotely related to the British crime show. There is a whole cast of other completely fascinating and complex characters. If you are into magical wonders and fantasy adventures, then this is for you. I know it definitely is for me! 
(yes, we're all supposed to be tired of all these elf stories, and the relationship of this to THE PROFESSIONALS is quite tenuous. But I still LIKE this series...) 
[I love] ANYTHING by JANE: here's an Aussie author who's just recently gone "pro" in the "real world", and it shows. I've never read anything of hers that I haven't liked, but my favorites are her epic, THE HUNTING. (here comes one of those "side-comments": anybody who by-passes this because it's fantasy, and "not really" B&D, that's their loss. I get so sick of hearing this referred to as an "alternate universe B/D," where the author herself has made it very clear from page one that THE ONLY THING THESE CHARACTERS SHARE IN COMMON WITH B&D ARE THE NAMES OF "BODIE" AND "RAY" [short for Raven]. There! Everybody got that now? I suppose if you wanted to stretch a point, you could see some similarities: the Bodie of THE HUNTING was a warrior/mercenary type, unused to showing deep emotions, until he fell in love with Raven... warrior. Raven has some "Ray Doyle" qualities,too,such as his being a warrior, too, along with the softer aspects...he cries easily... he's got a create their Doyle-like set of ethics and honor,etc. Most writers who create their own characters take bits and pieces of character aspects from other "characters", or even people they know, so I don't see why some "fans" have such a gripe about accepting fantasy "clones" who "aren't really B&D." As far as I'm concerned, it takes a lot more creativity and brains to come up with a whole set of original characters [loosely "inspired" by your fandom favorites] than it does to re-hash TV characters that anybody could portray reasonably well after studying the aired series for awhile. I don't think it's going too over the top to compare this epic with Tolkien ... with the added aspect of gay love, of course!) 
You are not the only one in fandom who doesn't llke The Hunting. I thought the first chapter was good, as a 19th-century style romantic fantasy, but then it moved into being a story about the land that these characters lived ln and I lost interest. I'm just not much into "milleu" stories; I llke stories about charaeters and their reactions, and how they inter-relate. I'll stop readiag any series when the characters no longer interest me, regular fiction included, not just fanfic. 
The story is a wonderful example of the best and worst of fan writing. I, too, am one of the fans who can't say I like it. I have, however, spent considerable time trying to figure out why. I believe that the first 40 pages is one of the finest A/U stories ever written in B/D fandom. I have read it over and over, entranced. It should have ended at the bridge, for me. About 600 pages later (and there must be, what, a couple thousand pages of it now?) I stopped reading, completely unable to force myself to read another page. I was burned out. But why? The characters were still there, the universe interesting — why couldn't it hold my attention? Why did Fayleen/Kevin/Raphael not interest me? Well, on one level, there is no peace in the tales. Never home, for long, never the satisfaction of a story rounded off and finished. Or was it simple? The Bodie and Ray here have nothing at all in conmon with the characters from the show except appearance/sexiness. The plots also were difficult for me to identify with.
Raphael's search for a method to grow back his cock comes to mind as an example. Perhaps I, as a woman without such an appendage, can't properly understand a male's desire to have one, or have one back? Was it a flaw in the story or in myself, that I found it not appealing? This story started on the circuit; I believe it went on in zines. I think it is exactly the sort of story the circuit is meant for, and I was disappointed when it went to zines, not only for the cost involved, but because I never got the feeling it was polished before it was launched. Parts were repetitive (they had to be, to explain for anyone coming in to the universe at a given point.)
I did finally decide that the factor which colored my view of this universe is the underlying racial prejudice which is so subtle. Humans are the bad guys here, and with the exception of Kevin/Feyleen/Raphael, and of course Bodie, they are rapists, both of the land and the people. Selfish, crude, smelly, and cruel. It skews a great many scenes; it surfaces again and again, and it makes me uncomfortable.
What this has to do with anything is, this is one of the few stories which caused me to step back from the tale and really look at the writing. I had to study bits of it, think about it off and on for weeks, consider points of view, assumptions, length, construction. I spent time thinking about how the writing created the universe, about mechanics and the author's themes, and this is something I have not done much in connection with stories I adore. This story I don't like taught me a great deal.Can anyone who likes the series explain what makes it work for them and why? 
My "problem" with The Hunting is it seems they were in bed by page three. A little slash can go a long way so I'd like to be introduced to the characters and setting first (especially in A/U), let emotions build and give it all a REASON for ending up in bed.I have trouble with most A/U. It's not only not Pros and not B&D, it's merely look-alikes; it's roles being filled by Shaw & Collins by the Central Casting author. To me, that's a cheat. I didn't like it in B7, either. I read Pros fan fiction to read about Bodie and Doyle, not Raven and Guillaume. 
Just got done reading the new additional book to The Hunting (It's the 5th instalment I can't remember its name.) Excellent background and characterization. I find this elfiand and its inhabitants charming and fascinating. Jane could actually change the characters to be her own and have it all published in a professional fantasy series. 
It almost hurts to read the first installments of The Hunting, because she used so much passive language. The overuse of "was," "has been," "-ly," and "-ing" words, and lackluster description. Her more recent works, though she's a bit repetitive, are better in that respect.And you also must remember, Jane herself has only written about half of what's been printed about The Hunting. I was talking to Betty Ann Brown (Nut Hatch's US rep) just last week, and she told me this. Some of the repetition is most certainly the ghost writers picking up on words and turns of phrase that appeared in other works. They have deliberately used these words in order to disguise the fact that they're writing in someone else's universe. This is similar to the way almost all writers in the Professionals realm describe Doyle's eyes in feline terms (cat-green, et al.) or as emeralds, when in fact his eyes, though a shade of green, are neither slitted like cats nor as brilliant green as emeralds. It's just an accepted universal trait that few slash writers want to argue against. I think the overuse of certain descriptive terms in The Hunting falls under this same heading. 
This is a massive work, an alternate universe fantasy elven epic. Bodie and Raven are only loosely related to the two CI5 men. So what? 
Hey, I LOVE Ray-as-a-Morhod-elf! But then, I'm really warped, so maybe I'm not a very good example.
The thing I like about the Nut Hatch PROS stuff is that her style and skill have improved so drastically in the last ten years or so. I mean, I freely admit that the first two books of The Hunting suffered from a lethal case of passive-itis. The more recent releases show a lot more care and attention to style and active voice than the first books. It's like watching a writer grow up. She makes me believe I can do it with my own original science fiction and fantasy writing.
All anyone has to do is look at any of the 8 novels I've got going right now to see the influence slash fandom has had on my original works. That's another reason I especially like fantasy and sci fi A/Us. I have good, strong, recognizable characters yet as either a reader or a writer, I am challenged to envision an entirely new history that would bring about the same personality results.Besides ... I just like elves ... 
The Hunting. Yes, well, but... It's so BLOODY BORING! It goes on and on and on and on and on and on--and we still haven't got anywhere. And repetitious! My god, if we had a dime for every time a single phrase is reused, unchanged, we'd all be rich (example: in Death's Head or the second professionally published novel, whichever, the air is described as 'soup". That's it. Just soupy, again and again. I got to the point I'd have been delighted if she'd even said the air was like minestrone. And as for hair being a curtain across men's (oh, sorry, youths' and boys') shoulders... I'll forgive a lot, but I forgive less in an experienced writer who has enough word-count to have\ done things in depth and enough experience to know more than one adjective per inanimate object. But then, I don't like Jane's work: too long for my taste, and too, too...well, nice, and predictable.I'd much rather read Courtney Grey or Thomas. Or (and yes, this is a *very* unsubtle hint) a good humour piece like Underneath the Arches. 
You know, I've started to read The Hunting series and have to say I don't find it half so bad as a lot of people have tried to make me believe. Not that I care so much for elves in particular, but I find this a lot more bearable than stories that set the Pros in Louis XV age and have Beaudie curse "Mon Dieu!", etc. In that, I find it even one of the better au ideas (although I'm generally not very fond of au's).
The thing that mostly catches my interest in The Hunting is that there is so much sex in it, and if I enjoy the sex I can take a bit of au plot with it. :-) I wouldn't have tried reading it if someone hadn't shown me some excerpts which I found quite hot. Actually, I've started wondering if maybe the popularity of The Hunting may not be due to the amount of sex scenes in it...
Oh shit, now I'm going to get it from both sides - the Hunting-contras (because I'm actually enjoying reading this) and the Hunting-pros (because I'm suggesting that the main attraction is sex)... :-)
- You're not the only one. Back when I didn't know which one was Bodie and which was Doyle, or the difference between Jane of Australia and Jane Carnall, someone was telling me about The Hunting, in almost the same terms you used -- she didn't have much use for Pros, or elves in general, but the sex scenes were extremely hot. I've read a couple of the stories now, including the first one, and agree that, considering how many sex scenes there are, there is amazingly little repetition. They don't do much for me, though, because a) the characters aren't Bodie and Doyle and b) there isn't enough angst. When I read "The Hunting" I feel as if I might as well be reading a fantasy version of standard gay porn -- well done, but not what rings my bell. Not, you understand, that my acquaintance with standard gay porn is all that wide-ranging. I tried a book or two, at a point where I didn't have access to slash, and it didn't scratch the itch at that point. I've probably gotten more into the ATG mentality than I was then. A bit, at least.
- I had talked to a lot of people about The Hunting before I started reading it too, although none of the vast Pros readers I'd talked to ever said it wasn't good. The worst I'd heard is, 'I've heard it's good, but I haven't started reading yet because I don't have it all'. Initially this kept me from reading it, but then when I found out it was ongoing, I just decided to start in. I really enjoyed the first installment. I read the next couple of installments and then had a bit missing so haven't gone on from there, but I do remember really enjoying it. I know the sex was good, but it was more than that. I'm am NOT an elf fan. And AU stories aren't always my favorites, (although there is some good stuff in the B/D AU) but The Hunting was very well written, some very vivid imagery. Definitely inspiring. 
I've loved the Pros A/U's more, I think, than the "canon universe" stuff. My own favorite (at this moment, at least) is the science fiction stuff, mainly from Australia. AlthoughMeg Lewtan's "hysterical historicals" will always be sentimental favorites. And can't forget The Hunting, my all-time favorite Pros work! Loved your statement that they were so different from Ray and Bodie, yet so much the same. I love taking that leap with the author, and it works, for me, virtually every time. 
I love Jane's Hunting; I mean I really *love* this universe. However, when she came out with the Hunting combined in one zine with gorgeous suede binding for $60 I didn't feel the urge. I had the early circuit stories and they were fine for me. A friend, a completist in Professionals, bought the zine eagerly and while she likes the universe, she doesn't re-read the entire collection once a year like I do. Two different fans with different views of a the value of a zine. 
I admit, The Hunting contains a lot of explicit sex scenes that aren't essential to the plot, but I love reading them anyway. And I know so do lots of other fen... And I can only guess that Jane probably liked them, too, or why would an author write something otherwise in the first place? 
I like Jane's sex scenes better than her plots, on the whole - which is, I think, a perfectly valid reason for reading her stories. 
Who determines what comprises "high quality"? Is The Hunting a "high quality" story? I personally think it's not as exceptional as for instance Angel in the Dark or Never Let Me Down. However, if that would mean that my copy of The Hunting would have to disappear I'd really miss it! I *like* The Hunting. It pushes a lot of my buttons, and that's what I want from slash. 
Finally, I have a THAF (Throw-the zine-Hard And Far) when there is a very good angsty situation and the author "wastes" it by resolving the angst and the tension too soon. ... Example: at the beginning of The Hunting (Jane, Nut Hatch Press - also in the Library I think), Ray has been blinded. Ooodles of angst: what can a blind warrior do? So I wiggle in my armchair and prepare to pages of angst -- only to be cruelly disappointed when the healer conveniently reveals that Ray is not really blind, it's just a temporary thing. So, Ray is still blind for all the following 50 pages or so, BUT any angst has gone out of it since we know since page 2 that it's not real blindness. AAAAAGGGHHHH!
Jane of Australia isn't one of my favorite Pros authors, but she's got a definite following. She leans toward Alternate Universe (AU) stories, fantasy universes, and "happily ever after." My recommendation of The Hunting actually does double-duty; it's a good example of Jane's style, as well as being representative of the kind of Alternate Universe stories that are common within Pros fandom. 
Dear heaven. I've no idea why they appeal so much, but I'm helpless to resist. 
I love The Hunting--all of it, not just what you can get online. She did a wonderful job creating a wonderful universe. 
I'm not always in the mood for being grown-up either and I can enjoy escapist stories very much, hence my love for Pam Rose's Arabian Nights and the early parts of The Hunting...[why just the early parts?] Because I hadn't read the rest...HAHAHAHAHAH!!! No seriously, I *haven't* read all the rest but it did start to get very repetitive after the first few parts... You know the kind of thing, lots of outdoor sex, Doyle being treated like a girl by Bodie, lots of outdoor eating/picnics, lots of outdoor sex and then you had lots of sex/eating/sex/eating/few fights/more sex/more eating and so on until it began to remind me of Enid Blyton but I did *love* the first couple of parts. 
"The Hunting" in Professionals ... never ended, but only because I think I died of old age before I stopped reading. It was ... Okay, assume an A4 page, the British ones that are extra long. With a half-inch margin all the way around, single-spaced, printed both sides, a stack of 1,000 sheets. I don't even know how to estimate the word count for that.... But, uh, we can just agree it was really long. 
- The Hatstand
- Close Quarters Desert Island Episode/Zine/Fic dated July 18, 2009; reference link.
- from Interview with Jane of Australia
- from alicambs Professional Recs, Archived version
- comments in Short Circuit #2 (July 1990)
- from a fan in Short Circuit #3 (October 1990)
- from a fan in Short Circuit #3 (October 1990)
- from Cold Fish and Stale Chips #10
- from Cold Fish and Stale Chips #11
- from Cold Fish and Stale Chips #12
- from Short Circuit #11 (December 1992)
- comment on Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (October 13, 1993)
- from Be Gentle With Us #7
- from Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (October 1993)
- quoted from Virgule-L, anonymously with permission (October 7, 1993)
- quoted anonymously (first quote and third), second quote is by Jan Levine, from Virgule-L (August 1995)
- from Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (August 1995)
- from Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (April 20, 1996)
- from Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (July 13, 1996)
- from Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (July 14, 1996)
- from Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (July 17, 1996)
- from Virgule-L, quoted anonymously with permission (November 24, 1996)
- MS' post to the Pros-Lit mailing list on Oct 30, 2001, quoted with permission.
- from a 2003 comment at Crack Van
- from a 2003 comment at Crack Van
- from a 2003 comment at Crack Van
- a 2009 comment at CI5hq
- Fan Fiction Oral History Project with Jacqueline (2012)