The Long Way Home (Due South zine)

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For pages with a similar title, see The Long Way Home.

Zine
Title: The Long Way Home
Publisher: Kathy Resch (Shoshanna as copyeditor)
Editor:
Author(s): Morgan Dawn & Justine Bennett
Cover Artist(s): Laura Shapiro
Illustrator(s):
Date(s): 2002
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: due South
Language: English
External Links: Fanzine Flyer, online version
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

The Long Way Home is a 100-page Fraser/Vecchio comb-bound letter-sized slash novel by Morgan Dawn and Justine Bennett. A second edition was released in 2008 in perfect bound paper-back size with a new cover by Morgan Dawn. It is still currently in print.

Artwork has been uploaded to Fanlore with both the artist's and publisher's permission.

Summary

From publisher: "While vacationing in the Yukon, Vecchio and Fraser find themselves stranded after a deadly illness sweeps across North America. Struggling to survive in a hostile environment, they soon find themselves at odds with each other over how to rebuild their lives. For both men, it's a painful lesson that sometimes the only way to survive is to surrender."

cover 1st edition, 2002
front & back covers 2nd edition, 2008
cover of a cover showing a comb binding

Reactions and Reviews

2003

I just finished Morgan Dawn and Justine Bennett's The Long Way Home. The tag line on their novel covers reads "Sometimes the only way to survive is to surrender." The novel explores this theme, and proves its veracity, in a manner that is grim and hopeless. What is left at the end is not hope but determination and will when there is little, if anything, to live for but each other. Haunting and eloquent, this novel is a story of a possible future, more than of an alternate reality. It hurts. It is not uplifting. It does not have a happy ending. But it is a realistic portrayal of life after the end of the world. [1]
Just in time for me to rec it, Morgan Dawn has posted her and Justine Bennett's novel, The Long Way Home. Don't look for steamy sex or hurt/comfort here. This is a real angst-fest, loaded with plot. It's the kind of novel you can't put down. And it delves to the depths of Vecchio's character, shatters him, takes away what's really important to him, and find out what's left. It's one of my favorite Due South reads. [2]
"Mature themes" is certainly no exaggeration. It was very well written indeed -- nothing of lesser quality could possibly have kept me involved with this. Angst-fest is a mild description of this. I'd call it slash-my-wrists fodder. It's for sure not hurt-comfort. It almost goes beyond hurt-hurt. It is, in a word, grim. And there's nothing that I'd consider a happy ending. In fact, the ending was almost more distressing than the rest of it. The up north post-apocalyptic milieu was very well done and extremely realistic. Which should tell you, gentle reader, that it ain't pretty. [3]
I almost want to argue with Kalena... except she's right... it's grim. I think what I need to add in case it isn't clear, is that it's so far from all the false angst stories out there. Every bit of grimness is essential to the story. And what a story! It's not a roller-coaster ride of bad emotions and situations, that I would have put down--in all senses of the phrase. It's amazing world building, about, quite literally, world re-building. (Did you ever see the 1970s British mini-series "Survivors"?) I was glad I read it. And I'm glad I have the zine. It's a keeper. [4]

2004

I remember reading this story. It's so very different from all other DS stories--it stands out for that very reason (post-apocalyptic DS slash). It could be gimmicky with this premise, but it isn't. I didn't like every aspect/character, but the overall story was powerful and I would gladly rec it to anyone who reads darkfic. [5]

2007

I can't bring myself to read it too often because it's so hard and so fantastic. In fact, I think I've only ever read it through twice. [6]
One of the dS fics that impressed me the most. [7]
One of my favorite pieces of fiction, professionally published or not. [8]
On the brighter side, although I have not been creating myself, I did take a couple of hours the other night after work to read a story I've been meaning to read for ages, The Long Way Home by Morgan Dawn and Justine (I think). Really, really awesome story. Elements of Stephen King's The Stand in its post-apocolyptic subject matter, but without the occult overtones. Really well written, I have paid money for published novels that were not half as good. My rec for the year, probably. [9]
One of the angstiest Due South stories you can think of: A Long Way Home by Justine Bennett and Morgan Dawn (first story on the top left!) is an angsty Fraser/Vecchio story that I read all in one, now-hazy, afternoon. There is a part about 3/4 of the way through that made me cry and cry and cry. I had to stop reading because I couldn't see the screen. The ending eventually turns out for the best which is why it's one of my favorite angsty stories. [10]
Long Way Home by Morgan Dawn and Justine Bennet, because they didn't just destroy the world; they made the new world, and the new Fraser, something that Ray couldn't live with. [11]
Okay, this is not an easy read. In some places, it's downright gruelling - Fraser and Vecchio, on their way home from an extended vacation repairing Bob's cabin, discover that civilization as they know it has pretty much ended due to a widespread epidemic. Along with a mixed-up group of tourists and natives, they must set about building their own community, dealing with the possible loss of everyone they know and wondering if they themselves are infected. Vecchio's perspective is sustained terrifically well throughout this novel-length story, and it's tough to see him realise just what it means to see Fraser surviving in the wild. But having said that, it's a thoroughly incredible piece of fiction, amazingly well written and so involving. There are mentions of Fraser/Vecchio, but the focus of the story is really their friendship more than the development of the relationship into something else. [12]
I have NO WORDS. Okay, I lied. This fic is kind of really really awesome. Fraser and vecchio are vacationing in Canada, as they do, and are about to return home when they find out that, you know, just about everyone below the (uhm,no i forget which parallel) is dead. And it's unsafe to return home. To be frank, I had trouble reading this all the way through the first time I ever read it. I had trouble with Fraser's characterization - not because it was OOC, but because it was plausible he would react like that, that it was IC that he would do what he does that made me uncomfortable. It's not ruthless!Fraser, it's eminently practical!Fraser. This fic is kind of unsettling - but, it's POST-APOCALYPTIC. What more do ya need? [13]

2009

How civilized is Fraser? And how ruthlessly pragmatic could he be under certain conditions and circumstances? Would he be more ruthlessly pragmatic than the two Rays? I do think that Fraser is the pragmatic among the three, with RayV being a jaded romantic, and RayK a depressed romantic. The reason I am thinking about this is that I just read The Long Way Home by Morgan Dawn, an AU which I found stunning, beautiful and harsh. While I was reading at first I told myself this Fraser is out of character, but once I got to the end I changed my mind and am now convinced this is Fraser - under certain conditions. [14]
Angstier than buckets of angst. what makes it so angsty is its absence of melodrama and the harsh beauty of the writing. There were two scenes that almost took my breath away - the first one was so upsetting that my stomach knotted up and I got nauseated reading it, and the second one was stunningly beautiful and almost serene considering what was happening. The story kind of made me think about how Fraser isn't a romantic person - he is more of a pragmatic person (anybody who grew up in a harsh climate and environment where you kill cute and not so cute animals for food and warmth, and where nature will kill you quickly if you are exposed to it without adequate shelter would have to be). It's the two Rays who are the romantics, not Fraser. Now in our civilised plentyful world romantics can survive and thrive, but when that civilisation and the plenty is taken away.... [15]
...I LOVE that story, so very, very much. It totally broke me. Second, I agree that I thought it was totally true to who Fraser could be in those conditions. He's a good man, but there is a very pragmatic, ruthless aspect of him that comes from growing up where he did. He is clearly very much a man of the wild when he first comes to Chicago (while still being, well, tamed by his Mountie teaching), and I think that's what the authors of the fic tapped into while writing the story. [16]

I love that story, BTW -- particularly for Vecchio's breakdown, which is both understandable and believable but mostly, incredibly well portrayed.

I'm not sure how to answer this, because in my mind, Fraser's pragmatic ruthlessness does not nullify his civilized status. He's hardly the blood thirsty leader of barbarian hordes, here; he's literate, educated, politically savvy, broad minded, and thinks long-term. But his background and intrinsic nature make for a core that is as elemental as the wilds and times they live in. [snipped]

Fraser as woobie is sweet fanfic reading, but not at all what we know of him from canon. Yeah, he cries over Victoria, but he also (as the story in question reminds us) was 100% willing to kill Dief when he felt it had become necessary. We see him discussing the matter with Dief at the end ("why didn't you tell me?") but I suspect he doesn't apologize (does he? Must rewatch, oh darn...). His need for Victoria is primal, as well, and Fraser is answering desires there that even he does not fully understand.

People don't think of Fraser as vengeful, either, but he is. The whole 'trail of his father's killers' thing? Check. No, he was not out to kill them and he was dedicated to justice, but it is clear from his reactions in the pilot that part of his motivation was pure fury. "His own" had been murdered, and he was not going to allow that to stand, at any cost to his career or even life.

So, while "Long Way Home" makes for some emotionally difficult reading at times, I think the portrayal of Fraser there is mostly spot on -- Fraser is a natural leader, he's a good man, and he is ruthless. My quibble? I don't think he would have treated Vecchio with such kid gloves about their situation, as he does for most of the first 2/3 of the story. But, hey, it made for great dramatic tension, so I won't hack on that point too much! [17]

2010

There are stories that are sadder overall, but this one is an epic-length fic that has at least one major bitch-slap per chapter (this is a good thing). It also utilizes the post-apocalyptic world trope that never fails to make me all shuddery. [18]

2012

I am not a Fraser/Vecchio shipper. I won't go into my reasons here, unless someone wants to chat in comments. But this story problematized the HELL out of this relationship, before things started to fall into place, and I think that's what made it work for me. It's an amazing piece of post-apocalyptic story-telling, too. Warning: this goes to some pretty dark places. One particular scene, where Vecchio's idealism crashes head-long into Fraser's practicality (Yes, I do mean that way around.) was almost heart-stoppingly painful. I read this story FOUR YEARS ago, and I have tears in my eyes right now, thinking of it. [19]

References

  1. rec of the day by duesouthrecs dated November 17th, 2003.
  2. Due South Flashback dated November 17th, 2003.
  3. Due South Flashback comment by imkalena dated November 17th, 2003.
  4. Due South Flashback comment by stormheller dated November 17th, 2003; WebCite.
  5. rec of the day by raveninthewind, June 27th, 2004.
  6. a 2007 comment at Crack Van
  7. a 2007 comment at Crack Van
  8. a 2007 comment at Crack Van
  9. Maudlin personal post by mouseytongue, dated June 8th, 2007.
  10. DS Match Readers comment by sdwolfpup, dated September 21st, 2007.
  11. Team Angst comment by keerwa, dated September 16th, 2007.
  12. Crack Van rec by jenoofer, Feb 27, 2007; WebCite.
  13. FOTW Week 6 by zeenell, dated October 10th, 2007.
  14. ~ rec post at ds-meta How civilized is Fraser? dated February 11th, 2009; WebCite.
  15. This by cyberducks; dated February 12th, 2009; WebCite. See also Due South meta; How civilized is Fraser by cyberduck, dated 2-12-2009.
  16. rec post at ds-meta How civilized is Fraser? dated February 12th, 2009; WebCite.
  17. rec post at ds-meta How civilized is Fraser? dated February 12th, 2009; WebCite.
  18. A fic that breaks your heart by exbex, dated August 10, 2010.
  19. Snowflake Challenge: Day 6, Day 11, and Day 15 dated January 17th, 2012.