The Perfect Affair
|Title:||The Perfect Affair|
|Publisher:||published by Bill Hupe, a distributor was Knightwriter|
|Illustrator(s):||no interior art|
|Date(s):||undated, but likely 1995|
|Fandom:||Man from UNCLE|
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From Media Monitor: "Something was wrong with Illya. It stared with the panic attacks, ones that left him shaking, terrified, and unable to remember why. Napoleon could no longer stand by and watch the most important person in his life fall apart, especially now that not only THRUSH but Alexander Waverly were against them... This novel deals with the subject of child abuse; physical, emotion and sexual, as well as an adult relationship between Napoleon and Illya."
Author's Forward: From the Zine
First of all, let me take a moment to thank you, the reader, for picking up this 'zine and checking it out. In case it hasn't been made clear, this is a Man from U.N.C.L.E. novel. It is adult. It is "/" (slash: same-sex relationship). For those of you who have read other things that I have written, that isn't a surprise (oh, and thanks, by the way, hope you... enjoyed? my earlier stuff). It also won't be a surprise that this tale is, in places, violent and disturbing.
For those of you who have not had the... pleasure of knowing my name (and, hence, haven't run screaming from the room), let me explain a little about what you're getting yourself into. This story deals graphically with child abuse. Physical, emotional, and sexual, it is disturbing. It is disturbing to me. I lost many a good night's sleep while writing this, please don't think that I'm immune to what I conjure up. It also deals with recovery. And, because I'm a disgusting romantic, it deals with relationships, good ones and bad ones, and their mutability. It does require you to suspend your disbelief in places (okay, in many places!). I recognize that, don't scream at Peg because there are things that aren't... perfect. This does tend toward the fantastical. In fact, bear in mind that the good stuff - especially the more accurate interpretations of the characters - are her accomplishment; I could not have asked for a better editor, had I been designing/building/phone-ordering one! She's responsible for the book's cohesion (you should have seen it when we started!) among a multitude of other things that went right! Any criticism rightly and justly belongs to me. She'll be glad to forward it. I also owe great thanks to Bill and Ann Hupe - swell, patient people who make time for idiots like me! My U.N.C.L.E. collection wouldn't be the same without them. Nor would my wallet. I must also thank Cecil, without whom this wouldn't be possible (you, however, may hate 'him' when this is over!). Oh, and of course, my wonderful parents who don't know what I write, don't want to know what I write, but accept the fact that I do write and that someone out there reads it, other than my delightfully weird friends here (thanks, guys!}. It goes without saying that this wouldn't exist without the people who brought us U.N.C.L.E. - actually, maybe it would but with original characters.-.. Yes, I could be dangerous without television.So, that out of the way, I leave you, hopefully, to this tale. Enjoy.
Author's Comments: From Z.I.N.E.S. (v.2 n.1 (2000)
So, as a warning, I'm going to digress into some o f my own history with U.N.C.L.E. — what you are about to read is pure hypothesis and personal opinion — please don't shoot me or blame anyone else if you disagree. When I first started writing U.N.C.L.E., I started out writing what is termed, by the definitions o f this article, classic h/c; not only The Perfect Affair, but a number of my short stories all centered on the emotional relationship between the agents. It was what I wrote and, for the most part, what I preferred to read. As I was writing exclusively slash at the time, I didn't know there was much else in the fandom, even though (via mail, as this was the way-olden days when everything was done the slow, silent way) I had heard whispers of gen anthologies, and that strange universe of short story collections written by some great U.N.C.L.E. guru named C.W. Walker. So, through several years of trials and tribulations in the course of trying to get The Perfect Affair published, I ended up getting to know Bill Hupe very well, and he demanded that I come to MediaWest. Part of the rational was to promote my newest novel, The Olde World Affair, and part o f it was to broaden my exposure to the fandom. The trip was a gigantic success — I left with more zines than my suitcase could carry, I met some of the most important people in this fandom, and I was challenged to write something other than slash.
It was reminded recently by a close friend who knew me very well then that I was a more active in supporting slash and h/c than I am now. Perhaps I was. Perhaps there was more of a need then — or perhaps I perceived that there was more of a need then. The fandom was smaller in those halcyon days, there were few of us writing and we defended what we wrote to the bitter end. I vividly remember the talks with editors of several of the gen zines— and there were only a couple at that time — as they tried to explain why they didn't find slash to be a true interpretation of the characters, why the emotions didn't 'ring true' to their vision of the show. They weren't rude or brutal or even dismissive of my writing or me. At the worst, I would have thought them to be close-minded — but they didn't intentionally offend me. Instead, they challenged me to write something that they might publish. Some might argue that, at this point, there was a reactionary movement afoot, caused by the prevalence of slash zines (many of which were comprised substantially of h/c stories) as opposed to gen zines. This was a part of the reason why I was lured toward the other types of writing (that, and the challenge). But the reactionary position, while helping to produce a whole new collection of zines and zine editors, also intimidated many of the h/c writers into believing that no one appreciated their efforts. It also drove others away from writing at all, or into other types of writing. It has been suggested to me that this was part of why I altered my own style. I can't say that that's not accurate to some degree because it probably was. But I also say that my style changed because I was ready to try new things. To that end, I started experimenting with it. I found new ways to write and new stories to tell. Obviously, I still write slash, and I like to think that I still write h/c. But I also write more complicated tales (let me live in this delusion!), one with more lines of intrigue—plot, if you will — and more dimensions of character and situation.Now, at the same time I broadened (as I prefer to see it) my on writing, the accessibility o f the internet and mass communications had its own effect on fandom in general and U.N.C.L.E. fandom in particular. It grew. We developed — and still are developing- a much larger following. And we diversified. Because it was the internet — hi-tech,so to speak — we started seeing fans who — gads!!!! — hadn't even seen the show — no, not just when it originally ran, or when CBN re-ran it, or when TNT did the New Year's Eve Marathon, or even when TNT was re-running it at 5 a.m. on Tuesday mornings! Not ever! They were drawn to the fandom by what they were reading and seeing on the web and from the listserves. And they brought with them their own sense o f what they wanted to read. Stories like what we were writing ourselves, but also stories like what they have grown up with. Darker, more complicated — that whole 'modern fiction' concept.