...Turned to Fire
|Title:||...Turned to Fire|
|Publisher:||Idiot Triplets Press|
|Fandom:||Starsky and Hutch|
|External Links:||Publisher's Website: 2008 -- S/H Zines from Idiot Triplets Press, Archived version |
SHareCon 2010: Idiot Triplets Press, Archived version
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
...Turned to Fire is a 239-page slash Starsky and Hutch anthology. There was a separate publication of LoCs for this zine, Turned to Fire Letters of Comment. The cover is by Suzan Lovett and the two pieces of interior art is by Freda Jackson.
From the editorial regarding the title: "Well, it's a paraphrase of the quote, 'Love is friendship set on fire.' by Bishop Jeremy Taylor. I'd written a thorough yet needlessly lengthy explanation of why the title is a paraphrase, but what it boils down to is that I couldn't remember the exact wording when I named the zine. By the time I found out, I'd already announced the other title. And besides, I like it better."
A Zine Name Change
The editors of this zine originally planned for "...Turned to Fire" to be the title of their first zine, the publication that ended up being The Lucky and the Strong.
- Turned to Fire by Pat Massie, poem (1)
- End of the Line by Rosemary C. (2)
- For Official Departmental Use Only by MRK (33)
- Game Point by Theresa Kyle (61)
- The Ides of August—1986 by S. Williston (64)
- Through Love's Eyes by Leah S., poem (70)
- Foolish Dreams, Futile Hopes by Elizabeth Lowry (71) (reprinted from The Fix #11)
- Futile Dreams, Foolish Hopes by Elizabeth Lowry (76)
- Dreams and Hopes by Elizabeth Lowry (80)
- Discovering Fire by Linda McGee (85)
- Mayan Blue by Pat Massie, poem (92)
- The Velveteen Hutch by Sylvia Bond (93)
- The Ides of August—1987 by S. Williston (113)
- The Light of Recognition by Tabby Davis (117)
- Diamond Sheathed in Gold by Leah S., poem (130)
- Heartbeat by Theresa Kyle (131)
- Revelations by Mary Millard (136)
- Summer's Rain by Leah S. (142)
- Midsummer's Night's Dream by Theresa Kyle (145)
- Button, Button; also here by Katherine Robertson (156)
- The Last Mile in a Long, Long Trip by Kath Moonshine (225) (sequel to "Milestone on a Long, Long Trip" in The Lucky and the Strong)
submission request from Frienz #22
Reactions and Reviews
See reactions and reviews for Velveteen Hutch.
[Button, Button]: Sadly, our fandom has lost another one of its writers the past week. Marian Kelley, also known as Katherine Robertson, has passed away. In case some of you haven't read her fic, I thought I'd bring her to your attention and rec one of her stories. Button, Button... is a nice long case story involving a kidnapping of a young boy, a twist that I didn't see coming, and a fulfilling relationship between Starsky and Hutch. Her stories are well worth a read.
[Summer's Rain]: This is one of those stories that I almost wish was longer, but it works perfectly being as short as it is. It shows the love between the two men, and the bond they share no matter what. It's got hurt/comfort, love, humor, and the ending makes me giggle every time I read it. It's serious and sappy at the same time. Stories this short tend to leave the reader wanting, but this one is so well written that you don't need any more explanation then what's given.
[Dreams Trilogy]: Foolish Dreams centers around Hutch. He's come to a realization in his life and he talks it over with their therapist-friend. After loving Starsky silently for four years, Hutch realizes that it's never going to happen so he's decided to let it go and focus on his own happiness for once. But the thing is, Hutch has never come out and really said it. He's dropped hints, but he's never flat-out told Starsky. And why? Because he's afraid of failing. He doesn't want the rejection, so he doesn't take the chance.
In Futile Dreams, it's Starsky's turn to talk with their therapist-friend. Hutch has made plans with Starsky to get it all out in the open, but Starsky isn't sure what the discussion topic will be about. He has some indication, but he need verification. Starsky has the same feelings, but he can't accept them or maybe he's not ready yet. And he's scared and he wants reassurance, but when you're talking about something like this, there's never really any concrete assurances. You take the chance and you see what happenes. Sometimes it's a good leap and other times it's a mistake, but you have to take the chance.Finishing up the trilogy is Dreams and Hopes. It's time for them to talk and there's just so much fear over doing something wrong. Taking a chance is scary and maybe Starsky's not ready to leap into that unknown. Hutch loving Starsky doesn't "just happen" and that's the most painful part. Belittling what Hutch feels, it's not a good choice, but when you're scared you don't think about all of the consequences. It's all too much, but once everything is out in the open they can both learn what it all means and maybe realize that they're both feeling the same thing. It's going to take time, but it's worth it.
[zine]: All the slash zines from the press are wonderful, but this one I won't part with. From the incredible Suzan Lovett cover, to the wonderful "Velveteen Hutch" to the wonderful Elizabeth Lowry stories, this zine is a treasure. I read it once a year and it's never far from my hand. Some stories are on the slash archive, but, well, you know.
[zine]: The S/H zine is TURNED TO FIRE.... It's pretty good with a great Suzi Lovett color cover. Your typical warm and fuzzy S/H cuddlethon, with a teeny weeny bit of angst (though no unhappy endings, if I recall) thrown in. 
From The Collected Letters of Comment (1995)
Hi! Thanks for sending ...Turned to Fire. I haven't had a chance to read the whole zine, yet, but what I've read is hot, hot, hot! What a perfect way to heat up a cold winter day, or night.
The cover by Suzan is, as always, fabulous. A perfect compliment to a hot zine, the icing on the cake.
I truly enjoyed Pat's poems. Perfectly reflective of the mood of the zine.
Your story "Discovering Fire" perfectly showcases Starsky's possessive and jealous streak, it may be subtle but it's there. You also did an excellent job of editing ...Turned to Fire. It's a beautifully balanced and presented zine. Personally, I've always felt that some of the best zines have come out of S&H fandom. This is a great example of one!
[Rosemary C] did an insightful story of self-discovery with "End of the Line." I like her style.
Elizabeth Lowry did a wonderful job of portraying how S&H each deal with their changing relationship. How separately and finally together they try to sort it out.I wish I had the time to comment on more stories but suffice it to say I loved this zine. I certainly hope there is another S/H zine in your future. I look forward to it!
Here are my comments on Turned to Fire. My favorite stories were "End of the Line," "The Velveteen Hutch," and "A Midsummer Night's Dream." I also liked "The Last Mile on a Long, Long Trip," with a few reservations.
In looking at what these stories have in common, it seems they are all first-time stories with elements of uncertainty, sweetness, and romance. This is exactly why I have hesitated to write letters of comment. It seems my opinions reveal more about my personality than they give insightful remarks about the stories! These are exactly the kinds of stories I love and want to read in S/H, but I am not at all certain this goes for the majority of S/H readers.
The zine as a whole has a unique look due in large measure to the spectacular Suzan Lovett cover. However, it is also somewhat unusual to have a unifying theme. The theme helped bring the zine together for me, and I appreciated the Teihard de Chardin quote. I do not feel qualified to comment on the poetry but Mayan Blue definitely caught my attention.My over-all opinion is that I am thrilled that you published the zine, and I am overjoyed that you are undertaking another one. I am looking forward to Blue Eyes and Blue Jeans. I only wish I was able to contribute something, but (as you can undoubtedly tell), this is my first-ever real letter-of-comment, so I obviously have a long way to go. Just know that your hard work is very much appreciated.
Even if you don't know me, let me thank you and all the authors of Turned To Fire for this wonderful zine! [Brigitte H] gave it to me and I couldn't put it away after I got it some weeks ago - I'm reading through it all the time. It's hard to tell which story I like the most!
Well, maybe not - The Velveteen Hutch stands clearly on top of my list. Watching Hutch's development during the story is fascinating.
Very close to this top position are End Of The Line and Discovering Fire. Linda's story is special to me, because it's a "Starsky-story". I'm a Starsky-fan and I don't like him being Hutch's "follower". Most stories. I've read until now make Hutch the leader of those two which I don't think to be a safe base for a long-time friendship (or love affair). That's why I like this one so much. A strong, jealous Starsky!
I couldn't help grinning while reading it. And I love to read Linda McGee's stories. The first S/H-story I ever read was one of Linda's - Risk - and that was somehow impressing.
Heartbeat - another one I like very much. I've always wondered how people would react, hearing about the relationship between Starsky and Hutch and this story gives an answer to that question. Telling it from an "outside" point of view shows the depth of their feelings fo each other from another perspective - not only centered on the two men but how others see them. I love it.
I've already talked to Tabby about her Light Of Recognition and how much I like her way of writing. She's really something special.
Button, Button - this one shows that Starsky and Hutch have other things to do, too, not only working on their relation ship. I like it because it shows that those two have to work for their living, even if they sometimes don't like the job they are doing.
Foolish Dreams. Futile Hopes/Futile Dreams. Foolish Hopes/Dreams And Hopes - the description of the similar, yet different situations, the friends are involved in is fascinating. And the story shows that there is not only determination, but doubts on both sides as well. No "clear sailing", but struggles too, as they have to cope with the new situation. Will there be a solution for them? I wonder.
The same could be said about Game Point. How will they go on? I love stories that make the reader think. That's better than giving away all the solutions.
What a wonderful idea of using the paper For Official Departmental Use Only. Building a story around the notes that were passed between Starsky and Hutch - that's great. What I like the most about the story is that it gives an impression of how the two worked before they were partnered. It ends where other stories begin, with them moving in together. Now it's up to the reader to continue the story, something to think about, to use one's imagination - something I like about "open-ended" stories.
The Ides of August 1986 / The ides of August 1987 - Eighteen, nineteen years later: what are they doing now? Still with the police? That stuffed lion made me laugh, imagining the tough guys wondering whether there is something "magic" about the toy?! And Captain Dobey, the cat! That's cute. The "spring cleaning" reminded me so much of the "swabian housewives" that I couldn't help but giggle. There's a book of Bob Larson. "Your Swabian Neighbors" that describes (among other things) exactly this "treat". Hutch had all my sympathy - I hate doing this "spring cleaning" as well and to be honest, I'm always trying to avoid it as much as I can.
I have to admit, I didn't understand Summer's Rain. That's a strange one. I read it several times (as all the others as well), but I still can't understand it. Am I missing there something? How come Starsky thinks or dreams he's blind? That doesn't make sense to me. Sorry.
The same could be said about Revelations. After reading through it, the only thing I could think was: That's all? I expected much more after reading that good (fine? great? I'm at a loss for words now, sorry) beginning, but then, in the second half of the story, everything was lost.
I couldn't make up my mind about A Midsummer Night's Dream, either. At least it is a "Starsky-story", but isn't there any room for something else than the wish to sleep with his partner? Is it possible to be single-minded like that?
What I love about the poetry is that most of them (it?) isn't fixed on Starksy and Hutch; they fit others, too. except Through Love's Eyes - I couldn't imagine any other acting like this.
Can you imagine how important the "first impression" is? When Brigitte gave Turned To Fire to me, the first thing I saw (naturally) was the cover and I could feel myself melting slowly ... How can anyone be as good an artist as Susan Lovett??? Every time I look at that picture, my eyes are drawn to the eyes of the men. They look so real! Thank you for that wonderful cover. Connie Faddis and Susan Lovett are my favourite artists in S&H-fandom: I admire them both wholeheartetly. A copy of one of Connie Faddis' drawings is hanging on the wall beside my desk. It was the first S&H illustration that made it on the walls of my rooms. I can't bring myself to ripping the Turned To Fire-cover off, or else it would be hanging right next to it.Before finishing this letter, let me thank all of you again for this wonderful zine. You know what impressed me the most? The year of publishing! I like the thought that there are still stories to be read, new things to be discovered ... Some days ago I began reading The Lucky And The Strong. I like the mixture of it, that's for sure!
Thanks so much for getting TTF out to me so quickly, got it last Friday and have hardly put it down since!
Ok, Here's my LOC:
First things first, in all the zines I've been printed in, never has my editor thanked me in as heart felt a manner as you do for your contributors! Makes me wish I'd gotten a piece of the action.
The cover: WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW, WOOWWEEEEE, WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Can tell I went to college, huh?)Once I got over the shock of the depth of color (them there eyes!) and trying to pick a medium she used, I was in awe! I'd love to take lessons from Suzan! She is now my artistic hero! Not to knock your efforts, but the cover alone was worth the price of admission! I've seen alot of her work in other S&H, S/H zines, but nothing in color. Plus, when I look at the picture, I don't see Paul and David, I see Starsky and Hutch, She's gone beyond the physical and captured the spiritual. Thanks ever so!
Pat Massie's poem. Turned To Fire, what a warm up to the pitch! Beautiful!
Rosemary C's END OF THE LINE. It seems a very popular topic in slash, writting about the first time for S&H, but I never get tired of it, everyone's got a different viewpoint. I liked the flashbacks, they made the emotional level easier to understand, making the reader think back to all they've been through and what finally brings them to this point. Enjoyed very much!
Monica K: FOR OFFICIAL DEPT... I have to admit, this was my personal favorite! I got such a kick out of those memos, I found myself reading them aloud! Great reader's theater piece!! Wish I'd had it in college to perform! Loved the signtures, always wondered what they'd look like!
Theresa K: GAME POINT. Another popular storyline. The Game. Was a real nice wrap up to that episode with an open door to a sequel?
Sarah W: IDES OF AUGUST 86 & 87. These were super! Very funny and very touching, the kind of story I really like!
Leah S: THROUGH LOVES EYES. Now, you gotta understand when I say I'm no big fan of poetry, I've torn more poems apart in college lit classes than I care to remember, but this..this is a masterpiece! It's Starsky in a nutshell. I enjoy Leah's poems so much! Plus her story SUMMERS RAIN was just that, a nice soft summer rain. Oh, the other poem. Diamond, very powerful! So different from the other, yet just as good! Gotta meet this girl someday! Gottta meet all of you!
Elizabeth L: FOOLISH/FUTILE different sides of the coin. Both sides of the story compliment and balance the other, then throw in DREAMS & HOPES, it's a nice piece of work!
MCGEE:. YEAH YOU! This DISCOVERING FIRE thing was about as hot as I'ye ever seen! You should've printed this thing on fireproof paper! I have never read Starsky in this vein! Another of my Favorites! You do bring up a good point, it seems to be that in most stories of this kind. Hutch is the one who is in control, I loved seeing Starsky get his due!
Hoorayy! Nice job, boss!
SYLVIA B: VELVETEEN HUTCH. This was nice, nice, nice! What a super retrospect of Hutch as a person, and in his pov! She really has a good grasp of how his brain works why he does and feels what he does. I'm in total agreement here, another winner!
TABBY D: LIGHT OF RECOGNITION. I haven't read KEN'S FRIEND so I was a little off base on this one. A good wrap up of the Gillian story though.
THERESA K: HEARTBEAT: Good idea to write from an outside POV. I enjoyed the gossip group of nurses at the end! Very refreshing to see someone looking inside S&H's world even for a few moments.
MARY M: REVELATIONS: This was nice! That whole storyline in Gillian about Hutch freezing is facinating. This is a great conclusion to that incident.
THERESA K: MIDSUMMER NIGHTS: Poor Starsky! That's all I could think of, this was a very funny story! There isn't alot of real humor in slash that I've read, but this takes the cake! Another favorite of mine! I've never felt so sorry for Starsky as I did in this!
I haven't read BUTTON yet, but I'll send along my comments when I get a chance to read it.I honestly can say that I didn't find anything I didn't like in the whole zine! It's the best S/H zine I've read!
[Linda C] Sorry it's taken a while to get a LOC to you on "...Turned to Fire" - believe me. I eagerly devoured it upon arrival, and enjoyed it immenselv Here goes...
First off the cover is exquisite, in both execution and composition (but then, we've come to expect this from Suzan Lovet, haven't we?). The use of color, lighting, and oh, the eyes! I especialy love the tiny figures in their hands -- what better illustrate "love is friendship turned fire"?
Freda Jackson's line portraits are simple and appealing, as well as great likenesses of the guys—a lot of personality comes through! The quotes from de Chardin and others are sweetly appropriate. I loved the concept of "...turned to fire."
Pat's "Turned to Fire" poem is also a beautiful illustration of the title quote, with gorgeous imagery and a masterful use of language -- you this poem in your mind, and the fire imagery throughout works perfectly. Bravo!
[Rosemary C's] "End of the Line" is a very realistic "first time story - Rosemary knows the guys, knows Huggy, and gives a great interpretation of how they'd react in the situation. The story is finely detailed and plotted, with very nice detail.
For Official Departmental Use Only" had me rolling on the floor. It is an absolute delight from beginning to end, and my favorite humor piece among al the 'zines I've read. How she managed to come up with al this, I'll never know -- leave it to Monica Rose! Excellent character sketches - - there s a lot of pain over Van hidden in Hutch's prose, and loneliness in Starsky s despite the laughs. How typical of "male bonding" to say "fuck off," "smartass," etc.
"Game Point" - a lot of angst crammed into a very short story. Again, right on target with regards to Starsky's personality. Theresa crams a lot into a few words - "Hutch's eyes glowed at him, like a low-watt bulb." Beautiful.
"Ides of August - 1986" and its companion piece "...1987" are playful, sweet, loving stories, which focus on the child in Starsky and Hutch's hidden sentimentality ~ beautiful love scenes and descriptions However, the "dangerous male" part of Starsky is also clearly shown ~ I love the description of Starsky's appearance through Hutch's eyes in the second story, and using a "fight" as an excuse for a grapple, complete with a brief conflict over "who's on top." I also love the "CD." cat—fat "Cap'n Dobey."
"Through Love's Eyes"—again, we see Starsky the child melded with Starsky the "dangerous male." This one gets me misty-eyed, especially the description of Starsky's jacket as "the one with the bullet holes." Damn, this is good writing—again, something I'm used to seeing from Leah S. Interesting, how we like the interplay between the guys, letting one be dominant and the other submissive, at least for this round.
The "Foolish Dreams..." sequence of three stories is a marvelous depiction of how the course of true love never runs smooth. In-character, realistic—shows the process of groping toward communication, mistakes and all -- no pat ending. The second story gives a nice shot of Starsky having a good friendship with a woman. Again, very good writing, and shows the struggle of one partner ready for a "romantic" relationship, and the other not so sure. Good job, Elizabeth.
"Discovering Fire" is a good followup to a "first time" story, again showing the clash of strong egos. There is male aggression and possessiveness, vying with the fear of "being gay." Excellent love scenes, typical male "let's get to the point" attitudes, with tenderness more implied than open. My favorite "serious" story—excellent, Linda. Thank you! Beautiful writing and plotting. Mayan Blue - Pat strikes again. The font is particularly appropriate to the imagery - man, that woman sure can run with a theme, can't she? Reminds me a little of the language of "The Song of Solomon" from the Bible.
"The Velveteen Hutch" really gets inside Hutch's skin. The evolution of a relationship—rings true to our reticent Hutch. Once again, very in-character—I have to credit your editing, Linda—you have high standards. A good depiction of what happened after the series ended - a slow buildup to a sexual relationship, without in any way compromising or diminishing a very intense friendship. Realistic depiction of Starsky's reaction to Terry's death. A hard story to write—thanks, Sylvia!
"The Light of Recognition" is a nice flow-of-thought piece for both guys, regarding Gillian, and each other. Small details, like Starsky's fingernails, are very important. The guys hash out thoughts and memories together—how many married couples do this? Not enough, obviously, considering the divorce rate. A great title, and one that Tabby Davis fleshes out beautifully.
The "Diamond Sheathed in Gold" must be Hutch, hmm? Does this make Starsky a "Diamond Set in Onyx," maybe? Again, the "taking turns" between dominance and submission, and a reveling in either role. Beautiful love poem.
Theresa Kyle's "Heartbeat" is another tear-jerker, although short and sweet. A very good view from a stranger, seeing a truly incredible love. Hard to go through all this pain with Hutch. Theresa is another one of my favorite writers. A very tender view of Hutch, and a frightening view of how close Starsk was to death.
"Revelations" -- another good, realistic "first time" story, sensitive to Hutch's 4th season burnout, and depression. Great love scenes. Again, I love to see Starsky's wonderful personality showing through like this. I hope to see more writing from Mary Millard.
"Summer's Rain" -- boy, let's go for the tears again! But isn't this what people who love each other do? "What would happen if... I got sick, he died, I was crippled... etc." A very accurate portrait of depression; a beautiful, though painful, reverie. Writing doesn't get much better than this.
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" -- one of my favorites, and a little different from the usual "first time" story. Very good plot, writing, dialogue. Excellent portrait of (seemingly) unrequited love. Good humor. Great suntan lotion scene—beautiful and tender. Poor Starsky! A winner, all around!
"Button, Button..." is a very good crime story, excellently plotted, with astonishing detail. Marian Kelly is a top-notch writer. I like the use of the title quote, and how it fits the story. The focus is not so much on Starsky & Hutch's relationship, which is a nice break, but they still have to grapple with being "undercover lovers" in a tough male profession.
"Last Mile on a Long, Long Trip" is cute, endearing, and realistic. "Clear and tasteless Surgi Lube!" I love it. Humorous, with fumbling but sweet interaction between the guys, and a more realistic portrait of the sex—it would be a bit uncomfortable, especially for guys who are trying it for the first time. Good closing piece, with Starsky giving us "the quote." Also, leaves open the possibility that either or both may have future heterosexual relationships -- with these guys, I think it's good to have the option open—it's more in-character.Sorry for my abysmal handwriting, but I wanted to get this off without any more ado. Thanks for all your hard work on this 'zine, Linda -- it certainly paid off for me!
What a fantastic zine! The cover, of course, is unbelievably gorgeous, even for Suzan Lovett; those two pairs of blue eyes are irresistible. And the inside illos are wonderful as well; my special favorite was the one of Starsky opposite page 61, but all of them were very well done. I enjoyed the graphics too, especially the rabbit at the end of "The Velveteen Hutch." I even liked the poetry (and I'm not a poetry fan), especially Pat Massie's "Turned to , Fire" ("I could feel your'pulse, a devouring flame. Consume me"...ah!) and [Leah S's] "Diamond Sheathed in Gold" ("Take me, show me your power/Over the one who lies in breathless wait...But know that tomorrow/I will take you"—pure S&H!)
As for the stories, I think that you have a wonderful selection here, and some of the best S&H slash stories I've ever read.
"End of the Line" by [Rosemary C]. A beautifully written, touching and erotic story—just the kind I've learned to expect from this writer. I loved the conversation between Starsky and Huggy at the Pits , and then the flashbacks to show the development of the love between Starsky and Hutch. The post-"Bloodbath" flashback was especially wonderful, great h/c that never once crossed the line into sentimentality. I loved Hutch's bravado when confronting Starsky: "If an apology will make a difference, I didn't intend what happened today." Poor Hutch! The love scene was delicious too.
"For Official Departmental Use Only"' by [MRK]. I laughed so hard over this one it's a wonder ' the neighbors didn't call for a padded wagon. An irresistible blend of humor and pathos, with both Starsky and Hutch sounding just like them. I loved it when poor Starsky had to do foot patrol and put a nightstick through a councilman's windshield—and so was punished with the job of watching corpses. There were so many wonderful lines I, don't have room to list them all, but one of my favorites was Hutch's: "I never doubted you'd go for the heroic stuff,' but that 'quick thinking' really surprised me."
"The Ides of August 1986" by Sarah Williston. A very good "established relationship" story, with banter that sounded just like them. I loved Starsky's line, "I'm tough enough to stand a little mothering." And I loved Starsky's insistence at the end that Merlin, the stuffed toy, was purring, And Hutch telling him to go to sleep.
The "Dreams and Hopes" Trilogy by Elizabeth Lowry. Thank you Elizabeth for continuing this story; I loved "Foolish Dreams, Futile Hopes" in "The Fix 11" and couldn't wait to see what happened next. I loved the idea of Starsky going to a gay woman in hopes that she could explain Hutch's feelings to him, and I loved, in the third story, how Starsky and Hutch each had their separate fantasies about what would happen next (neither of which happened). One line I especially adored: "I can't breathe when I think about you not being there." Elizabeth, how about another story in this series?
"Discovering Fire" by Linda McGee. This story has my favorite line in the entire zine: "Get your clothes off. Let's fuck." What a lovely story, with a timeless theme (jealousy) told in a beautifully original (and erotic) way. I love the way this writer draws S&H: tough as well as tender, possessive as well as loving—and all male.
"The Velveteen Hutch" by Sylvia Bond. I didn't care much for this story when I started it, but by the time I finished it I was hooked. Bond's Hutch is a little different from "my" Hutch—for one thing, I can't see Hutch ever having been a bigot—but still, it was a wonderful in-depth portrait of him, with a lot of fascinating "background" information about him I really enjoyed. I liked the parallel with the children's story "The Velveteen Rabbit"—the toy who wanted to, be real—and Hutch's similar longing to be "real." I loved the line: "Starsky made me real. Oh, man, real. Really real." Sylvia, I hope you write many more. S&H stories in the future.
"The Ides of August 1987" by Sarah Hilliston. Nice light-hearted "romp," with some great lines ("The manic Mr. Clean stood there...dressed to" kill in a pair of cutoffs so threadbare Hutch could almost make out the tan line..."). Loved the idea of a cat named Captain Dobey (C.D. for short). Adorable."
"The Light of Recognition" by Tabby Davis. Ahh! ! This story, the sequel to "Ken's Friend", was so beautifully written it took my breath away. The legal details were handled very well, and I liked the way Starsky and Hutch comforted each other over Gillian's death and talked out their feelings. I loved the line, "There had been nothing complicated or alien in lying down together, discovering the healing power of touching, with no demands or expectations beyond the.comforts of closeness...A natural progression as compassion was transmuted into passion." Few'words have encapsulated the.S&H relationship as well as these. A beautiful ending too. Tabby, I think this is one of the best stories you've ever written and that's saying a lot!'.
"Revelations" by Mary Millard, Sensual, poignant, with lots of angst and an unbearably erotic and tender love scene to boot...everything a good S/H story should be. I loved the story's premise of Hutch's freezing under fire and the subsequent, explanation for it and 'Starsky's optimism at the end that everything would work out as long as they were together... so typical of him.
"Summer's Rain" by [Leah S]. A gentle, loving story. I loved the line, "Holding on to the only thing left—love...They were suspended in a world, of their own. Sharing, as always, be it joy or pain." Lovely. Although I was a little disappointed that the blindness turned out to be just a daydream of Starsky's (I love h/c), I liked the idea that Starsky could be insecure enough to wonder if Hutch would love him even if he were blind and helpless.' Loved the closing lines: "Love you till I die." "That's all?"
"Button, Button" by Marian Kelly. A good police, story, with a lot of unexpected and unusual plot twists and some very vivid original characters; the scenes in Mexico, especially, were exceptionally well done and gave me a real sense of "being there". I loved the love scene, especially the line, "I'll finish this with my super-deluxe massage that Sweet Alice charges fifty bucks for." My only, complaint was that I would've preferred a little more relationship; a flashback on how Starsky and Hutch became lovers, for example. (But then, few stories have enough, "relationship" to suit me.)
"The Last Mile on a Long, Long Trip," by Baravan. A great read. I loved the mixture of humor ("Did you remember to call the electric company?" "Oops"'! "Oops? Oops, Starsk!") and romanticism ("You are the most endearingly exasperating man'I've ever known. And the best partner a man could ask for"')." The super-hot love scene was a perfect capper to a zine called "Turned toFire" too! Thanks, Linda, for a wonderful zine!
The zine is very nicely laid out and easy to read which in itiy case (deteriorating eyesight) is a great boon. I was a bit nonplussed by all the italics in END OF THE LINE by [Rosemary C], but because I was enjoying the story, I managed to read it all without too much trouble. And it is a good story. I like Rosemary's writing and this is the kind of story I would give to a new fan as an example of the writing in S&H. Bit of action, build up to the finale. Yes, it is a story I shall read again.
I quite liked the idea of Monica's story - a novel way of doing a story which worked well. I did, however, think the decision to put every memo - no matter how short - on a new page wasted a terrific amount of space. While, as I've said, it was a nice idea, it didn't warrant the amount of space it took up in the zine. That, I guess, was an editorial decision rather than one taken by the writer. The epilogue wrapped things up nicely, though. Then - another blank page!
Another story which worked well was FOOLISH DREAMS, FUTILE HOPES and although I found the use of present tense a little disconcerting to begin with, I got used to it and felt quite a sense of sadness at the end of it. No hope for poor Hutch and yet his feelings were expressed rather well, I thought. I was also interested by the fact that one had no idea whether the^ person Hutch was talking to was male or female and I felt this was the right way for the writer to handle the story. Then I started on the next story and realised I had the reverse of the previous story - Starsky's side to the partnership, only this time he was talking to a woman. The writer managed a whole different atmosphere in this story and again it was very well done and most believable - and again I felt the same-sadness. Then, to be faced by a third story by the same person and to get the resolution - well, by this time I was wondering if this was to be what would happen and I was right.
I'll be honest - I felt a bit conned by the way these stories were set up. Felt by the time I got to the third story that maybe I was being manipulated just a teensy bit. I did wonder, you see, if the writer thought that if she had done this story as one three-part story that the readers would be expecting a happy ending and therefore would not be moved by what Hutch and Starsky said to their 'confessors'. If she did, then I think she was wrong. The story was strong enough to stand as a three-parter because it is very well done. Good, strong, compassionate writing and the ending was very good, too. Not your average 'leap into bed' situation.
Then we get to DISCOVERING FIRE. I did say it was the best story in the zine. Well, I'm going through the zine story by story as I write this and, so far, it is undoubtedly the most compelling. It has an immediacy about it which I found very appealing and I liked the sentiments behind it. To be honest, I should have liked it to be a bit longer and I shouldn't have minded if Hutch had turned Starsky where to go and stormed out. But there you are - that wasn't the way it went, and with Starsky in such a mood one could hardly blame Hutch for being mesmerised.
THE VELVETEEN HUTCH. Again I very much liked the sentiment behind this story. The notion of Hutch becoming more and more 'real' to himself as his relationship with Starsky grows deeper was_very attractive. I liked parts of it enormously - some beautiful phrases and thoughts from Hutch as the story went along. Liked the way Hutch felt about Terry, too. What I was not so sure about was the 'show don't tell' style of writing. Several times I wanted to see what was going on, but I was only told about it. I wanted, for instance, to read dialogue for myself instead of being told what was said. To work some things out for myself. Of course, the temptation is to do this when a writer is recounting incidents we have all seen on the television. What i should have liked to have seen was more of the original incidents (like the incident on page 109) to underline the concept behind the story. All in all, though, it is a story I shall read again.
Tab's story, THE LIGHT OF RECOGNITION - well, I should have known who had written the story even with an unfamiliar pseudonym. Tab's style is very familiar. And the theme is one we have seen before, too. Quiet Night In. Sharing small things, being together. The kind of story you settle down to read after a hard day at the office when you feel the world is rather getting on top of you.
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM is a variation on a theme which has been done many times before. However, again, there was a nice feel to this story which, as a zine editor, I should have felt quite justified its place in the zine.
BUTTON, BUTTON. I always expect a lot from Marian Kelly. I have read some wonderful stories by her, and she did not letme down this time. She always gives me a real 'feel' for Los Angeles - more so than many other writers (perhaps because she knows the area) - and the story kept my attention. In actual fact, I did think perhaps it was a bit truncated, although for the life of me I could not say why I should feel this way. Maybe I should just have liked more! It's a super zine, Linda. Every story, without exception, deserves its place!
The following comments are from a very jaded reader of slash stories in various fandoms, so please keep that in mind while digesting my opinions. (Had I been a fairly new fan, 1 probably would have thought almost all of these stories were terrific.)
"End of the Line" -- one of the best-written stories in the zine, as it actually had a beginning, middle, and an end. Liked the flashbacks because they were original and didn't depend on re-telling what happened in episodes. I especially liked Starsky's reflections on learning how to "open up Hutch" their first year of partnership. Lots of fans tend to assume they were best buds from the start, but it's more realistic - and satisfying to think the friendship grew over time; i.e., they earned it. I also liked how Starsky had to face that he had been just as "guilty" of giving signals to encourage Hutch. Nitpicks: On page 10, I can't believe Hutch would jump to conclusions when Starsky said, "I love ya", thereby forcing Starsky to explain that he only meant it as brothers. Surely, after a a near-death situation, they both would be feeling closer to each other and, therefore, a little sentimental. The dream (pp. 14-15) was a bit trite, but I always like it when they find an excuse to curl up together for reasons that are completely non-sexual. A very solid story.
"For Official Department Use" - Sorry, but this just didn't do anything for me. It didn't build up to anything, other than S&H becoming partners, and that came about in such a bland fashion that the whole thing seemed pointless. I liked the "Epilogue" best, though more for the idea that Starsky had kept the memos than the actual dialogue which, again, seemed rather pointless.
"Game Point" - This is a great teaser. I enjoyed everything it contained and was excited about reading something that tied into "The Game", but... where's the rest of the story?
"The Ides of August 1986/87" ~ The "87" part of this is what I think of as "bread and butter slash". It could be any two slash characters, and the whole point of the "story" is to have a sex scene, and the sex is told to the reader with lavish adjectives and adverbs but with very little feeling. There wasn't much here to make it distinctly a S&H vignette. I give the "86" part a stronger acknowledgement for effort, because there was sort of a plot with the stuffed animal, but the point lacked any punch; I mean. Merlin really didn't contribute anything to what was going on. Or am I really dense?
"Foolish Dreams", etc. - I really liked the first story in this trilogy. It's just so... so... Hutch-like. Great story-telling - the narration completely enhances the dialogue and doesn't get in the way of what's happening. I absolutely loved the last page where Hutch describes himself, especially when he says, "I like people to do the right things, and if they don't I get pretty irritated." Boy, was that like looking into a mirror! The middle story was weak and seemed awkward. I never really got into it. The third part made me very uncomfortable, but that was okay because S&H were so uncomfortable. I didn't really "like" it much, but it's the kind of situation that's hard to like. It was such a long way around to simply making an agreement to talk some more (probably so they could take another long way around again!) - but that's probably more realistic. I really admire this author's style. The use of the present-tense (am Isaying that right?) really grabs the reader's attention and she's very consistent with it.
"Discovering Fire" -- -- This stops short of being "bread and butter slash" because it had a real point. I tend to think it likely that even after adding the element of sex to their relationship, S&H would not want to keep women completely out of their lives. (Not necessarily so they could claim they weren't gay; but because they both would miss how making it with a woman feels.) But I've never had the nerve to write any such thing, because I assume the fans would detest it. Anyway, I think jealousy would rear its head rather quickly, and agree with why and how the anger is presented in this vignette. With the harsh beginning, I found myself hoping that they would be back to being sweet to each other by the end; so, I was pleasantly surprised when their love-making still had a tenderness about it, despite the harshness that had started it.
The Velveteen Hutch" ~ I won't say much here because Sylvia is a good friend and already knows my feelings about it. Call me biased if you must, but I do believe this was the best piece in the zine. It was utterly original, refreshing, consistent (except for the last page or so), introspective, and very poignant. It wasn't just good S&H, it was a good short story, period.
"The Light of Recognition" ~ I'd have to call this the second best story in the zine. The intense, introspective style made this a refreshing break from all the little short "fluff" pieces. Again, I'll contact the author directly to expand on my thoughts, but I can say now that the caring between the characters really comes through. (That's what I miss in so many of the "stories" where about all that happens is details of who's putting what where.) Here they discuss things, are sensitive to each other's feelings, care about each other, and I can believe that the extension of their relationship into the bedroom is truly an extension of their feelings. (In so many slash stories, it seems to me, the characters stop being friends once they become lovers. The caring drops to groin level and stays there. Or maybe my problem is that we don't get to see them be "friends" again once the sex is over, because most of those stories end a few sentences after orgasm.)
"Heartbeat" - A decent vignette, as it was complete within itself. I like seeing an outsider's view of the relationship. One nitpick: I didn't quite get the bottom of page 134, when a nurse clarifies, "After he'd been shot?" It made it sound like Starsky had been shot just that day; whereas, at least ten days had gone by.
"Revelations" ~ This was confusing in that I assumed the time Hutch "froze" was in reference to "Gillian"; and then to find out almost halfway through that they're talking about a different time that Hutch froze. So, a sentence or two of flashback to the incident itself may have helped. I liked the parallel drawn that, in both cases. Hutch froze because he was in love. The "I'm going to quit" seemed a bit trite; otherwise, this was an affectionately tame little piece. And though it may have been too "easy", I liked Starsky's reasoning for believing Hutch's problem won't happen again.
"Summer's Rain" ~ Boy, was I glad this was just a dream! I was falling for it.
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" ~ There was no suspense here, as it seemed obvious from the beginning that Hutch was setting things up. BUT... I really got a kick out of this! It was thoroughly entertaining and I was laughing out loud. I think what got to me was the way Hutch was chattering so much. (I've noticed that in the 4th season Hutch tends to have longer stretches of dialogue than he had in the first three seasons. There's something about his high degree of babbling that I find very endearing.) And going out of his way to announce to Starsky every little thing he was doing... like someone desperate for attention from the only other person in the room. Starsky's anxiety and discomfort was also well presented. I just plain liked this.
Button, Button" - "A" for effort for attempting such a long, multi-layer story, as so few authors want to be bothered. Real plot and everything. The relationship was pretty much down-played, but I didn't mind. However, I had some trouble with the way this flowed. What the narrator was telling the reader and what the conversations were saying seemed inconsistent with each other at times. For example, when S&H first visit Kendall they seem hostile and overly suspicious for no reason. I couldn't detect anything in what Kendall was saying that would account for the hostility. (Also, a lot of the conversations with Kendall sounded awkward and unreal. I guess he seemed too personal with them, whch was at odds with how little they respected him.) In the middle of the story, either S or H mentions that Kendall stills loves his wife very much; yet, I didn't get that feeling at all from anything Kendall said. On pages 186 - 187, H is telling S about his conversation with Minnie and said, "...as soon as I said he suspected Reina, she blew." I missed where Minnie "blew" in the conversation on page 183. These are just a few examples of inconsistencies throughout the story. Also, it seemed like there was a lot of places where someone was telling somebody else to "Shut up". (For that matter, it seemed like there were a lot of places in the entire zine where someone ~ usually 8 or H ~ was telling someone else ~ usually S or H ~ to "shut up". The only "shut up" I recall from the series was when H was suffering withdrawal, so they usually sounded out of character.) Anyway, in most cases the "shut up" made the speaker sound childish and out of control. Still, this novella was very much a worthwhile read. I liked the little moments where S&H discussed their future, and I wished the end would have said something a little more definitive than, more or less, "we'll talk about it some more later." They'd all ready been talking about it here and there; I was ready for them to make a decision! All in all, some rough spots, but those are more easily forgiven when they're part of such a difficult task. My hat's off to the author.The Last Mile" ~ What I liked best about this was the admission of fear as being the reason for moving. Most discussions of their housing arrangements focus on why Hutch moved from the cottage to Venice Place; it was a new twist to read that Starsky changed apartments because of the Vic Bellemy incident. It makes a lot of sense, and even fits in with the timing of the episodes. Not a lot going on here otherwise, but I did have to snicker when Hutch discovered the K-Y in the grocery sack. Oh, I also have to admire the writing for making me slow down and actually read the sex scene instead of just skimming (which I usually do, because so many sex scenes are the same). It really gets to me (in a heart-warming way) when the guys truly go slow and take their time when having intercourse. I think it's both more realistic and more loving. In fact, it puzzles me that more authors don't take advantage of the opportunity; to me, a careful, tender intercourse scene is like having hurt/comfort and loving-making all at once—an embarrassment of riches! (It seems like stories are either h/c or slash; fan writing has a difficult time combining the two, which is unfortunate.) A nice little story to end the zine on.
Now,-as for TURNED TO FIRE, which I'll begia with for no reason other than I love the cool cover. I can't complain about any of the stories therein. I enjoyed them all, though there were some I enjoyed a mite more.
"End of the Line" was well written, intriguing, and offered a fascinating alternative approach. Like, hey! Maybe these guys would have a few ciualms before hoppmg into bed together. I liked not really knowing what Starsky was going to ultimately do about the situation.
"For Official Use..." was flavored with [MRK's] unique brand of humor which I have also encountered and appreciated in "Fever Pitch" from IT'S LOVE...
"Foolish Dreams trilogy" Interesting POV and writing style. Kept me off balance, but in a good way.
"The Velveteen Hutch" What can I say? This piece was so very REAL! I adored it. Could this have anytliing to do with The Velveteen Rabbit being one of my all time fave books? Don't think so. Think it has more to do with Bond's literary talent... I've encountered Sylvia before in HEART AND SOUL and her writing tlirills me to death. Yes! Yes! Yes!
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" Despite the implausibihty of this one, I really liked it...Iaughed a lot, but REALLY liked it!Button..." A real story! Felt like I was reading some sort of mystery novel. Great stuff. I have kind of a soft spot for slash stories where the sexual" relationship isn't the theme, but rather a soft sort of backdrop to play against.
Many thanks, Linda—and congratulations—on 'Turned to Fire '—on its contents, its technical presentation and on the speed with which this welcome successor to TIATS has appeared.
The cover art is gorgeous with its chiaroscuro of fire colours, those twin portraits, the sustaining hands, the title theme reflected in the flame-light. A very imaginative and beautiful treatment.
Pat's title poem makes an excellent choice as lead-in to the pages which follow, verbalizing the promise of the cover. The painting and that poem belong together.
I also enjoyed the imagery of 'Mayan Blue' (the apt print style too) - and Leah's 'Diamond sheathed in gold.' This zine's poetry is very vivid and visual. Leah's other poem, 'Through love's eyes', encapsulates the basic truths in their working day —those contrasting, yet complementary, aspects on - and off -the street.
It's hard to pick one story as a top favourite (and really no need to do that anyway?? My particular liking for missing scenes which take us into and beyond some aired episode, responded Theresa's 'Game Point' and 'Heartbeat'. It's interesting to see S&H through the eyes of some third person—a new POV—and Nurse Carolyn served that purpose very well. She is a credible character, busy, tired after the duty hours. There's a sensitive observer here both in the story character and in the writer.
In 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', another of Theresa's stories, one admired Hutch's ingenuity. And I liked his readiness to upgrade his potassium intake in the interests of his partner's security. I was intrigued by Starsky's idea of a good book. Agatha Christie??? Well, it's understandable on one level—he's an omnivorous reader. There's the way he tends to gravitate to bookshelves and the way the Torino always has its emergency stock of reading material. Maybe he just wants escapist reading? But has he tried the latest McBain or the new Wambaugh? Maybe he doesn't like cop stories?
Leah's 'Summer's Rain' is another creative study of situations left behind by the post-'Sweet Revenge' scenario. That reprieve—recalled to life—raised questions and Leah sheds an illuminating spotlight on one of them.
There's a lot of pleasing variety in approach and interpretation in the contents of TTP—so many aspects explored. Linda's 'Discovering Fire' takes a searching look at some complex questions as does Elizabeth's trilogy—original narrative style there and, from both authors, some realistic insights. The trilogy message is 'Let yourself be loved and 'The Ides of March', light-hearted and loving, exemplifies that important message received and implemented.
Marian's 'Button, Button' brings the special satisfaction of a story in which those two aspects of police work and personal relationship are perfectly balanced.
The interaction between the two main characters and the events in which they are involved is convincing. What a great starting-point this one would be for filming ... all the right ingredients are here, including the well-drawn supporting cast.
Story recreations of first meetings, the beginnings, always arouse my happy anticipation. The exchanges of correspondence in 'For official departmental use only' provide a diverting way of exploring such situations. One sympathises with those early trials of Starsky's professional career and rejoices in the prospect of better days ahead. But didn't anyone at LAPD notice undue inroads on stationery stores? Like Bigelow? Or the dragon lady to whom (in 'Targets') Starsky recounted the Torino's sad fate? She'd be on to it? She's the kind who knows every thumb-tack by name?
Sylvia's story, 'The Velveteen Hutch', also traces the stages in a relationship. This title captured my attention at once. From the outset of my acquaintance with SH, I've thought there are close affinities with certain passages in 'The Velveteen Rabbit', especially in the conversations with the Skin Horse. So it was intriguing to see that at least one other person had discerned the same correlation, in this observant commentary on the course of events—from Hutch's POV. Could be interesting to read a companion piece from the Starsky viewpoint? I like the final Pine Lake location. Their own fixer-upper at last? One small question; top of page 105—actually the episode never showed us Starsky revealing Rigger's identity. All we heard was his (unanswered) question—who takes the responsibility?}Rosemary's 'End of the Line' makes a compelling opening story—a very atmospheric story, both literally and metaphorically. That evocative, menacing description of the gathering storm is very well written, an appropriate prelude to what follows ... vivid, initial scene-setting. Not their usual kind of monopoly game. Questions are raised, tensions built,undercutrents suggested, curiosity aroused in a page-turner story. The method of telling the story, with the flashback scenes, is extremely effective, especially with the bonus of a missing scene fron 'Bloodbath'. So ...we begin with 'End of the line' and end with Baravan's 'Last mile on a long, long trip', with so much good reading in between. 'Last Mile', on one level, feels like an exorcism of the inevitable aftermath of 'The Fix', resolving old problems. The sun shines on Venice Place. Figures. Moving on ... moving in ... The last mile ends with home. THANK YOU again, Linda for this zine and my grateful thanks to all those talented people whose time and commitment have brought us one more special landmark in this fandom. I'm sure I'm just one of so many who appreciate the result.
Well, first, I want to say that I thought this was a particularly attractive zine. You and your partners do a really nice job of layout and design. I'm most interested in the stories, but I have to admit that a nice package is a bonus. (I also have to be careful with the cover because I'm living with my mom now and, well, she just wouldn't understand. I mentioned that to Regina soon after I got the zine and she was teling me how tame that was compared to others. I've since discovered just how right she was. Anyway, I like the cover.)
These stories grew on me. Remember, when I first received this I was stil new to this whole concept. Several of the stories seemed to be implying that the sexual desire "explained" how the characters had behaved on screen. That sets my teeth on edge. But you know, the quality of the writing realy won me over with these. Well, there are still some that I don't care much for, but there are others that are among my favorites.
I realy liked "End of the Line", even though I thought Hutch was maybe a litle too weak? In it. But I liked the premise of Hutch suddenly kissing Starsky and Starsky freaking out and leaving and then spending the day going through their partnership and gradualy realizing just what he wanted. I thought the flashback scenes were very efective. And the sex scene at the Md was realy sweet and nice. Actualy, it's one of my favorite sex scenes.
I also liked "For Official Departmental Use Only", mostly because it was diferent. And because I could just see Starsky throwing his nightstick at cars that wouldn't stop for him to ticket them. Anyway, I thought the voices were "on" in the memos and I realy enjoyed it. Besides, I laughed a lot through it and it makes a nice break from the intensity of some of the other stories.
The "Ides" vignettes didn't do much for me--but then I'm not a big established-relationship-vignette person.
I really liked 'Foolish Dreams, Futile Hopes". I thought that was a perfect conversation between Hutch and the psychiatrist. Just perfect. The two follow-ups were also effective, but they didn't hit me as powerfuly as the first.
What else? Ahh, yes, then there's your story "Discovering Fire. Like I said, when it comes to your particular brand of writing all my whining about established relationship goes out the door. Yes, I liked it. You give your stories a nice edge from time to time and it's nice to see. I mean, it was a litle difficult to see Starsky treating Hutch that way. but I do think that Starsky has this dangerous edge to him and it was good to see that put to use. I think it would have been easy to go too far with this story, but you walked that line very nicely.
Going on...oh, I loved "The Velveteen Hutch". Very much. And see? There's another of my private peeves that I throw out the window when I realy like the story. They stopped being partners, they got "safe" jobs...but I can't fault the story. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing, the development of Hutch and his feelings, the way that they gradualy came to sex (geez, for once it was even after they had decided to live together!) This is realy one of my favorite stories.Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I have thoroughly enjoyed your zines (and your stories!) and I'm impatiently waiting for your next one. I love good writing wherever it appears -- gen or slash. It realy doesn't matter. I guess the best way, realty, to express it is to simply say: Thank you. For someone who didn't know all these years that fan fiction (and fandom) even existed It s been a wonderful SIX months of discovery. (I am going broke though.)
- a 2011 rec at Crack Van
- a 2005 comment at Crack Van
- a 2006 comment at Crack Van
- Flamingo, August 22, 2003, who rated it among her top ten favorite zines, quoted from VenicePlace on Fanlore with Flamingo's permission
- comments by Michelle Christian, on Virgule-L, quoted with permission (November 26, 1994)