Two Spies Sittin' on a Boat, Talkin' About Sex

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Title: Two Spies Sittin' on a Boat, Talkin' About Sex
Author(s): N.L. Hayes and C.W. Walker
Date(s): 2004
Fandom: Man from U.N.C.L.E.
External Links: online here

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Two Spies Sittin' on a Boat, Talkin' About Sex is a Man from U.N.C.L.E. story by N.L. Hayes and C.W. Walker.

It was published in the zine The St. Crispin's Day Society and is online.

Reactions and Reviews

Why This Story Must Be Read:Because it's a fascinating and insightful glimpse into the heads of two very different men, who nevertheless transcend their differences to form a deep friendship and very successful working partnership.

The premise of the story sounds almost dull - two men spending a summer's evening aboard a sailboat, companionably talking and drinking. But with these guys, nothing is as it seems. They may be talking about women and sex and their different approaches to both, but it's mixed together with politics, philosophy and ethics, and seasoned with a dash of healthy competition. Their conversation ranges far and wide, demonstrating the breadth of their wit and intelligence as well as the depth of their differences, and especially, the strength of the bond between them.

There are no blazing guns or interrogations but there is plenty of tension and conflict between two friends as the liquor melts away inhibitions and loosens their tongues. The political is the personal with these guys, and this sweeping discussion proves it.[1]
This is one of my favorite MFU stories, and it's completely unlike any of the others I like. I seem to remember reading notes by the authors that they each took a character and wrote him individually, or something along those lines. In any case it's seamless, and to my mind, it's a classic.[2]
You're right, it is an unusual piece, particularly for this fandom, which doesn't necessarily go for a lot of introspection. Nice to hear it has its admirers. :) This is one of those stories I can read over and over, and get more from it with each reading. It's a fascinating glimpse into their heads and the authors did a great job with Illya and Napoleon's voices. I love how they breach (emotional) intimacy barriers then retreat, then push through again, and how their thoughts run counterpoint to their words. It's surprising how much tension there is in this story.[3]
Thanks for the rec, Irene. It is unusual ---it was an experiment in role-playing and a way to explore interactively some issues in the characters' lives. We used the same method to write our novel, "The Small Sacrifices Affair."

We're hoping to do another conversation again, perhaps on politics, if we can find the right premise and time in RL... We wrote is interactively. Nancy role-played IK and I did Solo. We set up the premise, drew from our respective work for the back stories, but then followed the conversation wherever it led. Some of it was surprising to us, too. Glad you enjoyed it!



  1. ^ from a 2004 comment at Crack Van
  2. ^ from a 2004 comment at Crack Van
  3. ^ from a 2004 comment at Crack Van
  4. ^ from a 2004 comment by C.W. Walker at Crack Van