Vas & Dex

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Fandom
Name: Vas & Dex
Abbreviation(s):
Creator: Terri Beckett and Chris Power
Date(s): 1971-1987
Medium: print
Country of Origin: UK
External Links:
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Vas & Dex is an original fiction fandom series of stories by Terri Beckett and Chris Power.

They are slash and gen.

They were written between 1971 and 1987 as pass-around stories. A few appeared in zines.

Fans who were involved in Starsky & Hutch, Harry & Johnny, and The Professionals were some fans of this series.

While Terri Beckett and Chris Power wrote the bulk of these stories, other fans wrote in the universe as well.

Starsky & Hutch as Inspiration

Beckett and Power were enamored of "Starsky and Hutch" when it was airing, but they were "fans in isolation"--not knowing that fandom existed. They decided to write their own stories, which they based on Starsky and Hutch.

The two characters were David Vastarnyi (the Starsky "clone") and Jonathan Dexter (the Hutch "clone").

Vas was Hungarian, from a poor background, stubborn, hot-tempered, loyal to Dex, and walked with a swagger. Dex was an educated and wealthy background, became a cop against the wishes of his family, was recently divorced, and was a bit of a whiteknight and idealist. The two men met at the police academy and ended up as partners in the LAPD. Their boss was Lieutenant Hymie Goldberg.

The two authors kept writing Vas & Dex even after they discovered Starsky & Hutch fandom. At that point, the two original characters had taken on a life of their own. Beckett and Power also wrote an alternate Vas/Dex series.

The stories were photocopied and circulated by mail. Jody Lynn Nye was a one-time distributor in the US.

Author Comments

(1985):
It seems there are new people discovering our non-SH universe (colloquially known as contacting V&D) and so I'd like to take this opportunity to explain a few things. We like to share, and we are happy to welcome new readers. We just like to know who you are and what you think. We're never going to get it right if you don't tell us when we go wrong, now are we? Besides, I'm rethinking the distribution-system, hopefully to take some of the weight off the kind ladies who have been helping out. So--if you have read/are reading any of the V&D stories, please get in touch with me. That goes for past readers, too. I have some exciting news for all of you. Vale atque ave, friends... [1]
(1987):
Since we'd written quite a lot of V&D before their advent into fandom, I guess to the new readers it seemed that there was a never ending supply of it. But of course, we don't have the mythical manuscript tree in our garden, So it tends to seem a long time between stories. There is plenty on the horizon, however — see the attached list of available material. I'm pleased you I liked the portraits — in spite of excellent attempts by fannish artists, no one had produced pictures that looked like both of them and not like SH clones. Then came Todd Hamilton. The rest is history. As for THE THRESHING FLOOR series... yeah, you could say interesting. Enjoyable? Let's say, if we did this to S&H we'd be lynched. [2]
(1988)
'... the introduction of sexual intimacy can trigger... alterations in attitudes...' Right on... This is something that I find fascinating. We have tried to explore this in our SH writing, and maybe even more in the THRESHING FLOOR alternate of our V&D stories. Well, we're freer there to delve into the dark side — less chance of anyone jumping down our throats screaming 'That's not MY S&H!' And from what Jody tells me of requests for TF, we must be doing something right... Seems people want to read little else, and when are we going to write more? That, if you're interested, is a question we hope to answer just as soon as we get NEA off our backs! Soon, Henry... [3]
(1990)
I was deeply touched to see that our own Vas and Dex have made it into the 'featured fandoms' at the S&H 15-year Anniversary Con... The only team who aren't and never have been on the screen. [4]

Fan Comments

1985

I am HOOKED on Vas and Dex!! LOVE them. Especially Vas. [5]
For any of you newer fans out there who might be unfamiliar with the Vas & Dex universe, I urge you to contact Terry B. These guys are great! They're impossible to describe, (especially that Vastarnyi!), so I won't even try. All I can say is, I'd kill to get my hands on a new story in their universe (please, God, let that be what Terri means with her "exciting news," please?). [6]

1987

Most recently I was fortunate enough to have [S T] introduce me to your Vas and Dex characters ... fortunate indeed as [S] has most of the stories written to date and I was therefore able to read them (mostly) in sequence without having to wait lengthy periods between stories . Only problem (darn it ) being that as source is limited to a single pair of writers, the volume once devoured means further input is (very) hard to come by. Quality is addictive ... am sure glad to hear that there will be more (CRUCIBLE). And I appreciated the chance to see a visualization that is author-approved. [7]

1993

I ... find that the problem (if problem it is) [of missing exposition] is even worse in a set of stories in the same author-universe, like the Tris/Alex main stories, or Vas/Dex or what was that long set of k/s stories, Continum? something with a 'C' where they did it once, and then went back and filled in the blanks, and then did a sequel after they died? Any of the stories stand alone in a thematic sense: they all fave their own plots and climaxes, and yet, because you are assumed to have read all of the other stories, they don't go on and on about how much these guys care about each other, or whay they can trust each other; you know there is this enormous back story, and it lets you allude to the depth of their relationship very quickly, rather than actually having to show and tell it. I think this is a strength (usually), but it does explain to me why when I read just a couple of out of order Vas/Dex stories, and later a couple of out of order Tris/Alex stories, neither of them grabbed me. You have to read the whole series, even though the plots are self contained, to get the emotional connection. [8]

1995

I agree that Vas/Dex stories, which are written by fans in fandom for other fans and are in the pattern of traditional slash, are difficult to term anything but slash (in the stories in which the characters are lovers, that is; 3/4's of the material is gen instead) even though they were developed to be original characters instead of taken directly off a screen. Other experiments of this sort don't seem to have been very successful, however, though I've seen one or two. In general the fans who write in fandom accept and usually enjoy the exercise of transferring a screen character to print; or else take the easier path of declaring an a/u to a specific universe; or if they ignore both those options yet insist on staying in fandom, aren't very good. Vas/Dex is a shining exception, not a rule. [9]

Known Stories

This is by no means a complete list.

In Zines

Stories as of 1987

  • 1969 "A Different Drummer"
  • 1970 "Crucible"
  • 1970 "Cloak and Dagger"
  • 1970 "The Family Affair"
  • 1971 "Chicken Run"
  • 1972 "Collision Course"
  • 1972 "Hide and Seek"
  • 1973 "Shelton City Squaredance"
  • 1973 "After the Tone"
  • 1973 "Sundance"
  • 1974 Rough Justice
  • 1974 "In Hot Pursuit"
  • 1974 "When the Devil Drives"
  • 1974 "Touch and Go"
  • 1975 "Aces High"
  • 1975 "No More Heroes"
  • 1975 "Day of Judgement"
  • 1975 "High Tension"
  • 1976 "Time to Kill"
  • 1976 "Conduct Unbecoming"
  • 1976 "Lucifer's Children"
  • 1978 "Vengeance is Mine"
  • 1978 "Jigsaw"

From "The Threshing Floor"

  • "The Pleasure Trap"
  • "You Can't Get There from Here"
  • "Gates of My Citidel"
  • "Search for Unicorn"
  • "Canticle"
  • "Outside Looking In"
  • "Dance Unrehearsed"
  • "Unto Caesar"
  • "The Beloved"

1994

  • Heartbreaker
  • Rune

References

  1. from Between Friends #12
  2. from Tell Me Something I Don't Know! #4 (1987)
  3. from Tell Me Something I Don't Know! #10 (1988)
  4. from Frienz #10
  5. from Between Friends #12 (1985)
  6. from Between Friends #12 (1985)
  7. from Tell Me Something I Don't Know! #3 (1987)
  8. Sandy Hereld, June 15, 1993, comment at Virgule-L, quoted with permission
  9. quoted anonymously from Strange Bedfellows