Warriors (Sentinel zine)

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Title: Warriors
Publisher: In Person Press
Editor(s): April Valentine
Date(s): 2001-2007
Medium: print
Fandom: The Sentinel
Language: English
External Links:
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Warriors is a slash Sentinel print zine anthology series. The last issue was simultaneously published on LiveJournal.

Art samples are included with the publisher's permission.

General Reactions and Reviews

Some good stories contained therein. Plus, they're decently edited and a real bargain; lots of pages, lots of text and very little white space, all at reasonable prices. (One caveat; I thought 3 was weaker than 1 and 2. YMMV.) [1]

Issue 1

cover of issue #1, art by Suzan Lovett, originally called "Spirit Guide." The cover art is a variation on what would later be called "Legacy of the Jungle" [2]

Warriors 1 was published in May 2001 (third printing: November 2001) and contains 214 pages. Authors include: Rosalita, Callista Echo, James Walkswithwind, Tiger Tyger, Cara Chapel, April Valentine. Art by Suzan Lovett (front cover) and Hindman (preface art).

It was edited by April Valentine, and betaed by Flamingo and Rosemary C.

preface page by Hindman, from issue #1

Lovett's cover, "Spirit Guide," was later made into a cross-stitch pattern that could be purchased for $10 plus shipping. The seller commented:

Suzan's art prints are so full of detail that they're both a challenge and a delight to translate into cross stitch. This picture has all my favourite Sentinel themes - GI Jim, Shaman Blair, spirit animals and a laughing, loving couple. Yes, it's slashy, but in an understated way. For the courageous stitcher, I have made a second pattern on a larger scale. The detail is much better on this pattern, but the size is correspondingly greater. In fact, I would recommend stitching this pattern on 10 count double thread needlepoint canvas, using 9 strands of DMC floss for a truly impressive result. [3]

[From the editorial]: What is the relationship between Sentinel and Guide? Are they brought together by destiny, genetics, attraction, or just luck? And why are we so attracted to that relationship? I don't think either question will be answered by the contents of this zine, but we've sure had fun trying.

No Warnings!

It does contain graphic descriptions of

male/male sex
first time stories
non-consensual sex
mental illness
permanent or semi-permanent injury to major characters
the endearment 'baby'
occasional mysticism
hyperactive senses
short hair
anthropologists turned cop
anthropologists not turned cop
and various other forms of fanfiction
Read at your own risk — and your own delight.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for Phantom Pain.

See reactions and reviews for Small World.

[Damnation]: Post-TSbBS, Brackett's back, and all hell is about to break loose. Gripping, and a smart take on the many dangers surrounding our pair. Not to mention the Sentinel weirdness that's got them in its grip this time 'round.[4]

[zine]: James Walkswithwind's story: It's a very short snippet about a Universe where Jim's on a quest to kill everyone who's a criminal and Blair and Simon hide the bodies in order to keep Jim out of trouble. Finally Blair decides that - as nobody else can penetrate the Sentinel's defense-shields - he will have to kill him before Jim kills again. So he betrays Jim's trust....

The Brackett story: A very well written story about Brackett trying to get his revenge by breaking the not yet formed bond between Sentinel and Guide. There are no warnings before this story (even though the author had opted to put up warnings to go with the story, they now are placed on the first page of the zine) Brackett succeeds in capturing Jim and rapes him - a lot of times, and makes Blair watch. I admit, I was put off by the story - I didn't feel the comfort (a "cementing the bond" after the rape) was enough and I had BIG problems reading about the detailed rape. There are some details in that story that still haunt me - and not in a good way. shudder! Guess that's just one of my squicks. I wish it had been warned, though.

Now onto the "gen" story! Blair loses both legs in a car accident and that's one of my big squicks - permanent disability. I also don't see how there's going to be a "happy ending" to it other than explaining it as a "dream" or something like that. Also, the fact that Blair says to Jim (under the truck, injured) I love you, stay with me - isn't pre-slash for me as I would say that to any good friend in order to make him stay lucid at that time. (until the medics arrive) - so it's basically gen till now.[5]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2, art by Geli

Warriors 2 was published in May 2002 and contains 302 pages.

The color cover is by Geli. The interior art is Killashandra, Hindman, and Suzan Lovett.

[From a zine flyer]:

"Finest Hour" by Amanda Fox, a post Sentinel,Too, Part 2 story in which Blair has continued to suffer ill effects from his near-drowning in the fountain.

Jim shifted position, but there seemed to be no way to become comfortable. Slowly his mind began shaking off the drowsiness of sleep and he remembered. *Blair.* No wonder he couldn't move. Blair was physically holding him in place. Blair was at the edge of the bed, his left hand draped over Jim's left shoulder and the rest of his body curled about his head. The grip had released, but their right hands were still touching. Blair's soft breathing passed over Jim's hair in soothing strokes. I don't want to move. Not from this position. Not ever. The physical contact is so assuring. His breath against me so comforting. He's alive and with me. We're together. Sentinel and Guide. Nothing is going to change that. Not ever. This is where you belong, Blair. With me. Physically at my side. Your touch is so calming. So grounding. I don't remember sleeping so deeply. Being so relaxed. I think it was because I knew exactly where you were the entire night. There wasn't that constant monitoring of your whereabouts. You were here, physically in contact with me. My god, I never realized how routine it was to toss in bed and give a quick check to your vital signs. If you were calm and resting, then I could return to sleep. I doubt either of us has had this restful a night since...well, since.

Who Am I Now" by W.D. Hawthorne. Blair and Jim are lovers and Blair is Jim's official partner on the force. One night, they get a call about a prowler at an old warehouse -- the warehouse where Lash held Blair prisoner 4 years earlier.

"Who am I now?" He heard it, an empty, depraved echo, both wordless and distinct, resonating just at the edge of his sensory awareness, and the question struck paralyzing fear into Jim. The same words had been scrawled scornfully on a mirror so long ago, words that taunted and warned of what was to come. He should have paid them more heed then, taken more precautions. Instead, he had just gone on with his usual routines, never realizing how a trip to the gym would endanger his young, naive, new friend. Blair had been Jim¹s ride-along then, his responsibility, and Jim had failed him, had failed to protect him, had failed him as friend, as cop, and as Sentinel. It was only Blair's own courage and sharp wits that had kept Lash at bay long enough for Jim to find him. Jim dug his fingers into the wood, clenching tightly, trying to decipher more from the frosty, cloying darkness, listening for more abstract taunts and laughter. He would not disregard the words this time. He would not fail Blair again. Blair had become so much more to Jim than simply a guide for his senses, much more than a friend. Jim would protect him from this lurking, amorphous evil, or die trying. "Jim! Jim!" Blair's hand was on his shoulder, a welcome, warm weight wrenching him back from the blackness.

"Phantom Pain 3 -- Miracles" by April Valentine, the conclusion to the Phantom Pain trilogy begun in Warriors 1. Be prepared for a beautiful love story and a satisfying resolution.

The door to his room has been shut for weeks now. I haven't let myself go in there since he first left. It's too painful to see the things he left behind here. But now, I can't stay out. I stagger through the door and collapse on his bed. I bury my nose in his pillows, praying to find a trace of his scent. It's almost gone though, a realization that nearly breaks my heart. If I still had my senses, I'm sure I could detect lingering traces of him here. Damnit! I remember how hard I tried to get my sight back when that Golden stuff took it away from me, how when I really needed it, it finally started to come back, enough so I could catch the last of the drug dealers.

I push myself like that now, straining to make my sense of smell dial up. But it's like the dial is broken, spinning uselessly, and the effort makes my headache worse. The pain in my temples is crushing. I clench my eyes shut, hands at my temples, barely breathing. I feel my senses start to spike; it's like a jolt of static electricity arcing through me and I can almost hear it spark and sizzle. I feel like I've taken hold of a live wire, one that sends a charge through my helpless body every few seconds. I try to fight it for awhile, then attempt to relax into it, like one would relax into torture, knowing that to struggle is useless.[6]

The editorial:

Welcome to the second issue of Warriors and some stories I am truly proud to present. This zine has been much longer in the making than the first issue but I think you'll feel it was worth the wait.

Thanks to all the authors: W. D. Hawthorne, author of In Person Press "Second Chance" Sentinel novel, and welcome to Lucy, Garnet and Amanda Fox for your fabulous stories. Joyce, for your story and your wonderful AU artwork, Killa, Suzan and Geli, for all your artistic contributions, thanks so much.

A word about my story in this issue — "Phantom Pain - Miracles" is the conclusion to the series begun in Warriors 1 in which we find out that Blair lost his legs in a terrible accident when Jim's truck went off a bridge in a storm. As the third story opens, we find Jim dealing with the fact that Blair left Cascade to teach anthropology at the University of Baltimore and Blair attempting to find a way to put his life back together. This story, this idea, has consumed my life for more than a year and as long as the story is, I found there were some scenes I'd planned to write that sort of ended up on the 'cutting room floor' so to speak. Don't worry, the story is complete and you shouldn't find anything lacking, but I may eventually do a web version, a sort of 'director's cut' of the tome...er, story. If there's any interest in reading it, that is. I'd like to thank all the friends who encouraged me to write this story, those who yelled at me for ever starting it and all those who eagerly awaited it. Thanks in particular to Britta Matthews for some much needed personal perspective on disability and thanks to Dar and Sherry of our Sentinel Wednesday lunch group for being so encouraging and receptive.

If you enjoy, or even if you don't, the stories in this issue, feel free to write LoC's and address them to me here at In Person Press at the following email address: [redacted]. I'll be glad to send them on to the proper authors. If you missed Warriors 1 and want to read the first two installments of "Phantom Pain," the zine is still available through Lionheart Press (formerly known as Secret Pleasures). and also can be read at the 852 Prospect Archive....

No warnings are needed for this issue — you'll find angst aplenty but no rape, death or dismemberment and very happy endings throughout.

I'm taking submissions now for Warriors 3, scheduled for May, 2003. Now, enjoy the beautiful relationship between a Sentinel and his guide.

  • Aftermath by Garnet ("A short story describing the first time Blair has to shoot someone after he's become a cop.") (1)
  • Leaves, poem by Killashandra (10)
  • Who Am I Now by W. D. Hawthorne ("Bizarre images appear to Jim when he and Blair, now a cop, revisit the warehouse where Lash attempted to murder Blair years ago. What is Jim experiencing and why doesn't Blair believe him?") (11)
  • Not On My Watch by Lucy (a short story taking place after the episode "Flight.") (88)
  • Finest Hour by Amanda Fox ("Blair is experiencing terrible headaches and insomnia following his 'death' in the fountain at the hands of Alex Barnes. Jim seeks a way to help his guide, despite Blair's resistance to Jim's theory.") (97)
  • Connecting All Life by Hindman ("An AU in which characters resembling Jim and Blair meet as Jedi Knights.") ("The author finds the Phantom Menace canon of the midiclorians, and how they control the Force, to the point of creating literal single-parenthood, to be Bad Writing, and therefore disregards it in the following offering, which does not relate to any of the books of Parts VII, VIII, or IX. Please bear in mind the phrase "Alternate Universe." Thank you.") (175)
  • Phantom Pain - Miracles by April Valentine ("The conclusion to the Phantom Pain series. "Phantom Pain - Miracles" is a story that is true to its title. Miracles can happen if you believe in love and in the power of a Sentinel's love for his guide. Angst yes, but the author promises a very happy ending.") author's footnote here (also as a standalone, Phantom Pain) (182)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

Powerful stories, including the conclusion to the Phantom Pain series by April Valentine -- yes, with a happy ending! Warriors 2 is 302 pages of 10 pt type in double columns so it's packed full of fiction and it also includes 2 more color prints, one by [Hindman] and one by Suzan Lovett. There's another Suzan Lovett illo also, "Once More with Clothes On" and there are title illos for each story.

Stories include:

"Aftermath," by Garnet. A short story describing the first time Blair has to shoot someone after he's become a cop.

In "Finest Hour" by Amanda Fox, Blair is experiencing terrible headaches and insomnia following his 'death' in the fountain at the hands of Alex Barnes. Jim seeks a way to help his guide, despite Blair's resistance to Jim's theory.

"Not On My Watch" by Lucy -- a short story taking place after the episode "Flight."

In "Who Am I Now" by W. D. Hawthorne, bizarre images appear to Jim when he and Blair, now a cop, revisit the warehouse where Lash attempted to murder Blair years ago. What is Jim experiencing and why doesn't Blair believe him?

"Connecting All Life" by [Hindman]. An AU in which characters resembling Jim and Blair meet as Jedi Knights.

At last... the conclusion to the Phantom Pain series. "Phantom Pain - Miracles" is a story that is true to its title. Miracles can happen if you believe in love and in the power of a Sentinel's love for his guide. Angst yes, but the author promises a very happy ending.[7]

Issue 3

cover of issue #3, art by Virginia Sky
this cover with a removable banner covering the dangly bits; not all editions had this element

Warriors 3 was published in May 2003 and contains 214 pages and art by Virginia Sky.

The editorial:


Welcome to issue 3 of Warriors! This is a very special edition, with fantastic stories in which I know you will encounter joy, laughter, heartache, hot sex and new ideas about what we call the Sentinel-Guide relationship. I've been giving a lot of thought about that lately — and have over the years I've been involved in Sentinel fandom — partly because of working on the zine and partly due to a discussion recently on the mailing list Prospect-L. It started with comments on Jim and Blair's relationship and worked its way around to just how much of the so-called "guide thing" is rooted in canon and how much of it is merely a fanon invention. Since I was deep into the final editing of the zine at the time, the comments of various fans was of particular interest to me, especially if I wanted those same folks to be interested in the zine!

Some readers feel that it's an over-used, purely fanon term and might steer clear of a story or zine "based on the Sentinel-Guide relationship." I disagree. There is enough in canon to justify the idea of Blair being Jim's "guide" in fan fiction. One of the members of Prospect-L, Pat expressed her ideas on the usage and she gave me permission to quote her here. What she says comes pretty close to why I'm fascinated by the special relationship between Blair and Jim and why I decided to base my Sentinel zine on the "sentinel-guide relationship." Thanks, Pat!

To capitalize or not to capitalize? Normally, I don't think "guide" needs to be capitalized in stories, as though it's a title such as "President" or "Captain" but some stories in this issue are set in a universe in which there are "Guides" as well as "Sentinels" so you will see that capitol "G" used in some stories and not in others. Instead of trying to maintain consistency throughout the zine, I decided to instead be consistent within a given story depending on the way the author used the term or what form of "reality" she set her story.

That said, I wish to thank all my wonderful authors — you did such a splendid job this year that there wasn't room or need for a story of mine — and welcome some new names. Brook Henson's "Bravo Zulu" is, I believe, her first-ever zine publication but on-line Sentinel readers should be familiar with her name; she's one of my favorite authors and it's an honor to share her story with you in these page. Likewise, Jane Mailander is well-known, to zine readers as well as on-line fans. She also commented on the way Jim and Blair relate in the Prospect-L discussion and her little "story" comparing them to knights reminded me of a piece of art by Virginia Sky that needed an interpretation. I sent the picture to Jane and, instead of the one or two page vignette I hoped for, she returned in record time a full-fledged story! Garnet appeared in Warriors 2 and CJ contributed to Crossed Swords & Senses; authors Amanda Bradley, Elly Daniels and Anne Light have all appeared in In Person Press zines in the past, though under different names — welcome all and thanks for all your varied interpretations of the theme of the zine! Thanks also to the wonderful Virginia Sky for so much spectacular artwork for this issue, especially the cover, and for the work for CJ's "Hearts & Souls" even if it meant having to draw Blair with his beard and "messy" hair. Also, a big thanks to my friend Holly for hours of labor helping me print the zine in time for MediaWest.

At least one story here needs a sequel; CJ said from the beginning that "Hearts & Souls" was one part of a larger story. And I've already suggested/begged Anne Light and Elly Daniels for continuations of theirs. Please remember to send either snail or e-mail comments to the authors or to me directly and I'll pass them on. Zine contributors need and want feedback as much as on-line writers. I hope you enjoy this issue and find whatever you like about the Sentinel/Guide relationship within these pages.

  • Editorial (i)
  • Thoughts on Sentinel/Guide Terminology, essay by Pat (ii)
  • Bravo Zulu by Brook Henson—Blair helps Jim cope with the aftermath of one last special OPS mission. (1)
  • Too Many Shades of Grey by Amanda Bradley—Jim fears he is being stalked by someone with high level clearance who has a grudge against him. (23)
  • The Fallen Sky by Garnet—Jim goes primal to save Blair's life—and loses his job. (65)
  • Silent Knight ("art interpretation"), fiction by Jane Mailander—Sir Blair has many merry songs and would rather embarrass his enemies than kill them ; brave Sir James does not know how to express his feelings for the younger knight. (91)
  • Freak Show by Elly Daniels—In the aftermath of Jim's kidnapping, Blair finds his own senses going out of control. (105)
  • Virgin Sacrifice by Anne Light—Blair is troubled; he's worried that the honeymoon is over and that Jim is taking him for granted. (148)
  • Hearts and Souls by CJ—Women murdered and their hearts cut out, a murderer who enjoys what he's being paid to do, a Sentinel out of control without his guide and a strange wolf hiding in the mountains. (175)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

[Silent Knight]: Jane, Jane, Jane. I am awed.

I have had the very great and rare pleasure of reading (ah! but the experience deserves more than the weak description of 'reading'!) a story that makes me feel as if the purchase of a 'zine was more than worth the price, even if no other stories were contained in it. :-)

I'm sure the other stories are great, too, and I fully expect to be delighted further, I just haven't gotten that far yet. I'm just saying if by some quirk all the rest weren't to my particular tastes, I would still be very pleased to own the 'zine.

It wasn't even a long story, but so...full. The language was exquisite. Yeah, it was in English, LOL, but it carried me to another time and place with such success I could smell the warm closeness of the stable, and hear the rasp of the whetstone as it was drawn the length of the blade. Something as common to me as an orange became a rare jewel I had never experienced. Blair's three treasured books seemed as awesome as the holdings of the Library of Congress.

And I loved the way 'our' Jim and Blair weren't just transported to another time and place, but how they *became* that time and place, doing the things that would be expected of men in this period, yet still retaining those qualities that make them the guys we love. They definitely weren't 90's guys in shining armor.

The story note in the ToC tells us it's an 'art interpretation' piece, and let me mention that the art work by Virginia Sky is another excellent reason to get this 'zine. It's a particularly moving piece, IMO.

As I read last night I found it utterly amazing how much Jim said without ever saying more than a few words (and I actually just now noted that the title of this piece is 'Silent Knight'). Incredible work, Jane. When I was about halfway through, I actually went back and checked just because I finally noticed Jim said very little, yet it *felt* like he had spoken pages of dialogue. (LOL! And, yes, he did say *something*, just not as much as I 'heard' through Jane's excellent writing. Blair heard lots, too. <G>)

Wonderful, exciting story. A truly fulfilling reading experience. If I were fandom dictator, I would decree this story be placed on the net immediately so everyone could read it right away. <G> As it is, best I can do is humbly suggest you won't be sorry if you buy the 'zine.[8]

[Bravo Zulu]: My favorite story from Warriors 3 is now online. I'm a big fan of Brook's writing; it's polished and mature, yet remarkably straightforward, and she gets their voices every time. Both guys are completely in character, but she really shines with Jim, and never more so than in this piece. Jim is recalled for one last mission, and...well...things don't exactly go according to plan. I like the vulnerable masculinity of her Jim and Blair, and that is in particular evidence here; Jim is very much the wounded warrior, shell-shocked and reeling, and Blair is left to pick up the pieces. This is a fully drawn, nuanced piece that I found quite memorable.[9]

Issue 4

cover of issue #4

Warriors 4 was published in May 2005 and contains 128 pages.

  • its content is unknown

Issue 5

cover of issue #5, art by April Valentine

Warriors 5 was published in May 2006 and contains 167 pages (One novel, novella and three poems). Color cover by April Valentine. Interior art by April Valentine and Lorraine Brevig.

Summary of the novella:

An Alternate Universe. Jim Ellison is about to be sent out with his Special Forces team to Peru when he meets a young man on the streets of his neighborhood. The young man is filthy, malnourished, the obvious victim of severe brain trauma, and mighty well be being abused by the 2 young men he's living with. The novel-length story is the 1st of 3 parts of a much longer eventual work that begins near the end of 'The Sentinel by Blair Sandburg'. As Jim & Blair begin to deal with the profound feelings they have for each other, they realize that they're being stalked.

  • Look Over Your Shoulder by Kylara (poem)
  • Nowhere Man by Calista Echo (novella?)
  • Fountainside: Jim by Kylara (poem)
  • Last Dance, part one by April Valentine (Note: Editorial by April Valentine states ("You'll note that my own story, 'Last Dance', ends with something of a cliffhanger. It was planned that way all along, I didn't just get tired of writing. The second novella in the series, 'World Without End' will be oust as soon as I can manage it. The Last Dance universe is intended to by my version of what could happen after The Sentinel by Blair Sandburg. I my publish subsequent works in the series simultaneously online and in print.")
  • Night Thoughts by April Valentine (poem)

Issue 6

cover of issue #6, art by Lorraine Brevig

Warriors 6 was published, online, in 2007. The cover is by Lorraine Brevig.

The editorial by April Valentine states "You'll note that my own story, 'Last Dance', ends with something of a cliffhanger. It was planned that way all along, I didn't just get tired of writing. The second novella in the series, 'World Without End' will be oust as soon as I can manage it. The Last Dance universe is intended to by my version of what could happen after The Sentinel by Blair Sandburg. I my publish subsequent works in the series simultaneously online and in print."

Also from the editor: "The print version of the zine has hand created art pieces inside, sort of scrapbook/art trading card type items and no two copies will be exactly alike due to the hand made nature of these pieces." [10]

From the editor:

When I was thinking about doing Warriors 6 for MediaWest. I have been thinking of posting the zine online at the same time as it premiers in zine form and suddenly, it occurred to me that putting it on LJ would be a great idea. It will be easy for readers to comment on stories as they read them. It will be easy to navigate between stories, just like flipping through a paper zine. And I can update folks on the stories that I am planning on having in the zine.

I can even request stories through this LJ! The more I think of it, the more I'm liking the idea. Any comments or input will be gratefully accepted.

I've been doing zines the old fashioned way for years but am trying more and more to participate in online fandom and on LJ.[11]

Artwork Credits:

  • Color Cover by Lorraine Brevig
  • Midnight Panther—Mayan Blair and Jim
  • L.A. Adolf—Jim's Fantasy, Blair's Fantasy
  • April Valentine—story headers

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

See reactions and reviews for Rules of Endearment.

See reactions and reviews for Collateral Damage.

[zine]: I've started to read the stories that have been posted at warriors_6. They've all been good so far, and I'm really glad there is a weekend coming up so I can read some more.

I just had to mention this particular story, though. You know how you read something, and it touches you deeply enough that it haunts you afterwards for days? This is that story:

Collateral Damage by Elaine (AKA cross_stitchery)

I love angst, and this is uber-angst. It's dark and disturbing and utterly compelling, and impossible to stop thinking about after the fact. Plus, Elaine writes so very, very well. Highly recommended, oh boy yes! [12]