What If... (Professionals zine)

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Title: What If...
Publisher: Manacles Press
Editor(s): Kathy Snow, Manacles Press
Date(s): May 1992
Medium: print
Fandom: The Professionals
Language: English
External Links: online story summaries
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

What If... is a 128-page Professionals anthology with a cover by Suzan Lovett. The title page says it was "conceived" by Kathy Snow. Art has been included on Fanlore with the publisher's permission.


From the Editorial -- "The Evolution of a Zine"

In the beginning, Ellis Ward bought a Suzan Lovett picture and wrote "So Much for Wishes" for British Takeaway 5. Then Suzan did the incredible "The Declasssizing of Bodie" (Page 96A in Chalk and Cheese 8) and Ellis wrote the beautiful "Breaking Cover."

One afternoon several of us were sitting around drooling over "Page 96" when we got to speculating what different writers would have created with the same inspiration. Someone asked "What if Suzan did another picture and we asked if anyone was intrigued enough to write a story?" What If..., indeed. Six writers responded and the result is in your hands.

We had a lot of fun with this project and I would like to thank Christine and Jennifer for the effort they put into bringing this idea to fruition. Their technical expertise was absolutely essential to the publication of What If.... From the very beginning, their commitment to this zine has been as strong as my own. To our writers I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation. The stories are

delightfully different and reflect both the quality and divergent approaches which are the hallmark of the writing in the Professionals fandom. I would like to express my sincere gratitude, also, for the talent of Suzan Lovett. However, Suzan beings far more to fandom than her remarkable artwork. She brings a warmth of spirit, a generosity of nature and a love for her fellow fans that enriches all who have the pleasure of knowing her.

From the Editorial -- Page Count

This Fanzine contains over 75,300 words, in a format of 128 pages. It is possible to print, clearly, 75,000 words in any page format ranging from 80 pages to 220 pages. PAGE COUNT IS NOT AN ACCURATE MEASURE OF STORY OR ZINE LENGTH! And so concludes this lecture to support editors to begin relying on word count and saving trees....

The Cover and Some Examples of eBay Cropping

Reactions and Reviews

See reactions and reviews for Boyhole.
See reactions and reviews for Terms of Endearment.
See reactions and reviews for Floral Arrangement.

Unknown Date

[zine]: What if? First, take a lovely Lovett print of a naked Bodie (tm) clutching a dressed Doyle. Next, have the authors construct a story around it. [1]



A great new zine. Cheap and neat. No art, or not much that I remember, but all the short stories are gems. Again there was a threesome with Murphy. Skipped that one. The Murphy with Tommy story wasn't bad. (I really enjoy Macklin/Murphy much more.) My favorites were the crossovers with Lovejoy and The Beatles. (Really neat) And a science fiction piece which was marvellous. I really love straight stories that I consider pre-slash. Where the relationship is heavy duty and the caring shines through... great stuff. (This story and the Lovejoy one were the longest in the zine.) [2]


[zine]: One of my favourite MP zines is What If... a Pros anthology zine where I loved all stories. I don't remember titles, authors, or plots at the moment (it's been quite a while that I read it), but the fact that I liked it a lot is a definite indicator that there was emotional intensity and good sex in it. [3]


[zine]: What If a great artist (Suzan Lovett) drew a beautiful color cover... And What If some great authors (Sebastian, Ellis Ward, Courtney Gray, M. Fae Glasgow, Jane and Kathy Keegan) were inspired to write stories based on it... What If we collected them in a zine called... What If? [4]


[First Night, Last Night]:

Again, Sebastian's style swept me along. Much as I enjoyed it, it was a problem story for me -- one of those stories where all my love of Bodie sweeps to the forefront and I find Doyle nasty, unsympathetic, self-serving and rude. Near as I could tell, Doyle in this story doesn't at any point think of anyone's welfare but his own. He forgets his girlfriend's name and face halfway through -- that would be all right if he were conscious of love or even consideration for Bodie, but no, he's full of resistence and shock, and I saw no hint that he had loved the woman, or thought he had.. It is clear that Bodie loves him and that Doyle knows it -- at one point, a striking moment, Bodie says, "I would have died for you." And consistently Doyle shows no regard for (or interest in) Bodie's feelings or even his sexual satisfaction. While Bodie in contrast is very concerned for Doyle.

It's all from Doyle's point of view, so I found myself entrapped with an unsympathetic narrator.

At best, I wanted to give Doyle here a good slap or a shake. At worst I wanted to catapult him out the window and find someone less self-obsessed for Bodie.

I also couldn't figure out why Murphy at the party had made Doyle kiss Bodie, but that was just an irrelevant detail.


Five stars, of course. Or maybe 4 and 3/4, given that I don't like to be presented with a Doyle I can't love. [5]


Interesting Suzi Lovett cover, an "invitation-only" zine where everyone writes a story based on that cover. Okay zine -- the M Fae Glasgow story is superb, and hilarious as only she can be. [6]


[zine]: WHAT IF..., a PROFESSIONALS SLASH ZINE written six of the best PROS writers of the time, inspired by an incredible painting by Suzan Lovett, possibly the finest fan fiction artist of all time . This cover has it all: a nude seductive Bodie holding onto Doyle's tie, a clothed Doyle (in his tightest jeans!) not fighting at all, arm around Bodie's neck & shoulders...yummy! Even the border is fantastic! Concept by Kathy Snow. [7]


  1. ^ from Lynn W. here
  2. ^ from Sadie in Short Circuit #11 (December 1992)
  3. ^ a comment on Virgule-L quoted anonymously (March 23, 1995)
  4. ^ from Media Monitor in 1996
  5. ^ from Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (March 3, 1997)
  6. ^ comments by Jane Mailander on Virgule-L, quoted with permission (April 22, 1998)
  7. ^ from an eBay seller in 2007