I'm kinda sorta cheating here, since I haven't finished reading this zine-- I'm only halfway through "Hellhound" and will go back to it shortly, after I send this. But I've read all the other stories and can report that they are all good, too. As usual with Southern Seven, very nice layout and art; this issue's cover is especially droolworthy.
"Breaking the Chain" is a direct sequel to a noteworthy story in #10 in which Vila, after Avon's death, finds himself starting to resemble Avon more than he likes. Here, he's pushed into a closer relationship with Tarrant when the young man suffers a dreadful misfortune. This story cries out for a slash sequel! Oh, puh- leeze, Michelle!
"Campo Santo" is a new story in Vickie's cross-gender alternate universe, in which Vialle gets Kiera drunk and hears the tragic story of how she wound up on the London.
Another unusual item is Misha's "No Allegiance," a PGP told from the POV of Avon, who's hallucinating much of the time. We don't quite know what's real and what's not, but that makes perfect sense under the circumstances, because neither does he. This seems to call for a sequel-- I definitely want to read more!
"A Cold Dish Turns Sour" is not only an alternate-post-Orbit story, but also, in a way, an alternate PGP. We've seen lots of stories in which someone else is on that shuttle with Avon instead of Vila, or in which Blake struggles with whether to forgive Avon for GP. Well, here it's Avon struggling with whether to forgive Vila for what Vila did in the wake of Malodaar. And it makes full use of certain aspects of B7's futuristic technology that are often forgotten. The ending is optimistic.
Hellhound, of course, is in a class by itself. If you're a Hellhound fan, you've probably acquired this zine already. If not, I do recommend it very strongly, but Book IX isn't the place to start; this saga definitely has to be taken from the beginning. Some feel that this gonzo space opera with its Miami-Vice-like sensibilities is too far from canonical B7 to be enjoyable in a truly fannish way; but many, including me, love it and consider it one of our all-time favorites. Try it and see for yourself.
And now I'll hasten back to reading the latest installment.
Katrina Larkin & Susanne Katz, "From the Log of the Hellhound, Book IX" (Just like a Woman, The Gates of Hell, So Close and Yet So Far, The Prince of Darkness; S5)
Alicia Ann Fox, "Campo Santo" ("a story with cross-gender
casting;" alt-S1; female A - female V)
Marian Mendez, "A Cold Dish Turns Sour" (alt-S4, alt-post-Orbit; A-V)
Misha, "No Allegiance" (S5; A)
Michelle R. Moyer, "Breaking the Chain" (sequel to "Links in the Chain" in #10; S5; V-Ta, Ta-hc)
Laura Virgil front c. Hellhound A; color
p. 126 V
p. 154 post-Orbit A-V
p. 192 V
Leah Rosenthal p. 75 B-bear
p. 97 C
p. 171 Ta-eagle
Karen River p. 85 "Kye Birkell" (HH ocm played by Kiefer Sutherland)
Val Westall p. 136 A-B
p. 139 A
p. 145 A
Adrian Morgan p. 179 V
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