Interface 11

Review By CB

Interface 11
Vilaworld
Paper cover, staple bound. 101 pp.
I didn't enjoy this as much as some of the other Interface zines, but at only 3.00 for over one hundred closely typed pages it still gives good value. There are zines costing five times that much which are in no way superior.

There are twelve stories in all. The longest is post-GP; "Intrepid Start" by Maggie Symon starts from the premise that Avon and Vila are the only PGP survivors. The plot idea is fine but a bit under-developed in places, and the other characters bland, existing only as plot devices. The focus is Avon and Vila's equivocal relationship, but too often this is stated as a fact rather than demonstrated by what they say and do. The motivation, particularly on Avon's side, is sketched in a perfunctory fashion. It's just not enough to say there's been a change of heart, we want to see why. Important matters are not given the exploration they merit; for example, Vila is worried by Malodaar, has a two minute chat with a doctor, and suddenly everything's ok. It's a great shame, because there's some excellent ideas in there and the plot line is well-thought out. Unlike some PGP stories it also has a convincing time scale.

There are several light-hearted stories in this edition. I enjoyed Leigh Arnold's "Vila's School of Hard Knocks", an adept and amusing twist on the Avon-Vila running feud, and "You look Marvellous" by Annie Wortham and Leah Rosenthal. There's also another creditable Orbit story "You Know You are Safe" by Linda Willard, though you need to believe Avon is a rotten shot to make the ending believable.

The second longest story "Full Circle" by Sue Bursztynski, is part 3 of a continuing saga featuring clones of Avon, Cally and Blake, with a bit part for Vila. I haven't read the first two parts or I might have liked this one more. It's difficult to get involved with new characters towards the end of their development, and as I'm not personally keen on stories featuring non-original series characters I didn't really enjoy this. However the writing is competent and if you've read the earlier parts you should enjoy this one.

The remaining stories are comparatively brief, and are a mixture of action, comedy and sentiment, but with no full-blown hurt/comfort. Authors are Joan Hoffman, Carol Wyke, Sue Clarke (Gan story), Faye Bull, Rose Prior, and Diana Taylor.

[Note its possible that although the club has folded that the zines are still available - Judith]

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