Smut highlights of the second half of this series of zines:
"Fool's Paradise" has an A/V companion story-- not exactly a
sequel, since it takes place entirely within the time span of the
first story-- namely, "Fool's Interlude" by Catocala, in
Rebel Desires #1
Lorna's two stories in #4 both involve sex, though of a twisted
kind. In "Corruption," Avon becomes a true Hommik. (Logically I
ought to hate this story, considering what it does to My Darling,
but it's so well written, and made so chillingly plausible, that I
find myself getting sucked in at least for the duration of the
story.) In "Inner Child," we find out the real threat that Travis
made to Vila to get him to talk in "Hostage." And in "The High
Cost of Living" in #5, poor Vila realizes that there are worse
things (again involving sex) than being in that shuttle with Avon.
Vila also meets a sad fate, though an unexpectedly heroic one, in
"Holdout." (The Terminatrix, I tell you!)
"Gemini Nightmare" in #4 is a long PGP that plays with the question
of the real identities of seemingly identical Blakes. Recommended
for Blake fans and others who've enjoyed slash versions of related
themes, such as Gemini's prizewinning stories in
It's not smut (well, except perhaps for the opening scene with the
Empress, in which she explains how she loved her enemy), but in #5,
I'm very partial to "The Isle of Avalon." Centuries after GP, a
new generation of revolutionaries find a hidden cryocapsule and
revive the legendary Blake-- or at least, someone they think is
In #6, A-B and A/B fans will like Joyce Bowen's "To Avon From
Blake." It's a letter, cleverly presented as a hand-written
document torn up and reconstructed. Very touching.
For Tarrant fans, Annie and Leah's lengthy prequel to the Last
Stand universe is not to be missed.
Oh, and #6 is where Vickie's touching "Restal's Last Tape," a poem
that's almost a little story, is published.
Fool's Paradise This story is the reason I bought the zine, having
earlier read its short A/V variant. It's a PGP. Avon and Blake have staged
the GP scenario for the benefot of the Federation, and to add verisimilitude
Avon has neglected to let the Scorpio crew in on the secret. One result is
that Vila has a complete physical and mental breakdown. The main focus of
this brilliant story is what happens next between Vila and a troubled Avon,
but there are substantial and well-written roles for the rest of the crew. I
particulalrly apprecaited the tacit acknowldgement, rare in fan fiction, that
it takes more than a hug and a muttered apology to help someone recover from
a deep personal crisis.
Reprisal Tarrant finds out about Malodaar, and plans with a reluctant
Vila to maroon Avon. Vila then has second thoughts. It wasn't clear to me
what Vila's motivation was, and where this story was leading.
Corruption A short "what-if" story, featuring Avon and Pella.
Daniel Cally is dreaming - she dreams a lot, but then which of them
doesn't - about her past, especially he rlover Daniel. She becomes agitated,
Avon intervenes. So far, so conventioanl. But then, instead of the usual sob
on the shoulder, thr writer provides a refreshingly insightful perspective on
Cally's view of Avon.
Farthest Place Some time after Star One, Blake crash lands onto a
remote planet and encounters other forms of life who have arrived the same
way. Two Fedration employees also turn up.Blake is believably drawn, and the
plot is well-paced, but then it changes its focus, meandering away from
Blake's predicament to that of the Federation couple, which weakens the story
Inner Child Convincing explanation of why Vila gave in so quickly to
Travis's threats on Exbar. He is being shunned by the Liberator crew, there
is talk of abandoning him. Cally finds out why he was frightened, but does
not understand the full extent of his worreis. Short, very good story.
Absent Friends Here we are in the tracking gallery again. The story
starts, rather ominously if you enjoy a degree of realism, with Vila somehow
managing to teleport out the entire crew, including an injured Blake (Vila
just happens to have a spare bracelet in his pocket) to the wreck ofthe
Scorpio. For hos next trick, he appropriates another ship and with one bound
they are free. That said, a lot of the dialogue is not at all bad. The rest
of the story involves Avon helping Blake back to health, Vila asserting his
authority, and the crew deciding what they should do next. Blake, Avon and
Vila want to check on the possible wherabouts of old friends, and the ship
sets off in a search for information. Up to this point the tone has been
serious, but a discordant (IMHO) note of jokiness enters the story as they
order Orac to rustle up some recreational reading. If you can belive Avon and
Blake happily reading each other Rupert Bear, your suspension of disbelief
is working overtime.
Landing at Kaarn This is a sequel to the previous story. Cally is
discovered hip-deep in babies and with an elaborate explanation of why she
hadn't contacted them earlier. Avon is galvanised into telling her his true
feelings - perhaps it wa sreading Rupert Bear that did it - and they reach
their comclusion. That still leaves Jenna and Kerril; is there further
episode in another zine?
Loss Avon comforting Cally again, but in his own oblique way, between
Children of Auron and Rumours of Death. It fits very adroitly with the anger
she shows towards him in the latter.
White Gloves A Servalan story, told in flashback from Kasabi's last
words to her. It shows her as a young woman being manipulated by her brother
and his predatory commander, but getting revenge and a haircut.
Gemini Nightmare This one comes with the Sheila Paulson guarantee of
quality. It's PGP time. The crew are on Blake's alternative base - every
rebel home should have one. Blake is dying, Avon is remorseful and watches
him constantly. Vila and Tarrant are watching Avon. Dayna's rtecovering,
watchedby Soolin. Everyone, you will not be surprised to know, is examinin
gtheirn feelings. However, one or two surpirses are in store regarding
identities, and a villain must be dealt with before our heroes are ready to
hit the road again. Well up to Ms Paulson's usual standard.
Editor/publisher: Wendy Rathbone (Poway, CA)
Available from: MKASHEF Enterprises
Leah Rosenthal and Ann Wortham, "Fool's Paradise" (S5)
Jean Graham, "Reprisal" (S4; A-Ta-V)
Lorna Breshears, "Corruption" (S4; alt-Power; A/Pella)
Lee Vibber, "Daniel" (S1; C/ocm; A/C)
Jean B. Hubb, "The Farthest Place" (S3; B)
Lorna Breshears, "Inner Child" (S2; post-Hostage; V-C)
Ruth Berman, "Absent Friends" (S5)
Ruth Berman, "Landing at Kaarn" (S5; sequel to "Absent Friends;" A/C clone)
Lee Vibber, "Loss" (S3; post-Children; A-C)
Ann K. Schwader, "White Gloves" (S0; Se/ocm)
Sheila Paulson, "Gemini Nightmare" (S5; B)
Ruth Berman, "A Xenon Phantom" (inspired by the cover)
Ann K. Schwader, "The Cynic Unmasks (A Dream Sequence for Avon)" (inspired by cover)
Pat Patera, "Could Have Beens"
Ann K. Schwader, "Defiance Defined (Behind That Last Smile...)"
Pat Patera, "Terminal Lies"
Pat Patera, "Nightstar"
Anne Collins Smith, "Point of Pressure"
Anne Collins Smith, "Last Impressions" (reprinted from #3)
Anne Collins Smith, "A Time of Innocence, A Time of Confidences"
Wendy Rathbone, Editorial
Letters of Comment
Suzan Lovett front cover A-B with Phantom imagery
Leah Rosenthal p. 8 illo for "Fool's"
p. 24 A-V; illo for "Fool's"
p. 39 Ta-J, Klyn; illo for "Fool's"
Jean Hubb p. 73 illo for "Farthest"
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Last updated on 04th of July 1998.