Jean Graham, "Selket" (alt-S3)
Alan Moravian, "Last Rites" (S4; Rescue; A-C death)
Ruth Berman, "If They'd Gone for a Happy Ending Instead" (S4-S5; alt-Blake)
Joyce Bowen, "To Avon From Blake" (S3; A-B)
Marian Mendez, "Smile When You Call Me That" (S1-S0; V/ocf)
Alan Moravian, "Foxes and Hounds" (S3)
Jean B. Hubb, "Family Ties" (S3; B-D)
Ruth Berman, "The Death of Titinius" (S4; Blake; V; Julius Caesar crossover)
Ann Wortham and Leah Rosenthal, "The Play's the Thing"
(S3; post-Deathwatch; Last Stand universe; Ta)
Alan Moravian, "Poison, Anyone?" (S3; Ta-V)
Maddog, with Joyce Riffle, "Perchance to Dream" (S5; Sandman crossover)
Note: "Second Chances" by Patti McClellan was supposed to be in this zine but was accidentally published in Resistance #8 instead.
Wendy Rathbone, Editorial
Letters of Comment
Judith Proctor and Kathryn Andersen, "Zine Fever" (after Masefield)
Wendy Rathbone, "Avon"
Alicia Ann Fox, "Quixote"
Judith Proctor, "The Gunfighter"
Judith Proctor, "Sunset on Sarran"
Ann K. Schwader, "Maximum Power"
Judith Proctor, "Some Dreams Are Worth Having"
Amethyst Lane, "Star Musings"
Melissa Mastoris, "Confession on Virn"
Amanda Rothman, "Safecrackers"
Alicia Ann Fox, "Restal's Last Tape"
Melissa Mastoris, "Red is Dead"
Melissa Mastoris, "Black Cat"
Alayne Gelfand cover A, B
p. 32 A
ORmAC p. 44 illo for "Smile When"
Jean Hubb p. 77 illo for "Family Ties"
Raising Hell 6 is an American genzine. The opening story "Selket" is by one of my favourite writers Jean Graham, but I didn't like it as much as some of her others. It is a fast-moving story concerning the Terra Nostra, Servalan, and the mysterious Selket, but it lacks the intensity of feeling and elegaic quality of her best stories. A writer of her calibre always produces something worth reading, but I prefer those of her stories which concentrate on the crew.
There are two more long stories. "The Play's the Thing" by Ann Wortham and Leah Rosenthal is set in the "Last Stand at the Edge of the World" universe. It begins when Tarrant sneaks off the ship to watch a performance of the Pirates of Penzance (appropriate choice) and then it becomes an intriguing chase sequence, with a twist at the very end. "Perchance to Dream" by Maddog and Joyce Riffle is one of the most surreal and convoluted stories I've seen. It deals with reality, death and dreams, and is not initially easy to follow, but persevere. It's imaginative, witty and inventive, and very original. The remaining stories include "Family Ties" which has Blake meeting Dayna, who does not know who he is. "Smile When You Call Me That" by Marian Mendez has Vila telling Avon about his earlier life. It starts very promisingly but the middle section didn't entirely convince me. Alan Moravian has several stories; "Last Rites" is a two-pager about Terminal and "Poison, Anyone" a humorous Tarrant and Vila story; both quite good.
There are a lot of poems in this zine. I'm not much of a judge of verse but I like pastiche and therefore loved the opening poem "Zine Fever" by Judith Proctor and Kathryn Andersen, particularly the bits about Avon's pain and the fork lift truck. Anyone who has a house collapsing under the weight of books and zines, and who is running out of places to hide zines the children mustn't see, please empathise.
Stories by Jean Graham, Alan Moravian, Ruth Berman, Joyce Bowen, Alicia Ann Fox, Marian Mendez, Jean Hubb, Ann Wortham and Leah Rosenthal, Joyce Riffle: Poetry by Judith Proctor, Kathryn Andersen, Ann Schwader, Wendy Rathbone, Amethyst Lane, Melissa Mastoris, Amanda Rothman
Raising Hell #6 is the final issue of the zine, and one of the best. A number of new approaches are used by the writers, making this one of the most interesting story collections to come out recently. Recommended.
As in issue #5, there is very little art, but I have to say I don't miss it. Mysteriously, the cover features a repeated image of Avon.
My favorite piece of poetry in this issue was actually a sort of filk; a filk to a poem. "Zine Fever," by Judith Proctor and Kathryn Anderson, is one of the most amusing things I've read recently, particularly the line about needing a fork lift for one's collection.
"Family Ties" by Jean B. Hubb involved a third-series encounter with Blake. (I can never do this kind of story, myself--I always want Blake to be really and truly found. Too depressing otherwise.) "Family Ties" is an action story, and like Alan Moravian's well-done "Foxes and Hounds," it had an episodic feel.
"Last Rites" by Alan Moravian: I suppose the pull of that scene no-one saw in "Rescue"--finding Cally's body--is just too great for most mortals to bear. I, however, would be consumed with joy if I never saw another vignette on this theme again.
"Perchance to Dream" by Maddog with Joyce Riffle: Something I never would have thought of. This Sandman/ PGP Blake's 7 crossover had a plausible concept behind it, but I'm afraid I love the Sandman comic too much to be interested. It was nice to see some character development given to Soolin, but the Sandman characters just didn't feel right to me; maybe they aren't meant to translate into prose. Nitpicks: Cain's brother's name is spelt Abel, not Able (not checking after spell-check?), and the character of Abel doesn't stutter when he tells stories (p. 150). However, I did really like the way Blake was written in the scene that took place in a sort of half-world between life and death, in which Blake earnestly tries to give a noose to oblivious passersby--that little bit had the flavor of the comic. I only wish it could have been sustained.
"The Play's the Thing" by Ann Wortham and Leah Rosenthal is a rollicking good chase story, as well as wonderful foreshadowing of "Terminal." It concerns a third-series encounter with Blake, and is told mostly from Tarrant's point of view. There is the chance that a reader who hasn't encountered Last Stand at the Edge of the World might miss the point of the story completely, however; in that novel-length zine something is revealed about Tarrant which is necessary to understanding what's going on in "The Play's the Thing." I think the story would still be enjoyable without that knowledge, if somewhat confusing.
"Selket" by Jean Graham is an original idea of how the rebellion could defeat the Federation; one would think more writers would have explored the possibilities afforded by the Terra Nostra before now. Avon's behavior is particularly interesting in this story.
"Smile When You Call Me That" by Marian Mendez was the most unusual view of Vila's past that I have ever read. Mendez gets brownie points for originality and creativity. She presents as good an explanation as any for Vila's dislike of violence and resistance to conditioning, one that rings true in a universe where mind-control of one sort or another was fairly common.
Back to Fanzines
Back to Blake's 7 Index