There are six stories and one filk in the zine. The authors are Andrew Williams, Penny Dreadful, Chris Blenkarn, Nicola Mody, Marian de Haan, Gina the Dormouse and Philippa Watts.
As usual, Blake is not a big part of this Chronicles. ( Chronicles 67-68 was an exception in that it had a lot of Blake in it. ) The two stories that Blake is in are "I Am Falling" by Penny Dreadful and "Mattaka" by Marian de Haan, and these two stories are my favorite two in the zine.
I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE Penny's "I Am Falling" story which concerns Travis and Blake before "The Way Back." The story is great. If there were more Blake in it, it would make my top 20 list of all time favs. But it is basically a Travis story, a character I do like to read about. (He's some days battling Tarrant and Avon for the number two spot in my heart.) Penny is a really good writer who I wish would write more. It's a "Groundhog Day" story, a story where time resets itself over and over again.
OF course, most any story written by Marian de Haan features Avon as the hero who saves everyone, and this story "Mattaka" is no exception. It's an ensemble piece where everyone in the first season crew gets some space, Blake no more than the other characters. The story is original, with lots of twists and turns. Off hand, I would guess it is my favorite de Haan story so far that I can remember as it did hold my interest from beginning to end. I knew Avon would save the day, but exactly how was something that kept me guessing.
I'm recommending this zine on the strength of these two stories and the artwork in it.
Chronicles is always in production. It is the longest running and most prolific zine series in B7 these days. The best way to submit stories, in my opinion, is to use guest editor Andrew Williams whose email is email@example.com In the past I have found him to be a wonderful editor. The zine series is GEN. And Andrew and Susan work hard to keep it a family zine. Even bad language is not allowed in the stories. Andrew has no problems rejecting things he finds too violent or otherwise not fitting with the general gen scope of Chronciles.
Chronicles seems to be only doing one issue a year these days, but that is certainly better than most of the other zine series which have stopped production completely. All I know is that in this year of 2003, there were ONLY two zines out of the possible thirteen or so that Judith Proctor lists for 2003 that I had any interest in at all and Chronicles 69 was one of the two. I do recommend it.
The first story, "Times Recurring" by Andrew Williams, is an excellent opener - short, clever and original. Playfully, it not only presents a possible solution to what happened to Liberator's original crew, but also solves one of the world's enduring mysteries. The story is a cross-over with Dr Who, but easy to follow for non Dr Who fans since the only thing you need to know about the doctor is that he travels through time in a machine called the TARDIS.
"I am falling" by Penny Dreadful is a 'groundhog day' type story focussing on Travis. It is my least favourite story of this zine, but only because I don't like the genre - much too depressing for me. :-) For that reason I nearly stopped reading a few times when the events started all over again, yet I couldn't put the zine down. It's a measure of the author's talent that she managed to keep my attention throughout a story of a type which I so much dislike.
"When I was a Delta" by Chris Blenkarn is a filk, another genre I'm not keen on. I seldom know the tune they're set to and filks have to be sung to be fully appreciated. Nevertheless I found this filk entertaining to read - another fine example of the author's talent for applying modern management techniques to B7.
"Work Experience" by Nicola Mody is my favourite story of this zine. The author deals very intelligently with a theme I love: Vila and Avon meeting PWB. This story has a very B7 'feel', not least because of the subtle humour that is so characteristic for the Series. It also settles, in a simple but very satisfactory way, the question of the amount of credits Avon tried to steal from the Federation bank.
"Matakka", my own contribution, is all the editor's fault! :-) After accepting my story "The Perfect Solution" for the previous issue, Andrew suggested I wrote a story featuring the mutoid modification that was mentioned there in passing. On reading his suggestion I immediately saw the whole plot of "Matakka" ready in my mind. I'm sure it hasn't turned out at all as Andrew had meant, but it surely was great fun writing.
"Belonging" by Gina the Dormouse is a very short story with a nice original theme, dealing as it does with B7 pets. (And no, I don't mean Avon! :-) ) The end made me smile.
"Fugitive" by Philippa Watts, which focuses mainly on Tarrant, is a fast paced S4 adventure story very in line with that season's atmosphere. Yet it didn't leave me feeling down, which is so often the case with S4 stories. It's a relative short story for its type, showing the author's knack for conciseness.
All in all, I zine I warmly recommend.
This is the first time I've bought Chronicles, and I'm glad I did. This one contained some good stories and was very enjoyable.
Times recurring - Andrew Williams
A one-pager to get you up to speed, and a relatively plausible - if anything is plausible in this world - explanation of an early Blake's 7 mystery.
I am falling - Penny Dreadful
There are two certainties whenever you read one of Penny's stories - it will be about Travis and it will be beautifully written. This story doesn't disappoint in either category. Here Penny takes us back to when Blake's gun removed Travis' arm and eye, and then takes us back again and again as Travis each time tries to make changes to alter the outcome. Groundhog Day meets Blake's 7.
When I was a delta - Chris Blenkarn
I must confess my knowledge of Gilbert & Sullivan is minimal, so I don't know what this sounds like sung to the tune of "When I was a lad" as it should be. Perhaps Chris can sing it to me next time we meet. Till then, I have to treat this as a poem plotting an alternative route for Vila to his life as a thief and a rebel as he moves up the ranks from tea boy.
Work experience - Nicola Mody
So what was Avon reading when we first saw him? And how did Vila know Avon already? Both these questions are answered in a delightful story about Vila being given one last chance to avoid Cygnus Alpha. Avon's and Vila's characters are expertly written in a lovely tale, some of which will be recognised by anyone who has worked in an office and had to face the hurdles of office politics and stupid supervisors.
Mattaka - Marian de Haan
Set shortly after Shadow, the longest story in this zine sees the crew embark on a mission to destroy the clinic the Federation uses for creating mutoids. What should have been straightforward becomes complicated when another rebel carries out the same plan at the same time. Add a psychotic prisoner to the mix and a potential traitor among the Liberator crew and you end up with a story that, if filmed, could have been one of the better episodes.
Belonging - Gina the Dormouse
Chronicles is a gen zine and as such you don't get a lot - if any - sex in the stories, but that hasn't stopped Gina going for one of the most unusual pairings in this short story of love between a moon disc and a lump of sopron.
Fugitive - Philippa Watts
If it's Flip it must be Tarrant, and this shortish story to end the book has the curly haired pilot in search of an old classmate and Federation deserter who might have the knowledge and resources to produce an antitoxin to Pylene 50. However, humans aren't the only inhabitants of the planet where he resides and the situation he is in is not quite what Tarrant was expecting.
"I Am Falling" by Penny Dreadful (PWB Travis).
"When I Was A Delta" by Chris Blenkarn (PWB Vila).
"Work Experience" By Nicola Mody (PWB Vila).
"Mattaka" by Marian de Haan (S2 crew).
"Belonging" by Gina the Dormouse (S3 crew).
"Fugitive" by Philippa Watts (S4 crew)
Art by <-minds-i-view-> and moi.
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Last updated on 21st of December 2007.