Mini Review of issues 3 to 6 by Sarah Thompson

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 Forbidden Star.

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 him.

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.

Review of issues 4 by CB

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 line. 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.

Contents of Issue 4

Editor/publisher: Wendy Rathbone (Poway, CA)
Available from: MKASHEF Enterprises
Date: 1991

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
Zine ads

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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