Avon Special

Mini Review By Sarah Thompson

This is a very lavishly produced zine! It's a little pricey (13.50, as I recall, plus postage), but the color illos are gorgeous. I suspect that someone in the club has a lovely new printer and is enjoying putting it to various fannish uses, such as this and the scrumptious photo calendars, with pictures of Mr. D. in various roles, also available from the club.

The stories are OK, but IMO a little disappointing. My favorite by far was Chris's hysterically funny cricket game, even though I know nothing whatsoever about cricket. Of course, my opinion may have been skewed by that lovely bit about Tarrant being kidnapped and taken off to Ohio by a group of motherly-looking women; even though I suspect the story was written before I moved here, I'm thrilled at the thought of being in on the fun!

I think Helen Parkinson's long story is a sequel to something, possibly her =A Second Chance=, but I'm not sure as I haven't read that. It's got some good A-B angst. Gillian Puddle's "Echoes of the Past" is a fourth-series story focussing initially on Soolin, but really an ensemble piece more or less in the "like an episode" mode. My least favorite story (though like all the stories, it's competently written) was Sue Christian's "For What It's Worth." I think she has been influenced by Judith Seaman (most of whose writings I adore), but unfortunately, by my least favorite kind of J.S. story, namely the ones in which Blake is an unobservant and/or insensitive clod. The lengthy Carnell story by Ros Williams, who must surely be Carnell's number one fan, is interesting but IMO tends to ramble. The original female character is one of Cally's clone sisters; she joins the puppeteer on a mission and he finds himself drawn to her. Much adventure with the third-series crew ensues.

Recommended, albeit with reservations. If you like the Avon club's zines in general, you'll probably want this one too. The cricket story is a howl even for non sports fans, and the other stories are all reasonably good if not IMO outstanding.


Publisher: Avon, the Paul Darrow Society
Date: 1998
Format: A4, [2] + ii + 156 pp. + 7 single-sided photo illo pages (4 in color) on slick paper; white card covers, color front with clear plastic overlay, perfect binding

Helen Parkinson, "By Unfrequented Ways" (S5; A-B)
Gillian Puddle, "Echoes of the Past" (S4)
Chris Blenkarn, "There's a Breathless Hush on the Flight Deck Tonight" (cricket AU; humor)
Sue Christian, "For What It's Worth" (S2; A-B)
Ros Williams, "Seek and Ye Shall Find" (S3; Carnell- Thaarn, uc C/Thaarn, Carnell/ocf, A-V-C)

Paul Darrow, untitled forward
Janet Darrow, "I'll Remember You" (forward)

Art, all photos:
Cover S2 crew, Se, Liberator; color
following p. [2] V, A, B-J, G, C
following p. ii A-B on GP; color
following p. 38 A-So; color
following p. 60 Se
following p. 84 B
following p. 94 C; color
following p. 156 Ta in wreckage of Scorpio; color

Available from: Avon, the Paul Darrow Society

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Last updated on 06th of September 1998.