Mini Review by Sarah Thompson

Dr. Bellfriar's Memorial Journal is another U.S. digest zine, like Standard by Several. It's also produced by a fan club, the Sopron Alliance of New York City, who were known for silly fun things like holding pajama parties in the bar at conventions. (Alas, I discovered the club myself just as they were breaking up.) There were four issues of the zine; I'll post the contents two at a time.

Although it's a gen zine, with no explicit sex, some of the stories definitely have R-rated content. My favorite is an extremely juicy get- Avon, "Interference" by Sheila Paulson, in #1. Avon is captured and tortured by sadistic pirates. He's worried that he may have been raped while unconscious, but since this is a gen story, it turns out that he wasn't. (Shucky darn :). )

Gan fans should definitely check out Cindy Rancourt's long story in #1, in which Gan survives Pressure Point and plays a crucial role in subsequent events.

Paulie Kay's unpronounceable story in #2 is a really odd not-quite-A/V. PGP, both Avon and Vila are teachers (!) in the same school. For various complicated reasons, Vila tells his numerous relatives that he and Avon are lovers, even though they really aren't. (They occasionally sleep in the same bed, but they don't have sex.) Then Avon wakes up on the Liberator and realizes that it was all a dream. But it seems to have been a prophetic dream, since he can now speak the secret language of Vila's family. A very unusual story-- sort of like the Dome Cycle as farce rather than drama!

"Post-Mortem" is a short, intense look at Servalan's felings about Avon. Although it's not explicit, it would have fit nicely into an adult zine.

"Last Resort" has Soolin and Vila, the last survivors, meeting up several years after GP and deciding to become a team. There's no hint that they will also become a couple, but it could happen easily. For a terrific example of an explicit Vila/Soolin story, see the one by Pat Jacquerie in Southern Comfort 8.5; sorry, I'm blanking on the title.

#3 has two intense hc stories that in the hands of other authors might easily have gone in a smutty direction. In "The Wages of a Facade," Avon and Jenna are tortured together. Later, she accepts comfort, but he won't. Many possibilities for continuing this story!

"Blake Redux" is very slash-like. PGP, or rather alt-GP, Avon is cruelly tortured by-- Blake. Until he is rescued by-- Blake. Recommended for get-Avon fans.

"Babysitting" is another odd A-V. In this one, Vila is regressed to childhood, and Avon is obliged to care for him.

#4 has an actual sex story, "The Best Medicine." Vila is infected with a virus for which the only cure is vigorous sex. Cally volunteers to save him.

"A Walk by Day and by Night" is an Avon-Sopron story that IMO could almost be Avon/Sopron. It's an odd little story, but I liked it quite a bit.

The Jean Kluge illo in the middle of #4 is gorgeous; IMO the zine is worth having for that alone. Blake, holding up a mirror, looks into it to see Servalan-Medusa behind him. And behind =her= is Avon, already turned to stone.

Review by Julia Jones

Series of four digest zines. They have some flaws, but offer a good selection of stories (mostly gen), and are well worth picking up if you see them offered at a reasonable price. The first issue has only five stories, two long and three short; the other three generally have a lot of shorts plus one or two medium length stories.

The flaws: a fair number of the stories in the later issues had good ideas but very unpolished writing. Characterisation drift, POV headhopping, info-dumping, telling rather than showing, failure to provide a good reason why someone is behaving that way... I found myself itching to reach for the red pen, which means that the stories were good enough to be worth the effort of editing. It was also fairly obvious that it's an American zine. There's the occasional outbreak of the characters speaking American English, which sounds out of character for those who can hear the difference, but more of a problem are the cultural assumptions which result in some of the stories being written to press buttons that Britons and Antipodeans don't actually have. I found a couple of these irritating rather than the cute, funny or angsty that the author was clearly aiming for. Fortunately it's a minority of stories that are affected by this, and there are plenty of stories that *do* work for an international audience.


Issue 1:
Sheila Paulson's "Interference", a long get-Avon in which Avon is captured and tortured by pirates, and spends quite a bit of the story angsting about whether he was raped while unconscious. I can name one or two people who will love this one...

Cindy Rancourt's "Alternatives", a long AU in which Gan is rescued alive from under the pile of rubble in Centrol Control, and Blake realises how much he's used his crew. There follows a nice long crew-bonding holiday, with enough betrayal and Federation troops to keep life interesting. Good one for Gan fans, and for A-B devotees.

Issue 2:
Helen Woolverton's "Madman's Choice", first in a sequence of stories about Jenna after Star One. Jenna is picked up and held prisoner on a Federation ship which makes the mistake of taking an Adromedan prisoner. The Andromedan escapes and kills the entire crew, but spares Jenna, offering her a choice of helping it or being killed. There were some things that irritated me about this story, but it's an interesting concept, and the standard of writing improves in later stories. The sequence continues with "Testing the Limits" in Issue 3 and "The Art of Naming" in issue 4.

Issue 3:
Barbara Hamilton-Fletcher's "The Wages of a Facade", in which Avon and Jenna are captured and tortured together, but Avon refuses to tell anyone afterwards how badly he's been injured.

Irene Stubbs' "Homicide" is an alternative version of the episode Killer. It's flawed but has some good ideas.

Issue 4:
Jean Kluge's "Medusa" is a stunning illo with Blake as Perseus and Servalan as Medusa - and Avon as one of Medusa's victims.

L S Chabot's "Your One-man Backup Team" shows Avon and Vila coming to terms with what happened in the Orbit shuttle.


Editor: Kathy Coy
Publisher: The Sopron Alliance (fan club; New York, NY)
Date: 1988

Jill Grundfest, "Schooltime" (S2)
Sheila Paulson, "Interference" (S2?; A-hc)
Rosa Field, "When the Banks Are Closed" (S5; STTNG crossover; humor)
Cindy Henry, "In the Chromatic Hues of Infinity" (S4; Rescue; A)
Cindy Rancourt, "Alternatives" (S2; alt-Pressure point; G)

Kathy Coy, "Madame Editorial"

Paulie Kay, "Ode to Avon"
Cindy Henry, "Muse"
Julie Florez and Cindy Henry, "Anna's Theme" (f, She Loves You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah)
Jeanie Webster and Cathie Boudreau, "Blake Clones" (f, The Flintstones theme song)
Julie Florez and Cindy Henry, "Servalan Can" (f, The Candy Man)
Paulie Kay, "Hurting"

Kathy Coy covers Liberator
p. 23 A
p. 35 O as jukebox
p. 39 Se
Julie Florez p. 37 cartoon: B & A as Fred Flintstone & Barney Rubble
Linda DeSantis p. 46 A
Moloch p. 73 B photo
p. 80 "Being Crazy Is the Only Thing That Keeps Me Sane" (A photo)


Editor: Kathy Coy
Publisher: The Sopron Alliance (fan club; New York, NY)
Date: 1989

Jill Grundfest, "Vermin" (S2; A)
Marilyn J. Hanson, "The Warning" (S4; Rescue; A-C death)
Mary Gerstner, "A Matter of Pride" (S2; A)
Paulie Kay, "Mflph Dome Mong Plugh (roughly translated 'Oh No, Not Vila')" (S5, S1; A-V, discussion of A/V)
Cindy Rancourt, "Post-Mortem" (S5; Se/ocm, A/Se)
Leigh Arnold, "The Terre Nova Tapes" (S5)
Irene Stubbs, "Blake Might Run?" (S3; B-Se; humor)
Helen Woolverton, "Madman's Choice" (S3; J)
April Giordano and Mary Gerstner, "And Now for Something Completely Different" (S1?; humor)
Marilyn J. Hanson, "The All New Episode Guide to Bloke's Heaven" (S5; AU humor)
Steve Zwanger, "Last Resort" (S5; V-So)

Kathy Coy, "Daughter of Madame Editorial"
Kathy Coy, "The Little Rebels Mail Order Club" #s 1-3(humor)

Beth Altman, "The Orbit Song" (f, How Much Is That Doggie In the Window?")
Cathy Boudreau, "Delta in Distress" (f, Doctor in Distress)
Melissa Mastoris, "Remembering"
Jenny Haywood, "Rumours of Death: A Sonnet"
Jenny Haywood, "On Avon"
Peter Cassidy, Elizabeth Santiago, Linda Robertello,and Ingrid Lin, "My Dead Rebel Leader" (f, My Dead Dog Rover)

Kathy Coy covers A, J; Se (photos)
p. 8 V
p. 12 "Orbit Song" illo
p. 41 wine glass
p. 43 cartoon: "Blake in a Jar"
p. 51 cartoon: "Eau dat Blake"
p. 56 illo for "Madman's Choice"
p. 73 cartoon: "Sopron Milk Containers"
p. 79 illo for "Last Resort"
p. 83 cartoon: B and C-clones
Mary Gerstner p. 20 A, V
Jenny Haywood p. 37 A
p. 75 A


Editor: Kathy Coy
Publisher: The Sopron Alliance (fan club; New York, NY)
Date: 1989

April Giordano, "Night Visions" (S4; humor)
Barbara Hamilton-Fletcher, "The Wages of a Facade" (A-J-hc)
Mary Gerstner, "Silent Cry" (S4)
Michelle Christian, "Happy Thoughts" (S1; DW & HHGG crossover; humor)
Paulie Kay, "Babysitting" (S1?; A-V)
Roxie Ray, "Warped Orbit" (STTNG version of Orbit)
Dotty Klein, "Vocation" (S1; The Way Back; V)
Mysti Frank, "Well, the Way I Heard It..." (S5)
Helen Woolverton, "Testing the Limits" (S3; J; sequel to "Madman's Choice" in #2)
Marilyn J. Hanson, "Cindervila" (S3; City; AU humor)
Michelle Christian, "The Paths of Glory" (S5?; A)
T. L. Condon, "Second Thoughts" (S2; A-J)
Jeannie Webster, "Death of an Enemy, Death of a Friend" (S3; alt-Rumours)
Bobbie Stankiewicz, "Blake Redux: An Alternate Blake" (S4-S5; alt-Blake; A-hc)
Irene Stubbs, "Homicide" (S2; alt-Killer)

"Meet the Perpetrators" (1-4)
Kathy Coy, "Editorial"
Kathy Coy, "bit" (humor)
Kathy Coy, "The Little Rebels Mail Order Club" (humor)

Diana Klopf, "It's My Series" (f, It's My Party)
Geoffrey Raven, "Two Faces"
Geoffrey Raven, "The Eyes of Kerr"
Patricia Russo, "And He Was" (f, And She Was, by the Talking Heads)
Melissa Mastoris, "Betrayal"

Kathy Coy covers A, Se
p. 32 "Mutoids Anonymous" cartoon
p. 80 B on GP
p. 87 Se
Mary Gerstner p. 15 A
Amy Randolph p. 33 A-V; illo for "Babysitting"


Editor: Kathy Coy
Publisher: The Sopron Alliance (fan club; New York, NY)
Date: 1990

Jean Graham, "Art of Persuasion" (reprinted from Down & Unsafe; S2; Star One
Irene Stubbs, "One Hour Before Dawn" (S0; A)
Irene Stubbs, "What Really Happened, or, You Know you Are Safe With Orac" (S4; alt-Orbit)
B. N. Fish, "Everything Comes Around" (S5)
Barbara Hamilton-Fisher, "Nexus" (S2; Trial; A-B)
Mark Silverstein, "By Any Other Name" (S5)
Paulie Kay, "A 3" (S0; A-V)
Irene Stubbs, "A Walk by Day and by Night" (S3; Harvest; Z, A-Sopron)
Ann Moss, "Play for Power" (alt-S3; Powerplay; Blackadder crossover)
Jennifer Smallwood, "Memories" (S3; post-City; A-V)
Mike Schwartz, "Orbit (Revisited, Restored, Whatever)" (S3, alt-Orbit)
Michael D. Schwartz, "Out of Orbit II" (S3, alt-Orbit)
Irene Stubbs, "Three Little Words" (S2; post-Horizon; A-V)
Roxie Ray, "The Best Medicine" (S3; V-hc; C/V)
Helen Woolverton, "The Art of Naming" (S3; J; sequel to "Testing the Limits" in #3)
J. A. Munson, "Your One-man Backup Team" (S4)
Irene Stubbs, "Words to Live By" (S5)
Kathy Coy, Editorial
Kathy Coy, "The Little Rebels Mail Order Club" (humor)

Poetry: Anne Collins Smith, "Magic Box" (f, Magic Bus, by the Who)
Marilyn J. Hanson, "Avon Waxes Poe-etic After Gauda Prime" (based on The Raven)
Anne Collins Smith, "Avon's Got a Very Short Fuse" (f, The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes, by Elvis Costello)
Anne Collins Smith, "Servalan" (f, Veronica, by Elvis Costello)
Kathy Coy, "Medusas"
Melissa Mastoris, "Darkness and Light"
Melissa Mastoris, "Alone and Silent"
Marilyn J. Hanson, "The Charge of Blake's Brigade" (based on The Charge of the Light Brigade)
Marilyn J. Hanson, "Avon's Got a Secret to Hide" (f, Ticket to Ride)

Kathy Coy covers So, A
p. 43 Liberator on balloon
Jean Kluge p. 51 B-Se-A; illo for "Medusas"

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last changed on 26th of June 2004