Some Tarrant quotient for them as likes that sort of thing (unusual in an early 'zine, even more unusual in that they're Tarrant-as-Victim stories, rather than Tarrant-as-Bully, which tended to be more common earlier on). The authors seem to love/lust after Avon, like Vila very much & dislike Blake. Other characters get more-or-less fair treatment.
Wanted: Protector -- Maren (A/V)
The pairing's no surprise with that title. One-and-a-half pages of 1st-person Vila swiftly slips into third-person reminiscence. Quite a bit of hurt/comfort & nasty men threatening to rape a fairly trembling Vila (although the actual A/V sex is reserved for the sequel). I get the feeling that the writers in this group like Vila, but I don't think they do him justice in this story.
No Other Love -- T A Moksi (A/B)
Short filler awkwardly stuffed onto many widely-separated pages. Pointless -- and I don't just mean that these people aren't Blake fans, unlike me. The punchline is that A will do incredibly difficult tasks to save B's life but will not make love to him. Yes, I know "alien being wants our heroes to have sex to save their lives" is a stupid plotline, but that's not the problem. The problem is that there's no POV, so there's no reason for the sketch of an idea to work. Is A just unable to do it w/ a bloke? Can he not face the possibility of love after Anna? Even as a short filler, I don't think the story can get away w/out showing any motivation.
Bright & Shining Star -- Mal O'Dar (A/C)
PWP. I can't be fair to this one because it's developing a sexual/emotional fantasy I don't share: It's an Avon-teaching-a-virgin story. I've seen this in 'zines before; obviously it pushes buttons for the writer, just not me. Also, I think it short-changes the character: it would be perfectly possible to write Cally (virgin or not) as much less passive. It would also help if the author could spell "clitoris".
Rude Awakening -- Mal O'Dar (V)
Filler. Vila-and-a-succubus/nightmare. Oddly enough, there seems to be quite a subgenre with that plot. The point, if any, seems to be semi-horror shading into social embarrassment.
Most Embarrassing Predicament -- Mal O'Dar (A/B)
I like this one, although I don't go as far as Sarah T in putting it on my "favourite A/B list". You may remember it from that list as the "Blake simply insists, and Avon grudgingly lets him do it" story. It has its moments (there are some good lines), & I'm certainly not averse to ambiguous-consent A/B stories, but the characterisation's a bit off from what I enjoy. Mainly, I think, I have problems w/ the idea of B pushing this hard in a first-time story. This is not that I idealise B (except in comparison with the group of writers in this 'zine, who do the opposite), but I think he's got a healthy respect for A. I'd have no problem at all w/ B doing some fairly pushing convincing in a non-first-time story, when he's absolutely sure A wants him, at least physically, but I think this story is a bit unfair to B's intelligence & A's ability to defend himself. (Actually it's mildly unfair to A's intelligence as well: A does not consider the possibility that B wishes to sodomise him until B's inside him. I think any A as bright & paranoid as, say, the one in canon wouldn't be quite that dense... and if the author was trying for "he's pretending he doesn't know what's going on", she should have made that clear in A's POV). Still, as I say, it has a few good lines & a few good moments.
At Last -- Maylani (A/V)
Pirates have fitted A up with a sort of cockring-cum-chastity-belt arrangement. A is feeling horribly nervous at asking for help from Vila, especially because he is a virgin (apparently he ran away from Anna because he was scared). V asks for fifteen minutes with a naked Avon in return for freeing him, & then teaches nervous Avon How Good Sex Can Be... (oh god, it's another Nervous-Virgin story, isn't it...).
Letter to a Friend -- Maren (V/ocf)
Filler. One-page letter, someone hitching a lift writes what she thinks of the crew.
Aftermath -- Maren (V)
Filler. Not sure what to put for the pairing here. V is masturbating & thinking of a past girlfriend, but A barges in on him to get him to help w/ something. The ostensible pairing is V & his thoughts of his girlfriend, but there's a hint that A definitely likes what he sees.
Surprise -- Maylani (A/V)
Filler. V confesses his feelings & they have a zipless-fuck sort of encounter just before they are consumed by fire.
Surprise -- Maylani (A/V)
Filler. As before only w/ tacked on happy ending (i.e. Blake appears w/ a fire-extinguisher).
Everybody Wants You Now -- Madelyn Darring (A/C, A/J)
Humour. Cally isn't getting what she wants from A, and because she's a powerful projective empath, everybody else wants to screw him too (and unbridled lust seems to make Jenna reach for the cowboy outfit & lasso). Some amusing moments (but I have high standards in b7 smut-humour & this doesn't really hit giggle-zenith for me).
Holiday -- Mal O'Dar (everyone)
Vila doses everyone up w/ a drug designed to release inhibitions. Everybody at it with everyone else. Eventually the drug wears off and V gets his chance at A, which was what he wanted all along.
Alternate Intimacies -- Mal O'Dar (A/J)
PWP. Fast & furious sex. I'm amused by the idea that A opens his eyes afterwards thinking "oh god, I've got to *say* something to her now", but J just reaches for his cock & he's greatly relieved at not having to whisper sweet nothings... The way this author writes sex grates on me occasionally: "it felt like her stomach exploded into her brain" is not what I'd use as a description of an intense orgasm.
It Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy -- Mal O'Dar (A/G)
Filler. I have the feeling that the author was trying to produce a story for an unlikely pairing, & this is the nearest she could get to A/G. No sex, some humour.
Sub-duction -- Mal O'Dar (A/T, rape)
One of the Tarrant-as-Victim stories: T pushes too hard in his never-ending battle for dominance with A, & gets raped. (Not forcible seduction, either: he does not enjoy this at all). Cannot figure out what author was getting at except that maybe she enjoys rape stories.
Measure of a Man -- Madelyn Darring (Tr/B, B/J, A/C)
B has been raped by Travis, and his friends help him get over it.
A Lesson In Stealth -- Mal O'Dar (A/D)
PWP. Affectionate gentle deflowering of Dayna by Avon. What is it with these writers and virgins?
Cause and Redemption -- Mal O'Dar (A/V)
Sequel to earlier prison story by Maren. They finally have sex.
A Sip in Time -- Maren (A/V)
Avon, a cockring attached by Servalan, and an aphrodisiac administered by Vila. Twist ending.
A Definite Possibility -- Mal O'Dar (A/So)
Soolin wants Avon & tries to drug him, but gets the dosed drink herself. A fairly nasty Avon in this one.
Such a Stupid Waste -- Mal O'Dar (A/T)
One for Tarrant fans. Hurt/comfort -- Tarrant refuses to eat & falls into depression after Zeeona's death. Avon gives him more to live for.
Maren, "Wanted: Protector" (A/V)
T. A. Mokzi, "No Other Love" (A/B)
Mal O'Dar, "Bright and Shinging Star" (A/C)
Mal O'Dar, "Rude Awakening" (V/?)
Mal O'Dar, "Most Emabarrassing Predicament" (A/B)
Maylani, "At Last" (A/V)
Maren, "Letter to a Friend" (V/oc)
Maren, "Aftermath" (V/V)
Maylani, "Surprises I" (A/V)
Maylani, "Surprises II" (A/V)
Madelyn Darring, "Everybody Wants You Now" (A/C/others)
Maylani, "Holiday" (orgy; A/V)
Mal O'Dar, "Alternate Intimacies" (A/J)
Mal O'Dar, "It Wouldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy" (A/G)
Mal O'Dar, "Nightmare Come True" (A/dream of Anna)
Mal O'Dar, "Sub-duction" (A/Ta)
Madelyn Darring, "Measure of the Man" (B/Tr, B/C, B/J, A/C)
Mal O'Dar, "A Lesson in Stealth" (A/D)
Mal O'Dar, "Cause and Redemption" (A/V)
Maren, "A Sip in Time" (A/Se, A/V)
Mal O'Dar, "A Definite Possibility" (A/So)
Mal O'Dar, "Such a Stupid Waste" (A/Ta)
Maylani, "Regret" (A/V)
Melodye, "Night Watch" (f, Delilah; A/B)
Melodye, "Eyes on the Prize(s)" (f, Big Spender; A/V)
Mal O'Dar, "Avon Yawned" (A)
Linda Evans cover A
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