This is as ever all A/B (not a minus point as far as I'm concerned), and more romantic than otherwise (which may be - there are a couple of writers I like for romantic A/B slash but the Floods of Tears school doesn't do much for me). Most of the shortest stories (4 pages or less) strike me as sketches that should have been filled out, but YM May As Always V.
Frontispiece by Gayle Feyrer. One of those "Avon is cold, dignified and stunningly beautiful" types of pictures. Not bad, actually.
Additional artwork by Cat. The less said the better as far as I'm concerned - not my type of thing at all.
One of those "stranded" type of stories. Some degree of hurt/comfort. Avon tries to be sophisticated and emotionless, but ends up caught in his own trap - the last to know about his own feelings.
Mad, Bad & Dangerous To Know by S. Lewis
Typical S. Lewis story - floods of tears and a happy ending. You'll like it if you like that sort of thing.
Some Guys Have All The Luck by Riley Cannon
Entertaining, lightweight, fun...
Planetfall by Pat Terra
I like this one. Avon and Blake on holiday. A certain Dr. Carnell is pulling strings by talking to them separately and telling Avon about Blake and Blake about Avon. The psychology is (in real life) from Eric Berne's books on game theory. Idyllic sex scene but dark, disturbing undercurrents.
Melancholy by Sebastian
One of my two favourite stories in this 'zine. One of Sebastian's erotic, lyrical, bittersweet and complicated tales. She is very good at not needing Big Plots to make her writing work, and I prefer that - the story comes out of the characters.
The Point by R. Olivia Brown
Well-written but unusual - Blake and Avon listen to a sort of tragic Celtic-style myth that has strange similarities to their own experience.
Rescue by Leslie Marshall
Blake rescues Avon from execution - and Avon has to confront his own feelings, making about as good a job of it as you would expect.
Do Not Go Gentle by Riley Cannon
Splendid Isolation by Thomas
Nice PWP - Blake barges into Avon's room to harass him into fixing something but is extremely startled to discover him masturbating...
A Trip Down Memory Lane by Airelle
I hate this one but I know a lot of people like it. I like "dark", but I don't go for "tragic", so it could be that that puts me off. Interesting idea, though.
To Hell Among the Rogues by xBryn Lantry
My other favourite in this 'zine. Lantry is definitely one of those writers you either love or hate - she writes in a style unlike most other slash writers I've found so far. Seductively rich with passion and hinted darkness. Romantic but tense rather than gushy.
It Was Real For The Children by Adrian Morgan and Ann Wortham
Short PGP It Was All A Dream thing.
S. Lewis, "Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know"
Riley Cannon, "Some Guys Have All the Luck"
Pat Terra, "Planetfall"
R. Olivia Brown, "The Point"
Leslie Marshall, "Rescue"
Riley Cannon, "Do Not Go Gentle"
Thomas, "Splendid Isolation"
Airelle, "A Trip Down Memory Lane"
xBryn Lantry, "To Hell Among the Rogues"
Adrian Morgan & Ann Wortham, "It Was Real for the Children"
Rachel Duncan, "Flashpoint"
Robin Hood, "A Damn Fine Madness"
Catherine, "In Peaceful Dreams" and "Sweet Dreams"
Cybel Harper, "Always Avon" and "Together"
Robin Hood, "All I Know" and "Fairy Gold"
Robin Hood, "Born to Madness" and "Calm Avoidance"
Phoenix cover A & B arm wrestling
Gayle Feyrer frontispiece A (face)
Cat p. 76 A & B
p. 79 A & B
"Kerr. The word we spoke last night."
Avon waited, eyes huge and blind.
"Love," specified Blake. "I avoided that word on Liberator."
"Do you find the concept relevant to two mangled outlaws who, admittedly, can't keep their hands off one another?"
"Maybe mangled outlaws have more need."
"In short, you wish to discover whether I am in love," stated Avon, since Blake was too civil.
A pause. "Not if you can't tell, Cassius," was the wistful answer.
PEDESTAL BY THOMAS
Avon bit back a sharp reply... "What possible difference does it make what I believe or don't believe?"
"It makes all the difference to me," Blake replied, vibrant with sincerity. He reached out and gripped Avon's shoulder. "I need you."
"I'm useful," Avon corrected. "Anyone would do. Anyone, that is, who could control the computers for you."
"No, Avon. Anyone could not be my friend."
A finger of ice ran up Avon's spine. For a scant second, he was tempted by the warmth in Blake's eyes, until Blake spoke again, destroying the fragile illusion. "I need you on my side."
"You need to get me killed." He tried to pull away. "Let me go, Blake."
Blake's fingers tightened. "Why won't you give me a chance?"
PLANETFALL by Pat Terra
Blake rubbed the bridge of his nose thoughtfully.
"You've met my-- associate, Avon." The statement was cast as a leading question.
Carnell tipped back and smiled at the sky. "Oh yes."
Blake's eyebrows lifted, encouraging him to continue...
"...in extreme cases he may feel entitled to a 'free' homicide, already paid for by repeated betrayals at the hands of people carefully chosen for their untrustworthiness..."
Blake licked his lips, suddenly cold beneath the tropical sun. "How does one recognize such a man?"
Carnell smiled. Most people were so dense. "Just listen to him. His favorite past time is discussing double-crosses - past, future, real or anticipated.
Observe him. His favorite game is proving that others are untrustworthy."
"Inferior, stupid, or wrong-headed?" Blake clarified.
Carnell nodded. "Exactly. Sound like anyone you know?"
MAD, BAD, AND DANGEROUS TO KNOW by S. Lewis
Blake sampled the ale thoughtfully and then returned his abruptly lucid gaze to Avon. "Well, Avon," he said pleasantly enough, "I do think that some sort of explanation is called for."
Avon had not yet tasted his drink, and he did not do so now. Instead, he dropped his eyes to study his hands, which were clasped together on the rough wooden table top. "An explanation?" he repeated softly. "Of what, exactly?" The response was nothing more than a ridiculous attempt to postpone the inevitable.
Blake obviously recognized that fact. He sighed patiently. "It is unlike you to dissemble, Avon. You know very well 'of what'. My... abduction from the Liberator."
Additional stories by Sebastian, Airelle, Natasha Barry, Leslie Marshall, R. Olivia Brown, Ann Wortham & Adrian Morgan. Cover by Phoenix. Additional art by Gayle Feyrer and Cat.
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