Fire and Ice III

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Review by Judith Proctor

Fire and Ice is a B7 slash zine edited by Kathy Resch that prints only Avon/Blake stories. It's one of my favourite zines, but then Avon/Blake is my favourite pairing.

The issue #3 cover is by Phoenix and is the best drawing I've seen her do. Avon and Blake are wrestling and you quite literally can't tell if they are going to kiss one another or throw the other to the floor, which to my way of thinking sums up the relationship perfectly. The zine is comb-bound with 143 pages.

The Gift by Pat Terra - a follow on to 'Deliverence' in Avon Calling #2 - 4th season Avon buys a slave on Domo who turns out to be Blake. Fairly good (although I preferred the original story) with bondage style sex.

Wild, Beautiful and Damned by Gemini - Stiffie winner for best B7 story 1996 - Avon and Blake trip over the local customs when they visit the planetof Akhaia. They didn't realise that partner swopping with your host included men and what's more, Avon has no intention of sleeping with anyone.

Set the Night on Fire by Riley Cannon - a short PWP, and a very nice one indeed. A friendly first encounter while everyone else is on shore leave.

Deliver us from Evil by Willa Shakespere - Willa's writing has got steadily better over time and this is a very well written story indeed. It's an AU set after 'Deliverence'. Blake and Cally overpower Ensor's son and head back for Cephlon, but Ensor's son learns that Blake is in love with one of the people left on Cephlon. Later on, he realises that this has to be Avon and his revelation causes a major flare up. This story has well drawn characters as well as a lovely Blake/Avon relationship. Although Ensor only appears briefly in the story, he feels absolutely spot on. Jenna is treated well and Cally, Vila and Gan feel like themselves too.

Gorgeous by Gloria Lancaster and R. Olivia Brown - Avon and Blake go undercover to meet a possible contact. What they don't initially realise is that Orac didn't tell them the significance of the outfits they were wearing.

Avon finds that he has to pose as Blake's 'companion', a role that inevitably requires him to sleep with Blake eventually. Although the story has a couple of trivial flaws, overall it is highly enjoyable. I got a lot of fun out of watching Avon forced to pretend to be a brainless piece of fluff!

Though Memories Die, Love Remains by Leah Starsky - Payter Fen (one of the boys Blake was accused of molesting) comes after Blake and claims that he is in love with him. Avon, who is having perfectly satisfactory affair with Blake, is forced to give it up while Blake tries to convince Payter that he can't sleep with him because he prefers women. Everything is sorted out happily in the end.

Trusting to Fate by Tara - Avon and Blake feel spot on in this PWP - the dialogue is great and I do so miss that in some slash writing where the cut and thrust gets lost in the romance. This story reminds me of xBryn Lantry in style (that's a compliment) although there are some differences.

Legacy by Tara - A sad, bittersweet PWP, and one I like very much. Avon finds Blake briefly after Star One.

Sentence by Katy Deery - Stiffie Winner for best B7 short story 1996 - an unusual plot (which is always a bonus for me). After Terminal, everyone except Blake and Avon are dead and Avon has Blake hooked up to the machine that creates illusions. Blake is helplessly lost in a fantasy world that is totally under Avon's control.

Avon, My Avon by Vanessa Mullen - After Gauda Prime, Avon is placed on a ship that takes him to the world where Blake's clone once lived. There he meets Blake who tells him that it was actually the clone who died on GP. This story is told from Blake's point of view, and doesn't follow the usual path of 'it was the clone' stories. (The writer was trying to be clever with italics to distinguish thought from speech- maybe she should have left them out as they aren't really necessary and are a bit distracting.)

Finally Come Home by Irish - A badly injured Avon virtually works himself to death for an unsympathetic Blake after GP. Contains one of my favourite lines when Blake, reflecting that he'd been waiting for Avon with open arms only to get shot by him asks Avon, "How did *you* become the victim here?" A beautiful summery on Blake's part of how sympathies always seem to be with Avon even when he was the one who shot an unarmed man... There's a happy ending though.

New Day Dawning by JMR - I'm not so keen on this one. It's another 'Avon as victim' PGP and I dislike an Avon who keeps bursting into tears. Besides, Blake is miraculously uninjured, Avon is in hospital and the Feds have vanished as if by magic. This just isn't my sort of story, although if you happen to like Avon and Blake both shedding buckets as they realise their feelings for one another, then I'm sure you'll love it.

What Price Victory? by Catherine - Catherine and I once decided to try writing stories using the same bit of poetry as inspiration - Oscar Wilde's Reading Gaol. This is one of the stories that resulted, the other is in Forbidden Star. It's bleak, but then I like bleak.

The Ghost of Gauda Prime by Natash Solten - This is a real favorite of mine. (It was nominated for a Stiffie even if it didn't win) Years after Gauda Prime, a man called Blake, who sufferes from severe memory problems meets a dark-haried man whom he is sure he recognises from somewhere. As he falls in love with Avon, fragments of his memory start to return, but Avon has no memory of the past.

There is poetry in this zine. I didn't enjoy any of it, but then I'm biased towards verse that actually rhymes and scans.

Overall I heartily recommend this zine, there are no real turkeys and the good ones are extremely good.


Editor/publisher: Kathleen Resch
Date: May, 1995

Pat Terra, "The Gift"
Gemini, "Wild, Beautiful, and Damned"
Riley Cannon, "Set the Night on Fire"
Willa Shakespeare, "Deliver Us from Evil"
Gloria Lancaster and R. Olivia Brown, "Gorgeous"
Leah Starsky, "Though Memories Die, Love Remains"
Tara, "Trusting to Fate"
Tara, "Legacy"
Kate Deery, "Sentence"
Vanessa Mullen, "Avon, My Avon"
Irish, "Finally Come Home"
JMR, "New Day Dawning"
Catherine, "What Price Victory"
Natasha Solten, "The Ghosts of Gauda Prime"
Pat Terra, "Innerspace"
Robin Hood, "Scent of Memory" and "Cloud of Heartbreak"
Robin Hood, "Ride the Moon"
Robin Hood, "Jagged Mind" and "Dauntless Death"
Khylara, "Differences"
Robin Hood, "The Color of Mourning"
Khylara, "Surrender"
Phoenix cover seminude A & B standing


SENTENCE by Kate Deery

He sensed that Blake was awake even without the help of the machinery that confirmed it. Although he lay still, breathing deeply, his eyes closed, they both knew that it was a vain effort.

"Did you enjoy it?"

Blake slowly opened his eyes, eyes that had lost hope long ago.

"You know I didn't. Why, Avon? Why that?"

Avon started to remove the electrodes attached to Blake's temples.

"Perhaps you'll think twice next time before you attempt to commit suicide. Trying to smash the equipment was something of a futile gesture in your present state. But I forget, you're a master of the futile gesture."

The rebel didn't bother to argue the point, knowing it would be useless.

"So, you were punishing me? Are you sure that was all it was, Avon? That there wasn't some part of you that enjoyed killing me?"

Blake didn't know what reaction to expect from the tech. The only thing predictable about him nowadays was his unpredictability.

Avon smiled gently down at him, his blank features taking on life once more.

"Only in my dreams, Blake..."

THE GIFT by Pat Terra

Avon could not see the slave's face to identify him, either. But the fighter's proud stance was as distinctive as any facial feature, and Avon knew. Stepping softly up behind the slave, he spoke.

"Well now." Avon's voice was quiet, subtly mocking, gentle on the surface, but with an icy undertow of menace.

Two words only. But the straining figure went suddenly still, as if breathlessly awaiting another sound. Of course, no further words were forthcoming and that was equally telling.

"Avon," he only said, a low grumble that the Alpha tech felt tumble from his ears clear down to his belly..


"You seem surprised, Lord Blake?... Certainly you must appreciate the quality of the gift you offer me."

"Rarely," Avon muttered softly. Blake shot him a quick glare. Now was not the time for Avon's temper to be aired. Later, in private, Avon could flay him alive with his sarcasm but not now.

"He is pleasing," Blake said firmly with a sharp glance back at his increasingly restless companion. "But I was not aware of your interest in such - pleasures."

More stories by Riley Cannon, Willa Shakespeare, Gloria Lancaster, R. Olivia Brown, Leah Starsky, Tara, Vanessa Mullen, Irish, Jamie Melody Randell, Catherine and Natasha Solten. COVER BY PHOENIX.

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