Cover in some a/u classical myth setting: possibly Avon as Perseus and Blake as Andromeda. Does nothing for me at all. No other artwork.
In Another Time (A/B) --- Melody Clark
PGP. Is Blake Blake? Is Avon Avon? Who is testing whose loyalty? Lots of bleak bitter imagery and angst.
Coyotes (A/V) -- Jane Mailander
One of Mailander's splendidly psychologically healthy stories. Much less romantic than is the norm for this 'zine. Not a story for Tarrant fans (not a surprise for this author).
December Dreams (A/B) -- J. Meridith
This one is, if anything, a bit over-romantic. I don't think the tone quite succeeds (but soliloquies are a difficult thing for any writer to manage), and the rather American-accented dialogue puts me off.
Re-Entry (A/V) -- Morgan/O'Cullane
PGP. Avon and Vila find each other again. Does Vila trust his new best friend Janneg? Is Janneg his friend? Can he trust Avon? Fairly explicit sex scene: the pun in the title is no doubt intentional.
Something Tangible (A/B) -- Natasha Barry
A much less "sweet" Blake than is normal with this author. Reads slightly as if it's an attempt at an Oblaque twisty-psychological thing (though without the overt sex). For me it doesn't work: I have the impression it's telling rather than showing. Sebastian or the miscellaneous Caledonian could make me feel that I'm getting into Blake's head, but this doesn't. I think the at-the-bedroom-door ending makes the story feel unfinished (no, not *just* because I have a filthy mind...): they've spent the whole story asking what would happen if Blake made a real push to seduce Avon, and now we don't get to see the result.
Ship's Soul/Bitter Prize/End Game (A/B) -- Merlyn
Three short connected vampire stories. I like them, but feel they read more like sketches than full stories. Includes a rare Blake/Tarrant scene, but Blake's heart, needless to say, still belongs to Avon...
Sweeter than Wine (A/B) -- Emily C. Ross
PWP. What would Avon do if he drank a little potion (provided by Vila, of course) that enabled him to lose a few of his many inhibitions? A sadder story than you'd think from this outline, though.
The Tale of the Penetrator (A/B/V) -- Alex T. MacKenzie
This is really, really silly and a complete hoot... Imagine Avon knocked himself out and everything since Terminal was a bad dream. Not silly enough? Imagine they're on a ship called the Penetrator whose computer has this Little Problem: it used to run a Dirty Words booth on the planet Pornia, and it's finding its conditioning catching up to it. Getting silly? Then Jenna turns up with this massive dildo to punish Blake for preferring Avon. Then things get *really* silly...
When the Heart Rules the Mind (A/V) -- Wortham/Rosenthal
The Malodaar incident was a bad dream of Vila's. Avon didn't *really* try to kill him.
The Last Time (A/B) -- Natasha Solten
PWP. I really like the premise of this. A & B fancy each other like mad but they're quite aware trying to have a relationship would be a silly idea. They keep alternating between saying "this is mad" and pouncing furiously. Nice.
There are three A/V stories. 'Re-entry' is PGP, cool and bittersweet, and would, I think, appeal to those who like the pairing. 'Coyotes' has an interesting theme, but drives it home with a heavy hand, and the actual relationship comes over as an afterthought. 'When the Heart Rules the Mind' is post-Orbit, and is quite good, but it's a little hard to judge in this by now over-mined area.
There's a trio of slight but quite nice vampire stories by Merlyn, 'Ship's Soul', 'Bitter Prize', and 'End Game' - however the first story comes *chronologically* after the second; I think it's put first to heighten the rather flimsy mystery within, but I found it (and the attempt to *make* a mystery of what was fairly obvious) distracting. 'The Tale of the Penetrator' (which ends up involving just about all of the 2nd and 3rd season casts) is a long, humorous piece, rather less than subtle, and it just doesn't work for me.
Melody Clark, "In Another Time" (A/B)
Jane Mailander, "Coyotes" (A/V)
J. Meridith, "December Dreams" (A/B)
Brendan O'Cullane and Adrian Morgan, "Re-entry" (A/V)
Natasha Barry, "Something Tangible" (A/B)
MerLyn, "Ship's Soul" (B/T)
MerLyn, "Bitter Prize" (A/B, sequel to "Ship's Soul")
MerLyn, "End Game" (A/B, sequel to "Bitter Prize")
Emily C. Ross, "Sweeter Than Wine" (A/B)
Alex T. MacKenzie, "The Tale of the Penetrator" (A/B/V)
Ann Wortham & Leah Rosenthal, "When the Heart Rules the Mind" (A/V)
Natasha Solten, "The Last Time" (A/B)
Robin Hood, "Dreams Unspoken" (A/B)
Natasha Solten, "Prophecy" (A/B)
Gene S. Delapenia, "At the End" (A/B?)
Robin Hood, "Born to Fire" (A/B)
Robin Hood, untitled (A/B)
Gene S. Delapenia, "And He Laughed" (A/B)
Natasha Solten, "Retreat" (A/B)
Gene S. Delapenia, "What If?" (A/B)
Natasha Solten, "Dreamcall" (A/B)
Emily C. Ross, "Mindgames" (A/B)
Catherine, "Avon's Love" (A/B)
Robin Hood, "In the Mirror" (A/B)
Susan E. Williams, cover (AU: A saves B from dragon)
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Last updated on 17th of December 2000