Marlon - "Sacrifice of Self." (A/B) This story starts from an intriguing premise - Muller's androids on the loose, overrunning the galaxy. However, once Avon goes looking for the ore he needs to construct a shielding device and finds Blake as well, the androids are forgotten and the story turns into a fairly conventional romance. Marlon reverses the usual roles, giving us a Blake who wants to opt out and an Avon who is determined to keep on fighting. It didn't quite work for me, because I can't believe in a gung-ho Avon, but it's a nice try.
Irish - "Compassion." (A/B) A B7 story set in our present universe, with Blake as a doctor researching a cure for AIDS and Avon heading a security firm called Scorpio, assigned to protect Blake when someone starts trying to kill him. Irish knows her B7 characters back to front and it's a pleasure to see what she does with Dayna, Soolin, Tarrant and Vila as members of the security team, while Servalan makes a satisfying appearance as Sioban, an IRA terrorist with a nasty line in revenge on Avon. However, the main focus of the story is the relationship between Avon and Blake, instantly attracted to each other but held back by their separate histories and the differences in their backgrounds, with the AU setting providing some off-beat insights into both characters and adding a touch of genuine suspense that makes it harder to guess where the story is headed. A less imaginative writer would probably have cast Avon as the researcher and Blake as the man of action but Irish's version is way more compelling. One of my personal favourites, if you haven't worked that out already.
Avonlea - "When to Bend." (A/B) A PWP where Avon and Blake use sex as a way of working through some of the issues about power and control raised on the flight deck, although here Avon and Blake are established as lovers before the story begins and the power play between them is basically therapeutic, with none of the edgier ambiguities that you find in other A/B stories on a similar theme.
Baravan - The Near Dark Trilogy: "Night Maneuvers", "The Hero of Cor Wellen" and "Too Long a Soldier." (Ta/V, A/B) A sequel to "In the Shadow of the Night" by Linnandel Cameron, published in Serrated Seven. Tarrant is rescued from a Federation prison camp by Blake and his Gauda Prime rebel cadre, after which Vila helps him to recover from captivity and torture. A low key but effective trilogy of stories, which takes soldiering and its consequences very seriously. While Baravan focusses on Tarrant's anguish and Vila's loyalty and comfort, there is also a sub-plot dealing with the PGP relationship between Avon and Blake, plus some well-observed political manoeuvrings on the Gauda Prime base.
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Last updated on 17th of December 2000.