Review By Sarah Thompson

Like Chronicles, this zine tends to be spotty in quality; some of the stories are so-so, but some are really good. IMO this is one of the better issues. I consider Susan Barrett Riaz to be one of the best new B7 writers, and established writers like Marian Mendez, Sophia Mulvey, and Helen Parkinson can always be counted on for a good read.

"Hope for Tomorrow" by K. Ann Yost is from her series of Jenna's letters to her mother. Here, Jenna visits the Auron colony on Karn and hears their story. Interesting and amusing.

"The Fall" is a short vignette recounting some of the events of Star One from the POV first of Blake and then of Travis. Travis survives his fall and plots revenge, leaving the reader to wonder whether this is perhaps the beginning of a series.

"Show Trial" has lovely Avon angst as he endures prolonged torture and is finally dragged off to a trial. But a surprise awaits him there. My favorite story in the zine.

Two stories have Avon and Vila marooned in a planetary wilderness. In "Thirst," they are saved by a friendly alien who is also an exile. The title is the name of the alien character. I wish the author had picked something that is not an English word, as I kept expecting something involving the torments of thirst; but apparently the choice of name was purely coincidental. I preferred "Searching for Summer Shade," which shows us how Vila got the idea that he would be safe with Avon.

"On the Way to Heaven" deals with a budding romantic relationship between Vila and Soolin, sparked by an incident in which he is injured in an attempted kidnapping. I very much liked the role reversal of the woman rescuing the man, and I thought the development of the relationship was very believable. However, I found the flashbacks a little awkward and hard to follow.

"Deadly Waters" is a nicely written adventure story in which Avon is saved from a horrible fate by Gan. The planetary setting is vivdly described, and the action moves right along.

"Tomorrow and Tomorrow" was a disappointment. It has an intriguing premise-- an older Blake rebelling against a New Federation led by Avon-- and a nice angsty tone leading to a tragic ending. However, there is far too much explanation of the various characters' mental states for my taste. I would have preferred to be shown instead of told just what is wrong with Blake. Also, some interesting plot threads are never explained-- such as the origin of the mysterious young woman who may be Blake's daughter. And I didn't like the fact that the explanations of how to pronounce the names were inserted into the text. I found it intrusive and would have liked to see them in a little note at the beginning or end of the story instead.

"The Alphabet Gang" is another favorite. It's the story of four little girls in an orphanage who wonder who their parents were and, since no one will tell them, decide to find out for themselves. We have some suspicions, based on the prologue set on GP, the personalities of the children, and the charming illustrations provided by the author; but only at the end is all revealed. The POVs and behavior of the children are very true-to-life. Fun.

"Children of the Corn" was very difficult to follow, partly because it is a sequel to a story in the previous issue that I haven't read, and partly because there are many different characters; the story jumps back and forth from one subplot to another rather too quickly for my taste. And I didn't find any of the original characters very compelling. Example: the villainess Demoniah, who wants Avon to father a child for her. Why bother to invent the likes of Demoniah when you already have Servalan?

"Strong in the Broken Places" is a well-written story from the Deltah Base series; I found it enjoyable even though I haven't read enough of the series to keep track of exactly what is going on in it. There is a nice reconciliation scene between Blake and Avon, facilitated by Carnell, who is now working with them. We find out at last what really happened on GP.

For me, the stories in the zine fell into four categories:

(Is it a coincidence that #11 has 11 stories?!)

There's some nice art, mostly by Val. The layout and printing are very well done. Overall, I'd recommend the zine.


Editors: K. Rae Travers and Sophia Mulvey
Publisher: Bearly Spaced Enterprises
Date: May 1998
Format: letter size, [2] + 112 pp., white card covers, black comb binding

K. Ann Yost, "Hope for Tomorrow" (Dear Mother series; S3, post-Children; J)
Nancy Dziergowski, "The Fall" (S2, Star One; B, Tr)
Susan Barrett, "Show Trial" (S5; A)
Vanessa [sic] Kelly, "Thirst" (S1; A-V-ocf)
K. Rae Travers, "On the Way to Heaven" (S4; V-hc, So/V)
Susan Barrett, "Searching for Summer Shade" (S1; A-V)
Helen Parkinson, "Deadly Waters" (early S2; A-hc, A-G)
Tatoo Moon, "Tomorrow and Tomorrow" (S5; B)
Marian Mendez, "The Alphabet Gang" (S5; child ocfs)
Shirley DeMeyer, "Children of the Corn" (sequel to "Queen of Rain" in #10; S5)
Sophia R. Mulvey, "Strong in the Broken Places" (Deltah Base series; S5)

Val Westall cover A-B
p. 14 A-B
p. 19 A-V
p. 32 A-Ta
p. 43 A-V
p. 96 A-V
Fiona Ellem p. 5 J
p. 8 A-B and calligraphed quote
p. 48 B-G
Marian Mendez p. 79 "Bea" (ocf); illo for "Alphabet"
& ORMAC p. 81 "Dee Dee" (ocf); illo for "Alphabet"
p. 84 "Cecelia" (ocf); illo for "Alphabet"
p. 85 "Aimee" (ocf); illo for "Alphabet"
Bret Raynes p. 72 B

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Last updated on 31st of May 1998.