5th Season (Blake's 7 zine)

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You may be looking for Blake's Seven: a Fifth Series or Series 5 (Blake's 7 zine).

Zine
Title: 5th Season
Publisher: Spice Press
Editor(s): Sheila Willis, also Kathryn Yount, Robyn Burnside and Laura Peck (all members of the fan club Scorpio)
Date(s): 1982-
Series?: yes
Medium: print, fanzine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Blake’s 7
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
cover of issue #1, T.J. Burnside

Blakes Seven 5th Season is a gen Blake's 7 anthology. The cover title is sometimes "5th Season" and sometimes "Fifth Season."

About

From Deb Walsh in B7 Complex #2 (March 1982):
The fourth series of Blake's 7 was aired in England, between Sept, 28 and Dec. 22. The final episode, "Blake," is still sending shortwaves through fandom, and it appears that "Blake" is indeed the final episode (although there are some unsubstantiated rumors that there will be a fifth season). However, fans will continue the saga, and already there are plans in the works for a second U.S. B7 zine -- The Fifth Season, edited by several Maryland and Virginia fans. The zine will probably contain several different views of "Resurrection" -- the next step after "Blake."

Issue 1

5th Season 1 was published in 1982 and has 145 pages.

Art: T.J. Burnside (front cover), Pat Cash, Mary Bloemker, and Robin L. Belyea.

back cover of issue #1, Sheila Willis
Some of the "thank yous" from the editorial:

No 'zine would really be complete without a printer you can afford and trust. I must thank T.J. Burnside for finding me such a pearl, even if he is 450 miles away. And for the most fantastic cover I have ever seen.

Something must be mentioned here about my co^editor, Robyn Kevelson Burnside. It must be pointed out clearly that Robyn has never seen a single episode of Blake's 7. However, this did not stop her from editing her little fingers off. She does admit that things got a little easier after I showed her some photos of the characters.
From the editorial:

Some people might ask how I decided to publish a Blake's 7 'zine. After all, the show isn't even shown in this country. This might not matter, except you would think that my natural primary market is this country.

Well, there are three reasons. One, I ain't got good sense. Two, I love writing and I love reading other people's stories. Three, I ain't got good sense.

Let me explain how I became exposed to Blake's 7. Heather Nachman bounced up to me at a Science Fiction convention and said, "Sheila, you have to see these video tapes. It's called Blake's 7 and you're going to love it!"

Knowing Heather rather well, I replied, "Go away. Heather, or I'll rip your lips off!" [1]

Many things can be said about Heather; she has good taste in TV shows. But, most importantly, she is persistent! It took three months of chasing, but she finally got me to see my first episode. However, it was really Mary Bloemker's description of the Ultraworld bonding ceremony scene that got me hooked.'

I am now hopelessly engrossed. With no word of a fifth season, the pangs of withdrawal are becoming severe. 'Zines from England weren't coming fast enough, and B7 Complex wasn't even being publishing fast enough; I admit twice a week might be an unreasonable request. I decided that I knew far too many talented people right here in this country that could supply me with a fix.

And so Fifth Season was born. Fifth Season is by no means limited to apres Blake stories. All universes and time lines are welcome. However, I feel it is only fitting that this first issue be dedicated to Resurrection.

I freely admit that the fact that everyone kept giving me resurrection stories did influence my decision. Yes, folks, there are four, count them, four resurrection stories between these covers. I have also been fascinated by everyone's attempt to explain the fourth season's 13th episode, Blake.

Speaking of Fifth Season, there is one, so to speak. The first episode of my fifth season. Fire and Ice, appears in this issue. Calliope, also contained herein, is the second episode. If funds hold out and stories keep coming in, there will be at least six more issues of the Fifth Season. It will take me that long to print all thirteen episodes of my fifth season. The following are tentative titles, subject to change, of course, the episodes: Water, Water; Loitering With Intent; What Do You Do With a Drunken Starship; Louie's Horse; Twice Nothing is Still Nothing; Sooner or Later; The Wisdom to Know the Difference; Raffle Anyone; When You Love, When You Trust; I Know the Place Where the Tiger Lillies Grow; and Pain Hurts...A Lot.

The second issue of Fifth Season will be a "what if" presentation. I welcome all submission -- I have this sick desire to publish the first 300 page Blake's 7 'zine.
  • Editor's Notes by Sheila Willis (2)
  • Episode Guide by Robyn Kevelson Burnside (4)
  • What Be the Price of Trust, fiction by Gail Pittaway (11)
  • The Thought That Counts, fiction by Robin L. Belyea (34)
  • The Prisoner, original music by Sheila Willis (45)
  • Re-Naissance, fiction by Linda Melnick (46)
  • Like the Night, poem by Gail Pittaway (68)
  • You Can't Go Home, fiction by Sandy Hall (105)
  • The Liberator-ed Princess, fiction by Sandy Hall (105)
  • Fire and Ice, fiction by Sheila Willis (114)
  • Silver Swords, original music by Erin Jahr-Strom (132)
  • Calliope, fiction by fiction (133)
  • Song of the Kirith-Rah, original music by Erin Jahr-Strom g) (144)
  • Tarrant's Theme, original music by Kathryn Yount (143)

Issue 2

5th Season 2 was published in May 1983 and contains 300 pages.

The editor was Sheila Willis, the co-editors were Kathryn Yount and Robyn Burnside.

The art is by Pat Cash, Kat Yount, Robin Belyea, Sheila Willis, G. Winters, Rene Steiner, Deb Walsh, T.J. Burnside, and Mary Bloemker.

front cover of issue #2 by Pat Cash
back cover of issue #2 by Pat Cash

From an ad in Universal Translator #21: "[It] satisfies the editor's sick desire to produce the world's first 300-page B7 zine, with many, many stories and mucho, mucho art."

From the editorial:
detail from the last page of issue #2

Hi there all you people in fenzine land. Here it is, the 300 page issue of 5th Season and believe me, this was indeed a very, very SICK desire.

[snipped]

There are many, many, more stories in this issue than there were in the first, therefore I would like to welcome my new authors: Kathy Hintze, Sheila Paulson, Brenda Callegher, Janet Walker and of course Susan Matthews, famous Star Wars personality.)

I have a few words of comment on "Americanisms." Now, first B7 takes place over 700 years in the future, and I doubt that we would be able to understand the colloquialisms that will be in use then. But, as we are stuck in this century, we have to make do. I don't live in England and neither do most of my writers, il: is very difficult for me to detect 'Americanisms, much less supply the British equivalent. I feel it is better to let an Americanism slip in than to attempt British forms that are probably outdated and stereotypic. However, an effort is made to expunge obvious American slang. At least from the speech patterns of the major characters. Enough said.

At this point I should say something about the stories in the 'zine, but, as I know you are all bright, intelligent people, I think you can pick it up as you read. However, in a Robyn Burnside time honored tradition, I will tell you what is NOT in this 'zine.

I will not be rescued by Cecil, Spock will not die, Servalan will not be bald with body paint, Han and Leia will not take a slow boat to Bespin, and you will not get to read '49 and his little brothers.' (Heh, heh, heh,)
  • Editor's Page by Sheila Willis
  • Loitering With Intent, fiction by Sheila Willis (4)
  • The Piper, filk by Kat Yount (32)
  • If the Spirits Are Willing, fiction by Kathy Hintze (33)
  • Easy to Be Hard, fiction by Sandy Hall (55)
  • The Mirapi, fiction by Sheila Paulson (74)
  • A Blake's Seven Primer (or Mr. Roj's Neighborhood) by Pat Cash (90)
  • The Return of Blake, fiction by Janet L. Walker (92)
  • Berserksganger, fiction by Susan R. Matthews (94)
  • A Thief's Pride, fiction by Kathy Hintze (102)
  • Speak Gently, Sweet Avon by Susan R. Matthews (filk, Flow Gently, Sweet Afton) (119)
  • Another Fine Mess, fiction by Sandy Hall (120)
  • ...And Still Blake, fiction by Janet L. Walker (130)
  • Friendly Drink, fiction by JoLynn Horvath (152)
  • Water, Water, fiction by Sheila Willis (161)
  • Avon/Unspoken, poem by Kat Yount (181)
  • Dayna/Dream, poem by Kat Yount (182)
  • Phantom Snowball, fiction by Gail Pittaway (184)
  • Double Cross, fiction by Brenda Callagher (184)
  • The Scars That Won't Heal, fiction by Sandy Hall (204)
  • Saraba, fiction by Eileen Dougherty (287)
  • Final Episode, fiction by Janet L. Walker (288)
  • Blake's 7th by Eileen Dougherty (list of frequency of appearances of characters)
  • poem, untitled ("It's a most unusual day...), by Raymond (?)
  • Zine ads and con ads

Issue 3

5th Season 3 was published in 1984 and contains 126 pages. The working title was "The Double Digit Hurt."

Art: Deb Walsh (front and back cover), Pat Cash, Nancy Kolar, Robin Belyea, Sheila Willis, and Peter Zale.

front cover of issue #3 by Deb Walsh
back cover of issue #3, Deb Walsh

It was edited by Sheila Willis, with Robyn Burnside listed as Editor Emeritus, Kat Yount as Editor De-Facto, and Laura Peck as Editor-in-Training.

  • Editor's Notes by Sheila Willis
  • The Collector, fiction by JoLynn Horvath
  • Thump! Thump! Thump!, fiction by Gail Pittaway
  • Locked Without a Key, poem by Marion McChesney
  • The Ties That Bind I, fiction by Sandy Hall
  • The Ties That Bind II, fiction by Sandy Hall
  • Comfort, fiction by JoLynn Horvath
  • Price of Passage, fiction by Nabby Lee
  • Limericks by Pat Cash
  • And Another Fine Mess, fiction by Sandy Hall
  • Warning!, poem by Kat Yount
  • The Long Fall, fiction by Kat Yount
  • Two Steps Back, fiction by Sheila Willis
  • Nightmares, fiction by Sheila Willis, with Kat Yount
  • The Ultimate Alternative, fiction by Susan R. Matthews
  • Federated Worlds Insurance Company, claim report
  • Zine ads, con ads

Issue 4

front cover issue #4 by TACS
back cover of issue #4, TACS

5th Season 4 was published in August 1986 and is 200 pages long. Art: TACS (front and back cover), Leah Rosenthal, Pat Cash, T.J. Burnside, Denise Habel, Spurlock, Peter Zale, Kate Nuernberg.

a1985 flyer printed in the Pros zine Discovered on a Rooftop. Note that this flyer does not specify the fandom, which must have been confusing to Pros fans
  • Editor's Page by Sheila Willis
  • Watching Blake's Seven, filk by Holly Horseman (f, Waltzing Matilda) (4)
  • Taking Liberty, or Avon's Revenge, fiction by Sandy Hall (S4; humor) (6)
  • Cuckoo, fiction by Louisiana Bailey and A. Toyten Banks (S2; B/oc; humor) (36)
  • Dune Walker, poem by Susan R. Matthews and Sheila Willis (44)
  • Blake!, poem by Marjorie McKenna (47)
  • Ghosts, fiction by Sandy Hall (S4; A/D) (48)
  • A Furry Tale, Archived version, fiction by Leah Rosenthal and Ann Wortham (S2; A as cat, V as dog; humor) (57)
  • Still Another Fine Mess, fiction by Sandy Hall (S5; Fine Mess story 3; AU humor) (67)
  • A Blakes 7 Nursery Rhyme by Denise Hable (parody of The House That Jack Built; humor) (73)
  • Nightshade, fiction by Katherine Scarritt (S3-S4; Rescue; A/C) (81)
  • Emptiness, poem by Marion McChesney (96)
  • Band on the Run, fiction by Leah Rosenthal (S5; Bizarro Seven universe; humor) (99)
  • Deus Ex Machina, fiction by Susan R. Matthews (S5) (106)
  • Shattered Immortality, poem by Karin L. Zygowicz (140)
  • Conscience, fiction by Sandy Hall(S1) (143)
  • Yet Another Fine Mess, fiction by Sandy Hall (S5; Fine Mess story 4; AU humor) (144)
  • Coda, fiction by Sheila Willis, with Kat Yount (S5; episode 7; A/D) (151)
  • Care to Know, poem by Kat Yount (172)
  • Secrets, fiction by Sheila Willis and Kat Yount (S5; episode 8; A/D) (173)
  • zine ads

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

[A Furry Tale]:Another one of our pre-Bizarro 7 stories. We were just starting to hit our stride when it came to putting our intrepid Liberator crew into strange situations.[2]
"Throughout its publication, Fifth Season has been an example of good zine publishing in the American style. (In Blake's 7 fandom, this distinction is perhaps relevant.) Its flaws are minor -- the proofreading is occasionally not all it should be -- and it displays generally good writing, consistent good humor in all senses, and excellent production values along with art that is frequently worth looking at. I'm glad to say that issue #4 maintains the level of of quality established by its predecessors. It carries a selection of well-written stories, including humor from the frankly silly to the inspired, as well as examples of the serious work that was more predominant in some issues. The majority of items are again based in or after the 4th series of the show, though Sheila Willis has shown the excellent sense never to take her title as a rigid ruling on content. The only drawback I can cite to this zine is the presence of items which are parts of continuing series from previous issues -- and that is more theoretical than actual in this case. If you collect zines to keep, by all means hock your grandmother's necklace for a copy; with any luck it'll fetch enough to give a start on finding previous issues as well. It's 200+ pages, perfect-bound, cleanly printed in only-somewhat-reduced type, with a striking cover."[3]

Issue 5

5th Season 5 was published in August 1988 and contains 200 pages. Art: Suzan Lovett (front and back cover, interior), TACS, Leah Rosenthal, Lee Moyer, Tim Pieracini, Pat Cash.

front cover of issue #5 by Suzan Lovett: "Merlin and Morgana"
back cover of issue #5 by Suzan Lovett: "Legend's Reprise" -- "I cannot begin to describe how I feel about that fur-trimmed tunic. I keep scrolling away and scrolling back to it. It’s like a glimpse into someone else’s extremely specific kink, but I don’t know what the kink is and they can’t explain it." [4]
  • Ed's Orial, editorial by Sheila Willis (1)
  • Worse Than Useless, fiction by Joan Hoffman (4)
  • Sea Change, fiction by Mary Alice Wuerz (36)
  • The Castle and the River, fiction by Jean Stevenson ("This is a story in which the mage Kier of the River, in service to the Roje of Blakemir, is tempted by the sorceress Siri Valan, who wishes him to assassinate the Roje. But he has seen images in a crystal of another Kier, and another life that ended very badly…") (48)
  • The Turning Point, fiction by Alex Delicado (60)
  • Happy Birthday, fiction by Jane E. Sibley ("Author's note: This nonsense takes place in Susan Matthew's universe, where everyone is alive and relatively safe and happy together on the Liberator.") (81)
  • Aftermath II, fiction by Toni Lay (84)
  • Never Frighten a Little Man, fiction by Jeff Morris (94)
  • Nevertheless, Another Fine Mess, fiction by Sandy Hall (98)
  • A Matter of Time, fiction by Alex Delicado (104)
  • Ill Met on Malodaar, fiction by Dee Beetem and Renee Couture (114)
  • What Dreams May Come, fiction by Mary Robertson (119)
  • The Wait, fiction by Susan R. Matthews (122)
  • As the Gentle Rain, fiction by Mary Alice Wuerz (140)
  • Swan Song for a Survivor, fiction by Jean L. Stevenson (150)
  • The Long Run, fiction by Jeff Morris (168)
  • Till Death Do Us Part, fiction by Dee Beetem and Renee Couture (172)
  • Student Driver, fiction by Mary Robertson (178)
  • A Likely Story, fiction by Sandy Hall (181)
  • No Difference part 1, fiction by Sheila Willis (191)
  • Endgame, poem by Tyndara Meffe (198)
  • zine ads

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

See reactions and reviews for Worse Than Useless.
See reactions and reviews for Sea Change.
See reactions and reviews for The Castle and the River.
See reactions and reviews for The Turning Point.
See reactions and reviews for Aftermath II.
See reactions and reviews for A Matter of Time.
See reactions and reviews for Ill Met on Malodaar.
See reactions and reviews for Swan Song for a Survivor.
See reactions and reviews for Till Death Do Us Part.
See reactions and reviews for A Likely Story.
See reactions and reviews for No Difference.
"Speaking of 'to be continued' - the zine ends with one of the cruellest adverts ever. Blake and Avon work together... to defeat Carnell... with Blake's engineering skills... in a fic written by the author of 'Road to Hell'... and Avon says that Blake is distracting him... and then they get under a desk together... ...I must read this fic. AND YET. It's almost 25 years later and so I KNOW THIS ZINE WAS NEVER PUBLISHED because there is no record of it anywhere on the internet. Fortunately, I've already hunted down the right gifset to express my feelings on this matter: [See Aralias' journal] BRB, being sad forever..."
Fifth Season 5 - gen. Nominally anyway. It actually has some pretty racey Avon/Cally towards the end... Conclusion: Good, if not mindblowing

The short fics are almost all pretty good - the long fics not so much, but I generally abandoned them fairly early on, which is not a great way to read a zine, but not bad. The good ones are pretty good, though, but it is true that I might well have considered selling this zine had it not looked like this: [image of zine, back and front covers]... Not only does it feature a picture of Roj Blake as a very sexy King Arthur, it is also PERFECT BOUND. Be still my heart. It looks so... real. It must have cost so much to do.

In conclusion: I am not going to sell it. I am going to stroke it forever....

[much snipped about art]

...there's a lot [of art] and it's mostly pretty good, although none scales the height of the cover for me :D

[See Aralias' longer comments on the other stories in this zine on their separate pages on Fanlore.]

Jane E. Sibley, "Happy Birthday" A short, silly fic where everyone has to help throw a birthday party for Blake. For some reason Avon's broccoli quiche (made against his will) is hilarious to me.

[snipped]

Jeff Morris, "Never Frighten a Little Man" The premise of this one appeals to me a lot - Vila plays practical jokes (one including a snake) on Tarrant in revenge for... him being Tarrant. It's fun.

Sandy Hall, "Nevertheless, Another Fine Mess" Another one I mostly didn't read. Some sort of AU where everyone has different names and is comically incompetent. I think. It's not actually that bad - it's just also not all that funny.

[snipped]

Mary Robertson, "What Dreams May Come" Very very short Avon/Cally h/c thing in the wake of 'Rumours'. It's basically inoffensive.

Susan R. Matthews, "The Wait" This is a long, long poem. So I did not read it. It has a nice picture of Blake at the beginning, though.

Mary Alice Wuerz, "As the Gentle Rain" Terrible opening line- "Jenna hadn't know there could be so many tears" -to this PGP fic that is about Jenna's reaction to Avon after he kills Blake and various rebels put him on trial (same old, same old). I actually really like where this fic goes. Nice weary Avon, nice hard-as-nails Jenna.

Jeff Morris, "The Long Run" Short, vaguely weird PGP thing where they've mostly gone their separate ways and are basically happy. I don't know. Seems like... what's the point?

Mary Robertson, "Student Driver" More short silliness. Avon doesn't want to have to pilot the ship. It's pretty funny...

[comments about the flyer for "The Killing Grounds" snipped] [5]

Issue 6

cover of issue #6 by Robin Wood. This image is an illustration of 'What is Gone is Gone', a story within the zine

5th Season 6 was published in May 1990 and contains 192 pages. Art: Robin Wood (front cover), Karen River, Robin Belyea, Sheila Willis.

a flyer for the sixth issue with a projected publication date of 1989

Unlike some of the other issues of this zine, it contains only 5th series stories. All stories are parts of a larger series, though in most cases the whole series is not represented in this issue (Kat Yount's series may be stand-alone?). The other 'episodes' of Sheila Willis's series appear to be published in earlier issues of this zine. Alex Delicado's 'Puppet Master' is presumably a sequel to their two stories in issue 5.

Fiction:

  • Alex Delicado, "Puppet Master" (part III)
  • Kat Yount, "Mandala" (gen, with B/J and A/D)
  • Kat Yount, "What Is Gone Is Gone" (sequel to the above, same pairings)
  • Sheila Willis, "Interlude" (S5; interlude before episode 9; A/D)
  • Sheila Willis, "Colfax" (S5; episode 9; A/D)
  • Sheila Willis, "Dreams That Never Were" (episode 1 of a new series, probably following on from the earlier one)

Poetry:

  • Kat Yount, "The Piper" (music from "The Piper" by Björn Ulvaeus)
  • Roberta Rogow, "Liberator Journey: Avon Calling" (filk, Sentimental Journey)

Nonfiction:

  • Zine ads, con ads

Issue 7

Fifthseason7advert.jpg
There are adverts in issue 6 that suggest a seventh issue either exists or was planned. Presumably it does/would have contain(ed) later episodes of Sheila Willis' 'Dreams That Never Were'.

References

  1. ^ "P.S. A last extra thanks to Heather Nachman for being so very persistent. I have rescinded the order to rip off your lips."
  2. ^ Ashton Press, Archived version, 1998
  3. ^ Pressure Point no.1
  4. ^ comment by liferstate at bruinhilda.tumblr, February 21, 2017
  5. ^ on August 23, 2013, Aralias reviewed this zine on Dreamwidth, Archived version, see her journal for some zine images