A Delicate Balance (Blake's 7 zine)
|Title:||A Delicate Balance|
|Cover Artist(s):||Lucia Casarella Moore|
|External Links:||at AO3|
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A Delicate Balance is a gen 116-page Blake's 7 novel by Sondra Sweigman. The cover is by Lucia Casarella Moore.
Artwork has been uploaded to Fanlore with the publisher's permission.
It is a sequel to Beloved Adversary.
Safely away from Gauda Prime, Blake and his rebels have established a hidden base on the planet Ryanec, heart of the Federation's Pylene-50 program. . Blake has concocted a daring scheme to infiltrate the complex where the drug is being processed and deal the entire Pacification Program a lethal blow, but unanticipated obstacles seem destiend to thwart his plans, and once again the ever-changing ratio between trust and hostility in his relationship with Avon holds the key to determining the final outcome- Includes a frank look at the terrible choices which those who take up arms in freedom's cause are sometimes forced to face. 
Reactions and Reviews
This is a sequel to Sondra's post-Gauda Prime novel Beloved Adversary. The story further explores Blake and Avon's volatile relationship, this time during a mission to neutralize an entire batch of Pylene 50 at its source. Blake intends to infiltrate the production facility personally by undergoing reconstructive surgery to disguise his identity and then posing as a Federation doctor - but Avon has other plans as to just how the ruse should be accomplished. The trick is to keep Servalan, Arlen and the rest of the Federation from discovering their tampering.
Returning for this go-round are Docholli, Deva, Soolin, Tarrant, Vila and Dayna, though all are somewhat peripheral, since this is very much Blake and Avon's story. As we might expect, they spend most of it at loggerheads. Avon's undergone quite a transformation, however, since his pre-Gauda Prime days. He's "learned to care," and occasionally even says so, though he's sorely tempted to leave Blake and company in the lurch more than once just the same. (Well, there's obviously still some of the old Avon left!) He does, in fact, very nearly leave them at one point. But as familiar fate would have it (fate and Avon are old enemies/friends, after all,) he can't get a shuttle reservation when he needs it, so for lack of a seat, the mission and Blake's Cause are saved again. It's just the sort of ironic twist Avon would appreciate. There's also a great deal of self-sacrificing in this story (primarily, but not entirely, on Blake's part), as well as some rather intense torture sequences, and plenty of heated argument from Avon over Blake's pig-headed insistence on constantly placing himself at risk. Avon, however, takes some rather significant risks himself, proving that he's not at all (at least, certainly not in fan fiction!) as cold- hearted and aloof as he appears.A Delicate Balance is a well-craftcd, angst-ridden character study that delves deeply into the psyches of B7's two most embattled and complex characters. It's a conflict we never can seem to get enough of. 
You thought Checkers was "vile character mangling" (to pick a passage at random during several pages worth of discoursing)? There was a passable Blake The one in "Beloved Adversary" had me pitching fits. Here we have Avon lasering himself in the shoulder all because Blake placed him into an irresolvable situation (no torturing for information, no killing, etc) and left him to figure a way out of it. I suppose the point was made as to the lengths Avon would go to obey Blake. Later, in the sequel "A Delicate Balance", it happened again. Avon locks Blake in an underground room for 3 days, a sort of monk's cell. Does he brood, does he get hopping mad? I remember the Blake of old had a temper. No, this one goes on with the plot and it's relelentless heroics as usual and the subject never comes up again I can't see him for the halo he's wearing.I apologize if it seems I'm always picking on [the author]. That is absolutely not my intention I did rave about her short story in "Dark Between the Stars" Maybe I feel deeply threatened by people, even fictional ones, who are perfection incarnate. If only he had some flaw, some teensy little thing I could get my grapplers on, then I'd feel a sense of "That's the Blake I know" It'd be a beginning anyway.