Apocryphal Albion

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Title: Apocryphal Albion
Editor(s): H.L Avry and Laura Chevening
Date(s): 1989-1996
Medium: print
Fandom: Robin of Sherwood
Language: English
External Links:
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Apocryphal Albion is a gen what if Robin of Sherwood anthology.

It ran for seven issues.

The zine's premise: "The Mad Rabbits of Albion are ... investigating the paths of 'What If...?'"

Some related zines: Albion and Albion Special.

Issue 1

Apocryphal Albion 1 was published in 1989 and contains 197 pages. Artwork by Kathy Baka, Vicki Brinkmeier, David Chamberlain, Cindy Dreifort, Chris Haire, Paulie and Roseanne Rice.

cover of issue #1
1989 flyer for the first issue
  • Immortal by L.A. Carr (...a young Robert of Huntingdon were instructed in swordplay by an immortal named Ramirez?)
  •  ??? by H.L. Avry (...Robin of Loxley had run away to sea?)
  • Cul-de-Sac by Maddog (... Will's wife, Elena, had not died?)
  • Rise up my love and the Shadows FIee by Lorraine A. Murnaw (...Sarah DeTalmont and Guy of Gisburne really loved each other?)
  • Staying by Rache (... Marion had chosen a different path after Loxley's death?)
  • The Lady of Clun by Laura Chevening (... Robert of Huntingdon had not rescued Marion from Own of Clun?)
  • The Earl's Fool by Laura Chevening (...the King's Devil had died before reaching Nottingham?)
  • Legend by Cindy Fairbanks and Jeanine Hennig (...Robert had returned to meet Marion at the Ring of Nine Maidens?)
  • Reunion by Cindy Fairbanks (... a meeting in Sherwood altered the life of the Earl of Huntingdon and his sons?)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

Thanks for sending my copy of APOCRYPHAL ALBION so quickly.

I wrote Rache in more detail about her story, so I'm just going to say that "Staying" was probably my favorite of the bunch. It evoked the mood of the show and everyone was exactly in character. "Legend" and "The Earl's Fool' were close seconds. "Immortal", The Lady of Clun" and "Cul-de-Sac" were very well written, but I HATED the premises. Will siding with the Bad Guys?! Marion not rescued?! Robert-er-cut off short? Arrggh!

And speaking of never-ending filks, how about "Blessed Be"?! 1 think Rache has hit on the PERFECT tune. It's easily sung, and the lyrics can convey quite a lot. 1 think you ought to have her contribute another three or four verses to each zine you put out. Better yet, have a contest for the readers and have Rache judge entries for future verses.

Just what was it you were drinking or sniffing and how late at night was it, Helen, that you came up with the pointed story? Hmmmm? You could at least have let Robin be Peter! Guy would have made a better Hook! And Just where was everyone's favorite character, Elvis? Whoops, I think it's getting a little late here, too.

Oh yes - I LOVED Roseanne's Rice's picture of Will on page 21. Howcum I've never seen her stuff before? Does she only do ROS? Does she sell her art at cons? Is it (of course) out of my price range?

Well, this has been a very good zine, as usual. Do you plan on doing one like it every Halloween? Or would you like to do an apocryphal theme" issue? You know, challenge the writers with something like "write a ROS story in the style of a famous author" or "write an episode of another TV show as if the ROS characters were doing it." For Instance, Robin and his men being the Miami Vice squad. Herne as Castillo?! Hmmm -- it appears to be later than! thought!

Keep up the good work! [1]

Overall I believe this zine is the best one you've put out as far as layout, printing, copying, artwork and story submission. As a few of my friends and I have remarked, there really isn't a single story or submission in the zine that is not a good story and well worth reading. Very few zines can make that claim. I hope this printing and copying will be used in future issues of regular Albion and the Apocryphal series.

Favorite artwork: Paulie's piece on p. 1, Roseanne Rice piece on p. 21, Paulie again on p. 48 (very nice) Roseanne again on p. 111 (hmm--Robert looks wonderful in black, doesn't he?) Overall the artwork was very nice and the reproduction for the zine was clear and crisp. (Keep up the good work!)

If I had to choose favorites, I'd put Staying followed very closely (almost a tie) by The Lady of Clun. The latter especially was an intriguing idea and done in first person-not an easy point of view to write from. Talk about your almost horribly depressing endings! Get out the hankies please!

And Staying by Rache - has to be the best Robin/Robert balancing-of-the-two-characters-in-the-same-story I've read yet in the fandom. (I will say almost the same about Legend only because Jeanine Hennig wrote the story after we discussed it over the phone one late night long ago - but then I'd be biased) no bias about Staying, however. Another real tear jerker; believe me I had many soggy kleenex after that one. Her development of the reasons why Marion stayed to die with Robin - developed little scenes to truly show their love for each other - excellent writing. And the motives for Robert's answering of the call, again well within character and very believable to me. This version certainly spared all the outlaws the agony of the one year wait for the Hooded Man to reappear.

To go from the terribly depressing to amusing, The Earl's Foot was a joy to read. Anyone who would dare to visit de Rainault in his tub is either a fool or very brave. Laura, you got just the right touch of light humor in this story (and I agree with the intro to the zine. . . Jason did play the fool rather well-the final half of the Power of Albion has to be one of my favorite parts of the series).

Personally, I'd like to see a continuing story to follow Vain Sacrifice. Another confrontation between Robert/Grendel and Herne/Fenris may be an interesting read. Will this possible. Maria?

Rise Up My Love ... and Guy, the man we love to hate, finds the love of [a] good woman and she doesn't die! I liked the story just for that fact alone. I understand there will be a sequel, perhaps in [Apocryphal] Albion II where this may change, but this is at the author's discretion. Although I would never see Sarah marrying or loving Gisburne after he was such a nasty person in the episode, this is an apocryphal story after all, but unlike the other entries, this one took the longest to convince me of its possibilities. Maybe the sequel will make the two feel more plausible for me. Still it's an interesting idea.

I've known about Immortal for quite a long time and I still enjoy the concept of the piece. I think it's a cute idea (with apologies to the Connery clan).

Cul-de-Sac was the story for me that offered the oddest twist of all. To have Will on the Sheriff's side at the end of The Greatest Enemy"? The story was very disturbing so the idea has merit. Nicely done.

Now that you have my curiosity going about "what if" stories I understand there will be a number two. Be interesting to read what other possible outcomes from the episodes are created.

Here it is - not very long, but I did want to get it out before I never get an LOC written. I think #2 will be just as interesting.[2]

I had to write you about Apocryphal Albion. I love the cover - Albion as a popsicle, with the 2 "good humor men". Wicked bad pun, folks! But that color green is .. . unique. Who picked it? I'll be nice and not say anything more about it.

Do you know why I like to write letters of comment? Gives me a good excuse to go back and re-read the stories! You may use any of this, if you choose.

"Immortal" is a neat story. I've only seen "Highlander" once, but this is a diabolical story! The lead illus. is beautiful! And the tale twists its strands nicely and tightly. I love the ending. It's fun and sort of ironic. "A Story With a Point To It" is funny. It made me laugh and giggle and chortle out loud (thereby reassuring my family I'm nuts!) "Unhand my son" - ooh, bad pun!! As for having the technology - ouch!! How many universes did you steal from? And who the devil is "Kelly"? Good tale, even if some of it went over my head because I'm unfamiliar with Captain Hook and crew.

"Cul de Sac" is a good story - I almost couldn't read the opening because it was so vivid. As was the splendid illus. It is GORGEOUS! Granting the premise, the story is really good - but I have trouble believing Will Scathelock would react like "that's just what soldiers do". Elena's reaction is perfectly believable. She should be furious! Wowee - this is "2 roads diverged in a wood" with a vengeance. This is believable; Scathelock as he might've been. I really like the ending. I hope he'd have second thoughts. I just wish the author didn't place him among the soldiers at Robin of Loxley's death, but it is the crowning stroke.

Rache already knows what I think of "Blessed Be"!

"Rise up My Love and the Shadows Flee" has an incredible piece of artwork. Wowee, it's beautiful. Once again, you have to grant the basic premise and I'm sorry, I just cannot see Sarah de Talmont falling for Gisburne. She has too much good sense. And it really sounds like a severe case of lust. As (probably) everybody knows, I think Gisburne is a baddie and I don't think he can change. But, putting my own personal prejudice aside, the story is well-crafted. It's a neat twisting of "Children of Israel" and it's nice to see Robin of Loxley in a not-so-threatening situation. It's a good tale.

"Staying" is an excellent story; beautifully told, very complex and not at all confusing. All the elements get tied together and practically form a Celtic knot. Rache has already received my comments. It's a fine story. "The Sword and the Oak" is nicety mythic. I'm glad someone finally remembered Herne's counterpart, Ceridwen. Marion's decision fits and the "12 years later" record of Marion dying on Samhain is perfect.

"The Lady of Clun" is neat. It's a story of 2 people who have denied their destinies. I hated learning of Nasir's death and the whole thing, (excuse me) seems perverted. Marion is certainly a survivor and very strong. I can see her trying to shape Clun and slowly succeeding. And Robert's entrance into the tale as Earl of Huntingdon really shows what happens to those who try to deny destiny. Marion's heart is dead and Robert is wracked by illness. But I wish he had been able to tell her that Herne had called him, oh I wish! I do love her youngest son - Robin. How fitting! How apt! This is a beautiful tale and it flows naturally and makes sense. Well done!

"Wouldn't it be Nice?" is a good piece of... I'm not sure what to call it - irony? humor? sarcasm? It certainly is funny, but it's not funny in guffaws of laughter, if you know what I mean. Well, whatever I mean, I liked it! [3]

The Earl's Fool" is excellent! I always wondered "What if" Robert hadn't been exposed so early. This is a neat answer. Robert can play the fool and I bet he'd do so as effectively as he did in this story. It's a dangerous game, but it has just the right sort of exhilaration. A splendid job of characterization on all fronts and a well-told story.

"Legend" is absolutely fantastic - no less than I've come to expect from Jeanine and Cindy. Beautifully done! It is just and right that the celebration should be Samhain, when the veils thin. It sort of surprised me that Alison was the storyteller. She feels almost bardic, and the story she tells is familiar - even Robert gets the point and, thankfully, it doesn't take him long. I like it that this story deals reasonably with Robert's place in the magic without making him seem too stupid. He needs to know and asking Edward is the right thing to do. Edward could lead him to understanding, but Robert did have to wish for Robin's presence. "Be careful what you wish for...", but still, Loxley's presence was a surprise, not entirely expected and, oh! so magnificently portrayed! They (the authors) do an excellent job at portraying Robin of Loxley as a Master of the Old Religion. It makes my stomach shiver. The discussion between Robin and Robert is magnificent! I can't think of a superlative superlative enough for it! Oh, it's a fantastic story, balancing Robert's need to know with Marion's need to feel. That's a beautiful metaphor about the tapestry of Sherwood, And, I have to admit, I never knew precisely what that crimson garter stood for (symbolized) - I'm glad it went into this story. It fits and binds the whole more tightly together. Robin's encounter with Marion - in less than 1 /2 a page, you tell an entire story of love and yearning and sorrow and forgiveness and joy. Wow! As for the choice resting with the Maiden - yup, that's where it belongs by all I've ever read. Giving Marion the garter was an incredibly brave and RIGHT thing to do. Stupendous story! I have to admit that this is my favorite story in all of the zine.

No, no, please, not that! Not the "Neverending Filk"! I love it!

"Reunion" is another excellent tale. Did you save the best for last? I can imagine Robert of Huntingdon explaining to his band how Gisburne is his brother. It was wise of Cindy not to go into that, especially since it's already been done so many times. I like the confrontation with Will that leads up to it, too. Well done! The Earl of Huntingdon is one canny individual - as is his son. "I was forced to suffer the Sheriff's company all morning before you decided to appear" - witty! The Earl takes control easily, but it's possible to see Robin Hood hasn't lost his control. Robert's talk with Much is excellent. It shows a deep understanding of both men. I like Robert's solution, too. Remaining uncommitted must be very hard. David's actions towards his sons show his fine, upstanding, honorable personality. I really love the reason the outlaws decided not to kill Gisburne -- for Robert's sake. Here's a hint of the caring. It's lovely to see. David's acting is a constant source of amusement. Gisburne, surprisingly, acts well also. But it's the caring that comes through most clearly.

You folks did an excellent job with this! Keep 'em coming! I know I can always expect excellent stories and artwork from you! Gotta go now.[4]

Since I don't write Locs very often, I will try to make this a good one ...

I live in hope that one day you'll run out of these "icky" colors for the covers. How about a nice parchment for Albion 4? Bright colors detract from the artwork too much.

The cover art on this issue was a bit misleading. With a cartoon on the cover, fans might expect a zine full of funny stories (like your graffiti sections). The art seemed very rough and did not reproduce well on the lime green. It was a cute idea that would have worked well inside the zine.

I loved the Highlander crossover. What a wonderful Idea! I always enjoy LA. Carr's writing and hope to see more RoS stories from her. I didn't see that ending coming. Sean and Jason are immortal as far as many fans are concerned. The illo by Paulie was stunning!

A Story With a Point To It was hilarious. Helen, you have a wicked sense of humor--! love it! I'll bet Rache really liked Smudge (wink-wink, nudge, nudge!)

Cul-De Sac This was a very intriguing "What If" idea. However, I think the story would have been much more effective if it hadn't been Elena's attackers Will joined up with. Whether they carried through raping her or not, their intention was clear. Will would have killed them. Joining them was out of character. Once past that, the story was well written and interesting. The illo by Roseanne Rice was beautiful. Her technique just gets better and better.

Blessed Be Rache. my friend, you are truly warped and that's why I like you. I hope everyone has the opportunity to hear you perform this one. I'll never be able to listen to "Let It Be" with a straight face.

Rise Up My Love and Shadows Flee This would never happen in a million years. But, suspending my disbelief, It was a sweet love story for Gisburne. Again, Paulie, great bio!

Staying (Rache. I read it! I read I right away!) I realize circumstances would not have allowed Richard to write it this way, but I thought it was a much more satisfying ending. She would have stayed with Robin.

The Lady of Clun A possible but not very pleasant alternate universe for Marion. Thank Herne Robert did save her. This was very well written. (But, aaah, Laura, you killed off Nasir!) The illos [sic] were very nice.

The Earl's Fool Yes, I thought that storyline had a lot of possibilities and was sorry to see it end after one episode. Nice illos, Vicki.

Bobbin Robin What fun!

Legend Beautiful descriptive writing. Haunting images.

Reunion Cindy Fairbanks did a very nice job writing the Earl of Huntingdon, Robert and Gisburne. It is an interesting subject and quite a story to tackle. However. I felt Will and Nasir were out of character. I don't believe Will would ever treat Gisburne with so much respect. Will doesn't even talk to Robert respectfully. Why do so many writers insist on making Nasir so subservient to Robin? He was never like that in the show. When Robin was being foolish in the Richard the Lionheart episode, Nasir didn't follow him blindly. He hit the road! He would never address Robin as Hakim! The whole point of all the men fighting tyranny is so they're all equals. Though they've agreed on one leader, and they respect Robin, they are not his servants. Nasir himself said in Herne's Son, "I serve NO man!' [5]

Issue 2

Apocryphal Albion 2 was published in 1990 and contains 213 pages.

cover of issue #2

It has stories by Maddog, Kaye Dunham, Mad Rabbit, Jenni, Lila Bless, Ruth Dempsey, Laura Chevening, Lorraine A. Mumaw, Cindy Fairbanks, H.L. Avry, Rache & D. Linn, Caitlin Sebastian & Julianne Toomey.

Issue 3

cover of issue #3, Christine Haire

Apocryphal Albion 3 was published in 1991 and contains 257 pages. Color Robert/Marion/Herne/Isadora/Agrivaine front cover by Christine Haire. b/w both Robins/Marion/merries with rabbit ears back cover by C. Motika-Dreifort.

Story contents:

  • Alexander by Laura Chevening - Alternate third season.
  • Lady of Clun universe story in which a lost, schizophrenic Robert manifests a third childlike personality and is found by Little John, who is married to Meg in Hathersage.
  • Bitter Regrets by Nancy Hutchins - Post-third season. Marion, a nun at Halsted for 25 years, makes a brief visit to Sherwood.
  • Blood Curse by Nancy Hutchins - Alternate "Greatest Enemy". Disaster ensues when Robert tries to save Loxley and prevent his acknowledged rother Guy from helping the Sheriff of Nottingham.
  • Broken Arrow by Joyce Strohm - Long story, alternate "Greatest Enemy". Robert is given a vision of what would happen if he and not Loxley had died.
  • Child of Light and Darkness by Maddog - Alternate "Robin Hood and the Sorcerer". Loxley fails to save Marion from Belleme; other tragedies follow and Robert of Huntingdon is left to pick up the pieces.
  • Dark Castle by Julianne Toomey - Alternate "Robin Hood & the Sorcerer". Following Belleme's death, Robin exchanges a few words with Nasir.
  • Green Wood Burning by Linda Furey - Alternate "Greatest Enemy". Loxley survives, with help from Robert and a healer who befriends Nasir.
  • The Invisible Enemy by Karen Campbell - Third Season. The Sheriff bullies Guy out of a suicidal mood.
  • The Most Awful Post Awful by Rache - Parody post-third season (Major Oak Award - Silver for RoS Long Story). Robin of Loxley surprises all his friends by turning up alive, retrieving Marion from the convent and helps Robert and the others rescue a post office full of waylaid zines, bickering every step of the way.
  • No Certain Answers by Laura Chevening - Alternate "Herne's Son". Although Marion is not present at Huntingdon, Robert finds reason to quarrel with guest Lord Owen of Clun.
  • Once in Royal David's City by Alison Campbell - Alternate third season. Guy of Huntingdom and his brother Robert prepare to welcome their uncle William, King of Scotland.
  • Peace and Life are Different Things by H. L. Avry - Long story, alternate third season. Marion does not go to Huntingdon and meets an older man, a former crusader whose wife died under tragic circumstances.
  • Truth Be Told by Cindy Fairbanks - Alternate third season. A wounded Robert tells Guy the truth of their parentage.
  • You Can't Con a Con by Debra Batus & Leslie Goldberg - Quantum Leap crossover, with Sam leaping into a RoS con guest.
  • Vignettes include "Dear Robert" by Mama, "Faerie Ring" by Debbie Linn, "The Greatest Enemy (No, Not That One)" by Beregara de Etranger, "Kobiyashi Marion" by Virginia L. Hefty, "Robert in the Hood" by Jennet Tucker-Robins, Marion O'Hearn & Robyn ibn Mahmud, and "Will the Real Robin Hood Please Stand Up" by Christine Haire (Major Oak Award - Silver for RoS Vignette).

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

Now on to the reason for this letter-APOCRYPHAL ALBION 3. What can i say, but you've done it again?! I always look forward to your 'zines and this one lives up to my expectations. Where to begin but at the beginning?

BLOOD CURSE was well done, it's still our Robert and Guy, but viewed from a lifetime spent together as brothers. I hate it when Robert dies, but this was well done, and definitely in character for both of them. CHILD OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS and DARK CASTLE were a nice, yet dark, look at a different beginning to our beloved series. Shivers galore.

FAERIE RING got me odd looks on the flight home from Visions. That arrow-chuckle. And if Loxley really likes pastries, I've been told that I'm a pretty good cook. KOBAYASHI MARION convinced people on the plane tfiat I was slightly crazy. Three cheers for Marion and Co.!

GREEN WOOD BURNING was fantastic! Caitlin, I hope you continue this line. Gwen is a wonderful addition to the Merries and her gift is a real blessing. Her interaction was believable and I had no problem imagining this put to film. One itty-bitty little change in the story and so much can happen. I also liked the way Robert was worked in, along with his cousin. Will. I would love to see how the earl's son and Herne's Son would continue to work together to confound the sheriff.

NO CERTAIN ANSWERS and PEACE AND LIFE — were great. (I need to come up with some new adjectives). I've alway's wondered what would have happened if Marion hadn't gone to Huntingdon but never bothered to try to work it out for myself (just too lazy, I guess). She finds contentment at Leaford. Robert still comes to Sherwood for almost the same reason (how did he survive Tuck's ducking?)-just for a different woman (sort of). And Jean sounds an awful lot like the elder Connery. Must be my imagination-right? [You have a remarkably accurate imagination! EDS.]

THE INVISIBLE ENEMY was an interesting look at our favorite whipping boy. I'd never wondered at what Guy must go though on a day to day basis, never knowing what Edmund may do. I like the idea that de Rainault is the one to help Guy. Granted it's for selfish reasons, but it worked realy well.

TRUTH BE TOLD Finaly, a realistic version of "Robert Tells Guy the Big Secret" and the meeting with the earl. Thank you, Cindy. Robert and Guy are enemies, and no mater how noble Robert may be in wanting to spare Guy's life, Guy just isn't going to feel the same way. And the earl's refusal to publicly acknowledge Guy was done for very real reasons.

BROKEN ARROW, a what if within a what if. Robert gets what he thinks he wants, but at what a cost. Robin and Robert working together to make the bridge that wil set everything right. It brought tears to my eyes. Well done.

ROYAL DAVID'S CITY, while not being what I consider in character (especially for Guy) was a lot of fun. I can just see Guy's face when Robert tells him he's eating haggis - priceless. Robert jumping on Guy's bed Christmas morning brought back memories of my brother doing the same, and my reaction was always the same as Guy's; the pilow fight sounds like my usual reaction to being woken up before the birds (about 15 years ago).

Laura, you know what I think of your Lady of Clun stories. Well done, again, i m looking forward to the next installment. Poor Robert.

THE MOST AWFUL POST AWFUL was FANTASTIC!! I started chuckling before I got halfway through the first page and didn't stop for ten minutes after I finished the story. My second favorite British show makes an appearance; the Greatest Enemy is the post awful (ain't that the truth); Mary Sues; there's just too much to mention. Great job, Rachel.

YOU CANT CON A CON was very well done. I know Michael, er, Sam wasn't there, but he certainly fit right in. And, of course, using one of my must-see TV shows as a leaping point (sorry, bad pun) for the story made it even more enjoyable.

Finally, the poetry, fiiks and artwork. Again, it is ail top notch. Nice to see BLESSED BE making yet another appearance (How many verses is that now?)

ALAN A DALE was perfect. Roseanne, I've loved your work since I first saw it. I wish I had a smidgen of your talent.

My hat's of to everyone involved. I'm looking forward to ALBION 6 and APOCRYPHAL 4. Bright Blessings. [6]

Wow! What a great issue-possibly the best zine that Albion has produced! This was my first reaction upon finishing Apocryphal Albion 3. Not only was the artwork fantasti c- from Christine's beautiful color cover to the adorable bunny ilo on the back—but there was an impressive diversity of material. Poetry, vignettes, short stories, ranging from the hilarious to the angst-ridden and everything in between!

To begin with the serious pieces: I really enjoyed "Child of Light and Darkness. It s neat how one little thing at the beginning of the series being altered might have found such a tremendous effect on the subsequent action. It was spooky having the outlaws learn of Marion's death in such a distant, detached manner, when she's normally such an integral part of the action. Well done!

"Dark Castle" is also chilling. Just of few moments of self-doubt and suddenly Robin finds himself facing Azael as well as Belleme. A neat idea, well thought out and well-written. The outcome is still the same, it's what happens en route that may change Robin's character. Interesting!

"Green Wood Burning" is cool! It was so nice to read an up-beat, positive story for a change-one that includes both Robin and Robert without sacrificing the integrity of either character. I like how throwing in a couple of extra characters like Gwen and Wille alters the entire landscape of a storyline. This piece offers a good, plausible alternate ending to

"Greatest Enemy" that keeps Robin alive and keeps Robert in a position where he's willing and abie to give the outlaws a hand when they need it. Excellent!

My favorite among the serious pieces has to be 'No Certain Answers'/'Peace and Life are Different Things.' Having read quite a few "find Robert another woman" stories, it was a refreshing twist to read a "find Marion another man" piece. (A somewtnat unorthodox idea, but it works!) A!so, having read one too many "Robert only came to Sherwood because of Marion" stories, it was nice how the conflict between Owen and the two servants illustrates how it was a quest for justice that finally drove Robert from Huntingdon. (in terms of plot logic, it also makes sense for Marion not to attend a gathering where she knows she'll only be ridiculed). The character of dePointivy [sic] is well-conceived and it's easy to imagine how this man, haunted by his own ghosts, and Marion, would find comfort and companionship with each other. This version also spares Robert the misery of his unrequited love for Marion. The attention to detail in these stories is exquisite. All in all terrific!.

The Invisibie Enemy" ran the preceding two stories a close second. It's a good piece, I don't think I've read anything quite like it. The sheriff is completely in character here - acting in his own interests as always, but no less entertaining for it. His advice to Gisbume is something I couid just hear coming out of de Rainault's mouth. The final line is a real zinger. Nice job!

Truth be Told" is quite a change from Cindy Fairbank's other Gisburne stories, which generally end in a more positive light. This one was darker, grimmer, but sadly, more realisitc. David's reaction to the news of his firstborn son is very much that of a nobleman who must dance to the prevailing political tune. Well- written!

"Broken Arrow" is unusual, spooky and very well-done. I like the basic premise - what if Robert had a chance to die in Robin's place? His decision to make that sacrifice-as atonement for the death of his sister, Marion's departure, and then wounding Mary - is believable. The alternate scenario, with Robin living beyond "Greatest Enemy" is ultimately even more horrific than his actual death. However, I found the conclusion hard to swallow. I can see how Robin would not understand Robert's decision - he could not have known Robert's uncertainties, and how Robert felt as though he were constantly being measured against Robin's memory-but Robert's "allowing Loxley's condemnation to sink into his soul" doesn't ring true. I think that Robert would have stood his ground and defended what he'd done. Outside of this quibble, I enjoyed the story very much.

"Once in Royal David's City" is a nice idea, but one that required a massive "willing suspension of disbelief' to accept. I have a hard time believing that Guy would make so drastic a personality change in just a few months. In fact, I think being an earl's son would make him have more of a swollen head-and ego-then ever!

"Alexander" is well done, one of the less angst-ridden "Lady of Clun" stories. It's good to see that Little John, Much and Meg, at least, have had a reasonable happy life in this universe. I'm confused, though, about who "Alexander" was, and why he happened to come out of Robert's twisted, tormented, guilt-ridden soul at this moment. Otherwise, nicely written.

It was so great to have all the humorous pieces to balance the angst (I know, I know; I should talk!) "Faerie Ring" is cute, and the bit with the pastries had me in giggles (as well as the arrow in the butt. Ouch!) I loved "Kobyashi Marion" particularly the line "better than trying to fertilize the entire shire with my husband's Wood!" The Greatest Enemy" is a scream! (but "Poopsie????")

"Dear Robert" is cute, as usual, I very much enjoyed "Will the Real Robin Hood Please Stand Up?" a story that resolved the post Halstead was with a nice touch of humor. But my favorite among the funny pieces had to be the unspeakably hilarious "Robert in the Hood." Good grief, I think I recognized every story that each line in this piece aped! RoS fanfic gets sooo serious at times that it's nice to have pieces like this knock some giggles back into us.

Possibly the only piece that got more laughs out of me than "Robert in the Hood" was "The Most Awful Post Awful." There were so many great lines in this one that it would take up an entire LOC to mention them all. The scene with the Doctor was perfect, only lacking the line "Would you like a jellybaby?" The army of avenging Mary Sues was a real trip. (I iked the bit about Mary Sue "possessing" Marion, a gentle dig at we writers who sometimes get carried away with Marion's atributes). The reactions to the merries reading the stories about themselves was just too funny for words. I LOVED having Lucifer as the power behind the Post Awful (sometimes I think he is!) and the bit with the Spellcheck was great (I hate having to run my RoS stories through the Spellcheck for that very reason--the Tandy just doesn't understand 'Z- inese!) [neither do our mechanical monsters! EDS] I could go on and on for pages, but in the interests of space, I won't.

"You Can't Con a Con" was a good way to end the 'zine. Though I've never watched Quantum Leap, I understood the premise of the story and enjoyed it. I liked the little plugs for RoS fan organizations such as Herne's Stepchildren and Friends of Robin of Sherwood (Jeannie Pelerin, wil you please stop blushing!), and it's great advertising for the con in Michigan. [ WEEKEND IN SHERWOOD, August 7-9, 1992. EDS.] Good job!

The poetry and filks in this issue were also terrific. "Duet" is just lovely. "Alan A Dale" is a riot, just as funny as when the authors treated the Mass Merries to a vocal rendition last summer. My favorite has to be "When Robin Hood's Away." Excellent, original, and done with a great sense of humor. "At Leaford" is very nicely done. "A Fan's Lament" is cute. I enjoyed the latest installment of "Blessed Be," and look forward to hearing it performed at Weekend in Sherwood. The Sherwood Connection" is just plain sweet. "Fanzine Writer" is hilarious!

The artwork is also very good. In particular, I like Roseanne Rice's illos for "Peace and Life," "Truth be Told" and "Alexander." The "Herne's Deodorant" cartoon is cute! I love the "Into the Woods" cartoon. Great job! The illo of Robert on p. 152 is beautiful!!! (Of course, I'm biased!) The cartoon on p. 180 is perfect. Barb Johnson's illo on p. 183 is beautiful-I've never had such a nice piece of artwork to go with one of my stories! The cartoon on p. 215 is cute. I laughed like heck at the illo of p. 239, disclaimer and all. "Robo Hood" is also good for some giggles. My favorite, though, has to be the inside back cover. Perfect-and so true!!

Well, this letter must end before I have to spend a small fortune on postage. Once again, hats off for a job well done![7]

Hello there! Just a note to let you know APOCRYPHAL 3 arrived safely despite the Post Awful (who have been up to their usual antics lately: losing a check, delivering my newsclippings from British papers to a neighbor (!), smearing a zine (not a ROS one thankfully) with blue prune juice or something!) Anyway, I thought I'd do a quickie LOC~so here goes: I LOVED A#3. I thought the diversity of themes and the general high quality of the writing was very interesting. My favorite stories were Helen's PEACE AND LIFE ARE DIFFERENT THINGS, BROKEN ARROW by Joyce Strohm, and THE MOST AWFUL POST AWFUL by Rache (which has special meaning for me!) [For any long suffering editor! EDS] I thought PEACE AND LIFE—was well thought out as well as well-written and true to the time. The handling of emotion seemed very realistic also. In BROKEN ARROW, I admired Joyce's use of Celtic myth and also her prose description. She cap tured excellently a feel of magic and mysticism. THE MOST AWFUL POST AWFUL was absolutely hilarious: I read it late one night and couldn't stop laghting! Rache's use of dialogue was brilliant and the reference to hair-colour problems, matters of preference in Robins, and, last but not least, the dreaded Mary Sue, were just side-splitting!

I also quite enjoyed BLOOD CURSE, DARK CASTLE, FAERIE RING, GREEN WOOD BURNING, THE INVISIBLE ENEMY, BITTER REGRETS and ALEXANDER. YOU CANT CON A CON is cute too, especially since I'm sure I correctly guessed the identity of that 'shameless hussy' at the end!!

The issue's a bit thin on poetry, but it's really hard to write poetry that one would call APOCRYPHAL, because, not having a plot to develop, they just generally wouldn't make a lot of sense. So I guess regular poetry (such as mine) would fit the bill for those bank spaces. [8]

Thank you for the gorgeous copy of Apocryphal Albion 3. My family, who would care less about my fanzine activities, were very impressed with the lovely cover and altogether professional appearance. (As was I.) Maybe now they'll be a little more respectful of the way I spend my time/money!

Now for some brief comments on the stories and/or sections which most stood out for me. I loved the end of Green Wood Burning-Loxley got to live, and Robert got to aid him without losing his identity, I'm a big fan of Robert/Robin crossovers and i've occasionally thought of a scenario like this myself.

No Certain Answers seems to show that even if Marion hadn't been kidnapped by Owen, something in Robert's personality would have led to him running afoul of the powers that be and becoming the Hooded Man. I only wish the story had gone on a little longer to show how Robert managed to get the outlaws' trust, since there was no cause to raliy them around. Maybe next time??

As to the next story of this interrelated pair. Peace and Life are Two Different Things [sic]: Even though the scenario is rather depressing and not much "happens", the story is such an insightful exploration of Marion's character that it was a pleasure to read.

Broken Arrow wins my vote for the most original way of getting Robin and Robert together. Hats off!

The story Alexander is exquisitely written, but I'm afraid its premise escapes me. I can accept the idea that if Robert never answered the call to become the Hooded Man he might be so consumed with guilt that he might experience "split personaiity" interludes where he believed he was Robin Hood. But this doesn't explain why he took on the personaiity of "Alexander", whoever that might be. I can see Robert as a sensitive human being who cracked under the pressure of conflicting loyalties - but I just can't see him as an all-purpose nutcase!

The Most Awful Post Awful is hysterically, screamingly funny, I received the issue while I was half dead with the flu and this was the only story I could read. My kids loved it too. (They always ask me to read them the funny stories.)

In conclusion, thank everyone for a wonderful job! May Herne Protect You! [9]

Well, ladies, you've done it again; put out an incredibly high-quality zine with lots of wonderful material in it, although I wish there had been more Loxley stories-but I always wish that, so pay me no heed, I love doing Iocs. Gives me a chance to re-read the stories and stare at all the artwork again. It was great to see so many amusing stories, vig-netties [sic-and we're glad you remember Son of Herne's Con! EDS], poems and fiiks in here.

"Butterflies" was a beautifui way to start the zine. Janet used such unique turns of phrase. While I'm on Janet's poetry, "Duet" was lovely and used unusal words to convey images. I especially liked "sylvan gems" as an image. "Winter in the Woods" is another gem of a poem. I live literally across the street from a forest and this poem really captures what the woods are like in winter with gorgeous imagery. "At Leaford" is a very descriptive piece, it rhymes well without becoming song-songy and evokes Marion and her state of mind beautifully.

"Blood Curse" is well written, but it's very dark drama, somber. I dislike it only for the reason that it disturbs me emotionally -which is a measure of its effectiveness. The ideas are an interesting what-if, with a cruel twist.

"Untitled" is nice job of brief and pithy description.

"Sorcerer's Lament" is excellent! I iove the refrain and the tale the song tells is really neat! Amusing, too.

"Child of Light and Darkness" is a fascinating what-if: a tangled cord of events we saw in the series, with some we didn't see (and perhaps should have) integrated smoothly into the flow of the tale, roughing it out. One note" watch "it's" for "its"-the English major background again, picking up on the oniy typo in the zine. [Sorry about that. Some do slip past even three sets of eagle eyes! EDS.] It's a very Interesting and enjoyable notion to see Robert portrayed as the mystical Herne's Son—cool idea. I'm glad I read this tale.

"On the Night Watch"-Good one!

"Faerie Ring" is excelient. Highly amusing explanation for what is othenwise the saddest moment in the series. I hopeI can think of this while watching "Greatest Enemy." It was very funny-breaking his bow in disgust, extras, and Herne practically saying "naughty, naughty" to Loxley. As for the faerie women-oh, what a situation! Well! We think he's cute. Why shoudn't they? *Giggie.*

"Kotjayashi Marion" is very funny! Oh, good reactions! More like real people than myths here. I love the plot to avoid getting Robin killed - go to Damascus, Will's outburst, a firefly over Nasir's head (guess they didn't have an light bulbs to go on!)-oh, wow! Lots of giggles here. Quoting Star Trek was a fine idea, but I'm not sure I get the part about Hills Brother's Coffee-keeping the writer awake?

"Green Wood Burning" has an interesting and outre main character. I kinda like Gwen, although her accent surprised me a bit and I knew she and Nas were going to end up together. I like her fears. They read like real people's. I like Robin's reaction to Gwen's worries about witchcraft and Robin's thoughts about "one of his own" people. Getting Gwen into camp and her interactions with the outlaws are fun. Her healing talent is lovely and of good use to the outlaws. I like the ideas of sexual conduct Nasir believes in-if only it were so in our own society! A good job of changing the events of Robin's death. This is, after all, a what-if. Will's advice to Nas is hilarious and I LOVE Robert and Willie in here. The imps make fine plans and they're very amusing, but the "real" reasons Robert cites for his behavior have meaning, too. Good work incorporating characters from the traditional ballads into "our" version, ie Will Gamwell. Fine job.

"Greatest Enemy (No, Not That one) is wonderful. Reminds me of Star Trek's "I, Mudd" episode; "Harcourt! Harcourt Fenton Mudd! Have you been drinking again-.-" Beautifully done.

"When Robin Hood's Away" is great, I wish I could write rhyming verse that makes sense. I enjoyed the ideas of what goes on at Nottingham when Robin takes off.

"No Certain Answers" is beautifully written. David's perspective is fascinating. Robert's disturbance is believable and understandable. Good shifting of series events-and people-to fit this plot. Gwenny is an excellent idea and a neat new character. The events which follow are logical and make perfect sense. The assault and consequences flow incredibly well, so that escape Is the only option left. Great work!

"Where Are the Dreams" is lovely.

"Exile" - oh, fantastic! So evocative of state of mind! Nice use of description to give meaning to the pieces that make a bow.

"Peace and Life are Different Things" is an apt title. Gorgeous iilo! it's good to see Sir Richard in a story. We don't often get him in the fanfic. This was pleasant. He showed a fine understanding of Marion's relationship with Loxley. There's a great deal of depth to his character in this taie. The description of Marion's memories is truiy superb. The dipiomatic/political maneuverings are well-done. Jean de Pontivy is an interesting new character, with a very believable background. It's good in the context of the story to find a man who can share and understand Marion's pain. His history is as full and as real as the characters we know and love; his comfort well-done. The reasons cited for the match work very well. The nobles' thoughts toward Marion are quite believable and exceedingly well-written. They really follow the 'show, not tell' rule. I can easily imagine Laura's story fitting in here and explaining Robert's point of view of the same events. Well done. The explanation of Robert ieaving for Shenwood is just as believable from this perspective. Jean's reaction to Gisburne-both times-is wonderful. The culmination is moving.

"Dear Robert" is wonderfui, as usuai. Very funny.

"Invisible Enemy" has a fascinating premise, although I spent the first couple of pages wondering what Gisburne had done. This is a fine story with believable reactions.

"Shadows" is a poem I recognize as accompanying the Guy/Sarah stories from earlier issues. Lovely circular poem. Good job.

"Will the Real Robin Hood Please Stand Up" Is WONDERFUL!! It's very amusing. Poor Robert, but I love Much here. Nasir going along with the whole thing is neat. I love the scene back at camp, not to mention that accompanying illo of Robert and Marion tied up. I think this is the best solution to the Robert/Marion dilemma I've seen.

"Truth be Told" is another of Cindy's fine stories—lots of angst and physical pain expertly told, very enjoyable. Gorgeous illo, too. This is an interesting motivation for Gizzy keeping Robert alive and vice versa. Good job with the characterizations. An unusual idea for a solution-or lack thereof-to the Big Problem. Great work.

"Into the Woods" is Interesting cartooning. I enjoyed the references to Little Red Riding Hood and "Son of Darkness."

"Broken Arrow" opens with an incredible illo. There are some nice interactions between the characters, with everyone getting a chance to speak. Ensemble writing can be difficult, but not here. Good job on Will-which I tend to enjoy. An interesting plot with lots of good internal conflict. Robert's memories of his sister Bess really tie into the accident and his feelings. Nice author- hit him when he's down! My favorite version of this saying is: chase your characters up a tree and throw rocks. This is an excellent reworking of the series, with inventive changes to the plots we know so that it feels real. In this situation, it makes sense that Loxley's return doesn't work.

"Once in Royal David's City" has some interesting observations about our characters and from an unusual perspective. Gizzy turning good is definitely a what-if, but it was sweet to see him and Robert cooperating and fiaving fun like two much younger men.

"Gisburne Got Run Over By a Wolfshead" is really fun!

"Fan's Lament" is nicely done.

"Bitter Regrets" is a fascinating story which works. An interesting but sad alternate future. It shows just how much Marion has lost-and what makes it worse is that she never realizes it until it's much to late. Robert and Isadora ending up together makes sense here. I love the brief line that Alan and Mildred are in charge at Caerleon. Presumably, rex quondam can control the minstrel's singing. I hope. Wouldn't want King Arthur mad at him— Using Excalibur for healing is a good thought. Nice portrayal of the changes that come with time. Well done.

"Blessed Be 3" is just as fun as its predecessors! Please continue printing these (if only to give me a chance to get a verse in!)

"Alexander" has more lovely lllos. This story makes a fine installment in the Lady of Clun universe. (Have you done Will Scarlet yet, Laura? I can't recall.) Anyway, this story is excellent, well-written and atmospheric. A fantastic job of artistry to convey so many separate strands of the same man. The childlike innocence comes through clearly, as does the personality of Herne's Son and of the unfortunate earl. All the seperate elements come together so well that the story flows magnificently. This may be the best- written one yet. The poem is lovely, as well.

"Robert in the Hood" is wonderfully fun! I think it hit every bad ciiche possible in a very funny way. Great!

"Little John's Lament" is a nice job of filking. It's good to see more of John and Meg and the tune fits this idea very weli.

"Sherwood Connection" is something I think we can all identify with, I know I do. I absolutely love it. "Most Awful Post Awful" is SUPER FANTASTIC!!!!! Rache has done it again, supercalifragilisticexpialidociously well! I love that line about "fen licking their thighs!" I know my mind is in the gutter, but it's fun! It's also nice to see the readers get their chance to stick their noses in, er, I mean interfere with the story, as well as the zine editor, who has some great lines. As usual, there are some hysterically funny bits. It makes perfect sense that the true person in charge of the Post Awful is Lucifer. That explains a great deal. I only hope the eternal Post Awful doesn't discover that you ladies have published this. [They have. EDS.] You may never recieve another piece of mail. [They're trying to arrange that. EDS.] *Giggle* I love Chris's illo, obviously done under protest from the note at the bottom (just teasing), of the guys in the mail room. I like the not-fights about who gets Marion. As for all the Mary Sues-Yee-owch! They're great! I think Rache hit a fair number of the cliched story lines without offending anyone, too. Oh, this one is good fun!

"Fanzine Writer" is very well done and amusing.

"You Can't Con a Con" is wonderful. I really like what It says about this fandom-which I agree with totally. They's why I got so involved In RoS-dom- because the people are so very nice. I don't know much about Quantum Leap, but I definitely liked this story. It's very memorable, I have a feeling that all those unnamed fans are possibly people we know—or composites of people we know—Anyway, this story is fantastic!

Well, that's all for now-she said, seven pages later. Sorry to go on for so long, but your efforts deserve to be lauded for the fine work they are. Take care-and I hope this doesn't end up In Lucifer's reading room!

May Herne Protect You! [10]

Issue 4

Apocryphal Albion 4 was published in 1992 and contains 357 pages.

Issue 5

cover of issue #5

Apocryphal Albion 5 was published in 1993 and contains 334 pages.

  • The Price of Mercy: Homecoming by Lorraine Scherrer. Robin of Loxley, soldier and boon companion to the Lionheart, returns to Sherwood and his old comrades.
  • Brothers by L.C. Fenster. Margaret of Gisburne tells David of Huntingdon the big secret, and history changes in interesting ways.
  • Walk Through the Fire by Nancy Hutchins. Scarlet travels to Thornton Abbey with Tuck while Marion accompanies Robert and the others to Cromm Cruac.
  • The Grain of Truth by Kitty Gamarra. Robert and Much escape de Rainault's trap—and so does Adam Bell.
  • Fire Answers Fire by H.L. Avry. Sarak, Philip Mark, and a foreign soldier of fortune have a profound impact on Nasir's destiny.
  • Time of the Tomato by Cease Ann D'Sist. Gulnar is bent on revenge and all of Sherwood is seeing red.
  • The Arrow Passes by Ruth Dempsey. Lilith returns to wreak havoc on Herne's Son, but first has to deal with the Hooded Man's band and the White Witch of Sherwood.
  • Alternate History by Jenna Bruce. Robert and Marion discuss decisions past.
  • Phantasm by Cindy Fairbanks. Chaotic dreams and a matter of choice haunt Will Scarlet.
  • Journey's End by Laura Chevening. Earl Robert of Huntingdon's quest takes him to Clun Castle and beyond.
  • Reindeer Games and Elven Labor Negotiations by Rache. Herne sends his sons and their companions to the North Pole to right a great injustice.
  • Poetry and filks by Hilda Marshall, Anna O'Brien, Rache, and Janet Reedman.

Issue 6

Apocryphal Albion 6 was published in 1994 and contains 254 pages.

cover of issue #6

Stories by Joanne Vitek, Lorraine A. Scherrer, Christine Haire, Joyce Strohm, CarolMel Ambassador, Rache, Ruth Dempsey, Gail Molnar, Cindy Fairbanks, Laura Chevening, Lisa Morissey, H.L. Avry.

Issue 7

cover of issue #7

Apocryphal Albion 7 was published in 1995 and contains 221 pages.

  • Sherwood Lore by Rache
  • Tree of Living by Julianne Toomey
  • A Hard Choice by Todd Parrish
  • Living in Sherwood by Gail Molnar
  • Scarlet's Song by Julianne Toomey
  • The Fool by Linda A. Furey
  • The Devil's Own by Kitty Gamarra
  • Bright Forest by Laura Chevening
  • Dreams by Julianne Toomey
  • Ravens of Memory by Ruth Dempsey
  • In Sherwood by Christine Haire
  • Counterstrike by CarolMel Ambassador
  • Blessed Be 7 by Rache
  • Herne's Song I My Master, I Cannot Slay Him by Jenna Bruce
  • Hello Mary Sue by Christine Haire
  • Guide to Peace and Live; Ne'er Reflect on Sorrows Past by H.L. Avry
  • Loyalty Binds Me by Laura Chevening
  • Hero and Villain by Gail Molnar
  • Fractured Rhymes by The Old Prisoner and Arthur
  • Let Her Go by Christine Haire
  • Leap Into Legend by Beth Hlabse
  • Ode to Mary Sue by Linda A. Furey
  • Horton Hears a Who, a Highlander and Two Hooded Men by Rache
  • Art Credits: Kitty Gamarra, Christine Haire, Barb Johnson, Gail Molnar, Atsuko O'gawa, Todd Parrish, Rache (frontispiece), Rosanne Rice, Tammy, Sharon Wells.


  1. ^ from an LoC in Albion #4
  2. ^ from an LoC in Albion #4
  3. ^ from an LoC in Albion #4
  4. ^ from an LoC in Albion #4
  5. ^ from an LoC in Albion #4
  6. ^ a letter of comment in Albion #6
  7. ^ a letter of comment in Albion #6
  8. ^ a letter of comment in Albion #6
  9. ^ a letter of comment in Albion #6
  10. ^ a letter of comment in Albion #6