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).

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