Avon, Anyone?

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Zine
Title: Avon, Anyone?
Publisher: 4M Press
Editor(s): Marnie
Date(s): (1986) (Third printing: May 1989)
Series?: no
Medium: fanzine, print
Size:
Genre: slash and het
Fandom: Blake's 7
External Links: Fanzine is reviewed here
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Avon, Anyone? is a slash and adult het 100-page Blake's 7 anthology. The cover is by Linda Evans.

Its focus was to pair Avon, story by story, with all the other main characters.

It has a sister zine, Vila, Please!.

front cover, Linda Evans

Contents

  • Maren, "Wanted: Protector" (A/V) (2)
  • T. A. Mokzi, "No Other Love" (A/B) (12)
  • Mal O'Dar, "Bright and Shinging Star" (A/C) (13)
  • Mal O'Dar, "Rude Awakening" (V/?) (20)
  • Mal O'Dar, "Most Emabarrassing Predicament" (A/B) (21)
  • Maylani, "At Last" (A/V) (27)
  • Maren, "Letter to a Friend" (V/oc) (30)
  • Maren, "Aftermath" (V/V) (31)
  • Maylani, "Surprises I" (A/V) (32)
  • Maylani, "Surprises II" (A/V) (33)
flyer, click to read
  • Madelyn Darring, "Everybody Wants You Now" (A/C/others) (34)
  • Maylani, "Holiday" (orgy; A/V) (37)
  • Mal O'Dar, "Alternate Intimacies" (A/J) (45)
  • Mal O'Dar, "It Wouldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy" (A/G) (49)
  • Mal O'Dar, "Nightmare Come True" (A/dream of Anna) (51)
  • Mal O'Dar, "Sub-duction" (A/Ta) (53)
  • Madelyn Darring, "Measure of the Man" (B/Tr, B/C, B/J, A/C) (57)
  • Maylani, "Regret" (A/V, poem) (62)
  • Melodye, "Night Watch" (f, Delilah; A/B, poem) (63)
  • Melodye, "Eyes on the Prize(s)" (f, Big Spender; A/V, poem) (63)
  • Mal O'Dar, "Avon Yawned" (A, poem) (64)
  • Mal O'Dar, "A Lesson in Stealth" (A/D) (65)
  • Mal O'Dar, "Cause and Redemption" (A/V) (70)
  • Maren, "A Sip in Time" (A/Se, A/V) (85)
  • Mal O'Dar, "A Definite Possibility" (A/So) (90)
  • Mal O'Dar, "Such a Stupid Waste" (A/Ta) (93)
  • contributors' biographies (100)

Reactions and Reviews

[Such a Stupid Waste]: Tarrant is immersed in a deep (passive suicidal) depression following WARLORD. Avon needs a pilot and can't allow Tarrant that indulgence. Avon feeds Tarrant, bathes him, then treats him to gentle sex. Yet Avon is never taken out of character; his sharp edge is very much in evidence. [1]
[Most Embarrassing Predicament]: Starts with the explosion in "Redemption." Blake simply insists, and Avon grudgingly lets him do it. Not very sophisticated, but there's something appealing about it anyway. I particularly liked the remark that Avon "resented anything" that wasn't his idea, and sometimes he resented it when it was." [2]
[zine]: This is an out-of-print zine (there may be plans afoot to reprint, but haven't heard anything about this for several months). I don't like it enormously, mainly because the writing style & the characterisation are way off from the sort I enjoy. It reads as if it is a one-person 'zine (and all the pseuds are fairly similar) but the editorial says it isn't, so I suppose it's mainly a "group of friends influenced by each other" sort of 'zine, like Big B7 Zine and Before & After (taking the xBryn stuff as separate because it doesn't read like the rest of it). Take this review w/ a pinch of salt: maybe someone who likes the 'zine could review it for balance.

Some Tarrant quotient for them as likes that sort of thing (unusual in an early 'zine, even more unusual in that they're Tarrant-as-Victim stories, rather than Tarrant-as-Bully, which tended to be more common earlier on). The authors seem to love/lust after Avon, like Vila very much & dislike Blake. Other characters get more-or-less fair treatment.

Wanted: Protector -- Maren (A/V): The pairing's no surprise with that title. One-and-a-half pages of 1st-person Vila swiftly slips into third-person reminiscence. Quite a bit of hurt/comfort & nasty men threatening to rape a fairly trembling Vila (although the actual A/V sex is reserved for the sequel). I get the feeling that the writers in this group like Vila, but I don't think they do him justice in this story.

No Other Love -- T A Moksi (A/B): Short filler awkwardly stuffed onto many widely-separated pages. Pointless -- and I don't just mean that these people aren't Blake fans, unlike me. The punchline is that A will do incredibly difficult tasks to save B's life but will not make love to him. Yes, I know "alien being wants our heroes to have sex to save their lives" is a stupid plotline, but that's not the problem. The problem is that there's no POV, so there's no reason for the sketch of an idea to work. Is A just unable to do it w/ a bloke? Can he not face the possibility of love after Anna? Even as a short filler, I don't think the story can get away w/out showing any motivation.

Bright & Shining Star -- Mal O'Dar (A/C): PWP. I can't be fair to this one because it's developing a sexual/emotional fantasy I don't share: It's an Avon-teaching-a-virgin story. I've seen this in 'zines before; obviously it pushes buttons for the writer, just not me. Also, I think it short-changes the character: it would be perfectly possible to write Cally (virgin or not) as much less passive. It would also help if the author could spell "clitoris".

Rude Awakening -- Mal O'Dar (V): Filler. Vila-and-a-succubus/nightmare. Oddly enough, there seems to be quite a subgenre with that plot. The point, if any, seems to be semi-horror shading into social embarrassment.

Most Embarrassing Predicament -- Mal O'Dar (A/B): I like this one, although I don't go as far as Sarah T in putting it on my "favourite A/B list". You may remember it from that list as the "Blake simply insists, and Avon grudgingly lets him do it" story. It has its moments (there are some good lines), & I'm certainly not averse to ambiguous-consent A/B stories, but the characterisation's a bit off from what I enjoy. Mainly, I think, I have problems w/ the idea of B pushing this hard in a first-time story. This is not that I idealise B (except in comparison with the group of writers in this 'zine, who do the opposite), but I think he's got a healthy respect for A. I'd have no problem at all w/ B doing some fairly pushing convincing in a non-first-time story, when he's absolutely sure A wants him, at least physically, but I think this story is a bit unfair to B's intelligence & A's ability to defend himself. (Actually it's mildly unfair to A's intelligence as well: A does not consider the possibility that B wishes to sodomise him until B's inside him. I think any A as bright & paranoid as, say, the one in canon wouldn't be quite that dense... and if the author was trying for "he's pretending he doesn't know what's going on", she should have made that clear in A's POV). Still, as I say, it has a few good lines & a few good moments.

At Last -- Maylani (A/V): Pirates have fitted A up with a sort of cockring-cum-chastity-belt arrangement. A is feeling horribly nervous at asking for help from Vila, especially because he is a virgin (apparently he ran away from Anna because he was scared). V asks for fifteen minutes with a naked Avon in return for freeing him, & then teaches nervous Avon How Good Sex Can Be... (oh god, it's another Nervous-Virgin story, isn't it...).

Letter to a Friend -- Maren (V/ocf): Filler. One-page letter, someone hitching a lift writes what she thinks of the crew.

Aftermath -- Maren (V): Filler. Not sure what to put for the pairing here. V is masturbating & thinking of a past girlfriend, but A barges in on him to get him to help w/ something. The ostensible pairing is V & his thoughts of his girlfriend, but there's a hint that A definitely likes what he sees.

Surprise -- Maylani (A/V): Filler. V confesses his feelings & they have a zipless-fuck sort of encounter just before they are consumed by fire.

Surprise -- Maylani (A/V): Filler. As before only w/ tacked on happy ending (i.e. Blake appears w/ a fire-extinguisher).

Everybody Wants You Now -- Madelyn Darring (A/C, A/J): Humour. Cally isn't getting what she wants from A, and because she's a powerful projective empath, everybody else wants to screw him too (and unbridled lust seems to make Jenna reach for the cowboy outfit & lasso). Some amusing moments (but I have high standards in b7 smut-humour & this doesn't really hit giggle-zenith for me).

Holiday -- Mal O'Dar (everyone): Vila doses everyone up w/ a drug designed to release inhibitions. Everybody at it with everyone else. Eventually the drug wears off and V gets his chance at A, which was what he wanted all along.

Alternate Intimacies -- Mal O'Dar (A/J): PWP. Fast & furious sex. I'm amused by the idea that A opens his eyes afterwards thinking "oh god, I've got to *say* something to her now", but J just reaches for his cock & he's greatly relieved at not having to whisper sweet nothings... The way this author writes sex grates on me occasionally: "it felt like her stomach exploded into her brain" is not what I'd use as a description of an intense orgasm.

It Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy -- Mal O'Dar (A/G): Filler. I have the feeling that the author was trying to produce a story for an unlikely pairing, & this is the nearest she could get to A/G. No sex, some humour.

Sub-duction -- Mal O'Dar (A/T, rape): One of the Tarrant-as-Victim stories: T pushes too hard in his never-ending battle for dominance with A, & gets raped. (Not forcible seduction, either: he does not enjoy this at all). Cannot figure out what author was getting at except that maybe she enjoys rape stories.

Measure of a Man -- Madelyn Darring (Tr/B, B/J, A/C): B has been raped by Travis, and his friends help him get over it.

A Lesson In Stealth -- Mal O'Dar (A/D): PWP. Affectionate gentle deflowering of Dayna by Avon. What is it with these writers and virgins?

Cause and Redemption -- Mal O'Dar (A/V): Sequel to earlier prison story by Maren. They finally have sex.

A Sip in Time -- Maren (A/V): Avon, a cockring attached by Servalan, and an aphrodisiac administered by Vila. Twist ending.

A Definite Possibility -- Mal O'Dar (A/So): Soolin wants Avon & tries to drug him, but gets the dosed drink herself. A fairly nasty Avon in this one.

Such a Stupid Waste -- Mal O'Dar (A/T): One for Tarrant fans. Hurt/comfort -- Tarrant refuses to eat & falls into depression after Zeeona's death. Avon gives him more to live for. [3]
[zine]:

I really like this premise (Avon/anyone), but I think it needed to be more carefully controlled. When you have as your canvas Avon/literally anyone, why do we have a lot of A/V, an A/G where neither of them want to sleep with each other, and a few other V/someone not Avon stories? Where's the Avon/Tynus, Avon/Cancer, Avon/Meegat? All of which have some basis in canon. I'm not even starting us on Avon/Carnell, or Avon/Deva, which have no basis but would be pretty fun.

This zine is also quite old (though almost 10 years less old than Alternative Seven). It's also consistently bad. I almost can't be bothered to review this one properly either, but let's whiz through it.

Maren, "Wanted: Protector" (A/V) Not bad, given what it is. Vila coaxes Avon along in his prison-role.

T. A. Mokzi, "No Other Love" (A/B) I don't know whether this fic is good or bad because it's broken up into 300 word chunks, spread across the zine with "continued on page X" at the bottom. I also didn't realise it was an A/B - but I'm not going to go back. Don't do this with your presentation, kids! It's not worth it.

In general actually, the presentation is bare minimum - it's typewritten, and titles aren't even larger than the regular text, so it's difficult to tell when a new story is about to start.

Mal O'Dar, "Bright and Shining Star" (A/C) Avon and Cally decide to leave behind their personal problems, and just have sex outside (she's a virgin). Dull.

Mal O'Dar, "Rude Awakening" (V/?) a) why is this fic in this zine b) why have other people written Vila/strange thing in the night? Why is this a popular cliche?

Mal O'Dar, "Most Embarrassing Predicament" (A/B) Blake and Avon fall on each other, Vila sees them and assumes they are hugging and that Avon doesn't need any help, so Avon knows when Blake starts raping him that no help is on its way ... and then he just ... decides its OK. This is not a good fic, and I'm fed up with Blake being a rapist.

Maylani, "At Last" (A/V) I guess this was unmemorable.

Maren, "Letter to a Friend" (V/oc) and Maren, "Aftermath" (V/V) Again - why is this here? I figured this story was from Vila's POV for most of it (and the handsome sexy stranger was Avon - you know, the hero of this zine. But it's not. It's OFC talking about Vila). I guess the second half (where Avon gives Vila a speculative look as he finds him masterbating about the memory) justifies its presence?

Maylani, "Surprises I" (A/V), Maylani, "Surprises II" (A/V) The second is the original only with a different ending - in one they die together having finally confessed their love, in the other ... Blake rescues them? Or it wasn't really a deadly situation? I don't know. The editor claims they didn't like the original ending, and hence produced a different one. Not sure which was the original - the death one works a lot better.

Madelyn Darring, "Everybody Wants You Now" (A/C/others) Quite a nice idea, if also awkward - Avon broke up with Cally (because he could see their sex was affecting the rest of the crew), but her sexual frustration is now reflecting onto everyone else and they're all trying to get him into bed. Avon is essentially bullied into getting back with Cally so he won't have to tolerate Blake slobbering over him o_0

Maylani, "Holiday" (orgy; A/V) I wouldn't say this was an orgy, quite - the plot is that the s2 crew+Tarrant is dosed with aphrodisiacs at the same time as Blake decides they should all get to know one another 1-1 so he won't feel as terrible if they die, because at least he knew them. The latter is quite a nice idea actually (nothing wrong would a good aphrodisiac story, either, but this is a bit fade-to-black about the sex, making it a bit pointless) - but a) it's just an excuse for largely off-stage porn and b) Blake comes out of it looking really bad. Tarrant seems to be in shellshock because of how terribly Blake treated him, and Blake is bored by all the stuff Avon is telling him about teleports and then evils on him. I don't know why I'm still upset by this stuff, but I am. Definitely avoid this zine if you are a Blake fan, btw. If that wasn't obvious.

Mal O'Dar, "Alternate Intimacies" (A/J) No idea. I'm guessing it was forgettable.

Mal O'Dar, "It Wouldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy" (A/G) Gan (who is portrayed as unbearably thick) wants to ask Avon for his help regarding whether or not he should go to Control with Blake; Avon thinks Gan is coming onto him. Again - not a bad premise (and I quite like what Avon tells him?), but it's really cruel towards Gan (who we all like in new fandom), and Avon comes out of it looking like a right bastard. Title's quite amusing.

Mal O'Dar, "Nightmare Come True" (A/dream of Anna) No memory of this one.

Mal O'Dar, "Sub-duction" (A/Ta) Didn't read this one.

Madelyn Darring, "Measure of the Man" (B/Tr, B/C, B/J, A/C) Another fic that doesn't belong in an Avon/? zine, as it's clearly about Blake. To help him get over his Travis rape (all part of a dastardly plan so that he would go back to the Liberator, fall apart, and then hand it over to the Federation - apparently), Cally uses her powers to draw everyone into a sexual healing trance. She's up for it, everyone else (even Jenna who used to sleep with him) is like 'ugh, Blake' - that's not how they'd feel if it were Avon, now, is it? So, you should have cast him as your main character.

Lost Spook is keen on prompts for B7Friday that are episode titles of other things. I think this is a fun idea. Perhaps a whole zine using the titles of series 2 of TNG would be good! (You might have trouble with Elementary Dear Data or Q Who, but I like to think of that as a challenge)

Mal O'Dar, "A Lesson in Stealth" (A/D) Not very interesting.

Mal O'Dar, "Cause and Redemption" (A/V) Post Orbit.

Maren, "A Sip in Time" (A/Se, A/V) This is a sequel to the first story, that also involves Vila unlocking a cockring Servalan has put on Avon. It's one of the better stories in the zine - though why Avon has to believe the whole thing was a dream I don't know.

Mal O'Dar, "A Definite Possibility" (A/So) Soolin wants to daterape Avon, but he manages to daterape her instead. One of my least favourites in the zine.

Mal O'Dar, "Such a Stupid Waste" (A/Ta) Couldn't be bothered to read this on[e]. [4]

References

  1. Favourite Avon/Tarrant Stories
  2. Rallying Call #17 (April 1996), from a fan's list of their favorite Blake/Avon stories
  3. by Predatrix at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  4. comments by Aralias, see full post at Lots of not very good zines, November 13, 2015