Gambit (Blake's 7 anthology published in the US)

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See also Gambit (disambiguation).

Zine
Title: Gambit
Publisher: Peacock Press
Editor(s): Jean Graham
Date(s): 1987-1996
Series?:
Medium: print zine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Blake's 7
Language: English
External Links:
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Gambit is a gen Blake's 7 anthology published in the US.

flyer for the first issue: "We've got 300 (whew!) pages, or thereabouts, of fun-filled (wallow-filled, art-filled, filk-filled, you-name-it-we-got-it) fanzine. Material from the famous and the infamous (er...unfamous?), including Wortham & Rosenthal, Leigh Arnold, Bryn Lantry, Carol Wyke, Deb Walsh, Denise League and a veritable cast of thousands. Well, dozens anyhow. Order your copy now and see: take advantage of our no-fault, money-back guarantee. (There are no faults in this zine [all typos are merely figments of your overactive imagination]; your money is backed by A) the gold standard B) the crown jewels or C) None of the above; and we guarantee 300 pages (or thereabouts), makes an absolutely incomparable doorstop.) So, what are you doing reading this nonsense when you could be ordering a zine full of all that good stuff?????"
the 1987 Gambit t-shirt! -- art by Leah Rosenthal

General Reactions and Reviews

The earlier issues weren't so good, but it has improved greatly over the years (for one thing, the editor has found someone who can write poetry). A good, decent read, and you may be tempted to go and get back-issues to catch up on the occasional serial. [1]
I never read the recently-criticized issue #3, but I have read every issue since #5 and own all but one of them. (I've also contributed to every issue beginning with #9, which obviously I wouldn't do if I didn't consider the zine a high quality product.) The stories are always nicely laid out by season, the value in terms of cost is possibly the best in the fandom--ditto the reliability and speed with which orders for the zine are filled. The artwork ranges from gorgeous to mediocre (but it's easy to overlook the mediocre when you have the gorgeous). The only thing I've pretty consistently disliked in GAMBIT is the poetry. (But I may eventually take action to partially remedy that by submitting some of my own to a future issue. Jean Graham, take notice: you have been warned :-).)[2]
Since I enjoy discussing fanfic, I thought I'd put my two bars of gold press latinum (oops, wrong universe) into the discussion of zine/story likes and dislikes. In most cases, I'll talk about stories rather than zines (except for zines devoted to a single novel), because I find with few exceptions that I'll like some stories in a zine and dislike others. That's certainly true of GAMBIT, which has come under discussion here. I don't have GAMBIT #3 (I was out of fandom for awhile and picked up with GAMBIT #9), but the GAMBITs I've seen have the usual mix of stories I do enjoy and stories I don't enjoy. As is the case with many zines, Jean could use a couple more good artists, though her cover artist is one of fandom's talents. In recent issues of GAMBIT, I've particularly liked Alice Aldridge's Travis/Jenna stories. I'm not a Travis fan, by any means, but Alice's stories are superior in construction, with lots of plot, action and characterization. If I have to name a story I don't like in the most recent issue, it would be Judith Seaman's. Not that it's the worst written, but her attitude toward Blake dampened my enjoyment. IMHO, if you don't like a given character, you should simply refrain from writing about him or her, instead of distorting the characterization seen on screen. Obviously, YMMV. Another positive thing I have to say about GAMBIT. Jean does a fantastic job of keeping her prices down. This issue was nearly 300 pages and cost only $13 before postage. You don't often see a zine that size for that price and I appreciate Jean's work in keeping her prices down...she must have a incredibly reasonable printer. I've been looking at production prices, since I'm thinking of doing another zine myself and I don't really see how she does it. Share your secrets, Jean? [3]

Issue 1

Gambit 1 was published in October 1987 and contains 292 pages.

cover of issue #1, Leah Rosenthal

Fiction:

  • Kim Wigmore, "Prelude"
  • Sophia R. Mulvey & K. Rae Travers, "A Place to Start"
  • Katherine A. Ring, "The Gates of Paradise"
  • Jean Graham, "Keeper of the Trust"
  • Susan Murrie Eoff, "Avon and the Widow"
  • Mary Gerstner & April Giordano, "Hi-Ho, Liberator Away!"
  • Jill Grundfest, "Vacation"
  • Pearl Stickler, "Carey"
  • Kathy Kipper, "Diara"
  • Jo Mulvey, "Assume a Virtue"
  • Leah Rosenthal & Ann Wortham, "Seems Like Old Times" (reprinted in The Bizarro Zine #4)
  • Wolf Klauschie, "The Avons"
  • Mary Gerstner & April Giordano, "Revenge of the Thaarn"
  • Debra Bruce, "The Box"
  • Nancy Klauschie, "Bravery Is for Fools"
  • Carol Bede, "Nothing Rhymed"
  • Carol Wyke & Sue Christian, "Of Mice and Men"
  • Leigh Arnold, "When You Forget Your Lines, Ad Lib"
  • Jean Graham, "Nowhere Else to Go"
  • Alicia Ann Fox, "A Change of Mind"
  • Alana McShane, "Sanctum"
  • Dree Nagel, "Confessions of a Lonely Man"
  • H. Saavedra, "Heroic Youths"
  • Susan Murrie Eoff, "Auntie Sleer"
  • Melissa Honig, "Memory"
  • Carol Wyke, "Chiaroscuro"
  • Dee Beetem, "Call the Dead"

Nonfiction:

Poetry & Filks:

  • Kindya, Wigmore, Hutchison, & McManus, "Ode to Cygnus Alpha"
  • Michael Williams, untitled
  • Alicia Ann Fox, "Do Not Forsake Me"
  • H.Saavedra, "The Fool and the Cynic"
  • H.Saavedra, "Through His Eyes"
  • H.Saavedra, "This Tainted Universe"
  • xBryn Lantry, "Might Have Beens"
  • Dree Nagel, "Let Me Put You Down"
  • xBryn Lantry, "A Lie"
  • Holly Hutchison, "Post Orbit Reflections"
  • H.Saavedra, "Nightmare's End"
  • Michael Williams, untitled

Art:

  • Leah Rosenthal (front cover), Michael Williams, Denise Loague, Mel Henshaw, Heather M. Saavedra, April Giordano, Mary Gerstner, S. Molnar, Carol Wyke, and Rita Terrell (back cover).

Issue 2

front cover of issue #2, Mary Gerstner
back cover of issue #2
flyer for issue #2, printed in Trust, Like the Soul

Gambit 2 was published in April 1988 and is 294 pages long.

Fiction:

  • Debra Bruce, "A Fine Bargain" (5 pages)
  • Carol Wyke, "Image" (11 pages)
  • J.S. Mulvey, "Mss Found in a Bottle (Labeled Soma)" (4 pages)
  • J.S. Mulvey, "Mss Found in a Bottle (Labeled Soma) II" (5 pages)
  • April Giordano & Mary Gerstner, "Seeing Red" (4 pages)
  • April Giordano & Mary Gerstner, "Summer Vacation" (5 pages)
  • Jeanne DeVore, "The Chains of Freedom" (33 pages)
  • Nancy Klauschie, "Blind Luck" (14 pages) )
  • Leigh Arnold, "Explosion"(33 pages)
  • Mike & Leslie Williams, "The Adventures of Jake's 7" (4 pages)
  • Susan Murrie Eoff, Jailbreak (6 pages)
  • Leah Rosenthal and Ann Wortham, with thanks to Marc Thorner, "Cash on Deliverance" (7 pages) (reprinted in The Bizarro Zine #4)
  • Jean Graham, "Rencontre" (sequel to "Keeper of the Trust" in Gambit #1) (5 pages)
  • Rebecca Reeves, "When You Rise to the Occasion" (10 pages)
  • Kathy Coy, "That Which Evades" (12 pages)
  • Linda Knights, "Yesterday: Memories of Today" (32 pages)
  • Sheila Paulson, "The Night Wind" (7 pages)
  • K. Rae Travers, "Alone: I Hope!" (9 pages)
  • Meg Garrett, "Force of Attraction" (2 pages)
  • Pearl Stickler, "A State of Mind" (6 pages)
  • Alinda Alain and CarolMel Ambassador, "Renewal" (from the Vengeance series) (2 pages)
  • Cindy Rancourt, "A Matter of Trust" (12 pages)
  • Michael Wiliams, "Phantasm Projection" (2 pages)
  • Sophia R. Mulvey, "Shadoas with No Substance" (2 pages)
  • Alana McShane, "Aftereffects of a Dream" (3 pages)
  • Peggy Hartsook, "Outside Impression" (6 pages)
  • Mary Gerstner, "The Wall" (20 pages)
  • Mary Gerstner, "To Tear Down the Wall" (27 pages)

Nonfiction:

  • From Ye Editor
  • Zine Page
  • Letter Column

Puzzles:

  • Sandy Lyons, "Logic Problem: The Vogon Bar and Grill"
  • Sandy Lyons, "Puzzle: Quote Puzzle"
  • Sandy Lyons, "Word Search: The Enemies of Blake's 7"
  • Sandy Lyons, "More Puzzles: Figure Puzzle"

Poetry:

  • Cheryl Beresford, "The Man Who Went Outside"
  • Teresa Ward, "Point of View"
  • Alicia Ann Fox, "Dance of Death" (filk, Clementine or Marine Hymn)
  • Sharyn Sobel, "Lord of the Dance" (filk)
  • Teresa Ward, "Casual Observer-- Soolin"
  • Sharyn Sobel, "Where Have All the Rebels Gone?" (filk, Where Have All the Flowers Gone)
  • Val Restal, "Avon" (filk, Laura, by B. Joel)
  • Alyns Lawchilde, "Exile"
  • Teresa Ward, "Before the Crash"

Art:

  • Mary Gerstner (front and inside front cover), Michael Williams (back cover), Denise Loague, S. Molnar,
  • Judith Boguslaski, Craig Kozeluh, Cynthia Case, and Lynne A. Wytten.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

poems, filks, puzzles and drawings, and a great editorial which lists some prime examples of spell checker substitutes for personal names - I particularly enjoyed Avon / Avoid and Teleport / Teapot (What a pity there are no B7 characters called Marion and Angus because I know from experience they turn into Moron and Anus)

In "A Fine Bargain" a teenage, poverty stricken Vila is hired by Avon to pick locks. Vila proves he knows what he's doing, Avon educates him on the value of access codes. They tentatively initiate their familiar (to us) relationship.

"Imago" is an intelligent account of Servalan's affair with Don Keller during her time as a cadet under Kasabi. Servalan shows her ruthlessness and also gets hurt. Excellent story, making good use of the episodes from which it arises.

"MMS in a Bottle (Labelled Soma)" is not as you might think a Vila story. It is told in the first person by an unknown who has been marooned on a planet and gets an unexpected visitor in Avon. The Sequel gives Avon's side of the encounter.

"Seeing Red" is a comic short and has Zen showing Avon who is boss.

"Summer Vacation" is a lot of fun. The crew have a great time at Space City and Jenna gets to keep the Harley Davidson.

"Chains of Freedom" is a longer story. Avon finds himself unexpectedly involved with a woman and her local politics when Blake goes politicking. Quite good, though the ending is predictable.

The central idea behind "Blind Luck" is simple but unusual and I can't say much more without giving it away. A beguiling Avon/Vila story.

Avon's past is explored in "Explosion". The crew get involved with a rebel computer set up, and the story turns into a whodunnit with Cally as the detective.

"Jailbreak" begins with Blake and Avon in a detention cell, getting rescue from an unexpected quarter. Not very convincing.

In "Cash on Deliverance" Vila is mesmerised by the delectable wares offered by the Galactic Dome Shopping centre. However his shopping habits save Liberator from attack. An inventive Bizarro 7 story.

"Rencontre" is an epilogue to Keeper of the Trust in Gambit 1. Blake confronts an elusive Avon after a mission has gone wrong. They have a revealing and antagonistic exchange that ends with ominous words. A very, very good short story.

"When You Rise to the Occasion" has Vila having to support Avon and rescue everyone else. Quite good, but the ending is a bit of a cop-out.

"That which Evades" is a Travis story. Servalan is having the original Travis re-conditioned , and has a series of encounters with the doctor in charge about the way Travis is developing.

"Yesterday: Memories of Today" starts from the premise that Avon and Dayna are especially close. They teleport down to rescue a psychologically disturbed Blake, and the remaining crew have a hard time locating them. Finally, and ironically with Vila's help, Blake comes to a decision. Quite a believable story, if you buy the initial Avon/Dayna angle and go for log cabin by the lake scenarios.

"Night Wind" is a brilliant Avon/Tarrant story set some time after the Teal Vandor Convention, wonderfully acute is its descriptions of Tarrant's feelings and attitudes towards his crewmates. He goes to see Avon late at night and they talk warily. This is probably the best story in the zine.

"Alone; I Hope!"; while the rest of the crew are away, Avon and Vila get a message from Blake, but is it genuine? Avon meets an old acquaintance and so does Vila. The plot could have done with a bit more development, especially over motivation.

"Force of Attraction" is a one pager whose point I missed.

"A State of Mind" is a PGP where everyone seems to have survived. However there is a sting in the tail.

"Renewal" is a brief excerpt from the "Renewal" series which starts with Avon's killing Servalan. It proceeds at a bewildering gallop, but then I've not read any others from this series.

"A Matter of Trust" is an emotional PGP. Avon has collapsed mentally and physically, Blake tries to help him readjust. Quite good

The next three stories are all brief PGPs. "Phantasm Projection" is a macabre one-pager where Servalan gets more than she expected. "Shadows with no Substance" gives an alternative version of what was happening to Avon. In "Aftereffects of a Dream" Avon and Vila are rescued by one of Blake's people.

"Outside Impression" is told by the child in a rebel family which works with the Scorpio crew. Straightforward with no surprises.

In "The Wall" Avon and Soolin survive, plot with other rebels and get enmeshed in one of Servalan's plots. Next comes "To Tear Down the Wall"; to discuss the plot would be to give away the surprises of the first story. [4]

Issue 3

front cover of issue #3, Judith Boguslawski. A fan in 2016 said: "#I like how the artist has caught Avon's non-comitted expression #and yet with that *teeeny* hint of a raised eyebrow #to suggest he is quite amused after all #JENNA STANNIS #Roj Blake #cally #VILA RESTAL #Kerr Avon #vintage b7 art #fanzines #fanfiction #other people's lovely art." [5]
back cover of #3, Adrian Morgan

Gambit 3 was published in 1988 and is 294 pages long. On the front cover: "Holiday Snaps- Freedom City."

Fiction:

  • Tom Beck, "Keep Your Eyes on the Ball" (5 pages)
  • Teresa Ward, "Reflection" (2 pages)
  • Mary Gerstner & April Giordano, "Oh, Gee!" (10 pages)
  • Barbara Adams, "Blake's Boots" (21 pages)
  • Teri Sarick, "Avon's Angles" (2 pages)
  • J.S. Mulvey, "Hall of Mirrors" (10 pages)
  • Meg Garrett, "Up to Scratch" (5 pages)
  • Vina, "Alien Mysticism" (5 pages)
  • Michelle Moyer, "The Big Gamble" (4 pages)
  • Maureen Tornes, "The Genetics of a Joke" (13 pages)
  • Teresa Ward, "Star One Revisited" (1 page)
  • Jean B. Hubb, "By My Own Recklessness" (12 pages)
  • Nancy Klauschie, "Stealing's Quicker" (7 pages)
  • Maureen Torens, "No Man Is an Island" (4 pages)
  • Mary Gerstner, "To See the Fool" (20 pages)
  • Diane Rabuano, "Where's Blake?" (3 pages)
  • Diane Rabuano, "Hairy Aliens" (sequel to "Where's Blake?") (2 pages)
  • Cindy Rancourt, "Farewells" (3 pages)
  • Julie Shook, "Professional Courtesy" (15 pages)
  • Jeanne DeVore, "The Search" (14 pages)
  • J.L. Walker & K.D. Swan, "Vilagan's Island" (4 pages)
  • Rebecca Reeves, "Shuttle" (6 pages)
  • Patricia Dunn, "Spirits Past & Future" (8 pages)
  • Ann Wortham & Leah Rosenthal, "Shortcut to Somewhere" (28 pages)
  • Steve Oualline, "A Better Man" (5 pages)
  • Sheila Paulson, "Limbo" (27 pages)
  • Sophia Mulvey, "Wayward Son" (24 pages)
  • April Giordano & Mary Gerstner, "Embers" (3 pages)
  • Carol Mel Ambassador, "Contract" (3 pages)
  • Adrian C. Morgan & Brendan O'Cuillane, "Experiment" (4 pages) (reprinted in Double Vision)
  • Dee Beetem, "Double-Take" (3pages)
  • Sandy Lyons, "Full Circle" (9 pages)
  • Debra Reynolds & Peggy Hartsock, "Specters of the Past" (9 pages)

Nonfiction:

  • Jean Graham, "Editor's Nattering"
  • Amee, "The Episodes" (puzzle)
  • Sandy Lyons, "Quotation Puzzles" (puzzle)
  • Amee, "Word Search" (puzzle)
  • Amee, "Hodge-Podge" (puzzle)
  • Letters of Comment
  • Puzzle answers
  • Zine ads

Poetry:

  • Teresa Ward, "The Final Act"
  • Paulie Kay, "The Plan"
  • Amee, "Soliloquy of the Aging Idealist"
  • Sharyn M. Sobel, "I, Roj Blake"
  • Sharyn Sobel & Maurine Torrens, "Bonnie Hi Ho Rebel"
  • Amee, "Images"
  • Paulie Kay, "Freedom"
  • Sue Ann Sarick, "Gan"
  • Paulie Kay, "A.W.A.T.A.L."
  • Paulie Kay, "Alone"
  • Mary Gerstner & Maureen Torrens, "Death's Song" (filk)
  • Sue Ann Sarick, "Vila"
  • Sharyn M. Sobel, "Where Have All the Rebels Gone?" (filk)
  • Jennifer Tifft, "Negative Space"
  • Sue Ann Sarick, "Avon II"
  • Teresa Sarick, untitled
  • Paulie Kay, "The Leader, the Expert, & the Fool"
  • Teri Sarick, "Courier"
  • Teri Sarick, "Liberator Avon"
  • Alyns Lawchilde, "Silent Plea"
  • Sharyn Sobel, "Filksong" (filk)

Art:

  • Mary Gerstner, Leah Rosenthal, Judith Boguslawski (front cover), Kathryn Anderson, Michael Williams, Adrian Morgan (back cover), Suzie Molnar, Elizabeth Gagliano, Denise Loague, Lynne Alisse Witten, Jean Graham & Pearl Stickler.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

See reactions and reviews for Limbo.
[Shortcut to Somewhere]: The difficulty with AUs is that once you get into a no-holds-barred situation, where you can make *anything* happen, rather than sticking to the known constraints, people can indulge themselves at the expense of the story. Thus you get the many AUs where one decision is changed and *poof* - instant utopia. I prefer subtlety, the working out of the consequences of changing one variable and seeing what happens next. I suppose, then, that my criteria for good AU's is similar to that for good crossover stories (or perhaps it is just that my enjoyment is similar) - seeing what Our Heros would do when faced by a different situation (or by different characters, as in the case of crossovers) but trying to keep them as close to the normal characters as you can. That's why I liked "Shortcut to Nowhere" [sic] by Leah and Annie (the only good story in Gambit #3...) because they were still the same bunch with the same problems, and they *didn't* know how much better off they were in this universe than in the original one. It wasn't an instant utopia.[6]

298 well-printed pages of fanfic, indexed by series. I’ve yet to find an issue that was a dud. One of the interesting things with Gambit in general is that there’s always at least one UA fic. (Universe Alternation - something happened differently from canon and the story veers off into new directions.) As this is a type of fanfic I adore, Gambit is one of my favorite zine series. #3 has “Stealing’s Quicker” by Nancy Klauschie. At the end of Powerplay, when Vila wakes up, Avon talks with him privately with a proposal: Vila should be in charge of the crew. Avon wants the ship, but he doesn’t want to lead Blake’s Crusade, and he certainly doesn’t think he’s the person to keep all the crazies in line. He knocks down Vila’s “stupid delta” facade, pointing out all the ways the thief is the best person for the job. And Vila rises to the occasion admirably.

There’s quite a lot worth reading in this; definitely a must-buy if you come across it. [7]

Issue 4

front cover of issue #4, Adrian Morgan
back cover of issue #4, Kathy Hanson
flyer printed in Fire and Ice #1

Gambit 4 was published in May 1989 and is 275 pages long.

Fiction:

  • Paulie Kay, "Brothers" (6 pages)
  • Mary Gerstner, "The Gambler's Bane" (12 pages)
  • Susan Murrie Eoff, "Carleen" (3 pages)
  • J.S. Mulvey, "The Rules" (3 pages)
  • Pamela London & Holly Hutchison, "A Man of His Word" (1 page)
  • Alicia Ann Fox, "Hammer Into Anvil" (1 page)
  • Juli Cleveland, "Seven Days to Karma" (14 pages)
  • Cyndi Hubb, "A Fate Than Worse than Death" (7 pages)
  • Jeanne DeVore, "Relations" (8 pages)
  • Wolf Klauschie, "Slash?" (1 page)
  • Sheila Paulson, "A Question of Priorities" (15 pages)
  • Michelle Moyer, "Star Struck" (6 pages))
  • Steve Oualline, untitled (7 pages)
  • Tom Beck, "The Inmates and the Asylum" (17 pages)
  • Nancy Klauschie, "Things that Go Bang" (12 pages)
  • April Giordano, "The Clarity of Darkness" (26 pages)
  • K.D. Swan, "Snips 'N' Snails 'N' Puppy Dogs' Tails" (14 pages)
  • Jean B. Hubb, "Realm of Darkness" (15 pages)
  • Aya Katz, "Pairing Off on the Quiet" (7 pages)
  • Mary Pat Cheney, "A Light in the Dark" (16 pages)
  • Catherine Kendall, "Xiaodan" (9 pages)
  • Alicia Ann Fox, "Arrival" (3 pages)
  • Roxie Ray, "Legacies" (7 pages)
  • K. Rae Travers, "Duck, Duck, Goose" (11 pages)
  • Ana Dorfstad, "Where the Shadows Are" (7 pages)
  • Steve Oualline, "A New Beginning" (2 pages)
  • Kimberly Wigmore, "A Chance for Life" (2 pages)
  • Sophia R. Mulvey, "Taken by Chance" (13 pages)
  • Adrian Morgan & Brendan O'Cullane, "73 Kilos of Ballast" (3 pages) (reprinted in Double Vision)
  • Dee Beetum, "Rest Ye Merry" (2 pages)
  • Teresa Ward, "10th Annual Blake's 7/Marysue Convention"
  • Janet Walker, "News Break"
  • Steve Oualline & Sandra Lyons, "Conventional Warfare"

Nonfiction:

  • Jean Graham, "Editor's Forum"
  • Letters of Comment
  • Zine ads

Poetry & Filks:

  • Teresa Ward, "Vila's Song" (filk)
  • Pamela V. London, "Roj Blake" (filk)
  • Margaret Scroggs, "Soliloquy"
  • Rosanna Filipello, "The Sounds of Screaming" (filk)
  • Cindy Rancourt, "In Memorium"
  • Alicia Ann Fox, "Purpose"
  • Rosanna Filipello, "The 12 Days of Christmas -- Sung by Servalan" (filk)
  • Teri Sarick, "Dreams Lost"
  • Teri Sarick, "Love Granted"
  • Jennifer Tifft, "The Knife"
  • Sharyn Sobel & Leah Rosenthal, "Freedom's Son" (filk)
  • Teri Sarick, "Unrelenting"
  • Rosanna Filipello, "Blake & Crew" (filk)
  • Teresa Ward, "Second Thoughts"
  • Teri Sarick, "After"
  • Alana McShane, "Suffer Thee" (A)
  • Rosanna Filipello, "Crew" (filk)
  • Teri Sarick, "Blake's Christmas" (filk)
  • Sharyn Sobel & Jean Stevenson, "Federation" (filk)
  • Pamela V. London, "At My Will" (filk)
  • Rosanna Filipello, "O'Servalan" (filk)

Art:

  • Adrian Morgan (front cover), Sonja Van den Ende, A. Hamilton, Bruce Mitchell, Suzie Molnar, Michael Williams, Jean B. Hubb, Denise Loague, Mary Gerstner, Kathy Hanson (back cover), Judith Boguslawski, Jennifer Tifft

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

This genzine has six pre-series stories (pp 4-29) one series A (pp30-42) seven series B (pp44-107) ten series C (pp109-227) five series D (pp229-255) and one PGP (pp 256-7); a further three are listed under "Other Dimensions", and there are twenty poems.

"Brothers?" by Paulie Kay is an Avon-and-Vila-as-brothers story starting with their childhood and ending when they/'ve spent a year on Liberator. Its basic premise is that Avon is Vila's older brother but doesn't remember him because he has been mindwiped following their parents involvement with rebels; Vila escaped and became a delta. The basic idea is reasonable but the writing is a bit stilted and the action moves too quickly to let their relationship develop beyond a rudimentary level.

"The Gambler's Bane" has a young Cally involved in drug dealing and motherhood. The violent story heavily involves her father, sister and son, and ends just before she goes to Saurian Major. This is a well constructed story but I couldn't really see the Cally we know in the series. There is a sequel in Gambit 6.

"Carleen" is a short account of the death of Gan's woman. "The Rules" by J.S.Mulvey is a well above average Avon and Vila as boys encounter, in which Avon is rescued by Vila; the second half of the story involves Orbit. I don't usually get much from childhood stories but this one is written with real insight and neatly relates to the situation in which the adult characters find themselves.

"Hammer into Anvil" by Alicia Ann Fox is a one-pager describing Tarrant's thoughts as a cadet.

"Seven days to Karma" by Juli Cleveland is the only series A story. It covers familiar ground, a seven day slog through inhospitable country for Avon and Vila, with the usual unspoken camaraderie underneath the sniping. Quite enjoyable, but it didn't tell me anything new.

"A Fate Worse Than Death" by Cyndi Hubb starts with Blake getting a request for help from an old acquaintance; is it or is it not a trap? Avon and Vila are stranded separately on an inhospitable planet; will Vila help Avon and if so, why? This is not the standard view of the two as loyal friends. I found this story believable, except for the ease with which the bracelets were retrieved. Avon actually says at one point "The first thing I will do when we get back is to fix these bracelets, they fall off far too easily". Hallelujah! I wonder what stopped him?

"Relations" by Jan DeVore is about Jenna. Blake persuades her to meet her estranged father, a Federation governor whom Blake thinks may be sympathetic to the Cause. The story expresses well the tentative relationships between Blake, Jenna and Avon and the problems all the Liberator crew have in understanding and trusting one another.

My favourite story was Sheila Paulson's "A Question of Priorities" which takes place immediately after Avon and Grant have disabled the solium radiation device on Albion. Blake's high handed refusal to allow Vila and himself to be transported until the very last minute so infuriates Vila that he contemplates jumping ship. In the course of the story Blake sees the error of his ways, in part courtesy of Avon, and Vila gets to be the hero. This is a satisfyingly good read, and not just for Vila fans.

"Star Struck" by Michelle Moyer is a humorous story in which Avon - does he really wear R2D2 pyjamas - meets his idol and is disappointed. Zen gets all the best lines here.

"Untitled" by Steve Oualline is another light-hearted story, this time featuring a dragon from another dimension. "The Inmates and the Asylum" by Tom Beck is told entirely in the present tense, an interesting idea but after a page or two I began to irritated by it, a pity because the basic story line is amusing enough. Avon and Vila attempt to rescue someone from a high security asylum and have an unusual personality problem.

The first of the Series C stories "Things that Go Bang!" by Nancy Klauschie is a sequel to "Stealing's Quicker" in Gambit 3. In the earlier story Vila became leader of Liberator following Star One, with Avon's support. Here he continues to establish his new persona and leadership style, not just with the new crew but with Jenna; nice story, happy endings are in sight.

"The Clarity of Darkness" by April Giordano is an alternative Cally story featuring the Thaarn. The dead Cally is locked into a mental struggle with him; meanwhile Liberator answers a distress call from Auron. Servalan and Anna also make an appearance, as does Terminal. This one absolutely does not have a happy ending.

"Snips 'n Snails n' Puppy Dogs' Tails" by K.D Swan is an enjoyable Vila story which puts his childhood experience into a Liberator context. It includes some amusing moments, especially between Tarrant and maple syrup.

"Realm of Darkness" by Jean B. Hubb tells what Blake is doing these days. He helps a group of miners and an alien entity against Servalan, during which he contacts the Liberator incognito via Orac; the ending is inconclusive, suggesting that Avon knew his identity, but giving little hint about anyone's motivations.

"Pairing off on the Quiet" by Aya Katz is a convoluted Cally and Avon story whose themes would have been more at home in an adult zine. I didn't think it rang true of either of them.

"A Light in the Dark" follows Anna's death. Vila takes Avon for an enforced rest in Avalon's safe house, where they meet a rather unconvincingly drawn young female rebel to whom Avon is attracted. Back massage comes into it, but not much else.

"Xiaodan" by Catherine Kendall introduces Avon's brother Paatrov on a plague planet. Avon and Dayna contract the plague, and Avon's differences with his brother are resolved.

"Legacies" by Roxie Ray starts with Zelda's death and Cally's collapse. It revolves around Franton's proposal that the Liberator crew provide each provide a genetic sample to help start building a new Auron race. There is an appealing Cally/Vila conversation on the topic.

In "Duck, Duck, Goose" Vila becomes seriously ill after being got at by the Federation in a way that I cannot describe without giving away the plot. He then does the noble thing (twice in one zine - is this a record?) by his comrades and survives to enjoy his cure.

"Where the Shadows Are" by Ana Dorfstad takes place on Terminal after the loss of Liberator and explains why Cally called out Blake's name. "A Chance for Life" is a macabre one-page alternative to what happened immediately following Dorian's death.

In the post-Malodaar "Taken by Chance" by Sophia F. Mulvey, Vila decides to leave but encounters trouble from an old acquaintance. Subsequently he has to rescue his crewmates, and ends up back on board. I liked this story, which had some deft plot twists, except for the final reconciliation between Vila and Avon which was much too easily brought about.

"73 Kilos of Ballast" - I wonder what this one's about? A short, adroit and ironic Orbit alternative by Adrian Morgan and Brendan O'Cullane.

"Rest Ye Merry" by Dee Beetem has them all settled down with their kids for Xmas; as a comic story, this didn't work for me.

Listed under Other Dimensions is an amusing story by Teresa Ward "10th Annual Blake's7 - Mary Sue Convention", "News Break" by Janet Walker, and "Conventional Warfare" an entertaining account of what might happen at American conventions.

Overall this edition of Gambit should appeal particularly to fans of Vila, Avon and Cally. The others have their moments, but they are not strongly featured. [8]

Issue 5

cover of issue #5, Mary Gerstner

Gambit 5 was published in December 1989 and is 310 pages long.

Fiction:

  • Teresa Ward, "Homecoming" (2 pages)
  • Cami, "Never Practical" (11 pages)
  • Jean Graham, "Life Sentence" (3 pages)
  • Alicia Ann Fox, "Grand Illusions" (3 pages)
  • Mary Gerstner & April Giordano, "It's Worth the Trip" (5 pages)
  • Irene Stubbs, "Captain Leylan's Report" (1 page)
  • Leigh Arnold, "Pirates of Pezants" (8 pages)
  • Irene Stubbs, "Mutability" (2 pages)
  • Lee Vibber, "Acceptance" (4 pages)
  • Paulie Kay, "Psychology" (6 pages)
  • April Giordano & Mary Gerstner, "A Little Night Music" (4 pages)
  • Sophia R. Mulvey, "Liberator" (3 pages)
  • Aya Katz, "Sweet Sixteen" (4 pages)
  • Jennifer Smallwood, "Someone to Watch Over" (4 pages)
  • Juli Cleveland, "The Girl with the Light" (7 pages)
  • T.L. Condon, "Moira" (9 pages)
  • Irene Stubbs, "Galactic Drive" (3 pages)
  • Jacqui Topp, "Tarnished Gold" (1 page)
  • Michelle Christian, "Santa Claus Was a Delta" (5 pages)
  • Michelle Christian, "In the Past Lies the Future" (2 pages)
  • Roxie Ray, "Trials and Tribbleations" (Star Trek: TOS crossover) (4 pages)
  • Nancy Klauschie, "Palace Games" (12 pages)
  • Teresa Ward, "Lost & Found" (8 pages)
  • Mary Gerstner, "To Recognize the Fool" (2 pages)
  • Mary Gerstner, "To Kill the Fool" (2 pages)
  • Irene Stubbs, "Alien Eyes" (4 pages)
  • Lee Vibber, "Comfort" (3 pages)
  • Lorna Breshears, "Collapse" ((2 pages)
  • Catherine Kendall, "Naked Eye" (14 pages)
  • Dee Beetem & Sue Wells, "Covenant of Faith" (4 pages)
  • Jean B. Hubb, "Unexpected Encounter" (7 pages)
  • Virginia Waldron, "The Stream of Life" (13 pages)
  • Irene Stubbs, "Blood" (2 pages)
  • Anne Collins Smith, "Obviated Orbit" (1 page)
  • Anne Collins Smith, "Gauda Secunda" (1 page)
  • Lorna Breshears, "Lightening the Load" (2 pages)
  • Cyndi Hubb, "The Formula for Failure Is Sure Success" (7 pages)
  • Rachel Dutcher, "Living the Lie" (14 pages)
  • Steve Zwanger, "Through the Fire" (14 pages)
  • Michael Williams, "Return to Freedom City" (5 pages)
  • Janet Walker, "Legends" (1 page)
  • Adrian Morgan & Brendan O'Cullane, "Jenna" (6 pages)
  • Sheila Paulson, "Choices" (27 pages) (Jabberwocky universe; reprinted in Jabberwocky Collected, and Jabberwocky #3)
  • Irene Stubbs, "No Useless Gesture" (7 pages)
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Roll Call" (3 pages)
  • Bobbie Stankiewicz, "Recollections" (23 pages)
  • Teresa Ward, "News Item" (2 pages)

Nonfiction:

  • Jean Graham, "Editorial Stuff"
  • Rachel Dutcher, "Kriss-Kross-- The Bad Guys" (puzzle)
  • Teri Sarick, "Blake's 7 Crossovers" (humor)
  • Letters of Comment
  • "Zines and Organizations"
  • Zine ads

Poetry/Puzzles/Filks:

  • Michael Macomber, "I Need a Crew"
  • Teresa Ward, "Travis and Tarrant"
  • C. T. Cap, "The Beginning"
  • Michael Driver, "One Day More"
  • Michael Driver, "A Short Catalogue" (filk, Frere Jacques)
  • C.T. Cap, "Chenie: Gambit"
  • Michael Driver, "The Entertainer"
  • Michael Macomber, "Lonely"
  • Jacqui Topp, "It Wasn't All Lies"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Memorial on the Planet Kaarn"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Reflections of the Soul-- Servalan"
  • A. Hamilton, "A Forest in the Firelight"
  • Michael Macomber, "A Keepsake"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Trust"
  • Michael Macomber, "I Was with Blake"
  • C.T. Cap, "Requiem"
  • Michael Macomber, "Silence: For Kerr Avon"
  • Michael Macomber, "... if I was right..."
  • Teri Sarick, "The Companion"
  • Michael Macomber, "Flower"
  • Jacqui Topp, "These Foolish Things"
  • Michael Macomber, "Cold as a Dragon's Heart"
  • Michael Macomber, "Legacy (For Vila)"
  • C.T. Cap, "Conversation"

Art:

  • Mary Gerstner (front cover), Maria Letters, Kate Knepper, Kathleen Coy, Leah Rosenthal, Annie Hamilton, Denise Loague, Suzie Molnar, Wilma Douglas, Michael Williams, Jennifer Tift, Jean B. Hubb, Adrian Morgan, Kathy Hanson

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

See reactions and reviews for Choices.

Issue 6

cover of issue #6, Leah Rosenthal

Gambit 6 was published in August 1990 and contains 296 pages.

Fiction:

  • Teresa Ward, "Decisions"
  • Aya Katz, "Intercepted Transmission"
  • Ruth Berman, "A Game of Pyramids"
  • Leigh Arnold, "Reckoning"
  • Paulie Kay, "Rosetta"
  • Ann Wortham and Leah Rosenthal, "Night of the Living Ice Cream"
  • Lorna Breshears, "Jumble Sale"
  • Cami, "Forgotten Truths"
  • Michelle Christian, "Things Shared"
  • Margaret Walsh, "Nightmare in Paradise"
  • Beth Nachison, "Justice"
  • Mary Gerstner, "The Guilt That Never Sleeps"
  • Jean Graham, "Mourning"
  • Catherine Kendall, "After the Fire"
  • Margaret Walsh, "The Last Entry"
  • Jean B. Hubb, "The Setup"
  • Sophia R. Mulvey, "Escape from Darkness"
  • April Giordano-Grisalfi, "Feel the Reaper"
  • Irene Stubbs, "Regency"
  • Lorna Breshears, "The Way Out"
  • Robert Collins, "Rebel Reunion"
  • Lorna Breshears, "Refraction"
  • Sheila Paulson, "Program" (Jabberwocky universe; reprinted in Jabberwocky Collected and Jabberwocky #3.)
  • Pat Dunn and Diana Smith, "New Beginnings"
  • Pat Dunn and Diana Smith, "Memories"

Nonfiction:

  • Jean Graham, "Editor's Elocution"
  • Sandy Van Densen, "Computer Writer's Guidelines from the Assistant Editor"
  • Teri Sarick, "From the Home Office on Star One: Top Ten Blake's Seven Lines"
  • Teri Sarick, "The Blake's 7 Routine"
  • Letters of Comment
  • Zine ads

Puzzles:

  • Paulie Kay, "Word Searches One and Two"
  • Katherine S. Cremona, "Quotation Puzzle"
  • Paulie Kay, "Kriss Kross One"
  • Katherine S. Cremona, "Blake's 7 Word Jumble"
  • Paulie Kay, "Kriss Kross Two"

Poetry:

  • Melissa Mastoris, "Anna"
  • Roxie Ray, "Rooms on Fire" (filk)
  • Michael J. Macomber, "Breakdown"
  • Michael J. Macomber, "The Beast Within"
  • Teresa Ward, "For Maryatt"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Change of Heart"
  • Teri Sarick, "A Midnight Visit"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Servalan" (filk, Jessica by Rick Springfield)
  • Jean Stroud, "Don't Cry for Me, Freedom" (filk, Don't Cry for Me, Argentina)
  • Michael J. Macomber, "Recollection"
  • Roxie Ray, "What I Had to Do" (filk, Just a Job to Do by Genesis)
  • Michael J. Macomber, "A Glance: For Cally"
  • Michael Williams, "Space Fatigue"
  • Teri Sarick, "Obsessions"
  • Teri Sarick, "Silver Light"
  • Roxie Ray, "Soolin" (filk, Sussudio by Phil Collins)
  • Lorna Breshears, "Camoflage"
  • Anne Collins Smith, "Cally Recalled"
  • Lorna Breshears, "Writers' Clay"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Chains"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "The Waiting"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Deva"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "A Final Scream"
  • Teresa Sarick, "Rebel Heart" (filk, Hungry Heart)
  • Melissa Mastoris, "No Danger Without Pleasure"
  • Michael J. Macomber, "Weapon"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Kiss of Death"
  • Roxie Ray, "Simply Reprehensible" (filk, Simply Irresistible by Robert Palmer)

Art:

  • Leah Rosenthal (front cover), Michael William, Tanje, Diana English, Denise Loague, Katherine Cremona, Mary Gerstner, Suzie Molnar


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

[Night of the Living Ice Cream]: A Bizarro 7 story and the only one you'll find posted here on our website. All of our other Bizarro 7 stories are still to be found available in the reprinted The Bizarro Zine 1-4. We're going to have a Bizarro website up and running soon (similar to the Hellhound website), so be sure to check it out when you see it announced. In the meantime, here's the last Bizarro 7 story Leah and I ever wrote. We had plans for many more and some of them even have notes written up but, alas, we've never returned to the land of wacky, duck-loving rebels. [9]
[Mourning]: ... though I'm usually an admirer of Jean Graham's writing she lost me in Mourning when Vila thought resentfully about Orac's part in the Malodaar incident—and they hadn't even left Terminal yet; Let's do the Time Warp. [10]

[zine2]: American genzine with stories, printed in series order, poetry, puzzles, filks, letters of comment and drawings. There are three each from series A & B, five from C, four from D and nine PGP, so Blake, Jenna and Gan fans may go short. Front cover is a colour drawing by Leah Rosenthal of Avon, Vila and a rather virulent ice-cream sundae. There are far too many items contained in Gambit 6's closely typed pages to discuss each one, but the overall standard is pretty high.

Many of the shorter stories are especially good. "Intercepted transmission" by Aya Katz is a succinct interpretation of Avon and Cally's attitudes to one another early on which manages to say a good deal in just over two pages. Only slightly longer is "A game of pyramids" by Ruth Berman which is a very nicely observed conversation between Blake, Jenna and Vila on the niceties of crime and ethics, and the advantages of being a Delta. "Rosetta" by Paulie Kay also uses the "there's more to Vila than meets the eye" angle. My favourite however was "Mourning" by Jean Graham, a way above average post-Terminal encounter between Vila and Avon.

Humorous stories are often the most difficult to sustain and "Jumble sale" by Lorna Breshears rather outstays its welcome. The reverse is true of "Night of the living ice-cream" By Ann Wortham and Leah Rosenthal, a self-explanatory Bizzarro 7 story with a really great ending.

Among the longer pieces, "Justice" is a thoughtful story in which the sister of a Federation trooper killed in one of Blake's attacks looks to revenge him.

In "Forgotten truths" by Teresa Ward and Cami Tarrant's amnesia is used by the Federation against his Liberator colleagues.

"Escape from darkness" is an enjoyable alternative PGP in which everyone survives and Avon suffers and gets forgiven in what may be a relatively happy ending, no less....

In contrast "Refraction" by Lorna Breshears is a chilling PGP tale about Blake and Vila which is the reverse of happy, though Vila gets to do the decent thing.

Three of the longer stories are part of a series, which may or may not concern you. I was a bit disappointed to have so much of the zine occupied by them, but that's personal to me, not a comment on their quality.

"The guilt that never sleeps" arises from Cally's early life and follows a story published in an earlier Gambit (3?). Although the writing is good, especially in the opening and closing scenes between Avon and Cally, I felt the portrayal both of her and of Vila was too much at variance with their series' characters.

"After the fire" is a sequel to "Naked eye " in Gambit 5 by Catherine Kendall; there is at least one more episode in a later Gambit. This story centres on Dayna, Tarrant and Vila. As I've read the later episode first and haven't yet found the first one, I can't really judge how good this is overall.

"Program" is a Jabberwocky story by Sheila Paulson featuring Dayna in a manner of speaking. The Jabberwocky stories represent a coherent universe and are all undeniably well-written, but as I personally find it difficult to get really involved in them I similarly wouldn't want to venture an opinion on how this one rates. Jabberwocky and where to find it

Of the remaining stories, I thought "New beginnings" and "Memories", both Avon and Vila stories by Diana Smith and Pat Dunn had more than a touch of the Mary Sues. "Reckoning" by Leigh Arnold involves Avon's brother, and doesn't say much that is new. [11]

[zine]: 'There are plenty of things that can be done badly in a fanzine. Bad presentation, bad art, bad concept bad writing. In fact, so many things can go wrong it seems amazing that any zines make it to the market much less any good ones. I'm pleased to add Jean Graham's Gambit 6 to my list of the ones that beat the odds.

Gambit 6 is a slick, professionally-presented publication. The sheer size of it is daunting, or — if you're a glutton for Blake's 7 literature like me — absolutely intoxicating. There are a total of 25 short stories, drawn from every series. Naturally, they can't all be great, but the vast majority are, at least, competently executed I counted up my votes for favorites after I'd read the zine cover-to-cover twice, and was mildly surprised to find seven I felt were deserving of specific praise.

Intercepted Transmissions, a very nice story by Aya Katz, did an interesting turn on the issue of Cally's telepathy. I found Lorna Brashears' Jumble Sale a wonderful slice of the lighter side of the Liberator; I've always suspected Jenna of collecting revealing underwear. Jean Graham gave us a darkly effective vision of Terminal in Mourning. Irene Stubbs' Regency is a unique work, noteworthy especially for her use of Zen and Orac as main characters.

Refraction by Lorna Brashears is a beautifully realized piece on Vila's last confrontation with Blake. Program, a Jabberwocky story by Sheila Paulson, was my first introduction to the series, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Saving the best for last, I have to count Justice by Beth Nachison as an outstanding piece of fiction. Not fan fiction. Fiction, period. This work didn't strike any false notes for me either in concept or execution, and it drives home the inevitable gap between justice and revenge. Beth is a fine writer. I look forward to reading more of her in the future.

My approval is not quite unreserved for this collection. I felt that Mary Gerstner's The Guilt That Never Sleeps was an experiment that got out of hand, a story that seemed barely in control of its premise for most of its length. It was especially tragic that the work contained several nicely realized scenes — scenes that were lost in the failure of the premise in total. Paradoxically, the artwork was outstanding.

I had serious reservations about the two collaborations between Pat Dunn and Diana Smith, New Beginnings and Memories, and no moments of pleasure. I never bought into the character of Anthea Marden, and I couldn't see Avon doing it either — even after Gauda Prime The uncomfortable placement of these two weak stories at the end of the zine left me feeling disappointed, especially after liking the earlier works so much.

In spite of my reservations on those particular stories, I felt the quality of Gambit 6 was impressive. I haven't even mentioned the outstanding poetry by Michael J. Macomber, Teri Sarick, Anne Collins Smith, Lorna Brashears, Melissa Mastoris — or the vivid artwork by Mary Gerstner and Tanje. I haven't even had time to try the puzzles yet. Suffice to say that although I can't say I loved every story in the zine (and indeed actively disliked at least three) I wasn't in the least sorry to have spent money on this one. And I won't hesitate to spend more on the next issue. [12]

[zine]: "The Good, the Bad, and the Unique" (A blatantly prejudicial, biased non-review of some recent zines.) Before going on, please read this disclaimer. I admit that this considers zine stories for only three things: if they are fair in characterizing Tarrant (The Good) if they greatly misunderstand, malign, or ignore Tarrant (The Bad), if they have some refreshing premise or twist (The Unique). I will not comment on quality of good writing and will ignore or pan stories that are better written than some of "The Good" ones. All ratings are based on my own personal impressions, tastes, and interpretations.

  • [The Good]: Decisions by Ward - Deeta tells De1 that he will be leaving Earth.
  • [The Good]: Tarrant art by Michael Williams
  • [The Good]: Forgotten Truths by Ward & McCoy - amnesia causes Tarrant to forget his desertion from the Federation.
  • [The Good]: Nightmare in Paradise by Margaret Walsh - Someone wants Tarrant.
  • [The Bad]: The Guilt That Never Sleeps by Mary Gerstner - Cally is in trouble and Tarrant's reactions include, "We could just leave her..." and "She's only an alien." (Wasn't Tarrant the one who never deserted a shipmate or did we watch different third seasons?)
  • [The Good]: After the Fire by Catherine Kendall - Tarrant and Dayna begin a relationship after Zeeona's death.
  • [The Good]: Escape from Eertaiess by Mulvey - Just as the crew are about to be berated for not helping Avon during fourth season, it is realized that they had pressures of their own. (What a welcome, and far too often overlooked, admission.)
  • [The Good]: Regency by Irene Stubbs - What happened to Zen after Terminal!
  • [The Good]: Program by Paulson - A Program becomes self aware and it will have ramifications on the Jabberwocky crew with most focus on Avon. (I'd line to see a future story considering more of Tarrant's reactions.)
  • [The Bad]: New Beginnings by Diana Smith and Pat Dunn - Vila and Avon survive GP again, and find some new female shipmates. [13]

Issue 7

front cover of issue #7, Lucia C. Moore -- "The Rivals"
back cover of issue #7, Lucia C. Moore -- "Astonishment"

Gambit 7 was published in June 1991 and contains 288 pages.

Fiction:

  • C.K. Smith, "Blue Skin, Tough Skin"
  • Aya Katz, "One Day in the Life of Anna Grant"
  • .L. Condon, "By Grief Consumed"
  • Margaret Walsh, "By Honour Bound"
  • Sophia R. Mulvey, "A Fool's Trust"
  • Sandy Van Densen, "A Walk in the Shadows"
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Kindred"
  • Paulie Kay, "Max"
  • Linda Knights, "A Box Made of Glass"
  • Jean Stroud, "Interlude in a Bar"
  • Mary Gerstner, "Like a Corpse in a Tomb"
  • C.K. Smith, "Woman to Woman"
  • Jean Stroud, "Smuggler's Blues"
  • Virginia Turpin, "Catalyst"
  • Margaret Walsh, "The Queen's Fool"
  • Teresa Ward, "The Treasure"
  • Lorna Breshears, "The Bewitching Hour"
  • Leigh Moto'oka, "Moments"
  • Cyndi Hubb and Jean B. Hubb, "The Lost Episode"
  • Irene Stubbs, "Double Blind"
  • Ruth Berman, "Garden Comfort"
  • Ruth Berman, "Avon and the Oracle"
  • Michelle Christian, "If There Is But One Man Left"
  • Leigh Moto'oka, "His Brother's Keeper"
  • Roxie Ray, "Improbable Orbit" (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe crossover; reprinted from The Laughing Mutoid #4)
  • Maureen Torrens, "The Lords of Order"
  • Leah Rosenthal and Ann Wortham, "Prone to Disaster"
  • Sheila Paulson, "Overload" (Jabberwocky universe; reprinted in Jabberwocky Collected and Jabberwocky #3)
  • Roxanne Longstreet, "Liberation"
  • Catherine Kendall, "The Sea Refuses No River"
  • Jean Graham, "Fugitive"
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, Pat Dunn, and Diana Smith, "Hold Back the Rain"
  • Brendan O'Cullane, "Waiting for Blake [with apologies to Samuel Beckett...]" (reprinted in Double Vision)

Nonfiction:

  • Jean Graham, "From the Editor"
  • Sandy Van Densen, "Computer Stuff and Such"
  • Letters of Comment
  • Zine ads

Puzzles:

  • Jacquie Topp, "Wordsearch Puzzle"
  • Katherine S. Cremona, "Go Fish"
  • Katherine S. Cremona, "Mixed-up Quotation"
  • Katherine S. Cremona, "Misquotes"

Poetry:

  • Jacqui Topp, "Losing Hand"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Sentenced to Life"
  • Jacqui Topp, "The Paths to Death"
  • Michael Williams, "Aftermath"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Breaking Point"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Puppeteer"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Battle Hymn of the Seven" (filk, "Battle Hymn of the Republic")
  • Teri Sarick, "Care, Avon" (corrected version in Gambit 8)
  • Patricia Blasi, "Kemp Avon and the Queen of Death" (filk, Thomas Rymer)
  • Jacqui Topp, "Blood Money" (filk, Blood Money by Bon Jovi)
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Keezarn: Vila"
  • Teresa Ward, "Duel"
  • Teri Sarick, "Control"
  • Roxie Ray, "I Don't Know Whewre I'm a Gonna Go When the Scorpio Blow" (filk, Volcano, by Jimmy Buffett, Keith Sykes, and Harry Dailey)
  • Nancy Dziergowski, "Poetry: Avon, Vila, Blake, Cally, Dayna, Gan, Jenna, Soolin, Tarrant, Travis, Servalan"
  • Teri Sarick, "Chance"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Mutoid"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "One Final Wish"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Avenger"
  • Roxie Ray, "Something Happened on the Way to Star One" (filk, Something Happened on the Way to Heaven, by Phil Collins and Daryl Stuermer)
  • Teri Sarick, "I'm Going Back for Cally" (filk, Cally's, by LL Cool J)
  • Teresa Ward, "Little Brother"
  • Teri Sarick, "Avon Sings: Blake Needs Me" (filk, As Long As He Needs Me)
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Meegat's Deliverance"
  • Teri Sarick, "Gimme Avon After Midnight" (filk, Gimme A Man After Midnight, by Erasure)
  • Teri Sarick, "Winds of Avon" (filk, Windy, by Ruthann Friedman/Association)
  • Teri Sarick, "The Unknown Filk"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Mistress of Darkness"

Art:

  • Lucia C. Moore (front and cover), Denise Loague, T.L. Condon, Michael Williams, Katherine Cremona, Sophia R. Mulvey, Suzie Molnar, Leah Rosenthal, Mary Gerstner, Fliss Davies, Leigh Moto'oka, Teresa Ward, Jacqui Topp

Issue 8

cover of issue #8, Lucia C. Moore
back cover of issue #8, Linda Garlick

Gambit 8 was published in February 1992 and contains 284 pages.

Fiction:

  • Nancy Dziergowski, "And Miles to Go Before I Sleep"
  • Jean B. Hubb, "The Observer"
  • April Giordano & Mary Gerstner, "Ghost"
  • Tom Beck, "Gypsy"
  • Sandra Basham, "Retreat and Reconciliation"
  • Jennifer Smallwood, "The Surreal Path"
  • Lorna Breshears, "Fool's Gambit Declined"
  • Brendan O'Cullane & Adrian Morgan, "Remembrance" (reprinted in Double Vision)
  • Alicia Ann Fox, "Open Season"
  • Summer Jackson, "Computer Chat"
  • Paulie Kay, "Trang" (reprinted from Destiny)
  • Ruth Berman, "Blake Free"
  • Teresa Ward & Cami, "Revenge"
  • Margaret Walsh, "An Uneasy Alliance"
  • Summer Jackson, "The Takeover"
  • Patricia Blasi, "A Cornered Rat... May Snap a Thread"
  • Roxie Ray, "Impasse"
  • C.K. Smith, "And Then..."
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, Pat Dunn, & Diana Smith, "Christmas on Skarth"
  • Sophia R. Mulvey, "Consider Me Gone"
  • Catherine Kendall, "Sparks"
  • Margaret Walsh, "Nine Day Galaxy Explorer"
  • Sheila Paulson, "The End of Entropy" won a 1993 FanQ (reprinted in The End of Entropy Trilogy)
  • Cheufell Doshier, "The Drunk"
  • Jean B. Hubb, "The Participant"
  • Nancy Dziergowski, "Avon... Who?"

Nonfiction:

  • Jean Graham, "Editorial Musings"
  • Sandy Van Densen, "Co-editor's Page"
  • Teri Sarick, "Blake's 7 Knocks 'Em Dead"
  • Letters of Comment
  • Zine ads

Puzzles:

  • Katherine S. Cremona, "Word Jumble"
  • Teri Sarick, "Sci-Fi Word Search"
  • Teri Sarick, "Blake's 7-Eleven"
  • Katherine S. Cremona, "MisQuotes"

Poetry:

  • Jackie Black, "Friends"
  • Michael Williams, "Vila"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Heart of Stone" (filk, Heart of Stone, by Cher)
  • Jacqui Topp, "Just a Dream"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Deadlier Than the Male"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Homeward Bound-- The Trooper's Song" (filk, Homeward Bound, by Simon & Garfunkel)
  • Michael Williams, "Beginnings"
  • Michael Williams, "Cosmos Run"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "A Daughter's Duty"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Gauda Prime: Avon"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Vindication"
  • Michael Williams, "An Avon Lament"
  • Michael Williams, "Ode to Anna"
  • Michael Williams, "An Avon Lament #2"
  • Michael Williams, "Avon: Post-Anna Grant"
  • Teri Sarick, "Care, Avon" (correct version of poem from Gambit #7)
  • Teri Sarick, "Justice"
  • Jackie Black, "Final Storm"
  • Michelle Christian, "Safety"
  • Jackie Black, "Castles of Sand"
  • Jackie Black, (Untitled)
  • Teri Sarick, "One Rebel Gone: Avon Sings" (filk, And When I Die, by Laura Nyro)
  • Teri Sarick, "Simple Answers"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Gan"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Blake's Cause"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Partners in Crime"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Where Are You?"
  • Michelle Christian, "Last Thoughts"
  • Michelle Christian, "Half Sick of Shadows"
  • Jackie Black, "The Price"
  • Jackie Black, (Untitled)

Art:

  • Lucia C. Moore (front cover), Linda Garlick (back cover), Michael Williams, Denise Loague, Fliss Davies, Cindy Brink, Katherine Cremona, Jacqui Topp, Suzie Molnar, Leigh Moto'oka, Derrin

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 8

Massive amount of zine for the price, densely packed pages but a nice clear print. Contents include a splendid PGP from Sheila Paulson, and particularly good stuff from O'Cullane/Morgan, Ward/McCoy and Ruth Berman.

"And Miles to Go before I sleep" draws from Paul Darrow's book, starting before Avon's birth and ends with his entering the Federation Academy. The writing is somewhat stilted and character development cursory, telling the reader what happens rather than demonstrating it, so it's difficult for the reader to feel involved.

"The Observer" has Avon contemplating existence in a holding cell before leaving for Cygnus Alpha, and watching Vila, Jenna and Blake. Typically Avon and nicely observed.

Gan's ghost haunts Liberator among lots of in-jokes in the playful "Ghost". "Gypsy" is a thirty page story written in a very stylised manner. Blake and co. are pursued by Travis, who with Blake becomes involved with a gypsy-like tribe while the rest of the crew on Liberator try to avoid pursuit ships. The plot and characterisation are okay, but the mannered prose and constant use of the present tense quickly becomes irritating, as does the gypsies' dialect and the overt mysticism.

The twenty-page "Retreat and Reconciliation" starts with Blake and a surly Avon holding talks with a group of rebels, and then develops into a n investigation of Avon's past. I t has some sensitively written scenes, especially between Avon and Vila, but I didn't really buy the ending.

"The Surreal Path" is another mystical story, this time of the witches and warlocks variety, in which Avon is transformed. If you like fantasy of this type, this is a good example, and not without a sense of humour.

"Fool's Gambit Declined" is an ingenious light hearted alternative Gambit. "Remembrance" starts after the Shivon debacle. Blake decides he needs to undergo therapy to restore his damaged memory, and Avon must help. Excellent story with some interesting twists.

In "Open Season" Cally and an injured - not too seriously - Avon are trapped in a monitor station. Blake has a characteristic last word. A simple but discerning story which gets across their companionship rather than going for angst.

"Trang" has Vila and Avon unconvincingly declaring their undying glove, caring, friendship etc in an embarrassingly contrived plot.

Avon ponders on the past and future at the start of series 3 in "Blake Free". Very believable characterisation and acute observation.

"Revenge" is an alternative continuation of Terminal in which Tarrant has apparently been abandoned until found by Servalan. Convincingly written.

"An Uneasy Alliance" sees Dayna and Servalan forming a temporary alliance to escape from a harem. This one I could not believe.

A morose, post-Malodaar Vila teleports down to a colony on business with Soolin in "The Takeover" and ends up in trouble. Has he been abandoned? Does he care?

"A Cornered Rat...May Snap a Thread" is an unusually savage story which starts with Vila's intentions towards Orac and gets bleaker by the minute.

"Impasse" is a two-pager which takes place after Dayna and Tarrant return from Virn. Dayna is confused and Tarrant is surprised.

"And Then" is PGP. Avon and Vila have survived, but who else? Del Grant and Avalon also feature, and Avon winds up in an unexpected and incongruous role.

"Christmas on Skarth" is a fifty-page episode ion a continuing series. It's very cosy in tone, revolving around the love lives of Avon, Blake and Vila and an awful long way from science fiction. As I find this series relentlessly soap-operaish and overly sentimental I didn't enjoy this one, but it's a matter of personal taste. The writing is competent, and the pace well-judged. If you want to luxuriate in the possibilities of domestic bliss for all of them, you should enjoy this.

"Consider Me Gone" is another PGP where Avon and Blake play tricks on one another. Moderately dark in tone.

"Sparks" is a another episode in the convoluted "Xiaodan" saga. Unlike some ongoing series it does give a detailed summary of previous episodes, without which the grateful reader would be truly lost. This series has many different threads, too many for its own good IMHO. It covers various resistance machinations, clones, surgical alterations, slavery, prostitution, personal revelations of every kind, drug addiction, characters who reveal themselves to be really someone else (usually related to Servalan, Avon or whatever) family feuds, imperial liaiaisons lots of new characters, and that's just for starters. You have to admire the writer's breadth of imagination but it's all too much. Individually each thread would make a good story but put together the whole is hard to take.

"Nine Day Galaxy Explorer" is welcome light relief - a brochure advertising the Heroes of the Rebellion tour. If it's Day Three it must be Exbar.

"The End of Entropy" is yet another skilful and subtle story from Sheila Paulson. Avon and a sullen Vila are unexpectedly free after Gaude Prime and go off together with the ultimate aim of hunting down Servalan. This is a brilliant story, so I won't say anything more about it.

If you can take Vila as president, surrounded by prattling grandchildren and Supreme Commander Tarrant, you might conceivably like "The Drunk".

The last two stories cone under the heading of Other Dimensions. In "The Participant" a fan gets to be part of the series videotape and takes more of a part than was expected. "Avon... Who" covers similar ground to "Cheeseboard". [14]

Gambit #8 is, as expected, slick, impressive, and an awful lot of zine for the money. Not as much Tarrant as one might hope, but he is featured in a few stories. "Revenge," by Teresa Ward and Carol McCoy, postulates that it's Tarrant instead of Cally who's caught in the explosion on Terminal. Rescued by Servalan, he survives— hardened and bitter. Those of you who like a tough Tarrant should love this one.

"An Uneasy Alliance," by Margaret Walsh, has Dayna and Servalan captured and imprisoned in a harem together. They need each other to escape — but I'm not sure that Dayna wouldn't throttle Servalan any way, to hell with the consequences. Still, a story postulating that Dayna and Servalan can be allies, even for a short while, is refreshingly different and worth reading.

And speaking of Dayna, there's "Impasse," by Roxie Ray. a brief piece which deals with how Dayna reconciles with Tarrant after Vim.

"And Then...."" by C.K. Smith, is a strange story. Somehow. I can't imagine Avon being happy, retired on Kaarn with 5.000 Auron babies (even with Orac for company)! Still, there is a nice scene between Avon and Tarrant (even if Tarrant's not conscious for it). And it's hinted that there's a sequel or two planned.

"Sparks" is another installment of Catherine Kendall's Xiaodan saga. Great Tarrant, needless to say, including some hints about his childhood. (Avon hasn't got dibs on miserable childhoods!)

"The End of Entropy," by Sheila Paulson, also has some delicious Tarrant. It's a PGP, in which poor Tarrant gets brainwashed into forgetting Avon and Co. I'd like to see how he recovers from this. Blake might prove helpful, as he's been through a similar experience. Sheila's hinted that there'll be a sequel; I can hardly wait.

The LoC column in Gambit is always one of the high points of the zine. There's quite a bit of commentary on Tarrant this time, as the previous issue, Gambit #7, had an excellent Tarrant quotient.

Gambit #8 is almost 300 pages, reduced. Despite the small print, it's very readable,being computer type set and laser-printed. Graphically, the zine is gorgeous, with a color cover and lots of well-reproduced interior art. (Minor nit-pick: I'd like to see more actual illustrations. The art leans heavily toward generic portraits, and seems to be placed almost randomly at times. For example, why was Fliss Davies' Tarrant portrait used to illustrate Paulie Kay's "Trang," a Vila story?) [15]

Issue 9

front cover of issue #9, Lucia Casarella Moore
back cover of issue #9

Gambit 9 was published in October 1992 and contains 270 pages.

Fiction:

  • Jean B. Hubb, "Useful Functions"
  • Summer Jackson, "Subliminal Messages"
  • Sandra Basham, "Revelations and Resolutions" (sequel to "Retreat and Reconciliation" in #8)
  • Alicia Ann Fox, "Unreal City"
  • Ginevra Syn, "Hot Fudge & Candy Kisses"
  • Paulie Kay, "The Decision"
  • Nancy Dziergowski, "What Vila Knows"
  • Alan Moravian, "Master of All He Surveys"
  • Irene Stubbs, "Liberation"
  • Jean Graham, "Hecate Waits" (reprinted from Powerplay 4)
  • Cheufell Doshier, "Curiousities Killed the Cat"
  • Lorna Breshears, "Letting Go"
  • Jean Graham, "Sacrifice and Betrayal"
  • Teresa Ward and Cami, "Bitter Recoil" (sequel to "Revenge" in #8)
  • Sondra Sweigman, "Appearances Can Be Deceiving"
  • Alisha Lyons, "Refractivity"
  • Helen Parkinson, "Opening the Door"
  • Catherine Kendall, "Dreams of Youth"
  • Patti E. McClellan, "No Absolution"
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Charade"
  • S.R. Mowatt, "Dead Men Tell No Tales"
  • Summer Jackson, "A Final Act of Mercy"
  • Maggie Alexander, "Turning Point"
  • Jacqui Topp, "The Dead Travis Sketch"
  • Pearl Stickler, "Mary Sue"

Nonfiction:

  • Jean Graham, "Editor's 2-Cents Worth"
  • Jean Graham, "Superscore" (puzzle)
  • Ruth Berman, "Blake's Gambit" (explanation of the speed chess games in "Gambit")
  • ORmAC, "Bounties" (puzzle)
  • ORmAC, "Good vs. Evil" (puzzle)
  • ORmAC, "B7 Cryptogram" (puzzle)
  • Shirley de Meyer, "Quotes, etc." (puzzle)
  • Shirley de Meyer, "Mixed Up/The Episodes" (puzzle)
  • Shirley de Meyer, "Mixed Names" (puzzle)
  • Letters of Comment
  • Puzzle Answers
  • Zine ads

Poetry:

  • Shirley de Meyer, "Rebel Scum" (filk, Devil's Gun)
  • Shirley de Meyer, "Hold On, Avon"
  • Shirley de Meyer, "Servalan"
  • Teri Sarick, "Burnt Roses"
  • Shirley de Meyer, "Little Avon" (filk, Little David)
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Friends"
  • Michael Williams, "An Unfitting End"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Victim of Obsession"
  • Teri Sarick, "Black on Black Forever"
  • Shirley de Meyer, "Anna"
  • Teri Sarick, "Snow"
  • Paulie Kay, "Well Well"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Dearest Traitor"
  • Shirley de Meyer, "Rebel Avon"
  • Nancy Dziergowski, "Klyn"
  • Michael Williams, "An Avon Lament"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Memories of Kerril"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Vila's Vow"
  • Shirley de Meyer, "Dreams"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Brothers"
  • Shirley de Meyer, "Disguise"
  • Shirley de Meyer, "Walls"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Ice Maiden"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Dayna"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Auronae Woman"
  • Shirley de Meyer, "I Know You"
  • Paulie Kay, "Friends or Enemies"
  • Teri Sarick, "Dark Impressions"
  • Michael Williams, "An Avon Lament-- II"

Art:

  • Lucia Casarella Moore (front cover), Michael Williams, Jean B. Hubb, Cindy Brink, Jacqui Topp, Pam Whitelark, Shirley de Meyer, S.R. Mowatt, Ruth Berman, Cheufell Doshier, Todd Parrish, Derrin, Denise Loague, D. Corley

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 9

"Gambit has shown fairly steady improvement as the years have gone by and the number of issues has increased. Physically, it's nice to have the perfect"perfect binding", which both mails and stacks much easier than spiral binding.

The color covers lately have been pretty nice, too, though the interior art doesn't always match up. Issue 9 was a fairly good read, not quite as exceptional as issue 8 but having several stories that deviated from the plots everyone occasionally feels the need to use. For example, "Hot Fudge and Candy Kisses" was definitely the WEIRDEST trash-Avon story I have ever seen in my life, and I've read a lot of zines. It was even weirder than the one where he (or was it Blake?) was made pregnant in a weird Federation experiment (the title had something to do with seahorses)-- sorry for that brief run off track, but I haven't thought about that story in years... anyway. Back to Gambit. "Hot Fudge..." was not only weird but very funny, a good combination. I won't spoil the story though. My other favorite was a (just barely) fifth series called "A Final Act of Mercy"-- it takes place immediately after the end of "Blake", and gave a choice for one of the characters that I don't think I've seen before-- high rankings for originality. I wish I could trek my copy of the zine on the subway so I could make more detailed comments...

Oh, yes, there was one entitled, appropriately, "Mary Sue", which was kind of fun. The idea of a "Mary Sue" character is so stigmatized that people don't seem to play with it very much, even in this kind of self-aware way. The fan in the story is snatched from her home and dumped in some inter-dimensional wasteland, where she meets Avon."[16]

Issue 10

Gambit 10 was published in June 1993 and contains 291 pages. It won a 1994 FanQ for best Blake's 7 zine.

front cover of issue #10, Lucia Casarella Moore -- "Frankly Blake, I Don't Give a Damn"
back cover of issue #10, Lucia Casarella Moore -- "Brat"

Fiction:

  • Helen Parkinson, "Small World/Large Project"
  • Jean B. Hubb, "Memories"
  • Ruth Berman, "Alien Welcome"
  • Nancy Dziergowski, "Detour"
  • Ruth Berman, "Changing the Guard"
  • Sheila Paulson, "Tribute"
  • Judith Seaman, "A Healing Touch"
  • Sondra Sweigman, "Aftermath: Blake's Story"
  • Alan Moravian, "Fail Safe"
  • Sharon Ann Campbell, "Rumours of Death (A What-If Version)"
  • Helen Parkinson, "Only Human After All"
  • "E," "Faithful Black" (partially reprinted from Input #2)
  • Betsy R. Miller, "Powerplay Twice"
  • Alice Aldridge, "The Best Revenge"
  • Lorna Breshears, "The Stone's Throw"
  • Cheufell Doshier, "Vila's Tall Tale: Servalan Gets Hers"
  • Patti E. McClellan, "Deliver Us From Heroes"
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "State of the Art"
  • Rebecca Donahue, "Queenmaker"
  • Rebecca Donahue, "A Day in the Life"
  • Rebecca Donahue, "Truth and Consequences"
  • S.R. Mowatt, "Day of the Bounty Hunter"
  • Catherine Kendall, "Pretending"
  • Melanie Chinen, "Only Mistaken" won a 1994 FanQ.
  • Marian Mendez, "Limits" (real world crossover)
  • S.R. Mowatt, "From the Log of the H@!!hound: The Final Entry" (Hellhound parody)

Nonfiction:

  • Jean Graham, "A Word from the Editor"
  • ORmAC, "Linked LIves" (puzzle)
  • S.R. Mowatt, "B7 Crossword" (puzzle)
  • S.R. Mowatt, "B7 Word Search" (puzzle)
  • Letters of Comment
  • Puzzle answers
  • Zine ads

Poetry:

  • Sheila Paulson, "Avon" (filk, Vincent, by Don McLean)
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Lost Trust"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Epitaphs"
  • Michael Williams, "All for a Cup"
  • Jacqui Topp, "The Rebel"
  • Teri Sarick, "Death Blow"
  • Shirley de Meyer, "Blake"
  • Jacqui Topp, "The Tale of the Black Knight"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Kerr Avon's Lament" (filk, Achy Breaky Heart, by Billy Ray Cyrus)
  • Teri Sarick, "Desperation"
  • Teri Sarick, "Lost Causes"
  • Patti E. McClellan, "Misapprehension" (also in Rallying Call #11)
  • ORmAC, "Opposing Sides"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Playing the Game"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Serious Doubts"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Kasabi"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Pretty Lady"
  • Shirley de Meyer, "And There Was"

Art:

  • Lucia Casarella Moore (covers), Cynthia Brink, Jean B. Hubb, Whitby27, Michael Williams, S.R. Mowatt, Shirley de Meyer, Suzie Molnar, Jacqui Topp, Cheufell Doshier, Denise Loague

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 10

I can't say I've read any outstanding zines lately, though "Gambit 10" has a higher than average Blake quotient several above-average stories, including one novel-length one, a sequel to Alice Aldridge's Necessary Sacrifices, which appeared in Roads Not Taken. [17]
Back again with another zine under my belt, so to speak. This time I will only mention my favorites as this zine always has way too many offerings to consider.

SMALL WORLD, LARGE PROJECT by Helen Parkinson. Blake meets Avon on the Aquitar project when Avon is injured. Interesting view of both men, especially a Blake that is compassionate yet not perfect.

CHANGING THE GUARD by Ruth Berman. Blake (with Jenna) goes back to Ensor's planet to help the injured Travis. Blake appears as realistic, displaying compassion and practicality while Servalan gets in her digs about his enjoyment of sex.

TRIBUTE by Sheila Paulson. Christmas on the Liberator after Gan's death with a guilty Blake. Avon gives Blake a special present (no Sue, not that present!).

AFTERMATH:BLAKE'S STORY by Sondra Sweigman. Blake and Jenna meet up with Deva and Klyn after Star One. Nice treatment of both their characters and the reasons behind Blake's decision not to return.

THE STONE'S THROW by Lorna Breshears. I liked it but I'm not sure why. Usually I hate stories where Blake dies, and here it is at the hands of his "huddled masses". I guess the tragedy of it appeals to me as does Blake's innocence. Sometimes he really does seem too good to survive. It also reminded me of the Blake as messiah theme but I'm not sure why.

DAY OF THE BOUNTY HUNTER by S.R. Mowatt. Interesting, I want to read more. Who is calling himself Ensor? Could it be Blake? Where is ORAC? Fascinating! Who is Nikki?

FILKS -AVON by Sheila Paulson. Terrific, as usual.

POEMS - THE TALE OF THE BLACK KNIGHT by Jacqui Topp. Loved it, it gave me the shivers.

The cover was fab too. By Lucia Casarella Moore "Frankly Blake, I don't give a damn. The boys at their best."[18]

Gambit #10 is, as always, a great value for your dollar. It's perfect bound, with a full-color cover and almost 300 pages of reduced but beautifully readable type. Out of that total, less than 70 pages are devoted to pre-"Star One" stories; as might be expected, the Tarrant quotient is pretty darned decent. He's even on the back cover!

A sampling... Alan Moravian's "Fail Safe" depicts Tarrant favorably, though Avon fens may not be pleased. In Helen Parkinson's "Only Human After All," Avon is bitten by a poisonous lizard while trying to protect Tarrant. Betsy Miller's "Powerplay Twice" is an interesting view ofthe early 3rd series, when Tarrant was not yet fully accepted by the others. Betsy avoids the common trap of making Tarrant the one always in the wrong; in this story, it's Avon who's wrong, and Cally's not shy about saying so. Yes!

Alice Aldridge's "The Best Revenge" is a tad disappointing; it's very, very long, but most of it is concerned with Jenna, Travis, and a bunch of original characters. The rest of the gang do show up at the very end, though, and Tarrant gets to be a hero (and gets brained for his trouble). Then there's an odd trilogy by Rebecca Donahue, about the next generation of rebels. Servalan has a son, not by Avon but by Tarrant! I wasn't too keen on these stories, since the crew all get killed off early on, but the kids are interesting in their own right.

The most frustrating story in the zine was "Day of the Bounty Hunter" by S. R. Mowatt. It ends right at the most interesting part, when a reprogrammed Tarrant boards our heroes' ship in order to take them prisoner. Arrgh! There better be a sequel! There's also "Pretending," a long Xiaodan story by Catherine Kendall, and "Never Mistaken," a PGP starring Tarrant by Melanie Chinen.

Jean always prints her LoCs; they are the part of the zine I read first. This time, fans are clamoring for more stories in Carol McCoy and Teresa Ward's "Revenge"/"Bitter Recoil" universe — even fens who don't usually like Tarrant stories! Joan Wakeman, a British fen, makes an observation that I've often made myself: that American zines "seem inclined toward the intense and soul-searching, far more that the UK zines which make more mileage out of the "gung-ho aspects of the programme." And Irene Stubbs" letter got me thinking; she commented that most of the stories were either Series B or PGPs. Series C came in third, with little interest evident in Series A or D. She implies that this is a persistent pattern, so I checked it out. Nope, it was just a fluke. It's true that there are always more PGPs than anything else, and that there are always relatively few pre-Series A or Series A stories. The rest varies considerably. In past issues. Series B. C. and D have all had their share of attention. Series C comes out well ahead of B overall, while D lags slightly. I hadn't realized that Series D was neglected: I wonder why more people don't write 4th series stories? Have to keep this in mind for future issues... [19]

Issue 11

Gambit 11 was published in March 1994 and contains 280 pages.

cover of issue #11, Lucia Casarella Moore
flyer for issue #11

Fiction:

  • Jean B. Hubb, "Foolish Things"
  • Lorna Breshears, "The Tell-Tale Heart" (reprinted from The Liberator’s Log, newsletter of the Cygnus Alphans)
  • Maddog, "Softly Comes the End"
  • Judith Seaman, "The First Dance After Freedom"
  • Nancy Dziergowski, "Gambit Revisited"
  • Jean Graham, "Of Renegades and Kings"
  • Sondra Sweigman, "Par for the Curse"
  • Leslie Boucher, "The Power of Suggestion"
  • Alicia Ann Fox, "Factions"
  • Lee Vibber, "Regret"
  • Alice Aldridge, "Queen's Gambit"
  • Alan Moravian, "Rest in Peace"
  • Helen Parkinson, "First Catch Your Torturer"
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, "Promises Kept"
  • Melanie Chinen, "Blood Ties"
  • Helen Parkinson, "The Bait in the Trap"
  • Dayle F. Palmer, "Servalan's Demise"
  • Lorna Breshears, "Understudy"
  • Alan Moravian, "Better to Reign in Hell"
  • Patti E. McClellan, "Orbital Decay"
  • Kelson Vibber, "Return to Action"
  • Patti E. McClellan, "Not Entirely Human"
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Inheritor"
  • Catherine Kendall, "Too Much Love Can Kill You"
  • Rebecca Donahue, "Full Circle"
  • Cheufell Doshier, "Vila's Tall Tale II: Snow White and the Seven Blakes"

Nonfiction:

  • Jean Graham, "Editorial Stuff"
  • S.R. Mowatt, "B7 Word Search" (puzzle)
  • S.R. Mowatt, "B7 Quotes Crossword" (puzzle)
  • Nancy Dziergowski, "Comparisons"
  • Puzzle answers
  • Letters of Comment
  • Zine ads

Poetry:

  • Jacqui Topp, "Open Leter to an Idealist"
  • Jackie Black, "The Cause"
  • Jackie Black, "Vila"
  • Catherine Salmon, "Idealist"
  • Jackie Black, "Lost Child"
  • Catherine Salmon, "The Ties that Bind"
  • Catherine Salmon, "Trust"
  • Catherine Salmon, "Sacrifices of War"
  • Jacqui Topp, "The Promise (Star One)"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Farewell"
  • Jackie Black, "Adversaries"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Return to Darkness"
  • Jackie Black, "La Danse Macabre"
  • Catherine Salmon, "Annihilation"
  • Jackie Black, "Lament for a Lost Love"
  • Catherine Salmon, "Destiny"
  • Jackie Black, "Haunted Eyes"

Art:

  • Lucia Casarella Moore (front cover), Shari L. Kay, Whitby27, Michael Williams, S.R. Mowatt, Jacqui Topp, Catherine Kendall, Denise Loague, Cheufell Doshier

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 11

"I very much enjoyed Lorna B.'s two pieces (as usual), especially the way she took the cherished fannish belief that Avon is equivalent to the Tin Man in Wizard of Oz to its logical conclusion.

However, the story that most drives me to comment is Lee Vibber's "Regret", which I thought was excellently done: it was a serious, fairly realistic approach to rape, involving Cally, a Federation guard, and Avon's unwilling witnessing of the event.

My comments revolve around the "This story is rated R" warning placed by Jean Graham I assume at the beginning of the story. I am puzzled by this b/c another story in the zine which I only skimmed by Catherine Kendall also had rape, this time of Dayna, as a plot(?) feature, not to mention someone stabbing himself until stopped by another Plot Complication. Yet there was no "R for Rape" warning on this story. Not has Jean ever put a warning on any story in which characters have sex (admittedly there are few of these in Gambit). Any speculations as to why this may have been done? Was it because "Regret" was less of a fantasy because of its serious intent? Was the warning intended for younger readers who might be upset by the R-word? If so, why no warning for the Kendall story with its rape, torture, and near-suicide?"[20]

Issue 12

Gambit 12 was published in November 1994 and contains 275 pages. It won a 1995 FanQ.

cover of issue #12
flyer for issue #12, plus back issues

Fiction:

  • Judith M. Seaman, "Mirror of Gestures"
  • C.K. Smith, "Plans for a Stormy Night"
  • Alan Moravian, "Wanted: An Enemy"
  • Lorna Breshears, "Heavy Petting"
  • Leslie Boucher, "The Mines of Wymar"
  • Judith M. Seaman, "Liability for Harm"
  • C.K. Smith, "Parable"
  • Patti E. McClellan, "Alien Philosophy"
  • Pat Jacquerie, "What Rough Beast?" ("Author's Note: Amazingly enough, I'd actually dated this manuscript, so I know I completed it in September 1994, after which it was published in Gambit 12. It's archived here with the editor's permission. I don't think this story is altogether bad, but the fact is that I got almost no comments on it when it was published…just one male Cally fan said he liked it. So I can't help but think it's missing something, and in retyping it for the archive it strikes me there is too much concept for such a relatively short story.. But I had fun with it and am using a variation on the genetic manipulation theme in another, adult story, involving Cally and Auron.")
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, "Riders on the Storm"
  • Jean B. Hubb, "A Charitable Man"
  • Michelle R. Moyer, "The Night Hunter"
  • Alice Aldridge, "Picking Up the Pieces"
  • Sondra Sweigman, "After the First Death"
  • Patricia Blasi, "Intervention"
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Back Fire"
  • Curtiss Hoffman, "Exaggerated Rumors"
  • S.R. Mowatt, "Day of the Bounty Hunter (Part 2)"
  • Judith Proctor, "Justice"
  • April Giordano-Gresalfi, "What the Night Can Do"
  • Helen Parkinson, "Experimental Data"
  • Catherine Kendall, "The Wind Must Blow"
  • Alicia Ann Fox, "Dissolution"
  • Cheufell Doshier, "Vila's Tall Tale: The Vacation"
  • Cheufell Doshier, "Vila's Tall Tale: The Pot Gets Even"

Nonfiction:

  • Jean Graham, "Editor's Bit"
  • ORmAC, "Transformations" (puzzle)
  • Nancy Dziergowski, "Who Said?" (puzzle)
  • ORmAC, "Blake's World" (puzzle)
  • ORmAC & Mark II, "Flight Path" (puzzle)
  • Letters of Comment
  • Puzzle answers
  • Zine ads

Poetry:

  • Anonymous, "My Bird"
  • Nancy Dziergowski, "Liberator"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "The Last Auron"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Cally's Thoughts on Avon"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Opposite Sides"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Echo"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "The Great Illusion"
  • Judith Proctor, "One in Ten Thousand" (filk)
  • Judith Proctor, "The Spirit of the Seven" (filk)
  • Judith Proctor, "Avon's Love Life" (filk)
  • Judith Proctor, "Fearless Leader" (filk)
  • Judith Proctor, "Final Thoughts" (filk)
  • Judith Proctor, "Seeking Cygnus Alpha" (filk)
  • Judith Proctor, "The Bitter Taste of Ashes"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Jenna's Lament"
  • Jacqui Topp, "A Damn Fool Way to Die"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Strategies"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Broken Ice"
  • Michael Williams, "A New-Spawned Earth"
  • Michael Williams, "A Torture of Vila"
  • Michael Williams, "An Avon Lament"
  • Michael Williams, "The Dream Weaver Hold"

Art:

  • Lucia Casarella Moore (front cover), Cheufell Doshier, Mary Gerstner, Jean B. Hubb, Denise Loague, S.R. Molnar, Leah Rosenthal, Jacqui Topp, Whitby27 (back cover)

Issue 13

Gambit 13 was published in August 1995 and contains 286 pages.

front cover of issue #13
back cover of issue #13

Fiction:

  • Debra Jacobson, "Blake's Crime"
  • Susan Barrett, "Limited Option"
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Thoughts of a Thief"
  • Michelle R. Moyer, "The One Who Trusts"
  • Debra Jacobson, "The Value of a Memory"
  • Debra Jacobson, "Mind over Machine"
  • Alice Aldridge, "Shattered Reflections"
  • Kathryn Andersen, "The Butterfly Effect"
  • Helen Parkinson, "The Thousandth Man"
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Preservation"
  • Alicia Ann Fox, "Defense"
  • Catherine Kendall, "The Real Me"
  • Mark W. Johnson, "The Chess Match"
  • Jean B. Hubb, "Deja vu"
  • Ginevra Syn, "A Snowball's Chance in Hell"
  • B.M. Cunningham, "Before"
  • Nancy Dziergowski, "While I Was Bathing"
  • S.R. Mowatt, "Day of the Bounty Hunter, Part 3: The Art of Deception"
  • Judith Proctor, "The Price of Justice"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Justice Will Be Served"
  • Patti E. McClellan, "Second Chances"
  • Sheila Paulson, "Lifeblood" (Jabberwocky series 12; reprinted in Jabberwocky Collected and Jabberwocky #3)
  • Sheila Paulson, "Revenant Revenant" (Jabberwocky series 13; reprinted in Jabberwocky Collected and Jabberwocky #3)
  • Cheufell Doshier, "Vila's Tall Tale: The Dream"
  • Cheufell Doshier, "The Mini Stop"
  • Cheufell Doshier, "Vila's Tall Tale: The Little Old Wine Maker's Them"

Nonfiction:

  • Jean Graham, "Editor's Column"
  • ORmAC, "(____)'s Blake's 7 Adventure" (puzzle)
  • ORmAC, "Draw Our Fearless Leader" (puzzle)
  • ORmAC, "Academy Test" (puzzle)
  • Solutions to all puzzles
  • Letters of Comment
  • Zine ads

Poetry:

  • Sondra Sweigman, "Parting Assessments"
  • Judith Proctor, "We're Looking for a Rebel" (filk, We're Looking for a Piano, by Salad Days)
  • Sondra Sweigman, "Stageplay"
  • Michelle Moyer, "Conversation Over Horizon" (filk, Fast Car, by Tracy Chapman)
  • Sondra Sweigman, "Epiphany Too Late"
  • Michelle Moyer, "Such a Long Way Down" (filk, A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall, by Bob Dylan)
  • Sondra Sweigman, "Fanatic"
  • Michelle Moyer, "Jenna's Regrets" (filk, Jennie, by Fairport Convention)
  • Michelle Moyer, "The Pilot's Tale" (filk, Those Were the Days)

Art:

  • Lucia Casarella Moore (front cover), S.R. Mowatt, Whitby27 (back cover), K.A. Marshall, Cheufell Doshier

Issue 14

Gambit 14 was published in November 1996 and contains 328 pages. It won a 1997 FanQ.

cover of issue #14, Lucia Casarella Moore

According to a fan in Rallying Call #16, this issue was to have had a treat: "Blake and Avon paper dolls. They will be wearing swimming suits or something to protect the zine's general G rating." It is unknown if these were included.

Fiction:

  • Chris Blenkarn, "Liberator Training Systems plc"
  • Patti E. McClellan, "The Art of War"
  • Jean Graham, "A Coin for Charon's Hand"
  • Susan Barrett, "A Suitable Punishment"
  • Judith Seaman, "Winning Real Wars"
  • Alice Aldridge, "Snowblind"
  • Susan Barrett, "An Instrument of the Service"
  • Sondra Sweigman, "Harvest of Sopron"
  • Vicki Childs, "The Price of a Friend"
  • Jean B. Hubb, "Degrees of Gratitude"
  • Mark W. Johnson, "To See, or Not to See"
  • Lorna Breshears, "Yawn of the Gods"
  • Helen Parkinson, "Virtual Reality"
  • Mary & Paul Ragis, "Deceptions"
  • Paul Ragis, "The Dream"
  • C.S. Kinsey, "Denouement"
  • Marian Mendez, "Time for a Change" (Doctor Who crossover]]
  • Marla F. Fair, "A Favorite Jewel"
  • Marla F. Fair, "Heart of Darkness"
  • Irene Stubbs, "Abreaction Commenced"
  • Judith Proctor, "Whose Justice?" (S5; sequel to "Justice" in #12 and "The Price of Justice" in #13)
  • Nicolene van den Berg, "Alone, But Not Silent"
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Comeuppance"
  • Sheila Paulson, "Four in Hand"
  • C.S. Kinsey, "Epilogue"
  • Diana Lynn Holland, "Blake Casualty and the Sweet Honesty Kid" (
  • Diana Lynn Holland, "Two Plays by Euripedes: Avonestes & Iphijennia at Cygnus"

Nonfiction:

  • Jean Graham, "Editor's Page"
  • Teri Sarick, "Top Ten Reasons Why Avon Couldn't Have Killed Blake" (humor)
  • ORmAC, Mark III, "Every Little Bit Counts" (puzzle)
  • Teri Sarick, "Avon's Top Ten Excuses for Shooting Blake" (humor)
  • ORmAC, Mark III, "It's Only Logical" (puzzle)
  • Nancy Dziergowski, "You Know You've Watched To Many B7 Episodes When:" (humor)
  • ORmAC, Mark III, "Just Following Orders" (puzzle)
  • Teri Sarick, "B7 Slogans" (humor)
  • Nancy Dziergowski, "The Cattle Call (recasting movies with the B7 characters)"
  • Letters of Comment
  • Puzzle answers
  • Zine ads

Poetry:

  • Gail Gawlik, "Song of Hanna"
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "He Seems Sincere"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Freedom"
  • Sue Ann Sarick, "Jenna"
  • Sue Ann Sarick, "The End"
  • Sue Ann Sarick, "Cally"
  • Mark Johnson, "Au Revoir, Gambit" (filk, Suicide Is Painless, from MASH)
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Queen of Darkness"
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Non-Exempt"
  • Sue Ann Sarick, "Blake"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Siren Song"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "The Fireside Wait"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "A Daughter's Duty"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Mind Touch"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Little Thief"
  • Nancy Dziergowski, "Epitaph on Malodaar"
  • Teri Sarick, "Basic Black"
  • Nancy Dziergowski, "Vila's Faith"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Masquerade"
  • Gail Gawlick, "Time to Leave (by Avon)"
  • Gail Gawlick, "My Kingdom (by Ro, High Ruler of Horizon)"
  • Gail Gawlick, "Rule of Life (by Rashel)"
  • Gail Gawlick, "Moon Disks (by Cally)"
  • Sue Ann Sarick, "Avon"
  • Teri Sarick, "Without Feeling"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Loyal Federation Officer"
  • Teri Sarick, "Shaolin & Rebel"
  • Susan Bennett, "Vila's Lament"

Art:

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 13

[Fanatic]: ...the poem is an amalgamation of bits from 2 prior poems I'd written and never intended to share with fandom (too personal) plus a an extra verse at the end. To be totally honest, I wrote it because I was 23 lines short of enough lines to earn a tribber's copy of the zine! (But I'm glad I did--I rather enjoyed putting it together.) [21]

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 14

[The Price of a Friend]: This story was the great surprise of the Gambit 14 for me. It focuses on Dayna and it uses a plot that is as hackneyed as the hills - Avon is captured as a sex slave by a matriarchial society. Both of these are things that normally put me off a story. In this case, they worked! I got drawn into a story that developed Dayna as a character, drew on her hunting and fighting skills, gave her new friends, allowed her to act intelligently and made her really interesting. I enjoyed it a lot - a good thing as it's one of the longest stories in the zine. [22]
[zine]: The cover of Gambit 14 is by Lucia Cassarella Moore. A colour portrait of Blake, Avon and Tarrant. Tarrant and Avon come out particularly well and Blake isn't bad.

As Jean says in the editorial, this is the final issue of Gambit, and it's a zine that will be much missed. It's gone out in style though - I think this is definately the best of the recent issues.

Layout is double column with a font size that is readable, but doesn't waste any space. Good clear print, and top of page headers make it easy to find the story you want.

Liberator Training Systems plc - Chris Blenkarn

A spoof of all those flash company training courses and their glossy brochures. I found this very amusing, especially the comments by people who had attended the courses.

The Art of War - Patti McClellan

Cally teches the crew unarmed combat.

A Coin For Charon's Hand - Jean Graham

Cally and Avon are captured. A Federation Major injects Avon with a particularly nasty drug. When he's at death's door, he starts hallucinating.

A Suitable Punishment - Susan Barrett (now Susan Riaz)

Alternative universe story in which Vila is captured after 'Pressure Point' and sentenced to a prison planet where the prisoners are used as slave labour in swamps. The rest of the crew have to rescue him.

Winning Real Wars - Judith Seaman

A bleak story that looks realistically at the consequences of rebellion and what may follow afterwards. I tend to dislike the way Judith depicts Blake - I credit him with more intelligence than she does, but I can't deny the quality of her writing, nor her willingness to allow Avon to make tough decisions.

Snowblind - Alice Aldridge

This one I really enjoyed. It's an encounter between Blake and Travis when they are trapped beneath an avalanche. Through their hate, they come to a degree of mutual respect.

An Instrument of the Service - Susan Barrett

A look at Travis' trial that parallels it with Nazi war crimes tribunals. This is surprisingly effective.

Harvest of Sopron - Sondra Sweigman

The theme of this story is the things that people see when they look at Sopron. Cally saw her parents; Orac saw a powerful computer; etc. What did Avon see? If you know Sondra as well as I do, then the answer is obvious, but I won't spoil it for everyone else.

The Price of a Friend - Vicki Childs

This story was the great surprise of the zine for me. It focuses on Dayna and it uses a plot that is as hackneyed as the hills - Avon is captured as a sex slave by a matriarchial society. Both of these are things that normally put me off a story. In this case, they worked! I got drawn into a story that developed Dayna as a character, drew on her hunting and fighting skills, gave her new friends, allowed her to act intelligently and made her really interesting. I enjoyed it a lot - a good thing as it's one of the longest stories in the zine.

Degrees of Gratitude - Jean Hubb

Jean has written a number of stores in which various members of the Liberator crew encounter Blake during the third season. I've liked all of them, and this one is no exception. This time it is Avon who meets Blake. Blake is working as an explosives expert under a false name. This story has a gentle feel, although it is hard to explain what I mean by that when buildings are getting blown up and so forth. If you like Avon and Blake, then you'll like this story.

To See or Not to See - Mark W. Johnson

A story about the crew consulting an oracle. Readable, but nothing special.

Yawn of the Gods - Lorna Breshears

A complete send up of the series' least popular episode. I knew I was going to like this one as soon as Vila said, "It was Bayban the Butcher in the Library with the curling iron." Read it and laugh.

Virtual Reality - Helen Parkinson

Servalan has found a method of feeling Avon's emotions. However, this is a Helen Parkinson story and that means that you can never predict what is going to happen. Helen is one of the few writers who manages to frequently surprise me with a good twist in a story. I enjoyed this one.

Deceptions - Mary and Paul Ragis

This is primarily about Avon rescuing Vila from a fairly nasty fate. Nothing special.

The Dream - Paul Ragis

Tarrant dreams of a woman he loves and finally realises who it is.

Denouement - C.S. Kinsey

Gauda Prime through Servalan's eyes.

Time For a Change - Marian Mendez

Avon dies at Gauda Prime and then regenerates into the spitting image of Roger Delgardo! If you want to know how much he and Romana irritate each other, you'll have to read the story...

A Favourite Jewel - Marla F. Fair

PGP Avon is on a transport for a prison planet. He escapes in a life capsule which crashes in the grounds of an abbey where he is befriended by a young girl. However, nothing is quite what it seems in this story...

Heart of Darkness - Marla F. Fair

Sort of a sequel to the above. Distinctly weird. I'm not quite sure what's happening, but it's interesting. Make of that what you will.

Abreaction Commenced - Irene Stubbs

This was the only story in the zine that I didn't read right through. It failed to hold my interest, and I've no idea what the title refers to.

Whose Justice - Judith Proctor

A sequel to Justice and The Price of Justice in the two previous issues. PGP - Avon believed Blake dead, but found he had killed clone. Blake exeucted Avon for murder of clone but realised too late that Avon did it though a misunderstanding. I wasn't originally intending to write another part as I figured there wasn't anything nastier I could do to Blake than have him kill Avon. Then I realised that things *could* get worse, so I wrote another chapter <evil grin>. I can't really review my own story, so I'll quote what a friend wrote to me yesterday! "You bugger! I've just read 'Whose Justice!' You sod! Poor old Blake." Honest, that's what she did say! Charming friends I have...

Alone But Not Silent - Nicolene van den Berg

Nicolene is another writer whose work I'm beginning to look out for. This is a quiet story in which Avon and Vila have to face up to death.

Comeuppance - CarolMel Ambassador

I don't usually like CarolMel's stories. If you happen to like her work, then doubtless you'll like this more than I did.

Four in Hand - Sheila Paulson

Soolin is programmed by Servalan to try and kill Avon. Avon, Vila, Tarrant and Blake join forces after Gauda Prime and rapidly become a friendly compact group with bags of mutual trust etc. In other words, pretty typical Sheila Paulson fare. I don't think this is one of her best though - or maybe it's simply that I've seen her do so much similar stuff before.

Epilogue - C.S. Kinsey

Avon comes out of a coma after GP. Tarrant is there to share his first reactions.

Blake Casualty and the Sweet Honesty Kid - Diane L. Holland

I didn't think I was going to like this one at first, crossovers are rarely my forte, but it got zanier and zanier and by the time Orac had been reconfigured into a industrial dishwashing machine and Blake removed some of the plates without consulting Avon, and... well, Butch Cassidy was never as funny as this!

Two Plays by Euripedes: Avonestes and Iphijennia at Cygnus - Diane L. Holland

Another one I thought I wasn't going to like. Blake's 7 as Greek tragedy? I was wrong. Everyone is related to everyone else; there is a Chorus as all Greek tragedies should have; the dialogue is wonderful and I loved it. I remember more of my classical studies than I thought and had several good giggles.

B7 Paper Dolls - Sabrina Stone

Paper dolls of Avon and Blake with a large selection of outfits for both. I looked at these, saw how much of the zine they took up and thought 'What a waste'. Several hours later, I was still happily looking at the outfits, mentally trying them on and admiring the work that must have been done to get them so accurate. If anyone wants to call around one evening with a set of scissors and crayons, I'm game to do some cutting and colouring (of photocopies of course).

Poetry - mostly ranges from poor to mediocre, although there was one by Susan Bennett that I rather liked.

Art - likewise. I don't buy Gambit for the art - apart from the cover. There was a very nice Avon on page 323 though. Whitby27's ink work photocopies a lot better than her pencil. The pencil work is usually 3 generations down and looks awful.

Overall rating. Highly recommended, especially if you live in the UK as the dollar has fallen sharply of recent. For over 300 pages of a full size zine, this is very good value indeed. [23]

References

  1. [http://www.katspace.org/reviews/fanzine/Gambit a review by Kathryn Andersen
  2. Lysator, Sondra S., dated September 6, 1994.
  3. Lysator, Pat Nussman, August 31, 1994.
  4. a review by CB from Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  5. comarum.tumblr,
  6. Lysator, Kathryn A, Jan 1995.
  7. by bruinhilda, bruinhilda.tumblr, November 18, 2016
  8. a review by CB at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  9. Ashton Press, 1998
  10. from an LoC in Tarriel Cell v. 4 n.3
  11. a review by CB from Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  12. from Tarriel Cell v.4 n.2
  13. by Carol McCoy in On the Wing #2
  14. a review by CB at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  15. from IMHO* #2 (1995)
  16. Subject: Gambit 9 on Lysator dated March 4, 1993.
  17. from Rallying Call #13
  18. Subject: Zine review: Gambit 10 on Lysator by Catherine S. dated August 12, 1993.
  19. from IMHO* #2 (1995)
  20. Review posted by Vickie M. to Lysator on March 24, 1994.
  21. Lysator, Sondra, dated September, 1995.
  22. Recommended Zines for Dayna
  23. a review by Judith Proctor at her Blake's 7 site