Horizon (Blake's 7 fiction anthology)

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Zine
Title: Horizon
Publisher: Horizon
Editor(s): Pat Thomas
Date(s):
Series?:
Medium: print zine
Size:
Genre: gen
Fandom: Blake's 7
Language: English
External Links: Horizon webarchive
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Horizon is a gen Blake's 7 fiction anthology. It is a digest-sized and published in England.

Sister Zines

Reactions and Reviews

This zine is consistent in its good stories, and lack of awful ones. I dunno, do the British understand B7 better or something? Put out by the Horizon club. [1]
Some issues of Horizon are very good, but the later issues seem to be better as an overall rule. The best issues - as far as I'm concerned - are 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17. [2]
Yes, there may be a fundamental difference in what kind of fiction we and you want. I think many of us here want something better than Horizon offer nowadays but not quite what you want. Horizon's stories will probably become even less emotional, more violent and adventure oriented now that we have a preponderance of male members over here. Horizon have to try and please everyone - the newsletter is becoming less attractive to me personally, rather more commercial and impersonal. Lengthy articles on model-making, many worthy but not particularly "exciting" technical articles, much briefer analyses (big on font styles, low on content), more cons, fan activities, committee member activities, bitty anomalies, knitting patterns. A APA is more fun. HOWEVER, the Horizon letterzine is excellent! [3]
These are generally cheap, well-produced zines offering good value for money. There aren't many stories that stand out as classics to my mind, but neither are there too many complete duds, just nice solid writing in a variety of styles. The zines are edited, not simply published, and the layout is as good as is practical with the technology available at the time of printing. Early volumes of the fiction zines were originally printed in A4 format, but later printings are in the same digest format as the later volumes, often with new art. It's well worth trying a couple of volumes, as they're so cheap that you haven't wasted much money even if they turn out not to be to your taste.[4]

Issue 1

cover of issue #1

Horizon 1 was published in 1980 and contains 56 pages. The cover is by Deborah Eckman.

  • Sharon Eckman, "Eclipse" (1)
  • cartoon by Deborah Eckman (37)
  • Dorothy Davis, "Just Another Day" (38)
  • Paul Mark Tamms, "Goodnight, Mr. Vila!" (48)
  • C.S. Armitage, "Sam's Story" (Citizen Smith crossover) (47)

Issue 2

cover of issue #2

Horizon 2 is undated. It has 83 pages long.

  • Ewan Haggerty, "Enter Prometheus" (6 pages)
  • Christine Knowles, "Of a Kind...." (9 pages)
  • Helen West, "A Niche in Time" (real world crossover) (9 pages)
  • Eileen Duffield, "Later Than You Think" (3 pages)
  • Heidi Dennis, "Companionship" (51 pages)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

Original A4 edition) An early zine, and it shows it - the authors, and editors, haven't had the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others. The only art in the original edition is the Liberator on the front cover.

Enter Prometheus - Ewan Haggarty

I don't know whether it's supposed to be a parody or not... A number of technical flaws, not least the inability to walk the line between lush description and purple prose, or at least decide which side to stay on. The characterisations are badly off as well. However, it's an early fanfic look at one of the strengths of B7 - the villains see themselves as the good guys - and the writer shows promise.

Of a Kind... - Christine Knowles

A lovely piece of Travis h/c. Freedom City post-Gambit, and Travis is considering his options. They're a bit limited, given that his cybernetic arm doesn't work and his shoulder is infected (so technically AU post-Gambit). Then he meets someone who's willing to help... Excellent story, with a good original character whose motives are plausible rather than in the realms of Mary-Sue. I recommend this one to the members of FinalAct.

A Niche in Time - Helen West

Someone should have taken this author's thesaurus away . The very first sentence includes "jibed Vila", and there are another seven different dialogue attributions, including the delightful "interjected Jenna", before we get to someone who simply said something. That aside, it's a lightweight but entertaining look at Avon, Vila and Jenna coping with one of Orac's little pranks. They've been sent back in time to 1980, and get to spend the evening in a disco and then MacDonalds.

Later Than You Think - Eileen Duffield

Vignette in which Vila unknowingly meets a ghost.

Companionship - Heidi Dennis

There's a stowaway on Liberator. A stowaway with long red hair, violet eyes, long long legs that are barely covered by a skimpy skirt, high intelligence, and she's the daughter of the man who designed the Liberator. She can operate the ship better than the crew can, she can rescue them single-handed. Her name is Em Zephyr, but it should be Em Sue. That's Em for Mary, as in Mary Sue. I forced myself to read all 55 pages in the hope that things would improve. They didn't. Avoid.

In essence, one short story that demonstrates how a Mary Sue character can be handled well, one novella that demonstrates the opposite, and some so-so stories. Unfortunately the Mary Sue novella constitutes two thirds of the zine, and the only story worth buying the zine for is only eight pages long. Worth getting if you can pick it up cheaply second-hand. [5]

Issue 3

Horizon 3 was published in 1983 (reprinted February 1987 and October 1996) and it is 83 pages long. It has a cover by Heather Lulham.

cover issue #3, Heather Lulham
  • Judith M. Seaman, "The Last Planet"
  • Heidi Dennis, "The Heinan Affair"
  • Heather Lulham, Limericks (poem)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

(1996 digest format reprint)

This one contains two novellas, and the digest reprint has been typeset and contains interior art. I know at least some of the art wasn't in the original A4 printing, as it was drawn in 1993, so presumably Horizon took the opportunity to add interior art when the early zines went through type-setting and layout for the new A5 digest editions. I'm glad they did, as there's some nice art in this one. My particular favourites are Whitby27's Avon on p54 and Richard Farrell's Tarrant on p74.

The Last Planet - Judith M Seaman

A Judith Seaman story that's safe for a Blake fan to read:-) Avon and Servalan are stranded on a desert planet, dependent on each other and the small rebel colony on the planet for their survival. Avon has been badly injured, and the emotional link he has with Servalan is one of the things keeping him alive. Avon's need for Servalan is one of the things keeping *her* alive. The set-up for this scenario is well-written, and the characterisation is excellent. Lovely uc A/Se relationship, lots of good Avon h/c with Servalan as the comforter. And at the end we have one of the major themes of Blake's 7 - trust, and the keeping or betrayal thereof.

The Heinan Affair - Heidi Dennis

S3 action-adventure McGuffin hunt, with Tarrant getting a good share of the limelight. I thought the ocf was more than a tad Mary-Sue, but I read this zine straight after Horizon 2, which contained a long, tedious, shameless Mary-Sue by the same author, so I may just have been more inclined to see M-S while reading this one.

I loved the Judith Seaman story, and thought the other novella readable. I'd recommend the zine. [6]

Issue 4

cover of issue #4, Heather Lulham

Horizon 4 was published in 1983 and is 65 pages long.

  • Judith M. Seaman, Oblivion (26 pages)
  • Cartoon (1 page)
  • J. Hawley, Destiny (11 pages)
  • J. Hawley, Flashback
  • Heidi Dennis, Child’s Play (16 pages)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

No outstanding stories, but not a waste of money.

Oblivion - Judith M Seaman

Hmm. I want to like this story, I really do, but... It's set on the Liberator, with the third season crew. And yet it's set after Terminal. Not just a slip of the pen, but frequent mentions of Terminal, significant to the plot. While I have no intrinsic objection to AU stories that play fast and loose with the timeline, I prefer this to be stated up front unless there are good spoilerish reasons not to, and there aren't in this case. I found it very off-putting. Added to this, it's a third season version of Tarrant, one who's trying to take the ship away from Avon, and a particularly nasty one at that. I was getting a feeling of Tarrant being put down to make Avon look better in comparison. I don't think the Tarrant Nostra would like this one.

Other than that, it's an entertaining little story of the crew coming across a brutalised man who might or might not be Blake, and having to deal with the problems of identification while handling their own little problems of plague loose aboard the ship. I disliked the story, but those with different prejudices might enjoy it.

Destiny - J Hawley

Part 1 of the Dorian trilogy. This one provides a backstory for Dorian, and there are some nice concepts in the story. Unfortunately, the first half of the story is in flashback with a great deal of telling rather than showing, making it less interesting to read than it might have been, but it's worth perservering with.

Flashback - J Hawley

Part 2 of the Dorian trilogy. Soolin's backstory this time. Good suggestions about exactly how Soolin learnt her gunslinger skills from the man she intended to kill, and how she became involved with Dorian. The author's technical skills have improved with this one.

Child's Play - Heidi Dennis

The crew are stranded on a planet where the things they imagine can become real. The creature responsible is lonely, and doesn't want to let them go. It's a staple SF plot, but pleasantly done.

Average zine, but not a waste of money. [7]
[review of issues #1-4]:"The old and dreadful zines I was reading were copies 1-4 of Horizon. I suppose they weren't that bad really, but I won't regret returning them, and I only bothered photocopying two stories for myself, and both of those had plot flaws. Later issues I should emphasise are MUCH better and even these had some passable stories. I notice that they haven't reprinted these really early ones, and I can see why. They are A4 size with no photo-reduction and would cost a bomb to post. I don't think Will would risk lending them out TransAtlantic. I could copy them for you, but it wouldn't be cheap, and you'd have to pay in pounds."[8]

Issue 5

cover of issue #5

Horizon 5 was published in 1985 and has 82 pages.

  • Helen Pitt, Epilogue (12 pages)
  • Jeannette Hawley, The Price Of Knowledge ( (11 pages)
  • Judith M. Seaman, Sentence (15 pages)
  • Heidi Dennis, Brotherly Love (24 pages)
  • Helen Pitt & Mary Moulden, Encore (14 pages) (7 pages)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

(original A4 edition)

The stories are of variable quality, but as usual with Horizon zines, it's cheap enough not to matter much if you only like half the stories.

Epilogue - Helen Pitt

Avon and Anna demonstrate that using scraps of information about the future to cheat fate can bring about the very doom you were trying to evade. I liked the use of the time travel paradox, but the ending of the story is a clumsy attempt to push S4 Avon into revealing his hidden feelings for his fellow crew members.

The Price of Knowledge - Jeannette Hawley

Final part of the Dorian Trilogy. Pre-Rescue, Dorian and Soolin go looking for a former associate of Dorian's who has stolen confidential information, with Dorian having to conceal from Soolin exactly what the information is. Could use some polishing, but it's good to see a story about Dorian himself, rather than his interaction with the remnants of the Liberator crew.

Sentence - Judith M Seaman

The third season crew have a break on an uninhabited planet, and bring back an odd little ball. Then one by one the crew start experiencing hallucinations that knock them unconscious, and the race is on to reverse it. Well-written story, and a delightful bit of Avon characterisation at the end.

Brotherly Love - Heidi Dennis

Tarrant rescues the only survivor from a damaged ship, a pilot who turns out to be Deeta's ex-lover. Bluff and double-bluff ensue as Avon sees a chance for inside information on military freight carried in civilian ships - *if* the pilot isn't a planted spy. Still more Mary-Sue from this author, although more readable than the one in Volume 2.

Encore - Helen Pitt & Mary Moulden

The crew are brainwashed after Gauda Prime, turning them into good little citizens. Twenty years later a chance encounter at a double-booked conference centre results in them remembering who they were, with entertaining results. I was far too busy giggling to notice the logical flaws in the story the first time through. Lots of fun, and I loved the job Servalan had put Avon to work at.

Reprieved/Condemned - Wendy Ingle

Cally was in a deep coma after the explosions on Terminal, and after the departure of Scorpio she revives just enough to put out a telepathic call for help. Jenna has finally managed to locate the Liberator and caught up just in time to see it destroyed. Will she hear the call or not? An interesting variant on the theme of Cally's possible rescue from Terminal, but the ending falls a little flat. [9]

Issue 6

front cover of issue #6, Valerie Leibson
back cover of issue #6, Harry Eckman

Horizon 6 was published in July 1984, reprinted in February 1989, and has 104 pages long.

  • Helen Pitt, Footnote To History (17 pages)
  • David G. Bell, Of A Hero (23 pages)
  • Mary Moulden, Inheritance (20 pages)
  • Wendy Ingle, A Day By The Sea (7 pages)
  • Margaret Scroggs, Stowaway (7 pages)
  • Judith M. Seaman, "Interval" (real-world crossover)

Art:

  • Valerie Leibson (front cover)
  • Chris Copp
  • John Humphries
  • Kay Wallace
  • Harry Eckman (back cover)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

Some excellent stories and nothing that was appallingly bad. I'd recommend this zine.

There are several pieces of art and two cartoons - reasonable but nothing outstanding. My favourite was a pencil portrait by Kay Wallace, which is actually of Paul Darrow rather than Avon - it's taken from a publicity shot of the actor rather than the character, and it shows:-)

Footnote to history - Helen Pitt

Servalan is planning a double bluff with an operation that can enhance intelligence. The story is somewhat marred by plot holes and the occasional slip in characterisation and continuity with the series - I found these rather distracting, even though they're to be expected in a story written before videos of the series were widely available. Some interesting ideas, and the story's worth reading in spite of the flaws.

Of a hero - David G Bell

Cally has a series of dreams showing her that Avon's behaviour will lead him to indirectly cause her death and Zen's, and to murder Blake. Are the dreams genuine premonitions, and even if they are, can she prevent them coming true without having to kill Avon? I'm not entirely convinced by how readily some of the crew turn against Avon, but this story takes a nicely hard-edged look at the dilemma of prophecy.

Interval - Judith M Seaman

Thoroughly entertaining story in which the third season crew attempt to escape the clutches of an enemy even more deadly than the Federation - the BBC in pursuit of a fourth series. One of the best Real World/Federation crossovers I've seen.

Inheritance - Mary Moulden

20 years after Gauda Prime, President Servalan is dying. Her last wish - to see Avon die before she does. Her daughter promises to fulfil that wish. Wonderfully written story, with both an action/adventure strand and a good exploration of character interaction.

A day by the sea - Wendy Ingle

Soolin and Vila explore a concealed area of Xenon base, and end up getting washed out to sea. Nothing much happens in the story, but it's competently written.

Stowaway - Margaret Scroggs

Fourth series Vila rescues a runaway orphan. Avon finds the orphan a safe place to stay, but as always his motives are mixed. Reasonable but nothing special. Notable for the author having remembered that the Scorpio had no separate living quarters when the crew first took over, and specifically mentioning that they have since installed crew quarters in one of the cargo holds. I've seen far too many stories by authors who thought the Scorpio was as big as the Liberator... [10]

Issue 7

Horizon 7 was published in 1985 and is 94 pages long.

front cover issue #7, Valerie Leibson
back cover of issue #7, Janette Harris
  • Ros Williams, Possible Futures - Part 1
  • Ann Godfrey, Of A Heroine
  • Felicity Millerd, Time's Waste
  • Kathryn Cutmore, Alone and Silent

Art:

  • Valerie Leibson (front cover)
  • Wendy Ingle
  • Janette Harris (back cover)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 7

The main tale of this zine, 'Possible Futures' by Ros Williams (who?) is a direct follow or from 'Blake'. In fact it begins several minutes after that apparently fatal shoot-out. Once we have discovered who has actually survived we are led to various locations on various adventures until one way or another the 'survivors' meet up and rescue yet another but far more surprising 'survivor1. The story moves along at a steady and never boring pace, is well written and certainly nearer the mark than 'Afterlife' (although what couldn't be?) I would point out that Ros has devised a rather interesting way of decimating the Federation in 'P.F.' - unlike a certain other author. I eagerly look forward to the following part. (Ed: which appears in Horizon 8).

'Of a Heroine' is a follow on from 'Of a Hero' (Horizon 6 - and different author), and not really my cup of tea, but neither was 'Of A Hero'. 'Time's Waste' set after Gauda Prime concerning Vila's life thereafter, is well written and amusing in parts. 'Along & Silent' concerns the kidnapping of Avon's consciousness by some Aliens, and is a good tale, if not a particularly original one.

Generally this zine is a good one, and certainly value for money at 96 pages. [11]
70 of the 94 pages are taken up by part 1 of a story by an author whose work I generally don't like. I know that others do like her work, so whether this zine is worth the money depends on which stories you're likely to enjoy.

Art - portraits of Blake, Avon, Vila and Servalan, and an ASCII image of Cally. All reasonable, nothing outstanding.

Possible Futures Part 1 - Ros Williams

I'm sorry, but I can't face reading this one at the moment. There are 70 pages in part 1 and 44 pages in Part 2 (in volume 8), and I know by now that there's a high probability that I will regret having spent the time reading anything by this author... Those who do like her style will just have to assess the story for themselves.

Of a Heroine - Anne Godfrey

Riposte to "Of a Hero" in the previous volume. In an AU series 4, Cally discovers that escaping one fate may lead you into a worse. Short, nasty and well-written. I just wish that the usually good editing had caught the misuse of its/it's.

Time's Waste - Felicity Millerd

Monologue from Vila about how he survived Gauda Prime, what he's spent the last year doing, and what he's going to do next. Excellent Vila voice, and a lovely description of the relationship between Avon and Vila.

Alone and Silent - Kathryn Cutmore

The crew of an alien spaceship are desperate for assistance in repairing their computers, and abduct Avon. Except that they only abduct his mind. While they don't mean any harm, and return Avon when he's finished the job, the total isolation he experiences is difficult to deal with. His experiences make it easier for him to understand what Cally is going through with a non-telepath crew.

Nice concept, but one gaping plothole - the aliens abduct Avon because the failure of their control systems has left them in non-corporeal form, so they can't fix it themselves. But if only Avon's mind has been taken, surely he's going to have the same problem? Aside from that, I enjoyed the story. [12]

Issue 8

cover of issue #8

Horizon 8 was published in March 1986. It has a cover by Joe Blackie.

This issue of Horizon was duplicated without permission as the zine Omnibus #1.

  • Pamela Wright, "Life-Watch"
  • Ros Williams, "Possible Futures"
  • Judith Seaman, "Seeds of Legend"
  • Val Leibson, "Deja Vu" (The intro to the story: "The story Deja Vu has multiple crossovers, the intro to the story reads: "This piece started off life as a continuation of a private bit of writing, which (apologies to pedantic Blake's 7 fans) collected together not just the characters from B7 but from other shows, and from fantasy literature and history (ie a confrontation between Rasputin, Dr. Who and Dracula) I allowed another club newsletter to print the parts leading up to it that related mainly to B7 after modifying it a bit and it seems a shame for this part to go to waste. By the way, for the record my name's not Judith Seaman, I'm a desperate spinster of a very definite age, and I agree with her that Blake is dispensable. There are minorities in every camp.")


Issue 1 + 8

front cover of issue #1-8
back cover of issue #1-8

Horizon 1+ 8 is digest sized and has 128 pages, was published in July 1990 and is a combination of issues #1 and #8 minus two stories. Cover by Fliss Davies. Interior art by Fliss Davies, Kevin Davies, Tim Pieraccini, and Jo Jobson.

The two stories that were not reprinted were from issue #1 and called "Goodnight, Mr. Vila!" and "Sam's Story."

  • Sharon Eckman, "Eclipse" (2)
  • Pamela Wright, "Life-Watch" (38)
  • Val Leibson, "Deja Vu" (multiple crossover) (49)
  • Ros Williams, "Possible Futures" part two (56)
  • Dorothy Davis, "Just Another Day" (100)
  • Judith Seaman, "Seeds of Legend" (107)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1 + 8

Horizon 1+8

(July 1990 combined reprint, A5)

This is a combined reprint of volumes 1 and 8. However, there are only 6 stories in this reprint, and the zine database listings for the original zines indicate 4 in volume 1 and 4 in volume 8. The missing stories are listed as follows in the zine database entry for Volume 1:

Paul Mark Tamms, "Goodnight, Mr. Vila!" (S2; V)

C. S. Armitage, "Sam's Story" (S2; Citizen Smith crossover; humor)

The combined reprint also has new artwork. There's a lot of art in this volume, ranging from average to very nice indeed. I'm particularly taken with Fliss Davies' portrait of Avon on page 128, and not just because it appears to be based on one of the publicity stills from Aftermath where he's wearing that black silk shirt with the open neck.

I didn't like everything in this zine, but thought it worthwhile overall.

Eclipse - Sharon Eckman

I didn't like this to begin with - the characterisation seemed off to me. There turned out to be a good in-story reason for this... Aliens are manipulating the human crew of _Liberator_ as part of a psychology study. They are eventually driven off, but not without leaving damage behind them. For me this one fell into the category "has potential and I'd like to read this author when she's more experienced". In fact, I _have_ seen later work by this author, and thoroughly enjoyed it. This one's worth reading but not worth chasing after.

Life-Watch - Pamela Wright

After Deathwatch, there's one last thing Del Tarrant can do for Deeta - pretend to be Deeta for the day or two before Deeta's wife gives birth. Tender h/c story, well written. I liked this one a lot. Highly recommended for the Tarrant Nostra in particular.

Deja Vu - Val Leibson

A piece of silliness in which Avon and Vila get sucked into the brain of Marvin the Paranoid Android, and Avon relives his past. Whether it's funny depends very much on personal taste, but it's only five pages of text, plus two pages with a couple of decent cartoons, so it doesn't take up much space.

Possible Futures Part 2 - Ros Williams

I'm sorry, but I can't face reading this one at the moment. There are 70 pages in part 1 (in Horizon 7) and 44 pages in Part 2, and I know by now that there's a high probability that I will regret having spent the time reading anything by this author... Those who do like her style will just have to assess the story for themselves.

Just Another Day - Dorothy Davies

Short story from the viewpoint of one of the people Blake helps. A young woman in a rebel group has been disfigured during a raid, and Blake offers her plastic surgery. Sweet without being overly sentimental, and a nice look at how Blake and his crew look to other people.

Seeds of Legend - Judith M Seaman

The third season crew is looking for a defunct Federation supply base in the hope that it will still have useful supplies to raid. Avon tries logic to work out where the camouflaged base must be, Tarrant tries going down to the planet to talk to the locals, with varying degrees of success. This being a Judith Seaman story, it's Avon who has the greater degree of success. Being a third season story, it's safe for Blake fans to read. I enjoyed this one.[13]

Issue 9

front cover of issue #9, Tim Pieraccini
back cover of issue #9, Tim Pieraccini

Horizon 9 was published in 1986 and is 96 pages long.

  • Mary Moulden, Captivity (18 pages)
  • Margaret Scroggs, Flight To Destiny (11 pages)
  • Ruth Balmer, A Place In The Country (20 pages)
  • Lee Steadman, Terminal—An Epilogue (4 pages)
  • Felicity Millerd, The Rainland (40 pages)

Art:

  • Tim Pieraccini (both covers)
  • Kevin Davies
  • Jo Jobson
  • Fliss Davies
  • Nikki
  • Val Leibson

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 9

"Captivity" by Mary Moulden-Good stuff! Intriguing bit about Anna and Grant. The illo at the end is really good (Kevin Davies). "Flight To Destiny" by Margaret Scroggs - Fair, decent stuff. I don't think it could have happened that way, quite (what about Epheron and all that?), but it was a fair way of bringing it all together. "A Place in the Country" by Ruth Balmer - Looking at my notes, I gather I disagreed with the character analysis, but found the middle interesting.

The Servalan on page 50 is good. "Terminal - An Epilogue" by Lee Steadman - With a title like that, I don't have much hope for it. OK-oops! Dying declarations aren't in character-but then again, what would they say? People die too quickly on TV. My favourite version of this scenario is still my favourite ("Reasons" by Ana Dorfstad, in Enarrare 5). "The Rain Land" by Felicity Millerd- Aha! I recognise this name! (She wrote "A Human Face" which appeared in Chronicles 19). which I adored!) Goody! Great start! A post-'Blake' story; which we didn't discover until page 3! That's different! No rescue then. Intriguing, yet another version of Avon's brother. This is great-moral debate! Definitely good. The best thing in this zine.

One thing I do find frustrating about Horizon is that the author's name only appears in the table of contents, not with the actual story, it seems rather an odd practice. Why do you do it? (Ed... I guess it hadn't occurred to me to do otherwise - it's on the contents page. Perhaps in the future...) [16]
(2nd print run, 1988)

A5 zine, 96 pages, card cover. Physically well produced, although the print is photo-reduced and those with reading glasses will need to use them. Nice artwork by a variety of artists, and reproduction on most of the art is good.

Captivity - Mary Moulden

S3 action-adventure, with Cally captured by the Federation; Avon and Tarrant deciding that they need specialist skills to rescue her, and trying to retrieve Del Grant from a prison planet; and Dayna and Vila trying to keep the Liberator intact long enough for them to do so. Nothing outstanding, but a good solid story, and a believable reason for bringing back a favourite guest character.

Flight to Destiny - Margaret Scroggs

A version of what happened to Blake and Jenna after they abandoned ship during the battle at Star One. Believable original characters and a plausible story, although it conflicts with Zen's report that he has heard from Blake after the battle.

A Place in the Country - Ruth Balmer

S3 Avon decides that he wants to retire from rebelling. He eventually finds that retirement is boring, and the others find that they can't manage without him. I don't actually find either aspect all that plausible - there's a touch of Avon Ubermensch about this story, and the story isn't entertaining enough to carry it. However, the story's readable.

Terminal - An Epilogue - Lee Steadman

Oh no, it's another Avon finds Cally's not-quite-dead body... Actually, this one's not bad, and it's short (5 pages), so even if you can't bear to ever read another Avon-finds-Cally's-body, it doesn't take up much of the zine.

The Rain Land - Felicity Millerd

PGP novella, with Vila just trying to stay alive, in the company of an Avon whose attitude to staying alive is somewhat variable. The main plot point, that they encounter Avon's brother by chance, and find shelter with him, required some suspension of disbelief on my part. I liked the story, but it may not be to everyone's taste.

Overall, there are some good stories in this zine and no outright duds, plus several excellent pieces of art. Recommended. [17]

Issue 10

Horizon 10 has 94 pages and was published in 1987

front cover issue #10
back cover of issue #10
  • Helen Pitt, The Power and the Glory
  • Ros Williams, Afterdeath - The Authentic Alternative P.G.P.
  • Kathryn Cutmore, The Cowards Way
  • Wendy Ingle, Night-Watching
  • Fliss Davies, Recognition

Art:

  • Tim Pieraccini (both covers)
  • Fliss Davies
  • Valerie Leibson
  • Rory Hull
  • David Nicol
  • Kevin Davies

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 10

See reactions and reviews for Afterdeath.
[zine]: "The Power and the Glory" by Helen Pitt - (Frown.) Is this an acceptable Cally? Well, someone has to say it? I don't like this. It is too over the edge. Even Travis is caricatured. It was an interesting look at Gan (who is noticed all too rarely!), but as a whole, well, I didn't like the characterisations...Sterr's disease was a good idea. "Afterdeath - the 'Authentic' Alternative P.G.P." by Ros Williams- You can tell by the title this is going to be a light satire. And it is. I guess Afterlife is so bad it isn't even really worth satirising - was it really that bad? I guess it was. I forget what happened in it - it was so forgettable. (I think there was actually one good line in the entire novel; something Avon said to Vila.) (Surprisingly, I actually have read a PGP worse than Afterlife! I won't say what it was, though!) "The Coward's Way" by Kathryn Cutmore - OK, nice to have Vila a hero for once! "Night-Watching" by Wendy Ingle - too short; better to put it as part of a longer story, as a change of pace and a good bit of thought. "Recognition" by Fliss Davies - Very short, too. I don't get it; or if I do, I don't like what I'm supposed to get. You can't persuade me that Avon wanted to...I don't get it. The art is OK - good. [18]

[zine]: As usual with later Horizon zines, some nice artwork, although nothing outstanding enough to be worth buying the zine for if none of the stories appeal. I utterly loathed one of the stories in this volume, and unfortunately it's the longest one, fully half the page count. Another long story isn't really enjoyable if you're not familiar with the material being parodied. The remaining stories are good, but only about a quarter of the page count in total, and I don't think any are "must haves".

The Power and the Glory - Helen Pitt

Blake-bashing *and* Travis-bashing in one story... If you think that Blake is a crazed fanatic who is intent on ruling the Federation, regardless of the cost to others, you may well enjoy this story. If you think that Travis is a swaggering braggart who revels in being evil, you may well enjoy this story. All I can say is that the author clearly watched a completely different series to the one I saw. A good author can convince me that Blake is corruptible, but this author isn't good enough. She certainly can't convince me that Blake was corrupt from the start by simply repeating this over and over in the narrator's voice. I finished it for the purpose of reviewing the zine. I won't be reading it again. It's badly-written rubbish. Unfortunately it's also half of the zine page count.

Afterdeath - the 'authentic' alternative PGP - Ros Williams

Something tells me that Ros Williams wasn't impressed with _Afterlife_... I abandoned the story when it moved from an alternative version of _Blake_ to taking the piss out of _Afterlife_, since it's not all that funny when you haven't read past the first few pages of that being parodied. I suspect that those more familiar with the original novel will enjoy this.

The Coward's Way - Kathryn Cutmore

A third series McGuffin hunt results in Avon being captured. Vila volunteers to rescue him. Competently written A-V, with nice characterisation for Avon and Vila. It does short-change Tarrant somewhat, suggesting that he'd leave Avon behind. For all Tarrant's faults, that's one thing that I think the boy can't be accused of. Other than that, I enjoyed this story.

Night-watching - Wendy Ingle

Vignette with Cally waiting for her turn on night watch as she, Avon and Vila wait for the Liberator to make pick-up. Short and effective.

Recognition - Fliss Davies

Vignette with Avon and Tarrant meeting a man who may or may not be Blake. I didn't find it convincing, but those with different tastes may like it better.[19]

Issue 11

front cover #11
covers of issue #11

Horizon 11 was published in January 1988 and is 114 pages long.

From an ad in Horizon Newsletter #19:
HORIZON 11 will include: 'For Jenna' by M. Scroggs - Blake seeks to avenge Jenna's death; 'Never Say Die' by Lee Steadman - what happened to Servalan between 'Terminal' and 'Traitor'; 'Visiting Hours' by Faye Bull - Avon and Vila have a visit from the President of the Federation.,. Blake! - (a humorous tale!}; 'Till Armageddon' by Judith Seaman - Deva reflects on his mooting with Blake, and the direction his life is taking; 'Deja Vu' by N. Cheeseman - Avon, Vila and Servalan revisit Terminal... and Cally's grave; 'In the Wake of Ruin' by Linda Willard - Horizon once said we'd had enough PGP (post Gauda Prime) stories to last a lifetime, but this one is so brilliant we've made an exception. Avon and Vila are still alive, but Avon has been captured by Servalan. What can Vila do? (Eat your heart out, Tony Attwood!!); and a little seasonal flavouring from Judith Seaman - 'All the Days of Christmas'. Set in early Series 2, this story is impossible to describe, really. Judith says she "Can't really write humour. CAN Judith write humour? Is the Pope Catholic? One of the funniest things I've ever read -AND it has a serious ending... these and a couple of other tales not yet decided upon will be in HORIZON 11.
  • L.S. Willard, In The Wake Of Ruin (16 pages) (reprinted in Southern Seven #10)
  • Judith M. Seaman, All The Days Of Christmas (23 pages)
  • Nick Cheeseman, Deja-Vu (4 pages)
  • Margaret Scroggs, For Jenna (15 pages)
  • Jill Grundfest, The Infection (6 pages)
  • Lee Steadman, Never Say Die (24 pages)
  • Barbara Lefler Jackson, The Final Fear (8 pages)
  • Faye Bull, Visiting Hours (4 pages)
  • Judith M. Seaman, Till Armageddon (8 pages)
  • Fliss Davies, My Late Lamented Friend (7 pages)

Art:

  • Tim Pieraccini (front and back cover)
  • Fliss Davies
  • Harry Eckman
  • Jo Jobson
  • Rory Hull

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 11

Reactions and Reviews

[For Jenna]:

I do remember that "For Jenna" was good, so if you have it you might consider rereading that before you start the series of small novelettes [which begins with Fightback]. I wouldn't go out and get the zine on purpose, though. Anyway, I was thrilled to be reading some new B7, even if it is gen, that has a lot of Blake in it. Actually, it has everyone in it, except Jenna, Cally, Gan, and Zen (if you count "him" as a rebel). All of the characters are treated well. Even Tarrant and Vila get juicy roles. Avon is wonderful, though slightly psycho once briefly. Blake is great, well, is great after some major brain surgery which gives him extra powers. I have a quibble with that, but I don't want to give away too much. I may like Blake, but I don't have to have him be "super." I prefer the more fallible Blake. Her Blake does get into a lot of trouble, though, and does make mistakes, so he's still a believable Blake. As for plot and characters, I do get terribly tired of the brat from the HORIZON 6 story. And of all things there's an "effing" elf in the story. Sheesh! If you like h/c, Blake gets hurt a lot, though the comfort is definitely missing. This is not a thinly disguised B/A story. I'm under the impression that Scroggs either likes both equally or likes both with Avon having a slightly bigger bit of her affection. My only problem with this series is that the font is reduced, and the print quality is poor. We are talking major eye strain.

Most of the Scroggs stories were written in the late 80's. I only bought these because they were dirt cheap. Actually, I had never heard of them. It's just when something is for sale for $1 to $2, it's worth a risk. How many of you have read this series? Did you like it? I realize most of the people in this APA are more critical than I am. Can you think of some other Blake works that might be worthwhile that aren't widely known?[20]
[In the Wake of Ruin]: Superb pgp told from Vila's pov and revealing a motive for Avon's killing of Blake which manages credibly to show respect and honor for both men and their prior relationship.[21]
[zine]: I really enjoyed HORIZON 11, I prefer short stories anyway, and some of these were really brilliant. Particular favourites were Faye Bull's "Visiting Hours." "Never Say Die" by Lee Steadman, and "For Jenna" by Margaret Scroggs. I also enjoyed Judith Seaman's "All the Days of Christmas," which had me laughing out loud in places... but wasn't keen on her other one, "Till Armageddon," I didn't recognize the characters in it. [22]
[zine]: I'll keep this really brief and to the point: excellent production quality - I loved the colour of the cover (it clashes beautifully with Horizon 9 & 10!). Nice mix of fiction, both serious and hilarious. Linda Millard's "In the Wake of Ruin" gives a refreshingly different angle on the events on GP, and "The 12 Days of Christmas" is an absolute delight, as is "The Infection". Horizon 11 is highly enjoyable and a good read, although I noticed that 6 out of 10 of the stories or events leading up to, or after 'Blake', and that the humorous tales were based in the first or second series. Clearly the fourth series is no laughing matter...[23]

[zine]: "Horizon 11 in detail.

  • "In the Wake of Ruin" A superb PGP (post Gauda Prime) story by Linda Willard
  • "All the Days of Christmas" by Judith Seaman, it all starts when Blake finds a pear tree growing in his cabin - guaranteed to have you in stitches
  • "Visiting Hours" - Alternative universe story, Avon and Vila are in jail,and guess who's coming to see them?
  • "My late lamented friend" Alternative universe story, Avon gets killed and comes back as a ghost to haunt Blake and make snide comments - very amusing
There's a half a dozen stories other as well, but the above are well worth the cost on their own."[24]
"In the Wake of Ruin" by Linda S.Willard. Fair, decent stuff. Interesting. Fine. That's good. "All the Days of Christmas" by Judith M. Seaman. Amusing. Quite amusing. Yep, that's good. Ah, of course, it was by Judith M. Seaman; what else could one expect? "Deja-Vu" by Nick Cheesman. Hm mm...interesting. Unusual usual stuff? Short, golly, they're all so short. But this one has more short stories this time. "For Jenna" by Margaret Scroggs. Looking fine, ah, an interesting way to make Blake a bounty hunter. Good. "The Infection" by Jill Grundfest. Fun! (Haven't I seen her in US zincs?) (Ed... yes!) "Never Say Die" by Lee Steadman. I haven't read a what-happened-to-Servalan-after-Terminal story before. Good - it ties it all together. "The Final Fear" by Barbara Leflar Jackson. Well. A lot of bring-back-Cally-even-if-she-has-to-be-a-ghost-to-do-it story. Let it be. "Visiting Hours" by Faye Bull. Not quite. hu? What's this? Oh. Maybe? (I gather I didn't quite understand/accept this story.) 'Till Armageddon" by Judith M. Seaman. Excellent, of course. "My Late Lamented Friend" by Fliss Davies. Alternative universe. Pretty good. (Smile.) [25]

Issue 12

front cover of issue #12, Time Pieraccini
back cover of issue #12, Fliss Davies

Horizon 12 was published in October 1988 and has 114 pages.

  • Sarah Berry, "Fingers in My Mind" (1)
  • Judith Seaman, "Faileth Now Even Dream" (17)
  • Fliss Davies, "Midnight Blue" (29)
  • Judith M. Seaman, "Fruits of the Moon Tree" (31)
  • Wendy Ingle, "Dimples and Hairpiece" (Dempsey and Makepeace crossover) )97)
  • Sue Christian, "Orbit-- An Alternative Ending" (102)
  • Kathryn Cutmore, "Acceptance" (108)
  • Sue Christian, "I'm Bored!" (109)

Art:

  • Tim Pieraccini (front cover and interior)
  • Fliss Davies (back cover and interior)
  • Kevin Davies
  • Rory Hull

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 12

Finally I find time to finish this. "Fingers in my Mind" - Felt it was too bitty at first, probably a good idea, but not adequately developed. It's a bit like a truncated episode guide from Cally's viewpoint. However, taken as a whole it was an interesting and enjoyable story. P8: Avon THINKING? Come off it, Rambo doesn't think, he acts instinctively! P16: I don't think Avon would kill Blake for such an irrational reason! The story got better and better as it went along.

"Faileth Now Even Dream" - Both Judith's stories in this zine seemed unusually emotional for her. Does this one imply a homosexual passion? Well, well... Otherwise good.

"Midnight Blue" - Blake asleep on watch? Tut tut...Otherwise OK.

"Fruits of the Moon Tree" - Poor old Blake, he's Avon's underdog again. Blake irrational, tentative, nervous, frantic for Avon's approval. Judith's usual view of Blake isn't how I see the man, of course, so this starts at a disadvantage. P61: I think Vila would appreciate beauty. Avon wouldn't. Why does Blake suddenly become so suspicious of Avon? This isn't apparent in the TV series and isn't explained here. Why is Blake so jittery - not like him at all. Why is Avon demanding reports from Zen during Blake's watch- is Avon pretending to be in charge, or something? But Blake was always the boss on that ship until he disappeared. P64: I find this scene between Blake and Avon out of character for both of them. Blake has become a nervous twerp and Avon is apparently God! Sorry, I can't accept that. If anyone's God, it's neither of them...P70: I came to the conclusion that this hitherto fairly serious story was actually a spoof. I felt perhaps Judith couldn't make up her mind which it was either? By P79 I was definitely anti, not so much because of the idea of Vila's' infatuation' - given the explanations earlier, one could understand why - but the rather crude way in which Vila's feelings and actions arc described. By p91 was totally disbelieving. Is it a farce or isn't it? I guess I need to know!

The alternative Orbit tale - very good, but is there time, for all this? "Acceptance" - Very depressing. "I'm Bored" - Very amusing.

To sum up, I suppose I'd say it's a reasonable zine - not the best, not the worst. Perhaps Judith's second tale was overlong for the rather slight content of the plot. More powerful development of the emotional matters might have made it more interesting to me personally than the unconvincing confrontations between Blake and Avon since neither seemed to have the right character. I suspect it's a matter of personal interest. Since I can't agree Judith's view of Blake and Avon I find the scenes between them rather boring. No doubt she feels the same when reading - if she does - stories depicting Blake as tough and forceful and Avon as remote and evasive! [26]

Issue 13

front cover of issue #13
inside page from issue #13, art by Fliss Davies for "Teddy, the Bear Truth." A fan in 2016 said: "Servalan with a teddy bear. Servalan. With a teddy bear. The picture alone is weird; the story it goes with is outright bizzare. A teddy bear narrates his life story, which starts when little Kerr Avon is given him as a present, and continues through Gauda Prime. My brain breaks every time I try to read it... #Blake's 7#Servalan#Horizon 13#vintage fanzines#I've read some weird fic in my time#but I think this one deserves some sort of award [27]

Horizon 13 has 116 pages and was published in June 1989.

  • Helen Parkinson, "Revenge Is Sweet"
  • Fliss Davies, "A Promise to Keep"
  • Ros Williams, "Fools' Trust"
  • Sue Christian, "Making the Grade"
  • Sophia R. Mulvey, "Shadow of Death"
  • Helen Parkinson, "Deep Into Darkness Peering"
  • Priscilla Futcher, "Teddy-- The Bear Truth"

Art:

  • Fliss Davies (front cover)
  • Tim Pieraccini (back cover)


Issue 14

Horizon 14 was published in March 1990 and has 100 pages. A single sheet "extra page" is included which reads at the top: "The following text, which was accidentally deleted at the typesetting stage, should replace that which appears on page 29. We apologise to our readers". Indeed, the text on page 29 does not belong in this story or at least on that page.

front cover of issue #14, Fliss Davies
back cover of issue #14, Fliss Davies
  • Kevin Davies, Conflict (1)
  • Helen Parkinson, On the 5th Day (8)
  • Val Leibson, Heavy (12)
  • Robin F. Atkins, There Was a Time When ... (16)
  • Margaret Scroggs, Anselm (79)
  • Helen Parkinson, A Malign Influence (92)
  • Jackie Ophir, Rehearsal (98)
  • Gill Marsden, Against My Ruins (99)

Art:

  • Fliss Davies (front and back cover, interior)
  • Marianne Plumridge
  • Kathryn Andersen
  • Jo Jobson
  • Tim Pieraccini

Issue 15

Horizon 15 was published in August 1991 and has 112 pages.

front cover issue #15, Fliss Davies
back cover of issue #15, Fliss Davises
  • Lorna Breshears, Provisional Partners (3)
  • Jean Graham, Shadow of the Trojan Horse (reprinted from Syzygy #1) (11)
  • Ros Williams, If You Would Have Power, Part 1 (27)
  • David E. Willard, The Dark Segment (93)
  • Judith Rolls, The Revenge of Haki (101)
  • Art: Fliss Davies (front and back cover, interior), Tim Pieraccini, Clare Driver

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 15

[If You Would Have Power]: Horizon story zines 15 and 16 (I think) contain 'If you would have power', Ros Williams. It's a long two parter about Carnell as the major manipulator behind all of the major events after Weapon. Even at the end, Blake doesn't die because of another oversite on Carnell's part. The plot is intricate, and the ideas are very good. But Williams doesn't write the characters the way I like them. In fact, she doesn't write much that I have liked. But her *ideas* are usually intriguing! [28]

Issue 16

Horizon 16 was published in April 1992 and has 106 pages.

cover issue #16, Jo Jobson
  • Kathryn Cutmore, Unlikely Meeting
  • Fliss Davies, Repuation
  • Ros Williams, If You Would Have Power - Part 2
  • Brad D. Black, Rescue Who?
  • Teresa Ward, " The Beginning of the End

Art:

  • Jo Jobson (front cover)
  • Fliss Davies
  • Kathryn Andersen
  • Rory Hull
  • Rob Emery
  • Tim Pieraccini (back cover)


Reactions and Reviews: Issue 16

[If You Would Have Power]: Horizon story zines 15 and 16 (I think) contain 'If you would have power', Ros Williams. It's a long two parter about Carnell as the major manipulator behind all of the major events after Weapon. Even at the end, Blake doesn't die because of another oversite on Carnell's part. The plot is intricate, and the ideas are very good. But Williams doesn't write the characters the way I like them. In fact, she doesn't write much that I have liked. But her *ideas* are usually intriguing! [29]

Issue 17

Horizon 17 was published in November 1992 and has 108 pages.

front cover issue #17
back cover of issue #17
  • Brad D. Black, Hunters and Prey
  • Fliss Davies, Question of Allegiance
  • Marcia Quinn, Orac's Revenge
  • Margaret Scroggs, Duel or the Folly of Madness
  • Priscilla Futcher, Talk About Summer, Remember Winter
  • Richard Self, The Trouble with Heroes
  • Gill Marsden, When You Look into the Abyss
  • Sue Swain, Reflecting Rumours

Art:

  • Tim Pieraccini (front cover)
  • Fliss Davies (back cover)
  • Andy Spencer
  • Ivan Smith
  • Danny Dresner
  • Richard Self
  • Rory Hull
  • Whitby27
  • Jo Jobson

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 17

[Duel or the Folly of Madness]: Margaret Scroggs is a writer I've decided I like. I got HORIZON 17, and she has "DUEL OR THE FOLLY OF MADNESS" in it. It's the episode "Duel" written as a Shakespearian play, and it's delightful. I tore "Duel" out and gave the entrails away, (another gutted zine) It's really amazing to me that HORIZON as a B7 fan club produces so much more Avon oriented material than Blake oriented. The mix should be close to 50-50. I'm only conceding that because I know most people like Avon, and Avon did star in two years of B7. For me, the perfect "ratio" is 100% Blake and Avon. [30]

Issue 18

Horizon 18 was published in October 1994 and has 104 pages.

cover issue #18, Ivan Smith
  • Judith Proctor, A Choice of Identity
  • Lorna Breshears, About-Face
  • Nina Lynch, Nothing Unusual
  • Ros Williams, Future Passing
  • Judith Proctor, Narrowboat
  • Russ Massey, Legend
  • William J. Morrison, Not the Man We Thought
  • Brad D. Black, Inscriptions
  • Heather Whitney, Revenge of the Dead Thief
  • Neil Faulkner, All the President's Men

Art:

  • Ivan Smith (front and back cover)
  • Whitby27
  • Tim Pieraccini
  • Harry Eckman
  • Rory Hull
  • William J. Morrison
  • Steven J. Miscandlon

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 18

[zine]:

This is the most recent Horizon zine, it came out in October at Who's 7. As with all the Horizon zines, it is A5 digest size with center stapling and a card cover.

The artwork is a fair range, from [Whitby27] (whose work I don't like apart from a portrait of Vila on page 19) to Tim Pieraccini (some middling, but a nice portrait of Jenna). Other pictures are by Harry Eckman, William J. Morrison, Steven Miscandlon, and Rory Hull. Overall, nothing to swing from the rafters about, but a reasonable standard of pictures apart from a few duds.

The stories:

"A Choice of Identity" by Judith Proctor: Avon has traumatic amnesia after an explosion. Servalan manipulates him into believing that he is his own brother and working for her. She sends him back to Liberator to impersonate himself and betray Blake.

"About-Face" by Lorna Breshears: A short sharp PGP with a good twist.

"Nothing Unusual" by Nina Lynch: Set after "Gold". All the Scorpio crew except Vila are behaving like kindergarten children and he realizes that this is because of drugs they were exposed to on the Space Princess. It's a good idea for a story, but the joke is carried on for twenty seven pages, and that's too long.

'Futures Passing" by Ros Williams: I'm not a great fan of Ros William's work as a rule, so bear in mind that if you normally like her stuff, you may like this in spite of my comments. This is another long story, about thirty pages, and is a continuation of a PGP epic from Horizon 17. Servalan rules the Federation, Avon controls the Federation bank, and Tarrant is Supreme Commander. What I dislike about Ros's stories is not the plots, but the characters' reactions. I always feel that the characters are being manipulated to fit the plot, rather than vice versa. For instance, Servalan becomes pregnant by Avon. "In that moment his passion for her died. It was over, it was finished. He would never touch her again nor even want to." We're never given any clues as to why he feels like that. Because she tricked him? Because he loathes children? Because he hates pregnant women? Or simply because the plot requires them to fall out?

"Narrowboat" by Judith Proctor: A short silly story in which Liberator passes through a massive improbability field and turns into a barge floating down a canal.

"Legend" by Russ Massey: A short story in which we see the Liberator crew and their exploits as handed down through the oral tradition. "Black Avon was half man and half computer." I quite liked this one.

"Not the Man We Thought" by William J. Morrison: A hard hitting little AU story in which Blake really was a child molester and the Federation are covering up for him. Another one that I liked.

"Inscriptions" by Brad D. Black: Extracts from the diaries of Anna Grant and others around the time of Avon's arrest.

"Revenge of a Dead Thief by Heather Whitney: Avon really did push Vila out of the airlock. What happens when the rest of Scorpio's crew work out what happened?

"All the President's Men" by Neil Faulkner: I nearly always like Neil's work, and this is no exception. A short vignette giving life through the eyes of a Federation trooper.

Overall, I rate this zine as middling. I like most of the short stories, but don't care much for the two longer ones. 104 pages, 39,900 words. (That, for once, is an accurate count and not an estimate.) [31]

Issue 19

Horizon 19 was published in August 1995 and has 112 pages.

cover of issue #19, Tim Pieraccini
  • Judith Rolls, Just For One Day
  • Helen Horswood, Eyes of the Betrayer
  • Russ Massey, Queen of the Ships
  • Wendy Ingle,Metamorphosis
  • Shaan Butters,At the End of the Day
  • Deborah Marshall, A Woman's Prerogative
  • Ellen A. Rufkin, Passable Features

Art:

  • Tim Pieraccini (front and back cover)
  • Richard Farrell
  • Wendy Ingle
  • Whitby27
  • Ivan Smith

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 19

I got my 'trib copy of Horizon 19 this morning, so I thought I'd post a review for the rest of the world.

I think this is one of the best collections Horizon have produced for some time. It's got a much higher word count than the last one and has some really meaty stories.

"Just for one day" is a very bleak story by Judith Rolls which concentrates heavily on Avon and Vila. This presents an Avon strongly concerned with self-preservation who feels a lot closer to the Avon of the series than the almost automatically heroic Avon of so much fan fic. If Avon does something selfless in this story, then you know that it is a real struggle for him. A long story, and well worth reading.

"Eyes of the Betrayer" by Helen Horswood. Another twist on Anna Grant. Not a favourite of mine, but not a bad story.

"Queen of Ships" by Russ Massey. A sequel to "Legend" in the previous issue. A fascinating look at Jenna and Avon long after Gauda Prime. Well written, and the saga isn't over yet. A nice intelligent Jenna, and some mysteries to be resolved.

"Metamorphosis" by Wendy Ingle. Cally's experiences on Saurian Major and how they affected her.

"At the End of the Day" by Shaan Butters. Short story about Avon's final thoughts on Gauda Prime.

"A Woman's Perogative" by Deborah Marshall. I really liked this one. A short AU (alternative universe) discovering what would have happened if Jenna had agreed with Avon to abandon Blake on Cygnus Alpha. Very clever, as we see what happned to all the other characters like Soolin and Dayna.

"Passable Features" by Ellen A. Rufkin. This is another long story and is an absolute scream. The author (a pseudonym, but only an anagram) has happily taken every fan cliche and taken the micky out of it. Read it for Ellen's version of the original Comissioner Sleer, Orac playing Happy Families with itself, Cally's dying request for a shrubbery, Avon's problems with a fluffy pink rabbit in Dorian's cellar, Blake's secret plan for producing rebels "I have to breed each one myself" and many more totally tasteless twists on the series we know and love. The actual storyline is a touch hard to follow in places, but in essence, Avon has decided that he is far too nice, and has determined to offload all his good qualities onto Dorian's creature - so instead of looking like a monster, it now looks like a fluffy bunny. the main problem is that he has to feed the rabbit, and this necessitates carting bigger and bigger carrots down into the basement. If only he could think of something totally nasty to do, the creature would stop growing, and he wouldn't have problems feeding it...

It would be worth getting the zine just for the last story alone, but the rest of it is good too, especially Judith Roll's story.

There isn't much artwork. The cover is a reasonable Tim Pieracinni picture of Avon, Blake and Vila, inside artwork is by Richard Farrell (pretty good), Ivan Smith (nice Jenna), Tim Pieraccini, [Whitby27] and Wendy Ingle. Most of the pictures are reasonable, none exceptional apart from Richard's picture of a Federation trooper.

The zine is A5 (digest) size with a red card cover. It's been very carefully proof read and is probably as close to typo free as it's possible to get. Longer staples would have helped. My copy is holding up so far, but I won't be surprised if I lose the centre pages eventually.

A5 zines always have the problem of whether you guillotine the edges after folding the zine. If you don't guillotine, then you get an untidy looking edge to the zine with he centre pages sticking out slightly. If you do guillotine, then the outside margin can look oddly small on the centre pages. Just for the record, this one has guillotined edges. [32]

Issue 20

Horizon 20 was published in October 1996 and has 114 pages.

cover of issue #20, Sarah Brophy
  • Judith M. Rolls, A Peculiar Alchemy
  • Max Dufall and Ali Reynolds, A Night Off
  • Russ Massey, Living Forever

Art:

  • Sarah Brophy (front cover)
  • Tim Pieraccini (back cover)
  • Ivan Smith
  • Sandra Schales
  • Sarah Brophy


Issue 21

Horizon 21 was published in March 1998 and has 100 pages.

cover of issue #21, Kathy Hanson

Judith Rolls, "Second Chances" Nina Lynch, "Deadly Illusion" Pam Crispin, "Retracing the Past" Andrew Phillips, "In the Name of Justice" Shaan Everson, "Perspectives" Gillian F. Taylor, "Long Odds" Kathryn Davis, "Test of Loyalty" Judith Rolls, "Taking Chances"

Issue 22

Horizon 22 was published in October 2000. The cover is by Nick Spender.

cover of issue #22, Nick Spender
  • Josie McCall, "Immolation"
  • Marian de Haan, "The Bargain"
  • Andrew Williams, "The Price You Pay" (reprinted from Enarrare #9)
  • Judith Rolls, "The Palace of Shadows and the Prince of Screams"


Issue 23

cover of issue #23
Horizon 23 was published in 2002. The cover is by Nick Spender.

Fiction:

  • Marion Edwards, "Mitri" (S4; A-ocm)
  • Harriet Bazley, "Swansong" (S4; J)
  • Marian de Haan, "A Perfect Balance" (S1, post-Web; A)
  • Marion Edwards, "Regeneration" (sequel to "Mitri;" S5; A-V-Se)

Art:

  • Nik Spender, cover
  • Rob Emery, photo montages, title page for each story


Comments from a fan in 2016:

For the longest time, I wasn’t sure this even existed. Most lists of the Horizon fanzine stop at issue 22. When this popped up with no photo on eBay, I thought the odds were good that it was a mis-listing (either the wrong issue number given, or issue #23 of the Horizon Magazine.) But as you can see, it’s real. Horizon is one of the most highly regarded of the Blake’s 7 fanzines. Produced in Britain, most issues are digest-sized and professionally printed, with good-quality gen fanfic. #23 has four stories: Mitri by Marion Edwards, Swansong by Harriet Bazley, A Perfect Balance by Marian de Haan, and Regeneration by Marion Edwards.

Horizon in general is worth getting. Some of the stories are meh, of course (tastes vary from fan to fan), but it’s usually not terrible. Probably the only thing to watch out for is the fact that the earlier, A4 sized issues tend to have fading, making reading an exercise in eyestrain.

#Blake's 7 #vintage fanzines #Horizon #I'm posting this on the same day it arrived #before I even have a chance to read it #because it's not even listed on Fanlore #nor does the cover scan seem to be anywhere online #And I've recently noticed that my Tumblr posts are being added to the appropriate Fanlore entries! #Surprising #but I guess it's adding information to the pages #so whoever is doing it has my official blessing #Please go ahead and put the cover scan up there. #I'm sure fans would like a more complete list after all. #I certainly use the site all the time in my fanzine buying decisions #and I doubt I'm the only one [33]

References

  1. Kathryn A. at [1]
  2. Lysator, Judith P., dated August 22, 1994.
  3. from Rallying Call #11 (January 1994)
  4. Review from Julia Jones, on Hermit.org
  5. from Helen Patrick/WebCite
  6. from Helen Patrick/WebCite
  7. from Helen Patrick/WebCite
  8. Subject: Zines post by Judith P. to Lysator dated Nov 10, 1993.
  9. from Helen Patrick/WebCite
  10. from Helen Patrick/WebCite
  11. from Horizon Newsletter #17
  12. from Helen Patrick/WebCite
  13. from Helen Patrick/WebCite
  14. bruinhilda.tumblr, February 9, 2016
  15. bruinhilda.tumblr, February 9, 2016
  16. review by Kathryn Andersen in Horizon Newsletter #22 (June 1988)
  17. from Helen Patrick/WebCite (undated)
  18. review by Kathryn Andersen in Horizon Newsletter #22 (June 1988)
  19. from Helen Patrick/WebCite
  20. from Rallying Call #17
  21. Lysator, Sondra S., dated September 6, 1994.
  22. from Horizon Newsletter #21 (December 1988)
  23. from Horizon Newsletter #21 (December 1988)
  24. Subject: Zines and tapes by Judith P. on Lysator dated Sept 24, 1993.
  25. review by Kathryn Andersen in Horizon Newsletter #22 (June 1988)
  26. review by Ros Williams in Horizon Newsletter #22 (1989)
  27. bruinhilda.tumblr, January 26,, 2016
  28. Lysator, Luxueil , dated October 6, 1993.
  29. Lysator, Luxueil , dated October 6, 1993.
  30. from Rallying Call #17
  31. by Judith Proctor from IMHO* #2 (1995)
  32. Lysator, Judith P., dated September 1995.
  33. bruinhilda.tumblr