Magnificent Tails

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Zine
Title: Magnificent Tails
Publisher: Pony Press
Editor(s): Helig Benedict
Date(s): February 1988 (reprinted with permission by Bill Hupe)
Series?:
Medium: fanzine, print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Blake's 7
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
cover by Salmacis

Magnificent Tails is a het and slash Blake's 7 anthology.

Issue 1

Magnificent Tails 1 was published in February 1988 and contains 237 pages. Original copies had silver or gold trim. The Bill Hupe reprints did not.

The art/graphics are by Salmacis (cover and borders) and Helig Benedict (cartoons).

  • Jill Grundfest, "Celebrate Life" (B/oc, B/J), fiction (54)
  • Dyana, "Expectations" (A/B), poem (62)
  • Dyana, "Possession" (A/B), poem (63)
  • Helig Benedict, "Flash (Take Two)", fiction (64)
  • Lilith, "A Favor from an Enemy" (A/B), fiction (68)
  • Dyana, "Repercussion" (A/B), poem (148)
  • Helig Benedict, "Flash (Take Three)", fiction (149)
  • Caroline Dare, "Force and Deception" (A/Se, A/B), fiction (150)
  • Samy Rue, "Menage a Trois" (Mary Sue, humor), fiction (181)
  • Salmacis, "A Little Hope" (A/V), fiction (183)
  • Kim Wigmore, "Decisions, Decisions" (Mary Sue, humor), fiction (201)
  • Dyana, "Mixed Emotions" (A/B), poem (204)
  • Tenaya, "A Little Tryst Between Friends" (So/V), fiction (205)
  • Dyana, "Simplicity", poem (222)
  • Anon W.A.W. (Anonymous Was a Woman), "When the Barriers Break" (A/V), fiction (223)
flyer with story summaries, click to read

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

On the whole, this zine positions itself at the light-hearted end of B7 slash and adult fiction, sandwiching limericks and parody snippets in between the longer pieces. Although it seems to be a multi-author zine, the basic approach of the stories is remarkably consistent. Most of them are heavily dialogue-based and written in a fairly breezy style, even though rape, either actual or potential, is crucial to all but two of the longer stories. I found this aspect of the zine a bit off-putting - while I'm not opposed to rape stories in principle, the breeziness seemed inappropriate - and at the same time, despite being an out-and-out romantic, I found the more romantic episodes in the stories too sugary for my taste.

Pandora LeCarre - "Dressed to Kill." (A/C) A charming romance, full of back rubs and yearning flirtation and a magic shimmer dress that intensifies emotion and, in the process, renders Cally and Avon completely unrecognisable. (To this reader, at any rate.)

Jill Grundfest - "Celebrate Life." (B/J) Blake, drugged and imprisoned, rapes a young woman, who forgives him. He then confesses this to Jenna, who forgives him too. A story that raises serious issues but never really engages with them.

Lilith - "A Favour from an Enemy." (A/B) Avon, conditioned by Servalan to fall for the next person who walks through the door, is rescued by Blake. As he follows Blake round the Liberator, the author comments, "Not only had Blake never seen this shy, innocent side of Avon before, he'd never even suspected that it existed." Neither had I - and Lilith's extended account of their idyllic relationship left me unconvinced.

Caroline Dare - "Force and Deception." (A/B) A reworking of Terminal, where Servalan rapes Avon while programming him to believe that he is being raped by Blake. This story, by one of the Oblaque writers, came closer to my sense of the series characters, although Dare's Avon is uncharacteristically keen on expressing his feelings and a potentially fraught situation seems to sort itself out rather too easily.

Salmacis - "A Little Hope." (A/V) Avon and Vila in a prison cell, fending off rapists, escaping and forging a new alliance. Tougher and more psychologically complex than the rest of the zine.

Tenaya - "A Little Tryst Between Friends." (V/So) Soolin rescues Vila from a beating and gets the traditional knight errant's reward. A gender bender, which is nice, but the sex mostly takes place off-stage, which seemed a pity ...

Anon W.A.W. (Anonyomous Was A Woman) - "When the Barriers Break." (A/V) Avon has sex with Vila in a drugged state and is furious about it afterwards, until Vila draws out Avon's memories of being raped by a prison guard. An unexpected and refreshingly downbeat ending, although I wished the story had been placed earlier in the zine, because by this time I was yearning to read a story that wasn't centred around rape. [1]
"This adult adjunct to the MAGNIFICENT 7 series echoes its sister zines in neat but not gaudy presentation , stories chosen for plots constructed to include theme and characterization, and a leavening of short, humorous offings sprinkled through the zine. The near lack of interior art does not mean the zine is all plain; the nouveau-ish art on the cover and some prettily bordered poetry add a few visual flourishes. The adult label means here that the storylines include sex when that is part of how the characters are likely to act within the plot. (Please take as given a brief diatribe about this common bit of terminology that suggests sex is the only activity intellectually mature beings can engage in that the immature cannot.) For the information of readers who may be wary of such inclusions, the sexual depictions range from the vague to explicit, but only one can strikes me as offensive at the time; it's appropriate in context. (The way may also wish to know that I'm not easily offended by plain, if explicit sex.) The characters who are paired do include same-sex in some stories and opposite sex in several others. [2]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2, Tiresisas

Magnificent Tails 2 ("Magnificent Tails Too") was published in February 1988 and contains 205 pages. The art is by Tiresisas (cover), Adrian Morgan (p. 126, 131), Helig Benedict (p. 44, 45, 205).

In issue #2 the editor announced: "Copying of this zine in its entirety by amateurs for the purpose of sharing is encouraged".

"Word Processing: Harriet, Dempsey, and Daredevil, Proofing, spiralling, titles, socially acceptable fizzy water, encouragement, California Coolers, mayhem, artbooks, ideas and general silliness" Conscripted Blondes. Perspective: Dragon Lady. Toe-Licking; Justin."

Fiction:

Poetry:

  • Dyana, "Chains" (A/B)
  • Dyana, "Notions" (A/B)
  • Dyana, "Tempting Fate" (A/B)
  • Dyana, "There Be Dragons"
  • Dyana, "Precognition"
  • Dyana, "Speechless" (A/B)
  • Dyana, "Seduction-- Seduced" (A/B)
  • Dyana, "Don't Touch" (A/B)
  • Limericks (Erica Leonard)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

[Private Amusements]: I'm not sure what you'd classify Tashery Shannon's "Private Amusements" (MAGNIFICENT TAILS TOO) as, but I liked it. I wouldn't have thought autoerotica would be that interesting, it's definitely a PWP, and the ending sort of stopped me dead, but it's sexy and has some very nice Avon descriptions. [3]

References

  1. by Nova at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  2. Pressure Point no.6
  3. Lysator, Pat Nussman, August 31, 1994.