Pattern of Infinity

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Zine
Title: Pattern of Infinity
Publisher: Delta Dome Press
Editor(s): Nicole Petty
Date(s): 1997
Series?:
Medium: print zine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Blake's 7
Language: English
External Links:
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Pattern of Infinity is a gen Blakes 7 AU anthology.

About

From the publisher, "Historical zine placing the characters of Blake's 7 in past eras of history. The new and irmproved (sic) second printing of this classic zine is due September 1997. Sit back and travel back in time to:

  • If There Was No Tomorrow, by Susan Barrett Riaz (Ancient Rome). The political insiders of Rome can never trust, but Avon wil have to learn to trust a British slave, Blake, if he is to survive.
  • Pirates of Caribbee, by Patricia Blassi (high seas). Will gold be enough to persuade Sukie Lynn to engage in mutiny against Captain Avon?
  • Our Fears and Our Dreamings, by Carol McCoy and Lorna Breshears (1960's). Travis convinces Blake to take a stronger stance against the Vietnam War. Will the innocent pay the price?
  • Additional stories by Marian Mendez, Loulou Harris, Ann McKannan, Roland Gagne, and Nicole Petty. Poems by Judith Proctor. Art by Mary O'Connor, Whitby27, and Leah Rosenthal. Color cover by Phoenix.

Reactions and Reviews

See reactions and reviews for Depression is More than a State of Mind.

Unknown Date

[zine]: Pattern of Infinity is a genzine published by Delta Dome Press. The stories in it set the Blake's 7 characters into historical settings.

The front cover is a colour drawing by Phoenix of a very eye catching Servalan as Cleopatra and Avon as Mark Anthony. The back cover is of Henry VIII by Leah Rosenthal and opinions vary as to who he's supposed to be. He just looks like King Henry to me (which may be intentional for all I know), although a friend plumped strongly for Gan.

The interior art is a mixture. There are some really lovely pictures by Mary O'Connor (especially of Cally, Jenna and Gan) and some that aren't as lovely, but still pretty good. There's a fair bit by [Whitby27] although these have suffered the usual fate of photocopied pencil work and come out very black and smudgy. One of Val's is a nude of Avon, and while I'm a great fan of nude Avon's, I'm not quite sure that he belongs in a genzine, even if his leg does hide the naughty bits. Other art is by Dave Arnold, Bonnie Key (who does a very nice Vila) and Maria de la Luiz Ragis.

The layout of the zine is a pain - fonts shift between stories and use of right justification is inconsistent. I also think there's too much white space. However, on the plus side, the proof reading has been very well done. I only found two or three mistakes in the entire zine and that is an excellent achievement.

Although there is a problem with the page numbers, this is not the editor's fault and I personally think the printer should have realised there was a problem. (The page numbers were marked for the printer in a pen that is supposed not to show up when photocopied.)

Universal Rebel - poem - Judith Proctor

If There Were Tomorrow - Susan Barrat Riaz

Avon is a Roman noble. Blake is a Briton who is imprisoned by Ceasar Augustus. I liked this one. Not only did Susan manage to make sense of the complex family trees and interwoven politics surrounding Augustus, Livia, Tiberius and Julia, but she also paints a noble and honourable Blake who impresses Avon in spite of himself.

Between Two Worlds - Ann MaKannon

Avon as a Roman again, but this time residing in Britain, not Rome. Blake gets to be Welsh and a half sister to Cally. This one is an Avon/Cally romance, nicely handled, with a logical and rational Avon facing Cally who worships the Goddess and would never accept a man who did not offer love and passion.

Sir Delamere - Arthurian style poem - Judith Proctor

(I'm still trying to figure out how I came to write the only Tarrant piece in the zine - I'm not even a Tarrant fan, she says between gritted teeth)

Merry Men - Robin Hood type poem - Judith Proctor

Pirates of the Caribee - Patricia Blasi

I found this one disappointing as soon as I realised the plot. It's just an 'Orbit' rewrite set in a different period and with a slightly different ending. We see enough of those anyway.

Blake's Last Stand - Paul Ragis

Custer's last stand with Blake and Travis as Custer's brothers and the indians led by Crazy Horse Avon. This one didn't work for me. I didn't believe Custer as a total white hat when Errol Flynn played him. Neither do I see him as black and calculating as he is painted here.

Gunfight - Roland Gagne and Nicole Petty

Tarrant and Avon battle for Jenna's affections in the old west with a supporting cast of nearly everyone else. Although this isn't a bad story per se, I felt that if you had removed all the character names and recast them at random, it would probably have worked just as well. They failed to convince me as the people they were supposed to be.

[See this fan's comments on Depression is More than a State of Mind.]

Hiroshima - poem reflecting 'Star One' - Judith Proctor

The Bracelet - R. W. Grendel

Dashiell Hammett type story in which Avon as a private detective is asked to help Servalan deal with a little problem which rapidly turns out to be a big problem. I didn't like the writing style this one. At one point, the writer managed four point-of-view shifts in a single paragraph and I found that this made it very hard to identify with any of the characters. I think the whole thing would have worked much better if it had been done in the first person from Avon's point-of-view. (Hammett did it that way, didn't he?)

Urbi et Orbi - Loulou Harris

The best written story in the zine. This one makes you think. It also feels the most closely embedded in the real world. Told in the first person by Gan, he relates how he and Blake and several others travelling on a prison bus in Guatemala escape to Mexico. This story encapsulates a lot of South American politics. Blake is an Argentine who has lived most of his life in Peru and wants to go back there. Cally is indian, Gan has black blood, Vila is mixed race and Avon and Blake are pure white (thus nicely echoing the Alpha/Delta of the series in a very realistic way) I'm not sure of the exact period (I don't know my South America histry very well), but it feels like about 20 years ago. Blake is a communist (a role he has in one or two other stories in this zine, too), but while the others are on the run, they have no desire to get involved in reolution in a country where people are frequently taken by the police and never seen again. He eventually gets them to help him with one task which should be of benefit to them all.

Our Fears and Our Dreamings - Cami and Lorna Breshears

Set in the USA when students were protesting about the Vietnam War. Blake is a major protestor, wheras Avon just wants to get on with his studies. There's a lovely scene of Cally working in a cafe frequented by students and slowly falling in love with Avon, but the relationship between Avon, Cally and Blake eventually leads to tragedy. [1]

1996

[zine]: Reviewed by Kathryn Andersen on 1996-09-22

Blake's 7 alternative-history zine, edited by Nicole Petty. Places Our Heros into different places in history.

Review posted to Blake's 7 mailing list Sun, 22 Sep 1996 by Kathryn Andersen

On 29 Aug 1996, Judith Proctor wrote:

Pattern of Infinity

Well, now that I've finished reading my copy, it's time I commented, and I reckon it'll be easier to comment on Judith's comments, since she's been so thorough.

The front cover is a colour drawing by Phoenix of a very eye catching Servalan as Cleopatra and Avon as Mark Anthony.

The front cover is lovely.

Mary O'Connor's stuff is good, particularly a Jenna that she did.

very black and smudgy. One of Val's is a nude of Avon, and while I'm a great fan of nude Avon's, I'm not quite sure that he belongs in a genzine, even if his leg does hide the naughty bits.

Yes, I'm not sure that it was necessary to show this scene, even though it was in the story. (Innocent, yes - he was about to have a bath.)

The layout of the zine is a pain - fonts shift between stories and use of right justification is inconsistent.

I wouldn't say a pain, but it is displeasing.

Universal Rebel - poem - Judith Proctor

(Hey, I get to comment on Judith's stuff - since she couldn't...) This one is very apt. It fits very well. Now, is it a filk or a poem?

If There Were Tomorrow - Susan Barrat Riaz

Avon is a Roman noble. Blake is a Briton who is imprisoned by Caesar Augustus. I liked this one. Not only did Susan manage to make sense

This was not bad. It felt a bit awkward to me, but I liked the symmetry of it.

Between Two Worlds - Ann MaKannon

Avon as a Roman again, but this time residing in Britain, not Rome. Blake gets to be Welsh and a half sister to Cally. This one is an Avon/Cally romance, nicely handled, with a logical and rational Avon facing Cally who worships the Goddess and would never accept a man who did not offer love and passion.

And I like good Avon/Cally romances.

Sir Delamere - Arthurian style poem - Judith Proctor

(I'm still trying to figure out how I came to write the only Tarrant piece in the zine - I'm not even a Tarrant fan, she says between gritted teeth)

And it fit so well, too. Tarrant as a noble knight, rescuing his fair maid....

Merry Men - Robin Hood type poem - Judith Proctor

It should be "We're seven" not "I've seven" but that's the only error. It made me laugh, that last line.

Pirates of the Caribee - Patricia Blasi

I found this one disappointing as soon as I realised the plot. It's just an 'Orbit' rewrite set in a different period and with a slightly different ending. We see enough of those anyway.

This one was dark, better written, and left a bad taste in my mouth.

Blake's Last Stand - Paul Ragis

Custer's last stand with Blake and Travis as Custer's brothers and the Indians led by Crazy Horse Avon. This one didn't work for me.

Didn't work for me either. The characters were just names on the paper.

Gunfight - Roland Gagne and Nicole Petty

Tarrant and Avon battle for Jenna's affections in the old west with a supporting cast of nearly everyone else. Although this isn't a bad story per se, I felt that if you had removed all the character names and recast them at random, it would probably have worked just as well. They failed to convince me as the people they were supposed to be.

This one wasn't bad. Plot wasn't bad. Some good phrases (the sun was nailed to the sky, I liked that one...)

[See this fan's comments on Depression is More than a State of Mind.]

Hiroshima - poem reflecting 'Star One' - Judith Proctor

Perfect! Perfect! Weaving Blake's own words in with that which in our own history is as controversial as Star One. Best poem in the zine.

The Bracelet - R. W. Grendel

Dashiell Hammett type story in which Avon as a private detective is asked to help Servalan deal with a little problem which rapidly turns out to be a big problem. I didn't like the writing style this one.

Aw, it wasn't bad. Jacki Sleer fit right in, as did Avon. The others were pretty much ciphers though.

Urbi et Orbi - Pita Enriquez Harris

The best written story in the zine. This one makes you think. It also feels the most closely embedded in the real world.

I didn't actually feel that way - I kept on being jolted out of my suspension of disbelief by little things that didn't quite fit. I didn't actually finish this one. It was well-written, though.

Our Fears and Our Dreamings - Carol McCoy and Lorna Breshears

Set in the USA when students were protesting about the Vietnam War. Blake is a major protestor, whereas Avon just wants to get on with his studies.

This one was the best story in the zine. Puts in mind the adage, "you should write what you know". The setting felt very comfortably written, and the characterisations of Avon, Blake and Cally were perfect; I thought this was the best story even before I finished it, and then it had to go and turn tragic. Which unfortunately made it an even better story. (Heck, I would have liked it to end happily, but sometimes that just ain't to be.)

So, as a whole, I would say, Judith's poems are good, most of the stories are average, but there are a couple of really good ones. Which is, I suppose, about on par with any zine. [2]

Patterns of Infinity has the intriguing premise, first conceived by Teresa Buffaloe, of putting Blake's 7 people in the past, rather than the distant future. After all the show was concerned with the human problems, conflicts, heroism and evil, which have always existed, regardless of time or technology.

I had only a few basic grumbles. The fonts changed a few times and justification was not always consistent. And while 1 enjoyed seeing Avon on his way to the bath on page 38 (discreetly posed to show nothing objectionable) it may be out-of-place in a genzine.

The zine is remarkably free of typos and other distractions from the stories.

The color cover fitted the theme well. Marc Avon Antony & Cloe-Servalan-patra make an intriguing couple. But I have to say I can't see her clasping any asp to her bosom. Well maybe Avon's asp — er, well, this is a genzine I am reviewing.

There is a good portion of illustration of varying types with most of the illustrations actually portraying a scene from a story. Some of the pencil work is fuzzier and darker than I prefer, but there are also some really fine pen and inks - especially like Cally on page 80 and Gan on page 91, two characters who seldom seen illustrated at all, and in this case have had their personality captured, as well as the feel of the story.

I'm not much of a poetry person, myself, but if you are, then there are four by Judith Proctor, each with a different emotional tone and style; The Universal Rebel with Blake fighting throughout history for right (although the accompanying illo is of Avon, the poem implies Blake to me); Sir Dekmere with Del Tarrant, knight errant and his lady-love, Zeeona: one that tickled my funny bone Merry Men, Blake's 7 meet Robin Hood; and Hiroshima, a dark look at the things sometimes done in the name of right.

Now, on to the stories. If There Were Tomorrow by Susan Barrett Riaz. Avon as a high-ranking Roman finds himself admiring Blake the Briton's courage and convictions. The flavor of the Roman Empire is recreated quite believably, and the characters feel true.

The next story. Between Two Worlds by Ann McKannon, also has Avon as a high-ranking Roman, (hmm, I think his profile may have suggested the theme. This is an entirely different look at Avon, though. He meets, and is enchanted by, Cally, a handmaiden to a Goddess worshipped on Scilly. Travis, as a cruel Roma, interferes, but the course of true love is not denied. I do love a happy ending, particularly if they've had to struggle to get there.

Patricia Blasi has rewritten Orbit in Pirates of the Caribee. Wily Willy, the pirate, is not keen on Captain Avon's attempt to lighten ship, and decides to make sure it won't happen again. This may or may not have a happy ending, depending on whose side you're on.

Blake's last Stand by Paul Ragis, has Blake, Travis and Custer as brothers, who meet Crazy Horse Avon at Little Big Horn. I think 1 might have liked this better if Custer were "played" by one of the B7 characters. Actually, I would have like Travis in that role, he seemed wasted as a mere extra brother.

Gunfight by Roland Gagne and Nicole Petty, puts most of the crew into the Old West There was some characterization confusion. While I could see Avon as a bounty hunter and desiring Jenna, I can't see Jenna willing to marry just anyone who'd lake her out of the saloon-girl business. And the Tarrant contingent will be unhappy about his unsympathetic portrayal.

I can's say much about the next story, as it's mine. Depression is More Than A State of Mind basically has our heroes in the late 1930s, trying to survive as best they can. The usual problems. Corruption, Jenna lusting after Blake. Cally thinking about lusting alter Avon but not wanting it to interfere with higher aims. Vila thieving. Gan mourning his woman, Avon regretting Anna's demise. That sort of thing. But I think it holds together. I liked writing it, you may like reading it.

The Bracelet by R. W. Grendel is the Maltese Falcon revisited Avon as Same Spade. Amusing, even though you pretty much know what's going to happen as soon as you realize Avon is Bogie. The "voices" are convincing blend of B7 and the movie.

Pita Enriquez Hams wrote Urbi et Orbi. It's a very well- written, in character, tale of Blake revolting in Peru, dragging all the others in after him., willy-nilly. The setting is exotic, and carefully realized. The political mood is captured perfectly, and the ending is very Blakish, but not depressing. The whole story is told from the Gan avatar's viewpoint which is a pleasant change of pace.

Our Fears and Our Dreamings by Carol McCoy and Lorna Breshears is set during the university protest days. Avon is shy, and out of step with his contemporaries. Blake is leading the revolt. Avon angst abounds, and all are firmly in character and the time-period is perfectly evoked. (For those who may be unsettled by the ending; the original authors have given me permission someday to add to it, using my "never-say-die" tactics. So it's possible that this its isn't really the end.)

On the whole, I consider the zine an excellent first try from a new editor. Her next zine should be even better. [3]

PATTERN OF INFINITY is $13 from Delta Dome Press. The editor is Nicole Petty, and this is a first zine. I want desperately to like this zine, but am having trouble. Maybe it's the no Blake on the covers? The front, though, is, nice. It's a color Phoenix of Servalan (Cleopatra) and Avon (Antony). Of course, I'd prefer Avon and Blake, mainly because I remember Thomas in PETER AND PAUL. Great legs! The back is a Rosenthal Henry VIII, but I can't tell if it's supposed to be Vila or not. Mary O'Connor shows promise as a new artist; [Whitby27] is improving. ([Whitby27] actually did a Blake with Avon off on the side!!) As of now, I haven't finished the zine. The fact I quit reading it at 1 A.M. this morning shows it's not a zine I fell in love with. In general, the main character is Avon, and there is Blake bashing. Carol McCoy and Lorna Breshears in "Our Fears and Our Dreamings" bash Blake. "The Bracelet" by R.W. Grendel bashes Blake. "Depression Is More Than a State of Mind" by Marion Mendez doesn't bash Blake. Need I tell you which of the three stories I like?

Judith Proctor has some poems and no stories (unless she has new pen names I don't know). I think poetry is hard to criticize, so I won't. "If There Were Tomorrow" by Susan Barrett Riaz doesn't bash Blake, but I just can't get excited about this story which has an excellent premise. "Blake's Last Stand" by Paul Ragis doesn't bash Blake. In this story, Brake and Travis are George Armstrong Custer's brothers at the Battle of Little Bighorn. Would you have guessed that Crazy Horse is Avon?? And do I even need to say anything else about the story?? This zine, like STAR THREE, definitely needed more stories by established writers, ones with the ability of McCoy, Breshears, and Mendez. But I do realize that editors can only publish what gets submitted—and I think many of the established B7 writers are not writing much B7 these days. And writers as well as artists can't get better without practice. So while i am criticizing, I realize there's another side. [4]

References

  1. review by Judith Proctor at her site
  2. by Kathryn Andersen review here/WebCite
  3. review by Marian Mendez in Tarriel Cell v.10 n.2
  4. from Rallying Call #19