Raising Hell (Blake's 7 zine)

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Zine
Title: Raising Hell
Publisher: Mkashef Enterprises
Editor(s): Wendy Rathbone
Date(s): 1987-1994
Series?:
Medium: print, zine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Blake’s 7
Language: English
External Links: online flyer with story summaries
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Raising Hell is a gen Blake's 7 anthology. It is a sister zine to the slash zine, Resistance.

The Editor's Move to Blake's 7 Fandom

From the editorial of Daring Attempt #8, an April 1987 Star Trek zine:
The topic of K/S may sometimes seem like a tired one, with so many zines coming out with similar stories, but there are new ideas and new ways of handling old ideas. And most die-hard K/S fans never get tired of our two favorite heroes discovering their mutual affection for each other.... Though several close friends of mine may kill me for doing this, I am taking my fate into my hands and doing my first 'other media' zine. This 'other media' happens to be Blakes 7. I know many of you may not be familiar with the British series, so I won't bore-you with the details, but those who are interested, send me your thoughts and S.A.S.E.s. I have just recently discovered the series and find it a nice vacation from my every day Star Trek obsession. But don't worry, I will not be leaving any of my Trek zines behind. They will continue to be published at full speed ahead. The B7 zine is just a fun distraction and a nice change for someone (me) who at times finds herself drowning in a self-made, Star Trek rut. Don't take that last sentence the wrong way. Star Trek will always be my first love and first obsession. It's a classic, there's no denying it. But it is fun to test other waters on occasion. So I hope to hear encouragement, ideas and even stories from other B7 fans out there. I'm willing to publish both adult and general B7 stories in this new zine. My mind is wide open on this one. Don't be shy.

Summaries below are from the publisher.

Issue 1

Raising Hell 1 was published in 1987 and is 110 pages long.

front cover issue #1 -- A fan in 1988 said: "Susan Lovett's mythical-theme covers are easily this 'zines most outstanding art. Her half toned portraits of Avon and Blake are unusual (Avon riding a Pegasus? Blake with a unicorn?), meaningful, and a nice addition to any fan's collection." [1] A fan in 2016 said: "One of my top, all time favourite pieces of fanart. Suzan Lovett - cover of Raising Hell #1. JUST IN CASE YOU FORGOT My idea of Avon on horseback reads more like “I am siting upright. This is a start. What are all these straps and how are they connected. The horse is moving I need to make it stop. The straps, they’re called reins, that’s how it’s done. Horse is not stopping oh god why is that and now I am LOSING MY BALANCE.” At this point he has to be helped down. The horse is confused. The incident is never spoken of again. Avon makes sure of that. #Blake's 7#vintage fanzines#raising hell 1#Kerr Avon#on a horse!#that DOES appear to be his oh shit I'm gonna die face" [2]
back cover issue #1, Title: "It Followed Me Home" -- archived here; WebCite. A fan in 2016 said: "I have many questions. Does the artist expect me to believe that Blake is a virgin? Is there an implied but undrawn virgin also in the scene, keeping the unicorn docile? If so, who is it? And is that who Blake is looking at, or is he just staring into space thinking about the Burden of Command?" -- [3]
inside page from issue #1, art by Gayle F

Fiction:

  • Jean Lorrah, "Confession" ("Avon’s thought processes and motivations in the last five minutes of Blake are revealed…")
  • Alayne Gelfand, "After Death" ("In this interesting sequel to Blake, Avon and Vila awake in a bright, white room which has no entrances and no exits…")
  • Natasha Solten, "To Rule in Hell" ("Blake is finally fed up with Avon’s bitter, cynical attitude, and decides to confront him about it…")
  • Ash Brook, "A Point of Honor" ("Blake and his crew are seen from the point of view of a Federation agent sent to infiltrate and abduct the Liberator.")
  • Wendy Rathbone, "Misunderstanding" ("The rather peculiar behavior between Avon and Soolin in Warlord is the result of some interesting misunderstandings…")
  • April Giordano, "Meeting by Chance" ("In a bar on a free planet, Avon gets a strange warning about Servalan from a former Federation psycho-stragegist.")
  • Wendy Rathbone, "Never Never Land" ("Avon meets up with his older brother who, to everyone’s amazement and amusement, is a lot like Blake, but his presence brings back some tragic childhood memories that explain a lot about Avon’s attitude towards the rebels and heroes.")

Nonfiction:

Poetry:

  • Wendy Rathbone, "Trust"
  • Wendy Rathbone, "False Dawn"
  • Alayne Gelfand, "Transformation"
  • Wendy Rathbone, "Battle at Star One"
  • Natasha Solten, "Shadows of Resistance"
  • Ash Brook, "Defection"
  • Ellie Craven, "On Being a Fan in Love with Avon" )
  • Wendy Rathbone, "Reluctant Astronaut"
  • Wendy Rathbone, "Orbit Postscript"

Art:

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

In her opening editorial, editor Wendy Rathbone confesses to being new to Blake's 7 fandom. If so, this 'zine definitely qualifies as beginner"s luck. With an emphasis on characterization-- and a surprising amount of dry wit-- the fiction is a good mix of adventure and personality-exploration pieces. My only complaint is that strong emphasis on character sometimes results in weaker plotting which it does in one or two of the stories. Even so, there are no real "clinkers"; the weaker pieces still offer interesting B7 concepts and dialogue. Jean Lorrah's "Confession" leads off the 'zine-- and excellent editorial choice. Lorrah's a pro' and this tightly-written tale shows it. A brief retelling of the last tew minutes of "Blame" from Avon' s chilling conclusion. Any fan who's ever puzzled over the series' ending will have abundant food for thought. -Afterdeath-, by Alayne, Gelfand, is a post-Gauda Prime adventure with the true flavor of the episodes. It follows AV,on and Vila as they escape from Servalan's ultimate trap (or is it?) into a possible future for the Resistance. Gelfand's Avon/Servalan scenes carryall the electricity you'd expect, and Vila offers a few really acidic lines. The ending Of this one seemed a little sweet for B7's dark universe, though Wendy Rathbone's "Never Never Land" is an unusual exploration of Avon's childhood. Worked out through a failed "Liberator" mission to rescue a rebel government; this story finally identifies the brother Avon saw in an early episode. his name is Denis, and he's more than a little like Blake... As an explanation of Avon's problem with heroes, those Blake's people, this adventure focuses on his growing distaste for the assignment as he gets to know his victims--particularly Cally. Brook's choppy style toward the end becomes a little distracting, but this odd tale tale is worth the effort. "To Rule in Hell" (Natasha Solten) and "Meeting by Chance" (April Giordano) are both more vignettes than fully fleshed stories. "To Rule in Hell" is essentially a confrontation scene between Blake and Avon, as Blake struggles to understand just what about his leadership has the computer specialist climbing "liberator's" walls. "Meeting by Chance" brings back the psycho-strategist Carnall from "Weapon", as he and Avon encounter each other in a neutral territory bar. Rathbone's "Misunderstandings" also emphasizes character over-plot, but those who enjoyed the fourth season episode "Warlord" will discover many interesting "footnotes". This one examines the antagonism between Avon and Soolin as they prepare for yet another doomed mission aboard SCORPIO. Though some of the scene shifts may get confusing, both characters are well drawn at their temperamental best. RH #1 also offers nine poems, the majority several CU lS above standard 'zine poetry. Placement of these is particularly effective, echoing and enhancing the fiction. At least one story ("To Rule in Hell") is actually improved by the poems paired with it: "Battle at Star One" (Rathbone) and "Shadows of Resistance" (Natasha Solten. The inclusion of both fiction and poetry by four of the writers (Rathbone, Gelfend, Solten, Brook) gives an interesting double perspective on their talents. Susan Lovett's mythical-theme covers are easily this 'zines most outstanding art. Her half toned portraits of Avon and Blake are unusual (Avon riding a Pegasus? Blake with a unicorn?), meaningful, and a nice addition to any fan's collection. Interior art is rather sparse, but includes a striking portrait of Avon by Gayle F and a couple of detailed illos by Lynne Alisse Witten. Overall, this 'zine is well organized and thoughtful, with quality writing~ Recommended. [4]
OK, I admit it - I bought this zine almost entirely because of its beautiful Avony cover - sadly the image does not render very well in the reprint photocopy. It's sharp and crisp, but it not grey-scale, just black and white. Very disappointing. The same is true of Blake and the unicorn, but I love that distinctly less.

Having seen the cover IRL, I read the fic, I admit, with the idea that since I did not have to keep the zine for the cover (the cover being distinctly disappointing) I could probably get rid of it quite quickly unless it was full of amazing stuff. There's one review on Fanlore, which proclaims that pretty much everything in this zine is good. Friends - I do not believe this to be the case, although it's OK.

Jean Lorrah, "Confession" Jean Lorrah - author of 'Trust, Like the Soul'! Interestingly this fic (unlike TLtS) does not seem to think Blake is rubbish, which is a nice change. Unfortunately it's just a repetition of the final scene of 'Blake' with Avon thinking about how Blake is clearly mind-controlled and it's a good idea to kill him. My top ten least favourite B/A tropes have actually changed in a year (I didn't mention Blake being a rapist, for example), but this is still on there. And I don't like fics that just repeat dialogue from a source canon either. So - in summary, I did not like this fic.

Alayne Gelfand, "After Death" This fic begins with roughly the same premise and spins off. They meet up with the real Blake again, and it plays a lot like a B/A fic (I think Avon even says the word 'love' at one point). This is all right, but very confusing.

Natasha Solten, "To Rule in Hell" Another fic that feels like a B/A fic. I quite like a lot of Natasha Soltens (so I know she wrote B/A as well) - this one feels a bit... aimless. Avon is annoyed, so Blake goes and speaks to him a bit... briefly, and they both get over it. Oh, was that it? Right.

Ash Brook, "A Point of Honor" This is quite interesting. B7 from the view of an empathic special agent who infiltrates the ship but then falls for Cally, and I guess the idea of honour. Has some quite nice bits in it, like him rescuing everyone from a bomb he planted. Generally all right.

Wendy Rathbone, "Misunderstanding" This one is weird. Lots of dialogue repeated from the show, and the premise seems to be that Soolin distrusts Avon because she caught him looking at her and Dayna while they were sun-bathing naked together, and doesn't believe it was an accident (it was an accident). I don't know what the point of this story is. April Giordano, "Meeting by Chance" Avon and Carnell meet, which is quite a nice idea. It's a very short fic. I think there's a lot more scope for this to be very interesting, but it's only four pages. It doesn't outstay its welcome, though.

Wendy Rathbone, "Never Never Land"

You don't have to sell me on the Doctor/Peter Pan imagery; you need to work pretty hard to get me to see it about Avon, and I'm afraid this story doesn't work nearly hard enough. This is another B/A story basically, made a bit stranger because Avon's brother (who is, we are told repeatedly a lot like Blake/idolises Blake) shows up - and Avon seems to have a strangely inappropriate relationship with him too. Which is describing this story wrongly, really. That's not what it's about. But that is the way that I saw it. I quite like this one, actually, but then forcing Avon to have feelings he doesn't want, while mocking him for his reaction, is something I encourage. [5]

Issue 2

front cover of issue #2, by Suzan Lovett -- "Hunter's Moon"
back cover of issue #2

Raising Hell 2 was published in 1988 and is 159 pages long. Cover by Suzan Lovett.

original art -- "Hunter's Moon"
flyer for issue #2, click to read

Fiction:

  • Adrian C. Morgan and Brendan O'Cullane, "Mutoid" ("Once Servalan has completed the process of turning Avon into a mutoid, there seems to be no way of saving him. But Blake refuses to give up hope.") (reprinted in Double Vision)
  • Sheila Paulson, "Empathy" ("Blake and Avon have their differences, but circumstances force Avon to see Blake with an empathy he has never before felt.")
  • H. Saavedra, "Soliloquy: Failure Complete" ("Avon’s last thoughts before the tragic events on Gauda Prime.")
  • Leah Rosenthal and Ann Wortham, "Cross the Border" ("After Blake, Vila searches for Scorpio survivors.")
  • James Perkins, "Shadowplay" (sequel to the story called ‘A Point Of Honor’ from Raising Hell #1)
  • Peggy Hartsook, "Back in the High Life Again" ("A post Blake story shows Vila in a different light.")
  • Jean Lorrah, "Dirty Feet and Might-have-beens" ("A sequel to Jean’s novel Trust, Like the Soul, this story deals with Vila’s anger and resentment in the episodes Traitor and Stardrive.")
  • Cindy Rancourt, "Whom the Gods Destroy" ("A post Blake story from Blake’s point of view as he discovers some startling truths.")
  • D.J. Driscoll, "Cliffhanger" ("Blake mistrusts Avon’s intentions to the point of becoming paranoid. The resulting conflict turns into a literal “cliffhanger”…")

Poetry:

  • Ann K. Schwader, "From a Rebellion Bestiary (Pegasus and Unicorn)" (inspired by the Lovett illos (front and back covers of issue #1?)
  • Alayne Gelfand, "Hand and Glass"
  • Ann K. Schwader, "Helotrix/ The Widow Returns"
  • D.J. Driscoll, "The Matchmaker"
  • H. Saavedra, "I Remember"
  • Ann K. Schwader, "Proverbial Postscript"
  • Wendy Rathbone, "Blake's Seven-- The Last Ones"
  • Linda Knights, "Blake's Seven-- A Hero's Dreams"
  • Robin Hood, "The Omniscient Man"
  • Robin Hood, "Acid Love"
  • Alayne Gelfand, "Time Warp"
  • Alayne Gelfand, "The Final Cut"
  • Alayne Gelfand, "Alone at the Center"
  • Ann K. Schwader, "Gauda Primeval"
  • Ellen Walters, "Ten Years After"
  • Alyns Lawchilde, "Vila"
  • Alyns Lawchilde, "Avon"

Art:

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

[Cross the Border]: A post-Gauda Prime that finds Vila escaping from the Federation only to find that he can't leave without knowing what happened to his comrades-in-arms... [6]
[zine]: This is the gen companion zine of the slash zine Resistance. It's not one of my own top favorites, but there's a lot of good stuff in it.

I particularly recommend #2 for the art. In general this zine was not great for art, but #2 is a stellar exception, with gorgeous Lovett and [Gayle F].

There's lots of poetry in these zines, presumably because the editor likes it. I'm not terribly fond of most of it, but occasionally there is a piece I like, such as Ellie Craven's charmingly shameless Emily-Dickinson-inspired Avon-drool in #1.

Fans of pro writer Jean Lorrah will enjoy her stories in these two issues, one of which is a sequel to her adult novel Trust, Like the Soul. Personally, I find that I like her fan fiction less than her use of avatars of the B7 characters in her pro fiction; in the latter case she's freer to play around with them, whereas the fan stories seem to me to pay too much attention to canonical detail. But this is a very unusual complaint for me; ordinarily I'm griping that writers don't pay enough attention to detail. (Which is why it's so nice to have things like the character bios posted here, or the Sevencyclopedia, to refer to.)

There are also two connected stories that give Cally a romance (unconsummated except telepathically) with an original male character. I'm not sure whether they are by two writers, or one using two names; the style seems consistent, so probably the latter.

The story by Sheila Paulson in #2 is mostly A-B, but Gan has a very good part in it too. And it's intense hc with Blake being the hurt one, for a change. Annie and Leah's "Cross the Border" is somewhat similar in concept to the Last Stand series, a PGP with a damaged Avon being cared for by Vila. This could easily become slash, y'know....

Especially interesting in #2 is the Morgan & O'Cullane story, "Mutoid." PGP, Avon is made into a mutoid; the others, including Blake, who has survived, kidnap him and try to restore his memory against his own opposition.

Wasn't this story planned as the first of a series that was never written? [7]

Issue 3

cover of issue #3

Raising Hell 3 contains 109 pages and was published in May 1990.

There is one piece of interior art, a black and white reprint of the Suzan Lovett cover on issue #2.

Fiction:

  • Ruth Berman, "Jenna's Fortune" ("Different events from Jenna’s insightful point of view take a new and interesting meaning.")
  • Jean B. Hubb, "The Wages of Sin" ("Tarrant has an obsession with retrieving an object from an alien museum and takes the others on an unexpected adventure.")
  • Jean Lorrah, "Homecoming" (sequel to "The Mutoid" by Adrian Morgan and Brendan O'Cullane in Raising Hell #2, "Avon must deal with his memories and his “changed” part-mutoid body.") (reprinted in Destiny)
  • Lorna Breshears, "Passion Play"
  • Ruth Berman, "Battle Stations"
  • Pat Patera, "Innerspace" ("It’s up to Blake to pull Avon out of a psychologically induced coma in this post Blake story.")
  • Pat Patera, "Quicksilver" ("A brief afterword to the episode Rumors of Death.")
  • Virginia Waldron, "End of the Line" ("A strangely deranged Dayna mentally controls an amnesiac Vila in this story of deception, murder and unexpected friendship. Jenna, Blake and Avon also make bizarre appearances in this unique extrapolation of post Blake events.")
  • Lorna Breshears, "Last Dance"
ad from the back of Avon the Terrible, click to read story summaries

Poetry:

  • Lorna Breshears, "Sarcophagus: Triad"
  • Ruth Berman, "The Watchers at the Window"
  • Ann K. Schwader, "A Rebel Tarot"
    • "King of Swords (Avon)"
    • "VII: The Chariot (Blake)"
    • "I: The Magician: Vila"
    • "Queen of Cups (Cally)"
    • "Queen of Pentacles (Jenna)"
    • "VIII: Strength (Gan)"
    • "XV: The Devil (Travis)"
    • "Queen of Swords Reversed (Servalan)"
  • Pat Patera, "Innerspace"
  • Pat Patera, "Cats"
  • Anne Collins Smith, "Last Impressons"

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

One of my acquisitions at MediaWest was the one issue in this series that I was missing. I see now why I hadn't acquired it earlier-- unlike most of the other issues of this zine, it has no pretty Suzan Lovett cover to catch the eye. There are some good stories, though.

Two of the stories could easily have gone into an adult zine. "Jenna's Fortune" includes some fairly explicit Blake/Jenna scenes. "Last Dance" is a Vila/Kerril vignette; this is the story that explains why they put all their clothes back on after making love. It's short and not explicit, but it sticks in the mind; I've heard a number of people refer to it fondly.

The two stories by Pat Patera, one A-B and one A-V, have a very slashy feel to them and are recommended for slash fans who also like gen stories with intense m-m interactions.

The most unusual story is "End of the Line," a PGP in which Vila and Dayna appear at first to be the only survivors of GP-- and Dayna has been horribly transformed by Dorian's basement. Strong and well-written! I'm fascinated by the few stories that show us Dayna's dark side; Lorna's "Avenging Angel" in Zen and the Art of Rebellion #2 is another excellent example.

This zine fits interestingly into the Tarot discussion. Not only does it include Ann Schwader's cycle of Tarot poems, but the story "Jenna's Fortune" also includes a "Federation Tarot" that figures in the story. [8]

Issue 4

cover of issue #4, Suzan Lovett (later reprinted in Art Forum #3)

Raising Hell 4 was published in 1991 and contains 178 pages.

Fiction:

  • Leah Rosenthal and Ann Wortham, "Fool's Paradise" ("She stood adjusting the hand-held unit for several minutes; in fact, untl the steady wail of the alarms suddenly faded and died away. “Clear,” she said aloud. “Magnificent.” “I found it rather too convincing myself.” Blake groaned from his face-up position on the floor. “Not bad, though, without a rehearsal.” Avon abruptly rolled upright and stared with critical distaste at the bloodstains all over his velour and leather suit. “Anything that badly overdone is bound to be convincing,” he said.") (A slash companion story, "Fool's Interlude" by Catocala, was published in Rebel Desires #1)
  • Jean Graham, "Reprisal" ("After events over Malodaar, Tarrant and Vila plot to maroon Avon on a distant planet. This is a tight-knit, very suspenseful story of anger, betrayal and revenge. (Pure B7!)")
  • Lorna Breshears, "Corruption" ("In this vignette taking place during the episode Power, outcome of events occurs a little differently when Avon makes a rather startling decision.")
  • Lee Vibber, "Daniel"
  • Jean B. Hubb, "The Farthest Place" ("Blake crash lands alone on an alien planet and has a series of strange experiences. This is an introspective, well-written look at a character who is too often brushed aside in the Avon-adoring world of fan writing.")
  • Lorna Breshears, "Inner Child" ("If Vila had ever heard of the old Earth practice of “shunning” a transgressor of the group laws, he had no recollection of it. Nevertheless, that was what was happening to him ever since Exbar and Blake’s rescue of his cousin, Inga. The rest of the crew had distanced themselves from Vila. They blamed him, it seemed, for giving Travis the teleport command that had enabled one of his crimos to take Liberator, albeit briefly. Although he had volunteered the information only under duress, Vila’s relations with his crewmates had deteriorated - from Avon’s initial frustrated kick in the shins to this low but heated argument now raging on the flight deck.")
  • Ruth Berman, "Absent Friends" ("After events on Gauda Prime, Avon and Vila manage to get everyone teleported to safety, where all of them begin the long process of recovery.")
  • Ruth Berman, "Landing at Kaarn" ("The crew go to Kaarn to search for Cally, whom they have reason to believe may have survived events on Terminal")
  • Lee Vibber, "Loss"
  • Ann K. Schwader, "White Gloves"
  • Sheila Paulson, "Gemini Nightmare" ("“I’d like to see Janna one last time before I die.” The faint voice cut through the silence of the medical unit like a knife, and Vila Restal, who had been crouched on a bench near the door, jerked his head up in alarm and stared at Avon, who sat firmly beside Blake’s bed. His face had been rigidly expressionless as he waited out the death-watch, and even now, six days after the shooting here on Gauda Prime, he had not dared allow himself to hope that Blake would survive after all. The quiet words seemed to indicate that Blake didn’t believe it either.")

Poetry:

  • Ruth Berman, "A Xenon Phantom" (inspired by the cover)
  • Ann K. Schwader, "The Cynic Unmasks (A Dream Sequence for Avon)" (inspired by cover)
  • Pat Patera, "Could Have Beens"
  • Ann K. Schwader, "Defiance Defined (Behind That Last Smile...)"
  • Pat Patera, "Terminal Lies"
  • Pat Patera, "Nightstar"
  • Anne Collins Smith, "Point of Pressure"
  • Anne Collins Smith, "Last Impressions" (reprinted from #3)
  • Anne Collins Smith, "A Time of Innocence, A Time of Confidences"

Nonfiction:

  • Wendy Rathbone, Editorial
  • Letters of Comment
  • Zine ads

Art:

  • Suzan Lovett (front cover)
  • Leah Rosenthal
  • Jean Hubb

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

Lorna's two stories in #4 both involve sex, though of a twisted kind. In "Corruption," Avon becomes a true Hommik. (Logically I ought to hate this story, considering what it does to My Darling, but it's so well written, and made so chillingly plausible, that I find myself getting sucked in at least for the duration of the story.) In "Inner Child," we find out the real threat that Travis made to Vila to get him to talk in "Hostage." [9]
Fool's Paradise This story is the reason I bought the zine, having earlier read its short A/V variant. It's a PGP. Avon and Blake have staged the GP scenario for the benefot of the Federation, and to add verisimilitude Avon has neglected to let the Scorpio crew in on the secret. One result is that Vila has a complete physical and mental breakdown. The main focus of this brilliant story is what happens next between Vila and a troubled Avon, but there are substantial and well-written roles for the rest of the crew. I particulalrly apprecaited the tacit acknowldgement, rare in fan fiction, that it takes more than a hug and a muttered apology to help someone recover from a deep personal crisis. Reprisal Tarrant finds out about Malodaar, and plans with a reluctant Vila to maroon Avon. Vila then has second thoughts. It wasn't clear to me what Vila's motivation was, and where this story was leading. Corruption a short "what-if" story, featuring Avon and Pella. Daniel Cally is dreaming - she dreams a lot, but then which of them doesn't - about her past, especially he rlover Daniel. She becomes agitated, Avon intervenes. So far, so conventioanl. But then, instead of the usual sob on the shoulder, the writer provides a refreshingly insightful perspective on Cally's view of Avon. Farthest Place Some time after Star One, Blake crash lands onto a remote planet and encounters other forms of life who have arrived the same way. Two Federation employees also turn up. Blake is believably drawn, and the plot is well-paced, but then it changes its focus, meandering away from Blake's predicament to that of the Federation couple, which weakens the story line. Inner Child Convincing explanation of why Vila gave in so quickly to Travis's threats on Exbar. He is being shunned by the Liberator crew, there is talk of abandoning him. Cally finds out why he was frightened, but does not understand the full extent of his worreis. Short, very good story. Absent Friends Here we are in the tracking gallery again. The story starts, rather ominously if you enjoy a degree of realism, with Vila somehow managing to teleport out the entire crew, including an injured Blake (Vila just happens to have a spare bracelet in his pocket) to the wreck ofthe Scorpio. For his next trick, he appropriates another ship and with one bound they are free. That said, a lot of the dialogue is not at all bad. The rest of the story involves Avon helping Blake back to health, Vila asserting his authority, and the crew deciding what they should do next. Blake, Avon and Vila want to check on the possible wherabouts of old friends, and the ship sets off in a search for information. Up to this point the tone has been serious, but a discordant (IMHO) note of jokiness enters the story as they order Orac to rustle up some recreational reading. If you can belive Avon and Blake happily reading each other Rupert Bear, your suspension of disbelief is working overtime. Landing at Kaarn This is a sequel to the previous story. Cally is discovered hip-deep in babies and with an elaborate explanation of why she hadn't contacted them earlier. Avon is galvanised into telling her his true feelings - perhaps it wa sreading Rupert Bear that did it - and they reach their comclusion. That still leaves Jenna and Kerril; is there further episode in another zine? Loss Avon comforting Cally again, but in his own oblique way, between Children of Auron and Rumours of Death. It fits very adroitly with the anger she shows towards him in the latter. White Gloves A Servalan story, told in flashback from Kasabi's last words to her. It shows her as a young woman being manipulated by her brother and his predatory commander, but getting revenge and a haircut. Gemini Nightmare This one comes with the Sheila Paulson guarantee of quality. It's PGP time. The crew are on Blake's alternative base - every rebel home should have one. Blake is dying, Avon is remorseful and watches him constantly. Vila and Tarrant are watching Avon. Dayna's recovering, watched by Soolin. Everyone, you will not be surprised to know, is examining their feelings. However, one or two surpirses are in store regarding identities, and a villain must be dealt with before our heroes are ready to hit the road again. Well up to Ms Paulson's usual standard. [10]

The cover was quite nice—but then, Suzy Lovett always delivers! I do miss having lots of art in the zine, but the more prose the better, so perhaps it evens out. (Graphics of some sort would be appreciated, though, and the places where they are used always stand out.)

I think the center of the zine has to be "Fool's Paradise" by Rosenthal and Wortham. Although I found the ending a bit weak, the rest of it was fun and suspenseful. I especially liked the Tarrant-Klyn-Jenna-Dayna plot line and was sorry to see that it wasn't explored more thoroughly at the conclusion. It was great seeing mostly-neglected characters brought to the fore. And I loved Tarrant's comment to Klyn: "Now I know why Avon shot you first." A pity Klyn was killed - she had spunk.

I also liked the poem "Defiance Defined" by Ann K. Schwader. Nice and sparse, yet got its point across. Jean B. Hubb's "The Farthest Place" was an interesting romp, a very bizarre idea with some good secondary characters. And "Loss" by Lee Vibber was a good, emotional character-building "behind the scene" story: probably the only way Avon could offer help to anyone would be to irritate the bejeesus out of them!

And I'm GLAD you're including a lettercol. Feedback (positive and negative) is so important—to me, anyway. I enjoy finding out what was liked and not liked and just seeing what other people have to say. [11]

Thanks for Raising Hell #4. The cover was a heartbreaker and Ruth Berman's "Phantom" quite took my breath away. I only wished for a footnote explaining what old legend the grasshopper/scorpion theme was from.

I assume you're now collecting for Raising Hell #5. Please consider these submissions. "Advice" — I'm not much of a Cally fan, but I've read several of Lee Vibber's Avon/Cally vignettes (like "Loss") and so did one. I've always been puzzled by the tone change between "Deathwatch" (with the crew so darn friendly) and "Terminal" (with Avon holding them all at gunpoint.) What happened? Maybe some 'Advice.' (And an old wound reopened.)

Good luck collecting for #5. And another Suzan Lovett cover would make my day.

((Another Suzan Lovett cover would make my day, too. Alas, I've written to her and not gotten a reply. But I do have another artist's work which I think you will enjoy. Susan E. Williams has worked hard to come through for me with a cover in the fantasy vein. It is, I believe, appropriately odd in the B7 universe for Blake to be sitting atop a mushroom and communing with faeries. -- Ed.)) [12]

Thanks for the copy of Raising Hell #4. I'm in the process of reading it and enjoying it very much. The poetry seems especially strong. I especially enjoyed Ann K. Schwader's "The Cynic Unmasks" illustrating the cover and Anne Collins Smith's "A Time of Innocence, A Time of Confidence," with its use of dialogue rhythms fading out and dying to match the emotional movement.

I notice in the letter column that Carolyn Brown praises Pat Patera "because she freely admits what a manipulator Blake is." I've noticed quite a few comments in stories and letters to the effect that Blake is manipulative. I don't think this interpretation is correct. Avon thinks that Blake is manipulative, but then, it's hard for Avon to admit that he might be persuaded by anything except pragmatic considerations, so if he finds himself giving in, he thinks he must have been manipulated.

An example is Avon's welcome to Blake in Trial." The others, moved by the despair which led Blake to try to run away, have stopped sniping at him for Gan's death, as they were doing at the start of the episode. Avon says sardonically, "You handle them very well." Blake says, "Do I?" His tone is ironical. Both the tone and his obvious misery before, when he ran off, show that Avon is mistaken in assuming that Blake's abandonment of them was a ploy to make them forgive him rather than what Blake said it was, a time alone for him to come to terms with himself. Avon needs to consider it a ploy, because he cannot admit that Blake could have been genuinely willing to let them abandon him -- that would mean admitting the existence of altruism in Blake (and altruism in himself, responding to it.) Blake knows how hard it is for Avon to admit to having a "better nature," and does not press him on it. In fact, on one occasion when Blake is genuinely being manipulative, what he manipulates is Avon's fear of admitting to moral standards. When Avon tries to talk him out of an alliance with gangsters, Blake asks him if he has moral objections. Actually, up until that moment, Avon's objection seems to be practical: he thinks such an alliance would be too dangerous. But as soon as Blake asks him if he objects morally, he says no and shuts up. That's rare for Blake, though. A more typical example of his respect for other people's integrity is in "Breakdown," when Cally asks him to talk Avon out of leaving them, and Blake refuses, saying that Avon has to reach that decision without interference.

A helpful contrast is our old friend, Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise, who really is a manipulative hero, and glances back with amusement over his shoulder when he's chewed out a crewman to see if the crewman was suitably impressed by the captain's rage. That wouldn't occur to Blake. Just look at how they tell lies. Kirk enjoys telling wildly elaborate lies, whenever he can come up with a sufficiently good excuse for it. (Remember Fizzbin? or the mechanical rice-picker?) Blake, masquerading as Travis in "Star One," and forced to come up with a lie to explain Cally's presence, disdains any attempt at plausibility, and instead announces in a take-it-or-leave-it-and-I-don't-care-if-you-believe-it tone, "She is my mother."

So I don't think I believe in the manipulative Blake who keeps getting mentioned all the time. I think that judgment comes out of putting too much faith in Avon's reliability. He's very logical, is Avon, but he's not a Vulcan, and not free of emotional bias.

((I agree. You have to take Avon's views as very biased. In fact, his interpretation of a person's motive is always brought about first by suspicion and distrust. Therefore, his view of that person could be not only very one-sided, but very wrong, due to his paranoia. Blake is basically a good person in a very dark universe. But Avon doesn't believe in good people any more. So, he doesn't believe in Blake and therefore creates dark motives and scenarios behind Blake's actions as a natural response to his own lack of faith. It's also a protective mechanism for Avon. He doesn't trust anybody because those he's trusted in the past have always betrayed him. And in the end, that's what Blake's 7 comes full circle to tell us. Because of that flaw in Avon's character, all die in the last episode. So, take everything Avon concludes about others with a grain of salt. Or you'll find yourself heading down the same dark path, -ed.)) [13]

I just finished reading Raising Hell #4 which bears the distinction of being the first Blake's 7 zine I've read in almost two and one half years. I wanted very much to drop you a note and tell you that I enjoyed it quite a lot, something I hadn't expected in a genre I'm no longer into!

The first story I read was Leah and Ann's "Fool's Paradise." It was a nice little schmooze, lots of angst, although I think I would have liked to see a bit more spirit in good old Vila. He always struck me as the typed with a lot more steel inside, traumatized or not. But, hey, I'll go a loooong way for angst!

The same with Sheila's "Gemini Nightmare." Another enjoyable schmooze written for the express purpose of getting Blake and Avon back together. That's cool, too, and back when I was writing Blake;s 7 myself, I always enjoyed coming up with new and original possibilities to explain why Blake didn't die or betray anyone on Gauda Prime. I never thought of Blake's brother being a twin - but why not?

I had a great deal of trouble with both of Ruth Berman's stories, however. The first, "Absent Friends," had absolutely not point to it at all. Even when read in the context of it being part of a longer story/series, I found it tedious, and would have deleted about half of it to tighten up what plot line there was.

"Landing At Kaarn" moved a bit better, but, again, was lacking in a good, strong plot line. Of course Avon and Cally re-meet, decide -- quite logically, I might add, that they want to go to bed together and then get married. Married?! There was no background for this to make it plausible, just meet-bang!-married. I would have preferred something like a lead-up somewhere. Also, the love scenes were clinical and emotionless, like reading a sex manual. Reminded me of Rob Lowe.

Jean Graham's story was a nice little filler. Jean Hubb's original characters weren't quite to my taste, but all in all, I did enjoy RH#4, and wanted you to know it.

((Verry thoughtful comments, but I don't get the pan about Rob Lowe. Saw the video and it was no sex manual. Also, I don't require plots in the stories I accept. Just good fun -- Ed.)) [14]

On the question of using camera-ready copy: Even though it backfired on me last time (I sent a dot-matrix copy, not realizing that it would be used as the master,) I like the idea. It means thai I'm responsible for the final appearance of my work. Don't get me wrong: I have no objections to editing, and I've often made revisions in accordance with an editor's suggestions. What I mean is that no new typos or accidental changes will be introduced into the work, and I've heard enough horror stories of those (paragraphs left out, lines given to the wrong speaker, etc., etc.) to be happy to do without. Your policy was obviously effective on that front: I wasn't particularly looking for them, but I only noticed three errors in the entire zine ("obstinant" for "obstinate" (p. 54), "of he" for "of him" (p. 55), and "lay" for "laid" (p. 165.) I recently had a filk published (retyped) with that many typos!

A public thank-you here to Wendy, who was quite gracious about reprinting the poem that didn't turn out.

Now, on to the content. Overall, I thought the zine was very well organized, with the two long post-GP stories standing as bookends, enclosing a number of short and medium stories interspersed with poetry. More artwork would be nice, but not necessary.

The cover: smashing, of course!

I was intrigued by "Fool's Errand" by Wortham and Rosenthal. At first I thought it would be a very depressing Avon-and-Blake-irretrievably-alienated story; as it went on I not only became more hopeful on that front, but very interested in the Tarrant-Dayna-KJyn mission. Taking the subplot first: I was disappointed that Klyn was definitely killed, since I enjoyed the development of her character and her running banter with Tarrant. (I laughed out loud when he said, "No wonder Avon shot you first.") On the other hand, I was also disappointed that Servalan was not definitely killed. I don't trust anyone in the B7 universe who says, "So-and-so MUST be dead." It just wasn't satisfying. {I suppose it does leave it open for Dayna to survive and return in a sequel.) The conclusion of the Avon-Blake problem was a stunner. I was only a little surprised that Avon decided to return; his gradual change of heart was extremely well delineated during his day with Vila. But I wanted to SMACK Blake! Acting indeed. I see fireworks in their future... I also liked the explanation of what happened on GP -- especially with the twist that Avon, the bastard, didn't tell his crew about the set-up! Rosenthal's illoes were excellent, of course.

"Reprisal" by Jean Graham was very fourth season: dark and creepy. Even Vila, who breaks out of his coward role to challenge Tarrant, is helpless to break away from Avon. Tne characters are locked on their destruction course. Lorna Breshears' "Corruption" was even creepier, and fnghteningly plausible. Her story "Inner Child" filled in some of the gaps on Exbar, and took an interesting tack on Vila's psychology, not by making him not be a coward, but by giving him a good reason to be one.

Now--, this is a strange thing to say about a Blake's 7 story, but I found "The Farthest Place" by Jean Hubb to be a lovely, peaceful story. The mystical nomenclature was a nice touch, and I liked the way the Federation characters were made human. That happened in the show, too, but the sympathetic ones usually died right along with the baddies; nice to see a different ending. Simeon's philosophy reminded me of a line from a Hopkins sonnet that I remember dimly, something like, "Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." The author's illo was a nice touch. It was a very pleasant change-of-pace.

"Daniel" bv Lee Vibber was very perceptive in its exploration of Avon and Cally's relationship. The device of viewing it through Cally's memories of her lost comrade on Saurian Major provided insights into her past and future. "Loss" by the same author showed the same relationship at a different time, from Avon's point of view, which was also well done.

"White Gloves" by Ann K. Schwader is one of the most chilling "Why-Servalan-cut-her-hair-and-turned-evil" stories I've ever read. I like the way the author presents the internal politics and family relationships in the upper echelons of the Federation. Nasty, but probably quite accurate.

"Absent Friends" by Ruth Berman provided an optimistic ending to Gauda Prime. I found their escape from the base logically acceptable. I wasn't quite clear on how Vila stole the Fed ship, but I liked his attitude once he had. I didn't like "Landing At Kaarn" quite as much; Avon and Cally's reunion seemed to lack passion, and the long discussion of Auron sex was very clinical. On the other hand, I really liked the solution of how to get the Pylene-50 antidote into "routine inoculations" --what a sneaky way to take advantage of the bureaucracy!

I Thoroughly enjoyed "Gemini Nightmare" by Sheila Paulson. I thought the psychological drama was well handled; problems were neither settled too neatly nor dragged out too long, and the characterizations were sound. The touches of humor were welcome, like Tarrant saying, "What shall I do with my other hand?"

The poetry:

I enjoyed both poems. "A Xenon Phantom" by Ruth Berman and "The Cynic Unmasks" by Ann K. Schwader. After reading each of them I looked at the cover again to discover new intricacies.

In "Defiance Defined" by Ann K. Schwader, I liked the twist on "but She did." The irony of Servalan's gloating triumph and unexpected failure provides the balance within the context of the poem; the final irony known to the reader, of course, is that "She didn't." (i.e.. die.)

"Terminal Lies" by Pat Patera addressed a similar topic more simply. Both the form and images of her poem were fairly conventional; however, the poem is very pretty to read aloud. (That's not meant to be sarcastic. The aesthetic dimension is often overlooked.) The allusions in her poem "Nightstar" were occasionally obscure but for the most part interesting. For instance, the contrast between white and black -- does that refer to Servalan and Sleer? At any rate, the images of the prince approaching as a war bird, and the "killfeast of carrion" are wonderfully evocative. I'm not sure about the proverb; it is flat and prosaic, and I think it detracts from the poetic and mysterious imagery the poet has built up. And I think an intelligent reader would get the point without it. But it does have the advantage of providing a focus. Beautiful layout.

My favorite poem was Pat Patera's "Could Have Beens." The deceptively free verse hid a subtle rhyming/repeating scheme that tremendously enhanced the point being made. The four adjectives chosen to describe each character were entirely appropriate. While it is easy to distinguish Jenna and Cally, Patera has also achieved the more difficult task of making Dayna and Soolin distinct individuals as well. I loved it.

((Ah, a lover of poetry. I'm always glad to get comments on poetry. I know many people do not like or understand it, but poetry is my favorite form of literature. I can't really say why, but there's something about a good poem that captures my interest immediately. A good story or novel has a similar affect on me, of course, but a good poem can really make me quiver. Thanks for the comments, Anne. —ed.)) [15]

Issue 5

cover of issue #5, Susan E. Williams

Raising Hell 5 was published in 1992 and contains 94 pages. The art is by Susan E. Williams (cover) and Leah Rosenthal.

  • Letters of Comment Column (3)
  • poem: Anne Collins Smith, "Cheerless Leader" (10)
  • fiction: Jean Graham, "The Fool Who Follows" ("On Centero, Avon gets left behind as an explosion rocks the planet.") (11)
  • poem: Alicia Ann Fox, "Lament" (22)
  • fiction: Lorna Breshears, "The High Cost of Living" ("A very different outcome ensues in this story involving the events at Malodaar from the episode Orbit.") (23)
  • poem: Pat Patera, "Loose Threads" (26)
  • fiction: Pat Patera, "Advice" ("Cally understands Avon better than he would like her to.") (27)
  • poem: Alicia Ann Fox, "Regrets" (29)
  • poem: Ann K. Schwader, "Diamond Mind" (30)
  • fiction: Brendan O'Cullane and Adrian Morgan, "The Isle of Avalon" ("A new generation of rebels go to the “Isle of Avalon” in the hopes of finding and resurrecting the “dead” man named Blake.") (reprinted in Double Vision) (31)
  • poem: Natasha Solten, "Terminal End" (46)
  • fiction: Ann Wortham and Leah Rosenthal, "Inside Out" ("An old friend of Vila’s meets Vila and Avon on a frontier planet. The only problem is, Vila doesn’t remember her at all.") (47)
  • poem: Melissa Mastoris, "Maybe" (70)
  • fiction: Lorna Breshears, "Holdout" ("Vila, the only survivor of the rebel group, plays right into Servalan’s hands - or does he?") (71)
  • poem: Melissa Mastoris, "They Were Mine" (78)
  • fiction: Brendan O'Cullane and Adrian Morgan, "And Hell's Afraid I'll Take Over" ("When he dies, Avon goes to hell and givens them hell.") (reprinted in Double Vision) (79)
  • poem: Ann K. Schwader, "Double Star" (91)
  • poem: Melissa Mastoris, "Perhaps I'm Shy" (93)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

[Inside Out]: A third season story wherein the crew of the Liberator runs into an old friend of Vila's and discovers some unexpected facts about our favorite "Delta's" past. [16]
[The High Cost of Living]: ...in "The High Cost of Living" in #5, poor Vila realizes that there are worse things (again involving sex) than being in that shuttle with Avon. Vila also meets a sad fate, though an unexpectedly heroic one, in "Holdout." (The Terminatrix, I tell you!). [17]

Issue 6

Raising Hell 6 contains 174 pages and was published in December 1994.

Note: "Second Chances" by Patti McClellan was supposed to be in this zine but was accidentally published in Resistance #8 instead. From the editorial: "I want to publicly apologize to Patti E. McClellan whose story "Second Chances" was supposed to be in this issue. It was published, but not in "Raising Hell." It is an excellent non-slash story a appears in my adult B7 zine Resistance #8, for those interested in reading it."

front cover of issue #6, Alayne Gelfand, the back cover is blank

Fiction:

  • Jean Graham, "Selket" ("“Teleport NOW, Vila!” Cally’s urgent cry woke the thief from a fitful doze. His hands flew to the controls, shoved them all the way forward until the high-pitched whine of the energy-transfer filled the chamber, and three figures rippled into existence there. Only three… Dayna turned, almost in unison with the other two. “Where’s Avon?”")
  • Alan Moravian, "Last Rites" ("Cally’s eyes were closed now. “Say the words for me, Avon.” He knew what she meant. After Auron had been destroyed, she told Avon the Auron funeral rites. He’d prayed that he’d never have to say them for her.")
  • Ruth Berman, "If They'd Gone for a Happy Ending Instead" ("Blake sprawled on the soft fat cushions of the presidential sofa. Around him, his followers were overflowing, giddy with victory.")
  • Joyce Bowen, "To Avon From Blake" ("Avon - if you are reading this, I am gone and you are going through my effects…")
  • Marian Mendez, "Smile When You Call Me That" ("Vila was trapped, desperate and terrified. He’d spent most of his life in that state, so it shouldn’t have struck him as unusual. Vaguely, though, he felt he shouldn’t be here in this brightly lit cornerless room facing another frightened man.")
  • Alan Moravian, "Foxes and Hounds" ("Avon rounded the corner and there was Vila. The Delta seemed as surprised as Avon was. But there was one difference. Vila had a gun, and Avon didn’t.")
  • Jean B. Hubb, "Family Ties" ("In an abandoned flat built into the city wall, I listened to the wind screech across the battered weather-stripping and idly traced words in the dust on the table: Roj Blake was here. Then blew them away.")
  • Ruth Berman, "The Death of Titinius" (Julius Caesar crossover)
  • Ann Wortham and Leah Rosenthal, "The Play's the Thing" ("“Blake gave the ship to me, and I don’t mean to return it.” “Why do you want to find him then?” Tarrant realized he was genuinely curious. Avon turned away again. “There are other matters unsettled between us. Leave it at that.”")
  • Alan Moravian, "Poison, Anyone?"
  • Maddog, with Joyce Riffle, "Perchance to Dream" (Sandman crossover) ("“I am not a psychostrategist.” “Oh, you prefer the more correct term of torturer?” Avon smiled at the man. The pale man looked at Avon for a moment, then spoke. “That term has been applied to me. However, I am not here to torture you but to offer you a job and possibly a way out of your predicament.”")

Nonfiction:

  • Wendy Rathbone, Editorial
  • Letters of Comment
  • Zine ads

Poetry:

  • Judith Proctor and Kathryn Andersen, "Zine Fever"
  • Wendy Rathbone, "Avon"
  • Alicia Ann Fox, "Quixote"
  • Judith Proctor, "The Gunfighter"
  • Judith Proctor, "Sunset on Sarran"
  • Ann K. Schwader, "Maximum Power"
  • Judith Proctor, "Some Dreams Are Worth Having"
  • Amethyst Lane, "Star Musings"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Confession on Virn"
  • Amanda Rothman, "Safecrackers"
  • Alicia Ann Fox, "Restal's Last Tape"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Red is Dead"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Black Cat"

Art:

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

[The Play's the Thing]: A third season story set in our Last Stand at the Edge of the World universe. Tarrant decides to take in a little culture and when Avon goes after him, the unexpected sight of a familiar face sets our intrepid heroes on a race across the city. [18]
[To Avon from Blake]: By the way, I read your story "To Avon From Blake" in Raising Hell #6. While I can't realistically picture Blake saying those things, I thought what you did with the visual set-up -- making it literally look like a not which had been torn up and pasted back together -- was ingeniously creative. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it before. [19]
[zine]: Raising Hell 6 is an American genzine. The opening story "Selket" is by one of my favourite writers Jean Graham, but I didn't like it as much as some of her others. It is a fast-moving story concerning the Terra Nostra, Servalan, and the mysterious Selket, but it lacks the intensity of feeling and elegaic quality of her best stories. A writer of her calibre always produces something worth reading, but I prefer those of her stories which concentrate on the crew.

There are two more long stories. "The Play's the Thing" by Ann Wortham and Leah Rosenthal is set in the "Last Stand at the Edge of the World" universe. It begins when Tarrant sneaks off the ship to watch a performance of the Pirates of Penzance (appropriate choice) and then it becomes an intriguing chase sequence, with a twist at the very end. "Perchance to Dream" by Maddog and Joyce Riffle is one of the most surreal and convoluted stories I've seen. It deals with reality, death and dreams, and is not initially easy to follow, but persevere. It's imaginative, witty and inventive, and very original. The remaining stories include "Family Ties" which has Blake meeting Dayna, who does not know who he is. "Smile When You Call Me That" by Marian Mendez has Vila telling Avon about his earlier life. It starts very promisingly but the middle section didn't entirely convince me. Alan Moravian has several stories; "Last Rites" is a two-pager about Terminal and "Poison, Anyone" a humorous Tarrant and Vila story; both quite good.

There are a lot of poems in this zine. I'm not much of a judge of verse but I like pastiche and therefore loved the opening poem "Zine Fever" by Judith Proctor and Kathryn Andersen, particularly the bits about Avon's pain and the fork lift truck. Anyone who has a house collapsing under the weight of books and zines, and who is running out of places to hide zines the children mustn't see, please empathise. [20]
Raising Hell #6 is the final issue of the zine, and one of the best. A number of new approaches are used by the writers, making this one of the most interesting story collections to come out recently. Recommended.

As in issue #5, there is very little art, but I have to say I don't miss it. Mysteriously, the cover features a repeated image of Avon.

My favorite piece of poetry in this issue was actually a sort of filk; a filk to a poem. "Zine Fever," by Judith Proctor and Kathryn Anderson, is one of the most amusing things I've read recently, particularly the line about needing a fork lift for one's collection.

Stories:

"Family Ties" by Jean B. Hubb involved a third-series encounter with Blake. (I can never do this kind of story, myself--I always want Blake to be really and truly found. Too depressing otherwise.) "Family Ties" is an action story, and like Alan Moravian's well-done "Foxes and Hounds," it had an episodic feel.

"Last Rites" by Alan Moravian: I suppose the pull of that scene no-one saw in "Rescue"--finding Cally's body--is just too great for most mortals to bear. I, however, would be consumed with joy if I never saw another vignette on this theme again.

"Perchance to Dream" by Maddog with Joyce Riffle: Something I never would have thought of. This Sandman/ PGP Blake's 7 crossover had a plausible concept behind it, but I'm afraid I love the Sandman comic too much to be interested. It was nice to see some character development given to Soolin, but the Sandman characters just didn't feel right to me; maybe they aren't meant to translate into prose. Nitpicks: Cain's brother's name is spelt Abel, not Able (not checking after spell-check?), and the character of Abel doesn't stutter when he tells stories (p. 150). However, I did really like the way Blake was written in the scene that took place in a sort of half-world between life and death, in which Blake earnestly tries to give a noose to oblivious passersby--that little bit had the flavor of the comic. I only wish it could have been sustained.

"The Play's the Thing" by Ann Wortham and Leah Rosenthal is a rollicking good chase story, as well as wonderful foreshadowing of "Terminal." It concerns a third-series encounter with Blake, and is told mostly from Tarrant's point of view. There is the chance that a reader who hasn't encountered Last Stand at the Edge of the World might miss the point of the story completely, however; in that novel-length zine something is revealed about Tarrant which is necessary to understanding what's going on in "The Play's the Thing." I think the story would still be enjoyable without that knowledge, if somewhat confusing.

"Selket" by Jean Graham is an original idea of how the rebellion could defeat the Federation; one would think more writers would have explored the possibilities afforded by the Terra Nostra before now. Avon's behavior is particularly interesting in this story.

"Smile When You Call Me That" by Marian Mendez was the most unusual view of Vila's past that I have ever read. Mendez gets brownie points for originality and creativity. She presents as good an explanation as any for Vila's dislike of violence and resistance to conditioning, one that rings true in a universe where mind-control of one sort or another was fairly common. [21]

References

  1. from Datazine #53 (1988)
  2. bruinhilda.tumblr, comment by captain aralias, August 4, 2016
  3. greenonthursdays.tumblr
  4. from Datazine #53
  5. from Aralias at her journal; Archive, posted October 18, 2014
  6. Ashton Press, 1998
  7. review by Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site, Archived version
  8. review by Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site, Archived version
  9. comment by Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site, Archived version
  10. review by CB at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site, Archived version
  11. from a LoC in "Raising Hell" #5
  12. from a LoC in "Raising Hell" #5
  13. from a LoC by Ruth Berman in "Raising Hell" #5
  14. from a LoC in "Raising Hell" #5
  15. from a LoC in "Raising Hell" #5
  16. Ashton Press, 1998
  17. comment by Sarah Thompson at [Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site, Archived version
  18. Ashton Press, 1998
  19. from a fan addressing the author in Rallying Call #13 (1995)
  20. review by CB at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site, Archived version
  21. review by Alicia Ann Fox at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site, Archived version, also in IMHO* #2