Southern Seven

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Zine
Title: Southern Seven
Publisher: Ashton Press
Editor(s): Ann Wortham
Date(s): 1986-1998
Series?:
Medium: print, zine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Blake's 7
Language: English
External Links: Ashton Press, review here
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
1987 flyer printed in Hypertension #14

Southern Seven is a gen Blake's 7 anthology.

General Reactions and Reviews

Ah, this big door-stop (though actually the Enarrare' special Blake's 7 edition was a bigger door-stop) has so much in it and the editor actually edits, so there is usually something for everyone. [1]
Each issue was eagerly awaited and never disappointed. This zine introduced to fandom the amazing "Hellhound" saga, by Katrina Larkin and Susanne (McGhin) Katz—a complex vision of What Happened Next; so damned good that it makes me glad I'm a fan. [2]
I had always understood that the reason there wasn't much B/A in those zines was because the editor didn't care for that combination, being an admitted A/V (ick!) fan. Then she was puzzled as to why she wasn't getting B/A submissions? I'd rather see B/A published by someone who appreciates it and would know what works and what doesn't. In the couple of SC's I own or have read, the B/A tended to be of the 'brave stalwart Vila protecting poor helpless Avon from mean, vicious Blake' variety. Selfishly, I wouldn't want to have good B/A start turning up there because I don't want to (and won't) buy a $20 zine for just a couple of good stories. But I don't want to miss them either! [3]

Issue 1

front cover of issue #1, by Leah Rosenthal
back cover of issue #1 by Sheila Paulson

Southern Seven 1 has 361 pages and was published in November 1986. The reprint (1988) lacks the Hellhound stories which were reprinted separately as The Log of the Hellhound #1. It won several Zen Awards and was nominated for a FanQ award.

The editor arranged the stories and poetry by season, reserving the more adult themed stories towards the end. To see the layout of the table of contents see the gallery below.

The zine was well-received and quickly became popular not only for its content, but for its size (over 360 pages) and extensive art: "It's big innit?" was one fan's comment, and this remark was used in the flyer for the second issue, along with the Leah Rosenthal cartoon below. The cartoon makes a reference to an episode in Blake's 7 where Avon is desperately removing ballast from their space shuttle to prevent a crash. At one point in the episode he considers tossing his co-pilot Vila, but in the cartoon, the new issue of Southern Seven comes to Vila's rescue.

cartoon from flyer for issue #2

Fiction:

  • Virginia Turpin, "Torch Singer" (On a mission with Blake, Gan and Vila, they meet a beautiful singer who seems very attracted to Gan. The feeling is mutual. Trouble is that this particular lady is a REAL torch singer.) (12 pages)
  • Kathy Hintze, "Alternative Decorating" (3 pages)
  • Leah Rosenthal & Ann Wortham "The Opening Round" (1 page)
  • Leah Rosenthal & Ann Wortham, "Intergalactic Velvet" (14 pages) (reprinted in Interface #12 and The Bizarro Zine #2)
  • Leah Rosenthal & Ann Wortham, "Relativity" (reprinted in The Bizarro Zine #2)
  • Leah Rosenthal & Ann Wortham, with Michele Rosenberg "Head Over Heels" (The crew of the Liberator were shocked to learn that Avon had a family. The annual Avon family glix hunt is almost too much fun for our intrepid heroes to handle. Blake learns some startling things about his own past. And just what was the Supreme Commander doing under the covers with Vila Restal.) (21 pages) (reprinted in The Bizarro Zine #3)
  • Leah Rosenthal, "A New Leaf" (1 page) (reprinted in The Bizarro Zine #3)
  • Ann Wortham & Leah Rosenthal, "Against All Odds" (7 pages)
  • Leah Rosenthal & Ann Wortham, "The Last Word" (1 page)
  • Linda Terrell, "A Mind Is a Terrible Thing" (Since Atlay, Avon had been disturbed by Blake’s apparent mental instability and finally, he, Cally and Vila are forced to confront the rebel leader’s worst nightmares.) (8 pages)
  • Michele Rosenberg, "From the Vila Restal Book of Excuses- - No. 347" (1 page)
  • Joan Hoffman, "Slightly Mistaken" (Vila’s bored and all he wants to do is share a friendly drink with Avon while the others are gone. Vila makes a small mistake and it may prove deadly to Avon.) (13 pages)
  • L.A. Carr, "Lifesaver" (Avon must obtain a special herb or Vila will die. The things Avon does for his crew.) (11 pages)
  • Janet Walker, "Keezarn" (Blake and Jenna are only a few steps behind the Liberator and a reunion with their old friends…can they continue to survive on their own in the meantime.) (12 pages)
  • Sheila Paulson, "For a Few Credits More" (A teleport malfunction wasn’t all that unusual aboard the Liberator and Avon was confident that he’d repaired the problem. He ended up on 19th century Earth in West Texas.) (20 pages)
  • Leah Rosenthal & Ann Wortham, "Season of Lies" (Terminal was almost the end for Avon and the crew of the Liberator, but perhaps the last laugh will be on Servalan.) (30 pages)
  • Mary Alice Wuerz, "That Which Weighs Upon the Heart" (What if Vila had not survived that fateful shuttle ride with Avon over Malodaar?) (5 pages)
  • Ginny Mila, "The Sound of a Voice" (1 page)
  • Leah Rosenthal, "Half-Blaked" (4 pages)
  • Leah Rosenthal, "The Heart of the Matter" (8 pages)
  • Barbara T, "Payment with Interest" (11 pages)
  • Kathy Hintze, "Picture If You Will" (3 pages)
  • Leah Rosenthal, "Stray Thoughts" (Star Trek: TOS crossover) (1 page) (reprinted in The Bizarro Zine #4)
  • Susan Matthews, "Love and Necessary Discipline" (reprinted in 1993 in The Other Side #9) (38 pages)
  • Katrina Snyder & Susanne McGhin (God from the Machine, Cross of Diamonds, Only the Thunder, Knife Edge, The Value of Patience, When the Black Ship Came (first edition only-- not in reprint; these stories were reprinted in From the Log of the Hellhound #1)

Nonfiction:

  • Ann Wortham, "From the Airlock..." (editorial)
  • Leah Rosenthal, "5th Season Openers" (humor) (3 pages) (reprinted in The Bizarro Zine #3)
  • Michele Rosenberg, "Steaming Wangs and Smoking Bodies" (multimedia humor)

Poetry:

  • Leah Rosenthal, "Islands" (2 pages)
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, "En Route" (3 pages)
  • Michele Rosenberg & Leah Rosenthal, "Party All the Time" (1 page)
  • Jacqueline Taero, "Vila's Lament" (1 page)
  • Leah Rosenthal, "Logic" (1 page)
  • Jacqueline Taero, "Dissolution" (2 pages)
  • Michele Rosenberg, "Rebel Boy" (filk, Tarzan Boy) (1 page)
  • Jacqueline Taero, "Multiple Choice" (1 page)
  • Jacqueline Taero, "Star One: Blake" (1 page)
  • Jacqueline Taero, "Star One: Avon" (1 page)
  • Leah Rosenthal, "You Belong to the Seven" (1 page)
  • Leah Rosenthal, "Kerr Maverick" (filk, Maverick theme song) (1 page)
  • Michele Rosenberg & Leah Rosenthal, "Delta Ditz" (1 page)
  • Jacqueline Taero, "A Matter of Madness" (1 page)
  • Leah Rosenthal, "Part Time Rebel" (filk, Part time Lover, by Stevie Wonder) (1 page)

Art:

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for Love and Necessary Discipline.

[zine]: For a gen zine, there's quite a bit of interestingly steamy stuff here. The first story in the zine is a must for Gan fans! The author clearly likes him a lot.

Linda Terrell's story isn't smutty, but Blake fans will appreciate that he instead of Avon is the one who's suffering, for a change.

Barbara T's excellent story has a very unusual pairing: Servalan/Vila. He's the last survivor of GP; she executes the others but keeps him around as a sex toy (and for certain ulterior motives that are only later revealed). He doesn't like it, but goes along with it because he wants to stay alive. At a panel at Escapade a few years ago, the author explained that in that story she deliberately put Vila in the position of a woman. I said, "So it's really lesbian hurt/comfort! Because in the end he's rescued by Jenna." :)

Avon has a sweet affair in "Lifesaver;" Blake and Jenna get together in "Keezarn."

On the non-smut front, "Season of Lies" is a long, gripping adventure using the "part of what we saw on screen was a fake" plot device familiar from the Mind of Man trilogy. But this story is very different and stands up well on its own; to judge by the LOCs is later issues, it's been a favorite with many readers.

This issue also has the infamous "Love and Necessary Discipline," IMO the most controversial gen story in B7 fandom (I think "Nearly Beloved/Rogue" is probably the most controversial smut story). This is the one in which a crazed PGP Avon commits domestic abuse upon Tarrant. I think it's an extremely well-written story, but I really dislike this version of Avon. (In my ideal A/T universe, Aovn should be the one comforting Tarrant after some Evil Villain has done Vile Things to the dear boy. I don't want Avon himself to be the Evil Villain!) Bodie & Doyle (The Professionals) appear as "original" characters in this universe. The story has an adult sequel in Straight Blake's #1, in which a reformed Avon makes love very tenderly to a woman who reminds him of Cally.

Lotsa other good stuff too. [4]

This zine is very difficult to review. It's 361 pages long (not counting tie flyers) and an accurate description of my feelings would be something like; ...page 5, liked that, page 6, wonderful, 7 beautiful... all the way through pages 98 (tee hee!), 161, 214, 339...which would be just a mite boring for those benighted souls who haven't read it....

The artwork alone would make this zine special. I knew Leah Rosenthal Is a skilled cartoonist (I have half a wallful of her cartoons in my bedroom) but I hadn't quite grasped that she is also a terrific 'straight' (you should pardon the expression) artist, not to mention poet. "Islands" and "Logic" aren't just good B7, they're good poetry, which Goddess knows is rare. (Some fans have to yet grasped the fact that merely listing words in odd shaped lines does not a poem make.) Jacqueline Taero's poetry, too.... "Dissolution", with a beautiful drawing of Cally (sigh) by S. Molnar, "Multiple Choice" (to be recited in the long suffering tones of a hard-done-by computer genius), "A Matter of Madness" Some really good artwork by Dani Lane, too, especially one of Avon, Blake, and Vila illustrating "Islands"....

This zine is honestly worth obtaining (try bribery, corruption (I'm always ready to be corrupted), death threats....) for the poetry and artwork alone. But the fiction is overall of a very high standard. The whole zines is structured into five parts, 1st to 5th season - a neat device, making it easier to track down a not-quite-remembered story.

1st season includes a long story focussing, unusually, on Gan and a very attractive blank page entitled "Party All The Time". "Alternative Decorating" - what do you do with a laid-back computer? Throw Vila out the airlock, of course...

2nd season has four Bizarro 7 stories (introducing Terriok, Avon's brother, Homicide, Avon's version of My Little Pony, and Peggy Sue... guess who?) and three half-pagers not to mention uncountable cartoons. (You try doing anything so linear as counting when you're laughing all the detachable portions of your anatomy off!} Bizarro 7 is... what we get for selling Blake's 7 to the Americans. If you've ever wondered why Avon's nickname is 'Bubbles', or whether Roj Blake ever did molest those ducks, or what a Rambo-rat is... or even if you haven't - this is essential reading. Also the 347th excuse and you should never accept a drink from a drunken Delta.

3rd season; "For A Few Credits Wore" - Avon gets bounty hunted and saddle sores! "Keezarn"... while Avon & co were hunting Blake, Blake and Jenna were hunting Avon. "Season of Lies" OK so the first para I read I thought, // oh no not another the 4th season was a fictional creation of President Servalan story// but it's good. It's original, which is tough under the circumstances.

4th season; serious. "That Which Weighs Upon The Heart." Avon's killed Vila. "The Sound of a Voice"; how it could have been. "The Heart of the Matter" - if your best friend shoots you three times close up with a projectile weapon, what can you do but decide you're him? ' " ' However, the 5th season is much more fun! The other version of "The Heart of the Matter" - six people plus a computer think Kerr Avon's insane. (Well, chasing Tarrant round the flight deck with an axe yelling "Gotterdammerung!" is no more than indicative, but stabbing Blake's teddy bear?) Leah Rosenthal's "Half-Blaked", "5th season Openers" (a dozen or so variations on "Avon stood over Blake's body, gun smoking in his hand...."). On the more serious side "Payment with Interest" is about what happened to Vila, the only survivor of the Scorpio crew, after Gauda Prime. Brilliant and moving, "Love and Necessary Discipline" ... OK, so I liked it; but then again I never like Tarrant unless he's been thoroughly masochised first. (Crying on Vila's shoulder or bleeding on Avon's boots; that sort of thing.) A good story; I would like to know, too, if Shyenne and Pen are intended to be like alternative versions of Bodie and Doyle, or if it's just my hatstand hyperactive imagination.

And finally, six episodes "From the Log of the Hellhound". I'm putting these separately because they qualify for a magazine all their own. They're brilliantly written; the subsidiary characters (i.e., the non-series ones) are real, not just backdrop; and the whole is chillingly good. In fact, the only thing I didn't like was the 'letters' at the start; OK, so they were supposed to add realism but I thought they were pointless. After Gauda Prime, Avon was taken by Servalan and interrogated, tortured, psychoprobed and drugged. A concentrated dose of aphrodisiac. This is partly why I don't object to the constant references to women as 'bitches' throughout this series; it's clear that it's part of more than slightly twisted character, and one can see why. He's rescued, by a man called Weaver (who evidently appeared earlier in this series) 1 wish I could find more of these stories) who can travel in both time and space, who takes Avon back to his own Universe. After Avon has recovered, he steals a ship and escapes... to Earth, 1996.

There he meets a man, Jules Greggory, a several times millionaire, the second richest man in his world. Jules hires Avon as slightly illegal computer genius... and later (about page 299) as lover. This fails, and Avon runs, with Weaver's son. On Danyg, in another Universe, and a thousand years in the future, a man crashes in a life capsule. He cannot remember his name, or anything of his past. The head teacher (the only teacher in the only school in the only town on the planet) gives him a job, first as cleaner, then, as he appears to be educated, as subteacher. The other assistant teacher Jeannine, is attracted , despite not knowing anything of the strange man's past. Oh hell, this makes It sound like a Mills and Boon, and it's not. I even didn't mind it being heterosexual. Back on Earth, Avon and Phelan Dagonrath, Weaver's son, are crashing. It's about twenty years in the future. A team of scientists/business folk/just plain/terrorists/sf fans (most of them appear to be all of them) are working on building a spaceship. Avon agrees to assist) and steals it, once built. Also a pair of leather boots. And now, back in his own time and space, Avon is searching for Blake. There's rumours of him on a rather unsavory planet including cannibals and remarkably nasty locals, but ... find out. (I refuse to spoil the cliffhanger - the only one in all these stories.) And back to Dayg. Two years later; and the ship Avon stole, called the Hellhound, is landing at the port. And right at the end, the last cartoon; a Bizarro version of from the log of the Hellhound;

"So you've gone 'new wave' In the Hellhound series, eh, Avon?'

"Yes. Why don't you seem very surprised, Blake?"

"You obviously haven't seen the Hellhound Vila..."

So it's brilliant. It's the sort of zine you'd take on holiday with you -- if you could fit it into a rucksack. [5]

Issue 2

front cover issue #2, Leah Rosenthal
back cover of issue #2, Karen River
table of contents with story summaries, click to read

Southern Seven 2 is 322 pages long and was published in October 1987. The reprint lacks the Hellhound stories which were reprinted separately as The Log of the Hellhound #2. Front cover by Rosenthal, back cover by River.

Fiction:

  • Leigh Arnold, "Commentary" (reprinted in Magnificent Seven #9)
  • Nola Caulfield, "From the Outside" (10 pages)
  • Leigh Arnold, "The Hungry" (A trip to a rebel planet may prove fatal for not only Avon and Vila, but the entire crew, as well.) (14 pages) (reprinted in Magnificent Seven #9)
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Last Laugh" (4 pages)
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "The Truth of the Matter"
  • Celeste Hotaling, "We're the I.L.A., And We're Proud of It" (Roj Blake is flattered to learn that the I.L.A. would like him to be their spokesman. Unfortunately, they also have dealings with the Federation and Space Commander Travis. A story written in the Bizarro 7 tradition.) (16 pages)
  • Joan Hoffman, "One Man's Meat" (A strange allergy and too much curiosity could prove fatal for Vila.) (5 pages)
  • Anastasia Papadatos, "Beyond the Walls of Sleep" (4 pages)
  • Leah Rosenthal & Ann Wortham, "The Heat Is On" (The Shatae slavers were once only a legend, but Blake and his crew, not to mention Servalan and Travis, soon have reason to believe in them they are all taken prisoner. Will Avon survive being ‘mated’ to Peggy Sue Servalan? More importantly, will the crew survive having to eat Servalan’s cooking…? A Bizarro 7 story.) (23 pages) (reprinted in The Bizarro Zine #4)
  • Kathy Hintze, "A Paradox of Parasols" (Tarrant and Vila have a strange encounter with a mysterious stranger and the Liberator may never be the same again.) (7 pages)
  • Michele Rosenberg, "From the Kerr Avon Book of Revenge... No. 2341" (3 pages)
  • Laura Virgil, "When Seconds Count" (2 pages)
  • Linda Willard, "'You Know You Are Safe...'" (3 pages)
  • London Bates, "Common Ground" (this is an R-rated version in E-Man-Uelle #7 and The Other Side #3) (The men Nevon looked like Roj Blake and sounded like Roj Blake, but could he possibly be Blake? And why couldn’t he remember anything of his past life?) (28 pages)
  • Leah Rosenthal, "Walking the Wind" (Jenna Stannis was the last of Blake’s 7 alive but her friends were determined to restore Blake’s dream and make it a reality.) (7 pages) (also in The Chronicles #29)
  • Sheila Paulson, "The Tears of a Clown" (3 pages)
  • Susan Hall and L.A. Carr, "The Phoenix Project: True Colors" (58 pages)
  • Cindy Dye, "Judas" (1 page)
  • Sheila Paulson, "The Few and Fatal Friends" (In the aftermath of Gauda Prime, Tarrant tries to cope with the fact that only he and Avon have survived and are prisoners of the Federation…or are they?) (24 pages)
  • Kathy Hintze, "Rip Van Winkle Doesn't Live Here Any More"
  • Katrina Snyder & Susanne McGhin (Where Were You Hiding?, Rebel Without a Choice, King of Pain, Grip * Earth and Let Burn; first edition only-- not in reprint but reprinted in The Log of the Hellhound #2)

Nonfiction:

  • Ann Wortham, "From the Airlock..." (editorial)
  • Letters of Comment

Poetry:

  • Joan Enright, "Resistance Fighter"
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Because I Like Him"
  • Dani Lane, "Blake"
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Just Cause"
  • Joan Enright, "Song for Blake"
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Man of Legend"
  • Leah Rosenthal & Michele Rosenberg, "Dancin' with My Duck" (filk, Bruce Springsteen)
  • Pat Jacquerie, "After Anna"
  • Jacqueline Taero, "Travis"
  • Jacqueline Taero, "Last Thoughts: Avon"
  • Jacqueline Taero, "Terminal: Servalan"
  • Pat Jacquerie, "Vila's Soliloquy"
  • Joan Hoffman, "Post-Orbit Reflections"
  • Leah Rosenthal, "The Cynic's Song" (filk, Aldonza, from Man of La Mancha)
  • Jacqueline Taero, "Philosphy of Life: Avon"
  • Dani Lane, "In Space No One Can See You Make a U-Turn"
  • Jacqueline Taero, "Roj Blake's Words To Die By"
  • Leah Rosenthal, "Idealist in Training" (filk, Casey Jones)
  • Daphne Ann Hamilton, "Blake"
  • L. A. Carr, "Blake the Freedom Fighter" (filk, Puff, the Magic Dragon, by Peter, Paul and Mary)

Art:

  • Leah Rosenthal (front cover), MaryAnn Jorgenson, Sheila Paulson, Celeste Hotaling, Laura Virgil, Vicki Brinkmeier, Suzie Molnar, Deb Walsh, Dani Lane, Michele Rosenberg, Katrina Snyder, and Karen River (back cover)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

Another humongous issue of Southern Seven! The Hellhound section is not in the reprint edition as it was reprinted separately. If I haven't mentioned Hellhbound and Bizarro each time they appear, it's only because I've said so many times before how much I like both.

This issue has several other long juicy PGPs. "True Colors" is great for complex plotting and Avon-drool; get him in shape and grow his hair out to shoulder-length, yes! yes! "Rip Van Winkle" is one of the more interesting stories involving the offspring of the B7 characters-- Vila's son, Servalan's daughter. "The Few and Fatal Friends" has a good treatment of Tarrant and Vila as well as Avon and Blake.

"Walking the Wind" is an unusual and memorable resurrection story, with a beautiful illustration by the author.

"Common Ground" will be familiar to smut fans as it's a tamer version (R rated instead of X rated) of the story "Cross Dominance," published in E-Man-Uelle #7 andBlake's Seven: The Other Side #3. This is an interesting experiment, but IMO it doesn't quite work; I think the story needs its sex scenes! [6]

Issue 3

front cover of issue #3, Laura Virgil
back cover of issue #3, Leah Rosenthal

Southern Seven 3 has 315 pages and was published in August 1988.

table of contents with story summaries, click to read

Fiction:

  • Celeste Hotaling, "Going Nowhere" (4 pages)
  • D. Beetem, "Fanatic Activities" (4 pages)
  • Jill Grundfest, "War Leader" (Vila is presumed dead in a bizarre accident, but Avon insists on returning to the scene to study the even further. What he and Blake discover, involves more than the fate of their intrepid thief…it involves the fate of the entire rebellion.) (15 pages)
  • Nancy Monfette, "Lost Opportunity" (1 page)
  • Michele Rosenberg, "Home by the Sea" (A simple infiltration job goes awry as Blake and Avon are taken over by mysterious forms. Will Vila be able to save them before it’s too late.) (9 pages)
  • Northwest Smith, "Half a Loaf" (3 pages)
  • Linda Knights, "Nightmares, Visions, and History" (Avon has an ability which has brought him pain in the past. Will Blake’s insistence on risking himself constantly finally drive Avon away.) (27 pages)
  • Jon Manzo, "Knight Moves" (7 pages)
  • Celeste Hotaling, "Taken for Granted" (13 pages)
  • Joni Gillespie & Judy Kern, "Worrad" (Tarrant and Avon are missing and presumed dead. Will Dayna and Vila be able to find them before it’s too late?) (13 pages)
  • D. Beetem, "Michael" (3 pages)
  • Shoshanna "Poor Tom" (The death of Servalan at the hands of Anna Grant topples the government of the Federation, but what of Blake’s crew now.) (11 pages)
  • Sue Williams, "A Matter of Choice" (Alternate solution to Orbit) (3 pages)
  • Northwest Smith, "No One Together" (Did Avon really mean to kill Vila over Malodaar? A mission gone wrong give Vila and Avon—and the rest of the crew—an opportunity to come to terms with one another.) (19 pages)
  • Barbara Adams, "Golden Lady" (4 pages)
  • Laura Virgil, "Harbinger" (Little is left to Avon following Gauda Prime, but Servalan may not have the last laugh.) (5 pages)
  • Jeff & Mary Morris, "What Goes Around Comes Around" (Blake's 7: The Next Generation) (In their new series, B7: The Next Generation, the tale is told of how it all began…the second time around.) (8 pages)
  • Mary & Jeff Morris, "From the Log of the Spuds MacKenzie" (Blake's 7: The Next Generation) (Liberator) (8 pages)
  • Liz S., "Curtain Call" (10 pages) (reprinted from Scorpio 5
  • Vera Laster, "Writhing Lawn Sprinklers" (From the Log of the Devildog; Hellhound parody) (3 pages)
  • Katrina Snyder & Susanne McGhin (Shadows of the Night (18 pages); Weeping for the Memory (10 pages); The Ghost of Cain (20 pages); The Foundling (12 pages)-- A child survivor is found in the rebel-blasted ruins of Scorbin Minor, and his parentage makes him valuable to the rebels…but even more valuable to Roj Blake; Finders Keepers (20 pages) -- Vila finds an old friend long feared dead and an old enemy finds Blake.) These stories are not in the reprint, but in The Log of the Hellhound #3.

Nonfiction:

  • Ann Wortham, "From the Airlock..." (editorial)
  • Kim Wigmore, Holly Hutchison, and Alicia Ann Fox, "The Blake's 7 ABCs"
  • Letters of Comment
  • Submission Guidelines (not in reprint)
  • Ordering Guidelines (not in reprint)
  • Horizon statement (not in reprint)
  • Zine ads (not in reprint)

Poetry:

  • Kathryn Andersen, "Duel"
  • Kim Wigmore & Holly Hutchison, "Rappin' Roj Blake" (filk, Rapppin' Ron Reagan)
  • Leah Rosenthal, "Runaways"
  • Tyndara Meffe, "In the Shade of Sarcophagus"
  • Kathryn Andersen, "Terminal"
  • Nancy Monfette, "Vila's Goodbye to the Liberator"
  • Jacqueline Taero, "Soliloquy: Servalan"
  • Mary L. Orwig, "Gauda Prime" (filk, On Broadway, by Benny King & the Drifters)
  • Pat Jacquerie, "Death Trap"
  • Nancy Monfette, "Avon" (filk, Vincent, by Don McLean)
  • Shoshanna "Eyes Forward" (filk, London Calling, by the Clash; Hellhound universe)

Art:

  • Laura Virgil (front cover), Leah Rosenthal (back cover), not in reprint, Celeste Hotaling, Gayle F, Theresa Buffaloe, Aldrin Aw, Barb Johnson, Kathryn Andersen, Susann Molnar, Dani Lane, Nancy Monfette, Mary Gerstner, Karen River, and Katrina Snyder

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

[zine]: My favorite thing in this issue is "From the Log of the Devildog: Writhing Lawn Sprinklers." A fan story of a fan story!

I also really love "Harbinger," which is an extremely sad PGP Avon story; it can make you cry if you're the susceptible sort (as I am in certain moods).

This issue is especially good for adventure-type stories. "Worrad" has nice A-T interaction; they both get hurt. :) "No One Together" shows the fourth-season crew becoming closer to each other in the time between "Orbit" and "Warlord." Are there other stories in this series, and if so, where are they?

An unusual story is "Knight Moves," in which Vila and Avon play chess-- an actual game, with details of the moves. [7]
[zine]: Going Nowhere Avon goes to pick up his letters of passage in a Delta speakeasy, more Cagney than Casablanca. Avon is unnerved by the turn of events but copes. Fairly predictable but well written, getting Avon exactly right. Fanatic Activities Vila, posing as a medical experiment - nice idea - gets to attend a Fantasy convention. He meets an uptight Avon carrying a three and a half foot model of the Enterprise, and tries to get him to have a good time. Emma Peel is there too, but who is she really? War Leader Avon has lost Vila on a mission and is somewhat upset over it. But has he really been lost? Rather enjoyable story showing another side of Vila, and using Jenna'a smuggling background. Lost Opportunity One page story. Avon almost meets the Lady of the Lake, but has second thoughts. Sensible man. Home by the Sea Vila, Blake and Avon break into a mysterious house on a cliff on a deserted coastline; I forget why, something to do with information from Avalon, a rebel who certainly gets around, at least in fandom. Needless to say, once our heroes are inside all sorts of supernatural nasties come out of the woodwork, but Vila saves the day, not once but twice. He gets no thanks, so what else is new? Half a Loaf Sort post-Gambit story. Cally, Jenna and Blake have heard rumours about sensational happenings at the casino, but how much do they know? And who has forgotten to remove his teleport bracelet? Nightmares, Visions, and History Substantial Blake/Avon story involving pre-cognition and lots of guilt. At the start, it's Avon's turn to have nightmares. Then Blake orchestrates an anti-Federation strike that doesn't go to plan, and life gets worse. Ultimately we discover the origins of Avon's dreams, which may not be what you think. Cleverly written, interesting story. Knight Moves I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Vila takes on Avon at chess. Delightful account. Taken for Granted B7 goes to Hollywood and meets Dynasty. Servalan is there, Sula is there, and life gets complicated. Worrad Avon and Tarrant are at loggerheads (must be the most frequent destination in Blake's 7). They teleport down for a vital component, meet danger, injury and bad weather. One of those stories whose plot devices are overly familiar, but which handles the basic relationship pretty well. Avon and Tarrant ring true, even though their situation doesn't. "Michael" I admit to approaching any story featuring the name of one of the actors with some misgivings. This one has Vila as a Federation agent, and is set just before Rumours of Death. Poor Tom Alternative events after Rumours of Death. Avon is already desolated, and life gets worse. Ultimately Vila is left trying to cope with Avon. The ending is inconclusive but optimistic. Avalon is there, too. The woman is indispensable. A Matter of Choice Short Malodaar story which sees the events on the shuttle as a misunderstanding on Vila's part. No-one Together: a Sparks of the Tempest story. I don't know this series, so I may have missed some of the story's references. Vila convinces himself that Avon had had no real intention of killing him over Malodaar, but they don't get to communicate until the crew go to deliver some components to a rebel group. Vila and Avon get to talk, Servalan intervenes, Avon ends up back on board but hors de combat. By the end Vila and Avon are sorted out, and the crew get to hear a few home truths. Harbinger A gem of a story. Blake and Avon try to comfort Avon, and it's only gradually that we realise what his situation truly is. Blake's7: the Next Generation Two longish humorous stories about the crew's descendants. Curtain Call Blake and Avon have carried through the Gauda Prime scenario, and are talking until the others regain consciousness. From the Log of the Devil Dog...writhing lawn sprinklers To appreciate this one, you have to be familiar with the Hellhound series, and as I'm not, I'm not qualified to make any comments. From the Log of the Hellhound - Book 111 Not having read the first two parts of Hellhound, I'm saving this for later. I've read so many series in the wrong order I thought it would make a nice change to be chronological. As the Hellhound series is widely recognised as excellent, I'm presuming the wait will be worth it. Is Avalon in it? [8]
[Curtain Call]: Possibly the best 'they-set-up-GP' story around. The concept is simple (Blake and Avon sitting and talking till the others wake up) but the dialogue is razor-sharp and the characterisation is deeply satisfying, especially for those of us who've noticed that, fireworks aside, sometimes Our Heroes just really enjoy talking together ... [9]

Issue 4

cover issue #4

Southern Seven 4 has 329 pages and was published in December 1988.

Fiction:

  • Liz S., "Missing Person" (Who is Vila Restal? Does even Vila know? Vila’s past is shrouded in mystery.) (11 pages)
  • Linda Terrell, "Flights" (Pern crossover) (A little R&R on a seemingly harmless planet is soon complicated by the appearance of fire lizards and various other surprises. The crew of the Liberator decides that Blake needs a little R&R by himself. What they didn’t count on was fire lizards and acid rain and pirates.) (20 pages)
  • Joan Hoffman, "Bubble, Bubble" (A warm bath, a nice soft bathrobe…rebels need to relax sometime. So do Supreme Commanders. Yet another attempt at R&R goes awry for Blake and Co.) (18 pages)
  • Susan Glasgow, "Where the Dutchman Dwells" (A derelict spaceship intrigues Blake and his crew but they soon have more to worry about than simply why she was drifting in space. Vila remembers the old tales about ghost ships.) (18 pages)
  • Laura Virgil, "A Sticky Situation" (Vila Restal was bored. And when Vila was bored…well, it really wasn’t his fault , but things just seemed to start happening. Boredom and Orac conspire to make Vila Restal’s life miserable.) (5 pages)
  • Mary Gerstner, "They Who Trust" (Cally receives a request for aid from her people on Auron and Blake decides it would be best for her to return to her home. But Avon soon has reasons to doubt the wisdom of Blake’s decision. A request from Auron that Cally return to them is met with agreement by Blake and Cally, but Avon suspects that something isn’t quite right with the situation.) (21 pages)
  • Leigh Arnold, "Liberator vs. the Church Lady" (script; SNL parody) (2 pages) (reprinted in Magnificent Seven #9)
  • Katrina Larkin & Susanne Tilley, "In the Dark" (Hellhound universe) (27 pages) (also in The Log of the Hellhound #7)
  • Sophia Mulvey, "Backlash" (Vila gets to be the hero. Avon gets poisoned. The Federation is lurking about. The quest for Blake leads the crew of the Liberator to a backwards planet where Vila and Avon soon get into trouble with the native population) (27 pages)
  • Lynne Alisse Witten, "The Promise" (9 pages)
  • Jean Lorrah, "Dreams" (Servalan is caught in a snare of her own devising.) (5 pages)
  • April Giordano, "Survival" (3 pages)
  • Kathryn Andersen, "Moonlight and Vodka" (3 pages)
  • Annita Smith, "Through These Walls" (5 pages)
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, "Recovering"
  • Katrina Larkin & Susanne Tilley, "The Fool's Tale" (Hellhound Universe) (What happened to Vila while Avon was off building and stealing the Hellhound? Vila meets up with an old acquaintance and tells the tale of how he escaped from Gauda Prime.) (9 pages) (also in The Log of the Hellhound #7)
  • Linda Willard, "Reasons" (7 pages)
  • Sheila Paulson, Kyl (Jabberwocky universe) (The young computer genius, Kyl, has information vital to the rebellion, so why is Avon so reticent to trust him…and just what is the secret about him that Vila seems to know. A Jabberwocky story.) (23 pages) (reprinted in Jabberwocky Collected and Jabberwocky #2)
  • Kathy Hintze, "Promises to Keep" (Vila once made a promise and even the horror of Gauda Prime isn’t going to stop him from keeping his word. Vila made a promise to Cally.) (8 pages)
  • Susan Hall & L. A. Carr, "The Phoenix Project: You Only Live Twice" (The Phoenix Project continues as Blake and his group attempt to rebuild the rebellion, while their enemy nurses his wounds and plots his revenge. Someone is trying to kill Kerr Avon and although Bran Drew is a likely suspect, the crew of the Phoenix seem to be the only people who were in the right place at the right time to have made the attempt.) (47 pages)

Nonfiction:

  • Ann Wortham, "From the Airlock..." (editorial)
  • Brendan O'Cullane, "Criss-Cross Puzzle"
  • Jeff & Mary Morris, "Blakes 7 Groaners" (humor; with cartoons by Christopher Cook)
  • Brendan O'Cullane, "Quotation Puzzle"
  • Puzzle answers
  • "The Hellhound Pop Quiz"
  • Letters of Comment
  • Submission Guidelines
  • Zine ads

Poetry:

  • Jacqueline Taero, "If I Only Had a Brain, Revised" (filk, If I Only Had a Brain, from The Wizard of Oz)
  • Leah Rosenthal, "Deja Vu"
  • Leah Rosenthal, "Detection Shield"
  • Linda Terrell, "Imagery"
  • Kathryn Andersen, "Honest Man"
  • Jacqueline Taero, "Eve, Cleopatra, and Thee"
  • Dani Lane, "Gauda Prime" (filk, Home, Sweet Home, by Motley Crue)

Art:

  • Leah Rosenthal (front cover), Adrian Morgan, Suzan Lovett, Annita Smith, Julie Nowak, Maryann Jorgensen, Dani Lane, Kathryn Andersen, Christopher Cook, Laura Virgil, Mary Gerstner, Katrina Larkin, Karen River, Theresa Buffaloe, Suzi Molnar, Sheila Paulson, Lynne A. Witten, and Picasso

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

I wimped out on #5, the double issue (and probably my favorite of all the Southern Sevens, although that's a tough decision to make). I'll do it one of fhese nights when I'm feeling ambitious. In the meantime, here's #4.

Hanneke, you wanted a Pern crossover story-- ta da! See below. It's mostly just cute little fire lizards, though. I have a nagging feeling that I've seen at least one other B7/Pern crossover story, but I can't think where.

In this issue I particularly liked "Where the Dutchman Dwells," an adventure story of the similar-to-an-episode type, but with some eerie overtones. It's a bit like some of Judith Seaman's stories in feel. The Lovett illos are great too, especially the one with Blake holding Avon, Gan holding Vila, and Cally holding a gun and looking very fierce.

By the way, all of the Southern Seven zines have loads more good stuff besides the few personal favorites I'm mentioning, as I hope perusal of the listings will make clear. These zines are outstanding for the mix of different kinds of stories and the high probability of providing something for every fannish taste. [10]

Issue 5 Part One

front cover of issue #5, v.1 -- "Legend" by Karen River
back cover of issue #5, v.1, "Resistor" by Leah Rosenthal

Southern Seven 5 PART ONE has 408 pages and was published in 1989. It contains 24 pages of LOCs.

The front cover is by Karen River ("Legend") and the back cover is by Leah Rosenthal ("Resistor"). The interior art is by Leah Rosenthall, Suzan Lovett, Samantha Hayman, Adrian Morgan, Brendan O'Cullane, Theresa Buffaloe, Laura Virgil, and Mariann Howarth.

  • Editorial (5)
  • Letters of Comments (6)
  • Recontres by Shoshanna (30)
  • Random Thoughts by Teresa Ward (32)
  • The Seventh Rebel by Bryn Lantry (Blake counted Zen as part of his crew…but how did Zen feel about being made a member of the Cause) (33)
  • Rationalizations by Teresa Ward (41)
  • Rogue Avon by Jeff and Mary Mutoid (42)
  • Retribution by Jeanne DeVore (Travis seemed to know the mutoid who was chosen as his “friend” in the episode Duel. Perhaps he knew her very well, indeed) (44)
  • Devotion by CarolMel Ambassador (52)
  • Jealousy by Kate Daniels (53)
  • All the World's a Wallet by Bryn Lantry (59)
  • A Rebel's Revenge by Sue Williams (Blake is determined to carry out a planned strike against the Federation, even after the loss of his rebel contact…and Avon may have to pay the price.) (60)
  • Diurnal by Shoshanna (77)
  • Sober Thoughts by Laura Virgil (82)
  • If I Were In Your Shoes... by Teresa Ward (89)
  • Gan’s Revenge by Jacqueline Taero (94)
  • Renunciation by Bryn Lantry (96)
  • So Perish Unbelievers by Elizabeth Jarvis (99)
  • Dirge for a Dreamhead by Bryn Lantry (102)
  • Until You Get It Right by Barbara T. (103)
  • King of Death by Pat Nussman (104)
  • A Boy Called Mary Sue by Dee Beetem and Renae Ransdorf (106)
  • Song by Bryn Lantry (110)
  • The Days of Miracle and Wonder by Jeff Morris (111)
  • Pledge by CarolMel Ambassador (113)
  • Fate's Final Act by Linda Knights (A fever sends Avon into the world of dreams where he sees a vision of the future…a future he will do anything to change.) (135) (reprinted as a standalone zine)
  • By the Last Sun (Star One) by Bryn Lantry (144)
  • Out of the Tomb by Barbara T. (146)
  • Shadows by Tammy Riden (15)
  • Shadow of Some Unseen by Colette Bolech & Kathy Martin (Avon and Vila are temporarily stranded and are forced to take shelter in a mysterious house…with an even more mysterious, if beautiful, owner.) (151)
  • Alien Eyes by Jacqueline Taero (171)
  • Blake -- After Star One by Teresa Ward (172)
  • Drifts of Sand by Mary Gerstner (174)
  • Pool by CarolMel Ambassador (176)
  • Rumours With A View by Vickie McManus (177)
  • Last Call by CarolMel Ambassador (194)
  • Feelings by Alyns Lawchilde (195)
  • The Passing of Youth by M. Saavedra (196)
  • Tarrant by Teresa Ward (200)
  • It Just Ain’t My Style! by Kathy Hintze (202)
  • It Wasn’t All Lies by Jane Carnall (208)
  • Doubts by CarolMel Ambassador (209)
  • Thought in the Night by Teresa Ward (The death of Deeta leaves Del Tarrant considering many things and perhaps even Vila can help.) (210)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5 (both volumes)

Southern Seven 5 Published and edited by Ann Wortham. 2 volumes 1989. 408 pp Comb bound. Given its size and overall high standard, volume 5 of Southern Seven has to have something for everyone. The stories and poetry are helpfully arranged in roughly chronological order to cover the four series and post-GP. There are rather more stories based on series 3, 4 and PG than on 1 + 2. There is a mixture of action, comedy, and angst, a sizeable number being alternative universe. Personally I like angsty pieces best, and there weren't as many of them in this as in some other SS volumes, but what there were, were great. As far as I remember, having reached page 404 a couple of weeks ago, there is no particular emphasis overall on any one character. There are as usual with Southern Seven a lot of cartoons and pieces of artwork.

24 pages are devoted to letters of comment. Personally I find it very helpful reading comments on previous issues for the obvious ereason that it helps me choose whether or not to order them. However if you think differently or have already got everything (lucky you) you may find it annoying to have the space taken up (but 24 out of 408 densely packed pages isn't that bad, is it?).

Volume 2 is post-Terminal and includes Book V of Log of the Hellhound which is over 80 pages long. If you like Hellhound this is fine. If you do not like it, 80+ pages of a zine is a lot to skip over.

All but one of the series 1+2 stories are relatively short with the exception of "Fate's Final Act" an intriguing and well thought out pre-Star One scenario. Of the short ones I particularly liked the exquisite "Companions for your Watch", which is about Avon, Cally and Vila shortly before Terminal , a Cally/Avon story called Out of the Tomb, and all the Orbit stories. Also "Rumours with a View ", which unusually has a happy ending for Avon and Anna, and for Cally and Vila. [11]

Issue 5 Part Two

cover of issue #5. v.2, Leah Rosenthal -- "Bizarro Legend"
back cover of issue #5, v.2, Leah Rosenthal. A fan in 2016 said: "I like to think these Vila movie poster parody covers that pop up periodically are actually from an AU where Vila Restal was Earth’s biggest action hero movie star." - [12]
frontispiece of issue #5, v.2, Leah Rosenthal

Southern Seven 5 Part Two was published in July 1989 and contains 410 pages. The front cover is by Leah Rosenthal ("Bizarro Legend") and the back cover is by Leah Rosenthal ("Bad Delta").

It has interior art by Suzan Lovett, Leah Rosenthal, Theresa Buffaloe, Maryann Jorgensen, Samantha Hayman, Mary Gerstner, Laura Virgil, Adrian Morgan, Suzie Molnar, Daphne Ann Hamilton, Vicki Brinkmeier, Brendan O'Cullane, Katrina Larkin.

  • De Mortius by Pat Nussman and Jacqueline Taero (214)
  • Queen of Fires by Pat Nussman (216)
  • The Center of the Circle by Sheila Paulson (Matters take a different turn on Terminal when it turns out Blake really was there…and the crew of Liberator manages to rescue him.) (218)
  • The Southern Seven Writing Contest (235)
  • Companions for Your Watch by Elizabeth Jarvis (240)
  • Going Down by Brendan O'Cullane and Adrian Morgan (243) (reprinted in Double Vision)
  • Out of Orbit by Lynne Alisse Witten (245)
  • For Each Man Kills by Jane Carnall (247)
  • No Way Out by Laura Virgil (248)
  • Repent in Haste by Sophia Mulvey (Soolin doesn’t necessarily trust Avon and his crew, but her attempt to consider her decision to join them could prove fatal.) (253)
  • Refugee by Pat Nussman (264)
  • The Least of Many Evils by Alyns Lawchilde (266)
  • Broken Wings by Mary Gerstner (Cally survived Terminal, unbeknownst to her fellow rebels, but at what cost?) (269)
  • A Nightmare a Day Keeps the Doctor Away by Angina Panucratis (282)
  • The Testing by Vickie McManus (283)
  • Mr. Avon's Neighborhood by Kim Wigmore (284)
  • And Then There Was One by April Giordano (281)
  • Last Sight by Adrian Morgan and Brendan O'Cullane (290)
  • Where Lies Madness by Barbara T. (291)
  • Finale by Pat Nussman (292)
  • Counter Point by Mary Alic Wuerz (294)
  • Legends and Dreams by Meg Garrett (207)
  • Post G.P. Letter by Nova Salsh-Klabe (309)
  • Dust to Dust Return by Dee Beetem (310)
  • Fireside Thoughts by Janet Walker (313)
  • The Result of Standard Conditioning and Reality Adjustment in the Case of 8/110 by Adrian Morgan and Brendan O'Cullane (314)
  • Empty Chairs by Janet Walker (315)
  • Betrayal by CarolMel Ambassador (316)
  • Deliverance by Susan Boylan (317)
  • Reunion by Tammy Riden (321)
  • THE LOG OF THE HELLHOUND—BOOK V (322)
    • Guns And Butter by Katrina Larkin & Susanne Tilley (now Katz) (Bev and Dayna run into unfriendly Raldeeni and Avon is forced into an uneasy alliance with one of Tarrant’s old smuggling partners, Lew Brody, in order to save them (The Log Of The Hellhound Book V) (325)
    • Wicked Ways (356)
    • Flesh and Blood (375)

Issue 6

cover of issue #6, Laura Virgil
flyer printed in Fire and Ice #1

Southern Seven 6 has 193 pages and was published in October 1991.

Fiction:

  • K. D. Swan, "Booby Trap"
  • Adrian Morgan & Brendan O'Cullane, "Nightwood Rest" (reprinted in Double Vision)
  • Shoshanna "Days in the Death"
  • Kim Davis, "Someday Soon"
  • Kathy Coy, "Knight in Leather Armor"
  • Linda Knights, "It's All Done by Magic"
  • Jeff & Mary Morris, "Elvis Is Everywhere!"
  • Kaye Dunham, "Changing Stations" (Lost in Space crossover)
  • Jamie Ritchey, "Out of Control"
  • Julie Nowak, "Homecoming"
  • Cami, "The Price of Safety"
  • Barbara T, "Drinks for the Memory" (Cordwainer Smith crossover)
  • J. Smallwood, "Promise"
  • Teresa Ward, "Evil Possessions"
  • Diana Klopf, "Faker"
  • Claudine Vessing & CarolMel Ambassador, "Complications"
  • Leah Rosenthal and Ann Wortham, "Playing the Fool" (reprinted from Powerplay #4)
  • Shannon, "Vila Looks Back"
  • Carl Nicastro, "A Twist in Time"
  • Shoshanna "Walkabout"
  • Janet P, "Prophecy"
  • Jane Carnall, "And Then I Care Not"

Poetry:

  • Roxie Ray, "Seven Rebels" (filk, Seven Wonders, by Fleetwood Mac)
  • Jacqui Topp, "Irreconcilable Viewpoints"
  • M. R. Robber, "Musings"
  • Aya Katz, "The Improbable Scheme"
  • K. D. Swan, "What Price?"
  • Jacqueline Taero, "Vanishing Act"
  • Jacqueline Taero, "Survivor"
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Brother"
  • Shoshanna "Dreamer" (filk, Fast Car, by Tracy Chapman)
  • Aya Katz, "Vila's Revenge" (filk, Blue Tail Fly)
  • Jacqui Topp, "Double-Edged Sword"
  • Jacqueline Taero, "Filk for Avon"
  • Shannon, "Dreams"
  • Aya Katz, "Sand" (based on The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll)
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Golden Gunfighter"
  • Shannon, "Consequences"
  • Shannon, "Fragments" ("with thanks to Meatloaf, whose music provided the inspiration")

Nonfiction:

  • Ann Wortham, "From the Airlock" (editorial)
  • Letters
  • Brendan O'Cullane, "Trivia and Word Search Puzzle"
  • The Second Southern Seven Writing Contest (Art by Mariann Howarth, Sue Williams, Leah Rosenthal, Leigh Motooka, Melody Rondeau)
  • "Stories written by Leah Rosenthal and/or Ann Wortham and where to find them"
  • Zine ads

Art:

  • Laura Virgil (front cover), Leah Rosenthal, Mariann Howarth, Leigh Motooka, Kathy Coy, Adrian Morgan, MaryAnn Jorgensen, Kate Knepper, Sheila Paulson, Kathryn Andersen, Julie Nowak, Sue Williams, Melody Rondeau, S. Molnar, and Suzan Lovett

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

[zine]: This issue has one of my very favorite pieces of Suzan Lovett's art. It's a portrait of a worried-looking Avon, with the image of the early Blake directly behind him, and behind that, the sinister face of GP Blake. A pair of hands are reaching out to clutch at Avon, but it's not clear which Blake they belong too. I take this as a representation of Avon's state of mind on GP.

My other favorite thing in the issue is a poem, Aya Katz'a rendition of the events of "Sand" in the form of "The Walrus and the Carpenter." Wonderful! I also like her filk of "Blue Tail Fly." ("The Feds have won and I don't care, 'cause Avon's off my back.")

"The Prophecy" is sweet and sad. Unknown to Avon, he and Cally had a daughter, who was brought up on Kaarn with the other little Aurons. Vila accidentally travels into the future and learns of a prophecy that he must marry the daughter of Avon and Cally, in order to produce a child who will eventually bring down the Federation. But it turns out that the prophecy has been interpreted incorrectly....

In "Elvis Is Everywhere," Avon is too shy to respond to Cally's advances when he's in his right mind. But when he's possessed by Elvis, everything changes. Very funny.

Other especially recommended stories are [Shoshanna's] tale of the bank fraud, and Carol's dark PGP A-V, which won the writing contest. Yes, folks, she also writes excellent stories with no Tarrant in them at all! :) [13]
[It's All Done By Magic]: Sally thought the plot wasn't much but it was fun watching Avon trying not to show that he was worried sick over Fearless Leader. Jenny, conversely, saw it as a strange sideways look at the relationship between Blake and Avon, in a story about conjurors and reincarnation, where the real magic is Blake's belief in Avon. [14]

Issue 7

Southern Seven 7 was published in April 1992 and has 201 pages.

cover of issue #7, Mariann Howarth
The production of the zine was plagued with delays. On the Blake's 7 mailing Lysator rumors began circulating:
"...editor Ann Wortham took the entire print run of whatever the last issues of "Southern Seven" was with her to MediaWest, *including* those that had been pre-sold by mail order. Somehow, the entire print run got sold off the table, even those earmarked by advance sale. She has always paid for her current publication with the advance sales of the upcoming publication; in other words, the money is spent before the last issue is paid off, she is forever in debt, and now that the first print run has been inadvertently sold over the counter, she has no money to go to the printers for a second printing. Her entire publishing operation has ground to a standstill because of lack of funds."[15]

Fiction:

  • Shannon, "Wheels within Wheels"
  • Tyndara Meffe, "Deathsong"
  • Anne Collins Smith, "Subterfuge"
  • Barbara T, "Rich Man, Poor Man, Joker, Thief" (Avon must come to terms with the fact that he is a thief living among criminals)
  • Michelle Lelouche, "Naughty Girls Need Love Too"
  • Roxie Ray, "Sweet Dreams"
  • Kristy Merrill, "Ghosts" (There’s someone or something onboard the Liberator and it has already killed the crew of another ship)
  • Jean Lorrah, "Long Remember"
  • Robert Collins, "Forgive Me All My Sins" (Long time since Gauda Prime but Avon still remembers and tries to forget)
  • Cheree Cargill, "File Closed"
  • Pam Auditore, "Heaven"
  • H. S. Levijoki, "The Desperados"
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Survivors"
  • Kathryn Andersen, "Transaction"
  • Katrina Larkin and Susanne Tilley, "From the Log of the Hellhound, Book VI: Sins of the Fathers; The Stand; Deceit"

Nonfiction:

  • Letters of Comment
  • Roxie Ray, "Federation Space Academy Final Exam" (humor)

Poetry:

  • Anne Collins Smith, "You Got the Hook" (filk, You Got the Look, by Prince)
  • Sharyn Sobel & Diana Klopf, "Waltzing with Bears" (filk, Waltzing with Bears)
  • Anne Collins Smith, "Gambit" (filk, Branded)
  • Shannon, "Deliverance"
  • Jacqueline Taero, "Only Mistaken"
  • Mary L. Orwig, "Mutoid's Lullaby" (filk, Monster's Lullaby)
  • Jeff Morris & Mary Morris, "Vila Nearly Got Pushed Out an Airlock" (filk, Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer)
  • Jacqueline Taero, "The Birthing"
  • Mary Gerstner, "Wishes" (filk, Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again, from Phantom of the Opera)
  • Aya Katz, "Countdown" (filk, The Rose)
  • Mary L. Orwig, "The Psychopath Song" (filk, the Lumberjack Song, by Monty Python)

Art:

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 7

My favorite story in this issue is "The Desperados," in which a Gauda Prime housewife encounters three desperate men. I like the device of seeing our familiar characters through the eyes of a stranger.

Remember that idea about Servalan in a brothel? Well, here's an example, in "Naughty Girls;" but it's voluntary, and the story is mainly for laughs. And of course to give Leah the chance to draw A and B in their undies! (Avon, as the story informs us and the illo faithfully shows, wears black leather briefs; Blake favors polka-dot boxer shorts.)

And of course there's a nice fat juicy chunk of Hellhound. My one complaint: fond as I am of Suzan Lovett's art in general, I don't like the way she does Hellhound Avon. His hair is too short for my taste. (I have the same complaint about this season's haircut for Sheridan in B5. Super-short hair is fine on women, but on men, ick!) But Katrina Larkin's own illos are very nice, showing us the authoritative version of what the various characters look like. Her style has made great progress since the earlier issues.

The Log of the Heckhound cartoon is priceless.

Oh, and I love the "FSA Final Exam" and its very funny cartoon illos. [16]

Southern Seven #7 has a cover that alone is worth the price of the zine: Mariann Howarth's Hellhound Tarrant. (I drooled majorly over the original, which was on display at the MediaWest art show last year.) It's luscious, lovely, stunningly gorgeous — sigh.

Official conflict of interest confession: I do have a few pieces of art in this zine, but they are a very minor contribution to this large and wonderfully diverse zine. Aside from the stunning cover, what strikes me most about this zine is the deliciously wicked humor. Picasso's "Hellhound Dayna" is wonderful. Then there's Jeff and Mary Morris' "Vila Nearly Got Pushed Out an Airlock," a filk to the tune of my favorite Christmas carol, "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer." I also loved Mary Orwig's "The Psychopath Song," to the tune of Monty Python's "The Lumberjack Song." And Leah Rosenthal's "Log of the Heckhound" is my favorite cartoon of the zine. (Remind me to nominate it for a Fan-Q next year.)

I didn't find the serious pieces in the zine quite as engaging. (Probably because there's not much Tarrant.) I did like "The Desperadoes," an interesting tale in which an ordinary Gauda Prime homemaker finds her self with some unwanted guests. (It's the farthest thing from a Mary-Sue — trust me.) The latest installment of Hellhound was a tad disappointing; the original characters seem to be taking over. It's all wandered a bit too far from "real B7" for my tastes.

The art is spectacular: Annie's managed to round up the most talented and diverse group of artists in fandom. Everyone who's anyone is in this zine. Southern Seven #7 is, as I've come to expect from Annie, a quality zine at a reasonable price. [17]

Issue 8

Southern Seven 8 was published in May 1994 and has 178 pages.

cover of issue #8, Leah Rosenthal
flyer for issue #8, note: there are several stories on this flyer that don't appear in issue #8

Fiction:

  • Roberta L. Brown "Ripple Effect" (Avon seemed to have bad luck—was it something more sinister)
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Candidate"
  • Shoshanna "Yet Another Garden Paradise" (The Liberator needs repairs but a trip to the planet Bailey’s Seven to mine for crystals could prove fatal to Vila) (crossover with song "Little Fuzzy Animals" by Frank Hayes)
  • Peggy Hartsook, "Wilderness Sojourn" (A mission into the wilderness of Kenore goes awry when Blake wants to return to his people, balks at the notion)
  • Beth Masterson, "Face from the Past"
  • Alicia Ann Fox, "History Will Teach Us Nothing" (A teleport malfunction lands Blake in a universe gone to topsy-turvy) ("an exercise in cross-gender casting")
  • Alicia Ann Fox, "Free for All" ("a story concurrent with 'History Will Teach Us Nothing'")
  • Amy L. Hull, "The Paths of Glory Lead But to the Grave" )
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, "A Womb of One's Own"
  • Leokadija, "Lady's Choice"
  • Joelle Augustine, "A Terrible Thing to Waste"
  • Kaye Dunham, "The Starborn" (A mission gone wrong isn’t the only problem facing the crew of the Liberator when Vila rescues a baby)
  • Jane Mailander, "Avon's Adventures Underground" )
  • Dana Morez, "All That Glitters"
  • Sophia Mulvey, "To Sleep, Perchance to Dream" (Cally was dead, or was she)
  • Roberta L. Brown, "Probability Factor" (Servalan’s true origins are revealed and the Liberator is regained in quite an unusual way) (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy crossover)
  • Annita K. Smith, "Precious Vengeance"
  • Annita K. Smith, "The Treasure Outside the Door"
  • Melody C., "The Best Is Yet to Be"

Nonfiction:

  • Letters of Comment
  • Kaye Dunham, "Blakes Seven Test"
  • Fellina Archer, "All I Needed to Know About the Universe
  • I Learned from Blake's 7" (quotes)
  • Kaye Dunham, "Dome Shopping Club Catalogue"
  • Sophia Mulvey, "To Sleep, Perchance to Dream"
  • Ann Wortham and Leah Rosenthal, "Quotes from 'It's Howdy Duty Time!'"

Poetry:

  • Jacqui Topp, "Half a Soul"
  • K. Avon, "Rebellion on Their Minds" (filk, Too Much Heaven on Their Minds, from Jesus Christ Superstar)
  • Jacqui Topp, "Somewhere"
  • Kathryn Andersen, "Extermination"
  • Jacqui Topp, "A Sound Like Thunder"
  • Sharyn Sobel, "Searches" (filk, Is Anybody There, from 1776)
  • Angela Reese, "Hiding Scared" (filk, Be Prepared, by Tom Lehrer)
  • Angela Reese, "Wake Up, C'mon Vila" (filk, Wake Up, Little Susie)
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, "Eternal Champion"
  • Angela Reese, "The Andromedan War Anthem" (filk, Memory, from Cats)
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, "Non Omis [sic] Moriar (I shall not wholly die)"
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, "An Idealist Appeals to a Cynic"
  • Angela Reese, "Avon by My Side" (filk, Take Me Home, Country Roads, by John Denver)
  • Jenny Hayward, "A Blake's 7 Alphabet"
  • Angela Reese, "Decisions, Decisions" (filk, Silver Bells)
  • Jane Mailander, "Hunter and Prey (For Two Voices)"
  • Jacqui Topp, "The Game"
  • Jane Mailander, "White Rebel, or Terminal Trip" (filk, White Rabbit, by Jefferson Airplane)
  • Jane Mailander, "Vila's Condemnation, or The Price for Not Asking the RIght Question"
  • Jacqui Topp, "Journey's End"
  • Kathryn Andersen, "DSV"
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, "Be All My Sins Remembered"
  • Jane Mailander, "Merrit" (filk, Challenge, by Julia Ecklar; Last Stand universe)
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, "Knight Tarrant"
  • Teresa Ward, "The Pilot's Prayer"

Art:

  • Leah Rosenthal (front cover), Mariann Howarth, Jane Mailander, Melody Rondeau, MaryAnn Jorgensen, Leigh Motooka, Adrian Morgan, Judith Kitzes, Samantha Hayman, Todd Parrish, and Kathryn Andersen (back cover)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 8

This issue and #9 were really a kind of double issue, since they were published simultaneously.

There's another mystery illo in this issue-- a nice portrait of Vila, on p. 57. I wondered whether it might perhaps be by the author of the story it accompanies, "Face from the Past," since sketches of Vila are mentioned in the story.

In addition to Vila's tragic past romance in "Face," he gets a current romance in "Lady's Choice," complete with a very romantic illo. Avon is paired off with an original female character in the two stories by Annita K. Smith. I had the feeling that the first of these was itself a sequel to some other story, but I can't remember seeing such a story anywhere.

Vickie's cross-gendered stories are among the special features of this issue. Also noteworthy is Jane Mailander's "Avon Underground," which manages to utilize all of the story contest illos from the previous issue by presenting them as the hallucinations of a drugged Avon. Very ingenious! This author, BTW, is another of the fan writers who's in the process of going pro; I know she's had some SF stories published, although I don't have the details.

I was rather struck by "Ripple Effect," a PWB in which a young lady with an unrequited crush on Avon summons up a demon to curse him with a terrible life. This sounds rather silly, but the emotions that the story evokes are very powerful.

I also especially liked Angela Reese's filk, "The Andromedan War Anthem," to the tune of "Memory." It's such a different POV. [18]

Issue 9

front cover of issue #9,Leah Rosenthal
back cover of issue #9,Adrian Morgan

Southern Seven 9 was published in May 1994 and has 191 pages.

Fiction:

  • Diana Smith & Pat Dunn, "Sojourn at House Thanos" (11 pages) (Kill the Dead, this fic was originally supposed to have been in Ghyste Mortua.)
  • K. Ann Yost, "The Innocent" (Avon didn’t have a happy childhood—a race of aliens is going to give him another chance.) (8 pages)
  • Sara Talbot, "Contact" (2 pages)
  • Linda Terrell, "A B7 Guide for the Perceptually Handicapped and Creatively Impaired"
  • Kaye Dunn, "Vila-ness" (6 pages)
  • Teresa Ward, "Post Script"
  • Jennifer Smallwood, "Escape"
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Discussion" (2 pages)
  • Jennifer Smallwood, "Vault" (Vila Restal could never resist a challenge—but this vault could prove to be his undoing.) (4 pages)
  • Dee Beetem & Margaret McNickle, "Vila Restal and the Enchanted Drake of Oz" (Vila was just minding his own business when suddenly he found himself in a strange place where ducks talked and asked him to go on rescue missions) (Wizard of Oz crossover) (7 pages)
  • Mary Gerstner, "From the Ashes" (2 pages)
  • Colette Boch & Kathy Martin, "In Transit" (Professionals crossover (16 pages)
  • Teresa Ward, "Rescue" (3 pages)
  • Katie Clapham, "When Memories Die" (26 pages)
  • Alan Moravian, "Eve of Destruction" (2 pages)
  • Roxie Ray, "Familiar Haunts" (6 pages)
  • Rebecca Donahue, "Showdown Over Domo" (6 pages)
  • Kathy Coy, "The Road Not Taken II" (2 pages)
  • Jeannie Webster, "The Road Not Taken II" (2 pages)
  • Melanie Ogle, "In Vino Veritas" (7 pages)
  • Donna Wilson, "Safe With You" (4 pages)
  • Jane Carnall, "Cruelty Has a Human Heart" (6 pages)
  • Nicole Petty & Michelle Moyer, "Hallucinations" (Avon’s hallucination tries to warn him of Gaurda Prime but he pays no heed.) (6 pages)
  • Betty Monfette, "A Second Chance" (2 pages)
  • Sherri Fillingham, "The Once and Future Pilot" (8 pages)
  • Linda Knights, "Acknowledgement of Guilt" (In the wake of Gauda Prime, Avon confronts some hard truths about himself.) (3 pages)
  • Peter Flanagan & Amanda Rothman, "Avon Stood in Blake's Body" (8 pages)
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Payment in Full"
  • Patricia Blasi, "Scoring Points for the Losing Side" (8 pages)

Nonfiction:

  • Mary Orwig, "Servita!" (ad; humor)
  • Katrina Larkin, "Hellhound Catalogue" (Hellhound universe) (4 pages)

Poetry:

  • Shannon, "Success"
  • Leah Rosenthal, "It's My Series" (filk, It's My Party & I'll Cry If I Want To)
  • Anne Collins Smith, "Rumours of Life"
  • Mary Orwig, "Cally" (f, Mary O'Meara)
  • Mary Orwig, "Waiting for Avon-- Klyn's P.O.V." (filk, Lola, by the Kinks) (2 pages)
  • Arlene Masder, "Dark Songs"
  • Anne Collins Smith, "A Fourth-Season Plot Is Not a Happy One" (filk, A Policeman's Lot Is Not a Happy One")
  • Melissa Mastoris, "Gauda Prime"
  • Sharyn Sobel, "Lonely Round the Base" (filk, The Fields of Athenry) (2 pages)
  • Sharyn Sobel, "Alphan Omega" (2 pages)
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Heart of Hearts"
  • Rebecca Donahue, "This Avon Must Die" (filk, This Jesus Must Die, from Jesus Christ Superstar)
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Just Deserts" (2 pages)
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Within My Grasp"
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "By My Own Choice"

Art:

  • Leah Rosenthal (front cover), Kate Knepper, Suzan Lovett, Todd Parrish, Samantha Hayman, Mary Gerstner, Kathryn Andersen, Leigh Motooka, Maryann Jorgensen, and Adrian Morgan (back cover)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 9

There are rather too many stories in this zine to comment on individually, so this review will concentrate on the longer ones.

"Sojourn at House Thanos" has a play on the names of messrs. Darrow and Keating, and is presumably an in-joke as the story doesn't otherwise amount to much.

Avon becomes a dear little four year old whom Blake and Vila predictably take to their hearts in "The Innocent". Either you like this sort of sentiment or you find it excruciating.

"Vila-ness" is unquestionably original. Vila accidentally changes sex and is understandably peeved; everyone has a hard time adjusting - well you would, wouldn't you? I thought this would be cringe-making but actually it's not at all bad.

"Vault" is an excellent short story in which Vila gets trapped and Avon and Cally go after him. Very good on Avon and Vila's personal and working relationship.

"Vila Restal and the Enchanted Drake of Oz" is self-explanatory. Not exactly a cross-over with the Wizard of Oz but that way inclined.

In the brief "From the Ashes" Avon comforts Cally after Auron, and she returns the favour after Anna.

"In Transit" has Avon and Vila left to cope on a planet while Liberator has to run for it. They meet up with others who are not necessarily what they seem. Don't say "not again"; this is a skilfully written story and the dialogue is exceptionally good.

"When memories die" is a treat for Blake fans, a long story about what happened after Star One and how he comes to s decision about his future. Quite a sombre read.

"Familiar Haunts" is set in the "A Friend in Need" universe. Soolin formerly joins the crew, but someone is playing tricks on them all.

"Showdown over Domo" starts with that hardy perennial the slave auction, where Servalan successfully bids for the man of her dreams, but the action quickly transfers to Scorpio. The plot requires Servalan to be uncharacteristically stupid and is therefore a bit hard to take.

The Vila Restal memorial angst and post-alternative Orbit wallow section is one great wallow. The first "Roads not Taken" is anguished, the second savage. The outstanding "In Vino Veritas" is longer, a night time confrontation between Vila and a drunken Avon, and "Safe with You" is another; the outcome of each is very different. "Cruelty has a human heart" concentrates on events from Soolin's point of view.

In "Hallucinations" Avon is haunted by Cally who warns him unavailingly about the future.

"A second chance" is an alternative Gauda Prime scenario in which different mistake are made. The ending is fairly weird.

"Once and future pilot" has a post-Star one Jenna meeting a resistance leader called Del...

"Acknowledgement of Guilt" is a well-written PGP soliloquy which puts forward an explanation for Avon's behaviour. Short and bitter.

Everyone makes an appearance in "Avon stood in Blake's body", which parodies just about every fan cliche.

Tarrant and an almost catatonic Vila escape from the GP shoot-out in "Scoring points for the losing side", and ultimately get revenge. I really enjoyed this one, both for characterisation and the intriguing plot. [19]
My question for this issue is: who did the little sketch of Vila on p. 34? It looks like maybe Todd Parrish, but it's not signed or listed in the art credits.

This is an especially good issue for Vila fans. Not only is there an entire section of Orbit stories, but he features prominently in a number of other stories as well.

My favorite thing in this issue is Donna Wilson's "Safe with Me," a very dark, intense alternate-post-Orbit A-V story. At the other end of the emotional spectrum, I like "Vila Restal and the Enchanted Drake of Oz," a wacky crossover that's been mentioned in these parts before.

"Cruelty Has a Human Heart" is a beautifully written story that I take to be discreet f/f slash. At least, the close relationship between Dayna and Soolin might be sisterly, but I don't think so!

Blake is seduced by Arlen, with disastrous results, in "A Second Chance." In "The Once and Future Pilot," part of the series that also appears in Threads Through Infinity, Jenna is torn between Blake and Tarrant.

"Avon Stood in Blake's Body" is a fun, nutty PGP with a slightly Bizarro flavor and some farcical bedhopping (I didn't try to describe the pairings, though). It reminds me a bit of some of the goings-on in Hotel Smut, except that nothing is described explicitly.

"Scoring Points for the Losing Side" is a somewhat unusual angsty PGP-- unusual in that the only two survivors are Vila and Tarrant. Highly recommended for fans of either of those characters.

As usual with SS, the zine is attractively laid out, with a typeface that is small enough to be efficient but large enough to be easily legible, and has very nice art. In this issue I especially like Adrian Morgan's portrait of Blake on the back cover, and Leah's cartoon illos for the "Drake of Oz." [20]

Issue 10

cover of issue #10, Leah Rosenthal
a flyer for issue #10

Southern Seven 10 was published in May 1995 and has 251 pages (170,992 words).

Fiction:

  • Teresa Ward & Cami, "Fleeting Visions" (20 pages) ("Tarrant is stunned by the sight of a familiar face in a crowd and his crew mates begin to think he's losing his mind as he becomes obsessed with his "vision."")
  • Alicia Ann Fox, "Aliens! An 'Orbit' Alternate" (3 pages) ("A unique twist on the perennial "Orbit" alternative...")
  • Jane Mailander, "Coyote and Wolf Play Bone-Toss" (6 pages) (" A different take on A von and V ila's natures and relationship!")
  • Catherine S., "In a Dark Time" (5 pages)
  • Jean Graham, "A Little Lower Than the Angels" (5 pages) ("Tarrant's mission is almost over when everything goes wrong, yet again.. .getting shot was only the beginning of his bad luck...")
  • J.R., "Ship of Fools" (19 pages) ("Avon and his crew are rescued from Gauda Prime by the person they least expect to see...")
  • Joelle Augustine, "A Matter of Choice" (4 pages)
  • Leah Rosenthal, "Night of the Living Chimichanga"
  • Jane Mailander, "This Old House" (17 pages) ("Vila and Avon host the ultimate do-it-yourself show...!")
  • Kathryn Andersen, "Winning Is the Only Safety" (8 pages) ("A Blakes 7/Highlander crossover which finds Avon and Vila struggling to survive after the massacre on Gauda Prime...")
  • C. S. Kinsey, "Resolution" (2 pages)
  • Michelle R. Moyer, "Links in the Chain" (12 pages) ("After Gauda Prime, the survivors of Avon's crew realize they will never be safe from Servalan and determine to take action...")
  • Cami, "Twist of Fate" (5 pages) (" Tarrantdetermines to leave the Liberator, and does so, only to find that leaving everything behind isn't so easy...")
  • Lucifer "Lucky" Chance, "In Which Servalan and Baby Tarrant Come to the Liberator, and Vila Has a Bath" (Winnie the Pooh parody (5 pages)
  • Samantha Hayman, "A Little Relief"
  • Megan K. Smith, "An Evening Aboard the Liberator" (multiple crossovers)
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, "Impossible Dreams" (8 pages) ("Roj Blake doesn't understand why he is being pursued by members of the Resistance. After all, he's a simple, model citizen...")
  • Michelle R. Moyer, "Little Sister" (7 pages)
  • Sandi K. Almany, "Twisted" (Star Trek: TOS/Star Trek: TNG/Star Trek: Deep Space Nine/Star Wars crossover) (4 pages)
  • Michelle Rosenberg, "Alien Smith and Jones" (Alias Smith and Jones crossover; reprinted from Wide Open Spaces #10) (30 pages) ("An accident strands Blake, Avon and Vila in the Old West, where Vila is mistaken for the dreaded Kid Vile!")
  • Sandi K. Almany, "The End"
  • L. S. Willard, "In the Wake of Ruin" (9 pages, reprinted from Horizon #11) ("Vila knows that he's only been allowed to escape Gauda Prime in order to lead Servalan to Orac, but he has to try, anyway, and he isn't about to leave Avon behind...")
  • Megan K. Smith, "Blake's Seven Saturday Morning"
  • Linda Terrell, "Once Upon a Time in Outer Space" (Knight Rider crossover; reprinted and revised from Frak #10 and Magnificent Seven #3, where it appeared under the name "Reaping Purpose") (8 pages) ("A sentient ship with a penchant for pilots with curly hair seeks out Blake and his crew in order to lend them its help and expert is against the Federation...")
  • Megan K. Smith, "The Story Thus Far")
  • Jill Sylvan, "Return"
  • Marian Mendez, "Peas in a Pod" (5 pages) ("Tarrant is devastated in the face of his brother Deeta's death and thinks back on their childhood...")
  • Katrina Larkin & Susanne Tilley, "From the Log of the Hellhound: One of My Kind" (38 pages) ("Dafydd Kildragon is determined to shut down yet another mutoid processing facility, but this particular facility appears to be turning out more than just the average mutoid...")

Nonfiction:

  • Letters of Comment
  • The Southern Seven Writing Contest, with art by Leah Rosenthal, Karen River, and Whitby27 (6 pages)

Poetry:

  • Judith Proctor, "It's a Long Way to Cygnus Alpha" (filk, It's a Long Way to Tipperary)
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, "Women Who Love Men Who Don't Have a Clue"
  • Judith Proctor, "Pack Up your Tool Kit" (filk, Pack Up Your Troubles)
  • Jane Mailander, "My DSV Coupe" (filk, My Little Deuce Coupe, by the Beach Boys)
  • Jane Mailander, "Where Is Terry Nation When You Need Him?" (filk, Where Is Dirty Harry When You Need Him, by Leslie Fish; reprinted from * [Xenofilkia] #34)
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, "Phoenix"
  • Kerr Fruitcake, "Avon: A Terrible Fruitcake"
  • Judith Proctor, "Jenna's Lament (Star One)" (filk, Red River Valley)
  • Samantha Hayman, "From Those Left"
  • Judith Proctor, "Alpha Blues" (filk, Bound for Botany Bay)
  • Jane Mailander, "My Little Servalan" (filk, Surfer Girl, by the Beach Boys)
  • Leah Rosenthal & Ann Wortham, "Avon's Christmas Wish" (tune from Have Yourself a Loony Tunes Xmas Album)
  • Linda Terrell, "Haiku for a Lost Orphan at Gauda Prime"
  • Megan K. Smith, "Cally's Song"

Art:

  • Leah Rosenthal (front cover), Jane Mailander, Karen River, Whitby27, Kathryn Andersen, and Jacqui Topp

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 10

[Impossible Dreams]: You also made a pitch for comments on "Impossible Dreams." Well, since I have the zine and had already read it, you'll get some comments. I liked a lot of things about this story, and there was one thing that bothered me a bit. I liked the way you portrayed Blake from his confusion over why people sought him out for political chitchat (the comment that he didn't think it was his devastating good looks and irresistible charm was great) to his curiosity to his later shell-shocked response to the massacre. This is a clearly damaged man, part of him wanting to remember (writing down his dreams), part of him not wanting there to be anything wrong. It also made me wonder something that I hadn't ever thought of before. Was Blake happy not knowing? Happy in the ignorance of the mind-wiped? At the end, it seems pretty clear that he doesn't want to forget ("take no more from him"). It's an interesting question with regard to the population in general. How happy are they in their ignorance, going about their work in a peaceful stupor? I just never thought about it in relation to Blake before. The one thing that I didn't really "get" was the poetry at the end. Maybe it was me, or how I felt when reading the story, but I felt it was either too long or not enough to the point about its connection to the story, or Blake's state of mind if that was the point. I rather like poetry with stories but I guess I didn't make the connection with this one. Liked the story though! [21]
[zine]:

My very favorite story in this issue is "Coyote and Wolf Play Bone Toss," definitely the most far-out AU I've ever seen!

I also really like Michelle's "Links in the Chain," despite what she does to Avon. This one's a must for Vila fans. "Little Sister" is excellent too; it's a behind-the-scenes look at some of the events of "Rumours."

"A Matter of Choice" would be an adult story if only it didn't stop a little too soon. :) And the "Women Who Love Men..." poem is an amusing take on B7 het romances.

This is a good issue for Tarrant stories. I especially like the one by Jean Graham, and there's nice A-T interaction in "Twist of Fate."

"Impossible Dreams" is a very good PWB Blake story, illustrated by my favorite art in the issue, Leah's depiction of Blake looking up at the stars.

Also especially recommended is "In the Wake of Ruin." [22]

Issue 11

Southern Seven 11 was published in 1998 and has 194 pages (147,000 words).

cover of issue #11, Laura Virgil: "La Belle Mort sans Merci" is a short Kill the Dead story, fitting the theme of the color cover. (This was to have originally been in Ghyste Mortua.)

Fiction:

  • Dead Reckoning by Marian Mendez--A post-Gauda Prime tale. The reunited group of Avon, Soolin, Vila, Tarrant and Dayna have further adventures as they attempt to recover from the events on Gauda Prime. Soolin, Vila, Tarrant and Dayna hope to have their memories of what happened on Gauda Prime restored, while Avon searches for a way to overcome the debilitating condition he is suffering due to his time in Servalan's hands. (sequel to "Pilot Program" in Rebel Destinies #1)
  • Sculpture by Judith Proctor--After Gan's death, Avon remembers a mission gone wrong and the time he spent alone with Gan while they waited to be rescued ... or to die.
  • Eccentric Orbit by Marian Mendez--An alternative universe version of the episode "Orbit," with Tarrant taking Vila's place on the doomed shuttle from Malodaar.
  • Agent of Ruin by Alice C. Aldridge--Cadet Tarrant meets Space Commander Travis at the Space Academy and learns a few hard truths about the Federation.
  • Airlock Sealed by Misha--Avon, Tarrant and Vila try to make sense of their apparent captivity together in this alternate reality tale ...
  • It's All In the Cards by Susan Cutter--Vila demonstrates the use of fortune telling cards to his crew mates with some interesting results.
  • La Belle Mort Sans Merci by Liz A. Vogel--A Kill the Dead tale. Parl Dro learns that his connection to Myal is stronger than even he ever imagined. (This fic was originally supposed to have been in Ghyste Mortua.)
  • Tears of the Sun by Susannah Lucci--A mission seems to be Vila's dream come true ... until he learns the price he will have to pay!
  • Tidings of Comfort and Joy by Rebecca Ann Brothers--A Blakes 7 Christmas tale as Avon remembers his past and discovers many truths long forgotten.
  • Wolf in Wool by Alicia Ann Fox--Another alternate universe version of the episode "Orbit," where the outcome is a bit different from the aired version! (reprinted from Threads Through Infinity)
  • The Wolf Unleashed by Alicia Ann Fox--A sequel to "Wolf in Wool." Vila Restal makes his way to Gauda Prime where he meets up with a very different Roj Blake.
  • Fragments by P. R. Zed
  • What Doesn't Kill You by Michelle R. Moyer

Nonfiction:

  • Letters of Comment

Poetry:

  • Jane Mailander, "Thief's Gold"
  • Jane Mailander, "Descent into Shadow"
  • Jane Mailander, "Bedtime Story"

Art:

  • Laura Virgil (front cover), andLeah Rosenthal

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 11

This one is a must for Vila fans, and highly recommended for everyone else as well.

All the stories are good, but the high point, IMO, is the longest one, the novella-length (50 pp.) "Tears of the Sun." This is extremely juicy h/c, and the Beautiful Sufferer, for a change, is Vila. He, Dayna, and Tarrant are temporarily stranded on a planet whose natives appear to be very friendly-- but there's a catch, of course. Incredibly lush, beautiful descriptions make it easy to visualize the setting; I would have loved to see illustrations, too.

If you liked "Path of Thorns" in Liberator Fantasies, and you enjoy gen as well as slash, give this story a try too.

A very different Vila appears in Vickie's wickedly funny "Wolf" stories. In "It's All in the Cards," Vila tries his hand at Tarot, with worrisome results. And in "Airlock Sealed," he, Avon, and Tarrant are stuck with each other in very unpleasant circumstances- - an interesting and disturbing story! In "What Doesn't Kill You," Vila, Blake, and Avon must all come to terms with what has happened to them.

"La Belle Mort sans Merci" is a short Kill the Dead story, fitting the theme of the color cover.

Other characters get their turns too, of course. "Dead Reckoning" continues the adventures of the reunited Scorpio crew. I especially like the bit about disguising Avon as Dayna's elderly uncle, and the scary-but-touching scene when he encounters what he thinks is the ghost of Blake.

Judith's "Sculpture" explores Gan's relationship with Avon. Judith, is this story set in the same universe as "A Berth on the London" in The Aquitar Files? I thought it might be.

"Eccentric Orbit" puts Tarrant instead of Vila on the shuttle with Avon and considers the results. "Agent of Ruin" is another Tarrant story, also involving a (somewhat) sympathetic Travis.

In "Tidings of Comfort and Joy" Avon encounters an alien shapeshifter who has read Dickens, and who gradually steers him in a direction that may, it is suggested, avert the unpleasant future that otherwise awaits him. In the hands of a lesser writer this motif could have been smarmily sentimental; but here it is handled very well, I thought. I found this story reminiscent of many of Sheila Paulson's stories, with their optimistic but believable endings.

"Fragments" is a sad pre-series story of the young Avon.

All of the stories are well-written, and the zine is very nicely produced. I had one quibble about the art in this and #12-- it has been scanned in, and so the quality of reproduction is not ideal; it's a little grainy. However, I changed my mind when I heard more about it. Apparently the originals of all those Virgil and Rosenthal goodies were sold years ago at cons; all that the artists still have is photos or photocopies, which were used as the basis for the scanned-in illos. Now that I know these are recovered treasures, I'm not going to quibble over the quality of reproduction-- I'm thrilled to have a chance to see them at all, even at third hand.

Now, if only I had a time machine to go back to some of those old conventions myself... <sigh> At any rate, it's nice to see that top-quality zines are still coming out. [23]

Issue 12

Southern Seven 12 was published in 1998 and has 193 pages.

cover of issue #12, Laura Virgil

Fiction:

  • Book Nine of the Log of the Hellhound by Katrina Larkin and Susanne Katz:
    • Just Like a Woman--Blake's group learns that the Federation has managed to perfect a new Ingellan laser and they set out to steal the ship and its unbeatable weapon.
    • The Gates of Hell--Servalan sends Rakhiel Travis on a mission to survey a frontier planet for signs of a missing rebel ship. While there, Travis finds a colony of apparently peaceful farmers...but appearances are deceiving and Travis is finally forced to make a firm commitment to either the rebellion or the Federation.
    • So Close and Yet So Far--An Auron ship is missing and its computers contained information that could be used in the fight against the Federation. Berengaria and Niall enlist Blake's aid in tracking it down before the Federation can find it and destroy the records.
    • The Prince of Darkness--The time is finally right for Kye Birkell and his people on Downside to break with the Federation. Avalon and Kadrach enlist Blake's aid in taking the illicit drug trade away from the Federation.
  • Campo Santo by Vickie McManus--Another one of Vickie's alternate universe tales where the crew of the Liberator are switched in gender. This one is a short little story where we learn how Kiera Avon was captured by the Federation.
  • A Cold Dish Turns Sour by Marian Mendez--A story dealing with the aftermath of the "Orbit" incident and its ultimate effect on the whole Scorpio crew.
  • No Allegiance by Misha--A post-Gauda Prime story. Avon has reason to doubt not only his sanity, but the very nature of reality itself.
  • Breaking the Chain by Michelle R. Moyer

Art:

  • Laura Virgil (front cover), Leah Rosenthal, Karen River "Kye Birkell" (HH ocm played by Kiefer Sutherland), Whitby27, and Adrian Morgan

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 12

I'm kinda sorta cheating here, since I haven't finished reading this zine-- I'm only halfway through "Hellhound" and will go back to it shortly, after I send this. But I've read all the other stories and can report that they are all good, too. As usual with Southern Seven, very nice layout and art; this issue's cover is especially droolworthy.

"Breaking the Chain" is a direct sequel to a noteworthy story in #10 in which Vila, after Avon's death, finds himself starting to resemble Avon more than he likes. Here, he's pushed into a closer relationship with Tarrant when the young man suffers a dreadful misfortune. This story cries out for a slash sequel! Oh, puh- leeze, Michelle!

"Campo Santo" is a new story in Vickie's cross-gender alternate universe, in which Vialle gets Kiera drunk and hears the tragic story of how she wound up on the London.

Another unusual item is Misha's "No Allegiance," a PGP told from the POV of Avon, who's hallucinating much of the time. We don't quite know what's real and what's not, but that makes perfect sense under the circumstances, because neither does he. This seems to call for a sequel-- I definitely want to read more!

"A Cold Dish Turns Sour" is not only an alternate-post-Orbit story, but also, in a way, an alternate PGP. We've seen lots of stories in which someone else is on that shuttle with Avon instead of Vila, or in which Blake struggles with whether to forgive Avon for GP. Well, here it's Avon struggling with whether to forgive Vila for what Vila did in the wake of Malodaar. And it makes full use of certain aspects of B7's futuristic technology that are often forgotten. The ending is optimistic.

Hellhound, of course, is in a class by itself. If you're a Hellhound fan, you've probably acquired this zine already. If not, I do recommend it very strongly, but Book IX isn't the place to start; this saga definitely has to be taken from the beginning. Some feel that this gonzo space opera with its Miami-Vice-like sensibilities is too far from canonical B7 to be enjoyable in a truly fannish way; but many, including me, love it and consider it one of our all-time favorites. Try it and see for yourself.

And now I'll hasten back to reading the latest installment. [24]

References

  1. from Kathryn A at Katspace, accessed June 4, 2013
  2. comment by kslangley at What was your first fandom?, August 28, 2016
  3. from Rallying Call #16
  4. from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  5. from Jane Carnall in "touched" #10
  6. from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  7. by Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  8. by CB at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  9. Sally and Jenny's 50 Favourite a-B Gen Stories
  10. from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  11. from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  12. bruinhilda.tumblr, November 6, 2016
  13. from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  14. Sally and Jenny's 50 Favourite a-B Gen Stories
  15. Subject: Catching up post dated Nov 21, 1992 (publicly accessible).
  16. from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  17. from IMHO* #2 (1995)
  18. from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  19. from CB at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  20. from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  21. from a fan in Rallying Call #15 (1995)
  22. from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  23. from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  24. from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site