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]
Southern 7 was that {ahem} venerable thing, a print fanzine. One of a series of gen zines for Blakes 7 back in the days when the only way you got your fanfic was by paying for the zines and the postage, thank you very much, so you read whatever you were given (Trust me on this. When you pay like I did, including airfare, you read the lot, even the stories you didn't like. Then you either followed Dorothy Parker's suggestion*[3] and had both satisfaction and a dent in your all, or shredded the pages you hated, or... wrote a savage review/reaction fic that you read to the cat and then put away somewhere because really, no one got to read it anyway. Ahh, what the internet has taken away from us... :) [4]

I know what you mean about not liking some stories in a zine, but as an ex-editor I do think it's only fair to point out that in an anthology zine we tried to give a mixture of stories in the hope that everyone who bought the zine would really like at least one of them. We knew that, unfortunately, there was no guarantee that readers would like everything in the zine. With one-story zines we had to depend on potential buyers finding the blurb interesting.

Over the twenty-plus years that we put out zines - and we put out over 200 in that time - I can think of only one story we printed that nobody seemed to like - except my co-editor and me. It was a weird little tale with no real resolution (given the parameters, a resolution was impossible), and we both loved it.

But there was a time when someone wrote to us (anonymously) saying that we shouldn't edit anything, that we should print what we were sent, mistakes and all, 'because that was what the author had written'. Our reaction was 'Duh? WTF?' Well, that person is getting her wish now, with some of the mis-spelled and grammatically incorrect stuff that's being posted! And - if she's still in fandom - I hope she's happy about it! [5]

The Blake's 7 Wars, and a Change of Copyright Disclaimer

Due to fallout from The Blake's 7 Wars, Wortham made a change to the copyright disclaimer as of issue #5. The new statement is below. [6]

SOUTHERN SEVEN #5 — published and edited by Ann Wortham, Contents copyright © 1989. Rights to each contribution revert back to the writer or artist thereof. SOUTHERN SEVEN #5 is an amateur, non-commercial product which is not produced, approved of or in any way sponsored by the BBC; Lionheart; Terry Nation or any other holders of BLAKES 7 trademarks or copyrights, nor is SOUTHERN SEVEN #5

intended to infringe upon the rights of the aforementioned trademark or copyright holders. All contributions of art or written material accepted for use in SOUTHERN SEVEN #5 are in trade for one free copy of the zine.

Issue 1

front cover of issue #1, by Leah Rosenthal
back cover of issue #1 by Sheila Paulson
Paul Darrow and Michael Keating holding an original of the illo used as issue #1, at Scorpio #4 in 1986
flyer for issue #1, the reprint

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 T., "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)
  • Linda Terrell, "The Heart of the Matter" First published in Down and Unsafe no.5. (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

[Season of Lies]: Ingenious Un-Gaudas or Please make it didn't happen or All is not as it seems: Terminal and the entire 4th series are nothing but miscast shows, propaganda to discredit Avon. [7]
See reactions and reviews for Love and Necessary Discipline.

Recently I came into contact with Southern Seven #1. Wow! My only regrets are that it took me so long to see an issue, and also that the Bizarro stories had been removed. [Removed, Rae? The Bizarro stories should be intact in every legitimate issue of Southern Seven #1. The only thing that was removed for reprinting was Hellhound, Book 1. Ed] But the second part of that regret is small, as the rest ofthe stories are so wonderful, especially "A Mind is a Terrible Thing," by Linda Terrell, (also her "The Heart ofthe Matter" -- Leah's version was missing), yours and Leah's story "Season of Lies," and Leah's poem "Islands" (which truly moved me; not many poems grab me like it does).

I'm a brand new baby in the B7 universe, and I specifically sought out Southern Seven after reading about "Season ofLies" in Henry Jenkins book Textual Poachers. Please, also tell Leah that her cartoons are one ofthe first things I look for in Starlog.[8]

[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. [9]

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. [10]

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

[Common Ground]: From 'way back, the bowdlerized London Bates ("Common Ground"?) didn't work well for me. I knew dam well what was going on at those breakpoints, and it wasn't tangential to the story. A good try though--it cleared up some ofthe debate over whether the adult bits ofsome stories were really necessary. [11]

[zine]: 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 and Blake'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! [12]

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" (The episode "Blake" was a put-up job arranged by Blake and Avon.) (reprinted from Scorpio 5 (10 pages)
  • 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

[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 ... [13]
[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. [14]
[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. Worried, 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's 7: 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 III 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? [15]
[zine]:

As most readers of B7 fan fiction will know by now, Annie Wortham publishes a lot of zines: big, thick juicy zines with small (but clear) print and margins, stuffed with stories from epic length to vignette, seasoned with poetry and filks, garnished with luscious artwork, and topped off, invariably, with unexpected but apt covers. The SOUTHERN SEVEN zines are for general purpose Blake's 7 material, and issues #3 and #4 are two prime examples of the quality, volume, and variety these publications offer. The zine covers all seasons, including the fifth, and doesn't shy from fantasy or alternative versions of the series, though the bulk of the offerings are about the show more or less as aired. This is perhaps the quintessential fanzine, which carries some of everything that might appear in any but the most specialized fannish publications. The writing and art as well as the zine production tend strongly toward the high end of the scale, though the occasional oddity or mistake appears from time to time, just to prove that fandom (and editors) are human.

The cover of #3 shows some of the Hellhound characters from the story series of the same name that appears in several issues of SOUTHERN SEVEN ( and other Ashton Press publications). Laura Virgil's cool pastel picture is unusually evocative and subtle, as well as unusually good art, about Hellhound. The story series has been reviewed before, but it bears repeating that it's hard-edged, complex, well-written; it develops the characters -- old and new -- considerably; and it contains concepts and material suitable for the mature, not to say fortified mind. This is an extrapolation of B7 for the 80's, and may dismay those looking for a familiar or sentimental read. (Incidentally, I mean 'mature' in its dictionary sense here; look outside SOUTHERN SEVEN for explicitly detailed sex. Not that I, the authors, or the characters, have anything against sex)......

SOUTHERN SEVEN #3 also includes a good selection of stories of all flavors......

Stuff around the zine includes poems, cartoons (some by Leah Rosenthal, portraits (two by Karen River), the inevitable 'Orbit' twist story -- another B7 tradition -- and a punk flamingo on the title page.[16]
[zine]: I haven't worked my way completely through SOUTHERN SEVEN #3 yet# but it is great so far. And I'd like to retract my earlier statement about HELLHOUND), The first part I didn't care for, but I've since become very hooked on it, I won't go into all the current arguments about whether it's B7 or not. It's good writing the characters are done very well, especially the new ones. I usually don't like new faces, but these fit in very well. Most of all, I like the HH Tarrant — he's Tarrant the way he should be and I can't wait for more! Thanks for one of the very few zines I'm continuing to get on a regular basis. [17]
[zine]:

Issue 3 certainly has lots of lovely art# especially works by River, Virgil, Buffaloe and Rosenthal. As for the stories, my favorites were: "War Leader" is a well-written, action-packed story with a clever plot that has more than a couple of twists in it. Very nicely done, "Lost Opportunity" was delightful. The image of Avon taking pot shots at the Lady of the Lake is inspired! "Knight Moves" was very satisfying. Her complex strategies and motivations of the players and the drama created by the conflict, made it a riveting story (never mind that it centers around something as trivial as a game of chess). It had an excellent ending that felt true to the characters.

"No One Together" is a marvelous story! Many of the elements that attract me to the show are here in abundance. It is a fast moving tale that heals the rifts between the characters with a natural ease (made possible respecting the characters and presenting them whole — not flattened and one-dimensional like the born-losers some writers insist on making them). The humor and intelligence of the piece make it very enjoyable to read. And, of course, it contains the best line of the zine (Vila's remark about Servalan's dress — brilliant I) And lastly, "Golden Lady" was a refreshing and thoughtful glimpse of the much overlooked Soolin. Told in a cool, passionless style that adds to the overall ambience, the story is a reflective lode at the turbulent characters and relationships of the crew of the Scorpio. [18]
[zine]:

I borrowed SOUTHERN SEVEN #3 from a friend mainly because I wanted to read Book III of LOG OP THE HELLHOUND, Instead, I found myself sitting up all night reading the whole thing. In one word, it was FANTASTIC! I laughed at the funny parts, cried at the sad ones, and couldn't put it down.

[snipped]

Keep the good work. I liked the picture of you and Leah with the editorial. It's nice to see how normal you both look.[19]
[zine]:

I don't have a copy of SOUTHERN SEVEN #3 yet, but I got a chance to read It from a friend.

I enjoyed it thoroughly. I left the "Next Generation" for last because It looked silly, but enjoyed it when I actually read it. 1 especially enjoyed the HELLHOUND), of course. I just hope "Writhing Watersprinklers" [sic] wasn't foreshadowing. I like the doctor. [20]

Issue 4

cover issue #4

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

flyer for issue #4

The art is by 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.

  • Missing Person, fiction by Liz S. ("Who is Vila Restal? Does even Vila know? Vila’s past is shrouded in mystery.") (11 pages)
  • Flights, fiction by Linda Terrell ("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.") (Pern crossover) (20 pages)
  • Bubble, Bubble, fiction by Joan Hoffman ("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)
  • Where the Dutchman Dwells, fiction by Susan G. ("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)
  • A Sticky Situation, fiction by Laura Virgil (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)
  • They Who Trust, fiction by Mary Gerstner ("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)
  • Liberator vs. the Church Lady, fiction by Leigh Arnold (script; SNL parody) (reprinted in Magnificent Seven #9) (2 pages)
  • In the Dark (Hellhound universe), fiction by Katrina Larkin & Susanne Tilley (also in The Log of the Hellhound #7) (27 pages)
  • Backlash, fiction by Sophia Mulvey ("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)
  • The Promise, fiction by Lynne Alisse Witten (9 pages)
  • Dreams, fiction by Jean Lorrah ("Servalan is caught in a snare of her own devising.") (5 pages)
  • Survival, fiction by April Giordano (3 pages)
  • Moonlight and Vodka, fiction by Kathryn Andersen (3 pages)
  • Through These Walls, fiction by Annita Smith (5 pages)
  • Recovering, fiction by Rebecca Ann Brothers
  • The Fool's Tale (Hellhound Universe), fiction by Katrina Larkin & Susanne Tilley ("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)
  • Reasons, fiction by Linda Willard (7 pages)
  • Kyl (Jabberwocky universe), fiction by Sheila Paulson ("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)
  • Promises to Keep, fiction by Kathy Hintze ("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)
  • The Phoenix Project: You Only Live Twice, fiction by Susan Hall & L. A. Carr ("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)
  • From the Airlock... (editorial) by Ann Wortham
  • Criss-Cross Puzzle by Brendan O'Cullane
  • Blakes 7 Groaners by Jeff and Mary Morris (humor; with cartoons by Christopher Cook)
  • Quotation Puzzle by Brendan O'Cullane
  • Puzzle answers
  • The Hellhound Pop Quiz
  • Letters of Comment
  • Submission Guidelines
  • Zine ads
  • If I Only Had a Brain, Revised, filk by Jacqueline Taero, to the tune of "If I Only Had a Brain," from The Wizard of Oz
  • Deja Vu, poem by Leah Rosenthal
  • Detection Shield, poem by Leah Rosenthal
  • Linda Terrell, "Imagery, poem by Linda Terrell
  • Kathryn Andersen, "Honest Man, poem by Kathryn Andersen
  • Eve, Cleopatra, and Thee, poem by Jacqueline Taero
  • Gauda Prime, filk by Dani Lane, to the tune of "Home, Sweet Home," by Motley Crue)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

Your vitriolic, crack-pot lies printed in the Terrell rag are laughable. You are everything Paul Darrow says you are. Furthermore, you're stupid, you're expendable and I'm NOT buying. Nor shall I ever buy again any other garbage you care to fabricate in the future. May this whole defamation scheme backfire all over you and your ugly cronies. Have a nice day. -- Dee Dee Stewart

[Editor's reply]: Interestingly enough, according to my records, no "Dee Dee Stewart" has ever purchased a zine from me. -- Annie Wortham, ED [21]

[Leigh Arnold]: Hi, just got SS#4, and here's a short loc, short 'cause I'm still chewing through the zine. Haven't written any locs in awhile because frankly this is the first one since #2 that I've felt good about, and I want to thank you for including "Church Lady" with this particular issue. People trib to zines that are good, popular and have wide circulations, but they also trib to zines that make them feel good to be in. This issue seems to mark a return to normality with the dropping of the paranoia on bootleg bits (descriptions and numbers), and with the apology to Chris. That was classy.

I immediately, of course, gobbled up the long-awaited for JABBERWOCKY story "Kyl" and Sue's "Dutchman." This issue has much more substantial stories, and a great deal more variety than previously, and looks like most known artists are well-represented. Julie Nowak's cartoons are specially endearing. And will Leah be doing any of those "Japanesy" ones in future zines? Probably the nicest art in the zine was the one for Sue's story, the whole crew that Suzi Lovett did. I'm sure Sue'll be delighted!

So just wanted to say thanks far putting out a zine that was a joy to receive. SS hasn't been this fun since #1, and please keep that up!

Oh yes, I'm enclosing something that got mixed up with all your flyers (and thanks — some updating on the psa and ordering to do now) that perhaps you want back or need to keep. It's some diatribe or something. Whoever wrote it said a lot of nasty things but didn't have the fortitude to sign his/her name. If the author truly believed in it, it should've been signed, but perhaps they didn't mean for it go round [sic]. Anyway, you can have it back in case you need it for anything.[22]

Again thanks far a very nice zine!

[Editor's reply]: SS#4 didn't have a description on the inside because I plain forgot to do it. Her copies weren't numbered because I didn't have time to do it. Such things add absolutely nothing to the price of the zine, so it surprises me that anyone would complain about it. Ms. Arnold seems to be implying that I don't have the right to protect my zines against bootleggers. Why could that be???]
[Leigh Arnold]: I’ve had a long discussion with my conscience (that voice inside one's head that tells one the difference between right and wrong). My conscience insists that I should no longer financially support you (yes yes, I know you don't make a profit from your zines...) I am therefore requesting a refund of the deposits (which I believe to be $14.00) I currently have with you. That money is not, by the my, forfeit. I would appreciate this refund as soon as possible. However, if you would rather not correspond directly with me (I know how difficult it is for you to confront people face-to-face when you're upset with them), you may give my money to Sue Glasgow in February. She will be attending GAMBIT.
There are enough fans and enough zines in this fandom, that one does not have to have dealings with people who only wish to contribute hate. My conscience has convinced ms that I will not miss your zines. My conscience, however, is very conscious of the money of mine that you have, however. There are a lot of fans who put out zines for the benefit of the fandom, rather than themselves, and I would rather that $14.00 go there.
[Editor's reply]: My policy has always been that deposits are non-refundable. However, I do consider each case individually and in Ms. Arnold's case, I was very pleased to refund her money... Ed.] [23]
[zine]:

First off, a BIG round of applause for you. You've managed to maintain your usual quality work yet again with SOUTHERN SEVEN #4. Over 700, you said? Wow.

Assorted comments: I loved Julie Nowak's art, especially the roasting Roger Rabbit. And she writes, too? Suzan Lovett's work is marvelous, as usual, especially the illo on page 75.

No BIZARRO? Awww. Maybe next time, please?

Yeah Gale Good, for her sensible comments in her LoC [in the previous issue]...

On HELLHOUND (briefly): The argument that HH isn't B7 seems ridiculous. Granted there have been some major changes, but what about all the major changes between the 3rd and 4th seasons? I'm sorry there were no HH stories in SS#4, but I did enjoy the pop quiz (Stevie Nicks, huh?) and the sideline stories were very good. As for Katrina's artwork, when I first started reading the HH stories I thought the art ms a bit, ah, primitive, but now it seems just right. In fact, I got an instant crush on Blood Hakharrian just from his portrait in SS#3. (And Luka, Vittare, and Birkell ain't bad, either.)

And on to the stories: "Flights" by Linda Terrell came out much better than I expected. Susan Glasgow's "Where the Dutchman Dwells" was marvelous, very well done. "In the Dark" and "The Fool's Tale," while being HH sidelines, still managed to drop even more tantalizing hints. "In the Dark" especially has intriguing, well-drawn "people" (avoiding the "original characters" label) who I'd like to see more of. As for "Through These Walls" by Annita K. Smith, at times I don't mind having my emotions shamelessly manipulated, and this story does it so well. The same goes far Kathy Hintze's "Promises To Keep." And then there is Hall & Carr's "You Only Live Twice." Like "In the Dark," it has some very well-drawn, strong "people." I hope there will be more PHOENIX PROJECT stories. [24]
[zine]:

SOUTHERN SEVEN #4 was magnificent reading—took about four lunch hours to get through, but I'm a slow reader. Not a weak story in the lot, and there's much to praise. The art ms fantastic— especially Laura Virgil's comedic pieces (until SS #3, who'd have thunk she could do funny stuff?) and Leah's serious wades, especially the one on page 197 of the Post-Gauda Blake and Avon. And let us not forget Karen River's stunning illo on page 141.

I was glad to see someone took the time to match a filk to the "Wizard of Oz" illo of Suzan Lovett's; Jacqueline did a great job. Liz Sharpe's story ("Missing Person") reminded me of a line in the comic THE KILLING JOKE, where the Joker tells Batman, "If I've got to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!" How eerie and bewildering it must be to have no anchor or roots in your life, to know only what you are (in both Vila and Blake's cases), not who you are.

Linda Terrell did a beautiful job in writing the banter between Blake and Avon in "Flights"; their by-play on the show was far me one of the reasons I took to B7. And Susan Glasgow's "Dutchman" was very well written, especially in setting up the mood of the piece. Of course, having Lovett artwork never hurts...

"In the Dark" had me going from paragraph one. I did some digging in "Shadows of the Night" and found the reference Katrina and Susanne were hinting about, but they kind of gave it send-away in their "waiting room" illo; let's just call it an additional hint on where to look. I am growing increasingly impressed with their writing — Katrina, between me and Annie, a LOC somehow fell into the twilight zone that praised the bejeezus out of HELLHOUND #3, so please tell me how to defuse the bomb, okay? I felt really bad that you didn't get to see the letter. Knowing me and my paper-eating desk, it probably never got mailed. I got a perverse kick out of the HELLHOUND POP QUIZ, too — writers' revenge is always sweet, hmmm? But Jeanine was killed just because she was Stevie Nicks? Sniff. I like Stevie Nicks! So what if her lyrics are beyond understanding? Oh yeah, liked "The Fool's Tale" very much, too. You might consider more of these "fill in the gaps" pieces, they're very helpful.

"Dreams" was very unsettling; to dream continually of waking and finding death waiting for you strikes a very uncomfortable chord in the dark little corners of our minds that we'd prefer stayed in the dark little comers. I haven't read "Kyl" yet, but it's for a simple reason: I would very much like to read all of the JABBERWOCKY saga and don't have the slightest idea of where to begin. Help?

PHOENIX PROJECT was very well done, and it was nice to see Dani Lane's artwork again. Was the art done before she'd decided to take a hiatus, or can we look forward to seeing more of her work? Hope it's the latter! One suggestion, though: HELLHOUND very kindly gives a synopsis of what has happened before; perhaps one could be made up far PHOENIX as well? So forgetful people like me don't have to go rushing back to prior zines?

The only story I had any trouble with was "Moonlight and Vodka." Perhaps it's just me, but I didn't get the punchline. Was part of the story dropped, or did I miss something? Kathryn's artwork, at any rate, was first-rate.

If I didn't mention other stories, it's not that I didn't like them, it's just that the ones I did talk about were the ones that struck me most strongly. Annie, just for the record, I did count some of the typos, etc., but only to ease my mind over the boo-boos in my zine! ("If ANNIE WORTHAM can have typos in HER zines, then I must not be so bad..."). Think of the above lines in terms of the "Randolph Scott" line in BLAZING SADDLES...[25]
[zine]: HUGE zine! Just huge! I didn't know they made GBC binding in that size. And Vila on the cover, finally. And Cally and Jenna on a cover, finally. (Of course I realize this is only the 4th issue.) Vila has this "Of course I can do it, I'm a genius" look on his face, and Blake looks kind of exasperated... just perfect. [26]
[zine]:

[snipped]

"If I Only Had a Brain"— I hope the apology helps keep Jacqueline Taero among the living. I would hate to of her death by a crazed Paul, Gareth, Michael, etc.

[snipped]

"Groaners" -- I did, groan that is. How do Paul Darrow and the others feel about these things?

[snipped]

Keep publishing the LoC's, Annie. If it weren't for the ones in SS#3 I might not have ordered SS#1 and SS#2 to find out wha tht writers were talking about. My thanks to you and your contributors. I had a great time reading. It isn't often I have such FFUUUNNN!!!! [27]
[zine]:

After a week of catching in moments of reading whenever I could (lunchtime, standing over the stove, etc.) I've made my way through SOUTHERN SEVEN 4 and I'm ready to comment as best I can...

"Missing Person" had a first-class premise and was well executed, to boot. All the details of what life would be like in the Federation's corporate world were on target and wittily presented, and the ending was thought provoking, to say the least. Of course, I expected as much from Liz Sharpe, and I wasn't at all disappointed.

I also enjoyed "Flights"; it helped that I was familiar with Pern's dragonlore and that Linda did such a good job of fitting it into BLAKES SEVEN, i.e., using the dragon's ability to go "between" with the It was a pleasure to see Blake treated as a caring worthwhile individual, also.

In my last LoC, I mentioned that I'm not crazy about ghost stories, so the idea behind "Where the Dutchman Dwells" didn't hook me. Other than that, it was a well-paced action tale, remarkable mostly for more scientific detail than is usually present in B7 fan fic, and in the way the entire crew worked together in the pinch. I've always felt, though, that the Federation had a less "altruistic" motive for outlawing religion, more along the lines of the Soviet Union's attempt to do the same. Societies that outlaw religion strike me as being just as undesirable as those who try to make everyone the same religion, and I'm glad I don't live in either.

A food fight would surely be a sight to see. Laura hit my funny bone most squarely when Avon hit Blake with a cherry tart (how appropriate!) in the...well.

I can't say I enjoyed "They Who Trust" or "Backlash," mostly (there are other reasons in both cases) because of the amount of "Blake bashing" they contain. Jeez Louise, the man is not that stupid and lacking in compassion! But I sense one of those pointless "interpretation of character" arguments coming up, and such stuff is rarely worth the ribbon it takes to type it. However, Blake did save Avon and Vila in instances that had nothing to do with his "cause." He saved Avon on Liberator by bolluxing Zen, and he got Vila off Cygnus Alpha. Considering that Avon had been plotting with the crew of the London to dump Blake, Vila, and everyone else in deep space, I think that was rather nice of Blake.

"Hie Premise" was incredibly sad and quietly moving/ explaining Avon's realization to Cally's death in a way that fit the series and yet added insight to the characters. I agree that Cally's death affects Avon profoundly, in its own way as strongly as the disappearance of Blake.

"Moonlight and Vodka" was a neat little story that twisted incidents and expectations on their ears, and the pub details were sharp and believable. The last sentence could have been done away with, though, it really wasn't necessary...Tarrant's call to Dayna said it all!

"Reasons" and "Kyl" both satisfied my favorite requirements for a fifth season story by continuing the rebellion...I'm not one who believes everyone should stand back and let the Feds drug everyone into submission. (I know that some people are more drawn to B7 purely on the action/adventure or character levels, and I don't fault them...fighting the Feds does seen a hopeless task for heroes, but that's not my major interest in the show.) "Reasons" featured strong interaction between Blake and Avon; Blake's anger was very believable. "Kyl" was not full of slam-bang action, but rather a quiet story of relationships and understanding. I have no problem with Avon having a son; it makes for lots of interesting developments, indeed. This story haul two other big pluses, in my book: 1) a believable network of rebels and a strong, well-thought out background, it's obvious that it's part of a series, but it stands on its own, and 2) a warm feeling between the members of the crew, old and new.

"You Only Live Twice" was the first thing I read, natch, as I've been eagerly awaiting it for some time. It had none of the "rushed" feeling about it that made the first installment of the series ("True Colors") less than perfect for me, and introduced a couple of interesting, well-rounded characters who were sexy hunks in the bargain...! appreciate that tremendously. Not to mention Bram Drew...very few other fan fic writers have added terrific new bad guys, and they are vitally important. My only small quibbles are 1) the female characters are undeveloped...although Lysandra showed promise...Teela so much so (compared to the excellent way the Taran and Kellyn relationship was explored in particular) that her death lacked impact in spite of the strength of the scene that described Taran finding the bodies 2) I'm not so sure Taran would change so completely from almost totally amoral to a hot-blooded, righteous rebel. I think he'd be more likely simply to go after Bram Drew with a heart of murderous ha trad...but as it looks like he's going to do that anyway, what's not to like? The parts where Avon and Blake confront each other were the icing on the cake. Let's see some more of this sooner this time, please!

The humor was not as strong a point this time around, but as you're probably sick of pleas for more BIZARRO, I won't make one...although it looks like I just did!

Again, there was plenty of excellent art. Lovett's illo far "If I Only Had A Brain..." was a nifty piece, full of painstaking detail. And Dani Lane can cartoon, too! What can't she do? Nothing...forget I even asked. Her illos far the PHOENIX PROJECT installment were another feather in her cap. The composition of the split panel of Avon getting shot on pages 270 and 271, nekkid Mel Gibson on 277 (get out of the way, Blake!) and Blake and Avon baring their souls on page 289 were particular standouts. Christopher Cross has a deft hand with cartooning; Theresa Buff aloe's Avon (or is it Darrow?) is neat-o... teeth and all! And Suzie Molnar's illo for "Reasons" have very expressive faces. As far Laura Virgil, Leah Rosenthal, and Suzi Lovett’s other illos, what else is there to say? Leah's forte, as I've said before, is Blake, drawn with dignity and strength. She understands composition and contrast as few others do. The illo for "Recovering" is particularly well done, and those expressions...Avon appearing to be humbly waiting, Blake looking concerned, somewhat upset, and uncertain...damn good! The cover, the title page of Blake and the lion, the illos for "Imagery" and "Detection Shield" are also good examples of her skill. Laura Virgil and Suzi Lovett both have more photo-realistic styles, yet each manage to inject their own feeling into their art.

The poems I enjoyed the most were "Detection Shield," "Imagery," "Recovering" (it captured what Blake might feel after Gauda Prime particularly well) and "Honest Man."

And now, the ever-amusing LoC's! My single position paper this time, but as usual I wanna get my two bits in. So HELLHOUND is a soap opera! Oh, gee, I never knew that, but after all, I only write the thing. Sigh. Here's what me and my co-author see it as: one of those long, involved socio-political dramas which takes a broad view of an historical event and the people involved in it, told in a series of short stories. There's a bit of science fiction, psychology, political philosophy, espionage, and plain action/adventure there to round it out. Me like character work, and we think the way people deal with their personal lives happens to impact on their public lives. We also like detail. Book Three did have the problem of featuring a lot of necessary background, but that's the advantage of writing an extended series. (I liked your comparison of the scope of HELLHOUND to the scope of the aired series, Annie. HELLHOUND is a series of related episodes more than anything else.)

Point two: The HELLHOUND universe has its share of homophobes, and it was a conscious decision to make it so. It would be nice to hope we'd all be more enlightened in the future, but I'm pessimistic enough to doubt it, particularly if the Federation has anything to do with it! But Avon's reluctance to discuss what Marc actually did and when (and our failure to correct this oversight) did give [Shoshanna G] and probably more people the wrong impression. Marc died not because he was a homosexual who "made a pass' at Morten (he was holding him at knife point and gloating over the thought of making Chloe's children "trust' him when Avon, one of his victims, shot him); he died because he was a child molester who had attacked, among others, his ten year old younger brother. Avon's age was implied in the story, but not stated, so I'd like to apologize if this mistake made Avon's outrage less understandable.

And now, "shopping for clothes." Some people seen to feel we describe what people wear for lack of anything better to do. Not so! We have severed, reasons: 1) to escape the "Han Solo's trousers" syndrome: remember how all the SWars illustrators in zines drew Han in the same pair of striped-sided pants? They must have stank to high heaven! Normal people don't wear the same thing day after day! Neither did the characters an the aired B7, 2) we are also "visual" people, and actually "see" what the characters are wearing as we write and feel obligated to share the vision, and 3) a writer does not have a camera like a television show does; a writer's only way of giving the reader an idea of what things look like is to describe them. Personally, I think most fan fiction could use a little more description, rather than less.

In closing, I'd like to say thanks to all the letter writers who had good things to say about HELLHOUND (some of them told me things I didn't even know about it!) and offered constructive criticism. I particularly want to thank Laura Virgil far her defense of my art. I am usually a pretty calm, nice, polite, easygoing person (is that ray husband snickering in the background?) but some of the Idlings I read in LoCs (not only relating to my writing, either) really steam me. To be blunt, I have yet to have read any story by any of our critics that I found a masterwork of literature, although I have read some good ones. To be blunt again, the temptation to pay tit far tat is also strong, but I resist it as best I can, and rarely say anything at all about a story when I can't find anything good to say. But some of the people who offer their opinions seem to have completely lost sight of the fact that the story, drawing, or poem they are so cleverly tearing apart is the work of another human being, another amateur writer or artist with feelings not unlike their own. So give it a rest, folks...if you live in a glass house, it doesn't become you to throw stones![28]
[zine]:

This zine is deadly, now that you've got color covers. Wow! Leah's painting is luscious! I love the back cover, too — it's always nice to see the "lesser" characters represented, especially the women.

"Liberator vs. the Church Lady." Oh, yes! Wicked, warped, wonderful!

"B7 Groaners." How appropriately titled! Holy Hoffal's radiation, what old jokes. Somehow, they're funnier in a B7 setting though. I loved 'em, especially those first two.

"In the Dark." This one reminded me of Sinclair's THE JUNGLE, with its bleak portrayal of life among the lower classes and redemption through rebellion. It's much better-written, though! An enthralling story.

"Backlash." Excellent dialogue in this one—full of the snappy wit that enlivens the episodes so. It was also interesting how Tarrant and Dayna were depicted as being somewhat outside the "core" group of Avon, Vila, and Cally. This is more natural than the instant acceptance they seemed to get in the series. Though I don't see Cally as being such a stick-in-the-mud. I think she'd be more tolerant of "the children."

"Recovering." This matches my view of PGP, should everyone survive. Blake and Avon have both changed, and they both have a right to be angry over the GP fiasco. The Scorpio crew would side with Avon, making it difficult far everyone to work together. Yet it's not completely hopeless, either. Well done. A fantastic illo, too. (I think Tammy Riden is right: if we ever want to make a name far ourselves in fandom, we're going to have to call a bounty hunter about Leah...)

"The Fool's Tale" A story with a story with a Chaucerian title, that kicks off with a Madonna song—it's got to be good! (Madonna is actually rather appropriate far HH—-after all, her taste runs to black leather and violent, maniacal man... How about "Dress You Up" for a HH song quote?) Anyway, I'm glad to finally hear Vila's story. It appears that he was rescued by Tarrant's old babysitter — er, smuggling partner. Small universe, huh?

LoC's; I like Gale's idea of Soolin showing up. Yeah, she's supposed to be dead, but so was Dayna. People come back from the dead all the time in soaps — a HH Soolin would be awesome. You know, I thought "Worrad" was going to be an alternate, too, it's "Darrow" spelled backwards. I did like that story. It's an unrepentant wallow, but I like Avon-Tarrant.

Linda had a point about kids in B7 fanfic. It's always Avon, and always a son. Perhaps this Is because Avon always seemed more interested in "nookie"? The fellow couldn't aeon to keep his lips to himself. Blake, on the other hand...you could count the women he's kissed on Travis' eyes. (Not only that—she was just his cousin!) As far why the kids are always boys — probably because if Avon has a daughter, the "Mary Sue" accusations start flying. Still, it would have been interesting if Sevran were female. How would Avon react, especially if she took after her mother?

Uh, oh. Katrina says Steffany and Avon's relationship is "short-term." I was hoping you were only kidding about the art-deco clock. Or does this mean that they're going to shake hands and say "Let's just be friends"?

Great cartoons this time around. The HH ones were fantabulous, especially the one by "Picasso." I also liked "Les Miserabels" and Julie's Roger Rabbit.

Love Leah's poetry. Linda's haiku is intriguing, too.

Well, thank you far an utterly superlative zine. I've got to go — I have to nominate S7 far a FanQ before I forget I[29]
[zine]: My compliments to you on all your efforts on your zines. It is beyond my comprehension how you manage to put out such quality material in the time frame that yon do. The art and, most important to me, the stories are always of unfailing high quality. I am not a great one to write long locs or often to write an loc at all. But, I was disturbed that there were folks out there who complained about your service. I feel you do a marvelous job keeping track of orders and getting them out promptly. Perhaps these few comments will off-set the "others." I do not want to learn that the few detractors have discouraged you to the point of stopping publishing or writing. Once again my compliments on your efforts.[30]
[zine]:

I'm still working my way through SOUTHERN SEVEN 4, another excellent issue. After all the zines I picked up at GAMBIT, when I came home and found S74 in my mailbox, it went right to the top of the pile.

I especially enjoyed "The Fool's Tale" — Vila hasn't had much of the spotlight in HELLHOUND so far, and it was nice to learn some of what happened to him before. And, although it's already been said by many others, I'm totally addicted to the HELLHOUND series — it's completely riveting. I couldn't put it down, and am going into withdrawal waiting far future installments. I wasn't sure I was going to like it at first (the authors are probably tired of hearing that), but I was drawn in immediately by the rich but clean writing style that brings all the characters (and there are lots of them!) alive. You almost need to take notes to keep track of everyone and what is happening, but it all works, and I can't wait to read more! I also really enjoyed "Missing Person" by Liz Sharpe. (You can tell I'm a Vila fan). It was well-written and a different approach. "Where the Dutchman Dwells" by Susan Glasgow was a great ghost story, creepy—-I shouldn't have read it so late at night. And Suzi Lovett's artwork that accompanied it was beautiful. "Through These Walls" by Annita Smith was well-written, but so sad...I bad a little difficulty with the ending, even under the circumstances I couldn't see Avon so emotional.

The "Hellhound Pop Quiz" was hysterical! Also, Leah's BIZARRO "Les Miserebels" cartoon on page 142 was wonderful -- we had just seen the musical, one of the highlights of our visit to New York, so we aould truly appreciate it. (And were delighted that the original was an sale at ORAC, and even mere delighted that one of us ended up with it.) Last but not least, please keep printing those LoC's—it's usually the first thing I turn to. It's interesting to read what others thought about the stories, and it gives the writers and artists much needed feedback.

Thanks again for a great zine. Looking forward to future issues.[31]
[zine]: I am impressed. More shorter works, but many had a good, hard, emotional impact. Obviously the quality of the writing is going up and up. I hope that trend continues.

Not as much humor as #3, but you're still ahead of the game here. Really like the humorous art. I know how hard it is to do, and how nice it is to find.

Speaking of humor, did I see some of the self-deprecating kind on display by the HELLHOUND ladies? Methinks I did, and methinks I liked it. I'm also wandering about all that's supposed to come in future, namely "Are they serious or what???" Very sneaky, Annie, putting Book IV somewhere else. You get more of my money that I don't have.

One complaint, directed to Gale Good: Madam, your statement about not knowing about sexual behavior/abuse sounds like a city-slicker's snide remark. Remember, those types of things are "abnormal"; why else would people be afraid to confront them? I mean, in the UK, a gay official in government would only be a topic in the scandal press, while here in the Good ol USA, a gay city official in San Francisco is only barely acceptable! (Sweet land of liberty, indeed!)

A Vila/Praed filk? I do wanna know.

Superb job, Ann Wortham. Your zine is a breath of fresh air. DO NOT let the immature jerks get to you; your leaving would do B7 fandom no good. Keep up the good work, and try not to drive yourself nuts.[32]
[zine]:

"If I Only Had A Brain, Revised" — Most filks leave me cold this was great! And the drawing was SO perfect I laughed out loud.

"Missing Person" — to me Vila's background is one of the biggest mysteries of the series. I loved the way she left it open at the end.

"Where the Dutchman Dwells" — good suspense, nice art.

"Kyl" - I wish Sheila Paulson would do a big JABBERWOCKY zine. Most of the original characters of other writers are flat (HELLHOUND is a striking exception!) but JABBERWOCKY has a real and consistently engaging personality. I've heard people say this series is not real B7. Since the last episode was filmed none of it is real B7. JABBERWOCKY is fun. Also her Avon/Cally relationship is more realistic than others I've seen.

I thougt Karen River's art on page 141 was stunning—Sarvalan as Cleopatra—the expression is perfect. "Liberator vs. the Church lady" — great!

"You Only Live Twice" — I didn't like this one as much as the prior PHOENIX PROJECT story—found it hard to believe Blake would be so sympathetic to a professional assassin, or that a professional assassin would be such a sympathetic character. Also the two new characters Lysandra and Martina—they seem pretty much interchangeable so far. Seme good moments though, the series has potential. I'd like to see more of it.

Overall, very satisfying zine.

[Editor's reply]: Well, I can't imagine why anyone would say JABBERWOCKY "isn't B7." But then, I can't understand why anyone would say HELLHOUND ins' tB7. Like you said, if you follow the guidelines of people who think that way, nothing since "Blake" was aired is "B7." And if that's the way they think, why are they even bothering to read fan fiction at all??? [33]
[zine]: I enjoyed SOUTHERN SEVEN #4, by the way. The artwork was wonderful, especially the one of Avon, Blake and Vila as the three from "The Wizard of Oz," and Suzan Lovett's stuff. Of the stories I've had time to read, I liked "Bubble, Bubble" (does that qualify as an "angst" story, with how many times Avon gets bonked on the head??), and "Where the Dutchman Dwells." Keep up the good work! [34]
[zine]: Some comments about SOUTHERN SEVEN #4: I was able to pick up a copy at REBELLION in Texas, and it made the trip all worthwhile. My favorite story was "Where the Dutchman Dwells" and the art which accompanied all the stories and poems is by far the best around. I know it must be a lot of hard work for everyone involved and it's hard to keep the excellent quality, but yon pulled it off again. Thanks.[35]
[zine]:

Lots of new names this time around.

"Missing Person" — Interesting look at the Inside of Vila's head, though I always thought that Vila couldn't be conditioned—that's why they were sending him to Cygnus Alpha. Still it makes sense that all the mocking around in his head could cause something like amnesia.

"Flights" — yeah. I like. It was set up well—someone throwing Blake's "crime” in his face is something I wondered why more people didn't do (in series and in fanfic). Linda wrote a lovely, sweet little story about fire lizards and managed to avoid "cute"! She also managed to avoid meeting any of those people who swam through McCaffrey's books -- I like the first six [books], but I really think she should have left well enough alone at that.

"Bubble, Bubble" was very funny, especially the traffic cops.

"Where the Dutchman Dwells" Good. Spooky. And the picture on page 75 always makes my throat lump up. Beautiful. Heart-tugging. Makes me wish you could have color illos inside the zine.

"Sticky Situation" -- oh dear. This one made me fall out of the papasan and laugh 'til my stomach hurt. Than I got up, turned the page and saw that illo of Blake and Avon and Vila and wound on the floor again... I swear it took me an hour to read this story because I kept laughing so hard. (Something about those expressions...)

"They Who Trust" didn't quite work for me for some reason. The scene where Avon brings Cally out is very touching, though. "liberator vs. Church Lady" — I don't watch Saturday Night Live, so this went mostly over my head. But at least I now know the source of all those "Satan" comments back in SS#2 and #3 (a friend very kindly explained "Church Lady" to me...)

Jeff/Mary/Christopher — warped humor — I love it. Especially the one about keeping Tarrant off the furniture—ho hohohohhehehhe!

"In the Dark" — okay I admit it, I do like to know what's going an elsewhere while our heroes are being heroic someplace else. You say we'11 meet these people again soon? Okay by me...

"Backlash" — First time I read it I thought it was so-so, but after I reread it I liked it better even though on the surface it's a "get Avon." Sophia also explores what might happen after Blake's finished rousing the rabble and gone off to cause trouble elsewhere and left his "freed" people to fend for themselves! Plus the little details of characterization—such as Avon suggesting they take Tarrant some of the carnivorous flowers.

"The Promise" — good, but not spectacular.

"Dreams" — oh my. I'll bet Servalan gets some real dandy nightmares... Jean does a good job of making us wonder—is it real? A dream? At the end?

"Survival" — okay. I still think the whole thing was a plot by Orac.

"Moonlight and Vodka" — oh this one is delightful! I feel rather sorry for the doorman.

"Through These walls" made me cry.

"The Fool's Tale"... Okay. I had a little trouble following the transition into the flashback. It seemed a bit overly complicated.

"Reasons" — another interesting way of handling post-Gauda Prime blues. Now why does Gramm remind me of Sir Guy from ROBIN OF SHERWOOD? That's the mental picture I get, anyway.

"Kyl" is actually my first JABBERWOCKY story, though of course I've heard of it before. I rather liked it.

The Hellhound Pop Quiz" was great! I loved it! I laughed a lot! I even scored 21! Thought I thought the answer for Question 1 was actually D? (and you should see my neat black leather and stud boots...) What's this about a werewolf planet? Arrroooo!

"You Only live Twice," or so it seems...one life for yourself, and one for your dreams...scary. I always liked that particular James Bond movie theme song... Interesting idea having Blake try to kill Avon but not remember doing it,..but I almost felt like too many assassins broil the plot, or something like that. "Nothing is ever forgotten"???? Oh dear....

I also enjoyed the cartoons on the LoC pages...reading Carol Miller's LoC, I had to go back and read SS#3's LoC pages. Ms. Miller strikes me as the sort of thin-skinned, pompus, overbearing, intolerant, and self-righteous person I try to avoid. Excuse me, lady, but if I, a certified degree-hearing English

major with six years of professional copy-writing behind me do not object to the occasional lapse in grammar and/or syntax I encounter in this amateur publication, then I fail to see where you get off bitching. [36]

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. [37]
I liked Southern Seven 4 very much; keep on doing the zines. The front and back covers were great. The stories I liked where "Where the Dutchman Dwells" and "Bubble Bubble," "Liberator vs. The Church Lady," "Kyl." I loved all the artwork. Thank you very much for the great zine. [38]
"SOUTHERN SEVEN #4 begins with a bright-colored somewhat surreal view of Vila and his key on the front cover, by Leah Rosenthal, followed by a Blake and lion title page by the same artist. The stories just as mixed, and just as good, though these are more dark or serious pieces this time; the art and poetry are just as copious. There are a number of highlights and notable stories... Cartoons throughout the zine add humor, by Julie Nowak, Christopher Cook and Jeff and Mary Morris and, as ever, the inimitable Leah Rosenthal, whose Blakian views of Les Miserables and Motley Crue should not be missed. Excellent portraits and serious art by the likes of Lovett, Rosenthal and River are accompanied by filks and poems, and the back cover is by Laura Virgil. It's hard to sum up the SOUTHERN SEVEN zines, except to say 'eclectic' and 'big'. Each issue is an awful lot of zine, with a lot of different material, the large majority of which is somewhere between good and off the scale excellent. The printing is generally good (with very occasional glitches), the typo level is low, the zines are comb-bound and run to over 300 pages, for about $20."[39]

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 was published in 1989 and contains 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.

From the editorial:

As usual, the Letters of Comment section is quite full and contains lots of juicy comments about the stories in previous issues of the zine as well as comments on the series and fan fiction as a whole. My thanks to those of you who took my advice and tried to offer honest, constructive criticism rather than niggling complaints and personal attacks. Shame on those of you who still insist on treating the authors and artists herein with rudeness. All of the contributors have worked hard to bring you this zine and I hope you'll always bear that in mind, whether your opinion of the end result is good, bad or indifferent. I will warn you that there are a few letters this time which are rather nasty, but it has always been my policy to print everything that zines in regarding the zine, without editing. One more note: as I've told you previously, if you write to me with comments on the zine, you must tell me you don't want your letter printed, if that is the case, and you must tell me at the time you send the letter. Don't write to me months after the fact and expect me to be able to pull your letter. This is a large zine and, consequently, it is in production for many months before it appears in print. Once the layouts are done, they are done, and I will not go back and change them simply because someone changes their mind months after the fact. Enough said? Again, thank you to everyone who wrote in; I always enjoy bearing from you.

I'm going to mention one other thing that affects the zine, and then I'll let you get on with enjoying it. Leigh Arnold of Van Nuys, CA has been telling all and sundry via her self-styled "Public Service Announcement" that I have been served with a "cease and desist notice for libel, slander and harassment." [40] This is a blatant out and out lie. Neither I nor my zines have been served with any kind of legal papers whatsoever and her insistence and publication that I have amounts to libel and harassment in itself. I can only hope that of you out there realize the ridiculousness of her claim. If I had been served with legal, enforceable documents, this zine would not exist. On the advice of my lawyers, I have changed my copyright disclaimer in the front of the zine. Please read it carefully.

[snipped]

This issue is specially dedicated to Linda Terrell. Without her integrity and courage, I wouldn't have made it through the last few months. Besides, in a way she's responsible for inspiring me to get this done so quickly. She certainly convinced me I wasn't leaving this fandom no-way, no-how, no-time until was good and ready. Thanks, Linda. This one's for you...
  • 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) (reprinted in Enarraré #8)
  • 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)
  • thirty-seven zine flyers

Issue 5 Part Two

cover of issue #5. v.2, Leah Rosenthal -- "Bizarre Legend"
back cover of issue #5, v.2, Leah Rosenthal -- "Bad Delta." 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." - [41]
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, Mariann Howarth, 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 Alice 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)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

Issue 5 was bound in two issues because it was too big to bind as one zine. It functions, however, as one zine, with the table of contents for both issues solely in the first issue. The letters of comment were also solely in the first issue. The numbering of the pages for part one picks up after the numbering for part one.

[The Days of Miracle and Wonder]: There are a handful of stories I've written that I can look back on and be able say, "That was good." This is one of them.

I wrote it for the Scorpio Writing Contest. Scorpio was the B7 convention of the mid-80's, the one you did not miss if you could help it. I cranked this out at the last minute and sent it in, wondering if it was any good. When The Redhead and I arrived at the hotel, I was almost immediately accosted by the judge of the contest. "I've got a bone to pick with you!" she announced rather hotly. When I meekly asked why, she grinned. "I had the winner of the contest all decided, and then your submission came in!" That was my acknowledgement that yeah, it probably was a pretty good story.

The title of course comes from Paul Simon's "The Boy in the Bubble". Actually, the story idea is from the lyrics: "It was a slow day/And the sun was beating/On the soldiers by the side of the road/There was a bright light/The shattering of shop windows/The bomb in the baby carriage/Was wired to the radio". Something about this stuck with me the first time I heard it, and its echoes can be heard in the story, or at least I think so.

A few people have asked if I was royally ticked off when I wrote it, because there is an aura of anger in it. I think it was just the idea that all we ever really saw of Blake's rebellion was his view and Servalan's--never the people who were affected by their actions, the innocents on all sides who suffered as a result of Blake's cause. That's especially why Demmedich is in there--a good man, a good soldier who is in a really lousy situation and is trying to make the best of it. I wanted someone in there who would show that not all Servalan's armed forces were soulless goons (that view annoyed me almost as much as Roddenberry's Federation officers being Boy Scouts). I always meant to bring Anton and Sallier back in another story, but never managed it. Shuckydarn. [42]
[zine]: I'm quite certain that this won't be the first time someone has said this to you, but your SOUTHERN SEVEN zines are totally and wonderfully habit forming. May long may your stamina (and courage!) as editor last! [43]
[zine]:

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. [44]
[zine]: Thank you for Southern Seven 5--well, the art was incredible and the variety of stories was great. I won't compliment Leah on her art: she must be tired of all the praise heaped on her. Laura Virgil is easily my second-favorite B7 artist. Her Vilas are so good and that cartoon to "Mr. Avon's Neighborhood" was a hoot. The author of that piece (Kim Wigmore) is, by the way, one sick puppy--I like that in a person. I especially enjoyed the "Vila Restal Memorial Angst and Post-Alternate Orbit Wallow Section" with my vote for best theme piece being "Going Down." My favorite longer story was "Counter-Point." And I must admit to being quite intrigued by Hellhound. I certainly have no trouble calling this saga real "B7." Keep up the good work and the good fun! [45]
[zine]:

Anyway, be that as it may, I did buy - and still own - quite a few B7 zines, mostly secondhand. This one came in two volumes, is a hefty 375 pages all told, and contains about the usual amount of good and bad. (One thing about zines, the editing meant that the pain seeing Your Heroes tortured by illiteracy wasn't there as much as it is on the web. Don't worry, in hindsight there were plenty of other pains to compensate)

And it had matching covers by Leah Rosenthal, who was a talented artist and great cartoonist (she did all the cartoons for the Bizarro set of zines, which I also love :) I love these two covers to bits, not least for that stunning Gauda Prime Blake (in some ways, that last version was my favourite Blake, and this picture shows why). But mostly because... the one is gorgeous, the other hysterical :) The combination makes me utterly happy, and if I had to cull most of my collection, they would be among the ones I'd keep. [4]

Issue 6

cover of issue #6, Laura Virgil
flyer printed in Fire and Ice #1. Note that all but three of these stories did not appear in this issue, and instead were printed in #7 and #8.

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

From the flyer: "Yes, I'm actually crazy enough to put together yet another giant issue of SOUTHERN SEVEN!! Issue #6 promises to be exciting with lots of fresh material from relative newcomers to the fandom along with all of your favorite "old-time" (ha!) authors and artists."

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" ("This time everybody but Avon is in a coma...")
  • Linda Knights, "It's All Done by Magic"
  • Jeff & Mary Morris, "Elvis Is Everywhere!" ("Cally is bemused by the nocturnal changes in Avon, but she could grow to like them...")
  • 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" ("Vila attempts to help Avon by taking his place on a mission.. .and ends up in a place from which he might not be able to return...")
  • 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

[And Then I Care Not]: Linda Terrell once complained in the newsletter "Federation Archives" that no one ever seemed to consider the clone to be anything but a plot device so Blake could survive Gauda Prime, and suggested that someone write a story in which the clone's personhood is seen. The story appeared in a zine I have-- possibly _Threads Through Infinity_, but I'm not sure-- anyway, Blake had made a friend of the clone, whom they called Roj, and was Really Pissed Off when Avon killed him. A nice change from all of the joyful reunion PGP stories one gets. [46]
[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. [47]

[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! :) [48]

[zine]:

Southern Seven #6 wasn't quite as good, to me, as #5--but then, your collection of stories in issue 5 would be hard for any zine to beat.

Still, there were some stories in #6 that struck me, one way or another. I enjoyed the illo on pg. 9, from the Last Stand universe! Only Kerril could get away with that!

"Nightwood Rest"--I was a little disappointed to learn that the connection between Myal and Pari was father and son. Seemed a bit too predictable to me. Still, eagerly await more Kill the Dead installments. [The connection was established in the original book, Sally. Ed.]

"Days in the Death" -- good account as to how the account-fraud incident, and its consequences, developed.

"Knight in Leather Armor" -- clever twist. Somehow, I can see the cynical yet practical Avon actually choosing this way to solve the problem!

"It's All Done by,Magic" -- any chance ofa sequel, Linda, showing the effects ofthis ring on the Gauda Prime scenario?

"Elvis is Everywhere" -- I liked the expanded role for Dayna, as an opposing-cult fight. But how can Michael 1. Fox be the opposing counterpart to Elvis? I'd think you'd pick someone like Perry Como, or Lawrence Welk. [The original song "Elvis is Everywhere" established that Michael J. Fox is the "anti-Elvis. " Ed.]

"Homecoming" -- it certainly was that, in the ultimate sense. I guess that's the only way he could find true peace from memories ofhis big mistakes.

"Price of Safety" - very chilling account of Avon, looking out only for himself, and ignoring anyone else -- even an old comrade. But why did Vila bother to try to wait around for Avon to act? I'd think he'd have tried to manipulate the lock late at night, and slip out on his own. After Malodaar I don't think he'd ever really trust Avon again.

"Drinks for the Memory" -- delightful way for Vila and Blake to get back at Avon for all his insults. "Walkabout" -- good portrait ofthe reserved, independent Soolin.

"Prophecy" -- enjoyable after-Terminal account, as to how Cally, though dead, lives on in a way. I considered Howarth's art a plus for it -- especially ofIlana. Finally, "And I Care Not": outstanding story by Carnall, giving a good premise as to why Blake would have special feelings for his clone -- because it's the "brother" he lost, even in his plundered memories.

I do want to comment on Terrell's comments: regardless ofwhether the dead "Blake" was a clone or a non-clone impostor, I (and others who liked Blake) still couldn't help saying: "Thank goodness the real Blake wasn't killed!" Even though the clones have the same genes (and implanted memories) I'd have to think ofthem as very identical twins but still different people from the originals. They have different souls at that instant - and are capable ofhaving different reactions, making different decisions, and living different lives from the original. We don't have the same emotional commitments to everyone we meet-- even ifthey are not clones. So, why wouldn't we, in times oftragedy, say, "Thank goodness (so and so) wasn't killed!"[49]

[zine]: Received my contributor's copy ofSouthern Seven #6 (complete with complimentary bookmark. Thank you. It's a stitch!) Friday. [The bookmarks were sent to contributors only, before anyone starts writing me frantically! Ed] "Booby Trap" by K.D. Swan -- very neat and deft explanation ofall the personality disorders that popped up on Liberator. "Nightwood Rest" by Morgan and O'Cullane was interesting. That's a sobering thought, ifthe undead ever find out Myal is Dro's link the poor boy's life ain't worth spit. "Days in the Death" by Shoshanna Green -- it could have happened that way. It makes sense -- and that's saying a lot since it's a story about Anna and Avon. "Someday Soon" by Kim Davis -- the best explanation ofTravis II I've read anywhere. It's a sick, twisted idea, but it works beautifully. Bu then Travis was a sick, twisted guy (both of'em). "Elvis is Everywhere" by Jeffand Mary Morris. Oh geez, Louise, this was well and truly twisted. I loved it! But I have two minor quibbles with it. I absolutely, positively REFUSE to believe Vila Restal was ever an altar boy and I want to know where were the disciples ofPhil Collins/Genesis. Other than that this story was a real giggle-fest. Howarth's accompanying cartoons fit in perfectly. "Out ofControl" by Jamie Ritchey. I liked this story because Vila wasn't a doormat. He did something to protect himself and when it went hinky on him he felt remorse for his actions. All very in character. I like the fact that Soolin was on the ball; she's one sharp lady, who doesn't get enough stories written about her. "Homecoming" by Julie Nowak. I was very impressed with her description ofthe sunrise over the cliffs and sea. Her choice ofwords and the imagery they evoke are incredible. The rest of her story was just as good. I found the ending quite powerful. Perhaps Avon's soul was saved. "The Price of Safety" by Carol McCoy shows us once again that Avon is a real nozzle. "Promise" by Jennifer Smallwood is one ofmy favorite stories ifnot my favorite story in the zine. Of course I'm probably a little biased as she's my best mend. However, I think her whole structure ofthe Complex and its control over the children explains Avon so neatly. "Walkabout" by Shoshanna Green caught the complexity of Soolin's character, not to mention the tragedy of her past. "Prophecy" by Janet Paderewski -- interesting idea. It's odd that despite Vila's self-assessment that he wasn't exactly an honorable man, he was honest with Ilana and did everything he could to make her comfortable. Neat touch that it would be Cally's and Avon's daughter and Vila's son producing the savior ofthe galaxy. Also thought it was neat that Ilana looked an awful lot like Majel Barrett. [Ilana is a real fan who you've probably seen at MediaWest Con! How bout that? Ed] I do have one problem with this story: Tarrant throwing Vila into the teleport like that. Lord knows that Tarrant was thoughtless and reckless sometimes (okay, most times) but really, he could have easily killed Vila. Thoughtless, unintentional murder just ain't his style.

As for the artwork, up to Southern Seven's usual high standard. My favorite pieces have to be Laura Virgil's two Vila illos... sigh... Leah Rosenthal, might as well nickname her Ol' Reliable. Liked Leigh Motooka's work (but then I always do). Mariann Howarth is a new artist to me, but I hope she continues to contribute artwork to SS. Jane Mailander's Bloom County inspired cartoons were a real treat -- I miss all those little critters (and don't like Outland).

All in all, Southern Seven was a really good zine. [50]

[zine]:

Southern Seven 6 arrived safe and sound and squished in my tiny PO Box. Hey, at least it got there! I noticed that this issue ofSS is a bit more low-key than your previous issues. No color cover, no 300+ pages, that sort ofthing. A sign ofthe times, perhaps? Personally, I think it's a grand idea. In a time where purse strings are getting extremely tight, it's good to see a quality zine without a whole lot of expensive frills. (Not that those frills aren't nice, it's just somebody's got to pay for them and usually it ends up being the consumer.) The quality ofthe writing and the art is what counts, and ifa zine can't stand on its own two feet without any window dressing... well...

SS 6, however, not only stands on its feet but jumps around and dances, too. Kim Davis' "Someday Soon" was an interesting insight into Travis, and I loved the end of "Knight in Leather Armor." Kathy is wicked, sometimes. "Elvis is Everywhere" sent me into giggles. It was so cute! Then it started to make a bizarre sort of sense. All I can say is that only Jeffcould think up something like this and actually make it work.

"Out of Control" was interesting, and for some reason "Homecoming" sent chills up my spine. Not quite sure why. I loved Jennifer Smallwood's story, "The Promise." Very well done. It hit just the right note, so to speak. "Vila Looks Back" by Shannon was another interesting insight, as was [Shoshanna G's] "Walkabout." For some weird reason I kept picking up Darkover influences on it. (Camill for Camilla and especially Kidra n' Mari for Kindra n'ha Mhair.) Intentional? Whatever it was, it made me like the story even more.

Jane Carnall's "And Then I Care Not" was a very powerful story, and a very plausible one, as well, set offbeautifully by Suzan's artwork. Again, well done. I wish I could write like that.

Jaqueline Taero's poetry also hit some nerves as well. I've always loved her work, and an damned ifI can figure out how she does it. (My one attempt at rhyming didn't go over too well.) Leah's artwork is always good for a chuckle and Mariann Howarth's different styles went well with the stories they were with. One minor comment, though. Samantha Hayman did a lovely Tarrant for my poem "Brother," but the poem wasn't about Tarrant. It was actually about Avon (Zen's defense system, remember?) although looking back at it I can see why it would be thought ofas a Tarrant poem. I guess I state it clear enough. Very nice Tarrant, t hough. It's rare poets get any art at all, much less something so good. [Oops. Let me defend Samantha here. She simply sent me a bunch of art. I put the Tarrant piece with the poem, so it was entirely my fault. My apologies, Melissa! Ed.]

All in all, it's a lovely zine, Ann. You did a great job. [51]

[zine]:

Got my copy of S7 #6: a very handsome zine, as always. Some ofthe type was on the edge ofreadability for me, but I appreciate the smaller size saving paper and weight. Of the stories, "Knight in Leather Armor" was a perfect zapping of an overused cliche, and "The Price of Safety" was bone-chilling, and unpleasantly possible. I was surprised, but pleased, to see "Faker"; most editors segregate stories with slash premises whether or not they involve an actual relationship or include explicit sex -- the "oops, I said my partner's/fiiend's name in bed" scenario is something I would call slash even if, as here, it doesn't go beyond that -- and I'm glad that you didn't. Aya Katz's "Sand" captured the dry humor ofthe original poem well while transferring it to B7. And Jane Camall's "And Then I Care Not" was probably the best thin in the zine: an exquisitely sharp look at Blake, Avon and Vila in all their complexity, as well as a thoughtful consideration ofcloning morality. [52]

Great art throughout, as usual. Liked Mailander's cartoons.

"Booby Trap" -- there's a new idea. Way to go.

"days in the death" -- Avon's hubris inevitably leads to tragedy. The whole story felt like foreshadowing, fate stalking Avon. I was sucked in and held.

"Knight in Leather Armor" -- Hurrah! Love that subtitle!

"Elvis is Everywhere" -- Hysterical laughter. Mojo Nixon rules.

'Homecoming" -- Very much liked this one, it was a fitting end to Avon's strife. It was nice to see religion as an important factor in someone's life for once.

"Promise" -- my personal favorite ofthe story contest stories. The "Complex" premise reminded me of Orson Scott Card, would make a good sf story. Nifty new explanation for Avon's personality. "Sand" poem was awfully cute. I liked stanza #6 best.

"Walkabout" -- best Soolin piece I've ever seen. Period.

"Prophecy" -- Nifty. The paradox was well handled.

"And Then I Care Not" -- I remember that FA! I wonder ifBlake would ever forgive Avon for murdering Roj? Interesting that Vila's loyalty is not to Blake, but to Avon.

Another fine issue! Not to mention Vila on the cover again... [53]

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."[54]

Fiction:

  • Shannon, "Wheels within Wheels"
  • Tyndara Meffe, "Deathsong"
  • Anne Collins Smith, "Subterfuge" Part One Part Two Part Three
  • 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" ("A little R&R goes awry for Blake and Avon when they run into Servalan...in the strangest place!")
  • 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 (THE LOG OF THE HELLHOUND continues in BOOK VI as the crew of the Hellhound is trapped by Nik Theodorides' plan. While Avon's torture is physical, Blake's is psychological, and the latter's lack of leadership in a moment of crisis may doom them all. Meanwhile, their only hope of rescue, the Snake-in-the-Grass, has been reclaimed by her former owners...")

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. [55]

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. [56]

Great job as usual, on Southern Seven #7. Love the cover-- Mariann's luscious, lovely, stunningly gorgeous Hellhound Tarrant. (I drooled majorly over the original the MediaWest art show last year.)

Lots of deliciously wicked humor this time, even better than usual (which is saying a lot!). Picasso's "Hellhound Dayna" is wonderful. And Leah's "Log of the Heckhound" is my favorite cartoon of the zine. (Remind me to nominate it for a Fan-Q next year.) Then there's Jeff & Mary Morris' "Vila Nearly Got Pushed Out an Airlock"; "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" is my favorite Christmas carol, so I got a real charge out of this!

One of the high points of MediaWest was when Mary Orwig happened by our room. She enacted a sing-along of "The Psychopath Song" for us! (Luckily, her gun wasn't loaded...

Of the serious pieces, my favorite was "The Desperadoes." It's well-written, hard-edged, and definitely not a Mary-Sue! [57]

I just had to write to express my delight, amazement, and blissful happiness over the beautiful cover ofSouthern Seven 7. It's been a long hard battle, but finally we Tarrant fen are getting rewarded for our efforts. I'd like to commend Mariano Howarth on her artwork, and boy would I love to have the original. I'm sure it's long gone by now, though. Thanks for giving Tarrant the recognition he deserves.

Loved Leah's cartoon on page 43; who won? My money's on Travis!

I was also impressed by Kathryn Andersen's art on page 81; if Avon had looked like that in the series, things might be a little different for me now... nah, I'd still love Travis and Tarrant. Enjoyed Samantha Hayman's and Kate Knepper's work too.

My favorite story is "The Desperadoes," by H. S. Levijoki. It was well written, and most importantly to me, everyone stayed in character. Naturally, Tarrant being featured in it helped win my approval too.

And it's nice to see a Travis appearing in Hellhound. Will he tum out to be a chip offthe old block? I'm anxiously awaiting more about Rakhiel Travis.

Another great zine; now, for the big question: how long until #8?!!? [58]

Receiving my copy of Southern Seven # 7 was like finally reaching an oasis after a long (too long) slog through the desert. I appreciate the trouble you went through to get this one out, Annie, believe me.

I read it through over a few days, in order to keep my long-suffering husband from becoming a "'zine widower" (his phrase!)--fortunately, it's ice hockey season, so he didn't miss me too much.

I've read "Wheels within Wheels" over several times carefully, and I still feel as ifl'm missing something. I'm guessing that the "he" of this story is Avon, but then again...maybe you can enlighten me.

"Deathsong" had a lyrical feeling to its prose, very similar to that of Tanith Lee, no mean feat--the difficulty of writing as well as Kill the Dead's author is one of the reasons I've steered clear of trying this fandom. I had never noticed that "Myal" could be read as "my all." Duh. Very nice exploration of man's mortality and his reaction to it, among other things.

I have an admiration for stories that read like an episode of the series, and "Subterfuge" and "Ghosts" both fill the bill here. Gao was used well in the first of these, something I like to see, also. His character is too often ignored in fan fiction. This story shows that even Orac can jump to faulty conclusions! Not that he'll admit to it. The monster in "Ghosts" certainly knew what buttons to press with the crew members--telepathic, I assume. Action mixed nicely with Avonic angst, something I can't complain about. I also liked receiving more background on Avon and the B7 universe in general, and I see that Kristy Merrill was smart enough to kill off Losee so she wouldn't get ragged about original characters!-- seriously, though, that's one of the things that made this story so successful as an "episode." Good, solid tales both.

So Servalan has this fantasy about being a high priced call girl, ehh? She must have seen "Pretty Woman" one too many times. Maybe "Naughty Girls Need Love, Too" was simply an excuse to get Avon and Blake stripped to skivvies, (bet you hated drawing that illo on page 54, Leah ... not!) but hey, I can go for that! I couldn't help but think that maybe Servalan got a shot of the two of them arguing in that state and the publication of it started those slash stories circulating. Too bad about Blake's chest hair, or lack thereof I like chest hair.

Hard to believe that Orac would have the compassion to do what he did in "Long Remember," though, but perhaps I'm shortchanging him. Interesting what leaving out a few salient "facts" can do to people's perception of history, isn't it?

"Forgive Me All My Sins" is rare for B7 fiction (and science fiction in general, for that matter) in that it presented religion in a positive light. I like that, too. Yet there is that paradox here--how can one remain true to a belief in nonviolence in a violent world? Avon seems to have borrowed a bit from Mad Max: this time around. I also had the idea presented in "File Closed"--that Avon was working for the Federation, but I never got energetic enough to research or write it. I won't have to now, thank goodness, because Cheree Chargill handled it nicely. The only small nit I can pick is that I find it highly unlikely that the head of Federation Covert Operations would go into deep cover; there's no way he could perform his other duties and hold on to his power at the same time. Yet who can imagine Avon as beholden to anyone? Not me.

"Heaven" was just too depressing for words. I just can't see Vila as becoming this trashed out--he seems to have too much ofan ability to land on his feet to ever let himself get into this sorry a state.

I'm not sure I want to think about what will happen if Avon and Servalan get together on the same side! It's a very interesting idea, and I'm looking forward to seeing what follows "Survivors."

I can't really comment on the filks, as I'm unfamiliar with the songs they are based on this time around--well, I do know "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer," but not because I wanted to, and "The Rose" because it was sang at my first wedding, which has certainly destroyed my enjoyment of it since! On the poetry front, it would have been an interesting point counterpoint had "Wishes" followed directly after "Only Mistaken"--even telepaths can misread motives and psychological states, obviously.

Plenty of terrific illos, as usual. Howarth's cover was excellent--Tarrant looking quite studly. Susanne (resident Tarrant fan) should be enjoying that one immensely. Is that supposed to be Hellhound popping out of a black hole in the background? Hmm. I never have quite figured out what the "bloody big black ship" is supposed to look like. The back cover is great, too... Avon on the right hand, Blake on the left. That fits my perception of their political beliefs, all right. Lots of Leah's cartoons, too--can't decide if! like "Go Fish" or "Psychopath" the best. Oh, I should say that I really appreciated the "Psychopath" song this time around, having recently seen the original Monty Python skit. Mary Orwig is a very sick person. Good for her! The Bloom County cartoons were funny, too. Opus in black leather and studs... be still, my beating heart! (Susanne should go for that, too. She's also the resident Opus fan, and collects penguins. Nothing like a little personal tidbit, ehh, Susanne?) Like quite a few others (as I noticed from the LoCs) I enjoy looking at all the different Hellhound interpretations. It's interesting to see how others illustrate their hair cuts, clothes, etc.--every one of them adds something to my idea of what they look like. I do think that Lovett draws Avon's hair a tad short, but how can I complain when her work is so beautifully rendered, so evocative? Sevran and DafYdd together is particularly touching. Adrian Morgan and Theresa Buffaloe's wasted and bitter Avons stand out, too--tell me again how you manage to draw diamonds so perfectly, Adrian! Then there's Leah, in a class by herself Karl gets the goods on Dev... ack! Loved it. I hate and despise Karl, but he's fun to write. I should also mention, for Jeff Morris and others, that I do give artists references, if l can dig up photos of the people my characters are "played" by, so I'm not the only one who knows their true identities.

No LoC from me is complete without editorial comment, so here we go. First, I do appreciate criticism (I'm afraid it's too late to do anything about the original characters, though) and helps spur me on to more writing-now I can finally finish the Book 10 confrontation between Avon and Sevran - and I am trying to improve my writing to the point where I can "go pro." (Susanne is doing the same.) So far, I have collected rejection slips and a few helpful letters from editorial assistants, etc. So if anyone has an uncle in the publishing business...! Yes, Brody does have a bit of Han Solo, my first fan writing interest, under his vest, and we do like The Professionals... the show and the stars. Dafydd is my personal favorite of the original characters, in fact. Thorn and Jim return later on, and they fare better than some. I liked the way that you warned people about "knowing" what's going to happen next in Hellhound, Annie, particularly in regards to Steffany. Perhaps they need to reread the introduction to Book I, ehh?

I think that Sally Flanagan's comments are worthy of an answer, too. She has an excellent point: friendships do tend to change when one friend marries another person. They can't be the same, in fact, they shouldn't be. Sometimes the marriage wrecks the friendship, or affects it adversely, as when the spouse is too possessive, but this doesn't always have to be the case, and I don't think it is between Blake and Avon. In Hellhound we are not interested in leaving the Avon-Blake relationship static, we are trying to show how it changes over the years. To my mind, at least, the "triangle" (if you want to call it that) between Blake, Avon and Steffany serves to add depth to the interaction--now Avon has two people sincerely interested in him, his best male friend and his lover. They are also friends with each other, which leads them to understand him better by seeing him through another "lens," so to speak, when they discuss him. (I think that seeing him through these two viewpoints gives the reader a better understanding of him, also.) The relationship between Blake and Avon is, indeed, central to the plot line of Hellhound, but this relationship is not the only one that either of them engage in, nor should it be. I'm afraid I don't quite understand the-I was going to say animosity, but that isn't the right word-mistrust toward heterosexual relationships in fan fiction that some fans seem to exhibit. It can't be that we don't like women. Most of us are women. We're (Susanne and I--we're sisters, if you haven't guessed from the rude stuff I say about her sometimes!) romantic enough (or perhaps interested enough in sex?) to want our characters to enjoy the fulfillment that such a relationship adds to life, and since we're both straight we find it easier to write straight stuff Blake and Avon slash does not appeal to us. (It doesn't bother us if it appeals to you, though. We're not into censorship or The Log of the Heckhound... very funny, guys!) A consummated sexual relationship between Blake and Avon would ruin the tension that is essential to Hellhound. There. Now you know one thing that isn't going to happen in Hellhound.

Here's a B7 story I can't resist telling: one day my eight year old and I were driving to school (I work there, she learns there). She had brought along her plastic action figures, since it was a "Teacher's Planning Day" and she was going to have to amuse herself while I worked. She had her collection of"The Real Ghostbusters" and was having a high time checking out the fright features, figuring out who has the biggest feet, and making the werewolf sing along to U2. To my surprise, she pulled out a cross-universe character: Thumper the rabbit from Bambi. "So what's Thumper doing with the Ghostbusters?" I asked. "Oh, he's scared," she answered. "He had to leave the forest after Bambi betrayed him." "What?" I was shocked. "Where did you get that idea?" She gave me an exasperated look, and said: "From Blake's 7, Mom!" Well, at least she hasn't tried writing B7 fan fiction yet (so far she's stuck to Macgyver) which is okay by me because I don't need the competition. And you had better believe she's not going to read Hellhound until she's eighteen--at least!

To wind this up, let me say that I wasn't at all disappointed with what was in Southern Seven #7, although I did miss Bizarro, and would like to find out what happened next in The Phoenix Project--S . C. Hall has told me just enough to tantalize me. But I will wait patiently, in hopes that it all unfolds in due time. Doing so has certainly paid off in the past! [59]

Issue 8

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

front cover of issue #8, Leah Rosenthal
back cover of issue #8, Kathryn Andersen and Todd Parrish
flyer for issue #8, note: there are several stories on this flyer that don't appear in issue #8

The art is by 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).

  • Letters of Comment (3)
  • Kaye Dunham, "Blakes Seven Test" (16)
  • Jacqui Topp, "Half a Soul" (poem) (19)
  • K. Avon, "Rebellion on Their Minds" (filk, Too Much Heaven on Their Minds, from Jesus Christ Superstar) (20)
  • Roberta L. Brown "Ripple Effect"--Avon seemed to have bad luck—was it something more sinister? (22)
  • Jacqui Topp, "Somewhere" (24)
  • Kathryn Andersen, "Extermination" (poem) (25)
  • CarolMel Ambassador, "Candidate"--A young Blake's psychostrategist professor prepares him for a life in the rebellion. (26)
  • Jacqui Topp, "A Sound Like Thunder" (poem) (27)
  • Sharyn Sobel, "Searches" (filk, Is Anybody There, from 1776) (28)
  • 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. (29)
  • Angela Reese, "Hiding Scared" (filk, Be Prepared, by Tom Lehrer) (39)
  • Peggy Hartsook, "Wilderness Sojourn"--A mission into the wilderness of Kenore goes awry when the former rebel leader that Blake wants to return to his people balks at the notion. (40)
  • Angela Reese, "Wake Up, C'mon Vila" (filk, Wake Up, Little Susie) (47)
  • Beth Masterson, "Face from the Past"--A young survivor of a slaughtered rebel group turns out to be Vila's lost daughter. (48)
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, "Eternal Champion" (poem) (58)
  • Alicia Ann Fox, "History Will Teach Us Nothing"--"An exercise in cross-gender casting": a teleport malfunction lands Blake in a universe gone topsy-turvy. (59)
  • Alicia Ann Fox, "Free for All"--A story concurrent with 'History Will Teach Us Nothing'. (66)
  • Angela Reese, "The Andromedan War Anthem" (filk, Memory, from Cats) (71)
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, "Non Omis [sic] Moriar (I shall not wholly die)" (poem) (72)
  • Amy L. Hull, "The Paths of Glory Lead But to the Grave"--Cally and Jenna's POV on the events of "Pressure Point". (73)
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, "An Idealist Appeals to a Cynic" (poem) (78)
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, "A Womb of One's Own"--When Jenna discovers that she's pregnant with Blake's child, she worries about the potential consequences. (79)
  • Angela Reese, "Avon by My Side" (filk, Take Me Home, Country Roads, by John Denver) (81)
  • Jenny Hayward, "A Blake's 7 Alphabet" (poem) (82)
  • Leokadija, "Lady's Choice"--When the crew rescues an attractive courier from a damaged ship, she takes an interest in Vila. (84)
  • All I Needed to Know About the Universe I Learned from Blake's 7 by Kathryn Andersen (quotes) (94)
  • Joelle Augustine, "A Terrible Thing to Waste"--After the events of Sarcophagus, Cally is having nightmares...and so is Avon. (95)
  • Angela Reese, "Decisions, Decisions" (filk, Silver Bells) (102)
  • Kaye Dunham, "The Starborn"--A mission gone wrong isn’t the only problem facing the crew of the Liberator when Vila rescues a baby. (103)
  • Jane Mailander, "Hunter and Prey (For Two Voices)" (poem) (110)
  • Jane Mailander, "Avon's Adventures Underground"--In the aftermath of Malodaar, Avon wanders through surreal dream landscapes, and comes to some realizations. (111)
  • Jacqui Topp, "The Game" (poem) (125)
  • Jane Mailander, "White Rebel, or Terminal Trip" (filk, White Rabbit, by Jefferson Airplane) (126)
  • Dana Morez, "All That Glitters"--A society of telepaths chooses Vila to become one with them...if he's willing to discard his friends. (127)
  • Jane Mailander, "Vila's Condemnation, or The Price for Not Asking the RIght Question" (poem) (135)
  • Kaye Dunham, "Dome Shopping Club Catalogue" (136)
  • Jacqui Topp, "Journey's End" (poem) (139)
  • Sophia Mulvey, "To Sleep, Perchance to Dream"--A dying Avon dreams of Anna. (140)
  • Kathryn Andersen, "DSV" (poem) (141)
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, "Be All My Sins Remembered" (poem) (142)
  • 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. (143)
  • Jane Mailander, "Merrit" (filk, Challenge, by Julia Ecklar; Last Stand universe) (145)
  • Annita K. Smith, "Precious Vengeance"--Sequel to "Out of the Night" in Blake's Doubles #1. (146)
  • Rebecca Ann Brothers, "Knight Tarrant" (poem) (162)
  • Annita K. Smith, "The Treasure Outside the Door"--Sequel to "Precious Vengeance". (163)
  • Teresa Ward, "The Pilot's Prayer" (poem) (171)
  • Melody C., "The Best Is Yet to Be"--It's long after the revolution and the revolutionaries have grown peacefully old. But Blake finds a way to make a new beginning. (172)
  • Ann Wortham and Leah Rosenthal, "Quotes from 'It's Howdy Duty Time!'" (176)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 8

[A Womb of One's Own]: Hmm, didn't realize one had to have maternal instincts to get into a story like "Womb"-I've never had children, after all. The story was written in response to all those stories detailing Avon's fatherhood. And I gave Blake and Jenna a daughter because it's really annoying that fans only ever give the heroes sons. Are daughters an indication the father isn't macho, or something? [60]
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. [61]

Southern Seven 8: I absolutely loved the cover. The flaming skyline implies a story, making the figures of Vila and Cally more meaningful than just a portrait. I was glad to see such a good rendering of Cally. I think this is the first time she's been on an Southern Seven cover, isn't it? As usual. I enjoyed Mailander's cartoons. My favorite illustrative art, this time around, was that of Judith Kitzes' especially her impressionistic Vila on page 41. and her Avon on page 148. The towering nose on page 177 gave me a laugh!

"Yet Another Garden Paradise" by [Shoshanna]: Everyone seemed marvelously in character, Jenna got to use her piloting skills, and there was terrific by-play between Cally and Vila.

"History Will Teach Us Nothing" and "Free for All." Hmm. I think my writing has improved since 1988, but I haven't been able to top the idea.

"Avon's Adventures Underground" by Jane Mailander: Wow All of those pictures included. Wow. What a great story.

'"Dome Shopping Club Catalog" by Kaye Dunham. I'll take a copy of "Well, Now..." .. and two sets of Yesyesyes Men. [62]
What Did I think of Southern Seven 8? First things first: LOVED the cover. Of course, I've yet to see a piece of art created by Leah Rosenthal that I don't like, so my feelings on this particular one could probably be discounted a little, but nevertheless, I stand by my exuberance. I LOVED the cover. She does very interesting things with composition and color that I could probably say something about if I was an artist and knew the correct words, but I'm not, so I won't But the cover was marvelous. As was much of the interior artwork—there wasn't anything amateurish about any of the art, but my favorite interior piece would have to be the illustration of Vila and Connie on page 91, from "Lady's Choice." Stylistically, it reminded me of nothing so much as a stained-glass window from the Renaissance period (then again, I also found my fingers itching to reach for a crayon to color it in, but that's just my "inner child" or some such nonsense). I enjoy "uncluttered" artwork, and this really struck me from the first time I saw it Nice, clean lines and romantic subject matter—my favorites!

I'm not much for poetry (although I really enjoyed "White Rebel, or Terminal Trip"), but what I skimmed over seemed to match the consistent high quality I've come to expect from a Wortham zine (no. that's not just a gratuitous compliment I really mean it). But even if I'm not much for poetry and filks, I am much for cartoons, and the Bloom County takeoff is and various silly things sprinkled through the zine had me rolling (especially the "Blake's Seven Test" and "All I Needed to Know About the Universe...")!

I think the stories are really too numerous to list individually, but I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by the number of them that I truly liked Not that I actually disliked any of them, but I enjoyed and re-read more than I usually do in a zine. The standouts include "Ripple Effect" (which I wasn't sure I liked the first time I read it. then I read it again and one more time and decided it was one of my favorites). "Face From the Past- (very touching, nicely bittersweet ending), "Avon's Adventures Underground" (nyuk. nyuk. nyuk). "Precious Vengeance" and "The Treasure Outside the Door" (I assume there's a first installment—or first several installments—of this story somewhere? May one inquire where? [The original novella appeared is Blakes Doubles #I and was, in fact, nominated for a Fan Q award the year it appeared. Ed]), and my personal favorite, "All That Glitters" Why that one? Because of a basic contradiction in myself. When I read a zine story, I expect to find something that the TV show/movie/whatever didn't have. Sometimes it's things budgets wouldn't allow (flashier storylines) or things that wouldn't translate well in a visual medium (more "intellectual" stories, or "interior" stories dealing more with character's feelings rather than actions), or things the show just didn't do well (romance springs to mind in almost all instances excepted perhaps. Beauty and the Beast). Ail this is leading up to the fact that I really enjoyed "All That Glitters," more than every other story in the zine. in spite of (and because of) the fact that it comes under my own personal classification of "easily turned into an episode." And it was because it was so well-written, and contained characterization as well as action, that I was easily able to overcome my personal prejudices and enjoy reading it more than once.

Of course, I cannot close without mentioning "It's Howdy Duty Time," the never-to-be released, etc., etc. All I can say is. this installment leaves me. as always, thirsting tor more). I of course won't comment on "A Terrible Thing To Waste"; my innate modesty won't allow me to state my true feelings about such a wonderful piece of work... Okay. Okay. I'll slop Actually , I rarely enjoy my own stuff once it sees print, mainly because I've read it so many times looking for flaws that they're all I can see! Oh well. I suppose that happens to everyone.

Is that it? I guess so. I can't say I actually disliked any stories, although I did feel very frustrated with "A Womb of One's Own." Please tell me it's an excerpt faun a larger work? Pretty please? Because that's what it felt like, more than anything else. It was nice, by the way. to see Jenna pregnant tor a change; usually it's poor Cally who gets stuck in the maternity ward! But I felt a little disappointed at the brevity of the story, and hope it will be expanded to answer all the unanswered questions I have. (Such as. how did Jenna and Blake "get together"? What happened between the discovery of the pregnancy) and the birth of the baby? How many mutoids does it take to screw—whoops, sorry. Wrong place for that question!) All right, all right that's realty it for me. Overall, the zine gets a hearty thumbs up from me, as usual. Keep up the good work! [63]

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. [64]
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." [65]

Southern Seven 9: "Vila-ness." By Kaye by Dunham. Did Vila actually resemble Anna, or did Avon himself create the connection? The latter seems a more interesting idea.

"Vila Restal & the Enchanted Drake of Oz" by Beetem & McNickle. This one is terrific, and Vila gets to be the hero, managing to remain himself in a completely alien setting. Vila did very well for himself this issue.

"From the Ashes" by Mary Gerstner. I like the neat way everything is tied together.

"In Transit" by Bolech & Martin. Carried me along very -pleasantly And of course Vila was the hero.

Hellhound merchandising: Someone would undoubtedly buy those T-shirts...

My favorite story this issue was "Scoring Points for the Losing Side" by Patricia Blasi. Great job of characterization, both Tarrant and Vila, especially the ways they reacted to the disaster.

Adrian Morgan's Blake on the back cover has a compelling pair of eyes. [66]

SS 9—Adrian Morgan's back cover Blake is good, although Blake is rather thin. Virgil's cartoon — Vila's "wallow" on p. 127 is delightful. Of course. the two Lovett's on pp. 16 & 20 are superb! Blake's face on 16 is perfection. (I'm a Lovett fan.) Kate Knepper's Blake on p. 81 is another good but too thin Blake. (Yes. I am a Blakie. How did Vila sneak into this' That thief!)

The humor pieces I enjoyed are Linda Terrell's "B7 Guide for the Perceptually Handicapped and Creatively Impaired" and the utterly silly and even more bizarre than Bizorro "Avon Stood in Blake's Body" by Flanagan and Rothman. Loved both.

K. Ann Yost's The Innocent" is a vehicle for the Lovett drawings and virtually drowned me in sentimental goo. I liked it, but was embarrassed to like it. In my opinion, it needed development to anchor it, make it a study in characterization instead being just an excuse to show off neat Lovett's. (Actually, the Lovett drawings were done as illustrations for Karen's story. In other words, the story was written first and Suzie illustrated it! Ed.)

"Discussion" by Carolmel Ambassador definitely needed development, and, of course, I loved it) Yeah. Jenna!

Katie Clapham's "When Memories Die" is a marvelous story. I'm surprised it's only 20 pages, as it seemed more complex. This story I'd pick as the best in the zine. (That's today. Tomorrow I may find another one that grabs me more. I'm fickle.) I may need Blake to be a hero, but I know he's flawed. She did a good job of portraying his conflicts.

"Scoring Points for the Losing Side" by Patricia Blasi was a strange story. No Blake, but I enjoyed it anyway.

"A Second Chance" by Betty Monfette sent chills down my back. What a unique twist! I wouldn't mind a sequel.

I don't like long LoC's. Just warned to let you know I enjoy the SSz. I was lucky to be able to buy the original 1-7s from a fan who had treated them lovingly. I also, own a beat up (now, really, Rae, what were you doing with it?) Southern Comfort 7.5 which doesn't have nearly enough Blake in it. Phooey. However, the two stories he figures prominently in "makes it all worthwhile." (To be fair, Rae has a nice 7.5 and gave me the poor copy free.) [67]


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...") (also in Refractions #1. (An earlier version of this story appeared on the HLFIC-L mailing list.)
  • C. S. Kinsey, "Resolution" (2 pages)
  • Mireille, "Links in the Chain" (12 pages), also here ("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! [68]
[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." [69]

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. [70]

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. [71]

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. ^ "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force."
  4. ^ a b 100 Things That Still Make Being Me Just That Bit Better... 72 by sallymn, December 30, 2012
  5. ^ Comment by bluewolf458 to the sallymn's post, December 30, 2012
  6. ^ If someone has access to earlier issues, please add a copyright statement from issue #4?
  7. ^ from Ruth Berman in Horizon Letterzine #4 (November 1992)
  8. ^ from an LoC in "Southern Seven" #8
  9. ^ from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  10. ^ from Jane Carnall in "touched" #10
  11. ^ from an LoC in "Southern Seven" #8
  12. ^ from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  13. ^ Sally and Jenny's 50 Favourite a-B Gen Stories
  14. ^ by Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  15. ^ by CB at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  16. ^ Pressure Point #11
  17. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  18. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  19. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  20. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  21. ^ letter of comment in "Southern Seven" issue #5, pt. 1
  22. ^ This diatribe is almost certainly a rant that a fan wrote regarding The Blake's 7 Wars, and this fan, Leigh Arnold very well may have been "passing it along" to Wortham in a passive aggressive way, or may have possibly been the author...
  23. ^ from a letter of comment in "Issue #5, pt. 1
  24. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  25. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  26. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  27. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  28. ^ from a letter of comment by Katrina Larkin in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  29. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  30. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  31. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  32. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  33. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  34. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  35. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  36. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  37. ^ from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  38. ^ from an LoC in "Southern Seven" #8
  39. ^ Pressure Point no.11
  40. ^ These are comments addressing some of the fall out of the Blake's 7 Wars.
  41. ^ bruinhilda.tumblr, November 6, 2016
  42. ^ Writer's notes on author's website
  43. ^ from "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  44. ^ from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  45. ^ from an LoC in "Southern Seven" #8
  46. ^ (this description doesn't match any of the stories in Threads Through Infinity, but it fits this story) Lysator, Vickie M, dated September 17, 1993.
  47. ^ Sally and Jenny's 50 Favourite a-B Gen Stories
  48. ^ from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  49. ^ from an LoC in "Southern Seven" #8
  50. ^ from an LoC in "Southern Seven" #8
  51. ^ from an LoC in "Southern Seven" #8
  52. ^ from an LoC in "Southern Seven" #8
  53. ^ from an LoC in "Southern Seven" #8
  54. ^ Subject: Catching up post dated Nov 21, 1992 (publicly accessible).
  55. ^ from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  56. ^ from IMHO* #2 (1995)
  57. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #8
  58. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #8
  59. ^ from a letter of comment by Katrina Larkin in "Southern Seven" #8
  60. ^ Author's comment in Rallying Call #11
  61. ^ from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  62. ^ from an LoC in "Southern Comfort" #10
  63. ^ from an LoC in "Southern Comfort" #10
  64. ^ from CB at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  65. ^ from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  66. ^ from an LoC in "Southern Comfort" #10
  67. ^ from an LoC in "Southern Comfort" #10
  68. ^ from a fan in Rallying Call #15 (1995)
  69. ^ from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  70. ^ from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  71. ^ from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site