Southern Seven/Issue 004

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Southern Seven is a long-running gen Blake's 7 anthology of art, fiction, and poems.

See more at Southern Seven.

Issue 4

front cover issue #4, Leah Rosenthal
back cover issue #4, Laura Virgil

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

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.

From the editorial:

As usual, there is also a great variety of short and medium-length stories spread throughout the zine, some by your long-time favorite authors such as Sheila Paulson and Kathy Hintze and others by relative newcomers to B7 fan fiction. I hope you enjoy them all and that you will take the time to write in and tell them what you liked and even what you didn't like. Constructive criticism is always welcomed both by the authors and artists represented here and by the editor... however, please try to bear in mind that a fanzine is by its very nature an amateur undertaking and the people who work to bring you these fannish creations, be it a story, a poem, or apiece of artwork, are amateurs. They are working only (in most cases) for the love of the fandom, not for payment, and they are real people, just like you. Please feel free to like or dislike something as you will, but if you can't offer something constructive in the way of how you think something could be improved, then at least try to be a little diplomatic in stating your dislike. And remember, correspondence regarding the zines sent to me is considered for publication unless you explicitly tell me not to publish your remarks...and I publish LoCs unedited unless you tell me to leave something out. Trust me. If you tell me not to publish something, I won't. Oh, my. I've gotten rather carried away here. Please forgive the "lesson" on LoC writing...

Back to the zine...thank you ever so mucb to all of you who nominated and voted for SOUTHERN SEVEN #2 for its Fan Qaward. What an honor to actually win!! And thank you also to everyone who nominated SOUTHERN SEVEN #2 for a Zen award. We didn't win that one this year but it was still a thrill to see Deb finally win an award for B7 COMPLEX. This is getting redundant, but again thank you for the other nominations Leah and I garnered and most of all, thank you for the Zen award LAST STAND AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD won. It made all our hard work (and arguing...and phone get the picture) worthwhile. Someday perhaps we'll get around to writing that sequel.

I'm going to try to thank a few individual people real quick here. Thank yous are due to; Paul &Janet Darrow, as always, for their interest in the fans; Terry Nation, ditto; [...]

  • From the Airlock... editorial by Ann Wortham (4)
  • 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) (6)
  • Missing Person, fiction by Liz S. ("Who is Vila Restal? Does even Vila know? Vila’s past is shrouded in mystery.") (8)
  • 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) (19)
  • Deja Vu, poem by Leah Rosenthal (38)
  • 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.") (40)
  • Detection Shield, poem by Leah Rosenthal (58)
  • 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.") (61)
  • 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.") (79)
  • Imagery, poem by Linda Terrell (84)
  • Criss-Cross Puzzle by Brendan O'Cullane (86)
  • 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.") (88)
  • Liberator vs. the Church Lady, fiction by Leigh Arnold (script; SNL parody) (reprinted in Magnificent Seven #9 with a pseud, due to fall out from the Blake's 7 Wars, see Leigh Arnold's letter) (109)
  • Honest Man, poem by Kathryn Andersen (114)
  • In the Dark (Hellhound universe), fiction by Katrina Larkin & Susanne Tilley (also in The Log of the Hellhound #7) (115)
  • Eve, Cleopatra, and Thee, poem by Jacqueline Taero (140)
  • 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") (143)
  • Quotation Puzzle by Brendan O'Cullane (170)
  • The Promise, fiction by Lynne Alisse Witten (171)
  • Dreams, fiction by Jean Lorrah ("Servalan is caught in a snare of her own devising.") (178)
  • Survival, fiction by April Giordano (183)
  • Moonlight and Vodka, fiction by Kathryn Andersen (186)
  • Through These Walls, fiction by Annita Smith (190)
  • Recovering, fiction by Rebecca Ann Brothers (195)
  • 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.") (also in The Log of the Hellhound #7) (198)
  • Reasons, fiction by Linda Willard (207)
  • Gauda Prime filk by Dani Lane (to the tune of "Home, Sweet Home," by Motley Crue) (214)
  • 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.") (reprinted in Jabberwocky Collected and Jabberwocky #2) (216)
  • Puzzle Answers (239)
  • 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.") (241)
  • The Hellhound Pop Quiz (249)
  • 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.") (255)
  • Letters of Comment (302)
  • Submission Guidelines (330)
  • Zine ads (333)
  • Blakes 7 Groaners by Jeff and Mary Morris (humor; with cartoons by Christopher Cook) (unknown page)

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 [1]

[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.[2]

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... Editor] [3]


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. [4]


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...[5]

[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. [6]



"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.


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


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!!!! [7]


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 Buffaloe'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![8]


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 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[9]

[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.[10]


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.[11]

[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.[12]


"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??? [13]

[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! [14]

[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.[15]


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 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. [16]

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. [17]

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. [18]

"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."[19]



  1. ^ letter of comment in "Southern Seven" issue #5, pt. 1
  2. ^ 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...
  3. ^ from a letter of comment in "Issue #5, pt. 1
  4. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  5. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  6. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  7. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  8. ^ from a letter of comment by Katrina Larkin in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  9. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  10. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  11. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  12. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  13. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  14. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  15. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  16. ^ from a letter of comment in "Southern Seven" #5 pt. 1
  17. ^ from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  18. ^ from an LoC in "Southern Seven" #8
  19. ^ Pressure Point no.11