The Plain Man's Guide to Alien Invasions

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Title: The Plain Man's Guide to Alien Invasions
Publisher: Chicago Area Liberation/Liberation Ltd (fan club)
Editor(s): Adrian Morgan/Servalan K. Avon
Date(s): 1989-1990
Medium: print, zine
Fandom: Blake’s 7
Language: English
External Links:
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The Plain Man's Guide to Alien Invasions is a gen and het Blake's 7 anthology, a club zine.

Issue 1

cover of issue #1, Judi Boguslawski

The Plain Man's Guide to Alien Invasions 1 was published in 1989 and contains 190 pages.


  • Sharon Ann Murphy and Virginia E. Milewski, "Misguided Honor" (The first story in this zine has definite adult content, even though it's not explicit. PGP, both Tarrant and Vila wind up in a (heterosexual) brothel on GP, servicing dirty old ladies. With some unexpected help, they make their escape.)
  • Janet Wells, "Malfunction!"
  • Mysti Frank, "Analgesia"
  • Sharon Ann Murphy, "Second Nature"
  • Jeanne DeVore, "Ambush"
  • Sharon Ann Murphy and Virginia E. Milewski, "Inside a Broken Dream"
  • Curt Phipps, "Flake's 11"
  • Bud Hanzel, "Jail-Break"
  • Curt Phipps, "Vila's Inner Fear"


  • Anonymous, "When Fans Have Pets"


  • Mysti Frank, "Vila Restal"
  • Sharon Ann Murphy, "Image"
  • Tammy Verbande, "Little Fuzzy Blake"
  • Mary Pat Cheney, "A Plea to Avon"
  • Mary Pat Cheney, "Your Eyes (Vila to Avon)"
  • Mary Pat Cheney, "Vila"


  • Judi Boguslawski (front cover)
  • Kate Knepper
  • Adrian Morgan
  • Tamara Verbande
  • Peter Heimsoth
  • Jay Harber
  • Bart Quick

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

I'm impressed by American staplers; this is a big zine to be staple bound and at seven years of age my copy is only just coming apart. It has the usual mixture of stories, poetry, drawings (the only really noteworthy one is of Tarrant on page 17 ) and cartoons, with a few shorts.

Overall this zine is a little disappointing in its scope. The longest story "Inside a Broken Dream" by Sharon Ann Murphy and Virginia E. Milewski starts off promisingly but then seems to lose its way. It's a post GP story in which Avon, Vila, Dayna, Tarrant and Soolin all survive, and it involves a Servalan clone. Themes include Avon's relationship with Vila, with women, and with revolution. The opening sequences are well-observed and believable, but the middle section lacks conviction and it is also repetitive. The ending is inconclusive, I think deliberately so, but it's a bit unsatisfying in a ninety-page story. The hemes suggest that it might have worked better as an adult zine story; in parts, especially where Avon and Vila are concerned, it seemed to be teetering on the brink.

The story I liked best was also the shortest. "Vila's Inner Fear" by Curt Phipps is a chilling account of Vila's imprisonment after his post GP trial. It makes brilliant use of repetition and is genuinely macabre. Another good story is "Second Nature", by Ms. Murphy again. This is set in the early days and explores the possible connections between Vila's propensity for thieving and his heavy drinking, and the developing understanding between him and Avon. Malfunction!" by Janet Wells is another story which features Vila's drinking, but this one is more light-hearted.

"Misguided Honor", also by Ms. Murphy and Ms. Milewski, has Tarrant and Vila as male prostitutes though this is implied rather than shown ( there is no overt adult material) and getting mixed up in the GP underground. It read as if it were a sequel, but there's no preamble in the zine stating that this is so. "Ambush" by Jeanne DeVore centres on an injured Tarrant and the woman he meets. The personal stuff is okay, if a little predictable, but it's a pity the story had to start off with the premise that you can't call the Liberator for help if you're running very fast, an unconvincing variation on broken braceletitis. [1]
It was very amateurish. Either basic human female biology has changed drastically by B7's time, or Dayna and Soolin are as dumb as stumps, or ther's a plot hole you could drive a starship through in one of PMGTAI's stories. This human female reader can think of a really easy way to tell if months have passed by. [2]

Issue 2

The Plain Man's Guide to Alien Invasions 2 was published in 1990 and contains about 200 pages.

front cover of issue #2, Barbara L. Adams


  • Janet Wells, "A Holiday Story"
  • Jeanne DeVore, "A Little Trust Is a Dangerous Thing"
  • Bud Hanzel, "The Hunt"
  • Cami, "Consequences"
  • Orac, "Twisted Moloch, or, What Really Happened"
  • Anne-Marie Picard, "Marques de Gris"
  • Sue Clark, "Avon's Next Enterprise" (Star Trek: TNG crossover)
  • Wes Lee Crusher, "Ladies' Night Out"
  • Leigh Motooka, "Accountability"
  • Alia Atreides, "Midway to Nowhere"
  • The Space City Irregulars, "Some Things Never Change"
  • Linda Garlick, "We Are But the Stuff Dreams Are Made Of"
  • Lorna Breshears, "Embarkation"
  • Zenobia Seagreane Quimby, "Passion's Purple Flower (Pale Lavender Prose)"


  • Sue Clark, "A Fight Like Ours Could Really Spoil Your Day" (filk, Everyday, preferably the Buddy Holly version)
  • Sue Clark, "A Blakes 7 Primer"
  • Lovejoy, "Horizon"
  • Sue Clark, "Mr. Avon" (filk, Mr. Postman)
  • Sue Clark, "Fed Man" (filk, Soul Man)
  • Angela Reese, "Orac" (filk, Lola)
  • Sue Clark, "Soolin" (f, Sususudio)
  • Sue "Way Cool" Clark, "Avon's Too Cool For Me"
  • Sue Clark, "This Hand Ain't Your Hand" (filk, This Land Is Your Land)
  • Bud Hanzel, "The Federtation Rebels" (filk, theme from The Beverly Hillbillies)
  • Lovejoy, "Avon at Star One"
  • Sharon Ann Karpierz, "Self Doubt"
  • Lovejoy, "Gauda Prime"
  • Sue Clark, "Orac at Large" (filk, If I Only Had a Brain)


  • Barbara L. Adams (front cover)
  • Adrian Morgan
  • Linda Fairbanks
  • Tanje
  • Bart Quick
  • Linda Garlick
  • Kate Knepper

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

There are some sexy stories here! "Consequences" puts Tarrant and Cally together. Dayna has her way with Avon at last in "Moloch," and both Dayna and Soolin are preparing to enjoy him at the end of "Ladies' Night Out." There's even a slash story of sorts: in "Passion's Purple Flower," Avon reveals that the Grant he really loved all along was Del. [3]

"The Good, the Bad, and the Unique" (A blatantly prejudicial, biased non-review of some recent zines.) Before going on, please read this disclaimer. I admit that this considers zine stories for only three things: if they are fair in characterizing Tarrant (The Good) if they greatly misunderstand, malign, or ignore Tarrant (The Bad), if they have some refreshing premise or twist (The Unique). I will not comment on quality of good writing and will ignore or pan stories that are better written than some of "The Good" ones. All ratings are based on my own personal impressions, tastes, and interpretations.

  • [The Good]: Consequences by McCoy -- Cally and Tarrant contact the last Aurons.
  • [The Good]: Accountability by Motooka -- Vila considers leaving Xenon.
  • [The Good]: Embarkation by Breshears -- the rebellion is long over and only Tarrant is alive to remember his companions and the past.
  • [The Good]: Tarrant art by Linda Garlick. [4]


  1. review by CB at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  2. fan's comments on Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (October 28, 1992)
  3. comments by Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  4. by Carol McCoy in On the Wing #2