Probability Square

Review by Sarah Thompson

I love this zine.

Sheila Paulson's "Game of Humanity" is a must-read for A-B fans. IMO it rates with Suzan Lovett's stories as "gen that's as good as slash." Blake and Avon are stranded, seemingly forever, on a distant planet with an initially hostile, primitive alien race. Gradually they become closer to their hosts and to each other. There's a PGP sequel, "The Dreamers," in Blake's Doubles #4.

The Lovett illos for the story are to die for-- incredibly slashy. There's the one in which Blake reaches out to the injured Avon, the one of the two of them bathing in the mountain pool (yes, honestly!), the one of Avon comforting Blake, the one of both of them, shirtless, in a cave together-- yum, yum, yum.

"Beauty," by pro writer Lillian Stewart Carl, is lovely Avon-drool, for those of us who like that sort of thing. (furtively wiping mouth)

"Silent Running" is an excellent angsty PGP, with Avon tending an injured Vila.

"Test Run" would have been a tasty adult story if the authors had not resorted to smut-eating asterisks! It's very enjoyable as is, though. Jenna gives Avon piloting lessons, and one thing leads to another.

Also on the smut front: Jenna has Blake's baby in "Errors, Deletions and Avon;" the past relationship of Travis and Kiera is revealed in "Deathwish;" and Vila and Servalan interact with each other amusingly in "All Things Considered."

The set of three short but intense stories by Liz Sharpe and Pat Jacquerie, focussing first on Servalan and then on Cally, are very memorable. The last story offers a hint as to why Avon and Cally never got it together in the canon.

Everything in the zine is readable, and there's a nice variety, from grim death-and-betrayal stories to funny ones. In addition to the Lovett illos, there's a lot of other good art too-- as you'd logically expect in a zine edited by an artist. Laura Virgil's portraits of Vila are especially nice.

Highly recommended!

Review by Chris Blenkarn

Test Run Avon and Jenna start with a piloting lesson and take it from there. An enjoyable short.

Special Report First of this zine's humour intake. An under cover agent poses as a rebel journalist to infiltrate Liberator. Amusing takes on cliches from the series and from zine writing.

Errors, Deletions, and Avon Jenna and Blake confront pregnancy and parenthood. Vila comes to their rescue. I got the impression the writer hadn't decided whether to go for comedy or drama. Incidentally, why does fan fiction so frequently cast Vila as good with kids, not that there's much competition on Liberator?

W.H.E.E.L. This one is fun. Avon gets to play Wheel of Fortune, with Vila tagging along, while Blake and co. go off to blow something up. Avon nearly gets more than he'd expected, and Vila gets a prezzie.

Mutiny with Bounty. A different twist on the episode Bounty. It contains what may be the most excruciating pun ever inflicted by Vila.

Deathwish An intelligent short about Travis's relationship with Kiera.

All Things Considered Features Vila and Servalan. Is Vila what he seems? Well, fancy that.

Game of Humanity Several words suggest themselves in describing this fifty page story, including magnificent, riveting, terrific, and stunning, but I'll settle for sublime. Blake and Avon are abducted by alien game players and inserted into a primitive society to prove/disprove a point. They gradually transform the society, and in doing so transform their own relationship, acknowledging the differences between them, the conflict between pragmatism and idealism. The story is relatively straightforward, its the telling that counts, and Ms Paulson has excelled herself.

Life Viewed from a Different Angle A homage to Velcro. Vila, Avon and Servalan; Vila has a problem on the ceiling. Humour with a touch of gravity?

Beauty An encounter with the third season crew, told from the point of view of a female smuggler who has been grossly disfigured by the Federation interrogators. Excellent characterization, especially of Avon. A maturely written account.

Sharp Trading Avon is having trouble trusting Tarrant to do a proper job. A familiar theme, but decently written. (It really is time Avon hung up his probe and went on a personnel management course; the man just cannot delegate, can he?)

Silent Running Brilliant Avon-Vila story, in the same league as the Paulson tale; how many zines can boast two stories of this calibre? Months after GP, Avon is a totally isolated prisoner of the Federation. He has no will to live and has therefore proved immune to the actions of his jailors, who are increasingly desperate for information. In an attempt to get to him, they give him an injured and traumatised Vila to care for. What will happen to them if or when Vila remembers Malodaar? What will happen to them, period? Hurt/Comfort par excellence, an unmissable treat for Avon/Vila fans.

My Life and Welcome to it Part of the Blakes7; the New Generation series. Kerr Avon, college chancellor, has married Kerril after Vila blackmails him from beyond the grave. The story involves the offspring and /or clones of various series characters. Part 1 is in Southern Seven 3.

Candle in the Wind Children playing remember the Blakes7 legend as an old man watches. Familiar territory.

Coup de Grace Good, original PGP involving Servalan and Avon with a cunningly disguised - literally - twist.

Ask Questions Later Vila, Avon and Soolin find an unusual explanation for what lies behind GP.

The Biter Bit / Quis Custodiet / The Mermaids Tale Three intelligently written related stories in which Servalan is a prisoner on Liberator after Terminal. They all focus on Cally.

Tale from a Bolthole Bar An itinerant story teller grips his bar-room audience with the tale of what happened on Gauda Prime. The response from his audience is more than he expected. Alas, poor Vila. Macabre.

There are also some poems and some exceptional pieces of artwork, including some Lovetts for the Paulson story and a particularly fetching Avon and Vila by Laura Virgil on page 134.


Editor/publisher: Laura Virgil
Date: 1989

Holly Hutchinson and Alicia Ann Fox, "Test Run" (S1; A/J)
Jeff and Mary Morris, "Special Report" (S1; humor)
Kathy Hintze, "Errors, Deletions and Avon" (S2; B/J)
Jane Jackson, "Wheel" (S2; humor)
Susan Glasgow, "Mutiny with Bounty" (S1; alt-Bounty)
Teresa Ward, "Deathwish" (S1-S0; Duel; Tr/Kiera)
Laura Virgil, "All Things Considered" (S2; Se/V; humor, sort of)
Sheila Paulson, "Game of Humanity" (S2; A-B; A-hc)
Celeste Hotaling, "Life Viewed from a Different Angle, or, The Heavy Date" (S1?; humor)
Lillian Stewart Carl, "Beauty" (S3; A/ocf)
Jill Grundfest, "Sharp Trading" (S3)
Ann Wortham, Julie Kramer, and Michelle Rosenberg, "Silent Running" (S5; A-V; V-hc)
N. T. Casillas, "A View from the Outside" (S1?; A-B?)
Jeff and Mary Morris, "My Life and Welcome to It" (S5; prequel to "Blake's 7: The New Generation;" A/Kerril; humor)
Annita K. Smith, "Candle in the Wind" (S5; long after GP)
Jean Graham, "Coup de Grace" (S5; A-Se)
Jean Lorrah, "Ask Questions Later" (S5)
Liz Sharpe, "The Biter Bit" (S5; A-B, Se)
Pat Jacquerie and Liz Sharpe, "Quis Custodiet" (S5; sequel to "The Biter Bit;" D-C, Se)
Pat Jacquerie, "The Mermaid's Tale" (S5; sequel to "Quis Custodiet;" V, A/C)
Sandy Williams, "Tale from a Bolthole Bar" (S5; V)

Laura Virgil, Editorial
Zine ads

Laura Virgil front c. V, A, B tp A
p. 22 cartoon illo for "Wheel"
p. 26 A
p. 32 V
p. 99 V
p. 107 A
p. 134 A-V
p. 167 V
p. 173 GP Chinese takeout cartoon
Leah Rosenthal ed. p. A
p. 89 cartoon illo for "Life"
Annita K. Smith p. 4 A
p. 17 A, B
p. 28 B
p. 85 PD
p. 95 A
p. 110 A
p. 113 V
Sandy Williams p. 12 O/microwave cartoon
p. 140 cartoon illo for "My Life"
back c. A
Suzi Lovett p. 39 A-B in cave; illo for "Game"
p. 48 A-B wet; illo for "Game"
p. 61 B fights monster; illo for "Game"
p. 71 A-B in cave; illo for "Game"
p. 79 A comforts B; illo for "Game"
p. 84 A-B; illo for "Game"
Maryann Jorgenson p. 30 Tr, Kiera
p. 146 A, Se
p. 149 A/Se
Celeste Hotaling p. 91 A-V cartoon
Dani Lane p. 116 illo for "Silent Running"
p. 120 illo for "Silent Running"
p. 132 illo for "Silent Running"
Theresa Buffaloe p. 143 illo for "Candle"
p. 154 A-V
p. 161 A, B, Se; illo for "Biter"
p. 164 C-Se; illo for "Quis"

Last updated on 16th of April 2001

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