Southern seven 9

Review by CB

Ashton Press 1994
ed Ann Wortham Comb Bound 191 pages
Colour cover of Avon and Vila by Leah Rosenthal

Sojourn at House Thanos by Diana Smith and Pat Dunn
The Innocent by K Ann Yost
Contact by Sara Talbot
B7 Guide for the perceptually handicapped and creatively impaired by Linda Terrell
Vila-Ness by Kaye Dunham
Post-script by Teresa Ward
Escape by Jennifer Smallwood
Discussion by Carol Mel Ambassador
Vault by Jennifer Smallwood
Servita! by Mary Orwig
Vila Restal and the enchanted drake of Oz by Dee Beetem and Margaret McNickle
From the Ashes by Mary Gerstner
In Transit by Colette Bolech and Kathy Martin
Rescue by Teresa Ward
When memories die by Katie Clapham
Eve of Destruction by Alan Moravian
Familiar Haunts by Roxie Ray
Shiowdown over Domo by Rebecca Donahue
The Vila Restal Memorial Angst and Post-Alternative Orbit Wallow Section Returns:

Hallucinations by Nicole Petty and Michelle Moyer
A second Chance by Betty Monfette
Once and Future pilot by Sherri Fillingham
Hellhound catalogue by Katrina Larkin
Acknowledgement of guilt by Linda Knights
Avon stood in Blake's body by Peter Flanagan and Amanda Rothman
Payment in full by CarolMel Ambassador
Scoring points for the losing side by Patricia Blasi

Success by Shannon
It's my Series by Leah Rosenthal
Rumours of Life by Anne Collins Smith
Cally by Mary L Orwig
Waiting for Avon - Klyn's POV by Mary L Orwig
Dark Songs by Ariene Masder
A fourth season plot is not a happy one by Anne Collins Smith
Gauda Prime by Melissa Mastoris
Lonely round the base by Sharyn Sobel
Alphan Omega by Sharyn Sobel
Heart of Hearts by Carol Mel Ambassador
This Avon must die by Rebecca Donahue
Just Desserts by CarolMel Ambassador
Within my Grasp by CarolMel Ambassador
By my own choice by CarolMel Ambassador

Leah Rosenthal
Kate Knepper
Leigh Motooka
Todd Parrish
Kathryn Andersen
Adrian Morgan
Maryann Jorgenson
Samantha Hayman
Mary Gerstner

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.

Mini Review by Sarah Thompson

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."


Editor: Ann Wortham
Publisher: Ashton Press (Altamonte Springs, FL)
Date: May 1994

Diana Smith & Pat Dunn, "Sojourn at House Thanos" (AU; KTD universe; A-V)
K. Ann Yost, "The Innocent" (S2; A as child)
Sara Talbot, "Contact" (S1?; A)
Linda Terrell, "A B7 Guide for the Perceptually Handicapped and Creatively Impaired" (S1-S4; humor)
Kaye Dunn, "Vila-ness" (S2; female V)
Teresa Ward, "Post Script" (S2; post-Gambit; Tr-Docholli)
Jennifer Smallwood, "Escape" (S3?; V)
CarolMel Ambassador, "Discussion" (S1?; B/J)
Jennifer Smallwood, "Vault" (S2; A-V-C)
Dee Beetem & Margaret McNickle, "Vila Restal and the Enchanted Drake of Oz" (S1?; V; Oz crossover)
Mary Gerstner, "From the Ashes" (S3; post-Children, post-Rumours; A/C?)
Colette Boch & Kathy Martin, "In Transit" (S3; A-V; AU Pros crossover?)
Teresa Ward, "Rescue" (S4; Rescue; Ta-V)
Katie Clapham, "When Memories Die" (S3; B)
Alan Moravian, "Eve of Destruction" (S4)
Roxie Ray, "Familiar Haunts" (S4; So; A Friend in Need universe)
Rebecca Donahue, "Showdown Over Domo" (S4; alt-Assassin)
Kathy Coy, "The Road Not Taken II" (S4; alt-Orbit; V)
Jeannie Webster, "The Road Not Taken II" (S4; alt-Orbit)
Melanie Ogle, "In Vino Veritas" (S4; post-Orbit)
Donna Wilson, "Safe With You" (S4; alt-post-Orbit; A-V)
Jane Carnall, "Cruelty Has a Human Heart" (S4; alt-post-Orbit; D/So)
Nicole Petty & Michelle Moyer, "Hallucinations" (S4; A-C)
Betty Monfette, "A Second Chance" (S4-S5; alt-Blake;B/Arlen)
Sherri Fillingham, "The Once and Future Pilot" (Test of Friends universe; S3; uc B/J, uc J/Ta)
Linda Knights, "Acknowledgement of Guilt" (S5; V)
Peter Flanagan & Amanda Rothman, "Avon Stood in Blake's Body" (S5; A/J, B/C; humor)
CarolMel Ambassador, "Payment in Full" (S5; A-Se)
Patricia Blasi, "Scoring Points for the Losing Side" (S5; Ta-V)

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

Shannon, "Success"
Leah Rosenthal, "It's My Series" (f, 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." (f, Lola, by the Kinks)
Arlene Masder, "Dark Songs"
Anne Collins Smith, "A Fourth-Season Plot Is Not a Happy
One" (f, A Policeman's Lot Is Not a Happy One")
Melissa Mastoris, "Gauda Prime"
Sharyn Sobel, "Lonely Round the Base" (f, The Fields of Athenry)
Sharyn Sobel, "Alphan Omega" (A)
CarolMel Ambassador, "Heart of Hearts"
Rebecca Donahue, "This Avon Must Die" (f, This Jesus Must Die, from Jesus Christ Superstar)
CarolMel Ambassador, "Just Deserts"
CarolMel Ambassador, "Within My Grasp"
CarolMel Ambassador, "By My Own Choice" (A)

Leah Rosenthal front c. KTD A-V; color
p. 49 cartoon illos for
p. 52 "Enchanted Drake"
p. 73 Auron cartoon
p. 142 A-V; illo for "Safe"
p. 167 cartoon illo for "Hellhound Catalogue"
Kate Knepper p. 4 illo for "Sojourn"
p. 81 GP B
p. 103 A, B, Se, V
Suzan Lovett p. 16 B-child A; illo for "The Innocent"
p. 20 "
? p. 34 V
Todd Parrish p. 36 C
p. 38 J
Samantha Hayman p. 42 A-V
Mary Gerstner p. 54 A/C
p. 107 illo for "Lonely"
p. 111 A
Derrin p. 75 Ta
Kathryn Andersen p. 72 Ta, D, V
p. 109 A
p. 147 D
Leigh Motooka p. 113 So-ghost; illo for "Familiar Haunts"
p. 164 J, Ta, B; illo for "Once"
Maryann Jorgensen p. 150 C, dead B, A
Adrian Morgan back c. B

Last updated on 04th of February 2001

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