Avon 22

Review by Joyce Bowen

AVON 22 is a good little Blake's 7 genzine from Avon Club.

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The digest zine is 60 pages long and contains four stories, all of which have Blake in them to some degree. There is a color telepic on the cover of both Blake and Avon.

I am not really criticizing, but I will say the zine has unique spacing, sometimes single spacing between paragraphs and sometimes not. Normally dialogue is single spaced. I realize that this is a space saver, but it is strange.

The story Blake is in the least is "Blakes Seven: The True Story II" by Ros Williams. It is the only humorous story, being set in an a/u approximately some forty years after Gauda Prime. Humor is very hard to do, and everyone reacts differently to it. I thought the story was mildly amusing. I don't go in for utter zaniness as a rule so it is hard for me to be fair to the story.

My favorite story was "A Dish Best Served Cold" by Sarah McEvoy. This is set first or second season and involves Blake and Avon coming across an old enemy of Avon's named Amaro on a planet. There are various twists and turns in this short story which is the shortest of the four. And, of course, we can tell by the title before we even read the story that this is a story about revenge. In the course of this story, we get an explanation for Avon's facial scar on his chin.

"Station Encounter" by Cheryl Smith is probably an early 2nd season story and involves an ofc by the name of Madison who as far as I could tell was never given a last name. In true Mary Sue fashion, she proves indespensible to the crew and Avon really likes her. I personally would have liked this story better if Madison hadn't have turned out to be so wonderful. But it is an interesting story with some good plot turns as Blake and company with Madison attempt to outwit Travis.

"Betrayal" by Maggie Crowe would have been a better story if the title had been different. Because of the title, you can almost guess what is going to happen. Interestingly enough, when Blake goes down to investigate this planet which is sending a distress beacon, he takes Gan. That alone makes the story rather original since Gan is normally no one's first choice as a backup man. The distress signal is from Dr. Alfred Smithson who is an important omc in this story. He claims he has been betrayed by the Federation. He says the Federation has taken his scientific work and perverted its use. Avon, Vila, and Gan get captured by Travis, and it is up to Blake and the others to rescue them -- which they do. However, there are plot complications. What I did find strange, though, was that Blake at the end played a practical joke on Jenna and the rest of the crew, including Avon, helped. There are some interesting touches in this story, including an old friend of Vila's who turns out to be important.

Joyce Bowen


Publisher: Avon: The Paul Darrow Society (Basingstoke, Hampshire)
Date: [2002]
Format: A5 digest, [2] + 60 pp., white card cover printed in color, center staples

Fiction: Sarah McEvoy, "A Dish Best Served Cold" (S2; A-B)
Ros Williams, "Blake's Seven: The True Story II" (S5, long after GP; past A/Se; humor)
Cheryl Smith, "Station Encounter" (S2; A-ocf)
Maggie Crowe, "Betrayal" (S1)

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