Avon's Seven #1

review by Judith Proctor

Published by Brenda Cunningham
102 Pages

Quarto zine, plain cover with a few stars. Stapled along the spine. Not wildly promising, but you can't always judge a zine by its cover and the list of writers looks hopeful. The zine was published July '96.

I started on the first story and found two typos before I was halfway down the page. Not promising. Not trivial ones either. The idea of Avon 'bolstering' his gun is not one I've previously encountered...

The layout is highly variable - paragraph indents vary in size all over the place. Although the print is a reasonable size (single column), either the printer used to do the master was poor or the copy shop did a bad job, as I find it a strain to read. - not faint, just a bit blurry.

The art is all by Val Westall and is a mixed bag. There's one very nice Avon, some middling, and one she'd probably rather was forgotten. They suffer from the usual problems of photocopied pencil work, namely looking a lot blacker than the originals and losing the greys.

A Lamb To Guide the Lion by Jean Graham (reprinted from Magnificant 7 #4)

At one point, part way through the story, the typos got so bad that I couldn't actually work out what it was meant to say. A pity, as I like this story. Actually, most of it was easy enough to read apart from a few lines - makes me wonder if it was done from a scanned original and just hit a bad point for a few paragraphs.

The story pairs Avon and Gan on a mission to steal a coding device. I always enjoy stories that pair Avon and Gan as I like the contrast between them. At one point they have to pass themselves off as deltas - unfortunately, glaring at people and being rude to them isn't very deltaish... Well worth reading.

If It Comes Down to That - Susan Barrett

Tarant shoots Vila in "Moloch" in an almost automatic reaction, and then regrets what he has done and tries to atone. This is a lovely story which explores the relationship between Avon and Vila without getting overly sentimental. Poorly edited and with some lines missing off the top of one page, but still very enjoyable.

A Trip to Disneyworld - Susan Barrett

Once redundant after 'Blake', the cast are sent to Disneyworld to become an attraction and decide they don't like it. Humour is very personal in its appeal. I liked occasional bits here - Travis and Dayna having a 'shoot the tourists in Star Trek t-shirts' competition, for example, but overall, it didn't work for me.

The Final Prize - S Barrett and DC Morris

Short PGP told from Orac's point of view. This is a wonderful story, not least because it is different from anything I've read before. I also like the portrayal of Avon as he slowly catches on to what is happening. (I'm sure there were typos, but I was enjoying the story far too much to notice them.)

Blake - DC Morris

Gauda Prime told from Blake's point of view. Just a rewrite of the episode - nothing I haven't seen done before. Fairly boring.

Rest Cure - Alice C. Aldridge

Another story in Alice's ongoing saga about Travis and Jenna. Like the earlier stories (See 'Roads Not Taken' and recent issues of 'Gambit') this is a well written and interesting story. Avon and Vila appear briefly.

A Free Man - Jean B. Hubb

An interesting little PGP in which Avon is haunted by the ghosts of Blake and Anna. Or are they just hallucinations induced by the Federation?

Overall, this is a zine worth reading. The lack of proof-reading irritates me and the zine is nothing fancy to look at, but there are some enjoyable stories.

Prices : (these are in Canadian Dollars) US/Canada $11, $14 elsewhere surface mail and $18 airmail.

Last updated on 02nd of February 2003

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