Down and Unsafe #4

Mini Review By Sarah Thompson

xBryn Lantry fans take note-- there's a chilling A-B story by her in #4.

Review By Julia Jones

Fat (150 pages) digest zine, fiction plus cast interviews, cartoons, and art. Some very nice stuff in this one. I didn't like everything in it, but I think the zine's well worth getting.

Ekalb - xBryn Lantry

Short, chilling take on what was *really* happening in Gauda Prime.

Flotsam of War - Mary Moulden

Sequel to "the Changeling" in issue 3. The Andromedan Skaan has killed Avon and taken on his shape and memories in order to survive in a hostile galaxy. To avoid detection, he was forced to take on Avon's identity so thoroughly that he cannot revert to his own form. Now he is finding that he took on more than he bargained for, with Avon's personality controlling his actions more often than he is comfortable with. In this story, Skaan/Avon encounters a small group of refugee Andromedans. There's some nice backstory for the Andromedans, and a very interesting foreshadowing of Gauda Prime. I liked this story very much - an interesting concept, and well-written.

Diversion - Virginia Turpin

Comedy-mystery set in the fourth season. The crew are raising money by cheating a casino. The casino has its own defences... Lightweight but entertaining.

The 2nd Season: the shows - Kathy Hanson

A selection of entertaining cartoons about the second season.

Gareth and Sheelagh Thomas interview - Kathy Hanson (mostly)

An interview with Gareth and Sheelagh during the Scorpio 3 con in 1985. Well worth reading.

The Hollow Crown - Sue Burztinski

AU vignette in which President Grant is remembering the pile of bodies she had to climb. Short but still manages to pack in some good characterisation for several characters.

Underdog - Helen Pitt

Poor Vila is being picked on by the others, who are all unpleasant people who are mean to him without reason until he gets a comedy routine partner - and then are mean to him again once he loses his partner. Yes, there's a plot in there as well somewhere, but I got so fed up with the "poor Vila" routine the first time I read this zine that I'm not going to re-read the story to remind myself what the plot actually was. There is only so much character-bashing I can take in one zine-reading session.

Journey into Mystery - Yvonne Hintz

Mystery novella, with the Liberator crew being double-crossed - and their double-crossers having problems of their own. Some minor flaws in the story, but I enjoyed it.

Jacqueline Pearce interview - Kathy Hanson (mostly)

Another interview from the Scorpio 3 con, again entertaining and informative.

The 2nd Season: Star-One-liner revisited - Kathy Hanson

I didn't find these as funny as some of Kathy's cartoons, but I did enjoy the take on the line "Fortunate, really, he'd be difficult to love."

A Nice, Secure Planet - Moira Dahlberg

A look at the rebellion from the viewpoint of an ordinary Federation citizen - and how her view changes after she experiences firsthand the Federation's ruthless ways. Her accidental involvement with the third season crew leads her to be declared a traitor without trial, leaving her no option but to find sanctuary on a non-Federation world. I liked this one, although the years since the zine was published have made the ending rather less interesting than it would have been before the flood of stories with the same theme.

Ensala - Kathy Hanson

Late in the fourth season, Avon, Dayna and Tarrant are captured by High Councillor Ensala. Ensala has a political alliance and information to offer Avon, but will Avon have the chance to take it?

The Only Reasonable Alternative - Graeme Buckley

Avon's last thoughts as he stands over Blake's dead body.

Letters Home - Lindsey Thomson

Letters from a Federation trooper to his mother. This one does a very nice job of showing how the Federation's troops believe themselves to be the good guys.


Editor/publisher: Kathy Hanson (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Date: [1986?]

xBryn Lantry, "Ekalb" (S5; A-B)
Mary Moulden, "Flotsam of War" (S4; Changeling series #2)
Virginia Turpin, "Diversion" (S4; A/ocf, V/ocf)
Sue Bursztynski, "The Hollow Crown" (alt-S3; alt-Rumours; Anna)
Helen Pitt, "Underdog" (S1?; V)
Yvonne Hintz, "Journey into Mystery" (S2)
Moira Dahlberg, "A Nice, Secure Planet" (S3; ocf)
Kathy Hanson, "Ensala" (S4)
Graeme Buckley, "The Only Reasonable Alternative" (S4; Blake; A)
Lindsay Thomson, "Letters Home" (S4; ocm)

Kathy Hanson, "D & U Looks at the 2nd Season, Part 1: The Shows" (cartoons)
Kathy Hanson (mostly), "The Scorpio 3 Interviews: Gareth Thomas and Sheelagh Wells"
Kathy Hanson (mostly), "The Scorpio 3 Interviews: Jacqueline Pearce"
Kathy Hanson, "D & U Looks at the 2nd Season, Part 2:
Star One-liners Revisited" (cartoons)
Ads for zines and clubs
"Meet the Contributors"
Kathy Hanson, "Enditorial"

Kathy Hanson front c. B, A, G
p. 2 gun in hand
p. 3 illo for "Ekalb"
p. 7 A; illo for "Flotsam"
p. 13 illo for "Flotsam"
p. 15 ocf; illo for "Diversion"
pp. 20-25 "2nd Season" cartoons
p. 26 GT and Sheelagh Wells
p. 36 A
p. 37 Anna; illo for "Hollow"
p. 39 V, dog; illo for "Underdog"
p. 44 V, dog; illo for "Underdog"
p. 59 ocs; illos for "Journey"
p. 61 ocs; illos for "Journey"
p. 73 A-O
p. 79 B; illo for "Journey"
p. 85 C; illo for "Journey"
p. 97 Jackie Pearce
pp. 104-109 "2nd Season" cartoons
p. 110 illo for "A Nice"
p. 125 A-ocf; illo for "A Nice"
p. 129 Ta; illo for "Ensala"
p. 132 A; illo for "Ensala"
p. 135 A-ocm; illo for "Ensala"
p. 140 A on GP
p. 144 illo for "Letters"
p. 147 A-C
back c. Se
Harvey Kong Tin p. 55 Liberator
p. 150 Liberator

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