Down and Unsafe #8

Mini Review By Sarah Thompson

For Gan fans, I strongly recommend the long alternate-Cygnus Alpha story in #8.

Review By Julia Jones

The last of the Down & Unsafe zines, and another good one. 117 pages of fiction and cartoons - no interviews in this issue. One very long story at 59 pages, taking half the page count, but plenty of variety in the other stories even if that one's not to your taste.

Monologue for two - Jenny Gallagher

Short in which Vila's been dumped in a prison cell with a man called Avon, prior to being shipped out to Cygnus Alpha. Avon's not much for talking...

Flesh and blood - Heather Cosh

Avon interferes with a woman's plan to assassinate Servalan because it puts him at risk. He agrees to help her try again when she tells him what her motive is - she's Servalan's sister... Nice story for Servalan fans.

A noble gesture - Jenny Gallagher

After Gauda Prime, Jenna discovers that Avon has been brain-damaged by interrogation.

Time - Jeanne de Vore

A man lying in a minefield can think about a surprising number of things in eight seconds...

The fate that falls - Kathy Hanson

Long AU that starts with Jenna, Avon and Blake unable to control the life support systems on Liberator, and having to return to the London. The London has its own problems, because Avon left a surprise package in the computers which in combination with the damage from the debris around Liberator has left the ship crippled. Betrayal and counter-betrayal follow, and when the convicts are finally dumped on Cygnus Alpha, Avon only survives because Leylan has asked Blake to protect him - and because Vargas has decided to take Blake on as his second-in-command. Through twists and turns, most of the people who canonically get off Cygnus Alpha onto the Liberator have done so by the end of this story.

It's a refreshingly unsentimental look at the crew, and is particularly notable for making early first Avon as self-centred as he's shown in canon, without turning him into a monster. Another nice touch is the way Blake is made a good deal harder by his experiences, as he himself points out during the escape from Cygnus Alpha. The story also picks up a lot of details from the relevant episodes, weaving them into the story. And there's a good role for Gan.

Causes - Sue Bursztynski

Bran Foster is planning a rescue of his protégé, but discovers that it's already too late.

Hiatus on Gold - Margaret Lambert

Orac has lied to Avon about the Zerok currency being worthless - but he does have a very good reason for doing so.

Nightmare dreaming - Jenny Gallagher

News coverage of Blake's supposed crime gives Avon nightmares. It's up to Cally to keep him sane. Some nice characterisation.

Legends never die - Sheila Paulson

After Gauda prime, Avon has managed to find himself a comfortable, reasonably safe bolthole on a Federation-controlled world. But he can't keep himself from interfering when he sees another idealistic youjng rebel about to make a mess of things.

A love song - Lyn de Montalk

One page poem - an unnamed crew member thinking about Avon after they've made love.

There's also a selecton of cartoons, and some nice art, all by Kathy Hanson.


Editor/publisher: Kathy Hanson (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Date: April 1992

Jenny Gallagher, "Monologue for Two" (reprinted from Centero; S0; A-V)
Heather Cosh, "Flesh and Blood" (S3; A, Se)
Jenny Gallagher, "A Noble Gesture" (reprinted from Centero; S5; A-J)
Jeanne DeVore, "Time" (S2; Pressure Point; A)
Kathy Hanson, "The Fate That Falls" (alt-S1; Spacefall, Cygnus Alpha; G/Kara)
Sue Bursztynski, "Causes" (S0; B)
Margaret Lambert, "Hiatus on Gold" (S4; B, C)
Jenny Gallagher, "Nightmare Dreaming" (S1; A)
Sheila Paulson, "Legends Never Die" (S5; A)

Kathy Hanson, "Oh, Poor Jenna!" (cartoons)
Kathy Hanson, "1990 Calendar Cartoons"
"Meet the Contributors"
Kathy Hanson, "Enditorial"

Lyn de Montalk, "A Love Song"

Kathy Hanson front c. J, C
p. 1 Fed trooper
p. 2 A-V; illo for "Monologue"
p. 4 Se; illo for "Flesh"
p. 13 A-ocf; illo for "Flesh"
pp. 21-26 "Oh, Poor Jenna!"
p. 27 illo for "A Noble"
p. 30 illo for "Time"
p. 34 illo for "The Fate"
p. 70 A-V; illo for "The Fate"
p. 73 G/Kara; illo for "The Fate"
p. 88 B-G; illo for "The Fate"
pp. 93-98 "1990 Calendar Cartoons"
p. 99 B; illo for "Causes"
p. 102 C; illo for "Hiatus"
p. 114 B-A-ocm; illo for "Legends"
p. 121 Liberator
back c. Tr1

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