Pattern of Infinity is a genzine published by Delta Dome Press. The stories in it set the Blake's 7 characters into historical settings.
The front cover is a colour drawing by Phoenix of a very eye catching Servalan as Cleopatra and Avon as Mark Anthony. The back cover is of Henry VIII by Leah Rosenthal and opinions vary as to who he's supposed to be. He just looks like King Henry to me (which may be intentional for all I know), although a friend plumped strongly for Gan.
The interior art is a mixture. There are some really lovely pictures by Mary O'Connor (especially of Cally, Jenna and Gan) and some that aren't as lovely, but still pretty good. There's a fair bit by Val Westal, although these have suffered the usual fate of photocopied pencil work and come out very black and smudgy. One of Val's is a nude of Avon, and while I'm a great fan of nude Avon's, I'm not quite sure that he belongs in a genzine, even if his leg does hide the naughty bits. Other art is by Dave Arnold, Bonnie Key (who does a very nice Vila) and Maria de la Luiz Ragis.
The layout of the zine is a pain - fonts shift between stories and use of right justification is inconsistent. I also think there's too much white space. However, on the plus side, the proof reading has been very well done. I only found two or three mistakes in the entire zine and that is an excellent achievement.
Although there is a problem with the page numbers, this is not the editor's fault and I personally think the printer should have realised there was a problem. (The page numbers were marked for the printer in a pen that is supposed not to show up when photocopied.)
Universal Rebel - poem - Judith Proctor
If There Were Tomorrow - Susan Barrat Riaz
Avon is a Roman noble. Blake is a Briton who is imprisoned by Ceasar Augustus. I liked this one. Not only did Susan manage to make sense of the complex family trees and interwoven politics surrounding Augustus, Livia, Tiberius and Julia, but she also paints a noble and honourable Blake who impresses Avon in spite of himself.
Between Two Worlds - Ann MaKannon
Avon as a Roman again, but this time residing in Britain, not Rome. Blake gets to be Welsh and a half sister to Cally. This one is an Avon/Cally romance, nicely handled, with a logical and rational Avon facing Cally who worships the Goddess and would never accept a man who did not offer love and passion.
Sir Delamere - Arthurian style poem - Judith Proctor
(I'm still trying to figure out how I came to write the only Tarrant piece in the zine - I'm not even a Tarrant fan, she says between gritted teeth)
Merry Men - Robin Hood type poem - Judith Proctor
Pirates of the Caribee - Patricia Blasi
I found this one disappointing as soon as I realised the plot. It's just an 'Orbit' rewrite set in a different period and with a slightly different ending. We see enough of those anyway.
Blake's Last Stand - Paul Ragis
Custer's last stand with Blake and Travis as Custer's brothers and the indians led by Crazy Horse Avon. This one didn't work for me. I didn't believe Custer as a total white hat when Errol Flynn played him. Neither do I see him as black and calculating as he is painted here.
Gunfight - Roland Gagne and Nicole Petty
Tarrant and Avon battle for Jenna's affections in the old west with a supporting cast of nearly everyone else. Although this isn't a bad story per se, I felt that if you had removed all the character names and recast them at random, it would probably have worked just as well. They failed to convince me as the people they were supposed to be.
Depression is More than a State of Mind - Marian Mendez
This is one I liked. Vila and Gan as a pair of thieves pick up a down and out Avon and take him to the care of Cally who runs a small mission with Blake's help. While the background to the story has echoes of 'The Way Back' (Blake was framed for something he didn't do), this is not a carbon copy story, it takes it's own way, develops the characters in ways that feel right and has an ending that I really enjoyed. There's an Avon/Cally romance and an amusing relationship between Avon and Blake. Jenna as a feisty cab driver who's in love with Blake also apealed.
Hiroshima - poem reflecting 'Star One' - Judith Proctor
The Bracelet - R. W. Grendel
Dashiell Hammett type story in which Avon as a private detective is asked to help Servalan deal with a little problem which rapidly turns out to be a big problem. I didn't like the writing style this one. At one point, the writer managed four point-of-view shifts in a single paragraph and I found that this made it very hard to identify with any of the characters. I think the whole thing would have worked much better if it had been done in the first person from Avon's point-of-view. (Hammett did it that way, didn't he?)
Urbi et Orbi - Loulou Harris
The best written story in the zine. This one makes you think. It also feels the most closely embedded in the real world. Told in the first person by Gan, he relates how he and Blake and several others travelling on a prison bus in Guatemala escape to Mexico. This story encapsulates a lot of South American politics. Blake is an Argentine who has lived most of his life in Peru and wants to go back there. Cally is indian, Gan has black blood, Vila is mixed race and Avon and Blake are pure white (thus nicely echoing the Alpha/Delta of the series in a very realistic way) I'm not sure of the exact period (I don't know my South America histry very well), but it feels like about 20 years ago. Blake is a communist (a role he has in one or two other stories in this zine, too), but while the others are on the run, they have no desire to get involved in reolution in a country where people are frequently taken by the police and never seen again. He eventually gets them to help him with one task which should be of benefit to them all.
Our Fears and Our Dreamings - Cami and Lorna Breshears
Set in the USA when students were protesting about the Vietnam War. Blake is a major protestor, wheras Avon just wants to get on with his studies. There's a lovely scene of Cally working in a cafe frequented by students and slowly falling in love with Avon, but the relationship between Avon, Cally and Blake eventually leads to tragedy.
Susan Barrett Riaz, "If There Were Tomorrow" (Roman AU,A-B)
Ann McKannan, "Between Two Worlds" (Roman AU, gen A/C)
Patricia Blasi, "Pirates of the Caribee" (pirate AU)
Paul Ragis, "Blake's Last Stand" (Western AU)
Roland Gagne & Nicole Petty, "Gunfight" (Western AU)
Marian Mendez, "Depression Is More Than a State of Mind" (1930s AU)
R. W. Grendel, "The Bracelet" (Dashiell Hammett-style AU)
Loulou Harris, "Urbi et Orbi" (AU set in present-day Latin America)
Cami & Lorna Breshears, "Our Fears and Our Dreamings" (1960s AU, gen A/C)
Judith Proctor, "The Universal Rebel"
Judith Proctor, "Sir Delamere"
Judith Proctor, "Merry Men"
Judith Proctor, "Hiroshima"
Art: Phoenix color cover A/Se as Antony/Cleopatra
Leah Rosenthal back cover Gan as Henry VIII
Bonnie Key p. 1 title page
p. 59 V; illo for "Pirates"
p. 95 applecart; illo for "Depression"
p. 104 B in hat; illo for "Bracelet"
Val Westall p. 7 A in Renaissance costume
p. 31 A in Roman costume
p. 39 nude A
p. 53 A/C
p. 56 A in cloak, with sword
p. 135 A/C; illo for "Our Fears"
p. 140 A dripping blood; illo for "Our Fears"
p. 148 B w/beard, A; illo for "Our Fears"
p. 158 A; illo for "Our Fears"
Mary O'Connor p. 13 A, Livia; illo for "If There Were Tomorrow"
p. 20 A, B; illo for "If There Were Tomorrow"
p. 70 A, V; illo for "Gunfight"
p. 75 A, B, J; illo for "Gunfight"
p. 80 C; illo for "Depression"
p. 91 G; illo for "Depression"
p. 121 B; illo for "Urbi et Orbi"
p. 126 J; illo for "Urbi et Orbi"
David Arnold p. 27 ship; illo for "If There Were Tomorrow"
p. 54 dressing table; illo for "Between Two Worlds"
p. 61 treasure chest; illo for "Pirates"
p. 110 bracelet; illo for "The Bracelet"
Maria de la Luz Ragis p. 66 illo for "Last Stand"
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last changed on 02nd of February 2003