Something Unfriendly 2

Review By CB
1990 Cathi Brown
Card cover Comb bound 268 pages

Interview by Linda Knights
Mind Tender by Sheila Paulson
Food for the Gods by Sophia F Mulvey
That's What Friends are For by Sue Williams
The Price of Friendship by Janet Walker
Flight of Destiny by Sue Williams
Resurrection by Gin Turpin
The Message by K Rae Travers
Sure as Hell by April Giordano
Invictus by Gill Grundfest
Weight of the World by Alicia Ann Fox
Time Distort by Sophia R Mulvey
Blood Bond by Kaye Dunham
Clone by Sheila Paulson
Distorted Images by Mary Gerstner
Rules, Honour and Chivalry by Cami

Inheritance by Tyndara Meffe

This zine is a bit of a mixed bag IMHO. It has a long Jabberwocky episode which will please fans of that series, one or two above average stories and the rest merely adequate. Most of them are action or moderately emotional without any real angst, Jabberwocky excepted. Gan does not appear, Blake and Cally have very little to do, and the lion's share goes to Avon and Tarrant.

The "Interview" is with Avon, who has reasons for wanting to give his version of events as the Federation finally falls apart. Archetypal Avon, rather pedestrian story.

The consistent Sheila Paulson is next with yet another enjoyable read. The 32-page "Mind Tender" is a PGP where a distressed Avon is rescued by a hairy alien, the Mind-tender of the title, and is subsequently reunited with some of his former colleagues. It's an emotional but not maudlin story where Avon has his barriers down so expect lots of hugs and other forms of fan wish fulfilment, yippee.

"Food for the Gods" is about Avon and an injured Tarrant in a cave. Not very original but okay.

The next few stories are all pretty short.

"That's what Friends are for" is a light weight shore leave tale.

"The Price of Friendship" is a sombre alternative version of what happened after Dorian's death.

"Flight to Destiny" is a two-pager about Avon and Raiker.

"Resurrection" contains a surprise on Xenon after Scorpio leaves for the last time.

Tarrant meets up with his sister in "The Message": rather melodramatic.

"Sure as Hell" shows there's life after death, in comedy anyway.

"Invictus" is a more substantial story, with a strong plot describing what happens when Avon is blinded and meets a really interesting machine intelligence.

"Weight of the World" is told by Jenna after Atlay. Blake is withdrawn, life ain't what it used to be, when Liberator gets a mysterious plea for help. An unusual conclusion for a Blake story.

"Time Distort" is a 24 page time travel story that has a host of predicable new characters for our heros to relate to. There was rather too much about the former and not enough about the latter for the story to gel.

In "Blood Bond" Avon goes down to an icy planet with a new part-mutoid crew member whom Vila has befriended. While there Avon has a moral dilemma to cope with. Quite good.

"Clone" is a 73-page episode in the Jabberwocky saga. At the start Tarrant's not himself, Blake's worried about imipak, and tensions mount; to say much more would take too long and give away half the plot. Suffice it to say that the charaters are as well drawn and the plot as skilfully plotted as ever. If you like alternative story lines the Jabberwocky series should please you. If not, note that this one takes up a lot of the zine so you may want to spend your money elsewhere.

"Distorted Images" is a staccato short in which Avon and Blake in turn give an account of the events around Gauda Prime. "Rules, Honor and Chivalry" is a long PGP Tarrant story. He gets the crew away from Gauda Prime but Dayna and Avon are badly injured. Soolin leaves for pastures new, and the rest settle on Teal where Tarrant earns money to cover the medical bills; old acquaintances show up in due course. I had trouble believing this one, not just - I hope - because I don't see Tarrant as noble but because the plot failed to convince me.

Last updated on 16th of April 2001

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