May King


An adult novel by Susan Cutter. Illustrations by Val Westall. Review by Oliver Klosov. Minor spoilers.

I highly recommend "May King." Set near the beginning of 4th series, the novel chronicles the crew's attempts to purchase food supplies for Xenon Base, before they have obtained the stardrive. Soolin is chosen to negotiate with a matriarchal society on a low-tech planet, while Avon stands as her silent bodyguard. Vila has his own adventures and meets the woman of his dreams in a local inn. Dayna stands in as the Goddess Avatar for the local religion's annual fertility ceremony, which is a more complicated process than she realizes at first, and Tarrant volunteers to be their May King, hence the title. Later in the novel, Avon negotiates on his own with a patriarchal society. Rather than spoil much more, I'll just say that, as with all great plots, things go downhill rapidly and in unexpected ways before the surprising and, for me, satisfying conclusion. But, hey! Blake's 7 is like that!

This novel is one of the few I have read which gives a strong part to every B7 character, particulary Soolin and Dayna, who are often underused. In fact, this is the finest use of Dayna I have ever seen. Not only does each character have a large part, each is indubitably him- or herself. Cutter creates several memorable original characters as well, whom I was sad to leave at the end of the novel.

So far as page-turning plot goes, "May King" could have been an episode, an exceptionally good one. Then there are the sex scenes, which are the most inventive I've seen in fanfiction, and are not limited strictly to Our Heroes. Not only are the sex scenes unusual, but some of them delve into the emotional lives of the characters in intriguing new ways. So buy the zine, already!

Pairings include (don't look if you don't want to know):

D/ocm, D/?, V/ocf, S/ocm, T/ocf, A/T.

No "traditional" h/c. No s/m.

Reviewed by Helen Patrick

Um. This one's tricky... I borrowed a copy of this, and was very glad I had not bought my own, as it would have been a complete waste of money for me. And yet I think it's a good zine for those whose tastes run differently to mine.

The smut simply wasn't erotic for me, because it didn't happen to hit any of my buttons. The plot was exactly what I expected from the title, there wasn't enough of it to sustain my interest in it as a story rather than as porn, and I've read too much SF with that theme already. In short, I found it thoroughly boring. But "I found it boring" is not the same as "it's boring". It's well written, with excellent characterisation and a good share of page space for all the series 4 human crew. In particular, Dayna and Soolin get a decent amount of attention. I can see that it would be a good zine for those who don't share my "het and A/T - icky!" prejudices, and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys that area of smut. I'd say that with this one it's important to go with the reviewer whose tastes are closest to your own.

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Last updated on 03rd of June 2002.