Pattern Of Infinity
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 1996-09-22
Blake's 7 alternative-history zine, edited by Nicole Petty. Places Our Heros into different places in history.
Review posted to Blake's 7 mailing list Sun, 22 Sep 1996 by Kathryn A
On 29 Aug 1996, Judith Proctor wrote:
Pattern of Infinity
Well, now that I've finished reading my copy, it's time I commented, and I reckon it'll be easier to comment on Judith's comments, since she's been so thorough.
The front cover is a colour drawing by Phoenix of a very eye catching Servalan as Cleopatra and Avon as Mark Anthony.
The front cover is lovely.
Mary O'Connor's stuff is good, particularly a Jenna that she did.
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.
Yes, I'm not sure that it was necessary to show this scene, even though it was in the story. (Innocent, yes - he was about to have a bath.)
The layout of the zine is a pain - fonts shift between stories and use of right justification is inconsistent.
I wouldn't say a pain, but it is displeasing.
Universal Rebel - poem - Judith Proctor
(Hey, I get to comment on Judith's stuff - since she couldn't...) This one is very apt. It fits very well. Now, is it a filk or a poem?
If There Were Tomorrow - Susan Barrat Riaz
Avon is a Roman noble. Blake is a Briton who is imprisoned by Caesar Augustus. I liked this one. Not only did Susan manage to make sense
This was not bad. It felt a bit awkward to me, but I liked the symmetry of it.
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.
And I like good Avon/Cally romances.
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)
And it fit so well, too. Tarrant as a noble knight, rescuing his fair maid....
Merry Men - Robin Hood type poem - Judith Proctor
It should be "We're seven" not "I've seven" but that's the only error. It made me laugh, that last line.
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.
This one was dark, better written, and left a bad taste in my mouth.
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.
Didn't work for me either. The characters were just names on the paper.
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.
This one wasn't bad. Plot wasn't bad. Some good phrases (the sun was nailed to the sky, I liked that one...)
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.
This is good. This is more like it. Best one so far in the zine. Setting spot on, characters spot on, story spot on.
Hiroshima - poem reflecting 'Star One' - Judith Proctor
Perfect! Perfect! Weaving Blake's own words in with that which in our own history is as controversial as Star One. Best poem in the zine.
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.
Aw, it wasn't bad. Jacki Sleer fit right in, as did Avon. The others were pretty much ciphers though.
Urbi et Orbi - Pita Enriquez Harris
The best written story in the zine. This one makes you think. It also feels the most closely embedded in the real world.
I didn't actually feel that way - I kept on being jolted out of my suspension of disbelief by little things that didn't quite fit. I didn't actually finish this one. It was well-written, though.
Our Fears and Our Dreamings - Carol McCoy and Lorna Breshears
Set in the USA when students were protesting about the Vietnam War. Blake is a major protestor, whereas Avon just wants to get on with his studies.
This one was the best story in the zine. Puts in mind the adage, "you should write what you know". The setting felt very comfortably written, and the characterisations of Avon, Blake and Cally were perfect; I thought this was the best story even before I finished it, and then it had to go and turn tragic. Which unfortunately made it an even better story. (Heck, I would have liked it to end happily, but sometimes that just ain't to be.)
So, as a whole, I would say, Judith's poems are good, most of the stories are average, but there are a couple of really good ones. Which is, I suppose, about on par with any zine.
(There, Nicole, I been honest. But then people ought to know I usually don't rave...)