The Last Best Hope is a genzine and complete as a novel in itself (provided you don't mind one small dangling loose end). The sequel,The Long Way Back, which I hope to reprint shortly, is a slash zine - that is to say that it features an explicit sexual relationship between Avon and Blake.
This zine has had the text revised by myself and Melody with some assistance from Vega. It's been an interesting experience as Melody and I have very different writing styles. Melody is very creative with language; I'm far more literal and worry about things like minor plot inconsistencies. Still, I hope you'll think that we've got rid of any plot problems without spoiling the wonderful flow of Melody's writing.
Persuading Val to illustrate this zine was simplicity itself. She read a copy and said, "Yes please!".
The cover art is by Caren Parnes who kindly gave permission for her beautiful cover to be reused. Sadly, I've been unable to track down an original print and have had to photocopy from the previous edition. Thanks Ruth for lending me your copy after mine got damaged while I was reading it on holiday. Moral: never take your favourite zines when camping.
Proof-reading credits go to Jennifer Moss and Vega. I couldn't have done nearly such a good job without them.
Thanks for many things go to my husband Richard, especially for doing some of the boring jobs when my health got bad.
Introduction to First Edition by Melody Clark
The author of this fan novel wishes to thank some important people who helped her loads and loads in the composition of this critter.
Thanks and love to Kathy Resch, for sainthood above and beyond the call of duty; Caren Parnes, for the wonderful, wonderful artwork on this here cover, and for reading the dreaded beast before she had a plane to catch the following morning; Alta Brewer, for reading the critter in its larval format and not throwing up; Marcy Robin, for frequent contributions of M & Ms and Coca-Cola (adrenalin and Soma, California-style); Gayle Feyrer, for insightful thoughts and comments; and the author's long suffering husband Larry. Thanks also to the Boy (AKA, the man who taught me to dehead Welsh fish), and my old buddy Aiken.
I'd also like to acknowledge two favourite fan novelists of mine who have been inspiring. One, Susan Mathews, of course. And two, Ermentrude Postelwaithe Smythe, and all her other countless pen names of distinction (come back, Ermintrude... They aren't dead... honest, they aren't!)
A quick nod of recognition to the writer of that wonderful film, "The Lion in Winter". From it I brazenly pirated a miraculous morsel of an exchange between Richard the Lion-Hearted and Prince John, which was just perfect for Avon and Vila. I could not resist. So shoot me.