Blake's 7

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Contents

Introduction

This fandom, like many pre-net fandoms, has a long and storied history. The show originally aired from 1978 to 1981. By the end of its first year on television, the first zines for the community were being published. Alternative Seven 1 was one of the first adult content Blake's 7's fanzines. It featuried the following stories: Lysistrate's "The Deepest Secret," Liberty Belle's "...from the Bottom Up," Anne Lewis's "The Initiation," and Robert Aries's "I Suppose it Was Inevitable." More fanzines would follow.

At the same time that fan fiction only fanzines were getting started up, fanclubs were also becoming active. In 1979, The Liberator Popular Front Newsletter was founded. This newsletter was based out of United Kingdom and ran for twenty-four volumes, eventually ceasing publication in 1986. It, like other newsletters of its day, ran some pieces of fan fiction but primarily focused on other parts of that fandom. The following year, the Horizon Newsletter was created this year. This newsletter was also based out of the United Kingdom, with over thirty-nine volumes being published. It too ran occassional pieces of fan fiction. 1981 also saw the founding of Bored without Blake’s Committee Times. 1985 saw Yoko Scrum being published. It was a newsletter, running for three editions and was based out of the United Kingdom. In the spring of 1987, Freedom City Gazette was published in the United States by Joe Nazzaro. This was a newsletter that would reference events going on in the Blake’s 7 fan fiction community. In June of 1987, The Liberator’s Log started being published. This was a newsletter for the Cyngus Alphans and would be published until 1992. Also in 1987, The System, a newsletter for The System Club based out of Australia, was first published.

By 1980, Star Trek were clearly present in this fandom and they brought with them their convention and zine know-how.

By 1981, the fandom was actively chugging along, producing fanzines such as B7 Complex #1, a Blake's 7 gen fanzine. 1982 saw Avalon's Newsletter, a Blake's 7 gen fanzine published out of the United Kingdom. Another example of a fanzine dates to 1983 with All Our Tomorrows, a Blake's 7 gen fanzine published out of the United Kingdom.

Letterzines would begin to make appearances, aiding in fannish communication and helping folks determine which fanzines they should purchase. In 1982, Centro started being published. This letterzine was edited by Nicki White out of Australia. The zine would have over seventy-five volumes.

As the fandom got bigger, it saw natural growing pains, like increased presences of Mary Sue. By 1980, the Australian component of the fandom was going through a Mary Sue phase that other communities had gone through before. This period involved the writing of a Mary Sues with these stories being published in a number of fanzines. (Sweet Mary Sue) One example dates to 1982. In November of 1982, "The Price of Freedom," by Sylvia White, was published in Orbit 1. According to Sarah Berry, this was one of "the world's longest 'Mary Sue's'."

By 1987 and until around 1992, Bryn Mawr College had an active fan fiction community using the campus's VAX network. Fandoms represented include Doctor Who, Blake's 7, Star Trek and Transformers. [1] [2][3] )

Saffic would begin to make an appearance in the United Kingdom by 1988 with "Customs," a story by Barbara Tennison. The story was published in The Unique Touch 2. It featured the Jenna/Cally pairing.

During the 1980s, multi-fandom fandom zines were circulating. If a fan wanted to read a story from their particular fandom, they may well have to read the story in a zine that contained stories outside their fandom. According to Langley, this would often gateway fans into other communities, creating in them an interest that would lead them to seek out the source material. This would help a number of fandoms including Battlestar Galactica, Blake's 7, Dark Shadows, Doctor Who, Man from UNCLE, Star Trek, Star Wars and others.

During the 1990s, a bit of a cult of personality sprung up in the community. kerravonsen on a LiveJournal comment dated June 20, 2006 described it as:

the "worshippers" tend to be much more fanatical than the actual parties of the dispute. In that particular case, it was two American BNFs versus a New Zealand fan and one of the actual actors in the series. The NZ fan got death threats, had a nervous breakdown and lost her job. The actor sailed above it all, and the BNFs are still around (though I'm not sure whether they are as Big as they were before; certainly, the fandom itself is much smaller now -- mind you, they've moved on to other fandoms themselves). [4]

By 1993, the phrase fan canon was being used on in the Blake’s 7 fan fiction community. This term was the precursor to the word fanon. Among the places it was being used was the blake7@lysator.liu.se mailing list.

In 1996, The Aquitar Files was founded Reba Bandyopadhyay and Loulou Harris. This site was created after a discussion on a Blake’s 7 fan fiction list, bemoaning the lack of a web presence for Blake's 7 fan fiction.

The Blake's 7 fandom was represented at Eclecticon 2004 with a panel dedicated to it.

The Cast

Gareth Thomas - Blake

Paul Darrow - Avon

Michael Keating - Vila Restal

Sally Knyvette - Jenna Stannis

Jan Chappell - Cally

Jacqueline Pearce - Servalan

Steven Pacey - Del Tarrent

Josette Simon - Dayna Mellanby

Glynis Barber - Soolin

Terminology

Below is a list of terms and their definitions that are used in this fan community.

This section needs more information.


Timeline

Below is a partial timeline of events that took place in this fan community.

Includes data on total stories posted to FanFiction.Net on December 28, 2006 and January 3, 2006, total of new stories added during those periods, number of LiveJournal communities and users with the fandom as an interest, number of news stories on Google, number of episodes on television in a two week period.

The Big Kerfluffle

See Blake's 7 kerfluffle.

Fan Fiction

Attitudes towards slash

During the late 1980s, this attitude of tolerance can be confirmed as a well known slasher was on Orbit’s convention committee. Paul Darrow said that he did not mind and reminded the people in question that the anti-slash position was a fictitious invention of other people in the fan fiction community.[citation needed]

Real Person Slash

At some point during this same period in the mid to late 1980s, a minor kerfluffle erupted in the community over Real Person Slash (RPS). This happened when a fan gave Paul Darrow and his wife a copy of an X rated story based on the actor.[citation needed]

Attitudes towards adult material

The actors were not all that thrilled with the adult material in the fan fiction community. They found the material to be rather embarrassing. On the whole though, they did not spend much time addressing it and were overall rather tolerant of the material.[citation needed]

Saffic

The Blake's 7 fan fiction community has had a saffic component since the mid-1980s. Material was being published in multi-fandom zines such as Sappho and other, Blake's 7 fanzines. The community seems to be unique from other slash communities at that time in that men in the fandom were encouraged to write under female pen names. According to Mary Morris on FCA-L, this men writing with female pen names had its roots in women fan readers's views on men as being unable to write female perspectives well. If a female pen name was used, the zine was much more likely to sell and the story was more likely to be read. This correlates with information dating back to the early 1990s on the big Blake's 7 fan fiction mailing list.

The Internet

LiveJournal

There is a small, dedicated community of Blake's 7 fans on LiveJournal. Below is a partial timeline of events that took place in this community.


Academics in Blake's 7

"Used to be that every list had some academic using it for papers on fandom. But that doesn't seem to be so common today. On B7 we had Lynne Cherney, Sue Clerc and Lindley Walter-Smith" KenSvhrpg on AIM

Influential Fanworks

This section needs more information.

Fandom Members

This section needs more information.

See Blake's 7 fans.

Fandom Size

The size of the active community dropped in the late 1980s/early 1990s as a result of the big kerfluffle.

May 2008

As of May 27, 2008, there are 2 fan on FanPop. [13]

Countries

External Links

See also



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