Careless Whispers

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Zine
Title: Careless Whispers
Publisher: Horny Press
Editor:
Author(s): S. Lewis
Cover Artist(s): Randym
Illustrator(s):
Date(s): 1992
Series?: possibly?
Medium: print zine, fanfic
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Blake’s 7
Language: English
External Links: online here
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Contents

cover by Randym

Careless Whispers is a slash Blake's 7 200-page 4th-5th season Avon/Blake novel by S. Lewis. Cover and other art by Randym. It was edited by Jennie McGrath. It won a 1993 FanQ. It is online here.

A sequel called "Paradise Lost" was planned for publication in 1993, but it is unclear if it was ever published.

From the flyer in the back of Careless Whispers: "As a sinister plot threatens the fledgling reforms brought about through Blake's government, Kerr Avon and Roj Blake must confront a personal crisis that could destroy their newly found happiness forever."

Interior Art

Sample interior art by Randym

Reactions and Reviews

Why this must be read: Or not, as the case may be. People who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing they like. I keep trying to get through the damn thing in the interests of research, and keep dropping off partway through. (Other people hate it even more than I do, but there's a contingent that reads and re-reads Careless Whispers whenever they want a three-hanky schmoopfest.) However, if what you want is an operatic bel canto version of Their Post-Gauda-Prime Luv is so Schmoopy, this is the central text. It's a happy-ending PGP AU: Blake is President of the reconstituted Federation, Avon is his chief advisor, and just like canon S1 Avon gets tired of telling Blake what a nitwit he is and decides to head out on his own. But things are never that simple, and there's palace intrigue, an assassination attempt, clinches, passionate declarations of undying love... [1]
(Raising handkerchief on stick and waving it around to attract fire while ducking)

Me?

Umm. I liked it!

But then who am I to judge. I wrote r-rated man/spaceship kink…. [2]
Some of us think it's crap but like it anyway, when we're in the mood for that sort of crap:-) [3]
I love Careless whisper. I know it's partly OOC, I know it's schmoopy as hell... But the first part, and especially the beginning is irresistible to me. I'm drawn to it again and again. Which is strange because I'm a sucker for Dark fic! [4]
I've gotten through the page 9, then had to give up. [5]
Yes, it's mush. But even I'm in the mood to read mush on occasion, and this is the mush I read. It's *good* mush. I could pick lots of holes in it (for details, see the review Anna wrote after seeing my review:-). I don't care, since however flawed it may be, it still manages to hit the spot for me when I'm in the mood for gooey angst with a happy ending. Some years after Gauda Prime, President Blake finally manages to get it together with his Chief Advisor Avon. Rapturous sex, followed by Blake doing a Henry II and having cause to regret joking, "Who will free me from this turbulent priest?" Much angst when Avon's ship is reported missing, followed by joyous reunion just in the nick of time, since in this case the would-be assassin has only managed to gravely wound Avon and strand him on an uninhabited planet, not actually kill him outright.

The paper zine includes illos by Randym. They are really not my thing, but other people seem to like them.

WARNING: if you're thinking of buying a copy of the paper zine, bear in mind that it uses a large font, double-spaced lines, and very large margins, and manages to spread some 58 000 words over 200 letter size pages. As a comparison, I have several A4 format zines of 60-70 000 words which run to less than half that page count. You will be paying postage on double the weight that might be expected for this length of story. As an example, you'd be paying around an extra pound to post it within the UK (2002 prices).

It's currently available on the Web. I prefer cellulose to CRT as a reading format, but I personally wouldn't buy a paper copy of this zine where I had to pay postage, and even "in person" I wouldn't pay more than I would normally expect to pay for a zine of that length in word count, rather than in page count. My opinion may of course change when I get old enough to want Large Print format books... [6]
If you like Careless Whispers, if reading it makes you warm and fuzzy, then you might not want to read this review. Stop now, in fact. Because this is not a reasoned critique. This is not an analytical review designed to help potential readers. This is 'Why I Hate 'Careless Whispers', In Three Thousand Five Hundred Unnecessarily Angry Words'. This is vitriolic, unfair, opinionated catharsis.

Just to get this out of the way, someone will doubtless respond with 'if you don't like it, you don't have to read it'. I know. But I found CW in the days when fanfic was a new and shiny thing to me and I wanted to read it all. Now, older and wiser, I would probably read the first page, snigger, and hit the back button. Back then, I didn't know better. Initially I hoped it would get better, and later came the horrible, irresistible compulsion to see if could get worse. And I read it again -- or parts of it -- to review it. Anyway, if you think you might be the person who reminds me that reading is voluntary, then don't forget that you don't have to read this review either.

I do not like CW. How much do I not like CW? Well, to give you an idea: generally, I think people should write what they like. Generally, I'm against book burning. But for CW I'll make an exception. In fact, if I were the Supreme Commander of Fandom, I would gather every copy, pile them up, light the match myself, scatter the ashes and sow the ground where they fell with salt so that nothing might grow there ever again. That's how much I don't like CW.....[snip]

Why? I mean, I realise that I could throw a rock a ff.net and hit a dozen far worse writers. I have nothing against fluff in principle, as anyone who has read my fiction will know. I prefer happy endings, and I enjoy a bit of angst along the way there. I like PGPs where everyone survives. I love slash.

Yet CW manages to be everything I hate in fanfiction in one far-too-long package.

Firstly, despite the reasonable spelling and grammar, the writing style causes me acute pain. It's like the genetically-engineered mutant offspring of Barbara Cartland and the Brontes' idiot sister. The language is mildly Americanised nineteenth-century romance novelesque. The sentences are convoluted and often flat-out ugly. The dialogue is contrived and incredibly stilted. I keep waiting for Avon to perch pertinaciously on Blake's knee.....[snip]

Avon suffers. Blake suffers. Avon nearly runs away, then changes his mind because He Don't Wanna Live Without His Love. They angst about Gauda Prime. Avon is on the receiving end of a man-to-man chat from Tarrant. The reader screams, "JUST FUCK ALREADY!" at the screen. Blake feels hollow and unfulfilled. Vila makes a few cryptic comments. Avon watches Blake through binoculars from his balcony, then broods some more. The angst piles up in thick drifts of sub-Bronte purple prose, and the reader thanks God that it only *feels* like the story is dragging them though every second of that ten year wait....[snip]..... [7]

References

  1. from Crack Van, posted by Exectrix, November 14, 2003
  2. from Crack Van, comment by grey bard, November 15, 2003
  3. from Crack Van, comment by Anonymous/Julia, November 15, 2003
  4. from Crack Van, comment by alllinewrites, July 19, 2005
  5. from Crack Van, comment by thornsilver, October 14, 2003
  6. from Julia Jones at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site/WebCite
  7. read the much, much longer review by Anna S. at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site/WebCite
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