Evasive Maneuvers

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Title: Evasive Maneuvers
Publisher: Tashery Shannon
Date(s): 1994
Medium: print
Fandom: Blake's 7
Language: English
External Links:
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Evasive Maneuvers is a slash 129-page Blake's 7 anthology. It has a color cover by Suzan Lovett.

zine cover by Suzan Lovett
The original art is called "Lion's Den." [1]


From the zine flyer seeking submissions:
...soliciting Blake's 7 stories. Gen, adult, /, during the series, 5th season, pre-1st season, alternate universe--all are welcome. *Evasive Maneuvers* will be a spicy variety of forays into the adventures and emotional subtleties of the Liberator and Scorpio crews. The single common theme will be the powerful web of emotions binding the characters together. I'm seeking stories that reveal unexplored aspects of these enigmatic personalities and relationships, or that trace known aspects to greater depths. Preference will be given to stories that set up new situations, while keeping the full complexity and subtlety of the characters as they are in the series. *Evasive Maneuvers* will have a color cover, half tone illustrations and decorative borders. I am soliciting art from some of the finest illustrator in fandom, and hope this zine will be exceptionally handsome, as well as a compelling read. Stories are preferred over poems. Please send only material that has not been previously published. The writing may be edited, or rewrites requested, but no changes will be made without the author's consent. Deadline: roughly September 15, 1993
From the original zine flyer:
Stories true to Blake, Avon, and crew as we know and love them in the series. Interpretations vary, but each aims for characters and plotlines with a real feel of Blake's 7.
From a 1994 ad at Lysator:
Evasive Maneuvers - 1st issue, slash-adult-gen (this issue has turned out to be mostly A/B, but with a longish A/C too). Stories by Marie Blackpool, Alicia Ann Fox, Vanessa Mullen, Catherine Salmon, Tashery Shannon, Kate Singer, The Satanic Twoba (if I've forgotten anyone, please forgive me). Color cover by Suzan Lovett in her *decadent period* - just look for the bare chested Blake and evil Avon toying suggestively with whip. You should find it on Bill Hupe's table. $18.


    • Burnt Soul (A/B) by Robin Hood
    • Fragile Perfection (A/B) by Robin Hood
    • Island of Time (A/B) by Robin Hood
    • Look at Me (A/B) by Amethyst Lane

Reactions and Reviews: The Cover

Full colour cover by Suzan Lovatt. Don't know if it has a name, I mentally call it "Lion Taming". Avon and Blake in Regency costume with Blake sprawled half undressed in a lion headed chair. To be honest, not one of my favourite pictures,and I normally love Suzan Lovatt's stuff. [2]
Apart from the cover, which shows two men in regency dress (not un-dress, you can safely read this one on the bus) there is no artwork. Presumably the men are Avon and Blake as one is dark and the other has curly hair, but the resemblance is minimal.[3]
I think it's VERY obviously Blake (Avon less so, but very obviously Blake with amazing hair and a LION chair). I also think it is hilariously overblown and brilliant in the true Suzan Lovett spirit. Very glad that I got to see this :D :D [4]

Reactions and Reviews: The Zine Contents

See reactions and reviews for Hide and Seek.
[zine]: Another one off zine. My favorite stories where Vanessa Mullen's For Nothing, Catherine Salmon's Death Duel and Tashery Shannon's story Rememberance. On a highly picky note, I would have preferred the text to be more tightly compacted, since I dislike large amounts of white space in my zines.[5]
[zine]: Evasive Maneuvers is an adult zine printed on good quality paper. Apart from the cover, which shows two men in regency dress (not un-dress, you can safely read this one on the bus) there is no artwork. Presumably the men are Avon and Blake as one is dark and the other has curly hair, but the resemblance is minimal. It is primarily B/A, and contains one long B/A story by Ms Shannon, five medium length and four short stories, and four poems. Nine of the stories focus on the relationship between Blake and Avon, one being a vampire tale, and two being alternative story lines arising from Duel (a genzine story but the feelings are implicit) and Orbit. There is one A/C and one A/T. The zine concentrates on interrelationships rather than on action adventure. The emphasis is on the feelings evoked and while some of the content is explicit there is no violence. Apart from two very short jokey piece, I enjoyed everything in this zine. All the stories are perceptive and well-developed, and the characters recognisable. In particular Tashery Shannon's long story "Remembrance" is one of the finest - and bleakest - B7 works I have read. It is subtle in its language and captures a very complex relationship with real insight. I was so gripped by its intensity that I just had to read it three times before moving on to the next page, and I'm not particularly a B/A fan. Equally bleak is the A/T story Hide and Seek by Kate Singer, an excerpt from a novella in progress but it reads perfectly well on its own. I felt quite moved by this one, despite the fact that I usually find Tarrant very tiresome. The only straight story, if you discount Ms Shannon's second story featuring Avon as solo artiste, features Avon and Cally after Anna's death. Both these and all the other stories are excellent. If you like anguish, this is a zine for you. My own favourite in B7 is Vila, who makes a negligible appearance here; nevertheless this remains one of my favourite zines. What more can I say? [6]
[zine]: This zine is predominantly slash, so non slash fans should just skip ahead. Full colour cover by Suzan Lovatt. Don't know if it has a name, I mentally call it "Lion Taming". Avon and Blake in Regency costume with Blake sprawled half undressed in a lion headed chair. To be honest, not one of my favourite pictures,and I normally love Suzan Lovatt's stuff.

If there is a general tone to this zine, I would say that it is the absence of stories that delve heavily into s and m. No loss to my mind. It's laid out with full size text and empty lines between paragraphs. A brief synopsis of some of the main stories:

Rememberence (A/B) Tashery Shanon - Avon lusts after Blake who was his lover a long time age, while Blake is wrapped up in fragmented memories of a former female lover who was mostly lost in the memory erase, and recalls nothing of Avon. Eventually Avon realises that the woman is actually himself, twisted and changed by the Federation's psch manipulators. He sets out to try and restore Blake's memory. I like this story.

Apogee (A/B) Marie Blackpool - What if it had been Blake on the shuttle in Orbit instead of Vila? While this story takes a few liberties with the properties of the shuttle, it still works very well.

To Darkness and Me (Avon/Cally) Alicia Ann Fox - I don't know where the heck this story is supposed to be going. I can't bebothred to re-read it to try and find out either.

Death Duel (gen) Catherine Salmon - What if Avon had been sent with Blake in "Duel" instead of Jenna? This one has some nice plot ideas, but is badly over romanticised (Sorry, Catherine)

For Nothing (A/B) Vanessa Mullen - After escaping from a Federation trap, Avon tries to murder Blake. Why? Can Blake do anything to stop him trying again?

The Power of Love (A/B) Catherine Salmon - vampire story. Again, too romantic for my taste. I don't mind Blake being a Vampire, but I get irritated when he and Avon pour out declarations of undying love for one another. I don't mind them being in love, I just cannot see them saying this kind of dialogue

Hide and Seek (post A/B, A/T) Kate Singer - This is the story that really made the zine for me. Tarrant makes a pass at Avon late one night, and they have a quick fling. Avon's memories are forced reluctantly back to Blake. This story is superbly written and the characters feel exactly right to me. [7]


Evasive Maneuvers is a new Blake's 7 zine, edited by Tashery Shannon, and intended in part to fill the gap left in the market now that Fire and Ice has ceased publication. Unlike Fire and Ice though Evasive Maneuvers includes slash pairings other than B/A, as well as adult and gen stories. However, B/A slash makes up about 90% of the contents of this first issue.

The first story is Remembrance by Tashery Shannon, (34 pages.) It proposes that Blake and Avon had a brief love affair while working on the Federation's matter transmission project, several years before they met up again on the prison ship heading for Cynus Alpha. Their affair occurred before Blake was arrested for the first time and had his mind wiped by the Federation. Blake hasn't only forgotten that he and Avon were once lovers, he doesn't even remember that he ever met him before. Avon, however, remembers everything and is determined to get Blake to acknowledge their relationship. But does Blake want to remember? And since their affair consisted of little more than a couple of one night stands, why did the Federation go to the trouble of not only eradicating all memory of Avon, but also of changing Blake's sexual orientation, and implanting false memories in his mind? This story is made stronger by the author not presenting the pre series relationship as a romantic idyll. Instead it is made clear that the edge of conflict and competition which characterised their later dealings was present right from the beginning, especially over Blake's political activities. The question is whether they can reclaim and fulfill the potential of that early relationship, and the ending of this tale tugs at the heartstrings.

The next story is a very short, amusing, alternative universe piece Cindervila. A fairy story in every sense of the term, in which Vila finally gets his prince.

This is followed by the only gen story, Catherine Salmon's Death Duel. (11 pages) An alternative version of the episode Duel, in which it is Avon, not Jenna, who is chosen by the Guardian to demonstrate the death of a the Guardian to demonstrate the death of a friend. Avon is furious at being used in this way, and at first denies any suggestion that he is Blake's friend. While Blake is secretly pleased by the choice. As events unfold on the planet they both have to reconsider their notions of friendship, and the meaning of the Guardian's lesson. I liked this story, and didn't feel that it lost anything by not including a sexual element in the Blake/Avon friendship.

To Darkness and To Me (10 pages) by Alicia Ann Fox, is an Avon/Cally story, set just after the episode Rumours of Death. Cally goes to Avon to offer him a little carnal comfort. There is another way of putting that, but I won't, as I can't help feeling that Cally deserved a better deal than the one she got. She convinces a totally disillusioned Avon that Blake is waiting for them somewhere and to resume the search for him. Considering what happens when they do catch up with Blake, this is a real case of the road to hell being paved with good intentions.

With For Nothing by Vanessa Mullen (15 pages) we return to B/A slash country. Avon has been missing for several days on the planet Garron. When he returns to the Liberator he attacks Blake, and it quickly becomes clear that he has been conditioned to kill Blake. A medical examination also establishes that he has been raped, bringing up memories of childhood trauma, which the Federation have linked in his mind with the child abuse charges made against Blake. This has the potential to be a moving and very powerful scenario. But the solution given in the story, that Blake should sleep with Avon for a night without having sex with him to re establish his trust is, in my opinion, far too simplistic.

The Power of Love by Catherine Salmon (10 pages) is a post Gauda Prime B/A vampire story. Now I'm a big fan of vampire stories, but this one didn't quite work for me. I felt that the story lacked detail. There are a couple of minor points I could nit-pick about, like how did the two men. both fatally wounded, escape from the Federation guards and isn't Blake just a little bit angry with Avon for shooting him? Yet what the story really needs is some explanation of how Blake became a vampire, so that the notion of Blake turning to Avon and saying "/ am immortal." isn't quite so unbelievable. However, this story does have several good points, the romance is very romantic, (though just a shade too sentimental for my taste) and the sex is very sexy, and they do end up together for all eternity.

Hide and Seek by Kate Singer (15 pages) is an excerpt from a novella she is currently writing, but the excerpt is self contained. As in Remembrance the premise includes a pre series B/A relationship, which Blake later had erased from his mind. The story also includes a much later sexual relationship between Avon and Tarrant, and the excerpt is mainly an A/T first timer. Leaving aside the sexual elements for a moment I have to say that the author's assessment of Avon's and Tarrant's friendship is totally different to my own, and I had problems with this story for that reason. Otherwise I can't fault it, the characterisation is very good, especially of Avon, and it's a powerful tale. I'd read the novella.

In Private Amusements by Tashery Shannon (3 pages) Dayna and Soolin are working late on the flight deck of Scorpio. Soolin discovers a hidden control panel, and a surveillance system which is linked to all the cabins on board. Soolin wants to find out whether Avon sleeps in the nude, and when they peep in on him they discover that he is nude, but very far from being asleep. As they watch him masturbate the women's emotions range from amusement to empathy and desire. Dayna and Soolin speculate about the nature of his sexual fantasy, but when they find out it wipes the smiles off both their faces. And the punchline is all the more effective for being given in an brief undetailed sentence.

Finally we return to B/A for the last story Apogee an alternative universe version of the episode Orbit. (20 pages) The Liberator was never destroyed, nor was Star One, and all the original crew are still together, including Blake. Therefore, the Avon who takes the shuttle to Malodaar, with Blake not Vila as his companion, is a very different man. Or is he? This story is very finely crafted, with Egrorian's pawing of a leather clad Avon, and Blake's amused and later jealous reaction to it, providing some amusing moments. My only reservation is that this story is a first timer. I can't help thinking it would have worked better as an established relationship story. The crisis onboard the shuttle would have taken on an extra emotional dimension had the men been lovers. Also I feel that if Blake and Avon were going to get together they would have done it long before Orbit, in any universe.

There is also some poetry in the zine, none of which particularly impressed me. The only artwork is the colour cover, an alternative universe eighteenth century Blake and Avon picture. It's a beautiful piece of art, but I have to say that the Avon portrait doesn't look anything like him to me.

This is a difficult zine to sum up fairly, like the curate's egg it's very good, in parts. I didn't feel that any of the other stories were quite up to the standard of Remembrance. Yet they were all well written, though I felt that a couple of them needed a bit more plot development. Aside from the Tarrant/Avon relationship in Hide and Seek I have no reservations about the characterisations.

Though my final nit-pick is that I do wish authors wouldn't refer to Avon as 'the comp tech' (as in computer technician) it really gets on my nerves. Apart from that I have no complains about layout, white space, typos etc. My favourite stories after Remembrance were Death Duel, Private Amusements and Cindervila. As I'm not especially a B/A fan I'm hoping for a wider range of pairings in the next issue, due out sometime in 1995. and I will be buying the next issue. [8]


  1. This art was for sale at Partnersrmore, Archived version
  2. Lysator, Judith P., dated July 6, 1994.
  3. from anon at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  4. comments by Aralias at Iowa Fanzine Archive (visit May 21st 2014)
  5. by Lynn W.
  6. from anon at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  7. Lysator, Judith P., dated July 6, 1994.
  8. from Late for Breakfast #24 (1995)