(Re)Making Space for Women

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Title: (Re)Making Space for Women: A guide to f/f slash in Blake's 7 fanzines
Creator: Nova
Date(s): 2002
Medium: print
Fandom: Blake's 7
Topic: femslash
External Links:
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(Re)Making Space for Women: A guide to f/f slash in Blake's 7 fanzines is an essay by Nova published in Sleer as Folk (2002), the first all-femslash Blake's 7 zine. It discusses femslash published in printzines between the first f/f story of 1985 and 2001, based on bibliographic data compiled by Sarah Thompson.

Some Findings

  • Blake's 7 femslash is rare compared with m/m slash, with a total of 30 stories in 22 zines
  • The first f/f story was 'Changing' by Jane Carnall, published in 1985, only two years after the first m/m story; there has been at least one f/f story in most subsequent years
  • Authors who have written more than one f/f story include Jane Carnall, Bryn Lantry, Jamie Melody R., Misha, Nova & Ika
  • Jenna Stannis is the main femslashed character
  • Jenna/Cally is the most common pairing, followed by Dayna/Soolin; the only other pairings with multiple stories are Jenna/ofc & Jenna/Servalan
  • The f/f element is central in 12, an important subplot in 5 (usually to contextualise or comment on the main narrative[1]), and peripheral in 13/30 stories
  • Only 12/30 stories contain any description of f/f sex, and in 3 of these it is limited to a paragraph or less; techniques described include finger fucking (9), breast stimulation (7), cunnilingus (5), frottage (3) & dildos (2)

Excerpt

...The majority of the stories simply take f/f for granted, whether for comic or erotic purposes. Then, at the opposite end of the spectrum, there are the stories ... where f/f communicativeness is seen as the sensible alternative to m/m angst, along with the implicit feminism of the Girls Own Adventure stories, where lesbianism is one of the strategies used by the writers to position the B7 women, rather than the men, as heroes and leaders.

The Girls Own Adventure stories are the nearest thing to a definable tradition in B7 f/f slash so far. Jane Carnall's initial interventions have, either directly or indirectly, influenced Bryn Lantry's 'Tangents', Jane Mailander's 'To Shoot the Moon' and my 'Metaphorically Speaking'. A certain amount of fanon has also developed – a more hardbitten and piratical Jenna than the series allowed; an assumption that Cally's telepathy helps to overcome Jenna's resistance; a lot of drinking and the ongoing parallels between A/B and f/f. ...

However, since these thirty stories are scattered across twenty-two zines and, consequently, hard to find, f/f slash writers have had to spend a lot of time re-inventing the wheel, rather than drawing on the kind of established traditions available to m/m slash writers. So a zine like Sleer as Folk is an important innovation, giving writers and readers a chance to consider a range of f/f possibilities, consolidate the B7 f/f tradition by learning from each other's experiments with language or plot devices or the positioning of f/f within canon and, perhaps most interestingly of all, contemplate future directions.[1]

Review

Nova's, nonfiction survey of the B7 f/f field to date is an invaluable aid to those looking for more of the same and a fascinating critical analysis for those of us who've already read the stories.(Sarah Thompson)[2]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Nova (2002) 'Re(Making) Space for Women: A guide to f/f slash in Blake's 7 fanzines' Sleer as Folk 308–322
  2. Hermit.org: Sleer As Folk: Review by Sarah Thompson (accessed 28 September 2015)