A Christmas Canto

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Title: A Christmas Canto
Author(s): Sally Manton
Date(s): 2000
Genre: gen
Fandom: Blake's 7
External Links: formerly online here; copy in LJ and AO3

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A Christmas Canto is a Blake's 7 story by Sally Manton. It is a pastiche-type fusion with the Dickens story, A Christmas Carol.

It was originally printed in the zine Star Four and was Sally's first Blake's 7 story.[1]

Reactions and Reviews

Another of Katy's all-time favourites. A Christmas fic written with great love for all the characters in it. Rather than simply learning the joy of Christmas, series 4 Avon is given the chance to understand his own life and what Blake means to him. The scenes of Avon observing Christmas Past are simultaneously heartwarming character pieces and exquisitely sad because our POV Avon is watching them from the outside and realising a) how little he appreciated or understood at the time and b) how bad things have become on his watch. And the scenes with Blake on GP are flat-out heartbreaking, but incredibly plausible. Fortunately the ending is uncompromisingly lovely.[2]
I've never been much for the Christmas on the Liberator sub-genre, so I approached Sally Manton's A Christmas Canto with some trepidation. Despite occasional descents into sentimentality, on the whole the story packs a poignant punch and is heartily recommended.[3]
In Christmas Canto (Sally Manton), a homage to Dickens, Avon undergoes a curious transformation and changes his attitude to Blake. Sally Manton depicts her characters with great fondness and understanding. She is also very skilful in creating atmosphere and intimating events by means of carefully chosen symbolic details.[4]
The final story, 'A Christmas Canto' by Sally Manton, is set before Warlord, and based on Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Non-humourous Christmas treatments of B7 can be difficult, in that they can get drowned in sentiment, something fatal for a B7 story. This one succeeds, in that it splashes around in sentiment, but not for too long.[5]
Sweet and sad and very well written.[6]
It's a bit late, but the first of Sally's seasonal stories is worth a mention. Oh yes. Beautiful prose and spot-on characterisation, as usual. This time, it's Avon being visited by ghosts of Christmases past and present. This one is chilling, funny and hopeful at the same time--quite a feat, knowing the characters and their natures. It's also a damn good read, whatever your preference, just because Sally has the knack of going deep inside the characters whilst still remaining true to the tone of the show itself. Dude, this is the smut fan reccing gen, you know it's got to be good;). The emotional kick is the thing, I guess, and Sally masters it perfectly, even in her early works:).[7]


  1. ^ "sallymn: BLAKES 7". Retrieved 11 September 2015. 
  2. ^ from Katy and Molly's 77+ Favourite A/B and A-B Stories, Archived version, August 5, 2013
  3. ^ by Tavia Chalcraft at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site Archived January 16, 2013 at WebCite
  4. ^ by Natasha Tuscev at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site Archived January 16, 2013 at WebCite
  5. ^ by Murray Smith at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site Archived January 16, 2013 at WebCite
  6. ^ Leia Fee. Delta Dome: My Favourite Zines (accessed 16 August 2014) Archived October 3, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Recced by Snowgrouse at Crack Van, January 4, 2006