A Friendly Drink

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Title: A Friendly Drink
Author(s): J.D. Reese
Date(s): 1990
Length: nine pages
Genre(s): femmeslash
Fandom(s): Blake's 7
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A Friendly Drink is a Blake's 7 Cally/Jenna story by J.D. Reese. It was published in Southern Comfort #5.5.

This story was discussed in Textual Poachers by Henry Jenkins.

Reactions and Reviews

In J.D.Reece’s “A Friendly Drink” (1990), Jenna becomes infuriated by the constant bickering and jousting for power between the male crewmembers and goes on a shoreleave to “let off steam.” A sympathetic Cally joins her and the women find comfort together denied them in their daily interaction with the competitive and possessive men. Reece’s descriptions capture the two women’s strength and independence, focusing on the hardness rather than the softness of their bodies <...> [1]

The first four stories in this bracket concentrate on the negotiations between the women, rather than explicit sexual description, but J.D. Reece's 'A Friendly Drink' reverses this trend. Sequentially annoyed by all the men on Liberator, except Gan, Jenna storms off to get drunk, accompanied by Cally who shames her into rescuing Vila from a bar fight, after jenna has insisted that 'You can only look out for your own'. Accepting her commonality with the crew leads Jenna to recognize and act on her attraction to Cally and the story ends with a public acknowledgment of the new relationship, when Cally says, 'Why, Avon. I like Jenna' - a presumably deliberate echo of Virginia Woolf's 'Chloe liked Olivia' in A Room of One's Own.

'Chloe liked Olivia,’ I read. And then it struck me how immense a change was there. Chloe liked Olivia perhaps for the first time in literature. Cleopatra did not like Octavia. And how completely Antony and Cleopatra would have been altered had she done so!'

<...> 'Then and Now', 'A Friendly Drink', 'Tangents' and 'Metaphorically Speaking' all use sex as a way of indicating different shifts in the relationship between Jenna and Cally.[2]

Femslash! I didn't know it was femslash when I began though because it doesn't say at the top of the fic, so it took me ages to work out whether it was a B/J or A/J or, indeed, C/J fic. I don't understand the opening and how Avon annoys Jenna (by saying that Blake is not that interested in Jenna or something?) and then some more things happen that I also don't entirely understand - C and J save V from a bar fight, and then they come back to the Liberator and have 'we're friends not lovers' sex while J is drunk. That part's quite nice. But I don't understand Jenna's emotional state for most of it.[3]


  1. ^ From Textual Poachers, the chapter "Welcome to Bisexuality, Captain Kirk": Slash and the Fan-Writing Community"
  2. ^ This story was discussed in (Re)Making Space for Women: A guide to f/f slash in Blake's 7 fanzines, an essay by Nova (2002)
  3. ^ part of a whole zine review by aralias, February 22, 2015 ather journal, Archived version