Aftermath (Blake's 7 essay)
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Aftermath is a January 1989 essay by Joe Nazzaro. It was printed in Freedom City Gazette #6.
The topic was fandom strife, turmoil, and The Blake's 7 War.
During a recent conversation with a friend, I had the difficult task of trying to explain what being a science fiction fan is all about. My friend, who was not a fan, was unable to understand why I devoted such a large amount of time to a seemingly mindless hobby and what I got out of it. As I recall, I wasn’t able to explain adequately the strange creature that is science fiction fandom, or, for that matter, what my part was.
Lately, I’ve given that conversation a lot of thought, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what fandom has meant to me over the last few years. On the plus side. I’ve made some very strong, lasting friendships, and had a few memorable relationships along the way as well. I’ve had the chance to sharpen my writing skills and the opportunity to produce a magazine of my own, from start to finish. I’ve met a lot of interesting people, while at the same time I’ve been able to go to many place I might otherwise never have seen. I’ve built up a lot of fine memories over the last few years, folks, and I’d like to think I’ve become a better person in some ways.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to add too many memories to that mental scrapbook lately. Over the last few months. I’ve seen friendships, and even relationships, deteriorate because of certain events in fandom. I’ve witnessed rumor and gossip carried to new heights and outright lies circulated about a number of very fine people. I’ve observed childishness and pettiness, and conventions that have been more soap-operatic than enjoyable. Speaking for myself, the last several months have found me the subject of more than one nasty rumor, several obnoxious phone calls, and a series of anonymous letters, which I now wisely discard without reading. Memories, yes, but not the sort I care to remember.
The reason I chose this subject to discuss is because, slowly but surely, I see the warmth and friendliness that drew me to Blake’s 7 fandom beginning to fade, and being replaced by an ever-thickening layer of distrust and pettiness. What used to be a most enjoyable part of my life is becoming increasingly less fun.
So where is all this leading? Truthfully, I don’t know. The one thing that keeps coming back to me is why most of us got involved in this silly business called fandom in the first place: to meet other people who share a common interest. Perhaps we should start remembering that, and concentrate on establishing some new friendships instead of destroying old ones. Perhaps it’s time to start having fun again.
A number of people have speculated that Blake’s 7 fandom may be dead within another year, that its decay may be irreversible. All I can offer is a story I once read:
Where will Blake’s 7 fandom be in 1990? In a year, a lot of things can happen. What happens next is up to us.
- A prisoner went to the king, and said that if the king would let him out of jail, he could teach the king’s horse to fly in a year. The king agreed and said that if the prisoner failed, he would be put to death. A fellow prisoner questioned his brazen cellmate, saying, "Are you crazy? You will surely be killed in a year!" The prisoner shrugged and said, "In a year, a lot of things can happen. In a year, the king may die. In a year, the horse may die. And in a year, who knows? Maybe the horse will learn to fly!"