B7 Complex

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Title: B7 Complex
Publisher: Moonrise Press, Pursuit Press, see Vendredi Press
Editor(s): Deb Walsh (#1-#9), Deb Walsh and Laurie Cohen (#10-#16)
Date(s): 1981-1988
Medium: print zine
Fandom: Blake's 7
Language: English
External Links: gallery of covers here, Memories and fiction links here
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
a 1983 flyer

B7 Complex is a gen Blake's 7 anthology. It was the first Blake's 7 zine published in North America. It was also a recruitment tool to try and get American fans interested in the British TV series and its related fandom.

The primary focus of the zine throughout its run was Blake's 7, with a few crossover stories (e.g. with Max Headroom, Robin of Sherwood). It should be noted, though, that occasionally material related to other fandoms was included (specifically, Tomorrow People, Doctor Who, and The Champions).

In the mid-90s, Moonrise Press, operating under its new name Vendredi Press, republished select stories from the fanzine series under the title Avon's 8 Collected.

One Fan's Reaction

A fan in 1993 lists this series of zines on her top five favorite of all time and says:

This was everything that a single-fandom zine should be: a good introduction for people new to the series (right down to a detailed episode guide tailored to each issue's individual stories), a solid reference for people who already know it, cool stories, straightforward, economical layout. Zineds could do a lot worse than emulating B7 Complex. (It's also a reminder of things too often forgotten: that zines are for sharing ideas, not staking out territories; and that fan art doesn't have to be pretty-pretty to be spectacular.) [1]

A fan in 2016 said:

The first North American B7 zine, and a significant addition to the field from its inception. Issue #3 of this zine was so darned good-looking that it drew me into the fandom.[2]

Notes From the Publisher

Deb Walsh begins her tale of how B7 Complex, the first US Blake's 7 fanzine came about: "At the 1980 Worldcon in Boston, a small group of fans got together for a video show that featured very fuzzy, very intriguing tapes of a British science fiction show called Blake’s 7...." [3]

From there she described how her friend Mary Bloemker came away from the video parties determined to find the rest of the series. Within a few months, she had tracked down someone who had British camera copies which had been converted to NTSC. Shortly thereafter, Mary formed a group for trading the videotapes.

But, as Deb explains there was one small wrinkle: "Only one thing stood between MaryB and Blake’s 7 goodness – me. I had the only VCR in the group, so she had to hook me." [4]

It wasn't until the next convention, Lunacon, which was held the following spring, that Deb was bitten by the Blake's 7 bug: "A wiggly, staticky, barely watchable tape of “Countdown” later, and I was hooked, just as I was meant to be..... I started trading for episodes, we ramped up our Saturday evening video fests, and before long, we all were thinking stories." [5]

Still the idea for the fanzine didn't come until a few months later when, during the MediaWest*Con 1 dealers’ room breakdown, Deb and her friends started throwing out ideas for zine titles: "B7 Complex. Sounds like a vitamin. It stuck. Even if I did get the chemical model wrong on the cover art of the first issue." [6]

They quickly moved into zine production and the zine debuted at the end of the summer at Summer MediaFest, a remarkably quick turn-around from inception to production. Even the co-editing process went smoothly: "'One of the neatest aspects of that first issue of B7 Complex is that both Mary Fall (Wardell) and I started from exactly the same point – and ended at the same point – in our stories, and yet the stories are vastly different." [7]

There has been some discussion as to whether B7 Complex was the first Blake's 7 fanzine published in the US due to its inclusion of a Tomorrow People story by Mary Bloemker. Deb offers the following blunt response: "Big whoop. We had a mission, and that was to hook people on the show. We added a little sweetener to the zine to draw more readers in. It was still a B7 zine, and the first of its kind published in the US...." [8]

As to the zine's lifecycle, Deb offers the following explanation for why she ceased publication: "B7 Complex was published from 1981 – months before the fourth season debuted in the UK – through 1988. I closed after issue #16, because I was tired of pouring my energy, time, and money – lots of it – into a publication I loved doing, but that was bootlegged as soon as I could publish it...... I couldn’t afford to keep subsidizing someone else’s lifestyle, and so I withdrew from zine publishing for a few years. Pursuit Press closed its doors, only to reopen several years later as Vendredi Press, with The Manifest and Trap Open!." [9]

Issue 1

B7 Complex 1 was published in July 1981 and contains 60 pages.

The art is by Mary D. Bloemker and Deborah M. Walsh.

Regarding production: 35% reduced, offset.

The zine is online here.

front cover of issue #1, Deb Walsh: "I drew the cover on the plane ride home from MediaWest*Con." [10]
back cover of issue #1, Deb Walsh: "The New Kid on the Block" -- 4th series cast

From the editorial:

Welcome to the first of what I hope will be many issues of B7 Complex. We have the peculiar distinction of being the first North American Blake's 7 zine -- B7 material has appeared elsewhere in the U.S., but never in a zine dedicated to the show. I doubt we'll be the only one for long, though. Blake's 7 is rapidly catching the imaginations of fans across the country, and as more and more of us "gently" pressure stations to purchase broadcast rights for the series, it's only a matter of time before the show becomes available.


This issue of B7 Complex represents only the U.S. view of Blake's 7, and only from a third series perspective. I hope in the future, England, Canada, Australia, and Europe will be represented as well, and that our stories will delve more into the first and second series, too.


I hope to be able to supply television photos (telepix) to artists for illustrating future issues....

To our English readers, if our phraseology or spelling seem strange, please remember that semantic differences separate us as well as the Atlantic. We feel we've got a good handle on the characters of our "heroes," but criticism is always welcome.

  • Blake's 7 Portfolio, part 1 by Mary D. Bloemker (27)
  • The Question to the Answer, poem by Vila (36)
  • B7 Information Network: Listings of B7 clubs and zines by Mary D. Bloemker (37)
  • The staff, "Orac's key to 'You are receiving this zine because...'" (61)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

Blake's Seven is a British science fiction show that has run for four seasons. It is similar to Star Trek in that it has a strong fan following. Enough so as to bring it back for a fourth season after being cancelled. My, my, I wonder where I've heard of that happening before. Like Star Trek's spread to the Continent and beyond, Blake's Seven is slowly spreading to the United States. B7 COMPLEX has the distinction of being the first sign of the Blakp's Seven Invasion. It is the first all-Blake's Seven zine in the United States. B7 COMPLEX 1 is the creative output of three individuals: Mary Fall, Mary Bloemker, and Deborah Walsh. The zine may be small, but it is of the highest quality. The artwork is very good to excellent, and the writing is superb. The Blake's 7 Portfolio by Mary Bloemker is gorgeous. The two major pieces of fiction take place between "Death-Watch" and "Terminal." While different in style and content, both are excellent. The first major literary piece is "The Ground on Which We Die," by Mary A. Fall. This is one of the best pieces done by Mary to date. It is a tight piece with excellent characterizations. She has a strong grasp of the interplay between the characters. This grasp lends strength to the story. She takes the champion premise presented in the B7 episode "Death-Watch" and uses it to its fullest. Preceeding the story is a synopsis of the episode for those unfamiliar with it. "The Ground on Which We Die" is an excellent adventure story done totally within the universe established by the show. In fact, it shows a strong understanding of the show and its premise, which is sometimes missed by some professional writers. The next piece of literature is a vignette, also by Mary Fall. While it is short, it brings many emotions together and gives insight to the characters of Avon and Blake. If the piece were any longer, it would kill the effect. As it is, it illustrates its point quite well. The last piece of fiction is "Aftershock," by Deborah M. Walsh. Although "Aftershock" chronologically follows "Death-Watch," its storyline is not directly derived from it. The storyline is derived from a culmination of episodes and deals with emotions that have been building up over the third season. A failing of most television shows is to have a character experience a traumatic event, but in the following show(s) he/she displays no trace of the tragedy. "Aftershock" deals with the charcters' handling of their traumatic events. The main characters are Cally, Avon, and Tarrant. Their past tragedies were shown in the episodes "Childron of Auron," "Rumors of Death," and "Death-Watch," respectively. The support characters too go through reflections of past tragedies, but are not individually explored in depth, as are those of Cally and Avon. "Aftershock" takes you through the characters' dilemra and their effort to solve their problems. It is a good look into personal interactions and emotions. One question for the author - WHAT does Vila dream about? B7 COMPLEX is a must zine for the B7 fan. For those who have never heard of Blake's Seven, it might be a good introduction, but the zine assumes the reader has some previous knowledge of the series. While it contains synopses of episodes immediately related to the stories, it does not contain information about current or previous characters. If this is the first exposure to B7, this could cause some frustrations in why so-and-so/did such-and-such or who is Blake? Since the stories are all placed in the time period of the third season, who is Blake is a valid question. If you've never heard about B7 and your curiosity is killing you, you might want to get a copy of FELGERCARB 8/9 for its B7 Primer and then get B7 COMPLEX 1. If you've heard about B7, then you should get B7 COMPLEX 1.[11]

I've been after this one for a while, as it's touted as the first American B7 zine (not the first zine - which I was confused about for a while, though at 1981 it is very early), and because issue 3 has this amazing screenprinted Jenna cover. I have issue 3, but alas - it's only a photocopy :(

My copy of issue 1 is the real deal, though. While there's nothing here that I really love, I've decided to hold onto this issue because of it's historical value and the ways in which it's not like other zines that will follow, because it's so early.

It begins with an episode guide that is specific to the stories featured - mostly Death Watch. This is cool! Lots of people wouldn't have seen the VHS's at this point. It includes calligraphy headers and footers, and has images integrated into titles for the beginning of each story - which is cool! It also has 'You are receiving this zine because...' check boxes - which Fanlore tells me is a totally normal thing for zines to have. Mine has the following ticked: You're at your best when you're unconscious, You calculate risks on your fingers, You are infinitely corruptible, You're beautiful when you're angry. There's also a fanart gallery in the middle, which some good fanart and some rather random quotes. I guess they are supposed to be from series 3, and there aren't many lines about Blake in series 3, which helps to explain the weirdest one (which is Bayban talking about Blake. I probably would have gone for - Blake and the Liberator? I've been hearing reports for the last couple of years. You were magnificent.)

The font is ridiculously small and hard to read, but I guess that kept it cheap.

Let me also remind you that when this zine was written there WAS no series 4 ... although there are promo pictures, clearly, as all the artwork is based on them.

Here's what I think about the fics, although it hardly seems to matter now. If it ever did.

The Ground on Which We Die by Mary A. Wardell -- a Post Death-Watch story, which is about people trying to assassinate Tarrant to take over as champion. It's too long, but it has a nice Avon-being-clever ending. Ultimately I liked it.

Entre'acte by Mary A. Fall -- A tiny (less than one-page) fic about Avon hallucinating Blake during series 3. I'm a sucker for this shit, so obviously I liked it.

You can read it for yourself here. Rather awesomely, actually, it looks like practically the whole zine is hosted here as PDFs, so you can experience the zine... experience for yourself.

Aftershocks by Deb Walsh -- An Avon/Cally story ... which is about Cally having bad dreams, and then Avon getting telepathy! To be fair... this is probably patient zero... of a trope I have no truck with, because it isn't my pairing. It's generally retty well-written I think, just really not for me. It has explicit sex in it - it's not that sort of gen.

And that's it!

Also included in the zine is a list of all OTHER Blake's 7 zines that exist, and fanclubs etc. As you can see - more than 0, but we don't need to go onto a second page yet. I've read... Alternative Seven (bad), Standard by Seven (but a re-print, in the early years), and some reprinted vv good Lillian Shepherd from 'Liberator'. I haven't even heard of 'Spacefall' before. Even Hermit seems to only have a record that it existed... (It also seems to be down. Thank goodness for the WayBack) [12]

Issue 2

front cover of issue #2, Deb Walsh: "The Broad and the Bard"
back cover of issue #2, Deb Walsh: "The Last Laugh"

B7 Complex 2 was published in March 1982 (reprinted in 1984) and contains 99 pages.

One hundred copies were printed.

The calligraphy is by D.M. Walsh, and the art is by Robin Belyea, Mary D. Bloemker, Patricia Cash and D.M. Walsh.

The content is almost all Blake's 7, with some The Tomorrow People.

The zine is online here.

From the editorial:

It was touch and go for a while, but here we are again with issue #2 of B7 Complex. This issue has been especially fun because we have more people joining us, and reviews have begun to come in from around the world. The prognosis for B7 Complex, secure. As we print and collate this issue, plans are already underway for #3.

A lot has happened since #l. The fourth series of Blake's 7 was aired in England, between Sept, 28 and Dec. 22. The final episode, "Blake," is still sending shortwaves through fandom, and it appears that "Blake" is indeed the final episode (although there are some unsubstantiated rumors that there will be a fifth season). However, fans will continue the saga, and already there are plans in the works for a second U.S. B7 zine -- The Fifth Season, edited by several Maryland and Virginia fans. The zine will probably contain several different views of "Resurrection" -- the next step after "Blake."

As yet, there is still no news of a U.S. or Canadian buyer for Blake's 7. One possible company may be RCA's Entertainment Channel, which has first U.S. rights to all BBC programs, and is scheduled to go on-line this summer.

Also, B7 Complex is expanding its horizons to include more British science fiction. This issue, we introduce the Tomorrow People, a Thames-TV program currently airing on the Nickelodeon cable station. Next issue, we hope to include Dr, Who, as well, and perhaps some Sapphire and Steel. We would welcome submissions in these categories, and on other British series (providing that we've seen the series the submissions are based on). As with Blake's 7, we'll include pertinent episode guides for programs that have not seen nationwide distribution, or, like the Tomorrow People, have appeared only on cable.

We are also in the start-up phase of a B7 club, the Bored Without Blake (7) Committee. This will be separate from B7 Complex, but we plan a "members-only" issue of the zine sometime in the next year. This issue will showcase the talents of the club members, but will be available to everyone.

As yet, there are no definite contents for #3, with the exception of "Slippery When Wet" by Pat Cash. We (Mary F. and me) are still recovering from this issue, Beyond a doubt, "Dioscuri" and "Split Infinitive" are the most difficult stories Mary and I have ever attempted -- I think it will be some time before we have the emotional energy

to go back to our typewriters. Next week, anyway. But, a third issue will be forthcoming sometime in 1982.

  • You Are Receiving This Zine Because by the Editors (inside front cover)
  • Scorpio Rising, editorial by D.M. Walsh (4)
  • Episode Guide to this issue (how the stories in the zine relate to individual episodes) (5)
  • Blake, poem by Janet Ellicott (18)
  • Dioscuri by Mary A. Fall (previously titled "Why Else Would We Fight?") (20)
  • Good Clean Fun part one by Patricia Cash ("An offbeat examination of aggression and revenge on the starship Liberator.") (35)
  • Decision by Linda M. Lanzi (40)
  • Art Portfolio (43)
  • Reflection by Elizabeth Carleton (52)
  • Split Infinitive by D.M. Walsh (54)
  • Control Records by the staff (93)
  • Good Clean Fun part two by Patricia Cash (95)
  • The Last Stone by Mary A. Fall (99)
  • Tomorrow People Episode Guide-first season (102)
  • Rift by Mary D. Bloemker ((The Tomorrow People)) (105)
  • ORAC's Key by ORAC (inside back cover)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

[Good Clean Fun]: Back in 1985 Annie and I had just discovered the joys of BLAKE'S 7 and were reading every zine we could lay hands on that had a B7 story in it. Unfortunately, back in '85 the vast majority of B7 stories were very grim. I'm talking GRIM. This made sense, given the general overtone of the show, but it got a bit ridiculous. I guess a lot of the original B7 fen perceived the show's ending as some kind of unavoidable karma that was to be faithfully adhered to, no matter what. There were exceptions, like the superbly funny GOOD CLEAN FUN that appeared in an early issue of B7 Complex, but in general, you could count the good B7 comedy stories on the fingers of one Space Commander's hand. [13]

Note that this is actually the revised reprint edition of the zine. Apparently the original 1982 edition had slightly different contents, including an episode guide that didn't appear in the reprint. The stories are the same in both editions, though.

Overall, this was a decent, enjoyable zine. Long out of print, I assume, but definitely worth taking a look at if you can find a copy.


"Dioscuri" by Mary A. Fall: The _Liberator_ responds to a distress call from a Federation training facility whose complement of cadets has discovered that the Federation has something extremely unpleasant in store for them and has chosen to rebel. Of course, as always, it turns out to be a trap, but this time it's one that features both Travis and a disturbing face from Avon's past. An interesting story featuring a really great premise, good dialog, a strong showing from all the characters, and lots of Avon-angst. Unfortunately, the writing style, while grammatical and perfectly readable, is rather awkward and detracts quite a bit from the story's impact. (Note to aspiring writers: the word "said" is your friend. Really. Reading "Gan laughed, "Vila mourned," "Vila sighed," "Gan protested," etc., etc. used as dialog tags in the space of half a page is *really* distracting.)

"Good Clean Fun (part 1)" by Patricia Cash: Vila plays some practical jokes on Avon, and then has to endure the agony of waiting for Avon's wrath to descend upon him. Silly but fun, with some *very* amusing and memorable images.

"Split Infinitive" by Deborah M. Walsh: This is by far the longest story in the zine, but that's fine because, IMO, it's also the best. It's an "Ultraworld" AU in which Tarrant does mix up the tubes containing Avon and Cally's consciousnesses, leaving them stuck in each other's bodies. I've always liked this as a story concept, and this is a good treatment of it, albeit a somewhat dark one: both Avon and Cally suffer considerably from the experience, and the others aren't exactly having a happy time of it, either. The method they pursue to get themselves switched back again is very well thought out and believable, as is the answer to the question of who gets Cally's telepathy, making for a pretty satisfying story all the way around.

"Good Clean Fun (part 2)" by Patricia Cash: More silliness as Avon uses his considerable technical skills to extract his revenge on Vila.

"The Last Stone" by Mary A. Fall: Brief missing scene from "Terminal" as Avon goes down to look for Cally's body. Familiar territory, but not too badly done.


"Decision" by Linda M. Lanzi: A poem from Vila's POV as he contemplates leaving the rebel life for a nice, safe, boring planet. Excellent Vila-voice, and, unlike the majority of fan poetry (or even poetry in general, really) it works quite well for me, probably because there's no attempt to force it to rhyme.

"Reflection" by Elizabeth Carleton: Another poem, this one featuring Avon angsting over Anna. Not as good as the Vila one, IMO, but not bad, probably because it doesn't rhyme, either, but does display a pretty good feel for the rhythm of words.


Quite a bit of artwork in here, both illos for specific stories and a few stand-alone pieces. Artwork is by Robin Belyea, Mary D. Bloemker, Patricia Cash & Deborah M. Walsh. Some of it's not really to my taste, and some of it's quite good. There is an "art portfolio" section featuring portraits of several characters with relevant quotes from the show which is nicely done and attractively laid out.

Non-B7 content:

There is also a "Tomorrow People" story in here ("Rift" by Mary D. Bloemker), and the first part of a "Tomorrow People" episode guide, but not being a "Tomorrow People" fan, I can't really comment on those.[14]

Issue 3

front cover of issue #3, silk-screened, the artist is Deb Walsh
back cover of issue #3, Deb Walsh: "Earthchild."
a page from "Slippery When Wet," a story by Pat Cash in issue #3. A fan in 2016 wrote: "Sometimes, fanfic contains those precious moments of pure joy. This is one of those times. “Slippery When Wet” by Pat Cash, B7 Complex #3, 1982. And proof that Tarrant-hating is a tradition going all the way back in the day." [15]

B7 Complex 3 was published in July 1982 (reprinted in July 1984) and contains 100 pages.

The zine is online here.

It has silk screened covers and silk-screened interior art. The back cover is title, ""Earthchild."

The calligraphy is by D.M. Walsh and Phred the Wonder Waxer. The art is by Mary D. Bloemker, Patricia Cash and Deborah M. Walsh.

Many years later, the cover artist, Deb Walsh explained:

I always admired the work of Connie Faddis - brilliant artist, writer, and zine editor. Her Interphase zine was legendary, and featured absolutely gorgeous silk-screened art. I never achieved the level of Faddis, but this was a fun project to do. The basic artwork was printed on the card stock, and then I cut two silk screen stencils - one for the silver ink that forms the frame, the zine title, and Jenna's necklace, and the other for the blue of the wind behind her. The theme of the silk-screened art in the zine was the four elements. Jenna was wind, Cally was fire, Dayna was water, and Soolin was earth (and the back cover).[16]

Also from the publisher many years later:

B7 Complex #3 was the most expensive of my zines to do, thanks in large part to the materials needed to silk screen color on the covers and some of the pages. The actual cost was near to $10.00 per oopy, but based on prevailing fannish trends, I sold it for $3.00. I took a bath on the zine, but I figured it wasn't my readers' responsibility to pay for my artistic experiment.[17]

Regarding the 1984 reprint, from the zine:

When B7 Complex #3 was originally printed, it was the result of a dream

I've always had in zine publishing -- to do a zine full of color and lots of artwork. Well, the artwork remains, although rearranged (this reprint differs most from its original than the others), but the color, I'm afraid does not. Unfortunately, although I realized my dream of color (via silk-screening), I also lost more money on B7 Complex #3 than I have on any other zine I've ever done -- and I've been publishing for 7 years.

So, the differences in this issue are many. I have corrected the mistake in paste- up in Sheila Paulson's story "The Invaders" so that the story is now complete. I have deleted the "Episode Guide to This Issue" and the silk-screening. The artwork is still intact, but rearranged. I have also rewritten this introduction, and included a ballot for "The Best of B7 Complex." I hope you'll fill it in and return it to me.

Historically, B7 Complex was the first issue to include B7 fiction from overseas, the first issue to be sold at a convention in England (selling out 25 copies in 4 hours at an unprecedented E5.00 per copy), and sold out in the U.S. within weeks of its publication, This is the first time since August 1982 that these stories and drawings have been available.

At the same time I was publishing B7 Complex, Sheila Willis was putting otu the first issue of Fifth Season. Sheila now has three issues behind her, and more to come. In August 1982, Blake's 7 fandom had grown sufficiently to support a full- fledged fandom -- and it's still growing.

This issue was fun to do in 1982, and I hope you'll find it fun to read [now that it's 1984].

Issue 4

front cover of issue #4
back cover of issue #4

B7 Complex 4 was published in December 1982 and contains 77 pages. It is 35% reduced, offset, and has silk-screened covers and interior art.

The art is by Mary D. Bloemker, T.J. Burnside, Elizabeth Carleton, Miriam Harvey, and Deb Walsh.

The zine is online here.

From the publisher, many years later:

With #4, I colored the boys of the Liberator, and published my first issue with sending large numbers of the zine to England for sale. Unfortunately, when I gave permission for art to be used when one of the stories was published in the UK, I didn't realize that the author was planning to publish in the UK simultaneously with the publication of my zine. B7 Complex #4 did not sell well in the UK, and I never got much in the way of money from my agent.[18]

From the editorial in the zine:

Welcome, gentle fen, to issue #4 of B7 Complex. This issue is extra special to me since we have so many new people joining us on this outing. I would like to welcome T.J. Burnside, Brenda Callagher, Sandy Hall, and Jolynn Horvath to the pages of B7 Complex, and to congratulate Liz Carleton on her first piece of published art -- what an auspicious beginning!

  • Orac's Key (inside front cover)
  • Scorpio Rising, editorial by Deb Walsh (1)
  • "You are receiving this zine because..." (3)
  • A Crush on Avon, fiction by Sandy Hall (mid S1; A-J) (5)
  • Mask of Janus, fiction by Brenda Callagher (late S2; B-hc) (17)
  • Art Portfolio: Fans in Costume
    • Robin Belyea as "'Lil Vila"
    • Pat Brimer as "Madame President"
    • Liz Carleton as "The Happy Auron"
    • Pat Cash as "Jenna the Smuggler"
  • Project Aeolis, fiction by Brenda Callagher (early S4; Ta-hc) (37)
  • Holiday Carols, filks by JoLynn Horvath
    • Avon's Christmas Dream, to the tune of "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire"
    • Holiday for TravisvWinter Wonderland"
    • Bring a Torch, to the tune of "Bring a Torch Jeannette Isabella"
    • Renewal!, to the tune of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"
  • Point Of Departure, fiction by Mary D. Bloemker (Avon's 8 universe, sequel to "The Ultimate Resurrection Story" in the previous issue ) (73)

Issue 5

front cover of #5, Deb Walsh: "Family Portrait"
back cover of #5, Tomorrow People

B7 Complex 5 was published in March 1983 and is 64 pages long.

It is 23% reduced. The art is T.J. Burnside, Miriam Harvey, and Deb Walsh.

From the publisher many years later:

At this point, you can see the recurring theme of my art only on the cover. That was less about having access to other artists - I knew everyone who was doing B7 at the time - and more about having an idea in my head of what I wanted the zine to look like.[19]

From the zine's editorial:

Well, here we are again. Issue #5. For a TV show that still hasn't hit the States, Blake's 7 fandom is doing very well. This year, in addition to the issues of B7 Complex, we'll be seeing more of Fifth Season, a B7 fanzine published by the members of the fan club, Scorpio, and B7 stories in Errantry, Baselines and Starlines. And of course, there's probably some more material brewing out there as well. The World SF con in Baltimore, Constellation, promises to include even more B7 fan activity -- if you haven't been planning to go, I recommend it. Negotiations have been underway to gain official BBC permission for Blake's 7 to be placed on the program, and there will be lots of unofficial activities, as well.

From the zine's editorial:

You may notice that this issue is a lot slimmer than the previous three. There are two very good reasons for this: a) lack of available cash to do a large zine (I finance 90% 0f the printing out of my own pocket, and hope I can break even with sales); and b) lack of submissions. At the moment, we haven't got anything in the backlog, and the prospects for
  1. 6 on are looking rather bleak. So, if you'd like to see another issue of B7 Complex (and I hope you do),let's hear from you! Ideally,I would like to do a double issue, #6/7, for either Washington Media Fest (end of July) or Constellation (beginning of September) to celebrate our second anniversary, but that will take a lot of material. And since this double issue ]celebrate two years of continuous Blake's 7 publishing in the U.S., I'd like for it to represent as many fans as possible. So, if you're working on something, or have something you'd like to find a home for -- send it in! The deadline for #6/7 will be the beginning of June, and the rewrite deadline will be the beginning of July. If you have something in the making, drop me a line, since it's possible that publication could be delayed as late as October, for Galacticon in London.

From the zine's editorial, some commentary on the writers:

Joining us for the first time (and hopefully not the last) is Kathy Hintze. Kathy will have stories appearing in both Fifth Season #2 and Errantry #1 (as a matter of fact, I illustrated her story for Errantry, "Jewel of Death" ..). A prolific and fast improving author, I'm sure we'll all be seeing a lot more of Kathy's fine work.


Sheila Paulson returns this issue with "Puppets". As her first foray into the world of third season, Sheila's done a lovely job. Sheila will also have stories appearing in Errantry and Fifth Season, and has a story appearing in Starlines. Like Kathy, Sheila is also prolific and talented, and I'm sure we'll all be reading her B7 material for some time to come.

Issue 6/7

front cover of issue #6/7
back cover of issue #6/7

B7 Complex 6/7 is a collection of 12 stories and is 148 pages long. It was published in May 1984. It also has a Dr. Who and a The Champions story.

The zine is online here.

In 1984, there was a proposal in Universal Translator #22 for a special supplement for issue #6/7. It was to be called "The Nightwatch Supplement.": "Submissions needed for this 'adults only' issue. Mature fiction only, please."

From the publisher, many years later:

This would end up being the last issue of B7 Complex for a couple of years. I still really like this issue - if this had been the last, I'd have been okay with that.[20]

The zine's dedication:

Special thanks to Cherry Steffey and Nancy Kolar, for schlepping this zine with them to cons, to Kathy Hintze for outstanding service in the zero hour, to Mary Bloemker for invaluable help and support, and to our talented contributors and patient readers. This issue of B7 Complex is affectionately dedicated to Blake's 7 fans everywhere, for their support, energy and unflagging devotion to Terry Nation's Blake's 7.

  • Like Rats in a Trap by Brenda Callagher, art by Deb Walsh (5) (also in Airwaves #7 and Airwaves Blake's 7 Special)
  • Gateway by JoLynn Horvath, art by Mary Bloemker and Deb Walsh (23)
  • What is Needed by Crystal Ann Taylor (34)
  • More Luck than Logic by Cathy Lynn Goodwin and Yvonne S. Hintz, art by N.E. Kolar and Deb Walsh (also in Chronicles #9/10)(35)
  • Free of You by Crystal Ann Taylor (52)
  • Art Portfolio (53)
  • Playrebel of the Month, art by T.J. Burnside (68)
  • Market Value by Sheila Paulson, art by Walsh (69)
  • Reunion at Terminal by Kathy Hintze, art by Walsh (79)
  • A Dream to Some, a Nightmare to Others by Kathy Hintze, art by Bloemker and Walsh (92)
  • The Devil's Return (Doctor Who) by Mary A. Fall, art by R. Belyea and Walsh (122) (called "Return to Devils End" on Deb Walsh's fiction archive page)
  • Outcome (The Champions) by Patrice Heyes, art by Walsh (143)
  • art by Robin Belyea, Mary Bloemker, T.J. Burnside, Nancy E. Kolar, Linda M. Lanzi, Sheila Paulson, Deb Walsh and Sheila Willis

Issue 8

front cover of issue #8. A fan in 2016 said: "Don’t look at me, I don’t know. Why is Travis pointing at himself with his gun hand? Why the little dragon? Where did Servalan’s eyes go? Why are they in a place filled with wicker and potted plants? All these questions and more will not be answered here. It’s possible there’s a story in there that does explain it, but I haven’t gotten to it yet. I did read the one where Avon starts experiencing pregnancy symptoms, and from what else I’ve seen as I flipped through, this fanzine has all the crack I could ever want. Hence why it’s been given a spiffy new notebook cover by myself." [21]
back cover of issue #8
inside page from issue #8, the You Are Receiving This Zine Because page

B7 Complex 8 It was published in May 1986 by Pursuit Press and contains 66 pages. The art is all by Deb Walsh with one illo by Leah Rosenthal.

The zine is online here.

From the editor: "Special thanks to Mary D. Bloemker, for luring me into fandom 10 years ago, and especially for introducing me to Blake's 7 5 years ago. It's all your fault! B7 Complex #8 is dedicated to Cherry, Nancy, Jackie, and the one person I know will never read any of this!"

From the editor:

It's very difficult to write an editorial for a fanzine without sounding somehow pompous, I think. I should know, too -- I've been writing editorials for nine years, give or take the odd month. And two years off for bad behavior ...

Anyway, here we are again. A new issue of B7 Complex. I've always gotten such a kick out of presenting a new zine to the world, there's such a sense of accomplishment in holding it in my hands, skirting glances at people as they look it over for the first time . . . I've missed that in the two years I haven't been publishing, and that's a big reason why I'm back doing zines. Egoboo, pure and simple.

I hope you'll think it a worthwhile return. I'm delighted to present the first published work of Laurie E. Cohen ("The Latser Chronicles"). I find the insane machinations of the minds of Rosenthal and Wortham a sorely-needed tonic to a fandom that's begun to get a little dry at the edges. Avon's 8 comes to you courtesy of a lift in the writer's block that plagued me for years and there's more coming, next issue.

Next issue. What a lovely sound that phrase makes. Yes, there will be another issue of B7 Complex. #9 will be available at Scorpio IV, containing fiction by Alex Delicado (and scrumptious illos by Britain's Tim Pieracinni), more Avon's 8, possibly some Bizarro 7, and if all goes well, an epic of political intrigue by Laurie E. Cohen. The next issue will be a bit bigger than this one, I think. And after that? I'm considering submissions for future issues. Avon's 8 will certainly not draw to a conclusion in B7 Complex #9, and possibly not even by #10. I've no set timetable for future issues, although I'd like to get an issue out for Scorpio V. But I may do one, or even two, other issues in the meantime, depending on the amount of submissions I receive and my own inclination.

You'll notice that B7 Complex is no longer available by mail. That's because I find that I can never get ahead of correspondence, and having it pile up on me only depresses me. So, I'm avoiding the problem. I think I can keep up with submission correspondence. We'll see, shall we?

Enough of this meaningless natter. On with the zine. Enjoy. And see you next issue.

  • The Latser Chronicles: Chapter One by Laurie E. Cohen (The first chapter of a look at the early life of the galaxy’s most talented thief—Pre-First Series) (3)
  • The Ultimate Resurrection Story (The first chapter of ‘Avon’s 8’, reprinted from B7 Complex #3. Avon and the crew of the Liberator get a second chance—Fourth/first series) by Mary D. Bloemker (10)
  • Point Of Departure (Avon discovers a partner in his Dream—or is it a nightmare? Reprinted from B7 Complex #4—First Series) (16)
  • Diverging Pathways (A new installment of Avon’s 8, following Avon and Cally’s attempts to direct the course of their own destinies—First Series) (24)
  • Detour by Leah Rosenthal and Ann Wortham (A different approach to Blake’s 7 altogether—Second Series) (reprinted in The Bizarro Zine #3) (38)
  • On Approval by Deb Walsh (Another adventure with Avon’s 8, through which support is found in an unexpected quarter—Second Series) (40)
  • The Thought That Counts by Leah Rosenthal and Ann Wortham (Avon’s illness stems from a surprising but altogether natural source—Second Series) (59)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 8

[The Thought That Counts]: This was one of the very first stories Leah and I ever wrote together and is a sort of precursor to our later Bizarro stories. A first or second season story wherein the crew learns a little bit about Auron biology.[22]

Issue 9

front cover of issue #9
back cover of issue #9

B7 Complex 9 was published in August 1986 and contains 80 pages.

The art is by Deb Walsh, Valerie Pieracinni, and Leah Rosenthal.

The zine is online here.

From the publisher, many years later:

The covers of this issue played on the concept of Avon and Servalan as two sides of the same coin. I used ancient coins of Caesar and Cleopatra as the basis for both images. Most people missed the point, unfortunately, but as an artist, I enjoyed this.[23]

From the zine's editorial:

Five years ago, the first issue of B7 Complex was presented to an unsuspecting world. I don't feel immodest in saying that that presentation was a landmark in American Blake's 7 fandom -- as the first U.S.-based Blake's 7 fanzine, B7 Complex demonstrated that there was indeed a growing American Blake's 7 fandom, and proved that that fandom was large enough, organized enough, and creative enough to support its own print media. The fact that B7 Complex continues to exist five years later is, I think, a testament to the vitality of American Blake's 7 fandom. And the longevity of other American Blake's 7 fanzines, like Fifth Season, and the birth of new ones, like Southern Seven, is welcome proof that our fandom has and will continue not only to endure, but to grow.

I have always believed that fan fiction, by its very nature, exists in alternate universes, varying in degrees of alternity from the original. The original is the blueprint upon which all alternative universes must in some way be built, but events which diverge from the original make the stories in which those events appear different from the original. When an author begins with the question "What if?," s/he eradicates parts of the canvas of Blake's 7, and sets for her/himself the task of repainting the landscape through her/his own particular perspective. When that perspective can be reconciled with the original, when the characters "ring true," when you feel as though you're "hearing" Blake's 7 while reading something that deviates from the set pattern of the original, then I think the author has achieved a form of magic. When it is impossible to reconcile the alternate path with the original, when, as the reader, you cannot recognize the counterpart of one character in going from one "reality" to the other, then perhaps it is time for the author to shed her/himself of the original entirely and break new ground.

I think that the stories collected in this issue of B7 Complex fall into the latter category. I hadn't planned to do an issue made up entirely of alternate universes, but if I had, I would have liked to have produced this issue then. It is, I think, my favorite zine among all the zines I have published over the past nine years. I find the deliciously twisted sense of humor inherent in "The Bizarro Zone" a delightful change of pace from heavy "relationship" stories and gory "hurt-comfort." I find Alex Delicado's altered perspective of the fourth series intriguing, and full of possibilities -- and I eagerly look forward to the next installment. As for Avon's 8 -- well, I'm not sure which category that falls into, but I do know I've never enjoyed writing as much as I have while working on it.

  • Ground Zero by Deb Walsh ("The crew of the Liberator follow clues to a Federation plot against the rebellion, and Travis finds himself facing both an old foe and an old friend - an Avon's 8 story alternate second series.") (3)
  • The Bizarro Zone by Leah Rosenthal and Ann Wortham ("Malignant influences? Pesky Poltergeists? Ship out of control and computers letting you down? Who ya go gonna call?" A Bizarro Seven story, alternate second series) (reprinted in The Bizarro Zine #2) (35)
  • Bored without Blake: Travis, written and illustrated by Deb Walsh (50)
  • Bored without Blake: Servalan, written and illustrated by Deb Walsh (52)
  • Turning Point by Alex Delicado ("Following the destruction of the Liberator events travel along a new path for the crew. The future holds old and new enemies and friends alike." (alternate fourth series) (54)

Issue 10

front cover of issue #10, Deb Walsh: "Opposing Forces"

B7 Complex 10 was published in January 1987 and contains 175 pages. This issue was edited by Laurie Cohen and Deb Walsh.

The art is by Deb Walsh, Celeste Hotaling and Leah Rosenthal.

The zine is online here.

From the publisher, many years later:

One of my favorite issues, the theme was Travis and Blake as Yin and Yang. Looking back at this particular issue, I feel that my abilities as an illustrator were at their peak. Some 10+ years later, I was flipping through this issue, and I was really impressed with the quality of art. I checked the signature and was quite surprised to find my own.[24]

From the editorial by Laurie Cohen:

I'd like to thank Deb for giving me the opportunity to help with B7 Complex. It's been a lot of fun--to say nothing of educational. In fact, I've loved every minute of it (until now, anyway). I also owe Deb an enormous debt of gratitude for compelling me to finish "The Burden of Proof." I started writing this story (and 3 or 4 others) about 3 years ago and had a substantial amount 2 Greetings to one and all. (God, how predictably trite!) When Deb offered me the opportunity to become assistant editor, she neglected to tell me I'd have to write an editorial (gulp!). Oh well ... written when I ran up against a seemingly insurmountable writer's block. I was unable to finish it until Deb begged, cajoled, enticed and threatened me into doing so. For this, I can never thank her enough. Without her support and encouragement, I am certain that it would never have been finished. This issue has turned out to be basically a second season issue. Thisis not entirely coincidental -- Deb has historically been a second season fan, and I have long been interested in the Travis-Blake relationship. (And no "/"jokes, please!) However, B7 Complex encourages story and art submissions dealing with any aspect of the B7 universe, apart from the X-rated. Future issues may highlight a particular season or theme, or may be diversified. It really depends on you-- the creative talent out there.

This is an exciting time to be involved in Blake's 7 fandom, especially for the "older" fans. It's wonderful to have new fans discovering the show all the time, bringing new ideas, approaches and concepts into the fandom. I'm a tremendous fan of the "Bizarro 7" universe, and consider ourselves very lucky here at B7 Complex to have had the privilege of publishing some of the excellent stories in that continuum, including "Throwing It All Away" within this issue. It's refreshing to see humor brought into the B7 universe, as in that Wortham/Rosenthal collaboration, the Jennie Sawyer stories, the Celeste Hotaling cartoon. I believe the injection of new blood into B7 fandom came as precisely the right time, for it has revitalized a fandom which was, I fear, becoming too stagnant, at least on the creative side.

  • editorials by Laurie Cohen and Deb Walsh (1)
  • Wanted by Jenny Sawyer ("Cally is receiving mysterious transmissions daily... and Avon hates a mystery.") (S2; The Not-Ready-for-Primetime Seven universe; C/Tr; humor) (5)
  • Custody Battle by Jenny Sawyer ("Servalan deposits a present for Avon on the Liberator... and he never looked so bad!") (S2; The Not-Ready-for-Primetime Seven universe; C/Tr; humor) (16)
  • Time is a Weapon by Deb Walsh ("The crew of the Liberator race against time to secure the antidote to Darius's lethal weapon ... while Servalan and Carnell race to find the Liberator before it is lost forever.") (S2; from the Avon's 8 Universe) (27)
  • Throwing It All Away by Leah Rosenthal and Ann Wortham ("Following the loss of Gan, Blake finds himself on a spree with an unlikely drinking companion.") (S2; Bizarro Seven universe; B-Tr; humor) (reprinted in The Bizarro Zine #3) (65)
  • The Burden of Proof by Laurie Cohen ("Power struggles within the Federation bring both Blake and Travis in confrontation with their pasts, presenting an uncertain future.") (alt-S2; B-Tr) (83)
  • You Are Receiving This Zine Because

Issue 11

B7 Complex 11 was published in May 1987 and contains 98 pages. It has a front cover of Avon by Leah Rosenthal. Artwork by Leah Rosenthal, Celeste Hotaling, and Deb Walsh.

cover of issue #11, Leah Rosenthal

From the publisher:

This was a major milestone, using another artist's work on the cover. I really like this piece - Leah was better known for her cartoon style at the time, so it was nice to showcase her more traditional approach. And clearly, she nailed it.[25]

  • No Safe Harbor, fiction by Jean Graham (S5; Mirage 1) (reprinted in Mirage)
  • A Sense of Humor, fiction by Amy Whiteneck (S1)
  • Dreaming Menace, fiction by Jill Grundfest (S1)
  • Zen and the Art of Computer Maintenance, fiction by J. Holly Horsman (S1)
  • Star One, Blake Zero, fiction by Kim Wigmore (S2; humor)
  • Bored without Blake, vignette by Deb Walsh (S3; humor)
  • Down and Out, fiction by Leah Rosenthal and Ann Wortham (S5; B/Se; A-hc, continued in issue #16 with "Hawkwind," both "Down and Out" and "Hawkwind" were revised and published in 1998 as Down and Out)
  • Mutual Policy, fiction by Leah Rosenthal and Ann Wortham (S5; A-B; humor) (also in The Chronicles #34 and The Bizarro Zine #4)
  • Elegy, poem by Ann Reckner (A/Anna)
  • Incalculable, poem by Garrett Fitzgerald
  • Behind This Eye, filk by Alicia Ann Fox, to the tune of "Behind Blue Eyes"

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 12

[Down and Out]: As you like Blake on GP, have you read "Down and Out" by Wortham & Rosenthal in B7 COMPLEX #11? It begins after GP, when Servalan takes a recovered Blake and Avon, whose injuries have him in an onboard cryo unit, in a pursuit ship to return to Earth in triumph - though by a very surreptitious route. The ship crashes on an undeveloped world. She has a broken arm and the crew is dead. She grimly realizes she must awaken Blake, who is strapped down, as she'll need help in surviving until, if ever, rescue arrives.[26]

[Down and Out]: "Down and Out" in B7 Complex #11 was one of those hidden classics that leaped right off the page. Avon paralyzed, Blake mean, tough and deadly with a gun with Servalan as his huntress mate . . ay carumba! Wortham and Rosenthal know how to put on the Blake [27]

[Down and Out]:I've read and enjoyed "Down and Out" by Wortham & Rosenthal (in B7 Complex 11). That strikes me as a sinister but believable Blake. There's a companion story ("Hawkwind," in B7 Complex 16) about the concurrent adventures of Jenna and Vila, and I've heard that the authors plan eventually to write a third story and publish all of them together.[28]

Issue 12

B7 Complex 12 was published in July 1987 and contains 152 pages.

cover of issue #12, Deb Walsh

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 12

'Fresh Start' '"A nightmare." Avon's voice was incredulous. Even now, he could hardly believe that it was not in fact true, that he had not spent four years of his life among mental defectives he detested and abhorred, waging a war he had no interest in whatsoever....' It takes real style to pull this one off -- but believe it or not, 'Fresh Start' manages it. *In* character. *With* humour. And in the follow-up story, contributed by the illustrator, we even get to find out the long-term effects on the Federation!

8/10 for the stories as a pair

'Sweet Savage Soma' I had encountered before, in the Bizarro 3 zine, though I imagine this was its first appearance in print. It's still one of the better Bizarro stories. Here, Jenna reveals an unexpected taste for cheap romantic fiction, for reasons that become obvious, and Vila turns out to know a little more about it than anyone realises....


'One Can Make a Difference' is a brave experiment that doesn't quite come off. Blake attempts to get three suspicious rebel factions to work together; while the author sets out to create a selection of memorable original characters to work alongside the regulars, and simultaneously explore the practicalities of fomenting revolution beyond simply blowing things up.

Only Andrea, the enthusiastic but somewhat romantic young revolutionary, really comes across as an individual, however. Her male counterparts are ultimately fairly indistinguishable, and the plot hinges after all on blowing something up. The other problem is a slight tendency towards long explanatory digressions in the writing. There's nothing wrong as such with following your characters' train of thought, but there is more than one place in this story where it comes across as mere space-filling, or the author taking over to spell out her plot by numbers, followed by an awkward transition back to the action.

Like its illustrations, 'One Can Make a Difference' is a gallant attempt at doing something original for once, which isn't quite backed up by the necessary technical skill.


'An Evening Out can be a Terrible Thing' takes a light-hearted look at the consequences of official hospitality. In other words, it's an excuse to get Avon very, very drunk and see what comes out -- which could be a cue for maudlin disaster, but fortunately is treated here with a rather lighter touch. '"The crashes stopped." "That was a battle, Avon...."'


Sadly the same cannot be said for 'Skip to my Loo'. This is a one-joke story that milks its infantile humour for rather more than it's worth -- and, moreover, the whole thing appears to hinge on an American cultural confusion between 'lavatory' and 'bathroom'. It's not entirely unfunny, but quickly outlives its welcome.


'Bitter Wine', based around the fan-beloved concept of a secret telepathic link between Cally and Avon, could have been excruciatingly self-indulgent. But, mercifully, the author resists the temptation to wallow in hurt/comfort cliché and allows both characters to retain their dignity and independence. The result is a bleaker but more convincing story: he who drinks the bitter wine of revenge must drink alone.


'The Wizard must Die'

It is perhaps unfair to write off the 'mediaeval crossover' genre as a fan-based invention, since at least two broadcast episodes had the crew clashing with pre-industrial superstition. However, the concept of a deliberate theme-park planet doesn't really seem to fit into the bleak Federation universe, and while the detective-style plot is intricate enough, it comes across as a rushed afterthought to the 'let's dress up in mediaeval clothes' element. It also suffers from somewhat clumsy dialogue and description: 'Tarrant had been pacing the flight deck as he spoke, now he sat down next to the pretty brunette Auron, and looked at her concerned expression.'

A more experienced author might have carried this story off more successfully.


In 'Breaking Point', Vila teaches Tarrant a much-needed lesson... and if only it had stopped there, this story would have been twice as effective! Sadly, we are then treated to Vila's delusions of grandeur, in the form of an ill-written dream sequence, followed by Vila's revenge on the rest of the crew. I'm not quite sure if this is supposed to be humour, or if it's simply bad characterisation. Either way, it's a limp twist to a story that was perfectly good before it had one.


'The Bishop' is basically a nice little character piece in Vila's voice without a lot of plot implications, although the end is a touch darker. Short, but doesn't attempt to be over-ambitious.


The trouble with crossovers like 'Discoveries' is that, instead of doubling the potential readership to fans of both worlds, they end up restricting their appeal to the small number who are familiar with both. In this case, it's a Robin Hood crossover -- but a televised Robin Hood that clearly differs from any variant of the legend I know.

I'm not particularly happy with this version of Robin, nor, as I've mentioned, with mediaeval crossovers in general. The most potentially interesting part of the story is when Soolin falls in with the villain, Guy of Gisburne, and takes him aback by totally failing to behave as expected of a kidnapped maiden; judging by the advertisement for "Guy's Gang" that follows, I suspect this may be because the author has a /tendre/ for the individual in question! Otherwise, to someone who isn't familiar with the series, all the character-chewing angst is simply tedious; when we are told that Avon 'wanted to get back to a rational universe in which cause and effect worked scientifically', I'm afraid I found myself in absolute agreement with him.


In 'Many Happy Returns', the events of Gauda Prime are all a set-up -- for Avon's birthday. Admittedly, that backfires, as it were.... Very brief; mildly amusing.


But finally... oh dear, dear. 'Twice the Fool', sadly, sets off practically every fan-fiction danger signal I know. The author has resurrected Jenna, Cally, Blake and the /Liberator/ post-Gauda Prime, done an 'Avon-shot-the-clone', invoked Del Grant for a cathartic confrontation with Avon, brought in a telepathic entity to work with Cally, and had the entire crew forgiving each other (and Avon) at enormous emotional length. What's worse is that it's badly written to boot: '"It's all right, Vila," Blake comforted. "You're safe now. Cally is too. Avon...." He didn't know what to think about Avon.'

This is the sort of story that used to give fan-fiction a bad name. The author should have tried something more in scale with her talents. It's not outstandingly awful, but it doesn't come anywhere near to justifying its length, let alone its inclusion in this zine. Avoid.



'Orbit Zero', by Pat Nussmann, is the only poem worthy of note in this collection (although it's hard to judge lyrics when you don't know the tunes in question). The earlier 'Enmity' shoots itself in the foot at the very start by attempting to rhyme 'away' with 'quay', and suffers from strained rhymes thereafter; but 'Orbit Zero' demonstrates for once a really effective use of rhyme and repetition. Most fan poetry has more gush than bite. This one is notable in that it's simple and it works.


This zine starts out well, but doesn't fulfil its promise. The cover art is unadventurous but good; the interior illustrations are far from outstanding. There is some attempt to venture beyond the standard head-shots, but without a photograph to model from, the resulting figures are often distorted or out of proportion.

There are a number of good short stories, but I found too many of the long ones disappointing. The finale, occupying a third of the entire zine length, has been allotted to the weakest story in the collection -- not much of a selling point! Lack of experience among the first-time contributors also shows.

Almost twenty years on, much of this zine is of largely historical interest.[29]

"B7 complex, one of the seminal American B7 zines, continues to display its vigor in issue #12, with a wide and satisfying variety of contributors and contents. Without slighting the accomplished veterans of B7dom (also quite ably represented here), I must say I was particularly impressed by the many new names: from those new to to the craft (be it writing or illustration), to those of already-proven talent who are merely new to the subject. Welcome this warm, especially from an established and reputable zine B7 Complex should be encouraging to newcomers; and this attitude will enrich both the zine and 7 fandom in general. The hospitality of B7 complex is by no means unique; but in this issue, editorial zeal and open-mindedness has been especially well rewarded."[30]

Issue 13

front cover of issue #13

B7 Complex 13 was published in January 1988 and contains 167 pages.

From the publisher:

For years, I was convinced that the backcover of this issue was the back of everyone's heads, but apparently that was just the original concept, not what I ultimately drew. This was a fun piece, and the first pencil drawing of mine to appear on a cover.[31]

  • front cover by Deb Walsh "Triptych I"
  • Editorial (2)

First Series:

  • The Wild Child's Guide to the Kiss of Death, written and art by Celeste Hotaling (3)
  • Legend, poem by Mary Robertson (10)

Second Series:

  • Meeting Point by Vickie McManus, art by Jean Kramer. (A change of venue for an historic meeting could have altered the course of destiny.) 11)
  • Moonlighting by Jeff Morris, art by Celeste Hotaling (When Blake wants to explore the ship, Jenna's... other activities come to light.) (14)
  • Soma This, Soma That by April Giordano and Mary Gerstner (When an Auron hits the bottle, the crew hits the deck.) (18)

Third Series:

  • Dance Hall Daze by Julie A. Novak (a Black and White Blake's 7 story) (When Servalan needs an escort for an important gala, her eyes turn towar the Liberator and a certain computer technician.) (22)
  • Pieta, poem by Jacqueline Taero (36)
  • Dark Mirror, poem by Pat Nussman (37)
  • Awakening, poem by Jacqueline Taero (38)
  • Lady Anna, filk by Kim Wigmore (38)
  • Cally's Lament, pome by Jacqueline (39)
  • Link by Cindy Henry, art by Jean Kramer (In the hours after their abandonment on Terminal, Cally reaches for decisions and comfort.) (40)

Fourth Series:

  • Grace of Silence, poem by Jacqueline Taero (44)
  • Death's Company by Jean L. Stevenson (In the rubble of the Terminal base, Avon bids farewell to a treasured companion.) (45)
  • Intruder by Mary Robertson (Thanks to another unexpected inhabitant of Xenon base, Avon has a little trouble settling in.) (47)
  • Ghosts by Jeanne DeVore, art by Sheila Paulson (On an abortive mission, Avon gets an opportunity to lay old ghosts to rest.) (50)
  • The Matchmaker by Celeste Hotaling (ORAC's instinct for survival leads to some intriguing possibilities.) (61)
  • Relatively Speaking by Sheila Paulson, art by Walsh, alternate universe, sequel to "Paternity Suite," published in Return of the Seven #2 (Events on Malodaar take a different turn when Egrorian informs Avon of a startling piece of information from his prize.) (63)
  • Split Fountain by Kim Wigmore, art by Susann Molnar, multiple crossover (An accident in time and an interfering Time Lord could rewrite the present.) (81)
  • Personal Statement by Deb Walsh (91)
  • Shadows by Mary Gerstner (Avons relies heavily on the support of an old friend to see him through the bad times.) (92)

Post-Gauda Prime:

  • Shattered Phoenix by Emma Abraham, art by Walsh (Episodes 1 and 2 of a Fifth Series: see Time Distort #2 for Episodes 3 and 4, "An End and a Beginning") (Nothing is as it seems for Commissioner Sleer on Gauda Prime.) (95)
  • If This Be Madness by Sue Wells, art by Paulson (Avon has laid plans against the day when he is Sleer's captive. That day has come.) (111)
  • Condor by Carole Bede, art by J. Arlene Gogan (Help escaping Gauda Prime comes from unexpected quarter, but the price of freedom may be too great for Soolin to pay.) (116)
  • Mirage by Jean Graham (In this sequel to "No Safe Harbor" in issue #11, and the second in a new Fifth Series. Avon's search for his missing compatriots brings him up against enemies new and old, with the help coming from an unexpected quarter.) (139) (reprinted in Mirage)
  • Remembrance by Sophia R. Mulvey, art by Susann Molnar (Several years after Gauda Prime, a mysterious agent is purchasing the freedom of the Scorpio's survivors.) (155)
  • Messages from our sponsors (168)
  • You are receiving this zine because (180)

Issue 14

front cover of issue #14 -- from the publisher: "Another lovely piece by N.E. Kolar, but Blake looks sad. He must realize that B7 Complex only has two more issues before it closes down." [32]
back cover of issue #14, artist is Sheila Paulson, it is reprinted from Southern Seven #1
A fan in 2016 said: "Yes, you are seeing this. Someone, back in the day, decided to smash two 1978 properties together. In this case, it was Blake’s 7 and Elfquest, and the someone in question was Holly Hutchison (whom you will remember from the License to Steal poster in Banzine 1.) And thus the readers of B7 Complex #14 were treated to ElfSeven: A New Way. Yes, they are wolfriders. Zen was of the Sun Folk, and Servalan killed him and imprisoned his mind in the body of a wolf (now bonded to Blake.) The whole concept is ridiculous. And it is awesome, and I love it, and I want this to be a 12 volume epic sitting on my shelf next to my ElfQuest books. Thanks, Holly Hutchison! Every time I see your stuff, I’m made deliriously happy. Art and Story is by Holly Hutchison, “with the help of Kimberly Kindya and Vickie McManus.”" [33]

B7 Complex 14 was published in January 1988 and contains 120 pages. The front cover artist is Nancy E. Kolar. The back cover artist is SP.

First Series:

  • Companions for My Death by Rebecca Reeves, art by Walsh (Alone on Saurian Major, Cally struggles to rekindle the will to live) (3)
  • After the Amagon Attempt by Sue Wells (Life on the Liberator after the Amagons is complicated by a certain neckband... around Vila's neck) (9)
  • Fire Dance, poem by Mary Robertson (11)
  • I Enjoy Being a Thief, filk by Mary Robertson (11)
  • Blake's Lament, filk by Mary Robertson (12)

Second Series

  • Safer Subjects by Heather Saavedra (Dialogue on the edge of disaster) (14)
  • I Met a Boy Named Avon, filk by Tyndara Meffe and Joyce Riffle (16)
  • Travis's Lament, filk by Julie A. Nowak (17)
  • Elf Seven: A New Way (a new art-and-story saga blending Blake's 7 and Elfquest) by Holly Hutchinson, Kim Kindyas and Vickie McManus (18)
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas, filk by Kathy Coy and Cindy Henry (45)
  • It's a Wonderful Life? by Sophia R. Mulvey, art by Walsh (Vila's attempt to lift the spirits of the crew backfires, but the alternative could be worse.) (48)
  • Carol on the Liberator, filk by Mary Robertson (61)

Third Series:

  • Bartender by Pam London (Avon has made a threat to ORAC once too often and VIla takes him at his word.) (63)
  • Harbinger, poem by Liz S. (62)

Fourth Series

  • White Wedding by Meg Atkinson, art by Deb Walsh (An invitation to the wedding reveals the truth at last.) (72)

Fifth Series

  • Exiles by Jean Graham (Mirage 3) (reprinted in Mirage)

Issue 15

front cover of issue #15, Laural Virgil -- from the publisher: "It was such a thrill to have Laura's art on the cover of my zine - she remains one of my favorite artists and one of my favorite people in fandom." [34]

B7 Complex 15 was published in 1988 and is 164 pages long.

  • I Dig British Television by Evelyn Adrian and Linda Evans (filk) (2)

Pre-First Series:

  • Starfall by Lisa Millraney (3)

First Series:

  • Galactic Monotony by Cindy Henry (8)
  • No Hurry, poem by Alyns Lawchilde, art by Lynne Witten (10)
  • The Fine Art of Persuasion by Jeff Morris (11)
  • Devious Devices by Kathy Coy (12)
  • Practically an Epilogue by Kathy Coy (19)

Second Series:

  • Keeping a Straight Face by Celeste Hotaling (23)
  • More Luck than Skill by April Giordano (27)
  • One Star Lost by Sue Wells, art by Wilma Douglas (28)

Third Series:

  • B7 Delta by Pam London (sequel to "Bartender" in issue #14) (35)
  • Reflections: The Mirror's Image by Linda Knights (37)
  • Elegy, poem by Alyns Lawchilde (42)
  • Lord of the Dance by Tyndara Meffe and Joyce Riffle, art by Deb Walsh (from the "Red Queen" universe, an authorized sequel to Strategies, a Federation Press Corps) (43)

Fourth Series:

Post-Gauda Prime:

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 15

[The Fine Art of Persuasion]: I've always had a fondness for this story, in which Olag Gan actually gets to do something critical to the plot. I felt sorry for the poor guy, who was probably the worst possible choice Blake could make for his group. Gan could never do anything violent due to his limiter…so he pretty much stood around and tried to look impressive, and didn't even manage that too well. Of course, perhaps the problem was that Blake was so linear-minded he never thought of a sneaky way to turn Gan's liability into an asset….

I gave this to Deb Walsh, as I'd always had the utmost respect for her zine (B7 Complex) and treasured her friendship dearly. Little did I know it would wind up in one of the last two issues! Ah well, I did later manage to get her hooked on the Real Ghostbusters, so I was able to contribute to her subsequent RGB zine… [35]

Issue 16

front cover of issue #16, Laura Virgil
back cover of issue #16

B7 Complex 16 was published in July 1988 and is 166 pages long.

The art is by Laura Virgil, Leah Rosenthal, Wilma Douglas, and Deborah M. Walsh.

The zine's editorial:

This zine is dedicated with thanks and affection to my friends, contributors and supportive readers, without who it would have been unbearable drudgery. The issues of B7 Complex that will never be published are dedicated to the bootleggers (those who sell for profit, and those who copy because they're too cheap to pay the price of the zine legitimately), the whiners ("I sent you money for my zines two weeks ago and I haven't got them yet! I'm going to report you!"), and the assholes ("I sent you a story five weeks ago, and I don't care if you advertise 6 to 8 weeks, where's my reply?" -- this following closing ceremonies of a con on which I was a co-chairperson...) and "What do you mean, you want to change a comma in my perfect story" -- "perfect" stories are usually total crap in Blake's 7 fandom, for making B7 fandom an unpleasant place to be after 7 long years of hard work and a lot of hard-earned pleasure. It's been real.

From the publisher's website, circa 2010:

By this time, I'd been embroiled in a fight with a pair of fans from the West Coast who were bootlegging zines and selling them in quantities as "used" at conventions up and down the West Coast. I remember one fellow zined telling me that the easiest way to demonstrate that this was a lie was the condition of the binding on the zines - if the zine was stapled and the staples showed no sign of corrosion (from salt in the air), there was no way the zine was used. These people were ripping editors off at an alarming rate, but what was even more alarming was that fans didn't care. They just wanted the zine now. Unfortunately, if everyone was buying bootlegged zines from these ripoff artists, that meant they weren't buying them from the people who'd published them. In my case, that meant I didn't make back what I put into the zines, and a big chunk of the printer bill came out of my salary - I had to work overtime to pay for the zine. So, I shut the press down. I didn't mind losing money on a zine when everyone played fair, but when someone else made money based on my hard work, and I had to work overtime to make up the difference? The simplest way to avoid being bootlegged is to not publish at all, and so I closed down Pursuit Press.[36]

  • Spectres, fiction by Jean Graham (S5; Mirage 5) (reprinted in Mirage)
  • Hernia, fiction by Leah Rosenthal and Ann Wortham (S2; Bizarro 7 universe; Robin of Sherwood crossover; humor) (reprinted in The Bizarro Zine #4)
  • Afterthoughts, fiction by Vickie McManus/Alicia Ann Fox (oracne) (alt-S3)
  • Link, fiction by Alicia Ann Fox (alt-S3; A-B)
  • Thanatos, fiction by Sheila Paulson (S5; reprinted from Orbit #9)
  • Crossfire, fiction by Laura Virgil (S5)
  • Star of Morning, fiction by Irene Stubbs (S5)
  • Hawkwind, fiction by Leah Rosenthal and Ann Wortham (S5; "simul-quel" to Down and Out in B7 Complex #11; J/ocm, J/V, both "Down and Out" and "Hawkwind" were revised and published in 1998 as Down and Out)
  • Blessed Be the Memory, fiction by Thomas N. Beck (S5)
  • Fatal Hesitation, fiction by Elizabeth Jarvis (S5)
  • No Exit, fiction by Deb Walsh (S5)
  • Malodaar Regrets, poem by Elizabeth Jarvis
  • When That Light Fails, poem by Elizabeth Jarvis
  • Inheritor, poem by Elizabeth Jarvis
  • Synopsis of Death, poem by Elizabeth Jarvis


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