|Publisher:||Bill Hupe with a cover by Leah Rosenthal, Gypsy Moth Press|
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Blakesindex is an 530-page index to Blake's 7 zines (up to 1994) edited and compiled by Bill Hupe. It was intended to be a full index of all available zines by author, title, and subject, and poetry and art, but left out many publishers including Ashton Press, Pony Press, and Wendy Rathbone. Even represented publishers' zines were incomplete listings.
- A Guide to Blake's 7, Mary A. Fall and Deb Walsh (1983)
- Blake's 7 A-Z: An Index to B7 Fiction, Emma Abraham (1984)
- Blakesindex, Bill Hupe (1996)
- A Guide to Blake's 7 Erotica, Sarah Thompson (1996)
- A Guide to Blake's Seven Genzines, Sarah Thompson (2003)
- Blake's 7 Fanzines, Archived version, Judith Proctor (2003?)
A Project in Direct Response
One fan, Sarah Thompson, was so dissatisfied with this compilation that she made one of her own.
Her project results were posted in sections on the Space City mailing list, Lysator, and in Rallying Call #19 (and perhaps later issues). The entire project was produced in hard copy and offered for sale in November 1996. See: A Guide to Blake's 7 Erotica and A Guide to Blake's Seven Genzines. These print zines won STIFfies in 1996 and 1999.
My main fannish activity lately has been a kind of busman's holiday that some of you know about already: I'm compiling a bibliography of B7 smut. This came partly out of dissatisfaction with Bill Hupe's Blakesindex, which leaves out a lot, and partly out of a need for something simple but absorbing to do when I'm not working.
Instead of playing solitaire, these days I type out lists of zine contents and alphabetize them.
The smut zines are pretty much done, with only a few exceptions that I still haven't found or found out about.
The results have been posted on Space City, and I hope to have a hard copy version for sale at Eclecticon in November, with the contents of all the B7 smut zines I could lay hands on, and an alphabetized list of stories by author. Eventually I'll tackle the gen zines in the same way, but that will be a much bigger job.
At the end of this trib I'll attach the latest version of the grand zine list, which several of you have already seen. Please let me know if you spot anything that should be corrected or added.In the meantime, just for fun, I took the smut listings and went through them to see how many pairings I could find of Blake and people other than Avon. I also left out A/B/V triangles and menages, since there are a lot of those, but I included other menage stories, orgies, etc. A few stories with more than one Blake pairing are repeated under the different headings. I arranged the stories by date, as far as possible, just to see what trends there were, if any. Here's what I found. But I make no guarantees as to the quality of these stories or the treatment of Blake! And I'm sure there must be more Blake stories— this was just the result of one quick skim, so I may easily have overlooked something.
Reactions and Reviews
[comments by Joyce Bowen]:
BLAKESINDEX (Bill Hupe, ed.) ($38) First off, it's a monumental effort and comes in at just under 500 pages. It was 5 years in the making. And now I'm going to tear it to shreds. Nope, I'm not. (Actually, according to Bill, his various puppies tore the thing to shreds.) However, it's not worth it for anyone with a memory. If it cost $20, it might be worth it - but the price (which is justified by amount of pages alone) makes it a very questionable buy. It does have a lovely Rosenthal cover. Nice.
Here are some things I find problems. Pages 426-477 lists artists. I love art, but this list is no help to me. Let's face it, if you like art, you already know where most of the great pictures are already—or what zines have nice art and what ones don't (as a general rule). It doesn't give specifics, like "great picture of Avon nude-but not complete FFN," or "Blake bonks Avon - side view," I do realize that describing pictures would add perhaps another 200 pages, and that most fans aren't very involved with the art.
Pages 335-425 lists poetry and filks - two things I don't give a hoot about. Poems are listed by titles only. There's no content description. So if you were trying to find that wonderful Lovett picture where our infamous trio are characters from "The Wizard of Oz" that goes with an hilarious poem by a certain JT, you're out of luck. (And with the "sieve" I have in my head, I can! remember if it even could be listed; I believe its in one of the later SOUTHERN SEVENS that this index doesn't cover.)
This leaves, then, 335 pages of interest to me. UNFORTUNATELY, it's impossible in five years to read all the B7 gen, adult, and slash available - and then itemize them. But looking at the zines and items listed that are used, I am absolutely dumbfounded by the omissions. There's one of the three AVON CALLINGS, 1 of the 3 FIRE & ICEs, 1 of the 8 RESISTANCES (which he consistently misspells), 5 of the 10 SOUTHERN SEVENs, 1 of the 5 DARK BETWEEN THE STARS, 7 of the 13 GAMBITs (Graham's), and 4 of the 7 POWERPLAYs. There is no DESPERADO and no MOMIADES trilogy. All of these missing zines with the exception of PWPY & the MOMIADES set are extremely easy zines to get. And all of these are B7 zines that most people have heard of.
Now, Bill does have a decent excuse—I guess. In his introduction he apologizes to various people—including Wortham and Rathbone as he says his puppies ending up making part of his research into puppy kibble. In other words, he did do a lot more reading and listings, but his dogs ate it!!! Isn't this a kid homework excuse? I've found out that you always make a hard copy of everything no matter what (and quite often I make double hard copies). That's in case the computer does something weird - which mine often does. If his hard copy got eaten, why couldn't he have gone back to his computer files and reprint them??? Did he have the bad luck to have both the hard copy and computer files destroyed??? Oh, well, I currently cannot find several addresses I need and, also, see I've managed to screw up some others addresses in my address book -so any criticism from me about organization, etc., needs to be taken with a tablespoon of salt! It's just that I really did expect Bill to do a more comprehensive job than he did.
He doesn't have RESISTANCE 2,3,4,5,6,7 or 8—BUT he has STARWYCK!!! Ok,ok, I love STARWYCK, I do - but it's just a little insignificant "footnote" when concerning B7. For those of you who have no clue, this is a K/S zine that's outrageous—imagine Kirk as Jane Eyre and Spock as Rochester and you have the plot. And it's definitely not very B7ish. Various fandoms get included in this K/S novel, one of which is B7. But as I recall, only the pictures of Blake and Avon appear. Gee, bet I could check it out in the BLAKESINDEX if I knew where to look. I don't.
Other odd things (to my way of thinking - and, of course, I realize I'm wacko in my own ways) that are included are ON Te DOUBLE 21-22 (I think for the art, maybe?), TSALTA, SPOCK 58. DANDRUFF DROPPINGS 2-8,3-1/2, and TREKCON IV THE END. These are not things most fans would have. It would be okay, though, to have these obscure things IF there weren't such OBVIOUS omissions. Plus there are so many odd things that the listing of the zines looks far more impressive than it really is. I think maybe 30 to 40 zines/items could easily be taken out and the actual B7 content lost would be small. LEDGE BETWEEN THE STREAMS? THOMAS WOLFE WAS RIGHT? These are NOT zines I've ever seen. Why didn't Bill's '%#!!" puppies chew up these odd listings instead? I doubt many would have missed them.
Now to the actual subject indexing.... Avon subject entries takes up pages 129-161, and Blake takes up 164-187. I was honestly surprised Blake had about 2/3s as many pages as Avon. (I mean surprised that Blake had that many pages.) SUBJECT HEADINGS go from "A Team" (7 listings-What?), p. 122, to "Zombies" (1), p. 337. So for me, the actual useful part of this is this 125 pages subject section. There is no "Avon-Blake" entry as if s "Blake-Avon." So I guess that's another reason Blake's pages are respectable. And, of course, it should be BLAKE first IMNSHO (in my not so humble opinion). Hupe lists 112 stories showing a Blake and Avon relationship (meant to be NON-SEXUAL), some of these being adult or slash zines. He lists 94 "B/A" stories and 8 "B/A- first time" stories. REALLY, even without having all the slash zines available, there should be more than 8 B/A first time stories. Now I haven't had a chance to double check entries - but I did notice none of the first timers are, also, listed in the B/A section. I don't know how the B-A section which includes some slash zines fits in with the B/A section. " B-A-H/C" lists 26 stories, some of them in slash zines.
IF I had had the infinite patience and time and organizational skills of Bill Hupe, I certainty would have included ALL B/A together and then repeated certain of them in some specific categories. I would not put slash or adult stories under gen headings. I checked one of the "B/A-first time" entries and it wasn't listed under "B/A," BUT it was listed under "B-A." I wouldn't do that, out of respect for prudes who don't want to read sexual or slash stories. The only clue you would have about the nature of the zine (assuming one is rather moronic - to be sure) would be to check the initial contents where type of zine is listed or to find the slash entries and see if the same story is listed there. OF COURSE, I would have included as subject headings, "Blake bashing stories," "Blake as a moron," and "Blake as an addled ninny who cannot achieve anything on his own without Avon," so that I could help me avoid these type of stories that I so intensely dislike. Then, too, someone who likes these types could use the entries as a guide to find the stories. I doubt though I could force myself to do the required reading in order to label these anti-Blake stories.
Of course, it's easy to criticize someone else's efforts. I do NOT want to take away from Bill's achievement. I'm just saying it's not worth it for the average fan, and it certainty is ONLY a starting point. Yes, I'll buy BLAKESINDEX, part 2, but I hope it includes ALL the rest of the basic zines this time. I wonder if he even plans a part 2? Perhaps someone else might do if?
Ok, I bet you're just dying to find out these things that my BLAKESINDEX tells me????
What stories have a B-A food fight? (1 story) What stories have the Andromedean Invastion [sic]? (1!!!!) What stories have B7/Cinderella? (1 It's not the one I read so I know there's two, at least.) What stories have Avon-Mentalty Unstable? (1!! HA! Give me a break, Bill! You miscounted.) What stories have Garrison's Gorillas? (1 ??? How did this get in? ts it a crossover?) What stories have Blake-Memory Loss? (1!!) What stories have Blake pregnant? (1—And last year I was frantically searching my cobwebby gray matter trying to remember this story. No lie. It's a hilarious story. I luv it.)And to find out the answers -if you care - you'll have to write me - or call me (if you're rich! I tend to chat forever on the phone since I'm always so glad to hear from another fan!! Actually it might be cheaper to buy the BLAKESINDEX.) Anyway, the BLAKESINDEX is here. I hope Bill or somebody else does complete it. With my sucko memory, I need all the help I can get.
[comments by Sarah Thompson]: I'm sorry to say this zine is a disappointment. I jumped for joy when I saw it at MediaWest. It's enticingly fat (and correspondingly expensive; I can't remember what I paid for it, but it was at least $20) and has a lovely Leah Rosenthal cover of Blake looking heroic and Avon in the background looking ambiguous. And the idea of a full index of B7 zines, with stories listed by author, title, and subject, and poetry and art indexed as well, was very appealing indeed.
Unfortunately the zine is not nearly so useful as it should have been. The main problem is the extremely eccentric selection of zines indexed. An editorial explains that this is partly because parts of the project were chewed by puppies; but I suspect that the selection was odd to begin with, even before the loss of most of the zines from Ashton Press, Pony Press, and Wendy Rathbone (major publishers of both gen and smut zines). The massive Peacock Press genzine Gambit, for example, is represented only by issues 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, and 12.
On the smut front, the zines indexed (listed on pp. 3-4) include: Aftermath 1-2; Avon Calling 2; Beyond Antares R-Rated 5 (marked M for multimedia); The Big B7 Zine; Careless Whispers; E-Man-Uelle 2, 4-7; E-Man-Uelle-- Comfort; E-Man-Uelle-- Short Stories; Fire and Ice 2; Forbidden Zone 1-2; Frisky the 13th (M); Homosapien 2 (M); Laughing Mutoid 1-5 (M); More Naughty Bits (M); Oblaque 4-5; On the Edge (M); The Other Side 7-8; Playfellows 3-5 (M); Quicksilver Rising 1, 3-4; Resistance 1; Satyrnalia (M); Thieves in Time; and Touched 5, 9. All of the above are marked "A" for adult. Also included, but not marked "A"-- which could mean an unpleasant surprise for a hapless gen fan-- are: Avon's Gadget Works; The Big Boy's Book of 1001 Things to Do with a Federation Blaster; Laidback 1; Southern Comfort 6.5; and The Unique Touch. You see what I mean about the eccentricity of the selection.
One editorial policy that I really disagree with is the inclusion of several issues of two apas: Terra Nostra Underground 1-4 (a slash apa, marked "A"), and Dandruff Droppings 2-8, 3-1/2 (the apa of the Flakey Blakey Society; not marked "A," but also contains a great deal of adult and slash material). An apa, for any of you who aren't familiar with the term, is essentially a private letter-writing club. The members send their letters to the editor, who collates them and sends everyone a copy in the form of a little zine. Only those who participate regularly (there's usually a specific rule about how often you have to contribute) get a copy. A letterzine, by contrast, is available to everyone and not just the contributors (current examples include Altazine and the Horizon letterzine; an old one was The Neutral Arbiter, which is also partially indexed in the Blakesindex).
(A historical digression: apa stands for Amateur Press Association. Apas are older than fandom; they originated as part of a hobby called Amateur Journalism which was popular in the U.S. [and perhaps elsewhere, I don't know] in the 1920s. Horror writer H. P. Lovecraft was an enthusiastic amateur journalist. Apas were subsequently adopted by literary science fiction fandom [probably in the 1940s, I'd guess] and finally by media fandom [probably in the 1970s, although that's also just a guess].)
Anyway, even though apas look like zines, and old ones sometimes appear for sale in used zine boxes, I think it's an invasion of privacy to index them in this kind of publication, especially in the case of slash apas. I don't have a problem with indexing letterzines like The Neutral Arbiter; but I think the usefulness of that is very limited, and the effort would have been better spent indexing more fiction zines.
I also question the usefulness of indexing multimedia nonfiction zines like Generic Ad Zine, Media Monitor, or Zine Scene. The main function of zines like these is to inform fans of what's currently available. Occasionally one might like to check back issues for information on out-of-print zines; but that wouldn't be necessary if only this index itself were complete!
A big problem with the indexing of the multimedia zines in general is that the entire contents were indexed, with no indication whatsoever of what is and isn't B7-related. For example, a fan looking for more B7 stories by Barbara T (an excellent writer who I recommend to your attention, if you aren't already familiar with her work) will be misled by the listing of "Do Blonds Really Have More Fun?" from Homosapien Too. It's an Eroica/U.N.C.L.E. crossover story-- fun, but nothing to do with B7. It was included only because there was B7 material by other people in the same zine.
The subject listings are what gives the zine its great bulk. An index in which one could look up stories with favorite characters or favorite themes is exactly what many fans would like to have, but this one is only partially successful. Part of the problem is that so many zines have been left out altogether. There are also some problems with the standards for indexing. For example, under "Blake Dies at Gauda Prime" only one story is listed: "Love and Necessary Discipline" by Susan Matthews! Now, this is a well-known A-T story (gen, but very intense and violent) whose only connection with Blake's death is that it takes place PGP and he is indeed dead. But that is true of many other PGP stories, so why list only this one?
Still, I think it is unlikely that anyone else is going to attempt this kind of subject listing in the foreseeable future, so we should be grateful to have it at all. It will probably be the only source of such information for a long time to come.
I personally would have preferred to see a less ambitious project, more carefully carried out. For instance, a complete index of just the Ashton Press zines (to name one prolific publisher) would have been very helpful. I would also have liked, ideally, to see the contents of each zine listed together, as well as in the separate author-title-subject listings, so that fans could decide whether they want to buy a given zine, based on its contents, or remind themselves what's in the zines they already have. Frustration over that particular problem-- while I was skimming through my own zines looking for stories of various kinds-- was precisely what got me started on my mad fit of typing.Should you buy the Blakesindex? IMO, only if you're a completist or keen on bibliography (both of which are in fact true of me, so I don't regret having it despite its shortcomings). As far as it goes, it is indeed a good source for information on favorite authors or favorite themes. Another possible approach is for several fans to buy a copy collectively and share the information. In fact, if anyone wants to know about a favorite author or some such thing, let me know and I'll check my copy and report-- but only for short things, OK? After a week of crazed typing, the urge has pretty much worn off.