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Title: Changing
Author(s): Jane Carnall
Date(s): April 1985
Genre(s): femslash
Fandom(s): Blake's 7
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Changing is a Blake's 7 Jenna/Original Female Character story by Jane Carnall.

It was printed in "touched" #4 and is considered the first Blake's femslash published in a zine.


This story has a 1988 sequel by Carnall called Revenge for What?.

Author's Comments

In October 1985, shortly after "Changing" was written, Jane Carnall commented extensively about the May 1985 Joanna Russ' essay, Another Addict Raves About K/S, addressing Eva Stuart's review of Nome #8. Carnall cited Russ' influence in her own writing, including that of "Changing.":

Now look. Much I will take from the woman who gave me the first-ever lesbian Star Trek story, but when you criticize Joanna Russ that's 'Going Too Far. She is my hero, not only as the woman who convinced me (in a depressing period just after I'd read Mary Renault's Those Friendly Young Ladies" - for any Renault fans who haven't read it, don't - it'll give you the most unpleasant insights into that woman's mentality—which ("TFYL") had convinced me that it is impossible for lesbians to write readable stories about lesbians (I'd never read - or heard of - "Rubyfruit Jungle"). Can you wonder that I, an aspiring young lesbian writer, was feeling like the pits?) that a lesbian could write a marvellously crafted, shiningly excellent, science—fiction story about lesbians? The story was, of course, "When It Changed", a tale of Whileaway, the world without men, and I read it in 'Kindred Spirits,' of which, more later. In a sense, therefore, Ms Russ is responsible for my continuing support of "touched" - without which, I say smugly, it would have foundered in the second issue - or more than likely, would never have been launched at all. She's also directly responsible for "Changing" - whether or not she'd like the idea, I don't know.

All right, all right, I admit it - Joanna Russ is not a goddess. (Divine hero, yes, definitely,) She must, therefore, being only human - not even Vulcan - have her faults. But anyone who wrote The Female Man, and who is (to my knowledge) the first sf writer to, come out publicly, in print, as a lesbian...personally, I'm prepared to forgive her anything up to retirement. And I'd like to see the article - I don't suppose it was written specifically for a K/S zine, was it? If it was written for a non-fen feminist audience, that would explain a little crassness in the writing.

Incidentally, on one point I definitely agree with her. While feminism is not directly evident in many K/S stories, K/S and it's sister genres, Avon/Blake, Avon/Vila, Starsky/Hutch, Bodie/Doyle, etc, etc - are a unique phenomenon. While many resemble gay male porn - some at it's worst, some at its best - they are not written for a gay male audience. They are, essentially the first example we have of women's pornography. (Call it erotica if it makes you feel better.) It has long been known that straight men can be excited at the thought of two women making love. With K/S it is acknowledged that women - I include both straight and gay (though I don't pretend to understand the latter, even though it includes myself) - can be excited by two men making love. The difference is, that though to the man it does not seem to matter who the two women are, to the woman it matters very much indeed. The men must not be faceless puppets, they must be recognisable, known - they must be people, not dummies.

(It is this, and the fact that any advance in women's knowledge of themselves must be a forward step, that makes me agree with Russ, K/S, A/V, A/B, S/H, B/D - it is a form of feminist literature. Which, like all feminist literature, men are welcome to read, that they may be liberated too. [1]

Fan Comments


I'd rather stories did not end when the two new lovers hop into bed together for the first time: in-depth crew reactions stories would be welcome. In that vein: "In Porphyry" (Bryn Lantry) deals with the general climate and Blake's motivation most convincingly, or "Changing" (Jane Carnall) where Blake's prejudice turns into shared complicity with Dee and Jenna. Am I being selectively blind, or is it really a tendency, that stories involving Blake tend to be more "outside" oriented, whereas Avon/Vila stories tend to deal mostly with the both of them? This could be because Avon and Vila are mostly interested in their own survival, whereas Blake has by nature, broader aims? [2]


While all of these stories have their parallels in m/m slash, the remaining seven stories more closely resemble the sub-genre of B7 gen stories that focuses on developments in the emotional relationships between the male characters - for example, Susan Lovett's 'The Road to Hell' (A-B) or Lillian Shepherd's 'The Haunting of Haderon' (A-V). Jane Carnall's 'Changing' and its sequel 'Revenge for What?' establish the basic paradigm. The first story introduces Jenna and her lover Dee Tarrant, Del Tarrant's engineer twin, and shows them sorting out Blake's homophobia.


In most stories, I'd find it impossible to guess whether the writers would categorize their characters' overall sexual preference as lesbian, bisexual or irrelevant. Only one story - perhaps not coincidentally the first B7 f/f, jane Carnall's 'Changing' - explicitly raises the issue of sexual preference, with Blake spitting, 'I'm not a perfert' when Jenna says she wondered whether he and Avon were lovers; then struggling to come to terms with the fact that Jenna is now in love with Dee, not with him; and finally 'changing his metal [mental; the grammar is reproduced as it was in Nova's essay] images of Jenna and Dee from potentially desirable women into neuter asexuals, part maternal, part brotherly'. [3]


  1. ^ by Jane Carnall in "touched" #6 (October 1985)
  2. ^ from a fan's comments in "touched" #11
  3. ^ This story was discussed in (Re)Making Space for Women: A guide to f/f slash in Blake's 7 fanzines, an essay by Nova (2002)