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Title: Customs
Author(s): Barbara T
Date(s): September 1988
Length: 2599 words
Genre: femslash
Fandom: Blake's 7
External Links: at AO3

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Customs is a Jenna/Cally Blake's 7 fic by Barbara T.

It was first published in The Unique Touch #2 in 1988 and is archived online.

Reactions and Reviews

Why this must be read: This fic was written in 1988 for a zine by one of the people who contributed most heavily and (I think) insightfully to the famous 1998 essay, 'Normal Female Interest in Men Bonking'. If you like femslash - well, actually, don't get excited about this fandom. This is my first rec, my first femslash rec - and my last femslash rec (but not my last rec). But I am very excited to have this one to rec first (even though, it was in a way, a quirk of its date) because while in one way it's unusual (sorry femslash), in another it demonstrates a lot of the stuff that's most exciting about B7 fic - great snarky dialogue between the ensemble, strong characterisation for all (even women!), unlikely friendship with people who go out of their way to look like jerks, and convincing world building. There's some femslash at the end and it's good and interesting femslash, but mostly this fic is a gen fic about the way the Federation looks to those inside and outside it.[1]

One of my favorite portrayals of Cally I've read. Jenna and Avon are also fantastic. It's an interesting conversation that they have, made more interesting to me by the fact that Avon finds it intriguing--nice to see him thinking, a bit, instead of just rattling off insults (although obviously there's plenty of that).[2]

Barbara T presents an unusually mischievous version of Cally in 'Customs', where Cally politely pretends to be drunk, even though Aurons aren't affected by alcohol, and takes the opportunity to argue politics with Avon and find out how Jenna feels about her, leading to a delightfully comic ending.

'Jenna decided she'd better win the war before Cally could win any more battles. "It's customary to act on drunken propositions before the drink wears off," she said, standing. "Unless you've changed you mind?"

"Never," said Cally, just as gravely, and rose to join her.'[3]


  1. ^ Crack Van, posted by Aralias, December 7, 2013
  2. ^ Crack Van, comment posted for Aralias' rec, December 9, 2013
  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)