E-Man-Uelle

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Zine
Title: E-Man-Uelle
Publisher: TASAS/Starlight
Editor(s): Fran Ward
Date(s): 1983-1987
Series?:
Medium: print zine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Blake's 7
Language: English
External Links: available here
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

E-Man-Uelle is a slash Blake's 7 anthology.

It is "the first known B7 all-slash fanzine... while badly produced and badly typed, these zines were the first to publish some B7 fan writers who later became better known in other fanzines and other fandoms: Julien, Jane Carnall, Julie Kramer, Bryn Lantry and others. These zines were stories pairing Kerr Avon with either Roj Blake (Blake/Avon) or with Vila Restal (Avon/Vila), which remain the most popular slash pairings." [1]

General Reactions and Reviews

> You know, I keep hearing E-MAN-U-ELLE mentioned in such terms of awed loathing by longtime B7 fans that I may have to track down a copy someday and see if it really *was* that bad. It's hard to believe anything could achieve the level of awfulness this one seems to be credited with, but after reading the description of that story I'm beginning to understand.

Believe me, it was worse. It's probably enjoyable as a pure turkey read--if it weren't for that the author (and editor, presumably) had an interesting take on puntuation. Apparently, they didn't believe in it. Or they felt that they were rationed, could only have a couple of periods and commas to a page and rather than make the other sentences jealous, they just randomly chose where to place them. I also seem to remember Incrdible Spontaneous Capitalisation. ("he went to the door, but Before he could open it...")

I never actually owned a copy of the zine, just borrowed it, and I have only very occassionally seen copies of it in used zine boxes -- but I have seen them including this novella. Yech. [2]

[1986 general comments on issues #1-5]: I appreciated your review [of "Contusions" in issue #5] - howled my way through it. At some point in my search for A/V last year, I came of course across E-man-uelle but I have never in my life read such a load of crap. You've got to admit, they were worth publishing just for the good laughs they 
can inspire. There are so many howlers it's hard to pick a favourite. There are, as you 
say, some flashes of utter brilliance, like Cestus' stories. But that long saga where Vila
 gets pregnant, dies, isn't dead...!! It's hilarious. Avon's tounge! What is Avon's 
tongue? Is it some new part of his anatomy we weren't privileged to see on screen? That particular typo surfaced so often I was gritting my teeth waiting for it to appear. I am very fond of my E-man-uelles now. And I hope Cestus comes up with the promised next three parts. But I equally hope the writer of "Comfort" kills 'em both off in the next issue - for good this time. There's one bit, I think it's in that particular saga, where one of the characters innocently remarks that Avon is a completely different person since he fell in love with Vila. That accorded with my opinion exactly, because I'd just been thinking that the character named Avon bore not the slightest resemblance to the Avon I remembered...

Poor old E-man-uelle, At least it tried. At least it was published, and proved that at least some people are interested in A/V stories.

About Ros Williams' stories. I have to admit, when I first read that long story that she had
 in E-man-uelle 4 or 5, it didn't make me think she was an 'obvious homophobe'. (I don't
 know her at all.) I was pissed off with Avon's behaviour, all that ridiculous guilt, and
 annoyed that he ended up with Cally, a very yukky twist to the story and totally
 unbelievable; everything was leading towards Vila, (not just because I'm biased towards
 A/V - I don't think!) but I felt the author had kind of ducked out at the last moment. If 
you've read any of her other stories, it seems to me she isn't really homophobic, more entranced by the idea but unable to cope with it. In at least one other of her stories (a humourous one) she has Avon believing Blake is in love with him and although once again she ducks out and makes them all perfectly uprightly heterosexual at the end, I don't think her treatment of gay sex is homophobic. I might be wrong! Pity - she's a good writer. [3]

From an Unknown Issue

"Avon—Towards Destiny" by Sue Man Chew (Avon/OFC, Avon/Cally, Avon violently rapes a woman in brothel, has an affair with Cally. This story was also printed in 1985 in an issue of Beyond Antares R-Rated #5, with the note it was in an unspecified issue of "E-Man-Uelle."

A Response Fanwork

"E-Man-Uelle's Revenge," a satirical four-page mini-zine was printed in "touched" #6. The subject: M. Le Fay's five-part story "Companions." See that page for more.

Issue 1

E-Man-Uelle 1 was published in 1983.

Fiction:

  • M. Le Fay, "Companions"
  • M.C. & K.F., "Comfort 1"
  • Topaz, "Dream Come True"
  • M.C. & K.F., "Phoenix and the Dragon"
  • M.C. & K.F., "Comfort 2"

Poetry:

  • M. Le Fay, "A Cry from the Heart"

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

Companions, the first story, is (by comparison with the rest) moderately successful. It's set immediately post-'Gold': Vila is worried about Avon's sanity and says a bit more than is sensible. About four hours later Avon works out what Vila meant and calls him in for a chat. It ends predictably, with excruciatingly poor dialogue and improbable characterisation. Antics somewhat badly choreographed. The second story is the first in a 5-part series, which stretches over 3 issues. Part I is immediately post-Orbit ("Companions" was written as a kind of prequel 'though they're both first-timers), in which Avon goes down on his knees to apologise, then omits to lock the door so that Tarrant can walk in on them both the next morning, Dayna walks in on a snog in the rec-room, then Soolin (with Servalan) on a conjugal embrace in a Federation base. In short, it's pathetic Mills & Boon.

Next is a short-short with a (supposedly) surprise ending. It's not really that much of
 a compliment to say that it's the most erotic story in issue I - but at least there's
 less dialogue. A supposedly mystical tale, "The Phoenix and the Dragon" - in which Avon dreams of his lost lover. Very obvious, very uninteresting, bad characterisation, no choreography, and more than its fair share of typos. And finally, part II of "Comfort. Full of daring little scenes such as Avon slapping Vila's stomach while Tarrant is sitting on the bed with then. If it were possible, I'd say it had gone down hill since part I. In short, it's boring.

In the Editorial M. LeFay (author of "Companions") apologises to the cast for the stories in this zine and says that 'no disrespect is intended, it's just that we of "E-man-uelle" are very broadminded.' In my opinion, an apology was necessary, though not for the sexuality of these stories but for the low standards in quality thereof. I've never been sure whether it's spelling or typos that cause the universal-E-man-uelle words such as 'tounge' (tongue), 'loose' (lose), 'fraze' and 'suprise'. Oh, dear.... [4]

Issue 2

E-Man-Uelle 2 was published in 1983.

Fiction:

  • M.C. "Comfort 3"
  • Her and Me!!, "The Short Straw"
  • M.C., "Comfort 4"

Poetry:

  • Temple, "The Eulogy"

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

Part III of "Comfort" is set post-"Blake". No real explanation (apart from some mumbling about a clone) is given as to how all of them except Soolin survived, nor how the real Blake came riding to the rescue just in time, you're supposed to enjoy the slush and forget the fact that it's almost the worst-written story I have ever read. Oh yes - and Vila gets raped and Avon doesn't and one can hardly suppress a yawn. "The Short Straw" is supposed to be hilarious, and you can see they tried. Laboured humour about Friday - or is it Saturday ? - nights on Xenen Base. Who cares? Part IV of "Comfort", or "The Sounds of Silence". A better alternative title might have been "Let's Feminise Vila". Back on Earth and the revolution is accomplished in two or three days, to let Avon and Vila get on with the sexual aerobics. (Incidentally, the single position they use is physically impossible for two men. One is tempted to wonder if M.C. had ever heard of anything but the missionary position.) Vila becomes pregnant with Avon's child, Avon and Vila get married, the baby is born, and Vila dies. Avon is very upset, but manages to cheer up after listening to a 26th Century pop song. (Guess.) (This is the worst—written story I have ever read.) [5]

Issue 3

E-Man-Uelle 3 was published in 1984.

Fiction:

  • M.C., "Comfort 5"
  • Cestus, "And With My Body I Thee Worship"
  • Cancer, "Triangle"
  • Ann Onymous & Dubonnet, "Imagination or Fact"
  • M. C., "Desire"
  • M. C., "Self Appraisal?"
  • Temple, "Out of Mind"
  • Temple, "Nights"

Poetry:

  • Temple, untitled
  • Temple, "The Image"

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

Part V of "Comfort". I never could make out whether this one was boring or hilarious. Vila returns from the dead in time to stop Avon from joining him, Jenna reappears with Vila's father - who is naturally, a thoroughly nasty Alpha - homophobic, wife-beater, child abuser, and who eventually ran off abandoning Vila, Vila's mother, and Vila's younger sister (now Blake's live-in girlfriend) to one of the non-aligned planets. Confused? Good, because so was I, when I wasn't hating every paragraph. Ah. And at last, "And With My Body I Thee Worship", a readable story. More than readable - it's excellently written, genuinely interesting, skillful characterisation. Begins with a tense standoff between Vila and Tarrant, broken up by Avon. The reasons for Avon's seduction/domination of Vila are believably presented, as well as the reasons for Vila's submission. Not only that, but it's the most erotic story which E-man-uelle has ever printed.

"Triangle" is, for E-man-uelle, moderately well written even if unbelievable as far as I'm concerned. Blake sees Avon and Vila 'together' and promptly goes off into a jealous huff, wondering: "Why Avon? Why not me?" He finds an excuse to pick a fight with Avon, beats him up, and then is happily seduced by Vila who has really been in love with Blake all the time. "Imagination or Fact" is another 'comedy' - which, in mitigation of its faults, was a first draft never intended to be published. The dialogue isn't up to it, but the sequence of events is quite funny. Besides, I like "Let's slag Tarrant" stories. The next story is absolutely awful - a Vila/Tarrant tale of which I did not believe one word. "Self Appraisal" is a Blake/Blake clone story that wasn't meant to be hilarious. The last pair of stories are by the same author. "Out Of Mind" is an Interesting idea which she didn't have the skill to exploit properly - an alien sends Avon into Vila's head and Vila into Avon's for a while, to teach them honesty.

"Nights" is just post-Duel and it's equally bad and boring but a trifle soggier. (Too much sherry in the sponge.) Impossible to take seriously, thank Goddess. [6]

Issue 4

E-Man-Uelle 4 was published in 1984 and contains 77 pages.

Fiction:

  • Ann Onymous & Ambergris, untitled
  • M. Le Fay, "Discovery on Dhangi"
  • Coyote, "Partners in Pain"

Poetry:

Art:

  • Kiera, cover

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

Vila meets up with a pair of old 'friends' who raped him once or twice. Avon also meets them, doesn't think much of them, and informs Vila that he was raped too and that turned him homosexual. They then go to bed. It's a charming and not too pretentious little piece.

""Discovery on Dhangi", by the same author as "Companions", Avon and Vila are sent down to pose as lovers on a heavily male dominated gay orientated planet. The action and the dialogue have been slightly improved from the last time she used them, but the background is not well thought—out.

One very irritating event is the inclusion of a K/S poem which is bad even K/S poetry goes. Furthermore, this is a Blake's 7 zine. I wish I could think that we weren't meant to take such lines as "Jim, so softly, it's good, so good" and "Oh, Spock, please be careful" seriously. "Partners in Pain" is a well-written, well-characterised story of the 2nd season, and Avon are trapped on a heavily male dominated, gay male orientated world. It's heavily S/M with a detailed description of Avon's sexual torture at the hands of his captors, (in fact, the S/M parts are the best-written - the Blake/Avon parts awful.) [7]

Issue 5

E-Man-Uelle 5 was published in 1984 and contains 52 pages.

Fiction:

  • Ros Williams, "Contusion" (A/C)
  • Cestus, "With All My Worldly Goods, I Thee Endow" (A/V)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

"Contusion" by Ros Williams is horrible. One of weirdest things about it is that it's 'skillfully written by an obvious homophobe. It made me feel sick. It's not so much the events (Avon is captured by the Federation, sent to a maximum security prison and raped by the guards and the sadistic governor Venn. He uses their 'perverse desires' to engineer his escape. When he returns to the Liberator, Cally listens to him talking in his sleep and retreats in disgust because he enjoyed it. He manages to convince her that he loves her as much as ever and he didn't think of her on Veskill because to do so would have degraded her. They settle down for a nice heterosexual existence happy ever after. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHH.) as the whole tone of the story, I found it completely offensive. But - to take the taste away - the sequel to "And With My Body I Thee Worship". "With All My Worldly Goods, I Thee Endow" is what a 4th season A/V relationship might actually be like. I can't quite believe that even Avon could remain so emotionally detached from someone he was actually sleeping with. It's interesting seeing the relationship from two different viewpoints - Avon's during a bout of insomnia, Vila's when he wakes up after Avon's left in the morning. It's quite simply an excellent story - the only disadvantage for E-man-uelle is that having a golden writer like Cestus around shows up the dross all too clearly. [8]
Then of course there was Contusion. Hmmm. Have just gone back to T6 and re-read your (scathing!) review of E-man-uelle. I am influenced by your opinions.... So I would like to read E4, and possibly E3 as well. Or so I think, from reading what you say. Back to Contusion. Well-written, indeed. The lady has talent. Misuses it, perhaps - Completely offensive, no. Of course, I don't have to agree with anyone else's views - that's not what I mean. As I said, I am uncritical. So I liked it - that's not to say that I like its viewpoint or conclusion — which sounds contradictory, if not actually hypocritical. Well, perhaps I am the latter. Certainly the former. Getting confused again, methinks. [9]

Issue 6

E-Man-Uelle 6 contains was published in 1984 and contains 73 pages.

Fiction:

  • Julie Kramer, "Initiation"
  • Julie Kramer, "No Alternative"
  • McNeil, "84 Hours to Xenon"
  • Julie Kramer, "First Encounter"
  • Jane Carnall, "Trust"
  • McNeil, "The Dersan Hut"
  • Jane Carnall, "I Want You"
  • Julie Kramer, "Behind the Scenes"
  • Julie Kramer, "All the Difference"

Art:

  • Julie Kramer, cover

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

My first slash publication [that I read] was in 1984, one of the first "Blake's 7" slash zines, an awful thing called "E-Man-Uelle." The first issue of which came out sometime in 1982, typed, mimeographed, and stapled. [10]

"Initiation" -- well-written, excellent dialogue, neatly choreographed, but I just cannot believe Vila-fucks-Avon stories -- especially not first-timer ones.

"No Alternative" -- It's a hackneyed plot (Avon gets doped up on an aphrodisiac and must have sex to survive. Vila offers himself and is reluctantly accepted) but does have a couple of fresh touches, and no 'forced climax' during the rape.

"84 Hours to Xenon" -- I can seldom find anything good to say of Vila/Tarrant stories, and this one is no exception. Poor technique and a cringing dialogue -- though the sexual aerobics are at least possible. And superbly psychologically correct (albeit, I think, subconsciously) in portraying Tarrant as a heavily closeted macho queer.

"First Encounter" -- absolutely marvellous. One of the first E-stories to simply take a basic gay background rather than pussy-footing around of "I don't know why I want you because I don't usually fancy men." A pre-The Way Back" story, set on Earth, Vila Restal attempts to burgle the apartment of Kerr Avon, gets caught and events follow as might be expected. It's skillfully written, the dialogue and psychology pack a punch, and I loved it!

"Trust" -- intended as a sequel (sort-of) to M. LeFay's "Companions" in issue 1. Post-Orbit. The parts which aren't written as a sequel are better than the rest, but on the whole it's mediocre and unmemorable.

"The Dersan Hut" is badly written, unplotted rubbish. Blake/Avon told poetically from Blake's viewpoint.

"I Want You," another maddening unoriginal plot. Avon and Vila are alone together on an uncivilised first-season planet. Just to make things simpler, the natives think Vila's Avon's catmite, so they only supply one bed. During the night, the predictiable occurs. Cringeworthy moments, but most just a bland, harmless paste of cliche.

"Behind the Scenes, or A Thief's Progress" during the second season. How to (and not how to) seduce a computer. Some quite marvelous lines and a minimum of awful moments. Skillfully written.

"All the Difference" -- Tarrant rapes Vila. Avon finds out (and besides comporting Vila and threatening Tarrant) winds up in bed with Vila. Just to reassure him, of course. It is very good.

The overall standard of writing has risen amazingly since issue #4, and this issue also contains stories genuine gay sf fans can read without diving for cover and screaming (with laughter or pain: I'll leave you to guess.)

P.S. seven out of nine of these stories were written by authors who later wrote stories (printed earlier) for "touched". We all have to start somewhere. [11]

Issue 7

E-Man-Uelle 7

Fiction:

Poetry:

Issue 8

E-Man-Uelle 8 was published in 1987. It is a novel by Bryn Lantry called Puppeteer. A different version of this story is in Homosapien Too.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 8

See reactions and reviews for Puppeteer.

Issue 9

E-Man-Uelle 9 was published in 1987 and contains 66 pages.

Special Issue: Comfort

E-Man-Uelle: Comfort

  • contains the five-part serial, "Comfort" by M.C. that was issued in previous issues.

Special Issue: Reprint

E-Man-Uelle: Short Stories is a reprint of stories & poetry other than the "Comfort" series from previous issues.

Fiction:

  • M. Le Fay, "Companions" (A/V)
  • Topaz, "Dream Come True" (B/V)
  • M.C., "The Phoenix and the Unicorn" (A/B)
  • Her & Me!!, "The Short Straw" (Ta/V, A/D/So)
  • Cestus, "'And With My Body I Thee Worship'" (A/V)
  • Cancer, "Triangle" (B/V)
  • Ann Onymous & Dubonnet, "Imagination or Fact" (A/V)
  • M.C., "Desire" (Ta/V)
  • M.C., "Self Appraisal?" (B/B clone)
  • Temple, "Out of Mind" (A/V)
  • Temple, "Nights" (A/B, J/?)

Poetry:

  • Temple, untitled (?/?)
  • Temple, "The Image" (?/V)
  • M. Le Fay, "A Cry from the Heart" (A/V)
  • Temple, "The Eulogy" (A/B?)

References

  1. from Blake's 7 on Fanlore
  2. December 5, 1997, Michelle Christian, at Virgule-L, quoted with permission
  3. comments by Sebastian in "touched" #6
  4. from "touched" #6
  5. from "touched" #6
  6. from "touched" #6
  7. from "touched" #6
  8. comments by Jane Carnall in "touched" #6
  9. comments by Frances Tucker in "touched" #6
  10. janecarnall's Journal, August 8, 2006
  11. comments by Jane Carnall in "touched" #6