Freedom City (convention)
|Dates:||April 28-30, 1989|
|Type:||fan run, with actor guests|
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Freedom City was a fan run Blake's 7 convention that also featured actors and writers from the TV show. It was held in April 1989 in Maryland.
The fan GoH was Julia Ecklar. Guests of Honor were Terry Nation, Brain Croucher, and Sheilagh Wells. Filker Julia Ecklar also attended. Gareth Thomas was invited but did not attend.
The con zine was the slash zine Those Who Favor Fire. Sale proceeds went to support the "Guest Fund."
The convention was drawn into The Blake's 7 Wars.
- Chair: Marion McChesney
- Assistant Chair/Staff Photographer: Laura Peck
- Registration/Treasurer: Bea Quindlen
- Security: Gus Liberto
- Art Show: Suzan Lovett
- Logistics/Sound: George Laurence
- Autographs: Heather Nachman
- Helpers: Adrienne Deutsch
- Video: Mark Lee, John Reynolds
- Announcer: Suzanne Elmore
- Other Assistance and Advice: Carol Swoboda, Judith Kitzer, Billie Phillips, Ellen Kobrin, Crystal Taylor, Marianne Wyatt, Dwight Eaves, Margie Hendron, Kett Kettering, Barbara Galyean, Sheila Willis, and Karen Lundquist
- Con Suite: Prydonians of Pryncton and The Unearthly Children
Guests of Honor Portraits
From the program book:
From the program book:
I'd like to welcome our guests, Brian Croucher, Terry Nation, Sheelagh Veils, and Julia Ecklar, and wish them a pleasant, relaxing weekend. I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank my committee for all their hard work in helping me put on this convention, especially Bea Quindlen and Suzie Lovett for their hours of listening and worrying. I'd also like to thank [Billie Phillips] and Ellen Kobrin for their work in putting out 'Those Who Favor Fire', our convention zine, proceeds of which go to the guest fund. I'd like to thank the following for contributions to the Charity Auction: Paul and Janet Darrow, Gareth Thomas, Sheelagh Veils, Brian Croucher, Marianne Wyatt, Bea Quindlen, Susie Lovett, Michael Keating, William Campbell, Heather Nachman and Susan Conners.
- Thursday Night Dinner Cruise
- Music Hall: performers included Doctors in the House, Julia Ecklar, Marsha Quinn, Maryanne Wyatt, Terry Nation, Brian Croucher, and "a very special surprise performer"
- Powerplay: a game modeled after TV's Jeopardy. Join Alex Trueblake and test your knowledge
- Make Up Workshop with Sheelagh Wells
- Trivial Pursuit: two elimination rounds and a championship playoff
- Costuming Awards: "Although we will not be having a formal costume contest, we will be presenting awards for hall costumes. They will be presented at the closing ceremonies by our anonymous judge."
B7 Black Holes; Continuity Lapses & Loose Ends - Friday 1 P.M.
- These are the moments when you think 'wait a minute, doesn't that conflict with ? Or you may notice sudden costume, scenery or character changes inconsistent with what you've seen previously. How do we explain these?
Just One Big Unhappv Family - Crew Dynamics - Friday 2 P.M.
- It's been said that every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. So what is the B7 way? How does the crew of the Liberator (or Scorpio) interact with one another? Why do they stay together?
Mutoids to Mercenaries - Woman in the B7 Universe - Friday 3 P.M.
- Isn't it wonderful - a universe that contains both Meegat and our beloved supreme commander! Come and celebrate the diversity of women in the B7 universe.
The Art of Survival - Philosophy in B7 - Friday 5 P.M.
- Staying alive often seems more central to B7 than overthrowing the Federation. How does this struggle for sruvival affect the characters? How do they change because of the need to survive?
Pain, Torture & Agony - The Joy of Hurt/Comfort - Friday 6 P.M. Blood, sweat, tears, vomit, amnesia, lacerations, rape, traumas of every sort. What is it with these people? What is it with us? Come and spill your guts on this fascinating panel.
Vila - The Artful Dodger - Saturday - 11 A.M.
- A very complex character this one. Quite often, his crewmates see only what he wants them to see. What do we see?
Blake & Avon Friendship - With or Without You - Saturday 12 P.M.
- The most argued over relationship in fandom. First they fight for two seasons, then when Blake leaves, Avon promptly starts searching the galaxy for him. Is it friendship? Is it hate? Something in between? What can we make of their relationship?
Rebels, Rogues & Rascals - The Guys & Gals We Love to Hate - Saturday 2 P.M.
- Here's where you get to discuss the folks who dish out a lot of the pain, torture and agony. And what fun it is! All that black leather and studs, all those mad scientists, incredibly handsome puppeteers, aliens and supreme moments with the Supreme Commander. Come and give your favorite villain or rebel his or her time in the spotlight.
Everybody Say Amen - Fifth Season Resurrection Stories - Saturday 4 P.M.
- And in the 5th season, Blake lives again. And so does Cally. Many fifth season stories deal with these two or other supposedly dead characters coming to life again. What are the different type of stories and how well do they work?
Avon: A Terrible Aspect vs. B7 & Fan Fiction's Avon - Sunday 11 A.M.
- Fans have been analyzing Avon for years. Now Paul Darrow has written his own version of the origins of his alter ego. How does it compare to the show and to fan fiction's conceptions of his origins?
The Best Medicine - B7 Humor - Sunday - 12 P.M.
- Despite the doom and gloom, B7 is often an extremely funny show. How and why does the humor work? What are some of B7's funniest moments?
Differences in American/British SF - Sunday 2 P.M.
- The classic example is ST/B7. But there are lots of others to choose from - The Prisoner, Dr. Who, Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, Buck Rogers, V, Sapphire & Steel, etc. If you enjoy shows from both sides of the ocean, this is the panel for you.
Julia Ecklar - Fan Guest of Honor: Known best for her singing skills, Julia also writes. Something this year, her first book, a Star Trek novel, will be published by Pocket Books. Many of her music tapes are still available and you can probably find them in the dealer's room. Julia will be performing on both Saturday and Sunday. 
[Doctors in the House]: That East-Coast band of touring maniacs, "The Doctors in the House" are here! Normally known at conventions for their spoofs of Star Trek and Doctor Who, they're here this weekend with a special emphasis on Blake's 7. You can be sure the doctors have the prescription for the side-splitting humor that all of us "unconventional conventionists" need. The Doctors on call are: Kris Curling, Rick Charles, Damon Booth, Phill Ash, Angelique Trouvere, Amy Moler-Booth, Sheri Lambeth, Mary Debnam, David Powell, and Dorian the Dalek.
At the convention Julia Ecklar and several other filkers performed filk songs, among them:
- Wishful Thinking (B.E.M. "Bug Eyed Monster") (sung by Linda Melnick and Sheila Willis) (song written by Alan Thiesen)
- Black Widows in the Privy (sung by Linda Melnick and Sheila Willis) (written by Heather Jones))
- Lies (sung by Linda Melnick and Sheila Willis) (written by Stan Rogers)
- Arafel's Song (also known as Arafel's Lament) (sung by Julia Ecklar, Linda Melnick and Sheila Willis)
- Murderous Little Toy (sung by Julia Ecklar) (written by Mike Roberts)
- F.A.P. (Feline American Princess) or "Magnificent Me-ow" (sung by Julia Ecklar) (written by Leslie Fish and Mercedes Lackey)
- Harvey Mudd (sung by Julia Ecklar) (written by Karen Klinck)
- Starship and Haiku (sung by Julia Ecklar) (written by Kathy Mar)
- Shai-Halud (sung by Julia Ecklar) (written by Kathy Mar)
- Suit of Grey Wind - A Song for Leonard Cohen (sung by Julia Ecklar) (written by Meg Davis)
- Monster's Lullaby (sung by Julia Ecklar) (written by Meg Davis)
- Songbird (sung by Julia Ecklar) (written by Kathy Mar) 
- He's Dead Jim (sung by Julia Ecklar) (written by Julia Ecklar)
letter mailed to one of the volunteer gophers in advance of the event. Click to read full size
Freedom City was a very relaxed convention, with guests Brian Croucher, Sheelagh Wells and Terry Nation. The smaller attendance allowed them to be even more accessible than at Gambit. In addition to the guest and fan panels, Dealers Room and Art Show, there was a Guest Boat Ride around Baltimore Harbor, Contributors’ Party/Ice Cream Social, Guest Brunch, Art and Charity Auctions, Masterpiece Theatre, Hall Costume Awards and Photo Caption Contest.
I didn’t go on the boat ride, but I heard it was quite pleasant, though some of the food was questionable. The Contributors’ Party/ Ice Cream Social was very nice, with large vats of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream, and lots of toppings. Definitely a pig-out session! This was followed by the Masterpiece Theatre where the Muses of song and poetry were soundly trounced yet again by the ‘talented’ members of the convention.
The Photo Caption Contest pictures were displayed outside the Dealers Room and the entries were quite humorous. I had the opportunity to participate on two panels, ‘From Mutoids to Mercenaries’ dealt with the women of the Blake’s 7 universe. ‘Differences in American/British SF’ was very interesting because there was a transplanted Brit fan on the panel, who was able to give us an alternate viewpoint.
The Art and Charity Auctions were well attended, and this time Brian managed to auction off a box of tissues he took out of the men's room and autographed. One suspects he would go far in the Used Car business!
The Sopron Alliance had another pyjama parly on Saturday night in the bar, which had a piano player. We gathered around the keyboard and sang along with him. Brian did a duet and backup for one song. My advice to him was: “Don’t quite your day job!”I don’t know if there will be a sequel to GAMBIT or FREEDOM CITY, but I hope so. These conventions are worth doing again.
- ^ from the program book
- ^ from the program book
- ^ Index Bl to Bn, Archived version
- ^ Arafel's Lament, Archived version
- ^ The Murderous Toy - Mike Roberts (Lyrics and Chords), Archived version
- ^ F.A.P. (Feline American Princess) by Leslie Fish, Archived version
- ^ Pegasus Awards - Starship & Haiku, Archived version
- ^ Songbird - Filk Etymology Wiki - Wikia, Archived version
- ^ from Horizon Newsletter #23 (1989)