Glass House (Blake's 7 story)
|Author(s):||K. Thomas and D.D. Montgomery|
|External Links:||Glass House|
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It was published in Oblaque #5 and is online.
Reactions and Reviews
Yes, B7 is dark -- in the sense of admitting life is tough, and sometimes the good guys lose; sometime good people die. Sometimes there are no good choices, no right answers: only moral dilemmas, and living with the gray consequences. It's not dark in the sense of being a romp through degradation and brutality; a stroll through a universe devoid of light, where hope is extinguished and misery rules, and everyone's a shark." I've been thinking about that even more lately, since reading "Glass Houses" by K. Thomas. The last line of that story really made me sit up and take stock, and ask myself, "Which side of the mirror am I on?" Because I sure don't want it to be the one where the voyeur is getting off on another human being's pain and suffering and humiliation. That's why I'm very choosy about h/c, about the kinkier forms of slash fic; it isn't prudishness, it's an increasing unwillingness to compromise my own moral integrity."Glass Houses" did an excellent job, I thought, of taking what someone else would have exploited for purposes of depravity, and had Blake and Avon rise above the gutter. And that's where too much darkside fanfic goes astray: wallowing in that gutter, rather than showing the triumph the human spirit achieves by rising out of it. And that's the real heart of my concern over slash: Not that it depicts two men loving, but that—too often—it depicts two men destroying each other, and damning themselves. And I worry at the harm such material does to those who create and consume it. And yes, I am serious; the care of our souls is one of the few things I do take very seriously indeed. 
MUSE OF FIRE RESPONSIBLE: K. Thomas and D. D. M.
HAS POOR VILA BEEN DRAGOONED INTO THIS SHITSHOW? —
WHY ARE BLAKE AND AVON DOOMED THIS WEEK? They have been sold into prostitution for kind of believable plot reasons, but when Blake manages to get them out, they’re going to work together/very possibly be lovers. EDITOR’S NOTE: just kind of confusing
OVERALL: This is a contained and strong execution of a fairly standard plot (unless it predates the cliche? but I don’t think so?). It’s not super ambitious, in a way, about what it asks you to believe of these characters/their relationship at this point. Avon’s reasoning is solid, not a lot of nonsense there, and Blake’s a sound Blake.BUT: it’s also an allegory about fandom, a sort of sermon (albeit one that exists within the confines of this collection, that has its cake and eats it too and apparently isn’t intended to make you stop reading fic). Considered as a Moral Tale about the process of reading (consuming?) fic, it’s a Twilight Zone level twist!! founded on self-loathing. It’s interesting as a meta-document for research into fannish self-perception, but the strong hint of ‘or did I just blow your mind?’ makes the whole thing sophomoric. Which is interesting, because you could have a searching ethics discussion about this sort of fanfic, and this sits somewhere during The Blake’s 7 Wars, IRL. I might almost have expected more of it on that account? Because clearly those arguments were to some extent being staged contemporaneously in fannish circles.