Horizon (Blake's 7 fan club)

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Fan Club
Name: Horizon ("Horizon: The Blake's 7 Appreciation Society")
Dates: 1979-present
Founder(s): Pat Thomas & Diane Gies
Leadership:
Country based in:
Focus: Blake's 7
External Links: older copies of the website archived here, current website here club logo
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1987 club flyer

Horizon is a fan run fan club for the BBC sci-fi television series Blake's 7.

It was founded by in the UK by Pat Thomas and Diane Gies in 1979.

It is the largest (as of the late 1990s) and longest-running Blake's 7 fan club. [1] In 1982, however, it was the second biggest Blake's 7 fan club, with Liberator Popular Front being the largest. [2]

Its newsletter (the Horizon Newsletter) was sent out to around 300 members beginning in the spring of 1980.

The club also provided A4 size 90+ page, colour cover magazines (the The Horizon Interviews) containing interviews, letters of comment, articles, news on the cast etc.

They also published a letterzine (the Horizon Letterzine)..

"Horizon" offered vast range of merchandise (including photos, scripts, notepads, mugs, badges, etc.), and hosted regular London and regional meetings and outings.

In 1998, the club went online. Starting in 2007(?) the club stopped accepting new members.

Their website went offline in 2008 and then reopened in September 2009.

FAQ

From the club's FAQ:
"So what does the Horizon Club do?

Up until 2001 the club produced regular magazines which kept its members informed about anything occurring to do with Blake’s 7, such as conventions, actors’ appearances in films, theatre & TV, and any other special events, as well as all the latest news on B7 related merchandise such as the long-awaited DVDs. We have continued to provide a comprehensive news service using our Yahoo Groups email bulletin service which currently has over 700 members. The magazines also contained interviews, reviews, competitions, LOCs and encouraged fans to contribute to the magazines and meet up with other fans on a regular basis.

Over the years, regular get-togethers were held, enabling members to meet and keep in touch in the UK. Groups got together to see the B7 cast at the theatre, go out for the day or weekend on B7 Location visits and many fund raising activities were, and are still, arranged. The club continues to offer a mail order service on all the latest B7 merchandise, including the episodes on DVD and video, the BBC’s two follow-on radio plays and other CD/videos featuring the original B7 cast members. Other merchandise includes fan fiction magazines, technical manuals, interviews books, photos, fridge magnets, T-shirts, gift items, etc. Information on some of the merchandise currently available is already listed in the website Database in the merchandise section, with more to follow."

Some Activities

In 1994, Judith Proctor posted a list of some of the activities from her club chapter to Lysator, the Blake's 7 mailing list:
"The southern regional group of Horizon can be contacted via Serena Trent [address removed]. We meet about once a month, play Quasar, read scripts, swop zines, have quizzes, etc. I think playing Blake's 7 charades at the annual Blakewake was probably the most hilarious thing we've done yet. (If it sounds boring, just try making some poor sucker mime "Harvest of Kairos") We don't actually have very much to do with Horizon. We also have a small zine, "Voice from the South".[3]
Another chapter replied:
"Judith mentioned Blake's 7 charades at Blakewake. Lucy and Dennis Collin in the Terra Nostra, the South-East group, came up with Blake's 7 Pictionary. I think trying to come up with sketches which says "The Rule of Life" or, indeed, "Harvest of Kairos" compares quite well with miming it out!"[4]

Conventions Sponsored

Published: Zines, Role-Playing Game

The Club's Role in "The Blake's 7 War"

The Blake's 7 War began in late 1988, and many club members were active participants.

The Periodic Adult Content Debates

From time to time, club members would seek to change the club's policy on advertising or linking to adult material.

The 1999 Flap

In 1999, club chair, Diane Gies proposed a new policy for their newsletters/letterzines that would ban any zine, convention or other fan event that allowed adult material to be printed, sold, or displayed. The proposal also sought to remove any links on the fan club's web page to sites with adult content (even sites with adult content warnings) or who themselves link to sites with adult content.

This proposed change likely had to do with a lot of history, aka The Blake's 7 Wars, as well as the club's high profile with the powers that be's close association with the club and the desire for "respectability."

See Horizon Fan Club's 1999 Discussion Regarding Adult Fanworks.

References

  1. intro at the website, late 1990s
  2. according to a blurb in the prozine Terry Nation's Blakes 7: A Marvel Monthly #15 (1982)
  3. Subject: Dead club by Judith Proctor on Lysator dated April 6, 1994.
  4. Subject: Silly B7 games by Ming on Lysator dated April 6, 1994.