Horizon Newsletter

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Zine
Title: Horizon Newsletter
Publisher: Horizon
Editor(s): Pat Thomas, Diane Gies, Jackie Ophir, Heather Lulham
Type: newsletter
Date(s): April 1980-April 2001
Frequency:
Medium: print
Fandom: Blake's 7
External Links: Horizon webarchive
cover of issues #21, #22, #23, and #24
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Horizon Newsletter is a gen Blake's 7 newsletter that contains primarily nonfiction but also fiction, poetry, and/or fan art.

It has a sister zine, a collection of the interviews in The Horizon Interviews. It also has a sister zine of fiction called Horizon and a letterzine called Horizon Letterzine.

The earlier editions were all photocopies; the publisher started having them professionally printed with #16.

This newsletter was founded by Sharon Eckman, Diane Gies, and Pat Thomas.

General Reactions and Reviews

It turns out that quite a lot of the newsletters-- more than I realized-- have fan fiction, poetry, or art, so I'm adding them to the grand lists of those things. For now I left out the nonfiction, interviews and such, although in fact that is the bulk of the zine.

BTW, I especially like Nik Spender's ongoing graphic story in the last few issues. I think it's very well drawn. For that matter, the graphic stories in the old Marvel monthlies were nicely done too.

Sometimes it's hard to decide what's fiction and what's nonfiction. For instance, I finally decided, after stewing over it, to consider Neil's fictional history of the Federation a kind of SF story. [1]
Horizon is a Blake's 7 magazine. Definition of magazine in his case is a glossy production with colour cover etc that carries all current news of the actors and the series, has lots of interesting things to buy, some hilarious jokes, discussions on topics like how fast the Liberator can fly, or how a space drive might work. Local fan groups etc. Without Horizon, I would not have found my local fan club, I would not have found this list, I would not have found places to publish my stories, I would not have found all the other Zines I am madly reading, I wouldn't have the Blake's 7 stickers I put on my mail etc etc.[2]

Issue 1

Horizon Newsletter 1 was published in April 1980 and contains 34 pages. It was edited by Pat Thomas.

  • Dorothy Davies, "Strike Call" (fiction)
  • Heather Hillsden, "Anna" (poem)
  • Elaine Thomson, "The Price" (poem)
  • Jacqueline Pearce biography and Servalan articles
  • cover: Servalan/Tarrant & Dayna

Issue 2

Horizon Newsletter 2 was published in mid 1980 and contains 40 pages. It was edited by Pat Thomas.

  • Kerrill, "Farewell" (poem)
  • Ricia Watts, "On Looking Back" (poem)
  • J. Jewsbury, "Blake's Seven" (poem)
  • Deborah Eckman (art)
  • Michael Keating biography and Vila articles
  • Jacqueline Pearce interview
  • 3rd season comments and reviews
  • Star One Convention reports
  • What is SF? article
  • cover: Michael Keating/Vila/Jacqueline Pearce

Issue 3

Horizon Newsletter 3 was published in late 1980 and contains 46 pages. It was edited by Pat Thomas.

  • Anthony Murray, "The Hatch" (competition winner, fiction)
  • Barbara Wakely, "First Episode" (competition runner-up, fiction)
  • Eileen Duffield, "Elegy" (poem))
  • Eileen Duffield, "Epitaph to Zen" (poem)
  • Biography and interview Steven Pacey
  • Tarrant articles
  • Review of Starburst Awards
  • Comments on 3rd series questionnaires
  • Reviews of Star One Convention and ‘Terminal’ Set Visit
  • Covers: Steven Pacey/Tarrant/Tarrant & Dayna

Issue 4

Horizon Newsletter 4 was published in April 1981 and contains 43 pages. It was edited by Pat Thomas.

Note: the front cover could easily be confused with the back cover, which in turn could easily be confused with the inside front cover and inside back cover, as they all have the same format.

front cover of issue #4
back cover of issue #4
  • Spotlight on Gareth Thomas: general description, credits
  • "Rog Blake... A Personal Point of View," article by Brenda Callagher
  • "Is Blake Dead?," article by Kathleen Glancy
  • "A Blake Article!," by Sharon Eckman
  • "The Dawning," poem by Susan M. Morton
  • "When the Fighting is Over," poem by Eileen Duffield
  • "Avon's Ladies, Competition Results" (write about the three special ladies (Anna, Cally, and Servalan) in Avon's life and their relationships with him)
    • "Avon's Ladies" by Rosalind Barnes
    • "Avon's Ladies" by Helen King
    • "Avon's Ladies" by Margaret Martin
  • Lorna Heilbron (Anna Grant) biography and interview "related by Diane Gies" (9 pages)
  • "Explanations," poem by Eileen Duffield
  • Dorothy Davies, "Bad News" (fiction)
  • Inter-galactic Times -- Agony Column, a satirical short by Ricia Watts
  • "Bad News," fiction by Dorothy Davies
  • reviews by Iain D. Keiller of the episodes "The Harvest of Kairos," "The City at the Edge of the World"
  • "Title Changes," poem by Kathleen Glancy
  • "Soon," poem by Eileen Duffield
  • Blake's 7 Word Puzzle by Jonathan Jewsbury
  • Ads
  • reviews by Judith Cross of the plays "Witness for the Prosecution," "What the Butler Saw"
  • a review by Maggie Lokier of the play "Wait Until Dark"
  • a review by Diane Gies of the episode "Volcano" (She mentions that her husband "loathes the very mention of Blake's Seven that he has even designated 7 as his un-lucky number.")
  • newsy bits about what the actors are up to
  • an article by Caroline Woolveridge about conventions in general, what they're like, a bit of history
  • general con, zine, and club blurbs

Issue 5

Horizon Newsletter 5 was published in mid 1981 and contains 36 pages. It was edited by Pat Thomas.

cover of issue #5
  • Jo Blackie, "Memories" (fiction)
  • Margaret Martin, "Foolish Child" (poem)
  • Deborah Eckman (art)
  • Josette Simon biography and interview
  • Dayna articles
  • Competition winners - favourite/least favourite characters
  • Reviews on Teal Vandor Convention
  • Articles from Australia
  • Covers: Dayna, Sleer & Soolin/Avon & Soolin/Sleer/4th series crew

Issue 6

Horizon Newsletter 6 was published in early 1981 and early 1982 and contains 36 pages. It was edited by Pat Thomas.

  • Judith M. Seaman, "Lost on Terminal" (poem)
  • Jan Chappell biography & interview
  • Cally articles
  • Opinions on series 4
  • Competiton winners - 4th series reviews and comments
  • 4th series questionnaire
  • Covers: 4th series crew/Avon/Jan Chappell/3rd series crew

Issue 7

Horizon Newsletter 7 was published in mid 1982 and contains 38 pages. It was edited by Pat Thomas. In between issue 6 and this issue, the club had gained "almost 100" new members. This was too many for the committee to continue doing their own photocopying. Instead they felt they had sufficient members to "go professional" with the printing.

cover of issue #7
  • Pam Wright, "Episode 13 (Series 4) as Seen from 'Down Under'" (filk, Waltzing Matilda)
  • Judith Seaman, "No One Ever Knows" (poem)
  • Michael Keating interview
  • Geoffrey Burridge (Dorian) biography & interview
  • 4th series questionnaire results
  • Covers: Dorian/Vila

Issue 8

Horizon Newsletter 8 was published in late 1982 and contains 41 pages. It was edited by Pat Thomas.

cover of issue #8
  • Rhea Antoniades and Deborah Gryc, "Pull the Other One" (fiction)
  • Pamela Wright, "The Vila of Bethnal Green" (filk; a version with very slight variations, retitled "Star of the Delta Grade," was later recorded by Linda Short on the filk tape "Ditties from the Edge of the World")
  • Deborah Eckman (art)
  • Peter Tuddenham biography and interview
  • Edgecon photos & reviews
  • Covers: Peter Tuddenham/Liberator/4th series crew

Issue 9

Horizon Newsletter 9 was published in early 1983 (perhaps April) and contains 42 pages. It was edited by Pat Thomas.

front cover of issue #9
back cover of issue #9

The editorial in this issue touches upon letter campaigns, direct involvement in fan activities by TPTB, promoting Blake's 7, the developing US Blake's 7 fandom, and a contest to design a club badge.

Dear Friends,

It has been so nice hearing from so many of you recently, and as there has been an extremely high percentage of renewals I can only think as well as hope that you are all enjoying the newsletters. Welcome to all our new members — and especially to all our new Australian members; we have had many new members from 'the other side' recently - no doubt due to their fortunate circumstances at having the first and fourth series aired simultaneously on some channels there. Our membership from the U.S.A. is growing too, but more of that later.

We were not able to arrange a Spotlight interview in time for this newsletter, but we do have the usual range of articles and information that we hope you will find interesting. The questionnaire results continue with in-depth discussion of the episodes. Also, we have the results of the last Avon competition which attempted to find out your views as to whether he was indeed insane by the end of the 4th series (and if so, why?) What we didn't tell you at the time, however, was that Paul Darrow had kindly volunteered his services as the competition judge. His comments and choices proved most interesting and we thank him very much for his time and trouble. We also have reviews on our Christmas party, the success of which was due in no small part to the company of our special guest, Peter Tuddenham. We also have a report on the Edgecon charity cheque presentation to the British Diabetic Association by Gareth Thomas and the Edgecon committee. We were all delighted with the generosity of the Edgecon attendees - I am sure that the £1,200 donated to the B.D.A. will be put to very good use.

I am also pleased to announce that we are going to have a club badge. Seeing that a lot of you will be wearing it (we hope) we want the members to participate in the design of it. We are therefore having a special contest for the design; what we are looking for is something distinctly 'Horizon' that will look good reduced and we will have in a range of up to 3 colours. Even if you can't draw, but think you have a good idea for a badge, write us a description of it and we will try to get someone to draw it out for you and check with you. Every entry will get the usual free colour photo from the 4th series (the male crew of Scorpio) (only if you send an SAE though) and the first prize will be 2 8x10 colour photos of your choice and 2 free zines so it is certainly worth trying for. We will also have 4 runners-up prizes of 1 8x10 colour photo. We will print the 5 top designs in the next newsletter (ENTRIES MUST BE IN BY THE END OF JUNE) and you can all vote for your favourite, so let's hear from you all.

There doesn't seem to be any real news on a fifth series from the BBC and I personally don't think there will be one now. However, due to the pressure from you and other people writing to the BBC, they are reshowing the 4th series, so you see letters can work. I would really like to have a campaign to reshow ALL the series again, especially the 1st series. I think a letter campaign would be most successful, but if any of you out there have any good ideas, please let me know, (Any good ideas will warrant a free photo...) Perhaps we can try to coordinate a successful campaign on this point with 87 fans everywhere.

One very nice result from my recent trip to the U.S.A. last October was to meet many of the B7 fans on the East Coast. There are small but rapidly growing groups and they are extremely enthusiastic. There are two clubs now and we have decided to work together and organise a B7 table at the World Science Fiction Convention in September at Baltimore, Maryland. We hope to catch and retain the interest of some of the thousands of people who attend 'Worldcon' in B7, and although it hasn't yet been officially shown there it has been sold to a television company, so it may well be shown some time in the future. Anything we can do to help it along would further my aim of promoting B7 around the world so that others can enjoy it too.

I hope to be reporting more on this later. In the meantime, enjoy the newsletter and get to work with your entries for the badge competition, and sending your articles and views.
first page of the five-page questionnaire
  • Renewal questionnaire results
  • Competition winners - was Avon mad? (5 pages)
    • "Avon -- The Passing Strange" by Judith M. Seaman (3 pages)
    • Untitled by Penny Thacker (2.5 pages)
    • Untitled by Margaret Martin (1.5 pages)
    • Untitled by Pam Wright (1 page)
  • portrait of Avon by Kay Wallace
  • uncredited art, portrait of Avon
  • "Dead or Alive," fiction by J.D. Humphries (S5; real world crossover, RPF, Avon-Chris Boucher)
  • results from the 4th series questionnaire, part three (six pages, lots of narratives)
  • Edgecon cheque presentation & photos, see Edgecon
  • a review of the play "A Handful of Dust" (Lorna Heilbron)
  • a review by Heather Lulham of the play "Terra Nova" starring Paul Darrow
  • a review by Pat Thomas of the play "Major Barbara" (Brian Croucher)
  • newsy bits on the actors
  • blurbs about cons, zines, and clubs
  • ads
  • a review by Diane Gies and Pat Thomas of the play "Kate" (Jan Chappell)

Regarding the essay competition winners:

"We had some very interesting replies, but the outright winner was Judith Seaman -- who won a 10x8 photo of Avon (4th series of course!) with a personal message of congratulations from Paul Darrow himself, who very offered to judge this competition. We will now reproduce the 4 entries Paul judged the best and to begin, we reproduce Paul's letter to us..."

The first part of Paul Darrow's letter:

... So long after the event, it is fascinating to read such erudite compositions, but extremely difficult to establish who should be first, etc. In the end, the winner came in by a distance. All the others, I felt, were of almost equal merit.

Of course, actors are dependent on basic scripts for their motivations. Consequently, although some scripts placed Avon, somewhat ludicrously, out of character, a way had to be found to maintain his conviction.

Clearly, Avon has turned out to be a lot of different things to a lot of different people and that is not necessarily uncomplimentary. Given the material, I did my best to make him interesting and, I must say, I miss him somewhat.

For the record, I don't think Avon was mad. It's just that he constantly reminded himself of the adage, 'you don't get owt for coming second.' I hope that he never failed to be anything less than first.

Issue 10

Horizon Newsletter 10 was published in mid 1983 and contains 44 pages. It was edited by Pat Thomas.

cover of issue #10

By this time the club had 650 members, many of whom had joined as a result of an article published in Marvel Blake's Seven Monthly, or Tony Atwood's Blake's Seven Programme Guide. As a result, the committee were

... beginning to find it difficult to do all the work involved in running a club of this size. NO, DON'T PANIC, we're not closing down or anything dreadful like that - it's simply that the most time consumign type of jobs e.g. collating, stuff things into envelopes (!) etc. take up so much of our time that we don't have a chance to branch out more into writing, research, new projects, etc. Anyway, we have come up with an idea that has worked well for other large clubs - they call it a work-in, which basically means that various people meet up every so often for a wild binge of collating, hole-punching, envelope staffung, etc. I think it might be an idea to try. We can offer 'rewards' to tempt you.[3]
  • Helen Gerald, "New Recruit" (fiction)
  • Sarah Berry, "Pragmatic Heroes" (fiction)
  • Ros Williams, "Last Gasps"(fiction)
  • Barbara Wakely, "Thirty Years On (or Thereabouts)" (fiction)
  • Mary Moulden, "Inside Information" (fiction)
  • David Nicol, "Orac/Slave" (comic strip)
  • David Nicol, "Bake's 7" (comic strip)
  • David Bell, "An Odd Piece of Verse" (poem)
  • Charlotte Brooks and Natalie Prior, "Song for the Aged B7 Crew Members" (filk, When I'm Sixty-Four)
  • Helen Pitt (art)
  • Davod Nicol (art)
  • Glynis Barber biography & interview
  • Soolin articles
  • Competition winners - B7 30 Years On
  • Badge designs
  • Covers: Soolin/3rd series crew/Blake & Jenna/Glynis Barber

Issue 11

cover of issue #11

Horizon Newsletter 11 was published in January and February 1984 and contains 42 pages. It was edited by Pat Thomas. This is the first issue to use the new printer, switching from paper fasteners to stapled binding. The editorial in issue 12 gives more information:

We have found ourselves a new printer as you will have seen from N/L 11. More expensive, but also far more professional (but we still haven't increased prices yet...) We try to maintain, and if possible improve, the standard of our newsletters, but we make a loss on them - the other merchandise that we sell subsidises production. If we didn't sell zines, etc. at a profit we couldn't keep the standard we have. So, encourage your friends to buy our merchandise - it's in your own interest![4]
  • David Nicol, "Orac/Slave" (comic strip)
  • Pam Wright, "Rumours of... Love?" (fiction)
  • Felis Sylvestris, "Letters- To Mother, from Tarrant" (fiction)
  • Del, untitled poem
  • David Nicol (art)
  • S. Hender
  • Chris Copp (art)
  • Competition Winners - Worst episodes
  • Convention reviews Worldcon 83, Galacticon 83 & Vilacon 83
  • Covers: Vila, Tarrant & Avon/Tarrant & Vila/Soolin & Dayna/Sleer

Issue 12

Horizon Newsletter 12 was published in mid 1984 and contains 40 pages. It was edited by Heather Lulham.

cover of issue #12
  • Felis Sylvestris, "Letters- To Mother, from Tarrant (Part 2)" (fiction)
  • Cathy Heatherley, "It Takes Three..." (fiction)
  • Wendy Ingle, "Blake's Seven-- The Motion Picture" (fiction)
  • Ann Godfrey, "Blake's 7-- The Film" (fiction)
  • Gillian Marsden, "Still Life in Water Colour" (fiction)
  • Vince Barnett, "Blake's Seven Alphabet" (poem)
  • Guy Daniels (art)
  • Peter Cook (art)
  • Chick (art)
  • includes renewal questionaire and photo list for January 1985 to purchase telepics, from the society, Blake's Seven Episodes 1-13 series A, Episodes 3,5,6,7 & 13 Series B, Episodes 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, series C, episodes 1,2,7,13 series D. Also special event photographs.
  • Mat Irvine interview
  • B7 film script competition winners
  • Covers: Avon & Soolin/Blake & Cally/Vila/Servalan & Travis 2


Issue 13

Horizon Newsletter 13 was published in January 1985 and contains 45 pages. It was edited by Pat Thomas.

front cover of issue #13
back cover of issue #13

NOTE: this zine is labeled incorrectly as issue #12 on the inside cover.

  • Brian Croucher biography & interview (11 pages)
  • a short bio and description of the fannish activities and friendship between two fans: Helen Pitt and Mary Moulden
  • Why is a Black Hole Black, article by Michael A. Hather
  • "Blake's Death," poem by Ruth Guttridge
  • Competition winners - B7 jobs in 20th Century, specifically 1984 (there were many, many entries to this contest)
    • Emma Clarke, untitled (AU; B7 characters in 1984, fiction)
    • Ros Williams, untitled (AU; B7 characters in 1984, fiction)
    • Sarah Berry, untitled (AU; B7 characters in 1984, fiction)
    • Kathryn Cuttmore, "(Sending) Up the Workers" (AU; B7 characters in 1984, fiction)
    • a cartoon by Stella Hender, offered as a visual response to the competition
  • a list of suitable 1984 occupations for each of the Blake's 7 characters
  • a con report for Galacticon '84 by Cathy Heatherley, see that page
  • a review by Sharon Eckman of the pro book Afterlife, see that page
  • a lengthy description and availability of Horizon merchandise, including zines, Christmas cards, and photos
  • two sample Christmas cards, perhaps by Danny Dresner
  • photos from Scorpio II, plus two con reports, see that page
  • Chris Copp (illos)
  • a review by Elaine Easton of the play "Don't Start Without Me"
  • "Etiquette for Theatre Goers," article by Heather Lulham
  • newsy bits about the actors
  • zine reviews + one filk tape
  • a long review by Ros Williams of the episode "Blake"
  • a long review by Ann Godfrey of the fourth season
  • David Nicol (cartoon)

Issue 14

Horizon Newsletter 14 was published in May 1985 and contains 44 pages. It was edited by Diane Gies.

  • Helen Pitt, "Goodwill to All Men" (fiction)
  • David Bell, untitled story (fiction)
  • David Nicol, "Orac/Slave" (comic strip)
  • Geoff Tilley, "It's Supertravis!" (fiction)
  • Val Leibson (art)
  • David Nicol (art)
  • Danny Dresner (art)
  • Kay Wallace (art)
  • Internview Sheelagh Wells (B7 makeup);
  • Winners Orac’s Xmas presents competition
  • ‘Afterlife’ reviews (massacres?!)
  • More theatre goers etiquette
  • Covers: Blake/Servalan/Dayna/Glynis Barber

Issue 15

Horizon Newsletter 15 was published in late 1985 and contains 48 pages. It was edited by Pat Thomas.

  • Ann Godfrey, "The Big Space" (Phillip Marlowe crossover; humor)
  • Judith Seaman, "Cry 'UNCLE' or The Way Way Out in Space Affair" (Man from UNCLE crossover)
  • Wendy Ingle, "Seven Go Roundabout" (crossover)
  • Pam Wright, "Dempsey and Makepeace Meet Dorian" (crossover)
  • David Nicol, "Orac + Slave" (comic strip)
  • Stephen Haines, "Ode to 'Afterlife' (the Authentic Sequel)!" (poem)
  • Jo Blackie (art)
  • David Nicol (art)
  • Paul Darrow biography & interview
  • Competition winners - B7/crossover ideas;
  • Scorpio III convention reports & photos
  • B7 edited videos reviews
  • Covers: Paul Darrow/Tarrant & Dayna/Servalan/Avon

Issue 16

Horizon Newsletter 16 was published in early 1986 and contains 40 pages. It was edited by Diane Gies.

300 issues were sent out on its first printing; in 10% of these issues, some of the pages were blank due to an error by the printer.

  • Emma Clarke, "Halcyon Days" (fiction)
  • Danny Dressner (art)
  • more B7 video news
  • Competition winners - how should fandom progress
  • Galacticon review
  • Photo page
  • Servalan’s photo album
  • Covers: Cally/Blake/Jan Chappell & Sally Knyvette/4th series crew

Issue 17

Horizon Newsletter 17 was published in late 1986 and contains 48 pages. It was edited by Diane Gies.

front cover of issue #17
back cover of issue #17
inside front cover of issue #17
inside back cover of issue #17
  • editorial by Diane Gies
  • info on the Horizon Raffle
  • info on the "new 6-weekly newsflash service," created to fill in the very long gaps between these formal newsletters
  • a crossword puzzle
  • Sally Knyvette interview, conducted at Scorpio (4 pages)
  • two portraits of Jenna, one by Stephen Haines, the other by Jo Jobson
  • Competition winners - ‘What is B7 ABOUT?’ (many fan essays) (5 pages)
  • Would You Name Your Child After an Alien?, an article by Wendy Ingle about the character Cally (2 pages)
  • photos, and two con reports for Scorpio #4, see that page
  • a con report for Space City, see that page
  • a response regarding comments in the last issue about Galacticon
  • some short discussion/essays on "The Duel"
  • "A Review of the N.F.T. Tele-Fantasy Convention, and The Way Back" (The first British Tele-Fantasy Convention, took place at the National Film Theatre on July 12-13, 1986)
  • Judith M. Seamam, "Still Round the Corner We May Meet" (fiction) (1 page)
  • a review of the play "Romantic Comedy" starring Paul Darrow
  • a review of the play "Benefactors" with Gareth Thomas
  • fourteen fans list their names and addresses and willingness to host regional fan club meetings for fans who can't make the "trek down to London"
  • there are 23 fan comments in a section called "Member Comments," something that predates the official Letter of Comment section later in this newsletter; this appears to have started with issue #16
  • there is a lovely photo of Peter Tuddenham cutting a cake shaped like the Liberator at the "Horizon Summer Party 86"
  • Orac's Oddments, the regular column of things for sale and trade (7 pages)
  • zine reviews
  • a review of the novelisation of the episode "Shadow"
  • Covers: Jenna & Cally/Jenna & Avon/Soolin, Avon & Tarrant/Servalan & Kasabi

Issue 18

cover of issue #18

Horizon Newsletter 18 was published in early 1987 and contains 56 pages. It was edited by Diane Gies.

  • Fliss Davies (art)
  • Danny Dresner (art)
  • an article by Pat Thomas about the start of B7 fandom
  • The First Decade of B7 & Down Memory Lane photos
  • Competition winners - B7 5th series or film with other actors taking over the roles?
  • Competition winners - Stupidest questions to ask the crew
  • Convention reviews & photos Space City 86
  • Blake article by Judith Seaman called "No Myth is Safely Broken" -- there are a number of responses to this in the next issue
  • What’s in a Name
  • Our Heroes! article
  • Covers: Vila/Blake/Avon/Soolin

Issue 19

front cover of issue #19
back cover of issue #19
inside front cover of issue #19
back cover of issue #19

Horizon Newsletter 19 was published in late 1987 and contains 72 pages. It was edited by Pat Thomas.

photos of Paul Darrow drawing a fan's name for a raffle contest. Photos are by Diane Gies
  • the usual very, very long editorial that addresses changes in members' club duties, and horrendous problems with the postal service; the editor notes that because of problems with the Postal Service, American subscribers received their copies of issue #18 five months late
  • an obit, plus photos, for Geoffrey Burridge, the actor who portrayed "Dorian" (5)
  • B7 10th Anniversary Charity Appeal (7)
  • That's the Way the Money Goes(!), an article about club finances, (9)
  • Competition winners - change the ending of an episode, one fan (Nicola Barnard)'s answer is a short fic with an "Orbit" focus, another fan (Carol Wyke) also writes a fic in response to the competition, this one a "Gambit" story ("A Gambit Bargain") (10)
  • Competition results - your memories of B7 & B7 fandom (19)
  • There, There Tarrant, an article by Sarah Berry about being a Tarrant fan (25)
  • theatre review: Don't Worry About Matilda, with Michael Keating
  • some articles written in response to Judith Seaman's article "No Myth is Safely Broken" which appeared in an earlier issue (27)
    • The Myth About "The Myth," an article by Fliss Davies
    • It Was No Myth! by Helen Parkinson
    • No Myth is Safely Broken, Another View by Pam Wright
    • Roj Blake, an Alternative View by S.D. Hill
  • a quiz, "How Fan Are You?" compiled by Jane Porter and Belinda Lancaster (31)
  • Where Are the Good Guys?, article by Joyce McMaster (32)
  • results of the second Horizon raffle, includes photos taken by Diane Gies portraying Paul Darrow drawing name of the winner (34)
  • a report on the club's promotions and activities (37)
  • Orac's Oddments, stuff for sale (38)
  • Letters of Comment (46)
  • Tenth Anniversary Questionnaire (53)
  • three more photos taken at Scorpio V (54)
  • a con report for Eccentricon, see that page (55)
  • a con report for Scorpio V, see that page (56)
  • a con report for Conspiracy 87 (Brighton Worldcon), see that page (59)
  • Covers: Avon, Blake & Vila/Geoffrey Burridge/1st season crew/Avon, Dayna & Hal Mellanby
A fan writes:
'The Price of Freedom.' I stared writing that in a small, red notebook on the plane back from L.A. in 1980. It wasn't finished to my (then) satisfaction for over two years. It tools o long as it was written in twenty minute bouts before school and at weekends if I could concentrate that long. Thankfully, I've destroyed the original pictures that went with the stories. It took months for me to type (on two different typewriters) out and the first, unbound copy was sent to IMIPAC. Soon I had the one and only copy photo-copied, reduced and aligned so that it could be sold in booklet form. I never expected the response thrust upon me, and even now I'm at university and stopped putting out adverts 2/3 years ago, I still get esquires from America, New Zealand, Australia, Holland, Germany and, occasionally, parts of Britain. Hear this world, I sell it now more! Jane Porter and I hope to present you with two new, non-fiction ventures shortly!

Issue 20

Horizon Newsletter 20 was published in June 1988 and contains 72 pages. It was edited by Diane Gies.

  • David Nicol, "Play Fair" (fiction)
cover of issue #20
  • Jeff, "Flake's 1 to 8: Afterflake" (graphic story) (fiction)
  • Michael A. Hather, "The Ballad of Roj Blake" (poem)
  • Jeff (art)
  • Danny Dresner (art)
  • Results 10th Anniversary questionnaire
  • making of World in Action: The Trial of Theresa starring Josette Simon with pictures
  • The Great Tarrant Controversy articles
  • Jan Chappell, Paul & Janet Darrow, Michael Keating & Brian Croucher gamely answer extremely stupid questions from members (eg What kind of soft toys do the crew own? What colour is your bathroom & does the loo paper match?)
  • Convention review & pictures DSV1; Large scale zine bootlegging problem with prime suspects Star Tech in Tennessee, USA
  • The World of Fandom article
  • Covers: Tarrant/Brian Croucher/4th series crew/Cally

Issue 21

Horizon Newsletter 21 was published in October 1988 and contains 88 pages. It was edited by Diane Gies.

front cover of issue #21
back cover of issue #21
inside front cover of issue #21
inside back cover of issue #21
  • this issue notes that the "ridiculous '28-day video law' ... whereby the Government was planning to make it illegal to keep video recordings of ANYTHING for longer than 28 days, was abandoned, although they are still planning legislation concerning video recordings (and audio)."
  • the editor offers up a plan for fans feeling disgruntled at having to wait a long time for newsletters to be published in order to get news: "send 4 ordinary sized stamped, self-addressed envelopes PLUS a cheque or PO payable to Horizon for 50p.... This will entitle you to 4 newsflashes... We will be issuing them whenever anything we think will be of interest occurs, but certainly 2 and possibly more will be sent out between newsletters."
  • the editor reports that the mess regarding this club's US agent has been straitened out, but not after losing money (several hundred pounds) -- it was due to the fan in the US totally dropping the ball on correspondence and sitting on checks and orders
  • a fan writes that "And just to pre-empt any future comment, I must make it clear now that the amazing resemblance between "fly Late Lamented Friend" by Fliss Davies and a story which is scheduled to appear in Interface 12 of the same title is purely coincidental. All I can say is that, obviously, great minds think alike. (Except I wrote the situation the other way around and, subject to Yvette Clarke's scrutiny and approval, there will be further adventures of 'Avon and Blake (Deceased)' to come.) Meantime Fliss, congratulations on such a great idea, but please be assured that I'm not a plagiarist!"
  • Charity appeal information & bid auction: rules, goodies, info on the charity video tape (six pages)
  • Gareth Thomas "10 Anniversary Interview" & biography (12 pages)
  • Pam Wright, "A Poem for Gareth (with apologies to Elizabeth Barrett)"
  • art by Tim Pieraccini
  • con report for Telly Con, see that page
  • two con reports for Scorpio VI, see that page
  • two con reports and photos for Space City 88, see that page for one of them
  • Fliss Davies (art)
  • Danny Dresner (art)
  • zine reviews
  • a fan's review of the play "The Admirable Crichton" with Steven Pacey
  • Blake articles & poem
A comment on American Blake's 7 zines:
A word on American zines - the problem with these, for us over here, is that they cost a lot, and as many of them are 300+ pages of A4, weigh half a ton 5 cost the earth to post here. Two types of giant zines - the 'single story' type ones, which I have to confess I often find rather heavy going-one giant one I was reading was very good, excellent writing and all that, but DEPRESSING... hundreds of pages with no humour and 'witty crew exchanges' such as we all know and love from the series. Or maybe us Brits don't understand the American sense of humour? And as I've said in the past, Post GPs are fine, but they generally don't hold my interest these days, unless there's a really good twist (or some humour!!) As for the 300+ page zines with billions of short stories in them - many of these are very good, although one gets a bit punch drunk trying to read it all in one go. Nothing springs to mind to comment on specifically at this moment (it's been around 5 months since I read most of them) but I do envy them their printing facilities - offset printing, different typefaces/styles/sizes, colour covers... I've just received one 2 days ago - GAMBIT 3 - which I haven't had time to actually read yet (this N/L to finish first) but just looking at the presentation, it'd be worth buying for that alone, almost!! My compliments to your laser printer!! (By the way, Jean, it took 3 weeks to get here - AIR MAIL - according to the stamp, and came wrapped in plastic with that ominous note... "Found open and damaged" at... wait for it.... Tokyo Airport!!!! What the blazes was it doing there, I'd like to know! But panic not, it's all in one piece.
Regarding feedback and a bit of public shaming:
Jean Lorrah's powerful piece of self-promotion struck a chord or two here and perhaps will with other fan writers. I mean, I put myself out, heart and soul, to write fan stories - partly for my own pleasure, of course, & partly because, like most other writers, I love to share my dreams & fantasies. And there's the point: sharing. Jean has enthusiastically TOLD us what she's written, but does anyone KNOW I've also written a story about Tarrant mixing up the memory tubes? I KNOW five people have read the story -Margaret Martin - or was it Elizabeth Everett, I forget which, also Diane - yes, you said you liked it, but. never commented on it in your occasional brief zine reviews, so I imagine you didn't like it very much - and a couple of friends to whom I actually gave or showed a copy! Also the editor of the zine. I still think it's one of my best stories, but I ask myself sometimes why I bother to write anything as I get so very little feedback that I begin to wonder if anyone ever reads the stories at all. Do people agree with my interpretation of Avon/Vila? Do they find the stories convincing? Do they even buy the zines in which stories appear? Horizon occasionally comments in N/L's about reprintings, but that's all I, an author they've featured, ever hear from them about the stories. When I read a zine I usually send a letter to the Ed. about it. I begin to think I should write to the individual authors for I suspect the editors never pass on any comments. It may be lack of time, I appreciate that, but writer/editor is a partnership. Perhaps whoever the person is who approves zine stories should make a point of passing feedback to authors they feature? And if they never get feedback, they can say so too, and perhaps indicate to the readers that if they never comment do the stories, the writers will eventually lose interest. I write less B7 these days - partly due to lack of time, partly due to other writing interests, partly due to enthusiasm for Carnell - I can't write about him all the time so I write less (I imagine zines wouldn't accept stories which feature Carnell every time!) and partly due to very little feedback. Once a zine has issued your story, you may as well forget it exists, because that's the last you'll probably hear of it apart from your freebie copy. Has ANYONE else read "Cross-switch"? Or any of the best of my other stories? Did they even notice who wrote what? Will anyone read my Avon/Anna epic, "The Road to Rebellion"? Is it surprising Judith feels no-one wants to read her stories? Perhaps they never bother to tell her they like them? Writing stories is wonderful - for the writer. But if no-one reads them? Is it worth it? Writing articles is more satisfactory as one gets responses in the next N/L. Perhaps I should stick to articles? As for Jean, if she wants to write to me about HER version of the tube-switching, she's welcome. At least we might appreciate each other's efforts satisfactorily! We each know how it feels... [... Ed. That's a very interesting point, and I apologise on behalf of HORIZON if we haven't passed on feedback we may have received. BUT we now have the LOCs section, where anyone liking (or disliking) a particular story in a zine can just write a line or two about it, rather than having to write an entire zine review. I hope people WILL comment on stories in Horizon zines. Obviously, if we've printed a story. WE think it was good, but what do YOU think? Re my comments on zines, due to lack of space, I've tended to comment - briefly - on stories I've just read/new zines, and even then usually on zines sitting in front of me to refresh my memory. Sorry, Ros.)
A fan defends fanfic:
What really motivated me to write was Roger Cope's statement that he tends to "steer clear" of zines because they're "imaginary" and the BBC B7 is "real". As not only an avid zine reader, but a writer, I found that appalling. Haw boring to spend a fandom only reading things that are scripted from the show as presented. Half of fandom is zines, is carrying on the characters. Is giving them life. Zines are for 'what-if' stories; for speculation. Without them, there'd be no fandoms. You can watch tapes so many times. And nothing ever changes. When fans gather, speculation is what rolls. How far or how much speculation would we get if there were no zines, only newsletters and interviews? I guess it'd be confined to the N/L LOCs. Period. Interesting - but not creative. A good fan story can really make you soar. Damn satisfying - as the series could never be.
Complaint about a "twerp's" letter:
Graham Spencer's "Weekend" in the N/L is very condescending. I suppose it hasn't yet occurred to him that he'll be old one day, and maybe with a housewife in tow - or leading him on - with him liking it or not as the case may be. Teenage crush? Never had one of those, didn't he? Too clever, perhaps? Really, Diane, how can you publish such a male chauvinist, immature twerp's ramblings? Tell him to grow up. We adults want better in our N/L. (... Ed - everyone's entitled to their opinion, I guess... )
An example of the many, many comments about individual characters:

I like Karen's point that Avonophiles might not enjoy living with him. I am sure many fans see Avon as much nicer than he really is - simply because they worship him so much that they can't quite believe in his faults. I'm sure I'd get on with him well in that we're both perfectionists, that I'd like to work with or for him if I had the kinds of talents which would complement his... BUT I wouldn't think of living with the man. He'd be a dratted nuisance as he'd endlessly try to order me about and never say thank you for anything. Day and night on a spaceship? Well, the day's OK. Forget the nights. I'd spend them somewhere else - preferably with Carnell, with whom I'd get on famously, I can tell you (day or night). Avon's too self-opinionated. That would be tedious. And, furthermore, if we are to accept Avon as Paul apparently depicts him, as a kind of Rambo in space, a man who DOES, but rarely ever THINKS ... Urk! Men who never think are crashing bores. I hope Paul is wrong!

Tarrant! Love him. Clearly I'm abnormal, too. And I'm an Avon fan, too. Why on earth or elsewhere should Tarrant worship Avon? He'd be a crashing bore if he did. Avon needs people to fight him or he'd walk over them all. Blake was such a good foil for Avon - the best, really, apart from Servalan. I've always meant to write a story about Tarrant and Deeta - perhaps one day. And it's important to remember Tarrant is Avon's only male colleague for, in spite of all the sentimentality about an Avon/Vila relationship, Avon has never, in my opinion, last his contempt of Deltas. Whatever he feels emotionally for Vila, he can't forget the division between them of class.
Regarding bootlegging and profit:
Thanks for all the research you have done into these American 'bootleggers' who are illegally reprinting, among others, MY work. While, in a sense, I'm flattered that one of my stories should be considered worth pinching, you, of course, have my full backing to say I'm hopping mad to have this done without my approval or yours, and I think if they're selling OUR stuff for this whacking profit, we're entitled to some form of payment. After all, those of us who 'sold' scripts to the Marvel B7 magazine, who banked in Baltimore, were paid £30 by a magazine selling for 50p, so there is a precedent. If they don't pay us anything, I think they could make a donation to the club. It would do nicely for the Charity Appeal. Continue to threaten them with everything you can, and if, at any time, you would like 'your authors' to dip their pens in vitriol and write to these bods as well, just say the word and I will! Best of luck, anyway, with whatever you decide to do!
Disgruntlement towards a fan, plus more on bootlegging:
It is a shame that all the good news around at the moment concerned with B7 is blighted by certain individuals who are, it seems, either unscrupulously making vast amounts of profit from B7 orientated material or who are letting certain areas of B7 fandom down. Both are inexcusable. To start with, [Sue P] undertook an obligation to supply Horizon merchandise in the US. Her failure in dealing with excessive demands and her complete lack of reliability shown by the failure in making regular reports to the Committee is, in my mind, very sad. As always, the Horizon Committee will be left picking up the pieces and this is not on. I don't want to spend a whole page condemning Sue, because I feel she has suffered enough, especially if she read N/L 20. However, as an individual, I must express my displeasure in the lack of consideration shown to the Committee and to all the US members of which some are still waiting for their year-old orders. However, I make no apologies for my utter condemnation of the bootlegging that is going on at the moment. Fans have written zines and contributed to zines out of sheer love for B7 and without ever wishing to make any profit from their endeavours. That someone has the gall to use items by fans, some of which are oblivious to the fact that their work is being used, is not only despicable, but dishonest and lacking in morals as well.
Much praise:

I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading the N/L - it's always full of such interesting things, between the LOCs and miscellaneous articles, which are always fascinating and often controversial. I especially liked Judith Seaman's 'No Myth' articles in N/L 18 and all the responses to it in 19. And I enjoyed the defense of Tarrant in N/L 20, As one of the few Tarrant defenders I know, I am always looking for new ways to defend a character I feel has gotten a terrible rap. And I love the 'trivia' -I'd like to see somebody do a count of teleport bracelets destroyed. (... Ed. - your wish is our command!)

I am always impressed by the quality of the N/Ls - it's obvious the work that goes into them. It's understandable why they're far between when you're putting out over 70 pages of top-quality publication. As long as members get 4 N/Ls for their subscription, what does it matter if it's per year or 19 months or whatever. (... Ed. - it's the 'whatever' I tend to feel guilty about! There is a lack of continuity when it's over 6 months between N/Ls.) I always recommend Horizon to my friends here based primarily on the strength and quality of the N/Ls. The US agency problem was unfortunate, but I hope the problems with getting zines last year won't discourage US fans from ordering from you again. Now that Ann has got that mess straightened out (and I encourage any US fen who ordered and didn't receive their order to write to Ann - she doesn't bite and she can get your order problem solved), ordering zines should be easy. Especially since Horizon takes US$ cheques, which some overseas dealers don't. As one who has just started a B7 club stateside (in Chicago), I can now better appreciate the work that goes into running an organisation like Horizon. Your suggestions to fans in the back of NL 21 were quite helpful (and one of the things that finally got me going on an idea I'd been thinking about for some time). So far, our little club (Liberation) is small and informal, but it's still a lot of work. And we've adopted many of your ideas (including members' surveys of likes and dislikes, etc. and conversation topics for our monthly meetings/parties). You probably don't realise it, but you've helped a lot. Thanks to you all.

Issue 22

Horizon Newsletter 22 was published in June 1989 and contains 72 pages. It was edited by Diane Gies.

front cover of issue #22
back cover of issue #22
inside front cover of issue #22
inside back cover of issue #22
  • information on the "Blake's Seven 10th Anniversary Appeal" (2 pages)
  • "Fascinating B7 Facts" (1 page)
  • Terry Nation interview, includes a portrait of Nation by Fliss Davies (10 pages)
  • general letters of comments (12 pages)
  • "Orac's Oddments," a regular section of ads, con announcements, club info (6 pages)
  • section titled "The Controversy in Blake's Seven Fandom" with numerous letters from many sides of The Blake's 7 Wars (8 pages)
  • Close Encounters of the Blake Kind, about an internal newsletter for Rutherford Laboratory (now Rutherford and Appleton) about some filming of the B7 "Weapon" in their labs (1)
  • Horizon Merchandise (key rings, zines, posters, stamps, holiday cards, badges, the Wells make-up video, scripts, stickers, photos...) (7 pages)
  • a short recap of the bootlegging situation, see The 1988 Blake's 7 Bootlegged Zines Discussion
  • Competition winners - So you want to run a Fan Club? (4 pages)
  • photos and con report for Gambit 1989, see that page
  • Helen Parkinson, "Best Laid Plans" (poem)
  • Fliss Davies, "Travis' Last Stand (poem)
  • Twenty Great "Blake's 7" Costumes
  • The Darren Funnell Guide to B7 -- Part One
  • Blake-a-Thon and Script Reading Marathon Report, see that page
  • Theatre Reviews
    • Alibi for Murder with Paul Darrow
    • Measure for Measure with Josette Simon
    • Inside Job with Gareth Thomas
    • The Queen of Spades and I with Michael Keating
  • review of the televisions show "These Foolish Things" with Michael Keating
  • Danny Dresner (art)
  • zine reviews:
  • six reviews of Avon: A Terrible Aspect (all written knowing Paul Darrow would probably see these: one review ends with "Love ya, Paul!"), see that page
  • Competition winners - B7 bloopers
  • comments in the general LoC section regarding the recent Space City III con, see that page
  • Covers: Terry Nation/Servalan/Tarrant & Avon/Jenna, Blake & Cally
  • "Several Insane Ways to Bring Back "Blake's 7" Onto Your Screen" by Kate Barrall: one suggestion:
    1. a) Take one large piece of card, a tape measure and some glue. b) Measure the screen of your television set. c) Cut out the following letters according to the screen size: 7. B.E. SLAK. d) Re-arrange to form a certain television programme. e) Stick on the screen. 100% foolproof.

Some excerpts from the general LoC section:

My remark that, to me, Paul Darrow IS B7 seems to have created a furor. I never said the other characters were irrelevant. I never said I watched solely to see Paul/Avon. As I recall, the comment was in respect of a question about why one watched B7 and whether changes of actor, etc., would spoil a series rather than losing a character. If I misremember, I apologise - I don't have the time to hoick out reams of past N/Ls and the like to check - but I think what I was saying was that, so far as I was concerned, almost any other character could have been recast or killed off without killing the series, but killing Avon or losing Paul would probably have destroyed it utterly - for me. I want to distance myself from some of the remarks by others which have followed from my original assertation! As for the other characters, I love them all; yes, even Tarrant. I was bitterly disappointed when Blake disappeared - the series was never the same without him. If Avon had gone instead. I imagine I'd have continued to watch and perhaps have found a new hero; but I can't be SURE of that. I could survive without the others - but without Avon??? Almost inconceivable, yet who knows; I mean, Carnell might have taken his place..Only Carnell could be superior to Avon (but better to have both of them along). As for the specific question, WHO IS B7 - the answer is sure to be totally individual!

I can't see why Avon fans should do down Blake unless it is that they resent the fact that Blake was - in my opinion - always the leader. I suspect many fans emotionally need Avon to lead and when he doesn't, they want someone to blame. I find this attitude inexplicable, but then I never did sec Avon as a willing leader. Having watched the series from the start, I didn't expect Avon to lead and -be honest-he didn't make too good a job of it when he eventually had to try. I know some fans will want to lynch me for that, so remember I adore him too...but that doesn't stop me psychoanalysing him and deciding, rightly or wrongly, that Blake's the boss - ALWAYS. I imagine some of us will never be able to agree on this matter. As for Blake being a manipulator, what's wrong with that? One of Avon's prime problems is that he isn't too good at manipulating people. How boring this series would be if all the characters were saints! As for the manipulators - I LIKE them in stories. They make things happen. Carnell must surely be B7's prime manipulator.
Before you ask bootleggers for payment, you want to check on the legal position. "Blake's 7" is copyright - either to the Beeb or to Terry Nation, I don't know which. Perhaps to both. Copyright laws are a minefield, but one thing we can't do, so far as I know, is accept money for the stories we write. These laws are different in the States: perhaps you could from there? My inclination is NOT to take money. If you receive any, you have either to send it back or - perhaps - you could send it to a charity.

If the bootlegging weren't a serious matter, I'd find Bill Anchors' letter hysterically funny. I still found it hysterically funny in a ghastly kind of way. Where writing's concerned I don't, thank heaven, have a fragile ego and insults to my writing don't upset me. All criticism should be assessed as objectively as possible, mind you. (A fragile ego might be more modest, but it don't get you anywhere!!) Since Anchors' remarks about my writing obviously aren't intended to be calm, clear, reasoned criticism, I don't give a damn what he thinks. This guy is presumably a businessman, yet he says he didn't read these stories before selling them. That suggests a pretty cavalier attitude to his customers, although one would not, I guess, expect a bookseller to read everything he sells. However, fanzines are amateur publications and quality cannot be guaranteed - most pro. publishers have bearable standards.

His remark "I doubt if few of my customers read your N/L" betrays his bad English, so I don't think his assessment of my work is worth a moment's thought. What he has actually implied here by his incorrect English is that many of his customers may read Horizon N/Ls! To use the word "pissed" in a business letter- and this SHOULD have been a business letter - is, let's say, unfortunate. It is not logical for him to refuse to give you the "reprinter's name" - in my opinion...and his reason for refusing to give it is - again, in my opinion - curious. His advert in respect of why he is no longer selling the zines is also wildly unbusinesslike. It's one thing to be offensive privately, but I suggest that his 'tone' has only made things worse -- for him.
Hi! I joined Horizon at Gambit, and I'm absolutely delighted with your zines and newsletters. I hate to admit it, but I think the fiction in your zines is more imaginative than that in American zines. We haven't been at it as long as you, though; maybe we'll catch up some day. The newsletters are great fun, too -- very professional, and the photos are lovely. Best of all, we Americans get to see the British view of things!

[Here's] one more Yank's story of conversion [to Blake's 7]:

The time and place was Summer Media Fest 82, a small multi-media convention in the Washington D.C. area. Heather Nachman, whom I didn't even know at the time, had scheduled a private screening of some "Blake's 7" episodes in her hotel room, only to discover that the TV set in her room didn't work. In desperation, she asked my roommate, who was a friend of hers, if they could borrow our room for the screening. My roommate said yes, I shrugged, and I was about to head out the door, when Heather practically nabbed me by the collar and said, "Sit down. Watch this. You'll understand when it's over."

I don't know if I can convey to the British fan the experience of being jammed into a modest hotel room with well over 20 other fans, all of us staring at a hazy-blue camera copy of 'Countdown'. Someone was sitting on my feet and I was getting a crick in my neck from having to turn sideways. The image on the TV set wasn't very large to begin with when viewed from across the room. There was no colour discernible in the picture (just shades of blue), many of the visual details were gone, and the audio was noisy enough that we lost the odd sentence here and there as well. I didn't know who these characters were, or why it was so important to them to be doing what they were doing. And still I was grabbed by the urgency and the import of it all. Even under those circumstances you could tell that both antagonism and loyally passed between Blake and Avon. You could tell that there was a discrepancy between the way Avon acted and the way he felt. You could tell that there was a lot more substance to Blake than the usual run of 'cowboy' heroes that get served up. (His last line to Provine, "See you in hell," came through loud and clear even on the fuzzy audio. I remember thinking to myself that this guy was no Captain Kirk, and that was all to the good.) You couldn't miss the tension and the irony of the two old enemies working together against the clock to defuse the bomb. These people felt strong emotions without ever lapsing into sentimentality. I really didn't know what the hell was going on, but there was an uncommon intensity and maturity to the whole thing that impressed me as no other TV show had ever impressed me before. I was hooked.

It would take me two more years to finally finish seeing all 52 episodes (camera copy) in the summer of 1984. The interesting thing about watching B7 through fan contacts (as opposed to watching it off a TV station) is that if fans have a fault, it is the tendency to treat everyone as though they have already seen the whole series. Within 24 hours of my having seen my first B7 episode, somebody just HAD to tell me what happened in the final episode. (After that I started a rigid policy of dashing madly out of the room if anyone started talking about episodes I hadn't seen.) As a result, I was somewhat prepared for 'Blake' (as prepared as you can be for a kick in the stomach). What I was completely unprepared for was 'Orbit'. I was stunned. It was perfectly logical and perfectly horrifying. To this day, the look on Avon's face as the logical solution dawned on him is the single most indelible memory I have of my experience with "Blake's 7".
On the subject of fan literature, Linda said that a good fan story can make you soar "as the series never could". If it wasn't the series that made me soar, I wouldn't be a B7 fan! One of the things that makes B7 so great is that you can watch an episode again and again and keep finding something new in it. Fan literature is great, it's a wonderful way to explore and share and continue the series, but if it isn't true to the series as shown by the BBC, it isn't B7, for me. My ideal fan story would be one that I could imagine as an episode, like Mary Moulden's "Captivity" (see Horizon 9) or Linda Webb Taylor's "Sanction" (see Best of Spacefall).
[from Suzan Lovett]:

FINALLY! Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus! I must explain that bit of effusiveness. When I discovered the B7 fandom, I ran around collecting all the Horizon publications I had missed and eventually got around to subscribing. While I have consistently found your newsletter to be of the highest quality, and have appreciated the efforts and professionalism your team puts into it, for me, it has always lacked something. The same something the old monthlies also lacked. And a lot of the zines. Namely, Blake of "Blake's 7". With no disrespect intended for any of the fine actors that made B7 a great 'total', the character of Blake (and the talented actor that gives him - and many other roles - form, voice and personality) is what has made and kept me a B7 fan.

So. Even though I've always enjoyed the Horizon newsletter (well, I must admit to one occasion when I tossed it across the room. When, in one of your surveys, Blake not only got just a smidgen of the 'pie' in a character popularity vote but, to add insult to injury, garnered a large portion of the 'unpopular' vote) this is the first time I can actually say that it's been a total, real joy. Thank you for the lovely interview, the beautiful recent photo on the back cover and, for more practical reasons, Mr. Thomas' 'credits' list. Now that I can specify what I'm looking for, I can harass my friends on the other side of the ocean and hopefully get to see some of the things I've missed or would have missed.

Issue 22: Letters from the "Controversy in Blake's Seven Fandom" Section

See much more at The Blake's 7 War.

A fan writes of their disbelief:
I'd like to make a few comments regarding the current unpleasantness in B7 fandom. I didn't even know about [A W's] attack until about two weeks ago when I got a copy of her unsigned allegations with a fanzine. My immediate reaction was that it was a gross misinterpretation at best. I did not believe a word of it and resented the obvious attempt at manipulation. I especially resented the fact that it was unsigned and did not offer any sort of opportunity to verify the information. That alone would be enough to set me against its author. The allegations themselves were also completely counter to anything and everything I'd ever heard about Paul and his work for fans. I've written him a letter saying so. but it doesn't seem enough somehow. I'm ashamed that a countryman of mine has done such a thing and wish there was something I could do to make amends. Past expressing my views in letters to friends and zine editors. I don't know what that could be. I just want all of you to know that most of us (at least the people that I've heard from) are sickened by the whole thing and wish [A] would fall into a black hole for awhile. If there's anything more I can do, please let me know.
A fan writes about BNFs, access to celebrities, and of profit:
The following is about a terrible thing happening to B7 fandom here in the US. It indirectly affects fans from other countries, too. Just pray it doesn't happen to you! I've just read a letter by 'Anonymous' in Federation Archives (what an apt name) Dec-Jan issue. May I be allowed to reply to it, from a No-Name Fan point of view? Anonymous' letter does not 'border on personal attack'; a total idiot knows which 'star' is being discussed here. And I wasn't aware fandom was being 'attacked'. I still feel pretty safe about being a follower of B7. Maybe some people just think they're being attacked, because they're starting to lose their stranglehold on B7 fandom. I've never been to a pro-con, but I know people who have. I've yet to have one tell me that they felt a certain someone was unavailable to them. In fact, I was told he went out of his way to meet the fans. And my sources are just as reliable as Anonymous'. Maybe his/her sources got this 'star' mixed up with someone else. Besides, his fee was nowhere near what the other guests were getting. I wonder why? The tear-jerking line about 'dying children' was good, too. I wonder how much Anonymous, and some cons, really give to charities. The idea of guests making money from 'dying children' or any other cause is too ridiculous to even devote more space to! And about Guest Funds - HA! What an absolute rip-off! Yes. I was one of those tans who was 'willing to scrape up the money' for a fund once, but never again. I was promised a party with the guests in attendance. Well, they came, but the BNFs and their friends immediately surrounded them like sharks at a feeding frenzy, and they sank from sight. The one time I did get close enough to talk to one was spoiled too by other 'fans' who wouldn't let me get one word out without interrupting. Geez, I know I have an accent, but it isn't that bad! Some people even like it! We (two friends and I) ended up in the comer talking to the waiter who amused himself and us by tossing quiche over his shoulder. Yeah, great party, loads of fun. Nice seeing the back of your head occasionally, Guest 1. Oh. Guest 2, I didn't even know you were here! Thanks. BNFs. Anonymous says 'the actors no longer want to mingle with the fans.' Oh? It seems to me that a lot of BNFs don't WANT to mingle with us.... In closing, Anonymous predicted the end of guest-orientated conventions. Really? We'll see. I wasn't aware that s/he had control over my welfare ('I won't allow the fans to be ripped off.') And how many people really 'work for free' at a con? I see loads of money being made in dealer's rooms and art auctions. And a lot of the people making the big bucks are on the con staff or involved in the con somehow. I don't deny them the right, but they are making some 'profit' aren't they?!? The only 'Federation take-over' I'm aware of is when BNFs become BNFs in their own eyes and they thought THEY should control fandom. And yes, it is a free country, even to some stars who want to run their own cons! God Bless America!... Incidentally, I'm glad that the star and his wife, among others, don't approve of slash and are taking their stand on it. After all, if people are 'free' to write it, then we're also 'free' to not like it, and say so if we wish. I don't regret that the writers have been found out. My stories are never written under pseudonym or anonymously, and neither are my letters.
A fan writes:
US B7 fandom has recently been turned into a battleground, a state which, it seems, isn't unusual in US fandoms In this case it started with an anonymous attack, printed in a US letterzine. Federation Archives, and now admitted as being by [Ms W] against a B7 actor not specifically named but dearly identifiable as Paul Darrow. The apparent reason for the attack was a suggested, commercially organized Convention tour proposed jointly by Terry Nation and Paul Darrow. [Ms W] is known as an experienced and competent fan writer. She is quite capable of producing a piece of carefully thought-out English prose, stating any concern she may have felt regarding the proposed tour, its funding, its programming, or its organization. She was capable of listing any points she felt required clarification in the rumours that seem to have been around previous to her letter. She also knew Paul Darrow well enough to be aware of his character, his concern for his fans, and his likely intentions with regard to the tour. She chose instead to write a piece of vicious character assassination, alleging, against all evidence, that Paul had for some time been interested only in money and not mingling with the fans, that the proposed Cons would be a 'rip-off', intended to 'control fandom' and a 'line a greedy actor's pockets.' Her reason for writing this article was given as her concern for 'fandom,' a cause not noticeably assisted by her outburst. Paul Darrow wrote a rebuttal... Despite the fact that no one has ever suggested that his attribution was incorrect, he has been further condemned both for defending himself and for having the temerity to mention names.... At the same time that this tour was mooted, Paul and Janet Darrow expressed their dislike of the 'slash' element in fan fiction, and requested that it should not be openly on sale at Conventions where they are guess. All those responsible for the first attack were producers of 'slash' material, and this fact had only just become known to the Darrows.
A fan writes "whose power is corrupting whom?":
And so the Pro v fan con/Controversy rages on (and on and on an on....) What is it all about? I don't honestly know anymore, but it seems to me to have left the realms of righteous (and not so righteous) anger and descended into the sordid arena of personal vendetta. Let's put my my comments into perspective. I am no longer involved in B7 fandom. I was, however, a founder-member of Horizon, all those years ago. I write articles for the newsletter from time to time and go to cons occasionally to see old friends. I do not consider myself a part of the 'scene' any longer. So, you may ask, what right have you got to stick your nose in? Probably none, but as we still have freedom of speech (though I daresay Salman Rushdie would disagree) I intend to. The attitude of fans to fandom has long been a source of interest to me. I've met many fans, from BNFs to SNFs to fans who don't even know what they were. But fandom seemed, in the beginning, to be about enjoying yourself with like-minded people, talking about your passions, (whether they be Avon, Barbaella, or Aragorn son of Arathorn). The deeper one gets into fandom, however, the more one learns of the telling phrase 'power corrupts.' But, at this state, whose power is corrupting whom? Is it the 'power' of the actors, doing the dirty on the fans, or is it the jealous BNFs who don't want to see THEIR power (and profit) slipping away as the actors gravitate towards pro-cons. I have read Paul Darrow and Terry Nation's outline for the proposed pro-cons and I think that it sounds like an eminently sensible idea -- it it goes ahead as planned.... As I am not acquainted with any of the protagonists in question, I can only go by what I read, and what I read is a lot of paranoia and some rather unpleasant accusations made on BOTH sides of the camp.
A fan writes of slash and pseuds:
I have before me the 'Addendum' of [L T's] Fed. Archives, and a lot of letters on the subject in question; some of which are extremely sensible, some of which are staggeringly insulting to both fans and guests. On careful reading of these letters, the main bones of contention appear to be these: 'slash' fiction and paying actors to come to come to cons and indeed, the right of fans to EXPECT the actors at cons. Let's consider... 'slash'. I have already considered it semi-seriously elsewhere in this newsletter (and no doubt insulted people already. Oh well...) However, 'slash' offends a lot ol people. That it offends some fans is not a big deal, after all, they are under no obligation to buy it. That it offends some actors is more of a big deal. Janet Darrow has stated her distaste for 'slash' and asks why the authors decline to use their real names. The authors reply rather ramblingly on the subject of 'witch hunts' and homophobia. This is crap. Writers of hetero and homosexual fiction have been using pseudonyms since time in memorial, and to suddenly put the blame on the above is ridiculous. That homophobia exists is not in question, but to use it as a weapon in this way, especially in the current climate, seems repellent. Then the authors say 'Why do some actors use pseudonyms? Are they ashamed of their families?' ... So what, precisely, are these authors hiding? Their sado-masochistic streaks perhaps? Rapes, whippings and unwilling bondage are bloody unpleasant when held up in court. Why are they glorified in 'slash' fiction? And what is the justification for using the actors' real names?! This is particularly unsavoury. How would the authors like to see their names bandied around in such a way? The actors' intimate lives are none of their business, and to use their real names for dubious titillation of fans is not only distasteful, but 'chutzpah' in the worst hum. And the illustrations, my dears! The artists could be sued for wrongful size... But more seriously, why should the actors (who after all, breathed life into the characters, let us not forget that) be subjected to graphic drawings of themselves performing sexual acts ol ANY nature? It's one thing to read about one's character doing it; quite another to see one's face, doing It. Oh by the way - if 95% of fan writers theoretically write 'slash', how come I can think of ten writers off the top of my head who haven't? And if 99% of clubs are supposed to PUBLISH 'slash', how come I can think of very few who in fact do. Another aspect of the 'large cultural and intellectual gap between the US and England'??
A fan writes of cons and expectations:
Should actors honour their commitments to cons? Yes, of course they should, if they can. But what if they can't? This makes me VERY angry - in fact, angrier than any of the other points. The sheer temerity of fans who expect guests to turn down jobs to go to an (unpaid) con! Actors spend, unfortunately, rather too much time not being actors. When they are not working, it is they who are not wanted. Oh yes. it's your skill, etc, but when it all comes down to it, people don't want you. This is very hard to put into perspective when you've failed to get your umpteenth job. So. [L T], when you go on about Con Coms "working an entire year in not-so-spare time...' and guests coming in to work "three intense DAYS', ask yourself this. What, precisely, do you think these guests do the other 362 days of the year? Sit on their backsides and watch the work flood in?? Yes, all credit to Con Coms who volunteer to do all this, it's wonderful and makes lots of people very happy, but don't start slagging off the guests who take time to ALSO make lots of people happy.
A fan writes that the capitalistic Americans are at blame:
It is interesting to note, as [N W] of CENTERO observed, that it is the newest fans, i.e. the Americans, who are providing the fuel for this fiasco. It is also interesting to note that it is this same capitalistic country which has turned fan events into profit events and that this is now happening to B7. I agree that actors deserve a fee for appearances, as a con is work like any other. I also think that there are times when they are so pampered and honoured that I wonder if a fee is necessary as well. I now steer well clear of all such adoration because it is so unreal and sickening. It turns actors into something they are not. B7 was only another job which they completed as well as they could and then they moved on. I have never spoken to Paul and Michael as some have because I felt that I had no gift or bribe great enough to make them notice yet another fan. I've seen people go to such lengths for a single kiss that I'd rather avoid that 'scene' altogether. Despite my personal feelings that actors are heavily confused with the characters portrayed (and I think that this maybe true of some actors themselves), which makes me feel that often they are receiving more than they deserve, they do require a fee for appearances in the Real World, Money and Time are the same commodity. I would hope that this wouldn't mean actors pricing themselves out of our grasping hands, but it does turn fannish events into professional events whoever is running them. What Terry and Paul intend to do by combining fannish activities with a guaranteed appearance is courageous, but probably pricey. What really worries me is that this run of cons is being held exclusively in the US. It was pointed out to me that the US is where the new interest is and the money is and that Britain could not support such a tour. Again my naivety struck. But this is where B7 was born and one would dearly love to see the con tour started in this country with one well-polished event. Terry and Paul's ideas about putting cons back into the hands of the fans only seem to put cons back into the hands of American fans.
A fan discusses slash:
The slash debacle has been called a side-issue, whereas to me its seems to be central to a lot of the pain and insult caused between so many people. Paul and Janet publicly do not like slash. Though they have every right to say so, that should not be important generally except that: 1. We have no right to offend these people identified with characters they have portrayed when these characters are used in sex stories. 2. Terry Nation owns the B7 universe and has the legal rights to say 'Stop'. I see no reason why we shouldn't write and sell this material if it is sensibly done. Some of this material (slash and straight) can be excellent if it is not used purely as a vehicle for getting characters into bed in unusual combinations. Where it seems to go wrong is when: 1. It is sold for profit not going back into clubs and zines as then Terry and the actors must have a right to share. This goes for any form of merchandise. Sex fiction just happens to be a more sensitive form of merchandise. 2. Fans show such material to, or discuss it with actors whose characters are used in sex fiction and who do not approve. 3. Through letters and comments fandom is whipped up into a frenzy of personal abuse and what might be interpreted as homophobic backlash. I would not lay the blame for this argument at any particular door because over-reaction on all sides has caused massive escalation of original disapproval. However, this escalation seems to have occurred because both BNFs and Popular Actors have the power and the backing to swing battle axes at each other until one or the other is ruined. So much for fandom being fun.
A fan asks for others to "back off" and ponders the ownership of B7 fandom:
Originally, I wrote in my LOC that I firmly supported [A W] and [L T]. Having read more, I think that... neither side is worthy of complete support. [L] and [A] had things to say because it appears that the Darrows reacted badly to the discovery that friends of theirs were linked to the printing of homosexual material. [L] and [A] felt they were being hounded and they also reacted badly. Both sides have written items stoked by anger and spiked with emotionalism, but perhaps [L] and [A] are now saying it all too loudly. If we could back off, no one would have to take sides against anyone. Finally, what makes fandom fandom? The fans, obviously, but zines a real svital. I mean that in very general terms, from LOC sheets right through to slash, that is any form of fan creativity which deepens and broadens the universe we saw limited by a TV format into something that is even greater than that which the writers and actors created. We owe these people a debt, but fandom does not revolve solely around them and their wishes. The actors are important, but this is now our universe. They had to move on, at least eight years ago, to other material, with occasional visits back. Let us do with our universe what pleases us.
A fan asks "Where's the fire?":
I had sat down and written a friend overseas about the so-called 'controversy' sweeping American B7 fandom, when I realised - there was no problem! Look at it. The hysterical original statements claimed that there would be control of fandom, control of zines, of cons, of art. That just ain't happening. And it's not because 'Anonymous' and her hysterical friend jumped up to protect' us and save us. It hasn't happened because it was never going to happen... There was a claim, for example, that the pro-cons would be held in cities and at times to rival local fan-run cons. The locations of those cities depends on what the fans there themselves want. That has always been true. There was only one city actually under discussion, however, where there is no regular B7 fan-run con, and where the fans were eager to be involved. That city was San Diego, and it was curiously not mentioned in the statements. Why? Perhaps because 'Anonymous' didn't have her facts at all straight. Or just perhaps 'Anonymous' was flat lying in order to raise a lynch mob against Paul Darrow. If this one basic fact has been twisted, how much of any of her statement can one take as true? Very little. There was a claim of art control, that certain artists would pay a 50% commission to join the pro-con. The fact is, that in in addition, mark that, in addition to the usual art shows and auctions and and the usual fees, some artists would be COMMISSIONED to do special art promoting the con (i.e: T-shirts, mugs... the sort of thing you see at any fan-con) for 50% of the profits. 'Anonymous' pulled two words out- 'commission' and' 50%'- and tried to make that sound like control. And then there's zine control, and I'm certain 'Anonymous' and her friends will make a big issue of this. A few writers and zine editors have already voluntarily blacklisted themselves. One admits so in the Federation Archives Addendum. Terry Nation didn't do that. Paul Darrow didn't do that. Janet Darrow didn't do that. They did it to themselves. Why? They like martyrdom I suppose. I dunno. I do know that slash is not the issue, but merely part of the problem 'Anonymous' and her friends are creating. At Revelcon in San Diego, we had a slash panel and Terry Nation presided. We discussed the issue maturely and rationally. We didn't seek his approval and he didn't seek excuses. The panel broke up with UNDERSTANDING on all sides. Almost all problems can be cleared up in a rational, mature DISCUSSION.... is it zine control if Terry Nation or Paul Darrow ask 'Anonymous' and her two friends to no longer use them or their creations in their zines? That depends, if you thing after maligning Terry Nation and Paul Darrow, hurting him and his wife, and distressing many fans as well, one still has the 'right' to their faces and creations. Attorneys for Michael Keating and Paul Darrow have issued a cease and desist, that 'Anonymous' and her two friends are no longer allowed to use their images in anything, and I've no doubt 'Anonymous' will start screaming that they are attempting 'control.' I think that a person would have a great deal of gall to attempt any gain (be in monetary, fame, prestige, popularity, or anything) from someone they've spent a great deal of effort to malign and hurt. Don't forget, it's Terry Nation's characters and universe and I think he's been incredibly generous with it. It's his right to put a halt to anything that hurts him, however. Instead, he supports fandom. But you can't ask him to support people who hurt him, his creation, and his friends.
A fan writes of slash:
I'm not lonely. I'm not frustrated. I'm not a spinster. I don't have an inferiority complex. I'm not even frantically in love with some actor yet convinced he/she would despise me. I don't, frankly, give a damn what any actor should think of me. Everyone knows which B7 character I like and if he should 'want' to get off with Servalan, or some other gorgeous woman or even some desirable, masculine guy, good luck to him. Fantasy? Great. Experimental fiction? Marvelous. I'll be happier if it's kept tasteful according to my own principles but I'm not going to fret if someone else has different views. Fandom is fun -- let's keep it that way and discuss it amicable. Something that disturbs me about the ranting against slash is that the objection seems to dwell on homosexuality. I don't wish to write intimately of homosexual love as I cannot experience it. Possibly women find it unusually interesting? What is wrong in that? Male writers seem to dwell on rape and violence. As to hunky men together -- if I like 'em, I can't see why I shouldn't fantasise over the possibility that they might like one another. I defy anyone to try to prove that therefore I am a deviant moron. I despise anyone who dare not sign their work -- if they're ashamed of it, why don't they alter it? If they want to write slash, then for heaven's sake do so and say so -- most of us won't condemn them if they can keep what they write reasonably civilised.
A fan writes:
The biggest question I had to answer my overseas friend was: Why? Well, Paul Darrow and Terry Nation asked [L C], because of her experience in setting up cons, to organize the pro-tour and not 'Anonymous.' 'Anonymous,' by her own admission in the Federation Archives Addendum, admits that [L C] asked her to be involved and that she refuses to participate if [L C] is going to 'be in charge'. Think about it. All this so-called controversy is because one woman got jealous. 'Anonymous' being who she is, went on the attack. If she couldn't have the pro-con, no-one could. And she doesn't stop. If she can't have this fandom, no-one else can. And she blackmails us further. She'll take the only contribution she has to this fandom, her zines, and go home (this threat before the cease and desist order). Her friends will blacklist themselves, and somehow it's the Darrows' fault.
A fan feels TPTB's direct involvement in B7's fandom is a good thing:
Blake's Seven fandom is, to my limited experience, unique. I can't think of another fandom where the actors have the care and concern for the fandom that the Darrows do. I've thought all along that we've very lucky to have such genuinely nice human beings so accessible to their fans. I now think we're doubly lucky that they, and Terry Nation, care so much. A lot of strong bonds are being forged here, not the least of which are the bonds between the actors, the creator, and amongst the fans. I'm glad to still be a part of it all.
A fan writes of slash:
I generally disapprove of censorship and I cannot see anything wrong in detailed descriptions of 'love' between adults, even if in unlikely circumstances between macho, hunky men (heavens, it's only FANTASY -- it isn't real). I don't read, or write slash, but I couldn't care less if others want to. I don't agree that all slash is about the 'actors' even if there are illos accompanying it, although I agree that such illos might offend the actors. The subject of slash is the decision of the writer and the reader -- you can't dictate what they should think or do. Paul Darrow isn't Avon. I've no desire to write about Paul Darrow, or any other actor. Other writers might feel differently. It is impossible to be sure what is intended or how a reader will see a story. I agree personal names of actors should never be used, nor slash material forced upon them if they don't want to see it. I have no difficulty in distinguishing between actors and characters but some people might be unable to tell the difference. That's their problem... but it's not a crime. Sadistic or paedophilic slash would not appeal to me at all, and I would hope that most fans avoid it. But then I deplore sadistic stories in general... and in fact there's plenty of sadistic violence in Avon: a Terrible Aspect. Where do you draw the line? It's inevitable there will be some violence in stories about a violent society, even I have used it now and then to make a point. We are bound to argue over how much sadism, violence, explicit or illicit sex, homosexuality or any other question matter should feature in stories, illos, or on screen. The readers and viewers dictate what's wanted. If a demand is there, someone will always meet it -- that's life. If readers enjoy sadistic or homosexual tales, if they want to read of gorgeous hunky guys together, they'll get all that ... there is no point in getting upset about 'underground' products. I can't myself see any difference between sadistic slash and violent murder on page after page of commercially printed books which you can buy on any bookstall.
A fan writes:
[A W's] article: I can't accept that it's true. It contained a number of serious allegations of bad behaviour which are entirely contrary to Paul Darrow's well-known track record at conventions. We're being asked to believe that he has completely changed his attitude, and we are offered no proof. I'd need more than one person's statement to convince me that he has abandoned the care and consideration for fans which has been seen and recorded for years. As for the proposed convention tour being a rip-off, publications by Terry Nation and Laurie Cohen make it clear that the cons are not going to be organized as [A W] said they were. So her article is wrong.
A fan writes of what she considers "public attacks on unnamed fans":
[L T] writes vitriolically about 'Quislings' who 'betray confidences' and' suck up' to the Darrows over the slash issue. On the same subject, L[L S] talks about 'sycophantic finks'. Neither chose to say whom they meant. Why not? Afraid of being sued for libel? You needn't be. if you can prove what you say. No proof? Then what are these people doing spreading inflammatory rumours? (Or inflammatory lies). [K H] believes, from personal letters sent to her by [L T] and others, that she is the subject of some of these attacks. The hate mail sent to her by some readers of these articles indicates that other people think so too. If she is the intended target, then the accusations made are not true. [K H] has staled in public that she has never discussed slash with [L T], much less received any confidences on the subject. She has talked about slash as a topic of general interest and general knowledge in B7 fandom. Her attitude to it was not invented to curry favour with the Darrows, but has been known for years.
A fan has an issue with badly written slash:
I here has been much indignant correspondence lately on the subject to Slash fiction. Comments have ranged all through B7 fandom, from the lowliest NNF right up to Janet and Paul Darrow. Much has been made of the use of the character's "real' names, the porno-type artwork and explicit writing However. I think that the real horror of slash has been missed The indecent nature of it lies in none of the above, but in the fact that it is mostly such a load of old (cock?) cobblers. There is no excuse for some of the appallingly written, staggeringly embarrassing tripe passing for prose in these stories. The writing of a good and credible sex scene is very hard to do without falling off the tightrope into the 'three dots' category or the hilariously purple prose of "... revelling in the thrill of this Niagra (sic) of passion, Avon pressed against Blake's large chest....' I mean, please. Pass the sickbag. Two immediate questions arise from this sentence. What, pray, 'is a 'Niagra of passion', and why is Blake's chest so large? In my perusal of this genre, it appears that were someone to do a photofit of poor ok) Roj, he would have a chest large enough to accommodate Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and an organ the size of the Empire Stale Building. The piece I have quoted is not from the UK in fact, but in an Australian zine - written in the US. I believe. from whence came the delights (?) of Kirk/Spock. Don't get me wrong I have nothing whatsoever against homosexual pairings (indeed, some of my best friends, etc....!) Done well, a gay story is extremely effective. I remember, in my youth, being given a Professionals' slash story. I raised a dubious eyebrow, but on reading it, was impressed both by the writing and the relationship between the two men which was made to be not only credible, but also possible. However, most B7 slash I have read is SO inept that one can only wonder whether the people writing them (invariably women) have any idea of who their characters are (let alone how two men make love)... Now I KNOW that 'Alternative' B7 heterosexual stories are quite often on the same lines. But it's so BORING!!... I can only end by saying this: By all means put sex into B7 if you want, but for God's sake (and ours) KEEP IT PROBABLE, or you will inspire not only disgust, but hysteria. And which is worse?
The editor includes "A Statement Written by [D G] on Behalf of the Horizon Committee," some excerpts:
The Pro-Con Tour: ... sounds like a great idea... if anyone IS going to be greedy, and try to ask for too much money, the thing would founder for lack of participants anyway, so why not leave the organizers to work things out sensibly by themselves? I wish I could go to one! BNFs:... I am not acquainted with them personally -- so unlike politicians -- we will not discuss this aspect of the situation since we don't know the facts behind the personality clashes here... What is termed "BNF syndrome" doesn't seem to happen over here, at least not that I know of. Slash fiction: Tricky to draw a fine line between censorship and not upsetting. Some say, "no-one is forced to read the stuff, so anyone disapproving should ignore it.' Fine, except that when finds out that people you have come to admire and respect for their acting abilities and/or personalities are revolted by reading of the characters they portrayed indulging in highly questionable and (to them) unpleasant acts, what is one to do? APART from the Darrows, I have spoken personally to four other of our Honorary Members, and all four disapprove of Slash Fiction. It's easy enough to say "don't read it" but if these people KNOW that fans are seeing their images performing homosexual and/or sado-maschohistic acts, might it be rather unpleasant and embarrassing for them? The issue seems to have really taken off after the Darrows discovered that PEOPLE THEY KNEW PERSONALLY, CORRESPOND WITH AND REGARDED AS FRIENDS were writing this stuff about 'them' or at least their characters. It's one thing to know that 'fans in general' write the stuff, but when it's someone you've had tea with... Even in these 'liberal' times, some people have always and WILL always feel uncomfortable about certain things. We should respect that. And really, a lot of the Slash written seems to not be about B7 at all. The characters bear no resemblance to ANYTHING we ever saw on screen... Gambit convention: rumors abounded at the time that the Con Committee "withdrew Paul's invitation out of spite"... As far as I understand it... the Darrows were originally invited well BEFORE any problems emerged, and Paul had already had to subsequently refuse the invitation because of starting tour with 'Alibi for Murder' the same week as the convention... Paul Darrow: Really, the facts speak for themselves. Whether 'motives' people may wish to attribute to his actions, the facts are that Paul is ALWAYS accessible to the 'ordinary' fans -- not just those he knows well... And if the LOCS printed above all seem pretty one sided (i.e., on the side of the Darrows) this is MAINLY because 95% of all the correspondence and verbal comments we have received have supported them unequivocally, or almost so -- with perhaps the thought that certain statements were a bit 'over the top'... One can make an eloquent case for EITHER Side if one has the mind. You can distort facts to fit whatever theory you want it to fit... if BNFs want to squabble amongst themselves, let them do it quietly. If people want to write and/or publish slash, let them do so unobtrusively -- without overstepping the mark into revolting pornography for its own sake. And for goodness sake, leave the rest of us to ENJOY our fandom -- B7 is too good to throw away.

Issue 23

Horizon Newsletter 23 was published in December 1989 and contains 72 pages. It was edited by Jackie Ophir.

cover of issue #23
  • Cheryl Beresford, "An Old Wall that Waits" (poem)
  • Danny Dresner (art)
  • a pull out section titled "The Controversy in Blake's Seven Fandom" with numerous letters from both sides of The Blake's 7 Wars
  • 10th Anniversary Charity Appeal presentations & party & pictures
  • Convention reports & pictures - Car-Con, Freedom City, Unicon, Blake-ation 1, Scorpio VII
  • 2 mile high interview with Sheelagh Wells
  • Servalan article
  • Competition winners - how have your thoughts on B7 changed over the years
  • Covers: Avon/Brian Croucher/3rd series crew/Soolin, Tarrant & Avon

Issue 23: Letters from the "Controversy in Blake's Seven Fandom" Section

See much more at The Blake's 7 War.

From a fan:
I can't follow the reasoning behind [name redacted's] letter on the Controversy. She seems to be contradicting herself when she closes her letter with the remark: 'let us do with our universe as it pleases us.' Since this conclusion ignores thats he has admitted earlier in the same letter that Terry Nation owns the B7 universe and has the legal rights to say Stop!' Moreover, the B7 universe is not merely Terry Nation's property, but his creation and not the creation of the fanzine writers. All fiction in fanzines, not just those for B7 but Dr Who, Star Trek, Robin of Sherwood etc is essentially a kind of literary parasite whose existence is derived from the original creative ideas of others. To claim that because they are are now part of a original creator's past a fan writer has the right to take over these original ideas and do what he or she wants with them simply seems unfair to the original creators who surely retain a moral as well as a legal right to have a say about how their creations are interpreted and used by others, especially when sensitive issues such as slash fiction are involved. If [name redacted] and fan writers really want their own universe to do as they please with, it would be more honest for them to to give up writing fan fiction and instead to try to create an original work and characters of their own rather than those that others have already created and twist them to suit their own tastes.
A fan writes:
I'm amazed at the 'Controversy' as this is the first I've heard of it. As I've seen neither side's correspondence. I can only go by your article and the related correspondence, of both sides have been slinging mud, they are obviously both in the wrong. On the specific topic of slash fiction, I wasn't aware of its presence in Blake's 7 fiction, but it doesn't surprise me. These days my curiosity has been fully satisfied but I've read the Star Trek variety (which is the form which originated the whole genre). A lot of it as [name redacted] says, is badly written though the same can be said about non-slash/non-sexual material. More disturbingly, most of it is morbidly obsessed with rape/bondage scenarios: in the K/S (Star Trek) context this usually takes the form of Pon Far [sic] or slave stories. Most, if not all, is written by women. It is interesting to speculate on the psychological aspects: it has been suggested that, as women are conditioned to identify with men's needs and achievements, they identify with the male characters in these stories as a way of legitimising putting themselves into the stories. It is interesting to note that the male characters usually exhibit an emotional intensity: desperate need, weeping, baring their souls - that men in our society are conditioned against showing. They are men but express themselves emotionally with a freedom only permitted to "weak" women. Having said that, there is a (relatively small) body of slash stories which do not feature sadism or boring blow-by-blow bedroom capers but are sensitive and convincing stories to the emotional relationship between two men which remains true to the characters. In other words, the writer does not distort the characters and the relationship develops in a way which is "true' to how they would react if they did develop a sexual/emotional attraction. I am thinking especially of Leslie Fish's Kirk/Spock stories. I am concerned, like [name redacted] whether the objections against the stories stem from a bias against homosexuality per se rather than the sadism, etc. of most of the material. The over-reaction on both sides may have something to do with the hysteria in recent years of the 'gay plague' AIDS coverage and general anti-gay attitude. It is rather disingenuous of '[name of her pseud redacted]' to pass it off with the comment about longtime use of pseudonyms; they were employed from time immemorial for the very good reason that using your real name invited prosecution... Although the danger to writers of 'straight" porn and sadism has largely disappeared, gay writers face continuing persecution with raids and confiscation of books at Gays the Word and other booksellers even of 'classics' available in 'respectable' outlets. Similarly, there are many cases of workers dismissed once their sexual orientation is revealed. Obviously none of this excuses the rudeness of the writers concerned in this case, but may to some extent explain their paranoia. In conclusion, I hope that this uproar dies down soon, vitriol and lies do nothing except bring the whole of fandom into disrepute.
A fan comments on slash:
Concerning the slash debate: My own feelings on this literature is a mixture of [two names redacted's] letters. Whether people like it or not, slash fiction is here to stay. Prejudice against this form of literature is not only annoying, but worrying in the extreme. People have many different tastes in reading matter and just because your choice of reading doesn't coincide with someone else's doesn't mean you have the right or privilege to censor their reading. Personally, I enjoy reading well-written slash. For a long time I have regarded Avon to be bisexual and strongly attracted to Blake. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with me seeing the characters in any way I choose. It's said some men find the thought of two women together, shall I I say, interesting. So why shouldn't women find the thought of a man making love to another man equally interesting? If you find slash distasteful then don't read it. Most adult fanzines are usually marked with warning of content slash, be it comedy or dramatic is usually entertaining, and entertainment is what it's all about in the end. It's a welcome plus if a story makes you think, but not a necessity. It all comes down to personal choice in the long run.
A fan is blunt:
With regard to the controversy, you must come down VERY firmly on the side of the actors. Their enthusiasm must have complete protection from the whims of the few, or the fabric of the club will fall apart.
A fan has a suggestion:
In [name redacted's] letter in NL22 she states that 'almost all problems can be cleared up in a rational, mature discussion' referring to Terry and the slash panel at Revelcon. I challenge the Darrows to follow Terry's example and do just that- discuss their problems with fandom, WITHOUT making wild accusations that if you're neutral or undecided then you're Pontius Pilate. It has put a lot of fans against B7 fandom and/or the Darrows. B7 fandom is a hobby to me, so it's not going to kill me if this fandom dies as a result of the controversy. But it seems like such an idiotic way for this fandom to meet its Gauda Prime.
A fan comments:
I imagine there will be some affronted fans who'll promptly blackball [name redacted] after reading her letter. But she has merely said sensible, honest things which a number of fans have been thinking for some time. I am not surprised there is a row over 'private conventions'. How could an argument be avoided if there is a suggestion that 'ordinary cons' aren't good enough? In any case, this very un-British conceit embarrasses British fans. I too have wondered why these cons are to be exclusive to the United States. Perhaps we don't fawn round some actors enough? Still, fawning is not my style, and I'd rather do without the cons than make a fool of myself.... The problem with slash is that the word covers two very different types of activity. One relates to love, or two people being very nice indeed to one another. The other relates to violence, rape and power, and sex is merely an additional, salacious factor I wonder why it is apparently OK for sex and violence to feature ad nauseam in a certain book [5] whilst slash sex and violence are, according to some, disgusting beyond belief? Perhaps those who differentiate would like to explain what the difference is? The answers will be very illuminating...even if not in the manner those responding actually intend.
A fan writes:
What seems clear from the NL is: a) Most of the hoo-ha is centered in America. b) The Darrows have been deeply upset by the whole thing. c) The fiction concerned seems to be a minority thing anyway.
A fan writes:
My view is... if people continue to put their oars in the muddy waters the situation will continue and get steadily worse. The reason I am saying all this is the news from the States. It seems that everyone is putting their small oars in the waters and making things ten times worse and because of that Fandom is disintegrating over there. We must never, ever let that happen here.
A fan writes:
This fandom controversy has caused me some concern. I hate it when politics come into fandom! Politics and profits are NOT what fandom is about. I'm a fan of B7 because I love the characters on that particular programme. I want to see the actors in other shows and environments. I love meeting other fans, reading and writing B7 stones, poems etc. However, I do object to all this internal squabbling. I am deeply sorry that people such as the Darrows have been hurt by the recent goings on. I think we as fans should realise (and most of us do!) that without the Darrows et al there would be no B7 and I for one wouldn't have made the many friends I have made since being 'a fan'. To those who have brought this bad feeling, I can only say I hope you're satisfied, and I'm sorry that your attitude is as it is. Fandom owes a great deal to 'our' actors etc, because they've given up a great deal for us with no grudge or complaint. Thank you to them for their interest alone in the fans. [Name redacted] has probably written the nearest view to my own on the subject of slash. I don't object to it. I've written it myself (not B7 related) and am not ashamed to say that I've written it. Homosexuality exists and I suppose in B7 the possibilities are there, though I can't imagine our characters being gay. I do object to the use of actors' names. That is unfair, and some find it offensive. I read enormous amounts of gay fiction, and I can assure you I'm not a pervert. If those who wish to use slash in B7 fiction do so, please at least treat it kindly and print your own name. If you are a gay writer, so what? I don't care provided you can write a decent character story that's credible within the B7 sphere of fiction. Alter all, fandom is fun, B7 stories make up fandom. [Name redacted] hit it on the nose, make the stories good, please!!
A fan writes:

About slash: slash fiction has nothing directly to do with the eroticization of violence. I can't understand where this misconception came from. Slash is about love, and about the expression of that love; from K/S onwards. Specifically, slash is about the eroticization of love between people of the same sex. That some people find this fearful is a symptom of this sick society, that finds violence more suitable for children to watch than sex. It is my contention that slash is a step forward in emotional maturity tor many fan writers. I recall one writer, who has made, I think, a clear transition: in an early story of hers that I remember, Avon was first crushed half to death, then given a drug to which he was allergic, then discovered to be paralyzed in the legs, then tortured by Travis (Servalan watching), then gassed... all in one fairly short story, so that Blake and Vila could express their feeling for Avon! Later stories allowed Blake and Vila to express their feeling for Avon by putting Avon through emotional and mental hell, but immense suffering was evidently still required. Finally, quite recently, this writer has begun to write slash stories in which Avon and Vila, Avon and Blake, are allowed lo express their feelings without putting Avon through every kind of hell first.

Now, deep breaths, I'm going to plunge into various controversial items: In general: I've been to one pro-run con, and while I defend to the death anyone's right to go to one if they want to, I'm never going to another. I don't go to many cons, and I prefer to go to cons focussed on fans, not their money. To '[name, a pseud redacted]': Who is using homophobia as a weapon? It seemed to me that various people on the anti-slash side tried. And lost, I think, because the majority of fans support the free press of fandom and are basically very right-minded people, uninclined towards witch-hunting. Also, I'm a slash writer, a slash editor, a slash reader, and nothing I have ever written, for any market, has ever been published under a pseudonym. I also know maybe a dozen fanwriter's pseudonyms. I've never given anyone away, let alone to a hostile audience. Some writers (James Tiptree, Jr., multiple Hugo and Nebula award winner, being a notable example) prefer to use pseudonyms. And why shouldn't they? The fact that slash may offend some of the actors is completely irrelevant. If they don't like it, they're free to say so. No one is forcing them to read it. I'm not interested in opinions about slash from people who don't read it, and that goes for actors as well as fans. Obviously, zines with embarrassing cover illustrations should be sold under the table only in dealers rooms. Illustrations inside the zine are no one's business but those who want to read the zines.

[Name redacted:] if you've only read "inept" slash, where have you been since the Southern Lights/Southern Comfort zines came out? Or you could have borrowed some of my own zines. I think you might find some fairly ept stories in there, if I do say so myself. Finally, with regard to the slash part of the Horizon statement; are you suggesting, seriously suggesting that fans should not write stories that may make actors uncomfortable? Fandom is for us, not the actors. Are you suggesting that fans should suppress stories? I'm appalled. No. I'm shocked. Fandom's the last free press, let's not muzzle sit, and lets get real, if all the B7 actors stepped under buses simultaneously (God forbid!), it would rock B7 fandom but not destroy it. Nothing can destroy fandom but the fans leaving it.
The editor of Horizon, speaking as herself and not in official capacity, responds to the letter above:
I think it would depend on why it made the actors uncomfortable. B7 fandom has actively chosen to involve the actors, and so they deserve our respect. It if makes them uncomfortable to read stories where the characters they play are portrayed pornographically in (to them) repugnant situations, particularly with illustrations, I think they are entitled to say so in the hope that we (the fans) will, perhaps, take this into account when deciding what to buy and write. I don't see fandom as 'the last free press' in a political sense. The vast majority of fans chose to involve the actors, and this has to be taken into account, in my opinion. I'm not saying we should NEVER do ANYTHING that they might disapprove of, or just be reasonable.
A fan writes:
I was able to read through the latest issue of your newsletter at Scorpio, recently. Neutrality means you keep your yap and your newsletter shut. If you mention any controversy, then you must present all sides. This you did not do. In fact, many of the letters were so old they were behind the facts. If you 'didn't have the room' to present the opposing view, why present one at all? Especially now that it's simmered down here. Now that [names redacted] and myself are still here, still producing zines and art and photos. And selling same. And winning awards. Fans still organize cons and go to them. Paul is still acting and doing an occasional con.... By the way, for the record, I never accused any of Paul's supporters of being 'snitches.' I accused the snitches of being snitches -- in any fandom.
A fan writes about a controversial book, and of "Pro-Con-Pro-Con-Cons":

Slash. I hate to say this, but I can't help thinking of Salman Rushdie. The poor chap writes a book (okay, he probably know it was going to offend people), but those who are actually baying for his blood by and large haven't actually read it! Similarity, I can't help feeling that those who are the most anti-slash haven't read any -- they are put off by the IDEA of it.

Re: the Dreaded Controversy. On my way to work this morning, I found myself musing thus: if a Professional Convention is a Pro-Con, then those in favour are Pro-Pro-Cons and those against are Con-Pro-Cons. Which makes the controversy a Pro-Con-Pro-Con-Con at which point it starts to sound like Doctor Suess. And isn't the whole thing every bit as silly?
The editor writes:
As far as we are concerned, the controversy is over and no further comments on the subject will be printed. Let's get back to having fun and enjoying fandom.

Issue 24

Horizon Newsletter 24 was published in May 1990 and contains 80 pages. It was edited by Jackie Ophir. Includes all Horizon Poetry Competition results, "serious, humorous & Vogon!"

cover of issue #24

Category A-- Serious

  • Jacqui Topp, "Facing the Facts (after Orbit)" (winner)
  • Priscilla Futcher, "Alien Thoughts"
  • Teresa Ward, "For Maryatt"
  • Kathryn Andersen, "Tempered Blade"
  • Gill Marsden, "Lamentation for Unfinished Business"

Special Category A (i)

  • Claire Gabriel, "Sepulchre (Avalon's People)"
  • Ingrid Porter, "Terminal Prophecy"

Category B-- Humorous

  • Teresa Ward, "'Sarcophagus' Scenario" (winner)
  • Ruth White, "My Secret Revealed"
  • Ros Williams, "Vila's Catch-22"

Category C-- Vogon

  • Roberta Roe, "Ode to a Small, Sticky Piece of Blake Found Behind Avon's Left Ear After Gauda Prime" (winner)
  • Roberta Roe, "Thoughts upon Being Shot Dead by a Psychopath in Black Leather Who Has Overdosed on Studs-- A Viewpoint of Roj Blake"
  • William J. Morrison, "The Blake Effect"
  • Teresa Ward, "Ode to Avon"
  • A. J. Startup, "Freedom's Crusade"

Special Category C (i)-- Failed Vogons!

  • Martin Leigh, "Travis's Ode to a Purple Ball" (winner)
  • Priscilla Futcher, "Vila's Vogon"
  • Margaret Scroggs, "The Tragic Loss of the Liberator, after William McGonagall"
  • Kathy Hanson (art)
  • Fliss Davies pp. (art)
  • Danny Dresner (art)

Non-Fiction: Happy 10th birthday Horizon with messages from the Honoraries & articles

  • Quiz - so you want to join the FSA?
  • Non-convention report
  • B7 Location Guide
  • Vila article
  • Interview with writer Colin Davies
  • Covers: Servalan/Paul Darrow/Cally & Thaan/Gareth Thomas

Issue 25

Horizon Newsletter 25 was published in November 1990 and contains 76 pages. It was edited by Jackie Ophir.

  • Roberta C. Roe, "Rebel Holiday" (filk, Summer Holiday)
  • Rory Hull (art)
  • Kevin Davies (art)
  • various artists (art)
  • Danny Dresner (art)
  • Competition winners - With one bound they were free
  • Convention reports & pictures - Orbit 90, Space City 90, Eastcon, Carousel 90
  • Make-up workshop
  • Reminiscences of B7 early days
  • Beginners Guide to building the Liberator model
  • Covers: Jenna & Blake/(a young) Paul Darrow!/Vila/Tarrant

Issue 26

Horizon Newsletter 26 was published in May 1991 and contains 84 pages. It was edited by Jackie Ophir.

Fiction and Poetry: Competition winners - You know you are safe with ...

  • Felina Archer, "Once Upon a Shuttlecraft" (fiction)
  • Simon Webster, "Liberation Celebration" and "The Cynic's Approach" (poem)

Art:

  • Kevin Davies (art)
  • Rory Hull (art)
  • Fliss Davies (art)
  • Roo (art)

Non-Fiction:

  • David Jackson interview & biography
  • Pictures of Pacey, Croucher & Jackson offspring
  • Convention reports & pictures - Blake-ation 2, Confederation 2, Huttcon 90; Article - Blake a Terrorist?
  • Mutoid article
  • Who was Anna Grant? article
  • Scratch build a clip-gun
  • Covers: Gan/David Jackson/Avon & Pella/Dayna

Issue 27

Issue no. 27 cover

Horizon Newsletter 27 was published in November 1991 and contains 84 pages. It was edited by Jackie Ophir.

Fiction (all from "in the style of" competition):

  • Margaret Scroggs, "Duel or The Folly of Madness" (competition winner; excerpt from script in the style of Shakespeare); later reprinted in full in Horizon #17
  • Henry Eggleton, "Blake (in the style of Terry Pratchett)"
  • Anne C. Clark, "Blake (in the style of David Coleman reprorting for the B.B.C.)"
  • Jenny Gallagher, "Blake (in the style of Fun with Dick and Jane)"
  • Teresa Hewitt, "Star None" (S2, Star One; in the style of Enid Blyton)
  • Judy Bowen, "Five Go Mad on Gauda Prime" (S4, Blake; in the style of Enid Blyton)

Poetry (also from "in the style of" competition):

  • Teresa Ward, "Vila Sees a Seska" (parody of "Horton Hears a Who" by Dr. Seuss)
  • Richard Self (art)
  • Grenade-- the Final (art)
  • Moments of Olag Gan" (art)
  • Danny Dresner (art)

Non-Fiction:

  • Stephen Greif biography & interview
  • Making a Jenna costume
  • Liberator handgun & trooper
  • Darrows Silver Wedding tribute & gift presentation & pictures
  • Jonathan Ross show report & pictures
  • Convention reports & pictures - Blake-ation III, Enlightenment; Articles - More Who was Anna Grant?, More Was Blake a Terrorist?, Carnell, Gan; T-shirt design finalists
  • Front Cover (NB 1st colour cover) 4th series crew; Back Cover - Stephen Greif; Inside (a) Blake, Vila & Ven Glynd, (b ) Janet & Paul Darrow in Gaslight

Issue 28

Issue no.28 cover

Horizon Newsletter 28 was published in May 1992 and contains 88 pages. It was edited by Jackie Ophir.

Poetry (results of epitaph competition):

  • Untitled epitaphs by: Joan Wakewman (winner), Brad Black, Ruth White, Nina Lynch, Jeannie [sic] Graham, Helen Knott
  • Andrew Bridgewater-Walker, "A Memorial to Blake and His Crew, or, an Epitaph to an Epic-Taff"
  • Judy Bowen, "An Epitaph for Blake's Seven"
  • Danny Dresner (art)
  • The B7 cast as babies competition - charity special
  • Reports on Horizon Blake-Wake, US Blake-athon & Visions 91 with pictures
  • Terrorism article
  • Competition Winners - B7 obituaries
  • Interview with Dudley Simpson (B7 music creator) & biography
  • T-shirt design winners
  • B7 star map & Birth of the Federation article
  • Making Orac
  • Famous last words quiz
  • Avon articles
  • Covers: 1st season crew/Servalan/Soolin/Michael Keating

Issue 29

Isssue no.29 cover

Horizon Newsletter 29 was published in December 1992 and contains 88 pages. It was edited by Diane Gies. It was the winner of a 1992 FanQ.

  • Joan Wakeman, "A Visit from St. Nicholas, or Seasonal Recollections of a Rebel Leader (with profuse, humble & totally inadequate apologies to Clement Clark Moore)" (poem)
  • Joan Wakeman (art)
  • Michael Lanham? (art)
  • Una McCormack (art)
  • Paula Gross (art)
  • Danny Dresner (art)
  • Barry Jones (artist) interview
  • 15th anniversary questionnaire statistics
  • Event reviews: Paul Darrow video signing (+ photos), Charity Dog’s Blake’s 7 (+ photos), Who’s 7 Convention (+ photos), Costume auction (+ photos); Charity information on end of Romania appeal
  • Results of Guess the B7 Baby Competition with cartoon
  • Theatre reviews: Macbeth (Paul Darrow - + photos), Post Mortem (Steven Pacey) & Shadowlands (Jacqueline Pearce); Articles on Ro/Horizon
  • How to establish the year of The Way Back
  • Missing Links (development of humanity)
  • Pt 1 of Blake’s 7 Log Book;
  • Tec Sec: teleport, acceleration & auto repair;
  • Covers: Front - Avon (colour); Avon, Blake & Jenna - colour artwork by Lucia Casarella Moore; Inside (b/w) Tarrant/Vila/Dayna and Blake/Cally

Issue 30

Horizon Newsletter 30 was published in August 1993 and contains 92 pages. It was edited by Diane Gies.

cover of issue #30
  • Lucy Collins, "Orac's Prediction" (graphic story; early S2; humor)
  • Tim Burroughs (art)
  • Una McCormack (art)
  • Paula Gross (art)
  • Katherine Fraser (art)
  • Rory Hull (art)
  • Lucy Collins (art)
  • Interview with Sheila S. Tomlinson (B7 Editor)
  • Questionnaire results Pt 1
  • Theatre: Dearly Beloved + photo (Sally Knyvette), Trelawny of the Wells (Steven Pacey)
  • B7 Location Guide (+ photos); Workbench: Making a communicator, the Scorpio clip-gun & a knitting pattern
  • Tec Sec: Space travel, warp drive, gravity, teleport + article by Mat Irvine
  • Articles on Federation trooper costumes, Leadership on Liberator, Cally, Weapons
  • Memories of Avon & Season 4
  • Humour from a spoof 5th series, Trivia quiz & Travis’ Progress Report
  • B7 Log Book Pt 2
  • The media interviews Jaq & Rob for Bella magazine
  • Events: Gareth Thomas runs a Horizon table in Harrow (+ photos), Paul Darrow in Swansea, The Terra Nostra meet, Visions 92
  • Covers: Front (colour) Cally, Blake, Avon & Vila (S2), Back - Jenna/Gola; Inside (b/w) Soolin/Dayna & Servalan/Travis 2

Issue 31

Issue no.31 cover

Horizon Newsletter 31 was published in May 1994 and contains 92 pages. It was edited by Diane Gies.

  • Joan Wakeman, untitled (filk, Jingle Bells)
  • Interview with Vere Lorrimer (Director & Producer S4)
  • Results of Alzheimers charity appeal
  • Group outings to Alien War, Midlands Blake Wake & Location outings in Yorkshire & Oldbury Power Station
  • Results of Questionnaire Pt 2;
  • Theatre & photos - Rough Crossing (Paul Darrow), Happiest Days of your Life & Curse of the Werewolf (Steven Pacey), Home (Michael Keating), Paddywack (Brian Croucher), Bridges (Gareth Thomas), A Handful of Dust (Sally Knyvette)
  • Events: Visions Convention 93 (+ photos)
  • Model displays by Martin Bower (Dorset, Sunderland & Warrington) + photos
  • Articles on Blake, Soolin & Avon
  • B7 Logbook Pt 3
  • Covers: Front - Avon, Travis 2; Inside (b/w) Tarrant/Dayna & 2nd series crew

Issue 32

Issue no.32 cover

Horizon Newsletter 32 was published in March 1995 and contains contains 103 pages. It was edited by Diane Gies.

  • Andrew Phillips, "Secret Memo" (fiction)
  • Joan Wakeman, untitled ("relationships" competition winner, humorous section; parodies of various poems, fiction)
  • Karen Bush, untitled ("relationships" competition honorable mention, fiction)
  • Rachel Holdsworth, untitled ("relationships" competition honorable mention; script of newscast, fiction)
  • Pete Wallbank (art)
  • T'AZ p. 6 "The Trials of Travis" (art)
  • Colin Hanley
  • Interview with Martin Bower (special effects) with photos
  • Results of B7 Relationship Competition
  • B7 Music article
  • Pt 4 of the B7 Logbook
  • Articles on Star One, Avon emulating Blake, Orac, Servalan & Travis
  • Short story ‘A Beautiful Friendship’
  • Theatre reviews of Lady from the Sea, The Life of the World to Come, Death & the Maiden, Deadfall, Half the Picture (most with photos)
  • Convention reviews of Who’s 7 94 and Visions 94 (with photos)
  • Fanfic Humgrommet Generator
  • Cartoons, Quizzes, etc.
  • Charity auction
  • Covers: Front (colour) Sleer; Back (colour) Martin Bowers working on Liberator; Inside (b/w) 4th season crew on Scorpio flight deck, Jenna & Blake (episode Spacefall)

Issue 33

Horizon Newsletter 33 was published in November 1995 and contains contains 96 pages. It was edited by Diane Gies.

cover of issue #33
  • David Tulley, "Prelude" ("Down Among the Dead Men" [subsequently retitled "Mark of Kane"] fiction)
  • Pita Enriquez Harris, "The Seer Vindicated" (fiction)
  • Susan Bennett, "On the Re-discovery of Blake's 7" (poem)
  • James Hoy, untitled (poem)
  • T'AZ (art)
  • Interview with Gareth Thomas
  • Short interview with Sheelagh Wells on making Together Again - Blake’s Back audio tape
  • Short stories by David Tulley & Pita Enriquez Harris
  • Events features on Gareth Thomas & Paul Darrow at Playhouse Video signing (with pictures)
  • Cast reunion for BBC Video at Stringfellows report (with pictures)
  • Theatre reviews - Taming of the Shrew (Michael Keating & Josette Simon), Misery (Michael Keating) with pictures + pictures of Paul Darrow in Gruesome Grannies of Gobshott Hall
  • Articles on Liberator speeds, calculations on spacials + letter from Mat Irvine
  • Competition results on Avon/Vila relationship
  • Book reviews - The Making of Terry Nation’s Blake’s 7 by Adrian Rigelsford
  • Articles on Pella, the fascination of B7, the episodes Trial & The Web; Cartoons
  • Charity auction results
  • Covers: (all colour) Front - 1st crew publicity shot; Back - the cast reunion at Stringfellows; Inside (a) Travis 1 & Servalan, (b ) Avon, Vila, Dayna, Tarrant & Dorian

Issue 34

Horizon Newsletter 34 was published in June 1996 and contains contains 96 pages. It was edited by Diane Gies.

cover of issue #34
  • Karen Bush, "Fashion Victims" (poem)
  • Paula Robinson, "Ode to B7 Fandom" (poem)
  • Emma Griffiths, age 11
  • David Griffiths, age 8
  • Pete Wallbank (art, back cover)
  • Interview with Chris Boucher
  • Bloopers identified
  • Events features - Visit to see Paul Darrow filming Noel’s Telly years, the filming of Blake’s Legend (with pictures), making of The Mark of Kane audio play (with pictures)
  • Fanzine reviews Horizon 19 and The Web 3
  • Audio tape reviews - Blake’s Back, Mark of Kane
  • Ode to B7 Fandom
  • Theatre reviews - How the Other Half Loves (Sally Knyvette) & pictures
  • The Storyteller (Gareth Thomas) & pictures
  • TV review of Stick with me, Kid (Paul Darrow) & pictures
  • Convention reviews - introduction to conventions, Event Horizon 95, Visions 95 (lots of photos)
  • List of actors from B7 who also appeared in DW
  • Competition Results - Everything I know I learned from B7
  • Articles on Travis, Zen & Security
  • Set visit to the BBC to watch ‘Gold’ being filmed
  • Obituary to Jon Pertwee
  • Covers (all colour): Front - Jenna & Avon; Back - Mark of Kane artwork; Inside (a) The Liberator, (b ) 3rd season crew + Servalan

Issue 35

Horizon Newsletter 35 was published in December 1996 and contains contains 92 pages. It was edited by Diane Gies.

cover of issue #35
  • Nik Spender, "Prime Legacy, Part One: Paranoid Pursuits" (graphic story) (fiction)
  • David Tulley, with Alan Stevens, "You Fly, You Die"(fiction)
  • Kathryn Davis, "Test of Loyalty" ("missing scenes" competition winner) (fiction) reprinted in Power
  • Kristen Allender, "First and Last Dance" (poem)
  • PR, "I'm Not Very Good at Titles So There Isn't One" (poem)
  • Gail Gawlick, "Deliverance Provoked, by Meegat" (poem)
  • Carrie Hewlett, untitled (poem)
  • Kathryn Davis, untitled limerick (poem)
  • Susan Bennett, "The Writers" (poem)
  • Nik Spender (art)
  • Antony Adams, age 12 (art)
  • Kathryn Davis (art)
  • Sarah Berry (art)
  • Horizon on the Internet
  • Comic Strip by Nik
  • Articles on Travis, Cally, Samor, Stardrive, Ven Glynd, Servalan & Travis
  • Outings and Conventions - Telly Addicts, Dead Soma Society, Neutral Zone, Who’s 7; Blake’s 7 - The Inside Story
  • Original Costume Designs
  • Audio tape news & reviews
  • Christmas quiz
  • Liberator Xmas Gift catalogue
  • B7 in the Pentagon
  • B7 Goes Mining
  • Goldmaster
  • Quizzes
  • B7 Dot to Dot
  • Bizarre B7 Coincidences

Issue 36

Issue no.36 cover

Horizon Newsletter 36 was published in June 1997 and contains contains 88 pages. It was edited by Diane Gies.

  • Nik Spender, "Prime Legacy, Part Two: Taken for a Ride" (graphic story) (fiction)
  • Nik Spender (art)
  • Terry Nation Tribute (including reissued interview, biography, obituaries)
  • Articles on Avon, Blake, plot holes
  • Bizarre coincidences
  • Theatre reviews - When God wanted a Son (Jacqueline Pearce), Oblomov (Jan Chappell), Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Rebecca (Gareth Thomas)
  • Books & tapes reviewed
  • Convention reports - Visions 96, Neutral Zone 97
  • Front cover - Terry Nation; Back - Avon; Inside (a) Montage of Terry Nation at conventions (b ) Blake, Jenna & Cally

Issue 37

Issue no.37 cover

Horizon Newsletter 37 was published in November 1997 and contains contains 88 pages. It was edited by Diane Gies.

  • Marion Horrocks, "A Galactic Performance of 'Blake's 7 the Opera'" (competition winner; plot summary with opera filks) (fiction)
  • Anne Murphy, "Blake's 7-- The Panto" (competition runner up; script) (fiction)
  • Karen Bush, "Seven on One" (second runner up; script of newscast) (fiction)
  • Nik Spender, "Prime Legacy, Part Three: Gone But Not Forgotten" (graphic story) (fiction)
  • David Tulley, "Gothic" (fiction)
  • Sarah Vernon, age 16, "The Renegades" (poem)
  • Connie Gawlick, age 8 1/2, "Webs" (poem)
  • Nik Spender (art)
  • Articles - Back at the Grants, Olag (Cat Strangler) Gan, The Cooks Report, Life Capsules, B7 Anagrams, B7/The Avengers - cast list
  • Short story - Gothic; Competition winners - B7 as: opera, a pantomime, a consumer programme
  • Events & Convention reports - Space Cadets recording, Blake at Wolf 359, Cult TV, Making of Logic of Empire
  • Theatre reviews - Killing Time (Glynis Barber), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Gareth Thomas), Blithe Spirit (Steven Pacey)
  • Tape reviews - Sevenfold Crown, Together Again: Kingmaker; Children of Auron articles
  • Front cover - Blake, Back cover - 4th season crew; Inside (a) Servalan & Jarvik, (b ) Vila, Kerrill & Bayban

Issue 38

Issue no.38 cover

Horizon Newsletter 38 was published in June 1998 and contains contains 96 pages. It was edited by Diane Gies.

  • Nik Spender, "Prime Legacy, Part Four: New Friends, Old Enemies" (graphic story) (fiction)
  • David Tulley and Alan Stevens, "Premature Burial" (fiction)
  • Shaan Everson, "The Last Fan" (fiction)
  • Nik Spender (art)
  • Interview (& free colour poster) with Jacqueline Pearce
  • Article on Cally
  • Chocolate Liberator recipe
  • Tape reviews - Sevenfold Crown & Logic of Empire; Together Again Inside Story
  • Events & Conventions - Making of Logic of Empire (part 2), Deliverance 98, Paul Meets Paul, Trip to FAB Cafe
  • Theatre reviews - Sleeping Beauty (Gareth Thomas), Romeo & Juliet (Jan Chappell), Kafka’s Dick (Michael Keating), Guards! Guards! (Paul Darrow)
  • Front Cover - Servalan, Back Cover - Jacqueline Pearce; Inside (a) Deliverance 98 montage, (b ) Paul Darrow and ‘Errol’

Issue 39

issue #39

Horizon Newsletter 39 was published in December 1998 and contains contains 100 pages. It was edited by Diane Gies. Alan Stevens and Andy Hopkinson were co-editors.

Issue 39 is archived here.

Fiction:

  • Nik Spender, "Prime Legacy, Part Five: Meetings But No Greetings" (graphic story) (fiction)
  • David Tulley and Alan Stevens, "Scars" (fiction)
  • "Singing Fish" Bob, "Bottom of the Barrel: Soolin's Twin Dilemma" (fiction)

Nonfiction:

  • Diane Gies, "Editorial"
  • Andy & Alan, "Editorial II"
  • "News on the Actors"
  • David Maloney, "Dear Vere: Vere Lorrimer, An Appreciation"
  • Una McCormack, "The Web" (review of B7 on Internet)
  • "Lost in Space: Zen and the Art of Fan Fiction" (accounts by fans interviewed on TV show)
  • Alan Stevens, "Lost in Space: The Inside Story"
  • Judith Proctor, "Lost in Space"
  • Una McCormack, "Lost in Schedules"
  • Andy Hopkinson, "The Interview that Never Was"
  • Diane Gies, "Lost in Space: The Outside Story"
  • Letters
  • Tabitha Cash, "Voice from the Future" (interview with Peter Tuddenham)
  • Andy Hopkinson, "All Set for Deliverance" (behind-the-scenes con report)
  • Jim Smith, "Spotlight on Gambit" (episode review)
  • Aubrey Woods, "Krantor's Double Dealing" (essay by guest actor)
  • Alan Stevens, "Toise 'R' Us" (interview with John Leeson)
  • Andrew Pixley, "The Full Gambit" (comparison of script and aired episode)
  • "Audio Reviews"
  • "The Seven-Fold Crown" (reviews by Sarah Bellamy, Alex Skerratt, Stephen Adams, Jon Miller)
  • "The Logic of Empire" (reviews by Martin Holder, Murray Smith, Alex Skerratt, Harriet Monkhouse, Jon Miller, Chris Middleton, Kathryn Davis)
  • "Jacqueline Pearce in Conversation 1: Servalan" (reviews by Claire Fisher, Jim Smith, David Tulley)
  • "Deliverance '98" (convention reviews by Debbie Murray, Colin Frost, Kathryn Davis, Murray Smith, Julia Ferrer)
  • "Orac's Oddments" (ads)
  • Benjamin Ziman-Bright (aged 14), "Medievil from Playstation" (review of computer game w/ voice of PD)
  • "Theatre Reviews"
  • "The Crucible" (with GT; reviews by Judith Proctor, Nicola Best)
  • "Things We Do For Love" (with SP; review by Carol McCoy)
  • "Twelve Angry Men" (with MK; review by Nicola Best)
  • "Rehearsed Reading of 'The Jews'" (with PD; review by Diane Gies)
  • Diane Gies, "Club News"
  • Assorted ads
  • Nik Spender (art)

Issue 39.5

Issue no.39.5 cover

Horizon Newsletter 39.5 was published in March 2000 and contains 16 pages (mini-issue). It was edited by Diane Gies. It has no fiction, art or poetry.

  • Diane Gies, "Editorial"
  • Diane Gies, "Club, Committee & Magazine News"
  • Judith Rolls, "Blake's 7 Movie-- Latest News"
  • "News on the Actors"
  • "B7 Cast Convention Appearances in 2000"
  • Mark Spencer, "Fetch Me a Wig, I'm Going In" (theatre review: Jan Chappell in Les Liaisons Dangeureuses)
  • Rob Emery, "Over the Moon: Nightmare or Dream?"(article on filming of TV show with brief spot on B7 fandom)
  • Diane Gies, "Over the Moon Afterthoughts"
  • "Deliverance Videos: A Hit? Or Just a Myth?"
  • Reviews "The Syndeton Experiment: Two Reviews" (by Jackie Ophir and Murray Smith)
  • Pauline Tucker, "Soldiers of Love-- Pt. 1-- 'Genesis'"
  • Sarah Lester, "Soldiers of Love-- Pt. 2-- 'Deathtraps'"
  • Nicky Shipp, "Soldiers of Love-- Pt. 3-- 'Metamorphs'"
  • Jann Tarrant Johnson, "Childhood's End" (audio tape read by Steven Pacey)
  • Sandy Douglas, "Together Again-- Solstice"
  • Gill Barrett and Danielle Barrett (aged nearly 7), "The Story of Anastasia on CD, Read by Paul Darrow"
  • "Horizon Merchandise"
  • "Emergency on Planet Earth! Blake's 7 Needs your Help to Stay on Terrestial TV"
  • "Sad News" (obituary for fan Nikkii Finck)

Issue 40

Issue no. 40 cover

Horizon Newsletter 40 after a long-wait, was published in April 2001 and contains contains 100 pages. It was edited by Diane Gies.

Apparently, Alan Stevens (co-producer of "TLOE" - "The Logic of the Empire" and "TMOK") and Andy Hopkinson (co-producer of "Horizon" 39) had left the club and put out their own zine called Zenith and the content that was going to go in to "Horizon 40" went into "Zenith." [6]

From the online flyer:

No, it's not a soma-induced illusion, our long awaited Mag. has just been posted out to approximately 1500 members worldwide. If you're a current Horizon member, you should be receiving it in the next few days. If you don't, please contact Pauline, our Renewals Secretary, to check on the status of your membership at tuckers@... We hope you'll enjoy it - do let us know what you think.

If you're not a Horizon member yet, perhaps we can tempt you into buying a copy of H40 - it's 100 x A4 pages, including 4 cover pages of full colour art and photos. Contents include News on the B7 cast, with photos, an 11 page Vere Lorrimer Tribute section (including 2 interviews, photos, tributes from the B7 cast and crew - Vere's friends & colleagues, a detailed biography and more.) There are also articles on shows/videos/films/CDs featuring the B7 cast eg. The Strangerers (including interview with Sheelagh Wells and a short piece from Gareth Thomas), Written Off and The Soldiers of Love.

There's an article about the background to the proposed B7 movie, B7 fans on TV, and articles with photos of the presentation of B7's own Variety Club Coach (with letter from Kate Nation) and the opening of Roy Kinnear House (with letter from Carmel Kinnear). There are also LOCs, Nik Spender's cartoon strip, theatre reviews, convention reviews, special event reviews and a 7 page photo diary. All our B7 merchandise is listed, with reviews of all the latest merchandise. The entire mag is crammed full of photos and superbly designed and typeset by Mark Spencer of Dysfunction Ltd. [7]

Fiction:

  • Nik Spender, "Prime Legacy, Part Seven [sic]: A New Face to an Old Friend" (graphic story)

Poetry:

  • Vere Lorrimer, Christmas card poem

Nonfiction:

  • Diane Gies, "Welcome!" (editorial)
  • "News on the Actors"
  • "Other B7 News (Obituaries; Repeats and Releases; Upcoming Conventions; B7 in Cyberspace; Miscellaneous News)"
  • "The Man They Called 'Uncle'..." (eulogies of Vere Lorrimer)
  • Andrew Mark Sewell, "Memories of a Survivor" (interview with Vere Lorrimer)
  • "Mr. Lorrimer, You Can Take Over!" (interview by Diane Gies, Nicola Best and Jacky Ogilvie, edited by Jackie Ophir; condensed reprint from HORIZON NL #31, specially edited by Dinae Gies)
  • Vere Lorrimer credits
  • Robyn Heyworth, "Blake's 7 Crossword" (puzzle)
  • "Theatre Reviews"
  • Mark Spencer, "Alone in the Dark" (GT in Equus)
  • Jo Sharp, "Cross-dressing, Love, and Revenge..." (GT in Twelfth Night)
  • Pauline Tucker, "Intrigue in the Court of Kings" (JS in Don Carlos)
  • "Crime, Punishment, and Chaos" (GT in The Clearing, by Sue Wadsworth-Ladkin and Catherine Quinn; MK in Charley's Aunt, by Claire Saunders)
  • Paula Robinson, "The Law Gone Wrong" (JC in The Colour of Justice)
  • Carol McCoy, "Confused? You Will Be... or, An American on Vacation" (SP in Pinter plays, The Room and Celebration)
  • Jackie Ophir, "Inconceivable?" (SG in An Immaculate Misconception)
  • Rita Grewal, "Fallen Angels" (with SG)
  • Mark J. Thompson, "Written Off" (educational video with JP)
  • Gillian Puddle, "We're Gonna Get You Sucka!" (TV review: PD in The Strangerers)
  • "Silicon Heads, Parsnip Roots... An Interview with Make-up Artist Sheelagh Weells," edited by Gillian Puddle and Jackie Ophir
  • Diane Gies and Gillian Puddle, "B7-- The Movie-- When, When?"
  • Letters of Comment
  • "Special Events Squad"
  • Gillian Puddle and Helen Lyon, "Sleepess in Swansea" (Welsh Weekend club trip, with theatre reviews: PD in Guards! Guards!, GT in The Hosts of Rebecca)
  • Lorna Price, "A Cold Day on Saurian Major"
  • Gillian Puddle, "Ruby, Ruby, Ruby Baby..." ("A visit to Horizon's oldest member, Ruby Gunn [84]")
  • Jo Sharp, "A Star is Torn" (theatre review: JP at Edinburgh Festival)
  • Diane Gies, "Cult TV 1999" (con report)
  • Claire Saunders, "365 Days of Fandom" ("A photo diary of my first year as a Blake's 7 fan")
  • Diane Gies, "Diane's Photo Diary: The Last 18 Months..."
  • Mark J. Thompson, "The Making of 'Soldiers of Love'" (article on the comedy audio series, by the producer)
  • Rob Emery, "Oh No! They're Not on Telly Again!" (article on appearance on program "Screen Grabs")
  • "Merchandise Reviews"
  • Jackie Ophir, "Jacqueline Tells All!" (review of Mythmakers video with JP)
  • Keith Barnfather, "A Note from the Mythmakers Producers"
  • "Thomas Talks!" (reviews of GT in The Actor Speaks CD, by Valerie Guy and Helen West)
  • Sue Whittle, "Soldiers of Love-- Planet of Death" (audio review)
  • John Medany, "The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself" (review of "Fearmonger," DW audio with JP)
  • "Critical Mess?" (reviews of John Kenneth Muir, A Critical Analysis of Blake's 7, by Pauline Tucker, Jackie Ophir, Joyce Bowen)
  • "Horizon Fanzine 22" (reviews by Helen Speight, Francis Bishop)
  • Pauline Tucker, "Walking with Dinosaurs" (review of CD with PD)
  • "Something Wicked This Way Comes" (game review: Hostile Waters, with PD and GB)
  • Helen West, "Mythmakers: Stephen Greif" (video review)
  • "An Experiment Gone Wrong?" (reviews of BBC audio, The Syndeton Experiment, by Kathryn Davis, Susan Walker, and Bobbie Murray)
  • Gillian Puddle, "Together Again Seven" (review of audio tape)
  • "Orac's Oddments" (small ads)
  • "Official Horizon Merchandise"
  • Andrew Pixley, "The Full Gambit-- Postscript" (additions to article in #39)
  • "Fundraising News"
  • "Auction"

References

  1. by Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  2. Subject: Lots of Things by Judith P. on Lysator dated Nov 13, 1993.
  3. Horizon 10, editorial
  4. editorial, issue 12
  5. Perhaps a references to Avon: A Terrible Aspect, a tie-in book by Paul Darrow, one that was not well-received.
  6. from a fan in The Way Forward #20
  7. BULLETIN #001 April 20th 2001 posted to the Horizon B7news mailing list on April 1, 2001; reference link; reference link.