Labor Day Party

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Challenge
Name: Labor Day Party
Date(s): 1996–2014
Moderator(s):
Founder:
Type: fanfiction, filks, fan poetry, fanart
Fandom: Blake's 7
Associated Community: Space City, Freedom City
URL:
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The Labor Day Party was an annual event on the Space City and Freedom City Blake's 7 mailing lists, commemorating the foundation of Space City. It was also referred to as the Space City/Freedom City Birthday Party.

From the 2008 FAQ on Hermit.org:

Space City was launched just before Labor Day weekend. One year later, we decided to throw ourselves an on-line 'party' in honour of our birthday, and that tradition has continued each year, despite the change in the list name. (For non-American list members, "Labor Day" is a floating holiday observed on the first Monday in September, resulting in a three-day weekend.)

The goal of the party is to have as many people as possible post a bit of fiction. Of any length -- we've had full length stories, vignettes, fragments. In fact, we've had pieces that were a single paragraph, possibly even a single sentence! The idea is just to be a part of the 'fiction orgy' and have fun. Every single year we have a few posters start by saying "I'm not a writer but..." and then they post something that inevitably turns out to be a pleasure to read. So no excuses -- join in!

To help inspire the writers, we usually come up with a theme for the party, something general enough to be adaptable to any season or any group of the crew that a member might prefer to write about. For example, two past themes have been "love" and "hidden aspects". Members start making suggestions for the theme early in June, and then the List Admins put up a slate of the suggestions and the membership votes.

Note: you aren't required to use the theme by any means. It's there to help people think up stories, but if some other idea seizes your imagination, we're equally happy to read that instead.

Also: Some people choose to contribute through graphics/art. These should be put on to a web page, and a message giving the URL posted to FC.[1]

The parties were most active in the 1990s and early 2000s but at least one piece was published onlist every year until 2014. Kalypso recalls that for the early parties, the list owner originated the theme and often wrote an opening paragraph for others to continue. Subsequently themes were suggested and voted on by list members, as described in the FAQ, but for the later parties, there was often only a single suggested theme.[2]

Longer works from the parties were often re-published in printzines. According to the editor, one of the purposes of Tales from Space City was a way to get a lot of themed stories from the annual Labor Day Party collected in one place.[3]

On Space City

2003 party stories were collected in this issue

1996

The theme was 'Smut Hotel - the characters book in, security guards watch the CCTV footage in amazement.' Stories include:

1997

The theme was 'Dreams of Love - an alien invades the characters' dreams, demanding to know about love.' Many stories were collected together in the first Tales from Space City. Editor Helen Patrick commented: Given the smutty little minds to be found on Space City, you'd expect huge volumes of erotica. You'd be wrong <grin>. We had a wondrous variety of expressions of love, and the statistics compiled by one kind soul make interesting reading.[4] According to Susan Cutter's stats, there were 24 gen stories, 14 het, 8 slash, 2 multiple/orgy & 4 other. The most common pairings were Avon/Servalan 5, Avon/Blake 4, Avon/Cally 3 & Avon/Anna 3. Avon was by far the most popular character, especially in slash, featuring in 21 pairings, followed by Blake (7), Tarrant (7), Servalan (6) & Cally (5); surprisingly, no stories featured Vila in a pairing. Unusual pairings included Dayna/topiary bear, Jenna/Chewbacca & Tarrant/Link.[5]

1998

The theme was 'Hidden Facets - an old woman urges the characters to look into a mysterious mirror.' Susan Cutter explains how the theme was chosen: I've been mulling over some of the suggested themes – and I think that three of them (7 deadly sins, misused characters, missing scenes) could be combined rather neatly under the title of "Hidden Facets," with the question of whether the "facet" is a trait/activity that a character wants to keep hidden OR one that just was never properly showcased in the series OR those scenes that didn't make it to the screen (and past the censor? she murmurs hopefully) left up to the writer.[6] Many stories were collected together in Tales from Space City 2:

On Freedom City

1999

The theme was 'Something New - for the first year on Freedom City.' Stories included:

2000

The theme was the 'Seven Deadly Virtues - any or all of them.' There was no themed edition of Tales from Space City, but some stories later appeared in other fanzines or online, including:

2001

The theme was 'Come As You Are'. Stories included:

2002

The theme was 'On Board - scenes on a ship.' Stories include:

2003

The theme was 'It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time - but it never turned out as they expected!' Some of the stories were collected as the seventh issue of Tales from Space City:

2004

The themes were 'Shore Leave/Teleport Duty - a tie, and they seemed to tie in.' Some of the stories were published in Tales from Space City 9.

2005

Another tied vote resulted in the themes 'Minions/Minor Characters' & 'Room 101'.

2006

The theme was 'What If? - make one change to an episode & see what happens.'

2007

The theme was 'Clones, Androids and Robots.'

2008

The theme was 'Communications.'

2009

No theme was suggested.

2010

No theme was suggested.

2011

There were two themes, 'Windows' & 'Old Friends'.

2012

No theme was suggested.

2013

No formal theme, but a member suggested 'Orac has found and has been reading the Prism (tm) logs. Which characters, I wonder, have been visiting the most interesting websites and emailing or chatting to the most unexpected correspondents (not necessarily under their real identities...)'

2014

No theme was suggested.

References

  1. Hermit: Freedom City (6 October 2008) (accessed 20 September 2015)
  2. Kalypso commenting in espresso-addict: Freedom City party (accessed 21 September 2015)
  3. Helen Patrick, Archived version
  4. Labor Day Party 1997, Tales from Space City 1: 92
  5. Susan Cutter. 'Dream Statistics' Tales from Space City 1: 123
  6. Susan Cutter. 'Party Theme' Tales from Space City 2: 31