London Bates

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Name: London Bates
Alias(es): she used many in Southern Comfort
Fandoms: Blake's 7
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

London Bates was a fanwriter in the Blake's 7 fandom.

The Blake's 7 Wars

London Bates was a player in the The Blake's 7 Wars.

Two things kicked problems into high gear. One fan who went by London Bates, with an enourmous mailing list, sent out a mailing "Other fans are behaving badly" message. A lot of the people recieeved it who had no clue what had been going on. Another actor who was most involved also sent out a letter. People felt compelled to say something. Slash was still under the table compared to now. [1]

Fan Reactions

Her writing and characterizations tended to invoke strong opinions.

I find myself warming to London Bates's writing when she's at her least ambitious and most playful... [2]
The description of the battered-but-attractive body is suggestive of London Bates. [3]
It's well written, as are all the stories in the zine, but it definitely belongs in the London Bates category of Superstud Blake stories, in which Blake is the one who is so desirable that everyone wants him. [4]
Achieved a succes-de-scandale when she started to write for the early B7 fandom, though god knows why as her attempts to be filthy generally miss the mark. Her prose style makes my flesh crawl; Bryn Lantry can strike 'poetic' dead-centre, while London Bates generally overshoots by a mile and hits 'purple'. The first thing one notices are the nouns: rather romance-novel terminology like 'take' for 'fuck' and 'manhood' for 'cock', and it reads as if she's got a book of 101 useful euphemisms for the male organ. She also uses 'tower' for the penis and 'vault' for the vagina, which adds an unintentionally architectural tone to her work. She also likes describing semen as 'cool-warm', and I still haven't entirely figured out what she means by that. There is also a somewhat, ah, creative attitude to metaphor. I am still trying (unsuccessfully) to forget the line, "Those orgasms etched my teeth and I want more" (she's another 'male multiple-orgasm' fan). Then one notices the characterisation. These are stories where Blake is impressively, unbelievably virile and strong, and everybody else falls at his feet in ecstasies of submissiveness. The other characters don't convince me either. [5]
London Bates, where the whole universe seems to exist as a place for everyone to have incredible soul-shattering sex and passionate romances with everyone else. Everyone is the most seductive person in the universe, or nearly, like a chessboard (I did type "cheeseboard!) that's all gone to queens. [6]

Comments on Nearly Beloved

(A/B, A/Ta, B/Ta) PGP with Blake very angry at Avon. This tries to be heavy on the psychology and sex, but I don't think it succeeds that well. If you want a Blake-as-dominant-alpha-male vs. very-feminised-and-scared Avon, you'll probably think the characterisation's fine, but, putting that together with the way she writes sex scenes, it reminds me of nothing so much as a traditional romance novel, and I miss the shifting power dynamic you get in a lot of slash. Some people think the sex scenes are explicit, but I can't see it myself: purple prose, an unrealistic number of multiple orgasms and London Bates's dictionary of _1001 Interesting Euphemisms for the Male Organ_ don't do anything for me, and I feel she manages not to be very specific about either the physiology or the emotions. I think the xBryn story earlier in this issue manages to be *far* more erotic and outrageous while trying less hard. But then I do find London Bates' prose naturally antipathetic and her characterisation of Blake and Avon nowhere near mine. Maybe this story should be reviewed by somebody who likes her writing, just to add balance. [7]
The infamous story in The Other Side and Southern Comfort. Set post-Gauda Prime. Avon is almost suicidal after trying to kill Blake, and his casual affair with Tarrant isn't helping. Blake rapes him (and Tarrant, as an afterthought), and Avon falls in love with Blake. This is the story I got most of my examples of peculiar word-choice from, and I haven't read it for some time. [8]
Heated discussion surrounds works like the Blake's 7 story, "Nearly Beloved/Rogue" or the Professionals story, "Consequences" which some fans charge romanticize rape and others insist allow them to work through the powerful emotions surrounding sexual violence in a less immediately threatening context. (Both writers have asked me to make clear that they did not intend their stories to romanticize rape and that they have been surprised (alarmed?) by the stories' reception by other fans. I cite these stories here not to chastise their writers, whose work I admire, but rather to illustrate the range of debates that slash provoked even among those who accept its general premises. Fan stories are as open to multiple interpretations as the original television programs; fan writers no more control their works' meanings than the original producers can.) [9]

Comments on Intermezzo in B

(Se/Tr) (B/C, A/J) Good god, a het story by London Bates. Seems to head in the direction of A/B (which I would have preferred) but then lurches towards het, and I go to sleep... Typical London Bates unmistakable prose in the sex scene: pulsating towers (incidentally, since this is a het story, we here find out that the feminine of "tower" is "vault") and multiple orgasms all over the place. And what on earth does "burying her lips with a passion he'd almost forgotten he was capable of" mean? I'm sorry, I'm generally frankly incapable of appreciating this writer's work, I just seem to have a blind spot for her. [10]



  1. from Fanlore Live/Logovo notes
  2. from Predatrix at both Knightwriter and Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  3. from Sarah Thompson (describing a story written by another fan) at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  4. from Sarah Thompson (describing a story written by another fan) at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  5. 2006 comments by Predatrix at Rants
  6. from Rallying Call #16 (1996)
  7. by Predatrix at Knightwriter
  8. a 2006 review by Predatrix
  9. from Textual Poachers, page 220
  10. by Predatrix at Knightwriter