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Mailing List
Name: Lysator (Lysator Academic Computer Society)
Date(s): November 1992-?
Founder(s): Calle Dybedahl
Fandom: Blake's 7
URL: some info here; up through February 2005, one can view message topics and senders, but one can't search the messages directly from here; at
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Lysator was the very first Blake's 7 mailing list. This mailing list was also commonly known as "the Lyst." [1]

"Lysator" was named after one of the first Internet-connected sites in Sweden (LYSATOR, club founded in 1973 and on the Internet since 1989), and its website is the oldest in the country. [2]

The mailing list went online in November 1992, and went automated in August 1995.

The list was intended from the start to be a public discussion list, on par with Usenet. In 1994, a fan wrote:

It does bear remarking that this is a public list with an open subscriber roll. I've noticed that people can get lulled into a sense of having a private conversation -- even on USENET newsgroups sometimes -- when in fact hundreds of people may be listening in all innocence (thousands in the case of USENET). (Didn't Calle post at one point with mlist statistics, and the overall subscriber count was in the 300s?). [3]

For more about this site's public visibility, see Archived and Publicly Available.


"Lysator" is pronounced "Lee-sah-tor," not "Lie-say-tor."

Some Stats

Membership reached 110 by late November 1992 and by January 1994, it was over 300.

The first five members were, in order: Calle Dybedahl, Frances Teagle, Tommy Persson, Sandra Kisner, and Sue Clerc.

In May 1993, the list hosted its first Lysator Room Party at MediaWest*Con.

In November 2017, a number of long-time list members met up in London to celebrate the list's 25th birthday.


From the FAQ:

Anything even tangentially linked to Blake's 7 is fair game. We discuss the series, things related to the series, and sometimes things completely unrelated to the series. If you're new to Blake's 7, you might find some of the discussions a bit too involved at first. B7 has been a round a long time and so have some of the people on the list. That is to say, they've been talking about B7 for a long time and they've given a lot of thought to profound issues like where Dayna was hiding that wind-up toy in "City at the Edge of the World" and whether Avon had a difficult childhood or was just born ornery. So their posts can be a bit much at first. Fortunately, there are also a lot of people new to the series, too, and they're in the enviable position of seeing it all with fresh eyes and maybe coming up with some fresh twists. [4]

For more information, see Kathryn Andersen's Guide to Lyst Culture.

The Q-House in Sweden

The Q-House "

Lysator's original physical place: The Q-House originally held "the offices for one of the parishes around Linköping. In 1992 Lysator bought it for the equivalent of ten cents, on the condition that we removed it from where it was standing. Somehow we managed to get the university to cough up $40000 for the move, and to give us permission to put it on the campus. For some reason, all buildings on the Linköping University Campus have exciting names like "House A", "House B" and "House C". Sort of following this tradition, we chose to call our house "House Q", since Q is the seventeenth letter in the alphabet, and seventeen is an important number in computer science." [5]

Archived and Publicly Available

The mailing list is somewhat unusual in that it has publicly archived all list emails and made these archives accessible to the public over the past 20 years. They have even, at times, provided a search engine to sift through the messages:

To access the back files and material on Lysator read the web pages at Lysator. or by FTP from

Is there an archive file I can dig through? Oh yes, there is. holds everything from 11 September 1995 up until nearly now (it usually lags about a day behind getting copied to the FTP disk). holds nearly everything before September 1995, with a gap in August and September '95.

Lysator FTP directions
There is a full search engine at : archive page. [6]

Archives from 1993 to 2000 are archived here. A small quantity of messages (approximately 200) from 1993 have been archived here. Additional years are archived here.

To read these publicly available messages: message titles and senders. To read actual messages, you go FTP from and register as "Guest."

In 2000, a fan reminded others of the fact that the list was publicly viewable:

It occurs to me, what with the temperature around here of late, that it is a good time to remind people that this is a publicly archived list, and what you say today may come back to haunt you in years to come. For example, an attack of repeat fever on the part of the BBC may give your boss the notion to watch this programme to find out why your office wall is decorated with posters, and why you use a frame grab from Yawn of the Gods as your Windows wallpaper. And he may have already decided previously to go rummaging around Judith Proctor's website, reading all the interesting bits there, such as how to make a transporter bracelet (sic). And he may ask you if the mailing list is publicly archived, and where, because he'd like to see some of the discussion, to see what it is in this show that grown people find so fascinating to talk about. Hi, Lewis...

That's it. Any slash zine reviews I do for the website will be under a pseud. I don't mind him knowing I read/write the stuff, I don't want him reading my detailed drooling. It was bad enough when he found a partly completed draft on a floppy it should not have been on, after some kind soul fiddled with the autosave settings on my word processor... [7]


In the early years, the Lyst hosted a debate about the pros and cons of slash so regularly that Susan Beth collated The Generic Slash Defense Letter, a collection of quotes from fans. The Slash Summary represents the opposing side of the debate, collated by Kathryn Andersen. Both authors intended their texts to avoid the repetition of arguments on the list or as Kathryn puts it: "a list of dead horses, so to speak, done in a non-inflammatory manner".

In 1995, Space City, a slash mailing list was spun off to allow discussion of slash and adult topics without controversy.

In 1998, a fan proposed a story challenge: "Hey, this story has everything for a tragic love story. Who wants to write it? Please post it to the list in time for a "broken hearts" Valentines Day gazette here," and another fan answered: "What, you mean here, or on the Naughty List?" [8] The original fan responded: "Yeah here, why not? The best love stories do not get mired in sex. The best love stories focus on tragic love or unrequited love. And since there are no happy endings in Blakes 7, tragic love stories should flourish on this list. (The racy ones can go on Space City)" [9]

1995/1996 Changes

In late 1995 and 1996, there were changes in both tone and content on Lysator; slash was no longer much of a topic, nor was fanfiction and zines.

This was due to two reasons.

The first is that much of the discussion about slash migrated to Space City. A fan in January 1996 wrote in response to the question "where did all the slash fans go?":

Actually, quite a few of us are still here. We simply divide our discussions between two different lists. If I want to discuss something that is primarily concerned with character relationships, especially with a slash angle, then I'll put it on Space City. If I want to post explicit fiction, then I will definitely do it on Space City. Some things I feel are appropriate to both lists (which is why you'll sometimes see a posting of mine that says 'duplicate from Space City' - saves people reading it right through twice)... The split seems to work pretty well. Space City is relaxed and happy with a mixed bag of readers (not all slash readers and not all female). This list is much happier than it used to be, because arguments about slash don't erupt any longer. When the split originally occurred, I wondered if it would work, but it does. It took a while for Lysator to pick up mail volume again as some people ended up on just one list, and some people while on both lists, didn't have time to post to both. [10]

On Lysator in 1998, a fan explained slash and the Space City list to another fan:

There are a good many people in fandom who strongly dislike any kind of erotic fan fiction, and especially slash. There used to be fights about it on this list about every six months or so, as you see if you read the archives (I recommend them to your attention anyway-- there was lots of good stuff on this list back in the old days). Since 1995 there has been another list, the Space City list, where people who would like to talk about slash and related topics can do so in peace. [11]

SC isn't moderated. If anything, it seems less self-moderated than Lysator to me. People do still complain that Lysator is "meant" to allow non-explicit slash as well, but in practice everything slash-related tends to go to SC, just to be safe (and to avoid flame wars). Everything explicit - slash or het - should go to SC - hence the age declaration [12]

It's true that having everyone at Lysator made for a lot of conflict due to genre interest and "morals," but it meant for lively conversation. Now all that conversation was at Space City. The conversations at Space City were perhaps somewhat less lively because there weren't as many differing opinions regarding Blake's 7. In some ways, this Balkanization was a precursor to LiveJournal and other online journals.

There was also a very noticeable drop in discussion about zines and fanfiction. This was due to the fact that zine reviews were now mostly posted to, Judith Proctor's newly-formed website. This switch in venue from Lysator to a private website meant that the back-and-forth comments about fanfiction no longer had an anchor on Lysator. was a more easily accessible anchor, but it was one that did not foster spontaneous chat. Despite the additional option and service of, the culture of fiction discussion drifted away.

1999: The Horizon Fan Club "Leak"

On October 7, 1999, a long email by the president of Horizon Fan Club was apparently leaked and posted to Lysator, setting off a vigorous debate regarding explicit fanworks and slash.

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

A Group Lyst Project

One of the list's initial projects was The Great B7 Transcript Project where list members transcribed the episodes.

Some Content at Adrenaline and Soma Powered Blake's 7 Pages

Fan Comments

From a fan in 1997:

This was my first mailing list! And still my best beloved, both because it is gloriously undiluted to toxic niceness unlike several others I've got bored and dropped off, and because, well -

Partly because this list has been the subject of my first tentative meanderings into cyberspace as a place of play, thought and self expression. I've met some truly lovable and entertaining people here, probably more than on any other electronic-type playground. And because the spats were what got my adrenaline zinging enough to forget to be intimidated by the fact that these people presumably Understand Computers. But mostly because:

I tend to be an obsessive type - a true fan! - and in rl I have very little licence to be so outside my own head. I literally do not know anyone that I see regularly in rl who watches B7 - all my attempts to convert people have failed, I think because of its dated look. Most Adelaideans have never even heard of the show. This list is a space where I can treat this fantasy world as significant enough to link on to dealing rl with, or to muck around in on its own terms, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to play with people with the same hobby.

Without this list I would have had to do something really drastic, like join the uni Science Fiction Association, and then what would have become of me?!? The Internet has developed into a place where I can play with my obsessions - especially B7 - and then switch the computer off, put fandom back into its little box and go on with real life.

So - this was never something which I could have imagined, a year back, becoming part of my life, but I am very, very happy it is! After all, my Soolin obsession would never have had a chance to develop into its full glory if someone on this list hadn't accused her of being <deep breath> <whispered> boring! [13]


  1. ^ "Lysator". Archived from the original on 2010-03-07..
  2. ^ "Lysator" was "originally LYSATOR, an acronym for "Linköpings Y-Sektions dATOR-förening" (which roughly translates as "The computer club for students of technical physics at Linköping"), but since 1980 or so it's officially just a name. The full name is Lysator Academic Computer Society. It was founded in 1973, in order to receive a donation of a Datasaab D21 mainframe computer. It was one of the first Internet-connected sites in Sweden, and its website is the oldest in the country." "Lysator". Archived from the original on 2010-03-07., at Judith Proctor's Hermit Site
  3. ^ Subject: Lurkers post by Micky D. on Lysator dated April 5, 1994.
  4. ^ FAQ.
  5. ^ "The Q-House". Archived from the original on 2010-03-07.
  6. ^ FAQ.
  7. ^ Julia Jones at Lysator blakes7-d Digest V00 #93 (Marcy 31, 2000)
  8. ^ Lysator, Pat P and Penny Dreadful, 1998
  9. ^ Lysator, Pat P, 1998
  10. ^ Lysator, Judith P., January 1996
  11. ^ Lysator, 1998
  12. ^ Lysator, 1998
  13. ^ from Lindley (11 Apr 1997)
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