Nearly Beloved

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Title: Nearly Beloved
Author(s): London Bates
Date(s): 1986
Fandom(s): Blake's 7
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Nearly Beloved is a Blake's 7 story by London Bates.

It was published as "Nearly Beloved/Rogue" in The Unique Touch #1 in 1985 and in Southern Lights Special #2.5 (1986). It was published as "Nearly Beloved" in The Other Side #1 (1986).

According to The Federation Archives, this story was sent to Paul Darrow and his wife, and was therefore a part of The Blake's 7 War.

Response Fanworks

a commentary by Leah Rosenthal in Blakes Doubles #3, note the aside: "Note: this eyeball the property of S. Matthews!" [1]
  • "What I Did for Love" (humor) by Madelyn Darring & Coral Court in Southern Comfort #7.5 (1993) In which Kerr Avon dresses as a woman to have sex with Vila Restal -- "Alas, it was a passion doomed to die unflowered. Vila was adamantly against any relationship, no matter how Avon pleaded and begged. "No slash," he cruelly sneered at Avon, savoring the sound of an Alpha heart breaking. "After London completely ignored me in 'Rogue', I've sworn off men forever.""

Reactions and Reviews

Unknown Date

(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.[2]


... well-written, interesting and 'stimulating'...’. I really do like Avon and I

appreciate his love for Blake. It's not so hard to imagine that he would desire Blake physically as well. After all, there were a finite number of potential subjects in Blake's little group and it would be reasonable to assume that given all the time they spent together, totally isolated from everyone else, that they would develop intimate relationships. It seems a more honourable (moral) for Avon to have the kind of relationship with Blake than for the two women to be passed amongst the four men in order to keep the relationships strictly heterosexual. After all, Avon does love Blake! And Bryn and London paint such an exquisitely beautiful picture of that love. [3]

I liked London Bate's 'Nearly Beloved' very much (sigh, a nice, happy ending)... [4]

I enjoyed London Bates’ "Nearly Beloved", though it definitely deserved the double-slash rating![5]


I enjoyed both [stories in the zine The Unique Touch #2] (though personally I preferred the second) and found them well-written with a good feel for the characters. The first, "Nearly Beloved/Rogue," is a post-Gauda Prime B/A story by London Bates. Avon, Blake, and Tarrant have survived and the plot revolves around Blake's and Avon's attempts to come to terms with their memories of Gauda Prime and how it affects their feelings for each other, while Tarrant alternately tries to help and gets in the way. There is a fair amount of explicit sex (including a couple of rapes). The characters of Blake and Avon are quite different from usual, due the the deep effect Blake's shooting had on them.[6]

"Nearly Beloved" took a lovely concept, that of Avon turning into a masochist to Blake's sadist after Gauda Prime, and did not live up to it. The sexual details are abundant, but the story lacks the depth and richness that ten more pages of characterisation would have leant it. If I hadn't read It elsewhere, I would have accused this editor of hacking up the non-sexual scenes. Still, this is the best story in the zlne, and is available in Southern Lights Special 2.5 (USA) and In the Unique Touch (Scotland) under different titles.[7]

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.) [8]


As it pertains to B7, something I've long been curious about is why, given so many fen do like their slash dark and violent, why then is "Nearly Beloved/Rogue" so widely disliked? Would you all believe that was my intro to B/A? Actually it was one of the author's gen stories, "The Shadows Between Us," (or something like that) that turned me onto the possibility; but looking back I can't explain why "Rogue" didn't make me run screaming in the opposite direction. I know why it's not on my list of Top 10 B/As -- which is mainly that I can't see Blake doing that, or Tarrant taking it, or Avon wanting it, especially now that I 'know' them so much better.[9]

In London Bates’ “Nearly Beloved/Rogue” (1986), Avon and Blake are reunited, the emotional and physical wounds of Gauda Prime still gaping between them; an angry Blake rapes a remorseful Avon, while Avon, eager to suffer for his crimes, accepts and even embraces the brutal treatment: “Looking over his shoulder, he saw that Blake’s face was set in a kind of rage as a cold fury lit Blake’s eyes and the set of his mouth. He didn’t seem to really note who or what Avon was…. Blake was battering him, pounding into him with enough force to make the smack of flesh on flesh” (56). [10]


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.[11]


  1. ^ This eyeball comment MAY be a commentary on A Personal Statement from Susan Matthews
  2. ^ by Predatrix at Knightwriter
  3. ^ from The Other Side #2 (1986)
  4. ^ from The Other Side #2 (1986)
  5. ^ from The Other Side #2 (1986)
  6. ^ from "touched" #11
  7. ^ from "touched" #11
  8. ^ from Textual Poachers, page 220
  9. ^ from Rallying Call #9
  10. ^ from Textual Poachers, page 216
  11. ^ a 2006 review by Predatrix