Nova (Blake's 7 fanwriter)
|Type:||fan author, essayist, indexer|
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Nova is an award-winning fan author, essayist & indexer active in the Blake's 7 fandom mainly from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s. Hafren refers to her as one of the best writers in a fandom that has many good ones, and Executrix calls her one of the brand names in B7 slash.
Nova is particularly known for long satisfying stories, featuring a smooth writing style (of a high literary standard, according to Ika), a good mix of plot with character exposition, plus a dollop of not-particularly-graphic sex -- and nearly always a happy ending. She was a leading member of the HEXers -- indeed, a fellow HEXer recalled in 2013 that she coined the term. Hafren comments on Nova's happy endings: I love reading them and being convinced by them. Nova rarely wrote collaboratively but she often created HEXed responses to other authors' stories, for example The Atonement Cycle by Hafren, Willa Shakespeare & Nova.
Nova acknowledges influences from Jane Baron, Melody C., M. Fae Glasgow, Sylvia Knight, Bryn Lantry, Vanessa Mullen, Predatrix, Sebastian, Willa Shakespeare, Natasha Solten and Thomas. She wrote towards the end of the "New Wave" in B7 fanfiction of the mid 1990s to early 2000s. Ika describes her writing as a v interesting mix of new-wave and tradfic, adding Her stories are highly political (eg 'The Political Education of Kerr Avon'), leftist and queer, ... her writing is ... arguably not 'experimental'... I think she worked with more traditional tropes. Espresso Addict considers Nova to be firmly rooted in the tradfic tradition.
She is particularly associated with the m/m slash pairing Blake/Avon, of which she was a passionate advocate. Executrix writes Nova is the ultimate B/A shipper; she genuinely loves them both and writes a basically sunny-but-never-soppy romance. She also wrote numerous other slash pairings, femslash and slash-friendly gen. Her stories are often set within series 1 & 2, or post-Gauda Prime, sometimes in AUs where the carnage is avoided. In addition to Blake & Avon, she also frequently wrote Vila and several minor characters, perhaps particularly the psychostrategist Carnell.
Her B7 fanfiction first appeared in print in multimedia zines in 1998 & 1999. She became better known with the publication of Bend Me, Shape Me, an all-Nova B/A printzine produced by Pat Fenech in May 2000 which was an instant hit. Her work also appeared at the Freedom City mailing list -- of which she was a prominent member -- as well as in numerous B7 & multimedia printzines, including Dark Roses 3, Dyad 19, Fire and Ice series, Forbidden Star 3, Homosapien Sux, No Holds Barred 26, Sleer as Folk, Southern Lights 11.5, Tales from Space City series & ttba. Not all her writing has been archived online; 15 stories are available at the Hermit Library and 11 at Liberated.
One of her earliest stories, Delinquent (published in Southern Lights 11.5), won a 1999 STIFfie. Her work dominated the 2000 STIFfies (their final year) with nine nominations; Bend Me, Shape Me won the zine category, and one of its stories, Metaphorically Speaking, also won an award.
Nonfiction & Other Activities
Nova compiled a list of all B7 femslash, published in the 2002 zine Sleer as Folk. She also compiled a list of all fiction focusing on a consummated Blake/Avon relationship, now available on Fanlore.
She was a generous reviewer and beta reader.
In Her Own Words
...I try to stick to the facts of the BBC series, although most of my stories lead to a different outcome than the massacre at Gauda Prime. I became a slash writer, as opposed to a lifelong slash fantasiser, on the night I first watched Blake. While I admire the harshness of the series ending, I couldn't bear it, so I had to record my own version.
- Bend Me, Shape Me (link). B/A zine with 7 stories, all by Nova, edited & published by Pat Fenech (2000). Nova explains the concept: This zine consists of seven stories, told by the seven members of the first and second season crew on the Liberator - although I should add that Bend Me, Shape Me isn't meant to be a B7 replay of Rashomon or Lawrence Durrell's Alexandrian Quartet, where you get a range of different perspectives on the same situation. Instead, each story in this collection represents an alternative twist of the kalaidoscope and offers a separate interpretation of the A/B relationship.
The main pairing is Blake/Avon, unless otherwise stated.
- Five Easy Pieces And A More Difficult One (published in Homosapien Sux; 1999). Sex into love B/A, set in S2. Aralias & Elviaprose write: Nova is particularly good at writing love - both the aching and upsetting supposedly unrequited kind and (without ever letting go of the antagonism and ease of misunderstanding) the joyfully requited kind. And few writers have such a gift with endings that leave you grinning and feeling like everything is all right with the world. This is a classic example of that genre.
- Unfinished Business (published in ttba; 2001). PGP with the rare Vila/Tarrant as a background pairing. Ika writes A beautiful, happy-ending PGP which manages to combine a tricksy plot with incredibly affecting, bitter-sweet and spot-on A/B dynamics without seeming contrived. Other highlights are a thoroughly enjoyable cameo from Carnell and a Vila/Tarrant relationship - probably my personal Least Plausible Pairing - which didn't interrupt my suspension of disbelief and was actually really, really sweet. The sex (and snogging) scenes are erotic, in-character, and so beautiful I could drown in them.
- Fire and Rain (published in Forbidden Star 3; 2001). AU future where Gauda Prime never happened. Tavia writes Inventive, visually stunning, poignant and with the bonus of a great Avalon cameo... Best of all for me was the way that Nova firmly anchored the piece in the response of two rank-and-file Federation troopers to a love story with all the trappings of fairytale.
- Songs of Innocence and Experience (published in Sleer as Folk; 2002). Soolin-centric f/f; with, according to Sarah Thompson, an appealing original character whose identity I have my suspicions about. She's a middle-aged woman with wavy gray hair who runs a gay bookstore and who at one point addresses an audience with "G'day."
- Before and After (published in No Holds Barred 26; 2002). Vila/Deva. Hafren writes People surviving, making the best of things, rendering a sad world a bit better through mutual kindness. Very hushed, downbeat, utterly compelling.
- 'The Political Education of Kerr Avon' (published in Fire and Ice 8; 2005). One of her later stories; highly political according to Ika
- A/B Slash: A Chronological Listing
- "(Re)Making Space for Women" (published in Sleer as Folk). An article surveying the history of published Blake's 7 f/f writing from its first appearance in 1985 to the present day, with bibliography.
- Crack Van: Body and Soul by Nova (NC-17) (accessed 18 January 2014)
- Crack Van: FIVE EASY PIECES...by Nova (accessed 18 January 2014)
- Comment on 'Sorry, but I've been pondering' in Temeres livejournal (accessed 18 January 2014)
- Entropy House. Comment at Crack Van, 18 December 2013 (accessed 18 January 2014)
- TTBA: Mini-review by Hafren (accessed 18 January 2014)
- Liberated: Bend Me Shape Me: Author's Note (accessed 18 January 2014)
- Comments on 'New wave.' in Espresso Addict livejournal (accessed 18 January 2014)
- THE 1999 STIFfies WINNERS! (via Wayback Machine) (accessed 18 January 2014)
- THE 2000 STIFfies WINNERS! (via Wayback Machine) (accessed 18 January 2014)
- Aralias: Katy and Molly's 77+ Favourite A/B and A-B Stories (accessed 18 January 2014)
- TTBA: Review by Ika (accessed 18 January 2014)
- Forbidden Star Three: Review by Tavia (accessed 18 January 2014)
- Sleer as Folk: Review by Sarah Thompson (accessed 18 January 2014)
- No Holds Barred 26: Review by Hafren (accessed 18 January 2014)