Parodies Lost

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Zine
Title: Parodies Lost
Publisher: Chris Blenkarn
Editor(s): Chris Blenkarn
Date(s): January 2001
Series?:
Medium: print, zine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Blake’s 7
Language: English
External Links:
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Parodies Lost has the subtitle: "A Collection of Blake's Seven Parodies." It is a gen Blake's 7 144-page anthology of filks, stories and poems by Chris Blenkarn, written in the style of different authors.

Summary

Summary from Knightwriter:

Your chance to read hitherto unknown gems by Woody Allen, Raymond Chandler, Enid Blyton, Garrison Keillor, Lewis Carroll, Georgette Heyer and many other writers. Enjoy a weekend break at The Incarceration Experience on Cygnus Alpha, experience the full horror of intergalactic travel as it carries on the grand tradition of the British Rail network, find out how to mix a Pink Asteroid - the cocktail of choice for the female gorilla (sorry, guerrilla). Order a Travis alarm clock or one of Avon's many other gadgets, book a ticket for "No Sex Please, We're Andromedans," see how Avon and Anna make out as management consultants, read Shakespeare on Orbit - well, everyone else has had a go, so why not him? Spend an evening in the forest with the Delta Sons of Toil, hear how Blake gets on under New Labour, learn what became of Jarriere, discover Servalan's secret passion, meet Mr.and Mrs. Istance is Useless and their Welsh nephew Rhys, not forgetting their friends, Mr and Mrs Icide Mission and their daughter Sue.

Excerpt

An excerpt:

"Avon nearly lost his grip
When he ordered the Pharos trip
The end was not what he's imagined
He should've had his head examined."
(Roger McGough: "Headhunter Poems")

Contents

Fiction, all by Chris Blenkarn, all humor:

  • "Your Call Is Important to Us"
  • "Exbar and Barbarity," after Jane Austen
  • "The Delta Sons of Toil," after Garrison Keillor
  • "Mornington Dome" (script for play Mornington Crescent)
  • "Five Go Off in a Huff," after Enid Blyton
  • "The Rose and the Rebel (a new title from Mills and Boon)"
  • "Yippie-i-oh! Blake's 7-- The Western" (four AU stories: The Stagecoach Saga, the Honest Homesteaders vs. the Railway Barons Saga, the Homesteaders versus the Cattle Barons, and the Ranch House Saga)
  • "Soliloquy: Night Watch," after William Shakespeare
  • "The Infamous Alpha," after Georgette Heyer
  • "Mission to Destiny: The Competition Winners"
  • * "1st Prize: Murder on the Ortega Express, by Agatha Christie"
  • * "2nd Prize: Sherlock Avon and the Mystery of the Missing Neutrotrope, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle"
  • * "3rd Prize: Farewell My Liberator, by Raymond Chandler"
  • * "The Runners-Up"
  • * "Morse Codes, by Colin Dexter"
  • * "Gaudy Death, by Dorothy L. Sayers"
  • "Hello! Magazine"
  • "The Death of Gan," after Charles Dickens
  • "Xenon Base," after Woody Allen
  • "Time Distort Magazine: Jeremy Clarkson's Mean Machine"
  • "Systems Check"
  • "An Unexpected Error Has Okkerred" (retold in computer language)
  • "Casanegra" (plot summary in form of letter)
  • "The Way Forward: A Premier Galactic Conference" (AU; documents and convention report)

Poetry, all by Chris Blenkarn, all humor:

  • "Steak Out at Gauda Prime," after Brian Patten/Michael Rosen
  • "Servalan's Secret Passion," after W. H. Auden
  • "The Unhappy Propensity of Cally of Auron: A Cautionary Tale," after Hilaire Belloc
  • "Vila Was a Lockpick," after traditional nursery rhyme: Taffy was a Welshman
  • "Oh Beautiful Planet of Chenga," after William McGonagall, Poet and Tragedian
  • "Transport of Delight," after Flanders and Swann
  • "Poetic Justice," after Adrian Mitchell
  • "The Pylene Fields of Purimac," after Sir John Betjeman
  • "Citrus Thoughts," after Brian Patten
  • "Cygnus Alpha Quadrille," after Lewis Carroll
  • "Throwaway Lines," after John Cooper Clarke
  • "Shop Til You're Dropped," after John Hegley
  • "How to Kill Yourself with Your Own Bare Hands," after John Hegley
  • "Avon's Plaint," after Ogden Nash
  • "Sarran Poem," after Ogden Nash
  • "Oh Life!" after Dorothy Parker
  • "I Am the Very Model of a Federation Officer," after Gilbert and Sullivan
  • "Headhunter Poems," after Roger McGough
  • "Soliloquy: After Malodaar," after William Shakespeare
  • "Resume Revisited," after Dorothy Parker
  • "Probability Square," after Roger McGough
  • "Bang Bang Bang," after John Hegley
  • "Star Warnings," after Roger McGough
  • "The Leader," after Roger McGough
  • "Paradise Lost," after John Milton
  • "T/o/n/e/ Moan Poem," after Brian Patten
  • "Just Do It!" after Noel Coward
  • "Who Killed Kerr Avon?" after the nursery rhyme, Who Killed Cock Robin?
  • "Blake's Drum" after Sir Henry Newbolt
  • "The Ballad of Blake and Kerr Avon" after Frankie and Johnny
  • "Recipe for Disaster" after Brian Patten
  • "Where is Roj???????" after Dr. Seuss
  • "What If?" after Roger McGough
  • "Ends and Means" after John Cooper Clarke
  • "Zen Stood on the Burning Deck" after Mrs. Hemans
  • "So They'll Go No More A-roving" after George, Lord Byron

Nonfiction, all by Chris Blenkarn:

  • acknowledgements
  • editorial
  • "Zerok Tours" (travel brochure)
  • "Turn Your Dreams into Reality at the Cutting Edge of Rebellion!" (job application)
  • "Avalon Publishing Company"
  • "Blake's Seven: The Programme Guide" (complete episode summaries)
  • "The Liberator Gift Catalogue: Autumn 55"
  • "Healthy Eating on the DSV: The Auron Diet, the Delta Diet, the Alpha Diet"
  • "The Rebel Romance Library: New Titles for This Autumn"
  • "New Titles This Autumn from Avalon Press"
  • "Zircaster Widows" (retirement fund ad)
  • "Disentrastra Drama Festival" (descriptions of plays)
  • "In the Next Edition" (parody titles)

Art:

  • Michael Blenkarn

Reactions and Reviews

Parodies Lost is a zine full of 'stories, poems and much else in the style of different writers and writing genres'. I normally don't like parodies, since all they seem to do is horrible charicatures with awful plots that you're supposed to laugh at or be considered not to have a sense of humour. The collection here, however, is not of that kind at all. There are parodies in-the-style-of, which means one can simply admire how well the author has captured both the style she is imitating, and casting it into the setting of Blake's 7. I must admit I got more fun out of the ones that imitated authors I was familiar with -- Flanders & Swann (bet nobody's filked them before!), Georgette Heyer, Enid Blyton, Jane Austen, Shakespeare and so on, than those with whom I was not familiar, such as Dorothy Parker, William McGonagall or Roger McGough. Among my favourites are 'The Infamous Alpha by Georgette Heyer', 'Yippe-I-oh! Blake's 7: The Westerns', 'Five Go Off In A Huff by Enid Blyton' (also published as a stand- alone piece) and 'Mission To Destiny - competition winners'. This is a zine to be dipped into, not gulped (unless you're very fond of lots of parodies one after another...) (Kathryn Andersen)[1]
A scream. How Chris managed to keep such a high quality throughout the over 60 stories, poems and filks presented here is amazing. I laughed like a mad thing. This is probably the zine I've passed around the most friends, all of whom have enjoyed it every bit as much as I have.

It was hard to choose my favourites from this zone but as an attempt...
Your Call is Important to Us - You've all suffered through those god-awful phone menus...here's the B7 version.
Exbar and Barbarity - A Jane Austen parody, rewriting Hostage.
Nightwatch and After Orbit - Two short pieces from Vila's POV done as Shakespearian soliloquies. Somehow they do manage to 'sound' like Vila even though the style is so completely different.
The Liberator Gift Catalogue - My favourite item was the 'bracelet safety clip'n chain'.

New Freedom, New Federation - Set at 'The Way Forward Conference'. great fun spotting all the (often amazingly obscure) references. (Leia Fee)[2]
You have all heard the expression 'something for everyone' before, I'm sure.

Welcome to a zine where it's not just hyperbole, but the unvarnished truth, since we have 'Blake's 7' in nearly every conceivable (and some *in* conceivable) styles here - from W H Auden to Enid Blyton (and is it a worry that Dayna and Tarrant, especially, fit sooooo beautifully into the Famous Five world?) from Jane Austen (a version of 'Hostage' which gives Travis better lines than the on-screen one) to Dorothy Parker, Dr Seuss and Charles Dickens (a version of Gan's Death that recalls Wilde's words on the death of Little Nell). And even Noel Coward ('Just Do It' - (just *begging* to be sung in public).

A wonderful antidote to the over-angsted (or just looking-for-a-giggle) B7 fan it is too ...

One thing I noticed when reading Chris's' previous effort, the Gilbert and Servalan Book (strongly recommended, by the way) was that, for my money, she writes the best, the *very* best, voice of Vila Restal I have ever read (and can do it in rhyme, what's more), and this is again true in Parodies Lost. The Woody Allen piece, 'Xenon base' is absolutely wonderful (I also love the fact that Chris shares my fascination with Our Heroes' domestic arrangements) as is his rewrite of the Liberator's recruitment package ("Assist in accessing resources" [Stealing's quicker]) and the *superb* "Soliloquy: After Malodaar" (after Shakespeare, of course ... alas poor Vilakins).

In addition to stories and poems in all styles, we have a fabulous Gift Catalogue (Rebel Scum Ltd are obviously looking up these days, and I want a pair of the boxer shorts that detect clones), a publishing list that *might* be a boon for any fanfic writer in search of ideas ... or not, a rather ... errr .... different Programme Guide (every word of it true, too), and The Way Forward, a surreal post-Rebellion conference with a *huge* supporting cast (quite a few of whom manage to attend despite being rather - umm - dead). Oh, and a Drama Festival to die for ... I *want* the scripts of 'The Caucasian Chalk Quarry' and 'Sexual Perversity on Helotrix', Chris. Pretty? [3]
A one-author (almost) zine, but you wouldn't know it by the contents. The zine is a collection of parodies of different writing styles, ranging from merciless lampooning of mail order gift catalogues to Inga as a Jane Austin heroine. I found most of it funny even when I wasn't familiar with the source material. There are a lot of short pieces, with a few longer ones, so it's an excellent zine for dipping into at random.

One of my favourite pieces is the first one in the zine, a wickedly funny parody of those automated call answering systems that involve listening to a never-ending maze of recorded messages at premium rates. I can very easily see Avon setting up such a system with messages that don't bother to hide his opinion of the callers:-)

My other favourite is one of the long pieces. This one's the diary of an attendee at the Way Forward Conference in the New Federation, along with all the bits of paper one gets in the application pack. It's horribly, horribly familiar... Will appeal mightily to those who have had such things inflicted on them by their managers, and should appeal even to those who have escaped this. Some of the political satire poking fun at Britain's New Labour government may go over the heads of non-UK residents, but the gist of it should be clear.

The zine is a lot of fun, and recommended for those whose tastes run to parody. [4]

References

  1. Katspace: Parodies Lost
  2. Delta Dome: My Favourite Zines (accessed 11 October 2012)
  3. a review by Sally Manton at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  4. a review by Julia Jones at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site