Sally and Jenny's 50 Favourite A-B Gen Stories

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Recommendation Website
Name: Sally and Jenny's 50 Favourite A-B Gen Stories
Reccer(s): Sally Manton, Jenny Pausacker
Dates: December 2000
Focus: gen stories focusing on Roj Blake and Kerr Avon
Fandom: Blake's 7
URL: SALLY AND JENNY'S 50 FAVOURITE A-B GEN STORIES, Archived version

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Sally and Jenny's 50 Favourite A-B Gen Stories is a recs list that focuses on gen stories which feature Roj Blake and Kerr Avon, two characters in Blake's 7. It was first published on the Freedom City mailing list and archived online by Judith Proctor at the Hermit.org site.

Because these recs were made in 2000, the fiction referenced was initially published in print zines.

A Similar Site

In 2013, two fans were inspired by Sally and Jenny to created a site of their own. See: Katy and Molly's 77+ Favourite A/B and A-B Stories.

The Recs

The Introduction

Let's begin by defining terms. We (Sally and Jenny, two B7 fans who have only ever met in cyberspace) decided to put together an annotated list of our favourite (a more subjective and accurate claim than 'the best') Blake's 7 gen stories (general fan fiction) centred around the interaction between Avon and Blake. These stories are known as A-B stories - not to be confused with A/B stories (slash), which focus on a sexual relationship between Avon and Blake, or A stories (smarm), which focus on an emotional but not explicitly sexual relationship between Avon and Blake. Some of the stories we've included here are pure smarm but others aren't, so we chose A-B as the general heading for the list. This large project got under way on the day Jenny completed her collection of A/B stories, when she changed her basic mindset from "I don't read gen" to "Hmm, maybe I do read gen" and asked Sally to recommend some A-B. Sally introduced her to the stories of Linda Knights, Marian Mendez and Sheila Paulson. Jenny raved about them on the Freedom City list. Sarah Thompson, list-maker extraordinaire, suggested that we put it in writing ... and the rest is bibliography.

We started by asking the inhabitants of Freedom City for their faves, then worked our way through most of the 164 A-B stories in Sarah's GUIDE TO B7 GEN, along with a bundle of other stories that we discovered for ourselves. Along the way we realised we were developing our own idiosyncratic definition of A-B. In Sarah's guide, A-B indicates stories where Avon and Blake are the main characters - for example, Sarah lists Anne Collins Smith's 'Shoot Feds and Dodge' as A-B, because it's a parody of Dr Seuss's 'Green Eggs and Ham' in the form of a dialogue between Blake and Avon, but she doesn't list Lillian Shepherd's THE MACHIAVELLI FACTOR as A-B because it follows the separate adventures of the full third season crew, even though Shepherd incorporates a lyrical and powerful account of Avon and Blake sorting out their differences.

For us, conversely, A-B means stories that in some way explore or expand the series characterisation of Avon and Blake, so we were happy to include stories about the whole crew, as long as those stories centred around Avon and Blake. We like Avon and Blake (in case you hadn't noticed), so, while there are some comic stories here, you won't find any stories that just plain take the micky out of them. And in our version of A-B the massacre at Gauda Prime is usually survived or averted, unless the story is very, very well-written.

The process of collaborating on the list was startlingly easy - especially given that Sally reluctantly but firmly believes that, from what we see on the screen, the entire B7 crew are apparently under a vow of perpetual chastity, which means that all adult and slash pairings except Tarrant/Servalan are AU, whereas Jenny equally firmly believes that A/B slash is implicit in the TV series. (It's just that the BBC couldn't show explicit homosexuality during family viewing time in the late 70s and early 80s, right?) However, unlike Our Heroes, we never argued: although we didn't agree about every story, we could always agree to disagree.

Our main problem was the sheer volume of good A-B gen. Fairly early on, we decided to restrict ourselves to stories that had been published in print zines before 2000 but even then, we found it hard to settle on fifty favourites, so we added the Bonus List ... and we remain convinced that there are some great stories that we've missed. But there are plenty of great stories here, ranging from prequels to PGPs, from hurt/comfort to politics, from comedy to Gen For Slash Fans - in short, something for everyone.

[...]

All archives are being added to continually, so others both on the list - and maybe some that we haven't seen - may appear in the future.

We want to thank all those dedicated gen zine writers and editors, the Freedom City members who offered suggestions, Pat Fenech who filled in some gaps and, most of all, Sarah Thompson, not only for the amazing amount of work that went into her definitive gen guide but also for generously giving us access to her gen collection. And we hope you enjoy browsing through this list as much as we enjoyed writing it. [1]

References

  1. ^ SALLY AND JENNY'S 50 FAVOURITE A-B GEN STORIES, Archived version