Standard by Seven

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Zine
Title: Standard by Seven
Publisher:
Editor(s): Ann O'Neill & Viv Callaway
Date(s): 1980-1983
Series?:
Genre:
Fandom: Blake's 7
External Links: The Avon Club
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Standard by Seven is a gen Blake's 7 anthology published in the UK. "England's leading amateur Blake's Seven magazine" is on the cover of issue #11.

It has been described as a "multifacted magazine, designed to meet the tastes of the more discerning Blake's Seven reader" [1].

In the late 80s, some of this content was republished in a sister zine called Standard by Seven: The Early Years.

A complete list of zines published by The Avon Club can be found here and here

Issue 1

Standard by Seven 1 was published in 1980.

Fiction:

  • Carla Percival and Ann O'Neill, "In the End"
  • Barbara Wakely, "A Brief Respite"
  • Brenda Callagher, "It Takes a Thief"
  • Marilyn White, "To What Green Altar"

Nonfiction:

  • Ann O'Neill, editorial

Art:

  • Ann O'Neill (front cover)
  • John Dell

Issue 2

Standard by Seven 2 was published in 1980.

Fiction:

  • Ann O'Neill, "From Out of the Night"
  • G. A. Wheatley, "Atala"

Nonfiction:

  • Carla Percival, "Intergalactic Top Ten Record Breakers"

Art:

  • Ann O'Neill (front cover)
  • John Dell

Issue 3

Standard by Seven 3 was published in 1980.

Fiction:

  • Linda Webb-Taylor, "Mission of Mercy"
  • Yvette Clark, "Timeslip"
  • Peter Hall, "Spacewave"

Nonfiction:

  • "Intergalactic Top Ten Record Breakers"
  • Ads for clubs and zines

Art:

  • John Dell (front cover)

Issue 4

Standard by Seven 4 was published in 1980.

Fiction:

  • Linda Webb-Taylor, "Alliance"
  • Brenda Callgher, "Nightmare"

Nonfiction:

  • Yvette Clark, "A Fifth Grade Ignorant?-- We Think Not!" (essay)

Issue 5

Standard by Seven 5 was published in 1980.

Fiction:

  • Barbara Wakely, "Bloodlust"
  • Yvette Clark, "Posession"

Nonfiction:

  • Judith Cross, "The Making of 'Blake's Seven'" (article)
  • Viv Callaway, "Terracon '79" (con report)

Issue 6

Standard by Seven 6 was published in 1980.

Fiction:

  • Brenda Callagher, "The Gemini Connection"
  • Ann O'Neill, "Midnight of the Mind"

Nonfiction:

  • Ann O'Neill, "Personal Communication" (editorial)
  • Ann O'Neill, "Alien" (review)
  • Amanda Cable, "Alien Quiz" (multimedia)

Art:

  • John Dell (front cover)

Issue 7

Standard by Seven 7 was published in 1980.

Fiction:

  • Ann O'Neill, "To Drink from the Styx"
  • Barbara Wakely, "To the Brink of Eternity"
  • Kathleen Glancy, "The Real Reason"
  • Yvette Clark, "An Exchange of Views"
  • Keith Sumner, "Zen's Mission"
  • Keith Sumner, "A Day in the Life"
  • Kathleen Glancy, "Crossed Lines" (multiple crossovers)

Nonfiction:

  • Viv Callaway, "Personal Communication" (editorial)
  • "Interview: David Maloney"
  • Keith Sumner, "Readers' Letters"
  • Peter Hall, "Is Zen Dead?" (essay)
  • Peter Hall, "City Class Cargo Ship"
  • Barbara Wakely, "Jumbo Word Search"
  • Information on back issues
  • Ads for zines, clubs, conventions

Art:

  • John Dell (front cover)

Issue 8

Standard by Seven 8 was published in 1980.

Fiction:

  • Barbara Wakely, "Vice Versa"
  • Kathleen Glancy, "Servalan, the Scot"
  • Yvette Clark

Nonfiction:

  • Ann O'Neill, "Personal Communication" (editorial)
  • Keith Sumner, "Letter Page"
  • Peter Hall, "History of Paragun Mark 14"
  • "Interview: Paul Darrow, Actor"
  • "Avon... On Reflection"
  • Chris Reay, "Avon-- A Personal View" (essay)
  • Chris Reay, "Cally-- A Personal View" (essay)
  • Chris Reay, "Can We Take Vila Seriously?" (essay)
  • Anthony King, "Build It Yourself-- Liberator Handgun"
  • Keith Sumner, "Heroes"
  • Information on back issues
  • Ads for zines, clubs, conventions

Poetry:

  • Kathleen Glancy, "Sarcophagus, a Double Soliloquy"

Art:

  • Anne Marie (front cover)
  • John Dell
  • John Peel
  • Simon Lake

Issue 9

Standard by Seven 9 was published in March 1981.

Regarding the story "Between Black and White": This story was written in 1978, and first published in "Spacefall" #4 in 1980. The story was later rewritten by Ann O'Neill and published in this issue of "Standard by Seven." In 1985, the author of Mascarada, Susan R. Williams, acknowledges Ann O'Neill and "Between the Black and White" in her own story "The Portage," saying that the original "plot device" of having Avon's allergic reaction to interrogation drugs was in O'Neill's story. In 1986, the story was bootlegged and sold as a novel "written by Keith Black."

A fan in 1991 wrote: "How about Avon's infamous allergies? Where the heck did they come from? Well, I'll tell you -- one old British story was so angsty that all the fans love the idea for some reason. [2]

Fiction:

  • Peter Hall, "There's Something Wrong on Strawberry Hollow"
  • Kathleen Glancy, "Verily I Say Unto You"
  • Ann O'Neill, "Between Black and White" ("Originally written in 1978. Rewritten by original author." Reputed to be the source of the fannish concept of Avon's allergies.)
  • Anthony Murray, "The Glorious Day"

Nonfiction:

  • Viv Callaway, "Welcom" (editorial)
  • Keith Sumner, "Readers' Letters Page"
  • "Quote Time"
  • "Review Time-- 'The Empire Strikes Back'"
  • Ads for zines and clubs
  • Anthony King, "Build It Yourself-- Teleport Bracelet"

Art:

  • John Dell (front cover)

Issue 10

front cover of issue #10
another version of the front cover of issue #10
another version of the back cover of issue #10

Standard by Seven 10 was published in August 1981 and contains 44 pages.

Fiction:

  • Linda Webb-Taylor, "The Mediators of Ellion"
  • Kathleen Glancy, "A Sequel to 'There's Something Wrong on Strawberry Hollow'
  • Anthony Murray, "Normal Service Will Be Resumed Shortly"
  • Viv Callaway, "Where Is Thy Victory?" Ta)
  • Peter Anghelides, "The Merry Rebels of Terminal"

Nonfiction:

  • Ann O'Neill and Viv Callaway, "Personal Communication" (editorial)
  • Keith Sumner, "Letters Page"
  • Anthony King, "D.I.Y.-- Avon-style Repair and Maintenance Kit"
  • Janet Connolly, "Jan's Page" (advice column; humor)

Art:

  • David Bowden (front cover)
  • back cover is a photo of Blake

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 10

I picked this one up second-hand last year, so yes, it is still possible to buy original copies of the old zines if you hit the right second-hand stall. This is one from the early days, 1981. Nicely printed, with a gloss card cover to show off the B&W photo of Blake on the back cover.

The interior ink drawings are somewhat variable in quality, a mix of very nice indeed and ones where the likeness to the character is rather dubious, or the body proportions are wrong. Most of the internal illos are for specific scenes rather than generic, something I like to see.

Letters page: A couple of letters from readers, allegedly. The one complaining about the quality of the "tantalising time tour" holiday booked from an ad in a previous issue offers an interesting view of the fourth Doctor:-)

The Mediators of Ellion: The Liberator goes to the aid of a crashed spaceship, and picks up the ship's mercy mission to a colony planet. Some standard SF themes, nicely written. I had a couple of minor quibbles, most notably that it took the crew so long to work out what was going on. It could also have done with a little more attention to detail - Avon certainly doesn't look heavier than Blake to my eye, and the doorway to the flight deck does not have a door in it. However, I enjoyed the story.

A sequel to 'There's something wrong on Strawberry Hill': One page humorous sequel to something in a previous issue, which presumably had the Federation putting out a propaganda series depicting the crew as cripples and rapists. I'd probably have found it more amusing if I'd read the original work, but not bad.

"Normal service will be resumed shortly": Another sequel to an earlier piece. Longer, has a minor cross-over with Hitchhiker and is not my sense of humour.

Where is thy victory?: Interesting aliens, nice characterisation, plot hole large enough to fly the Liberator through.

The Merry Rebels of Terminal: Short Shakespeare pastiche set on Terminal, with the characters aware that they are characters, and speculating on the likelihood of renewal. Very much dependent on personal taste. [3]

Issue 11

Standard by Seven 11 was published in April 1982 and is 62 pages long.

front cover of issue #11
back cover of issue #11

Fiction:

  • Rosalyn Paterson, "The Fight for Survival"
  • Sue S., "What Will Vila Say?"
  • Freda Hyatt, "The Human Factor"
  • Moira Dahlberg, "What?" (RPF crossover. According to Jackie Ophir in a comment in Horizon Letterzine #3, Paul Darrow gave his permission for this story to be printed.)

Nonfiction:

  • Ann O'Neill and Viv Callaway, editorial
  • Ads for zines and clubs
  • Kathleen Glancy, "Obligatory Bits of Shirt"
  • Kathleen Glancy, "Dear Jan"

Poetry:

Art:

  • David Bowden, front cover, interior illustrations for "The Fight for Survival", "The Human Factor", and "What?", cartoon strip: "Planet Hibiscus III" (idea by Keith Sumner)

Special Issue: Deadly Night Shades

Standard by Seven Special: Deadly Night Shades was published in 1983 and contains 24 pages. It is a story by Gillian Marsden.

Deadlynightshade.jpg


References

  1. Ann O'Neill's obituary
  2. from The Neutral Arbiter #3
  3. review by Julia Jones at Lysator on January 12, 2000. Jones added the note, "Yes, Judith, you can have it for the website." Most of the reviews from Lysator were posted to Proctor's Hermit Site, however this one, for some reason was not.