Standard by Seven: The Early Years

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Title: Standard by Seven: The Early Years
Date(s): 1980s, 2000 or 2001
Medium: print, zine
Fandom: Blake’s 7
Language: English
External Links:
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Standard by Seven: The Early Years is a gen Blake's 7 anthology with fiction from its sister zine of Standard by Seven.

Regarding the Dates of Publication

The first issue was published in 1987. The exact dates of the other issues is unknown, but in 2000, Judith Proctor wrote in an announcement of Ann O'Neill's death: "Back in the late 80s, I collaborated with Ann once more. Due to public demand we republished stories from the 'Standard By Seven' series of zines, (which were no longer available in the original form). Called Standard By Seven: The Early Years, we now have The Early Years II, III, IV and I hope to bring out the last in the series (V) very soon. [1]

Issue 1

Cover of issue #1

Standard by Seven: The Early Years 1 was published in 1987 and contains 50 pages. It has a cut-away diagram that was devised by John Dell.

  • To What Green Altar' by Marilyn White (A-B-C)
  • Space Wave by Peter Hall (A and ensemble)
  • Alliance by Linda Webb-Taylor (S2 ensemble)

Reactions and Reviews

*'to what green altar' by marilyn white s2: A-B-C is basically a typical cally story in which cally is played by avon. he's strangely drawn to some psychic stones and either faints or turns violent when the others try to make him leave the planet and the stones alone. i'm not sure why he's the one who gets mentally affected, the story doesn't consider that relevant, but it's definitely more interesting than 'cally: again'.

the fact that cally's not being compromised also means that she can lend her strength and experience to avon, while blake is around to batter avon to the ground when he goes mental. i liked cally's particular skills being used for good - and i like (surprise surprise) the fact that blake has to make choices about what will happen to avon.

the beginning with avon stumbling around being possessed goes on too long, but the stuff about blake and cally trying to deal with it is very good. blake is forced to shoot avon with a phazer that we later learn has been adapted (but untested) to stun. it's clear that he doesn't know whether it will kill avon and cally's narrative remarks that she thinks that if blake had been forced to kill another member of his crew (so soon after gan's death) the revolution would have been over for him. which i think is interesting. i also like that blake and avon have a chat at the end about whether blake made the right decision, and they understand each other. it's good stuff.

  • liberator cut away diagram devised by john dell: unfortunately, the photocopying of this is terrible. i can barely read the letters that are supposed to refer back to the key telling me which room is which. so, basically: bad zine, no biscuit.
  • space wave by peter hall s2 - A and ensemble

this one is mega short and is just about avon building an analogue radio to help decode federation signals. then he gets the bright idea that they might be able to pick up really ancient signals from the past, since the radio waves will have taken this many years to reach their current position, which is an idea that charms me with its simplicity. alas, then the story is like 'but what if they picked up a transmission of the show blake's 7???' and i'm like 'then that would be too meta for me, sorry'.

  • alliance by linda webb-taylor - everyone except cally (sorry cally), mostly jenna

by far the longest story in the zine, taking up more than half the room. blake wants a base! again. but, as usual, he chooses somewhere the federation don't want and which therefore sucks ass. in this case, it's home to a big monster that tries to kill them. consequently they have to join forces with some federation people in order to save themselves. in doing so, everyone learns to respect everyone! obviously that's the sort of thing i eat up with a spoon.

i liked this bit particularly:

[jenna] led the way, reflecting on the oddity of character which made vila always panic before the event then calm down and become quite useful as soon as the worst was actually happening.

this would have been a nice episode and not really something that the show's done before. admittedly, blake doesn't do that much, but that's fine because blake already knows how to work in a team it's jenna's story, really.

i think there were a few americanisms, but it seems churlish to bring them up since i can't find them on a quick flick through.[2]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2

Standard by Seven: The Early Years 2 is about 60 pages long.

  • One Man's Measure
  • The Glorious Day
  • Mission of Mercy

Issue 3

Standard by Seven: The Early Years 3 has about 60 pages.

  • Possesion by Yvette Clark
  • The Gemini Collection by Brenda Callagher
  • Midnight of the Mind by Ann O'Neill
  • Normal Service will be Resumed Shortly by Antony Murray

Issue 4

Issue #4

Standard by Seven: The Early Years 4 has about 60 pages.

  • Between Black and White by Ann O'Neill
  • Where is thy Victory by Viv Callaway
  • It Takes a Thief by Brenda Callagher

Issue 5

Standard by Seven: The Early Years 5

  • A couple of early Standard stories and a very early interview with Paul Darrow.


  1. Ann O'Neill
  2. aralias reviewed this zine in 2013 on Dreamwidth; reference link.