Ten-Credit Touch

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Title: Ten-Credit Touch
Editor(s): Mary Robert
Date(s): 1993
Medium: print zine
Fandom: Blake's 7
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
quiz poking fun at Avon: A Terrible Aspect

Ten-Credit Touch is an adult het and slash humor 84-page anthology. It has the subtitle: "The Lighter Side of B7 Kink."


  • Dirty Branching by Brooke Barker
  • Always/Victimized
  • In the Line of Duty
  • Leadership Secrets of Commissioner Sleer
  • Scorpio Blues, and Green by Lexa Reiss
  • filks, puzzles, trivia quizzes, poetry, advice to writers from the Federation Grammarian, cartoons, and Avon's Oxymorons

From the Flyer

"Dirty Branching": A choose-your-own slash adventure! As Blake, you attempt to seduce Avon. Will your efforts end in romantic ecstasy, or will you lose your dignity? Or your ship, or your life? What secrets will you learn about the rest of the crew? Your choices determine the outcome of the story!

"Always/Victimized": "Those idiotic girls!" Avon fumed. "I suppose this is their idea of sophisticated humor. You'd think after that episode with Blake, the weasel, and the rubber hose they'd be a bit more subdued."

"In the Line of Duty": Raping a helpless prisoner is just part of the job to Travis. But what he doesn't know about Aurons is about to make him the laughingstock of Space Command...

"Leadership Secrets of Commissioner Sleer": Servalan discusses politics, fashion, and the men in her life, including Del Tarrant (not brilliant, but gorgeous and quite sweet) and Kerr Avon (his idea of foreplay was to back up a few paces and say "brace yourself.").

"Scorpio Blues, and Green": Summoned to one of Dorian's "playrooms," Tarrant doesn't know which is more frightening: the gun in Avon's hand or the shopping bag in Vila's.

Find out what's on sale at Polly Morfus-Purv's boutique in Freedom City! Learn why Travis decided to change his accent! Filks, puzzles, trivia quizzes, poetry, advice to writers from the Federation Grammarian, cartoons, and Avon's Oxymorons!!

Reactions and Reviews

[Scorpio Blues and Greens]: A very funny fourth-season story in which Avon and Vila decide to put an end to Tarrant's tomcatting. No explicit sex, but the story ends with Vila tiptoeing out of the room and leaving the helpless Tarrant to Avon's mercies, thinking that Avon "didn't particularly fancy sex with men, but he did love to win at games." [1]

Unknown Date

[zine]: I saved the best for last. Ten-Credit Touch: The Lighter Side of B7 Kink is the funniest thing I have seen in a long, long time. Everyone on the show is well represented in this one. Tarrant tidbits include the story "Scorpio Blues, and Green," by Lexa Reiss, in which Avon and Vila get tired of being inconvenienced by Tarrant's raging hormones and decide to do something drastic to curb his enthusiasm; the memoirs of Commissioner Sleer (in the chapter on "Men": "Del Tarrant, for instance...six foot three and everything in proportion"); and a nice semi-serious filk about Tarrant's experiences with men in black leather. There are lots of other goodies, too. My favorite thing in the zine is the choose-your-own slash story detailing all possible consequences of Blake's attempt to seduce Avon, most of them disastrous. "The Federation Grammarian," an article on grammatical and orthographic mistakes to be avoided in B7 smut, with examples, is too, too true. I cannot recommend this zine too highly. You'll love it. [2]

[zine]: Ten-Credit Touch was a gem that well tickled my funny bone in all the right places. Since humor appreciation is so dependent on individual tastes, I thought I'd share one of my favorite bits to give you a preview of what to expect. From "What Your Spell-Checker Won't Tell You":

//Literally means according to the precise meaning of the word. It does not mean "emphatically" or "figuratively." The sentence "He was literally dead on his feet" is correct only if you're talking about an upright cadaver--it is incorrect if you just mean that the person was extremely tired. "Soolin was literally having kittens" is out, unless you're writing a Beauty and the Beast crossover.// [3]



(Contains slash, adult, and huge amounts of satire. Stop reading now if you're offended by any of the above.)

I only flipped through a borrowed copy of this zine which made its debut at MediaWest 93. I was encouraged enough by the flip-through to mail order my own copy, and it is well worth it. This has to be one of the funniest B7 zines I've ever read. Most of it consists of slash satire that is right on target, and is filled out by puzzles, poems, advertisements, and filks, most with slash/adult themes. Let me do a quick run-down of the offerings:

"Always/Victimized": The title pretty much says it all---a quick spoof of the usual misunderstandings that occur when Avon makes a move on Vila.

"From 'Leadership Secrets of Commissioner Sleer'": These excerpts occur throughout the zine, including "School Days," "Men," and "Overcoming One's Past By Killing the Witnesses." The funniest by far was "Men," where Servalan comments on several of her past experiences, including Avon: "His idea of foreplay was to back up a few paces and say 'brace yourself.'" The overall tone of these excerpts are quite serious, though, and I can hear Sleer reading them aloud. Interesting look at Sleer's mental processes and (lack of) morals.

"In the Line of Duty": Despite the subject matter (Travis's preferred methods for interrogating Cally), this is absolutely hilarious. I did a lot of sniggering while skimming through this at MediaWest, and it held up well to closer scrutiny. Travis's dignity will never be the same again.

"Intercepted Transmission": Short communique from Avon to Servalan. Avon has discovered the existence slash fic and art, and responds to it with typical Avonic logic.

"Dirty Branching": My favorite by far. A choose-your-own-slash-adventure story. Hapless Blake wants to seduce Avon. The choices Blake makes have many outcomes, and you turn to the next appropriate section of story depending on the choice. I was laughing aloud while reading this; it is absolutely wicked and inventive and effectively skewers many B7 slashfic cliches.

"Absolute/Balderdash": What the Avon/Blake relationship was probably really like.

"Scorpio Blues, and Green": Extremely funny. The flier blurb explains this one best---Summoned to one of Dorian's "playrooms," Tarrant doesn't know which is more frightening: the gun in Avon's hand, or the shopping bag in Vila's.

"What Your Spell-Checker Won't Tell You": A list of common grammar foibles, presented with wit and a (usually) fannish slant: "A person feels *bad* if she is ill, hurt, ashamed, etc. She feels *badly* if she's trying to read Braille while wearing oven mitts."

There are also "Bonehead Lists," limericks, and quizzes. Even though this is a satire of slash fic, it's not terribly explicit. And everything is very well written and frequently hilarious. One warning: If you can't poke fun at "Avon: A Terrible Aspect," you might have some problems. The novel is adroitly speared several times, and even has a quiz devoted to it.

The art isn't great, but with writing like this, who cares. The zine is 84 pages long, with good layout and crisp print."[4]

[zine]: I don't care for the cover, but everything else in the zine tickled my fancy - and Blake's fancy, and Avon's, Vila's and Tarrant's, among others. This zine is an eclectic collection of puzzles, mock ads, filks, quizzes, stories, cartoons and unclassifiable bits - something for every taste - so long as you enjoy the bizarre.

Possibly my favorite part was Dirty Branching by Brooke Barker. This is a Choose Your Own Slash Adventure, in which you guide Blake in his attempted seduction of Avon. Mistakes in judgment and pure bad luck abound, but persevere — there are 3 "happy endings" and several paths to arrive at them. And some of the "unhappy endings" are even more amusing—such as the one which terminates with Avon, Cally, Can, Jenna, Vila, a set of golf clubs, and a jug of Mogen David wine.

The Federation Grammarian should be required reading for all Blake's 7 writers, both slash and straight. It clearly, and humorously, points out the proper usages of many of the most common orthographic errors. One of my pet peeves was not included, however, so I'm going to put it in here. 'Discreet' means showing good judgment in conduct, being prudent, unobtrusive or modest while 'discrete' means constituting a separate entity, individually distinct, or consisting of distinct or unconnected elements. Therefore, Vila can be discrete while drunk and shouting at the top of his lungs, but not discreet.

While amusing, there are several quite valid points made in this zine. Sleer's series of lectures to cadets clears up a great many misunderstandings about her love-life, career choices and methods of advancing through the ranks.

One of the ads removes much of the mystery surrounding Travis's transformation to Travis 2, while another defines me connection between Tarrant, Blake and Cally. Remember, always read the fine print.

Tarrant-o-philes should take particular note of Scorpio Blues and Green in which Avon and Vila have gotten fed up with Tarrat's flirtations and take matters firmly in hand, with long-lasting results; Avon does like to win, you see.

Travis's capture of Cally In the Line Of Duty does not turn out quite as of One Eye expects. But I found it most satisfying. Even Servalan was amused.

In The Bonehead Lists, Part I and 2 various stupidities on the parts of Blake's 7 characters are exposed. And I agree with everyone of them, particularly, the one in Headhunter where Avon is up a metal pole, busily cutting on live electrical cable while wearing his patented metal-studded gloves. I thought that was a rather shocking scene. Or, at least it should have been.

I don't normally notice filks, but this collection is too wickedly funny to ignore. I shall never be able to hear Home on the Range again without smirking.

If you read slash, but sometimes think people have taken themselves too seriously, this is the zine for you. Age statement required, sense of humor suggested. [5]


[zine]: Ten-Credit Touch gets my vote for unexpected gem of last MediaWest. The description I'd heard of it made it sound like unappealing anti-slash whining, but it's not. Far from it! It's wonderfully wicked satire. The writers clearly have some affection for the genre, which keeps it from becoming too caustic. There's so much fantastic stuff in this zine, I can't name a favorite; I loved just about everything. [6]


  1. Favourite Avon/Tarrant Stories
  2. from Sarah Thompson at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  3. from Carol MC at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  4. Zine Review by Lorna B. on Lysator dated Oct 25, 1993.
  5. review by Marian M in Tarriel Cell v.7 n.2
  6. from IMHO* #2 (1995)