The Endless Farce

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Zine
Title: Endlace Farce
Publisher: Helen Patrick
Editor(s):
Date(s): 1999-2002
Series?:
Medium: print & ezine
Genre: slash
Fandom: Blake's 7
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
cover by Whitby27

The Endless Farce is a slash Blake's 7 anthology of fiction by Predatrix.

Issue 1

The Endless Farce 1 was published in 1999 and contains 68 pages. is subtitled: "A Sex Comedy By Predatrix with Another Lady." Color cover and b&w interior art by Whitby27.

The origins of the zine, as described by publisher Helen Patrick:
I ended up doing some other zines as a direct result of starting Tales from Space City‎ . The Endless Farce started with a story Predatrix had written for the City, then put on the web. I sent her an idea for a sequel, which she wrote. And like Topsy, it grew. Then an author with a long-running AU series asked if I'd be interested in doing a print edition of the latest story.

The stories were posted originally online as part of the online webzine ORACnid.

Summaries from the online flyer:
"....a sequence of four sex comedies written by Predatrix. Plenty of Cock and a Fair Bit of Bull (written with Another Lady) features Avon and Blake finding that they do have one thing in common. This story is currently available online in the webzine Oracnid. The next three stories detail the addition of Gan to the menage, why orgies are bad for your health, and how one amuses oneself while recovering. Very little angst, a lot of fun, and a great deal of sex. Word count 72,000."

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

[Plenty of Cock and a Fair Bit of Bull]: Why It Must Be Read: Also one of my first slash reads. The story starts post-modernly enough with Vila’s musings about the impracticality of barbarian trousers in low-quality rapefics. From there, the story perfectly encapsulates the dynamic of insane competition between Blake and Avon, with much attention devoted to a Flight Deck j/o contest. Predatrix accurately describes her work as “sex comedy,” and while I’m not sure if one can identify any B7 writer as the flat-out filthiest, Predatrix is certainly in the race. Most of her B7 work is in paperzines, rather than online; her zine work include some powerful and psychologically, errrm, penetrating stories. [1]

[zine]:

These reviews are all written, of course, with a more than usual eye on the fact that the author will likely be reading them. That's why I wouldn't review if I didn't largely like...

[...]

...I like these [two issues of "The Endless Farce] significantly less than EZ, because a) Gan is there (and I like Gan, but really) and b) the fact that Gan is there implies the kind of relationship that I accept but do not seek out (I prefer the implication in quite a few of the EZ fics that both B and A are possessive, as well as obsessive). Also c) as clearly laid out in the author's note (so again it's not as though I was duped coming into this) there is absolutely no time for revolution with all the shagging that has to happen. The plot of the first Endless Farce zine is 'Blake and Avon get together, (Avon also gets together with Gan), Avon has a lot of sex, Avon gets hurt by lots of sex, Avon gets better and has more sex'. The second zine is far more interesting, and has less Gan in general. I like it a lot more.

A quick word on Gan - Predatrix uses him sensibly, in that Gan's role is to be the straight man (literally) [2] as Blake and Avon piss around and insult each other. He's very kind, and very reasonable while they aren't; and has to have things explained to him - which is exactly what Gan is for. This is a good example:

"I don't mind being used sexually, but I mind being used as the nearest available object to attack Blake with."
"He can stand up for himself," avon said, at the same moment as Blake said "I can stand up for myself." They shared a quick grin.
"Well, all right, but it's not exactly a useful habit at an orgy, is it? Telling one of the other parties that he isn't as good. I mean, does this mean I have to keep up with you all on my own?" Gan sounded slightly nervous.
"You are very different, as I said," Avon explained. "If I were to hint you're a bad lover, Gan, you would instantly lie down in a wilting heap and be no further use to me, which would be an awful waste, to say nothing of the suggestion being untrue, which it is. Blake, however, is lying there plotting revenge. The sort of revenge which involves being so good that I beg, make incoherent noises, and forget that I could ever have even though that anyone else might conceivably be better."
"Yes," Blake said. "And I can do it, too." Half-mocking, half-seductive. Utterly confident.
"You see?" Avon said to Gan, over his own quick responsive shiver.

So that's good, and the B and A flirting is good.

Gan's insistence on being straight gets a bit wearying, though, after a while - given that Avon isn't a woman or much like one (and given that I don't like the dealing-with-homophobia-in-our-leads trope in general)(yes, I know it didn't stop me writing it), and given he keeps having to watch Blake fuck Avon, which he's OK with as long as it's penetrative rather than oral. Another problem: while Blake fares relatively well (given that he doesn't do his job at all and this is the core of his personality), Avon's whole character is consumed by his sex-drive, which is OK is a short fic but we have 140,000 odd words here.

In general... the whole thing is a bit... samey. Particularly the first three stories that follow on from Cock&Bull (I consider C&B very separately given its composition process, and feel). It makes the reader long for a good old explosion - no, not that kind: a literal explosion of a strategic military target (they bomb tonnes of shit in 'Strict Protein Diet', which is vv good). The most action (not that kind) we get in this volume is Blake doing that paperwork - which isn't even plot-relevant. The second volume does make the whole thing more satisfying (to me) because it resolves the Avon-thinks-he-wants-sex-only arc, and also has some interesting variations on sex. You could pretty much start with it, though, and miss very little.

Plenty of Cock and a Fair Bit of Bull: This doesn't feel like the rest of the fics at all, except that it has Avon getting upset at the thought that Blake might love him (no - just trolling him; they can have the casual sex they both want!). It is clearly the inspiration for the rest of the farce because Vila pens a B/A/G slash fic for Jenna and Cally to enjoy. This makes me wonder whether a possible interpretation of the rest of the two zines is just that Vila wrote the entire thing, including the fact that he himself didn't know anything about it and accused Avon several times of having piles. This seems plausible ;) though we also refer back to B and A remembering how they got together over Vila's dirty stories, so I assume that did happen (then again, Vila Restal, metatextual genius, could surely include that small detail).

Looking at this story straight forwardly, the metatextual stuff is fun, Blake trolling Avon is fun, Blake roleplaying himself is so fun that I forgot this fic had done it first and stole it for myself... In general, though, this isn't one of my favourite Predatrix's, which is a shame as it's one of the few on the internet.

In Which Avon Gets Unbounced: I have a lot of thoughts about this title, which I think is brilliant. Kerr Avon is a man with many personal problems, as we have discovered in the previous fics where he is repeatedly a jerk to many people - he does need to be unbounced! But, as we remember from the Winnie the Pooh story from which this gets its name, it is not Avon who should be unbounced - it's the person who thought this needed to happen to him, who learns they are wrong.

And at last a very Small and Sorry Rabbit heard him. And the Small and Sorry Rabbit rushed through the mist at the noise, and it suddenly turned into Tigger; a friendly Tigger, a Grand Tigger, a Large and Helpful Tigger, a Tigger who bounced, if he bounced at all, in just the beautiful way a Tigger ought to bounce.
"Oh, Tigger, I am glad to see you," cried Rabbit.

Actually, this would probably work better with Blake being Tigger, and Avon being Rabbit, and the revolution being bouncing.

Anyway. So, I think unbouncing/invoking Rabbit is a good idea for a fic set in a universe where people are annoyed at each other a lot. Also, I like Winnie the Pooh and its sly humour. But basically the title just means here, in which Avon realises that you can have too much of a good thing (haven't we all?) and is pushed beyond his limits... with his full consent, but still.

Avon Makes a Stand: Having had a lot of sex in the previous story, Avon can no longer have penetrative sex and is upset about this. This is the plot of this entire section. Vila (thinking Avon has piles) gets him a pink cushion to sit on. Jenna and Cally laugh themselves silly. It's quite funny but good lord, it's long (Avon said, looking at Blake's penis)(N.B. not a real quote.)

I don't know exactly what this title is referring to (I feel like Paddington may have made a stand at some point, amongst others).

A Sight for Sore Arse: In which Gan learns about consensual D/s roleplay, and how it is OK, and gets involved in another threesome seemingly without noticing. [3]

Issue 2

The Endless Farce 2 has 61 pages and is by Predatrix. It was published in 2002. Fiction, all by Predatrix unless otherwise indicated:

  • S.N.A.F. (Situation Normal, Avon Fucked) (sequel to "Avon Makes a Stand" 20 pp.)
  • A Bad Workman Blames His Tool (part 1 of 4, 11 pp.)
  • Julia Stamford and Predatrix, Two Quarts in a Pint Pot (part 2 of 4, 5 pp.)
  • Oh Dear Oh (part 3 of 4, 13 pp.)
  • Supplied (part 4 of 4, 10 pp.)

Nonfiction:

  • Predatrix, untitled editorial
  • The Story So Far

Summaries from the online flyer:

[zine]: Cock & Bull Tales II, the long-awaited, by perverts everywhere, sequel to Endless Farce is available. Containing: SNAF, (or Situation Normal, Avon...) the story which should have been story 3.5 in _Endless Farce_, but got left out after a disk crash. If you've ever wondered how A got back to normal after _Avon Makes A Stand_, this is the story. WINCE as a slightly sticky Avon is passed a handkerchief in one of those really embarrassing social situations. GRIN as A & B try to score points off each other while driving each other demented. PANT as Avon is eased out of underwear "small wet and barely able to contain his impatience". Partly shown on the list.

A Bad Workman Blames His Tool, where A & B behave badly, B manages to have sex with A while concealing he can't get it up, C and J drop in for a Weird Auron Genderfuck Sex Scene, and It's All All Right In The End (Avon's End, naturally). Not previously published.

Two Quarts In A Pint Pot Blame Stamford for this. She sent me a porno movie clip proving that it's actually *possible*. Some of the sexual activities portrayed may squick people (yeah, like anyone easily-squickable's still reading Farce ...). Not previously published.

Oh Dear Oh This is the "Avon fucks the *Liberator*" story. Also contains Gan getting really pissed off with Avon, and an "insatiable Avon gets sodomised by technology" scene. And a lot of jokes. And Avon squirming a lot after practicing with an impromptu sex toy. Despite containing unfeasible amounts of sex with inanimate objects, and a het scene (not with Avon), it's still essentially slash. Not previously published, although I may have mentioned it on the list.

Supplied Avon wants to get away from it all. Following advice from Orac, he is stranded for two weeks among raving religious maniacs who are obsessed with his having sex (yes, like me, but they're actually trying to *stop* him). Contains an even more Weird Auron Genderfuck Scene than Bad Workman, and it's still what I'd call slash. Go figure. [4]

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

[zine]: Or Who Has Time for Rebelling Anyway?

Not Our Heroes, according to Predatrix. In the opening blurb she says "I like to think that in one conceptual universe Avon keeps Blake too shagged-out to sulk or run away. Personally, I'm surprised he had enough energy left for your average grocery-shopping mission :-)

For those who have already giggled their way through Endless Farce 1, welcome to more of the same. With embellishments. Eye-opening embellishments. For those who *haven't* had that pleasure, welcome to extremely bawdy, extremely funny slash which follows canon only in so far as Our Heroes do behave very badly (but managing to still be endearingly *them* at the same time). Blake is warm, generous, temperamental and obstinate to the nth degree; Avon is stunningly selfish, utterly brattish, extremely amusing and invariably unreasonable to another nth degree; the pair of them mix verbal cut-and-thrust with tactile affection quite beautifully. And Gan is kind and dutiful and trying sooo hard not to be narrow-minded (he ends up with Cally, who is a nice mixture of sexual ultra-frankness and verbal primness).

The sex is both mind-boggling (I'm still trying to get my imagination *around* a couple of Pred's variations on the theme - Two Quarts in a Pint Pot, for one) and an awful lot of fun, which is lovely - pure fun being rarer than angst and passion and highly-charged emotions. I love the way Blake and Avon keep arguing and teasing and even *competing* right through what is clearly mind-blowing sex. And there is *lots* of sex - as I said, no time for the Revolution :-) I can't recall if there was a single page with no sexual references on it (this, by the way, is most definitely *not* a complaint) so it's not a zine for people who want politics and SF and such. OTOH, even if the sex itself isn't quite your cup of tea, the bawdy jokes, puns and sheer exuberance (and lack of sentiment or slush) may be.

And I also giggled the fact that Vila - so often the 'wise Delta' who sees all and knows all without being told - is the *only* one who has no idea what's going on around him (he thinks he knows, of course). Even Orac knows ...

My own favourites were - 'A Bad Workman Blames His Tool' with Blake temporarily 'out of commission' and Avon doing his (not entirely successful) best to be reasonable and patient and selfless (for him) "for ... oh, for days at least" the Avon-Jenna-Cally mend-sex scene is ... interesting :-), though what I like best about Jenna and Cally in this series is that they're such unabashed *gossips* (well, wouldnt you be?) and has a verry nice Avon-on-top scene.

- 'Supplied' - just about *any* version of Kerr Avon in a strict monastical community would be fun, but Pred's sexually insatiable and extremely bad-tempered one is gorgeous. Poor deprived darling ... this includes another mind-boggling sex scene (possibly my favourite), where Blake and Avon have sex while *both* in Blake's body.

Strongly recommended for those who like comic slash, and are not easily shocked, but with the gentle warning that the stories are quite graphic and - ummm - creative; if explicit description makes you uncomfortable, or you're unsure if it will, try a couple of Pred's other stories to the feel of them first. [5]

[zine]: These reviews are all written, of course, with a more than usual eye on the fact that the author will likely be reading them. That's why I wouldn't review if I didn't largely like...

[...]

S.N.A.F. (Situation Normal, Avon Fucked) (sequel to "Avon Makes a Stand" 20 pp.): This is really part of the first one, but I like it more because there's some conflict as Blake upsets Avon by daring him to have sex in a corridor and Jenna finds them, which is embarrassing (so they break up!) - also, yet another good example of Jealous Jenna Who Is Still A Bit Jealous But Also Awesome.

"I'm not going to nick him," she continued, tone conveying, though I probably could, if I tried. "I don't take other people's leftovers..." Now Blake looked outraged as well, "and I told you large men are a pain in the cervix, and I can leave them to people who regard sex as some sort of test of machismo." That sort of sour-grapes I-didn't-want-him-anyway was exactly how [Avon] would have handed the situation if it had been reversed. He nearly admired it.

Also a lot of it is about how Vila doesn't understand what's going on, Blake and Avon reconcile, Gan's not in it very much, although we do obviously still have to deal with Avon's sore arse...

A Bad Workman Blames His Tool: I genuinely like this - Blake suffers a (brief, don't fear dear reader, it is but brief) bout of impotence, and does various things so that Avon doesn't notice - which is a nice spin on the Machiavelli idea. Gan (also briefly) breaks up with Avon in Comic Sans. Also - we have here some unreal A/J (pegging - naturally) with Cally watching through an Auron mind-projection, which... again, we see why I like this one ... ends because Avon's brain knows he loves Blake, and ends the projection by bringing Blake into it ("You're mine." Avon tell him as Blake protests he's useless). The projection is supposed to only be a proposition (would A like to have sex with them?) and yet C and J clearly react to that projection like sex. It seems tedious and to be missing the point to wonder if Avon is being violated by this (plus, he doesn't mind), but in another fic it would be v dodgy.

Julia Stamford and Predatrix, Two Quarts in a Pint Pot: My main comment on this fic is to note that (at the time of writing) the author and the reviewers all view double anal penetration as crazy and out there/something that has to be proved with porn. How jaded we have become in this internet age (I can recommend the A/B/V that anon wrote for the meme) [6](watching, transference, double penetration = good). Blake also fists Avon in this fic - but alas, it's over too quickly, and Gan is there, which makes it awkward (he faints). I quite like this fic though, btw. The double-penetration is done really well (ooh er), and you do actually need two people for this sex act. So - I guess it's OK that Gan's there.

Oh Dear Oh: Blake and Gan both get irritated with Avon, and while irritated Gan leaves Avon for Cally who is psychically affected by Avon's solo orgasms (see below) - the G/C is explicit, and should therefore be flagged up on the pairings list but isn't (there are three others at least, though - which I wouldn't have predicted). As I knew from the earlier review, this has Avon fucking the Liberator - but I'd guessed tediously that it would be the tentacles (Willa and I both picked that one up, though, so we're OK), but no - it's a more interesting Liberator heats floor when you walk bare foot/Liberator can sense bear skin against it tries to adapt/Liberator accidentally finds self being fucked by Avon who finds himself accidentally fucking the Liberator. Neat. Skiffy. Avon also tries to use a tissue regenerator/regen pad as part of a dildo and ends up constantly coming... which is a semi-neat idea. Blake helps him recover, and they reconcile again.

Supplied: For some reason, Avon wants to have some alone time away from the Liberator and the people who have sex with him there. Orac (making his first appearance, I think)(presumably he's been having a very quiet time of it while nobody has been doing any work) decides to troll Avon by sending him to a religious order where they love maths, but hate masturbation. (vg - thanks Orac.) Predatrix very amusingly describes this plot in an early flyer thusly: "he is stranded for two weeks among raving religious maniacs who are obsessed with his having sex (yes, like me, but they're actually trying to *stop* him)."

Fortunately for everyone, Cally is able to pull Avon telepathically into her sex with Gan, and Avon accidentally projects to Blake who barges in and is very angry because they're in a committed relationship now.... which makes the fact that Gan and Cally are there actually very bearable. That's all I wanted! So good jealousy and investment in the relationship. The next night the make a mistake and Cally just pulls Avon into Blake's body - which is another vv cool (in fact, I like this one more) skiffy idea. Weird, but also sexy (she and Gan watch the whole thing, btw - nobody on this ship is ashamed about anything by this point. I remember when Blake pretended to be asleep when Jenna found him fucking Avon in a corridor - not anymore).

The ending has some stuff I'm very weak for, which along with the two bouts of different but cool psychic sex makes this story my favourite out of the collection, and does mean that overall I recommend reading 'Endless Farce 2'.

"Yes, [Cally's] my friend," [Avon] said a trifle wearily.
"And what am I?" asked Blake. "Best friend? Best enemy?" He slid an arm round Avon's nec and whispered to him, "best shag?" nibbling at Avon's ear.
"You're just ... my Blake," Avon murmured, "and don't you forget it."
<3 [7]

References

  1. from Crack Van, recced by Executrix, October 2, 2003
  2. The original review hotlinks "literally" to [Horrible Histories - Literally: The Viking Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qSkaAwKMD4 ]
  3. from Aralias at More zines - Procrastination Central, Archived version, June 20, 2016
  4. from Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  5. a review by Sally Manton at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 page
  6. original review included this link
  7. from Aralias at More zines - Procrastination Central, Archived version, June 20, 2016