The Great Lord Shiva's Dance

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Title: The Great Lord Shiva's Dance
Author(s): Susan Matthews
Date(s): 1987
Fandom: Blake's 7, Drake's Venture
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The Great Lord Shiva's Dance is a Blake's 7 poem by Susan Matthews. It is a crossover work with Drake's Venture, which also stars Paul Darrow (Kerr Avon in Blake's 7) as Thomas Doughty.

It was published in Powerplay #1.

Reactions and Reviews

art for "The Great Lord Shiva's Dance"
art for "There's Always Laughter" which the reviewer, Aralias, also comments on
ok, so this is some poetry, but i am going to glancingly review this one, because it's longer than the others and also because... it's about how avon was thomas doughty in another life! and blake was drake. and so avon is kind of doomed to kill him in revenge, and then i think they are doomed to kill each other again and again etc etc throughout the ages.

now, i have plenty of thoughts about how blake/avon [equals / eguals] drake/doughty despite a similar premise behind the plot, so let's not go into that again here.

well, not too much.

i feel i just need to say quickly that drake kills doughty in cold blood without any regard for him as a person, and without truly engaging with any of the options that weren't 'killing him'. whereas avon kills blake because - well, we know why. personally, i think if it was karma that made avon kill blake, he could have killed him a bit harder and felt less sad about it.

but - i kind of like the idea of them having met before and it becoming more intense and weird each time. and the fact is, i am kind of weak for the art even though we only see the back of blake's head. tudor!blake! avon's beard! yes, avon should always have a beard. and nice hair.

i thought maybe it was iambic pentameter (which would accord with the tudor doughty, if not with the 'lord shiva'), but after a few lines... i think no. i think it's just random free verse. like a lot of the fan poetry i've read, i honestly think this would be better if it was just prose. is the death of fan poetry down to the rise of the drabble? if so, that's no bad thing, because i like a lot of drabbles.

after this intense death business, the zine moves swiftly onto a mega-happy blake/avon poem illustrated with a massive picture of them both grinning. either to console you after all the killing/show the contrast available in this pairing... or just in an attempt to give you whiplash (you can see the grinning while you're finishing the shiva poem. it is v odd).[1]

The Great Lord Shiva's dance, a poem by Susan Matthews, examines the nature of predestination, with imagery of the cosmos framing a historical note the poet uses to illustrate her meaning about Blake and Avon. Without going into more than a fraction of the complete tale, Matthews gives a sense of what these two characters are about, what they are to each other, why they fascinate us past all reason. Her message is no doubt the more effective for being in the unreasonable medium of poetry, a difficult format but one which, Susan repeatably demonstrates, can be incredibly rewarding.[2]


  1. ^ aralias reviewed this zine in 2013 on Dreamwidth, Archived version
  2. ^ Pressure Point no.2