The Road to Hell

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You may be looking for the zine The Road to Hell and Other Stories.

Title: The Road To Hell
Author(s): Suzan Lovett
Date(s): 1987
Length: 247K
Genre(s): gen
Fandom(s): Blake's 7
External Links: online here

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The Road To Hell is a gen Blake's 7 story by Suzan Lovett. It was published in Powerplay #1 and The Road to Hell and Other Stories.

The art in this zine was previously published in Those Who Favor Fire . The front cover and two of the inside pictures are by Suzan Lovett. There is one picture by Jean Kluge from Those Who Favour Fire, and the back cover is a new picture by Whitby27. The zine is full size with black and white, gloss card covers and a glue binding with a taped spine. The layout is double column.


"A second season a/u story. Blake is in desperate trouble, and it's up to Avon to rescue him. The rescue turns out to be far harder and takes much longer than Avon expected because Blake is not exactly himself."

Author's Note

"This is an alternate-universe story based on the episode, "Hostage." It starts taking liberties with the established story-line shortly after Avon, on the hillside, contacts Blake through the teleport bracelet, and totally disregards the rest of the episode. Mea Culpa."

See also

This fic was published in The Road to Hell and Other Stories with Lovett's other Blake's 7 fics (listed below). All five fics focus on Avon's relationship with Blake, but they take place at different points in canon and portray different versions of events to each other. They are not intended to be read as a series.

Reactions and Reviews

Unknown Date

This is a collection of gen stories, all of which focus in some way on the relationship between Avon and Blake. They feature strong, well-developed characters, well thought-out plots and a relationship which is intense without ever becoming over-sentimental. They are some of the best stories about Avon and Blake that I have ever read. If I had to recommend just one zine from all those I sell, it would be this one.[1]

Oh, now this is just not fair. Not only is Suzan Lovett an amazing artist, her writing is just as beautiful. These stories are some of the finest I have seen. The relationship is intense between Avon and Blake. Not only are the plots are well constructed, but they're also well executed. This is a reprint of previously uncollected stories and artwork from Judith Proctor, and well worth the shipping fees from the UK.[2]

This is probably going to sound ridiculously gushy, but the truth is the title story of this zine absolutely knocked my socks off. It's basically an alternate ending to the episode "Hostage": in this version, Blake is captured by the Federation and shipped back to Earth, where a guilt-ridden Avon comes to rescue him only to discover that the Federation has already done something terrible to him... This is a premise with a *lot* of potential, and Lovett makes good on all of it. She's captured the Blake-Avon relationship here in all its intense, complex, angst-filled glory, and she's done it with a wonderfully deft subtlety. Avon and Blake are perfectly characterized, the emotional intensity between them never made too obvious or explicit, but conveyed between the perpetually-sniping lines just as it was in the best Blake-Avon moments of the TV series. That by itself would make this story well worth reading, even if it had nothing else going for it. But it's also got smooth, professional-quality writing and an exciting plot (since it's obvious from the outset that this is an AU story, and Our Heroes are by no means guaranteed to get out of it unscathed). I read this story in one eager sitting, and it left me with a big smile on my face for the rest of the day and a desire to re-read it again soon. It's great stuff, and I can't recommend it enough.

In fact, the only problem with the title story is that it was *so* good that it kind of makes the other stories in this zine -- which would probably be standouts in any other collection -- pale a bit by comparison. (Though I'm sure that in my case, this wasn't helped by the fact that they're all set in the third season or later, and I'm far less familiar with the second half of the show's run than I am with the first.) [3]


The Road to Hell by Susan Lovett (yes, the same one -- she also did the cover) is the longest, strongest story in the zine. It's ostensibly a variant on the aired B7, altering one episode, 'Hostage', to get the plot started, but this difference merely allows an intriguing and well-developed story to surface before the show's history resumes, unchanged. It explores the characters of both Blake and Avon during an unscheduled visit to Earth in a plot that capably encompasses Federation Security; escape from same; a great deal more than either of them ever wanted to know about mutoids; some Earth-based rebels with their own organization; and the inevitable tussle with and beating of (yet again) Servalan. The characters ring true, the action sensible, well-paced and shows a bit of background thinking about Federation Earth. The premise, though lurid, is a logical development of what we know about the Federation's technology and its approach to public relations, and the course of the story displays Avon's sense of justice (a term he would probably prefer to guilt) despite his best efforts at reticence. Blake has the untoward problem of coping with Avon's sense of justice, as well as having to deal with the Federation's tricks of past and present. I'm not sure the ending is happy, but it does return them to the known history of Liberator. Is that happy?[4]


Blake and mutoids. Haven't you read "The Road to Hell" then? You must have. But if you haven't, get your hands on it immediately. For anyone who may not have this gem, it's by Suzan Lovett and was in POWERPLAY #1, and has Blake taken prisoner in HOSTAGE, shipped back to Earth, and scheduled for mutoid modification. To say that he's not exactly a happy puppy about this is putting it very mildly. I think making it personal like that, as opposed to Blake simply dealing with a mutoid, made for some intense drama. It's also one of the best examples of Blake-Avon h/c.[5]


A takeoff from the episode "Hostage", a gen story, which should, nonetheless, satisfy anyone who's keen on seeing Blake and Avon exchange body fluids.[6]


Yes, I too rather like h/c stories without sex. One excellent example, IMO, is Suzan Lovett's "The Road to Hell" in Powerplay 1. I found the interplay between B and A extremely satisfying as it was, without sex. There was a certain kind of zing in some of the h/c scenes that might have been overshadowed if they had gone on to sex. I kind of liked the "purity" of their being so tender with each other without having sexual thoughts as either a motivation or a result.

Not that I necessarily object to h/c and sex combined— it just depends on the story.[7]


Why This Must be Read: Illustrator extraordinaire Suzann Lovett also wrote a series of interconnected Blake-Avon stories (i.e., no sex, but an extremely powerful emotional relationship). The five stories are The Road to Hell, Doppelganger, Gemini Rising, Circle of Fire, and Lightbridge, and they're intricately plotted might-be-canon stories that are also intensely character-oriented.[8]

And speaking of B7 (which I like to do, for some reason) for anyone who wants to try somewhere near the very best gen that Blake's 7, The Road to Hell - my own very very favourite - is on the web ... The other four stories on the page - Doppelganger, Gemini Rising, Lightbridge (I love Lightbridge, the imagery is so perfect) and the wonderfully *black*angst Circle of Fire - are all among my favourites, but may be more difficult to get the benefit of if you've never seen the show. The Road to Hell takes one of the lesser Series 2 episodes and turns it into something rich, strange and obliquely intense.[9]


i read this a while ago, so i skipped it this time. but - it's worth noting that 'wanting to own a printed copy of road to hell' is the main reason i bought the zine. i plan to read the fic again in the near future, and at that point i may come back and write a proper review here. for now, let it suffice to say: there's a good reason 'road to hell' is one of the best regarded blake's 7 fics there is. it's great. <3

also, the non lovett art (which i've posted above - it's the two above the doppleganger one) is very attractive. although not all that related to the fic. where's the wading through sewers scene? naked cuddling scene, eh? [10]

The classic Lovett Blake-Avon and as good as its reputation. An AU of 'Hostage' in which Blake gets captured and is partially converted to a mutoid. Avon (feeling deeply responsible) infiltrates the Fed base where he's being held and escapes with him. The relationship between them is never static, with each moment conspiring to change Blake's opinion of Avon for good or ill and vice versa. Again, great cameo from Servalan. The fic also contains several very striking and memorable observations on the characters of the kind to make you think 'Lovett has completely understood them and how they work as people'. All her fics do this to some extent, but RtH particularly.[11]


  1. ^ Judith Proctor at Recommended Zines for Avon
  2. ^ comment by Lynn W.
  3. ^ by Betty Ragan at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  4. ^ Pressure Point no.2
  5. ^ from Rallying Call #9
  6. ^ Lysator, Sondra S., dated September 6, 1994.
  7. ^ from Rallying Call #16 (1996)
  8. ^ posted to Crack Van by executrix, posted October 10, 2003
  9. ^ comment at Gen Fic Crit Mailing List, May 2003
  10. ^ aralias reviewed this zine in 2013 on Dreamwidth, Archived version.
  11. ^ from Katy and Molly's 77+ Favourite A/B and A-B Stories, Archived version, August 5, 2013