Touching Life

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Title: Touching Life
Author(s): Vanessa Mullen
Date(s): 2000
Length: about 10K
Genre: slash
Fandom: Blake's 7
External Links: online here

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Touching Life is a Blake's 7 Avon/Blake story by Vanessa Mullen. It was originally printed in the zine Fire and Ice #6.

Reactions and Reviews

The online archived version was the most highly reader-rated story at the Hermit Library.

Twelve+ years after the series ends, Avon is living it up as Servalan’s consort. He's shocked to encounter Blake alive and brings him in for questioning. The B/A relationship is pushed to its crisis point and beyond in the course of a brutal torture session with Avon as interrogator. Compelling stuff, and one of our favourites! Blake at his best—astute, courageous, committed to his ideals and to Avon himself. [1]
It's over a decade PGP, and Avon has gone over to the dark side. What will he do when he encounters the man he thought he'd killed? How far will he go to keep the power and safety he now enjoys? Very dark, heartbreakingly painful, and all too easy to believe. This one really wrenched at my emotions. I would have ended it differently, I think, but that's just a matter of where my personal preference for angst-levels is set, and I suspect I may be in the minority there. It's a very good story, regardless. [2]
Why this must be read: It's the year 2000 and the sixth edition of Blake/Avon-only zine 'Fire and Ice' has been published - it ends with this story. Quick discussion of the zine before we move on: I find it bizarre that there weren't more single-pairing-only zines - in B7 the only other one I can think of is the .75 editions of 'Southern Comfort', which are all Avon/Vila. I don't think of myself as a 'slash' fan, or even as a 'non-gen' fan. I'm a gen and B/A fan, who occasionally reads other pairings - the practicalities of getting enough stories together to make a print zine mean that you can end up getting a whole 300-page zine for 30 pages of your pairing. So, I'm grateful for the existence of F&I, particularly because (in my experience) it's mostly excellent from edition 3 onwards.

'Touching Life' (which, like 'All in the Mind', is a PGP where Avon has to choose between beautiful Servalan+power+security and Blake+danger+uncertainty) is pretty much my favourite Blake/Avon fic of all time, although there are some other strong contenders, some of which I can't rec because they have been recced already. Alas.

The Avon of 'Touching Life' is about to marry Servalan and has done terrible things under the pretense of not feeling anything, even after knowing Blake, but the fic makes it clear that he's worth redeeming and can be redeemed. And whatever he's done, I still feel sympathy for him. That's some fantastic and compelling characterisation. And then there's Blake - who is old and weary (which is notable because I love that Avon still fancies him, and that we are shown through Blake's actions how strong and attractive and desirable he still is, even if he is not physically desirable), and still fighting and angry and so innately good. I love the plot and its themes. And, as I've intimated, I think this is one of the best depiction of both characters to be found in the fandom. Cracking dialogue, too. Very, very strongly recommended. [3]


  1. from Katy and Molly's 77+ Favourite A/B and A-B Stories, August 5, 2013
  2. a review by Belatrix Carter at Judith Proctor's Blake's 7 site
  3. from Crack Van by Aralias, posted December 22, 2013