What On Earth Happened to You?

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Zine
Title: What On Earth Happened to You?
Publisher: Delta Dome Press
Editor(s): Nicole Petty
Date(s): 1997
Series?:
Medium: print zine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Blake's 7
Language: English
External Links:
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front cover by Bonnie Key
back cover by Fliss Davies

What On Earth Happened to You? is a gen 153-page anthology about what happened to Roj Blake after Star One.

From the title page: "Oh -- most of it wasn't on Earth, Tarrant, not what happened to me..."

Art by Mary O'Connor, Whitby27, Fliss Davies, Maria de la Luz Ragis, Marisa Fenech, and Sabrina Stone.

The front cover is by Bonnie Key, the back cover is by Fliss Davies.

The Editorial

Hello. Welcome to What on Earth Happened to You? A zine dedicated soley [sic] to Roj Blake. Specifically this zine tries to answer the question of Blake's whereabouts from Star One to Gauda Prime. I think our writers did an excellent job answering the question. I would like to thank all the writers who have been patient enough with me as I struggled to get this zine out. I have held onto some of these stories for over three years. But everyone's patience has paid off because here it is! Of course, the longer I held out doing the zine the more contributions I received. Thanks to all the artists who came out of the woodwork for this zine.

Before I let you go to read what I believe is going to be a classic zine, I have something I need to vent. This is my second zine published. When I decided to do a zine, I had no idea how much time nor how much money it involved. Let me tell you folks it's a lot on both counts. So when you receive a zine in the mail please remember that it wasn't cheap producing and the zine editor is not making a profit from sales. Also remember that zines are a labor of love. Why else would we he doing this? I think we forget in fandom that zines are here for the fun of everyone. Zines are here to allow people who feel the urge to be creative to be creative through writing or drawing. We are not professional writers or artists. We are not professional editors or publishers. We are fans of the same show wanting to share our enthusiasm and our love for Blake's 7. So when you write your review or your LOC or tell your friends about this or any other zine keep those few reminders in mind. Please also work on constructive criticism. Perhaps I did something in this zine you disagree with but before you criticize think of how you could have done better. Also a little pat on the back goes a long way. I have heard of too many zine publishers who have stopped publishing their zines because of all the negative feedback. If you want zines you need to encourage your zine publishers.

One more thing and my tirade will be over, I have several writers in this zine who are new to fan writing. Yes, their stories are not up to par with some of the more well known fan writers. But we always need to encourage new fans to write and create. Those of you who write know when you look at your early work you cringe. We all grow with experience. So take the time to encourage the new fans. When critiquing their work give them ways to improve, don't dash their hopes and egos with nothing but negative comments.

Now that being said this will be the last zine published by Delta Dome Press. I will only sale the copies that I have printed. There will be no second run of this zine or of Pattern of Infinity. A matter of cost has made this decision necessary.

Again, let's remember fandom is for fun. No one gets paid to be in fandom. Everyone here at Delta Dome Press produced this zine with love for the show. Keep that in mind. I hope you enjoy What on Earth Happened to You?

Contents

  • Alone is Not the Only Way, by Susan Barrett Riaz. Avon had asked Blake, "Can you manage? Alone?" Blake had answered yes, but now may be realizing he was wrong. (6)
  • The Writers Lament, filk by Judith Proctor (20)
  • Portside, by Paticia Blassi. Can Jenna convince Blake he trusts too easily and she won't always be there to watch his back? (21)
  • What Do You Want From Me?, by Jean B Hubb (26)
  • Diversion, by Vega (33)
  • Mistaken, by Willa Shakespeare. Blake believes he has been betrayed by the only person he really trusted in the universe. A belief that leads to horrible consequences. (64)
  • Jenna's Addenda, by Willa Shakespeare (73)
  • Seeking Gauda Prime, filk by Judith Proctor (74)
  • The Killing Moon, poem by Susan Bennett (75)
  • Blake's Battalions, by Patricia Blasi (76)
  • Debts to Pay, by Paul Ragis (79)
  • Freedom's Call, filk by Judith Proctor (87)
  • Unacceptable Risk, by Pat Fenech (88)
  • Griffin, Blake, by Loulou Harris. When a man looks in the mirror, he's not always what he seems. (111)
  • I Can't Remember, filk by Judith Proctor (116)
  • To the Death, by Susan Riaz (117)
  • Fallen Star, by Willa Shakespeare (128)
  • What if Earth Be But the Shadow of Heaven? by Judith Proctor. Blake has decided to continue his rebellion to hell and beyond. He may not be exaggerating. (150)

Interior Sample Gallery

Reactions and Reviews

This themed zine aims to answer to the question posed by Tarrant/its title - what happened to Blake after series 2? Nice idea for a zine, and good title - although obviously the very premise means that my two favs are unlikely to be in scenes together, though they are together more often than you'd think, because it turns out that Blake post Andromedan War is generally thinking about how much he misses Avon (maybe you guessed that from the cover...). He's also relatively likely either to be in a sexual relationship with Jenna, or fending one off.

Obviously this review opening sounds a bit like a whiney joke on my behalf, but it's actually worth noting - this zine has a USP in that it describes a period that almost nobody else depicts, but there's a reason that people tend to write about Liberator-years!Blake or PGP!Blake, and part of it is that Avon and/or other characters we know are around during those periods. It's therefore no surprise that 90% of these fics feature either Jenna (as mentioned) or Deva - because at least we know them. But neither of those two characters has the relationship with our lead that Avon does, and so it's difficult to use that to power the stories. Jenna just ends up being repeatedly disappointed in him :/

Indeed, the problem with the premise of this zine is that we need Blake to go from Star One certainty and drive to the final episode's Blake who has been betrayed and can no longer trust. So, a lot of these stories are about Blake getting screwed over/generally being a failboat (100% necessary, but not that appealing to the Blakestans I assume are buying this zine), though also again - not quite as often as you'd think. There are a few stories where he is just generally awesome. I liked those stories better ;) The editorial reminds us that some authors are new to the fandom, and rather cruelly (I think) says "their stories are not up to par with some of the more well known fan writers" and then asks that we not judge them too harshly! I wouldn't have judged them this harshly! (Besides, none of these fics are bad, actually - unlike those in Before & After...)

In general, despite Blake's sad fixation on Avon, this zine was a bit gen for me. I'm very pleased it exists, though. I argued when 'Blake's Story' and 'Jenna's Story' came out that Big Finish should have done a Blake, Jenna, Deva series - it would be perfect for them, because they could slot a whole bunch of stories into this period without making a mockery of canon continuity the way that their full-cast series kind of do (Let's just stop the quest for Star One to look for another computer we never mention again afterwards! Let's stop this piracy/stop looking for Blake in order to look for Dayna even though she doesn't want to be found!). Big Finish could have invented a whole bunch of neat OCs (played, presumably, by Big Finish favs like India Fisher and Beth Chalmers and Miles Richardson)(lots of posh people in the rebellion I guess) to work with Blake, as well as giving David Collings work, which is always good. Of course - the reason they didn't do it, I expect, is that people (other people) probably wouldn't buy it - because it's not about Avon (let's print more copies of Lucifer instead! they said to themselves). But I think it would have been something they could have genuinely added to the fandom.

Anyway - they missed the window. Let's not dwell on it.

Alone is Not the Only Way, by Susan Barrett Riaz: The story is a bit meandering/it seems unsure what it's about. Has some nice aliens/Del Grant action, and ends with Blake getting captured and kept on Terminal - which brings Avon (I guess the story is about Avon overall). This is one where Jenna and Blake are together.

Portside, by Paticia Blassi: I quite liked this one, although it is about Blake being a trusting fool. The way he does this is very in character though (if only he listened to other people!), and I like the way Jenna is in this too.

What Do You Want From Me?, by Jean B Hubb: This is a very strange story and I do not understand it. Blake has a lot of bad luck, including being thrown off a spaceship because he is the 13th passenger and generally fails a lot. Throughout this story he keeps seeing the guy who healed him, and eventually has to work in the refugee camp the guy recommended he stay in, where he meets the guy. I don't know what we are supposed to get from this story (ironically, given the name).

Diversion, by Vega: This is quite good i.e. it's a fic about how Blake competently led a rebellion! I like that - plus it's nicely done. The one thing I would say about this is that gender oppression has always been a dodgy subject in Blake's 7 and it's not one that I would have engaged with (Blake helps start a rebellion on a world where women are scarce and are bought/sold etc). The ending is surprisingly upbeat for this collection.

Mistaken, by Willa Shakespeare, Jenna's Addenda, by Willa Shakespeare: I like Fallen Star much better than this one, which suffers from it's premise - which is about shocking Blake out of his low-level post-war rebellion (Jenna wants to be with him, but he can't stop the rebellion). I can understand why this is a popular theme - we'll see it again later - as it's quite plausible from a character POV, but it means that things are quite depressing, and that we have to believe a pretty crazy plan was formulated.

The addenda is pure crack. I salute the author for putting it right after the depressing first part!

Blake's Battalions, by Patricia Blasi: This too is crack - although with a very similar premise to the previous one in a way! Jenna is irritated and thinks Blake's plan is rubbish/she's not being properly utilised.

Debts to Pay, by Paul Ragis: This is quite good, but I think I was tiring of gen by this point. Blake and some OCs have quite a good plan that is foiled by the unexpected presence of Dev Tarrant, who obviously recognises B. I like the details about how Dev has been banished for Del Tarrant's betrayal - very B7. That's all I have to say, except that this fic has a mighty three epilogues.

Unacceptable Risk, by Pat Fenech: This begins with Blake being obsessed with Avon - then he gets captured and his conditioning from Voice from the Past is exploited (Deva rescues him). Having written about this plot device myself, I now can't understand why Blake+crew wouldn't ensure that Blake couldn't be controlled like that again - but it's quite a nice idea to exploit. This fic is... slow going, but all right.

Griffin, Blake, by Loulou Harris: This is a much more interesting fic, though sort of tails out towards the end rather than concluding something (perhaps because it's part of a series). Basically a Jekyll and Hyde epistolary story, narrated by Blake's other personality, Griffin, about a time he was on the Liberator during series 3 and not very much really happened, except that the crew argued about his identity. The fic and a few others really stand out as page-turners amongst other more traditional, competent Blake-does-adventure-and-is-betrayed stories (only partly because it involves Blake going back to the Liberator, which neatly solves the problem of him not having any Avons or similarly interesting characters to talk to).

To the Death, by Susan Riaz: This is quite a fun story where Avon and Servalan get to replay 'Duel' PGP. Rather annoyingly both Dayna and Soolin die in the shoot out, but none of the men do (not even Blake!), and Blake kills Servalan... But other than that, it's good. And really smarmy. I enjoyed it. Again, partly I enjoy it because it involves the Liberator crew. This one probably shouldn't be in this zine, though, as it's clearly a PGP.

Fallen Star, by Willa Shakespeare: This one also strays into PGP territory towards the end, but that's the weakest stuff as Willa hurries us towards a happy(ish) ending. I really like the beginning where they escape Jevron due to Blake's awesome bullshitting and Jenna's awesome piloting. I probably would have ended it there, and just had them be - OK, we're out, now what?? ADVENTURE.

What if Earth Be But the Shadow of Heaven? by Judith Proctor: This one similarly is PGP, rather than post-Star One. The note on 'Griffin, Blake' suggests that Star Three (also a good title) is being published almost simultaneously with this one. Judith's story 'Amagon', which appeared in Star Three, would have perfect for this zine! Never mind - 'What if Earth' is a nice story. I like that it is Gan Blake meets in heaven - and how quickly Blake rebels, and how Gan reacts to that. There are a lot of Blake's 7 afterlife stories, particularly written in this period... hm, maybe I will add that to the PGP fanlore page. (ETA. Reader - I did.) [1]

References

  1. comments by aralias at Blake-focused zines - Procrastination Central, Archived version, June 9, 2016