Avatars - books with characters based on Blake's 7

Lois McMaster Bujold

Lois McMaster Bujold has written an entire series of multiple-Hugo-winning science fiction novels around the character of Miles Vorkosigan. These are excellent novels and I would recommend them quite independantly of the Blake's 7 connection that a few of them have.

Brothers in Arms, 1989. From the extremely popular, multiple-Hugo-winning "Miles Vorkosigan" space opera series. A character named Duv Galeni, who bears a very strong resemblance to Avon, appears as Miles's superior officer, complete with passages reminiscent of scenes from "Rumours of Death" and "Blake." I think there's influence from fanfic as well; "nutmeg" as a term for eye color has got to be lifted from Susan Matthews. Broadly B7-ish themes include the ethics of cloning, revolutionaries who go too far, etc. The whole series is heartily recommended on general grounds, even aside from the special B7 interest. The Vor Game, 1990. Another Miles Vorkosigan book, with a dandy villainess who has Servalan's ruthlessness, her femininity, and her "Gambit" costume, but not much resemblance otherwise. She's a petite blonde, more like Anna Grant in physical appearance. Memory, 1996. Duv Galeni reappears, although he's mellowed considerably and is less Avon-like in this later book from the series. - Sarah T.


By Lois McMaster Bujold, 1989 (ISBN 0-671-69799-4)

The author based the character of Duv Galeni on Kerr Avon. Although some people don't like the idea of Avon as a bureaucrat, I personally liked the character, and felt he had a lot of Avon's characteristics. The character's appearance is nearly exact, and there is one scene that is a virtual copy of the opening scene of "Rumours of Death."


By Lois McMaster Bujold, 1990 (ISBN 0-617-72014-7)

The villainess of the book, Cavilo, is very much like Servalan (deliberately so).


By Lois McMaster Bujold, 1997 (ISBN 0-671-87845-X)

Duv Galeni appears again. Although the character was originally a deliberate Avon clone, in this book he becomes his own man and can no longer be deemed a complete avatar.

David McIntee

The Face of The Enemy

A Doctor Who Book.

By David's own admission the main villlian in the book is modeled after Servalan.

P.N. Elrod

P.N. Elrod is a Blake's 7 fanzine editor (Avon online) as well as a profesional writer.


P.N. Elrod, 1991 (ISBN 0-441-85945-3) This book contains avatars of Blake, Avon, Vila, Cally and Servalan.

From the "Vampire Files" series featuring vampire detective Jack Fleming. The entire late-second-season crew as artists in 1930s Chicago, with Servalan as intrepid girl reporter. Lotsa fun, though some may object to who turns out to have dunnit. - Sarah T.


P.N. Elrod, 1993 (ISBN 0-7869-0175-6)

Avon appears as the vampire Strahd Von Zarovich, with Tarrant as his ill-fated henchman. This is a book based in a Dungeons and Dragons universe. I liked it, but don't rate it as highly as Lois Bujold's books.

I Strahd: The War Against Azalin

The author, PN Elrod, says this about the novel:

Toward the end I have Strahd hiring a rakish mercenary named Voan Darl to act as his chief spy in his war.

Darl later pulls together a deep penetration mercenary team going into enemy territory. They travel magically, but to those who know they're wearing "teleport" bracelets. I went so far as to make anagram of their names: Kelab, Ag'n, Alvi, Nanje, Cylla, & Resvalan. When Voan Darl is temporarily "possessed" by Strahd I was cheeky enough to have the other characters notice the personality change and sarcastically ask, "Who died and made you Strahd?"

The Dark Sleep

There is a brief mention of Evan Robley, the Vila avatar from Art in the Blood:

She had a few quality antiques mixed with quality modern, and the abstract paintings were expensive originals. When she came back with a tray of coffee and cookies, I asked if one of the paintings was by Evan Robley.

She was surprised and pleased. "Why, yes. You're familiar with his work?"

"I met him a few times before Christmas. He's a nice guy."

"You _met_ him! How Interesting!" She launched into the source of the painting, some gallery I'd never heard of, and how she'd fallen in love with the colors and lines sprawling over the big canvas. "I can't tell you why I like it, but I just do. It is beautiful, isn't it? _Quite_ my favorite."

I agreed with her and stood about ten feet away from the thing. As I'd thought, this was one of Evan's speciality works. From any other angle, from any other distance, it was an abstract, but if you looked at it just right and focused hard, the hidden image he painted into the thing would reveal itself. Or in this case _him_self. Evan favored doing highly disguised self-portraits of his favorite piece of his own anatomy.

Gayle Feyrer


Gayle Feyrer, 1995.

A steamy romance from a well known Blake's 7 fan writer set in the political intrigues of historical Italy. Written for those who like a dark, Avonic hero, gypsies, tarot cards, and lots of sex.

A big, fat (471 pp.), juicy historical romance set in fifteenth-century Italy, with quite a lot of very steamy (heterosexual) sex scenes. There's something very familiar about dark, handsome, tormented Antonio di Fabiani-- especially when the heroine first sees him, dressed in black and silver. His resourceful servant Giacomo is played by someone we know, too. These two are the only really obvious B7 avatars-- and they are definitely intentional-- but there are also some other characters who resemble B7 folks at least a little: a wonderful sexy villainess and her creepy henchman, a feisty auburn-haired heroine with psychic powers of a sort, and a handsome young man who appears at first to be a romantic rival of the hero but turns out to be an ally. The action moves right along, with lots of interesting historical detail along the way. I love the scene in which the hero wakes up in bed with Lucrezia Borgia and realizes that he has just done something really, really stupid!


1996. Soolin stars as a strong, self- reliant Maid Marian in this retelling of the Robin Hood story. She's torn between Robin and handsome villain Guy of Guisbourne, the latter played by Avon.


The C.S.Friedman Coldfire trilogy, consisting of the novels BLACK SUN RISING, WHEN TRUE NIGHT FALLS and CROWN OF SHADOWS. These are fantasy novels, excellent in their own right, whose protagonists Damien Vryce and Gerald Tarrant resemble the characters of Blake and Avon respectively (and the relationship between them is very like the relationship between Blake and Avon as well).

Although people have remarked on the similarity, it is in fact coincidence as the writer has never seen Blake's 7. (Source - email from C.S. Friedman)


C.S.Friedman, 1994.


C.S.Friedman, 1994


C.S.Friedman, 1996

Tanith Lee


Tanith Lee, 1980 (ISBN 0-0996-6360-0)

This is the story of Parl Dro, the ghost slayer (look at Paul Darrow's autograph and you will see where the name comes from). His eventual sidekick, Myal Lemyal, bears a strong resemblence to Vila. Although I don't like all of Tanith Lee's books, I did enjoy this one. It has a stong plot and an extremely novel twist at the end. - Judith

The earliest and best- known example of this sort of thing. A fantasy featuring ghost- killer Parl Dro and minstrel and pickpocket Myal Lemyal, with plot elements suggestive of "Sarcophagus," one of the two B7 episodes written by Lee herself. Parl Dro is plainly an Avon clone, and his name is said to derive from Paul Darrow's scribbly signature. Furthermore, the book is dedicated to "Valentine," P.D.'s middle name. Fans generally see Myal as Vila, but in this case the resemblance is less obvious. - Sarah Thompson

Tanith Lee wrote the B7 episodes "Sarcophagus" and "Sand."

Jean Lorrah

Jean Lorrah has a written a Blake's 7 fan novel Trust, Like the Soul.


Jean Lorrah, 1989 (ISBN 0671742906)

A Star Trek: The Next Generation book.

Darryl Adin is an Avon avatar, and a former lover of Tasha Yar.


Jean Lorrah, 1990 (ISBN 0671684027)

A Star Trek: The Next Generation book.

Darryl Adin of SURVIVORS reappears briefly.

(review by Julia Jones)

This one is a sequel to ST:TNG Survivors, which I haven't read yet. I bought it because one of the secondary characters is Darryl Adin, original character from Survivors, and Avon avatar. If I hadn't known Adin is an avatar, I certainly wouldn't have spotted it from this book, but having been told that Adin's prototype is Avon I have no trouble believing it. Some of Adin's crew also seem suspiciously familiar. The book's probably not worth getting purely as an avatar-fest, but it's worthwhile as a Trek book. The basic plot device is Data learning the hard way about the old saying "Be careful what you wish for - you may get it".

I found it a satisfying read. It might not stay on my overcrowded bookshelf, but unlike far too many Trek books I've read, I don't consider this one a waste of money. It's further evidence for my recently formed theory that the quickest way to select a few good Trek books from the dross is to look for ones written by B7 fans.


Jean Lorrah, 1990 (ISBN 067170768X)

A Star Trek: Original Series book

Landing party Seven, who make a brief apperance, include a computer expert called Chevron (Avon's alias in Powerplay), and the rest of the group make a good match to the original Liberator crew.

"Spock watched Landing Party Seven arive, six people drawn from engineering, computer sciences, medicine, economics, security and ship's stores. Kirk sometimes referred to this team as the 'IDIC party,' because their talants were so diversified, but the designation was actually one of the captain's jokes, for to hear them squabble you would think they could not agree on so much as who would stand on which transporter pad.

Despite their disagreements, though, they were as efficent as any other team. They were directed by the engineer, Rogers, a portly man with curly brown hair. Running to the marine vehicle that landed just after them, they began to assemble it, thr giant security officer holding the pieces together by sheer strength while the two women in the party bolted them into place.

Meanwhile, the third man assembled the onboard computer with almost Vulcan consentration, while the last member of the team, a small, nondescript sort of man, always had the right tools ready to hand to those who needed them."


Jean Lorrah, 1988 (ISBN 0451153723)

Avon and Vila appear as a burnt-out telepath and his faithful companion.

Barbara Paul

The Barbara Paul books listed below include the Avon avatar, Curt Holland. Although I was not always terribly impressed with the plots of these novels, I did particularly like the way the character was developed. These books are worth reading.

Barbara Paul's web page where she discusses the links between Avon and her character Holland.


Barbara Paul, 1992

A modern-day detective mystery, part of the Marian Larch series. This is the story in which Marian Larch first meets the cynical hacker Curt Holland.


Barbara Paul, 1993

Sequal to YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT, more Curt Holland. The story is set around events in a theatre and sheds some interesting lights on theatre fans. Fans have occasionally speculated on whether the missing apostrophe of the title has anything to do with the missing apostrophe in the Blake's 7 logo.


Barbara Paul, 1995

Sequal to THE APOSTROPHE THIEF, more Curt Holland.


Barbara Paul, 1997

Sequal to FARE PLAY, more Curt Holland. I have not read this one yet, but I am told by those who should know that it is an excellent example of the "Suffering Avon" school of fiction. If you really want to see him get hurt, this is the book to try.

Full Frontal Murder is a book for those who like to see Avon suffer. He is quite consciously used as an avatar in this story and Avon fans (as long as they're not squemish) will have a field day. This is not a book for children.

Fans will also have fun spotting all the numerous series references in the story. The names of minor Blake's 7 characters appear everywhere, sometimes as characters, sometimes as street names. See how many you can spot.


A New Short Story Featuring Curt Holland
by Barbara Paul

The story is called "Clean Sweep" -- and it's meant to demonstrate Holland's own twisty form of morality at work. What he does during an investigation of the death of a sweepstakes winner is not quite legal, but not quite unethical either. I regret to inform you that there is no Beautiful Suffering in this story, alas. But someone does try to kill Holland -- will that do?

"Clean Sweep" appears in A New York State of Crime, edited by Feroze Mohammed, published by Worldwide, 1999; ISBN 0-373-26317-1. This book is a paperback omnibus edition; "Clean Sweep" is tucked in after a pair of novels by Michael Jahn and Dorian Yeager. A lot of reading for six bucks.

Review by Julia Jones:

A short story outing for Curt Holland, mystery man with a shady past, high grade computer skills, and a curious resemblance to our favourite hacker. No Marian Larch this time, just Holland along with his employees Tuttle and Andre Flood.

Holland discovers by chance that his agency has been used to gather information for a sweepstakes scam. Holland does not like being played for a patsy. The story details his investigation into the scam and his means of revenge. It's a nice insight into Holland's mind, focusing on his peculiar morality. For all his pragmatism and contempt for starry- eyed idealists, Holland has his own sense of right and wrong, and he rights a few wrongs in the course of this story's 27 pages. I enjoyed it, both as a mystery short story and as a piece of Avon drool.

And I did like Tuttle's comment on the opening page, "Mary Sue has become my icon for self-restraint." :-)

Louise Cooper

A suspected Avatar found lurking in the bookshelf. He's Tarod, the main character in the Time Master Trilogy by Louise Cooper. (The Initiate, The Outcast, The Master). He reminds me strongly of Avon, both physically and in temperament. He's described as tall, with aquiline features and dark, tousled hair. He's taciturn and remote. He wields mysterious power. And he favours black clothing. He's depicted on the cover of the Grafton pb of Initiate.

The sequel trilogy to Time Master is the Chaos Gate Trilogy. This story features Ygorla, a powerful and evil young woman. She is beautiful and glamourous, and seeks to dominate the world in which the books are set. Tarod is instrumental in the battle against her. Ygorla has dark hair also; I suspect it is a metaphor for her evil nature. Still, she makes a pretty good Servalan, and reinforces Tarod's Avon. These trilogies, and the eight-volume Indigo Saga by the same author, are on my list of "recommend to folks and read again myself someday" books. - Nicola

The Initiate

Book 1 of the Time Master Trilogy

The Outcast

Book 2 of the Time Master Trilogy

The Master

Book 3 of the Time Master Trilogy

The Deciever

Book 1 of the Chaos Gate Trilogy

The Pretender

Book 2 of the Chaos Gate Trilogy

The Avenger

Book 3 of the Chaos Gate Trilogy

Patricia C Wrede


Patricia C Wrede, 1995

A "medieval urban fantasy." Karvonen is a Vila avatar (not Avon).

Patricia C Wrede, 1995, ISBN 0-812-51432-7 (paperback)
Out of print in both hardcover and paperback, but often available second-hand.

Review by Julia Jones:
Fantasy novel in an urban medieval setting. A young woman from a mountain warrior tribe goes to the city to retrieve her soldier mother's belongings after her mother dies in battle. She discovers that there's something fishy about her mother's death--and that someone else is eager to obtain her mother's kitbag. So eager, in fact, that she realises that she dares not leave the city until she's dealt with the threat, lest it follow her home to her family. The plot is actually fairly thin, but the tale is such enormous fun to read that you don't notice. This is a comedy of manners, with some wonderful characterisation and character interplay. It's also very well written in terms of being accessible for people who haven't read other books by Wrede set in this culture.

Eleret Salven makes several new friends in the city, including the handsome young nobleman Daner and the master thief Karvonen. A very amiable, garrulous thief who's a self-proclaimed coward with a taste for pretty female warriors. Vila fans should thoroughly enjoy this one. Recommended, although you may have to hunt for a copy.

Lillian Stewart Carl

Ashes to Ashes

1990. A long romantic mystery in the Barbara Michaels vein. One of the characters is a handsome, charming lawyer with a big nose and dubious morals. He's not especially Avon-like in personality but could easily be played by Paul Darrow-- and since the author is definitely a B7 fan (she has an excellent story in the zine =Probability Square=), the resemblance is probably no accident. The sequel, =Dust to Dust=, has no obvious B7 avatars; but a character does at one point appear in a B7 tee shirt.

Timothy Zahn

A trilogy of Star Wars books: Heir to the Empire, 1991; Dark Force Rising, 1992; and The Last Command, 1993. The minor character Talon Karrde in these is said by the author to be based on Avon. Karrde, a smuggler, puts together a smugglers' alliance in opposition to the Empire, rather like Avon's attempted alliance in "Warlord".

Heir to the Empire

Dark Force Rising

The Last Command

Vision of the Future

L. J. Smith

The Vampire Diaries - These were pointed out to me by a friend, who thought the good and bad vampire brothers resembled Blake and Avon respectively. I wasn't sure for the first three books, but the fourth lifted several famous B7 lines-- too many for coincidence. I've also been told that the author writes fan fiction under a pseudonym, though I can't confirm that from personal knowledge. - Sarah Thompson.

The Vampire Diaries: Vol 1 The Awakening

The Vampire Diaries: Vol 2 The Struggle

The Vampire Diaries: Vol 3 The Fury

The Vampire Diaries: Vol 4 The Dark Reunion

Jane Emerson

City of Diamond

This is a wonderful book that I recommend highly, even though the Avon avatar is sufficiently different from the original that I would have thought the resemblance was coincidental if the author herself hadn't said otherwise. It's a long, panoramic space opera set largely in a spaceship-city, with one attractively sinister character who is described as a "demon." There's a Vila-esque character too, and some nice comedy of manners. - Sarah Thompson.

Gillian Taylor

Gillian Taylor's Web site.

Darrow's Law

A long time ago, in a galaxy not very far away, Paul Darrow once said that he'd like to be in a Westerm. Now I don't make movies, but I do happen to write Western novels; and I've been a B7 fan since 1978.(my God, I feel old). "Darrow's Law" is by Gillian F Taylor (me) and was published by Robert Hale last year 1999. Robert Hale westerns are intended for libraries, so anyone interested should ask theirs to get it, but any good bookshop should be able to order a copy. [ See link below ]

The story is about a sheriff (Darrow) and his deputy (Keating) who have a relationship not unlike that of a certain embezzler and thief. The western characters aren't identical to the SF ones, but certainly close enough to entertain fans. Their troubles really start when a rich, beautful woman arrives in town with the intention of gaining complete power...

If anyone wishes to check my style before buying or borrowing the book, I had a short Avon/Vila story published in the last Horizon fictionzine. The story is Long Odds.

I hope you and others enjoy reading Darrow's Law as much as I enjoyed writing it. Direct feedback from anyone who does read it would be welcome, so feel free to mail me about this if you wish.

Gillian Taylor gftay@rockingw.freeserve.co.uk.

'Darrow's Word' is a sequel and set a year later. The prime suspect to a murder is a charming, lovely and spoilt young woman who finds out that her wiles have no effect on Sheriff Darrow. Darrow and Deputy Keating must keep her locked up until the trial, but her brother is determined to rescue her. Darrow and Deputy Keating must fight blizzards, besotted lovers and gunmen to ensure justice, because Darrow, when he gives his word, always keeps it !

I have been unable to find it available anywhere.

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

There are two Westerns by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro that have a bit of a B7 connection-- specifically, a hero who, although not exactly an Avon avatar, was to some extent modelled on Paul Darrow. The author is supposed to have said so specifically, though I don't know when or where (perhaps at a con, as she also writes SFF). The books are =The Law in Charity= (Doubleday, 1989) and =Charity, Colorado= (M. Evans, 1993). They are very good in their own right, although in my opinion not particularly B7ish. - Sarah T.

Both are out of print.

Georgette Heyer

Avatar review by Gillian Taylor

'These Old Shades' 1926

my copy is by Pan, but I don't know if it's still available. There is no ISBN

This is a dashing eighteenth century intrigue featuring the Duke of Avon. The really spooky thing is how similar this character is to the B7 version. They are not only physically similar, (apart from the Duke's regrettable tendency to wear pink and purple), they are similar mentally and morally. The Duke even remarks "My word, when I give it, is surety enough." The duke is always in control, knows more than anyone else and doesn't suffer fools. The similarities are almost too close to believe.

I've not read any of Heyer's other books, but I enjoyed this one. She clearly knows her setting well, and has a knack for deliniating character. I would recommend this to anyone.

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Last updated on 20th of August 2007.