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.
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."
The villainess of the book, Cavilo, is very much like Servalan (deliberately so).
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.
By David's own admission the main villlian in the book is modeled after 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.
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.
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?"
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.
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!
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)
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."
A Star Trek: The Next Generation book.
Darryl Adin is an Avon avatar, and a former lover of Tasha Yar.
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.
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."
Avon and Vila appear as a burnt-out telepath and his faithful companion.
Barbara Paul's web page where she discusses the links between Avon and her character Holland.
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.
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.
Sequal to THE APOSTROPHE THIEF, more Curt Holland.
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.
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." :-)
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
'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.
Both are out of print.
'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.