Posted 07th of April 2002

Obituary - Ann O'Neill

UK fan active in fanzine, media, slash and con-running circles for over 20 years, died on 6 or 7th May 2000, cause of death unknown. She was 42. [TH]

Ann was the editor of Standard by Seven.

Obituary by Ann Bown

It is with great sadness I have to report the untimely death of Ann O'Neill. Ann, a pioneer in Blake's 7 fandom, brought out the very first of the popular Standard By Seven series of amateur magazines before today's well known fan clubs came into being. Described as a "multifacted magazine, designed to meet the tastes of the more discerning Blake's Seven reader" they certainly were. Please bear in mind when most of these zines came out, none of us had PC's and all the modern equipment that goes with publishing an amateur zine today - just the old manual typewriter. Ann did eleven in the Standard series, before turning her mind to other things.

It was in a pub on the ouutskirts of Reading in the Autumn of 1983 that I first met Ann and we decided there and then to get together and do a convention. So it was that the first Space City Convention was born. That convention led to another and another. Little did we know how successful they would be. I'm sure many of our older 'members' will recall Ann at the Space City Conventions of the eighties (85, 86, and 88). Sue Chadwick, Sue Christian and Helen Parkinson took over the convention in the ninties, but Ann was the main instigator and over the years the Space City Conventions became renowned for the guests it attracted. Guest lists read like a Blake's 7 fan's dream:-- Paul Darrow, Gareth Thomas, Michael Keating, Jan Chappell, Sally Knyvette, David Jackson, Peter Tuddenham and Janet Lees Price and with their help, the conventions raised thousands of pounds for various charities... and the sun always shone!

Back in the late 80s, I collaborated with Ann once more. Due to public demand we republished stories from the Standard By Seven series of zines, (which were no longer available in the original form). Called Standard By Seven: The Early Years, we now have The Early Years II, III, IV and I hope to bring out the last in the series (V) very soon.

After Blake's 7, Ann branched out into other genres. As well being an occasional freelance journalist, she was editor of the official Dr. Who fan club newsletter and produced The Visitor - a Dr. Who fanzine. She followed that with a 221B - a Sherlock Holmes magazine. Then came other zines New Enterprise for Star Trek:TNG, Babylon 5 and Due South and many more.

I could go on for ever, such were her accomplishments, but Ann O'Neill was a close friend to both Joe and myself - a friend who was always there when needed. She was a very talented lady and will be sadley missed.

Ann Bown (of the Avon Club)

Standard by Seven

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