|Rebecca Ann Brothers, "Delayed Reaction", ROADS
NOT TAKEN (US, 1991)|
A PGP where Avon, at the last second, doesn't shoot Blake and they band together to destroy their least-favourite ex-President. Rebecca's version of the relationship between Our Heroes, is believably warm, though a little light on explosions, and the entire crew and Deva get good roles, along with a very* rarely resurrected guest star ...
|Read the story.|
|Rebecca Ann Brothers, "Reviewing the Situation" and "Instant Karma", REBEL
DESTINIES #1 (US, 1994.1)|
A pair of stories that take a different direction after 'Orbit' and show Vila doing the sensible thing (i.e. leaving), which completely turns the GP story on its head. Rebecca's versions of Avon and Blake are perhaps a little nicer than Sally sees them but then, warmth is fine sometimes. And for those to whom such things matter (Jenny, for example), Our Heroes reach for each other a lot.
|Read the story.|
|Cami, "The Darkling Torrent", THE
BIG B7 ZINE (US, 1993)|
It's nice to see Avon at work and nice to see a relatively realistic portrayal of war, rather than a gung-ho raid - and of course Avon's understated but overriding concern for Blake appealed as well. And the author's stress on the effort of waiting is good. Although it's not something they could show in the series, you can tell there'd be a lot of rather agonised hanging around, in between the high points, and stories can help to fill in those gaps.
|Read the story.|
|Melody Clark, THE LAST, BEST HOPE (novel;
first edition US, 1988; revised second edition UK, 1996)|
Several years after Blake has won his revolution and become President, an alienated and paranoid Avon appears to make an attempt at suicide ... but, of course, the truth is more murky and complicated than that. A multi-layered plot based on some very dirty politics and reaching right back into Avon and Blake's linked childhoods. Well grounded in canon and beautifully written, it has an even better slash sequel, THE LONG WAY BACK.
|Pat Fenech, "Never Say Die", LIBERATOR
FANTASIES (US, 1998)|
Although it was published in a slash zine, it's a classic gen story, filling in that brief but intriguing period in Star One when Avon gave Blake his word ... and it's lovely.
|Pat Fenech, "Remember Me", RITES OF PASSAGE
Elegiac, autumnal in feel and poetic in style, this story takes place during a pause in the 4th season where both Blake and Avon stop long enough to remember and make some new decisions about their earlier relationship. The passage where Blake remembers the aftermath of 'Voice from the Past' is gorgeous and Jenny thinks the best pair of lines in B7 fanfic is, 'If you still live, Avon, I would have us together again.'/'If you are alive, Blake, I would be with you again.'
|Pat Fenech, "Under a Dark Star Sail", RITES
OF PASSAGE (AU, 1999)|
Pat rewrites 'Space Fall', focussing in on Avon's point of view. Beautifully done, with a nice flow and an almost musical use of language, intertwining Avon's past (memories of Anna, the trial, his work, his background knowledge of Blake) and the present (the London, his cautious fascination with Blake, the break-out).
|Annette Hall, "Much Abides", THOSE
WHO FAVOR FIRE (US, 1989)|
Another PGP. Nothing much happens (Blake is still unconscious, Avon talks him out of it) but the voices are terrific - Avon traumatised but still acidic, Vila wavering between guile and heartbreak - and Blake is allowed (for a change) to give *his* side of the separation, leading to an ambiguous but almost hopeful ending.
|Diane Lynn Holland, RENAISSANCE,
including "Chiaruscuro" and "Purgatorio"
A historical AU, set in the Renaissance. The first story focuses on a Leonardo-like maestro, his pupil and a politician called Blacchiavelli; the second story deals with a Galileo lookalike, his servant and his radical patron. Our Heroes and Vila fit perfectly into the Renaissance background and their relationships are well defined and complex. (The echoes of 'Blake' woven into one of the scenes from "Chiaruscuro" are especially wonderful.) And Sally would also like to mention the gorgeous illustrations by Val Westall - Avon with long hair and in Renaissance finery is as delectable as you'd imagine ...
|Linda Knights, "Dante's Madness", QUESTIONS
OF THE PAST (US, 1992)|
It's PGP, Blake is *dead* and Sally still loves it! A complicated, wonderfully angsty story about Avon and Blake's clone - for once not a pallid Blake-without-the-Blakeness but a real individual, as fiery, stubborn and wonderful as the real thing. A great story, very long but not a word wasted.
|Linda Knights, "It's All Done By Magic", SOUTHERN
SEVEN #6 (US, 1991.10)|
Sally thought the plot wasn't much but it was fun watching Avon trying not to show that he was worried sick over Fearless Leader. Jenny, conversely, saw it as a strange sideways look at the relationship between Blake and Avon, in a story about conjurors and reincarnation, where the real magic is Blake's belief in Avon.
|Linda Knights, "An Unlikely Hero", QUESTIONS
OF THE PAST (US,1992)|
The first half is an extended treat for those of us who like watching Avon savage Blake verbally while trying to protect him at every turn. (Hey, it's canonical!) Sally found the second part dreadfully dull and cliched but Jenny has convinced her to put up with a high-minded slave-trading Mary Sue, in return for the truly evil twist at the end of the tale.
|Bryn Lantry, "Parting (After Star One)", CHRONICLES #21
It's just after 'Star One' and Avon is trying to get Blake away from the crippled ship. Bryn catches the 'consider his actions, not his words or thoughts' aspect of Avon perfectly and the last two sentences alone are worth pages from another writer.
|Bryn Lantry, "The Thirteenth Hour", RITES
OF PASSAGE (AU, 1999)|
A marvellous study of Our (badly battered but still wonderful) Heroes and their deeply felt but obliquely worded bond, taking us through the immediate aftermath of the tragedy at Gauda Prime. Avon's emotions shift from devastating guilt through horror and fear for his sanity to a final acceptance of his place with Blake. All of the passages of dialogue between Avon and Blake should be read slowly and carefully - they are wonderfully layered. While Bryn's complex and intricate style may not be everyone's cup of tea, it's ideally suited to this quiet but deep story.
|Suzan Lovett, "Circle of Fire", THOSE WHO FAVOR FIRE (US, 1989); reprinted in THE ROAD TO HELL (UK, 1996) We won't say one word about the plot, to avoid the risk of spoiling - but if you thought 'Blake' was wrenching, this one will get you where it really hurts. Stunning.|
|Suzan Lovett, "Gemini Rising", THOSE WHO FAVOR
FIRE (US, 1989); reprinted in
THE ROAD TO HELL (UK, 1996)|
A young rebel confronts the President and discovers that the presidential Counsellor is using him as an object lesson. Yes, Blake's now President, with Avon as his advisor - and don't think that, just because they've won, things are any easier or more peaceful. A brilliant portrayal of both men as older, if not necessarily wiser ...
|Suzan Lovett, 'Lightbridge', THOSE
WHO FAVOR FIRE (US, 1989); reprinted in
THE ROAD TO HELL (UK, 1996)|
Set just before 'Volcano', a very simple story with a drop-dead perfect central metaphor that is so beautiful and soooo Blake. And the deft description of Avon's reaction to what he discovers in Blake's cabin is wonderful.
|Suzan Lovett, "The Road to Hell",
POWERPLAY #1 (US, 1987); reprinted in
THE ROAD TO HELL (UK, 1996)|
Sally's favourite B7 story bar none. An absolutely sublime alternate version of 'Hostage', where Servalan arrives in time to capture Blake and ... once again, to say any more would spoil the surprises. Suffice to say that this is Our Heroes at their rich and complex best - the bond between them unsentimental and verbally oblique but deep and fierce. (The scene where Avon makes an almost unbelievable and yet characteristic offer of help is brief but unforgettable). A great plot - way better than the real one - with strong original characters, short and sharp vignettes of the rest of the crew and a really quite interesting Servalan (who normally bores Sally). What more could an A-B fan want?
|Patti E. McClellan, "Alien Philosophy", GAMBIT #12 (US, 1994.11) Trapped and wounded on a raid, Avon comes close to giving up, until Cally convinces him that he has an obligation to Blake - after which, Vila proceeds to convinces Blake that he has an obligation to Avon. Jenny's favourite kind of story, unobtrusively rewriting the scenario that led to Gauda Prime, and as a bonus it's told from Cally's point of view. (The first sentence goes, 'Cally liked humans.')|
|Patti E. McClellan, "Bright and Dark", THE
SEVEN LIVE ON #8 (US 1993.5)|
Patti has a talent for selecting small, unusual events that open new windows on the A-B relationship. Here, the Liberator crew start talking about childhood memories, which gives Avon some unexpected and unpleasant flashbacks and leads to an argument between Blake and Avon about whether one can ever redeem the past.
|Patti E. McClellan, "Vocation", THE
WAY BACK (US/UK, 1995.3)|
A casual question from Avon reveals that Blake lost all memory of his engineering training during the mindwipe, which triggers a compressed but powerful discussion of vocation. (Blake: "What's your true vocation?" Avon: "Isn't it obvious? I'm an iconoclast.") Only one page but perfect timing and characterisation. Jenny thinks it's canon.
|Marian Mendez, "Dupe", PRESSURE POINT
This PGP has everything - a strong Avon-Blake storyline, always-in-character and often very funny dialogue and a believable happy ending. Marian offers an ingenious and original explanation of how Blake survived Gauda Prime, weaving a complex story with a strong visual feel and great characterisation - especially terrific versions of Avon and Vila, a strong if (for Sally) simplified Blake, a delightful if slightly demented Dayna and some thoroughly outrageous scientists. And some of the one-liners could have come straight from one of the better B7 scripts.
|Marian Mendez, "Symbiosis", D.S.V. #II (US, 1995) and "Mutualism", D.S.V #III (US, 1998) These two stories are told from Zen's point of view, which is attention-grabbing in itself, and they also provide one of the most plausible explanations for Blake and Avon's separation after Star One. "Symbiosis" captures Zen's voice brilliantly and "Mutualism" offers an angsty but hopeful look at the GP fall-out.|
|MerLyn, "Three Time Loser", AIRWAVES #30
(mm; UK, 1994.3); reprinted in
AIRWAVES BLAKE'S SEVEN SPECIAL #3 (US, 1995)|
This time the B7 characters are transposed into the Blade Runner universe. Cross-overs aren't usually our thing but this one is instantly convincing and MerLyn's portrayals of both Blake and Avon are gorgeous and sexy and dangerous. (This is called serious literary critique .) There is also a slash version of the story published in DYAD #15 (mm, slash; US, 1994.4) and MERLYN'S TALES, Vol. 3 (mm slash; UK, 1995).
|L E O'Brien, "The Precipice", POWERPLAY #2
An economical story that catches Avon and Blake's oblique-but-direct method of communication really well. There's a literal cliffhanger that works effectively in itself and then is followed by a wicked and evocative reversal, which is sadly believable. (Sorry, we can't tell you what it is, without spoiling the story.)
|Helen Parkinson, "By Unfrequented Ways",
AVON SPECIAL (UK, 1998)|
A fabulous Fifth Season story, set several years after Gauda Prime, but an accident ensures that that tragedy sheds a long and bloody shadow over Our Heroes' lives. Lots of angst and suffering on both sides and Helen's description of Avon's post-GP bond to Blake - and what he is prepared to do for the man - is wonderful.
|See The Avon Club|
|Helen Parkinson, "Sanctuary", THE
SEVEN LIVE ON #3 (US, 1990.1)|
A vampire story with special appeal for fans of hurt/comfort and Avon-torture. He suffers very prettily and Blake gets to care for him and rescue him. Great stuff - and if Helen didn't have Bela Lugosi firmly in her mind when she wrote this, Sally will eat her Halloween mask.
|Helen Parkinson, "The Thousandth Man",
GAMBIT #13 (US, 1995.8)|
Oh wow. Oh wow. A great plot that gives us an alternative version of 'Rumours' that involves even more Avon-torture, which Blake is forced to witness, followed by an exciting prison break, featuring a great appearance by Del Grant and a fabulous underground scene that's straight out of nightmare or Gormenghast. Then there's lots and lots of A-B interaction of the best kind, including a straight look at the pain involved in making decisions about other people's lives. The second half, set on the Liberator, isn't quite as terrific but it's still pretty good.
|Pat Patera, "Bounty", REBEL DESTINIES #1
An alternate 'Blake', as showy and lush as CHECKERS. Avon is cold, savage and almost panther-like; Blake is a grizzled, dangerous bear of a man (though still retaining his noble streak). The other Scorpio crew members don't fare as well - Dayna is somewhat irritatingly jolly-bloody-hockey-sticks and we suspect Tarrant fans won't go for it at all. But Jenny thinks the idea of Avon refusing to return to Blake until he has "...what? A dowry?" should become fanon.
|Pat Patera, CHECKERS, a Tale of
Treachery (novel; US, 1992)|
A PGP where Jenna and Avon play out the mutual hostility that was an underlying part of their canonical relationship, to the point where they're trying to kill each other and nearly do kill Blake. It's full-blooded and very enjoyable melodrama with lush writing that's very slashy in feel, especially in the Avon-Blake scenes, and strong roles for all of the crew, even if one doesn't always agree with the portrayals. (For example, we had to have a four-email debate about the question of Jenna-bashing.)
|Sheila Paulson, "Adventure in Babysitting", PRIME TIME #7 (mm; US, 1991.4)|
Disliked the title, a bit wary of the concept, loved the story. When their stolen plane crashes, Avon and a wounded Blake are found by three orphaned children. It works because the portrayals of both men are spot-on and the children are nice but not sickly-sweet. There's also a thread late in the story that links back to that false conviction.
|Read the story.|
|Sheila Paulson, "All But Reason", RETURN
OF THE SEVEN #1 (US, 1985.5) and
"Unfinished Business", RETURN OF THE SEVEN #2
After Gauda Prime, Servalan stashes Avon in a mental institution, while she decides how she wants to use him, and when he is rescued, Blake and the fourth season crew have to help him recover his memory and fight his way back to sanity. Told in alternating first person narratives by Avon and Blake, this is a positive A-B fest and the sequel, "Unfinished Business", deals with Avon's revenge on Servalan and follows up on his reconciliation with Blake.
|Sheila Paulson, "The Cell", BLAKE,
RABBLE AND ROLL #1 (US, 1989.10)|
Another of Sheila's top-quality PGPs, with Blake allowed at least ten minutes of anger before he starts Forgiving All. Jenny loves the surprise ending but Sally still thinks they should've punched Vila and Deva afterwards.
|Sheila Paulson, "The Center of the Circle",
SOUTHERN SEVEN #5 vol 2 (US,
An alternative to 'Rescue' where Blake really was on Terminal. Avon is faced with Cally's death, the Liberator's destruction and the prospect of watching Blake die in front of him. But there's a happy ending - Sheila's pretty safe that way - and some good crew interaction, as well as Sheila's usual high-quality Blake and Avon. (Her versions may have less of the dark side than some of our favourites but they're definitely not noble Boy Scouts.)
|Sheila Paulson, "A Game of Humanity" PROBABILITY
SQUARE (US, 1989) and "The
Dreamers", BLAKE'S DOUBLES #4 (US, nd)|
In our humble opinion, 'A Game of Humanity' is Sheila's best story. She has taken a fanfic cliché - Avon and Blake stranded on a primitive planet - and turned it into a gorgeous study of complex, ever-changing emotional commitment. This is wonderful and every A-B fan should have it. (Suzan Lovett's utterly yummy illos don't hurt, of course ...) The sequel isn't bad but can't help seeming a bit pale by comparison - and it might've worked better as a stand-alone, since the slow reconciliation between Avon and Blake can stand on its own merits.
|Sheila Paulson, THE USES OF
ADVERSITY (novella; US, 1991)|
A novel-length AU that spins off just after 'Deathwatch', when Tarrant and Vila go off-ship and Vila sees Tarrant killed - or so he thinks. Sheila then uses the basic ideas from 'Terminal' and 'Rescue' to weave a plot that brings both Blake and Jenna back and, for good measure, saves Cally and the Liberator. However, Blake's been through utter hell since the Andromedan War and it's left deep physical and mental scars. There are lots of good things here - an intelligent adaptation of canon; upbeat but solid characterisation, including some especially appealing interaction between Blake and Tarrant and, at the centre, the relationship between Our Heroes, changed by time and pain but still the cornerstone of their lives (And Sally always enjoys watching Avon's reaction to Blake having been hurt - it does such fascinatingly messy things to his barriers).
|Ermentrude Postlethwaite-Smythe, "The Price of Justice",
LIBERATOR #10 (UK,
1980.10) and "Helltide", LIBERATOR #7
(UK, 1979.8); reprinted in THE PRICE OF JUSTICE
Two linked 2nd-season stories. First, Avon is accused and convicted of Blake's murder in a story that alternates between stomach-churning suspense and wickedly accurate characterisation (not to mention a slashy and poignant ending). Then the second story finds Avon and Blake stranded on an unknown and quite literally deadly world, saving each other's lives again, except that this time things aren't exactly what they seem. EPS knows how to keep her readers gasping and she also does a great line in aliens.
|Judith Proctor, "Justice", GAMBIT # 12
(US, 1994.11); "The Price of Justice", GAMBIT #13
(US, 1995.8) and "Whose Justice?", GAMBIT # 14 (US,
A trilogy of stories dealing with Avon's PGP trial by the rebels and sharing the same solid virtues - great writing, complex and well-shaded characterisation, an understanding of the darker side of both of Our Heroes. But we wouldn't have forgiven Judith in a hurry if she'd left Avon dead ...
|Susan Barrett Riaz, "Why Anyone Should Care",
AVON NEWSLETTER #66 (nl; UK,
In this story Del Grant does shoot Avon on Albian and Blake hunts him down. Worth reading for Blake's last line alone ... but it's also spare, angsty and atmospheric, with a final section set just after 'Rumours' where Avon is reassessing Del, Blake, Anna and himself.
|See The Avon Club|
|Catherine Salmon, "In a Dark Time",
SOUTHERN SEVEN #10 (US, 1995.5)|
An alternative to 'Blake', with a melancholic, neo-romantic feel and simple but very appealing portrayals of both men, especially the GP Blake.
|Catherine Salmon, "Avon's Story" - "The Longest Day"; "Long Day Into Night";
"Waking Nightmare", "When the Dawn Breaks" and "Sunlit Shadows",
BETWEEN THE STARS #5 (US, 1993)|
Yes, they're mush sessions. Yes, there are some rather large plot holes. But sometimes A-B fans are in the mood for mush and on those occasions these stories will fit the same bill as S. Lewis's slash novella Careless Whispers.
|Judith M. Seaman, "Gift", ORBIT #4 (UK, 1984.3) Bet no one thought they'd see this name in here. It's Blake's birthday - a common theme in fanfic but for once a writer handles the whole gift-giving bit without the usual sentimentality. When Avon asks Orac what to give the rebel who has everything, Orac suggests safety and (after pointing out that safety would be difficult to wrap) Avon comes up with some lateral solutions.|
|Liz Sharpe, "The Biter Bit",
PROBABILITY SQUARE (US, 1989)|
After rescuing Blake on Terminal, Avon takes his revenge on Servalan by subjecting her to a particularly tricky program of brainwashing. It's a nifty plot but the real showpiece of the story is Liz's unerring ear for Avon-Blake backchat.
|Liz Sharpe, "Curtain Call", SOUTHERN
SEVEN #3 (US, 1988.8)|
Possibly the best 'they-set-up-GP' story around. The concept is simple (Blake and Avon sitting and talking till the others wake up) but the dialogue is razor-sharp and the characterisation is deeply satisfying, especially for those of us who've noticed that, fireworks aside, sometimes Our Heroes just really enjoy talking together ...
|Lillian Shepherd, THE MACHIAVELLI FACTOR
(novel, UK, 1982.6; slightly
revised reprint, UK, 1996)|
This full-length novel whisks the 3rd season crew off to a completely different universe, straight into the middle of a completely different though equally dangerous political set-up. It's a great SF novel by any criteria, with an exciting and well-structured plot, an interesting background society and thoroughly convincing aliens - and it also charts some terrific, feisty, angst-and-humour-driven developments in the relationship between Avon and Blake.
|Sondra Sweigman, "Other People's Hearts,"
REBEL DESTINIES #1 (US, 1994.1);
BELOVED ADVERSARY (novel; US, 1994.10)
and A DELICATE BALANCE (novel; US,
One of the rare authors who likes Blake as much (if not more) than Avon. These are Fifth Season stories where Avon, after accidentally triggering a therapeutic program in Orac, understands himself well enough to refrain from shooting Blake. Instead, the two of them carry on both the fight against the Federation (with Sondra allowing Fearless Leader to do so intelligently, thank you) and the all-important fighting with, against and for each other. Jenny sometimes find the smarm too smarmy but Sally loves the fireworks between Avon and Blake, the sense of their friendship and the vivid (if not always beautiful) suffering they both undergo in a good cause.
|Barbara Tennison, "Rich Man, Poor Man, Joker, Thief",
SOUTHERN SEVEN #7 (US,
An unusual story, on two counts - firstly, because it focuses on the ethics of revolution and secondly, because it shows us an Avon who is tormented by his outcast 'antisocial' status, which leads to a different and more political kind of sparring between him and Blake.
|Linda Terrell, "A Mind is a Terrible Thing",
SOUTHERN SEVEN #1 (US, 1986.1)|
A rare hurt/comfort story focussing on Blake, set after 'Voice from the Past'. The Federation's mental manipulation has resulted in Blake losing his mind, and his crew (except, quite pointedly, Jenna) now have to face his horrific past to try and save him. Avon, of course, takes a major role in this ...
|Linda Terrell, "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby",
BLAKE, RABBLE AND ROLL #1 (US, 1989.10)|
Vila accidentally gives the crew a dose of something that turns them back into children mentally, while physically they remain adults. Umm ... no, this shouldn't have worked but it's great. The reactions of the infant B7 crew are plausible, endearing and fun and there's an opening scene between Avon and an ill Blake that just gets to Sally.
|Read the story.|
|Teri White, "Rogues", ROADS NOT TAKEN (US, 1991)|
Dark and deep and very, very slashy in feel. This is an alternate version of 'Blake' where Blake comes across Avon, rather than Tarrant, in the wreckage of Scorpio. Their mutual obsession, even deeper on Blake's side than Avon's, leads to a different conclusion, though there are still strong elements of perversity and tragedy. Jenny predictably loves it. Sally is still not sure about the portrayal of Our Heroes - nor happy about what Blake does to Vila - but can't deny the power of the way their bond is described. (And for those who can't bear to see Vila left miserable, there's a sequel "Sins of the Past" by Jennie McGrath in THE BIG B7 ZINE.)
|Read the story.|
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Last updated on 21st of December 2007.