by Judith Proctor and Kathryn Andersen

I must get hold of some zines again, Oh, parcel-man be nigh!
For all I ask is a thick zine, and some light to read it by.
And the engine's roar, and a sea of stars, and the plasma bolts exploding,
Or the howl of alarms on Gauda Prime and the red lights strobing.

I must get hold of some zines again, for the lure of Avon's pain,
Is a wild call and a clear call that I can't ignore again,
And all I ask is the postman's hand, to leave them in my doorway,
And a fork lift truck to pick them up, and shift them down the hallway.

I must get hold of some zines again, for Blake's Seven is my life,
I left the kids, I sold the car, I even shot the wife,
And all I ask is a merry yarn, from a laughing fellow rover,
To keep me calm in my prison cell, until the long trick's over!

What Are Fanzines

Fanzines are books or magazines produced by fans. There are science fiction zines, horrorzines, zines about TV series and doubtless on other subjects too. They can range all the way from a couple of photocopied, stapled sheets to professionally produced, computer typeset, colour-cover books with perfect binding. The contents can vary from news and articles to solid fiction. The fiction can range from stuff that is absolutely dire, to stories produced by professional writers in fandoms that they love. Without doubt, some fan writing is better than some professional writing.

In some fandoms, Blake's 7 being a particularly good example, there is almost zero professional fiction available. There are the episode write ups produced by Trevor Hoyle, 'Afterlife' by Tony Attwood (which is regarded by most fans as being dreadful) and 'Avon A terrible Aspect' by Paul Darrow which is loved by some and loathed by others. In contrast, there is an amazing amount of fan fiction. We know of at least 1,000 Blake's 7 fanzines out there, although most of the older ones are now out of print. There are new zines still being produced and I'm hoping to build up this site to contain information on as many of them as possible.


The term filk came about by accident when a folk music session at a convention was mistyped as 'filk'. Fans came to adopt the term for songs with a science fiction or media TV theme. The melodies are frequently filched from existing popular or folk tunes. There are filks about the space programme, Star Wars and other SF movies, role playing games, Blake's 7 and other popular programmes and almost anything conected with them.

Fanzine Terminology

There are several terms that frequently crop up in relation to fanzines - here's a few of them.

A zine that is suitable for all readers. A genzine will not contain any explicit sex.
Fairly self-explanatory. Contains material unsuitable for children. The term is generally understood to indicate explicit heterosexual material. (If a zine contains a mixture of slash and het material, it is likely to be described as slash.) Anyone ordering an adult zine should include a statment that they are of legal age.
Explicit homosexual material. The derivation is from the way pairings are indicated. For example, Blake/Avon, or B/A would indicate a sexual relationship between Blake and Avon. (/=slash) Some fans love slash, some hate it. If you find the idea offputting, simply avoid any zine described as slash. When ordering a slash zine, always state that you are of legal age.
Het or hetero
An adult zine that does not contain slash. Relatively new term and partly synonymous with adult (but less ambiguous).
Multi-media zine
A zine that covers more than one fandom. Multi-media zines commonly deal with fandoms that are too small to produce zines of their own, but they may include more popular stuff as well. You can find anything from UFO to Man From Uncle in multi-medi zines. Their contents will vary from issue to issue. Some may specialise in SF related series, some will cover anything from Westerns to cop shows.
Hurt/Comfort (h/c)
A term used to describe stories in which the long-suffering hero is subject to physical or emotional hurt. Some one else then gets to provide the proverbial sholder to cry on, or assist the victim physically. In Blake's 7 h/c, the sufferer is particularly likely to be Avon.
Fifth Season
Fairly obvious. Blake's 7 ran to 4 seasons, so a 5th season story is set after the series ended. (With most of the original characters usually surviving)
A bit like having 20 pen friends all at once. Some or all of the members of a letterzine write about whatever they fancy and on the next issue every one else gets to comment back again. Typically only about a third of the members of a letterzine will actually send anything in for a particular isssue. Editing and layout is done by the person running the letterzine.
Amateur Press Association - a bit like a letterzine but the membership is fixed to a certain number of people. Each member is expected to contribute a fixed number of pages to each issue, typically they photo-copy their own section send all the copies to the person running the APA, who will collate the sections and mail them out.
Original Character
Post Gauda Prime. The most popular term for any story set after the final episode of the series.
Pre Way Back. Term occasionally used for stories set before the first episode.
Plot, What Plot? Popular term for a slash story in which the sex scene is paramount and the story largely incidental.
Sometimes used for stories that land the characters in intensely emotional situations. Similar in many ways to with hurt/comfort.
A largely obsolete term. Nothing to do with sex, it is actually synonymous with hurt/comfort (imagine someone getting bonked on the head)
Beat Up And Rape Avon - used for slash stories where Avon suffers terribly, but almost invariably without any permanent damage.

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Last updated on 09th of June 2001.