Monday, 28 September 2015

Blake's 7 Fanzines

A long time ago (2012) in a library far, far away, this blog delved into the SF history of the University of Leeds architecture, debunking rumours that buildings such as the Roger Stevens had been used as locations for classic dystopian films like Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971). Another SF series sometimes associated with the Leeds campus is Blake's 7, although it was in fact Leeds Beckett University where part of the programme was filmed, featuring in the 'Children of Auron' episode from 1980.

Now, following on from last year's announcement about the University of Iowa Libraries' project to digitise 10,000 SF zines, Blake's 7 is back in our orbit with a recent post on the Hevelin Collection's tumblr revealing more about the fanzines and the fan wars connected to the British TV show. The Blake's 7 Wars were a series of disputes in the 1980s between fans and some of the creators and actors over for-profit US conventions, which, fans feared, would restrict and compete with fan-run events.

In keeping with this fanlore was the tone of the zines themselves. The inside cover of the first issue of The Forbidden Zone, seen here, testifies to the themes of resistance and struggle with which the character Blake was identified, reading: 'Forbidden Zone Issue One is dedicated to the liberation of fantasies and resistance to those who would suppress our dreams'. More details of the fan wars and the Hevelin collection can be found here.

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