Blake’s Heaven, edited by John Davies, is a book written for and by Blake’s 7 fans.
It is the latest in a sequence started with You and Who which was the brainchild of JR Southall. Any profits from its release are donated to the BBC’s Children in Need.
The idea is simple, have a book crowdsourced by appealing to the fans of the show and collect together a range of essays celebrating how individuals came to become fans, and what it is about the show that appeals to them. It is not, directly, a set of reviews of the various episodes though does use them as a framing device.
Now a confession – I am one of the contributors (so far I have written for all four books produced in this vein) so I am biased towards this. Having read through the previous three Doctor Who related titles, I firmly believe these collections offer a distinct voice in the world of fan produced books.
As a book, Blake’s Heaven fills over 400 pages with over 75 essays by a whole host of fans, and includes a foreword by Avon himself, Paul Darrow. The essays cover every one of the four series of the TV show, and the many spin-offs including both independent audios, comic strips and the recent work by Big Finish. It is a nice touch that both Cavan Scott (current Big Finish producer of the Blake’s 7 range) and Lisa Bowerman (director of the same) have also contributed.
Each essay runs over a few ages, generally no more than five, and every writer gets a byline and has to pick their favourite character. Every essay is submitted, read, sent back for correction and repeat until the editor, John Davies, is happy they tell the best story they can.
The net result is a fascinating celebration of Blake’s 7 and reading various essays brings back distinct memories of the show and it is the next best thing to a convention in book form.
Released on Monday 11 May 2015.
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