Link-Up, Mind-Rape & Healer

reviewed by Alicia Ann Fox

"Link-Up" originally published 1986; "Mind-Rape & Healer" originally published in 1987

An alternative to series D, of the "everybody really does like each other" school, the Jabberwocky series has become a classic work of fan fiction. It's great if you like upbeat stories, provided Blake's Seven stories involving heavy doses of telepathy don't make you ill. The biggest parts go to Avon, Cally, and Blake, with a fair amount of Vila. Recommended.

The original three parts (published in two volumes) are early examples of Paulson's writing, and it shows, but the ideas are good. My main complaint has to do with style. There are too many undigested explanatory chunks. The writing is somewhat verbose, explicitly explanatory of what each character thinks and feels, usually with the exception of Avon, who is interpreted by the other characters. [Yes, we can see through him to see what a softy he really is!]

Aside from the third series cast, Paulson created two original characters: Hugh Tiver, a surgeon from the planet Dayson Prime, and Jabberwocky, a human brain integrated into a ship's computer. The plot grows out of a semi-prophetic dream experienced by Cally, who has been injured on Terminal, and has lost her telepathy. Essentially, the dream is series D as aired. "Link-Up" is spent in gaining the Mark 60 mindship (Jabberwocky) and in recovering Blake. Hugh serves as a neutral facilitator in both dealing with conflicts engendered by Avon's actions at Terminal, and reconciling misunderstandings between Blake and Avon. A subsidiary theme involves Cally's recovery from her injury through mental linkage with Jabberwocky, and her realization that she must learn to stand on her own, without other telepaths. The Jabberwocky ship was actually created to bond with non-telepaths, and has a...fun personality. It is cheerful, I suppose you could say.

Hurt-comfort is a major element of both "Mind-Rape" and "Healer." "Mind-Rape" focuses on the relationships between Avon and Blake, and Avon and Cally. Blake has taken over the linkage with Jabberwocky, and Servalan is attempting to steal the mindship through nefarious methods (of course!). Her cunning plot leaves Blake near death, and exposes Avon's feelings for him, when Avon proves to be the only one who can save him. An ancillary result of Servalan's plot is the establishment of a physical relationship between Avon and Cally.

"Healer" focuses on Jabberwocky and on Tarrant. While Jabberwocky, with help from Avon, explores his feelings about living on as the brain of a spaceship, Jenna encounters the crew of Jabberwocky, having joined up with Del Grant. Tarrant is accidentally wounded by Grant; everyone must expend great effort to help him survive, most notably Avon and Jabberwocky. For the time in which this was written, Tarrant receives a large portion of sympathy! Through these traumatic events, the crew becomes closer, and is able to join together to continue with the rebellion.

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Last updated on 16th of April 2001.