Healer (Blake's 7 story)

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Title: Healer
Author(s): Sheila Paulson
Date(s): 1987
Genre: gen
Fandom: Blake’s 7
External Links: Online at AO3

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Healer is a gen Blake's 7 story by Sheila Paulson.

It is part of the Jabberwocky series and published later by Judith Proctor with the other chapters of Jabberwocky.

Reactions and Reviews

[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.

"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. [1]
[Healer review by Aralias]: Avon's the healer - which means that he's good at rather too many things now, but I can still put up with it as Avon seems annoyed to be given mystical powers he doesn't really believe in and we do talk about everyone else's special skills. Avon's the most special, though.

I like this story the least of the three so far (though I still like it - many amusing bits), because it's too soon after the extended Blake healing section (which meant a lot more) to have a story that is essentially 'let's heal Jabberwocky' and then 'let's heal Tarrant'. Can't we do something else? Although I admit it is nice to get some Jabberwocky backstory, and also Tarrant, I guess.

The other reason that I personally don't like this chapter so much is that it features one of my least favourite tropes - Jealous Jenna. Blake and Avon aren't even sleeping together, and Jenna is still jealous of the bond that B and A have - to the extent that she teams up with Del Grant to kill him. Admittedly she also thinks that Avon killed Blake, but she still hates him once she finds out B is alive. Admittedly also she does get over it - but I just don't see Jenna flying into a murderous rage about anything, least of all Avon, whom I think she views with a sort of amused condescension. I do like that we directly compared Avon and Jenna this story, that was good. Plenty of nice Vila bits. Still not enough for Soolin to do, although there was a scene where Blake asked her to stay (but why? She hasn't done anything yet). [2]


  1. from Alicia Ann Fox at Blake's 7 - Jabberwocky, Archived version, also in IMHO* #2
  2. from Aralias, September 28, 2014