Jabberwocky

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You may be looking for the 7th Sector novel with the subtitle "Jabberwocky."

Fanwork
Title: Jabberwocky
Creator: Sheila Paulson
Date(s): 1986 to 2008?, re-edited and reprinted in 2016
Medium: print, online
Fandom: Blake's 7
External Links: Gen Jabberwocky stories on Hermit.org, Adult Jabberwocky stories on Hermit.org
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Jabberwocky is a series of alternate universe Blake's 7 stories, all set in the same universe and written by Sheila Paulson. The story is an alternate series 4, although it shares some traits with Post Gauda Prime stories.

Stories in this universe were printed in specific Jabberwocky zines, as well as in a number of other mixed zines. The stories are mostly gen (with Avon/Cally as a strong component), but there are also a few adult het and slash ones (written under the name "Paula") as well, for the pairings Blake/Jenna, Blake/Soolin, Tarrant/Vila and Blake/Avon. It is not necessary to read the adult stories to understand the gen stories.

Jabberwocky is the ultimate happy ending Blake's 7 saga. The entire 4th season was actually a dream by Cally, and being forewarned of these events the crew are able to avoid them. Nobody ever dies permanently in Jabberwocky and indeed some people you thought were dead turn out not to be. No characters are rubbished and everybody (including Avon) comes to accept their friendship for every body else. Jabberwocky (the title character of the series) is in fact the computer of their new ship, an original character with a strong sense of humour." [1]

All Jabberwocky stories (including the adult stories by Paula) have been made available online at Hermit.org. Rather pleasingly, the first Jabberwocky story seems to have been the first B7 story loaded onto the archive, while the last Jabberwocky story is the last.[2]

The 2016 Re-Edit and Reprint

In October 2016, this zine was offered in a re-edited form by Requiem Publications. It was available in print form as well as a download.

cover of the 2016 reprint, Sekhmet

Jabberwocky by Sheila Paulson. GEN, full size zine from Requiem Publications. Colour cover by Sekhmet. First appearing on J. Proctor's Blake's Seven website, some parts of this saga appeared in various zines in the early 2000s.

The series assumes the events of the last season of the aired show were a terrible prescient dream of Cally's, and tells how the scattered Liberator crew, and the Scorpio's crew, meet and join forces.

We are re-editing Sheila's entire saga of Jabberwocky and some parts have been rewritten by the author.

Parts 1 to 3 in this volume. 229 pages, column layout.

The download zine is full page, 280 pages.

Part 1 Link-up: Cally has survived the explosion on Terminal and the crew have escaped in Servalan's wreck of a ship. Traumatized by her injury, she has lost her telepathy. When the crew, augmented by Hugh Tiver, a doctor kidnapped by Avon to take care of Cally, steal a prototype Federation mindship constructed around a living human brain and capable of bonding with a human in a mental linkage, their adventures are just beginning.

Part 2 Mind-Rape: Blake is back, and in linkage with Jabberwocky, and Servalan wants to steal Jabberwocky and link with it in order to take back the presidency. She uses Witt, a telepath who had worked his way into Avalon's rebel army on Ryalon base, to wrest control of Jabberwocky from Blake, leaving the rebel trapped inside his mind. A mental linkage is the only way to bring him back, and Cally is certain that Avon is the only one who can do it.

Part 3 Healer: Blake begins behaving oddly, and problems develop with the ship as Jabberwocky begins to remember his long suppressed past. In the meantime, Jenna Stannis and Del Grant have teamed up and have one objective: Kill Avon. When their plan goes wrong and Tarrant is gravely wounded, only the combination of the mindship and Avon, the untrained telepath, are able to save the pilot's life.

About the Jabberwocky Universe

If you are looking for stories in which the characters go through many dangerous and difficult situations, but always come out of them with a greater understanding of each other, then this is probably a zine you will like. All characters are fairly treated in Jabberwocky; nobody is rubbished, and sooner or later, any character whom you may have loved and missed is pretty well guaranteed to turn up. This is angst with happy endings and characters who realize that they like one another.

So what's it actually all about? Jabberwocky starts just after 'Terminal' but with events different from those of the 4th season. Cally wasn't killed in the explosion on Terminal, but was unconscious for a time and experienced a prophetic dream which warned her of the events of the 4th season. The crew have to try and avoid the events which have been foreseen. Finding Soolin shows that Cally's dream contains large elements of truth. Can Avon avoid shooting Blake?

Why is it called Jabberwocky?

After losing Liberator over Terminal, the crew need another ship. The vessel they eventually steal is a revolutionary new Federation ship which has a human brain incorporated into it. The ship is capable of forming a mental link with a member of its crew. The mind-ship, a distinct personality in its own right, is Jabberwocky. [3]

Reactions and Reviews of the Whole Series

Jabberwocky is probably about 500,000 words in total, so it's a commitment of, in my case, about a week. If you are going to read the entire saga, you'd better really like telepathy/mindscapes/group bonding and hurt/comfort, people coming back to life and family angst. It's set post series 3, and mostly charts Servalan's attempts to capture the new ship they have (Jabberwocky) in a manner that increasingly resembles Travis 2 in series 2.

There's a lot of really nice dialogue and lots of stuff about the crew all caring about each other under the insults. The beginning is particularly good. However, a lot of it does feel repetitive. Hellhound, which does a lot of the same stuff (and to be fair, annoyed me in different ways), didn't feel nearly as repetitive.

The adult stories (all of which I really like) take place in some weird AU where they have no bearing on the gen fic - they're not marketed this way, but that's very much what it feels like. In the end and with that previous statement born in mind, I would say the overall pairings are - Avon/Cally, Blake/Jenna (a bit), Dayna/OC, Soolin/OC, Tarrant/the ship. With very strong Avon-Blake. Your adult!AU has Blake/Jenna, Blake/Soolin, Vila/Tarrant, and Blake/Avon (with implied V/T).

Even if you aren't like me and you wouldn't get annoyed because your B/A dreams are thwarted, I would probably recommend other Sheila Paulson fics before this one, which saddens me because I really liked the beginning.[4]
I liked the idea behind the series a LOT and though I don't like the series as much as I did - they talk too much and way too honestly for My Heroes - I still have a soft spot for it.[5]
I actually think I have more of a problem with the first story than later ones (though yes, they become way too repetitive in plot and themes). I didn't think it was possible for me to become fatigued by characters talking and thinking about each other incessantly, but apparently I have a limit to my liking for this kind of thing!

Also, I'm starting to get a bit irritated by gen tropes now that I've been heavily exposed to them. Not the telepathy though, because I'm a real sucker for that! However, I've found that the longer a B7 gen story the more likely it will feature an original character who understands the crew and their relationships better than they do themselves and isn't afraid to tell them so. Step forward Hugh Tiver! In SP's defence there are way worse characters like this out there and it didn't put me off so much that I stopped reading. Hugh Tiver is not quite punchable, but he is trembling on the brink of it! Oddly, he isn't unlikeable for all that I say that! Nevertheless it is still lucky he isn't too heavily emphasised in the rest of the stories. Actually, he is a bit like a more saintly and empathic Blake (even down to the hair!) serving as a stand-in until the real McCoy turns up.

Despite what I have said, I think Jabberwocky is fairly enjoyable, but if you are talking longer but still manageable length Paulson fic, I prefer "Game of Humanity"[6]
"Jabberwocky" was okay but not great, since it suffers somewhat from the instant utopia syndrome; I dunno, it's amazing how many AU and PGPs magically bestow Our Heros with a fantastic new prototype ship and sympathetic crewmembers to replace the Dear Departed (or the not-departed-at-all; some of those ships start to get mighty crowded 8-). [7]
I love the zines like jabberwocky where things work out well for our heroes. [8]
I tend to love the bleak gloomy [Blake's 7 fics]. But even I like a happy ending at least part of the time. All gloom would be no fun at all. Jabberwocky is a little too happy for my tastes unless I really need picking up, but the main reason I publish it is because I know not everyone has the same taste in stories as myself. [9]

The Stories and Where They Were Originally Published

The Jabberwocky stories were originally published in parts, which generally appeared alongside other unrelated stories in anthology zines, such as Gambit. There are the following exceptions: the first story Link-up was originally published on its own as Seventh Sector 3, the second and third stories (Mind Rape and Healer) were originally published together in a standalone zine by Janet Walker. The 14th story (Malodaar) was also originally published as a standalone zine by Janet Walker.

Gen stories by Sheila Paulson

cover of Seventh Sector #3, by Kathy Hanson

Adult het and slash Jabberwocky stories by 'Paula':

Zines by Janet Walker

Mind Rape/Healer

Mind Rape/Healer contains two stories (Jabberwocky parts 2 and 3) and is 153 pages long. It was published in 1987 by Janet Walker.

"Mind Rape" is pages 1-66) and "Healer" is 68-152.

The cover and most interior art is by Kathy Hanson, plus one illo by Sheila Paulson.

This is the first edition of these stories.

Janet Walker's editorial:

Hi. Hope you enjoy the story, it's fantastic. The first part is available from Kathy Hanson—there's an ad in the back of the zine. Also, there are already two more parts going into various zines sometime soon, so keep your eyes open for them.

Thanks go to Kathy Hanson for the wonderful illo's. She volunteered to do them, for which I am very grateful.And thanks to Sheila, especially, as she did all the typing on her nifty new typewriter. I love the print on that thing.

When we were looking for a title to tie the two stories together, nothing would come to mind, so Sheila suggested the present title; Jabherwocky: The Story Continues. I started giggling and finally told her that it made me think of two new titles for the individual stories and she had to agree that they fit. So, the subtitles for Mind-Rape and Healer, are -- "The Federation Strikes Back," and "The Return of Jenna." As you read the story, I think you will agree that they fit.

Enjoy the zine, and if you have any comments, you can write to either Sheila or me, and 1 will pass the comments on to Sheila. Every author enjoys hearing what people think of their work.

Jabberwocky Collected

Janet Walker seems to have published a collected edition (Jabberwocky Collected) of all the Jabberwocky stories up to but not including Malodaar in 1995. This edition was apparently very rare, even at the time.[10]

Malodaar

Malodaar contains one story (Jabberwocky part 14). It was published in 1995 by Janet Walker. It is the first edition of this story and was published as a companion to Jabberwocky Collected.

Online at AO3.

Judith Proctor Re-Prints

In 1997(?) Judith Proctor reprinted all the Jabberwocky stories in 5 zines, having been given permission by Paulson to produce a British edition of the saga. Proctor comments: "I produced the stories in several volumes to try and enable people to reduce overlap with their existing zines. For instance, if you have all issues of Gambit, then you won't need volume 3 of my collected edition."[11]

Issue 1

Jabberwocky 1 contains 174 pages (Jabberwocky parts 1-4) and art by Whitby27.

Issue 2

Jabberwocky 2 contains 116 pages (Jabberwocky parts 5 to 8) and a cover by Kathryn Anderson.

Issue 3

Jabberwocky 3 contains 150 pages (Jabberwocky parts 9 to 13) and is illustrated by Mary O'Connor.

Issue 4

Jabberwocky 4 contains 50 pages (Malodaar, Jabberwocky part 14) and is illustrated by Whitby27.

Issue 5

Jabberwocky 5 contains 150 pages and illustrated by Whitby27. Unlike the other zines in the series, Jabberwocky 5 contains adult het and slash stories. These stories slot in amongst the gen stories - they are not meant to be read in one go at the end.

References

  1. Blake's 7 - Jabberwocky and where to find it, Archived version
  2. Stories Sorted by Index Number (Approximately Date of Addition to Library) on Hermit.org
  3. Blake's 7 - Jabberwocky, at Judith Proctor's site, Archived version
  4. from Aralias, 05 October 2014
  5. from SallyMN 06 October 2014
  6. from burntcandlemas on 06 October 2014
  7. Lysator, Kathryn A, Jan 1995.
  8. Lysator, July 1998
  9. Lysator, Judith P, July 1998
  10. Judith Proctor comments: "It is occasionally available at conventions, but I would not recommend buying it by post." from Jabberwocky, by Sheila Paulson and where to find it
  11. Jabberwocky, by Sheila Paulson and where to find it