Link-up (Blake's 7 story)

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Title: Link-up
Author(s): Sheila Paulson
Date(s): 1986
Genre: gen
Fandom: Blake’s 7
External Links: Online at AO3

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Link-up 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. It is also in Seventh Sector #3.

Reactions and Reviews

The online archived version had the third highest hits at the Hermit Library.

[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 personality. It is cheerful, I suppose you could say. [1]
[Link-Up review by Aralias]: So far can only agree with previous statements - depictions of all the crew (including Soolin, who gets brought aboard relatively quickly) are kind, but not unprickly i.e. not unrealistic. My one proviso to this is that our new character Dr Hugh Tarvin is, by contrast, incredibly nice and good at basically everything (even arguing with Avon! And he looks like Blake and all). The narrative points out why the crew need this sort of person, but it is something I'll be watching out for i.e. will Hugh develop more? I hope he does.

Nice group dynamic, and the stuff about how much A and B in particular like each other is particularly important to me and well handled here. Lots of really good dialogue from everyone - and the rest of the writing is fun and easy to read/stylistically very good.

The plot takes a while to get going as we have to set everything up (this is an AU from Terminal), and get the gang together - but I think that's understandable.

I like the way the telepathy works, and how it allows the characters to be more open - not only while they're in telepathic contact, but also afterwards.

Although I sort of don't want Blake to have other ties I have to care about, I think he may have abandoned his base and Deva etc a bit quickly, as though his life hadn't really been going on while Avon and co hadn't been looking at him, but as I said - I want him to be part of the team of characters we know, and I also trust that as we go on we will probably find out more about him.

All in all, I am keen to read on... [2]


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