Lovers and Madmen: Unravelment

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Title: Lovers and Madmen: Unravelment
Author(s): M. Fae Glasgow
Date(s): 1990
Genre: slash
Fandom: Blake's 7
External Links: Lovers and Madmen: Unravelment (under the heading "Circles")

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Lovers and Madmen: Unravelment is a Blake's 7 Blake/Avon story by M. Fae Glasgow.

It was published in Pæan to Priapus #2 and is online.

This story is companion piece to Lovers and Madmen: Ravelment.

Reactions and Reviews


Re "hothouse isolation" in some slash: - as love and sex are the themes of the story, they tend to be intensely important to the characters, perhaps more important than one would infer from canon, Avon's response to blackmail being to leave, for example, at risk to his own life, rather than some more practical decision. Or Blake's using sex, rather than any other means, to destroy Vila and Avon in "Unravelment". Or (though this is a bit of a leap in style and theme from M. Fae).


Even rape, even death, are (unusually clumsy) romantic overtures. This is not the way any world I can believe in works, but I find it a pleasant place to hang out. The laws of the universe are different in sex fantasies than they are in reality, and M. Fae in particular loves to deal in alternate universes where the characters are just a little different, even while working hard to preserve their connection to canon. (Not everyone will agree that she succeeds, but I think she does.) [1]


[Ravelment/Unravelment]: This pair of stories consists of two very different interpretations on what the Federation mindwipe and the signal in Voice From The Past did to Blake's mind. He's fighting not to fall apart, but will he be successful or spiral down into madness? Both stories start with Avon and Vila's relationship stirring up the deepest, darkest parts of Blake's mind. M. Fae isn't much of a Blake fan, but I can believe every word and action of Blake even in her darkest possible interpretations, of which Unravelment is a *superb* example. The description of a man's mind falling into pieces and rearranging itself in something terrible... it's harrowing reading, yet so well done, so believeable that it gives me the chills. Ravelment, the first story, is a positive one in which Vila insists that he and Avon should do something to help Blake. Blake finds solace in their arms, at least temporarily--this is another rare happy ending, completely different to the nightmare of Unravelment. I love both stories in different ways, both the dark and the light, the sides of the same coin. Again, the prose is masterful, lyrical and the characters' voices are spot on. [2]



In general, the prose is somewhat more than usually irksome this time aroung [sic].

OVERALL: This is technically interesting, as it’s basically someone doing a remix of her own fic, which I don’t think would happen again in B7 fandom until last year (fandom in general didn’t really take up that remix form, as the concept solidified).

So Blake is conditioned, etc., and responds to seeing Vila and Avon together and hearing them talk about inviting him to bed with them with crazy rage and a desire to destroy them. He briefly is like ‘wait, this isn’t me’ and fights off the conditioning, but then it pops back. I don’t find conditioning terribly interesting as a plot device: here it means Blake isn’t responsible for any of this. This is like when a falling rock hits someone, knocking them dead, and then that body falls on and hits someone else. The character and agency of the corpse are totally removed from the story. Anyway, Conditioned!Blake then decided to give Avon the BDSM Avon’s secretly been craving, and in true 90s weird BDSM fascination/shaming tradition, this BDSM will be so fierce it will ruin Avon’s vanilla shag times with Vila forever: Blake’s evil dick will Turn Avon, making him crave only Bad Romance from now on. A mighty and resounding ‘k’ to all this.

Blake standing there ‘naked, monumental’ on page 8 unintentionally hilarious.

More Wagner. I loathe Wagner. Fucking fitting.

It’s kind of amazing that, having written so MUCH for this pairing, Glasgow’s work is not more varied or better. It feels, with few exceptions, like the same three stories over and over again. I’d be hard-pressed to identify the years these came from. But she CAN occasionally write something much better? Possibly she’s more competent in other fandoms.

The ‘twist’ of the ending doesn’t really work. They’re already en route to Star One, so this is no ‘development’ at all? [3]


  1. from Rallying Call #16 (1996)
  2. from Crack Van, recced by snowgrouse, July 28, 2004
  3. from Oblique Reviews, Oblique Reviews #7, Archived version by Erin Horáková, January 20, 2017