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Afterlife was a novel published by Target in 1984, intended to continue Blake's 7.

Publisher's summary[]

Over ten million people watched the dramatic final episode or the BLAKE’S 7 TV series. And not one could ever forget — or fathom — the final catastrophic shootout on Gauda Prime.

Did Blake’s death really mean the end of the fight against the evil forces of the Federation? Was the vulnerable thief Vila killed — or just wounded? What happened to the computer Orac? Would the scheming Servalan regain her old power-base? And what of Avon himself, the unbeatable, unpredictable paranoid who had ended it all? AFTERLIFE is Tony Attwood’s brilliant continuation of the Blake’s 7 story.

Plot[]

Gauda Prime, five months after the events of Blake: Avon is alive and is under the careful watch of Korell, an applied social technologist who wants to get from him the location of Orac. Vila breaks Avon out of prison, and the two catch up. The crew of Scorpio are dead, and Vila holds Avon responsible for this. They take command of a freighter vessel they soon name Revenge; it isn't long before Korell willingly joins them, constantly probing Avon for information and reading his thought processes. Orac is reactivated. After refusing to give the crew helpful information about modifying Revenge, Avon deduces that it is being interfered with, assuming it to be the result of Machine Induced Neural Deviance (MIND). Orac denies this as MIND is merely a concept and that another computer is in the vicinity that it cannot contact.

Servalan, still masquerading as Sleer, is informed by Captain Telon that Blake is dead; the Federation squad sent to clear up the bodies were attacked by an unknown ship and fled the scene. Servalan decides to venture to Gauda Prime with Telon. Avon, Vila and Korell, aided by androids, modify Revenge within a week. Avon accompanies Vila on a task set by Korell to open several doors; during this task, Vila accidentally discovers the computer Orac couldn't contact - Caro, an almost identical machine with the ability to block Orac's functions.

Servalan arrives on Gauda Prime shortly after. She questions the trio and strikes a deal with Avon: she will take Orac and Caro in exchange for their lives. She leaves after Avon deliberately defies her bidding, taking the computers and androids with her, leaving the trio with nothing but Revenge and Blake's abandoned base of operations. They set course for Skat to steal sygnum (a commodity necessary to aid in shielding the ship) as a change of course to avoid Servalan. Unbeknownst to the others, Vila has snuck a computer called KAT - Kinaesthetic Analysis and Transmission - onto the ship, whom he discovered by chance and now sees as a drinking mate. KAT provides Vila with advice and suggestions for making unique cocktails.

Revenge attempts to land on Skat thrice. Each time, the ship is attacked by what the ship deems as plasma bolts. On the third attempt, Korell manages to keep the ship in flight and lands it. Embarking onto Skat's grassy atmosphere, they discover that the planet's only building can teleport people vast distances in any direction should an entry attempt be made. Vila and Korell are captured by natives of the planet. They are freed by representatives of the Federation, led by Levarll. Avon deduces that the entrances to the building are white holes and proposes flying Revenge through one of them as a means of evading capture. Despite Vila's protestations, the trio head inside the ship to enact this plan. Travelling through the white hole, they end up in an alternate universe.

Revenge stays in the orbit of the alternate universe's Skat. KAT tells Avon that Skat’s grass was a source of sygnum. Avon fills the cargo hold with the stuff, converting it into a material to shield Revenge. Vila - feeling his services becoming less important with each passing day - bestows a personality to the ship's flight computer and names it "Blake" to irritate Avon. It does not have the desired reaction. Blake informs the crew that they have 87 hours left in the alternate universe before their displacement will cause Revenge's molecular structure to destroy itself. Avon proposes they travel through a black hole to exit the alternate universe. Blake tells them this will take up 79 of the 87 hours. That plan is enacted. As Revenge closes in on the black hole, Avon learns much of this alternate universe's history, what the Federation are up to, etc. They safely return to their home universe.  

Avon elects to gather the materials and make a teleport function which leads into a brief argument with Korell regarding her future on the ship. A Federation Space Station requests the trio dock their vessel and present their credentials; they are suspected to be interlopers interfering with a Federation mission regarding the black hole they just exited. Avon lies about who they are and what they're doing there. After giving Chief Commander Rodin the runaround, he has them taken away and detained. The Federation's mission is quickly deduced: they have also been travelling back and forth from Skat, collecting sygnum and using small quantities of it with other raw materials to make weapons. Said weapons will decompose after time due to the instability caused by the sygnum being displaced from its home universe; once that is discovered, it will be quietly covered up with the assassinations of high-ranking officials. Avon angrily realises this plan was devised by Orac - meaning Servalan is about to engage the Federation in civil war. Avon's next plan is to travel to the fifth sector, getting as far away from the fighting as possible so as not to be caught in the crosshair. Servalan liaises with her associate, Daareen. It is revealed that Korell is an agent of the Federation, assigned to get information from Avon and report her findings back to Servalan. Orac deduces that Avon's next plan will likely be another case of computer-based fraud, much larger than the attempt that got him arrested.

Blake begins to malfunction and Revenge lists toward the planet Ghammar; the planet begins to influence the crew in the form of hypnotising music that relays telepathic messages into the crewmembers' heads. The Ghammarans explain that they wish to learn from the trio and their experiences. Avon makes a deal with the Ghammarans, asking them to help him build a functional teleport system on Revenge, despite Vila's protests.

(more to be added later)

Characters[]

  • Kerr Avon
  • Vila Restal
  • Chief Commissioner Korell Maarn
  • Kinaesthetic Analysis and Transmission (KAT)
  • Blake Computer
  • Servalan
  • Captain Telon
  • Levarll
  • Chief Commander Rodin
  • Orac
  • Caro

Story notes[]

  • When initially published, this book was considered the official continuation of Blake's 7. The publication of Paul Darrow's Lucifer and its sequels have now nullified the canonical status of this book.
  • A sequel, titled "State of Mind", was proposed. It never materialised due to contractual disagreements.
  • It is, to date, the only fictional literary contribution to Blake's 7 by Tony Attwood; Attwood had previously written the Blake's 7 Programme Guide for Target, and was asked by Terry Nation to write a novel that would continue the series and be adapted into four episodes of a potential 'Series E'. Series E never happened.
    • As Afterlife did not gain a sequel, this marks the only appearance of Tor Avon [Avon's sister], Korell, Caro, the Blake computer and KAT.
  • Avon's survival of the final shootout seen in Blake is left unclear. Vila's is unambiguous: he merely pretended to die.
  • The term "Blake's 7" is acknowledged in two major capacities - as the name given to the "legend" of Blake and his merry men, and as the ship commanded by Tor Avon that appears in the finale.

Continuity[]

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