The World Turned Upside Down
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 2003-05-27
One-story zine by Sandy Hall Spice Press July 1987
The World Turned Upside-Down is a very good title for this novel. The stress of losing the Liberator has strained and broken the relationships of the Liberator crew as they struggle to survive the aftermath of "Terminal", and like puzzle pieces tossed in the air, they may not all come down in the same place. This AU story takes the situation of "Rescue" but makes things go somewhat differently. The price of Cally's survival may be too high -- but if they don't hang together "they will assuredly all hang separately". But how can they hang together when they all have different ideas of what is best for the group? And when some of those ideas are born of willful misunderstanding, then trust is a very fragile commodity indeed.
I liked this. Yes, it's a rather psychological novel, since it goes into the thoughts and motivations of all the main characters, but that's because the plot is largely character-driven, in that, while crises arise to push them hither and thither, it's the motivations of the characters which drive them to do and say the things they do, and the actions and words of other characters which then influence character reactions in their turn. Poor Tarrant gets the worst of it, in a way, since he's the main one that "doesn't understand", but he's not portrayed unsympathetically, since we're also seeing inside his head. Mind you, some may find all this head-seeing a bit much, since on more than one occassion we get the same scene through more than one set of eyes, but it managed to keep me hooked enough to finish it fairly quickly.
If this story has a theme, it's the question: can you trust the judgement of others when you yourself don't have all the facts?
The cover is a lovely Karen River cover of Dayna and Avon, and the whole story is actually in two volumes. I got this second-hand (thanks Sally M!) and I expect that's the only way to get it now.