Sheila Paulson

Author at Real Ghostbusters Fan Page

Alliances (Stargate/Shadow Chasers)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 13th April 2002 (5)
Zine: New Worlds And False Gods
Issue: 2
Tags: Novella

The summary goes: "Anthropologist Jonathan MacKensie has located a dangerous artifact that could spell trouble for himself and SG-1." Now, I've never seen Shadow Chasers, but I thought I would give this a go anyway, in case it just worked if I treated the Shadow Chasers characters just as guest-characters in a Stargate story -- and it did. The opening was particularly cool, as we got to see the Stargate folks from the Shadow Chasers folks point of view, and the interaction was delightful; particularly with reactions where the Stargate people are trying not to let things drop.

My favourite parts of this story was the character interaction; the actual action parts (and the inevitable Very Powerful Alien) weren't quite so interesting to me. (And of course we get the not unexpected Ghostbusters reference which the author seems to like to drop in to a lot of her stories). One of the things which made this story work as a crossover was the former encounter between Benedek and Daniel, and how that impacted on the tensions in the plot. As someone said, if you're going to have a crossover, you need a reason for the crossed people to be there, and that was the character reason (as distinct from the plot reason) for them to be there. I liked it.

(Also at

Catalyst (Sentinel/Magnum PI)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 13th August 2000 (8)
Tags: Short Story

I don't know Magnum PI very well, maybe saw one episode, but I could really see Higgins, hear his voice in this. This was good. Sentinel stuff, character stuff, and jeopardy.

Addendum: nominated for favourite crossover story in the 2001 Cascade Times Awards.

A Christmas Miracle (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 1st October 2001 (19)
Zine: Holiday Sensations

The summary says "It's Jim and Blair's first Christmas together but Jim is playing the part of Scrooge." Of course, you know that that isn't going to last (otherwise what would be the point of writing the story?) but I liked the way that it wasn't too easy. No flip of a magic switch suddenly zapped Jim with the Christmas Spirit. Which is why I actually disliked the epilogue because... it robbed the miracle of its realism. But apart from that, this was really good -- good Jim and Blair, and the interaction of people and how we affect those around us, for good and bad.

The Dating Coach (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 1st October 2001 (18)
Zine: Sentry Duty
Issue: 3

This story was tres amusing; an action-packed situation comedy with a delightful guest-character; your typical very nice absent-minded professor.
    Tossing the illegible mess on his desk, Blair glanced up to discover Professor Titus Aronsen hovering diffidently in the doorway. "Have you got a minute, son?" Aronsen absent-mindedly called all the teaching fellows 'son'--unless, of course, they were female, then he called them 'my dear'. They joked that he did it because he couldn't be bothered to learn their names, although he never became confused enough to misgrade their papers.

Blair is his own incorrigible self, and Jim does good too.

Extraction (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 1st October 2001 (16)
Zine: Sentry Duty
Issue: 2

The summary reads something like "Blair has a bad day; Jim has a worse one" and that is really all that is wise to say about the content of this story without spoiling it. There are some really good moments in this, how the whole thing starts off as if it's just going to be your run-of-the-mill owie/comfort story (poor Blair) and then... well, that would spoil it. Just go read it. The end makes me go "Awwww."

Fatal Images (Real Ghostbusters/Highlander)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 15th April 2001 (2)
Zine: Remote Control
Issue: 10

I like crossovers, when I know at least one of the series in question. In this case, it's Highlander (though I'm starting to get to know RGB because of other crossovers I've read...). This was a well-done how-to-save-Richie-from-Archangel story, which actually makes a lot of sense, tying up the loose ends and making Archangel make more sense too. How do the Real Ghostbusters come into it? Well, there's a demon involved, isn't there? The opening of the story was particularly atmospheric...

The wind drove him crazy. It was always there, never stopping, never fading away, wailing between the rock spires, sliding off the crags, masking the sound of threat, the warnings of danger. It tugged his choppy hair, cut through the thin cloak he'd managed to acquire, and rattled off his blade in its makeshift sheath, forcing it between his legs and tripping him when he was least expecting it.

The one thing that bothered me a little was that some of the characters seemed just a bit too insightful, seeing things that I couldn't quite believe would be seeable, but maybe that's just me. On the upside, it was lovely and long (hey, I like long stories!)

Gateways (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 29th July 2001 (12)
Zine: Sensory Overload
Issue: 2

Another Sheila Paulson story, I saw, I pounced, I read. And I was not disappointed. She does good Jim and Blair, with their weaknesses and strengths; Jim the concrete, Blair the imaginative. I really liked the idea of the whole thing being a test of trust under fire. (I wonder why it is, though, that Blair having a half/step-sister seems to be more popular in fanfic than him having a half/step-brother?) I also spotted the mention of the Ghostbusters and smiled.

Heartsounds (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 21st October 2001 (3)
Zine: Observations On The Function Of A Modern Sentinel

As expected, this was another good story from this author, full of nice warm fuzzies and angst. The opening was very dramatic. And then things get more dramatic... "When Blair's burned out car is found with a body in it, Jim doesn't want to accept that his guide is dead."
    Simon winced at the sound of it. "Do you want me to stay with you?" he asked.
    "No," said Jim without hesitation. "I'm all right." The conventional words were automatic. They had nothing to do with reality. He wasn't sure he could ever be all right again. He was a man without a soul. His soul had died in a fiery crash tonight. "No," he said again. "It's not true. It's just a goddamn mixup, Simon."

Simon was good here, as well as Jim and Blair and a peek from an interesting supporting character. One interesting thing was that the dramatic tension wasn't about whether or not Blair was dead -- because you know you can't really write a Blair is dead story and have your readers believe it (unless you really do a Blair is dead story and have your readers hate you) but the tension was in what various people believed about the manner of his death.

A Matter of Trust (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 13th August 2000 (7)

Good short story; misunderstanding, hurt, reconciliation.

Nine and Sixty Ways (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 16th March 2001 (1)
Tags: Novelette

Another good one from this author -- no surprise, that. The summary says "When Jim goes through one of his periodic episodes of frustration with being a Sentinel, Blair gives him some breathing space -- and walks into a hostage situation." I loved how Blair was giving Jim space; love is understanding someone well enough to know when they're just being like a bear with a sore head and don't really mean it... it reminded me of me and my brother. Then the hostage situation, full of tension and danger -- Blair is scared, but realizes he's the only one there who's able to keep his head. That it's Up To Him simply because the cavalry has yet to arrive. I liked that, it's true to life too. This Blair wasn't a smart-alec Plucky!Blair, but someone a bit wiser than that. No, this story isn't all Blair, but it's mostly Blair. That's fine, because it's a mighty fine Blair. And Jim gets the best line at the end...

Addendum: nominated for favourite drama story in the 2001 Cascade Times Awards.

Reap the Whirlwind (Blake's 7/Stargate)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 28th June 2009 (3)
Tags: Novel, Crossover, AU

Summary: A Blake's 7 and Stargate SG-1 crossover.

As is so often the case with crossovers by this author, Our Heroes display a preternatural ability to read body language, so that they can deduce things that they really shouldn't know about the characters from the other universe. It's a short-cut that I find irritating, but at least it is better than the "tell each other our life stories" method of crossover writing. There's also a tendency to info-dump to some degree, particularly early on in the story.

However, I like the world-building; that is, the extrapolation of the two universes to make them fit. I was amazed at how many connections were made between the two universes, where I had thought there were none. I also like the theme of reconciliation; how the strain between Avon and Blake (post Gauda Prime) is paralleled in the strain between Daniel and Jack (post "Shades of Grey"), and how both sets work through their problems.

As ever with this author, there is a hopeful ending.

Thanks For The Memories (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 1st October 2001 (17)
Zine: Sentry Duty
Issue: 1

This one is a Blair-has-amnesia story, and opens in the middle of a dangerous situation, a lull in the action. This has all the yummy goodness one would expect from a Sheila Paulson story; angst, drama, villainy and smarm. Unfortunately I wasn't at all convinced by the female guest-character, muttering to myself all the way through "Why is she lying? She has to be lying." which was kinda distracting. Unless that was supposed to be one's reaction, I'm not sure.


(1) Limbo (Blake's 7)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 19th February 2002 (1)

This story has a number of things in it which would send many a fan running for the delete key even before they'd tried to read the story. It has an original female protagonist. It's set in the 20th Century. It's told in first-person. And almost the only other Blake's 7 character in the story is Avon. But before you start screaming "Mary-Sue! Mary-Sue! Kill! Kill! Kill!" let me tell you the things which rescue this story from Mary-Sue-dom. Firstly, I doubt very much that Sheila Paulson is a widow living in Iowa. And the protagonist certainly isn't Mz. Perfect. But more importantly, this story works because of the thematic resonance set up between the protagonist and Avon, both being people who've shut out the world because of the pain of loss. Well, I think it works. And it's fun to see the reaction of Avon to things in the 20th Century. Some people may still find it too much of a wishlist of all the things one could say to Avon to try to make it right. But, hey, this is Sheila Paulson! Happy endings are her middle name.

(2) The Way To Go Home (Blake's 7/Real Ghostbusters)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 19th February 2002 (2)

This is a sequel to "Limbo" but doesn't work quite so well. It's more self-indulgent and doesn't have the same kind of unifying theme as the previous story. The characters are too insightful to be true, I just found that a bit too hard to believe. And I wasn't really comfortable with the advice to the B7 characters to be more "touchy-feely" because, well, they just aren't that kind of people (especially Avon!). On the other hand, there were moments of wit, cool weirdness, action and definitely a lot of niceness, so if you feel like some niceness, and want to find out what happened next, then you wouldn't be wasting your time.


(2) The Limits of Trust (Sentinel/Stargate)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 15th September 2002 (4)
Zine: The Limits of Trust

Now that this story is up on the web, I can direct your eyes to the zine review that I did of this story.