Lethbridge-Stewart: The Man From YesterdayBookmark and Share

Monday, 5 March 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
After fourteen novels, Candy Jar Books have announces the conclusion to their Lethbridge-Stewart ongoing storyline that began with The Forgotten Son:

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Man From Yesterday (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Man From Yesterday
Written by Nick Walters
Cover by Paul Cooke

Gordon's alive?

The English Channel, May 1945. Leading his squadron of Hawker Typhoons back to base from a traumatic mission in the Baltic, Wing Commander Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart goes missing – one of the unsolved mysteries of the Second World War.

Cromer, 1970. Doctor Anne Travers and Lieutenant Bill Bishop are investigating a mysterious phenomenon after hearing reports of ‘pink lightning’ seen over the Norfolk coast, while strange elfin creatures are glimpsed by the locals. And in the Red Fort, his new base of operations deep below Norwich, General James Gore is making his plans.

Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart receives a phone call that will change his life. Could it be, after all this time, that his father has come back from yesterday?

Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, said:
We decided some time ago to wrap up the novels as a continuing storyline, although it’s not the end of the Lethbridge-Stewart range. They will merely continue in a different vein. We have one more standalone novel, The New Unusual, set just before The Man from Yesterday coming in late spring, and then in the summer we begin to release our special anniversary series of books (six new novels that dip into various points within Lethbridge-Stewart’s timeline).

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:
It’s been great fun developing and guiding the ongoing story, with plots and themes continuing from The Forgotten Son through to The Man from Yesterday, but Shaun and I decided it’s time for something a little different. The Man from Yesterday is the perfect finale, taking the series full circle, wrapping up themes set up with that first novel, and bringing the whole thing into sharp focus with Lethbridge-Stewart’s family at the centre. Just as it began! And who better than Nick Walters, who was there at the beginning of the series, to wrap it all up for us? What’s also great about Nick’s return, is that he is the only author to pen a second novel in the series (other than me). Up to now each book has been written by a different author, which is, I feel, something we can all be proud of.

The Man from Yesterday sees the return of Lethbridge-Stewart’s missing father, Wing Commander Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. Nick observed:
After Mutually Assured Domination, which was a knockabout, fun romp, it was great to write something with more depth. We’d been kicking about the idea of the Brigadier’s father returning for some time, but hadn’t found a suitable plot. The Man From Yesterday started life in early 2016 as something quite different, a tale of alien map-makers called The Cartographers of Oberos (after a potential sequel to The Turing Test, also bringing Gordon back, just didn’t click for us). This initial version had too much focus on the aliens, and once this was scaled back, the story really began to take shape. Especially when the title came to me out of the blue one afternoon. The idea of setting it (mostly) within the county of Norfolk was quite deliberate – firstly, there is, obviously, the Cromer connection, and, secondly, I thought it rather fun to have a story set in one small geographic location, for a change. It doesn’t mean the story is small – not by any means – it’s big in terms of themes and ideas, and of course that alien element still remains.

Wing Commander Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart was created by Andy Frankham-Allen for The Forgotten Son in 2014, and has appeared in a couple of short stories since, but this is his first full-novel role. Talking about developing him further, Nick commented:
I was given free rein with Gordon and decided to imbue him with the core Lethbridge-Stewart values of integrity, bravery, duty, responsibility etc, but also introduce a slightly odd side to him (because of what’s happened to him). In appearance I struggled to visualise him until I put him in a suit and hey presto, Sean Connery in The Rock! I also gave him some action scenes to demonstrate that he’s still a badass despite his advanced years. He’s a man out of time, and there’s an element of that about him too, especially in one scene where he wanders the streets of Norwich. And despite the emotional heft of the story, I found him a fun character to write, and some of his scenes with his son are hilarious.

The book features a forward by Paul Leonard, author of the ever-popular Doctor Who novel, The Turing Test, among many others. Of Nick he said:
He’s achieved a writing career through sheer determination and hard work, keeping going through a third of a lifetime, learning as he went, earning very little, working till the small hours to get the stories finished on time. Perhaps as a result of his other [writing] work, he brings a clarity of style and depth of characterisation still too rare in genre fiction to his Who-related material, taking even occasional followers like myself into the world of the Doctor and making it a reality.

The cover is provided by Paul Cooke, who previously provided the artwork for the free short story, Eve of the Fomorians:
I've been a fan of the Lethbridge-Stewart books from the start. In fact I loved the first one that much I drew a fan art cover in the style of the old Target books, and cheekily asked Andy if there was any chance of doing one. Flash forward to September 2016, I had the opportunity to do a cover illo for a free digital story they sent out to subscribers. I had hoped to be able to contribute another, but when you have artists of the calibre of Adrian Salmon, Richard Young and Colin Howard working on them, I'd sort of given up hope. Then one day out of the blue, only weeks ago really, Andy asked me if I fancied doing one!

(The inspiration) was to be an image based on, and mirroring, the layout of the first book. One of the nice things I had to do was come up with a portrait of the Brig's dad, and a new race of aliens (who doesn't want to draw aliens?). Once Andy told me what he wanted from the cover, I set about doing some design sketches of the dad and the alien for both Andy and Nick Walters to approve – it's easier to get it wrong and change it at this stage than spending hours painting and then have to change it! Once the sketches had been approved, I then went to sketches of the cover, to get the placings correct. At this stage, I realised one of the suggestions to the cover didn't work within the layout (Cromer), so Andy suggested a replacement (the Hawker Typhoon plane) which was perfect. A few little revisions, and it was on to the painting. I work mostly digitally now, in a program called Manga Studio, so it was onto the computer and putting the time in to do the best job I could.

This edition of The Man from Yesterday is limited to 400 copies and is due out early March. All pre-orders of series five will receive a free digital short story called The Comrades by Brian Gallagher by the summer. It is available to pre-order from Candy Jar individually, part of the discounted UK/International bundle, or as part of the yearly subscription offer.

NB. the special anniversary series is covered by the annual subscription.

Black Archive Announces new Range EditorBookmark and Share

Monday, 26 February 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Obverse Books have announced the appointment of Paul Simpson as a new Range Editor for the Black Archive, the series of critical monographs on individual Doctor Who stories

Simpson is currently managing editor of Sci-Fi Bulletin and has been helping out behind the scenes with the Black Archive. He joins the team as the range expands to a monthly schedule and gains a sister series, the Silver Archive, covering shows other than Doctor Who.

Simpson is an experienced editor and author, with over 30 books to his credit, and editorial experience with Titan, BBC and Virgin Books, as well as DreamWatch and Star Trek Magazine.

Stuart Douglas, publisher of the Black Archive, said:
When we realised that we would need to take on a third Range Editor to cope with our new schedule, Phil and I both immediately thought of Paul. His wide and detailed knowledge of genre television has already proven invaluable on previous Archives, and I'm very much looking forward to see what he can bring out of our authors as editor.
Phil Purser-Hallard, the Black Archive’s founding Range Editor, said:
I’m delighted that Paul’s stepping up his involvement in the Black Archive – he’s an excellent editor, and a wise and knowledgeable Doctor Who fan. With our increased output of titles this year and into 2019, we will be relying on him to help us maintain the high standards our readers have come to expect.
Paul Simpson himself is delighted to be joining the team.
Even for someone who's been a fan of Doctor Who since the late 1960s, the Black Archive has been a constant source of new ways of looking at the show, and I'm looking forward to working with Stuart, Jim, Phil and the writers on the forthcoming Archives.

New Target NovalisationsBookmark and Share

Friday, 23 February 2018 - Reported by Marcus
The BBC has announced the first Target novelisations of episodes from the revived post-2005 series of Doctor Who.

Both former showrunners, Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat, will be writing novelisations of their own episodes to be published by BBC Books, under the Target imprint, to be published on the 5th April 2018.

The series will also see the first Target novelisation of a Douglas Adams story.

In the 1970's and 1980's Target books were published for most Doctor Who stories, and were the only way most fans of the series could relive the television adventures. Many came to the series through the novelisations, often written by the original script writer.

Rose (Credit: BBC Books)ROSE

In a lair somewhere beneath central London, a malevolent alien intelligence is plotting the end of humanity. Shop window dummies that can move – and kill – are taking up key positions, ready to strike. Rose Tyler, an ordinary Londoner, is working her shift in a department store, unaware that this is the most important day of her life. She’s about to meet the only man who understands the true nature of the threat facing Earth, a stranger who will open her eyes to all the wonder and terror of the universe – a traveller in time and space known as the Doctor.

Russell T Davies is one of the UK's foremost writers of television drama, creating ground breaking shows such as Queer as Folk, Bob & Rose, Casanova, Cucumber, The Second Coming, and in 2018, A Very English Scandal for BBC One.

He was Head Writer and Executive Producer of Doctor Who when it returned to the BBC in 2005 and has written many of the new series' most memorable episodes. He was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to drama. He divides his time between Cardiff and Manchester.
The Day of the Doctor (Credit: BBC Books)THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR

The Tenth Doctor is hunting shape-shifting Zygons in Elizabethan England. The Eleventh is investigating a rift in space-time in the present day. And one other – the man they used to be but never speak of – is fighting the Daleks in the darkest days of the Time War. Driven by demons and despair, this battle-scarred Doctor is set to take a devastating decision that will threaten the survival of the entire universe … a decision that not even a Time Lord can take alone.

On this day, the Doctor’s different incarnations will come together to save the Earth … to save the universe … and to save his soul.

Steven Moffat is best known for Press Gang, Coupling, Steven Spielberg’s movie Tintin, and for the last few years being lead writer and executive producer on Doctor Who and for cocreating, co-writing (with Mark Gatiss) and executive producing Sherlock. He has 5 BAFTAs, 2 Emmys and in 2015 was awarded an OBE for services to drama.
The Christmas Invasion (Credit: BBC Books)THE CHRISTMAS INVASION

When a British space probe is intercepted by a sinister alien vessel on the eve of Christmas, it marks the beginning of an audacious invasion of the Earth by the Sycorax – horrifying marauders from beyond the stars. Within hours, a third of humanity stands on the brink of death with not a single shot fired.

Our planet needs a champion – but the Doctor is not fit for service. He’s just regenerated, delirious in a new body and a dressing gown. Forced into his battered shoes is his friend, Rose Tyler, a girl from a London council estate. Will she save the world from this nightmare before Christmas – or see it destroyed?

Jenny T Colgan has written 16 bestselling novels as Jenny Colgan, which have sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide, been translated into 25 languages, and won both the Melissa Nathan Award and Romantic Novel of the Year 2013. Aged 11, she won a national fan competition to meet the Doctor and was mistaken for a boy by Peter Davison

Still reeling from his encounter with the Cybermen, the First Doctor stumbles through the bitter Antarctic wind, resisting the approaching regeneration with all his strength. But as he fights his way through the snowdrifts, he comes across the familiar shape of a blue police box, and a mysterious figure who introduces himself as the Doctor …

Thrown together at their most vulnerable moments, the two Doctors must discover why the snowflakes are suspended in the sky, why a First World War Captain has been lifted from his time stream moments before his death, and who is the mysterious Glass Woman who knows their true name. The Doctor is reunited with Bill, but is she all she seems? And can he hold out against the coming regeneration?

Paul Cornell has written some of Doctor Who's best-loved TV episodes, books and comics. He’s also worked on many other TV shows. His other comics projects include his creator-owned series Saucer State and This Damned Band, and runs on Action Comics, Batman and Robin and Wolverine. He's also the author of the Lychford series of fantasy novellas and the Shadow Police novels. He’s won the British Science Fiction Association Award for his short fiction and the Eagle Award for his comics

Visiting Paris in 1979, the Doctor and Romana’s hopes for a holiday are soon shattered by armed thugs, a suave and dangerous Count, a plot to steal the Mona Lisa and a world-threatening experiment with time.

Teaming up with a British detective, the Time Lords discover that a ruthless alien plot hatched in Earth’s pre-history has reached its final stage. If Scaroth, last of the Jagaroth, cannot be stopped then the human race is history, along with all life on Earth …

James Goss has adapted three Doctor Who stories by Douglas Adams for BBC Books (City of Death, The Pirate Planet, and The Krikkitmen) and has also written several original Doctor Who and Torchwood books. His novel #Haterz is in development as a motion picture. He's also written for the stage and the radio.

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse of the Mirror ClownsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 February 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the latest novel in their Lethbridge-Stewart spin-off series, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries:

Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse Of The Mirror Clowns (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse of the Mirror Clowns
Written by Chris Lynch
Cover by Steve Beckett

The circus is coming to town – and it may never leave.

Lucy Wilson is just about getting used to life in Ogmore-by-Sea. School, homework, friends, and the occasional alien... It’s not easy being the new girl in town but, with the help of her steadfast companion Hobo, she’s making it work.

But when a mysterious circus opens for one night only, the town suddenly finds itself overrun with invisible clowns and the gang are faced with their biggest mystery yet – the disappearance of Lucy Wilson herself.

Thankfully, they’ve got help – a mysterious stranger from another world with a special box that moves in time and space.

Curse of the Mirror Clowns is written by Cardiff-based film and comic writer Chris Lynch who commented that t writing the book gave him the opportunity to tackle a personal fear:
Did you ever think you saw something, just out of the corner of your eye? It happens to me all the time and it freaks me out quite a bit. So, when I got the chance to add my own monster to the Lucy Wilson universe, I knew it had to be a monster that you couldn't always see. I also wanted it to be a clown because, if there's something that freaks me out more than things I can't see, then it's something I can see – clowns. Of course, that's not all I added – there are plenty of other surprises in there that I hope people will really enjoy. It's been great fun adding my own strange and spooky elements to Lucy's world and I hope to be back very, very soon.

The book is available to pre-order from the Candy Jar Books website.

The 29th March sees Candy Jar officially release The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence by Sue Hampton. The book was previously available exclusively to fans since September, but will now be made available to the wider public.

Head of publishing at Candy Jar, Shaun Russell, says:

We’ve had such good feedback for this book. Reviews have been encouraging and fans seemed to have embraced Lucy and Hobo. Moreover, we’ve also had a positive response from the general public. We’ve been trialling Avatars of the Intelligence with 1300 school children and the initial feedback has been very promising. In particular, we’ve had high praise for Steve Beckett’s cover design and, consequently, Curse of the Mirror Clowns has another fantastic piece of artwork by the talented Beano artist.

Lucy and her family have featured in two recent Lethbridge-Stewart short stories: Lucy Wilson by Sue Hampton (The HAVOC Files 3) and The Two Brigadiers by Jonathan Macho (The HAVOC Files 4). Added to this, they will also make an appearance in the upcoming short story collection Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage in two further stories.

Lethbridge-Stewart: LineageBookmark and Share

Sunday, 21 January 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced a new collection of short stories. Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage is a series of tales about the Lethbridge-Stewart family from the early 1600s right up to the present day (including three brand new adventures featuring the Brigadier himself).

Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Lineage
Stories by Andrew Allen, Harry Draper, Richard Dinnick, Gareth Madgwick, Wink Taylor, Chris Lynch, David A McIntee and Andy Frankham-Allen
Edited by Andy Frankham-Allen

The Lethbridge-Stewart name carries with it stories of integrity, honour and courage. But was it always so?

From its earliest origins with the Clan Stewart in Scotland, and the Lethbridges in Devon, England, the name has a storied past. Historical figures, history makers, miitary heroes…

Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage presents six brand-new tales from some of the most popular authors previously published in The HAVOC Files collection, as well as one from the creative mind of writer and film maker Chris Lynch.

Based on characters created and inspired by Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln.

The stories take place during the 1600s, 1800s, 1940s, 1970s, and 2010, and explore the ancestors and descendents of Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell says:
We’ve been pondering doing a collection like this for some time, but it never seemed to be the right time. But with the impending fiftieth anniversary of the first appearance of the Brig in Doctor Who, combined with the recent appearance of the Brigadier’s grandfather in Twice Upon a Time, and the positive response that garnered, it seemed that the time was, finally, now.

Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says:
I love exploring the Brigadier’s lineage, be it his immediate family in the shape of his mother and father, or his descendents, in the shape of his son and grandchildren. But I’ve always wanted to go deeper, to look at some other Lethbridge-Stewarts, or indeed Stewarts and Lethbridges, to find out what kind of impact they had on the world. Sometimes that impact can be huge, and sometimes it can be the smallest thing that has the biggest repercussions. With this collection, we get to explore some of the lesser known ancestors, and introduce some never even mentioned before. And, of course, we get to visit the rising star that is Lucy Wilson, the Brigader’s adventuring grandaughter!

Authors include Richard Dinnick, with Shaun observing:
We are delighted popular Doctor Who author Richard Dinnick is contributing a story to the Lethbridge-Stewart Lineage collection, tentatively called The Soothsayer and set in 1603. Richard's first piece of professional fiction was produced by Big Finish in 2005, a short story called Neptune, the first of a two-part story, the second of which was written by our range editor, Andy Frankham-Allen. This was followed by a co-authored audio script, also with Andy, for the Space 1889 series, The Lunar Inheritance. He has since gone on to write countless Doctor Who stories for Big Finish, BBC Books and Titan comics. And plenty of non-Doctor Who stuff too!

Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage will be available as a hardback for a strictly limited time, and is available for pre-order now. This volume does not form part of any bundle offer.

There are also two free Lethbridge-Stewart stories currently available for download via the Candy Jar website.

What’s Past is Prologue by David A McIntee, and The Note by Andy Frankham-Allen were released over the festive period to subscribers of the Lethbridge-Stewart series, and are now available to the general public.

The two stories are connected by a Lethbridge-Stewart family secret which has its origins in 1902 and is not revealed until 1945. Both stories focus on the relationship between the original Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, the British Intelligence operative from the early twentieth century, after whom the Brigadier was named, and his brother, Archie. Not only do the stories feature the Brigadier’s namesake, but also takes a deeper look into the life of his father, Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart.

Range Editor and author, Andy Frankham-Allen explains:
This story plays with family secrets, adding further depth to the Lethbridge-Stewart legacy. So, now we have a story set in 1917 that sets up the secret from 1902, and a story set in 1945 which reveals what really did, or did not, happen.

Both stories can be found via the Candy Jar website.

Lethbridge-Stewart: What's Past Is Prologue (Credit: Candy Jar Books) Lethbridge-Stewart: The Note (Credit: Candy Jar Books)

Time Shadows: Second NatureBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 16 January 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Time Shadows: Second Nature (Credit: Pseudoscope Publishing)A new unauthorized Doctor Who short-story anthology, Time Shadows: Second Nature, has been published by Pseudoscope Publishing.

All sale proceeds from the project will be donated to CODE, which advances literacy and learning in Canada and around the world

The publication is a follow-up to the first Time Shadows, which has raised over USD $1,100 for charity to date. Second Nature features all televised Doctors up to the Twelfth Doctor, across 23 stories, including an epic, multi-part framing story.

Everywhere he goes, the Doctor is confronted by mysteries and marvels, danger and delight.

Along the way, the Doctor encounters a medieval knight in a supermarket; some time-displaced Vikings; a weapon from the Time War; a stain on his office carpet, which poses a threat greater than Bill can imagine; and so much more.

He brings hope to the oppressed; he never gives up and never gives in. To the Doctor, that is Second Nature.
The anthology is edited by Stephen Hatcher, with a foreword by John Peel.

It features stories by Violet Addison & David N. Smith, Simon Blake, Simon A. Brett, Ian K. Cimm, Kate Coleman, Paul Driscoll, Ian Farrington, David Gibbons, Michael Gilroy-Sinclair, Grace Haddon, Stephen Hatcher, Roger McCoy, Mark McManus, Greg Maughan, Stuart S. Roth, Jenny Shirt, Dale Smith, Paul Sutton, Daniel Tessier, Nick Walters, Joshua Wanisko, Paul Williams and Anthony Wilson.

Cover art is by Iain Robertson. Illustration by Paul Cowan.

Ordering information for Time Shadows: Second Nature is available from the Pseudoscope Publishing website

Lethbridge-Stewart: A Very Private HauntingBookmark and Share

Monday, 8 January 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books opens its fifth series of ongoing Lethbridge-Stewart novels with the publication of A Very Private Haunting at the end of this month:

Lethbridge-Stewart: A Very Private Haunting (Credit: Candy Jar Books)A Very Private Haunting
Sharon Bidwell
Cover artwork by Richard Young

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is not a man who likes to leave things unfinished. He is, therefore, at a loss when forced into taking leave after his recent tussle with a ‘shadow creature’, a case that has yet to be fully resolved. Anne Travers is tired of the loss burning in her heart. So when Lethbridge-Stewart is called to Glencross to help the son of an old friend, she insists on going with him.

In Glencross, young Tomas Campbell has gone missing, and his friends band together to uncover the dark secret at the heart of the village. Meanwhile, Arthur Penrose had returned to his ancestral home to find a haunted residence, and a doll with a message.

What connects the doll to the strange sounds that scurry around Penrose Manor, why do the adults of Glencross seem so intent on keeping their children from leaving the village, and what has all this got to do with the ‘shadow creature’? It is up the Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne to find out.

This special edition includes an extended version of Sharon Bidwell’s short story, The Wishing Bazaar.

Author Sharon Bidwell previously wrote the Lethbridge-Stewart short story, The Wishing Bazaar, and has worked with range editor, Andy Frankham-Allen, on several projects since 2011, even co-writing a book. For this nverl, Sharon said:
Andy didn’t leave me with a choice. He’s always dragging me into things. I want to say he ‘invited’ me, but he was very adamantant that I’d write for the series. Which is a compliment, and Andy has a way about him, so one day I just emailed a first draft of the manuscript to him without any warning.
Andy Frankham-Allen said:
It did come out of the blue, but it was a nice surprise. So, I had the book in my files for almost a year before I found a suitable place for it, and then it all came down to finding a way to make it fit the ongoing narrative, tweaking it here and there, and suggestion a few changes to Sharon. In fairness, beyond series continuity, there wasn’t much to do. Sharon has always had a good grasp of story, and knows how to mix good character work with layers of meaning and emotional resonance.
Sharon adds:
I'm not a writer who consciously considers theme in a first draft. It's something that presents itself to me sometimes as much as three-quarters into a preliminary version. It's hard to choose a defining one in this book. The book questions the keeping of secrets, outmoded beliefs, what can happen if people never question their convictions. I also wanted to explore human behaviour in a macabre setting. The dictionary defines macabre as: disturbing and horrifying because of involvement with or depiction of death and injury. It seems to fit. One thing I was certain I wanted to incorporate was Edison's talking dolls. The problem I stumbled into was the 'why'. I know I wanted to use the doll but a writer cannot simply use a great idea if it doesn't fit the story. I not only constructed an answer, I formulated one that provided me with a well-rounded end to the book.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing, said:
This book has a touch of The Daemons about it, in regards the atmosphere it creates. Perfect reading for a night in front of the fire, with a storm raging outside. It gave me the creeps in places, and I don’t even have a fire to read in front of!

The cover is by regular artist, Richard Young:
I've always wanted to do a cover for a horror type novel. I love the old Hammer horror films so I wanted to do something in that vein… with my own twist.

All pre-orders of A Very Private Haunting will receive a free digital short story called The Comrades by Brian Gallagher, a tale set during the Cold War which sees Brigadier Douglas and Captain Bishop working alongside the SAS. It can be pre-ordered individually, as part of a discounted UK bundle or an international bundle, or as part of a yearly subscription offer. Full details are available from the Candy Jar website.

A Very Private Haunting will be followed by The Man from Yesterday and The New Unusual.

The Case Of The Missing FairyBookmark and Share

Sunday, 17 December 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: The Case of the Missing Fairy (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have released a free Lethbridge-Stewart story for Christmas that can be downloaded from their website.

Talking about The Case of the Missing Fairy, range editor Andy Frankham-Allen says:
When Shaun told me he wanted a Christmas story, I groaned and said, ‘well, I don’t have time to write one,’ but then I re-thought and realised that I may have a man who did. So I turned to a young writer I know who wanted to write for the series. Enter Steven Walton. He jumped on board with barely a second’s hesitation, and I then tasked him with sending me a few ideas set within the period that Lethbridge-Stewart served as maths teacher in Brendon School, a period of his life we’ve not really touched upon yet. Steve sent me a few ideas, but that one that appealed to me the most was the whimsical notion of Lethbridge-Stewart investigating the disappearance of a Christmas tree fairy.
Steven Walton says:
I’ve always considered the Brigadier to be the Doctor’s Watson, but as this range has him in the lead role I thought why not make him Sherlock Holmes? Set in a time when he can’t remember the Doctor, the story focuses on those mini adventures in his everyday life. And what a better time to do a silly but fun detective story than at Christmas.
Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, says:
Our seasonal short stories have become something of a tradition, and it was important to me that this year be no different. Steven had produced a lovely, and amusing, little ditty for Christmas, and in quick time, too. Perfect reading after a hearty Christmas dinner!

Further news from Candy Jar Books:
  • A limited edition range of series five novels will be available early 2018, beginning with A Very Private Haunting by Sharon Bidwell. And later in the year the novella range continues with The Lost Skin by Andy Frankham-Allen. Both are available for pre-order.

  • Candy Jar Books recentlry announced that, for the forseable future, there will be no new editions of The HAVOC Files. Editor Andy Frankham-Allen has issued this statement those who submitted story ideas through this year’s open submisson window:
    There are several logistic and legal reasons behind our decision, however, please note we are not cancelling the range, just resting it for the forseeable future. So to anybody who submitted a story idea to us, please be aware that there are two options open to you; you can either retain your idea and repurpose it for other use, or you can allow us to hold on to it and look at it again if/when we do another HAVOC Files release. Please drop us an email (havoc@candyjarbooks.co.uk) to let us know which option you wish to take.

  • Candy Jar currently has a Christmas sale, covering many of their varied titles, including several Lethbridge-Stewart titles.

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Lost SkinBookmark and Share

Sunday, 26 November 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced the next in its limited edition Lethbridge-Stewart novella range:

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Lost Skin (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Lost Skin
Written by Andy Frankham-Allen
Cover by Adrian Salmon

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is on leave in New York, but in Scotland word reaches the Fifth Operational Corps that Harold Chorley, journalist and pain in Lethbridge-Stewart’s rear, has got wind of the Corps’ presence in Stirling.

A plan is set in motion to take Chorley on a wild goose chase to John o Groats, as far from the Corps as possible. RSM Samson Ware and Professor Travers travel to the edge of Scotland, leaving a trail of breadcrums, which are picked by Chorley and his old chum, Larry Greene.

But it soon becomes clear that there is a real mystery in John o Groats, a strange link between Mhairi Docherty – a woman from Huna – and the Orkney Islands, and the local legend of the Selkie. To protect Mhairi, Samson needs to sideline Chorley and Greene, but the ever-erratic Professor Travers has other plans.

What is drawing Mhairi to the Orkney Islands? What hold does Chorley have over Greene? And, more importantly, what links Chorley and Greene to the secret history of Mhairi?

Originally intended as a novella, Candy Jar previously published parts one and two of The Lost Skin in The HAVOC Files 2 and 3, and will now be completed (with 50% new material) as the novella it was originally designed to be.

Range Editor and author, Andy Frankham-Allen explains:
When I first came up with the idea for The Lost Skin, or When Harry Met Larry as I called it then, I didn’t even tell Shaun (Russell, Candy Jar head of publishing) about it, intending to simply write it without worrying about a deadline, and then let him know it existed. But when it became clear that The HAVOC Files 2 was under length I mentioned the novella, and Shaun suggested we seralise it. I was a little cautious, but decided to go for it. Sadly, when I was trying to work on part three, a few things occurred in my personal life which brought on the horrid return of depression and I just knew there was no way I could complete The Lost Skin in such a piecemeal way.
Shaun Russell observes:
Obviously the mental wellbeing of my authors, and in this case range editor, is important so I told Andy to just stop, focus on something that would help him straighten out his mind again. Which he did. Later the topic of The Lost Skin came up again, and we decided maybe it would be better to finish it as the novella Andy had intended it to be.
Andy continues:
This suited me better, and as I was in the process of ‘clearing the decks’ mentally, I decided that not only would I finish The Lost Skin, I would add material to the first two parts so that the novella version would contain a good fifty percent new material. This way, not only do I tell the story properly, but the readers will get enough new material that, for those who read parts one and two, they will feel like they’re almost reading a new book.

The Lost Skin features Professor Travers, but also brings back Harold Chorley and his old chum, Larry Greene. Andy explains:
Larry Greene was never meant to be. He was designed as a replacement for Harold Chorley in The Schizoid Earth, as Chorley’s appearance in that book contradicted the events of the then-forthcoming novel, Mutually Assured Domination. That’s the real world reason why they seem so similar. But in the fiction, there needed to be a reason for this similarity, and so I came up with a back-story, one I never revealed to anybody, although hints have been given in the Lethbridge-Stewart novels over the last few years. So, one of the main goals of The Lost Skin is to finally bring Harold and Larry together (and throw our other journalist, Charlie Redfern, into the mix) and explain their back-story.

The cover is by regular artist Adrian Salmon, who was selected specifically for this cover by Andy. He says:
All our artists have their own particular approach and we love them because of this. However, I really wanted Adrian’s stark style for this cover. It really sums up the emotional isolation I’m trying to depict in the book.
The cover features both Harold Chorley and Larry Greene, as well Samson Ware and the ‘lost skin’ of the title, against a nice backdrop of the Orkney Islands. Adrian comments:
I love a good symbolic cover, and this was the perfect opportunity by showing Samson examining the empty skin representing the mystery of the Selkie that gives title to Andy's book.

The Lost Skin is now available for pre-order as a limited edition hardback, and is only available directly from Candy Jar Books or from the Lethbridge-Stewart website.

Travers and WellsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 19 November 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced that the expected third volume of their novella series will be Travers and Wells, with the original title Day of the Intelligence being cancelled.

Travers and Wells (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Travers and Wells
Written by Robert Mammone
Cover by Richard Young

"For a time I believed that mankind had been swept out of existence, and that I stood there with my friend, Edward Travers, the last men left alive."

Edward Travers, pulled out of time by a mysterious force, finds himself on a hill with a young man called Herbert George Wells. Together the men travel across England, intent on discovering where they are; a world distinctly different from the one they know. And yet, for Edward Travers, it is one that seems vaguely familiar...

For strange, meteor-like objects have landed in the heart of England, and the inhabitants of Earth have found themselves victims of a terrible attack. A ruthless race of Martians, armed with heat rays and poisonous smoke, is intent on destroying everything that stands in its way.

Only things have not turned out the way Travers' expected, for this is not the war of the worlds HG Wells wrote about, but something much worse.

As the title suggests, this novella features Edward Travers teaming up with the grandfather of sci-fi, HG Wells in what may be the first in a series of adventures exploring the inspiration behind many of the Wells’ classics.

Range Editor, Andy Frankham-Allen explains:
This novella serves as a kind of back door pilot for a possible series. It’s all dependent on the reception the book receives, and whether or not there is enough interest in an occasional series with Travers and Wells at the helm. The original plan was for me to write a sequel to The War of the Worlds, but then word reached me of the Stephen Baxter sequel and it was clear that we’d not be able to compete with that, so, not wanting to waste all the research and notes, I hit upon the idea of turning the story into an alternative take on the classic novel, and utilising the Doctor Who connection with Wells that Glen McCoy created for his 1985 serial, Timelash. And so we worked out an arrangement with Glen and set the potential series up with, first, the end of Times Squared, and then a short story called Time and Again.

Due to scheduling conflicts, Andy handed over the writing duties to Robert Mammone, who previously wrote the short story, Eve of the Fomorians. First Robert wrote a kind of prologue, Time and Again, that was published into the first novella, The Life of Evans, before turning his attention to his own novella.

Robert says:
When Andy and I were chatting on Skype about the upcoming novellas it suddenly dawned on him we could set up the range with a prequel short story. I immediately said yes and then knuckled down to getting the ideas, themes and plot straight. I didn’t want the story to be a direct sequel to Timelash, but I did want to take elements from that story as a way of looking at how those who assume authority after toppling a dictatorship can end up aping some of the actions of those overthrown.

I jumped at the chance to write this first story in the series. After I sent off the email saying yes, it suddenly hit me that I would be dealing with one of science fiction’s foundational texts. Some days later, when the shock had worn off, I began my research. Of course re-reading The War of the Worlds was a must, but also an early Wells short story called The Crystal Egg as it related in part to the story I was crafting. Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds also helped inspire me, especially during some of the very late night writing sessions.

In writing the novella I drew inspiration from images of the Blitz – particularly St Paul’s wreathed in smoke. Given the events I describe in my story, it seemed appropriate that I pay homage to another, more terrible invasion. There are also hints and nods to Wells’ other works, and I weave in real world events from the period the original was written in, as I find that approach adds flavour to the reading experience. Andy was a great sounding board in helping the plot come together, and his editing skills and input helped shape the novella.

The cover is by regular artist Richard Young, who was responsible for all the novella covers so far. It features a younger Travers and Wells, as well as Richard’s own take on the infamous Martian war machine. Richard says:
I was over the moon to be doing the cover for Travers & Wells. I treated this slightly differently than the previous two novellas, in that I wanted something that would had a film poster quality to it. In fact there is a version of the artwork knocking around that has been put together as if it was a film poster.

Travers & Wells is part of the three novella bundle, and also available to pre-order separately. Customers who pre-ordered the three-novella bundle will automatically receive Travers & Wells upon release. Only available directly from Candy Jar Books or from the Lethbridge-Stewart website.

Germany: Silver Nemesis Extended, German-language Big Finish audios and moreBookmark and Share

Monday, 6 November 2017 - Reported by Pascal Salzmann
Siebter Doctor Collector's Edition (Credit: Pandastorm Pictures)Many new products have been announced in Germany  recently.

  • German DVD distributer Pandastorm Pictures announced at the Doctor Who convention TimeLash III on the last weekend of October a limited boxed set featuring all of the 7th Doctor stories, including new bonus features and the never-before-on-DVD released and newly remastered Silver Nemesis Extended edition. This longer cut of the Season 25 story has previously only been released on VHS in the UK.
    The set will be called Siebter Doktor - Special Collector's Edition and presented in a valuable hardcover book in coffee table format. The set is limited to 1,000 copies, each with an impressed number. Script editor Andrew Cartmel has written over 52 pages of production notes on each story, which can be found in the English language as well as in a German translation. The 17 region-free DVD's contain all adventures in English and German audio as well as English and German subtitles and over 24 hours of bonus material. Anther new bonus feature will be the BBC America special Doctor Who Revisited – The Seventh Doctor and an exclusive new interview with Andrew Cartmel. Product shipment is scheduled for the second week of December. This boxed set can only be ordered from Pandastorm's own shop.

  • German books and audio publisher Bastei Luebbe also announced a new project at the convention. In cooperation with Big Finish they are going to release German translations of Doctor Who audio plays, with the German dubbing actors known from TV also speaking the parts on audio. The first batch of releases will be the 10th Doctor adventures featuring Donna Noble as the companion. 27th April 2018 will see the release of Die Zeitdiebe by Jenny Colgan, Technophobie by Matt Fitton and Eiskalte Rache by Matt Fitton. All stories will be released on CD and Download. You can pre-order on the publisher's website.

  • Bastei Luebbe will also release four new novels. Scheduled for next year are:
    • Eleventh Doctor story Totenwinter (Dead of Winter) by James Goss (26th January 2018)
    • Eleventh Doctor story Der weinende Engel (Touched by an Angel) by Jonathan Morris (29th March 2018
    • Eleventh Doctor story Dunkle Gezeiten (The Coming of the Terraphiles) by Michael Moorcock (25th May 2018)
    • Third Doctor story Der Neunte Schlüssel (The Last of the Gadarene) by Mark Gatiss (27th July 2018)
    All novels will also be available in audio book format.

Lethbridge-Stewart website launchedBookmark and Share

Saturday, 4 November 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart website (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have announced the launch of a website dedicated to the character of Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart.

Head of publishing, Shaun Russell, said:
With the fiftieth anniversary approaching we wanted to do something special for the fans. This website collects together everything you need to know about the Brigadier and we plan to add much more content as the months roll by.
The site has been designed by Richard Young of North East Design Consultants:
Creating a website for Candy Jar is one of the most enjoyable projects I have ever been involved with. There are so many different elements to the site. It’s something you can easily get lost in and thoroughly enjoy exploring.
Candy Jar’s Publishing Coordinator, Lauren Thomas, added:
With the fifth Lethbridge-Stewart season due soon, Richard has managed to create a website which celebrates our beloved Brigadier. The site contains interviews, forums, and never-before-seen material, and the chance to sign up to a newsletter and download a variety of free stories.
Editorial Co-ordinator, Will Rees, said:
Since we launched the books we’ve had lots of questions and comments from fans about the Brigadier’s time in Doctor Who, as well as our novels. We wanted this site to keep readers completely up-to-date with every aspect of the series, explore the mythology of the Brig, and act as a news portal for new releases.

The site will continue to be developed, with updated on upcoming books in the series added in due course. Alongside this, information about The Lucy Wilson Mysteries, a separate series about the Brigadier’s granddaughter, is also available.

The Lethbridge-Stewart website can be found here.

The Brigadier (Credit: Candy Jar Books)To celebrate the launch of the website, Candy Jar Books is offering readers a chance to win a one-of-a-kind Lethbridge-Stewart original painting created by Richard Young. To enter the competition, just visit the new website and enter Candy’s Jar poll to vote for your favourite book, short story and cover design, and then you will automatically be entered into the prize draw.

Lethbridge-Stewart: The New Unusual / fifth series limited edition runBookmark and Share

Thursday, 12 October 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart exclusives (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have announced the fifth series of the Lethbridge-Stewart range of novels will be released as limited editions available exclusively via their website, with the first book, The New Unusual, now available for pre-order.

The New Unusual sees Anne Travers and the team investigate strange goings-on at hippy dream-ins, which sends them to Australia. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says:
Adrian Sherlock first came to my attention via John Peel, and when Shaun and I discussed the idea of sending the team to Australia, it seemed common sense to have an Australian write the novel.
Adrian continues:
That was an idea I warmed to immediately, having always wanted to see Australia more connected with world of science fiction. Australia’s an amazing country, with many exotic and fascinating wonders, so it was a lot of fun to include them in the narrative.

The New Unusual takes its title from a favourite line of dialogue spoken by the Doctor in the opening episode of the Doctor Who serial, The Mind of Evil. He states that the purpose of the Brigadier's team is to investigate new and unusual menaces. When Andy first gave me the chance to pitch an idea for the novel, I knew I had to tap into the spirit of the times and that meant a fad or a craze, something the kids were into. Furthermore, I knew there had to be a hint of the mind-bending surrealism of the time, which reflected some of the experimentation with drugs such as LSD. But it had to have an explanation that was right for the world of Lethbridge-Stewart, something unearthly and threatening.

Anne Travers takes centre stage for the first half of this novel, with Shaun Russell, head of publishing, explaining:
Anne continues to be a popular character, easily strong enough to lead a book on her own. When planning these books out we like to keep a balance between our two lead characters, and this year we’ve already had two Brig-centric novels and one Anne. This marks Anne’s second major plotline this year, as she continues to deal with the fallout of her father’s death and what effect it has on her place in the world.
Adrian adds:
I had the idea that Anne knows there is a menace and becomes increasingly determined to uncover it. But in any good story, the main characters encounter opposition when they pursue their goals. It seemed to me that Anne might do what she has to do to succeed, overcoming opposition, yet feeling increasingly that she is unhappy with herself. A crisis comes when any one of us betrays our own values in order to achieve an end. I was fascinated by the notion that she might not like who she is becoming, if she goes too far and leads her friends into too much peril.

And with Lethbridge-Stewart, the story offered a good opportunity to present him as a man in total contrast to the youth of the time and their willingness to seek that which is ‘new and unusual’. I knew that he had to go beyond simple soldiering and face real threats and the possibility of his own death. I knew he had to see himself, to learn a little something about himself, in this adventure into the unknown.

The book continues a trend running through Beast of Fang Rock, Moon Blink and Night of the Intelligence, taking a look at aspects of the hippy movement of the late-‘60s, early-‘70s. The striking cover art, featuring Anne Travers and Bill Bishop is full hippy get-up, is by Adrian Salmon:
I knew my wife would kill me if I didn't draw the cover. She's a tough Aussie gal and when I found out The New Unusual was set in Australia, I asked to be the artist to bring Old Tom, Anne and Bill in all their grooviness to life!

Novels in the fifth series are limited editions of 400 copies, and will only be available to buy from Candy Jar Books - they will NOT be made commercially available. The New Unusual can be pre-ordered individually or as part of the discounted UK bundle, international bundle, or part of the yearly subscription offer.

Lethbridge-Stewart: The New Unusual (Credit: Candy Jar Books)It's the early 1970s, a time of change, a time of turmoil, a time of surrealism, LSD and the Age of Aquarius, a time of fads, Moon landings and wars, and the young people of the world are seeking something new - and unusual!

For Anne Travers, an encounter with a so-called 'dream egg' is just the beginning of a long nightmare. Her scientific curiosity aroused, Anne begins to probe the secret underground scene known as 'dream-ins', where students and others meet to get involved with a new craze and, perhaps, something far more alien to human experience.

And for Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, who finds himself drawn into Anne's investigations, this probe will lead him and the Fifth Operational Corps to the wilderness of the Australian Outback, to a little opal mining town called Coober Pedy and a search for answers.

The New Unusual includes a revised ‘exclusive’ version of The Playing Dead short story.

Please note this is the final week to be able to get a preview copy of The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence. The book will not be made commercially available until March 2018.

Lethbridge-Stewart: '48 CrashBookmark and Share

Sunday, 1 October 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar have announced '48 Crash, a Lethbridge-Stewart short story to tie in with the Radio One's 50th Annversary weekend:

Lethbridge-Stewart: '48 Crash (Credit: Candy Jar Books)In tribute to the 50th anniversary of BBC Radio 1, Candy Jar Books has announced a Kindle-only short story, ’48 Crash by Mark Carton.

This weekend sees the BBC celebrate with a three-day “vintage” digital radio station, Radio 1 Vintage, with 50 one-hour themed shows compiled from Radio 1 archive material, featuring DJs from across its entire history. To coincide, the story ’48 Crash will be available to buy from Amazon Kindle over the same period.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar Books, said:
Having grown up listening to BBC Radio, I’ve been waiting to hear what they had planned for the 50th anniversary of Radio 1. It seemed like a fantastic opportunity to celebrate a British institution that has had such an impact over the years. When Mark suggested that he’d like to write a short story to mark the event, I thought that combining his core idea with the Lethbridge-Stewart range was a no-brainer.

This celebratory release aligns with our Kindle release of the individual short stories featured in our limited edition HAVOC Files one through three. Each short story will now be available to download from Amazon Kindle individually for £1.29. Customers who previously missed the PDF e-books will be able to read each story in isolation without having to commit to the whole load. This is something we’ve been asked for many times. You ask, we do!

Mark Carton has been an avid follower of the Lethbridge-Stewart range, and is the author of Candy Jar children’s novel The League of the Red-Nosed Gentlemen. He says:
The Brig is an iconic part of Doctor Who history, which itself, of course, an iconic part of the BBC’s story too. In tribute to Radio 1’s Birthday, we thought it would be fitting if he returned to the fold, so to speak, to help out Auntie once again! It’s an action-packed tale, and a little irreverent, which we thought was befitting of Radio 1’s ethos. Lethbridge-Stewart must solve a mystery encoded in some of the popular hits of Radio 1’s early days. When the music’s over, does he succeed? I’ll leave that to the readers to find out!

A free PDF version of ’48 Crash will also be available to customers who purchase The Flaming Soldier from the Candy Jar website.

  • It is also possible to pre-order a preview copy of the new Lethbridge-Stewart spin-off, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries, announced last month. The book is due to be released widely in early 2018, but limited copies are available now via the Candy Jar website.
  • Candy Jar Books is also offering an exciting new opportunity for aspiring writers. Launched at the Candy Jar Book Festival in Cardiff this year, the Candy Jar Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition invites writers to submit a short story based on the Doctor Who character Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. More details about how to submit can be found at the Candy Jar Books Festival website.