The World Cup of Terrance DicksBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 13 November 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Terrance DicksBBC Books to launch The World Cup of Terrance Dicks social Media tournament on Monday 18 November 2019

BBC Books is to publish a hardback collection of Target novelisations by the late Terrance Dicks next year – and they want Doctor Who fans to help with the selection.

The commemorative single-volume Collected Works of the late Terrance Dicks 2ill be published in 2020. The lavish hardback will include some of the Doctor Who writer's most popular titles from the Target range, a list to which he contributed over 60 books.

So how do you choose the best? How does The Abominable Snowmen rate against Genesis of the Daleks? How do you leave out The Planet of the Spiders to make room for The Auton Invasion? What about The Three Doctors? With so many to choose from, BBC Books is seeking some expert advice from the fans.

On Monday 18 November BBC Books will be offering Doctor Who fans the chance to vote on social media for their favourite works by Terrance Dicks, to be included in the collection.

The World Cup of Terrance Dicks will take place over five days on the Doctor Who BBC Books Twitter account(@DWBBCBooks), where 64 of Terrance’s Doctor Who novelisations will be sorted into 16 groups of 4, and each day fan votes will get us closer to a final winner.

The book will then be based around the 10 novels that make to the top of the tournament. Fans can keep track of the tournament through the hashtag #TerranceDicksWorldCup




Doctor Who: At Childhood’s EndBookmark and Share

Friday, 1 November 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who: At Childhood's End (Credit: Penguin Random House UK)Doctor Who: At Childhood’s End, the first novel from Sophie Aldred who played the Seventh Doctor’s companion Ace, is to be published 6th February 2020.

Once, a girl called Ace travelled the universe with the Doctor – until, in the wake of a terrible tragedy they parted company. Decades later, she is known as Dorothy McShane, the reclusive millionaire philanthropist who heads global organisation A Charitable Earth.

Dorothy is haunted by terrible nightmares, vivid dreams that begin just as scores of young runaways are vanishing from the dark alleyways of London. Could the disappearances be linked to sightings of sinister creatures lurking in the city shadows? Why has an alien satellite entered a secret orbit around the Moon?

Investigating the satellite with Ryan, Graham and Yaz, the Doctor is thrown together with Ace once more. Together they must unravel a malevolent plot that will cost thousands of lives. But can the Doctor atone for her past incarnation’s behaviour – and how much must Ace sacrifice to win victory not only for herself, but for the Earth? Past or future, which path do you choose?

Sophie Aldred said
I was thrilled and honoured to have been asked to create this opportunity for the Thirteenth Doctor and Ace to meet each other. I had always hoped to be able to offer classic fans an encounter between Ace and a current Doctor in some form or other and I hope fans of the present team will enjoy the blending of two eras of the most amazing programme in the Universe.
Doctor Who: At Childhood’s End by Sophie Aldred is published by BBC Books on 6th February 2020. RRP £16.99.

It will also be available as an audiobook in CD and digital download narrated by Sophie Aldred.




Lethbridge-Stewart: The ShadowmanBookmark and Share

Sunday, 20 October 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced the second novel in its seventh series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, to be released in late October:

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Shadowman (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Lethbridge-Stewart: Bloodlines: The Shadowman
Written by Sharon Bidwell
Artwork by Paul Cowan


A new reality has been created by the temporal disruption ripping through the causal nexus. Welcome to 1978… with a difference.

Anne Travers, co-founder of UNIT, and her husband, Bill, are celebrating their wedding anniversary in France, which is the perfect opportunity for Anne to catch-up with an old friend; Madeleine Bonnaire.

At the institute owned by Madeleine’s father, one professor is more interested in his own project than any work for which Bonnaire has hired him. His need for secrecy and his attitude irritates his assistant, Paul Larousse, who would prefer to dwell on his feelings for Madeleine. Meanwhile, Victor Bonnaire is not at all happy to hear of Anne’s visit, not least of all because he’s always viewed Anne as a bad influence on his daughter.

What seems like a simple case of familial friction takes a bleak turn when a local unknown threat makes the news. Suspicion abounds and throws Anne and Bill into an unexpected mystery. What is the strange threat, and does it present a direct danger to anybody at the institute? Or to those who ask too many questions? Unable to walk away from her friend, Anne has no option but to investigate, little knowing she’s about to face the darkest shadow of her life so far.

The Shadowman is set in an alternative 1978, and serves as a sequel to author Sharon Bidwell’s previous novel, A Very Private Haunting. It picks up a thread left over from that novel, set in a world where Lethbridge-Stewart never took part in the London Event, and was never involved in the creation of UNIT. Instead it’s a world where Anne Travers became a founding member of that august taskforce. It also features a new version of her husband, Bill Bishop, as they head to France to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

Sharon said:
Some stories feel unfinished. When I wrote A Very Private Haunting, I left a few threads I was unsure I would ever pick up again. I already had the title of the book long figured out together with my basic idea when asked to write another novel in the range. My book, to once again feature Anne Travers, couldn't have come together more perfectly, though with consequences I never imagined at the beginning. The Shadowman features a returning character from A Very Private Haunting, which allowed me to play with someone who comes across as a thoroughly nasty character, though I see a greater depth to him. I'm a multi-genre writer, though I tend to gravitate back to what I call dark fiction, and there's definitely darkness in The Shadowman. I'm finishing some lighter projects at present intending to work on my first horror novel in the new year after completing some preliminary notes and research, so going through The Shadowman again recently has been very useful in that regard.
Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:
I take Sharon wherever I go. She’s worked with me on many projects now, so it was inevitable when I heard that Big Finish were looking for more female authors, that I would put her name forward. I’ve read her story, had some input, and it’s going to be a lot of fun for fans of Jo Grant and the Eleventh Doctor. In terms of The Shadowman, Sharon sent it to me some time ago, at which point it wasn’t part of any particular novel sequence, but rather a continuation of the ongoing narrative began in 2015. But once the Bloodlines concept was developed, it seemed to me that Sharon’s story was a perfect fit, with a few continuity tweaks here and there to place it in an alternative reality in which the events of A Very Private Haunting still happened – more or less as featured in that novel.
The cover is by a new artist to the Lethbridge-Stewart range, Paul Cowan; Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, said:
I’ve known Paul for thirty years. He’s a great artist with a flair for almost any style. He is particularly well-known for his beautifully illustrated trading cards and TV tie-in comic strips. When the opportunity for him to do a cover came up, I could think of no one better to tackle the Shadowman.
Paul said:
Joining the team at Candy Jar is quite literally a dream come true. I get to illustrate stories featuring much-loved characters from my childhood. I have the honour of seeing my work adorn the covers of some quite wonderful stories by a very talented team of writers, many of whose works line the bookshelves in my studio. I get to join a list of hugely talented artists I admire and who have been major influences on my life and work. But best of all, I get to finally work with my friend, something that's been long overdue.

With the cover to The Shadowman, I wanted to evoke the feeling of 1970s Doctor Who. I knew I wanted to homage the Pertwee years, so the illustration of Anne Travers was very much based on the character of Section Leader Shaw from Inferno, whilst the background should be instantly recognisable to any true Doctor Who fan. The Shadowman himself is actually straight out of one of my own nightmares and when Shaun described the character to me, I knew immediately how he should appear. I used pen and ink with a base wash of alcohol marker, embellished with coloured polychromous pencils and white ink for highlights. I then added lighting effects in Paint Shop Pro, which is my go-to software of choice. It's a relatively new style for me and something I'm still trying to perfect.

The Shadowman is due out at the end of October 2019, and can be pre-ordered now either on its own or as part of the Bloodlines bundle; it is also covered by subscription.


Paul, who has MS, is raising money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. If you visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/artrelief and donate £5 your name will go into a hat and the winner, chosen at random, will get a hand-drawn A4 portrait of your chosen subject. This can be a friend, relative, child, pet, favourite animal or celebrity. If you donate £15 (or equivalent) or more, then Paul will draw you an A4 portrait of your choice.




Lethbridge-Stewart: Home Fires BurnBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 September 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announce more details about the first novel in its seventh series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, Bloodlines:

Lethbridge-Stewart: Home Fires Burn (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Lethbridge-Stewart: Home Fires Burn
Written by Gareth Madgwick
Cover by Richard Young


1943. Britain's Home Front is feeling the pain of war.

The Fourth Operational Corps has other things to worry about. A downed plane in the High Peak leads Professor Travers to a village full of buried secrets and a family that are far more than they seem.

Her first assignment sees new recruit Eileen Le Croissette infiltrating a Sheffield Steelworks. Buried within is a weapon that could change the course of the war, but what does the secretive Mr Huxtable have to do with it?

Avoiding his domineering father, Matthew Lethbridge-Stewart is also on the case. But he wasn't banking on meeting a group of homicidal little robots…

The pieces are being set for another conflict, one that started a long way away, to erupt in the middle of wartime Britain.

Home Fires Burn sees the return of Section Officer Eileen Le Croissette, based on real-life war hero Eileen Younghusband, on her first mission for the Home-Army Fourth Operational Corps, once again alongside Professor Edward Travers. It also features the return of the Brigadier’s uncle, Matthew Lethbridge-Stewart and the Quarks (last seen in the Lethbridge-Stewart novel, Mutually Assured Domination!)

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:
As with The Laughing Gnome sequence of novels, I came up with an arc in which to tell some non-chronological stories. Shaun and I wanted to highlight some of popular secondary characters, so I looked at which characters would make for a good mix. And, to add to the mix, which monsters had not used independently before. In this instance, the Quarks (baring some comics in the 1960s) always tend to appear alongside their masters the Dominators, so I thought it would be interesting to utilise them without the Dominators. And bearing in mind this first book is set in 1943, that presented the author with another challenge. How to use them without the Dominators, and in a time period long before they ever came to Earth. One other element I wanted to include, just so we had at least one Lethbridge-Stewart in the book, was to bring back the Brig’s uncle, Matthew, a character Gareth handled so well in his previous short story. I’m happy to say Gareth produced a great story that brings all these elements together, as well as honours the great men and women who served our nation during World War II.
This is the first novel by Gareth Madgwick, who had previously written two short stories for the Lethbridge-Stewart range, The Great Magician and Spirits of the Vasty Deep in The HAVOC Files 4 collection, and Inheritance in the Lineage anthology. He said:
I was thrilled when Andy asked me to write my first full length novel, and even more excited when I found out that I would be writing for Edward Travers, Eileen Le Croissette and the Fourth Operational Corps during the war. After all, an eccentric scientist, a confident young woman and a not completely trustworthy military are what the big old Doctor Who universe is all about if, like me, you started with the Pertwee repeats in the ‘90s. The story really began to come together best after Andy asked me to avoid anything that wasn't really known in contemporary literature and science of 1943. That led me down the path of some of the wonderful genre fiction that predated the 1950s, when we think science fiction started. A lot of that has influenced the book in its feel. It's been a blast writing it. Although a massive step up from the two short stories that I'd written for Candy Jar previously, it was a natural progression. I felt that I was combining the character work of Inheritance with the historical research that I did for The Great Magician (although I have to say, Sheffield's libraries have rather a better selection of Second World War material than information on Owain Glyndwr for some reason).
The cover is by returning artist Richard Young, whose previous cover art includes The Flaming Soldier, A Very Private Haunting, and Scary Monsters. Richard said:
I’ve wanted to tackle the Quarks for a long time and knowing that the book is set in Sheffield during the Second World War, I felt that they should have an authentic wartime look. Added to this, I wanted to feature a different picture of Eileen. After a bit of research, Shaun found a wonderful photograph. I just hope people like what I have done.
Gareth adds:
The beautiful cover has really captured the feel of the book.

Home Fires Burn is released to tie-in with the 80th Anniversary of World War II. Shaun Russell, Head of Publishing at Candy Jar Books, explains a little of Eileen’s role in the war:
With eightieth anniversary of the start of the war, we felt that we really wanted to acknowledge the contribution the greatest generation made to all our lives. In 1941 Eileen signed the official secrets act, and wasn’t able to talk about her work in the top secret Filter Room. In 2017 she was featured in The Flaming Soldier and we’ve had so many requests to bring her back. So, here she is launching the new series of books, and this time round her contribution to this story will have major affect on Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart’s life.
Gareth said:
The Second World War is an era that has always fascinated me, including the bravery and steadfastness of those like Eileen Le Croissette (later Candy Jar author Eileen Younghusband). Setting it in the beautiful Peak District and also the nearby Sheffield steelworks gave me an opportunity to look into areas of the war effort that aren't always explored elsewhere, and the sacrifices made.

Home Fires Burn can be pre-ordered now either on its own or as part of the Bloodlines bundle from the Candy Jar website. It is also part of the series seven subscription.




Terrance Dicks - A Tribute (Candy Jar Books)Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 15 September 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have released a special tribute to Terrance Dicks as a free-to-download PDF.

Terrance Dicks - A Tribute (Credit: candy Jar Books)Last week the world of Doctor Who lost Terrance Dicks. To celebrate the life and career of ‘Uncle Terrance’ Candy Jar has released a free PDF, Terrance Dicks – A Tribute.

Terrance Dicks wrote thirty-five episodes of Doctor Who, including classics such as Horror of Fang Rock and The Five Doctors; he was script editor of the show for six years, overseeing the transition from Patrick Troughton and the entirety of the Jon Pertwee era; he wrote over sixty novelisations of Doctor Who stories; and all this is before even touching on his multiple stage, audio, and non-fiction productions, or his innumerable scripts and children’s books outside of the Who universe.

Wherever stories of the Doctor were being told, Terrance Dicks’ name was sure to be found, whether in the Target Books of the ’70s and ’80s, or the Virgin New Adventures and Big Finish productions throughout the ’90s and 2000s. Through the fallow years before Doctor Who’s return to screens, the fandom was kept alive in no small part to Terrance Dicks’ prodigious output.

He was an ever-present at conventions and on documentaries, a warm, witty and humble custodian of the show he had been so pivotal in developing. In the words of James Middleditch in Candy Jar’s free PDF: “The wisdom and twinkling joy with which he spoke about Doctor Who would… become fundamental to the experience of the series in the 1990s.”

Terrance Dicks – A Tribute is a collection of memories from the authors and artists who were inspired by Terrance’s work. This range of writers and artists – with Nick Walters, Chris Achilleos, Gary Russell, John Levene, John Peel and many more – is a testament to the depth of Terrance’s influence.

In Nick Walters’ own words:
I know for absolute certain that I am not the only writer who will say that Terrance Dicks was a major, if not the major, inspiration for their career. His books, with their clarity of prose, vivid descriptions, and economic yet evocative renditions of televised Doctor Who stories, were our bread and butter.

And it’s not just writers who hold him dear. Shaun Russell, Candy Jar’s head of publishing, was motivated to compile this collection by his own debt to Terrance’s work:
Like a lot of our readers, I grew up on Target’s Doctor Who books. And when we first acquired the rights to Lethbridge-Stewart, it was their example that we aspired to. With those titles – and none more so than in Terrance’s books – you could tell that the storytelling came from a place of deep understanding and genuine love for Doctor Who and its universe.

There’s a great piece in the collection, by George Ivanoff, which talks about Terrance’s wonderful way with opening lines – how he could suck you into a story with just a few words. That’s the standard for us always: that deep knowledge, that genuine affection, but most of all that flair that came pouring off of every page of Terrance’s work. I very much doubt I’d be doing what I am today if it wasn’t for his influence. It was only right that we add Terrance Dicks – A Tribute to the many accolades he will no doubt be receiving over the coming weeks.

The free PDF also includes artwork by Adrian Salmon, Terry Cooper and Paul Cowan.

Terrance Dicks – A Tribute is available free from the Candy Jar website.





Lethbridge-Stewart: On His Majesty's National Service updateBookmark and Share

Sunday, 8 September 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: On His Majesty's National Service (John Peel) (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have announced a change of author for the coda of their The Laughing Gnome series of books.

On His Majesty’s National Service was originally scheduled to be written by David A McIntee and Lynette Nusbacher for a June release. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, David McIntee was unable to continue.

Head of Publishing Shaun Russell said:
I have always been a big fan of David’s outstanding Doctor Who work, and I truly regret having to engage a new author. It is unfortunate that, in David’s own words, he was ‘over committed’, but we’re lucky to have found such a wonderful replacement in John Peel.

The new version of On His Majesty’s National Service will be set during the same period of Lethbridge-Stewart’s life, but will be telling a different story.

Editor Andy Frankham-Allen explained:
John promptly came up with some ideas and a basic outline that fit the shopping list of elements I gave to him – certain story beats needed to be hit, to fit continuity from other books. I did give David the option of allowing John to use elements from his story, should they fit, which David was quite happy to do. However, beyond a few background details, John has opted to go his own way. It’s going to be an exciting adventure story set during the Korean War, in which we see the events that turned Lethbridge-Stewart into the hero we all know and love.

The book is currently available to pre-order from the Candy Jar website.
There was always one question that bugged Bill Bishop, what turned Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart from a man interested in teaching to a career military hero? Using the power of the Laughing Gnome, Bill travels back to the 1950s to find out...

As a young man Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart never wanted to follow in his illustrious family military history, he just wanted to be a maths teacher. But then the Korean War broke out and he was called up for National Service. He soon met Spencer Pemberton – and his life was changed forever!




Candy Jar Books release online Lucy Wilson short-story by Sue HamptonBookmark and Share

Sunday, 18 August 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have released an online short story by Sue Hampton to tie in with their spin-off Lethbridge-Stewart series of books, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries:

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries - The Llanfairfach Rebellion (Credit: Candy Jar)ONE WORLD, ONE LAST CHANCE:
AWARD-WINNNING AUTHOR ARRESTED

Sue Hampton, the award-winning author of Thinner Than Water (“enjoyable and fascinating” – Beverley Knight), Just for One Day (“terrific” – Michael Morpurgo) and Candy Jar Books’ first Lucy Wilson instalment, Avatars of the Intelligence, has been arrested.

On 15th April 2019, Sue peacefully occupied Waterloo Bridge, as part of Extinction Rebellion’s month of protest against the “criminal inactivity” of the government in the face of today’s climate crisis. Their cause is a popular one – its urgency couldn’t be greater, the science any clearer. And yet in April alone, over a thousand protestors were arrested.

The granddaughter of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Lucy Wilson is no stranger to radical action herself. And Sue’s short story sees her in the thick of the action – on the site, in fact, where Sue was herself arrested, Waterloo Bridge.

For figures such as Sue, the repercussions of a criminal record are potentially severe. A one-time primary school teacher, Sue has been a professional author for over a decade, and much of her time is spent touring schools giving talks to students across the country. Her theme, both in her work and her talks, is the importance of love and respect. As a long term sufferer of alopecia universalis, and an ambassador for Alopecia UK, it is a subject close to her heart.

Head of publishing at Candy Jar Books, Shaun Russell, explains why he thought it was important to give Sue this platform:
We’ve all seen the news – the predictions for the coming decades if we don’t change our ways. Not everyone will agree with Extinction Rebellion’s way of doing things, but everyone has to agree they’re right about one thing: we’re running out of time. I’ve been working with Sue for years; she’s always been tireless in her pursuit of what’s right – whether it’s her work raising money for Alopecia UK, or her tours of the country’s schools talking to school children. The idea that she might be prevented from carrying out her work in schools because of a criminal record is ridiculous. All she’s doing is campaigning for a sane climate policy – for a future for our children. For what it’s worth, we wanted to show that her publisher was behind her.
Editorial Coordinator in Candy Jar, Will Rees, says:
Sue wrote the first Lucy Wilson novel, and she was a big part of making Lucy not just a tireless in her fight against extra-terrestrials, but forthright in her social and political views. Like many I’ve been inspired by the speeches of Greta Thunberg; the current wave of climate activism is a fight being led by the next generation. Thanks to Sue, Lucy is a very modern young woman, and we have no doubt that the girl from Ogmore-by-Sea would also be fighting for our planet.

The short story can be downloaded here.




Black Archive #34: BattlefieldBookmark and Share

Thursday, 15 August 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Black Archive - Battlefield (Credit: Obverse Books)The latest in the series looking in detail at the making of Doctor Who, Black Archive, has been published by Obverse Books

Edition #34 looks at the seventh Doctor story Battlefield and come from range editor, Philip Purser-Hallard.

Often seen as the black sheep of the final season of 20th century Doctor Who, Battlefield also happens to be one of Purser-Hallard's favourite Who stories, but he's not allowed that fondness to blind him the serial's faults - though fair to say he doesn't pan it either.

Battlefield (1989) sees a clash of mythologies, as the progressive, anti-racist, sporadically pacifist Doctor Who of the late 1980s takes on Britain’s authoritarian, chivalric national myth of King Arthur. With a script by Ben Aaronovitch, now a bestselling urban fantasy novelist but then only the writer of the previous year’s acclaimed Remembrance of the Daleks (1988), it forms with its predecessor a ‘philosophical pair’, replacing its 1960s setting with an imagined 1990s and showing a Doctor dealing with the repercussions of his future actions, rather than his past. Even as a script Battlefield falls short of complete success, yet it remains an emotionally literate, politically engaged and thematically complex piece. It finds areas of overlap between Andrew Cartmel’s radical conception of Doctor Who and Arthurian myth in the legend of a past golden age, represented by the return of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and UNIT, and in the identification of the Doctor – always presented by the series as a wizard, a prophet and a mentor – with Merlin. It interrogates the patriarchal attitudes of both the Arthurian myths and 1970s Doctor Who from a contemporary perspective, and questions the attitudes to war found in both.

It also does an exemplary job of worldbuilding, sketching in a convincing near future based on a handful of lines, and presents a complex, questionable, even sympathetic villain motivated by a value system alien to our own. Finally, it raises questions of predestination: through the other characters’ foreknowledge of the Doctor’s future; through the fate apparently decreed for Ancelyn and Bambera; and, perhaps, through the Brigadier’s survival of a story whose structure seems to demand that he should die.

Philip Purser-Hallard is the founding editor of the Black Archive range, the author of The Black Archive #4: Death in Heaven and co-author of The Black Archive #13: Human Nature / The Family of Blood.

He has published five novels, including a trilogy of near-future Arthurian urbanfantasy political thrillers, The Pendragon Protocol, The Locksley Exploit and Trojans, and a Sherlock Holmes novel, The Vanishing Man.

Link to Website




The Target StorybookBookmark and Share

Saturday, 10 August 2019 - Reported by Marcus
The Target Storybook (Credit: BBC Books)BBC Books is to publish a new collection of spin-off stories from famous episodes throughout the history of Doctor Who.

In this collection, you’ll find all-new stories spinning off from some of your favourite Doctor Who moments across the history of the series. Learn what happened next, what went on before, and what occurred off-screen in an inventive selection of sequels, side-trips, foreshadowings and first-hand accounts – and also look forward in time, with a brand new adventure for the Thirteenth Doctor.

Each story expands upon aspects of Doctor Who’s enduring legend. The book includes fifteen different stories, with contributions from show luminaries past and present – including Terrance Dicks, Colin Baker, Matthew Waterhouse, Mike Tucker, Joy Wilkinson, and Vinay Patel – and bestselling writers such as Jenny T. Colgan, Jacqueline Rayner, Una McCormack, Steve Cole and George Mann. With artwork from Mike Collins and cover art by Anthony Dry.

Doctor Who: The Target Storybook is published on 24th October 2019 by BBC Books, priced £16.99.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Colin Baker is an English actor who became known for playing Paul Merroney in the BBC drama series The Brothers from 1974 to 1976. He went on to play the sixth incarnation of the Doctor in the TV series Doctor Who. He reprised the role for the 1993 Children in Need special, Dimensions in Time, and the 1989 stage show Doctor Who – The Ultimate Adventure. He has also voiced the Doctor for over 140 Doctor Who audio stories for Big Finish Productions.

Steve Cole is an editor and children’s author whose sales exceed three million copies. His hugely successful Astrosaurs young fiction series has been a UK top-ten children’s bestseller. His several original Doctor Who novels have also been bestsellers.

Jenny T. Colgan has written numerous 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 Peter Davison (the Fifth Doctor).

Susie Day is the author of the Pea's Book and Secrets series from Puffin. Her latest novel for children, Max Kowalski Didn't Mean It, is about dragons and toxic masculinity. Between books, she works as a copywriter in Birmingham. Susie currently lives in Coventry with her partner and two silly cats.

Terrance Dicks worked on scripts for The Avengers as well as other series before becoming full Script Editor of Doctor Who from 1968. Dicks worked on the Jon Pertwee Third Doctor era of the programme, and returned as a writer – scripting Tom Baker's first story as the Fourth Doctor: Robot. Terrance Dicks novelised many of the original Doctor Who stories for Target books, and has written original Doctor Who novels for BBC Books.

Simon Guerrier is co-author of Doctor Who: The Women Who Lived and Whographica for BBC Books, and has written countless Doctor Who books, comics, audio plays and documentaries. He has been a guest on Front Row and The Infinite Monkey Cage on Radio 4 and, with his brother Thomas, makes films and documentaries – most recently Victorian Queens of Ancient Egypt for Radio 3.

George Mann is the author of the bestselling Doctor Who: Engines of War and Newbury & Hobbes steampunk mystery series. He’s also written new adventures for Sherlock Holmes, a collection of Star Wars myths and fables, and the supernatural crime series Wychwood. He lives near Grantham, UK, with his wife, son and daughter.

Una McCormack is a New York Times bestselling author. She has written four Doctor Who novels: The King's Dragon and The Way through the Woods (featuring the Eleventh Doctor, Amy, and Rory); Royal Blood (featuring the Twelfth Doctor and Clara), and Molten Heart (featuring the Thirteenth Doctor, Yaz, Ryan and Graham). She is also the author of numerous audio dramas for Big Finish Productions.

Vinay Patel is a playwright and screenwriter. His television debut was the BAFTA-winning Murdered By My Father and for Doctor Who he has written Demons of the Punjab. His latest play, An Adventure, ran at the Bush Theatre in 2018. Elsewhere, he contributed to the bestselling collection of essays, The Good Immigrant.

Jacqueline Rayner is the author of over 40 books and audio plays, including number one bestseller The Stone Rose, the highest-selling Doctor Who novel of all time, and two Doctor Who ‘Quick Reads’ for World Book Day. She lives in Essex with her husband and twin sons, and writes regularly for Doctor Who Magazine.

Beverly Sanford's first Young Adult novel, The Wishing Doll, was published by Badger Learning in 2014, followed by Remember Rosie, Silent Nation and two non-fiction books. A BBC Writer’s Room semi-finalist (2011) and an Editor’s Choice in the Jim Henson Co/Penguin Dark Crystal Author Quest (2014), Bev is currently working on a screenplay for Sun Rocket Films and a children’s fiction series.

Matthew Sweet presents the BBC radio programmes Free Thinking, Sound of Cinema and The Philosopher’s Arms. He has judged the Costa Book Award, edited The Woman in White for Penguin Classics and was Series Consultant on the Showtime/Sky Atlantic series Penny Dreadful. His books include The West End Front and Operation Chaos: The Vietnam Deserters Who Fought the CIA, the Brainwashers and Themselves.

Mike Tucker is a visual effects designer and author who has written several original Doctor Who novels as well as fiction for other shared universes. He has also co-written numerous factual books relating to film and television, including Impossible Worlds and the TARDIS Instruction Manual.

Matthew Waterhouse played Adric, companion to Tom Baker and Peter Davison's Doctors from 1980 to 1982. Since then, he has worked extensively as an actor in theatre. His published writing includes a memoir, Blue Box Boy, three novels and a book of stories. Recently he's appeared in episodes of the audio version of Dark Shadows and numerous Doctor Who audio projects, including an award-winning one-man play, Doctor Who: A Full Life, and a forthcoming quartet of new adventures starring alongside Tom Baker.

Joy Wilkinson is an award-winning writer working across film, television, theatre and radio. She was a Screen International 'Star of Tomorrow', a two-time Brit List nominee and has had her work widely produced in the UK and internationally. For television, Joy has written the Doctor Who episode The Witchfinders, and her other credits include BBC One’s critically-acclaimed drama Nick Nickleby.




Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition 53 - Target BooksBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 7 August 2019 - Reported by Marcus
DWM Special 53 - Target Books (Credit: Panini)The latest special edition from Doctor Who Magazine explores the world of the much loved Target Books.

Considered a unique record of Doctor Who’s history in the era before fanzines, official magazines and home video, Target books are probably the most cherished items of merchandise inspired by the show.

They’re certainly the most commercially successful. From the early 1970s to the early 90s, it’s estimated that Target sold over eight million novelisations and other Doctor Who books.

This is the inside story of a legendary imprint, from its rise and fall to its triumphant revival in 2018. 

Highlights include numerous rare images and exclusive interviews with the key players, including:
  • Chris Achilleos (cover artist for The Auton Invasion, The Zarbi, The Doomsday Weapon, etc)
  • Jeff Cummins (cover artist for The Mutants, The Horror of Fang Rock, The Talons of Weng-Chiang, etc)
  • Peter Darvill-Evans (Target Books editor from 1989)
  • Terrance Dicks (the most prolific author of Target books)
  • Anthony Dry (cover artist for City of Death, Rose, The Day of the Doctor etc)
  • John Peel (author of the novelisations of The Chase, The Power of the Daleks, The Evil of the Daleks etc)
  • Marc Platt (author of the Battlefield and Ghost Light novelisations)
  • Nigel Robinson (Target Books editor from 1984 to 1987)
  • Andrew Skilleter (cover artist for The Gunfighters, The Abominable Snowmen, The Stones of Blood etc)
  • Alan Willow (artist who provided internal illustrations for The Cybermen, Terror of the Autons, The Sea-Devils etc) 


 Other highlights include:
  • Extracts from two unpublished manuscripts
  • The untold story of Doctor Who Discovers, based on the archive of author Fred Newman
  • Details of foreign editions
  • The Companions of Doctor Who series
  • Interviews with collectors who own original Target Books artwork


and an afterword from Pete McTighe, the writer of the 2018 story Kerblam!

On sale from Thursday 8 August 2019




New Countermeasures Novel for 2020Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 21 July 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced a brand new two-book novel, based on the Intrusion Countermeasures Group that first featured on television in 1988's Remembrance of The Daleks. The first part is due to be published in 2020:

Countermeasures: Birds of Passage (Credit: Candy Jar Books)
Birds Of Passage
Written by J Frank Andreas


In the 1960s Ian Gilmore led a special military group that dealt with the unusual and the unexplained. Including, occasionally, aliens. They were the Intrusion Countermeasures Group. Eventually it was determined the group was no longer needed, and soon other organisations took their place; like the Fifth Operational Corps and UNIT.

Almost a decade later, Air Vice Marshal Gilmore is looking forward to his retirement, enjoying life as a father and husband. But a someone is out to discredit him and the work he did, targeting both him and his family! Soon, Gilmore has no choice but to go on the run in an effort to protect his son. Only there is a further complication.

The think-tank that his wife was involved in has disappeared. Help appears in the form of Major Bill Bishop of the Fifth Operational Corps, and former member of the Intrusion Countermeasures Group, Allison Williams. Together they will attempt to uncover the architects of the conspiracy, and rescue both Gilmore’s and Bishop’s wives; Anne Travers and Rachel Jensen!


From the creative minds of Andrew Cartmel, Andy Frankham-Allen and Ben Aaronovitch comes a new thriller series featuring characters originally created for Doctor Who.

Birds of Passage and the follow up book Birds of Prey will form one story told over two novels, described as a series of thrillers akin to recent best-sellers by Vince Flynn, Steve Cavanagh and James Swallow, aimed at a more mature readership than the family-friendly Lethbridge-Stewart range.

Author J Frank Andreas says:
It was a real pleasure to be asked by Candy Jar to bring this hard-hitting story to life. The two Andrews (Frankham-Allen and Cartmel) have come up with a cracking story. I’m very much on board for doing some vastly different to Big Finish, taking the characters in a completely new direction. Hopefully those who love the Big Finish ranges will find something to love here, while people who have never experienced the Countermeasures Group at all, can come in and enjoy the thrill ride and get to know them for the first time!

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen explains how Birds of Passage came to pass:
I’ve always loved the characters Ben created for Remembrance, and it was a joy to write for Gilmore in my short story, The Dogs of War. In 2017 I had the pleasure of writing for the full team in a Big Finish adventure, and when the news hit that Big Finish were no longer producing an ongoing series of New Counter Measures (although they have since began producing occasional stories), I saw an opening to bring the team to prose and do something a little different with them. I wanted to take them in a different direction to Big Finish, and so I approached Andrew Cartmel, who remains great friends with Ben Aaronovitch. We quickly secured a deal with Ben, which saw Andrew coming on as executive consultant – meaning he’s involved in developing the stories and character arcs alongside me.
Andrew Cartmel says:
I’m proud of the work I did on Doctor Who, and in particular I’m enormously proud of Remembrance of the Daleks. Thanks to the brilliant writing of Ben Aaronovitch, and performances by a sterling cast, we managed to craft a story which I think stands with the finest in the history of the show and will continue to do so. And, speaking of continuing, it’s a pleasure to know that the characters from Remembrance are enjoying a healthy afterlife in the adventures of the Intrusion Countermeasures Group, now in the form of a new series of novels from Candy Jars books. I’m looking forward to it, and to working with Andy as a consultant on this series.

Birds of Passage is due out in 2020, with Birds of Prey following in 20221. Both can now be pre-ordered from the Candy Jar website, either individually or both together, with a limited discount available now.




Target TrawlBookmark and Share

Saturday, 6 July 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The latest book to be released by Pencil Tip Publishing is Target Trawl, by Nick Mellish:

Target Trawl (Credit: Pencil Tip Publishing)For Doctor Who fans of a certain age, the Target novelizations of the series are one of its crowning triumphs. Back in 2006, when no-one knew what 'Brexit' meant and the show was off-air between seasons, writer and fan Nick Mellish started to review these books in publication order for the fanzine Whotopia. Now in 2019, when no-one knows what 'Brexit' means and the show is off-air between seasons, his journey is complete. Target Trawl contains every installment of his article, redrafted and up-to-date, and carries on reviewing every novelization, as well as reviews of the Sarah Jane Adventures novelizations, Douglas Adams adaptations and more besides.

For many, the words Doctor Who and Target novelization go together like jelly and baby, or Yartek and Voord. In a time where recording TV was often impossible, these novelizations offered fans a chance to relive the very best the show had to offer, and Timelash.

Sometimes they were slavishly accurate to what had been transmitted. Sometimes they were anything but. Often they had rather nice covers.

Join writer and fan Nick Mellish as he reads and reviews them all, and writes the words 'Terrance' and 'Dicks' more than any man rightly should.

From David Whitaker to Jodie Whittaker, Target Trawl is a celebration of Doctor Who in its literary form, from the sublime to the ridiculously sublime.

Target Trawl is available to purchase print on demand from Lulu.com.





Black Archive Wins AwardBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 2 July 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Full Circle (Credit: Obverse Books)The Black Archive book on the Fourth Doctor story Full Circle has won the prestigious Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Professional Publication.

The Book series, published by Obverse Books, looks in detail at the making of individual Doctor Who stories. The 16th in the series, investigating Full Circle, was written by John Toon and published last year.

Editor Philip Purser-Hallard said
Both of John's books for the Black Archive have been a joy to edit -- really sharp and clear-headed, approaching the Doctor Who stories they analyse from fascinating angles. This recognition of his work is well deserved.
This is Toon’s third SJV Award, having previously won for the award for best fan writer in 2013 and 2016, but this is his first award in a professional category. Asked about this victory, he said
This thrilling win - against strong competition! - wouldn't have been possible without Phil's editorial input, Blair and Cody's stylish cover design and Stuart's professional touch. They all deserve credit for this award, although I'm sure they'll understand that I'm totally keeping the trophy!




Doctor Who - Star TalesBookmark and Share

Friday, 21 June 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Books have announced a new hardback fiction book to tie in with the return of Doctor Who in 2020.

Doctor Who - Star Tales (Credit: BBC Books)To celebrate the return of Doctor Who in early 2020, BBC Books will publish a unique collection of
name-dropping historical adventures inspired by Jodie Whittaker’s first series as the Doctor.


The Doctor is many things – curious, funny, brave, protective of her friends... and a shameless namedropper. While she and her companions battled aliens and travelled across the universe, the Doctor hinted at a host of previous, untold adventures with the great and the good: we discovered she got her sunglasses from Pythagoras (or was it Audrey Hepburn?); lent a mobile phone to Elvis; had an encounter with Amelia Earhart where she discovered that a pencil-thin spider web can stop a plane; had a 'wet weekend' with Harry Houdini, learning how to escape from chains underwater; and more.


In this collection of new stories, Star Tales takes you on a rip-roaring ride through history, from 500BC to the swinging 60s, going deeper into the Doctor's notorious name-dropping and revealing the truth behind these anecdotes.

The book will feature 6 brand new stories, detailing the Doctor's untold adventures with famous figures in history - Audrey Hepburn, Elvis Presley, Harry Houdini, Amelia Earhart, Albert Einstein and Pythagoras, written by Steve Cole, Jenny T Colgan, Jo Cotterill, Paul Magrs, Trevor Baxendale and Mike Tucker.

Doctor Who: Star Tales will be released on 5th December 2019, and is available to pre-order via our Amazon Shop.

Two chapters will also be made available for download as eshorts during November.