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.




Lethbridge-Stewart: BloodlinesBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 18 June 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: Home Fires Burn (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books has announced the seventh series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, a five-book series with an overall title of Bloodlines.

The series launches in September with Home Fires Burn by Gareth Madgwick, which sees the return of real-life World War II hero, Eileen Younghusband. Set during the Second World War, the novel reunites Eileen and Professor Edward Travers. They are joined in this adventure by Matthew Lethbridge-Stewart, the Brigadier’s uncle, who first appeared in the Lineage anthology.

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 Madgwick said:
I've really enjoyed writing this book. 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.

The second book in the sequence is The Shadow Man, written by popular author Sharon Bidwell, her second novel for the series. In The Shadow Man we unveil the Bloodlines connection a little bit more, and focus in on Anne Travers and Bill Bishop as they head to France to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Sharon said:
When asked to write a novel focusing on Anne and Bill, I welcomed the chance to explore their relationship a little more than the series has hereto allowed for. What better way to add to this universe, than working with a quintessential strong female, one known for speaking her mind, for her intelligence, for her independence, as well as being a mother, and a woman in love?

The third book in the sequence is An Ordinary Man by Andy Frankham-Allen. In this book, the Bloodlines sequence starts to come together as we explore an alternative timeline in which Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart never went into military service. Andy said:
This was originally planned as the opening book in the sequence, but we reshuffled to tie in the Eileen book with the World War II anniversary. As a result, this is a wonderful mid-season (as it were) cliffhanger book, that brings to the fore the hints of the mystery littered throughout the previous two titles. It’ll end on quite the cliffhanger, setting the stage for the next two titles due out early 2020.

Later books in the series are written by Chris Lynch and Baz Greenland, with a sixth tangentially connected title to follow by Robert Mammone. Details on these releases will be announced later in the year.


The series is available to order as either a three or six book bundle from the Candy Jar website; the series is also covered by those with a regular subscription. If you purchase Home Fires Burn you are also entitled to 10% off the following Eileen Younghusband titles: One Woman’s War, Men I Have Known & Eileen’s War (proof of purchase required).

Home Fires Burn: The War is in full swing for Professor Travers, Section Officer Le Croissette and the Fourth Operational Corps. But beneath the farms and factories of the Home Front, another conflict threatens to erupt.

The Shadow Man: A private laboratory. A secret experiment. A lethal mistake. Anne and Bill are about to stumble into one man's obsession, causing someone to pay a deadly price.

An Ordinary Man: Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart lives a simple but fulfilling life as a teacher in Liskeard Grammar School. Owain Vine, former student of Mr Lethbridge-Stewart, also lives an ordinary life. An only child, he is happily settled in his home village of Bledoe. But then strange things begin to happen in February 1969. He starts hearing voices, getting visions of a London covered in web! What connects these visions to his old school teacher? And just who is the strange old woman seen in Bledoe, who claims to know everything about Owain and Mr Lethbridge-Stewart?




Candy Jar Books: updateBookmark and Share

Monday, 20 May 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: Short Story Collection 2 (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books has announced the winner of the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition. The winning story, Gone Fishin’, is written by Megan Fizell from Maine, USA.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, says:
All the stories this year have been outstanding and we would like to thank all those that entered, but there can be only one winner. Megan has written a wonderful story that took us all by surprise. Her instinct for characterisation is refreshingly different. In particular, we liked the way she portrayed the burgeoning friendship of the Brig, Sally, Anne and Bill. We look forward to working with her in the future.

Andy Frankham-Allen, range editor of Lethbridge-Stewart says:
This year the level of entries was particularly high, both in number and quality. And, although these stories are not part of the Lethbridge-Stewart canon, the entrants didn’t let that stop them exploring their imaginations! Shaun and I split the entries in half; he picked five finalists and I picked four. Our two top picks then went to Keren Williams, so she could pick the winner of the two. I’m delighted that Keren picked Megan’s story, as it’s a touching little tale and it’s always nice to have another female voice brought to the Lethbridge-Stewart range. Which, of course, Megan will as part of her prize for winning the competition.

Megan Fizell says:
The inspiration for Gone Fishin’ came as much from Thoreau – 'simplify, simplify' – as it did from the desire to give some of the HAVOC crew a well-deserved break. I'm pleased the premise worked as well as it did.

The idea for the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition came from the company’s commitment to shedding light on fresh writing talent. Since 2015 the Lethbridge-Stewart novels have championed previously unknown authors such as Tim Gambrell and Harry Draper, alongside famous writing names in the Doctor Who universe including John Peel, Nick Walters, Simon A Forward and David A McIntee. This new collection is available to order from the Candy Jar website and features eight featuring Lethbridge-Stewart at various stages in his life:
  • Day Trip by Alan Darlington
  • Marooned at Teatime by Ryan Fogarty
  • Give Me Five Minutes by Mike Warrick
  • The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by James Connarty
  • The Eye of the Beholder by Gary J Mack
  • Summertime Blue by Alexander Whittam
  • The Mystery of the Locked Room by Beau Waddell
  • Nightmare at Lavender Lawns by Bedwyr Gullidge
  • Gone Fishin' by Megan Fizell


Candy Jar is also releasing a special edition of their 2017 limited print run anthology, The HAVOC Files 3. This reprint will contain updated editions of previous stories, and two short stories available for the first time in print. Head of Publishing Shaun Russell explains:
With the success of The HAVOC Files 2: Special Edition earlier this year, it was a forgone conclusion that we’d do a special edition reprint of The HAVOC Files 3. As with the previous release, we decided to look at it as an opportunity to revise a few of the stories, fixing continuity errors and the like, as well as bringing to print two short stories only previously available digitally.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen continues:
This time around we decided to replace The Lost Skin part two (available as part of the larger whole in The Lost Skin novella) with Steven Walton’s The Case of the Missing Fairy. This was originally released digitally for Christmas 2017. Steven is taking the opportunity to expand it somewhat for the print edition. Joining it will be another previous Christmas free story; this time A Funny Turn by Alyson Leeds. Alyson is a solid writer, who wrote last year’s highly popular Fear of the Web. A Funny Turn is set during the earlier days of Lethbridge-Stewart’s career, and sees him being targeted by the Great Intelligence in a rather unique way.

Lethbridge-Stewart: The HAVOC Files 3 Special Edition (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The HAVOC Files 3 Special Edition

Strange fungoid creatures in Hull, a deserted Scottish village at Hallowe’en, wishes coming true, and a special mission for Samson and Evans in Llanfairfach. Young Ali Lethbridge-Stewart and his friends investigate strange happenings in Pengriffen, and Professor Travers returns to Tibet, only to find he’s being followed by enemy agents.

Ten short stories, including two previously only available in digital format, published in print for the first time.

  • The Bledoe Cadets and the Bald Man of Pengriffen by Tim Gambrell
  • A Funny Turn by Alyson Leeds (previously in digital format)
  • The Last Duty by Christopher Bryant
  • Eve of the Fomorians by Robert Mammone
  • The Wishing Bazaar by Sharon Bidwell
  • The Feast of Evans by Simon A Forward
  • Home for Christmas by The Author Collective
  • Slouching Towards Det-Sen by Shaun Collins
  • The Case of the Missing Fairy by Steven Walton (previously in digital format)
  • Lucy Wilson by Sue Hampton
The book is available to order from the Candy Jar website.




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

Wednesday, 8 May 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: The Laughing Gnome: OHMNS (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have announced the final novel in their anniversary series of Lethbridge-Stewart books, The Laughing Gnome:

On His Majesty’s National Service picks up where book five left off, seeing the heroes go back in time to the 1950s and the Korean War:
As a young man Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart never wanted to follow in his illustrious family military history, he just wanted to be a math’s 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!
The book is written by David A McIntee and Lynette Nusbacher, with the cover by Steve Beckett, who has provided the covers for The Lucy Wilson Mysteries range. Beckett said:
I was thrilled to be invited to illustrate the cover for the Lethbridge-Stewart novel On His Majesty’s National Service. This allowed me to depart from my usual cartoony art style seen on the Lucy Wilson books and work in a style influenced by some of my childhood favourite comics, Battle picture weekly and Commando. I really enjoyed working on the piece which involved a little research into the Korean War and particularly the Hungarian army. I hope regular readers enjoy the explosive cover art and my rendition of a young moustache less Lethbridge-Stewart.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen explained:
We knew we wanted a Commando-style cover, and it took us a while to remember we had an artist who has done some work featuring military characters over the years. Although Steve is primarily known for his Beano work (as evidenced by the style of the Lucy Wilson covers), he can turn his hand to many different styles. As usual, I consulted the author, asked him what he wanted, and we then sent these suggestions to Steve.

Author David A McIntee added:
I wanted both Lethbridge-Stewart and Hooper on the cover, as well as two Korean characters, with Lethbridge-Stewart and Hooper in Hungarian uniforms, just to further tease the audience and make them wonder why... And, I’m glad to say, the final result is pretty much exactly what I’d imagined. I’ve been lucky to have some great covers over the years, and this is easily right up there with them.

The Laughing Gnome: On His Majesty’s National Service is available for pre-order now from the Candy Jar website. It is also covered by the normal subscription and The Laughing Gnome six book bundle.




The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Bandril InvasionBookmark and Share

Monday, 6 May 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced the latest in their The Lucy Wilson Mysteries novel range:

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Bandril Invasion (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Bandril Invasion
Written by Wink Taylor
Artwork by Steve Beckett

Billy Bandril is the TV sensation sweeping the nation! The hilarious antics of this anarchic puppet have kids and their parents waiting all week for another episode of mayhem.

Fresh from her latest adventure, Lucy Wilson could use some time relaxing in front of the box. But Hobo isn’t too sure... There’s something sinister about Billy and his influence over the viewing public.

When Lucy finds herself live on air with Billy, it’s up to Hobo to interrupt the broadcast, before the curtains close... forever.

The latest in the series is written by Wink Taylor, one of the writers behind children's TV characters Sooty and Basil Brush, and the Theo the Mouse Show tour. The Bandril Invasion draws upon this background with its own maverick children's character, Billy, whose motivations are not all in good fun. Taylor explained:
I spent a lot of happy years writing for children's television and theatre, the bond that kids form with the characters is one of the most rewarding aspects. I was always determined to honour that bond, and make certain that the magic was never broken. It was a privilege to write for such household names and it always fascinated me that the puppeteers at all times remained firmly hidden. This got me thinking: what if the motivations behind this were not benign and were in fact ... thoroughly evil!!

The cover is by regular artist to the ranger, The Beano's Steve Beckett:
This bold, bright cover was a blast to do. Developing a Doctor Who monster, a Bandril, into children’s TV’s hottest new star was great fun. It still has a slight air of menace about it though – poor Hobo!

The Bandrils made their first appearance in the sixth Doctor adventure Timelash; range editor Shaun Russell, said:
Timelash is probably one of the most Marmite Doctor Who stories ever made, either you love or hate it! In my opinion it does have some of best and worst monsters ever featured in the series. The Borad, for example, is wonderful. Others are not so good. The Bandrils, however, are quite puppet-like, and this was my inspiration for this Lucy Wilson story. And that’s when we thought of Wink Taylor. His television and theatre background really helped in creating this slightly oddball Bandril story, which draws upon Doctor Who’s past in many exciting ways.

At the crossroads of old Who and new, with the heart of Jacqueline Wilson, the comedy of David Walliams and drawing on the creativity behind some of children's entertainment's most enduring hits, there's something for readers of all ages in the book.

The Bandril Invasion is available to pre-order exclusively from the Candy Jar and Lethbridge-Stewart websites.