Saturday, March 16, 2013

Doctor Who... and DemonCon

I had a great time at the Doctor Who 50th birthday event at Forbidden Planet last Saturday. Not the last event of its kind I'll be involved with this year, I imagine. It was a bit of an honour, to be honest. To have been even a small part of Doctor Who's fifty year history is a big fething deal to me.

What was the event specifically about? Thanks for asking, you at the back there. The BBC is re-releasing eleven classic Who novels this year, one for each Doctor. The design is gorgeous, and the set looks lovely all together (a full figure shot of each respective Doctor side-by-side on the spines, for instance). My novel The Silent Stars Go By was picked to represent the 11th Doctor, aka Matt Smith. This is what I mean about it being a bit of an honour.

Here we are (above) lining up in the delicious bowels (...uhn, delicious bowels? Really?) of London FP. From left: me, Gary Russell, Ben Aaronovitch, Terrance Dicks, and the lovely Shona Abhyankar, from BBC Books.

Add one very long queue (that's after we'd sat in the back room signing the vast stack of pre-orders) and serve.

Gary's book is the splendid 10th Doctor novel Beautiful Chaos, and Ben's is the 7th Doctor book, Remembrance of the Daleks, an adaptation of his own TV script, one of the best Sylvester McCoy adventures. Daleks and stairs? Hello? Special Weapons Daleks?

I finally got to meet a hero of mine, Terrance Dicks. This is the "official" photo of that moment...  

...but this blurry iPhone image much more effectively captures the friendly fun of the chat we had. Terrance's novel is the 6th Doctor story Players. His contribution to Doctor Who in books and on screen is colossal.

Gary and I were kept busy...

... until the very end. I owe Gary an awful lot. Thanks to his enthusiasm for the comic stories I used to script for Doctor Who Magazine 'back in the day', I got the chance to write for Big Finish, and then the Torchwood novel Border Princes, and then Doctor Who books and audios for the BBC. He's a lovely bloke too. Thanks, Gary.

Anyway, it was a great day. Thanks for coming along.

Speaking of great days, there's another in the offing tomorrow, when sunny Maidstone hosts the fifth Demoncon. Details below. I will be there... and it'll be a fine way to spend a Sunday.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Who is 50

Of course he is. We all knew that. And to celebrate that momentous birthday... well, lots and lots and lots of delicious Doctor Who things are happening this year. Cakes, for starters. Cakes in the shape of Daleks, most likely.  Hot air balloon flypasts where the hot air balloons are ingeniously made to look like Sontaran capsule ships. Or, indeed, Sontaran bonces, both being conveniently spherical. What else? I dunno. A special broadway revival of the musical Miss Zygon.

I digress ("No, really? You? Digress?" they all call out sarcastically).  I'd like to draw your attention to one delicious Doctor Who thing in particular. BBC Books is reissuing eleven classic Doctor Who novels -– one for each Doctor – from across their fiction range. Each one has a new cover, a new introduction, and looks pretty damn gorgeous, and my Eleventh Doctor novel The Silent Stars Go By has been selected to represent the Matt Smith incarnation. Look! Look below! Look, how pretty!

Doctor Who: The Silent Stars Go ByThere's a good chance I'll be doing several signings for this as part of the 50th Anniversary event, but one is already set, and that's at Forbidden Planet in London on Saturday March the 9th. Here's the skinny. So materialise, get a signed copy, plus signed copies of the books by Gary, Ben and Terrance, and a very good day will have been had by you. And no mistake.

Miss Zygon. *makes a Sheldon Cooper "I've just amused myself" yelp-laugh*