Books

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Lockdown

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 26/05/2020 - 3:47am in

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Books

Candy Jar Books has announced a collection of lockdown-inspired Lucy Wilson short stories is now up for pre-order, and will be released in two weeks. The royalties from sales will be donated to NHS charities and Candy Jar will double this amount.

 Candy Jar Books)The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Lockdown

Earth is in lockdown. But for Lucy Wilson, staying home doesn’t mean staying safe.

Dinosaurs, killer plants, even Meme Lords – some enemies just don’t respect social distancing. So Lucy and her brainbox sidekick Hobo have no choice but to come to Earth’s defence again – although never forgetting to stay two metres away from each other!

In this collection of short stories, Lucy finds herself contending with the challenges of a pandemic, while continuing to rise to the mantle of her legendary grandfather, Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart.

This collection contains eight short stories, featuring Andy Frankham-Allen, Tim Gambrell, John Peel, Tom Dexter, Alan Stott, Cherry Cobb, Paul W Robinson, Adrian Sherlock and Shaun Russell.

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries is a Lethbridge-Stewart spin-off adventure inspired by characters created for Doctor Who by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln.

Shaun Russell, Head of Candy Jar Publishing, said:
At the start of isolation I asked Jonathan Macho, the author of the most recent Lucy Wilson book The Serpent’s Tongue, to write a short story about Lucy being stuck at home, and we recieved some very positive feedback.
Jonathan Macho said:
When Shaun asked me to write ‘Copy/Paste’ as a free download story, I was really grateful for the opportunity to make a small, positive contribution for young readers. When he got back in touch to let me know about the book, I was over the moon. The chance for me to play my part means a great deal, and I really appreciate Candy Jar making my story a part of it.
Shaun continued:
Around about the same time, Andy Frankham-Allen (the range editor of the Lethbridge-Stewart books) contacted me with an idea to send Lucy back to the 1974 dinosaur invasion. Of course, I thought this was too good of an idea to pass up. I was intrigued by how Lucy would cope knowing she could be infected with the coronavirus, but not wanting to pass it on to the Brigadier, or potentially change the past! So, in collaboration with Tim Gambrell (The Brigadier & the Bledoe Cadets), Andy made a start on the story. After this things just fell into place and we soon had eight stories.

Tim Gambrell said:
There’s a real sense of shared experience between the writers and the characters, and it feels special and personal to be able to give something back to the NHS in this way. Added to this, the brief was something I could not refuse. Lucy in an empty London during Invasion of the Dinosaurs! My immediate thinking was not to do the Doctor Who story over again. The biggest gap in the TV story, for me, was the lack of consideration for the poor dinosaurs, scooped up from their homes and plonked into London. There was also little appreciation, by the characters on TV, of the sheer beauty and size of the dinosaurs. So those were my starting points. ‘The London Invasion’ came together incredibly quickly after that, within the framing scenes which Andy had developed.

Adrian Sherlock said:
For most of us our daily routine under lockdown is extremely repetitive, so I thought what if Lucy experienced a lockdown day over and over again? I always loved Sapphire and Steel and The Twilight Zone and these series often did stories such as this, so when Shaun approached me about contributing something to the book my imagination was fired.
Shaun added:
I really enjoyed working with Adrian on ‘Repetitive Strain’. He is such an imaginative writer and it was a pleasure to collaborate with him on his Groundhog Day-type escapade.

Candy Jar also released Sweet Revenge by Paul Robinson as a free download story. Publishing co-ordinator at Candy Jar, Keren Williams, is excited to showcase Paul’s talent:
When we asked Paul to contribute a short story he immediately understood the tone we were after and delivered a cracking adventure for all of us who are stuck at home.

The only female writer for this collection is Cherry Cobb, who successfully contributed to last year’s Christmas Crackers anthology:
When Shaun asked me to write ‘Flower Power’ for this book I leapt at the opportunity, firstly because I can’t think of a better cause than raising money for the NHS and, secondly, I know that lockdown is proving a challenge for many children and adults. Reading is a great way to relax and escape from reality for a time, and with Lucy Wilson by your side you can be sure of so many great adventures along the way.

The next story, The Edge of Glory, is written by Alan Stott, the author of the anarchic children’s book Those Kids Next Door (due to be released by Candy Jar in the autumn). Keren commented:
Last year we previewed Those Kid’s Next Door at our summer pop-up shop and Alan was like a magnet to children. They really loved his energy and couldn’t get enough of his slapstick humour. Aside from this, his books sold really well, so when I needed a safe pair of hands to contribute to this collection he was my first choice.

Another consummate professional is John Peel, the author of many classic Doctor Who, Star Trek, Quantum Leap and Lethbridge-Stewart novels. Shaun observed:
John previously wrote the brilliant Lucy Wilson book The Midnight People. I wanted a story where Lucy and Hobo were trapped in the pages of fiction, so I approached John and within a couple of days he emailed ‘Get Lost in a Good Book’ back to me, and it was exactly what I’d asked for.

Lockdown concludes with a scary romp written by Tom Dexter. Shaun said:
When we started the Lethbridge-Stewart range Tom wrote two short stories for us: ‘The Fright Before Christmas’ and ‘The Black Eggs of Khufu’. Since then we’ve tried, on many occasions, to get him back, but Tom is always very busy. Thankfully isolation has slowed him down a bit. His story ‘Home Invasion’ really rounds off the collection with its heart on its sleeve, and includes a fantastic tribute to all the nurses, doctors and NHS staff that are helping us get through these difficult times.

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Lockdown is available to pre-order exclusively from the Candy Jar website.

The royalties from this book will be donated to NHS charities. Whatever is raised Candy Jar will double.

Doctor Who News

Doctor Who: The Monster Vault

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 20/05/2020 - 4:43pm in

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Books, Merchandise

BBC Books have announced a new hardback book that delves into the background of one of the key elements of Doctor Who:

 BBC Books)Doctor Who: The Monster Vault
The Doctor's Enemies Unlocked

Written by Jonathan Morris and Penny CS Andrews
Edited by Paul Lang
Illustrated by Lee Johnson and Ben Morris

Doctor Who's biggest and most comprehensive monster guide yet, The Monster Vault takes you on the ultimate tour of the Whoniverse, discovering and cataloguing every wonderful and terrifying creature the Doctor has ever encountered.

From the notorious Daleks, to the evil Stenza warrior T’zim-Sha and the ancient Thijarians, The Monster Vault features in-depth profiles on each monster, showing the Doctor's most dangerous enemies in their natural habitat and unveiling their secret histories. You will also discover how monsters were created and designed, through exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews, anecdotes, case studies and unseen artwork.

This lavish and visually stunning book provides an unrivalled wealth of information, allowing you to explore the rich history of Doctor Who and expand your knowledge and understanding of monsters old and new.

Doctor Who: The Monster Vault is now available to preorder, and is due to be published on 22nd October 2020.

Doctor Who News

Black Archive #43 - Robots of Death

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 17/05/2020 - 9:04pm in

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Books

Black Archive #43 - Robots of Death (Credit:  Obverse Books)The latest release in the Black Archive series looks at the Fourth Doctor story Robots of Death.

The series, from Obverse Books, explores in detail the making of the story first shown in 1977.

That's impossible. Robots can't kill.

A literate science-fiction mystery set in an elegant, multicultural future society, The Robots of Death (1977) represents a synthesis of a witty script, beautiful design and clever, sympathetic casting.

This Black Archive examines these elements contributing to the story’s alchemical brilliance, alongside the themes of artificial intelligence, class and power in the works of scriptwriter Chris Boucher, and the titular robots’ legacy, including their reinterpretation in audio and stage plays.

Asked why she chose Robots, Fiona said

I have been fascinated by it since I first saw it during the late 1980s. At a time when even the best of 1970’s TV appeared “dated” rather than “retro,” The Robots of Death stood out because it looked, and sounded, fresh and timeless. Many of my interests as a SF historian and critic may well owe their inspiration to The Robots of Death: the influence of Expressionism; the representation of women and ethnic minorities in SF television; the ambivalence humans feel about robots; and how SF deals allegorically with class, power, and capitalism.

I’m delighted to have the opportunity to explore these concepts in more detail through writing for The Black Archive.

Fiona Moore is a writer and academic who has written guides to Blake’s 7, The Prisoner and Battlestar Galactica. Order on Amazon

Doctor Who News

Hope, Revolution, and Survival

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 12/05/2020 - 9:00am in

Morgan Parker is the 2019 winner for the National Book Critic Circle’s Poetry award. Masha Shollar [MS]: You’ve said that...

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7 Recommended Reads for Contextualising Covid-19

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 10/05/2020 - 6:45pm in

In the present crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are a number of accessible historical works and websites that can provide background and information on the disease as it unfolds. Since the disease is so recently emergent, there are as yet no reliable books dedicated directly to the topic. There are, however, works that provide … Continued

Update: "Recessions: Volume I" E-Book Edition At Major Bookstores

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 09/05/2020 - 2:17am in

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Books

The e-book edition of "Recessions: Volume I" has now been released at major online booksellers, with a few more stores to be added as the book is processed.

This link brings you to the books2read website, which as a book description and the current list of stores that sell the e-book:  https://books2read.com/recessionsvol1

The paperback edition will not appear for awhile longer. I need to do the index, and see the printed proof of the book.

Art Making and Information

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 07/05/2020 - 9:00pm in

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interview, Books

The 2019 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, presented to an NBCC member for outstanding critical work, was awarded...

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Five Books

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 05/05/2020 - 1:23am in

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Books

The website Five Books did an interview with me on the five best books on the politics of information. It was an interesting experience. Picking the best five books means that you have to go back and re-read them, and figure out how they fit together.

What I decided to do was to take this essay by Ludwig Siegele in the Economist’s Christmas issue, and start from the question: If you wanted people to build out from that essay, what books would you have them read? The essay is influenced by Francis Spufford’s Red Plenty, and the Crooked Timber seminar that followed from it (in particular: Cosma’s essay): what it sets out to do is to ask whether the socialist calculation debate helps us to understand current fights about democracy, autocracy, markets and machine learning. Like Ludwig, I believe that it does: “Comrades! Let’s Optimize” is an excellent starting point for understanding how people in Silicon Valley today think about the transformative power of software. I also think that Red Plenty is an excellent starting point for thinking about these questions because it is a novel rather than a tract. As Francis said in his reply, writing fiction gives you access to negative capability: rather than stating an argument or a principle, you can have a multiplicity of voices and experiences, providing a kaleidoscopic rather than a synoptic understanding of the problem. When it’s a complex problem, that’s helpful.

A certain kind of autobiography can pull off a similar trick: hence the structure of the interview is that it starts off with Red Plenty and finishes with Anna Wiener’s wonderful account of living in Silicon Valley, sandwiching the social science between these two more complicated narratives. It’s a long interview (about 10,000 words!) and has nothing about coronavirus (it was conducted in February), but I think it worked out well. Read if interested; ignore if not.

The World Is Absolutely Full of Wonder

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 30/04/2020 - 8:50pm in

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Books

Mary Ruefle is the author of several collections of poetry, the most recent of which is Dunce. She has also...

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Believe Me: How Trusting Women Can Change the World

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 30/04/2020 - 6:51am in

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event, Books, Feminism

Join us for an hour of conversation and readings from a new collection of feminist essays that have never been...

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