Friday, October 30, 2020

Santa Benny at the Bottom of the Sea

"Santa Benny at the Bottom of the Sea" is a new, festive science-fiction short story by me, to be featured in Bernice Summerfield: The Christmas Collection in December. The audiobook is narrated by Lisa Bowerman and the blurb goes like this:

An anthology of festive tales featuring Bernice Summerfield.

Christmas… Advent… Midwinter Festival… Spiriting… No matter what you call it on your home planet, this magical holiday at the end of the year, when the nights are dark, and the lights are sparkly, is the perfect time for telling stories...

And who doesn’t have a tale or two to tell about Christmas? Certainly not Benny.

Did she ever tell you about the time she had to escape from a herd of rampaging battle-armoured cyborg reindeer? Or the time she had to convince three tentacled young sea creatures that she was the real Santa? Or the time she nearly let an evil deity back into the world just in time for New Year…

These ten stories are collected from all across Benny’s eventful life, from St Oscar’s to the Braxiatel Collection, to Legion and even in the Unbound Universe...

The stories are:

  • Collector’s Item by Eddie Robson
  • Santa Benny at the Bottom of the Sea by Simon Guerrier
  • Tap by Mark Clapham
  • Glory to the Reborn King by Matthew Griffiths
  • Signifiers of the Verphidiae by Tim Gambrell
  • The Frosted Deer by Sophie Iles
  • Vistavision by Victoria Simpson
  • Wise Women by Q
  • Null Ziet by Scott Harrison
  • Bernice Summerfield and the Christmas Adventure by Xanna Eve Chown 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Doctor Who Magazine 557

The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine is full of excitements old and new, from interviews with the cast and crew of 1964's Marco Polo to a look at the forthcoming YouTube mini-series Daleks! 

I'm in it, too, talking to Dan Tostevin about my forthcoming audio trilogy, Wicked Sisters. And I'm busy on a fun thing for next issue...

Saturday, October 03, 2020

Threading the Labyrinth, by Tiffani Angus

Toni Hammond is in her office in New Mexico when she's called by a lawyer in England and told she's inherited an estate. Two weeks later, she arrives at the house and gardens known as The Remains. The property dates back more than 500 years but is in a sorry state, the result of neglect and a plane crashing into it during the Second World War. Toni has obligations back in Santa Fe but is drawn to the house and its history, and the garden crowded with ghosts...

Threading the Labyrinth is the debut novel by my friend Tiffani Angus, published by Unsung Stories whose books I've followed closely. It's a strange and compelling story, as Toni - and we - learns the story of the house and gardens through the lives of the people who've tended them. We cut away to four stories from the past - in the 1770s, the early 1600s, the Second World War and then the 1860s. There are mysteries to unpick - the identity of spectres, the links between different generations - and it's never quite as simple as first appears. It's rich and vivid, full of characters who feel rounded and real.

Toni is an American in England for the first time, a little out of her depth and overwhelmed by the cultural differences. But Tiffani the author feels utterly at home in the English past, her characters and their worldviews all utterly convincing. Many of them share a love of the gardens, of grubbing in the soil, and that work compensating somehow for frustrated hopes and desires. It's a strange, unsettling ghost story, less about what is lost in the remains but how the past threads through us.

Thursday, October 01, 2020

DWM special on production design

The latest special edition of Doctor Who Magazine is devoted to production design. Among the delights are some things by me:

Dr Who and the Daleks (1965)

Bill Constable was responsible for the look of the original Peter Cushing movie. I spoke to Bill's daughter Dee - who shared some previously unseen artwork from the film - and biographer Olga Sedneva, as well as Dr Fiona Subotsky, whose late husband Milton produced the movie. (Fiona also wrote Dracula for Doctors, which I read last year.)

The Evil of the Daleks (1967)

With the help of original production designer Chris Thompson, Gav Rymill and I have attempted to recreate the sets from the missing first episode of this classic Dalek story.

Michael Pickwoad (2010-2017)

To accompany a "new" interview with the late, great Michael Pickwoad, Sophie Iles and I interviewed his daughter Amy, who worked with him in the art department on Doctor Who.