Monday, November 23, 2015

Out now

My novella Fall Out is now available to buy. The blurb goes like this:
When the world died, they turned out the lights.

Jack Bedford may be the rightful King of Britain, but he’s going to have to work for it. In the years since the Cull wiped out most of the human race, the beleaguered island has survived invasions, murderous cults and civil wars. Now, the dozens of tribes and communities who have gradually formed out of the chaos, painfully rebuilding in the aftermath, stand on their own; uniting them will be an uphill battle.

A fresh disaster may give him the chance to prove his leadership. Heysham power plant, in Lancashire, has suffered a catastrophic meltdown, the aging safety mechanisms failing after years of neglect. Hundred have been killed or fatally poisoned.

An emergency council is called. There are nine more plants in the UK; how many are close to failure? What must be done to make them safe? Can the emerging leaders of Britain set aside their differences to deal with the threat?
Also out now is Doctor Who audio adventure The Black Hole, starring Rufus Hound as... well, that would be telling. But I should like a hat like that.
On a research station near a black hole, time keeps standing still. Investigating the phenomenon, the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria discover a power far greater than any of the monsters that have challenged them on their travels... The Doctor's own people.

With the safety of thousands balancing out the need to flee, and a policeman from his home planet working at his side, the Doctor reluctantly finds himself involved in a race against time.

But nothing is ever as simple as it appears. And if you can use the Doctor's compassion against him, you have the makings of a perfect trap…

Written By: Simon Guerrier
Directed By: Lisa Bowerman

Cast: Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon/Doctor Who), Deborah Watling (Victoria Waterfield), Rufus Hound (Constable Pavo), Janet Dibley (Commander Flail), Anthony Keetch (The Seeth). Narrated by David Warner.

Sound design and music Toby Hrycek-Robinson, cover art Tom Webster, producer David Richardson, script editor John Dorney, executive producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Davros and other villains

I've heard Davros say there is no intelligent life on other planets, so either he is wrong or you are lying.

We are not lying.

And Davros is never wrong about anything.

Then he must be exceptional. Even I am occasionally wrong about some things. Who is this Davros?

Genesis of the Daleks by Terry Nation (1975)
The latest essential edition of Doctor Who Magazine celebrates Davros, creator of the Daleks, and other deadly masterminds and megalomaniacs. I got to have pizza with Davros's best (and, um, only) friend Nyder, who told me about his penchant for villainy and singing with Dusty Springfield (see below). I also spoke to the team being the stage show which reunited Nyder and his bezzie, The Trial of Davros.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Unsung Live in London

Tomorrow night (Tuesday, 20 October), I'll be at Unsung Live, which promises to be an,
"evening of storytelling for fans of science fiction, fantasy, horror and all the bits in-between".
I'm reading an odd science-fiction story called "The Case of the Retiring Magnate". The line-up includes David Hartley, Cassandra Khaw and Robert Sharp, and the event is organised by the nice people at the publisher Unsung Stories.

(I'd meant to post something an age ago about a book of theirs, The Beauty by Aliya Whiteley, which tells of a world where all women have died out. It's not right to say I "loved" it - it's really unsettling, the relative passivity of the narrator adding to the feel of a nightmare.)

ETA: Unsung have posted photos from the event, and Andrew Wallace reviewed it.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Prosthetics: from script to screen

Out in shops now, Doctor Who Magazine #292 features the second part of my interview with Kate Walshe, SFX producer at Millennium FX. This time, we go into detail on the creative process on the first four episodes of the current series (The Magician's Apprentice, The Witch's Familiar, Under the Lake and Before the Flood), explaining how what's written in the stage directions of scripts gets transformed into icky and effective monsters.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

The LEGO Book of Love

I'm one of the writers of I Love That Minifigure, a book published this month and devoted to LEGO characters old and new. Researching it was truly a labour of love. I adored LEGO as a kid and still wear the LEGO Space emblem with pride, despite being quite ancient.

By coincidence, the Lord of Chaos has just got into LEGO in a big way, chiefly as the result of that fine fellow Ned Hartley sending us the first issue of his new LEGO Star Wars Magazine.

(Once we'd constructed a miniature X-Wing and Slave I, the Lord of Chaos also wanted to see them in action, so we've worked our way through the Episodes IV, V and VI, and I am told I must take him to see Episode VII when it comes out. You can imagine my distress at this prospect.)

Then on Monday, I discovered the big box of Star Wars LEGO I thought I'd given away years ago in the big clear-out of the house before his Lordship's arrival. There has been much rejoicing.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dead of Night

To mark 70 years (and 26 days) since its premiere, I've written about Dead of Night for the new issue of the Lancet Psychiatry.

Ealing's extraordinary psychological thriller - or horror film - has haunted audiences ever since, and led astronomer Fred Hoyle to come up with his "steady state" model of the universe. (He coined the phrase "Big Bang" to dismiss a rival theory, though it's the one we consider now to best fit the evidence.)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Radio Times and the Cybermen

Marek and I had a lovely time at the Radio Times Festival on Friday, discussing the scientific secrets of Doctor Who. It was especially exciting (for me) to get asked questions about the science in Time and the Rani (1987) and Silver Nemesis (1988). We were also interviewed for the Radio Times website.
(I wish I'd said "you can become much angrier," but oh well...)