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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old June 9 2013, 08:50 PM   #1
Thrawn
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OT: TrekBBS, tell me about Doctor Who novels.

I'm finally watching the modern Doctor Who reboot. It's rather shocking it's taken me this long, I know. I'm only on second season but I'm loving it.

Anyway: there are a ton of Doctor Who tie-in novels, it would seem. I'm not interested in the ones before the Ninth Doctor either way. Tell me about the new ones that follow Doctors 9 to 11. Are they good? Are they aimed more at children or adults? Is there any kind of continuity? Are the 2-in-1 books worth reading? What's The Darksmith Legacy? Anything else I should know?

It's easy to find lists online, but opinions and large-scale summaries seem hard to come by. Thanks.
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Old June 9 2013, 09:08 PM   #2
JD
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Re: OT: TrekBBS, tell me about Doctor Who novels.

I think they are technically geared towards a younger audience, but don't come across any more kiddie than the show itself does. At least that was the impression I got from the two I read, The Stone Rose and The Resurrection Casket.
As for the two novels themselves, I really enjoyed them.
I don't think there is any kind of continuity between the novels.
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Old June 9 2013, 09:19 PM   #3
ATimson
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Re: OT: TrekBBS, tell me about Doctor Who novels.

Thrawn wrote: View Post
Tell me about the new ones that follow Doctors 9 to 11. Are they good?
Much like the Trek novels, they pretty much fall across the spectrum.

If you're looking for some specific recommendations:


Thrawn wrote: View Post
Are they aimed more at children or adults?
I would say that they're like Harry Potter - suitable for children (unlike some of the older BBC novels from what I understand), but adults can enjoy them too.

Thrawn wrote: View Post
Is there any kind of continuity?
Not really. With any given release set (they were released in batches of three generally), you might see a minor reference to the other two letting you set the chronology. But there's no direct sequels or anything like that.
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Old June 9 2013, 09:23 PM   #4
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Re: OT: TrekBBS, tell me about Doctor Who novels.

ATimson wrote: View Post
I would say that they're like Harry Potter - suitable for children (unlike some of the older BBC novels from what I understand), but adults can enjoy them too.
It was the earlier Virgin New and Missing Adventures lines that initially took the novels in a more adult direction. In fact the NAs got so dark and cyberpunk-dystopian that it contributed to my loss of interest in the line. (Although really the main reason I stopped buying them was lack of funds.)
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Old June 9 2013, 10:08 PM   #5
Steve Roby
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Re: OT: TrekBBS, tell me about Doctor Who novels.

Thrawn wrote: View Post
I'm not interested in the ones before the Ninth Doctor either way.
Well, that's too bad. Most of the best DW novels are pre-Ninth Doctor, and many of the current show's writers (Russell T Davies, Paul Cornell, Mark Gatiss, Gareth Roberts) started there.

Tell me about the new ones that follow Doctors 9 to 11. Are they good? Are they aimed more at children or adults?
Some of them are good, sure. And they're aimed somewhere between children and adults. Writers like Lance Parkin will say that they wrote their New Series Adventures (the turtleback books that make up most of the current novels) pretty much the same way they wrote their New Adventures or Eighth Doctor Adventures novels, but the fannish consensus seems to be that the NSAs do skew simpler/younger. I think so, anyway.

There's a small number of novels published as standard size hardcovers that are more adult-oriented, but there's maybe half a dozen or so and they're not all 9 and up. They tend to be written by bigger SF names from outside the tie-in world -- Michael Moorcock, Stephen Baxter, Alastair Reynolds, etc.

Is there any kind of continuity?
Not in the NSAs, no. For continuity you'd want the NAs and EDAs.

Are the 2-in-1 books worth reading?
They skew a bit younger than the NSAs, I believe. I haven't read any of them yet.

What's The Darksmith Legacy?
A miniseries of kids' books with some optional "interactive" elements on a dedicated website. Haven't read them yet either, though I have them, but they appear to skew at least as young as the 2-in-1 books.

Anything else I should know?
There are a few ebook-only titles. There have been three that tie into Eleventh Doctor episodes, though not by much (The Angel's Kiss: A Melody Malone Mystery, Devil in the Smoke, Summer Falls) and a monthly series of anniversary short stories working through all the Doctors, one at a time.

But 90% of the Doctor Who books that get me excited have their roots in the first Eight Doctors. The New Adventures, the Missing Adventures, the Eighth Doctor Adventures, the Past Doctor Adventures, the Telos novellas, Faction Paradox, Bernice Summerfield, Iris Wildthyme, Time Hunter... those are where a lot of the best stuff is.
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Old June 9 2013, 10:24 PM   #6
Thrawn
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Re: OT: TrekBBS, tell me about Doctor Who novels.

^ True enough, but going back and watching enough of the show to learn those characters, then read 140 novels, is a bit more ambitious than I'm willing to be Maybe once I'm caught up on all the new stuff?

Anyway, thanks everyone for the knowledge.
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Old June 9 2013, 10:28 PM   #7
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Re: OT: TrekBBS, tell me about Doctor Who novels.

Steve Roby wrote: View Post
Well, that's too bad. Most of the best DW novels are pre-Ninth Doctor, and many of the current show's writers (Russell T Davies, Paul Cornell, Mark Gatiss, Gareth Roberts) started there.
And Steven Moffat, whose first work of Who-related fiction was the story "Continuity Errors" in Virgin's 1996 DW anthology Decalog 3: Consequences. The story was about the Seventh Doctor altering the past to change the attitude of an obstructionist official who was keeping him from saving lives -- a premise Moffat reused for the Eleventh Doctor in "A Christmas Carol." Moffat also contributed a story to the Bernice Summerfield series that spun off of the NAs.
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Old June 9 2013, 10:37 PM   #8
Steve Roby
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Re: OT: TrekBBS, tell me about Doctor Who novels.

Thrawn wrote: View Post
^ True enough, but going back and watching enough of the show to learn those characters, then read 140 novels, is a bit more ambitious than I'm willing to be Maybe once I'm caught up on all the new stuff?
Well, I didn't intend to get as much into DW books as I did. When I started in 2001 I'd seen barely a handful of Doctor Who episodes, but I'd heard good things about some of the novels and was curious. I bought one of the Eighth Doctor Adventures I'd read about (one of the Lovecraft-influenced DW novels) and liked it. I figured I'd try to get a representative sampling and ended up buying hundreds of books. Oops. (Not to mention lots of videos and audios.)

2001 was a good time to start because there was no more Star Trek that I cared about on TV, Babylon 5 was over, and X-Files was well past its best before date. I needed something to fill the gap. Doctor Who was just what I needed.
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Old June 9 2013, 10:40 PM   #9
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Re: OT: TrekBBS, tell me about Doctor Who novels.

Steve Roby wrote: View Post
Thrawn wrote: View Post
^ True enough, but going back and watching enough of the show to learn those characters, then read 140 novels, is a bit more ambitious than I'm willing to be Maybe once I'm caught up on all the new stuff?
Well, I didn't intend to get as much into DW books as I did. When I started in 2001 I'd seen barely a handful of Doctor Who episodes, but I'd heard good things about some of the novels and was curious. I bought one of the Eighth Doctor Adventures I'd read about (one of the Lovecraft-influenced DW novels) and liked it. I figured I'd try to get a representative sampling and ended up buying hundreds of books. Oops. (Not to mention lots of videos and audios.)

2001 was a good time to start because there was no more Star Trek that I cared about on TV, Babylon 5 was over, and X-Files was well past its best before date. I needed something to fill the gap. Doctor Who was just what I needed.
Fair enough. I enjoy being a completist though (as if the flowchart in my signature wasn't evidence enough, heh) and so I'd have to read all of them. And, like, the first EDA is currently $35 the cheapest I can find it anywhere, so that doesn't seem likely at the moment.
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Old June 9 2013, 11:57 PM   #10
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Re: OT: TrekBBS, tell me about Doctor Who novels.

Steve Roby wrote: View Post
There's a small number of novels published as standard size hardcovers that are more adult-oriented, but there's maybe half a dozen or so and they're not all 9 and up. They tend to be written by bigger SF names from outside the tie-in world -- Michael Moorcock, Stephen Baxter, Alastair Reynolds, etc.
I love Moorcock's The Coming of the Terraphiles. It's a book you either love or hate. I don't know anyone who's indifferent about it.

I have the Baxter and Reynolds books, but I haven't yet read them. (Baxter, because I was in the middle of moving when it came out. Reyonds, because I just got it.)

I recommend Jenny Colgan's Dark Horizons highly. Colgan is best known for her "chick-lit," but don't let that scare you away. She wrote a very enjoyable pseudohistorical with Vikings and Scots on the Isle of Lewis in the 12th-century who have to deal with an alien invasion -- and a mysterious traveler in a tweed jacket and a bowtie who just might be Loki. There's one historical detail in the book that Colgan gets wrong (the Lewis chess sets don't have rooks, they have warders), but I can overlook that. It's a lovely book, and the ending makes me teary.
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Old June 10 2013, 12:40 AM   #11
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Re: OT: TrekBBS, tell me about Doctor Who novels.

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
I love Moorcock's The Coming of the Terraphiles. It's a book you either love or hate. I don't know anyone who's indifferent about it.
I'd classify myself as "indifferent" - though it's probably mostly the audiobook narrator's fault. I didn't hate it, but wasn't interested enough to keep going after I finished the first disc.

(Learned my lesson there: don't blind-buy audiobooks read by non-cast members.)
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Old June 10 2013, 02:02 PM   #12
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Re: OT: TrekBBS, tell me about Doctor Who novels.

In regards to the "adult" novels written by big-name authors, as enjoyable as they are, I find most of the time they feel more like original works of those authors featuring Doctor Who characters more than they do Doctor Who stories.

Although, I'm at the moment halfway through Harvest of Time by Alastair Reynolds and that does for the most part feel like a Doctor Who story from the Pertwee era. With some allowances made to accommodate the fact a novel can do things the BBC couldn't on a 1970s TV budget.
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Old June 10 2013, 02:52 PM   #13
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Re: OT: TrekBBS, tell me about Doctor Who novels.

I really like Reynolds. Would that book be enjoyable if I've never seen a Pertwee episode?
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Old June 10 2013, 02:54 PM   #14
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Re: OT: TrekBBS, tell me about Doctor Who novels.

Thrawn wrote: View Post
I really like Reynolds. Would that book be enjoyable if I've never seen a Pertwee episode?
As someone who's halfway through it, and whose only Pertwee episode is "The Five Doctors": yes.
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Old June 10 2013, 03:27 PM   #15
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Re: OT: TrekBBS, tell me about Doctor Who novels.

Shiny. I was thinking I'd find some youtube clips or something, just to get the voices in my head, but I've read everything Reynolds has written so far and loved pretty much all of it, so I was hoping this would be pretty accessible.
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