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Being one of the worldís foremost experts on Doctor Who is quite an interesting life, and brings me into regular contact with all manner of unusual people. When the editor asked me to contribute a regular column, I decided to share with you the experiences of a typical week in my life. So join me as I revisit last week.
I am a little worried about my latest venture into the world of Who publishing. Whereas I am sure that Doctor Who fans will be only too happy to pay the asking price for a hardback novella - it will be a quality piece of merchandise designed to be wonderfully collectible regardless of whether the fan wishes to read it or not - I am a little perturbed about the lack of established sf and horror writers coming forward to contribute to the series. Especially as this was our major selling point. Telephoned Walker and checked that he had, as promised, sent letters to the agents of the writers weíre hoping to attract. So all we can do now is sit and wait.
I tried phoning Stammers to see whether he could help with recruiting authors, but he wasnít in. He always seems to be out these days. Left a message on his answerphone. In the afternoon, received a phone call from Brunt to compliment me on the Toybox. But then he pointed out that the volume was incomplete at time of going to press since it did not include the Toybox itself. Heís got a point there actually. I sent an email to Blumberg to ask whether we needed to rush out the second edition in order to rectify this omission. So far, he hasnít responded.
Got home and found a message on the answerphone from Stephen Baxter. He says he would be happy to contribute a novella, and wanted to discuss story ideas. He went on to suggest a story about all eight Doctors teaming up to help the Ice Warriors launch an attack on Telos to steal the refrigeration units and help prevent a global warming crisis on Mars. Iím not sure itís entirely what I had in mind, but coming from a major writer, Iím sure it will work out just fine. Itís funny - although Iíve never spoken to Baxter before, there is something strangely familiar about his voice. Maybe Iím just recognizing an authorís way of speaking. I tried ringing back, but unfortunately the number he gave me doesnít seem to work. Oh well, hopefully heíll call back soon. Still no response from Blumberg, so I decided to share Toybox worry with several other experts.
Received an email from Pixley. He suggested that including the Toybox in the Toybox would be an example of recursive occlusion. Sometimes, heís too clever for his own good. Nevertheless, I decided to check out what he was talking about, and started watching Castrovalva. Turned off after part 1 when no monsters had appeared. Discovered to my horror that the kids had broken into my toyroom and removed several Dapol Daleks from their packaging, and were engaged in a scientific experiment to see how far they would bounce when pushed down the stairs. I have stopped their pocket money for the next year. It is possible that I may have over-reacted, but they have to learn the value of other peopleís property.
Michael Moorcock left a message on the answerphone to say he wanted to do a novella. Mind you, his idea about the Yeti and the Seaweed creature teaming up to attack Brighton and prevent the opening of the Royal Pavillion seems even stranger than Baxterís. Still, I suppose thatís the sort of vision that distinguishes a proper writer. Itís great to see that an established author knows so much about Who mythology, and understands the importance of featuring monsters prominently. Rather annoyingly, I was unable to get an answer from the number that Moorcock left me, but he seems so enthusiastic that Iím sure heíll be in touch again soon. Walker came round in the evening to dicuss the publishing plans. I was able to play him both answerphone messages. Oddly, he didnít seem too excited about it, and asked me if Iíd noticed how Baxter and Moorcock sounded very alike. I suppose heís got a point. But then he asked me Iíd noticed how much they both sounded like Stammers. I really canít see what heís getting at there. I mean, Stammers is hardly a writer in the same league, is he?

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