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Despite the encouraging news last month, I am starting to worry about the novellas again. I would have liked to be at the commissioning stage by now, and perhaps even working with the authors on developing their proposals. But after their initial contact, I have heard nothing at all from either Stephen Baxter or Michael Moorcock, and I still donít have a phone number for either of them. I hope they havenít had second thoughts about contributing - but this seems unlikely. After all, it must be every British sf writerís dream to contribute to Doctor Who. No, their silence must surely be due to their intensive work schedules. Iím glad theyíre being so devoted. Still, as editor, I really do need to discuss the concepts with them. Fortunately, I have managed to get hold of Baxterís email address, so I have sent him a message. Nothing too pushy, just an enquiry about how heís getting on.
No response from Baxter as yet. Decided to send him another couple of emails, just in case. I wish there was some way I could contact Moorcock. Walker came round to discuss the novellas. When I told him about my lack of contact with Baxter and Moorcock, he simply laughed and shook his head. Sometimes, I donít think he takes things very seriously. He told me that heíd been talking with several established Who writers who were interested in contributing novellas. I am a little disappointed, since I really did want the novellas to stand out from the usual run of Who fiction - and using proper authors was the proper way to do that. Walker simply shrugged at my criticism, and said, "The way things are going, youíre probably going to be writing the things yourself." After he left, I thought over his words. It isnít such a bad idea actually - I have got a few ideas kicking around, that I know would make excellent Doctor Who stories - really challenging, new and original ideas, exactly what the novellas are supposed to be showcasing. In the evening, I received a phone call from Beech, asking if I would be attending the memorabilia fair in London tomorrow. Do you know, for a moment I had forgotten it was happening. Thatís how excited I am about the novellas. But when I mentioned it to the wife, she reminded me that sheís going to be visting relatives for a few days, and I have to look after the kids.
Iíve decided to take the kids with me to the memorabilia fair. Though past experience has shown that they donít appreciate the value of collectibles, I donít have a lot of choice. I have made them promise to behave themselves, with the suggestion that I might restore their pocket money if they do. Just time to send another quick email to Baxter, and then we were off. The fair started well - I was greeted with alacrity by several memorabilia dealers. It seems, since the publication of the Toybox, that Iíve become something of a minor celebrity to them. I think they appreciate the fact that finally they can price their stock fairly. Iím glad to be of service. Bumped into Beech, who was waving around a Drahvin gun from Galaxy 4, as if that was something to be proud of. The manís got absolutely no idea what makes a collectible. An original prop from the tv series - some tatty piece of plastic knocked up in five minutes by a design assistant - whatís that worth compared with a lovingly mass-produced and packaged item of merchandise. For his Drahvin gun, Iíve got five Anti-Dalek Fluid Neutralisers, still in their original packaging. I know whoís the winner in that little contest! Looked around for the kids, and found them admiring a Dalek Cutta-Mastic set. Itís nice to see them taking a genuine interest in these things, but they had made a poor choice. The box was a bit damaged, and very few of the polysterene sheets were left uncut, so it didnít really have much value. Nevertheless, the kids seemed keen to have it, so I managed to work out a price with the dealer that seemed mutually agreeable.
To my horror, the kids wanted to play with their Cutta-Mastic set, rather than placing it in storage to retain whatever small value it has left. They still have a lot to learn. Itís a good job the set is not in near-mint condition, otherwise Iíd have to confiscate it for their own good. Walker came round this afternoon, to report on his negotiations with Who authors. "Itís going to be Steve Cole, Justin Richards and Terrance Dicks," he said. He seemed dejected, but I think itís wonderful news. Dicks is a true giant of Who fiction. Not only did he script edit the showís true golden age, but heís also a pioneer in the field of monster appreciation. After all, he wrote two books on the subject many years before I did. I was about to tell Walker about my idea for my own novella, when the next door neighbour came round in a huff. It seems the kids have been using the Cutta-Masticís hot-wire cutting tool to torture his cat. I was furious - how can they possibly mistreat such a valuable piece of classic merchandise in this way? I donít know where they get it from.

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