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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
|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
|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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The Eye Spiders of Pergross