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Friday, 12 February 2021 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar Books have announced the second novel in series eight of Lethbridge-Stewart:

 

Lethbridge-Stewart: Fear Frequency (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Fear Frequency
Written by George Ivanoff
Cover by Adrian Salmon

 

Former pop star turned entrepreneur Trevor Delacy and his Electric Soundscapes company are about to launch their new synthesiser onto the market. But all is not what it appears to be.

 

With much fanfare, a scary new science fiction series, Fear Frequency, premiers on British television. Cheaply produced and rather schlocky, it nevertheless makes an impact in an unexpected way, attracting the attention of Lieutenant Bill Bishop, who is still recovering from the events of ‘Domination Game’.

 

Discovering a connection between the television series and Delacy, Lethbridge-Stewart sends Regimental Sergeant Major Samson Ware to infiltrate Electric Soundscapes. Meanwhile, Bishop is eased back into active duty with a supposedly easy investigation of strange goings-on at an old persons’ care home.

 

Of course, nothing is ever easy for the Fifth Operational Corps, and Lethbridge-Stewart and his men soon find themselves battling against numerous opponents and frightening new weaponry.

 

Fear Frequency is the first Lethbridge-Stewart novel written by Australian author, George Ivanoff, who previously wrote a short story for The Laughing Gnome anthology. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says:

I’ve been in contact with George for a couple of years now, initially via Twitter, as is pretty normal these days for authors outside the UK. Over time it became clear that he wanted to write for the LSverse, so it just became about timing and finding the right slot for him. I was impressed enough by his short story in The Laughing Gnome that I immediately knew I was going to ask him to contribute to the final year of Lethbridge-Stewart novels. Indeed, Shaun (Russell, Head of Publishing at Candy Jar Books) was also impressed by the short story that he’s already got George working on a special Lucy Wilson Mysteries novel. But that, as they say, is another story.

George Ivanoff is a Melbourne author who’s written more than a hundred books for kids and teens, including the Gamers trilogy, the interactive You Choose series, the RFDS Adventures, the OTHER WORLDS series, and the non-fiction Survival Guides; as well as many of school readers and educational books. George’s books and stories have been shortlisted for numerous awards, some of which won their categories. Talking of his new book, he said:

Having written a short story for The Laughing Gnome anthology, I was eager to write more for the Lethbridge-Stewart range. So, when I was asked to pitch for a novel I jumped at the opportunity.

I’m a long-time Doctor Who fan. My favourite Doctor is Jon Pertwee, my favourite era is the UNIT era and my favourite supporting character is Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart. So, getting to write that character has been a fan-boy dream come true.

My main objective with Fear Frequency was simply to tell a good story. But I also wanted to be faithful to the characters created by other writers, and I wanted to make sure that, while the novel needed to fit in to the timeline of events in the Lethbridge-Stewart range, it could also be understood and enjoyed as a stand-alone.

Fear Frequency brings the team back together, including RSM Samson Ware, who hasn’t been seen in the ongoing series since The Man from Yesterday, and plays on a familiar theme from the 1970s, as well as tapping into some of the real-world resistance to Doctor Who in both the 1960s and 1970s.

 

The cover sees the return of Adrian Salmon:

My inspiration for the Fear Frequency cover began with the original posters for Hitchcock's Vertigo and Hammer Films' Hysteria. I very much liked the idea of using concentric circles to visually show the sound. Whilst sketching I was hit by the brainstorm of centring the circles with Trev Del's single, and voila, I had a very strong central motif to hang the other images from. The Fear Frequency titles were of course a nod to 1960s Doctor Who, using wavy lines to indicate sound waves. Originally, I planned to add this digitally but decided to draw it in ink, only adding the text on the computer. The unknown woman with hands over her ears was referenced from Barbara Shelley in Quatermass and the Pit, who sadly passed away recently.I really enjoyed working on this cover as it hit so many of my personal touchstones.

 


 

Lethbridge-Stewart: Times Squared (2021) (Credit: Candy Jar Books)A special edition version of Times Squared is to be released, featuring a brand new story by Rick Cross and updated cover by Martin Baines.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar Books, said:

Times Squared is one of our most popular Lethbridge-Stewart books and has been out of print for a while now. We’ve had many emails requesting a new print and, for a while we made it available via Amazon’s POD service, but now it is time to give this wonderful book a new burst of energy.

The novel is set some eight months after The Web of Fear, transferring the Yeti from the London Underground to the New York City Subway. On bringing back the Yeti, Rick said:

I had this brilliant idea about the rats in the sewers of New York, and their connection to various plagues throughout the years. What if one such plague was the result of the Intelligence? And in these days of COVID-19, this story is more pertinent than ever. 

Martin was really thrilled to revisit the artwork:

Times Squared was my first cover for the Lethbridge-Stewart range. With Yeti robots covered in rats coming out of the New York underground, I couldn’t believe my luck. When Shaun asked me to revisit the artwork for this new format, I jumped at the chance. The changes are subtle, but I truly believe that the final version is much better than the original.