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Sunday, 11 April 2021 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar Books had announced the final novel of its eighth series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels:

 

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Haunting of Gabriel Chase (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Haunting of Gabriel Chase
Written by Andrew Allen
Cover artwork by Richard Young

 

1983, and Gabriel Chase burns. Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, teacher at Brendon School for Boys, had almost forgotten about the house. But the memories soon return to him, memories of thirteen years earlier…

1970, and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Anne Travers, Captain William Bishop and RSM Samson Ware are brought to an old house in Perivale by an old friend of Samson's. An officer has been lost, and it is believed he may be in the house. 

They decide the only way to find out is to investigate within the house. But Gabriel Chase is waiting. It is always waiting. And once you're inside, you'll be very lucky to leave. 

Ghosts haunt Gabriel Chase. But who is in control? What is the angel? And who will escape?  Darkness falls. And heaven help anybody still inside after dark...

 

The official sequel to the 1989 Doctor Who serial Ghost Light Inspired by ideas developed by Marc Platt.

 

As the title suggests, The Haunting of Gabriel Chase is a sequel to the popular 1989 Doctor Who serial Ghost Light by Marc Platt. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:

We are always looking for connections to the larger Doctor Who universe, and wondering what good sequels or prequels there are to tell, that will fit into the LSVerse. And while I was working on Child of the New World, a sequel to Marc Platt’s Downtime, it occurred to me that Marc also wrote one of my favourite Doctor Who serials. Keith Barnfarther put me in touch with Marc, and after I explained what I had in mind for the sequel, he was delighted to give me the green light. But I didn’t want it to just be my vision, I wanted to know what Marc would have done had he continued the story of Josiah, Control, etc. Marc was happy to share his ideas, and sent me a few notes. As one would expect, they were very interesting, and a great launching pad. Then it just became a case of finding the right author.

That author was Andrew Allen, who had previously contributed short stories for such things as The HAVOC Files collections and the Lineage anthology, as well writing a Doctor Who short trip for Big Finish.Frankham-Allen continued:

I’ve always enjoyed Andrew’s work. I was aware of his upcoming Travers & Wells book, and knowing he had a feeling for the more esoteric kind of story, I approached him. Needless to say, he was daunted by the prospect, but 100% up for it. I told him my basic idea, which amounted to the prologue and general direction of the story, and sent him Marc’s notes.

Allen commented:

A couple of years ago, I was excited to see have chance to submit a short story for a Candy Jar anthology – and even more pleased to get a chance to write for one of my favourite classic Doctor Who characters, Anne Travers. Since then, I’ve been able to write a couple more short stories for the range, and even a novella featuring Anne’s father Edward, and HG Wells, as they face up to the monstrous Dr Moreau. When I was offered the chance to write The Haunting of Gabriel Chase, it was an opportunity both terrifying and irresistible.

Ghost Light, of course, ends up being a sequel to itself – Ace has burned down the house before we see it for the first time, and so, in The Haunting of Gabriel Chase, we see it being burned down before going inside, and back to a time before any of that happens – and also after Light has been banished. It’s as much of an ‘inter-quel’ as it is a sequel. It has been a hugely humbling experience to get the chance to play with the iconic characters not only created by Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln, but also Marc Platt. As well as a traditional ‘haunted house’ story, I wanted to talk a little about the nuances of memory when we look back at the things that we remember fondly, and also examine the things that truly haunt us, and stop us from going forward in our futures.

Richard Young contriibuted the cover art, his second for 2021:

I love Ghost Light! The chance to do the cover for the sequel was something I couldn’t say no to. Doing an older, ‘80s era Brig was something I couldn’t resist either. However, this presented an unforeseen challenge, as the original portrait I did, which was from his time at Brendon School, just didn’t look right. And it soon became apparent that the Brig just isn’t the Brig without his moustache. Gabriel Chase was a bit of an issue as there aren’t that many good reference images of the (real) building in the daylight. And then there's fire! The last few covers I’ve done have included fire or some such – it’s almost like I’m the Candy Jar fire starter (can I have a nice, eerie, night-time misty story to illustrate next time please, with no fire?).

 

The Haunting of Gabriel Chase will be available late April 2021, and is available from the Candy Jar website; it is included with subscriptions.

 

The Lethbridge-Stewart range continues in July with the three-book series nine, starting with Warriors of Mondu by Gareth Madgwick

 


 

As mentioned above, the second book in the Travers & Wells series is also written by Andrew Allen, and features a cover by Richard Young:
 

The City of Dr Moreau

Wells blinked a couple of times, balling a fist into his eyes to rub away the sweat trickling there. But it was no good; the room was too dark and he still couldn’t see anything. Nonetheless, he was painfully aware that someone – something – was in the room with him. He heard a snuffling, a guttural breathing, and the thing moved closer."

Edward Travers and HG Wells are flung once again into an alternative reality: a London both achingly familiar and quite unlike the city either of them know. In the dying days of the Edwardian empire, public protests over the increasing use of vivisection in animal research collide with rising fears about looming war.

Connecting both is the mysterious Dr Moreau. Wells is fascinated by the accomplished scientist, but Travers is horrified by the dark truth of the man that he previously had believed to be mere fiction.

As the two men begin to discover the purpose behind their adventures out of time and come face to face with who is controlling their journey, they pursue Moreau to the inevitable conclusion: his very own island of creation, a perverse garden of Eden that’s very close to home…

 

Travers & Wells: The City of Dr Moreau (Credit: Candy Jar Books)   Travers & Wells: The City of Dr Moreau (ltd edition hardback) (Credit: Candy Jar Books)

 

Andy Frankham-Allen commented:

This one was finished ages ago – we never intended there to be such a long gap between book one and two, but unfortunately with the outbreak of the COVID last year, many things needed to be rearranged. But finally, I’m glad to say it’s all done and on the way.
Andrew Allen added::
In my book, Travers and Wells have managed to escape the world of The War of The Worlds as brilliantly introduced by Robert Mammone in his novella Other Wars, Other Worlds. Now, they’re in yet another alternative version of Earth. This one looks much more like the one that both men see as familiar, except they quickly meet a distinguished scientist known as Dr Moreau. Not only was it a delight to get a chance to borrow the characters of HG Wells and Professor Travers, but I also found myself fascinated by how those characters would respond when confronted with a character they previously believed to be fictional, as well as examining how they – and even the readers of the book – would react if it wasn’t necessarily guaranteed that they’d survive the story, even if it was the second book of four. I had a lot of fun pulling together many different elements, from the locations our heroes pass through (including a real-life island where legend says people tried to talk to God), to small tributes to some of my favourite films.

 

The City of Dr Moreau can be pre-ordered from the Candy Jar website as a standard paperback edition or a limited hardback and is expected to be available May 2021; this book is not included in subscriptions.

 

The Travers & Wells series continues later in 2021 as part of Candy Jar’s annual crossover event, with The Invisible Women by John Peel.