As we approach the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who, revisit the story of Doctor Who, the occasional series written for the 50th Anniversary, explaining the origins of the programme.

Episode 5 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 23 Nov 2012

Lethbridge-Stewart: the end beginsBookmark and Share

Saturday, 16 April 2022 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar Books has announced the first book in its final series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels.

The final year of Lethbridge-Stewart novels is split in two halves, with the first a trilogy of novels set during Lethbridge-Stewart’s time as a teacher at Brendon School. This first of these, A Most Haunted Man, sees the return of Sarah Groenewegen to the series, with her first novel since 2017’s The Daughters of Earth, although her most recent short story featured in the UNIT: Operation Wildcat collection.

 

Lethbridge-Stewart: A Most Haunted Man (Credit: Candy Jar Books)A Most Haunted Man

Written by Sarah Groenewegen

Cover by Martin Baines

 

 

In 1977, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart suffered a shock so great that he was hospitalised. Not that he can remember what happened. Teachers found him, knocked out cold beside the obelisk on the hill. No signs of an attack. No bumps on his head, and no memory of why he lay where he fell, who he’d been with, and great chunks of his past torn from his mind.

 

It wasn’t like any form of amnesia described in the textbooks. The clinic discharged him back to Brendon Public School and he resumed his duties as a teacher of mathematics and rugger.

 

Two years later and a series of nightmares send him back to the clinic. Then come the pranks played by identical twins, his own erratic behaviour and short-term memory loss leading to a breach of the Official Secrets Act. Someone else is living in his house, driving his car, and making changes to the school he loves.

 

It seems that the demons haunting him prove too big for him to fight on his own.

 

 

The 2022 series was put back a little when it was discovered the book planned to open the year was a little too close to the events at play in Ukraine. Thus, Spheres of Influence has been put on indefinite hold. Hopefully it will see the light of day at some point but, for now, and to make up for the delay, Candy Jar Books have also decided to reprint the very first Lethbridge-Stewart novel, The Forgotten Son: Special Edition, with a brandnew cover by Richard Young.

Head of Publishing Shaun Russell said:

When it became apparent that the themes and events depicted in Spheres of Influence too closely echoed current events, Andy Frankham-Allen and I quickly came to the decision that to release it at this time would be, at the very least, insensitive. Putting it on hold did mean bringing forward the rest of 2022’s books, and finding a replacement. Fortunately, Andy quickly solved that problem by commissioning a third Brendon novel, turning the first three titles into a loose trilogy. For myself, I decided it would be a nice idea to reprint The Forgotten Son with a new cover, to hopefully make up a little for the delay. I must stress, however, that the content remains the same from the previous revised version.

 

A Most Haunted Man is set two years after the Brigadier’s traumatic encounter with his future self in the Doctor Who television serial, Mawdryn Undead. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:

This is another of those books which started an idea that came up through discussions with Shaun – a good two years ago, at least. It was a while before I realised it was the perfect fit for Sarah. I’d been wanting to do another novel with her, and she came back for a short story in The Laughing Gnome: The HAVOC Files, so it was great when she agreed to do another novel for us. The only real prerequisite, other than the core idea, was that it had to be set during the Brig’s time at Brendon when he’d lost all memory of the Doctor.

Sarah Groenewegen said:

I adore writing for the Brigadier, and being able to explore different facets of this much-loved character has been great fun. When I was offered another novel in the series, this one set in 1979 and during the Brig’s post-army career as a school teacher, I immediately said yes. It’s an honour to be asked to contribute a novel to the final season of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, which has proved to be a terrific series of stories.

Sarah’s previous novel, The Daughters of Earth, delt with the breakdown of his relationship with his then-fiancée. In this book, Sarah’s dealing with a breakdown of a different sort::

I wanted to explore how he deals with strange goings-on when he has forgotten so much, and when he doesn’t have his soldiers to call on to help. My brief was to write a psychological thriller, in which the Brig’s identity and life is stolen from him. The novel allowed me to explore the nature of identity theft, and memory loss, and the combined uneasiness of not being able to trust your own mind. I added a set of identical twins to the mix, a boy at Brendon, and a girl at a local comprehensive. They are at the cusp of their own change from creepy kids who enjoy playing tricks on people, to young adults facing choices.

Setting the book in 1979 also freed Sarah up from the ongoing narrative, and gave her a chance to explore a different facet from the usual setting of the early-70s:

The setting was apposite because of the feeling of being on a cusp of change, but without knowing its direction. In that, it parallels much of today’s politics. I found it cathartic to explore similar themes of being seduced by the apparent certainty of authoritarianism — even with the attendant feeling it could turn on its own to destroy at a moment’s notice. 1979 proved to be a watershed year in Britain. The full assault on the unions, LGBTQIA people, and appeals to jingoism of the worst kind were all yet to come; and for a while the political turmoil that brought much of the UK to a standstill ceased. It’s hard to think that in this day and age of TV-on-demand, the stations that are now ITV were off air for much of the year. 1979 was an amazing year for British pop music. Punk began to segue into the New Romantic movement, and rap, reggae and disco attracted huge numbers of fans. It was fun delving into the music of the time through a few of the kids who are important during the story.

 

The cover is by popular artist Martin Baines, returning from the success of his recent cover for UNIT: Operation Wildcat:

I was partially inspired by a German poster of a classic British film. My last Candy Jar cover I did was for the UNIT anthology, Operation Wildcat. It was very flash, bang, wallop. Because of this, I enjoyed tackling a more psychological concept for this book.”

 

Both A Most Haunted Man and The Forgotten Son are available to purchase from the Candy Jar website.

 

The final series of Lethbridge-Stewart will be split in two parts over 2022, the first half is the Brendon trilogy and will continue with Legacy of the Dominator by Nick Walters, and The Overseers II by James Middleditch. The second half will be the final in the road to UNIT narrative which began in 2015, with novels by Natasha Gerson, John Peel, and Jonathan Blum.





FILTER: - Candy Jar Books - Books - Lethbridge-Stewart

UNIT: Operation Wildcat and Other Stories updateBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 1 March 2022 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The UNIT Files: Operation Wildcat and Other Stories (Credit: Candy Jar Books)

Candy Jar is adding a further four stories to the line-up in the previously announced UNIT Files: Operation Wildcat and Other Stories, with new stories from established writers John Peel and Chris Lynch, plus two new writers to the series.

Range Editor Tim Gambrell explained the thinking behind the changes:

I love situations like this, because they focus everyone’s creative energies. It started with a quick conversation with Shaun Russell just before Christmas. Shaun felt we needed to add a bit more value for our readers, and I was keen to make sure we weren’t just replicating the (successful) formula of the Lethbridge-Stewart HAVOC Files books. So, the collection has expanded from 9 stories to 13. But we didn’t want to delay the publication, as it had already been announced for pre-orders, so I had to work quickly.

John Peel, who most recently penned the first Benton Files book with Tim, said:.

What are a writer’s second-favourite words to hear? Would you like to write me a story about…? (The writer hopes that they are attached to his absolute favourite words: Here’s an inordinately large amount of money, but they so rarely are!) So, when I was asked, "Would you like to write a UNIT story, with dinosaurs in it?", how could I refuse? (As you can see, I couldn’t)

Then came the inevitable dance of what the editor liked and what I felt happiest writing. “Would you include this?” “Can I use that instead?” That continued until we were both comfortable. Then it was time to buckle down and do the actual writing – which, for the writer, is where the fun really begins. Getting into the mood, resurrecting beloved characters and doing horrible things to them…

Tim continued:

I had an idea for a story to act as a coda to Invasion of the Dinosaurs. John, being the great writer he is, turned that on its head and came up with Here We Go Again, set just before Invasion of the Dinosaurs! However, Ian Ball – who is the second of three new writers in the collection – ran with some of the ideas I’d pitched to John, while developing some threads set up in Here We Go Again. Ian has written The Ptower Bridge Pterror, so we’ve ended up book-ending Invasion of the Dinosaurs.

Chris Lynch – who recently wrote the free Lucy Wilson Christmas download story, The Gray Lady of Martyr’s House - provided the next story, Honourable Discharge:

It's simple. When UNIT calls, you answer! Honestly, what writer could resist the chance to craft their own corner of this world and leave a footprint in the sand next to the Brig? For my story I wanted to explore what happens in the aftermath of a UNIT adventure, the price paid by ordinary soldiers who defend Earth alongside the extraordinary heroes we know about, and what happens when one of them doesn't quite measure up to the high standards we expect. It’s a little dark, a little weird, but hopefully a part of the world of UNIT you’ll enjoy discovering.

 

Tim continued:

Chris immediately came back with a cracking idea that put the Brigadier centre stage. It felt like I’d lit the blue touch paper – he produced the goods really quickly! As with John’s and Ian’s stories, I was also able to ensure some minor continuity between Chris’ Honourable Discharge and Martin Parker’s Old Fowlkes’ Home.

Martin had pitched a story for the Lethbridge-Stewart range, which was unused. It became clear the story could be adapted relatively simply to work as a UNIT story instead. It’s not always easy to adapt stories in this way. You’ve got two choices, basically: you adapt / re-write as you go along, leaving alone what already works – which can be fiddly and frustrating, or you put aside everything you’ve already written and start the piece again from scratch. Neither option is necessarily any quicker to deliver. But there was a lot I liked about the story as it was, and I was keen not to lose that. So, I encouraged Martin to concentrate on the aspects we agreed needed wholesale re-writes.

Martin added:

It’ll be great to get my story out there with readers. It’s a bit longer than the others in the collection, I think, but we’ve worked to keep it tight and focused. I had to learn not to be precious about the story as it already was. Best of all, I can imagine it being on TV. I think when you’re writing material like this, with established characters, that’s the most important thing – to be able to picture it easily in your head. I hope the readers will, too.

 

The story line up for The UNIT Files: Operation Wildcat and Other Stories::

Benton's First Day, part one, by Tim Gambrell

Norwegian Would, by Simon A Brett

Shadow, by Iain McLaughlin

Operation Wildcat, by Sarah Groenewegen

The Gift, by Sharon Bidwell

Parasite, by James Middleditch

How to Negotiate with a Sentient Tree in Shoreditch, by Baz Greenland

The Aftermath of Aberbuwch, by Jonathan Macho

Here We Go Again, by John Peel

The Ptower Bridge Pterror, by Ian Ball

Honourable Discharge, by Chris Lynch

Old Fowlkes' Home, by Martin Parker

Benton's First Day, part two, by Tim Gambrell

 

The UNIT Files: Operation Wildcat and Other Stories, is available to pre-order from Candy Jar, and comes with an art card and a free copy of The Benton Files 2, with new stories by George Ivanoff and Kenton Hall. The Benton Files 2 can also be ordered separately.

 




FILTER: - Candy Jar Books - Books - Lethbridge-Stewart

Lethbridge-Stewart: Blue BloodBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 15 February 2022 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar Books ihas announced the final book in its penultimate series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels:

Lethbridge-Stewart: Blue Blood (Credit: Candy Jar Books)

Blue Blood

Written by Chris Thomas

Cover art by Paul Cooke

 

 

People go missing every day. It’s an unfortunate part of life, and tragic for the families involved. But when bodies of the missing start turning up, as if ripped apart by wild animals, the Fifth Operational Corps is called in to investigate. 

Sergeant Major Samson Ware and Captain Bill Bishop head to Newcastle, after a spike in the missing persons’ reports, and form an alliance with young photographer Gary Merrin in an effort to uncover the truth.  

Meanwhile, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne Travers try to find the recently returned Professor Ted Travers, who himself seems to have disappeared. Their investigations lead them to a World War II veteran, who is a shadow of his former self. 

How are the disappearances linked to an experiment from the past? And just what is the connection with the missing Professor Travers? 

 

 

Blue Blood is the first Lethbridge-Stewart novel by Chris Thomas, who previously wrote Vampires of the Night for The HAVOC Files 2: Special Edition.  Born in Perth, Western Australia, Chris is a writer, actor, journalist and broadcaster. His writing includes the novel Journo's Diary for defunct publisher Metropolis Ink, the Doctor Who short story One Step Forward, Two Steps Back (published in Short Trips: Defining Patterns), the plays Which One?Reality Matters, and Appetite for Destruction

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:

I enjoyed Chris’ short story at the time, and was amused to find he originally ended it in the ‘present’, setting up a sequel. A common thing among new authors – trying to set up some future work for themselves. I remember removing that end scene and telling Chris that if we’re gonna do a sequel, let’s do one properly instead of simply setting it up. Also, by removing the set-up in the short story, we leave things open for new ideas to develop in the meantime.

Chris said:

After Candy Jar Books released my short story in late 2019, Andy got in touch when he was mapping out the latest Lethbridge-Stewart series and asked if I would like to submit a pitch for one of the stories. Vampires of the Night featured Professor Travers and was set during World War II, and I originally had a short scene thirty-odd years later with Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne, discovering something that hadn’t been quite resolved at the end of the story. The scene got cut but, about six hours after I got the initial email from Andy about the novel pitch, I think we had both reached the same conclusion – he followed up, asking if I wanted to do the sequel I had previously hinted at.

 

As the final book in the penultimate series, this book serves a bit as a preamble to the final days of the Fifth Operational Corps. Chris continued:

Given the United Nations is a global organisation, I wanted to create a problem that had its focus in the UK but was also happening around the world. Being an Aussie, I did throw in a couple of things from Down Under, but the core of the story is set in England’s north, so the focus remains on the Lethbridge-Stewart characters with sojourns to other countries to show similar things happening elsewhere.

 

Andy added:

It’s all about laying the foundations for the end of the series, as the band finally starts to break up (in a very dramatic sense), which the final series will build upon as things on the international stage start to become even more precarious. But Blue Blood does much more than that; it tells an exciting story, a bit of a mystery, introducing some fun new characters to the LSverse and, eagle-eyed observers will notice, a nice link back to a popular Doctor Who story from 1989.”


The cover is by postman and popular part-time artist Paul Cooke, back for his fourth Lethbridge-Stewart novel cover:

When I got the brief, I decided to produce an atmospheric piece, but one that was still vibrant and colourful. I went for bright sidelights and a sunset rather than night sky, and pushing the colour on the radio telescope in a non-realist but striking way (I hope!).

It was really important to me to get Samson right on this cover. I really like his character and I wanted to create a good portrait. One of the things Candy Jar have been really successful with is introducing strong (I hate this term) minority characters but treating them in a realistic period-way without denigrating them or making them in any way ‘token’. I hope I’ve done Samson justice.

It was fun creating the other characters, too. The female character had to be fairly scary without being too gory and not falling into the titillation trap with the tears in the dress. Merrin had to look alarmed without becoming a caricature, so I hope I struck the right balance. An enjoyable commission and I’m really looking forward to the book.

 

The book is available to pre-order from Candy Jar Books, and is part of the Season 8 six book bundle for subcribers.

 

The final series of Lethbridge-Stewart will be split in two parts over 2022, beginning with three novels; Spheres of Influence by Violet Addison & David N Smith, The Most Haunted Man by Sarah Groenewegen, and Legacy of the Dominator by Nick Walters.





FILTER: - Candy Jar Books - Books - Lethbridge-Stewart

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Overseers / Short Story Collection 3Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 17 October 2021 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar Books has announced the second book in it’s ninth series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels:

 

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Overseers (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Lethbridge-Stewart: The Overseers
Written by James Middleditch
Cover by Adrian Salmon

 

 

The Fifth Operational Corps is preparing for the future, but are horrified to see the shape of things to come.

 

A new form of surveillance is spreading across the South Coast of England. The British people are being shown a new kind of peace, but at what cost? Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and his team fear it may already be too late when this revolutionary method of control extends its reach through the ordinary city streets.

 

There are other secrets at work too, stretching from the past through the hidden world beneath the surface.

 

With nowhere to hide, Lethbridge-Stewart, Anne Travers, Bill Bishop and Samson Ware must find new allies. With their own histories part of the pattern and the fate of the country at stake, can they resist a force that’s closing in from every direction?

 


The Overseers is the first novel from author James Middleditch after two previous short stories for the series. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:

From the first time I read James’ first short story, Piece of Mind, I knew I had found a very good author. And it was after his second short, Latent Image for The Laughing Gnome anthology, that I knew it was time to test him on a novel. By that point plans were underway for the final eight Lethbridge-Stewart novels, which meant if I was going to use James, there would be no better time. James’ inventiveness is matched easily by his enthusiasm, and that shows in his writing. It took a few attempts to break his story, slotting in a few new elements and characters, but when the idea was locked down, James’ true skills came on full display.

James said:

I’ve loved spending time reading about these characters over the past few years and was thrilled to be able to write a couple of short stories featuring some of them. I was then asked to pitch a story for a full novel, and was quite overwhelmed to be selected. This will be my first published novel. Nothing quite prepares you for the task, so I’m grateful for the guidance Andy has provided throughout.

Andy continued:

It had been some time between finalising the outline and the first pass edit of the completed novel, time during which I had worked on a lot of other projects, so in many ways it was a nice surprise to read James’ book. I recalled only bits of the outline. What I discovered was some very sharp writing, in a book that exemplifies the what Lethbridge-Stewart (and indeed Doctor Who) does best, telling a good adventure story by playing on common fears and issues with modern culture. An even more clever task, considering the book is set in 1971.

James added:

Chapter planning was a great intermediate stage, although I’ve learned that these have to evolve as things progress and new ideas emerge. Spending an even more immersive time with these characters has been a pleasure. They have always felt so real, especially in the face of extraordinary things, and I feel privileged to have contributed one of their full adventures, especially as the series heads to its conclusion.

As well as keying into some of the more disturbing sides of popular culture, The Overseers highlights some of the more interesting aspects of the South Coast of England. James explained:

I’ve taken the chance with The Overseers to show off (and embellish!) some of our own local history here on the South Coast of England, while also exploring some very contemporary debates about surveillance and control. A few news stories have even broken during the time I’ve been writing that seem frighteningly close to the fiction. That blurry boundary between reality and speculation is an ideal one for our team of familiar characters to navigate. Likewise, the point between the past and the future, where each exerts a pull, is a great one to have taken them, and I hope readers enjoy going there too.


The cover sees the return of popular artist Adrian Salmon, hot off his work on the latest Doctor Who animation, The Evil of the Daleks:

I loved the ICUs the moment I read the brief – it's such a brilliantly simple idea, yet incredibly creepy: big brother on legs. I felt there should be a big bold drawing of an ICU with gun arm raised to catch the readers eye, whilst the rest of the montage hinted at scenes from the story. The speeding Volkswagen T2 Camper gave the cover a sense of movement, and all that was needed was Anne and Lethbridge-Stewart to complete the design.

 

The Overseers is due out at the end of October 2021, and can be pre-ordered now either on its own or as part of the series 9 bundle from the Candy Jar website.

 

The next book in the series will be Blue Blood by Chris Thomas

 


 

Lethbridge-Stewart: Short Story Collection 3 (Credit: Candy Jar Books)

In 2017, 2019 and 2021 Candy Jar offered aspiring writers and fans of the Lethbridge-Stewart series the/ opportunity to pen their own story. Notable entrants included Jonathan Macho (who has since written several short stories and The Lucy Wilson Mysteries book, The Serpent’s Tongue), Richard Brewer (the author of the recent Lethbridge-Stewart anthology, The Ever-Running) and the 2019 winner Megan Fizzell (who co-wrote Domination Game with Aly Leeds).

Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce that the winner of the third Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition is Peter Frankum.

Head of publishing, Shaun Russell, said:

It’s always a privilege going through entries and, as you can imagine, it was extremely difficult choosing a winner, but we felt that Peter’s stories were outstanding.

Peter’s two winning stories are called Prologue and Epilogue, and sit at the beginning and end of the book.

Will Rees, editorial co-ordinator at Candy Jar Books, said:

We have always offered entrants the opportunity to send in two stories, but not until now have we felt obliged to use both of them. Peter’s stories were both equally brilliant that we didn't really have a choice. Peter instinctively understands the characters of Professor Travers and Anne, and offers a new perspective on their lives. We look forward to working with him in the future.

 

The runner-up story is by Susan Brand. Shaun said:

In the Lucy Wilson books we usually include a flashback prologue; basically Lucy sitting on the Brig's knee as he recounts a fantastical story from his action-packed past. Susan has taken this concept and lovingly expanded it. As a co-creator of the series, I felt that this story was a joy to read!

 

The idea for the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition came from the company’s commitment to shedding light on fresh writing talent. Since 2015 the Lethbridge-Stewart novels have championed previously unknown authors such as James Middleditch and Gareth Madgwick, alongside famous writing names in the Doctor Who universe including John Peel, Nick Walters, Simon A Forward and David A McIntee.

The Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Collection features eight exclusive short stories featuring Lethbridge-Stewart at various stages in his life (as well as one story from the wider LSverse). This is a chance for fans to see the Brigadier like they’ve never seen him before!

 

The eight stories are:

  1. Prologue by Peter Frankum
  2. The Grotesque by Tim Beeley
  3. The Dulcians by Dallas Jones & Roger Reynolds
  4. And... Cut by Robert Kilmister
  5. Feeding Animals in the Zoo by Peer Lenné
  6. A Master of Perception by Alan Darlington
  7. Perfect Day by Susan Brand
  8. Epilogue by Peter Frankum

 

Fully licensed by the Haisman estate, and featuring concepts and characters created by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln, the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Collection is a must for fans new and old. Readers are advised that this book will be a limited edition release, only available to purchase directly from Candy Jar Books.





FILTER: - Books - Candy Jar Books - Lethbridge-Stewart

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Ever-RunningBookmark and Share

Monday, 21 June 2021 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar Books has announced a new collection of short stories in their Lethbridge-Stewart series:

 

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Ever-Running (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Ever-Running
Written by Richard Brewer

 

Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, the stoic and ever dependable defender of Earth, is about to discover that reality is under attack from an enemy that strikes from beyond the boundaries of space and time. The Ever-Running have vowed that they must never be caught, and to prevent capture they are willing to destroy all that Alistair has sworn to protect.

 

Explore six new adventures throughout Alistair’s life and beyond, including a desperate battle for survival on a distant ice planet, General Lethbridge-Stewart facing the outbreak of World War 3 in the 1980s, a young girl escaping a remote Hampshire village where the sick never return from an idyllic island, and three further adventures that take the Brigadier to the far future, and a realm beyond the universe itself.

 

The Ever-Running is written by Richard Brewer, the author of the short story File# 161229 and Shadows in the Glen. Profits from this book will be donated to the Brain Tumour Charity.

 

 

If you are a fan of dystopian melodrama or futuristic space operas, then this collection is just for you. However, this book offers something for everyone, especially if you are fond of the classic Doctor Who stories The Daemons or The Android Invasion.

 

The collection of stories form an arc taking the Brigadier into situations and locations that he has never encountered before, and is written by Richard Brewer, who previously penned Shadows in the Glen for the first Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Collection.

Candy Jar’s Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, said:

I was very impressed with the quality of Richard’s work, and after he submitted A Message from the Brigadier – a companion piece that featured alongside the free Lucy Wilson story Copy/Paste during lockdown in 2020 – we began to talk about him writing a full book.

The book introduces a new enemy for the Brigadier,one who has the ability to manipulate his timeline and beyond! Richard said:

I wanted to take the Brigadier to places that he has never been before, It was tremendous fun to drop him into unknown territory!

However, the book had been written whilst Richard had received terrible news:

I started writing The Ever-Running during a particularly difficult time. My wife was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the beginning of last year. At first, she and I shared a deep sense of powerlessness and frustration at the news. But after the initial shock, and following some investigation into the current state of research into brain tumour treatment, we both knew that we desperately wanted to raise some money. I approached Shaun about writing a selection of short stories to raise funds for this urgent cause and he readily agreed.

Shaun found himself working on The Ever-Running under similar circumstances, as his daughterwas knocked down by a car, fracturing her lower back and pelvis on both sides leaving her unable to walk:

COVID restrictions meant that I had to stay with her as she recuperated in hospital, so as she was sleeping (or playing on her Nintendo Switch) I edited Richard’s book, and I am so grateful that I was able to do this during the obvious worrying times I was facing. As a cancer survivor, I wholeheartedly support this book and encourage all readers to support Richard, either by buying this book, or donating to the Brain Tumour Charity.

 

The Ever-Running is available to pre-order via The Candy Jar website and will be released in early July 2021. Please note this book is not covered by any subscription offer.

 

Every year some 16,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour; a disease which is responsible for more deaths of children and adults under the age of forty than any other cancer. Sadly, despite this startling fact, the funding into research is very low, as is evidenced by the fact that the prognoses for brain tumours have not changed in forty years. The Brain Tumour Charityhelps lead the fight against this devastating and indiscriminate disease.

You can find out more and donate via their website at www.thebraintumourcharity.org

 

 

We are delighted to be able to present Richard's short story Shadows in the Glen for readers as a PDF; click on the cover image below to read it!

 

Lethbridge-Stewart: Shadows of the Glan (Credit: Candy Jar Books)





FILTER: - Candy Jar Books - Books - Lethbridge-Stewart

Lethbridge-Stewart updatesBookmark and Share

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.

 





FILTER: - Candy Jar Books - Books - Lethbridge-Stewart

Lethbridge-Stewart updates/competitionBookmark and Share

Sunday, 6 December 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar Books has released details on the next series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels for 2021, plus the chance to colour in the Brigadier!

 


 

Picking up from the events from series five's ; the new three-book series returns to the 1970s with Domination Game by Aly Leeds & Megan Fizell, Fear Frequency by George Ivanoff and The Haunting of Gabriel Chase by Andrew Allen.

Range editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:

It was always our intention to return to the 1970s and finish our mission of leading the Brig to his destiny with UNIT. And so, after a couple of years of telling very different stories looking at different later times of his life, we’ve decided it’s now time to return to our original mission. Thus, the next three books are kicking off the final two and a half years of novels that will, indeed, end with the events that lead to the formation of the illustrious organisation. But before all that, there’s a few loose threads to pick up with Domination Game


 

Lethbridge-Stewart: Domination Game (Credit: Candy Jar)Domination Game
Written by Aly Leeds and Megan Fizell
Cover by Paul Cooke


It’s time to move on.

Sally Wright has had enough of the Fifth Operational Corps to last a lifetime. She has been chased, kidnapped, and dogged by unknown horrors – and to top it all, the end of her engagement to Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart has cast a shadow over her career. In an effort to leave it all behind, she requests a transfer back to the Regular Army... But, after everything she’s seen, is it possible to return to normal life? And will the Brigadier let her go?

Harold Chorley cannot move on. While searching for answers to the missing gaps in his memory, he makes an alarming discovery; the Dominator war lord, Dominic Vaar, is no longer in prison. Hot on Vaar’s trail, Chorley discovers an experimental military project that seems sinister in its appetite for volunteers. Volunteers who are never heard from again.

William Bishop is not looking forward to life at the Madhouse without Anne Travers, but in heading up a mission to Gloucestershire with Sally and Chorley, he soon finds other things to worry about.

One thing is for sure, not everybody will survive this encounter with the Dominators!

 

 

Aly Leeds is a regular contributor to the range, having penned a few short stories and 2018's Fear of the Web; this time, however:

2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, presenting us each with a unique set of challenges. During lockdown it became clear that I was going to need some help with the manuscript, so I asked Megan Fizell, winner of the 2019 Short Story competition, if she’d step in prior to her debut novel in the LSverse. We’d chatted a lot and found we had similar ideas about what we like in a story, so we worked on blocking the book together. Like me, Megan was eager to see Sally get a fitting finale. I think we’ve done her justice.


Long-time readers of the range will be familiar with Lance Corporal Sally Wright, one-time fiancée of Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart. They became engaged in the very first Lethbridge-Stewart novel, but since their engagement fell apart in 2017’s The Daughters of Earth Sally’s life hasn’t gone so well. Hints of her ultimate fate have been dropped in several stories published since then, especially in Rise of the Dominator and Tall Tales, so most readers won’t be surprised by at least one resolution of Domination Game. But, of course, it’s how everything reaches that point, and the full magnitude of the events, that makes for a compelling story. Aly continued:

Following the positive reception of Fear of the Web in 2018, Andy asked if I’d be willing to write a second book for the series. My answer was ‘Yes!’, but commitments at the time meant I couldn’t take on any of the upcoming Bloodlines titles. Knowing that several loose ends were being tied up prior to the series moving on, I asked Andy what was going to happen to Sally Wright. We last left her in Glastonbury in Piece of Mind, having recently ended her engagement to Lethbridge-Stewart, and I wanted to know where her story went from there. I was told, while a book had been planned on the subject, nothing had come of it and so, unfortunately, she would be exiting the series without fanfare. The news upset me, and I was a little angry on Sally’s behalf. Here was one of the series’ two female characters, who had developed so much from ‘the love interest’ since her debut, a character many people had become fond of, about to be dealt a Liz Shaw? Absolutely not! So, I asked Andy to give me the book and I’d write Sally a decent send off – and, happily for me, he agreed.
Andy added:
Yes, before Aly Domination Game was assigned to two other authors but, for various reasons, nothing clicked into place. It was, in part, that which saw the end of the ongoing Lethbridge-Stewart narrative for a while. A sure sign that we all needed to do something a little different for a while. But when it came time to think about returning to that narrative, and Aly expressed an interest in wrapping up Sally’s story, I knew it was time to return. And so Aly had a look over the original outlines, expressed some very strong objections and told me what they’d like to do with it. Including turning a very important aspect on its head. An aspect they wasn’t sure I’d agree to. But I did! It’s so nasty, that I couldn’t say no.
Aly concluded:
This story was a chance to show Sally at her best, operating away from Lethbridge-Stewart and all the unwanted baggage their relationship brought her, choosing to go her own way. It also sees her go up against an old enemy in the form of Dominator Vaar, now a prisoner of the Crown and himself, in a pretty precarious position. Hot on Vaar’s heels is Harold Chorley, who is close to finding the answers to what happened to him at the Dominex plant in 2015’s Mutually Assured Domination. There’s a fair amount of change, too. We have Bill and Anne contemplating a future away from HAVOC, and Lethbridge-Stewart is moving on in his own way from the events of The Man from Yesterday... with someone very special. There’s a lot going on, and we’ll see where it leaves our heroes afterwards.

The book cover is by artist Paul Cooke, whose previous covers were for The Man from Yesterday and The Danger Men wo fasdf With both of those being by Nick Walters, it seemed apt for Paul to contribute to the next story to feature Dominic Vaar, created by Nick. Paul said:

I was asked to do an illustration that echoed the feel of my last one, The Danger Men; action packed, and like a movie poster, this time including Sally, as well as Bill Bishop once again. But also Vaar. I was excited to receive a commission that included the Dominator. Firstly, I like what Candy Jar have done with the character, but am also a big fan of Adrian Salmon (the only artist to draw Vaar thus far) and how he draws the Dominators: chunky, large hands. A real solid look to them. So, I took that as my inspiration and went for it. I'm so pleased Andy went for it, too. I couldn’t find any reference for prison uniforms, even asking an ex-prison officer friend, so I used the uniform from Porridge! It's set in the ‘70s, so I pushed the colours; I remember as a kid the ‘70s being very bright, and let that influence the palette.

 

Further details of the new series and how to pre-order can be found on the Candy Jar website.

 


 

Lethbridge-Stewart Colouring Book (Credit: Candy Jar)Meanwhile, the Lethbridge-Stewart Colouring Book will be released just in time for Christmas!

The collection of artwork features twenty brand new pieces of art by Thunderbirds, Danger Mouse and Doctor Who artist Martin Baines. concentrating on the Lethbridge-Stewart series of novels and features the Dominators, Quarks, Yeti, Anne Travers, Bandrils and much more. Added to this, the book also explores the UNIT era of Doctor Who.

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

2020 has been a difficult year for all of us. Lockdown has taken it’s toll, and it is quite likely that we still haven’t seen the end of COVID-19. Normally we do something special for Christmas. For instance, in 2016 we released The Xmas Files – a collection of Lethbridge-Stewart-inspired Christmas stories, in 2018 our online advent calendar (still available on the Candy jar Books website), and last year The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Christmas Crackers collection of stories. Sadly, due to other commitments, this has not been possible this year. So, when Martin approached me to do the colouring book, I thought why not. This is not strictly a Christmas project, but it certainly is a great stocking filler.

In 2020 Martin created some of Candy Jar’s most popular covers, including the Downtime sequel Child of the New World (released this summer), as well as Kiss of the Ice Maiden and 100 Objects of Doctor Who, both of which are due out in a couple of months. Martin said:

Shaun and I chat regularly about future projects. The conversations are always great fun, particularly when it’s about Lethbridge Stewart and Doctor Who. We are currently developing an epic comic strip starring the Brig (which will hopefully be released 2021). So, having worked on this artwork, I thought a Lethbridge-Stewart colouring book would be something special to end the year. I was so glad when Shaun agreed. The Lethbridge-Stewart Colouring Book is the celebration of the Brigadier and classic Who in general. If you like the Brigadier, UNIT, Quarks, Yetis and even the Bandrils this is the book for you!

Shaun continued:

I suspect some people will prefer not to colour Martin’s images, but instead keep them as a lockdown memento. I’m certainly considering framing one or two of his striking pieces personally.

Martin concluded:

Early Doctor Who has for me been a real discovery and I hope this book adds to the legend. I have put in a lot of research and fleshed out certain elements. The Bandrils were particularly interesting to draw, and fleshing out the Lucy Wilson characters was quite fun. I also loved drawing Professor Travers and Sergeant Benton.

 

Further details on the book and how to pre-order can be found on the Candy Jar website.

 


 

Competition!

 

Candy Jar have kindly offered a chance to win a copy of the Lethbridge--Stewart Colouring Book and their recent novel Downtime: Children of the New World; in order to do so, simply answer the following:

The original Downtime introduced us to the Brigadier's daughter - what was her name?

Send your answers to comp-candyjar@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Chap with crayons: five rounds rapid!" along with your name and address. The competition is for UK readers only, and the closing date is 16 December 2020 (allowing the prize to be sent out before Christmas!)





FILTER: - Candy Jar Books - Books - Lethbridge-Stewart - Competitions

Lethbridge-Stewart/Lucy Wilson updatesBookmark and Share

Sunday, 20 September 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: Kiss of the Ice Maiden (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books has announced the second of its standalone Lethbridge-Stewart hardback novels for 2020, Kiss of the Ice Maiden by Michael Sloan:
Lethbridge-Stewart moved through the overlapping shadows in the cemetery with his heart pounding in his chest. The coffin was shrouded by rain that sheeted across the ground. He knew what would be waiting for him, but he could not turn away from it. He approached the grave carefully, aware that one of the shadows could manifest itself into the shape of the creatures. Vines had wrapped their tentacles around the coffin. Lethbridge-Stewart stepped up alongside it, holding onto his revolver, and lifted the lid. He shoved it to one side, revealing the creature lying beneath. She was a scarecrow of the vision he had in his mind. Her skin was dry and flaked off when he touched it. She was a husk, wasting away as if ravaged by a deadly disease. Her eyes were obsidian, her long eyelashes a mockery of the once beautiful face. Its texture repelled him. It was his worst nightmare.

Michael Sloan has hundreds of TV credits to his name, including Battlestar Galactica, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Six Million Dollar Man, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. However, he is perhaps best known as the creator of the original The Equalizer TV series, which has subsequently been adapted into a billion-dollar franchise starring Denzel Washington.

In the late ‘60s, early ‘70s Michael spent a great deal of time in the UK and fell in love with Doctor Who, particularly the Jon Pertwee era. Michael said:

I have been a fan of Doctor Who for as long as I can remember. I wanted my Lethbridge-Stewart book to be a distinctive departure for his character. So, in my book the Brigadier falls in love!  This is a thriller and, as you would imagine, the course of true love does not run smooth. Despite this, I thought it would make a change for the readers to see Lethbridge-Stewart wrestling with his emotions. He is vulnerable and his normal stalwart persona has been emotionally comprised.

Kiss of the Ice Maiden is reminiscent of the early 1970s Hammer Horror films set in present day such as Dracula A.D. 1972. It has supernatural and horrific overtones, and is the kind of book that would expect from the creator of The Equalizer.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, said

A few years ago I worked together with Michael on Lost in Christmas, a children’s book about a family who become trapped inside Christmas cards and have to find a way to escape. While working on this, I sent Michael some Lethbridge-Stewart books and he devoured them. It wasn’t long before he pitched his own idea and I jumped at it. His story is certainly a different perspective on our hero. It also takes us right back to the 1970s, and picks up where we left off after A Very Private Haunting.

The Kiss of the Ice Maiden delves deeper into the Brig’s past to find out what makes him tick. Alongside this, Anne Travers has lost her father to the Great Intelligence, and has turned her back on HAVOC. Michael’s story is an emotional punch-up and is reminiscent of The Equalizer. Michael continues:

The book does echo some of my screenplays I have written over the years, where the hero is flawed, but still very much a hero.  I did this with some effect in the three Equalizer books. The Robert McCall character is tough, edgy and mercurial, all qualities that he shares with Lethbridge-Stewart. Particularly when he has been played with such strength and vision by Denzel Washington in the two Equalizer movies that have been shot by Sony/Columbia.

The striking cover art is by artist Martin Baines, who created artwork for the Downtime hardback. Martin said:

For me book covers need to convey the feel and mood inside a book. I don't think you are treating the reader well if every cover looks the same with a generic photoshopped face of the hero on the cover and is often short sighted. When I was briefed by Candy Jar I instantly thought of the brilliant painted covers for Pan's paperbacks in the sixties and posters for Hammer Horror. I do not normally use this type of palette so it was a bit of experiment but I really liked the poster of Hammer's The Gorgan and thought it was a good starting point. I think it makes this cover slightly different and more special for the readers. The empty fairground also brought great images in my head.

 

There will be two editions of The Kiss of the Ice Maiden, both now available for pre-order from Candy Jar Books, a standard paperback edition limited to 200 copies, and a limited edition hardback, which also includes a postcard and free book featuring stories from the Lethbridge-Stewart universe.

Please note that this special is not covered by any subscription offer.

 



Lucy Wilson: The Phantom of Tucker Road (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The latest instalment of The Lucy Wilson Mysteries will be The Phantoms of Tusker Rock by Christopher Bryant:

Lucy Wilson might be the scourge of all things extra-terrestrial, but her latest opponent is a little closer to home. Try as Lucy might, her dad just doesn’t get it. Earth’s last line of defence doesn’t get to take days off, even if it means staying out on a school night!

Particularly when those nights are broken by the sound of supernatural howling. And ghostly Vikings stalking the streets. And a mysterious coven of druids, led by someone who looks awfully like the little old woman down the road…

Whatever her dad says, Lucy’s got a job to do. But with night falling, and the waters rising, soon she finds herself cut off from everyone she loves.

Like several of Lucy’s previous adventures, the latest mystery is rooted in the area’s ancient legends. It was a concept that appealed to author Christopher, whose Welsh heritage has always informed his life and work. In The Phantoms of Tusker Rock we find Lucy and her superbrain sidekick Hobo encountering the ghostly cyhyraeth – a disembodied howl portending the death of the listener, which, legends say, can be heard emanating from Ogmore’s Tusker Rock to this day. The Rock has long been a source of legend, the ruin of unwary ships for centuries. And where myths collide, and the supernatural threatens, Lucy Wilson is sure to be found.

Christopher said:

One of the things I’ve always loved about Doctor Who is how it opens a portal – sometimes literally – between the everyday and the fantastic. In particular I’ve always liked the episodes that take the viewer into history. Whether it’s the Doctor’s flirting with Elizabeth I, or taking a jaunt around Dickensian London, it’s such a cool way of giving young viewers a sense of connection to their heritage. When Candy Jar approached me, I saw the opportunity to root around in that rich trove of folklore and myth and, hopefully, introduce it to a new generation.

South Wales, of course, has been a hotspot of all things extraterrestrial, extratemporal and extraordinary ever since the BBC established the home of Doctor Who in Cardiff. As the capital of not only (unquestionably) the world’s most beautiful country, but also one of its most loved and enduring franchises, in recent years the city has drawn in tourists from all over the world, keen to see the real-life home of the Doctor’s adventures. As Candy Jar’s Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, put it:

You can go anywhere in the world and people know Wales because of the Doctor. When we started the Lucy Wilson series, we knew we wanted to build on this connection; not only did basing our stories in Wales help establish an internal logic within the wider universe, but being a Cardiff company built up Lucy’s adventures. Lucy is a mixed-race character, who moved to the area from London. Using her character as the means to explore Wales’ folklore, we hope to paint a picture of Wales in the modern day – a country proud of its traditions yet cosmopolitan, diverse, and entirely at home in the twenty-first century.

 

The Phantoms of Tusker Rock is available to pre--order from the Candy Jar website.

 


 

Candy Jar Books currently have a sale on for their range of books, and have also made an additional free story available to listen to, Edge of Glory.





FILTER: - Candy Jar Books - Books - Lethbridge-Stewart

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Schizoid Earth: I, AlistairBookmark and Share

Sunday, 28 June 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar has announced the nexxt novel in their ongoing Lethbridge-Stewart range of novels:

Lethbridge-Stewart: I, Alistair (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Lethbridge Stewart: The Schizoid Earth: I, Alistair
Written by Robert Mammone
Cover art by Richard Young


HAIL THE LEADER!

Under the gentle guidance of the Leader, Britain has flourished after the removal of the dead hand of democracy and the old, corrupt aristocracy. Dominant in Europe, a Great Power around the world, the Republic stands as a beacon to wise, benevolent and firm leadership.

The team led by Column Leader Alastair Lethbridge-Stewart is the best and brightest of us all, ensuring that attempts to overthrow the natural order will be stamped into submission.

Those who stand with the Leader ensure that Britain remains great, a Power to be reckoned with, and a dominant force across the globe.

UNITY IS STRENGTH!

The Schizoid Earth: I, Alastair is a semi-sequel to David A McIntee’s 2015 Lethbridge-Stewart novel The Schizoid Earth. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:
We’ve been thinking of doing a follow up to The Schizoid Earth for quite some time. Of course, some of the threads set up in that novel have played a major role in other Lethbridge-Stewart novels, through the role of the Brigadier’s brother, James Lethbridge-Stewart. Since series seven is all about parallel realities, it seemed the perfect opportunity to do a novel set entirely within the Schizoid Earth. And Robert Mammone was the first and only author I considered for the task.
Robert Mammone said:
While daunting, writing a novel set on the Schizoid Earth opened up a lot of exciting possibilities. I've long been a fan of alternative history science fiction, particularly authors like Harry Turtledove and especially the darker fiction of SM Stirling. The chance to use familiar characters, in unfamiliar ways, in a setting way worse than the timeline of 'our' Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart was one I couldn't say no to. Of course, when you're dealing with a villain, as the Column Leader clearly is, you have to ensure you're not making them the hero of the piece, even if they are the lead. There's a lot of fantasy/science-fiction writing out there today that embraces the anti-hero as being someone to admire. While that has its place, in no way is the Lethbridge-Stewart of the Schizoid Earth a hero – he’s a broken man ill used by his father and a servant of a monstrous regime intent on ensuring the last remnants of resistance are stamped out.
As one might expect, with a book set in a parallel world, much like the Doctor Who serial Inferno which inspired it, The Schizoid Earth: I, Alastair features regular faces from the Lethbridge-Stewart range. Robert continued:
Like what SM Stirling did with his Draka books, he made one small change to history, and the result was worse than anyone could imagine. The Republic is led by vile men who do vile things, and while the Resistance is admirable in their intent, their methods tend to ape that of the Party. I had a lot of fun throwing in bits and pieces that call back to events in the Doctor Who universe. Andy is as always a font of information about the setting, and was a great sounding board when I found myself lost in the weeds. His work editing The Schizoid Earth: I, Alastair has made it an even better book (he also supplied the title – it is better than my choice 'I, Brigade-Leader'!), one I hope readers, new and old, of the range, will embrace and enjoy and celebrate!

Cover artist Richard Young said:
Evil Brig, who wouldn't want to draw him. Inferno has to be in my top ten Doctor Who stories, and I love parallel universe, what if scenarios. Added to this, who doesn't want to draw Big Ben blowing up?


Originally meant to be the sixth release in this seventh series of novels, the current COVID-19 pandemic has led to delays to the fourth book, The George Kostinen Mystery, leading to the decision to bump The Schizoid Earth: I, Alistair up the schedule, owing it it not being directly connected to the five-book Bloodlines sequence and so can be read indepedently to the others.

The book can be ordered from the Candy Jar website, and is inclueded in subscriptions.


The Schizoid Earth: I, Alastair will be followed by the delayed The George Kostinen Mystery and the final in the Bloodlines series, Back to the Past. A new novel, set between A Very Private Haunting and The New Unusual will be released later in the year, written by Michael Sloan, creator of The Equaliser.




FILTER: - Candy Jar Books - Lethbridge-Stewart

Lethbridge-Stewart: The George Kostinen Mystery.Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 14 March 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the next book in their Bloodlines series of Lethbridge-Stewart.

Lethbridge-Stewart: Bloodlines: The George Kostinen Mystery (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Lethbridge-Stewart: Bloodlines: The George Kostinen Mystery
Written by Chris Lynch
Cover by Adrian Salmon


With the fate of every reality hanging in the balance, the Accord sends Lethbridge-Stewart to a brand-new version of Earth.

His mission: to find Lucy Wilson. She is the final agent the Accord needs to fix the damage done to the quantum realm, but the world Lethbridge-Stewart finds himself in is quite unlike anything he’s ever seen before.

A dystopian nightmare, the UK is caught in a power struggle between the Clown Tithe, the deadly Kruge and the ever-mysterious Volpertinger.

Lethbridge-Stewart’s only ally in this nightmare world is a sixteen-year-old boy from Ogmore-by-Sea called George Kostinen. A boy who, in the real world, should be best friends with Lucy Wilson. Only is this reality – he’s barely heard of her!

How can Lethbridge-Stewart’s mission succeed when Lucy Wilson is a nobody? A girl who’s never even heard the name Lethbridge-Stewart before…

Following last year’s crossover between the Lethbridge-Stewart and The Lucy Wilson Mysteries range of novels, comes a new crossover event. The George Kostinen Mystery is written by Chris Lynch, whose work includes The Lucy Wilson Mysteries novel, Curse of the Mirror Clowns.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says:
Bloodlines was always about taking a different look at our own characters, so this was a nice chance to offer up a unique look at the world inhabited by Lucy Wilson and her friend Hobo – only seen through a distorted mirror. The obvious choice for me was Chris – we haven’t actually worked together before, but we spent a lovely day at a convention a couple of years ago and after meeting to discuss the potential of this book, I knew he was the right man for the job. We had much success with our Lethbridge-Stewart/Lucy Wilson crossover project last year, but obviously we don’t want to hit the same beats again. The George Kostinen Mystery is a crossover quite unlike the previous one.

Chris Lynch says:
Andy and all the writers who have worked on the Lethbridge Stewart range before me have created such an intricate, well-realised universe that I have to confess I was a little nervous about stepping into it. It's somewhat like being given a very beautiful, very complicated grandfather clock and then being asked to service a number of vital parts using only a butter knife while wearing a blindfold. Thankfully, I've been let loose in my little pocket dimension where I can forget about butter knives and go at this thing with a nuclear-powered chainsaw. It's enormous fun putting Lethbridge-Stewart, George, and all other characters through the ringer, transforming jolly old Blighty into a dystopian nightmare, creating new creatures to scare people with, and revisiting my very first addition to this universe – the Clowns.”

The cover is by regular Lethbridge-Stewart contributor, Adrian Salmon. Adrian says:
This was a fascinating cover to compose because of the various components and the fact I had the honour of being only the second artist to interpret Lucy Wilson on a cover – the less said about getting her hair style right the better! The Kruge were a lot of fun to draw, and if you look closely you’ll spot the little drawings of their victims faces scratched into their armour.

The George Kostinen Mystery will be followed by Back to the Past, which wraps up the Bloodlines saga, and then the final book of series seven which will see a return to the Schizoid Earth in I, Alastair.

The book is available for pre-order now, an is including in the book subscription with Candy Jar Books.




FILTER: - Books - Candy Jar Books - Lethbridge-Stewart