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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!)