Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, said:
We’re very excited to announce these novellas, a way to tell stories that may not necessarily work as full-length works, giving us a chance to explore different corners of the Lethbridge-Stewart universe. We’re launching this new range with three very special releases, all with very specific goals.
The first of the novellas, The Life of Evans, is written by John Peel and is released in March. As the title suggests, the novella sees the return of a character featured in both television and the Lethbridge-Stewart books. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen explained:
I always had a plan to develop Evans beyond the obvious cliches of his television appearance, but it turned out to be one-too-many character arcs for the series. As such Evans disappeared after 2016’s The Grandfather Infestation. Fortunately, the idea of the novellas came along, and due to the popularity of Evans, I decided it made sense to explore Evans’ character arc in the first novella. John Peel was the obvious choice; he writes quickly, and works very well to spec, and since we’ve had a lot of readers ask for more Peel, it seemed the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. And, naturally, John nailed it.Author John Peel added:
Part of the fun of writing this kind of story is inventing new menaces. This time I got to create two – only one of which was alien. Another part of the fun is doing terrible things to our favourite characters, and I certainly put poor old Evans through the wringer. I think he'll survive it.
The book also includes a bonus short story by Robert Mammone, called Time and Again. The story serves as a sequel to the 1985 Doctor Who television serial Timelash, and is a prequel to the forthcoming spin-off series, Travers & Wells, revealing more of the mystery that was first seen at the end of the novel, Times Squared. Travers & Wells will be a new novella series, echoing the novellas of HG Wells, such as The War of the Worlds.
I contacted Glen McCoy in 2016 about using the characters from his Doctor Who adventure, and after a lovely phone call with me explaining my ideas for the series, he was more than happy with what he called ‘a wicked imagination’. Once that was settled, it was just a case of finding the right person to launch the series, so I turned to Robert as I was very impressed with his speed and level of excellence when he wrote us a Halloween story last year.Robert continued:
When Andy and I were chatting on Skype about the upcoming novellas it suddenly dawned on him we could set up the range with a prequel short story. I immediately said yes and then knuckled down to getting the ideas, themes and plot straight. I didn’t want the story to be a direct sequel to Timelash, but I did want to take elements from that story as a way of looking at how those who assume authority after toppling a dictatorship can end up aping some of the actions of those overthrown. And despite the melancholy tone, it was an exciting project to work on – be faithful to the source material, but broaden and deepen the themes to bring them up-to-date with 21st Century sensibilities. I hope everyone enjoys it and stays for the ride that is about to begin!
The Life Of Evans is followed in May by Day of the Intelligence by Andy Frankham-Allen; the release celebrates fifty years of the Great Intelligence, telling the official origin story, fully authorised by Haisman & Lincoln. Finally, The Flaming Soldier by Christopher Bryant is released in July, commemorating the World War II hero, Eileen Youghusband.
Each novella will be strictly limited to 400 copies, and can be pre-ordered separately or and a bundle at a dicounted price. Full details can be found via the Candy Jar website.