Candy Jar Announces Lethbridge-Stewart: The HAVOC Files 3

Candy Jar Books has just announced the third volume of Lethbridge-Stewart: The HAVOC Files, collecting short stories from late 2016 (in print for the first time) and brand-new exclusive material!

Five of the tales collated together were only previously available in digital formats, so this is the first time you can get your hands on them without heading to your emails/Kindle.

But the book also includes new Lethbridge-Stewart stories, exclusive to The HAVOC Files 3, like the second part of the three-part novella, The Lost Skin by Andy Frankham-Allen (episode one of which was published in The HAVOC Files 2). Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell says:

“We always enjoy putting these collections together, but we’re nearing a point where we have less previously-released short stories. Fortunately, this gives us the opportunity to release brand new material, making this latest collection an even more sought after product.”

Andy says of The Lost Skin:

“Originally it was planned to be a straight-up novella, not a part-work. I’m not sure I’m keen on this way of writing, as I like to edit and polish as I go along. Since episode one was published months ago, I no longer have the luxury of editing the first third of the story. It presents a unique challenge for me, one I’m taking by the horns. As a result some of my original plans for the story have changed, but luckily the characters are happy to help me along and take the story in surprising paths.”

The full line-up for The HAVOC Files 3:

  • The Bledoe Cadets and the Bald Man of Pengriffen by Tim Gambrell
  • The Last Duty by Christopher Bryant
  • Eve of the Fomorians by Robert Mammone
  • The Wishing Bazaar by Sharon Bidwell
  • The Feast of Evans by Simon A Forward
  • Home for Christmas by The Author Collective
  • Slouching Towards Det-Sen by Shaun Collins
  • Lucy Wilson by Sue Hampton
  • The Lost Skin: Episode Two by Andy Frankham-Allen

eve-of-the-fomorians-lethbridge-stewart

In our review of the first HAVOC Files collection, we said:

“An added caveat to [the range] is The HAVOC Files. Free downloads are great, but for me, you can’t beat a physical book. I can keep those lined up on the shelf, all neat and tidy and beautiful until I’m an OAP… It’s a great sign, if further were needed, that the great folk behind the Lethbridge-Stewart line knows their audience… I’ve a confession, then: I’d held back reading those downloadable tales in the hope of a proper collection. Was it worth the wait? Without a doubt.”

Talking about her new short story, Lucy Wilson, Sue Hampton says:

“I’m old enough now to appreciate the importance of family history, of roots and echoes, and genes at work in lives. For every great black-and-white hero that passed away there’s a living successor, connected by love and spirit but completely herself. In this story we see an old man who wasn’t much good at family, but who recognises a direct line to a curly-haired, fearless little girl hungry for stories of aliens. And we meet Lucy Wilson, who has been denied his name along with the truth about who her beloved grandad used to be. Now, before he dies, Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart needs to make sure Lucy understands both her heritage and her extraordinary future.”

If you’re well-versed in the Lethbridge-Stewart range, you might recognise the name, Tim Gambrell – that’s because won a competition previously to get a character named after him! He says:

“When the Lethbridge-Stewart range was first announced I was really excited. There had been a decline in the volume of Doctor Who novels since 2005 and I welcomed anything else within that universe to help fill the void. I started to follow Andy and Candy Jar on social media to see if there might be opportunities to become involved somewhere along the line. As I recall Andy put out a Twitter request for any of his followers who would like to put their name to a character in a forthcoming book – Beast of Fang Rock as it turned out. I thought to myself ‘yeah, why not?’ and shoved my moniker in the mix. Some months later, Tim Gambrell was in print as a scientist at the Vault. As time went on I realised that I’d been a bit hasty – Candy Jar were encouraging new writers to contribute to the range through their short story initiative; here was I, looking for opportunities and my name was already connected through a fictional character. Tim Gambrell couldn’t be both sides of the pen, could he? Andy was brilliant though. He allowed me to submit a story which, thankfully, he liked enough to ask me to develop further story ideas – one of which became The Bledoe Cadets and the Bald Man of Pengriffen. Aware of the conflict of names, I originally offered to use a pseudonym (which I’ve done in the theatre before) but he came up with another solution.”

Web of Fear 2nd Second Doctor Brigadier Patrick Troughton

Range Editor, Andy Frankham-Allen adds:

“It was inevitable that Tim would write for us, as he’s already sent us a short story previously and even a novel pitch. So, now that’s finally being published by us, I find myself in the odd position of a fictional character based on one of our authors. As such, part of The Lost Skin’s objectives is to write the character out of the series. Fortunately, he’s not appeared in the narrative of the novels since last year’s Moon Blink, which makes writing him out relatively easy.”

Tim goes on:

“The germ of The Bald Man of Pengriffen was Andy looking for a Famous Five-type story featuring a young Alistair and the Bledoe Cadets (as mentioned in The Forgotten Son). Conveniently enough, I’d recently revisited Enid Blyton’s Adventurous Four books from childhood so I knew the kinds of japes and scrapes to aim for – although I was keen for the story to be less cosy than those of Blyton’s world. We discussed a few story ideas but the Bald Man seemed to tick the most boxes – particularly because Andy likes fougous! And by writing a story about the Brigadier as a small boy, I totally avoid any times and situations that could potentially include my namesake.”

And if you listen to the podcast, Travelling the Vortex, you’ll know Shaun Collins, who joins the range with Slouching Towards Det-Sen, focused on Professor Travers. He says:

“After prodding Andy for information about Candy Jar’s method for soliciting writers and clumsily inserting myself into said method with a few pitches that he quite rightly shot down, he suggested writing something with Professor Travers returning to Det-Sen. With the professor rapidly became my one of my favourite supporting characters from the series, how could I say no? It was fun inserting him into the thick of James Bond-style danger, watching as he – just as clumsily as my initial pitch – is ensnared by nefarious villains. When Andy told me my short would form the opening prologue for his next novel, I was beyond ecstatic… And immediately began to worry about the safety of the professor. After all, he’s getting up there in years now, and just what did I set him up for?”

Slouching Towards Det-Sen also serves as a teaser for the next Lethbridge-Stewart novel, Night of the Intelligence, out in Spring 2017…

Like the previous volumes, The HAVOC Files 3 is only available direct from the Candy Jar Store for £8.99, and is a strictly limited-print run – so make sure you pre-order now to avoid disappointment.

(And if you missed The HAVOC Files 2, it’s now available for digital download on Kindle!)