John Peel Returns to the Whoniverse with The Grandfather Infestation

Candy Jar Books has unveiled the cover art and blurb for the next Lethbridge-Stewart novel, The Grandfather Infestation – a book that sees the welcome return of author, John Peel!

Peel first came to prominence with Doctor Who fans when Terry Nation himself chose him to adapt a number of Dalek tales from the 1960s, including The Chase, The Daleks’ Master Plan, and The Power of the Daleks for the Target novelisations range; he went on to write the monumental reference work, The Gallifrey Chronicles and kicked off the Virgin New Adventures line with Timewrym: Genesys, the first original Doctor Who prose novel.

That was in 1991, and 25 years later, he’s back – this time for the Lethbridge-Stewart range. Peel says:

“There’s always been something rather special for me when I’m writing in the worlds of Doctor Who. When I wrote Timewyrm: Genesys 25 years ago, I was excited the entire time – I couldn’t wait to get to work on the story each morning. And here I am, a quarter of a century later, and the same excitement is still there… Being allowed to create a new adventure for that stalwart character, Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart was both an honour and a truly great pleasure. Even writing revisions didn’t seem too much of a chore!”

Indeed, this is – unbelievably – the first time John has written for the character!

The cover is by Colin Howard, who also painted the art for last year’s Beast of Fang Rock, and it might just remind you of John Wyndham’s most famous work. Simon Clark, who wrote the official sequel to The Day of the Triffids and provides the foreword for The Grandfather Infestation, says:

“Plants are on the march – at least in our imaginations, they are. Doctor Who embraced the theme in The Seeds of Death and The Seeds of Doom, and, no doubt, you can identify many more. And now John Peel gives us The Grandfather Infestation, a fantastically entertaining, and horrifying novel, which suggests that everything that’s green and grows from the earth might not be as harmless as we think.”

Range editor, Andy Frankham-Allen adds:

“I’ve always been a huge fan of Wyndham’s work, and I knew I wanted something in a similar vein. I asked John to give us something Triffid-esque and he did exactly that. He’s created a nice blend of genres, mixing the best elements of storytelling that you’d find in the works of Robert Banks Stewart and Wyndham, giving it Peel’s own distinctive twist. And John is no stranger to twisting tales, make no mistake. He’s been writing prose fiction beyond Doctor Who continuously for over twenty-five years, and you don’t do that without being good.”

Here’s the official blurb for The Grandfather Infestation:

The late 1960s and pirate radio is at its height.

Something stirs in the depths of the North Sea, and for Radio Crossbones that means bad news.

Lethbridge-Stewart and his newly assembled Fifth Operational Corps are called in to investigate after the pirate radio station is mysteriously taken off the air, and a nuclear submarine is lost with all hands.

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Grandfather Infestation is out at the end of this month, and can be pre-ordered for £8.99 now.