Want to support Children in Need, and enjoy a madcap bit of Doctor Who that also encapsulates its entire history? Whoblique Strategies is out now, and aims to cover all the Doctor’s on-screen adventures – and then some!
It’s a paperback book, the result of 70 writers working with editor and playwright, Elton Townend Jones to create something utterly unique.
This is achieved by telling short stories as riffs off Who serials, applying Oblique Strategy cards to each contribution. These are cards intended to get the creative juices firing by applying different angles to ideas; the much-missed David Bowie used them to make songs for his iconic albums, Low and Heroes.
The pieces of fast fiction each come with a title, author’s name, and, at their end, the strategy card applied. These were randomly assigned by Elton, giving writers fresh challenges.
Writers include John Dorney (Big Finish writer and director); David A. McIntee (The Eleventh Tiger); Blair Bidmead (cover artist for The Black Archive); Simon Messingham (Zeta Major); the Lethbridge-Stewart range’s Tim Gambrell; Ian Potter (The Early Adventures: The Bounty of Ceres); Simon A. Forward (Dreamtime); and more!
It also features contributions from Doctor Who Companion writers, including Christian Cawley (whose pieces are Speed of Life, Just Another Day, and Breathe Push Pop); James McLean (Metal Hearts, Lady Grinning Soul, Boomcubist, The Plateaux of Mirror, and Zeroes); Jon Arnold (She’s A Rainbow, Among Fields of Crystal, Outside, and Portrait of a Dalek Through Gallifreyan Zen); and myself (An Index of Metals, Shaggy Dog Story, Out-Out, Thru’ These Architects’ Eyes, Astronauts in the Triassic, Case Study: The Fisher King’s Feet, and This Is A Fake). Personally, I found it an endlessly rewarding experience, and I was really pleased with the serials I was assigned to cover – especially the sublime Caves of Androzani. I won’t tell you which title refers to the Fifth Doctor’s last story, but suffice to say it’s not Case Study: The Fisher King’s Feet…
I’m also so pleased to have my work alongside that of such a wonderful crew of writers (or “Wholigans”, as Elton calls us, which is frankly the best term I’ve heard for Doctor Who fans, ever).
Whoblique Strategies is out now from Chinbeard Books, priced £10.99 with proceeds going to Children in Need.