The latest book of Candy Jar’s Lethbridge-Stewart range is out now, and takes us back to the parallel Earth established in the much-loved Third Doctor tale, Inferno.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the schedule for Series 7 has changed slightly, with book six being released before books four and five. Fortunately, The Schizoid Earth: I, Alastair is not directly connected to the five-book Bloodlines sequence and can therefore be read before books four and five.
The Schizoid Earth: I, Alastair is a semi-sequel to David A McIntee’s 2015 novel, The Schizoid Earth, and is written by popular Lethbridge-Stewart novelist, Robert Mammone, returning for his third novel set in the LSverse.
Range Editor, Andy Frankham-Allen says:
“We’ve been thinking of doing a follow up to The Schizoid Earth for quite some time. Of course, some of the threads set up in that novel have played a major role in other Lethbridge-Stewart novels, through the role of the Brigadier’s brother, James Lethbridge-Stewart. Since Series 7 is all about parallel realities, it seemed the perfect opportunity to do a novel set entirely within the Schizoid Earth. And Robert Mammone was the first and only author I considered for the task.”
Robert Mammone says:
“While daunting, writing a novel set on the Schizoid Earth opened up a lot of exciting possibilities. I’ve long been a fan of alternative history science fiction, particularly authors like Harry Turtledove and especially the darker fiction of SM Stirling. The chance to use familiar characters, in unfamiliar ways, in a setting way worse than the timeline of ‘our’ Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart was one I couldn’t say no to. Of course, when you’re dealing with a villain, as the Column Leader clearly is, you have to ensure you’re not making them the hero of the piece, even if they are the lead. There’s a lot of fantasy/science-fiction writing out there today that embraces the anti-hero as being someone to admire. While that has its place, in no way is the Lethbridge-Stewart of the Schizoid Earth a hero – he’s a broken man ill used by his father and a servant of a monstrous regime intent on ensuring the last remnants of resistance are stamped out.”
With a book set in a parallel world, much like the Doctor Who serial Inferno which inspired it, The Schizoid Earth: I, Alastair features regular faces from the Lethbridge-Stewart range.
“Like what SM Stirling did with his Draka books, he made one small change to history, and the result was worse than anyone could imagine. The Republic is led by vile men who do vile things, and while the Resistance is admirable in their intent, their methods tend to ape that of the Party. I had a lot of fun throwing in bits and pieces that call back to events in the Doctor Who universe. Andy (Frankham Allen) is as always a font of information about the setting, and was a great sounding board when I found myself lost in the weeds. His work editing The Schizoid Earth: I, Alastair has made it an even better book (he also supplied the title – it is better than my choice ‘I, Brigade-Leader’!), one I hope readers, new and old, of the range, will embrace and enjoy and celebrate!”
The cover is by regular Lethbridge-Stewart artist, Richard Young. Richard says:
“Evil Brig, who wouldn’t want to draw him. Inferno has to be in my top ten Doctor Who stories, and I love parallel universe, what if scenarios. Added to this, who doesn’t want to draw Big Ben blowing up?”
Talking about the change in the schedule, Andy says:
“When it became clear Chris (Lynch) would have trouble finishing off The George Kostinen Mystery in time, due to the increased work load of his day job brought on by the current crisis, Shaun and I sat down to discuss what was best to do. We needed to put a book out, but we didn’t wish to delay Series 7 any further. Bringing The Schizoid Earth: I, Alastair forward was an easy option, since the book does not follow on from, and isn’t impact by, the end of the Bloodlines sequence. You’ll find nothing in The Schizoid Earth: I, Alastair to spoil the final two novels of that sequence. Luckily I knew Robert had finished his book, and was holding onto it for a final pass. Which he promptly did, once I explained the new circumstances to him.”
Here’s the blurb for The Schizoid Earth: I, Alastair:
HAIL THE LEADER! Under the gentle guidance of the Leader, Britain has flourished after the removal of the dead hand of democracy and the old, corrupt aristocracy. Dominant in Europe, a Great Power around the world, the Republic stands as a beacon to wise, benevolent and firm leadership. The team led by Column Leader Alastair Lethbridge-Stewart is the best and brightest of us all, ensuring that attempts to overthrow the natural order will be stamped into submission.
Those who stand with the Leader ensure that Britain remains great, a Power to be reckoned with, and a dominant force across the globe. UNITY IS STRENGTH!
The Schizoid Earth: I, Alastair will be followed by The George Kostinen Mystery and Back to the Past, which wraps up the Bloodlines saga. A new novel, set between A Very Private Haunting and The New Unusual will be released later in the year, written by Michael Sloan, creator of The Equaliser.
If your have subscription with Candy Jar Books, The Schizoid Earth: I, Alastair is covered by this.