If you’re a Whovian, I don’t have to explain the significance of November 23rd. To those not yet initiated, this date marks the premiere of the 50th Anniversary special episode: The Day of the Doctor. If you're new to the phenomenon of Doctor Who, long-time fan Neil Gaiman recently shared a succinct synopsis of the show so you can dive right in:
“No, look, there’s a blue box. It’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. It can go anywhere in time and space and sometimes even where it’s meant to go. And when it turns up, there’s a bloke in it called The Doctor and there will be stuff wrong and he will do his best to sort it out and he will probably succeed ’cause he’s awesome. Now sit down, shut up, and watch ‘Blink’.”
In another post, Gaiman expands on his thoughts on the literary quality of the series:
“Doctor Who has never pretended to be hard science-fiction. At best, Doctor Who is a fairytale, with fairytale logic, about this wonderful man in this big blue box, who at the beginning of every story lands somewhere there’s a problem.”
The appeal to Doctor Who naturally extends to lovers of fiction (writers and readers). From a wardrobe that is bigger on the inside, to the wibbly wobbly act of Tessering, many books offer similar mind, space and time-bending experiences.
Over the years, a number of celebrated authors have contributed stories—in both television and book form—including Douglas Adams, Jenny Colgan and Neil Gaiman.
Fans of the series also include our recently re-elected mayor Nahed Nenshi. In our centennial publication, His Worship wrote how he devoured every copy of the Doctor Who novels he could get his hands on.
“One of the things I really loved were science fiction novels and in particular I was a fan, and have been for a long time, of the British science fiction show Dr. Who,” ...
“There must be hundreds of Dr. Who paperbacks and I would always be awaiting them. I would always know which ones the Forest Lawn library had and which ones I had read.
“Whatever was there I would grab so I would read them wildly out of sequence which was ok because they were self-contained stories.”
In anticipation of the 50th Anniversary episode, Penguin Books commissioned 11 writers to come up with short stories. These were published monthly as e-books, one for each for one generation of the Doctor. So far these are only available as ebooks for sale, but hopefully will be added to our collection soon. In the meantime, you can check out the links below for samples of each writer’s story, courtesy of The Guardian, as well as interviews where they speak about their inspiration and enthusiasm for their particular Doctor:
Eoin Colfer - A Big Hand For The Doctor
Michael Scott - The Nameless City
Marcus Sedgwick - The Spear of Destiny
Philip Reeve - The Roots of Evil
Patrick Ness - Tip of the Tongue
Richelle Mead - Something Borrowed
Malorie Blackman - Ripple Effect
Charlie Higson - The Beast of Babylon
Derek Landy - The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage
Neil Gaiman - Nothing O'Clock
If the thrilling prospects of time and space exploration leave you wanting more, check out these other great reads.