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21 October 2017 @ 08:46 am
Random Doctor Who Picture  

I recently listened to the Doctor Who Book Club podcast on Relative Dementias. They quite liked it but thought it wasn't completely in control of its themes, there was too much incidental stuff to bring up the page count and its descriptions of action were confusing. All criticisms that could probably be aimed at many of the Doctor Who novels.

This entry was originally posted at https://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/468903.html.
daniel_saunders: Leekleydaniel_saunders on October 21st, 2017 10:11 pm (UTC)
there was too much incidental stuff to bring up the page count

Yeah, the early NAs were about 250 pages with quite a large font, but as time went on they seemed to become longer and longer without really having much more to say. Most of the novels could lose 50 to 100 pages. Probably another instance of them wanting to be 'adult' without really knowing how - wanting to be longer than the novelisations and YA novels generally rather than having the confidence to be shorter.
louisedennis: Who:Bookslouisedennis on October 24th, 2017 10:29 am (UTC)
I think, in general, one could say the books were written mostly by amateurs* or people only in the process of learning their craft and that often this shows. Though in some way that's too their benefit - there's rarely a lack of ambition or enthusiasm on display.

*give or take a lot of discussion about what it means to be a professional author, but there are a lot of Who authors who've only ever made a small part of their living from writing.
daniel_saunders: Leekleydaniel_saunders on October 24th, 2017 12:40 pm (UTC)
Agreed, although the ones who went on to become professional weren't always the ones I'd expect. Re-reading The Left-Handed Hummingbird a year or so ago, I was surprised Kate Orman hasn't written much outside the Doctor Who box, as it seemed much better than the other NAs I was re-reading at the time, including some by people who have gone on to write professionally.
louisedennis: Who:Bookslouisedennis on October 24th, 2017 01:40 pm (UTC)
I suspect a combination of poor mental health and not living in the UK, a lot of the writers who went on to other things did so via networks grown in Who circles which I suspect Orman didn't have such good contacts with. It's noticeable that none of the very few non-UK based authors of the novels have made any significant contribution to the nuWho era, at least that I'm aware of.

Although its also notable, I suppose, that Lance Parkin, who looked to be following a trajectory much like Paul Cornell's and Gareth Roberts' from the Who books into TV, seems to have dropped back into writing almost exclusively unauthorised non-fiction tie-in works.