Saturday Waffling (March 22nd, 2014)


Hello all.

Let's get the unfortunate announcement out of the way first. There are some projects I'm trying to have wrapped and ready to go at the same time that TARDIS Eruditorum wraps, and looking at deadlines and progress, I'm behind. And so after nearly a year of five posts a week and three years of three TARDIS Eruditorums a week, I am finally giving in to temptation and cutting TARDIS Eruditorum to a twice-weekly blog. New entries will be on Mondays and Wednesdays, with Last War in Albion moving to Fridays. I'll continue to provide bonus content, sometimes substantive, sometimes fluffy, on either Tuesday or Thursday of a given week for a total of four posts a week, plus waffling.

I suspect I care about this more than any of you actually do, but I'm nevertheless very sorry and disappointed that this step is necessary.

I do have some cool stuff to announce soon. In fact, let's see what we can successfully tease.

  • The Last War in Albion Kickstarter is, as mentioned, coming. Most of the component parts are there - I just need to fulfill my promise to do a transparency post about my writing income in 2013 and to wait for James's schedule to clear up so he can provide me some art for it.
  • The Last War Kickstarter will also include access to the backers-only blog where the occasionally mentioned Secret Project will be serialized as it's written. Right now I've got one chapter written, and another about 1/3 done.
  • I've begun the earliest of early talks around the idea of Eruditorum Press expanding into publishing work by people other than me. More news on that in a few months but it's something I'm terribly excited about, and the two people I've got tentative agreements with are absolutely great writers it would be a thrill to work with.
  • Related to this, I am thinking seriously about expanding my work a bit to involve some freelance editing work. This is at least vaguely related to the former. It would manifestly not be copyediting and proofreading, which I'm actually crap at (it's a thing where ADD [diagnosed, mind you, not colloquial] really screws you up), but would be about fine-tuning ideas, refining the shape of a project, or figuring out how to beat an unruly draft into a smooth final form. In fact, anyone interested in that, please drop me an e-mail. Snowspinner. Gmail.
Finally, our discussion topic, which has to be, given the absolutely awful news of his death, Steve Moore. I've covered Moore's work a few times on the blog - his Doctor Who comics got coverage in TARDIS Eruditorum here, and various bits of his work are all over the early bits of Chapter Four of Last War in Albion, particularly these two entries.

But his career is long and varied. He didn't just create Abslom Daak and Kroton the Cyberman, he also was the subject of Alan Moore's fascinating Unearthing, the author of the seminal Trigrams of Han, the writer of the first Tharg's Future Shock, and did an absolute ton of other stuff.

So. What are your favorite works of Steve Moore's?


Anton B 6 years, 10 months ago

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Anton B 6 years, 10 months ago

Steve Moore's death is sad news indeed. A huge loss to esoteric writing. I wonder how this might affect Alan Moore's projects. Wasn't The Moon and Stars… project a collaboration between the two Moores? As to favourite works, I always found his Prester John and Father Shandor strips in Warrior to be intriguing occult interludes in that magazine's anthology of tropes. More recently his timey wimey Johnny Future and excellent Windsor McCay pastiche via Promethia Little Margie in Misty Magic Land in the Tomorrow Stories books were both fantastic.

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Tony Macklin 6 years, 10 months ago

You suspect incorrectly sir. I love Eruditorum and find it's reduction from three to two entries per week an outrage! I shall be writing to the editor post-haste to demand an explanation and an apol- oh, er, hang on a minute.

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Alex Antonijevic 6 years, 10 months ago

Disappointing that there's less stuff to read, but not really surprising. I'm impressed you kept up this schedule for as long as you did.

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Ozy Jones 6 years, 10 months ago

Well mate, I'll miss the more regular updates, I can't lie. But it'll stretch the posts over a longer time... like rationing your m&m's to two at a time instead of a hand-full; makes the good stuff last longer.

So, I guess I'll have to reread some older posts when I'm starved for Who'y content. Thanks for everything done so far and for everything to come. It's been great traveling along with you.

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jane 6 years, 10 months ago

It will also give us more time to argue about the minutae of the current era -- well, at least over the Wednesday essays. (In this respect, having Albion on Wednesdays might be better.)

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Eric Gimlin 6 years, 10 months ago

No worries on the schedule change; it's absolutely amazing how much you've been giving us for free for so long. (Or at least payment optional, my kickstarter books arrived earlier this week and look amazing!)

Unfortunately, I don't really have a single favorite work of Steve Moore's. I do have a great fondness for the whole run of WARRIOR, and for all that we tend to focus on the Alan Moore features in there Steve Moore was at least as important to the magazine as a whole.

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Ben 6 years, 10 months ago

Oh, I loved the Little Margie story. Alan Moore is to be commended for setting his friend/mentor loose on that one.

I haven't read the Rick Random story he wrote for 2000AD but it sounds like something I'd be interested in.

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Ben 6 years, 10 months ago

Well, since you were planning to finish up with the end of the M. Smith era, this makes the home stretch a little longer, which is good. Also this way by the time you get to "The Time of the Doctor" Peter Capaldi should have provided a header for the entry.

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Elizabeth Sandifer 6 years, 10 months ago

It's true. I do like that I'll get to be a little proleptic with my end after all. I'm still not going to do Capaldi until the book, but it'll be nice to know what I'm leading into a bit better.

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Carey 6 years, 10 months ago

Nooooooo! How will I get through the week without three Tardis Eruditorums now?

Ah well-- whatever makes you comfortable, Phil. Even the entries I disagree with (ahem, the last two, for instance... sorry!) make for interesting reading, especially in the comments. Is there any chance of a future edition of the Tardis Eruditorum books featuring annotations by Jane?*

As to Steve Moore? In all honesty his greatest tragedy was in falling out with Pat Mills during the early days of 2000ad, which meant he was never as visible as many other writes on that publication.

I agree with Eric Gimlin in that the entire run of Warrior was his greatest work. In many ways he fulfilled the same function as the Wagner and Grant team over at 2000ad at the time in being a providing the majority of stories for the publication but being overshadowed by the more showy writers of the period. Personally, I bought the first issue of Warrior because of Axel Pressbutton, having read his stories in my older brother's Sounds (ok, I didn't know about the Alan Moore connection at that point). Marvelman and V for Vendetta kept me reading, but the work in between was in its own way just as important.

*Jane, when are you going to start your own blog? I for one would seek it out with the same zeal as Dr Sandifer's.

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rpundurs 6 years, 10 months ago

What's this about a backer-only blog?

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Elizabeth Sandifer 6 years, 10 months ago

More details later, but it would be a "see it as I write it" offer for something that, when I finish, will get a public release.

So not so much backer-only as backer-preview.

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ferret 6 years, 10 months ago

2 posts a week - that's pretty much the rate you were posting for the Classic series I think? So really it's business as usual for us - you've just been spoiling us for the last few years :-)

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Daru 6 years, 10 months ago

Well thanks Phil for your amazing output for the last while when you have been giving us three Eruditorum posts a week. I am still stunned (and pleased that you kept it up). Two posts a week will be great. having the Smith ear more drawn out will suit me as I to be honest don't want to see the end!

Got my Hartnell Vol.2 last week and I love it and adore the book design and feel of the cover. Well done sir for this object of beauty. As money permits I will be gradually getting the other books that are currently out - none of them so far are due for a 2nd release are they?

I will back the Last War in Albion and the blog project when they come up too.

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elvwood 6 years, 10 months ago

I've been away from the Internet this weekend, but just wanted to say, sorry to hear about Steve Moore. Although I loved his Warrior stuff, I'd have to say The Trigrams of Han - a book I keep coming back to.

Regarding the drop in number of posts, no worries - it'll mean I can catch up on some other things...

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Kit 6 years, 10 months ago

Dropping to two Eruditora a week is great news; more time to Phil to focus on what looks to be a ramping up of intensity and depth of analysis, more time for us to think about the posts, and with them staying top-of-blog longer, likely more dissection and discussion among the commentariat.

(The expectation of detailed, rich, 'redemptive'* readings of the Moffatt era is also likely to bring in new dissenters to broaden the latter. Which will hopefully be a net positive.)

(Also very much looking forward to Jane's contributions to these conversations.)

*It’s really fun that a lot of Phil’s redemption of stories from fan consensus has been set against decades and decades of said consensus, often handed down from grizzled nerd to wide-eyed n00b, up until now. But with the 2011-2014 era, one specific huge and vocal consensus has formed essentially in real time, almost entirely from post-Piper fans (who still insist that Moffatt is RUINING THE SHOW FOREVER and DESTROYING CANON) that have accelerated the process of finding their main enjoyment in the series from saying how terrible it is now.

The last stretch of the blog would always have rung differently, just because we’d be looking at what essentially felt like the current run. But it’s especially interesting that it turns out that there’s a particular dominant narrative, in online discussion, that Phil can argue against when/if it suits his interests.

(Obviously, it was great to have some of those arguments framed in a sensible and supported fashion by Jack Graham before we enter the era proper. And curious to see if the tone-setting post means a revamp of the format of regular posts, too.)

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Jack Graham 6 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for that. It means a lot to me that people who might not necessarily agree with me still found my thing valuable in some way, and sensible (unlike so much criticism of Moffat). I'm absolutely with you on Phil's redemptive readings of the era being a positive thing. At the moment, it feels like most of the online discussion is dominated by the anti-camp. The positive-camp really needs a higher profile, if only to make the discussion more interesting.

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Daru 6 years, 10 months ago

Yeah liked your piece a lot also Jack, though I have a big love of the Moffat era (but not as set against RTD's or anything dull like that, I take each story on it's own merits). I can see problems within his era though - and also appreciated your take on Moffat even though I have different responses. Cheers again, and it will be interesting to see where Phil goes and I also look forwards to refreshing (and honest) takes that are beyond STFU and Gallifery Base!

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Mattyoung! 6 years, 10 months ago

Just been getting into the Tardis Eruditorums in the last couple weeks. Happy to sacrifice a column a week for quality of content. Looking forward to your close analysis of the Moffat era.

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