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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Ununnilium
    September 24, 2013 @ 12:20 am

    You are so terribly correct about both Blood Heat and No Future – heck, I'd disagree on the latter in that I'd rate No Future higher than Love and War.


  2. Anton B
    September 24, 2013 @ 12:57 am

    I inspired a title! I actually just did a happy dance/victory lap around my living room. It's the small things…


  3. John Anderson
    September 24, 2013 @ 6:14 am

    Sobering to think that my Doctor existed only in prose. To paraphrase a line from the range, "He may be a bastard, but he's my bastard." The scene from The Room With No Doors, where the Doctor realises that an arrow has killed the innocent he's carrying and gone through his own chest too brings a tear to my eye still.


  4. Theonlyspiral
    September 24, 2013 @ 7:46 am

    My FLGS has a number of books from the Virgin line (Including Return of the Living Dad and No Future) still going for the Cover price. Having only read "Empire of Glass" and "The Plotters" how much will I get out of reading them?


  5. liminal fruitbat
    September 24, 2013 @ 8:15 am

    I feel I should defend Lungbarrow – it was the first NA I read and the Gallifreyan mythology was exactly the kind of unsettling weirdness I needed to stop me being a "Doctor Who should be hardish sci-fi" kind of fan, and I still have a soft spot for it.

    Of course, the only other Virgin novels I've read are Human Nature and The Menagerie, so a nice trend from the wonderful to the barely tolerable…


  6. Matthew Celestis
    September 24, 2013 @ 8:51 am

    Cat's Cradle Warhead deserves at least 9/10. I think it's much better and more interesting than Warlock.

    You are a bit harsh on the Steve Lyons novels. They are fun!


  7. encyclops
    September 24, 2013 @ 10:21 am

    I've only read eleven of the ones you name, but I've bought probably close to that many of the rest of them, largely based on your original commentary. I've apparently got some great stuff ahead, including Revelation, Damaged Goods, and The Also People. I need to make more time to read!

    As much as I love Gareth Roberts, I don't think I'd rate The Highest Science quite that highly, nor Blood Harvest or Goth Opera. But on the rest I can't disagree. I wish I'd stuck with the line all the way through so my collection could have been more complete when these were in print.


  8. encyclops
    September 24, 2013 @ 12:57 pm

    Nothing. You might as well just buy them and send them to me. 😉

    For what it's worth, the NAs I've read have all been out of order. I started with Love and War and read through Lucifer Rising before I started to jump around a lot. I don't really think you need to worry about spoilers, since pretty much any of them worth reading are still good even if you know what's coming.

    Note that many of them, particularly the good ones, are being sold at ridiculous prices online. I think I saw Lungbarrow for 3 figures once upon a time, but even though I think 4/10 is about right for it, I like having it too much to sell it. In all seriousness, I would gladly pay cover price for Return of the Living Dad or No Future, since I haven't read those either.


  9. matt bracher
    September 24, 2013 @ 2:24 pm

    I'll feel free to disagree about "Cat's Cradle".

    Not that it was great, sadly not, nor that it always worked, but it and "Revelation" took seriously the mandate to do things that could not be filmed. Paul Cornell explored the Doctor's psyche, and Marc Platt imagined what could happen if a TARDIS went into serious disarray.

    It's a hard read. I've read it twice, maybe three times, and I can still remember slogging my way through the first time, being annoyed at the fact that the Process was only present in two time frames, and then only realizing in the moment it happened how wrong I had been. [Apologies if I'm slightly off-kilter, but I'm trying to not give a blatant spoiler, and I think I've got the framing correct.]

    And it was fascinating to be able to physically move between and interact with past, present, and future.

    Did we need the Pythia? Perhaps not. Did we need the early time experiments? I'd see them as a means to an end — I can imagine Platt coming up with the sequence of events, the overall structure, and then building the foundations into place. I think this was the first time that it was suggested that Gallifrey was barren, and the Pythia's vengeance as she toppled from power was wonderful.

    A. E. Housman is quoted as a frontispiece in "The Once and Future King", and I can see his words in the Pythia. [Note that until this moment I'd only ever known the first two verses — the third is new to me through the magic of Google.]

    Her strong enchantments failing,
    Her towers of fear in wreck,
    Her limbecks dried of poisons
    And the knife at her neck,

    The Queen of air and darkness
    Begins to shrill and cry,
    "O young man, O my slayer,
    To-morrow you shall die."

    O Queen of air and darkness,
    I think 'tis truth you say,
    And I shall die tomorrow;
    But you will die to-day.

    So I'd give the book a seven, because it reaches for great heights even if it never quite reaches them. It has vision. But man it's a hard read!


  10. Ununnilium
    September 24, 2013 @ 6:31 pm



  11. Ununnilium
    September 24, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

    Yeah, I quite liked it on first reading, back in the day. Didn't hold up as much more recently, but that was less because of the Gallifreyan mythology and more because it's really just kinda draggy.


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