The list is already a bit larger than I’m happy about, so while suggestions for what to add are more than welcome please note that some argument as to why I should add it and, better yet, an argument for something I should cut will help the case tremendously. (Of course, so will raw populist appeal – if I get a wave of comments demanding I cover Shadowmind then I will. Weeping.)
I also want to be clear – this is not a list of the best NAs or of the most important ones. They’re the ones I think I can get the most interesting and thorough coverage of the Virgin era through. So there are choices that are there because I think I’m likely to have a fair bit to say about them, and important books like Death and Diplomacy that are left out because I think I’ll struggle to get to 2000 words.
That said, here’s the tentative list:
Timewyrm: Genesis/Exodus (as one entry)
Timewyrm: Apocalypse/Revelation (ditto)
Cat’s Cradle: Time’s Crucible
Cat’s Cradle: Warhead
Love and War
The Highest Science
The Left-Handed Hummingbird
The Also People
Christmas on a Rational Planet
Return of the Living Dad
So Vile a Sin
The Room With No Doors
The Dying Days
I want to also nod at some of what I’m imagining will be the obvious comments and questions. To wit:
Nightshade: Yes, it’s Gatiss’s first published piece of Doctor Who and the first NA to be written by someone who went on to write for the series. Honestly, though, I just don’t like Gatiss enough to want to cover another book of his. I fear running out of things to say about Gatiss on the basis of his four episodes. Adding a book doesn’t thrill me. That said, I remember very little about the book – is it interesting on merits beyond being by Gatiss?
The Pit: I know William Blake is in it. All I would have to say is that this is a terrible portrayal of William Blake that completely misses everything about why a Blakean Doctor Who is interesting. Having already written infamously
on why a Blakean Doctor Who is interesting, I don’t see 2000 words here.
Theatre of War: The main reason I’d consider this is the Braxiatel stuff. But I’m going to do three Bernice books – Oh No It Isn’t and the two Lawrence Miles books. I don’t think there’s enough meat on the bones to justify being completist about Braxiatel. Unless, again, there are other reasons to consider it?
The Also People: Not on the list simply because I don’t know enough about it to justify it on my own. But the one I feel most like I probably should add. What’s the argument here? (Edit: I’m now persuaded to add it. List updated.)
Just War: This was on the list prior to my adding The Also People, and seemed the most cuttable thing on there. Arguments for why it must be restored are welcome.
But, of course, comments on any book people think I should or shouldn’t include are welcome. (And keep in mind, the majority of these I’ve either not read all of or haven’t read in a decade – so I readily believe I’ve got things on the list that aren’t nearly as interesting as I hope or that I’m missing real gems.)