Just finished off the week’s blogging, setting me up for nine straight days of mucking about with books. If all goes well Hartnell v2 will be almost wrapped up at the end of it, barring the essays that are about things coming out in November. Six to write, which is a little ambitious for nine days when doing the reading/listening for them is counted as part of the time, but it’s not impossible.
The next bunch of paragraphs are about Last War in Albion. But for the sizable chunk of readers who are only in it for Doctor Who stuff, there’s a Doctor Who question at the very end of the post you can skip to.
Last War in Albion continues to be very fun. If you haven’t grabbed the ebook of Chapters 1 and 2, please do consider doing so to support the project. I suppose I should talk briefly about some of my plans there. At the moment I’m planning on running it on Thursdays for remainder of TARDIS Eruditorum. After this set of five entries it’ll go to Chapter Three, which is about Alan Moore’s earliest work. After that we finally get to stuff that isn’t spectacularly obscure, at which point hopefully people will read it.
Obviously, as I’ve said, the format of Last War in Albion is a bit challenging. I stand by my reasons for writing it the way I am – I think I absolutely had to get away from the “episode guide” structure of TARDIS Eruditorum, for one thing. For another, Last War in Albion is about the implications of the comics it covers as much as it’s about what’s in them. The notion of the War is a conscious nod to Faction Paradox, and particularly The Book of the War. Part of the point, in other words, is how hard the War is to pin down.
I recognize, of course, that this makes some aspects of it tougher to follow. I’ve tried to smooth that out a bit in Chapter Two – I’m being a bit less ostentatiously aggressive in where I cut the chapters, and, since the idea of serializing the story this way is in part modeled on comics, I’ve nicked the idea of a recap page. The real problem, though, is figuring out how to make money off of it. Because this is a job, and I need to do that.
As I said, the ebook singles are one idea. And they’re an important one – just getting Last War in Albion to provide a steady month-in/month-out income stream would be a big deal. So, again, please think about grabbing them on the basic logic that kicking me $1.50 or so every 10,000 words or so is something that helps keep the project running. So again, please do think about buying it. Here it is on Amazon, Amazon UK, and Smashwords.
But they are just one idea, and this seems like a good idea to at least talk about some of the other things I’d like to do. As I said, The Book of the War was one of the major inspirations in Last War in Albion. And one thing I’d like to eventually do is rework the project into an encyclopedia version – something that allows topics in the War to be covered hypertextually instead of as part of a linear narrative. There’s scads of technical details to figure out, but my rough thought is a community editable Wiki that incorporates the blog material, but also allows readers to expand on it. Probably I’ll start that with some sort of Kickstarter after Eruditorum wraps up.
My absolute pie-in-the-sky idea would be to do a televisual version of it that tells the story as a documentary series on the history of British comics, which I think would be fantastically interesting and also expensive and terrifying and in no way something I’m ready to do more than think about in a “wouldn’t that be nice” sort of way.
But I’m open to other ideas. Clearly Last War in Albion has a reasonably sized community of people who like it – I think its comments to page views ratio is just about the highest of anything I post. Which suggests a small audience of people who are passionate about it. So I turn to all of you – what do you think I can do, within how the project is shaping up, to make it something that makes money? Or, alternatively, what would help get you to financially support it? Cheaper ebooks? T-shirts saying “Team Bald” and “Team Beard?” Just slapping up a tip jar and letting you drop money in it?
To be clear, I love the project. I’m having the time of my life writing it, and there’s no chance I’m ending it any time soon. Certainly it’s not going anywhere until I’ve seen what covering things like Swamp Thing, Halo Jones, and V for Vendetta does in terms of numbers and digital sales. But I’m conscious of the fact that I’ve painted myself into a (largely necessary) corner in some ways with it, and want to think about how to keep from it becoming a terrifyingly time-consuming hobby.
Right. Doctor Who stuff. So, my wife and I did a nice watch through of stuff with Peter Capaldi in it – several episodes of The Thick of It (marvelous but not my thing), his scenes in Neverwhere (still great, despite its flaws), and The Crow Road (holy crap that was good). And our conclusion was that he was a terrifyingly flexible actor and that any guesses as to what his Doctor would be like were almost certainly wrong. All of which said, where do you think the show will go with him? What sort of Doctor will he be? And what are your favorite bits of his past work that aren’t The Thick of It?