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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. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 30, 2018 @ 10:56 am

    Deleted a whole thread here. This isn’t a site where we’re going to nitpick the fine particulars of when it’s OK to deadname people. If you can’t figure out why that might be, this probably isn’t the site for you in general.


  2. arcbeatle
    July 30, 2018 @ 2:36 pm

    Man, I really do wish they’d get some more fresh blood into the book range and try more new things. There are so many writers that would love to be a part of it.

    I’m not naming names (no really, I’m not, don’t believe me if you want to) but I was at a convention talking to a #1 New York Times bestselling Hugo-Award Winning author who had tried to get into the BBC books range and got rejected outright.

    I mean, there’s a lot of opportunity out there. People wan to write Doctor Who. They should do more to take advantage of that.


    • Tarantulette
      July 30, 2018 @ 4:00 pm

      Even with the limitations they’ve had, it pleases me that since 2005 we’ve had Doctor Who novels and/or short stories from Michael Moorcock, Neil Gaiman, A L Kennedy (A L Kennedy!!!), Naomi Alderman, Stephen Baxter, Alasdair Reynolds, Jenny Colgan, Patrick Ness, Malorie Blackman, Eoin Colfer, Derek Landy, Joanne Harris, Cecilia Ahern, Philip Reeve, Marcus Sedgwick, Charlie Higson… some of the biggest names in YA publishing plus a couple of SF big-hitters and one or two outright “literary” novelists. Who could have imagined that in the 1990s?!

      They definitely shouldn’t be turning an A-lister away (that’s madness! unless they’re a nightmare to work with or something) but it’s impressive nonetheless the degree to which they can get people like this just for the book line. The problem isn’t not getting in enough big names, it’s that the regular roster of “normal” (very much in inverted commas) writers doesn’t get refreshed enough.


      • arcbeatle
        July 30, 2018 @ 5:10 pm

        A lot of that list is people who were part of the 11 stories 11 Doctors project (now 12 for 12), which really isn’t something that exemplifies the regular book line at all. I don’t think that one book from 2013 is a good example of what they generally do. It was a big anniversary project, after all.

        The person in question is quite a sweetheart, and gets constant work, so I can only imagine they’re easy to work with.

        They definitely do need to refresh the standard line up, but there’s also a lot of squandered opportunity for big names who’d like to write full novels in the Whoniverse.


        • Tarantulette
          July 30, 2018 @ 6:57 pm

          Less than half are from that project; but yes point taken.


          • Tarantulette
            July 30, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

            Nope, scratch that, it’s half and half, my bad. But anyway the main point we all agree on is surely that regeneration is urgently required. Una McCormack & Juno Dawson are a good duo for the new Thirteenth Doctor novels, but Stephen Cole?!

          • William Shaw
            July 30, 2018 @ 7:23 pm

            IIRC, the 12 Doctors,12 Stories series (soon to be 13 with a new Naomi Alderman) was put out by Puffin rather than BBC Books, making it a slightly different concern.

            (Though ofc it still went out under official Dr Who branding, so maybe I’m just splitting hairs).

        • Daru
          August 4, 2018 @ 6:10 am

          Yes I do agree arcbeatle – I was really into the BBC range of Who book s for a while but nothing much in their standard range has appealed to me. I might give this book a go at some point though.


  3. Archetypal
    July 30, 2018 @ 4:24 pm

    Dollars to donuts that S is Steven Kitson, who used to be SK around these parts, and who would viciously argue that black is white if it passed a few hours at his videogame studio job (a job he hates but which he professes icky girls shouldn’t do, of course). He’s been stinking up Doctor Who discussion since the 1990s and he’s no less irritating now than he was then.

    Remember when he accused everyone of being “morally bankrupt” if they downloaded out of print Doctor Who books in the entry for The Well Mannered War? Ah, happy days. El – banhammer him if you can.


  4. Daibhid C
    July 30, 2018 @ 5:53 pm

    But what does work is grabbing gaps in the series and filling them with anthologies. .. There aren’t necessarily a ton of things you can obviously do this with.

    There were a couple of previous examples The Story of Martha (Martha walking the Earth in The Year That Never Happened – which weirdly was published as a “standard” New Series Adventure) and Tales of Trenzalore (the 300 years the Doctor spent in one place).

    I suppose the other big gap is most of the 200 years between the Doctor’s visits to Lake Silencio, but it would just be “the Doctor does Doctory stuff”, so it doesn’t really count. I would totally be here for Legends of St Luke’s about the Doctor’s more recent period staying in one place, though.


    • T
      August 4, 2018 @ 2:17 pm

      There’s also the gap between Waters of Mars and End of Time.


  5. Daniel Tessier
    July 31, 2018 @ 7:25 am

    “Sometime Never…” was released in 2004. Can you imagine if the TV series had the same showrunner for eighteen years?

    I’m a huge Moffat supporter but I can see that after eight years we seriously need a new showrunner to keep things fresh. Surely it’s time to do the same with the book line?


    • Daniel Tessier
      July 31, 2018 @ 7:26 am

      Fourteen years, even. I forgot my maths in all my ire.


      • T
        August 4, 2018 @ 2:20 pm

        Nick Briggs has been pretty much running Big Finish Doctor Who since 2006. Sheesh. That definitely needs a clear out.


  6. Paul F Cockburn
    July 31, 2018 @ 7:52 am

    What I really wanted to know, though, was… do you think that the stories in this collection in any way answer the question posed on the cover? “Would you want to live forever?”


    • liminal fruitbat
      July 31, 2018 @ 10:37 pm

      A question that still hasn’t gained any interesting answers since Hob Gadling.

      (On the other hand, if living forever increases the probability of being written by Justin Richards to 100%, maybe the answer is “no” after all.)


    • Przemek
      August 1, 2018 @ 7:18 am

      In the distance, you can hear the faint echo of a deafening scream from the thousand throats of Less Wrong commenters.


  7. Przemek
    August 1, 2018 @ 7:42 am

    It’s always disheartening to read Eruditorum posts that ultimately conclude that something in DW could have worked but didn’t because nobody cared enough to put in actual effort. Given the number of talented people who would’ve sold their kidney to get the chance to write even a short story for DW, the “generic adventure” vibe of this book is just a damn shame.

    As for Ashildr/Me, I thought her character had promise and I enjoyed her story but the fact that they eventually settled on “a slightly mysterious generic immortal” is a bit disappointing. Thank God the Doctor gets to regenerate and regain his sense of wonder and excitement every few years – those stoic, world-weary immortals are usually such terrible bores.


  8. Kit
    August 3, 2018 @ 7:30 pm

    She’s a solidly selling rom-com writer who did the Iain Banks “take a middle initial to write sci-fi” thing, only her sci-fi is all Doctor Who tie-ins. There’s a number of interesting advantages here. For one thing, she comes from an overtly feminine genre

    Worth noting that Colgan started bringing SF/F elements into her romance novels as early as her fourth and fifth, in 2003/4. (Having enjoyed her first three, I thought these flubbed the genreclash and hopped off her train altogether. Still theoretically look forward to reading the Who work in the future though!)

    Also, I believe that the initial JT Colgan semi-pseudonym was designed to get past the sort of readers who didn’t want yucky girls writing their adventure stories – though it was never an actual secret, just bookstore-specific caution.


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