The Happy Wanderer

Two more days in London. I’m staying over at a friends place, sleeping on their comfy sofa, and subbbing at TV Times. I also took the chance to get to the BSFA meeting last night, which featured an interview with Who novelist and writer Paul Cornell which was hugely entertaining. It was especially delightful hearing his first memories of bravely making it through the Who story Brain of Morbius, plus the conceptual shift he experienced on reading the prologue of Target novelisation Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters. Fun, erudite, and plenty to think about. I also got to tell him how much I enjoyed the recent Big Finish audio he’d co-written, and ended up asking his very lovely wife if I could pick her brains at some point about the ins and outs of becoming a vicar. (She’s training to be one, and I’ve got a story idea that involves a vicar and really needs a bit more detail than “he wears a dog collar and quotes from the Bible!”) Also ended up drinking far too much red wine thanks to the prescence of Macmillan sci-fi editor supremo Peter Lavery, and it was a lovely time. Wish I could have stayed longer, but time and money restrictions meant having to say no.

Woke up this morning at 7, was out of Kim and Richard’s flat in Surrey Quays by 7.30- and then, I got the walking bug. Instead of taking the bus to the nearest tube station (which I can never do- too much standing around), I set off to walk it- but ended up distracted by one of the nearby Quays, and the distant towers of Canary Wharf. I had 2 1/2 hours before I needed to get to work- so I ended up going on a mammoth walk, exploring a side of the Thames that I’d never got to see before. I took a couple of wrong turns, but went up into Rotherhite, and then ended up saying “Why the hell not?” and walked all the way into work, which is just by Blackfriars. Took just under two hours, and the weather was fresh and bracing without being insanely cold. There’s something about random exploration that I find very beguiling- I never want to be in a situation where I can’t just fix my eyes on the horizon, say “I wonder what’s over there?”, and then go and find out.

Exploration is a good thing.

Tomorrow I may also be paying a visit to the offices of SMD Publishing, in order to discuss the matter of the £876 they still owe me. I’ve heard a couple of rumours that are a little more positive than what I’ve been mostly aware of, but it’s going to take money in my bank before I’ll regard this problem as sorted.

3 thoughts on “The Happy Wanderer

    • Okay- don’t know if you know the story (otherwise known as ‘Doctor Who and the Silurians’)- but it’s all about an ancient race of reptiles who were on Earth before man who end up awakening and causing various problems. The novel, written by Malcom Hulke (rightly described by Paul Cornell that night as one of the more literary of the Who novelists) starts off with a prologue that’s basically following lots of people talking about the end of their civillisation- and basically, it’s one of those fun conceptual shifts that are coolest when you’re a kid as you discover that the people you’re reading about are actually reptiles, and that the disaster they’re afraid of- a gigantic planetoid hitting the Earth- is actually the arrival of the Moon into Earth’s orbit. For Cornell, it was one of those moments that really defined what Who was about, and launched his love of the show.
      Have to admit to similar feelings- it’s hard to say if I’d have ended up loving Who quite so much if I hadn’t had to discover and experience so much of it through novelisations and comic strips and the like, as in the pre-video days, you only had one chance to watch it.
      (Hope that made sense)


      • Mmm, yes – know the story well. I’m even younger than you, young man, and my love for Who grew almost entirely out of the Virgin novels, the comic strips in DWM, and the novelisations… But I also had videos, which I guess fleshed the whole thing out…
        And yes, it all made sense. 🙂


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