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Book Review

Book Cover



Author: David J Howe
Telos Publishing
RRP: £12.99
ISBN: 978 1 84583 058 8
Available 30 September 2011

David J. Howe has had a long association as an authoritative and critical writer on all things Who. He is also the co-founder of Telos Publishing and provided the script for Daemos Rising.

Talespinning is a collection of Howe’s fictional writings gathered together over the last thirty years, covering anything from short, one hundred word, pieces, to full length screenplays.

The general theme of most of Howe’s writing osculates between pieces which are specifically or partially to do with Doctor Who and pieces which are thematically horror stories - although the bulk of the stories are in the horror genre.

As Howe admits, success in his journalistic writing has left little time to work in fiction, the length of the piece not necessarily indicative of the time it takes to complete. The book contains two; Doctor Who drabbles, which are short stories of one hundred words. In some ways short stories are more difficult to write than longer fiction as the restrictions are greater, therefore the discipline needed to write a good story of only one hundred words is impressive.

The shorter fiction makes up the first half of the book, the pieces which I thought worked the best was Moonlighting and Blackfriars, both of which are deliciously macabre. The book also contains two unfinished novels Barkio and The Cemetery, included to complete the selection of fictional works; they are somewhat frustrating as they leave both stories unresolved.

The last quarter of the book contains the scripts for the completed Daemos Rising and the unfilmed Face of the Fendahl. It’s difficult to critique these pieces; scripts are by their nature bare boned, dry affairs, until you stick some actors in front of a camera. Though in the case of the former script this was completed.

As a collection of shorter fiction this collection is eminently readable with a nice range of stories in differing forms.


Charles Packer

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