Shortly after Decalog 3 was published (in which my short story “Moving On” appeared), Tim Archer interviewed six of the ten authors. Here are my answers.
Decalog 3 interview
Conducted by Tim Archer
Tim Archer: How did you become involved with Doctor Who?
Peter Anghelides: I’ve watched the show since I was at primary school (back in Ye Blacke and White Transmission Yeares). At secondary school and university, my pals and I produced a fanzine, “Frontier Worlds”, which published reviews, humour, and fiction (including stuff by Paul Cornell, what a scoop, eh?) And I wrote a novelisation of “Logopolis” and the last ever Blake’s 7 story, “Blake”, as well as some short fiction.
The Decalog series provides fans with the opportunity to harness their literary talents by printing their work. How did you become involved in the Decalog series?
Two of my colleagues at work were Justin Richards and Craig Hinton; I’d seen their Virgin work (and commented on some early drafts). Andy Lane had published some of my short fiction in one of his fanzines. Justin and I used to edit the CMS reference series “Doctor Who IN-VISION”. Justin and Andy invited me to submit an outline for Decalog 3, which they considered and which Virgin accepted. (Sounds a bit “in”, I suppose, but they were quite prepared to reject my stuff if they thought it was not very good-and besides, a lot of commissioned publishing is done through “networking” (whether who you know, or meet, or e-mail, or BBS, or rec.arts.drwho, or whatever!)
Fans have welcomed the Decalog concept over the years very positively. But, what do the authors involved think of it?
An ideal testing ground for new authors, as well as a sound marketing device for Virgin to try out short s.f. There’s a real variety of material in each, some of which is brilliant (and a small amount of which is pretty dreadful).
Tell us about your story.
I wanted to write a short story-rather than the sort of “short story” previously published in the Decalogs (you know, the “shortened novels” sort of thing). So I concentrated on (a) the “consequences” theme of the book (but not in an entirely literal sense), (b) a couple of central characters, and (c) a central scene around which these pivot. I’ve resisted the temptation to say more, because it’s more fun for readers to work stuff out for themselves. I haven’t said who appears in it, for example. Mind you, I haven’t seen many reviews of the story, so I can’t really judge how successful people think I’ve been. (Have you seen any?) What I can tell you is that I wildly overshot the word-limit, and had to do some judicious editing-which I think has benefited the story.
Several authors who have contributed to Decalog in the past have gone on to write more Doctor Who fiction in the style of full-length novels. Will you?
Yes (watch this space).
2011 update: Find out more than that last answer tells you by reading this blog post.