Yellow Cover Frenzy!

by martincwday

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I’m so chuffed that (most of) the various TV guides I worked on with Paul Cornell and Keith Topping are being electronically ‘republished’ by Gollancz that I thought I’d push the boat out and start a blog. If I’m honest, I’m not absolutely sure how many people ever look at my web site (www.martinday.co.uk) anyway, which is a pretty dour and professional ‘front end’ for my work. I certainly imagine this blog will have its own tumble weeds blowing through it before too long.

However, I wanted a little more space than I normally allow myself in my News section to talk about this, and, maybe, other things. (Of course, this might prove to be my one and only post. I’ve always worked on the basis that, if I’ve got anything to say, I should say it in my scripts and books, and not splurge free words into a blog. But that hasn’t stopped be enjoying Twitter… Even if all I seem to do is repost dull but anger-inducing political snippets.)

Anyway, back to the TV guides. Written when the universe was less than half its present size*, these books – covering Doctor Who, The Avengers, the first five seasons of The X-Files, and bits of modern Star Trek – are the first non-fiction titles to find a home in Gollancz’s SF Gateway range. Like those band T-shirts from ages past that you can’t quite bring yourself to throw away, I remain really incredibly fond of these old things – for all their faults, they’re pretty much where this whole writing malarkey thing began for me. And I’m delighted to even tangentially be associated with the classic Gollancz yellow covers (Paul shares my excitement – see his blog at http://www.paulcornell.com/2013/10/the-discontinuity-guide-is-coming-as.html). Though I read precious little SF these days, I’ve lost count of the number of yellow-covered Gollancz novels I consumed as a child.

As you’ll see from the announcement at http://www.gollancz.co.uk/2013/10/classic-guides-to-doctor-who-star-trek-and-more-return-to-life-with-the-sf/, a book on British telefantasy shows – cobbled together from two chapters from our first joint work, The Guinness Book of Classic British TV, and lovingly updated by Keith via his blog at http://keithtopping.blogspot.co.uk/ - will follow at some future point. (As, perhaps, will something else I’m working on, he added, not very mysteriously.) But barring typos and some catastrophic errors, these first four books are resolutely as they were when first published. I don’t usually believe in looking back, but, especially with the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who approaching, I hope we might be permitted a moment of retrospection. Perhaps – if we’re very lucky – a new audience will be introduced  to these guides. Or, at the very least, they’ll find a readership whose dead tree versions of the books are now in danger of falling to bits.

* In other words, between 1991 and 1998.

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