This feels like one of those headlines you make up by pressing three random buttons. But, no, on the eve of the new Doctor Who episode, legendary fantasy author Michael Moorcock is becoming part of the extended franchise.
The author of the Elric, Eternal Champion and Jerry Cornelius novels, and an inspiration to many creators such as Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Wiliam Gibson and Ian Sinclair, posted on his forum that;
Looks like it's official. I'll be doing a new Dr Who novel (not a tie-in) for appearance, I understand, by next Christmas. Still have to have talks etc. with producers and publishers but we should be signing shortly. Should be fun.
Cue one exploding forum of fandom. In response to questions, on both his forum and on Doctor Who sites, Moorcock replied;
1) I've been watching Dr Who since it began. Haven't liked all the doctors and after Peter Davison stopped watching regularly until the new BBC Wales series.
2) Since the Tom Baker series, a lot of my ideas crept into the stories and so in many ways I'll be writing a story which already echoes my own work.
3)I do have to submit it to editors so they can make sure it fits into the canon and this, of course, is understandable. By saying it wasn't a tie-in I did, of course, mean that it would be an original novel, not one which was linked to previous stories.
I share an enthusiasm for the current Dr Who broadcasts with quite a few friends who are 'literary' novelists and I sense in some of the Gallifrey remarks a suspicion of the 'outsider' which you used to get when someone with a reputation as a non-sf writer would decide to write an sf novel. All I can answer to this is 'wait and see'. I'm certainly not a non-watcher! Neither am I someone who ascribes a kind of religiosity to an enthusiasm. This phenomenon crops up a lot, these days associated with sf/fantasy, LOTR, H.Potter, Twilight and so on. I hate these presumptions of exclusivity either in my own corner of the literary world or elsewhere. Mike Kustow, once director of the Royal Shakespeare Co, described this as 'the anxious ownership syndrome', when faced with his first confrontation with sf fandom in Brighton 1968. He'd found the same sort of expression with Shakespeare fans when someone from 'outside' showed an interest.
I've been asked to write Dr Who scripts or stories almost since the series began, because I was known to enjoy Dr Who. Only recently did the time feel right to me to do one. I'm going to enjoy that, too.
Remarkable. Quite remarkable. Makes the whole Neil Gaiman-writing-Doctor-Who-Season-Five-episode much more likely in comparison, no?