Contract Kill (Published in Drabble Who)

Drabble Who

Published to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the BBC TV series Doctor Who in 1993, this book contained 100 “drabbles” – stories of exactly 100 words. The book raised money for the Royal National Institute for the Blind’s Talking Book Fund. Only 1000 copies were printed, because 1000 is a multiple of 100; really, they should have printed 100 x 100 = 10,000 copies.

As will become clear from the long list of authors, there were some amazingly famous people involved with this project. I was astonished that I was allowed to be a part of it.

My story was published under the name Michael R. Morgan, because, well, that’s my full name. It’s on page 91.

Since the book is sold out and all rights to the stories reverted to the writers on publication, I don’t think there’s an issue with me reproducing the story in its entirety.

“Isn’t she up yet?” grumbled the Doctor. Ace was like all teenagers; she enjoyed her lie-ins. He turned away from the console, intent on rudely awakening her. The air parted before him as a Giggling Sneersman Assassin slid through a warp:gate and unsheathed poison-tipped scimitars.

“Contract kill, not personal,” it chanted. “You annoy one species too many.”

It lunged, blades poised. The double-doors swung open, abruptly sucking it past the Doctor into the vortex outside.

“Well done, old girl.”

Later:

Ace rubbed the sleep from her eyes. “Did I miss anything?” He told her, but she never did believe him.

Book Details:

Publisher: Beccon Publications
Date Published: November 1993
ISBN: 1-870824-21-0
Editors: David J. Howe and David B. Wake

Authors (take a deep breath): Dan Abnett (famous author, incl. Doctor Who) | Sophie Aldred (Ace in Doctor Who) | Brian Ameringen | Peter Anghelides (Doctor Who author) | Geoffrey Arthur | Colin Baker (the Sixth Doctor) | David Banks (the Cyberleader from Doctor Who and Who books author) | Nigel Bannerman | Christopher Barry (director, Doctor Who) | Stephen Baxter (famous sci-fi author) | Michael Bell | J. Jeremy Bentham (writer) | Ness Bishop (Skaro fanzine) | Ian Stuart Black (writer, Doctor Who TV series) | Chris Boucher (script writer, Doctor Who and Blake’s 7 TV series et al) | Steve Bowkett | Graham S. Brand | Keith Brooke | David Burke | Tim Chapman | Kevin Chitty | Tony Cooke | Nathan Cooke | Paul Cornell (script writer, Doctor Who TV series, novels, comic strips) | Fiona Cumming (director, Doctor Who) | Richard W. Dance | Peter Darvill-Evans (range editor, Virgin Doctor Who New Adventures, and author) | Andrew W. Donkin | Julian Eales (co-editor of Doctor Who fan anthologies Perfect Timing 2 and Walking in Eternity) | Stan Eling | George Evans | Michael Ferguson | Ian M. Fraser | John Freeman (editor, Doctor Who Magazine 1990-1992) | Stephen Gallagher (script writer, Doctor Who et al) | Steve Graeme | David Green | Mervyn Haisman (script writer, Doctor Who) | Elizabeth Halliday | Paul Harrington | Alun Harris | Michael Haslett | David J. Howe (Doctor Who non-fiction writer) | Robert Howe | David Inwood | Simon J. Irving | Alison Jacobs | Louise Jameson (Leela in Doctor Who) |  Steven Jenkins | Simon Christopher Jones | Andrew Lane | Glenn Langford | Barry Letts (legendary figure who bestrides the heavens like a god, Doctor Who) | Peter Ling (script writer, Doctor Who) | David Martin | Chaz Mason | Becky Maude | Tim Maude | Graham McKinnon | Adrian Middleton (author and co-editor of various Doctor Who fan anthologies) | Brian Milligan | Mike Morgan (as “M. R. Morgan”) (me) | Steve Morgan | Mark Morris (Doctor Who author) | Jim Mortimore (Doctor Who author) | Amanda Murray | John Nathan-Turner (producer, Doctor Who) | Kate Orman (Doctor Who author) | John Peel (Doctor Who author) | Victor Pemberton (script writer, Doctor Who) | Jon Pertwee (the Third Doctor) | Martin Pollard | Eric Pringle (script writer, Doctor Who) | Justin Richards (prolific Doctor Who author and Eighth Doctor Adventures range editor) | John M. Rimmer | Tony Roach | Nigel Robinson (Doctor Who author) | Nicholas Royle | Gary Russell (TV series script editor/Doctor Who author/Big Finish Audios Big Cheese et al) | Robert Sloman (script writer, Doctor Who) | Chris Sparrow | Mark Stammers (writer Doctor Who non-fiction and co-editor of Decalog 1 and 2) | Michael E. P. Stevens | Keith Topping (Doctor Who author) | David Tulley | Jan Vincent-Rudzki (founder of Doctor Who Appreciation Society) | David B. Wake | Stephen James Walker (writer Doctor Who non-fiction and co-editor of Decalog 1 and 2) | John Wiles | Stephen Wyatt (script writer, Doctor Who)


Behind The Scenes

My participation in this project came about through an open-call announcement in Doctor Who Magazine. Basically, fans could submit stories to the book as part of a competition. My story was one of the runners-up and I was in. This book was my first professionally published work, and I was sharing page space with Jon Pertwee. I’m not sure it can get much better than that.

Anecdotes

I never got my contributor’s copy, by the way. I moved around the time they were sent out and I suppose my copy must have gone to my old address. My landlord did not forward it on. Many years later, I was at a convention with some friends and I saw a copy of the book at a dealer’s stall. I was curious to see how the book had turned out – I did remember sending off my story – and I glanced at the list of names on the back cover… and was astonished to see my name there! I had to pay the vast sum of eight pounds to get that copy.

Years later, another friend suggested we wait outside a theatre’s stage door for Colin Baker after a performance of the Pirates of Penzance to get his autograph. I thought asking him to sign Drabble Who might be fun, since he has a story in it. He was very impressed to see a copy after so long and asked why I’d brought it. “Well,” I admitted, “I have a story in it too and I thought I could get a fellow writer’s signature.” He quickly found my entry and stood there in the chilly Stoke-on-Trent night air reading the entire story aloud. When he realised it was about the Seventh Doctor, and not the Sixth, he pretended to be highly affronted. Good ol’ 6-ey.

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