Following the tragic death of Doctor Who author Craig Hinton on the third of December 2006, Shelf Life, an anthology of Doctor Who-related fiction and non-fiction dedicated to his memory was produced.
This truly excellent book was edited by Jay Eales, David McIntee and Adrian Middleton, with a foreword by Andy Lane. Shelf Life was published in December 2008, with a second print run in February 2009, and all proceeds were donated to the British Heart Foundation.
My story was Fair Exchange, and featured the Fifth Doctor as well as Craig’s inventions of the Lorq, the Amentethys, and the evil Doctor, the Savant. In addition, the story was the first widespread appearance of Time Lord cardinal Abani, who had only featured in stories in the fanzine Ice Hot Doctor prior to that point. The story gave the origin of the Savant and pitted the Lorq and Amentethys against each other, with the Savant stirring things up as the Doctor and Turlough are caught in the middle.
I was also fortunate enough to have two illustrations printed to accompany my own story.
It seems this book is no longer available for sale, which saddens me. It’s very good indeed.
Publisher: Factor Fiction
Date Published: (First Edition) 2008, (Second Edition) 2009
ISBN: No ISBN requested
Editors: Jay Eales, David McIntee, and Adrian Middleton
Authors/Artists (Doctor Who book authors and well-known artists are bolded): John Aggs | James Ambuehl | William Andrews | Peter Anghelides | Jon Arnold | Chris Askham | Andy Baker | Allan Bednar | Simon Bucher-Jones | Damon Cavalchini | Andrew Cheverton | Peet Clack | Roger Clark | D’Israeli | Jonathon Dalton | Alec Daniels | Vince Danks | Darren Douglas | Stuart A Douglas | Jay Eales | Paul Ebbs | Garen Ewing | Josceline Fenton | Toby Ford | Simon A. Forward | Roger Gibson | Brian Gorman | Steve Graeme | Matthew Griffiths | Allan Harvey | Steve Hatcher | Craig Hinton | Laura Howell | Mike Juniper | Tim Keable | Andy Lane | Roger Langridge | Robbie Langton | Andrew K. Lawston | Jen Leavesley | Yishan Li | Marvin Mann | David McIntee | Chris McKeon | Ant Mercer | Mark Michalowski | Adrian Middleton | Fiona Moore | Mike Morgan | Jim Mortimore | Bevis Musson | Peter Neville | Lee O’Connor | Daniel O’Mahony | Kate Orman | Caroline Parkinson | Paul Peart-Smith | Stephen Prestwood | Pete Rajski | Graeme Neil Reid | Natalie Sandells | Rachel Simpson Hutchens | Dale Smith | Oli Smith | Rachel Steffan | Alan Stevens | Daniel Tessier | Christer Van | Emma Vieceli | Nick Wallace | Dave Whittam | Terry Wiley | Dave Windett
Behind The Scenes
Two follow-up volumes of short novels featuring Doctors One to Eight were planned. I pitched two ideas, one for the Third Doctor and one for the Eighth Doctor, but nothing came of these proposals and – as far as I can determine – no subsequent Shelf Life volumes were ever released. The theme for the mooted follow-ups was “meta-fiction”.
It wasn’t until condolences for his untimely passing started being posted in online forums that I realised I had so much in common with Craig Hinton. I was stunned to discover that we’d both attended the same school, Isleworth and Syon in West London. (He was in a year above me, so we never met but we must have been in the same building at the same time.)
On top of that, at the time of his passing, Craig had entered into the teaching profession and was teaching maths. I had just finished being an assistant teacher, albeit in Japan. And, by the time Shelf Life was published, I’d chalked up another strange similarity to Craig – I’d begun a career as a technical writer and editor (that lasted 7 years). Craig was a technical writer and editor for many years. We even shared the same facial hair.
Of course, the similarities end there. For a start, I never could get Virgin and BBC Worldwide to accept any of my Doctor Who book proposals. Of course, the books are still being published, so who knows what the distant future may hold?