Wednesday, 12 September 2012

New Who, Hollywood horror, harsh words

I had a pleasant surprise this week when the paperback version of HUNTER’S MOON, my Dr Who novel of 2011, arrived as part of a neat little box-set from BBC Books – the official ‘2013 Collection’.

Also included in the package is THE WAY THROUGH THE WOODS by Uma McCormack and DEAD OF WINTER by James Goss. Both are an excellent read, and provide two other very good reasons why folk should invest in this product.

My tale, HUNTER’S MOON, takes the Doctor (the 11th of that name), Rory and Amy to a futuristic space platform where the workers of an intergalactic industrial confederation let their hair down. This really is the party to end all parties – there is much drinking, much riotous behaviour in various space-age fleshpots and much mixing of gamblers and villains with socialites and celebrities. But it’s also a place were you really don’t want to step on the wrong set of toes. To cut a long story short, Rory gets kidnapped by a brutal crime-lord, Amy gets a job as a skimpily-clad waitress and the Doctor, having impersonated a vicious bounty hunter, finds himself embroiled in a violent game of death …

Just in case that doesn’t whet your whistles sufficiently, here are some of the nice things that have been written about it online:
In a story full of excitement and adventure, the Doctor is pushed to the limits of his survival and cunning. With Amy forced to wear a skintight cat-suit, this would make a brilliant episode for TV …
To quote the Doctor, how cool is that.
This was very different from any Dr. Who novelisations and I think that’s what made it a very good read. It was gory and rough and that’s something you don’t see much with Dr. Who. This seems like it would’ve fit in the Old School Who, but also in the Moffat era with all of the different monsters …
Sounds like a man after my own heart.
I was very impressed with Hunter's Moon probably because the way the story was told it felt like something like the events described could happen. An ex-policeman, his wife and child are kidnapped and transported to an alien world where they are forced to endure horrific confrontations. The whole concept sent shivers down my spine. The Doctor, Amy and Rory always get out of scrapes – but here was a group of humans facing something that could only be experienced in nightmares! Well done, Paul Finch – love to see this book turned into a TV adventure ... or would I? Other authors of Doctor Who novels could learn a lot from Mr Finch ... in fact, so could the television production team! Highly recommended!
Wahaaay to the last one, or what? But now – boos-hisss! – the brickbats:
This is very much a hybrid of 1980s style Doctor Who (an interesting mix of late Davison/late McCoy era tropes & characteristics). It’s rather light on plot originality, and Amy is under-used ... but it’s full of great action writing. A superficially enjoyable read, but not quite as memorable as it could have been.
Don’t worry, if you want blood, you’re going to get it …
Not my favourite Doctor Who tie-in book, a bit too much gritty sci-fi action and not enough fun timey-wimey and character interaction for me. Didn’t really feel like an episode of Doctor Who – more like a questionnable post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie that might feature Keanu Reeves or someone equally awful …
Ouch! But if you thought I’d got off lightly so far, check this one out …
It is my dearest hope that Paul Finch will never write a Doctor Who novel ever again. I have a deep feeling that to gather information in preparation to write this novel, he sat down one night, watched a couple of episodes of Classic Who, and afterwards watched about thirty seconds of an New Who, most likely a clip in which the 11th Doctor portrayed as Matt Smith, says something is cool.
Ah well, you can’t please them all. But as they say, those who can write, do, and those who can’t … well, let’s not go there. No sense giving credence to the theory that bitchiness is catching (that would be no good for my street-cred). Suffice to say that I’ve apparently really offended someone by making Rory into an action-hero and Amy into a captive. Probably best not to ponder that for too long.

Anyway, on a happier note, I can report this week that Canadian sales agent, Raven Banner, have signed on the dotted line for DARK HOLLOW, and that the movie – which director Paul Campion and I scripted at least a couple of years ago now, and have revised several times since – is at last slated for production next year.

DARK HOLLOW is, of course, a film adaptation of Briane Keene’s superb horror novel of the same name. Raven Banner, who are regarded as genre specialists, picked up the world sales rights after it was pitched recently at the Fantasia co-production market in Montreal.

More details can be found here on the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

To celebrate, above and below are a couple more shots of the eerie New Forest locations that we scouted for the movie earlier this year.

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