In the city-state of Hokesh, a derelict called Joey Quine
discovers the ability to glimpse into and influence the minds
of others. He also finds himself subject to horrifying visions.
In another time, Magnus Solaris, the ruler of Radiant City,
is worried that his memory is failing while his city is falling
apart. For some reason, the seventh Doctor is hastening the
latter process by inciting social unrest...
could argue that the novella format is the perfect medium
for Dave Stone. This author does have a tendency to write
either relatively short novels that nevertheless seem stretched
beyond their natural length (see his recent Doctor Who:
The Slow Empire and Professor Bernice Summerfield and
the Infernal Nexus) or short stories that are actually
rather long and sprawling.
offbeat style also makes him a suitable successor to Kim Newman,
who launched the Telos Doctor Who range with the often
surreal diary entries of Susan Foreman in Time and Relative.
Following Newman's use of the diary format, Stone also uses
a structural gimmick: that of a dual timeline, which alternates
between two time periods, "Before" and "After". Ironically,
reading this novella after Time and Relative, Stone's
writing style initially seems more restrained and straightforward
than usual. However, he is simply setting the scene for the
weirdness that is to come later on in the book!
in the previous novella, the Doctor plays a background role,
this time with the characters of Joey Quine and (to a lesser
extent) Magnus Solaris being placed in the foreground. The
secretive seventh Doctor is, in fact, particularly suited
to such treatment, as was demonstrated by several of his appearances
in Virgin's New Adventures series of novels. There
is a particularly effective red herring here involving the
Doctor - or rather, involving his frequently assumed nom be
plume of Doctor John Smith.
criticism that I have of this book is that the sinister Patrolmen
who stalk the streets of Hokesh City are something of a rip-off
of the artificial agents from The Matrix.
that one glitch, however, this is an entertaining mystery.
By virtue of its short length, it does not bend the reader's
mind for too long before the truth is finally disclosed, and
the novella can be swiftly re-read in light of its concluding
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