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Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles Paperback – 4 Aug 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; Reprint edition (4 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849901406
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849901406
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 373,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A marriage made in heaven, or perhaps Gallifrey. As a teenager Michael Moorcock was my favourite author, and Doctor Who my favourite TV programme. Why no one has ever put the two of them together before I don't know" (Charlie Higson)

"Delicious. The modern genre's most original voice has invited the Doctor into his multiverse for an adventure sparkling with wit and peril... Authentic Moorcock. Authentic Who. An essential read" (Stephen Baxter)

"A combination of Moorcockian multiverse and Wodehousian Comedy filigreed into something magical and unexpected. It's Doctor Who written by the most important living British fantasist, and it's as good as I'd hoped, and much funnier" (Neil Gaiman)

"Delightfully good-humored... an authentically Moorcockian take on both Doctor Who and that most whimsical of themes - the coming of ultimate chaos and the annihilation of the universe itself!" (Alastair Reynolds)

"We are astoundingly lucky to have Michael Moorcock. In his range, his skill, invention and his passion he exemplifies the very best of more than one literary tradition" (China Mieville)

Book Description

The paperback edition of fantasy and sci-fi giant Michael Moorcock's Doctor Who epic

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 3 Nov. 2010
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First the good news. After a disappointing run of cash-in audio adventures that were light on plot and ideas, The Coming of the Terraphiles is an honest-to-goodness novel - and has been published as such - running just short of 11 hours on nine CDs, complete with fully drawn characters and worlds and an ambitious plot written by a `hard' scifi writer with impeccable credentials. The bad news is that despite Clive Mantle's generally excellent reading, it feels like it's often a little too fully realised to work on audio, with the prologue and opening chapters taken up with so much florid backstory and character detail, often conveyed with plentiful nonsensical wordplay that even Edward Lear might have balked at, that the story seems to take forever to get started and often gets lost in the purple prose when it does. All too often it seems as if even the smallest of actions leads to yet more lengthy description and backgound that would work better on the printed page where you could read (and just as importantly, reread) at your own pace to keep your bearings. Moorcock too often seems more interested in engineering worlds than telling a story: you can't fault the detail even if it is overfamiliar, but you do find yourself wanting him to just get on with it at times.

At times this is more of a Moorcock novel complete with his trademark obsessions and characters - another variation on Jerry Cornelius, more Multiverses, more Arrows of Law - with the Doctor sidelined to a minor player who almost feels shoehorned in, never quite commanding the story and often feeling subordinate to it and the author's already long-established worlds. As such it may well disappoint or alienate some fans of both the series and Moorcock.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Tony Jones VINE VOICE on 26 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cards on table: I am a big Dr Who fan and a Moorcock fan from the 70s / 80s devouring all the Eternal Champion books wherever I found them. When I heard of this novel I was both astounded and apprehensive - would this be a Dr Who novel written by Moorcock or a Moorcock novel with Dr Who in it?

Well the novel is littered with the Moorcock trademarks - arrows of law, law vs. Chaos, cosmic balance, multiverse and a character named Cornelius. We also need to bear in mind Moorcock's novel for the film Great Rock and Roll Swindle for which he (essentially) reproduced a Jerry Cornelius tale (though a good one!).

We then need to think back to the good Doctor - I am just listening to the Big Finish Key2Time series, and it is clear that the Doctor as well uses the language of law/order vs. Chaos, multiverse, the Key to Time itself is a balance, so actually the language is not that far away.

The novel itself is well paced, very readable and very funny. In fact I was most struck by the sense that the fantastic comic prose describing the bizarre archaic psuedo-cricket / darts / jousting games of the 'plot' (ignoring the hat) could as well have been outpourings of the pen of the most credible of Dr Who champions Douglas Adams.

As a Moorcock fan, I thoroughly enjoyed the look back to Earth history from the distant future - pure Dancers at the End of Time for those that know their Moorcock.

Why only four stars? Well I think too much was added to the Who universe to set the backdrop for the story; Amy was left as a cypher until suddenly taking her place as a key character for the final third; the Doctor himself seemed to have all the faults of the Matt Smith character (appearance over content) and didn't quite capture his strengths of timing and expression.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 April 2014
Format: Hardcover
A Doctor Who novel. Featuring the Eleventh Doctor and Amy [set at an unspecified point somewhere in his first season]. It's a completely original tale that never appeared in any other medium before book publication.

It runs for three hundred and forty three pages. It's divided into twenty eight chapters. Plus a prologue and an interlude.

In something of a coup for bbc books, this was written by legendary British fantasy and science fiction writer Michael Moorcock.

There are some tie ins to his other work, but you should be able to get into this without having read any of that.

Some mild adult references might not make it entirely suitable for younger readers.

The story sees the universe starting to face chaos, and reality is coming apart. The only thing that can save the day is the arrow of law. A famous artefact. The Terraphiles are a group of beings obsessed with the legends and stories of Earth. They will dress in ancient Earth styles and re-enact Earth ways. Such as cricket matches.

The Doctor and Amy have to join them on a journey where they will compete for the Arrow. All of reality, in the meantime, is hanging in the balance on the outcome of this contest.

Franchise fiction usually has strict rules that those writing it have to abide by, not least that it has to feel like an episode of the programme in question. Doctor Who original fiction of old, from the early 90's to the middle of the last decade, did often try to push the boundaries of that and do stories that were, as they say, too broad for the small screen.

This is another attempt at similar.

You would think that having a writer of Michael Moorcock's pedigree would guarantee a result that would be something special.
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