Shelf Life

Not pictured - any Doctor Who stuff
Doctor Who author and critic Craig Hinton passed away in 2006, prompting Shelf Life, a charity anthology ("fanthology"?) published in support of the British Heart Foundation. Named after Craig's own column in Doctor Who Magazine, stories aimed to build on the worlds Craig had depicted in his own Doctor Who work.

My own story, Pierrot le Who, was a bit weird, even by my standards. It was something of a follow-up to Craig's Millennial Rites novel, but much of it was set in the West Midlands. For a bit of a laugh, I regressed the 7th Doctor back into the 6th Doctor's body, and it was great fun pairing Colin Baker's Doctor with Ace. Craig coined the term 'fanwank', you see, and I could think of no purer fanwanky concept than having the Doctor randomly revisit an old incarnation through sheer fanservice.

My story was also influenced by Jean-Luc Godard's 1965 film Pierrot le Fou, from which I cheerfully nicked all the bits that readers enjoyed. It's a mad story, in a pretty bonkers book, but on rereading it recently, I was pleased with the tale's sheer exuberance. There's a nice cameo from Sabalom Glitz and Dibber, as well as my favourite line of dialogue from everything I've ever written.

The hardback ran to over 600 pages, and there was also a CD-ROM edition (this was pre-Kindle, remember). There was also a free preview of four of the stories, including my own, available to download. The PDF link is still live at, and last I heard you could even still get a few copies of the book from the publisher. There was a limited edition run of 100 copies, followed by a second print run a while later.

A sincere and hopefully fitting tribute to a much missed chap. There's a nice review of the whole book here:

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