The Scribes are handed out by The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers for excellence in novels based on TV shows, movies, and games, which. I suppose, makes it the Booker prize of novelisations and shared world fiction. Lance is facing competition from a Primeval spin-off and something from the Disney Club.
I’m well on record as being something of a fan of Lance Parkin’s Doctor Who books. The Dying Days helped to define the fundamentals of the Eighth Doctor and his later Father Time I described on here as “awesome” and “one of the best Doctor Who stories of all time. Period…” so the idea of the author writing a Tenth Doctor novel is a tantalising prospect. Unlike most of the other novels in the range, it’s impossible to read this without any preconceived notions. For the past nine months Parkin has been keeping blog, in which he’s described the processes of writing The Eyeless (no spoilers!), from commission through to publication.
So as I sat down on the train with these two hundred and forty odd pages I had a fair few questions. How would he really cope with the all too restrictive but necessary rules regarding content and particularly continuity? Would this still read like a Lance Parkin novel or would he, like many of the other writers, find themselves ultimately subsumed by the format and produce something that could have anyone’s name printed on the cover? Would I be able to see how he reorganised the structure of the second half? Some answers below, though for those who want to skip the rest of the review until they’ve read the book I will say that Parkin has yet again delivered, with a story that intrigues and excites and even if you’ve not read one of these novels before, this is one to make time for.