Seasons of War: Gallifrey

On a planet already broken and divided, an unlikely band of friends are forced apart as a devastating time war rips their world asunder and threatens to destroy all of time and space.

In the struggle for peace, their lives will never be the same again.

But can Savalia, a poet turned soldier; Mordicai, a school drop-out turned engineer; Kendo, an idealist turned senator; and Tor Fasa, a respected academic turned war criminal, reunite to save the universe from total destruction?

This is the story of how they fought the war and how the war fought them.

Proceeds from Seasons of War: Gallifrey will go to Caudwell Children.

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Foreword from Declan May

What started as a mild curiosity about the Time War, has blossomed and bloomed into something quite remarkable. A throwaway remark – by the authors of this astonishing story – about the people on the ground… the citizens, the love-struck couples, the families, friends, factory workers, scientists; the children left behind, getting on with their daily lives (people very much like you or I) on the planet Gallifrey as a mighty war broke out, threatening to destroy everything; a passing thought has flowered, tended by the extraordinary talents of Kara Dennison and Paul Driscoll, into this present tome. And it really is something quite special.

When we began this Seasons of War project, we all believed that the anthology was the start and the end of it. But then I became convinced that there were many further stories to be told. Kara and Paul were the perfect people to do so. As writers they are unparalleled. They know the territory. They get the genre and its conventions. And they take all that, and fashion, from its scaffolding, from its structure, something that transforms its bricks and mortar into a twisting Gaudi spire.
Their moment of inspiration is a monument to what a writer can do when given the raw materials of a pre-existing universe.

Not only do they run with it – they fly.

Gallifrey, the novel, introduces us to a cast of characters – Mordicai, Savalia, Tor Fasa, Kendo et al – who, within a few pages, one immediately warms to; gets to know, and through them, experiences the densely constructed and richly detailed world(s) Dennison and Driscoll have created.
This is more than just another Doctor Who spin-off novel (in fact, I hesitate to call it as such as I feel that does injustice to the levels of originality and creation accomplished by the authors). It is a standalone novel that could, and will, exist on its own aside and apart from the Doctor Who universe(s).

This is, in any regard, a truly original and exciting novel, almost acting as a springboard to further adventures and stories about the world created and the characters within it. It’s a novel about love, loss, fear, adventure, discovery and life during wartime.

It is beautifully written, almost as if Dennison and Driscoll are somehow some species of gestalt ‘writing entity’, penning the novel with the same-but-different hand, so seamless and fluid is the story.

A riveting read, and one which you’ll want to reread again and again, so involved you become with the characters; so fond you become of them and their lives in a world going to hell.

A timely novel, a beautiful, rich and revealing novel, and, I believe, the worlds of Doctor Who have never had a story like it. However, I believe some of these characters may well turn up elsewhere. I certainly hope so.

Declan May
June 2018.

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