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Engines of War

August 1, 2014



Well, it’s out.


Yesterday, my new Doctor Who novel, Engines of War, hit the shelves of bookshops and the doormats of those people kind enough to pre-order.


It’s the first solo adventure of John Hurt’s War Doctor, and the first story to take place entirely during the Time War. (Wow. When I write it out like that, it still causes me to catch my breath).


Today, I’m feeling a little shell-shocked from all the excitement. I can’t quite believe the response from fans, which has been universally positive, generous and genuinely excited. Phew!


It was such a privilege to be given the opportunity to write a new tale for this little-known incarnation of the Doctor, and a little terrifying at the same time. Writing a book like this is fraught with peril. Every Doctor Who fan the world over has an idea in their head about what went on during the Time War, and I was very conscious when setting out that I left room for all of that to be true. It’s important, I think, that the Time War continues to fulfil that function for fans – everything that you, your friend, any of us imagined, did happen. Of course it did. That’s the beauty of a ‘time war’.


Similarly, though, I tried very hard to do it justice, to tell a tale that was both epic and personal, that revealed some secrets, and had one foot in the past and one in the future.


It’s a little early to be talking spoilers, I think (the book isn’t out in the US for a few more weeks), but one of the things I’ve been most delighted to see is that people really seem to get that I was aiming to strengthen the bridge between the classic series and the modern series, to offer a sense that this is all one continuous show, and that the Time War is the thing that happened in the gap. It was the ever-insightful Paul Magrs who pointed out to me that it read like a feature film made during the hiatus, and I realised that was exactly what I’d set out to do.


I hope people continue to enjoy it. It was an absolute blast to write.


Thank you to everyone who’s bought a copy and taken the time to show their support and talk about the book online. It really does make a difference.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. robohappy permalink
    August 4, 2014 4:01 am

    Pre-ordered the book! I will tell you what I thought about it once I get it! (All I heard was the book was Great! So im very excited about it!)

  2. Jay Thomas permalink
    August 4, 2014 11:52 am

    George I have just finished reading Engines Of War. I was lucky enough to get it on Monday as I pre-ordered it at Waterstones.
    A great book, to which I devoured as I’m a bit of a War Doctor fan, well he’s played by John Hurt. You captured his portrayal so well and Dalton’s Rassilon, without any effort as soon as I read their dialogue I could hear their respective voices.
    I enjoyed Cinder greatly too, (love Paul Handley’s artwork too by the way, have commented on his DeviantArt page). You’ve woven a great story line that leads to Day Of The Doctor, yes I did watch the episode after wards.
    My only criticism, if there is one, is that you have left me wanting more stories from the War Doctor. I have mentioned on other sites that I would love an audiobook version read by John Hurt and will even go far as to say, audio dramatization by Big Finish….
    I have been extolling your works and this book to friends who have said they will purchase it and give it a whirl. Long may the great reviews continue on this…

  3. Przemyslaw Ryba permalink
    August 17, 2014 11:34 am

    Hi, I am representing publishing house in Poland and we are interested in publishing Engines of War in Poland. Could you tell me to whom should I speak about this?

    • August 17, 2014 12:13 pm

      Hi Przemyslaw

      Thanks for your interest. It’ll be the rights people at BBC Books, park of Random House UK. Let me know where they can reach you and I’ll put you in touch.

  4. December 14, 2014 6:35 am

    This was an excellent read. I am planning to review your novel on my own blog in the near future.

  5. January 14, 2015 8:00 pm

    I listened to the audiobook. What a pleasure to hear an adult Doctor Who story.
    A brave decision to stick with two characters throughout. It paid off handsomely. A riveting tale with a new angle, (no easy feat when you consider the huge & excellent output from Big Finish).
    Nick Briggs reading was his usual high standard. His John Hurt impersonation is quite something.
    You pulled no punches with the story or the Doctor himself. How strange that the toughest of his incarnations should be the most human & easy to relate to.
    Cannot wait for the next instalment.
    Many thanks for such a great story.

  6. Jamie Ashby permalink
    March 20, 2015 7:55 pm

    Quite the excellent adventure, Mr Mann! Can we hope for more War Doctor adventures from you? I certainly hope so, and until then, back to The Ghost and Newbury & Hobbes for me.

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