(ISBN 0-426-20456-5)







 The Doctor has taken

 his companions to A


       ...or at least the

 closest thing THAT

 He can find TO IT: A

 sun enclosed by an

 artificial sphere

 where there is no

 want, poverty or



 While Chris learns to

 surf, meets a girl and

 falls in love with a

 biplane, Roz suspects

 a plot and Bernice

 considers that a

 Dyson Sphere needs

 an archaeologist

 like a fish needs a

 five-speed gear box.


 BUT the peace is SOON

 shattered by murder,

 AND Bernice realises

 Even an artificial

 world has its buried

 secrets and RoSYLN

 discovers what she’s

 always suspected -

 that every paradise

 has its snake.


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The Also People







Like just about anyone else who has ever read it, I love this book.


The main reason that I like this novel so much is that it’s just so much fun. Granted, the plot is hardly-rocket science – who’s killing the artificial life forms? – but that’s not what The Also People is all about. The Doctor, Bernice, Roz, and Chris. They are what The Also People is all about.


Especially in light of contemporaneous novels such as Head Games and Millennial Rites, the passages written from the Doctor’s point of view here are insightful in the extreme. It’s one thing to see that master manipulator at work from an external point of view, but to see those cogs in motion is something else altogether, particularly when the Doctor is sat at the heart of the story. He isn’t just a peripheral character waiting in the wings here – he drives the plot forward with his investigations. He’s the lead man in every sense.


That said, The Also People sees the entire TARDIS crew given their fair share of the action. For example, rather than this being a ‘Benny story’ or a ‘Roz story’, this is a story about the whole crew. Chris falls in love and gets his sperm nicked. Roz explores her past by drinking some mind-altering brew and then has a bit of a fling herself. Benny, meanwhile, does a bit of shopping and explores her deep-rooted issues about morality…


“Unsmiling in the darkness…

            ‘It’s a question of moral choice,’ said the Dalek. ‘How can somebody be evil if they have no free choice over their actions?’

            The Cyberman nodded sagely. ‘Tinhead here is right,’ it said. ‘If a person is programmed to exterminate then they are effectively incapable of exercising a moral choice not to exterminate.’

  ‘QED,’ said Grinx [the Sontaran] and belched.”


My favourite passage in this book – hell, my favourite passage in the New Adventures thus far – sees Benny dream about having a philosophical debate with a Dalek, a Cyberman and a Sontaran. Who’s more evil: the Daleks and the Sontarans, whove been bred to hate? The Cybermen, who were created to be free from emotion? Or the Humans, who have free will? Thought-provoking stuff, even in the lightest of novels.



Whats more, author Ben

Aaronovitch has certainly

learned his lessons well

from Transit. Whilst once

again he manages to set

his story inside a wondrous

technological marvel, this

time he doesn’t spoil his

fantastic science-fiction

imagery with futuristic, unintelligible prose; The Also People is written in an easily digestible

style which befits its playful tone.


And theres also so much more. Kadiatu Lethbridge-Stewart comes back and is redeemed, we hear some Dalek poetry, and the Doctor even meets God; The Also People literally has it all. The author even takes a minute to explain in lay terms about the continuity of Gallifrey in relation to the Doctor and the rest of the universe!


Light-hearted, dark, beautiful, and hideous, Aaronovitch’s return to grace is the perfect New Adventure.


Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006


E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

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