(ISBN 0-426-20468-9)







 who has the tact

 to arbitrate talks


 backstabbing RACES

 THAT ARE at each

 other’s respective

 throats over the

 peaceful planet of





 Benny is stranded,

 lost and alone, AND  

 FacES the most terr-

 ifying challenge of

 her life - someone

 who will haunt her

 for the rest of her



 He’s called Jason.


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Death and


APRIL 1996






After reading Dave Stone’s last New Adventure, somehow I managed to describe

it as being an “excruciatingly dull and torrid affair” and also “the work of sheer, unmitigated genius.” As diametrically opposed as these two statements may seem, they do précis my views on Sky Pirates! Now Stone’s latest effort, Death and Diplomacy, is a different kettle of fish entirely - “the work of sheer, unmitigated genius” bit still stands, but you can forget about the rest. This novel is anything but tedious.


The book begins with an oft-criticised author’s note that sees Stone point out that we were all wrong not to like Sky Pirates! and that had we read it more carefully, we might just have been able to solve the riddle of his true intent! Thankfully it didn’t end with please like my new book, but it might as well have done. After reading that introduction I had firmly set my face against Death and Diplomacy. My mind was made up and my prejudice steadfast: I was going to do my damnedest to hate the whole chuffing thing and then rip it to shreds in a brutal and contemptuous review. But then I read the first chapter and fell head over heels in love with it. This is what it must have felt like for Benny with Jason…



The nonsensical prose that I cringed

at in Stones last novel here feels

like sardonic, wistful brilliance. I’m

not exaggerating when I say that

theres been nothing like it before in

the New Adventures or the Missing

Adventures for that matter. It’s Who

through different eyes.


That said, I could at least derive some small sense of satisfaction from scoffing at some of the weaker story elements. Don’t even ask me where the author exiled Chris and Roz to; I can’t remember – that’s how compelling their thread of the adventure is. And the Doctor’s half of the story, whilst far from dreary, is slow and downright silly at times. Reading about

the young and voluptuous Ravla trying to seduce the thousand year-old Doctor made me laugh, but the rest – the ‘diplomacy’ as it were – wasn’t of any interest to me. Hollow Gods?

I couldn’t care less. This novel is about Benny and Jason.


Jason is cool. He’s like a cross between Han Solo and an adolescent from an American romcom. He has a rugged charm about him that’s quite endearing, and quite an interesting little back-story to boot. Conceptually, one of the things that I like most about this novel is that it is set in the present day… but in space. You don’t need to travel to the year 2370 to visit other worlds. Jason - a good old-fashioned 20th century boy - one day just found himself on the other side of the galaxy with nowt but a fluffy little alien for companionship. Fantastic!


And Benny, of course, we all know and love. Here she’s used fabulously by Stone in many ways - there are side-splitting scenes of her strutting naked through fields, being pursued by small creatures making strange noises; moving scenes watching her fall in love, albeit in a ‘Han Solo and the Princess’ sort of way… I could go on. What I feel works so well is the way that the author gets inside her head; I took great delight in reading about her reactions to this buffoon that she couldn’t help but fall for. And get engaged to. Oh yeah, didn’t I mention that bit?


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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