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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

'You and Who Else' -- One Memory Among Dozens


Last year, I had an essay appear in Watching Books' bumper volume of You and Who: Contact Has Been Made. The whole collection, ending up being two volumes in total, covers the history of Doctor Who from the first episode up through the 50th anniversary in 2013. I stepped in with an essay about 'Cold War,' and my friend Angela Pritchett wrote about 'The Crimson Horror.'

What set this anthology apart -- and a large part of why I felt all right writing for it -- is the fact that it's not a scholarly study or a review. Each essay is a memory, a recollection, or some other commentary on the writer's life or fandom as reflected in that episode. Maybe it was the first one they ever saw. Maybe it aired at a specific time in their life and carries a specific connotation because of that. It's a collection of stories about people who engaged with Doctor Who and how that engagement manifested.

Not long after, Watching Books released You and Who Else, which branched out in to British telefantasy in general. I knew that no matter what, I would be writing about Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes. The pair of shows mean a lot to me for a variety of reasons, and I was excited about the idea, as an American in the anthology, of presenting my own experiences with it outside of its original demographic.

Now, this book is big. Hella big. And I don't say 'hella' lightly. It clocks in at just under 800 pages long, and they are dense pages. 'Telefantasy,' it turns out, is a pretty broad subject, and you see everything from the expected genre television to Blue Peter to Teletubbies and just about everything in between. And the essays come from all sorts of backgrounds: professional writers, fans, subject matter experts writing in their field (or outside it), and even the occasional person who worked on the show in question.

Suffice to say, I'm in some pretty amazing company, and I couldn't be more flattered.

This isn't the sort of book you necessarily need to read cover-to-cover. You can look up essays by title, or they're grouped chronologically if that takes your fancy more. Also, all proceeds go to the Terrence Higgins Trust.

Check out the official site to pick up your own copy. And I do hope you enjoy.