Tuesday, October 22, 2019

NOW AVAILABLE: Feel the Universal Love in "A Pile of Good Things"

It's about that time again — time for me to be in a Doctor Who charity anthology and yell at you all to buy it. (Seriously, though. You should and stuff.)

This time around, it's A Pile of Good Things, an Eleventh Doctor-centric zine from Ginger Hoesly (regular collaborator and maker of two previous zines I've been in). Her last two self-run zines, The Hybrid and Moon Man, have raised more than $4k combined for charity. And hopes are we can make that magic happen again.

I've never actually written the Eleventh Doctor for more than two sentences, so this was a challenge from the outset. I was excited about it, though, because I loved Matt Smith's run on Doctor Who. Plus, Ginger's zines have turned out amazing so far, and there's always so much talent in them from both an art and a writing standpoint.

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They (whoever "they" are) say "Write what you know," and on more than one occasion I've based a Doctor Who story on something that's happened either to myself or a family member. "Doctor Who and the Viking" in A Target for Tommy was based on my grandfather's work on NASA's Viking project, and upcoming stories elsewhere are inspired by my uncle's sailing trip across the Atlantic and some experiences I had in school. My latest zine contribution, titled "Universal Love," comes from the time I met cultists at a wellness fair.

Yeah. True story.

Short version that doesn't cut too far into the fictionalized version: I was helping my friends with their tea shop's booth (as I do sometimes), and one of said friends came back from a walkabout of the event while on break. The takeaway? There was a cult taking up the back wall.

(My friend did not use the C-word. I took their name down and looked them up later. Also, when a bunch of middle-aged Americans are heavily engaged in something spiritual with a long Japanese name, it's either food or a cult.)

There was also an entertainingly-named, unclaimed booth to our left. The name on said booth is copyrighted... but if you read the story, you'll get at least a variant of it and see why we couldn't get over it for the entirety of the event.

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So, what do you get in this latest offering? In terms of my story "Universal Love": the Eleventh Doctor and Clara Oswald, some terrible relationship advice, creepy smiling people, psychic walkie-talkies, an alien invasion, and chicken yoga.

In terms of A Pile of Good Things: more than 100 pages of new Doctor Who goodness, including nine short stories and 24 full color illustrations featuring the Eleventh Doctor and his companions. An optional merch bundle with a lanyard, prints, an adorable pin, and lots more. And the knowledge that the price of your purchase will go toward The Cancer Research Institute.

If you've read any of my other work, you'll see a few more familiar names throughout. My Altrix Books partner in crime Paul Driscoll has a story in it, along with Managlitch City Underground creator Michael O'Brien. There's also a fab story by my friend Will, all about eyebrows.

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The zines are only available until November 25. So be sure to get yours, tell your friends and make sure they have time to get theirs. Orders are being taken at rathzem.com for physical zines, digital zines, and goods designed by the project's artists.

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