Thursday, December 15, 2016

Forever Fallen in Doctor Who Magazine

There is a brief piece on my story in issue 507 of Doctor Who Magazine. If you'll excuse me, I need to run out to the local bookstore and buy all the copies.

At the end of November, I was listening to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, which is a current events quiz show on public radio.  They have a segment called Not My Job, wherein they ask a celebrity questions unrelated to their area of expertise.  The guest that week was Country Music star Garth Brooks and he said something that struck me as particularly cogent.

From the transcript of that episode.

[Host Peter] SAGAL: So you became, not to put too fine a point on it, probably the biggest country music act that ever has been. Do you have any reason why it was that your music became so universally popular, even people without - who weren't country fans?
BROOKS: No, I don't have a clue. You know, a lot of things happened right at the right time. It's all timing because here in Nashville - this isn't a statement of humbleness, it's a statement of honesty - your waiter can out-sing you, out-write you, out-play you. I mean, everyone here is talented…

That made me think of my situation.

My story was selected as the winner. Was it good? I think so. I’m happy with it and proud of it. Was it the best story submitted? I don’t know. How are you going to measure that? I would venture to say that every one of the stories on the short list was as good as mine.There are so many factors so far outside of your control in a situation like that that you may as well call them luck. Is there an similar story in the pipeline? Does the television series have a similar story planned? Does the proposed story work in the time constraints and the format of the range? Is it a fit for their vision?

One of the important components about this contest was that it was memorializing the life of Paul Spragg, a beloved staff member at Big Finish who passed away suddenly. I never had the good fortune to know Paul; he passed before I started listening to Big Finish very seriously, and I felt very self-conscious about that, as he had been very encouraging to people who had written to Big Finish, and many people in the contest had touching personal remembrances of how kind he had been. Not only was I an American, I was an American who never knew Paul.

However, I later discovered that we had each contributed to Geek Speak magazine. The archive seems to be gone, but Paul's piece was titled The Big Finish Story.

Paul's author page

I won't presume to have known him, because I think that's an insult to those who did, but I like we have that little bit of a connection, and that he was an evangelist for something I came to love so dearly.


  1. Replies
    1. You probably didn't intend that as a reference to the Ninth Doctor, but that's how I'm going to take it.