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The Faction Paradox series is a standalone collection of audio, prose, and comic stories set in and around the War in Heaven, introduced in Lawrence Miles' 1997 Eighth Doctor novel Alien Bodies.

History Edit

At the time that Lawrence Miles wrote Alien Bodies, he intended for the War in Heaven to stay indeterminably far in the Doctor's future, like Merlin or the Valeyard.[1][2] However, after he learned that Kate Orman and Jon Blum were including Faction Paradox in their novel Unnatural History, he felt justified to explore them further in his 1999 two-part novel Interference,[3] which introduced the Eleven-Day Empire and the Remote. After Interference received unfavourable reviews in DWM 281 and elsewhere, Miles felt he had "lost [his] mandate" and resigned from writing Doctor Who[4] to instead develop a Faction Paradox series.[2]

By the year 2000, BBV Productions had agreed to produce The Faction Paradox Protocols audio series.[2] These audios introduced several concepts that would later become staples of the Faction Paradox range, such as the Faction's shadow-weapons and alternate names like "Great Houses" for the Time Lords or "timeships" for TARDISes. Miles described these alternate names as the continuation of the reinvention that he began in Alien Bodies: as he explored more of the mechanics of the War in Heaven, the War-era Time Lords evolved further and further away from the Time Lords of the past.[5]

This process would not be completed until the writing of The Book of the War, an encyclopedia-style "guidebook to a series that doesn't exist yet"[5] intended to be a standalone companion to the Protocols audios.[6] As Miles collected, edited, and synthesized stories from nine other authors, he developed the War as a more mythological setting, which had the scale and appearance of science fiction but none of the props.[7] For instance, instead of using aliens in The Book of the War, Miles characterised all non-humans as either gods, like the Great Houses and Celestis, or monsters, like the Yssgaroth and Mal'akh.[8]

The Faction's universe is on the surface an SF universe, but it works on the same principles as traditional folklore. It's all very feudal. There are, or were, 'people' who ran history - 'history' being a way for us to deal with the world around us - and these 'people' are generally nameless and faceless, but with the attitude of an aristocratic upper class. Ruling Houses, in effect.

At some point these Houses engaged in a war with an equally inscrutable enemy, and the war intersected - still intersects - human history like a biblical war in Heaven, impacting on humanity but without direct human involvement. Usually. So that makes Faction Paradox a Prometheus among the Titans, it's a splinter-group halfway between the elite and humanity, which believes in (a) introducing its principles to the "collaterals" caught in the crossfire... that's us, essentially... and (b) interfering in the plans of the Houses whenever possible.Lawrence Miles[9]

The Book of the War was published in September 2002 by Mad Norwegian Press, and it was such a success that, in December of that year, Mad Norwegian announced that it was beginning a series of standalone Faction Paradox novels edited by Miles. Despite the series' name, these novels did not specifically focus on the Faction, instead exploring "a myriad of times/settings" throughout the War.[6] Along with several original novels, Mad Norwegian also republished Miles' 1999 book Dead Romance, which had originally been released in Virgin Books' New Adventures line.[10]


The cover of FP 1.

At the same time, Mad Norwegian began producing a Faction Paradox comic[6] to be published by Image Comics. It was written by Lawrence Miles and tied into his 2001 Eighth Doctor novel The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, albeit in a way that required no prior knowledge of that novel or any other Faction Paradox story.[11] The comic was listed as one of Diamond Distribution's "Gems of the Month"[12] and was received favourably by several comic reviewers,[13] but for various reasons Mad Norwegian decided to end the comic series before the third issue,[14] leaving the story unfinished.

Shortly before the release of the comic's first issue, a subsidiary company of Warner Brothers contacted the publisher to ask about the film rights. The talks lasted for a few emails and phone calls, but they came to an abrupt end after Lawrence Miles described the project as "Amadeus with monsters".[15]

In September 2003, BBV Productions announced that they were ending their Audio Adventures in Time & Space range to focus exclusively on the The Faction Paradox Protocols line.[16] However, BBV stopped producing new content after A Labyrinth of Histories in 2004, so Miles, impressed by the quality of actors in the Kaldor City series, reached out to Magic Bullet Productions to continue the Faction Paradox audios. Though the resultant True History of Faction Paradox series was designed to be standalone from the earlier Protocols audios, it continued to feature the characters of Justine, Eliza, and Lolita, albeit played by different actors. The first True History audio was released in July 2005, and the series continued until the sixth and final story was released on 23 November 2009.[17]

In 2005, Lawrence Miles and Philip Purser-Hallard co-wrote a pilot script for a radio sitcom set in the City of the Saved, introduced by Purser-Hallard in The Book of the War and further developed in his 2004 novel Of the City of the Saved.... Although the episode was recorded, it was never released.[18]

The Mad Norwegian Press novel series continued until, in September 2006, CEO Lars Pearson announced that the return of Doctor Who to television had focused fans' attentions elsewhere, so the Faction Paradox novels would end with Erasing Sherlock that December.[19] However, the following July, the New Zealand-based publisher Random Static announced they would be continuing the Faction Paradox novel line with Newtons Sleep,[20] eventually published 12 January 2008 to some media attention.[21][22] Concerned that the Faction Paradox branding was scaring off unfamiliar readers and distracting reviewers, Random Static also released the novel online as a free ebook.[23] Despite plans for a novel to be released in 2010,[24] this would be Random Static's only Faction Paradox release.

FP 20th logo

20th anniversary art by Blair Bidmead.

On 7 June 2010, Obverse Books announced that it had obtained the license to publish a series of Faction Paradox short story anthologies,[25][26] beginning with A Romance in Twelve Parts in 2011.[27] Following that anthology's success, Obverse took over the Faction Paradox prose license in its entirety. They began their new novel line with Against Nature and The Brakespeare Voyage,[28] both of which had begun production while Mad Norwegian was running the series;[29][30] they also announced novellas from Kelly Hale and Jim Mortimore,[31] neither of which were ever released. Obverse also began the first Faction Paradox prose spinoff or subseries: The City of the Saved series of short story anthologies, edited by Philip Purser-Hallard, creator of the eponymous City.[32][33]

Obverse maintains a steady release schedule of Faction Paradox prose. In 2015, they notably published the anthology Liberating Earth, edited by acclaimed Doctor Who novelist Kate Orman, which featured only women writers.[34] This precedent was followed for the 2017 City of the Saved release Tales of the Civil War, save for the contributions of the range editor.

On 25 November 2017, the day after the exact 20th anniversary of the Faction's introduction in Alien Bodies, Obverse released the novel Spinning Jenny, which had been in production since 2012.[35] They also announced the anthologies The Book of the Enemy and The Book of the Peace,[36][37] the former of which was later released in January 2018. The Book of the Peace was accompanied by a series of promotional vignettes and interviews collected on the Obverse website as The Book of the Peace Dossier.[38]

Stories Edit

Prose Edit

Novels Edit

Title Writer Publisher Release date
The Book of the War Lawrence Miles, Simon Bucher-Jones, Daniel O'Mahony, Ian McIntire, Mags L. Halliday, Helen Fayle, Philip Purser-Hallard, Kelly Hale, Jonathan Dennis, Mark Clapham, (uncredited) Lars Pearson[39] Mad Norwegian Press 17 September 2002
This Town Will Never Let Us Go Lawrence Miles September 2003
Of the City of the Saved... Philip Purser-Hallard April 2004
Dead Romance[40] Lawrence Miles November 2004
Warlords of Utopia Lance Parkin
Warring States Mags L. Halliday June 2005
Erasing Sherlock Kelly Hale December 2006
Newtons Sleep Daniel O'Mahony Random Static 12 January 2008
Against Nature Lawrence Burton Obverse Books March 2013
The Brakespeare Voyage Simon Bucher-Jones, Jonathan Dennis November 2013
Head of State Andrew Hickey June 2015
Weapons Grade Snake Oil Blair Bidmead 17 January 2017
Spinning Jenny Dale Smith 25 November 2017

Anthologies Edit

Title Editor Publisher Release date
A Romance in Twelve Parts Stuart Douglas Obverse Books 31 May 2011
Burning with Optimism's Flames Jay Eales 31 January 2013
Liberating Earth Kate Orman 31 January 2015
The Book of the Enemy Simon Bucher-Jones 23 January 2018

In 2012, Obverse released the anthology Tales of the City, starting the Faction Paradox spin-off/subseries The City of the Saved, set in the eponymous City introduced in The Book of the War.

Title Editor Publisher Release Date
Tales of the City Philip Purser-Hallard Obverse Books 1 June 2012
More Tales of the City 1 June 2013
Tales of the Great Detectives 1 October 2014
Furthest Tales of the City 31 October 2015
Tales of the Civil War 10 February 2017
Stranger Tales of the City Liz Evershed 12 March 2018

Short stories Edit

Mad Norwegian Press and Random Static both released short stories as prologues to their Faction Paradox novels. These were often released online or as extras with other releases.

Title Writer Released with Publisher Release date
This Town Will Never Let Us Go Prologue Lawrence Miles Political Animals Image Comics August 2003
Of the City of the Saved... Prologue Philip Purser-Hallard This Town Will Never Let Us Go Mad Norwegian Press September 2003
Toy Story Lawrence Miles Dead Romance November 2003
The Cosmology of the Spiral Politic
Warlords of Utopia Prologue Lance Parkin Online 2004
The Night is Long, and Dreams Are Legion Mags L. Halliday Myth Makers: Issue 14
Warring States (ebook)
November 2004
Warring States Prologue Mags L. Halliday Warlords of Utopia
Erasing Sherlock Prologue Kelly Hale Warring States June 2005
The Return of the King Daniel O'Mahony Online Random Static 2008
Unification Theory Philip Purser-Hallard Of the City of the Saved... (ebook) Mad Norwegian Press 2013

Audio Edit

The Faction Paradox Protocols Edit

Main article: The Faction Paradox Protocols

BBV Productions released three two-part audios in their series The Faction Paradox Protocols between 2001 and 2004.

# Title Author Featuring Released
1 The Eleven-Day Empire Lawrence Miles Justine, Eliza, Lolita, Morlock, Quelch, Sontarans October 2001
2 The Shadow Play
3 Sabbath Dei Justine, Eliza, Lolita, Sabbath, Compassion, Peking Homunculi February 2003
4 In the Year of the Cat April 2003
5 Movers Justine, Lolita, Morlock, Sabbath December 2003
6 A Labyrinth of Histories February 2004

The True History of Faction Paradox Edit

Main article: The True History of Faction Paradox

In 2004, Magic Bullet Productions obtained the Faction Paradox audio license and began the six-part The True History of Faction Paradox series, which ended in 2009.

# Title Author Featuring Released
1 Coming to Dust Lawrence Miles Justine, Eliza, Finton, Marne 23 July 2005
2 The Ship of a Billion Years Justine, Eliza, Sutekh, Finton, Marne 15 April 2006
3 Body Politic Justine, Eliza, Sutekh, the War King, Lolita, Anubis, Mortega May 2008
4 Words from Nine Divinities Justine, Eliza, Sutekh, the War King, Lolita, Anubis, Mortega, Nephthys 24 November 2008
5 Ozymandias Justine, Horus, Sutekh, Lolita, Geb, Nephthys, Finton, Marne 8 June 2009
6 The Judgment of Sutekh 23 November 2009

Comic Edit

December, 1774. America stands on the brink of armed revolt. With Boston placed under martial law and the colonies straining at the British Empire's bit, England's King George III is about to receive a rare gift from the Empress of Russia—the last living woolly mammoth in the Western hemisphere.

Among the dignitaries gathered at the mammoth's reception are two representatives from Faction Paradox. Though the details remain vague, the 1700s have apparently become a crossroads, an intersection between known history and the cosmic "War in Heaven." The Faction seems determined to involve itself in local politics ... for whomever controls this intersection in time will ultimately control history.Mad Norwegian summary [[src]]

Two issues of a bimonthly Faction Paradox comic were produced by Mad Norwegian Press and published by Image Comics in the latter half of 2003. Each issue had a central, 16-page comic along with shorter, illustrated text stories. The main comic story was an ongoing one, so the early cancellation of the title meant that the story was never finished. It was set after the end of the War and acted as a prequel to The Adventuress of Henrietta Street; the Faction Paradox Protocols audio stories Sabbath Dei and In the Year of the Cat were intended to be prequels to the comic.[41]

The comic was written by Lawrence Miles, edited by Lars Pearson, penciled by Jim Calafiore, inked by Peter Palmiotti, lettered by Christa Dickson, and coloured by Paul Monts. The covers were made by Steve Johnson.[42]

Notes Edit

External links Edit

Footnotes Edit

  1. Phil PH on The Ancestor Cell
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Lawrence Miles: The Last Ever Interview. 28th May 2000
  3. 64 Thousand-Dollar Questions
  4. All-Purpose Internet Statement
  5. 5.0 5.1 Gallifrey One Interview
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Mad Norwegian News
  7. BBV Interview
  8. Book Three Notes
  9. Lawrence Miles, January 2004 interview
  10. Mad Norwegian Press to reprint Miles' Dead Romance
  11. FP Comic Press Release
  12. Premier - Gems of the Month
  13. Faction Paradox #1
  14. FP Comic Overview
  15. Beasthouse LM
  16. BBV News
  17. Downtime – The Lost Years of Doctor Who
  18. PPH Interview
  19. Faction Paradox Novels to End with Erasing Sherlock
  20. Faction Paradox Never Went Away
  21. A tale of love and magic in the Faction universe
  22. 'Newtons Sleep' puts Wellington back on sci-fi map
  23. Newtons Sleep Ebook and Other News
  24. Random Static sez: new FP in 2010
  25. Faction Paradox - the shorter version
  26. Obverse Books to publish Faction Paradox short stories
  27. Faction Paradox: A Romance in Twelve Parts
  28. Faction Paradox 2012
  29. Against Nature has Arrived
  30. Shard Apocrypha - Brakespeare Initialisation
  31. Press Release Faction Paradox 2012
  32. Watch this (or some related) space!
  33. The Obverse Quarterly Year Two
  34. Faction Paradox: Liberating Earth
  35. Spinning Jenny
  36. Coming very soon - THE BOOK OF THE ENEMY
  37. Coming soon - The Book of the Peace
  38. The Book of the Peace Dossier
  39. BotW Constructing Themes Question
  40. A reprint of the New Adventures novel.
  41. Downtime – The Lost Years of Doctor Who
  42. Comic Series Creative Team
  43. The Faction Paradox Website
  44. Do I need to read Henrietta St?
  45. Blood Ties
  46. Endpiece
  47. The Eleven-Day Empire: A Tour of the Capital
  48. Crimes Against History
  49. When did the War Actually start
  50. Scripts
  51. Book One Notes
  52. Sci-Ence! Justice Leak!
  53. Love During The Year Of Sandpaper