Launching in March 2016 from Obverse Books, The Black Archive is a series of book-length looks at single Doctor Who stories from 1963 to the present day.

The series will publish six titles each year, in simultaneous digital and print editions. Each title is a twenty to thirty thousand word study of a single televised Doctor Who story, drawing on all eras of the series’ history.

Authors confirmed for 2016 include Hugo-nominated editor, critic and podcaster L M Myles (Chicks Unravel Time, Companion Piece, the Verity! podcast), biographer and Doctor Who scholar Lance Parkin (Whoniverse, AHistory, Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore), and film critic and occasional scriptwriter James Cooray Smith (Kaldor City, various Virgin Film titles).

The series is overseen by author and editor Philip Purser-Hallard, who explains the premise of the series as follows:

‘Doctor Who is endlessly fascinating, a powerful storytelling engine about which many millions of words have been written over the years. There are certain stories, though, from all eras of the programme’s history, which are exceptionally deep and rewarding – whether because of their unusually powerful writing, rich symbolism or complex themes. Stories like The Massacre, Kinda, Ghost Light, Midnight or Vincent and the Doctor demand to be explored at greater length and in more depth than a website review or entry in an episode guide will allow.

‘With this series of critical monographs, these Doctor Who stories can receive the detailed treatment that they so eminently deserve. Our primary emphasis is on the stories as stories, rather than the behind-the-scenes history which has been covered in admirable depth elsewhere. While we aim to make an authoritative and significant contribution to the overall critical conversation about Doctor Who, we intend each of these books to be entertaining as well as of academic interest.’

The Black Archive will launch with four titles in March 2016, covering Doctor Who stories from William Hartnell’s tenure as the Doctor to that of current incumbent Peter Capaldi:

* The Black Archive #1: Rose by Jon Arnold

* The Black Archive #2: The Massacre by James Cooray Smith

* The Black Archive #3: The Ambassadors of Death by L M Myles

* The Black Archive #4: Dark Water / Death in Heaven by Philip Purser-Hallard

Jon Arnold has edited fanzines including Shooty Dog Thing: 2th and Claw, and is a major contributor to Hating to Love: Re-evaluating the 52 Worst Doctor Who Stories of All Time.

James Cooray Smith is the co-author of Who’s Next: A Guide to Broadcast Doctor Who, and has contributed production notes to a number of BBC DVD releases.

L M Myles contributed to Chicks Dig Time Lords before co- editing its Hugo-nominated sequel Chicks Unravel Time, and has written Doctor Who prose and audio drama for Big Finish.

Philip Purser-Hallard holds a doctorate in English literature, specialising in science fiction, and has written prose fiction for Doctor Who spinoff ranges as well as original novels.

Further titles will follow at two-monthly intervals during 2016:

* The Black Archive #5: Image of the Fendahl by Simon Bucher-Jones (May)

* The Black Archive #6: Ghost Light by Jonathan Dennis (July)

* The Black Archive #7: The Mind Robber by Andrew Hickey (September)

* The Black Archive #8: The Pirate Planet by Lance Parkin (November)

Confirmed contributors for 2017 include Doctor Who novelist Kate Orman and Magic Bullet producer Alan Stevens.

Titles are available to pre-order through the Obverse Books website. A website for the series can be found at

Obverse Books Acquires Sexton Blake license

Obverse Books is delighted to announce the acquisition from IPC Media of the license to the famous Baker Street detective, Sexton Blake.Blake initially appeared in several of the Penny Dreadful style British comics and magazines of the latter 19th and early 20th centuries. Lauded by literary figures as diverse as Dorothy L Sayers and Michael Moorcock, Blake’s adventures represent the longest running fictional series in the English language, and appeared in print, in comic format, on radio, television and cinema between 1893 and 1978.

Obverse Books intend to resurrect the famous Sexton Blake Library, commencing with a new novella by best-selling genre author George Mann entitled ‘Sexton Blake and the Vengeful Dead’, available in hardback and electronic form, and combined with a reprint of a rare, classic Blake story from the inter-war years.

“The acquisition of the Sexton Blake license is an important building block in the growth of our catalogue,” said Obverse CEO, Stuart Douglas. “The re-launched Sexton Blake Library will build upon our existing mystery and crime releases, while at the same time fulfilling a long-standing personal ambition to bring the longest-running detective series in literary history back to life.”

Talking about his own novel, George Mann added: “I’ve been an avid devotee of Sexton Blake for many years, and it’s such an honour to be writing the first instalment of the newly resurrected Sexton Blake Library. Expect thrills, spills, action and adventure as a Golden Age Blake is buried alive, takes on a mysterious cult and faces off against a returning villain from the original saga.”