Star One Compendium Cover Revealed

The cover for the forthcoming Star One Compendium has now been revealed.

Artwork designed by talented artists Richard Farrell (Andersonic, Plaything of Sutekh) with the cover composed by Jon-Wesley Huff (The Doctor Who Project, Blossom Core The Comic).

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New Short-Story Collection for 2018

Pencil Tip Publishing is pleased to announce our latest Doctor Who-themed charity short-story collection, Sarah Jane Smith: Roving Reporter – an affectionate tribute to the character and the actress who played her.

Sarah Jane Smith is without a doubt, one of the most popular of the Doctor’s companions. An investigative journalist who traveled with the Doctor, she was confident, courageous, compassionate and inquisitive. She had a sharp mind and tongue, and was unabashedly feminist – the perfect strong female character, and a positive example to young girls everywhere.

Elisabeth Sladen was the talented actress who brought the character of Sarah Jane Smith to life supporting the third (Jon Pertwee) and fourth (Tom Baker) Doctors from 1973-76. Sladen’s character later set of on her own in K9 and Company (1981), Downtime (1995), and the Sarah Jane Smith audio series (2002-06), produced by Big Finish Productions. Her performance gained her a multitude of adoring fans, loved wherever Doctor Who has aired, and extending across new generations through her popular performance of the character in The Sarah Jane Adventures (2007-11).

This special publication will feature a selection of new adventures for Sarah Jane as written by a selection of Doctor Who fandom’s best original writing, artwork, and more.

All net proceeds from this publication will be donated in support of the British Columbia Cancer Foundation, the fundraising partner of the BC Cancer Agency and the largest charitable funder of cancer research in this province. The BCCF enable donors to make contributions to leading-edge research that has a direct impact on improvements to cancer care for patients in British Columbia.

Page Count: TBD, Paperback
Published 2018

You can find more information, including submission guidelines, on Facebook and on the SJS: Roving Reporter blog.

Just Released: The Cuckoo In Winter

Just released today!

The Cuckoo In Winter

A brand new gothic ghost story by Craig Charlesworth (Temporal Logbook, Grave Warnings)

When a young doctor endures a family tragedy, he attempts to leave his troubles behind him by taking a job in a remote mansion on the moors. There he finds a dying man, an eccentric servant, and… something else. Followed by a presence who’s nature he can barely guess at, he must unravel the mysteries of Fetch House before he is overcome by them. Or perhaps it’s already too late?

Just what is it that knocks on doors of in the middle of the night? Who is the mysterious young girl in rags who creeps around the nearby town? And what secrets are hidden in the walled garden? In the hallways of this monstrous house, something is waking and beginning to stir. And with friends few and far between, it may just claim our hero’s sanity.

ISBN: 978-0-9953195-1-6
Author: Craig Charlesworth
Published October 2017
Paperback, $15.99

To order your copy visit Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

REVIEW: Grave Warnings

Review by Daniel Tessier

Grave Warnings is a compact, evocative book of horror stories, with five authors penning short, punchy tales of terror. Although the title and cover to the book would suggest that this is a collection of ghost stories, it’s more varied than that. Although ghost stories do feature, the five tales cover an impressive array of styles and genres between them. If there is one thing that links the stories, it is that the true horror is often not at the hand of something supernatural, but is very human in origin.

The collection opens with “Deceased Estate” by Sarah Parry, a very effective story that sets the grim tone for the book. Parry cleverly shifts the storytelling from light and conversational to desperate and horrific, creating a chilling tale with a hint of a modern Lovecraftian vibe. In spite of the inhuman monstrosities it hints at, “Deceased Estate” is a warning on the perils of unchecked greed.

The theme of avarice continues with Craig Charlesworth’s “The Dumb Show”, the most traditional ghost story in the collection. A fun pastiche of Victorian-era short stories, Charlesworth’s story is a penny dreadful that sees money-hungry men try to use a haunting to their own financial advantage, even as one tries, or claims to try, to turn over a new leaf. The biting final scene proves that it is the living that present the most to fear.

“The Specimen” by Jodie van de Wetering is a brief interlude between the heavier stories, and  introduces a man whose unwholesome pastime leads to his becoming truly lost to nature. It’s the shortest but most immediately potent story, simply and effectively told.

Hannah G. Parry presents “The Citizen”, an unassuming title for a disquieting and powerful story. Although it is a ghost story, “The Citizen” inverts the usual conception of a haunting in order to make her protagonist question his choices. It’s an unsettling tale of cowardice and brutality, emotions so easily entwined, set against the very real, very human horror of revolutionary France, when Paris was, not for nothing, known as the Land of Fear. This story is my personal highlight of the book.

Finally, “Vacancy” by Hamish Crawford brings us back to seemingly ordinary life, with a story that makes us question the protagonist’s sanity as he relates the story of how his life changed when he took in a new lodger. With only a hint at something supernatural, “Vacancy” draws on some of the same concerns as “The Citizen”: that we, as men, can commit acts we never thought we were capable of.

Grave Warnings is a a pleasantly unsettling set of stories, and I look forward to more. 8/10

Reviewed August 2017

Published December 2016
ISBN: 9780995319509
Paperback, 128 Pages. $15.95 CAD

To order your own copy click here.

REVIEW: Sapphire and Steel Omnibus

Review by Chris Beiting

To American audiences, Sapphire and Steel is one of the ultimate British cult TV shows.  Lasting only 34 episodes that aired between 1979 and 1982, it featured some major stars (David McCallum and Joanna Lumley) and garnered a critical reputation, but unlike Doctor Who or Blake’s 7, it never aired on American television (although it has been readily available on DVD in this country, first from A&E, and more recently from Shout! Factory).  Moreover, apart from one guidebook, (Assigned!: The Unofficial and Unauthorized Guide to Sapphire and Steel), there has been almost no published material available about the show.  Helping to fill that gap is the Sapphire and Steel Omnibus, edited by Bob Furnell and Jez Strickley.

The Sapphire and Steel Omnibus is an anthology of materials about the show, done by a variety of writers.  There are essays, interviews, reviews, fiction, and even a comic.  As one would expect, with such a variety of materials and authors, there is also a variety of quality.  Where good, the Sapphire and Steel Omnibus is very good, particularly in its analyses of the episodes of the show, and in the interviews of some of the people involved in it.  The Omnibus also covers some of the other media treatments of Sapphire and Steel, examining the Big Finish radio productions, the novel, the Annual, and some of the comic versions.

Where bad, the Omnibus isn’t actually terrible, but it is a little obscure, (an essay about the reception of the TV show in the Netherlands is likely not to be of too much interest to anyone outside the Netherlands, and the piece of fiction and comic may not appeal to all readers of the work).

There are also some maddening gaps in the way the material is presented.  For example, while all of the episodes of the original TV series are carefully considered, (several times actually), the essay on the Big Finish audio dramas doesn’t even list the individual episodes, which seems a terrible oversight.  Furthermore, I do take issue with a work which, when it considers the post-Sapphire and Steel careers of its actors and crew, sees fit to consider the David McCallum’s role on NCIS while not mentioning Joanna Lumley’s star turn on Absolutely Fabulous.

These quibbles aside, The Sapphire and Steel Omnibus is a welcome addition to a field where there is a dearth of sources, and will hopefully help garner some more attention to this moody, enigmatic, atmospheric cult TV classic. 7/10

Reviewed August 2017

Published December 2015
ISBN: n/a
Paperback, 128 Pages. $15.95 CAD

Order your copy here.

Forthcoming: The Cuckoo In Winter

A brand new ghost story by Craig Charlesworth

When a young doctor endures a family tragedy, he attempts to leave his troubles behind him by taking a job in a remote mansion on the moors. There he finds a dying man, an eccentric servant, and… something else. Followed by a presence who’s nature he can barely guess at, he must unravel the mysteries of Fetch House before he is overcome by them. Or perhaps it’s already too late?

Just what is it that knocks on doors of in the middle of the night? Who is the mysterious young girl in rags who creeps around the nearby town? And what secrets are hidden in the walled garden? In the hallways of this monstrous house, something is waking and beginning to stir. And with friends few and far between, it may just claim our hero’s sanity.

Cover by Jon-Wesley Huff

ISBN:     978-0-9953195-1-6
Author:  Craig Charlesworth
Published Fall 2017

Paperback