Note: An original novella featuring the Yeti, based on a short story originally commissioned for the Lethbridge-Stewart range but never published. Only available to order direct from the author: email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
“Doctor Who on acid. I recommend it, but I’d like to stick government warnings on the back cover.” -Robert Smith
“The impossible is being shoved in our faces. Jim Mortimore is thinking big again.” -Finn Clark
“Written with manic askewity.” -Jason A Miller
“Awful, plain and simple. Reads like poetry penned by Stephen Hawking.” -Peter Drew
“Tremendous physical intensity and sense of scope.” -Rob Matthews
“A cornucopia of huge ideas that Doctor Who rarely has the audacity to explore. I have never read another book like this in any genre. I have a headache.” -Joe Ford
The invasion is over — or is it?
It’s been days since the Great Intelligence was driven from the underground tunnels beneath London. Tens of thousands of Londoners have lost their lives, hundreds of thousands more have been displaced. London is a spectre of its former self, populated only by ghosts and the memories of the dead. Reeling in the aftermath of the horrific incursion a joint military and scientific taskforce led by Colonel Alister Godwin Lethebridge-Stuart and Doctor Ann Travis is desperately trying to understand the purpose of the Great Intelligence while under tremendous pressure from government to declare London safe enough for its population to return home.
But many questions remain unanswered. Where are the Yeti, robot servants of the Great Intelligence? What is the secret of the glass pyramid being reassembled in the taskforce laboratory? How can London be declared safe when anyone could still be infected by the web — a covert agent of the enemy?
In a desperate search for answers, the Colonel’s mind is connected to the web. But the experiment goes wrong and he is trapped in a nightmare world of the memories of the dead. Meanwhile Private Ifans has discovered a strange crystal which has the power to reactivate the pyramid, the web and the Yeti, threatening the return of the Great Intelligence in a second wave invasion which could create a global disaster...
Featuring over twenty thousand words of new material and a bucket of extras, and set in the Collapsing Universe Cycle prior to Blood Heat, this novella is a thoroughgoing, dyed-in-the-wool, yank-the-chocks, full-steam-ahead n’ dam the ponies Director’s Cut of the original Lethbridge-Stewart launch story commissioned and then cancelled by Candy Jar in January 2015. There’s more murder, mayhem and HAVOC in this little beauty than a carpet bag full of Agatha Christies, annotated in poison ink, wrapped in hand grenades and tossed by special forces commandos from a Blackhawk assault helicopter into the middle of a warzone. Trust me on this — I still have the bruises.
After responding to Candy Jar’s call for writers in 2014, I was invited to pitch a novel in the ALS range. I did so and the pitch was approved, subject to development. While developing the novel I wrote some series notes for the characters and, at their request, gave CJ permission to use a character from Blood Heat (Hobson) and created notes for him which allowed his use as a series villain. These notes were submitted for approval to CJ, and were included in the series writers guides and sent to other series writers without my permission, or offer of credit or payment. While this was happening CJ also invited me to write an (unpaid) 2000 word free digital short intro story for the series. I asked for a payment, which was agreed, then submitted and subsequently developed an outline which was approved, and then wrote the story, which came in long (7200 words). (Length is irrelevent [sic] for a digital short.) CJ asked for a section of this story to be written in a Terrance Dicks style house-style. Since the scene had been pitched and approved as a somewhat obscure hallucinogenic experience of many hundreds of dying memories which alluded to series continuity then in development, I didn’t see how this was possible. I was also not prepared to change my writing style in this case, though I was happy to make any other changes, and said so on three occasions. After hearing nothing from CJ for a week, the story and all my involvement with the series was rejected and my “inflexibility” was cited as the cause. Later, I was told that the real reason for changes had been the intended age range of the target audience being much younger than I had been led to believe. Misunderstanding notwithstanding, the cancellation stood.
However, as we have all come to know and chuckle winsomely over, cancelling a Jimbo cut is never quite the end of the story. And it wasn’t in this case either. I have continued to work on both projects, Fear of Light and the ALS novel Blood of the Witch Tree (pitched as Feralia) over the time between then and now. In 2019 I found myself with an opportunity to fully revise and expand the original short story to more than four times its original length, and this is this version you are currently reading. However, as established, it wasn’t always this way. What follows then... in more or less date order... is the germ of the acorn of the idea that finally grew to be... Fear of Light.
Fear of Light just pipped Beltempest at the post to become Jim’s second Director’s Cut, following the highly gnash-worthy Blood Heat. If you want to complain, offer lego, synths, therapy or (heaven forfend!) order books... you can reach Jim at email@example.com