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. Despite the novel's positive online and international reception, 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.[1]

By the year 2000, BBV Productions had agreed to produce The Faction Paradox Protocols audio series.[1] 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 developed 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, a "guidebook to a series that doesn't exist yet"[5] intended to be a standalone companion to the Protocols audios.[6] A total of twelve authors, including established New Adventures novelists as well as less-experienced writers from some contemporary charity publications, contributed short stories to the book in the form of alphabetically-sorted encyclopedia entries. As Miles collected, edited, and synthesized these stories, he developed the War as a more mythological setting with the scale and appearance of science fiction but none of the props.[7] For instance, rather than 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 starting a series of standalone Faction Paradox novels edited by Miles. Despite the series' name, these novels would not specifically focus on the Faction, instead exploring "a myriad of times/settings" throughout the War.[6] Each was written by a contributor to The Book of the War, either building upon the contents of their entries (e.g., Philip Purser-Hallard's Of the City of the Saved... and Mags L. Halliday's Warring States) or telling completely new stories (e.g., Lance Parkin's Warlords of Utopia and Kelly Hale's Erasing Sherlock). Notably, each book was set before its predecessor, with some novels hinting that their events were connected to or even caused by their successors.[10][11] Along with these original novels, Mad Norwegian also republished Miles' 1999 book Dead Romance, which had originally been released in Virgin Books' New Adventures line.[12]


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.[13] The comic was listed as one of Diamond Distribution's "Gems of the Month"[14] and was received favourably by several mainstream comic reviewers,[15] but for various reasons Mad Norwegian decided to end the comic series before the third issue,[16] 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 came to an abrupt end after Lawrence Miles described the project as "Amadeus with monsters".[17]

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.[18] 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.[19]

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.[20]

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.[21] However, the following July, the New Zealand-based publisher Random Static announced they would be continuing the Faction Paradox novel line with Newtons Sleep,[22] published January 2008 to some local media attention.[23][24] Concerned that the Faction Paradox branding was scaring off unfamiliar readers and distracting reviewers, Random Static later released the novel online as a free ebook without the Faction Paradox branding.[25] Despite plans for a novel to be released in 2010,[26] 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,[27] beginning with A Romance in Twelve Parts in 2011.[28] 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,[29] both of which had begun production while Mad Norwegian was still running the series.[30][31] At the same time they announced novellas from Kelly Hale and Jim Mortimore,[29] neither of which have been released as of December 2018. 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.[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. This precedent was continued in the 2017 City of the Saved release Tales of the Civil War.

2017 marked the twentieth anniversary of Faction Paradox's first appearance in Alien Bodies. Obverse Books commemorated this by releasing Faction Paradox novel Weapons Grade Snake Oil[34] and City of the Saved anthology Tales of the Civil War in the first months of the year. Then, on 25 November 2017, the day after the exact anniversary, Obverse released the novel Spinning Jenny, which had been in production since 2012,[35] and opened preorders for the anthology The Book of the Enemy.[36] They also announced The Book of the Peace,[37] the December 2018 release of which was accompanied by a series of promotional vignettes and interviews collected on the Obverse Books website as The Book of the Peace Dossier.[38]

In October 2020, the Faction was referenced in the short story Canaries. This was the first reference to the Faction in any BBC licensed media since Obverse Books became the publisher of the eponymous series.[39]

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[40] 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[41] 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
The Book of the Peace Philip Marsh 23 December 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

Novellas Edit

Obverse Sextet Edit

For Obverse Books' tenth anniversary in 2019, two stories featuring Faction Paradox were released in the Sextet series of novellas.

Title Editor Publisher Release Date
Hyponormalisation: A Faction Hollywood Production Obverse Books Jonathan Dennis 9 December 2019
Vanishing Tales of the City Kara Dennison

Short stories Edit

Before the first Faction Paradox anthology in 2011, Mad Norwegian Press and Random Static both released short stories as tie-ins to their Faction Paradox novels. These were often published online or as extras with other releases. In 2018, Obverse Books resumed the practice with ten online vignettes released in a "Dossier" to accompany The Book of the Peace.

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 Warlords of Utopia
Erasing Sherlock Prologue Kelly Hale Warring States June 2005
The Return of the King Daniel O'Mahony Online Random Static 2008
Prelude Against Nature Lawrence Burton Online 5 February 2013
Unification Theory Philip Purser-Hallard Of the City of the Saved... (ebook) Mad Norwegian Press 2013
Unsent letter Philip Marsh Online Obverse Books 17 September 2018
A Scene Niki Haringsma 7 October 2018
The Story So Far... Jacob Black 2 October 2018
Daring Initiation 1 November 2018
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing 25 November 2018
Inside the Looking Glass Greg Maughan 7 February 2019
Pure Light Philip Marsh
A Farewell to R.M.S. Nate Bumber 11 February 2019
A Prelude to a Prelude
A Shift in Focus

The Reliquary was an illustrated short feature included within issues of the Faction Paradox comic series.

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
1.1 The Eleven-Day Empire Lawrence Miles Justine, Eliza, Lolita, Morlock, Quelch, Sontarans October 2001
1.2 The Shadow Play
2.1 Sabbath Dei Justine, Eliza, Lolita, Sabbath, Compassion, Peking Homunculi February 2003
2.2 In the Year of the Cat April 2003
3.1 Movers Justine, Lolita, Morlock, Sabbath December 2003
3.2 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 Press summary[42]

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 in Heaven 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.[19]

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.[43]

# Title Author Featuring Released
1 Political Animals Lawrence Miles Isobel, Mayakatula August 2003
2 Bêtes Noires & Dark Horses Isobel, Mayakatula, Sabbath Dei October 2003
3 Creatures of Habit Mayakatula, Sabbath Dei (unreleased)

Notes Edit

External links Edit

Footnotes Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lawrence Miles (28 May 2000). The "Last Ever" Interview. Menace The Miles. Archived from the original on 4 February 2003.
  2. Philip Purser-Hallard (20 August 2012). Re: Rate 36. The Ancestor Cell. Gallifrey Base. “The Time Lord War was never meant to be something which actually happened in the EDA range – it was part of the Doctor's distant future, like Merlin or the Valeyard, and could have been kept there indefinitely if the editors had shown wiling.”
  3. Lawrence Miles (11 March 2001). 64 Thousand-Dollar Questions. The Complete Lawrence Miles. Archived from the original on 1 March 2005.
  4. Lawrence Miles (17 August 1999). All-Purpose Internet Statement. Rec.arts.drwho. Archived from the original on 22 April 2001.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Lawrence Miles (2001). Outpost Gallifrey Interview. Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 14 June 2003.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Mad Norwegian News. Mad Norwegian Press (2002-2003). Archived from the original on 22 April 2003.
  7. Lawrence Miles (2003). The Faction Paradox Interview. BBV Online. Archived from the original on 6 May 2003.
  8. Philip Purser-Hallard. Of the City of the Saved Notes – Book Three. “Lawrence Miles decided early on that there would be minimal emphasis on “aliens” in the Faction universe: in The Book of the War non-humans are gods, like the members of the Great Houses, or monsters, like the Mal'akh.”
  9. Lawrence Miles; Brent Keane (5 January 2004). Paradoxically Speaking. Ninth Art.
  10. Philip Purser-Hallard. Of the City of the Saved Notes – Book Two.
  11. Mags L. Halliday. Author's Notes. Warring States ebook edition (2013). “This was another conceit of the series: that each novel was set earlier than the previous one. So the events at the end of Erasing Sherlock trigger elements of Warring States, and the end of Warring States triggers elements of Of City of the Saved...
  12. Faction News. Mad Norwegian Press (2003-2005). Archived from the original on 5 July 2005.
  13. Image Comics Press Release. Mad Norwegian Press (15 May 2003). Archived from the original on 22 August 2003. “Faction Paradox has a five-year history in science-fiction novels, but there's not a lick of pre-knowledge required for the comic book series.”
  14. Premier Gems of the Month. Diamond Comics (June 2003). Archived from the original on 4 June 2003.
  15. Faction Paradox #1. Mad Norwegian Press (2003). Archived from the original on 5 February 2004.
  16. Lars Pearson (June 2004). Mad Norwegian ends Faction Paradox comic series. Mad Norwegian Press. Archived from the original on 4 August 2004.
  17. Lawrence Miles (January 2007). On Monsters. The Beasthouse. Archived from the original on 30 March 2007.
  18. BBV News. BBV Online (September 2003). Archived from the original on 4 October 2003. “Season 4 also wraps up BBV's audio output for the time being, with the exception of the Faction Paradox range, which will move to a separate audio series in their own right.”
  19. 19.0 19.1 Downtime – The Lost Years of Doctor Who
  20. Philip Purser-Hallard (2007). Shooty Dog Thing Interview.
  21. Faction News. Mad Norwegian Press (2005-2008). Archived from the original on 27 September 2008.
  22. Random Static to publish Faction Paradox novels. Random Static Ltd (July 2007). Archived from the original on 22 August 2007.
  23. A tale of love and magic in the Faction universe. The Big Idea (11 January 2008).
  24. Newtons Sleep puts Wellington back on sci-fi map. Scoop Independent News (7 January 2008).
  25. Kelly Buchanan (16 January 2009). Newtons Sleep Ebook and Other News. The Faction Paradox Community.
  26. Kelly Buchanan (2009). New Faction Paradox in 2010. “In 2010 we'll be publishing an anthology of NZ speculative fiction, and the next novel in the Faction Paradox setting.”
  27. Stuart Douglas (7 June 2010). Faction Paradox – the shorter version. Gallifrey Base.
  28. Stuart Douglas (13 August 2010). Faction Paradox: A Romance in Twelve Parts. Gallifrey Base.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Stuart Douglas (23 December 2011). Faction Paradox 2012. Obverse Books.
  30. Lawrence Burton (22 March 2013). Against Nature has Arrived. Onereed.
  31. Simon Bucher-Jones (28 January 2014). Shard Apocrypha – Brakespeare Initialisation. SBJ's Pantechnicon Extravaganza.
  32. Stuart Douglas (22 August 2011). Re: Faction Paradox: A Romance in Twelve Parts. Gallifrey Base. “ this (or some related) space :)”
  33. Stuart Douglas (6 December 2011). The Obverse Quarterly Year Two. Gallifrey Base.
  34. Blair Bidmead (1 January 2017). Faction Paradox – Weapons Grade Snake Oil: Author Q&A. We Are Cult.
  35. Dale Smith (2018). Spinning Jenny. Dale Smith Online.
  36. Coming very soon – THE BOOK OF THE ENEMY. Obverse Books on Facebook (25 November 2017).
  37. Coming soon – The Book of the Peace. Obverse Books on Facebook (7 September 2017).
  38. The Book of the Peace Dossier. Obverse Books (2018).
  39. Dave Rudden tweet
  40. Lars Pearson (22 May 2003). Re: BotW Constructing Themes Question. The Faction Paradox Community.
  41. A reprint of the New Adventures novel.
  42. Faction Paradox Comic Series. Archived from the original on 12 August 2003.
  43. Comic Series Creative Team. Mad Norwegian Press (2003). Archived from the original on 13 August 2003.
  44. Tom Pratchett (21 February 2003). Re: Do I need to read Henrietta St?. The Faction Paradox Community. “I should really look at what Lawrence sends me before I just upload it willy nilly.”
  45. Lawrence Miles (11 November 2001). The Story So Far: Faction Paradox, as Much as It's Known. Faction Paradox. Archived from the original on 15 November 2001.
  46. Lawrence Miles (14 September 2002). Faction Armour: Some Design Notes. Faction Paradox. Archived from the original on 5 February 2003.
  47. Lawrence Miles (11 November 2001). Blood Ties: Inside the Grandfather's House. Faction Paradox. Archived from the original on 15 November 2001.
  48. Lawrence Miles (2005). Crimes Against History. Faction Paradox. Archived from the original on 19 July 2006.
  49. Mags L. Halliday. When did the War Actually start. The Faction Paradox Community.
  50. Lawrence Miles (2005). Scripts. Faction Paradox. Archived from the original on 12 April 2006.
  51. Endpiece. Faction Paradox. Archived from the original on 16 August 2003.
  52. Mags L. Halliday (14 September 2002). The Eleven-Day Empire: A Tour of the Capital. Faction Paradox. Archived from the original on 4 February 2003.
  53. Philip Purser-Hallard. Of the City of the Saved Notes – Book One. “[Sidebars] were integral to the pseudo-reference style of The Book of the War, and it was planned – initially, at least – that the device would form part of the house style for the Faction Paradox novels.”
  54. Andrew Hickey (7 June 2015). Wallowing In Pessimism's Mire. Sci-Ence! Justice Leak!.
  55. Simon Bucher-Jones (1 December 2014). Working on story. SBJ's Pantechnicon Extravaganza.
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