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prose stub

The Book of the War was the first novel in the Faction Paradox series.

Edited by Lawrence Miles and written collaboratively by more than ten authors, The Book of the War was formatted like an encyclopedia, with a number of stories spread across multiple alphabetically-sorted entries. In each entry, some words were emphasised in bold to point to other entries with that name, enabling the reader to jump around the book and read related entries.

Publisher's summary[]

The Great Houses: Immovable. Implacable. Unchanging. Old enough to pass themselves off as immortal, arrogant enough to claim ultimate authority over the Spiral Politic.

The Enemy: Not so much an army as a hostile new kind of history. So ambitious it can re-write worlds, so complex that even calling it by its name seems to underestimate it.

Faction Paradox: Renegades, ritualists, saboteurs and subterfugers, the criminal-cult to end all criminal-cults, happy to be caught in the crossfire and ready to take whatever's needed from the wreckage… assuming the other powers leave behind a universe that's habitable.

The War: A fifty-year-old dispute over the two most valuable territories in existence: "cause" and "effect."

Marking the first five decades of the conflict, THE BOOK OF THE WAR is an A to Z of a self-contained continuum and a complete guide to the Spiral Politic, from the beginning of recordable time to the fall of humanity. Part story, part history and part puzzle-box, this is a chronicle of protocol and paranoia in a War where the historians win as many battles as the soldiers and the greatest victory of all is to hold on to your own past…


This page lists the entries in the order specified in the "Design Specs for Advanced Users", which were published on a hidden page of the Faction Paradox website,[2] rather than alphabetically as they appear in the book. Two errors were deliberately included in the "Design Specs": the nonexistent entry "Scarratt's Group" in "The A-Z of the War"; and the exclusion of an "Easter egg" entry which was not linked to in other entries and therefore unfindable except by reading in alphabetical order.

The Core Entries[]

History of Faction Paradox[]

The History of Earth[]

The A-Z of the War[]

With the inclusion of the prior and subsequent entries, "Robert Scarratt" and "Jungle Children", this section includes one entry for every letter of the alphabet.[3]

Houses and Orders[]

The History of the Homeworld[]

The History of Posthumanity[]

The Academician's Story[]

The Non-History of the Celestis[]

The Shift's Story[]

The City of the Saved[]

The Impaler's Story[]

The Thirteen-Day Republic[]


The Ghost Dance[]

The History of the Remote[]

Faction Hollywood[]

The End[]




  • While editing The Book of the War, Lawrence Miles described it as "a continuity in a book, it's an encyclopaedia to the War Era universe. It's got a structure rather than a plot, the way history's got a structure or a Bible's got a structure. Some parts of the universe are cross-referenced with other parts, and it all comes together to make up this great big … vision."[4]
  • Miles carefully structured the book so it could also be understood if the entries were read in alphabetical order: at one point, he specifically requested that Jonathan Dennis rename a character to move the respective entry in the book.[5] The entries in several sections of the Design Specs listing are notably given in alphabetical order.[2]
  • Miles was selective regarding which concepts were explicitly borrowed from the Doctor Who universe, particularly with regards to alien species. For instance, he had permission from the Robert Holmes estate to use the Sontarans, who had previously appeared in his The Faction Paradox Protocols audio stories, but he decided they weren't necessary.[6] In contrast, he obtained permission from Neil Penswick to use the Yssgaroth from The Pit, because, even though the concept was generic, Miles described "Yssgaroth" as "the best name I've ever heard".[7]
  • Lawrence Miles briefly considered releasing an expanded version of The Book of the War on CD-ROM.[8] Though Mad Norwegian Press' other Faction Paradox books would be later be released as ebooks, CEO Lars Pearson said that the number of permissions that would be needed from the contributors made it untenable.[6]
  • The entry for the City of the Saved quotes a traveller's lyrical description of the City as "an urban sprawl the size of a spiral galaxy… a fabulous shimmering lightscape nonillions of miles across". This traveller was intended to be Iris Wildthyme.[9]
  • Besides its continuity connections to the Doctor Who universe, The Book of the War also includes references to many stories from other universes and genres. For instance, the effects of praxis and, more specifically, the story of Robert Scarratt defusing a native uprising on House Xianthellipse's praxis-supplying planet reference the classic science fiction novel Dune; similarly, the Eremites, who self-mutilate and live in the labyrinth, mirror the Cenobites from Clive Barker's Hellraiser franchise.

Who wrote what?[]

Simon Bucher-Jones, Daniel O'Mahony, Ian McIntire, Mags L. Halliday, Helen Fayle, Philip Purser-Hallard, Kelly Hale, Jonathan Dennis, Mark Clapham, and Lars Pearson[1] all contributed material to the book. Each contributors mostly worked on their stories independently, only discovering Lawrence Miles's added intersections with other stories once the book was released. It was deliberately kept unclear as to which authors contributed which entries, but later releases provided some clues.

Unincluded entries[]

The book credits Lance Parkin, David A. McIntee, and Eddie Robson as writers who "wanted to play but whose material didn't quite fit anywhere".

Additionally, Simon Bucher-Jones wrote two extra entries, "Protective Neotony" and "Instant Animals", for the planned CD-ROM expansion of the book; after the cancellation of that project, he published the entries on his blog.[8]


External links[]