Faction Paradox

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Faction Paradox is a series of novels, audio stories, short story anthologies, and comics set in and around the "War in Heaven", a history-spanning conflict between the godlike "Great Houses" and their mysterious enemy. The series is named after a minor group in the War, a fictional time travelling cult / rebel group / organized crime syndicate originally created by author Lawrence Miles for BBC Books' Doctor Who novels.

Overview[edit]

Originally a subplot in the Eighth Doctor Adventures, the War involves several characters and concepts evolved from the original Doctor Who set-up. In several cases, the Faction Paradox series still features these groups, albeit with names changed for reasons both literary (most of the groups or items mentioned are described from different perspectives) and legal (the Faction and the Enemy are Miles's creations, but other elements are not — thus the Great Houses are the Faction Paradox range's equivalent to Doctor Who's Time Lords).[1] Faction Paradox themselves are not the enemy in this War, and play a neutral part, willing to act against both sides in their own interests. Lawrence Miles has described them as "a ritualistic time-travelling guerrilla organisation".

The semi-mythical founder of Faction Paradox is Grandfather Paradox, named after the grandfather paradox of time travel theory. Originally a member of the Great Houses himself, the Grandfather created a new group after he became frustrated with the ways of the Great Houses. Faction Paradox therefore takes a good deal of pleasure in irritating the Great Houses, and many of their traditions and rituals are aligned in direct opposition to the way the Great Houses do things. Their time machines are bigger on the inside, in much the same way as TARDISes are, and the familial titles its members use (eg "Father", "Cousin") reference family units which the Great Houses lost when they became sterile.

Faction Paradox also take a perverse pride in causing time paradoxes (something that is against the laws of the Great Houses) and achieving impossible or absurd effects for their own sake. For instance, they typically wear ritual skull masks which are in fact the skulls of vampirised members of the Great Houses who, in the Great Houses' version of history, never existed. Their stronghold on Earth exists in a version of London, within what they call "The Eleven-Day Empire", bought from the British government in 1752. In that year, the British Empire first adopted the Gregorian calendar, and in so doing had to correct their dating scheme by 11 days (2 September 1752 being followed by 14 September 1752). Faction Paradox claimed the missing 11 days as their base (building on the illogicity that only the numbering scheme changed and no days were actually "missing").

Stories[edit]

Doctor Who (BBC Books)[edit]

After a brief mention of Grandfather Paradox in the Virgin New Adventures novel Christmas on a Rational Planet, Faction Paradox and the War in Heaven made their debut in BBC Books' Eighth Doctor novels.

The most relevant books to the Faction Paradox universe are

Several other Doctor Who novels featured or referenced Faction Paradox, most notably The Ancestor Cell (written by Stephen Cole and Peter Anghelides in 2000), The Quantum Archangel (written by Craig Hinton in 2001), and The Gallifrey Chronicles (written by Lance Parkin in 2005), but were contradicted or otherwise ignored in the Faction Paradox series.

Faction Paradox (BBV)[edit]

A series of full-cast audio dramas dubbed The Faction Paradox Protocols was produced by BBV between 2001 and 2004. All were written by Lawrence Miles. These stories centred on two Cousins of the Faction, Justine and Eliza. (Justine had previously featured in the BBC novel Alien Bodies, and Eliza appeared in Dead Romance as "Christine Summerfield".) The first two stories were set in the Eleven-Day Empire; the second two in 18th century London; and the last two were split between Justine's pre-Faction past and the Great Houses' prison facility. Although there were six releases and an ongoing story, each pair (usually released close together) formed a two-part story. In order they were:

  • The Eleven-Day Empire
  • The Shadow Play
  • Sabbath Dei
  • In the Year of the Cat
  • Movers
  • A Labyrinth of Histories

Faction Paradox (Mad Norwegian Press)[edit]

In 2002 Mad Norwegian Press published a multi-author faux-encyclopedia to the first 50 years of the War in Heaven, edited by Faction Paradox creator Lawrence Miles, as a companion to the BBV audios. After the success of The Book of the War, Mad Norwegian began publishing a Faction Paradox series of novels set in the same universe. These novels roam the ongoing War in Heaven; despite the series' name, the Faction and its members are not the focus, sometimes featuring only as minor characters, and sometimes not appearing at all. The books also featured characters from the Doctor Who novels, including Chris Cwej and Compassion.

Mad Norwegian also republished the Virgin New Adventures novel Dead Romance as part of their Faction Paradox line in 2003.

Faction Paradox (Image Comics)[edit]

Cover of the first comics issue

In 2003, the first two issues of a Faction Paradox comic were produced by Mad Norwegian and published by Image Comics. The series was subsequently cancelled. The comic was written by Lawrence Miles with art from Jim Calafiore and inks by Peter Palmiotti.[2] It was set after the events of the War in Heaven, though due to its short run it did not give much detail on the post-War universe.[3] It tied into events described in The Faction Paradox Protocols, The Book of the War, and The Adventuress of Henrietta Street.

Faction Paradox (Magic Bullet)[edit]

In 2004 Magic Bullet Productions, known for their Kaldor City audio dramas, obtained the license to produce further Faction Paradox audios, dubbed The True History of Faction Paradox. The narrative of this series continued from The Faction Paradox Protocols, although the first CD was also written to be accessible to newcomers. Like the BBV audios, these stories focused on Cousin Justine and Cousin Eliza, but the characters were recast.

The dramas in the series, released between 2005 and 2009, have featured guest stars including Julian Glover, Peter Miles, Philip Madoc and Gabriel Woolf. Woolf plays the ancient Egyptian god Sutekh, whom he had previously played in the 1975 Doctor Who story Pyramids of Mars. The six titles are:

  • Coming To Dust[4]
  • The Ship of a Billion Years[5]
  • Body Politic[6]
  • Words from Nine Divinities[7]
  • Ozymandias[8]
  • The Judgment of Sutekh[9]

Faction Paradox (Random Static)[edit]

In 2007, New Zealand-based publisher Random Static announced they would be publishing further Faction Paradox novels. What turned out to be the sole title of the new range was published in January 2008. The cover art, by Emma Weakley, won the Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Artwork in 2009.[10]

Faction Paradox (Obverse Books)[edit]

In June 2010 Obverse Books acquired a license to produce collections of Faction Paradox short stories and longer fiction.

The City of the Saved[edit]

In 2012, Obverse Books launched a series of anthologies set in the City of the Saved, a setting first introduced and explored in the Faction Paradox series.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Faction and the Doctor". Curufea. 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2011-11-03.
  2. ^ Faction Paradox
  3. ^ Comic Db Entry for Faction Paradox
  4. ^ The True History of Faction Paradox Vol 1: Coming to Dust
  5. ^ The True History of Faction Paradox Vol 2: The Ship of a Billion Years
  6. ^ The True History of Faction Paradox Vol 3: Body Politic
  7. ^ The True History of Faction Paradox Vol 4: Words from Nine Divinities
  8. ^ The True History of Faction Paradox Vol 5: Ozymandias
  9. ^ The True History of Faction Paradox Vol 6: The Judgement of Sutekh
  10. ^ Sir Julius Vogel Winners 2008 Archived 5 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ a b "Press Release: Faction Paradox 2012".
  12. ^ "Obverse Shop: Faction Paradox".

External links[edit]