Iris Wildthyme and the Celestial Omnibus, the first book from Obverse, was released in May 2009, and has already sold sufficient copies to guarantee a second book in the series, The Panda Book of Horror.
The Celestial Omnibus is a collection of short stories by some of the biggest names in Doctor Who prose fiction – as well as a few brand new writers – and features the adventures of Ms Iris Wildthyme, transtemporal adventuress, as she travels through time and space in her trusty Routemaster bus, accompanied by her faithful if acerbic companion, Panda. With an introduction by Iris herself, Katy Manning, and an original cover by legendary Doctor Who designer June Hudson, all books from Obverse are available from obversebooks.co.uk or (soon) from outlets in the United States and Australasia.
Obverse Books is the brain child of Stuart Douglas and Paul Magrs, and was set up to offer slightly more adult fiction for Doctor Who fans than the otherwise excellent New Series Adventures from the BBC provides.
The following reviews and reader comments are a superb example of the popularity of Iris Wildthyme and the appreciation of The Celestial Omnibus…
“[The Celestial Omnibus] shows Iris at her typical best, with brilliant episodes of a charming, maddening and entirely contradictory life” – Shiny Shelf
“The proliferation of references to the ‘Magrs-verse’ give the whole book the feeling of a celebration, and a damned enjoyable one at that” – Doctor Who Reviews
“‘Iris Wildthyme and the Celestial Omnibus’ provides a much needed adult spin on Doctor Who at a time when the official fiction seems to be targeted exclusively at children. ” – Dr Who Reviews
“Iris Wildthyme and the Celestial Omnibus is a joyous technicolour party of a book thatâ€™ll bring plenty of sunshine, and not a little gin, into your life.” – Jon Arnold, Shooty Dog Thing 10
“I finished [the Celestial Omnibus] last night and I’ve gotta say it’s one of my favourite pieces of “Who” media I’ve ever read.” – Reginald (Gallifrey Base, 22.06.09)
“I’m sorry to have finished it. It really is a superb collection…and the cover art is marvellous! I hope June Hudson can return for the Panda Book of Horror…” – Darren (Gallifrey Base, 24.06.09)
“I’m in the middle of reading it at the moment. I’ve just finished Iris Wildthye y Senor Cientocinco contra los Monstruous del Fiesta, and I thought it was bloody marvellous! Paul Magrs Torchwood parody is very clever (I laughed aloud at the “Time Ring Thing”) and I love all the others.” – Doris Wildthyme (Outpost Who, 10.06.09)
“Love the book. All four of my housemates have shown an interest in it based on the cover alone!” – Steffan Alun (Jade Pagoda Mailing List, 08.06.09)
“I have to say this really is a first rate anthology. There is plenty of variety and no fillers. It’s not all fun and romps, there are some genuinely touching moments. I always love short story anthologies and I hope I won’t offend anyone by saying I always loved the Short Trips collections but there would always be at least a couple of tales in those that didn’t work for me but there was none of that in this anthology. The cover art looks wonderful and lead to quite a few queries from my non-Whovian workmates, some of whom have asked to borrow it after I’ve finished based purely on the cover and my description.” – Ned Netherwood (Gallifrey Base, 08.07.09)
The Panda Book of Horror has a lot to live up to… very best wishes to obversebooks.co.uk and well done on a great debut release!