The Book of the Still
by Paul Ebbs

Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 0 563 53851 1


    The Book of the Still is a lifeline for stranded time travellers - write your location, sign your name and be instantly rescued. Fitz knows where it is, but then he's the one who stole it. Anji, alone on a doomed planet, trying to find evidence of a race that has never had the decency to exist, doesn't know where anybody is. Embroiled in the deadly chase, the Doctor is starting to worry about how many people he can keep alive along the way...


    Fitz and Anji.

    Pg 97 A park in Lebenswelt.

    Pg 158 Around a bomb on top of an observation tower on Lebenswelt.

    Pg 273 Tent City, on the photosphere of Earth's sun.


    Pg 22 "When you say the weather's nice, what you actually mean is that the weather isn't trying to kill us with sulphuric acid rain or razor-blade tornados." Hope and Year of Intelligent Tigers.

    Pg 33 "What hadn't helped had been the Doctor's desperate bid to escape the courtroom, which had consisted of certain karate-like moves on the guards accompanied by cringemakingly embarrassing Hais and Hyahs." The third Doctor used to say this all the time when doing Venusian karate, first seen in Inferno.

    Pg 34 "At least there were no wars, no shady government agents and no clockwork arseholes who wanted to turn your face into Roman numerals." Trading Futures, Anachrophobia.

    Pg 59 "'Did you know that after a few years or so of being unable to travel in time frequent time travellers experience Albrecht's Ennui? [...] Time travellers become listless, depressed, cantankerous...' The Doctor coughed. 'I've heard about it in passing...'" This explains the Doctor's listless mood in Endgame.

    Pg 73 Reference to Dave (Escape Velocity).

    "Escape. Switch" Reference to an episode of The Dalek Master Plan.

    Pg 116 "Some scientist guys were talking about freak weather conditions and other scientist guys were laughing at them." Reference to the "freak weather conditions" line from The Claws of Axos.

    Pg 120 "I woke up one day about a hundred or so years ago" The Ancestor Cell.

    Pg 127 "The securitybots and Waterguards entered the facility" Waterguards are from Nightmare of Eden, thanks to a famous slip of the tongue.

    Pg 135 Reference to Dave.

    Pg 146 Reference to Dave.

    Pg 164 "And then I was strangling... I don't know. Someone. Female, I think." The Twin Dilemma.

    Pg 176 "Doing a dance that would have made Alexei Sayle look sedate." Alexie Sayle appeared as the DJ in Revelation of the Daleks.

    Pg 191 "About a hundred or so years ago I lost all my memories." The Ancestor Cell.

    Pg 206 "He'd been away from something for a long time once." very likely his half-remembered absence from the Doctor in Interference.

    Pg 230 "Fitz's life flashed before his eyes. There were a number of annoying gaps." These include his being reconsititued in Interference, book II and his disappearing memory, starting in Escape Velocity.

    Pg 241 Fitz's memories include Beetles (the Doctor's Voltswagon, first seen in Vampire Science, which he acquired in Instruments of Darkness), clocks (Anachrophobia) and Compassion (Interference through The Ancestor Cell).

    Pg 244 "In the TARDIS he was used to his clothes becoming magically clean overnight - like having a mum again." Fitz's mum died in The Taint.

    Pg 273 "She was still aching from dropping out of the vortex at thirty kartzes" Kartz was one of the scientists experimenting with time travel in The Two Doctors.


    Carmodi Litan, Rhian, Rhian's father (although he's never named, or seen nor does he meet any of the TARDIS crew, which is probably a sign that he's someone we know).

    Darlow, Gimcrack, Svadhisthana, The Unnoticed.


    1. The Doctor doesn't know how to waltz here, but he did in Revolution Man
    2. Pg 166 "The Antimasquan tobacconist had looked at Fitz strangely when he'd asked for 'something lilke Old Old Holborn'" Huh?
    3. Pg 176 "The Doctor was a hopeless dancer." He was better earlier, in Fear Itself (page 74), where he could dance without looking at his feet, where he has to here (page 177).
    4. Pg 191 "I think I'm immortal." Except he didn't in Hope (pg 216).
    5. Pg 201 "Having to do several more google-flops of calculations" Except that the word for a large number is actually "googol", not to be confused with the online search engine.
    6. Pg 268 "I've always want to have a look inside a closed circuit like this." Huh?

    PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]

    1. He does know, but has simply forgotten.
    2. Fitz stuttered and this was why the tobacconist looked at him strangely.
    3. Rhian's such a good dancer that she notices his imperfections much more than Valletti did.
    4. Having lived through so much death and near-misses since Hope, the optimistic Doctor has decided he's immortal after all.
    5. The machine surfs the internet while doing its calculations, in the time-honoured tradition of twenty-first century accountants everywhere.
    6. Rhian is much more scared about their impending death than she's letting on, so she's tripping over her words.

    The Unnoticed. They have gas-filled sacs and a thorax attached by thin robes of flesh and thin spindly legs (see pages 223-224), but often travel in disguises of long coats and hats.

    Satyrs of Antimasque (page 168).

    Movable potted plants (pages 169-170).

    Barstaff made of light (page 175).

    A tall three-legged creature (page 179).

    A midget on a pulsating snail foot (page 179).

    A five-armed angel-winged, clawed man (page 180).

    A green-skinned female with a forked tongue (page 180).

    Pg 23 Lebenswelt, 4009 (pg 57).

    Pg 13 A prison transport ship.

    Pg 45 Fitz's dreamscape.

    Pg 118 Carmodi's (stolen) shuttle.

    Pg 162 A one-light ship.

    Pg 169 Antimasque.

    Pg 213 A shuttle.

    Pg 231 A flying cube made of pages of the Book of the Still.

    Pg 237 Tent City, on the photosphere of Earth's sun.

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    The Book of the Still is a bit rough and ready, with some exceedingly odd prose and a plot that feels underwhelming, given the mythic nature of the Book of the Still itself. Nevertheless, it's a decent attempt that gives us a much needed fresh voice, some fun comedy and a couple of genuine surprises. A bit of a mish-mash, but an interesting experiment that will probably age much better with time than its first impression suggests.