Covering the Farewell Project

The Martian Colonies
The Empty Man

The revisions to Rosemary and Time are going well. The Young City is simmering nicely on its burner, and even Fathom Five is beginning to intrigue me again. But, for some reason, it feels like a good time to set these aside… not on the back burner, but on the small burner on the front of the stove that I never use. I’ll do more writing on the weekend, but I’ve also decided to call time on the Trenchcoat Farewell Project. This massive fanzine project has been in the works for over two years, now, and I’m sure that some of the people who have preordered copies are getting as antsy as me.

The status of the TFP is as it has been all this year: the writing is going better than expected, but the artwork is stalling out. We went into this project with ten out of twelve of the anthology’s unpublished stories unfinished. We now have only two that will likely end up in outline “reconstruction” format. Of the eighteen stories which needed new artwork, eleven are still unillustrated. So, I figure that even if we release completed stories without illustrations to accompany them, we’re better off than we would have been a year ago. The Trenchcoat Farewell Project will be released in August, with or without the completed artwork. I have announced this to the Trenchcoat mailing list.

This may produce a flurry of activity. A lot of it thanks to Matt Grady. Back in 1998, Matt approached me, asking me what I was planning for Myth Makers 9, as that was the release coinciding with the 35th anniversary of Doctor Who. I was deep into the production of Myth Makers 8 at the time and told him that I didn’t have the time to even think about the next issue. He nodded, went away, and came back, saying “I’ve e-mailed a bunch of authors. They’re interested in contributing to MM9.”

picture James blinking

I thanked him. And then reminded him that I was Myth Makers editor and he was stepping on my authority. I also made him co-editor. Well, when I made the announcement regarding the TFP, Matt went and e-mailed a dozen or so fan artists. I didn’t ask him to, he just did it. Suddenly I find myself with an associate editor again. That’s Matt for you.

We have the rest of April, and the months of May and June to concentrate on getting the remaining artwork out of the way. I have a lot of work ahead of me, scanning in Martin Proctor’s drawings and laying out the stories. But it feels good to finally be entering the home stretch on fandom’s first ever coffee-table fanzine.

The designs in this entry were created by me. Each Trenchcoat story is supposed to have a “novelization cover” as part of its gimmick. We are missing novelization covers for Trenchcoat 0, Trenchcoat 3 and Ninth Aspect 2, but I’ve decided to do a bunch. Real Doctor Who novelizations have used photos for their covers, so why not doctored photographs? No pun intended.

The Empty Man’s cover is made from one of Martin Proctor’s internal illustrations from the same story.

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