Author: Paul Cornell
Title: Love and War
Publication Info: London : Doctor Who Books, 1992.
Previously read by same author: Timewyrm: Revelation
This is my 3rd Doctor Who New Adventure, and it’s one that has a notably good reputation among diehard Doctor Who fans. In this story, the Seventh Doctor and Ace – who is grieving over the death of a childhood friend – go to the planet Heaven. The entire planet is a cemetery for the people of Earth and the Draconians who die in the Dalek Wars. Ace falls in with a group of Travellers encamped on Heaven, and begins a romance with a young man named Jan. The Doctor seems to disapprove of Jan, and Ace begins to drift away. This is only a preamble for an act of betrayal that will push Ace out of the Tardis for good.
Apart from the tragic situation that divides the Doctor and Ace, this novel has a number of interesting attributes. It introduces the archaeologist Berenice Summerfield who will go on to be a regular companion of the Doctor. It also features the creepy villains the Hoothi, who are kind of a sentient fungi. On the downside there’s a whole subplot involving virtual reality in something called Puterspace. And like Timewyrm: Revelation, the narrative jumps quickly among a large number of characters and stories, making it a challenge to read. All and all, an imaginative and influential Doctor Who story.