New magazine overload, Christmas shenanigans and a Doctor Who takeover in this week's journey inside SFX Towers
There have been a few exceptions (the time when Anthony Head dropped in unannounced to pick up an issue, or when John Landis came by for an exclusive photo shoot earlier this month), but generally the best days in SFX Towers are new issue days. Say what you will for web journalism, but after a month of hard graft there’s nothing quite like holding a glossy A4 baby in your hands. So when two brand new SFX specials (one a bookazine, technically).arrived in the office, on the same day, this week you can imagine the good vibes.
Both went on sale this Wednesday. The SFX Paranormal Special contains 132-pages of spooky ghost and the paranormal-based features, including the top 50 ghost stories of all time, an exclusive chat with the director of Daniel Radcliffe’s new film, The Woman In Black , a chat with Toby Whithouse about ghosts in Being Human and our top 10 Supernatural episodes ever. As well as a cracking magazine, you also got three top free gifts including a brilliant ghost keyring (designed by SFX Art Ed Jon Coates), a cult movie 2012 calendar and a set of spooky stickers. It’s on sale now and also includes a couple of original short stories – perfect for the long, dark evenings.
As if that weren’t enough our dazzlingly comprehensive Doctor Who Bookazine came out this Wednesday too. Only the second bookazine we’ve realeased in the mag’s 16-year history, it comes to a whopping 178-pages of features, interviews and minute-by-minute episode guides for the whole of series six and the final adventures of Sarah Jane. Editor Russell’s been working his little heart out for months and months to get it done and our 100% biased opinion is that it’s the best thing you’ll read all year. It’s a loving celebration of British sci-fi’s greatest show on its 48th anniversary, no less. What are you waiting for? Go out and buy before they all disappear.
Speaking of Doctor Who , you might have noticed sfx.co.uk going Timelord crazy yesterday, both in celebration of the bookazine and the 48th anniversary. But that’s not all we’ve been posting on the site over the past week. Jordan is rather proud of his Best Sci-fi Special Editions feature, Dave wrote a feature based on your choices for the Top 15 honorary SFX Shows and there’s the usual Friday Blastermind , Spurious Awards duo to make your weekends that little bit more special. Not to mention our up-to-the-minute expert TV reviews of Merlin , Misfits , Fringe and The Walking Dead .
All his hard work on the bookazine (and a sudden urge to step into the 21st Century) means Russell bought his first smartphone this week – an iPhone 4s. He’s hardly stopped rabbiting on about it since. "It's AMAZING, Siri is AMAZING, everything is AMAZING!" Ah, shut up and do some work. Nick is going to the Med at the weekend for a top secret set visit, while Jordan spent the best part of last week watching, interviewing people for, and writing about the new Twilight . Despite actually quite liking the first and third films he was left cold by the latest, which made it a somewhat unpleasant week. Fortunately he had Skyrim to cheer him up in the evenings, which he and Dave have been playing till the wee hours (Dave’s an Elf who specialises in two-handed weapons and Jordan’s a Battlemage who likes setting people on fire), regaling each other with tales of den-raiding and dragon slaying in the days after as the rest of the office watches on in bewilderment.
Dave G had a busy weekend, taking part in an online Q&A session on Saturday for www.doctorwhofans.forumotion.co.uk even if they ended talking more about Strictly Come Dancing (come on Chelsee!) and Waterloo Road . Rich has just done an interview for a last-minute news exclusive on a British TV show, which he’s rapidly transcribing and turning into (hopefully) scintillating copy. And then it's a day of reading pages from the wonder that will be SFX 217. Ade meanwhile is still smiling from receiving emails from Tom Baker and Louise Jameson asking for a copy of our new Doctor Who Bookazine. He's busy sorting the current issue, but is looking forward to his trip to Pontins Prestatyn next week with Dave Bradley for a Weekender 3 reckie!
There’s been a bit of a switcharound in SFX Towers this week, with SFX now on a floor with actual editorial people for the fist time in more than two years (previously marketing and sales bods filled most of the desks around us). Ian’s still on holiday in Sunny Miami where, if his Twitter account is anything to go by, he seems to be spending most of his time buying cult DVDs and watching trashy American TV (or perhaps tweets about walking along the beach aren’t that interesting). The rest of us, however, have our heads down in a final push to get issue 217 out the door, which means lots of late-night burritos. The good news is, now that Bath’s Christmas lights have been switched on the (admittedly short) walk to Mission Burrito is now bathed in neon lights. Bath’s famous Christmas markets have also opened today, which means Jordan can start making his regular lunchtime trips to pick up free samples of caramelised nuts (not a euphemism).
Random Quote Of The Week: “I want to exhume Steve Jobs’ body and give him a kiss.”
Whose Handwriting? (last week’s answer: they were Russell’s scribbles!)