About Caleb Woodbridge

Caleb comes from the Death Zone on Gallifrey – sorry, North Wales. He became a fan in the wilderness years when the show was off the air through the repeats, novels and audios, and is also a big fan of the show since its return in 2005. He has had a number of short stories published, including The Shopping Trolleys of Doom, featuring the Seventh Doctor, in Short Trips: How the Doctor Changed My Life, and Blessed are the Peacemakers, featuring the Fourth Doctor and Sarah, in Short Trips: Indefinable Magic, both published by Big Finish. He is currently seeking publication for his first novel. He also writes A Journal of Impossible Things, a blog about fiction, fantasy and faith.

BristolCon 2012: My first science fiction and fantasy convention

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Last year, I attended my very first science fiction convention! And they say you never forget your first time…

I decided to go firstly because I’m a reader and fan: to meet authors whose books I’ve enjoyed, such as Philip Reeve, Alastair Reynolds and Ben Jeapes, among others; to discover new authors and titles that I will enjoy. The second reason I went was as a writer. It’s a chance to be inspired, to meet other writers, to learn more about developing my craft and about genre publishing.

Not having been to a convention before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would everyone be in costume? Would people talk to me as a newcomer, or be huddled in their own impenetrable groups knit together through years of attendance? Would I be able to resist the temptation to come back laden with several years’ worth of reading material?

Spoiler alert… I had a great time! Listen to the episode for interviews with Joanne Hall, one of the convention organisers; author Philip Reeve (previously interviewed for the podcast), who is this year’s Guest of Honour, plus panel clips and chats with other fans at the event!

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I recorded several panels – you can listen to the Apocalypses debate here, and there are more to come.

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BristolCon 2013 takes place 26th October – for full details visit www.bristolcon.org.

Doctor Who Commentary – 7.07 ‘The Bells of Saint John’

The Bells of Saint JohnHappy birthday to us!!! It’s been five long years since our very first Doctor Who commentary and, to mark the occasion, here’s our latest – ‘The Bells of Saint John’.

Caleb and P.G. find plenty to talk about as Clara finally joins the Doctor full-time. Has her (re-)introduction been too long coming? How does she compare to her previous incarnations? And what clues to her identity have we found so far? All this, plus the question of souls; the spectre of Russell T Davies; the brilliant Celia Imrie and Jumping the Shard. (Geddit?)

We also open with a very important announcement about the future of the podcast that you really don’t want to miss, and finish with a look ahead to the 50th Anniversary. So let’s get cracking!

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Doctor Who Commentary – ‘An Unearthly Child’ – The First Doctor

The First Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan enter the TARDISWe start counting down to Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary in November by looking back over the history of Doctor Who, from 1963 down to the present! In this episode, Caleb and Swithun go right back to the very beginning, to discuss An Unearthly Child, (or if you prefer, 100,000BC or The Tribe of Gum, Hartnell overall story titles being what they are…)

William Hartnell was the original Doctor – but is he the original and best? We consider how the Doctor evolved from mysterious and unreliable mad scientist into the unconventional action hero he is today. Plus, how has the role of the companions changed since the original TARDIS crew of Ian, Barbara and Susan, as played by William Russell, Jacqueline Hill and Carole Anne Ford.

Join us as we celebrate the classic opening episode where it all began, plus reconsider those neglected cavemen episodes that follow… or should we skip to the Daleks already?

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How do you feel An Unearthly Child holds up after all these years? Are you a fan of the First Doctor, and what are your favourite stories from his era? If you’re a recent Doctor Who fan who came to it since it’s 2005 return, what is it like to go back and uncover Doctor Who’s past? Let us know your thoughts below!

Doctor Who Commentary – 7.06 ‘The Snowmen’ Christmas Special

The Doctor and Clara in the TARDISAfter something of an extended break, Caleb and Sarah are back with our verdict on The Snowmen, the 2012 Doctor Who Christmas special! With a new title sequence, new TARDIS and above all new companion, the feisty Clara, ably played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, there’s plenty for us to talk about… not to mention abominable snowmen, Victorian values, lesbian interspecies marriage, the place of Sherlock Holmes in the Whoniverse, and Matt Smith sporting a specially fine hat!

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Stay tuned for our anniversary-year coverage of Doctor Who, as we celebrate each of the eleven Doctors from the last 50 years, one per month, and count down to the big day on 23rd November 2013!

The Next Big Thing – ‘This Darkened World’

St Paul's CathedralFollowing on from P G Bell’s Next Big Thing feature, site editor Caleb Woodbridge takes his turn in the hotseat to say what he’s got in the writing pipeline!

What’s the working title of your book?

“This Darkened World”

Where did the idea for the book come from?

When I was in school, I was that awkward kid in the corner always with my nose in a book. If a magic portal had opened up to some other world, I’d have been through it like a flash, even if I had no idea what would happen to me or whether I’d ever come back. Continue reading

Why are Apocalypses so popular in Science-Fiction? BristolCon Panel

BristolCon Apocalypse PanelThe End of the WorldIt’s the end of the world… again. Whether it’s a zombie outbreak, nuclear war, alien invasion or just some unspecified Terrible Event, it seems that many of us love a good apocalypse. But why the obsession with the destruction of human civilization? What’s the appeal of seeing society collapse, and is it a healthy thing to dwell on? What do our fears of the future tell us about our societies now?

Recorded at BristolCon 2012, this panel discussion is moderated by fantasy author Juliet E McKenna, and features the wit and wisdom of Michael Dollin, Janet Edwards, Tim Maughan, and John Meaney. And see if you can identify a familiar voice in the questions at the end…!

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Big thanks to the panel and BristolCon organisers for letting me loose with a microphone, and stay tuned for the full BristolCon convention report, coming soon! Booking is now open for 2013′s event, and I can definitely recommend it.