Cornell, Paul

Tagged: Author

(1967-    ) UK author, who initially became known for his association with Doctor Who. His first professionally published work was Timewyrm: Revelation (1991), the fourth in the New Adventures sequence continuing the Doctor Who mythos after the cancellation of its television incarnation in 1989. In this and subsequent books – especially Love and War (1992) and Human Nature (1995) – Cornell presented that mythos in terms both sharply revisionist and very much more emotionally sophisticated than the television programme had allowed. Love and War also introduced the character Bernice Summerfield, subsequently used by Cornell and others in a range of spin-off adventures.

From the mid-1990s, Cornell also wrote for British television, though mainly for shows outside the sf field. He was one of the authors asked to contribute to Doctor Who when it was revived in 2005, and has so far scripted two stories ("Father's Day", broadcast 2005, and "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood", broadcast 2007 and adapted from Human Nature). He has also written nonfiction guides to sf television series [see Checklist] and scripted comics, most prominently Marvel's Captain Britain and Ml-13 from 2007.

Cornell's first two singleton novels, Something More (2001) and British Summertime (2002), both demonstrate a close familiarity with the tropes of modern sf, and the same audacity that marked his earlier Ties. The second, for instance, conflates Time-Travel, Parallel Worlds and a reimagining of the story of Judas Iscariot. Both also share with his earlier work certain significant motifs: strong female protagonists in the mould of Bernice Summerfield; England's landscape; churches. A similar ingenuity shapes the Shadow Police sequence comprising London Falling (2012) and The Severed Streets (2014), which is Urban Fantasy [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. Its portrayal of London, within the frame of a mildly noirish police procedural, is deftly dark; the second volume sees London menaced by a razor-wielding though supernatural Jack the Ripper figure; the presence in this volume of a subsidiary villain named and clearly identified with Neil Gaiman (see Recursive SF) shifts the whole towards the metafictional. Cornell's work is not conventionally religious, though he is one of the most strongly moral writers active in the field today. If none of these narratives in the end solves the structural problems created by their ambition – problems perhaps intensified by a too-frequent quotation of prior models out of the sf and fantasy megatext (see SF Megatext) – they all remain of interest as demonstrations of the range of uses to which the devices of Fantastika can be put. It is to be hoped that he will find new venues that bear the weight of his ethical imagination; the ongoing Lychford sequence beginning with Witches of Lychford (2015) crosshatches between something like Fairyland and something like a disheartened post-Brexit-vote Britain [for Crosshatch again see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]..

Cornell's short story "The Copenhagen Interpretation" (July 2011 Asimov's) won a BSFA Award. He is one of several editors of the Audiozine SF Squeecast, which in 2012 was the first winner of the newly introduced Hugo category Best Fancast. [GS]

Paul Douglas Cornell

born Chippenham, Wiltshire: 18 July 1967

died

works

series

Doctor Who New Adventures

  • Timewyrm: Revelation (London: Virgin, 1991) [tie to Doctor Who: Doctor Who New Adventures: pb/Andrew Skilleter]
  • Love and War (London: Virgin, 1992) [tie to Doctor Who: Doctor Who New Adventures: pb/Lee Sullivan]
  • No Future (London: Virgin, 1994) [tie to Doctor Who: Doctor Who New Adventures: pb/Pete Wallbank]
  • Human Nature (London: Virgin, 1995) [tie to Doctor Who: Doctor Who New Adventures: pb/Bill Donohoe]
  • Happy Endings (London: Virgin, 1996) [tie to Doctor Who: Doctor Who New Adventures: pb/Paul Campbell]
  • Oh No It Isn't! (London: Virgin, 1997) [tie to Doctor Who: Doctor Who New Adventures: pb/Jon Sullivan]

Doctor Who

  • Goth Opera (London: Virgin, 1994) [tie to Doctor Who: Doctor Who Missing Adventures: pb/Alistair Pearson]
  • The Shadows of Avalon (London: BBC, 2000) [tie to Doctor Who: Doctor Who: pb/blacksheep]
  • Scream of the Shalka (London: BBC, 2004) [tie to Doctor Who: Doctor Who: pb/]
  • Doctor Who: The Shooting Scripts (London: BBC Books, 2005) with Russell T Davies, Mark Gatiss and Rob Shearman [anth: tie to the Doctor Who universe: Doctor Who: hb/]

Saucer Country

  • Saucer Country Vol 1: Run (New York: Vertigo, 2012) [graph: Saucer Country: illus/various: pb/Ryan Kelly]
  • Saucer Country Vol 2: The Reticulan Candidate (New York: Vertigo, 2013) [graph: Saucer Country: illus/various: pb]

Shadow Police

  • London Falling (London: Tor, 2012) [Shadow Police: pb/]
  • The Severed Streets (London: Tor, 2014) [Shadow Police: hb/Arcangel and Shutterstock]
  • Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? (London: Tor, 2016) [Shadow Police: hb/Shutterstock]

Lychford

  • Witches of Lychford (London: Tor.com, 2015) [Lychford: pb/]
  • The Lost Child of Lychford (London: Tor.com, 2016) [Lychford: pb/]
  • A Long Day in Lychford (New York: Tor.com, 2017) [Lychford: pb/]

individual titles

  • Horrorscopes #9: Leo: Blood Ties (London: Mammoth, 1995) as by Maria Palmer [Horrorscopes: pb/]
  • The Uninvited (London: Virgin, 1997) [tie: Uninvited: pb/]
  • Something More (London: Gollancz, 2001) [hb/blacksheep]
  • British Summertime (London: Gollancz, 2002) [hb/blacksheep]
  • Chalk (London: Tor.com, 2017) [pb/Peter Lutyen]

collections and stories

  • The Ghosts of Christmas (New York: Tor.com, 2012) [novelette: ebook: na/Scott Bakal]
  • The Elephant in the Room (New York: Tor.com, 2013) [novelette: ebook: in the Wild Cards univers: na/John Picacio]
  • A Better Way to Die: The Collected Short Stories (Alconbury Weston, Cambridgeshire: NewCon Press, 2015) [hb/Ben Baldwin]
    • A Better Way to Die: The Collected Short Stories (Alconbury Weston, Cambridgeshire: NewCon Press, 2015) [cut version of the above: two stories omitted in simultaneous pb: pb/Ben Baldwin]

nonfiction (selected)

  • The Guinness Book of Classic British TV (Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Publishing, 1993) with Martin Day and Keith Topping [nonfiction: pb/]
    • The Guinness Book of Classic British TV (Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Publishing, 1996) with Martin Day and Keith Topping [nonfiction: exp of the above: pb/]
  • Doctor Who: The DisContinuity Guide (London: Virgin, 1995) with Martin Day and Keith Topping [nonfiction: Doctor Who: pb/Colin Howard]
  • The New Trek Programme Guide (London: Virgin, 1995) with Martin Day and Keith Topping [nonfiction: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: pb/Adrian Mitchell]
  • X-Treme Possibilities (an X-Files Episode Guide) (London: Virgin, 1997) with Martin Day and Keith Topping [nonfiction: The X-Files: pb/Slatter-Anderson]
  • The Avengers Dossier (London: Virgin, 1998) with Martin Day and Keith Topping [nonfiction: The Avengers: pb/]

works as editor

Doctor Who

  • Licence Denied: Rumblings from the Doctor Who Underground (London: Virgin, 1997) [nonfiction: previously published in various fanzines: Doctor Who: pb/Slatter-Anderson]
  • Short Trips: A Christmas Treasury (London: Big Finish, 2004) [anth: Doctor Who: pb/]

Doctor Who: Bernice Summerfield

  • The Dead Men Diaries (London: Big Finish, 2000) [anth: tie to Doctor Who: Doctor Who: Bernice Summerfield: pb/Carolyn Edwards]
  • A Life of Surprises (London: Big Finish, 2002) [anth: tie to Doctor Who: Doctor Who: Bernice Summerfield: pb/Adrian Salmon]
  • Life During Wartime (London: Big Finish, 2003) [anth: tie to Doctor Who: Doctor Who: Bernice Summerfield: hb/Adrian Salmon]

links

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