Today is, by accident, another big book launch day for the Cornell family, as my wife, Caroline Symcox, has her book, The Vicar's FAQ, released into the wild.
As you may know, Caroline is the writer of Doctor Who: The Council of Nicaea, and co-wrote Seasons of Fear with me, but this is her first published non-fiction. The book began as a response to the questions she always got asked by our friends (and random strangers) in pubs, most of which were about job titles (and, back in the day, Dan Brown). On her blog she talks about what her aims were.
I'm very impressed with the book (I would say that, wouldn't I?) It's a straightforward guide to a field which, these days, most people don't know much about, from what Catholic and Protestant mean, to what the difference between a vicar and a priest and a curate is, to what the Bible actually says about gay marriage. When much of Christian language has been grabbed for use in genre (Halo, I'm looking at you) without much care about what the words actually mean, it's also a great resource for writers who want to get their basic facts right.
It's done without any attempt to convert, without any preaching, and as such would be of great interest to an atheist reader who wanted to learn about a different world. It does, mind you, reflect Caroline's very liberal and feminist point of view, so, while she mentions more conservative versions of the truth where appropriate, her own opinions do shine through.
There's a guide to the book with a few sample questions on the publisher's own website, and of course it's available through Amazon. There's meant to be an ebook version, but, as often happens, that's taken its time showing up.
It's been a labour of love for Caroline, an attempt to let our friends understand more closely who she is, what she does and what she stands for. I hope you'll take a look.
On other subjects, I'll be popping along tonight to the BSFA open meeting in London, where, above a pub called The Artillery Arms, the Doctor Who Magazine editorial team will be being interviewed by SF critic and Who fan Graham Sleight. These free monthly gatherings are always great fun, with beer, chat and a raffle, and tonight's is a great way to continue your Anniversary week.
The Gentlemen of Horror is a new play by Doctor Who stalwart James Goss, about the friendship between Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, is also playing in London this week, and is also well worth your time.