(ISBN 0-563-55583-1)






 December 1944: the

 Nazi forces are

 making their last

 offensive in Europe -

 a campaign which

 will come to be

 called the Battle

 of the Bulge.


 But there is a third

 side to this battle; an

 unknown and ancient

 force which seems to

 pay little heed to the

 laws of nature.

 Where do the bodies

 of the dead disappear



 What is the nature

 of the experiments

 conducted by both


 The Doctor, Sam and

 Fitz must seek out the

 truth in a battlefield

 where no one and

 nothing is quite what

 it seems...


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Autumn Mist

JULY 1999






After the twisting, temporal majesty of Unnatural History, David A McIntee

brings us right back down to Earth with Autumn Mist – a novel that couldn’t have been

any more different to its predecessor. A pseudo-historical jaunt set during the Battle of

the Bulge, Autumn Mist is sodden with the author’s customary level of historic detail, but lacking in substance.


The story begins as many Doctor Who historicals do – with the TARDIS being lost in some contemporary disaster, cutting our heroes off from it and, indeed, each other. However, it quickly becomes apparent to the reader that this book isn’t going to be a Hartnell-esque, gently provocative gambol in the past – it’s going to be a full on, heavy duty, Saving Private Ryan bloodbath.


In spite of the novel’s relative concision, McIntee spends much of his word count building up an astonishingly evocative picture of this chapter of World War II, gore and all. I’m no expert, but the prose positively reeks of authenticity, right down to the minutiae. Those with a keen interest in the period are sure to devour the author’s heavy, research-burdened prose with gusto. Those who aren’t are really going to struggle.


For me, the most arresting aspect of this novel is Sam’s plight. McIntee builds up a vivid picture of senseless death in the mind of his reader and then, without any preamble, just hurls one of the regulars straight into the firing line. Sam is gunned down along with a whole contingent of anonymous American prisoners and, in that scorching moment, she’s dead.

It’s unexpected, cruel, and heartbreaking; horribly dramatic. After all Sam’s adventures in time and space and after all the good she’s done, her existence is extinguished in the most abrupt and futile of ways. For nothing.


But then Sam wakes up in the higher realm of Sidhe, technically dead but clearly far from it. It’s an extraordinarily annoying get-out, but with hindsight, an obligatory one – after all, had Sam stayed dead then there’d have been no Interference – and in fairness, when one reads the book today knowing full well what’s around the corner, it doesn’t smart half as much as it did on the first read. In fact, this time I was able to enjoy witnessing events from Sam’s post-humus, Sidhe perspective, whereas back in the day I had so much steam coming out of my ears that I could barely make out the words on the page. The author’s descriptions of the literally outstanding Doctor and TARDIS as witnessed by Sam are especially memorable, even if they are at odds with the Time Lord’s abnormally ineffectual display here.


Fitz fares well, holding his own with Sam without having an awe-inspiring death scene to fall back on. Fitz’s thoughts and feelings are explored more deeply than any other character’s

in the book, McIntee wasting no time in seizing upon the half-German’s war angst and the torment that he was forced to endure growing up in post-war London with a German name.



Autumn Mist ultimately falls down

on its plot though, which at the end

of the day isn’t all that appealing.

The manipulative Sidhe are only

meddling in our realm because

their king, Oberon, loves a bit of

chaos and anarchy. Hardly the most inspiring proposition when sandwiched between two

impressive Faction Paradox stories. That said, the narrative does at least segue nicely in

to Interference, concluding with another marvellously minimalist scene which sees the re-incarnated Sam simply ask the Doctor to be dropped off at home next time the TARDIS lands in her neck of the temporal woods.


Altogether then, if the words ‘McIntee’, ‘dense’, ‘research’ and ‘war’ push your buttons, then you can’t go far wrong with Autumn Mist. If my dad were a hardcore Who fan, for instance, then this one would certainly be amongst his favourites. However, as somebody who finds a paradox more interesting than a Karabiner 98k, this well-written and well-researched wallow in war doesn’t really do it for me.


Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2010


E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

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