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Stephen Cole (writer)

Stephen Cole (writer)

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Stephen Cole is an author of children's books and science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

. He was also in charge of BBC Worldwide
BBC Worldwide
BBC Worldwide Limited is the wholly owned commercial subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation, formed out of a restructuring of its predecessor BBC Enterprises in 1995. In the year to 31 March 2010 it made a profit of £145m on a turnover of £1.074bn. The company had made a profit of £106m...

's merchandising of the BBC Television
BBC Television
BBC Television is a service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. The corporation, which has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a Royal Charter since 1927, has produced television programmes from its own studios since 1932, although the start of its regular service of television...

 series Doctor Who
Doctor Who
Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor who explores the universe in a sentient time machine called the TARDIS that flies through time and space, whose exterior...

between 1997 and 1999: this was a role which found him deciding on which stories should be released on video, commissioning and editing a range of fiction and non-fiction titles, producing audiobooks and acting as executive producer on the Big Finish Productions
Big Finish Productions
Big Finish Productions is a British company that produces books and audio plays based, primarily, on cult British science fiction properties...

 range of Doctor Who audio dramas.

Early career


Cole was brought up in rural Bedfordshire. He attended the University of East Anglia 1989-92 where he read English Literature and Film Studies, graduating his BA course with first class honours. After a brief stint working in local radio with BBC Radio Bedfordshire (now Three Counties) he became a junior assistant at BBC Children's Magazines in 1993. By 1996 he was Group Editor, Pre-School Magazines, managing a team and overseeing the production of various magazines and special editions. In summer 1996 he wrote his first children's books: Cars on Mars, Alien Olympics, School on Saturn and Mucky Martians, a collection of pop-up poem books published by Levinson the following year.

Cole's counterpart in BBC Children's Books was Nuala Buffini two floors above, and the two often met for lunch and meetings. Cole's curiosity was piqued when he learned BBC Books were taking back the rights to publish Doctor Who fiction in the wake of the 1996 Doctor Who TV Movie – and that Buffini would be commissioning for a new range of Eighth Doctor Adventures
Eighth Doctor Adventures
The Eighth Doctor Adventures are a series of spin off novels based on the long running BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who and published under the BBC Books imprint. 73 books were published overall...

 and Past Doctor Adventures
Past Doctor Adventures
The Past Doctor Adventures were a series of spin-off novels based on the long running BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who and published under the BBC Books imprint. For most of their existence, they were published side-by-side with the Eighth Doctor Adventures...

 until a dedicated staff member was recruited. Buffini was soon swamped with novel submissions and Cole's involvement with the range began with reading the slush pile. Having been a fan of Doctor Who all his life, when the position of Project Editor, Sci-Fi Titles was advertised, Cole applied and was successful.

Buffini had commissioned the first six books in the Eighth Doctor Adventures
Eighth Doctor Adventures
The Eighth Doctor Adventures are a series of spin off novels based on the long running BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who and published under the BBC Books imprint. 73 books were published overall...

 range, although one of these — Legacy of the Daleks
Legacy of the Daleks
Legacy of the Daleks is an original novel written by John Peel and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who...

— was held back for publication later on in the range to prevent two Dalek
Dalek
The Daleks are a fictional extraterrestrial race of mutants from the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Within the series, Daleks are cyborgs from the planet Skaro, created by the scientist Davros during the final years of a thousand-year war against the Thals...

 stories being published in consecutive months. This means that the first novel commissioned by Cole was actually the sixth published, Lawrence Miles
Lawrence Miles
Lawrence Miles is a science fiction author known for his work on original Doctor Who novels and the subsequent spin-off Faction Paradox...

' Alien Bodies
Alien Bodies
Alien Bodies is an original novel written by Lawrence Miles and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Eighth Doctor and Sam. This story marks the first appearance of Faction Paradox, a time travelling Gallifreyan voodoo cult...

. Cole also edited the BBC's Short Trips
BBC Short Trips
The BBC Short Trips books were a series of short story anthologies published by BBC Books based on the television series Doctor Who, following a pattern established by Virgin Publishing's Decalog collections. Three volumes were published between March 1998 and March 2000, before the BBC decided to...

short story collections, for which he began to write under the pseudonyms of "Tara Samms" and "Paul Grice". He has since published other work under these pen-names, including the 2003 Doctor Who novella Frayed, part of a series
Telos Doctor Who novellas
The Telos Doctor Who novellas were a series of tie-in novellas based on the long-running BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, officially licensed by the BBC and published by Telos Publishing Ltd...

 published by Telos Publishing Ltd.
Telos Publishing Ltd.
Telos Publishing Ltd. is a publishing company, originally established by David J. Howe and Stephen James Walker, with their first publication being a horror anthology based on the television series Urban Gothic in 2001...

 He has also written several short stories and audio plays for Big Finish Productions
Big Finish Productions
Big Finish Productions is a British company that produces books and audio plays based, primarily, on cult British science fiction properties...

. A clue to Samm's true identity can be found in the "About the author" section at the end of Frayed in which the author's insomniac dog is described with the enigmatic phrase "he slept once" — an anagram of "Stephen Cole".

In addition to the books he also commissioned and abridged stories for inclusion on various Doctor Who talking books and selected TV stories to be released on home video.

Moving on


Worn down by the grind of commissioning and editing 22 80,000 word novels per year as well as producing nonfiction titles, audiobooks and videos, Cole shifted roles in the Children's department to become Special Development Editor in 1999, commissioning and writing children's books tying in to series such as Walking With Dinosaurs
Walking with Dinosaurs
Walking with Dinosaurs is a six-part documentary television miniseries that was produced by BBC, narrated by Kenneth Branagh, and first aired in the United Kingdom, in 1999. The series was subsequently aired in North America on the Discovery Channel in 2000, with Branagh's voice replaced with that...

 and Microsoap
Microsoap
Microsoap is a children's sitcom, co-written by Mark Haddon and co-produced by the BBC and the Disney Channel. A total of 26 episodes were made, lasting over four series, and airing from 1998-2001. The series Producer for all episodes was Andy Rowley...

. He retained responsibility for certain of the Doctor Who novels on a freelance basis before passing them to the care of author-editor Justin Richards
Justin Richards
Justin Richards is a British writer. He has written science fiction and fantasy novels, including series set in Victorian or early-20th-century London, and also adventure stories set in the present day...

.

Leaving BBC Worldwide in October 1999 Cole moved to be Managing Editor for Ladybird Books. But while he continued to write TV and film tie-ins he missed involvement with fiction. After a stint as senior editor at Simon and Schuster Children's Books (where he commissioned books from Who writers Paul Magrs
Paul Magrs
Paul Magrs is a writer and lecturer. He was born in Jarrow, Tyne and Wear, England, and now lives in Manchester with his partner, author and lecturer Jeremy Hoad.-Early life:...

 and Justin Richards
Justin Richards
Justin Richards is a British writer. He has written science fiction and fantasy novels, including series set in Victorian or early-20th-century London, and also adventure stories set in the present day...

) he went freelance in 2002, editing fewer books in favour of writing more of his own. Cole's first original fiction was a series called The Wereling, a trilogy of young adult horror books published by Bloomsbury. He followed this up with a further trilogy detailing the adventures of misfit criminal teen genius Jonah Wish and his friends – Thieves Like Us, Thieves Till We Die (also released as The Aztec Code) and The Bloodline Cipher. He has also written several more Doctor Who titles, including four tying in with the new series.

Astrosaurs and beyond


Cole's most successful titles to date are the Astrosaurs children's books, published under the name Steve Cole. The first two titles were published 3 February 2005. So far there are twelve Astrosaurs books available including a special edition book written especially for World Book Day 2007 (published 1 March 2007) with further titles to follow. Astrosaurs was followed up by the series Cows In Action
Cows In Action
Cows In Action is a series of science fiction books by Steve Cole. The books are about three cows, Pat, Bo and Professor McMoo, who are agents of the , and fight against the . In the fictional future of the Cows In Action universe, cows and humans live as equals...

(first two titles published 3 May 2007). There are four Cows In Action books published to date with the fifth due to be published on 5 June 2008 and further titles to follow. An Astrosaurs spin-off series, Astrosaurs Academy, begins in May 2008.

Astrosaurs books

  • Riddle of the Raptors, published - 1 February 2005
  • The Hatching Horror, published - 1 February 2005
  • The Seas of Doom, published - 5 May 2005
  • The Mind-Swap Menace, published - 4 August 2005
  • The Skies of fear, published - 5 January 2006
  • The Space Ghosts, published - 2 March 2006
  • The Day of the Dino Droids, published - 1 June 2006
  • The Terror Bird Trap, published - 3 August 2006
  • The Teeth of the T-Rex, published - 1 March 2007
  • The Planet of Peril, published - 5 April 2007
  • The Star Pirates, published - 7 June 2007
  • The Claws of Christmas, published - 4 October 2007
  • The Sun Snatchers, published - 7 February 2008
  • The Revenge of The Fang, published- 7 August 2008
  • The Carnivore Curse, published- 1 January 2009
  • the Dreams of Dred
  • The Robot Raiders published 28 January 2010
  • The Twist of Time published 29th April 2010
  • The Sabre Tooth Secret published 3 February 2011
  • The Forest of Evil published 4th August 2011
  • Earth Attack! published 6 October 2011
  • Steve Cole has also written a series on Tegg's training - see Astrosaurs Academy

Cows in Action books

  • The Ter-moo-nators – 3 May 2007
  • The Moo-my's Curse – 3 May 2007
  • The Roman Moo-stery – 6 September 2007
  • The Wild West Moo-nster – 4 January 2008
  • World War Moo- 7 August 2008
  • Battle for Christ-moos- 4 September 2008
  • The Pirate Mootiny- 2 April 2009
  • The Moo-gic of Merlin 6 August 2009
  • The Victorian Moo-ders- 1 January 2010
  • The Moo-Limpics- 4 October 2010
  • First Cows on the Mooon 2 June 2011
  • The Viking Emoo-gency 2 February 2012

Astrosaurs Academy

  • Destination: Danger! – 1 May 2008
  • Contest Carnage – 1 May 2008
  • Terror Underground – 4 September 2008
  • Jungle Horror – 5 February 2009
  • Deadly Drama- 2 July 2009
  • Christmas Crisis- 1 October 2009
  • Volcano Invaders!- 1 April 2010
  • Space Kidnap - 3 March 2011

The Slime Squad

  • The Slime Squad vs The Toxic Teeth
  • The Slime Squad vs The Fearsome Fists
  • The Slime Squad vs The Cyber Poos
  • The Slime Squad vs The Supernatural Squid
  • The Slime Squad vs The Killer Socks
  • The Slime Squad vs The Last Chance Chiken
  • The Slime Squad vs The Alligator Army

Young Adult fiction

  • The Wereling: Wounded 2003
    The Wereling Trilogy
    The Wereling Trilogy isa series of young adult, horror novels written by author Stephen Cole. The books revolve around two teenagers, newly turned werewolf, Tom Anderson and his friend Kate Folan, a pureblood werewolf.-The Wereling: Wounded:...

  • The Wereling II: Prey 2004
    The Wereling Trilogy
    The Wereling Trilogy isa series of young adult, horror novels written by author Stephen Cole. The books revolve around two teenagers, newly turned werewolf, Tom Anderson and his friend Kate Folan, a pureblood werewolf.-The Wereling: Wounded:...

  • The Wereling III: Resurrection 2004
    The Wereling Trilogy
    The Wereling Trilogy isa series of young adult, horror novels written by author Stephen Cole. The books revolve around two teenagers, newly turned werewolf, Tom Anderson and his friend Kate Folan, a pureblood werewolf.-The Wereling: Wounded:...

  • Thieves Like Us 2006
  • The Aztec Code 2007
  • The Bloodline Cipher 2008
  • Z.REX 2009
  • Z.RAPTOR

There is also 'Thieves Till We Die' however that is the same as the 'Aztec Code' just a different title and cover.

Doctor Who novels

  • Parallel 59
    Parallel 59
    Parallel 59 is a BBC Books original novel written by Stephen Cole and Natalie Dallaire and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Eighth Doctor, Fitz and Compassion.-External links:*...

    (with Natalie Dallaire), 2000
  • The Ancestor Cell
    The Ancestor Cell
    The Ancestor Cell is a novel by Peter Anghelides and Stephen Cole, based on the science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Eighth Doctor, Fitz Kreiner, Compassion and Romana III- as well as a brief appearance of the Third Doctor in a ghost-like state due to the Faction's...

    (with Peter Anghelides
    Peter Anghelides
    Peter Anghelides is an English author and dramatist best known for his work on various spin-offs related to the BBC television series Doctor Who.-Work:...

    ), 2000
  • Vanishing Point
    Vanishing Point (Doctor Who)
    Vanishing Point is a BBC Books original novel written by Stephen Cole and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Eighth Doctor, Fitz and Anji.-External links:*...

    , 2001
  • The Shadow in the Glass
    The Shadow in the Glass
    The Shadow in the Glass is a BBC Books original novel written by Stephen Cole and Justin Richards and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who...

    (with Justin Richards
    Justin Richards
    Justin Richards is a British writer. He has written science fiction and fantasy novels, including series set in Victorian or early-20th-century London, and also adventure stories set in the present day...

    ), 2001
  • Ten Little Aliens
    Ten Little Aliens
    Ten Little Aliens is a BBC Books original novel written by Stephen Cole and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the First Doctor, Ben and Polly.-External links:*...

    , 2002
  • Timeless
    Timeless (Doctor Who)
    Timeless is a BBC Books original novel written by Stephen Cole and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Eighth Doctor, Fitz, Anji and Trix.-External links:*...

    , 2003
  • Frayed, 2003
  • The Monsters Inside, 2005
  • To the Slaughter
    To the Slaughter
    To the Slaughter is a BBC Books original novel written by Stephen Cole and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who...

    , 2005
  • The Feast of the Drowned
    The Feast of the Drowned
    The Feast of the Drowned is a BBC Books original novel written by Stephen Cole and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was published on April 13, 2006, alongside The Stone Rose and The Resurrection Casket...

    , 2006
  • The Art of Destruction
    The Art of Destruction
    The Art of Destruction is a BBC Books original novel written by Stephen Cole and based on the long running science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was published on September 21, 2006, alongside The Nightmare of Black Island and The Price of Paradise...

    , 2006
  • Sting of the Zygons
    Sting of the Zygons
    Sting of the Zygons is a BBC Books original novel written by Stephen Cole and based on the long running science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones...

    , 2007

Miscellaneous TV tie-in children's books

  • The Adventures of Mr. Bean: Bear Essentials 2002
  • The Adventures of Mr. Bean: No Pets! 2002
  • Sea Captain Ned 2004
  • The Thirsty Penguin 2004
  • Josie's Big Jump 2004

Bernice Summerfield Novels for Big Finish

  • The Gods of the Underworld
    The Gods of the Underworld
    The Gods of the Underworld is a novel by Stephen Cole, featuring Bernice Summerfield, a character from the spin-off media based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who.-External links:*...

    (Bernice Summerfield
    Bernice Summerfield
    Bernice Surprise Summerfield is a fictional character created by author Paul Cornell as a new companion of the Seventh Doctor in Virgin Publishing's range of original full-length Doctor Who novels, the New Adventures...

    )

Doctor Who plays for Big Finish

  • "The Land of the Dead
    The Land of the Dead
    The Land of the Dead is a Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who.-Plot:...

    " (Fifth Doctor
    Fifth Doctor
    The Fifth Doctor is the fifth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He is portrayed by Peter Davison....

    )
  • The Apocalypse Element
    The Apocalypse Element
    The Apocalypse Element is a Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It forms the second serial in the Dalek Empire arc, following on from events in The Genocide Machine...

    (Sixth Doctor
    Sixth Doctor
    The Sixth Doctor is the sixth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by Colin Baker...

    )
  • The Wormery
    The Wormery
    The Wormery is a Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who.-Plot:...

    (Sixth Doctor
    Sixth Doctor
    The Sixth Doctor is the sixth incarnation of the protagonist of the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by Colin Baker...

    , Iris Wildthyme
    Iris Wildthyme
    Iris Wildthyme is a fictional character created by writer Paul Magrs, who has appeared in short stories, novels and audio dramas from numerous publishers...

     with Paul Magrs
    Paul Magrs
    Paul Magrs is a writer and lecturer. He was born in Jarrow, Tyne and Wear, England, and now lives in Manchester with his partner, author and lecturer Jeremy Hoad.-Early life:...

    )

Other plays for Big Finish

  • The Plague Herds of Excelis
    The Plague Herds of Excelis
    The Plague Herds of Excelis is a Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who...

    (Bernice Summerfield, Iris Wildthyme)
  • The Relics of Jegg-Sau
    The Relics of Jegg-Sau
    The Relics of Jegg-Sau is a Big Finish Productions audio drama featuring Lisa Bowerman as Bernice Summerfield, a character from the spin-off media based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who.- Plot :...

    (Bernice Summerfield)
  • The Dance of the Dead
    The Dance of the Dead
    The Dance of the Dead is a Big Finish Productions audio drama featuring Lisa Bowerman as Bernice Summerfield, a character from the spin-off media based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who.- Plot :...

    (Bernice Summerfield)
  • Gallifrey: Square One
    Gallifrey: Square One
    Gallifrey: Square One is a Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The series is set on the Doctor's home planet of Gallifrey.- Plot :...

    (Gallifrey)
  • Gallifrey: Spirit
    Gallifrey: Spirit
    Gallifrey: Spirit is a Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The series is set on the Doctor's home planet of Gallifrey.- Plot :...

    (Gallifrey)
  • Gallifrey: Fractures
    Gallifrey: Fractures
    Gallifrey: Fractures is a Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The series is set on the Doctor's home planet of Gallifrey.- Plot :...

    (Gallifrey)
  • The Devil in Ms Wildthyme
    The Devil in Ms Wildthyme
    The Devil in Ms Wildthyme is a Big Finish Productions audio drama featuring Katy Manning as Iris Wildthyme, a character from the spin-off media based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who.- Plot :...

    (Iris Wildthyme)

External links