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Robert Shearman

Author of Tiny Deaths

47+ Works 1,067 Members 48 Reviews 13 Favorited

About the Author

Works by Robert Shearman

Tiny Deaths (2007) 131 copies
Doctor Who: Dalek (2021) 63 copies
Jubilee (2003) — Author — 58 copies
The Chimes of Midnight (2002) — Author — 58 copies
Scherzo (2003) 52 copies
The Holy Terror (2000) — Author — 49 copies
The Maltese Penguin (2002) — Author — 46 copies
100 (2007) — Author — 37 copies
Deadline (2003) — Author — 36 copies
Year's Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 5 (2018) — Editor — 26 copies
The Cruel Sea (2014) — Author — 26 copies
Siren Beat / Roadkill (2009) 18 copies
Caustic Comedies (2010) 16 copies
Punchline (2000) 7 copies
Granny's Grinning (2013) 2 copies
Damned If You Don't (2013) 1 copy
The Runt 1 copy
Good Grief (2013) 1 copy
Restoration 1 copy
Mortal Coil (2013) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Story of Martha (2008) — Contributor — 260 copies
Doctor Who: The Complete First Series (2000) — writer — 242 copies
A Book of Horrors (2011) — Contributor — 203 copies
Doctor Who: The Shooting Scripts (2005) — Contributor — 166 copies
Fearful Symmetries (2014) — Contributor — 142 copies
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume Six (2012) — Contributor, some editions — 138 copies
The Best Horror of the Year Volume Six (2014) — Contributor — 110 copies
Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror (2016) — Contributor — 108 copies
Fearie Tales (2013) — Contributor — 108 copies
The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 21 (2010) — Contributor — 100 copies
The Best Horror of the Year Volume Seven (2015) — Contributor — 96 copies
Wonderland (2019) — Contributor — 86 copies
The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 25 (2014) — Contributor — 84 copies
Doctor Who Annual 2006 (2005) — Contributor — 81 copies
The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 22 (2011) — Contributor — 78 copies
Seize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric Terror (2015) — Contributor — 71 copies
House of Fear: An Anthology of Haunted House Stories (2011) — Contributor — 66 copies
The Doctor Who Storybook 2007 (2006) — Contributor — 66 copies
The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 24 (2013) — Contributor — 65 copies
The Best Horror of the Year Volume Eleven (2019) — Contributor — 64 copies
The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2013 Edition (2013) — Contributor — 63 copies
The Cutting Room: Dark Reflections of the Silver Screen (2014) — Contributor — 62 copies
The Doctor Who Storybook 2008 (2007) — Contributor — 60 copies
Magic: An Anthology of the Esoteric and Arcane (2012) — Contributor — 55 copies
The Best Horror of the Year Volume Twelve (2020) — Contributor — 55 copies
The Dead That Walk: Flesh-Eating Stories (2009) — Contributor — 54 copies
Visitants (2010) — Contributor — 54 copies
Short Trips: A Universe of Terrors (2003) — Contributor — 53 copies
Short Trips: The Muses (2003) — Contributor — 50 copies
Fearsome Magics (2014) — Contributor — 49 copies
Life During Wartime (2003) — Contributor — 45 copies
Nightmare Carnival (2014) — Contributor — 44 copies
Year's Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 3 (2016) — Contributor — 44 copies
After Sundown (Fiction Without Frontiers) (2020) — Contributor — 42 copies
Psychomania: Killer Stories (2014) — Contributor — 36 copies
Phantoms: Haunting Tales from Masters of the Genre (2018) — Contributor — 31 copies
Haunts: Reliquaries of the Dead (2011) — Contributor — 29 copies
A Life of Surprises (2005) — Contributor — 24 copies
Shadows & Tall Trees 7 (2017) — Contributor — 24 copies
Best British Horror 2014 (2014) — Contributor — 21 copies
Horrorology (1638) — Contributor — 21 copies
The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2018 Edition (2018) — Contributor — 20 copies
Shadows & Tall Trees 6 (2014) — Contributor — 20 copies
Cinema Futura (2010) — Contributor — 19 copies
Doctor Who: The Audio Scripts, Volume One (2003) — Contributor — 19 copies
The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2019 Edition (2019) — Contributor — 18 copies
Voices from the Past (2011) — Contributor — 18 copies
Dangerous Games (2014) — Contributor — 16 copies
The Best British Short Stories 2012 (2012) — Contributor — 16 copies
The Best British Short Stories 2013 (2013) — Contributor — 15 copies
The Spectral Book of Horror Stories (2014) — Contributor — 15 copies
Doctor Who: The Audio Scripts, Volume Three (2003) — Contributor — 14 copies
Doctor Who and the Library of Time (2021) — Contributor — 13 copies
The Miserable Git: The Wife in Space Volume 1 (2015) — Foreword — 13 copies
Hauntings (2012) — Contributor — 13 copies
Best New Horror #26: Anthology edited by Stephen Jones (2015) — Contributor — 11 copies
Never Again: Weird Fiction Against Racism and Fascism (2010) — Contributor — 9 copies
A Carnivale of Horror (2012) — Contributor — 8 copies
Uncertainties - Volume III (2018) — Contributor — 7 copies
Terror Tales of the Ocean (2015) — Contributor — 4 copies
Bernice Summerfield: Treasury (2015) — Contributor — 4 copies
The Eighth Doctor Authors (2002) — Contributor — 2 copies
Midsummer Eve (2021) — Contributor — 2 copies
Nightmare Magazine, March 2017 (2017) — Contributor — 2 copies


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Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Shearman, Robert
Other names
Shearman, Rob
England, UK
Places of residence
London, England, UK
University of Exeter
Short biography
Robert Shearman has worked as writer for television, radio, and the stage. He was appointed resident dramatist at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter, the youngest playwright ever recognised by the Arts Council in this way, and has received several international awards for his theatrical work, including the Sunday TimesPlaywriting Award, the World Drama Trust Award, and the Guinness Award for Ingenuity in association with the Royal National Theatre. His plays have been regularly produced by Alan Ayckbourn, and on BBC Radio by Martin Jarvis. However he is probably best known as a writer for Doctor Who, reintroducing the Daleks for its BAFTA winning first series, in an episode nominated for a Hugo award. *from "About the Author" in his collection Tiny Deaths, c. 2007



"In many ways the Dalek is the father of us all."

Very clever, witty, self-aware, engaging, and layered. Reads better if you are familiar with the place of Doctor Who in pop culture during the "wilderness years", but Shearman as usual can do no wrong. From what I hear, the post-2005 Big Finish output gradually becomes more generic and less risk-taking, which is a great shame. Those early years sure were something.
therebelprince | 4 other reviews | Apr 21, 2024 |
Concept seemed neat but the books were too big and unwieldy, didn't think the stories really had any purpose in terms of order read, many were just odd. Actually did not enjoy reading these. Weird, odd in many cases not actually scary.
m257645 | Sep 6, 2023 |
A collection of fourteen little stories, most of which contain some surreal or fantastical element. Death is a recurring theme, as are bad/loveless relationships and characters with less than zero emotional intelligence.

The best of these were, in their own deeply strange ways, good enough that they left me sort of sitting there going "wow" afterward. But even the ones that didn't seem, to my rational brain, as if they should be particularly effective stories were still somehow weirdly compelling, and the combined result made for a decidedly memorable reading experience. I don't think this one is for everybody, but if "dark and strange and affecting in ways you don't necessarily even always understand" is your jam, this one will probably be your jam.… (more)
1 vote
bragan | 6 other reviews | Jan 25, 2023 |
Access a version of the below that includes illustrations on my blog.

I've always been a bit salty that this book exists. Well, it would be more accurate to say that I am salty that the DWM Special Edition The Ninth Doctor Collected Comics exists. I dutifully bought that, expecting that no such graphic novel would ever come out—there just weren't enough strip adventures to justify such a collection! Eight years later, and the size of these collections had been halved, and so I bought those stories all over again, with just one addition—a prose story that I already had! Well, that and the as usual excellent extras.

So this was a reread again for me, but the added context of the extras was new. I appreciated in particular that were get to hear a lot from Mike Collins, who illustrated every DWM strip of the ninth Doctor; this is one of those eras where we have a consistent artist but not a consistent writer. I've opined before that you need one of those two, otherwise the strip doesn't feel cohesive because you don't have an actor's performance to unify the various voices as the tv programme does. And Mike Collins does good work; he's been with DWM since 1987 as a writer, and since 1991 as an artist, but I knew him first from his work on Star Trek comics for Marvel and Wildstorm and Babylon 5 comics for DC. He's good at likenesses, great at storytelling—exactly the artist you want, I reckon, when you're suddenly producing a tv tie-in strip to an actual tv programme for the first time in over fifteen years!

It's funny, in the extras to both this and the next volume, The Betrothal of Sontar, editor Clay Hickman talks about how they felt they had to a go a bit more kid-friendly now that the tv show was back... but I would hesitate to call any of the DWM strips here notably kid friendly, especially Rob Shearman's! But overall, I remembered this era as a bit of a shambles, and rereading it I didn't find that true at all. It's not perfect, but this is a solid slice of Doctor Who comics. Certainly it's much better than what DWM was putting out last time the tv programme was still on!

The Love Invasion
The ninth Doctor and Rose debut with a very solid piece of Russell T Davies pastiche. There's a lot of running back and forth in 1960s London as the Doctor and Rose must piece together what links some overly helpful young women, the death of several prominent scientists, and a woman who keeps killing aliens. There's solid humor, a decent alien motivation, and a strong sense of the voices of both Eccleston and Piper. The main thing I didn't like was that there's sort of a fake-out double ending, which felt tacked on.

Art Attack
This is a decent story with a good ending, about the Doctor and Rose coming to a futuristic art gallery, and getting caught up in an evil piece of performance art. That said, I felt like there's a better version of this story somewhere in the multiverse: a comics story about art written by an artist seems like it could have done more fun stuff than the story does, and there's surprisingly little made of the fact that both the Doctor and the alien are the last of their kinds—that would have been the emotional center of the story on tv, I think.

The Cruel Sea
I was pretty surprised when Mike Collins noted this as one of the best comic strips he's ever illustrated—because to me it was the weakest story in this volume. It has striking visuals—a cruise ship on the red oceans of Mars, Billie Piper in a skintight spacesuit, a woman whose face looks like a fractured mirror—and some neat uses of the medium—the conversation between the two Doctors—but even though I'm a big fan of Robert Shearman's audio work for Big Finish and his original prose fiction, I found something deeply unpleasant about reading this story. Some of the visuals struck me as inappropriate for the Doctor Who of 2005, and some I just didn't like. Well rendered, but genuinely unpleasant to think about. It's the kind of thing Shearman makes work in prose or audio, I guess (there's some gross stuff in Scherzo), but when you have to actually see it, it's very different. The characters generally are unpleasant, too—this story is very much the epitome of something that's well-crafted but just did not work for me.

When I posted the above on GallifreyBase, Rob himself popped up to opine, "I absolutely agree with you! I'm so grateful to Mike Collins for his amazing art and lovely support, but I don't think I got this story right at all. I've never been a big comics fan, and so misunderstood the particular demands of the medium - and yeah, I think I got the tone wrong completely." Phew!

Mr Nobody / What I Did on My Christmas Holidays by Sally Sparrow
These two stories, one comics, one prose, are both from Panini's only Doctor Who Annual, and are both more child-focused than the average DWM strip. But they're still both solid. You can of course count on Scott Gray for a well put-together done-in-one, and Steven Moffat's story is a fun time travel loop. We should meet this Sally Sparrow again!

A Groatsworth of Wit
The ninth Doctor's DWM tenure comes to a quick end with this, a decently fun story with some good jokes and a nice last scene. Obviously this ended up a dry run for a David Tennant episode, like some many stories in this volume, but it's different enough to be worthwhile.

Other Notes:
  • The Love Invasion, despite being three issues long, spans the entirety of Christopher Eccleston's on-screen tenure.
  • The behind-the-scenes stuff about Mike Collins trying to get Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper's likenesses down was great. On the one hand, Eccleston kept shooting down images that were too heroic and good-looking and muscular, too American comics! On the other hand, Piper just said, "Ooh, he's given me hips and tits, I like it!"
  • After all the talk of likenesses, it thus becomes very noticeable when Rose has a dream in The Cruel Sea about marrying Mickey, but we never actually see his face, presumably so the story could avoid an extra set of approvals just for a one-page sequence.
  • Elements of The Love Invasion, The Cruel Sea, What I Did on My Christmas Holidays, and A Groatsworth of Wit arguably all ended up on screen. The latter two are obvious, but Clay Hickman makes the case that The Cruel Sea influenced "The Waters of Mars." Is this an offshoot of the Flood? A GallifreyBase commenter pointed out to me that the scene in Love Invasion where the Doctor counteracts being poisoned by eating random foods was lifted for "The Unicorn and the Wasp."
  • Rose is the first companion to spontaneously appear in the strip since Benny, and only the second to ever do so. Every other previous companion was introduced, even if (as in Peri and Ace) it was a reintroduction. Between this and the Doctor's regeneration, the illusion of the DWM strip as a standalone continuous narrative is shattered. We're in for a lot of that over the next couple years...
  • Rob Shearman is, I think, the first tv writer to work on the strip since Marc Platt. (Though one other strip writer here would go on to be a tv writer, as is the case with a couple past writers.)
  • It's pretty mind-boggling to learn about the ninth Doctor strips we didn't get from the extras: Russell T Davies and Bryan Hitch writing the ninth Doctor's debut! Russell T Davies and Dave Gibbons writing his final episode!! It's a shame we've still never gotten an RTD Doctor Who comic. I don't know if comics would play to his strength like tv, but I'd certainly be interested to see it.
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Stevil2001 | Dec 22, 2022 |



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Associated Authors

Nicholas Briggs Narrator, Director, Director
Helen Marshall Contributor
Clayton Hickman Contributor
Colin Baker Narrator, Performer
Gary Russell Director
Paul McGann Narrator
India Fisher Narrator
Robert Jezek Narrator, Performer
Steven Hall Introduction
Peter Purves Foreword
Martin Jarvis Narrator
Nicholas Pegg Director
Adam Manning Narrator
Peter Forbes Narrator
Ian Brooker Narrator
Derek Jacobi Narrator
Kurt Fawver Contributor
Brenna Gomez Contributor
David Peak Contributor
Kathleen Kayembe Contributor
Camilla Grudova Contributor
Eric Schaller Contributor
Ian Muneshwar Contributor
Rebecca Kuder Contributor
Kristi DeMeester Contributor
Joshua King Contributor
Kl Pereira Contributor
John Ross Illustrator
Alison Littlewood Contributor
Daniel Carpenter Contributor
David A. Roach Illustrator
Nadia Bulkin Contributor
Michael Mirolla Contributor
Ben Loory Contributor
Kris Justice Illustrator
Brian Evenson Contributor
Martin Geraghty Illustrator
Scott Gray Contributor
Claire Massey Contributor
Adam-Troy Castro Contributor
Chavisa Woods Contributor
Jenni Fagan Contributor
Paul Tremblay Contributor


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