Authors have ideas they never use.

I was just reading the Doctor Who novel Human Nature, now available on-line, and in the notes, the author (Paul Cornell) reveals he was considering having the villains be “all thirteen incarnations of one evil Time Lord, who went about in a big gang.”

What a freaking brilliant idea. Sure, it makes no sense to those who have never seen the program, but to me, wow. A groups of troublemakers, walking down a road, kicking cats, and other forms of villainy, and all bickering with one another, despite the fact they are all actually the same person.

Anyway, any other idea you have heard proposed by authors that have never been used?

It makes no sense to this someone who HAS seen the program - specifically the episode of the current series ‘Father’s Day’, which had, as part of its premise, the fact that having two versions of the same person in the same space/time location causes a weakness in time.

Allan Moore did that concept very well in a Tom Strong story - which ended with said gang of villains crippled by their memories getting tangled up.

Nonethless the series has used precisely that premise on numerous occasions, with at least two series where the various incarnations of the doctor all co-existed and one where another tiemlord co-existed with his own incarnation. It’s pretty standard fare for the series and isn’t by any stetch impossible within that universe even if it does cause probelms.

IOW it makes perfect sense.

Robert Heinlein talked about a couple ideas he had that he never got around to developing (AFAIK), one of which involved a donkey named Mr. Jenkins.

It’s actually pretty common, I can remember reading something that a particular author had decided not to use and thinking that it was vastly superior to what he did use. Sadly, both the author’s name and the ideas escape me now.

Happens to me all the time. Ideas are easy; the challenge is to develop them into a readable story.

I always thought John Irving should write the fictional bio of Ellen James.

That idea has been used albeit that the character in question was not a villain. Lawrence Miles used the idea in “Interference” books 1 and 2, whether he acquired the idea from Paul Cornell or whether Cornell is trying to cash in on Miles book I don’t know. The character in question was called I.M Foreman and eventually evolved into an entire ecosystem.

Isn’t it implied in the episode that the only reason that this is a problem is the fact that the Timelords no longer exist. If so this explains why it does not contradict the original series.

Lots of times.

C.S. Forester outlined an unwritten Horatio Hornblower story in his book The Hornblower Companion. When Parkinson wrote his Hornmblower biography, he included the unwritten story (“The Point and the Edge”) as canon. (Even though he totally ignored an actual published story that had never been reprinted since its magazine publication. Probably he was unaware of it.)
Isaac Asimov wrote about a story involving Alpha Centauri and the Myth of Prometheus in one of his essays. He never wrote the story.

I was just going to mention the Sword and the Point. Also, the unfinished Hornblower. Both super yarns.

Asimov, IIRC, mused often in his essays about undeveloped story ideas. Can’t recall very much of the specifics, myself.

Damn. I would like to hear more details, personally. CalMeacham or others, care to say anything about why he never “published” the story? Howabout some idea of what it was about?

P.S. Re: Docor Who: What everyone said, applies to me too. All the the past Doctor Who is canon for the current series, and so, if The Three Doctor can occur, and “the Dandy” and “the Clown” can insult one another, then a timelord could manipulate things in order to meet all his incarnation, and attempt to work together. The idea of a violent crowd of nasties, all agreed on a goal, sends my blood chiling.

In a foreword, Philip Jose Farmer mentions 'a germ of story ‘Two Blue Einsteins’ '. I’ve never seen a work of that title, or a foreword that explains that the following story grew out of Two Blue Einsteins. Nor have I seen any further explanation.

Is it a drink order?

A code?

A clue to some mystery?

A story of a pair of depressed physicists?

A tale of blue-skinned alien geniuses?

Philip Jose Farmer has said that he often came up with titles first, stories later. I don’t think that exactly qualifies for this thread, buty one such title (never used, to my knowledge) was “Rule 42”, based on Lewis Carroll’s “Al;ice in Wonderland” (Rule 42 states that “All persons more thabn one mile high must leave the courtroom.” I think PJF just liked the idea that such a ule existed, even if fictionally, and wanted to find somewhere were it applied. I wonder if Douglas Adams got his idea for “42” from this?)

PJF also said that he wrote his story “The Jungle Rot Kid on the Nod” (in his collection “Riverworld and other stories”) by imkagining what would happen if William Burroughs wrote the Tarzan stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs. He sauid in his intro that he tried it the other way around, but he didn’t like the results. AFAIK, it’s never been published.

Not really. This sort of thing had been done before, both in Dr Who, when several incarnations of the Doctor got together, and elsewhere in literature - Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion series is a good example.

I fail to understand, (sorry for self-hijacking) I am fully aware, as I have said, that the Doctor has worked alongside himself. However, what makes you say “Not really.” to the perceived coolness of the idea of a gang of thugs, all the same person, with different faces and personalities? I can understand if you claim it is not unique, but not that it can be perceived as “Brilliant.”

I didn’t mention the “unfinished” Hornblower myself. I think PiS is referring to Forester’s Hornblower During the Crisis. the part that Forester finished was published, along with a synopsis of the rest, and two short stories as well (although not “Hornblower and the King”, which is what I was referring to above.) HDtC is a great yarn, what we have of it, and answers the question of what Hornbloqwer was up to at the time of the Battle of Trafalgar.

Interestingly, C. Northcote Parkinson gives a very different ending for the story. I’ve wondered ever since if that’s what Forester really had in mind – he did like his twist endings.

In his space trilogy, C. S. Lewis only briefly makes mention of the Moon as the home of an utterly evil and decadent race (of humans??). I think he could have devoted an entire novel just to that.

Speaking of Dr. Who and evil timelords, it’s far too late now but I think that the Mad Meddling Monk and the Warlord should have explicity been former incarnations of the Master.

I admit I’ve only seen the first 3 episodes of the new series. Even if later episodes show the Master being killed on screen during the you know what, he could still show up again. The Monk never showed the deviousness, the focus, or the malevolence of the Master.

And of course there is the classic “The Sound of His Wings,” wherein Robert Heinlein details the rise of Nehemiah Scudder. Actually, there are several stories RAH had planned out that he never got around to writing.