Exciting news this week as Candy Jar announce that my story “The Arcade of Doom” us being re-released as the kick off story in a new collection, “Attack if the Quarks”.
If you’re not familiar with the Quarks, they are some pretty unassuming looking robots from Classic Doctor Who. I love their weird, squeaky, slightly childlike voices and the brutalist boxy appearance.
With a crunch and a clank, the box stepped out into the arcade. Except that, now, it wasn’t a box at all. It stood on two stout metal legs, its rectangular metal arms outstretched, the spike on top having risen up to reveal a spherical head underneath. More spikes stood out proud from the sides of the sphere, pointing in all directions.
There was something so simple, so basic about the thing that it should have been comical, but it wasn’t. No, it wasn’t simplicity – it was brutality. A machine built to kill didn’t need graceful sweeping lines, a bold colour scheme, or a fancy logo. Lucy had seen enough to know this for certain. A machine built to kill needed only to kill and could be asLucy’s first encounter with a Quark, from “The Arcade of Doom”
simple and as brutal as it needed to be. A machine that moved, a machine that killed, a machine that folded itself away when all the murdering was done. Simplicity, brutality, efficiency… All hidden away in a cupboard in Porthcawl, just waiting to be found.
I originally wrote “The Arcade of Doom” for the Lethbridge-Stewart “Lineage” collection and it seems to have inspired at least one other person in the form of Tim Gambrell, who picks up the ball from where I leave it at the end of Arcade and runs with it into a series of adventures pitting Lucy against the Quarks.
Candy Jar are releasing Attack of the Quarks as part of the promotion for the hardback edition of Kiss of the Ice Maiden by Michael Sloan and as a standalone book shortly after.
I loved writing Arcade of Doom, completing the first and second drafts in a single sitting (I’m a pretty quick writer, which is good as I get very little time to write!) and it was a popular story with reviewers of the collection. It’s really exciting to now be reading what Tim has written and how the seed of an idea I planted in a small arcade in Porthcawl grows into a wild series of adventures.
You can find out more from the official Candy Jar website. In the meantime, here are some more Quarks…