Did Nathaniel Hawthorne write Science Fiction?

Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1841, a
Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1841, a “prudent and efficient” consul. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SYNOPSIS: A young, handsome traveler arrives in medieval Italy. He meets a beautiful woman, the daughter of an eccentric scientist. The young man doesn’t know that the old scientist has altered his daughter’s meta-genome, making her into the deadliest poison known to humankind.

Sounds like a forgotten David Tennant era Doctor Who story, doesn’t it? Maybe crossed with an older Tom Baker story like The Seeds of Doom?

Would it surprise you to know that it was written 119 years before the first Doctor Who episode by none other than Nathaniel Hawthorne?

Rappaccini’s Daughter, as a story, has always been way ahead of its time. Examining the effects of scientific progress on the nature of mankind, as well as the themes of Good versus Evil, the line between voyeurism and adoration, and the ways that fantasy can collide with stark reality.

Rappaccinis Daughter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
This has always been one of my favorite stories. I used it in classes many times as an Educator with both English students and Actors. So, when I was offered the opportunity to record audiobooks of literary classics, I asked that my first offering would be this one.

My wife set up her paints in my studio as I read. She painted as I read Hawthorne’s words. The artwork for the cover is the result of that collaboration.

More of her paintings can be found at www.puahlove.com.

The audiobook can be purchased here: AudibleiTunesAmazon

Yes, I shall come back?

“One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.”
— The First Doctor

It has been four years since I finished writing my last Doctor Who script, A Road Untaken.

I did not know at the time that it would be my last project with Broken Sea Audio. I had set up an interesting farewell/resolution for the character Olivia Le Pluie, a fun introduction for the new companion Amanda Waterfield, visited Romana in The Time War, and brought back K9. There were even plans for a Blake’s 7 styled spin off.

Leaving that story arc “unfinished” has continued to eat at me. So, 5 years later, I finally got myself to sit down and finish a script capable of picking up from those closing moments of A Road Untaken. If I can put a good cast together, some new audio dramas may be appearing here soon.

Hopefully, in time for the 50th Anniversary 😉

About my Doctor Who stories

The emails over the last few days have been a bit overwhelming.

Just to be clear, though I may continue writing these stories, they will no longer appear as part of the BSAP podcast. The team at BSAP have decided to take their stories in a different direction. I received an email telling me that my “services will no longer be necessary” not long after my last episode, A Road Untaken, aired.

Before I continue, I would like to thank you all for your kind words about the stories that I have penned over the last few years. I completely enjoyed writing them, and I had a lot of fun being part of building the podcasts that brought them to life. I am sorry to hear from so many of you that you have reacted so poorly to the current plot line over at BSAP.

I got similar emails from listeners when a particular story that I didn’t write appeared during my time organizing that podcast. I too was upset that the author of that story did not pay enough attention to the existing story arc to make his story fit into the series and, as many of you pointed out, his lines for both the Doctor and his companion, Olivia, were at least a bit out of character.

I too, am disappointed by the quality and content of the current episode. And, I will be expressing my opinion in the only way that will really make a difference…

I am unsubscribing from the podcast feed. Only a precipitous drop in reported listenership will get the podcast organizers to understand that their current direction is a mistake. So, though I appreciate all of your kind words, if you really want to make your opinions known, drop your subscription to the podcast.

Getting back in the habit

It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated this blog. Most of my work has gone on “behind the scenes”, as it were. Small tweaks to the design, hardening security against spammers, uploading new files…

All that, I’ve been doing, but I haven’t actually posted much of anything in a while. Sorry about that. Things have been… busy and updating this page fell by the wayside. What I need is a pattern in my day (or week) where I come back to this on a regular basis. In a way, blogging was always more effective for me than Morning Pages ever were, so if I am going to maintain any level of serious creative output, I will have to get back to the keyboard on a much more regular basis.

Interestingly, a lot of my creativity has been channeled into my work recently. I’ve been learning to use GWT (Google Web Toolkit) to build dynamic web applications. With a new language and design paradigms to internalize, my brain has been puzzling over code and not plot lines.

I do have some creative projects underway, and I will post about them in the near future. For the moment, swing on over to my Doctor Who files, and check out some of the new episodes. Let me know what you think.

Doctor Who : The 7 Percent

The Doctor aids a band of rebels in their stand against an overwhelming Cyberman invasion. And Olivia finds out what it feels like to play the part of a Time Lord

This story was originally released at BrokenSea Audio Productions under a Creative Commons license. It is re-released (and possibly re-engineered) here, by the original author, as part of an expanded story line.

Doctor Who: Newsbreak 3

This story was originally released at BrokenSea Audio Productions under a Creative Commons license. It is re-released (and possibly re-engineered) here, by the original author, as part of an expanded story line.

Though originally broadcast at BrokenSea, this episode is no longer listed in their podcast. The episode has been restored to its proper place for the sake of continuity.