About Faction Paradox
The Great Houses are the ancient and near-omnipotent architects of the very structure of the universe as we know it. As fundamental as gravity or entropy, they have impassively watched over the history of the universe for countless millenia. Indeed, one could almost say that they are history. But recently, cracks have emerged in their aloof and unchanging culture. Their infallible breeding engines have produced renegades and aberrations who pursue active involvement in the mundane, physical universe - none more appalling than Faction Paradox.
Faction Paradox is a ritualistic time-travelling guerrilla organisation that embraces the taboos of the Houses and the vulgar realities of biology and death. It was founded by Grandfather Paradox, a House renegade who no longer ever existed in the first place, but much of its present membership is made up of recruits from the "lesser species", including humanity. The Faction is an anathema to the Great Houses, a dangerous and unpredictable voodoo carnival that delights in breaking the House Protocols and performing the impossible.
But the Great Houses have bigger things to worry about than their own black sheep. For the first time since history began, they are at war. Inconceivably, a force willing and able to challenge their hegemony over time and space has arisen, intrinsically and immutably inimical to the Houses. To the lesser species, this conflict can only be viewed as a War in Heaven.
Faction Paradox was created by Lawrence Miles for his 1997 novel Alien Bodies. The concept has since been developed in to a universe of its own, with a number of publications both in print and as full cast audio plays. Rather than a single ongoing plot, the various Faction Paradox works each tell stories that intersect the War. Some are about War participants, while others deal with people and cultures affected by the actions of the various War-time powers.
The first Faction Paradox book from Random Static is Newtons Sleep.
FAQIs it necessary to read the previous Faction Paradox novels to follow later books?
Absolutely not. You don't need to read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in order to understand Memoirs of a Geisha just because World War II impacts on them both, and you don't need to know who Hitler is to appreciate either. Each book in the range does contribute to a greater or lesser extent to the "big picture" of the War in Heaven, but they are all complete standalone works in themselves and can be read with no prior knowledge and in any order. Recurring characters do pop up from time to time, but familiarity with their prior activities isn't important.
However, the Faction Paradox books from Mad Norwegian are without exception excellent, so we do recommend reading them anyway.Who or what are the Great Houses at war with?
That would be telling.Does Faction Paradox have anything to do with Doctor Who?
No. Faction Paradox did first appear in Doctor Who books, but has since split off in to a completely independent continuity. You don't need to be a fan of Doctor Who, or even have heard of the series, in order to appreciate Faction Paradox. The Faction range is also rather less suitable for children. The War in Heaven bears no relation whatsoever to the Time War on TV, though the TV series may have been inspired by Lawrence Miles' ideas.
Faction Paradox Novels
Previous books in the Faction Paradox range were published by Mad Norwegian Press.
Dead Romance by Lawrence Miles is a Faction Paradox novel in all but name. The Mad Norwegian edition includes two short stories set in the Faction universe, and an essay on the cosmology of the Spiral Politic.
Faction Paradox Audios
The Faction Paradox Protocols
An audio play series produced by BBV and written by Lawrence Miles, focusing on the story of Cousin Justine and Cousin Eliza.
The True History of Faction Paradox
An ongoing audio play series produced by Magic Bullet and written by Lawrence Miles. It picks up the story of Justine and Eliza, but doesn't depend on having listened to the Protocols. Indeed, we'd recommend listening to True History first, if only to associate the characters with the new Magic Bullet cast.
Further installments are in progress.
Faction Paradox Comic
Mad Norwegian also published a shortlived comic written by Miles, which featured Faction Paradox survivors in the post-War period. Only two issues were published, but the story begun in the comic may eventually be completed in some format.
Aside from Faction Paradox, the Great Houses, and their enemy, there are several other players in the War. These include:
The Celestis - formerly an elite group amongst the Great Houses, they erased themselves from existence to escape the coming War, and live on only as conceptual entities. Corrupt and mad, their allegiances are fickle.
The Remote - originally a Faction Paradox experiment that got out of hand, the Remote are an unpredictable lesser species culture with access to high level time technology and weaponry, driven by media signals.
Compassion - the Mother of Timeships. Thanks to a combination of House and Remote technology, the human woman Compassion became the first of the hominid-form timeships. Though she subsequently cooperated with the Great Houses' timeship breeding program, she remains a free agent.
The Lesser Species - many of the species of the universe that lack time-awareness have been dragged into the War, as combatants or as battlefields. Some, such as humanity's posthuman descendents, have the potential to become active powers in their own right.
Faction Paradox first appeared in the BBC's Doctor Who novel series, though the Faction universe is now a distinct continuity. The key books relevant to the Faction universe are:
Compassion, a recurring character in the Faction Paradox range, is introduced in Interference and features in every subsequent BBC Doctor Who novel up to the Ancestor Cell. However, most of these stories should be considered apocryphal.
Chris Cwej, another recurring Faction character, first appeared in Original Sin by Andy Lane, and subsequently in all the following books in Virgin's Doctor Who: The New Adventures series. He also appeared in several of the Doctorless New Adventures books starring Bernice Summerfield. Another New Adventures book, Christmas on a Rational Planet by Lawrence Miles, contains the first fleeting reference to the Faction.
The BBC books Unnatural History by Jonathan Blum and Kate Orman, Shadows of Avalon by Paul Cornell, the Ancestor Cell by Stephen Cole and Peter Anghelides, and the Gallifrey Chronicles by Lance Parkin also build on ideas introduced in Miles' novels, but are not part of the Faction Paradox continuity.
All of these books are out of print, but used copies are frequently available on ebay and from various used book stockists.