|'The Legends of River Song'|
Melody Pond, Melody Malone, River Song…She has had many names. Whoever she really is, this archaeologist and time traveller has had more adventures (and got into more trouble) than most people in the universe.
And she’s written a lot of it down. Well, when you’re married to a Time Lord (or possibly not), you have to keep track of what you did and when. Especially as it may not actually have happened to both of you yet.
These are just a few of River Song’s exploits, extracted from her journals. Sometimes, she is with the Doctor. Sometimes she’s on her own. But wherever and whenever she may be, she is never far from danger and excitement.
This is just a tiny portion of her impossible life. But it will reveal more than you’ve ever known about the legend that is River Song.
'Picnic at Asgard'
by Jenny T. Colgan
River sneaks out of the Stormcage to accompany the Doctor on a trip to AsgardTM, a planet-sized theme park. Wending their way through the tourists and tacky attractions, the couple attend a show in the Valhalla Amphitheatre, as an actor dressed as Thor does battle with a huge, robotic dragon. Unfortunately something goes wrong with the performance, and the automated dragon goes out of control and runs amok; as the audience flees in terror, it is up to the Doctor and River to deactivate the monster and save the day. The two time travellers try to warn the park’s management, but while the mole-like technician Postumus Fearne shares their concern about the robotic attractions going rogue, the Park Director, a large beaver named Caius Roose, is more concerned about the damage to AsgardTM’s reputation than the danger to its visitors. River and the Doctor attend a feast at the Palace of Valhalla, a feat of dimensional engineering that allows multiple parties to enjoy personal parties all at the same time. However, during the event the building’s multiple-dimensions collapse in on themselves, and once again it is down to the Doctor and River to evacuate everyone to safety before the palace collapses in on itself. Spotting a figure running from the scene, the Doctor, River and Postumus give chase; following the saboteur into the tunnels beneath the park, they soon manage to apprehend their quarry: Tomith, the surly teenage son of a visiting family, whose boredom led him to hack into the park’s security system and inadvertently cause the chaos. Having reunited Tomith with his triparents, the Doctor encourages Caius give the boy a job to make use of his talents. With AsgardTM now back to normal, the Doctor and River enjoy a picnic in one of the attraction’s many parks…
by Jacqueline Rayner
One of River’s many friends is an Auton Elvis Presley, left behind after one of the Nestene Consciousness’ failed invasions of Earth, who resides in London’s Madame Tussauds. During one of her many visits to her friend, River encounters the Doctor, who uses the waxwork exhibits as a checklist of famous people to meet. Knowing that the Nestenes are due to make another attack, the Doctor offers fake Elvis a chance to avoid the aliens’ influence and live somewhere else; Elvis elects to see ‘the meadows’, which he has overheard visitors remark on as a beautiful place to visit. Locating this place in the Mediterranean, the Doctor takes Elvis and River there via the TARDIS, where they discover it to be a habitat dedicated to the world’s insects, run by the obsessive Melissa Tokana. After joining the other visitors for Melissa’s overlong lecture on insects, the Doctor, River and Auton Elvis are allowed to look around the park; they soon discover it hides a sinister secret: Melissa targets those visitors who do not share her passion for insects, drugging them with soporific gas and using their bodies as nutritious fertiliser to feed the meadows that her favourite creatures need to survive. Deciding to put an end to Melissa’s unscrupulous haven, the trio locate the controls for the gas, which are kept in a room filled with poisonous hornets. Immune to the insects’ deadly stings, Auton Elvis is able to enter the control room and turn off the gas supply; but then Melissa arrives on the scene, and holds her unruly visitors at gunpoint. River throws a picnic basket at the woman, inadvertently shattering the window to the control room; the hornets are unleashed, and sting to death the very woman who loves them. Auton Elvis decides to stay behind to look after the insects, and embarks on a series of ‘Benefits for Bees’ concerts to help drum up support…
'A Gamble with Time'
by Steve Lyons
The Doctor breaks River out of the Stormcage and sends her via vortex manipulator on a mission to Earth in 2016. A businessman named Martin Flint has been caught up in an incident involving the Doctor, a giant green alien slug and a time vortex, and sent back several hours into his own timeline; River must stop Martin from meeting himself, or else the time continuum will be destroyed. River tracks down the younger version of Martin, and intervenes just as his older version is about to meet him. However, River’s actions inadvertently cause a paradox: the older Martin has used his knowledge of the future to place a horse racing bet, which causes his younger self to make a detour that prevents him from making his encounter with the Doctor and the slug, Gharjhax, in the first place. River manages to get a warning to the Doctor, enabling him to confronts Gharjhax and deactivates part of his exo-suit. In the ensuing confusion the older Martin steps up and pushes himself and the slug into the time vortex; this sends Gharjhax back in time, rendering him unconscious. With time back on track, the Doctor leaves Gharjhax for UNIT to deal with and departs to put River on her mission. With the original Martin now rich from the proceeds of his bet, River reflects on how the older Martin has become a paradox, trapped forever in a time-loop, saving the universe every day, forever…
'Death in New Venice'
by Guy Adams
River lands a lucrative consultancy job for DreamInc., using her Vortex Manipulator to nip back in time and obtain ‘expert’ information regarding the ancient Earth city of Rome, which is then used as a guide for the creation of New Venice. This exclusive city has been tailor-made for the obscenely rich using WishCrete technology, which enables the city to psychically link with its inhabitants and transform itself to meet their every whim. However, the construction of New Venice is plagued with problems: initially a workman claims to have seen a ghost, then a crewman is pecked to death by a robot pigeon, and then an entire workcrew is drowned when the city’s wave machine goes out of control. Realising what is happening, River warns DreamInc.’s Executive Manager Milton Docherty that WishCrete is interpreting people’s fears as well as their happy thoughts; but the slimy businessman ignores her, more concerned about the forthcoming opening ceremony for all his wealthy clients. When the launch day arrives River’s prediction comes true, as the carnival parade comes alive and starts slaughtering the guests. Luckily River has planned ahead, and with the help of a former DreamInc. employee she is able to evacuate the survivors to safety. By linking herself to the WishCrete system, River manages to convince New Venice to replicate the fate of the original city: sinking beneath the waves, to be lost forever…
'River of Time'
by Andrew Lane
River is temporarily released from the Stormcage facility into the charge of Professor Darin Forcade, who requires her expertise on the ancient ‘precursor’ races at an archaeological dig on an unnamed planet. Arriving on the ancient world, believed to once have been occupied by a race of giant insects known as the Qwerm, River is taken to the ancient alien ziggurat at centre of the dig – where a familiar blue Police Box has been recently unearthed, along with a note attached that names one ‘Professor River Song’ as its owner. That night, River wakes from her sleep to discover that she and Forcade have been kidnapped by ‘head lice’ – multi-legged creatures made from the severed heads of the professor’s archaeological team. By wiping her hallucinogenic lipstick on their captors, River frees herself and Forcade, and together they make for the safety of the blue box. But the inside is different to what River was expecting: instead of the time-space machine owned by her husband, the box houses an enormous white sphere, its surface festooned with the huge chrysalises of sleeping Qwerm, and a control console in which a regenerating Time Lady is imprisoned, trapped between old and young incarnations by the time field inside the ship. The woman, Rocinante, explains that she was captured by the Qwerm, who filled her ship with their larvae as a means to survive; Rocinante used the Vortex Web that links TARDISes to call for help, and finding River - a child of a TARDIS - changed her ship’s appearance to lure her to the planet. As the Qwerm begin to hatch and Forcade is transformed into one of the creatures’ servants, River programmes the TARDIS controls so that the ship’s exits fold in on themselves, trapping the Qwerm in a never-ending Klein bottle; aware that she will be ensnared too, Rocinante agrees to press the activation control, allowing River enough time to escape outside before sealing her TARDIS forever. As the sole survivor of the ill-fated mission, River goes for some much-needed retail-therapy before eventually returning to the Stormcage…
*Featuring River Song and the Eleventh Doctor
*A BBC Books 'Doctor Who' Novel
*This e-book was originally published for Kindle on 11th February 2016, and later in hardback on 2nd June 2016