Jade Pagoda is a Yahoo! mailing list. Go here
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What's on topic?
Anything about Dr Who books. It's that simple.
We cover all sorts of Dr Who books: fiction and non-fiction, although
there is generally much more discussion on the fiction books. We cover
current original fiction Dr Who books all the way back to 1964's Doctor
Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks novelisation and the first
annual in 1965, although again there is generally much more discussion
on new books. We also cover spin-offs from Dr Who, like the Benny books,
Faction Paradox novels and Time Hunter novellas. We also sometimes talk
about the work of Dr Who authors beyond Dr Who, in print (e.g. Paul
Magrs' novels), on TV (e.g. Russell T Davies' Casanova) or
What's off topic?
This is where it gets not so simple... Jade Pagoda is not a list for the
general discussion of Dr Who, but sometimes general discussion of Dr Who
is relevant to the books. Jade Pagoda is not for the discussion of Dr Who
on TV, in the cinema, on the stage or on CD, but many Dr Who authors also
work in these other forms and there are points of comparison with Dr Who
in book form. We're a relaxed place and discussions can drift into off-topic
areas, so it's not verboten to talk about Dr Who in other forms,
but if you particularly want to talk about Dr Who as a TV series or in
other media, there are many other e-mail lists and other Internet fora
which are more suited.
Comics are an area of particular confusion, not that anybody really
minds. There are comic-specific discussion groups if you want to talk about
Dr Who in comic form. However, Dr Who graphic novels and the annuals are
on topic for Jade Pagoda and we have also welcomed the comic spin-offs
from Dr Who books, like Miranda.
Jade Pagoda welcomes subscribers across a wide age range. There are discussions
of more adult themes in Dr Who, so the very youngest fans may not find
the list appropriate. However, we do ask subscribers to refrain from too
much cussing and hope the list is accessible to the over-10s.
To have somewhere to discuss issues that are off-topic for the main group,
while still maintaining that unique Pagodan style, there are a number of
Like JPOffTopic, but specifically for philosophical discussions
... and there may be others.
Don't you just hate it when someone gives away the ending before you've
read the book? That's a spoiler. Some people don't mind them at all; some
people get distressed if you mention something trivial on page 2. Whatever
your view of spoilers, be nice to others, err on the side of caution and
use 'spoiler space'—that is, multiple blank lines or chevrons or letters,
something so that if someone opens your post, they will not see anything
that gives the game away without actively scrolling down your message.
Also, remember to put a note at the top saying what the spoiler space is
for, so the reader knows when they will want to scroll down and when they
will not. You can also indicate in the subject line whether you have included
spoilers or not.
Because Jade Pagoda is international, because we don't all read each
book at the same time, spoiler space is very important. Please do be careful
if you are posting spoilers. That said, if you are trying to avoid spoilers,
use some common sense. If a thread is clearly titled about a particular
book, expect there to be spoilers.
With older books, say more than a year old, people will often not bother
with spoiler space, but you can still include it.
Abbreviations and explanations
There is a shorthand when it comes to the Dr Who books:
NDA or 9DA = ninth Doctor adventure, the BBC Books series
of original fiction featuring the ninth Doctor (as portrayed on TV by Christopher
EDA or 8DA = eighth Doctor adventure, specifically the BBC
Books series of original fiction following on one to the next from The
Eight Doctors through to The Gallifrey Chronicles and possibly
beyond, featuring the eighth Doctor (as portrayed on TV by Paul McGann)
PDA = past Doctor adventures, the BBC Books series for earlier incarnations
than the current Doctor
NA = New Adventure, the Virgin series of original fiction (mainly)
featuring the seventh Doctor (as portrayed on TV by Sylvester McCoy), but
latterly based around the lead character of Bernice Summerfield
MA = Missing Adventure, the Virgin series for stories other than
with the eighth Doctor
PDE = Peter Darvill-Evans, editor at Virgin who oversaw the final
novelisations and then Virgin's original fiction lines; he is also a Dr
Many book titles are also abbreviated, e.g. WKK for Who Killed
Kennedy or TTT for The Turing Test.
There may also be terms you are unfamiliar with:
Virgin: Virgin Books took over Target, long-time publishers of the
Dr Who novelisations. They went on to pioneer Dr Who original fiction novels
and the first successful spin-off series when the New Adventures lost the
Doctor and became focused on Prof. Bernice "Benny" Summerfield. They eventually
lost the license to do Dr Who books. They also published many non-fiction
Dr Who books, including after losing their fiction license. They have published
several non-Who books by Who authors as well.
Telos: Independent publisher who had a license to publish Dr Who
hardback novellas from 2001 to 2004. They have continued with a spin-off
series, Time Hunter, since.
Mad Norwegian Press: Independent publisher of the Faction Paradox
series (see below), the I, Who non-fiction series and other non-Who
books, often by Who authors.
Faction Paradox: a renegade cult connected to the Time Lords, who
first appeared in Lawrence Miles' 8DA Alien Bodies. They now have
a spin-off series of novels and there was a short-lived comic too (both
published by Mad Norwegian Press, see above).
Big Finish: Big Finish began doing audio adaptations of Virgin's
Benny NAs. They have continued with Benny ever since, but are best known
for their range of Dr Who audio dramas. They have also published Dr Who
books, notably a series of short story anthologies, and spin-off books.
Decalogs: Virgin's series of anthologies, initially of Dr Who stories
Short Trips: BBC Books' series of short story anthologies, with
the name being taken over by Big Finish for their anthologies, although
these are in a very different format
Jade Pagoda has moderation that is as light as a feather. You wouldn't
know it was there, but they are actually beavering away in the background...
well, possibly. If any real problems arise, they are available and will
step in. The moderators are not elected or anything like that: it's more
of a hereditary title, like the Queen. The current moderators include David
"Back Rub Slut" Whittam, Dave Ball, Jonn Elledge, John Parkinson, Paul
Harman, Simon Bucher-Jones and myself. Contact details are available to
or use the group owner e-mail address. Admin issues can also be addressed
to MetaJP, a satellite
list to which anyone can post but only the moderators can read.
Several of the people who write Dr Who books are also subscribers to Jade
Pagoda. We try to treat them the same as anyone else. Many are willing
to discuss their work, but respect those who choose otherwise.
FATs (Frequently Answered Threads)
On any e-mail list, there tend to be certain discussions (read: arguments)
that come up again and again and don't really go anywhere. While not necessarily
without merit, you should be aware that groans and possibly worse will
meet any attempt to re-start these.
FATs on Jade Pagoda include...
Objectivity vs. subjectivity: is literary quality something that
can be objectively determined? Take this to JPphilosophychat
if you really want to have a go.
Paul Magrs/Iris: brilliant or not? Magrs' work and his creation Iris attract
particular controversy, a love-it-or-hate-it thing. This can make discussion
Jade Pagoda Awards
Every year since 2000, we have held annual awards, voted for by the members
of the list, to celebrate the best (and the worst) of Dr Who books that
year. A summary of past winners is available here,
while details are in the Yahoo!
files section (only viewable by subscribers).
Why 'Jade Pagoda'?
In the New Adventure Iceberg by David Banks, the Doctor separates
out a subset of the TARDIS for independent travel, which takes the form
of a jade pagoda.
History of Jade Pagoda
Jade Pagoda in its current incarnation was formed 20th July 2000, but the
list had a prior existence with a previous service provider. We are now
the third biggest Dr Who discussion group on Yahoo! Groups (as of 6 Mar
Jade Pagoda is not a group specifically designed for sharing or discussing
the writing of fan fiction—there are other groups that do that—but fan
fiction does come up: for example, fan fiction gets reviewed on the list.
If you want to share your own fan fiction or recommend some, please post
appropriate web links to the group. If you have nowhere else to put fan
fiction or it seems particularly relevant to the Pagoda, fan fiction can
be uploaded to the files
section (only viewable by subscribers).
First draft written by Henry
Potts (6 Mar 2005; updated 25 Jan 2007). I have no particular right
to write this FAQ. It was just that I was bored and no-one else had gotten
around to it. Thanks also to Mags
Halliday, William D Starr and everyone else on Jade Pagoda for their
input. Thanks also to Stuart Douglas for hosting the mirror site.