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Doctor Who: The Wheel of Ice Hardcover – December 31, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: Doctor Who
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Hardcover (December 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425261220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425261224
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #569,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Stephen Baxter

“A stunning talent!”—Locus

“Highly intelligent, with original ideas in almost every sentence.”—The Guardian (UK)

“Time places Baxter firmly in the tradition of Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov.”—The Times (UK)

"Technically brilliant and downright exciting.”—SFX  

About the Author

Stephen Baxter was born in Liverpool, England, in 1957. He holds degrees in mathematics, from Cambridge University; engineering, from Southampton University; and business administration, from Henley Management College. He’s a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society.

His first professionally published short story appeared in 1987. He has been a full-time author since 1995 and is currently Vice-President of the British Science Fiction Association.

His science fiction novels have been published in the UK, the US, and in many other countries including Germany, Japan, France. His books have won several awards including the Philip K Dick Award, the John Campbell Memorial Award, the British Science Fiction Association Award, the Kurd Lasswitz Award (Germany) and the Seiun Award (Japan) and have been nominated for several others, including the Arthur C Clarke Award, the Hugo Award and Locus awards. He has also published over 100 sf short stories, several of which have won prizes. He can be found at

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Customer Reviews

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Worth a read if you're a scifi fan or Doctor Who fan.
Amazon Customer
I didn't mind this but it was spread a bit too thinly because of other things happening in the novel - other much more dull things.
I couldn't put it down because the flow of the book let me think ahead as I was reading, wondering what would happen next.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bob James on October 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It has been awhile since the BBC has published anything in their Doctor Who line featuring the classic Doctors 1-8, and this is a welcome return, as it's the first of an ongoing series featuring the classic Doctors. Where to begin? This is a very well written story, with well drawn characters, most especially the Second Doctor and his companions Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Herriot. If you have seen any classic Who episodes featuring this line-up, you can hear their voices and recognize them instantly. Without spoilers, the story features an ancient entity trying to reunite with the race that sent it on a mission, a mission that for a variety of reasons, it has failed. It's attempt to do this however, will have dire consequences for a nearby earth colony that is mining a moon of Saturn for a much sought after resource called Bernalium. The Doctor and his crew are drawn into this by the Tardis herself, as the Tardis senses that something is awry that involves time travel. This story manages to conjure the feel of classic Patrick Troughton (The Second Doctor) era Doctor Who, while also bringing in the sensibilities and scope of the current new series. It almost plays like a Second Doctor era story if they had the budget and CGI capabilities that the show uses now. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves the Second Doctor era, as well as to fans of the current Doctor Who.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James H. Felder on January 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The publishing plan of using celebrity writers got off to an inauspicious start with Michael Moorcock's volume which was, frankly, self-indulgent and dull. This one is the exact opposite. It has the sound and feel of Troughton, and Baxter brings a hard science angle to the story, a scale to it that the old show could never afford, and some very nice, novelistic insights to the characters - especially Zoe and her changing sense of what she wants out of life. A real treat all around. Old and new Who fans should enjoy it!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nash Android on February 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Although this was published in 2012, it is a story of the second Doctor with companions Zoe and Jammie. The story is reminiscent of the Doctor Who adventure in which Zoe first appears, The Wheel in Space, which aired in 1968. The recordings of it, unfortunately, were `misplaced' by the BBC and it now exists only in fragments. It, too, takes place in the future, in space, and features the rare element `bernalium.'

In Baxter's tale of the Doctor, the TARDIS detects a `Relative Continuum Displacement Zone' and interrupts their journey in order for the Doctor to investigate. They materialize in the rings of Saturn where a mining colony is harvesting one of the gas giant's icy moons for bernalium. This is annomalous. Beranalium is almost unknown in our solar system. Why such a concentration of it exists here and why there are indications of time travel are the mysteries the Doctor must solve.

The second Doctor was my first, the one I first watched on TV, and I could picture him and his companions in this story. If I had not already been familiar with them, I doubt Baxter's characterizations in this book would have been sufficient, though. This may have been intentional. If you did not already know these characters, you would not be reading this book, and any development the author tried to do, might conflict with your already established mental images of them.

The other characters were also sketched just enough to get an idea of who they were. Perhaps the one developed most was MMAC, an artificial intelligence embodied in a large construction machine. I found the idea of this gentle android with a heavy Scottish accent endearing. His backstory about having been raised to believe he was human was intriguing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charlene on November 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This novel presents a highly sophisticated and intelligent Doctor Who adventure. The author does a wonderful job of making a colony built around a moon of Saturn believable because there are so many little details in how and why such a colony can exist. And with those details, the author drives home the awe and danger of traveling in space which I relished. I think it added a very complex dimension to the wonder of what the Doctor is capable of in his TARDIS, and the very tenuous hold humanity has on controlling their environment in this story made the danger they are in very immediate.

When it came to the characterizations of the Doctor and his companions, I think the author did a great job - his characterization of Jamie was especially fun and brought out all that is likable and irascible in him. Zoe was also well rounded - she had fears that she tried to hide and which made her more sympathetic. The author brought in her past as well which gave her more depth of character. I did not feel very attached to any of the other characters though - the mayor and her kids and the council. For some reason I didn't connect with them and that brings me to some odd feelings about this book. Because while I really admire the way the author crafted this story, I didn't feel very involved with the characters. I felt like it was lacking somehow in heart, as if there was so much technical skill in the writing and in the details, that the human connection was left out. It's hard to describe, and I'm probably in a minority to feel this way because this is a really good story. I just would not call it a page-turner - I was not driven to find out what happens in the end because I didn't really feel invested in the fate of this colony.

And the ending was a bit predicable I have to say.
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