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The Empire of Glass (Virgin Missing Adventures #16)

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  158 ratings  ·  21 reviews
'There is a old Venetian saying,' the Doctor murmured. 'The council of ten send you to the torture chamber; the council of three send you to the grave.'

A strange invitation brings the Doctor, Steven and Vicki to Venice in the year of our Lord 1609: a place of politics and poison, science and superstition, telescopes and terror. Galileo Galilei is there demonstrating his ne
Paperback, 1st, 272 pages
Published November 16th 1996 by Dr Who (first published 1995)
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145th out of 276 books — 106 voters
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223rd out of 225 books — 157 voters

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Community Reviews

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I'm a big fan of the Doctor Who television series, but have never before read a Doctor Who book. Based on this one title, I still prefer the TV series. Empire of Glass involves the first doctor, who happens to be my least favorite doctor, but the author did an excellent job of recreating the personality and quirks of him. The story was somewhat drawn out and lame, but the historical background of Venice in the 16th century and the inclusion of Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Galileo made it more inter ...more
The Empire of Glass , by Andy Lane, is another of the free ebooks of classic Doctor Who novels available for downloading on the Doctor Who site. This one's First Doctor, with Steven and Vicki as his Companions, and turned out to be a lighter read than I was expecting for a First Doctor story--perhaps because of having my expectations set by The Eleventh Tiger. Yet, it stands up pretty well overall, and upholds what I'm coming to expect as a common trait of a Doctor Who novel: throwing you sever ...more
This book served as my introduction to the world of Doctor Who and I don't think it did a very good job in explaining the character. Granted it's not supposed to, but other than that, it was a very well weaved plot. Except for a few differences (which the author himself accepts to) the whole writing and the story was really amazing.
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]This is one of the Virgin Missing Adventures of Doctor Who which is downloadable from the BBC website. Set in Venice and London in 1609, it gives the author a chance to bring together Galileo, Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe (not dead after all, it turns out) and the First Doctor, Steven and Vicki. The BBC presentation makes it easy to cut between chapters of the book and the author's notes, which makes reading the book rather like watching ...more
It was an interesting book combining a list of some of my favorite historical characters. I enjoyed reading the author's notes after the end of book somewhat better I think. At times the book seems to drag a bit as there is a lot of historical content which does not lend itself well to further the plot and the author does admit that some of it was unnecessary. I do not know a lot about the 1st doctor, but from what little I have seen of some of the old episodes, his portrayal in this book is spo ...more
Palindrome Mordnilap
Whilst it is true that TV tie-ins can often be a poor man's novel, the same cannot be said for a number of Virgin's New/Missing Adventure Doctor Who stories. This innovative series of books allowed the character of the Doctor to endure during the TV series' prolonged absence from our screens. "Empire of Glass" is a wonderful book with a very engaging story line that skilfully weaves elements of Shakespeare, Marlowe and Renaissance Venice to create a great adventure with plenty of action and good ...more
Ali Mandala
DEfinitely an interesting read. I quite enjoyed reading about the first doctor and his adventure in Venice. It was quite complicated with lots of intertwining plot ines. It's in a series so there was some information missing that I needed to better understand the characters.
I'll just have to read more to find out about them :)
Aug 17, 2012 Ryan rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I found The Empire of Glass to be a highly entertaining outing for the first Doctor, Vicki and Steven. Characterizations of these three main characters seemed pretty well in keeping with the original series and Lane does an excellent job of bringing its historical setting (Venice in 1609) and the array of historical figures (which includes Shakespeare, Galileo Galilei and King James I) to life.
It took me forever to read, and when I finally did, I didn't like it at all.
Horrible portrayals of historical figures and a story that was ridiculously absurd, even for Doctor Who.
I did like meeting Braxiatel.
If you are completely obsessed with weird background stories from Doctor Who, read it. (But only because of Braxiatel.)
Daniel Kukwa
A great combination of history and SF, as only Doctor Who can do it. The "pseudo-historicals", as they are now called by fandom, make an early & successful guest appearance in this novel's take on the 1st Doctor era...and it's an especially excellent outing for companion Steven Taylor. It's quite wonderful.
Andy Tischaefer
More enjoyable than I expected. Grabbed this because I've been enjoying both current and classic Dr Who as of late, and wondered how he'd translate onto the page. Plus I found a free copy (legal, at least the site seemed legit). I thought the was clever, and captured the spirit of the first doctor well.
Empire of glass was a very entertaining read. The description was so good that I could visualize every scenario and character as if I were watching the actual show. One of the things I loved was the characterization of famous historical figures, especially marlowe's crush on Steven.
Erin Davis
I actually enjoyed the author's notes more than I enjoyed the book. But then, I'm kinda funny about TV tie-ins. I really read this to get my Doctor fix while I waited for the next season/Twelfth Doctor.
Simon Curtis
This is one my absolute favourites of the range - a brilliantly written First Doctor, Galileo, Irving Braxiatel, aliens. Superb. One to return to again and again.
with so much of the First Doctor being lost, this was a fascinating look into the least-known iteration of our favourite Time Lord.
Great characterzation and interesting setting. Shame the actual story was so weak.
Not one of the better ones.
Kevin Godin
It's Doctor Who, there are aliens in Rennaisance Italy - what else do you need?
This Dr Who novel was a fun read.
I'm a Doctor Who fan of the TV series. This was my first novel of Doctor Who and was about Doctor No. 1, who is not my favorite doctor. It was okay. The Doctor came to life, the story was typical. I did enjoy the historical elements.
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Andrew Lane (born 1963), who also writes as Andy Lane, is a British author and journalist. He has written a number of spin-off novels in the Virgin New Adventures range and audio dramas for Big Finish based on the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who[1][2] (and a novel for the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood), as well as assorted non-fiction books based upon popular film and TV franchise ...more
More about Andrew Lane...

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“In a long and eventful life", the Doctor said eventually, "I have experienced nothing that I could not account for by the laws of physics, chemistry or biology. If a God or Gods exist, and I cannot rule out the possibility, then I can only presume that He, She or They take no active part in the lives of the many and various creatures that populate this extensive and wonderful universe of theirs". He picked a crumb of cheese from his plate and swallowed it. "In addition, I have seen countless races worship, countless Gods with attributes which are mutually incompatible, and each race believes itself to be following the one true faith. While I respect their beliefs, I would consider it arrogance for any race to try and impose their beliefs on me, and if I had a belief of my own then it would be equally arrogant of me to impose it on them. In short, sir, I am currently an agnostic, and by the time my life draws to its close, and I have travelled from one side of the universe to the other and seen every sight there is to see, I firmly expect to be an atheist".” 1 likes
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