Paul Cornell is a writer of science fiction and fantasy in prose, comics and TV, one of only two people to be Hugo Award-nominated for all three media. He’s written Doctor Who for the BBC, Action Comics for DC, and Wolverine for Marvel. He’s won the BSFA Award for his short fiction, an Eagle Award for his comics, and shares in a Writer’s Guild Award for his television.
His novella, Witches of Lychford, is entertaining, fun, well-paced and a little bit scary!
Cornell introduces us to Lizzie, the new vicar of Lychford, who has returned to her home town after suffering a bereavement, Autumn her ex best friend, who hides a secret about herself and Judith an elderly witch who is seen as the local crank.
These three women are thrown together to save Lychford from the threat of another world entering their village.
That threat comes from Sovo, a supermarket chain, who wish to build a branch in Lychford bringing with it many more job opportunities. The town are divided on whether to agree to these plans, resulting in Sovo sending the mysterious David Cummings to convince them by any means necessary.
Judith knows that this must be stopped at all costs as construction of the supermarket will open the doors to another world which currently lays trapped behind the walls of Lychford and enlists Lizzie and Autumn to help her.
In just 144 pages Cornell manages to give us characters that we care about, explores the destruction of small towns by corporate giants and examines the themes of faith, loss and death, all with a dose of gentle humour whilst still having time to throw in a twist right at the end!
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the villagers of Lychford and look forward to returning to this setting in The Lost Child of Lychford which is due for release on the 1st November.
Witches of Lychford is available from all good bookshops