Jade Pagoda FAQ

(version 1.4, 2 Dec 2005; mirror)


1. How to join
2. What's on topic?
3. What's off topic?
4. Family audience
5. Satellite groups
6. Spoilers
7. Abbreviations and explanations
8. Moderators
9. Celebrities
10. FATs
11. Jade Pagoda Awards
12. Why 'Jade Pagoda'?
13. History of Jade Pagoda
14. Fan fiction

How to join

Jade Pagoda is a Yahoo! mailing list. Go here to sign up.

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 wherever.

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.

Family audience

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.

Satellite groups

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 satellite groups: ... 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: 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:


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 subscribers here 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...

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 2005).

Fan fiction

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.