NIU librarian finds kinship with fans of 'Dr. Who'

DeKALB — NIU Libraries curator Lynne M. Thomas digs "Doctor Who," and it turns out, she's not alone.

Thomas has been nominated for a Hugo Award, the leading award for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy, for a 2009 book she edited with Tara O'Shea titled, "Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It".

The book is a collection of essays by award-winning female novelists, academics and actresses celebrating the phenomenon that is "Doctor Who," discussing their involvement with the show's fandom and examining why they adore the British science fiction series.

"Doctor Who" is the world's longest-running science fiction television show. It debuted in 1963 and ran until 1989. The series came out of hiatus in 2005 and is currently in the sixth season of its relaunch. It tells of the ongoing adventures of The Doctor, an alien who travels through time and space to right wrongs and save civilizations.

Thomas, curator of rare books and special collections for NIU Libraries, called response to the book "overwhelming".

"For a small press book, it has sold rather briskly, and we have heard from readers of both genders who were thrilled to see their own experiences of fandom reflected on the page," she said. "Even better, we've heard through the grapevine that some of the folks involved with making 'Doctor Who' liked the book, which for us is the ultimate compliment."

She called the Hugo nomination "basically the ultimate positive response," and said she and O'Shea were "humbled and thrilled" by it.

"This is only the second time a book about a television series has ever been nominated for a Hugo, and the first time that any book related to 'Doctor Who' has been nominated," she said.

Thomas enjoys the series because The Doctor often solves problems using intellect rather than defaulting to violence.

The Hugo award is sponsored by the World Science Fiction Society. Members from all over the world suggest nominees, and will vote by July 31 for winners in 16 categories.

The winners will be announced Aug. 20, during the 69th World Science Fiction Convention in Reno, Nev.