|#18||September 1993||ISBN 0-426-20392-5||253 pages|
|cover art © byAndrew Skilleter|
The crisp photorealism, the delicate ranges of blues, and the inspired layout of elements — the Jade Pagoda TARDIS, Ruby Duvall, and a Cyberman's hand, all set against a fierce flurry of snow — makes this the most out-and-out gorgeous cover ever featured on a Virgin book.
A station in Antarctica has been built to avert the catastrophic reversal of the Earth's magnetic field. The Cybermen, however, intend to prevent the base from being used and to take over the world in the ensuing chaos.
This was the very first New Adventure I ever read, before I even knew which order the books took place in. (For the very first Virgin novels I ever bought, I picked out two based solely on whether they had interesting titles: this book and State of Change.) Considering that Banks is primarily an actor, this is a surprisingly strong novel, especially since it features only the Doctor and none of his regular companions. The cast of guest characters, Ruby in particular, are memorable and well-drawn, and the heavy use of established Who continuity is tastefully done and makes an intelligent contribution rather than being a mere exercise in nostalgia. Iceberg nicely underscores the point that the Doctor's adventures aren't isolated incidents but in fact have ramifications that are felt later on. It's also one of the strongest novels stylistically — many of the descriptive passages are beautifully poetic (such as the scene with all the dust in the Jade Pagoda), making for a vivid and highly memorable reading experience.
illustrations © by Phil Bevan