TALES of increasingly surreal gatherings of science-fiction and cult television fanatics sparked by a childhood obsession with Doctor Who, Star Wars and Blake’s 7 were the inspiration for a newly re-issued book.

North-East writer and radio presenter Bob Fischer penned his debut book – titled Wiffle Lever To Full – in 2008.

It has been out of print for a number of years, but to Bob’s delight it has now been reissued by publishing giants Hodder & Stoughton.

The 46-year-old describes the book as part wistful childhood memoir and part quirky travelogue, meeting fans of his favourite shows.

Bob said: “This all started in 2005, when I want to a Doctor Who convention held at the Swallow Hotel in Stockton, and was fascinated to see how fans behave – there was a Cyberman ordering drinks at the bar, and a fully-costumed Time Lord reading the local paper and eating crisps.

“I started buying tickets for events dedicated to some of my other favourite childhood TV and shows and films, and before I knew it the whole thing had snowballed into a year of travels amongst fandom.”

Some of the adventures documented in the book include the time Bob knocked the top off R2-D2 in a Cardiff hotel and the day he took part in a water-pistol fight between Blake’s 7 and Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy fans in a remote Dorset quarry.

Other tales include getting lost in a giant depiction of Mr Spock’s head cut into a field outside York and suffering from a curse bestowed upon him by a collection of knitted Robin of Sherwood dolls.

Then there was the occasion he dressed as a monk in a windswept Scottish castle in tribute to Monty Python and the Holy Grail and the moment he drunkenly embarrassed himself in front of dozens of his favourite actors and celebrities.

“I didn’t intend to write a book when I started, but soon started making notes and was amazed when Hodder & Stoughton became interested,” said Bob.

“The book has been unavailable for a few years, but in the ten years since its original publication, it seems to have picked up a cult following.

“Lots of people have told me how much it reminded them of their own childhood obsessions, and I’ve even seen copies changing hands online for over £100.

“I’m delighted that it has finally been reiussed, and I’ve even written some new 2018 sections, detailing how science-fiction fandom has expanded and exploded over the last few years.”

Bob, who was signing copies of his book at the Who-Ray! shop in Stockton on Saturday, says his favourite picture from his travels is not of himself, but of a Discworld Barbarian standing on a double yellow line outside a Terry Pratchett convention in Hinckley, Leicestershire.

“It sums up everything I love about fandom,” he said.