Monthly Archives: April 2010

April Books 29) Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? by Neil Gaiman

Gaiman claims here that he is returning to his roots, by writing a piece about his first serious fandom (though he does not put it like that); it is a two-part story about Batman’s funeral, but in Gaiman’s hands it … Continue reading

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April Books 28) Short Trips [17]: The Centenarian, edited by Ian Farrington

I guess I’ve read half a dozen of Big Finish’s Short Trips anthologies by now, and found them a bit of a mixed bag; sometimes a decent linking concept makes the whole better than the sum of its parts, sometimes … Continue reading

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April Books 27) The Runaway Train, by Oli Smith

This was a free giveaway Doctor Who CD from the Daily Telegraph last week, apparently to be released more formally in a few months as one of the planned series of Eleventh Doctor original audio books. It’s set in the … Continue reading

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Linkspam for 29-4-2010

elmyra: I am an Eastern European (tags: ukpolitics bigotry)

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April Books 26) The Forgotten Army, by Brian Minchin

The first three Eleventh Doctor novels were published last week, and I entirely randomly decided to start with the one written by my cousin. Actually I think Brian is the first script editor of Doctor Who to have a spinoff … Continue reading

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Belgium as seen by Charlemagne

: Belgium's self-destructive politics the Belgium I know is a laid-back, relaxed place with a well-developed sense of humour about itself. Unfortunately, it is hobbled by strangely irresponsible politicians, some of whom do not care if a quite different impression … Continue reading

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The people have spoken, the bastards

A locked entry for now, as I intend to write a public commentary on the first (but not the second) of these two problematic cases, and obviously they are both sensitive. I’m really sad that Mehmet Ali Talat lost the … Continue reading

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April Books 25) The Twilight of Atheism, by Alister McGrath

Yet another book on religion where I basically agree with the author but found the book itself really unsatisfactory. Basically, McGrath seemed to me to be asking the wrong question. His argument identifies “atheism” as a collective identity more than … Continue reading

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Two books by Neal Barrett, jr

A few weeks back I confessed my ignorance of Neal Barrett, jr, who has been named this year’s Author Emeritus by the SFWA. I’m generally prepared to expand my horizons, so ordered a couple of his books from Bookmooch and … Continue reading

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April Books 22) Triumph of a Time Lord, by Matt Hills

This is one of the better academic books about Who that I have read. Hills is a sympathetic fan and also a media studies lecturer in Cardiff. In this book he has sensibly not tried to provide a global guide … Continue reading

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April Books 21) Doctor Who Annual 1970

This is a better effort than the previous annual, though we still have the irritation of “Dr Who” addressing Jamie and Zoe as “my children” and a couple of stories that seem to have been written with Hartnell in mind. … Continue reading

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April Books 20) The Crucible, by Arthur Miller

A great work, of course, about mass hysteria, groupthink, and evil. The editor notes in the foreword that for today’s audience the McCarthy hearings, which were on his mind as he wrote, actually require more explanation than the Salem witch … Continue reading

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April Books 19) Reaper Man, by Terry Pratchett

This was for some reason the only main sequence Discworld novel that had so far escaped me (I also have TAMAHER on the shelf). I guess it must be a relatively early book in the series; the undead are still … Continue reading

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April Books 18) The Hanging Garden, by Ian Rankin

This Rebus novel got rave reviews in a couple of places, but I was not completely satisfied with it. It seemed more a novel of gangland politics than of police investigation; there is a horribly bungled police raid at one … Continue reading

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Who knew that the Progressive Unionist Party has so much support?

…or could it be that there has been some editing of the code which reclassified Pirate Party supporters? (And my own rather rare choice has not been showing up on friends’ posts much.)

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No big surprise

Help nwhyte and get your own badge!(The Livejournal Electioniser was made by robhu)

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April Books 17) Sick Building, by Paul Magrs

This is a Tenth Doctor and Martha novel, set on a wilderness world where a crazed scientist and his family are holding out against a monstrous creature which is devouring the planet’s entire surface, helped by a domestic computer (which … Continue reading

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April Books 16) The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin

There’s been a lot of buzz around this book, partly perhaps because of the author’s online visibility, but mainly I suspect because it is a rather good book. It is an immersive fantasy, to use the Mendlesohn typology, about Yeine, … Continue reading

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April Books 15) The Lives of Christopher Chant, by Diana Wynne Jones

I think this is my favourite of the Chrestomanci novels, a prequel with some retracing the steps of Charmed Life, but adding some extra wrinkles which I found more satisfying – the parental marriage disintegrating; the young goddess of cats; … Continue reading

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Belgian government falls

I am not going into the details of the BHV question, but apparently Leterme has offered the King his resignation after the Liberals pulled the plug (my gut reaction: everyone is being opportunist here). Fortunately, this may mean that parliament … Continue reading

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April Books 14) Njal’s Saga

In a week when people have been thinking about Iceland for other reasons, it was odd to be reading Njal’s Saga, much of which takes place around the very slopes of Eyjafjallajökull. Though actually I found certain similarities also with … Continue reading

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Labour invokes Doctor Who, again

I mentioned the subtle invocation of the Third and Tenth Doctors by the first Labour election spot last week; the latest one is introduced by Peter Davison, who is the only named speaker, and again closed out by David Tennant. … Continue reading

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EU and volcano

: Volcanic ash: the UK Independence Party weighs in Charlemagne fisks a UKIP press release: Eurocontrol is not an EU agency, it was not Eurocontrol that ordered the closure of Europe's skies, the closure did not follow a single computer … Continue reading

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South Belfast – Shinners to pull out?

Latest rumours to reach me here in Africa are that Sinn Féin are to pull out of the election in South Belfast, in order to strengthen the chances of Alasdair McDonnell of the SDLP holding the seat and also to … Continue reading

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Dollhouse: Epitaph One

As with Flashforward, I haven’t seen a single episode of Dollhouse so wondered how much entertainment I would get from the Hugo-nominated final episode of the first series, “Epitaph One” (which was apparently never actually broadcast in the US). Not … Continue reading

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Victory of the Daleks

Given my travels it took me a couple of days to catch up with this one. Also since my net access has been weak since Saturday evening, I’ve managed to remain largely unspoiled. I see fan opinion has been a … Continue reading

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Flight woe

This is minor stuff compared to what others are going through, I realise, but I am going to tell you about it anyway. My flight from Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) to Juba (Sudan) failed to take off yesterday; the plane had … Continue reading

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April Books 13) Kursaal, by Peter Anghelides

The Eighth Doctor Adventures, having tried vampires a bit earlier, now switch to werewolves – though werewolves on a distant planet which is being exploited by ruthless industrialists trying to turn it into a tourist resort. The werewolf bits are … Continue reading

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April Books 12) Impossible Things, by Connie Willis

Connie Willis has won more Hugo awards for fiction than any other writer (and more Nebulas than anyone except Ursula Le Guin), and I’m not entirely sure why. Her best stories have a decent combination of humour and nostalgic mourning; … Continue reading

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April Books 11) Unauthorised Departure, by Maureen O’Brien

Maureen O'Brien is known to discerning Who fans as Vicki, the first ever 'new' companion to join Doctor Who after the series began. She is also the author of a series of seven detective novels about London policeman John Bright, … Continue reading

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