Monthly Archives: October 2011

October Books

Non-fiction 3 (YTD 55) A New History of Ireland, Volume III: Early Modern Ireland 1534-1691, ed. T.W. Moody, F.X. Martin and F.J. Byrne Newman, Elgar and "The Dream of Gerontius", by Percy M. Young The Interesting Narrative of the Life … Continue reading

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The Tenth Doctor and the Proclaimers

How on earth did I miss this? Delighted hat-tip to . Also delighted to see my cousin and his wife at 0:35 and 3:04. But it’s the moment at 2:40 that really got me.

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October Books 24) The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

The gut-wrenching story of agricultural and economic disaster in the late 1930s, and how vulnerable people get exploited both in general and in particular. A tough read in places; the imagery of the final scene particularly lingers. Deservedly won a … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 30-10-2011

The Importance of Mind-WanderingOn constructive daydreaming (tags: psychology ) Income Inequality Is Not a Myth – Derek Thompson – Business – The AtlanticU.S. tax policy has given a break to poor families for a long time. It’s not the enemy, … Continue reading

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October Books 23) Other Edens III, ed. Christopher Evans and Robert Holdstock

Third of this set of anthologies of sf short stories by British-based authors, the only one of the three I had previously read. I felt the quality of the stories was a notch above the other too (themselves not at … Continue reading

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October Books 21-22) The Stones of Blood novelisations

Earlier this year the BBC released a new novelisation of an Old Who story – David Fisher, who wrote the original TV story The Stones of Blood, has now converted it not to a print novel but to audiobook format, … Continue reading

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Blast from the past

Found in the archives. Check out the last page.

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New book meme

From Ian Sales: Book meme! Here are the 25 titles chosen for 2012's World Book Night. Do the usual: bold for read, italics for owned but unread.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenThe Player of Games by Iain M BanksSleepyhead … Continue reading

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October Books 20) The Wonderful Book of Doctor Who 1965, by Paul Smith

This book – available on download only at http://www.wonderfulbook.co.uk/ – has one of the more peculiar disclaimers one is ever likely to read: The contents of this book are entirely fabricated and should not be believed, not even the bits … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 26-10-2011

[Elsewhere] The Conservatives on Europe: A Dictionary – Milena Popova (tags: eu ukpolitics ) In five years' time, the Union will be no more A Scottish Labour supporter on the inevitability of independence. (tags: scotland ) How To Ruin Someone's … Continue reading

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Presidential election 2011

For those of you who haven’t been following it, the Irish Presidential election (voting on Thursday) grumbled into life over the last few weeks with the emergence of a dark horse front-runner, Se├ín Gallagher, who had a bit of a … Continue reading

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Serpent Crest 2: The Broken Crown

The third series of BBC Doctor Who audios by Paul Magrs, starring Tom Baker, have drastically improved on the first two by shifting to full cast plays and not having Richard Franklin as Mike Yates. The first episode here had … Continue reading

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October Books 19) Falling Free, by Lois McMaster Bujold

Reading through the Nebula winners which I have not already reviewed online brings me to this old friend, the first novel of Bujold’s Vorkosigan series (albeit one with no mention of the Vorkosigans or their planet at all). It’s a … Continue reading

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October Books 18) Legacy, by Gary Russell

Peladon is one of a surprisingly small number of planets to figure in more than one televised Who story, and though Big Finish have visited it twice I think this is the only spinoff novel set there. Gary Russell starts … Continue reading

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Companion banter

Sarah Sutton: I didn’t ever actually do a Dalek story… Janet Fielding: I think that that means you weren’t a proper companion. Sarah Sutton: You think? Janet Fielding: Yeah, I do! Sarah Sutton: I can’t call myself a companion? Janet … Continue reading

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The Elite

First in a new line of Lost Stories of the Fifth Doctor from Big Finish, written by BF regular John Dorney from an idea by Barbara ‘Enlightenment’ Clegg. These Lost Stories have been a bit hit and miss, with a … Continue reading

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The Many Deaths of Jo Grant

Latest of the Companion Chronicles range of Big Finish plays. Jo Grant tells us over and over of how she meets her end. Fairly obvious what is really going on from an early stage, but Katy Manning does it with … Continue reading

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President Medvedev talks about playing badminton

There cannot be many heads of state who would devote a video blog to the virtues of badminton. Watch through to the end for footage of presidential badminton-playing, and see if you can spot the name-check of Yuri Gagarin at … Continue reading

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Recipe: Red cabbage and figs

I invented this in a moment of inspiration this evening, and family reviews were good. The quantities are necessarily approximate. Ingredients Enough red cabbage A little butter (probably a non-dairy fat or oil could be used; trick is not to … Continue reading

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Planet Word, by Stephen Fry – Tourette’s

We're a bit behind with Stephen Fry's brilliant series about language, and just watched the third episode this evening (while some of you will have been watching the fifth and final one as it went out on BBC Two). Lots … Continue reading

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October Books 17) Other Edens II, edited by Christopher Evans and Robert Holdstock

I have been steaming through my large collection of unread sf anthologies this year, but often finding it difficult to say much about them. I’m reviewing here primarily for myself, and since most of the anthologies concerned are long past … Continue reading

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October Books 16) The Devil Goblins From Neptune, by Martin Day and Keith Topping

This was the first of the BBC Past Doctor Adventure novels, from 1997, featuring the Third Doctor and Liz Shaw with the core UNIT team of the Brigadier, Benton and Mike Yates. It has its moments, particularly in injecting a … Continue reading

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Soon it will be filled with parking cars – the end of ROSAT

Another satellite is crashing to the earth – the German-built X-Ray astronomy probe, ROSAT (short for Roentgen Satellite), launched in 1990 and crashing to a planet near you tomorrow morning. It could basically hit anywhere between 53° north and 53° … Continue reading

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October Books 15) The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano

This is the autobiography of an 18th-century slave, sold from his home in West Africa as a child to work on the West Indian fleet and around the Anglophone Atlantic shores, before becoming a freeman, missionary and political activist. (I'm … Continue reading

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The Silver Turk

In the latest from Big Finish, the Eighth Doctor returns to their main sequence of audio releases with a new companion – the writer Mary Shelley, who joined him in 1816, at the end of a short audio episode released … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 22-10-2011

William Shatner – Bohemian RhapsodyThere are no words. (tags: music ) Nescafe Gold Blend adsThe complete run. (tags: ) PUNKADIDDLE: On AwardsAdam Roberts on why it matters when awards go to bad books. (tags: sf ) And the winner is … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 19-10-2011

Kremlin Ups Pressure on Transnistria Leader to Quit :: Balkan InsightIs the end nearing for Smirnov? (tags: moldova russia ) The Belgian intercommunal agreement.(PDF)In Dutch. (tags: ) Nicholas Lezard pans the Tintin filmBut I think I will go see it … Continue reading

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October Books 14) White Queen, by Gwyneth Jones

I had been looking forward to reading this James Tiptree Award winner, recommended by many of you, and started off very much enjoying the well-constructed future Earth of the story – the decayed America, the peculiar infections, the African setting … Continue reading

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October Books 12-13) The Good, the Bad and the Alien, Colin Brake; System Wipe, Oli Smith

Two short (200-page, large print) Doctor Who novels packaged together as a double. Colin Brake’s The Good, the Bad and the Alien is written rather more for the younger end of the market, and is the same aliens in the … Continue reading

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October Books 11) Other Edens, ed. Christopher Evans and Robert Holdstock

Original anthology of sf stories by writers based in Britain, published in 1987. My copy has lots of autographs. I had only read one of the stories before (the one by Dave Langford) and enjoyed all the others – thought … Continue reading

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