July Books

Lack of internet access means I will have to add some stats later.

I hesitated a bit about categorisation of some of these. Leaves of Grass is clearly more non-fiction than fiction, but probably I should set up a special category for poetry. Sophocles's plays feature characters with the gift of prophecy, and Lovejoy has a similar uncanny ability to tell real antiques from fake, but I am counting them all as non-genre; it is not clearly established in my mind that the relevant characters' gifts are sfnal in nature. Finally, though I bought the Countdown Annual for its Doctor Who content, 90% of it is about other stuff so I classify it as general sf. The Mermaids Singing turned out not to have any sfnal content.

Non-fiction 8
Marriage with My Kingdom: The Courtships of Queen Elizabeth I
Elizabeth Regina

The Bible: The Biography
Incidents in the Life of a Slave-Girl
Russian Phoenix
The Imprint of Place
Leaves of Grass
Broadstairs: Heydays and Nowadays

Fiction (non-sf) 9
Tom Jones
The Mermaids Singing
Oedipus the Tyrant
Oedipus at Colonus

The Spring of the Ram
Paid and Loving Eyes
Last Term at Malory Towers

sf (unless entirely Who) 4
The Postscripts BSFA sampler
Speed of Dark
The Countdown Annual (1971)

Doctor Who 6
The Fall of Yquatine
Code of the Krillitane
Risk Assessment

Comics 1
Keys to the Kingdom

Running totals
~7,600 pages (YTD 46,400)
9/28 (YTD 48/158) by women (2x Plowden, Armstrong, Jacobs, Carey, Kincaid, Dunnett, Blyton, Moon)
2/28 (YTD 7/158) by PoC (Jacobs, Kincaid)
Owned for more than a year: 19 (Speed of Dark [reread], Russian Phoenix, Dracula [reread], The Imprint of Place, The Fall of Yquatine, Coldheart, The Mermaids Singing, The Bible: The Biography, Leaves of Grass, Tom Jones, Parasite, Code of the Krillitanes, Wonderland, The Spring of the Ram, Marriage with My Kingdom, Elizabeth Regina, Antigone, Oedipus The Tyrant [reread], Oedipus at Colonus)
Other rereads: 0 for a total of 3 (YTD 12/158)

Isaiah Chapter 47; War and Peace is about to start the Battle of Borodino.

Also started The Faerie Queene and Dark Horizons.

Coming next, perhaps:
The Battle for God
Spectrum IV
Portable Greek Historians
Heir to the Empire
Morgoth's Ring
The Public Prosecutor
The Reign of Elizabeth
The Elementary Forms of Religious Life
A Wrinkle in Time
With the Light vol 5
The Quantum Rose
Conquest of the Amazon
Tender is the Night
Emil and the Detectives
The Poison Factory
Tomb of the Cybermen
The Space Age
The Time Traveller's Almanac

Posted in Uncategorised

July Books 28) The Countdown Annual 1972

Picked this up at a bookshop in Broadstairs recommended by Joe 90, Thunderbirds , UFO, a couple I hadn’t heard of (Countdown and The Secret Service) and of course Dr Who [sic]. Who fans are well served with a Pertwee cartoon strip whose storyline is surprisingly close to Seeds of Doom, and also two pages reporting from Aldbourne on the filming of The Dæmons (will scan and post these in due course). There are also two cartoon stories about Dastardly and Muttley – I had forgotten that the Vulture Squadron were quite so obviously Comic Germans. I guess this must have done rather well in the Christmas 1971 sales.

Posted in Uncategorised

Links I found interesting for 30-07-2012

Posted in Uncategorised

July Books 27) Broadstairs: Heydays and Nowadays, by Nick Evans

Staying overnight with cousins in Broadstairs, home of Charles Dickens and childhood home of Edward Heath; a pleasant and quiet resort town which is actually built around two sandy beaches on the edge of Kent. This book collects classic photographs of the town and compares them with the way the same places look today (well, 2007); what struck me was that if anything the last few decades have seen some of the overdevelopment of the early twentieth century rolled back, and the town is if anything prettier now. Walking along the esplanade yesterday I felt a little as if something was missing on the headland between the beaches; I may have been feeling the absence of the Grand Hotel, a hulking mass which dominated Louisa Bay until it was demolished in the 1990s. Some of the nicer-looking outlying hotels have also been demolished, and others are private houses or in other lines of business. Mass tourism no longer happens here as it did fifty years ago, but rather than sink into decay the town has trimmed back and reoriented itself for a new era of day trippers and London commuters.

(One particularly jarring note from the past: the 1935 picture of “Uncle Mack” and his five fellow minstrels, all in blackface; apparently there is film of them here. It is practically the most dated photograph in the book.)

Posted in Uncategorised

July Books 26) Last Term at Malory Towers, by Enid Blyton

I had never read a single one of these books before, and swiped this off my sister-in-law’s bookcase in a moment of experimentation. While it was probably not a great idea to start with the last of the series, I found it wholesome stuff about building character and learning to get along with other people, in the all-female environment of Malory Towers boarding school, the tough life lessons – and there are several – leavened by the fun of bullying the French teacher by removing her hair pins magnetically (but she is not English so it doesn’t matter). I understand that part of the thrill of earlier books in the sequence is waiting to see when Darrell loses her temper, and was a little sorry to discover that she manages to keep her composure in this last volume. The only men who get much of a mention are fathers; little talk even of brothers and no talk of boyfriends. However I think it does no harm to sample a setting where there are a variety of female role models to choose from. When my nieces are old enough to appreciate these books, I think they may start appearing in Christmas presents from us.

Posted in Uncategorised

July Books 25) Paid and Loving Eyes, by Jonathan Gash

I thought I had read only one Lovejoy book, and that it wasn’t this one; but there was an incident with an undercover policewoman here which I definitely remembered reading before, though almost none of the rest of the plot had stayed in my mind.

The plot, for what it’s worth, involves Lovejoy getting embroiled in annd then helping to bust a ring of international criminals by travelling to Paris and Switzerland from his native East Anglia; his supernatural ability to tell real antiques from fakes is a key element of the conspiracy (and makes me wonder if I should classify the Lovejoy books as fantasy rather than non-genre; on a related note I lost count of the number of women who threw themselves at him, another fantasy element).

The question of real v fake in the antique world is central to Lovejoy’s motivation; it is also the author’s excuse for lots of trivia about antiques, most of which I have already forgotten, though the touching story of James Sandy of Laurencekirk, the disabled and bedridden craftsman who created wonderful things, will stay with me.

Anyway, not exactly profound reading, and quite a different tone from the TV series, but entertaining and I think I’ll read a few more.

Posted in Uncategorised

July Books 24) The Spring of the Ram, by Dorothy Dunnett

Not quite a year after I read the first in this series, I’ve read the second, and have certainly worked up an appetite to read the rest now. Niccolò, the Flemish apprentice-turned-magnate of the first book, is sent on a mission of cut-throat mercantile competition to Trebizond, the only surviving point of the Byzantine Empire; but the year is 1461, and Trebizond’s time is also running out. There’s some very skeevy (though not at all explicit) underage sex in this book, though our hero nobly stands aside from it; there’s also a lot of appropriately byzantine political conspiracy, with tendrils reaching from Georgia to Scotland in a beautifully drawn pattern of entanglement. It’s all very lush and convincing, and just as I was wondering if Niccolò would ever actually lose any of the conflicts he gets involved with, I was blindsided by one of the several twists at the end. Good stuff.

Posted in Uncategorised

July Books 23) Coldheart, by Trevor Baxendale

If you can swallow the completely implausible geological setup for this story – a desert planet with an ice core (or at least a permafrost mantle) – it’s rather a good tale of the politics of a citadel society under stress, as the monsters arise both from the icy depths and from the elders’ own children; it’s rather effective as a body-horror story in its own right, and there are some excellent character moments for Fitz (one of the greatest of Who companions), the Doctor and even Compassion. But I can’t quite forgive the geology.

Posted in Uncategorised

Jago & Litefoot 4; The Davros Mission

I enjoyed the four plays in the fourth season of Big Finish’s series about Victorian adventurers Jago and Litefoot, but felt that they were not quite as brilliant as previous series have been. In particular, the linking narrative between the four stories was weak and confusing; it might have been better to present them as four standalones, amusing incidents in the lives of our heroes and their friend Leela (and her friend Claudius Dark, played by Colin Baker, in the last story). The sinister duo of Kempston and Hardwick started off promisingly reminiscent of Angel‘s Wolfram and Hart, but ended up rather pantomimish.

I don’t want to compain too much. The first two are very good on their own merits: Nigel Fairs’ Jago in Love takes the duo to Brighton, where Jago, as one might guess, falls in love and Litefoot is haunted by a lovelorn ghost. Trevor Baxter in particular does a brilliant turn as the possessed Litefoot; Christopher Benjamin as the besotted Jago is not surprising but still entertaining.

John Dorney’s Beautiful Things sees Alan Cox totally stealing the show as Oscar Wilde, playing him as a sharp-tongued, quick-witted, mildly Irish man of action, who out-alliterates Jago, makes a dreadful pun on the name of fellow-Irishman George Bernard Shaw, and saves the day. Louise Jameson also gets some great lines as Leela, hating the new Wilde play (A Woman Of No Importance). The plot is a clever riff on Dorian Gray, though I did not really feel the villain’s means were adequately explained.

Matthew Sweet’s The Lonely Clock felt a bit less integrated. Sweet is excellent at weaving literary allusions into his Who scripts, but I didn’t spot any here (apart from Leela doing a Sherlock Holmes impression). There are lots of fantastic images – a glass business card, a time-travelling tube train, people frozen in time – and an excellent guest performance by Victoria Alcock (one of the passengers in Planet of the Dead) but it didn’t quite come together for me.

Justin Richards is a hit-or-miss writer, and I’m afraid The Hourglass Killers was a miss for me; Colin Baker’s character has adopted the pseudonym Claudius Dark for no good reason, Kempston and Hardwick imprison Terry Molloy’s character Lord Ampthill in an hourglass for no good reason, there is a very silly scene in the British Library, and the denouement is reminiscent of the Silvester Stallone film Daylight except rather less plausible. The ensemble cast are all having good fun, but we are dangerously close to jumping the shark here.

I am still looking forward to the next season, even though it will have no Leela; I think the writers may find it easier to write good stories with only two main characters to write about. One of the problems with this season, I felt, was a bit of a tendency to put stuff in just so that the characters had something to do.

I greatly enjoyed The Davros Mission, by Nicholas Briggs, set between Resurrection of the Daleks and Remembrance of the Daleks, in which a Thal agent played by Miranda Raison infiltrates the ship on which Davros is being transported as a prisoner to Skaro by the Daleks; there are some excellent two-hander scenes between Raison and Terry Molloy, and the darkness of the main plot is balanced by two mildly comic aliens who are Dalek slaves. Big Finish’s Davros spinoffs in general are amog its best work.

In summary, The Davros Mission is well worth seeking out, especially as it comes as part of a job lot with the other Davros plays; and the first half of Jago and Litefoot’s fourth season is mostly good, while the second half is mostly OK.

Posted in Uncategorised

Links I found interesting for 27-07-2012

Posted in Uncategorised

Links I found interesting for 25-07-2012

Posted in Uncategorised

July Books 22) Speed of Dark, by Elizabeth Moon

Probably the best known of many SF stories dealing with autism, this is a near-future novel told in the first person by an autistic man who is being pressured to try an experimental “cure” by his employers (who are in the right line of work to provide it to him).

The actual plot is pretty straightforward – there’s an Evil Boss and an Evil Acquaintance who both have to be dealt with in fairly unsurprising fashion – but the success of the book is Moon’s depiction of what it might feel like to be autistic and write down how your life seems to you. Of course, one must take this as it is – Moon is not autistic, and so this is a literary experiment inviting the reader to inhabit the author’s impression of the uncanny valley of autistic experience rather than a clinical description of a real-life individual – but sf fans are used to authors asking them to inhabit imaginary worlds, imaginary cultures and imaginary states of consciousness, so it’s not surprising that a book that pulls this off well, as Speed of Dark does, would appeal to readers of the genre.

On first reading, I felt that the ending of the book, when we discover what choice Lou makes with regard to the cure, somewhat undermined the rest of the book. On re-reading, I felt rather more comfortable with it: it seemed to me this time that the climax is signalled decently far ahead and that in fact Moon avoids the temptation of giving the book too pat an ending. There is an interesting use of the New Testament in reaching the conclusion, though I will grumble about inaccuracy in a comment to this entry.

Speed of Dark won the 2004 Nebula Award for Best Novel. The others on the shortlist were Lois McMaster Bujold’s Diplomatic Immunity, Carol Emshwiller’s The Mount, Kathleen Ann Goonan’s Light Music, Nalo Hopkinson’s The Salt Roads and Jack McDevitt’s Chindi. The only one I have read is the Bujold and I will admit that it is minor; I don’t remember hearing much about the others at the time let alone since. None of the shortlisted books was on the Hugo ballot, which is unusual and can sometimes mean a healthy strength and diversity and sometimes mean that the selection process generated a weak list. However, Speed of Dark is a worthy winner.

Posted in Uncategorised

July Books 21) Parasite, by Jim Mortimore

A New Adventure with an impressively imagined setting, a possibly living cylindrical structure containing madly mutating mosses, monkeys, and massive trees, into which the Doctor, Benny and Ace arrive and get tangled up with terminal mayhem. I found it a bit of a slow read but have a feeling that may be my fault rather than the author’s. The science of the setting may not be completely sound but I was able to suspend my disbelief.

Posted in Uncategorised

Links I found interesting for 22-07-2012

Posted in Uncategorised

Links I found interesting for 21-07-2012

Posted in Uncategorised

July Books 20) Wonderland, by Mark Chadbourn

The last of the run of Doctor Who novels set between The Power of the Daleks and The Highlanders takes the Doctor, Ben and Polly to San Francisco in 1967, where a flower child called Summer tells the story of an alien power trying to take over the world through bad acid. The first-person perspective is quite rare in Who books, but done well here, though the story has few surprises.

Posted in Uncategorised

July Books 19) Lucy, by Jamaica Kincaid

A memorable short novel about a Caribbean teenager who comes to the US to look after a white American family’s children. Lucy is a little naïve, a little tactless, sometimes quite observant, and doing some rapid growing up in a strange country. Recommended.

Posted in Uncategorised

Links I found interesting for 19-07-2012

Posted in Uncategorised

Links I found interesting for 17-07-2012

Posted in Uncategorised

July Books 18) Dracula, by Bram Stoker

A very enjoyable reread of the fundamental vampire novel, which I guess I read first when I was about 15 and again when I was about 30; I am now 45. It remains a rollicking good story, as our heroes (a lawyer, a lord, a psychiatrist, an American, a weird Dutchman and a beautiful woman) chase to the end of Europe to prevent foreign evil from contaminating the purity of the heart of Empire. You can read all kinds of political agendas into it, and you are probably meant to.

One point in Stoker’s favour is that Mina Murray, later Mina Harker, actually has rather an active role despite needing to be rescued (and actually it’s her husband who is most in need of rescuing at the end of the first section of the book). She types up all the notes and distributes them; she knows the railway timetables from Varna (pretty damn impressive); her telepathic link with Dracula allows the team to guess where he is; and the men make a mistake, and admit it is a mistake, when they try to keep information from her delicate ears. Of course the other female characters who get turned by Dracula (including Mina’s friend Lucy) are much more passive, but I thought Mina’s role worth noting.

After an early reference to a Kodak camera startled me, clanwilliam pointed out that the book is all about technology – the camera, the phonograph, the typewriter, the railway trains. But this isn’t rationality alone defeating superstition – our heroes also use garlic, crucifixes and consecrated Hosts (this in a book by an Irish Protestant!) alongside the latest tech. It’s about the forces of good, with technology and teamwork, using all means at hand to defeat an individualist, primitive evil. (One of the more chilling moments is when they realise that Dracula is strong enough to hump his own coffin about the place; he works best without allies, and consumes his servants.)

Now that I know the Balkans and Eastern Europe to an extent, I was interested to check off the extent to which Stoker used reality for his setting (I believe that he never visited what is now Romania himself). Various people (including Ken MacLeod) have pointed out that all this vampire stuff gives the historically liberal and pluralist lush arable territory of Transylvania a bad name; the more isolated and geographically challenging Bukovina is the more likely location for the castle. I’m also a bit dubious about the eastward spread of the Czechs – I think Stoker meant Hungarians there. But he namechecks several local delicacies which I have eaten myself. I note that Harker takes the western route, tied into normal business practices of Central Europe, when he approaches the castle at the start of the book, whereas the final campaign is waged from the less developed and more obscure south-east.

There are some incongruities. Dracula has a moustache; I can never quite get over that. Also Stoker’s ear for accents is not unerring; while I will accept his Cockney, his Whitby yokels seem to me to be under some Irish influence, and Van Helsing does not speak like any native Dutch speaker I have ever met (see my pedantic comment). I also don’t quite understand why Dracula first imprisons Harker and then lets him go, except that the plot needed Harker’s diary to get back. These are not fatal points.

There is probably more to say about deviance in general, and also Lucy’s love life (is her vampirism punishment for having three boyfriends?) But I am out of space. Read it, if you haven’t.

July Books 17) Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman

I used to confuse Walt Whitman with Wally Whyton, and was always vaguely puzzled as to why a performer of comic songs on 1970s British children's TV seemed to have some kind of iconic status in American literature. It may also be telling that none of Whitman's poetry (in fact, I think no American poetry at all) made it into the curriculum of my Belfast grammar school's English department. But I seem to be in Whitman's historical zone at the moment – this is the fourth book I have read since the start of June about nineteenth-century America – so I shall confuse him with Whyton no more.

Leaves of Grass is one of those seminal (I choose the word for reason that will become clear) works of literature that may be as important for its influence as for its actual content. I do not consider myself especially well-read in great poetry, but even I can tell that Yeats was drawing a lot from Whitman's well, both in terms of style (the free verse following thoughts through variations of meter) and substance (creating a national story steeped in history), and that the more experimental prose writers of the twentieth century, including Burroughs and Delany, owe a lot to Whitman's stream of consciousness approach and also to his frank sexuality. Indeed, the fact that a mid-nineteenth-century writer could adopt such a clearly bisexual perspective was the biggest surprise of the book for me.

Whitman's vision of America is pretty coherent, of manly white men (and their women occasionally) creating a new society on a new continent which will be a beacon of civilisation for the rest of the world to admire and emulate. The continent's previous inhabitants are preserved in place names – New York is always Mannahatta, Long Island is Paumanok. It is also striking that Canada (or Kanada) is part of the geographical vision. It's a fascinating example of a political programme expressed in verse.

It's therefore a shame that such a lot of it isn't actually very good. The early piece, "Song of Myself", which is the core of the original mercifully short 1855 Leaves of Grass, and the elegy to Lincoln, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd", were the two pieces that actually grabbed me. Otherwise, I found it frustrating that in many of the poems, even the shorter ones, a good opening concept gets lost in lists and in listless repetitions, with the occasional good line jumping out at you. Whitman is very easy to parody, but sometimes the original is so absurd that there is no need. As Rossini (or was it Shaw) supposedly said about Wagner's operas, there are some beautiful moments but some terrible half-hours.

So I'm glad I finally got through this, but would recommend that others interested in getting to know Whitman look for highlights, preferably in an anthology including other writers.

Posted in Uncategorised

Links I found interesting for 15-07-2012

Posted in Uncategorised

Fantasy Mistressworks meme

From here, original here. As per usual, bold the ones you have read, italicise the ones you started but didn't finish.

1. Songspinners – Sarah Ash
2. The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
3. Rats and Gargoyles – Mary Gentle
4. Outlander – Diana Gabaldon (this was published as Cross Stitch in the UK)
5. The Riddle-Master of Hed – Patricia McKillip
6. The Blue Sword – Robin McKinley
7. Lud-in-the-Mist – Hope Mirrlees
8. The Curse of the Mistwraith – Janny Wurts
9. Shadow Magic – Patricia C Wrede
10. Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb
11. A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula K Le Guin
12. Familiar Spirit – Lisa Tuttle
13. Beauty – Sheri S Tepper
14. Diadem from the Stars – Jo Clayton
15. The Crystal Cave – Mary Stewart
16. Black Horses for the King – Anne McCaffrey
17. The Clan of the Cave Bear – Jean M Auel
18. Fortress in the Eye of Time – C J Cherryh
19. Red Moon and Black Mountain – Joy Chant
20. The Birthgrave – Tanith Lee
21. Briefing for a Descent into Hell – Doris Lessing
22. Interview with the Vampire – Anne Rice
23. The Wood Wife – Terri Windling
24. Briar Rose – Jane Yolen
25. The Porcelain Dove – Delia Sherman
26. The Winter Prince – Elizabeth Wein
27. The Time of the Dark – Barbara Hambly
28. Sword of Rhiannon – Leigh Brackett
29. Tam Lin – Pamela Dean
30. Fire in the Mist – Holly Lisle
31. The Sacrifice – Kristine Kathryn Rusch
32. The Beleagured City – Margaret Oliphant
33. The Soul of Lilith – Marie Corelli
34. The Citadel of Fear – Francis Stevens
35. Jirel of Joiry – C L Moore
36. Sheepfarmer’s Daughter – Elizabeth Moon
37. Dragon Prince – Melanie Rawn
38. Black Trillium – Julian May, Andre Norton & Marion Zimmer Bradley
39. The Thief’s Gamble – Juliet E McKenna
40. Daggerspell – Katharine Kerr
41. The Blue Manor – Jenny Jones
42. The Barbed Coil – J V Jones
43. In the Red Lord’s Reach – Phyllis Eisenstein
44. The Spirit Ring – Lois McMaster Bujold
45. The Last of the Renshai – Mickey Zucher Reichert
46. Archangel – Sharon Shinn
47. The Hall of the Mountain King – Judith Tarr
48. A Blackbird in Silver – Freda Warrington
49. Kindred – Octavia Butler
50. The Red Magician – Lisa Goldstein

Any particular recommendations from those I haven't read? NB that I did not particularly enjoy Rats and Gargoyles, and hated Interview with the Vampire.

Posted in Uncategorised

The Emerald Tiger / The Jupiter Conjunction / The Butcher of Brisbane

I'm not quite up to date with Big Finish, as there are several Sixth Doctor audios which I have yet to write up, but I have now listened to the three most recent Fifth Doctor stories, featuring Turlough, Tegan and Nyssa (set just after Nyssa's departure in Terminus, the idea being that she has been picked up by her former crew-mates several decades late in her own timeline).

There is one thing about The Emerald Tiger, by Barnaby Edwards, which is quite remarkable and superlative: the incidental music, by Howard Carter, is some of the best I can remember from any Who story ever. I see that Carter has done music and sound design for several other Big Finish stories, none of which I remember grabbing me as much; perhaps they just gave him his head for a change. Here's 40 seconds of a particularly thrilling passage.

As you can tell from the music, the setting is India, in 1926, and the Doctor and colleagues end up in an exciting chase by train, car and balloon of dubious Brits and a large telepathic tiger to a lost valley where mysterious things are afoot due to a local infusion of handwavium (not what it's actually called but you get the idea). All jolly good fun, with the trememndous energy of the music reflected in the performance of regulars and guest cast (who include Cherie Lunghi).

I'm afraid that The Jupiter Conjunction, by Eddie Robson, didn't work for me as well. I was simply not convinced by the astronomy and physics of the setting, a human colony on a comet which has been used to ferry supplies between earth of Jupiter and now faces crisis because the planets will not be aligned correctly in future. It seems to me utterly implausible that one might use a comet for this purpose – no reference is made to the rapid rotation, the low gravity and the icy, crumbly, volatile surface; and even if anyone ever did, the positions of the planets are not exactly unpredictable and would be built into the business model from the start. If you can swallow the background (and most listeners probably will) it's a decent enough tale of aliens being exploited by human allies and vice versa, with comedian Rebecca Front playing the chief villain, and some excellent sound work on the alien voices. Most people will like it more than I did.

But then we are back in business with Marc Platt's The Butcher of Brisbane, a prequel to the classic Fourth Doctor story The Talons of Weng-Chiang, telling the future history of how Magnus Greel (played by Angus Wright) got his alien sidekick (played chillingly by Rupert Frazer) to design the Peking Homunculus, and eventually fled the ruins of the 51st century leaving conflict and destruction behind him. The hints that we are given in Talons are considerably augmented by Platt's vivid imagination, in particular how he manages to insert Nyssa and Turlough into Greel's inner circle; the world of Magnus Greel is credibly sketched out. It would have been very easy to write a bad prequel to Talons, and we have instead a good one – certainly the best of these three.

(Though the story's treatment of the Time Agents seemed to me at odds with what we know of them from New Who and Torchwood.)

So, in summary, The Butcher of Brisbane is the best dramatically; The Emerald Tiger has superb music; and The Jupiter Conjunction is not recommended for astronomers. I think all three are fairly penetrable for non-Who fans – the Talons of Weng-Chiang references in The Butcher of Brisbane are important only for the choreography of the dénouement.

Posted in Uncategorised