Monthly Archives: December 2012

December Books

Non-fiction: 4 (2012 total 53) The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain, by Ronald Hutton My Old Man: A Personal History of Music Hall, by John Major The Bible The Comic Strip Companion: the Unofficial … Continue reading

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December Books 17) The [Doctor Who] Comic Strip Companion, 1964-79, by Paul Scoones

This really is a book for completists, in that it's difficult to imagine anyone other than the diehard Who fan wanting to get hold of it, but it is equally difficult to imagine that diehard fan being anything other than … Continue reading

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Most commented posts of the last year

Some rare evidence against the continuing decline of Livejournal: last year I counted only 26 posts with 12 or more comments from the previous twelve months, compared with 32 with at least 15 comments the year before and 42 with … Continue reading

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What should I read in 2013?

Dear friendslist (and other readers), I have been greatly helped in thinning out the books on my unread shelf by your votes in previous years, and I would once again very much appreciate your advice on what books to read … Continue reading

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December Books 16) The Bible

Apart from War and Peace, my other reading project for 2012 was to read the entire Bible, a few chapters a day (or an entire book if it is short). I therefore finished Revelation, and the whole thing, this morning. … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 31-12-2012

It’s two years away, but the 2015 election is already lost Analysis from @telegraph, but still…(tags: ukpolitics ) Grey Cavalier George, aged 92, lost his wife a month ago and has started blogging.(tags: blogging ) Anglicans to stay up till … Continue reading

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December Books 15) Война и миръ графа Льва Николаевича Толстого

A bunch of us have been reading War and Peace at the rate of a chapter a day for the duration of this year – a slight initial miscalculation led us to believe that there are 366 chapters, but in … Continue reading

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December Books 14) Doctor Who Annual 2006, ed. Clayton Hickman

Since I'm rewatching New Who, I thought I should repeat my practice with Old Who and read the relevant annuals as I go through the episodes. I'm a little ahead of time here, in that the 2006 Annual wasn't published … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 29-12-2012

As Swing Districts Dwindle, Can a Divided House Stand? Nate Silver on the polarisation of US politics.(tags: Uspolitics ) Storm in a teacup as non-native EC eurocrat blogs! (with tweets) EU comms people missing the point about comms…(tags: Eu )

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December Books 13) Devil in the Smoke, by Justin Richards

Justin Richards seems to be on form these days; this is another tie-in e-book, intended as a prequel to The Snowmen (though as far as I could tell it was not available outside UKania until after the broadcast), a tale … Continue reading

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December Books 12) Bleeding Hearts, by Ian Rankin

Most of this is excellent, a tale of a specialist assassin who happens also to have a milder form of hæmophilia, trying to find out who organised his latest hit, and of a private detective hired to find and kill … Continue reading

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Where I’ve been this year

List the places where you spent a night away from home this year, marking places where you spent two or more non-consecutive nightswith an asterisk. *Strasbourg, France*Tbilisi, Georgia*Geneva, SwitzerlandSkopje, Macedonia*Barcelona, CataloniaHeathrow, England*Loughbrickland, Northern IrelandParis, FranceThe Hague, the NetherlandsBroadstairs, EnglandPortslade, EnglandKidderminster, … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 28-12-2012

Digital Agenda for Europe – European Commission Do you feel incentivised to complete the survey?(tags: Eu ) In an EU referendum, what does NO mean? @jonworth asks a good question.(tags: ukpolitics Eu ) FreedomWorks tea party group nearly falls apart … Continue reading

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December Books 11) The Year’s Best Science Fiction, 25th Annual Edition, ed. Gardner Dozois

Big collection of sf short stories published in 2007, of which I had read very few – the five Hugo nominees (of which I remembered only three, Ted Chiang’s “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate”, Stephen Baxter’s “Last Contact” and … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 27-12-2012

Classic TV – Doctor Who | Royal Mail Ltd 2013 will see British postal stamps celebrating the 11 Doctors!(tags: Doctorwho ) Professor Loomis and the NRA: A Story In Which EVERYONE Annoys Me | Popehat Sometimes there are no good … Continue reading

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December Books 10) My Old Man: A Personal History of Music Hall, by John Major

This is a detailed and yet very readable survey of the British music hall, from early days in the 1850s to death by competition from cinema and broadcasting after the first world war. I was surprised by both how little … Continue reading

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Doctor Who Season One (2005), first half

I’ve been giving some thought to the pacing of my write-ups of New Who. When I did my rewatch of Old Who, I chose to group stories in blocks of six, regardless of their overall length and number of episodes. That … Continue reading

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December Books 9) The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain, by Ronald Hutton

A brilliant book which has been on my reading list for far too long. Hutton looks thoroughly and critically at the records of ritual celebrations in England, Scotland and Wales over the centuries, and comes out with some very revisionist … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 26-12-2012

Was poet John Milton the father of science fiction? It’s a point of view.(tags: sf ) How the Queen of England Beat Everyone to the Internet Elizabeth II as early adopter.(tags: royals Internet ) Kenny vows to back abolition of … Continue reading

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December Books 8) The Ten Word Game, by Jonathan Gash

Another Lovejoy book, from the later end of the series, and operating very much to the formula of richly realised foreign setting (in this case a cruise ship going round the Baltic, with special attention to St Petersburg), with Lovejoy … Continue reading

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Doctor Who: The Snowmen

Well, I really enjoyed that. The Old Who fans like me will have been delighted by an origin story for, of all Old Who baddies, the Great Intelligence, in such a way that it All Makes Sense (apart from Downtime, … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 25-12-2012

Changing Depictions of Santa Claus in Science Fiction Magazines and Superhero Comic Book Covers Flying with Captain Marvel, 1941; arrested by Judge Dredd, 2009.(tags: sf christmas ) Christmas services and Doctor Who ” From the outside, it looks old and … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 24-12-2012

Letter of Resignation Sent By Bush to Rifle Association Bush père resigned from #NRA in disgust in 1995.(tags: Guns ) Scott Lynch recommends “The Lies of Locke Lamora” “I can safely assure you that it’s a heartbreaking, bittersweet tapestry of … Continue reading

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December Books 7) Scream of the Shalka, by Paul Cornell

I was really surprised and pleased by how much I enjoyed this book, the novelisation of the webcast story starring Richard E. Grant as the other Ninth Doctor. Perhaps it is partly that, at least in the opening pages, it … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 23-12-2012

The Law of War and The Lord of the Rings Do the Geneva conventions apply in Middle-Earth?(tags: war Tolkien ) Euromyths and Letters to the Editor: Holiday season bumper Euromyths special More examples of lies told by the British press.(tags: … Continue reading

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December Books 6) Aldébaran 2: La Blonde, by Leo

I enjoyed the first of this classic bande dessinée series, and am glad to say that the second volume builds on the strong points of the first. Teenagers Marc and Kim, still struggling to reach the distant metropolis after the … Continue reading

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Locus Poll of Best Novels

Locus have published the results of their online poll of the best sf and fantasy novels of the 20th and 21st centuries, and as ever with these things they are a mixture of the expected and the facepalm. I give … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 22-12-2012

Return to Gauda Prime Peter Anghelides was there.(tags: Blakes7 )

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Links I found interesting for 21-12-2012

Third Gender Books in SFF, or what I’ve been reading lately. List of “fiction with third gender and or genderqueer characters”.(tags: sexandgenderandsexuality books sf ) Stale tale of two cities – built in the same place Glenn Patterson compares Belfast … Continue reading

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December Books 5) The Burning, by Justin Richards

Having recorded my disappointment with The Banquo Legacy, another Eighth Doctor Adventure just a few books earlier in the sequence which shares an author and a vague country house theme with The Burning, I felt that this time Justin Richards … Continue reading

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