Several Quickies

Ahh, the revered art of "reviewcastrinating", easy to do but difficult to master. Here's me doing a fair go at it. In no particular order except chronologically:

World Without End by Ken Follet.
Imminently enjoyable. I enjoyed Pillars of the Earth, and this sequel sustains that enjoyment. There hasn't been a book yet wherein I dearly wanted to get a hold of the characters and just slap them silly for their choices...this makes me want to do just that. Extremely enjoyable but absolutely infuriating.

Doctor Who: (oh and if you're wondering...I reviewed these from the bottom up)

  • Inferno by Terrance Dicks
The Third Doctor and poor old Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, science gone amok, (again, science really should get a better grip of itself) man vs Nature, alternate realities, really ugly mutants and wonky thermodynamics.

  • The Ambassadors of Death by Terrance Dicks
The Third Doctor and poor old Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart in a first contact story. Among all the myriad characters in all the books, I like the staid and proper Brigadier most of only to the Fourth Doctor, of course.

  • And The Image of the Fendahl by Terrance Dicks
Hooray, another Fourth Doctor adventure against something uncannily Lovecraftian.

  • And The Crusaders by David Whitaker
or The Crusade. The First Doctor in 12th century Palestine, The Lionheart, Saladin, and courtly intrigues. The Doctor's companion is kidnapped and made a harem girl of a cruel Moor. Good stuff.

  • Planet of Fire by Peter Grimwade
The Fifth Doctor picks up a hitchhiker on Lanzarote and, with Turlough and Kamelion, proceed to Sarn where Thurlough faces his past. With 3 companions, you just know that they're going to get rid of someone and at the end Turlough leaves and the Doctor destroys Kamelion out of mercy. Oh, and the Master is up to his usual shenanigans...but dies or at least appears to.

  • The King's Demons by Terence Dudley
The Fifth Doctor and companions in the court of King John of England. The Master against Magna Carta and a new companion: the shape changing android Kamelion.

  • And The Giant Robot by Terrance Dicks
The Fourth doctor (jelly babies, scarf, and all) perhaps my favourite of all the reincarnations in a staple sci-fi...err..staple. Giant robots and science gone amok with a dash of King Kong thrown in for good measure.

  • The Smugglers by Terrance Dicks
The First Doctor on a jaunt in 17th century Cornwall; squires, pirates, smugglers

  • The Twin Dilemma by Eric Saward
I don't like this new Doctor (the Sixth) but I must admit that his moods makes for compelling reading.

The World Swappers by John Brunner
It's a John Brunner, mate, it's good and you should read it. A (hostile) first contact scenario, supermen as only science fiction can make them, a solution to it all with all the hallmarks of science and logic behind it.

Folklore in America edited by T.P. Coffin and H. Cohen
Profit: "As a result, America has been and is now producing a mass of sub-literary, popular material that masquerades as a product of oral tradition, even though the people who can't, don't, or won't read know little of it or care less."

The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson
Dated and it shows but compelling nonetheless. The subject matter (not to say that the Author's skill has nothing to do about it) lends itself very well to thoughtful, image rich, and just plain beautiful lines. The Author's craft shows in how well, and easy to pick up she presents the material.

The Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective by Carl Sagan
A must read, it may be dated but a mystery is still a mystery and nothing can be more mysterious than those in the outer darkness. It is in a word; Fascinating. the final 3 parts of the book: Starfolk is nothing short of good literature. We are Starfolk, the children of stars and although you might have heard it said and explained before, I dare say that you won't find a more eloquent and inspiring treatment of it than Mr. Sagan's.


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