September Books 4) Festival of Death, by Jonathan Morris
I have grumbled occasionally about writers (particularly Eric Saward) who thought that they could channel Douglas Adams, and were wrong. But Jonathan Morris's first novel is an excellent tribute to the Douglas Adams era of Doctor Who - set between Shada and The Leisure Hive, but clearly a story that escaped from Season 17 rather than Season 18. I really enjoyed this: the Doctor / Romana relationship is sheer crack, and yet the book survives the potentially gloomifying element of killing off (and then revivifying) various characters as part of a tourism attraction. There is even a spaced-out lizard who talks like Zaphod Beeblebrox. Great lines include:
'Normally, when I arrive somewhere, people point guns at me and throw me in prison. Within about twenty-four and a half minutes of arriving, usually,' said the Doctor.
and, in a homage to Hunter S. Thompson:
It was somewhere around the bow star on the edge of the galaxy that the drugs began to take hold.
Over a few days when I was wrestling with technological problems of my own, this story of convoluted timelines, suicidal computers, mystical intelligent plants and mellow reptiles reassured me somewhat about the benign nature of the universe, and I am grateful to Morris for that.