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May 4th, 2008

May Books 4) Decalog 2: Lost Property

4) Decalog 2: Lost Property, edited by Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker

A collection of ten DW short stories (actually one has no Doctor, but does have Sarah Jane, Mike Yates, K9 and the Master). As usual, of varying but mostly good quality; I hope any of the other contributors who read this will forgive me for favouriting the two Fourth Doctor / Leela stories, one by Tim Robins and set on a commercially exploited Mars, the other by Pam Baddeley and setting settlers against indigenous people on a planet with its own bizarre legal culture. Apart from that, I enjoyed all the rest except the one with Zoe and Jamie and the one with Peri and the peculiar timeshare.
5) About Time: The Unauthorised Guide to Doctor Who, 1985-1989

This is the last (so far) of the About Time series of guides to Doctor Who, covering not only all the Seventh Doctor series and all but the first of the Sixth Doctor stories, but also the 1999 TV movie, the misconceived 1993 Dimensions in Time piece, The Curse of Fatal Death and the two Peter Cushing movies. Tat Wood is the main credited author (Lawrence Miles being absent this time, but with "additional material" by Lars Pearson and a defence of The Two Doctors by Robert Shearman).

As in previous volumes, Wood's sarcastic yet affectionate humour makes it a good read, even though it's the period of the programme's history I probably know least well. There are some brilliantly sardonic one-liners which I was regrettably unable to refrain from reading aloud to anyone who would listen. The explanatory essays are as good as ever. Slightly disappointed with the editing - there seem to be a lot more typoes than usual, and some other structural glitches as well. But any serious fan needs to get this.

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