June 22nd, 2010

buzz

Hugo novellas wrap-up

I've written up the other three novella nominees in separate entries, as is my usual practice with books, and now come to the final two.

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So my final ranking, rather to my surprise as it doesn't much reflect my rating of these authors' œuvres taken as a whole, is:
  1. The God Engines, by John Scalzi
  2. "Vishnu at the Cat Circus", by Ian McDonald
  3. Shambling Towards Hiroshima, by James Morrow
  4. The Women of Nell Gwynne's, by Kage Baker
  5. "Act One", by Nancy Kress
  6. "Palimpsest", by Charles Stross

Previous Hugo roundups: Best Novel, Best Graphic Story.
doctor who

Doctor Who Rewatch: 09

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Having been reading up on the reminiscences of Derrick Sherwin and Terrance Dicks, I was rather expecting to find the boundary between the monochrome and colour eras a little fuzzier than the conventional wisdom has it. But I was instead impressed by how very different a show Jon Pertwee's adventures are. As mentioned above, they are in colour, which seems to require a shift of mood from magical realism to gritty realism. More important, though, is the sense of our hero being tied to a single planet from now on, his services being called on to deal with the monster of the month. It's simply not the same show as we have been watching so far. Having said that, there is a feeling of a shift of gear and finally getting things together with Season 8.

Speaking of colour, everyone in Season Seven is white except for a non-speaking technician in Inferno (played I think by Allister Baine, who appears almost four decades later as Wilf's friend Winston in The End of Time). Roy Strong, last seen as Toberman in Tomb of the Cybermen, is the first non-white character to get a named part in the colour era as Tony, the circus strongman in Terror of the Autons. Five stories into the colour era and we have only heard white actors speak; though this changes with the next story.

This run includes four of the five surviving stories with more than six episodes (the other being The Daleks, way back in the beginning). Seven episodes is too long for the average story (and Doctor Who and the Silurians and The Ambassadors of Death are pretty average). I'll cut a bit more slack for The War Games because it is the end of the original version of Doctor Who, and a certain excess is appropriate.

My running tally: 55 out of 160 Old Who stories (including Shada and K9 and Company and counting four stories rather than one in Season 23), so just over a third of the way through (33.9%). Just under 40% of the way through in terms of minutes watched. Just over 40% of the way through in terms of number of episodes watched. 28% of calendar time elapsed from 23 November 1963 to 6 December 1989.

< An Unearthly Child - The Aztecs | The Sensorites - The Romans | The Web Planet - Galaxy 4 | Mission To The Unknown - The Gunfighters | The Savages - The Highlanders | The Underwater Menace - Tomb of the Cybermen | The Abominable Snowmen - The Wheel In Space | The Dominators - The Space Pirates | The War Games - Terror of the Autons | The Mind of Evil - The Curse of Peladon | The Sea Devils - Frontier in Space | Planet of the Daleks - The Monster of Peladon | Planet of the Spiders - Revenge of the Cybermen | Terror of the Zygons - The Seeds of Doom | The Masque of Mandragora - The Talons of Weng-Chiang | Horror of Fang Rock - The Invasion of Time | The Ribos Operation - The Armageddon Factor | Destiny of the Daleks - Shada | The Leisure Hive - The Keeper of Traken | Logopolis - The Visitation | Black Orchid - Mawdryn Undead | Terminus - The Awakening | Frontios - Attack of the Cybermen | Vengeance on Varos - In A Fix With Sontarans | The Mysterious Planet - Paradise Towers | Delta and the Bannermen - The Greatest Show in the Galaxy | Battlefield - The TV Movie >
worldcup

World Cup, Day 13 - your predictions

This poll is closed.

Who will win the Slovenia-England match?

Slovenia
9(22.5%)
England
11(27.5%)
It will be a draw
20(50.0%)

Who will win the USA-Algeria match?

The USA
24(60.0%)
Algeria
6(15.0%)
It will be a draw
10(25.0%)

Who will win the Ghana-Germany match?

Ghana
4(10.0%)
Germany
31(77.5%)
It will be a draw
5(12.5%)

Who will win the Australia-Serbia match?

Australia
7(17.5%)
Serbia
25(62.5%)
It will be a draw
8(20.0%)

Current FIFA rankings (looking increasingly irrelevant): Germany 6th, England 8th, USA 14th, Serbia 15th, Australia 20th, Slovenia 25th, Algeria 30th, Ghana 32nd

Hearty congratulations to vampydirector, the only person to call all four of today's matches correctly. I certainly was not bold enough to vote my hopes rather than my fears and predict the South African win.