December 2nd, 2010


November Books 25) White Darkness, by David McIntee

A relatively rare example of a historical novel in the New Adventures series, taking the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Benny to Haiti on the eve of the US invasion of 1914. It is a combination of the Tardis crew getting to grips with the setting and Lovecraft pastiche, done for shudders rather than giggles - the zombies turn out to be linked to the Great Old Ones (though there is also a character from New England whose name is Howard Philips). Clearly well-researched on the Haitian background, and good coordination of the three main characters doing what they are good at. Decent stuff.

Who are those guys?

At a conference last weekend, I realised that two of my fellow participants had the interesting connection that they had both been foreign ministers of their respective countries' governments back in 1994. My phone is still not behaving perfectly, but I did at least get them to smile for the camera:

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So, your challenge for today is: which two countries were these two gentlemen serving as foreign minister, sixteen years ago?

(You may choose to answer on the basis of gut feeling, though a combination of various googling techniques is more likely to work.)

December Books 1) The Falls, by Ian Rankin

A slightly disappointing Rebus novel, for once; the obvious suspects turn out to be indeed the criminals. Rankin may have been trying to write a character-based novel, and indeed he gives Rebus three good female characters to spark off (his ex who is now his boss, his new lover and his protégée) but rather forgot to supply an interesting plot to go with it, dazzled instead by these newfangled computer thingies. So not really one I would recommend highly.