August 24th, 2011


Paradise Lost

My non-Who audio listening recently has been a BBC radio dramatization of Milton's epic poem, in 41 12-minute episodes. It is tough going in places, but probably not as tough as reading the original would be. I found the most interesting sections to be Satan's council of war near the beginning, which presumably Milton based on his imaginings of meeting of the leadership in the Civil War, and the "lascivious" behaviour of Adam and Eve after the Fall. Denis Quilley is fine as the narrator, Ian McDermid very good as Satan, and I also liked Linus Roache and Fedara Holmes as Adam and Eve. And I was amused by the phrase "access denied" in one of the early episodes.

August Books 25) The 2nd Interzone Anthology, edited by John Clute

I think all of the stories in the 1987 collection were new to me. A lot of them seemed to reflect the Zeitgeist of Thatcherism and Cold War - in particular, two memorable pieces by Paul J. McAuley and Lee Montgomerie. I will also remember Brian Stableford's cryogenic survivor who finds himself alive but not immortal. All of these stories are pretty good, and I don't think any of them figured on the Hugo or Nebula shortlists of the day.