October 29th, 2011

tardis

October Books 21-22) The Stones of Blood novelisations

Earlier this year the BBC released a new novelisation of an Old Who story - David Fisher, who wrote the original TV story The Stones of Blood, has now converted it not to a print novel but to audiobook format, read with great gusto by Susan Engel (who played the villain of the piece on screen) with John Leeson doing K9's lines. I had been looking forward to this with hopeful enthusiasm, as Fisher's novelisations of his other two stories are among the best of the Target range.

I am very glad to say that I was not disappointed. The audio is about twice as long as the original series (four hour-long CDs), and Fisher has bulked out the material with lots more character background and atmosphere than was possible on screen - the full story of the campers gruesomely slain by the Ogri, for example, and various brazen but humorous infodumps. There are lots of decent sound effects as well. Very highly recommended.

I also went back and reread Terrance Dicks' original novelisation of the story for comparison. It must be a lot shorter than Fisher's new text. I noted of it three years ago that it is "a standard Dicks write-what's-on-the-screen treatment, somewhat flattening a rather good story" and I found no reason to change my views. I did think Dicks handled the climax of the story with some finesse, but the rest it pretty thin.


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

buzz

October Books 23) Other Edens III, ed. Christopher Evans and Robert Holdstock

Third of this set of anthologies of sf short stories by British-based authors, the only one of the three I had previously read. I felt the quality of the stories was a notch above the other too (themselves not at all bad). Topped and tailed with "The Grey Wethers" by Keith Roberts and "A Tupolev Too Far" by Brian Aldiss, with the others including "Rainmaker Cometh" by Ian McDonald. Excellent stuff.