April 30th, 2012

train, tintin, leuven

April Books 13) X'ed Out, by Charles Burns

I picked this up when I went to the Charles Burns exhibition in Leuven last month, struck by its front cover which is a direct homage to one of Hergé's Tintin albums, The Shooting Star. The story here is completely different, though, as young Doug wakes up in a nightmare world of strange and slightly horrible people; we get flashbacks to his "normal" life in our world which may or may not explain what has provoked his dreams, if they are dreams; and then a big reveal in the last frame shakes some sense into Doug's new world, and prepares the way for the next volume; which I will buy.
tardis

The Selachian Gambit

Another of the recent Big Finish Companion Chronicles, this time reuniting Fraser Hines as Jamie McCrimmon and Anneke Wills as Polly Wright, with Hines doing most of the other voices including the Second Doctor and Jamie. It's a fairly routine romp of a futuristic bank being raided by aliens, a concept recently done much better in Naomi Alderman's Eleventh Doctor novel Borrowed Time, but it's fun anyway. I have a feeling that the story of the Second Doctor encountering the shark-like Selachians here isn't quite consistent with that in the two novels which feature them, but as they are all by Steve Lyons I won't let it worry me too much.
tardis

April Books 14) Parallel 59, by Natalie Dallaire and Stephen Cole

This is rather a good Eighth Doctor novel, with the Doctor and the steadily improving Compassion trying to navigate a military regime which is better realised than most of the many such regimes in Who books, while Fitz (who I think is actually in more individual stories, taken across all media, than any other companion), having got separated off, settles into an ambiguous and ultimately dangerous utopia. Some of the ideas here seem to be drawn from The Matrix, though I'm not sure if the timing works out (the film came out in 1999; this book was published in 2000 and must have been in the works for a while). Stephen Cole rarely disappoints, and I don't know what Dallaire's contribution was, but I thought the characterisation of the non-regulars here was a notch above the usual standards for Who books of any era.