December 19th, 2012


December non-genre fiction

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December seems to have been a rather sparse month for my non-sf fiction readings in years past. December 2006 was unusually good, but I can't remember a lot about the novels I read that month - I do seem to have enjoyed them all apart from The Crying of Lot 49.

So I am picking only two novels in particular of the 19 above, but with a particularly numerous field of honourable mentions.

The Secret Garden, by Francis Hodgson Burnett - this was as good as I had hoped it might be, a story of healing from psychological and physical trauma through friendship and gardening.

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, by Stieg Larsson - this is for the whole trilogy which was excellent, compelling, absorbing reading for me last year, if not quite Great Literature.

Honourable mentions to Tove Jansson, Marcel Proust and six of the seven from December 2006.

All four of the Shakespeare plays I listened to in December 2008 are excellent, and actually I think in future postings of my past non-genre reads I will omit Shakespeare from this category; it is too much like comparing apples and oranges.


Links I found interesting for 19-12-2012

doctor who

The Doctor Who webcasts

I resolved some time back that if I ever did a rewatch of New Who, i should start with The Curse of Fatal Death and should include all the dramatic presentations, to choose a potentially wideranging term, that fit into the general sequence. Before the glorious return of Doctor Who to the screens in the person of Christopher Eccleston, the BBC experimented with bringing it back as a webcast animation series. Four such stories were produced in 2001-2003, three of them featuring the last three established Doctors - Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann - and a fourth with Richard E. Grant as a new incarnation of the Doctor. My impressions of them at an episode a day are below.

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The webcasts tend to be forgotten these days. They started as a lure to get Who fans to explore the BBC website, and even now are only to be found in obscure corners of the Internet. But at the same time a lot of the people involved with the webcasts remained engaged with New Who, including particularly James Goss, who was involved with production of all four of these and has written some of the best New Who and Torchwood fiction. The webcasts may not have been a howling success, but they paved the way for the BBC Wales revival, and possibly demonstrated that there was still some life in the old franchise yet.

And tomorrow, I will watch Rose.

< The Curse of Fatal Death | The Webcasts | Rose - Dalek | The Long Game - The Parting of the Ways | Comic Relief 2006 - The Girl In The Fireplace | Rise of the Cybermen - Doomsday | Everything Changes - They Keep Killing Suzie | Random Shoes - End of Days | Smith and Jones - 42 | Human Nature / The Family of Blood - Utopia / The Sound of Drums / Last of the Time Lords & The Infinite Quest | Revenge of the Slitheen - The Lost Boy & Time Crash | Voyage of the Damned - Adam | Reset - Exit Wounds