March 18th, 2014


March Books 9) The Big Finish Companion vol 1, by Richard Dinnick

The second paragraph of the third chapter:

"Big Finish was looking for a way to do stories with the First, Second, Third and Fourth Doctors, and Nick [Briggs] came up with the inspired idea of telling stories from the perspective of the companions," explains the current range producer, David Richardson.

I was a little disappointed with this big heavy glossy book; it simply lists the Big Finish plays up to about 2010, with cast list, plot summary, and a few almost invariably positive words of description from those who were involved with the production. This is fine for enjoying the triumphs (where indeed I, Davros is a clear winner among several high points) but it means that the nadirs (eg Nekromanteia, The Poison Seas) are rather glossed over. The book also has similar surveys of several of the Big Finish ranges which I simply don't know at all - Sapphire and Steel, Highlander - and might now try. But for what it is, it's rather overpriced.

It was sad to read that the Sapphire and Steel range was basically discontinued because of too much torrenting. I wonder if that would still be the case today.

March Books 10) The Amber Spyglass, by Philip Pullman

The second paragraph from Chapter 3:
Meanwhile, she [Serafina Pekkala] looked down at the melting ice-cap, the flooded lowland forests, the swollen sea, and felt heartsick.
Sometimes you shouldn't revisit former favourites; I have to say that I have been much less blown away by the His Dark Materials trilogy on re-reading than I was first time round. I loved the bits with Mary Malone and the mulefa, but found the land of the dead sequence a bit internally inconsistent - likewise the death of God - and got really a bit fed up with Mrs Coulter and some of the others (eg the Gallivespians ). And while if you are a young teenager in love it does indeed feel as if the entire universe depends on that fact, actually it often turns out to be a temporary phenomenon. Maybe I was just in a bad mood, but it just did not have the same magic for me on second reading.

Arthur C. Clarke Award: GoodReads / LibraryThing stats

See announcement here.
Goodreads Librarything
number average number average
Ancillary Justice, by Anne Leckie 2432 4.00 351 4.10
Nexus, by Ramez Naam 2041 4.13 179 3.74
God's War, by Kameron Hurley 1430 3.61 377 3.73
The Adjacent, by Christopher Priest 114 3.74 51 3.88
The Machine, by James Smythe 78 3.94 17 3
The Disestablishment of Paradise, by Philip Mann 22 3.68 14 3.33

The numbers for Ancillary Justice remain impressive, though God's War is ahead on LibraryThing and Nexus is most loved by GoodReads users.