May 17th, 2014

politics

Links I found interesting for 17-05-2014

b7

More Blake's 7 audios

The Magnificent Four, by Simon Guerrier
False Positive, by Eddie Robson
Wolf, by Nigel Fairs

The second season of Blake's 7 audios, again similar in format to the earlier Companion Chronicles, with one or two actors from the original series with maybe a guest performer telling a story as it happened to them. Released in 2012.

The Magnificent Four has a brilliant concept: Avon and Cally, played as ever by Paul Darrow and Jan Chappell, find themselves on a ship very like the Liberator with a crew that is a weird echo of their own. It's a very interesting exploration of how the set-up for the show might look from a different angle, decently executed.

I was a bit less sure about False Positive, by Eddie Robson, which relies on Gareth Thomas and a dubious doctor played by Beth Chalmers, and a plot line where reality may or may not be being bent; is Blake on drugs? Or just pretending? Or really Blake at all? The resolution was satisfactory but not so sure about the journey.

Finally, Wolf, by Nigel Fairs, brings Jacqueline Pearce back as Servalan, along witgh Jan Chappell as Cally and Anthony Howell's Auron scientist Gustav Nyrron, in a story of loyalty and treachery, which lost a little from not having a bigger cast. But Jan Chappell has really found her pace with Cally, perhaps a little more so than she ever did on TV.

buzz

May Books 1) Neptune's Brood, by Charles Stross

The first of this year's Hugo nominees which I got after nominations had been announced. It's set in the same universe as Saturn's Children but that really doesn't matter, as it's a very different book - unusually for SF (though much less unusually for Stross) one of the central themes is future economics, specifically the issue of currency and cash flow between worlds which are separated by light years and where information cannot be transferred faster than the speed of light. On top of a decent plot, there is an excellent underwater city, priests, pirates (who may or may not be insurers), and reflections on the complex family dynamics of bespoke clone sisters. I will still rank Ancillary Justice higher, but this gets a good Hugo vote from me.