August 30th, 2020


Whoniversaries 30 August: Terror of the Zygons #1, The Leisure Hive #1, Real Time #5

i) births and deaths

30 August 1988: birth of Ellis George, who played Coal Hill pupil Courtney Woods in four 2014 Twelfth Doctor episodes.

ii) broadcast anniversaries

30th August 1975: broadcast of the first episode of Terror of the Zygons, launching Season 13. The Doctor, Harry and Sarah, responding to the Brigadier's appeal via space-time telegraph, land in the neighbourhood of Loch Ness which looks strangely like Sussex. Oil rigs are being wrecked in the North Sea; while tending to a survivor, Harry is shot and injured by a servant of the enigmatic Duke of Forgill. As Sarah visits him in hospital, she is grabbed by... a Zygon!!!!!

30th August 1980: broadcast of the first episode of The Leisure Hive, launching Season 18. Poor K9 gets short-circuited on the beach at Brighton; the Doctor and Romana head for the famous pleasure planet, Argolis, but the Doctor, investigating a mysterious chamber, apparently gets torn apart. (Perhaps symbolic of new producer John Nathan-Turner's plans for the show.)

30th August 2002: release of fifth episode of webcast Real Time. Cybermen, viruses and the Time Portal; by this stage I'd lost interest in it but I will give it another go some time.

30 August 2012: release of fourth episode of Pond Life.

30 August 2014: first broadcast of Into the Dalek. The Doctor and Clara are shrunk to explore a Dalek's mind and brain.

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November 2007 books

I started the month in London, and then went to Cyprus for a work trip via Istanbul on the way out and (very briefly) Malta on the way back. Later in the month there was a science fiction convention in Leuven, where I renewed acquaintance with Ken MacLeod and Al Reynolds, and got to know Christopher Priest. I finished the month with trip to Skopje, including a day excursion to Pristina.

F got his first taste of Doctor Who live when we let him stay up to watch Time Crash. He and I also visited Technopolis in Mechelen, where he had a hair-raising experience:

U delighted us with a little dance.

I read only 11 books in November 2007, still I think decompressing from October. (Also did quite a lot of driving - in Cyprus and between Skopje and Pristina.)

Non-fiction 3 (YTD 72)
William the Silent: William of Nassau, Prince of Orange 1533-1584, by C.V. Wedgwood
Democratisation in Southeast Europe, ed. Dusan Pavlovic, Goran Petrov, Despina Syrri, David A. Stone
The Awful End of William the Silent: The First Assassination of a Head of State with a Handgun, by Lisa Jardine

Non-genre 2 (YTD 32)
The Steep Approach to Garbadale, by Iain Banks
Oscar and Lucinda, by Peter Carey

SF 6 (YTD 73)
A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow, by George RR Martin
A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold, by George RR Martin

The Prestige, by Christopher Priest
Eurotemps, edited by Alec Stewart, devised by Alec Stewart and Neil Gaiman
Mutiny In Space, by Avram Davidson
The Happy Prince and Other Stories, by Oscar Wilde

3,800 pages (YTD 65,800)
3/11 by women (YTD 53/223)
none by PoC (YTD 5/223)

Several of these were very good, and I'm going to single out The Prestige, by Christopher Priest, which you can get here, and The Steep Approach to Garbadale, by Iain Banks, which you can get here. Mutiny in Space, by Avram Davidson, was pretty awful but you can get it here anyway (without the famous cover).