September 6th, 2020

tardis

Whoniversaries 6 September: Zygons #2, Hive #2, ToaTL #1, Real Time ends

only broadcast anniversaries today, but gosh there are plenty of them.

6 September 1975: broadcast of second episode of Terror of the Zygons. The Zygons brag to captive Harry about their control of the Loch Ness Monster / Skarasen, and unleash it on the Doctor... There's also a particularly chilling scene with the Zygon which is imitating Harry Sullivan.

6th September 1980: broadcast of second episode of The Leisure Hive. The Doctor is forced to age by the Argolins.

6 September 1986: broadcast of first episode of The Forbidden Planet (Trial of a Time Lord #1), starting the belated Season 23. The Doctor is captured and put on trial; flashback to the somewhat incomprehensible beginning of the adventure on Ravalox.

6 September 1989: broadcast of first episode of Battlefield, starting the last season of Old Who. Yay Brigadier! Lots of nice scene-setting, and then a knight materialises and addresses the Doctor as 'Merlin'.

6 September 2002: webcast of final episode of Real Time. Evelyn is saved from cyber-conversion, but the ending is kinda confusing.

6 September 2014: broadcast of Twelfth Doctor story Robot of Sherwood. Who was Robin? And what is a legend anyway?
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books

December 2007 books and 2007 reading

The Lib Dems elected Nick Clegg, Belgium got a new government, and I borrowed my brother-in-law's suit. No travel for me, but meanwhile little U got birthday cake at school, F got what he wanted for Christmas, and B settled into the snoezelruimte in her new home.

Not so many books in December 2007 - still a bit shell-shocked by B's departure.

Non-fiction 6 (YTD 78)
About Time 5: The Unauthorised Guide to Doctor Who, 1980-1984, by Lawrence Miles and Tat Wood
Who's Next: An Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Doctor Who, by Mark Clapham, Eddie Robson and Jim Smith
Back in Time: A Thinking Fan's Guide to Doctor Who, by Steve Couch, Tony Watkins and Peter S. Williams
Time And Relative Dissertations In Space: Critical Perspectives on Doctor Who, edited by David Butler
Latin Palaeography: Antiquity & the Middle Ages, by Bernhard Bischoff, translated by Dáibhí Ó Cróinín & David Ganz
Slide Rule: An Autobiography, by Neville Shute

non-genre 1 (YTD 33)
Sodom and Gomorrah, by Marcel Proust

sf (non-Who) 2 (YTD 75)
At Swim-Two-Birds, by Flann O'Brien
Dhalgren, by Samuel R. Delany

Doctor Who 4 (YTD 27)
Doctor Who: The Official Annual 2008
Sting of the Zygons, by Stephen Cole
Doctor Who - Remembrance of the Daleks, by Ben Aaronovitch
Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster, by Terrance Dicks

4,100 pages (2007 total 69,900)
none by women (2007 total 53/236)
none by PoC (2007 total 5/236)

The best and worst of these were all about Doctor Who. I loved both the About Time volume, which you can get here, and the David Butler essay collection, which you can get here. But the Back in Time volume tried constrained its analysis of the programme to a Christian perspective, which misses the mark. You can get it here.


2007 books roundup

I did a roundup at the time, but am now reformatting to my current system (and reclassifying a few books as well).

Non-fiction: 78 (33%, almost as high as 2006 which is the highest for any year I have on record)

Best of 2007: A Time of Gifts / Between the Woods and the Water, by Patrick Leigh Fermor (here and here) and James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, by Julie Phillips (here)
The one you haven't heard of: Presidents I've Known and Two Near Presidents, by Charles W. Thompson (here)
Worst of 2007: After Dinner Speaking, by Fawcett Boom (here).

SF (other than Doctor Who): 75 (32%)

Best of 2007: The splendid Sailing to Sarantium / Lord of Emperors duology by Guy Gavriel Kay (here and here), and the first two of the Sharing Knife books, Beguilement and Legacy, by Lois McMaster Bujold (here and here).
The one you haven't heard of: The Way to Babylon, by Paul Kearney (here)
The one to avoid: First Lensman, by E.E. "Doc" Smith (here)

Non-genre: 33 (14% - a bit less than usual)

Best of 2007: Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson (here), and The Steep Approach to Garbadale, by Iain Banks (here).
The one you haven't heard of: The Successor, by Ismail Kadarë (here)
The one to avoid: Wilt in Nowhere, by Tom Sharp (here)

Doctor Who: 27 (11% - a bit less than 2006)

Best of 2007: counting non-fiction, the About Time series (here, here, here and here) and the Butler collection of essays (here).
Best fiction: Salvation, by Steve Lyons (here)
The one you haven't heard of: The Masters of Luxor (here)
The one to avoid: John Lucarotti's novelisation of The Aztecs (here)

Comics: 20 (8% - average before 2013)

Best of 2007: Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, followed by Craig Thompson's Blankets (here)
The one you haven't heard of: The Age of Chaos, a Sixth Doctor comic by Colin Baker (here)
The one to avoid: Pussey! by, for the third year in a row, Dan Clowes (here)

Book of the year 2007: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomedy, by Alison Bechdel, a brilliant exploration of growing up with family secrets, and your own secrets too. You can (and should) get it here.