September 18th, 2020


Whoniversaries 18 September: Gary Russell, Galaxy 4 #3, Masque of Mandragora #3

i) births and deaths

18 September 1931: birth of Terence Woodfield, who appeared in two different First Doctor stories in 1966: as Celation in the story we now call The Daleks' Master Plan, and as Maharis in the story we now call The Ark.

18 September 1963: birth of Gary Russell, former editor of Doctor Who Magazine, former producer at Big Finish, author of twelve Doctor Who novels (counting the book-of-the-movie) and of various other related books, script editor for The Waters of Mars and The End of Time, and director of the two Tenth Doctor animated stories.

18 September 2015: Webcast of Incoming Transmission, a prequel for the Youtubed Fan Show starring Dan Starkey as a new incarnation of Co-ordinator Engin.

ii) broadcast anniversaries

18 September 1965: broadcast of "Trap of Steel", the third episode of the series we now call Galaxy 4. The Drahvins hold Steven hostage while the Doctor and Vicki are sent to explore the Rills' ship; and Vicki is horrified when she actually sees one.

18 September 1976: broadcast of third episode of The Masque of Mandragora. Sarah is hypnotised and attempts to stab the Doctor; the Mandragora Helix gathers power.

iii) date specified in-universe

18 September 1945: Albert Einstein is accidentally transported onto the Tardis and briefly turned into an Ood. (Death is the Only Answer, 2011)

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February 2008 books

February 2008 began with a really glorious moment as Iain Banks visited Brussels to speak at Scotland House - which occupies the top two floors of the building that my office was then located in. I went to Geneva for what was then my regular gig at GCSP, and Anne and I had a rare romantic getaway weekend in Rome. I wrote blog posts on the Lisbon Treaty and the genetics of blue eyes. Kosovo declared independence and the Greek Cypriot leader lost his re-election bid (and died soon after). At work, my Danish intern V left (she has now founded her own NGO, fighting for gender equality) and was replaced by American D, one of the real stars who I recruited in my eight years at that job (and they were all good).

I managed to read 20 books that month:

non-fiction 5 (YTD 7)
Oxford Take Off In Russian
Algernon, Charlie, and I: A Writer's Journey, by Daniel Keyes
The Time Out Guide to Rome
Dublin Castle and the 1916 Rising: The Story of Sir Matthew Nathan, by Leon Ó Broin
The Megalithic European: The 21st Century Traveller in Prehistoric Europe, by Julian Cope

non-genre 1 (YTD 2)
No Great Mischief, by Alistair MacLeod

script 1
Improbable Frequency, by Arthur Riordan and Bell Helicopter (Conor Kelly and Sam Park)

sf 6 (YTD 11)
The Atrocity Archives, by Charles Stross
The Rediscovery of Man, by Cordwainer Smith
Naked to the Stars, by Gordon R. Dickson
Interzone: The 5th Anthology, edited by John Clute, Lee Montgomerie and David Pringle
Matter, by Iain M. Banks
Humility Garden, by Felicity Savage

Doctor Who 7 (YTD 9)
The Year of Intelligent Tigers, by Kate Orman
Invasion of the Bane, by Terrance Dicks
Revenge of the Slitheen, by Rupert Laight
Eye of the Gorgon, by Phil Ford
Warriors of Kudlak, by Gary Russell

The Glittering Storm, by Shaun Lyon
The Thirteenth Stone, by Justin Richards

4,800 pages (YTD 8,900) not counting the two audiobooks
4/20 (YTD 8/31) by women, though I have no information about the authors of Oxford Take Off In Russian or The Time Out Guide to Rome
None so far this year by PoC, subject to the same caveat.

Four of these to particularly recommend: Improbable Frequency, a play about Schrödinger set in Dublin, which you can get here; Algernon, Charlie, and I: A Writer's Journey, the story of the classic sf story/book, which you can get here; No Great Mischief, a lovely Scottish Canadian novel, which you can get here; and The Megalithic European, which ticked my archæological boxes, and you can get it here.