January 4th, 2021

tardis

Whoniversaries 4 January: Daleks #3, Krotons #2, Robot #2, Castrovalva #1, Greatest Show #4

i) births and deaths

4 January 1947: birth of Terry Molloy, who played Davros three times in Old Who and also undercover policeman Russell in Attack of the Cybermen (Sixth Doctor, 1985)

4 January 1970: birth of Shayne Armstrong, who co-wrote seven episodes of the Australian K9 series.

ii) broadcast anniversaries

4 January 1964: broadcast of "The Escape", third episode of the story we now call The Daleks. Susan meets Alydon the Thal in the forest, and returns to the others in the city, where they capture a Dalek.

4 January 1969: broadcast of second episode of The Krotons. Zoe and the Doctor take the test and enter the machine; the Krotons manifest themselves.

4 January 1975: broadcast of second episode of Robot. K1, the robot, kills a cabinet minister and threatens to kill the Doctor.

4 January 1982: broadcast of first episode of Castrovalva first full story with Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor, starting Season 19 of Old Who. The new Doctor collapses; Adric is captured by the Master; and the Tardis is heading back to the Big Bang...

4 January 1989: broadcast of fourth episode of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, ending Season 25. The Gods of Ragnarok are behind the circus; the Doctor defies them and the circus collapses into rubble.
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books

August 2009 books

This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging which will fall in 2023. Every six-ish days I've been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and family developments as well as the books I read in that month. I've found it a pleasantly cathartic process, especially in recent circumstances. If you want to look back at previous entries, they are all tagged under bookblog nostalgia.

Lots of travel in August 2009. On our way to Northern Ireland we stayed with cousins in Croydon, and with H in Brighton, and I seem to have done some research in Kew as well; and then the weekend after we returned to Belgium, we were back in England again for a family wedding. Here's F meeting his cousins then in Croydon (the older of whom turned 20 yesterday).

See also my note on the importance of Cullybackey, Co. Antrim, in American constitutional history; and I started my reading_gibbon project.

Of all the months I have been book-blogging this is the one in which I read the most books, pumped up by a very indolent holiday, and by listening to a lot of Doctor Who audiobooks while cooking or shopping. The grand total is 52:

Non-fiction 11 (YTD 66)
Young people in post-conflict Northern Ireland, eds. Dirk Schubotz & Paula Devine
Can Reindeer Fly? The Science of Christmas, by Roger Highfield
The Target Book: A History of the Target Doctor Who Books, by David J. Howe
Hotel Rwanda: Bringing the True Story of an African Hero to Film, ed. Terry George
Galileo's Daughter: A Drama of Science, Faith and Love, by Dava Sobel
Soul of the Age: the Life, Mind and World of William Shakespeare, by Jonathan Bate
Ringside Seats: An Insider's View of the Crisis in Northern Ireland, by Robert Ramsay
Satires and Personal Writings of Jonathan Swift
Early Belfast, by Raymond Gillespie
The British Museum Book of Ancient Egypt, edited by A.J. Spencer
Learning and Change in European Foreign Policy: The Case of the EU Special Representatives, by Cornelius Adebahr

Non-genre 9 (YTD 40)
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
On The Road, by Jack Kerouac
Les Liaisons Dangereuses, by Choderlos de Laclos
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
Back Home, by Michelle Magorian
Knots and Crosses, by Ian Rankin
Hide and Seek, by Ian Rankin
Tooth and Nail, by Ian Rankin

The Angel Makers, by Jessica Gregson

SF 10 (YTD 60)
The Night Sessions, by Ken MacLeod
On The Beach, by Nevil Shute
Black Juice, by Margo Lanagan
Soul Music, by Terry Pratchett
Lord of Light, by Roger Zelazny
Sacred Visions, edited by Andrew M. Greeley and Michael Cassutt
Yendi, by Steven Brust
Teckla, by Steven Brust

The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny, vol 1: Threshold
Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

Doctor Who 15 (YTD 42)
Asylum, by Peter Darvill-Evans
The Nemonite Invasion, by David Rodan
The Rising Night, by Scott Handcock
Shining Darkness, by Mark Michalowski
The Art of Destruction, by Stephen Cole

Doctor Who - The Nightmare Fair, by Graham Williams
Doctor Who - The Ultimate Evil, by Wally K. Daly
Doctor Who - Mission to Magnus, by Philip Martin

The Eyeless, by Lance Parkin
Beautiful Chaos, by Gary Russell
Ghosts of India, by Mark Morris

The Face of the Enemy, by David A. McIntee
The Peacemaker, by James Swallow (abridged version read by Will Thorpe)
Snowglobe 7, by Mike Tucker (abridged version read by Georgia Moffett)
The Doctor Trap, by Simon Messingham (abridged version read by Russell Tovey)


Comics 7 (YTD 25)
With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child, by Keiko Tobe
Fables vol 6: Homelands, by Bill Willingham
Fables vol 7: Arabian Nights (and Days), by Bill Willingham
Fables vol 8: Wolves, by Bill Willingham

Fables vol 9: Sons of Empire, by Bill Willingham
Fables vol 10: The Good Prince, by Bill Willingham

The Island, by Armin Greder

Total page count ~15,000 (YTD ~71,600)
9 (YTD 51/251) by women (Paula Devine, Dava Sobel, Harper Lee, Jane Austen, Michelle Magorian, Jessica Gregson, Margo Lanagan, Stephenie Meyer, Keiko Tobe)
1 (YTD 14/252) by PoC (Tobe)

With so many books, I'm actually going to single out four that I really liked and three that I didn't. (Not including old favourites To Kill a Mockingbird and Lord of Light.) The four new reads that I especially liked:
  • On the Beach, by Nevil Shute, one of the great post-apocalypse novels; you can get it here.
  • The Night Sessions, by Ken MacLeod, set in a relatively near-future independent Scotland, after the victory of secularism against religion throughout the English-speaking world, but is nothing like as polemical as that summary might make it sound. You can get it here.
  • Threshold, the first of the six volumes of Roger Zelazny's short fiction; a lot of jewels I hadn't previously encountered (and many that I had). You can get it here.
  • The Target Book: A History of the Target Doctor Who Books, by David J. Howe; complete story of an important element of Who history. You can get it here.
And the three that I disrecommend are:
  • Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer, a dreadful book which will fill young women's heads with nonsense. You can get it here.
  • How the Mind Works, by Stephen Pinker; the good bits are not original, and the original bits are not good. You can get it here.
  • Doctor Who - Mission to Magnus, by Philip Martin; incoherent and sexist. You can get it here.