April 23rd, 2021


Whoniversaries 23 April

i) births and deaths

23 April 1975: death of William Hartnell, who played the First Doctor from 1963 to 1966, and returned for The Three Doctors in 1972-73.

23 April 2013: death of Norman Jones, who played Khrisong in The Abominable Snowmen (Second Doctor, 1967), Major Baker in Doctor Who and the Silurians (Third Doctor, 1970) and Hieronymous in The Masque of Mandragora (Fourth Doctor, 1976).

23 April 2019: death of Edward Kelsey, who played the slave buyer in the story we now call The Romans (First Doctor, 1965), Resno in The Power of the Daleks (Second Doctor, 1966) and Edu in The Creature from the Pit (Fourth Doctor, 1979).

ii) broadcast anniversaries

23 April 1966: broadcast of "The Final Test", fourth episode of the story we now call The Celestial Toymaker. Dodo and Steven defeat Cyril the schoolboy at Tardis Hopscotch, and the Doctor solves the Trilogic Game; they escape.

23 April 2005: broadcast of World War Three. The Doctor, Rose and Mickey defeat the Slitheen by hacking into UNIT's computers.

23 April 2011: broadcast of The Impossible Astronaut, starting Series 6 of New Who. Amy, Rory, River Song and the Doctor receive a mysterious summons that takes them on an adventure to 21st century Utah and Florida in 1969. Along the way they meet Richard Nixon, president of the United States of America, and former FBI agent Canton Everett Delaware III.

Also 23 April 2011: broadcast of documentary My Sarah Jane: A Tribute to Elisabeth Sladen.

23 April 2016: broadcast of Friend from the Future, introducing Bill Potts.

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Friday reading

The Complete Short Stories of Guy de Maupassant
The Serpent Sea, by Martha Wells
The Consuming Fire, by John Scalzi
Legendborn, by Tracy Deonn

Last books finished
The Empress of Salt and Fortune, by Nghi Vo
Muse vol 1: Celia, by Terry Dodson & Denis-Pierre Filippi
Muse vol 2: Coraline, by Terry Dodson & Denis-Pierre Filippi
Le dernier Atlas, tome 1, by Fabien Vehlmann, Gwen De Bonneval and Fred Blanchard
Feeders & Eaters & other stories, by Neil Gaiman, art by Mark Buckingham
Sculpture Stories, by Neil Gaiman with Lisa Snellings
The Gameshouse, by Claire North

Next books
In the Days of the Comet, by H. G. Wells
Cloud on Silver by John Christopher

February 2011 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.

I don't seem to have travelled that month, and no particular family or office news. The big developments were all international - the Egyptian revolution and crisis in Libya, South Sudan's independence referendum results, and the epochal Irish election which saw Fianna Fáil cascade down to third place from the leading position they had had at every election since 1932. In Doctor Who news, Nicholas "Brigadier" Courtney died; here is Tom Baker's tribute.

I read 23 books that month.

Non-fiction 5 (YTD 10)
Peeling the Onion, by Günter Grass
How to Suppress Women's Writing, by Joanna Russ
Life of Frederick Douglass
Elizabeth I, by Christopher Haigh
Chicks Dig Time Lords, edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O'Shea

Fiction (non-sf) 6 (YTD 7)
Red Plenty, by Francis Spufford
Resurrection Men, by Ian Rankin
A Study in Scarlet, by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Sign of Four, by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle
Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle

SF (non-Who) 7 (YTD 10)
The Mahābhārata
Irish Tales of Terror, ed. Peter Haining
Lightborn, by Tricia Sullivan
Zoo City, by Lauren Beukes
The Prodigal Troll, by Charles Coleman Finlay
The Book of Lost Tales, Vol II, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, by J.K. Rowling

Doctor Who (fiction) 4 (YTD 10)
The Jade Pyramid, by Martin Day
The Hounds of Artemis, by James Goss
Short Trips, edited by Stephen Cole
Birthright, by Nigel Robinson

Comics 1 (YTD 2)
Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour, by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Page count ~6,500 (YTD ~10,900)
5/23 (YTD 7/39) by women (Russ, Thomas/O'Shea, Sullivan, Beukes, Rowling)
3/23 (YTD 4/39) by PoC (Douglass, authors of Mahābhārata, O'Malley)

Best books of the month: How to Suppress Women's Writing, which you can get here, and The Life of Frederick Douglass, which you can get here. Worst: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, by J.K. Rowling, 100 pages of guff about monsters looked at from the perspective of the Ministry of Magic bureaucrats with hand-written annotations supposedly by Harry and Ron; you can get it here.