May 17th, 2021


Whoniversaries 17 May

i) births and deaths

17 May 1943: birth of David Simeon, who played Private Latimer in Inferno (Third Doctor, 1970) and TV anchorman Alastair Fergus in The Dæmons (Third Doctor, 1971)

ii) broadcast anniversaries

17 May 1969: broadcast of fifth episode of The War Games. The Doctor infitrates the Chief Scientist's laboratory, but Jamie's raid on central control goes badly.

17 May 2008: broadcast of The Unicorn and the Wasp. The Doctor and Donna arrive at a house party in 1926 and, together with Agatha Christie, defeat the Vespiform.

17 May 2011: broadcast of The Custodians, nineteenth episode of the Australian K9 series. "Little Green Men" is a new virtual reality game sweeping the nation, the brainchild of a company with designs on taking over the youth of the world. The game has a hidden secret: a link to a strange telepathic alien who turns humans into his own kind.

17 May 2020: webcast of The Descendants of Pompeii. Evie and Maxine discuss the way their family seems to be protected.

My tweets

  • Sun, 12:56: River Runner Track the path taken to the sea by a raindrop anywhere in the contiguous USA.
  • Sun, 14:46: I’ll admit that transfers between SDLP & UUP in last Assembly election were effective, though votes fell in such a way that SDLP benefited more in terms of seats. BUT my point is that it didn’t resonate with voters. SDLP had worst 1st prefs %ge result ever, UUP not much better.
  • Sun, 14:48: RT @John_Cotter: This tweet highlights some interesting themes I’m noticing amongst Brexiteers 1. Some Brexiteers are now acknowledging th…
  • Sun, 15:51: Christopher Eccleston returns as the Ninth Doctor
  • Sun, 16:05: A Night with the Missus: H.P. Lovecraft in Greenwich Village Appreciating architecture.
  • Sun, 20:48: RT @drsammytweets: Still processing my first run in with the police... I've been doing a lot of cicada interviews & with national news out…
  • Mon, 08:58: I generally like and admire @b_judah’s work, but he is seriously off the mark here to put Prodi and Renzi in the same category as Sarkozy. Even Schröder has not been accused of breaking the law, however dubious his choices. Disappointingly lazy writing.
  • Mon, 09:30: Whoniversaries 17 May
  • Mon, 10:45: RT @robinlustig: This is probably the best background piece I’ve read over the past week. (And I’ve read a *lot* of them).

The Consuming Fire, by John Scalzi

Second paragraph of third chapter:
Her second thought, which she vocalized, was, “Oh, shit.” Whether one is theoretically expecting to get a toothbrush (or whatever) through the ribs, when the sharpened object is honing in on you, carried by someone who looks like her job on the outside was strangling livestock, it’s all right to let out a little profanity.
Sequel to The Collapsing Empire, which was a Hugo finalist in 2018. Where the first volume had grand sweeps of interstellar space, the second concentrates very much more on court politics in the capital of a galactic empire which is being undermined by the collapse of the wormhole network on which it depends. The political and sexual intrigue is well done, but I keep running into the same problem with Scalzi's books, which is that all the characters sound the same. You can get it here.

This was my top unread sf book, and my top unread book acquired in 2019. Next on those piles respectively are The Place of the Lion, by Charles Williams, and City of Blades, by Robert Jackson Bennett.