Ben Jackson brushed a cold snowflake from his face, wrapped the large coat tight around himself, and stepped from the TARDIS. Stepping out into the unknown was like testing his land legs after time spent at sea. He gazed about. They had landed in a cramped alley, the crooked, dilapidated houses arching inwards to meet one another. Coopers' barrels lined the wall near a stout wooden door. Must be a pub, Ben thought cheerfully. He could do with a drink. It was the simple things he missed, travelling with the Doctor. Oddly, this didn't feel like London; too quiet, too calm, despite the dark hour of the night. But the Doctor had assured them it was, even if he'd been vague about the year.A lot of the Short Trips anthologies are Christmas-themed, and this is probably the only one I will read at the appropriate time of year if I keep on going through them at one a month. Christmas is a fairly narrow theme, but here it is taken pretty broadly: liadnan of this parish looks at Roman-era astrology (not the only author to go for that time period), and there are a number of good short tales here - 25 in 231 pages, so about 9 pages each - and for once no real stinkers. I guess the ones that stick in my mind most are "Christmas on the Moon" by Simon Guerrier, "She Won't Be Home" by Joseph Lidster, and "Saint Nicholas's Bones" by Xanna Eve Chown. But in general it is a good seasonal entertainment.
Next in this sequence is Short Trips: Farewells, edited by Jacqueline Rayner.