Thursday, July 27, 2006

I'm Cream Crackered

Just a quickie to reassure both of my readers that I'm not in fact dead, but simply short of time due to going self-employed and thus spending all of my time setting up my new business, plus doing a full-time new job as a newly emerged IT contractor.

Normal service, including my fascinating and trenchant thoughts on how truly awful the TV series Bad Girls is and why air conditioning isn't all it's cracked up to be, will resume shortly(ish).

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Mr Trevor K Grant: Author

Hmm, it seems that there's something of a minor furore about writer Trevor K Grant who I recently mentioned as an author I was reading. There's even been suggestions that he's a Doctor Who author trying to break into mainstream publishing via some sort of convoluted Internet publicity scam.

All I can say is that I've read one of his books and that was given to me in return for allowing two guys to host their Grant fansite on one of my domains (having been asked to do so by another author I know online who was at school with Grant). The book was OK in a mad sort of way and the two guys (who aren't Who authors, I can assure everyone) are much the same, but whoever Grant is, best of luck to him, I say.

In other news, apparently Phil Purser-Hallard has no shame and posts in his underwear, like a cut-price Hugh Heffner who can't afford pyjamas.

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Friday, July 07, 2006

Catching up on my Reading

My fiction reading has seriously tailed off in recent months, to the extent that I suspect I've barely read a dozen novels since the New Year. Instead I've generally been reading history and genetics books, but in the couple of weeks since I had the actual, genuine, not just 'Man Flu' Flu I seem to have regained my love of reading and have got through four books in the last week which doesn't sound all that much but represents a significant return to form for me. .

Most of it has been utter tat, right enough, starting with reading Gary Russell's Scales of Injustice. So long as you can ignore the fact that Russell describes Auschwitz quack and vile disgrace to humanity, Josef Mengele, as a 'genius', the book actually manages to rise to the heady heights (for Mr Russell anyway) of scrpaing mediocre. Gary Russell is in the (un)fortunate of obviously loving Doctor Who, being in a position to get commissions and, sadly, being a truly, hideously bad writer. It's not possible to say authoratively that his lofty position at Big Finish gets him those commissions, but how else to explain the choice of this book as one of the BBCi online books when so many better written, better plotted and more interesting books could have been chosen? Or why Justin Richards (range consultant for the BBC) keeps getting commissions from Big Finish, even when he's clearly not suited to the subject in question. It's not good for the quality of the BBC Doctor Who range, but given the fact that Richards seems determined to write the majority of the new turgid Tenth Doctor range himself, maybe it doesn't matter anymore.

Next up was Trevor K Grant's The Day the Earth Frazzled which was as close to 30s pulp sf as you're ever likely to see in this modern, terribly ironic age. It's maybe not the best written book in the history of the genre, but it does drip authenticity (and uses words seldom seen in literature, ancient or modern). There are rumours Grant, one of the great unknowns in the horror-pulp sf genre, is considering publishing a third novel, but it's hard to believe he's published even one, to be honest...

After wandering through Frazzled, I read the novelised sequel to Survivors by Terry Nation. It's hard to describe this without giving away various plot points from the brilliant TV sries, but suffice to say that it continues the story of Abby Grant from the end of Season 1, only in a style more suited to Nation's vision for the series than Terrance Dudley's Good Life TV version.

Finally, I read Simon Messingham's UFO/Doctor Who crossover novel, The Indestructible Man. After a run of pretty dull DW books stretching back to the phenomenal Fear Itself, tIM was genuinely enjoyable, even for someone like me who has yet to get round to watching UFO . I rather enjoy seeing the Who regulars getting put through the mill and here, as in several other Who books, the things which happen to the TARDIS crew are so extreme that you simply have to ignore the fact that there would have to be a fairly massive bout of memory loss to explain the fact that such extemeties are never mentioned again. Here, the Doctor is killed, Jamie is brain-washed and Zoe falls in love all within the first fifty pages or so so God alone knows where it's suppose to slot into continuity. Nicely written, with some exciting sections (for all that it's occasionally all too predictable), this is Messingham's best Who book by a margin.

I now have Simon Bucher Jones' Ghost Devices and Steven Saylor's Judgement of Caesar to read. Looking forward to that.

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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Cartoon Cartoons

How sad is it that, as a thirty six year old man, I can't decide which of the Complete He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and the Complete Dangermouse I should download, my ratio not being capable of supporting both?

Quite sad, I suspect...

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